By Hank Hanegraaff

How could the Israelites be fiercely monotheistic and yet refer to their God using the plural Elohim (Genesis 1:1; Deuteronomy 6:4)?

First, this usage cannot be explained away as a royal plural or plural of majesty. Nowhere in the Hebrew language of the Old Testament does a first-person plural refer solely to the speaker.

Furthermore, while the Bible from Genesis to Revelation reveals that God is one in nature or essence (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 43:10; Ephesians 4:6), it also reveals that this one God eternally exists in three distinct Persons or Subjects: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 8:6; Hebrews 1:8; Acts 5:3–4). Thus, the plural ending of Elohim points to a plurality of Persons, not to a plurality of gods.

Finally, although Elohim is suggestive of the Trinity, this word alone is not sufficient to prove the Trinity. Thus, instead of relying on a singular grammatical construction, Christians must be equipped to demonstrate that the one God revealed in Scripture exists in three Persons who are eternally distinct.

***Note the preceding text is adapted from The Complete Bible Answer Book: Collector’s Edition: Revised and Expanded (2024). To receive for your partnering gift please click here. ***