Bible Options Bible Study Software
Thread Rating:
  • 1 Vote(s) - 5 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Why doesn't the NT Greek use plural words for G-d?
#1
In my exchanges and posts with Christians, it is always argued that the the Hebrew word Elokim, used for G-d, is to be understood as plural. This supports the concept of the trinity in their minds even though the word trinity or triunity is no where to be found in the Tanakh or the Christian NT. Certainly then the Greek translations would support this notion in the NT.

When studying the Greek words used for G-d, I noticed that there are no plural words for god used for the G-d of Israel in the NT. The only references to the plural words for god in the entire NT are found in the following verses:

John 10:34, Acts 14:11, Acts 19:26, 1 Cor 8:5, John 10:35, and Acts 7:40, Gal 4:8.

The Greek words used in these verses are theoi, theois, and theous.

All other references to G-d in the NT uses the singular versions of the word for god in Greek (theon, theo, theos, thee, etc).

If a trinity is to be understood for G-d, why isn't this supported in the Greek language of the NT at all? Please let me know if I've made a mistake.

In my search and study, this is the breakdown I found for the words in Greek that are translated as god(s):

θεέ noun: vocative singular masculine 2
θεοί noun: nominative plural masculine 1
θεοὶ noun: nominative plural masculine 4
θεοῖς noun: dative plural masculine 1
θεόν noun: accusative singular masculine 74
θεὸν noun: accusative singular masculine 73
θεὸν noun: accusative singular feminine 1
θεός noun: nominative singular masculine 69
θεὸς noun: nominative singular masculine 236
θεοῦ noun: genitive singular masculine 687
θεοὺς noun: accusative plural masculine 2
θεῷ noun: dative singular masculine 157

Total 1307

If you do an internet search on θεὸς, you'll find on the http://www.laparola.net site these numbers and breakdowns. I didn't make them up.
#2
(12-22-2013, 06:20 PM)Nachshon Wrote: In my exchanges and posts with Christians, it is always argued that the the Hebrew word Elokim, used for G-d, is to be understood as plural. This supports the concept of the trinity in their minds even though the word trinity or triunity is no where to be found in the Tanakh or the Christian NT. Certainly then the Greek translations would support this notion in the NT.

When studying the Greek words used for G-d, I noticed that there are no plural words for god used for the G-d of Israel in the NT. The only references to the plural words for god in the entire NT are found in the following verses:

John 10:34, Acts 14:11, Acts 19:26, 1 Cor 8:5, John 10:35, and Acts 7:40, Gal 4:8.

The Greek words used in these verses are theoi, theois, and theous.

All other references to G-d in the NT uses the singular versions of the word for god in Greek (theon, theo, theos, thee, etc).

If a trinity is to be understood for G-d, why isn't this supported in the Greek language of the NT at all? Please let me know if I've made a mistake.

At the moment I cannot speak to the Greek "Theos" but we do see the Triune God dispensing Himself into man.

In Genesis we have God referring to God as "Us" for example, 1:26.

In the New Testament the Son of God says that He and the Father as the Divine "We" will come to make an abode with the lovers of Christ.

"Jesus answered and said to him, if anyone loves Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make an abode with him." (John 14:23)

I definitely take this as an indication that the Divine "Us" of Genesis is also the Divine "We" of the Gospel of John.

Again, we see the Son of God and the Father refered to as "Us" in John 17:21.

"That they all may be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us; that the world may believe that You have sent Me." (John 17:21)
#3
(12-23-2013, 08:02 AM)Feedmysheep Wrote: At the moment I cannot speak to the Greek "Theos" but we do see the Triune God dispensing Himself into man.
If that were true, you would see a plural reference to G-d in the NT, which is not explicity stated.

(12-23-2013, 08:02 AM)Feedmysheep Wrote: In Genesis we have God referring to God as "Us" for example, 1:26.
I answered this already in the thread "Gen 1:26 - What is going on here?". Also, examine the Greek from the LXX. The term for G-d in the Greek I believe is singular.

(12-23-2013, 08:02 AM)Feedmysheep Wrote: In the New Testament the Son of God says that He and the Father as the Divine "We" will come to make an abode with the lovers of Christ.

"Jesus answered and said to him, if anyone loves Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make an abode with him." (John 14:23)
It doesn't matter what else the NT says when no Greek plural terms for the word god are used for the G-d of Israel.


(12-23-2013, 08:02 AM)Feedmysheep Wrote: I definitely take this as an indication that the Divine "Us" of Genesis is also the Divine "We" of the Gospel of John.

Again, we see the Son of God and the Father refered to as "Us" in John 17:21.

"That they all may be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us; that the world may believe that You have sent Me." (John 17:21)
Actually you hurt your case because if we are all one, then there are mulitple gods, not just a trinity.

What this actually is an argument for is that "one" means not in essence, but in agreement with G-d's will.
#4
syntax ~ syntax ~ syntax

The study of the rules whereby words or other elements of sentence structure are combined to form grammatical sentences.

In the NT there is only 'one' true God and yet 'the Father' - 'the Son' - 'the Holy Spirit' are all called God.

The reason why the NT only uses the 'singular' form of the word God to refer to the 'one' true God is because in the NT there is only 'one' true God.

In the NT there is never the inference that there is more than 'one' true God but 'the Father' - 'the Son' - 'the Holy Spirit' are all referred to as that 'one' God.

In post #1 you state - θεὸν noun: accusative singular feminine 1
But the feminine form of theos is: θεαν as found in Acts 19:37 only 'one' time
#5
(12-23-2013, 09:12 AM)HumblePetitioner Wrote: syntax ~ syntax ~ syntax

The study of the rules whereby words or other elements of sentence structure are combined to form grammatical sentences.

In the NT there is only 'one' true God and yet 'the Father' - 'the Son' - 'the Holy Spirit' are all called God.

The reason why the NT only uses the 'singular' form of the word God to refer to the 'one' true God is because in the NT there is only 'one' true God.

In the NT there is never the inference that there is more than 'one' true God but 'the Father' - 'the Son' - 'the Holy Spirit' are all referred to as that 'one' God.

In post #1 you state - θεὸν noun: accusative singular feminine 1
But the feminine form of theos is: θεαν as found in Acts 19:37 only 'one' time
Please show me where G-d is referred to as a plural in the NT since you believe in the trinity, and believe this is supported in the Tanakh by virtue of the word usage of elokim.
#6
(12-23-2013, 09:21 AM)Nachshon Wrote:
(12-23-2013, 09:12 AM)HumblePetitioner Wrote: syntax ~ syntax ~ syntax

The study of the rules whereby words or other elements of sentence structure are combined to form grammatical sentences.

In the NT there is only 'one' true God and yet 'the Father' - 'the Son' - 'the Holy Spirit' are all called God.

The reason why the NT only uses the 'singular' form of the word God to refer to the 'one' true God is because in the NT there is only 'one' true God.

In the NT there is never the inference that there is more than 'one' true God but 'the Father' - 'the Son' - 'the Holy Spirit' are all referred to as that 'one' God.

In post #1 you state - θεὸν noun: accusative singular feminine 1
But the feminine form of theos is: θεαν as found in Acts 19:37 only 'one' time
Please show me where G-d is referred to as a plural in the NT since you believe in the trinity, and believe this is supported in the Tanakh by virtue of the word usage of elokim.

The Greek obeys the general syntactical rules of the Greek language - there is only 'one' true God sooo the Greek uses the singular form of theos and pronouns to refer to that God. However the Hebrew does not obey the general syntactical rules of the Hebrew language but instead uses an exception to those rules when it refers YHVH (singular) with elohim (plural). This is a syntactical exception to the rule and has nothing to do with contextual usage.

Syntax - The study of the rules whereby words or other elements of sentence structure are combined to form grammatical sentences.

Context - The part of a text or statement that surrounds a particular word or passage and determines its meaning.

Syntax has to do with the construction of a sentence - context has to do with the translation of a sentence.

John 10:30 "I and the Father are one."

The verb here is plural because there is a compound subject but the predicate nominative is singular. Syntactically this sentence is correct but contextually one must interpret its meaning. The Jews who heard Jesus utter these words picked up stones to stone Him because they understood that He had claimed that He and His Father were (we are) the 'one' God.
#7
(12-23-2013, 10:52 AM)HumblePetitioner Wrote: [The Greek obeys the general syntactical rules of the Greek language - there is only 'one' true God sooo the Greek uses the singular form of theos and pronouns to refer to that God. However the Hebrew does not obey the general syntactical rules of the Hebrew language but instead uses an exception to those rules when it refers YHVH (singular) with elohim (plural). This is a syntactical exception to the rule and has nothing to do with contextual usage.
You're avoidng the question and showing the double-standards you use to evaluate scriptures. You have a perfectly good word for plural god to use, and yet it is not associated with G-d at all in the NT. In fact, I didn't find a plural form for god in the Greek LXX that referenced to G-d either.

(12-23-2013, 10:52 AM)HumblePetitioner Wrote: Syntax - The study of the rules whereby words or other elements of sentence structure are combined to form grammatical sentences.

Context - The part of a text or statement that surrounds a particular word or passage and determines its meaning.

Syntax has to do with the construction of a sentence - context has to do with the translation of a sentence.

John 10:30 "I and the Father are one."

The verb here is plural because there is a compound subject but the predicate nominative is singular. Syntactically this sentence is correct but contextually one must interpret its meaning. The Jews who heard Jesus utter these words picked up stones to stone Him because they understood that He had claimed that He and His Father were (we are) the 'one' God.
Nope, the same word for "one" is used for his disciples as well, John 17:21, so unless you're going to admit that his disciples are G-d as well, you have no case.
#8
Not at all - when someone writes a sentence they have to follow prescribed rules of composition for the language they are writing in. You ask why does the Greek not follow the composition rules of the Hebrew? Well Greek is Greek and Hebrew is Hebrew and English is English. The LXX is a Greek translation of the Hebrew sooo it is translated according to the rules of Greek. Likewise the ESV is an English translation of the Hebrew sooo it is translated according to the rules of English. Composition is regulated by syntax BUT translation is regulated by interpretation and context. To be perfectly honest a word in different contexts can have different meanings, it is a matter of interpretation BUT syntactically the word must abide by the rules of the language in use.
#9
(12-23-2013, 01:04 PM)HumblePetitioner Wrote: Not at all - when someone writes a sentence they have to follow prescribed rules of composition for the language they are writing in. You ask why does the Greek not follow the composition rules of the Hebrew? Well Greek is Greek and Hebrew is Hebrew and English is English. The LXX is a Greek translation of the Hebrew sooo it is translated according to the rules of Greek. Likewise the ESV is an English translation of the Hebrew sooo it is translated according to the rules of English. Composition is regulated by syntax BUT translation is regulated by interpretation and context. To be perfectly honest a word in different contexts can have different meanings, it is a matter of interpretation BUT syntactically the word must abide by the rules of the language in use.
I agree that Hebrew and Greek are different languages and follow different rules. But since you're previous contention was that elokim implied a plurality in G-d, the Greek in the LXX should show this and it doesn't. As an example look at Deut 6:4, "theos" the Greek singular word for G-d is used.
#10
Deut 6:4 - Mark 12:29 - ο θεος is used in both the LXX and the NT (probably because one is a quotation of the other) the point of the matter is that 'in translation' one would interpret the meaning of the word from the original into the translation sooo this is why elohim is translated God when it is referring to YHVH. I have been adamant in stating that there is only one true God and His name is YHVH. The fact that I believe that echad and elohim 'imply' or 'suggest' that there is a 'plurality' within the 'unity' that is YHVH does not detract from my belief in YHVH as the one and only true God.


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)