Trinity – What is it?

General discussions about Christianity including salvation, heaven and hell, Christian history and so on.
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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#121

Post by FFC » Mon Oct 01, 2007 1:51 pm

Fortigurn wrote:That's very clear to me also. If God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, then Christ was not God. If the water is in the glass, the water is not the glass.
Yes but the water can't be in the glass and the glass in the water at the same time unless they are one in the same can they, like Jesus said He was in the Father and the Father in Him?

I can see that nothing can persuade you. I wish you the best with that.
"Faith sees the invisible, believes the unbelievable, and receives the impossible." - Corrie Ten Boom

Act 9:6
And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#122

Post by Pierac » Tue Oct 02, 2007 12:12 pm

Jac wrote:
Sure. Matt. 26:39 - Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will." (NIV)

Jesus clearly has a personal will in this verse: not to suffer on the cross. He chose, however, to do the will of the Father. Jesus was not an automaton that God carried along like a puppet. As I said before, He was the only man since Adam with a truly free will. I don't have it. You don't have it. Paul didn't even have it. Consider his own words:
This response will be too long if we go into free will. However, I never said Jesus did not have a will. Of course we all make choices, but are the choices free with out cause? That's the million dollar question! I'm still working on this one.

The American Heritage College Dictionary:
"free will n. 1. The ability or discretion to choose; free choice. 2. The power of making free choices that are unconstrained by external circumstances or by an agency such as fate or divine will."
My Meriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary/Eleventh Edition has an even more precise definition:
"free will n. freedom of humans to make choices that are not determined by prior causes or by divine intervention."

Jac wrote:
That's what the Fall did, in my theology. So, again, I see Jesus as being the only man to actually have that choice. Now, since you do not believe that Jesus was divine, I'd like to know how you believe He was capable of never sinning, since Galatians 5:17 clearly says tat we are not able to do what we want to do (that is, the good we want to do)?
This is how…

Luk 2:40 The Child continued to grow and become strong, increasing in wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.

Joh 1:32 And John bore witness: "I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him.

Joh 3:34 "For He (Jesus) whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for He (God) gives the Spirit without measure.

Yes, Jesus received the spirit without measure, however, we do not.

Rom 12:3 For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.


Let's go back to Jesus' baptism where he received the Spirit. Go get your UBS 4 text and look up Luke 3:22. What does your critical apparatus say about the variant reading?

Luk 3:22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, "You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased."

Instead of "You are my one dear Son; in you I take great delight," the codex Bezae and several Latin MSS and a number of ecclesiastical writers from the second century onward (D it Ju [Cl] Meth Hil Aug) quote Psa_2:7 outright with "You are my Son; today I have fathered you."

Bart Ehrman writes in detail on this variant reading and why he believes it is the correct reading in his book, The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament.

Jac wrote:
So, read the English word "make" here with its idea of "turn turn into," as in "When you get to the redlight, make a U-Turn." There is no causal idea here.
"Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief: When you shall make His soul an offering for sin…" (Isa. 53:10).

H7760 (e-sword word study)

שׂוּם
śûm, שׂים
śiym: A verb meaning to appoint, to bring, to call, to put, to change, to charge, to commit, to consider, to convey, to determine. The primary meaning of the verb is to put, to set, or to place. The verb indicates that which God put on the earth, as noted in Genesis where God put the man and woman that He formed in the Garden of Eden (Gen_2:8). The usage of the verb in this sense indicates God's sovereignty over all creation, especially that of humankind. The verb is also used to describe Samuel's action concerning the stone he named Ebenezer (1Sa_7:12). This stone was set up between Mizpah and Shen to remember God's deliverance of the Israelites from the Philistines. The verb is used to describe a committing of one's cause before God (Job_5:8). The word is used in Exodus in response to an interaction between Moses and God, in which God gave a new decree and law to the Israelites (Exo_15:25). In this setting, the verb again emphasizes God's sovereignty, His ability to establish the order of things, and His ability to control the elements of nature and disease. In Deuteronomy, śûm is used to describe God's appointing of leaders over the different tribes of Israel, for their numbers were too great for Moses alone (Deu_1:13). The word is also used to indicate a charging of someone, as where a man charged his wife with premarital sex (Deu_22:14).

I just disagree here, I believe there is a causal idea being put forth with the word “make.”

Jac wrote:]Phi 2:13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

Let me just offer my own translation of this verse: "For God is the one working among you even to will and to work concerning good will."
I prefer the CEV translation:
CEV Phi 2:13 God is working in you to make you willing and able to obey him.
Jac wrote:
The good will being brought out is not God's personal glory. It is not His "good pleasure." In fact, the word "His" is not even in the Greek text. The immediate context is the famous "work out your salvation with fear in trembling." "Salvation" in that verse is not talking about "going to heaven." It is talking about the spiritual wholeness of the church (cf. James 5:15). The broader context of that is the whole of chapter 2, which teaches that we are to "regard one another as more important than yourselves" (2:3, my translation). This is exactly what Christ did. He considered us more important than Himself. Even though He existed as God, He took on the form of a man and poured Himself out in service to us (which is a better understanding than "He emptied Himself" in 2:7) even to the extent of death. It is in this frame of selfless service, of absolute humility, that the Philippians are exhorted to obey in Paul's absence and work to achieve their spiritual wholeness, and this should be done fearfully because it is God Himself who is working to bring about their good will towards one another.
The second phrase in Philippians 2 causes a difficulty. It is the one that says Jesus Christ "did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself (v. 6-7). It is unfortunate that the Old King James version of the Bible translated this verse completely wrong. It reads that Jesus "thought it not robbery to be equal with God" and gives the impression that as the preexistent God, Jesus did not think there was anything wrong in being considered equal with God.
It ought to be clear by now that this is the exact opposite of what is meant. The whole context of the passage is about being humble, putting God's will and glory first, and serving others' interest above one's own interest. Although he was in "the form of God" Jesus did not reckon his God-given status as something to be exploited.
This meaning contrast well with the conduct of Adam who unfortunately did consider equality with God anything to be grasped at. Adam wanted to be like God as Genesis 3:5 teaches. Adam tried to grasp at equality with God. But Jesus would not usurp God's authority for selfish advantage. He said, "I came to serve" (Matt. 20:28), not to snatch! At his arrest in the garden, he said, "Do you not think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and He will at once put at my disposal more than 12 legions of angels?" (Matthew 26:53). As the Messiah, God's appointed King, he had every right to call for divine protection. He "emptied himself" of all such Messianic privileges.
Therefore, it can be categorically stated that Philippians 2: 5-11 has nothing to do with Jesus Christ being God in a preexistence state. The importance is really very simple and very practical: how are Christians to conduct themselves in this world? Not by imitating the man Adam who forfeited everything by a grab for power and glory, but by imitating Jesus the Messiah (v.5) who through humility and obedience to God gained it all and more. After all, if Jesus was already God, then verses 9 to 11 are nonsensical. There is no "Therefore also God highly exalted him, and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth." If he was already God, he had this before his birth! No. It is clear that God has given him a new position, a new name (authority), and a new rank that he did not previously possess. The Greek is very clear here: dio kai means (as in Luke 1:35) "for this reason precisely." Why has God exalted Jesus to His right hand? "Therefore, God has highly exalted him and given him the name above every other name because he is back where he was before as God"? Not at all! He is given the status as a reward for the precise reason that he humbled himself and died. His exalted status is a reward. If we follow the last Adam's pattern, we too will be exalted by God when Christ returns. It is evident, then, that "this hymn does not contained what numerous interpreters seek and find in it: an independent statement about preexistence or even a Christology preexistence… No preexistence of Christ before the world with an independent significance can be recognized even in Philippians 2.


This post is getting long. I will finish the rest later.


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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#123

Post by Jac3510 » Tue Oct 02, 2007 4:51 pm

This response will be too long if we go into free will. However, I never said Jesus did not have a will. Of course we all make choices, but are the choices free with out cause? That's the million dollar question! I'm still working on this one.

The American Heritage College Dictionary:
"free will n. 1. The ability or discretion to choose; free choice. 2. The power of making free choices that are unconstrained by external circumstances or by an agency such as fate or divine will."
My Meriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary/Eleventh Edition has an even more precise definition:
"free will n. freedom of humans to make choices that are not determined by prior causes or by divine intervention."
You are the one who asked if Jesus had a free will. He obviously had a will, as does every person, including God. Unlike Man, Jesus' will was unconstrained by a sin nature. He had the choice to submit His will to God or submit His will to His own self. I don't believe anyone else (other than Adam in his initial state) has that choice. Our wills are constrained by our sin nature (see verses already referenced on this). Jesus' was and is not.
This is how…

Luk 2:40 The Child continued to grow and become strong, increasing in wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.
The grace of God was also upon Mary. Are you equating the Grace of God with sinlessness? You need a LOT more than that.
Joh 1:32 And John bore witness: "I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him.
Yup, thirty years after He was born. Are you saying Jesus was capable of not sinning only because the Spirit was upon Him? If so, then how did He not sin for the first thirty years of His life?
Joh 3:34 "For He (Jesus) whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for He (God) gives the Spirit without measure.
Nice verse. What does that have to do with Jesus' ability to never sin?
Yes, Jesus received the spirit without measure, however, we do not.
Where does the Bible say that Jesus received the Spirit "without measure"? And what does this have to do with His ability to never sin? Tell me, in your theology, when did Jesus receive the Spirit that He now gives without measure?
Rom 12:3 For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.
Do you equate the Spirit with faith?
Let's go back to Jesus' baptism where he received the Spirit.
So you do believe that Jesus received the Spirit at His baptism. So, again, how did He not sin before that?
Go get your UBS 4 text and look up Luke 3:22. What does your critical apparatus say about the variant reading?

Luk 3:22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, "You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased."

Instead of "You are my one dear Son; in you I take great delight," the codex Bezae and several Latin MSS and a number of ecclesiastical writers from the second century onward (D it Ju [Cl] Meth Hil Aug) quote Psa_2:7 outright with "You are my Son; today I have fathered you."
I'll deal with Ehrman as you note below. In the meantime, I'll just do a flat appeal to authority and cite Metzger (Erhman's teacher ;) ):
  • The Western reading, “This day I have begotten thee,” which was widely current during the first three centuries, appears to be secondary, derived from Ps 2.7. The use of the third person (“This is . . . in whom . . .”) in a few witnesses is an obvious assimilation to the Matthean form of the saying (Mt 3.17). (Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, 2nd ed. United Bible Societies, 1994. pp 112-3)
It is fairly easy to explain how the Ps 2:7 varient made its way into the text. It is a straight quotation of the LXX (ει συ εγω σημερον γεγεννηκα σε). It is entirely plausible that an early scribe was familiar with Psalms 2, saw the clear allusion, and simply brought the quote over. As far as arguments against the reading goes, Nolland cites four on page 162 of the Word Biblical Commentary:
  • (i) The reading is not the best attested and is regional. (ii) If the reading were correct, that would mean that the scibal tradition has harmonized the Lukan text with Mark rather than with Matthew, which is unusual. (iii) That it is a straight quotation from the LXX would make it an easy variant to introduce. (iv) In light of Luke 1:35 and Acts 13:33, neither a re-creative begetting (note Luke's epi, “upon,” for Mark's eis, “[in]to”) nor an adoption would seem to fit Luke's theology at this point, and an enthronement understanding of the text is linked by Luke to the resurrection and can scarcely be duplicated at the baptism.
Now . . . I certainly hope you are not basing your theology on a variant reading, much less one with strong argument against it. Regarding Ehrman, I don't have his book in front of me. I do have Misquoting Jesus, The New Testament : a historical introduction to the early Christian writings (3rd ed), A brief introduction to the New Testament, and Lost Christianities here, but not the one you've cited. If this variant is that important to you, and if you want to cite his arguments, then feel free to copy them for me so that we can work through his reasoning.
"Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief: When you shall make His soul an offering for sin…" (Isa. 53:10).

H7760 (e-sword word study)

שׂוּם
śûm, שׂים
śiym: A verb meaning to appoint, to bring, to call, to put, to change, to charge, to commit, to consider, to convey, to determine. The primary meaning of the verb is to put, to set, or to place. The verb indicates that which God put on the earth, as noted in Genesis where God put the man and woman that He formed in the Garden of Eden (Gen_2:8). The usage of the verb in this sense indicates God's sovereignty over all creation, especially that of humankind. The verb is also used to describe Samuel's action concerning the stone he named Ebenezer (1Sa_7:12). This stone was set up between Mizpah and Shen to remember God's deliverance of the Israelites from the Philistines. The verb is used to describe a committing of one's cause before God (Job_5:8). The word is used in Exodus in response to an interaction between Moses and God, in which God gave a new decree and law to the Israelites (Exo_15:25). In this setting, the verb again emphasizes God's sovereignty, His ability to establish the order of things, and His ability to control the elements of nature and disease. In Deuteronomy, śûm is used to describe God's appointing of leaders over the different tribes of Israel, for their numbers were too great for Moses alone (Deu_1:13). The word is also used to indicate a charging of someone, as where a man charged his wife with premarital sex (Deu_22:14).

I just disagree here, I believe there is a causal idea being put forth with the word “make.”
You can disagree all you want, but you'll have to supply a reason for your disagreement. Simply quoting a definition (much like quoting a Scripture) doesn't do anything. Look at your own source. It says the verb means “to appoint.” That is exactly what I said it means, in the sense of, “to turn into.” Jesus' soul was appointed to an offering for sin. That certainly doesn't negate anyone's will. When John Roberts was appointed to the Supreme Court, his own will was not negated. There is simply no causal, non-volitive meaning to this word anywhere in your provided source.
I prefer the CEV translation:
CEV Phi 2:13 God is working in you to make you willing and able to obey him.
Based on what?

Here is the text itself. Tell me how you translate each word, and on what basis:

θεος γαρ εστιν ο ενεργων εν υμιν και το θελειν και το ενεργειν υπερ της ευδοκιας
The second phrase in Philippians 2 causes a difficulty. It is the one that says Jesus Christ "did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself (v. 6-7). It is unfortunate that the Old King James version of the Bible translated this verse completely wrong. It reads that Jesus "thought it not robbery to be equal with God" and gives the impression that as the preexistent God, Jesus did not think there was anything wrong in being considered equal with God.
It causes no difficulty to me. The KJV did NOT translate it “completely wrong.” That statement is uninformed at best, absurd at worst. Again, here is the Greek:

ος εν μορφη θεου υπαχων ουχ αρπαγμον ηγησατο το ειναι ισα θεω

The primary word of interest here is harpagmos, translated “robbery” in the KJV. It means “plunder,” “booty,” or “violent greed.” Louw and Nida offer the following discussion in the word:
  • to forcefully take something away from someone else, often with the implication of a sudden attack — 'to rob, to carry off, to plunder, to forcefully seize.' . . . 'he always had the nature of God and did not think that becoming equal with God was something to be taken by force' Php 2.6. This interpretation of Php 2.6 reflects the position of Jesus after the incarnation and the fact that he had no thought of trying to become equal with God because he already possessed all of the qualities of deity
    .
    .
    .
    that which is to be held on to forcibly — 'something to hold by force, something to be forcibly retained.' . . . he always had the nature of God and did not consider that remaining equal with God was something to be held on to forcibly' Php 2.6. Since harpagmos may mean not only 'to grasp something forcefully which one does not have' but also 'to retain by force what one possesses,' it is possible to translate Php 2.6 in two quite different ways. The second interpretation of harpagmos presumes the position of Jesus prior to the incarnation and hence his willingness to experience the kenosis or 'emptying' of his divine prerogatives. In any translation of Php 2.6 it is important that both possible renderings be clearly indicated, one in the text and the other in the margin.
Reading this, it is very obvious that “robbery” is a perfectly acceptable translation, and very far from “completely wrong.” What is closer to “completely wrong” is the NASB, which renders it “a thing to be grasped.” In and of itself, the translation is fine, except for the fact that “grasp” in English has a connotation of understanding, which is nowhere near what the Greek means.

So, let's look at the verse again and offer two translations based on the two possible nuances of the word:

“Though existing (υπαχων — here we take this as a concessive participle) in the form/nature (μορφη) of God (θεου), he did not consider (ηγησατο) equality with God (το ειναι ισα θεω) something he must forcibly hold to(αρπαγμον).”

Or . . .

“Because he existed (υπαχων — here we take this as a causal participle) in the form/nature (μορφη) of God (θεου), he did not consider (ηγησατο) equality with God (το ειναι ισα θεω) something he must fight for (αρπαγμον).”

Therefore, the intial “impression” given by the KJV is exactly right, regardless of which way you want to translate it. Anyway, moving on . . .
It ought to be clear by now that this is the exact opposite of what is meant. The whole context of the passage is about being humble, putting God's will and glory first, and serving others' interest above one's own interest. Although he was in "the form of God" Jesus did not reckon his God-given status as something to be exploited.
Your error should be obvious. Harpagmos does NOT mean “something to be exploited.” Again, it means “something to be taken / retained by force.” It refers to something we strive to get, or something we strive to keep.

The context is about humility. We are told in 2:3 to consider one another more important than ourselves, because that is exactly what Jesus Christ did. He considered us more important than Himself when, although He existed in the very form of God, did not fight to retain His divinity, but instead He poured Himself out for us. Or, in the other sense, He considered us more important than himself when, because He existed in the very form of God, He did not feel the need to fight for His divinity; instead of lording it over us, He poured Himself out for us.
This meaning contrast well with the conduct of Adam who unfortunately did consider equality with God anything to be grasped at. Adam wanted to be like God as Genesis 3:5 teaches. Adam tried to grasp at equality with God. But Jesus would not usurp God's authority for selfish advantage. He said, "I came to serve" (Matt. 20:28), not to snatch! At his arrest in the garden, he said, "Do you not think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and He will at once put at my disposal more than 12 legions of angels?" (Matthew 26:53). As the Messiah, God's appointed King, he had every right to call for divine protection. He "emptied himself" of all such Messianic privileges.
There are two problems with this. First, you ignore the valid, and contextually more likely, interpretation of harpagmos as “a thing to be forcefully retained.” In the immediate context, the Philippians are told to forget their own interests and instead look after one anothers' interests. Notice that they already possessed their own interests. Likewise, Jesus Himself already possessed “the form of God.”

Second, even if we do take the other possibility of the word “something to be fought for,” the participle that controls it disallows your exegesis. Huparchon (υπαχων ) here is either concessive or causal, so we render it “Because He existed” or “although He existed.” The participle here is not “possessed”, which seems to be the meaning you would like to force on it, but “existed as.” Greek has a couple of equative verbs. Huparcho is one of them. Eimi is the other, and the most common. These words are equivelant to the English “to be.” We could very accurately translate this verse,

“For although He was in the form of God, He did not regard equality with God something to be held tightly, but instead He poured Himself out for us.”

Regarding the “emptying” of Himself, there are again two serious possibilities. The first is the traditional idea of emptying of something. This word, however, can also be used of the very act of emptying itself where the focus is not on the content being removed. We naturally want to ask “what did He empty Himself of?” My answer is that the text, in this passage, doesn't tell us. In context, the word means that He was pouring Himself out in service to man, which is exactly the opposite of what the Philippians were doing. Paul told them to consider each other more important than themselves; to look out for each other; to “pour themselves out” for one another, just as Jesus did for us.
Therefore, it can be categorically stated that Philippians 2: 5-11 has nothing to do with Jesus Christ being God in a preexistence state.
Watch such strong langauge. It cannot be “categorically stated.” Your interpretation is weak, at best, which appeals to theology far outside the immediate context, and not strongly supported by the Greek. To the contrary, a strong case from all of those things can be made against what you have suggested.
The importance is really very simple and very practical: how are Christians to conduct themselves in this world? Not by imitating the man Adam who forfeited everything by a grab for power and glory, but by imitating Jesus the Messiah (v.5) who through humility and obedience to God gained it all and more.
See my note above. Again, from a Greek perspective, the linking verse between 1-4 and 5-11 is this:

τουτο φρονειτε εν υμιν ο και εν χριστω ιησου (verse 5), rendered, “Have this mind in yourselves, which was also in Christ Jesus.” The “this” here (τουτο) points BACK to 1-4, not FORWARD to 5-11. It is in the emphatic position. So, we are told in 1-4 to consider each other more important than ourselves. We are then commanded to embrace this attitude, just as Jesus did, who, although existing in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something He had to fight to retain (as we try to do with our own interests), but instead He poured Himself out (considering us more important than Himself), etc . . .
After all, if Jesus was already God, then verses 9 to 11 are nonsensical. There is no "Therefore also God highly exalted him, and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth." If he was already God, he had this before his birth! No. It is clear that God has given him a new position, a new name (authority), and a new rank that he did not previously possess. The Greek is very clear here: dio kai means (as in Luke 1:35) "for this reason precisely." Why has God exalted Jesus to His right hand? "Therefore, God has highly exalted him and given him the name above every other name because he is back where he was before as God"? Not at all! He is given the status as a reward for the precise reason that he humbled himself and died. His exalted status is a reward. If we follow the last Adam's pattern, we too will be exalted by God when Christ returns.
9-11 are far from nonsensical. The hymn of 5-11 is divided into two stanzas; 6-8 speak of Christ's humiliation; 8-11 speak of His exaltation. To say that His divinity precludes exaltation is illogical. This goes back to the economical view of the Trinity I explained earlier. You have misunderstood coequality to mean coequal in economical authority, which is simply not true. He is coequal in ontology. This was true even during His kenosis. The Father is the source of all glory, even over the Son. He, therefore, has decided to exalt the Son so that all will worship Him, and in doing so, all worship, by extension, the Father. Regardless, the object lesson is still the same. We are to serve one another, and that humble service will result in our own exaltation. But there is simply nothing in logic that says that just because Jesus was and is divine, that He is incapable of being exalted.

In fact, in your view, it would be impossible to exalt the Father because He is divine. And yet the Bible says that men do this repeatedly! See Exodus 15:2; 2 Sam 22:47; Ps 46:10, etc. I mean, really . . . I can't see where you are coming from on this. If man can exalt God, how much more can God exalt Himself?
It is evident, then, that "this hymn does not contained what numerous interpreters seek and find in it: an independent statement about preexistence or even a Christology preexistence… No preexistence of Christ before the world with an independent significance can be recognized even in Philippians 2.
First, I assume by the quotation mark that these words are not your own. If you are going to quote someone, let's see the reference. Second, it is not at all evident that there is no preexistence in these verses. To claim this is either to be ignorant of the evidence or to willfully turn a blind eye to it; further, it is to base your claim on the illogical notion that God is incapable of exalting Himself, even though man is perfectly capable of exalting Him.

Very weak, my friend.

So, I'm still waiting on a statement as to how Jesus could be sinless. I need a reference, or an explanation of your reference, as to how “make” is causal when your own dictionary says othewise. As I'm assuming that you are withdrawing your argument on Luke 3, I don't suppose I need to see Ehrman. And I'm still waiting on the response to the rest of my post.

Thanks much, and God bless.
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue
And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#124

Post by Fortigurn » Tue Oct 02, 2007 5:20 pm

Byblos wrote:
Fortigurn wrote: * GINOMAI: It is your claim that the LOGOS could not GINOMAI SARX, because the LOGOS is (in your view), eternal in a sense which would prevent it becoming SARX. Yet the fact is that the text itself tells us that the LOGOS did GINOMAI SARX. You're not in a position to deny this unless you want to throw that verse out of your Bible. So the problem here is your understanding of the LOGOS, as I have said. You believe LOGOS means 'immortal and eternal being who is actually God the son', but that's not what it means. You can't say that the LOGOS didn't GINOMAI SARX without directly contradicting the Bible. The problem, as I have identified, is that you believe the LOGOS here is something which couldn't GINOMAI SARX, whereas the Bible makes it clear that it could. So the problem lies with your definition of the LOGOS.
That is patently false. My claim is certainly not that 'the LOGOS could not GINOMIAI SARX'. I certainly agree with that. It is you who are claiming the LOGOS GINOMIAI SARX AND CEASED TO BE THE LOGOS. That is the crux of the argument and a direct result of your mis-definition of God that He is incapable of incarnating Himself into a physical being yet remain God.
Well that's not exactly accurate. You see as I've pointed out, the Greek LOGOS GINOMAI SARX actually means that the LOGOS became SARX and was no longer LOGOS, and you're saying it couldn't have done - not on the basis of the grammar, but on the basis of what you assume the LOGOS to be. I've been through this twice now. I gave you a list of passages in which the same Greek construction is used:

* In Luke 13:19, when the mustard seed GINOMAI a great tree, did it really add a great tree to itself, or did it become something it wasn't before and ceased to be what it was?

* In Matthew 4:3, did the tempter, when the tempter told Jesus to cause the stones to GINOMAI bread, did he mean 'add bread nature to the stone nature', or to make the stone become something it wasn't before and ceased to be what it was?

* In Matthew 21:42, when Christ says that the stone which the builders rejected had GINOMAI the head of the corner, did he mean it remained the stone which the builders rejected, or did he mean it became something it wasn't before, and ceased to be what it was?

Cut it where you will, X GINOMAI Y does not mean 'X added Y to itself and became 100% X and 100% Y'. If you think it does, by all means go to the professional B-Greek list and try out your theory. I'll be waiting and watching with interest.

Here's another question I asked. Look at these statements:

* 'Byblos the Nazarene, a man clearly attested to you by God'

* 'that God performed among you through Byblos'

* 'this man, who was handed over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God'

* 'But God raised Byblos up'

* 'This Byblos, God raised up'

* 'God has made this Byblos'

Would someone reading that would be convinced that 'Byblos' is God? Or would they they reach the conclusion that 'Byblos' is 'other than God'?

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#125

Post by Fortigurn » Tue Oct 02, 2007 5:23 pm

FFC wrote:
Fortigurn wrote:That's very clear to me also. If God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, then Christ was not God. If the water is in the glass, the water is not the glass.
Yes but the water can't be in the glass and the glass in the water at the same time unless they are one in the same can they, like Jesus said He was in the Father and the Father in Him?
Or like we are in Christ and he is in us? Or like we are in the Father and the Father is in us? We're talking about a different sense of the word 'in' here. But in neither case does 'X in Y' mean that Y is X.
I can see that nothing can persuade you. I wish you the best with that.
Well thanks for the polite exchange, I appreciated it.

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#126

Post by Byblos » Tue Oct 02, 2007 6:39 pm

Fortigurn wrote:Well that's not exactly accurate. You see as I've pointed out, the Greek LOGOS GINOMAI SARX actually means that the LOGOS became SARX and was no longer LOGOS, and you're saying it couldn't have done - not on the basis of the grammar, but on the basis of what you assume the LOGOS to be. I've been through this twice now. I gave you a list of passages in which the same Greek construction is used:

* In Luke 13:19, when the mustard seed GINOMAI a great tree, did it really add a great tree to itself, or did it become something it wasn't before and ceased to be what it was?

* In Matthew 4:3, did the tempter, when the tempter told Jesus to cause the stones to GINOMAI bread, did he mean 'add bread nature to the stone nature', or to make the stone become something it wasn't before and ceased to be what it was?

* In Matthew 21:42, when Christ says that the stone which the builders rejected had GINOMAI the head of the corner, did he mean it remained the stone which the builders rejected, or did he mean it became something it wasn't before, and ceased to be what it was?

Cut it where you will, X GINOMAI Y does not mean 'X added Y to itself and became 100% X and 100% Y'. If you think it does, by all means go to the professional B-Greek list and try out your theory. I'll be waiting and watching with interest.
Let's see: a mustard seed and a stone on one side, and the living Word of God on the other. Yeah, they're comparable alright :roll:.
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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#127

Post by Fortigurn » Tue Oct 02, 2007 6:53 pm

Byblos wrote:Let's see: a mustard seed and a stone on one side, and the living Word of God on the other. Yeah, they're comparable alright :roll:.
See you're doing it again. You're ignoring the grammar on the basis of what you assume the LOGOS to be. Just walk through those questions and see what you come up with.

Every time you say 'Well the grammar applies in those verses, but not in this verse', you're resorting to special pleading.

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#128

Post by B. W. » Tue Oct 02, 2007 9:03 pm

Fortigurn wrote:But this is where trinitarians try to have their cake and eat it too. On the one hand you want to tell me that Jesus said so plainly that he was God that the Jews understood him without any problems at all, and on the other hand you want to tell me that when challenged he promptly obscured his previously explicit claim by saying he was only the son of God. It just doesn't make sense. If he was always speaking in parables so they wouldn't understand, how can you claim that they understood him perfectly as saying he was God?
Fortigrun - you are certainly bound to the traditions of Pharisees, Scribes, and Sadducees! At least we know that from what you write. Please note: God has shown a great light to the gentiles and with another nation and language he will speak to these people. This is what the bible declares — your attempts to prove superiority due to ones race as the only ones capable of interpreting the bible violates scriptures.

Let us move on and get to the heart of the matter...

We can learn a lot from the bible about doctrine. It is not by grammar alone that doctrine is derived. Doctrine comes by context and continuity. Things fit together and make connections and these connections will even match word definitions. To ensure correct doctrine — individual bible scriptures alone cannot define what is correct. What is needed in continuity or what is known as a theme — a three fold witness is needed.

Here is a theme from the New Testament to help the readers understand what I mean and an example is found in Matthew Chapter Two. This chapter begins with the Magi coming to find Jesus. These Magi encountered 3 types of individuals — the people, the priests, and Herod. Here was an event and a strange star that the people, the priests, and Herod ignored until the Magi came.

Herod had cruel motives, the people did not want to rock the boat and incur wrath of the political leaders, and the religious leaders were blinded to tradition — the same traditions that the opposition to the Trinity use today to deny Christ.

The Magi came on their journey by means of a passage from the Torah: Numbers 24:17. They sought Christ as the one that would weld the scepter meaning a king will be born, however, not any just any old king but the Messiah. They came to this knowledge by understanding the continuity of scriptures — how they describe that only the Lord can save and only he will redeem Israel. That He alone will be their king of an eternal kingdom — not an earthly one. We have already seen a few of these that I posted in this discussion thread.

The Pharisees, Scribes, and Sadducees were bound to tradition — traditions of men. These traditions teach that God will act a certain way and do things in a predicable manner all according to these leaders interpretations of scriptures. [Matt 15:3-9; Matt 23 and John 5:39]. They interpret the bible that way as they view themselves as the sole source for understanding divine revelation and that only they are qualified in teaching others truth. They do not look at the weightier matters — only outward appearances. The Plural majesty of God is all over the Old Testament bound within the names describing God. The Oppositions overlooks this fact.

The Magi were not of this stripe. They searched the scriptures and understood that the Messiah had to be God as well as man for a purpose — an eternal purpose for an eternal kingdom as only God can do such a thing because of such Glory God will not share with another. Let's continue...

Herod gathers the chief priests and scribes and asked them where another king would be born. They answered out of Micah 5:2 “(5:1-JPS), "But thou, Beth-lehem Ephrathah, which art little to be among the thousands of Judah, out of thee shall one come forth unto Me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth are from of old, from ancient days.” JPS

To Herod and the religious leaders bound to traditions of men that lack weight only saw this to mean a new mortal leader would be chosen like David was at Bethlehem to be king. This person would be a man and mortal; leading the people to overthrow the oppression of invaders and enemies, etc and etc. Much of what the oppositions has plainly wrote about here on this very discussion thread concerning Messiah.

What these failed to note was that the Magi knew what was in the last part of verse 2: “whose goings forth are from of old, from ancient days.” This expresses that the Messiah will be none other the God himself because only God's goings forth are from of old, from ancient days. The one born will be Ancient of Days in human form to perform a task that only God has declared his right to perform. They did not deny the Lord's nature nor did the subtracted from it according to the tradition of men saying this scripture meant only ancestry a king going back to David.

The Hebrew word 'everlasting' used in Micah 5:2 is a hard word to obfuscate. It was used at least 413 times in the OT and translated everlasting, forever, etc... Next 'Old' used about 87 times in OT translated most times as - east, eastward, or old, denoting antiquity… also hard to mistranslate. But a good Pharisee will obfuscate truth no matter what to hold on to their rulership.

Only the Magi departed to find this king — the Messiah. Herod did not. The people did not. The religious leaders did not. The Magi understood what word Elohim meant as well as the names for God. This is evidenced by what the Magi did when they encounter Jesus.

They came and found the child, Messiah and note what happened. They either broke the first Commandments of the Torah or honored these commandments. The bowed and worshiped Him. They gave him symbolic gifts: Gold to represent giving of their hearts so that they may communicate freely [1 Kings 10:2], Frankincense to represent the prayers they will offer to him [Lev 2:1] as the bread of life, Myrrh which was used at death to prepare the body representing giving of themselves to the point of death to the one worshiped. [The Messiah was a pure gift greater than gold, a mediator of a new covenant to offer supplications of his people, who gave himself to pay that death penalty which no grave can hold]

Now the opposition will chime in and declare no — the Magi did not violate the commandments for this and that reason; like, they were worshiping a king like any other king and gave gifts like anyone would to a king. The opposition forgets, no Jew would do this and these Magi were Eastern Jews untainted by the traditions of men!

Of course the opposition will spend and enormous amount of time saying these Magi were not Jews. I'll let the reader discover who they were on your own. Traditions of men know no bounds to keep one from traveling to Bethlehem to find the Lord of Glory and remain slaves to Herod.

The point is this: these Magi's knew scripture because what brought them to Israel was found in Numbers 24:17. This one scripture alone was not the only scripture that brought them to journey to Israel as they were learned men who knew the word of God. They understood what Micah 5:2 meant. They knew the continuity of the theme from the Torah, Psalms, and Prophets concerning who God is and the promised Messiah. That is what made them to follow a strange star that should have not been there at all. They saw that light, that beacon, and followed it while others ignored it.

Micah 5:2 “(5:1-JPS) But thou, Beth-lehem Ephrathah, which art little to be among the thousands of Judah, out of thee shall one come forth unto Me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth are from of old, from ancient days.” JPS

Isaiah 9:6, “For a Child is born; to us a Son is given; and the government is on His shoulder; and His name is called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” LITV

Isaiah 10:20-21, “In that day the remnant of Israel and the survivors of the house of Jacob will no more lean on him who struck them, but will lean on the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. 21 A remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God.” ESV

Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: behold, the young woman shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” JPS

Isaiah 11: all

Isaiah 43:11, “I, I am the LORD, and besides me there is no savior.” ESV

Who then is Jesus and why did he come as a servant? Answer: to bear witness to the truth.

John 18:37, “Then Pilate said to him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world--to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice." ESV

Of this truth — the opposition knows nothing about.

Pierac and Fortigrun — do you really know what the 'truth' really is that was spoken by Jesus here in this passage? If you really knew the truth that Jesus spoke of here, you would understand how Jesus was both man and God as well as why this had to be so because Jesus bore witness to truth.

Herod was afraid to have his ruling power stripped from him so that he does all to kill all thought of a Messiah such as this Jesus we preach. The people were afraid of Herod and going against the norm to see the truth. The Pharisees, Scribes, and Sadducees were more comfortable in the traditions of men, teaching ignorance as truth, always spinning yarns, to justify neglecting the weightier matters of scripture they simply refuse to see.

The Magi go forth, through the crowds seeking the king, the Ancient of days, as only he can save and finding him they give their hearts to him to circumcise, give to him all their prayers, hopes desires, and willingly lay down their lives for him. Only such worship as this can be directed toward God and no other.

John 18:37, “…I have come into the world--to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice." ESV

Pierac, you stated earlier that you cannot understand how Jesus cold be a servant and pray to the Father and still be God — do you really want to know the truth Jesus speaks of? You missed it before — will you again?

I can only pray that there still maybe hope for Fortigrun but through endless babblings from the Pharisees, Scribes, and Sadducees traditions, I fear that there maybe no longer time permitted for a soft heart turned to the Lord.
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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#129

Post by Jac3510 » Tue Oct 02, 2007 11:14 pm

An angel appeared to Abraham as the agent of God, just as an angel appeared to Moses as the agent of God ('God sent as both ruler and deliverer through the hand of the angel who appeared to him in the bush', Acts 7:35).
Funny . . . I don't see where it says that an angel appeared. It says YHWH appeared to Abraham. In fact, the word “angel” does not even appear anywhere in that text. By comparison, Exodus 3:2 flat says it was the Angel of the LORD that appeared to Moses.

In other words, you have to read into this text something it doesn't say in order to hold to your theology. I could, of course, cite many, many other passages that explicitly say that God Himself appeared. Genesis 3 is a good example. God would walk in the cool of the day through the Garden. It seems silly to send an angel to walk through the Garden. In fact, to use a tactic you tried on Byblos, if you just read Genesis 1-4 in a very straightforward manner, the obvious impression you would get is that you were having face to face conversations. But again, we can cite numerous examples of God Himself appearing with no reference to an angel. You simply have to read into the text something that isn't there. Not a good position to be in . . .
My take is that you're misinterpreting Colossians 1, which speaks of the new creation. Jesus himself attributed the creation to a person other than himself (Matthew 19:4).
Well that's certainly a unique take. It's nice to see you stretch your theology into positions that are, in my opinion, highly contorted. Paul explicitly says that by Christ all things were created. That is past tense, my friend. The New Creation isn't here yet. Not even the staunchest preterist would assert that . . . Isaiah 66, Rev 22, etc. . . . those are passages that speak of the New Creation. Further, Paul says that even the visible and earthly things were created by Jesus. That hardly sounds like the new creation (especially considering this is all controlled by a past tense verb). And yet further, these things were reconciled (again, past tense) to God in Christ. It isn't too hard to show that all things, including this lost world, has been reconciled through Christ.

So, yeah, interesting take. Totally inadequate, but interesting take, anyway. Oh, and as for Matt 19, Jesus does not attribute creation to anyone other than Himself. He says the Creator did the work. Aside from the fact that He is just discussing what Genesis says, if He is the Creator, which Paul says He is, then there is no problem.
Easy. For a Jew, the Jewish people are 'my people' (Esther 7:3-4; 8:6, Daniel 9:20, Lamentations 3:48). The Jewish people were 'his own'.
Not so easy. First, funny thing about the word “my.” Of course, it implies ownership, as in “My shoes.” But it also implies at relationship, as in “My mother.” It can imply a class, as in “my countrymen.” You quite arbitrarily want Jesus to come to “his own” in the sense of “his countrymen,” and yet want the OT statements from God to be marks of ownership. Now, fair enough . . . at least you recognize the difference, but it doesn't get you anywhere. Look at John 1:10-11
  • He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.
You sure are suggesting a very harsh, jarring change in context between the two verses. In 10, we are talking about the whole of creation, and in 11 we are to move not only to just the Jewish people, but in fact to a non-ownership / relational use of the possessive pronoun? Please. You'll forgive me if that seems very, very week.
As verse 10 clearly states that Word was the conduit through which the world was made, then we can thoroughly expect “His own” to refer to that same act of creation. You'll need a LOT stronger argument than just suggesting a possible difference in the semantic range of the possessive pronoun.
* Non-contradiction: You hold that 'God' and 'man' are not p and not-p. You believe that 'man' is a class but 'God' is not a class. But this is simply our assertion. In English, Greek and Hebrew 'God' is a noun in a class which is 'not-man'. Indeed, Scripture is clear that 'God' and 'man' are not just simply different ways of saying the same thing, or mutually compatible attributes, they are two different and mutually exclusive classes.
You are simply wrong on this. I have no idea why you cannot follow this very, very simple argument. Jesus is a Person. God, when we use the word as that Being's NAME, is a person. Absolutely no one here is arguing that the PERSON called Jesus is the same as the PERSON called God. That would be a contradiction. What we are saying is that the PERSON who is called Jesus belongs to a class of beings called Human, as well as to a class of beings popularly called God (not the Person), but more properly called Divinity or Necessary Existence. There is absolutely no linguistic reason whatsoever that you have cited to prove that the class of Necessary Existence is mutually exclusive from the class of Human Being. There is nothing that says that an individual entity cannot be a member of BOTH CLASSES. Again, consider Football Player and Athlete. Both of these are classes. All Athlete's are not FP's. A person can be a member of BOTH. Or let's consider one not directly nested. Consider the classes American and Male. Not all entities in the class American are also in the class Male, nor all entities in the class Male also in the class American. There is no necessarily connection between the two. This is just the same as Human and Divinity. There is nothing within the definition of Humanity or Divinity that causes them to be mutually exclusive.
But there's more. By claiming Jesus is both God and man, the trinitarian claims that Jeus is both immortal (p), and mortal (not-p), both omnipotent (p), and not-omnipotent (not-p), both all knowing (p), and not-all knowing (not-p). Even claiming that Jesus has two natures is logically incoherent, as is the claim that Jesus is 100% God and 100% man (requiring a peculiar definition of '100%').
Again, not true. Your class theory is just awful today. First of all, immortality and mortality have not been properly defined. A person can be immortal in at least three senses. Without going into detail, they can either have life within themselves, making them immune to death; they can simply not have death within themselves, but therefore be prone to death from without; they can have death residing within the flesh, but their immaterial portion capable of existence after its departure from the body. All humans are immortal in the third sense. I believe Adam was immortal in the second sense until the Fall, and only the God Himself is immortal in the first sense.

When the Second Person of the Godhead took on flesh, He did not cease to be immortal. He was just as immortal as He had always been; His body, however, while not containing death within itself (as ours do), was susceptible to death from without. Does that contract with anything in the class known as Divinity? Nope. Not at all.

Concerning omnipotence and omniscience, I have no problems there either. Just like Pierac, you have confused the coequal ontological nature of God as being a coequal economical nature of God. I don't believe that is the case at all. In essence, Jesus Christ, both before and after the incarnation, was the same as the Father. That is true in economy. Even before the incarnation, the Son and Spirit can only do and know what is according to the Father's will and knowledge. That doesn't affect their coequality in ontological nature one bit.

So, yes, Jesus is 100% God and 100% Man. He is 100% a member of both classes. His ontological nature and economy never once changed during His kenosis. He simply took on the added descriptions befitting the His additional class. As of today, I am an American. I have never traveled abroad, however. I do not belong to the class of beings we might call “World Travelers.” Suppose, though, tomorrow I fly to Europe. Well, now I belong to that class. Does that change the fact that I am an American? Not one bit. I am 100% American and 100% a World Traveler. Hmmm . . . no “peculiar definition of '100%'” is required here.

Same with Jesus.
* Argument from silence: As I have said repeatedly, I am not making an argument from silence. My argument is that the apostles baptized people as Christians after teaching them that Jesus is a man. I have presented evidence (which wasn't even denied), that the apostles baptized people as Christians after teaching them that Jesus is a man.
Yup, and I have repeatedly said that this IS an argument from silence. Unless you have a statement that says that people were baptized as Christians based only on the knowledge that Jesus was a man, then you cannot assume that was the only knowledge that was prerequisite to salvation. Your argument runs thus:

1. The recorded apostolic preaching does not include reference to the divinity of Christ,
2. People were baptized after believing the apostolic preaching,
3. Therefore, belief in the divinity of Christ is not necessary for Christian Baptism.

Anyway you cut it, Fortigurn, that is an argument from silence. Show me a verse or logical argument that proves that the apostolic preaching in Acts demonstrates all the necessary elements, and you no longer are arguing from silence. But until then, this argument is simply fallacious.
I have said more than once that this does not prove Jesus is only a man. The point I have made is that whereas I have evidence that the apostles baptized people with the knowledge Jesus is a man, you have no evidence that they baptized people with the knowledge Jesus is both God and man.
First off, it doesn't matter whether or not I have evidence that they were baptized with the knowledge of the divinity of Christ. I am talking about YOUR argument, about YOUR assertion. YOU have to defend YOUR assertion. What I have or don't have has absolutely NO bearing on the validity of your argument. Let's say you are right that Jesus is not divine. Let's say the apostle's don't include any reference to the divinity of Christ because, well, He isn't divine in the first place. Obviously, then, all of my arguments are wrong. But here's my point: THIS argument you are making is still INVALID. Why? Because if though the conclusion is wrong, the methodology is incorrect. It is an argument from silence, plain and simple.
* The purpose of Acts: I'm not sure how you are defining 'the Apostolic tradition', but I have never said that the purpose of Acts was intended to record 'the whole of the Apostolic tradition'. I have said that the purpose of the Acts was to instruct a catechumens, and in the process describe what the apostles taught as the gospel prior to baptizing people. And that's exactly what we find, right from Acts 2.
And I am saying that you have your purpose wrong. Now, in the broadest possible sense, I can totally agree that Acts was written “to instruct a catechumen.” The book is obviously written to instruct a believer on the growth and development of Christianity. But Fortigurn, that doesn't mean anything, because in that sense, every single book in the entire Bible is written “to instruct a catechumen.”

Your purpose statement is simply insufficient, which explains your deficient interpretation of the apostolic preaching recorded in the book. What you have to ask yourself is this: in what is the catechumen being instructed? Your answer has consistently been the basic essentials of the apostolic tradition (in the sense of what had to be believed to be baptized). First off, I disagree with that entirely. That's not what Theophilus was being instructed in. He was being shown the historical basis of his faith so that he might me sure that his faith was grounded in reality (see Luke 1:4).

The very simple fact of the matter is that there is absolutely no reason to believe that the sermons recorded in Acts contain all of the elements in the original apostolic preaching. This is true because it is not the purpose of acts to record all the elements of the original apostolic preaching. Your argument, then, moves from being an argument from silence to simply an invalid argument because you have a false premise you are working from. In other words, you are just factually wrong on this.
* Pliny: You make three mistakes when appealing to Pliny. The first is that you're appealing to a secondary source rather than a primary source. The second is that even this secondary source is (allegedly), reporting what was said to him by people who were no longer Christians, and hadn't been Christians for between 3 and 25 years[/b], according to Pliny.

The third and most significant mistake is that you want to represent what these ex-Christians allegedly said as representative of Christian orthodoxy and orthopraxy. The problem with this is that there is no evidence for this whatever. If it were true, you would be able to find evidence for it, but you can't.
Concerning the first “mistake,” there is nothing secondary about Pliny's personal experience with Christians. If Pliny is secondary, then so are all the Gospels, because Jesus Himself didn't write any of them. Concerning the second “mistake” has no bearing on anything. We have gotten a good deal of information about Nazi Germany from former Nazis. According to your logic, I can never read the words of a former Mormon or former Muslim about what they believe. That is simply retarded. In fact, it violates one of the most basic elements of historical research, which is that the testimony of enemies is often more valuable than that of sympathizers. The third “mistake” is flat comical. I can't appeal to former Christians to find out what orthodoxy was? And on what basis do we assume that their practice of Christianity was not orthodox? The fact that they were, at the time of their practice, by definition, PRACTICING CHRISTIANS should say a lot.

Now, besides this, you seem to have missed the thrust of the argument. I already said that the fact that a few Christians in the mid 70's believed Jesus was God would be, by itself, a hasty generalization. However, when you take that fact and add it to the rest of my argument, this fact leads us to exactly the conclusion you want to avoid: it was the widely held view of the early church that Jesus Christ was God in the flesh. So . . . your “mistakes” are no mistakes at all.
Consider the earliest witnesses to the orthopraxy of the early Christian assemblies:
Yes, lets . . .
# The New Testament: There are perhaps three (contested), hymnic passages in the New Testament, and none of them are addressed to Christ as a 'divinity'. Nor is there any evidence whatever that the early Christian assemblies met at dawn and sang a hymn to Christ, still less a hymn to Christ as a 'divinity'.
Of course, this entire paragraph falls to the fallacy of begging the question. The very thing we are discussing is whether or not the NT teaches the divinity of Christ. You can't assume that it doesn't in your evidence. Really, I expect much more from you than that. Obviously, I disagree with just about every word in that little piece there. Keep in mind, we are trying to find out information about how the earliest Christians practiced their NT beliefs.
# The Didache: This contains a clear description of the service at Christian assemblies. There is no mention of a dawn meeting. There is no mention of a hymn to Christ, still less a hymn to Christ as a 'divinity'. Not only that, but the three prayers which are described are all prayers to God, who is identified as one person, the Father. And not only that, but Jesus is clearly identified not only as the son of God, but as His agent and servant.
Two problems with your argument here. First off, it is again an argument from silence (you like these, don't you?). Unless we have a clear statement on the PURPOSE of the Didache, you cannot argue against orthopraxy based on omission. That is really a simple idea, Fortigurn. Don't make arguments based on omission.

Ok, second, let's say we take the popularly assumed purpose, which was to instruct the new believer in basic Christian life issues. First off, notice that this person is already a believer, so it is assumed that they already understand the Gospel. Second, note that the Didache is completely silent on issues we know to be essential to basic Christianity: it never expressly identifies Jesus as “the Son of God.” There are no exhortations to “believe” anything; the word “faith” is only used three times, and only once with any significant connection to anything. There is no mention of preaching (only of prophets and teachers). There is no mention of singing, which we know was a part of early worship (see Eph 5:18-20, etc.).

In short, we don't get anything about orthopraxy from the Didache. What we get is a manual for Christian living. That there is no reference to the deity of Christ proves absolutely nothing, and to say otherwise is, again, an argument from silence.
# Justin Martyr: No mention of a dawn meeting. Prayers are made to God, and not to Christ. There is no mention of any hymns to Christ at all, still less to Christ as a 'divinity'. And this is the mid-2nd century.
And still more appeals to silence . . .

Now, is this all your idea of early Christian orthopraxy? Pliny's letter predates all of this. It certainly predates Martyr, and it probably predates at least the composition of the Didache. The events that it describes certainly predate our little Christian handbook. It's rather absurd to dismiss a stated fact from Christians as to how they worshipped because other documents don't describe the exact same thing. Further, it goes without question that the earliest churches were modeled after synagogues, and synagogues did include, for instance, singing. Yet further, I have already mentioned Ignatius who predates Martyr and who was alive and well while the Didache was being used, and he, a bishop, calls Jesus Christ God on some sixteen occasions. If we are going to go all the way up to Martyr, perhaps I should mention Diognetus, Irenaeus, Martyr himself, Aristides, Tatian, and others?

So, again, considering my three lines of evidence:

1. Pliny (and others) speaks of the worship of Jesus as divine during the apostolic years;
2. The early church fathers uniformly considered Jesus divine, which pushes the source of the belief into the apostolic years;
3. John's epistles take time to deal with proto-Gnosticism, which presumes a belief in the divinity of Christ during the apostolic years.

Thus, we have the wide spread belief in the early church that Jesus was God. The most likely source: the apostolic tradition.
So you're in exactly the same problem as those who claimed that the early Christian assemblies involved group sex and cannibalism - there is no record of it taking place at all. If as you claim this was the orthopraxy of the early Christian assemblies, then why is there no Christian record of it, not in the New Testament description of Christian assemblies, not in the Didache's description of Christian assemblies, and not even in Martyr's description of Christian assemblies?
I'm nowhere near in “exactly the same group.” Those who claimed Christians were cannibals had misunderstood the Eucharist. It is an understandable misinterpretation. Those who charged them with group sex were not apostates who had at one time been in Christians meetings in which those things existed; they were enemies of the Church who were trying to destroy it with the pen.

As far as there not being any description, I've already shown why that is not the case. Pliny does describe it. Ignatius, Martyr, and other Church Fathers repeatedly speak of the divinity of Christ. Singing was a common form of worship in the synagogue, which was the pattern after which the early church was formed. Besides all this, you are STILL simply arguing from silence. Just because something is not mentioned somewhere is no reason to believe it did not exist. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, especially when there is evidence that it did exist, as I have been talking about here.
How could it have been missed by these three key sources, for over 100 years? There is simply no evidence to support your case that this statement is representative of Christian orthopraxy at the Christian assembly.
It wasn't. See above. Stop using arguments from silence.
* Heresies: You ask how it could be possible that people could come to the conclusion that Jesus was divine. Easy, the same way the came to the conclusion that Paul and Barnabas were divine - Jesus performed miracles. That's all it took for the superstitious Greeks to decide someone was divine.
Yes, and Paul and Barnabas immediately put a stop to that belief. This statement weighs AGAINST your position. We know that people were worshipping Jesus as divine during the apostolic days. Further, we know that the apostles' direct disciples worshipped Jesus as divine. And yet, not only do they not point out these heresies (as they did with many others), they even used language that could (and does) affirm them! Why? Probably because they believed it themselves.
It's easy to see that if the earliest creedal statements are directed at refuting specific heresies, then the belief that Jesus is God is certainly a belief at which they are taking aim.
So, if they are AIMING at destroying the notion that Jesus is God, then I can expect to find a statement that explicitly says that Jesus is not God. This should be good. Ok, let's see them!
In the Didache:

* God is always described as one person, who is 'the Father', 'Father', and 'the Father almighty', and is described as the creator of all things ('Thou, Master almighty, didst create all things for Thy name's sake')
Hmm . . . nothing about Jesus not being God.
* All prayers are addressed to the Father, through Jesus, in accordance with apostolic teaching and practice
Still nothing . . .
* Jesus is never described as God, or divine, and is said to be the son and servant of God
And still nothing. In fact, it is interesting that Jesus is not even called the Son of God, which John said you have to believe to be saved. Hmmm . . .
In addition, Jesus is explicitly described as the agent of God:

* 'We thank Thee, our Father, for the life and knowledge which You madest known to us through Jesus Thy Servant'

* 'We thank Thee, holy Father, for Thy holy name which You didst cause to tabernacle in our hearts, and for the knowledge and faith and immortality, which You modest known to us through Jesus Thy Servant'

* 'You didst freely give spiritual food and drink and life eternal through Thy Servant'
Yeah . . . Jesus = Agent is not the same as Jesus <> God. Still looking for that statement that Jesus is NOT God, since that is the very heresy we are out to refute!!!
Likewise the Apostles' Creed, in which God is described as one person, the Father, and to whom is attributed the entire creation, whereas Jesus is called the son of God, and is represented as a man.
Still no statement that Jesus is not God . . .
The fact is that the earliest undisputed Christian document referring to Jesus as God doesn't appear until the 2nd century, so you can hardly claim that this is an apostolic teaching.
Begging the question, and denying the evidence from Pliny, as well as the origin of the beliefs from those second century documents that must necessarily go back into the mid to late first century.
* Ignatius: No I did not say that Ignatius was 'too late to be admissible'. I didn't say that in the least.
Well I certainly hope he is not too late, because his words are contemporary with your precious Didache.
What I did say was this:

Next a string of quotes from Ignatius, mainly from the forged epistles or quotes of the later interpolations (not Ignatius' own words), so this is not an accurate representation of Ignatius. I can go into detail about Ignatius later if necessary. What's important here is that non-interpolated and authentic Ignatian epistles distinguish God from Jesus, identify God as one person (the Father), and identify Jesus only as God's son.
Yes, yes, the Ignatian letters contain interpolations, but good luck proving every reference to Jesus' divinity is a later addition to the text. Of course, I can certainly see why you would want to discredit him. If he acknowledges Jesus' deity, your entire case is shot.
At the end of the day, I don't have to apologize for my position. I can see for myself that the apostles baptized people as Christians after teaching them that Jesus is a man. That was good enough for the apostles', and it's good enough for me. There is no evidence that they requried those people to believe Jesus is God, nor is Jesus' 'divinity' ever said to be a matter of salvation, from one end of the New Testament to the other.
On the contrary, what you have to apologize for is basing your entire position on an argument from silence. You simply refuse to acknowledge the broad historical evidence against your position. You reinterpret the NT texts in painfully contorted ways . . .

You have your beliefs. Great. Fine. I don't care. But you've offered absolutely nothing except logical fallacies, bad definitions, and contorted exegesis. As far as your presentation of your position has gone, so far as this thread is concerned, you've left your entire view looking rather silly. In my opinion. And, most likely, in the opinion of just about everybody here.

God bless
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue
And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#130

Post by Jac3510 » Wed Oct 03, 2007 7:41 am

Fortigurn wrote:Well that's not exactly accurate. You see as I've pointed out, the Greek LOGOS GINOMAI SARX actually means that the LOGOS became SARX and was no longer LOGOS, and you're saying it couldn't have done - not on the basis of the grammar, but on the basis of what you assume the LOGOS to be. I've been through this twice now. I gave you a list of passages in which the same Greek construction is used:

* In Luke 13:19, when the mustard seed GINOMAI a great tree, did it really add a great tree to itself, or did it become something it wasn't before and ceased to be what it was?

* In Matthew 4:3, did the tempter, when the tempter told Jesus to cause the stones to GINOMAI bread, did he mean 'add bread nature to the stone nature', or to make the stone become something it wasn't before and ceased to be what it was?

* In Matthew 21:42, when Christ says that the stone which the builders rejected had GINOMAI the head of the corner, did he mean it remained the stone which the builders rejected, or did he mean it became something it wasn't before, and ceased to be what it was?

Cut it where you will, X GINOMAI Y does not mean 'X added Y to itself and became 100% X and 100% Y'. If you think it does, by all means go to the professional B-Greek list and try out your theory. I'll be waiting and watching with interest.
What the? The grammar MEANS that the Logos ceased being the Logos? This is by far the worst I've seen you put forward anywhere in this thread. Let me quote Louw and Nida:
  • to come to acquire or experience a state - ' to become.' . . . "the Word became a human being' or 'the Word became a person' Jn 1.14 . . . 'in order that you may become the sons of your Father in heaven' Mt 5.45 . . . 'that those who hear me might become this day such as I am' Act 26.29. In some languages there is no convenient lexical item meaning simply 'to become,' but in all instances there are certain paraphrastic expressions which may be employed, for example, 'to arive at being' or 'to cease being one thing and be another' or 'to change to be.' One must, however, beware in the case of Jn 1.14 not to employ some expression which would suggest that Christ had lost his divine nature in becoming a person or that he only appeared to be human (docetism).
So, first of alll, one of the most standard lexicons points out that you are wrong. But more specifically, the word does NOT mean "to become one thing, and therefore, to cease to be something else." It just means "to become." This goes BACK to classification theory. If an object is a stone it cannot also be a bread. The classes are mutually exclusive. Bread, however, can BECOME . . . oh . . . old, hot, puffed up, flat, etc. I can BECOME a football player, a world traveler, or a millionaire. None of that changes my constitutional being. And, as an aside, this word is placed under the broad semantic domain of "Change of State."

You are simply wrong that the grammar of ginomai means something has to lose all the properties it had of a former class when entering a new class. That just isn't right. Obviously if two classes are contradictory, properties of the former class must be lost by definition, but that is not inherent in the grammar of the word ginomai. That is just common sense. The grammar just means that it entered into a new class that it was not a member of before. The change of Logos -> Sarx does not mean Divine -> non-Divine. It means non-Human -> Human.

So, AGAIN, we see that it is your classification theory, NOT your grammar, that is so wrong. And the fact that you would want to say this is strictly grammatical blows me away.

Wow.
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue
And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#131

Post by B. W. » Wed Oct 03, 2007 5:03 pm

Jac3510 wrote:...So, AGAIN, we see that it is your classification theory, NOT your grammar, that is so wrong. And the fact that you would want to say this is strictly grammatical blows me away.

Wow.
Well - I ditto that!
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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#132

Post by B. W. » Wed Oct 03, 2007 5:22 pm

Time to backtrack a bit:

Before Fortigrun goes on long discourse concerning the Jewish people and their grammar, Greek Grammar, etc and etc.. let me state:

I never will insinuate that God has ever forsaken the Jewish people. I myself am a strong supporter of the Jewish people. Paul writes in Romans Chapter 10 that God has not forsaken his covenant people and for Christians to remember the vine to which they were grafted in. They are still part of God's covenant people and the apple of his eye. Let us all never forget this.

However, to suggest that every Jewish person supports a non-Trinitarian view is false. What about the Messianic Jewish believers who know Hebrew better than the opposition does? I have learned from several Messianic Rabbi's the richness of the Old Testaments testimony of Christ. How within its pages reveal who Christ is. I was part of the Messianic movement years ago and only have positive things to say about it. Yes they are a few oddballs as in any movement but the vast majorities are fine noble people.

What about the 3000 saved in one day in the Book of Acts — who were these people? They were Jewish. The early church was primarily Jewish believers in the Messiah. They were not anti-Trinitarians. If they were — then they would never have suffered from persecution. They suffered persecution because they worshiped Jesus. This divided the Jews even more at that time on the grounds of the first commandment.

They placed saving faith in God Grace and not works. They knew the Old Testament and how it explained that only God will save and that he will set up an eternal kingdom which is manifest in the new heavens and earth. They understood and identified the persons of God as Father, Son, Holy Spirit as the three fold witness and saw these identities within the pages of the OT. Just read your New Testament for documentation on this.

Let not the church forget that we came from these believers. This has come about in fulfillment of scripture that a people of a different language will provoke Israel — the unsaved Jews to find the true Messiah. This is a whole other topic.

I suggest that if the opposition wants to make assertions concerning that Jewishness means only anti-Trinitarianism used to prove their brand of doctrine correct, that they instead seek some counsel from a good Messianic Jewish congregation on what the bible teaches about this matter. Here is what they might find. There was reason that the Temple was laid waste twice, rebuilt twice, the people scattered twice, and re-gathered twice [1948 was the fulfillment of the second time].

They might find that the ancient Israelites keep seeking after other gods and were punished for this. That through this seeking, they incorporated ideas and philosophies of the false gods into their doctrines concerning god's nature and character likes and dislike so that by the time of Jesus things were thoroughly messed up. Traditions of men also crept in and took away from the Lord and added things that should not have been added that made service to God too heavy a burden to carry. Notes: Deuteronomy 5:7-9, Deuteronomy 31:20-29, Zechariah 10:2-3, Romans 1:19-25

If the opposition was truly honest, they would look into how the name for God was changed so none could say it as well as altering of bible text such as Malachi 2:10 to read 'we' instead of 'you.' The older Septuagint version reads 'you' in verse ten. While the Masoretic Text was changed to read 'we' despite the fact that all the verses before and after verse ten use 'you'. This is not a slight against the Masoretic Text, only a historic fact. Even the Masoretic's could not change everything! Also later in history, there was even an attempt to reinvent the Shema to make God out as an alone one, and not as a unity! See Masoretic Wikipedia Link, and here too.

The opposition might be honest come to the conclusion that something is wrong with their doctrines: Temple destroyed — no manner to keep all the law. Might even discover the reason why such tragic catastrophic events follow them though history. God is telling them something is wrong and yet many refuse to see and hear. Amazing and yet even more amazing is that other people can be so convinced, despite all the evidence, that the oppositions viewpoint on God is the superior one to go back to!? !Note: Click Here: The Lord spoke this to Moses. It is a reference to what I wrote above

The only thing that will wake such people up to the error of their ways, or in this case the error of their doctrine, is the fulfillment of this scripture:

Zachariah12:10, "And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn.” ESV --Hey I foget - Jesus was speaking in this verse before he was yet born!--

You maybe surprised that Trinitarians agree that God is One! The difference is that we see the plural retained in the word and not removed; therefore, One but Plural demonstrating everything that God is and does! We do not remove anything from God but honor Him as He is. He is Majestic! We declare the fullness of His name! Jesus did so, the Apostles also, the Jewish first century believers did so, those martyred also, God's people everywhere proclaim that there is none like the Lord! Incomprehensible! Glorious! Majestic! Father! Son! Holy Spirit!

Conclusion:

I wish I could have continued describing where I left off last time with this verse: John 18:37, “Then Pilate said to him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world--to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice." ESV

And spend time describing how the opposition knows nothing of this truth Jesus speaks of instead of running back to clarify certain things again to head off the opposition endless rabbit trails I suspect wrongly or rightly they may take.

To know the truth what Jesus spoke of in verse 37, causes people to understand how Jesus was both man and God as well as why this had to be: Jesus bore witness to truth.

John 18:37, “…I have come into the world--to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice." ESV

Maybe at last I can get to this part without any further delay. In fact, I'll stop reading Fortigrun's post so we can look at how Jesus came into this world to bear witness to the truth. His post are but mere distractions keeping people away from finding the light of God shining in Bethlehem.
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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#133

Post by Pierac » Wed Oct 03, 2007 8:32 pm

Jac wrote:
Pierac wrote:Num 23:19 God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?

Yup, in the OT days, God had not yet been incarnated. He was not a man. That changed when "The Word became flesh."

Jesus who expressly declared that he did not come to abolish it, but to bring it to completion (Matt. 5:17).

Jesus came to complete the law and words of the Prophets not contradict the Prophets.


Jac response:It causes no difficulty to me. The KJV did NOT translate it “completely wrong.” That statement is uninformed at best, absurd at worst. Again, here is the Greek:

ος εν μορφη θεου υπαχων ουχ αρπαγμον ηγησατο το ειναι ισα θεω

The primary word of interest here is harpagmos, translated “robbery” in the KJV. It means “plunder,” “booty,” or “violent greed.” Louw and Nida offer the following discussion in the word:
to forcefully take something away from someone else, often with the implication of a sudden attack — 'to rob, to carry off, to plunder, to forcefully seize.' . . . 'he always had the nature of God and did not think that becoming equal with God was something to be taken by force' Php 2.6. This interpretation of Php 2.6 reflects the position of Jesus after the incarnation and the fact that he had no thought of trying to become equal with God because he already possessed all of the qualities of deity
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that which is to be held on to forcibly — 'something to hold by force, something to be forcibly retained.' . . . he always had the nature of God and did not consider that remaining equal with God was something to be held on to forcibly' Php 2.6. Since harpagmos may mean not only 'to grasp something forcefully which one does not have' but also 'to retain by force what one possesses,' it is possible to translate Php 2.6 in two quite different ways. The second interpretation of harpagmos presumes the position of Jesus prior to the incarnation and hence his willingness to experience the kenosis or 'emptying' of his divine prerogatives. In any translation of Php 2.6 it is important that both possible renderings be clearly indicated, one in the text and the other in the margin.
Reading this, it is very obvious that “robbery” is a perfectly acceptable translation, and very far from “completely wrong.” What is closer to “completely wrong” is the NASB, which renders it “a thing to be grasped.” In and of itself, the translation is fine, except for the fact that “grasp” in English has a connotation of understanding, which is nowhere near what the Greek means.

So, let's look at the verse again and offer two translations based on the two possible nuances of the word:

“Though existing (υπαχων — here we take this as a concessive participle) in the form/nature (μορφη) of God (θεου), he did not consider (ηγησατο) equality with God (το ειναι ισα θεω) something he must forcibly hold to(αρπαγμον).”

Or . . .

“Because he existed (υπαχων — here we take this as a causal participle) in the form/nature (μορφη) of God (θεου), he did not consider (ηγησατο) equality with God (το ειναι ισα θεω) something he must fight for (αρπαγμον).”

Therefore, the intial “impression” given by the KJV is exactly right, regardless of which way you want to translate it. Anyway, moving on . . .
It ought to be clear by now that this is the exact opposite of what is meant. The whole context of the passage is about being humble, putting God's will and glory first, and serving others' interest above one's own interest. Although he was in "the form of God" Jesus did not reckon his God-given status as something to be exploited.

Your error should be obvious. Harpagmos does NOT mean “something to be exploited.” Again, it means “something to be taken / retained by force.” It refers to something we strive to get, or something we strive to keep.

The context is about humility. We are told in 2:3 to consider one another more important than ourselves, because that is exactly what Jesus Christ did. He considered us more important than Himself when, although He existed in the very form of God, did not fight to retain His divinity, but instead He poured Himself out for us. Or, in the other sense, He considered us more important than himself when, because He existed in the very form of God, He did not feel the need to fight for His divinity; instead of lording it over us, He poured Himself out for us.
This meaning contrast well with the conduct of Adam who unfortunately did consider equality with God anything to be grasped at. Adam wanted to be like God as Genesis 3:5 teaches. Adam tried to grasp at equality with God. But Jesus would not usurp God's authority for selfish advantage. He said, "I came to serve" (Matt. 20:28), not to snatch! At his arrest in the garden, he said, "Do you not think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and He will at once put at my disposal more than 12 legions of angels?" (Matthew 26:53). As the Messiah, God's appointed King, he had every right to call for divine protection. He "emptied himself" of all such Messianic privileges.

There are two problems with this. First, you ignore the valid, and contextually more likely, interpretation of harpagmos as “a thing to be forcefully retained.” In the immediate context, the Philippians are told to forget their own interests and instead look after one anothers' interests. Notice that they already possessed their own interests. Likewise, Jesus Himself already possessed “the form of God.”

Second, even if we do take the other possibility of the word “something to be fought for,” the participle that controls it disallows your exegesis. Huparchon (υπαχων ) here is either concessive or causal, so we render it “Because He existed” or “although He existed.” The participle here is not “possessed”, which seems to be the meaning you would like to force on it, but “existed as.” Greek has a couple of equative verbs. Huparcho is one of them. Eimi is the other, and the most common. These words are equivelant to the English “to be.” We could very accurately translate this verse,

“For although He was in the form of God, He did not regard equality with God something to be held tightly, but instead He poured Himself out for us.”

Regarding the “emptying” of Himself, there are again two serious possibilities. The first is the traditional idea of emptying of something. This word, however, can also be used of the very act of emptying itself where the focus is not on the content being removed. We naturally want to ask “what did He empty Himself of?” My answer is that the text, in this passage, doesn't tell us. In context, the word means that He was pouring Himself out in service to man, which is exactly the opposite of what the Philippians were doing. Paul told them to consider each other more important than themselves; to look out for each other; to “pour themselves out” for one another, just as Jesus did for us.
Therefore, it can be categorically stated that Philippians 2: 5-11 has nothing to do with Jesus Christ being God in a preexistence state.

Watch such strong langauge. It cannot be “categorically stated.” Your interpretation is weak, at best, which appeals to theology far outside the immediate context, and not strongly supported by the Greek. To the contrary, a strong case from all of those things can be made against what you have suggested.
The importance is really very simple and very practical: how are Christians to conduct themselves in this world? Not by imitating the man Adam who forfeited everything by a grab for power and glory, but by imitating Jesus the Messiah (v.5) who through humility and obedience to God gained it all and more.

See my note above. Again, from a Greek perspective, the linking verse between 1-4 and 5-11 is this:

τουτο φρονειτε εν υμιν ο και εν χριστω ιησου (verse 5), rendered, “Have this mind in yourselves, which was also in Christ Jesus.” The “this” here (τουτο) points BACK to 1-4, not FORWARD to 5-11. It is in the emphatic position. So, we are told in 1-4 to consider each other more important than ourselves. We are then commanded to embrace this attitude, just as Jesus did, who, although existing in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something He had to fight to retain (as we try to do with our own interests), but instead He poured Himself out (considering us more important than Himself), etc . . .
After all, if Jesus was already God, then verses 9 to 11 are nonsensical. There is no "Therefore also God highly exalted him, and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth." If he was already God, he had this before his birth! No. It is clear that God has given him a new position, a new name (authority), and a new rank that he did not previously possess. The Greek is very clear here: dio kai means (as in Luke 1:35) "for this reason precisely." Why has God exalted Jesus to His right hand? "Therefore, God has highly exalted him and given him the name above every other name because he is back where he was before as God"? Not at all! He is given the status as a reward for the precise reason that he humbled himself and died. His exalted status is a reward. If we follow the last Adam's pattern, we too will be exalted by God when Christ returns.

9-11 are far from nonsensical. The hymn of 5-11 is divided into two stanzas; 6-8 speak of Christ's humiliation; 8-11 speak of His exaltation. To say that His divinity precludes exaltation is illogical. This goes back to the economical view of the Trinity I explained earlier. You have misunderstood coequality to mean coequal in economical authority, which is simply not true. He is coequal in ontology. This was true even during His kenosis. The Father is the source of all glory, even over the Son. He, therefore, has decided to exalt the Son so that all will worship Him, and in doing so, all worship, by extension, the Father. Regardless, the object lesson is still the same. We are to serve one another, and that humble service will result in our own exaltation. But there is simply nothing in logic that says that just because Jesus was and is divine, that He is incapable of being exalted.

In fact, in your view, it would be impossible to exalt the Father because He is divine. And yet the Bible says that men do this repeatedly! See Exodus 15:2; 2 Sam 22:47; Ps 46:10, etc. I mean, really . . . I can't see where you are coming from on this. If man can exalt God, how much more can God exalt Himself?
It is evident, then, that "this hymn does not contained what numerous interpreters seek and find in it: an independent statement about preexistence or even a Christology preexistence… No preexistence of Christ before the world with an independent significance can be recognized even in Philippians 2.

First, I assume by the quotation mark that these words are not your own. If you are going to quote someone, let's see the reference. Second, it is not at all evident that there is no preexistence in these verses. To claim this is either to be ignorant of the evidence or to willfully turn a blind eye to it; further, it is to base your claim on the illogical notion that God is incapable of exalting Himself, even though man is perfectly capable of exalting Him.

Very weak, my friend.
I believe your confusion stems from trying to find biblical meaning for a theology that is not taught in scripture. Jesus never discussed it, and the apostles never discussed it. And the creeds used to support it contain non-biblical words to describe it's meaning.

Paul tells us in Act 20:27 “for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.”

Yet not one word on the Trinity. In fact, he tells us the opposite, there is only one God the Father.

1Co 8:6 yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.

Moses never discussed any Trinity, Abraham is silent on the subject too, along with all the other Prophets.

Men have even tried to add to the word to prove their doctrine because it's not there. Look what they did to 1John 5:7. “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”
It is blaspheme to add to the word of God!

How many Christians have been killed over this Trinity doctrine? Jesus strictly taught not to murder, even not to be angry with your brother! Why were they murdered? Where did this spirit of hate and murder come from? All over a doctrine that is not even taught in our scriptures.

I firmly believe anyone's interpretation will always be corrupt if you keep searching for a doctrine that has not been taught by our Lord Jesus or His apostles. I do not say this out of meanness. It is simply my opinion.

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#134

Post by Byblos » Thu Oct 04, 2007 3:59 am

Pierac wrote: I believe your confusion stems from trying to find biblical meaning for a theology that is not taught in scripture. Jesus never discussed it, and the apostles never discussed it. And the creeds used to support it contain non-biblical words to describe it's meaning.

Paul tells us in Act 20:27 “for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.”

Yet not one word on the Trinity. In fact, he tells us the opposite, there is only one God the Father.

1Co 8:6 yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.

Moses never discussed any Trinity, Abraham is silent on the subject too, along with all the other Prophets.

Men have even tried to add to the word to prove their doctrine because it's not there. Look what they did to 1John 5:7. “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”
It is blaspheme to add to the word of God!

How many Christians have been killed over this Trinity doctrine? Jesus strictly taught not to murder, even not to be angry with your brother! Why were they murdered? Where did this spirit of hate and murder come from? All over a doctrine that is not even taught in our scriptures.

I firmly believe anyone's interpretation will always be corrupt if you keep searching for a doctrine that has not been taught by our Lord Jesus or His apostles. I do not say this out of meanness. It is simply my opinion.
Very interesting that you mentioned not one word about the sound exegesis you were presented with yet you have no problem introducing a red herring by appealing to a verse not even mentioned once. Offering opinions, while harmless and perfectly fine in and of itself, doesn't really offer anything material.
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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#135

Post by Jac3510 » Thu Oct 04, 2007 7:13 am

Jesus who expressly declared that he did not come to abolish it, but to bring it to completion (Matt. 5:17).

Jesus came to complete the law and words of the Prophets not contradict the Prophets.
Yup. And that has no bearing on the verse you quoted. In the OT God said He was not a man. God taking on the form of man to fulfill His promises doesn't mean He contradicted Himself a thousand years before that.
I believe your confusion stems from trying to find biblical meaning for a theology that is not taught in scripture. Jesus never discussed it, and the apostles never discussed it. And the creeds used to support it contain non-biblical words to describe it's meaning.
This is begging the question. I believe that both Christ and the apostles did discuss it. I think that you have come to the wrong conclusions on a wide variety of Scriptures that very clearly expound the deity of Christ. The Creeds are worthless to you, because to appeal to them to say that the earliest Christians did not believe in the deity of Christ is an argument from silence. I've further shown testimony from both Christians and former Christians dating back to the first century that profess the very belief you deny.

The point: both the historical and exegetical arguments in favor of the divinity of Christ are strong -- far stronger than anything I have seen posted in this thread. Of course, if you want to show me actual evidence, and not an argument from silence, that the earliest Christians, including the apostles and their direct disciples, did not consider Jesus to be God, then I'm all up for seeing it. Because right now, the evidence is in my favor.
Paul tells us in Act 20:27 “for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.”

Yet not one word on the Trinity. In fact, he tells us the opposite, there is only one God the Father.

1Co 8:6 yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.
This is another argument from silence. You have to assume that everything Paul declared was recorded in Acts. The fact that Acts does not report it does not mean it was not declared. Secondly, I believe we do see the deity of Christ preached by Paul and the other apostles in his mention of Christ's Sonship. And obviously I have no problem with 1 Cor 8:6, as I do believe that there is one God. In fact, I see the divinity of Christ in that verse. Let's look briefly at it, just for fun:

there is (1) one God, the Father, (2) from whom are all things and (3) for whom we exist,
[there is] (1) one Lord, Jesus Christ, (2) through whom are all things and (3) through whom we exist.

The parallelism here is hard to miss. First, notice (2). ALL things exist out of God, and ALL things exist THROUGH Christ. This is to be distinguished from the believer's existence. In other words "all" cannot refer only to the "New Creation", because (3) deals with that concept. All the regenerate exist FOR God and THROUGH Christ.

So, ALL things exist FROM God yet THROUGH Christ (including believers, who exist FOR God yet THROUGH Christ). This clearly further attributes a role of some sort in the general creation to Christ, which is consistent with what the rest of Scripture teaches on the subject. The last issue, then, is (1), the identity. There are two persons being discussed: the Father and Jesus Christ. The roles of these persons are defined: Jesus' role is Lord. The Father's role is God. It is very inconsistent for you to want "God" in (1) to be a statement of ontology and deny that to "Lord" in Jesus. In other words, under an economical view of the Trinity, we have absolutely NO problem with this verse whatsoever.

Perhaps you should do a bit more reading on the distinction between the economical and ontological views of the Trinity? Both have been discussed from the earliest days, but if you get them mixed up, you'll have all sorts of problems, like both you and Fortigurn have been throughout this thread.
Moses never discussed any Trinity, Abraham is silent on the subject too, along with all the other Prophets.
Argument from silence.
Men have even tried to add to the word to prove their doctrine because it's not there. Look what they did to 1John 5:7. “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”
It is blaspheme to add to the word of God!
So because a Trinitarian somewhere along the lines was unethical, that proves the doctrine to be untrue? Surely you can see that is no argument at all.
How many Christians have been killed over this Trinity doctrine? Jesus strictly taught not to murder, even not to be angry with your brother! Why were they murdered? Where did this spirit of hate and murder come from? All over a doctrine that is not even taught in our scriptures.
Again, what does this have to do with the validity of a doctrine? It is illogical to claim that because someone from a certain camp does something morally wrong then his camp's ideas must also be philosophically wrong.
I firmly believe anyone's interpretation will always be corrupt if you keep searching for a doctrine that has not been taught by our Lord Jesus or His apostles. I do not say this out of meanness. It is simply my opinion.
And we can all have our opinions, but if your position was as strong as your opinion, then you would have some logical arguments to back it up. I've seen no Scriptural support for you position. You have repeatedly appealed to the supposed silence of the Scripture to justify your position. That is obviously fallacious. You have discounted the fact that the view was widely held among early Christians, including, very notably, the apostles' personal disciples. You have been ignored exegesis in favor of the traditional view. No, if your position were that strong, then the Bible would clearly expound your position. It does not. I have been arguing that it clearly expounds my own. As of now, my exegeses have gone unanswered. I also can't help but note that, even after asking two (or three?) times about John 1 and the work of Christ in the creation, which are both standard proofs of the deity of Christ, these have likewise gone ignored.

I do appreciate the time and the discussion, but you'll have to do a lot more than just tell me that you believe I am wrong and then quote a verse without providing any sort of reason as to why I should believe it means what you think it means, all the while ignoring the arguments I have put forward for not only believing my own position, but for why your views on the Scriptures presented are incorrect.

God bless
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue
And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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