Nazarene Space

The Deity of Messiah
And
The Three Pillars of the Godhead
By James Scott Trimm

Part 3 The Trinities of Christendom


Three Persons?

Now as shown in part one, the Aramaic “New Testament” refers to the components of the Godhead as K’NUMA (sing.)/K’NUMEH (plural). As we have learned both the Biblical and Jewish model of the Godhead contains two contrasting K’NUMEH/GAUNIN and a third K’NUMA/GAUN which was a combination or harmonization of the other two. This third K’NUMA/GAUN is the Son of Yah.

The original Aramaic followers of Yeshua maintained that there were three K’NUMEH and one PARSOPA or one KYANA. This Aramaic terminology continued to be used by the Aramaic speaking Assyrian Christians of the Church of the East (and still is).

The early Greek speaking believers used the Greek words HYPOSTASIS for K’NUMA and PROSOPON for PARSOPA. They maintained a belief in a Godhead with three HYPOSASIS (aspects, substances) and one PROSAPON (person). The earliest Greek “Church Fathers” also used these terms. However the later Greek “Church Fathers” inverted this formulation creating a Godhead of three PROSAPONS (persons) who are one in HYPOSTASIS (essence). Finally the Latin “Church Fathers” formulates a Trinity with three PERSONAS (persons) and only one SUBSTANTIA (essence. Substance).

Now by the year 362 C.E. the Roman Church had become embroiled in a crisis. The conflict in terminology was becoming a problem for Rome. Rome was promoting a Trinity with three persons (PERSONA) in one substance (SUBSTANTIA) but this formula was in conflict with the early Greek “Church Fathers”, a formulation which many Greek speaking Christians still held to. This left the Greek speaking Christians in a dispute. Some held to a Godhead with three aspects (HYPOSTASIS) and one person (PROSPOPON) while others held to a Trinity with three persons (PROSOPONS) who are one in substance/essence (HYPOSTASIS). The Ecclesiastical Council of Alexandria was held in 362 to resolve this dispute. The whole matter was wept under the rug at this council when Rome ruled that both Greek schools were using different words to say the same thing. Rome ruled that the “Old School” Greeks MEANT “PERSONA” when they used HYPOSTASIS and that they had MEANT “SUBSTANTIA” when they used the term PROSOPON. Thus Rome had succeeded in transforming the triune Godhead of three aspects in one person into three persons who are one in substance/essence.

The Mormons have taken this process a stage further. They teach a “Godhead” of three persons who are not one in essence but are one only in “purpose”. This variation brings Rome’s Trinity of three persons firmly into the territory of Tri-Theism.

So is it valid to say that there are three “persons” in the Godhead in English? It depends on what one means by “person”. There are several definitions of the word “person” in English. If you look in a Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary you will find that the first and most common definition of “person” in English is “a human being”. Certainly Elohim is not three “human beings”… in fact He is not even ONE “human being”. The last definition in the Unabridged Dictionary is “any of the three modes of the Trinity”. So one might argue that the aspects of the three pillars of the Godhead may be called “persons” by virtue of a special definition of the word in English apart from any other meaning of the word. However use of the word “person” in English creates confusion because it strongly implies agreement with the Roman Trinity of three persons who are one in essence. More accurate terms are "three pillars"; "three aspects"; "three GAUNIN"; "three K'NUMEH" or "three Tzachtzachot (splendors)".

Now the Orthodox Christian Trinity with three “persons” who are one in essence has certain problems.

In Isaiah 9:6-7 the Son (the Messiah) is called “everlasting Father” while 1Cor. 15:45; 2Cor. 3:17 and Rom. 8:9-11 taken together seem to identify the Son with the Spirit.

According to the NT we as believers are immersed in the Messiah (Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:27); we have the “Spirit of Messiah” which raised Messiah (Rom. 8:9-11) in our hearts (Gal. 4:6; Eph. 3:17), which is the “Spirit of God” (1Jn. 4:12-13) or the “Holy Spirit” (1Cor. 6:19; 1Thes. 4:8). This also would seem to identify the Messiah with the Holy Spirit.

Finally Col. 2:9 states of Messiah “in him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead”.

These passages pose problems for the Orthodox Christian trinity of three “persons”.
How can the Messiah be called “everlasting Father” if they are different persons? How can the Messiah be identified with the Holy Spirit if they are different persons? And finally how can the Messiah have “all the fullness of the Godhead” dwelling within him if he is only one of three persons in the Godhead?


Absolute Oneness?

Many of these difficulties with the Orthodox Christian trinity have led to the advent of a doctrine known as “Oneness Theology” in certain Christian circles. Oneness theology teaches that the Father, the Holy Spirit and the Son are all one and the same thing.

However “Oneness Theology” has other problems. For example Messiah stated that the Father is greater than he (Jn. 14:28). But this cannot be the case if they are one and the same.

The distinction between the three K’NOMEH of the Godhead is clear in a number of other passages as well:

The Father sends the Spirit (Jn. 14:26); Messiah sends the Spirit (Jn. 15:26); the Father sends Messiah (Jn. 17:8; 20:21) and in Jn. 14-16 we read that Messiah would have to leave so that the Holy Spirit cold come.

Moreover as shown earlier, in Hebrews 9:14 Messiah presents himself through the Spirit to “Elohim”. This would not be possible if they were all one and the same.

In other examples:

Yeshua could not have been praying to himself in the garden when he said “let this cup pass from me; nevertheless not as I will but as you will.” (Mt. 26:39)

Is. 11:1-2 says that Messiah would have the “fear of YHWH”… did he fear himself?

In. Mt. 13:32 the Son does not know the day nor hour of his return but the Father does. They cannot be one and the same.

In Rev. 5 the Lamb takes the sealed book from the right hand of the figure on the throne… but how could this be if they are one and the same?

Finally the Messiah is frequently described as sitting or standing at the right hand of the Father (a clear allusion to Ps. 110:1, 4) how could this be if they are one and the same?

Clearly Christian “Oneness Theology” cannot stand… the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are not one and the same thing, they are different aspects of the one Elohim.


Conclusion: The True Understanding of the Godhead

The true understanding of the Godhead resolves all of the difficulties found in both the Orthodox Christian and Oneness Christian models.

The true understanding of the Godhead understands the Son as the combination of the Father and the Spirit and thus the Son can be identified with either. However as a combination of these two he is a third, unique and distinct aspect within the one person of the Godhead. Thus the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are three K’NUMEH or three GAUNIN (aspects), which are but one PARSOPA (person).


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Comment by GARY ATKINSON on June 29, 2012 at 9:22pm

This is disappointing as James ends the Godhead as Parsopa [Person] but he is not a person on any level Godhead is QNOMA- [means, "an OCCURRENCE of a nature, BUT IDENTICAL to that nature." Another defintion, "an INDIVIDUATED INSTANCE of a nature".] at the Qnoma level, every Person (Parsopa) is identical. There is no difference between your human Qnoma and my human Qnoma. They are one with each other and with all other like Qnome (Qnome individuated from the same Kyana, Nature.) Qnome individuated from the same Kyana are indistinguishable. In order to distinguish between them (your Qnoma and mine) you would have to speak of the "Parsopa" level. That's how you and I are distinguished - at the Parsopa level.

There is no Hebrew,Greek or English word for Qnoma Aramaic word! The way to explain in English is to use the word Spirit---You must understand (John 3:6) That which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (John 4:24) ""Elohim [is] a Spirit"" and they that worship him must worship [him] in spirit and in truth. I say (1Cor 13:12) For now we see in a mirror, darkly but then face to face now I know in part but then shall I know even as also I am known. No total understanding of spirit Godhead  as long as we walk in our flesh. In the Spirit Godhead is made up of 3 substances and there is one divine order we will never understand totally on this side of heaven

Comment by Joseph S on June 29, 2012 at 10:16pm

I am reminded that none of us can truly fathom the mind of "GOD"....so, though what may be disappointing to some and is enlightening or agreeable to others still falls short of what we call "GOD". It IS worth the effort though, I think, because we are 'HIS' people and we are always going to want to know more or see more

Comment by GARY ATKINSON on June 30, 2012 at 11:09am

You are so right Yah is way to vast but I know this he is not a person [Parsopa].

Comment by David Brigham on July 1, 2012 at 6:12am

It might be signalled that the Latin persona originally meant "mask (of an actor)", and hence derived "role (of an actor), character (played by an actor)", and only tertiary "person, personality". So three persona would originally have meant three roles, three manifestations, rather than three seperate entities or persons as the meaning of person would have in English. So the mess was certainly also a linguistic one, not just a theological one.   

Comment by David Brigham on July 1, 2012 at 6:47am

Personally I think Heb. 1:3 ([the Son] who is the radiance of His glory, and the image of His being) is the key text, and the old allegory of Sun and sun-beam is not too bad. We could not see the Sun if the rays of light did not reach our eyes, and spectroscopy of the sun-light tells us the essence of the Sun which it shares -- but Sun and sun-beam are at the same time different things. In like way the Unseen Holy One interacted with matter via the Son, i.e. first interacted with time and space via the Word (through which the universe was created), then  with men (as Lawgiver in 'angelic' appearance), and then finally as Redeemer via human incarnation as Yahshuah. So the Word is an uncreated manifestation of Yahweh, and by these interactions with matter took on the traits of a distinct seperate 'person'. The Spirit is defined in Luke 1:35 as "the power of the Most High", and for me thus not a person, but more an instrument or essence, the spiritual force of Yahweh.  

Comment by James Trimm on July 1, 2012 at 6:50am

1 In the days of old, YHWH spoke to the fathers in many times and in many

manifestations, through the prophets.

2 It came to pass in the last days, He has spoken to us by His Son, who He appointed to

be heir of all things, by Him who created all the worlds.

3 Through appointment, He, is the
brightness [Zohar]of His glory, and He is the Maker of all things by the power of His Word, and who has accomplished by His power, the cleansing of our sins. Behold, He sits in high places to the right hand of the Sh'kinah.

(Heb. 1:1-3 HRV)

 

What does this mean “He is the Brightness of His Glory”? In the
original Hebrew as found in the
Munster Hebrew text of Hebrews (which Sebastian Munster obtained “f...this word is “ZOHAR”. Of course many know that there is a book known as the Zohar, but fewer know the original significance of the term. The Hebrew word ZOHAR appears only twice in the Tanak. One of these is in the Book of Daniel:

 

And they that are wise, shall shine as the
brightness [Zohar]of the firmament,

and they that turn the many to righteousness, as the stars; forever and ever.

(Daniel 12:3 HRV)

 

The other is in the Book of Ezekiel as part of Ezekiel’s description of the “Likeness” of Elohim:

 

Then I beheld, and behold, a likeness as the appearance of fire. From the appearance of

his loins and downward, fire: and from his loins and upward, as the appearance of
brightness (Zohar), as the color of electrum.

(Ezekiel 8:2 HRV)

 

This brings us to Ezekiel’s vision of the Merkavah (Divine Throne-Chariot):

 

22 And over the heads of the living creatures there was the likeness of a firmament; like

the color of the terrible ice, stretched forth over their heads above.

23 And under the
firmamentwere their wings conformable, the one to the other. This

one of them had two which covered, and that one of them had two which covered, their

bodies.

24 And when they went, I heard the noise of their wings like the noise of great waters;

like the voice of Shaddai--a noise of tumult like the noise of a host. When they stood,

they let down their wings.

25 For, when there was
a voice above the firmamentthat was over their heads, as they

stood, they let down their wings.

26 And
above the firmament that was over their heads, was
the likeness of a throne, as

the appearance of a sapphire stone. And
upon the likeness of the throne was a likeness asthe appearance of a man, upon it; above.

27 And I saw
as the color of electrum, as the appearance of fire round about enclosing it,

from
the appearance of his loins and upward. And from the appearance of his loins and

downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness round about

him.

28 As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the

appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of
the likeness of theglory of YHWH. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that

spoke.

(Ezekiel 1:22-28)

 

The “firmament” mentioned by Daniel is that which is above the four living creatures in Ezekiel 1:22. The Zohar is the brightness of the likeness seated on the Merkavah (Throne-Chariot).

 

It is this brightness which is the namesake of the book known as the Zohar. This is what the book called the Zohar says about the ZOHAR:

 

It is written: And they that are wise, shall shine as
the brightness [Zohar] of the firmament, and they that turn the many to righteousness, as the stars; forever and ever (Dan. 12:3). There was indeed a
“brightness” (Zohar). The Most Mysterious struck its void, and caused this point to shine. This “beginning” then extended, and made for itself a palace for its honor and glory. There it sowed a sacred seed which was to generate for the benefit of the universe, and to which may be applied the Scriptural words “the holy seed is the stock thereof” (Is. 6:13). Again there was
Zohar, in that it sowed a seed for its glory, just as the silkworm encloses itself, as it were, in a palace of its own production which is both useful and beautiful. Thus by means of this “beginning” the Mysterious Unknown made this palace. This palace is called Elohim, and this doctrine is contained in the words, “By means of a beginning (he) created Elohim.”

 
The Zoharis that from which were created all the creative utterances through the extension of the point of this mysterious brightness. Nor need we be surprised at the use of the word “created” in this connection, seeing that we read further on, “And God created man in his image” (Gen. 1:27).

 

A further esoteric interpretation of the word Bereshith is as follows. The name of the starting-point of all is Ehyeh (I shall be). The holy name when inscribed at its side is Elohim, but when inscribed by circumscription [i.e. between the two Ehyeh's. v. Ex. 3:4.] is Asher, the hidden and recondite temple, the source of that which is mystically called Reshith. The word Asher (i.e. the letters, Aleph, Shin, Resh from the word Bereshith) is anagrammatically Rosh (head), the beginning which issues from Reshith. So when [15b] the point and the temple were firmly established together, then Bereshit combined the supernal Beginning with Wisdom. Afterwards the character of that temple was changed, and it was called “house” (beit). The combination of this with the supernal point which is called rosh gives Bereshith, which is the name used so long as the house was uninhabited. When, however, it was sown with seed to make it habitable, it was called Elohim, hidden and mysterious.
The Zoharwas hidden and withdrawn so long as the building was within and yet to bring forth, and the house was extended only so far as to find room for the holy seed. Before it had conceived and had extended sufficiently to be habitable, it was not called Elohim, but all was still included in the term Bereshith. After it had acquired the name of Elohim, it brought forth offspring from the seed that had been implanted in it.

(Zohar 1:15a-15b)

 

In the book called the Zohar the Zohar is likened to a “seed” which is elsewhere called the “Son of Yah”. The Zohar says that the Most Mysterious (the Infinite One) created a palace for himself called Elohim into which he placed his Zohar (brightness) like a seed sowed of himself, in much the same way that a silkworm encloses itself in a cocoon. The “seed” is elsewhere known as the “Son of Yah”. The book called the Zohar also says of the Zohar that he “is that from which were created all the creative utterances”.

 

Now we can better understand what Hebrews means when it says:

 

1 In the days of old, YHWH spoke to the fathers in many times and in many

manifestations, through the prophets.

2 It came to pass in the last days, He has spoken to us by His Son, who He appointed to

be heir of all things, by Him who created all the worlds.

3 Through appointment, He, is the
brightness [Zohar] of His glory, and He is
the Maker of all things by the power of His Word, and who has accomplished by His power, the cleansing of our sins. Behold, He sits in high places to the right hand of the Sh'kinah.

(Heb. 1:1-3 HRV)

 

Messiah is the Zohar of His glory. He is the namesake of the book known as the Zohar. Messiah is the brightness of the likeness which Ezekiel saw upon the throne. Messiah “is that from which were created all the creative utterances” in that “He is the Maker of all things by the power of His Word.”

Comment by David Brigham on July 1, 2012 at 10:28am

Thanks very much for the interesting comments, James!

 

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