The Hebrew word for God in Genesis 1:1 is often transliterated as “elohim [elohym]“. This word is plural in form, so some claim this as proof that God is more than one person. Of course, the plural form does not mean “persons”, but rather “gods”. And yet, Yahweh is not Gods; he is one God.
The Hebrew plural form used in singular settings does not designate more than one, but rather a superlative. Many Hebrew scholars refer to this as plural intensive. Thus, when the scripture says that Yahweh made Moses a god [elohim] to Pharaoh, it does not mean that Yahweh made Moses “gods”, nor does it mean that Yahweh made Moses more than one person to Pharaoh.
We should note, however, the ELOHIM is also used in verse 2, in the phrase “spirit of God [Elohim]”. It the Holy Spirit the spirit of three persons, or is it the spirit of one person. Obviously, in Genesis 1:1, Elohim refers to one person, not more than one person.
In Psalm 45:7, we find a prophetic statement as directed toward the Messiah (the Anointed One): “You have loved righteousness, and hated wickedness. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellows.” Is the God of the Messiah one person, or is more than one person. This verse is quoted in Hebrews 1:9, where is applied to the Father of Jesus (Hebrews 1:1,2,6) speaking to his Son. Thus, the God of Jesus in Psalm 45:7 is only one person, not more than one person. However, one should note that the word “God” is translated from the word ELOHIM in Psalm 45:7. This shows that ELOHIM is referring to only one person, not more than one person.
Some other scriptures where is should be apparent that ELOHIM refers to only one person, not more than one person: 1 Samuel 28:13 (the spirit that impersonated Samuel was actually only one spirit, not more than one); Exodus 7:1 (Moses was not made more than one person to Pharaoh);
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Originally published 2/19/2009
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