From: Roberto Dam (rad@infonet.com.py)
Date: Mon Oct 13 1997 - 02:41:46 EDT

<FONT COLOR="#400040">It is an interesting proposition, I think, to start
discussing O LOGOS. The starting point,</FONT>
<BR><FONT COLOR="#400040">however, as I see it, is not semantical, but
theological. When we see the true relationship between YHVH, Yeshuah/"Jesus"
and the Holy Spirit do you start to comprehend the possible and true translation.</FONT>
<BR><FONT COLOR="#400040">I am attaching our article, A GOD IN THREE PERSONS
OR A GOD IN THREE PARTS, which will give interested parties a chance to
open hitherto unexpected vistas into O LOGOS.</FONT>
<BR><FONT COLOR="#400040">Hasta la vista!</FONT>
<BR><FONT COLOR="#400040">Julio Dam</FONT>
<BR><FONT COLOR="#400040">Messianic Pastor,</FONT>
<BR><FONT COLOR="#400040">Beit Shalom Messianic Congregation</FONT>
<BR><FONT COLOR="#400040">URL:http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Acropolis/7775/BEITSHA2.HTM</FONT></HTML>

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                         OR A THREE-PART GOD?</center> </H1>
<H4><center>By Julio Dam</center>
<center>Messianic Pastor</center></H4>
               If there is one mystery worth revisiting, surely it is the
          mystery of the nature of God's Trinity. Theologians throughout
          the ages have devoted themselves to delve into this arcana
          with--fervorous enthusiasm albeit meager results--many a times.<P>

               These Christian sages' inquiries revolved around ponderous
          themes. Among these themes are questions such as the following,
          which have not been examined thoroughly, however, if one were to
          judge from the end results. How did this "Three-Persons-in-One-
          God originate? And a Divine Person? Is God a three-in-one God?
          And, if so, in what way? Does indeed God possess three Persons or
          is He a Three-Part God?<P>


                Where did the Church pick up the "three Persons-in-One-God"
          formula? Let us state it right at the beginning: It is not based
          on Scripture nor is it derived from it; and unfortunately, as we
          will try to show, it is an erroneous one.<P>

               Tertullian, Irenaeus, and Origen pursued the study of the Trinity. In fact, the
          former is responsible for the formula of "One Substance in three
          Persons" in the fourth century A.D. Now then, where did this
          "God: One substance in three Persons" come from? From Tertullian,
          a gifted theologian and writer.
          [Surely, if the "three Persons" part of the Tertullian phrase is
          not quite accurate, in its present connotations, then his whole phrase may fall apart in a
          second.] Athanasius proclaimed it as the faith of the church at
          the Council of Nicea in 325 A.C. as a riposte to the onslaught of
          Arrianism. Augustine devoted fifteen years of his life to
        meditating on it and wrote<I> De Trinitate</I>. He reformulated it as
          the "Athanasian Creed". John Calvin took it up and after him it
          become part of the Reform.<P><P>
What really happened is that Tertullian used the Latin word "persona" for its legal connotations,
at his time, which meant "parts of a litigation." That is to say, that what he thought, when he said "...in three Persons," what "..in three Parts." That is absolutely correct. The problem began when the word "persona" took on its modern meaning, as we shall see below. (For a brief discussion of this semantic change from "Part" to "Person," see History of Christianity, by Kenneth Scott Latourette, Vol. 1) If we stick to his original formulation, there is no problem at all, since God does have three Parts. As a God in three Parts, He made us "in His image and likeness," also with three parts. Surely, nobody would argue that we have three persons.

                      <Center><H3> 1. WHAT IS A PERSON?</H3></Center><P>

               Any successful theological explanation regarding God's Persons should, perhaps, satisfy two preconditions. First, it should be found in Scripture, as clearly and free of dogmatic interpretations and manipulations, and as unmistakably as possible. <P>
          Second, it should be fit to be understood via the digestion organs of man's mind, which are, after all, God-given. Blind faith should come after the understanding. The Church should not be
          forced to swallow "by faith" something which it cannot digest
          with her collective mind in the first place, <B>especially</B> if this
          "blind faith" is used to cover up something totally unscriptural.
          Let us see how these two preconditions meet our case.<P>

               What is a person? Webster's Dictionary defines it "as individual man, woman or child". Then, the word "individual" (as in "individual man" above) is defined as coming from the Middle Latin word individuus, meaning not divisible, "existing as a separate thing or being." Thus, a person is a separate being, distinct from another person or being. Therefore, if God has three Persons, it should somehow be referred to in Scripture.<P>

                However, nowhere in Scripture does the word "person" as
          such appear in the original languages. In the<B> Tanakh</B> [the "Old"
          Covenant] the word used is "ben Adam", meaning, "son of Adam"
          i.e., "man". In the New Covenant, there are three words, sometimes translated as "person", but none in fact, meaning so. The word usually translated for "person" is the Greek word<B> prosopon,</B>
          which according both to Vine Dictionary and Thayer's Lexicon of
          Greek Words, means "a face". Moreover, the word<B> antropos</B>, really
          means "man" not, "person", as in the word "antropomorphic", manlike.<P>

               Also, a person is supposed to have a personality. The word
          "personality," according to Webster's Dictionary is "what it
          takes for a person to be a person," i.e., certain characteristics
          that make him what he is and distinguish him from his next-door
          neighbor. Now, what do we make of a guy who has not one, but
          three personalities? The scientific world would call him
          "schizophrenic," and the Bible a "double-minded man" (James 1:8)
           Thus, it follows that a God with three Persons should necessarily possess three personalities. What are we implying? <P>

               Regarding the use of the word "Person" as referred to God. The New Bible Dictionary quite convincingly states its case against it: "Person' is, however, an imperfect expression of the truth inasmuch as the term denotes to us a separate rational and moral individual. But in the being of God there are not three individuals, but only three personal self-distinctions within the one divine essence. Then again, personality in man implies independence of will, actions, and feelings, leading to behavior peculiar to the person. This cannot be thought of in connection with the Trinity." [R.A.F., <B> New Bible Dictionary, Inter-Varsity Fellowship</B>, London, 1962, p. 1300.]<P>

               We have to agree with the Bible dictionary commentator, since the word "person" automatically implies a "separate rational and moral individual", with the operational word being separate. God is not made of three separate Persons, no matter how attuned they are to each other, since God does not possess three Personalities. That is Tritheism, a belief in three Gods.<P>

               In addition, nowhere in Scripture is there a verse which specifically states that God has three Persons. We must make up our minds, and Protestantism has long ago decided against it, whether we will believe in something which is clearly not in Scripture just because it has come down from a long line of tradition. Moreover, time and again, commentators urge their readers to "have faith" in a God who is both One and Three, without any further explanation about how this can be plausible. Our minds, thus, clearly reject this.<P>

               In sum, first, Tertullian hit the right formula with his "...in three parts." The problem has been with the subsequent connotations of the word "persona." Second, the word "person," semantically, means a
          human being separate from another, and it never appears even once
          as such in the whole of Scripture. Third, there are no verses
          specifically saying that God has three Persons. As the Bible Dic-
          tionary quoted above says: <I>"Scripture does not give us a fully
          formulated doctrine of the Trinity."</I> [<B>The New Bible Dictionary</B>,
          op. cit. p. 1298.] Fourth, the given explanation of a three-Person
          God who is at the same time One does not sound plausible.<P>


 We have seen above how a person possesses certain characteristics which constitute his personality. Which characteristics may a person have? A person, as "a separate being" has an ego, a self; he is morally and rationally separate from any other person; he has a self-will [which might coincide or not with somebody's will]; a distinct culture, mother tongue, and an upbringing and background (childhood, adulthood) which is different from that of any other person, just as different as his unique fingerprints.<P>

               For instance, you and I are two separate persons. Aside from
          the fact that we are both human beings, we have very few things
          in common. We do not share an identical moral and scriptural
          code, since we were brought up in different denominations.
          Neither do we share the same will, culture, mother tongue,
          upbringing, or background since we have not even met. In short,
          there is very little that we do have in common. Thus, we can
          hardly say we are the same person, nor can we say this about any
          other person on the face of the earth. We are unique.<P>

               Last, but not least, one of the most important traits a persson possesses as a human being is the fact he is made up of three parts, according to I Thess. 5:23:<I> "And the very God of peace
          sanctify you oloteleis </I> ["perfect, complete in all
          respects";Thayer's Lexicon] <I> and I pray God your <B> olokleron</B></I>
          ["complete in all its parts; entire" Thayer's Lexicon]<I> spirit and
          soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord
          Jesus Christ."</I><P>


               What the above verse from I Thess. means is that a human being, a person is made up in its entirety of a spirit, a soul, and a body; these are his three parts. In other words, a person's body is not the complete person; he still lacks his spirit and soul. And viceversa. A person's spirit does not constitute the entire person; he still lacks his body and his soul. Similarly, his spirit is not a person, but a third of his person, which is likewise for his soul and body. Not even your body and your soul is your whole person; you still need your spirit to make a whole person. Thus, a person's<B> olokleron</B>, "complete, entire" being is made of these three parts, and no less than three because Scripture says so.<P>

               When we see a person vis-a-vis a person's three-part being,
          we may begin to clear our minds about their differences. Let me
          give you a "for instance" that I hope will suffice to clarify
          matters in your mind. Your body may wish to eat right at the time
          you are in church, but both your soul (made up of your mind, your
          feelings, and your will) and your spirit may want to remain
          seated where you are, enjoying the Lord's peace. Thus, you may
          appreciate the difference between a person and a person's three part being.<P>

               Who is the one who wishes to leave church? Your whole per-
          son? No, it is only a third of your being, your body, being
          hungry, who signals you to leave. Both your soul and your spirit
          tell your whole person: <I>"Don't. Stay until it is finished. Enjoy
          the Presence of the Lord."</I><P>

                     <H3><Center> 4. GOD'S THREE PERSONS OR GOD'S THREE PARTS?<P>


               Trinitarians and Unitarians have waged a centuries-old war
          of words regarding paradoxical verses, i.e., apparently contradictory ones, such as the following. But there is a way to unite the two extremes and still come up with the truth.<P>

                              <Center><H3>GOD IS ONE</H3></Center><P>

             <I> "Shema Israel, Yahveh Eloheinu Yahveh <B>ekhad</B>. Hear Israel:
          Yahveh our God Yahvheh is one"</I> (Deut. 6:4) [the translation from
          the original Hebrew is the author's.]<P>

             <I> "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the
          only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."</I> (John

             <I> "yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all
          things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord,
          Yeshuah Messiah, through whom all things came and through whom we
          live"</I> (I Cor. 8:5-6)<P>

             <I> "one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of
          all, who is over all and through all and in all"</I> (Eph. 4:5-6)<P>

                                <Center><H3> GOD IS THREE</H3></Center><P>

            <I> "...baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the
          Son, and of the Holy Ghost"</I> (Mtt. 28:19)<P>

             <I> "May the grace of the Lord Yeshua Messiah , and the love of
          God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all"</I> (II
          Cor. 13:14)<P>

               On the other hand, in Gen. 1:26 it is written: <I> "And God
          said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness..."</I><P>

               It follows, as mathematicians say, from the two verses above
          that if God made us in His image, after His likeness, what we are
          made of He is made of. Thus we can conclude by saying that God
          also has three parts, a Spirit, a Soul and a Body, since He
          created us in His image and likeness.<P>

               What are these three Parts of God? Yahveh , God the Father,
          Yeshua, God the Son, and the Holy Spirit of God. It remains to be
          ascertained which Part of God corresponds to which Part of His
          Holy Being. Let us take the simplest one to figure out. Which
          Part of the Three is the Spirit Part of God? Why, the Holy
          Spirit, of course. Which Part of God is the Body? Let us see what
          it says in Yochahan/John 1:1,14: <I>"In the beginning was the Logos</I> [the
          Word], <I> and the Logos was with God, and the Logos was God...And
          the Logos was made flesh, and dwelt </I>[tabernacled] <I>among us..."</I><P>

                The word Logos might be conceived as the tabernaculization,
          the embodiment of the Supreme Thought of God, a Part of Himself.
          Since, as we will see next, Yahveh God the Father is the Soul
          Part of God, this Soul (Mind, Feelings, Will, Judgment, Ego, Social Ego, and Moral/Conscience) of God
          needs a vehicle to be made visible, for putting flesh and blood,
          so to speak, unto His Thoughts; this carnalization of His Supreme
          Thought is Yeshua Himself. And Scripture says so in Yochanan/John 1:14:
         <I> "...And the Logos was made flesh, and dwelt among us..."</I><P>

               It is clear from Yochanan/John 1:14 that Yeshua is God manifested
          <B>[phaneros</B>], made visible, and He is in such manner described in I
          Timothy 3:16: <I>"And without controversy great is the mystery of
          godliness: God was ephaneroze</I> [manifested, made visible]<I> in the
          flesh..." </I> Even His name in Hebrew is extremely revealing, and that is precisely why God«s enemy has struggled so hard to hide it under its Greek-derived translations, as Jesus. Yeshua comes from: "Y" (Yahveh) plus "Ieshuah," meaning "salvation/deliverance/victory." (See Vine«s Dictionary, Vol. 3, p 316; and Ben-Yehudah«s Hebrew-English Dictionary, p. 123). <P>
So, we may conclude that Yeshua is the Body Part of God.<P>

               What remains is only the Soul Part of God; since there is
          only one name left, that of Yahveh, God the Father, we may safely
          say that Yahveh God is the Soul Part of God.<P>

<P>God has chosen remetz (allusion) as a way to share these truths with His sons, the believers. One of these allusions is the Jerusalem Temple. We must not forget that both the Tabernacle in the desert as well as the Temple of king Shlomo (Solomon) in Jerusalem was made up of three parts: the Kadosh Kadoshim (The Holy of Holies), the Holy Place (Makom ha Kadosh) and the Outer Court, or Court of the Women.<P>
There is no coincidence here that it is made up of Three Parts: It corresponds exactly with the three Parts of God, and also with the three-part man, His creation. The Holy of Holies is the place reserved for Yahveh, God the Father. That is why only the High Priest could enter it, and only once a year, on Yom Ha Kipurim. Then there was the Holy Place, representative of the Holy Spirit. And there is the Outer Court, representative of Yeshua, who is the only One who put His feet on this earth, as the Outer Court is the<P>
most accessible part of all three parts of the Temple.<P>
Another remetz (allusion) God used were His three great yearly feasts referred to in Vaikrah/And Called/"Lev." 23, when the eight feasts mentioned there were compacted into three yearly feasts, and one weekly feast, the Shabat.<P>
These three great yearly feasts were: Pesach/Passover, in remembrance of Yeshua the Messiah, who gave His life for us; Shavuot/Pentecost, in remembrance of the Holy Spirit, as it was in Shavuot/Pentecost that the Jewish woman called Israel was born again in the spirit; and Sukot/Cabanas/Tabernacles, in remembrance of Yahveh, God the Father. (See A Staircase to Heaven, by the author).<P>
Even the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, the Aleph, reveals the three-Part nature of God. The aleph is made up of three strokes, as seen from right to left. The first, right-hand stroke, which never touches the Earth (represented by the writing line) is representative of Yahveh, God the Father. Then there is a middle, long stroke from left to right coming down from above and touching the writing line, which represents the Holy Spirit. And the third stroke issues from the second stroke and puts its "foot" on the writing line, a symbol of Yeshua Messiah. One letter made up of three parts. One God made up of three Parts.
                                          <Center><H3> CONCLUSION</H3></Center>
               To sum it up, God, like us humans, made in His image and
          likeness, has three Holy Parts: a Spirit, the Holy Spirit; a Soul
          Part, Yahveh ("The LORD"); and a Body Part, the only one of the
          three who was made flesh, Yeshuah. Once we thoroughly understand
          this, there is no need to entangle ourselves with the <B>mistaken</B>
          notion of God's having three Persons.<P>

               Yavheh God, the Soul, a Third of God, is not the<B> olokleron, </B>the
          complete God. There still remains His Spirit, the Second Third, the Holy
          Spirit, and His Body, His final Third, Yeshua; and the same goes for each of
          the Holy Parts of God. Just one Third of God is not the Whole

               In this manner, Yeshua, for instance, as a Part of God, and
          not as a separate and distinct Person, does not possess a
          culture, language, background and upbringing which is different from
          the Father's, or from the Holy Spirit. The same thing happens to
          us as a tripartite being. Our body does not possess a separate
          upbringing or background from our soul (mind). Your body, dear
          reader, was brought up in the same house, within the same family,
          and heard the same words as your soul and your spirit--precisely
          because you are not made up of three different persons, but only
          three different parts.<P>
               God is One, just you and I are one; and He is made of three
          Holy Parts, just as Tertullian first formfulated it, and just as you and I are made of three (unholy) parts.
          It is only when we perceive God as<I> one</I> God made up of three Parts
          that all the apparent contradictions dissolve into nothingness! It is only when we realize that Yeshuah is Yahveh made flesh that we begin to understand "in spirit and in truth" the nature of the Trinity.
          It is only then than Trinitarianism and Unitarianism come
          together and evolve into something higher: a three-Part God. Let
          us hope this view helps Christiandom understand our God better.

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