Friday, 21 February 2014

Video Examination of Itzhak Shapira's series "What is the Trinity?"

Here are the video examinations of Itzhak Shapira with respect to the subject of the Trinity itself.
The playlist above takes you to the response

Here is also a link to Rabbi Yisroel Blumenthal's recent article on this subject:
Though I would disagree with Blumenthal that worship of Jesus is idolatry, that is not the topic of this page.

Here is also Edward Dalcour's comments with respect to the second video by Shapira. Thanks to Sam Shamoun for posting them on Facebook in the first place:

"My main point of contention with Mr. Shapira: The historic doctrine of the Trinity has never described the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as three “manifestations,” but rather as three persons. Manifestations are not “persons” there is a qualitative difference. Mr. Shapira seems to think that all Jews have the same notion of God (“compound three”) that the Christians have,—which is false. Further, not once did Mr. Shapira assert a correct view of the Trinity in his entire presentation, but asserted a very consistence view of the Oneness idea of God—i.e., One God revealing Himself as three “manifestations” (which he calls three “S’efirots), not three persons.

Mr. Shapira starts by asking: “What the does the Hebrew Bible say about the Trinity?” Of course, in this question he incorrectly assumes that the Hebrew Bible is the authoritative source for the doctrine for the Trinity. However, the concept of the Trinity is supported by not only the Hebrew OT, but also the LXX, Targums, and most revealed in the NT. But Mr. Shapira limits his so-called evaluation of what he thinks the Trinity is to mainly the Torah, a few other Hebrew OT passages, and extra-biblical sources.

Then in 1:58, Mr. Shapira states that “Christianity speaks of three manifestations” This is historically and biblically incorrect. As mentioned, Christianity has never described the Trinity as God existing in “three manifestations” in any creed, confession, or early ecumenical council. From as early as the third century, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, has been describe by early Christians as “persons”— not manifestations. It is the Modalists/Oneness that see the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as “three manifestations” of the One God.

In the brunt of his argument, Mr. Shapira speaks of three “S’efirots” (manifestations). Yet, Mr. Shapira offers no passage from the OT or NT to show his concept of “S’efirot” as biblically true—he merely asserts it.

At 9:20, Mr. Shapira goes to explain the angel of the YHWH (LORD) who appeared to Abraham (Gen. 18-19) was “the manifestation of God.” Mr. Shapira makes no mention of the angel of YHWH being the preincarnate of Christ, as agreed by most Christian scholars and commentators. Note, this is a classic Oneness explanation of the angel of YHWH. As Oneness authority and author David Bernard points out: “The angel of the Lord is always a direct manifestation of God” (Study Guide for the Oneness of God, 122)

In 17:29, Mr. Shapira defines his view of the Trinity: “I believe in three heavenly S’efirots . . . . I don’t call it Trinity and I don’t want to call it Trinity.” Again, this is consistent with the Oneness view of God, and not in any way consistent with the Christian view of the triune God of Scripture.

In 18:27, he asks the question: “Am I a Modalist?” Then he reads a definition of early Modalism. However, he equivocates. The Modalism that he says he rejects is Successive Modalism (where the manifestations are successive, i.e., first, God was Father in creation, the, Son in redemption, then, Holy Spirit in regeneration). While most Oneness today (e.g., UPCI, T. D. Jakes) oppose this early form of Modalism and embrace what is known as Synonymous (static) Modalism, where the so-called modes (or manifestations) of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit exist synonymously.

This seems to be to what Mr. Shapira believes in which rejects early Successive Modalism. But to this, I say, “So what.” The point is, he says nothing about (Synonymous) Oneness-Modalism today and in all of his statements, he affirms a Oneness, not a Trinitarian, notion of God (viz. three S’efirot/“manifestations”).

In conclusion, although Mr. Shapira says that the Messiah existed before time, he nowhere indicates as to in which sense the Messiah existed before time. Oneness advocates say the same in that they point out that the Messiah existed before time only as a thought or plan in the Father’s mind, thus, not as a distinct person eternally existing. In 23:25, Mr. Shapira summarized his Oneness view: “Before time was created, God Himself chose to manifest Himself in different ways, yet it [sic] represents the same entity.”

And in 22:40, we see his clear rejection of the biblical doctrine of the Trinity: “I for one don’t believe in the term three persona [persons]."

Hope this information helps

Answering Judaism.


  1. " However, the concept of the Trinity is supported by not only the Hebrew OT, ... "

    I would really like to see the author back this statement up by demonstrating this with some passages which clearly and unambiguously show that the concept of a triune god is present in the Tanach.

    1. Dalcour has his own website. He, Anthony Rogers and Sam Shamoun have also done a show together on it.