« PrécédentContinuer »
" of the Church, who were eager enough to dis“cover, in the Old Testament, proofs of a Trie “nity, never dreamed of seeking one in it." But Geddes, by not marking the word “persons"? in his statement, has not half exposed the absurd position of Hutchinson, which, when analyzed, not only maintains that both [Elohim), is the plural of the Hebrew noun 7% [Eloah], but that, in English, “persons” is the plural of the noun “God !” Plurality of any noun multiplies only that noun; and therefore, if Elohim must always be understood as a plural, we must, in the very first verse of the Bible, read, “ In the beginning, Gods created the heaven and the earth;"--a mode
a of speech which could only lead to polytheism. But the original prohibits such a translation, for the verb xna is in the third person singular, HE created, and therefore its nominative, Elohim, must be a noun singular. Of the noun God,” the plural can only be “ Gods ;"_it cannot be “persons,” the singular of which noun is, and can only be,“ person.” How, in the name of common sense, can the doctrine of the Trinity be inherent in à term applied, as we have seen, to heathen idols, to '
magistrates and great men, to excessive thunder, wrestling, and trembling, and to the magnitude of a city!
That Elohim, when applied to the Creator, is a noun singular, we have seen from the first
verse of the Old Testament. In the first chapter alone the word occurs upwards of thirty times as a nominative to verbs singular. In Exod. iii. 5. we meet with the word 197bx four, times, and
"I am Elohi of thy father, ELOHI of Abraham, Elohi of Isaac, and Elohi of Jacob. And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon the ELOHIM. That Elohi and Elohim are here nouns singular we know on an authority not to be controverted—that of the inspired Evangelists, re-quoting our Lord's quotation from Exodus. Matthew (xxii. 32.) and Mark (xii. 26.) employ, in their translation, the nominative singular ó Ocòs; Luke also (xx. 37.) employs the singular; but having brought in the word after a verb, he, necessarily, puts it in the accusative, tòy Osóv.
It may be proper to remark, generally, for the sake of those who have no knowlege of the original, that the inspired penmen, here and in other places, were not put under any necessity, by the nature of the language in which they were writing, to employ the singular; for this noun has its regular plural in Greek : and accordingly they have used the plural form on various occasions. And this, naturally, leads to another remark, that, on the same high authority which has been adduced to prove that the word Elohim is a noun singular, when applied to JeHOVAH, it may be stated, that it is sometimes used as a
noun plural when applied to idols, and often so
, “ , olls o
Will the authority of the penmen of the New Testament, for the sense of terms employed by the prophets in the Old, be questioned, by any who have a right to be heard in this controversy? Certainly not. In no one instance have they given a plural translation of Elohim, when applied to THE SUPREME Being; nor have they ever employed a plural noun as a name to
designate The OMNIPOTENT in any of their discourses. It is, therefore, not true, that Elohim, as applied to the Creator, expresses either a plurality of gods or a plurality of persons. It is true, bowever, as we have seen, that the same inspired writers do sometimes render this Hebrew word by a plural Greek noun; but, unfortunately for the Hutchinsonians, only in instances in which it cannot, by any possibility, be referred, directly or indirectly, to the SUPREME BEING. Could this be the case, if what they maintain respecting this name were true? Assuredly not. Another reason then must exist, for its being used as a plural, than that for which they contend : and this reason may be seen in the etymological sense of the term. When found in construction with verbs, participles, and pronouns singular, it ascribes, collectively, to an individual, whatever it can include or express, without any limitation, excepting what arises from the nature and fitness of things: thus, applied to inanimate objects, as a mountain, it includes magnitude in all its dimensions, but, necessarily, excludes every thing connected with active agency; applied to a city, it embraces not only magnitude but population, and whatever constitutes power and greatness in such a community ; applied to a man,--a judge, for instance--it ascribes to him every power proper to his office; or, more correctly, the powers of the office, rather than any thing proper to the man himself, are contemplated by the speaker,-precisely as we speak of the powers
of any ruler among ourselves, whether of the head of the legislative and judicial powers, or of a subordinate magistrate. The extent of the sig. nification of the word Elohim is measured only by the nature, the quality and character of the object so denominated, and consequently, when applied to JeHOVAH, it attributes to him the possession of power in a superlative degree every species of power-powers unlimited, whe_ ther might, force, or strength,—authority, lordship, or dominion. These, and such attributes, constitute the only plurality that, properly, belongs to the word, when employed as a name of that Being who is, emphatically, THE POWERFUL or Mighty One; and who is so, not at some particular period only, but ever so ;—The OMNIPOTENT,—The EVER-POWERFUL,—The ALL-POWERFUL. This the idolaters, affirmed of their deities. They called them their Elohim. --their all-powerful protectors; and when more than one of these is spoken of, the word is then put in construction with verbs and participles plural. In fine-whenever the word Elohim occurs, it is subjected to the exigencies of grammatical speech, as similar nouns are, in all lan