Nazarene Space

Is Y'shua God? A Consideration of Colossians One and Related Texts



The Earth belongs to HaShem
"The Earth Belongs to HaShem and the Fullness Thereof."

Is Y'shua God?

A Consideration of Colossians One and Related Texts

By Yochanan ben Avraham (John of AllFaith) 01.24.10 (last updated 7.5.10)

Short answer: No.
Y'shua is "the Only Begotten Son of HaShem" as the scriptures say.
He is however uniquely divine and not simply another prophet.
He is our Cohen Gadol ("High Priest"), the Mediator between Adonai and
humanity, and will in due course fulfill the role of Mashiach (Messiah)
Adon Y'shua's Emissary Paul writes (italics is mine):

Colossians 1:12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath
translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
1:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn
of every creature
:
1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven,
and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones,
or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created
by him, and for him
:
1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things
consist.
1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
1:19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness
dwell;
1:20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

Go Here to read the biblical selections of this study in the modern English Complete Jewish Bible version.

All quotes on this page are from the Authorized King James version with
the exception of correcting our master's name.

Let's take a closer look at these verses:


Adon Y'shua as the Son of Adonai

1:12: The Father is HaShem: the God of Adam, Noah and Israel as
revealed in the Torah and Tanakh (i.e. the "Old Testament").
The Father (of the Son) is the Source of all creation. HaShem has
made
us all qualified (or "meet" in the old English) to receive our
inheritance as His sons and daughters (i.e. to inherit eternal life in
the Kingdom -- John 3:14). This is the essence of the Good News or
Gospel.

1:13: The Kingdom we have been made fit to inherit is that of "His dear Son." What is a son?

Son: noun
  • a male child or person in relation to his parents.
  • a male child or person adopted as a son; a person in the legal position of a son.
  • any male descendant: eg. a son of Israel.
  • a son-in-law.
  • a person related as if by ties of sonship.
  • a male person looked upon as the product or result of particular agencies, forces, influences, etc.: eg. a true son of the soil.
  • a familiar term of address to a man or boy from an older person, an ecclesiastic, etc.

Throughout the books of the B'rit Hadashah (or "New Testament") HaShem is referenced as the Father. Y'shua is referred to as His Son. A
son is not the same person as his father even though they share certain
traits which the son inherits from the father. When referring to Y'shua
the word "Son" is generally capitalized in English language Bibles to
show that his Sonship with the Father is unique: Y'shua is the "Only
Begotten Son." He is in a unique position as "the only begotten" as will
be discussed below.

1:14 It is Y'shua of Nazareth who has earned our redemption. HaShem "earns" nothing, everything belong to Him and yet we are utterly indebted to Y'shua for what he has done to earn our salvation. The Kingdom has been earned by Y'shua and we are all indebted to him due to his work of redemption:

Philippians 2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
God has exalted Y'shua. The language is clearly of one being exalting another due to his accomplishments.


1:15: "The image of the invisible God:" "Image" here is the Greek word eiko and means (according to Strongs' G1503) a likeness, that is, (literally) statue, profile, or (figuratively) representation, resemblance: - image.

Adon Y'shua as the Reflection of Adonai


How is Y'shua the image or reflection of HaShem? He answers this question for us:

John 5:30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own
will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.
5:31 If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.
5:32 There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true.
Such verses make no sense if Y'shua is literally his own father -- and of course being ones own father makes no sense either.


What the text is telling us that is that Y'shua is the perfect and undefiled eiko or reflection of HaShem's Will and Mind. An eiko is not the original. It is a reflection of the original, as a son is a reflection his father, although in perfection in this case.

Adon Y'shua as the Firstborn of Adonai


Y'shua is "...the firstborn of every creature..." According to the text Y'shua was the first born or first created of all of HaShem's creations. Again this directly states that Adon Y'shua is a created being while HaShem is not. HaShem is the creator of all.

This word "firstborn" tells us a lot. It is, in the Greek, prototok'os from which we get the word prototype. HaShem has no beginning, middle nor end. When HaShem decided to begin creation He first created a perfect prototype: Y'shua.

From and through that Prototype all else was created. This is what the emissary of HaShem, under direction of the Ruach HaKodesh, is seeking to explain. Some of this material is, as Peter explained concerning Paul's writings, difficult to understand (II Peter 3:16). Paul is here speaking of events that occurred before the dawn of creation and explaining how it is that Adon Y'shua -- whom his readers knew had lived and died just a few short years before and some had even known personally-- had not only already existed but had done so in such an awesome situation. This is truly difficult to understand!

Adon Y'shua as the Logos of Adonai

We now turn our attention to John chapter one in order to understand how this prototype was employed to manifest the creation into material existence.

It is clear that Adon Y'shua is the Word referenced here. We will now seek deeper understanding of what this means by considering the opening verses of the Book of John:

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
There is strong reason to believe that the books of the B'rit Hadashah ("New Testament") were originally composed in Hebrew (note 1). This at times makes interpretation tricky as we are going from a now lost Hebrew text through a Greek translation and then into English. Remember that the Greek word translated here as "Word" (logos) is actually conveying a Hebrew concept rather

than the multifaceted Greek term. The Greek word has many meanings however when read in terms of Jewish theology its meaning is clarified for us.

Logos as the Torah of Adonai

The Word is God's Torah, God's True Utterance/Wisdom/Purposes:
Genesis 1:3 And God said...

Psalm 119:160 Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.

Adonai's Torah was the spark of creation when HaShem said: "Let there be light." His Word brought about all existence ex nihilo, from nothingness when "God said, Let us make man in our image..." HaShem's eternal Torah is His Word and Purpose.

The Torah was present in Eden and partially revealed to Adam and Eve. Later it was further revealed to Noach and later still more fully to Avraham and still later to Moshe. Torah was carried through the wilderness and later placed within

the Beit HaMikdash (the holy Temple). It is partially transcribed as the Pentateuch (the five books of Moshe). The Word was further disclosed in the Tanakh and expounded in the Talmud, the Mishnah, and so on by the elders of
Elders. Torah is eternal.


Of the Torah before Moses we read:

Origin and Preexistence:
"Moses received the Torah from Sinai" (Avot 1:1). Yet there is an
ancient tradition that the Torah existed in heaven not only before God revealed it to Moses, but even before the world was created. The apocryphal book The Wisdom of Ben Sira identified the Torah
with preexistent personified wisdom (1:1–5, 26; 15:1; 24:1ff.; 34:8; cf. Prov. 8:22–31). In rabbinic literature, it was taught that the Torah
was one of the six or seven things created prior to the creation of the
world (Gen. R. 1:4; Pes. 54a, et al.).
For more on this topic see The Jewish Virtual Library
This is the very point being made here in John 1. The Word that was "in
the beginning" is this preexisting eternal Torah. The word "Torah" refers to different reflections of the eternal Torah depending on the context. The "Word" being discussed at John 1 should not therefore be thought of as book or series of scrolls, but as the eternal Torah, the Word created by HaShem at the dawn of creation before anything else.

Through Torah HaShem created all.

John 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God.
--- This Wisdom, this Truth was created by God in the beginning of
creation.
John 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing
made that was made.
--- All things were made by HaShem. Everything else that exists is built
upon the foundation He established. Matter can be manipulated but not
created by anyone other than HaShem. HaShem created everything "through" His Torah

Now here is where the nature of Adon Y'shua is revealed! John 1:4 -- In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

--- The Word or Torah was present and fully harmonious with HaShem at
the beginning. Now we are seeing the personification of Torah reflected
as an individual being. Remember that Colossians 1:12 says we have been made "partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light."

We continue... John 1:5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness
comprehended it not.

--- The Light of God's Truth, the Heavenly Torah or Word, has been
shining into the world since the point of its creation, however
humankind was disobedient and limited in our understanding of what was
revealed.


Through Adam that Light was revealed but he and his wife disobeyed Torah and went their own ways. Later our father Noach was spared and
received the Noachide Covenant that brought the Light to all humankind
but again that Light was rejected as humanity went its own way.


The Light of Truth was then clarified for the Hebrews as the Mosaic Law. The Torah was revealed as the Written Torah, however again the people did not obey it. Through legalism and the traditions of men knowledge of Torah became confused, adulterated and again disobeyed.


But then in due course HaShem sent His Son Adon Y'shua to reform Judaism and rekindle the love of HaShem that underscores proper Torah
observance. Not everyone accepted the reforms of Y'shua but many did,
both Jews and Gentiles.


By the third century CE however the Way of Y'shua was being undermined by
the Nicolaitan Heresy
and his reforms and teachings were contaminated. Among these
non-biblical (even anti-biblical) doctrines was the introduction of the
dogma of the deity of Y'shua and the Trinity that challenges the very
Oneness of HaShem:

Deuteronomy 6:4 Sh'ma Yis'ra'eil Adonai Eloheinu Adonai echad:
"Hear, Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One."

This period of contamination referenced by Adon Y'shua as the Times of the Gentiles (Luke 21:24) is now drawing to a close (Rev. 3:14-15).


Once again HaShem is preparing those who would serve Him in spirit and in truth for what is coming. This is the reason for the growing interest
in rediscovering the original reform movement of Adon Y'shua. This
growing desire to rediscover and return to biblical religion is a
wonderful thing. This desire is the inspiration behind this website.
This rediscovery movement must be willing to abandon all
doctrinal alterations made by Pagan Rome if is to be successful in
sounding the clarion call of Adon Y'shua HaNatzrati. This includes
rejecting the Pagan doctrine of the Trinity that seeks to compromise the
absolute oneness of HaShem our Adonai. We need to do this in love,
always remembering that at the present time we can see but glimpses of
Light as we gaze in the mirror of God's Truth (I Corinthians 3:12). We
need to understand that before the coming of the sun we have yet to pass
through the darkest portion of the night: the Great Tribulation.
Promises of a Rapture or
"End Time Revival" are deceiving millions of people. We need to be
preparing to stand, not to escape what lies ahead.


John 1:6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John [Yochanan].
--- This of course was John the Baptizer who came to point the way to
Adon Y'shua and to warn the people to repent. Had they done so Y'shua
would have established the Kingdom and taken upon himself the mantle of
Mashiach (Psalms
110
).

This window of opportunity would not last forever however. Because the elders of Israel repeatedly refused to bow to HaShem in genuine
repentance this opportunity closed as the Times of the Gentiles began.
As we read:

Acts 13:46 Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God
should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and
judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the
Gentiles.
13:47 For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a
light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the
ends of the earth.
13:48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified
the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life
believed.

John 1:7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light,
that all men through him might believe.
--- John bore witness to the Light of God's Torah and warned the people
to return to proper Torah observance and to accept Y'shua as Cohen Gadol
(our mediator with HaShem). Had they done so the Kingdom would had been
established (Matthew 3:1,2)
John 1:8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that
Light.
--- John was a man, a holy prophet of HaShem. He bore witness that
HaShem was about to manifest His Light to the world as never before in
the person of His dear Son.
John 1:9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh
into the world.
--- Again, the Torah is the light given to every human, to every
creature, that comes into the worlds.
John 1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the
world knew him not.
--- Now we see that something different is happening. John was "in the
world" but he was not that Light, but watch this, John was proclaiming
that the Light of Heavenly Torah had entered the world in a new and
unique way! He proclaimed that the Torah had been made flesh (see verse 14 below)!
John 1:11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
--- Scriptures confirms this:
Matthew 15:24 But he [ie Y'shua] answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

In the person of Y'shua the Light of heavenly Torah entered the world in human form! Most Nicene Christians say Y'shua was the Word however
few truly understand the immensity of this claim. Adon Y'shua, our
master, is the very image or reflection -- the eiko -- of HaShem's eternal Torah! No wonder he could say:

John 14:9 ... he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
14:10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become
the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
--- Adon Y'shua manifested the Torah or Light of HaShem to the Jews
first ('...but his own received him not') and then to the entire world
(Matthew 28:18-20). To all who accept that Light, that Torah, HaShem
grants the power to arise as His sons and daughters as stated in the 82nd Psalm. . HaShem is now
preparing his servants for the establishment of the coming Messianic
Kingdom where Y'shua will rule as HaMashiach: King of Israel and
overlord of the earth.
John 1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the fle... John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we
beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father) full of grace and truth.
--- The point is further clarified here. The eternal Torah was
manifested in human form as Y'shua, the first born of HaShem and the
only being created by Him without Y'shua as mediator.

Continuing now with our consideration of Colossians One:

Colossians 1:16: Y'shua was the firstborn of all creation, the prototype of all that followed. This includes not only things of the earth, the material manifestation, but also of all things in Heaven, the Ouranos or spirit realms. Nothing existed prior to Y'shua and nothing exists apart from Him.


Note that "all things were created by him, and for him." The biblical presentation is hierarchical. We can more fully understand this verse if we consider the following:

1 Corinthians 15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept....
15:24 Then cometh the end, when he [ie Y'shua] shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
15:25 For he [ie Y'shua] must reign, till he hath put all enemies under
his feet.
15:26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
15:27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all
things are put under him [ie under HaShem], it is manifest that he [ie
Y'shua] is excepted, which did put all things under him.
15:28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him [ie Y'shua], then
shall the Son also himself be subject unto him [ie HaShem] that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.
This is the biblical hierarchy. Y'shua is the firstborn of all creation. During the final seven years of the age (and perfected during the thousand year theocratic kingdom) all things will be subject to Y'shua HaMashiach as he sits upon the Throne of David (Isaiah 9:7; Psalm110). At the conclusion of the thousand year theocratic kingdom the war of Gog ofMagog will take place. Once that war is concluded Adon Y'shua himself, having placed everything under his own authority, will then submit himself and everything he has to HaShem and the Rebellion will be no more.


Colossians 1:17: Y'shua is therefore already the head of everything, but there remains the matter of the Luciferian rebellion.


1:18: As Cohen Gadol he is the head of the Church, our mediator with HaShem. In the future Y'shua will rule as Mashiach and the whole world will bow to his lordship and authority (Zechariah 8:20-23).

1:19: "For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell." See this? It pleased the Father (HaShem), that Y'shua (His Son) should serve Him in this role, that in him the fullness of God's Will, His Torah or Word, should dwell bodily:


This is the meaning of the following often cited verse:

Colossians 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

And again:

John 14:9 Y'shua saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the
Father?
14:10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the
Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
Everything Y'shua does, his every thought, word and deed, is in perfect harmony with that of the Father. As our Elder Brother (Hebrews 2:11) he is the example we should follow. This is the testimony of John 14:10.


Adon Y'shua completely and perfectly serves the Father. Yet with even this perfect oneness Y'shua stated that he not have absolute knowledge. The Master tells us:

Mark 13:32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.
Colossians 1:20: The world has already been reconciled to HaShem through Y'shua. This reconciliation was completed at Calvary, however the Luciferian rebellion will continue until the Times of the Gentiles are fulfilled (Luke 21:24), the Man of Sin is revealed (II Thessalonians 2:3) and destroyed, and the Theocratic Kingdom is inaugurated. I discuss this in more detail in other studies on my prophecy site and in depth in my verse by verse commentary on the Revelation of Y'shua.

The point here is that Adon Y'shua is the pure reflection of HaShem, our exemplar and our Way to the Father.


If you have more questions about this topic read the other studies on my websites and blogs or Contact me directly.

May HaShem and our Adon, Y'shua HaNatzrati bless and enlighten you,

~ Yochanan ben Avraham

~ John of AllFaith




Children
Of Noah
The Noahide Nazarene Way
Jewish Studies
Christian Studies
Thus Say the Prophets
John of AllFaith's Main Blog
AllFaith.com

Views: 1469

Comment by Rabbi Yochanan ben Avraham on July 9, 2010 at 11:40am
Thanks for your comment.
I may agree with you here...

That's why I begin this by saying "Short answer: No [he is not God -- HaShem].
... He is however uniquely divine and not simply another prophet."

According to Paul Y'shua was the first being created by HaShem and the only being created by Him without an assistant. All other beings were created by HaShem through Y'shua as intermediary.

Shalom
Comment by Rabbi Yochanan ben Avraham on July 10, 2010 at 5:55pm
Sounds harmonious to me then.

The Trinity as conceived by the Nicene Church is contrary to the clearly and frequently stated absolute Oneness of Adonai.

Consider that HaShem pronounced that for the duration of his service Moshe was "Adonai" and Aaron would be his prophet (Exodus 7:1). Y'shua is even 'greater" than Moshe and he is, in that context, "Adonai" -- being the ultimate Cohen Gadol and coming Mashiach and utterly One with the Father.

As to the pre-advent appearances (the angel of HaShem that appeared to Avraham etc) those are debatable and not so important in my view. Certainly the Only Begotten Son of HaShem has been intimately involved since the beginning of "time" and will continue to so be.

The Ruach HaKodesh is the Holy Spirit Presence of HaShem and is not a separate "Person" of a Triune God.

God's Oneness is absolute.

Shabbat Shalom,
~ Yochanan
Comment by James Trimm on July 10, 2010 at 6:00pm
Let me address the issue of "persons"

How Christendom got Three Persons

In Hebrew and in Aramaic there are a number of terms used to describe the three elements of the Godhead.

These include:

KAVIM (pillars)

TZACHTZACHOT (splendors; supernal lights)

GAUNIN (elements, substances, modes, surfaces, aspects)

K'NUMEH (substances, real existences, elements, aspects,)

(GAUNIN (Nynwg) and K'NUMEH (hmwnq) are near synonyms are simply used in different dialects of Aramaic to mean the same thing)

Now the terms KAVIM (pillars) and TZACHTZACHOT (splendors) are somewhat allegorical terms while GAUNIN & K'NUMEH are more literally descriptive. Therefore for this purpose we will use the term K'NUMEH (but remember it is a synonym for GAUNIN).

The Aramaic Zohar says for example:

The [profession of] unity that every day is [a profession of] unity is to be understood and to be perceived. We have said in many places that this prayer is a profession of Unity that is proclaimed:


“Hear O Yisrael, YHWH“ first, [then] “Eloheynu” [and] “YHWH” they are all One and thus He is called “One”.

Behold, these are three names, how can they be one? Is it because we call them one? (Literally: And also concerning the proclamation that we call them one?). How these are one can only through the vision of the Holy Sprit be known? And these are through the vision of the closed eye (or the hidden eye) To make known that these three are one (i.e. a Tri-Unity).

And this is the mystery of the voice that is heard. The voice is one.
And is three GAUNIN: fire and air and water. And all these are one
in the mystery of the voice.



And also here “YHWH, Eloheynu, YHWH” these are One. Three GAUNIN that are One. And this is the voice of the act of a son of man in [proclaiming] the Unity. And to which he sees by the Unity of the “All” from Eyn Sof (the Infinite One) to the end of the “All”. Because of the voice in which it is done, in these are three that are one (i.e. a Tri-Unity).

And this is the [profession] of the daily profession of Unity that is revealed in the mystery of the Holy Spirit.


And there are many GAUNIN that are a Unity, and all of them are true, what the one does, that the other does, and what that one does, the other does.
(Zohar 2:43)

The Aramaic "formula" was/is that there are three K'NUMEH but only one PARSOPA ("Person" or "Kyana").

Thus the Aramaic of Jn. 5:26 reads:

For as the Father has life in his K’NUMA,
Thus he gave also to the Son to have life in his K’NUMA.
(K’NUMA is singular for K’NUMEH)

Now the Greek and Latin Fathers enter and attempt to place these ideas into Greek and Latin terminology. The results were disastrous.

The "Old School" Greek theologians said that there were three HYPOSTASES (substances) but only one PROSOPON (person), Beginning in the fourth century the "New School" Greek Theologians began to formulate that there were three PROSOPONs (persons) but only one HYPOSTASIS (substance).

This may have occurred because of ambiguity of these Greek words or because of similar meanings of Greek Hypostasis and Latin PERSONA (both referring to masks used in theater) Or because of influence from Paganism or all of the above.

The Latin "Church Fathers" then followed the late Greeks with the formulation that there are three PERSONAS that are one SUBSTANTIA in the Godhead.

At any rate Rome swept this under the rug at the Council of Alexandria in 362 at which Rome declared that the Old Greek Theologians had meant PERSONA when they used the Greek word HYPOSTASIS and that the Old Greek Theologians had meant SUBSTANTIA when they had used the Greek word PROSOPON.

The final result was the evolution of the Christian concept of a Trinity of three PERSONS who are one in SUBSTANCE.
Comment by James Trimm on July 10, 2010 at 6:22pm
Now here is the issue with the question of "persons" in the "Trinity"/"Tri-Unity"?

If you look up the word "person" in Webster's UNABRIDGED dictionary you will find that the primary definition is "human being". Now obviously Elohim is not a human being, much less three human beings. The last definition in the UNABRIDGED Dictionary is "any of the three modes of the Trinity"... so by specail definition of the word, apart from any other meaning of the English word "person" any of the three elements of the Tri-Unity may be called a "person". However I would avoid that terminology because it is misleading.

Also in your earlier post you described Messiah as being not "God" but a reflection of God.

I would say that Messiah is the Image of YHWH, but I would also say that in biblical terms he Image of YHWH is called YHWH or Elohim. I would say that the Image of YHWH is not Ayn Sof, but is that which is often called Elohim in Scripture. I would add that this is true of all three pillars are finite reflections of the infinite Ayn Sof and all are called YHWH in Scripture. White the Messiah is not Ayn Sof, neither is the Father ("Father" is a finite, definable concept).

Aryeh Kaplan in his Commentary to the Sefer Yetzirah puts it this way:

"In general none of the names of God refer to the Creator Himself. The Creator is only referred to as Ayn Sof, which means the Infinite Being, or simply, the Infinite. The names used in scripture and elsewhere merely refer to the vatious ways through which God manifests Himself in creation. The name Elohim, which is used throughout the first chapter of Genesis, refers to the manifestation of delineation and definition."
(Sefer Yetzirah p. 7)

I would slightly differ in identifying the Creator with Elohim and not with Ayn Sof. Ayn Sof emanated the Creator and the Creator created all created things. Notice that Eccl. 12:1 refers to the "Creator" in the Hebrew in the plural form.
Comment by Rabbi Yochanan ben Avraham on July 10, 2010 at 7:16pm
Thanks for this answer Brother James,

Hopefully this is an area where it is acceptable to "agree to disagree." I've laid out my views on this topic here and while I am always open to deeper insight, I believe the Bible is very clear on this matter.

Overall I've been impressed by your scholarship and offerings here and will soon have time to continue with the correspondence course.

As far I can see the Torah is very clear that HaShem is One and Indivisible. This was the principle realization that began the "Avrahamic revolution." Without this Truth "biblical religion" becomes just another polytheistic creed. The Torah's authority is that there is but One God and He said...

The advocates of the Zohar agree with that determination as well and would never question the Oneness of Adonai. References to their works must be understood in the context of their strict monotheistic views or their various points will be lost. Dividing the Unity of the Eternal One is never their point in such discussions.

In the Tree of Life there are individualized spirits of HaShem (the Shekhinah, the Ruach HaKodesh etc) used as archetypes, but these are never accepted as separate beings of a godhead by the Kabbalists. If they were HaShem would be composed of 10 Persons -- eleven I guess, the ten spirits of the Sefirot plus Y'shua -- rather than just the three. Also, why the Ruach HaKodesh for the godhead rather than Shekhinah as the third Persona? Originally the Catholics wanted a Father, Mother and Child and Shekhinah was considered rather than Ruach HaKodesh. Shekhinah is presented “as the personification and hypostatis of God’s indwelling presence in the world" and yet never as a member of a godhead.

Jewish Kabbalists understand that these are descriptions of the transcendent Spirit of HaShem active in the ten fields leading up to EnSoph, not separate persons of a godhead. Attempts to use their teachings to undermine the Oneness are problematic on many levels.

As HaShem limitedly reveals Himself He does so in various ways to help our comprehension, however Shema and the other clear pronouncements in the Tanakh are abundantly clear (Deuteronomy 6;4). The Zohar, the Greek philosophers and other sources must be harmonious with the Torah if they are to be accepted.

Because of our lack of ability to comprehend HaShem's utter transcendence these various expressions are used.

Besides, time and time again Y'shua proclaimed that "the Father is greater than I," that "It is not I that speaks but the Father who speaks through me," that "came to do the will of He who sent me" and so on.

We are warned by Paul, John and others about the Nicolaitan Heresy that was creeping into the Way movement even then. As gentiles began replacing Jews within the Way/Nazarene movement they began inserting various Pagan doctrines and establishing justifications for them -- as you discuss here at various places on other topics. This is what the linguistic debates you reference were all about.

These men were converts and others who were largely ignorant of Torah seeking to justify their own Pagan doctrines and alter the Nazarene Way teachings of Y'shua. Soon they went so far as to outlaw "Judaizing" thus removing all Torah principles from their new religion.

The books of the B'rit Hadashah like the Tanakh was written in Hebrew. The Aramaic and Koine Greek versions were already contaminated and being edited and interpreted according to Pagan dogma. The men we call the "early church fathers" were in many cases already busy altering the teachings into more Roman harmonious doctrines. I know you know this in other areas, I guess I just don't understand why you don't see it in this one. The various Pagan religions worshiped triune gods. The God of Am Israel is fiercely monotheistic.
Comment by Rabbi Yochanan ben Avraham on July 10, 2010 at 8:29pm
Hi again James,

... You wrote: I would say that Messiah is the Image of YHWH, but I would also say that in biblical terms he Image of YHWH is called YHWH or Elohim.

I'm not sure how nitty gritty to go here... some things are mere semantics and pointless to debate... however I would say the pre-incarnate Son (who became known as Y'shua) was created as the image or reflection of HaShem for the creation and eventual restitution of all things (Hebrews 9:26). Mashiach is a title held historically by many people that references what Y'shua -- as THE Mashiach -- will accomplish in the future.

The Holy Name (HaShem) is God's Personal Name while Elohiym is one of His many titles. Y'shua, Moshe and others are in a sense reflections of El Gibbor etc. because they act as elohiym (gods) because they are authorized by HaShem to be His representatives, generals etc. Y'shua confirmed this when he said, "Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?" referencing the Psalm. However the Holy Name references God's individual Person. Elohiym etc does not. Those are titles. Adon Y'shua is the Only Begotten Son of HaShem, not HaShem.

... James wrote: You wrote: ... I would say that the Image of YHWH is not Ayn Sof, but is that which is often called Elohim in Scripture.

If anything from a Kabbalistic point of view HaShem is the image of En Soph rather than the other way around. En Soph is beyond conception while HaShem is revealed to man for comprehension (Exodus 6:3). This is why, as I posted to your blog, Gershom Scholem expressed his concern that the idea might be taken to mean the division of the absolute Oneness of HaShem which, he said, would clearly be heretical.

The term Elohiym is used to refer to many gods other than HaShem (Exodus 23:24 etc.) -- although it does of course have some very interesting potential meanings. In the Tanakh "elohiym" simply means "god" depending on the context. It can refer to HaShem but in a less personal way and can just as easily refer to other gods.

You Wrote: ... I would add that this is true of all three pillars are finite reflections of the infinite Ayn Sof and all are called YHWH in Scripture. White the Messiah is not Ayn Sof, neither is the Father ("Father" is a finite, definable concept).

For Kabbalists En Soph (or Ayn Sof) is the pure origin/source of "the Father." In no way is 'the Son" En Soph as he was created. The formula "destroy everything and "God" would remain, destroy "God" and nothing would remain" would work as En Soph alone would remain because the "the Father" proceeds from En Soph. Ultimate there is only "the No-Thing" according to Kabbalistic conjecture. As a created being (Colossians 1:15) the Son has an origin. As En Soph HaShem does not. So again, while the Son is exalted above all creation, he is not HaShem not part of a godhead with Him.

Sefer Yetzirah p. 7 (which you cite) makes my point precisely, however his language there is based upon a set doctrinal foundation already establish in the text. En Soph is not the Creator because that would attribute a quality which can not be done. It is more accurate according to his views to say that HaShem, the Creator, manifests from En Soph as the true Elohiym who is later revealed as HaShem to His servants. According to Paul in Colossians and John (in chapter 1 of his Gospel) after HaShem is revealed the Son/Word is created (not revealed) and through him all existence is created.

This places the Son in a unique role as the "Only Begotten" but unlike HaShem he still is a created being rather than a revelation of En Soph.

--- I would slightly differ in identifying the Creator with Elohim and not with Ayn Sof. Ayn Sof emanated the Creator and the Creator created all created things. Notice that Eccl. 12:1 refers to the "Creator" in the Hebrew in the plural form.

While "bara" or creator is only used in the Bible of the True Creator, it is still used as a title (like elohiym is ) rather than as the proper Name HaShem is used. I would say therefore that if we wish to accept the Kabbalistic conception (which I pretty much do) then HaShem is the "knowable Name" of the true elohiym and that the Kabbalists, seeking deeper insight into the unfathomable nature of HaShem theorize Him as En Soph.
Comment by James Trimm on July 11, 2010 at 5:34pm
OK it looks like we are left with two primary issues:

1. Was Messiah (the Word) a created being?

You cite Col. 1:15 as evidence that Messiah was a created being, obviously referencing the phrase "firstborn of all creation".

The term "firstborn" in English happens to be a compound word made of the two words "first" and "born". this is not true in the Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek. In Hebrew and Aramaic the word is BIKUR and in Greek PROTOTOKOS. This is not the same as "first born" or "first created".

In Psalm 89:27 the term refers to King David, who was YOUNGEST of his brothers (1Sam. 16:1-13). The LXX uses PROTOTOKOS and the Hebrew uses BIKUR. Ephraim, Yoseph's second child (Gen. 41:52) yet Jer. 31:9 calls him "firstborn" (same Hebrew and Greek words). In Gen. 25.29 Ya'akov buys the "firstborn" status from Esau. The term "firstborn" indicates the primary heir, and does not always indicate the "first born" or "first created".

In fact the very next verse tells us that Messiah created all created things. Now as a matter of logic, if we categorize all things as "created" and "uncreated" and if we classify Messiah as "created", and if Messiah created ALL "created things" then Messiah would have to have created himself, a logical impossibility.

Messiah is the Wisdom of YHWH (1Cor. 1:24) if Messiah was "created" then there was a time when YHWH had no wisdom.

The Word was eternally existent within Eyn Sof and was emanated or "brought forth" out of Eyn Sof.

The Word then created all created things.

I will address the matter of the Oneness of YHWH in a separate post soon.
Comment by Rabbi Yochanan ben Avraham on July 11, 2010 at 7:53pm
Howdy and thanks James,

--- James: ...In Hebrew and Aramaic the word is BIKUR and in Greek PROTOTOKOS. This is not the same as "first born" or "first created"...

How do we know this without having the Hebrew texts of the New Testament? All we have is the Greek and Aramaic translations of translations passed down from the "church fathers" of the assumed Hebrew originals. Is there some way to know that the Hebrew original used the term "Bikur" here? I don't see how. It could be like "church" instead of assembly (as you discuss in the correspondence course) or like "world" instead of age at Matthew 24.

Prōtotokos in Greek does properly translate as "first born," which is harmonious with the teaching that Y'shua was the "only begotten" in many other verses. In the Greek prototokos is the same as "prototype." A prototype is first created as the pattern for what is to come. It is not, as you point out and as I also say in the study, quite the same as "first born" but it is what is created first (before what follows). Hence, while the translation may not be perfect, the idea is clearly contained with it. Correct?

Bâkar, from which bikur comes does reference the birthright (which Y'shua has of course partly due to being the first born and partly because he has "earned" it as verses 14 and elsewhere shows), however it is the context that must be considered not just the word.

The next verse (Colossians 1:16) says "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible,..." thus showing that he was in fact the first born of all creation. Since everything else came to be afterward and, as John 1 confirms, through him. Again, verse 19 adds "For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell..." showing the Father to be "Other" to him with whom the Father was pleased.

--- James ... In fact the very next verse tells us that Messiah created all created things.

As I say in the piece. The Only Begotten Son was created as the prototype (prōtotokos) and through him all else was created. He was "begotten" first and was the only one directly begotten by the Father. All else came through him.

--- James: .... if we classify Messiah as "created", and if Messiah created ALL "created things" then Messiah would have to have created himself, a logical impossibility.

Not so. The Word says the Son is the "Only Begotten of the Father." There is no other logical reason for this comment than as I have presented it in my opinion. The Father "begot" the Son as His "prototype" and then through the Son create all else. In the end of all things everything will be submitted unto the Son (as psalm 110 says) and the Son himself will become subject to the Father than HaShem (again as En Soph) will be all in all (I Corinthians 15:28). -- leaving some interesting questions no related to us at this point.

--- James... Messiah is the Wisdom of YHWH (1Cor. 1:24) if Messiah was "created" then there was a time when YHWH had no wisdom.

Torah is the Wisdom of HaShem and as I think we agree Y'shua is the Torah/Word in the flesh. Prior to the creation of "other" there would be no "wisdom" as there was only En Soph and En Soph transcends all qualities, attributes and so on. We know cold because we know heat etc.

Hence from En Soph HaShem took on "Otherness" and Wisdom / the Son was born or "begotten." There was nothing else. Through the Son HaShem then proceeded with the creation. This is perfectly harmonious with the Torah and the Oneness of HaShem and work of the Son.

-- James: ... The Word was eternally existent within Eyn Sof and was emanated or "brought forth" out of Eyn Sof...

That can not actually be asserted according to the accepted meaning/definition of En Soph. En Soph transcends all qualities and attributes. That would include Chokmah. One can not correctly ascribe qualities and attributes to En Soph.

Of course one can argue that everything that is was/is "contained within En Soph" however even then "it" was in an utterly an unmanifest state.

Thanks again James. I look forward to your next post.

Just to be clear about where I'm coming from with this, the nature of Y'shua as "an elohiym" or god/divine being is not a problem for me. My issue is with the "violation" of the Absolute Oneness of HaShem demanded by the Written Torah. Y'shua is so at-one with HaShem as to be non-different, to see him is to see the Father as he told us. I can easily agree to disagree on this matter for this reason, however I can not agree with the notion that the Holy One is not One.

Shalom
~ Yochanan
Comment by James Trimm on July 11, 2010 at 8:26pm
The Aramaic was not translated from the Greek, but vice-verse.
See my book the Hebrew and Aramaic Origin of the New Testament
http://www.lulu.com/nazarene

Also as I have shown, the word is used in the LXX in contexts that refer to the primary heir where the person involved was not the "First Born" or "First Created" (Ephraim and David) therfore one cannot insist that it requires Messiah to have been "First Created" or "First Born" so it does not mean that when it is applied in the LXX to David and Ephraim.
Comment by James Trimm on July 11, 2010 at 8:31pm
Echad: Unity of the Godhead

Now with all of this discussion about the plural nature of the Godhead, we must not lose sight of the primary tenant of Judaism, the Sh'ma. The Sh'ma declares the oneness of the Godhead as follows:

Hear O Israel: YHWH your ELOHIM YHWH is ECHAD
(Dt. 6:4a)

Now this text stresses the oneness (echad) of YHWH. The question remains however, what in light of the plural nature of the Godhead, does "ECHAD" really mean?

The Hebrew word "echad" means "one" or "a unity." This word appears in several passages in the Torah, which make it clear that echad may refer to a unity:

Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one [echad] flesh.
(Gen. 2:24)

And YHWH said, "Indeed the people are one [echad] and they all have one language...
(Gen. 11:6)

Now Deut. 6:4 states:

Hear O Israel: YHWH your Elohim YHWH is one [echad]

This passage could be read to mean that YHWH, Elohim and YHWH are echad (a unity.) In fact this is exactly the interpretation given to this passage by the Zohar:

The [profession of] unity that every day is [a profession of] unity is to be understood and to be perceived. We have said in many places that this prayer is a profession of Unity that is proclaimed:

[and] “YHWH” they are all One and thus He is called “One”.

Behold, these are three names, how can they be one? Is it because we call them one? (Literally: And also concerning the proclamation that we call them one?). How these are one can only through the vision of the Holy Sprit be known? And these are through the vision of the closed eye (or the hidden eye) To make known that these three are one (i.e. a Tri-Unity).

And this is the mystery of the voice that is heard. The voice is one.
And is three GAUNIN: fire and air and water. And all these are one
in the mystery of the voice.

And also here “YHWH, Eloheynu, YHWH” these are One. Three GAUNIN that are One. And this is the voice of the act of a son of man in [proclaiming] the Unity. And to which he sees by the Unity of the “All” from Eyn Sof (the Infinite One) to the end of the “All”. Because of the voice in which it is done, in these are three that are one (i.e. a Tri-Unity).

And this is the [profession] of the daily profession of Unity
that is revealed in the mystery of the Holy Spirit.

And there are many GAUNIN that are a Unity, and all of them are true, what the one does, that the other does, and what that one does, the other does.
(Zohar 2:43)

Comment

You need to be a member of Nazarene Space to add comments!

Join Nazarene Space

 

 

 

















 

LINKS

 

 

 

 

Badge

Loading…

© 2019   Created by James Trimm.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service