Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Explain The Trinity

In studying my Bible, I tend to look for ambiguities, something I can spend time attempting to make sense out of. So, when I publish my findings, and get negative feedback, as well as positive feed back, I have expected it. In other words, much of what I will post is not traditional teaching. So, there is that crowd who will oppose me. And on the flip side, there are those who will say, “I never thought of that. That makes sense”. (This was my step mother’s brother saying that. He’s a Catholic Priest).

I’ve been met with approval on many issues by friends, bloggers, associations I have in church, (more than one church) Pastors, people with high levels of education. And, I have been met with opposition, by the very same crowd.

Why am I saying this? Well, because I’ve got another doozy.

Making Sense Out of The Trinity

A man whom I gave a Bible to actually said to me that the Bible I gave him was in error. He said, “The subject index in the back of the Bible list “Trinity” as a topic of study. The Bible says nothing of the Trinity”.

These are my thoughts and my interpretations concerning the Holy Trinity.

I want to begin with an explanation I gave to a friend after I had written this document. It is as follows:

" There is a Hebrew word in Exodous 33:18-23 that is translated as 'My Back' in our English text. The word also can be defined as something like a twin, but smaller. Using this approach to understanding what God was showing Moses, think about Jesus having said, "If you've seen me, you've seen the Father". Then look at Collossians 2:9 "For in him all the fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily". You see, Jeff. The definitions that surround this Exodous passage speak of God 'layering' Himself. God, in revealing himself to man, must decrease the intensity of His Fullness, His Glory in order to be seen by man. He has to (in human terms) peel himself as if He were an onion. He still gives us all of the fullness of the Godhead in Jesus' flesh. However, it is not as potent as God's full glory that God indicated would destroy man who views Him in this way.I may have to go back and insert this into my 'Explain The Trinity' page".

The following is the actual explanation I wrote prior to the italicized writing above.
God has many attributes, and characterizations: Love, Mercy, Kindness, Gentleness, Anger, Hate, Wrath, Vengeance…etc. You get the point.

Just as God has many different attributes which are all perfect. God’s Spirit is perfect, His Son is perfect, and He is the standard by which we understand perfection. He is entirely perfect.


The scripture tells us in First John 5:7-9 that “there are three that testify”. I feel this is a reference to The Holy Trinity. Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Though, this is not what is translated. (Another topic I will investigate, later. What are the Spirit, the water and the blood?)

We are aware of the Son. I should say "The Father" may not be completely understood. However, we can conclude this to be a reference to God, The Creator. So, I want to look at some definitive terms to discuss more on the nature of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Here we go.

In Hebrew, Spirit is ruach – the breath of life. In Greek, spirit is pneuma – moving current, a force. We’ve borrowed the concept of pneuma for developing our word pneumatics for ‘air powered’.

In studying Exodus 33:18-23, we can see that there are some ambiguities concerning God’s ‘personage’ (for lack of better terms), His being. What the passage is showing us, is God announced a distinction. He showed Moses a part of Himself that was able to be seen by man. It was when Moses ask God to fully reveal himself. “He said, “Show me your Glory”. This would not have worked out well for Moses. Here is why.

From the Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, ‘glory’ (3519) is weight; but only figuratively in a good sense, splendor or copiousness, from (3513). It is typically expressed in a good sense (figuratively). So, what is it ‘none-figuratively’? What would God's Glory be in reality? Why would God's Glory be a detriment to Moses? Go to it’s root form in the Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, #3513.

Kabed #3513 – To be heavy, i.e. in a bad sense (burdensome, severe, dull) or in a good sense (numerous, rich, honorable); causative-to make weighty; (in the same two senses) bad or good.

-abounding with, more grievously afflict, boast, chargeable, x be dim, glorify, be (make) glorious (things), glory (very), great, be grievous, harden, be (make) heavy, be heavier, lay heavily, (bring to, come to, do, get, be had in) honor (self), be honorable (man), lade, x more be laid, make self many, nobles, prevail, promote (to honor), be rich, be (go) sore, stop.

In this definition, I have bold typed what I feel applies to God’s Glory. With consideration to God having to only allow Moses to see His Back. This is all Moses could see without perishing.

In the definition, we see that ‘weight’ is expressed in a good and bad sense. So, what ever would threaten Moses’ life should be understood as “bad”.

In the definition, we see the idea of God in layers:
‘Lade x more be laid, make self many’

The definition said to make “weighty” in the same two senses; bad and good. So, when we look at “goodness”, we should apply this concept of weight and layers to “goodness”, also.

“goodness” 2898 – tuwb, from 2895 good (as a noun), in the widest sense, especially goodness (superl. concr. the best), beauty, gladness, welfare: - fair, gladness, good (-ness, thing, -s) joy, go, well, with.
It’s root is:
Towb,2895-to be (transitive, do or make) good (or well) in the widest sense: - be (do) better, cheer, be (do, seem) good. (make) goodly, x please, (be, do, go, play) well.

“goodness” doesn’t yield anything to interpretation other than the obvious; What is good. But it has weight “much” or “complete”. It is also layered. (Notice in Exodus 33:19 that God includes ‘gracious’ as being a result of God not showing His “Glory”, but His “goodness”. “Gracious” is the word ‘chanan’ #2603 in Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance: ‘to bend or stoop in kindness to an inferior; to favor, bestow, causative – to implore (move to favor by petition): - beseech x fair, (be, find, show) favor (-able), be (deal, give) grant, (gracious (-ly) intreat, (be) merciful, have (show) mercy ( on, upon), have pity upon, pray, make supplication x very.

Mercy #7355 racham: to fondle; by implication – to love, especially to be compassionate: - have compassion (on, upon) find (have, obtain, shew) mercy, pity, buhamah x surely.

What was too weighty is associated with the face of God. What was good and none threatening was associated with the back of God.

“Back Parts” is the word (KJV) achowr #268 which leads us to #299. #299 takes us to the root which is ‘ach (#251 in Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance).

‘ach: a brother (used in the widest sense of literal
Relationship and metaphorically; affinity or resemblance:
Another, brother (-ly), kindred, like other.

So, how can we apply this to The Trinity? Well, first admit that God has ‘layered’ Himself to what can be manifested and viewed by man without causing death. (Jesus said, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” John 14:9)

Secondly, this manifestation is in the form of Jesus. In Jesus we see God’s goodness and mercy. We do not see the wrath of God poured out on man from Jesus. We only see the wrath of God poured out as judgment on Jesus as He represents us (mankind) in our sin.

Remember, God has layers. He endows Jesus with a full complement of His character, traits, attributes (what ever it is that makes up God) but does not exceed what man can bare.

Colossians 2:9 says:
“…fullness of the Godhead bodily…”

“Fullness” is the word, playroma in Greek from Colossians 2:9. Playroma is –
Full development, plentitude. The Analytical Lexicon describes in this verse that Jesus was fully developed and endowed with plentitude the character of God.

· God the Father is the Glory
· God the Spirit gives us life and portions Himself as gifts
· God the Son makes up the full complement of God’s character without harming man as we view him.

The nominative case (subject/noun) defines “Glory” in the New Testament as ‘Doxa’.

Doxa – The New Testament relates this specifically to Jesus and defines Doxa as they realize that no man can view God entirely. So it says:

A seeming; appearance; a notion, imagination, opinion;
The opinion which obtains respecting one.
(Jesus represents God); reputation, credit, honor, glory.

30 comments:

thekingpin68 said...

A lot of good research, Jim.

The understanding revealed within the New Testament is that God is of one undivided nature, but yet in unity. Thiessen (1956: 134). Thiessen quotes Deuteronomy 6:4 and Mark 12:29, where God is called one. Thiessen (1956: 134). A comprehensive evaluation of the doctrine of the Trinity could easily be a PhD dissertation, but there are good explanations of the doctrine. Thiessen admits that the word Trinity is not in Scripture, and he writes that the term was perhaps first used by in the Greek as Trias by Theophilus of Antioch (d. 181) and then in the Latin by Tertullian (d. ca. 220). Thiessen (1956: 135). Thiessen explains that the idea behind the Trinity is that from the New Testament there are three external distinctions, in the one divine nature, as they are known to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Thiessen (1956: 135). These three persons are not to be confused as being the same or are they of a different substance. Thiessen (1956: 135). Thiessen points out that the Trinity is not Tritheism, as there are not three distinct Gods. Thiessen (1956: 135).

Robert M. Bowman notes that the Trinitarian faith does not allow for the dividing of substance. Bowman (1990: 13). The persons present in the Trinity are not representing three separate beings with differing natures of differing substance, but to Bowman they are three personal distinctions each fully God. Bowman (1990: 13).

BOWMAN, ROBERT M. (1990) Why You Should Believe in the Trinity, Grand Rapids, Baker Book House.

THIESSEN, HENRY C. (1956) Introductory Lectures in Systematic Theology, Grand Rapids, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

jeleasure said...

Thanks Russ,
What would you say without all of the quotes? I think this is how I misunderstand your work, sometimes. I have a difficult time in knowing that, yes, you are saying something and you want to tell us what others say. But, I never fully know if you believe what say, "Thiessen" says, or what Bowman says.
No offense. I just want to tell you that I think I understand how I misunderstan.

thekingpin68 said...

Hi Jim.

To save time I reuse material on a certain subject. It would be far too time consuming for me to have to type out let us say twenty new responses on the trinity in a year for twenty different situations. It is also too time consuming to comment with much original material for those such as Jeff and yourself that post articles more than once during a week. I realize that posting that often can be beneficial, but in order to comment much I need to have prepared material.

Once I am a professor I will have far less time to comment on other blogs.

My comment is more descriptive of the view within conservative Christianity.

Your comments about not being sure are reasonable, however if I did cite someone I disagreed with, I should point this put, or it could be reasoned I do not agree with a citation if it differs from the other citations provided.

I have about 50 links and so material must be reused.

Cheers,

Russ:)

Penn Tomassetti said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Penn Tomassetti said...

Oh yeah, Jim, when I said I don't understand the Trinity, I mean just that... I don't understand. But that doesn't mean I haven't studied it or looked into what the Bible actually does say about the "Three Persons" in the "Godhead". God is profoundly more than I can comprehend with my finite creature mind. But He has chosen to teach us things about Himself, that both you and I agree can be described by the word Trinity or "Tri-unity." I still will read your post and contemplate it when I have more time... I'll be back. Thanks.

jeleasure said...

Penn,
Thank you for the offering.
I have read all of what you asked me to read. I told you I would if you would give me the assignment. So, I did not reject anything you asked me to read. I may have gotten as far as I felt I needed to on one of the assignments you gave me, and commented, however, I did read the entire writing. It was by John Bunyun, Something about Christian Behavior. It was a long read, but the issue you and I were discussing at that time did not, (and I know because I finished reading it) require me to finish reading it before answering you.

Penn, you never did tell me of what I asked. I have asked the question of "do you believe that God rejects those who have faithfully believed on the work of Jesus and served Him by love and discipleship"? It was not phrased exactly like this.

Also, I wanted you to tell me if you believe that God calls some and not others. (like playing tag or it).

Have you ever visited thekingpin68?
His name is Russ. He and I have many good discussions. He has a phd. under review and a seventeen year long college education. We have discussed Calvinism repeatedly. I have come to understand more about Calvinism through him. I have told him about you. I have also stated to him that I would like for you and he to blog with each other. Give him a nudge.

Jim

jeleasure said...

Penn,
I have always understood that you are a student of the Bible. I think that there is so much that we will not understand in the Bible. However, the Bible says, "as iron sharpens iron, man sharpens man".

Now, I think that you and I will find that we do not have to agree. There is nothing about Calvinism (theology of Calvin) that must be understood that the Bible does not tell us.

If you believe I am lost because I believe in works that bond our relationship with Christ. I will still be lost according to (my understanding) Calvinism. In fact, according to Calvinism, if I have the wrong understanding, I will never be able to understand correctly. And there is nothing you can tell me to stop my belief in what I am doing with my blog.

I reason that you and I are on the same journey. You and I are seeking perfect doctrine.
Jim

thekingpin68 said...

Thanks, Jim.

Like basically all bloggers, we do not agree on every single point, but I really appreciate your support!

Penn Tomassetti said...

Hi Jim,
You said this in the post:
"In Jesus we see God’s goodness and mercy. We do not see the wrath of God poured out on man from Jesus."

I wanted to remind you that we do see the wrath of God poured out on man from Jesus in the future, just not yet. Maybe that is what you meant? So I don't want to assume you meant that Jesus does not display the wrath of God. Here is just one passage: Revelation 19:11-16

Verse 15 says, "And out of his mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God."

Other than that, your notes mainly focus on the meanings of the words. It is always helpful to learn what the original words mean.

Now, to answer your questions:
First, I'm not the judge of whether or not you are lost or saved, elect or non-elect, but I am to be discerning since the Bible gives signs of those who are false teachers and hypocritical believers, and we should avoid them (Matt. 7:15-23). In your case, I am simply being cautious until we become a little more familiar with each other's faith/faithfulness in Christ.

About your understanding of Calvinism: you don't seem to understand what calvinists believe. The reason I say that, is because of the derogatory statements you often make about calvinistic beliefs. That shows you havn't listened to what they say about those issues, such as the elect, effectual calling, the carnal mind, etc. I don't really want to argue with you about this unless you are willing to read or listen to the audio of those who have already addressed people's questions about calvinism. That would save me tons of time to explain to you what they (meaning Calvinists) say they believe about these things.

I do appreciate you checking out the links and the Bunyan book. Glad you took the time. I know it can be burdensome to spend a lot of time with something you don't agree with. My point was this: just get familiar with some of these beliefs before trying to stump me with your seemingly rhetorical questions. Thanks for referring me to Russ, I may ask him why he wants a PhD, but I think I know why from his above comments (bc he wants to be a professor).

I want to answer this question:
"Penn, you never did tell me of what I asked. I have asked the question of "do you believe that God rejects those who have faithfully believed on the work of Jesus and served Him by love and discipleship"? It was not phrased exactly like this."

I know for certain that God never rejects anyone who comes to Jesus for eternal life (John 6:37). I do believe there are many who have not come to Him, but to a system of belief, an intellectual knowledge or assent to a belief, a set of doctrines, a church, a sacrament, etc. who have not come to Jesus Christ for rest. I want to warn those people so that they will not trust in their false peace, but instead should run to Jesus Christ and find true satisfaction and assurance (Matt. 11:28; John 6:37; Heb. 12:2).

In reply to this question:
"Also, I wanted you to tell me if you believe that God calls some and not others. (like playing tag or it)."

"Many are called but few chosen" is a verse that comes to my mind (Matt. 20:16; 22:14).
I do believe that Christians are called in a special way in which those who are lost are not (see Acts 28:20; Rom. 1:1,6,7; 8:28,30; 9:7,24,26; Gal. 1:15; 2 Thes. 2:12; etc.). The word "called" depends a lot on the context in which it is used in the NT.

Now, on the right sidebar on my All of Grace blog, there is a link under "click here also" to John Pipers article on deeds of love. It isn't very long. I think you would find it very relevant to what you wrote about on your "Love One Another" blog.

That's all I have time to say in 40 minutes during lunch. Thanks :)

Penn

Penn Tomassetti said...

Piper's article is called, "Die to Law in order to Love."

jeleasure said...

Penn,
You wrote:
"I wanted to remind you that we do see the wrath of God poured out on man from Jesus in the future, just not yet".

Reply:
Correct, not yet. Not in the physical or the here and now.

Penn:
"Other than that, your notes mainly focus on the meanings of the words. It is always helpful to learn what the original words mean".

Reply:
Other than what?

Penn:
but I am to be discerning since the Bible gives signs of those who are false teachers and hypocritical believers, and we should avoid them (Matt. 7:15-23).

Reply:
Sure, this would be a type of judgement that is found in understanding the Koine Greek word (one of the words for) 'judge'.
The Greek word is 'Dia Krino'. When Jesus worns "Do not judge or else you will be judged...". He is not using this word "Dia Krino". He is using the word, "Krino".

"Krino" is a type of judgement used reserved for God's understanding. HIS decission to condemn would be this type of judgement. Remember this the next time someone accuses you of being a fake Christian for judging.

Penn:
"About your understanding of Calvinism: you don't seem to understand what calvinists believe".

Reply:
No, honestly I do not. The reason for not understanding is, I have found three types of Calvinistic doctrines.

One is "Extreme". These people believe in an unescapable election that you can not have a will to reject. They also believe in a person who may live entirely for The Lord, and not be able to have election.

Two: I do not know how to classify. However, they believe in election that the believer can reject by his life style and refusal to be obedient to the Holy Spirit and Jesus' commands. They also believe that there are those who can not be called even if they are devoted to The lord.

Three: These people believe that being 'elect' is to come to the Lord by His calling and begin living the Christian life. Election happens after receiving and accepting the call. They do not believe they can fall away. They believe that because receiving and accepting the call is what makes a person the "Elect of God" anyone who is living for the Lord is an 'elect'.

Penn:
"willing to read or listen to the audio of those who have already addressed people's questions about calvinism".

Reply:
What audio testimonies? I have read your suggested reading as I said I would and have commented on them for you to understand that I read what you asked me to. I watched a video from Roshan's page. That is it. You have not requested anything else of me, have you?
I can tell you that sometimes I look for a post that I intended to send to one of the people I blog with. And, when I look, I can't find it. Then, I discovered that sometimes I, for what ever reason am required to type my password a second time. I discovered this as I was about ready to hit "publish comment". So, I probably closed the window thinking that my comment was sent. But it was not.
Have you ever found that you were about to do this? Maybe this is what happened if you asked me to listen to something.
Jim

CJ Carr said...

Jim,
I am honored to first of all share the same name as your brother, and that you have found me and were touched by my blogs.
I have read your blogs sort of. I read the most recent post in each and I really value your heart.
I sense that you are a great man of God.
I hope that other people's lives will be touched by your words and heart.
in him,
CJ

jeleasure said...

Hi C.J.
Thanks for checking in with me. I hope that you agree with my idea of setting up a network. If you approve, I would like to add a link to your page from mine. And I will ask you to do the same.
I read 'thekingpin68' today. He has a lot of good things to say as he has been a student in Biblical Studies for the past 17 years and is pursuing a PHD. What he wrote about today was good for bloggers to read. He also advises to add links to other blogger's pages. So, let's link up. O.k. You will have to give me your approval before I add your link to my page.
Thanks. Jim

Penn Tomassetti said...

www.desiringGod.org
www.gty.org
http://www.gracetempe.org/wp/?cat=7&special=sermons
That last html link is from the link I have on my most recent AoG post. I found it on the esv Bible blog (both links are there) and you might be interested in the Romans 6 songs by Kami Mueller. Whenever she sings one verse it always reminds me of your blog ;)

Okay, there is one more called "monergism". You could google it. These are the most widely recognized calvinistic resources (except for the Grace Church site, that is a local church).

As far as blogs go, there are something like as many as the sands by the sea.
Here is one I enjoy:
teampyro.blogspot.org
(these guys will really discuss way more with you than I can).

P.S.
Your definitions of differences in Calvinism need to be refreshed. I would say Romans 11:33-36 is at the heart of Calvinism as well as John Calvin's desire for the glory of God. If you think about it, the main message of the Bible is God and His glory revealed in Christ.

Thank you. Sorry, I cannot answer every thing you brought up.

jeleasure said...

O.K. Penn,
I will look at these recommended readings and listen to some recommended music. I will not be able to answer you this evening, though. I need to spend time with my wife and animals.
Do me a favor. Go through my most recent comment to you here and see if there is something you want to comment on or explain. For example. One thing you missed is I asked a question: "Other than what" in reply to this:

Penn said,
""Other than that, your notes mainly focus on the meanings of the words. It is always helpful to learn what the original words mean".
Thanks,
Jim

CJ Carr said...

Thank you sir, your encouragement makes me smile.

Also I already added a link to your page from my page, so I tell you that you can put a link to my page from yours, that sir would be an honor

jeleasure said...

Congradulations C.J.
You now have a link on all three of my pages. You can find my other blog pages in the right side bar under the title, "My Other Blogs".
I also have you listed in "Love One Another" and "Journaling For Growth" in real time links that will notify me of when you have posted a blog item and how old it is. This is a good thing because people who stop by my page will see that you are keeping your blog active and may decide to visit with you.
Have a good evening C.J.
Jim

Jeff said...

Jim,

One thing I'm beginning to notice about you is that you are a man of your word. When you say you will do something, you do it. That is honorable and admirable.

I write stories cuz killing is illegal said...

wow, nice, very nice. I'm not a religious individual but it is required for my academics that I read the bible. Your blog puts an interesting spin on what I originally thought of the Bible and though not all your entries apply to what I have to study, it's interesting. You, sir, are one of few to actually make me consider reading the Bible for depth.

kudos on your awesome blog

jeleasure said...

I Write Stories...,
Thanks for the encouragement.
I'll be certain to drop by your blog.
Are you taking a Humanities Class, by any chance?
The main reason I blog is to keep my manuscript ("Love One Another") updated. This, "Journaling For Growth" blog allows me to understand how I can process more complete thoughts that are easily understood. If you go to my right side bar, you will see "My Other Blogs".
"Love One Another" is a 'connect the dots' type of manuscript to explain Christianity and what I know of Judaism as the foundation from which Christianity has come.

If you are taking a class that requires "Biblical Studies", I believe I can help you, in understanding the Bible. Take a look at my manuscript. If you read it and don't understand what I "attempt" to say, the benefit you have is, you can ask me to clairify it. I will admit, I've gleaned some good insites from other bloggers on how I can make my message more plain.
Have a good day.
By the way, I was noticing that you have about sixty views to your profile. That is pretty good for just beginning your blog, this month.
Jim

I write stories cuz killing is illegal said...

Thank you. And the Biblical Studies is actually for an English class. We're studying the imagery and other wonderful goodies nestled in the delicate pages of the King James Bible. I'm actually afraid. Lol.

jeleasure said...

I Write Stories...,
Very cool.
I just finished posting the comment I promised. I did not expect that you would be on line early this morning. I live in Virginia and am in need of hurrying to get to work. So, I will write later.
I just wanted to say, that I have discussed a lot of the imagery in the Bible in my manuscript. The one thing I had hoped for in posting my manuscript is that someone would find a use for it. So, it is there for your use.
Jim

Penn Tomassetti said...

Hi Jim,

You asked what I meant by "other than that,..." Well, first I appologize for writing a confusing phrase. I meant something like this, "other than what I just commented on, which is the issue of Christ Jesus displaying the horrific, bloody wrath of God in vengeance on His enemies in the future judgment, now I can move to the next thing I noticed in your post (which is that you did a lot of word-meaning study), hence the "other than that" (other than judgment). So those are the two main things I was thinking about.

I probably made it more confusing now than ever, because my mouth (or in this case, my words) don't always say exactly what my mind is thinking. Hope that is enlightening.

jeleasure said...

O.k. Penn.
No, that was not more confusing. I understood.
About the definitions, I was just wanting to ask, did you get the idea I am attempting to transmit?
What I want the reader to get from the definitions is, Moses could not look on God's Glory. So, He showed Moses His 'Back'.
The definitions I pulled up, all lend to the idea of 'Back' being The Son. Now, if you like, I feel o.k. with calling The Son Jesus. In Exodus, The Son was called "My Back".
Jim

Vicki said...

It is impossible for mortals to understand the nature of God. However, I think it pleases God that we try very hard to understand. Keep studying and believing, Beloved. Just like a marriage or a friendship, fellowship is pivotol to truly approaching understanding.

Jeff said...

Jim,

Interesting to describe God as "layering" Himself. The Trinity, as well as the idea of God revealing Himself to man in physical form (or even in the form of a burning bush, a pillar of smoke, or a pillar of fire) when the Bible also says that no man has seen God, is not an easy subject to tackle.

jeleasure said...

Jeff,
I just use the language provided in my Hebrew interlinear and reference in a lexicon.
Yes, it is a tough topic to 'tackle'. I like them like that.
Thanks for the comment.

Jeff said...

Here are some interesting thoughts I found that may help to add more to your explanation, Jim (and I don't think they disagree with your article):

"When Moses looked upon the burning bush, did he actually “see” God? No. He saw an image that we as humans can comprehend. The bush was a representation of God—an occasion where something took God’s place."

"Job looked at the whirlwind and heard God. But was God really in the whirlwind? Did Job actually see God when he looked into this magnificent force of nature? No. Instead, Job saw a manifestation of God that a human could comprehend."

"Third, consider Jacob’s “seeing” God as he wrestled with an angel (Genesis 32:24-30). He wrestled from night until daybreak with this heavenly being and eventually said: “I have seen God face to face.” Was it really God that Jacob saw? No, he did not see God but instead witnessed a representative of God. A similar example can be found in the case of Manoah (the father of Samson), recorded in Judges 13. In this instance, the text says that Manoah and his wife were visited by the “Angel of the Lord” (13:13) who informed them of their son’s impending birth. Afterwards, Manoah said: “We shall surely die because we have seen God!” (13:22). Again, it is necessary to ask: Was it really God that Manoah and his wife saw? No, they did not see God but instead witnessed (just as Jacob had) a manifestation of God via the angel. [NOTE: A fascinating parallel can be seen in Gideon’s statement in Judges 6:22 when he cried: “I have seen the Angel of the Lord face to face.”

http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/539

jeleasure said...

Thanks Jeff,
I have looked at them. If I feel up to it, I may retool this. However, I think my discussion with you has improved the article.

Randi Jo :) said...

I liked that description of layers like an onion.... everything else really flew over my head and I couldn't follow - but that part I got :) thanks for sharing! :)