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Is the Trinity Jewish?


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S H A L O M !


Biblical Question:

Is the Trinity Jewish?


Our Question:

Moshe from New York asks:

Dear Pastor Reuben,

   Please know that I do not agree with your understanding of Jesus being the Jewish Messiah.  But, you have a right to believe so.  Could you tell me why you and others believe in the so called Christian Trinity.  Someone here even said to me that it is a Jewish concept?????

     Your input is appreciated,

Moshe E.

Pastor Reuben's Answer:

Dear Moshe, shalom,

   I am happy to respond.  First, yes I do believe that Yeshua (Jesus) is the Messiah on the basis of Jewish Scripture (Tanakh) and historical fact.  Second, yes I do believe in the Trinity with Jesus being the second member (as God, not one of three Gods).

   To answer your question I will use the ready help of friends at the Messianic Literature Outreach and give their well written article on such.  If you would like more information please write them or us.


By Rachmiel Frydland

   Most modern Jewish people seem to have made their "peace" with Jesus of Nazareth.  Some consider Him to be a great, Jew, or even the greatest Jew who ever lived. Some of our Jewish leaders, as Dr.Heinrich Graetz and Dr. Joseph Klausner, compliment Him on His teaching. Some admire His parables and purity. as Moses Montefiore; and Some as Sholem Asch and others, even consider Him to be the Messiah of the Gentiles. Today we often meet Jewish people who acknowledge that Jesus is the Messiah for Jew and Gentile alike; and some are even willing to share these convictions with other Jewish people. What then holds such Jewish people back from joining with us and accepting Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior? 

   The hindrance some have expressed to the writer of this article is the reluctance to accept the fact that Jesus is supernatural. Moreover, from childhood we have been inculcated with Maimonides' Thirteen Principles one of which is:   I firmly believe that the Creator, blessed be his name, is One: that there is no oneness in any form like his; & that he alone was, is, & ever will be our God.

   We have been thus brought up to think that if we believe that God is One, then this idea excludes any idea of God manifesting Himself through Jesus the Messiah. This Christian concept of God's triunity seemed to us to be a Gentile and pagan idea. NOT SO! Christians, as well as Jewish people, must believe in One God. There is no other. The God of Abraham. Isaac, and Jacob is the God of the Jewish people and of the Christians. The Hebrew Scriptures of the Old Testament are authoritative for the Jew and for the Christian. In them is found the confession that is authoritative for all of us.  Hear. O Israel. the LORD our God, the  LORD IS ONE . (Deu. 6:4)

(Old Testament)

   While it is universally admitted by both Jews and Christians that God is One and that there is no one beside Him, we are also compelled to acknowledge that the triunity of God is clearly taught in the Torah, the Prophets. and in the Writings --- that is in the whole Tanakh, the Hebrew Scriptures of the Old Testament, & the New Testament. Not only in the Tenach but also in the Talmudical & Rabbinical writings this concept is well known. Space does not permit us to present proofs from all the sources in this short article. Here we present just a few challenging proofs:

   THE TORAH: When God (Elohim) create the world He wanted to make absolutely clear to His creation that He is not some abstract mathematical Unitarian principle with no analogy in all creation, as some of our philosophers tried to present Him under Aristotelian influence. Instead we read in the holy Torah these words:

And (Elohim) said. Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:
and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air,
and over the cattle, & over all the earth.
(Genesis 1:26)

   Elohim made man, a being composed of a triunity --- body, soul and spirit, in the image of God; and to make this more clear God reveals Himself in His plural form of Elohim and says, "Let us make man."

   Even those of our rabbis who do not accept as yet the triunity of God, realize that this verse is clear support for such teaching. Thus in Midrash Rabbah on Genesis we find the following comments on the verse: Rabbi Samuel bar Nahman in the name of Rabbi Jonathan said, that at the time when Moses wrote the Torah; writing a portion of it daily, when he came to this Verse which says, "And Elohim said let us make man in our image after our likeness," Moses said, Master of the Universe why do you give herewith an excuse to the sectarians (who believe in the triunity of God). God answered Moses, You write and whoever wants to err let him err. 

   But surely God did not make Moses to write the whole Scriptures in order to make people err. but rather to show them the right way and the right revelation, namely that the One God is a triune God who calls Himself Elohim and who says. Let us make man.

   THE PROPHETS: There are many Scripture verses which show clearly that God manifested Himself also as the Word by which He created heaven and earth and by which He leads and directs creation. He also manifested Himself as the Ruakh Hakodesh, the Holy Spirit, who inspired the prophets of God and who did mighty miracles through the great judges of Israel, Gideon, Samson, and David. We want to point out one Scripture which compels us to admit the triunity of God. Isaiah the prophet speaks in the name of God and says: Come near unto me. hear this: I have not spoken in secret from the beginning: from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord GOD, and his Spirit, hath sent me. (Isaiah 48:16)

   Here God calls the people to come to Him, but He is sent by the Lord GOD and His Spirit. Exactly the same teaching as we have found in the Torah. we find also in the teachings of God's prophets. How else can it be? The same God who commanded Moses to manifest His Trinitarian nature commands also the Hebrew Prophets to do the same.  

   THE WRITINGS: Very clearly we find the same teaching about God in the Psalms and in the other writings of the Hebrew Scriptures. We read in Psalm 2 where the Holy Spirit, the Ruakh Hakodesh, speaks through David and says:  I will declare the decree: The LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son: this day have I begotten thee. (Psalm 2:7)

   Here is the Holy Spirit speaking through David and instructing David, that the LORD, which is in Hebrew the ineffable name of Jehovah (which we pronounce as Adonai, has a Son who is begotten of God in a most supernatural way.  Maybe King David himself did not well understand the words that he was commanded to write by the Holy Spirit; but as Moses and Isaiah. he obeyed. Be wrote this down for us so that there be no misunderstanding. God who is almighty manifests Himself as a triunity, leaving us no doubt as to His nature.

   But is such a concept Jewish? Is it not some Gentile or pagan concept that has somehow crept into our Holy Scriptures as some extreme liberalists would like to tell us?  No, this was and still is a Jewish conception of God creating and dealing with His creation and His people  Israel in a triune way. This quotation bears it out: Exodus 19 starts with the words, "In the third month." This is explained by the words of Proverbs 22:20, "Have I not written to thee excellent (Hebrew, threefold) things in counsels and knowledge." On this Rabbi Joshua bar Nehemiah said that this is the Torah whose letters are threefold, alf, bet, g (i) ml, and everything is a Trinity: The Torah is trinitarian, for it is composed of the Torah, the Prophets, and the Writings. The Mishna (talmudical learning) is a trinity composed of talmud (learning) halakhot(daily Jewish laws) and haggadot (historical items). The mediator consisted of a trinity of Miriam, Moses, & Aaron. Prayers are a trinity of morning, afternoon, and evening prayers. Israel is a trinity consisting of priests, Levites and Israelites. The name Moses in Hebrew consists of three letters. He is of the tribe of Levi, which again is in the Hebrew three letters. from the seed of the Patriarchs who are a trinity of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; in the third month which is Sivan, after Nisan & Iyar on Mount Sin whose letters are three as it is written. "And they rested in the wilderness of Sin.".(Midrash Tanhuma on Exodus 19)

   If, according to our rabbis', God has made everything and arranged everything in a Trinitarian way. then it must also be Jewish and biblical to know that God, Himself is a Trinity. This He is and has manifested Himself as the Savior, Messiah, and Son of God in the person of the Lord Jesus, the Messiah. He then sent down the Holy Spirit, the Ruakh Hakodesh, on the Disciples in the third month, of the Feast of Shavuoth, the feast of perfection, celebrated after counting seven times seven.

   But. can three be one? Does not common sense rebel against such a statement? Must we not state categorically that God is either One or Three? Not so. As a matter of fact everything you come in contact with is not a mathematical concept of one, but usually an item composed of a trinity. The ancient Greek philosopher reasoned out the theory of atoms by simply watching a black cow, eating green grass, and then giving white milk. All things are composed of millions and billions of atoms; but the atom itself is a trinity of a proton. electron and nucleus. Perhaps we could best express it in the words of Dr. Henry Heydt:

   In Romans 1:20 Paul uses the creation of the kosmos as demonstrating this Godhead (theiotes). The universe ... is an absolute triunity of space, time, and matter. Each of these in turn is an absolute triunity.  Space consists of length, breadth, and depth or height: time is future, present, and past; matter is energy, motion, and phenomena. Here we have not merely an illustration of three in one --- as in the case of light, heat, and ultra-violet rays of the sunbeam, or the manifestation of H2O as liquid, ice, and steam --- but an absolute trinity composed of three absolute triunities.

   We now have only to answer the question. "What does it all matter?"  The answer is that it matters very much. It proves the truth of God's Word. The most important thing is, what the Jewish Messiah Jesus (Yeshua) said, "For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Do you want peace in your heart & peace with your Creator?  Receive this gift of God; confess your sins and believe in God's Son, the Korban (sacrifice) for your sins. Then you will be saved & have perfect peace in your heart. "But as many as received him to them gave he the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name." (John 1:12)      

  * Reprinted by permission of The Messianic Literature Outreach 6161 Busch Boulevard #70, Columbus, OH 43229

   Shalom in the Messiah!

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