The Christian Trinity and the Unity-plurality of Cabala

My understanding is that Christians are by definition trinitarians. The doctrine of the Trinity states that there is one divine being (nature), God, and three persons, each of which has the same divine nature. God is Triune. “I cannot think, says Gregory of Nazianzus, on the one without quickly being encircled by the splendor of the three; nor can I discern the three without being straightway carried back to the one.”

My question is: Are trinitarians in cahoots with cabalists? Here is the Cabala (Kabbalah):

“Regarding the distinction between monotheism, polytheism and pantheism, this distinction hardly exists for the Initiate. Verily there is little difference between a single God and a harmony of Supreme Forces, so absolutely linked that the effect would be that of an indivisible unit, a plurality whose action is unified, a unity whose action is pluralised.” (Cabala Unveiled)

Christians are certainly not in cahoots with cabalists. You may say, It sure looks like it. Let’s see. Compare:

“the one encircled by the splendor of the three; the three being straightway carried back to the one” (Christianity)”

with

“a plurality whose action is unified, an unity whose action is pluralised” (Cabala – we could include Eastern thought in general).

Now, just because both these descriptions share similar words does not imply they connote the same meanings. Three what, one what (Christianity), a plurality of what, a unity of what (Cabala). In other words, to what categories do these numeric adjectives refer? The Pharaoh, Akhnaton’ worshiped one God, does that mean that Akhnaton’s God is the same as Allah or as Yahweh, or that Allah is the same as Yahweh?

In Christianity, “one” refers to God’s Being/Nature/Essence, while three refers to “Persons.” If you’re Jewish or Muslim or a Gentile Unitarian, or just a plain old gentle atheist, you’d think this distinction between one divine nature and a plurality of divine persons makes no sense; the distinction would be logically incoherent. The Trinity for the Unitarian (one God equates with one person) is a doctrine, says Jacob Neusner, that does not “fit in place” because it imposes “stresses and strains on the [coherent] structure that encompasses [it].” (“Rabbinical theology: Language, system, structure.” Brill Academic Publishers, 2002, pp. 9-10). It cannot be a solution, Neusner would argue, because it posits more than one God. The Christian doctrine of the Trinity, of course, posits no such a thing.

Anti-trinitarians maintain that the Trinity is a post-biblical aberration concocted by Constantine – (if they’d only study history), a theological klutz – at the Council of Nicea. On the contrary, the trinity is based on sound biblical inferences. The Bible should be the Christian’s foundation and guide on this matter and on all matters.

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3 thoughts on “The Christian Trinity and the Unity-plurality of Cabala

    • Stephanie here you are. I rely in the NT for the Trinity:

      John i. 1–3. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” Verse 14, “And we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father.” John iii. 13, “And no man has ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man, which is in heaven.”

      (Some “Messianic Jews” say the “Word” is the Torah. This cannot be).

      John viii. 57, 58, “Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.” John x. 30, “I and my Father are one.”

      John xvii. 5, “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.”

      John xx. 28, “And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.”

      Acts xx. 28, “Feed the church of God, which he has purchased with his own blood.”

      Rom. i. 3, 4, “Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.”

      Rom. ix. 5, “Of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.”

      Rom. xiv. 10–12, “For we shall all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.”

      1 Cor. viii. 6, “And one Lord Jesus, by whom are all things, and we by him.”

      1 Cor. x. 9, “Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents;” compared with Numb. xxi. 6.

      Phil. ii. 5, 6, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.”

      Col. i. 15–17, “Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 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: and he is before all things, and by him all things consist.”

      1 Tim. iii. 16, “Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh.”

      Tit. ii. 13, 14, “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us.”

    • Interesting article Raphybog! Stephanie here are a few scriptures found in Torah.

      “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.”

      Deuteronomy 6:4 NIV

      What is Moses telling us in this scripture passage in the Torah? Let’s go back to the book of Genesis to begin our investigation for an accurate Biblical interpretation.

      “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”

      Genesis 1:1 KJV

      The Hebrew word that Moses uses for God in this verse and 32 times in chapter one of Genesis is “Elohim”, which is a transliteration from Hebrew to English. Moses uses Elohim for God 207 times in the book of Genesis and numerous times throughout the Torah. This name for God is an important word to understand. Elohim is a plural and masculine noun used for God. Elohim is used over 2300 times in the Hebrew Bible.

      Moses gives us a foundational understanding about many things in Genesis – the book of beginnings. In Genesis the first book of the Torah we find our initial understanding on the essence of God’s nature, the creation of the heavens and earth, the creation of man and woman, the beginning of marriage, and the beginning of the nation of Israel.

      In the Torah we read; “In the beginning Elohim created…”

      The name for God that Moses uses in Genesis 1:1 is “Elohim” (plural Almighty God) has a plural intensive syntax. The Hebrew verb “bara” (created) is singular since Elohim is “echad” (one or a unified one) as Moses reveals later in the Torah in Deuteronomy 6:4. The triune Almighty God — Elohim (plural noun for mighty God) who is revealed in the Torah is a unique unified one, therefore the verbs and adjectives used with Elohim are singular.

      In the Torah Moses writes that a man and his wife, the two become “echad” (one, a unified one) married couple, that the divided nation of Israel made up of the tribes of Judah and the tribes of Ephraim become “echad” (one, a unified one) nation and the Lord our God, the Lord is “echad” (one, a unified one) God. (See Genesis 2:24, Ezekiel 37:17-22, and Deuteronomy 6:4)

      Elohim (plural Almighty God) is the triune God who is the unique unified one true living God, revealed in the Bible who created the heavens and earth; there is no other living God.

      In chapter one, verse one of the book of Genesis Moses explains that God created the heavens and the earth. In the second verse Moses writes that the Spirit of God moved over the surface of the waters, the Spirit of God; is a distinct person of the triune Godhead. “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” Genesis 1:2 KJV The Hebrew word that Moses uses for Spirit is “Ruach” that means breath, wind or Spirit. The Spirit of God is involved in creation in unity and in collaboration with God our Father in heaven. Moses refers to the Spirit (Ruach) 23 times in the Torah and Ruach is referred to over 200 times in Tanakh.

      In Genesis 1:26 Moses quotes Yehovah Elohim who speaks to other Persons of the triune Elohim in the plural. Why did the Spirit of God illuminate Moses’ mind to choose the word Elohim a plural noun for God and quote the triune God speaking to the triune Elohim in the plural? Moses specifically writes about the plural nature of Elohim in Genesis,

      Then Elohim said,

      “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…”

      Genesis 1:26 NASB

      1. “Let Us make man”
2. “in Our image”
3. “according to Our likeness”

      Moses quotes Elohim who refers to Himself in the plural three times, Elohim is speaking to other persons of the triune Godhead. One of the persons of the triune Godhead is speaking to the other two. Our Father who is in heaven, His Son and the Spirit of God are having a conversation about the creation of man being made in their image and their likeness.

      http://adventofmessiah.wordpress.com/2010/07/21/the-lord-our-god-the-lord-is-one-%E2%80%9D/

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