The concept of the Incarnation is difficult to grasp for most Jews. Orthodox rabbis like Rabbi Tovia Singer state that God cannot come down in the form of anything. I find this odd since the Rabbi is telling God what he can and cannot do. The truth is, God comes down to earth in the form of a man several times in the Old Testament.
Two clear and immediate examples come to mind. I will use the Jewish Publication Society Tanakh Translation so there is no bias. I am aware that this is a liberal Jewish publication and therefore will not use the commentary provided, only the translation.
Genesis 3:8 reads:
They heard the sound of the Lord God moving about in the garden at the breezy time of day; and the man and his wife hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
First of all, how could they hear the sound of the Lord God moving? He was obviously in the form of a man and the sound of him moving would be the sound of feet walking on Earth. This is further supported by the fact that the man and his wife hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. This makes no sense if God is not on Earth in the form of a man. They see the God-man then they try to hid from Him. A Christian sees this verse and interprets it accordingly. This goes perfectly well with the doctrine of the Trinity. What they see is the pre-incarnate Son of God while the Father remains in heaven.
The second verse comes from the book of Isaiah. In Isaiah 6:1-2 we read:
In the year that King Uzziah died, I beheld my Lord seated on a high and lofty throne; and the skirts of His robe filled the Temple. Seraphs stood in attendance on Him. Each of them had six wings: with two he convered his face, with two he covered his legs, and with two he would fly.
Only if God had assumed a human form, could he sit on a throne and wear a robe. This is perfectly consistent with what we read in Genesis. If you are a Trinitarian, you have no problem with this verse. If you are an Orthodox Jew who believes that God could never become a man, you’re stuck.
The Bible is a Trinitarian text. This is true whether we talk about the Old Testament or the New Testament. When you bring Unitarian glasses to a Trinitarian text, you cannot make sense of many verses. That includes the ones that I’ve provided and many more that I will talk about in future posts.
This belief contradicts traditional Islam as well as traditional Judaism. Islam fell into the same Unitarian trap that Talmudic Judaism did. Because of their traditions, they have not been able to fully understand the word of God in sacred scripture.