Bible Answer

How is Genesis 1:1 evidence of the Trinity?

In Genesis Lesson 1A, Pastor Armstrong states the word for God used is plural which shows evidence of the Trinity. However, if this was the case, wouldn't Jews read it that way as well? Instead Jewish scholars claim this is a use of honorific plural grammar. What other evidence can support this teaching?

Our understanding of the Trinity doesn't rest on a single verse of the Bible. The truth of the plurality of the Godhead is evident from the first verse of the Bible (Genesis 1:1) to the last (Rev 22:17-18). For a more detailed explanation of the Biblical truth of the Trinity, please read:

Explain the Trinity
Is Jesus really God?

Regarding Genesis 1:1, the word for God (Elohim) is singular, but the verb "created" is conjugated in the plural form. While the rabbis explain this contraction as an "honorific" use of the verb, plural conjugations of singular subjects are not a common pattern in Scripture. If conjugating verbs in plural form was considered honorific, then shouldn't we expect prophets to use that form regularly? In reality, such a conjugation is rare, which demonstrates that the rabbis put forth that explanation merely to explain away an otherwise unexplainable feature of Hebrew in that verse.

The Jews received Genesis 1:1 from Moses written in this way to reflect the Trinity, yet they themselves never acknowledged nor appreciated this meaning. Still, they retained the plural form of "created" in Genesis 1:1 despite not understanding it because they were scrupulous in preserving and faithfully reproducing Scripture. 

Meanwhile, those who have been enlightened by the Spirit (i.e., believers) can recognize the Trinity reflected in the plural conjugation of "created," because we also have John's account confirming for us that Jesus was the Creator God within the Trinity:

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:2 He was in the beginning with God.
John 1:3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.

As does Paul:

Col. 1:15  He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
Col. 1:16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities — all things have been created through Him and for Him.
Col. 1:17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
Col. 1:18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.
Col. 1:19 For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him,

And in both passages, we see John and Paul distinguishing the Father ("God") from Jesus, yet both tell us that Jesus is the Creator God. Clearly, the Godhead is plural.