2. The Old Testament portrait of God
Genesis 1:1 "In the beginning God..." (cf John 1:1)
Genesis 1:26 "Let us make..." cf Genesis 1:2 "Spirit of God" and John 1:1-3
In Genesis 2:4-3:24 God is revealed as a Person who::
• Speaks 2:16, 2:18 etc
• Imparts wisdom and warns 2:15-17
• Exercises authority 2:24-25
• Institutes marriage 2:18-25 (see Matthew 19:5)
• Walks in the garden of Eden 3:8
• Judges and condemns 3:14-19
• Provides for and protects those who rebel against him 3:22-24
God’s name and his character are further revealed to Moses (Exodus 6:3; 34:6) emphasising that
Yahweh alone is God - see the 1st Commandment (Exodus 20:1-3).
Hence the teaching of the prophets e.g. Isaiah 44:6-8
Read Isaiah 55:6-9
List in two columns all the differences mentioned between God and mankind, and then list the similarities.
Differences between God and mankind
Similarities between God and mankind
What does this suggest about the nature of God? and of you?
The prophets frequently imply that God is plural;-
e.g. Isaiah’s vision "Holy, holy, holy" (6:1-8) (So the Christian hymn by Reginald Heber)
e.g. Joel 2:28-32 "I will pour out my Spirit ... everyone who calls on the name of the LORD
shall be saved" cf Acts 2:21 at Pentecost
The language of the NT is not without precedent in the OT, although progressive revelation results in the three persons of the Trinity being even more clearly discerned in the NT.
Think it through with someone else
Read John 17:1-26.
Discuss: What impression do you get about the relationship between the Father and the Son?
For how long has this been the case?