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The Remonstrant
03-21-2014, 04:47 AM
That is the question I am posing.

Given the widespread acceptance of the doctrine of the Trinity among believers as "the" orthodox understanding of who God is (one being comprised of three persons), I would like to see some well-articulated responses to the above inquiry.

(Note: It should be clear that I am personally not seeking to debate the doctrine on this forum. I would ask that any personal attacks or allegations of "unorthodoxy" or "heresy" be withheld from the discussion. Do not introduce red herrings to this thread. I am posing the question directly to trinitarian Christians not tri-theists, unitarians or modalists. If you are not interested in directly addressing the question above, refrain from posting.)

Cow Poke
03-21-2014, 06:15 AM
I think maybe a better question would be must one understand the doctrine of the Trinity in order to be saved.

Either way, I would say, initially, no. I think they need to understand they have sinned, need forgiveness, and only God gives that through acceptance of Christ's sacrifice.

Sparko
03-21-2014, 06:21 AM
I agree with CP. You can be ignorant of the trinity and be saved. You just don't have all the information.

However once someone learns about the doctrine of the trinity I don't think they can be ANTI-Trinitarian and be saved (Like the Jehovah's witnesses) - mainly because they are believing in a different God than what the bible teaches. I could be wrong, but that is my take on it.

Obsidian
03-21-2014, 08:22 AM
No. Evangelists in the Bible would focus on the Trinity if it were required for salvation.

Paprika
03-21-2014, 08:32 AM
I don't think so. In the New Testament, the emphasis is on the claim that "Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah, crucified and raised" rather than"Jesus of Nazareth was in some way equal to God".

However, in the epistle to the Romans, Paul does write that "if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord (κύριον Ἰησοῦν) and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." One can argue that κύριον is to be understood as YHWH here.

37818
03-21-2014, 09:01 AM
The "Trinity" is the name of the explanation of the three persons being that one and the same God as the Father. The Son of God (John 1:1; John 8:24; Hebrews 1:8; 2 John 9). And the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3, 4). What CP explained is correct.

KingsGambit
03-21-2014, 09:02 AM
I think maybe a better question would be must one understand the doctrine of the Trinity in order to be saved.


If so, I think we're all in trouble.

Cow Poke
03-21-2014, 09:03 AM
If so, I think we're all in trouble.

EGGzackly! :smile: (Get it? The Trinity = an egg - yolk, white, shell..... I"M JUST YOLKING, folks!)

The Remonstrant
03-21-2014, 09:22 AM
I think maybe a better question would be must one understand the doctrine of the Trinity in order to be saved.

Either way, I would say, initially, no. I think they need to understand they have sinned, need forgiveness, and only God gives that through acceptance of Christ's sacrifice.

I would agree with you that the priority is for one to recognize his or her need for a savior. Salvation is found in God through faith in Jesus Christ.

The Remonstrant
03-21-2014, 09:24 AM
I think maybe a better question would be must one understand the doctrine of the Trinity in order to be saved.


If so, I think we're all in trouble.

This observation may be more profound than perhaps you intended it to be, KG.

Cow Poke
03-21-2014, 09:26 AM
This observation may be more profound than perhaps you intended it to be, KG.

I think he got it. :smile:

Cow Poke
03-21-2014, 09:27 AM
I would agree with you that the priority is for one to recognize his or her need for a savior. Salvation is found in God through faith in Jesus Christ.

And if we do it right, we don't just "get 'em saved" - we continue to disciple and teach. I have NEVER (to my knowledge) won somebody to the Lord who subsequently said "I just don't buy that Trinity stuff".

The Remonstrant
03-21-2014, 09:28 AM
I think he got it. :smile:

The implications of such a statement may make some within evangelicalism somewhat uncomfortable.

The Remonstrant
03-21-2014, 09:31 AM
And if we do it right, we don't just "get 'em saved" - we continue to disciple and teach. I have NEVER (to my knowledge) won somebody to the Lord who subsequently said "I just don't buy that Trinity stuff".

Were they somewhat resistant to studying doctrine or simply disinterested? There are actually some really well-studied adherents of unitarianism on the internet.

Cow Poke
03-21-2014, 09:31 AM
The implications of such a statement may make some within evangelicalism somewhat uncomfortable.

The implications that we'd all be in trouble if it was required that we understand the Trinity in order to have Salvation? You think there are those who believe that it IS required that we understand Salvation in order to be saved?

Cow Poke
03-21-2014, 09:33 AM
Were they somewhat resistant to studying doctrine or simply disinterested? There are actually some really well-studied adherents of unitarianism on the internet.

Unitarians are not likely to "make disciples" -- especially not likely to "lead someone to Christ".

Epoetker
03-21-2014, 09:36 AM
The Trinity was a compromise drawn up by a standards committee. One is not required to believe in that compromise as the final word on the nature of God, the Trinity was drawn up because the people on the committee noticed that:

The God of Israel,
Jesus Christ,
and the Holy Spirit, recently seen and felt via Pentecost,

could all be safely and morally worshiped by humans who knew of or directly experienced them.

In a way that, say, angels, demons, great men, great musicians, and so on down the line could not. The language is vague because the experience is limited, but the concept is extremely useful when evaluating who exactly someone is claiming to worship when claims of a new supernatural phenomena comes about.

Uncivilized or isolated Christians can get on fine without it, but if you're up for real evangelism, you'll be up against real people with competing claims of reality, and will need ways of evaluating those claims according to the most rigorous experiences of Divine and human reality.

The Remonstrant
03-21-2014, 09:40 AM
The implications that we'd all be in trouble if it was required that we understand the Trinity in order to have Salvation? You think there are those who believe that it IS required that we understand Salvation in order to be saved?

I'm thinking more in terms of how far we are to press trinitarianism as one of the definitive marks or signs of Christian orthodoxy and if one denies it he or she is considered outside God's salvation in some way.

Cow Poke
03-21-2014, 09:44 AM
I'm thinking more in terms of how far we are to press trinitarianism as one of the definitive marks or signs of Christian orthodoxy and if one denies it he or she is considered outside God's salvation in some way.

I guess I don't travel in those circles. :shrug:

The Remonstrant
03-21-2014, 09:46 AM
Unitarians are not likely to "make disciples" -- especially not likely to "lead someone to Christ".

There are many different kinds of unitarians. They are not all of the same stripe. There are Socinian unitarians who deny Jesus' preexistence (such as Anthony Buzzard) and Arian unitarians who deny Jesus' deity but affirm his preexistence (such as David Barron). Jehovah's Witnesses subscribe to a form of Arianism as well. They are extremely zealous in spreading their doctrinal message of the kingdom. (In the case of JWs especially we may argue they proclaim a "false Christ", but the point remains.)

The Remonstrant
03-21-2014, 09:47 AM
I guess I don't travel in those circles. :shrug:

Me neither. I don't feel I can legitimately draw all these lines and say who's "in" and who's "out".

Teallaura
03-21-2014, 10:45 AM
Nothing in Scripture says a legitimate theological error results in the loss of salvation - or prevents salvation. Jesus didn't discuss theology with the thief - it was sufficient that he believed that Jesus was 'coming into His kingdom' (which is incredible, given that Jesus' own disciples had fled and they were both on crosses at the time - that's some kind of faith, if you think about it). So no, understanding the Trinity is clearly not a salvic issue in the foremost sense.

Where it does come into play is the 'working out' thing Paul talks about. When we respond to the awesome grace we've been given and start to lead others to Christ it's incredibly important that we know what we're talking about and that we don't teach falsely. To spread the Good News we have to teach it correctly - otherwise we destroy the very message we're tasked with imparting. So, yes, doctrine, including the Trinity, is important as we 'work out our salvation' but it is not critical to salvation itself.

Teallaura
03-21-2014, 10:47 AM
Me neither. I don't feel I can legitimately draw all these lines and say who's "in" and who's "out".


I can! :smug:






Oh wait, we're not choosing sides for baseball? Never mind then... :outtie:

RBerman
03-21-2014, 10:47 AM
I agree with CP. You can be ignorant of the trinity and be saved. You just don't have all the information. However once someone learns about the doctrine of the trinity I don't think they can be ANTI-Trinitarian and be saved (Like the Jehovah's witnesses) - mainly because they are believing in a different God than what the bible teaches. I could be wrong, but that is my take on it.


I don't think so. In the New Testament, the emphasis is on the claim that "Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah, crucified and raised" rather than"Jesus of Nazareth was in some way equal to God". However, in the epistle to the Romans, Paul does write that "if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord (κύριον Ἰησοῦν) and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." One can argue that κύριον is to be understood as YHWH here.

These are good observations. God alone knows who is saved, and who is not. Since we don't have access to that information, a better question to ask for our creaturely purposes is, "Whom should the Church treat as saved?" Since the finalization of the Nicene Creed in the late fourth century, the Church has enjoyed broad consensus that confession of the Trinity is a necessary condition of a profession of Christian faith. None of us can understand fully what the Trinity (or any other aspect of God) is, but we can understand truly, to the extent that God has revealed these matters in Scripture.

Various non-Trinitarian sects have had their brief day in the sun over the centuries, including the Arians in the days of Nicea. The Socinians of the 16th Century were characterized by Unitarianism, Open Theism, and Annihilationism. On the previous incarnation of this board, I had wondered whether the Remonstrant, having taken on Open Theism and Annihilationism, was headed for Unitarianism as well.

KingsGambit
03-21-2014, 10:56 AM
I'm very reluctant to draw lines in the sand that the Bible itself does not explicitly draw. On the other hand, I'm also reluctant to pre-empt the final judgment of God.

One thing I found interesting was how it apparently took the early church awhile to work out its Christology. According to Roger Olson, the early second-century Shepherd of Hermas (which he says came closer to making it into the Bible than any other book) taught that Jesus was the incarnation of the Holy Spirit, which would of course later be condemned as heresy. If the early church wasn't as dogmatic about it as we are at that point, it at least makes me pause momentarily. But I think I'll stick with pausing, because on the other hand, Jesus is clear that we are held responsible for what we know, and now that the church has fully worked out the doctrine of the Trinity, I don't know what excuse we have now for not holding to it.

Paprika
03-21-2014, 11:20 AM
now that the church has fully worked out the doctrine of the Trinity, I don't know what excuse we have now for not holding to it.
I know you're serious, but I couldn't help an incredulous laugh when I read this.

The Remonstrant
03-21-2014, 11:24 AM
I know you're serious, but I couldn't help an incredulous laugh when I read this.

I'm too cynical to laugh, but I share your distrust, Paprika.

The Remonstrant
03-21-2014, 11:33 AM
Various non-Trinitarian sects have had their brief day in the sun over the centuries, including the Arians in the days of Nicea. The Socinians of the 16th Century were characterized by Unitarianism, Open Theism, and Annihilationism. On the previous incarnation of this board, I had wondered whether the Remonstrant, having taken on Open Theism and Annihilationism, was headed for Unitarianism as well.

To be clear, I am neither an open theist or a unitarian; I am an Arminian and an annihilationist.

(Note: Those who apply the label "open theist" to themselves are usually trinitarian. Gregory A. Boyd, Thomas J. Oord, Clark H. Pinnock and John E. Sanders are a few examples. Socinians are/were unitarians who denied exhaustive divine foreknowledge. Open theists such as Boyd and Sanders are not unitarian. They affirm the Trinity, but deny absolute omniscience. There's a difference. I was tentatively an open theist in the past, but technically still sitting on the fence. Ultimately I was not convinced. I am sympathetic to open theists, however, which should be evident whenever I take up the subject on T-Web at any length.)

RBerman
03-21-2014, 11:47 AM
To be clear, I am neither an open theist or a unitarian; I am an Arminian and an annihilationist.

(Note: Those who apply the label "open theist" to themselves are usually trinitarian. Gregory A. Boyd, Thomas J. Oord, Clark H. Pinnock and John E. Sanders are a few examples. Socinians are/were unitarians who denied exhaustive divine foreknowledge. Open theists such as Boyd and Sanders are not unitarian. They affirm the Trinity, but deny absolute omniscience. There's a difference. I was tentatively an open theist in the past, but technically still sitting on the fence. Ultimately I was not convinced. I am sympathetic to open theists, however, which should be evident whenever I take up the subject on T-Web at any length.)

I stand corrected; I thought you had fully embraced Open Theism already.

The Remonstrant
03-21-2014, 11:55 AM
I stand corrected; I thought you had fully embraced Open Theism already.

No; in 2007 I had tentatively labeled myself an open theist on my T-Web profile page under the category "Soteriology". I was never fully committed, but entertained this line of thought until I found openness explanations for texts such as Romans 8 and Ephesians 1 untenable exegetically.

I have written a few posts on the recent "Open Theism" thread on the Theology 201 forum where my sympathies for the basic theological framework are made evident. Today I find the foreknowledge debate rather insipid and can only seem to handle the discussion in very small doses. I've pretty much moved onward.

http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?725-Open-Theism

37818
03-21-2014, 12:04 PM
God is a Spirit and not a man (John 4:24; Numbers 23:19).
That we must believe somethings correctly about Jesus (John 8:24; 2 John 9).
Jesus is the Son of God, and not the same person as God (John 1:2; John 8:17, 18; Mark 13:32).
Jesus was a sinless man because He was also God (Mark 10:18).
And the bodily resurrected Jesus at the right hand of God is still a man (1 Timothy 2:5).
That Jesus is our sole access to God (John 14:6).

KingsGambit
03-21-2014, 12:06 PM
(Incidentally, "run ahead" in 2 John 9 is generally thought of as a play on words on what the Gnostics believed, right?)

I'll have to check I.H. Marshall's commentary on the epistles to John when I get home; I'm at my parents' house right now.

The Remonstrant
03-21-2014, 12:13 PM
God is a Spirit and not a man (John 4:24; Numbers 23:19).
That we must believe somethings correctly about Jesus (John 8:24; 2 John 9).
Jesus is the Son of God, and not the same person as God (John 1:2; John 8:17, 18; Mark 13:32).
Jesus was a sinless man because He was also God (Mark 10:18).
And the bodily resurrected Jesus at the right hand of God is still a man (1 Timothy 2:5).
That Jesus is our sole access to God (John 14:6).

To say "Jesus is the Son of God, and not the same person as God" does not come across well if one wishes to affirm a trinitarian concept of God. Better, "Jesus is the Son of God, distinct from the Father. The Father and the Son comprise two of the three persons of the God who is one." (A unitarian would despise such a statement of course.)

As for Mark 10:18, this text can be taken a totally different direction than I believe you wish it to go.

37818
03-21-2014, 12:15 PM
(Incidentally, "run ahead" in 2 John 9 is generally thought of as a play on words on what the Gnostics believed, right?)

I'll have to check I.H. Marshall's commentary on the epistles to John when I get home; I'm at my parents' house right now.That translation isn't, it is an interpretation of what that interpreter takes what it means as to not remain in Christ. (see John 15:6).

The Remonstrant
03-21-2014, 12:17 PM
(Incidentally, "run ahead" in 2 John 9 is generally thought of as a play on words on what the Gnostics believed, right?)

I'll have to check I.H. Marshall's commentary on the epistles to John when I get home; I'm at my parents' house right now.


Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. (2 John 9 ESV)

Second John 9 may work toward a binitarian understanding of God's nature, but is of little help in establishing the trinitarian doctrine. I do not know why anyone would use this text for the latter purpose. There is not even the mention of the Holy Spirit in this verse.

KingsGambit
03-21-2014, 12:18 PM
Second John 9 may work toward a binitarian understanding of God's nature, but is of little help in establishing the trinitarian doctrine. I do not know why anyone would use this text for the latter purpose.


He wasn't using it to bolster trinitarianism per se; he was using it to demonstrate the importance of correct doctrine about Christ.

37818
03-21-2014, 12:19 PM
To say "Jesus is the Son of God, and not the same person as God" does not come across well if one wishes to affirm a trinitarian concept of God. Better, "Jesus is the Son of God, distinct from the Father. The Father and the Son comprise two of the three persons of the God who is one." (A unitarian would despise such a statement of course.)They are the same God, not the same persons, though the the Son fully represents His Father (John 14:9).


As for Mark 10:18, this text can be taken a totally different direction than I believe you wish it to go.Jesus makes the point only God is good. And Jesus was truly and fully a man. (Romans 3:10 in mind.)

The Remonstrant
03-21-2014, 12:21 PM
He wasn't using it to bolster trinitarianism per se; he was using it to demonstrate the importance of correct doctrine about Christ.

The "real" debate regarding early Christian, as I see it, would have to be between binitarianism and trinitarianism. Some form of Christian unitarianism seems too difficult—if not impossible—to defend. The early Christians reverenced Jesus too much for him to not have been considered God.

KingsGambit
03-21-2014, 12:23 PM
The "real" debate regarding early Christian, as I see it, would have to be between binitarianism and trinitarianism. Some form of Christian unitarianism seems too difficult—if not impossible—to defend. The early Christians reverenced Jesus too much for him to not have been considered God.

This is one area where I don't know a whole lot about the ECFs; was this a significant debate within the early church? Who were some of the major participants?

Cerebrum123
03-21-2014, 12:24 PM
The "real" debate regarding early Christian, as I see it, would have to be between binitarianism and trinitarianism. Some form of Christian unitarianism seems too difficult—if not impossible—to defend. The early Christians reverenced Jesus too much for him to not have been considered God.

The Tektonics site might have something on binitarianism, let me check. I saw a reference to it in the "Tryouts for the Trinity" video.

The Remonstrant
03-21-2014, 12:27 PM
They are the same God, not the same persons, though the the Son fully represents His Father (John 14:9).

Yes, I did not intend to insinuate anything akin to modalism.


Jesus makes the point only God is good. And Jesus was truly and fully a man. (Romans 3:10 in mind.)

Jesus does not refer to himself as a "God-man" in Mark 10:18. You may deduce this is what Jesus was driving at, but this idea is not made explicit.

The Remonstrant
03-21-2014, 12:33 PM
This is one area where I don't know a whole lot about the ECFs; was this a significant debate within the early church? Who were some of the major participants?

My feet are not wet enough to say much at this point. I have actually made a solicitation for information in the "Unorthodox Theology 201" forum. So far I have only heard crickets. The issue comes down to whether the early church considered the Holy Spirit to be a distinct person. Did they consider God to be "di-une" (the Father and the Son) or "tri-une" (the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit)?

http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?1341-Binitarianism-Solicitation-for-Information

Chrawnus
03-21-2014, 01:29 PM
My feet are not wet enough to say much at this point. I have actually made a solicitation for information in the "Unorthodox Theology 201" forum. So far I have only heard crickets. The issue comes down to whether the early church considered the Holy Spirit to be a distinct person. Did they consider God to be "di-une" (the Father and the Son) or "tri-une" (the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit)?

http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?1341-Binitarianism-Solicitation-for-Information


Given the vast amount of testimony of the personhood of the Spirit in the New Testament I'd say that anyone who denies that the Bible teaches the personhood of the Spirit is either speaking against better judgement, or reads his Bible extremely selectively. In fact, if we're only talking about the number of occurrences where the personhood of the Spirit is implied or a strict requirement for the passage to even make sense, it seems to me that such passages easily outnumbers similar passages about the deity of Jesus, which is also clearly taught in the NT. Doing a quick search for "Spirit" on biblegateway.com and limiting the scope to the New Testament, here's a small list of passages that seem to imply and/or require that the Spirit is a person:

Matt 4:1 / Mark 1:12 / Luke 4:1

Matt 28:19

Mark 13:11 / Luke 12:11-12

Luke 2:25-26

John 14:15-17

John 14:26

John 15:26

John 16:12-14

Acts 1:16

Acts 4:25

Acts 5:3 and 9

Acts 5:32

Acts 7:51

Acts 8:39

Acts 10:19

Acts 11:12

Acts 13:2 and 4

Acts 15:28

Acts 16:6

Acts 20:22-23

Acts 20:28

Acts 21:11

Acts 28:25

Rom 8:14-16

Rom 8:26-27

1 Cor 2:10-13

1 Cor 12:11

Eph 4:30

Philippians 1:19

1 Tim 3:16

1 Tim 4:1

Heb 3:7-8

Heb 9:8

Heb 10:15-16

Heb 10:29

1 Pet 1:11-12

2 Pet 1:21

1 John 4:1-3

Rev 2:7, 11, 17 and 29 - Rev 3:6, 13 and 22

Rev 14:13

Rev 22:17


EDIT - Of course, this would also imply that the teaching that the Holy Spirit was a distinct person from the Father and the Son had been established very early in the history of proto-orthodoxy. In fact, one could (on the presupposition that the Bible is truthful, which I'm quite certain you will agree with me on) argue that since Jesus himself spoke about the Spirit as a person in Joh 14 that this was believed right from the very beginning while Christ was still performing his earthly ministry.

KingsGambit
03-21-2014, 01:33 PM
Given the vast amount of testimony of the personhood of the Spirit in the New Testament I'd say that anyone who denies that the Bible teaches the personhood of the Spirit is either speaking against better judgement, or reads his Bible extremely selectively. In fact, if we're only talking about the number of occurences where the personhood of the Spirit is implied or a strict requirement for the passage to even make sense, it seems to me that such passages easily outnumbers similar passages about the deity of Jesus, which is also clearly taught in the NT. Doing a quick search for "Spirit" on biblegateway.com and limiting the scope to the New Testament, here's a small list of passages that seem to imply and/or require that the Spirit is a person:

Matt 4:1 / Mark 1:12 / Luke 4:1

Matt 28:19

Mark 13:11 / Luke 12:11-12

Luke 2:25-26

John 14:15-17

John 14:26

John 15:26

John 16:12-14

Acts 1:16

Acts 4:25

Acts 5:3 and 9

Acts 5:32

Acts 7:51

Acts 8:39

Acts 10:19

Acts 11:12

Acts 13:2 and 4

Acts 15:28

Acts 16:6

Acts 20:22-23

Acts 20:28

Acts 21:11

Acts 28:25

Rom 8:14-16

Rom 8:26-27

1 Cor 2:10-13

1 Cor 12:11

Eph 4:30

Philippians 1:19

1 Tim 3:16

1 Tim 4:1

Heb 3:7-8

Heb 9:8

Heb 10:15-16

Heb 10:29

1 Pet 1:11-12

2 Pet 1:21

1 John 4:1-3

Rev 2:7, 11, 17 and 29 - Rev 3:6, 13 and 22

Rev 14:13

Rev 22:17

Excellent post. Hebrews 3:7-8 was the first that came to mind for me as well.

The Remonstrant
03-21-2014, 02:02 PM
Chrawnus:

Did the first and second century Christians as a whole understand the Spirit to be a separate or distinct person within the godhead? That is the question.

37818
03-21-2014, 02:05 PM
Yes, I did not intend to insinuate anything akin to modalism.I understood you to be trinitarian in your answer.




Jesus does not refer to himself as a "God-man" in Mark 10:18. You may deduce this is what Jesus was driving at, but this idea is not made explicit.Jesus referred to Himself as another person from the Father representing the Father. Jesus called Him self the son of man. He taught about Himself as the Son of God. The young ruler did not see Him as God. That is why Jesus asked him that question and explained only God is good. Jesus truly being a man. We know He was also God (John 1:1, 14, 18; John 5:18; John 14:9; John 20:28).

The Remonstrant
03-21-2014, 02:06 PM
I will have to touch upon this later. There's more to be said. I believe you (Chrawnus and KingsGambit) are vastly underestimating the position of those who call the Spirit's personhood into question. Of course we may view texts which speak of the Spirit as being quick and easy proof of his distinctness as a a person. So it may seem glaringly "obvious" that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity to us when we read these texts for the simple reason that we are already biased at the outset due to our being raised in trinitarian Christian households and/or attending trinitarian Christian churches throughout our lives.

Chrawnus
03-21-2014, 02:10 PM
Chrawnus:

Did the first and second century Christians as a whole understand the Spirit to be a separate or distinct person within the godhead? That is the question.

As a whole? I don't know. But it seems to me that the proto-orthodox (and I really have a problem calling them proto-orthodox since I believe that it gives the impression of a distinction between orthodox and proto-orthodox that I do not see as existing, given that I believe that the "proto-orthodox" already held to all teachings relevant to orthodoxy even if they didn't have them in a fully developed form yet./end of gripe) stream definitely did. And since I believe the proto-orthodox Christians to be the true followers of Christ during the first and seconds centuries after His birth whatever any heretical groups claiming the name of Christians for themselves believed about the personhood of the Spirit is, quite frankly, of no interest to me whatsoever.

The Remonstrant
03-21-2014, 02:13 PM
As a whole? I don't know. But it seems to me that the proto-orthodox (and I really have a problem calling them proto-orthodox since I believe that it gives the impression of a distinction between orthodox and proto-orthodox that I do not see as existing, given that I believe that the "proto-orthodox" already held to all teachings relevant to orthodoxy even if they didn't have them in a fully developed form yet./end of gripe) stream definitely did. And since I believe the proto-orthodox Christians to be the true followers of Christ during the first and seconds centuries after His birth whatever any heretical groups claiming the name of Christians for themselves believed about the personhood of the Spirit is, quite frankly, of no interest to me whatsoever.

I appreciate you admitting your bias at the outset. I am not nearly as dogmatic as you are, however. I believe there's much more for me to learn and explore.

Paprika
03-21-2014, 02:15 PM
Chrawnus:

Did the first and second century Christians as a whole understand the Spirit to be a separate or distinct person within the godhead? That is the question.
One important aspect that needs to be discussed is 'person'. What does it mean? What kind of ideas did they have about this concept of 'person'? What are necessary and sufficient characteristics of 'persons'?

The Remonstrant
03-21-2014, 02:18 PM
One important aspect that needs to be discussed is 'person'. What does it mean? What kind of ideas did they have about this concept of 'person'?

That's a good question.

One thing I have some concern over is that we do not seem to have clear evidence of the early Christians praying to or worshiping the Holy Spirit. The NT canon doesn't either. This is not an argument for or against anything, but simply an observation.

The Remonstrant
03-21-2014, 02:22 PM
In short, I do not wish to be controlled by dogmatics. I want to be as honest with the evidence as possible. There is much, much to examine, to think, to ponder over. If we're going to learn, we need to retain a degree of openness (so to speak). What if we're wrong? We might not be, but if we're not open to being wrong at a certain point maybe we're not open to learning. Most Christians have never probed this issue in any depth.

Again, I think we find it incredibly easy to just discover teachings in the Bible we always assumed were there. So we have to (or rather should) be honest with our trinitarian bias and not seek to shut down further inquiry by appealing to this or that church council.

Paprika
03-21-2014, 02:22 PM
That's a good question.

One thing I have some concern over is that we do not seem to have clear evidence of the early Christians praying to or worshiping the Holy Spirit. The NT canon doesn't either. This is not an argument for or against anything, but simply an observation.
Defining key terms is very important, else the discussion tends to go nowhere.

Let me sharpen the question: what marks out the Spirit as a person as opposed to a synecdoche of God and God's acting in creation (which occurs in the OT)?

Chrawnus
03-21-2014, 02:24 PM
I will have to touch upon this later. There's more to be said. I believe you (Chrawnus and KingsGambit) are vastly underestimating the position of those who call the Spirit's personhood into question. Of course we may view texts which speak of the Spirit as being quick and easy proof of his distinctness as a a person. So it may seem glaringly "obvious" that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity to us when we read these texts for the simple reason that we are already biased at the outset due to our being raised in trinitarian Christian households and/or attending trinitarian Christian churches throughout our lives.

The accusation of bias is all to readily thrown around in discussions like these. I will readily admit that I have a bias towards trinitarianism, and for mostly the reasons you provide. What I will not admit however, is that this is the main reason (or that it even is a reason) that I read the passages I provided in such a way that they support the personhood of the Spirit. The simple fact of the matter is that these passages taken together make such a strong cumulative case for the personhood of the Spirit that anyone who wants to deny this teaching while being aware of these passages has to engage in some serious feats of mental and exegetical acrobatics.

The Remonstrant
03-21-2014, 02:25 PM
Defining key terms is very important, else the discussion tends to go nowhere.

Let me sharpen the question: what marks out the Spirit as a person as opposed to a synecdoche of God and God's acting in creation (which occurs in the OT)?

Great question.

The Remonstrant
03-21-2014, 02:31 PM
The accusation of bias is all to readily thrown around in discussions like these.

It's more of a reminder or an observation than an "accusation". You have made it quite clear you are far from neutral on this issue. That's okay, but I will need to discuss this with individuals who are not so immovable in their position.

Paprika
03-21-2014, 02:31 PM
Great question.
Let's say we admit that both Father and Son are distinct "persons" (yet to be defined). Now, we may have texts denoting that the Spirit has certain characteristics of a person. Given that the Spirit is the Spirit of the Father (and of the Son), can we be certain that the person-language is not supposed to refer to the Father (or the Son), since the Spirit is (supposedly) one main way through which the Father (and the Son) act and are known?

Chrawnus
03-21-2014, 02:33 PM
I appreciate you admitting your bias at the outset. I am not nearly as dogmatic as you are, however. I believe there's much more for me to learn and explore.

I see no problem with being dogmatic. :shrug:

And it's not so much a question about learning and exploring as it is a question of which of the early groups of people calling themselves Christians that we should trust when it comes to understanding the Scriptures and the teachings of Jesus. And since I believe that the Scriptures that we have in our possession now came into being at the hands of the very first people of the group of Christians that we call "proto-orthodox" the decision is quite easy for me to make.

The Remonstrant
03-21-2014, 02:42 PM
Let's say we admit that both Father and Son are distinct "persons" (yet to be defined). Now, we may have texts denoting that the Spirit has certain characteristics of a person. Given that the Spirit is the Spirit of the Father (and of the Son), can we be certain that the person-language is not supposed to refer to the Father (or the Son), since the Spirit is (supposedly) one main way through which the Father (and the Son) act and are known?

In Matthew 12:28 Jesus speaks of himself casting out demons by the Spirit of God. Couldn't this be God's power and active presence in the world, not a distinct person of the Trinity (at least in this text)? In v.18b, Matthew quotes Isaiah: "I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles" (ESV).

Chrawnus
03-21-2014, 02:47 PM
It's more of a reminder or an observation than an "accusation". You have made it quite clear you are far from neutral on this issue. That's okay, but I will need to discuss this with individuals who are not so immovable in their position.

I believe that there's no one who is neutral on this issue, apart from those who are so far removed from the subject that their input is practically worthless due to lack of knowledge. As for being immovable, what exactly is the problem? Entertaining the thought of shifting from a position that you believe has vast amount of support is not something that will enable anyone to have a more fruitful discussion. In fact, I'd say that it would be quite impractical and time-wasting to do this, and that thoughts like these should be entertained only when enough support for a contrarian position has been mounted that it seems that it could function as a serious contender against the view one is currently holding. And currently, when it comes to the personhood of the Spirit, I know of no teaching with enough biblical support that it could hold it's own against the orthodox teaching.

The Remonstrant
03-21-2014, 02:47 PM
I see no problem with being dogmatic. :shrug:

And it's not so much a question about learning and exploring as it is a question of which of the early groups of people calling themselves Christians that we should trust when it comes to understanding the Scriptures and the teachings of Jesus. And since I believe that the Scriptures that we have in our possession now came into being at the hands of the very first people of the group of Christians that we call "proto-orthodox" the decision is quite easy for me to make.

I was not attempting to drive a wedge between what we may refer today as the New Testament canon and what the early Christians of the first two centuries believed. Of course we have to grapple with the texts of Scripture. My main concern is that we not impose statements and concepts of creeds that came much later onto the NT text as if it is all so exceedingly clear a blind person could see the Holy Spirit must be the third person of the Trinity (if I may be permitted to use an anachronism).

The Remonstrant
03-21-2014, 02:52 PM
I believe that there's no one who is neutral on this issue, apart from those who are so far removed from the subject that their input is practically worthless due to lack of knowledge. As for being immovable, what exactly is the problem? Entertaining the thought of shifting from a position that you believe has vast amount of support is not something that will enable anyone to have a more fruitful discussion. In fact, I'd say that it would be quite impractical and time-wasting to do this, and that thoughts like these should be entertained only when enough support for a contrarian position has been mounted that it seems that it could function as a serious contender against the view one is currently holding. And currently, when it comes to the personhood of the Spirit, I know of no teaching with enough biblical support that it could hold it's own against the orthodox teaching.

I am not insulting you or trying to make you feel bad for being solidified (or even certain) of your views. I am simply saying I will need to discuss the matter with persons who are not so sure. If I only engage persons who are essentially dogmatic on the trinitarian end, what will I have done but reinforced my trinitarian assumptions? What I'm saying is I need a genuine challenge from the other camp. Would I go to James R. White to get a fair hearing on Roman Catholicism? I trust you understand my meaning.

Obsidian
03-21-2014, 02:52 PM
The fact that the Bible describes the Holy Spirit as a "him" (John 15), and as someone who can be "grieved" (Ephesians 4), suggests to me that he is a person. Also, he is described as an advocate with the Father, which distinguishes him from the Father (John 15 and Romans 8).

The Remonstrant
03-21-2014, 02:55 PM
The fact that the Bible describes the Holy Spirit as a "him" (John 15), and as someone who can be "grieved" (Ephesians 4), suggests to me that he is a person. Also, he is described as an advocate with the Father, which distinguishes him from the Father (John 15 and Romans 8).

Are you aware that Daniel Wallace (a trinitarian) wrote an extensive paper a decade back essentially countering the standard trinitarian grammatical defense of the personhood of the Spirit in John's Gospel?

Obsidian
03-21-2014, 02:56 PM
No, but I would always expect such a counter-argument when raising a claim based on a single Greek word. That is why I mentioned the other two points. A non-person would not experience emotions, or argue on our behalf to the Father.

The Remonstrant
03-21-2014, 02:56 PM
Here it is:

Daniel B. Wallace: "Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit" (29pp.)
https://www.ibr-bbr.org/files/bbr/BBR_2003a_05_Wallace_HolySpirit.pdf

The Remonstrant
03-21-2014, 02:57 PM
No, but I would always expect such a counter-argument when raising a claim based on a single Greek word. That is why I mentioned the other two points. A non-person would not experience emotions, or argue on our behalf to the Father.

A case would have to be made for personification then.

If the Spirit is God's presence, it doesn't not make sense to say he can be grieved (to put it awkwardly).

The Remonstrant
03-21-2014, 03:03 PM
It's really amazing to see how many are interested to view this thread.

Hello, lurkers. :smile:

Chrawnus
03-21-2014, 03:05 PM
One important aspect that needs to be discussed is 'person'. What does it mean? What kind of ideas did they have about this concept of 'person'? What are necessary and sufficient characteristics of 'persons'?

Necessary and sufficient reasons for personhood would be, as I see it:

Consciousness

The ability to think thoughts that can be expressed in communicable form (Although I have a hard time imagining "thoughts" that are not expressable in communicable form, so that might be an unecessary specification).

Self-awareness and awareness that there are other beings and things distinct from oneself (the two are pretty much the flipside of each other).

The ability to communicate (I'm not so sure on this one, I do believe it is required for anyone to recognize said entity as a person however).

I think if you possess all these you pretty much qualify as a person. Of course, I doubt early Christians were as concerned with the necessary and sufficient conditions of personhood as they were with describing the Holy Spirit as a being that could lead, communicate, be lied to, be grieved, comfort etc. In short, the Bible describes the Spirit in such a way that even if the writers themselves were not concerned with establishing that the Spirit fulfills all the requirements needed to qualify as a person they, unwittingly or not, provided all the information needed to conclude that the Spirit is indeed a person.

Chrawnus
03-21-2014, 03:15 PM
I was not attempting to drive a wedge between what we may refer today as the New Testament canon and what the early Christians of the first two centuries believed. Of course we have to grapple with the texts of Scripture. My main concern is that we not impose statements and concepts of creeds that came much later onto the NT text as if it is all so exceedingly clear a blind person could see the Holy Spirit must be the third person of the Trinity (if I may be permitted to use an anachronism).

I think I understand your concern. I do not believe however that I have imposed "statements and concepts of creeds that came much later onto the NT text". I believe that any honest inquiry of what the Bible teaches will inevitably lead to the conclusion that it teaches the personhood of the Spirit, and that it teaches it quite clearly, irrespective of whether or not one reads it through the lens of later Christian creeds and Church council decisions.

Cerebrum123
03-21-2014, 03:21 PM
I am not insulting you or trying to make you feel bad for being solidified (or even certain) of your views. I am simply saying I will need to discuss the matter with persons who are not so sure. If I only engage persons who are essentially dogmatic on the trinitarian end, what will I have done but reinforced my trinitarian assumptions? What I'm saying is I need a genuine challenge from the other camp. Would I go to James R. White to get a fair hearing on Roman Catholicism? I trust you understand my meaning.

What if you don't have a genuine challenge from a different camp?

Chrawnus
03-21-2014, 03:21 PM
I am not insulting you or trying to make you feel bad for being solidified (or even certain) of your views. I am simply saying I will need to discuss the matter with persons who are not so sure. If I only engage persons who are essentially dogmatic on the trinitarian end, what will I have done but reinforced my trinitarian assumptions? What I'm saying is I need a genuine challenge from the other camp. Would I go to James R. White to get a fair hearing on Roman Catholicism? I trust you understand my meaning.

Don't worry, I feel neither insulted nor bad about anything you've said in this thread, this is simply the way I express myself.

Now when it comes to you ever getting "a genuine challenge from the other camp" I wouldn't hold my breath. The case for any alternative teaching to the personhood of the Spirit is simply too weak to hold up under serious scrutiny. Of course, I don't expect you to take my word for it, but I wouldn't be surprised if you came to the same conclusion after investigating the issue for yourself.

Chrawnus
03-21-2014, 03:37 PM
Are you aware that Daniel Wallace (a trinitarian) wrote an extensive paper a decade back essentially countering the standard trinitarian grammatical defense of the personhood of the Spirit in John's Gospel?

I just want to clarify that even if there is an overlap between the list I provided of passages that I believe support the personhood of the Spirit and the passages where a masculine pronoun is used to refer to the Spirit (such as John 15:26), my usage of these passages is not due to the usage of masculine pronouns* to describe the Spirit, but due to the fact that they describe the Spirit as acting as a person (in John 15:26 he testifies of Jesus, for example). In short, the passages would stand as support for the teaching, even if the pronoun would be in the neuter gender.

*Given that I have no training in Greek it would be unadvisable of me to even attempt to defend such an argument on my own, the best I could do would be to refer to other people who are better equipped to defend such an argument, or if that's the case, admit that it isn't as strong support for the personhood of the Spirit as it would first seem.

Paprika
03-22-2014, 01:49 AM
Necessary and sufficient reasons for personhood would be, as I see it:

Consciousness

The ability to think thoughts that can be expressed in communicable form (Although I have a hard time imagining "thoughts" that are not expressable in communicable form, so that might be an unecessary specification).

Self-awareness and awareness that there are other beings and things distinct from oneself (the two are pretty much the flipside of each other).

The ability to communicate (I'm not so sure on this one, I do believe it is required for anyone to recognize said entity as a person however).
That's a good working definition. Now, would you care to answer my other questions?

Paprika
03-22-2014, 01:51 AM
(in John 15:26 he testifies of Jesus, for example).

Jesus answered, "I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father's name testify about me
Are Jesus' works then persons? If not, then clearly testifying about Jesus is not a sufficient characteristic of personhood.

Paprika
03-22-2014, 01:55 AM
In short, the Bible describes the Spirit in such a way that even if the writers themselves were not concerned with establishing that the Spirit fulfills all the requirements needed to qualify as a person they, unwittingly or not, provided all the information needed to conclude that the Spirit is indeed a person.



Now when it comes to you ever getting "a genuine challenge from the other camp" I wouldn't hold my breath. The case for any alternative teaching to the personhood of the Spirit is simply too weak to hold up under serious scrutiny. Of course, I don't expect you to take my word for it, but I wouldn't be surprised if you came to the same conclusion after investigating the issue for yourself.
You sound very confident. Would you be willing to defend your stand?

Chrawnus
03-22-2014, 07:57 AM
Are Jesus' works then persons? If not, then clearly testifying about Jesus is not a sufficient characteristic of personhood.

No, it's not sufficient to show that the Spirit is a person, atleast not when standing on it's own. But the biblical case for the personhood of the Spirit is dependent not only on John 15:26, but on all the passages I listed in my first post on this thread. John 15:26 on it's own lends only weak support for the teaching that the Spirit is a person, but since it's part of a cumulative case it doesn't need to be that strong. There are passages that lend stronger support for the view that the Spirit is a person, such as Ephesians 4:30 where Paul warns his readers not to grieve the Holy Spirit (and grieving would require atleast some sort of cognition).

And of course, even if the Bible sometimes uses words in a figurative way, such as the example you gave, doesn't mean that it always does that. :shrug:

Paprika
03-22-2014, 08:03 AM
There are passages that lend stronger support for the view that the Spirit is a person, such as Ephesians 4:30 where Paul warns his readers not to grieve the Holy Spirit (and grieving would require atleast some sort of cognition).
In an earlier post (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?1364-Must-One-Believe-the-Doctrine-of-the-Trinity-in-Order-to-be-Saved&p=33193&viewfull=1#post33193), I asked the following question:

Let's say we admit that both Father and Son are distinct "persons" (yet to be defined). Now, we may have texts denoting that the Spirit has certain characteristics of a person. Given that the Spirit is the Spirit of the Father (and of the Son), how can we be certain that the person-language is not supposed to speak of the Father (or the Son) and thus denotes the Spirit as a separate person, since the Spirit is (supposedly) one main way through which the Father (and the Son) act and are known?

Chrawnus
03-22-2014, 08:05 AM
You sound very confident. Would you be willing to defend your stand?

What stand? That the Bible clearly teaches that the Spirit is a person, or that contrary positions are so weak that they cannot be held as serious contenders to the orthodox view?

Chrawnus
03-22-2014, 08:17 AM
In an earlier post (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?1364-Must-One-Believe-the-Doctrine-of-the-Trinity-in-Order-to-be-Saved&p=33193&viewfull=1#post33193), I asked the following question:

Let's say we admit that both Father and Son are distinct "persons" (yet to be defined). Now, we may have texts denoting that the Spirit has certain characteristics of a person. Given that the Spirit is the Spirit of the Father (and of the Son), how can we be certain that the person-language is not supposed to speak of the Father (or the Son) and thus denotes the Spirit as a separate person, since the Spirit is (supposedly) one main way through which the Father (and the Son) act and are known?

We can't be a 100% certain of course, but the writers of the NT gives us hardly any reason (if at all) to believe that this is the case. Not to mention that it sounds very convoluted,unnecessarily confusing and misleading to write in such a way. If Paul had wanted to write that we should not grieve the Son, or the Father in Eph 4:30, for example, it seems to me that it would have been much easier and less confusing to state that directly, instead of stating it in such an indirect way, while introducing so much confusion on the way (if it were indeed the case that the passages mentioning the personal agency of the Spirit should be read that way). :shrug:

Paprika
03-22-2014, 08:31 AM
We can't be a 100% certain of course, but the writers of the NT gives us hardly any reason (if at all) to believe that this is the case.
Let's settle one point first: that prior to NT times, the Spirit of God was not regarded as a person. That which was spoken of the Spirit would be understood to refer to that of God.


Not to mention that it sounds very convoluted,unnecessarily confusing and misleading to write in such a way.
Are you saying that the some writings of Paul aren't in general difficult, confusing and often people aren't misled by them?

Paprika
03-22-2014, 08:32 AM
What stand? That the Bible clearly teaches that the Spirit is a person, or that contrary positions are so weak that they cannot be held as serious contenders to the orthodox view?
Both.

The Remonstrant
03-22-2014, 12:48 PM
Let's settle one point first: that prior to NT times, the Spirit of God was not regarded as a person. That which was spoken of the Spirit would be understood to refer to that of God. [Emphasis added.]

This is significant. I believe trinitarians often have a difficult time allowing this to sink in. They immediately wish to push for the "progressive revelation" of the New Testament. It may well be that NT authors teach the personhood of the Holy Spirit, but we can't simply assume this at the outset.

The Remonstrant
03-22-2014, 12:51 PM
We can't be a 100% certain of course, but the writers of the NT gives us hardly any reason (if at all) to believe that this is the case. Not to mention that it sounds very convoluted,unnecessarily confusing and misleading to write in such a way. If Paul had wanted to write that we should not grieve the Son, or the Father in Eph 4:30, for example, it seems to me that it would have been much easier and less confusing to state that directly, instead of stating it in such an indirect way, while introducing so much confusion on the way (if it were indeed the case that the passages mentioning the personal agency of the Spirit should be read that way). :shrug:
A lot of the main disputes regarding soteriology revolve around the proper interpretation of the Pauline literature. Would it come as a surprise if this were true of pneumatology as well?

The Remonstrant
03-22-2014, 12:55 PM
What if you don't have a genuine challenge from a different camp?

I will likely have to go outside T-Web in order to get a fair hearing on the non-trinitarian side of the fence.

Chrawnus
03-22-2014, 11:03 PM
Let's settle one point first: that prior to NT times, the Spirit of God was not regarded as a person. That which was spoken of the Spirit would be understood to refer to that of God.

And by God I take it that you mean the Father, given that we trinitarians also believe that what's spoken of the Spirit should be understood to refer to that of God, for obvious reasons. By the way, do you yourself believe in the Trinity or not? I.e are we having this discussion because you do not believe in the Trinity, or simply because you're playing devil's advocate?

As for whether or not the Spirit of God was regarded as a person prior to NT times, I wouldn't make a judgement either way. Nowhere in the OT, as far as I know, is it ever stated that the Spirit is a person (Unless we interpret Isaiah 63:10 in a way that it would that), but silence on this issue does not necessarily mean that the writers believed that the contrary position was true.



Are you saying that the some writings of Paul aren't in general difficult, confusing and often people aren't misled by them?

Difficult and confusing, yes. However, when it comes to being misled by them the fault is entirely on the people reading them, because as Peter says, they're ignorant and unstable:


15 And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. 17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability.

Chrawnus
03-22-2014, 11:07 PM
Both.

I'm not very interested in an extended debate, but I guess that I could discuss whether or not the Bible clearly teaches that the Spirit is a person as long as I don't have to invest myself too much in the discussion. When it comes to the other point however, I'm content to let anyone who's interested to know if I'm right to do the investigation for themselves, and find out that way. :shrug:

Paprika
03-22-2014, 11:25 PM
And by God I take it that you mean the Father, given that we trinitarians also believe that what's spoken of the Spirit should be understood to refer to that of God, for obvious reasons. By the way, do you yourself believe in the Trinity or not? I.e are we having this discussion because you do not believe in the Trinity, or simply because you're playing devil's advocate?
Those are not the only two options. I believe that the Father, the Son, and the Spirit are God yet distinct, but I wouldn't use the standard 'persons', 'essence', 'natures' etc talk to formulate a doctrine of the Trinity.

Why am I having this discussion? I think that many Christians do not treat their Tradition - in this case the Chalcedonian Creed and agreeing thinkers - sufficiently critically, and am trying to promote this following stance : examine the claims of your cherished traditions as critically (if not more) than you would diametrically opposed claims; if some of the commonly-used arguments or prooftexts that support your stance are bad, then use the others.



Difficult and confusing, yes. However, when it comes to being misled by them the fault is entirely on the people reading them, because as Peter says, they're ignorant and unstable:
Well then. Your earlier objection that "it sounds very convoluted,unnecessarily confusing and misleading to write in such a way", and therefore it was unlikely for Paul to have written in such a way appears unfounded.


As for whether or not the Spirit of God was regarded as a person prior to NT times, I wouldn't make a judgement either way. Nowhere in the OT, as far as I know, is it ever stated that the Spirit is a person (Unless we interpret Isaiah 63:10 in a way that it would that), but silence on this issue does not necessarily mean that the writers believed that the contrary position was true.

Indeed. But how then without the context of how the second-Temple and earlier Jews viewed God and his Spirit try to understand how the New Testament writers conceived of God and the Spirit? Now if many Jews did not think that the Spirit was a 'person' while considering Isaiah 63:10, and if Isaiah 63:10 employs 'personal' language to describe the Spirit, one must wonder if 'personal' language describing the Spirit in the New Testament is sufficient for the conclusion that the Spirit is a 'person', distinct from the other 'person(s)' who are God.

Paprika
03-22-2014, 11:28 PM
I'm not very interested in an extended debate, but I guess that I could discuss whether or not the Bible clearly teaches that the Spirit is a person as long as I don't have to invest myself too much in the discussion.
All right then. Shall we have a discussion, where there is no obligation for you to continue if you don't want to or other real-life matters interfere?

Chrawnus
03-23-2014, 12:04 AM
Those are not the only two options. I believe that the Father, the Son, and the Spirit are God yet distinct, but I wouldn't use the standard 'persons', 'essence', 'natures' etc talk to formulate a doctrine of the Trinity.

If we use the working definition I provided a way back I see no reason why we couldn't use the term "person" when speaking of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.



Why am I having this discussion? I think that many Christians do not treat their Tradition - in this case the Chalcedonian Creed and agreeing thinkers - sufficiently critically, and am trying to promote this following stance : examine the claims of your cherished traditions as critically (if not more) than you would diametrically opposed claims; if some of the commonly-used arguments or prooftexts that support your stance are bad, then use the others.

I would agree with this claim.



Well then. Your earlier objection that "it sounds very convoluted,unnecessarily confusing and misleading to write in such a way", and therefore it was unlikely for Paul to have written in such a way appears unfounded.

Not necessarily. My objection that it would be convoluted still stands, as something can still be difficult to understand, even if it's not convoluted. For that objection to lose it's weight, you would have to show that there was a sufficiently reason for Paul to write in such a roundabout and complicated way instead of Paul simply writing that we shouldn't grieve the Father, or the Son, depending on which person was in view in Eph 4:30 (or both persons, if that was what he had in view). Alternatively, you could try to show that there are passages where the Spirit is treated as a person, but where it's clear that the "person-language" should be understood to refer to the Son or the Father, and that all other other passages that speak of the Spirit as a person should be understood in the same way.

When it comes to my second objection that it's unnecessarily confusing, the emphasis should be on the word unnecessarily. I'm not simply saying that Paul writing the way you propose would be simply confusing, but that it would be unnecessarily so.

As for the third objection, that it would be misleading, I still think that one stands without further clarification.



Indeed. But how then without the context of how the second-Temple and earlier Jews viewed God and his Spirit try to understand how the New Testament writers conceived of God and the Spirit? Now if many Jews did not think that the Spirit was a 'person' while considering Isaiah 63:10, and if Isaiah 63:10 employs 'personal' language to describe the Spirit, one must wonder if 'personal' language describing the Spirit in the New Testament is sufficient for the conclusion that the Spirit is a 'person', distinct from the other 'person(s)' who are God.

I think this is the wrong way to go about it. We should not primarily read the 'personal' language describing the Spirit in the NT in light of the OT passages about the Spirit and how the Jews understood those passages, instead we should read the passages about the Spirit in the OT in the light of the 'personal' language about the Spirit in the NT. The NT clarifies the OT, not the other way around. This is not to say that I don't think that studying how second-Temple and earlier Jews viewed their Scriptures isn't immensely helpful when it comes to achieving a deeper understanding of both the NT and the OT, but only that we shouldn't get the relation between the two parts of the Bible wrong.

So yes, I do think that the personal language describing the Spirit is sufficient to establish the personhood of the Spirit. And it's not only the fact that the NT uses personal language to describe the Spirit that should be considered, the large amount of such passages should also be taken into consideration. If a large amount of instances of sufficiently varied types of personal language describing the Spirit isn't sufficient to establish the personhood of the Spirit, then a hypothetical being reading the Bible would be completely justified coming away with the view that those peculiar creatures called humans also need not be considered persons, provided said being had never itself come into contact with a human. Of course, we know that this is not true, since we as humans know that we are persons given that we have the privilege of first person access to our consciousness, but the aforementioned being would not have that luxury.

Chrawnus
03-23-2014, 12:05 AM
All right then. Shall we have a discussion, where there is no obligation for you to continue if you don't want to or other real-life matters interfere?

It seems to me like we're having such a discussion already. :hehe:

apostoli
03-23-2014, 12:16 AM
Given the widespread acceptance of the doctrine of the Trinity among believers as "the" orthodox understanding of who God is (one being comprised of three persons), I would like to see some well-articulated responses to the above inquiry...Remonstrant, you are working from a false premise! Trinitarianism (at least that taught by the Orthodox churches teaches that there are three persons who are one in being (homoousious, consubstantial) - not "who are one being" (person, identity, entity whatever). The English word inappropriately translated as "being" by some older text is ambiguous, it can refer to an individual or a mode of existence. The apostle John quoting Jesus tells us that if you have encountered the Son, you have encountered the Father (Jn 12:45; 14:9). He also tells us that all things the Father has have been given to the Son, and the Spirit takes the same from the Son (Jn 16), thus we have no choice but to conclude the Son is homo-ousious with the Father (ie: the Son has the same worth as the Father - see Luke 15 where the idea of ousia is used).

__________________________

As for your main question: I hold that those who are on the path to salvation are led to the doctrine of the Trinity. as a.Paul declared "Unless you believe that God [the Father] raised Jesus from the dead you will not be saved" and yet the majority of the NT holds the Son as having equivalence to the Father (eg: Jn 1:1c; Jn 17:3) and A.Paul even declares the Son as theotēs ( "having the state of being God" - Col 2:9).

Paprika
03-23-2014, 12:25 AM
I think this is the wrong way to go about it. We should not primarily read the 'personal' language describing the Spirit in the NT in light of the OT passages about the Spirit and how the Jews understood those passages, instead we should read the passages about the Spirit in the OT in the light of the 'personal' language about the Spirit in the NT. The NT clarifies the OT, not the other way around. This is not to say that I don't think that studying how second-Temple and earlier Jews viewed their Scriptures isn't immensely helpful when it comes to achieving a deeper understanding of both the NT and the OT, but only that we shouldn't get the relation between the two parts of the Bible wrong.

We disagree at this important juncture, and I don't think proceeding on other lines will be fruitful if we can't find some common ground here. To read the NT texts one must be aware of the context of much of the language, the assumed knowledge, the underlying narratives and so on. One main source of this is the Old Testament.

You say that "the NT clarifies the OT, not the other way around". This is demonstrably false. Yes, the NT does clarify some part of the OT, especially certain prophecies, but OT is the basis for the claims of the NT- observe how Jesus and the apostles and the gospel writers appeal and allude to many OT texts as foundation and evidence to explain their claims and actions.

apostoli
03-23-2014, 12:45 AM
That Jesus is our sole access to God (John 14:6).If so why did Jesus ask his Father to send another Parakletos (after Jesus ascended back to heaven), and why is it that Jesus said he would personally send this Parakletos. And how is it that A.Paul declares "he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he (the Spirit) maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God".

The Remonstrant
03-24-2014, 08:43 AM
We disagree at this important juncture, and I don't think proceeding on other lines will be fruitful if we can't find some common ground here. To read the NT texts one must be aware of the context of much of the language, the assumed knowledge, the underlying narratives and so on. One main source of this is the Old Testament.

You say that "the NT clarifies the OT, not the other way around". This is demonstrably false. Yes, the NT does clarify some part of the OT, especially certain prophecies, but OT is the basis for the claims of the NT- observe how Jesus and the apostles and the gospel writers appeal and allude to many OT texts as foundation and evidence to explain their claims and actions.

:thumb:

37818
03-24-2014, 09:03 AM
If so why did Jesus ask his Father to send another Parakletos (after Jesus ascended back to heaven), and why is it that Jesus said he would personally send this Parakletos. And how is it that A.Paul declares "he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he (the Spirit) maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God".It is my understanding that the Person of the Holy Spirit is also the Spirit of Christ (Matthew 28:20; Ephesians 1:13; Romans 8:9; 1 John 5:12; 2 Corinthians 13:5).

The Remonstrant
03-24-2014, 09:11 AM
One thing I would like to note is that much of the New Testament (NT) is binitarian in character. There is a constant emphasis on the Father and his relationship to the Son (and vice versa). We see this in the various doxologies, salutations, and valedictions throughout the NT letters. It is typical of the writers to omit any mention of Holy Spirit in the majority of such occasions. While Jesus himself is recorded in the various Gospel accounts as often speaking of his Father who is in heaven, he rarely mentions the Holy Spirit. I don't know what it is exactly we are to make of these observations from a trinitarian mindset. Certainly no hasty conclusions need be drawn, but we should nevertheless carefully take these things into account.

Of course there are a number of texts which may appear trinitarian in nature (especially to those who have grown accustomed to trinitarian theologizing), but the majority of the NT texts relating to the nature of God and his creative-redemptive work focus on God the Father and Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The Father and the Son are clearly distinct persons (as all but modalists will acknowledge), but is this so of the Holy Spirit (the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ) as well? I will simply say that the christology of the NT is much more fleshed out than its pneumatology (so to speak). Insofar as the redemptive work of God is concerned, the NT authors focus primarily on the Father's saving activity through the Son.

Jesus is our Rabbi, our Redeemer, the purification offering/expiation for our sins, our High Priest, our Intercessor, our Savior, our Lord, our King, &c. The work of God in/through Christ has not only soteriological ramifications, but cosmological as well. The Father created the kosmos through the pre-incarnate Word. Jesus is the firstborn of renewed creation. Those who share in Christ share in the beginning of new creation. This includes the progressive moral transformation of believers into conformity with Christ's character until their being raised at the the resurrection of the righteous at the Second Advent. The whole kosmos will eventually be redeemed as a result of the work of Christ.

Most of the earliest debates in the church were christological in nature. It appears as if they gave less thought to who/what the Holy Spirit is and his/its function in the world, but instead focused on Jesus and his relationship to the Father for the salvation of the world (which, incidentally, is in accord with the NT pattern). In any event, I have much more studying to do.

The Remonstrant
03-24-2014, 09:39 AM
One thing I would like to note is that much of the New Testament (NT) is binitarian in character. There is a constant emphasis on the Father and his relationship to the Son (and vice versa). We see this in the various doxologies, salutations, and valedictions throughout the NT letters. It is typical of the writers to omit any mention of Holy Spirit in the majority of such occasions. While Jesus himself is recorded in the various Gospel accounts as often speaking of his Father who is in heaven, he rarely mentions the Holy Spirit. I don't know what it is exactly we are to make of these observations from a trinitarian mindset. Certainly no hasty conclusions need be drawn, but we should nevertheless carefully take these things into account.

Of course there are a number of texts which may appear "trinitarian" in nature (especially to those who have grown accustomed to trinitarian theologizing), but the majority of the NT texts relating to the nature of God and his creative-redemptive work focus on God the Father and Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The Father and the Son are clearly distinct persons (as all but modalists will acknowledge), but is this so of the Holy Spirit (the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ) as well? I will simply say that the christology of the NT is much more fleshed out than its pneumatology (so to speak). Insofar as the redemptive work of God is concerned, the NT authors focus primarily on the Father's saving activity through the Son.

Jesus is our Rabbi, our Redeemer, the purification offering/expiation for our sins, our High Priest, our Intercessor, our Savior, our Lord, our King, &c. This work of God in/through Christ has not only soteriological ramifications, but cosmological as well. The Father created the kosmos through the pre-incarnate Word. Jesus is the firstborn of renewed creation. Those who share in Christ share in the beginning of new creation. This includes the progressive moral transformation of believers into conformity with Christ's character until their being raised at the the resurrection of the righteous at the Second Advent. The whole kosmos will eventually be redeemed as a result of the work of Christ.

Most of the earliest debates in the church were christological in nature. It appears as if they gave less thought to who/what the Holy Spirit is and his/its function in the world, but instead focused on Jesus and his relationship to the Father for the salvation of the world (which, incidentally, is in accord with the NT pattern). In any event, I have much more studying to do.


I trust no one here will legitimately be able to dispute the overall thrust of my observations above.

apostoli
03-24-2014, 10:16 AM
It is my understanding that the Person of the Holy Spirit is also the Spirit of Christ (Matthew 28:20; Ephesians 1:13; Romans 8:9; 1 John 5:12; 2 Corinthians 13:5).I note from Romans 8 that 4 spirits are mentioned, starting with the spirit of the flesh. In my paradigm I perceive the Parakletos as distinct from the Father's and the Son's spirits (active force?). I take refuge (being RCC) in Rev 22:1 where we read " he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb", aka the Holy Spirit proceeds (procedit) from both the Father and the Son (albeit, has its source and cause from the Father alone).

An after thought...

Jesus told his disciples that he would send another Parakletos after he ascended to his Father. The implication is, at the time, Jesus was their Parakletos. Since ascending to the throne of God, Jesus now sits on the judgement seat, and thus is excluded from acting as a Parakletos for anyone, thus we need another...

ps: Parakletos is variously translated in English renditions of the scripture. In years passed I thought it corresponded to a defense attorney (an "advocate" as some translations have it) but my current understanding is that a Parakletos provides a "character reference" for the accused already found guilty of an offense and awaiting sentencing...I'm open to correction, further insight...

pss: To my knowledge, the early Arians did not dispute the personhood of the Holy Spirit, they simply claimed it/he was created by the Son (the progression being the Father created the Son, the Son created everything else including the Spirit). Hence the Eastern Churches' declaration in 381 (the Constantinople creed) that the Spirit proceeds from the Father (alone), and the later Western churches' inclusion of the flioque clause...

apostoli
03-24-2014, 10:33 AM
I trust no one here will legitimately be able to dispute the overall thrust of my observations above.I must admit, Binitarianism is easier to defend than Trinitarianism from scripture, but there is the question of why Jesus said he would ask the Father to send another Parakletos which he himself would also cause to be sent. Was Jesus a figment of men's imagination (a phantasim) or did he have a tangible reality that wasn't readily perceived by men? (John 14) So why not the Parakletos? (the Holy Spirit)

The Remonstrant
03-24-2014, 11:10 AM
I must admit, Binitarianism is easier to defend than Trinitarianism from scripture, . . .

Thank you for at least admitting this much.


. . . but there is the question of why Jesus said he would ask the Father to send another Parakletos which he himself would also cause to be sent. Was Jesus a figment of men's imagination (a phantasim) or did he have a tangible reality that wasn't readily perceived by men? (John 14) So why not the Parakletos? (the Holy Spirit)

I would agree that the texts on the Holy Spirit where Jesus is recorded as having an extended discourse with the Eleven in the latter portion of John's Gospel appear to pose the greatest difficulty for maintaining a strict binitarian-only view (and by implication, unitarianism as well).

(Note: To make myself clear, I am operating under a default trinitarian position. I would not consider abandoning such a view of God's nature lightly. I do find the exploration of the binitarian position worth pursuing, however. While we must leave room for the New Testament authors to inform us of new things, we need to keep in mind that the Hebrew Scriptures do not seem to speak of the Spirit of God as a unique person within a godhead. Paprika has already duly noted this. It would not be wise of us to simply assume every reference we see of the Spirit in the NT must be referring to a person unique to God the Father or even Jesus Christ. The Spirit is referred to as both the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ within the span of one verse in Romans 8:9. In this instance is Paul intending to convey the notion that the pneuma of God/Christ is a unique person distinct from the Father and the Son?)

37818
03-24-2014, 12:00 PM
I note from Romans 8 that 4 spirits are mentioned, starting with the spirit of the flesh. In my paradigm I perceive the Parakletos as distinct from the Father's and the Son's spirits (active force?). I take refuge (being RCC) in Rev 22:1 where we read " he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb", aka the Holy Spirit proceeds (procedit) from both the Father and the Son (albeit, has its source and cause from the Father alone).

An after thought...

Jesus told his disciples that he would send another Parakletos after he ascended to his Father. The implication is, at the time, Jesus was their Parakletos. Since ascending to the throne of God, Jesus now sits on the judgement seat, and thus is excluded from acting as a Parakletos for anyone, thus we need another...

ps: Parakletos is variously translated in English renditions of the scripture. In years passed I thought it corresponded to a defense attorney (an "advocate" as some translations have it) but my current understanding is that a Parakletos provides a "character reference" for the accused already found guilty of an offense and awaiting sentencing...I'm open to correction, further insight...

pss: To my knowledge, the early Arians did not dispute the personhood of the Holy Spirit, they simply claimed it/he was created by the Son (the progression being the Father created the Son, the Son created everything else including the Spirit). Hence the Eastern Churches' declaration in 381 (the Constantinople creed) that the Spirit proceeds from the Father (alone), and the later Western churches' inclusion of the flioque clause...Thank you for your observation (Romans 8). In my personal understanding of the triune Persons of God. I believe God is the "Self Existent." Not divisible. Does not have parts. The Persons of God are that one indivisible "Self Existent" entity. Now, God as a singular Person is the Father. The Son of God, as I understand is both the "Self Existent" with the Father, and not the Father. Or I as would state it, both God and not God. And I hold this to be eternally true. Prior to the incarnation. That the temporal relationship of God the Father and the Son of God always was, has no beginning. That the Son of God, was not begotten and not made to be the only-begotten Son. He always was. The Holy Spirit is what God is. And is the one essence which makes God and the Son of God the one God. And as a separate entity a third Person. They are all the one indivisible "Yahweh" - the "Self Existent." The trinity is an explanation, not a mystery. I'm not debating this. I'm just sharing my understanding.

apostoli
03-24-2014, 12:06 PM
It would not be wise of us to simply assume every reference we see of the Spirit in the NT must be referring to a person unique to God the Father or even Jesus Christ. The Spirit is referred to as both the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ within the span of one verse in Romans 8:9. In this instance is Paul intending to convey the notion that the pneuma of God/Christ is a unique person distinct from the Father and the Son?)To a large part I may agree with you! A.Paul uses the idea "Spirit" in various ways, in my opinion, generally as the communion of the faithful and sparsely in reference to the Holy Spirit.

Romans 8 is, imo, somewhat convoluted, A.Paul speaks of numerous spirits (including the spirit of the flesh) but in 8:9 he speaks in distinction of the Spirit, the Spirit of the Son and the Spirit of the Father, if you have all three you are a candidate for adoption. In my interpretation: if we personally receive the Spirit in its entirety we absorb the spirit of the Son and thus the Father (believe you not that the Father is in the Son and the Son is in the Father (Jn 14; 17). We can easily philosophise these passages, but imo, the crux comes at the end of Rom 8, where the Holy Spirit is depicted as our immediate mediator between ourselves and our judge/s...

apostoli
03-24-2014, 12:24 PM
Thank you for your observation (Romans 8). In my personal understanding of the triune Persons of God. I believe God is the "Self Existent." Not divisible. Does not have parts. The Persons of God are that one indivisible "Self Existent" entity. Now, God as a singular Person is the Father. The Son of God, as I understand is both the "Self Existent" with the Father, and not the Father. Or I as would state it, both God and not God. And I hold this to be eternally true. Prior to the incarnation. That the temporal relationship of God the Father and the Son of God always was, has no beginning. That the Son of God, was not begotten and not made to be the only-begotten Son. He always was. The Holy Spirit is what God is. And is the one essence which makes God and the Son of God the one God. And as a separate entity a third Person. They are all the one indivisible "Yahweh" - the "Self Existent." The trinity is an explanation, not a mystery. I'm not debating this. I'm just sharing my understanding.I acknowledge that you do not wish to debate the subject, and that you are just sharing your understanding. However, I think it necessary to point out that your understanding is at odds with the majority church comprised of numerous denominations eg: RCC, ROC, EOC, OOC, CoE, Lutheran etc etc and every orthodox father of the ancient church that I have encountered...

The first premise of all Christian denominations, based on the biblical witness, is that the Son was begotten before all ages (before anything was created). The only group I know of that denies this is the Christadelphians who deny the prexistence of the Son (ie: Jesus was just a man, especially endowed with the active force of God).

ps: Concerning indivisible: look up mitosis in google - there is no divisibility of substance, merely a replication (cp: Heb 1:3) and yet from the one two or more come into being.

Also think on the unchangability of God. Did God change when he began creation, thus becoming creator? Or was all of creation co-existent with God as some Platonists speculate?

37818
03-24-2014, 02:04 PM
I acknowledge that you do not wish to debate the subject, and that you are just sharing your understanding. However, I think it necessary to point out that your understanding is at odds with the majority church comprised of numerous denominations eg: RCC, ROC, EOC, OOC, CoE, Lutheran etc etc and every orthodox father of the ancient church that I have encountered...I'm not opposed to discussing the differences and the whys.
I believe in One God which has always existed as three Persons. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. That is a trinity of Persons being One God.

The first premise of all Christian denominations, based on the biblical witness, is that the Son was begotten before all ages (before anything was created).There is not any holy scripture which teaches "that the Son was begotten before all ages." What is that biblical witness that you think I'm denying? We can discuss this.



The only group I know of that denies this is the Christadelphians who deny the prexistence of the Son (ie: Jesus was just a man, especially endowed with the active force of God).I did not and do not deny the pre-existence of the Son. Nor do I deny that the Son was and is always God. What I affirmed that is different, I also hold that the Son was also always not God. The latter is the only difference.



ps: Concerning indivisible: look up mitosis in google - there is no divisibility of substance, merely a replication (cp: Heb 1:3) and yet from the one two or more come into being.I do deny replication. But hold they are one substance, the one Self-Existent, one Holy Spirit. And I acknowledge the Holy Spirt as a third Person in this.


Also think on the unchangability of God. Did God change when he began creation, thus becoming creator? Or was all of creation co-existent with God as some Platonists speculate?God did not change. But there was a change on the part of the uncaused Cause, being the Son. Remember He was always both God (unchangeable) and the not God (changeable). What changed was not God, but God's agency, the Son who was always both "with God" and "was God."

What I would like you to do is itemize what you see as different - side by side.

apostoli
03-25-2014, 07:03 AM
What I would like you to do is itemize what you see as different - side by side.I don't know how to render HTML rows & columns in TWEB. So I can't do a side by side comparison. Best I can offer is a sequence of your ascertions and then my observation of their defects.


I'm not opposed to discussing the differences and the whys.An open mind is the gateway to epignosis (full and accurate knowledge).


I believe in One God which has always existed as three Persons.Your use of the word "always" demonstrates you have fallen into the Arian trap - in short you confine God to temporal time, whereas it is taught by the majority Christian church, Jews and Muslims that God is not confined by temporal time, as he persists in eternity. By definition: there is no beginnings or ends in eternity, and thus there is no durations (ie: no time).


The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. That is a trinity of Persons being One God.The apostle Paul three times declares emphatically that to us (Christians) there is one God the Father, and so the Nicene and later creeds declare in the confession of faith that "I (we) believe in one God=the Father".


There is not any holy scripture which teaches "that the Son was begotten before all ages."If so why is it that from the earliest times all the various segments of the church, including the Arians, perceived such as a point of agreement?


What is that biblical witness that you think I'm denying? We can discuss this.Your ascertion that the Son was unbegotten! If so, then he is not Son in any true sense. In anycase you are in direct conflict with A.John's test to determine true believers.


I did not and do not deny the pre-existence of the Son. Nor do I deny that the Son was and is always God. What I affirmed that is different, I also hold that the Son was also always not God. The latter is the only difference.? Are you advocating an innovation on the Mormon possition?


I do deny replication.Then you deny Heb 1:3, which explicitly states that the Son is an exact replica of the Father's hypostasis!!!


But hold they are one substanceObviously you have no idea of what the Greek terms used in scripture convey ie: hypostasis, ousia & physis!!! In the West there has been a lot of confusion as Latin, English etc just don't have the vocabulary to express the terms. For instance: amoungst the latin fathers hypostasis has variously been translated substantia as has ousia, and at other times hypostases has been translated subsistere whereas ousia is translated substantia. The reality is that hypostasis refers to your concrete reality (what makes you, you) whereas ousia is your concrete reality as a member of the collective (a common explaination: what is it that causes you to be included in the category human).


God did not change. But there was a change on the part of the uncaused Cause, being the Son. Remember He was always both God (unchangeable) and the not God (changeable).Interesting. From what scripture or even philosophy can you support such a unique opinion?


What changed was not God, but God's agency, the Son who was always both "with God" and "was God."As any authoritive Greek grammarian will point out to you the last clause of John 1:1 is qualitative, and the translation "the Word was God" is inappropriate. Most grammarians I've encountered cite the NEB's paraphrase "what God was, the Word was" as the best translation. Personally, following the rules of translation I prefer the rendering "and the Word was as God", which accords with the majority witness throughout A.John's Gospel (eg: John 12:45; 14:9).

37818
03-25-2014, 09:06 AM
I don't know how to render HTML rows & columns in TWEB. So I can't do a side by side comparison. Best I can offer is a sequence of your ascertions and then my observation of their defects.

An open mind is the gateway to epignosis (full and accurate knowledge).

Your use of the word "always" demonstrates you have fallen into the Arian trap - in short you confine God to temporal time, whereas it is taught by the majority Christian church, Jews and Muslims that God is not confined by temporal time, as he persists in eternity. By definition: there is no beginnings or ends in eternity, and thus there is no durations (ie: no time).
.There is not point in going further, unless you get my view right. This does not mean you must fully agree with it. But you just misrepresented it! God - the Self Existent is eternal. Without beginning, without end, timeless. The terms, Father, Son are temporal terms. The the Son of God was always God - even as, in my understanding also always not God. The only difference between my view and the so-called standard orthodox view, is I hold the Son of God always had two natures prior to Him taking on the human nature in the incarnation. Post incarnation, my view should be understood to be identical to the orthodox view of the dual nature of Jesus Christ, now an immortal man as our mediator at the right hand of God (the Father).

After we straighten this out, we can deal with the other points.

KingsGambit
03-25-2014, 09:08 AM
I would like to briefly interject to contest the point that 37818 has fallen into Arianism by stating that the Trinity has always existed; if one holds that God created time and exists outside of it, that would still not preclude God from always existing within time. Indeed, that would be the only consistent approach.

apostoli
03-25-2014, 09:39 AM
I would like to briefly interject to contest the point that 37818 has fallen into Arianism by stating that the Trinity has always existed; if one holds that God created time and exists outside of it, that would still not preclude God from always existing within time. Indeed, that would be the only consistent approach.In my experience, it is always beneficial to read the early church (orthodox) fathers to get a balanced view. To wit, in Athanasuis' discourses against the Arians (either the 3rd or 4th or possibly both) he proposed (paraphrased) that the Son existed eternally in potentiality (this answers the question of whether God changed in becoming Father or for that matter creator). The Arians disagreed, contending that the Son was created ex nihilo within time (or as you put it, God existing within time).

Imu, the Orthodox view is though God (from our perspective) operates within time, he (being omnipotent and thus omnipresent & omniscient) is not constrained by time, and therefore does not have his persistence within time. Which is the only consistent approach, and one supported by all the major Abrahamic religions (especially Orthodox Christianity)!!!

apostoli
03-25-2014, 10:37 AM
I would like to briefly interject to contest the point that 37818 has fallen into Arianism by stating that the Trinity has always existed...ps:

37818 advocates through his opinion of three unbegotten beings, tri-theism and a very pagan flavour at that...Basically, 37818 visits (probably unbeknown to him) a huge number of heresies that were rejected by the early church in its formation. For a start, if the Son is unbegotten, then the only way he can be Son is by adoption, thus he is not truely Son - which is a blatent contradiction of scripture...

The Arians conceived that the Son was created by the Father as perfect God, and the Spirit was created by the Son - another form of tri-theism, which unlike 37818's opinion is not based exclusively on pagan myth...

Orthodoxy teaches a tri-unity (Trinity) where the Father alone is unbegotten, the Son being true son is begotten and the Spirit proceeds from the Father and is received by us through the Son...each person functioning in perfect accord...

Obsidian
03-25-2014, 10:50 AM
The only difference between my view and the so-called standard orthodox view, is I hold the Son of God always had two natures prior to Him taking on the human nature in the incarnation.

Why would you say this? Not only does it not make any sense, but there is no Bible verse to support it.

37818
03-25-2014, 11:55 AM
ps:

37818 advocates through his opinion of three unbegotten beings, tri-theism . . .Three Persons who are One God is NOT tritheism!

37818
03-25-2014, 11:58 AM
Why would you say this? Not only does it not make any sense, but there is no Bible verse to support it.

John 1:1, 2, ". . . with God . . . the same was in the beginning with God." The one in the presence facing God is not the one being faced/being with. In other words the one with/facing God is not said to be God. Yet, "was God" v.1. Was both.

apostoli
03-25-2014, 12:22 PM
Three Persons who are One God is NOT tritheism!If you have three unbegotten persons you advocate tri-theism. If you hold that there are three faces (prosopon=persons) which reveal the one God (hypostasis=the concrete reality of a singularity), you have Sabellianism. Both varieties of heresy were considered and rejected by the very early church. The alternative is the Tri-unity: one unbegotten entity (the Father as the only true God), the Son begotten by the Father within eternity, begotten not made as true son and therefore ontologically true God from the true God, homoousious, and the Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father within eternity and is received by us in time...

Take your pick...

37818
03-25-2014, 02:00 PM
If you have three unbegotten persons you advocate tri-theism. If you hold that there are three faces (prosopon=persons) which reveal the one God (hypostasis=the concrete reality of a singularity), you have Sabellianism. Both varieties of heresy were considered and rejected by the very early church. The alternative is the Tri-unity: one unbegotten entity (the Father as the only true God), the Son begotten by the Father within eternity, begotten not made as true son and therefore ontologically true God from the true God, homoousious, and the Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father within eternity and is received by us in time...

Take your pick...

I beleive God not you. ". . . saith the LORD, . . . that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me." -- Isaiah 43:10.

God is not a begotten being. Begotten beings as begotten beings are never God.

What is begotten has a beginning. So arguing "not made" does not change that. The phrase "only begotten" refers to relationship, does not need to refer to origin. Which you and Arius suppose.

No where does the word of God teach that the Son of God was begotten in order to be the only begotten.

Obsidian
03-25-2014, 05:45 PM
The one in the presence facing God is not the one being faced/being with. In other words the one with/facing God is not said to be God. Yet, "was God" v.1. Was both.

I don't see how that amounts to two natures. When people talk about "nature," they usually are referring to humanity versus divinity.

37818
03-25-2014, 06:47 PM
I don't see how that amounts to two natures. When people talk about "nature," they usually are referring to humanity versus divinity.
God's nature, among other points, is unchangable
being eternal. A change is a temporal nature. Those are two different natures. A cause of creation required a change. The incarnation was a change. Acts are change. Both were acts of the Son of God who always has had both an eternal and a temporal nature.

Obsidian
03-25-2014, 06:54 PM
God's nature, amoug other points, is unchangable
being eternal.

No where does the Bible say that God is unchangeable, in the sense you are using it. No where does the Bible say that God the Father lacks a temporal nature. Furthermore, your subdivision of different characteristics of Jesus into different "natures" is misleading and confusing.

KingsGambit
03-25-2014, 07:15 PM
Yes, the Incarnation is a good analogy for why we can refer to God existing within our current temporal framework. Incarnation is not the "usual" state of Jesus but that does not prevent us from accurately stating that Jesus did become flesh (within our temporal framework, even). Even when we grant that God exists outside this framework we can still affirm that at least phenomenologically, we can affirm God's existence within it even if God simultaneously exists outside of it.

Paprika
03-25-2014, 09:18 PM
Yes, the Incarnation is a good analogy for why we can refer to God existing within our current temporal framework. Incarnation is not the "usual" state of Jesus but that does not prevent us from accurately stating that Jesus did become flesh (within our temporal framework, even).
Given, of course, that Jesus was raised bodily, it doesn't make sense to say that being incarnated is not His "usual" state. Before He incarnated, sure, but afterwards He has never stopped being a man.

Chrawnus
03-25-2014, 10:15 PM
We disagree at this important juncture, and I don't think proceeding on other lines will be fruitful if we can't find some common ground here. To read the NT texts one must be aware of the context of much of the language, the assumed knowledge, the underlying narratives and so on. One main source of this is the Old Testament.

All true of course, but I don't see how this clashes with what I said about the NT clarifying the OT.



You say that "the NT clarifies the OT, not the other way around". This is demonstrably false. Yes, the NT does clarify some part of the OT, especially certain prophecies, but OT is the basis for the claims of the NT- observe how Jesus and the apostles and the gospel writers appeal and allude to many OT texts as foundation and evidence to explain their claims and actions.

Unless you're using the term "basis" in a way that's unknown to me I don't see how that fact in anyway is an argument against the view that the NT clarifies the OT.

Of course, saying that the NT clarifies the OT might have been too hasty of me. So your comment that the NT clarifies parts of the OT instead of the whole OT is probably more correct. But I suspect that we disagree about the number of passages in the OT that gets a clarification in the NT. :shrug:

Lastly, you write "OT is the basis for the claims of the NT- observe how Jesus and the apostles and the gospel writers appeal and allude to many OT texts as foundation and evidence to explain their claims and actions."

If my contention that the NT clarifies the OT is correct we should be able to get a deeper understanding of the OT texts that's being alluded in the NT text by having the NT passages that refer to these OT text in mind while reading them (I really need to work on my phrasing :hehe:).

Paprika
03-25-2014, 11:05 PM
All true of course, but I don't see how this clashes with what I said about the NT clarifying the OT.

You said that "The NT clarifies the OT, not the other way around." I'm taking issue with the latter half, and not the former.

Chrawnus
03-26-2014, 01:11 AM
You said that "The NT clarifies the OT, not the other way around." I'm taking issue with the latter half, and not the former.

If that's the case I don't think we're much in disagreement at all. I just worded my statement poorly (I seem to do that a lot). I didn't mean to imply that the OT never, or even just rarely clarifies the NT, only that it more often than not goes the other way.

apostoli
03-26-2014, 01:31 AM
I beleive God not you. ". . . saith the LORD, . . . that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me." -- Isaiah 43:10.

God is not a begotten being. Begotten beings as begotten beings are never God.

What is begotten has a beginning. So arguing "not made" does not change that. The phrase "only begotten" refers to relationship, does not need to refer to origin. Which you and Arius suppose.

No where does the word of God teach that the Son of God was begotten in order to be the only begotten.If you were inclined to read scripture in its entirety you'd discover that the idea "god" is an accolade not an identity statement. The idea is applied also to men and angels, anyone who has the power over your life and/or death. Also, should you read scripture in its entirety you'll discover that the idea "God" is never used by the Israelites without qualification eg: my God, our God, the God of Israel etc

"...before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me." The Arians definitely perceived the Son as having been formed, Trinitarianism does not, given that Trinitarianism holds to the biblical witness that the Son was begotten, born of the Father before all ages and incarnated via Mary (see: Nicene Creed advocated by all the orthodox churches). The issue in Isaiah is the gods of the nations were formed, molded, crafted wheras the God of Israel (what the Jewish Aramaic Targums describe as the Memra of YHWH = the Word of God (see Jn 1:1) was not...albeit he as scripture describes is/was distinct to the YHWH in heaven who in Genesis is described as raining down fire and brimstone...

"What is begotten has a beginning". Not if he was begotten in eternity. By definition: there are no beginnings or ends in eternity, thus no durations. The Arians proposed that the Son was created (but not as all other things were created) external to eternity (ie: within time). The Orthodox churches hold the Son was caused within eternity, thus external to time...

"No where does the word of God teach that the Son of God was begotten". Actually there are numerous texts in the NT, starting with "In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him". Now the "only begotten Son of God" would need to have existed for him to be sent. Wouldn't he?

Paprika
03-26-2014, 04:10 AM
If that's the case I don't think we're much in disagreement at all. I just worded my statement poorly (I seem to do that a lot). I didn't mean to imply that the OT never, or even just rarely clarifies the NT
All right then.


only that it more often than not goes the other way
But the burden is on you to show that, and that this quantitative difference must be significant to the hermeneutic used. This is needed to sustain your earlier claim that "We should not primarily read the 'personal' language describing the Spirit in the NT in light of the OT passages about the Spirit and how the Jews understood those passages, instead we should read the passages about the Spirit in the OT in the light of the 'personal' language about the Spirit in the NT."

37818
03-26-2014, 09:03 AM
If you were inclined to read scripture in its entirety you'd discover that the idea "god" is an accolade not an identity statement. The idea is applied also to men and angels, anyone who has the power over your life and/or death. Also, should you read scripture in its entirety you'll discover that the idea "God" is never used by the Israelites without qualification eg: my God, our God, the God of Israel etc

"...before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me." The Arians definitely perceived the Son as having been formed, Trinitarianism does not, given that Trinitarianism holds to the biblical witness that the Son was begotten, born of the Father before all ages and incarnated via Mary (see: Nicene Creed advocated by all the orthodox churches). The issue in Isaiah is the gods of the nations were formed, molded, crafted wheras the God of Israel (what the Jewish Aramaic Targums describe as the Memra of YHWH = the Word of God (see Jn 1:1) was not...albeit he as scripture describes is/was distinct to the YHWH in heaven who in Genesis is described as raining down fire and brimstone...

"What is begotten has a beginning". Not if he was begotten in eternity. By definition: there are no beginnings or ends in eternity, thus no durations. The Arians proposed that the Son was created (but not as all other things were created) external to eternity (ie: within time). The Orthodox churches hold the Son was caused within eternity, thus external to time...

"No where does the word of God teach that the Son of God was begotten". Actually there are numerous texts in the NT, starting with "In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him". Now the "only begotten Son of God" would need to have existed for him to be sent. Wouldn't he?

I hold that God is one. And that there are three Persons who are that God.

I am not a tri-theist. Tri-theists deny that there is only one God.

Arianism denies the true and full deity of the man Jesus Christ. I do not.

Modalist such as Sabellianis and Oneness Pentecostals deny that the three Persons who are God are Persons. I do not. I affirm, that God the Father, the Son of God and the Holy Spirit are three Persons, and as God are co-equal and co-eternal, being they are the one and the same God.

Now where you have a problem where I differ in with your understanding this we can discuss. But stop trying to make me out to believe things I DO NOT.

The Remonstrant
03-26-2014, 10:05 AM
If you have three unbegotten persons you advocate tri-theism. If you hold that there are three faces (prosopon=persons) which reveal the one God (hypostasis=the concrete reality of a singularity), you have Sabellianism. Both varieties of heresy were considered and rejected by the very early church. The alternative is the Tri-unity: one unbegotten entity (the Father as the only true God), the Son begotten by the Father within eternity, begotten not made as true son and therefore ontologically true God from the true God, homoousious, and the Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father within eternity and is received by us in time...

Take your pick...

Excellent observations, apostoli. You seem to be in essential agreement with Arminius, actually. I plan to scrounge up a quote of his where he addressed this issue.

37818
03-26-2014, 12:16 PM
If you were inclined to read scripture in its entirety you'd discover that the idea "god" is an accolade not an identity statement. The idea is applied also to men and angels, anyone who has the power over your life and/or death. Also, should you read scripture in its entirety you'll discover that the idea "God" is never used by the Israelites without qualification eg: my God, our God, the God of Israel etc.Yes. And the God of Israel has a real identity. The true God is not just an abstract belief.




"...before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me." The Arians definitely perceived the Son as having been formed, Trinitarianism does not, given that Trinitarianism holds to the biblical witness that the Son was begotten, born of the Father before all ages and incarnated via Mary (see: Nicene Creed advocated by all the orthodox churches). The issue in Isaiah is the gods of the nations were formed, molded, crafted wheras the God of Israel (what the Jewish Aramaic Targums describe as the Memra of YHWH = the Word of God (see Jn 1:1) was not...albeit he as scripture describes is/was distinct to the YHWH in heaven who in Genesis is described as raining down fire and brimstone...You are making statements, ". . . the biblical witness that the Son was begotten, born of the Father before all ages . . . ." which as a teaching does not exist in the Bible. But there are trinitarians who deny eternal Sonship, as not being biblical, such as Dr. Walter Martian, in his book, "The Kingdom of the Cults." It was after I studied his arguments that I concluded from holy scripture that eternal Sonship of the Son of God is true.



"What is begotten has a beginning". Not if he was begotten in eternity. By definition: there are no beginnings or ends in eternity, thus no durations. The Arians proposed that the Son was created (but not as all other things were created) external to eternity (ie: within time). The Orthodox churches hold the Son was caused within eternity, thus external to time... I hold that the only-begotten Son of God was always the only-begotten Son of God. Has no beginning. Was neither begotten nor made to become the only-begotten. The Son of God is the uncaused Cause, as God our Creator.



"No where does the word of God teach that the Son of God was begotten". Actually there are numerous texts in the NT, starting with "In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him". Now the "only begotten Son of God" would need to have existed for him to be sent. Wouldn't he?Numerous texts refer to the Son of God as the only-begotten. But there are no texts which teach that the Son of God has any kind of origin,such as becoming the Son by being begotten. You think you have such a text. Cite it. And let us find out how and why our understandings differ on it.

Chrawnus
03-26-2014, 01:13 PM
But the burden is on you to show that, and that this quantitative difference must be significant to the hermeneutic used. This is needed to sustain your earlier claim that "We should not primarily read the 'personal' language describing the Spirit in the NT in light of the OT passages about the Spirit and how the Jews understood those passages, instead we should read the passages about the Spirit in the OT in the light of the 'personal' language about the Spirit in the NT."

I do not believe I have to show that the NT clarifies the OT more often than the OT clarifies the NT to argue that we should let the passages in the NT describing the Spirit in a personal way influence our reading of the OT passages about the Spirit rather than the other way around, atleast when it comes to the personhood of the Spirit. All I believe I have to do is point out that the OT doesn't say much on the issue (other than Isaiah 63:10 if you're inclined to interpret it in a literal way) and that it subsequently would be a mistake to make a judgement on what the NT passages about the personhood of the Spirit mean by referring to OT passages. However, in the NT the Spirit leads people, has a name (shared with the Father and the Son: Matt 28:19) speaks, comforts, teaches, reveals things to people, bears witness about Christ, glorifies Christ, was witness to the exaltation of Christ as the Leader and Saviour (Acts 5:32), forbids/prevents (Acts 16:6), appoints leaders in the Church (Acts 20:28), has a mind (Rom 8:26-27), apportions His gifts according to His will (1 Cor 12:10-11), can be outraged (Heb 10:29), can be grieved, can be lied to, can be resisted etc. In other words, the NT is practically overflowing with personal language about the Spirit, while the OT has sparsely anything to say about the matter, except for one possible exception (and that one possible exception lends support to the view that the Spirit is a person), which means that it would be completely backwards to interpret the personal language in the NT in light of what the OT says about the matter, given that the OT hardly says anything about the matter at all (that I can see).

In other words, while I would have the burden to support the general statement that the NT clarifies the OT more than the other way around if that was what we were discussing right now, I don't have to show that to be a fact in order to argue that in least this case the proper way to approach things is to let the NT shed light on the OT, I only have to point out that it's not possible for the OT to clarify the issue, given that there are no relevant passages that could shed light on the issue (except for the aforementioned exception). Which means that the only remaining option is to let the NT clarify the OT.

Paprika
03-26-2014, 09:08 PM
. All I believe I have to do is point out that the OT doesn't say much on the issue (other than Isaiah 63:10 if you're inclined to interpret it in a literal way)
Excuse me? It's all right to intepret the personal language in the NT in a 'literal' way and not the Isaianic quote? :doh:



and that it subsequently would be a mistake to make a judgement on what the NT passages about the personhood of the Spirit mean by referring to OT passages.
That of course assumes that the NT passages in question cannot be quotations or allusions to parts of the OT.


In other words, the NT is practically overflowing with personal language about the Spirit, while the OT has sparsely anything to say about the matter, except for one possible exception (and that one possible exception lends support to the view that the Spirit is a person), which means that it would be completely backwards to interpret the personal language in the NT in light of what the OT says about the matter, given that the OT hardly says anything about the matter at all (that I can see).
No. NT texts are Jewish texts, and much be understood as such. Why the OT is important is because the OT was one main source for Jewish understanding. Is Isaiah 63:10 to be understood as making a statement about a personal statement about the Spirit, making it a distinct person? If yes, why didn't the Jews understand it as such, as far as we can tell? If no, why then should we interpret the 'personhood' extracts about the Spirit in the NT in a different way?



In other words, while I would have the burden to support the general statement that the NT clarifies the OT more than the other way around if that was what we were discussing right now, I don't have to show that to be a fact in order to argue that in least this case the proper way to approach things is to let the NT shed light on the OT, I only have to point out that it's not possible for the OT to clarify the issue, given that there are no relevant passages that could shed light on the issue (except for the aforementioned exception). Which means that the only remaining option is to let the NT clarify the OT.
Sure, handwaving it away is an option :ahem:

Chrawnus
03-27-2014, 03:48 AM
Excuse me? It's all right to intepret the personal language in the NT in a 'literal' way and not the Isaianic quote? :doh:

I never said anything of the sort. As far as I know interpreting 63:10 in a literal way could very well be the correct interpretation. But one reason I can think of that one might use would be that Isaiah is prophetic literature which is full of imagery and symbolism, while many of the passages are simply straightforward narrative and epistolary writings, writings that lend themselves more easily to a literal reading than what prophetic literature does. :shrug:



That of course assumes that the NT passages in question cannot be quotations or allusions to parts of the OT.

You're free to demonstrate that any of the NT passages that uses personal language to describe the Spirit is a quotation or allusion to the OT if you want to. I believe you'll have the most luck with the passages that speak of the Spirit talking through the prophets, or Ephesians 4:30, which when reading it in English atleast, reminds me of Isaiah 63:10. :shrug:



No. NT texts are Jewish texts, and much be understood as such. Why the OT is important is because the OT was one main source for Jewish understanding. Is Isaiah 63:10 to be understood as making a statement about a personal statement about the Spirit, making it a distinct person? If yes, why didn't the Jews understand it as such, as far as we can tell? If no, why then should we interpret the 'personhood' extracts about the Spirit in the NT in a different way?

Let me suggest that if the OT was as full of personal statements about the Spirit as the NT was, relative to it's length, the ancient Jewish interpretation of these passages would be wholly different. But one other possible explanation I could think of if that's not a good enough explanation, is that given the strongly monotheistic language of the OT (And that's not to suggest that the language in the NT isn't monotheistic), interpreting Isaiah 63:10 in a literal way would have been a bit too risky for Jewish sensibilities. The Targum on Isaiah, by Jonathan ben Uzziel is interesting for example, given how it replaces "the Holy Spirit" with "the word of His holy spirit", and excises the word "grieved" altogether.

Targum Isaiah on Google Books (http://books.google.fi/books?id=_boCAAAAQAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=chaldee+paraphrase+Isaiah&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false) (Go to page 213 for the relevant passage)



Sure, handwaving it away is an option :ahem:

I don't see any handwaving. You're making the claim that I have to support the general and far reaching statement that the NT clarifies the OT more than the other way around in order for my specific claim that the NT clarifies the OT on the matter of the personhood of the Spirit to be valid. But you've yourself acknowledged that the NT clarifies the OT in atleast some instances, which means that you've left the door open for me to try and argue for my specific claim about how we should view the relationship between the NT and the OT when it comes to the question of the personhood of the Spirit without having to engage in the herculean task of trying to support the far weightier claim that the NT in general clarifies the OT. And I believe I've argued that sufficiently now, by showing that the OT is pretty much silent on the issue (You can't clarify something if you don't speak about the issue) while the authors of the NT, compared to the OT atleast, do not seem to be able to stop speaking about the Spirit in a personal way. I've also given two explanations as to why the Jews did not understand the Spirit to be a person, the first being that they never thought it an issue in the first place, given how the OT is almost silent on the question, and a second alternative possibility being that their strong monotheistic sensibilities, fashioned by the strongly monotheistic language of the OT prevented them from reading passages like Isaiah 63:10 in a straightforward fashion. So far I'm leaning more towards the second explanation.

apostoli
03-27-2014, 09:26 AM
I hold that God is one. And that there are three Persons who are that God...Modalist such as Sabellianis and Oneness Pentecostals deny that the three Persons who are God are Persons. I do not. I affirm, that God the Father, the Son of God and the Holy Spirit are three Persons, and as God are co-equal and co-eternal, being they are the one and the same God.
So, I take it in your hostle argument, that you in fact advocate the Sabellian viewpoint (rejected by the church in the 3rd century) = that there is one individual that is "God" who manifests himself as three persons - much like an ancient actor on a stage who changes masks to depict whatever character the script requires - after all that is what the Greek word "prosopon" which directly translates as "person" means=the actors mask!

Hypostasis, which is a biblical term is, in English, generally translated as substance and in modern times is often inappropriately translated "person" (given English has no comparable term, apart from the Latin Substantia = substance). Thus we read at Hebrews 1:3 (in the Greek), that the Son is an exact replica of his Father's hypostasis. I understand you reject such biblical testimony, I just wonder why. Could it be because your various opinions have no support from scripture? Which your current arguments portray...


I am not a tri-theist. Tri-theists deny that there is only one God.Not neccessarily. For instance, amoungst the Indian religions, there are those that worship a multitude of gods, but hold there is the one God Brahman/Brahma who rules over all...


Arianism denies the true and full deity of the man Jesus Christ. I do not.Arius, in writing, declared that the Son was perfect God. So your ascertian simply demonstrates your total ignorance not only of scripture but also of historical fact...


Now where you have a problem where I differ in with your understanding this we can discuss. But stop trying to make me out to believe things I DO NOT.I've made no attack upon you. Possibly you simply are plagued by a guilty conscious which is trying to get through to you that you have no social, church within the conservative (and majority) faction or biblical support for your weird and wonderful personal conclusions.

ps: I note with some aggrevation that at no time have you addressed any of the points I have raised in my posts. Instead you rant away with irrelevancies attempting distraction. Try to be at the least credible in your replies to me. At the moment you are just making yourself out to be a fool, deceived by his own billiance - despite your ignorance of scripture, history or theology.

With that scolding I assume you will skulk away or chuck a juvenile temper tantrum. Remember, I am not your judge, Jesus in his testimony indicates we each judge ourselves, although others will observe what we say and do and come to their own conclusions (lots of those here at TWEB).

The Remonstrant
03-27-2014, 09:35 AM
apostoli:

Is 37818 maintaining that the Son and Holy Spirit are autotheos (i.e., self-existent) along with the Father?

Paprika
03-27-2014, 09:41 AM
But one reason I can think of that one might use would be that Isaiah is prophetic literature which is full of imagery and symbolism, while many of the passages are simply straightforward narrative and epistolary writings, writings that lend themselves more easily to a literal reading than what prophetic literature does. :shrug:
Because Paul, for example, doesn't use imagery and symbolism :ahem:


You're free to demonstrate that any of the NT passages that uses personal language to describe the Spirit is a quotation or allusion to the OT if you want to. I believe you'll have the most luck with the passages that speak of the Spirit talking through the prophets, or Ephesians 4:30, which when reading it in English atleast, reminds me of Isaiah 63:10. :shrug:
To make your stance, you need to rule it out at many points. :shrug:


and a second alternative possibility being that their strong monotheistic sensibilities, fashioned by the strongly monotheistic language of the OT prevented them from reading passages like Isaiah 63:10 in a straightforward fashion. So far I'm leaning more towards the second explanation.

All right. We aren't going to get anywhere if we don't agree on this, so I'll assume with this for the sake of argument, and hopefully we can proceed.

apostoli
03-27-2014, 09:47 AM
apostoli:

Is 37818 maintaining that the Son and Holy Spirit are autotheos (i.e., self-existent) along with the Father?From what I gather, definitely!

Calvin tried that on at some stage but was resoundingly refuted. Albeit, Calvin attempted to do a Basil and redefine the term as personal possession rather than "God of himself" which is the most direct translation. Given the Son is begotten and the Spirit proceeds, both having their theotēs (state of being God) sourced and caused by the Father, they are obviously not autotheos (God of themselves). However, that their theotēs is a self possession would seem evident.

Chrawnus
03-27-2014, 09:57 AM
Because Paul, for example, doesn't use imagery and symbolism :ahem:

And where have I denied that he does? My point was simply that the types of literature that the gospels and the epistles are generally meant to be read in a more literal fashion than the prophetic literature of the OT, not that they are completely void of imagery and symbolism.



To make your stance, you need to rule it out at many points. :shrug:

Right. Do you have any actual examples that we can discuss?



All right. We aren't going to get anywhere if we don't agree on this, so I'll assume with this for the sake of argument, and hopefully we can proceed.

Sounds good. I'll be going to work soon however, so my reply will have to wait.

Paprika
03-27-2014, 10:04 AM
Right. Do you have any actual examples that we can discuss?
Let's start with the Ephesians example that you brought up. Would you consider it an allusion or quotation of Isaiah?

The Remonstrant
03-27-2014, 11:53 AM
apostoli:

Is 37818 maintaining that the Son and Holy Spirit are autotheos (i.e., self-existent) along with the Father?


From what I gather, definitely!

Calvin tried that on at some stage but was resoundingly refuted. Albeit, Calvin attempted to do a Basil and redefine the term as personal possession rather than "God of himself" which is the most direct translation. Given the Son is begotten and the Spirit proceeds, both having their theotēs (state of being God) sourced and caused by the Father, they are obviously not autotheos (God of themselves). However, that their theotēs is a self possession would seem evident.

This link may be of special interest to you (I hope you enjoy):

"Autotheos: Arminius on the Son's Divinity"
http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?1444-Autotheos-Arminius-on-the-Son-s-Divinity

37818
03-27-2014, 02:05 PM
So, I take it in your hostle argument, that you in fact advocate the Sabellian viewpoint . . .You evidently cannot read. You do not hear. You do not listen. Sabellian denies the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are three Persons. I do not deny the trinity, that the Father, the Son of God and the Holy Spirit are three Persons.
I affirm that there is only one God, the Father. I affirm that the three Persons, the Father, the Son of God and the Holy Spirit are the one and the same God. I reject modalism, I reject Arianism, I reject tri-theism. It is you who is being hostle here (Romans 2:1).

37818
03-27-2014, 02:10 PM
apostoli:

Is 37818 maintaining that the Son and Holy Spirit are autotheos (i.e., self-existent) along with the Father?

You can state it that way. The Father, Son of God and the Holy Spirit are the One Yahweh - Self-Existent.

The Remonstrant
03-27-2014, 04:33 PM
You can state it that way. The Father, Son of God and the Holy Spirit are the One Yahweh - Self-Existent.

Okay; thank you for answering my concern. The one thing I can say is that your opinion is definitely not in accord with the early church's position.

37818
03-27-2014, 07:19 PM
Okay; thank you for answering my concern. The one thing I can say is that your opinion is definitely not in accord with the early church's position.Well, how would you characterize the differences? Pick what you would see as a key point of difference. Thanks.

An added note; The temporal relationship, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. There is subordination, Son of God, of God, from the Father. But this temporal relationship has no beginning. So as God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are co-equal and co-eternal.

"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: . . ." God does not have parts. Yet, the three Persons are that one God. And all appearances of God were none other than the Son of God (John 1:18; Isaiah 6:5; John 12:41 for example).

The heresies, tritheism, modalism, and Arianism are all do to some denial of the truth. tritheism denies that there is only one God. Modalism denies that the three are separate Persons who are the one God. Arianism denies that the Logos is the uncreated Creator. I deny none of those things. apostol, it seems wants to pin all those denials on my view. apostol, it seem wants to accuse.

apostoli
03-28-2014, 01:18 AM
This link may be of special interest to you (I hope you enjoy):

"Autotheos: Arminius on the Son's Divinity"
http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?1444-Autotheos-Arminius-on-the-Son-s-DivinityThankyou for the link. It appears Arminius most eloquently expounded what I have been attempting to communicate. I recommend 37818 or anyone that might share his stupidities read it!

My studies barely reach the 6th century and so I must admit my studies of "modern" theologians has been limited, and so, Arminius has until now, not been on my radar...but given time, that may change...would you supply me with some recommended readings?

apostoli
03-28-2014, 01:34 AM
You evidently cannot read. You do not hear. You do not listen. Sabellian denies the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are three Persons.Sabellius insisted that the Father, Son and Spirit were three persons (prosopon=actors mask)! So it is obvious you cannot read what I plainly wrote!

Simply put, drawing on your ramblings and loose language you do present an alternative. However, if you have three individuals who are self existent and self contained then you have three Gods. The best you can argue with your aberant views is that these three independent Gods made a compact and formulated a corporate entity that you identify as the One God. Could be! But you would be denying the existence of a personal God (ie: the Father) which is the very basis of Christian thought ie: God the Father sent his only begotten Son for our salvation. God the Father raised Jesus from the dead etc etc



I do not deny the trinity, that the Father, the Son of God and the Holy Spirit are three Persons.
I affirm that there is only one God, the Father.So you have changed your tune. It is not what you said in your previous posts. Actually the opposite!!!


I affirm that the three Persons, the Father, the Son of God and the Holy Spirit are the one and the same God. I reject modalism, I reject Arianism, I reject tri-theism. It is you who is being hostile here (Romans 2:1).I have have no hostility towards you, I simply consider you a victim of self deception, and have made the effort to point out the defects in your proposals (which apparently you ignored). I make particular note that you have never once addressed any of the theological issues effecting your fantasies, but instead just prattle on with irrelevancies about what you do or do not believe. I have no care for your personal opinion, especially when you directly state your rejection of the direct and unambiguous testimony of scripture...

apostoli
03-28-2014, 01:58 AM
You can state it that way. The Father, Son of God and the Holy Spirit are the One Yahweh - Self-Existent.Given the tetragrammaton (YHWH) does not translate to "self existing" you have again evidenced ignorance...

To quote the famous medieval Jewish scholar, Moses Maimonides, in his Guide for the perplexed (preserved by the Christian church) discussing the tetragrammaton ...

"For all men, with few exceptions, were ignorant of the existence of God; their highest thoughts did not extend beyond the heavenly sphere, its forms or its influences. They could not yet emancipate themselves from sensation, and had not yet attained to any intellectual perfection. Then God taught Moses how to teach them, and how to establish amongst them the belief in the existence of Himself, namely, by saying Ehyeh asher Ehyeh, a name derived from the verb hayah in the sense of "existing," for the verb hayah denotes "to be," and in Hebrew no difference is made between the verbs "to be" and "to exist." The principal point in this phrase is that the same word which denotes "existence," is repeated as an attribute. The word asher, "that," corresponds to the Arabic illadi and illati, and is an incomplete noun that must be completed by another noun; it may be considered as the subject of the predicate which follows. The first noun which is to be described is ehyeh; the second, by which the first is described, is likewise ehyeh, the identical word, as if to show that the object which is to be described and the attribute by which it is described are in this case necessarily identical. This is, therefore, the expression of the idea that God exists, but not in the ordinary sense of the term; or, in other words, He is "the existing Being which is the existing Being," that is to say, the Being whose existence is absolute. The proof which he was to give consisted in demonstrating that there is a Being of absolute existence, that has never been and never will be without existence..."
http://www.sacred-texts.com/jud/gfp/gfp073.htm

Of course, Maimonides is referring to the use of the tetragrammaton at Ex 3:14, but note vs 15 "And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations." So it is obvious that the idea "self existing one" is erroneous given the message to the Israelites concerns the "ever existing one" - he that was the God of their fathers...

apostoli
03-28-2014, 11:17 AM
ps to 37818...

You really should read your own posts to see how ridiculous and self contradictory they are. Take your latest post to me (#139) where you state "I affirm that there is only one God, the Father. I affirm that the three Persons, the Father, the Son of God and the Holy Spirit are the one and the same God. " Now what you have inadvertently confessed is you believe the Father, Son and Spirit are in fact just manifestations of the Father, whom you affirmed as "there is only one God, the Father". What you propose is pure Sabellianism, no ifs or buts...

The Remonstrant
03-28-2014, 11:39 AM
ps to 37818...

You really should read your own posts to see how ridiculous and self contradictory they are. Take your latest post to me (#139) where you state "I affirm that there is only one God, the Father. I affirm that the three Persons, the Father, the Son of God and the Holy Spirit are the one and the same God. " Now what you have inadvertently confessed is you believe the Father, Son and Spirit are in fact just manifestations of the Father, whom you affirmed as "there is only one God, the Father". What you propose is pure Sabellianism, no ifs or buts...

This appears to me what 37818 is driving at without even realizing it.

37818
03-28-2014, 01:59 PM
ps to 37818...

You really should read your own posts to see how ridiculous and self contradictory they are. Take your latest post to me (#139) where you state "I affirm that there is only one God, the Father. I affirm that the three Persons, the Father, the Son of God and the Holy Spirit are the one and the same God. " Now what you have inadvertently confessed is you believe the Father, Son and Spirit are in fact just manifestations of the Father, whom you affirmed as "there is only one God, the Father". What you propose is pure Sabellianism, no ifs or buts...Well I believe it is fair to say you do not understand my view. Did Sabellian hold the view that the Son was not the Father and the Father was not the Son? They are not the same Persons (John 8:16-18).

Please read this about Van Til, he to is a Trinitarian accused of Sabelianism, http://veritasdomain.wordpress.com/2013/07/06/van-tillian-trinitarian-theology-its-orthodox-status-and-application-to-the-one-and-the-many/

I am not a follower of Van Til. Thought I find some similarities in beliefs. You see I am not a Calvinist, though some of my beliefs are similar.

37818
03-28-2014, 02:03 PM
Given the tetragrammaton (YHWH) does not translate to "self existing" you have again evidenced ignorance...

To quote the famous medieval Jewish scholar, Moses Maimonides, in his Guide for the perplexed (preserved by the Christian church) discussing the tetragrammaton ...

"For all men, with few exceptions, were ignorant of the existence of God; their highest thoughts did not extend beyond the heavenly sphere, its forms or its influences. They could not yet emancipate themselves from sensation, and had not yet attained to any intellectual perfection. Then God taught Moses how to teach them, and how to establish amongst them the belief in the existence of Himself, namely, by saying Ehyeh asher Ehyeh, a name derived from the verb hayah in the sense of "existing," for the verb hayah denotes "to be," and in Hebrew no difference is made between the verbs "to be" and "to exist." The principal point in this phrase is that the same word which denotes "existence," is repeated as an attribute. The word asher, "that," corresponds to the Arabic illadi and illati, and is an incomplete noun that must be completed by another noun; it may be considered as the subject of the predicate which follows. The first noun which is to be described is ehyeh; the second, by which the first is described, is likewise ehyeh, the identical word, as if to show that the object which is to be described and the attribute by which it is described are in this case necessarily identical. This is, therefore, the expression of the idea that God exists, but not in the ordinary sense of the term; or, in other words, He is "the existing Being which is the existing Being," that is to say, the Being whose existence is absolute. The proof which he was to give consisted in demonstrating that there is a Being of absolute existence, that has never been and never will be without existence..."
http://www.sacred-texts.com/jud/gfp/gfp073.htm

Of course, Maimonides is referring to the use of the tetragrammaton at Ex 3:14, but note vs 15 "And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations." So it is obvious that the idea "self existing one" is erroneous given the message to the Israelites concerns the "ever existing one" - he that was the God of their fathers...

"Ever existing one" is indeed correct. And God's Name is also translated "Who is," "He is" and "The Eternal." See Strong's Hebrew dictionary number 3068 for "Self Existent."

apostoli
03-29-2014, 05:34 AM
"Ever existing one" is indeed correct. And God's Name is also translated "Who is," "He is" and "The Eternal." See Strong's Hebrew dictionary number 3068 for "Self Existent."Pointedly at no time does Strong's Hebrew dictionary number 3068 provide the definition "Self Existent". It does mention "self-contained".

At the foot of the online version are cross links to Strong's Exhaustive Concordance. One of these has "Jehovah, the Lord...From hayah; (the) self-Existent or Eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God -- Jehovah, the Lord. Compare Yahh, Yhovih." This link wording concerning the idea "self-existant" has no correlation to any of Strong's definitions. If fact: clink on the link and you are thrown to No. 1961 which discusses "hayah". Again there is no reference to "self-existence".

http://biblehub.com/hebrew/3068.htm
http://biblehub.com/hebrew/1961.htm

Also see the BlueLetterBible's cite of Strong's Lexicon and Gesenius' Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon. Again there is no mention that the word and/or phrase has any connotation of self-existing.
http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H1961&t=KJV

I came across an article that you might find educational. Whilst discussing the translation of Ex 3:14 in the Septuagint, and Aquila, Theodotion & Jerome's respective translations the author remarks...

"the debate over the interpretation of Exodus 3:14 came to a focus on just one question. Does the word ehyeh as it occurs in this verse refer to God in the sense of His absolute and eternal existence [the Septuagint & Jerome], or does it refer to Him in relation to His actions in space and time and so to temporal existence [Aquila & Theodotion] ? In one guise or another, this is the question that has dominated interpretations of the verse down to the present day."
http://www.exodus-314.com/part-i/exodus-314-in-early-translations.html

Enjoy!!!

37818
03-29-2014, 08:55 AM
Pointedly at no time does Strong's Hebrew dictionary number 3068 provide the definition "Self Existent". It does mention "self-contained".

At the foot of the online version are cross links to Strong's Exhaustive Concordance. One of these has "Jehovah, the Lord...From hayah; (the) self-Existent or Eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God -- Jehovah, the Lord. Compare Yahh, Yhovih." This link wording concerning the idea "self-existant" has no correlation to any of Strong's definitions. If fact: clink on the link and you are thrown to No. 1961 which discusses "hayah". Again there is no reference to "self-existence".

http://biblehub.com/hebrew/3068.htm
From that page:

Jehovah, the Lord

From hayah; (the) self-Existent or Eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God -- Jehovah, the Lord.

also: http://www.sacrednamebible.com/kjvstrongs/STRHEB30.htm
and: http://studybible.info/strongs/H3068

apostoli
03-29-2014, 12:21 PM
Well I believe it is fair to say you do not understand my view.That is a fair point. The main reason I don't understand it, is it has no scriptural support. Secondarily, it has had no support for approximately 1800 years.


Did Sabellian hold the view that the Son was not the Father and the Father was not the Son? They are not the same Persons (John 8:16-18).For me, your suggestion is a bit grey. Eunomius the 4th century extreme Arian, complained in his apology that Sabellius was not ostracised by the western church for his opinions but he (Eunomius) and his fellows were being unfailrly victimised. As far as I can tell Sabellius did attribute distinction between the Father, Son and Spirit but not in an emphatic sense. In my understanding, while he acknowledged each as a distinct revelation to mankind (prosopon=person=actors mask), he denied they were distinct hypostases. This is important: if the Father, Son and Spirit are not distinct hypostases then all mankind has experienced are phantasms.


Please read this about Van Til, he to is a Trinitarian accused of Sabelianism, http://veritasdomain.wordpress.com/2013/07/06/van-tillian-trinitarian-theology-its-orthodox-status-and-application-to-the-one-and-the-many/Thankyou for the reference. Believe it or not I am not an ogre, or a fanatic. I simply am aware of what JWs, Christadelphians, Muslims and other Unitarians will do with the errors you constantly provide...

Please don't feed the sharks....

apostoli
03-29-2014, 12:34 PM
From that page:

Jehovah, the Lord

From hayah; (the) self-Existent or Eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God -- Jehovah, the Lord.

also: http://www.sacrednamebible.com/kjvstrongs/STRHEB30.htm
and: http://studybible.info/strongs/H3068Thanks for the links. However, they do not correlate to the literal rendings of Strong that I provided earlier. In fact what you have provided are simply links to links of Strong. And if you do a close examination you will notice that at no time does Strong mention that the word could mean "self-existent".

Pay attention to detail, that way you won't set a trap and find yourself caught in it ;-)

37818
03-29-2014, 01:50 PM
Thanks for the links. However, they do not correlate to the literal rendings of Strong that I provided earlier. In fact what you have provided are simply links to links of Strong. And if you do a close examination you will notice that at no time does Strong mention that the word could mean "self-existent".

Pay attention to detail, that way you won't set a trap and find yourself caught in it ;-)

I have three hard copies and one electronic copy - They all read "the self Existent or eternal; . . ." And furthermore there is self existent existence which needs no God. So unless that is the very identity of God, there is none.

apostoli
03-29-2014, 11:24 PM
I have three hard copies and one electronic copy - They all read "the self Existent or eternal; . . ." And furthermore there is self existent existence which needs no God. So unless that is the very identity of God, there is none.Bully for you! Apparently you have never read your three copies (one would be sufficient if it is original). Now, here is a challenge: give me the exact quote from Strong where he gives the meaning "self-existent" to the Hebrew word "hayah". I've read both Strong and Gesenius lexicons word for word and have not detected them ever insinuating that it can be contrived that the word intimates "self-existence". Apart from that fact, there is the Jewish paradigm that even Moses appears to share, that is their experience of God is in time and space, not some metaphysical dribble (which has originated in very modern times).

As I remarked in an earlier post, Ex 3:15 gives us the context of YHWH's declaration: He is the same God that the Israelites' fathers worshiped, the God of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob. That of itself is a major guidance to the meaning of the name. And remember, it is a name YHWH bestowed upon himself and not some metaphysical statement. In ancient times, names weren't labels they had meaning...

37818
03-31-2014, 11:55 AM
Bully for you! Apparently you have never read your three copies (one would be sufficient if it is original). Now, here is a challenge: give me the exact quote from Strong where he gives the meaning "self-existent" to the Hebrew word "hayah". I've read both Strong and Gesenius lexicons word for word and have not detected them ever insinuating that it can be contrived that the word intimates "self-existence". Apart from that fact, there is the Jewish paradigm that even Moses appears to share, that is their experience of God is in time and space, not some metaphysical dribble (which has originated in very modern times).

As I remarked in an earlier post, Ex 3:15 gives us the context of YHWH's declaration: He is the same God that the Israelites' fathers worshiped, the God of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob. That of itself is a major guidance to the meaning of the name. And remember, it is a name YHWH bestowed upon himself and not some metaphysical statement. In ancient times, names weren't labels they had meaning...

The Strong's dictionary number 3068 has the definition "self-Existent." The Strong's number 1961 "hayah" has "exist." "A primitive root (compare 1933); to exist, that is, be or become, come to pass (always emphatic, and not a mere copula or auxiliary)"

apostoli
04-01-2014, 04:10 AM
The Strong's dictionary number 3068 has the definition "self-Existent." The Strong's number 1961 "hayah" has "exist." "A primitive root (compare 1933); to exist, that is, be or become, come to pass (always emphatic, and not a mere copula or auxiliary)"
The Strong's dictionary number 3068 does not have the definition "self-Existent." What you are citing is merely an index entry that has no association with any of Strong's definitions!!!

I asked for Strong's exact words where he gives the meaning "self-existent" to the Hebrew word "hayah", not some index reference from his publisher or librarian. The fact you cannot provide them (which if they exist, should have taken less than a half hour to find) proves they do not exist and you are fabricating your argument. Additionally, you have not addressed the Jewish paradigm nor Ex 3:15 which gives us the context of YHWH's declaration: He is the same God that the Israelites' fathers worshiped, the God of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob. That of itself is a major guidance to the meaning of the name. And remember, it is a name YHWH bestowed upon himself and not some metaphysical statement. In ancient times, names weren't labels they had meaning...

Quite frankly, you at this moment have no credibility...

37818
04-01-2014, 12:18 PM
The Strong's dictionary number 3068 does not have the definition "self-Existent." What you are citing is merely an index entry that has no association with any of Strong's definitions!!!

I asked for Strong's exact words where he gives the meaning "self-existent" to the Hebrew word "hayah", not some index reference from his publisher or librarian. The fact you cannot provide them (which if they exist, should have taken less than a half hour to find) proves they do not exist and you are fabricating your argument. Additionally, you have not addressed the Jewish paradigm nor Ex 3:15 which gives us the context of YHWH's declaration: He is the same God that the Israelites' fathers worshiped, the God of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob. That of itself is a major guidance to the meaning of the name. And remember, it is a name YHWH bestowed upon himself and not some metaphysical statement. In ancient times, names weren't labels they had meaning...

Quite frankly, you at this moment have no credibility...The word "hayah" is the Strong's Hebrew dictionary is number 1961. YHWH is Strong's Hebrew dictionary 3068.. I have used this tool, Strong's Hebrew and Greek dictionary over 40+ years. I know what I am talking about. You just think you do.

37818
04-01-2014, 01:58 PM
And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this [is] my name for ever, and this [is] my memorial unto all generations. The Hebrew translated "I AM" is the Strong's number 1961 in the first person, "I AM," to say, "I EXIST." And "the LORD," YHVH, is that same word in the third person, translated, it has the meaning the one "WHO IS." Which is the Strong's number 3068, which is given the definition, "the self-Existent or eternal, . . ."

There is that which is self-existent. It needs no God. So if you insist that is not God. Well then there is none.

apostoli
04-02-2014, 07:18 AM
The word "hayah" is the Strong's Hebrew dictionary is number 1961. YHWH is Strong's Hebrew dictionary 3068.. I have used this tool, Strong's Hebrew and Greek dictionary over 40+ years. I know what I am talking about. You just think you do.It is so sad that you don't have a clue!!! Neither Strong's Hebrew dictionary 3068. nor 1961 give the meaning "self existent"!!!!

It is a meaningless term! I am self existent, you are self existent, the majority of every living thing is self existent (given enough food, water & warmth). But none of us is ever-existing, except in terms of the promise...

My studies also extend over forty years, it is a pity that you have wasted a significant period of your life on unsupportable and heretical twabble...

apostoli
04-02-2014, 07:30 AM
And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this [is] my name for ever, and this [is] my memorial unto all generations. The Hebrew translated "I AM" is the Strong's number 1961 in the first person, "I AM," to say, "I EXIST." And "the LORD," YHVH, is that same word in the third person, translated, it has the meaning the one "WHO IS." Which is the Strong's number 3068, which is given the definition, "the self-Existent or eternal, . . ."

There is that which is self-existent. It needs no God. So if you insist that is not God. Well then there is none.Strong at no time applies the definition "self existent"! That is just a fantasy of your own! The Septuagint (Greek) translates "ehyeh asher ehyeh" of Exodus 3:14a as "ego eimi ho on" = "I am the being" (or I am he who exists). There is no insinuation of he that exists is self existent (for instance he may be the product of some precursor eg: a Son). As I mentioned in a previous post "self-existent" is a nonsensical term, as it can be applied to anyone or any living thing, but you can't do that with the term "ever existing".

For some reason, unbeknown to me, you are intent in defying nearly two thousand years of Christianity, by denying the true Sonship of our Lord and master...

37818
04-02-2014, 08:55 AM
Strong at no time applies the definition "self existent"! That is just a fantasy of your own! The Septuagint (Greek) translates "ehyeh asher ehyeh" of Exodus 3:14a as "ego eimi ho on" = "I am the being" (or I am he who exists). There is no insinuation of he that exists is self existent (for instance he may be the product of some precursor eg: a Son). As I mentioned in a previous post "self-existent" is a nonsensical term, as it can be applied to anyone or any living thing, but you can't do that with the term "ever existing".

For some reason, unbeknown to me, you are intent in defying nearly two thousand years of Christianity, by denying the true Sonship of our Lord and master...Quote me! Quote the holy scripture that you think I have denied. Then make what ever comments you think. I repeat 1) Quote me verbatim. 2) Cite the Bible refer verbatim. And then your explanation.

I affirm the true eternal Sonship of our Lord Jesus Christ. He was not beootten nor made in order to become the only-begotten Son of God.

apostoli
04-02-2014, 09:51 AM
Quote me! Quote the holy scripture that you think I have denied. Then make what ever comments you think. I repeat 1) Quote me verbatim. 2) Cite the Bible refer verbatim. And then your explanation.

I affirm the true eterna Sonship of our Lord Jesus Christ. He was not begotten nor made in order to become the only-begotten Son of God.Again you have affirmed your heresy!!!! If the Son was not begotten he is not truely the Father's Son. A heresy disregarded in the first century!!!! You make the Son, "son" by name only, and promote adoptionism - a very gnostic and pagan argument!!!!

In your posts, so far you have advocated ideas more familiar to Sabellianism, Arianism, Tritheism and every other "ism" known to the Christian experience of the heretical opinions of free thinkers. The pity is that as yet you have not advocated anything that reflects nearly two thousand years of Christian thinking!!!

37818
04-02-2014, 12:20 PM
Again you have affirmed your heresy!!!! If the Son was not begotten he is not truely the Father's Son. A heresy disregarded in the first century!!!! You make the Son, "son" by name only, and promote adoptionism - a very gnostic and pagan argument!!!!

In your posts, so far you have advocated ideas more familiar to Sabellianism, Arianism, Tritheism and every other "ism" known to the Christian experience of the heretical opinions of free thinkers. The pity is that as yet you have not advocated anything that reflects nearly two thousand years of Christian thinking!!!True or false, to be begotten is to have a beginning. Dr Walter Martin, held that the second Person of the Godhead was begotten to become the only-begotten Son of God. He affirms the trinity and denies eternal Sonship. Now you accuse me of things which are not true. I do affirm the true eternal Sonship of the Son of God. I deny Sabellianism. You failed to quote me. And you failed cite the holy scripture you think I am in denial of. You only cited your interpretation of the facts. That is not discussing, that is accusing. I'm trying to be patient here. Pick one point of issue. And we need to deal with one point at a time. 1) What I said. 2) What does the word of God say? 3) Your view. 4) How are our two views the same? 5) How are they different?


. . . so far you have advocated ideas more familiar to Sabellianism, Arianism, Tritheism and every other "ism" . . .

My view is based on the word of God. I do not deny, the distinct Persons of the Godhead, I do not deny the two natures of Christ in the incarnation. I do not deny that there is only One God who is the One Yahweh.

37818
04-02-2014, 01:58 PM
Again you have affirmed your heresy!!!! If the Son was not begotten he is not truely the Father's Son. . . .Where in the word of God does it say the Son of God was begotten in order to be the Father's Son? That which is begotten has a beginning, which is a denial of the true eternal Sonship. That which is eternal has no beginning.

apostoli
04-03-2014, 05:47 AM
I do affirm the true eternal Sonship of the Son of God.Can't see how, given you deny the Son is truely son, and his sonship is merely a metaphor to describe not a Trinity but a subordinate/subservient role = son by adoption and in name only!!!!


I deny Sabellianism.Yet, in your posts, I and others have found you advocating it!!!


And you failed cite the holy scripture you think I am in denial ofI've quoted scripture numerous times and you have ignored the citations. Did, or did not God send his only begotten Son to be the saviour of the world?. Also, how is it that no man has ever seen God, yet Abraham sat, conversed and dined with YHWH (Gen 18. Also compare John 8:40)?


You only cited your interpretation of the facts. That is not discussing, that is accusing. I'm trying to be patient here. Pick one point of issue. And we need to deal with one point at a time. 1) What I said. 2) What does the word of God say? 3) Your view. 4) How are our two views the same? 5) How are they different?Fair enough. Lets start with your rejection of the true sonship of the Son of God. I recognise you adhere to an adoptionist position. If you now have decided to reject adoptionism, then you have to agree with all the Bible based Christian churches that currently populate the earth, that the Son was begotten.


My view is based on the word of God. I do not deny, the distinct Persons of the Godhead, I do not deny the two natures of Christ in the incarnation. I do not deny that there is only One God who is the One Yahweh.But you do deny that the Son is true son, given you deny his begetal by the Father. All the Orthodox and conservative churches accept this fact, something like two billion Christian adherents that have adhered to a belief that has been handed down from the apostles for a millennium or so.

So the odds are, your pagan perspective is not simply aberrant but wrong!!!

37818
04-03-2014, 12:11 PM
Can't see how, given you deny the Son is truely son, and his sonship is merely a metaphor to describe not a Trinity but a subordinate/subservient role = son by adoption and in name only!!!!Where did I say "there is no Son of God?" The Son of God as God is co-eternal and co-equal with the Father. It is your wrong headed interpretation of my view.


Yet, in your posts, I and others have found you advocating it!!!Who, besides you? I affirm the three Persons of the Godhead are distinct persons. The Son is not the Father, the Father is not the Son. [The Son of God fully represents the Father.] The Person of the Holy Spirit is not the Father and the Father is not the Person of the Holy Spirit. The Son of God is not the Person of the Holy Spirit and the Person of the Holy Spirit is not the Person of the Son. [God is Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God and of Christ, being sent by them.] And you are going to tell me that I believe something I never believed?


I've quoted scripture numerous times and you have ignored the citations. Did, or did not God send his only begotten Son to be the saviour of the world?. Also, how is it that no man has ever seen God, yet Abraham sat, conversed and dined with YHWH (Gen 18. Also compare John 8:40)?All appearances of YHWH in the OT is none other than the only-begotten Son of God (John 1:18).


Fair enough. Lets start with your rejection of the true sonship of the Son of God.On the contrary I have explicitly stated I believe in the true eternal Sonship of the Son of God.


I recognise you adhere to an adoptionist position. If you now have decided to reject adoptionism, then you have to agree with all the Bible based Christian churches that currently populate the earth, that the Son was begotten. Explain what you are referring to as the "adoptionist position?" And what is the biblical basis which you refer to as "the Son was begotten?" So I know what you mean.


But you do deny that the Son is true son, given you deny his begetal by the Father. All the Orthodox and conservative churches accept this fact, something like two billion Christian adherents that have adhered to a belief that has been handed down from the apostles for a millennium or so. Again, I do not deny the genuine Son of God, you have not provided a biblical basis for your arguments. My view is biblcal. And you are being very evasive on this. Please provide your biblical basis.


So the odds are, your pagan perspective is not simply aberrant but wrong!!!Yours is that of accusations. And to be a false accuser, which you are, alines with whom? And that my friend is not Christian of you. Making false accusation, which you persist in doing.

apostoli
04-04-2014, 07:32 AM
Where did I say "there is no Son of God?"You deny the Son was begotten by his Father and that he is an exact replica of his Father's hypostasis (the very meaning and usage of the Greek words the author of Hebrews 1:3 used!!!)


The Son of God as God is co-eternal and co-equal with the Father.In an earlier post you had a rant that the exact words I had used "begotten before the ages" was not stated explicitly in the Bible. So using your arbitrary standard, where is it stated in scripture that "the Son of God as God is co-eternal and co-equal with the Father"? Whilst your exact words are nowhere to be found in scripture, John 1:1-3 is a possibility, except all it tells us is the Logos (the Son in his pre-incarnate state) was with God before anything was created ie: he existed before the ages...


It is your wrong headed interpretation of my view.Possibly, but it seems evident that our problem is your perverse view which goes against the teaching of most, if not all Bible based Christian denominations since the time of the apostles.

It is not sufficient that your chanting of slogans provides any foundation of faith. Christianity is a thoughtful religion based on the teaching of the apostles. For whatever reason you reject the teaching of the apostles ie: God sent his only begotten Son to be saviour of the world.


I affirm the three Persons of the Godhead are distinct persons.Bully for you. But you deny the true Sonship of the only begotten Son, and the biblical witness that the Son is an exact replication of his Father (Heb 1:3; Jn 12:45;14:9). If your contemplations lead you to hold that there are three unbegotten beings then you have three Gods! Tritheism pure and simple...


The Son is not the Father, the Father is not the Son. [The Son of God fully represents the Father.] The Person of the Holy Spirit is not the Father and the Father is not the Person of the Holy Spirit. The Son of God is not the Person of the Holy Spirit and the Person of the Holy Spirit is the Person of the Son.Possibly you made a typo here, but given what you say next possibly not! Seems you advocate only two persons, the Father and the Son, given you think the Spirit is the Son.


God is Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God and of Christ, being sent by them.Suggest you read Romans 8, wherein the Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus Christ and the Spirit of God are described as separate identities.



And you are going to tell me that I believe something I never believed?Nope! I've simply been pointing out what you have been promoting - none of which accords with the teaching of the Trinitarian churches.


All appearances of YHWH in the OT is none other than the only-begotten Son of God (John 1:18). I agree! Jn 8:40 with Gen 18 is a pointer. Now the very interesting thing is that the majority witness of the OT nominates the "angel of the Lord (KJV); memra of YHWH (Aramaic targums, Word of God (Jn 1:1c)). Also in Gen 19:24 we have two YHWHs, one in heaven, the other on earth...


On the contrary I have explicitly stated I believe in the true eternal Sonship of the Son of God.How is the Son son if he was not begotten? Please explain...


Explain what you are referring to as the "adoptionist position?"The simplest example is where a wealthy person accepts an unrelated person into his household and nominates him as the inheritor of all his goods. Thus, if the Son is unbegotten, he has no natural right to the inheritance of anything that the Father might possess. However, he might have a legal basis of a claim if a formal contract can be produced. "Adoptionism" is one of the earliest heresies that arose in the church and the apostles directly attacked. Hence, A.John's emphasis throughout his Gospel and letters that Jesus was the only begotten Son of God...


And what is the biblical basis which you refer to as "the Son was begotten?" So I know what you mean.I've already quoted you the scriptural witness in my other posts, but seeing you want to pretend to be as thick as a brick and illiterate here I go again (I won't quote the verse, I'll just provide pointers to them: Jn 1:14, 18; 3:16, 18; Heb 11:17; 1 Jn 4:9 "In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him".


Again, I do not deny the genuine Son of God, you have not provided a biblical basis for your arguments. My view is biblcal.If it is, then you will have no trouble supporting it from scripture rather than parrot on with irrelevancies of what you want to believe, or not believe.


And you are being very evasive on this. Please provide your biblical basis.Evasion would be if I did not address your posts and simply prattled on with irrelevancies. As yet I not aware of you actually addressing any of the issues I have raised in my previous posts. I invite all the "watchers" to review my discussion with 37818, and decide who it is that has been avoiding the issues.


Yours is that of accusations. And to be a false accuser, which you are, alines with whom? And that my friend is not Christian of you. Making false accusation, which you persist in doing.I'm not aware of directly accusing you of anything. I've simply tried to highlight the stupidities of your unsupported and unsupportable opinions and where they either stem from or could lead. Of course, I have pointed out that your aberant viewpoint is at odds with all of the Bible based Christian churches. Not a false accusation, just a provable fact...

Note" Slogans don't make a doctrine, and at the moment all you have is a bunch of slogans that you as yet have been unable to support...

ps: As for your accusation that I haven't been demonstrating a very Christian attitude: have a read of John 8:44-46. Could be that I have simply attempted to walk in the footsteps of Christ...

37818
04-04-2014, 12:20 PM
You deny the Son was begotten by his Father and that he is an exact replica of his Father's hypostasis (the very meaning and usage of the Greek words the author of Hebrews 1:3 used!!!)
The Son of God was not begotten in order to be the Son of God. ". . . Hath in these last days spoken unto us by [his] Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of [his] glory, and the express image of his person, . . . "



In an earlier post you had a rant that the exact words I had used "begotten before the ages" was not stated explicitly in the Bible. So using your arbitrary standard, where is it stated in scripture that "the Son of God as God is co-eternal and co-equal with the Father"? Whilst your exact words are nowhere to be found in scripture, John 1:1-3 is a possibility, except all it tells us is the Logos (the Son in his pre-incarnate state) was with God before anything was created ie: he existed before the ages...And do you have a problem with that?


Possibly, but it seems evident that our problem is your perverse view which goes against the teaching of most, if not all Bible based Christian denominations since the time of the apostles.My view is not perverse. And my sectarian view is [pre-reformation] baptist. In other words, not Roman Catholic, not post Roman Catholic protestant. The apostolic authority of holy scripture alone.


It is not sufficient that your chanting of slogans provides any foundation of faith. Christianity is a thoughtful religion based on the teaching of the apostles. For whatever reason you reject the teaching of the apostles ie: God sent his only begotten Son to be saviour of the world.You are again wrong. My Christian faith is founded in the apostolic authority of holy scripture alone. Not post-Roman Catholic protestantism.


Bully for you. But you deny the true Sonship of the only begotten Son, and the biblical witness that the Son is an exact replication of his Father (Heb 1:3; Jn 12:45;14:9). If your contemplations lead you to hold that there are three unbegotten beings then you have three Gods! Tritheism pure and simple...Now, ". . . you deny the true Sonship of the only begotten Son" is a false statement, and an accusation you are making! I affirm that the Son is an exact replication of His Father (Hebrews 1:3; John 12:45; 14:9). That (Hebrews 1:3) is what the word of God does teach.


Possibly you made a typo here, but given what you say next possibly not! Seems you advocate only two persons, the Father and the Son, given you think the Spirit is the Son.The point I was making is that they those three Persons are distinct Persons. Each one is not the other. They are though, the One and the same God.


Suggest you read Romans 8, wherein the Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus Christ and the Spirit of God are described as separate identities.They are the one Holy Spirit. The Person of the Holy Spirit who is not the same Person as the Father, and not the same Person as Christ, is the Spirit of God and the Spirit Christ. And I see you have a problem here. So you think each Christian as how may Holy Spirits are in them? (Romans 8:9, 1 John 5:12, 2 Corinthians 13:5, John 14:16, John 16:7).


More comments later . . .

37818
04-04-2014, 02:04 PM
. . .
Possibly you made a typo here, but given what you say next possibly not! Seems you advocate only two persons, the Father and the Son, given you think the Spirit is the Son.It was a typo. Yes, it should have read, ". . . the Person of the Holy Spirit is not the Person of the Son."




Nope! I've simply been pointing out what you have been promoting - none of which accords with the teaching of the Trinitarian churches.Not all trinitarian churches are equal. Some in fact deny eternal Sonship, John MacArthur's church had in the past held that view. But no longer. Some call the trinity a mystery, there are others which do not.


I agree! Jn 8:40 with Gen 18 is a pointer. Now the very interesting thing is that the majority witness of the OT nominates the "angel of the Lord (KJV); memra of YHWH (Aramaic targums, Word of God (Jn 1:1c)). Also in Gen 19:24 we have two YHWHs, one in heaven, the other on earth..Agreed. I was using John 8:56. John 8:40 I will now also use this one too. And Genesis 19:24 with John 3:13, ". . . he that came down from heaven, [even] the Son of man which is in heaven."


How is the Son son if he was not begotten? Please explain... Next . . .

apostoli
04-04-2014, 02:16 PM
I affirm that the Son is an exact replication of His Father (Hebrews 1:3; John 12:45; 14:9). That (Hebrews 1:3) is what the word of God does teachSo you now refute all your prior propositions. Should I have the time, I will quote you post by post...the simplest option is that you have been advocating rubbish that has no scriptural support and no foundation in Christian belief (alternatively you could defend yourself by saying you were just experimenting with argument - for a little while I've suspected you are actually a Jew or Muslim trying to subvert Christianity).

apostoli
04-04-2014, 02:31 PM
Agreed. I was using John 8:56. John 8:40 I will now also use this one too. And Genesis 19:24 with John 3:13, ". . . he that came down from heaven, [even] the Son of man which is in heaven."It is good we finally found agreement on something. However, your KJV quotation of John 3:13 causes some concern. A significant number of translations render "No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man". The difference comes down to manuscript evidence, both have major support. However, the first advocates phantasm, a major problem in the early church (ie: Jesus was not God in the flesh, but a mere simulation, not real in any real sense).

Catholicity
04-04-2014, 07:39 PM
My daughter at age 7 knows that Jesus is God, and has stated that she love's Jesus. She's come to a point where she believes very firmly that he lives in her heart, and that He loves her. But I do not think she has yet a distinctive grasp on the Trinity. She has a distinctive understanding of the purpose of her baptism and LOVES to talk about it with me. I know my daughter is a Christian despite the fact that she is still learning. There are Christians where I think it is the same thing. I believe that many Oneness Pentecostals and Holiness Christians are misguided albeit still Christians. When they read Scripture and they read Father and Holy Spirit they believe it refers to Jesus only. Hence a misunderstanding of the Trinity. I would say unorthodox but I wouldn't jump to heretical either in most cases either. I knew a lot who were very sweet Christians.

Pentecost
04-04-2014, 09:54 PM
This is an aside but Catholicity do you know of any Oneness Holiness who are not Pentecostal? My understanding is that Oneness are typically Holiness-Pentecostals.

apostoli
04-04-2014, 10:10 PM
...I knew a lot who were very sweet Christians.In my experience, it is the very sweet Christians we need to be most wary of. I have had a considerable range of persons whom I was prepared to have association even though often they had some very strange and unbiblical ideas that tended to alienate me.

As for your 7 year old daughter, or for that matter any seven year old, I doubt they have any comprehension of religion. Your daughter might be exceptional, but from psychiatric publications I've encountered children even at the age of seven don't have total recognition, they usually simply parrot what ever pleases their peers, parents etc... I don't mean such an observation as a put down, actually the opposite. To my mind such puts emphases on our responsibility as parents/peers to be good examples, and as best we can explain to our children the consensus of the majority church concerning right belief (that way the kids won't be drawn in all sorts of directions when they find their innocence challenged - which will happen at some stage!)

Peace

RBerman
04-05-2014, 07:47 AM
In my experience, it is the very sweet Christians we need to be most wary of. I have had a considerable range of persons whom I was prepared to have association even though often they had some very strange and unbiblical ideas that tended to alienate me.

I agree. I know nice Mormons, nice JWs, nice atheists, etc. That does not make them Christians, though it does make me wish they were. One of my good friends is a Oneness guy, and although I would love to treat him as a Christian brother, I can not and must not.


As for your 7 year old daughter, or for that matter any seven year old, I doubt they have any comprehension of religion. Your daughter might be exceptional, but from psychiatric publications I've encountered children even at the age of seven don't have total recognition, they usually simply parrot what ever pleases their peers, parents etc... I don't mean such an observation as a put down, actually the opposite. To my mind such puts emphases on our responsibility as parents/peers to be good examples, and as best we can explain to our children the consensus of the majority church concerning right belief (that way the kids won't be drawn in all sorts of directions when they find their innocence challenged - which will happen at some stage!)

i wish it were the case that my seven year old just parroted what I want to hear. A little kid's faith is less mature than an adult's, but that does not make it unreal.

Obsidian
04-05-2014, 09:17 AM
The difference comes down to manuscript evidence, both have major support. However, the first advocates phantasm, a major problem in the early church (ie: Jesus was not God in the flesh, but a mere simulation, not real in any real sense).

Jesus had not ascended yet at the time when he made that statement. I think when he talked about the son of man who is in heaven, he was paraphrasing Daniel 7.

apostoli
04-05-2014, 11:52 AM
Jesus had not ascended yet at the time when he made that statement. I think when he talked about the son of man who is in heaven, he was paraphrasing Daniel 7.Could be! However the disputed text might just be an interpolation. For instance: it is possible that the disputed phrase "the Son of man which is in heaven" is a post resurrection perspective, rather than a currency (currency is what I suspect 37818 wants to promote). Consider John 6:53-62...

"Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you...Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?..."

Based on 37818's previous excursions into a range of Heresies, I assume he holds that John 3:13 is telling us that the Son simultaneously resided in heaven and on earth (though seeing he says he admits to the teaching of Chalcedon = that the Son is a singular hypostasis (person) who possesses two physes, that might be an unfair observation of mine). Imo, Jn 6:62 makes it clear that the Son in both physes had his feet firmly planted on the ground!!! Thus Genesis 19:24 is making us aware of two YHWHs, one who resides in heaven and the other who has resided with mankind...

apostoli
04-05-2014, 12:10 PM
I wish it were the case that my seven year old just parroted what I want to hear. A little kid's faith is less mature than an adult's, but that does not make it unreal.A rule of thumb: put a gun to the head of a child's parent and demand the child deny the existence of God or you'll pull the trigger, guess what the kid is most likely to do...I understand such was a common occurrence in certain atheistic countries...

RBerman
04-05-2014, 12:12 PM
A rule of thumb: put a gun to the head of a child's parent and demand the child deny the existence of God or you'll pull the trigger, guess what the kid is most likely to do...I understand such was a common occurrence in certain atheistic countries...

Not just children on that one. Mind you, what people will say under duress and what they believe may not match well.

37818
04-05-2014, 12:16 PM
How is the Son son if he was not begotten? Please explain...

There is no doubt that the Son of God is. And that He is often called the "only begotten." At issue is the fact that nowhere does the holy scripture suggest that the Son of God became the Son of God at any time. Being that He always was the Son of God. [Eternal Sonship. Isaiah 9:6 so implies.] Since "begotten" refers to a time, He was not begotten in order to become the Son of God. Now the term "begotten" is in fact used referring to God's Son. "Thou [art] my Son; this day have I begotten thee," from the second Psalm. He was already the Son prior to being "begotten." And it is a prophecy of His bodily resurrection (Acts 13:33).

37818
04-05-2014, 01:54 PM
I will be going back to answer other comments . . .


It is good we finally found agreement on something. However, your KJV quotation of John 3:13 causes some concern. A significant number of translations render "No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man". The difference comes down to manuscript evidence, both have major support. However, the first advocates phantasm, a major problem in the early church (ie: Jesus was not God in the flesh, but a mere simulation, not real in any real sense).

The church at large for over past 1800 years has used the "version" of John which as the longer reading until the 19th century. Over 99% of the manuscripts of John has that reading. ". . . [even] the Son of man which is in heaven." So according to all the modern versions which omit this reading the church at large was wrong for over 1400 years.

apostoli
04-05-2014, 07:56 PM
Not just children on that one. Mind you, what people will say under duress and what they believe may not match well.Agreed!!!

What I consider an interesting, if not amusing, personal experience: I was about eight years old when I made my first holy communion. My mum was quite a severe fanatic (apparently she intended to become a nun before she met my father). Anyway, when I had my first holy communion I had a severe physical reaction, which my mother initially interpreted as me being filled with the Holy Spirit (my mother wasn't particularly bright). After a time, and the recurrence of my reactions to accepting the host my mother took me to the priest (well I just might have been Satan possessed and what I was experiencing was Satan's rejection of Christ), and he told her to take me to the doctor. Turned out I had a food allergy to gluten.

The relevance: Parents are not always right, and might be self deceived. Problem: Parents have a tendency to try to force on children their own convictions. Solution: ???

apostoli
04-05-2014, 08:04 PM
There is no doubt that the Son of God is. And that He is often called the "only begotten." At issue is the fact that nowhere does the holy scripture suggest that the Son of God became the Son of God at any time. Being that He always was the Son of God. [Eternal Sonship. Isaiah 9:6 so implies.] Since "begotten" refers to a time, He was not begotten in order to become the Son of God. Now the term "begotten" is in fact used referring to God's Son. "Thou [art] my Son; this day have I begotten thee," from the second Psalm. He was already the Son prior to being "begotten." And it is a prophecy of His bodily resurrection (Acts 13:33).The Arians fed on your line of reasoning and got a lot of mileage out of it (though they were arguing from the extreme opposite side of your extreme proposition). The fact remains (the Trinitarian argument) that if the Son was not begotten he is not true Son. If he is not true Son then he has no natural right to the inheritance (eternal life) that we (the church, as the bride of Christ) are promised we will share in.

Theology is a complex matter. To argue appropriately you need to look at all the angles...not just focus on some arbitrary personal obsession...

ps: "Begotten" does not refer to a time but to an event!!!

pss: If you investigated Jewish custom/tradition you'd find out that there were numerous "rebirths" a person experienced during his lifetime. This is why Nicodemus was so confused by Jesus' words in John 3. Nic had experienced all the rebirths (to be reborn) that were open to him. Not being of the royal line he was precluded from becoming the king of Israel.

Now a range of heresies popped up in the first century and second century. These all viewed Jesus as just a man especially endowed with the Holy Spirit. So these guys interpretation of "begotten" was in terms of acquisition - thus God acquired the son either at his birth, baptism or resurrection. These three views and the Arian view, and your view would have the son being not a son but an acquisition, an employee/slave...

Obsidian
04-05-2014, 10:38 PM
Based on 37818's previous excursions into a range of Heresies, I assume he holds that John 3:13 is telling us that the Son simultaneously resided in heaven and on earth (though seeing he says he admits to the teaching of Chalcedon = that the Son is a singular hypostasis (person) who possesses two physes, that might be an unfair observation of mine).

In my opinion, it's the Chalcedon people who tend to be most likely to promote the idea that Jesus was "omnipresent" even while on earth. I personally think that concept is stupid.

And for the record, I agree with 37818 that Jesus was probably not the Son of God until his incarnation. Call me a tritheist if you want. I don't care. Whether it's true or false, the eternal sonship is not found in the Bible.

apostoli
04-05-2014, 11:08 PM
In my opinion, it's the Chalcedon people who tend to be most likely to promote the idea that Jesus was "omnipresent" even while on earth. I personally think that concept is stupid.I've never come across any one that acknowledges Chalcedon who proposes that the Son was simultaneously in heaven and on earth. In fact, should you do some investigation you would find that Chalcedon's decrees would refute such a proposition as the teaching holds there was a single hypostasis (person) constituted of two physes (natures ie: activity that indicates inherent ousia). A simplistic example: To my parents (who are now dead) I had the nature of a Son, to my children I have the nature of a parent yet despite these different characters I remain me, a singular hypostasis.


And for the record, I agree with 37818 that Jesus was probably not the Son of God until his incarnation. Call me a tritheist if you want. I don't care. Whether it's true or false, the eternal sonship is not found in the Bible.? So who are you siding with? The Arians who held the Logos was a creation. albeit created but unlike all other creation as perfect God? Or someone like a Christadelphian (or like splinter groups) who hold that Jesus was just a man like any other until either his baptism or resurrection? (I know a Christadelphian leader who is very happy to acknowledge that Jesus became God after his resurrection).

IamLives
04-05-2014, 11:54 PM
Call me a tritheist if you want. I don't care. Whether it's true or false, the eternal sonship is not found in the Bible.

What about John 1:1? You're Saying you disagree that "logos" denotes the essential Word of God, Jesus Christ? Or are you just being so overly critical that
you're asserting Christ was only given the title, "Son of God" when He was born? I'm pretty sure (not really, I'm positive) scripture is clear that the only thing Christ became through physical birth was "Son of Man," but that is because He was subjected to the nature of Man, thus becoming a "was." Remember, He is, John 8:57-58 should help you understand, Abraham rejoiced to see the days of the Son of God, not the days of "something/someone" that was to "be/become", rather the Lord who is, "I Am."

37818:

There is no doubt that the Son of God is. And that He is often called the "only begotten." At issue is the fact that nowhere does the holy scripture suggest that the Son of God became the Son of God at any time. Being that He always was the Son of God. [Eternal Sonship. Isaiah 9:6 so implies.] Since "begotten" refers to a time, He was not begotten in order to become the Son of God. Now the term "begotten" is in fact used referring to God's Son. "Thou [art] my Son; this day have I begotten thee," from the second Psalm. He was already the Son prior to being "begotten." And it is a prophecy of His bodily resurrection (Acts 13:33).

Looking at the second psalm, begotten is the word "yalad" meaning "to bring forth." The text is saying, "this day I have brought you forth." However, look at John 3:16, begotten is "monogenes" meaning "only of its kind." Jesus is the only "of God" being, the only one who has came from the Father. How is that consistent with lack of eternal Lordship? To be "of God" is to have the attributes and eternal aspects, the supreme Lordship only God has. Jesus was not someone who was born of the Spirit and given deistic powers, He was, is, is to come, and has been from the beginning. Keep in mind this is the Lord David noticed (Ps 110:1), and the Lord Isaiah saw in his vision (Isa 6). To create something and worship it as a God... This is Idol worship. God did not create a Man and call us to worship him, this would be Idolatry. Jesus is Lord.

apostoli
04-06-2014, 12:43 AM
The church at large for over past 1800 years has used the "version" of John which as the longer reading until the 19th century.Actually, that's not true!!!! The reason Jerome was commissioned to formulate the Vulgate was there were hundreds of versions circulating. His job was collect all the available manuscripts for the time, find a consistent text and remove interpolations by scribes etc. Since that time the very Roman Catholic Vulgate has been the standard (should you do a study on the KJV you'll find it was heavily criticised by Hebrew and Greek scholars at the time and since because the majority of its compilers only understood Latin). In the intervening centuries more manuscripts have become available in Syrian, Greek and Hebrew, both secular and biblical which have given a better understanding of what the early church said and taught.


Over 99% of the manuscripts of John has that reading.Prove it!


So according to all the modern versions which omit this reading the church at large was wrong for over 1400 years.Possibly only wrong for about 400 years on a particular branch of the "versions" tree...

apostoli
04-06-2014, 12:34 PM
Hi alll,

I'm being admitted to hospital today, so you may not hear from me for a while. If you never hear from me again, it is because I am dead.

I hold to Luther's view that until the second coming, the dead (good or bad), rest in peace, then comes the judgement...I'm faced with my judgement, and am ready for it. Are you?

37818
04-06-2014, 02:39 PM
Hi alll,

I'm being admitted to hospital today, so you may not hear from me for a while. If you never hear from me again, it is because I am dead.

I hold to Luther's view that until the second coming, the dead (good or bad), rest in peace, then comes the judgement...I'm faced with my judgement, and am ready for it. Are you?
apostoli, my friend, it is my prayer, that by the grace of God,
you will be back to read this. That God will use this event for your good.

Obsidian
04-06-2014, 03:42 PM
Or are you just being so overly critical that
you're asserting Christ was only given the title, "Son of God" when He was born?

Yes. And I think that solution puts this whole "begotten (but not made) before eternity" business to rest.

37818
04-07-2014, 12:17 PM
Yes. And I think that solution puts this whole "begotten (but not made) before eternity" business to rest.

Proverbs 30:4 says, "Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what [is] his name, and what [is] his son's name, if thou canst tell?" According to Colossians 1:16, 17 and John 1:3 is identified as the Creator. Isaiah cites names given this son, " For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." Now while Isaiah's prophecy here refers to a human birth, apparently agreeing with your apparent view. The title "The everlasting Father" suggests an eternal Sonship in fully representing God the Father.. And even if one argues that the Son as Creator was merely the "Father of eternity" that too, suggests "Eternal Sonship."

37818
04-08-2014, 12:09 PM
. . .

And for the record, I agree with 37818 that Jesus was probably not the Son of God until his incarnation. Call me a tritheist if you want. I don't care. Whether it's true or false, the eternal sonship is not found in the Bible.Obsidian, you are not agreeing with me. Since I hold that the Son of God was the Son of God, that is the only begotten, prior to the incarnation (John 1:14).

". . . the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." -- John 1:14.
"In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, . . . " -- 1 John 4:19.

One Bad Pig
04-08-2014, 12:44 PM
In my opinion, it's the Chalcedon people who tend to be most likely to promote the idea that Jesus was "omnipresent" even while on earth. I personally think that concept is stupid.I've never come across any one that acknowledges Chalcedon who proposes that the Son was simultaneously in heaven and on earth. In fact, should you do some investigation you would find that Chalcedon's decrees would refute such a proposition as the teaching holds there was a single hypostasis (person) constituted of two physes (natures ie: activity that indicates inherent ousia). A simplistic example: To my parents (who are now dead) I had the nature of a Son, to my children I have the nature of a parent yet despite these different characters I remain me, a singular hypostasis.
There seems to be some confusion here. Jesus is not omnipresent in His humanity, but is and always has been omnipresent in His divinity. The Orthodox Church, which is indeed Chalcedonian, states about Jesus on Holy Saturday, "In the grave with the body, but in Hades with the soul as God; in paradise with the thief, and on the throne with the Father and the Spirit were You, O Christ, filling all things, Yourself uncircumscribed."


And for the record, I agree with 37818 that Jesus was probably not the Son of God until his incarnation. Call me a tritheist if you want. I don't care. Whether it's true or false, the eternal sonship is not found in the Bible.
Good to know I'm not the only one you misinterpret (since 37818 disagrees with you). How would you characterize the relationship between the Father and the Son prior to the Incarnation?

Obsidian
04-08-2014, 09:04 PM
Proverbs 30:4 says, "Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what [is] his name, and what [is] his son's name, if thou canst tell?"

I don't think the Isaiah quotation means anything, except that Jesus would be a father who would last forever. It probably refers to believers, whom Isaiah elsewhere calls his spiritual descendants. But this verse from Proverbs does weaken my view somewhat.

FarEastBird
04-18-2014, 08:55 AM
I think maybe a better question would be must one understand the doctrine of the Trinity in order to be saved.

Either way, I would say, initially, no. I think they need to understand they have sinned, need forgiveness, and only God gives that through acceptance of Christ's sacrifice.

For one to have eternal life is to know the godhead (John 17:3). Thus, any doctrine or belief would serve unto us worthless except it gives us understanding of the godhead.