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Denial of the Trinity doctrine

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by Gunny, Oct 13, 2002.

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  1. Gunny

    Gunny Remnant Supporter

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    Denial of the Trinity doctrine

    The Jehovah's Witnesses deny the Trinity doctrine (that of God being three in one), saying that their Jehovah God is only one god, and that the Trinity doctrine is polytheism, belief in plural gods. Denial of the Trinity is essentially the basis of Arianism, which was a heresy condemned by the Council of Nicea in 325 AD.

    The Bible teaches about the Father, Son and Spirit being separate entities but as one. The Jehovah's Witnesses' favourite scripture to try and disprove this is Deuteronomy 6:4 "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord" (KJV). In the original Hebrew text, the word used for 'one' (pronounced 'ehath') is the number one, and exactly the same word is used in Genesis 2:24 "That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united with his wife, and they become one" (GNB) regarding marriage where the husband and wife are seen as 'one flesh'; in other words as a composite unity. Therefore Deuteronomy 6:4 does not exclude or disprove the Trinity, but in fact shows that more than one person in the form of a composite unity) is being referred to.

    One example of how the Jehovah's Witnesses have changed the original Greek scriptures to support their beliefs is John 1:1 "In the beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god" (NWT - capitalisation intended). God is not The Word; The Word is just 'a god'. Their use of A GOD rather than just GOD suggests the existence of more than one god - polytheism, the very thing they accuse the rest of Christianity of with the Trinity doctrine - therefore this suggests that their 'Jehovah' is not THE God but just one of the gods.

    To again disprove their teaching with their own Bible, their favourite quote of Isaiah 43:10 in full in their translation says "'You are my witnesses' is the utterance of Jehovah, even my servant whom I have chosen, in order that you may know and have faith in me, and that you may understand that I am the same One" (NWT), refers to the "servant whom I have chosen", Jesus; and about Him, Jehovah (God) says that "I am the same One" - Jesus and Jehovah (God) are the same. Their own translation shows that Jesus and God are as one!

    Matthew 28:19 says "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" [NIV]. The Bible clearly teaches 3 distinct persons in one and is most easily compared to water, which as we all know can come in three distinctly different forms (solid=ice, liquid=water, gas=steam), but still has the same chemical formula and therefore is the same substance, although it is in three totally different forms. To prove that these three different, but identical, items can coexist, drop an ice cube into a mug of boiling hot water - you will have ice, water and steam existing together (for a short while, at least!), and is one good demonstration of how the Trinity can exist - three different forms although the same substance coexisting together.

    Even as far back as Genesis 1 the Trinity can be seen beginning with verses 1,2: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light. God, the Father, was present at Creation. The Spirit of God was also present at creation. The Word of God (Jesus, see John 1v1 and relevant chapter) was spoken. God the Father spoke God the Word (Jesus), and God the Spirit did it.

    To further support this statement, in v26 Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Note how God singular says 'let Us make man in Our image'. In fact, Strong's Concordance says that the word God ('elohiym) in this occurance is "gods in the ordinary sense, but specifically used (in the plural, thus, especially with the article) of the Supreme God". In other words, God is plural but singular!

    Another good example of the Trinity doctrine can be seen in Hebrews Chapter 1 - reproduced below. It can be very confusing, but keep in mind which part of the Trinity is calling which part what! It can clearly be seen that God, the Father, calls Jesus Christ, God.

    v1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; 3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. 5 For to which of the angels did He ever say: "You are My Son, today I have begotten You"? And again: "I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son"? 6 But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says: "Let all the angels of God worship Him." 7 And of the angels He says: "Who makes His angels spirits and His Ministers a flame of fire." 8 But to the Son He says: "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your Kingdom. 9 You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions." 10 and: "You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. 11 They will disappear but you will remain; they will wear out like clothes.12 Like a cloak You will fold them up, and they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will not fail." 13 But to which of the angels has He ever said: "Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool"? 14 Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?

    v1,2 God now speaks by his son, who is heir of all things, and made the world.


    v.3,4 God the Father calls Jesus his equal.


    v.5 Confirmation of God the father being father of Jesus.


    v.6-8 God still speaking to the son. God the father calls Jesus God.


    v.9 Therefore God, your God


    v.10 God the father calls Jesus Lord and says Jesus made the earth 'in the beginning'


    v.11,12 God continues; Jesus is eternal.


    v13,14 See Matt 22:43-46; "Why then," Jesus asked, "did the Spirit inspire David to call him "Lord"? David said, The Lord said to my Lord: Sit here on my right until I put your enemies under your feet. If, then, David called him "Lord", how can the Messiah be David's descendant?" No-one was able to give Jesus any answer, and from that day on, no-one dared to ask him any more questions.

    Another interesting Jehovah's Witness denial of the deity of Jesus Christ is in John 20:27-28: Then He said to Thomas, "Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing. And Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!" (NKJ). It is interesting that the Greek word for Lord is Kurios, which is translated as Jehovah when it suits the situation (see relevant chapters). They do not believe that Thomas calling Jesus' my God' refers to His deity, it is merely an exclamation on Thomas' part, in the way that we might say "Good heavens!" if something remarkable happened!

    The Trinity doctrine is, however, one of the most difficult Christian doctrines to understand and explain, and theologians have tried to make it clearer for years and still are not any closer! However, the fact that it is a very difficult concept to grasp has not changed the fact that it is still very widely accepted throughout the Christian Church . It is no wonder that an organisation that has to invent a new Greek grammar tense cannot understand the idea.



    The denial of the trinity is the basis of Arianism, which was condemned in 325AD at the first ecumenical council at Nicaea. It is also one of the principles of Unitarianism.


    Denying the Trinity doctrine denies the deity of Jesus Christ, one of the central beliefs of the Christian religion.

    Although not actually mentioned explicitly in the Bible, there are many places where the Trinity doctine can be seen througout the Bible. The Jehovah's Witnesses have tried to cover this up in some places by changing the wording of the Bible, but many examples can still be seen (some are listed above).


    Many of the scriptures quoted by them to disprove the Trinity do not actually mean that if you look at the original Greek or Hebrew texts.


    Context is important. Many scriptures that disprove the Trinity when used on their own actually do prove it if looked at in relation to surrounding verses.


    Keypoint Ministries
     
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  2. Havoc

    Havoc Celtic Witch

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    So basically they believe diffeerently than you. They say they are the true Christians, you say you are the true Christians. They have their writings tht "prove" them, you have your writings that "prove" you. Looks like a stalemate in the "I'm the Christian" department.
     
  3. Hank

    Hank has the Right to be wrong

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    You mentioned before you don't wish to argue with me.
    Thus my only statement - Trinity is illogical

    See Matthew 3:16-17 (NIV)
    As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.

    Are we to believe God spoke from the heavens and is pleased with himself?

    John 1:1 (NIV)
    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.

    The Word was with God. The Word was God. To put an a does not alter the meaning! It means in the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God and the Word was God. You can not be one and be with one as one and the same. Even without the a to interpret a trinity out of John 1:1 make no sense.


    There is much more. If you like I will put my JW hat on and argue against Trinity. I will also give comparable Egyptian and Eastern trinity gods. I will quote Historical facts when and how Trinity came about into Christianity. We will compare Hebrew Bibles with King James and JW Bible. When I'm done, I may not have anyone converted to be a JW, but shown that if anything they try to resolve illogical doctrines from within the framework of Christianity. They have ways to go yet, but they themselves admit, their light shines brighter every day, i.e they try to actually progress in understanding. Their doctrines are not stagnant!
     
  4. Gunny

    Gunny Remnant Supporter

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    Modern-day Arians: Who Are They?
    Tommy Dorsett

    One of the greatest of the heretics in all of Church history was Arius of Alexandria. He lived from about AD 280 until 336 and had a profound influence upon the Church.

    Arius was a presbyter (member of the governing body) of the Alexandrian Church and he taught that doctrine must be completely reasonable to the human mind or it was not biblical.

    When human reason becomes the criterion for Biblical doctrine, limitations are placed upon God who is infinite and His Word via man's finite mind.

    Therefore, if a certain doctrine is found to be unreasonable in Man's understanding, it would follow that it would also be unscriptural.
    The doctrine of Christ had already been responsible for considerable agitation of the Church. Before Arius came on the scene, heresy had already played a major role in forcing the Church to express definite views of doctrine.

    Beginning toward the end of the first century and especially into the second and third centuries, Gnosticism pressured the Church fathers into defining and defending some of the major doctrines of Christianity; particularly concerning Christology (the person, nature, and work of Christ).

    The teachings of Arius in the fourth century had the same results. In fact, the greatest theological works and statements of faith produced in the early church were a direct result of answering heretics.

    So what was it in Arius' doctrine of Christ that made it heresy?

    Arius said: "We must either suppose two divine original essences, without beginning and independent of each other, we must substitute a dyarchy for a monarchy, or we must not shrink from asserting that the logos had a beginning of his existence - that there was when he was not (Albert Newman, A Manual of Church History, p. 326).

    This action resulted in a schism of the Alexandrian Church which spread quickly throughout the rest of the Church. It eventually led to the Nicene Council where Athanasius, one of the greatest thinkers in Church history, championed Orthodoxy and the Nicene Creed was drafted.

    This creed says in part, "We believe ...in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten from the Father, only begotten, that is from the substance of the Father... begotten not made, of one substance with the Father..." (Hoekema, The Four Major Cults, p. 328).

    There is no doubt that the closing statement of the creed had Arius in mind as it reads:

    "But as for those who say, there was when He was not, and, before being born He was not, and that He came into existence out of nothing, or who assert that the Son of God is from a different... substance, or is created, or is subject to alteration or change - these the Catholic [that is, Universal] Church anathematizes," (Ibid).

    A summary of the Arian view follows:

    1. The son was created out of nothing; hence, he is different in essence from the Father; that he is Logos, Wisdom, Son of God, is only of grace. He is not so in himself.

    2. There was, when he was not; i.e., he is a finite being.

    3. He was created before everything else, and through him the universe was created and is administered.

    4. In the historical Christ the human element is merely the material; the soul is the Logos. The historical Christ, therefore, had no human soul....

    5. The Arians held, that although the incarnate Logos is finite, and hence not God, he is to be worshipped, as being unspeakably exalted above all other Creatures, the immediate Creator and Governor of the universe, and the Redeemer of man.

    6. The Arians adhered to the Scriptures, and were willing to employ as their own any scriptural statements of doctrine. (A Manual for Church History, p. 327).
    From the foregoing, who, then, would be the modern-day counterparts to Arius?

    It is the organization which claims that Abel was the first of their number and then proceeds to claim the rest of the men of God mentioned in the Bible were ancestors to their organization.

    Then, beginning with Jesus, they give the remaining line of their ancestors as follows:

    "(1) Jesus to Paul, (2) Paul to Arius, (3) Arius to Waldo, (4) Waldo to Wycliff, (5) Wycliff to Luther, and (6) Luther to Charles Taze Russell (Gruss, Apostles of Denialœ, p. 9).

    Who are they?
    The modern-day Arians are none other than the Jehovah's Witnesses.

    Russell was the founder of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, the parent organization of the Jehovah's Witnesses. With the exception of Arius, there is no relationship between the Witness and the line of ancestors claimed by them.

    Concerning Waldo, Wycliff and Luther, the only similarity is that they worked outside the Church of their day. These men were all Christian leaders.

    Arius, however, is truly an ancestor of the Witnesses. Note the similarity of the Watchtower Christology to that of Arius in the following:

    1. The only-begotten Son of God, the only Son produced (created) by Jehovah alone.

    2. This Son is the firstborn [to the Watchtower, it means first created] of all creation.

    3. By means of him (Jesus) all other things in heaven and on earth were created.

    4. He is the second-greatest personage in the universe (Reasoning From The Scriptures, p. 209).

    5. The Bible is Jehovah God's written Word to humankind. He used some 40 human secretaries over a period of 16 centuries to record it, but God himself actively directed the writing by his spirit. Thus it is inspired by God (Reasoning, p. 58).

    6. But Jehovah God has also provided his visible organization, this "faithful and discreet slave," made up of spirit-anointed ones, to help Christians in all nations to understand and apply properly the Bible in their lives.

    Unless we are in touch with this channel of communication that God is using, we will not progress along the road to life, no matter how much Bible reading we do (The Watchtower, 1 Dec. 1981, p. 27).

    Now there are also some differences between the Christology of Arius and that of the Jehovah's Witnesses.

    For instance, whereas Arius would teach that Jesus' human element is merely the material with the Logos being the soul (no human soul), the Jehovah's Witnesses would teach that Jesus was purely man, and as such, he did not possess a soul but he was a living soul.

    Also, Arius believed Jesus should be worshipped whereas the Jehovah's Witnesses teach that since one is to worship God alone Jesus should not be worshipped, since he is merely a creature.

    However, as demonstrated above, in the most important of doctrines in the Church, Christology, there is more than enough similarity between the two to leave no doubt that the Jehovah's Witnesses are the Arians of our day.

    Satan, it appears, is actually limited in the number of tricks he has in his bag. But, he is a rather craft and deceitful fellow and he can take the same old lie that he used over 1600 years ago, take some of the dents out, do a little updating, add a new coat of paint, put it in a brand new package and then sell it as the Truth.

    The Apostle Paul, in describing those who would come along and preach another Jesus said:

    "For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore, it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servant of righteousness; whose ends shall be according to their deeds," (2 Cor. 11:13-15).
     
  5. Gunny

    Gunny Remnant Supporter

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    #1 Anti-Trinitarian Proof Text Refuted





    The Holy Spirit is the personification of God's power and is not a person. It is not unusual in the Scriptures for something to be personified. For example, wisdom is said to have "children." (Luke 7:35) Sin and death are spoken of as kings. (Rom 5:14,21) (Reasoning from the Scriptures, Spirit, p380, Jehovah's Witness publication)


    Personification is "A rhetorical figure of speech in which inanimate objects or abstractions are endowed with human qualities..." (American, p.926)
    Personification is found throughout the Bible with endless examples of mountains clapping and stars singing. But in all these things we know by way of human experience that they are not really persons. Not so with the Holy Spirit. No one can know the Holy Spirit is a thing (and not a person) the way we can know a mountain is not a person from human experience.
    We can prove something is personification by finding a Bible verse that outright states it is not a person but a thing. We can do this with hills, wisdom, stars etc. Anti-Trinitarians are at a loss to find any Bible verse that says the Holy Spirit is a thing and not a person.
    When referenced, the Holy Spirit is always the masculine "HE". Not so with mountains and stars.
    The vast majority of times the Bible refers to things like stars and mountains, they are not personified. Personification is the EXCEPTION to the usage in scripture.
    The problem for anti-Trinitarians is that the Holy Spirit IS ALWAYS PERSONIFIED. Personification is not the exception to the general use, personification is the rule... every time, without exception!
    If anti-Trinitarians are correct, the personification of the Holy Spirit is so complete and extensive in scripture, that we are without a guideline to determine the difference between persons and things. We would have to call into question, for example, the person hood of Abraham as the personification of the father of God's people. The personification of the Holy Spirit is as extensive as the personification of Abraham or many other Bible characters.
    Take Adam for example. Many modernists already dismiss his personal existence as myth. Could Adam be nothing more than the personification of all mankind? A simple reading of Romans 5:12-19 and 1 Cor 15:45 will quickly reveal the problem for Arians. Adam is clearly used as a metaphoric symbol for all of mankind in many places. Could Adam be nothing more than personification?
    The extent of personification of the Holy Spirit equals any Bible character.
    Anti-Trinitarian challenge: what verse shows the Holy Spirit to be a thing or an it? We know of none, therefore we are forced to the conclusion that the Holy Spirit is a person.


    #2 Anti-Trinitarian Proof Text Refuted





    The Holy Spirit is directly called the power of God in Luke 1:35

    "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you" Luke 1:35


    Only to an anti-Trinitarian does this verse outright call the Holy Spirit God's power. The verse does not say, "The Holy Spirit is the power of God". It uses a paired statement. Notice Luke 1:35 is the closest verse Arians can come up with that might suggest the Holy Spirit is said to be God's power.
    Granted that "Hebrew parallelism" is in fact common in the Bible, there are so many statements like Luke 1:35 that are not "Hebrew parallelisms" that no further really needs to be said. Even still, there are different kinds of "Hebrew parallelisms". Some where two things are intended to be interchangeably synonymous and others where two different things are working together to have a common effect. Arians view Luke 1:35 as two interchangeably synonymous things: Holy Spirit and Power. But there are so many examples where different things are linked to have a common effect, that Arians simply have no firm proof of anything.
    Here is a verse very close to Luke 1:35. God himself and His power are used in a "Hebrew parallelism". "I will also cut off the inhabitant from Ashdod ... I will even unleash My power upon Ekron" Amos 1:8. God is no more mere power in Amos 1:8 than the Holy Spirit is mere power in Luke 1:35.
    The scriptures are even called the power of God in Rom 1:16, but everyone knows that they are not used interchangeably synonymous in this verse but are two distinct things: "You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures, or the power of God." Mt 22:29 The scriptures were the source of their doctrinal misunderstandings and God's power would raise all men from the dead at the second coming. To demand that scriptures and God's power are interchangeably synonymous in Mt 22:29 is just as wrong as demanding the Holy Spirit and power are interchangeably synonymous in Luke 1:35.
    Here we have a similar statement where two different things are mentioned. God's power is linked to God's hand. Two different things that are not interchangeably synonymous: "Thou didst redeem by Thy great power and by Thy strong hand" Nehemiah 1:10
    Here the Holy Spirit and power are differentiated: "God anointed Him [Jesus] with the Holy Spirit and with power" Acts 10:38; "demonstration of the Spirit and of power" 1 Cor 2:4. It makes no sense that Jesus was "anointed with power and power".


    #3 Anti-Trinitarian Proof Text Refuted





    The Holy Spirit is neuter gender through out the New Testament Greek proving it is an "it" not a person. No if the Holy Spirit was in the masculine, you would have a point. But God deliberately chose to use a neuter gender word to show us the Holy Spirit is a thing not a person.


    Gender of a word has nothing to do with identity. It has to do with the language. Gender belongs to the language of the word, not to the case of, or the object of the word.
    Infants (Lk 1:41,44; 2:16; 18:15) and children (Mk 5:39-41) are also neuter in the Greek in exactly the same way Holy Spirit is neuter gender.
    Girl is a neuter noun in Mt 9:24, 25; Mk 5:41, 42.
    Angels are neuter pneuma " IT " spirits in Heb 1:14
    Demons are neuter pneuma " IT " spirits over 45 times in scripture.
    The word "Spirit" is feminine in Genesis 1:2: "the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters".
    A masculine pronoun ("He" Greek: ekeinos, literal "that One") is applied to the Holy Spirit throughout the New Testament despite the fact that "Spirit" (Greek: pneuma) is neuter. Is God trying to confuse us? Or is God taking special steps to make sure we understand the Holy Spirit is a person?
    The word spirit is frequently "neuter gender" when it refers to the Father in Jn 4:24, to Jesus in 1Cor 15:45, to baby Jesus, in Mt 2:8, 11, 13, 14, 19-21,
    Such an argument displays a dismal understanding of the Greek language.

    Cont'd

    Steve Reed
     
  6. Gunny

    Gunny Remnant Supporter

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    #4 Anti-Trinitarian Proof Text Refuted Cont'd





    The Bible calls the Holy Spirit an "it" 7 times proving He is not a person.

    John 1:32; Rom 8:16,26; 1Cor 12:11; Heb 10:15,17; 1 Pet 1:11

    Jehovah's Witnesses are major promoters of the lie that persons in the Bible are never referred to as " IT ":

    "But on the other hand, we find Jesus repeatedly using IMPERSONAL pronouns when referring to God's holy spirit, a most DISRESPECTFUL thing to do if the holy spirit were the third person of a trinity, coequal, & cosubstantial with Jehovah God himself.... But if the holy spirit were the third person of the trinity, equal to God & Christ in glory & honor as claimed by the creeds, could we imagine the Scriptures referring to the holy spirit as ' IT '?" (Watchtower July 15, 1957 p.434)
    "If the holy spirit is a person, IT should always be referred to as 'he' in the Bible. Jesus is a person, & is NEVER referred to as 'it'. Nor is Jehovah God. But at times the Greek word pneuma is in the NEUTER gender. That means that IT is considered as neither masculine nor feminine." (Canadian Bethel WTS , personal letter)
    "But nowhere do we read of Jehovah God and Jesus as being referred to by neuter pronouns, which is the case in regard to the holy spirit." (w53 1/1 The Scriptures, Reason & the Trinity, p.24)


    Jesus is referred to as "IT" 5 times in: Mt 2:8, 11, 13, 14, 20, 21
    John the Baptist is referred to as IT 8 times: Lk1:59, 60, 62, 63, 66, 67
    Humans are called "it": "And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. John 6:39 Nothing more needs to be said, after quoting this one verse, but we must address each verse Arians misuse.
    Babies are called "it": We often use it to refer to babies in the same kind of way today: "What did you name it?" Here a baby is called literally "the holy thing begotten": "And Mary said unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee: wherefore also the holy thing which is begotten shall be called the Son of God." Luke 1:34-35.
    The men living in the world are called an "its" in John 14:17 " Spirit of the truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him"
    The KJV, RSV actually refer to the Holy Spirit as an "it" in these two passages: Romans 8:16,26 "The Spirit ITSELF beareth witness with our spirit ... The Spirit ITSELF maketh intercession for us with groanings " (KJV, RSV) The fault is not in the original text, but in the translation. Vine says, "The rendering "itself" in Rom. 8:16, 26, due to the Greek gender, is corrected to "Himself" in the R.V. (W. E. Vine, spirit) The word means: "(1) self (emphatic) (2) he, she, it (used for the third pers. pron.) (3) the same" Notice that the word can be translated, he, she or it. To those familiar with the Greek language, the fact the Holy Spirit is called "itself" does nothing to prove the Holy Spirit is not a person.
    Another passage Arians try to use to prove the Holy Spirit is not a person is John 1:32 "And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and IT abode upon him." (KJV) The NKJV and NASB translate it "and He remained upon Him". The NIV simply translates it, "and remain on him". But even with this using the word it is really not problematic. Since the word IT refers specifically to the "DOVE shape" the Holy Spirit took as a form. Not that the Holy Spirit was a dove, but that he took the form of a dove, hence, using "it" is quite natural even in English. Example: "My son dressed up as a gorilla. It was real scary!"
    A final Arian misused proof text is 1 Peter 1:11 "Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify when IT testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow." Of course it doesn't say "Spirit of God" but "Spirit of Christ". Now for Trinitarians, this is no problem, but for Arians, this is a huge problem. The Holy Spirit is the Father's "energy" not the "created Son's". If it is Jesus' own Spirit, Arians have just proven Jesus is not a person by their own argument of the usage of "it". If it is the Holy Spirit, (God's power) then they have to explain away the fact God's power is called, "the Spirit of Christ". We send Arians skidding into the ditch with this question: Was the Dove that abode on Him the father's Power or his own power? In the end, 1 Pet 1:11 is exactly like Romans 8:16,26 and John 1:32. The usage of the word "it", is just business as usual in the Greek language and those who think it proves the Holy Spirit is not a person are simply misinformed.
    But one final comment on 1 Pet 1:11 and Rom 8:16-26. If is puzzling that if God was trying to show us that the Holy Spirit was not a person in these verses, why would He attach "personality qualities" to the "it"? In 1 Pet 1:11 the "it" is intelligently revealing prophetic information. Persons do this, not things.

    In Rom 8:26, the very verse that the Holy Spirit is called an it the Holy Spirit helps us pray, and intercedes on our behalf: "the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groaning which cannot be uttered". Wow, that's some machine, one that helps us pray! Perhaps the Buddhists were on to something with their prayer wheels!




    #5 Anti-Trinitarian Proof Text Refuted





    "A comparison of Bible texts that refer to the holy spirit shows that it is spoken of as "filling" people: they are "baptized" with it; and they can be anointed with it. (Luke 1:41; Matt 3:11; Acts 10:38). None of these expressions would be appropriate if the holy spirit were a person." (Reasoning from the Scriptures, Spirit, p380, Jehovah's Witness publication)

    Acts 2:1-4 The Holy Spirit was poured out and fell upon Christians, meaning power not a person. You pour out a thing not a person. Things fall upon men not other people.


    This argument illustrates the utter desperation Jehovah's Witnesses are in to try to prove the Holy Spirit is not a person. We notice that they are wrong on every argument because the same kind of language they say cannot be used of persons, IS USED OF PERSONS! Of course beware of the New World Translation which deliberately translates the exact same words in different ways to deceive Jehovah's Witnesses.

    The Holy Spirit
    Persons

    "they were all filled with the Holy Spirit" Acts 2:4
    "Be filled with the Spirit" Eph. 5:18
    "that He [Christ] might fill all things." Eph. 4:10

    that you may be filled with all the fullness of God Eph 3:19

    "I will pour forth of My Spirit upon all mankind." Acts 2:17

    "He has poured forth this which you both see and hear." Acts 2:33
    Because He [Christ] poured out Himself to death" Isa 53:12

    "I [Paul] am being poured out as a drink offering" Phil. 2:17; 2 Tim. 4:6

    David was poured out Psalm 22:14

    "He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire" Matt. 3:11; Luke 3:16
    "For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God." Deut. 4:24

    "our God is a consuming fire." Heb. 12:29

    1 Cor 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you
    2 Cor 13:5 Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you

    one God and Father of all who is in all Eph 4:6

    greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world 1 Jn 4:4

    do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you 2 Cor 13:5

    And if Christ is in you Rom 8:10

    2 Cor 1:22 gave the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge
    Eph 3:17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts

    1 Cor 3:16 you are a temple of God...the Spirit of God dwells in you
    2 Cor 6:16 we are the temple of the Father, I will dwell in them

    the Holy Spirit fell upon them Acts 11:15; Acts 10:44; Acts 8:16
    sacrifice to Jehovah our God, lest He fall upon us Ex 5:3

    the hand of the Lord God fell upon me there Ezekiel 8:1 (metonymy: God really fell not the hand)




    #6 Anti-Trinitarian Proof Text Refuted





    A "proof" given in the booklet "Should You believe in the Trinity", published by the Watchtower and blindly distributed widely by Jehovah's witnesses, is the caption of a picture on page 41. The picture is of the 120 with "tongues of fire" resting on them (see Acts 2:3f). The caption asks, "How could the holy spirit be a person, when it filled about 120 disciples at the same time?"


    Jehovah's Witnesses are wrong in Acts 2:1-4 because only the 12 apostles were filled, not the 120. However, with this correction their point is unchanged.
    Jehovah's Witnesses view God too small! What do you expect from a religion who thinks its creator and saviour (Jesus Christ) is nothing more than an elaborate wind up toy designed to die on the cross.
    We ask this question of JW's, How could the Father or Jesus be a person when each fills millions of believers at the same time?
    "that He [Christ] might fill all things." Eph. 4:10
    "that you may be filled with all the fullness of God" Eph 3:19


    #7 Anti-Trinitarian Proof Text Refuted





    "God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power" Acts 10:38

    The Holy Spirit is used to "anoint" people like oil, He therefore cannot be a Person.


    Jesus is used as a door through which we enter, and go in and out, and find pasture. He therefore cannot be a Person? Think not! John 10:9 "I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture." Unless the person making the argument is willing to say Jesus is not a Person either because He is a door, this effective nullifies the argument. If Arians understand how a person can be a door that we go in and out of, then they should understand a person can be used to anoint another person.
    Obviously there is a type and antitype that is in play here. Incense in the Old testament is said to be our prayers in the New testament. Rev 5:8. It says the incense is the prayers of the saints. The temple of stone is our bodies in the New Testament.
    God says "the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple" Rev 21:22 Does this mean God is not a person? Notice the antitype of the physical temple is God Himself and Christ!
    Likewise, Holy Spirit is the antitype of the anointing oil of the Old Testament.

    Cont'd

    Steve Reed
     
  7. Gunny

    Gunny Remnant Supporter

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    #8 Anti-Trinitarian Proof Text Refuted Cont'd





    "While some texts say that the spirit "spoke," other passages make clear that this was done through angels or humans" (Reasoning from the Scriptures, Spirit, p380, Jehovah's Witness publication)


    The Watchtower is again up to their deceptive tricks. They know full well that many texts appear that God is talking when other passages make clear that this was done through angels. Does this prove God is not a person? Conversely, angels and men talk when it is clear that God was actually doing the talking. Are angels and men personification? The key is that God ALWAYS talks through another PERSON never electricity!
    Jehovah's Witnesses think it is logical that since the Holy Spirit speaks through people, He can't be a Person Himself. It has escaped their eyes that if the speech going through a person originates with the Holy Spirit, it proves personality and intelligence!
    We are reminded that the revealed primary role of the Holy Spirit is "revelator". If the Holy Spirit were a person, what would change? He would still speak through others!
    While it is true that God once spoke through a donkey to Baalam, this was a special miracle. Further, God was merely facilitating what the donkey was actually thinking, so the miracle is God translating the donkey's actual and real thoughts so a man can understand it. Further, animals have both thoughts and freewill, electricity does not. Where is the passage where God spoke through a thing?
    Jehovah's Witnesses need any example in scripture where God or anyone spoke through a thing. Take the burning bush. It doesn't say, "And the bush said, 'Moses take off your sandals'" but "God called to him from the midst of the bush" Ex 3:4 Arians simply have no verse where anything other than an intelligent person (or being with actual thoughts and free will) talked. This one point alone completely refutes their doctrine!
    It is common for one person to speak through another. In fact, when one person speaks through another, we naturally conclude both are persons and that the originator of the through is where the real intelligence lies. Speech can only originate with a self-conscious, intelligent being.
    But here are a passages where the Holy Spirit does the speaking all by Himself! There is simply no indication anywhere that God was speaking through the Holy Spirit. Acts 13:2 "the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them". 1 Ti 4:1 "The Spirit explicitly says" Heb 9:8 "the Holy Spirit is indicating this."
    But now, lets deal with the Jehovah's Witness view that God is really the one who is speaking through the Holy Spirit as in these verses: Jn 16:13 "Whatever He hears He will speak" Heb 10:15-17 "And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying, "This is the covenant that I will make with them"". (Quoting Jehovah in Jer 31:33) We can actually turn the Anti-Trinitarian argument on its head by arguing that it really was the Holy Spirit who did the talking in Jeremiah 31:33. This passage doesn't prove that the Holy Spirit is God's personified energy talking. Rather it proves that the Holy Spirit can rightly be called Jehovah, just like the Father and the Son can too! But we ask, why would God go to all the trouble of inventing and personifying what appears on the surface to be a separate entity speaking? Why not just say "God sayeth" every time instead of "the Holy Spirit sayeth"? Look at Jn 16:13, Christ relays a message through the Holy Spirit. If the Holy Spirit is not a person this makes the Holy Spirit nothing more than a tape recorder that replays what is said. There are two problem here, first, Jesus is seen relaying in exactly the same way and second, the Holy Spirit is pictured as an intelligent person who does the relaying, not some machine. There are places where Jesus directly speaks to men. Why confuse the simple matter with the Holy Spirit? The same thing in Heb 10:15f. Why would God say the Holy Spirit said this, if the thought really originated with the Father? Again the Holy Spirit is clearly portrayed as a person saying, witnessing and teaching us. Why would God confuse such a simple matter if the Holy Spirit was nothing more than God's Power?


    #9 Anti-Trinitarian Proof Text Refuted





    The actual Greek structure in reference to the Holy Spirit is: "The Spirit the Holy". This construction emphasizes that the Holy Spirit is not a person.


    The Greek construction "The Spirit the Holy" is an exceedingly common and fundamental Greek construction. It's just a common way of associating an adjective and a noun: "The Spirit, the Holy [one]" We might think of these phrases as saying, "the car, the red one..." But it is less cumbersome to simply translate, "the red car" as we did before. So the construction "The Spirit the Holy" certainly does not indicate whether Holy Spirit is a person.



    #10 Anti-Trinitarian Proof Text Refuted





    The Holy Spirit used in association with impersonal things, such as water & fire.

    Jehovah's Witnesses falsely argue:

    "Further evidence against the idea of personality as regards the holy spirit is the way it is used in association with other impersonal things, such as water & fire (Matt. 3:11; Mark 1:8), & Christians are spoken of as being baptized 'in holy spirit.' (Acts 1:5; 11:16) Persons are urged to become 'filled with spirit' instead of wine. (Eph. 5:18) So, too, persons are spoken of as being 'filled' with it along with such qualities as wisdom & faith (Acts 6:3, 5; 11:24) or joy (Acts 13:52), & holy spirit is inserted or 'sandwiched in' with a number of such qualities at 2 Corinthians 6:6. It is most unlikely that such expressions would be made if reference were being made to a divine person." (Jehovah's Witnesses, Insight p 1020, & Aid p 1543)


    This argument is utterly false, but what do you expect from a cult that can teach its "door to door book salesmen" anything and they will blindly accept it without checking or questioning. Association with other impersonal things doesn't eliminate anyone's personality!
    God is associated with many impersonal things. In fact God is directly called "fire" i two places: "our God is a consuming fire." Heb. 12:29 and "For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God." Deut. 4:24.
    Jesus is associated with impersonal things too. Jesus directly calls himself: The Bread, The Door, The Lamb, The Life, The Light, The Rock, The Stone, The Truth, The Vine, The Way, The Word, The Bread of Life.




    Steve Rudd
     
  8. Gunny

    Gunny Remnant Supporter

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    Cults and Aberrational Groups



    Over the years, the term “cult” has come to carry a variety of meanings depending on the context in which it is used. From the standpoint of orthodox Christianity, that is, in the theological sense of the term, a cult is a group of persons polarized around a heretical interpretation of religious truth. Such groups typically cite the Bible and claim to be in harmony with Christianity, but deny such basic doctrines of the Christian faith as the Trinity, the unique deity of Jesus Christ, salvation by grace alone, and justification by faith. The term “cult” is also used in a nontheological, sociological, or behavioral sense, especially in the secular media, to refer to any religious or quasi-religious organization which is socially deviant in some way. In this sense a “cult” is generally an excessively authoritarian group, typically centered around one living man or woman whose control over the members’ lives is absolute or nearly so. Although CRI occasionally may use the word “cult” in this second behavioral sense, to avoid confusion we do not use it in cases where the first theological sense does not also apply.

    There are sects and organizations which do not deny basic biblical theology, yet whose teachings and practices are seriously inconsistent with orthodox Christianity. CRI refers to these as aberrational Christian groups.

    Examples of “cults” (in the theological sense) include, to name but a few, the Jehovah's witnesses, Mormonism, Christian Science, Unity School of Christianity, the United Pentecostal Church (not to be confused with orthodox Pentecostal churches which affirm the Trinity), the Way International, Transcendental Meditation, Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism, and the like. Many, though not all, of these groups are “cults” in the behavioral sense as well.

    Some examples of “aberrational Christian groups” would be Seventh-day Adventism, the Local Church of Witness Lee, Maranatha Ministries, the more extreme churches of the Church of Christ, and the ministries of certain of the “positive confession” or so-called “faith” teachers.


    Christian Research Institute
     
  9. Gunny

    Gunny Remnant Supporter

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    HERESY AND ABERRATION - WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?



    We often hear the words "heresy" and "aberration" used in reference to unbiblical doctrines. But what exactly is the difference between a doctrine that is aberrational and one that is heretical?



    The word "heresy," in its most common usage, refers to false teachings that destroy. They are destructive because they overturn the basic elements which make up the historic Christian faith, substituting in their place doctrines which distort or contradict the teachings found in the Bible.



    The doctrines of the Trinity, the unique deity of Jesus Christ, and the resurrection are among the essentials of Christianity. They represent the core of Christian belief as contained within the pages of Scripture, and they compose what is commonly called "orthodox theology." And thus, heresies are teachings which openly deny any one of these fundamental doctrines. Examples of heresies include the Mormon doctrine that there are many gods, and that you may become one, as well as the Jehovah's Witnesses, who clearly deny the Trinity.




    It may be the case, however, that a particular teaching does not overtly deny basic biblical theology, but is nevertheless dangerously inconsistent with an orthodox confession of faith. A good example of this would be the "prosperity" teachers who are growing like wildfire within Christian denominations -- doctrines of this variety are referred to as aberrations. Thus, a group may be orthodox in its central theology while at the same time maintain teachings and practices that are clearly at odds with essential Christian theology.

    Once we realize that doctrines never function in isolation but, instead, work together to form the structure of a belief system, it becomes easy to understand how one doctrinal error can eventually lead to the corruption of other doctrines as well. As Walter Martin used to put it, "Error begets error, and heresy begets heresy." (2 Pet. 2:2 NIV). As Christians we are responsible, therefore, to make sure that the precious doctrines that God has given us remain sound (1 Tim. 4:16; cf. 2 Tim. 4:2-5).


    Christian Research Institute,
     
  10. Gunny

    Gunny Remnant Supporter

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    WHAT ARE SOME OF THE COMMON MARKS OF THE CULTS?


    One of the most devastating experiences someone could face is to have a loved one involved in a cult. What are some ways we can know that a certain group is, in fact, a cult?

    The devil always hides behind a mask; and he seldom carries an ID card. If this statement is true, it is of utmost importance for us to discern a cult when we see one.

    The first mark of a cult is its manipulation of Scripture. The Bible is twisted to fit the leader or group's interpretation. Private interpretations are forbidden because the leader of the cult is the only one, of course, who is able to understand God's voice properly. Their teachings distort the historic, orthodox claims of Christianity.



    Second, many times cults manipulate people's minds. There is little concern for individual thought and development. Education is usually discouraged while the convert is bombarded with the cult's doctrine and literature. Members are called to leave or neglect their old family and life-style for a brand new one.



    A third mark is the manipulation of time. Since salvation come exclusively from the teachings of the group , in many cults members spend much of their time working for their organization. Family, school, leisure, sleep, and even food are most often neglected.

    Finally, cults typically manipulate reality. They tend to have an exclusive "us" - "them" mentality in which society and old associates are all out to get them. Anyone outside of the group is suspect.



    If a religious group exhibits one or more of the marks mentioned above, that group may well be considered a cult. Jesus Christ said that in the last days many false prophets would arise and deceive many (Matt. 24:11, 24). To avoid the deception of the cults, we should be rooted in the teachings of the historic Christian faith, and receive Jesus Christ, God the Son, second Person of the Trinity, as Lord of our lives.


    Christian Research Institute
     
  11. Future Man

    Future Man Priest of God and the Lamb

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    Just wanted to quickly point out that the above would only work on a 'Modalist' [i.e. 'the Father and Son are the same person'], not Triunitarianism. :)

    God bless--FM
     
  12. Hank

    Hank has the Right to be wrong

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    http://www.bartleby.com/65/un/Unitarnsm.html
    Other non-trinity Christians throughout history.

    One problem with the bible is the endless possible interpretation of it. Trinity is one. The basic problem with monotheism is Jesus. The two do not mix. One can not have one God as described in the Old Testament and suddenly another equal God called Jesus. Thus either the writings of the Old Testament are incorrect or the writings of the New Testament.

    I give just one example.

    Exodus 3:14 (NIV)
    God said to Moses, "I am who I am . This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'IAM has sent me to you.


    Here while God was closest to interact with Humans He gives no hint on what He is or how many parts are to His being. The whole Old Testament gives no description of God. In fact if one only has the Old Testament to work with one would be a monotheist.

    Revelation 1:1-2 (NIV)
    The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who testifies to everything he saw that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.


    Now here, if you never heard of trinity, are two striking aspects to be discovered. First, the Lord Jesus sends a prophecy given by God. If Jesus and The Father are one, the first sentence makes no sense. Second, unlike God acted with Moses, John does not receive anything directly from God. He gets a message from God through Christ. There is not one prophecy in the Old Testament given though Christ, except Revelation.

    Going from the Old Testament to the New Testament requires going from monotheism to polytheism or at least to Trinitarianism, to stay at least somewhat in line with the Old Testament. In other words, if one only would need to deal with the New Testament, no one would think twice about trinity. You got the Father who has begotten Christ and gave him reign over earth.
     
  13. Soul_Searcher

    Soul_Searcher Contributor

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    Gunny, you said, "Denying the Trinity doctrine denies the deity of Jesus Christ, one of the central beliefs of the Christian religion." While I understand why you said this, because of the Nicene Creed and all, it doesn't necessarily follow. One can still believe in Jesus' deity and deny the whole Trinity thing. The Holy Spirit is such a nebulous thing anyhow; isn't God spirit already? Why another? God said to Moses, "I AM THAT I AM,' and Jesus said, "Before Abraham was, I AM." So in this instance Jesus is on parallel with God, but many other times he defers to 'the Father' who sent him.

    This debate will rage forever, well, for as long as we humans are around to debate it. It still misses two essential points: God, being God, can be and do anything it desires, including being two entities at once (Father and Son); our limited understanding cannot change that. Two, it matters not if one believes in the Trinity or not, for Jesus said nothing about that, only to follow the commandments, be born again into the spirit, put away the things of the material life and follow his example to find life everlasting. Jesus made it real simple; Paul muddied the waters.
     
  14. Rising_Suns

    Rising_Suns 'Christ's desolate heart is in need of comfort'

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    Hank,

    The father, son, and the holy spirit are 3 separate entities, yet still part of one God. It's paradoxial, but so are other things in the bible. We can't possibly think we can fully understand this through mere logic and reasoning, but need to take some things based on faith and discernment.
     
  15. agnostic front

    agnostic front Member

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    I've always questioned why the Biblical God just didn't simply make things much clearer in the Bible, if indeed this God exists and "wrote" the Bible? The Bible God's own followers argue endlessly about many subjects related to their religion and they have for over 2000 years. Why? Because as it has already been pointed out the Bible itself can be interpreted in various ways. I marvel at the human time and energy and money spent by Christians and members of other religions based on the Bible arguing who's right. It seems that if the Bible God, which Jesus represented, was really interested in us building a just world, he would've made the Bible much clearer, which would've allowed us to spend our time, energy, and money on more important things than arguing about "His Word".
     
  16. Soul_Searcher

    Soul_Searcher Contributor

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    I agree AF; way too much time is spent arguing about doctrine and far little time is spent doing the deeds. Whatever one believes about Jesus' deity or even his reality, the words and lessons speak for themselves. If we'd just listen and follow them we might just find peace in the world and peace within.
     
  17. Rising_Suns

    Rising_Suns 'Christ's desolate heart is in need of comfort'

    +770
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    Amen SS and AF.

    I just want to elaborate on this:

    There is one divine and global interpretation of the bible, God's interpretation. But our minds are weak, and can't see this as a whole. We can get parts, but the bible is really more than just words in a book. It talks to us on many different levels (apart from reason and logic...the literal interpretations), thus is will inevitably seem vague and not "clear cut" like people would rather it be (aspiriing fundamentalists? :))
     
  18. Gunny

    Gunny Remnant Supporter

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    So we are to believe anything we want regarding who Jesus is?

    I don't believe the Holy Spirit is nebulous. God as described in the Bible is never nebulous.

    When Jesus was about to go to the Father's right hand he said the Comforter would come, sent by the Father. The Comforter is not nebulous.

    I believe that in this modern culture man has forgotten the true wonderous, powerful and Holy nature of God.

    God's Word describes clearly who Jesus is and the nature of the Triune Godhead.

    If the indwelling Holy Spirit is one's teacher God's nature will be revealed by the partaking of God's Word.
     
  19. OldShepherd

    OldShepherd Zaqunraah

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    Go ahead Hank, give it your best shot. I have challenged several people on this forum to document from ancient scrolls, codices, clay/stone tablets, etc. any Trinity, i.e. three gods manifesting as one, in any pagan religion which could conceivably have influenced early Christianity. By trinity I do not mean the usual arbitrary grouping of three deities..
    Get on with it. Show me those historical facts. I have read JW literature all of it misquotes, quotes out of context, and invents quotes to support their blasphemous views. And Oh BTW do you read and understand Hebrew? I do!

    The only place a Trinity can be found is in pre-Christian Judaism. See 1910, Jewish Encyclopedia, below.

    In the Zohar.

    The Cabala, on the other hand, especially the Zohar, its fundamental work, was far less hostile to the dogma of the Trinity, since by its speculations regarding the father, the son, and the spirit it evolved a new trinity, and thus became dangerous to Judaism. Such terms as "maṭronita," "body," "spirit," occur frequently (e.q., "Tazria'," ed. Polna, iii. 43b); so that Christians and converts like Knorr von Rosenroth, Reuchlin, and Rittangel found in the Zohar a confirmation of Christianity and especially of the dogma of the Trinity (Jellinek, "Die Kabbala," p. 250, Leipsic, 1844 [trans]. of Franck's "La Kabbale," Paris, 1843]). Reuchlin sought on the basis of the Cabala the words "Father, Son, and Holy Ghost" in the second word of the Pentateuch, as well as in Ps. cxviii. 22 (ib. p. 10), while Johann Kemper, a convert, left in manuscript a work entitled "Maṭṭeh Mosheh," which treats in its third section of the harmony of the Zohar with the doctrine of the Trinity (Zettersteen, "Verzeichniss der Hebräischen und Aramäischen Handschriften zu Upsala," p. 16, Lund, 1900). The study of the Cabala led the Frankists to adopt Christianity; but the Jews have always regarded the doctrine of the Trinity as one irreconcilable with the spirit of the Jewish religion and with monotheism.

    http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/unitest.jsp
     
  20. Seifer

    Seifer New Member

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    *applause*
     
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