Why was there no Trinity controversy at the time of Acts?

In the New Testament, a number of historical controversies are described, from overzealous speaking in tongues in Corinth to the Jerusalem council which decided whether or not new Gentile converts needed to keep the Law of Moses. However, what is strikingly absent from the first century is a controversy over a new definition of God.

Imagine that a unitarian missionary came to your church and started preaching that God is only the Father (not the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). Wouldn’t that cause controversy? Of course it would. People who believe one thing about God don’t just change the moment they hear a new idea. So, what about in the first century? You’ve got all of these Jewish communities throughout the Mediterranean world who are strictly monotheistic, and these Christians come to town preaching a message about the Trinity. Wouldn’t that cause problems? Of course it would. But, where is the evidence of this?

In the entire New Testament we find no controversy over the Trinity, to such a degree that it is never even spelled out clearly. Isn’t the simplest explanation that this doctrine just wasn’t around yet?

«1

Comments

  • reformedreformed Posts: 2,268

    Because they understood Jesus to be God. There was no controversy because they were proclaiming Jesus as God. Only heretics and false teachers say that Jesus is not God. Trinitarians ARE monotheistic. There is no controversy there.

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 1,720

    @reformed wrote

    Because they understood Jesus to be God. There was no controversy because they were proclaiming Jesus as God. Only heretics and false teachers say that Jesus is not God. Trinitarians ARE monotheistic. There is no controversy there.

    Did you even read what had been posted? Your "trumpet" your claim and assumptions as if they were facts? You claim that the Trinity belief concerning Jesus was already around at the time of Acts? You may want to read up on the history of that belief and dogma, for basically all Trinitarians agree that it only came about at a later time during the first few centuries AD.

  • reformedreformed Posts: 2,268

    I don't know of a single leading Trinitarian that believes the doctrine suddenly appeared in the third or fourth century. That is simply a falsehood.

  • @Wolfgang wrote: In the New Testament, a number of historical controversies are described, from overzealous speaking in tongues in Corinth to the Jerusalem council which decided whether or not new Gentile converts needed to keep the Law of Moses. However, what is strikingly absent from the first century is a controversy over a new definition of God.

    Gospels describe those who believed Godly words of Jesus along with those who were offended (refused to believe eternal God was in human flesh so wanted to kill Jesus). Variety of reactions are recorded: e.g. 10 lepers were healed with one returning to Praise God. The High Priest, Caiaphas, firmly believed "One God = One Person" so called Jesus a liar for declaring Jesus = God (that to Caiaphas should be put to death for blasphemy so Jesus was crucified).

    Acts shows Saul had "One God = One Person" filter firmly in place when Saul approved of Stephen's death, which changed after Saul personally encountered Jesus (God). When Paul preached in synagogues to show Jesus (God) fulfilled many prophecies, a number of Jews believed while others refused (who sought to kill Paul).

    Roman persecution of believers (until 325 AD) had simple choice: deny Jesus (God) OR die (for refusing to worship Zeus and other Roman Gods).

    Keep Smiling 😀

  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 1,422

    @Keep_Smiling_4_Jesus said:

    Gospels describe those who believed Godly words of Jesus along with those who were offended (refused to believe eternal God was in human flesh so wanted to kill Jesus). Variety of reactions are recorded: e.g. 10 lepers were healed with one returning to Praise God. The High Priest, Caiaphas, firmly believed "One God = One Person" so called Jesus a liar for declaring Jesus = God (that to Caiaphas should be put to death for blasphemy so Jesus was crucified).

    Where in the Gospels and before Caiaphas does Jesus declare himself to be equal to God? I find the moment when Jesus seems to say yes to Caiaphas's question whether he is "the Christ, the Son of God" (Matthew 26.63-64, ESV) but I do not find a moment when Jesus tells Caiaphas that he believes himself to be equal to God. Yes, the Gospel of John reports that Jewish leaders believed Jesus claimed equality with God by announcing that God was his Father (John 5.18) but in the text, that's the leaders' conclusion, not Jesus'.


    @Keep_Smiling_4_Jesus said:

    Acts shows Saul had "One God = One Person" filter firmly in place when Saul approved of Stephen's death, which changed after Saul personally encountered Jesus (God). When Paul preached in synagogues to show Jesus (God) fulfilled many prophecies, a number of Jews believed while others refused (who sought to kill Paul).

    Where in Acts does Saul/Paul preach that Jesus was God? I find that he declared Jesus to be "the Son of God" (Acts 9.20) but nowhere do I find Paul claiming Jesus IS God.

    • In a lengthy sermon in Acts 13.16-41, Paul makes a clear distinction between Jesus and God, at one point declaring Jesus to be the one "of (David’s) offspring God has brought to Israel a Savior," (Acts 13.23) and also the one they executed but God raised (Acts 13.29-30). But the clear meaning of Paul's words is that he believes Jesus is NOT God.
    • And to the Athenians Paul describes Jesus as "the man" God has "appointed," by whom God will "judge the world in righteousness," an eventuality assured by God's raising Jesus from the dead. (Acts 17.30-31) That declaration also reads as a clear distinction between God and Jesus.

    Where in Acts... or anywhere else, for that matter... do you find that Paul declares Jesus to be God?

  • PagesPages Posts: 54

    @Bill_Coley

    Where in the Gospels and before Caiaphas does Jesus declare himself to be equal to God? I find the moment when Jesus seems to say yes to Caiaphas's question whether he is "the Christ, the Son of God" (Matthew 26.63-64, ESV) but I do not find a moment when Jesus tells Caiaphas that he believes himself to be equal to God.

    Jesus does not directly answer the question of Messiahship put to him by the high priest in the Matthew text; however, declaring to be Messiah is not an offense of blasphemy regarding the Law. Witness to this is the number of times there have been others who claimed to be Messiah throughout Israel’s history.

    But I say to all of you: From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” – (Matt. 26:64). Only YHWH comes/rides on the clouds within Judaism, and within Canaanite religion only Baal was a cloud rider. Cloud riding, or coming on the clouds, is an expression of something only Deity does (cf. Dan. 7:13-14).

    In v. 64 Jesus, the Son of Man, not only sits at the right-hand of YHWH but comes on the clouds of heaven. This specific response of Jesus is the reason the high priest tore his clothes and declared blasphemy had been spoken by Jesus v. 65. 

  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 1,422

    @Pages said:

    Jesus does not directly answer the question of Messiahship put to him by the high priest in the Matthew text; however, declaring to be Messiah is not an offense of blasphemy regarding the Law. Witness to this is the number of times there have been others who claimed to be Messiah throughout Israel’s history.

    It's worthy of note that while in Matthew's account of Jesus' time before the high priest, Jesus does not directly answer the question, in Mark's account of the same scene (Mark 14.60-62) Jesus does answer the question directly. Since the two accounts present the same blustery reaction from the high priest, however, in my view it's fair to infer that the high priest in Matthew's account believed Jesus had answered the question in the affirmative.

    As for the potential blasphemy of Jesus' response, from the texts it's clear that the priests considered it such, however many claims of messiahship the future might produce.


    @Pages said:

    But I say to all of you: From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” – (Matt. 26:64). Only YHWH comes/rides on the clouds within Judaism, and within Canaanite religion only Baal was a cloud rider. Cloud riding, or coming on the clouds, is an expression of something only Deity does (cf. Dan. 7:13-14).

    If so, perhaps the high priests misread the Daniel text. The "son of man" figure who comes on the clouds is both presented to the Ancient of Days (Daniel 7.13) and receives "dominion and glory and a kingdom" (Daniel 7.14) Why would one who is God need to be given such things as glory and dominion? Wouldn't those things come with deity status?

  • C_M_C_M_ Posts: 3,005

    @Wolfgang said:

    In the entire New Testament we find no controversy over the Trinity, to such a degree that it is never even spelled out clearly. Isn’t the simplest explanation that this doctrine just wasn’t around yet?

    A simple (tongue-in-cheek) answer could be that the religious leaders of that time were so self-absorbed in their own self-righteousness, position and power, they didn't have time to see beyond their self-importance. On the other hand, no one back then, didn't tried to devaluate or nullify the bottom and one side of the triangle as many are doing today with the "Godhead". CM😉 CM

  • PagesPages Posts: 54

    @Bill_Coley said:

    It's worthy of note that while in Matthew's account of Jesus' time before the high priest, Jesus does not directly answer the question, in Mark's account of the same scene (Mark 14.60-62) Jesus does answer the question directly. Since the two accounts present the same blustery reaction from the high priest, however, in my view it's fair to infer that the high priest in Matthew's account believed Jesus had answered the question in the affirmative.

    As for the potential blasphemy of Jesus' response, from the texts it's clear that the priests considered it such, however many claims of messiahship the future might produce.

    Since blasphemy is primarily considered to be the profaning of the sacred Name, I have the following two questions. Your answer to these questions will help me, I hope, understand your position better.

    1)  Do we find in Jewish Law that one’s claim, or declaration, of being Messiah is considered to be blasphemy?  

    2)  What, in Jesus’ response at Matt. 26:64 or Mk. 14:62, specifically do you attribute to the charge of blasphemy by the high priest?

    If so, perhaps the high priests misread the Daniel text. The "son of man" figure who comes on the clouds is both presented to the Ancient of Days (Daniel 7.13) and receives "dominion and glory and a kingdom" (Daniel 7.14) Why would one who is God need to be given such things as glory and dominion? Wouldn't those things come with deity status?

    Two part answer:

    1)  Glory, dominion, and kingship will be fully realized at Christ’s return when every knee shall bow and confess Jesus as Lord ( cf. Phil. 2:10-11);  including, “whom all will serve and whose kingdom will see no end (Dan 7:13–14), the one who sits at the right hand of God (Ps 110:1),” (Donald A. Hagner, Matthew 14–28, WBC 33B; Accordance electronic ed. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1995), 800.) 

    2)  Yes, glory and dominion are included in divine status, which was laid aside prior to the incarnation by the Son (Phil. 2:6-8).

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 1,720

    @Pages wrote

    Since blasphemy is primarily considered to be the profaning of the sacred Name, I have the following two questions. Your answer to these questions will help me, I hope, understand your position better.

    1) Do we find in Jewish Law that one’s claim, or declaration, of being Messiah is considered to be blasphemy? 

    Blasphemy is simply when someone claims something wrongfully as God's doing ... e.g. claiming something as God's doing which it is not and thereby attributing falsehood to God

    2) What, in Jesus’ response at Matt. 26:64 or Mk. 14:62, specifically do you attribute to the charge of blasphemy by the high priest?

    Jesus' reference to "the Son of man" which he attributed to himself. All understood this term to be specifically designated to the promised Messiah, the Christ, he whom God had promised to send.

    Since the Jews rejected Jesus to be that Messiah, according to them to claim to be God's promised Messiah if one was not the Messiah was therefore blasphemy ... very simple and actually easy to understand.

    Or do you want to tell us that "the Son of man" is a designation/title for GOD iin heaven??

  • Dave_LDave_L Posts: 2,328

    In Acts they still saw through a glass darkly having only tongues and prophecy. When all scripture had been collected and compiled we received the complete revelation. And this brought into focus the three persons of One God that we call the trinity.

  • C_M_C_M_ Posts: 3,005

    Blasphemy entails at least two elements:

    1. Progressive rejection of service or worship owed to God.
    2. The crediting to Satan the work of God, and vice versa. (e.g. Num. 16:28-35, 41-49) 

    Blasphemy is also used in a negative way to describe a person acting in deliberate presumption, pride, revolt, and disdain.Moreover, the phrase is modified in Num 15:30 with the words ―”that one is blaspheming the Lord.”

    But if a man, by repeated refusals of God’s guidance, has lost the ability to recognize goodness when he sees it, if he has got his moral values inverted until evil to him is good and good to him is evil, then, even when he is confronted by Jesus, he is conscious of no sin he cannot repent and therefore he can never be forgiven. That is the sin against the Holy Spirit.” — William Barclay, The Gospel of Mark (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1976), p. 81.

    It behooves all to be more cautious as we speak of God, however He chooses to manifested Himself. CM

    PS: More can and should be said under the thread: "Unpardonable sin: Blasphemy Against The Holy Spirit". Share your thoughts and the Word. CM

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 1,720

    @C_M_ wrote

    Blasphemy is also used in a negative way to describe a person acting in deliberate presumption, pride, revolt, and disdain.

    The Jews were of the opinion that Jesus was acting presumptiously, prideful etc by claiming to be "the Son of man", the promised Messiah, since they had a different picture of what that Messiah was to be and was to do. Thus they accused him of blasphemy.

    The truth of the matter is, that their idea about what the Messiah would be (in essence, a political leader, etc) was wrong and their claim and accusation of blasphemy against Jesus was unfounded and equally a false accusation.

  • PagesPages Posts: 54
    edited February 17

    @Wolfgang said in opening:

    In the entire New Testament we find no controversy over the Trinity, to such a degree that it is never even spelled out clearly. Isn’t the simplest explanation that this doctrine just wasn’t around yet?

    @Wolfgang writing to Reformed:

    You may want to read up on the history of that belief and dogma, for basically all Trinitarians agree that it only came about at a later time during the first few centuries AD.

    Have you forgotten about Pliny the Younger’s letter to the emperor Trajan roughly 108 A.D. where Pliny “testifies to several key features of early Christian worship: on a fixed day they met before dawn to sing a hymn antiphonally to Christ as to a god (carmenque Christo quasi deo dicere secum invicem;” – Pliny Ep*10.96) (J. L. Wu, “Hymns, Songs,” DLNTD, 526.).

    Or from Ignatius, writing about 108 A.D.: 

    “united and elect through genuine suffering by the will of the Father and of Jesus Christ our God,”

    “For our God, Jesus the Christ, was conceived by Mary according to God’s plan,”

    “in accordance with faith in and love for Jesus Christ our God,”

    “heartiest greetings blamelessly in Jesus Christ our God.”

    “For our God Jesus Christ is more visible now that he is in the Father.”

    “I glorify Jesus Christ, the God who made you so wise,”

    (All Ignatius text quoted – Apostolic Fathers, 3rd ed: Greek Texts and English Translations Edited and translated by Michael W. Holmes)

    *the software keeps wanting to link the Ep reference as bible text. Hopefully the * will keep this from happening.

  • MitchellMitchell Posts: 465

    In the entire New Testament we find no controversy over the Trinity, to such a degree that it is never even spelled out clearly...

    True. The term 'Trinity' is not even to be found in the pages of scripture. The first recorded use of the term (Trinity/Τριάδος) is popularly attributed to the post Biblical Ante-Nicene Father ( Θεόφιλος ὁ Ἀντιοχεύς /Theophilus of Antioch) in year 923 Ab urbe condita or CLXX / C170.

    Ὡσαύτως καὶ αἱ τρεῖς ἡμέραι πρὸ τῶν φωστήρων γεγονυῖαι τύποι εἰσὶν τῆς τριάδος, τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ τοῦ λόγου αὐτοῦ καὶ τῆς σοφίας αὐτοῦ. τετάρτῳ δὲ τόπῳ ἐστὶν ἄνθρωπος ὁ προσδεὴς τοῦ φωτός, ἵνα ᾖ θεός, λόγος, σοφία, ἄνθρωπος. διὰ τοῦτο καὶ τετάρτῃ ἡμέρᾳ ἐγενήθησαν φωστῆρες. (Προς Αυτόλυκον / to Autolycus chapter 2 verse 15)

    Here the Trinity/Τριάδος refers to God(θεοῦ), his word(λόγου αὐτοῦ), and his wisdom (λόγου αὐτοῦ).

  • PagesPages Posts: 54

    @Wolfgang wrote:

    Blasphemy is simply when someone claims something wrongfully as God's doing ... e.g. claiming something as God's doing which it is not and thereby attributing falsehood to God

    By your definition above it seems as this would be the category of slander, though you then post a comment that would place this more in line with a false testimony.

    “...according to them to claim to be God's promised Messiah if one was not the Messiah was therefore blasphemy”

    However, up to this point (Matt. 26:65), the charge of blasphemy toward Jesus has been in regard to performing an action considered to be God’s alone (cf. Matt. 9:3; Mk. 2:7; Lk. 5:21), or to be understood as making himself equal to God, or claiming to be God (cf. Jn. 5:18, 10:33).  

    Or do you want to tell us that "the Son of man" is a designation/title for GOD iin heaven??

    ????

    The Son of Man in Dan. 7:13-14 is an exalted figure who appears in heaven riding on clouds – an action that only deity does in ANE religion. This Son of Man is given authority, glory, sovereign power, and all nations and peoples worship him.

    The high priest recognized this, so I agree in part with your statement – “Jesus' reference to "the Son of man" which he attributed to himself“ – but more importantly the rest of Jesus’ statement – “sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.“ completed the reason for the charge of blasphemy.  

    What would the high priest have considered this portion (“sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”) of Jesus’ statement to have meant in your opinion?

  • PagesPages Posts: 54

    @Mitchell wrote:

    True. The term 'Trinity' is not even to be found in the pages of scripture. The first recorded use of the term (Trinity/Τριάδος) is popularly attributed to the post Biblical Ante-Nicene Father ( Θεόφιλος ὁ Ἀντιοχεύς /Theophilus of Antioch) in year 923 Ab urbe condita or CLXX / C170.

    Regarding the Theophilus citation of 2Theophilus 1:15 for Τριαδος – is C170 to be taken for the approximate date (c. A.D. 170) of writing?

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 1,720

    @Pages wrote

    However, up to this point (Matt. 26:65), the charge of blasphemy toward Jesus has been in regard to performing an action considered to be God’s alone (cf. Matt. 9:3; Mk. 2:7; Lk. 5:21), or to be understood as making himself equal to God, or claiming to be God (cf. Jn. 5:18, 10:33). 

    Jesus did neither make himself equal to God nor did he claim to be God ... To equate Jesus with God or to make Jesus God are FALSE ideas and claims of the Jews who accused Jesus of doing such.

    Strangely, Trinitarian folk make the same error as the Jews with their false accusations ... but, of course, claim that in this case the Jews were actually correct because Jesus in their Trinitarian opinion did make himself equal to God and claimed to be God.

    The high priest recognized this, so I agree in part with your statement – “Jesus' reference to "the Son of man" which he attributed to himself“ – but more importantly the rest of Jesus’ statement – “sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.“ completed the reason for the charge of blasphemy. 

    What did the high priest recognize? He could only recognize what Jesus had claimed and testified .. and Jesus had not said a single word about being God!! In particular, Jesus claimed to be "the Son of Man" - a human being, namely that human being who was to be sent by God as the messiah - who would eventually be exalted to the position of "right hand of the MIghty One " !! It is "the Mighty One" Who is GOD, not the Son of Man.

    I would say that the high priest surely was not ignorant of the clear meaning of the words "Son of Man" and "the MIghty One" and "the right hand of" ... and who was Who and that "on the right hand of" clearly distinguishes the two ...

    What would the high priest have considered this portion (“sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”) of Jesus’ statement to have meant in your opinion?

    I would think the high priest understood the meaning quite well and considered these words to mean exactly what they plainly say.

    Your problem seems to be the assumption that the high priest had "a Trinitarian understanding" ...

  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 1,422


    @Pages said:

    Since blasphemy is primarily considered to be the profaning of the sacred Name, I have the following two questions. Your answer to these questions will help me, I hope, understand your position better.

    1) Do we find in Jewish Law that one’s claim, or declaration, of being Messiah is considered to be blasphemy?

    I'm not aware of such a statute in Jewish law. In the OT, the central verse regarding blasphemy appears to be Leviticus 24.16, where blasphemy has to do with degrading the name of God. But in keeping with my previous point, I don't think it matters whether there is Jewish law against claiming to be God; the religious leaders believed Jesus had done so. His "crime," therefore, was not one of commission, but rather of their confession.


    @Pages said:

    2) What, in Jesus’ response at Matt. 26:64 or Mk. 14:62, specifically do you attribute to the charge of blasphemy by the high priest?

    Jesus' words in this scene do NOT reflect an assertion of personal deity, but that doesn't stop the high priest from claiming they do.

    The high priest's overreaction might be predicted from John 10.33, where some Jews accuse Jesus of making himself to be God, perhaps because of his contention that he and his Father are "one," (John 10.30) a claim which in context, in my view, is also NOT a claim of personal deity, but rather of radical intimacy with God.


    @Pages said:

    Two part answer:

    1) Glory, dominion, and kingship will be fully realized at Christ’s return when every knee shall bow and confess Jesus as Lord ( cf. Phil. 2:10-11); including, “whom all will serve and whose kingdom will see no end (Dan 7:13–14), the one who sits at the right hand of God (Ps 110:1),” (Donald A. Hagner, Matthew 14–28, WBC 33B; Accordance electronic ed. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1995), 800.) 

    Those verses speak of the glorified Christ who, in his eternal status, sits at the right hand of God. One who sits at God's right hand, by definition, can't him- or herself be God.

    And of course, Philippians 2.9 says God has "highly exalted" Jesus, a phrase which in my view makes a clear distinction between God and the one God exalts. Plus, the last clause of Philippians 2.11 declares that confessions of Jesus as Lord will be to the "glory of God the Father," a clause in my view, where the word "Father" is a synonym for God, and NOT a reference to a component within a multidimensional Godhead.

    2) Yes, glory and dominion are included in divine status, which was laid aside prior to the incarnation by the Son (Phil. 2:6-8

    Notice that in fuller context, the reference in Philippians 2.6 is to one who was "in the form of God," and who had access to "equality with God," and NOT to actually being God. The distinction between obedient Jesus and God is made clear, then, in Philippians 2.9, where God exalts him. There is no indication in the the text that Paul believes God exalts Godself. In fact, again almost by definition, one who is God cannot and does not need to be exalted. One who was human, however, would need to be exalted.

  • PagesPages Posts: 54

    @Bill_Coley

    One who sits at God's right hand, by definition, can't him- or herself be God.

    This is true for the Unitarian; however, for a Trinitarian the one who sits at the right-hand of God (the Father) is the Son – a separate, distinct, and actual person – who has all the divine characteristics and attributes of the One True God.

    @Bill_Coley

    which in my view makes a clear distinction between God and the one God exalts.

    Agree, they are distinct from one another.

    @Bill_Coley

    where the word "Father" is a synonym for God,

    Agree, the majority of text referring to God is a reference to the Father unless an otherwise referent in context is being made to the Son or Holy Spirit. The Father is a singular person in Trinity doctrine.

    @Bill_Coley

    and NOT a reference to a component within a multidimensional Godhead.

    Agree, what you have described here is partialism which is not trinitarianism.  

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 1,720

    @Pages wrotebe

    This is true for the Unitarian;

    Actually, this is true for anyone adhering to plain rules of language and simple logic. One who is at God's right hand, by definition (!!) can himself NOT be God. He has to be someone other than God.

    The one standing next to you, by definition can not be you .. or are you actually beside yourself ??

    however, for a Trinitarian the one who sits at the right-hand of God (the Father) is the Son – a separate, distinct, and actual person – who has all the divine characteristics and attributes of the One True God.

    Do you see what you are doing ? You "conveniently" switch from "God" and "the Son of man" to "the Father" and "the Son", in order to - in essence - claim that "God" is at "God's" right hand. Sinec you claim that these two are distinct, you are in essence speaking about two "Gods".

    See, the one who was axalted t osit at the right hand of God (the Father) is the resurrected and ascended Son of MAN, a male human being, the Son.

  • ASN_032ASN_032 Posts: 26

    @Wolfgang , it is not that simple, as god does not have an image or a body, therefore he does not have a "right hand", that "simple logic" could simply be a simple misunderstanding, by you or by the supporters of the Trinity. If it was as simple as you thought, nobody would believe in such a "crazy" idea.

    We wish things were that simple, but sometimes, such as in this case, they are not, and then we have to admit that we didn't understand and not lie (mainly to ourselves, in this case).

    Personally, I doubt the trinity, because I haven't seen a good enough proof that it is true or false, therefore I don't base any of my claims on that notion.

    Thanks,

    ASN_032

  • Dave_LDave_L Posts: 2,328

    How do you interpret God being called Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in scripture?

    1. There is only one God (e.g., Rom. 3:30)

    2. The Father is God (e.g., John 6:27)

    3. Jesus is God (e.g., John 20:28; Rom. 9:5; 2 Peter 1:1)

    4. The Holy Spirit is God (e.g., Acts 5:3–5)

    5. These Three are distinct persons (e.g., John 14:16–17)

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 1,720

    @ASN_032 wrote:

    @Wolfgang , it is not that simple, as god does not have an image or a body, therefore he does not have a "right hand", that "simple logic" could simply be a simple misunderstanding, by you or by the supporters of the Trinity. If it was as simple as you thought, nobody would believe in such a "crazy" idea.

    Of course truth is that simple ... And, yes, God does not have a "hand" in a literal sense. Thus a reference to a "right hand" of God employs the use of a figure of speech for emphasis.

    By the way, Trinitarians do in fact not only believe such a crazy idea, albeit most perhaps do not even recognize how crazy their idea actually is. They appear to have no problem wiith God being seated at his own right hand (whether literally or figuratively would actually even be irrelevant, in either case they are making God to be beside (at the right hand of, at the side of) God. IF indeed Jesus (the one at the right hand of) were God, they should admit that they are in fact talking about two Gods .... but instead, they believe an even crazier idea

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 1,720

    @Dave_L wrote

    How do you interpret God being called Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in scripture?

    God is NOWHERE called "Son" in Scripture ...

    1. There is only one God (e.g., Rom. 3:30)

    Yes, the true God is only One (not two, not three, not more)

    2. The Father is God (e.g., John 6:27)

    God is called "Father" ... and according to Jesus' own words in his prayer to His Father, His God, Jesus emphasized that His Father ALONE is the true God

    3. Jesus is God (e.g., John 20:28; Rom. 9:5; 2 Peter 1:1)

    None of these verses teach that Jesus is God ... such iis interpreted into the verses and even translated into the verses by translators adhering to Trinitarian doctrine

    4. The Holy Spirit is God (e.g., Acts 5:3–5)

    Indeed, God (Who is the Father !) is called "Holy" and also said to be "Spirit". This One is not only called "Father", "Holy", "Spirit", but also "Creator", "Almighty", "Ancient of Days", and a few other terms and titles. God is however NEVER called "Son"!!!

    Note however, that being called these various titles, terms does NOT make God to be "a multi person God". In other words, "the Father", "the Holy Spirit", "the Creator", "the Almighty", "the Ancient of Days", "the Holy One of Israel", etc are not separate "God-persons" of some mysterious multi person "Godhead"

    5. These Three are distinct persons (e.g., John 14:16–17)#

    No, the Father and the Holy Spirit are NOT distinct "God-persons".

    Yes, the man Christ Jesus is distinct from God.

  • Dave_LDave_L Posts: 2,328

    The Father says "this is my beloved Son"  (Matthew 3:17)  and elsewhere.

  • ASN_032ASN_032 Posts: 26

    So far, @Wolfgang's arguments made the most sense, but, I have to point out, that some Trinitarians claim that the trinity does not literally mean that Jesus is God or that the holy spirit is God, also, the bible does, in fact, claim that God had/has sons:

    Genesis 6:2 : "the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose."

    Another common interpretation of the trinity is that when a prophet speaks in God's name (prophets were the only ones allowed to do so) he may say "I" instead of saying "God", by that, Unitarians could be interpreted by Trinitarians as claiming that some prophets claimed they were God and that a good explanation for the Trinitarian doctrine would be that the claim "Jesus is God" simply means "Jesus is the word of God" (and by the way, we all are, because all creation was made by God's speech) and we could elaborate on that by claiming that the same claim also means "Jesus is a prophet of God" or "Jesus is a messenger of God", for example:

    Exodus 20:22 : "Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites this: ‘You have seen for yourselves that I have spoken to you from heaven:" - Moses was commanded by God to quote him, therefore, when Moses said it, it was "You have seen for yourselves that I have spoken to you from heaven"

    Exodus 21:1 : "These are the laws you are to set before them:" - God commanded Moses to set the laws, therefore, in the following verses, it was Moses speaking in God's name with God's permission, therefore when he said "I" or "Me" out of a quote referring a person, he actually meant "God" and when he said "My" he actually meant God's.

    Exodus 21:13 : "However, if it is not done intentionally, but God lets it happen, they are to flee to a place I will designate. " - Moses said "I", but referred to God.

    Exodus 22:29 : "Do not hold back offerings from your granaries or your vats. “You must give me the firstborn of your sons." - Moses said "me", but referred to God.

    Exodus 22:31 : “You are to be my holy people. So do not eat the meat of an animal torn by wild beasts; throw it to the dogs." - Moses said "my" , but referred to God.

    Since Moses (and other prophets as well) was allowed (or in his case, even commanded) to do so, why wouldn't Jesus be allowed to do the same? Why shouldn't we interpret "Jesus is God" in the ways I mentioned above in order to settle the conflict?

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 1,720

    @Wolfgang wrote

    God is NOWHERE called "Son" in Scripture ...

    to which Dave_L replied:

    The Father says "this is my beloved Son" (Matthew 3:17)  and elsewhere.

    And where in this verse is God called "Son" ??? The man Jesus is called by God Himself "my beloved Son" ... BUT God is not called Son! Now, I would have thought that you can read the text and read what it says ...

Sign In or Register to comment.