A missionary posted a challenge to the fact that the Trinity is pagan and not Jewish (biblical). S/he referenced Y'shayahu / Isaiah 48:16 quoting a pretty mangled translation: "Come near to Me, hear this; I have not spoken in secret, from the beginning; From the time that it was, I was there, And now the Lord God and His Spirit Have sent Me” (Isaiah 48:16) and then stating "There are 3 individuals. It's Messiah (Jesus) who is talking here and he is mentioning about L-rd G-d (FATHER) and His spirit (HOLY SPIRIT)."
Given that mangled translation it is possible to be misled -- but the fact is that the prophet Y'shayahu / Isaiah is speaking and he says: “Approach me, hear this: I did not speak in secrecy at first; from the time (the decree) was issued I was there. And now, My L-rd, HaShem (G-d) has sent me with His spirit.”
This is not a triune god. The prophet Isaiah is the speaker. To paraphrase Isaiah is saying “Approach me (Isaiah). . .I did not speak in secrecy. . . G-d has sent me (Isaiah) and I come to you as His servant (with His spirit giving me authority).”
Often enough Isaiah tells us clearly (not in secrecy!) there is only ONE G-d. Why do missionaries ignore His plain words for crazy searchings for a multi-headed god?
The very next line (Yeshayahu / Isaiah 48:17) says clearly that G-d is ONE. “Thus said HaShem, your redeemer, the Holy ONE (ONE!!!!) of Israel: I am (singular) HaShem your G-d”!!
To debunk the trinity (holy spirit) go up a few lines to 12: “Hearken to Me, O Jacob, and Israel, who was called by Me (singular0, I am He (singular), I am first, yea I am last.” Isaiah 48:12.
I AM FIRST
I AM LAST
Context, context, context!!
Prophets receive messages from G-d to communicate to others. Isaiah is simply stating that he was moved by being in communication with G-d. Indeed the term “holy spirit” in the T’nach (Jewish bible) does not refer to an entity as it does to Christians. There is no “holy spirit” aka the “holy ghost.” There is only one G-d (D’varim / Deuteronomy 6:4). The term "holy spirit" (in which "holy" is an adjective) never appears in the T'nach even once.
Since the “holy spirit” is not biblical (the term does appear in Rabbinical writings) and it doesn’t mean the third part of the trinity, what does it mean? As Judaism holds that G-d is One and Unique, the notion of a dual or triune godhead is totally rejected. G-d is not a spirit. G-d is not a physical entity (He has not physical form, He is not a man).
It would seem that this Christian “holy ghost” (“holy spirit” of the trinity) is based on a misuse of the Hebrew term Ruach HaKodesh (mistranslated as holy spirit) But Ruach HaKodesh doesn't mean "the holy spirit.” “Holy Spirit” would be הָרוּחַ הַקָּדוֹשׁ ha-ru'ah ha-kadosh (ha meaning “the”) or perhaps הָרוּחַ הַקְּדוֹשָׁה ha-ru'ah ha-k'doshah (because רוּחַ ruach can be both masculine & feminine – all nouns in Hebrew must be either male or female).
קוֹדֶשׁ (kadosh) is a noun ("holiness" or "sanctity") and literally means to be separate. The term רוּחַ literally means “wind” and is the lowest level of the soul – the life force.
רוּחַ הַקֹּדֶש / Ruach HaKodesh should be translated as "a spirit of [the] holiness" or "a spirit of [the] sanctity". Meaning it is a state of holiness in a human being, NOT a mythical G-d of spirit.
Let me repeat that – it is a state of holiness in a human being, NOT a mythical spirit of G-d.
So what does it mean? What is a state of holiness in a human being?
One inspired by G-d.
A state of being of a person.
Inspiration being a level below communication with G-d (prophecy).
Think of it as a kind of sub-prophecy or divinely-provided intuition.
Y'shayahu / Isaiah 48:16 does not say רוּחַ הַקֹּדֶש / Ruach HaKodesh should be translated as "a spirit of [the] holiness" -- it simply says spirit (so the missionary is assuming his third part of the triune god). . .
Missionaries claim that they are monotheistic and worship one G-d. Yet the concept of the trinity is that of three entities: the father, the son and the “holy” ghost. They try and get around this by saying the three G-ds are one, but three are three. The concept is NOT Jewish. There is no supporting concept in the Tanach.
The concept of “father, son and holy ghost” – three G-ds as one but separate is pagan.
Recently the blog has focused on how Jews know that Jesus was not the messiah (he did not have the correct parentage, he did not fulfill the prophecies and human sacrifice is forbidden. The Torah also teaches us that no one can atone for the sins of another -- each of us is responsible for his / her own sins. That last topic -- our personal responsibility -- brings me back full circle to the intention of this blog.
The focus of this blog is not on Jesus (as a person or a god). The goal of this blog is to explain what Jews believe and to show how these beliefs are based firmly in the Jewish bible (primarily the Torah, the Five Books of Moses). The other books of the bible (Prophets and Writings) do nothing more but re-enforce what G-d already taught us in the Torah. We are forbidden from adding to or subtracting from the mitzvot of the Torah. Think about it -- the prophets spent most of their effort trying to return Jews to Torah observance!
This blog exists to help teach uneducated Jews and interested non-Jews the teachings of Torah (and thus Judaism) -- and to refute the assumption by many a missionary that Judaism and Christianity are "the same" -- except they believe the messiah has come (Jesus) while the Jew still awaits the messiah.
This assumption is false. There are far more differences between Judaism and Christianity than there are similarities.
Let's just list a few differences, Remember: what one Christian believes another will reject -- some Christian reading the list will say "I don't believe in "original sin" or "faith over works", but the list of what Christians believe is based on a majority of "normative" Christian teaching and beliefs:
A Jew cannot be Christian and remain Jewish. A Jew accepting the beliefs of another religion (gods) and rejecting those promises we made to G-d to do and to hear is endangering his or her immortal soul. A Jew can never stop being a Jew, and thus turning to עבודה זרה / avodah zarah (strange / foreign worship, aka idolatry) is cutting that person off from G-d and the Jewish people. That person is an apostate to the Jewish people until such time as he or she returns to G-d and repents of their idolatry.
The term idolatry in Judaism means any form of worship we did not know at Sinai, and any thinking Christian must realize that the Jews of Sinai did not pray to or through Jesus.
The website Simple to Remember puts it well. Jews do not accept Jesus as the messiah because:
(What exactly is the Messiah?)
D'varim / Deuteronom 4:39 says loud and clear that there is no other G-d. Hashem is the only one.
"And you shall know this day and consider it in your heart, that the L-rd He is the G-d in heaven above, and upon the earth below; there is none else." D'varim / Deuteronomy 4:39.
The definite article הָֽ ('ha") in front of the word "elohim" (a title used to describe G-d, false gods, angels and even humans who are mighty / powerful judges) makes the translation "the G-d." הָֽאֱלֹ-הִ֔ים. Here is the Hebrew:
וְיָֽדַעְתָּ֣ הַיּ֗וֹם וַהֲשֵֽׁבֹתָ֘ אֶל־לְבָבֶ֒ךָ֒ כִּ֤י יְיָ֙ ה֣וּא הָֽאֱ-להִ֔ים בַּשָּׁמַ֣יִם מִמַּ֔עַל וְעַל־הָאָ֖רֶץ מִתָּ֑חַת אֵ֖ין עֽוֹד׃
Translations tend to translate this as "He is G-d", but the text acutally says "He is THE G-d." -- that is to say, "the One and Only G-D".
D'varim / Deuteronomy 4:35 (four verses earlier) is even more explicit....
אַתָּה֙ הָרְאֵ֣תָ לָדַ֔עַת כִּ֥י יְיָ֖ ה֣וּא הָֽאֱ-לֹהִ֑ים אֵ֥ין ע֖וֹד מִלְבַדּֽוֹ׃
"You have been shown these things so you should know that HaShem is the the One and Only G-D and there is no-one else apart from Him" (D'varim / Deuteronomy 4:35
Again we have The definite article הָֽ ('ha") in front of the word "elohim" ("the G-d"), but we also have אֵ֥ין ע֖וֹד מִלְבַדּֽוֹ׃ - no one else apart from Him.
G-d is ONE
Every single time G-d speaks in the Torah He speaks in the singular – one.
Never does G-d speak as a “plurality” (e.g. a trinity or more).
The fact that we are clearly told G-d is one (אֶחָד / eḥad – D'varim / Deuteronomy 6:4) is only one way we know He is not a trinity – throughout the Jewish bible this important “oneness” and “alone” (Yeshayahu / Isaiah 44:24) and “singularity” is repeated over and over so the lesson is not missed.
G-d is not a man (Bamidbar / Numbers 23:19),
“So said the L-rd. . . the ONE who formed you from the womb, “I (singular) am the L-rd . . .Who spread out the earth ALONE (לְבַדִּ֔י).” Yeshayahu / IIsaiah 44:24,
and we are told G-d is one (D'varim / Deuteronomy 6:4). But now see – it is I! I am the only One! There are no (other) gods with me! (Deuteronomy 32:39).
Over and over and over again we are told that G-d is ONE, alone, by Himself – SINGULAR.
#1 – “אֶחָד / eḥad ” means “one.” It is the same as the number one in English.
“G-d is one” (D'varim / Deuteronomy 6:4).
Some Trinitarians like to point out that “אֶחָד / eḥad ” can be a compound unity – (as in “one forest” which has many things in it).
אֶחָד / eḥad can be a compound unity (see B'reshit / Genesis 2:24 as an example) – but far more often it is an “absolute one” and not compound at all. The word "One" in this D'varim Deuteronomy 6:4 (the Shema) "the L-rd is One" is not a compound unity. It is definitely singular.
Examples of this “absolute one” can be found in Shmuel 2 / 2 Samuel 13:30: "Absolom has slain all the king's sons, and there is not one of them left" and 2 Samuel 17:12: "And of all the men that are with him we will not leave so much as one."
It is clear that just like the English word “one” the Hebrew word “אֶחָד / eḥad ” has a similar use – one means one! What about Deuteronomy 6:4 – the Sh’ma? “Listen, O Israel – the L-rd your G-d, the L-rd is ONE”? The word "One" in this Deuteronomy 6:4 is an adjective, and it describes the proper noun "the L-rd" (SINGULAR), which rules out the possibility of a "compound unity" in this passage.
#2 In Hebrew nouns are singular or plural – similar to English. Let’s look at B'reshit / Genesis 1:26 which begins with the subject of וַיֹּאמֶר vayomer “and he said”, which is a singular form. Hence B'reshit / Genesis 1:26 begins “and G-d (SINGULAR) said. If G-d were a trinity it would be plural. But G-d is ONE, not three.
וַיֹּאמְרוּ vayom'ru “and they said” can be found as in B'réshıt / Genesis 11:3, 11:4; 18:5, 18:9 as well as throughout the Torah – but whenever G-d speaks it is always singular “and He said.”
This is because G-d IS singular – one, not three.
#3 “That you will know that G-d, He (ה֣וּא – singular) is the (singular) Supreme Being and there is none besides Him (singular)" D'varim / Deuteronomy 4:35)
#4 "Now, O L-rd our G-d, deliver us from his hand, so that all kingdoms on earth may know that You ALONE, O L-rd, are G-d.” (Psalm 113:5)
#5 Before Me (SINGULAR) no god was formed, nor will there be one after Me (SINGULAR). I (SINGULAR), even I (SINGULAR), am the L-rd, and besides Me (SINGULAR) there is no Savior.” Yeshayahu / Isaiah 43:11
#6 So said the L-rd, your Redeemer, the ONE who formed you from the womb, “I am the L-rd Who makes everything, Who stretched forth the heavens alone, Who spread out the earth ALONE (לְבַדִּ֔י).” Yeshayahu / Isaiah 44:24.
#7 I am the L-rd, and there is no other; besides Me there is no G-d… I will strengthen you…I order that they know from the shining of the sun and from the west that there is no one besides Me; I am the L-rd and there is no other!” Yeshayahu / Isaiah 45:5-6
Bamidbar / Numbers 23:19, Shmuel 1 / 1 Samuel 15:29, and Iyov / Job 9:32 tell us that G-d is not a man. Some Christians may argue that Jesus “in the flesh” came later to explain away this fact – but the prophet Malachi destroys this argument when he says in Jesus. “For I, the L-rd, do not change.” Malachi 3:6. Becoming a man is certainly change!
There are missionaries who try to insist that the Hebrew word for one (אֶחָד / eḥad (masculine) ) is not really "one" at all. They try to insist that it is always a compound unity. Those missionaries will insist that יָחִיד yahid is only used to refer to a strict numerical oneness, whereas אֶחָד / eḥad has a wider range of usage that includes composite unities as well. This is total nonsense. אֶחָד ĕḥad is the numeral “1” in Hebrew. Actually it is the masculine noun; the feminine form is אַחַת aḥat). יָחִיד yahid translates more to "only."
The several declined inflections of the noun יָחִיד yahid occur in 12 scriptural verses:
יְחִידְךָ in B'réshιt / Genesis 22:2, 22:12 (only)
יְחִידֶֽךָ (the pausal form) in B'réshιt / Genesis 22:16 (your only)
יְחִידָה in Shoftim / Judges 11:34 (only child feminine)
יָחִיד in Yirm'yahu / Jeremiah 6:26, 'Amos Amos 8:10 and T'hillim / Psalms 25:16 (only son masculine)
הַיָּחִיד in Z'charyah / Zechariah 12:10 (his only)
יְחִידָתִי in T'hillim / Psalms 22:21 and 35:17 (my only one)
וְיָחִיד in Mishlei / Proverbs 4:3 (and only)
and the plural יְחִידִים in T'hillim / Psalms 68:7 (solitary, plural).
The term יָחִיד yahid applies to G-d only when we are stating that G-d is the only G-d. But G-d is not "alone" in the sense that He is surrounded at all times by His mal'achim (angels) chanting kadosh, kadosh, kadosh (holy, holy, holy) continuously.
There is a similar word often confused with יָחִיד yahid and that is yahad (יָחַד) which means "together."
Alone, in English or Hebrew, is a different word than the word "one."
It would be interesting to see how these missionaries would fit their re-definition of the word אֶחָד ĕḥad into verses like B'réshıt / Genesis 21:15 and B'réshıt / Genesis 22:2; did Hagar put her dying son, Ishmael, under multiple shrubs all at the same time “she threw the boy under ĕḥad [one] of the shrubs” -- or did G-d tell Abraham to take Isaac, his son, up onto many mountains "take him up... onto ĕḥad [one] of the mountains that I will tell you about”?
The word for "one" in Hebrew functions identically to the word in English -- thus while it can be a compound unity (as in one cluster of grapes) it can also be a definite one (one cell). Hebrew nouns are either masculine or feminine. In Hebrew the words for "one" are אֶחָד eḥad (masculine), אַחַת aḥat(feminine).
"You have been shown these things so you should know that HaShem is the the One and Only G-Dand there is no-one else apart from Him" (D'varim / Deuteronomy 4:35).
Sophiee Saguy has been countering false missionary claims about Judaism and the T'nach (Jewish bible) for nearly twenty years. You may find her on FaceBook and at the Messiah Truth forum.