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shawn731

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« #540 : March 07, 2011, 04:13:55 PM »

One Truth-no one is saying that you need a college education to understand the word.  Aside from accepting the trinity, you have a hard time grasping God's ability to see all and know all.  And if you can't accept/understand that how can you hold anything else of value in the Bible.  There is no passing Go.  If you can explain that away I really wonder what you believe.  Not for my benefit but yours.

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« #541 : March 07, 2011, 04:18:37 PM »

It doesnt matter what translation you use - thr triune godhead is illogical, unrealistic, and impossible.

IF you anthropomorphize God, then yes. But the creator of the entire universe is not logical, because logic is the study of human thought, and God is not human. And everything God does/did is unrealistic FOR A HUMAN. And is it anymore "impossible" than creating the universe?

Your reasoning is "I can't do it, and I can't figure out how it is done, therefore it is not true". And that reasoning doesn't hold water.

It does hold water if you  read the entire Bible and "see" how God is. Why he brought the flood, plagues agianst Pharoah, and why did He have built an "Ark of the Covanent"(answer in Hebrews), why He did this or that. It shows you who He is.

Even though the triune godhead is possible - with God having this kind of dynamic energy...it is unreasonable to think He would reveal Himself to us like that when everything else He has ever done  - He did it within the confines of His own physical laws. For example: The Flood. Why did God use a flood to destroy the whole world back in Noah's day? He could have done anything like have the people just disappear (have their electrons spin away from their nucleus', or change the atomic weight of those peoples' atoms etc etc) - but instead He worked within the confines of His own Laws.
« : March 07, 2011, 04:20:21 PM OneTruth »

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« #542 : March 07, 2011, 04:19:40 PM »

One Truth-no one is saying that you need a college education to understand the word.  Aside from accepting the trinity, you have a hard time grasping God's ability to see all and know all.  And if you can't accept/understand that how can you hold anything else of value in the Bible.  There is no passing Go.  If you can explain that away I really wonder what you believe.  Not for my benefit but yours.

explain what away?

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« #543 : March 07, 2011, 04:38:37 PM »

and having free will gives us all a chance to change our future. If God already knows our future then whats the point? (I know we could get into a physics debate here on time and relativity but it is not important because the bottom line is ~ God would already know what you are going to be {good or evil} - that is not free will)

Now if God doesnt know the future except in very special miracle circumstances - then Jesus might have failed, Satan might have decided not to be a murderer, Jonah might have decided to go directly to Ninevah etc etc.

This statement is the one that causes the problems.  How can you question God's foresight, but accept anything else.  You state some other points that I dont want to refresh that leads me tho believe that you question alot about the motives of God.  If you can question God or his motives you are already dealing with a faulty foundation.  But you do not owe me an explanation. I only pose the question for you to ask yourself.  And I only offered the reference on Ravi because I personally listen to him, and he deals with alot of the question you pose.  And thought by giving him an oppurtunity you can answer or understand what I am saying.

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« #544 : March 07, 2011, 04:40:48 PM »

^^ I appreciate the concern, I can see It's genuine. The point here is we have a brain that can use to problem solve. We use our problem solving abilties to begin on a quest to find the truth about life, death, and God. Now if we conduct our research with an open mind and really want to know the answers - I BELIEVE we should be able to arrive at the solutions without some "white tiger" telling us how we should interpret this or that. God gave us a brain (after carefull research to acertain there MUST be a God etc) to use with free will.
« : March 07, 2011, 04:47:55 PM OneTruth »

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« #545 : March 07, 2011, 06:30:51 PM »

logic was used by the people that Paul preached to in Greece about Jesus. "When they went home they would search the scriptures to verify everything Paul was saying was, in fact, truth"

Yes, but they understood Koine Greek and Aramaic - all of the examples were contemporary - there was no need to translate what Paul said, or what the scriptures said.

I dont need a Priest to explain the trinity to me. I know what it is. I reject it. The truth about God is not so convoluted. I use my God given brain to reason that the trinity is a bold faced lie.

But you are accepting "truth" written by folks who did not know what they were doing - or rather were more likely wrting Watchtower bias into their "translation" - a deceitful act to legitimize their pre-concieved notions.

That is why the more scholarly King James Version and versions which used the same texts as the original King James Version - are recommended for study. Experts in the customs, and Biblical langauges spent an enormous amount of time making sure they translated the words and the context.

The books of the Bible were intended to be read and logically understood ~ rather than the need to go to college for 8 years and be instructed to interpret what your reading by someone who has no holy spirit or understanding what so ever. No need for some weird impossible fallcy to be jammed down my throat because I dont "read" trinity anywhere in the Bible.

Here's where you miss the relevance of translation in our conversation - the Bible was intended to be read and logically understood - by people who spoke ancient Hebrew, Koine Greek (Which is neither like Classical nor modern Greek) and Aramaic. Approximately 200 years before the birth of Jesus the Old Testament had been translated into Koine Greek (it was called the Septuagint) - that is how those listening to Paul were even able to go home and study for themselves.  If you cannot read those original languages then you must either become an expert on those languages - or place your trust in the authenticity of the TRANSLATION.

The JW's who translated the New World Translation were:

Frederick Franz - Probably the only person to actually translate.  Franz was a liberal arts student at the University of Cincinnati: 21 semester hours of classical Greek, some Latin. Partially completed a two-hour survey course in Biblical Greek in junior year. Self-taught in Spanish, biblical Hebrew and Aramaic.

George Gangas - No training in biblical languages. Gangas was a Turkish national who knew Modern Greek.  Translated Watchtower publications into Modern Greek.

Albert Schroeder - No training in biblical languages. Schroeder majored in mechanical engineering for three years before dropping out.
 
Milton Henschel - No training in biblical languages.
 
Karl Klein - No training in biblical languages.
 
Nathan Knorr - No training in biblical languages
 
King James commissioned committees of scholars - experts (many had their doctorates) in the languages they were studying - they broke-down the process of translating the Bible this way:

The First Westminister Company--translated the historical books, beginning with Genesis and ending with the Second Book of Kings

Dr. Lancelot Andrews
Dr. John Overall
Dr. Hadrian Saravia
Dr. Richard Clarke, Dr. John Laifield, Dr. Robert Tighe, Francis Burleigh, Geoffry King, Richard Thompson
Dr. William Bedwell

The Cambridge Company--translated Chronicles to the end of the Song of Songs

Edward Lively, Dr. John Richardson, Dr. Lawrence Chaderton
Francis Dillingham, Dr. Roger Andrews, Thomas Harrison, Dr. Robert Spaulding, Dr. Andrew Bing

The Oxford Company--translated beginning of Isaiah to the end of the Old Testament

Dr. John Harding, Dr. John Reynolds
Dr. Thomas Holland, Dr. Richard Kilby
Dr. Miles Smith, Dr. Richard Brett, Daniel Fairclough

The Second Oxford Company--translated the four Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, and the Revelation of St. John the Divine.

Dr. Thomas Ravis, Dr. George Abbot
Dr. Richard Eedes, Dr. Giles Tomson, Sir Henry Savile
Dr. John Peryn, Dr. Ralph Ravens, Dr. John Harmar

The Fifth Company of Translators at Westminster--translated all of the Epistles of the New Testament

Dr. William Barlow
Dr. John Spencer
Dr. Roger Fenton
Dr. Ralph Hutchinson
William Dakins
Michael Rabbet
Thomas Sanderson

The Sixth Company of Translators at Cambridge translated the apocryphal books. The King James translators did not consider the Apocrypha to be scripture and neither did King James (i.e., Luke 24:44 Jesus stated the books he considered part of the Hebrew Bible were "the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms).

It is important to note that the translation team translated the Aprocrypha - even though they did not include it.

Dr. John Duport, Dr. William Brainthwaite, Dr. Jeremiah Radcliffe
Dr. Samuel Ward
Dr. Andrew Downes, John Bois
Dr. John Ward, Dr. John Aglionby, Dr. Leonard Hutten
Dr. Thomas Bilson, Dr. Richard Bancroft

These translation committees began work near the end of 1604 and finished their work by 1608 - the work of the committees were then forwarded to the General Committee of Review (also ALL scholars) and from 1609 till just before printing in 1611 this comittee thoroughly reviewed the work.

That should be all you need to know about the absolute imperative to study the correct translation and why the qualifications of the translators are important.
« : March 07, 2011, 06:37:33 PM The White Tiger »

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« #546 : March 07, 2011, 06:32:03 PM »

Assuming we use the KJV, is there more evidence for a trinity than against?  I'm not sure that's the case.  I'd be interested in seeing both sides, quoted from the same source.


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« #547 : March 07, 2011, 07:11:59 PM »

Bradentonian that is exactly what I have been trying to say.

IMO the crucial data that negates the truine godhead is in every translation I have ever read. Seeing that some knowledgeable folks here give more credibility to the KJV - I have read it. My wife currently has that version of the Bible and she uses it exclusively. I know JW's that only use that Bible - even when knocking on doors. I am not a JW however, so when my family goes to church I read from the NIV Bible. Most of the time I bring along the NEW World Translation (Jehovah Witness Version) and compare the 3 with one another. Never have I found there to be more than trivial difference though never conveying seperate meanings.
 
I think the "Bible version" debate is a none issue.

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« #548 : March 07, 2011, 07:24:45 PM »

Bradentonian that is exactly what I have been trying to say.

IMO the crucial data that negates the truine godhead is in every translation I have ever read. Seeing that some knowledgeable folks here give more credibility to the KJV - I have read it. My wife currently has that version of the Bible and she uses it exclusively. I know JW's that only use that Bible - even when knocking on doors. I am not a JW however, so when my family goes to church I read from the NIV Bible. Most of the time I bring along the NEW World Translation (Jehovah Witness Version) and compare the 3 with one another. Never have I found there to be more than trivial difference though never conveying seperate meanings.
 
I think the "Bible version" debate is a none issue.
I totally believe you didn't read what White Tiger had written...You are ignoring it purposely...

White Tiger that was the best break down I have ever read...Very in depth...No J.W. translations has ever been able to counter what you have written...Nice Job...OBD


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« #549 : March 07, 2011, 07:30:25 PM »

Huh? It is a none issue OBD. I read it, and also posted many counter points that you all never read. I could poke holes in any faith...given enough time. The point is the triune godhead theory is debuncted in the KJV as well as the NIV and every other Bible in existance.

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« #550 : March 07, 2011, 07:58:42 PM »

Huh? It is a none issue OBD. I read it, and also posted many counter points that you all never read. I could poke holes in any faith...given enough time. The point is the triune godhead theory is debuncted in the KJV as well as the NIV and every other Bible in existance.
Actually I have read every post in this thread. I find that your position of assuming what others do limits your own confidence that people actually think your intelligent. The problem is your wise in your own conceit towards your knowledge of your translation and lack of it towards the translation of the K.J.V....It actually hurts your points when you run away when people do point out the very visible fractures that your cult/sect has and you do refuse to acknowledge it. I do believe in the trinity and so does everyone that actually reads the word with a whole heart. Translations do matter and so do the people who have taken the time to translate them among the highest of intellectuals...the ten men that the Watch Tower Society employed had no formal training and the years of study which would have required them to translate the Holy Scriptures as the ones that White Tiger has written about. That my friend points to the most valid point made is the one in which he explains the Academic Scholars who were educated in  translation then sending it all to be reviewed again by Academic Scholars. The J.W.'s did not trust nor allowed anyone out of their realm to reproof their translations...That makes the J.W. a very weak sect/cult in my book. Take Care...OBD

« : March 07, 2011, 08:00:23 PM ONEBIGDADDY »


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« #551 : March 07, 2011, 08:30:16 PM »

Assuming we use the KJV, is there more evidence for a trinity than against?  I'm not sure that's the case.  I'd be interested in seeing both sides, quoted from the same source.

Well, seeing as how I previously posted a lot of them I would say, yes, I believe there is conclusive evidence. But, since you don't say why you seem skeptical on this, did you read the prior pages of debate on this topic?

If so, simply ignore the parts where then JW's changed the translation to support their predetermined conclusion - as it was written expressly for that purpose.

It is not definitive because I say so - but because Christs followers accept HIS words on the issue.

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OneTruth

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« #552 : March 07, 2011, 09:08:20 PM »

Huh? It is a none issue OBD. I read it, and also posted many counter points that you all never read. I could poke holes in any faith...given enough time. The point is the triune godhead theory is debuncted in the KJV as well as the NIV and every other Bible in existance.
Actually I have read every post in this thread. I find that your position of assuming what others do limits your own confidence that people actually think your intelligent. The problem is your wise in your own conceit towards your knowledge of your translation and lack of it towards the translation of the K.J.V....It actually hurts your points when you run away when people do point out the very visible fractures that your cult/sect has and you do refuse to acknowledge it. I do believe in the trinity and so does everyone that actually reads the word with a whole heart. Translations do matter and so do the people who have taken the time to translate them among the highest of intellectuals...the ten men that the Watch Tower Society employed had no formal training and the years of study which would have required them to translate the Holy Scriptures as the ones that White Tiger has written about. That my friend points to the most valid point made is the one in which he explains the Academic Scholars who were educated in  translation then sending it all to be reviewed again by Academic Scholars. The J.W.'s did not trust nor allowed anyone out of their realm to reproof their translations...That makes the J.W. a very weak sect/cult in my book. Take Care...OBD

Then read this plz:

http://www.prudentialpublishing.info/trinity_doctrine_origins.htm

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« #553 : March 07, 2011, 09:11:49 PM »

 Christianity assimilated elements from various cultures and religions, even after it became a state religion. In 601 CE Pope Gregory wrote, “... the temples of the idols in the said country {Britain} ought not to be broken; but the idols alone which are in them; that the holy water be made and sprinkled about the same temples, altars built, relics placed: for if the said temples are well built, it is needful that they be altered from the worshipping of devils into the service of the true God.”  Christians took over devil worshipping temples, remodeled them, and used them for the worship of God. Likewise, they adopted Gentile doctrines. One of those doctrines was the trinity doctrine. Several ancient religions of the pre-Christian era grouped deities into trinities.  A trinity consisted of three distinctly separate gods who joined their efforts. Gentiles preferred to group three gods together because they considered the number three a perfect number.

       Aristotle wrote, “... for three are all and in ‘three ways’ is the same as ‘in all ways.’ It is just as the Pythagoreans say, the whole world and all things in it are summed up in the number three ... Hence we have taken this number from nature ... and make use of it even for the worship of the gods.”  In describing the trinity of Abydos (Osiris, Isis, and Horus), Plutarch wrote, “One should view Osiris as the origin, Isis as the receptive element, and Horus as the perfect achievement. ... the number three is the first and perfect odd number.”
            The Akkadians, too, grouped certain deities into trinities, like Anu, Bel, and Ea (the gods of heaven, earth, and waters), and Shamash, Sin, and Ishtar (sun-god, moon-god, and goddess of fertility).  Tablet VI of The Creation Epic describes the building of Marduk’s temple (Esagila) in Babylon. In the following verse Marduk is given three names, “Anu-Enlil-Ea”: “For Anu-Enlil-Ea they founded his house and dwelling.”  The gods of the Trinity of Thebes were the protector-gods of Thebes. In an Egyptian fresco Ramesses III is depicted with the Theban Trinity.
            An Egyptian text of the 14th century BCE reads, “All gods are three: Amon, Re, and Ptah, and there is no second to them.”  These three gods were subsumed into one of the three, Amon: “Hidden is his name as Amon, he is Re in face, and his body is Ptah.” This trinity is portrayed on a trumpet of Tutankhamen.  An invocation in the Demotic Chronicle reads: “Apis, Apis, Apis! That is Ptah, Pre, Horsiese ... Apis is Ptah, Apis is Pre, Apis is Horsiese.” It formulates the unity of the three gods (Ptah, Pre, Horsiese) into one god, the god Apis.  On an Egyptian amulet dating from the period around 100 CE, now in the British Museum, appear the three Egyptian deities Bait, Hathor, and Akori. On the opposite side of the amulet appears a distich (a strophic unit of two lines) which reads: “ One is {the god} Bait, one is {the god} Hathor, one is {the god} Akori - to these belongs one power. Be greeted, father of the world, be greeted, God in three forms {Gr. trimorjoV qeoV}.”
            An inscription found in the Greek island of Mitylene was dedicated to “Zeus the all-seeing, to Pluton, and to Poseidon, the gods of all salvation.” The inscription was set up by a woman in gratitude for a safe voyage she had completed. Further on, she wrote that she was “saved by the Providence of God.”  The mention of the three gods followed by the phrase “the Providence of God” implies the idea of three-gods-in-one. The triadic brotherhood of Pluton, Poseidon, and Zeus was probably formed in imitation of the trinity of Mitra, Varuna, and Indra, who appear in a Hittite treaty dated to about 1380 BCE.
            Philo introduced the idea of trinity to the Hellenistic Judaism of Alexandria, a movement that evolved into Christianity. The following quotations from Philo are of great theological importance because they inspired the early Christian fathers, who developed the doctrine of the Christian Trinity.
            Philo allegorized the passage of Genesis where God appeared to Abraham with two angels at Mamre. In interpreting Genesis 18:2 he wrote, “What is the meaning of the words ‘He {Abraham} saw, and behold, three men were standing over him?’ ... it is reasonable for one to be three and for three to be one, for they were one by a higher principle. ... For as soon as one sets eyes upon God, there also appear together with His being the ministering powers{“angels” or “words”}, so that in place of one He makes the appearance of a triad.”  He also wrote, “... God, being attended by two of his heavenly powers as guards ... he himself, the one God between them ...”  In another passage he explains, “... the one in the middle is the Father of the universe, who in the holy scriptures is called by his proper name, ‘I am that I am’; and the beings on each side are those most ancient powers that are always close to the living God, one of which is called his creative power, and the other his royal power. And the creative power {the Word} is a god {an angel}, for it is by this that he created and arranged the universe; and the royal power is Lord {? Philo did not explain this royal power/angel} ... Therefore, the middle person {Yahweh} of these three, being attended by each of his powers as by body-guards, presents to the mind ... a vision at one time of one being, and at another time of three beings. ... But that which is seen, is in reality a three-fold appearance of one subject ... For when the wise man {Abraham} begs those persons who are in the likeness of three travelers to come and lodge in his house, he speaks to them not as three persons, but as one ... For the expression {of Abraham} ‘my lord,’ and ‘with you,’ and ‘do not pass by,’ ... are all ... addressed to a single person, but not to many. And when those {three} persons ... address their host {Abraham} ... it is again one of them who promises ... ‘I will return again and visit you again’ ...”
            Philo did not equate the three members of his trinity. He wrote that “the middle person of the three,” was Yahweh, the Father of the Universe, who is uncreated and unbegotten.  God, the Father of the Universe was accompanied by two “body-guards”: the creative power and the royal power. God is greater than them. These ideas of Philo made a great impact on Christianity.

How the Trinity Doctrine Entered Christianity
In the Bible the term “god’ is applied to God, to spirits, to angels, and other divine beings. The wide application of this term caused confusion to the minds of the Gentile Christians of the second century. The fact that in some instances some New Testament writers called Jesus “a god” (meaning: a spirit or angel) caused the Gentile Christians to view Jesus as god, like the secondary gods whom they were accustomed to worshipping before they joined Christianity. But since the Christians proclaimed monotheism, the idea of a second god in the Christian belief system could not be tolerated. To prevent polytheism the Monarchian Christians, [1] (primarily the Modalists [2]) insisted that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were in reality one person. The Greek New Testament states that God is one person: “You believe that God is one {Gr. eiV, referring to one person}; you do well.” (James 2:19 NRSV) And when Jesus said, “I and my Father are one {Gr. en}.” (John 10:30 KJV) Since God is one person and Jesus said “I and my Father are one,” they interpreted these to mean: God and Jesus are the same person. In other words, it was God, the Father, who appeared as Jesus. Also, God appeared as the Holy Spirit. They claimed that God’s three names (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) were mere epithets not independent entities.
            Athenagoras was a native of Athens who moved to Alexandria. He was a Platonist who converted to Christianity. In the second half of the 2nd century, he established in Alexandria a Christian academy. He made the first rational presentation for God's unity in trinity. He was a modalist. In his essay Presbeia peri Christianon (A plea for the Christians) ca. 177 CE he wrote, “But, since our doctrine acknowledges one God, the Maker of this universe, who Himself {is} uncreated ... but has made all things by the Logos which is from Him...” [3] He implied that Logos is a property of God: an emanation of God, like the Holy Spirit. Further on he wrote, “... we acknowledge one God, uncreated, eternal, invisible ... by whom the universe has been created through His Logos ... for we acknowledge also a Son of God. Nor let any one think it ridiculous that God should have a Son. ... But the Son of God is the Logos {the Reason or the Wisdom} of the Father, in idea and in operation ... the Father and the Son being one. And, the Son being in the Father and the Father in the Son, in oneness and power of spirit, the understanding and reason of the Father is the Son of God {in other words, the Son is the mind of God}. ... what is meant by the Son ... He {the Son} is the first product of the Father, not as having been brought into existence, for from the beginning, God, who is the eternal mind, had the Logos in Himself, being from eternity instinct with Logos {i.e. Logos, Jesus, is an inert part of God, not a person}; but inasmuch as He {the Logos, Jesus} came forth to be the idea and energizing power of all material things ... The Holy Spirit ... we assert to be an effluence {issue, emanation} of God, flowing from Him, and returning back again {to Him} like a beam of the sun. ... {We Christians} speak of God the Father, and of God the Son, and of the Holy Spirit {we} declare both their power in union and their distinction in order ...” [4] Athenagoras viewed the Son as the mind, the brain of God, the “first product of the Father,” “the idea and energizing power of all material things,” and the Holy Spirit “an effluence of God.” God is one person. Jesus and the Holy Spirit are not separate persons. They are manifestations of the Father. This was the doctrine of Modalism. It was the original formulation of the Trinity doctrine.
             At about 206, Praxeas, a priest from Asia Minor, taught this doctrine (Modalism) in Rome. Tertullian (ca. 213), declared it a heresy. He denounced Praxeas and Modalism in his tract Adversus Praxean. The Roman presbyter Sabellius (flourished 217-220 CE), was also a Modalist. He, too, taught that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were one person. Pope Calixtus excommunicated Sabellius. [5]
            Other apologists of Christianity (such as Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, and Tertullian) tried to explain that the Father is the true God and Jesus is a second god, an angel, beside the Father. They led the mainstream Gentile Christians.
            Justin Martyr (born ca. 100 CE died ca. 165 CE) walked in the footsteps of Philo. He wrote, “Moses, then, the blessed and faithful servant of God, declares {in the book of Genesis} that He who appeared to Abraham under the oak in Mamre is [a god], sent, with the two angels in His company to judge Sodom, by another [god] who remains ever in the super celestial places, invisible to all men, holding personal intercourse with none, whom we believe to be Maker and Father of all things.” [6] According to Justin, the true God “remains ever in the super celestial places,” he is “invisible to all men,” and “holding personal intercourse with none.” In contrast, Jesus appeared to people in human form, as an angel, on behalf of God, to announce the will of God. Justin Martyr explained Jesus as the “other god”: “... there is said to be {in the Old Testament}, another god {Gr. θεος, without the article ‘o’} and Lord subject to the Maker of all things; who is also called an Angel, because He announces to men whatsoever the Maker of all things {the Father } --above whom {the Father} there is no other god--wishes to announce to them.” [7] He further wrote, “... one of those three {angels that appeared to Abraham} is {a} god {Gr. θεος [8]}, and is called Angel, because, as I already said, {in the above passage} He brings messages to those to whom God the Maker of all things wishes {to send messages}, then in regard to Him {the Angel} who appeared to Abraham on earth in human form in like manner as the two angels who came with Him, and who was a god {Gr. θεος, without the article ‘o’} even before the creation of the world …” [9] Of course this belief, that God revealed Jesus to Abraham in human form contradicts the following verse: “He {Jesus} was chosen before the creation of the world, but he was revealed in these last times for your sake.” (1 Peter 1:20 NIV) (This verse is an insertion to Peter’s words. Peter did not believe Jesus pre-existed.)
            Justin Martyr told Trypho, the Jew, “Reverting to the Scriptures, I will endeavor to persuade you, that He who is said to have appeared to Abraham, and to Jacob, and to Moses, and who is called ‘god’ {“a god,” Gr. θεος, without the article ‘o’}, is distinct from Him {the Father} who made all things, --numerically, I mean, not [distinct] in will. For I affirm that He {Jesus} has never at any time done anything which He {the Father} who made the world--above whom there is no other God--has not willed Him both to do or say.” [10] These passages of Justin reflect the beliefs of the Gentile Christians of the second century (and the influence of Philo).
            According to Justin, this “other god,” in the Old Testament, “who is also called an angel,” was Jesus. Likewise, Paul and Stephen believed that Jesus was the angel who gave the law to Moses. Christians believed that Jesus was the angel who led the Jews through the desert of Sinai. As mentioned earlier, many early Christians considered Jesus the Archangel. Justin wrote that this “other god,” “the Word,” was subordinate to the creator of all things. He wrote, “The first power {Philo called the angels “powers”} after God the Father ... is the Word, who is also His son ...” [11] Jesus is second to God, because he is “the first power after God.” Justin claimed that Jesus, before he came to earth, was inferior to God and “... He {Jesus} has never at any time done anything which He {the Father}who made the world--above whom there is no other God--has not willed Him both to do or say.” [12] (According to Justin, there is a god above Jesus, but there is no other god above the Father.) He wrote that the Father was the unbegotten God: “{We} have attached ourselves to the only unbegotten God, through His Son.” [13] He claimed that Jesus was begotten. Justin’s Christology was in accord with John 5:19, 30, and 8:28.
            Irenaeus (died ca. 200 CE) considered Jesus as an “improperly called god.” He claimed that before Jesus came to earth he had a separate existence from God and was inferior to God. He claimed that Jesus was inferior to the “One true and only God, {who is} supreme over all, and besides whom there is no other.” Irenaeus wrote, “... the Father Himself is alone called God ... the Scripture acknowledge Him alone God; and yet again the Lord {Jesus} confesses Him alone as His own Father {and God}, and knows no other, as I will show from His very words ... consider the terrible blasphemy [you are guilty of] against Him {the Father} who truly is God.” [14] (The view of Irenaeus carries much weight, because he was instrumental in the canonization process of the New Testament.)
            Clement of Alexandria (died about 215 CE) claimed that Jesus, before he came to earth, was “a creature” (a creation of God). He called the Father “the uncreated and imperishable and only true God.” [15] He said that the Son “is next to the only omnipotent Father” but not equal to him.
            Origen (ca. 185-253 CE) wrote that Jesus was a second god: “... him {Jesus} who accepted death for mankind ... worthy of the second place of honor after the God of the universe, the position given to him after the great deeds which he did in heaven and on earth.” [16] Many Church fathers before Origen were uncomfortable with the term “god” applied to Jesus. They did not want polytheism in Christianity. Origen addressed their dilemma: “Many of those who call themselves friends of God fall, from fear of confessing two gods {this statement indicates that up to that time the controversy did not include the Holy Spirit}, into impious teachings. Either they deny the Son an identity distinct from the Father, declaring that he is God but according him the title of ‘Son’ only as a matter of nomenclature {he referred to the Monarchian doctrine: Jesus is an extension of God}; or, they deny the divinity of the Son, making his individual identity and essence as distinct of the Father a matter of limitation.” [17] Origen did not fear to confess two gods. He wrote, “Therefore, though we may call him {Jesus} a second god, it should be understood by this that we do not mean anything except the virtue that includes all virtues ...” [18]
           

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« #554 : March 07, 2011, 09:12:11 PM »

Here is something else that contributed to the confusing Jesus with God. God commanded, “You will not make wrongful use of the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not acquit anyone who misuses his name.” (Exodus 20:7 NRSV) Because of this command the translators of the Septuagint, did not transliterate the name “Yahweh” into Greek. They believed that the transliteration would have been a misuse of God’s name. Instead, they translated it as “Κυριος,” which in English is the word LORD (spelled with capital letter in the KJV). The word “Κυριος,” became the Greek name of Yahweh in the Septuagint. And since the New Testament writers used the Septuagint, God is called “Κυριος,” in a few instances in the New Testament. But “Κυριος,” was a common title for masters or men of authority. Peter called Jesus, “Master”: “Just as they were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here.” (Luke 9:33 NRSV) By a strange coincidence, Jesus and God shared the same name: “Κυριος.” Furthermore, in some passages of the New Testament one has to stop and ponder whether the title “Κυριος,” refers to Jesus or to his Father. The dual application of this title created confusion in the minds of the Gentile Christians. Eusebius (born ca. 265, died ca. 340 CE) was one of them. Eusebius tried to interpret the following verses: “When the Most High {Heb. El Elyon} apportioned the nations, when he divided humankind, he fixed the boundaries of the peoples according to the number of the gods;  the Lord’s {Heb. Yahweh’s} own portion was his people, Jacob his allotted share.” (Deuteronomy 32:8-9 NRSV) In Eusebius’ Greek Old Testament, the Septuagint, the word “Lord” instead of “Yahweh” it was “Κυριος.” He noticed that there are two gods mentioned in this passage: The Most High, and “Κυριος.” In his commentary on Deuteronomy 32:8-9 he wrote, “In these words surely he {Moses} names first the Most High God, the Supreme God of the Universe, and then as Lord {Κυριος,} His Word, Whom we call Lord in the second degree after the God of the Universe.  … Christ Himself, as being the Only-begotten Son … God Most High alone, the Unbegotten and the Creator of the Universe.” [19] By using the Septuagint, Eusebius mistook Yahweh as the son of El Elyon. Notice in the above passage that Eusebius called Jesus “the Only-begotten” and he called God “the Unbegotten.” So he made a distintion, which sets God above Jesus. He did not call Jesus an angel and he did not deny that either.
            Tertullian (born about 155 or 160 and died 220 to 230 CE) was the first to use the term “trinity.”(He wrote it in Latin: “Trinitas.”) He was instrumental in advancing the trinity doctrine of Christianity. He claimed that God is three persons. But, like Philo, he viewed these persons as unequal. He taught the supremacy of God over Jesus and over the Holy Spirit. He wrote, “the Father is distinct from the Son, being greater than the Son ...” [20] He wrote, “... His Word, which He made second to Himself ...” [21] In the next quotation he wrote that God begot Jesus: “The Son likewise acknowledges the Father, speaking ... ‘The Lord formed Me ... before all the hills did He beget Me. ... while I {Tertullian} recognize the Son, I assert His distinction as second to the Father.” [22] However, the verse he quoted from Proverbs reads, “... The LORD created me {Gr. ektisen} at the beginning of his work ...” (Proverbs 8:12, 22 RSV) Nevertheless, it appears that Tertullian believed that Jesus was “begotten” by God. Tertullian considered Jesus second to God. He believed that there was a time when Jesus did not exist. God existed alone: “He {the Father} existed {alone} before the creation of the world, up to the generation of the Son. For before all things God was alone .... God had not Word {Jesus} from the beginning ...” [23] He also wrote, “He could not have been the Father previous to the Son, nor a Judge previous to sin. There was, however, a time when neither sin existed with Him, nor the Son.” [24] As for the Holy Spirit, he believed it ranked third: “Now the Spirit indeed is third from God and the Son.” [25] The Holy spirit was third, Jesus was second, and God was first. He believed that God is the unequal Trinity.
            In the early 4th century CE the Christian apologist and Latin Church father, Lactantius (born ca. 240, died ca. 320 CE) wrote, “He {Jesus} taught that God is one {person} and that He {the Father} alone ought to be adored, nor did He {Jesus} ever call Himself God, because he would not {have} kept faith, if, sent to remove false gods ... he should bring in another {god, that is, himself} besides that One {the Father}.” [26] Lactantius did not recognize the Trinity. He emphasized that Jesus is an “improperly called god,” and must not be worshipped as a god.
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