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Monday, June 14, 2010

Us ... Our Image - Gen. 1

“Us ... Image”

When God said “Let us make man in our image” (Gen. 1:26), we are not told to whom he was speaking. If God had been the only one in existence at the time, we would have some reason to think he was speaking to himself. However, we know that his only-begotten Son had already come into existence at that time (and also the angels). The firstborn Son was “in the image of God” and certainly the other “sons of God” (angels) were also. It should come as no surprise that “our image” would include not only God’s but those others who were also in his image.

If, as scripture tells us, the Son (who is also in God’s image - 2 Cor. 4:4) was the “workman” for God (see “Wisdom” below) who physically made men at God’s command and direction, why should we try to manufacture a “three-in-one God” to explain an already scripturally-explained statement? “Let us (God and His Firstborn Son - or even God and all His sons: Jesus and the angels, or “powers”) make man in our image.”

Notice how the following trinitarian authorities treat this plural pronoun evidence:

“The plural us, our ... probably refers to the divine beings who compose God’s heavenly court (1 Kg. 22:19; Job 1:6).” - Gen. 1:26 footnote in The New Oxford Annotated Bible (1977).

“...possibly the plural form implies a discussion between God and his heavenly court.” - The Jerusalem Bible, footnote for Gen. 1:26.

“[God’s angels] were thought of as God’s senate; God did nothing without consulting them. For instance, When God said: ‘Let us make man’ (Genesis 1:26), it was to the angel senate that he was speaking.” - p. 17, The Letter to the Hebrews, Revised, Dr. William Barclay, “The Daily Study Bible Series,” The Westminster Press, 1976.

And the popular NIV Study Bible, 1985 ed., tells us in footnotes for Gen. 1:26; Job 1:6; 38:7:

- “1:26 us ... our ... our. God speaks as the Creator-King, announcing his crowning work to the members of his heavenly court”

- “1:6 angels came to present themselves. .... They came as members of the heavenly council who stand in the presence of God” [Notice, they are called ‘the sons of God’ in this verse.]

- “38:7 .... When the earth was created, the angels [‘sons of God’] were there to sing the praises of the Creator”

Why would anyone think God was more than one person from the two or three passages where he uses a plural pronoun to include himself with others (and most trinitarian scholars themselves explain them as above) when there are innumerable clear passages where he uses the singular pronouns “I” and “me” to refer to himself alone?

Consider: The all-powerful king of the land decides to build himself a new palace in the wilderness. He supplies everything: the design, the materials, the workmen, and the master worker (the foreman). He assembles his workers and says:

We must have the palace completed within 7 years or the Queen will make all of us miserable!”

Truly now, would any objective, reasonable person insist that this statement by the king must mean the king is a ‘multiple-person’ King?

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