On trinity and a mother of God

Hear O Israel, YHVH our God, YHVH is one.

It may behoove us to better understand the different paradigms of thought regarding biblical understanding: the Greco-Roman paradigm which has somewhat altered the Bible, from the original Hebrew paradigm. Only the former had the need to create such an abstraction as a Trinity and a Mother of God, while the latter understands the one-ness of the living YHVH as an existential reality, rather than a cold mathematical equation. This has been one of the great stumbling blocks and divisions between the Jewish people and Christianity.

In Judaism there are very few books on “theology”- as our theology is fully explained in the Shma (which Yeshua affirms). Jewish writings deal predominantly with how to serve YHVH, whereas Christian theology fills volumes that fill libraries of seminaries with the supposed nature of God, the Creator of all. But indeed the Lord will be what He will be without our sometimes divisive descriptions or declarations of doctrine or dogma.

In the New Testament Paul, the Jewish Pharisee, describes mostly a living relationship with the living God. He was dealing with Greco-Romans who had been bred for many centuries and generations on multiple gods (read Marcus Aurelius and his sincere belief in the gods), and who had their pantheons of visible multi-gods that shaped their ideas of theology, and was very hard for them to shake off to the oneness of the one (echad) YHVH, the God of Israel, and thus had the need to abstract the idea of YHVH to fit the Greek paradigm, thus leading to a multi-god of the trinity (a word never mentioned in Scripture), and the many volumes of theological speculation. YHVH is not an abstraction, any more than are my wife or dog, and I do not feel comfortable carving Him up into pieces any more than I do with my other beloveds.

If a Trinity is helpful to some, then it is certainly not my intent or place to discourage. But as a Jew the idea does not fit well into my mind or heart any more than a fishbone down my throat, and I do not entertain it, nor do I have need to do so. God is a living and existential reality in my life. At least that is my understanding of what is indeed a mystery (and I can live in awe with mysteries without too much explanation). Isaiah 53 expresses well my view of the divine Messiah: “Who has believed our report, and to whom has the arm of YHVH been revealed?”

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Elhanan ben-Avraham, born in 1945, is a professional artist, poet, writer and father of two, grandfather of four, living in Israel since 1979. He has served in the IDF, taught the Bible internationally, published five illustrated books of poetry, painted two large Biblical murals in public buildings in Jerusalem, and most recently produced THE JERUSALEM ILLUSTRATED BIBLE, among many other works. He and his wife live in a quiet village in the Mountains of Judah.