What do you know about the Godhead? Could you define the term or explain the concept to someone else? The word “Godhead” is used in three passages:
Acts 17:29 – “Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature [or Godhead – KJV] is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising.”
Romans 1:20 – “For since the creation of the world His [i.e., God’s] invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.”
Colossians 2:9 – “For in Him [i.e., Jesus] dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.”
“Godhead” is a reference to the divine nature or essence of deity. It is nearly synonymous with the word God, but it contains a strong emphasis on what constitutes the Divine Nature. If that seems to be confusing, think of it this way: There are certain human qualities that define what manhood is; if a being has these qualities, he is a man. Likewise, there are certain divine qualities that define what Godhood (or Godhead) is; if a being has these qualities, He is God.
The Scriptures teach that God is one and that there is one God . There is a subtle difference between these two phrases. Today we will focus on the former phrase; tomorrow we will consider the latter.
GOD IS ONE
Deuteronomy 6:4 says – “Hear, O Israel! The LORD our God, the LORD is one!” Jehovah is one; God is one. What does that mean? It seems to be referring to the combined unity of the Godhead. Consider the marriage relationship. The Bible speaks of husband and wife as being one, but this doesn’t mean they are one in an absolute sense. Husband and wife are one in purpose and mission; they are to be united. If married couples literally blended from two people into an absolute one, then they could do some neat things. For instance, if my wife and I were an absolute one, I could get sick, she could take the medicine, and I would get better! Of course, we all know it doesn’t work that way. There is a oneness in marriage, but it is a combined oneness of unity, not an absolute oneness of being.
I believe similar things can be said about God. The Hebrew word used in Deuteronomy 6:4 to teach that God is one is used elsewhere in the Old Testament. It is used in Genesis 2:24 in reference to the oneness of marriage. It is also used in Genesis 11:6 to describe the people working on the tower of Babel. Another good example is seen in Exodus 26:6,11 regarding the tabernacle. In each of these uses of the Hebrew word, you have two or more people or things being brought together as a combined one, not an absolute one. It is the same way with the Divine Nature. There are three individuals (the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) who share attributes of deity, thus, they are one or united. They are also one in the sense that they all share the same purpose and mission. We can see the unity of the Godhead even in the first chapter of the Bible. Genesis 1:26 – “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…'” Note the plural pronouns used therein.
As we are discussing the unity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, I want to address another term used by many when discussing the Members who possess the divine nature (i.e., the Godhead). This other term is the word “Trinity,” which refers to the unity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The word “Trinity” is perhaps better known than “Godhead”, though it is not used anywhere in the Scriptures. While it would be going too far to say that it is wrong to use the word “Trinity,” nevertheless, I would discourage such for two reasons: (1) The Scriptures use the word “Godhead” ; why would we desire to use a different term? (2) I Peter 4:11 teaches – “If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God…” We ought to be striving to speak as accurately as we can in all things, especially in things religious. Let us endeavor to carefully guard and consider our every word. We will conclude our study of the Godhead tomorrow.
[if I can remember to post it! :)]