GOD TRIUNE IN THE BEGINNING — AND FOR THE 21ST CENTURY
by Rev. Prof. Dr. Francis Nigel Lee
Queensland Presbyterian Theological College,
In Genesis 1:1, "God" translates 'Elohiym (PLURAL) — meaning: three or more Gods. It is used with the singular verb bara' — meaning: "He did create" (and NOT with the plural verb baru' meaning "They did create").
What that three-in-one God created, is said to be TWO "Heavens" (the DUAL Shamayiym) & ONE "Earth" (the SINGULAR 'Arets). That totals a THREE-IN-ONE universe, alias a "tri-universe" created by "God Triune." This is what one would expect such a God to create — if and when He might unnecessarily condescend to create anything at all.
God Triune Himself has never changed. From eternity, God the Father and the Son and the Spirit has always been an un-begun and a never-ending Harmony — Jehovah 'Elohiym. Gen. 1:1f; 2:4f; Ex. 3:14f; 6:3; Isa. 6:3; 11:2; 63:7-10; Mal. 3:6; Mt. 28:19; Jn. 17:1-5; Heb. 9:14; Rev. 1:4-6; 4:2-8; 5:6f; 22:16-19f.
God Triune, at the beginning, created the tri-universe (two-heavens-and-one-earth). Gen. 1:1f. The first heaven is the air surrounding our earth, and an integral part thereof (Gen. 1:6). The second heaven is outer space, and the third heaven is the dwelling-place of God's good angels (II Cor. 12:2). All three, like the Three Persons within God Triune Himself, interpene-trate and overlap one another — which is quite what one would expect creatures of God Triune to do. Indeed, this is what Rev. Prof. Dr. Cornelius Van Til meant by "the one and the many." I Cor. 12:12-20.
This threeness-in-oneness or oneness-in-manyness can be seen throughout Genesis chapter one. Thus in this one creation account — within God Triune — there are clear inferences anent the Father, Word and Spirit (Gen. 1:1-3 & 1:26). There are two parallel series of three days each — on which God Triune respectively made light, and lights; the atmosphere/sea, and their inhabitants; and the dry land, and its inhabitants (Gen. 1:3- 31).
On day one — He made light, evening, and morning (Gen. 1:3-5). On day two — He made the firmament, the waters below, and the waters above (Gen. 1:6-8). On day three — He made the grass, the herbs, and the trees (Gen. 1:9-13). On day four — He made the sun, the moon, and the stars; and for days, seasons, and years (Gen. 1:14-19). On day five — He made water-monsters, sea-creatures, and things with wings (Gen. 1:20-23). On day six — He made reptiles, wild animals, and domestic animals; as well as men, as man and woman and child (Gen. 1:24-28). He then gave all of them three commands — to be fruitful, to multiply, and to fill the Earth (Gen.1:28); and then gave man herbs, fruit, and fish etc. (Gen. 1:29). Finally, on day seven — He ended and rested in and blessed all the work of His hands (Gen. 2:1-3).
Thus God Triune made also a triune mankind (husband/wife/child) as His own triune image. Gen. 1:26-28. Epiphanius and Witsius recognized that Adam knew God is Triune. Indeed, there is an intimate connection between the One-and-the-Many — in the Triune