The God of Genesis is not someone whom Christians share with Islam, modern-day non-Messianic Judaism,1 Hinduism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Unitarians, or any other belief system which rejects the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Rather, unlike those systems, Genesis portrays the God of Christianity (the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) to be the God who is not only one, but is also more than one.

The very first verse of the Bible reads: ‘In the beginning God (plural) created (singular) the heavens and the earth’ (Genesis 1:1). Moses, the author of Genesis under the direction of the Holy Spirit, chose to use the Hebrew plural term elohim for God,2 rather than the singular el3 or the singular poetic form eloah. But he does use the singular form of the verb ‘created’!

Besides elohim, Moses also used other plural forms with reference to God in Genesis. Genesis 1:26 reads, ‘Then God said, “Let us make [plural] man in our [plural] image.”’4 Here Moses uses the singular verb ‘said’, but quotes God as using a plural verb and a plural pronoun with reference to Himself. See also Genesis 11:7, where God says, ‘Let us go down and confuse their language.’

Why did Moses use these plural forms?

Some have suggested that this plurality is merely a plural of majesty, like the ‘royal we’ grandly used by kings, queens and others today. However, the kings of Israel and Judah were all addressed in the singular in the Bible accounts. Linguist Dr Charles Taylor says:

‘Nobody is in a position to show that in Moses’ day or earlier, people were in the habit of addressing kings and princes in the plural. In fact, there is no evidence at all from the Bible itself, and the Bible is one of the oldest books there is.’5….

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