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Does the Greek Word “Theos” and the Hebrew Word “Elohim” Prove the Trinity? Is Jesus the Great “I AM?”

There is no scripture in the Bible that says that God is composed of three persons. We know that Jehovah/Yahweh is the one true God and this was clearly taught in the Old Testament to distinguish the True God from false gods. This does not mean that Yahweh is the only “elohim” or “theos” (Hebrew and Greek words translated god).

Benjamin Breckenridge Warfield, The Person and Work of Christ, p. 53.“As a word, “god” has a variety of applications. For example the Old Testament Hebrew word “elohim” (god) can describe any high dignitary (e.g. Abraham, Genesis 23:6). In the King James translation it is rendered variously: angels, God, gods, great, mighty, judges. Its Greek counterpart “theos” likewise has a broad usage. Strong’s Concordance defines it as: “a deity, especially … the supreme Divinity; fig. a magistrate.” If this word can describe a magistrate, then it can certainly describe Jesus, and it is so used six times in the New Testament (John 1:1, 18, 20:28, Titus 2:13, Hebrews 1:8, 2 Peter 1:1). It is used in John 10:35 of the worshippers of Jehovah. Once it even refers to Satan (2 Corinthians 4:4).”


It is simply a fact that the Greek word for “god,(” Strong’s 2316 “theos”), does not exclusively apply to Jehovah in the Bible” 

For example:

1.  “Theos” is applied to Satan in 2 Cor 4:4 (ASV), “the god [“theos”] of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving.”

2.  The Jewish people called Herod “theos” in Acts 12:22 (ASV), “And the people kept crying out, “The voice of a god (“theos”) and not of a man!”

3.  In John 10:34, Jesus quoting from Psa 82:6 said, “Is it not written in your law, `I said, You are gods’(“theos”)?”  Jesus did not quote Psa 82:6, using “theos” as if it were referring to false gods.  The Jews wanted to stone Jesus, because they claimed, “You, being a man, make Yourself out to be god (“theos,” John 10:33).  Jesus defends himself by quoting Psa 82:6, “you are gods.”  If Jesus thought this was referring to false gods, he would have never quoted it to show that he was a false god.  This verse actually prophetically applies to Christ’s Bride, earths future judges, priests and kings (Rev 1:6; 20:6; 1 Cor 6:2) 


As a matter of fact the Hebrew word for gods in Psa 82:6 is elohiym, a variation of ELOHIM.  So Jesus is using “theos” as a translation of “elohiym.”  We know that angels, Abraham, the judges, etc. were called ELOHIM.  So we can conclude that “theos” as a translation of Psa 82:6 does not apply to false gods.

This Hebrew word ELOHIM is found in Ex 7:1 where Jehovah told Moses, “I have made you a god (elohim) to Pharaoh.”  Here the word “god” does not mean false god.

The assertion by Trinitarians that, because Jesus and the Father are both called elohim, they are, therefore, the same Being, is a very poor argument, displaying only the weakness of the position they are trying to defend. Notice the usage of this word in Scripture:

You have: made him a little lower than the angels (elohim), and have crowned him with glory and honor.—Ps 8:5

And the children of Heth answered Abraham, saying to him, Hear us, my lord: you are a mighty (elohim) prince among us.—Ge 23:5,6

I have made you a god (elohim) to Pharaoh.—Ex 7:1

His master shall bring him to the judges ( elohim ).—Ex 21:6

Deut. 10:17, “For Jehovah your God, he is God of gods [elohim), and Lord of lords, the great God, the mighty, and the awesome, who regardeth not persons, nor taketh bribes.”
Note: This cannot mean that Jehovah (Yahweh) is the God of false gods.



John 8:58 (World English Bible), “Jesus said to them, “Most certainly, I tell you, before Abraham came into existence, I AM.”

Many Christians have been deceived by modern translators who dishonestly place the words “I am” in capital letters.  Included in these are, World English Bible (above), The New King James Version, The Amplified Bible, and The New Living Translation. This is done in an attempt to make it appear that Jesus was quoting from Exodus 3:14 when Jehovah appeared to Moses at the burning bush, saying “I AM who I AM.”

Below are the Strong #s for the Greek expression “I am” from John 8:58. 

I <1473> am <1510> (5748).”

The Septuagint is the ancient Greek translation of the Old Testament.  The Greek words for “I AM” in Exodus 3:14 are very different from the Greek words for “I am” in John 8:58.  Hence Jesus was not quoting Exodus 3:14 and using the words “I am” as a title for Jehovah and Himself. 

Notice Acts 21:39 (AV), says, “But Paul said, I <1473> am <1510> (5748) a man which am a Jew of Tarsus, a city in Cilicia.”  Paul used the exact same Greek words as Jesus to say “I am.”  Should we then take this to mean that the Apostle Paul too is Jehovah, the great “I AM?”  Of course not.  Even John the Baptist’s father said, “I am an old man” (Luke 1:18).  Nor is he Jehovah.  So the expression “I am” is used in Greek that same way as we use it in English.  For example, if you were to say, “I am going to the store.”  That doesn’t mean that you believe that you are Jehovah.  “I am” simply describes that it is you who is going to the store.


The following comments are contributed by Dupin:


Fiest, in the case of the New Testament “I am” it is by noi means clear that εγο ειμι can be taken as “I am.” There is something in Greek referred to by linguists as the “Perfect Indicative” tense which is used when an action began in the past and is continuing. This is acknowledged in a backhand way in the definition available at http://biblelexicon.org/john/8-58.htm, where the definitions include “have been” and “was.” The Peshitta interlinear, which you can go to here: http://www.peshitta.org/ , translates the Aramaic literally as “I was.” so if Jesus spoke in Aramaic on the occasion, as some believe and certainly was possible, then we see Jesus only made a claim of a prior existence, something the Pharisees considered blasphemous anyway.

The verse in Exodus is mistranslated, many believe, because there is no present indicative tense in Hebrew for the verb “to be.” It is either inferred by the context of sometimes in God’s word supplied with the particle “yesh bo,” which enjoys more use and currency in modern Hebrew.

Those who study the issue deeply believe the word “ehyeh” in the clause “ehyeh asher ehyeh” means something more akin to the way the NWT translates it “I shall prove to be what I shall prove to be.” That form of the verb is considered causative with many several translators along the way favoring “I will be” ove I am.”

What is so interesting is the point you brought up, the use in the LXX of ο ων. What is happening here is the use of a verb as a noun instead of it’s usual use. The implication of this is that the translators understood God to be declaring that he is the existing one, the only one who owes his existence to no one as he has life unto himself. That, my friends is a really loaded claim with lots of implications as to God and his power.

As you pointed out, John had access to the LXX and probably knew this verse well. So the fact he didn’t use the same words in reporting Jesus’ words is very significant and seems to be carefully done to make it clear Jesus’ was not claiming to be God, as the context of the story clearly indicatesif one reads it objectively.


39 comments to Does the Greek Word “Theos” and the Hebrew Word “Elohim” Prove the Trinity? Is Jesus the Great “I AM?”

  • Advocatus

    Jesus is God Almighty

    As stated in Isaiah 9:6, the word “Mighty God” used for Christ was also directly applied to the Father in Deut 10:17,Neh 9:32, Isaiah 10:21

    So the text of Isaiah 9:6 clearly teaches that both the Father and Son have one name (Mighty God) and they’re distinct divine persons

    This truth is taught clearly in mt 28:19 where Christ says baptism should be done in the name (nature/essence which is one ) and father son and holy ghost (the 3 persons)

    Also Isaiah 7:14 which is a reference to Mt 1:23 calls Christ “God(Elohim/Theo’s) with Us”

    It’s necessary to believe in Christ as God and man;the Trinity and to be a traditional Catholic outside of which there’s no salvation.
    Learn more from http://www.endtimes.video

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Advocatus – Your arguments are answered in my responses to you as Frank.

      You said, “It’s necessary to believe in Christ as God and man; the Trinity and to be a traditional Catholic outside of which there’s no salvation.”

      Quote me scriptural evidence that you must accept the Trinity in order to be saved. I eagerly await your reply.

      As a matter of fact, the Bible clearly teaches that salvation can only come through Christ, NOT the Trinity.
      John 14:6 – “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
      Jn 10:9 – “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved”
      Eph 2:18 – “through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.”
      Acts 4:12 – “there is no other name… among men by which we must be saved.”
      Rom 5:1-2 – “having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus”
      John 3:36 – “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” NKJV

  • Frank

    Jesus as Elohim/Theos (Christ is God Almighty and equal with the Father and the Holy Ghost)

    Jesus is called the first and the last I’m revelation 1:17 which is a direct reference to Isaiah 41:4, Isaiah 44:6, Revelation 2:8, Rev 22:13
    It is impossible for Christ to use this title (First and Last,Alpha & Omega) if he’s not God Almighty

    Hebrews 1:8 ,9 also calls Christ God (Theo’s/ELOHIM) which is a direct reference to ps 45:6
    Christ is God Almighty as Hebrews 1:8 proves

    Hebrews 1:10 which says Christ laid the foundation of the earth as God (Theo’s/Elohim) is a direct reference to ps 102:25-27, Genesis 1:1,John 1:1-3, Isaiah 40:21

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Frank – You have do direct Bible verses which define the Trinity. There is no definition of the Trinity in the Bible, not is even the word Trinity found in the Bible. Most important doctrine ever???

      The verses you quote here are indirect evidence which proves nothing.

      We already discussed Elohim. Since Moses and Abraham are called Elohim, your evidence in Hebrews 1:8-10 does not prove Jesus is God.

      Revelation refers to Jesus as the Alpha and Omega throughout. Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. Interestingly, in Zech. 12:10 we read “They shall look upon ME whom they have pierced.” The word “ME” consists of the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet, Aleph Tay. Jesus is the first and last in the sense that he is first (Col 1:16; Rev 3:14) and last of God’s direct creation, everything after that being created by Jesus (Col 1:16; 1 Cor 8:6; John 1:3). This expression might additionally have the meaning of Jesus being the complete A to Z salvation package. Rev 21:6 (NASV) says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost.”

      In the Old Testament, Jehovah is referred to as the FIRST and the LAST (Isa 41:4; 44:6) in the sense that for Israel, He was there one true God. There were no other God’s that came before him or after him (Isa 43:10; 44:7,8)

      The fact that Jehovah and Jesus share various titles does not prove the Trinity, as even Jesus followers share various of his titles with him as in these examples:
      KINGS – Rev 1:6 – “has made us kings and priests to His God and Father” NKJV
      PRIESTS – Rev 20:6 – first resurrection…they shall be priests of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.
      JUDGES – 1 Cor 6:2 – “Do you not know that the saints will judge the world?” NKJV

      Jesus followers are even described as sharing his throne with Him in Rev 3:21 which says, “He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.”

      • Anonymous

        You like to grab from all versions don’t you? That’s incredibly interesting considering that most come from the Catholic denomination which believes in the trinity.
        I don’t believe in the trinity. I believe in the Godhead. Body soul and spirit

  • Frank


    the plural form contains the latent concept of the Trinity that is revealed more fully later in Scripture(Mt 28:19, 2 cor 13:14). In Scripture we find God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, the three in one. Thus in this single word in the first verse of the Bible we have an anticipation of the teaching concerning the Trinity that is progressively revealed by God in the rest of the Scriptures.

    It is important to note that though the form of the word is plural, most often the accompanying verb or adjective is the singular form as in Genesis 1:1. (Genesis 20:13 is an exception where Elohim has a plural verb.)  This is a strange combination, a plural noun using a singular verb. What is the significance of such a construction? In the form of the noun Elohim—(“God,” a plural noun) and in the form of the verb bara—(“created,” a singular verb) we have the incipient teaching of a profound Christian truth: the one God (suggested by the verb) who exists in three persons (suggested by the noun).

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Frank – Since you apparently did not read the article you are commenting on, let me repeat that the idea that Elohim is plural and proves the Trinity does not work as others not plural are called Elohim as well.

      And the children of Heth answered Abraham, saying to him, Hear us, my lord: you are a mighty (elohim) prince among us.—Ge 23:5,6

      I have made you a god (elohim) to Pharaoh.—Ex 7:1

      Matt 28:19 Does not prove the Trinity any more than that Matt 1:18 shows that the Holy Spirit was Jesus Father, not God. Though likely spurious (see link)
      …if we accept the verse as stated, it does not say that the three are one God. If I provided the names of three different people, would that prove they were all one? Of course not. Neither does listing the Father, Son and Holy Spirit prove they are all one God.

  • Jam

    Hi Jacqueline (Bible Student)
    The Sanhedrin was not really concerned with Jesus claiming to to be God’s son or God, because the Babylon the Great would not allow anyone making such a claim to live. It was only after Jesus turned over the money changers at the Temple that the Priests and Sanhedrin were concerned. It meant they were losing some of their power and wealth. The people listened to many different prophets and they were all considered part of the religion. Within the Hebrew faith there were also many different groups (sects), but they all continued to look to the Temple and it’s Priests. Even the Apostles, including Paul who were followers of Christ after Jesus’ death still worshipped at the Temple and paid their tithes.
    Charis and Shalom

  • ogubenneth@yahoo.com

    I am really blessed to come across this teaching, but I need to get more clarification on the issue showing that God is self existing and no one else, my question is Jesus says I have the power to lay my life and I have the power to take.could this mean that He is self existing? and where He also says As He is so are we what does this implies? reading John 17:5&11

    • Richard.Tazzyman

      Hello Dear friend.The Scriptures tell us that Jesus Christ Had a begining,In fact he is refered to as the First Born of all Creation,Read Colossians 1:15,”He is the Image of the Invisible God,The first Born of all creation”.Jesus was the first creative work of our heavenly Father.Also read the rest of the chapter,& it becomes clear that Jesus had a begining!That is why he is called the Son of God,& Jesus stated in John 14:28,The Father is greater that I am!Also our heavenly Father had no beginning or end,Read Psalms 90;1-2,It describes him as From Everlasting to Everlasting.Hope this helped,Richard,Bible Student,Australia

  • Jeff

    We have evidence that shows us exactly how 1st century Rabbinic scholars interpreted Jesus’, “I am,” statements because every time Jesus said it the highly educated leaders of the Jews picked up stones to stone Jesus because in their mind Jesus was claiming to be God.

    The JW can read their own “translation” of the Judges 13 where it still clearly says that Minoah expected to die, as per God’s statement to Moses that, “no man can see my face and live,” because he had seen the face of Elohim.

    • Anon JC

      We also have the Pharisees believing that he wasn’t the messiah shall we take their word as well?

    • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

      Hi jeff, thanks for commenting. Nicodemus recognized that Jesus was the Messiah and he was educated. The legalistic Sanhedrin wasn’t really concerned with Jesus claims to being God’s son he did correct them but they ignored him. They wanted this great teacher to disappear because he was taking followers away from them. Their position of authority was threatened. You can’t go by them. They got him killed.
      I can’t really follow your thought on seeing God’s face as a connection. They were far removed from scripture. They had a system of their own in place. Much like the sanhedrin like governing body of the witness organization. Maybe you can elaborate a little more. BTW we are not Jehovah witnesses and use different Bible translations. I will wait for your additional thoughts and feel free to speak, do to the fact you are commenting you are our brother.Take Care, Jacqueline

    • greg (Bible Student)

      Warm Greetings Jeff,

      I want to confess that when I first read your post, for some reason I heard it differently than when I slowed down and re-read it carefully. After having read Judges 13:22, 23, and then after re-reading your comment a couple more times, I started to grasp your reasoning and expression, and I started to see your expression NOT as argumentative (regrettably, I did at first glance), but as supportive.

      So while I was initially inclined to hold my tongue (I’m glad I did) I’m wondering if I can check in with you, please, to see if I’m now hearing you more accurately?

      If I’m hearing you clearly, you’re saying that even back in the first century, the Pharisees thought it highly objectionable and totally contrary to logic and reasoning to think of Jesus as though he was God himself. Yes?

      If I’m hearing you the way you intend, then I agree with you.

      And as for Judges 13, that one throws me just a bit. Even if I’m hearing you accurately, I’m having trouble putting into words (as I suspect you might have been finding, too) the point that Manoah knew he was seeing an angel, and not actually God himself (for that’s how the scripture reads to me) and yet Manoah’s reaction isn’t really proof that God and Christ are one and same either, or else it would suggest that we would need to open up the God-head even wider and admit that angels are also part of that God-head, which of course, would be obviously quite silly to do.

      How did I do? Did I manage to catch the flavour of what you were trying to express? I really do hope I didn’t come across as trying to twist or change your words.

      Warmly, sincerely, and appreciatively,

      • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

        Greg, Jeff’s post struck me because I was listening to the sermon on the mount at Matt.5:8 where Jesus says you will see God. So as Jeff stated no one can see God if human and live. Moses caught a glance of his glory and his face lite up!.Jesus was teaching something new,a chance to be a new creature (2Cor 5:17) that could behold his face in heaven and live.
        It also shows he was not God, Jehovah, for he would have phrased it differently. Like you I see that Jeff said a lot in so few words. Hopefully he will feel welcome and continue this conversation on Jesus and God without the trinity view but about the two of them.

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