Jehovah is Elohim

by Matt Slick

In Mormon theology God is not a Trinity but a triad. The doctrine of Trinity is the teaching that there is a single God who exists in three persons: Father, son, and Holy Spirit. There are not three gods--only one. The Trinity doctrine states there is only one God in all the universe, in all dimensions, in all time, and without end. God is eternal, and there was never a time when he was not God. He has always been completely and fully God.

A Triad is the teaching that there are three separate gods in one "office" or "position." Mormons often refer to God this way. When they say God, it can mean the Father, whom they call Heavenly Father, or the Godhead, which, to them, is three separate gods in one office. In other words, the Mormon defines the Trinity as a god called the Father (also known as Elohim and Heavenly Father), along with the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Ghost. Mormonism teaches a Triad and not a Trinity.

The following quote substantiates the Mormon position:

"This reference, then, to the three as one God, must be interpreted to mean that they constitute one Godhead or Supreme Council, composed of three separate personages, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost . . . it is very strange that Christian people can be confused and believe that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are one substance or entity."1

In addition to teaching that God, the Godhead, is really three personages or gods, Mormonism also teaches that there are many many gods in existence.

Mormon theology has erringly named God the Father as "Elohim."

" . . . God the Eternal Father, whom we designate the by the exalted name-title "Elohim," is the literal Parent of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ, and of the spirits of the human race."2

Mormon theology also declares that in the old Testament, Jesus is known as "Jehovah."

"With this meaning, as the context shows in every case, Jehovah who is Jesus Christ the son of Elohim, is called "the Father," and even "the very Eternal Father of heaven and earth . . . "3

The belief that God the Father is called Elohim and Jesus is called Jehovah does not agree with what the Bible says. In actuality, in Hebrew the word for "God" is the word "elohim." Likewise, the word for the name of God (elohim) is "Jehovah." In the Bible, when the word "Jehovah" appears in the Hebrew text, it is rendered as LORD (all caps) in the English text. Also, the Hebrew word "elohim" is translated as "God."

Please consider the following verses:

"Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me" (Isaiah 43:10-11).

This verse is important because if you read what it is saying, it states that Jehovah (LORD also known to the Mormons as Jesus) is stating that there will be no God (elohim) formed after him. But this is a problem for the Mormons since it could not be saying that Jehovah is the only elohim. In other words, this verse is stating that the LORD (Jehovah), is elohim.

Let's look at two more verses.

"Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God" (Isaiah 44:6).

In this verse, LORD is Jehovah in the Hebrew. Jehovah is saying there is no God (elohim) besides him.

"Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any" (Isaiah 44:8).

The context of this verse is that Jehovah (LORD) is a speaking. He states here that there is no God (elohim) besides him. He is stating that he does not even know of any other elohim (God) besides himself.

My point is that the name of God (elohim) is Jehovah (LORD), and that the LORD is stating that he alone is God. In other words, Jehovah is stating that he alone is elohim. Therefore, the Mormon idea that God the Father is called "elohim" and that the son is called "Jehovah" is erroneous.

In actuality, the name of God is Jehovah, and the Mormons are incorrect.

Remember, in Hebrew text LORD equals Jehovah. God equals elohim.

  • "Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest know that the LORD he is God; there is none else beside him" (Deut. 4:35).
  • "That all the people of the earth may know that the LORD is God, and that there is none else" (1 Kings 8:60).
  • "Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves;" (Psalm 100:3).
  • "And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God" (Zech. 13:9).

 

This article is also available in: Español

  • 1. Selections from Answer to Gospel Questions, published by the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1972, p. 10.
  • 2. Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, Desert Book Company, Salt Lake City, Utah. 1985, p. 421.
  • 3. Ibid.

 

 

 

 
 
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