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Is the Trinity Biblical?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Green Gaia, May 24, 2004.

  1. dharveymi

    dharveymi Member

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    Kathryn,

    My user name represents my first and last name and the state in which I was born.

    My beliefs do not correspond to the official teachings of the corporate Seventh-day Adventist Church. Historically, our church has rejected offical creeds, but beginning in the 1990s our church sadly decided to accept a creed called the 27 Fundamental Beliefs. In the past, our only creed was the Bible and the Bible alone. This is the creed to which I adhere. The founders of our church, according to our current leaders, could not belong to our denomination because they would not have accepted many of the beliefs stated in our current creed.

    I am afraid that recent posts have done more to confuse the topic than to shed light on it. Many who claim to oppose the trinity simply believe in another form of the trinity. At the heart of the trinity is the basic contridiction that there is one God, but three people who it's adherants call God. If you have found a way to answer this contridiction, you are a Trinitarian. The real issue is: does God really love us. Can he really love us.

    In Genesis, the Bible says that we were created in the image of God. If you want to know what God is like, look around; He is like us. Malichi claims that we are all children of God. He is our Father, but more importantly he is a father. He is like us. John says in his Gospel that eternal life can only be gained in knowing the Father and the Son (no mention of a third person). There is something about knowing about this relationship that will assure our salvation. God's nature is not a mystery he wants to keep secret from us, but a liberating truth he would like to reveal to us.

    Back to your question, "In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost." First, this is NOT "God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost." Although the phrase, "God the Father", occurs 13 times in the New Testament, neither "God the Son", "God the Holy Spirit", nor "God the Holy Ghost" appear even once. The Father is God. Secondly, neither Father, Son, nor Holy Ghost are names. Those who baptize using the literal words "In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost" are not following the command. To follow the command would require the name of each person. The Father's name is YHWH, which no one alive is sure how to pronounce. The name of the Son is Yeshua. What is the name of the Holy Ghost? "Holy" is an adjective in every case in the Bible. "Ghost" is simply the noun "spirit" or "breath", and simply could not be a name even though most translators have capitalized it. There is no indication in either Hebrew or Greek to suggest this is proper.

    Why would Jesus give us a command which is impossible to follow? Of course he would not. The problem comes in the meaning of the word "name." The most common usage of the word "name" is that of the personal salutation used to address an individual, but another meaning, which is often used in the Bible, is that of reputation. You might have heard the phrases "What's in a name?", or "You've given our family a bad name." Few mothers would call there children Hitler, it's a bad name. This is what Jesus meant what he used "name." I know this to be true, because none of the people, who listened to Christ's words, baptized in the three names as commanded. Instead, they baptised in the name of "the Lord, Jesus Christ", for example. We know that all of these baptismes where accepted by God, because when the apostles layed their hands on those baptized, they received the spirit of God, and began to speak in other languages and make prophecies, for example.

    There are other verses that Trinitarians use to suggest the truth of their heresy, but upon closer examination and read in context they simply do not support the lie that God is a Trinity, a Triune God, or any similar heresy. Instead the Bible and it's authors plainly and loudly proclaim the truth that there is one God, the Father, and that he has one born son, Jesus Christ, born before the worlds where created.
     
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  2. dharveymi

    dharveymi Member

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    I have been confused by several recent posts about the "Word." Let me give you my take on it. Jesus is properly called the "Word of God." in the following sense:

    Jesus explained over and over again that he did not come with a personal adgenda. Jesus says that he was sent, that He was commanded and obeyed, that He spoke the words of the Father, that He came to do another's will, that His words where not His own, and that the Father himself loves us.

    There is no suggestion in the Bible that Jesus is the "Word of God" in a literal sense. Instead, he speakes in the name of God, with the authority of God. This authority was given to Him by His Father. He does not have this authority inherently, but had to be given this authority by God.
     
  3. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    I presume from what you have said, that you cannot accept the conception that the three 'aspects' of God, as in The father, the son, and the Holy Ghost - could be seen to identify the different 'influences' of God ?:)
     
  4. James the Persian

    James the Persian Dreptcredincios Crestin

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    Really? How do you interpret John 1:1-16 then? It seems to me that that's more than a suggestion that Christ was the Word of God Incarnate - it's a straightforward statement that He was.

    James
     
  5. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    I agree, James - But i would go further still:

    1:18 No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
    This passage confirms that on any of the many occasions in ancient times when God showed Himself in one way or another to man (Genesis 18:2; Job 42:5), we can be sure that each time it was a theophany in which the triune God manifested Himself through the Second Person of the Godhead, the Word of God

    The Son is eternally in the Father's "bosom" and eternally proceeding as the "only begotten Son" (Greek monogenes), uniquely different from the many other sons of God (angels are also called "sons of God" as are all those men and women who have been born again through faith in Christ). Those modern translators who delete the word "begotten" here are not only wrong in translation but also in allowing dangerous heresy in the understanding of the nature of Christ.
    As the living Word, the Son reveals and speaks for the Father
    1:19 And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou?

    1:26 John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not;
    1:27 He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose.
    1:28 These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing.
    1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
    :)

     
  6. James the Persian

    James the Persian Dreptcredincios Crestin

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    Sure, but I had to cut it off somewhere (though I did actually mean to stop at 18 - 16 was a typo). Glad you agree, though, and I'm intrigued to know why such a bold statement might not even be considered a suggestion by some.

    James
     
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  7. Bennettresearch

    Bennettresearch Politically Incorrect

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    dharveymi;
    I agree with Michel and Iacob about the word. It is not this fact that is confusing. It is what came after that is confusing. The Jesus Seminar did a critical examination of the words of Jesus in the Gospels, and came to the conclusion that many statements ascribed to Him were not actually said by Jesus. Of course, this is not the final truth on the matter, but represents the fallability of the Gospels in the fact that they cannot be regarded as entirely accurate historical accounts, but as narratives by unknown authors.
     
  8. dharveymi

    dharveymi Member

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    I apparently have an uphill battle here, but here goes. It seems that John 1 is used by many to suggest that Jesus is actually God, or an aspect of God, but let's go through this in more detail.

    Jhn 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

    On it's face there is a problem with this text. The Word is with God, and then he was God. How is it possible to be with one if you are that person. If you check out the original Greek you will find that there is a word that was not translated, the indefinate article "the." If this word is translated, the verse would read like this:

    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with THE God, and the Word was God.

    This word makes it clear that the Word was not the God that He was with. The question remains if the Word is not the God he is with, does that mean there are two gods? The answer remains in the nature of being. I am a human, my children are therefor humans. Chimps have baby chimps, etc. God is a title that refers to His position as the supreme ruler of the universe, but it is also His nature. It is only logical that if God were to have a son, His son would have the same nature, but would not automatically inherit His position.

    When considering John 1:3 compare it with Hebrews 1:2:

    Jhn 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

    Hbr 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by [his] Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

    Paul makes it clear that the Father made the worlds through His Son, that the Son used God's power and not his own.

    John 1:12 Is interesting for what it doesn't say. It doesn't say "son's of His" or "son's of the Word". Believing in Christ makes the believer the son of God by adoption see:

    Gal 4:5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

    In John 1:14 you will notice that we did not behold the glory of God. Instead, we beheld the glory of the only begotten of the the Father. This word contrary to Catholic belief does not mean continual birth, the very idea is monsterous. Instead, the word only refers to literal birth of an only child in all cases in Greek. In the Old Testment you will probably be familiar with the "begats" which everyone who every went to Sunday school or Sabbath school knows means born. Begotten is the past tense of begat. To suggest that the word has some mystical meaning is nothing but spritualism. Christ is the only born child of God, born before the worlds were made. This heresy contradict the very words or Christ in John 16: 27, in which he said that he came out from God, or alternately was born of God (past tense.) No verse in all of scripture, indeed no word in any language could suggest anything like a continual birth. To suggest that this verse or John 1:18 suggest that Jesus is still being born is to ignore the forest for the trees. Verses from Proverbs to Revelation contradict this strange heresy created to explain how there could be three gods what were really one after all.
     
  9. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    Hi, Harvey.

    (May I call you Harvey?)

    Wow! That's pretty amazing!

    I'm not quite sure I agree. I, for instance, definitely reject the doctrine of the Trinity. I believe it to be uninspired and in opposition to the teachings of the Bible. On the other hand, I do believe in the Godhead, as described in the Bible. There are three verses in the Bible in which the word "Godhead" can be found, but in none of them is it explicitely defined. I would say, however, that 1 John 5:7-8 is about as good a statement as can be found on the subject. It says, " For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one."

    1. So it appears that three individuals are united as one and these three are the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost. I think the dilimma centers around the meaning of the word "one." Again, the Bible doesn't come right out and define the word "one," although it does provide us with plenty of evidence that the unity of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost is not a mystical union of substance, but a unity of mind and heart, of will and purpose.

    2. We also know that there is one God. Trinitarians, of course, say, "The Father is God, and the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God. And yet there are not three Gods but one God." Well, I don't see it that way. If we were to use the dictionary in defining our terms, we would see that the word "God" is given as synonym for "Godhead." Obviously, the context in which the word "God" is used makes a difference. I would say that when the scriptures say, "There is only one God," we are absolutely correct in saying instead, "There is only one Godhead."

    I agree wholeheartedly that we are all children of God, His own sons and daughters, not even merely His creations but His offspring. And I definitely think He wants us to know Him. He doesn't want to be this mysterious "essence" the Trinitarians have invented for Him. I disagree, however, as to the role of the Holy Ghost. I believe it is 100% through the power of the Holy Ghost that we are able to come to know the Father and the Son. So even though the passage I believe you are thinking of ("And this islife eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."), it is the Holy Ghost who reveals the truth of all things to us. Because 1 John 5:7 specifically includes the Holy Ghost in speaking of the three who are one, I'm not at all comfortable leaving Him out of the equation.

    I agree. We Latter-day Saints don't use the phrases "God the Son" and "God the Holy Ghost, either."

    Yes He is. But there are two instances in which the Son is addressed as "God." One of these times is when Thomas first recognizes his Savior and says, "My Lord and my God." Knowing how Jesus consistently reminded His followers that He was subordinate to His Father, I believe it is significant that He did not correct Thomas at this time. I believe (and it is LDS doctrine) that the Father is greater than the Son, that the Son prays to the Father (not the other way around), that the Father sent His Son, instructed His Son and gave His Son all that He had -- again, not visa versa.

    Interestingly, though, in Hebrews 1:8 God (i.e. the Father) is recorded as having addressed His Son, saying, "Thythrone, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom." God Himself called His Only Begotten Son "God." We can hardly dismiss this as a mistranslation.

    I agree. None of these are names. The are actually titles. But to me, the distinction here is really immaterial. Jesus Christ himself supposedly said to His Apostles, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of theFather, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." What do you think He actually meant by that? I believe that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost share one title, and that that title is "God." I believe He was saying nothing more or less complicated than, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Godhead."

    Well, I disagree with you regarding the Father's name, but I don't want to get too awfully far off topic.

    No, I don't believe He would either. But I honestly see your interpretation as grasping at straws. Names and titles are frequently used interchangeably in the Bible. I think this is a good example of such an instance.

    Well, I can't argue with you there. I'm sure there were many baptisms done in the name of Jesus Christ. I'm just not so sure that they were done solely in His Name. What's more, even if they were, I don't see this as evidence that the Holy Ghost is not a part of the Godhead.

    I'm kind of uncomfortable with the word "lie." I believe that the Trinitarians are as sincere in their belief as you or I are in ours. I agree that the doctrine of the Trinity is not a true doctrine. I'm just going to stick with calling it a "mistake." ;) And I don't think it's a big enough mistake to keep anyone out of Heaven.

    Kathryn
     
  10. dharveymi

    dharveymi Member

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    Kathryn,

    If you want to call me Harvey you should call me Mr. Harvey; David is my first name. That reminds me of what I used to tell my students. On the first day of school, I would tell my students that my name was Mr. Harvey, but they could call me by my first name, Mr. It was usually good for a laugh at least, but it was funny because although it is proper to address a person by their title, as in Mr. President, if asked a person's name, it is improper to refer to their title. For example, George Bush's name is not President. I can find no place in the Old Testament were when the name of God is indicated His name is not used, except were he describes himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This appears not to be an answer as much as a refusal to answer as in Ex. 3:15, but in the same story this verse appears:

    Exd 6:3 And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by [the name of] God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.

    In many places God's name is translated, but in many verses this is indicated by all caps such as LORD or GOD.

    Concerning changing the phrase "in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost" to "in the name of the Godhead", I think this is very dangerous. It suggests that the Godhead has a name and is not true to the text.

    Considering the Father calling His son God, this is quite appropriate. You have correctly pointed out that the Father is obviously NOT saying that the Son is His god. So what is he saying? Consider:

    Phl 2:8-11 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth; And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

    What is this name that the Father gave His Son? Is there a name above "God?" But, who is being glorified when Jesus is called God? The Father is being glorified. Notice that Jesus is God in two ways, because he was the only born child of His Father, who happened to be God, and because His Father gave Him that name. It is clear that the supreme ruler, God of the universe, the only true God, the one and only Potentate is the Father.

    Concerning the Godhead, lets look at these verses in detail. In Col 2:8, 9, the fullness of the Godhead is said to dwell in Christ. Christ could not therefor be part of the Godhead or these verses would be saying that Christ dwelleth within himself, which is simply illogical. Rom 1:20 refers to God's (His) Godhead; apparently, the Godhead is something the Father has. Likewise, Acts 17: 29-31, places ignorance of God, not the one who he raised, in opposition with a knowledge of God. There is no indication that the Godhead refers to the Holy Ghost at all.

    Concerning the Trinity heresy, it's history is well documented, it has not always been with the church but was developed by admission of the Catholic church. There is no doubt that many sincerely believe the heresy, but it doesn't change the fact that it is a heresy. The truth about God is the most important doctrine of Christianity. The Catholic church says the Trinity is the doctrine on which all its doctrines are based. To the Jews, it is the most important teaching, "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God [is] one LORD." They do not except three Gods, a triune Godhead, or any similar heresy. Paul didn't except any other than the Father, as God:

    1Cr 8:6 But to us [there is but] one God, the Father, of whom [are] all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom [are] all things, and we by him.

    What doctrine could be more important than who you worship? If you think God is someone other than who he really is are you not worshiping an idol? Suppose when I say God, Jehovah, the Father, I am picturing a tikki doll on the beach in Malibu, am I not an idol worshiper? Is it any different, when someone worships the Trinity, or a triune Godhead?

    Concerning I John 5, I challenge you to prayerfully read this entire book, far from introducing the doctrine of the Trinity or a Triune Godhead, John is actually warning against such heresies, but for now lets look at these two verses:

    1Jo 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

    1Jo 5:8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.

    Notice first that verse 7 doesn't say that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are one God, one Godhead, or one Trinity. In context it is talking about their witness to the contrary that Jesus is the Son of God, and NOT God himself, see verse 5. Next, if you look carefully at the Greek you will notice that the same word that is translated "are", as in "these three are one", is translated "agree" in verse 8, as in "agree in one." It is clear that John is not trying to introduce a new doctrine but instead to convince the reader that Jesus is the very born Son of God, exhalting Christ, but not equal to or above His Father. Look at John's reason for writing the book, in I John 5: 17. It is remarkably similar to John 17: 3, in his gospel. Not to tell us about the Trinity or the Godhead, but that we might know how much God loves us in giving his only Son. I have a son, I can only imagine what God must have felt, watching His son suffer, thinking that he had abandoned Him, that He would never see Him again, and not being able to help. This was the ultimate sacrifice, the Father's sacrifice.

    (Side note: Heb 1:8 "Thy throne, O God" What throne is this? It's not the throne in heaven, Jesus is pictured sitting the right side of His Father in Heaven, and John says "behold, a throne was set in heaven, and [one] sat on the throne." The throne of Jesus is David's throne.)
     
  11. blood-lord14

    blood-lord14 Member

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  12. dharveymi

    dharveymi Member

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    Not sure what you meen.
     
  13. FFH

    FFH Veteran Member

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    The Trinity consists of three seperate beings but one in purpose.

    God the Father
    God the Son
    Holy Ghost (Holy Spirit or Comforter)

    The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us.

    Doctrine and Covenants of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints 130: 22

    Link to scripture is: http://scriptures.lds.org/query?words=+personages
     
  14. dharveymi

    dharveymi Member

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    I do not except as authorative the extra canonical "scriptures" of the Latter-day Saints. If you would like to make your point from the King James Version alone, I would be happy to discuss this issue with you. Short of that, I will happily agree that your church teaches a Trinity doctrine as does mine, although that is not a very interesting conclusion to the discussion, and does not address the real issue; namely, did the patriarchs, Jesus, and apostles teach a Trinity doctrine?
     
  15. FFH

    FFH Veteran Member

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    Matthew 28: 19
    "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."

    Of course this has already been mentioned, in a earlier post.

    Jesus Christ taught the role of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.

    John 14: 26
    "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your rememberance, whatsoever I have said unto you."

    Stephen saw the Father and the Son by the power of the Holy Ghost.

    Acts 7:55
    "But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God."
     
  16. Hockeycowboy

    Hockeycowboy Well-Known Member
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    It doesn't.
     
    #96 Hockeycowboy, Nov 10, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2017
  17. Shiranui117

    Shiranui117 Pronounced Shee-ra-noo-ee
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    Holy thread necro, Batman.
     
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