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Featured Watchtower: Jesus is not "a god"!

Discussion in 'Scriptural Debates' started by Oeste, Jul 16, 2020.

  1. tigger2

    tigger2 Active Member

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    SLPCCC wrote:

    IGNATIUS (30-107 A.D.)

    · “Ignatius, who is also called Theophorus, to the Church which is at Ephesus, in Asia…predestinated before the beginning of time…and elected through the true passion by the will of the Father, and Jesus Christ, our God….Being the followers of God, and stirring up yourselves by the blood of God, ye have perfectly accomplished the work which was beseeming to you….There is one Physician who is possessed both of flesh and spirit; both made and not made; God existing in flesh; true life in death; both of Mary and of God; first possible and then impossible, — even Jesus Christ our Lord.” —The Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 1, pp. 49, 52

    This is the real argument which the Watchtower avoids by misquoting and focusing on only the Trinity.

    ….………………

    Your quote of the shorter version: “and elected through the true passion by the will of the Father, and Jesus Christ, our God….”

    is found to say in the longer version (right beside the shorter version - p49) “and elected through the true passion by the will of God the Father, and of our Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour


    Your quote: “and stirring up yourselves by the blood of God, ye have perfectly accomplished the work which was beseeming to you….” is found to be in the longer:


    “and stirring up yourselves by the blood of Christ ….” - p. 49.


    Your quote: “There is one Physician who is possessed both of flesh and spirit; both made and not made; God existing in flesh; true life in death; both of Mary and of God; first possible and then impossible, — even Jesus Christ our Lord.” is found alongside in the longer version


    “But our Physician is the only true God, the unbegotten and unapproachable, the Lord of all, the Father and Begetter of the only-begotten Son.”


    As I have stated before, it is by no means certain that statements that seem to support the trinity are original in the Ante-Nicene Fathers. The only existing copies are relatively recent and have gone through the hands of numerous trinitarian copyists during the time that the trinitarian Church controlled them.

    The only certain thing about these late (and few in number) copies is that no copyist during the period that they had been copied would dare add non-trinitarian statements to them.
     
    #201 tigger2, Aug 12, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2020
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  2. Brian2

    Brian2 Well-Known Member

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    So are you saying that the quotes in this article for example are fake news and not authentic quotes from the sources they purport to be from?
    Nine Early Church Fathers Who Taught Jesus Is God
    If so, how did this happen and why do people see these quotes as authentic?
     
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  3. YoursTrue

    YoursTrue We know gravity by happenstance. (Newton)

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    I'm looking at your quotes there and assessments of them, and wonder if the lay person (congregant, not a religiously educated teacher of some sort like perhaps a Jesuit priest or someone trained at a seminary) would know what "economic trinity" and "ontological trinity" means. When I went to church nothing like that was discussed. And when I studied the Bible with various churches, John 1:1 never made sense to me as to a trinity. It still doesn't make sense insofar as trinity is concerned. The same goes for the Athanasian creed. That it states certain beliefs does not make it true. Leaving out "in the strictly ontological reference" of the quote is not misleading or deceptive. I should be on my knees, battered and bruised as they are, thanking the Almighty God by means of his faithful, wonderful Son Jesus Christ, that I am found and no longer confused about the mysterious trinity teaching.
     
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  4. YoursTrue

    YoursTrue We know gravity by happenstance. (Newton)

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    Interesting. Good question. I started reading the link you provide, and see the first few words. "Many people think Emperor Constantine invented the deity of Christ in the fourth century, but a look at quotes from the early church fathers shows this is an egregious misrepresentation of the facts." Having studied and researched things for some years now, my question is: WHY would "many people" think Constantine invented the deity of Christ in the fourth century? Who would those many people be? Many people go to church, and when I went to church I never heard about Constantine in the sermons. And besides, once one knows about these things better, they would also know that there was a heated controversy going on, AND that Constantine was later baptized by an Arian supporter. Just before he died, he probably figured he better be on the right track there.
     
  5. YoursTrue

    YoursTrue We know gravity by happenstance. (Newton)

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    Looking over some of these posts, and looking at Ignatius' quote, can you tell me when Jesus was on the earth, what would make anyone say he was a God, God, or a trinity? I know there were miracles, but does that make him God? Now some do believe that Jesus began talking right in the cradle, do you? I mean like some might think he came out of the womb talking. What do you think?
     
  6. Brian2

    Brian2 Well-Known Member

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    The opening sentence in the article seems to be a bit of humour or sarcasm which states an extreme position and then shows that position to be wrong because of the quotes given of the writings of some of the early Church Fathers.
    Possibly nobody holds the position stated in the first sentence, and especially amongst Trinitarians. This leaves people who are ignorant of the Bible and/or history of the time and may read anti trinitarian blogs etc and decide that the Church invented the Trinity in the 4th century or something like that. Anti Trinitarians I guess are the most likely people to hold a view approaching the first sentence.
    But the question still remains, are the quotes accurate?
     
  7. Brian2

    Brian2 Well-Known Member

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    It seems to have been Jesus insistence that He is the Son of God which was a main point to why people would call Him God. That did mean that He has the same nature as His Father.
     
  8. SLPCCC

    SLPCCC Active Member

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    Which version does Justin agree with?

    JUSTIN MARTYR (165 A.D.)

    • “For at that juncture, when Moses was ordered to go down into Egypt…our Christ conversed with him under the appearance of fire from a bush….‘And the Angel of God spake to Moses, in a flame of fire out of the bush, and said, I am that I am, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, the God of thy fathers….’…the Father of the universe has a Son; who also, being the first-begotten Word of God, is even God. And of old He appeared in the shape of fire and in the likeness of an angel to Moses and to the other prophets….in order to prove that Christ is called both God and Lord of hosts…. ”—The Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 1, pp. 184, 212, 213, 219

    Which version does Clement agree with?

    CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA (215 A.D.)
    • “…the Divine Word, He that is truly most manifest Deity, He that is made equal to the Lord of the universe; because He was His Son, and the Word was in God….I understand nothing else than the Holy Trinity to be meant; for the third is the Holy Spirit, and the Son is the second, by whom all things were made according to the will of the Father.…There was, then, a Word importing an unbeginning eternity; as also the Word itself, that is, the Son of God, who being, by equality of substance, one with the Father, is eternal and uncreate.”—The Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 2, pp. 202, 468, 574

    I can go on and on but the question that should be asked is why does the WTS have to misquote?

    The WTS booklet on p7 says that Clement “called Jesus in his prehuman existence ‘a creature’….He said that the Son ‘is next to the only omnipotent Father’ but not equal to him.”. This assertion is not only erroneous but is quite deceitful, for Clement actually taught the opposite of what the Society insinuates as you can read from Clement's quote above. Clement’s writings not only reveal the deception of the Society claims but also the fact that as far back as the second century, the early Church Fathers articulated and defended the concept of the Trinity.
     
  9. SLPCCC

    SLPCCC Active Member

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    What I'm pointing out is that the WTS takes parts of quotes from scholars and others which say something opposite from what the full quote says. That is deception. If they quoted the whole quote with all it's parts that have meaning that would lead the reader to learn and search more deeply into other sources which the WTS does not want you to do. They want to keep you in their box and not have you search outside. Knowledge is power. If they keep you reading only their materials they got you.
     
  10. Brian2

    Brian2 Well-Known Member

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    So what are these longer and shorter versions that Tigger2 refers to anyway? I thought the Church Father letters and writings were known pretty much and there was no alternative reading,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,even though I have heard that some letters are thought to be forgeries.
     
  11. SLPCCC

    SLPCCC Active Member

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    YoursTrue, I was schooling you on the other thread and you never got back to me about where in the bible it says that Jesus is Michael :) You and the other JWs ran away when you couldn't answer some of my questions LOL


    The Jehovah's Witnesses and other anti-trinitarians go around teaching this. You should know that; aren't you one?
     
  12. SLPCCC

    SLPCCC Active Member

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    Maybe tigger2 can explain this to us.


    Are there other versions of these tigger2?

    JUSTIN MARTYR (165 A.D.)

    • “For at that juncture, when Moses was ordered to go down into Egypt…our Christ conversed with him under the appearance of fire from a bush….‘And the Angel of God spake to Moses, in a flame of fire out of the bush, and said, I am that I am, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, the God of thy fathers….’…the Father of the universe has a Son; who also, being the first-begotten Word of God, is even God. And of old He appeared in the shape of fire and in the likeness of an angel to Moses and to the other prophets….in order to prove that Christ is called both God and Lord of hosts…. ”—The Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 1, pp. 184, 212, 213, 219

    CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA (215 A.D.)

    • “…the Divine Word, He that is truly most manifest Deity, He that is made equal to the Lord of the universe; because He was His Son, and the Word was in God….I understand nothing else than the Holy Trinity to be meant; for the third is the Holy Spirit, and the Son is the second, by whom all things were made according to the will of the Father.…There was, then, a Word importing an unbeginning eternity; as also the Word itself, that is, the Son of God, who being, by equality of substance, one with the Father, is eternal and uncreate.”—The Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 2, pp. 202, 468, 574


    The Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians - Shorter and Longer Versions
     
    #212 SLPCCC, Aug 13, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2020
  13. cataway

    cataway Well-Known Member

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    Acts 20:29 I know that after my going away oppressive wolves will enter in among you and will not treat the flock with tenderness, 30 and from among you yourselves men will rise and speak twisted things to draw away the disciples after themselves.

    it would seem Jesus was correct .twisted things do now abound
     
  14. tigger2

    tigger2 Active Member

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    Of all the thousands of NT manuscript copies which still exist today there are only a very small number (mostly fragments) which are not from this completely trinitarian-dominated time period (381 A.D. to present). Any changes made by copyists in this time period would, obviously, be trinitarian changes (or else!)! And it is well known that from 325 A. D. (when the emperor, who presided over the Nicene council, and his trinitarian advisors had the anti-trinitarians banished and persecuted and their anti-trinitarian writings burned - see the HIST study) onward the Roman church began systematically destroying (and changing) writings and manuscripts which were considered non-trinitarian or otherwise “heretical”!

    There are other problems associated with the existing copies of the writings of these very early Christians.

    First, unlike the writings of Holy Scripture, there are very few existing manuscripts of the writings of the first Christians. For many of these writers there are only one or two manuscripts available, and they are often of relatively late date (many hundreds of years after the original was composed). In other words, instead of having the original words of the ancient writers themselves, we have copies of copies, etc. many times over. Justin Martyr’s important ‘Dialogue with Trypho,’ for example, exists only in a copy made over a thousand years after the original was written.

    Second, the copyists very often did not take the same care or have the same reverence for these manuscripts as they did for the scriptures themselves. They would sometimes change the wording and even add their own thoughts and beliefs to the original writings in order to provide greater authority for these beliefs in an attempt to persuade others (for example, see the “Rufinus” note at the end of the Origen study below).

    “Furthermore, the manuscripts of the Church Fathers have suffered the usual transcriptional modifications to which all ancient manuscripts were subject; this was especially true for Biblical passages where the tendency of scribes was to accommodate readings to the Byzantine textual tradition.” - p. xxxvi, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, United Bible Societies (1971 ed.)

    We find that there have been many changes which were intended to advance trinitarian ideas even in copies of the scriptures over the many centuries (since 381 A. D. at least) of copying and recopying by the scribes of trinitarian Christendom. Words that were not in the originals have been added (e.g., 1 Jn 5:7 as rendered in KJV - See 1JN5-7 study) and changed (e.g. 1 Tim. 3:16 as rendered in KJV - See MINOR study) in later copies.


    Of course, the best copyists were used in copying manuscripts of scripture itself. More care was taken to assure the accuracy of these copies of copies of the original inspired scriptures than with the writings of other early Christians. But even in copies of scriptural manuscripts we find a certain amount of purposeful changes made by the copyist himself.

    For example, the copyist of the very early papyrus manuscript known as p66 (copied ca. 150 - 200 A. D.), which is a copy of much of the Gospel of John,

    “was quite free in his interaction with the text. He produced several singular readings that reveal his independent interpretation of the text. .... This leads to another phenomenon in the manuscript p66, that of omissions. .... Thus, it is more likely that the shorter text in p66 is not original but redactional, the work of the scribe attempting to trim the text of whatever he perceived to be unnecessary.” [italic emphasis added - T2] - pp. 373-374, The Complete Text of the Earliest New Testament Manuscripts, Baker Book House, 1999 by trinitarian scholar Prof. Philip W. Comfort & trinitarian editor David P. Barrett.

    Why, even the copyist who is considered “the best of all the early Christian scribes” (the copyist of p75), did not resist the temptation to make changes in his copies of earlier manuscripts of inspired Scripture!

    “... when he did deviate from his exemplar [the earlier ms. he was copying], he did not go in the direction of simplifying the text (as did the scribe of p45); rather he elevated it.” Some of his numerous changes and additions are then listed. - pp. 494-496, Comfort & Barrett.


    Fortunately, there are thousands of manuscripts of NT Scripture remaining today (some of quite early date) which can be compared. This helps greatly in the process of determining what the original writings most likely were.

    It should be no surprise, then, that there are a great number of changes, additions, deletions, etc. to be found in the very few remaining (mostly late date) manuscripts of the non-scriptural writings of the earliest Christian writings, and they are almost impossible to isolate and positively identify because of the extreme rarity of still existent manuscripts for comparison. Remember, the copyists for these manuscripts for many centuries were trinitarians. They would have been severely punished (even killed) if they introduced material that tended to disprove the trinity doctrine.

    Third, since trinitarians have ruled the world of Christendom in every way, politically, economically, numerically (nearly 99% of all professing Christians even today are trinitarian), etc. for around 1700 years now, it should not be too surprising that trinitarians are the ones who have written the modern translations of the existing manuscript copies of these ancient writers. And these trinitarian translators have written their translations for trinitarian publishers who publish for a trinitarian market! Surely we wouldn’t expect them to translate an ambiguous or vague passage (and trinitarian translators themselves have admitted that these writings are full of such passages) in a non-trinitarian way if they could find another (even if much less probable), trinitarian, interpretation. (They even admit that they have purposely done so. See Preface, Vol. 5, ANF)

    Fourth, the terminology used by these early Christians has been redefined in later years. Terms translated today as “person,” “substance,” “nature,” “begotten,” “of the same substance [homoousios],” etc. often had a different meaning for these first Christians. But early trinitarians began REdefining them starting in the 4th century.

    For example, early Christian Heracleon [c. 160 A. D.] taught that those who worshiped God in spirit and truth were themselves “of the same nature [homoousios] as the Father”! - p. 394, note #111, The Rise of Christianity, W. H. C. Frend (trinitarian), Fortress Press, 1985.

    Some trinitarian historians today will even admit that the Son being homoousios (“one substance/essence”) with the Father merely meant to Origen (and other early Christians, such as Heracleon above) that the Son was UNITED IN WILL with the Father! But, starting around the time of the Nicene Council in the 4th century, trinitarians began insisting that this very influential Christian writer of the 2nd century had meant by homoousios that the Son and the Father were equal in absolute essence and were, therefore, both equally God. Most trinitarian writers and translators of today continue this trinitarian redefinition tradition. - See the HIST and REDEF studies.

    Even more important is the redefinition by later trinitarians of “a god(theos - a term used in Scripture for angels and even certain men who REPRESENTED God - see the BOWGOD study) into “God” (ho theos - a term used in Scripture for the only true Most High God - see the DEF and PRIMER studies). Even the following respected trinitarian reference work reluctantly admits this:

    “It is hard to avoid the conclusion that the Christian theologians of the second and third centuries, even theologians of the rank of Origen ... came to see the Logos [the Word, Christ] as a god of second rank.” - The Encyclopedia of Religion, Macmillan Publ., 1987, Vol. 9, p. 15.

    But when trinitarian translators find Jesus called theos (“a god”) in these earliest writings, they often translate it as “God” instead!


    So, after more than 1600 years of trinitarian dominance, redefinition, rewording, and selective translating, it should not be surprising that the trinitarian translations of the existing copies of the manuscripts of those early Christian writers will at times appear trinitarian. (See the sections on Origen and Hippolytus for examples.) What is very surprising, given the above conditions, is that there would be any support for a non-trinitarian doctrine still left in modern trinitarian translations of the writings of these earliest Christians!
     
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  15. tigger2

    tigger2 Active Member

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    SLPCCC: See post #166 and #198 for Justin.

    How about taking every quote I have posted and counter them in detail (as you seem to demand from this old man)? You could start with post #165. (Please don't ignore the footnotes by the translators of the Ante-Nicene Fathers which I have included.)

    When you have done that, I'll try to answer your further questions (if you cease the anti-JW slurs).
     
    #215 tigger2, Aug 13, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2020
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  16. YoursTrue

    YoursTrue We know gravity by happenstance. (Newton)

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    Constantine was baptized by an Arian follower. Surely you know this. The question I left you with is what theologians do you respect? Because otherwise I'm not going to extend myself to your "scrutiny" of the scriptures and theologians about "Michael" and angels, and angels called God, etc.. :) (So you have a nice day - evening -- )
    Although the Catholic Encyclopedia does say that an angel can be called God. My, oh, my, isn't that something? Do you believe that? I mean, why criticize the Catholic Encyclopedia if you're in favor of Catholicism?
     
  17. YoursTrue

    YoursTrue We know gravity by happenstance. (Newton)

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    Good point.
     
  18. YoursTrue

    YoursTrue We know gravity by happenstance. (Newton)

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    In the two quotes you have above, where is there anything about -- a trinity of godpersons? Nothing. And the more I look at it, the less sense a "trinity of godpersons" makes. So an ANGEL said to Moses that he is the GOD OF ABRAHAM, etc. Is that right? Yes, that is correct. At least Justin Martry got that point straight. Clement of Alexandra's comment about 'truly most manifest deity' doesn't make sense.
     
  19. YoursTrue

    YoursTrue We know gravity by happenstance. (Newton)

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    Not everyone believes in the Trinity. What do you think that means for them?
    From your quotes, I see Clement and Justin Martyr distort the BIBLE'S MESSAGE. However, yes, when Moses saw the ANGEL, the ANGEL said he was God. Justin Martyr got that part straight. Was the angel God? This is something for you to figure out.
     
  20. SLPCCC

    SLPCCC Active Member

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    Yes, I see the deception. From the JW trinity brochure p. 8. This is their quote,

    • "Hence, Constantine’s role was crucial. After two months of furious religious debate, this pagan politician intervened and decided in favor of those who said that Jesus was God. But why? Certainly not because of any Biblical conviction. “Constantine had basically no understanding whatsoever of the questions that were being asked in Greek theology,” says A Short History of Christian Doctrine. What he did understand was that religious division was a threat to his empire, and he wanted to solidify his domain."
    This is the full quote from A Short History of Christian Doctrine. Bernard Lohse, 1966, p51-53)

    • Even though he had a general antipathy to the controversies, and even though he himself had only a rudimentary "theology," he was still not entirely without sympathy for the problems which arose. In any case, he permitted himself to be more fully instructed about many things by his episcopal counselors. The decisive catchword of the Nicene confession, namely, hoinoousios ("of one substance"), comes from no less a person than the emperor himself. To the present day no one has cleared up the problem of where the emperor got the term. It seems likely that it was suggested to him by his episcopal counselor, Bishop Hosius (Ossius) of Cordova, and it was probably nothing more than a Greek translation of a term already found in Tertullian

    The Watchtower is saying that “Constantine had basically no understanding whatsoever of the questions that were being asked in Greek theology" but when you read the rest of the quote from Bernard Lohse, you read that he was not totally ignorant and uninformed and came up with the Nicene creed all by himself. It also leaves out the important comment where Lohse says that Hosius came up with the word, hoinoousios ("of one substance").

    Constantine was not some pagan ignoramus! There were, three basic "parties" that were discernible: Arius and the Lucianists, led by Eusebius of Nicomedia; the Origenists, led by Eusebius of Caesarea, already highly reputed; and Alexander of Alexandria, with his following." (God in Three Persons, Millard J. Erickson, p82-85)
     
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