We recently saw Dr Ben Witherington affirm the Jews of Jesus’ time had no concept of the Trinity. To supplement this we can talk about Dr William Lane Craig’s well noted affirmation that the Old Testament does not teach the Trinity doctrine.
In response to the post featuring Dr Witherington’s statement I saw this comment:
Nonsense. The Zohar talks about God being three in one.
The Zohar is attributed by some to a rabbi who lived in the 2nd and 3rd century although the book only emerged about 1000 years after being kept secret. In all reality it probably wasn’t written by somebody in the 2nd/3rd century. Scholars think it was written by a rabbi in the 11th century.
The notion the Trinity doctrine was taught in a 2nd/3rd century Jewish commentary would be anachronistic considering what Oxford University’s Prof. Mark Edwards has said about the late development of the Trinity doctrine.
We must also consider whether the claims about the Trinity doctrine and the Zohar are actually fraudulent or not:
This is a trinitarian related fraud, possibly created by the founder of the American Board of Missions to the Jews (now known as the Chosen People Ministries), Itsak Leib Jaszovics, alias “Rabbi Leopold Cohn,”… The claim that the Zohar’s commentary on Deuteronomy 6:4 confirms the Christian doctrine of the Trinity is based on a spurious passage attributed to that volume. It appears in Cohn’s tract, Do Christians Worship Three Gods? (pp. 4-5), published by the Chosen People Ministries. On the basis of his forgery, Cohn concluded that “According to the Zohar the Messiah is not only called Jehovah but is a very part of the triune Jehovah” (p. 5). This forgery is also perpetuated in the literature of the Jews for Jesus missionary organization. Using Cohn’s spurious passage, Arnold Fruchtenbaum…Fruchtenbaum quotes faithfully Cohn’s fraudulent passage. However, a simple examination of the relevant Zohar commentary on the Shema reveals that no such text exists in the Zohar. It should be noted that many other missionary organizations have quoted Cohn’s forgery in their literature. [Gerald Sigal]