Friday, April 12, 2013

Trinity, The Innovated Doctrine

Trinity, The Innovated Doctrine

The New Encyclopædia Britannica:
"Neither the word Trinity, nor the explicit doctrine as such, appears in the New Testament, nor did Jesus and his followers intend to contradict the Shema in the Old Testament: 'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord' (Deut. 6:4). . . . The doctrine developed gradually over several centuries and through many  controversies. . . . By the end of the 4th century . . . the doctrine of the Trinity took substantially the form it has maintained ever since."-(1976), Micropædia, Vol. X, p. 126.

The Catholic Encyclopedia:
"In Scripture there is as yet no single term by which the Three Divine Persons are denoted together. The word [tri'as] (of which the Latin trinitas is a translation) is first found in Theophilus of Antioch about A. D. 180. . . . Shortly afterwards it appears in its Latin form of trinitas in Tertullian."

The New Catholic Encyclopedia:
"The formulation 'one God in three Persons' was not solidly established, certainly not fully assimilated into Christian life and its profession of faith, prior to the end of the 4th century. But it is precisely this formulation that has first claim to the title the Trinitarian dogma.
Among the Apostolic Fathers, there had been nothing even remotely approaching such a mentality or perspective
."-(1967), Vol. XIV, p. 299.

The Encyclopedia Americana:
"Christianity derived from Judaism and Judaism was strictly Unitarian [believing that God is one person]. The road which led from Jerusalem to Nicea was scarcely a straight one. Fourth century Trinitarianism did not reflect accurately early Christian teaching regarding the nature of God; it was, on the contrary, a deviation from this teaching."-(1956), Vol. XXVII, p. 294L.

Nouveau Dictionnaire Universel:
"The Platonic trinity, itself merely a rearrangement of older trinities dating back to earlier peoples, appears to be the rational philosophic trinity of attributes that gave birth to the three hypostases or divine persons taught by the Christian churches. . . . This Greek philosopher's [Plato, fourth century B.C.E.] conception of the divine trinity . . . can be found in all the ancient [pagan] religions."-(Paris, 1865-1870), edited by M. Lachâtre, Vol. 2, p. 1467.

John L. McKenzie, S.J., Dictionary of the Bible:
"The trinity of persons within the unity of nature is defined in terms of 'person' and 'nature' which are G[ree]k philosophical terms; actually the terms do not appear in the Bible. The trinitarian definitions arose as the result of long controversies in which these terms and others such as 'essence' and 'substance' were erroneously applied to God by some theologians."-(New York, 1965), p. 899.

The Oxford Companion to the Bible (Metzger and Coogan), pages 782-3:
"Because the Trinity is such an important part of later Christian doctrine, it is striking that the term does not appear in the New Testament. Likewise, the developed concept of three coequal partnersin the Godhead found in later creedal formulations cannot be clearly detected within the confines of the [Bible] canon. ... It is important to avoid reading the Trinity into places where it does not appear."

The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology (Colin Brown, editor), Volume 2, page 84:
"The Trinity. The NT does not contain the developed doctrine of the Trinity. 'The Bible lacks the express declaration that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are of equal essence and therefore in an equal sense God himself.. And the other express declarations is also lacking, that God is God thus and only thus, i.e., as The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These two express declarations, which go beyond the witness of the Bible, are the twofold content of lthe Church doctrine of the Trinity.' (Karl Barth, CD, I, 1, 437). It also lacks such terms as trinity (Lat. trinitas which was coined by Tertullian, Against Praxeas, 3; 11; 12 etc.) and homoousias which feature in the Creed of Nicea (325) to denote Christ was the same substance as the Father."

The Illustrated Bible Dictionary:
"The word Trinity is not found in the Bible . . . It did not find a place formally in the theology of the church till the 4th century."

The Encyclopedia of Religion:
"Theologians today are in agreement that the Hebrew Bible does not contain a doctrine of the Trinity." And the New Catholic Encyclopedia also says: "The doctrine of the Holy Trinity is not taught in the O[ld] T[estament]."

The Triune God, Jesuit Edmund Fortman:
"The Old Testament . . . tells us nothing explicitly or by necessary implication of a Triune God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. . . . There is no evidence that any sacred writer even suspected the existence of a [Trinity] within the Godhead. . . . Even to see in [the "Old Testament"] suggestions or foreshadowings or 'veiled signs' of the trinity of persons, is to go beyond the words and intent of the sacred writers."

The Encyclopedia of Religion:
"Theologians agree that the New Testament also does not contain an explicit doctrine of the Trinity."

Jesuit Fortman:
"The New Testament writers . . . give us no formal or formulated doctrine of the Trinity, no explicit teaching that in one God there are three co-equal divine persons. . . . Nowhere do we find any trinitarian doctrine of three distinct subjects of divine life and activity in the same Godhead."

The New Encyclopædia Britannica:
"Neither the word Trinity nor the explicit doctrine appears in the New Testament."

Bernhard Lohse, A Short History of Christian Doctrine:
"As far as the New Testament is concerned, one does not find in it an actual doctrine of the Trinity."

The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology:
"The N[ew] T[estament] does not contain the developed doctrine of the Trinity. 'The Bible lacks the express declaration that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are of equal essence' [said Protestant theologian Karl Barth]."

Yale University professor E. Washburn Hopkins:
"To Jesus and Paul the doctrine of the trinity was apparently unknown; . . . they say nothing about it."-Origin and Evolution of Religion.

Historian Arthur Weigall:
"Jesus Christ never mentioned such a phenomenon, and nowhere in the New Testament does the word 'Trinity' appear. The idea was only adopted by the Church three hundred years after the death of our Lord."-The Paganism in Our Christianity.

"Primitive Christianity did not have an explicit doctrine of the Trinity such as was subsequently elaborated in the creeds."-The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology.

"The early Christians, however, did not at first think of applying the [Trinity] idea to their own faith. They paid their devotions to God the Father and to Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and they recognised the . . . Holy Spirit; but there was no thought of these three being an actual Trinity, co-equal and united in One."-The Paganism in Our Christianity.

Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics:
"At first the Christian faith was not Trinitarian . . . It was not so in the apostolic and sub-apostolic ages, as reflected in the N[ew] T[estament] and other early Christian writings."-Encyclopædia of Religion and Ethics.

The Formation of Christian Dogma (An Hisjtorical Study of its Problems), by Martin Werner, professor ordinarious in the University of Bern:
"The significance of the Angel-Christology for the Post-Apostolic period, from the point of view of doctrinal history, lies in the fact that it stood in the way of lthe developement of a homoousian doctrine of the Trinity in the later rthodox Nicene sense, owing to its fundamentally Subordinationist character. Angel-Christiology and the Trinitarian dogma of Nicaea were in this respect absolutely incompatiable. (137) Arianism [editor: unitarianism] was doomed. It had indeed, with its reference to Scriptures and the old tradition of the Church, good arguments as its disposal. ... Modalism had criticised the accepted Trinitarian doctrin of the Churchas a doctrine of three gods. (160)
"Every significant theologian of the Church in the pre-Nicene period, had actually represented aSubordinationist Christology. (234)
"Consequently one now began to talk of a divine 'Trinity'. In the Nicene confession-formula of A.D. 325 this concept had been, significantly, lacking. 'Tinitas' = Trias did not signify a kind of 'unity of three', but simply 'threeness.' (252)
"By means of the union of the Logos with a complete human being, the three Persons of the Trinity were increased by a fourth, a human Person. From being a Trias it became a Tetras. ... It was seen from Phil. ii, 6 ff. that the Apostle Pul in no way taught in terms of a scheme which differentiated the Two Natures." (266)
"The course of the age-long dctrinal conflicts of the Early Church shows, for example, that the Trinitarian and Christological problems were by no means effectively settled by the doctrinal decrees of Nicea (325) and Chalcedon

Tom Harpur , "For Christ's Sake":
"What is most embarrassing for the church is the difficulty of proving any of these statements of dogma from the new Testament documents. You simply cannot find the doctrine of the Trinity set out anywhere in the Bible. St. Paul has the highest view of Jesus' role and person, but nowhere does he call him God. Nor does Jesus himself anywhere explicitly claim to be the second person in the Trinity, wholly equal to his heavenly Father. As a pious Jew, he would have been shocked and offended by such an Idea....(this is) in itself bad enough. But there is worse to come. This research has lead me to believe that the great majority of regular churchgoers are, for all practical purposes, tritheists. That is, they profess to believe in one God, but in reality they worship three.."

When Jesus was on earth, Judaism was the only purely monotheistic religion in the region, having become surrounded by endless waves of "trinities" from the surrounding nations of the Romans, Greeks, Babylonians and Egyptians. So, why did Jesus (pbuh) chose to allow the very first generations after him live and die never having heard of any "trinity,"till the enlightenment came to the creed-writers and neo-platonic philosophers of the fourth century CE?

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