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How Many Yahwehs?


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#1 Fortigurn

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 05:41 AM

The problem starts when trinitarians claim there are two Yahweh's.

Scripture tells us there is only one, bu the trinitarian advances the argument that there are 2 Yahwehs. They want one Yahweh to be God the Father, and a second Yahweh to be God the son.

Why they do not want a third Yahweh to be the Holy Spirit, I don't know.
They don't seem to pay much attention to 'him' at all, and I suspect that they neither worship nor pray to 'him'.

The argument for 2 Yahweh's is just one very good reason why trinitarians ought to take the time to interpret correctly, and understand comprehensively, the Divine Name and titles.

Just look at what we have here in Deuteronomy:

Deuteronomy 6:
4Hear, O Israel: Yahweh our Elohim is one Yahweh:


There is one Yahweh. Only one. One. Not two. One. One Yahweh. This would have been a good time to introduce two or three of them, but no - there is one Yahweh. One. I hope we all agree with what God says here.

In light of this statement, the trinitarian argument is not strong, but let's go through their usual proof text anyway - and then deal pre-emptively with any others they might bring up.

#2 Fortigurn

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 05:42 AM

Genesis 19:
24Then Yahweh rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from Yahweh out of the heavens.


What we have here firstly is a claim that there are 2 Yahwehs, which is an immediate contradiction of Deuteronomy 6:4 - remember what I said about God not denying Himself?

What the trinitarian is claiming is that one Yahweh took the fire of another Yahweh, and rained it down upon the cities. They don't actually explain what this means.
What does this mean?

The simple fact of the matter is that 'fire from Yahweh' is itself a description of particular Divine judgment. God didn't just rain down 'hail' or something from heaven, He rained down fire from Yahweh. He rained down His very particular judgment. This was not a natural disaster, this was a supernatural act of Divine retribution.

In fact, it is so obviously a repetition for the sake of emphasis (a very common Hebraism), that many modern translations simply translate the sense of the statement, without repeating the redundancy of the text:

NLT:
24 Then the Lord rained down fire and burning sulfur from the heavens on Sodom and Gomorrah.

NCV:
24 The Lord sent a rain of burning sulfur down from the sky on Sodom and Gomorrah

TLB:
24Then the Lord rained down fire and flaming tar from heaven upon Sodom and Gomorrah,

CEV:
24 and the Lord sent burning sulfur down like rain on Sodom and Gomorrah.


Remember, these are translations with a trinitarian bias, which would benefit from a trinitarian interpretation more than anything. But it's well understood that the grammatical construction here does not refer to '2 Yahwehs'.

#3 Fortigurn

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 05:43 AM

Now let's look at some others which are commonly used to advance the 'Two Yahweh's' argument:

"I have sent among you the pestilence after the manner of Egypt: your young men have I slain with the sword, and have taken away your horses; and I have made the stink of your camps to come up unto your nostrils: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD. I have overthrown some of you, as God
overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and ye were as a firebrand plucked out of the burning: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD." - Amos 4:10-11


The prophet Amos is quoting the message of God. He speaks in the first person when he is speaking as God - 'I' - and he speaks in the third person when he is telling Israel that the message is from God. The words 'saith Yahweh' are the words of Amos himself.

Here's a classic example:

Amos 1:
3Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have threshed Gilead with threshing instruments of iron:


Notice that Amos starts 'Thus saith Yahweh'. That makes it clear that this is Amos literally speaking, but that he is quoting Yahweh's words.

Amos then delivers the message which Yahweh gave, verbatim, and so he says what Yahweh literally said 'I will not turn away...'.

This is a grammatical device called direct speech. It's not a mystery. We do it in English all the time:

'I've spoken to the Prime Minister, and this is what he said:  "I'm going to such and such..." said the Prime Minister.'


No difference whatsoever. We know that the one giving the message isn't the Prime Minister, and we know that this isn't the Prime Minister speaking in the third person.

"Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God." - Isaiah 44:6


Let's see:

Isaiah 44:
6Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts;
I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.

The word 'his' refers to Israel. Yahweh is both the King of Israel, and his (Israel's), redeemer.
Even translations with a trinitarian bias correctly interpret this part of the verse:

(TLB)
6The Lord, the King of Israel, says-yes, it is Israel's Redeemer, the Lord Almighty, who says it[b/]-I am the First and Last; there is no other God.

(NAB)
6 Thus says the LORD, Israel's King and redeemer, the LORD of hosts:

(NCV)
6 The Lord, the king of Israel, is the Lord All-Powerful, who saves Israel.

(NLT)
6 "This is what the Lord, Israel's King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty, says: I am the First and the Last; there is no other God.

(CEV)
6 I am the Lord All-Powerful, the first and the last, the one and only God.  [b]Israel, I have rescued you!  I am your King
.


There is only one Yahweh.

#4 Fortigurn

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 05:45 AM

"Come ye near unto me, hear ye 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


Once more, all we have is Isaiah's words here, instructing the people that he has a message from Yahweh. Other translations, even those with a trinitarian bias, make this more than obvious:

TLB:
16[Words of Yahweh in inverted commas - direct quote]  "Come closer and listen. I have always told you plainly what would happen, so that you could clearly understand."


[Words of Isaiah follow - no quotation marks] And now the Lord God and his Spirit have sent me (with this message):

17[Words of Yahweh in inverted commas - direct quote]  "The Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, says..."



NLT:
16[Words of Yahweh in inverted commas - direct quote]  "Come closer and listen. I have always told you plainly what would happen so you would have no trouble understanding."


[Words of Isaiah follow - no quotation marks] And now the Sovereign Lord and his Spirit have sent me with this message:

17[Words of Yahweh in inverted commas - direct quote]  "The Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, says..."



RSV:
16[Words of Yahweh in inverted commas - direct quote]  "Draw near to me, hear this: from the beginning I have not spoken in secret, from the time it came to be I have been there."


[Words of Isaiah follow - no quotation marks] And now the Lord GOD has sent me and his Spirit.

17 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:


[Words of Yahweh in inverted commas - direct quote]  "I am the Lord your God..."



NCV:
16[Words of Yahweh in inverted commas - direct quote]  "Come to me and listen to this.  From the beginning I have spoken openly.  From the time it began, I was there."


[Words of Isaiah follow - no quotation marks] Now, the Lord God has sent me with his Spirit.

17 This is what the Lord, who saves you, the Holy One of Israel, says:


[Words of Yahweh in inverted commas]  "I am the Lord your God..."


The quotation marks really help make the point, don't they?

Edited by Fortigurn, 13 June 2003 - 05:46 AM.





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