Was “Jesus” Pre-existent or Preordained Before Creation?
It is standard information in all the big Dictionaries and Encyclopedias that Judaism, based on its Scriptures, believed God to be a single Person, a single undifferentiated Self. That is what I and many others call unitary monotheism or uni-personal monotheism. Often referred to as strict monotheism, although I see this last phrase could be ambiguous.
The Bible is turned into chaos if one superimposes philosophical language on to its simple realism. God is said to be a single Self (nephesh, He calls Himself a nephesh) thousands and thousands of times. This is the massive, pervasive and obvious evidence to be dealt with.
The Shema and Scripture convinced Judaism always to believe in unitary monotheism. Thus at Oxford, the Regis Prof lecturing on the Trinity said “Judaism was always unitarian.”
The major point to be taken in is that Yeshua (the real name of Jesus) affirmed that unitary monotheism of Judaism. The Jew who agreed with Jesus showed that Yeshua was entirely Jewish in his description of who God is: One single self.
The Jew echoed back Yeshua words by saying “there is no other except HIM.” It takes no special learning to know that He is one WHO! One Self. What good is a creed if it is so unclear? It really impugns the integrity of Holy Scripture (and Jesus said that “salvation is from the Jews”) if we are unable to give a clear meaning to the Shema.
I need only quote three sources which are echoed by many:
Hastings Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics (Judaism): “Abraham, Moses and Elijah were all equally zealous monotheists and in none of their successors was there any retrogression from the highest and purest form of unitarian belief.”
Leonard Hodgson D. D., Regius Professor at Oxford:
Christian Faith and Practice, 1952, p. 74: “The monotheism of the Jews was then, as it is still, unitarian.”
The Jewish Encyclopedia, “Deism”, 1906: “Judaism has always been rigorously Unitarian.”
Emil Brunner, Dogmatic, vol. 1, p 205: “Judaism [is] Unitarian.”
Yeshua agreed with the Jews in Mark 12:29, and as Dr. Dennis Nineham says in his commentary on Mark, this passage is meant to demonstrate that Yeshua was thoroughly orthodox in his description of God.
These non-complicated facts should settle our discussion, since we are all agreed that our Christian task is to follow the teaching of Yeshua.
What Yeshua did so brilliantly, anticipating no doubt controversy about his own status in relation to the One GOD, YHVH, was to teach them about Ps. 110:1. That Psalm, vv. 1-4, is alluded to or cited 33 times in the NT and was decisive and should be decisive for us too. In the Psalm YHVH is still one single SELF (as 7,000 times in the OT). YHVH directs an oracle to some other SELF. This of course defeats Modalism, and Modalism shows how terribly mired in controversy our subject can become!
Surely one does not need a PHD to tell us that a Father cannot be his own Son! Yeshua never imagined such a thing.
What Yeshua shows in Ps 110:1 is that the exalted He is not a second YHWH or a second Person “in YHWH.” Rather he is the supremely exalted MAN Messiah, my lord, tragically mis-rendered in many versions (not all) as “my Lord”! Paul said it all very easily in 1 Tim 2:5!
“One God and one Man Messiah.” Two individuals, one of them is GOD.
The issues we are discussing are simply huge, since billions of human beings deserve to hear who HYWH and Yeshua really are. At present the very complex philosophical Trinity smothers good information. And few seem to know that the church fathers, the orchestrators of the Trinity, admitted that they were deliberately eliminating the “Jewish error”! That “Jewish error” was in fact that teaching of Yeshua.
How much does the public know of what really went on?
(Anthony F. Buzzard).
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