ALL BLOG POSTS AND COMMENTS COPYRIGHT (C) 2003-2017 VOX DAY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRODUCTION WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION IS EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

The false doctrine of the Trinity

The eighth point in Jamsco's attempted summary of my doctrinal beliefs is a succinct one. "8. The Trinity is obvious BS. It’s easily proved. [Direct quote from a comment here]." As it happens, he got that one entirely correct, which is not the case in two of the other ten points.

Now, the falsity of the doctrine can be proved in a variety of ways, but since we're dealing with mainstream Churchianity here, I'll utilize the easiest and most obvious because those who subscribe to the doctrine of the Trinity also subscribe to the doctrine of divine omniscience. Note that since I am skeptical of both doctrines, this argument obviously does not reflect my own theological beliefs. Let's follow the logic:

1. The Trinity is God as three divine persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three persons are distinct yet coexist in unity, and are co-equal, co-eternal and consubstantial. These three divine persons are combined in one being we call God.

2. This one being is omniscient, and therefore knows everything.

3. It is written, in Matthew 24:36: “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." Therefore, the Son and the Holy Spirit are not omniscient, and furthermore, do not possess the same knowledge as the Father.

4. Therefore, the Son and the Holy Spirit are not co-equal and consubstantial with the Father. They may or may not be co-eternal.

5. Being neither co-equal nor consubstantial, the Son and the Holy Spirit are not one being with the Father.

6. Therefore, God is one person, the Father. The doctrine of the Trinity is a false one.

I further note that we can branch from (3) and prove the falsehood of the Trinity in a slightly different manner.

4b. Since God is omniscient and the Son and the Holy Spirit are not, neither the Son nor the Holy Spirit are God.

5b. Therefore, God is one person, the Father. The doctrine of the Trinity is a false one.

It should not escape one's attention that if one insists on clinging to the doctrine of the Trinity, it is necessary to abandon the doctrine of divine omniscience. Obviously, I subscribe to neither, but it is not possible to subscribe to both. My perspective is that divinity can be most usefully understood in a manner akin to human royalty. Prince Harry may be royal, but no one is under the impression that he is co-equal and consubstantial with his grandmother, the sovereign Queen Elizabeth. This is in keeping with the idea that both Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are Man's advocates, they are not his judge.

And for another perspective from one with doubts about the Trinity doctrine, this is an interesting summary of Isaac Newton's studies of the subject. Another one can be found here.

In one notebook it is clear that, already in the early 1670's, Newton was absorbed by the doctrine of the Trinity. On this topic he studied extensively not only the Bible, but also much of the Church Fathers. Newton traced the doctrine of the trinity back to Athanasius (298- 373); he became convinced that before Athanasius the Church had no trinitarian doctrine. In the early 4th century Athanasius was opposed by Arius (256-336), who affirmed that God the Father had primacy over Christ. In 325 the Council of Nicea condemned as heretical the views of Arius. Thus, as viewed by Newton, Athanasius triumphed over Arius in imposing the false doctrine of the trinity on Christianity.

Labels:

362 Comments:

1 – 200 of 362 Newer› Newest»
Anonymous Monkey Boy March 31, 2012 6:10 AM  

You always state that the doctrine of the Trinity is extra-Biblical and indeed contra-Biblical. This assertion by you is false on both counts. The Bible doesn't explicitly and in one place state something like: "there is one God, who is three Persons"; But, it does state that there is One God (only one God), and it does state that 'the Father' is God, and that 'the Son' is God, and that 'the Holy Spirit' is God; and it does state that 'the Father' and 'the Son' and 'the Holy Spirit' are distinct, one from another.

The Gospel Of John does explicitly spell out the "multiple persons in one God" doctrine for two members of the Trinity: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God... " and Christ is explicitly called "the only begotten of the Father", meaning that he is not created and is of the same nature as 'the Father' ... much as a human son, begotten of his father, is of the same nature as the father; but an image/idol/icon made by that same man/father does not share his nature.

Blogger Eric I. Gatera. March 31, 2012 6:17 AM  

(4b.) would not work against the Son's deity - at least according to Thomas the disciple: "(John 20:28) And Thomas answered and said unto him [Jesus], My Lord and my God."

In (3.) the Son is indeed less knowledgeable and authoritative than the Father but this doesn't necessarily mean that they do not share the same divine essence even though they have a different personality. Dr. Craig commented within this line this week on his reasonable faith post: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/site/PageServer?pagename=q_and_a

Blogger Heuristics March 31, 2012 6:21 AM  

You are here leaving out that Jesus has according to the doctrine of the trinity two natures, one nature is God and the other is man.

Hebrews 2:9:
"But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone."

In the doctrine of the trinity this means that Jesus when he was made lower then the angels had a fully human experience. This means that Jesus as God (before he was man) was omniscient but when he was man he was not omniscient (God the father however continued to be omniscient). After death he was again raised up to his proper place.

One powerful message here is that the christian God lowered himself down to our state of existence and knows by experience what it is to have the trials of being a man.

Blogger James Jones March 31, 2012 6:27 AM  

IIRC you once talked about the game designer God. From within the game, limitations within the game-world may appear as mistakes or inadequate programming (people being able to die in COD). But it is necessary for the game to work.

When God stepped into history he subjected himself to limitations - in both ability and knowledge.

Without fully understanding the very nature of God and the relationship between the three different persons, you cannot know why they should be party to knowledge or not party to it.

Blogger Jemison Thorsby March 31, 2012 6:30 AM  

John 10:30 - I and my Father are one - The word translated "one" is not in the masculine, but in the neuter gender. It expresses union, but not the precise nature of the union. It may express any union, and the particular kind intended is to be inferred from the connection. In the previous verse he had said that he and his Father were united in the same object that is, in redeeming and preserving his people. It was this that gave occasion for this remark. Many interpreters have understood this as referring to union of design and of plan. The words may bear this construction. In this way they were understood by Erasmus, Calvin, Bucer, and others. Most of the Christian fathers understood them, however, as referring to the oneness or unity of nature between the Father and the Son; and that this was the design of Christ appears probable from the following considerations:

1. The question in debate was not about his being united with the Father in plan and counsel, but in power. He affirmed that he was able to rescue and keep his people from all enemies, or that he had power superior to men and devils that is, that he had supreme power over all creation. He affirmed the same of his Father. In this, therefore, they were united. But this was an attribute only of God, and they thus understood him as claiming equality to God in regard to omnipotence.

2. The Jews understood him as affirming his equality with God, for they took up stones to punish him for blasphemy John 10:31, John 10:33, and they said to him that they understood him as affirming that he was God, John 10:33.

3. Jesus did not deny that it was his intention to be so understood.

4. He immediately made another declaration implying the same thing, leaving the same impression, and which they attempted to punish in the same manner, John 10:37-39. If Jesus had not intended so to be understood, it cannot be easily reconciled with moral honesty that he did not distinctly disavow that such was his intention. The Jews were well acquainted with their own language. They understood him in this manner, and he left this impression on their minds.

http://bible.cc/john/10-30.htm

Blogger Vox March 31, 2012 6:37 AM  

You are here leaving out that Jesus has according to the doctrine of the trinity two natures, one nature is God and the other is man.

Irrelevant.

You always state that the doctrine of the Trinity is extra-Biblical and indeed contra-Biblical. This assertion by you is false on both counts.

Irrelevant. I suggest you address the logical argument, not what you think I always state.

Without fully understanding the very nature of God and the relationship between the three different persons, you cannot know why they should be party to knowledge or not party to it.

Incorrect. I can prove that they are not co-equal and not consubstantial as well as being not omnscient. Which I have done.

The word translated "one" is not in the masculine, but in the neuter gender. It expresses union, but not the precise nature of the union.

Irrelevant. You haven't addressed the logic.

Blogger James Jones March 31, 2012 7:03 AM  

Incorrect. I can prove that they are not co-equal and not consubstantial as well as being not omnscient. Which I have done.

You may have done previously but I don't think you have in this post.

Therefore, the Son and the Holy Spirit are not omniscient, and furthermore, do not possess the same knowledge as the Father.

They do not have to be omniscient or possess the same knowledge to be one being. This seems to be a case of anthropomorphism on your part.

Blogger Unknown March 31, 2012 7:06 AM  

In dealing with such things as God's Omniscience, it's important, I think, to be clear if you speak of such things as an ultima (God knows all things) or as an optima (God knows all things which can be known).

If the latter, the incarnation, in humbling himself would be significantly more limited.

Blogger Heuristics March 31, 2012 7:16 AM  

"Irrelevant. "

It is not irrelevant, your second point was as follows:

"2. This one being is omniscient, and therefore knows everything."

You here leave out that Jesus has two natures, one nature is omniscient and the other is not. The relevance becomes clear in point 3:

"3. It is written, in Matthew 24:36: “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." Therefore, the Son and the Holy Spirit are not omniscient, and furthermore, do not possess the same knowledge as the Father."

When you add the new information I wrote (that Jesus has two natures) you see that point 3 talks of Jesus human nature for he is at that point made lower then the angels while the doctrine of omniscience is about Jesus nature as God (for God has all perfections). So you make the mistake of thinking that "the son" refers to Jesus nature as God when it according to the doctrine of the trinity refers to his nature as man (which is has been made TEMPORARILY lower then the angels and then risen up again). If you want to critique the doctrine you must critique what it actually claims.

In conclusion I need to ask why you state what I wrote to be irrelevant, why not ask what the relevance is if you do not see it?

Anonymous outlaw X March 31, 2012 7:40 AM  

Prince Harry may be royal, but no one is under the impression that he is co-equal and consubstantial with his grandmother, the sovereign Queen Elizabeth. This is in keeping with the idea that both Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are Man's advocates, they are not his judge. - Vox

Real Bad analogy, I will be back later to prove your previous logic false, but good try. It is too early right now and I am just woke up. Get ready to defend yourself my friend.

Blogger Gilbert Ratchet March 31, 2012 7:40 AM  

Arianism was declared heretical at the council of Nicaea in 325. But away with your logic! What about credo quia absurdum?!

Blogger Vox March 31, 2012 8:18 AM  

They do not have to be omniscient or possess the same knowledge to be one being. This seems to be a case of anthropomorphism on your part.

No. It has nothing to do with anthropomorphism, but rather, basic Aristotelian logic. And here's a hint. When you use the word "this seems to be" about something I have written, you are almost certainly wrong. If the Father is omniscient, then the Son and the Spirit have to be omniscient if they are the same being.

You here leave out that Jesus has two natures, one nature is omniscient and the other is not. The relevance becomes clear in point 3:

Incorrect. The "two natures" argument is irrelevant because the description of the Son's ignorance is not limited to his lesser nature.

In conclusion I need to ask why you state what I wrote to be irrelevant, why not ask what the relevance is if you do not see it?

Because I knew that your point was irrelevant no matter how you tried to portray it. Do you really think I'm unfamiliar with all of the conventional Trinitarian justifications? It doesn't matter if the Son has one, six or six hundred natures, the statement is that ONLY the Father knows the hour. The Son does not. Neither does the Holy Spirit. Even if you could successfully demonstrate that the Son was only the Son during his incarnation, your point would still be irrelevant.

Anonymous Salt March 31, 2012 8:20 AM  

If the Holy Spirit is co-equal with God then why does one need to go through Jesus to receive It? When one receives the Holy Spirit one receives It, not one receives Him.

Anonymous Holla March 31, 2012 8:26 AM  

Wrong at #3.

3. It is written, in Matthew 24:36: “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." Therefore, the Son and the Holy Spirit are not omniscient, and furthermore, do not possess the same knowledge as the Father."

At that exact hour that it was written, Christ was still in the form of a slave.

Blogger Vox March 31, 2012 8:34 AM  

At that exact hour that it was written, Christ was still in the form of a slave.

The point is a) obvious, b) has already been raised and c) is irrelevant. Neither the Son nor the Spirit knows the hour.

Anonymous Johnycomelately March 31, 2012 8:35 AM  

Logic? Shit, sub atomic particles don't adhere to logic let alone supra-natural beings.

Anonymous SouthTXRedneck March 31, 2012 8:46 AM  

Good post Vox. Ever since my childhood I have been most confused on the nature of the Trinity, when taught it at Church. I might not be that bright, but it almost seems that the teaching gives GOD multiple personalities. I will Trusts' in Jesus's Redemption because he paid the price his Father demanded. Knowing my own nature, I realize it's a great bargain.

Blogger Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus March 31, 2012 8:48 AM  

The argument from Mark 13:32 (Not Matthew 24:36, as Vox erroneous cites) is wrongheaded. The Greek verb "eido" which is translated here as "knows" actually has the primary meaning of "seeing" or otherwise perceiving by direct sight, rather than innate knowledge of something. Further, it is in the perfect tense, which indicates that the lack of knowledge is something already in the past, it is completed. The point is that the Son, while on earth in human form, did not perceive by experience the time of His return. This says nothing, however, about the state of His knowledge upon his return to heaven, etc.

It has nothing to do with consubstantiality, so Vox's argument is nothing more than a red herring based off of his ignorance of connotations within the Greek construction.

And of course, there's the simple statement of Scripture that "there are three who bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one." (I John 5:7) - A passage which is, BTW, fully and completely Scripture just like the rest of it - http://studytoanswer.net/bibleversions/commadefense.pdf

Blogger Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus March 31, 2012 8:50 AM  

"If the Holy Spirit is co-equal with God then why does one need to go through Jesus to receive It? When one receives the Holy Spirit one receives It, not one receives Him."

Because equality of substance does not imply sameness of function.

Blogger W.LindsayWheeler March 31, 2012 8:53 AM  

I prove the concept of the Trinity in this article: Macrosm/Microcosm in Doric Thought.
You must read the whole article for a lot of you don't know anything about the mechanics of Macrocosm/Microcosm. The proof is at the bottom of the first page. The article is in two sections.

Let me ask Vox, is not the Wife one with the Husband? "And they will become one flesh"? And are not the children one with the Father? The paradigm of the family shows the truth of the doctrine of the Trinity.

Isaac Newton was into the Hermenetic Tradition that birthed Rosicrusianism and Masonry. At that time no one at all either in the Church or in the Intellectual/scientific fields had any idea of the real original Natural Law. The Natural Law at Newton's time was 'atomism' which was traced by Thomas Cudworth to Moses. Isaac Newton was a socianist. (Yes, I spelled that right with a 'n'.) Vox is a socianist. Because of Atomism many became socianists.

Jesus Christ is fully God and Fully Man and the Holy Spirit is fully God. One substance adheres in both, but the persons are different doing different things as according to the Natural Law dictum of righteousness.

Blogger Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus March 31, 2012 9:07 AM  

WLW - Vox's argument also begs the question of why anyone would necessarily take seriously what Isaac Newton had to say on a subject outside of his field any more than we would take what Richard Dawkins had to say on it.

Anonymous Difster March 31, 2012 9:11 AM  

Vox,

I notice you did not address the subject of John Chapter 1 as outlined by Monkey Boy. That's pretty compelling "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God..." then skip down to 14, "...and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.

Jesus is clearly "the Word," and the Word is God.

That is of course not a trinity, but you have no case that Jesus is not God, it is stated clearly.

Blogger Nate March 31, 2012 9:15 AM  

Oh look... Wheeler defends his position by bringing up the Masons.

yeah... That's always a convincing route to take...

Anonymous SouthTXRedneck March 31, 2012 9:15 AM  

Not sure why anyone one who is saved is arguing about this? We are all Christians who are saved. Think about those around you who are not. Breaks my heart for them. I work with the natural leader in our work group, he is amazingly good at his job (most people can't do it at a baseline level} and everyone knows it. I wish no evil toward anyone because of what I was given.

Anonymous Pablo March 31, 2012 9:15 AM  

If the Father is omniscient, then the Son and the Spirit have to be omniscient if they are the same being.

I'm reminded of the kenosis passage in Philippians 2:

5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

6 Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!

9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Same in nature, different in office. I believe in the trinity.

Blogger Vox March 31, 2012 9:16 AM  

The argument from Mark 13:32 (Not Matthew 24:36, as Vox erroneous cites) is wrongheaded.

You are clearly too ignorant to participate in this discussion.

Matthew 24:36: “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

Mark 13:32 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

No amount of babbling about the seventeen natures of the Son and his various sojourns is going to allow anyone to claim that the Spirit knows. It's an inept and irrelevant defense.

And of course, there's the simple statement of Scripture that "there are three who bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one." (I John 5:7)

Yes, let's look at that. One what? One being? One team? One in purpose? The Trinitarian assumption is only one possibility, and it is a possibility that is belied by the proof I have provided. Consider the following sentence: "There are five who take the court, Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and Dennis Rodman, and these five are one."

Is the correct assumption that these five persons are one being or one basketball team?

Anonymous Ed Hurst March 31, 2012 9:17 AM  

I'll toss my hat in and offer yet another perspective not yet well reflected in other arguments here, but it seemed to me justification for a whole blog post.

Blogger Nate March 31, 2012 9:19 AM  

The Trinity Doctrine is the Dark Matter of Christianity. "We don't understand all this... so we'll just dream up a bandaid and give it a fancy name and call it a mystery and pretend we're good."

Blogger Vox March 31, 2012 9:19 AM  

I notice you did not address the subject of John Chapter 1 as outlined by Monkey Boy.

What part of "irrelevant" did you fail to understand?

Anonymous Rollory March 31, 2012 9:22 AM  

It seems to me that affirming that Christianity as it has been taught for about 90% of its existence is wrong would tend to make people doubt the whole thing, if they doubt anything at all. The thought would be: "if so many people were so wrong about this basic point for so long, what else might they have been wrong about?"

I don't dispute the argument; Arianism always did seem to make more sense to me, while the talk about the Trinity being wonderful because of being hard to understand just looked like hand-waving around a question people didn't want to discuss because they didn't trust their own answers. I think (I am no particular student of these things so I could be entirely wrong) it was CS Lewis who made the argument that so many people have believed Christianity for so long precisely because it is true, and they would not have without that precondition. I didn't find it convincing; it wouldn't be the first or last time people have believed something unverifiable for a long time.

Blogger Aksia March 31, 2012 9:25 AM  

Rev 1 says one like the SON OF MAN says "Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died and behold I am alive forever more." Then in chapter 5, "worthy is the lamb who was slain to receive power... and the elder fell down and worshiped" If Jesus is not God, why does a God who starts his commandments saying "Thou shall have no other Gods before me" allow the worship of his son in heaven? How can he be "the first and the last" if he is not God? I can't explain why the son doesn't know the day or the hour, but it is clear to me that we either need to accept the Trinity or we are what Islam says we are - polytheists.

Blogger Vox March 31, 2012 9:28 AM  

It seems to me that affirming that Christianity as it has been taught for about 90% of its existence is wrong would tend to make people doubt the whole thing, if they doubt anything at all.

The options are to seek after the truth or tell a noble lie. The latter is the way of the enlightened pagan. It is not the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Blogger Vox March 31, 2012 9:32 AM  

If Jesus is not God, why does a God who starts his commandments saying "Thou shall have no other Gods before me" allow the worship of his son in heaven?

Why do you assume that the worship of the elder places Jesus above Jehovah?

Anonymous SouthTXRedneck March 31, 2012 9:33 AM  

Guess we will all figure it all out one day. I will keep my Faith. If I am wrong. It'll be "my bad".

Anonymous Anonymous March 31, 2012 9:39 AM  

Shrug, I will be interested to see how spun up this gets some of the posters. Every time I have ever heard the trinity preached on or spoken about, usually the second or third statement out of the preacher’s mouth is “now I really do not understand this”.

As a concept the trinity is poorly understood and has little to no (that I can tell) functional difference on how a Christian should live and behave…so beyond those interested in the mental gymnastics of the debate, I do not see why this is important to the Christian walk.

Micah 6:8
8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly[a] with your God

Anonymous Mr Green Man March 31, 2012 9:42 AM  

For those who read this series and take the impression that there is theological rancor to the point that Christianity is divided and cannot answer you, or that it is so foolishly controverted that you would seek the comfort of some other faith (Islam, Mormonism) said with greater certainty, know that, despite what is going to continue to sound heated and be replete with charges of heresy, there is a very firmly-grounded basis for knowing the path and assurance of salvation that is not being debated here. (In that the Prince of Geneva burned people for disagreeing on these doctrines, he was wrong.)

- Jesus Christ was sent, born, taught, fulfilled the prophecies, suffered, died, and defeated death so that some (as many as possible) would be saved, and those some would worship the LORD God through submission to His Son Jesus Christ, the savior of man.
- Jesus Christ instructed us to pray to God the Father, and to then pray in the name of Jesus Christ the Intercessor that our prayers be answered.
- Jesus Christ instructed us to pray that the will of the Father be done in and through us
- Jesus Christ told us that the Holy Ghost would come to teach us further how to live and how to pray and would indwell in us

Churchianity does have a predilection to establish doctrines that are usually compatible with a reading of the text, although not the only reading possible, and then asserting that this particular reading is the only acceptable one. It is a conceit and failing of mankind that whatever a person understands, that person then tries to claim as orthodoxy, and seek the same understanding from others. For some time, this debate has allowed for the good airing of doctrine to understand (1) that which is essential doctrine that is the only conclusion possible from the text, (2) that which is another level of doctrine, with one generally-understood reading that does not preclude all others but is well substantiated, (3) that which is yet another level, where there are considerably more questions, with claims to textual support, which will ultimately be made clear at the Grand Assize. However, one has to avoid scoring debate points while diminishing the character of Christ, or casting a bad image of the understanding of our Lord and Savior. That is a similar failing -- allowing the man eclipse the message.

In Zechariah, there is an inescapable unity between the King and the LORD, which John (one of the three greater apostles) underscores and elucidates in the Revelation, that makes the view of the Trinity -- Father, Son, Holy Ghost -- compatible with the text. In other Old Testament views, the Son and the Holy Ghost flanked the Divine Throne, and that they are in total harmony with and submission to the will of God the Father. That said, the Jews called Christians polytheists because the triune baptism invokes three names, and so the text can be pointed to that there are three names. (Whether this is deception, a product of the curse, a product of not having the tutoring of the Holy Ghost, or similar to how Henry Bolingbroke was Duke of Lancaster; King of England, Wales, France; and Duke of Anjou and Gascony -- this is part of your current debate.)

We should also understand that neither Paul, nor Timothy, nor any of the early fathers of the Church left us a canonical epistle that explained things further on this point.

Blogger 罗臻 March 31, 2012 9:42 AM  

In "Introduction to Christianity", I recall (I don't have it with me to check) Benedict writing something that I understood as the Trinity was important because it showed that God was beyond numbers. I remember having the sense that the number wasn't as important as the idea, but I doubt Benedict was going back on the Trinity in "Introduction to Christianity." Does anyone recall that bit?

Anonymous Markman March 31, 2012 9:43 AM  

While this verse does show that the Holy Spirit doesn't know everything (which is fine with me, because I don't believe it's a person that can know things), it isn't so obvious with the Son. One can easily appeal to the ambiguity of the tense of the verb "know" to open up the possibility that this lack of knowledge was only temporary. Then combine that with John 21:17 (where Peter says to a post-resurrection Jesus "Lord, you know all things,") to make the case that this lack of knowledge was only while Jesus walked as an unglorified human.

Also, I John 5:7 is widely recognized as a extremely late scribal addition that has no place of the original text.

Anonymous Cinco March 31, 2012 9:45 AM  

A couple of commenters here are baffling me (Heuristics and James Jones). When Jesus became man, people are claiming that he lost his Godly powers. This is not so. Jesus retained his ability to "see/predict" future events, which is evident both when He predicted His betrayal, and when predicting Peter denying Him three times before the cock crowed. Unless you are going to claim that He knew of these events before He became man, which would basically mean that:

1. Before Jesus became man, He had total omniscience
2. Jesus became man, lost his total omniscience
3. If X has total omniscience 12:01 A.M., and loses total omniscience 12:02 A.M., X still knows everything from 12:01 A.M. at 12:02 A.M.
4. Unless you are going to claim that the Father erased certain parts of Jesus' memory...

Nonsense. It is clear that Jesus retained some of His supernatural powers, if not all of them. What exactly those powers are, and their limitations, are up for debate.

Blogger James Jones March 31, 2012 9:48 AM  

I usually find you incisive and conclusive. Most everything you say has been very well thought out because you know it will be dissected.

This argument is not conclusive and weak compared to your normal fare.

What of Rev 1?
Why did Jesus forgive other's sins before having paid the price if he was not God?
Why did the Jews have him crucified, if not for blasphemously claiming he was God?
What of John 1? How is it irrelevant?

Anonymous Onefiver March 31, 2012 9:51 AM  

Think of Cerebus as an analogy: three heads, three independent minds, one being.

Also, I don't understand how you can say the quoted portion of the Gospel of John is irrelevant since (a) it is in the Bible (the primary source document) and (b) it speaks directly to the matter.

Blogger Morrison March 31, 2012 9:52 AM  

Ah, the smell of Christians bashing each other in the morning!

Anonymous Orville March 31, 2012 10:00 AM  

Irrelevant. You haven't addressed the logic.

This is one of those rare cases where a person can be too smart for their own good. Forcing an interpretation of the Bible through the lens of Aristotelian logic will lead to a different conclusion than simply taking multiple scriptural references at face value. If there were just one or two proof texts, then you might have a chance, but claiming multiple proof texts as irrelevant to your preferred logical mode doesn't pass the smell test with me.

There is so we don't know that there is no shame in saying "it's beyond my understanding". There is no logical reason for God to love mankind, yet clearly he does. If I were God, I would have torched the place and moved on to something else. Logic is a tool, and every tool has it's limitations.

Blogger James Jones March 31, 2012 10:00 AM  

Cinco.

I haven't said Jesus lost his godly powers. I said he allowed them to become limited due to the nature of the incarnation.

This is not incompatible with your final sentence -

Nonsense. It is clear that Jesus retained some of His supernatural powers, if not all of them. What exactly those powers are, and their limitations, are up for debate.

I don't really understand why you are baffled.

Blogger James Jones March 31, 2012 10:03 AM  

Ah, the smell of Christians bashing each other in the morning!

What? It's a problem to discuss questions of God's nature? Has anyone threatened to harm anyone?

Anonymous Anonymous March 31, 2012 10:04 AM  

faith and belief would seem to be necessary. far too many words. faith is rarely increased by argument.

Anonymous Anonymous March 31, 2012 10:05 AM  

A human knows through communication, sense experience, the law written on our hearts, etc. In short, we know through physical means. If you hit me on the head in the right place, it would affect my knowledge.

God obviously knows things.

Not being physical, God obviously knows through non-physical means.

Christ has two natures: human and divine.

It is therefore entirely possible that he knows according to his divine nature but is ignorant according to his human nature.

You could therefore say that he knows the day & the hour and that he doesn't know the day & the hour, but it would not be a contradiction because the statements are meant in different senses.

The verse doesn't address the Holy Spirit at all.



At the end of the day, Christians believe in the Trinity because the Bible teaches that the Father is God, that the Holy Spirit is God, and that the Son is God. It also teaches that there is only one God.

That's the Trinity. Anything else is metaphysical speculation--a very shaky ground on which to deny the Bible. Athanasius may have provided substance/person terminology and so forth. The church has accepted this because it describes the Trinity without denying what Scripture teaches on the subject. However, I would not be at all surprised if it goes far deeper than that.

Nevertheless, Arius was rightly condemned as a heretic because he did explicitly deny what Scripture taught--that in the Beginning, the Word was with God and the Word was God. He instead taught that there was a beginning before "the beginning" (which was therefore not actually the beginning) when the Son was not.

Arius' view makes more sense than the doctrine of the Trinity. That's why it was so appealing to the early church. It also just happens to be false according to our best source on the subject.

Anonymous LurkerJim March 31, 2012 10:07 AM  

Vox,

Amidst all this blather, it is refreshing to see you take to task the teachings of man and the organized churches of man. The Catholic Church and the derivative Protestant churches have long denied the Scripture to foster their false Trinity on all who would come under their control. By your logic, you have rightly demonstrated that the Son is not the Father, as the Spirit is not the Father.

However, to conclude Jesus is not divine (not God) as you have implied, is to miss the forest for the trees.

When one considers Scripture only, in addition to the Father, Jesus, and Holy Spirit as God, it is declared for all who will see that Heaven is God, Jerusalem is God, the seven Spirits are God, the Throne is God, the Scripture is God and the Angel of the Lord is God. Your logic as presented in this post does not lead to the magnificence of the true God because you chose to begin with the Trinitarian concept propagated by the false Christian churches. As you aptly demonstrate, false teaching does not lead to the Truth.

God is great, and we do not know Him. (Job 36:26)

Anonymous guest March 31, 2012 10:10 AM  

"Ah, the smell of Christians bashing each other in the morning!"

Gentlemen in the 17th and 18th centuries used to debate theology in the coffee houses. Think of this like the 21st century version.

Anonymous MikeH March 31, 2012 10:11 AM  

I cringe a bit in church when the trinity thing comes up because it seems to be polytheistic to me. It might be a few dieties short of the Greeks and there is far less quarreling but I still get a film version of Mt. Olympus thing in my mind.

I think I will suggest to my offspring to do a film project where the trinity is depicted and Jesus and the Holy Sprit are depicted as yes men since that is what they seem to be.

Newton's writings on this are new to me and have me curious. Thanks for bringing them up.

Anonymous The One March 31, 2012 10:12 AM  

I'm going to throw this out here- In gnostic circles Jesus is Adam which is how he was able to "pay for our sins", I.e remedy the mistake, Also Jesus states himself we all are Gods, so the Trinity needs to be a whole lot bigger.

Blogger Positive Dennis March 31, 2012 10:15 AM  

I John 5:7 does not belong in the Bible. It was only in one Edition of Eramus.

The usual argument to the logical absurdities of the trinity is that God Is beyond our understanding. If so then why is the trinity even an issue worthy of discussion? Anyone with even a beginners knowledge of church history has to admit that the church got along without it for at least two centuries.

Anonymous Anonymous March 31, 2012 10:17 AM  

---------------------------
"If Jesus is not God, why does a God who starts his commandments saying "Thou shall have no other Gods before me" allow the worship of his son in heaven?

Why do you assume that the worship of the elder places Jesus above Jehovah?"
--------------------

"Before me" doesn't imply precedence. It means "before my face" or "in my presence." Check the Hebrew.

Blogger Positive Dennis March 31, 2012 10:18 AM  

Is God subject to Aristotelean logic? Can God make a triangle with 4 sides?

Blogger Vox March 31, 2012 10:22 AM  

I usually find you incisive and conclusive. Most everything you say has been very well thought out because you know it will be dissected. This argument is not conclusive and weak compared to your normal fare.

That's nice. And yet, I note that no one has successfully taken apart the logic or the argument presented. As for your various questions, why would you expect me to address them when you have completely failed to address the argument that I raised prior to them?

Ignoring the argument, pointing out tangential issues, (be they relevant or irrelevant), and saying "what about this" and "what about that?" may be taken as effective rhetoric by some, but it is nevertheless complete dialectic failure.

Blogger Vox March 31, 2012 10:24 AM  

Also, I don't understand how you can say the quoted portion of the Gospel of John is irrelevant since (a) it is in the Bible (the primary source document) and (b) it speaks directly to the matter.

It is related to the subject, but does not address the issue raised.

Blogger Vox March 31, 2012 10:29 AM  

This is one of those rare cases where a person can be too smart for their own good. Forcing an interpretation of the Bible through the lens of Aristotelian logic will lead to a different conclusion than simply taking multiple scriptural references at face value. If there were just one or two proof texts, then you might have a chance, but claiming multiple proof texts as irrelevant to your preferred logical mode doesn't pass the smell test with me.

First, the "multiple proof" texts don't prove the counterpoint; they don't even address the issue raised. Second, it is ironic that you claim that I am "forcing an interpretation of the Bible through the lens of Aristotelian logic" when the very concept of the Trinity is based upon Anathasius forcing an interpretation of the Bible through the lens of Platonian metaphysics.

"Newton blamed both Athanasius and Arius for distorting Scripture when, in the fourth century, they “introduced metaphysical subtleties into their disputes and corrupted the plain language of Scripture.” Their ancient debate seemed to have more in common with Plato and Aristotle than with Jesus. Newton asked whether “Christ sent his apostles to preach metaphysics to the unlearned people, and to their wives and children?”"

Anonymous Sean March 31, 2012 10:35 AM  

There is a specific definition that Vox is referring to, which he identified distinctly in item #1. If you attempt to ignore that definition using your own thoughts about what the Trinity doctrine means, then your point is irrelevant.

When I taught Bible studies, I always used one verse to explain the subject which people always understood immediately.

1 Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

It identifies that there is a mystery regarding godliness. It isn't the mystery identified by the Trinity doctrine (how can three separate entities share all power, knowledge, etc), and it also identifies, in simple terms, the method that God used to make himself human. The mystery being, how does an infinite God make himself into a man.

Yes, I try to simplify things. I watched as Muslims on college campus were able to successfully convert people using the confusing nature of the Trinity. If the average person can't understand and defend a position, then you have a problem.

Anonymous guest March 31, 2012 10:36 AM  

"My perspective is that divinity can be most usefully understood in a manner akin to human royalty. Prince Harry may be royal, but no one is under the impression that he is co-equal and consubstantial with his grandmother, the sovereign Queen Elizabeth. This is in keeping with the idea that both Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are Man's advocates, they are not his judge."

Uh Vox where's your doctorate in Divinity? /k

Blogger Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus March 31, 2012 10:40 AM  

"You are clearly too ignorant to participate in this discussion."

No Vox, it's just that you're relying on some inferior translation of the Bible for your translation of Matthew 24:36, one which relies on a tiny minority of corrupted texts as its support for this verse, over and against the vast body that don't have "nor the Son." The textual evidence is supported by the fact that we also do not see this verse cited by any of the patristic writers until well into the 4th century - around the time that the Alexandrian Arian corruption of what would eventually become the Critical texts was taking place (incidentally, also around the time that the Johannine Comma was being removed by Arian scribes as well).

The actual reading of Matthew 24:36 is "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only."

"Is the correct assumption that these five persons are one being or one basketball team?"

Irrelevant comparison. Who cares about an analogy drawn in English, when the force of the Greek is such to indicate that they are one Being, not one merely in mind or will? In fact, the surrounding context makes this indication, based on the fact that the earthly witnesses in v. 8 are said to "agree in one" (οἱ τρεῖς εἰς τὸ ἕν εἰσιν). If the purpose of v. 7 was to indicate mere agreement in mind or purpose among the three Heavenly Witnesses, then the text would have used this same construction for them as it did for the earthly in v. 8.

Blogger DrewG March 31, 2012 10:44 AM  

It would seem a very large dose of humility is required for this one. Claiming to fully understand the true nature of God would seem to be supreme arrogance. That said it is an interesting idea to kick around, but at a functional level for Christians I think it is mostly irrelevant.

Keep It Simple Stupid.
John 3:16
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Anonymous guest March 31, 2012 10:44 AM  

The Son was with the Father before earthly manifestation. John 17:5,John 8:58

"Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped..." Phillipians 2:6

Blogger Positive Dennis March 31, 2012 10:44 AM  

God manifest in the flesh is a lot different than God in the flesh. If Jesus was fully God and fully human at the same time then there are two possibilities. Either Aristolean logic is wrong and A can be not A at the same time. Or humans are, or can be or were meant to be, fully God.

Blogger Vox March 31, 2012 10:55 AM  

The actual reading of Matthew 24:36 is "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only."

I will avoid that rabbit hole by pointing out that it makes no difference. ONLY the Father knows. Not the Spirit. Not the Son.

Who cares about an analogy drawn in English, when the force of the Greek is such to indicate that they are one Being, not one merely in mind or will?

The correct question is "who cares about the Greek?"

Blogger Nate March 31, 2012 10:56 AM  

I wander...

When an envoy arrives at the palace of a foriegn king and claims to speak for his own king...

do we then conclude that the envoy and his king must actually be the same person?

Blogger James Jones March 31, 2012 10:56 AM  

And yet, I note that no one has successfully taken apart the logic or the argument presented. As for your various questions, why would you expect me to address them when you have completely failed to address the argument that I raised prior to them?

Point taken. 

To get from point 3 in your original argument to point 5/6 you need to demonstrate that there can be no other way of rightfully understanding the context of the words, “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."

You make the point that Jesus didn't know and the Father did, so Jesus is not equal to the Father. But the whole point is that the son became human and was therefore limited in nature. He needed to eat to survive, I presume, and further presume that free of a human body he does not. He possessed a human brain that (possibly) could never contain the whole knowledge of the Godhead. One part of that knowledge it did not contain was 'the day or hour'. This was a temporary limitation due to God taking on human form. 

Now I cannot prove that there were such temporary limitations, but you cannot prove that there weren't. And if there were, it would dismantle the point that you rely upon to get to 5 and 6. 

Anonymous MadFrog March 31, 2012 10:57 AM  

1. The Trinity is God as three divine persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three persons are distinct yet coexist in unity, and are co-equal, co-eternal and consubstantial. These three divine persons are combined in one being we call God.

It seems to me your logic really relies on disproving nothing more than the co-equality of the "godhead." I think almost any run of the mill Christian throughout history would agree that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are not equivalent in nature. This is patently absurd, otherwise there would be no need for distinction.

4. Therefore, the Son and the Holy Spirit are not co-equal and consubstantial with the Father. They may or may not be co-eternal.

Here your logic is ambiguous. I believe you have only disproved co-equality. You could replace the part I emphasized in bold with "not co-equal and X" and it would still be true as long as you got the co-equal part right. Do you mean to say "not co-equal nor consubstantial"? Because it looks like you are trying to throw consubtantial in there for free with no basis in your argument.

Blogger Nate March 31, 2012 10:58 AM  

"The correct question is "who cares about the Greek?" "

This is a critical point often ignored. The Greek itself is a translation... and often a translation of a translation.

Anonymous Mark March 31, 2012 11:00 AM  

The Son, verse 36, is standing in the position of the Son of Man(verse 37). As a man, He did not know the hour or day of His return. Many times, Jesus referred to Himself as the Son of Man, indicating that His position at that moment was as a man. Other times, especially in John, He took the position as the Son of God.

Anonymous MadFrog March 31, 2012 11:01 AM  

Wish I could edit. Change my sentence:

It seems to me your logic really relies on disproving nothing more than the co-equality

to

Your logic is only disproving co-equality

My original sentence is very bad.

Blogger Nate March 31, 2012 11:08 AM  

That said I am in agreement with Madfrog... I don't think the trinity doctrine requires co-equality. Example... the Holy Spirit surely has a far most specific and limited role in matters than the others. Thus... I am skeptical of this logic based on that first given.

I of course could be wrong... since generally I view the Trinity Doctrine as nothing more than a cheap way of pretending to cover-up an inconsistency created by translations I don't claim to know the latest mental masturbatory specifics on it. If it does in fact claim co-equality then the logic stands us.

Anonymous MadFrog March 31, 2012 11:09 AM  

And as far as your omniscience argument goes, again, most of histories hillbilly Christians would realize that Christ gave up power/omnisicience/etc while on earth. The Holy Spirit may work the same way on a more permanent basis.... I really don't know.

This is why when you were still on the omniscience thing, I made a point of asking whether you thought God could know everything about the universe for the next X minutes. I don't believe you ever answered that question. (Though with the torrent of comments, I could easily have missed it)

Blogger W.LindsayWheeler March 31, 2012 11:09 AM  

In the link Macrocosm/Microcosm in Doric Thought the Trinity is proved by the Natural Law. It is an outside biblical prove that the Trinity must exist in the Godhead. For the underlying methodology of macrocosm/microcosm is "As Above, so Below" and this can be reveresed as well. The family is Trinitarian. European militaries are Trinitarian, i.e. Officer corps, Non-commissioned officer corps (NCOs), and enlisted.

Other things in nature prove the logicalness of the Trinity. Take for instance cells binary fission. One can imagine that God the Father, did a binary fission to "begat" His Son Jesus Christ and another fission to "begat" the Holy Spirit. The Greek is homoussion, which means same substance. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit have all the same substance but are different Persons. They act in unison but with a hierarchy.

Your first mistake is that the ONE is Omniscient. God the Father is Omniscient, Not Christ, Not the Holy Spirit. My hand is part of me, but it doesn't think does it? You did not make distinctions. The "One" is NOT omniscient. Only God the Father is Omniscient. God the Father is NOT the Judge of the world, Christ is.

See, what you don't understand, neither did Isaac Newton, is the Natural Law principle of righteousness. The Godhead, God, follows the dictates of the Natural Law. Righteousness is the dictum that all things are constructed to do one thing. There can NOT be ONE strict monotheistic God! for that would countermand the Natural Law. The Natural Law is the Logos.

Blogger Vox March 31, 2012 11:12 AM  

Now I cannot prove that there were such temporary limitations, but you cannot prove that there weren't. And if there were, it would dismantle the point that you rely upon to get to 5 and 6.

Still irrelevant, James. Trinity. TRI-nity. You have to defend both. Good luck with that.

Anonymous guest March 31, 2012 11:13 AM  

"You make the point that Jesus didn't know and the Father did, so Jesus is not equal to the Father. But the whole point is that the son became human and was therefore limited in nature.

"That said I am in agreement with Madfrog... I don't think the trinity doctrine requires co-equality"


Well there is an internal consistency to Vox's logic, he doesn't subscribe to omniscience and then applies verses showing limited knowledge within the Godhead to defend his antitrinitarian position. Is he trying to "kill to birds with one stone so to speak" or are both positions mutually dependent?

Anonymous MadFrog March 31, 2012 11:18 AM  

Oh wow... I am just squirming here without the ability to edit. I hope we can assume I know the difference between things like histories and history's.

Blogger Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus March 31, 2012 11:18 AM  

I will avoid that rabbit hole by pointing out that it makes no difference. ONLY the Father knows. Not the Spirit. Not the Son.

The problem with your argument is that you're failing to consider the context of the rest of the Word of God in interpreting Mark 13:32 (i.e. you have a terrible hermeneutic).

Luke 10:22 says, "All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him."

Now, if all things are delivered to Jesus from the Father, then this would seem to necessarily include a knowledge of the time of the Son's return, since "all" subsumes "all" underneath it.

So, what to make of the statement in Mark 13:32? Well, look at the immediate context. Jesus was speaking specifically about knowledge *that He was transmitting to the disciples from the Father.* That was the whole point to this discourse, and was pretty much the whole point to everything Jesus told His disciples (cf. John 17:8) - Jesus did not give His disciples every last piece of knowledge that the Father has, but only those that the Father intended for the Son to transmit to the disciples, to then later be transmitted to the churches. A knowledge of the specific time of the Son's return is not included in the things the Son was to transmit to the Father in the will of God, and therefore was not included in the things that the Son, as a servant, "knew." He knew, intrinsically, but not transmissionally.

The correct question is "who cares about the Greek?"

The correct answer is, "Anyone who actually wants to know what they're talking about."

Anonymous JRL March 31, 2012 11:19 AM  

2. This one being is omniscient, and therefore knows everything.

This is where your logic fails, Vox.

If God is one being comprising three persons, only one of the three MUST know everything in order for that one being to be omniscient.

Blogger Nate March 31, 2012 11:25 AM  

"Is he trying to "kill to birds with one stone so to speak" or are both positions mutually dependent?"

Well his logic falls apart if one doesn't accept omniscience. So it doesn't matter that much.

I doubt its very important to him... I know its not important to me at all.

Blogger Nate March 31, 2012 11:26 AM  

"The correct answer is, "Anyone who actually wants to know what they're talking about." "

No.

The correct answer is, "anyone that wants to pretend that the Greek is somehow definitive because they are ignoring the fact that the Greek itself is a translation."

Anonymous JRL March 31, 2012 11:27 AM  

Sorry...

1]#2. This one being is omniscient, and therefore knows everything.

2]The Son and Spirit do not know everything.

3]Therefore, the Son and the Holy Spirit are this one being [not co-equal and consubstantial with the Father].

The above logic fails for above stated reson...

Anonymous Gene March 31, 2012 11:27 AM  

Vox, are you advocating thorough-going Arianism, or do you affirm some subtle sort-of-but-not-quite Trinitarianism (or binitarianism)? I recall you mentioned you incline more toward the Creed of Nicaea than the finalized Nicano-Constantinopolitan Creed.

In any event, your logical argument can be avoided if one's willing (as you are) to venture slightly outside conventional orthodox "comfort-zones".

Step #3 of your argument is the weak point, depending as it does on an off-hand comment made by a speaker who was raised in a culture given to verbal florishes and impercisions for the sake of rhetorical effect. In other words, you're treating one of Jesus's off-the-cuff comments about one issue as if it were carefully worded enough to stand (without further comment or qualification) as a premise in a deductive argument concerning a different issue. That's disputable. Once one grants the possibility that Jesus was being sloppy or otherwise impercise with his words here, then one can reasonably appeal to a Kenotic Christology to explain Jesus's admission that he did not *at that moment* know when the end would come. Jesus's silence on the Holy Spirit here could similarly be explained with reference to verbal imprecision in slightly different ways.

At that point then, with the ambiguity established, the other seemingly pertinent passages of the New Testament related to the full divinity of the Son and the Holy Spirit can be invoked to establish that the Trinitarian view is (more or less) the view of the New Testament. Then that understanding can exercise a coersive influence on our interpretation of Mark 13:32 and Matthew 24:36.

Blogger wrf3 March 31, 2012 11:30 AM  

Nate wrote: When an envoy arrives at the palace of a foriegn king and claims to speak for his own king...

do we then conclude that the envoy and his king must actually be the same person?


God is not a man. What is the difference between what God says and what God is?

BTW, is the commenting system going to start failing the number of comments grows beyond 200, as it seems to have done in the awaiting enlightenment thread? I'm getting e-mail notifications of new posts, but they aren't appearing in multiple browsers.

Blogger wrf3 March 31, 2012 11:31 AM  

Nate wrote: The correct answer is, "anyone that wants to pretend that the Greek is somehow definitive because they are ignoring the fact that the Greek itself is a translation."

A translation of what? Koine Greek was the lingua franca of the day.

Blogger Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus March 31, 2012 11:31 AM  

This is a critical point often ignored. The Greek itself is a translation... and often a translation of a translation.

Incorrect. Assuming that you are trying to subscribe to the "original Aramaic" argument, we should note that, to date, there is actually very, very little evidence for Aramaic as a literary language in the ANE after the advent of the Hellenistic period. In fact, within a couple of centuries after the "Greek takeover," most of the Semitic languages had been driven out of literary and written currency, with the notable exceptions of Hebrew (used as a liturgical language in the synagogues), Punic (attested on a few coins into the immediate post-Augustan period), and Palmyrene, a language similar to Aramaic, but which was pretty much localised only to Palmyra/Tadmur and a few places where Palmyrene soldiers were stations, such as Dura and in Moesia (in Europe). Even Nabataean disappeared as a literary and "official" language within a couple of decades of the Roman conquest in 106 AD.

As for Aramaic, it seems to have disappeared with Hellenisation. All through Galilee, Judaea, Samaria, and surrounding environs, pretty much the only literary language appearing in the evidences of everything from votive inscriptions to legal documents to literary compositions is Greek - even in documents that were clearly not intended for a wider circulation in the Greco-Roman world. As for documents that WERE intended for such circulation, it is logically and evidentially inconceivable that anybody in the Syria-Palestine area after the advent of Augustus would have written anything in a language besides Greek.

Yes, there are a few scattered bits of things from this period that were still written in Aramaic, and Aramaic probably survived as a spoken language, but for works of literature like the Gospels, especially seeing as how they were intended for wider circulation among churches that were increasingly becoming Gentile in character? The notion that even one of them - Matthew - much less all of them would have been originally produced in Aramaic or another related Semtic language (including Hebrew) is simply so impossible as to be laughable.

We should note that it wasn't until the mid-to-late 2nd century and after that Syriac (a dialect of Aramaic) started to arise as a specifically Christian liturgical and literary language, and that it only did so around Edessa/Orhai and to the East, i.e. in the environs of the interface zone between the Empire and the Parthian/Sassanid Empires - too late and in the wrong region to have contributed to an "original language for the Gospels."

Simply put, I'm not sure where you're getting your information, but your source is incorrect.

Blogger Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus March 31, 2012 11:36 AM  

or binitarianism

I actually read a paper by a guy defending binitarianism one time.

Blogger Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus March 31, 2012 11:37 AM  

A translation of what? Koine Greek was the lingua franca of the day.

Exactly. In fact, Koine Greek was more of a lingua franca than most people imagine.

Blogger Positive Dennis March 31, 2012 11:42 AM  

Cincinatus point is very strange.

First since Mark13 says the same thing

32 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father

The whole point is mute.


Secondly, while most Byzantium texts until later lack the son, the best of the Alexandrian, western, and Caesarian texts have it. Metzger rates it as a "c." what that means is no one knows.


But again it is irrelevant since Mark 13 has it.


Why then does Cincinatus bring it up? A common practice is to take a provable, or in this case debatable point, and go on and on about it. But the point is not relevant to the point under discussion. The fact that someone can prove, or make a good case for a point says nothing about another point.

This is why Vox keeps pointing out the irrevance of these theological smokescreens that people are blowing. I will not say where the smoke is coming from.

Blogger Positive Dennis March 31, 2012 11:46 AM  

I am a Macedonian, Semi-Arian, or binitarian with Kenotc leanings, depending on what buzz word one wishes to use.

Anonymous guest March 31, 2012 11:50 AM  

"Well his logic falls apart if one does accept omniscience. So it doesn't matter that much.

Fixed it for ya.

"I doubt its very important to him... I know its not important to me at all."

Ok... Ignore the rest of this comment Nate since its so "unimportant". If one position is in error that supports another position you naturally compound the error. You know premise and conclusion stuff.

Blogger Nate March 31, 2012 11:50 AM  

"Incorrect. Assuming that you are trying to subscribe to the "original Aramaic" argument, we should note that, to date, there is actually very, very little evidence for Aramaic as a literary language in the ANE after the advent of the Hellenistic period. "

/facepalm.

Quick... What language did Jesus speak?

Blogger Nate March 31, 2012 11:53 AM  

"Ok... Ignore the rest of this comment Nate since its so "unimportant". If one position is in error that supports another position you naturally compound the error. You know premise and conclusion stuff. "

man.. you're pretty slow.

Follow along here. In Vox's logical steps... he uses specific knowledge and limits of knowledge to separate Father and Son. If one does not accept that either is Omniscient... then Vox's steps fall apart. Savvy? No? Ahhh well... Perhaps your time would be better spent watching American Idol.

Blogger Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus March 31, 2012 11:54 AM  

Secondly, while most Byzantium texts until later lack the son, the best of the Alexandrian, western, and Caesarian texts have it. Metzger rates it as a "c." what that means is no one knows.

The problem is that the "best of the Alexandrian...texts have it" is a very relative term. They're "best" texts are still pretty corrupted. I mean, I can be the "best" basketball player on a team I put together, but I'm still a short, stocky, a bit too well fed by my wife white guy with a 3 inch vertical leap, so the term "best" is relative.

But again it is irrelevant since Mark 13 has it.

The point is that Vox is not taking the verse in the greater context of what the rest of the Word of God says (i.e. he's prooftexting). He's trying to build a doctrine off of one passage with a questionable interpretation, while ignoring other places that contradict his particular interpretation. The point to pointing out that the CT reading in Matthew 24:36 is corrupted and likely constituted a later emendation to the verse by scribes trying to "harmonise" it with Mark 13:32 is that his interpretation and argument is based on an emendation, not the original text. That the clause doesn't appear in Matthew, while it does in Mark, helps to indicate that the clause "nor the Son" was not intended by God to be some sort of major, important "nature of God" sort of declaration about the doctrines of the Trinity or the deity of Christ, as Vox seems to want to use it for. Rather, Mark simply makes the point I outlines above, while Matthew in his Gospel omitted the point, likely because of a different intended audience, and therefore different purpose for his emphases.

Blogger wrf3 March 31, 2012 11:54 AM  

Nate: Quick... What language did Jesus speak?

Aramaic, Hebrew, and Greek. After all, he wasn't an American.

Anonymous guest March 31, 2012 11:56 AM  

"man.. you're pretty slow."

Guess it wasn't so "unimportant". And thus why only gentlemen are capable of theological debate.

Blogger Nate March 31, 2012 11:56 AM  

"God is not a man. What is the difference between what God says and what God is?"

As always... leave it to the resident Satan Worshiper to show up and claim to understand the nature of God.

Blogger Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus March 31, 2012 11:58 AM  

Quick... What language did Jesus speak?

Irrelevant. What matters if what language people wrote in. The very fact that the Gospels use and then translate for their readers certain Aramaic expressions actually makes my whole point. The Gospels were literary expressions intended for a wide audience, and hence necessarily were written in Greek.

Of course, if you'd like to try to substantiate your argument by showing us any evidence of Aramaic literature, official documents, votive inscriptions, or even grafitti from this area and time period, please feel free to go ahead and share them with us.

Blogger wrf3 March 31, 2012 12:04 PM  

Nate wrote: As always... leave it to the resident Satan Worshiper to show up and claim to understand the nature of God.

I didn't say I claimed to understand it. St. John says that there is a difference between what God says and what God is: "and the Word was with God", and yet there is no difference between what God says and what God is "and the Word was God."

So, one the one hand, there is the notion that the Son, who is the incarnation of "what God says", is God. On the other hand, there is the idea that the words are not "known" until spoken; hence Jesus' statement in Matthew.

Blogger Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus March 31, 2012 12:06 PM  

Aramaic, Hebrew, and Greek. After all, he wasn't an American.

Exactly. For some reason, there seems to be this idea that has implanted itself demotically into peoples' minds that Aramaic was the only spoken language in Palestine, and therefore anybody speaking would have had to have used Aramaic, and the only things written in the area would have to have been in Aramaic, and necessarily translated later.

This idea is such complete rubbish, that I'm surprised that anybody claiming to be even the least bit verses in Hellenistic and Roman Near East history or related fields could even take it seriously.

The fact of the matter is that Galilee was a HEAVILY Hellenised, and HEAVILY Greek-speaking area, due to the large population of Gentiles living within it (same goes for the Decapolis and Peraea as well). Even if Jesus, as a Jew, grew up speaking Aramaic in the home and reading the Hebrew scriptures in Hebrew in the synagogue, as a tradesman (carpenter), he would NECESSARILY have had to be fluent in Greek to conduct His earthly business prior to the advent of His ministry.

This same misunderstanding also underlies the "there's no way simple fishermen like Peter, James, and John could have written in such good Greek" argument. Actually, as fishermen (which was actually a fairly high status and potentially well-to-do trade) they would have had to have a solid knowledge of Greek to be able to conduct a lot of their business in the markets of the cities lying around the Sea of Galilee.

Blogger Nate March 31, 2012 12:06 PM  

Irrelevant. What matters if what language people wrote in."

So if I speak to you in English... and you write my words down in Spanish...

You haven't translated my words?

Blogger Nate March 31, 2012 12:10 PM  

"Guess it wasn't so "unimportant". And thus why only gentlemen are capable of theological debate."

pointing out your obvious logical short-comings has nothing to do with the my ranking of the import of the doctrine.

Blogger Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus March 31, 2012 12:11 PM  

So if I speak to you in English... and you write my words down in Spanish...

You haven't translated my words?


Which is irrelevant. The words of the written text are what are inspired and preserved, not any oral tradition, etc.

Anonymous Bob Ramar March 31, 2012 12:13 PM  

Vox: You did a great job of illuminating the fallacy of the Trinity although it does appear that you have kicked the hornet's nest. And you did it using only logic. Anybody who looks at the history of church doctrine can only conclude that the doctrine of the trinity is not only bogus, it comes from contemporary (at that time … fourth century) Greek philosophy. Good job!

Anonymous guest March 31, 2012 12:16 PM  

"pointing out your obvious logical short-comings has nothing to do with the my ranking of the import of the doctrine."

And my immaturity level too right?

Anonymous FrankNorman March 31, 2012 12:19 PM  

I wonder, what is Vox's real motive for denying the Trinity? There usually is one, especially with people who use arguments like his latest, but they aren't likely to directly tell you. One has to read between the lines.

The difficult thing is not in answering such arguments - its getting the arrogant "skeptic" to actually listen to one's answers. That they typically won't, that they will keep banging away with the same argument and ignore anyone's response, or immediately find another argument for the same conclusions, is one of the tip-offs that someone is not telling you his real agenda.

Vox: I could take a shrewd guess as to what is really "in your heart", but that's not my business. Its between you and God.

But if I offer an explanation to you why the verses you are quoting do not refute the concept of the Trinity, will you listen? Will you try to understand? Are you willing to back down on this point? To be convinced you've made a mistake?

Anonymous Outlaw X March 31, 2012 12:24 PM  

1. The Trinity is God as three divine persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three persons are distinct yet coexist in unity, and are co-equal, co-eternal and consubstantial. These three divine persons are combined in one being we call God.

Correct

2. This one being is omniscient, and therefore knows everything.

Incorrect, not at all times, for Jesus was separated in his mortal existence being both God and man.

3. It is written, in Matthew 24:36: “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." Therefore, the Son and the Holy Spirit are not omniscient, and furthermore, do not possess the same knowledge as the Father.

He also said "I and the Father are one." (John 10:30) One what? One in Being. Also see response to (2)

4. Therefore, the Son and the Holy Spirit are not co-equal and consubstantial with the Father. They may or may not be co-eternal.

Based on the original assumption that is false.

5. Being neither co-equal nor consubstantial, the Son and the Holy Spirit are not one being with the Father.

Still based on the same false assumption.

6. Therefore, God is one person, the Father. The doctrine of the Trinity is a false one.

There is no therefore without a correct point in which you start your argument.

The argument fell apart at the assumption that Jesus could not be both man and God. Therefore you have concluded the matter based on a fact that you already know is true. That God can know everything, and choose to not know everything. For if he is God in three persons can he not choose not to know? Of course he can and that is what makes him God. This also answers 4B and 5B as well


Now I could go into the reasons scriptural for the doctrine, but first I needed to dispute your logic.

Blogger Nate March 31, 2012 12:28 PM  

"Which is irrelevant. The words of the written text are what are inspired and preserved, not any oral tradition, etc."

So see... now you're falling back on the "inspired and preserved" route. This is where you're better off saying... "well yeah... ok... fine... it is a translation."

Because it is.

And don't give me this perserved crap. The Bible was rewritten by the KGB every single year. Why didn't God preserve it for them?

Blogger Nate March 31, 2012 12:29 PM  

"And my immaturity level too right?"

Its with no small amusement that I note that the one claiming that only gentlemen were capable of discussing theology has demonstrated himself to be only capable of discussing.... himself.

Anonymous Zartan March 31, 2012 12:35 PM  

Oh Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus,

...why anyone would necessarily take seriously what Isaac Newton had to say on a subject outside of his field

Ignorance and logical fallacies aren't becoming of you.

By your logic we should ignore all of Newton's writings on the physical world. His job as head and warden of the Mint (30 years) eclipses the time he spent dedicated to the natural world. One could say that the physical world was "just a hobby" But, he studied the Bible HIS. WHOLE. LIFE.

See: An Historical Account of Two Notable Corruptions of Scripture, Isaac Newton's dissertation on the Trinity.

Anonymous Holla March 31, 2012 12:36 PM  

It's funny to see Vox running backwards through heresies. He's devolved (or evolved, depending on how you look at it) from a heretic Protestant to a heretic Arian. Soon enough, he'll get right to the source, and we'll see a small ball of fire falling from the heavens.

Anonymous Holla March 31, 2012 12:37 PM  

"One could say that the physical world was "just a hobby" But, he studied the Bible HIS. WHOLE. LIFE."

So did Harold Camping. And, probably, Satan himself.

Anonymous Zartan March 31, 2012 12:42 PM  

...and swish Holla missed the point.

Would you say Camping and Satan's primary field is related to that study?

Anonymous Anonymous March 31, 2012 12:49 PM  

After reading all of this it would seem what Vox is really attacking here is the word trinity used to describe the three beings here... A word that is not in the bible

So I would agree with Vox the world trinity isn't accurate to describe the three and describing them from monarchical perspective is probably the most accurate and is the bible describes them numerous time, the kingdom of heaven

Truth is we don't understand all their roles or limitations, I for one don't even really have a clue about what the holy spirit is but I truth in the word of God truly obedience is greater than understanding

Anonymous Anonymous March 31, 2012 12:52 PM  

Sorry about all the spelling and grammar errors but for some reason it won't let me go back and make corrections on my IPhone? Unless I want to rewrite the whole thing... What the hell?

Anonymous Holla March 31, 2012 12:53 PM  

Sorry, your horrible formatting, capitalization skills, and typos confused me. What's your point again? That Newton's studying of the Bible his whole life (and demented theories based on this study, which of are no interest except to minor occultists and half-assed wannabe iconoclasts ) are equivalent to his work in science?

Anonymous Onefiver March 31, 2012 12:56 PM  

Vox,

First, why does co-equality and/or consubstantiality necessitate coextensive knowledge? You merely presuppose this.

Second, I think the Cerberus analogy is helpful here - ie three independent minds, one being. One head (or mind) of Cerberus knowing something does not necessitate that other heads also possess that knowledge either instantaneously or even ever. One head may, or may not, choose to communicate certain knowledge to the others. Further, omniscience can be applied to the one being in two ways here, either: (1) so long as one head is omniscient, it is enough to then consider the one being omniscient; OR (2) the aggregate knowledge of each head is so extensive so as to constitute omniscience for the one being. In either instance, omniscience and the Trinity are preserved.

Lastly, the portion of the Gospel of John is particularly relevant as it prima facie contradicts your conclusion that Jesus != God.

Anonymous Holla March 31, 2012 12:56 PM  

Hey anonymous, you know what other words aren't in the Bible?

Bible, petroleum, or monkeybutt.

Why, the words, things, and concepts not in a bible could fill... A library!

Blogger Vox March 31, 2012 12:57 PM  

But if I offer an explanation to you why the verses you are quoting do not refute the concept of the Trinity, will you listen? Will you try to understand? Are you willing to back down on this point? To be convinced you've made a mistake?

I will certainly listen if it actually addresses the logical argument presented. Otherwise, I will simply point out it is irrelevant and ignore it. I always seek to understand. I am always willing to back down on every point when I am shown to be incorrect. I have repeatedly shown that I am willing to not only admit when I have made a mistake, but to change my position accordingly.

Now, do you actually have anything relevant to present?

Blogger Vox March 31, 2012 1:02 PM  

First, why does co-equality and/or consubstantiality necessitate coextensive knowledge? You merely presuppose this.

Because we are talking about a single being. Obviously, if by consubtantiality one merely means that both God the Father and His Son are made of flour, coextensive knowledge is not necessitated. And if by co-equality, one simply means that both the Son and the Spirit possess the right to vote in the USA, there is no need to claim they share knowledge. You will have to provide your definition of consubstantiality and co-equality for me to answer your question seriously.

Anonymous jrl March 31, 2012 1:07 PM  

2 This one being is omniscient, and therefore knows everything.

Incorrect, not at all times, for Jesus was separated in his mortal existence being both God and man.


Outlaw X - Vox's second point is correct. If you say God stopped being omniscient while Jesus was on earth, you are also saying the Father ceased to be omniscient during that time.


Where Vox's argument fails is at point 4 which simply does not follow from his previous assertions.

4. Therefore, the Son and the Holy Spirit are not co-equal and consubstantial with the Father. They may or may not be co-eternal.

If God is one being comprising three persons, then if one of those persons is omniscient the one being is too.

Anonymous Snoogins March 31, 2012 1:07 PM  

In the Bible, there are passages that suggest God has MORE than the 3 aspects we know about:

And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. Revelation 5:6 KJV

See also Rev. 3:1, 4:5

::dons asbestos underwear::

Anonymous Holla March 31, 2012 1:10 PM  

Hold on - so does anyone think that Fetus Christ was omniscient and omnipotent?

Blogger Astrosmith March 31, 2012 1:12 PM  

Hey isn't Arias the guy that Santa Claus punched in the face?

Blogger Astrosmith March 31, 2012 1:16 PM  

Hey isn't Arias the guy that Santa Claus punched in the face?

Anonymous JRL March 31, 2012 1:19 PM  

If God is one being comprising three persons, then if one of those persons is omniscient the one being is too.

======


Vox needs to demonstrate that being the second and third person of the Trinity requires omniscience...

There is no inherent contradiction in saying that God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit and that God the Father possesses different knowledge than the Son and Spirit any more than it's a contradiction for the Son and Spirit to be different persons from the Father.

Anonymous FrankNorman March 31, 2012 1:20 PM  

Now, do you actually have anything relevant to present?

I think I do. What we are arguing about is, in essence, whether the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are all parts of one Being, or three distinct beings.
Now a Trinitarian such as myself understands the "Persons of the Godhead" as different parts of a single Being, taking different roles in His interaction with His creation. NOT as a trio of equal-status beings who simply hang out together!
Nothing in those verses contradicts this. Jesus is both Divine and human. His human nature obviously could not be all-knowing. So that could be what He was talking about when He said He didn't know. Or it could be that the part of God that was incarnated as a man did not have all the knowledge that the part of Him that was on the throne of heaven had. Either explanation works.

Now also - when Jesus said "only the Father", He did not mean "and not the Holy Spirit". That is something you are reading into it. His words were not addressed to people who thought in Trinitarian terms. They would have had no notion of "the Spirit of God" as something or someone distinct from "God". This concept only really comes in with the upper room discourse, the night before Jesus' arrest.

I make no comment here on the whole "omniscience vs voliscience" debate.

Anonymous Toby Temple March 31, 2012 1:31 PM  

If the Father is greater than the Son then they are not equal.

Why do you Trinitarians insist that they are?

Jesus said "the Father is greater than I."

Proven by the fact the it was Jesus Christ who was send to earth. Send by the Father.

He obeys the Father no matter what. One who obeys is not equal to the one who commands.

Anonymous Onefiver March 31, 2012 1:35 PM  

Vox: Because we are talking about a single being. Obviously, if by consubtantiality one merely means that both God the Father and His Son are made of flour, coextensive knowledge is not necessitated. And if by co-equality, one simply means that both the Son and the Spirit possess the right to vote in the USA, there is no need to claim they share knowledge. You will have to provide your definition of consubstantiality and co-equality for me to answer your question seriously.

Actually, I simply pointed out your presupposition using the terms you employed. How I define them is irrelevant because your presupposition does not rely on my definitions...unless you are claiming omniscience. So, how do you define both such that they necessitate your presupposition?

Further, as to them being a "single being" necessitating co-extensive knowledge, does my Cerberus analogy sufficiently meet your challenge that a single being comprised of multiple "persons" (for present lack of a better term) requires that each person of the single being always posses the exact same knowledge at the exact same time?

Anonymous Other Josh March 31, 2012 1:35 PM  

Vox,

I only have this to ask: Do you believe Jesus is God? Not a lesser form of God, but THE God. The great I AM. The great JEHOVAH. Is Jesus this God?

Based on the authority of scripture, I can say this: If you answer "no", you are not saved. You would not know Him, for you don't truly believe in Him.

Blogger wrf3 March 31, 2012 1:36 PM  

Toby Temple wrote: He obeys the Father no matter what. One who obeys is not equal to the one who commands.

Jesus is "what God says" and so Jesus always does what the Father commands. But St. John says "what God says" is what God is. So, in the case of God, what God says is, in fact, equal to what God is.

BTW, Toby, do you have a web site?

Anonymous Bob Ramar March 31, 2012 1:41 PM  

To the ilk: Here is a logical conundrum for you. In order to be saved, you need to do Romans 10:9
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”
This assumes that the “Jesus” that you confess as “Lord” is the one, true, only-begotten Son of God.
Suppose then that the “Jesus” that you confess as “Lord” is not the one, true, only-begotten Son of God? Suppose that it is one of the “other Jesus’” that Paul speaks of? Suppose that the Trinitarian Jesus is one of these other Jesus’?

Blogger wrf3 March 31, 2012 1:48 PM  

Bob Ramar wrote: To the ilk: Here is a logical conundrum for you.... Suppose then that the “Jesus” that you confess as “Lord” is not the one, true, only-begotten Son of God?

So you have J' = J + ε, where J' is an individual's conception of who Jesus is, J is Jesus as He actually is, and ε is a measure of the difference between one's conception of Jesus and the real Jesus.

Are you saying that ε mut be zero in order for a person to be truly saved? If so, very few are saved, since I suspect no one has a completely accurate view of the real Jesus. If not, how do you determine what an acceptable ε is?

Anonymous kh123 March 31, 2012 1:51 PM  

So would God being voliscient allow for a trinitarian situation, I wonder.

Anonymous VD March 31, 2012 2:07 PM  

Based on the authority of scripture, I can say this: If you answer "no", you are not saved. You would not know Him, for you don't truly believe in Him.

You clearly don't know what you are talking about, as per James. Correct belief isn't the metric. As for your question, no, Jesus Christ of Nazareth is not God the Father, unless the pantheists are generally correct and we are not only all gods, but we are all the seven billion+ spirits of God.

Which, of course, is just as likely to be the case as the puppet master God of the omniderigistes.

Anonymous Bob Ramar March 31, 2012 2:12 PM  

wrf3: You said "Are you saying that ε mut be zero in order for a person to be truly saved? If so, very few are saved, since I suspect no one has a completely accurate view of the real Jesus. If not, how do you determine what an acceptable ε is?"
Aha! Exactly my point! How does one prove they are saved? The scriptural answer (without waiting for the Lord's return to find out) is that you have received the baptism in the holy spirit ... ie, you speak in tongues. Acts 2.

Anonymous meelhama March 31, 2012 2:13 PM  

Here is the false premise: 2. This one being is omniscient, and therefore knows everything.

Equality of substance is not the same as equality of function or ability. The Persons of the Trinity are equally God only in terms of substance.

Anonymous Bob Ramar March 31, 2012 2:14 PM  

wrf3: Folks need to recall that the Lord himself said (in paraphrase) that there would be many who think they are 'saved' who will discover in time that they are not.

Anonymous Outlaw X March 31, 2012 2:16 PM  

"Outlaw X - Vox's second point is correct. If you say God stopped being omniscient while Jesus was on earth, you are also saying the Father ceased to be omniscient during that time." -JRL

That is not what I said because it is not axiomatic.

Anonymous Other Josh March 31, 2012 2:22 PM  

Good Grief. I am sick of man's logic and reasoning. It is so weak, twisted, and easily manipulated. We need the sword of scripture to cut through all the crap and lay down the foundation:

John 1:1-3, 14a
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.

John 8:58-59
"I tell you the truth" Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I AM". At this, the Jews picked up stones to stone Him, but Jesus hid Himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.

John 10:29-31, 33
My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all. No one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. I and the Father are one. Again, the Jews picked up stones to stone Him. "We are not stoning you for any of these," replied the Jews, "but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God".

Colossians 1:15-17
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created: things in heave and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all thing hold together.

Genesis 1:1
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Colossians 2:15
For in Christ, all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form.

Philippians 2:5-7
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made into human likeness.

Isaiah 43:11
I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from Me there is no Savior.


I'm going to make this simple: God is the only Savior. If you don't believe Jesus is fully God, you are not saved. You cannot be saved until you change your mind and agree with the testimony of scripture.
God = Savior
Jesus = Savior
Therefore, Jesus = God

If you refuse to believe this, you have no savior and you need to repent and change your mind.

Blogger John March 31, 2012 2:25 PM  

Vox - I may have missed it above, but I really want to understand why John 1 is not relevant and what are your thoughts on verses 1 and 2.

Anonymous FrankNorman March 31, 2012 2:25 PM  

Proven by the fact the it was Jesus Christ who was send to earth. Send by the Father.

Toby, if you'd read Phillipians, you'd see that Jesus takes a subordinate role by choice, not by ontological necessity.

Blogger Unknown March 31, 2012 2:31 PM  

Onefiver- you wrote that "I think the Cerberus analogy is helpful here".

Uh, with all due respect to Wm. Lane Craig, that's not a very good analogy. In fact, there is NO analogy that works, since the Trinity, as God's nature, is absolutely unique.

I'm 100% with "Other Josh"- to envision the Lord Jesus or the Holy Spirit as less than YHWH is heresy.

Anonymous FrankNorman March 31, 2012 2:32 PM  

I only have this to ask: Do you believe Jesus is God? Not a lesser form of God, but THE God. The great I AM. The great JEHOVAH. Is Jesus this God?

Based on the authority of scripture, I can say this: If you answer "no", you are not saved. You would not know Him, for you don't truly believe in Him.


Amen!
Jesus told the Pharisees: "If you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins."

Now I would clarify that the Deity of Jesus is not so much something you must understand and believe in order to GET saved, as it is something that if you profess to be converted, but persistently reject, then your conversion was probably bogus.

Blogger TBush March 31, 2012 2:34 PM  

I inadvertently posted as "unknown" (first time posting on VD's site since it went sans CoComment). It's me...

Anonymous Onefiver March 31, 2012 2:36 PM  

Aha! Exactly my point! How does one prove they are saved? The scriptural answer (without waiting for the Lord's return to find out) is that you have received the baptism in the holy spirit ... ie, you speak in tongues. Acts 2.

Bob, isn't it curios that the apostle who wrote:

"I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life,"

didn't include tongues as one of "these things"?

Blogger R. Bradley Andrews March 31, 2012 2:40 PM  

An individual's greatest strength is usually their greatest weakness. It seems to be true here.

Anonymous Onefiver March 31, 2012 2:42 PM  

Uh, with all due respect to Wm. Lane Craig, that's not a very good analogy.

Your naked conclusory statement is awfully convincing...

I don't deny that God's nature is unique, but why is the analogy not helpful in this particular case.

Anonymous FrankNorman March 31, 2012 2:48 PM  

Bob, isn't it curios that the apostle who wrote:

"I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life,"

didn't include tongues as one of "these things"?


John mentioned the Holy Spirit. How do you know if you've received the Spirit?

Anonymous JRL March 31, 2012 2:48 PM  

"Outlaw X - Vox's second point is correct. If you say God stopped being omniscient while Jesus was on earth, you are also saying the Father ceased to be omniscient during that time." -JRL

That is not what I said because it is not axiomatic.

2 This one being is omniscient, and therefore knows everything.

Incorrect, not at all times, for Jesus was separated in his mortal existence being both God and man.


Outlaw X - It is axiomatic that if the Triune God is a single being and is "not at all times" omniscient, then the Father is "not at all times" omniscient.

Anonymous johnc March 31, 2012 2:53 PM  

Vox's argument is predicated on the idea that his interpretation of a single sentence of Scripture is in line with the meaning that Jesus intended to convey. I'd like to see some proof of this.

Anonymous Snoogins March 31, 2012 3:01 PM  

Fine, ignore my post - it doesn't change the fact that the Bible says it.

Anonymous FrankNorman March 31, 2012 3:06 PM  

Holla March 31, 2012 12:36 PM

It's funny to see Vox running backwards through heresies. He's devolved (or evolved, depending on how you look at it) from a heretic Protestant to a heretic Arian. Soon enough, he'll get right to the source, and we'll see a small ball of fire falling from the heavens.


With a mohawk. And some tips on picking up girls... :-P

A "Protestant Arian" is called a Socinian, Holla. There were people who thought that the revolt against Papal tyranny was a good time to reopen such questions. Leading names being people like Socinius, Faustus (I am not making that up!) and Michael Servetus, who was burned at the stake in Geneva.

The irony is that at the time of the Arian Controversy, Steven bishop of Rome at one point endorsed the Arian position, on his authority as the heir of Peter, blah blah blah, no less! St Athanasius did not back down, and the bishop of Rome eventually blinked first.

Anonymous Onefiver March 31, 2012 3:09 PM  

John mentioned the Holy Spirit. How do you know if you've received the Spirit?

Is that not addressed several times in 1 John? And does he even once mention "tongues"?

Anonymous Outlaw X March 31, 2012 3:11 PM  

"Outlaw X - It is axiomatic that if the Triune God is a single being and is "not at all times" omniscient, then the Father is "not at all times" omniscient."

That is a false statement. But most people have not had nor do they know axiomatic theory or even what it is. You won't find it proper in a text book or a Bible. It is the purest form of logic and we were talking logic not God, but we can talk about the Bible and God as well as long as we don't confuse the one with the other.

Anonymous FrankNorman March 31, 2012 3:14 PM  

John mentioned the Holy Spirit. How do you know if you've received the Spirit?

Is that not addressed several times in 1 John? And does he even once mention "tongues"?


The gifts of the Spirit are one of the marks of His presence. Its what convinced Peter that Cornelius was accepted by God.

Anonymous Shild March 31, 2012 3:15 PM  

Obviously, if by consubtantiality one merely means that both God the Father and His Son are made of flour, coextensive knowledge is not necessitated.

I've always assumed that the three persons of the Trinity were made of flour (well, maybe not flour per se, but the same divine matter or essence) and this was how I reconciled the unity of the three persons of the Trinity with their different roles and abilities. I thought that Christianity was the business of allowing oneself to be transformed by Christ from base mud into this divine flour, thus allowing for oneself to dwell in God's Heaven.

From this perspective, the logic provided does not contradict the Trinity, although this interpretation may be incorrect for some other reason.

Anonymous MadFrog March 31, 2012 3:16 PM  

You clearly don't know what you are talking about, as per James. Correct belief isn't the metric. As for your question, no, Jesus Christ of Nazareth is not God the Father, unless the pantheists are generally correct and we are not only all gods, but we are all the seven billion+ spirits of God.

He did not ask you if Jesus is God the Father, he asked you if He is God. It is simply bewildering that you felt the need to include the qualification.

Blogger tz March 31, 2012 3:18 PM  

The question cannot be decided properly using only sola scriptura.

For all the passages saying Christ was less than his father, you have a number which say they are equal - "Before Abraham was, I AM", He forgave sins - only God can forgive sins, He said "I and the Father are one", and "Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father". Ananias and Saphira lied to the Holy Spirit - you cannot lie to a non-person. I could go on but there is no point. The church fathers http://carm.org/early-trinitarian-quotes believed it from very early if not the beginning. http://www.catholic.com/tracts/the-trinity

Something like Godel's theorem, the Bible is either contradictory or incomplete, so you need an authority superior to scripture to first, say what the Canon of scripture is, for scripture itself doesn't contain the list of books of which scripture is comprised, and second, when you have gaps and/or contradictions, some superior authority must resolve them. Human reason is not sufficient, as it is darkened.

Reason alone can neither falsify nor prove the Trinity true - But we then return to what kinds of evidence, scientific or eye-witness, or something else. I do want to emphasize the point that for all the glory and aid scripture is, you cannot establish it as a sole authority, you must take it as a given, and even then, resolving the contradictions ends up being a matter of personal opinion - which no one can prove wrong (or right!) if restricted to scripture itself - it ends up you think one set of verses are preeminent over another, and I might think the other set are key. Who is to say?

Does the set containing all sets which do not contain themselves contain itself?

An atheist can equally tell you whether the Bible teaches the Trinity or One God with an equal chance of inaccuracy. But only the humble and pure can see and understand. If God indwells, and you don't tell him what he said but listen, you will find truth, though it might be slow and difficult. I would say "The Holy Spirit", but that begs the question. The truth isn't to be resolved sitting and thinking hard, it is to be found praying on your knees.

Jesus could have written a book and found 12 scribes instead of apostles and wrote clearly and unambiguously what the doctrines and dogmas ought to be (more like the Torah). But he established a church with the authority instead.

Anonymous JRL March 31, 2012 3:22 PM  

That is a false statement.

I'm open to that. Please demonstrate how it is logically false. Forget the wrangling over the term "axiomatic".

Anonymous Bob Ramar March 31, 2012 3:22 PM  

FrankNorman: You said: "John mentioned the Holy Spirit. How do you know if you've received the Spirit?"

By "speaking in tongues" is my answer. Read Peter's monologue in Acts 2, specifically vss 38 and 39. Speaking in tongues is the manifestion of the gift of holy spirit, the new birth. It is the proof that a person is born again. If you don't speak in tongues, then you get to wait until the Lord returns to find out for sure.

God wants his children to know the score, to have proof about their position with respect to himself. That is why Jesus was raised from the dead. His resurrection was the ultimate proof that he truly was the only begotten Son of God. His resurrection also points to our ultimate fate as we too will one day be raised to life from death, as long as the Lord tarries. Just as the Lord's resurrection is proof that he is the Son of God, so is speaking in tongues the proof that we too are sons of the only true God.

Anonymous Onefiver March 31, 2012 3:23 PM  

The gifts of the Spirit are one of the marks of His presence. Its what convinced Peter that Cornelius was accepted by God.

Do all believers receive the same gifts and/or the same measures thereof?

Anonymous Anonymous March 31, 2012 3:29 PM  

"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit"[Matt 28:19]

and Paul the Apostle's blessing:

"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all,"[2 Cor. 13:13]

Blogger Lucas March 31, 2012 3:31 PM  

Vox,

How do your hamonize the understanding you have of God with the parts of Scripture wherein Divine worship and Divine Attributes are given to the Son and to the Holy Spirit?

Anonymous FrankNorman March 31, 2012 3:32 PM  

Do all believers receive the same gifts and/or the same measures thereof?

No. I'm not in the "if you don't speak in tongues you're not saved" camp.

But I find it not insignificant that anti-Trinitarian people are almost always Cessationists.

Anonymous Onefiver March 31, 2012 3:46 PM  

But I find it not insignificant that anti-Trinitarian people are almost always Cessationists.

Really? I typically think of Trinitarians as more inclined to cessationism. Mostly because I see all kinds of faux-charisma from modalist Pentecostals and the like. But I currently reside in Dallas, so my view may be slightly skewed...

Anonymous Outlaw X March 31, 2012 3:57 PM  

"I'm open to that. Please demonstrate how it is logically false. Forget the wrangling over the term "axiomatic"." - JRL

Certainly my friend.

Given the conditions that A+B+C = (one God) does not demonstrate That A=B=C.

Anonymous Bob Ramar March 31, 2012 4:03 PM  

FrankNorman: You said "Do all believers receive the same gifts and/or the same measures thereof?

No. I'm not in the "if you don't speak in tongues you're not saved" camp.

But I find it not insignificant that anti-Trinitarian people are almost always Cessationists."

My reply is that there is one gift, the gift of holy spirit or the new birth. The gift has nine manifestations of which speaking in tongues is only one. Yes, all born-again believers have the inherent ability to speak in tongues. Do all born-again believers speak in tongues? No, of course not. Few Christians are aware they have the ability. It is a supernatural phenomena and those, by definition are strange, sometimes creepy, unexplainable by natural reason, etc. Am I in the ‘if you don’t speak in tongues, you are not saved’ camp? No, of course not. What I am saying is that there is proof of the new birth and speaking in tongues is it, by scriptural definition. Peter was talking of proof to the crowd in Acts 2, proof that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah. The proof he was speaking of was Jesus’ resurrection and the phenomena of the tongues of fire and the resultant manifestation of speaking in tongues which the crowd has witnessed. And, most important of all, he promised the same experience, the new birth manifested by speaking in tongues, to those listening to him speak! You see the same thing repeated over and over again in the book of Acts; people becoming born again and manifesting the new birth by speaking in tongues.

By the way, just as a small side note... I don't know too many trinitarians that speak in tongues. Just sayin.... .

Anonymous VD March 31, 2012 4:04 PM  

I'm going to make this simple: God is the only Savior. If you don't believe Jesus is fully God, you are not saved. You cannot be saved until you change your mind and agree with the testimony of scripture.
God = Savior
Jesus = Savior
Therefore, Jesus = God

If you refuse to believe this, you have no savior and you need to repent and change your mind.


I find it incredibly amusing that people like this think their opinion matters in the slightest. And I also find it very telling that they are so eager to appoint themselves to God's position as judge. This sort of pharasaical babbling is about as significant as if he declared "if you don't believe Papa Smurf to be the smurfiest, you will be devoured by a cat. Tomorrow."

It's possible he's right. Perhaps unless one openly confesses that God is one, one is damned. In this case, a lot of Muslims will be saved and a lot of Christians won't be. Of course, it is also possible that attempting to elevate oneself to the seat of the Most High will suffice to do the trick as well.

Other Josh, like the Muslims, confesses that God is one, and believes Jesus is Jehovah and God is the Savior and the Holy Spirit is all four too. I, on the other hand, believe Jesus is the Savior and is our advocate in Heaven before his father Jehovah, the Almighty God, while the Holy Spirit is our advocate on Earth. And I don't think that Jesus is terribly concerned about what those who repent of their sins, acknowledge him as their Lord, and attempt to obey him happen to believe is the true extent of his being. He strikes me as a fairly generous public defender.

Is it possible that Jesus was simply a temporary emanation from God and was subsumed again upon his ascension, until his next coming? Sure. It's also possible that the pantheists are essentially correct and we are all temporary emanations, little pieces of God, that may or may not be found worthy of returning to the All-Encompassing. One could concoct a case for both. But neither are my present understanding.

And the only certain fact of the matter is that none of us knows.

Anonymous Bob Ramar March 31, 2012 4:04 PM  

Frank: what is a "Cessationist" please? Never heard of that.

Anonymous Bob Ramar March 31, 2012 4:12 PM  

Vox, it is amazing that many of these folk think they know the scripture and yet don't. Romans 5 is very clear on something they don't get. It was a man, Adam, who got us into the mess we humans are in. It had to be a man who gets us out. That man could have no more, or less, abilities and endowments than Adam had. Jesus of Nazareth was a prophet, who had holy spirit without measure upon him. Like other prophets in the Old Testament, he could use it to perform supernatural acts and had supernatural knowledge in certain situations. But he was not God.

By the way, here's one for the trinitarians...if Jesus is God, why was it his cousin John the Baptist who had holy spirit from the moment of his conception and Jesus did not? Explain this one, if you can.

Anonymous MadFrog March 31, 2012 4:14 PM  

Frank: what is a "Cessationist" please? Never heard of that.

Here you go.

Anonymous jamsco March 31, 2012 4:17 PM  

Here's my stab at taking down Vox's argument:

Vox, you start with this definition:
"The Trinity is God as three divine persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three persons are distinct yet coexist in unity, and are co-equal, co-eternal and consubstantial."

Have you considered the possibility (and what I think is the truth) that one of the 'distinct'ives of God the Father is that He is omniscient?

If so than the rest of your steps don't follow and Trinitarianism still stands.

Anonymous jamsco March 31, 2012 4:19 PM  

And Vox, just to let you know, I have changed the Vox Theology post. I took out 10 and edited 3. Is it better?

Thanks for your clarification.

Anonymous Other Josh March 31, 2012 4:23 PM  

Scripture is clear that only God can be savior. Scripture is clear that only God has the power to forgive sin. If you don't believe Jesus is God, how can He be savior?

To rephrase, Vox, how can Jesus be your savior if you doubt His qualifications to be your savior?

You are right that He is gracious and generous... but scripture is clear that He is gracious and generous to those who BELIEVE IN HIM.

The Bible says Jesus is God. This is God's testimony. By Christ's own words, He has stated He is God. If you doubt His very words, how can you claim to "believe in Him"?

Anonymous VD March 31, 2012 4:24 PM  

Have you considered the possibility (and what I think is the truth) that one of the 'distinct'ives of God the Father is that He is omniscient?

No, because it is a failure of logic. A being cannot be simultaneously omniscient and ignorant. As for those who want to claim that God is beyond all logic, fine, but in that case, I have no interest in discussing the matter with you and will happily insist that God's favored form is a rainbow-maned pony who talks baby talk since that is conclusively proved by Matthew 13:14.

That doesn't make sense? Hey, don't limit God with your logic, man.

Blogger wrf3 March 31, 2012 4:28 PM  

Jamsco wrote: If so than the rest of your steps don't follow and Trinitarianism still stands.

This criticism itself doesn't follow, since Vox is arguing that co-equality requires that if person A of the Trinity has attribute X, then persons B and C of the Trinity must also have attribute X. That is, co-equality means that there can't be distinctives.

Where this part of the argument fails is the lack of recognition of the kenosis wherein the Son "emptied himself" in order to found in the form of a man.

Anonymous Bob Ramar March 31, 2012 4:29 PM  

MadFrog: The link does not work. Can you peck it out in ten words or less?

Anonymous VD March 31, 2012 4:35 PM  

Scripture is clear that only God has the power to forgive sin. If you don't believe Jesus is God, how can He be savior?

Because he is the link between God and Man, the only way to God. Jesus could forgive sin during his ministry because he was authorized by God to do so. If you're going to insist that Jesus is God, then you have to admit that God can die. And that God can be tempted to sin. To whom did Jesus cry when he was on the cross? Do you think he cried out to himself? Do you think he forsake himself?

It seems that the Trinitarians have a problem understanding delegation in much the same way that Calvinists have a problem understanding sovereignty.

The Bible says Jesus is God. This is God's testimony. By Christ's own words, He has stated He is God. If you doubt His very words, how can you claim to "believe in Him"?

Because I don't think you have any idea whatsoever what God is or is not. Jesus also said God forsook him. Did he forsake himself? And do you think Jesus has any independent thoughts that are distinct from Jehovah's or is "Christ" merely a sock puppet of the unified God you conceive?

Anonymous Outlaw X March 31, 2012 4:39 PM  

"The Bible says Jesus is God. This is God's testimony. By Christ's own words, He has stated He is God. If you doubt His very words, how can you claim to "believe in Him"?"

I can see Vox's side we just don't agree. Jesus said "But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before my Father who is in heaven."

Blogger wrf3 March 31, 2012 4:40 PM  

Vox wrote: And do you think Jesus has any independent thoughts that are distinct from Jehovah's or is "Christ" merely a sock puppet of the unified God you conceive?

In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God.

Anonymous Anonymous March 31, 2012 4:43 PM  

Scripture clearly states in many places that Jesus Christ is the Almighty God in the flesh.

Anonymous jamsco March 31, 2012 4:43 PM  

"A being cannot be simultaneously omniscient and ignorant."
What makes you say that?

What makes you say that a being that exists as three distinct persons can't be both of those things? And can you make that statement using logic?

The difference between an impossible to completely comprehend God and your rainbow pony is that one of them (not the pony) is described in the Bible.

Anonymous Outlaw X March 31, 2012 4:43 PM  

My latest post was to Other Josh.

Anonymous jamsco March 31, 2012 4:45 PM  

wrf: "That is, co-equality means that there can't be distinctives."

Vox started with a definition that said the three parts are distinct. That means they have distinctives.

Anonymous paradox March 31, 2012 4:46 PM  

St. Irenaeus was around about 80 years after the NT was written and he supported the Trinity. That would be a very close time from the tradition and it was tradition that created the NT. So the Trinity doctrine was around fairly early. If the Trinity is a completely wrong doctrine then it looks like the gates of hell did over come the church very early on.

My view of the Trinity probably isn't orthodox, but it's how I view it. Jesus is a time paradox, He was begotten in Mary's womb. However, He has always existed with God(The Father)... do to the time paradox. He had all of God's(the Father)authority. Others have mentioned it... If I send my son out on my behalf he is to be treated like me and has my authority. In all realty he is me. The same is for Jesus and His Father. Jesus is in all reality God.

I view the Holy Spirit as the power of God(the Father)and a personification of God(the Father). However, just my belief... a personification of God(the Father) is God. All... the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three persons, inseparable, co-eternal. They are co-equal in that the are inseparable.

Anonymous MadFrog March 31, 2012 4:48 PM  

And the only certain fact of the matter is that none of us knows.

I agree that there is little point in trying to make positive statements about the matter. At worst, the doctrine of the Trinity is a vain attempt to define something we don't have the information to accurately define.

However, the New Testament seems to make it pretty clear that Jesus is God. Yet, I see no compelling reason to turn this simple Biblical claim into a philosophically organized package. But I also see no reason to argue against it.

Blogger Galt-in-Da-Box March 31, 2012 4:50 PM  

The great heresies of spiritualism grafted into & palmed off as "Christian" at the Council of Nicaea in 325AD:
More than one God.
Salvation by altruism.
Life after death.
Fatalism (Omniderigence).
Ancestor-worship/veneration of "saints".
Vox, thanks for taking on the Big One!

Anonymous MadFrog March 31, 2012 4:51 PM  

MadFrog: The link does not work. Can you peck it out in ten words or less?

You have no idea how amusing this is. Anyway, here you go:

"In Christian theology, Cessationism is the view that the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as tongues, prophecy and healing, ceased being practiced early on in Church history."

Anonymous zen0 March 31, 2012 4:53 PM  

The difference between an impossible to completely comprehend God and your rainbow pony is that one of them (not the pony) is described in the Bible.

Yes. It is obvious that the very absurdity of the proposition of the Trinity Doctrine is proof of its veracity.

Blogger wrf3 March 31, 2012 4:54 PM  

Jamsco wrote: Vox started with a definition that said the three parts are distinct. That means they have distinctives.

Vox wrote, "These three persons are distinct". All this means is that the Son is not the Father is not the Spirit. It does not mean that the Father has attribute X that the Son does not have. That violates co-equality and consubstantiality.

Blogger John Regan March 31, 2012 4:55 PM  

By similar impeccable logic, Zeno proved that motion is impossible.

Logic is great, bu it isn't everything.

Blogger John Regan March 31, 2012 4:56 PM  

By similar impeccable logic, Zeno proved that motion is impossible.

Logic is great, bu it isn't everything.

Anonymous Outlaw X March 31, 2012 5:07 PM  

"Logic is great, bu it isn't everything."

Especially not to snake handling Arkansans.

Anonymous Other Josh March 31, 2012 5:28 PM  

Vox, you said:

Because I don't think you have any idea whatsoever what God is or is not. Jesus also said God forsook him. Did he forsake himself? And do you think Jesus has any independent thoughts that are distinct from Jehovah's or is "Christ" merely a sock puppet of the unified God you conceive?

You are right that I don't understand God. No man does. However, I choose to believe what Christ spoke about Himself with plain words. You, however, seem to try to use reason to verify what Christ said, and since man's reason cannot verify - let alone understand - God, you are choosing not to believe Christ's plainly spoken words.

In John 20:28, when the Apostle Thomas sees the nail holes in Jesus and the hole in His side, he worships Jesus and calls Him "my Lord and my God".

Jesus didn't correct him.

Anonymous zen0 March 31, 2012 5:37 PM  

Immediately our Lord addressed Thomas, thus indicating his thorough knowledge of his doubts and fears; he invited him to come forward and have the very evidences which he had declared would be necessary. We presume that Thomas did as he said, altho the account does not mention it; it is implied in his prompt confession of his faith in the words, "My Lord and my God!" We are not to suppose that by this expression Thomas meant that he recognized the risen Jesus as being the Heavenly Father, as some would suggest: on the contrary, we are to remember that amongst the Jews the word "god" signified mighty one, and was sometimes applied to angels, and sometimes to great, influential men, as well as to the All-mighty One, Jehovah. God, mighty one, was an appropriate title to apply to our Lord Jesus; but in no event should Thomas' words be understood either to be wiser or truer in any sense than our Lord's own expression of a few days previous, when he said, "I have not yet ascended to...my Father and your Father; my God and your God." As the angels were elohim, mighty ones or gods, to mankind, so Jesus, God's beloved Son, was properly recognized by his disciples as being far more than man, as being a mighty one, a god; and Jesus, in turn, recognized the Father as his God as well as ours. With this view all is reasonable, consistent and harmonious. With any other view of the subject there is confusion.

Anonymous JRL March 31, 2012 5:40 PM  

No, because it is a failure of logic. A being cannot be simultaneously omniscient and ignorant.

If there is no logical contradiction to the three persons having different roles, there is no logical contradiction if two persons choose not to be omniscient.

Like wrf3 mentioned, the self-emptying of Christ is an example of one person choosing to be in a different state than the others.

Anonymous zen0 March 31, 2012 5:40 PM  

OOps. Forgot the italics

Anonymous Bob Ramar March 31, 2012 5:42 PM  

MadFrog: You said "In Christian theology, Cessationism is the view that the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as tongues, prophecy and healing, ceased being practiced early on in Church history."

Hmmm, I know a few thousand people who practice these things who would disagree with that theology.

Anonymous Bob Ramar March 31, 2012 5:43 PM  

MadFrog: I suggest that you read "Megashift" by Jim Rutz. If you believe in Cessationism, you may find that your view is in error.

Anonymous Bob Ramar March 31, 2012 5:49 PM  

MadFrog: One more thing...the manifestations themselves are not miraculous. You can work miracles by exercising them. They are supernatural, no question about that. Just as Christ did mighty works, so can we and we are expressly commanded to do so. “The works that I do shall ye do also, and greater works than these shall ye do.” If Jesus did not mean what he said when he told his disciples this, then what did he mean? Or was he lying? Pick one.

1 – 200 of 362 Newer› Newest»

Post a Comment

Rules of the blog
Please do not comment as "Anonymous". Comments by "Anonymous" will be spammed.

<< Home

Newer Posts Older Posts