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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : In the beginning Gods created the heavens and the earth.

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 In the beginning Gods created the heavens and the earth.

Please, do not throw any matches or burning stakes at me before you understand my question.

The other day I was talking with someone about the gospel and he pulled this subject from his hip. He said that in the original Hebrew, God (singular) is actually translated as Gods (plural) in Genesis 1:1.

Has there been discussion about this?

 2009/1/13 7:49
paulamicela
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Joined: 2008/6/12
Posts: 40


 Re: In the beginning Gods created the heavens and the earth.

To clarify, you mean that the Hebrew is plural and is translated in English as singular, correct?

(No, it's not a bad question. I just want to make sure I understand the question before answering.)


_________________
Paul W. Lamicela

 2009/1/13 9:06Profile









 Re:

Yes, that's what I mean.

Although, I am not sure if that is what the guy meant. He could have also been saying something about the original was not necessarily understood and 'they' didn't want "Gods" so "God" was the replacement.

By the way, I do not believe this, however, he intellectually shut me up in the conversation, because I was not sure of the proper response.

 2009/1/16 6:49
enid
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Joined: 2006/5/22
Posts: 2676
Nottingham, England

 Re: In the beginning Gods created the heavens and the earth.

If we look at Genesis 1v26, in it God says, 'Let Us make man...', using the plural.

Maybe the use of Gods refers to Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Genesis 1v2 mention the Spirit of God.

That's all I have for now.

 2009/1/16 8:21Profile









 Re: In the beginning Gods created the heavens and the earth.

One God, three persons.

What should end the dispute is that it is used in the plural as well in Deut 6:4 where there it is plainly referring to the singular God.

Here is an analysis of the tense by Wheeler. (I had to get rid of the Hebrew formatting so it is missing some of the examples.)

Quote:

HEBREW NOUN

B. The Plural in Hebrew Nouns:

1. The Forms of Plural Hebrew Nouns: The Plural form in Hebrew is created chiefly by the addition of suffixes to the Singular Noun Form:

a. Masculine Plural:

i) The standard Masculine Plural termination is:

a) The standard Masc. Pl. termination sometimes occurs on apparently Feminine nouns:
ii) Aramaic Termination: Occassionally Nouns take the same ending as Aramaic plurals: Prov 31:3

iii) Feminine Termination: The normal feminine plural termination - also occurs on masculine nouns: Jer 7:18

iv) Feminine + Masculine Termination: Sometimes both feminine and masculine plural terminations occur on the same noun, when the noun is construct: Num 32:8

b. Feminine Plural:

i) The standard Feminine Plural termination is:
a) The standard Fem. Pl. termination occurs on masculine nouns as well; see above

ii) Masculine Termination: Some feminine nouns take the standard masc. pl. termination: 1 Sam 25:18

iii) Feminine + Masculine Termination: Sometimes both feminine and masculine plural terminations occur on the same noun, when the noun is construct: Isa 14:14


Uses of the Plural with Hebrew Nouns:
a. To indicate simple plurality: kings, altars.
b. To indicate composition: pieces of silver (Gen 42:25), firewood (Gen 22:3), clods of earth (Prov 8:26).
c. To indicate natural products in an unnatural or manufactured condition: 'wheat,' in grains (threshed wheat) as distinguished from 'wheat,' in the ear; 'barley,' in grains versus 'barley,' in the ear. References: GKC §124 m calls this the plural of result.
d. To indicate extension: This "extension" use of the plural is also used for
i) [b]Multiple Parts considered as a Whole: The object consists of separate parts or points: 'posterior parts,' 'back,' 'face,' 'neck.'[/b]
ii) Areas of space: 'heaven,' 'water,' 'region on the other side,' or
iii) Periods of time: 'life,' 'lifetime,' 'eternity.' (everlasting ages) 'time of youth,' 'youth,' 'time of old age,' 'old age.'
iv) Plural of 'blood':a) The Singular: Used when the blood is regarded as an organic unity: e.g., menstrual blood, blood of sacrifices (collected in a basin).b) The Plural: Indicates blood in the state of dispersion: e.g., spots or pools of blood, blood stains.c) By the figure of metonymy the plural 'blood' in dispersion is used: References: Bullinger, Figures of Speech Used in the Bible, p. 585 ff.:(1) of 'bloodshed.' (Hos 1:4) i.e. murder,(2) of 'bloodguiltiness' (Ex 22:1 ).
e. To indicate abstract ideas: The abstract plural may express the idea of a combination of conditions, qualities, or characteristics inherent in the idea of the stem, or sum up the various single acts of which an action is composed. References: GKC §124 d -f distinguish the following abstract plurals:
i) Abstract plural of quality (JMG §136 g): (originally) 'secure things,' or 'secure circumstances' then > 'safety,' 'faithfulness,' 'integrity.'
ii) Abstract plural of state: state of 'virginity,' state of 'blindness,'
iii) Abstract plural of actions which sums up the several parts of an action (GKC §124 ): 'ordination' to the priesthood (properly 'filling' of the hand), 'atonement.'
iv) Abstract plural of intensification in which the idea of the stem is intensified (GKC §124 e ): (true) 'counsel' (Deut 32:28); (thorough, complete) 'knowledge' (Isa 2:3).
f. To indicate respect: This use of the plural has also been called the plural of eminence (DHS §16 c) or the plural of excellence or majesty (GKC §124 g ).
i) GKC §124 g explains that this usage is probably an extension of the abstract plural of quality or the abstract plural of intensification in which the several characteristics of the idea of the stem are summed up or intensified.
ii) [b]Examples are (the true)'God, 'the most holy,' (the true) 'Lord.'[/b]
iii) Attributive adjectives are regularly formed in the singular with such plurals, e.g. 'just (righteous) God.'
(from Wheeler's Hebrew Syntax Notes, Copyright © 1988-2006 by Rev. Prof. Dale M. Wheeler, Ph.D. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)



I might ask your friend what causes him to look only there? In every incidence I know of, the word Elohyim translated the majority of the time as 'God', is plural, so there are at least 2000 other places to bring this up.

The true definition of the Trinity has always been a stumbling stone.

Old Joe

 2009/1/16 8:47
hmmhmm
Member



Joined: 2006/1/31
Posts: 4991
Sweden

 Re: In the beginning Gods created the heavens and the earth.

well God is "gods", arent they three :-) yet one?

1*1*1=1

That aint a very deep theological answer, but my thoughts anyway


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CHRISTIAN

 2009/1/16 9:04Profile
HeartSong
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Joined: 2006/9/13
Posts: 3172


 Re:

1/3=.333333333333333333333333333333333333333(to inifinity)

 2009/1/16 12:30Profile
Logic
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Joined: 2005/7/17
Posts: 1791


 Re:

Quote:
HeartSong wrote:
1/3=.333333333333333333333333333333333333333(to inifinity)

This ain't so presise, God is not dided into 3rds.
All Three are 100% God in & of Themselves.

 2009/1/16 14:06Profile
4givenchris
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Joined: 2008/7/15
Posts: 15
Southern California

 Re:

We want to be careful that we don't fall into modalism, that is the belief that God is one person who manifested Himself in 3 forms at various times (i.e - Like "God is like water", it can be ice, gas, and liquid - 3 forms, 1 fluid). In essence, modalism denies the Trinity. In contrast, God is just One, coexisting eternally in 3 persons. God can be all Three at once, yet still remain distinct in Himself, the Son and the Holy Ghost.

(Really any explanation falls short.)


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Chris

 2009/1/16 14:29Profile
HeartSong
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Joined: 2006/9/13
Posts: 3172


 Re:

Quote:
HeartSong wrote: 1/3=.3333333333333333333333333333(to inifinity)

Logic wrote:
This ain't so presise, God is not dided into 3rds. All Three are 100% God in & of Themselves.


Precisely. Indivisible.

 2009/1/16 14:57Profile





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