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Featured The Trinity: Was Athanasius Scripturally Right?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by SLPCCC, Jun 1, 2020.

  1. SLPCCC

    SLPCCC Active Member

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    In the year 367, the Christian bishop of Alexandria in Egypt, Athanasius, was the chief defender of Trinitarianism against Arianism. Some of the churches of the time were not teaching the trinity which caused problems for some of the churches. Why? How did Athanasius convince the people scripturally that the trinity was true? Some religions or nontrinitarian Christians today are growing in numbers. They use the bible to try to disprove the trinity and gain members. How is this possible? Do the scriptures teach the trinity or not?
     
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  2. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    My understanding is that this was caused by bishops trying to assert authority.

    Both sides of the debate were engaged in political wrangling. Both sides were wrong to try to make everybody else conform. It would have been better to let the matter drop, but they just wouldn't bring themselves to be reasonable. My opinion. They were so wrong that no matter what they came up with it couldn't be right.
     
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  3. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    The scriptures absolutely do not teach the doctrine of the Trinity. The Nicene Creed was only the tip of the iceberg when it came to the man's attempt to corrupt the nature of God. The Athanasian Creed reads like a legal document. It gives me a headache just thinking about it. God never intended to be co confusing to His children.

    Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith. Which faith except everyone do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. And the catholic faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity, neither confounding the persons, nor dividing the substance.

    For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit. But the godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, is all one, the glory equal, the majesty co-eternal.

    Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit. The Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Spirit uncreated. The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Spirit incomprehensible.

    The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal. And yet they are not three eternals, but one Eternal.

    As also there are not three incomprehensibles, nor three uncreated, but one Uncreated, and one Incomprehensible. So likewise the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty, and the Holy Spirit Almighty. And yet they are not three almighties, but one Almighty.

    So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. And yet they are not three gods, but one God.

    So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Spirit Lord. And yet not three lords, but one Lord.

    For as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge each Person by Himself to be both God and Lord, so we are also forbidden by the catholic religion to say that there are three gods or three lords.

    The Father is made of none, neither created, nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone, not made, nor created, but begotten. The Holy Spirit is of the Father, neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.

    So there is one Father, not three fathers; one Son, not three sons; one Holy Spirit, not three holy spirits.

    And in the Trinity none is before or after another; none is greater or less than another, but all three Persons are co-eternal together and co-equal. So that in all things, as is aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.

    He therefore that will be saved must think thus of the Trinity.

    Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe rightly the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the right faith is, that we believe and confess, that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man; God, of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and man of the substance of his mother, born in the world; perfect God and perfect man, of a rational soul and human flesh subsisting. Equal to the Father, as touching His godhead; and inferior to the Father, as touching His manhood; who, although He is God and man, yet he is not two, but one Christ; one, not by conversion of the godhead into flesh but by taking of the manhood into God; one altogether; not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person. For as the rational soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ; who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead. He ascended into heaven, He sits at the right hand of the Father, God Almighty, from whence He will come to judge the quick and the dead. At His coming all men will rise again with their bodies and shall give account for their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting; and they that have done evil into everlasting fire.

    This is the catholic faith, which except a man believe faithfully, he cannot be saved.
     
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  4. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    In a word....NO!
    "The New Catholic Encyclopedia states: “The formulation ‘one God in three Persons’ was not solidly established, certainly not fully assimilated into Christian life and its profession of faith, prior to the end of the 4th century. But it is precisely this formulation that has first claim to the title the Trinitarian dogma. Among the Apostolic Fathers, there had been nothing even remotely approaching such a mentality or perspective.”—(1967), Vol. XIV, p. 299.

    THE Trinity was defined . . in the Athanasian Creed. Athanasius was a clergyman who supported Constantine at Nicaea. The creed that bears his name declares: “We worship one God in Trinity . . . The Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God; and yet they are not three gods, but one God.”

    Well-informed scholars agree, however, that Athanasius did not compose this creed. The New Encyclopædia Britannica comments: “The creed was unknown to the Eastern Church until the 12th century. Since the 17th century, scholars have generally agreed that the Athanasian Creed was not written by Athanasius (died 373) but was probably composed in southern France during the 5th century. . . . The creed’s influence seems to have been primarily in southern France and Spain in the 6th and 7th centuries. It was used in the liturgy of the church in Germany in the 9th century and somewhat later in Rome.”

    So it took centuries from the time of Christ for the Trinity to become widely accepted in Christendom. And in all of this, what guided the decisions? Was it the Word of God, or was it clerical and political considerations? In Origin and Evolution of Religion, E. W. Hopkins answers: “The final orthodox definition of the trinity was largely a matter of church politics.”

    Trinity — Watchtower ONLINE LIBRARY
     
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  5. whirlingmerc

    whirlingmerc Well-Known Member

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    The Bible supports the Athanasian Trinity
    There are lots of people who do not know the Bible well... there are more outspoken atheists doesn't make them right.

     
  6. YoursTrue

    YoursTrue We know gravity by happenstance. (Newton)

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    I was thinking about the trinity today. Jesus is said to be the son of God. So a question to someone that is a trinity believer is: was he always the son of God, even before he came to the earth? He did come to the earth from heaven, and he spoke of and prayed to his Father who was in heaven, right?
     
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  7. SLPCCC

    SLPCCC Active Member

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    You either believe in the trinity or you can be accused of cherry-picking because It looks like you left out critical parts. In the above quote, you left out: "...The church ... also believed with the first simple Christians that Jesus Christ was God on earth." (Origin and Evolution of Religion, E. W. Hopkins, p339

    I also saw a few pages before p. 339 on p. 336 it reads, "The beginning of the doctrine of the Trinity appears already in John."

    Hopkins also states: "the life, temptation, miracles, parables, and even the disciples of Jesus have been derived directly from Buddhism." Do you believe this? You shouldn't just quote only parts of a book that can support what you believe.
     
    #7 SLPCCC, Jun 2, 2020
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  8. syo

    syo Well-Known Member

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    Ask Mark. He wrote the evangelion.
     
  9. LightofTruth

    LightofTruth Well-Known Member

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    When one reads the N.T. it is easy to see that there were many debates about who Jesus was. And from those debates came the formulation of the trinity doctrine.

    Mat 16:13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
    Mat 16:14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
    Mat 16:15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
    Mat 16:16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
    Mat 16:17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

    Well, there you have it. Jesus is the son of the living God.
     
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  10. SLPCCC

    SLPCCC Active Member

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    How does this prove or disprove the trinity?

    I think where to start is by seeing if the scriptures show that Jesus believed he was God.

    John 8:58 "Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” When Jesus says "I am" isn't he using the name of God as it was revealed to Moses in Exodus chapt 3 where Moses asked God for his name and God said, "Tell them that I am has sent you" So when Jesus calls himself "I am" the Jews knew exactly what he was implying and picked up stones to kill him. Is this one of the proofs that show that Jesus and God are one and supports Anthanasia's claim.
     
  11. YoursTrue

    YoursTrue We know gravity by happenstance. (Newton)

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    Good point about Jesus asking his disciples who it is that men say that he, calling himself the the son of man, is. Something to ponder over, although he wanted to know their thoughts about this. Thanks for that, and he knew that God his Father revealed it to Simon Barjona. Just as we can't force truth on anyone.
     
  12. YoursTrue

    YoursTrue We know gravity by happenstance. (Newton)

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    You are asking a question about the Name that has been discussed in various ways. It doesn't always mean "I am" as if eternally existing, it is also not always translated that way, but I'd have to do more research to give you a more definitive answer. Hopefully later.
     
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  13. LightofTruth

    LightofTruth Well-Known Member

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    There were times when even those who believed on him were confounded by his speech. For example, when Jesus spoke of eating his flesh and drinking his blood, many who were following him left. They didn't understand that his words were spirit and that the flesh profited nothing.
    I think the same thing is happening here. Those disciples misunderstood what Jesus was saying and decided he should be killed.
    Perhaps the same was true. They didn't understand his words to be spirit and not to be taken literally.
     
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  14. LightofTruth

    LightofTruth Well-Known Member

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    Suppose you were one of those who were following Jesus and believed on him. And then a conversation takes place whereby Jesus seems to be claiming to have existed before Abraham.
    All of a sudden, many followers revolt at the implied statement and want to kill him for thinking he claims to have existed before Abraham and to be the I AM.
    Wouldn't that be a rejection of the idea that Jesus spoke the words of his Father by the spirit of his Father?

    Instead of picking up stones to kill him, you might say, "Wait a minute, aren't we suppose to recognize the Father in His son?"......."Aren't we suppose to know that his words are not his own, but the Father's who sent him?"....."Aren't we suppose to know that the works he does are not his own but the Father's?"

    If they had understood these things they may not have been so quick to stone him.
     
  15. SLPCCC

    SLPCCC Active Member

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    Some nontrinitarian have quoted bibles that quote John 1:1 with a lowered capital G when describing Jesus. They translate it this way: "and the Word was a god" I think these bibles are poor translations because the interlinear word for word bible translates it this way with no article a and a capital G: This correct translation also supports John 8:58.

    καὶ (and) θεὸς (God) ἦν (was) ὁ (the) λόγος. (Word.)

    Godwastheword.gif

    This does not say, "and the Word was a god"
     
    #15 SLPCCC, Jun 2, 2020
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  16. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    Two points that I would like to address.....

    If you consult the Tanakh at Exodus 3:14-15 you will see that God’s name never was...... “I Am”.

    13 And Moses said to God, "Behold I come to the children of Israel, and I say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they say to me, 'What is His name?' what shall I say to them?"
    יגוַיֹּ֨אמֶר משֶׁ֜ה אֶל־הָֽאֱלֹהִ֗ים הִנֵּ֨ה אָֽנֹכִ֣י בָא֘ אֶל־בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵל֒ וְאָֽמַרְתִּ֣י לָהֶ֔ם אֱלֹהֵ֥י אֲבֽוֹתֵיכֶ֖ם שְׁלָחַ֣נִי אֲלֵיכֶ֑ם וְאָֽמְרוּ־לִ֣י מַה־שְּׁמ֔וֹ מָ֥ה אֹמַ֖ר אֲלֵהֶֽם:

    14 God said to Moses, "Ehyeh asher ehyeh (I will be what I will be)," and He said, "So shall you say to the children of Israel, 'Ehyeh (I will be) has sent me to you.'"
    ידוַיֹּ֤אמֶר אֱלֹהִים֙ אֶל־משֶׁ֔ה אֶֽהְיֶ֖ה אֲשֶׁ֣ר אֶֽהְיֶ֑ה וַיֹּ֗אמֶר כֹּ֤ה תֹאמַר֙ לִבְנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל אֶֽהְיֶ֖ה שְׁלָחַ֥נִי אֲלֵיכֶֽם:

    15 And God said further to Moses, "So shall you say to the children of Israel, 'The Lord God of your forefathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.' This is My name forever, and this is how I should be mentioned in every generation.
    טווַיֹּ֩אמֶר֩ ע֨וֹד אֱלֹהִ֜ים אֶל־משֶׁ֗ה כֹּ֣ה תֹאמַר֘ אֶל־בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵל֒ יְהֹוָ֞ה אֱלֹהֵ֣י אֲבֹֽתֵיכֶ֗ם אֱלֹהֵ֨י אַבְרָהָ֜ם אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִצְחָ֛ק וֵֽאלֹהֵ֥י יַֽעֲקֹ֖ב שְׁלָחַ֣נִי אֲלֵיכֶ֑ם זֶה־שְּׁמִ֣י לְעֹלָ֔ם וְזֶ֥ה זִכְרִ֖י לְדֹ֥ר דֹּֽר:


    Shemot - Exodus - Chapter 3 (Parshah Shemot)

    The "Lord God" is YHWH....Yahweh.....(Jehovah in English.)

    It is translated in English to mean “I Will Be What I Will Be”, meaning that God will BE whatever he needs to be in order to fulfill his purpose. Therefore any connection to John 8:58 is a gross error in translation. Jesus said “I am” many, many times without ever indicating that he was God....that would have been blasphemy.
    In fact he never once said he was God. He identified his Father as "the only true God" and himself as the one he "sent forth". (John 17:3; John 10:34-36) He identified himself only as “the son of God”....there is no “God the Son”....the church invented that term, to promote this blasphemous belief.

    If you do some research on the Greek word “theos” you will see that the Greeks were polytheistic and had no way to identify any of their gods individually unless they used their names. The Jews had long ceased to utter the divine name, so in order to identify the (nameless) God of Israel they used the definite article "THE" (ho)....look at John 1:1 in an Interlinear....

    "In en the beginning archē was eimi the ho Word logos, and kai the ho Word logos was eimi with pros · ho God theos, and kai the ho Word logos was eimi God theos."

    The word "the" is clearly seen four times in this verse. It is used to identify "the Logos" and if you notice the word "theos" (which is translated "god") you will see "ho" used with the first mention of God, but missing in the second. This is speaking about "gods" which in Greek, "theos" meant a "mighty one"...used in the mention of any god......elsewhere in scripture, it is also used with reference to those with divine authority....and even of satan the devil at 2 Corinthians 4:3-4.

    This is clearly an error in translation perpetuated over centuries to promote a blasphemous belief that Jesus never once corroborated.

    Do your homework.....please.
     
    #16 Deeje, Jun 2, 2020
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  17. SLPCCC

    SLPCCC Active Member

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    Hi Deeje, you sound a little antagonistic. I hope I didn't offend you. I'm just a student searching and learning. I am no theologian. I'm not associated with any religion. I have no access to any large library. I just have google. The topic is on Anthanisia and what arguments he used to convince the churches that the trinity is true. I love debates but I try to avoid heated debates since I'm really just a sheep. However, I do question and check research done by others and call out anything that looks suspicious. That's why I mention the person you quoted, E. W. Hopkins. He is not a biblical scholar and you did not fully quote him. Anyway, I will check out what you posted. Hopefully, others will have some input as well while I'm researching. You put a lot on there. I'm no theologian. I'll do my best.
     
    #17 SLPCCC, Jun 2, 2020
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  18. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    I'm sorry if I came across as antagonistic....though when it comes to this touchy subject, I admit, I am defensive. It is one of the most God dishonoring doctrines ever invented by men IMO.

    I am a teacher of scripture and have been for over 40 years. But I am also a student, and I like to help other students to benefit from my own research.

    It is hard to get unbiased sources for our investigations into Bible teachings, so best to consult the experts on original language words and their meanings. Strongs Concordance is a great resource. I also like to use the Jewish Tanakh whenever I come across Hebrew expressions or words that may be a bit ambiguous. The Jews know what their own Jewish language means.

    My reference to Exodus 3:13-15 is a prime example of getting our information from "the horse's mouth" so to speak. You can see clearly that "I Am" was never the meaning of God's name in the first place. So using John 8:58 as proof of the trinity is dishonest to begin with.

    The arguments used by Athanasius mean little if we haven't taken Jesus' words into consideration first. He is our teacher, not the early church fathers who lived long after the Christian scriptures were penned. Scripture comes before the teachings of men.

    I would like to offer you some information on this subject.....the political climate of the time was fragile and men were out to win people over to their political agendas.

    The article concludes by saying....

    "As we note what history has to say about the political activities of the Trinitarians and of the Arians, we cannot help but be impressed with how accurately both Jesus and his apostles foretold what would happen to the Christian congregation. As Jesus put it in one of his parables: “While men were sleeping, his enemy came and oversowed weeds in among the wheat.” And so it was that the field that was originally a wheat field became a weed patch. (Matt. 13:25) And, considering what greed and violence these displayed, one appreciates how accurately the apostle Paul foretold these events: “I know that after my going away oppressive wolves will enter in among you and will not treat the flock with tenderness.” Included among those packs of wolves were both Trinitarians and Arians, the former being the fiercer of the two!—Acts 20:29."

    I hope this helps....
    How Christendom Became Trinitarian — Watchtower ONLINE LIBRARY
     
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  19. YoursTrue

    YoursTrue We know gravity by happenstance. (Newton)

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    For Jesus to say he existed (was around) before Abraham was a pretty astounding statement, true. Exodus 3:14 in detail helps to understand this: American King James Version
    "And God said to Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shall you say to the children of Israel, I AM has sent me to you." This does not mean that Jesus was saying he was equal to the other two parts as explained in the trinity. First God (not the trinity) said to Moses, "I am that I am." This was a name with meaning. Does that mean that Jesus was equal in every way to God? Not to my knowledge.
     
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  20. Hockeycowboy

    Hockeycowboy Well-Known Member
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    Hello, @SLPCCC , hope you and yours are well.

    I just thought I'd add something to this part of the post that was addressed to you....

    And this is something I just learned about recently, with the help of a member, @tigger2 .....
    If in John 8:58, Jesus was stating He was God, and those Jews knew that.... then why didn't they ever accuse him of saying that - or implying that - at His Sanhedrin trial the day he died?? The religious leaders there - the priests, scribes, Pharisees, etc - were looking for even false witnesses against Jesus! Anything! Yet, in all 4 Gospels, not once did anyone ever accuse Jesus of claiming He was God! Only as the Son of God.

    Powerful evidence! To anyone.
     
    #20 Hockeycowboy, Jun 2, 2020
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