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Trinity Comments -1999

Below are assorted, short e-mails I received in 1999 on the items listed at The Doctrine of the Trinity. The e-mailers’ comments are in black and enclosed in "greater than" and "lesser than" signs. My comments are in red.


>Hi Gary,

Great web site with sound Christian essentials.<

Thank you.

> Jehovah Witnesses tend to harp on the point that the word "Trinity" is not in the Bible. I realize this is diversionary and a way to get off tangents because they don't know how to handle what Scripture clearly teaches about the Deity of Christ.

Where did the word "Trinity" come from and how can I use it to segway me back into debate on the real issues, so I don't get bogged down on the minor topic.<

Thanks
In Christ
Chris
6/17/1999<

The word "Trinity" comes from the Latin word trinitas. It was coined by Tertullian, circa 150 AD. The word simply means three-in-one. And that is the important point, the concept, not the word. That is what I emphasize in discussion. Does the Bible teach that in some way God is one but in some other way three?

As for the word Trinity not being in the Bible, neither are many words JWs use, such as: theocratic, Kingdom Hall, and Governing Body. So what? Since "Governing Body" is not in the Bible, does that mean it is wrong for a Christian organization to have one?


> Hey Gary,

I appreciate your input and especially your love for apologetics.
God bless you and your ministry
Chris
6/18/1999<


> Hate to burst your bubble brother, but the Trinity Doctrine is the Doctrine of Satan. The only reason the Roman Catholics came up with the Trinity Doctrine is the Greeks and Roman's were too programmed to having multiple gods such as Mars, Jupiter, Zeus, etc. So what do the Catholics do? They make God into three persons. Don't think so. There is only one God. I do believe that Jesus was and is God in the flesh by way of the spirit of God but I don't believe that the Holy Spirit is a person. The Holy Ghost is a spirit as is God. No one has ever seen God.

Billy
5/31/1999<

Just three questions: 1. Could you provide documentation for your claim for the reason for this supposed "invention." By that I mean, what documents from the time the "invention" occurred document that this was in fact the reason the doctrine was invented. Surely, if the Church was bringing in Grecian mythology into it, someone at the time would have wrote about it.

2. WHEN did this supposed invention occur?

3. When do you believe the Roman Catholic Church originated?

I ask the last two questions as I document on my site that the doctrine of the Trinity was around at least by the mid 2nd century. So for the RCC to have "invented" the doctrine it would have had to been around before this, say at least by the early second century. But by your tone, I doubt very much you would agree with such a time-table (and neither would I).

My point is, I do not believe the RCC as it is known today existed until long after the doctrine of the Trinity was well known and accepted. By it is simply impossible for it to have invented the doctrine.

But what was around were the Scriptures. And as I document on my site, there are hundreds of verses upholding the three-in-oneness of the one true God (and yes, despite your misunderstanding, the doctrine of the Trinity teaches there is only one God). And it was this testimony of the Scriptures that led to the doctrine being developed. And there is ample appeal to the Scriptures in the writings of the Church Fathers to document that this, and not Grecian mythology, was the basis for the doctrine.

And I even have Scriptural evidence for the personality of the Sprit on my site. So I will just refer you to the 30+ articles on my site for further documentation of the above.


You probably know more Bible than I do. I will read the articles on your site.

Billy
6/2/1999<


>Glory to God! Hallelujah! I am so thankful to God for His precious, precious light. I am a Christian and just found out that many of my family members do not understand the Trinity and do not understand how Christ can possibly be God. I was planning to conduct a family Bible study to get this cleared up. I decided to search the Web for resources and I was led by the Holy Ghost to your page! This is truly a blessing. Just wanted to say thanks and I bless you in the name of Jesus! May God Bless You. This truth will certainly change lives!

Thanks,
Rahshida
5/28/1999<

Thank you for the kind comments; and I am thankful I could be of help.


>Praise the Lord my friend!! I really enjoyed your sight. Especially those articles defending the Trinity. They really helped a lot in my questions about God.<

I am thankful you found my site beneficial.

>The only question I have for you is about the C.S. Lewis statement that "God is Love has no meaning unless God is at least two persons" [See The Relationship of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit]. The thing I'd like to point out is that Jesus gives the second commandment as "Love thy neighbor as thyself" So it seems to me that you'd have to Love yourself in order to love your neighbor as yourself, meaning that there does not have to be two persons for Love to be present. God spoke that to my heart as I read & thought I'd like to share it with you.

May the Lord Jesus bless you richly & open your eyes to all truth!!

1/15/1999<

The kind of love we are commanded to have is love for God and others. And the emphasis on God's love in the Bible is on His love for us. So it is interpersonal love that is emphasized in the Bible, including the verses where it says "God is love." The context is on God's love for us. So the statement "God is love" is most logically interpreted as interpersonal love.


>Gary I looked at the texts sited - and I don't see where you find the teaching of the Trinity so clearly. The more Scriptures you quote, the more it convinces me that there is no basis for believing the Trinity.

PLEASE answer the following questions to satify my concern!!!!<

For the most part, your questions can be answered by remembering three important points about the doctrine of the Trinity. First, it asserts Jesus is both full God and full man. By saying He is God is God there is no denial of His humanity.

Secondly, the doctrine asserts there is a distinction between the Persons of the Godhead. The Trinity is NOT Modalism. The latter teaches the Father, Son, and Spirit are one and the same Person. The doctrine of the Trinity recognizes the distinction of the three Persons within the one God.

Third, although the three Persons are one in essence, there is a positional distinction between them. Just as all humans are equal in essence but some have higher positions than others.

>How can Jesus say, he leaned from the things he suffered?<

In His human nature he learned, grew, and developed.

>How can he receive a name above every other name, who did he receive it from?<

He received the Name at His exaltation when he received the glory He had with the Father before His incarnation. He had set aside His divine prerogatives at the incarnation. And He received the Name from the Father.

>Why does Jesus not know when the end is, but says only the Farther knows?<

In His humanity He had set aside His divine prerogatives, which included the full use of His omniscience. But note, at times He does utilize omniscience or at least has knowledge far beyond what a "normal" human would possess.

>Why does Jesus say his going away to the Farther, because the Father is greater than him?<

The Father has a greater position within the Godhead but not a better nature.

>Who does Jesus pray too, if he is God?<

The Son, the second Person of the Trinity is praying to the Father, the first Person of the Trinity.

>Why did an angel minister to him, the night before his death. If he was God, why would he need an angel to strengthen him?<

In His humanity He needed strengthening.

>Why does the Bible say that Jesus eventually hands the Kingdom back to his Father?<

Because the Father is higher positionally in the Godhead.

>Why does the Bible say that God subjected all thing to Jesus, but with exception to God himself?<

Ditto above.

>Why does the Bible say Jesus had a beginning, yet God never had a beginning?<

It doesn't. If you're referring to Prov 8 it is not a reference to Jesus. Prov 1-9 is a poetic description of "wisdom" being personified as a WOMAN.

>Why call him son of GOD?<

Using the terms "son" and "father" to refer to the first two Persons of the Godhead indicates the type of relationship that exists between the Father and the Son in the best way our finite minds could understand it.

>Why could he not do things according to his own initiative, why only what his Father instructed or taught?<

Because the unity of their essence means they are one in purpose. Furthermore, it shows the dependence Jesus in His humanity had on the Father as an example for us.

>Can GOD die, if not how could Jesus have died?<

Jesus died in His humanity not His deity.

>When Jesus cried out, Father why have you forsaken me - was he talking to himself?<

Same answer as for praying. The second Person of the Trinity crying out to the First Person of the Trinity.

>Please I need to know the answers to these questions!

Regards
Arnold
1/1/1999<

The above are just some quick answers. Basically, again, a proper understanding of what the Trinity asserts and what it does not assert provides answers to your questions. I try as best as I can to provide such explanations on my site. See the various articles posted there for further details on these and related points.

I hope the above is helpful.

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