Tag Archives: Exodus 3

Fictional interpretation – a case study

In order to clearly highlight what I consider as fictional interpretation of the Bible, allow me to use this example from my recent discussion with a trinitarian theologian.

First, the theologian wrote:

“Thus my advice is to be content with the fact that the God of Moses is not Just ONE person. You have in Exodus 3 YAHWEH revealing Himself to Moses in His quality of Heavenly Messenger (“Angel”) of YAHWEH. Thus there is ONE YAHWEH in Heaven, and anOTHER YAHWEH as His legate showing Himself to Moses. If the name of God is not applicable to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit together (three Persons each manifesting the true God), then we have in Exodus 3 a case of idolatry, worshipping another god. There is no way to escape this conclusion, therefore my non-trinitarian SDA friends prefer to avoid Exodus 3 and similar scriptures.”

Notice that the point he is making is that Exodus 3 shows that there are two which are called by the same name YHWH, yet YHWH is the name of one God. This situation of two persons using one name, which name belongs to only one person is the conundrum to which a harmonising solution must be found. Notice that his solution to this conundrum is a logic which combines the two (of course with the Spirit, though the Spirit was never called YHWH neither by Moses nor any writer in the Bible) to make up the one being called the One God.

Then I responded challenging him to separate what the Bible says from his own solution. I wrote:

“You admitted yourself that in your theology, the Bible is not enough in logic…If you consider the Bible to be complete in defining who God is, and if you stick to biblical definitions, you will come to a different conclusion. Try it. In your thinking about Exodus 3, try to separate what is stated, from what you reason out (your logic). Then consider where your reasoning is coming from. It is a simple normal scholarly thing to do, really…So when you say the plurality is obvious, it is only obvious to what you have added to your insufficient Bible by logic. You need to learn the difference between what is in the Bible, and what you add by logic and tradition, and that both the data and the logic must come from the Bible… On the plurality of one being, you add your logic to the Bible.”

That must be straightforward. The theologian is challenged to identify his logic and separate it from what the Bible says. Then identify where he got the logic from.

Then he responded as follows:

“You want me ”try to separate (in Exodus 3) what is stated” from what I reason out (my logic).” … In Exodus 3 the pluri-personality of God is obvious, because it is the simplest deduction from the data, not some complex phylosophical or theological speculation. If Moses called the One in the burning bush both the Messenger of YHWH (Ex 3:2) and God or YHWH Himself, how one can justify such colossal confusion, if Moses did not mean two different persons? If your logic is better in this case, please dare to explain to me! Why Moses, the father of monotheism, compromised his grand idea from the beginning?”

True to the theologian’s earlier assertion that the Bible does not contain enough logic to explain the One God and he has to make his own deductions, the theologian responds saying that by using the same name for two persons, Moses could have shown colossal confusion, except if he meant the logic that says combine persons to form one being/person. The colossal confusion is that he called two persons by the same name, yet the name belongs to one person/being. The theologian then throws back to me to tell him if there is biblical logic which explains how two separate persons can use the same name, yet the same name belongs to one person/being.

Notice that the theologian agrees that his deduction, that these two persons are combined to make one person/being called one God is his own, not from the Bible. It sounds obvious to him, as it does to many trinitarians, that their logic explains what the Bible intended to mean, but the Bible did not say, which now has been reasoned out by them.

So I take up the challenge to use only what the Bible says to explain how the Father and the Son use one name, yet the name belongs to only one God. I responded.

“Consider Exodus 3 and let us see how you cleverly add to the scriptures… Here is how you separate the data from your own logic, then how you find biblical logic, which is complete.

Here is the data.

  • Moses referred to the one who spoke from the burning bush as YHWH.
  • YHWH refers to the Father who cannot be seen neither interacts directly with mankind, and is in heaven.
  • So that means two persons referred to as YHWH.

That is as far as the biblical data goes.

  • To that you can add that Christ is “I AM”, is worshipped, forgives sins, is called God, etc. All that is just the [biblical] data. [the logical problem that two persons are referred to by one name, and yet the name belongs to one person, still remains.] But what does the Bible explicit say that is what the data means?

Now to say these two (Father and Son) then have to be put together to make a plural God is your deduction [as you asserted yourself], not biblical logic. That logic cannot be found anywhere in the Bible [neither the Bible nor natural reality ever teaches the combination of persons to form another being/person]. So what I am saying to you is stop right there and consider, what is in the Bible, explicitly written that gives us an explanation, i.e. the logic of how two persons can be referred to by the same name, which name belongs to one person.

“It does not follow, even in normal non-fictional human logic, that the reference to multiple persons by the same name combines them into one being. Neither is it logical biblically.

“… Don’t pull ideas out of thin air to explain these two persons with one name, search for the answer in the Bible. You are stopping your search, and giving your conclusion [or deduction] while there is still much more data to explain how two persons can use the same name. That is where I am saying separate your fictional ideas about making a being out of persons, which thing you were never told to do, and consider the Bible to be sufficient. Continue searching the Bible and SOP for an answer, not your own imagination of a being with persons, or the meaningless idea of a plural being, which is pure fiction.”

So I gave him back his challenge to search again something that is not of his own deduction, to let the Bible make the deductions. It has been half a year and the challenge has not been answered yet. But let us consider a logic that is found in the Bible.

I ask the reader to think about this carefully. If two persons use the same name, what question comes to your mind if you are investigating that situation? I suggest that it is absolutely biblically and humanly logical to seek how the two persons got the name. So does the Bible explain how the Father and the Son got their names? Yes it does.

Philippians 2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name.

So Christ was given a name by God the Father. What name was he given?

Hebrews 1:4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

Christ got a name by inheritance. Now I don’t know if there is anyone who does not know what inheritance means. The only way Christ can get a name by inheritance is if he gets his Father’s name, that name is YHWH. The Father Himself was not given a name by anyone.

If you believe in EGW, here is what she says on the same point.

“Jehovah is the name given to Christ…”—The Signs of the Times, May 3, 1899, p. 2. { 7ABC 439.3 }

So, the Father and the Son are using one name because the Father gave His Son the His (the Father’s) own name, YHWH. That is why Christ speaks as the Father Himself. EGW says exactly that.

“The great Creator assembled the heavenly host, that he might in the presence of all the angels confer special honor upon his Son. The Son was seated on the throne with the Father, and the heavenly throng of holy angels was gathered around them. The Father then made known that it was ordained by himself THAT CHRIST SHOULD BE EQUAL WITH HIMSELF; so that wherever was the presence of his Son, it was as his own presence. His word was to be obeyed as readily as the word of the Father. His Son he had invested with authority to command the heavenly host.” — (Ellen G. White, Signs of the Times, January 9,1879; also in Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, pp. 18, 19) (emphasis added).

Christ says the same.

John 7:16 Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.

Please identify if I used any concept of human imagination in explaining this? Or I read very explicit verses and quotes with absolutely no addition except what the verses and quotes actually say in their own text. This is non-fictional explanation of how there are two persons in one name, which name belongs to one person, the One God, God the Father.

To end this section, let me say, when faced with a situation where two persons use the same name, yet the name belongs to one person, probably the most illogical, fabricated, meaningless, fictional and pagan idea you can ever think of is to combine the persons into one entity that you can refer to singularly as a ‘he’ as the One God of the Bible is referred to. To me that does not make sense at a grand scale. So is the idea of making the word ‘love’ explain the nature of God, a totally fabricated thought process.

therockfortress.net

therockfortress@gmail.com