The History of Trinity (Reference facts only)

C_M_C_M_ Posts: 2,710

My friends, please help me compile historical data on this topic of the Trinity, independent of religious groups interpretation of the biblical text on the subject. How did this doctrine evolve? Spare me any conjectures.

I know the word "Trinity" is not found in the Bible. To be crystal clear, I am most interested in the genesis of the formation and trinitarian teachings. Any references to a book, websites, quote of the fathers, etc., would be helpful.

Please share the historical facts with some references, please! If you are not sure or have historical facts, feel free to pass this thread. At least, for this thread, take a little time and do some research before responding. I would appreciate it greatly. It's alright if you don't have anything concrete to add at this time. When you do so, please share, in light of what is requested.

What are the basics of the Athanasian Creed? Is this the creed upon which the entirety of the Roman Catholic faith is built? Does the Athanasian Creed (Roman Catholic Creed) say that the one God is three divine personalities in one indivisible substance or essence?

The three in one God idea came from Athanasius, whose teacher was Origen, who “believed in the doctrine of Purgatory, transubstantiation, transmigration of the soul and reincarnation of the soul. The Scriptures were not literal.” — (See Dr. Ken Matto, Origen's Gnostic Belief System). Happy searching. CM

Comments

  • C_M_C_M_ Posts: 2,710

    Let's settle it! God is one in three. The Bible teaches it. No debate is needed.

    The concept of the Trinity is foundational to several crucial Christian doctrines such as Christology, Pneumatology, Anthropology, Revelation, Atonement, the Great Controversy, Judgment and Salvation. The doctrine of the Trinity constitutes the cornerstone of all Christian doctrines. Without it, Christianity would lose its identity and uniqueness. Not only Jesus is God so is the Holy Spirit. The New Testament pneumatology is plain for all to see:

    John’s Gospel is most explicit in teaching that the Spirit would be given only after Jesus was glorified.

    • John 7:39: The Spirit had not yet been given because Jesus was not yet glorified.
    • John 14:26: The coming of the Spirit (the Comforter) was still future, and would fulfill a teaching function.
    • John 16:7: The Comforter cannot come until Jesus departs.
    • John 16:13: The Spirit would guide the disciples into all truth.

      Within the same thought context, the writers may casually refer to the different members of the Trinity. Four kinds of scriptural material express this triune God (Trinitarian) mindset. These comprise passages that include:

      1) Jesus and the Father (Matt 1:23; 2:15; 7:21; 10:32-33; 11:27; 27:43; Mk 14:36; Jn 1:1, 14, 18; 5:17-18; 6:40, 47; 8:18- 19, 38; 10:15, 36; 11:4; 13:3; Rom 1:7; 1 Cor 1:3; 2 Cor 1:3; Gal 1:3; Eph 1:2; Phil 2:5-11; Col 1:15-20; 2 Th 1:2, 12; Phlm 3; Heb 1:1-8; 2 Pet 1:2, 16-17; 1 Jn 1:2-3; 2:22-24).

      2) Jesus and the Spirit (Matt 1:18; 3:17; 12:28; Lk 1:35; 3:22; 4:1-14, 18; 10:21-24; 11:13, 20; 12:11-12; Jn 1:32-33; 7:37-39; 14:16-17, 26; 15:26; 16:7-15; 20:21-23; Acts 2:33; 10:38; Rom 8:2; 9:1; Gal 3:14; 5:5-6, 22-24; Eph 1:13-14; 3:5-6; Heb 9:14; 1 Pet 1:11).

      3) The Father and the Spirit (Matt 10:20; Lk 11:13; 24:48-49; Acts 1:4-5; Rom 5:5; 8:27; 15:13; 1 Cor 2:4, 5, 10-14; 3:16; 6:19; 14:2; 2 Cor 5:5; Eph 6:17; 1 Thess 4:8; 2 Pet 1:21).

      4) All three persons (Matt 1:20-23; 28:19, 20; Lk 1:35; 24:49; Jn 1:32-34; 20:21-22; Acts 1:3-5, 7-8; 28:23, 25; Rom 1:1-4; 15:30; 2 Cor 1:4-6; 13:14; 1 Thess 1:3-5; 5:18-19; Heb 3:7-12; 6:1-5; 10:15-22, 29-31; Jude 19-25; Rev 1:4-6; 4:1-5:12; 14:6-13; 22:1-17).

    It is not necessary that they all be in the same verse or with a triune formula or triadic structure.

    Furthermore, most of the NT books begin and end with references to two or three persons of the Trinity. This literary inclusio means that the view of God included in these materials brackets the book. e.g. http://www.ulbap.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Inclusio-Examples.pdf

    • For the most part, the General Epistles either begin and end or just begin with references to two personsJesus and the Father.

    The letters of James; 1 and 2 Peter; 1, 2 and 3 John; and Jude are known collectively as the General or Catholic Epistles on the grounds that they were originally addressed to early Christians in general rather than to specific individuals or congregations (See Harner sources).

    Every book but 3 John begins with at least two members of Triune God.

    • Hebrews
    • 1 John
    • Jude clearly express the Trinitarian literary inclusio (see above).

    First Peter and Jude

    • Place all three members of the Triune God together in one thought unit.

    There will always be questions and room, from human minds, for doubt. God has revealed himself in "General" and "Special" revelations. The Bible is true. Let the clear passages explain the difficult ones and your faith in God deals with your doubts. In your response, keep it biblical. The Bible is its own interpreter. CM

    SOURCES:
    -- Allan Coppedge, The God Who Is Triune: Revisioning the Christian Doctrine of God (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2007), 19, 20, 23-52.

    -- Philip B. Harner, What Are They Saying About the Catholic Epistles? (New York, NY: Paulist Press, 2004), 1.

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 1,415

    @C_M_ said:

    Let's settle it! God is one in three. The Bible teaches it. No debate is needed.

    Ha ha ha ...

    I am a bit surprised you want to settle for mystery error rather than evaluate a 4th century AD dogma more carefully against Scripture and then settle for what the Bible indeed does teach.

    Don't have any time right now to reply further and in detail to the points you mention from a number of authors, perhaps I can get to writing some more by tomorrow

  • Dave_LDave_L Posts: 2,209

    @C_M_ said:

    Let's settle it! God is one in three. The Bible teaches it. No debate is needed.

    The concept of the Trinity is foundational to several crucial Christian doctrines such as Christology, Pneumatology, Anthropology, Revelation, Atonement, the Great Controversy, Judgment and Salvation. The doctrine of the Trinity constitutes the cornerstone of all Christian doctrines. Without it, Christianity would lose its identity and uniqueness. Not only Jesus is God so is the Holy Spirit. The New Testament pneumatology is plain for all to see:

    John’s Gospel is most explicit in teaching that the Spirit would be given only after Jesus was glorified.

    • John 7:39: The Spirit had not yet been given because Jesus was not yet glorified.
    • John 14:26: The coming of the Spirit (the Comforter) was still future, and would fulfill a teaching function.
    • John 16:7: The Comforter cannot come until Jesus departs.
    • John 16:13: The Spirit would guide the disciples into all truth.

      Within the same thought context, the writers may casually refer to the different members of the Trinity. Four kinds of scriptural material express this triune God (Trinitarian) mindset. These comprise passages that include:

      1) Jesus and the Father (Matt 1:23; 2:15; 7:21; 10:32-33; 11:27; 27:43; Mk 14:36; Jn 1:1, 14, 18; 5:17-18; 6:40, 47; 8:18- 19, 38; 10:15, 36; 11:4; 13:3; Rom 1:7; 1 Cor 1:3; 2 Cor 1:3; Gal 1:3; Eph 1:2; Phil 2:5-11; Col 1:15-20; 2 Th 1:2, 12; Phlm 3; Heb 1:1-8; 2 Pet 1:2, 16-17; 1 Jn 1:2-3; 2:22-24).

      2) Jesus and the Spirit (Matt 1:18; 3:17; 12:28; Lk 1:35; 3:22; 4:1-14, 18; 10:21-24; 11:13, 20; 12:11-12; Jn 1:32-33; 7:37-39; 14:16-17, 26; 15:26; 16:7-15; 20:21-23; Acts 2:33; 10:38; Rom 8:2; 9:1; Gal 3:14; 5:5-6, 22-24; Eph 1:13-14; 3:5-6; Heb 9:14; 1 Pet 1:11).

      3) The Father and the Spirit (Matt 10:20; Lk 11:13; 24:48-49; Acts 1:4-5; Rom 5:5; 8:27; 15:13; 1 Cor 2:4, 5, 10-14; 3:16; 6:19; 14:2; 2 Cor 5:5; Eph 6:17; 1 Thess 4:8; 2 Pet 1:21).

      4) All three persons (Matt 1:20-23; 28:19, 20; Lk 1:35; 24:49; Jn 1:32-34; 20:21-22; Acts 1:3-5, 7-8; 28:23, 25; Rom 1:1-4; 15:30; 2 Cor 1:4-6; 13:14; 1 Thess 1:3-5; 5:18-19; Heb 3:7-12; 6:1-5; 10:15-22, 29-31; Jude 19-25; Rev 1:4-6; 4:1-5:12; 14:6-13; 22:1-17).

    It is not necessary that they all be in the same verse or with a triune formula or triadic structure.

    Furthermore, most of the NT books begin and end with references to two or three persons of the Trinity. This literary inclusio means that the view of God included in these materials brackets the book. e.g. http://www.ulbap.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Inclusio-Examples.pdf

    • For the most part, the General Epistles either begin and end or just begin with references to two personsJesus and the Father.

    The letters of James; 1 and 2 Peter; 1, 2 and 3 John; and Jude are known collectively as the General or Catholic Epistles on the grounds that they were originally addressed to early Christians in general rather than to specific individuals or congregations (See Harner sources).

    Every book but 3 John begins with at least two members of Triune God.

    • Hebrews
    • 1 John
    • Jude clearly express the Trinitarian literary inclusio (see above).

    First Peter and Jude

    • Place all three members of the Triune God together in one thought unit.

    There will always be questions and room, from human minds, for doubt. God has revealed himself in "General" and "Special" revelations. The Bible is true. Let the clear passages explain the difficult ones and your faith in God deals with your doubts. In your response, keep it biblical. The Bible is its own interpreter. CM

    SOURCES:
    -- Allan Coppedge, The God Who Is Triune: Revisioning the Christian Doctrine of God (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2007), 19, 20, 23-52.

    -- Philip B. Harner, What Are They Saying About the Catholic Epistles? (New York, NY: Paulist Press, 2004), 1.

    Thanks CM!

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 1,415

    @C_M_ said:
    The concept of the Trinity is foundational to several crucial Christian doctrines such as Christology, Pneumatology, Anthropology, Revelation, Atonement, the Great Controversy, Judgment and Salvation. The doctrine of the Trinity constitutes the cornerstone of all Christian doctrines. Without it, Christianity would lose its identity and uniqueness.

    The Trinity dogma is by no means foundational to true Christian doctrines, rather it is its own man made religion which claims to be "Christian" and in fact has overtaken most of Christianity ever since the councils of the 4th century AD when that dogma established this apostasy in place of true Christianity.

    Not only Jesus is God so is the Holy Spirit. The New Testament pneumatology is plain for all to see:

    Indeed, rather plain for all to see ... some just don't read that "holy spirit" is spoken of as A THING (a GIFT) which is given to those who believe in Jesus the Messiah. Instead, they make "holy spirit" to be a God-person of a Mystery "Trinity"

    John’s Gospel is most explicit in teaching that the Spirit would be given only after Jesus was glorified.

    Did you notice the "... would be GIVEN"? Is "God the Holy Spirit" a gift which is given??

    Within the same thought context, the writers may casually refer to the different members of the Trinity. Four kinds of scriptural material express this triune God (Trinitarian) mindset.

    Just because I, my wife and my grandchild are mentioned within a same thought in a certain context, does NOT at all constitute that we are some kind of a "trinity".
    The truth is that Scripture in places mentions God, mentions God's the man Jesus as God's only begotten Son, mentions God's gift of holy spirit which is given by God to believers ... But such constitutes no "Trinitarian mindset" nor is it even speaking about "members of the Trinity". Instead, the passages distinguish clearly between GOD and the man Christ Jesus and God's gift of holy spirit.

    These comprise passages that include:

    1) Jesus and the Father (Matt 1:23; 2:15; 7:21; 10:32-33; 11:27; 27:43; Mk 14:36; Jn 1:1, 14, 18; 5:17-18; 6:40, 47; 8:18- 19, 38; 10:15, 36; 11:4; 13:3; Rom 1:7; 1 Cor 1:3; 2 Cor 1:3; Gal 1:3; Eph 1:2; Phil 2:5-11; Col 1:15-20; 2 Th 1:2, 12; Phlm 3; Heb 1:1-8; 2 Pet 1:2, 16-17; 1 Jn 1:2-3; 2:22-24).

    2) Jesus and the Spirit (Matt 1:18; 3:17; 12:28; Lk 1:35; 3:22; 4:1-14, 18; 10:21-24; 11:13, 20; 12:11-12; Jn 1:32-33; 7:37-39; 14:16-17, 26; 15:26; 16:7-15; 20:21-23; Acts 2:33; 10:38; Rom 8:2; 9:1; Gal 3:14; 5:5-6, 22-24; Eph 1:13-14; 3:5-6; Heb 9:14; 1 Pet 1:11).

    3) The Father and the Spirit (Matt 10:20; Lk 11:13; 24:48-49; Acts 1:4-5; Rom 5:5; 8:27; 15:13; 1 Cor 2:4, 5, 10-14; 3:16; 6:19; 14:2; 2 Cor 5:5; Eph 6:17; 1 Thess 4:8; 2 Pet 1:21).

    4) All three persons (Matt 1:20-23; 28:19, 20; Lk 1:35; 24:49; Jn 1:32-34; 20:21-22; Acts 1:3-5, 7-8; 28:23, 25; Rom 1:1-4; 15:30; 2 Cor 1:4-6; 13:14; 1 Thess 1:3-5; 5:18-19; Heb 3:7-12; 6:1-5; 10:15-22, 29-31; Jude 19-25; Rev 1:4-6; 4:1-5:12; 14:6-13; 22:1-17).

    There is NOT even one passage listed which would indicate or prove a Trinity God ... absolutely NONE.

    It is not necessary that they all be in the same verse or with a triune formula or triadic structure.

    So any mention of any three things or three people can be called "Trinity" ???

    Furthermore, most of the NT books begin and end with references to two or three persons of the Trinity.

    See above ... the epistles mention - for example - (a) God, and (b) the man Jesus, etc ... which has NOTHING to do with a Trinity

    • Hebrews
    • 1 John
    • Jude clearly express the Trinitarian literary inclusio (see above).

    No, they do not ...

    First Peter and Jude

    • Place all three members of the Triune God together in one thought unit.

    See above .... just because (1) God, (2) Jesus and (3) Holy Spirit are mentioned, such mention does NOT at all define these as being "members of the Triune God".

    There will always be questions and room, from human minds, for doubt.

    Oh, really are you telling us that folks who believe the Trinity do actually not have human minds? If so, are they not humans or why would they not have human minds??

    God has revealed himself in "General" and "Special" revelations. The Bible is true. Let the clear passages explain the difficult ones and your faith in God deals with your doubts.

    I agree .... and since I did so almost 5 decades ago, the "mystery Trinity religion" has become undone while Scripture truth of only One, Who ALONE is true God has become clear and plain in all of Scripture.

    In your response, keep it biblical. The Bible is its own interpreter. CM

    Indeed .... keep it Biblical, and just leave the Trinity theology stuff for what they are.

  • C_M_C_M_ Posts: 2,710

    Wolfgang,
    The answers to questions are in my questions to you for a foundational understanding of where you are:
    1. Do you believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God through human writers?
    2. Do you believe that Jesus is the Savior of man?
    3. Is Jesus God?
    4. If not, what is he?
    5. Is Jesus your Savior?
    6. Do you or anyone needs God help a man understand the Bible?
    7. What role does Jesus play in the salvation of man?
    8. Is Jesus a lieutenant God?
    9. What or who is the Holy Spirit?

    I notice you skipped over my point:

    @ CM said: "most of the NT books begin and end with references to two or three persons of the Trinity. This literary inclusio means that the view of God included in these materials brackets the book. e.g. http://www.ulbap.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Inclusio-Examples.pdf

    For the most part, the General Epistles either begin and end or just begin with references to two persons— Jesus and the Father".

    This is the answer to most of your questions. Take my post as a whole and it will eliminate most of your questions. The ones I asked you are to help you see the importance of God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) in your life or any man.

    @ Wolfgang said: There is NOT even one passage listed which would indicate or prove a Trinity God ... absolutely NONE.

    I don't agree with your conclusion of the texts shared on the Triune God. Your statement above is unconvincing. Are you telling me that the Bible can prove, within its pages, that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are demigods or glorified, angels?

    Don't forget, God existed long before the written Bible. So it is for the Trinity. CM

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 1,415

    @C_M_ said:
    Wolfgang,
    The answers to questions are in my questions to you for a foundational understanding of where you are:

    ? where I am does NOT matter and would not answer my questions regarding YOUR understanding and where you are ... how is it, that such is not clear to you???

    I'll do you the favor and answer your questions (instead of saying "I would first need to know your answers so I know where you are ....")

    1. Do you believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God through human writers?

    Yes

    1. Do you believe that Jesus is the Savior of man?

    Yes

    1. Is Jesus God?

    No

    1. If not, what is he?

    The man Christ Jesus

    1. Is Jesus your Savior?

    Yes

    1. Do you or anyone needs God help a man understand the Bible

    The Bible is written in human language and thus can be understood by those who read it. It may be that God will help enlighten a man's understanding when his own ability to comprehend from reading would be lacking

    1. What role does Jesus play in the salvation of man?

    He is the promised Messiah, whom God sent (cp. John 3:16)

    1. Is Jesus a lieutenant God?

    Jesus is no type of God ... he is THE MAN Christ Jesus (cp. various passages in NT where it is stated rather plainly that Jesus is a man

    1. What or who is the Holy Spirit?

    (a) Since God is not only "the Father", "the Creator", "the Almighty", "the Ancient of Days", etc. but is also "Holy" and He is "Spirit", there are few passages in Scripture where God is being referred to as "the Holy Spirit".
    (b) Also, what God gives to believers as His gift and as "power from on high" is called "holy spirit" in Scripture.

    I notice you skipped over my point:

    @ CM said: "most of the NT books begin and end with references to two or three persons of the Trinity. This literary inclusio means that the view of God included in these materials brackets the book. e.g. http://www.ulbap.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Inclusio-Examples.pdf

    For the most part, the General Epistles either begin and end or just begin with references to two persons— Jesus and the Father".

    In short, I did so because this doesn't really relate to being an answer to my questions ...

    This is the answer to most of your questions. Take my post as a whole and it will eliminate most of your questions. The ones I asked you are to help you see the importance of God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) in your life or any man.

    Now, how are those questions you asked above supposed to help me or any other man see the importance of God being the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit)??
    Perhaps you can see from my simple plain clear answers to your questions, that your questions actually do not even have anything to do with any "Holy Trinity God" ?0

    @ Wolfgang said: There is NOT even one passage listed which would indicate or prove a Trinity God ... absolutely NONE.

    I don't agree with your conclusion of the texts shared on the Triune God. Your statement above is unconvincing.

    Well, at least my conclusions are straight forward text ... and the texts have nothing about a "Triune God"

    Are you telling me that the Bible can prove, within its pages, that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are demigods or glorified, angels?

    No .... but I wonder if it is your "Triune God" idea which makes you even come up with such a silly question?
    I am telling you that the Bible proves that Jesus is a man (remember, "God" is not born of a woman, only in ancient mythologies are such ideas found) ... and that the Bible proves that God - the Father, the Creator, the Almighty, etc is also called "the Holy Spirit" or "the Spirit" in certain passages of Scripture.

    Don't forget, God existed long before the written Bible.

    Indeed.

    So it is for the Trinity. CM

    Are you referring to the concept of "Trinity God"? If so, yes, that was most likely also already found in Babylonian mystery religion prior to the writing of the Bible.

  • reformedreformed Posts: 2,075

    @Wolfgang said:

    @C_M_ said:
    Wolfgang,
    The answers to questions are in my questions to you for a foundational understanding of where you are:

    ? where I am does NOT matter and would not answer my questions regarding YOUR understanding and where you are ... how is it, that such is not clear to you???

    I'll do you the favor and answer your questions (instead of saying "I would first need to know your answers so I know where you are ....")

    1. Do you believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God through human writers?

    Yes

    1. Do you believe that Jesus is the Savior of man?

    Yes

    1. Is Jesus God?

    No

    1. If not, what is he?

    The man Christ Jesus

    1. Is Jesus your Savior?

    Yes

    1. Do you or anyone needs God help a man understand the Bible

    The Bible is written in human language and thus can be understood by those who read it. It may be that God will help enlighten a man's understanding when his own ability to comprehend from reading would be lacking

    1. What role does Jesus play in the salvation of man?

    He is the promised Messiah, whom God sent (cp. John 3:16)

    1. Is Jesus a lieutenant God?

    Jesus is no type of God ... he is THE MAN Christ Jesus (cp. various passages in NT where it is stated rather plainly that Jesus is a man

    1. What or who is the Holy Spirit?

    (a) Since God is not only "the Father", "the Creator", "the Almighty", "the Ancient of Days", etc. but is also "Holy" and He is "Spirit", there are few passages in Scripture where God is being referred to as "the Holy Spirit".
    (b) Also, what God gives to believers as His gift and as "power from on high" is called "holy spirit" in Scripture.

    I notice you skipped over my point:

    @ CM said: "most of the NT books begin and end with references to two or three persons of the Trinity. This literary inclusio means that the view of God included in these materials brackets the book. e.g. http://www.ulbap.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Inclusio-Examples.pdf

    For the most part, the General Epistles either begin and end or just begin with references to two persons— Jesus and the Father".

    In short, I did so because this doesn't really relate to being an answer to my questions ...

    This is the answer to most of your questions. Take my post as a whole and it will eliminate most of your questions. The ones I asked you are to help you see the importance of God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) in your life or any man.

    Now, how are those questions you asked above supposed to help me or any other man see the importance of God being the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit)??
    Perhaps you can see from my simple plain clear answers to your questions, that your questions actually do not even have anything to do with any "Holy Trinity God" ?0

    @ Wolfgang said: There is NOT even one passage listed which would indicate or prove a Trinity God ... absolutely NONE.

    I don't agree with your conclusion of the texts shared on the Triune God. Your statement above is unconvincing.

    Well, at least my conclusions are straight forward text ... and the texts have nothing about a "Triune God"

    Are you telling me that the Bible can prove, within its pages, that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are demigods or glorified, angels?

    No .... but I wonder if it is your "Triune God" idea which makes you even come up with such a silly question?
    I am telling you that the Bible proves that Jesus is a man (remember, "God" is not born of a woman, only in ancient mythologies are such ideas found) ... and that the Bible proves that God - the Father, the Creator, the Almighty, etc is also called "the Holy Spirit" or "the Spirit" in certain passages of Scripture.

    Don't forget, God existed long before the written Bible.

    Indeed.

    So it is for the Trinity. CM

    Are you referring to the concept of "Trinity God"? If so, yes, that was most likely also already found in Babylonian mystery religion prior to the writing of the Bible.

    If Jesus is only a man then the Bible lies because it says all have sinned.

  • Dave_LDave_L Posts: 2,209

    @reformed said:

    If Jesus is only a man then the Bible lies because it says all have sinned.

    Great point R!

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 1,415

    @reformed said:
    If Jesus is only a man then the Bible lies because it says all have sinned.

    Whether "Jesus was ONLY a man" or "Jesus was a man" would make no difference, since in both cases the same problem exists !! See, if you think of Jesus as being a "God-man", then still the "man" side would be part of "all have sinned" ...

    On the other hand, there is a simple solution to a correct understanding of the phrase "all have sinned", and it is found right in the context. In addition, since sin came by Adam, by only a man, the redemption from sin also had to come by only a man, the man Christ Jesus.

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