Another Mathematical Problem
That Christianity’s insistence on directing worship to Jesus as a deity is a mathematical absurdity, is well known. Most students of mathematics are aware that one and three are not the same, and approximately the same number of students have figured out that if “A” is not equal to “B” than “B” cannot be equal to “A”. Both of these equations apply to Christianity’s claim for Jesus. If the trinity consists of three distinct “persons”, then these three cannot be one. And if worship of God is not equal to worship of Jesus then worship of Jesus cannot be equal to worship of God.
Many Christians remain unfazed in the face of these mathematical problems with their theology. This being the case, you may ask, why it is that I think that presenting yet another mathematical problem with Christian theology will make a dent in the discussion. My answer to this question is that I believe in the deep-seated love for truth that dwells in the heart of every human being created in the image of God. There is a part of every person that desires truth and hates falsehood, and this part of us is constantly struggling against other parts of ourselves that don’t share in this affinity for the truth. I believe that every argument on behalf of the truth empowers the part of us that seeks the truth and will play a role in the ultimate and inevitable triumph of the truth. So here goes –
If “A” without “B” is still “A”, then “B” could never have been part of “A”.
To illustrate: let us go back to the time that Jesus walked the earth. Let us turn our focus to a Jewish farmer living in Hebron. At the very same time that Jesus is preaching the “Sermon on the Mount”, this farmer, who knows nothing about Jesus, is worshiping God. His heart is bursting with gratitude towards God for all the God granted him, this farmer is filled with awe and reverence for the God and this farmer loves God with all of his soul. Our farmer now turns to the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob, the One Creator of all, with a sincere prayer of thankfulness and praise.
So this is the question; is this farmer praying to anyone less than the One his father worshiped? Remember; our farmer’s father died before Jesus was born. So did those who worship God before Jesus walked the earth pray to any more of a God than those who prayed to God after Jesus was born? Did God in heaven become any smaller while Jesus was walking the earth? Did God become any less worthy of worship because one of the “persons” of the “god-head” was busy teaching his disciples?
I hope that even if you are a Christian, you can understand that God in heaven cannot become “smaller” or “less worthy of worship”. In other words; God “without Jesus” is still one hundred percent God, and is still worthy of every last drop of devotion, adoration and worship.
If God “without Jesus” is still God, this means that Jesus is not and never was a “part of God”.
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Yisroel C. Blumenthal
Please remember my statement as a (former) Christian: If you really want to know who Jesus is you necessarily must go into a Roman Catholic church. In the very front you will notice the sun divinity “Jesus” hanging on a crucifix, the crown of thorns (sun rays) on his head and wrapped with some sort of cloth around his loins. This cloth has one reason only: Jews are not allowed to see that this carven image has NOT had a Brit Milah.
In Isaiah ch. 11 we find the seven ruachim. They are referred to in Revelations 3:1 e. g. I once asked a Trinitarian whether the trinity is a nine-unity of the father the son and the seven spirits or whether the trinity is a ten-unity of the father, the son, the holy spirit and the seven spirits. He then proved to me that he was not really good in maths.
Don’t try to confuse me; confusion is of the devil.
If you are confused by the Trinity, by Yeshua & God being equal, then you are spiritually blinded by God.
Don’t ask me to explain it, so that it makes sense. It just is; it’s a mystery. Isn’t that clear to you? Why are you so confused by Yeshua?
Wait, I agree with your statement there, but I don’t think the New Testament teaches that Jesus was a new part of God. If so, it’s absurd to think he is God, as you illustrate well. To truly believe God is One means that if Jesus is God, there totally is no God ‘without’ Jesus; it means Jesus isn’t a deified human somehow different to, yet somehow included in, the real God. He could only be worshiped if he were eternal, if he *were* the God prayed to by our farmer’s father and by all his fathers, and by our farmer who didn’t meet him in his ministry but knew him well, and was provided for by his grace and great love within real repentance and worship. The claim was, “Before Abraham was born, I am”. (John 8)
It’s still a hard and important question, and should keep being discussed deeply. I think that this post brings out something that is clearly understood in the New Testament (and by many Christians), which is that there is no ‘being God’ except for by God himself; this must be the beginning point of the discussion. Anything apart from this is incompatible with what God has revealed of himself to his people forever. It’s why there’s an infinite difference between God being born a human, and a human ‘becoming God’. To worship Jesus can only be to worship the one who created, sustains, and calls all creation to himself, otherwise it is very false.
Then why add on Jesus, where there was only God (not-Jesus) before? Why give God YH-WH a new name? A name that refers to another being who is not the one named, not the holder of the name? Since God said he was not a man, why are humans (or a man & not God) saying that God indeed was a man (and yet at the same time, not-man) and that God acted as a man, yet was not man?
Since, as you say, God did not reveal himself to His people, forever, as Jesus, anything other than God is incompatible with God, which makes Jesus incompatible with God on several levels. There is an infinite difference between gods that can be born (as pagans believe gods can be) and God who is not and never was born (nor died), but who instead created all those or that were born. This God is not born, but causes lesser beings to be born and they being born as a man or woman, also die. Whoever or whatever dies is incompatible with God. Or any “god idea” more advanced than the pagan god idea of a born, dying, & rising god.
I don’t know why he did… but it’s not because God was inadequate and Jesus needed to be added. The idea is that God chose to *come*, to be known amidst creation, though he is the one who created it. Whether or not that can be accepted, it’s not saying Jesus was added to him, or that God had a beginning, or that what is created can ever be worshiped. For God to become a human is very different than for us to be human.
Your question is still good, though, and I don’t fully get it. How can three, distinct, be genuinely one, indistinct? Is that what the New Testament claims? Why didn’t the Scriptures promise this more clearly? But these questions are different to saying that it’s innately incompatible with the relevation that there is one God, the God of Israel. We need a second starting point, examining the historicity and integrity of the New Testament letters, and books like the gospels and Acts, to see what the early believers had experienced; why they believed and taught these things, and whether it was from God, whether it matches the promises and the commandments.
Jesus was never merely human; “Who can bring what is pure from the impure?” The material, cellular aspect of his body was never to be worshiped (and it’s idolatry when people do so), any more than the wind or the sea during the exodus, or the rock from which water came out. Still, he completely took on this humanity as his own, by choice. He is praised for his strength to save, for Immanuel beyond comprehension, to be truly known in relationship by those whose knowledge is finite. This doesn’t make him small; if Jesus is God, then he is only, and fully, the God of the Hebrew scriptures; it was an immense gift, if that can be accepted. Otherwise, the logic in the post above is pertinent and very serious.
If God could be born a baby (why would he do this?), it would emphatically be far from a pagan deity’s cosmic birth. Not at all. o deal with the hypothesis logically, we can’t draw in the foreign, medieval imagery or culture that has accumulated over the imagination of what this would mean or be like; we have to look at what this would mean coming from God. While we were created through birth, he has no beginning. He doesn’t change, but he reveals himself; his words to us and our knowledge of him are given to creation, in times and places. It’s God who saves, and will always save, his people, to his own glory, for his own reasons, because of his fullness, and not because he has ever been lacking. “Who can proclaim the mighty acts of the LORD, or fully declare his praise?”
“For I proclaim the name of the LORD; Ascribe greatness to our God! 4″The Rock! His work is perfect, For all His ways are just; A God of faithfulness and without injustice, Righteous and upright is He.
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. 7There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.
And so here in the Hebrew Scriptures we are told a child shall be born who will be called: Mighty God!!! Everlasting Father!!! How can this be??? How can a child be the Mighty God – or the Almighty God? The Everlasting Father??? Prince of Peace???
BEHOLD God has become my salvation! How can that be?
ALL things are possible with God. When He speaks – it Will Come To Pass. BEHOLD – the LORD is God … the Mighty God!
I will proclaim the name of the LORD – Hashem Yeshua – the Name Jesus.
Jesus was either a lier, a lunatic, a heretic – or the LORD God of Israel – who loved us so much He became a ‘man’ and took on the curse for us that we might become the righteousness of God. Isaiah 53
BEHOLD! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
I really care about you,
Deuteronomy 4 tells us that at Sinai the nation only heard a voice and saw no form. Because of this, one should avoid the error of associating God with any form whatsoever. One is not to worship any corporeal being: animal, celestial, or human. Jesus was not God.
I’m Jewish and a Jewish believer. God opened my eyes 41 years ago to See Jesus as the Son of God and Messiah, King of the Jews and Savior of the world. I realize what you have been taught and what you believe; but it is in error concerning the Truth.
The Truth is not a concept or belief; the Truth is a person, for Jesus said, “I Am the way, the Truth and Life; not man comes to the Father but by Me” (John 4:16 emphasis mine). You do have the choice to beleive Jesus lied – However – if He did NOT lie – you are beleiving lies. One can be sincere in his belief and be sincerely wrong.
My people are enemies of the Gospel for the sake of the Gentiles, but from the standpoint of God’s choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers (Romans 11:28).
I responded to Annelise because I know her and love her. I won’t be writing more on this site again … This 1000 Verse was written in 2011, it was reposted on FB and I happened to read it, that is why I wrote.
God bless you, Jim,
You are incorrect regarding what I was taught. I am not Jewish. From my youth, I was taught to worship the man, Jesus. But this teaching was a terrible error. It is entirely incompatible with the Torah which Jesus is supposed to have fulfilled.
If Jesus claimed to be the Way, the Truth and the Life as John claims, then this is a horrible crime. You will note that the Torah teaches no such thing. The Torah directs our attention to God and not to any human being. As noted, Deuteronomy 4 teaches that God is alone. There is no other beside Him. And He is not to be conceived as any of the objects in creation, nothing visible.
June, you have turned against your own people with the ancient anti-Semitic charge that we are the enemies of the gospel.
And you refuse to talk to us.
Is that what you call Christian love?
Dina I know June and have seen that she is a sincerely kind-hearted person. Even though I think that she has been misled about the nature of Orthodox Judaism and Torah, and also misunderstands the hearts and minds of Orthodox rabbis, I know that she only refuses to continue the conversation because by temperament she doesn’t want to endlessly argue. She prefers to explain her experiences and values than to discuss arguments, and that’s her right.
That said, June, regarding Isaiah 9… there are so many Hebrew names that refer to God and His greatness. Does that mean that everyone who has those names is worthy of our devotion, or do the names point to the One whom those people serve?
You also ask whether Yeshua could have been a liar, lunatic, or heretic, as if none of those things could be possible. Personally I think that his teachings were probably misunderstood by his followers in the decades after his death, which is something you didn’t consider in your options.
You things like “truth is a person” and “if he did not lie.” But according to Torah, “what if” is a terrible reason to be worshipping a man who is said to be an incarnation of God. Truth is truth, but Hashem has given us our perspectives and the tools with which to seek His will… and unless we get much more certainty than “what if”, then it is sickening to go and worship in that direction. Unfortunately Christians can’t really articulate a good reason for what they do, except for the feeling of devotion that they have for Yeshua as God… and that is blatantly wrong in the eyes of those who lovingly and humbly try to serve God alone and will never let anyone else in just because it ‘feels right’.
I could ask two questions. First, Deuteronomy 4 speaks of God making the Shabbat “a sign” “for all generations”. Is it not telling that for hundreds of years in the Middle Ages, the only community of Jews who had this sign preserved in their midst was the rabbinic community?
Second, how does the fact that Yeshua was Jewish, or that you are Jewish, prove anything about whether it is right to worship him? In my opinion it seems to imply the opposite, since to follow Torah and pray as a Jew specifically signifies being God’s humble and dependent servant.
Oh I meant Exodus 31, not Deuteronomy 4 which is what Jim referred to.
“Jesus was never merely human; “Who can bring what is pure from the impure?” The material, cellular aspect of his body was never to be worshiped (and it’s idolatry when people do so), any more than the wind or the sea during the exodus, or the rock from which water came out.”
the christians are not saying that god appeared to be a man, but that he became 100 % man. we can see that becoming man created imperfections in this god. jesus’ mind /logos was not 100 % man/flesh
jesus’ mind DID NOT know the mind of the father ( this is not material, cellular aspect here)
clearly TWO different and distinct persons who aren’t CONSCIOUS of each others knowledge. one does not KNOW what it is to know the hour
and the other does not know what it is to NOT know the hour
two conscious gods .
we can test this further. jesus’ mind is not flesh, does the mind DEPENDENT on flesh? does god need human eyes to view/see the earth? if no, then how come jesus’ MIND did not know the mind of the father when the mind is NOT flesh?
That reference is meant to read ‘John 8’, above… WordPress changed the number and bracket into a picture!
But that is exactly what you are saying, that God is inadequate (too distant, untouchable, etc) and that we needed Jesus instead of God and that God needed Jesus and so needed to “come as Jesus”. But where is Jesus that you can see him or touch him (that was 1800 years ago and that is remote and he is untouchable). So if there was any purpose for God saying/revealing that He was not like the gods of Canaan & other nations (but lying, he came anyhow like those gods), what was it? Or if there was any reason that he said & revealed that He was not a man and could not lie (but then lying, he came as a man anyhow), what was it? Or after commanding us not to have anything to do with the abomination of human sacrifice (but rebelling against Himself, he made human or god sacrifice pivotal to salvation, as if God could not be gracious or merciful to us without resorting to pagan styled rituals that He so detested & commanded Israel not to do, but instead separate themselves from such abominations), why was it? And after commanding us not to worship before idols (which includes mental images of a man or worshipping the spirit of a object/human or representation of heaven or a god or God), why would he require that we forget His commandments & commit the ultimate idolatry? I find no valid reasons, no purpose to have a mystery, non-biblical Jesus, but many reasons not to have a Jesus that is incompatible with my & the Hebrew Bibles concept of God.
For God not to be human is infinitely more different, infinitely more pure/Godly, than that of a god who chooses to be human. As you put it, people (Christians) can’t deal logically with the hypothesis of God, they need to draw upon “the foreign, medieval imagery or culture that has accumulated over the (centuries?) imagination of what this would mean or be like”; you “have to look at what this would mean coming from God”, in the writings of the OT/Tanach long before Jesus, before Rome, before Greek philosophy came to Israel, before Israel was conquered by Babylon, before Assyria. You do not “need a second starting point”, obscuring and replacing the original starting point. When we do examine “the historicity and integrity of the New Testament letters, and books like the gospels and Acts”. we run into a massive amount of problems. BIG, BIG problems. Just one of the many follows. According to writings of early Christians and church leaders or fathers, there were different ideas of when Jesus became “divine”. Some believed it was only after a resurrection, some said it happened at his death, some said on the cross, & others thought after his baptism. All these theories of the earliest believers required a man that became a god. People (like many Christians today) found that unacceptable. So Christians scholars suggest that that was when the miracle birth stories of Jesus came about in Matthew & Luke. And not just at birth or even the conception, but before Moses, before Abraham (as you stated it from John), and eventually “before the foundations of the world”. But the writers of Paul’s letters, John, & Mark didn’t know of any miracle birth or else they considered it “no big deal”, of no importance. So, you see Jesus evolved within the traditions of man.
You don’t have to believe all that is written about the unhistorical nature and the lack of integrity of the New Testament. Just the fact that there are problems no matter where you look (even the heresy & division in the church or between believers within supposedly 2-3 decades after Jesus died, suggests that the “one way” began to splinter into numerous ways & soon become corrupted almost before it even started- some even while Jesus was still alive) is a problem. If Christian scholars can write volumes of books (including apologies) about the unhistorical nature & lack of integrity of the NT, one doesn’t even need skeptics, atheists, or enemies to cause you to doubt. Someone once said (jokingly?), that Christian seminaries produce more atheists than pastors or believers.
That’s a really good response, and there’s too much there for my to reply to in a blog conversation; each of those things needs to be looked at, prayed through, studied, on its own merit. Just to clarify, I meant just the writings in the New Testament, by the first leaders (written in the first few decades); I think that these are consistent, and you can’t suggest development of an idea solely on the basis of its not being mentioned in all texts. The later writings and debate containing both great strengths and large failings. These are all huge questions, where answers need to be supported with carefully sifted evidence, and by God’s own wisdom; I can see this is something you’re engaged with.
I don’t believe that God is distant, and that isn’t my experience of him. I believe he can choose how he will be present with us, and what is good. I also agree that throughout the Hebrew law, histories, prophets, and psalms, God’s nearness is evident in increasing measure; I think we both yearn for the time when this is most completely fulfilled.
Thanks for outlining your thoughts so clearly, I appreciate it.
Sorry, a few typos there… I’m a bit tired! I hope it makes sense 🙂
Exactly Rabbi! I have on numerous occasions seen the justification as 1 x 1 x 1 =1 .The problem is of course that if you look at “substance” , once the incarnation occurs, the (1) is no longer a (1). Since you hve a hypostatic union of 100%man100%god, two different substances existing in the same body, it cant be illustrated as a number. So we have to go with letters to show the different substances. So, A is god and B is man, you have (A)_gtf x (A_gts:B_man) x (A)_gths
So clearly, once Jsus becomes human:divine, it is no longer 1 x1 x1 =1.
If you ever google the trinity triangle, they will show an equilateral triangle with “god” in the center and “father”, “son” and “HS” in each corner, with lines going to the center “god” BUT what this diagram completely ignores, is the question of “substance” or “nature”. It is as if there is only one nature (god nature or god substance) within this triangle. And that is not the case! According to christian teaching, once Jsus became human, he stayed human. And now he is in heaven, as a human sharing his human substance with god, still in a hypostatic union. That is NOT the way the universe began. That is a change. G-d does not change. And numerically fails as a triune god.
Furthermore the church teaches the father, son and hs each have their own consciousness and hierarchy. Three centers of consciousness in one god substance. This further complicates the logical structure. If G-d is defined as omnipotent,omnipresent, omniscient, it is not possible for each to have separate areas of consciousness without violating the very definition of omniscience. Each would always have “knowledge” so the division of person-hood would be meaningless.
James White says that the god-head is three-minded or three-headed in one substance. Now, to that three minded entity, the church adds a 4th mind, the mind of the man, the human Jesus. This is heretical in every sense.
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