A Question I Was Asked:



Is 'Elohim' Trinitarian?







UK Apologetics Reply:


Many would say so, but, to be more accurate, 'Elohim,' is not necessarily trinitarian, yet it must refer to three or more.

Armstrongist preachers always used to state that 'Elohim,' as the Hebrew word translated as 'God' on well over 2,000 occasions in the Old Testament, referred to God the Father, and the Word, who became Jesus Christ; that is: it just referred to those two. Armstrongism, of course, doesn't accept the Holy Trinity. Yet, technically, that argument cannot be correct because in that case the word 'Elohiam' would need to be used (referring to precisely two but no more), yet it is Elohim which is used on over 2,000 Old Testament occasions, meaning three or more. Of course, this fits in perfectly with the Holy Trinity although we should stress that Elohim, as a uni-plural noun, could refer to more than three persons, yet it cannot refer to just two since that breaks the laws of Hebrew grammar. Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar is the authority for stating this and if anybody should get hold of this book (not easy), page 244 is the one to consult.

So it is 'El' which is the singular form of this word, 'Elohiam' the dual version, but 'Elohim' the plural version. The evidence seems strong (though not fully conclusive) that this word was used of God in the Old Testament in the knowledge that God is a Trinity, but 'Elohim' could not be used if God only included the Father and the One who later became Jesus Christ.
Robin A. Brace. September 12th, 2009.

UK APOLOGETICS HOME