The Instigator
Truth_seeker
Pro (for)
Losing
6 Points
The Contender
Emilrose
Con (against)
Winning
8 Points

The Trinity is supported by the Hebrew Tanakh

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Emilrose
Voting Style: Judge Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/12/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,355 times Debate No: 63128
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (26)
Votes (4)

 

Truth_seeker

Pro

See "Debate settings" for list of judges. I will prove the doctrine of the Trinity from the Tanakh from the ancient languages along with ancient rabbinical writings from the Talmud, Midrash, Zohar, and other writings.

Brief introduction on Textual criticism:

Textual criticism seeks to re-construct the originals based on the existing manuscripts. Using several different fields, Textual critics tend to correct scribal errors to find the original message. Elimination of unlikely changes are made as critics compare all variant manuscripts. Internal and external evidence must be weighed. Inferences based on the changes made are also drawn on the manuscripts.

External evidence - Manuscripts are judged based on dates and relationship to other sources. Majority usually rule although sometimes the earliest manuscripts can also be a determining factor.

Internal evidence - The text itself is also a factor in determining the original reading.

Now in textual criticism, there is really no one single manuscript which makes up the O.T, there are thousands, however it essentially has a "self-correcting" system by which scholars can remove minor scribal errors.

I may use textual criticism to validate my claims in the Scriptures.

First round acceptance
Emilrose

Con

Accepted. Thanks to Truth_seeker for initiating this debate, and for selecting me as his opponent.

As Pro has stated that the first round is for acceptance, I will proceed with outlining my (opening) argument in round two. By using "external" and "internal" evidence, this should make for an interesting debate.

To clarify my stance: I will be arguing that the Trinity is in fact not supported by the Hebrew Tanakh.
Debate Round No. 1
Truth_seeker

Pro

I thank Emilrose for accepting this debate. I begin with Genesis 1:26-27



"Elohim" is plural based on the plural verb "asah" prefixed by the nun (1). This is also used among other languages towards pagan gods (2). Based on the Ugaritic texts, this is further proven (3). The Hebrew word for "revealed" is plural in Gen. 35:14 (4). Other plural references of Elohim are found (5).

The word "Echad" in Hebrew is a compound unity. Here are the list of occurences in which Echad (highlighted blue in the pic) is used to imply plurality (6).Note the Hebrew "Yachid" is never used of God's oneness.

Gen. 3:22 says




Deut. 6:4 says:

More plural references to God include:

Psalm 149:2 "Let Israel be glad in his Maker; let the children of Zion rejoice in their King!"

A commentator noted this:

"Literally the Hebrew here brings forward the mystic doctrine of the Trinity, for it reads, "Let Israel rejoice in God his Makers." --Simon de Muis (7)

Job 35:10 also has "makers" (8)

Isaiah 54:5

"For your Creator will be your husband; the LORD of Heaven's Armies is his name! He is your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, the God of all the earth."

Isaiah 51:22

" Thus says your Lord,
The Lord and your God,
Who pleads the cause of His people:
"See, I have taken out of your hand
The cup of trembling,
The dregs of the cup of My fury;
You shall no longer drink it."

These passages in Hebrew translated literally have the plural word "Makers" (9).

Young's literal translation, a literal translation of the Hebrew reads

"Remember also thy Creators in days of thy youth, While that the evil days come not, Nor the years have arrived, that thou sayest, `I have no pleasure in them.' (10).

Some propose that the plural of majesty is the proper interpretation of Elohim in plural references of Scripture, but scholars say otherwise:


"Every one who is acquainted with the rudiments of the Hebrew and Chaldee languages, must know that God, in the holy Writings, very often spoke of Himself in the plural. The passages are numerous, in which, instead of a grammatical agreement between the subject and predicate, we meet with a construction, which some modern grammarians, who possess more of the so-called philosophical than of the real knowledge of the Oriental languages, call a pluralis excellentiae. This helps them out of every apparent difficulty. Such a pluralis excellentiae was, however, a thing unknown to Moses and the prophets. Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar, David, and all the other kings, throughout TeNaKh (the Law, the Prophets, and the Hagiographa) speak in the singular, and not as modern kings in the plural. They do not say we, but I, command; as in Gen. xli. 41; Dan. iii. 29; Ezra i. 2, etc." (11)

"This first person plural can hardly be a mere editorial or royal plural that refers to the speaker alone, for no such usage is demonstrable anywhere else in biblical Hebrew. Therefore, we must face the question of who are included in this "us" and "our." It could hardly include the angels in consultation with God, for nowhere is it ever stated that man was created in the image of angels, only of God. Verse 27 then affirms: "and God [Elohim] created man in His own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female He created them" (NASB). God--the same God who spoke of Himself in the plural--now states that He created man in His image. In other words, the plural equals the singular. This can only be understood in terms of the Trinitarian nature of God. The one true God subsists in three Persons, Persons who are able to confer with one another and carry their plans into action together--without ceasing to be one God." (12)

"The best answer that they [Old Hebrew lexicographers and grammarians] could give was that the plural form used for the name (or title) of God was the 'pluralis majestatis,' that is the plural of majesty...to say nothing of the fact that it is not at all certain that the 'pluralis majestatis' is ever found in the Old Testament, there is an explanation much nearer at hand and much simpler, and that is, that a plural name was used for the one God, in spite of the intense monotheism of the Jews, because there is a plurality of person in the one Godhead." (13)

"Another very popular view in modem times is that God uses the plural, just as kings do, as a mark of dignity (the so-called "plural of majesty"), but it is only late in Jewish history that such a form of speech occurs, and then it is used by Persian and Greek rulers (Esdr. iv. 18; 1 Mace. x. 19). Nor can the plural be regarded as merely indicating the way in which God summons Himself to energy, for the use of the language is against this (Gen. ii. 18; Is. xxxiii. 10)." (14)

Judaism:

Zohar says this of the Trinity:

". . . the exalted Shechinah comprehends the Three highest Sephiroth; of Him (God) it is said, (Ps. 62:10) "God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this." Once and twice means the Three exalted Sephiroth, of whom it is said: Once, once, and once; that is, Three united in One. This is the mystery." (15)

"Here is the secret of two names combined which are completed by a third and become one again. ‘And God said Let us make Man.’ It is written, ‘The secret of the Lord is to them that fear him’ (Psalm 25:14). That most reverend Elder opened an exposition of this verse by saying ‘Simeon Simeon, who is it that said: "Let us make man?" Who is this Elohim?’ With these words the most reverend Elder vanished before anyone saw him ... Truly now is the time to expound this mystery, because certainly there is here a mystery which hitherto it was not permitted to divulge, but now we perceive that permission is given.’ He then proceeded: ‘We must picture a king who wanted several buildings to be erected, and who had an architect in his service who did nothing save with his consent. The king is the supernal wisdom above, the Central Column being the king below: Elohim is the architect above ... and Elohim is also the architect below, being as such the Divine Presence (Shekinah) of the lower world.’ (16)

Some say that the son of God is a Christian insertion, however in the DSS fragment 4Q246, it reads:


"He shall be called the Son of the God; they will call him the Son of the Most High...He will judge the earth in righteousness...and every nation will bow down to him...with (God's) help he will make war, and...[God] will give all the peoples into his power."

Rabbinical Judaism has been admitted to have re-interpreted the plural reference to Elohim as one singular God (17).

"Hear, 0 Israel, Adonai Eloheinu Adonai is one. These three are one. How can the three Names be one? Only through the perception of faith: in the vision of the Holy Spirit, in the beholding of the hidden eye alone! The mystery of the audible voice is similar to this, for though it is one yet it consists of three elements-fire, air and water, which have, however, become one in the mystery of the voice. Even so it is with the mystery of the threefold Divine manifestations designated by Adonai Eloheinu Adonai - three modes which yet form one unity. This is the significance of the voice which man produces in the act of unification, when his intent is to unify all, from the Infinite (Ein Sof) to the end of creation. This is the daily unification, the secret of which has been revealed in the holy spirit." (18).

The targums are aramaic translations and interpretations in the synagogues of how the Scriptures were originally to be understood. This is from Targum Neofiti

"In the beginning, with wisdom, the Son of YHWH created the heavens and the earth" (19)

Who are the persons implied in the plural name of God? in the LXX (one of the oldest O.T manuscripts) has this reading in which Jesus quotes this about himself:

Psalm 110:3

"With thee is dominion in the day of thy power, in the splendours of thy saints: I have begotten thee from the womb before the morning."

I ran out of characters, so i will adress later points on the identity of the plural persons in Elohim later.

Sources:

1. Glinert Modern Hebrew: An Essential Grammar Routledge p14 section 13 "(b)Agreement of verbs Verbs agree with their subject, and not only in gender and number but also in person. Present tense verbs distinguish masculine from feminine and singular from plural:"

2. http://books.google.com...

3. K. van der Toorn, Bob Becking, Pieter Willem van der Horst (eds), Dictionary of deities and demons in the Bible (revised 2nd edition, Brill, 1999) ISBN 90-04-11119-0, p. 274, 352-3

4. NET Bible with Companion CD-ROM W. Hall Harris, 3rd, none - 2003 - "35:14 So Jacob set up a sacred stone pillar in the place where God spoke with him.30 He poured out a 20tn Heb "revealed themselves." The verb iVl] (niglu), translated "revealed himself," is plural, even though one expects the singular"

5. Haggai and Malachi p36 Herbert Wolf - 1976 If both the noun and the verb are plural, the construction can refer to a person, just as the statement "God revealed Himself" in Genesis 35:7 has a plural noun and verb. But since the word God, "Elohim," is plural in form,8 the verb ..."

6. http://www.blueletterbible.org...;

7. http://www.spurgeon.org......


8. http://www.studylight.org......

9. http://books.google.com......

10. http://www.biblestudytools.com......

11. Rabbi Tzvi Nassi, Oxford University professor, The Great Mystery, 1970, p6

12. Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties, Gleason Archer, p.359, commenting on whether Gen 1:26 is a "plural of majesty"

13. The God of the Bible, R. A.Torrey, 1923, p 64

14. Trinity, A Catholic Dictionary, William E. Addis & Thomas Arnold, 1960, p 822-830

15.Rabbi Simeon ben Jochai, The Propositions of the Zohar, cap. 38; Amsterdam edition, 113

16. Zohar. Vol 1. Soncino Press edition.

17. http://books.google.com.au......


18. Zohar (III, 43b)

19. Shepherd, Michael B. "Targums, the New Testament, and Biblical Theology of the Messiah." JETS. 51:1 (2008), 45-58
Emilrose

Con

Before proceeding with an opening argument, I will outline the definition of “Trinity”:


n., pl. -ties for 2,4.

1. the union of three persons (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost) in one Godhead, or the threefold personality of the one Divine Being.

2. Trinity Sunday.

3. (l.c.) a group of three; triad.

4. (l.c.) the state of being threefold or triple.

1
: the unity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as three persons in one Godhead according to Christian dogma.

2
not capitalized : a group of three closely related persons or things.

3
: the Sunday after Whitsunday observed as a feast in honor of the Trinity.

Origin of TRINITY
Middle English trinite, from Anglo-French trinité, from Late Latin trinitat-, trinitas state of being threefold, from Latin trinus.
First Known Use: 13th century.



Opening Argument

While “the Trinity” has largely been endorsed by some Christian sects (namely Catholicism) it has never been practiced or accepted within the religion of Judaism; primarily for the fact that no such thing is indicated within the Tanakh. In fact, historically the Christian doctrine of “the Trinity” has been met with opposition from Jews, particularly when possible reference to the Tanakh has been made. In Jewish law, worship of the three-part deity is considered idolatry. Even Jews that have held a belief in Christ, such as the early Judeo-Christian sect of the Ebonites, protested against it.

History books provide us with the evidence that the belief of “Tri-unity” came from the Athinasian creed. It was published and introduced around 300 years after the religious leader of Christianity (Christ) died. The creed was used when the Romans made the transition from being Pagans to Christians. Here is a quote from it:

“The Catholic faith is this, that we worship one G-d in Trinity and Trinity in unity. Neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the substance. For there is one person of the father another of the son and another of the holy ghost. But the G-dhead of the father, of the son, and of the holy ghost is all in one, the glory equal to the majesty co-eternal”.

This particular quote is explicit in its lack of reference to the Tanakh and individual belief of the Trinity. A belief, that is not shared by Jews, and is even questioned by some Christians.

If there was any suggestion of a Trinity within the Tanakh, like other things, it would’ve been recognized by the Jewish people themselves; but no such thing has been observed. No where in the Tanakh is a word reminscent of Trinity, and no where is it stated that G-d, is made of three seperate natures.

Judaism strongly upholds the belief that G-d is one and Indivisble; that there can be no plurality or division on his part. The fact that Jews have also not received “the son”, who Christians consider to be Jesus, should also be taken into account. One thing that the Trinity does imply is that “the son” is on equal standing with G-d, which again is heavily at odds with Jewish belief.

Context of “Elohim”

In round two you have highlighted the “Elohim” argument that is often used in defense of a Tanakh and Trinity connection. The fact is, however, that the variable context of the term “Elohim” and its applications are not considered. For example, individual men can be called Elohim—Moses (Parshah Shemot) 4:16; 7:1), a judge (Parshah Shemot 22:8, 9, 28), and the Davidic. King (Tehillim 45:6). The plurality of the word is rather a description for “greatness” and “fullness” or “magnification”. It is not implied as a reference to a triune G-dhead.

The use of plural terms in replacement for singular is also not uncommon within the Hebrew language.

In addition, the singular term for G-d “Eloah” is also used in the Tanakh.


Context of the “Shema”

As with “Elohim” it’s occasionally noted that the use of the term “Echad” in the Tankah is evidence of there being a Triune G-d. Indeed “Echad” does mean when two or more people join together to form a “oneness”; such as when a man and woman get married and become “one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). The Hebrew word for compound unity and togetherness, which is what the Trinity entails, is in fact “Yachid”-not Echad. An example of Echad meaning a singular term or being used as an inference for a single one can be found in other passanges in the Tanakh.

(Yesha’yahu) 51:2) “Look to Abraham your father…when he was echad (one single man) I called him…and multiplied him”.

(Yechezkel 33:24) “Abraham was Echad (only one man), yet he possessed the land; so to us who are money the land has been given”.

Echad can also translate as the “first”, the “same” and “unique”.

Such as in (2 Shmuel 7:23) “It will be a unique day (Yom Echad) which is known to G-d.

Sources:

(1.) http://www.merriam-webster.com...

(2.) http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com...

(3.) http://www.whatjewsbelieve.org...

(4.) http://jewsforjudaism.org...

(5.) http://outreachjudaism.org...

(6.) http://www.bbc.co.uk...

Debate Round No. 2
Truth_seeker

Pro

Thanks Emilrose, i proceed to rebuttals:

Evidence exists of earlier writers mentioning the Trinity (1). Therefore it is erroneous to think that the Trinity originated in the Athanasian Creed. Although the Trinity is not explicitly mentioned, the concept exists.

I agree that Elohim can be used for beings other than the God of Israel, however the general name Elohim is never used to denote plural of majesty within one individual. When context is examined, Elohim is always used to denote plurality in quantity and not quality.

Parshah Shemot or Exodus 7:1

"Then the LORD said to Moses, "Pay close attention to this. I will make you seem like God [Elohim] to Pharaoh, and your brother, Aaron, will be your prophet."

God made Aaron Moses own representative since he was slow of speech.

Exodus 4:10

"But Moses replied to the LORD, "Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent--either in the past or recently or since You have been speaking to Your servant--because I am slow and hesitant in speech."

Exodus 22:8-9

"8 If the thief is not found, then the master of the house shall be brought to the judges to see whether he has put his hand into his neighbor goods.

9 "For any kind of trespass, whether it concerns an ox, a donkey, a sheep, or clothing, or for any kind of lost thing which another claims to be his, the cause of both parties shall come before the judges [plural]; and whomever the judges condemn shall pay double to his neighbor."

Tehillim or Psalm 45:6-8

"Your throne, O God [Elohim], is forever and ever;
A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
7 You love righteousness and hate wickedness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of gladness more than Your companions.
8 All Your garments are scented with myrrh and aloes and cassia,
Out of the ivory palaces, by which they have made You glad."

It is here that David addresses Elohim, but this verse doesn't disprove the Trinity.

Yesha'yahu or Isaiah 51:2

"Look to Abraham your father, and to Sarah who gave birth to you in pain. When I called him, he was only one [Echad]; I blessed him and made him many. "

It says Echad because Abraham was not the only one being described in this verse. Abraham took his wife (compound unity), but he was the one who received God's promise of many descendants.

Yechezkel or Ezekiel 33:24

"24 "Son of man, they who live in these waste places in the land of Israel are saying,Abraham was only one [Echad], yet he possessed the land; so to us who are many the land has been given as a possession."

It's a collective whole as God promised that Abraham and his descendants would posses the land.

As for the book of Shmuel or Samuel, Echad is a cardinal number meaning that it belongs in a set (2).

More arguments:

The Holy Ghost is not just a force, but a person in the Tanakh.

Nehemiah 9:20 "You sent Your good Spirit to instruct them. You did not withhold Your manna from their mouths, and You gave them water for their thirst."

Rabbinical commentary on Psalm 2 says this:

"This day have I begotten thee [Psalm 2:7]. R. Huna said: Suffering is divided into three portions: one, the Patriarchs and all the generations of men took; one, the generation that lived in the time of [Hadrian's] persecution took; and one, the generation of the lord Messiah will take. When the time comes, the Holy One, blessed be He, will say: "I must create the Messiah -- a new creation." As Scripture says, This day have I begotten thee -- that is, on the very day of redemption, God will create the Messiah.
Ask of Me, and I will give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the ends of the earth for thy possession (Ps. 2:8). God, speaking to the Messiah, says: If thou dost ask for dominion over the nations, already they are thine inheritance; if for the ends of the earth, already they are thy possession.
R. Johanan taught: To three men -- Solomon, Ahaz, and the lord Messiah -- the Holy One, blessed be He, said, "Ask of me." To Solomon, as is written In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said: "Ask what I shall give thee" (1 Kings 3:5). To Ahaz, as is written "Ask thee a sign of the Lord thy God: ask it either in the depth, or in the height above" (Isa. 7:11)....To the lord Messiah, as is written Ask of Me, and I will give thee the nations for thine inheritance, and the ends of the earth for thy possession." (3)

How can one Israelite king have the nations for his inheritance? Where in the Torah did God promise the Kings of Israel that?

During Yeshua's or Jesus' baptism, The Holy Spirit came down as a dove and quoted Psalm 2 in Matt. 3:17, identifying him as the divine Messiah.

Matthew 22:41-46

"41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 saying, "What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?"

They said to Him, "The Son of David."

43 He said to them, "How then does David in the Spirit call Him "Lord," saying:

44 "The Lord said to my Lord,
"Sit at My right hand,
Till I make Your enemies Your footstool""?

45 If David then calls Him "Lord," how is He his Son?" 46 And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare question Him anymore."

Matthew 1 establishes Jesus as a descendant of King David, but he is greater than David since he is the son of God.

Jewish rabbis interpreted Psalm 110 to be messianic.

"The Lord said to my Lord,
Sit you at My right hand.
To the Messiah it will also be said,
and in mercy the throne be established;""
(Midrash Tehillim on Ps. 110:1)

That being said, it is only logical to infer that Jesus is the divine Messiah as these Scriptures are more than enough to validate his triunity with God himself.

Back to you Emilrose.

Sources:

1. http://en.wikipedia.org...

2. Gleason L. Archer, Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties, Zondervan, 1982:p. 61

3. Williams G. Braude, translator, The Midrash on Psalms (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1987, " 1959; Yale Judaica Series), vol. 1, pp. 41-44
Emilrose

Con

Rebuttals

As displayed in round 2 of my argument, historical evidence suggests the concept of the Trinity did not take estalished form until the 13th century, with Roman Catholic endorsement. Ideas relating to a Trinity or similar ideas may have existed prior but they were not officially incorperated into any particular religion.

A word meaning "Trinity" was never outlined in Biblical text nor is any indication or definition of "Trinity" highlighted within the Tanakh.

Elohim can, and has been used for a number of things excluding G-d. In round 2 I alluded to the fact that "Elohim" can translate as "Unique" , "First" and so forth. When being used as reference to Moses it is implying that he is an individual (not a triple) person and that he can do something "great" that corresponds with one particular meaning of "Elohim".

The verses of Parashat Shemot 4:10 and 22:8-9 are not suggesting a triunual G-d of any kind. In fact they provide no specifiction of three-natured G-d or a potential trinity within that G-d.

Take Parshat Shemot (Exodus) 9 for instance: "For any kind of trespass, whether it concerns an ox, a donkey, a sheep, or clothing, or for any kind of lost thing which another claims to be his, the cause of both parties shall come before the judges [plural]; and whomever the judges condemn shall pay double to his neighbor."

Is a tri-unual G-d implied in the the text? "Judges" could apply to a number of things; not necessarily all spiritual.

In 4:10, the term "Adonai" is used. This word can translate as both L-rd and Master. It does not indicate another character or being of G-d. Rather, it is just another word to refer to G-d and apply his authority.

The Hebrew language has a variety of other words that can be used as reference to G-d.

Such as:

1.) Ya

2.) HaShem

3.) Adoshem

4.) El

5.) Elah

6.) Eloah

7.) Elohim (as discussed)

8.) El Roi

9.) Eylon

10.) El Shaddai

As you can see, there's a variable numer of names that within the context of Hebrew all apply to G-d. Once again, none of these names consist with the theory of a tri-unual G-d.


In verses Tehillim 45:6-8, a tri-unual G-d is not suggested. You state that it does not disaprove the theory, but it in no evidential context actually proves it.

For the following reasons:

1.) A three-part G-d is not stated.

2.) Only one deity, one G-d, is being addressed.

3.) No other aspects of the Trinity, I.E the "holy spirit" and the "son" are mentioned or additionally outlined.

If a three-part G-d was being addressed, the other "aspects" of this G-d would most likely be acknowledged. But instead the verse is explicit in speaking to one, single G-d. With something as significant as tri-unual G-d, prophets and writers of the Tanakh would've observed this and made it much more clearly exactly what kind of form G-d dispalyed. This again reaches to the fact that Jews do not worship a trinity, because the Jewish G-d (the G-d of the Tanakh) is one G-d who inhabits one whole form; with no other tri-unual aspects and spirtual divisions.

In Yesha'yahu verse 51:2, it specifically means one "Echad" and one single man. It may make referrence to the wife of Abram but that does not mean she is explictly part of the "Echad". For example, it does not say "I blessed them and made them many, it states: "I blessed him and made him many". If the verse was meaning both husband and wife, it wouldv've used such terminology.

In Yechezkel 33:24, it is not referred to as a collective whole. The words are: "Arbram was only Echad (one) yet he possessed so much land; so to us who are many the land has been given as a possession.

G-d did promise Abram and his descendants the land, but it is only Abram being mentioned in this verse. And Echad is primarily being used for him.

The Rabbincal commentary you've highlighted does still not suggest or support the assumption of there being a trinity or a three-part G-d. Rather the Rabbi states: "suffering is divided into three portions" this does not translate as: G-d is divided into three seperate parts or: "G-d is a tri-unual entity". As his further statements imply, he is referring to forms of generational suffering made on the Jewish people. Nowhere, he is implying that G-d is tri-unual.

It should be noted that B'rit Hadasha (New Testament) verse does not apply to the discussion for they are not part of the Tanakh, or the Jewish religion. The debate is resolution states: The Trinity is supported by the Hebrew Tanakh, not "the Trinity is supported by the Hebrew Tanakh and B'rit Hadasha.


Judaism does not accept or believe in Christ. Which confirms the Jewish rejection of the Trinity in its teachings that "the Son" is the Christian Messiah.

Moreover, it's quite possible that the authors of the B'rit Hadasha took inspiration from Tehillim 110:1.

1.) http://www.shamash.org...

2.) http://www.myjewishlearning.com...

3.) http://education-portal.com...

4.) http://www.aish.com...

5.) http://www.chabad.org...

Debate Round No. 3
Truth_seeker

Pro

I proceed to Rebuttals.

The origins of the Trinity:

The Trinity was firmly established before the creeds of the Catholic church (1). There also doesn't exist any scholarly sources suggesting that the doctrine of the Trinity was invented in this catholic council.

The tem "Trinity" while never explcitly stated in the Tanakh, still can be found.

Elohim:

Emilrose presents the plural of majesty as an alternative interpretation of Elohim being used in Exodus, however this is unlikely as the plural of majesty device was used in Europe long after the Scriptures were finished (2). The most likely explanation is as listed above: Elohim in this passage most likely refers to Moses and Aaron as judges in the plural (3).

As i stated earlier, Elohim is a generic term which can refer to several beings such as rulers, gods, angels, etc. but it is always plural in quantity. When used especially of the true God of Israel, it is used in the plural.

Names of God:

While there are several other names for God, these are in the singular or substiutory names replacing the Tetragrammaton YHWH.

Yah - Simply an abbreviation of YHWH (4)

HaShem ("The Name") is a substitution of YHWH (5)

El - Singular form of God (6)

Elah - Aramaic name for God (7)

Eloah - Singular name for God (8)

El Roi - The God who sees (9)

Elyon - God the most high (10)

El Shaddai - Denoating God's power (11)

While these are the singular names for God, none of these are used in Genesis 1-2. If God was one and only one, why didn't Genesis 1:1 read "In the beginning (El or YHWH) created the heavens and the earth"?

Clearly, the author wanted to communicate that God is a plural being.

Usage of Echad:

Isaiah 51:2 "Look to Abraham your father, and to Sarah who gave birth to you in pain. When I called him, he was only one; I blessed him and made him many." In this context, it is telling the audience to focus both on Abraham and Sarah who birthed her descendants. While Abraham inherited God's promise of many descendants (Gen. 15:5). This verse also expresses the importance of his wife.

Ezekiel 33:24

"24 “Son of man, they who live in these waste places in the land of Israel are saying, ‘Abraham was only one, yet he possessed the land; so to us who are many the land has been given as a possession.’"

It's plural because God promised to give the descendants of Abraham the land.

Bereshiyt or Genesis 12:7

"Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, "I will give this land to your offspring." So he built an altar there to the LORD who had appeared to him"

"The Rabbincal commentary you've highlighted does still not suggest or support the assumption of there being a trinity or a three-part G-d. Rather the Rabbi states: "suffering is divided into three portions" this does not translate as: G-d is divided into three seperate parts or: "G-d is a tri-unual entity". As his further statements imply, he is referring to forms of generational suffering made on the Jewish people. Nowhere, he is implying that G-d is tri-unual."

In it's full context, this commentary suggests that the Messiah in Judaism is divine in nature as the rest says "When the time comes, the Holy One, blessed be He, will say: "I must create the Messiah -- a new creation." As Scripture says, This day have I begotten thee -- that is, on the very day of redemption, God will create the Messiah."

How can a mere human Messiah be a new creation? Isaiah 53 declares that the Messiah will bear the sins of Israel, so can how Israel die for it's own sins?

Sources:

1. http://www.kencollins.com...;

2. R. Toporoski, "What was the origin of the royal 'we' and why is it no longer used?," Times of London, May 29, 2002. Ed. F1, p. 32

3. https://www.blueletterbible.org...;

4. http://biblehub.com...;

5. http://www.betemunah.org...;

6. http://biblehub.com...;

7. http://www.hebrew4christians.com...;

8. http://biblehub.com...;

9. http://en.wikipedia.org...;

10. http://en.wikipedia.org...;

11. http://en.wikipedia.org...;
Emilrose

Con



Additional Rebuttals:

"The trinity was firmly established before the creeds of the Catholic church".

As previously stated, theories surrounding a trinity may have existed but it was the Catholic Church that officially adopted this belief (of a triune G-d) into its religious doctrine. The idea of a "Father", a "Son" and a "Holy Spirit" come directly from the Catholic Church.


"The term "Trinity", while never explicitly stated in the Tanakh, still can be found'.

This assertion rather contradicts its own point. It's entirely correct that there is no such term meaning "Trinity" with the Tanakh, but there are also no other terms alluding to it. The Tanakh is explicit in its portrayal that G-d is one whole entity; not one that is consisting of three different sides.

This is exactly why Judaism has rejected the idea of a Trinity or a three-part G-d and has maintained the notion of there only being one G-d. Within the religion of Judaism, the worshipping of triune G-d would actually constitute as blasphemy and polytheism. This is how Judaism and senior figures within it view such a belief.

Relating again to my main point that (1.) If any suggestion of a Trinity was outlined in the Tanakh. It would've been recognized by Judaism and incorporated within the Jewish belief system.

"As I stated earlier, Elohim is a generic term which can refer to several beings such as rulers, gods, angels. etc. But it is always plural in quantity. When used especially of the true G-d of Israel, it is used in the plural".

Once again this does not entirely disaprove my argument. When terms such as "Elohim" are used in the Tanakh, it could also be a reference to G-ds angels. Elohim is a terrm that can be used in both plural and singular. It is simply not "always plural in quantity". In the round two and three I also highlighted the definitional variability; such as it in certain context meaning "unqiue" as well as "rulers" and spritual beings. In addition, I outlined that it can imply "magnificance" and "greatness". Even when used in the plural sense, "Elohim" still does not translate as "three-part" or "triune".

'While these are the singular names for G-d, none of these are used in Genesis 1-2. If G-d was one and only one, why didn't Genesis 1:1 read: "In the beginning (El or YHWH) created the heavens and the earth"?

The inclusion of other names for G-d was to specify the nature of the Hebrew languae and the fact that G-d had not only one term for his name. "Elohim" being used in place for these terms does not suggest a three-part G-d. As I've just highlighted, there's a possibility that within the context of "Elohim" in this verse that reference was being made to G-ds angels, particularly when it later goes on to state: "our image". If anything this conveys the humility of G-d, but not the potential for him being triune. If that was the case, a more suitable term than "Elohim" would've been used in order to outline this tri-unity. A term that actually bares the meaning of "three" and "triune".


"El" (the singular term for G-d) is included numerous times in the Tanakh. If G-d was part of a trinity, would this not stay consistently the same in terminology throughout the Tanakh? This G-d would not just develop from being triune to single.

"In its full context, this commentary suggests that the Messiah in Judaism is divine in nature as the rest says: "When the tiume comes, the Holy One, blessed be He, will say: "I must create the Messiah--a new creation. As Scripture says, This day I have begotted thee--that is, on the very day of redemption, G-d will create the Messiah".

Once more, the (full) context is not suggesting anything of a three-part nature. On the contrary to disapproving my response, it states: "I must create the Messiah, a new creation".

Note that "new" and "creation" are explictly used. If the Messiah (I.E "Son") is an exisiting part of the trinity, why exactly are words such as "new" outlined? If the Messiah is "new" then he is clearly not an element of a three-part G-d. The use of the word "creation" also confirms that the Messiah will indeed be created. This refutes any potential existence of a trinity; particularly one with a "Son".


A creation is something that has not already been in existence. If the Messiah already is part of a trinity, how can G-d possibbly go about creating him? Something that exisits is beyond creation, or being "new".

As for Yesha'yahu verse 53, Judaism maintains a different approach in assessing the nature of the text. It is relevant in examining the coming Messianic age, however, is is predominatly a description of future sufferings for Jews. In terms of Christian teachings, the verses from Yesha'yahu 53 have been open to mistranslation and reinterpretation. When words such as "he" are used, it is the Jewish people that are being referenced to; not exclusively the Messiah.

Here is an accurate Hebrew translation from Yesha'yahu 53:3:

"He was despised, and foresaken of men, a man of pains and acquainted with affliction, and as one from whom men hide their face: he was despised, and we esteemed him not".

Yesha'yahu: 53:7:

"He was oppressed, though he had humbled himself and opened not his mouth; as a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and as sheep that is before her shearers is dumb; yea, he opened not his mouth".

These are not descriptions of the Jewish Messiah himself, rather they are prophesies of future Jewish mistreatment and persecution.


Once more we arrive at the Hebrew language (particularly ancient) and its intricacies. When singular terms such as "he" are used it is actually the referencing people--therefore in essense it is plural. The "suffering servant" mentioned in Yesha'yahu 53 is again a future reference to the Jews themselves.

(1.) http://www.hope-of-israel.org...

(2.) http://www.aish.com...

(3.)
http://www.jewishawareness.org...

(4.) http://jewsforjudaism.org...;

Debate Round No. 4
Truth_seeker

Pro

Rebuttals:

The Catholic church adopting the doctrine of the Trinity doesn't imply that the Trinity originated there.

Con brings up the argument that Elohim in Genesis could have referred to the angels. In previous rounds, i gave scholarly commentaries on why the alternative explanation of angels being Elohim isn't plausible. I will now explain how Elohim when referring to the God of Israel could not possibly refer to angels.

In some contexts, Elohim can refer to the heavenly council of YHWH.

Psalm 82:1

God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods [Elohim].
I have said, Ye [are] gods; and all of you [are] children of the most High.
But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.

Malak is the Hebrew term usually referring to angels (1). The Elohim here is composed of many different types of divine beings. If we were to interpret Elohim in Genesis 1:26-27 as God (singular) speaking to the angels, we would come to several difficulties in theology.

The first problem is that angels lack the ability to create. No where in the Tanakh do we find verses indicating that angels can create. If angels can create then it would contradict Isaiah 45:18

"For the LORD is God, and he created the heavens and earth and put everything in place. He made the world to be lived in, not to be a place of empty chaos. "I am the LORD," he says, "and there is no other."

If you accept that God is singularly one then you would have to accept that only God can create. If you don't, you either admit two things:

1) He's plural because he's many gods which we obviously don't agree with this possibility.

2) He's a plural of majesty.

However if you accept that he's a plural of majesty then you rule out the possibility of angels being spoken to and also acknowledge that only God (singular) has the ability to create.

The second reason why Elohim in Genesis 1:26-27 cannot refer to angels is because if you believe that God is singularly one then you would have to admit that the angels cannot be made in his glorious image or otherwise you would admit that there are beings equal with God himself which is impossible.

Psalm 113:5 "Who can be compared with the LORD our God, who is enthroned on high?"

The last reason why Elohim cannot refer to angels is because angels do not have free will or the ability to choose right from wrong let alone acknowledge it.

Psalm 103:20

"Bless the Lord, O you his angels,

you mighty ones who do his word,

obeying the voice of his word!"

As you can see, angels simply obey God and never question his authority or have knowledge of good and evil. If Elohim in Genesis 3:22 is referring to angels, this would contradict Psalm 103:20. Who else can fit the solution as to why Elohim is plural?

For these reasons, Elohim is plural not because of the angels.

" If G-d was part of a trinity, would this not stay consistently the same in terminology throughout the Tanakh? "

The fact is that it's not consistently used throughout the Hebrew Scriptures. Elohim in the plural as also used as well from the very beginning of Genesis. The Trinity states that God is a collective whole.

In the context of Isaiah 53, the Messiah would be cut off or killed from his people and rise again. This chapter is referring to the incarnation of the Messiah into the body of a man.

Isaiah 53:4-12

"4 Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He opened not His mouth;
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.
8 He was taken from prison and from judgment,
And who will declare His generation?
For He was cut off from the land of the living;
For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
9 And they made His grave with the wicked"
But with the rich at His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was any deceit in His mouth.
10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him;
He has put Him to grief.
When You make His soul an offering for sin,
He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days,
And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.
11 He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied.
By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many,
For He shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great,
And He shall divide the spoil with the strong,
Because He poured out His soul unto death,
And He was numbered with the transgressors,
And He bore the sin of many,
And made intercession for the transgressors."

My opponent claims that the suffering servant is speaking of the nation of Israel, but i will demonstrate that this is not how it was originally intended to be interpreted.

The manuscripts indicate that it was originally referring to one singular individual:

"There is a solitary exception to this in v.8, where the Masoretic text says of the servant, בְּמֹתָ֑יו – “his deaths” in the plural. This would seem to speak of a compound servant, on one hand, or a poetic intensiveness on the other. But once we leave the 10th-century Masoretic text and look at other textual witnesses, the problem disappears. Our earliest witness (reflecting a translation of the Hebrew in the 3rd century BCE) is the Septuagint (LXX), which says τοQ66; θαν^0;του – “his death.” Singular, not plural. The Great Isaiah Scroll of the Dead Sea Scrolls says בומתו – “his high places” – a scribal error with an extra vav, which if removed, becomes “his death.” Targum Jonathan has בְמֹותָא – “in the death.” Singular. The Latin Vulgate, a 4th-century CE witness to the Hebrew text, agrees with the LXX with pro morte sua – “for his death.” Singular. Based on these multiple sources, the original text which Isaiah wrote is most probably “his death” – a singular death for a singular (not compound servant."

Moshe Kohen, 15th century rabbi says this:

"This passage, the commentators explain, speaks of the captivity of Israel, although the singular number is used in it throughout. Others have supposed it to mean the just in this present world, who are crushed and oppressed now…but these too, for the same reason, by altering the number, distort the verses from their natural meaning. And then it seemed to me that…having forsaken the knowledge of our Teachers, and inclined "after the stubbornness of their own hearts," and of their own opinion, I am pleased to interpret it, in accordance with the teaching of our Rabbis, of the King Messiah." (1)

Abraham Farissol wrote this:

"In this chapter there seem to be considerable resemblances and allusions to the work of the Christian Messiah and to the events which are asserted to have happened to Him, so that no other prophecy is to be found the gist and subject of which can be so immediately applied to Him." (3)

Israel was never blameless in the sight of God as chapter 1 indicates. How can a sinful nation bear it's own sins? How can the one who was cut off also be exalted?

Here are several other messianic references (4) in which i will not have time to go over in full detail.

In summary, my opponent has failed to address the following plural references to God from Round 2:

Psalm 149:2
Job 35:10
Isaiah 54:5

Isaiah 51:22
Ecclesiastes 12:1

As well as the messianic reference in Psalm 110.

In conclusion, i find that the Messiah Jesus is the most likely solution for why Elohim is plural.

Thank you for this interesting debate.
Emilrose

Con

Rebuttals:

"The Catholic Church adopting the Trinity doesn't imply that it originated there".

As I have previously stated, ideas surrounding a Trinity or a triune G-d may have exsited beforehand but it was the Catholic Chucrh that developed the concept and incorperated it as an official part of their doctrine. No concepts surrounding a trinity or three-part G-d actually derive from the Tanakh or the religion of Judaism. As for the term "trinity", once again it is not found in Biblical scripture. The same is said for any other terms relating to "trinity" or three divine persons that are denoted together in the form of G-d. The term itself does indeed have Latin origins, "trinity" derives from "trinitas" and was first found in "Theophilus of Antioch" in around A.D. 180.

Within it was the following passage:

There is therefore nothing created, nothing subject to another in the Trinity: nor is there anything that has been added as though it once had not existed, but had entered afterwards: therefore the Father has never been without the Son, nor the Son without the Spirit: and this same Trinity is immutable and unalterable forever". (P.G., X, 986)

This is an explict reference and description of what a trinity is--nothing similar can be found in the Tanakh--in which the only evidences are presented are terms such as "Elohim" and "Echad" are used as examples of a potential trinity. However, as neither of these words--or any other resembling terms--translate as "triune", they are simply not proof of a triune existence of G-d.


Another example is when the trinity was when the Roman Catholic and Orthdox Church councils (Eastern and Western Churches) brought the trinity doctrine into Christianity. At the time, those who voted that it be introduced to the Catholic admitted its lack of Biblical--both Tanakh and B'rit Hadasha--origin. The theologians that wrote the "Catholic Encyclopedia" admitted that there was no real indication of a trinity in the Tanakh (Old Testament).

"Con brings up the argument that Elohim in Genesis could have referred to the angels. In previous rounds, i gave scholarly commentaries on why the alternative explanation of angels being Elohim isn't plausible. I will now explain how Elohim when referring to the God of Israel could not possibly refer to angels".

Once more, as "Elohim" do not mean "triune" or "trinity"; it is indeed plausible. Not even the word of "our" which appears sugests "triune" or "three-part".

"The first problem is that angels lack the ability to create. No where in the Tanakh do we find verses indicating that angels can create". If angels can create then it would contradict Isaiah 45:18.

My main point was it was a possibility of inclusion of angels. Essentially they are helpers of G-d so therefore such a sugestion is not entirely unfounded. Within the context of the Jewish understanding of G-d, this has a higher probability than the world being created by a G-d of triune nature and this G-d creating human beings in his triune image.

As for Yesha'yahu 45:18, it fully states:


For this is what the Lord says—
He who created the heavens, he is G-d;
He who fashioned and made the earth,
He founded it;
He did not create it to be empty,
But formed it to be inhabited—
He says:
“I am the Lord, and there is no other".

This verse doesn't exactly support or outline a three-part G-d, either. G-d is clearly stated as being a single being.


In particular, "there is no other" confirms that G-d is simply not part of the trinity. The reason why it states "no other", is because there is "no other". The Tanakh teaches that is is G-d, and that G-d is part of one whole.

If with G-d (potentially) being plural of a majesty, once more, it doesn't indicate plural in the triune.

"The fact is that it's not consistently used throughout the Hebrew Scriptures. Elohim in the plural as also used as well from the very beginning of Genesis. The Trinity states that God is a collective whole".
If G-d was a triune entity, naturally the term "Elohim' would be consistently used as (one would presume) he would remain as part of a trinuty and not alter between triune and single. However, as "Elohim" is not a translation for "triune"--this isn't a possibility.

Moreover, the Trinity may state that G-d is a collective whole but (1.) The Trinity is not part of the Hebrew Scripture and (2.) The integral teaching of Trinity is that within G-d also consists the "The Son" and the "Holy Spirit". So, it's not G-d is one whole. It's: G-d is part of one whole that is also consisting of two other central entities.


"In the context of Isaiah 53, the Messiah would be cut off or killed from his people and rise again. This chapter is referring to the incarnation of the Messiah into the body of a man".

In Yesha'yahu 53, the context is not that the Messiah would be cut off or killed from his people to rise again. Such an interpretation does not correspond with the Jewish view of the Messiah and what his purpose will consist of.


The ancient writings of Sephardic Rabbi Maimonides offer are more accurate insight into who the Messiah will be, and when he will come:

"The main benefit of that time (the Messianic Age) will be that they (Israel) shall have rest from the subjugation of the nations who have prevented us from performing the commandments. Wisdom will be increased as it says “The world shall be filled with knowledge (of HaShem as the water fills the ocean)” (Yesha'yahu 11:9) Wars will cease as it says, “And nation will not lift up sword against other nations.” (Yesha'yahu 2:4) There will be in those days great perfection and we shall merit the life of the world to come. The Messiah will then die and his son will rule in his place and so his grandson."

Judaism strongly believes that the Messiah will be a leader, one that will bring about about peace for the nation of Israel. During the the time of the Messiah all wars will cease and nation will not lift up sword against other nations.


The Jewish view is not that the Messiah will suffer and be rejected, but that he will prosper and die of an old age. It's also not suggested that he will return, rather his descendants will continue his work.


So when Yesha'yahu states:

"4 Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He opened not His mouth;
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.
8 He was taken from prison and from judgment,
And who will declare His generation?
For He was cut off from the land of the living;
For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
9 And they made His grave with the wicked"
But with the rich at His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was any deceit in His mouth.
10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him;
He has put Him to grief.
When You make His soul an offering for sin,
He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days,
And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.
11 He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied.
By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many,
For He shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great,
And He shall divide the spoil with the strong,
Because He poured out His soul unto death,
And He was numbered with the transgressors,
And He bore the sin of many,
And made intercession for the transgressors".

It is not believed to be a reference or a prophesy of the Messiah. Particularly as earlier on Yesha'yahu is predicting how the Jewish people will be sent into exile. In chapter 52, for example, he also describes Israel as being "oppressed without cause"--and "taken away". It's largely upheld by Jews that Yesha'yahu 53 is just in fact a continuation of and a further description of Yesha'yahu 52.


For another few following reasons:

(1.) The Messiah will not be striken or afflicated. This could only apply to the people of the nation of Israel.

(2.) The Messiah will not wounded for "our" transgressions, once more, this could only be in reference to the Jewish people themselves.

(3.) The Messiah will not be oppressed, if anything--the Messiah will introduce an end to oppression.

(4.) The Messiah will not bare the "sin" of others. In fact, Judaism believes that no one should have to suffer or die because of anothers "sin".


Even the disciples of Jesus, did not new view these passages as Messianic reference.

Sources:

http://jewsforjudaism.org...

http://www.catholicbible101.com...

http://jewishroots.net...


Debate Round No. 5
26 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by LostintheEcho1498 2 years ago
LostintheEcho1498
I am focusing my vote mainly on rounds 3-5 as the first two were used mainly to set the basis of their respective sides. I look first at spelling and grammar which is close to perfect on both sides so tie there. Next, sources. Both used a plethora of sources but I checked through and Truth_seeker used a noticeable majority and they were reliable and so a point there. Conduct was professional on both sides so a tie there. Now to argument. As I said earlier, I am focusing on the rebuttals. For round 3, I found Pro's rebuttals relatively weak in the sense that they did little to disprove her statements but rather used a more "it doesn't prove or disprove anything." Con very effectively disproved Pro's rebuttal and so far 0-1. Round 4, Pro amped it up and made some very good points against earlier statements. Con very narrowly loses this round because of her ambiguity that was seen from Pro in the beginning so now 1-1. Round 5, Pro kept up his previous skill as Con but Con continued the previous ambiguity toward the angels being a maybe. This last round I will give to Pro because he made several statements that even with the benefit of having the final round Con did not fully refute and so ends as 2-1. Thank You for having me as a judge for this great debate :)
Posted by mightbenihilism 2 years ago
mightbenihilism
It sounds like the Zohar, from the quote I gave and what Truth_seeker listed, is more a Modalist idea than the actual Trinity --- basically the same as the Trimurti and Trikaya, which are there own types of Modalism. Yet I think Christian Modalism oftentimes interpreted the modes as occurring at intervals, rather than simultaneously (though I've read the opposite, too).

BUUUUT. . . there are some Christians like Meister Eckhart who seemed to imply that the ultimate unity of the substance of God took pre-eminence over the persons, without admitting that the persons had a beginning in time. But he was considered a heretic.
Posted by mightbenihilism 2 years ago
mightbenihilism
The Trinity, as defined by the Athanasian Creed, is a very precise concept and I haven't found anything similar to it in another religion. However, there are many threefold forms of divinity, like the Trimurti in Hinduism, the Trikaya in Buddhism, etc.

Supposedly the Jewish Zohar speaks of threefold aspects to God:

"The Ancient of Days has three heads. He reveals himself in three archetypes, all three forming but one. He is thus symbolized by the number Three. They are revealed in one another. [These are:] first, secret, hidden 'Wisdom'; above that the Holy Ancient One; and above Him the Unknowable One. None knows what He contains; He is above all conception. He is therefore called for man 'Non-Existing' ["'Ayin"]" (Zohar, iii. 288b)
http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org...

The language of that actually sounds closer to the Trinity than some Eastern conceptions, but for it truly be the Trinity it has to be three distinct persons united in one substance. And it doesn't sound like they got that out the Tanakh. Neo-Platonism or mystic experience is a more likely source, imho. Although, I would argue Neo-Platonism owes a lot of its distinctive features to Indian mysticism.
Posted by Truth_seeker 2 years ago
Truth_seeker
I will agree with Jellon and Shadow. my debate wasn't well structured and my sources didn't go anywhere as I had planned. Although I did prove that God is plural, I had yet to prove precisely that God is triune. I will better organize my debates in the future. we will however debate this again lol.
Posted by Emilrose 2 years ago
Emilrose
@Jellon

Judaism may have altered its position on some topics but the doctrine of the trinity has never been one of them. This is one subject that has remained consistently the same in terms of approach and theological perspective. As I also highlighted in my debate--belief in a triune G-d (within Judaism) is generally viewed as blasphemous.

Perhaps Pro could've benefited from using the argument of the "Holy Spirit", etc. But the challenge would be explaining the existence of the "Son" in the trinity--another integral part.

Sure, I'd be willing to debate. "The divine nature of the Messiah" (from the Tanakh) would be an interesting topic.
Posted by Jellon 2 years ago
Jellon
@Emilrose
I understand why. It is evidence. I'm just saying it's weak evidence. After all, Judaism has changed its position on a variety of topics over time, including fundamental topics such as who is counted as being Jewish. Genealogies only included males, but in today's time Jewish blood is counted through the mother, not the father. I have other examples, but I'm not intending to debate here.
By the way, you told me that you are Messianic. I know that doesn't say much, so I don't know where you stand on issues. Perhaps you'd be willing to debate me on the divine nature of Messiah from the Tanakh? Or perhaps you'd defend that the LXX was incorrectly translated when they declared that the son would be born to a virgin. What do you say?
Posted by Jellon 2 years ago
Jellon
One Christian presentation pro might have been able to defend is a single entity (G-d) with three expressions. G-d the Father is obvious and need not be defended, as both pro and con agree on that point. G-d the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) is seen several times in the Tanahk (1, 2). The Ruach was given to King Saul, and eventually taken from him. It was also given to King David. There are other examples for TS to look up.
G-d in human form can also be inferred from the Tanahk. I will leave finding references as an exercise for TS. G-d was walking in the garden of Eden, calling out to Adam and Eve. One of the three visitors to Avraham (Abraham) was denoted as being divine. Ya'acov (Jacob) wrestled with a stranger denoted as being G-d; after wrestling with the stranger, his name was changed to Yisrael (one who wrestles with G-d). The 4th person in the fire with Shadrach Meshach and Abednego can also be defended as being divine when compared to the prophecies of Daniel (3).
Obviously there are rebuttals to these claims, but the fact remains that they would make TS's argument much stronger. At the very least, this could have ended in a tie. Of course, the issue of Messiah being G-d is enough to fill a debate by itself (4).
It took me minutes to find these sources, and they are more easily accessed than many of pro's sources. Inaccessible books are weak sources. Sources viewable in the links are much stronger.

1) http://lmgtfy.com...
2) http://en.wikipedia.org...
3) http://www.charismamag.com...
4) http://www.alphanewsdaily.com...
Posted by Jellon 2 years ago
Jellon
Con, you did well. My only big comment to you was left in my RFD.
Pro could have used the Christian presentation of the trinity from the Tanahk, but didn't. Perhaps pro could benefit by improving his research skills. TS, in my experience reading your debates, that seems to be an ongoing issue for you. I really encourage you to do better research if you plan to continue doing debates here. You have potential to do a lot better.
Additionally, a lot of time was spent on sources outside of the Tanahk. If I remember correctly, con pointed this out. For example, the resolution explicitly stated the Hebrew Tanahk, but pro, the instigator, referred to the Greek Septuagint (LXX). This was probably intended to be evidence for his interpretation of the Tanahk, but this point was not well presented.
I often failed to see some of the connections pro made. For example, pro seems to suggest that Isaiah 51:22 uses "makers", even though no similar word appears in that scripture as quoted in round 2 (see reference 9). I noticed that pro's references got messed up. Reference 9 just goes to books.google. It does not go to any specific book! I was tempted to give source points to con for this mistake.
Posted by Emilrose 2 years ago
Emilrose
@Jellon

I use the fact that Judaism has not incorporated the "trinity" within its system as indication that a three-part G-d is not outlined within the Tanakh--more than plural terminology is required to support its existence.

In order for it to be proved--it would actually need to explicitly suggest "triune". As I stated in the debate, such a concept contradicts the Jewish belief of G-d.

Anyway, thanks for your vote and additional comments :)
Posted by Artur 2 years ago
Artur
This debate is too easy for CON. In order to say "trinity is supported by Old Testament or Hebrew Tanakh", that asserted thing must talk about three beings, I did not read the full presentation of PRO, but I read till 3rd round, all he did is to present some verses which talk in plural(more than one). A plural does not mean trinity, it can be 2, 3, 5, 16, 37 and e.t.c @CON or @Emilrose, ask him to show a limitation to 3, I very doubt he can do it.

As long as he does not prove that plurality to be equal to 3, he will not meet his burden of proof.

PRO says that that plurality is to mention trinity, but can he/she show it? Even if it was referring to plurality, it may be referring to dual nature, or natures more than 3, it may be referring to a god with 5 natures, 37 natures and e.t.c any will be plural.

That is so easy for CON.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
Truth_seekerEmilroseTied
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Reasons for voting decision: By the end of this debate, based on the given arguments, I am inclined to beleive that the Tanakh supports a God that is either a multi-pronged entity or represents multiple entities. I don't see enough support to beleif that the result is a trinity. Pro never reached that burden using the Tanakh, much less the burden of showing that it's THE Trinity. If this debate had allowed other texts to make the point, Pro would have been in a position to win this. With only the Tanakh, he is not. Hence, I vote Con.
Vote Placed by LostintheEcho1498 2 years ago
LostintheEcho1498
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Reasons for voting decision: Please see the comments for my response.
Vote Placed by Jellon 2 years ago
Jellon
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro never presented evidence for a plurality in the deity of G-d, but never supported the three-person trinity outright. Con pointed to the necessity of three persons in the trinity which pro failed to address, if indeed it could be addressed. Perhaps ShadowKing let this slide in his vote because he failed to see the root word "tri" in the word tri-nity, tri meaning three. This point alone is enough to cost pro the debate as it is essential to his argument. On other points, both pro and con did well at defending their interpretations of the plurality of G-d; so much so, that I must consider that much of the debate a tie. Neither was able to overwhelm the other. It appears that the interpretation may be left to the bias of the interpreter. Con's argument that Judaism never accepted the trinity is particularly weak. Pro showed that *some* did. Furthermore, it is an appeal to authority fallacy. One must show why experts believe what they believe. Additional comments in comments section.
Vote Placed by ShadowKingStudios 2 years ago
ShadowKingStudios
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Reasons for voting decision: Up until R4 Con was kicking Pro's @ss. Pro bounced back to half support his resolution. Pro states "the Trinity" and NOT "the word Trinity is supported..." Thus Con argued semantics focusing on the "word" not being supported in the Tanakh, while Pro adhered to "concept" of the Trinity. Pro's most convincing argument came in dismantling double meaning & establishing "Elohim" PLURALIZED is in Gen. 1& 2 not the other singular forms Con presented. Con killed her argument w/ a concession of the "possibly" of Elohim being angels, as Pro exposed it & demonstrated angels--referred to as malakim=messengers" can't be tied to Elohim since Elohim demonstrates creative power in the Tanakh, in tandem w/ Jewish disbelief of angels having creative power. Con cont'd to ping pong "trinity" as the definition of Elohim whereas Pro cont'd to highlight the concept within the definition of Elohim. However, Pro never restricted the Trinity to 3 as Con exposed. Con also suffered from many S&G errors.