Did One God Person address two other God Persons?
Then God said, “Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
The Hebrew grammar of Genesis 1:26-27 proves that One Individual God said that He made man after His own singular image. The Trinitarian idea that the “us” in “Let us make man”, refers to a plurality of God Persons making man is refuted by Genesis 1:27 which says, “And God created man IN HIS OWN IMAGE”. In Genesis 1:27, the Hebrew verb “bara” (pronounced - baw-raw') is properly translated as “created” in the singular form. If God as God made man as a plurality of divine persons in Genesis 1:26, then Genesis 1:27 should follow by saying, “And THEY CREATED man in THEIR image”. Since the Hebrew verb “bara” (baw-raw’) is in the singular form rather than in the plural, it is followed by the affirmation that “HE (God in the singular) Created man IN HIS OWN image (the singular God created man in His singular image)”. Therefore the context of the passage proves that a Uni-Personal God created man in His Uni-Personal image rather than a Tri-Personal image. Thus, it is apparent that God as a singular “He” addressed His angels by saying, “Let us make man in our image”.
A carpenter as a father and husband can say to his family, “let us build a house”. Then the father of the family receives input from his wife and older children. Then the father goes out and builds the house alone by his own skills as a carpenter while his wife and older children only gave their input and advice about the kind of house they would be building. The wife and children would not have to lift a finger for dad to go out and build that house alone and by himself.
God who is always spoken of as the Father (never a God the Son or God the Spirit) regularly speaks to His angelic Heavenly Court throughout the Bible. Just as the “LORD does nothing without revealing His plan to his servants the prophets (Amos 3:7),” so God does nothing without revealing His plan to His angels. Throughout the Bible we see God referring to His heavenly court (angels) as “us”. In Isaiah 6:8 we read, “And I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?'” Although God can act without assistance, He always seems to make His intentions known to His servants in scripture. Thus, we find God saying to His angels, “Shall I conceal from Abraham that which I am doing” (Genesis 18:17); “For the Lord God will do nothing without revealing His counsel to His servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7).
Leading Trinitarian scholars admit that the “us” in Genesis 1:26 does not support God speaking to two other alleged members of a Trinity. Gordan Wenham wrote in his “Word Biblical Commentary on Genesis”.
“Christians have traditionally seen Genesis 1:26 as adumbrating the Trinity. It is now universally admitted that this was not what the plural meant to the original author.”
The NIV Study Bible admits that Genesis 1:26 describes God speaking “to the members of His heavenly court”. The “US” and the “OUR” “speaks of the Creator King, announcing His crowning work to the members of His heavenly court”. Then the NIV Commentators quote Genesis 3:22, 11:7, Isaiah 6:8, and 1 Kings 22:19-23 to show that God regularly speaks to His heavenly court.
EXAMPES OF GOD SPEAKING TO HIS HEAVENLY COURT
Isaiah 6:8-9, “Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, whom shall I send, and who will go for US? Then I said, here am I. Send me! 9He said, Go, and tell this people: Keep on listening, but do not perceive; keep on looking, but do not understand …”
1 Kings 22:19-21, Micaiah said, “Therefore, hear the word of the LORD. I saw the LORD sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing by Him on His right and on His left. 20The LORD said, ‘Who will entice Ahab to go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’ And one said this while another said that. 21Then a spirit came forward and stood before the LORD and said, ‘I will entice him.’”
Genesis 3:22-24 “Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil (the angels certainly knew between good and evil because a third of them had fallen with Lucifer); and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever” 23therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. 24So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.”
Justin was an early Christian writer who admitted in his Dialogue with Trypho Chapter 62, that he and Trypho (a Jew) knew of Christians in his day (about 140-165) who were teaching that God spoke to His angels in Genesis 1:26.
“God speaks in the creation of man with the very same design, in the following words: ‘Let us make man after our image and likeness’ … For I would not say that the dogma of that heresy which is said to be among you is true, or that the teachers of it can prove that [God] spoke to angels, or that the human frame was the workmanship of angels.”
The traditional Jewish interpretation of Genesis 1:26, has always affirmed that God spoke to His heavenly court when He said, “Let us make man in our image”. It is also interesting that some of the early Christians of the mid second century also held this view.
FOUR UNDENIABLE FACTS ABOUT GENESIS 1:26-27
1.The Hebrew grammar of Genesis 1:26-27 proves that One Individual God said that He made man after His own singular image.
2.God who is always spoken of as the Father (never a God the Son or God the Spirit) regularly speaks to His angelic Heavenly Court throughout the Bible.
3.Leading Trinitarian scholars admit that the “us” in Genesis 1:26 does not support God speaking to two other alleged members of a Trinity.
4.The Jews always affirmed that God spoke to His heavenly court in Genesis 1:26 rather than to two other alleged God Persons of a trinity. Some of the early second century Christians also held the traditional Jewish interpretation of Genesis 1:26. Justin spoke of early Christians in the mid second century (140-160) who were teaching that God spoke to His angels in Genesis 1:26.
SECOND POSSIBLE INTERPRETATION OF GENESIS 1:26-27
The scriptures prove that the Son was already “the Lamb slain from the creation of the world (Rev. 13:8)”, “the firstborn of all creation (Colossians 1:15)” and “the beginning of the creation OF God (Rev. 3:14)”. Therefore, God first spoke His foreordained plan into existence in a similar way that a man first creates a detailed blueprint before building a house. Since Christ was already the predestined and personified “wisdom of God” in Proverbs 8 (1 Cor. 1:24), God used His own foreordained expressed word and wisdom to create all things and that plan was in Christ.
Ephesians 1:5 says that God’s elect were “predestined … through Jesus Christ”. Since “Christ” means “Anointed One”, all things could not have been literally created in and through an “anointed one” as an anointed Son because the God who anoints is greater than the one who is anointed. Since only God is the creator, He could not have created anything by a man or an angelic son. Therefore all things were created through the predestined Son as “the beginning of the creation of God (Rev. 3:14)” in God’s prophetic blueprint. In this way it is possible for God “who calls the things which be not as though they were” (Rom. 4:17), to speak to His Son before His Son was literally conceived just as He prophetically spoke to His Son in Psalm 2:7, saying, “You are My Son, this day have I begotten you”. Since God “calls the things which be not as though they were” (Rom. 4:17), God could prophetically speak to the Christ child before he was actually conceived and born by saying, “You are My son, this day have I begotten you”.
In like manner, God could have prophetically addressed the son as creator when He said, “Let us make man” because his true identity is “God manifested in the flesh” (1 Tim. 3:16) as a true man. Just as God’s elect were predestined in and through Jesus Christ in Ephesians 1:4-5, God may have used His own expressed plan and purpose in Christ to create all things when He said, “Let us make man” in Genesis 1:26. For God, “calls the things which do not exist as though they already existed” (Romans 4:17). In this same manner, God was able to speak to His future child born and Son given when He said, “You are My Son, THIS DAY HAVE I BEGOTTEN YOU” in Psalm 2:7. We know that God spoke these words well before His Son was actually begotten. For 1 Peter 1:20 proves that all things that were “foreknown” about the Son were already spoken by the Father “before the creation of the world”.
God the Father was able to speak prophetically about His own future incarnation as the man Christ Jesus who was “appointed to rule over the works of His (the Father’s) hands” in Heb. 2:7 and Psalm 8:5-6. This is precisely the meaning of the Greek word “logos” in John 1:1. Therefore God may have said, “Let us make man” in Genesis 1:26 in His prophetic mind and plan referring to Christ. For God used His own word (logos) and wisdom which He already uttered as His Master Plan to create all things that were expressed through Christ before the world began. Wherefore, it is plausible to believe that God may have spoken to His Son when He said “Let us make man” just as He said in Heb. 1:8-9, “Your throne O God is forever and ever … You loved righteousness and hated lawlessness” even though these words were spoken as a Messianic prophecy long before God actually spoke these words to Christ.
The context of Hebrews 1:8-9 proves that God also spoke prophetically about His human Son who would, “love righteousness and hate lawlessness” when the Son would exist as a man who would have a God on the earth. For Heb. 1:9 says, “God, even your God has anointed you”. This explains why the Son is also identified as that only true Yahweh God our creator in Hebrews 1:10 who would ascend to the throne of David which inspired scripture calls “the throne of Yahweh” in 1 Chronicles 29:23 and “the throne of God and of the Lamb” in Revelation 22:3. For Yahweh our creator also became a true man to save us.