The Trinity – Plurality of Personalities within One God

This was something that I wrote in 2008 and posted on my message board:

An issue that has greatly interested me as of late, though I had extensively studied it as an early Christian, is the doctrine of the Trinity. The mystery of this truth is marvelous to my soul.

The doctrine of the Trinity is something God has been revealing ever since the beginning of when He started writing the bible. For example, scriptures like, “And God said, Let US make man in OUR image, after OUR likeness” (Gen. 1:26) and also, “And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of US, to know good and evil.” (Gen. 3:22) This all reveals the internal plurality of the one God!

In the book “The Nature & Character of God” Winkie Pratney dedicated a large portion of his book to the Trinity, (pages 255-429)

Here is a section from his book that I read last night which I thoroughly enjoyed:

“The Word ‘Trinity’ or ‘Triunity’ is not a biblical term but a theological one, describing the idea of three distinct centers of consciousness in the one God.

God is dinstictly called ‘one Lord’ (Deut. 6:4, Mark 12:29), but we must examine closely as to how the word one is being used. There are two kinds of unity or ‘oneness’ in both English and Hebrew; an absolute unity and compound unity. Absolute unity is that of singularity; I give you one apple, and you get a single apple. But if you ask for ‘one’ bunch of grapes, you don’t simply get one grape! ‘One’ in this case is a word of compound unity, the many in the one.

One (Hebrew)

Yachead is the OT word for absolute unity; a mathematical or numerical one. It is used about 12 times in the OT, but never to describe the unity of God (Gen. 22:2, 12; Zech. 12:10)

Echad however speaks of a compound or collective unity. In marriage “the two shall be one flesh” (Gen. 2:24); a crowd can gather together ‘as one’ (Ezek. 3:1); or be of one mind or heart: “All the rest of Israel were of one heart to make David king” (1Chron 12:38). This is the compound plural always used of God when He is called “one” Lord.

…. El is a word used of God… The Father is El (Gen 14:18-22); The Son is El (Isa/ 7:14 [Immanuel]; Isa. 9:6-9); The Holy Spirit is El (Job 33:4; 37:10).

Elohim is the plural of El and is used about 2,500 times in the OT. It suggests a plurality of persons in the divine Godhead

Adon (singular) or Adonai (plural) – Master, Owner, Ruler of All (Ps. 147:5; 86:12)”

– The Nature and Character of God by Winkie Pratney

________________________________

So “Yachead” is the Hebrew word of absolute unity and it is NEVER used for God. But “Echad” is the Hebrew word of collective or compound unity and is ABUNDANTLY used for God.

“Elohim” is the plural term for the singular “El”. “El” = God but “Elohim” God’s. (not that there are many Gods, but that there is a plurality of personalities which make up one God).

“Adonai” is the plural version for the singular “Adon”. “Adon” = Master while “Adonai” = Master’s. (Again, not to suggest any polytheism, but rather to teach a plurality of personalities in God.”

I have found this information to be very insightful and so I wanted to share it here.

Here is the way I see it:

Many doctrines = One Faith

Many parts = One Body

Many members = One Family

Three persons = One God

One God is made up of three distinct personalities, namely, the Father – The Son – and The Holy Spirit. Or you could say God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit.

This was another part I thought was very good from the book:

“Q. Jesus prayed, ‘that they may be one, even as we are one’ (John 17:22). When we say that God is ‘one’ aren’t we talking about His singleness of purpose of harmony of personal unity?

A. The Godhead indeed enjoy perfect unity or harmony of purpose in personal relationship that is to be a model for the Church. But the substantial unity of the Godhead is based on another consideration that are metaphysical, not merely moral – that since each member is uncreated, they are thus essential one in “substance, nature, and essence”

– The Nature and Character of God by Winkie Pratney

_______________________________

So the Godhead are in fact one in purpose (moral unity) and they are also one in substance or nature (metaphysical unity) though there are three distinction persons (different personalities) all contained in the one (echad) collective God!!

To read The Nature and Character of God by Winkie Pratney, click here: http://ywamambassadors.com/media/ncog-winkie.pdf

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One Response to The Trinity – Plurality of Personalities within One God

  1. Also, Jesus prayed ‘that they may be one, even as we are one’ (John 17:22).

    Now, if Christians are to be One just like the Father and the Son is one, this poses a problem for Unitarians. Because if the Father and the Son are One in personhood or consciousness, that would mean that Christians are supposed to be one personhood or consciousness. But that is absurd as we are distinct persons.

    The obvious meaning is that the Father and the Son are in perfect harmony being of one mind. In the same way the Church is meant to be of one mind. So the Father and the Son being One by no means denies the Trinity, it requires it.

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