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Malachi 2:10


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#1 Pseudo-Onkelos

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 09:26 AM

Greetings, fellow Christians. I am currently working on what I feel will be a magnum opus, called Is the Trinity in the Tanakh? I have been seeking out all the verses that use the Hebrew word 'echad, each being briefly commented. It is not enough to present so-called "proof texts", but to explain them. The one I have in mind is Malachi 2:10. From the NJPS:

Have we not all one Father? Did not one God create us? Why do we break faith with one another, profaning the covenant of our ancestors? (Mal. 2:10)

As you can see, my main focus is on the Hebrew word 'echad. In the Hebrew, it says 'av 'echad, "one father", and 'el 'echad, "one god". Without causing equivocation, one must accept that 'el 'echad does not have any compound unity in mind, otherwise it must be so for 'av 'echad. Trinitarians are unwilling to say that there is more than one father because that would stand against the doctrine of the Trinity.

However, I feel that trinitarians will attempt to explain away the issue. I feel they will say that this is clearly referring to God the Father, and that because 'el is being used instead of 'elohiym, there is no problem at all. (I'm thinking like a trinitarian, which is why I thought of this explanation.) I decided to present this to see some explanations for why the trinitarian view is faulty here.

My opinion on this is that it's just an assumption on the trinitarian's part, but they may be fine with that because as long as something is seemingly ambiguous, some won't take an issue with it. I thought that this trinitarian argument wouldn't work because Malachi didn't have the first person of the Trinity in mind, nor did his audience, so it wasn't as if he was saying, "Well, didn't the Father, as opposed to the Son and Spirit, create us?"

Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

Edited by Pseudo-Onkelos, 28 December 2011 - 09:29 AM.


#2 The Budster

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 03:47 PM

I'd like to be encouraging about your project, and I hope it's very successful. As far as looking up, and commenting on, every use of the word "one" in scripture, I think it's good to remember that the Hebrews were ordinary humans, and "one" was an ordinary word to them. If you imagine what it would be like to look up every occurrence of "one" in Moby Dick, say, or War and Peace, I think you would conclude that it was a huge effort likely to bear only a very little fruit.

On your question, I know that Malachi never heard of the "Holy Trinity," had no conception of the Holy Spirit as a person, and had never in his life heard of "God the Son." So he couldn't possibly be arguing for or against any of those ideas. Just like the verse says, Malachi was saying, "We all have the same God, so we should all be true to each other and our religion."

#3 Evangelion

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 09:10 PM

Hi Pseudo-Onkelos, it sounds like you're doing a great job. Personally I do not think Trinitarians can get anything useful out of Malachi 2:10 and I doubt they would attempt the line of argument you have suggested.

:)
'Abba Antony said, "A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, 'You are mad, you are not like us.'"'

Ward, Benedicta. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers (2006), Antony 25, p. 5.

Credo.

#4 Pseudo-Onkelos

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 10:53 AM

I'd like to be encouraging about your project, and I hope it's very successful. As far as looking up, and commenting on, every use of the word "one" in scripture, I think it's good to remember that the Hebrews were ordinary humans, and "one" was an ordinary word to them. If you imagine what it would be like to look up every occurrence of "one" in Moby Dick, say, or War and Peace, I think you would conclude that it was a huge effort likely to bear only a very little fruit.

On your question, I know that Malachi never heard of the "Holy Trinity," had no conception of the Holy Spirit as a person, and had never in his life heard of "God the Son." So he couldn't possibly be arguing for or against any of those ideas. Just like the verse says, Malachi was saying, "We all have the same God, so we should all be true to each other and our religion."


Perhaps. I just want to be able to find where "one" is modified, and so far from what I've examined, when "one" is modified, the examples make this quite clear, using plural pronouns or giving an idea of plurality, as with "a cluster of grapes". One cluster is made up of many parts, and "grapes" is plural. So far I've not seen this when used with reference to God.

I know Malachi couldn't be arguing for or against the Trinity, but this is a problem for me because I don't think trinitarians mind ambiguity.

Hi Pseudo-Onkelos, it sounds like you're doing a great job. Personally I do not think Trinitarians can get anything useful out of Malachi 2:10 and I doubt they would attempt the line of argument you have suggested.

:)


Thanks. I just want to have all the bases covered.




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