Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Debunking Christianity: A Quick View to the Evolution of the Trinity

I saw multiple FacePalm-worthy post on Debunking Christianity today. I decided that this one was bad but not the worst so it's not gonna get a FacePalm. TGBaker keeps churning out material that makes me doubt if he ever even picked up a Bible. So here we go again.

The idea of trinity was not found in the original manuscripts of the New Testament. The pronouns that refer to the holy spirit were neuter meaning "it" not "He." By the fourth century copies of the Greek started showing some of the pronouns changes from 'it" to the masculine, He. (such as Ephesians 1:14). Even in the Gospel of John the Paraclete (Advocate) is referred to by neuter pronouns and is itself a neuter noun.

The word "Trinity" is not in the New Testament, but it's wrong to say the "idea" is not in it. The Father is called God. Jesus is called God (and it's more than just in the Pauline letters and John) . The Holy Spirit is called God. TGBaker insinuates that no neuter personal pronouns, referring to the Holy Spirit, exist in any manuscripts before the 4th Century, yet he provides no reference.  Besides the point is moot because Christian doctrine does not include that the Holy Spirit has gender - only personhood.

The idea of holy spirit in the New Testament is demonstrated by Paul's statement in I Corinthians 2: 10

these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.

The understanding of the Spirit of God is that God has a spirit like any human has a spirit. This is why we see the term is neuter throughout the New Testament.

No, not at all. The relationship between the Holy Spirit and the rest of the God-Head is more complimented than that. Recall what Jesus told the woman at the well

21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” - John 4:21-24

God doesn't just have a Spirit. God is Spirit. TGBaker shows a complete misunderstanding of what the Trinity is. God is one being! Monotheism. We experience and interact with God in a personal way. Three Persons in the one being. I completely agree with what Paul wrote, but it doesn't go against Acts 5:    I' am surprised that he left it out of this discussion.

3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4 Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.”  Acts 5:3-4

So the  Apostle Peter said that Annanias lied to the Holy Spirit and equated the Holy Spirit to God. On rtop of that, can you lie to an "it"? No, you can only lie to person(s).

This changed when Jesus began to be viewed as divine:

John 1:18, Θεν οὐδες ἑώρακεν πώποτε ὁ μονογεν θεός, ὁ ὤν εἱς τὸν κὀλπον τοῦ πατρός, ἐκεῖνος ἐξηγήσατο.

No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten god which is in the bosom of the Father has declared Him.

With Jesus as Logos and therefore the only begotten god monotheism was compromised. For two centuries the churches wrestled with the problem. Arianism which stated about Jesus, "There was a time when he was not" and several Trinitarian theories of co-eternal existence were competing . A plethora of Trinitarian formulas were running a muck. One won politically in part because Constantine bullied the counsel to come to a conclusion so that there would be one type of Christianity. One type won. Everybody else ran or was killed as heretics over the next several years.

People like TGBaker love to try to point out that the deity of Jesus is only supported by the Gospel of John, and many such individual want to date John as late as possible so they can conclude the belief evolved. Their problem is that  You don't need John to conclude that the first Christians did believe Jesus was God incarnate.

One of my favorites is the accounts (it is even in John) of  Jesus walking on water (see Matthew 14:22-34; Mark 6:45-56;  John 6:16-24). So why did Jesus walk on the water? To get to the other side, of course!!!  (Joking) The Old Testament says that God walks on water so by doing it, Jesus is identifying himself.

He alone stretches out the heavens and treads on the waves of the sea. - Job 9:8
Not to mention most of the epistles wicho all these skeptics also want to date before John;'s Gospel.

15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.- Colossians 1 :15-20

5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
 6 Who, being in very nature God,
   did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
   by taking the very nature of a servant,
   being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
   he humbled himself
   by becoming obedient to death—
      even death on a cross!

 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
   and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
   in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
   to the glory of God the Father.- Philippians 2::5-11

And there are others passages outside of the Gospel of John!

Debunking Christianity: A Quick View to the Evolution of the Trinity
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