Jewish Scriptues


#1

:Originally Posted by tanachanswers View Post
Actually, Genesis is monotheistic. And there was no triune godhead included.

Actually, if you read:
(Gen 1:27 BBE) And God made man in his image, in the image of God he made him: male and female he made them.

G-d created Adam both male and female at the same time. And as is stated in the Hebrew, G-d separated Eve from Adam’s side. She was not molded from his rib as has been taught by the church for centuries.
Thanks.

Yes I always thought I was reading about one God in the first two chapters of my bible, but as Gen: verse: 1 :26 says “let us make man in our own image” So these words or similar would not be in the original texts? If they are, how are they interpreted?

Both, Jewish and Christian scholars interpret this as G-d using the ‘royal we’ when addressing the angels in this verse.


#2

Well, of course. It wouldn’t make any sense to assume authorial intent to be a reference to the Trinity, which had not been revealed at the time Genesis was written. What’s your point?

-ACEGC


#3

Why would someone be arguing about a pronoun, supposedly spoken by God, when God in fact has no physical mouth to speak with, prior to the incarnation. How can one even have an argument about parts of speech used by a being which does not physically speak, communicating with other beings which do not physically speak, and the whole thing being part of a grand allegory to begin with?


#4

The theory is that this book of the Bible is inspired by God. So, the contents are thought to reflect God as the divine author.

As Jesus revealed to the two disciples with whom He was walking on the road to Emaus (or Emmaus), the Hebrew Scriptures contain hidden references to Him. And, according to Catholic theology, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit all took part in the creation of the world.
This is hinted at in the use of the Hebrew word “elohim” (plural).

In other contexts of the Bible, this same word is used to indicate “judges” “spirits” “gods” “divine beings” “angels” or the like. The sense of judgement is immediately to be seen in chapter one of Genesis, as God creates something and then “judges” it to be good. when you combine the power to create with the power to judge it can only be referring to God.

It is not even necessary for the human author to understand the depth of the theology involved. The purpose of the Biblical account is to teach and to explain. In the historical context of its writing (and all the stages of later modification) it is teaching about God and the origins of everything.

Genesis 1 is even polemical, as it overturns the pagan beliefs that what are in fact created beings or objects are just that, and not gods to be worshiped – the sun, the moon, stars, water, trees, animals, even humans.

The failure and/or inability of history or science or linguistics to prove this is the failure of those disciplines, not of religion.

What gets lost in the translation, as well (according to the Jewish commentary that I have read), is that those verses are composed of seven Hebrew words or a multiple of seven Hebrew words. The relevance is the emphasis not on a magic number seven, but the fact that God makes a day of holy rest, the seventh day, as reckoned in the account.

The wording that man and woman were made in the image and likeness of God is immensely rich in theological terms. The thing that God loves most (according to Fr. Meconi) is His own image. So, the greatest honor that He bestows on His human creations is to make them in His own beloved image.

We didn’t find Genesis 1 in a fortune cookie.


#5

You could clarify further by saying “Many Jewish and Christian scholars.” There is also a strong camp of theologians and exegetes who believe that some parts of the Bible reflect an early henotheism, implying that that there are indeed other “gods” assumed in the Bible, with the Jewish god being supreme over them. Archeological evidence exists that seems to support this conclusion, as well.

This henotheistic assumption is strongly implied in a number of places, but in parts of the Old Testament that are “newer,” there is a strong effort to make it abundantly clear that there is only ONE God, and that the very concept of other gods is vanity and idolatry.


#6

Two problems with this assertion:

Before we begin, please note that you’re making not one, but two distinct claims here – the ‘royal we’ and ‘direct address to angels’.

First, the ‘royal we’ is not an appeal to grammar, but to a particular construction. If you wouldn’t mind, please provide for us other examples in the OT where Hebrews use the ‘royal we’ in their speech. Saul doesn’t; David doesn’t; Solomon doesn’t. Who, then, in the witness of Scripture, demonstrates that the ‘royal we’ is part of the Hebrew lexicon?

Second, the appeal to angels is even worse. If God says to the angels, “let us make man in our own image,” then the implication is that man is made in the image of God and of angels! Clearly, that cannot be an interpretation that we accept! Man is made solely in the image of God (as witnessed by v. 27), and not in the image of any created thing!


#7

Note that, according to Catholic exegetical principles, the literal meaning of the text may flow from its human author, but may also come from God, without the human author being aware of the truth he is writing. By this standard, a reference to the Trinity – even though the human author did not intend it – would not be a counter-claim to the assertion that this refers to Trinitarian divinity, especially since we see all three represented in the first three verses of Genesis 1 (God; the Spirit (upon the waters); and the Logos (the Word of God)).


#8

First, if God is addressing the angels, that associates them in the act of creation, because the verb is “let us make man.” That is problematic because only God can create.

Second, I do not think the verse is using the royal we, because it is not constructed properly for that usage, especially not in context. Grammatically, it is “let us do X,” not, “We will do X.” It has the form of a group talking amongst themselves, not of a royal proclamation. Contextually, the royal we seems excluded by Gen. 3:22, which says, “Behold, the man has become like one of us.” The distinction of one within a plural group seems incompatible with the usage of the royal we.

For both of these reasons and other ones, I think the only way to preserve monotheism and this text is if there is more than one person in the Godhead.


#9

There is no other “Royal We” in any sort of literature in antiquity predating the book of Genesis. Is this coincidental? Maybe, maybe not…


#10

There are very few books predating Genesis.


#11

What are the Jewish Scriptures ?

They are the Torah - first five books of the bible, as taught from G-d directly to Mosheh.

The Nevim - the books of the prophets. A book of prophecy is where a prophet went out first and preached the word, then submitted it to writing. This excludes the book of Daniel, as he never went out and preached to the people, but just reduced his writings to parchment.

The Kuttim - the writings, which includes the rest of the bible of Iesus.

The Apocrypha is not in the Jewish Scriptures. Yes they were adopted by the Greek Jews, but never by the Sanhedrin.


#12

This does not imply that the angels took part in creation, but only G-d addressed them before doing the creation Himself. This is why it is called the ‘royal we’.

Second, I do not think the verse is using the royal we, because it is not constructed properly for that usage, especially not in context. Grammatically, it is “let us do X,” not, “We will do X.” It has the form of a group talking amongst themselves, not of a royal proclamation. Contextually, the royal we seems excluded by Gen. 3:22, which says, “Behold, the man has become like one of us.” The distinction of one within a plural group seems incompatible with the usage of the royal we.

For both of these reasons and other ones, I think the only way to preserve monotheism and this text is if there is more than one person in the Godhead.

The royal “we”, or majestic plural (pluralis maiestatis in Latin, literally, “the plural of majesty”), is the use of a plural pronoun to refer to a single person holding a high office, such as a sovereign (e.g., a monarch or sultan) or religious leader (e.g., the Pope or a bishop). The more general word for the use of we to refer to oneself is nosism. However the use as majestic plural (to denote the excellence, power, and dignity of the person who speaks or writes) is the most common one.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_we:
Speakers employing the royal we refer to themselves using a grammatical number other than the singular (i.e., in plural or dual form). For example, the Basic Law of the Sultanate of Oman opens with “On the Issue of the Basic Law of the State We, Qaboos bin Said, Sultan of Oman…”.[1]


#13

Hello Tanachanswers.

Could you possibly give examples of some non Biblical usages of the “royal we” from antiquity. Say, before the birth of Jesus.

Thank you.


#14

I second what Abucs said above me, and I add this: I don’t think what you have posted answers my objections about the grammar and context of the verse. In every instance I am aware of, the royal we is only used to declare something. Genesis 1:26 does not declare, it discusses. I’ve never heard of a king using the royal we when he’s deciding what to do. The royal we is used when he declares a new law, or a proclamation. Therefore, it seems to follow that Genesis 1:26 would be an entirely unique usage of the royal we, and would require textual evidence to establish that it uses the royal plural, not just mere assertion.

Contextually, I’ve never heard of a king using the royal we in such a way that he distinguishes himself as only one within the royal plural. Genesis 3:22 has God say, “The man has become like one of us.” That explicitly distinguishes between the speaker as singular and others as plural. How does the “royal we” explanation account for the singular pronoun followed by a distinct plural pronoun?


#15

Heck, how about from the Bible itself? Take a look at 1 Maccabees 10. Lots of it, there.

The problem is: it’s not a Hebrew usage. This is an explicit example of how these Gentile (e.g., Persian) kings spoke, and the Bible is just reporting their speech. The real question is whether Israelites ever spoke like this – that is, other than the instances from God’s mouth that we are disputing, do we have any evidence that Kings of Israel used the “royal we”? It should be easy enough to find – we’ve got pages and pages of text in the OT, in which Israelite kings speak. If it’s there (and therefore, it gives witness to the claim that in Genesis we simply have a ‘royal we’), then let’s see it! If it’s not… then the question is, as we have stated, what evidence is there for the assertion?

So, tanachanswers, I’ll repeat the request I made of you on the 22nd: where’s the evidence in the Bible that the ‘royal we’ was part of the Hebrew lexicon?


#16

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