Genesis 1:26 states: “And God said, Let us make man in our image.”
Some people suppose that we can find the Trinity doctrine in the first chapter of the Bible. They make this claim because the Hebrew word elohim, which is translated “God,” is plural, and they believe the plural pronouns in Genesis 1:26 help to support the Trinity doctrine as well.
The Hebrew word elohim is plural, but it never indicates plurality when referring to the true God. Every time elohim is used referring to the true God it has a singular meaning. Gensenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament calls it “the plural of majesty” and the Brown-Driver’s Brigg’s Hebrew Lexicon says that when it refers to the true God it is “plural intensive” with a “singular meaning.”
Note: If Elohim means three persons, then El would mean one person. If “Elohim” is a plural word referring to three persons, then “El” must refer to only one of those three persons. This would mean a trinitarian would have a massive job in explaining which instances of “El” in the scriptures referred to which Triune Person in Elohim.
There are a few places in the Bible where elohim has a singular meaning even when it refers to men or false gods (Exodus 7:1 and 1 Kings 11:5).
(Exodus 7:1) And the LORD said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god (elohim) to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.
(1Ki 11:5) For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess (elohim) of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.
Regarding the plural pronouns in Genesis 1:26, the pronouns are plural in the original Hebrew, requiring it to be translated, “God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness.”
Those who claim this verse teaches the Trinity doctrine point out that elohim is plural and the pronouns are plural; therefore, there must be a plurality in God. If we are to take this explanation we would have to translate it, “Gods said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” This translation would do injustice to the true meaning of elohim, and it would have several gods speaking in unison, saying, “Let us make man in our image.” What is the Bible saying to us?
The Scripture says, “God… created all things by Jesus Christ (Ephesians3:9).” It is obvious that the God in this verse is someone other than Jesus Christ. And according to Hebrews 1:2, God the Father created all things by his Son.
Now we can know for a certainty who is speaking in Genesis 1:26 and to whom he is speaking. God the Father said to his Son, “let us make man in our image.” Remember, Christ is “the express image” of the Father, so anyone created in the Father’s image is automatically created in his Son’s image.
-Commenting on Genesis 1:26, Ellen White wrote:
After the earth was created, and the beasts upon it, the Father and Son carried out their purpose, which was designed before the fall of Satan, to make man in their own image. They had wrought together in the creation of the earth and every living thing upon it. And now God says to his Son, ‘Let us make man in our image (The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, pp. 24, 25).’
Comment and/or Like our Facebook Page