Netzarim, Original followers of Yeshua & His 12
Last night I was talking to a man that is starting a congregation that believes that Messiah Yeshua IS the Messiah but is totally man, and not divine. I told him that I believed that He is divine and he took me from one scripture to the next prove the contrary - i.e., John 20:17 and asking questions such as "Who was Yeshua praying to in the garden?" What is your view on this? Is this doctrine dangerous or another thing that Christianity has kept from us and inserting false doctrine to give to the masses of people?
Author Andrew Gabriel Roth responds:
Short answer: Yes and no. Was Y'shua fully human? Yes. Did he pour out his nefesh on the execution stake? Yes. Did Y'shua as a human actually suffer, bleed and die? Yes. Did Y'shua need his Father YHWH to resurrect him? Yes. Is Mashiyach a HUMAN title/office for the sake of YHWH and His people? Yes. Did Y'shua even directly say his nefesh was troubled to the point of death, meaning it was mortal? Yes. Was Y'shua talkling to himself when he prayed to YHWH? NO. Doesn't Y'shua say there are TWO WILLS, his human one and YHWH's? Yes.
Are Y'shua and his Father one and the same? YES. Was Y'shua with his Father from the beginning of time? YES. Is Y'shua accurate when he says, "Before Abraham was, I was" (or am)? Yes. Isn't it true that there cannot be more than one separated divine personality or it's idolatry? Yes.
So, Y'shua has both human and divine attributes, but is NOT a "God-man" like, say, Hercules. What's the difference you may ask? Hercules, or any other such "God man" is a hybridized human-deity DNA construct. In other words, the human and divine have become a single entity - no way to separate the god from the human. In pagan thought, no problem. In Hebraic thought, BIG problem because as the Three Dog Night song says, "One is the loneliest number." YHWH, in His NATURE must be ONE and ONE ONLY.
Next four steps from Tanakh into this really complex reality are Isaiah 11:1-2 and 63:1-11, Psalm 51:1-11 and Zechariah 12:10. Please read these in Hebrew and in English and compare it with my analysis. Then we will get to the NT.
Step 1: Isaiah 11:1-2, tells us:
Step 2: Psalm 51:1-11 and Step 3 Isaiah 63:1-11:
BOTH TELL US THAT THE SPIRIT OF YHWH AND THE HOLY SPIRIT ARE ONE AND THE SAME. ONE IS A TITLE FOR THE OTHER, JUST LIKE ELOHIM, EL-SHADDAI, ETC.
Step 4: Zechariah 12:10, tells us:
So this is what Tanakh really teaches. Tanakh shows Messiah to have a fully separated human nefesh but also to have the Ruach of YHWH residing in him too. Hence, "Not my will, but Your will be done". In the Gospel of John, Y'shua directly denies the charge that he has elevated his HUMANITY to YHWH. In fact, the Aramaic always differentiates between RUACH and NEFESH, and not once does Y'shua ever say his NEFESH was YHWH. He says, in fact, the OPPOSITE, that it can die. That he will die. With me so far?
If so, again, we have Messiah Y'shua with a HUMAN and MORTAL NEFESH, and this makes sense because:
But here is the missing piece. It is a word exclusive to Aramaic. Neither Greek nor Hebrew has an equivalent. As a result, for the 99 percent of believers that don't know Aramaic, this will confuse them before they know the term. Ready? The word is QNOMA.
QNOMA means, "an OCCURRENCE of a nature, BUT IDENTICAL to that nature." Another defintion, "an INDIVIDUATED INSTANCE of a nature". Now, this is rarified language to be sure, so let me break this down:
Q: How many human beings (occurrences/qnomeh) are there on the Earth?
A: About 6.3 billon, one for each of us.
Q: How many human NATURES are there on the Earth?
Q: What is the difference between the QNOMEH and the NATURE?
A: NOTHING, except in number, that in you have yours (say #38) and I have mine (say #39) QNOMEH from the one HUMAN nature.
See, you can have ONE NATURE, and BILLIONS of QNOMEH from that nature. The NATURE (kyanna in Aramaic BTW) is not divided because it has more than one instance. And the NATURE of a human or indeed of YHWH is IDENTICAL to its qnomeh. Read the Epistle of Ya'akov and 1 Corinthians 15 - each species has just ONE NATURE each.
Now, in YHWH's case there is only ONE OF HIM, but there can be multiple QNOMEH of Him too. One of these was the Burning Bush. Another the special malakh in Shemot 23:20-22. Still another the "son of man" in Daniel. And of course the cloud, the Shekinah, etc.
At the end of the day though, depending on how you count, there are only 3 or 4 and the rest are variations from those types. Whether there are 3 or 4 depends on if you combine the qnomeh of Son and Word together or separate them out. Either interpretation is valid from the pshat of the Scripture.
QNOMA is an extremely dififcult concept to grasp. It is NOT, for example, a synonym for ruach, nefesh or neshama. The QNOMA is kind of like the ATOMS or building blocks of SPIRITUAL MATTER and the ruach, nefesh and neshama are END PRODUCTS of those spiritual atoms.
Y'shua himself tried to explain this in multiple ways. Often appearing in English as "self", you can see QNOMA mentioned in places like John 5:25-26. It is the difference between regular and living water in John 4, and the bread from heaven and regular bread in John 5. It is the core being of a person mentioned by Rav Shaul in Romans 1:26, Ephesians 2:14-16 and Hebrews 1:1-5, this last being one of the best definitions in Scripture - the EXACT REPRESENTATION OF YHWH'S NATURE UPHOLDING ALL BY HIS WORD. Both qnoma and a synonym TZALMA (image) appear in this critical text.
In a related topic, divine and human NATURES (kyanna) are directly mentioned in Galatians 4:8 and we partake of the divine nature in 2 Peter 1:4 - same word in both.
And finally, the best Tanakh example - after all this explanation is Isaiah 53:1 drashed to Shemot 6:6. The ARM of YHWH is Y'shua the Son on the DIVINE side. The arm is not separate from the body but moves only with the intent of the brain or Will as the ancients would have called it. The arm is not greater than the leg or any other limb, but all limbs are needed for the whole of the organism. That is not a separate organism like another god, nor is it a hybridized DNA human-god fusing. Y'shua is both 100 percent SEPARATELY human AND 100 percent SEPARATELY divine. Put simply, any other math breaks Scripture in BOTH covenants. But there is no Trinity or Tri-unity. Those words are synonyms for idolatry.