It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Theology, Not Scripture
In its article “Trinity,” a Protestant work (The Illustrated Bible Dictionary) states: “The word Trinity is not found in the Bible . . . It did not find a place formally in the theology of the church till the 4th century . . . Although Scripture does not give us a formulated doctrine of the Trinity, it contains all the elements out of which theology has constructed the doctrine.”
Who were the first theologians to coin the word “trinity” as they “constructed the doctrine”? The Catholic Encyclopedia informs us: “In Scripture there is as yet no single term by which the Three Divine Persons are denoted together. The word trias (of which the Latin trinitas is a translation) is first found in Theophilus of Antioch about A. D. 180. . . . Shortly afterwards it appears in its Latin form of trinitas in Tertullian.” However, Theophilus’ triad was made up of “God, and His Word, and His wisdom”—hardly Christendom’s Trinity! As to Tertullian, the encyclopedia admits that “his Trinitarian teaching is inconsistent,” among other things because he held that “there was a time when there was no Son.” So the least that can be said is that these two men had in mind something quite different from Christendom’s coeternal Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
But the word “trinity” stuck, and later theologians gradually “constructed the doctrine” as we know it today. Did they, however, build it on the foundation of Scripture? No, but on theology or philosophy. The Encyclopædia Britannica states: “Christian theology took the Neoplatonic metaphysics [philosophy] of substance as well as its doctrine of hypostases [essence, or nature] as the departure point for interpreting the relationship of the ‘Father’ to the ‘Son.’” Their problem was to make “God the Father,” “God the Son” and “God the Holy Spirit” not three Gods but one. For years, they quarreled over whether the persons of the Trinity were of similar substance (Greek, homoiousia) or of the same substance (homoousia). This controversy was settled in favor of homoousia at the Councils of Nicaea in 325 C.E. and Constantinople in 381 C.E.
The Britannica adds: “From the outset, the controversy between both parties [at Nicaea] took place upon the common basis of the Neoplatonic concept of substance, which was foreign to the New Testament itself. It is no wonder that the continuation of the dispute on the basis of the metaphysics of substance likewise led to concepts that have no foundation in the New Testament.” Thus, the very concept of a God in three persons of one substance is founded on theology or philosophy, but not on the Scriptures.
You can see evidence of this by examining the two sections of the Bible commonly called the Old and New Testaments.
No Trinity in the “Old Testament”
originally posted by: GBP/JPY
The Mystery of the Trinity that's what the deal is Jesus is the begotten son the only begotten son .
God will always stay the same he doesn't change but you see this is the part where human minds short-circuit and can't comprehend the Trinity The Mystery of the trinity there's our answer the mystery of the trinity a reply to: GBP/JPY
MANY people view the Trinity as “the central doctrine of the Christian religion.” According to this teaching, the Father, Son, and holy spirit are three persons in one God [whereislogic: compare my quotation of Galatians 3:20 from the Amplified Bible, Classis Edition in my comment to DISRAELI, which clearly contradicts this teaching]. Cardinal John O’Connor stated about the Trinity: “We know that it is a very profound mystery, which we don’t begin to understand.” Why is the Trinity so difficult to understand?
The Illustrated Bible Dictionary gives one reason. Speaking of the Trinity, this publication admits: “It is not a biblical doctrine in the sense that any formulation of it can be found in the Bible.” Because the Trinity is “not a biblical doctrine,” Trinitarians have been desperately looking for Bible texts—even twisting them—to find support for their teaching.
A Text That Teaches the Trinity?
One example of a Bible verse that is often misused is John 1:1. In the King James Version, that verse reads: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God [Greek, ton the·onʹ], and the Word was God [the·osʹ].” This verse contains two forms of the Greek noun the·osʹ (god). The first is preceded by ton (the), a form of the Greek definite article, and in this case the word the·onʹ refers to Almighty God. In the second instance, however, the·osʹ has no definite article. Was the article mistakenly left out?
The Gospel of John was written in Koine, or common Greek, which has specific rules regarding the use of the definite article. Bible scholar A. T. Robertson recognizes that if both subject and predicate have articles, “both are definite, treated as identical, one and the same, and interchangeable.” Robertson considers as an example Matthew 13:38, which reads: “The field [Greek, ho a·grosʹ] is the world [Greek, ho koʹsmos].” The grammar enables us to understand that the world is also the field.
What, though, if the subject has a definite article but the predicate does not, as in John 1:1? Citing that verse as an example, scholar James Allen Hewett emphasizes: “In such a construction the subject and predicate are not the same, equal, identical, or anything of the sort.”
To illustrate, Hewett uses 1 John 1:5, which says: “God is light.” In Greek, “God” is ho the·osʹ and therefore has a definite article. But phos for “light” is not preceded by any article. Hewett points out: “One can always . . . say of God He is characterized by light; one cannot always say of light that it is God.” Similar examples are found at John 4:24, “God is a Spirit,” and at 1 John 4:16, “God is love.” In both of these verses, the subjects have definite articles but the predicates, “Spirit” and “love,” do not. So the subjects and predicates are not interchangeable. These verses cannot mean that “Spirit is God” or “love is God.”
Identity of “the Word”?
Many Greek scholars and Bible translators acknowledge that John 1:1 highlights, not the identity, but a quality of “the Word.” Says Bible translator William Barclay: “Because [the apostle John] has no definite article in front of theos it becomes a description . . . John is not here identifying the Word with God. To put it very simply, he does not say that Jesus was God.” Scholar Jason David BeDuhn likewise says: “In Greek, if you leave off the article from theos in a sentence like the one in John 1:1c, then your readers will assume you mean ‘a god.’ . . . Its absence makes theos quite different than the definite ho theos, as different as ‘a god’ is from ‘God’ in English.” BeDuhn adds: “In John 1:1, the Word is not the one-and-only God, but is a god, or divine being.” Or to put it in the words of Joseph Henry Thayer, a scholar who worked on the American Standard Version: “The Logos [or, Word] was divine, not the divine Being himself.” [whereislogic: and yet the American Standard Version still translates John 1:1c as “the Word was God”, how misleading and dishonest, knowing better; and knowing that this rendering will mislead people into thinking that it's speaking about Jesus being God Almighty, or “the divine Being himself”, as Thayer puts it and explains that that's not what it's talking about.]
Does the identity of God have to be “a very profound mystery”? It did not seem so to Jesus. In his prayer to his Father, Jesus made a clear distinction between him and his Father when he said: “This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ.” (John 17:3) If we believe Jesus and understand the plain teaching of the Bible, we will respect him as the divine Son of God that he is. We will also worship Jehovah as “the only true God.”
The Greek word mo·no·ge·nesʹ is defined by lexicographers as “single of its kind, only,” or “the only member of a kin or kind.” (Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, 1889, p. 417; Liddell and Scott’s Greek-English Lexicon, Oxford, 1968, p. 1144) The term is used in describing the relation of both sons and daughters to their parents.
The Scriptures speak of “the only-begotten son” of a widow who lived in the city of Nain, of Jairus’ “only-begotten daughter,” and of a man’s “only-begotten” son whom Jesus cured of a demon. (Lu 7:11, 12; 8:41, 42; 9:38) ...
The apostle John repeatedly describes the Lord Jesus Christ as the only-begotten Son of God. (Joh 1:14; 3:16, 18; 1Jo 4:9) [whereislogic: that's more specific, see bolded part; there are other only-begotten sons and daughters, but they are not identified as the only-begotten Son of God.] This is not in reference to his human birth or to him as just the man Jesus. As the Loʹgos, or Word, “this one was in the beginning with God,” even “before the world was.” (Joh 1:1, 2; 17:5, 24) At that time while in his prehuman state of existence, he is described as the “only-begotten Son” whom his Father sent “into the world.”—1Jo 4:9.
He is described as having “a glory such as belongs to an only-begotten son from a father,” the one residing “in the bosom position with the Father.” (Joh 1:14, 18) ...
The angels of heaven are sons of God even as Adam was a “son of God.” (Ge 6:2; Job 1:6; 38:7; Lu 3:38) But the Loʹgos, later called Jesus, is “the only-begotten Son of God.” (Joh 3:18) He is the only one of his kind, the only one whom God himself created directly without the agency or cooperation of any creature. He is the only one whom God his Father used in bringing into existence all other creatures. He is the firstborn and chief one among all other angels (Col 1:15, 16; Heb 1:5, 6), which angels the Scriptures call “godlike ones” or “gods.” (Ps 8:4, 5) Therefore, according to some of the oldest and best manuscripts, the Lord Jesus Christ is properly described as “the only-begotten god [Gr., mo·no·ge·nesʹ the·osʹ].”—Joh 1:18, NW, Ro, Sp.
A few translations, in support of the Trinitarian “God the Son” concept, would invert the phrase mo·no·ge·nesʹ the·osʹ and render it as “God only begotten.” But W. J. Hickie in his Greek-English Lexicon to the New Testament (1956, p. 123) says it is hard to see why these translators render mo·no·ge·nesʹ hui·osʹ as “the only begotten Son,” but at the same time translate mo·no·ge·nesʹ the·osʹ as “God only begotten,” instead of “the only begotten God.”
Paul referred to Isaac as Abraham’s “only-begotten son” (Heb 11:17), even though Abraham also fathered Ishmael by Hagar as well as several sons by Keturah. (Ge 16:15; 25:1, 2; 1Ch 1:28, 32) God’s covenant, however, was established only through Isaac, Abraham’s only son by God’s promise, as well as the only son of Sarah. (Ge 17:16-19) Furthermore, at the time Abraham offered up Isaac, he was the only son in his father’s household. No sons had yet been born to Keturah, and Ishmael had been gone for some 20 years—no doubt was married and head of his own household.—Ge 22:2.
So from several viewpoints in regard to the promise and the covenant, the things about which Paul was writing to the Hebrews, Isaac was Abraham’s only-begotten son. Hence, Paul parallels “the promises” and the “only-begotten son” with “‘your seed’ . . . through Isaac.” (Heb 11:17, 18) Whether Josephus had a similar viewpoint or not, he too spoke of Isaac as Abraham’s “only son.”—Jewish Antiquities, I, 222 (xiii, 1).