Nazzi Plurality in the Godhead, or How can three be one? is a work by a Jewish rabbi on the Trinity, on the plurality of God within the Godhead.
Plurality in the Godhead
or How Can Three Be One?
Rabbi Tzvi Nassi (CWH Pauli)
How can they (the Three) be One? Are they verily One, because we call them One? How Three can be One, can only be known through the revelation of the Holy Spirit (Zohar II 43b)
Contents of Nassi Plurality in the Godhead
1. Nathanael gives an account of himself.
2. The effect of Divine life in the soul.
3. Nathanael explains the plan of enquiry which he pursued.
4. Nathanael gives us a sketch of the lives of these Jewish-Church fathers.
5. A grammatical axiom in the Hebrew language.
6. Logical agreement between the subject and the predicate, or between the noun and verb.
Part 2 – The God of Israel
1. Nathanael examines whether God has revealed himself in threefold nature. His name, Elohim (God).
2. Nathanael’s irresistible desire for the knowledge of God.
3. The Zohar teaches Nathanael the Mystery of the Trinity expressed by the word Elohim.
4. Nathanael’s reflections.
5. Corroboration of the truth stated in the former paragraph.
6. The world has been created by the Three Substantive Beings in the Unity of the Godhead.
7. Nathanael believes that there is but One God, but Threefold in nature.
8. Explanation of the preceding paragraph.
9. Nathanael remains in the company of R. Menachem, of Recanati, who unfolds to him the Mystery of the Trinity in the Unity, from Deu_6:4, as R. Simeon ben Jochai, in Section 7.
10. Nathanael ponders over the Mystery of the Creation of Man, and discovers the Mystery of the Trinity in the Unity, revealed therein.
11. Nathanael meets another friend, whom he introduces into the number of his teachers.
12. The Unity in the Trinity, and the Trinity in the Unity.
13. Subject and predicate both in the plural.
14. The key to the Mystery of the Trinity in Unity, and the Unity in Trinity.
15. Only in the Shechinah, that is, in Him who is the brightness of the glory of God, the middle-pillar in the Godhead, can the Mystery of the Three in One, and the One in Three, be seen.
16. Nathanael’s determination to investigate the revelation of each of the three self-existing Beings in the Trinity.
Part 3 – First Division
1. Nathanael finds in the Scriptures, what his instructors also teach: the mystery of the revelation of each of the Three Spirits also called the Three Beings, in the unity of the Godhead.—
2. The WORD (Memra) of the Lord, is called Jehovah (Yud Hei Vav Hei).—
3. The WORD of the Lord, is the Creator of man and of the world.—
4. The Patriarchs believed in the WORD Jehovah.—
5. Who was the Lawgiver?—
6. Father Abraham’s faith.—
7. In whose name our Father Abraham prayed.—
8. Whom did Moses, our Teacher, worship?—
9. Moses committed the faith of the Patriarchs to the keeping of their descendants.—
10. No oath was valid amongst my ancestors, except by the WORD of the Lord.—
11. The reason why my ancestors swore by the WORD of the Lord.—
12. The command of the ancient teachers of Israel.—
13. The WORD of the Lord must be obeyed as God.—
14. Nathanael discovers that God never made a covenant with any of the Patriarchs except through the mediation of the WORD of the Lord.—
15. Nathanael is led to believe that there is no salvation but in the WORD of the Lord.
Part 3 – Second Division
1. The WORD of the Lord is the ANGEL of the Covenant.—
2. The ANGEL of the Covenant is an uncreated being and is styled Elohim, Jehovah and the Lord.—
3. There is no Redeemer besides the ANGEL of the Covenant.—
4. Nathanael discovers a great truth: God revealed Himself in the ANGEL of the Covenant.—
5. The Akidah or the mystery of the offering up of Isaac.—
6. Nathanael visits in spirit the Mountain of Horeb (Exo_3:2).—
7. This ANGEL of the Covenant is the Shechinah, the Glory of God.—
8. The Promise.—
9. The ANGEL of the Covenant is to be obeyed, for God is in Him.—
10. More light breaks in upon Nathanael’s mind.
Part 3 – Third Division
1. Nathanael discovers that the WORD of the Lord is not only called the ANGEL of the Covenant, but also the Metatron.
2. Signification of the Name, Metatron.
3. No one, not even Moses, has ever seen God, but he saw the Metatron, who appeared unto him.
4. Metatron, the first-begotten of God.
5. Metatron, highly exalted.
6. Metatron is the only mediator between God and man.—
7. The Almighty has revealed Himself in no other than in the Metatron, the KEEPER of Israel.—
8. Metatron is called the Son of God.
Part 3 – Fourth Division
1. The Middle Pillar in the Godhead, has revealed Himself as the Son of God.—
2. Nathanael is instructed that the Son of God is from eternity, an emanation from God, therefore called Jehovah (Yud Hei Vav Hei).
3. The Son of God, the Fountain of Light, Begotten from Eternity.
4. My Ancestors’ triumphing faith in the Son of God.
5. R. Simeon ben Jochai’s prayer and exhortation.
Part 4 – The Holy Spirit
1. Nathanael is led into the Inner Chamber of Light.
2. The Holy Spirit is a Substantive Being in the Godhead, the Creator of the World.
3. An inference drawn from the above.
4. A query.
5. The Holy Spirit has all the Divine attributes: He is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient.
6. What is the office of the Holy Spirit?
7. How can I know God from His Word?
8. The Holy Spirit was from the beginning, the Guide of the Israel of God.
9. The Holy Spirit has sent the Prophets, and spoken through them.
10. The Holy Spirit shall quicken the dead.
11. Nathanael takes a retrospective view, and entertains encouraging expectations.
Biographical Information on C. W. H. Pauli
Zebi Nasi Hirsch Prinz (Hebrew Tzvi Nassi) in German Heinrich Prinz, and later Rev. Christian William Henry Pauli (11 August 1800, in Breslau – 4 May 1877, in Amsterdam) was a convert to Christianity, missionary for the London Jewish mission, and Hebrew grammarian.
He was born as the youngest of six children, and orphaned at 14. Although he is referred to as “Rabbi Tzvi Nassi” in some Messianic Jewish reprints of his proof of the Trinity from the Zohar, there is no indication that he was ever a rabbi. At the age of 21 he published in German, under the name Heinrich Prinz Sermons for pious Israelites. He was converted by L. A. Petri.
In England as Rev. Christian William Henry Pauli he became a missionary for the London Society for promoting Christianity among the Jews of Joseph Frey, first in Berlin, then at Amsterdam. In 1839 as C. W. H. Pauli he published Analecta Hebraica, a Hebrew grammar. While many have attempted to discredit the claim that Pauli was a lecturer in Hebrew at Oxford University, research demonstrates that he was.
In 1844 as Rev. Christiaan Wilhelm Hirsch Pauli he moved to the Netherlands, Zion’s Chapel where he worked for 30 years. In 1844 he reported on an outrage committed on the Jews at Weesp, near Amsterdam.
1824 Heinrich Prinz Predigten für fromme Israeliten zur Erbauung und zur wahren Aufklärung in Sachen Gottes. in Jahrbücher der Theologie und theologischer Nachrichten, Volume 2 Friedrich Heinrich Christian Schwarz
1839 Christian William Henry Pauli Analecta Hebraica Oxford 1839
1871 The Chaldee Paraphrase on the Prophet Isaiah of Jonathan ben Uzziel translated by C.W.H. Pauli. – Targum Isaiah.
1863 The Great Mystery, or How can Three be One (London, 1863) – an endeavour to prove the doctrine of the Trinity from the Zohar, in which he made further critical comments against Gesenius including that he had misunderstood the grammar and perpetuated a hoax concerning the pluralis excellentiae of Elohim.
More Works on the Trinity
- Nassi, Tzvi – Plurality in the Godhead
- Cox, David – Understanding the Bible Doctrine of the Trinity
- Machen – Triune God
- Alford, M.W. – Scriptural Doctrine of the Trinity
- Boettner, L. – The Trinity
- Owen, J. – A Brief Declaration and Vindication of The Doctrine of the Trinity