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protothor
Jan 23rd 2008, 07:01 PM
First John 5:20 says "and we know the the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. this is the true God and eternal life."

If it often debated by trinitarians that this verse clearly shows that Jesus Christ is the 'true God and eternal life' yet the original Greek text is not clear whether the 'true God and eternal life' is referring to Jesus Christ, or the one who is true. Thoughts?

Friend of I AM
Jan 23rd 2008, 07:13 PM
First John 5:20 says "and we know the the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. this is the true God and eternal life."

If it often debated by trinitarians that this verse clearly shows that Jesus Christ is the 'true God and eternal life' yet the original Greek text is not clear whether the 'true God and eternal life' is referring to Jesus Christ, or the one who is true. Thoughts?

Throughout the entire NT, Jesus refers to himself as the son of God as oppossed to being God himself. However, if you read the NT, there are many clear references to Jesus being God in the same way the Father is God. Here are just a few:

I got these from the following website:

http://www.mostmerciful.com/notgod--1-7.htm

LIST OF VERSES STUDIED:
(Section One)
1. "I AND THE FATHER ARE ONE" JOHN 10:30 Must read item.
2. "HE WHO HAS SEEN ME HAS SEEN THE FATHER" JOHN 14:9
3. "GO THEREFORE AND MAKE DISCIPLES IN THE NAME OF..." MT. 28:19
4. "FOR THERE ARE THREE THAT BEAR WITNESS..." 1 JOHN 5:8
5. "...LET US MAKE MAN IN OUR IMAGE." GENESIS 1:26
6. "THOMAS SAID TO JESUS, 'MY LORD AND MY GOD" JOHN 20:28
7. "...AND (MAGI) FELL DOWN, AND WORSHIPPED HIM." MT. 2:11
(Section Two)
8. "BEFORE ABRAHAM WAS BORN... I AM" JOHN 8:58
9. "...AND SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD" MARK 16:19
10. "...IF YOU CONFESS JESUS AS LORD" ROMANS 10:9-10
11. "IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE WORD" JOHN 1:1to 9 and 14 Must read item.
12. "AND HIS NAME SHALL BE ... ALMIGHTY GOD" ISAIAH 9:6
13. "AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL" MATTHEW 1:23
14. "WALKED UPON A SEA; RAISED LAZARUS" MT. 14:25 & JOHN 11:44
15. "EXISTED IN THE FORM OF GOD... DlD NOT REGARD EQUALITY" PHIL. 2:6/7
16. "I AM ALPHA AND OMEGA" REVELATION 1:8 New item.

I think the main problem with God representing 3 persons, is we try to solve the whole thing from a linear logic standpoint. Problem being, God is not limited to working within our linear logical standpoint. Thus not being limited to linear logic, God could still call himself his son, and at the same time call himself his Father, and at the same time call himself one God.

Confusing enough?

Certainly is. How can God do all this. Simple answer. He's God. Why did he choose to reveal himself this way to mankind? I don't know. Humulity perhaps? Easier to undertand him this way? I don't really know. The gist of it is this - we are to just accept what God says he is. He says it very clearly "I am what I am" So our response should be "understood Lord, I will praise you and thank you for allowing me to share this wonderful life with you."

Now I wouldn't really recommend trying to explain the Concept of God being 3 personages but one God on a real detailed-linear level. Every time someone tries to explain it on a linear logical level in entirety - they always end up creating some sort of false religion(i.e. Jehova's witness, Mormonism, Seventh Day Adventist, etc etc) Assigning Christ to the level of a created being, stating that there are many other Gods on other planets, etc. Why do you think the bible says trust not your own understanding? I've had to give up on trying to understand the concept in entirety myself, and just reconcile it with the faith God has imparted upon me. Every time I try to use my own brain to do so, I always end up with more questions and contradictions...

Hope this answers your questions..

Blessings

Stephen

doulosXristous
Jan 23rd 2008, 08:27 PM
Indeed, 1 John 5.20 can be read two different ways. Let me quote the verse so that we have it here to look at.


1 John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.The words "this is the true God" could either be applied to "him who is true" or "his Son Jesus Christ." The Greek is ambiguous on this. Even so, Johannine use of "the true God" would favor a reference to the Father as was the case in John 17.3.


John 17:3 "This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. Since in John 17.3, a similar construction is used, many have concluded that 1 John 5.20 follows suit in calling the Father of Jesus the true God and eternal life.

Even so, some say that this verse is not ambiguous, but that "the true God" clearly refers to the last clause of the sentence. If this were true then
1 John 2.22 would be calling Christ the antichrist.


1 John 2:22 Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son.
The phrase "this is the antichrist" obviously does not refer to Christ. It is taking about "the liar" and so, in the same way in 1 John 5.20 I would argue that it is more likely that "this is the true God" refers to "him who is true," i.e. the Father of Jesus.

protothor
Jan 23rd 2008, 08:31 PM
Section One)
1. "I AND THE FATHER ARE ONE" JOHN 10:30 Must read item.
The whole of John 10 is talking about how Jesus is a sheperd; verses 28 and 29 state that no one can take the sheep from Jesus' hand, and (29) that no one can take the sheep from the Father's hand, verse 30, in context, showing that Jesus and the Father are one in purpose, not necessarily one in form.

2. "HE WHO HAS SEEN ME HAS SEEN THE FATHER" JOHN 14:9
John 14:6 says that no one can come to the father except through Jesus. Jesus does only will of the one who sent him (the Father). When Phillip asks Jesus to show him the father, Jesus is taken back, telling Phillip (because Jesus only does the works of the Father), that if you have seen Jesus (and by association his works) you have seen the Father.

3. "GO THEREFORE AND MAKE DISCIPLES IN THE NAME OF..." MT. 28:19
"... baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit." I'm not quite sure why this would be used to support this trinity; simply because the words Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are in consecutive order in the text? If I were to say baptize in the name of John, Paul, and Malchezidech, does that mean that those three men are the same person, just three incarnations?

4. "FOR THERE ARE THREE THAT BEAR WITNESS..." 1 JOHN 5:8
If you are going to take this out of context by just quoting this verse, then you cannot assume, out of context, that this is even referring to the father, son, and Holy Spirit. The verse simply states "For the are three that testify." (in the NASB) Nowhere does it denote, in that verse, that the three there are referring to the father, son, and holy spirit. And if you choose to make the argument of context, then you must also read the other passages in context as well.

5. "...LET US MAKE MAN IN OUR IMAGE." GENESIS 1:26
I can only imagine that you assume that this means that God is speaking to Jesus Christ in this passage, and thus, that you believe in the pre-existance of Jesus. Yet, would it be a stretch to think that God was speaking to the angels? It says often that angels appear in the form of men. It does not say that the angels were not associated with the creation of man.

6. "THOMAS SAID TO JESUS, 'MY LORD AND MY GOD" JOHN 20:28
Thomas here is seemingly calling Jesus 'god' in a secondary sense. Satan is the 'god' of this age, Jesus is the 'god' of the coming age, the Davidic king in Psalms 45:7 is called 'god', lowercase, the king being on whose throne stands forever, clearly referring to Jesus' everlasting throne.

7. "...AND (MAGI) FELL DOWN, AND WORSHIPPED HIM." MT. 2:11
The verb used here, in the Greek 'proskuneo', has a wide variety of meanings, ranging from prostration, to an embrace or kiss, and even to worship, as translated here. Yet, while the KJV translates proskuneo here as worship, other translations put it as "began to do obsience to him', 'prostrated before him', 'fell on their knees before him', 'fell down before the king, faces in the dust', and finally, and KJV, 'and worshipped him'. In the majority of cases, prokuneo is not translated 'to worship', but rather, in essence, to 'give favor to' or 'recognize as worthy of submission'.

I'd like to go on through the 'Section Two', but you haven't really gone into what I had hoped you would. "Can 1 John 5:20 really be used to confirm the divinity of Jesus?" Doesn't it make more sense to say that the Father is the only true God?

Blessings,
Ian

Theophilus
Jan 23rd 2008, 09:19 PM
First John 5:20 says "and we know the the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. this is the true God and eternal life."

If it often debated by trinitarians that this verse clearly shows that Jesus Christ is the 'true God and eternal life' yet the original Greek text is not clear whether the 'true God and eternal life' is referring to Jesus Christ, or the one who is true. Thoughts?
Well, if it's not clear, then you can't exclude it out of hand, now can you?
:)

What about Titus 2:11-14?


11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Whether you're a pre- or post-millenialist, both groups agree that Jesus Christ will appear/come again...Revelation mentions (as does Daniel) the Son of Man coming with the clouds of Heaven. Revelation also mentions Jesus at the head of a great army. No mention is made God the Father in either passage in Revelation (although Daniel mentions God the Father as the Ancient of Days)...and yet, this passage in Titus says the "...glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ..."

Now, the Greek may be ambiguous here as well, I don't know...but this verse seems to indicate Jesus is God.

Clifton
Jan 23rd 2008, 11:55 PM
...Now I wouldn't really recommend trying to explain the Concept of God being 3 personages but one God on a real detailed-linear level. Every time someone tries to explain it on a linear logical level in entirety - they always end up creating some sort of false religion(i.e. Jehovah's witness, Mormonism, Seventh Day Adventist, etc etc)

I have grown all too weary about the debates about manifestations of God, and decided to classify myself as a "mysterium" (it is a mystery to me). A lot of Christians are changing their views on the manifestation categories.


Assigning Christ to the level of a created being, stating that there are many other Gods on other planets, etc. Why do you think the bible says trust not your own understanding? I've had to give up on trying to understand the concept in entirety myself, and just reconcile it with the faith God has imparted upon me. Every time I try to use my own brain to do so, I always end up with more questions and contradictions...
I do not believe either, that Christ is a "created being". I believe He came forth from the bosom of the Father - since the Father always was, so was Christ, because Christ came from the bosom of the Father, and was brought forth to create all things (Colossians 1). That much I do believe.

Here is a verse that we may glide over in relation to that statement:

“Jesus said to them, If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come from Myself, but He sent Me.” (John 8:42 VW)

Notice that "proceeded forth" precedes before "he came from God".

I read a website on the manifestation of God, and Christ coming from His bosom, and I declare, it made more sense to me regarding this manifestation then anything I have ever seen. I'll post an excerpt of a larger part in the next post. Of course, on this theme, who is the say they convey it correctly. If it is not correct, at least, it is more sensible, IMO. Perhaps one or more folks will like it.

Clifton
Jan 23rd 2008, 11:57 PM
In John 1:1 Scripture shows us that this initial firstborn manifestation of Yahweh, was His own Word that emanated from His own bosom or His heart. Before the Word was sent forth or brought forth, it was with Elohim, as an eternal AND INTERNAL part of Elohim. Therefore the Word was Elohim Himself! As long as Yahweh the Father has existed, so has His Word that resided in Him, since He and His Word are inseparable... Since Yahweh has no beginning neither does His Word and both the Father and His Word, (not 2 persons) existed in each other, with the lesser residing inside of the greater. When Father Yahweh released His Word from His bosom, He brought forth His very own Word in what seemed like an act of creation but was not. It was a mere transference of the abiding engrafted Word from an internal to an external setting. Once released from the bosom, it unleashed its inbred creative powers upon the universe and thus created all things. Colossians 1:16 confirms this unleashing of the energy of His spoken Word and all things became subject to His Word, which was the Father’s first manifestation of His self-contained glory. Once that glory had been brought forth out of its containment, all things that His Word created, became His Word’s property and through Him the Father’s property. That is why Yahshua said many times all that the Father has is mine and all I have is His (John 17:9-10).

doulosXristous
Jan 24th 2008, 03:23 AM
What about Titus 2:11-14?...Now, the Greek may be ambiguous here as well, I don't know...but this verse seems to indicate Jesus is God.

Again the Greek here can be read two different ways. It could be read that God and Christ are both coming or that our God, Christ, is coming. There has been much discussion on this verse along with 2 Peter 1.1 by people that are all too often over confident of their viewpoint. I think we do well to classify this verse as "dubious" in relation to making the case that Jesus is God. This is what Raymond Brown, a catholic scholar and theologian of the first rank does.

Even so, we should also state here that there are two clear references in which Jesus is called God--John 20.28 and Hebrews 1.8. Each of these two needs to be looked at in context, with an eye to the fact that the Trinity is clearly not yet in view at the time these words were written. I think the question should not be "is Jesus God?" but "how is Jesus God?" Personally I find the late 4th century constantinopolitan-nicene creed unconvincing given the Hebrew thought world of the 1st century.

According to the Brown, Driver, and Briggs Lexicon of Hebrew, the word God can be used in a primary sense (i.e. God as the Almighty, Creator, etc.) or in a secondary sense (i.e. as one who represents God and therefore can be called God). Jesus clearly was aware of this secondary usage of the word God when he debated with the Pharisees in John 10. He reminded his questioners that those who received the word of God are called Gods. I take this as a reference to Psalm 82.6 (and possibly Exodus 21.6; 22.8; et. al.--places where the judges of Israel were called "God"). Furthermore in the case of Hebrews 1.8 we have a clear context from Psalm 45.6 in which the davidic king (clearly not Jesus in the original context, just read the whole of Psalm 45) is called God, but even so he, as God, has a God--i.e. the Father, Yahweh.

So, what I'm saying is that Jesus may be God in the sense that he was acting on God's behalf (like Moses in Exodus 7.1) or he may be God in an ontological sense (i.e. he shares the same substance as the Father). I prefer the former here because it fits better with the over all context of second temple Judaism.

We should all take seriously that Jesus did agree with a Jewish scribe on who God is in Mark 12.29. In other words, Jesus had no problem affirming Jewish monotheism (as opposed to later Christian monotheism). Further, we should recognize that Jesus specifically affirmed that the Father is the only true God in his prayer in John 17.3.

Friend of I AM
Jan 24th 2008, 02:43 PM
I have grown all too weary about the debates about manifestations of God, and decided to classify myself as a "mysterium" (it is a mystery to me). A lot of Christians are changing their views on the manifestation categories.

I do not believe either, that Christ is a "created being". I believe He came forth from the bosom of the Father - since the Father always was, so was Christ, because Christ came from the bosom of the Father, and was brought forth to create all things (Colossians 1). That much I do believe.

Here is a verse that we may glide over in relation to that statement:

“Jesus said to them, If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come from Myself, but He sent Me.” (John 8:42 VW)

Notice that "proceeded forth" precedes before "he came from God".

I read a website on the manifestation of God, and Christ coming from His bosom, and I declare, it made more sense to me regarding this manifestation then anything I have ever seen. I'll post an excerpt of a larger part in the next post. Of course, on this theme, who is the say they convey it correctly. If it is not correct, at least, it is more sensible, IMO. Perhaps one or more folks will like it.

Thanks for that information Clifton. I've never heard of that John 1:1 used to explain it in that way. I've actually studied the brought forth theory as well, however, it was based on the Proverbs. If you refer to the Proverbs, it also makes the reference to Wisdom being brought forth from the Lord and being the first of his works(Proverbs 8:22-31), however, within this context Wisdom can be thought of as the personnage of Christ - as Christ states himself as being the Wisdom of God.(Matt. 11:18-19) Additionally Christ is stated as being the Wisdom of God in Eph 5:15-20.

I don't like to mention these passages too much though when trying to describe the Trinity, because many will take the concept of "bringing forth" and use it to signify that Christ is a created being and on the same level as all other celestial beings that were indeed created in the same sense that you and I were.

What's really interesting though is if you go to Isaiah 55 and compare the invitation from the Lord to the invitation being made by the woman Wisdom (Proverbs 9:1-6). They are essentially identical. Thus with this being said once again, it's very difficult to make a clear distinction between Wisdom(Jesus) and the Lord(the Father).


And then there's the question of where does the Holy Spirit fit into all of this? As he is God as well as mentioned in the scriptures. So that's why I have really just had to reconcile most of my belief on faith at this point. There are some things, concepts of God that can't be entirely rationalized down to a human level.

TrustGzus
Jan 24th 2008, 08:11 PM
First John 5:20 says "and we know the the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. this is the true God and eternal life."

If it often debated by trinitarians that this verse clearly shows that Jesus Christ is the 'true God and eternal life' yet the original Greek text is not clear whether the 'true God and eternal life' is referring to Jesus Christ, or the one who is true. Thoughts?On the one hand, if you don't think this clear enough, then that's fair enough. Don't use it. On the other hand, if it's just referring to the Father being God, then the verse seems very tautological and needlessly repetitive. This would make it seem that it might very well be referring to Jesus.

I would never personally use this verse as one of my proofs of Jesus' deity. There are plenty of better selections.

Grace & peace to you,

Joe

TrustGzus
Jan 24th 2008, 08:16 PM
So, what I'm saying is that Jesus may be God in the sense that he was acting on God's behalf (like Moses in Exodus 7.1) or he may be God in an ontological sense (i.e. he shares the same substance as the Father). I prefer the former here because it fits better with the over all context of second temple Judaism.Greetings doulosXristous,

The way I read it, you don't believe that Jesus is God in his very essence, i.e. ontologically. Thus, the Trinity would also be false. Your second paragraph caught my eye in regard to that also when you commented on the Nicene Creed.

I might have misread you. Can you clarify this?

Grace & peace to you,

Joe

doulosXristous
Jan 24th 2008, 09:03 PM
The way I read it, you don't believe that Jesus is God in his very essence, i.e. ontologically. Thus, the Trinity would also be false. Your second paragraph caught my eye in regard to that also when you commented on the Nicene Creed.

I might have misread you. Can you clarify this?

I personally have not found the philosophical 4th century postulation called the Trinity to be compatible with the following data:

.:. Jesus denied that he was God in an absolute sense (Mark 10.18)
.:. Jesus said that he was not equal to God but that the Father was greater (John 14.28)
.:. Jesus died while God cannot die (1 Timothy 1.17; 6.16)
.:. Jesus agreed with a scribe on who God was. We know that this scribe was not a trinitarian (Mark 12.29).
.:. Jesus had a God, who he identified as being the Father (John 20.17)
.:. Jesus could not doing anything on his own initiative (John 5.19)

more information can be found here (http://www.kingdomready.org/topics/god.php)

Even so, I do believe in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Furthermore I believe in every verse of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures. Lastly, I believe in the Apostles' Creed:


I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
the Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:
Who was conceived of the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended into hell.
The third day He arose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty,
whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting.
Amen.

Hopefully you can accept me.

~peace be with you

Jaired
Jan 24th 2008, 09:20 PM
Hey all,
Seeing as how this is a discussion on the trinity, I was wondering if you could give me some insight on the following questions I have been pondering on.
1.) How is it possible God died?
2.) If God was dead could he indeed raise himself?
3.) How is it then that God was able to raise himself seeing as how he was dead.
4.) If God told Moses no man could see his face and live, how then could anybody see Jesus and live?
5.) Does this mean it is possible for God to make himself less holy so that people could have a glimpse of his face?

Some feedback would be appreciated.

Athanasius
Jan 24th 2008, 09:24 PM
I personally have not found the philosophical 4th century postulation called the Trinity to be compatible with the following data:

.:. Jesus denied that he was God in an absolute sense (Mark 10.18)
.:. Jesus said that he was not equal to God but that the Father was greater (John 14.28)
.:. Jesus died while God cannot die (1 Timothy 1.17; 6.16)
.:. Jesus agreed with a scribe on who God was. We know that this scribe was not a trinitarian (Mark 12.29).
.:. Jesus had a God, who he identified as being the Father (John 20.17)
.:. Jesus could not doing anything on his own initiative (John 5.19)


It's not a 'philosophical postulation'; it's a doctrinal truth.
You deny the Trinity, you undermine Christianity.

The issue lies with a misunderstanding of the relationship Jesus had with the Father.

As said in Philippians 2:5-11 (ESV)

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death,even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Jesus was God, but he was also human (and humans can die).
Humans can't, however, resurrect themselves of their own power--Which God, err, Jesus, did.

As a human, Jesus thought it only proper (correctly) to worship God the Father. Purposing also an example for us.

Brother Mark
Jan 24th 2008, 10:00 PM
How come when people fell down and worshiped Jesus, he never discouraged them. He allowed others to worship him, yet God clearly said that no one other than God should be worshiped. The reason? Jesus is God.

Clifton
Jan 24th 2008, 10:31 PM
Thanks for that information Clifton. I've never heard of that John 1:1 used to explain it in that way. I've actually studied the brought forth theory as well, however, it was based on the Proverbs. If you refer to the Proverbs, it also makes the reference to Wisdom being brought forth from the Lord and being the first of his works(Proverbs 8:22-31), however, within this context Wisdom can be thought of as the personnage of Christ - as Christ states himself as being the Wisdom of God.(Matt. 11:18-19) Additionally Christ is stated as being the Wisdom of God in Eph 5:15-20.

I don't like to mention these passages too much though when trying to describe the Trinity, because many will take the concept of "bringing forth" and use it to signify that Christ is a created being and on the same level as all other celestial beings that were indeed created in the same sense that you and I were.

What's really interesting though is if you go to Isaiah 55 and compare the invitation from the Lord to the invitation being made by the woman Wisdom (Proverbs 9:1-6). They are essentially identical. Thus with this being said once again, it's very difficult to make a clear distinction between Wisdom(Jesus) and the Lord(the Father).


And then there's the question of where does the Holy Spirit fit into all of this? As he is God as well as mentioned in the scriptures. So that's why I have really just had to reconcile most of my belief on faith at this point. There are some things, concepts of God that can't be entirely rationalized down to a human level.


Thanks for the scripture references. I read them all this morning. Proverbs 8 was interesting, in that it made me think it was Christ talking to David. I remember we discussed Proverbs 8 back the BBS Network Conference days.

Another interesting passage is Colossians 1:15 (http://net.bible.org/verse.php?book=Colossians&chapter=1&verse=15); The Greek word for "image" is Εικων, Strong's # 1504 (http://net.bible.org/strong.php?id=1504), (pronounced "i-kone") this is where the English word "icon" comes from. As for Greek put it, when the sun shines on the sea, you see the Εικων of the sun on the sea. Εικων is somewhat different the Greek word for "shadow."

Partaker of Christ
Jan 24th 2008, 10:35 PM
John 1:9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

1John 1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

Rev 21:23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.


Rev 21:6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
Rev 21:7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

Rev 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
Rev 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

doulosXristous
Jan 24th 2008, 11:31 PM
It's not a 'philosophical postulation'; it's a doctrinal truth. You deny the Trinity, you undermine Christianity.

The issue lies with a misunderstanding of the relationship Jesus had with the Father.

Xel'Naga, regardless of how one feels about the Trinity the following facts are clear:

.:. the Trinity was not developed in the regions of Judea but in the midst of the Hellenistic thought centers of 4th century
.:. the framers of the doctrine (i.e. the Cappadocians) were trained in Greek philosophy
.:. the terms employed in both Nicene and Constantinopolitan creeds were straight out of Greek philosophy and not biblical (i.e. ousia,separation of person from being, etc.)
.:. the Hebrews focused on functionality whereas the Greeks focused more on substance, forms, ontological distinctions and so on...the Trinity is clearly a collection of statements of the latter type



If we take the New Testament as a criterion, we cannot deny that the Council of Nicaea certainly maintained the New Testament message and did not Hellenize it totally. But it is equally beyond dispute that the council remained utterly imprisoned in Hellenistic concepts, notions and thought-models which would have been completely alien to the Jew Jesus of Nazareth and the earliest community. Here in particular the shift from the Jewish Christians apocalyptic paradigm to the early church Hellenistic paradigm had a massive effect. (Christianity: Essence, History, and Future, Continuum International Publishing Group In, NY, NY, 1994, page 182.)


Whether the Trinity is true or not is a separate topic than whether or not it consists of a set of Hellenistic, philosophical propositions. I would like to address your second point, that denying the Trinity is tantamount to undermining Christianity. Who was the first trinitarian? Did Abraham believe in the Trinity? Did Moses? Did John the Baptist? Was Jesus the first trinitarian? Or was the Trinity not revealed until "progressive revelation" took effect in the centuries following the resurrection of Jesus? It is my understanding that the Trinity was not worked out until 451 ad when the council of Chalcedon finally determined the doctrine of the hypostatic union (i.e. dual natures of Christ). Thus, even if the Trinity is true, it does not follow that disbelief in it undermines Christianity considering the fact that none of the earliest Christians ever even heard of it. Why can we not stick to the creeds of Scripture, or even the Apostle's creed? Surely you don't endorse everything the church decides to put into a creed?

jffl25
Jan 25th 2008, 01:10 AM
Jesus says in Revelation 1:17, I am the First and the Last.

As another poster pointed out, at the end of Revelation (22:13) He says, I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.

One could argue that this is God (the Father) speaking. Ok...

Back to chapter 1. In verse 18 He says, I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore.

Was God ever dead? This has to be Jesus, Who is God, indeed, the perfect GOD-MAN.

protothor
Jan 25th 2008, 02:57 AM
I do not believe either, that Christ is a "created being". I believe He came forth from the bosom of the Father - since the Father always was, so was Christ, because Christ came from the bosom of the Father, and was brought forth to create all things (Colossians 1). That much I do believe.

The word 'only begotten son of God' seem to take this point on the other side of the coin. To 'beget' is the father's part in the creation of a child; therefore, if God truly did beget Jesus, making Jesus the only begotten son of God, then Jesus must be a created being.

protothor
Jan 25th 2008, 03:04 AM
Back to chapter 1. In verse 18 He says, I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore.

Was God ever dead? This has to be Jesus, Who is God, indeed, the perfect GOD-MAN.


Why wouldn't Jesus say "I am he who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore."? This makes perfect sense seeing as Jesus was alive, was murdered/crucified, ressurected, and ascended into heaven to sit at the right hand of God. Does it not make more sense for this to simply be Jesus' broad account of what happened to him? How does this make the point that Jesus is God; to my understanding, it bolsters the unitarian point-of-view even more. Please explain.

TrustingFollower
Jan 25th 2008, 03:41 AM
Look at the gospel of John chapter 1



John 1:1-3 (NASB)
1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

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


Now jump to verse 14



John 1:14 (NASB)
14And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

This simply shows me that Jesus was with God the Father in the beginning and that everything was made through Jesus. Furthermore it shows that Jesus is also God.

Clifton
Jan 25th 2008, 02:20 PM
As far as I recall, (going back into the last decade), the term "Trinity" was first coined by Tertullian of the 2nd or 3rd Century, thus, the term begin to spread and get accepted. This does not imply the term is valid or invalid - new terms have always come along.

Athanasius
Jan 25th 2008, 02:24 PM
Xel'Naga, regardless of how one feels about the Trinity the following facts are clear:

.:. the Trinity was not developed in the regions of Judea but in the midst of the Hellenistic thought centers of 4th century
.:. the framers of the doctrine (i.e. the Cappadocians) were trained in Greek philosophy
.:. the terms employed in both Nicene and Constantinopolitan creeds were straight out of Greek philosophy and not biblical (i.e. ousia,separation of person from being, etc.)
.:. the Hebrews focused on functionality whereas the Greeks focused more on substance, forms, ontological distinctions and so on...the Trinity is clearly a collection of statements of the latter type


I wouldn't agree that those facts are 'clear'
But not getting into that, they have in impact on the doctrine of the Trinity.

It's insinuating that we should all travel in boats because that's what Paul did.

Clifton
Jan 25th 2008, 02:25 PM
The word 'only begotten son of God' seem to take this point on the other side of the coin. To 'beget' is the father's part in the creation of a child; therefore, if God truly did beget Jesus, making Jesus the only begotten son of God, then Jesus must be a created being.

Even in Koine Greek, that might mean something if that were the only phrase used, but it is not. If Christ indeed was brought forth from the bosom of the Father, then He cannot be "created" because He was brought forth from the Father, and we do not believe God was "created", but always was. That brought forth manifestation is the Creator of all things. Angels are created because they are not brought forth from the bosom of the Father - that's why the Greek for only-begotten is used.;)

Friend of I AM
Jan 25th 2008, 02:44 PM
Thanks for the scripture references. I read them all this morning. Proverbs 8 was interesting, in that it made me think it was Christ talking to David. I remember we discussed Proverbs 8 back the BBS Network Conference days.

Another interesting passage is Colossians 1:15 (http://net.bible.org/verse.php?book=Colossians&chapter=1&verse=15); The Greek word for "image" is Εικων, Strong's # 1504 (http://net.bible.org/strong.php?id=1504), (pronounced "i-kone") this is where the English word "icon" comes from. As for Greek put it, when the sun shines on the sea, you see the Εικων of the sun on the sea. Εικων is somewhat different the Greek word for "shadow."

Interesting. Regarding the Proverbs, I think it's pretty apparent that they are indeed pointing to Christ and not David. This verse is taken from the Proverbs:

Proverbs 3:19
The LORD by wisdom founded the earth, By understanding He established the heavens.

Proverbs 8:22-23
The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth:

Matthew 22:43
How doth David then by the Spirit - By inspiration, call him Lord? If he be merely the son (or descendant) of David? If he be, as you suppose, a mere man, the son of a man?

King David didn't set up the foundation from the beginning of the earth, nor form the Earth. Christ did. However, Christ is indeed the fulfullment of the covenant that God made with David, by promising him a King through his lineage. I think where you're getting confused is by David inquiring the Lord to give him a heart of Wisdom in the Psalms. By asking for Wisdom, David was asking for the Holy Spirit to enter his heart, seeing as how the Holy Spirit is a Spirit which possesses Wisdom.

You may also want to read the Proverbs regarding both the Woman Wisdom and the woman folly. Christ is the personnage of "Wisdom" and the devil is represented by the personnage of "folly" It's very interesting reading the Proverbs, as you'll find much of them are interlated to various events which happen throughout scriptures.

Friend of I AM
Jan 25th 2008, 02:49 PM
Even in Koine Greek, that might mean something if that were the only phrase used, but it is not. If Christ indeed was brought forth from the bosom of the Father, then He cannot be "created" because He was brought forth from the Father, and we do not believe God was "created", but always was. That brought forth manifestation is the Creator of all things. Angels are created because they are not brought forth from the bosom of the Father - that's why the Greek for only-begotten is used.;)

Well, I don't know. I think many make the mistake of thinking that brought forth as being similar to a human birth. I don't know if that could really be the most logical explanation of it all. Perhaps divided himself might be a more plausable explanation, kind of similar to cells dividing? But then of course in me saying that - I would be giving the implication of God being divided..which from scripture, he attests to not being divided, but being only one God. So what is my point with all of this? Well when we trust natural understanding, we come up with many contradictions, however, if we set the foundations of our understanding that God's word is completely flawless, and can't be comprehended by natural understanding - we reconcile the Trinity by faith in God's Word...;)

Teke
Jan 25th 2008, 03:30 PM
Another interesting passage is Colossians 1:15 (http://net.bible.org/verse.php?book=Colossians&chapter=1&verse=15); The Greek word for "image" is Εικων, Strong's # 1504 (http://net.bible.org/strong.php?id=1504), (pronounced "i-kone") this is where the English word "icon" comes from. As for Greek put it, when the sun shines on the sea, you see the Εικων of the sun on the sea. Εικων is somewhat different the Greek word for "shadow."


This is a good point Clifton. :)

I believe another verse which tries to explain this concept is in Hebrews.


Hbr 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,

Hbr 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by [his] Son,...


It is not hard for us to understand from this, as God spoke from other things according to scripture, such as fire and/or cloud. Or IOW He was manifested in ways we could experience. Yet the manifestation wasn't exactly God, as it is beyond our capabilities to fully know God who is Spirit.

This is also why the Cappadocian fathers approached the subject of giving an explanation in the manner they did. Addressing such things as essence, and energy to explain God in a manner which we could relate to. While we can not know His essence, it was declared that Jesus was of His essence (uncreated) and also His energy, which we do experience in such things as love, mercy etc.
This also exemplifies how the created (mankind) experiences the uncreated (God in His energies). The burning bush would also be another example.

Clifton
Jan 25th 2008, 11:55 PM
Interesting. Regarding the Proverbs, I think it's pretty apparent that they are indeed pointing to Christ and not David. This verse is taken from the Proverbs:

Proverbs 3:19
The LORD by wisdom founded the earth, By understanding He established the heavens.

Proverbs 8:22-23
The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth:

Matthew 22:43
How doth David then by the Spirit - By inspiration, call him Lord? If he be merely the son (or descendant) of David? If he be, as you suppose, a mere man, the son of a man?

King David didn't set up the foundation from the beginning of the earth, nor form the Earth. Christ did. However, Christ is indeed the fulfullment of the covenant that God made with David, by promising him a King through his lineage. I think where you're getting confused is by David inquiring the Lord to give him a heart of Wisdom in the Psalms. By asking for Wisdom, David was asking for the Holy Spirit to enter his heart, seeing as how the Holy Spirit is a Spirit which possesses Wisdom.

You may also want to read the Proverbs regarding both the Woman Wisdom and the woman folly. Christ is the personnage of "Wisdom" and the devil is represented by the personnage of "folly" It's very interesting reading the Proverbs, as you'll find much of them are interlated to various events which happen throughout scriptures.


Perhaps I should have checked what was before Chapter 8. Most of those verses, if not all, I think I read more than once. The way things have gone since having Bible Software back in the late 1980's, is now, I have read so many passages, some, several times. It is enjoyable, indeed.

Clifton
Jan 26th 2008, 12:02 AM
Well, I don't know. I think many make the mistake of thinking that brought forth as being similar to a human birth. I don't know if that could really be the most logical explanation of it all. Perhaps divided himself might be a more plausable explanation, kind of similar to cells dividing? But then of course in me saying that - I would be giving the implication of God being divided..which from scripture, he attests to not being divided, but being only one God. So what is my point with all of this? Well when we trust natural understanding, we come up with many contradictions, however, if we set the foundations of our understanding that God's word is completely flawless, and can't be comprehended by natural understanding - we reconcile the Trinity by faith in God's Word...;)

This seems to be a day of reiterations for me :P On this theme of manifestation(s) of God, I generally just sit those topics out. Like I said elsewhere, in regards to the Orthodox Version Of Revelation, I can share and help in the Greek Department - this way, no matter what one concludes, it least it can be done on the Greek. Now the Hebrew? Just a bit more tricky.;)

Clifton
Jan 26th 2008, 12:10 AM
This is a good point Clifton. :)

I believe another verse which tries to explain this concept is in Hebrews.


Hbr 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,

Hbr 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by [his] Son,...


Thanks for the scripture references.;)


It is not hard for us to understand from this, as God spoke from other things according to scripture, such as fire and/or cloud. Or IOW He was manifested in ways we could experience. Yet the manifestation wasn't exactly God, as it is beyond our capabilities to fully know God who is Spirit.BTW, if do not already know, you might be fascinated with the Hebrew Word "Ruw-ach", Strong's # 07307 (http://net.bible.org/strong.php?id=07307) , "Spirit, Wind, etc.", which is where the Greek word PNEUMA, Strong's # 4151 (http://net.bible.org/strong.php?id=4151) comes from.


This is also why the Cappadocian fathers approached the subject of giving an explanation in the manner they did. Addressing such things as essence, and energy to explain God in a manner which we could relate to. While we can not know His essence, it was declared that Jesus was of His essence (uncreated) and also His energy, which we do experience in such things as love, mercy etc.
This also exemplifies how the created (mankind) experiences the uncreated (God in His energies). The burning bush would also be another example.
Interesting.

I am not familiar with the Cappadocian fathers. Is that terminology for Early Christian Writers like Tertullian, or even Eusebius?

Teke
Jan 26th 2008, 01:42 AM
Thanks for the scripture references.;)

Your welcome. :hug:



I am not familiar with the Cappadocian fathers. Is that terminology for Early Christian Writers like Tertullian, or even Eusebius?

No, these were the Greek fathers of the council of Niceae who opposed Arius and sought to bring semi Arians back to Orthodox Christianity.
They were two brothers, Basil the Great, and Gregory of Nyssa and their friend Gregory Nazianzus, Patriarch of Constantinople.

Thus Basil wrote:

"In a brief statement, I shall say that essence (ousia) is related to substance (hypostasis) as the general to the particular. Each one of us partakes of existence because he shares in ousia while because of his individual properties he is A or B. So, in the case in question, ousia refers to the general conception, like goodness, god-head, or such notions, while hypostasis is observed in the special properties of fatherhood, sonship, and sanctifying power. If then they speak of persons without hypostasis they are talking nonsense, ex hypothesi; but if they admit that the person exists in real hypostasis, as they do acknowledge, let them so number them as to preserve the principles of the homoousion in the unity of the godhead, and proclaim their reverent acknowledgment of Father, son, and Holy spirit, in the complete and perfect hypostasis of each person so named." Ep.214.4.

Clifton
Jan 26th 2008, 03:39 AM
Your welcome. :hug:



No, these were the Greek fathers of the council of Niceae who opposed Arius and sought to bring semi Arians back to Orthodox Christianity.
They were two brothers, Basil the Great, and Gregory of Nyssa and their friend Gregory Nazianzus, Patriarch of Constantinople.

Thus Basil wrote:

"In a brief statement, I shall say that essence (ousia) is related to substance (hypostasis) as the general to the particular. Each one of us partakes of existence because he shares in ousia while because of his individual properties he is A or B. So, in the case in question, ousia refers to the general conception, like goodness, god-head, or such notions, while hypostasis is observed in the special properties of fatherhood, sonship, and sanctifying power. If then they speak of persons without hypostasis they are talking nonsense, ex hypothesi; but if they admit that the person exists in real hypostasis, as they do acknowledge, let them so number them as to preserve the principles of the homoousion in the unity of the godhead, and proclaim their reverent acknowledgment of Father, son, and Holy spirit, in the complete and perfect hypostasis of each person so named." Ep.214.4.

Okay, thanks for pointing those names out. I have heard of them, but was not aware (or simply forgot) they are called Cappadocian fathers. Some of that stuff, I don't think I have read since the 1990's.

obeytheword
Jan 28th 2008, 08:31 PM
I believe the primary problem of understanding the trinity, and to be honest the "mystifying" of it, and everything that entails is due to not understanding, a rather simple thing, or at least not making a correlation.

The phrase "three persons" catches us up, and messes with both our theology and our witness by making things more mystical than they are I believe.

We were created in the Image of God. What does that mean? Many things I expect, but ONE of the things it means is understood when you look at:

1 Thessalonians 5:23 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=59&chapter=5&verse=23&version=31&context=verse)
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Our nature is to be ONE person with THREE aspects. Our Soul (which consists of our mind/will/emotions), our Body, which is the physical part of us that is seen, and our Spirit.

God ALSO has this same essence.

Father = Soul (Mind, Will, Emotions)
Son/Jesus = Body - physical representation
Holy Spirit = spirit.

The father is always the aspect or representation that is credited with having the will, making decisions, in ultimate charge, etc.

The son is who DOES things, and who is SEEN in a physical sense.

The Spirit is what provides life

Who created all things? GOD did. The Father WILLED it - the Son DID it, and the Holy Spirit provided the breath of Life.

The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are ALL God, and there is ONE God.

Understanding the Trinity as "Three persons" as opposed to "three aspects" or something along those lines is what makes this rather simple thing SO HARD to explain to people.

Natural man has three parts too. A Soul (which is in control) a Body, and a dead spirit. (the order is important - This is the order of things for the natural man)

Notice the order of the items listed in the verse above though? (which corresponds to what Christians look like) our spirit is listed first - and is the pre-eminent aspect or part of us - The Soul being second, and the body last.

Why is that? Our Spirit is what we are connected to God by. Our spirit connects with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit does nothing outside the exact will of the Father. Thus, if we are controlled "by the spirit" or we "live in the spirit/Walk in the spirit" then we are changing the order of things intentionally. We are placing our spirit (which is infused with the Holy Spirit) in the position of pre-eminence within ourselves. We allow our spirit, and thereby the Father by way of the Holy Spirit to CONTROL both our Soul AND our Body.

Anyway - something the Lord has revealed to me in somewhat recent days, and just sharing it.

Be Blessed!