The Trinity Delusion An examination of the doctrine of the Trinity

Psalm 110:1

"The LORD said to my Lord, 'Sit at my right hand'"


Trinitarian Claim

Trinitarians usually like to claim this verse refers to God the Father speaking to the Son at some point in the past (because the Psalm appears in the OT) and therefore the Trinitarian notion of the pre-existent divine son is David's Lord.



Examination of the Claim

1. Jesus' Challenge

In this passage David refers to the Messiah as "my Lord" and the LORD, YHWH,1 is speaking to David's Lord. Jesus of Nazareth had challenged the Pharisees with this passage. And here in that very same passage, we have Jesus affirming that YAHWEH his Father is not only the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob but that his Father is that one God of the Shema, "the LORD our God the LORD is one."

Jesus said to them, "Is not the reason why you are wrong, that you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God? For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God said to him, "I [YHWH] am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'? He is not God of the dead, but of the living; you are quite wrong." And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, "Which commandment is the first of all?" Jesus answered, "The first is, "Hear, O Israel: The Lord [YHWH] our God, the Lord [YHWH] is one, and you shall love the Lord [YHWH] your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.' The second is this, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." And the scribe said to him, "You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that He is one, and there is no other but He, and to love him with all the heart, and with all the mind, and with all the strength, and to love one's neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices." And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." And after that no one dared to ask him any question. And answering, teaching in the temple, Jesus said, "How can the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David? David himself, inspired by the Holy Spirit, declared, "The Lord [YHWH] said to my Lord [Adoni], Sit at my right hand, till I put your enemies under your feet.' David himself calls him Lord, so how is he his son?" And the great crowd heard him gladly. (Mark 12:24-37; see 11:27).2

At Psalm 110:1, we have YHWH speaking to the Son and YHWH is obviously the Father, thereby excluding Jesus from being YHWH. Peter testifies that YHWH here is the Father of Jesus Christ. And in the context of the Shema where Jesus acknowledges that YHWH is that one God that he himself serves, an obvious reference to his Father, Jesus challenges the Pharisees on Psalm 110:1 where he identifies himself, not as YHWH, but as Adoni, the "Lord" of David to whom YHWH is speaking to in that passage. Jesus therefor identifies the one God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and also the one God of the Shema as his Father. And when a scribe responded to Jesus saying that He is one, and there is no other, Jesus responds by saying he answered wisely. This passage presents a clear testimony that Jesus acknowledge the Father alone as the one and only God.

2. David's Lord is David's HUMAN son

The Messiah is David's Lord. The Messiah is David's son. David's Lord is David's son. An immediate problem with the Trinitarian claim is that the Trinitarian pre-existent divine son of God existing up in heaven is not David's son.



Analysis of the Evidence

1. Peter Affirms that the first "Lord" (YAHWEH) is God the Father

Therefore, having been therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this which you see and hear. For David did not ascend into the heavens but he himself says, 'The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies a footstool.' Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly that God has made him, both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified. (Acts 2:34-36).

Peter is here referring to David's prophetic word in the Spirit whereby his seed Jesus would ascend to the right hand of the throne of God the Father with an everlasting Kingdom. Obviously, in Psalm 110:1 Yahweh is the Father of Jesus and not Jesus.


2. Peter Declares this Psalm was Prophetic and Fulfilled when God raised Jesus from the dead and made him Lord

Jesus had indicated that David said these words "in the Spirit." Peter explains that David's words as Psalm 110 were prophetic and were not fulfilled until Jesus rose from the dead and sat down at the Father's right hand, "the LORD said to my Lord, 'Sit at my right hand.'"

This Jesus God raised up again, of which we are all witnesses. Therefore having been exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this which you see and hear. For David did not ascend into the heavens but he himself says, "The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies a footstool.' Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly that God has made him, both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.. (Acts 2:34-36).

Clearly, Peter teaches us that Psalm 110:1, "The LORD said to my Lord, 'Sit at My right hand'" came to pass when God exalted the man Jesus to his right hand having raised him from the dead and making him "Lord."


3. Psalm 110 and Hebrews Chapter 5

YAHWEH says to my Lord [Adoni], "Sit at my right hand, till I make your enemies your footstool." YAHWEH sends forth from Zion your mighty sceptre. Rule in the midst of your enemies. Your people will offer themselves freely on the day you lead your host upon the holy mountains. From the womb of the morning like dew your youth will come to you. YAHWEH has sworn and will not change his mind, "You are a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek." YAHWEH is at your right hand. He will shatter kings on the day of his wrath. He will judge among the nations, filling them with corpses. He will shatter chiefs over the wide earth. He will drink from the brook by the way; therefore he will lift up his head. Psalm 110.

Now carefully observe what the Hebrew's writer says:

So also Christ did not glorify Himself so as to become a high priest, but He who said to Him, "You are my son, Today I have begotten you," just as He says also in another passage, "You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek." In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety. Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation, being designated by God as a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek. (Hebrews 5:5-10; cf. 7:1-15).

And again, we find that that Psalm 110:1 was fulfilled when Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. In Acts, Peter quotes Psalm 110:1 and indicates this prophetic Psalm came to fulfillment when God raised David's son, the crucified man Jesus from the dead and made him "Lord" sitting Jesus down at his right hand. Here in Hebrews, the writer quotes Psalm 110:4 and indicates this Psalm was fulfilled when Jesus became High Priest according to the order of Melchizedek after Jesus had suffered and been perfected and when God raised him from the dead.



3. The Trinitarian Dilemma

When examined carefully, one finds that the Trinitarian is faced with an inescapable dilemma. He wants to have it that a pre-existent second person of the Trinity, Jesus according to his divine nature, is David's Lord. The problem here is that the one who is David's Lord is also David's son, David's descendant. The pre-existent second person of the Trinity is not David's son. It is only a human being who is David's son, Jesus according to the flesh.

Jesus indicates that David's Lord is David's son. Only a human descendant of David can possibily be David's son. Hence, it is only a human being who can possibly be David's Lord. And this is the crucified human who God raised from the dead and made him Lord fulfilling Psalm 110 as Peter explains at Acts 2. David could not possibly be referring to Jesus as a pre-existing divine being because David is referring to his human son who had not yet been born.



Conclusion

The Bible quite clearly shows us that Psalm 110:1, "The LORD said to my Lord," is prophetic and came to pass when God raised Jesus from the dead and made him "Lord" just as Psalm 110:4 came to pass when God raised Jesus from the dead and he became High Priest according to the order of Melchizedek.

Jesus tells us that David had been speaking "in the Spirit" and Peter informs us this means David was speaking prophetically. Jesus challenged the Jews asking them how it could be possible that the Messiah is David's Lord if the Messiah is also David's human son. The Scriptures answer the question. Jesus risen from the dead is the Lord of the living and the dead, God having made him "Lord" when Jesus sat down at the right hand of the Father. David's son Jesus became David's Lord when he rose from the dead and sat down at the right hand of the Father, "the LORD said to my Lord, 'Sit at my right hand'.... God has made him... 'Lord'" (Acts 2:33-36).



Last Updated: June 14, 2012


Notes:

1. The English word "LORD" in all capital letters is used to indicate the divine name YHWH, the tetragrammaton, which is believed to be pronounced "Yahweh." This name has been anglicized into English as "Jehovah. Later Jews preferred to used the word "Adonai" in place of the divine name.

2. Jesus' Challenge in Matthew and Luke

But Jesus answered them, "You are wrong, because you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God, "I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'? He is not God of the dead, but of the living." And when the crowd heard it, they were astonished at his teaching. But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they came together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question, to test him. "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?" And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord [YHWH] your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets." Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question, saying, "What do you think of the Christ? Whose son is he?" They said to him, "The son of David." He said to them, "How is it then that David, inspired by the Spirit, calls him Lord [Adoni], saying, "The Lord [YHWH] said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet'? If David thus calls him Lord, how is he his son?" And no one was able to answer him a word, nor from that day did any one dare to ask him any more questions. (Matthew 22:29-46).

But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the passage about the bush, where he calls the Lord [YHWH] the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. Now he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for all live to him." And some of the scribes answered, "Teacher, you have spoken well." For they no longer dared to ask him any question. But he said to them, "How can they say that the Christ is the son of David? For David himself says in the Book of Psalms, "The Lord [YHWH] said to my Lord [Adoni], Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies a stool for your feet.' David then calls him Lord [Adoni], so how is he his son?" (Luke 20:37-44).

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