Sunday, May 18, 2014

Trinity in Kabbalistic Writings (Continued)

A long while back I blogged about the Trinity in Kabbalistic writings (CLICK HERE FOR LINK).  More interesting though is how those mystics arrived at this understanding--they got it from the first three verses of Genesis:

"The mystics of the Cabala discovered a trace of the triad already on the first page of the Bible.  'In the beginning God created heaven and earth, and the spirit of God hovered over the waters; then God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light.'  Here stand the three (say the mystics, not normative Judaism):  God's Self, God's Spirit, and God's Word, which in Hebrew is Davar, which later in Aramaic was called Memra--the two ancestors of the still later Greek Logos, as the first revelation of the One God.
     Johannes Reuchlin, the student of two rabbis and a citizen of the city of Pforzheim, who was the first Christian Cabala researcher, went one step further in that already in the second word of the Bible, bara '[and God] created,' he wished to see a stenogram of the Trinity:  beth as an abbreviation for ben ('the son'), resh for ruach ('the spirit'), and aleph for the Godhead itself (elohim).
     Here also belongs the so-called Kedusha...from Isa. 6:3 where the choir of angels sings, 'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the entire earth is full of God's glory!...'" pg. 35 of Jewish Monotheism and Christian Trinitarian Doctrine by Lapide and Moltman

Don't know if Reuchlin was correct about finding the Trinity in "bara" but here's something else interesting to note about that term:

" 'create'  The Hebrew stem b-r-' is used in the Bible exclusively of divine creativity..."Pg. 5 of the JPS Torah Commentary to Genesis

1 comment:

  1. I'll have to take a look at your article, but the Hebrew is fascinating. Bara could be parsed as, "Son of aleph (first, God, strong.) To bara is to make fat or shape by cutting such as a sculptor does.

    I also understand that the phrase, "ruach elohim merahefet," the spirit of God hovered/brooded," is used only in this place; nowhere else in scripture. Some kabbalists conclude that this means that this was a one-time done deal that never happened again. I was listening to Daniel Matt, PhD, kabbalah scholar recently. Fascinating.