Interesting take on the word, Elohim - YouTube

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Bill The Baptist

Puritan Board Graduate
This strikes me as being a bit fanciful. Since when do Hebrew letters represent words or concepts? It isn’t Chinese. Maybe someone who is an expert in Hebrew can chime in, but that is just my first impression.
 

greenbaggins

Administrator
Staff member
Yeah, I don't buy it. It is interesting. However, Hebrew is not pictographic, like Egyptian or Chinese, as Bill pointed out. What is in view in Genesis 1 is the almighty creative (ex nihilo) power of God that comes through His speech. The Trinity is present in Genesis 1, but more through the speech of God (via John 1), and the Spirit of Genesis 1:2, as well as the plural of "our likeness" in 1:26. It is not through the plural form of "elohim," either, in my opinion. The plural "im" ending is something that countless nouns have in common with "elohim." Therefore, at the very least, the marker for the plural cannot mean what the video says it means. Nowhere do we have such an explanation for the meaning of "elohim" in Scripture. I much prefer contextual derivations of meaning for the term, rather than this sort of thing.
 

Ask Mr. Religion

Flatly Unflappable
Well, for a couple of minutes there while watching the video I thought I must have fallen asleep during some portion of my Hebrew classes. It has been over 40 years, and I wondered if I may have missed something since then. ;)
 

iainduguid

Puritan Board Sophomore
One obvious problem is that the word elohim is also used to describe false gods. So it can't inherently mean what this person says. Attempts to get the Bible to behave like a magic book, containing a secret code that only the initiated can see, have a long and not particularly distinguished history. Better to focus our attention on what the words of Scripture actually say in the form of sentences and paragraphs.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Yeah, I don't buy it. It is interesting. However, Hebrew is not pictographic, like Egyptian or Chinese, as Bill pointed out. What is in view in Genesis 1 is the almighty creative (ex nihilo) power of God that comes through His speech. The Trinity is present in Genesis 1, but more through the speech of God (via John 1), and the Spirit of Genesis 1:2, as well as the plural of "our likeness" in 1:26. It is not through the plural form of "elohim," either, in my opinion. The plural "im" ending is something that countless nouns have in common with "elohim." Therefore, at the very least, the marker for the plural cannot mean what the video says it means. Nowhere do we have such an explanation for the meaning of "elohim" in Scripture. I much prefer contextual derivations of meaning for the term, rather than this sort of thing.
has there been a general consensus on if the "In our own Image" by God referred to speaking within the trinity themselves, or God addressing the assembled Angelic hosts there?
 

greenbaggins

Administrator
Staff member
David, in order for the angelic host to be addressed by the word "our," Adam and Eve would have to have been made in the image of the angels, and not just of God. This is highly unlikely. Humanity is not made in the image of angels, only of God.
 

earl40

Puritan Board Professor
David, in order for the angelic host to be addressed by the word "our," Adam and Eve would have to have been made in the image of the angels, and not just of God. This is highly unlikely. Humanity is not made in the image of angels, only of God.
Would not the angels also be made in the image of God also? I say this in that angels, like Adam, also have the same moral qualities.
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
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Would not the angels also be made in the image of God also? I say this in that angels, like Adam, also have the same moral qualities.
I would be careful about that. There is something distinct about man in creation.

First, Gen. 1 tells us that God said, "Let us make man in our image...." Nothing like that is said about any other creature.

Second, man and angels are expressly distinct in nature. Hebrews 2:16 speaks of Christ: "For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. "

Psalm 8, likewise, shows a distinction and that man is a special case--made a little lower than the angels, yet crowned with glory and honor.

One other thing, who are we to judge angels but for some special quality given to us by God? (1 Cor. 6:3).
 

earl40

Puritan Board Professor
I would be careful about that. There is something distinct about man in creation.

First, Gen. 1 tells us that God said, "Let us make man in our image...." Nothing like that is said about any other creature.

Second, man and angels are expressly distinct in nature. Hebrews 2:16 speaks of Christ: "For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. "

Psalm 8, likewise, shows a distinction and that man is a special case--made a little lower than the angels, yet crowned with glory and honor.

One other thing, who are we to judge angels but for some special quality given to us by God? (1 Cor. 6:3).
I understand your concern. Can we at least agree angels are indeed rational sentient moral beings unlike dogs who are not capable of making moral choices. If so it follows men are lower than angels in that The man Christ Jesus was made "lower" than angels, and this "lower" is not in my opinion speaking only of the physical nature. I know we both agree man has a spiritual side, but we men are a lower "class" of being than the angels.
 

earl40

Puritan Board Professor
Also I would like to point out a proper understanding of being made in His image has nothing to do with the properties that God holds separately to Himself which most Christians think they have. :)
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
Can we at least agree angels are indeed rational sentient moral beings unlike dogs who are not capable of making moral choices.
I don't want to derail too far into another topic, but I'm not sure we can agree on that, Earl. And I'm not really kidding, either.

I've trained cow dogs, among other dogs. I've seen dogs perceive things or feel things, so they fall within the definition of "sentient." I've also seen some of my cow dogs extrapolate from prior experience to adapt to a new set of conditions. To some extent, it looks like a form of reasoning.

Plus, my dogs have often demonstrated a sense of having done wrong. They know when they have "sinned." A well trained dog wants to do what is "right", what pleases his master, and that implies some sense of moral order.

I know, my view might be over-the-top to some, but I don't place the image-of-God quality in the realm of sensation or rationality. Instead, I think it falls somewhere in the realm of self-reflection, which is a higher order of awareness than mere reason and sense.

In other words, dogs or other animals do not contemplate their existence and consider that they are fearfully and wonderfully made (by something beyond themselves).

And, frankly, I don't know if angels have that capacity, either. The good angels are certainly obedient, intelligent, and strong. But are these qualities a result of their created nature or because they have an image of God? All I can say is that angels are intensely interested in the workings of God on his people, and in people's response to their God. (1 Peter 1:12; 1 Corinthian's 11:10). They are inquisitive about things that we too often take for granted.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
I don't want to derail too far into another topic, but I'm not sure we can agree on that, Earl. And I'm not really kidding, either.

I've trained cow dogs, among other dogs. I've seen dogs perceive things or feel things, so they fall within the definition of "sentient." I've also seen some of my cow dogs extrapolate from prior experience to adapt to a new set of conditions. To some extent, it looks like a form of reasoning.

Plus, my dogs have often demonstrated a sense of having done wrong. They know when they have "sinned." A well trained dog wants to do what is "right", what pleases his master, and that implies some sense of moral order.

I know, my view might be over-the-top to some, but I don't place the image-of-God quality in the realm of sensation or rationality. Instead, I think it falls somewhere in the realm of self-reflection, which is a higher order of awareness than mere reason and sense.

In other words, dogs or other animals do not contemplate their existence and consider that they are fearfully and wonderfully made (by something beyond themselves).

And, frankly, I don't know if angels have that capacity, either. The good angels are certainly obedient, intelligent, and strong. But are these qualities a result of their created nature or because they have an image of God? All I can say is that angels are intensely interested in the workings of God on his people, and in people's response to their God. (1 Peter 1:12; 1 Corinthian's 11:10). They are inquisitive about things that we too often take for granted.
My understanding of being made in Image of God refers to Humans being able to have a spiritual relationship to their Creator, to being able to exercise thoughts, feelings, to know that we exist and are alive in a sense animals cannot do.
We were the only created beings to have that special relationship with God, and to have it restored by Jesus death upon the Cross in our stead, which was not done to atone for either angels or animals.
 

bookslover

Puritan Board Doctor
Regarding the OP: Nah, not buyin' it. As has been said: (1) Hebrew is not pictographic and (2) the word is also used to describe false gods.

Cute video, though.
 

earl40

Puritan Board Professor
I don't want to derail too far into another topic, but I'm not sure we can agree on that, Earl. And I'm not really kidding, either.
Not wanting to derail either in that we most definitely disagree, and to discuss it in this thread would take the OP choo choo off the tracks. :)
 

Timotheos

Puritan Board Freshman
Paleo-Hebrew was in fact pictographic much like Chinese or Egyptian (though not as complex). You are aware that in our Hebrew Bible, we are looking at late Aramaic square script. It was not what Moses and others used when they wrote (just like our GNT is not uncial). So be careful with simple dismissals.

I'm not saying what this guy says is valid. I didn't even bother with the video. But I tend to think of the HB/TNK as more polemical against Canaanite religions surrounding them. Especially since the Semitic languages share so much in common. So instead of creating meaning out of letter pictograms, I think Moses et al are more likely to use pagan concepts and turn them on their heads for the worship of YHWH. Ps 29 being a great example of a polemic against Ba'al and Yamm.

Edit: Now that I've watched the video... I can say that was utter tripe. Elohim is a title not a name. It is a play on the Canaanite god El in the plural (plural of majesty). To say that the Trinity is implied in just the pictographic lettering is absurd. This is not exegesis! This is mysticism run amuck. Christians too often treat Jewish "stuff" w/ an air of magic or mysticism that borders on absurd. I'm thinking, for example, of Christian seder meals. #Annoyed
 
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Jack K

Puritan Board Professor
Hmm. I just watched the video. Those letters look to me like a flowing cape, a pointy ear, a mask, and a flashy car... suggesting a long-hidden revelation that Batman was present at creation. But maybe I'm just not seeing the figures rightly.
 
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