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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.


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

  • Jan

    Jesus did not say “I am going…” or “I am doing…” anything. He just said, “I Am.” Think about it! Also, consider that saying treating Satan as if he were a god doesn’t mean the true Theos is calling Satan God. Satan is the god of this word because he reigns in sinners hearts, but he is NOT God. This is why we are told to “rightly divide the word of truth! This is why our Creator God, Elohim in Hebrew or Theos in Greek, has a personal name, YHWH translated as I Am. He is the only I Am and the Godhead. He is bigger than we can comprehend with our finite minds and under the New Covenant we are to be baptized in His Name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

    • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

      Hi Jan thanks for commenting. For clarity when you mention “Godhead”, are you saying you support the trinity doctrine? I agree with all you have said basically except “I” am not sure on your stand about the trinity. Thank you

      • Jan

        Actually, I only say what the Bible says. The Father and Son are One and they have one name. There is no mention of Trinity in the Bible, but there us a teaching of the Godhead and we are told the Holy Spirit is God’s Spirit, not a ‘force.’ The three are named as One name in Matthew 28:19, which supports the three as One.

        • ZionsHerald

          Hi Jan,

          For clarification purposes, I am wondering if you see a distinction between the persons of the Father and the Son? Or do you see the Father is the Son and the Son is the Father?

          I ask this to get a better base line for what (and who) you believe Jesus and the Father are. From trinitarian scholarly literature a clear distinction is made between the person of the Father and the person of the Son. Their literature states that when Jesus prays to the Father in John 17, he is speaking to a separate and distinct individual.

          Thank you in advance for clearing your concept up for me.

          • Jan

            It appears to me they are separate, distinct persons.

            • ZionsHerald

              Thank you Jan. I am glad that we have an agreement that the Father and the Son are separate persons.

              This brings me to another question about Jesus and the Father. I wonder how you understand Isaiah 9:6. I’m sure you remember this as one of the famous verses of Scripture that is quoted often at Christmas time. In Isaiah 9:6 it states that this child that would be born would be called the everlasting Father.

              “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6 KJV)

              If you do not believe Jesus is the Father (and rightfully so), then how do you understand this verse?


        • Anon JC

          Jan. When he said “I am my father are one” it means in purpose. Husband and wife before one flesh not one being. Jesus said he also prays that we be one even as he and the father are one. Not one in being but in purpose.

          1 Cor 8:6
          “But there is to use ONE GOD THE FATHER… and Ine Lord Jesus Christ.”

          John 20:17
          “I am ascending to my father and your father and to my God and to your God.”

          John 14:28
          “The Father is greater than I am”

        • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

          Jan thank you so much for your reply. Since I don’t believe or accept a Godhead or the equality of Jesus and His Father Jehovah, I will bow out of this conversation while others express themselves. It is so refreshing to know that in the kingdom we will have full knowledge of who God is. Thanks for replying.

  • Anonymous

    Jesus is the son of God. He said I’m doing the will of my father. Also, God can not die and resurrect himself. In Genesis, God said lets make man in our image. On earth, Jesus explained that he helped his father create the earth.

  • Anonymous

    Trinity is false

    • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

      Hello Anonymous and thank you for your comments. I think perhaps you are not aware that we don’t believe in the Trinity. And we understand creation probably the way you do also. Maybe you are not reading the articles completely.
      We are not saying Jehovah’s witnesses are bad. It is the organization and it’s structure and some of it’s teachings that are not in accord with our understanding of the Bible.
      Individuals within any religious structure are to be judged after the 1,000 year Millennium by God himself as Good or Bad. So I hope you understand the difference in a system from the individuals within it.
      For instance, although the Bible when referring in many places to armageddon and the manifestations of Christ taking Kingly power over the earth, it speaks of him bringing down the different governments and systems of this world.
      The witness organization says it is talking about individual people are being judged at armageddon as Good or Bad and entering Gehenna and only witnesses surviving as the nucleus of the New World.
      The Bible speaks of God’s covenanted nation the Jew as having a pivotal part as the nucleus and perhaps millions to billions will be subjects after armageddon and learn what is happening and can start to adjust to rule by Christ. Then the resurrection of ALL OF MANKIND, because Christ ransomed Adam thus all benefit.
      So there is a difference in talking about a government, organization or corporation as opposed to speaking of the actual individuals.
      Many of my relatives and children are witnesses and I don’t consider them bad people. They like the rest of Christendom will have a bit of an advantage because we all believe in Christ whereas some people have no real concept of Christ such as a Muslim.
      So hopefully this explains that we are not discussing people but IDEAS here and the governing body entity and it’s corporation.
      We also wouldn’t want to make your religion a problem for you if you are satisfied.
      It is sort of like a message over an intercom that asks John Smith to come to the counter. All hear this announcement over the speaker but only John Smith see the need to respond.
      This site is here for all but only those that see a spiritual need to have help breaking away from the JW organization control and rule will see this site as helpful. Thank you.

  • William D

    In regards to the trinity doctrine , There was a study published of more than 500 scriptures refuting it . called 500 Scriptures against the Trinity Doctrine . One. Would think that it the principle book of Jehovah Witnesses but actually written by somebody that is not

  • Peter K. (admin)

    The following comment was made in our Contact Us Section. No email address was provided to respond. We will keep his name private. Perhaps you would like to respond here on our website.


    Regarding your statement: The Trinity is nowhere taught or to be found
    in the Bible.

    Here are four examples:

    John 5:18:
    For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God. <-- John 10:33: “We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.” <--- Lev. 24:16 John 8:58,59: “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” <-- Exodus 3:14 At this, they picked up stones to stone him, <-- Lev. 24:16 but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds. and finally Matthew 28:19: Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit ... (baptism in one name for all three) Jesus is described repeatedly as being the Son of Man (human nature of the Messiah) and the (only-begotten) Son of God (divine nature of the Messiah).

  • On Facebook, one has claimed the “plural intensive” is not in the Bible but that “Elohim as a plural masculine noun is.”

    My response is:

    Neither will you find “plural masculine noun” in the Bible. Of course, one will not find the term “plural intensive” in the Bible, but the usage that is called by that term is demonstrated many times in the Bible. Many scholars call this usage by other terms, but it still all amounts to the same thing, a plural word that is used as though it were singular.

    Nevertheless, as a plural masculine noun, the word ELOHIM means “gods”. Plugging this into several scriptures, let us see how this reads:

    Exodus 3:6 Moreover he said, “I am the Gods [ELOHIM] of your father, the Gods [ELOHIM] of Abraham, the Gods [ELOHIM] of Isaac, and the Gods [ELOHIM] of Jacob.” Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look at Gods [ELOHIM].

    Is this speaking of more than one God (plural), or does it speak of only one God (singular)? We can see by how this rendered in the New Testament. In Acts 7:32, the words of Stephen are recorded, in which Stephen gives a quote of Exodus 3:6. In the Greek, do we find a plural form of the Greek word often transliterated as THEOS? No. Rather we find that in each instance, Stephen is recorded as using a singular form THEOS – GOD.

    ‘I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ Moses trembled, and dared not look. — World English.

    Deuteronomy 6:5 and you shall love Yahweh your Gods [ELOHIM] with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.

    Jesus indirectly quoted this in his words recorded at Matthew 22:37 (as it appears in the World English):

    Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’

    Matthew 22:37 does render ELOHIM into Greek as Gods, which would be a plural form of the word often transliterated as THEOS, but ELOHIM is rendered in Matthew 22:37 in singular, God. This demonstrates that the Hebrew ELOHIM, although plural in form, is used as a singular.

    Deuteronomy 6:13 – Thou shalt fear Jehovah thy Gods [ELOHIM]; and him shalt [singular] thou serve, and shalt swear by his name [not their names].

    Jesus made reference to this in Matthew 4:10, which reads, according to the World English:

    Then Jesus said to him, “Get behind me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.'”

    The Greek word that is used in Matthew 4:10 is in singular, not plural form. Thus Jesus recognized that ELOHIM in Deuteronomy 6:13 is being used a singular, nor plural, and thus it should be “God”, not “Gods”.

    Nor can one say that ELOHIM signifies more than one person in one God; the plural usage of ELOHIM is GODs not PERSONS in one God, as in Psalm 82:6. Jesus quote ELOHIM in Psalm 82:6, and his words are found in John 10:34. The Greek word used to translate ELOHIM in Psalm 82:6 is not in the singular in John 10:34, but is in the plural — gods.

    Nevertheless, if ELOHIM is thought to signify more than one person in one God, then this would mean that Jehovah made Moses more than one person to Pharaoh. (Exodus 7:1) It would mean that the Father of Jesus who anointed Jesus in Psalm 45:7 is more than one person. And if Jesus is being called ELOHIM in Psalm 45:6, this would also mean that Jesus is ELOHIM. It should be obvious that in Psalm 45:6,7, that ELOHIM, although plural in form, is being used as though it was a singular noun, which is what is meant by the term “plural intensive”. That this is so can be seen from Hebrews 1:8.9, which quotes from Psalm 45:6,7. In both verses, the Greek word for God is not in the plural, but in the singular, thus showing that ELOHIM in Psalm 45:6,7, although singular in form, is being used as though it was singular.

    See my study:
    Why is Jesus called “Elohim” and “Theos”?

    ELOHIM, however, is not the only plural form that is used in the Old Testament as plural intensive. There are also other words.

    See my studies:
    Elohim Created
    Elohim – Does This Word Indicate a Plurality of Persons in a Godhead?
    Let Us and Elohim
    See also:

  • Keepha

    The LXX(70) translation was done for the Greek speaking Jews in Alexandros. The Jews who did this translation work were bilingual in Assyrian Hebrew and Koine Greek. The Hebrew book of Shemot which we call Exodus was originally wrote in Paleo-Hebrew by Mosheh(Moses). Nevertheless, the Greeks translated the Hebrew verb “EHYEH ASHER EHYEH” as HO ON( The BEING). The etymology of the Name is very deep. Yochanan(John the Apostle) under inspiration clearly understand the Name to mean THE ONE WHO IS/WAS/COMING. So not only does his name apply to his eternal self-existence, but also his unchangeableness throughout the course of history. ABBA’s powerful ability to bring his promises to complete fulfillment because he will always present to fulfill them. One should keep in mind that name proves that YHWH never dies! So therefore Jesus could not be God because he DIED for our sins. According to Hab 1:12 YHWH does not die and the very meaning of his name establishes this fact.

  • The cart has gone before the horse. Ask yourselves, “Who created the Trinity teaching?” Men who wanted to make Jesus God.

    And, one should NOT look to a book to prove or disprove a doctrine that never existed. Neither should one need a book to affirm who Christ is. If they TRULY worship the Father with spirit and truth, then they KNOW who Christ is as that spirit would confirm within them his identity. (John 4:23-24)

    Jesus is NOT the “Great I Am.” He is who his Father in heaven says he is; he is who he says he is; he is who even Satan and demons say he is; and he is who is disciples taught by him say he is: The Son of God.

    (John 10:36, Matthew 3:17, Luke 9:35, Matthew 8:29, Matthew 4:6, Matthew 16:16, and John 20:31)

    You go wrong when you look to men and a book as a whole (The Bible) and translators instead of trusting God and listening to the one He said to listen to.

    Your spirit – if you have received Holy Spirit – would tell you who Christ is and he is neither God or the Great I am.

    • Jan

      Jerome, You are correct that Jesus is the Son of God and that the Holy Spirit reveals Him. This is very true. Jesus was born of a human and became the Son of man after emptying Himself and leaving Heaven and His glory.. He is the Son of God who was conceived by the Holy Spirit. Thus Christ Jesus, the Lord, is the ONLY Begotten Son of God. The Jews fully understood what this meant.

      John 5: 18 “Because of this, the Jews tried all the harder to kill Him. Not only was He breaking the Sabbath, but He was even calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.”

      May I suggest you have it backward. The Bible teaches who Jesus is, the Spirit reveals who Jesus is, still men who refuse to give Him His rightful place deny Him.

  • Anonymous

    Is it possible that the septuagint translator used the wrong Greek words for I AM in exodus 1:14?

    • Dupin

      The LXX is an interesting translation.

      It seems the work of translating the Tanakh spun out over many years. That’s to be expected as Bibles don’t get translated overnight even in our day. Experts often criticize the quality of some parts, a classic being Matthew’s quotation from it of Is. 7:14 where the LXX uses παρθενος, a virgin, to render the Hebrew word עלמה which means any woman of marriageable age up to the point she has her first child regardless of her sexual status.

      However, scholars seem to think the Pentateuch, which is considered the starting point, is the most accurate piece of work out of the entire Old Testament. Since theological bias always seeps into a translation no matter how good the attempt to avoid it we are likely looking at an example of a difficult passage rendered according to what the translator understood the message to be.

      We see the same thing at work in the way the passage gets translated today where the passage is understood by modern translators to be a declaration by God placing himself outside of and above time itself. Yet both really miss what appears to be the point where God was declaring to the sons of Israel the futility of opposing him as what he declares WILL HAPPEN. Nothing can stop him. That was really the message a nation of slaves praying for their salvation from the Egyptians really needed to hear.

      It is also a message we need to take to heart as well.

  • “I AM” is a hoax based on not knowing the Hebrew prophets.


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