How Many Yahwehs are There?

By Anthony Buzzard

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The Trinitarian Crunch Point

I invite reflection on the inherent contradiction involved in the proposition “Jesus is God/Yahweh.”

Once that is declared, since the Father is obviously God, a person is automatically committed to two who are God, and thus two Gods! This puts one in direct collision with Jesus who stated that “the Lord our God is ONE Lord” (Mark 12:29, “the one and only Lord,” NLT). One may then try to cover up what sounds so strange — that two are God — by quickly changing the meaning of “God” to one “essence” (one “What”). But the singular masculine pronouns for God which are found countless times and consistently in the whole Bible, ought to signal the fact that a person’s argument has gone badly wrong. A Trinitarian may work to assemble texts from various Scriptures, yet, he arrives at a conclusion which ultimately forces him to say the incomprehensible: “The Father is God (Yahweh). The Son is God (Yahweh), but there is only one Yahweh.”

At that point the arguer has not made any sense. He/she has just proposed something entirely illogical according to the rules of simple language: Language which we all depend on and use without difficulty in any other setting but theology! The proposition “Jesus is God and the Father is God, but that is not two Gods” sounds like the Athanasian Creed which involves a blatant contradiction and results in a non-scriptural and non-intelligible statement about God.

If your friends invite you to discuss the Trinity, by all means ask them politely to state how many YAHWEHs they are proposing. You might ask them “Do you believe Jesus is Yahweh?” The answer will often be “Yes.” “Do you believe the Father is Yahweh?” The answer will inevitably be “Yes.”

In those statements, your conversation partner has just revealed to him/herself and to you that he/she believes in TWO Yahwehs. This violates the “first” commandment and Jesus’ assertion of the greatest of all truths that “the Lord our God is One Yahweh” (Mark 12:29).

It is fascinating how enthusiastically supportive of Jesus’ monotheism the Jewish scribe was in Mark 12:28-34. Jesus began by reciting the Jewish creed about God (also Christian creed because Jesus affirmed it). The Jewish scribe reacts to Jesus by saying: “Bravo, Master, He is One and there is no other besides Him.” Notice in verse 32 the impressive accumulation of singular grammatical forms, describing a single Person:

“He (singular personal pronoun)
is (singular verb)
one (the numeral one, meaning one and not more than one)
and there is (singular verb)
no one (singular person)
other (singular adjective)
than HE” (singular personal pronoun meaning one single person).

Is anyone still convinced that Jesus or the scribe believed that God was THREE persons? If so, then pronouns have ceased to carry meaning. Yet in ordinary conversation people have not the slightest doubt about them!

Arguments for the Trinity are sort of moving targets. Arguers often do not let you know what they propose. Various explanations of the Trinity are offered. Some say God is “one WHAT.” Others claim He is “one Person, in three modes.” Others, that he is One Person in three Persons! And the variations go on. But once someone identifies Jesus, the Son of God, as Yahweh, he is committed to two Yawhehs. That cannot possibly be right, because it opposes the greatest commandment of all, that the Lord God is a single Person, and we are to imagine no other Gods but HE.

Once someone identifies Jesus, the Son of God,
as Yahweh, he is committed to two Yawhehs.
That cannot possibly be right.

When, soon after Bible times, Gentile Christianity began to cut ties with its parent faith, the ancient faith of Judaism and of the Jew Jesus, it rebelled against its mother. The results of this rebellion against a parent were disastrous. The church today needs to reconnect with Jesus the Jew and his very Jewish and unitarian belief that God is a single Divine Person – the Father. After all, in the Bible Jesus is never once called “the Lord God,” and never once called “the Almighty” (pantokrator). The Father is jealous of His own unique position as the ultimate and only One who is God.

Buzzard, Anthony (2010, October). Excerpt from, Focus on the Kingdom Magazine – Vol. 13 No. 1

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2018-12-28T17:25:35+00:00

About the Author:

Anthony Buzzard
Sir Anthony Buzzard was born in Surrey, England and educated at Oxford University and later at Bethany Theological Seminary. He holds master degrees in theology and modern languages, Hon. Ph.D. Sir Anthony F. Buzzard is one of the most persuasive and energetic voices of our day calling for Christians to pursue reformation and restoration in our time. He is the author of numerous books including: Jesus Was Not a Trinitarian: A Call to Return to the Creed of Jesus; and The Doctrine of the Trinity: Christianity's Self-Inflicted Wound. Anthony is the author of many theological articles and papers. He is the editor of Focus on the Kingdom and was co-editor of A Journal from the Radical Reformation. Retiring after 24 years on the staff of Atlanta Bible College, he continues to write, teach and travel, fulfilling a life-long desire to make the best of Bible scholarship available to the wider church-going public.