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The Tanach, Jewish Publication Society tr. [1917] ‏בראשית‎ 1 IN the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2  Now the earth was unformed and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the spirit of God hovered over the face of the waters. 3  And God said: 'Let there be light.' And there was light. 4  And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. 5  And God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day. 6 And God said: 'Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.' 7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so. 8  And God called the firmament Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day. 9 And God said: 'Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear.' And it was so. 10  And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters called He Seas; and God saw that it was good. 11  And God said: 'Let the earth put forth grass, herb yielding seed, and fruit-tree bearing fruit after its kind, wherein is the seed thereof, upon the earth.' And it was so. 12  And the earth brought forth grass, herb yielding seed after its kind, and tree bearing fruit, wherein is the seed thereof, after its kind; and God saw that it was good. 13  And there was evening and there was morning, a third day. 14 And God said: 'Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years; 15 and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth.' And it was so. 16  And God made the two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night; and the stars. 17  And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, 18  and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good. 19  And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day. 20 And God said: 'Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let fowl fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.' 21 And God created the great sea-monsters, and every living creature that creepeth, wherewith the waters swarmed, after its kind, and every winged fowl after its kind; and God saw that it was good. 22  And God blessed them, saying: 'Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.' 23 And there was evening and there was morning, a fifth day. 24 And God said: 'Let the earth bring forth the living creature after its kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after its kind.' And it was so. 25  And God made the beast of the earth after its kind, and the cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good. 26  And God 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, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.' 27 And God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them. 28  And God blessed them; and God said unto them: 'Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that creepeth upon the earth.' 29 And God said: 'Behold, I have given you every herb yielding seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed—to you it shall be for food; 30 and to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is a living soul, [I have given] every green herb for food.' And it was so. 31  And God saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

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1 Enakshi Ganguly = "Various Interpretations"
2 Enakshi Ganguly = "Although there is debate within both Christian & Hindu communities as to how the Universe was created, there seems to be an inclination to believe that it was created from nothing. This nothingness is the brilliance of the Almighty, that It can unfold this whole Happening & fold it back up again. It all comes from That Supreme Energy that none of us can truly define -- because the Almighty is not of this world's material, is not made up of human characteristics and because of our ignorance and limited knowledge, we cannot articulate That. Thus, it makes sense that the Universe itself was created from the source that we cannot truly define. A formless, brilliant, Divine nothingness."
3 Yaakov ben Chaim Tzvi = "Deena,Before I explain this verse, I need to clarify something which I believe we will both agree on. The Hebrew scriptures were written about 1,500 years before Jesus' birth. As such, you would think there would be some sort of record in Judaism about the concept of the trinity, but there isn't. Imagine Moses coming down the mountain and writing the Hebrew Scriptures. He tells the Jews and God said "Let us make man", the Jews looked at Moses and said "us"? Moses said, yes, I forgot to tell you that God is made up on three persons, the father, the son and the spirit. If that happened, this idea would have been around in Jewish teaching so that when Jesus was born, the Jews would say "Ok" that makes sense, since God is a Trinity, we understand now. The problem however is that this scenario never happened. When Moses wrote that sentence and the Jews asked him about it, he rejected the idea of a trinitarian god and said it was a pagan idea.The Triune nature of the Christian Godhead remains, even today, one of Christianity’s greatest mysteries. Christians accept that the God of Israel is One as explicitly stated in the Sh’ma, the Jewish statement of faith (Deuteronomy 6:4) and yet believe he is three separate and divided beings at the same time. Here is what Moses told the Israelites.Deuteronomy 4:15 - You saw no form of any kind the day the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the fire. Therefore watch yourselves very carefully, so that you do not become corrupt and make for yourselves an idol, an image of any shape, whether formed like a man or a woman. Deuteronomy 6:4 – Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord is one. Deuteronomy 4:35 - You have been shown to know that the Lord your God is one above and below, there is none other. Deuteronomy 4:39 - Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other. Isaiah 43:11 - I am the Lord, and there is no savior besides me. Isaiah 44:6 - Thus says the Lord the King of Israel and his (Israel’s) Redeemer, I am the first and I am the last, and besides me there is no God. Isaiah 45:5 - I am the Lord, and there is none else besides me. Isaiah 45:6 – In order that those from the East and West would know that there is nothing besides me, I am God and there is no other. I am the one who forms light and creates darkness; who makes peace and creates evil; I am God creator of all things. Hosea 13:4 - I am the Lord thy God from the land of Egypt, and thou shall know no God but me; and there is no Savior besides me. Psalm 86:10 - For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God. Nehemiah 9:6 – You alone are the Lord, you made the heavens, the heavens of the heavens, and all their Hosts. 1 Chronicles 17:20 - O Lord, there is none like you, nor is there any God besides You, according to all that we have heard with our ears. One of the biggest biblical misconceptions that Christians have regarding the Trinity is the singular verse in Genesis 1:26 which says “Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness”. Christians say that because God used “us” this proves he is a Triune God. However, the Bible explicitly states in the very next verse, Genesis 1:27 - So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female He created them”. The verse itself states that God created man in HIS image, not their image, or our image as would suggest if God was a Trinity. All throughout the bible it says God is God alone as we just read above. Christians use this one single word from the entire 24 books of the Hebrew Bible to determine that God is made up of three separate beings. The problem with the concept of the Trinity is that this one word contradicts all the other sentences that say God is not a man (Numbers 23:19/1 Samuel 15:29/Hosea 11:9), and God is God alone. Since the Hebrew Bible was written 1,500  years prior to the birth of Jesus and the concept of a Trinity never existed within Judaism what would a more likely answer be? God’s use of the word “let us make man” teaches us that he was speaking to the heavenly court, the heavenly hosts and all the spiritual creations. God was preparing them for the main event, the finishing touches for the purpose of creation; the birth of mankind. In essence it wasn't only God that had a hand in our creation it was the entire universe, because everything was created specifically for humanity. The universe is a tool that mankind uses in our battle with free will. Once we understand this teaching, the words “let us make man” become crystal clear and completely support the verses we stated above. Understanding scripture from the Jewish perspective shows a distinctive harmony between the Hebrew Scriptures. To interpret God as a trinity disregards all other verses in the Bible which contradict a theology of complete unification as taught in the Jewish Bible. In Judaism, the nature of God was never up for debate and the use of the word alone clearly confirms this. Jesus himself said in the Book of John 14:28 “The Father is greater than I”. This in itself should be enough to show that both Jesus and God are separate entities from each other and not equal. If this is true and Jesus is less than the Father, then worship of him as a God is nothing short of idolatry according to Judaism."
4 Deena E = "Thank you Yaakov! One can't help but appreciate and respect the references used in your explanation of this scripture. I think either side of the argument (pro-Trinity or anti-Trinity) can be very confusing in this case and we shouldn't try to provide "proof" but present the truth in the scriptures and allow others to come to their own decision about what they believe based on the accuracy of information we provide. To state that this single part of Genesis 1:26 proves the concept of the Trinity would be just as bad as using the first 11 chapters of Ecclesiastes to prove that life is meaningless. I think that it is a great disservice to the Word of God, erroneous and downright disrespectful to use one passage to try to prove a point with one piece of the puzzle while neglecting to look at the whole in its proper context. No arguments with you there, however, I can't fully agree with your explanation.Let's explore the usage of אֱלֹהִים (or ’ĕlōhîm/'elohiym) throughout the creation story in Genesis and the usage of אֱלוֹהַּ (or ĕlwōha /'elowahh) throughout other passages in the Tanakh. According to Strong's Lexicon, אֱלֹהִים (or ’ĕlōhîm/'elohiym) is the plural form of אֱלוֹהַּ (or ’ĕlwōha /'elowahh) which both reference God throughout scriptures. All throughout this chapter, אֱלֹהִים (see Bereshit 1) is used to depict God at work and what God is doing: "God said...God made...God set them...God created...God blessed them...God saw...etc." using the plural form 'elohiym. אֱלֹהִים is also used in most of the references you provide in your explanation (Deuteronomy 4:35, 39; Isaiah 44:6, 45:5; Hosea 13:4; Psalm 86:10; 1 Chronicles 17:20). The other references you cite uses what many theologians term as the proper name of God יְהֹוָה (or Yĕhovah/YHVH/Yehwa/Yahweh).'Elowahh אֱלוֹהַּ is used in other passages, particularly Deuteronomy (Devarim 32) in the Song of Moses and throughout the book of Job (Iyov 3) describing certain characteristics of what Christian theology refers to as being of God the Father. This knowledge raises the question: "Why are there both singular and plural forms used throughout scripture referencing God?" We find other plural pronoun references of God referring to Himself in Genesis 3:22 (the Fall of Mankind), Genesis 11:7 (the Tower of Babel) and Isaiah 6:8 (The Prophet Isaiah's Commission). Your explanation that "God's use of the word 'let us make man' teaches that he was speaking to the heavenly court, heavenly hosts and all spiritual creations" could be considered sound, but it doesn't clearly explain the part about Him creating man in His own image and in His own likeness as the text further reads. And as you pointed out, verses 26 and 27 interchange between singular and plural forms from "our image" to "His image," which raises the question as to whether God was referring to man solely being created in His image or His image and the heavenly hosts. In this case, the explanation of a Tri-une Godhead communing amongst Himself would soundly contend with the argument that God was communing with the heavenly hosts because we can both agree that God is set apart from the heavenly hosts He created. To say that God and His created beings--the heavenly hosts-- together created man would be delving into polytheism, don't you think? I don't debate that explanations of the trinity, God the Father, God the Son, God the Spirit are confusing. "How can our One God be Three in One?" is another subject. Mostly what I find in the Tanakh does not strongly support this idea, nor are there references, even the ones you cited that reject it. What I've found only makes me want to study deeper-- for instance the 110th Psalm. Whom was David speaking of when he said, "The Lord said unto my LORD?" According to Strong's Lexicon, the literal translation is Yehovah said unto my master. We are clear on his reference to Yehovah, but who is King David's "master" also being referred to as a priest after the order of Melchizedek (the King of Salem in Abram's time)?Anyway, thanks so much for taking the time to explain this Yaakov! My sincere prayer is that we all draw closer to God and come to better understand why we believe what we believe. "
5 Yaakov ben Chaim Tzvi = "Deena, here is an excerpt from outreachjudaism.org which explains the Hebrew name "Elohim". Also, I would recommend you read my book 300 times 0 (it's under my uploads) which will explain a lot about the Jewish position and why we read our scriptures the way we do.Shalom.YaakovQuestion:Dear Rabbi Singer,First, let me say that what you are doing is a great service to Jews and the religious community at large. You are setting the record straight – one that has needed correction for almost 2,000 years! Thank you.Yesterday, a Christian business associate made a point that in the very first verse of Genesis G-d is referred to as “Elohim” which is plural. She also said that it is a plural form of three (something I have never heard before). That, she concludes, is proof of the Trinity! Why is G-d’s name plural in this verse?Answer:The claim advanced by your business associate is one of the more well-known arguments used by missionaries to defend the doctrine of the Trinity, the most guarded and untenable creed of the Church. It would be difficult to imagine a doctrine more hostile to the uncompromising monotheism preached in the Jewish Scriptures than the Christian claim that there is a plurality within the divine nature of God. Yet, armed with little knowledge of the Hebrew language, many Trinitarians brazenly argue that the name of God, as it appears in the first verse in the Bible, “proves” there are three distinct Persons in the godhead.More specifically, missionaries point to the plural form of the Hebrew name of God אֶלהִים, (Elohim), which appears frequently in the Torah, to bolster their claim that there is a complex unity in the godhead. They argue that the use of the Hebrew letters “ ים” (yud and mem, pronounced “im”), which is a plural suffix at the end of the word Elohim, provides ample evidence from Tanach that there is a plurality within the nature of God. Your business associate went out on an even more bizarre limb when she declared that this Hebrew syntax is somehow indicative of the “plural form of three.”You can rest assured that the Hebrew tongue is a foreign language to your business associate, and that both of her contentions are erroneous. While her first assertion can be easily explained away by her lack of familiarity with the biblical language, her second point cannot. Her latter comment that the plural suffix in Elohim is indicative of “a plural form of three” is particularly preposterous, and illustrates the desperation and frustration some Trinitarians display in their rash effort to defend this alien Church creed.While I too have never heard any missionary make the astounding claim that plurals somehow mean “a plural form of three,” the incentive for spawning this irresponsible contrivance is clear. If you examine the few verses evangelicals use from the Jewish Scriptures as they seek to buttress the doctrine of the Trinity, you will notice that none of them, even in Christian terms, speaks of three persons. In essence, her flawed declaration was born out of a desperate desire to weave the Trinity out of whole Jewish cloth. This is an impossible task.Bear in mind, there is no mystery as to the origins of the Trinity, nor is there any secret for how this aberrant doctrine emerged. The doctrine of the Trinity was forged out of the crucible of the Catholic Church long after the Christian century. It is, therefore, no wonder that this pagan doctrine was unknown to authors of the New Testament (click here to see list). Church history reveals that it was not until three hundred years after the birth of Christianity that the doctrine of the Bianity (325 C.E.) and Trinity (381 C.E.) received formal approval in the Christian community. These well documented events occurred under circumstances rife with contention, political agitation, and radical dissension in the early Church.In essence, the Jewish people never believed in a Trinity, and the Church adopted it under enormous political pressure from the most pagan segments of the young Catholic Church. Understandably, missionaries undertake a formidable task when they seek to prove this fourth century doctrine from a radically monotheistic Torah which is timeless. Let’s examine your business associate’s claim.There is an enormous difficulty with the interpretation that the name Elohim signifies a sort of plurality in the godhead; for if Elohim implies a plurality of persons, how can missionaries explain that the identical word Elohim in Tanach refers to Moses as well? Regarding Moses, the Torah says,The Lord said to Moses, “See, I have made thee a god אֶלהִים, (Elohim) to Pharaoh, and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.”(Exodus 7:1 KJV)Are missionaries suggesting that there was a plurality of persons in Moses? Is your associate going to insist that Moses was part of a Trinity? The notion that Moses, who is called Elohim in the Torah, possessed more than one person is preposterous. Moreover, if the name of God is to signify a plurality in the godhead, why wasn’t the nameJehovah, which is by far the most frequently used name for God in the Jewish Scriptures, also written in the plural? Clearly, this sort of Trinitarian argument is baseless.The word Elohim possesses a plural intensive syntax and is singular in meaning. In Hebrew, the suffix ים (im), mainly indicates a masculine plural. However with Elohim the construction is grammatically singular, (i.e. it governs a singular verb or adjective) when referring to the God of Israel, but grammatically plural elohim (i.e. taking a plural verb or adjective) when used of pagan divinities (Psalms 96:5; 97:7).This is self-evident from the fact that the verb “created” בָּרָה (bara) in Genesis 1:1 is in the singular. This linguistic pattern is well known and widely used throughout the Jewish Scriptures. For example, I am certain that many readers are familiar with the Hebrew word חַיִים (chayim), meaning “life.” Notice that this word contains the identical plural suffix “im,” as inElohim, yet it repeatedly means “life”, in the singular, throughout the Bible. Examples are:And Rebekah said to Isaac, “I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Heth; if Jacob takes a wife of the daughters of Heth, like these who are the daughters of the land, what good will my life חַיִים (chayim) be to me?”(Genesis 27:46)You have granted me life חַיִים (chayim) and favor, and Your care has preserved my spirit.(Job 10:12)The fact that the name of God, Elohim, does not in any way imply a plurality in the godhead is well known and widely recognized even among Trinitarian Christians. For example, in the New International Version Study Bible (NIV), which is a Christian commentary that can not be construed as friendly to the Jewish faith, the Christian author writes in his commentary on Genesis 1:1:God created. The Hebrew noun Elohim is plural but the verb is singular, a normal usage in the OT when reference is to the one true God. This use of the plural expresses intensification rather than number and has been called the plural of majesty, or of potentiality.(New International Version Study Bible, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1985, p. 6.)Finally, it is important that we explore the crucial message which the name Elohim conveys to the Children of Israel. To be sure, two questions must be answered. 1) Why does the Torah employ this intensive plural name for the Almighty throughout the Torah? 2) Why is this name predominant throughout the creation narrative in the beginning of Genesis?There is a fundamental principal regarding the many names of the Almighty as they appear in the Torah – they are exalted descriptions of the God of Israel. The name Elohim, which is not an exception to this rule, comes from the Hebrew root el, which means “might” or “power.” This common root appears in a variety of words throughout the Jewish Scriptures. For example, we find this word used in the famous opening words to Psalm 29, הָבוּ ליהוה בְּנֵי אֵלִים(havu la’donai b’nai eylim). This chapter is well known because this Psalm is joyously sung in every synagogue as the Torah scroll is returned into the ark following a congregational reading. What do these noble words mean?“Ascribe to the Lord, O sons of the mighty. Ascribe to the Lord glory and strength”(Psalm 29:1)With these passages in mind, we have a deeper understanding of the name Elohim. The pagan mind ascribed a separate and distinct god for each of the powers in the world which it observed, and on whom it depended. The nations gazed upon the life-giving and perplexing energy emanating from the sun and the rain, and they worshiped the many gods who they believed controlled these forces. They craved an abundant harvest and boundless fertility, and they venerated each god who they believed governed each of these abodes. The ancients were mystified by the powers which sustained them and awestruck by the forces that terrified them, and venerated each with elaborate rituals and oftentimes gruesome rites in order to “appease the gods.”The Torah conveys a radically different message for mankind. All the life-sustaining forces in the universe, all the power that man can behold, emanate from the One Master of the world, One Creator of the universe – the Lord of Hosts is His name. This grand message is contained in the name of God, Elohim. All the forces of the world emerged from the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Therefore, the God of Israel alone – Elohim – is worthy of our worship and devotion.It is for this reason that the Torah employs the word Elohim almost exclusively as the name of God throughout the first two chapters of Genesis. In these opening passages of the Book of Genesis, the Almighty is creating all the powers and forces which stir and sustain the universe.Therefore, the nation of Israel, to whom God revealed Himself at the foot of Mount Sinai, knew nothing about a plurality of persons in the godhead. No fact could be more firmly established once all of our sacred literature – both canonical and rabbinical – is used as our eternal guide. This matter is indisputable.Best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year.Sincerely yours,Rabbi Tovia Singer"
6 Yaakov ben Chaim Tzvi = "Deena, here is your answer to Psalm 110 - (from my book 300 times 0)Psalms 110:1 A Psalm of David. The Lord says to my lord; sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool. The Christian Bible uses this verse to show that Jesus was talking to the Father thereby “proving” the trinity. The problem with the Christian interpretation however is once again that the Hebrew translation does not support it. This Psalm was actually written by one of King David’s close servants who is praising the King for his loyalty to God. The Hebrew word for Lord, the Tetragrammaton [YHVH] is used in the opening sentence showing that the first “Lord” refers to God. The second “Lord” however does not mean a “God” but a man, a master. The Hebrew word for master or Lord is “Adoni” which is a title still used around the world as a sign of respect. As such, King David’s servant was writing about his master, that the Lord [God] says to my lord [King David] sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies my footstool. Nowhere in Jewish scriptures is God ever referred to as “Adoni”, master in the human terms. This goes back to our earlier discussion about the lack of Hebrew understanding in the Christian Bible. The same word for human “Lord” is used in multiple places throughout the Jewish Bible such as in Genesis 24:54 - Then he and the men who were with him ate and drank and spent the night there. When they got up the next morning, he said, "Send me on my way to my master [lord]." The word for master is the exact same word that is used in Psalm 110 meaning a human master or lord. Genesis 32:4 also uses the word Adoni when referring to the wicked Esau. He instructed them: "This is what you are to say to my master [lord] Esau: 'Your servant Jacob says, I have been staying with Laban and have remained there till now. Nowhere in the entire Hebrew Scriptures is the word “Adoni” ever used for God. Adoni does not mean a divine being but a mere [sometimes wicked] mortal. As such, the error occurs because Christianity misinterpreted the Hebrew word for “lord” as “Lord” without understanding the difference. Clearly, this Psalm shows that it was written about King David and that his servant was speaking about his master and not King David speaking to God about Jesus. By simply capitalizing the “L” in Lord, the New Testament would have you believe that God was speaking to Jesus about David which is obvious from the Hebrew words themselves that this is not the case. Anyone with even a basic understanding of Hebrew would be able to spot this error instantly."
7 Enakshi Ganguly = "Why We Call FatherAn interesting read!"