101 Bible Secrets
Bible Secret Number 10 

Is the Godhead a Plural Entity?

Audio read by Tom Parks -  MP3
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Is the Godhead a plural entity or is it singular?
There is not the slightest doubt of this regard to biblical teaching. The Godhead is absolutely singular there is only one God. The classic verse quoted by the Jews to insist on the singularity of "God" is Deuteronomy 6:4. "Hear, O Israel, The Lord our God [Hebrew: Elohim] is one Lord." Yes, but the word "one" in this verse is the same word that said Adam and Eve (two different individuals) were considered by God to be "one flesh" (Genesis 2:24). So, two people can be reckoned as "one." The same thing is acknowledged in the New Testament as far as the Father and Christ Jesus are concerned. Jesus said: "I and the Father are one" (John 10:30). Thus, two individuals are reckoned to be "one" (one God), yet they are separate personalities from each other.

How can this be? The answer is simple. The Hebrew word for our English "God" is Elohim. The "im" on the end of the word always signifies plurality and the word elohim of itself indicates a plurality within itself. But it can take singular verbs (when it refers to the one Godhead revealed to Israel) and it can take plural verbs (when it refers to pagan deities). In fact, the true definition of the word elohim shows it to be a singular group of personalities. The use of the word elohim in the Bible often expresses itself in a singular capacity for the work that the group does. In English we call such words "collective nouns" like group, army, family. This is precisely how the word elohim should be understood.

The word that best describes the Godhead (as shown by biblical definition both in the Old and New Testaments) is Family. There is God the Father, and there is God the firstborn Son (Jesus Christ), and you and I and the human race can be called sons and daughters of the Father and be reckoned a part of that one divine Family (II Corinthians 6:18). Or, as Christ said quoting Psalm 82:6: "Jesus answered them, 'Is it not written in your law, I said, you are gods." (John 10:34). So, we are a part of the one and singular Family of God called in Hebrew Elohim (or in English, "God").

The apostle Paul explained the oneness and the singularity of the Family within the concept of plurality as it relates to the body of Christians called the Church (or better, in Greek, the Ekklesia). Paul said: "For as the body is one, and has many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ" (I Corinthians 12:12). Thus, all Christians who make up the one body of Christ (the Ekklesia) are many, but we are united into a singularity and a oneness by our attachment to Christ.

Consequently, by being attached to Christ we are also attached to the Father because Christ and the Father are also one (John 10:30). The Bible shows that the Godhead is one, single and unified FAMILY headed by the Father and the firstborn Son and all of us are sons and daughters of that one Family destined to be glorified just like the Father and Christ when we are resurrected from the dead at Christ's second advent. Now a Family can collectively do an action and use a singular verb to describe that united action of the Family, or the Family can individually perform actions which can equally take a plural verb to describe those separate actions. Thus, it is perfectly proper to say: "The Family is committed to save the world," or "The Family are all united behind the efforts of the Father." It is in this fashion that the Godhead is to be understood. It is a singular Family that rules the universe with many members of which you and I are a part. The plurality of this singular Family is seen in several sections of the Old Testament. Notice a few verses.

"Let us make man in our image, after our likeness" (Genesis 1:26).

"Let us go down and confound their language" (Genesis 11:7.

"Whom shall I [God] send, and who will go for us?" (Isaiah 6:8).

"Remember thy Creator [Hebrew: plural, "Creators"] in the days of thy youth" (Ecclesiastes 12:1).

"None says, 'Where is God my Maker [Hebrew: plural, "Makers"]'" (Job 35:10).

"Thy Maker [Hebrew: plural, "Makers"] is thy Husband" [Hebrew: plural, "Husbands"] (Isaiah 54:5).

There are references to those who make up the Godhead with terms like "Holy Ones" (often rendered "saints") but they are sometimes hidden in modern translations with singular renderings. Yet some are plurals (Job 5:1; Hosea 11:12). Indeed, God can be reckoned as a singular person as in Psalm 45:6,7 (which Paul said referred to "Jesus" before his birth Hebrews 1:8,9). In fact, any member of the Godhead can be reckoned as "God." The early Hebrews considered the one God (Elohim) as a single divine Family of persons. There are many more persons in that one divine Family than the "three" in the erroneous Trinity doctrine (see I John 3:1).

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