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Early Christians Believed in the Trinity


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18 hours ago, Eoin Joyce said:

No one is disputing Jesus' divine nature. Compare (1Pet.1:4). Nevertheless, what is "begot" is most definitely,............... "begun".

More likely the term “monogenes theos” (μονογενὴς θεός - God only begotten) means Jesus uniquely is what God is.

 

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In Haiti, even today .. the population is 85% Catholic, and believe in the Trinity, as an institution (individual results may vary ...) AND 85% or so of THAT group also practice Voodoo and worship their ancestors, and practice "magic".   The Church allows this. During the Nicene Council, where assembled Catholic Bishops from all over the Roman Empire were assembled, by Emperor Constantine ..worshipper of the Sun .. a member of the cult of "Sol Invictus" and Mithras, the god of Tradesmen and

But not by First Century Christians taught by Jesus you know the ones in the New Testament. They used the BIBLE. The Bible, every single book in it, was written by Jews and Jews do not believe in God as a Trinity. So nobody can claim the Trinity is in the Bible if the writers did not believe in it. In fact WHO did believe in a Trinity at the time the Bible was written, say the first 5 books of Moses? It was the Egyptians the very ones who enslaved the Jews. And throughout history it was always t

Trinity This... Trinity that... John said this.. John said that .. blahahahahaaa ... If you want to know what the Apostle John knew and said in Revelation it's VERY simple... in LESS than  the FIRST 11 words! In vision he saw BOTH God and Jesus in Heaven, and they were not  joined at the hip ! Be a sport ... look it up ..... Revelation 1:1 .... shows that GOD and Jesus are NOT the same. They at this time are BOTH in Heaven, and  GOD... IS NOT JESUS. AAAAnd ... Revelation 1:1

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2 hours ago, Cos said:

More likely the term “monogenes theos” (μονογενὴς θεός - God only begotten) means Jesus uniquely is what God is.

Not if you understand Greek. You simply can not translate this frase like this. There is also no hint for any underlying meanings.

How exactly have you reached this understanding?

 

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I am not trying to “play smart” over here, because of the greek language / words. I simply try to help a little bit. And as I have said before, ALL comments are welcomed. This does not mean what I comment, is to “correct” someone’s comments or judge the comments (good or bad) …. Or that my comment is better than somebody else’s comment. Thanks.B|

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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.”
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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.”
----
Only-begotten
Insight, Volume 2
 


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On ‎5‎/‎18‎/‎2017 at 3:47 PM, JW Insider said:

This is true, and I am aware of the more orthodox Trinitarian sounding quotes. It's not a definitive method, but I have also compared some of the scholarship with respect to Origen over time. It seems (generally) he was considered orthodox enough for his day, then was partly blamed for Arianism even before 325,  then was condemned for his views against the Trinity after 325, then found favor among more modern Trinitarians who tried to bring him back into the fold, then was scrutinized In more recent scholarship that put him back into the non-Trinitarian column, and has seen a modest attempt to synthesize his views and make them at least semi-Trinitarian. This was what I found generally, and it's probably informed by my own opinions and prejudices, too. But there are exceptions, as you have pointed out.

I did see those exceptions, because most articles that discuss Origen's Trinity references not only acknowledge these other quotes from Origen and others, but they also discuss them in great detail. Part of the process of determining truth has always included "testing" every side of a matter. But, of course,  I didn't want to get into a discussion of which scholars are better than other scholars. For me, it is sufficient to know that the arguments about Origen generally fall into two sides, and one of those two sides is closer to the truth than the other. So far, I chose a side, and you have chosen another. 

Another point to consider is not whether Rufinus was honest or not in a 4th century translation of  3rd century works, but the very fact that he was sure these books had been changed by "heretics and malevolent persons." I never assumed he was personally dishonest. What is more interesting is that in the 100-150 years since they were written, he focuses on one topic where he thinks these changes had been made. They were almost all Trinity references. That fact alone tells me that the Trinity doctrine was not resolved prior to the 4th century. I have also read Rufinus' own words about the "Falsification of the Books of Origen." It reminds me of the same fact. (Which also reminds me that a couple of the most disputed passages that ended up being generally identified as "glosses" or "forgeries" in the NT itself were on the topic of Trinity.)

I'm sure you already know that more and more scholarly works on the topic are being published all the time. From what I have seen, the majority of them agree that it developed over time.  Some of the same "Church Fathers" who helped to develop and maintain the Trinity doctrine over time also believed that Plato and Aristotle's works might have been inspired of God because they were so thankful that they provided a language and framework in which to explain the Trinity.  

I ran across a lot of that in the Origen articles, but this short page is accessible to everyone: 

    Hello guest!
 and includes a quote from Dean Inge that I think is very relevant to the discussion of "development." The emphasis was added on the original site.

Dean Inge, the famous professor of divinity, writes that:

Platonism is part of the vital structure of Christian theology . . . . [If people would read Plotinus, who worked to reconcile Platonism with Scripture,] they would understand better the real continuity between the old culture and the new religion, and they might realize the utter impossibility of excising Platonism from Christianity without tearing Christianity to pieces. The Galilean Gospel, as it proceeded from the lips of Jesus, was doubtless unaffected by Greek philosophy . . . . But [early Christianity] from its very beginning was formed by a confluence of Jewish and Hellenic religious ideas.” (Emphasis added)

And, of course, for background a couple of quotes from the same site from persons who wrote prior to 325. (Eusebius also wrote after 325, of course. As I'm sure you know, he was famous for his book on "Church History" and infamous for his Arianism.) 

Eusebius of Caesarea

“[Plato is] the only Greek who has attained the porch of (Christian) truth.”

Clement of Alexandria

“. . . before the advent of the Lord, philosophy was necessary to the Greeks for righteousness. And now it becomes conducive to piety; being a kind of preparatory training to those who attain to faith . . . . For God is the cause of all good things, but of some primarily, as of the Old and New Testaments; and of others by consequence, as philosophy. Perchance, too, philosophy was given to the Greeks directly and primarily . . . . For [philosophy] was a schoolmaster to bring ‘the Hellenic mind . . . to Christ.’ Philosophy, therefore, was a preparation, paving the way for him who is perfected in Christ.” (Emphasis added)

I don't agree, but I do agree that what the first-century early church agreed upon, should be the basis for our current belief.

Jehovah's Witnesses are careful not to claim that the church ceased to exist through the intervening centuries, only that restoration was needed through long years of false doctrine. The verse that is usually used to show what you are saying is:

(Matthew 16:18) 18 Also, I say to you: You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my congregation, and the gates of the Grave will not overpower it.

But Jesus also said:

(Luke 18:8) Nevertheless, when the Son of man arrives, will he really find this faith on the earth?”

Illustrations about the wheat and the weeds, the sheep and the goats, the narrow vs the broad road, etc., have always led Witnesses to believe that the intervening centuries have been full of major falsehoods, but that Jehovah and Jesus have not judged all of Christendom in the past centuries over these doctrines. But we also believe that it's possible to compare and test various doctrines as brighter light thus helps to restore truthful, healthful teachings.

(1 Corinthians 11:18, 19) . . .. 19 For there will certainly also be sects among you, so that those of you who are approved may also become evident.

(2 Timothy 4:3, 4) 3 For there will be a period of time when they will not put up with the wholesome teaching, but according to their own desires, they will surround themselves with teachers to have their ears tickled. 4 They will turn away from listening to the truth and give attention to false stories.

Hi JW Insider,

 

What I think is that some mistakenly judge Origen by later standards, and that is why there are is a difference of opinions. He is at the centre of debates even after his own time. The Catholic Encyclopedia gives account of the controversies over Origen, but these had nothing to do with Origen’s treatment of the Trinity, see also the Encyclopedia Britannica. Instead of choosing sides, wouldn’t you agree that there is no better way to know Origen’s thought then to go to his writings, and not speculate why one person says such and such about him, while another something else, also what must be kept in mind when reading his works is that his arguments were given to defend the faith against heresy, some seem to forget this.

 

You say that you “never assumed he (Rufinus) was personally dishonest” but then you call into question why he singled out “one topic…almost all Trinity references”. Rufinus says that if someone doubts then all they need do is to compare these with other portions of Origen’s writings; see again the prologue of Rufinus.

 

Moving on to what you say about the Trinity “developing”. Let me try to make this as clear as I can; what actually “developed” is the language used to explain the Trinity, NOT their belief system. Even the Nicene Creed under went further development in later decades, but the belief system remained.

 

The early Christian writers of the second and third century claimed that their understanding of the matter was taught by the apostles. Irenaeus, for example, said:

 

“The Church … has received from the apostles and their disciples this faith in one God, the Father … in one Christ Jesus, the Son of God, who became incarnate for our salvation; and in the Holy Spirit.” (Against Heresies)

 

When we read the writings of the early church one cannot escape the consistency of what the early church believed; what they believe is even attested to by the secular Roman government in the first decade of the second century!

 

You bring up Eusebius who wrote the work Ecclesiastical History. Eusebius also wrote a letter after the Council of Nicea justifying its conclusions. He wrote for good reason. It was the "rule of faith" of his church, Caesarea, that was used as the basis for the Nicene Creed, and he was explaining the adaptations that the council had made. But because that letter was written so apologetically, Eusebius' adherence to an orthodox doctrine of the Trinity was questioned. You even say he was “infamous for his Arianism”.

 

But what we find in Eusebius’ “Ecclesiastical History” is that it abounds with quotes from those who lived before him. If the church in its earlier days had believed anything different from Nicea, OR if the belief system of the early church had developed over time no one would have known better than Eusebius. But instead of testifying any change, Eusebius defended what they believed in harmony with the Nicene creed.

 

He writes in his letter to his home church;

“That he is consubstantial with the Father then simply implies, that the Son of God has no resemblance to created things, but is in every respect like the Father only who begat him; and that he is of no other substance or essence but of the Father. To which doctrine, explained in this way, it appeared right to assent, especially since we knew that some eminent bishops and learned writers among the ancients have used the term “homoousios” in their theological discourses concerning the nature of the Father and the Son”

 

Notice how he agrees with the use of homoousios because it was used by earlier church writers. Tertullian for example, regularly refers to the term. Eusebius was aware of this.

 

I would like to have a look at one of the earliest of Christian writings after the NT. In an anonymous letter to Diognetus, some say it may have been written as early as the late 80’s of the first century, though the date has been difficult to determine most scholars date it around the turn of the century. Even at this early date, however, we can see what was believed was later formulated at Nicea.

 

“Truly God himself … has sent from heaven and placed among men the truth and the holy and incomprehensible Word and has firmly established him in their hearts. He did not, as one might have imagined, send to men any servant, angel, ruler, or anyone of those who bear sway over earthly things … but the very Creator and Fashioner of all things—by whom he made the heavens.” (Letter to Diognetus chapter. 7)

 

This anonymous author was not trying to explain exactly the formulated creed but he leaves us several clues that he held the same view as that of the later creed.

 

Here's another one:

“He sent the Word that he might be manifested to the world … This is he who was from the beginning, who appeared as if new, and was found old, yet is ever born afresh in the hearts of the saints. This is he, who being from everlasting, is today called the Son.” (Letter to Diognetus chapter. 11)

 

I will continue from Clement of Rome who wrote also at the turn of the first century;

“For as God lives, and as the Lord Jesus Christ lives, and the Holy Spirit, who are the faith and the hope of the elect.... Amen.” (Letter of Clement to the Corinthians, 58:2)

  

In around the year 125;

“The Christians, then, trace the beginning of their religion from Jesus the Messiah; and he is named the Son of God Most High. And it is said that God came down from heaven, and from a Hebrew virgin assumed and clothed himself with flesh;.... This is taught in the gospel” (THE APOLOGY OF ARISTIDES chapter 2)

 

Justin martyr in his Dialogue with Trypho, a Jew, writes;

 

“…you will permit me first to recount the prophecies, which I wish to do in order TO PROVE that Christ is called BOTH GOD AND LORD OF HOSTS…” (Dialogue with Trypho, Chpeter 36 emphasis added)

 

“And Trypho said, ‘We have heard what you think of these matters… For when you say that THIS CHRIST EXISTED AS GOD before the ages, then that He submitted to be born and become man’… And I replied to this… ‘as Son of the Maker of all things, BEING GOD, and was born a man by the Virgin’” (Dialogue with Trypho, chapter 48 emphasis added).

 

“Our teacher of these things is Jesus Christ, who also was born for this purpose, and was crucified under Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judaea, in the times of Tiberius Caesar…and holding HIM IN THE SECOND PLACE, AND THE PROPHETIC SPIRIT IN THE THIRD… for they do not discern the mystery that is herein, to which, as we make it plain to you, we pray you to give heed.” (First Apology, chapter 14 emphasis added).

 

Irenaeus is another important witness who shows what the early Christians believed, having sat under the teaching of Polycarp who had been appointed bishop of Smyrna by the apostle John. Irenaeus was a missionary to barbarians in Gaul (modern France) who supervised several churches in and around Lyons.

 

"For I have shown from the scriptures, that no one of the sons of Adam is as to everything, and absolutely, called God, or named Lord. But that He is Himself in His own right, beyond all men who ever lived, God, and Lord, and King Eternal, and the Incarnate Word, proclaimed by all the prophets, the apostles, and by the Spirit Himself, may be seen by all who have attained to even a small portion of the truth. Now, the scriptures would not have testified these things of Him, if, like others, He had been a mere man.” (Against Heresies, book 3, chapter 19)

 

Tertillian writes “All are of One, by unity (that is) of substance; while the mystery of the dispensation is still guarded, which distributes THE UNITY INTO A TRINITY, placing in their order THE THREE PERSONS — the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit: THREE…of one substance, and of one condition, and of one power, inasmuch as He is one God, from whom these degrees and forms and aspects are reckoned, under the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. How they are susceptible of number without division, will be shown as our treatise proceeds.” (Against Praxeas chapter 2 emphasis added)

 

"Thus the connection of the Father in the Son, and of the Son in the Paraclete, produces three coherent Persons, who are yet distinct One from Another. These Three are, one essence, not one Person” (Against Praxeas, chapter 25)

 

Hippolytus also writes “A man, therefore, even though he will it not, is compelled to acknowledge God the Father Almighty, and Christ Jesus the Son of God, who, being God, became man, to whom also the Father made all things subject, Himself excepted, and the Holy Spirit; and that these, therefore, are three.” (Against The Heresy Of One Noetus, section 8)

 

I could go on, but this has turned out very long already, there are so many examples which show that what the early church believed is exactly what was formulated at Nicea.

 

It is clear that the teachings of the early Christian church are the very same teachings formulated at Nicea and the same as those taught to this day. 

Notice also how these early church writers in their works refute Heresies (the wheat against the weeds; the sheep against the goats; the narrow vs broad road). Yet nowhere do they even mention a belief system that even remotely resembles the JW form of religion, that is, until Arianism appeared in the fourth century.

 

Here are some more Scriptures that testify that the true belief system would NOT cease, Matt. 16:18-19; 28:20, Acts 28:28 also Isa. 59:21.

 

So when you claim that “Jehovah's Witnesses are careful not to claim that the church ceased to exist through the intervening centuries, only that restoration was needed through long years of false doctrine.”

 

If “restoration was needed” then you are indirectly claiming that your belief system, even though it is supposedly the true one, ceased?

 

As this is very long I just want to briefly say one more thing and that is in regard to your comment about the philosophical language used by the church to explain the trinity. When explaining something to others you use the language that they understand, you don’t use language or terminology that they are not familiar with, right?

 

In the Roman world there were many schools of philosophy, so it is little wonder that this is the language that the church used, some try to make an issue of this when there is nothing in it. Even though the terminology the early church writer used was indeed philosophical in origin which they admit, we have the words of one who used these philosophical terms more then most, and said “the knowledge which calls men to lead a good and blessed life derives from no other source but the very words and teaching of Christ” (Origen, On First Principles, emphasis mine).

 

I apologize if this response is abrupt in any way. <><

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On ‎5‎/‎18‎/‎2017 at 11:49 PM, ThePraeceptor said:

Not if you understand Greek. You simply can not translate this frase like this. There is also no hint for any underlying meanings.

How exactly have you reached this understanding?

 

Here are what some Greek experts say,

Several of the principal manuscripts and a great mass of ancient evidence support the reading μονογενὴς Θεὸς, “God only begotten.”  (Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament)

 

“The best old Greek manuscripts (Aleph B C L) read monogenēs theos (God only begotten) which is undoubtedly the true text.” (Robertson Word Pictures). <><

 

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2 hours ago, Cos said:

You say that you “never assumed he (Rufinus) was personally dishonest” but then you call into question why he singled out “one topic…almost all Trinity references”.

Rufinus may have been sincere in thinking he was editing out corruptions to Origen, when he was actually editing Origen himself. He may have merely been judging Origen by his own later standards, as you say of others. The language had indeed developed so that Origen's seeming contradictions could now be stated with words that erased those contradictions. (In my opinion, the developing language merely hid the contradictions.) More evidence that Rufinus got some of it wrong is seen in the language of those "students/disciples" who followed Origen. I can't speak for differences, for example, in Paul of Samosata's view of monarchianism yet (three manifestations of one God in one person, instead of 3 persons).

As I get a chance, I'm re-reading the first couple volumes of "The Faith of the Early Fathers" and just starting "Origen: Scholarship in Service of the Church." I should probably re-read Eusebius, which I just found again yesterday in my library. I read it about 30 years ago as a complete novice to these things, and was only concerned then about his views on the various books of the Bible canon.

3 hours ago, Cos said:

“The Church … has received from the apostles and their disciples this faith in one God, the Father … in one Christ Jesus, the Son of God, who became incarnate for our salvation; and in the Holy Spirit.” (Against Heresies)

This is what Jehovah's Witnesses believe, too. Sometimes, there is confusion because we generally avoid terms like "incarnate" but we still believe that the Word became flesh.

3 hours ago, Cos said:

But what we find in Eusebius’ “Ecclesiastical History” is that it abounds with quotes from those who lived before him. If the church in its earlier days had believed anything different from Nicea, OR if the belief system of the early church had developed over time no one would have known better than Eusebius. But instead of testifying any change, Eusebius defended what they believed in harmony with the Nicene creed.

To me this is evidence that Eusebius did his duty to find agreement in past statements even if he had to cherry-pick to do it. Eusebius was a church "politician" in my view. Some of what he says is very intriguing. The way he dismisses Papias, for example, as a fool because Papias thought he should go to Palestine and get the views of secondary witnesses, and came back with a lot of stories that weren't in (or contradicted) the canonical scriptures. But we have several such issues that seem impossible if there had already been a coherent and unchangeable canon in front of 2nd century bishops. (Not just Papias, but the adoptionism of Theodotus of Byzantium, for example.) Eusebius in effect admits to "cherry picking" in the way he dismisses what doesn't fit.

4 hours ago, Cos said:

To which doctrine, explained in this way, it appeared right to assent, especially since we knew that some eminent bishops and learned writers among the ancients have used the term “homoousios” in their theological discourses concerning the nature of the Father and the Son”

I'll quote the opening to the article, I quoted from before: "DID ORIGEN APPLY THE WORD HOMOOUSIOS TO THE SON?" with some highlights added:

This essay takes its title from one by Richard Hanson, which gives as its answer a 'decisive no'.1 Mine will be a qualified yes— the more confident, however—in that I argue for an indirect and transient application of the term, which will explain why it does not appear elsewhere in Origen's works and was not adopted by his pupils. The question is an important one, since Origen was, by common consent, the most profound and versatile theologian of the Church before the Council of Nicaea in 325. After this date the homoousion gradually prevailed as the orthodox symbol for the unity of the Godhead,2 but Origen had given the Church its complementary formula of 'three Hypostases'.3 As the homoousion came to signify, not merely a community of attributes or nature, but an equality of status between the persons of the Trinity, Origen's theology was denounced by those who believed that he subordinated the other two Hypostases to the First. For this reason and others he was condemned at the Second Council of Constantinople in 553.

That said, I can add that I have no problem with the way that Origen used the term in the sense that Jesus and God are of the same nature or essence. They are spirit creatures. But not equal, as Origen makes clear. This makes them, in effect, the same "substance" as spirit, and therefore also "the holy spirit" which emanates from them.  (Although I hate to use the term substance of something that is not material.)

It's curious that they chose a word that had actually been developed into a 2nd-century doctrine by the very unorthodox Gnostics. Note this from Wikipedia:

Pre-Nicene usage

The term ὁμοούσιος had been used before its adoption by the First Council of Nicaea. The

    Hello guest!
were the first to use the word ὁμοούσιος, while before the Gnostics there is no trace at all of its existence.
    Hello guest!
    Hello guest!
    Hello guest!
    Hello guest!
    Hello guest!
    Hello guest!
    Hello guest!
    Hello guest!
    Hello guest!
    Hello guest!
The early church theologians were probably made aware of this concept, and thus of the doctrine of
    Hello guest!
, taught by the Gnostics.
    Hello guest!
In Gnostic texts the word ὁμοούσιος is used with the following meanings:

  • Identity of substance between generator and generated.

  • Identity of substance between things generated of the same substance.

  • Identity of substance between the partners of a

      Hello guest!
    .

For example,

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, the first known Gnostic thinker to use ὁμοούσιος in the first half of the 2nd century AD, speaks of a threefold sonship consubstantial with the god who is not.
    Hello guest!
    Hello guest!
The
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Gnostic
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claims in his letter to Flora that it is the nature of the good God to beget and bring forth only beings similar to, and consubstantial with, himself.
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The term ὁμοούσιος was already in current use by the 2nd-century Gnostics, and through their works it became known to the orthodox
    Hello guest!
, though this Gnostic use of the term had no reference to the specific relationship between Father and Son, as is the case in the
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.

Adoption in the Nicene Creed

The Nicene Creed is the official doctrine of most Christian churches . . . with regard to the

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status of the three persons or
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of the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

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seems to have been the first ecclesiastical writer to use the word ὁμοούσιος in a
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context,
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but it is evident in his writings that he considered the Son's divinity lesser than the Father's, since he even calls the Son a creature.
    Hello guest!

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4 hours ago, Cos said:

would like to have a look at one of the earliest of Christian writings after the NT. In an anonymous letter to Diognetus, some say it may have been written as early as the late 80’s of the first century, though the date has been difficult to determine most scholars date it around the turn of the century. Even at this early date, however, we can see what was believed was later formulated at Nicea.

Wikipedia indicates that most scholars would seem to put it closer to the 190's, not the 80's:

estimates of dating based on the language and other textual evidence have ranged from AD 130

    Hello guest!
(which would make it one of the earliest examples of apologetic literature), to the late 2nd century, with the latter often preferred in modern scholarship.
    Hello guest!

4 hours ago, Cos said:

“Truly God himself … has sent from heaven and placed among men the truth and the holy and incomprehensible Word and has firmly established him in their hearts. He did not, as one might have imagined, send to men any servant, angel, ruler, or anyone of those who bear sway over earthly things … but the very Creator and Fashioner of all things—by whom he made the heavens.” (Letter to Diognetus chapter. 7)

 

This anonymous author was not trying to explain exactly the formulated creed but he leaves us several clues that he held the same view as that of the later creed.

 

Here's another one:

“He sent the Word that he might be manifested to the world … This is he who was from the beginning, who appeared as if new, and was found old, yet is ever born afresh in the hearts of the saints. This is he, who being from everlasting, is today called the Son.” (Letter to Diognetus chapter. 11)

The letter is known from a 13th century manuscript. Wikipedia makes a point about a phrase in chapter 10:

The 10th chapter breaks off in mid thought and so the last two chapters, a kind of

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that abandons the (fictive?) epistolary formula, are often considered to be later additions as characteristically 3rd-century contentions appear in them: "This Word, Who was from the beginning...". Some have ascribed these additions to
    Hello guest!
, based on similarities of thought and style.

This does not spoil your point about the entire letter, but I find nothing in the letter that I could not agree with. Note too that the words you left out after "Truly God himself, the Almighty, has sent from heaven and placed among men the truth and the holy and incomprehensible Word." Although Witnesses identify the Word with Michael as an archangel, we would also agree that the Almighty God did not send just "any servant, angel, ruler," etc. The Bible is clear that it was Jesus, as the Word, through whom all things were created.

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5 hours ago, Cos said:

I will continue from Clement of Rome who wrote also at the turn of the first century;

“For as God lives, and as the Lord Jesus Christ lives, and the Holy Spirit, who are the faith and the hope of the elect.... Amen.” (Letter of Clement to the Corinthians, 58:2)

This was responded to already, by others. There is nothing here that we don't believe. Curious that the Holy Spirit doesn't explicity "live" and that God is separated from Jesus and the Holy Spirit, so that they not God in this context. Trinitarian doctrine is conspicuous by its absence.

5 hours ago, Cos said:

In around the year 125;

“The Christians, then, trace the beginning of their religion from Jesus the Messiah; and he is named the Son of God Most High. And it is said that God came down from heaven, and from a Hebrew virgin assumed and clothed himself with flesh;.... This is taught in the gospel” (THE APOLOGY OF ARISTIDES chapter 2)

Wikipedia quotes references to put it at 138-161. The line "This is taught in the gospel" is not found in all the versions and is considered a gloss. That doesn't change the idea that "God came down from heaven" which is evidently part of the original, and which I would say is worded in a way that is different from inspired scripture. God sent his Son from heaven, who had been with God "from the beginning." But this is not the same God coming down from heaven, because God was still in heaven. Jesus said that he would return to "my God" at his ascension. And of course, even after that ascension it was God who gave Jesus Christ the Revelation, which he gave to John. This was the point that JTR previously made.

I agree that it's quite possible however that somewhere between 125 and 161, some Christians explained the divinity of Christ in terms that were at least "Binitarian" but not yet Trinitarian. The nature of philosophical beliefs and syncretism with their former beliefs as Gentiles probably influenced confusion in some of them during the life and preaching of the apostles, themselves.

There is not a perfect consistency in the doctrines as they are presented by Justin Martyr around 160 (opinion) and he may have even been responsible for some of the wording we see in the "Apology of Aristides" above. Both of them use the expression "he was pierced by the Jews" for example. But I would agree that Martyr also appears "Binitarian" but not yet fully Trinitarian. I'll check into the quote from his First Apology later.

After Iranaeus, 180, and those after him, I'm not concerned that there were full Trinitarians teaching openly. But even here, as with Origen, their teachings were not always considered consistent enough to avoid condemnation.

 

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On ‎5‎/‎20‎/‎2017 at 11:28 PM, JW Insider said:

This was responded to already, by others. There is nothing here that we don't believe. Curious that the Holy Spirit doesn't explicity "live" and that God is separated from Jesus and the Holy Spirit, so that they not God in this context. Trinitarian doctrine is conspicuous by its absence.

Wikipedia quotes references to put it at 138-161. The line "This is taught in the gospel" is not found in all the versions and is considered a gloss. That doesn't change the idea that "God came down from heaven" which is evidently part of the original, and which I would say is worded in a way that is different from inspired scripture. God sent his Son from heaven, who had been with God "from the beginning." But this is not the same God coming down from heaven, because God was still in heaven. Jesus said that he would return to "my God" at his ascension. And of course, even after that ascension it was God who gave Jesus Christ the Revelation, which he gave to John. This was the point that JTR previously made.

I agree that it's quite possible however that somewhere between 125 and 161, some Christians explained the divinity of Christ in terms that were at least "Binitarian" but not yet Trinitarian. The nature of philosophical beliefs and syncretism with their former beliefs as Gentiles probably influenced confusion in some of them during the life and preaching of the apostles, themselves.

There is not a perfect consistency in the doctrines as they are presented by Justin Martyr around 160 (opinion) and he may have even been responsible for some of the wording we see in the "Apology of Aristides" above. Both of them use the expression "he was pierced by the Jews" for example. But I would agree that Martyr also appears "Binitarian" but not yet fully Trinitarian. I'll check into the quote from his First Apology later.

After Iranaeus, 180, and those after him, I'm not concerned that there were full Trinitarians teaching openly. But even here, as with Origen, their teachings were not always considered consistent enough to avoid condemnation.

 

Hello JW Insider,

 

Please don’t take this the wrong way as I am enjoying our discussion and therefore don’t mean to be rude in this, but why send three posts when only one would do, I don’t get that, it seems to be a common practice by some here.

 

I get a lot of emails, a lot, which I have to go through, so sending more than one reply only makes it more cumbersome to work with not to mention that it is difficult to follow your train of thought; I hope that you can understand this. If you want to quote what I say then just put in your post something like “You say, ‘such and such and such’ ” there is no need, which I can see, to respond by multiple posts.

 

You say in one post;

The language had indeed developed so that Origen's seeming contradictions could now be stated with words that erased those contradictions. (In my opinion, the developing language merely hid the contradictions.)”

 

Can you give some examples of the “developing language” that you say “hid the contradiction”.

 

You then bring up Paul of Samosata, who held to the view of monarchianism, and who is also referred to as a devotee of Artemas, see Eusebius Ecclesiastical History 5 chapter 28. This just goes to show the amount of misunderstanding which abound in regard to Origen. Rufinus, at least, is straight forward in what he says; if he was “editing Origen himself” as you claim, why would he say to compare these with other portions of Origen’s writings? The kind of opinion you hold to about Rufinus, show me that you are set on the negative by calling into doubt what is said because it doesn’t sit right with you and your belief system.

 

After my quote from Irenaeus; “The Church … has received from the apostles and their disciples this faith in one God, the Father … in one Christ Jesus, the Son of God, who became incarnate for our salvation; and in the Holy Spirit.” (Against Heresies)

 

You say

“This is what Jehovah's Witnesses believe, too. Sometimes, there is confusion because we generally avoid terms like "incarnate" but we still believe that the Word became flesh

 

If this is what “Jehovah’s Witnesses believe, too”, then you must put equal faith in the Holy Spirit as in the Son and the Father,  the same as Irenaeus does, do you, JW Insider, put equal faith in the Holy Spirit? Note how “this faith” is singular and is applicable to all three equally.

 

By the way the “and” in the quote from Clements letter to the Corinthians before “the Holy Spirit” indicates that “lives” is applicable the Him also. And yes others, or at least one other did respond to this quote, but when I ask him what he thought it meant, all he could say was “What he said” so “what he said’ is what he meant (?). I will ask you the same question, what does Clement mean when he says that the three are “the faith and hope of the elect”?

 

Eusebius’ “cheery picking” as you call his rendering of Ecclesiastical History, does not negate the fact that he make no mention (even any shrouded reference) that the belief system of the early church “developed” from one system (such as the binitarian belief system) to another.

 

In fact the binitarian belief system emerged after the Arian controversy toward the later part of the fourth century, and as a belief system it has ceased and then started over again throughout the last eighteen centuries. Remember Eusebius makes no mention of any such system.

 

The true belief system would not cease, so any claim to “restoration” is contrary to Scripture.

 

There is much more in the writings of the early church prior to Nicea that show what they believed and taught is consistent with the later creedal formula, we have only touch on a few examples I can cite more if you like. The Father the Son and the Holy Spirit were together believed upon by these first Christians.

 

The early church, from the first century onwards, always agreed that there were three in the Godhead, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, in complete accord with the later creeds. If one examines carefully and with all honesty the writings of the early church their language and theology bear forth their understanding of the Triune God long before and in complete harmony with the 4th century formulated creeds.

 

I finish off here with a quote from Ignatius;

 

“There are not then either three Fathers, or three Sons, or three Paracletes, but one Father, and one Son, and one Paraclete. Wherefore also the Lord, when He sent forth the apostles to make disciples of all nations, commanded them to “baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost,” not unto one [person] having three names, nor into three [persons] who became incarnate, but into three possessed of equal honor.”(THE EPISTLE OF IGNATIUS TO THE PHILIPPIANS, chapter 2). <><

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4 hours ago, Cos said:

Please don’t take this the wrong way as I am enjoying our discussion and therefore don’t mean to be rude in this, but why send three posts when only one would do, I don’t get that, it seems to be a common practice by some here.

 

I get a lot of emails, a lot, which I have to go through, so sending more than one reply only makes it more cumbersome to work with not to mention that it is difficult to follow your train of thought; I hope that you can understand this. If you want to quote what I say then just put in your post something like “You say, ‘such and such and such’ ” there is no need, which I can see, to respond by multiple posts.

I will try to remember that for conversations with you. I have a tendency to respond with too many words, so I'm usually guessing that most people look at what I have written and just don't bother. ("too-long-didn't-read" -- tldr.) I rarely edit things down to a better size, which means that putting all my posts together would create "tldr times three" or "tldr times four." Of course, it doesn't bother me at all if no one reads what I've said, because writing out my responses in detail serves to make me think through an idea more completely, for myself, and then produces a "paper trail" for others to correct or to see if it still makes sense after I learn more. And if it's "tldr" then only those who WANT to go to the time and trouble to correct my errors will engage.

4 hours ago, Cos said:

You say in one post;

The language had indeed developed so that Origen's seeming contradictions could now be stated with words that erased those contradictions. (In my opinion, the developing language merely hid the contradictions.)”

 

Can you give some examples of the “developing language” that you say “hid the contradiction”.

homoousia

4 hours ago, Cos said:

You then bring up Paul of Samosata, who held to the view of monarchianism, and who is also referred to as a devotee of Artemas, see Eusebius Ecclesiastical History 5 chapter 28. This just goes to show the amount of misunderstanding which abound in regard to Origen.

People can pick and choose from more than one teacher. Paul of Samosata followed Origen in several ways. I see no misunderstanding.

4 hours ago, Cos said:

Rufinus, at least, is straight forward in what he says; if he was “editing Origen himself” as you claim, why would he say to compare these with other portions of Origen’s writings? The kind of opinion you hold to about Rufinus, show me that you are set on the negative by calling into doubt what is said because it doesn’t sit right with you and your belief system.

That's one of the evidences that Rufinus sincerely thought he was doing the right thing. If he misunderstood what Origen meant in one place and it made him edit what Origen said in another place then it means we have lost out on being able to determine for ourselves the full range of Origen's ideas, or we may have lost out on our ability to see where Origen may have contradicted himself. Also, if Origen said "A" in one place and "B" in another, how do we know whether Rufinus picked the correct places to edit. Perhaps Origen would have preferred all his A's to be corrected as B's and Rufinus corrected all his B's and made them A's.

4 hours ago, Cos said:

After my quote from Irenaeus; “The Church … has received from the apostles and their disciples this faith in one God, the Father … in one Christ Jesus, the Son of God, who became incarnate for our salvation; and in the Holy Spirit.” (Against Heresies)

 

You say

“This is what Jehovah's Witnesses believe, too. Sometimes, there is confusion because we generally avoid terms like "incarnate" but we still believe that the Word became flesh

 

If this is what “Jehovah’s Witnesses believe, too”, then you must put equal faith in the Holy Spirit as in the Son and the Father,  the same as Irenaeus does, do you, JW Insider, put equal faith in the Holy Spirit? Note how “this faith” is singular and is applicable to all three equally.

God helps us and communicates to us through the Word, his only-begotten Son, and God helps and communicates to us through the holy spirit, which was especially manifested through the work of the apostles and first-century disciples in laying the foundation of the first-century congregations. That work of the holy spirit has come down to us in the form of the inspired Bible which added the inspired Greek Scriptures to the canon of the inspired Hebrew Scriptures. The holy spirit also works in the lives of individuals so that we can give faith, love and hope a priority in our lives and conquer in our war over sin and the works of the flesh. (Galatians 5:16-26)

Therefore we do have equal faith in God, his Son, and his holy spirit. We can't have real faith in God without equal faith in all his means of help and all his means of communicating his purpose and character to us. It should therefore have been quite natural for all Christian writers to link God, his Son, and his holy spirit. It should be natural for them to be linked together in the Greek Scriptures, too.

4 hours ago, Cos said:

By the way the “and” in the quote from Clements letter to the Corinthians before “the Holy Spirit” indicates that “lives” is applicable the Him also. And yes others, or at least one other did respond to this quote, but when I ask him what he thought it meant, all he could say was “What he said” so “what he said’ is what he meant (?). I will ask you the same question, what does Clement mean when he says that the three are “the faith and hope of the elect”?

If that "and" argument were necessarily so, he would not have needed to add "lives" before Jesus, either.

To the question as to what Clement likely meant, I would merely repeat the last two paragraphs I wrote above. They should be linked because our faith and hope is dependent on God and his direct means of working with us. Our faith and hope is not dependent on angels, organizations, material support, or even our fellow believers.

4 hours ago, Cos said:

Remember Eusebius makes no mention of any such [binitarian] system.

Perhaps not intentionally. His goal is to tie the current official faith of the Church to the faith handed down by the apostles. You are referring to a more formal Binitarian belief. I am referring to a time shortly after the writings of the apostles, especially John's gospel, when the primary goal was to resolve the meaning of Christ's divinity. There were several potential solutions offered, some which congealed in religions that are hardly recognizable as "Christianity" today, such as various heresies and forms of gnosticism.

4 hours ago, Cos said:

The true belief system would not cease, so any claim to “restoration” is contrary to Scripture.

Perhaps. There are two ways to look at this issue. One is that the wheat and weeds grow together throughout the history of believers. But it might never mean that there was a time when the majority of believers held correct beliefs. Jehovah's Witnesses have long held that there were believers holding to a true belief system throughout history. Only near the end, towards the time of the harvest, would the wheat and weeds become distinguishable. So JWs believe that God and Jesus have always had "Witnesses" throughout history, and that the true belief system has not ceased. Another way to look at this is that the congregation that Jesus identifies as his Witnesses is not strictly identified throughout all of history by the sum total of their belief system. It may be that it refers to all those who are motivated to allow Jesus teachings about love for God and neighbor to guide their lives, doing unto others as they would have done to themselves, and therefore they are allowing the fruits of the holy spirit to guide their lives. Outside of that, all these other doctrines are of a much lower priority.

4 hours ago, Cos said:

There is much more in the writings of the early church prior to Nicea that show what they believed and taught is consistent with the later creedal formula, we have only touch on a few examples I can cite more if you like. The Father the Son and the Holy Spirit were together believed upon by these first Christians.

I have already described a sense in which the three entities should be spoken of together, and I have no problem linking them in many of the ways that the ANF linked them.

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On ‎5‎/‎22‎/‎2017 at 11:30 PM, JW Insider said:

I will try to remember that for conversations with you. I have a tendency to respond with too many words, so I'm usually guessing that most people look at what I have written and just don't bother. ("too-long-didn't-read" -- tldr.) I rarely edit things down to a better size, which means that putting all my posts together would create "tldr times three" or "tldr times four." Of course, it doesn't bother me at all if no one reads what I've said, because writing out my responses in detail serves to make me think through an idea more completely, for myself, and then produces a "paper trail" for others to correct or to see if it still makes sense after I learn more. And if it's "tldr" then only those who WANT to go to the time and trouble to correct my errors will engage.

homoousia

People can pick and choose from more than one teacher. Paul of Samosata followed Origen in several ways. I see no misunderstanding.

That's one of the evidences that Rufinus sincerely thought he was doing the right thing. If he misunderstood what Origen meant in one place and it made him edit what Origen said in another place then it means we have lost out on being able to determine for ourselves the full range of Origen's ideas, or we may have lost out on our ability to see where Origen may have contradicted himself. Also, if Origen said "A" in one place and "B" in another, how do we know whether Rufinus picked the correct places to edit. Perhaps Origen would have preferred all his A's to be corrected as B's and Rufinus corrected all his B's and made them A's.

God helps us and communicates to us through the Word, his only-begotten Son, and God helps and communicates to us through the holy spirit, which was especially manifested through the work of the apostles and first-century disciples in laying the foundation of the first-century congregations. That work of the holy spirit has come down to us in the form of the inspired Bible which added the inspired Greek Scriptures to the canon of the inspired Hebrew Scriptures. The holy spirit also works in the lives of individuals so that we can give faith, love and hope a priority in our lives and conquer in our war over sin and the works of the flesh. (Galatians 5:16-26)

Therefore we do have equal faith in God, his Son, and his holy spirit. We can't have real faith in God without equal faith in all his means of help and all his means of communicating his purpose and character to us. It should therefore have been quite natural for all Christian writers to link God, his Son, and his holy spirit. It should be natural for them to be linked together in the Greek Scriptures, too.

If that "and" argument were necessarily so, he would not have needed to add "lives" before Jesus, either.

To the question as to what Clement likely meant, I would merely repeat the last two paragraphs I wrote above. They should be linked because our faith and hope is dependent on God and his direct means of working with us. Our faith and hope is not dependent on angels, organizations, material support, or even our fellow believers.

Perhaps not intentionally. His goal is to tie the current official faith of the Church to the faith handed down by the apostles. You are referring to a more formal Binitarian belief. I am referring to a time shortly after the writings of the apostles, especially John's gospel, when the primary goal was to resolve the meaning of Christ's divinity. There were several potential solutions offered, some which congealed in religions that are hardly recognizable as "Christianity" today, such as various heresies and forms of gnosticism.

Perhaps. There are two ways to look at this issue. One is that the wheat and weeds grow together throughout the history of believers. But it might never mean that there was a time when the majority of believers held correct beliefs. Jehovah's Witnesses have long held that there were believers holding to a true belief system throughout history. Only near the end, towards the time of the harvest, would the wheat and weeds become distinguishable. So JWs believe that God and Jesus have always had "Witnesses" throughout history, and that the true belief system has not ceased. Another way to look at this is that the congregation that Jesus identifies as his Witnesses is not strictly identified throughout all of history by the sum total of their belief system. It may be that it refers to all those who are motivated to allow Jesus teachings about love for God and neighbor to guide their lives, doing unto others as they would have done to themselves, and therefore they are allowing the fruits of the holy spirit to guide their lives. Outside of that, all these other doctrines are of a much lower priority.

I have already described a sense in which the three entities should be spoken of together, and I have no problem linking them in many of the ways that the ANF linked them.

Hello JW Insider,

 

I’m sorry that I couldn’t get back to you earlier my week has been very busy.

 

You say,

“Also, if Origen said "A" in one place and "B" in another, how do we know whether Rufinus picked the correct places to edit. Perhaps Origen would have preferred all his A's to be corrected as B's and Rufinus corrected all his B's and made them A's.”

 

Origen did not say “A” in one place and “B’ in another maybe you missed how, not only Rufinus, but also Pamphilus, mention that Origen’s work had been altered by others. So how can we know for sure? By doing what Rufinus suggests and compare these renderings to Origen’s other writings. So shall we?

 

 “Light without splendor is unthinkable. But if this is true, there is never a time when the Son was not the Son. He will be, however, not, as we have described the eternal light, unborn (lest we seem to introduce two principles of light), but, as it were, the splendor of the unbegotten light, with that very light as His beginning and source, born of it indeed, but there was not a time when He was not. Thus Wisdom, too, since it proceeds from God, is generated out of the divine substance itself. Under the figure of a bodily outflow, nevertheless, it, too, is thus called 'a sort of clean and pure outflow of omnipotent glory' (Wis. 7:25). Both these similes manifestly show the community of substance between Son and Father. For an outflow seems ὁμοὐσιος, i.e., of one substance with that body of which it is the outflow or exhaltation (Origen In Hebr. frg. 24,359 emphasis mine).

 

Let’s notice a few things from this. When Origen says that there never was a time when the Son was not, this is in stark contrast with the later Arian principle that “there was a time when the Son was not”.

 

Another point is the uses of the word homoousios which you imply is a distortion of the developing language. Yet Origen here uses the word hamoousios in speaking of the Son's basic relation with the Father. Homoousios (Greek. ὁμοούσιος) means "of the same substance," "of the same essence."  Homo means "same" and ousia means "essence."  Origen is saying that the Son is of identically the same substance as the Father and thus is God just as the Father is God. For a more detailed treatment see G. L. Prestige, “God in Patristic Thought”, pp. 197-199.

 

You say;

“People can pick and choose from more than one teacher. Paul of Samosata followed Origen in several ways. I see no misunderstanding.”

 

It is interesting that Eusebius makes no mention of this and we both know Eusebius’ leanings were more towards your belief system, but I do agree “People can pick and choose from more than one teacher” but there is no confirmation of this theory in regard to Paul of Samosats,… not even from Eusebius, but then he would appear to be a charlatan because, from what you say, he does not record the specifics of church history but only a whitewashed version to “tie in” with “the current official faith”.

 

Even though Eusebius mentions other heresies which the church faced in the years before his own time, there is no mention of Binitarianism none at all. Why would he “intentionally” not mention this heresy? It’s because this heresy did not appear until the late fourth century. If it were a belief system BEFORE the fourth century then people like Irenaeus, Tertullian, Hippolytus, and of course  Eusebius, would have referred to it, but there is nothing; just as there is no belief system that even resembles the JW form of religion being mentioned by these early church writers.

 

What you need to consider is this fact, the early church writers refuted all forms of heresy they do not even mention any group that resemble your type of religion because it did not exist until much later! This is fact, it’s not speculation no matter how many ways you want to “look at the issue” this fact speak volumes. <><

 

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      The glory of these 119 attributes are jointly owned by the Father and the Son, and nobody else.
      Jesus Christ is Jehovah God, equally with the Father, because both the Father and Son alone
      have the following attributes:
      1. both are to be honoured equally (John 5:23)
      2. both are the I AM (Exodus 3:14-15; John 8:24,58)
      3. both are the Mighty God (Isaiah 10:20,21; Jer 32:18; Psalm 50:1; Isaiah 9:6; Gen 49:24)
      4. both own the same throne (Psalm 45:6,7; Hebrews 1:8; Revelation 22:1,3)
      5. both accept worship (Exodus 34:14; I Chronicles 16:29; Hebrews 1:6; Matthew 28:9)
      6. both laid the foundation of the earth (Psalm 102:24-27; Isaiah 48:13; Hebrews 1:10-12)
      7. One God has created mankind (Mal. 2:10; Prov. 16:4; Isaiah 44:24; Col 1:16; John 1:3)
      8. both are the Shepherd (Psalm 80;1; Gen 49:24; John 10:11; Hebrews 13:20; I Peter 5:4)
      9. both are from Everlasting (Psalm 90:2; Habakkuk 1:12; Micah 5:2; Hebrews 7:3).
      10. both are the First and Last (Isaiah 44:6; Revelation 1:17,18; Rev. 2:8; See p.54).)
      11. both are the Alpha and Omega (Revelation 1:8; 21:5-7; 22:13-16; See p.54)
      12. both come and Reward (Isaiah 40:10; 62:11; Revelation 22:12)
      13. both are unchangeable (Malachi 3:6: Hebrews 13:8)
      14. both have unsearchable riches (Romans 11:33; Ephesians 3:8)
      15. both are the Holy One (Isaiah 43:15; Acts 3:14)
      16. both are omnipresent and fill all things (Psalm 139:7; Jer. 23:24; Eph. 4:10; John 3:13)
      17. both are omniscient (Psalm 147:5; Prov. 14:3; John 21:17; John 16:30; Colossians 2:3)
      18. both are omnipotent (Genesis 17:1; Matthew 28:18; Hebrews 1:3)
      19. both are eternal (Deuteronomy 33:27; Hebrews 7:3; Micah 5:2)
      20. both own the everlasting Kingdom (Psalm 145:13; Daniel 7:14; II Peter 1:11)
      21. both are Lord of all (Psalm 103:19; Matthew 11:25; Acts 10:36)
      22. both are the only Saviour (Isaiah 43:11; Titus 1:3,4; Philippians 3:20; II Peter 1:1; 3:18; Luke 2:11; Hebrews 5:9; Acts 4:12)
      23. both are the Truth (Deuteronomy 32:4; John 14:6)
      24. both are sinless (Deuteronomy 32:4; Hebrews 4:15)
      25. both are in the beginning (Genesis 1:1; John 1:1)
      26. both God and the Son are the Judge (Psalm 82:8; John 5:22), but the Father is not the Judge (John 5:22 ‘The Father judgeth no man’).
      27. both are our Hope (Psalm 39:7; I Timothy 1:1)
      28. both shelter believers under their wings (Psalm 91:2,4; Matthew 23:37)
      29. both are our Redeemer (Psalm 130:7,8; Isaiah 44:6; Galatians 3:13; Titus 2:14)
      30. the glory of both was seen by Isaiah (Isaiah 6:3,5; John 12:41)
      31. both are the Rock (Deuteronomy 32:3,4,18; Psalm 18:31; I Corinthians 10:4)
      32. both are to be looked to for salvation (Isaiah 45:22; John 1:29; John 6:40)
      33. to both shall every knee bow and every tongue confess (Isaiah 45:23; Philippians 2:10; Romans 14:10,11)
      34. the enemies of both shall perish (Psalm 92:9; Philippians 3:18,19)
      35. both send the Holy Spirit (Joel 2:28; John 16:7)
      36. to both shall all men come (Psalm 65:2; Isaiah 45:24; John 12:32)
      37. both forgive sins (Exodus 34:7; Mark 2:5,7; Colossians 3:13)
      38. both blot out sin (Isaiah 43:25; Hebrews 1:3; I John 1:7)
      39. both still storms (Psalm 107:29; Matthew 8:26)
      40. both own the Holy Spirit (Matthew 10:20; Romans 8:9)
      41. both seek the lost (Ezekiel 34:16; Luke 19:10)
      42. to both are applied 10 aspects of the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13; see page 954)
      43. both receive believers to glory (Psalm 73:24; John 14:3)
      44. both are our One Master (Malachi 1:6; Matthew 23:8,10)
      45. both are served by believers (Deuteronomy 10:20; Colossians 3:24)
      46. both lead believers to living waters (Psalm 23:2; Revelation 7:17)
      47. both correct believers (Proverbs 3:12; Revelation 3:19)
      48. both prepare a place for believers in heaven (Hebrews 11:16; John 14:2)
      49. both are all in all (I Corinthians 15:28; Colossians 3:11)
      50. both are known by believers (Galatians 4:9; Philippians 3:10; John 17:3)
      51. both are cleaved to by believers (Deuteronomy 10:20; John 15:4)
      52. both are the light of the world (Psalm 27:1; John 8:12)
      53. both are the Light of the New Jerusalem (Isaiah 60:19,20; Revelation 21:23)
      54. both give eternal life (Psalm 36:9; John 10:28)
      55. both are called ‘My Lord and my God’ (Psalm 35:22,23; John 20:28)
      56. both are our Righteousness (Isaiah 45:24; I Corinthians 1:30; Jeremiah 23:5,6)
      57. both have the same voice as of many waters (Ezekiel 43:2; Revelation 1:15)
      58. both are witnessed to by believers (Isaiah 43:10; Acts 1:8)
      59. both own the peace given to believers (Philippians 4:7; John 14:27)
      60. both own the gospel (I Thessalonians 2:2; Romans 1:16)
      61. both give saving grace (Titus 2:11; Acts 15:11)
      62. both are our peace (Judges 6:24; Ephesians 2:14)
      63. both are pierced and looked upon (Zechariah 12:10; John 19:37)
      64. both sanctify believers (Exodus 31:13; I Corinthians 6:11)
      65. both give victory to believers (Psalm 98:1; I Corinthians 15:57)
      66. both heal people (Exodus 15:26; Matthew 9:35)
      67. both equally own the churches (I Corinthians 15:9; Romans 16:16; I and II Thess. 1:1)
      68. both own the Kingdom (Matthew 6:33; Rev. 11:15).
      69. both are glorified by the Gentiles (Isaiah 24:15; II Thessalonians 1:12; Matthew 12:21)
      70. both own the Day of the Lord (Isaiah 13:6; Philippians 1:6; II Thessalonians 2:2)
      71. both give grace to believers (Romans 5:15; Colossians 1:6; II Cor. 8:9; Galatians 6:18)
      72. both own the same glory (Romans 5:2; II Corinthians 8:23)
      73. both own the same love (John 5:42; II Corinthians 5:14)
      74. both own the same Word (Psalm 119:11; I Thessalonians 2:13; Colossians 3:16)
      75. both own salvation (Luke 3:6; Jonah 2:9; Acts 4:12; II Timothy 2:10)
      76. both were served equally by Paul (Titus 1:1; Romans 1:1);and by James (James 1:1)
      77. both own the commandments (I John 5:3; John 14:15)
      78. both had their way prepared by John the Baptist (Isaiah 40;3; Mark 1:1-3)
      79. both search all hearts (Psalm 139:1; Revelation 2:23)
      80. both own the same flock (I Peter 5:2; John 21:15,16)
      81. both ascend on high, lead captivity captive, and give gifts to men (Psalm 68:17,18; Ephesians 4:7-10)
      82. both are like a Bridegroom (Isaiah 62:5; Mark 2:19,20)
      83. both receive the glory of God alone forever and ever (Isaiah 42:8; Galatians 1:4,5; I Peter 5:10,11; II Peter 3:18; Hebrews 13:21; I Peter 4:11; Revelation 1:5,6)
      84. both are the source of fruit (Hosea 14:8; John 15:5)
      85. both are our source of strength (Psalm 119:28; Philippians 4:13)
      86. both give rest for our souls (Jeremiah 6:16; Matthew 11:29)
      87. both shall appear at Christ’s return (Psalm 102:16; Zechariah 14:3,4,5; Titus 2:13)
      88. both will come to earth (Isaiah 40:10; Revelation 22:7,12,20)
      89. both are to be trusted in (Jeremiah 17:7; Ephesians 1:12; John 14:1)
      90. both are our King (Isaiah 6:5; 33:22; Revelation 17:14; 19:16; I Timothy 6:14,15)
      91. both will wound their enemies’ heads (Psalm 68:21; 110:6)
      92. both take vengeance (Romans 12:19; II Thessalonians 1:7,8)
      93. both will be opposed by the Antichrist’s armies (Isaiah 34:22; Revelation 19:19)
      94. both will fight against the Antichrist’s armies at Armageddon (Zechariah 14:3; Revelation 19:11,13,21)
      95. both will destroy death (Isaiah 25:8; II Timothy 1:10).
      96. both receive the faith of believers (I Thessalonians 1:8; Galatians 3:26)
      97. both are our life (Deuteronomy 30:20; Colossians 3:4)
      98. both are to be prayed to (Matthew 6:9; Acts 7:59)
      99. both raised up Christ (Acts 2:32; John 2:19,21)
      100.both own all of the other (John 16:15)
      101.both enter the east gate of Jerusalem (Ezekiel 44:1,2; Luke 19:37-45)
      102.the man on the throne in Ezekiel 1:26 is identified as the God of Israel in Ezek 10:20
      103.both names are placed on the same level in the baptism formula (Matthew 28:19)
      104.both fellowship equally with believers (I John 1:3).
      105.both comfort believers (Isaiah 66:13; Philippians 2:1).
      106.both receive doxologies of worship in heaven (Revelation 5:8-10; 5:11,12; 5:13,14).
      107.both jointly send grace and peace to the churches (Romans 1:7).
      108.both the love of the Father and love of the Son are an equal privilege given to us.(John 14:21)
      109.both jointly declare themselves to be Jehovah, “I am the first,& I am the last”(Isaiah 44:6)
      110.both come to his temple, ‘the Lord shall suddenly come to his temple.’(Malachi 3:1; Mat 21:13)
      111.both are the King of Israel (Isaiah 44:6; John 1:49).
      112. both can be blasphemed (God-Rom.2:24; HS-Luke 12:10; Christ-Luke 22:65; Acts 13:45; 18:5,6; 26:9,11)
      113.both are always with all believers (Matthew 28:20; 2 Corinthians 13:14).
      114.both are the one lawgiver (God-Rom.7:22; Christ-Gal.6:2; HS-Rom.8:2; James 4:12).
      115.both have the same face (Revelation 22:3,4)
      116.both have the same Name (Revelation 22:3,4)
      117.both own the same servants (Revelation 22:3)
      118.both are the Temple of the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:22)
      119.Heavens are the work of thy hands (Psalm 102:24-27; Hebrews 1:10-12)

      Since both Jesus and the Father have these same attributes, both are Jehovah God.
      There are not 2 Gods, but One God in 3 persons. One who has these attributes must be God.
      The Lord’s Prayer is devoted to worshipping the Father. Jesus conceals His personal glory
      in this prayer as seen by other Scriptures which are just as true of Christ as the Lord’s Prayer
      is of the Father.
    • By Jesus.defender
      The Trinity and Bible Proofs that Jesus Christ is God
      1. Matthew 28:17-20 “they worshipped him”, “All power is given to me”, “I am with you always” and “baptizing them in the name (one God) of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” = Trinity.
      2. In Matthew 3:1-3, Jesus Christ fulfils Isaiah 40:3 to ‘Prepare the way of Jehovah’ and our God.
      3. John 1:1 “the word was God” (KJV, NIV), not ‘a god’ (NWT). a) Isaiah 44:8 ‘Is there a God beside me?’ b) The absence of the article before “theos” (God) identifies “word” as the subject (Colwell’s rule)Ans855
      ‘The subject is identified by the article (ho logos) and the predicate (theos) without it.’ AT Robertson 5,4.
      John did not use the word for “Godlike or a lesser god” (theios) to describe Jesus, but used “theos” (God).
      All early writers disagree with JWs. (Irenaeus,Theophilus, Clement,Tertullian, Origen, Cyprian, Tatian).
      All modern Greek experts disagree with JWs. (Zodhiates, AT Robertson, Wuest, Vine, Vincent, Mantey)
      4. John 1:3 “All things were made by him” Malachi 2:10 “Hath not one God created us?” Jesus is Creator.
      5. John 3:13 “Son of man which is in heaven.” Jesus is omnipresent (on earth and in heaven at same time)
      6. John 4:42 “Christ, the Saviour of the world.” Isaiah 43:11 “Jehovah; beside me there is no saviour.”
      7. John 5:18 “said God was his Father, making himself equal with God”. John believed it and quoted it.
      8. John 5:23 “all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father” Do you honour the Son as God?
      9. John 6:46 “Not that any man hath seen the Father.” Who did OT saints see who they said was God?Is6:5
      10. John 8:24 “If ye believe not that I am, ye shall die in your sins.” Jehovah is “I am” in Exodus 3:1-14.
      11. John 8:58,59 “Before Abraham was, I am. They took up stones to cast at him.” Jesus said He is God.
      12. John 10:30 “I and my Father are One. They took up stones to stone him.” No stoning if agree with God.
      13. John 10:33 “thou being a man, makest thyself God. They sought again to take him (39)”. Why?
      14. John 16:15 “All things that the Father hath are mine:” All the Father’s attributes as God are Christ’s.
      15. John 17:5 “the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” Isaiah 42:8 “I am Jehovah: my glory will I not give to another.” Jesus is Jehovah because he alone shares Jehovah’s exclusive glory.
      16. John 20:28 “Thomas said unto him (Jesus), My Lord and my God.” No rebuke for blasphemy or error.
      17. Acts 20:28 “Feed the church of God, which he (God) hath purchased with his own blood.” Jesus =God
      18. I Cor. 1:2 “all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ.” Prayer to Jesus makes him God.
      19. I Corinthians 15:47 ‘the second man is the Lord from heaven’ This is Jesus. No man is from heaven.
      20. II Corinthians 13:14 is the Apostolic Benediction:“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.” (II Corinthians 13:14).
      Why is there a change in the order of the persons of the Trinity, compared to Matthew 28:19, if not to show that in this Trinity none is before or after the other, and none is better than another?
      21. Philippians 2:6 “Who being in the form of God (in His pre-incarnate state Christ had the form of God) thought it not robbery to be equal with God.” (a prize to be held on to, not a prize to be won. AT Robertson).
      22. Colossians 2:9 “In him (Christ) dwells all the fullness (exhausts the limits) of the Godhead bodily.”
      23. I Thes 4:14 “them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.” Jesus returns as God at rapture.
      24. I Timothy 3:16 “God was manifest in the flesh.” Jesus is God the Son conceived in Mary.
      25. Titus 2:13 “the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” Granville-Sharp rule: Jesus is God and Saviour.
      26. Hebrews 1:6 “Let all the angels of God worship him.” Only worship God. Matt 4:10, Ps97:7 Son is God
      27. Hebrews 1:8 “To the Son he saith, ‘Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever’” Psalm 45:6,7. Son is God.
      28. Hebrew 1:10 “And (to the Son he saith), Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:.thou art the same.” Son is unchangeable creator. Ps102:24
      29. Hebrews 1:13 To which of the angels said he, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? 35
      30. I John 5:7 “There are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” 
      The heavenly and earthly witnesses in v.7,8 are confirmed in v.9 by God and men.
      The masculine article (oi) for “that” in v.7 is derived from the masculine nouns “Father and Word” in v.7.
      31. Revelation 1:17,18 “I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth and was dead;” Jesus = first and last.
      Revelation 1:11 “I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last:” Jesus = first and last = Alpha and Omega.
      Revelation 22:12,13 “I come quickly; I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last.” Jesus=Alpha & Omega.
      Revelation 1:8 “I am Alpha and Omega, the Almighty.” Jesus = first & last = Alpha & Omega =Almighty
      32. Revelation 22:3 “the throne of God and of the Lamb.” Both God and the Lamb equally own the throne.
      Revelation 22:3 “his servants shall serve him:” Both God and the Lamb equally own the same servants.
      Revelation 22:4 “they shall see his face.” Both God and the Lamb have the same face.
      Revelation 22:4 “his name shall be in their foreheads.” Both God and the Lamb have the same name.
      Revelation 20:6 “they shall be priests (of God and of Christ), and shall reign with HIM a thousand years” Revelation 21:22 “for (the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb) are the temple of it.” Both are temple of NJ Revelation 21:23 “for (the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light) thereof.” Both light of NJ
      33. God identifies Himself as “us” (a Trinity) in:‘God said “let us make man in our image”’ Genesis 1:26 ‘Jehovah God said, “Behold the man is become as one of us . . .’ Genesis 3:22. ‘Jehovah came down … the Lord said, let us go down.’ Genesis 11:5,7 ‘who will go for us?’ Isaiah 6:8. 34. Exodus 3:14 “I AM hath sent me unto you.” ‘I AM’ is the name of the angel of Jehovah, Jehovah, God (2,4,6) & Jesus in John 8:58 “Before Abraham was, I AM” & John 8:24 “If ye believe not that I AM”
      35. Psalm 110:1. God told David that David’s son would be David’s God. ‘The LORD (Jehovah) said unto my Lord (Adonai), Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.’ Jesus applied this to Himself in Matthew 22:41-45 as a question: ‘If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?’ This shows that Jesus Christ would be both a man descended from David and David’s God.
      36. Isaiah 6:1-8,5. “Mine eyes have seen the King, Jehovah of hosts” on the throne in heaven. God asked Isaiah “who will go for us?” (‘us’ = trinity). In John 12:37-41, John said, “These things said Esaias when he saw his (Jesus) glory, and spake of him (Jesus).” Jesus was the King, Jehovah of hosts that Isaiah saw.
      37. Isaiah 9:6 ‘Unto us a child is born (human Jesus),unto us a son is given (God the Son): his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God.” Jehovah is Mighty God in Isaiah 10:21;Jer32:18; Ps 50:1
      38. Isaiah 44:6 ‘Thus saith Jehovah the King of Israel (Father) and his redeemer Jehovah of hosts (Son)”
      39. Isaiah 48:12,13,16 “Hearken unto me…Mine hand also has laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand has spanned the heavens:…Come ye near unto me,..the Lord GOD, and his Spirit has sent me.”
      Me, mine, my and me is God the Son describing his two works of creation and of incarnation to save man.
      40. Ezekiel 44:1,2 “This gate shall be shut…because Jehovah, the God of Israel has entered in by it.”
      In Luke 19:45-47 Jesus, who is Jehovah, fulfilled this prophecy, entering the east gate on a colt in 33AD.
      41. Hosea 4:1 and 5:15. Jehovah will return to ‘my place’ (heaven), till the Jews admit their offence of killing Jesus. “Hear the word of the LORD (Jehovah) (4:1),.I will go and return to my place (heaven), till they (Jews) acknowledge their offence (of killing Jesus), and seek my face: in their affliction (7 year tribulation) they (Jews) will seek me early.” Jehovah the Son came from heaven to be born of Mary as a man, he was rejected and crucified by the Jews. The resurrected Lord Jesus returned to heaven. Jesus will return when the Jews acknowledge their offence of killing Jesus. This occurs after the 7 year tribulation.
      42. Zechariah 11:4,12,13. “Thus saith the LORD (Jehovah) my God; (v.4). If ye think good, give me my price; So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver (v.12)….I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD’ (Zechariah 11:4,12,13). (silver, temple floor, potter field) These three prophecies were fulfilled in Judas betraying Jesus Christ in Matthew 26:14-16 and 27:3-10.
      43. Zechariah 12:9-10. When Jesus Christ returns to earth, He is identified as Jehovah God whom Israel pierced on the cross. “I (Jehovah) will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem (v.9). They (Israel) shall look upon me (Jehovah) whom they have pierced.” Jesus fulfilled this in John 19:37.
      44. Zechariah 14:3,4,5,9. When Jesus Christ returns to earth on the Mount of Olives, He is identified as Jehovah God (Zechariah 14:3,4). ‘Then shall the LORD (Jehovah) go forth and fight against those nations, And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives (v.3-4)....the LORD (Jehovah) my God shall come, and all the saints with thee (v.5)….the LORD (Jehovah) shall be king over all the earth.’ When Jesus ascended to heaven from the Mount of Olives, two angels told those witnesses present that “this same Jesus shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:10-12).
      45. In Zechariah 2:8-11, Jehovah the Son states twice that Jehovah the Father has sent Him to Israel. This proves that there are at least two persons in the Godhead, both called Jehovah.
      “For thus saith Jehovah of hosts (the Son).. (v.8) Ye shall know that Jehovah of hosts (the Father) hath sent me (v.9). ‘I (Jehovah the Son) will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that Jehovah of hosts (Father) hath sent me unto thee.” (v.11).
      Lesson: Jehovah (the Father) sends Jehovah (the Son). Two persons here are named Jehovah. This clearly proves that Jesus Christ in His pre-incarnate state is fully Jehovah God.
      46. In Zechariah 3:2 “Jehovah said unto Satan, Jehovah rebuke thee, O Satan”.
      One person in the Jehovah Godhead speaks about another person in the Jehovah Godhead. See Isaiah 48:16 Rules of Grammar dictate that: “Jehovah (the first person = person speaking) said unto Satan (the second person = person spoken to), Jehovah (the third person = person spoken about) rebuke thee.”
    • By sami
      ONE OR THREE?
      In his book TWO BABYLONS, Alexander Hislop traces the various mythologies back to a common heritage. Hislop pointed out the antiquity of the theological concept of the Trinity by giving examples of pagan trinities in Siberia, Japan, and India. He noted that the recognition of the Trinity was “universal in all the ancient nations of the world”. He went so far as to say that “the supreme divinity in almost all heathen nations was triune”.
      Historian Arthur Wainwright can find no doctrine remotely resembling the doctrine of the Trinity taught in Judaism until the time of Philo in the first century AD. And we know that Philo, even though he was a Jewish priest, was heavily influenced by Greek pagan thought.
      The idea of a “plural” God was far from the Hebrew mind.
      The pagan idea of a triad is very old. Sumerians, according to Morris Jastrow, paid homage to a triad of El-lil, “god or lord of the storm”, Ea, “water deity” of Eridu on the Persian Gulf, and Anu, sun god of Ur-uk.
      El-lil, was called “the father of Sumer” (“Shinar”), and “chief of gods”, “creator and sustainer of life”. The universe was apparently up among these three “pre-eminent” deities.
      Later, Marduk, the “firstborn” of Ea, and the patron deity of Babylon, is made “god of the earth”,
      and his symbol, oddly enough, is the dragon. He was called “Bel” or “Baal” (lord).
      Ashur, the god of the Assyrian capital was a “sun god”, and his consort or wife was Ishtar, the “great mother” goddess of Nineveh, a city founded by Ninus or Nimrod.
      Ishtar, known as Ashtoreth to the Phoenicians, and Astarte to the Greeks, was often portrayed riding on a lion. She was called the daughter of the moon, and identified in astrology as the Roman Venus (“goddess of love”). She was also known as Nana or Madonna (Lady). From whence comes the title and worship of Mary as the Madonna and queen of heaven.
      Ishtar has a bloody history as a goddess. She was reputedly the murderer of her consort Tammuz (variously known as Baal, Adonis, the Egyptian Osiris, the Greek Bacchus, or simply Nimrod). Queen Semiramis later brought forth an illegitimate son, which she claimed was Nimrod resurrected. He was called El-Bar, or “God the Son”, and “the Branch of Cush”. Thus was formulated one of the ancient triadic patterns of “father, mother, son”
      Franz Cumont tells us that triads were very common in the religion of the Chaldeans. The Babylonian triad became the Syrian triad of Hadad, Atargatis, and Simios. In Rome, this triad was Jupiter, Venus, and Mercury. Not only did the triadic pattern of deity spread throughout the world, but Cumont remarks on the continuing influence of the Babylonian priesthood after the fall of Babylon from political leadership.
      The ancient Greeks impressed with the wisdom of the Babylonians. Franz Cumont said, “Philosophy claimed more and more to derive its inspiration from the fabulous wisdom of Chaldea (Babylon) and Egypt”.
      According to Cumont, the “entire neo-platonic school is heavily indebted to the Chaldeans (Babylonians)”. It was the neo-platonic school of philosophy which influenced the Catholic fathers, Justin Martyr, Clement of Alexandria, and Origen.
      Porphyry reveals that the neo-platonists had incorporated Babylonian and Persian demonology into their philosophical system.
      The Greek philosopher Plato, greatly influenced the Catholic fathers. He was acquainted with Babylonian wisdom, and had traveled to Babylonia, Israel, and Egypt.
      Philo Judaeus (20 BC-50 AD) of Alexandria was the man who attempted to fuse the strict monotheistic theology of the Hebrew religion with the transcendental theology and philosophy of the Greek platonists.
      He, Philo, had a profound influence upon the Catholic fathers, and therefore upon the development of the Catholic Trinity.
      For one looking into Philo’s work will see that his conception of the Logos, with some modifications, is very similar to later trinitarian teaching on the Catholic Logos.
      Charles Semisch has stated, “The early (Catholic) Fathers only poured the contents of the scriptures into a Philonian vessel: they view the biblical passages through a Philonian medium”.
      I thought that the quote by historian Will Durant is quite appropriate: “Christianity did not destroy paganism; it adopted it.
      . . . From Egypt came the ideas of a divine trinity.” In the book Egyptian Religion, where Siegfried Morenz says: “The trinity was a major preoccupation of Egyptian theologians . . . Three gods are combined and treated as a single being, addressed in the singular. In this way the spiritual force of Egyptian religion shows a direct link with Christian theology.”
      Morenz goes on to say “Alexandrian theology as the intermediary between the Egyptian religious heritage and Christianity.”
      Edward Gibbon’s History of Christianity said : “If Paganism was conquered by Christianity, it is equally true that Christianity was corrupted by Paganism. The pure Deism of the first Christians . . . was changed, by the Church of Rome, into the incomprehensible dogma of the trinity. Many of the pagan tenets, invented by the Egyptians and idealized by Plato, were retained as being worthy of belief.”
      Dictionary of Religious Knowledge says that the Trinity “is a corruption borrowed from the heathen religions, and ingrafted on the Christian faith.”
      The book…. The Paganism in Our Christianity said this of the trinity doctrine: “The origin of the [Trinity] is entirely pagan.”
    • By Jesus.defender
      THE TRINITY
      Watchtower Teaching: JW arguments against the Trinity are:
      i) If Jesus is God, who ran the universe during the three days that Jesus was dead in the grave? Satan had a great chance to take control.
      Answer: Jesus’ body died, not His soul or spirit. He along with the Father and the Holy Spirit still ran the universe.
      ii) If Jesus is the immortal God, He could not have died.
      Answer: The immortal God, by taking on a mortal body, had His mortal body die.
      iii) Since God is not a God of confusion (I Corinthians 14:33), it is impossible that the Bible would talk of a God who could not be understood by human reason. JWs claim that the Trinity is incomprehensible and unreasonable. ‘We worship what we know’ (John 4:22).
      Answer: Man’s lack of understanding has never stopped new discoveries. What percent of the total knowledge of the universe do you possess? (about zero percent).
      Ask: Could there be something about God that you don’t comprehend?(eg: His Trinity?).
      iv) The word ‘Trinity’ is not in the Bible.
      Answer: Neither is ‘Bible’, ‘organisation’, Kingdom Hall’, chocolate, motor car, etc.
      Say to the JW: ‘By this logic you would agree that Kingdom Halls don’t exist either?’
      This is shallow reasoning designed to throw the Christian off guard. If it can be proved that the Bible teaches a certain truth, then naming that truth does not make it unbiblical. We should ask: ‘Is the particular teaching in the Bible?’
      v) The Watchtower has misrepresented the Trinity doctrine in order to make its denial more plausible. 
      They erect a straw man that is easily knocked down.
      They call the Trinity a ‘freakish looking, three headed God’ (Let God be True, p 102)
      ‘This doctrine of three Gods in one God . . .’ (Studies in Scripture, 1899, Vol 5, p 60,61)
      Note: Trinitarians do not believe in ‘three Gods in one God’.
      They believe in one God, with three co-equal persons in the one Godhead.

      1. Refuting the Watchtower’s FALSE Quotes of Early Church Writers
      The Watchtower is quite happy to tell lies by inventing statements allegedly made by six Ante-Nicene Church writers who lived before 325 AD. Page 7 of their publication ‘Should you believe in the Trinity?’ Shows the Watchtower’s claims that these ancient writers taught that Jesus Christ was not God. These quotes are FALSE and INVENTED by the Watchtower. They are easily refuted by the photocopied excerpts of the 10 volume set of genuine Ante-Nicene church fathers quotes that prove these early writers strong belief in and defence of the Trinity.
      In the Watchtower’s false quotes we notice that:
      1) None of these references are given a source, making them nearly impossible to check. It is almost certain that the Watchtower has invented these quotes.
      2) Notice the lie of the central bold quote on page 7: ‘There is no evidence that any sacred writer even suspected the existence of a [Trinity] within the Godhead’.
      We refute this Watchtower lie, and prove beyond doubt that both the Trinity and the full deity of Christ were well known and firmly believed as early as 110 AD as seen from the quotes by the Ante-Nicene (before 325 AD) church fathers which follow the Watchtower quote.
      The following quotes are from the 10 Volume set of The Ante-Nicene Fathers, translations of The Writings of the Fathers down to A.D. 325, by editors Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, American Reprint of the Edinburgh edition, revised and arranged by A C Coxe, published by W.B.Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, Michigan, reprinted in May 1987.
      The Watchtower’s claim that Constantine and the Council of Nicea introduced the deity of Christ and Trinity doctrines in 325 AD is proven false by these pre-325 AD quotes to the contrary:
      i) Justin Martyr (110-165 AD),Volume I, page 263: ‘His Son, being God’ Volume I, page 219 Justin Martyr says:: ‘Christ existed as God before the ages’ Volume I, page 264). Justin Martyr says that ‘Christ is Lord and God’.
      ii) Irenaeus (120-202 AD) Volume I, page 328 not only shows the NWT to be wrong on John 1:1
      but also calls Christ ‘God’
      iii) Clement of Alexandria (153-217 AD) In Volume 2, p 468, written in 193 AD, Clement clearly quotes the Holy Trinity as Father, Son & Holy Spirit. page 173
      iv) Tertullian (200-250 AD) Volume 3, page 598 page 598 Tertullian against Praxeas, Volume 3, p.606 Tertullian correctly quotes John 1:1, saying that Christ is God. (Volume 3, p. 607) Tertullian again quotes the
      Trinity on a fourth occasion. (Vol 4, page 99)
      v) Hippolytus (170-236 AD) Volume 5, page 228 mentions the Trinity and quotes John 1:1 correctly.
      vi) Origen (185-254 AD) Volume 4, page 255. Twice he quotes the word ‘Trinity’, as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Also on page 258 he quotes the Trinity in ‘Origen de Principiis’, written in 230 AD.
      vii) Thaumaturgus (205-265 AD) Volume 6, pages 42, 45
      2. Is the Trinity a Pagan Concept? No! Because:
      i) The Babylonians and Assyrians believed in triads of gods, which were three separate gods (polytheism) governing other gods. This is totally different from the Trinity of only one God (monotheism) with three persons within the one Godhead.
      ii) Triads of gods pre-date Christianity by about 700 years and were far removed from Israel..
      iii) Some pagan ideas have some truth in them, such as the pagan Flood legends. Just because pagans spoke of a concept that remotely resembles a biblical concept, does not mean that Christians stole it from the pagans.
      iv) JWs quote Hislop’s The Two Babylons to support their case, yet they don’t tell us that Hislop believes in the Trinity, as seen from Hislop’s quote:
      ‘They all admitted a Trinity, but did they worship the Triune Jehovah?’ (p. 90)
      - About 80% of the sources that the WT quotes are from Trinitarians. This begs the question: ‘How can the WT disprove the Trinity by quoting sources who believe the Trinity?
      - 15% of their sources are secular works like Encyclopaedia Britannica.
      - 5% of WT sources are invalid sources of Biblical truth, eg: sceptics, spiritists, Unitarians.
      - The WT always finds some unknown, obscure person to agree with them. They do not examine the credibility of such sources. Most WT sources have no credibility & no authority.
      - The WT rarely gives page numbers of its quotes to allow check the source and context.
      v) JWs claim they represent the ‘faith once delivered to the saints’. They claim that the Trinity idea was introduced in 325 AD. What they don’t say is that current WT teachings have no precedent in history. They do not say who were the JWs of the first three centuries or later. No early church ‘father’ represented their beliefs. The WT is historically bankrupt.
      vi) The WT, by showing a three-headed god, use the ‘straw-man effect’, where they misrepresent what Christians believe, and then proceed to ‘shoot down’ this ‘straw man’.
      This is seen in five pictures of three-headed gods which are supposed to represent the God of Christendom. (‘Should you believe in the Trinity’ p 10).
      vii) The WT is happy to misquote sources to prove their point.
      Consider page 6 ‘Should you believe in the Trinity’, where they misquote the New Encyclopaedia Brittanica by failing to give the full relevant quote. They stop the quote at the asterisk *
      ‘The Encyclopaedia Britannica (1976 Edition) correctly states:
      “Neither the word Trinity, nor the explicit doctrine as such, appears in the New Testament”,’
      [*They stop the quote here, ignoring the rest of the article which endorses the Trinity:]
      ‘nor did Jesus and his followers intend to contradict the Shema in the Old Testament: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord’ (Deuteronomy 6:4). The earliest Christians, however, had to cope with the implications of the coming of Jesus Christ and of the presence and power of God among them - ie, the Holy Spirit, whose coming we connected with the celebration of Pentecost.
      The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were associated in such New Testament passages as the Great Commission: ‘Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit’ (Matthew 28:19); and in the apostolic benediction:
      ‘The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all’ (2 Cor. 13:14). Thus, the New Testament established the basis for the doctrine of the Trinity.The doctrine developed gradually over several centuries and through many controversies.
      Any early church council disputes were over fine points of Trinity clarification, such as the substance, nature and omnipotence of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, never over whether the Trinity was right or wrong. The truth of the Trinity was always accepted.
      3. Refuting Watchtowers’ wrong application of I Corinthians 14:33
      ‘for God is not the author of confusion, but of peace . . .’
      Watchtower Teaching: JWs say that because God is not the author of confusion, the Trinity doctrine cannot be true because it is so unreasonable. How can the Father, Son and Holy Spirit each be God, and yet there be only one God? It doesn’t make sense to them.
      Bible Teaching: Just because one is unable to fully understand something, doesn’t mean that it is false.
      i) Finite humans cannot possibly understand everything about the infinite God.
      ‘How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out.’ (Romans 11:33)
      ‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
      As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts’. (Isaiah 55:8,9)
      ii) Can you fully understand how light can be both a particle of matter and a wave form?
      iii) Can you fully understand how God did not have a beginning? (No) Do you reject the idea?
      Ask: Should we reject the Trinity doctrine because we don’t fully understand it, when we accept other things about God and the universe which we don’t fully understand.
      I Corinthians 14:33 means that a church should avoid disharmony in its services by only
      having two or three prophets speak in a service, and only one at a time.
      ‘Confusion’ means ‘parts of a whole which are at strife with one another’.
      ‘Peace’ means ‘parts of a whole acting in harmony’.
      5. Refuting WT’s misunderstanding of Deuteronomy 6:4 and Mark 12:29
      ‘Hear,O Israel, the Lord (YHWH) our God (Elohim) is one Lord (YHWH).’ (Deut 6:4)
      Watchtower teaching: JWs say that, since God is one, He cannot be Triune at the same time. Why would God speak as one person if He were composed of three persons?
      Bible teaching: The ordinary name of God (Elohim) is in the plural form ‘Hear, O, Israel, Jehovah our Elohim, one Jehovah.’ Deut.6:4
      If God had intended to assert a solitary, exclusive type of unity, the expression would have been ‘Eloah’, not the plural ‘Elohim’.
      It does not say: ‘Hear, O Israel, Jehovah, our Elohim, one Eloah.’
      The use of Elohim (a uniplural noun) means: ‘there is a real plurality, yet Jehovah is one.’
      Ask: Who is Jehovah? Is it the Father alone? Is Jesus Jehovah? Is the Holy Spirit Jehovah?
      If we can find verses teaching that Jesus is Jehovah (or God) and the Holy Spirit is Jehovah,
      then we have proved the Trinity.
      i) The Holy Spirit is called Jehovah:‘Now Jehovah is the Spirit’.(II Corinthians 3:17 NWT)
      ii) Jesus Christ is called God, as follows:
      (1) ‘Our Lord Jesus Christ who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto’(I Tim 6:14-16)
      (2) ‘The Word was God.’ (John 1:1)
      (3) ‘of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ’ (Titus 2:13)
      (4) ‘the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ’. (II Peter 1:1)
      (5) ‘if ye believe not that I am, ye shall die in your sins.’ (John 8:24)
      (6) ‘Before Abraham was, I am.’ (John 8:58)
      (7) ‘God was manifest in the flesh’. (I Timothy 3:16)
      (8) ‘Thomas said unto him, My Lord and My God’. (John 20:28)
      (9) ‘in him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.’ (Colossians 2:9)
      (10) ‘unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God is forever.’ (Hebrews 1:8)
      (11) ‘If you publicly declare . . . that Jesus is Lord.’ (KIT: ‘ha Adon’ in Hebrew footnote of Romans 10:9. In the 1961 edition of NWT, p.1453, ‘ha Adon’ = Jehovah).
      (12) ‘that he (Christ) might be Lord both of the dead and the living’. (Romans 14:9).
      In verses 6-11 of NWT ‘??????’(Lord) is translated 7 times as Jehovah, except in v.9. Why?
      (13) ‘in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.’ (I John 5:20)
      (14) ‘feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.’ (Acts 20:28)
      6. Notice how God reveals Himself in stages to man:
      (1) God revealed His Unity as the one and only true God, to refute the nations’ many gods.
      (2) God revealed the Trinity (Jehovah=Father+Son+HS) in the Old Testament in:
      ‘Jehovah your God is God of gods (the Father), and Lord of lords (the Son)’. (Deut.10:17).
      ‘Thus saith Jehovah the King of Israel (the Father),and his redeemer Jehovah of hosts (the Son).Is44:6
      ‘God said “let us make man in our image . . .”.’ Genesis 1:26
      ‘Jehovah God said, “Behold the man is become as one of us . . .’ Genesis 3:22
      ‘Jehovah came down . . . the Lord said, let us go down . . .’ Genesis 11:5,7
      ‘the Lord saying . . . who will go for us?’ Isaiah 6:8
      ‘What is his name....and what is his Son’s name.’ Proverbs 30:4
      ‘the Lord God (the Father), and his Spirit (HS), hath sent me (Jehovah the Son).’ Isaiah 48:16.
      (3) God revealed the fullness of the Trinity doctrine in the New Testament:
      Matthew 28:19 ‘baptizing them in the name (singular name, not plural) of the Father, and of
      the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.’
      I John 5:7 ‘There are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.’
      Revelation 22:1,3,4 ‘the throne (of God and of the Lamb) shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him; they shall see his face, and his name shall be in their foreheads.’
      Key:God and the Lamb have one throne, one name, one face and one ownership of servants.
      II Corinthians 13:14 ‘The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost’. There is one God, but three persons within the Godhead.
      (4) Early Christians with a strong Jewish background, who knew Deuteronomy 6:4, continually refer to Jesus as ‘Lord’ and ‘God’ (Romans 10:13, I Thess 5:2, I Peter 2:3, 3:15.) They often apply to Jesus many Old Testament texts which refer to Jehovah, such as:
      a) Jesus Christ in Matthew 3:1-3 fulfils Isaiah 40:3 to‘Prepare the way of Jehovah’ and Elohim.
      b) Jesus Christ’s glory in John 12:41 is Jehovah’s glory in Isaiah 6:1-5.
      c) Jesus Christ’s voice as the sound of many waters in Revelation 1:15 is identical to Jehovah’s voice as the sound of many waters in Ezekiel 43:2.
      d) Jesus Christ being pierced in Rev 1:7 is the same one as Jehovah being pierced in Zech
      12:10.
      e) Jesus Christ being called on for salvation in Romans 10:13, is the same as Jehovah being called on for salvation in Joel 2:32
      f) Jesus Christ, the Lamb, is the everlasting light in Revelation 21:23, just as Jehovah ‘shall be . . . an everlasting light’ in Isaiah 60:19,20.
      Ask:Do you agree that Trinitarians believe Deuteronomy 6:4 that there is only one true God?
      Ask: Do you understand that Trinitarians don’t teach that there are three gods in the Trinity, but that there is only one God with three persons within the one Godhead?
      Ask: How do you explain that the early Jewish Christians who believed Deuteronomy 6:4, applied to Jesus many Old Testament texts that were originally written of Jehovah?
       
    • By Jesus.defender
      BIBLE PROOFS OF THE TRINITY

      Key: The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are so clearly and consistently linked in Scripture that, assuming that God is not three persons, makes it impossible to understand some passages.
      Though JWs exalt human reasoning against the Trinity doctrine, saying it is unreasonable,those who submit to God’s Word must conclude that it is unreasonable to doubt the Trinity.
      Consider these scriptures proving the Trinity:
      1. Matthew 28:19 The ‘Name’ of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

      Watchtower teaching: JWs ask, ‘Does this verse prove the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are equal in substance, power and eternity?’ They say, ‘No, no more than listing three people
      Tom, Dick and Harry mean that they are three in one.’ They say that the Trinity doctrine is imposed on the text, not derived from it.

      Bible Teaching: The key point is that the word ‘name’ is singular in the Greek NT, thus proving that there is one God, but three distinct persons within the Godhead.
      This proves the Trinity because Jesus did not say:
      i) ‘into the names (plural) of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.’
      ii) ‘into the name of the Father, and into the name of the Son, and into the name of the Holy Spirit’, as if we had three separate beings.
      iii) ‘into the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit’ omitting the three articles (the), as if the Father, Son and Holy Spirit might be three designations of a single person.
      What He does say is: ‘into the name (singular) of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit’.
      Jesus first teaches the unity of the three by combining them all within a single name.
      He then teaches that each is a different person by introducing each of them in turn with the
      article (tou):
      Question: Can you see that rules of grammar dictate plurality (the, the, the) within unity (the name), because the word ‘name’ is singular and definite articles (Greek: tou) are placed in front of Father, Son and Holy Spirit?
      Other verses showing ‘three-in-oneness’ of the Godhead are:
      i) At the creation of man, ‘God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness . .’ (Genesis 1:26). ‘Our image’ in v. 26 is explained as God’s image in v. 27.
      The one true God consists of three persons who are able to confer with one another and carry out their plans together, while still being one God.
      ii) After the Fall, ‘the Lord (Jehovah) God (Elohim) said, Behold, the man is become as one of us . ’ (Genesis 3:22)
      ‘Us’ refers back to LORD (Jehovah), showing plurality within the Jehovah Godhead.

      iii) At the Tower of Babel, ‘the LORD (Jehovah), said . . let us go down’ (Genesis 11:6,7).
      iv) Isaiah ‘saw the Lord (Adonai) sitting upon a throne (v.1) mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD (Jehovah) of hosts (v.5). I heard the voice of the Lord (Adonai) saying: ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’’ (Isaiah 6:1,5,8) Here Isaiah sees ‘Adonai’ on the throne, then Isaiah calls Him ‘Jehovah of hosts’ (v.5).

      Then Adonai asks,‘Who will go for us?’The ‘us’ shows plurality in the Jehovah Godhead. This equivalence of Adonai and Jehovah (both called ‘us’) proves the Trinity Godhead.
      2. Genesis 18 and 19. Three men each called Jehovah.
      JWs believe that it is impossible for Jehovah God to exist as three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Yet Genesis 18 and 19 shows Jehovah appearing to Abraham as three men. This
      shows that even the impossible from a human viewpoint is possible with God. Notice that:

      i) Abraham addresses the three as ‘Jehovah’ (v.3 NWT);
      ii) When two of the three men depart to visit Lot in Sodom, Abraham continues to address the remaining one as ‘Jehovah’ (Genesis 18:22,26,27,30,31,32,33).
      iii) Lot addressed the other two as ‘Jehovah’ (Genesis 19:1,18 NWT). ‘Then Lot said to them: “Not that please, Jehovah”.’ (19:18 NWT)
      iv) ‘Then Jehovah made it rain sulphur and fire from Jehovah, from the heavens upon Sodom and Gomorra.’ (Genesis 19:24)
      Notice the mention here of two Jehovahs, one in heaven who sends judgment on Sodom and Gomorra, at the bidding of the other Jehovah on earth.
      This gives strong evidence for more than one person in the Godhead. The Jehovah upon earth was one of three persons to visit Abraham, one of whom stays behind to speak further to Abraham and is called Jehovah. (Genesis 21:1 ‘Jehovah turned his attention to Sarah’).
      Hence this shows that it is possible for Jehovah to manifest Himself as three-in-one.
       
      3. II Corinthians 3:17 - ‘Jehovah is the Spirit’ (NWT).
       
      JWs challenge Christians to prove the Trinity in the Bible. This can be done if we find verses teaching that the Holy Spirit is Jehovah God, and the Son is Jehovah God.
      II Corinthians 3:17 teaches this by saying: ‘Now Jehovah is the Spirit.’

      How much clearer can it be than this, which states that the Holy Spirit is (=) Jehovah God? This proves the Deity of the Holy Spirit, and the existence of 2 persons in the Godhead.
      4. I John 5:7,8 The Johannine Comma, the famous Trinitarian proof text (3 Heavenly witnesses)
      Watchtower teaching: JWs claim that this passage ought not to be in the Bible, because it is not in most Greek manuscripts. It is omitted by most modern Bible versions. ’
      Bible Teaching: Erasmus omitted it from his first edition of the printed Greek NT (1516), because it occurred in the Latin Vulgate and not in any Greek manuscript. To quieten the
      outcry that followed, he agreed to restore it if it could be found in one Greek manuscript.
      Two Greek manuscripts, Codex 61 and 629 were found, so Erasmus included it in his 1522 edition. Since these manuscripts are late (14th and 15th Century), some think the readings are
      corrupt. What do we answer? (See page 805-806).

      5. In II Corinthians 13:14, (the Apostolic Benediction) why is there a change in the order of the persons of the Trinity, compared to Matthew 28:19, if not to show that ‘in this Trinity
      none is before or after the other, and none is greater or less than another’?

      ‘The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.’ (II Corinthians 13:14)
      ‘Baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.’ Matt. 28:19
    • By Jack Ryan
      Holy Land's 'oldest church' found at Armageddon
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. First published on Mon 7 Nov 2005 05.28 EST Prisoners help unearth remains at jail on site of final biblical showdown

      As if Megiddo, the biblical city of Armageddon - scene of three millennia of battles, the last cavalry charge of the first world war and the final showdown between good and evil - did not have enough on its plate. Archaeologists now claim to have unearthed the remains of the oldest Christian church discovered in the Holy Land.
      Unfortunately for Israel's beleaguered tourism industry, the find was made behind the walls of one of the country's maximum security prisons.
      Inmates were put to work alongside the specialists to excavate a corner of Megiddo jail for the construction of a new cell block ready for the next intake of Hamas and Islamic Jihad militants.
      Toiling behind the barbed wire and watchtowers, they uncovered a detailed and well-preserved mosaic, the foundations of a rectangular building, and pottery dated to the third or early fourth century. One of several inscriptions on the mosaic floor in ancient Greek said the building was dedicated to "the memory of the Lord Jesus Christ".
      Other inscriptions name a Roman army officer, Gaianus, who donated money to build the floor, and a woman called Ekoptos who "donated this table to the God Jesus Christ in commemoration". The table is believed to have served as an altar.
      "There are no crosses on the mosaic floor," said Yotam Tepper, an archaeologist who led the dig on behalf of the Israeli Antiquities Authority. "In their place is a picture of two fish lying side by side - a very early Christian symbol.
      "This is an extremely dramatic discovery, because such an old building of this type has never been found either in the land of Israel or anywhere else in the entire region. The structure and the mosaic floor date back to the period before Christianity became an officially recognised religion, before St Constantine.
      "Normally we have from this period in our region historical evidence from literature, not archaeological evidence. There is no structure you can compare it to - it is a unique find."
      The Roman empire forbade Christian rituals before AD313 and Christians were forced to worship in secret. The earliest churches, until this discovery at Megiddo, include the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, said to stand on the site of Christ's crucifixion, dating from about AD330, and the church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. The inscriptions at Megiddo were interpreted by Professor Leah Di Segni of the Hebrew University.
      "I was told these were Byzantine but they seem much earlier than anything I have seen so far from the Byzantine period. It could be from the third or the beginning of the fourth century," she said.The use of the word "table" in one inscription instead of "altar" might advance the study of Christianity, she said, because it is widely believed that rituals based on the Last Supper were held around a table used as an altar.
      The church might never have been discovered had it not been for the needs of Israel's ever-demanding security apparatus. Megiddo prison is home to about 1,200 "security prisoners" who are held in "administrative detention" without ever being told exactly what it is they are accused of.
      The prison is a series of fenced-in compounds with the bulk of inmates sleeping in long brown army tents enclosed by barbed wire and surrounded by open sewers. The prisoners nicknamed the jail "Jabaliya" after a poor and overcrowded refugee camp in the Gaza strip.
      Megiddo has long been described by religious scholars and archaeologists as the most important biblical site in Israel. Over the centuries, more than 25 cities rose and fell at Megiddo. Some were powerful commercial centres on the ancient thoroughfare between Egypt and Mesopotamia.
      Five of the conflicts fought in the 30-mile-wide Jezreel valley around Megiddo are recorded in the Old Testament. The New Testament names Armageddon - a Greek corruption of the Hebrew word "har", meaning mount, and Megiddo - as the scene of the final great battle between good and evil.
      Some specialists remain sceptical about the latest discovery. "I think this is a little myth to boost tourism," said Michel Piccirillo, a respected biblical archaeologist. "The idea that it is ancient comes from the pottery and the shape of the letters on the inscriptions, but this is not definitive."
      Israel's tourism minister, Avraham Hirchson, is not deterred. "If we nurture this properly, then there will be a large stream of tourists who could come to Israel. There is great potential ... " he told national television.

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    • By BroRando
      You may be surprised to find out that the trinity doctrine does not accept Jesus Christ.  It promotes a false gospel that ‘three separate persons make up God’ which is unbiblical. Therefore, it is not unusual to come across an apostate trinitarian who deny the teachings of Jesus Christ.
      When Jesus Christ stated that ‘God is a Spirit’ in (John 4:24) trinitarians proclaim that Christ was lying because their doctrine teaches that God is made up of three separate PERSONS.  In John 17:1 Jesus addresses his Father in prayer, he said: “Father,… and in John 17:3  he states, “This means everlasting life, their coming to know you, the only true God”  Was Jesus addressing God the Father or the trinity itself?
      Trinitarians proclaim he was not addressing the trinity itself, but God the Father.  Wouldn’t that prove that the trinity is a False God?  “He stands in opposition and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he sits down in the temple of God, publicly showing himself to be a god.” (2 Thessalonians 2:4)
      As Jesus continue his teachings he states, “God is a Spirit, and those worshipping him must worship with spirit and truth.” (John 4:24)  Notice those worshiping HIM is in singular?  Not ‘us’ ‘we’ they’ ‘them’ or even ME.  Since trinitarians admit that the trinity is not God itself, aren’t trinitarians worshipping ‘gods’?  None of them worship God the Father alone who Jesus claims to be the only true God in (John 17:3)  Jesus Christ continues, “Nevertheless, the hour is coming, and it is now, when the true worshippers will worship the Father with spirit and truth, for indeed, the Father is looking for ones like these to worship him.” (John 4:23)
      According to Jesus, only the Father was to be worshipped, not a trinity of ‘gods’.  Jesus made his Father’s Name known to his disciples. “I have made your name manifest to the men whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have observed your word.” (John 17:6)  Jesus even went as far to teach his disciples to pray this way: “Our Father in the heavens, let your name be sanctified.” 
      If you take a closer look at the trinity doctrine, NONE of the Persons have a NAME.  It’s a generic formula borrowed from Pagan Worship. Trinitarians shout and yell that, Jesus is God the Son in the trinity.  But the trinity itself simply doesn’t give witness about Jesus.  When asked to show the doctrine they often turn red and say that I must simply believe them.  Then I ask, since the trinity doesn’t state that Jesus is God the Son, show one scripture that states that. They hee and haw in frustration and begin to taunt and curse not able to find a single verse. You won’t find God the Son or God the Holy Spirit in the Bible because it simply isn’t.  There is a HUGE difference from God the Son and son of God.  If Jesus is the son of God, then whose son is he?  The trinity doesn’t have three sons does it?
      Jesus is not the only person to give witness about his God and Father.  The Apostles would greet one another with a similar phrase.  “Praised be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,” (1 Peter 1:3)   The trinity omits the Name of God, and it omits the Name of Christ.  Matter of fact, here is what the scriptures state about the trinity. “For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those not acknowledging Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist.” (2 John 7)
      Have you accepted the mark of the Beast and not even know it?  In Ancient times, the trinity was symbolized by three snakes, each snake would chase its own tail looking like 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.    A time is coming, if you refuse to worship the trinity, you will be put to death.  “And it was permitted to give breath to the image of the wild beast, so that the image of the wild beast should both speak and cause to be killed all those who refuse to worship the image of the wild beast.” (Rev 13:15)  
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , with a Worldwide membership of 2.8 Billion People and growing!  Mankind who are both weak or strong, slave or king, such ones march in the streets to promote or protest.  They place themselves above others claiming they have rights that no one else can have.  They proclaim they even have the right to end life, should they carry a life inside them. They make themselves godlike and others have to bend to their superiority.  (Read Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ) Those who deny 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. and have already accepted the mark of the Beast willingly.  “For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins,” (Hebrews 10:26) Feel free to contact me if you wish to leave the occult of the trinity.  There is HELP.
    • Guest Kurt
      By Guest Kurt
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
    • By BroRando
      Who would reject the Baptism in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ? The Answer may surprise you.  In fulfillment of prophecy Jesus stated, “And this good news of the Kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14)
      The Catholic Encyclopedia, II, page 263:“The baptismal formula was changed from the name of Jesus Christ to the words Father, Son, and Holy Spirit by the Catholic Church in the second century.”
      “The Demonstratio Evangelica” by Eusebius: Eusebius was the Church historian and Bishop of Caesarea. On page 152 Eusebius quotes the early book of Matthew that he had in his library in Caesarea. According to this eyewitness of an unaltered Book of Matthew that could have been the original book or the first copy of the original of Matthew. Eusebius informs us of Jesus’ actual words to his disciples in the original text of Matthew 28:19: “With one word and voice He said to His disciples: “Go, and make disciples of all nations in My Name, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” That “Name” is Jesus.
      The Tyndale New Testament Commentaries, I, page 275:“It is often affirmed that the words in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost are not the ipsissima verba [exact words] of Jesus, but…a later liturgical addition.”
      Catholic Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger: He makes this confession as to the origin of the chief Trinity text of Matthew 28:19. “The basic form of our (Matthew 28:19 Trinitarian) profession of faith took shape during the course of the second and third centuries in connection with the ceremony of baptism. So far as its place of origin is concerned, the text (Matthew 28:19) came from the city of Rome.” — Joseph Ratzinger (pope Benedict XVI) Introduction to Christianity: 1968 edition, pp. 82, 83.
      How did the Hebrew Book of Matthew 28:18-20 read? “Jesus approached and spoke to them, saying: “All authority has been given me in heaven and on the earth.  Go, therefore, and make disciples of people of all the nations in MY Name,  teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded you. And look! I am with you all the days until the conclusion of the system of things.” (Hebrew Matthew 28:18-20)
      To request a free home Bible Study click 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. .
    • By Micah Ong
      New World Translation
      Isaiah 45:23 "By myself I have sworn; The word has gone out of my mouth in righteousness, And it will not return:Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. To me every knee will bend, Every tongue will swear loyalty
      Philippians 2:10 "so that in the name of Jesus every knee should bend—of those in heaven and those on earth and those under the ground
      2 Corinthians 13:14 "The undeserved kindness of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the sharing in the holy spirit be with all of you." (Interlinear says: "fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all you.")
      Interlinear John 1:1 "In beginning was the Word and the Word was with - God and God was the Word)
      It doesn't say and 'a' God was the Word.  It reads how it reads and both mentions of God start with Capital letters.
      The only Translation that I am aware of that puts "a god" is the the translation by a Spiritist who claims that the Holy Spirit came upon Joseph and they conceived Jesus.
       
    • Guest Nicole
    • By The Librarian
      Many who believe that Jesus is God or in the Trinity rely only on a few selected, so-called 'proof-texts'.
      1. > If you want to tackle one of these (refute) please start a new thread (topic) and send me the link to that thread to add below
      2. > Gen. 1:26  
      3. > Gen. 19:24 
      4. > Isa. 6:3 ("Holy, Holy, Holy")  
      5. > Isa. 9:6  
      6. > Isa. 42:8/Heb. 1:3  
      7. > Isa. 43:11 (Savior)  
      8. > Isa. 44:6 ("First and the Last") 
      9. > Isa. 48:16 
      10 > Micah 5:2 
      11 > Habakkuk 1:12 
      12 > Zechariah 12:10  
      13 > Matt. 1:23 ("Immanuel") - NAME  
      14 > Matt. 12:32  
      15 > Matt. 28:19  
      16 > Luke 12:10  
      17 > John 1:1 
      18 > John 2:19  
      19 > John 5:18  
      20 > John 5:23  
      21 > John 8:58 (I AM)  
      22 > John 10:17-18  
      23 > John 10:30  
      24 > John 10:33 ("a god" or "God"?)  
      25 > John 14:7-9  
      26 > John 14:14  
      27 > John 16:7-15  
      28 > John 20:28 (My God)  
      29 > Acts 5:3, 4  
      30 > Acts 10:38  
      31 > Acts 13:2  
      32 > Acts 20:28  
      33 > Acts 28:25  
      34 > Rom. 8:27  
      35 > Rom. 9:5  
      36 > 1 Cor. 12:11  
      37 > 2 Cor. 4:4  
      38 > 2 Cor. 13:14  
      39 > Eph. 4:30  
      40 > Eph. 5:5 ("Sharp's Rule")  
      41 > Phil. 2:5, 6  
      42 > Col. 1:16 
      43 > Col. 2:9  
      44 > 1 Tim. 3:16  
      45 > Heb. 1:6  
      46 > Heb. 1:8 (“Thy Throne, O God”)  
      47 > 2 Pet. 3:18  (Savior)  
      48 > 1 John 5:7  
      49 > 1 John 5:20  
      50 > Rev. 1:8  
      51 > Rev. 1:17 ("First and the Last")  
      52 > Rev. 5:6 and Rev. 5:13 ("Throne")  
      53 > Rev. 22:1 (Throne)  
      54 > Rev. 22:13 (Alpha / Omega)
    • By Jesus.defender
      THE TRINITY OF THE GODHEAD SEEN IN NATURE.
      Question: How is the Trinity of the Godhead seen in nature as in Romans 1:20 ‘for the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.
      Answer: a) We see God’s eternal power in earthquakes, volcanoes, wind, millions of stars, galaxies, waves, floods, lightning, sun, moon, nuclear bombs, etc.
      b) We see the Trinity of the Godhead with so many things coming in ‘threes’, reminding us of Father, Son, Holy Spirit, all three members of the creator Godhead. Examples include:
      1) The Physical Universe: Space, mass, time.
      2) Space: 3 dimensions of space are: length, breadth, height.
      3) Mass: 3 phases of matter are: solid, liquid, gas.
      4) Time: 3 tenses of time are: past, present, future.
      5) Light: 3 directions of light wave oscillation are: horizontal, 
      vertical, back and forward.
      6) Colours: 3 primary colours of light are: red, blue, yellow.
      7) Kingdoms: 3 Kingdoms are: Animal, vegetable, mineral.
      8) Animal: 3 main kinds of Animal are: fish, bird, land animals.
      9) Minerals: 3 main kinds of Minerals are: igneous, sedimentary, metamorphic.
      10) Heavens: 3 heavens are: atmosphere, space, God’s throne.
      11) Man: 3 components of Man are: body, soul (personality), spirit. (I Thess. 5:23).
      12) Divine institutions: 3 Divine institutions are: marriage, human government, church.
      13) Musical notes: 3 notes make up a musical chord.
      14) Sub-atomic particles: 3 main sub-atomic particles are: proton, electron, neutron,.
      15) Mankind: 3 divisions of the human race: Jew, Gentile, Church of God. (I Cor.10:32).
       




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