Christian mistranslation of key NT word

This is most interesting.  Below is a pic of a book I am currently reading by prominent New Testament scholar Dale B. Martin, a Professor at Yale University. In the paragraph below he candidly admits to three fascinating (one of them scandalous) facts: 1) that all the references to the Spirit in the New Testament are grammatically neuter (in other words ‘it’ rather than ‘she’ or ‘he’). 2) All that is except the unique reference in the Gospel of John to “the Paraclete” which is grammatically masculine.  So the logic is that the Paraclete is a person and thus referred to as ‘he’, therefore it cannot be the same as the Spirit – thus a real human man. 3) The vast majority of modern Christian translations of the Bible cover up the fact that apart from John all the references to ‘spirit’ are neuter ie the spirit is an ‘it’.  They add the masculine pronoun to make the NT conform to their Trinitarian bias that ‘he’ is God, the Second Person of the Trinity! Thank God for at least one honest Christian scholar!

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Biblical Truths: The Meaning of Scripture in the Twenty-first Century by Dale B. Martin

Read a good review of the book in the Church Times

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Categories: Bible, Biblical scholarship, Christianity, God, Islam

71 replies

  1. Interesting, I was reading somewhere that the spirit or Wisdom is the Consort of God, like Yahweh has a consort. I forgot the name of the consort, lol. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Thank you for sharing!

    I just to point out that semitic languages don’t have neuter gender as far as I know ( i.e we don’t have “it” ).

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    • i thought Allah was neither male or female – so neuter

      Liked by 1 person

    • Brother Paul,

      What does the Arabic say about that.

      God is God!

      Like

    • ّIn the language, we use the pronoun (HE) هو because we don’t have something equivalent to (it) as in the English. Each object takes either masculine or feminine pronoun in the Arabic language.
      For example, the sun takes the feminine pronoun, but the moon takes the masculine pronoun.

      This video may help

      Dr Joseph Lumbard has a video about that on YT, yet I do not remember in which lecture exactly.

      I referred to that note because Jesus supposedly was speaking Aramaic not Greek.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. I would be careful about reading too much into the “gender” of a Greek term. For example, consider how 1 Corinthians 15:45 refers to one Adam (male) as a psyche (feminine) and the other “Adam” (male) as a pneuma (neuter). [Similarly, 1 Corinthians 1:24, where Christ is referred to as the sophia (feminine) of God; or Hebrews 1:7, where angels (masculine) are made spirits (neuter); or 1 Corinthians 10:4, with the rock (feminine) which was the Christ (masculine); or 1 Corinthians 5:7, where Christ is called our pascha (neuter).]

    For another example, in Greek Patristic writings the Trinity is often referred to in the feminine singular, because trias is so (for example, Saint Basil refers to the Trinity as “the worshipful and holy Trinity,” τῆς προσκυνητῆς καὶ ἁγίας Τριάδος, where the definite article, two adjectives and noun are all in the genitive feminine singular). Of course that need not mean those Patristic writers believed the Trinity was a unipersonal female.

    A particularly stark example in this regard, however, can be found in the third book of Aristotle’s Peri Zoion Geneseos (Regarding the Generation of Animals), 759a-b, in which there is discussion on the genders of [worker] bees and drones. Aristotle notes that some argue that [worker] bees are female and drones male, while others argue the opposite (i.e. [worker] bees are male and drones female), and what’s striking is the way he uses a feminine word for bee (melissa) and a masculine word for drone (kephen) even when he’s employing the sex opposite that of the gender of the noun.

    Below is a scan of a relevant page [from Arthur Leslie Peck, Aristotle: Generation of Animals, (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1943), p. 334], with the masculine constructions highlighted in blue and the feminine constructions highlighted in pink:

    ***

      Paul wrote:
      «the Paraclete is a person and thus referred to as ‘he’, therefore it cannot be the same as the Spirit»

    The text of John clearly identifies the Holy Spirit with the Paraclete, ergo it seems the logic moves in the opposite direction (the Holy Spirit is a Person, even if such is not obvious from other passages). Moreover, while of course the personhood of the Holy Spirit cannot be inferred from a neuter construction in a vacuum, Christians have typically appealed to the Spirit speaking (Acts 8:39, Acts 13:2) and possessing a will (1 Corinthians 12:11).

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    • Denis Giron

      You said;
      ArchiveIslam wrote:
      «All you have shown is that Hinduism is allowable in your religion.»
      “Hinduism” is an amorphous term. If (as per your earlier remark), you mean more specifically a conception of God with more than three Persons, Christianity does not allow such. If you mean my initial argument about pronouns could apply to a conception of God of any number of persons, I would agree. It was not my desire to attack the beliefs of others, but rather to address the idea that certain singular pronouns in the Bible contradict my beliefs.

      I say;
      Pronouns could apply to a conception of God of any number of persons? You believed that? My Good friend Denis.

      If that is what you believe, then you have OPENED a CAN of Gods. How do you know if God did not reveal Himself as Haile Selaissie, Sai Baba, Hindud Elephant Gods, Monkey Gods etc.? Your believe is against what the Bible and God of the Bible CLEARLY, CLEARLY, CLEARLY said He is.

      …..to be continued

      Liked by 1 person

      • Intellect wrote:
        «It is sad for God to lie to Abraham, Moses, Jesus and all the prophets»

      I’m not sure how you reached the conclusion that we (Trinitarians) think God lied to Abraham, Moses, et cetera. Could you elaborate on this charge?

        Intellect wrote:
        «The Muslim guy told the Catholic priest in the video that Abraham will be shocked to hear God tell him(Abraham) on the day of judgement that, He(God) is 3 persons»

      Why would Abraham necessarily be shocked? On what grounds do we reach that conclusion? I would be open to the possibility of Abraham possibly not having full understanding of God’s nature during his time on earth, but from a Christian perspective, there is nothing incoherent about Abraham understanding the Trinity from his death onwards. [On a side note, while I do not think the belief is required, I am not adverse to the belief that Abraham knew of the Trinity even during his life on earth.]

        Intellect wrote:
        «A Son/son can either be adopted, literal or metaphorical.»

      Permit me to segue a bit, here. There are a few places in the Qur’an where it is stated God engaged in an action which might be translated as “mounted the throne” (istawa’ `ala al-`arsh). There is a tradition that when Malik bin Anas was questioned about what that means, he responded as follows:

        الاستواء غير مجهول والكيف غير معقول والإيمان به واجب
        Translation: the istawa’ is not unknown, but the mode is not understood, but faith in it is obligatory.
        [source]

      Also there are places where the Qur’an refers to the yad of God, and various other things. While some Muslims might treat those as metaphors, others will, similar to Malik’s approach to istawa’, say that yes God has a yad, but it could be a yad unlike any kind of yad we ever encountered in creation (such as a human hand, maybe a monkey’s hand), and the precise nature of God’s yad is presently beyond our understanding.

      I share that to raise this question: if it is permissible for Muslims to say “yes, God istawa’ `ala al-`arsh, but how precisely He did that is unknown to humans (and could be different from any mode of throne-mounting seen within creation),” or “God has a yad, but its precise nature is unknown to humans (and could be different from any sort of hand seen in creation), why couldn’t a Christian likewise say Christ is the Son of the Father, but the precise mode or nature of that divine Sonship is presently unknown to humans (and could differ from any kind of sonship witnessed in creation)?

        Intellect wrote:
        «I am happy you consider Hindu God’s as God’s»

      I’m not sure what in my past posts strikes you as pointing to such a conclusion, and would ask that you elaborate on what you mean. What are you referring to?

      In the mean time, if you’d like to know my actual thoughts on Hinduism, from the little I know, I would say it is a broad and diverse spectrum of philosophies, with varying degrees of truth and falsehood therein. So, for example, if one Hindu says there are multiple gods, I would disagree. If another Hindu says there is only one God, I would agree, though I may continue to disagree with some of the subsequent claims that Hindu makes about the one God.

        Intellect wrote:
        «Jesus is a form/image on this earth. God said do not worship any form or image anywhere.
        Proof:
        The Ten Commandments»

      The relevant commandment forbids the formation or use of images in the worship of other gods. But it does not say that if God appears in human form (e.g. like perhaps in Genesis 18), we must stop worshiping God.

        Intellect wrote:
        «Why will God take a form and expect us to worship that form»

      We continue to worship God, not a mere form in isolation. For a soft analogy, the same commandment says not to bow (or prostrate) to images in the course of worshiping other gods. Yet Joshua was allowed to prostrate in the direction of statues while praying to God (read Joshua 7:6-7 together with Exodus 25:18-22) [note: he was not praying to the statues themselves].

        Intellect wrote:
        «1 is not the same as 2 in 1, 3 in 1, 4 in 1 etc.»

      If one person says there is one hand, and another person says the one hand comprises a palm and five fingers, are the two people referring to a different numbers of hands? Would you say “one hand just means one hand; it does not mean some sort of thing with five fingers”?

        Intellect wrote:
        «One Person/person/being is not equal to 2 Persons/persons, 3 Persons/persons etc.»

      I certainly do not claim one person is three persons. As for “being,” you have yet to define how you mean that term (e.g. depending on the definition, one being could comprise multiple persons).

      Like

  4. Who is HE then, the triune God? Never get an answer.

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    • Greetings Burhanuddin

      Regarding your question, let us first note a sort of general, grammatical rule of thumb. In Semitic languages, a singular pronoun can be employed to refer to a single person, or to a single entity which comprises multiple persons. For examples showing such, consider the following (admittedly long) thread:

      Or this post which focuses more specifically on a passage from the book of Joshua:

      Now, with that rule in mind, a person who believes in a multipersonal conception of God could employ a singular pronoun in reference to the God they believe in, or two one of the persons they believe that God encompasses.

      So who “He” refers to can depend on the context. Hope this helps!

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    • Nope. Who is HE the triune God?

      Trinitarians are unable/reluctant to name that fourth “He” in the philosophical speculation they call “trinity”.

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    • Honestly, Burhanuddin, the question has been answered. Believers in a multipersonal conception of God can alternatively employ a singular pronoun in reference to that God or in reference to one of the Persons encompassed by that God. Ergo, the answer is it depends on the context.

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    • Nope. Never answered. The one “I”, the one “He” WHO says there is no God besides HIM, who is that?
      Can’t you tell?

      This not a matter of grammatical wordplay. This is about identity.

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    • As per the example already given above (from Joshua 17:14-15), a multipersonal entity can employ a self-referential first person singular pronoun. So there would be nothing incoherent about the Trinity declaring “I am God and there is no other”. [On a side note, any one Person within the Trinity could employ the same language, as there are no other gods external to the one God, even if there are other Persons “within” the one God who can bear the one God’s Name and titles.]

      The Zohar acknowledges an analogous phenomenon, where it treats verses employing a first person singular pronoun as encompassing both God and the Shekhinah (who is elsewhere referred to as God’s partner in creation), which I touched on in the following thread:

      https://www.facebook.com/denis.giron.77/posts/10154084072898566

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    • “multipersonal entity can employ a self-referential first person singular pronoun”

      I love this argument Trinitarians bring. The same way they claim Elohim is an ACTUAL PLURALITY or Echad (Deut 6:4) is a COMPOUND UNITY. The question is where does
      this plurality, or compound unity or “multipersonal entity” get restricted to three. 2 is plurality, 3 is a plurality, 4 is a plurality, INFINITY is a plurality. All you have shown is that a pantheistic religion like HINDUISM has become a viable option in Christianity!!

      As for the Zohar, I don’t know why Christians bring that up. They also believe in reincarnation, from what I recall Trnitarians dont accept that, correct me if I’m wrong :p

      Liked by 1 person

    • I never met a trinitarian who admitted the “trinity” encompasses 4 distinct Who’s or He’s.

      “So there would be nothing incoherent about the Trinity declaring “I am God and there is no other”.”

      vs

      “The one what is the one Being or essence of God; the three who’s are the Father, Son, and Spirit. We dare not mix up the what’s and who’s regarding the Trinity.” (James White, The Forgotten Trinity, p. 27).”

      Liked by 2 people

    • “[On a side note, any one Person within the Trinity could employ the same language, as there are no other gods external to the one God, even if there are other Persons “within” the one God who can bear the one God’s Name and titles.]”

      Really?

      “I am the LORD, and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God. I will gird you, though you have not known Me; 6That men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun That there is no one besides Me.”

      Isaiah 45:5

      Liked by 1 person

    • Burhanuddin, to be clear, my precise argument is that, in Semitic languages (in particular, Hebrew), a singular pronoun (whether 1st person, 2nd person, or 3rd person) can be employed to refer to either a single person, or a multipersonal entity (i.e. an entity which comprises multiple persons). You quote James White, but I am confident that Dr. White would agree with what I am saying (especially upon examining the examples I appealed to in favor of this).

      By the way, I wish to point out that you seem hung up on the English word “who,” while I have been referring to Hebrew pronouns. Surely we can agree that how Hebrew pronouns work need not be limited simply by you appealing to the English word “who”? And just to be clear, I do not believe the Trinity constitutes a fourth person.

      As for Isaiah 45:5, if you feel that contradicts the statement you quoted from me, could you elaborate on how or why you feel such constitutes a contradiction?

      Like

    • Greetings ArchiveIslam

        ArchiveIslam wrote:
        «I love this argument Trinitarians bring.»

      Interestingly, I’m under the impression my precise argument, above, is a bit nuanced, and not common among too many other Christians. A bit more on this, below.

        ArchiveIslam wrote:
        «The same way they claim Elohim is an ACTUAL PLURALITY or Echad (Deut 6:4) is a COMPOUND UNITY.»

      Those positions relate somewhat to the argument I have put forth in this subthread, though, to be clear, it is not my position that eHad is simply or necessarily a “compound unit” (or that elohim simply, necessarily, or always refers to a multipersonal being). I would take the somewhat more subtle position that such words can refer to such, therefore they are harmonious with a multipersonal conception of God (i.e. they do not contradict a multipersonal conception of God).

        ArchiveIslam wrote:
        «The question is where does this plurality, or compound unity or “multipersonal entity” get restricted to three.»

      Well, personally, I think we can see such in the veritable basmala in the triadic formula in Matthew 28:19, and/or the number of Persons who participate in creation. However, also note that I, personally, am not “Bible only;” rather, I, personally, would say the creeds and teachings of the Catholic Church clarify the matter.

      But, honestly, this is somewhat irrelevant to the precise argument I was putting forth above, which was simply that singular pronouns do not contradict a multipersonal conception of God. If you want to reject the Trinity, and say God comprises five persons, or seven billion persons, et cetera, that really wouldn’t commit violence against the precise argument put forth. Unfortunately, it seems only to distract from the argument, before it is settled (i.e. before agreement is reached on what strikes me as, frankly, an ultimately uncontroversial point).

        ArchiveIslam wrote:
        «All you have shown is that a pantheistic religion like HINDUISM has become a viable option in Christianity!»

      I did not show that, however if you said that a pantheistic religion is not contradicted by singular pronouns in reference to God, I would agree.

        ArchiveIslam wrote:
        «As for the Zohar, I don’t know why Christians bring that up. They also believe in reincarnation, from what I recall Trnitarians dont accept that, correct me if I’m wrong»

      In this case, I brought up the Zohar to show that the concept I was putting forth is not simply a Christian idea; rather, there non-Christians quite familiar with the Hebrew Bible who take the position that use of a singular pronoun does not preclude a reference to a plurality of some sort. But yes, there is much in the Zohar which orthodox Christians would disagree with.

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    • Thanks for your reply Denis.

      Lets come to some agreements:

      (1) There is no explicit mention of a Triune God in the Old Testament. Moses didn’t go around telling the Israelites, “Father, Son and Holy Ghost”.
      (2)Also, if you take the OT and put it in a vacuum, keeping aside Church Doctrine, (your understanding of the ) New Testament, etc. You can never come up with a Trinity.
      (3) Jesus didn’t teach the Trinity explicitly
      (4) Jesus didn’t teach it to his disciples in Secret
      (5) Matthew 28:19 is a fabrication
      (6) Your whole BELIEF in the Trinity is derived from Church Doctrine and has it isn’t taught explicitly in the whole Bible.

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    • “And just to be clear, I do not believe the Trinity constitutes a fourth person.”

      Just to be clear, do you believe the Trinity constitutes a fourth “Who”, “He”?

      Simple yes or no would be helpful.

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      • Burhanuddin asked:
        «do you believe the Trinity constitutes a fourth “Who”, “He”?»

      If by the English word “who” you mean a distinct person, no. The Trinity is emphatically not a fourth person.

      As for “he,” as I have noted numerous times that I believe the one God (and here I mean the Trinity encompassing the three Persons) can be referred to by a Hebrew pronoun, such as ani, atah, hu. The English “he” pretty much falls under the scope of Hebrew hu.

      Now, permit me to ask you a question: do you agree that, in Semitic languages, singular pronouns can be employed to refer to entities which comprise multiple persons?

      Like

    • Denis , you haven’t addressed my point, who is restricting that pronoun to three?
      All you have shown is that Hinduism is allowable in your religion.

      Like

    • Waste of time. bye.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Greetings again, ArchiveIslam

        ArchiveIslam wrote:
        «you haven’t addressed my point, who is restricting that pronoun to three?»

      I did attempt to address this. Permit me to share a relevant excerpt from my previous reply to you, after which I will attempt to offer some elaboration:

        [—Begin Excerpt—]
        personally, I think we can see such in the veritable basmala in the triadic formula in Matthew 28:19, and/or the number of Persons who participate in creation. However, also note that I, personally, am not “Bible only;” rather, I, personally, would say the creeds and teachings of the Catholic Church clarify the matter.
        [—End Excerpt—]

      To elaborate, I don’t believe there is any person who puts a restriction on how many persons are within God; rather I believe it is simply a fact about God that God has eternally comprised three Persons.

      As for why I believe the number of Persons is three, I do feel Scripture alludes to such. Note the following points:

      (1) The Father participates in creation (1 Corinthians 8:6).

      (2) The Son participates in creation (John 1:3, Colossians 1:16, Hebrews 1:10, 1 Corinthians 8:6).

      (3) The Holy Spirit participates in creation (Job 33:4, Psalms 104:30).

      (4) God acts alone in creation (Isaiah 44:24).

      (5) We have a sort of basmala which is not simply “in the name of God,” but rather more specifically a triadic formula in the name of precisely the three Persons who participate in creation.

      So we have three Persons who participate in creation, yet God acts alone in creation. The easiest reconciliation of those points is a tripersonal conception of God. I would also add that this also provides the scope for interpreting Genesis 1:26-27, where God says “let us create,” as if a plurality will participate, yet then proceeds to create in the singular, as if alone.

      I read those texts collectively as implying a doctrine like that of the Trinity. Beyond that, I allow the church to guide my understanding of Scripture.

      ***

        ArchiveIslam wrote:
        «All you have shown is that Hinduism is allowable in your religion.»

      “Hinduism” is an amorphous term. If (as per your earlier remark), you mean more specifically a conception of God with more than three Persons, Christianity does not allow such. If you mean my initial argument about pronouns could apply to a conception of God of any number of persons, I would agree. It was not my desire to attack the beliefs of others, but rather to address the idea that certain singular pronouns in the Bible contradict my beliefs.

        ArchiveIslam wrote:
        «There is no explicit mention of a Triune God in the Old Testament.»

      Agreed. Though my faith is not Old Testament only.

        ArchiveIslam wrote:
        «if you take the OT and put it in a vacuum, keeping aside Church Doctrine, (your understanding of the ) New Testament, etc. You can never come up with a Trinity.»

      I’d say the Old Testament leaves the question of whether God is unipersonal or multipersonal (and if multipersonal, how many persons) open.

        ArchiveIslam wrote:
        «Jesus didn’t teach the Trinity explicitly»

      I’d say He’s not recorded as having done so.

        ArchiveIslam wrote:
        «Jesus didn’t teach it to his disciples in Secret»

      How do we know what Jesus did not teach in secret? What’s your methodology for determining such?

        ArchiveIslam wrote:
        «Matthew 28:19 is a fabrication»

      I do not see compelling reasons to conclude such.

        ArchiveIslam wrote:
        «Your whole BELIEF in the Trinity is derived from Church Doctrine and has it isn’t taught explicitly in the whole Bible.»

      As already touched on above, I see the Bible as collectively implying something like the doctrine of the Trinity, and the Church merely clarifies. I have no problem with that, as my faith is not Bible only.

      Like

    • I’m enjoying the dialogue Denis, you mentioned the following:

      (1) “As for why I believe the number of Persons is three, I do feel Scripture alludes to such. Note the following points:”

      So you perfectly OK with connect-the-dot theology, then fine.. But Deut 6:4 and Mark 12:28-29 are clear in the doctrine of pure unadulterated monotheism. I doubt you could ever claim there is a compound unity for the Greek word Heis(one) in Mark, but i digress.

      One more pt , keeping aside all the argumentation, Why would God have to be SO vague about his nature? Why not teach it clearly?

      Next, you said:

      (2) “I’d say He’s not recorded as having done so.” AND ” How do we know what Jesus did not teach in secret? What’s your methodology for determining such?”

      John 18:20 refutes both statements:
      Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world. I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret.

      Next, you said:

      (3) “I do not see compelling reasons to conclude such.” regarding Matthew 28:19

      I have written a short article on this (keeping aside MANY scholars on the issue including the Revised English Version), I have reproduced some it below:
      (https://islamicarchives.wordpress.com/2017/12/29/did-the-disciples-disobey-jesus-christ-matthew-28-19-vs-acts/)

      There is not a SINGLE occurrence of baptism actually being performed in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost despite the so-called order being given in in Matthew 28:19.If one believes that Matthew 28:19 is ORIGINAL to the text (and not a fabrication), they would have no choice but to believe that the disciples (the paragons of Christian leadership and sainthood) were disobeying the last words and orders from Jesus Christ.

      (4) “and the Church merely clarifies”

      Who is your Master, Jesus or someone else?

      Liked by 1 person

    • ArchiveIslam,
      (2) “I’d say He’s not recorded as having done so.” AND ” How do we know what Jesus did not teach in secret? What’s your methodology for determining such?”

      John 18:20 refutes both statements:
      Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world. I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret.

      Well played.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Denis Giron

      You said;
      ArchiveIslam wrote:
      «All you have shown is that Hinduism is allowable in your religion.»
      “Hinduism” is an amorphous term. If (as per your earlier remark), you mean more specifically a conception of God with more than three Persons, Christianity does not allow such. If you mean my initial argument about pronouns could apply to a conception of God of any number of persons, I would agree. It was not my desire to attack the beliefs of others, but rather to address the idea that certain singular pronouns in the Bible contradict my beliefs.

      I say;
      Pronouns could apply to a conception of God of any number of persons? You believed that? My Good friend Denis.

      If that is what you believe, then you have OPENED a CAN of Gods. How do you know if God did not reveal Himself as Haile Selaissie, Sai Baba, Hindud Elephant Gods, Monkey Gods etc.? Your believe is against what the Bible and God of the Bible CLEARLY, CLEARLY, CLEARLY said He is.

      …..to be continued

      Like

    • Proof:

      “there is no one like Yahweh our God.” Exodus 8:10
      “Yahweh, He is God; there is no other besides Him.” Deuteronomy 4:35
      “Yahweh, He is God in heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other.” Deuteronomy 4:39
      “See now that I, I am He, And there is no god besides Me” Deuteronomy 32:39
      “Hear, O Israel! Yahweh is our God, Yahweh is one [echad]!” Deuteronomy 6:4
      “You are great, O Lord God; for there is none like You, and there is no God besides You” 2 Samuel 7:22
      “For who is God, besides Yahweh? And who is a rock, besides our God?” 2 Samuel 22:32
      “Yahweh is God; there is no one else.” 1 Kings 8:60
      “You are the God, You alone [bad], of all the kingdoms of the earth.” 2 Kings 19:15
      “O Lord, there is none like You, nor is there any God besides You” 1 Chronicles 17:20
      “You alone [bad] are Yahweh.” Nehemiah 9:6

      Believing in Multi persons God is polytheism according to CLEARLY stated Biblical verses. If God can be 3, He can be 4,5 etc. But He is said He is 1 and no one else from the Bible.
      It was not your desire to attack the beliefs of others? The Bible attacked the believe of others, who believed in multi persons/Being God.

      Every person is a being ans so worshiping 3 or more beings is polytheism.
      Thanks.

      Like

    • Denis Giron

      As already touched on above, I see the Bible as collectively implying something like the doctrine of the Trinity, and the Church merely clarifies. I have no problem with that, as my faith is not Bible only.

      I say;
      Do not depend your salvation and life on the Church. They are human beings. Depend your salvation and life on what God CLEARLY said and that is He is one, only and alone. No one else. A person/being is someone else, so adding another person/being to the one Divine person/being is against what God said in the Bible, especially by human beings.

      Thanks.

      Like

    • “John 18:20 refutes both statements:
      Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world. I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret.”

      Archiveislam,

      Classic Muslim cherry picking. LOL

      “No no no Jesus refutes you look what he said here in John’s gospel…”

      The same John’s gospel that teaches the deity of Christ throughout?

      “Uhh John’s gospel has been corrupted and therefore cannot be trusted and must be dismissed!”

      Like

    • SAMARITAN, I’m not saying the Bible is not the word of God, I am saying Biblical Scholarship and Textual Criticism is telling you that the Bible is not the word of God.

      Now in our particular discussion with Denis, I am arguing that the trinity is not taught on the lips of Jesus (he’s already agreed that it isn’t taught in the OT).

      Now you may bring up so-called verses of divinity, and we could argue that till the “cows come home”. But I think it would be more fruitful to agree that there is no triune doctrine taught in the OT or on the lips of Jesus. And that is my goal in the discussion I am having now with Denis. So before we get into the so-called divinity of Christ, agree with me that Jesus didn’t teach the Trinity!

      Like

    • Greetings again, ArchiveIslam

        ArchiveIslam wrote:
        «I’m enjoying the dialogue Denis»

      Likewise.

        ArchiveIslam wrote:
        «So you perfectly OK with connect-the-dot theology»

      I think it naturally follows that if one believes in all of a religious text, they are going to believe the various statements within that text, collectively. Ergo, there has to be a way that a collection of claims fit together. How would you propose a Christian understand the three Persons of Matthew 28:19 all participating in creation, yet God acting alone in creation? And does that bear any similarity to Genesis 1:26-27 where God says “let us create,” as if a plurality is present, and then proceeds to create in the singular, as if alone?

        ArchiveIslam wrote:
        «Deut 6:4 and Mark 12:28-29 are clear in the doctrine of pure unadulterated monotheism.»

      They are certainly clear about monotheism – the belief in one God. What they do not explicitly affirm, however, is a unipersonal monotheism, and that’s a key detail. Indeed, Christians believe there is only one God, and those texts support that notion.

        ArchiveIslam wrote:
        «I doubt you could ever claim there is a compound unity for the Greek word Heis(one)»

      What immediately comes to mind for me is Genesis 2:24 in the Septuagint, which reads οι δυο εις σαρκα μιαν, “the two [become] one flesh”. Now, admittedly, that reads μιαν rather than exactly εις*, but that is because sarka is feminine, so the the word for one is rendered in the feminine (i.e. μιαν is the feminine accusative of εις).

      [*Technical note: when I say eis does not appear in the phrase, I’m referring to the number modifying sarka, not the preposition preceding it.]

      However, if you are insisting on only the word in the masculine nominative or masculine vocative, excluding any other case or gender, then also consider the following, which is from a Greek translation of the Masoretic text of Genesis (i.e. it is not from the Septuagint):


      [Source]

      The highlighted text refers to two groups becoming one people (εις λαος). So too, the same phrase comes up in St. Basil’s letter to Amphilochius:


      [Source: Roy J. Deferrari, Basil: Letters 59-185 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1928), pp. 412-413.]

      Notice I highlighted εις λαος (one people), and also underlined μια εκκλησια (one church). Because λαος is masculine, the number is εις, while εκκλησια is feminine, so the number is μια.

      The salient point is that the word εις can be employed in reference to a single entity which comprises multiple persons. Ergo, use of the word does not preclude an entity so described from comprising multiple persons.

        ArchiveIslam wrote:
        «Why would God have to be SO vague about his nature? Why not teach it clearly?»

      God knows best when it is the right time to teach something, and how to teach it. I know atheists who ask why would God transmit Scripture through men? Why didn’t God write revelation across the sky, instead, to make the supernatural origin harder to deny? The answer there, too, is the same: God is sovereign, and God knows best what is appropriate for what time. Of course humans can think of a variety of situations which they believe would have been better, but those humans do not know all God’s reasons for a given arrangement. But, for me, the fact that non-Christians feel they can imagine superior scenarios does not change what Scripture collectively teaches.

        ArchiveIslam quoted:
        «John 18:20 refutes both statements:
        Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world. I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret.»

      This can be understood within a specific context, namely the context of whatever specific teachings he had been questioned on. Take, for an analogy, 1 Samuel 20:39. Referring to a young person who accompanied Jonathan. The text literally states that the youth did not know a thing (he knew nothing), but it actually means that within a specific context (he was ignorant of a matter which Jonathan and David had in mind).

      Likewise, with Christ, John 18:19 states that the Arch-Priest questioned Christ about His teaching, but it does not share what the precise questions were. Christ saying He said nothing in secret would not mean literally that He never spoke in secret, but rather could mean regarding the precise subjects of discussion, He had, to that point, not transmitted secret doctrines on those subjects. Mark 4:11-12 certainly has Christ teaching certain secrets to close disciples while cloaking them in parables for those outside that circle. [On a side note, it is also worth pointing out that the faith does not stop there; rather Christ expanded the disciples’ understanding afterwards, and this too was the point of sending the Holy Spirit in a new role.]

      Thank you for the link. I see no logical contradiction between…

      (a) Jesus commanding the triadic formula, and
      (b) certain apostles baptizing in the Name of Jesus in certain settings.

      Reconcilations of such (i.e. possible scenarios in which both could be true simultaneously) would only raise the question of why the alternative exists.

      Interestingly, Acts 8:16 seems to provide a possible answer. It states that the Holy Spirit had not yet descended/fallen upon them, and insinuates that for that reason they were only baptized in the Name of Jesus. The very use of the word “only” (μονον) gives the impression that an alternative formula existed (and from Matthew 28:19, we know of an alternative). So too with Acts 19, Paul first asks them if they had received the Holy Spirit in verse 2, they reply in the negative, and then in verse 5 he baptizes them in the Name of Jesus. The fact that this sort of baptism came after it was clarified that they had not yet received the Holy Spirit seems to line up with Acts 8:16.

      There we have one possible reconciliation: at a very early stage of the development of the Church, certain disciples were baptizing men into the name of Jesus if they felt those men had not yet received the Holy Spirit (and thus felt such did not warrant the triadic formula). And that’s not the only reconciliation possible.

      Ergo, the verses in Acts which your article appeals to do not strike me as necessitating that Matthew 28:19 is a forgery.

        ArchiveIslam wrote:
        «Who is your Master, Jesus or someone else?»

      Christ is our Lord, but Christ established a Church (Matthew 16:18), the episcopacy of which He invested with considerable authority (Matthew 16:19, Matthew 18:17-18), hence why we see the episcopacy clarifying and deciding upon matters (Acts 15) and putting forth dogmas (Acts 16:4).

      Like

    • DENIS, ty you for your reply. I think before we get into any long-drawn out tangents(I blame myself first), we should remind ourselves and the readers what we are arguing. So far we have agreed that there is no explicit mention of a triune doctrine in the OT(“Agreed. Though my faith is not Old Testament only.”). We have also agreed that Jesus didn’t teach the Trinity explicitly in an open manner, («Jesus didn’t teach the Trinity explicitly»: I’d say He’s not recorded as having done so.)

      Now two points are being contested, (A) whether Jesus taught the Trinity in secret (b) Matthew 28:19 being a fabrication.

      (1) John 18:20, you have given your interpretation,Let me address two points on that:

      (1a)Well I could give you MY interpretation, but I’m not going to. Instead, I am going to give you what Biblical scholarship has to say on the issue:

      Adam Clarke Commentary
      “. I have taught in the temple, in the synagogues, in all the principal cities, towns, and villages, and through all the country. I have had no secret school. You and your emissaries have watched me every where.”

      Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Whole Bible
      In secret … – He had taught no private or concealed doctrine. He had taught nothing to his disciples which he had not himself taught in public and commanded them to do, Matthew 10:27; Luke 12:3.

      Wesley’s Explanatory Notes
      “In secret have I said nothing – No point of doctrine which I have not taught in public.”

      Calvin’s Commentary on the Bible
      “at he spoke nothing in secret, this refers to the substance of the doctrine, which was always the same, though the form of teaching it was various; for he did not speak differently among the disciples, so as to instruct them in something different; nor did he act cunningly, as if he purposely intended to conceal from the people what he spoke to a small number of persons in the house. He could, therefore, testify with a good conscience that he had openly declared and honestly proclaimed the substance of his doctrine.”

      Matthew Poole’s English Annotations on the Holy Bible
      And in secret have I said nothing; I have said nothing in secret contrary to the doctrine which I have publicly taught; though I have preached in other places, yet it hath been the same thing which I have said in public.

      Whedon’s Commentary on the Bible
      In secret… nothing—He has no conspiracy, no secret society. On the contrary, whatever confidential utterances he has made among his friends, his actual doctrines he would have all the world hear and receive.

      (1b) Now, let’s disregard these commentaries and say that this doctrine was not openly taught but in secret. if your OK with a fundamental doctrine not being taught by Jesus openly, a doctrine IMPORTANT to salvation, a doctrine which will determine whether you go to heaven or hell.I don’t know what to say, I think we have come to an impasse. But Point 1A, should refute any idea that Jesus taught ANY sort of doctrine that wasn’t in the open.

      (2) As for Matthew 28:19 I think we are in agreement that this is not an explicit verse of the trinity. but just for fun, lets argue its authenticity. This time, I’m not going to bring up scholars on the issue, lets observe this from a logical and rational perspective.

      Jesus told his disciples to baptize in a specific way in Matt 28:19, he didn’t say “you can baptize sometimes in Jesus to save time”. It was a CLEAR order, and the disciples didn’t do it. Either Matt 28:19 is a fabrication or the disciples disobeyed Christ, which one is it? Moreover, there is not ONE occurrence of baptism being performed in the Trinity, I just add that as a side note.

      But this is all inconsequential as I understand you don’t take this verse to be an explicit teaching of the trinity.

      Anyone else who is interested in Matt 28:19 you can read some stuff I have compiled on it:

      https://islamicarchives.wordpress.com/2017/05/16/revised-english-version-on-matthew-2819/
      https://islamicarchives.wordpress.com/2017/03/10/the-fabrication-of-matthew-2819/
      https://islamicarchives.wordpress.com/2017/12/29/did-the-disciples-disobey-jesus-christ-matthew-28-19-vs-acts/

      —————————–

      Now, what agreement I hope we can come to is that Jesus didn’t teach the Trinity explicitly, either in open or in secret? And your whole belief is based off of CHURCH DOCTRINE. And if you agree to that, my job is done 🙂

      *****If I haven’t addressed something you would like, please let me know. It was not my intention to skip anything, I either didn’t deem it noteworthy (these replies are getting long, lol) or just simply have forgotten

      Like

    • Greetings ArchiveIslam

      ArchiveIslam wrote:
      «John 18:20, you have given your interpretation, Let me address two points on that:
      (1a)Well I could give you MY interpretation, but I’m not going to. Instead, I am going to give you what Biblical scholarship has to say on the issue»

      And you proceed to post the opinions of others, but notice none of those portions are actually addressing the point I made (which is not a knock against them, as they were written before my post and not aware of my post). Lots of people say lots of things, and lots of people with fame or prestigious positions have said lots of things. But what is important are arguments. Someone saying something contrary to what I proposed does not refute what I proposed.

      ArchiveIslam referenced:
      «Adam Clarke Commentary»

      Have you seen Clarke’s commentary on Matthew 16:20? There he paraphrases Jesus’ command to Peter thusly:

      Jesus here says, Tell no man that I am the Christ, i.e. the Messiah; as the time for his full manifestation was not yet come; and he was not willing to provoke the Jewish malice, or the Roman envy, by permitting his disciples to announce him as the Savior of a lost world.

      In other words, even on Clarke’s view, when Peter said Jesus was the Messiah, Jesus confirmed that belief, but told him to keep it secret (for a time). Clearly, Jesus was embargoing information for limited amounts of time.

      Clarke’s commentary on Matthew 17:9 might also be worth considering (underline emphasis added by me):

      this transfiguration was intended to show forth the final abolition of the whole ceremonial law, it was necessary that a matter which could not fail to irritate the Jewish rulers and people should be kept secret, till Jesus had accomplished vision and prophecy by his death and resurrection.

      I could get into Barnes’ commentary on Mark 4:10 (where Christ meets with the disciples in private) and his commentary Matthew 13:11 (which could double as a commentary on Mark 4:11-12), showing that Christ sought to tell certain followers in private that the point of parables is that mysteries will be revealed to that inner circle which, for a time, will remain concealed from others. Even the teaching about the point of parables itself seems to clearly be a secret teaching.

      ArchiveIslam referenced:
      «Matthew Poole’s English Annotations on the Holy Bible
      And in secret have I said nothing; I have said nothing in secret contrary to the doctrine which I have publicly taught»

      Notice that line about nothing contrary to what was taught in public, as it provides still another interpretation of John 18:20, other than the one you are insisting on. There is a difference between saying Christ taught nothing in secret, on the one hand, and saying, more specifically, that He taught nothing in secret which was contrary to what He taught in public.

      ArchiveIslam wrote:
      «let’s disregard these commentaries»

      Indeed, especially since none of them were actually addressing the somewhat nuanced points I was proposing (e.g. that it could mean He taught nothing in secret regarding the specific doctrines that He was questioned on, and, moreover, that more could be taught after that point).

      ArchiveIslam wrote:
      «say that this doctrine was not openly taught but in secret. if your OK with a fundamental doctrine not being taught by Jesus openly, a doctrine IMPORTANT to salvation, a doctrine which will determine whether you go to heaven or hell.I don’t know what to say»

      There’s a number of ways to address this. First, the Trinity is now clearly taught openly by the Church. For people who died without receiving that teaching, perhaps we could say God can judge them based on the limited amount of information available to them. But secondly, even if God did send people to Hell for not affirming a doctrine which never reached their ears, let’s be honest: God can do whatever God pleases with creation, and no human being will ever be in a position to judge God (this is a point alluded to in Romans 9).

      ArchiveIslam wrote:
      «Point 1A, should refute any idea that Jesus taught ANY sort of doctrine that wasn’t in the open.»

      Citing people who were not addressing my precise argument does not suffice as a refutation of my argument.

      ArchiveIslam wrote:
      «Matthew 28:19 I think we are in agreement that this is not an explicit verse of the trinity.»

      In a vacuum, no, but, as I wrote previously, when it is read together with the Bible stating that those same three Persons took part in creation, yet God acted alone in creation (and seeing how such seems to fit with the aforementioned transition from plural to singular in Genesis 1:26-27), then the texts collectively do seem to lean strongly towards a tripersonal conception of God.

      ArchiveIslam wrote:
      «Jesus told his disciples to baptize in a specific way in Matt 28:19, he didn’t say “you can baptize sometimes in Jesus to save time”.»

      I wish to ask, is the line “you can baptize sometimes in Jesus to save time” meant to be representative of my position? I ask because it seems to me to be a strawman. I specifically appealed to Acts 8:16 and Acts 19:2-5. Note that the passage in Acts 8:16 could be understood as meaning they were baptized only in the name of Jesus because the Holy Spirit had not descended upon them yet. Think about that, only in the name of Jesus as opposed to what? The verse seems to tacitly allude to an alternative form of baptism which was more than just the name of Jesus (and that seems to fit perfectly with Matthew 28:19, which does provide a longer formula).

      Now compare Acts 8:16 to Acts 19:2-5. In verse 2, before baptizing the men, Paul first asks them if they received the Holy Spirit. In verse 3 they reply in the negative. In verse 5, he baptizes them in the name of Jesus. Acts 19:2-5 seems to fit perftecly with the understanding of Acts 8:16 I proposed: that certain people were baptized only in the name of Jesus if they were understood to have not received the Holy Spirit.

      Now we can say this approach was problematic (and since then the Church has baptized even babies in the triadic formula), but the point remains: certain men baptizing in the name of Christ only does not contradict the belief that Jesus taught to baptize with the triadic formula. One easy reconciliation is that such men were reluctant to employ the triadic formula on folks whom they believed had not received the Holy Spirit. Now, you can criticize the wisdom of such a reluctance, but the salient point would remain: men using a shorter formula does not preclude Jesus from having commanded the triadic formula before that.

      ArchiveIslam wrote:
      «I hope we can come to is that Jesus didn’t teach the Trinity explicitly, either in open or in secret?»

      I would say that remains unclear. It is best to say that He is not recorded as teaching the doctrine explicitly, but what He said is not limited to what is recorded in the Bible. Moreover, the Christian faith is not only based on the words attributed to Jesus in the Bible. For example, Jesus is never quoted as affirming the Virgin Birth in the Bible, but Christians nonetheless believe He was born of a virgin (I imagine you would be reluctant to encourage Christians to reject the Virgin Birth). [However, on a side note, I do have a thought experiment on what we might infer from the quotes attributed to Jesus in the Bible.]

      ArchiveIslam wrote:
      «your whole belief is based off of CHURCH DOCTRINE»

      My beliefs are based on the Bible and on Church teaching.

      ArchiveIslam wrote:
      «If I haven’t addressed something you would like, please let me know.»

      Well, permit me to share a general feeling about correspondences in this forum (not specifically with you, but a general feeling based on past experiences). I have found that someone will present an argument, I will respond to it, and the correspondence will move to other subjects, without settling on what was previously discussed, and then the same sort of argument I responded to will resurface in another thread. So I do like to try to tie-up loose ends and unsettled points of disagreement.

      With that in mind, note that your very first response to me in this thread quoted a portion of my comments on the subject of singular pronouns in Semitic languages. Being that that was what I was discussing when you first began to respond to me, permit me to ask: do you agree or disagree with my position that, in Semitic languages, a singular pronoun can be employed to refer to an impersonal entity, a unipersonal entity, or a multipersonal entity?

      Also, note that you had expressed doubt about whether the Greek word εις can be used in reference to an entity which comprises multiple persons, and I took the time to provide Greek texts relevant to the question. Could you share your thoughts on what I presented? Mainly, do you now agree that the word εις can be employed in reference to an entity which comprises multiple persons? [Note: I am not claiming εις necessitates an entity so described be multipersonal; rather I am stating that the word by itself does not tell us whether the entity is impersonal, unipersonal or multipersonal.]

      Like

    • DENIS GIRON, thanks for your reply, enjoying the conversation…

      You mentioned the following:

      “Lots of people say lots of things, and lots of people with fame or prestigious positions have said lots of things. But what is important are arguments. ” VS “….the Trinity is now clearly taught openly by the Church.”

      —– With all due respect, there is an overlying hypocrisy in what you believe. Both people from the Church and the Christians I have quoted are MEN and are NOT PROPHETS. So as you have said, lets stick to the arguments. If that doesn’t sway you, know that your OWN CHURCH FATHERS declare that scripture should be what you rely on, and what you base your faith on, and where you should derive your arguments from:

      Athanasius (300?-375), “The Holy Scriptures, given by inspiration of God, are of themselves sufficient toward the discovery of truth

      Origen (185?-252), “No man ought, for the confirmation of doctrines, to use books which are not canonized Scriptures”

      Ambrose (340?-396), “How can we use those things which we do not find in the Holy Scriptures?”

      ——-So tell me Scripture or Church?

      “I wish to ask, is the line “you can baptize sometimes in Jesus to save time” meant to be representative of my position? I ask because it seems to me to be a strawman”

      ————-No, just being a little jovial. No intention of strawmanning or offending.

      ———— However, I don’t understand why as a Catholic you would think Matthew 28:19 is original to text, after all in the Catholic Catechism you find the following

      “Into Christ. The Bible tells us that Christians were baptized into Christ (no. 6). They belong to Christ. The Acts of the Apostles (2:38; 8:16; 10:48; 19:5) tells us of baptizing “in the name (person) of Jesus.” — a better translation would be “into the name (person) of Jesus.” Only in the 4th Century did the formula “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” become customary.” — (Bible Catechism, Rev. John C Kersten, S.V.D., Catholic Book Publishing Co., N.Y., N.Y.; l973, p. 164)
      n fact the catholic church has admited to adding MAtthew 28:19 to the text

      ———-AFTER 300 years did baptism start to be done in the trinity. Don’t you find that suspicious?

      ——–Another overlying problem with your views, is this constant need for RECONCILING verses. I think you should accept a contradiction when it does exist

      “So I do like to try to tie-up loose ends and unsettled points of disagreement.”

      ————Sure no problem. I agree you are facing arguments from multiple fronts. Perhaps we could go to other posts (on this blog) which are relevant to topics that we are discussing.

      ——-I would reply to your Facebook post, but I don’t want to make a fake account, lol. I tend to separate my comparative religion discussions from my personal life.

      ——-Not to advertise my blog, but your welcome to come there and pick a post that you think needs addressing : https://islamicarchives.wordpress.com

      “do you agree or disagree with my position that, in Semitic languages, a singular pronoun can be employed to refer to an impersonal entity, a unipersonal entity, or a multipersonal entity?”

      ————–I don’t know enough Hebrew or Greek to go into a grammatical agreement or disagreement with you. I can just mention from a logical and rational perspective, that IF WE ARE TO AGREE that there is an actual plurality/compound unity/multi-personal pronouns, etc., in the Bible ; then you have opened up the door to a pantheistic religion like Hinduism both in the OT and the NT..

      —————-Moreover, for Heis in particular, one could make the argument that the godhead is composed of fifteen people (3 + 12 disciples) in John 17:21.

      21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

      ——-So in the NT, the same way a trinity can be IMPLIED but not EXPLICITLY stated, can the same be said of a 15inity?

      Like

    • Greetings Intellect

        Intellect wrote:
        «Pronouns could apply to a conception of God of any number of persons?»

      I would put it this way: in Semitic languages, singular pronouns can be employed in reference to impersonal entities, unipersonal entities, and multipersonal entities. So the singular pronoun itself does not tell us about the entity being referred to. As for singular pronouns in reference to multipersonal entities, indeed, no number limit is placed on the persons therein (e.g. it could be two, three, five, a million, et cetera).

      I think this is a rather uncontroversial point about Semitic languages, but it seems some others seem unwilling to just agree to it directly. So let me ask you: do you agree that, in Semitic languages, a singular pronoun 9or pronomial suffix) can be employed to refer to an impersonal entity, a unipersonal entity or a multipersonal entity?

        Intellect wrote:
        «you have OPENED a CAN of Gods. How do you know if God did not reveal Himself as Haile Selaissie, Sai Baba, Hindud Elephant Gods, Monkey Gods etc.?»

      Wait, just to be clear, are you insinuating that before you agree with a fairly straight forward point about how pronouns work in Semitic languages, I first have to go out and have a fight with Rastafarians and various kinds of Hindus? Let me be clear: the very simple grammatical point does not hinge on my being a Christian. I could become an atheist tomorrow, and the point would still stand. If I were never born, this fact about pronouns in Semitic languages would still be the case.

      As for Rastafarianism, I don’t know much about it. I find Hinduism interesting (e.g. I have benefitted directly from the charity of Gaudiya Vaishnavists, and have a soft spot for them), but I also don’t know a great deal about that either. But I do not think the points I raise in defense of my own faith require me to pick fights with every other faith. A person claims a pronoun in the Old Testament precludes a multipersonal conception of God, and I explain why it does not. If your argument is that the pronoun in question neither disqualifies Christianity nor Hinduism, I honestly don’t see why I should be bothered by that. My faith does not hinge on me fighting with everyone out there. My goal is only to respond to certain critiques of Christianity (if some bad arguments against Christianity also can be retooled as bad arguments against Hinduism, ok — a bad argument it a bad argument).

        Intellect wrote:
        «Believing in Multi persons God is polytheism»

      Not at all. Polytheism is a belief in multiple gods. Belief in one God which comprises multiple Persons is monotheism.

        Intellect wrote:
        «He is said He is 1»

      Yes, God is one. There is only one God. And that one God comprises three Persons. No verse in the Bible contradicts this fact. The verses you cited are against the existence of other gods, which I affirm: there are no other actual gods which exist, aside from the one God.

      On a side note, I saw you zeroed in on the term l’bad, for example in Nehemiah 9:6. The relevant construction does not entail a unipersonal ontology (i.e. a multipersonal entity can stand alone in a context as well). For example, the same construction is employed in Judges 20:17, when describing the Israelites separate from the tribe of Benjamin (which the rest of Israel was about to go to war with). For another example, Shlomo Ephraim Luntschitz’ commentary on the Torah, K’li Yaqar, includes a statement in his comment on Exodus 18:1 that ha-y’tsi’ah mi-Mitsrayim haytah li-Yisrael l’bad (היציאה ממצרים היתה לישראל לבד), “the exodus from Egypt was to Israel alone“.

      So let’s be clear: saying an entity is unique is not the same as saying that entity is unipersonal. Saying an entity is one is not the same as saying that entity is unipersonal. Saying an entity is alone is not the same as saying that entity is unipersonal. With these points before us, I ask you to pick a specific verse from the Bible which you feel necessitates a unipersonal conception of God. Not a shotgun approach where you just throw nearly a dozen verses out there without comment. Pick one that you consider particularly good, and let’s analyze that.

        Intellect wrote:
        «Every person is a being ans so worshiping 3 or more beings is polytheism.»

      As different people seem to have different definitions of the word “being,” I would ask how you define it.

      In the mean time, I would note that polytheism is the belief in multiple gods. The Persons within the one God are not distinct gods from one another. For a soft analogy, if a man kisses his wife on her left cheek, and then kisses her on her right cheek, he has not kissed two different women.

        Intellect wrote:
        «Do not depend your salvation and life on the Church. They are human beings. Depend your salvation and life on what God CLEARLY said»

      But according to whose interpretation? Are you proposing I reject the Church’s interpretation, and instead accept your interpretation?

      Like

    • Denis Giron

      You said;
      Intellect wrote:
      «Believing in Multi persons God is polytheism»
      Not at all. Polytheism is a belief in multiple gods. Belief in one God which comprises multiple Persons is monotheism.

      Intellect wrote:
      «He is said He is 1»
      Yes, God is one. There is only one God. And that one God comprises three Persons. No verse in the Bible contradicts this fact. The verses you cited are against the existence of other gods, which I affirm: there are no other actual gods which exist, aside from the one God.

      I say;
      You believed God which comprises multiple Persons is monotheism. We know God CLEARLY said He is 1. Where did He(God) say “my limit is 3 Persons”? or “I am 3 Persons”? Jesus said CLEARLY “God is 1”, “My God and your God”, “God is greater than I”, “The only true God”-is not Jesus.

      Denis you do not believe what Jesus CLEARLY said about salvation, but you depend your believe in the Church whose doctrine was not proclaimed privately or publicly by Jesus. That is not good.

      Multi-personal God can be more, and a person is a being. That is why Jesus is God, Holy Spirit is God and God the Father is God. So, 3 Gods, whether you object to that, it is the counting.

      Tell me. What Person do you consider not a being. I am waiting. You CANNOT, WILL NOT AND DARE NOT ANSWER THIS QUESTION.

      Is Jesus as Person not a being? If Jesus who walked in Palestine as Person/person is not a being, then your religion is correct but if Jesus is a being, then you worship him( a being) and 2 other beings. That is polytheism.

      Trinitarians objections is like when a child at school counts 3 toys at school and give his answer as 3, then they will say no, it is not 3 but 1 because the toys comprises 1 toy. My friend, it does not work that way.

      Thanks.

      Like

    • Denis Giron

      You said;
      ntellect wrote:
      «Do not depend your salvation and life on the Church. They are human beings. Depend your salvation and life on what God CLEARLY said»
      But according to whose interpretation? Are you proposing I reject the Church’s interpretation, and instead accept your interpretation?

      I say;
      Not at all. I am proposing, you accept God’s own CLEAR words on salvation which states that, God is 1 and none else rather than God is 3 Persons/persons which is not in the Bible but decided salvation by the Church and councils upon councils.

      Salvation is clear in the Bible and not decided by Church or councils. Before the Church and the councils were formed, salvation is written clearly in the Bible and those who have the scriptures before this councils accept 1 as 1 but not 3 Persons/persons.

      You mean Moses, Abraham and Jesus himself will go to hell because they were not alive to accept your councils or Church 3 Persons/persons one God.

      You said;
      Intellect wrote:
      «Every person is a being ans so worshiping 3 or more beings is polytheism.»
      As different people seem to have different definitions of the word “being,” I would ask how you define it.

      In the mean time, I would note that polytheism is the belief in multiple gods. The Persons within the one God are not distinct gods from one another

      I say;
      If so, why are Christians worshiping Jesus as God? When Thomas bowed to Jesus and Christians say he worshiped him(Jesus), the Son only because the Son/son is not the Father. So, it is not true, to say the 3 Persons/persons of the Trinity are each a distinct God.

      My definition of a being is that, every Person/person is a being. Jesus is a being, The Father(God) is a being. You have to tell me that Jesus is not a being and the Father is not a being, then case close and your religion becomes the truth. If Jesus is a being and the Father is a being, then you worship 2 or more beings and that is polytheism.

      Thanks.

      Like

    • Greetings Intellect.

      Recall that after you said every person is a being, I asked you to explain how you define being. The following was your reply:

        Intellect wrote”:
        «My definition of a being is that, every Person/person is a being.»

      But we have merely moved in a circle. Suppose I said every person is a XYZ, and you asked me what “XYZ” means.” If I replied “my definition of XYZ is every person is a XYZ,” we will merely have moved in a circle.

      It’s important because how we are using the word relates to how controversial a given position may be. For example, as I have noted elsewhere, some might define being as a thing which exists (i.e. here the word “being” is treated almost like an active participle of the verb to be). [Under such a definition, a man would be a being, and his skeleton would be a being, and each bone in his skeleton would be a being, and each cell in each bone would be a being, et cetera.] Others are going to balk at that definition. So I want you to clarify what you, personally, mean by “being” before I can adequately address your question.

        Intellect wrote”:
        «You believed God which comprises multiple Persons is monotheism.»

      A belief that there is only one God which comprises multiple persons is monotheism. Monos means one, theos means God.

        Intellect wrote”:
        «God CLEARLY said He is 1.»

      We covered this already. Christians say God is one, and the Bible agrees.

        Intellect wrote”:
        «Where did He(God) say “my limit is 3 Persons”? or “I am 3 Persons”?»

      God does not say precisely that, nor does God say “I am unipersonal”.

        Intellect wrote”:
        «Jesus said CLEARLY “God is 1”»

      And Christians agree.

        Intellect wrote”:
        «“My God and your God”»

      If humans can refer to a Person within the Trinity as their God, then presumably a Person within the Trinity takes on a human form can likewise address another Person within the Trinity the way humans do (from the vantage point of his human form).

        Intellect wrote”:
        «“God is greater than I”»

      Philippians 2:5-7 states that Christ took on human likeness and the nature of a servant. John 13:16 states that no servant is greater than his master. Ergo, I interpret the “the Father is greater” within a dyophysite framework, which is to say from the perspective of His humanity.

        Intellect wrote”:
        «“The only true God”-is not Jesus.»

      Nowhere does the Bible add “not Jesus”. As for understanding John 17:3, I will repeat what I shared a previous time you brought it up:

        [—begin excerpt—]
        Regarding John 17:3, the Father bears the title μονος αληθινος θεος. I see the Son bearing nearly identical titles, such as μονογενης θεος in John 1:18, and αληθινος θεος, as per a perhaps hyper-literal reading of 1 John 5:20. Moreover, I propose that we see a tacit recognition of the ability of the Persons to bear the titles of the one God in the way the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed seemingly combines John 17:3 with a hyper-literal approach to 1 John 5:20, and refer to the Son’s relationship with the Father as Θεον αληθινον εκ Θεου αληθινου. Hence why I don’t see the Father as bearing that title exclusively.
        [—end excerpt—]
        [source]
        Intellect wrote”:
        «Jesus is God, Holy Spirit is God and God the Father is God. So, 3 Gods»

      The conclusion “three gods” would only follow if each Person is a distinct God. Each Person is “within” the one God, and thus to interact with one Person is to interact with the one God. Even with finite objects within spacetime, if I were to touch your right hand, I will have touched you, and if I touch your left hand I will have touched you (the same single you, despite there being two distinct hands). That analogy is an imperfect fit for a presumably volumeless infinite outside of spacetime, but in such an extraordinary case the extent to which an interaction with one is to interact with that which encompasses that one is all the more pronounced.

        Intellect wrote”:
        «I am proposing, you accept God’s own CLEAR words on salvation which states that, God is 1»

      Of course I accept that God is one. What I do not accept is your interpretation of certain texts beyond that.

      Like

    • Denis Giron

      You said;

      Intellect wrote”:
      «You believed God which comprises multiple Persons is monotheism.»
      A belief that there is only one God which comprises multiple persons is monotheism. Monos means one, theos means God.

      I say;
      1, 2 in 1, 3 in 1, 4 in 1, 5 in 1 etc. are not the same. 1 God is not the same as 2 in 1, 3 in 1, 4 in 1 etc. God.

      Triune, Trinity, Quadune, hexaune etc. are not 1 or 1 in 1.

      If Triune is 1 God, then Quadune i.e. 4 in 1, hexaune i.e. 5 in 1 etc. are all Gods and that is polytheism and not mono theism.

      Mono means 1, Tri means 3, Quad means 4, hexa means 5 etc. If we should accept tri as a unity God to be mono theism, then all the groups of gods are mono theism. I hope my friend Denis will explain why his triune God is monotheism and other multiune Gods are not monotheism.

      Watch a video where a Catholic priest is pressed to clarify the above.

      Thanks.

      Like

    • Denis Giron

      You said;
      Intellect wrote”:
      «Where did He(God) say “my limit is 3 Persons”? or “I am 3 Persons”?»
      God does not say precisely that, nor does God say “I am unipersonal”.

      I say;
      God clearly said in the Bible that He is 1, alone, only and no one else. If He is 3 or multiple person, He would have said He is 3 in 1, 4 in 1 or multipersonal God. 1 means mono, uni and not multi.
      Group of persons is not the same as 1 person. Group of beings is not the same as 1 being.

      Proof:
      “Yahweh is God; there is no one else.” 1 Kings 8:60
      “You are the God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth.” 2 Kings 19:15
      “O Lord, there is none like You, nor is there any God besides You” 1 Chronicles 17:20

      Being and Person/person.
      Every Person/person is a being and Jesus is a Person/person and a being. The Father is a being and or a Person/person, so we have 2 beings. Jesus is not the Father, so worshiping 2 or more Persons/persons/beings is polytheism. You can disagree but that is the truth. Every polytheist will insists the persons or the elephants, snakes, monkeys etc. he is worshiping comprises of 1 God. When you start counting the Persons/persons/beings and each one is God, you realize you count a lot of Gods. Of course the worshiper will insist they are Persons/person and not God but he calls each God, like how Christians call God the Father, God the Son etc. and yet one God. It is applicable in Hinduism and all idol worship,

      “Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me.” Isaiah 43:10

      If the above is true, why will the Church or councils upon councils form a triune God or 3 in 1 God which Moses, Jesus, Abraham and all prophets are not aware of? If they are aware of, why was it not in the Bible but the salvation is secret? Secret salvation by God is injustice to mankind. I do not think God has hidden salvation i.e. God is 1. It is clear. The hidden 3 in 1 God until the Church or council upon council decision is not from God but from men.

      Thanks.

      Like

    • Denis Giron

      You said;
      Intellect wrote”:
      «“My God and your God”»
      If humans can refer to a Person within the Trinity as their God, then presumably a Person within the Trinity takes on a human form can likewise address another Person within the Trinity the way humans do (from the vantage point of his human form)

      I say;
      If God says clearly He is one and no one else, He cannot go on taking forms to refer to another God as God. We have so many Gods who have taken human or animal flesh i.e. Sai Baba, Haile Selassie, Hindu monkey, elephants, cow etc. Gods. They can address another Person within their godhead the way humans do. It sounds polytheism not monotheism because more persons/animals/humans etc. can be counted as Gods.

      Part 3 of the above video.

      Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

    • “If humans can refer to a Person within the Trinity as their God, then presumably a Person within the Trinity takes on a human form can likewise address another Person within the Trinity the way humans do”

      Nope not in Jesus’ case. Jesus’ God is not a triune being, his God is “the Father” alone.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Greetings ArchiveIslam

        ArchiveIslam wrote:
        «there is an overlying hypocrisy in what you believe. Both people from the Church and the Christians I have quoted are MEN and are NOT PROPHETS.»

      To be fair, within the historical Catholic paradigm, there is a significant difference between, for example, the Ecumenical Councils, on the one hand, and just some ordinary person, on the other (even if that person has a prominent position at a respected university, or a book deal with a prestigious publisher).

      However, if it has now been established that the commentators and scholars you appeal to are not infallible, surely we can do away with the argument “this must be true because they said so” (or “your argument is refuted because they said something different”)?

        ArchiveIslam wrote:
        «your OWN CHURCH FATHERS declare that scripture should be what you rely on, and what you base your faith on, and where you should derive your arguments from:
        Athanasius (300?-375), “The Holy Scriptures, given by inspiration of God, are of themselves sufficient toward the discovery of truth»

      Note (as was already alluded to previously) that the very Scripture Athanasius was referring to points to Christ not merely handing out Bibles, but rather establishing a Church, the episcopacy of which He bestowed considerable authority to (again, Matthew 16:19, 18:18). We see that Episcopacy forming Councils to clarify matters (Acts 15) and send forth dogmas (Acts 16:4).

      So yes, we can discover the truth through the Scriptures, but that is a truth which encompasses the Church. Moreover, to even know what “the Scriptures” refers to entails the guidance of the Church (as the Bible doesn’t have a self referential canon list, for example). I suspect Athanasius might have agreed with me on this.

        ArchiveIslam wrote:
        «So tell me Scripture or Church?»

      Both.

      Mind you, my position was not “reject the Bible, and take the Church instead”. I specifically noted that I see the Bible as collectively implying a something akin to a tripersonal conception of God. Of course, on any issue, there are people who can come up with differing interpretations. If we reach a “my interpretation vs your interpretation” stalemate, I’m happy to let the guidance of the Ecumencial Councils serve as the tie-breaker in that one.

        ArchiveIslam wrote:
        «in the Catholic Catechism you find the following
        “Into Christ. The Bible tells us that Christians were baptized into Christ (no. 6). They belong to Christ. The Acts of the Apostles (2:38; 8:16; 10:48; 19:5) tells us of baptizing “in the name (person) of Jesus.” — a better translation would be “into the name (person) of Jesus.” Only in the 4th Century did the formula “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” become customary.” — (Bible Catechism, Rev. John C Kersten, S.V.D., Catholic Book Publishing Co., N.Y., N.Y.; l973, p. 164)»

      To be fair, that’s not the Catechism of the Catholic Church; rather it is some lesser Catechism produced, apparently, by a single Verbite priest. At worst, it might say more about what can slip past with a nihil obstat in many dioceses.

        ArchiveIslam wrote:
        «the catholic church has admited to adding MAtthew 28:19 to the text»

      Are you basing this on the statement by the Verbite priest above? If so, note that a book written by a priest —including a book with an imprimatur from a local diocese— need not entail every statement therein is an official position of the Catholic Church.

      The available manuscript evidence does not support the claim that the Triadic formula was added to the text of Matthew. As for whether the formula existed before the 4th century, Matthew aside, its inclusion in the Didache and the writings of Tertullian seems to show that it likely did.

        ArchiveIslam wrote:
        «AFTER 300 years did baptism start to be done in the trinity. Don’t you find that suspicious?»

      I would say I find the assertion unfounded.

        ArchiveIslam wrote:
        «Another overlying problem with your views, is this constant need for RECONCILING verses. I think you should accept a contradiction when it does exist»

      I certainly will acknowledge when an actual contradiction exists. However, when I was an undergrad, my focus was on formal logic, so, for a while now, I’ve been aware of the difference between an actual contradiction and what merely strikes some as an apparent contradiction. And this awareness predates my becoming a Christian.

        ArchiveIslam wrote:
        «IF WE ARE TO AGREE that there is an actual plurality/compound unity/multi-personal pronouns, etc., in the Bible ; then you have opened up the door to a pantheistic religion»

      I find the potential implications, here, troubling, as it seems to be at risk of grinding close to saying that before we can be honest about Hebrew grammar, we first need to consider whether such honesty would undermine a polemic against people with whom we disagree, doctrinally.

      While I am not a pantheist or panentheist, the subject is of interest to me, as panentheism has been embraced by some very large and prominent orthodox Jewish sects. There seem to be potentially panentheistic references in the Rabbinic corpora, such as RaSh”Y [exempli gratia], and moreso the Zohar [a href=https://www.facebook.com/denis.giron.77/posts/10154026961288566>exempli gratia]. Today, the Hasidic movement is filled with people holding to a panentheistic conception of God, and there have been Jewish scholars who said the Baal Shem Tov (i.e. the founder of the Hasidic movement) in a sense rehabilitated Spinoza’s pantheism [exempli gratia]. I have seen one popular orthodox Jewish lecturer (himself a Hasid) allude to a panentheistic (and monistic?) interpretation of Deuteronomy 6:4 in one lecture, and allude to differing positions (pro & anti) on panentheism not being k’firah (the rough Jewish equivalent of kufr) in another lecture.

      Now, with that in mind let’s consider a claim that singular pronouns, or the word eHad, in the Hebrew text of the TaN”aKh necessarily rules out the possibility of a panentheistic conception of God. Suppose I, as someone who does not hold to a panentheistic view, have two options:

      (1) I could be honest and admit that, whatever the truth or falsehood of panentheism may be, the mere use of constructions like eHad, l’bad, or a singular pronoun, does not, in itself, preclude the possibility of a panentheistic conception of God.

      (2) I could neglect or even deny that fact about Hebrew, for the sake of not undermining a potential polemic against panentheism.

      That’s a very real and serious question. Should I be honest about how Hebrew works, even if such honesty might undermine a certain argument against a doctrine I disagree with? Or should such an honest admission take a back seat, so that priority can be given even to bad arguments against a doctrine I disagree with?

        ArchiveIslam wrote:
        «one could make the argument that the godhead is composed of fifteen people (3 + 12 disciples) in John 17:21.»

      I would understand putting forth this kind of response to someone who just throws out John 10:30 in a vacuum, but it does not seem representative of my argument. First of all, it was not my argument that use of εις (or, in this case, the nominative neuter thereof) necessarily or always entails a multipersonal conception of God. That aside, the above might be more reflective or relevant to my position if the Bible also included the disciples in the baptismal formula and stated that they created us. If that were the case, then sure, Quindecinity (especially if the historical Church endorsed it)!

      Like

    • what happened to my comment, it was being moderated…..

      Like

    • This post will contain responses to both Intellect and Burhanuddin (greetings to both).

      ***

        Intellect wrote:
        «1, 2 in 1, 3 in 1, 4 in 1, 5 in 1 etc. are not the same. 1 God is not the same as 2 in 1, 3 in 1, 4 in 1 etc. God.
        Triune, Trinity, Quadune, hexaune etc. are not 1 or 1 in 1.
        If Triune is 1 God, then Quadune i.e. 4 in 1, hexaune i.e. 5 in 1 etc. are all Gods and that is polytheism and not mono theism.»

      I think we should keep in mind the units being quantified. A reference to “one X comprising multiple Ys” is not a reference to multiple Xs; rather it is still one X. One triangle comprising three sides is not an admission of three triangles. So too, one God comprising three Persons is not an admission of three gods. A belief in one God is monotheism (irrespective of whether that one God is considered unipersonal or multipersonal).

        Intellect wrote:
        «If we should accept tri as a unity God to be mono theism, then all the groups of gods are mono theism.»

      That’s right. If a person said there is one God and the one God comprises only two Persons, or fifteen Persons, or twelve million Persons, and the individual Persons are not individual gods, I would say that is a form of monotheism. I might not agree with the precise conception of God, but I would not deny that conception constitutes a form of monotheism.

        Intellect wrote:
        «Watch a video»

      The two videos you shared combined for more than fifty minutes of footage. Forgive me, but could you perhaps share with me the arguments therein which you found most salient (as, due to limitations on my time and devices, it might be a while before I can sit down and watch that much material).

      As for a sizeable chunk of what you wrote, you say the Bible says God is one. I agree. Christians, too, say God is one. You also again went into saying persons are beings, but as I wrote before, I want you to first define what you, personally, mean by “being” (as different people have different definitions, e.g. we could define being as “thing” which exists, while others would balk at such a simplistic definition). If you’re unwilling to define what you mean by being, I can’t really engage your argument.

        Intellect wrote:
        «“Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me.” Isaiah 43:10
        If the above is true, why will the Church or councils upon councils form a triune God or 3 in 1 God which Moses, Jesus, Abraham and all prophets are not aware of?»

      First of all, Trinitarians would agree with the verse in Isaiah. Second, it is unclear that Moses or Abraham were not aware of the fact of God’s tripersonal ontology.

        Intellect wrote:
        «If God says clearly He is one and no one else, He cannot go on taking forms to refer to another God as God.»

      I did not say that God referred to another God. I was proposing something different: (a) humans address a Person within God as God, and (b) a Person within God takes on human form, and does what humans do: address a Person within God as God. What precludes this possibility? If you’re interested, I have a five year old thought experiment which roughly explores the idea, and I am yet to see on what grounds we should consider such logically impossible.

      ***

        Burhanuddin wrote:
        «Jesus’ God is not a triune being, his God is “the Father” alone.»

      There is no place where Jesus is recorded as stating that God is “the Father alone”. You interpret that into John 17:3. The verse in John 17:3 has the Father bearing a title “only true God,” but it does not have the Father bearing that title exclusively (your approach merely assumes that He does). See my previous response to Intellect on this verse, above (or you might find this video on the subject to be of interest).

      Liked by 1 person

    • Denis Giron

      You said;
      Intellect wrote:
      «“Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me.” Isaiah 43:10
      If the above is true, why will the Church or councils upon councils form a triune God or 3 in 1 God which Moses, Jesus, Abraham and all prophets are not aware of?»
      First of all, Trinitarians would agree with the verse in Isaiah. Second, it is unclear that Moses or Abraham were not aware of the fact of God’s tripersonal ontology.

      I say;
      It is sad for God to lie to Abraham, Moses, Jesus and all the prophets about his 3 in one persons and left it to the Church and councils that come later to decide about that. Don’t worry if you do not have time to watch the video I provided. It is similar discussing as ours. The Muslim guy told the Catholic priest in the video that Abraham will be shocked to hear God tell him(Abraham) on the day of judgement that, He(God) is 3 persons and has a Son/son and the Son/son is not literal or metaphorical Son/son.

      A Son/son can either be adopted, literal or metaphorical. Christians cannot choose the 3 existing options of Son/son, yet they are using the word Son/son. Because the Bible says Son/son which is mainly metaphorical or adopted by tonnes.

      I am happy you consider Hindu God’s as God’s like Mother Teresa did. Our friend, the Most Reverend Ken Temple will disagree with you and will call Hindus as idolaters because the Bible said worshiping multiple persons or adding any person to the 1 and only God is polythiesm.

      Jesus is a form/image on this earth. God said do not worship any form or image anywhere.

      Proof:

      The Ten Commandments
      …3″You shall have no other gods before Me. 4″You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. 5″You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me,…

      Thanks.

      Like

    • Why will God take a form and expect us to worship that form if He warns us against worshiping any form/image?

      X is not equal to X raised to the power 3. So 1 is not the same as 2 in 1, 3 in 1, 4 in 1 etc. One Person/person/being is not equal to 2 Persons/persons, 3 Persons/persons etc. I do understand you, even though you do not believe in other Gods as the same as your God, but multiple persons can be God. I do not think so.

      Thanks.

      Like

    • Greetings, Intellect. I accidentally posted my reply to a different subthread, above.

      Like

  5. I think this post shows how delusive christians are regarding the translations. However, the problem for christians is really bigger if we say Jesus was speaking Aramaic not Greek.
    Here’s a video for dr. Bart Ehrman explaining how this goes.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Denis G.

    “There is no place where Jesus is recorded as stating that God is “the Father alone”. You interpret that into John 17:3.”

    No I don’t.

    Are you actually claiming that Jesus‘ and only God was a three person being?

    Like

    • … Jesus’ one and only God …

      Like

    • I’m stating that the text does not clearly have the Father bearing the relevant title exclusively, and the rest of the Bible can be understood as applying similar titles to Christ. Here, again, is something I wrote above:

        [—begin excerpt—]
        Regarding John 17:3, the Father bears the title μονος αληθινος θεος. I see the Son bearing nearly identical titles, such as μονογενης θεος in John 1:18, and αληθινος θεος, as per a perhaps hyper-literal reading of 1 John 5:20. Moreover, I propose that we see a tacit recognition of the ability of the Persons to bear the titles of the one God in the way the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed seemingly combines John 17:3 with a hyper-literal approach to 1 John 5:20, and refer to the Son’s relationship with the Father as Θεον αληθινον εκ Θεου αληθινου. Hence why I don’t see the Father as bearing that title exclusively.
        [—end excerpt—]

      So, in an attempt to clarify.

      (1) I believe the one God comprises three Persons.
      (2) I believe each Person “therein” can bear the Name and titles of the one God.
      (3) μονος αληθινος θεος would be one of God’s titles.
      (4) Therefore I take it for granted that each Person can bear the title μονος αληθινος θεος.

      Therefore, pointing to a verse which has one of the three Persons bearing such a title does not contradict my beliefs; rather it fits right within those beliefs.

      Like

    • You have a name/title called Denis. Another Person/person bears the same name title called Denis. Another name bears the same name/title called Denis. How many Deniss’? 3 Denis. You are all Persons/beings sharing humanity and you are not the same individually.

      It is the same thing like your Trinity God who shares his divinity with 3 Persons/persons and each uses the name/title God. If we take each person like Jesus and call him God, then the counting starts and end up to 3 Gods. My Trinitarian friends just like any multi personal God worshiper will insist it is 1 God despite counting many individual Gods.

      Thanks.

      Like

    • Greetings Intellect

      Your analogy comes off as a bit of an ill fit if each person, by himself, is a distinct “Denis” (the unit you want to quantify) from each of the other two. A slightly reworked version your analogy which might be a better fit is the following:

      1. There is only one “ΔΕΝΙΣ”.
      2. That single “ΔΕΝΙΣ” is a multipersonal entity, which is to say the one and only “ΔΕΝΙΣ” comprises multiple persons.
      3. Each person within the one “ΔΕΝΙΣ” can bear the name(s)/tite(s) of the one “ΔΕΝΙΣ”, which is to say one can address one of them as “ΔΕΝΙΣ” (e.g. because to interact with one is to interact with the one and only “ΔΕΝΙΣ”).
      4. However, they are not distinct “ΔΕΝΙΣes” from one another. Their ability to bear the name/title(s) of the one “ΔΕΝΙΣ” is by virtue of them being within the ontology of the one “ΔΕΝΙΣ”.

      In such an extraordinary case, there would be only one “ΔΕΝΙΣ”.

        Intellect wrote:
        «If we take each person like Jesus and call him God, then the counting starts and end up to 3 Gods.»

      Not at all, as they are not individual gods. While no analogy is perfect, note two different concepts which might be helpfully applied here:

      (1) There is the way that a term can alternately serve as a noun referring to an entity, or as a predicate which a part within that entity bears. So, for example, you can have a feline (i.e. a cat), where the word “feline” is a noun referring to that cat. But so too, we can say various parts of that cat are “feline” (in reference to a predicate which a part therein bears). However, saying that a cat’s skeleton is feline and so too its brain is feline is not to declare two distinct felines within the one feline under discussion.
      [With this in mind, it is interesting to note that when John 1:1c states the Logos is God, it employs it as a predicate.]

      (2) There is the relationship we see with finite objects within spacetime, where to interact with a part is to interact with the whole. For example, if there is a four-legged wooden stool, and I touch one leg, I have touched the stool, and if I touch another leg, I have touched the same single stool (to interact with a part of the stoool is to interact with the stool itself, and this would be true without there being multiple stools).
      [Admittedly, the analogy is an ill fit since it is awkward to describe the Persons within the Trinity as “parts” of God. Nonetheless, when taking what applies to a finite object within space time, such a concept would apply in an even more profound sense when interacting with the “aspects” of a presumably dimensionless infinite, outside of spacetime (that is to say, if the entity as a whole is a dimensionless infinite, then to interact with one of multiple things that entity comprises would not to be to merely interact with some finite portion thereof, but would be more akin to interacting with the whole).]

      So, getting back to the Persons within the Trinity, their bearing the title “God” is not in reference to them each being a distinct god from the other two, but rather is by virtue of them being encompassed by the one God, the Name and titles of which they can bear.

      Like

    • I note you don’t answer the question.

      “Are you actually claiming that Jesus‘ one and only God was a three person being?”

      Like

    • “(1) I believe the one God comprises three Persons.
      (2) I believe each Person “therein” can bear the Name and titles of the one God.”

      Only when applying the fallacy of equivocation.

      In trinitarian terms “The one God comprising three Persons” is the “Trinity”.

      Each person “therein” is not and cannot be called “Trinity”.

      Like

    • Each person “in the trinity” is not and cannot be called “the divine ousia”.

      Unless you want to confuse divine nature and person, which you must not do we are told by trinitarians again and again. Unless they do it themselves to prevent this philosophical monster come crashing down.

      Like

    • Denis Girron

      Intellect wrote:
      «If we take each person like Jesus and call him God, then the counting starts and end up to 3 Gods.»
      Not at all, as they are not individual gods. While no analogy is perfect, note two different concepts which might be helpfully applied here:

      I say;
      Jesus is INDIVIDUAL, INDIVIDUAL, INDIVIDUAL, DISTINCT, DISTINCT Person/person withing Trinity God. Is Jesus not God? If Jesus is not God, then prepare to take your Shahada and become a Muslim. If Jesus is God, then he is an individual God because he is not the Father or the Holy Spirit, therefore contradicting your statement above. The counting of 3 Gods as in any multipersonal Gods will inevitably begin.

      You said;
      There is only one “ΔΕΝΙΣ”.
      That single “ΔΕΝΙΣ” is a multipersonal entity, which is to say the one and only “ΔΕΝΙΣ” comprises multiple persons.

      I say;
      “ΔΕΝΙΣ” cannot be only one, when there are 3 Persons/persons with consciousness and will. Human beings, cows, goats, elephants etc. are created many and cannot be THE ONLY ONE. God on the other hand is not created, and He said CLEARLY he is 1, only and alone. It means He cannot comprise of another Person/person.

      Luke 22:42
      New International Version
      “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”

      Denis, certainly, the Trinitarian God is not 1. 1 with his own will and consciousness is talking to another with His own will and consciousness.

      Allah did not create a human face, hand or water in heaven and tell is this is His face or this is the water of heaven. Unlike Jesus who is a man on earth who can be seen as man is not God or Gods literal Son/son because God is not created or will be conceived. It is an immpossiblity for God to be given birth, so God cannot have a literal Son/son.

      God exists and created us in His own image and so can have His own face, hands etc which is not like us. God sees and we see, God creates and we create i.e. cars, ships but God sees everything and creates everything. We cannot see everything and create everything.

      When God created Adam, He taught him things that the angels and other creations did not know, so He created us in His image. His face is not like our face. He is 1 and not created like us, so He cannot have a literal Son/son, but metaphorical or adopted Son/son, yes.

      Thanks.

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  7. The writer of this article seems to forget that there are Christians who do not at all believe in the trinity and consider the Spirit of God to be not a person but an ‘it’ or the Force of God, God His speaking, handling etc, and God Himself is an eternal Spirit like the Bible tells us, not a being with bones, flesh and blood, but the Being itself and therefore He is the Only One Who can say “I Am that I Am” or “I Am the Being” Him being the Giver of life and reason to be.

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    • messianicmuslim
      January 24, 2018 • 2:21 pm

      Intellect, yes, God can have a son not in the way you think of it but in the way Yahweh want us to think of it.

      I say;
      How does Yahweh want us to think about His Son/son? Son/son is a word and has meaning. What meaning does He want us to think about it?

      God did not create a human face or hand and tell us to believe in that human face as His face and a human hand as his hand. If God had done that in Islam, there would have been confusing. So, stop comparing created Jesus/human/Son/son etc. to an un created God face.

      No one has seen God face but people saw Jesus/human/Son/son and he cannot be God.

      Thanks.

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    • Everybody should know that man can not see God and live and that The Creator God is a God of order and not confusion. It was not the Divine Creator Who came down to earth into a human form, like you insinuate, but God Who declared the man standing in the river Jordan to be His only begotten son. He never said it was God Himself having come to earth. God is also the Most High, though Jesus was lower than angels and was only made higher later, after he had put away his own will to do the will of God (in case Jesus would be God he always would have done His Will). God cannot be tempted but Jesus was tempted more than once, again a proof that Jesus is not God. In the Holy Scripturees we are also told that Jesus is the sent one from God, a prophet. Also it is said on more than one occasion that Jesus is the way to God and that we should believe in the anointed of god.

      It is a pity that you when you where once a Muslim have put away the Only True God, Allah the Elohim Hashem Jehovah to take yourself a three-headed god.

      It is nice you came to accept that Jesus is the Messiah, because he is that long awaited Kristos (Chirst) who was ableto break the curse of death and to restore the relationship with God. We dohope you shall once return again to the faith in Only One True God Who is One and shall come to accept Jesus as your saviour respecting what he has done and not nullifying his actions by making him into your god or saying he is God, because that belief makes also God into a very cruel and misleading being.

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  8. Intellect said:

    <<>>

    Response
    Intellect, you are still assuming Unitarianism! Jesus is a distinct person within the Triune God. Jesus is not ANOTHER God just as your arm is not another person apart from you. Your arm, eyes and brain are distinct organs with the same nature and essence.
    What my arm is to me is what Jesus is to the Father. Jesus in the OT is known as the ARM (zeroa) of Yahweh. Let me start by giving you my insight on why this is so.
    Jesus is identified in John 1:1 and Rev. 19:13 as the WORD of God. As far as we humans are concerned, our words are only meant to reveal who we are and what our intentions are. If I say to a chair, “come to me”, the chair will not obey me. I have to stand up and pick the chair. But for Yahweh, this is not the case. His Word SERVES as the OMNIPOTENT ARM to Him! In fact, there are references to the out-stretched arm of Yahweh in the OT.

    Let us start with this:

    Isa 53:1 Who has believed our report? And to whom IS THE ARM OF THE LORD revealed?
    Isa 53:2 For HE shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: HE has no form nor loveliness; and when we shall see HIM, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

    This prophetic passage spoke about the ARM of Yahweh and went on to describe His atoning work through suffering and death and resurrection. This is evidently describing the Messiah Jesus.
    Look at this passage:

    Isa 40:10 Behold, the Lord Yahweh will come as a mighty one,
    AND HIS ARM will rule for him.
    Behold, his reward is with him,
    and his recompense before him.
    Isa 40:11 He will feed his flock like a shepherd.
    He will gather the lambs in his arm,
    and carry them in his bosom.
    He will gently lead those who have their young.

    Verse 10 said that the Arm of the LORD will rule for Him and we have Jesus Christ who will rule for his Father. Not only that, the reward of Jesus is with Him and will come and pay each one according to his work as the following NT data shows:

    Mt 16:27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and then HE WILL RENDER TO EVERYONE ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS.

    Rev 22:12 “Behold, I come quickly. MY REWARD IS WITH ME, TO REPAY TO EACH MAN ACCORDING TO HIS WORK.
    Verse 11 also said that He will feed His flocks as a shepherd and will gather them in his arms. This reminds me of Jesus statement:
    Jn 10:14 I AM THE GOOD SHEPHERD. I know my own, and I’m known by my own;
    Jn 10:15 even as the Father knows me, and I know the Father. I lay down my life for the sheep.
    Jn 10:16 I have other sheep, which are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will hear my voice. They will become one flock with one shepherd.
    I could go on and on and start citing SEVERAL OT passages to support my position but unfortunately, I am not writing an article on this issue for now.
    That is the reason why Jesus said that HE can do nothing without His Father just as my arm can do nothing without. Likewise, the Father is not God without His Glorious Arm/Word! Just as my arm shares in my humanity, Jesus also shares the in the divinity of the Father and that does not make them separate Gods.
    Even if Jesus is not God, that does not means that Denis Giron should recite the Shahada. He can become a Unitarian Christian, or an atheist or can even join Satanism (God forbid!). You Muslims often think that proving Christianity will always prove Islam to be true. I can see such in your debates with Christians on Muslim topics. Imagine, a Muslim saying that He will prove the prophethoot of Muhammad by spraying attacks on the Bible and yet appeal to the Bible to prove the self-proclaimed prophet.
    Assuming all Christians are Unitarians, what do you think Muslims will be doing? They will start bringing out verses that prove the deity of Christ in order to prove the corruption of the Bible!
    Intellect, let me ask you a question. Are you a living organism?

    <<>>

    Response
    I did not know the reason why Denis agreed with your analogy in the first place. Well, he should be able to continue discussing on this analogy with you. But to me this analogy is flawed. Denis is a PERSONAL name not a QUALIFYING name.
    For instance, Adam is a PERSONAL name for the first man on earth and yet is a QUALIFYING name for all humans whether male or female. In fact, Adam can be a SPECIFIC reference for all male humans YET it can also serve as GENERIC/QUALIFYING reference for both males and females.
    When we say that Jesus is God, we mean that He has the same nature with His Father. God (Theos) is personal name for The Father in early church while Lord (Kurios) is the personal name for The Son. But the early church is clear that both the Father and the Son shares the same nature. Therefore, “God” and “Lord” serves as a QUALIFYING name for both of them! Jesus is God in the same sense that Eve is Adam.
    My arm, my brain and my eyes are distinct organs with the SAME NATURE and essence hence we call all of them HUMAN organs.

    Then you said:

    <<>>
    Response
    You see, just because you failed to understand the doctrine of the incarnation, you will continue to make blunders in other areas as well. Did Jesus not say earlier that:
    Mt 26:40 He came to the disciples, and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What, couldn’t you watch with me for one hour?
    Mt 26:41 Watch and pray, that you don’t enter into temptation. THE SPIRIT INDEED IS WILLING, but the flesh is weak.”

    You are like a broken mirror that cannot see itself yet give compromised images of others. Man is tripartite in nature consisting of body, soul and spirit. This is the reason why God can take on the form of a man. Jesus has been eternally existing as a spirit and went on to take a human soul and body at His incarnation. The Spirit (divine aspect) is willing in accordance with the will of God which means that the Father and Son possess no conflicting wills. Jesus also acquired a human will at His incarnation. His flesh was protesting against the horrors of the cross. Glory be to God in the highest, Jesus submitted his body/flesh to the perfect will of His Father and paid the price once and for all. Is our God not wonderful?
    <<>>
    Response
    Excuse me, no informed Trinitarian ever said that the body/flesh of Christ is divine! This is straw man argument! The humanity of Yeshua ≠ the divinity of Yeshua. Please, stop mixing them together.
    Just because Allah said that He has no son does not means that Yahweh cannot have one since you are arguing in a vicious circle. You are assuming that the Allah proclaimed by Muhammad is the True Living God which I do not agree with. The sense of Yahhweh having a son is completely different from the way Allah think he can have a son.
    Yahweh reasons that since sons come from their parents retaining all the biological qualities (whether recessive or dominant), it is not wrong for Him to refer to his own Word since His Word come from Him and retain all His Divine attributes and qualities. Allah on the other hand is thinking of it in bestial/carnal terms.

    <<>>
    Response
    Using your reasoning will also mean that animals too are created in the image of God – even plants as well! Animals can see and create things too.
    No! That is not the point about the creation of man in Genesis 1:26-27. Man unlike other animals is created as a moral agent because he has Spirit. It is the spirit inside us that often point out some immoral actions we commit. We feel the prangs of conscience when we do some bad things though our sensitivity to this aspect of us has reduced after the Fall of Man. Lower animals lack this aspect and that is what distinguish us from lower animals.
    Man also has reasoning and judgment and can make decisions and choices on his own. Perhaps, that is the reason why judges are also known as “elohim” though they do not share the personal name of God (which is Yahweh).

    <<>>

    Response
    Things like what? Though God might teach Adam some things but not everything. Do not tell me He taught Adam how to sleep, how to prepare delicious delicacies, how to have sexual intercourse, how to name animals etc. God already gave him the ability to reason and figure things out on his own. I have already explained the issue of man created in the image of God.
    Intellect, yes, God can have a son not in the way you think of it but in the way Yahweh want us to think of it.

    In Messiah’s Grace
    Messianic Muslim

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  9. Sorry. I didn’t read all 65 posts and I’m not going to, so perhaps my observation has already been noted. And I’m not responding to any of the posts or discussion—just the initial post by Paul Williams.

    These are grammatical issues not gender issues. The Greek word that we translate as spirit in the cases cited is a neuter noun grammatically. The Greek word we transliterate as Paraclete is masculine. Grammar, particularly greek grammar, is not ontological in its nature. The grammatical idea of gender is not a discussion of gender as in maleness or femaleness. It is simply a grammatical construct.

    An ocean-going vessel, a ship, is often referred to as she. This has nothing to do with the ontological gender of the ship. Similarly, but not the same of course, some Greek nouns are masculine, some Greek nouns are feminine and some Greek nouns are neuter—and they do not always fit in the ontological gender categories we think they might or should.

    Dale Martin is a fine scholar and a great thinker but, like most academics, he has an agenda. And he knows better than to write what he wrote in the excerpt that you posted.

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  1. Christian mistranslation of key NT word | kokicat
  2. An Excellent argument vs. Muslims on John 17:3 | Apologetics and Agape

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