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Thursday, 16 November 2017 13:14

Teaching of a trinity depends on translation

Written by  Staff Writer

To the editor,
The first argument generally used by Orthodox Christianity to provide their teaching of a “trinity” is the opening words of Genesis, “In the beginning God ... ” arguing the Hebrew “Elohim,” which is translated “God” (and) is recognized as a masculine plural word.

What is not recognized by Orthodox Christianity is the varied sources from which the English Old Testament has been translated. There is the Yahwist source and the Elohist source, a source that is some 400 years later than the Yahwist.

With the Yahwist source, the opening words of Genesis translated are “in the beginning Yahweh ... ” Yahweh is recognized as singular.

The Elohist source was developed after the division of Israel into two kingdoms — Yahdah, the two southern tribes; and Yisrael, the 10 tribes of the northern kingdom. Yisrael developed the Elohist source to accommodate their relationship with their neighboring nations, who worshiped the deity Elohim. The Elohist source is an adulterated imitation of the Yahwist source.

Consider the Shema, Deuteronomy 6:4. The Elohist source transliterated, “Hear, O Israel, Yahweh is our Elohim, Elohim is one.” But the Yahwist source transliterated, “Hear, O Israel, Yahweh is our Father, Yahweh is one,” which was and is the confession of faith for Yahdaism. This points out that Yahweh is one and not a plurality and is understood as equivalent to the declarations of monotheism in Deuteronomy 4:35, “You were shown these things so that you might know that Yahweh is the mighty heavenly Father, and beside him there is no other.”

LeRoy W. Little
Delavan

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