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The Binitarian Nature of the Holy Bible’s supreme proof text for the unity of God Pt. 7

Sam Shamoun

And now we come to the final part of our series.

Jude and Shema

Jude is another NT writer who splits the Shema between the Father and the Son.

“For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our ONLY Master and Lord, Jesus Christ (ton monon despoten kai kyrion hemon ‘Iesoun Christon)… Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, THROUGH Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.” Jude 1:4, 24-25

Jude is obviously referring to the Father as the only God since the context distinguishes him from Jesus Christ through whom the only God receives glory and praise. Thus, according to Jude the Father is the only God whereas Jesus is our only Sovereign Master and Lord!

These statements provide strong evidence that Jude believed that Jesus is Yahweh God (even though he is not the Father or the Spirit) since he combines two words which the Greek version of the OT uses together for Yahweh (i.e. despotes and kyrios), and applies them to Christ:

“And he said, sovereign Lord (despota kyrie), how shall I know that I shall inherit it? Genesis 15:8 LXX

"Nevertheless I will beseech the Lord (kyriou), and will call upon the Lord (kyrion), the sovereign (despoten) of all; who does great things and untraceable, glorious things also, and marvellous, of which there is no number: who gives rain upon the earth, sending water on the earth: who exalts the lowly, and raises up them that are lost: frustrating the counsels of the crafty, and their hands shall not perform the truth: who takes the wise in their wisdom, and subverts the counsel of the crafty. In the day darkness shall come upon them, and let them grope in the noon-day even as in the night: and let them perish in war, and let the weak escape from the hand of the mighty. And let the weak have hope, but the mouth of the unjust be stopped." Job 5:8-16 LXX

"Therefore thus saith the Lord, the Lord of hosts (ho despotes kyrios sabaoth), Woe to the mighty men of Israel; for my wrath shall not cease against mine adversaries, and I will execute judgment on mine enemies." Isaiah 1:24 LXX – cf. 3:1; 10:33

"And I said, O sovereign Lord (ho despota kyrie), verily thou hast deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, There shall be peace; whereas behold, the sword has reached even to their soul." Jeremiah 4:10 LXX – cf. 1:6

In one verse in Jeremiah despotes is actually used in the place of Yahweh:

"Be it so, Lord (despota), in their prosperity; surely I stood before thee in the time of their calamities, and in the time of their affliction, for their good against the enemy." Jeremiah 15:11 LXX

Furthermore, the NT employs the word for the Father:

“Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord's Christ. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: ‘Sovereign Lord (despota), as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.’” Luke 2:25-32

“On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. ‘Sovereign Lord (Despota),’ they said, ‘you made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David: “Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against his Anointed One.” Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.’” Acts 4:23-30

But that’s not at all. Jude doesn’t merely say that Jesus is our Sovereign Master (despotes) and Lord (kyrios) but that he is our ONLY one, even though Jude was aware that the OT says that Yahweh is both our Sovereign Master and Lord!

Now the only way that Jesus could be our ONLY despotes and kyrios without this making Yahweh a subordinate Lord or Master is if Jesus is Yahweh God. Otherwise we would be forced to conclude that Jesus holds greater importance and has greater authority over us than Yahweh does!

Jude provides further evidence that he thought that Jesus is Yahweh since this is what he goes on to say right after verse 4:

“Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, HE has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day — just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.” Jude 1:5-9

Jude makes the astonishing assertion that it was actually Jesus who delivered Israel out of Egypt and then destroyed those who did not believe, and who also punished the disobedient angels and Sodom and Gomorrah! However, the OT clearly says that it was Yahweh who delivered his people from Egypt and subsequently punished them for their disbelief. The prophetic Scriptures further attest that Yahweh actually punished Sodom and Gomorrah.(1)

It should be noted, however, that not all translations have the reading “Jesus” since many of them have “Lord” instead:

“Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe.” Jude 1:5 NIV

The reason for the difference is due to the variant readings found among the manuscript tradition. Yet despite the variants the reading “Jesus” is the earliest and best attested reading, which therefore makes it more likely that this is what Jude actually wrote. As the late Bruce M. Metzger, one of the leading Greek NT textual critics, explained:

ver. 5 πάντα ὅτι [ὁ] κύριος ἅπαξ {D}

Despite the weighty attestation supporting Ἰησοῦς (A B 33 81 322 323 424c 665 1241 1739 1881 2298 2344 vg copsa, bo eth Origen Cyril Jerome Bede; ὁ Ἰησοῦς 88 915), a majority of the Committee was of the opinion that the reading was difficult to the point of impossibility [sic], and explained its origin in terms of transcriptional oversight (k=c= being taken for i=c=). It was also observed that nowhere else does the author employ Ἰησοῦς alone, but always Ἰησοῦς Χριστός. The unique collocation θεός Χριστός read by î72 (did the scribe intend to write θεοῦ/ χριστός, “God’s anointed one”?) is probably a scribal blunder; otherwise one would expect that Χριστός would be represented also in other witnesses.

The great majority of witnesses read ὁ before κύριος, but on the strength of its absence from א Ψ and the tendency of scribes to add the article, it was thought best to enclose ὁ within square brackets.

[Critical principles seem to require the adoption of Ἰησοῦς, which admittedly is the best attested reading among Greek and versional witnesses (see above). Struck by the strange and unparalleled mention of Jesus in a statement about the redemption out of Egypt (yet compare Paul’s reference to Χριστός in 1 Cor 10.4), copyists would have substituted (ὁ) κύριος or ὁ `θεός. It is possible, however, that (as Hort conjectured) “the original text had only ὁ, and that otio was read as otii=c= and perhaps as otik=c=” (“Notes on Select Readings,” ad loc.).

The origin of the variations in the position of ἅπαξ is best explained by assuming that it originally stood after εἰδότας (as in î72 A B C2 L 049 33 81 104 181 326 330 436 451 629 945 1877 2127 al); because, however, the word did not seem to suit εἰδότας, and because the following τὸ δεύτερον appeared to call for a word like πρῶτον( ἅπαξ was moved within the ὅτι-clause so as to qualify σώσας. B.M.M. and A.W.] (Bruce M. Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament – A Companion Volume to the United Bible Societies’ Greek New Testament Fourth Revised Edition, Second Edition], pp. 657-658; underline emphasis ours)

According to Metzger, the only reason why the United Bible Societies’ committee rejected the reading “Jesus” was because it was deemed “difficult to the point of impossibility,” even though the members agreed that this is the reading with the best textual support!

NT textual critic Philip W. Comfort shows why such a reading is not only possible, but very probable. After mentioning the following reading,

panta hoti [ho] kyrios hapax

“[knowing that] the Lord having once and for all”

He goes on to list the major variants,

1. hapax panta, hoti Iesous
“[knowing] once for all, Jesus”

2. panta, hoti Iesous hapax
“[knowing] everything, that Jesus once”

3. hapax panta, hoti theos Christos
“[knowing] once and for all, that God [the] Messiah (or, Messiah God)”

4. hapax panta, hoti ho theos
“[knowing] once and for all, that God”

5. hapax touto, hoti ho kyrios
“once [you knew] this, that the Lord”

And argues that:

Among all the readings cited above, the first and second variants are the most remarkable, for they say that “Jesus delivered his people out of Egypt.” This reading is found in A B 33 1739 1881 Origen Cyril Jerome Bede–an impressive collection of witnesses. P72 may possibly be an indirect witness to the reading “Jesus,” because it shows that the scribe had before him in his exemplar a messianic title–“Christ” (= “Messiah”). At any rate, it is easier to argue (from a textual perspective) that the reading “Jesus” is the one which all the others deviated than to argue that the reading with “Lord” (or “God”) was changed to “Jesus,” because scribes were not known for fabricating difficult readings.

Some scholars, such as Wikgren (1967, 147-152) have argued that Jude may have written Iesous in Jude 5 intending “Joshua” (see NEBmg), as in Heb 4:8. But this is very unlikely, because Joshua led the Israelites into the good land of Canaan, but not out of Egypt, and Joshua certainly did not destroy those who did not believe (Jude 5b). This was a divine activity. Thus, it is likely that Jesus here is being seen as Yahweh the Savior. In other words, from Jude’s perspective, it was Jesus, the I AM (see John 8:58), who was present with the Israelites and operative in their deliverance from Egypt. Paul shared a similar view inasmuch as he proclaimed that “Christ” was the Rock that accompanied the Israelites in their desert journeys and that “Christ” was the one the Israelites constantly “tested” during these times (see 1 Cor 10:4, 9 and note on 1 Cor 10:9). Thus, the reading “Jesus,” though difficult, IS NOT IMPOSSIBLE. As such, it should be accepted as the original reading (as it was by Eberhard Nestle [1901, 328-329] and F. F. Bruce [1964, 63]).

The first edition of the United Bible Societies’ Greek New Testament contained the reading “Jesus” in the text. But this was changed in the third edition, when a slim majority of the editors voted to put the reading with “Lord” in the text and the one with “Jesus” in the margin (Metzger and Wikgren voted against the decision and stated their reasons for doing so in TCGNT.)

The first English translation to adopt the wording “Jesus” was NLT. (As the New Testament coordinator who proposed this reading to the NLY committee, I was glad to see them adopt it.) Two other recent versions have adopted this reading: TNIV (a change from the NIV) and NET (see the note in NETmg). Otherwise, it has been regulated to the margin of all the other versions. NASB notes that “two early manuscripts read ‘Jesus.’” Those manuscripts are A and B. (Comfort, New Testament Text and Translation Commentary, pp. 802-803; bold and capital emphasis ours)

Comfort isn’t alone here:

tc ‡ The reading ᾿Ιησοῦς (Ihsous, “Jesus”) is deemed too hard by several scholars, since it involves the notion of Jesus acting in the early history of the nation Israel. However, not only does this reading enjoy the strongest support from a variety of early witnesses (e.g., A B 33 81 1241 1739 1881 2344 pc vg co Or1739mg), but the plethora of variants demonstrate that scribes were uncomfortable with it, for they seemed to exchange κύριος (kurios, “Lord”) or θεός (qeos, “God”) for ᾿Ιησοῦς (though P72 has the intriguing reading θεὸς Χριστός [qeos Cristos, “God Christ”] for ᾿Ιησοῦς). In addition to the evidence supplied in NA27 for this reading, note also {88 322 323 424c 665 915 2298 eth Cyr Hier Bede}. As difficult as the reading ᾿Ιησοῦς is, in light of v. 4 and in light of the progress of revelation (Jude being one of the last books in the NT to be composed), it is wholly appropriate.

sn The construction our Master and Lord, Jesus Christ in v. 4 follows Granville Sharp’s rule (see note on Lord). The construction strongly implies the deity of Christ. This is followed by a statement that Jesus was involved in the salvation (and later judgment) of the Hebrews. He is thus to be identified with the Lord God, Yahweh. Verse 5, then, simply fleshes out what is implicit in v. 4. (NET Bible; underline emphasis ours)

Thus, the textual data strongly supports that “Jesus” is the original reading.

Moreover, even if one were to opt for the reading “Lord” this still would mean that Jesus saved and punished Israel during the time of Moses since the previous verse identifies Jesus Christ as that Lord:

“For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe.” Jude 1:4-5 NASB

As the following Evangelical Scholars explain:

“After speaking of Jesus Christ as ‘our only Master and Lord,’ Jude could hardly have proceeded in the very next sentence to refer to someone other than Jesus as ‘the Lord.’ The Lord who delivered his people out of Egypt, then, must be the Lord Jesus.

In fact, this is probably what the original text of Jude explicitly said. Many of the earliest manuscripts actually say ‘Jesus’ instead of ‘the Lord’ in verse 5, and this is most likely the original reading. There are three principles of the discipline of textual criticism that, when considered together, point to this conclusion.

“The first principle concerns the external evidence of the origins of the manuscripts. All other things being equal, the earlier and more widely attested reading is to be preferred. In this case both ‘Lord’ and ‘Jesus’ are among the earliest readings, but ‘Jesus’ is more widely attested. The Vaticanus and Alexandrinus uncials (fourth and fifth centuries, respectively) both have ‘Jesus,’ while the Sinaiticus and C uncials (also of the fourth and fifth centuries) are the major witnesses for ‘Lord.’ The reading ‘Jesus,’ though, has much greater support from the early translations of the New Testament into other languages (such as Coptic, Ethiopic, and Latin) and better support from the early church’s leading biblical scholars, including Jerome (early fifth century) and possibly the third-century Origen. The reading ‘Jesus,’ then, clearly has the edge in terms of external evidence.

"The second principle is that, all other things being equal, the harder or more difficult reading – the one that sounds the strangest, to put it crudely – is more likely to be original (since a scribe is more likely to change a text from something that sounds strange to something that doesn’t, rather than the other way around). Here, the reading ‘Jesus’ obviously has the edge. Three of the five members of the editorial committee for the United Bible Societies’ Greek New Testament thought, in fact, ‘that the reading was difficult to the point of impossibility.’ The other two committee members, Bruce Metzger and Allen Wikgren, agreed it was difficult but not impossible, and concluded that it was the correct reading.

"The third and most general principle is that whatever reading is more likely to have given rise to the others as alterations is probably the original reading. The answer to this question is much disputed, but we agree with those who argue that ‘Jesus’ is probably original because it is more likely that scribes would change ‘Jesus’ (the admittedly harder reading) to ‘Lord’ (or, in a few other manuscripts, ‘God’) but not vice versa.

"Whichever reading we follow, though, Jude’s immediately preceding reference to Jesus as ‘Lord’ at the end of verse 4 makes it clear that he is the subject of verse 5. According to Jude, the Lord Jesus not only existed during the time of the Exodus but was the one who both delivered Israel from Egypt and then destroyed the unbelieving Israelites in the wilderness." (Bowman & Komoszewski, Putting Jesus in His Place –The Case for the deity of Christ [Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI 2007], Chapter 8. Jesus Has Always Been There, pp. 98-99; bold emphasis ours)

This therefore provides rather strong evidence that Jude actually believed that Jesus is Yahweh God who was actively saving and punishing individuals during the OT period!

Jude also taught that Jesus is the Lord who will come with his countless hosts to judge the wicked:

“It was of these also that Enoch in the seventh generation from Adam prophesied, saying, ‘Behold, the Lord came with his holy myriads, to execute judgment on all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness which they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.’ These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage. But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They said to you, ‘In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.’ It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.” Jude 1:14-21

Jude’s statement that believers await the mercy of the Lord Jesus obviously refers to the second coming, to the time of Jesus’ return from heaven where he will show mercy to those who believe by saving them from the wrath to come. This means that the Lord whom Jude says is coming with his holy myriads to judge is none other than Jesus Christ himself.

What makes this statement particularly interesting is that it is a quote taken from the Pseudepigraphal work called 1 Enoch. However, this source says that it is the eternal God himself who comes with his heavenly hosts to judge the wicked:

“The words of the blessing of Enoch, wherewith he blessed the elect and righteous, who will be living in the day of tribulation, when all the wicked and godless are to be removed. And he took up his parable and said -Enoch a righteous man, whose eyes were opened by God, saw the vision of the Holy One in the heavens, which the angels showed me, and from them I heard everything, and from them I understood as I saw, but not for this generation, but for a remote one which is for to come. Concerning the elect I said, and took up my parable concerning them: The Holy Great One will come forth from His dwelling, And the eternal God will tread upon the earth, (even) on Mount Sinai, [And appear from His camp] And appear in the strength of His might from the heaven of heavens. And all shall be smitten with fear And the Watchers shall quake, And great fear and trembling shall seize them unto the ends of the earth. And the high mountains shall be shaken, And the high hills shall be made low, And shall melt like wax before the flame And the earth shall be wholly rent in sunder, And all that is upon the earth shall perish, And there shall be a judgement upon all (men). But with the righteous He will make peace. And will protect the elect, And mercy shall be upon them. And they shall all belong to God, And they shall be prospered, And they shall all be blessed. And He will help them all, And light shall appear unto them, And He will make peace with them'. And behold! He cometh with ten thousands of His holy ones To execute judgement upon all, And to destroy all the ungodly: And to convict all flesh Of all the works of their ungodliness which they have ungodly committed, And of all the hard things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” 1 Enoch 1:1-10

Jude’s statement that Enoch was the seventh from Adam seems to also be taken from 1 Enoch:

“The second vision which he saw, the vision of wisdom which Enoch the son of Jared, the son of Mahalalel, the son of Cainan, the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, saw. And this is the beginning of the words of wisdom which I lifted up my voice to speak and say to those which dwell on earth: Hear, ye men of old time, and see, ye that come after, the words of the Holy One which I will speak before the Lord of Spirits. It were better to declare (them only) to the men of old time, but even from those that come after we will not withhold the beginning of wisdom.” 1 Enoch 37:1-3 (Source)


“In the year 500, in the seventh month, on the fourteenth day of the month in the life of Enoch. In that Parable I saw how a mighty quaking made the heaven of heavens to quake, and the host of the Most High, and the angels, a thousand thousands and ten thousand times ten thousand, were disquieted with a great disquiet. And the Head of Days sat on the throne of His glory, and the angels and the righteous stood around Him. And a great trembling seized me, And fear took hold of me, And my loins gave way, And dissolved were my reins, And I fell upon my face. And Michael sent another angel from among the holy ones and he raised me up, and when he had raised me up my spirit returned; for I had not been able to endure the look of this host, and the commotion and the quaking of the heaven. And Michael said unto me: 'Why art thou disquieted with such a vision? Until this day lasted the day of His mercy; and He hath been merciful and long-suffering towards those who dwell on the earth. And when the day, and the power, and the punishment, and the judgement come, which the Lord of Spirits hath prepared for those who worship not the righteous law, and for those who deny the righteous judgement, and for those who take His name in vain-that day is prepared, for the elect a covenant, but for sinners an inquisition. When the punishment of the Lord of Spirits shall rest upon them, it shall rest in order that the punishment of the Lord of Spirits may not come, in vain, and it shall slay the children with their mothers and the children with their fathers. Afterwards the judgement shall take place according to His mercy and His patience.' And on that day were two monsters parted, a female monster named Leviathan, to dwell in the abysses of the ocean over the fountains of the waters. But the male is named Behemoth, who occupied with his breast a waste wilderness named Duidain, on the east of the garden where the elect and righteous dwell, where my grandfather was taken up, the seventh from Adam, the first man whom the Lord of Spirits created.” 1 Enoch 60:1-8

What this shows is that Jude actually believed that Jesus Christ is the eternal God whom the book of 1 Enoch says is coming with his myriads to judge everyone!

With that said it seems reasonably certain that by referring to Jesus as our only Sovereign Master and Lord and by also distinguishing Jesus from the only God Jude is offering a Christian version of the Shema in which both the Father and Son are presented as the one Lord God.

The following statements sum it up well:

“Jude concludes the opening of his vituperatio with the claim that they … (ton monon despoten kai kyrion ‘Iesoun Christon arnoumenoi, deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ). Jude’s Christology is very high as he identified Jesus as ‘Master’ as well as ‘Lord.’ ‘Master’ (… despoten) occasionally appears as a christological title (2 Pet. 2:1; God in Luke 2:29; Acts 4:24; Rev. 6:10). In common usage, it referred to the master of slaves (as 1 Tim. 6:1-2; 2 Tim. 2:21; Titus 2:9; 1 Pet. 2:18) but could also be used of rulers. The title underscores their legal control and absolute authority (BDAG 220). But in the LXX it frequently appears as a divine title (Gen. 15:2, 8; Josh. 5:14; Prov. 29:25; Isa. 3:1; 10:33; Jer. 4:10; Tob. 8:17; 2 Macc. 5:17, 20; 15:22; Wis. 8:3; Sir. 36:1). Jude’s use of the title highlights the audacity of the heretics’ act. What slave would dare repudiate their despotes?

“Jude also calls Jesus ‘Lord’ (see Jude 17, 21, 25; Acts 11:17; 15:26; 28:31; Rom. 1:4, 7; 5:1, 11, 21; 1 Thess. 1:3; 5:9; James 1:1; 1 Pet. 1:3; 2 Pet. 1:8), which was another divine title in the LXX, the common translation for Yahweh (Exod. 19:9; 20:2; Isa. 6:3). Likewise in the Greco-Roman world the title was used of divinities (see 1 Cor. 8:5; Deissmann 1911; 353-57) as well as the emperor as part of the fabric of the imperial cult. Jude echoes the Christian version of the Shema (Deut. 6:4) in his declaration that Jesus Christ is the ‘only Master and Lord.’ The heretics had denied this divine sovereign authority…” (Gene L. Green, Jude and 2 Peter (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament) [Baker Academic, Grand Rapids, MI, November 2008], p. 60; bold emphasis ours)

Concluding Remarks

We have seen from our examination of both the Old and New Testaments that the inspired authors were not unitarians since they did not believe that Yahweh is a singular Person even though they affirmed that he is a singular Being. The data we presented demonstrated that the authors of Holy Scripture were aware that there are at least two distinct Persons of the Godhead, and that according to the NT these Divine Persons are the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. We further saw how the Christian Greek Scriptures take the Shema and Christianize it by expanding it to include Jesus within the Divine identity of Israel’s one God. For instance, the Apostle Paul turned Judaism’s monotheistic creed into a Christian confession by identifying the Father as the one God and Jesus Christ as the one Lord that are mentioned in the Shema.

In light of this unitarians need to stop appealing to texts such as Deuteronomy 6:4 to prove that the Bible writers taught that God is a singular Person and that the Father alone is this God. They need to further stop quoting passages where singular pronouns are used for God and assume that this somehow proves that God is uni-personal when in reality this only affirms that God is a singular Being, something which Trinitarianism wholeheartedly accepts.(2)

Unitarians must also come to terms with the fact that there is a massive amount of Biblical data which confirms that God is a multi-Personal Being.


(1) This confirms our exegesis of Genesis 19:24 (*), e.g. this text identifies two distinct entities as Yahweh, a Yahweh who was on earth and a Yahweh who was in heaven:

“Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven;”

Jude’s statements imply that the Yahweh who was on earth raining brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah was the Lord Jesus Christ in his prehuman existence.

(2) To show why it is simply absurd and utterly fallacious to appeal to singular pronouns to prove that God is a uni-personal Being I will cite verses where singular nouns, pronouns etc. are used in respect to plural subjects. I have placed all the occurrences of the singular in bold, capital italics:

“After the death of Joshua the people of Israel inquired of the LORD, ‘Who shall go up first for us against the Canaanites, to fight against them?’ The LORD said, ‘Judah shall go up; behold, I have given the land into HIS HAND.’ And Judah said to Simeon HIS BROTHER, ‘Come up with ME into the territory allotted to ME, that we may fight against the Canaanites; and I likewise will go with YOU into the territory allotted to YOU.’ So Simeon went with HIM. Then Judah went up and the LORD gave the Canaanites and the Perizzites into their hand; and they defeated ten thousand of them at Bezek… And the men of Judah fought against Jerusalem, and took it, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and set the city on fire. And afterward the men of Judah went down to fight against the Canaanites who dwelt in the hill country, in the Negeb, and in the lowland. And Judah went against the Canaanites who dwelt in Hebron (now the name of Hebron was formerly Kiriath-arba); and they defeated Sheshai and Ahiman and Talmai. From there they went against the inhabitants of Debir. The name of Debir was formerly Kiriath-sepher… And the descendants of the Kenite, Moses' father-in-law, went up with the people of Judah from the city of palms into the wilderness of Judah, which lies in the Negeb near Arad; and they went and settled with the people. And Judah went with Simeon HIS BROTHER, and they defeated the Canaanites who inhabited Zephath, and utterly destroyed it. So the name of the city was called Hormah. Judah also took Gaza with its territory, and Ashkelon with its territory, and Ekron with its territory. And the LORD was with Judah, and HE took possession of the hill country, but HE could not drive out the inhabitants of the plain, because they had chariots of iron.” Judges 1:1-4, 8-11, 16-19

In this particular text both the tribes of Judah and Simeon which consisted of thousands of individuals are addressed with singular and plural pronouns!

Here are a few more examples:

“Redeem Israel, O God, from all HIS troubles!” Psalm 25:22

“O Israel, hope in the LORD, for with the LORD is unfailing love and with him is full redemption. He himself will redeem Israel from all HIS sins.” Psalm 130:7-8

“‘If a man divorces his wife and she leaves him and marries another man, should he return to her again? Would not the land be completely defiled? But YOU have lived as a prostitute with many lovers— would YOU now return to me?’ declares the LORD. ‘Look up to the barren heights and see. Is there any place where YOU have not been ravished? By the roadside YOU sat waiting for lovers, sat like a nomad in the desert. YOU have defiled the land with YOUR prostitution and wickedness. Therefore the showers have been withheld, and no spring rains have fallen. Yet YOU have the brazen look of a prostitute; YOU refuse to blush with shame. Have YOU not just called to me: “MY Father, my friend from MY youth, will you always be angry? Will your wrath continue forever?” This is how YOU talk, but YOU do all the evil YOU can.’ During the reign of King Josiah, the LORD said to me, ‘Have you seen what faithless Israel has done? SHE has gone up on every high hill and under every spreading tree and has committed adultery there. I thought that after SHE had done all this SHE would return to me but SHE did not, and HER unfaithful SISTER Judah saw it. I gave faithless Israel HER certificate of divorce and sent HER away because of all HER adulteries. Yet I saw that HER unfaithful SISTER Judah had no fear; SHE also went out and committed adultery. Because Israel's immorality mattered so little to HER, SHE defiled the land and committed adultery with stone and wood. In spite of all this, HER unfaithful SISTER Judah did not return to me with all HER heart, but only in pretense,’ declares the LORD.” Jeremiah 3:1-10 – cf. Isaiah 41

“When Israel was A CHILD, I loved HIM, and out of Egypt I called my SON. The more they were called, the more they went away; they kept sacrificing to the Baals and burning offerings to idols.” Hosea 11:1-2

Ephraim feeds on the wind; HE pursues the east wind all day and multiplies lies and violence. HE makes a treaty with Assyria and sends olive oil to Egypt. The LORD has a charge to bring against Judah; he will punish Jacob according to HIS ways and repay HIM according to HIS deeds. In the womb HE grasped HIS brother's heel; as a man HE struggled with God. HE struggled with the angel and overcame him; HE wept and begged for his favor. HE found him at Bethel and talked with him there- the LORD God of hosts, the LORD is his name of renown! But YOU must return to YOUR God; maintain love and justice, and wait for YOUR God always. The merchant uses dishonest scales; he loves to defraud. Ephraim boasts, ‘I am very rich; I have become wealthy. With all MY wealth they will not find in ME any iniquity or sin.’ I am the LORD your God, who brought YOU out of Egypt; I will make YOU live in tents again, as in the days of YOUR appointed feasts. I spoke to the prophets, gave them many visions and told parables through them. Is Gilead wicked? Its people are worthless! Do they sacrifice bulls in Gilgal? Their altars will be like piles of stones on a plowed field. Jacob fled to the country of Aram; Israel served to get a wife, and to pay for her HE tended sheep. The LORD used a prophet to bring Israel up from Egypt, by a prophet he cared for HIM. But Ephraim has bitterly provoked him to anger; HIS Lord will leave upon HIM the guilt of HIS bloodshed and will repay HIM for HIS contempt.” Hosea 12:1-14

“On the other hand I am filled with power – With the Spirit of the LORD – And with justice and courage to make known to Jacob HIS rebellious act, Even to Israel HIS sin.” Micah 3:8

In all of these examples singular nouns, pronouns etc., are used in relation to the entire nation of Israel as well as Judah. And now to our final example:

“One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, ‘Come, I will show you the punishment of THE GREAT PROSTITUTE, who sits on many waters. With HER the kings of the earth committed adultery and the inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated with the wine of HER adulteries.’ Then the angel carried me away in the Spirit into a desert. There I saw A WOMAN sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns. The WOMAN was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls. SHE held a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of HER adulteries. This title was written on her forehead: MYSTERY BABYLON THE GREAT THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. I saw that THE WOMAN was drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus. When I saw HER, I was greatly astonished. Then the angel said to me: ‘Why are you astonished? I will explain to you the mystery of THE WOMAN and of the beast SHE rides, which has the seven heads and ten horns. The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and will come up out of the Abyss and go to his destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because he once was, now is not, and yet will come. This calls for a mind with wisdom. The seven heads are seven hills on which THE WOMAN SITS. They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for a little while. The beast who once was, and now is not, is an eighth king. He belongs to the seven and is going to his destruction. The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast. They have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast. They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.’ Then the angel said to me, ‘The waters you saw, where THE PROSTITUTE sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages. The beast and the ten horns you saw will hate THE PROSTITUTE. They will bring HER to ruin and leave HER naked; they will eat HER FLESH and burn HER with fire. For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to give the beast their power to rule, until God's words are fulfilled. The WOMAN you saw IS the GREAT CITY that rules over the kings of the earth.’” Revelation 17:1-18

The woman, the great prostitute, who made the nations drunk with her adulteries is actually a city inhabited by people!

Finally and more importantly, the Holy Bible not only employs singular pronouns when referring to God but also uses plural pronouns, verbs, adjectives, participles etc., to describe God.

As such, the use of singular pronouns do not prove that God is a singular Person but only establish that he is a singular Being, which is precisely what Trinitarianism teaches.