The Majestic Plural
While the word elohiym or elohim is considered to be plural, the word elohiym or elohim is consistently used with singular adjectives, pronouns and verb forms. Understanding the sentence structure of the Hebrew language would help the Trinitarians come to grips with what is being taught in their classroom. Under normal conditions those adhering to the Trinitarian view teach that the word elohiym is plural. Teaching that elohiym is a plural word and therefore a plural meaning would be correct if the word was subject to American grammar.
The Hebrew language derives the singularity or plurality from the other structural components of the sentence such as adjectives, pronouns and verb forms. When the adjectives, pronouns and verbs are singular the remaining words in the sentence will be rendered in the singular. In the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Chaldean languages the singularity or plurality of adjectives, pronouns and verb forms dictate the singularity or plurality of the noun. The difference in American English is that the verb and subject must agree in number. If the noun is plural, it dictates plural verb.
The general rule of thumb for the word elohiym is that when you see elohiym referring to the God of Creation the adjectives, pronouns and verb forms are normally singular. Thus God has a singular meaning of the one true God. When you see elohiym referring to the gods of the surrounding nations, Idols, strength, or persons with ruling positions the adjectives, pronouns and verb forms dictate elohiym to be rendered in the plural.
However, out of 2596 occasions of elohiym there are 5 times where the God of Creation is rendered plural by personal pronouns. The personal pronouns we, our, and us are spoken by the God of Creation in each of these cases. Since Godís word is true, we have a solid foundation that the one true God is speaking for more than one person.
The question arising from this deduction is; who is the person or persons God is referring to with the pronouns we, our, and us. Judaism believes in one true God literally and their answer on this issue is the "Royal We". The "Royal We" is an exception to the normal grammar rules which maintains and supports the "one true God" belief. In essence, the "Royal We" reveals God is speaking for himself since he is one true God and his court of royal advisors. With this rule in mind, the pronouns we, our, and us support of the one true God beliefs of Judaism.
Christians believe that God sent Jesus Christ to fulfill the law. Over 50 Old Testament prophecies were fulfilled in the person and life of Jesus Christ. Though God sent several prophets to warn Israel to return to him in their covenant relationship, they refused. God then sent his son whom the builders of the Kingdom rejected. Therefore, God abolished the first covenant with its regulations and established a new covenant with the gentiles who are known as Christians. Colossians 2:14 Ephesians 2:15
Through the Passover cup a new covenant was established and by the blood of the cross, Christ became the mediator of a new covenant made to whosoever would believe on Jesus Christ. Hebrews 9:15. In reading the Old and New Testaments it is not hard to understand that Jesus Christ was the focus and subject of Godís word. By John and Lukeís account Jesus Christ was God and was with God from the beginning and is seated at the right hand of God.
The Christian has the foundation to say that God was speaking to the one who made all things (John 1:3) and that God is with us, Emanuel.
We also have the witness of our Lord saying that he is the Almighty God. However, Jesus clarified the oneness of God when he said I and the Father are one. John 10:30. This statement establishes one true God of at least two persons who are united in one accord and purpose.
For the Christian establishing one true God of at least two persons over rides the grammar ruling of the "Royal We" found in Judaism. Because of this, Christians can stay within the rules of Hebrew grammar and render the word elohiym plural because the adjectives, pronouns and verb forms with in the sentence were plural.
To the Christian the word Elohiym is an intensive Plural - singular meaning, but to Judaism the word elohiym is the Majestic Plural. Both Christianity and Judaism believe in one true God, but what separates our beliefs is the number of persons. None the less, Iíve come to believe that intensive plural speaks of the greatness of God and the majestic plural are speaking of the elegance and majesty of the one true God. Of the 2596 times that the word elohiym is used, God is given over seventy-five different names, each containing an attribute God is known by.
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