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Trinity-read with liberal mind kisha ujadili

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Elimu (Education Forum)' started by matambo, Aug 26, 2009.

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    matambo JF-Expert Member

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    Most Christian denominations preach the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. According to this doctrine, within the “Godhead[SIZE=-2]2[/SIZE]” there exists three persons - God the father, God the son and God the Holy Spirit[SIZE=-2]3[/SIZE]. These three persons are of one substance and therefore are co-equal in all things. However, the word “Trinity” and the doctrine as such appear nowhere in the Bible. Also, the earliest Christians were not aware of it. So, how did this doctrine come to dominate Christianity?
    The Christian religion asserts that the earthly Jesus was no mere mortal but was, in reality, the long-awaited Jewish Messiah. In addition to that, he was the son of God[SIZE=-2]4[/SIZE]. Christianity further maintains that through his suffering and death Jesus released all humanity from the burden of original sin resulting from Adam's disobedience. Following his human death on the cross Jesus was resurrected confirming the Christian tenet that there is life after death for the faithful. He ascended directly into heaven[SIZE=-2]5[/SIZE] but not before reassuring his followers that he would return shortly and establish the kingdom of God on earth[SIZE=-2]6[/SIZE]. Because Christianity is a monotheistic religion, these assertions naturally lead to the necessity to explain the precise nature of Jesus and to define his true relationship to God. It had to be done in such a way as not to place Jesus in a subordinate or inferior position while at the same time upholding the doctrine of monotheism. This perplexing question resulted in a controversy that was to dog the church for almost four hundred years.
    The Apostle Paul, writing possibly as early as 50[SIZE=-2]7[/SIZE], was apparently aware of the need to explain the God/Jesus relationship. In I Corinthians 8:6 he states: There is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. Here Paul makes Jesus co-equal with God. However, in 1 Corinthians 11:3 he says just the opposite: “The head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God”. Here he portrays Jesus as being inferior to God. Nowhere does Paul show any awareness of the Trinity. Nor is there any mention of this doctrine in the reconstructed early Christian document, Quelle (Q).
    The synoptic gospels make little or no effort to explain the God/Jesus relationship. However, in the Gospel of John, thought to have been written between 90 and 110, we are told in the very first verse of chapter 1 that: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Later, in verse 14, we learn that: "The Word" was made flesh, and dwelt among us". Here the writer of John makes God and Jesus one and the same. This is known as the Logos and is derived from the metaphysics of Plato[SIZE=-2]8[/SIZE].
    As Christian dogma, the doctrine of the Holy Trinity was first alluded to, though not by that name, in the writings of Tertullian (155?-220?). In his Trinitarian Formulary he declares[SIZE=-2]9[/SIZE]: "We believe in one God . . . and this God has also a Son, His Word, who proceeded from Himself, by whom all things were made . . . Him (the Son) we believe to have been sent by God the Father . . . being both man and God; who sent also . . . from the Father . . . the Holy Ghost, the Paraclete, the sanctifier of the faith of those who believe in the Father and in the Son and in the Holy Ghost".
    The next to address the problem was Origen (185-254) who proposed that while there were indeed three persons in the Godhead who were co-eternal and consubstantial, they were not co-equal. The Son and the Holy Spirit were co-equal, he claimed, but they both were inferior to God the Father. The Father is the primal essence from which Son and Holy Spirit derive[SIZE=-2]10[/SIZE].
    The Edict of Milan, guaranteeing toleration for the Christian religion throughout the Roman empire, was concluded in February 313 between the Roman co-emperors Constantine I of the west and Licinius of the east. Unlike previous edicts of religious toleration, which had been as short-lived as the regimes sanctioning them, this one lasted. Constantine had in fact converted to Christianity while serving in the imperial court. As is often the case with recent converts, he became zealously devoted to his new-found faith. When in 324 the Roman empire was united under Constantine, Christianity received imperial favor and soon thereafter became the dominate religion of the Roman empire.
    Around 320 the Arian heresy (Arius of Alexandria, 250?-336,) affirming that Christ is not divine but a created being and therefore subordinate to God[SIZE=-2]11[/SIZE], erupted. With the spread of Arianism the church was thrown into further turmoil as the controversy spread[SIZE=-2]12[/SIZE]. Constantine, appalled to find the church rent with dissension, commanded the bishops to devise a formula by which to attain unity. To this end the First Ecumenical Council, was convened at Nicaea (now Iznik, Turkey) in 325. The council condemned Arius and, over the protest of some present, incorporated the non-scriptural words "of one essence" into a creed (The Nicene Creed) for the express purpose of establishing the absolute equality of the Son with the Father. However, very little was said concerning the Holy Spirit. In 381 the Ecumenical Council was reconvened in Constantinople at which the Holy Spirit was officially recognized as being coequal with God and Christ thereby completing what is known as the Holy Trinity[SIZE=-2]13[/SIZE]. By the end of the fourth century the doctrine of the Holy Trinity took essentially the form it has today.
    The ultimate rationale for the trinitarian concept was provided by Augustine of Hippo (354-430)[SIZE=-2]14[/SIZE]. Like Origen, Augustine based his reasoning on the metaphysics of Plato, who declared that man is a trichotomy consisting of body, mind and soul. Using this as a point of departure, Augustine found in it a reflection of the trinal unity of the godhead. After all, isn’t man a reflection of his maker? God, Augustine argued, is a three-in-one whose essence does not exist prior to the persons, either in the order of nature or of time, but exists simultaneously and eternally in and with them. Just as the writer of the Gospel of John took the doctrine of the Word from Plato, so Augustine grounded his defense of the Trinity in pagan philosophy.
    In the years following Augustine’s pronouncement, the Trinity became an integral part of Christian dogma. This is certified in the writings of many important Christian scholars. The great Martin Luther, for example, said[SIZE=-2]15[/SIZE]: "Consequently, if I had power over them (the Jews), I would assemble their scholars and their leaders and order them, on pain of losing their tongues down to the root, to convince us Christians within eight days of the truth of their assertions and prove this blasphemous lie against us, to the effect that by the doctrine of the Holy Trinity we worship more than one God".
    Scholars may say what they wish, but if the Trinity is to be taken seriously, it must be justified in scripture. Therefore, let us examine them to that end.
    Although Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are associated in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19.) and in the apostolic benediction (II Corinthians 13:14), the ultimate biblical authority for the Trinity is that part of 1 John 5:7-8 known as the “Johannine Comma[SIZE=-2]"16[/SIZE]. However, the Johannine Comma is a recognized forgery[SIZE=-2]17[/SIZE]. The oldest extant manuscripts, such as the mid 4th century Codices Vaticanus and Sinaiticus, do not contain it. Also, remove the Johannine Comma and the passage reads logically. For these reasons the Johannine Comma has either been greatly altered or eliminated altogether in almost all recent versions of the Bible. Therefore, it cannot be cited as a conformation of the Trinity.
    Now let us analyze some selected Bible passages citing the God/Jesus relationship and see if there is any support for the trinitarian concept.
    Genesis 1:26 ~ And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. This verse is often cited by the Trinitarians as an example of plurality within the Godhead. But “us” is never identified. How can it be said for sure that God was not referring to the heavenly court or to his assistants? Also, according to the basic concept of the Holy Trinity God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost are not three but one. So "us" cannot be referring to the Trinity.
    Deuteronomy 6:4 ~ Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord. This passage is a part of the Jewish confession of faith known as the Shema. It is very important, and the writer of Mark has Jesus repeat it in 12:29. Although the Shema clearly declares for one God, trinitarians, oddly enough, point to it as proof of the Trinity. They insist that “one” in the Shema signifies compound unity just as they do for John 10:30. However, this is a moot point because, as shown below, there are places in the Bible where "one” is obviously used in its singular sense.
    Zechariah 14:9 ~ And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day there shall be but one Lord. One means one, doesn’t it?
    Isaiah 11:2-3 describes what the messiah will be like when he arrives. He will be human and a very wise leader. Above all he will fear the Lord. Now if Jesus is the Messiah, co-equal with God and of the same substance, if he actually is God, how could he at the same time fear God?
    Matthew 20:20-23 ~ Here the mother of Zebedee's children asks Jesus to allow her two sons to be seated, “the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom.” Jesus replies, “to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.” If Jesus and God are one and the same, how could the father have the power to grant something that the son does not also have?
    Matthew 24:36 ~ But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. This one denies the doctrine of the Holy Trinity which declares God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost to be of a single essence. The question that comes to mind is, "How could one of them be aware of something and the other two not?"
    Matthew 26:39 ~ In the garden of Gethsemane Jesus prayed, “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” If God and Jesus were of the same substance such a prayer would have been meaningless. Jesus would have been praying to himself because his will would of necessity have been the same as God’s will.

    Matthew 26:53 ~ Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? In light of the Trinity, this makes no sense. If God and Jesus are one, why and to whom would he have to submit such a request?
    Matthew 27:46 ~ And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? This verse is repeated practically verbatim in Mark 15:34. How could God forsake God?
    Mark 10:17-18 ~ When a man referred to him as “good” teacher, Jesus replied, “Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is God.” Here Jesus makes a clear distinction between himself and God.
    Mark 13:32 ~ When asked by his disciples when all of his predictions will come to pass, Jesus replies, “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not even the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father alone.” See Matthew 24:36 above. In so doing note how the author of Matthew rewrote this verse in an failed attempt to eliminate the obvious contradiction.
    Luke 2:52 ~ "Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and favor with God and man." The problem here is that if he needed to increase in wisdom his knowledge was limited, and a limitation of any kind cannot be an attribute of God. Also, how could God increase in stature and favor with God? So, by this passage Jesus was less than God.
    Luke 23:34 ~ Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. If Jesus was God, why couldn’t he forgive them?
    John 10:30 ~ I and the Father are one. This verse is interpreted by some trinitarians as a confirmation of the co-equality of God and Jesus. However, there is another, and I might add more plausible, interpretation of this statement. In Hebrew, as in English, the word one may be used either in the singular, as in “I am the one,” or in the plural, as in “The committee was of one mind.” It could simply be Jesus’ way of declaring that he and God are in complete agreement?
    John 14:28 ~ . . . my Father is greater than I. This verse alone should give the trinitarians cause to rethink their position.
    John 17:3 ~ And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. Here Jesus is definitely put in an inferior position to God.
    John 20:17 ~ Jesus saith unto her (Mary Magdalene), “Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father. Go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.” If the Trinity is true, this statement makes no sense.
    Acts 7:56 ~ Stephen says, "Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God." Now Stephen may have had too much wine, and as a result he was hallucinating. Then again, he may have just made the whole thing up. But if he was telling the truth, his vision debunks the Trinity. First, Jesus and God were separate, not one as in the Trinity. Second, where was the Holy Spirit, the third member of the Trinity?
    1 Corinthians 11:3 ~ . . . the head of every man is Christ; and the head of woman is man; and the head of Christ is God. Here we have an outright refutation of the doctrine of the Holy Trinity.
    1 Timothy 2:5 ~ For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. A very clear distinction is made here between God and Jesus.
    Hebrews 4:14-15 ~ Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. This passage contradicts the Trinity because James 1:13 states that God cannot be tempted.
    Hebrews 5:7 ~ Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared. Because he was not able to save himself from death, Jesus again appealed to the Father. How could God hear Jesus’ prayer if Jesus was God? In the next verse it tell us that, “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered. Was Jesus not obedient? If God and Jesus are one, doesn’t that mean that the Father was also not obedient?
    1 Peter 1:3 ~ Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. This concept is stated many times throughout the New Testament: the Father is Jesus’ God. It is never the other way around.
    Finding themselves saddled with a perplexing enigma, the early church leaders concocted the Trinity as a vehicle by which the mythical Jesus could be placed on a par with the equally mythical beings, God and the Holy Spirit, a.k.a., the Holy Ghost. The whole idea of a triune godhead is absurd in the extreme and makes a mockery of logic. In that regard, it might be well to reflect for a moment on the many innocent people, such as Michael Servetus the founder of Unitarianism, who were tortured, imprisoned and/or burnt at the stake for having had the courage to deny this false doctrine. Suffice it to say that the doctrine of the Holy Trinity is a hoax sustained by a forgery. It lacks logic and cannot be confirmed in scripture, as has been clearly shown, therefore it has no credibility. ______________________________________________
    [SIZE=-1]1 Compiled by Louis W. Cable.[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]2 The essential being or nature of God.[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]3 Holy Spirit , also known as the Holy Ghost, serves as God's enforcer. [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]4 John 4:25,26; 10:36.[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]5 Mark 16:19.[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]6 Matthew 24:33-34, Mark 9:1.[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]7 Mack, Burton L. Who Wrote the New Testament? page 114.[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]8 Demiurgos.[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]9 Against Praxeas II.[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]10 Contra Ceisum VIII xv.[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]11 Encyclopedia Britannica, Deluxe 2002. [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]12 Larson, Martin A., The Story of Christian Origins, 1977, page 562. Ch. XVI, The Trinitarian Controversy.[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]13 Ibid, page 577.[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]14 De Trinitate X 18[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]15 Luther, Martin, On The Jews and Their Lies, 1543.[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]16 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. The highlighted passage is the Johannine Comma.[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]17 Eddy, Patricia G., Who Tampered With The Bible?, 1993, Winston-Derek, page 26-28.[/SIZE]
     
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