Thursday, September 11, 2014

Miscellaneous Speculative and/or Suggestive Arguments In Defense of the Trinity



The following will be ongoing comments. I'll add to this blog as I find little nuggets that suggest the doctrine of the Trinity both in the Old and New Testament. Notice I said "suggest", not "prove." These are meant to be supplementary suggestive and confirmatory evidence. These are NOT the best evidences, and so should not be presented before the better evidences.



Most commentators agree Isa. 14:12-14 (and surrounding verses) have Isaiah likening the arrogance of the King of Babylon to that of Satan's pride which lead to his fall.

12    "How you are fallen from heaven,
        O Day Star, son of Dawn!
    How you are cut down to the ground,
        you who laid the nations low!
13    You said in your heart,
        'I will ascend to heaven;
    above the stars of God

        I will set my throne on high;
    I will sit on the mount of assembly
        in the far reaches of the north;
14    I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
        I will make myself like the Most High.'- Isa. 14:12-14
The Devil or Satan is here described as wanting to take Almighty God's place above the heavens. Satan is not looking to take the place of the highest person below Almighty God. Rather Satan wants to be the Most High God (el elyon). This interpretation is especially highlighted by the Old Testament scholar Michael Heiser. He has pointed out that during Old Testament times gods were the ones who were considered to be those who rode the clouds. Clouds were, in effect, the chariots of the gods. Baal was especially known for being the god who rode the clouds. That's why (according to Heiser) the Jews started to refer to their God (the God of Israel) as the true cloud rider. This designation of their God by Jews is recorded in the Old Testament. In every instance in the canonical Old Testament where a being rides the clouds, it is the one true of God Israel. The only exception is that of the mysterious figure named "the Son of Man" in Dan. 7:13. Heiser has argued that Jesus' allusion to and application of this verse to Himself before the Jewish Council is what caused Him to be condemned to death for blasphemy. Because He was, in essence, claiming to be God. I've argued this in my blog, Markan Christology. So, in the same way that Satan wanted to take Almighty God's place as God by ascending above the heights of the clouds, Jesus actually did so according to Jesus' prediction before the Jewish Council. Beyond the Gospels, there are New Testament epistles that also portray Jesus as above the heavens, and therefore strongly suggest that Jesus is Almighty God (YHWH/Jehovah/Yehovah/Yahweh)
For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens.- Heb. 7:26

He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.)- Eph. 4:10

This gives new meaning to Jesus' statements the Gospel of John:

He who comes from above is above all. He who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks in an earthly way. He who comes from heaven is above all.- John 3:31
John Gill in his commentary states regarding John 3:31 and the phrase "above all":

above John, before whom he was preferred, for he was before him; above the prophets of the Old Testament, and even above Moses, the chief of them; yea, above all the angels in heaven, being God over all, blessed for ever: wherefore all glory is to be given him; no honour is to be envied him, or detracted from him.

 See also any standard Christian defense of Christ's deity based on Phil. 2:5-11 (e.g. HERE, HERE). In summary, what Satan tried to take from "below the clouds" and which didn't inherently belong to him, Jesus (already "above the clouds" so to speak; Phil. 2:6-7) was willing to let go of and so received it back again when the Father glorified Him for His obedience (cf. John 17:5; Phil. 2:6-11). Jesus already was God, being "in the form of God" (Phil. 2:6) prior to His incarnation (and during His incarnation, according to Greek grammar).


See also my comments on Mark 14:26 which deals with the connection between Dan. 7:13 and Jesus' claim to be the Son of Man coming with the clouds of heaven.

Also My blogs:

Romans 9:5 and Christ's Full Deity






In connection with the previous argument it's interesting that while Satan is condemned for trying to ascend above the stars of God (i.e. the angels of God), the author of the book of Hebrews in Heb. 1:6  applies the combined themes of Ps. 97:7 and Deut. 32:43 to Christ so that all of God's angels are to worship Christ. This parallels John 5:23 where John attributes to Jesus the teaching that we are to honor the Son in the same way we ought to honor the Father. What was inappropriate and blasphemous for Satan to attempt to acquire (viz. a position higher than God's angels) is naturally the position Christ is in and we are required to render due honor and worship to Christ that corresponds to that exalted position. Therefore, Christ is truly and fully God.






Psalm 99:8 calls God the "God-Who-Forgives" (NKJV). The Hebrew word there for "forgives/forgiving" is nōsē’ and comes from the verb nāsā’, which means "to lift up, to carry, to bear, to bear away, to convey, to remove to a distance, to forgive". Literally ’ēl nōsē’ means "God forgiving" and is translated variously as "a God who forgave/forgives" or "a forgiving God" (ESV). The Hebrew word nāsā is the word "bear" in Lev. 16:22.

The goat shall bear all their iniquities on itself to a remote area, and he shall let the goat go free in the wilderness.- Lev. 16:22
 It is the same word used in Isa. 53:11 where the Messiah (Jesus) was to "bear" the iniquities of sinners. Jesus' atonement being the fulfillment of Lev. 16:22.

Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
    by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
        make many to be accounted righteous,
        and he shall bear their iniquities.- Isa. 53:11
If we put this all together, Ps. 99:8 may be a prophetic remez (hint) indicating that God Himself will bear the sins (and its punishment) of His people upon Himself in the person of Jesus. If so, then that would imply that Jesus is Jehovah/YHWH God.







Similar to the above argument, is the argument made by some which may or may not actually work. I'm not sure since I'm not a Hebrew scholar. But many have argued that Gen. 22:8 is actually a remez (hint) that God Himself with be the Lamb that God provides for ultimate atonement.

HERE'S ONE ARTCLE that argues for this. The article is from a King James Only website. I disagree with KJV Onlyism, but that doesn't entail that all their arguments are bad.

(KJV)  And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.
 
(ASV)  And Abraham said, God will provide himself the lamb for a burnt-offering, my son. So they went both of them together.

(JPS)  And Abraham said: 'God will provide Himself the lamb for a burnt-offering, my son.' So they went both of them together.
(MKJV)  And Abraham said, My son, God will provide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering. So they both went together.

(RV)  And Abraham said, God will provide himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son: so they went both of them together.




In the New Testament there are various passages that teach that Christ is in believers. That would suggest that Jesus is fully God since that would imply omnipresence. Moreover, Christians are called temples of the Holy Spirit. This argues for the fully deity of the Holy Spirit (as I argued HERE). Moreover, in John 14:23 Jesus says that if anyone loves Him and keeps His word, both He (Jesus) and the Father will come to him and make their home with (or in) him. If the the Father is God and can make His home with a believer, then it isn't a stretch to conclude that both Jesus and the Holy Spirit is God because they can make their home with or in the believer as well.

But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.- Rom. 8:10

Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?---unless indeed you fail to meet the test!- 2 Cor. 13:5

 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.- Gal. 2:20

 Jesus answered him, "If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.- John 14:23

cf. Gal 4:6; Rom. 8:9; Phil. 1:19




Jesus is the the antitype of the type that Melchizedek portrayed whom the author of Hebrews described as, "having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God he continues a priest forever" (Heb. 7:3) Clearly this verse is teaching Jesus is eternal, without beginning or end. But it's not the only place since the author describes Jesus by applying an Old Testament passage about Jehovah/Yahweh's eternality to Christ.

10    And,
    "You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning,
        and the heavens are the work of your hands;
11    they will perish, but you remain;
        they will all wear out like a garment,
12    like a robe you will roll them up,
        like a garment they will be changed.
    But you are the same,
        and your years will have no end."- Heb. 1:10-12 [Quoting Psalm 102:25-27]
Then the author finishes his book by stating that Jesus Christ is "the same yesterday, today and forever" (Heb. 13:8). The author of Hebrews also describes Christ as having an "indestructible life" in Heb. 7:16. Something which more aptly describes or fits Christ having God's very nature rather than a nature fitting an Arian or Semi-Arian Christology.





1 Tim. 2:5 has perennially been used to argue against the full deity of Christ.

For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.- 1 Tim. 2:5-6

However, this doesn't necessarily pose too much of a problem for Trinitarianism for at least two reasons. 1. It's precisely because Jesus is both God and man that He can mediate between the two parties. If Jesus' humanity qualifies Him for representing humanity to God, then His divinity qualifies Him to represent God to man. 2. The name Christ Jesus literally means, "anointed one Jehovah's salvation." The name "Jesus" or "ιησους" in Greek is of Hebrew origin. In Hebrew it is "Yeshua," which itself is a contracted form of "Yehoshua," which is itself a combination of two words, "Yehovah" and "Yoshia" to mean, "Yehovah Saves." Jesus' very name implies He is Himself "Yehovah/Jehovah." Which means His name indicates He is God. Therefore, 1 Tim. 2:5 need not be interpreted to affirm Christ's humanity to the exclusion of His divinity.




In various books and websites Chuck Missler has presented an argument where he claims the names of the genealogy from Adam to Noah present the Gospel in a hidden form in the Old Testament. Here's a link to one of the websites:

A Hidden Message: The Gospel in Genesis by Chuck Missler

Here's a link to a video version of the argument. Click HERE. [summary version HERE]

Missler also points out that the ten names are also attributes of the Messiah (click HERE for the cued video).

IF, I say again, IF Missler's claim is true and it does present the Gospel in hidden form, then it would be evidence for the full deity of Christ since He is being referred to as "the Praised God" or "the Blessed God." That's a common description of the one true God in the Old Testament (Hebrew, but especially the famous Greek translation named the Septuagint). It's so well known as a description of the one true God that that's precisely why many Unitarians do their very best to argue against Jesus being referred to as "the Blessed God" in Romans 9:5. Though, I do think Rom. 9:5 does present Jesus as the "Blessed God" and therefore as the one true God (i.e. full deity).

See these links discussing Romans 9:5:

Romans 9:5 Research By Gary F. Zeolla
Part ONE,  Part TWO

Jesus Christ – He who is over all, God blessed forever! by Sam Shamoun
Part ONE, Part TWO 

Christ's Divinity in Romans 9:5 by Jeremy Pierce

An Examination of Romans 9:5

http://www.forananswer.org/Romans/Rom9_5.htm

 http://www.christiandefense.org/Article_Rom%209.5.htm

Jesus as God: The New Testament Use of Theos in Reference to Jesus by Murray J. Harris (pages 143-172)

Here are some quotes that I copied from The Trinity: Evidence and Issues
Canon Liddon in his Bampton lectures at Oxford University said that a doxology to Christ as God "is the natural sense of the passage. If the passage occurred in a profane author and its essence and structure alone had to be considered, few critics would think of overlooking the antithesis between [Greek which I, AP, am guessing should be transliterated as 'ho Christos to kata sarka'] and [Greek: 'theos eulogetos']. Still less possible would it be to destroy this antithesis outright, and to impoverish the climax of the whole passage, by cutting off the doxology from the clause which precedes it, and so erecting it into an independent ascription of praise to God the Father."
Hendriksen wrote:
"This item serves as a fitting climax. From them, that is, from the Israelites (see verse 4) Christ derived his human nature. He was and is a Jew. What a source of intense satisfaction and rejoicing this should be for Jews! The apostle hastens to add that although Jesus is indeed a Jew, he is also much more than a Jew. Though he has a human nature, he also has a divine nature. He is God! It should be clear that when Paul says, 'Christ, who is over all God blest forever,' he confesses Christ's deity."

A.T Robertson wrote in his Word Studies
"A clear statement of the deity of christ following the remark about his humanity. This is the natural and the obvious way of punctuating the sentence. To make a full stop after sarka (or colon) and start a new sentence for the doxology is very abrupt and awkward. See Acts 20:28 and Titus 2:13 for Paul's use of theos applied to Jesus Christ."

Charles Hodge wrote:
"The relative who must agree with the nearest antecedent. There is no other subject in the context sufficiently prominent to make a departure from this ordinary rule, in this case, even plausible."

Deal Alford wrote:
"The rendering...is the only one admissible by the rules of grammar and arrangement."

Raymond Brown wrote:
"...This interpretation would mean that Paul calls Jesus God. From a grammatical viewpoint this is clearly the best reading, [sic] Also, the contextual sequence is excellent; for having spoken of Jesus' descent according to the flesh, Paul now emphasizes his position as God."

Lenski wrote:
"Christ is over all, i.e., the supreme Lord. This apposition is complete in itself. If no more were added, this apposition makes Christ God, for we have yet to hear of one who is 'over all' and is not God."

Robert Haldane wrote:
"The awful blindness and obstinacy of Arians and Socinians in their explanations, or rather perversions, of the Word of God, are in nothing more obvious than in their attempts to evade the meaning of this celebrated testimony to the Godhead of our Lord Jesus Christ. They often shelter themselves under various readings; but here they have no tenable ground for an evasion of this kind. Yet, strange to say, some of them have, without the authority of manuscripts, alter the original, in order that it may suit their purpose. there is no difficulty in the words - no intricacy in the construction; yet, by a forced construction and an unnatural punctuation, they have endeavored to turn away this testimony from its obvious import. Contrary to the genius and idiom of the Greek - contrary to all the usual rules of interpreting language, as had often been incontrovertibly shown - they substitute 'God be blessed'...Such tortuous explanations are not only rejected by a sound interpretation of the original, but manifest themselves to be unnatural, even to the most illiterate who exercises an unprejudiced judgment."

Quotes taken from pages 332-335 of Robert Morey's The Trinity: Evidence and Issues. I'm too lazy to type out all the sources. So, if you want the sources, get a copy of Morey's book.




3 Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,4 who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.- 2 Thess. 2:3-4
If this passages refers to the anti-Christ, and if the the term anti-Christ means in the place or stead of Christ, then the fact that the anti-Christ falsely claims to be Almighty God in the temple of God, would imply that Jesus the true Christ is Himself the true God. Since the anti-Christ is a counterfeit to the true. I place this argument in this blog because it is a speculative argument. Since, this passage may not be referring to "the" anti-Christ. Since, the term isn't used here but in 1 John where it refers to many anti-Christs. Therefore, there may not be a single person who is the epitome of the anti-Christ spirit. But it would make sense that someone described as "the man of lawlessness" and who enters the "temple of God" (either referring to the Jewish temple building or to the Church) would be "an" if not "the" anti-Christ.





What makes Christ the perfect mediator or "go-between" is that Christ shares the nature of both humanity and divinity. It's also why Christ was the perfect atonement. By being human, Christ was able to redeem human beings with a human nature. By being God, possessing the same nature as God the Father, He could pay the price of sin on account of the infinite value of His life. Something which could not be true of finite creatures (man or angel).




5    The Lord is at Your right hand;
    He will shatter kings in the day of His wrath.- Ps. 110:5 NASB

5    The Lord is at Your right hand;
    He shall execute kings in the day of His wrath.- Ps. 110:5 NKJV

Both the NASB and the NKJV capitalize the "y" in "Your" to indicate that the pronoun refers to Almighty God. Yet the underlying Hebrew word for "Lord" is "adonai" (which is only used of the one true Lord, Almighty God Himself). This might suggest two divine persons are being described here.

John Gill states in his commentary regarding this verse:

These words are either directed to Christ, at whose right hand the Lord was to help and assist him, Psa_16:8 or to the church, consisting of the Lord's willing people, at whose right hand he is to save them; is ready to help them, and is a present help to them in time of need, Psa_109:31 or rather to Jehovah the Father, at whose right hand the "Adonai", or Lord, even David's Lord, and every believer's Lord, is, as in Psa_110:1, and who is spoken of in all the following clauses; and to whom the things mentioned are ascribed...

Though, this is not the only possible interpretation as the NET Bible points out in a footnote on this verse:

As pointed in the Hebrew text, this title refers to God (many medieval Hebrew mss read יְהוָה, yehveh, “Lord” here). The present translation assumes that the psalmist here addresses the Lord as he celebrates what the king is able to accomplish while positioned at God’s “right hand.” According to this view the king is the subject of the third person verb forms in vv. 5b-7. (2) Another option is to understand the king as the addressee (as in vv. 2-3). In this case “the Lord” is the subject of the third person verbs throughout vv. 5-7 and is depicted as a warrior in a very anthropomorphic manner. In this case the Lord is pictured as being at the psalmist’s right hand (just the opposite of v. 1). See Pss 16:8; 121:5. (3) A third option is to revocalize אֲדֹנָי (’adonay, “Lord”) as אֲדֹנִי (’adoniy, “my lord”; see v. 1). In this case one may translate, “My lord, at his [God’s] right hand, strikes down.” In this case the king is the subject of the third person verbs in vv. 5b-7.
It should also be pointed out that the second "Lord" in the famous first verse of this chapter (which the New Testament quotes repeatedly) could be pointed as "adoni" or "adonai". The vowel pointings we have received from the Masoretes are a standardization that goes back only to after the beginning of Christian era. Depending on the passage, we don't know for certain which pointings ante-date the beginning of the Christian era. Often we can only infer pointings based on the interpretations of other Rabbinic literature. Which themselves are often a compilation of teachings/saying with uncertain dates of origin (sometimes ante-dating and other times post-dating the coming of Christ). Therefore, "adoni" is not necessarily the only and correct way to interpret the verse.

Psychologically speaking, it's not impossible that some early post Christian Era Jewish scribe(s) intentionally changed the pointing from "adonai" to "adoni", or erased evidence for a dual tradition of both pointings so that only the "adoni" pointing was preserved for posterity. While scholars disagree on what the correct vowel pointing of the tetragrammaton was/is, all agree that the Masoretes tried to hide it out of reverence for the Name. If they were willing to do that with the Divine Name, how much more might they be willing to "correct" and/or eliminate what they (honestly) thought to be an errant vowel pointing tradition? Especially so as not to encourage or lend support to what they considered to be the heretical position of Christianity which elevated the purported Messiah to Deity.

See also Steve Hays' great blogpost:

The Lord said to my Lord





Some Unitarians hold to a position similar to Greg Stafford that rejects not only the full deity of Christ but also Christ's dual nature. If with Stafford they also reject the distinction between 1. person and 2. being (or substance or essence), then that presents a dilemma for them with respect Matt. 1:23 which applies the prophecy of Isaiah 7:14 to Christ. The prophecy says the messiah would be called/considered "Immanuel" (which means "God with us"). If Jesus didn't have two natures at once upon incarnation then Jesus ceased to have the nature (or being/essence/substance) of God (or "a god") during the incarnation. In which case Jesus couldn't have been "Immanuel" since God WOULDN'T be "with us." On the other hand, one way they can affirm "(a) god with us" is to say that while Jesus ceased being a god during the incarnation, it was still nevertheless the same PERSON as the god who previously existed with a god-like nature and now has a human nature. The problem is that then they would be conceding a Trinitarian distinction between person and being. Which therefore opens up the possibility of the truth of Trinitarianism which teaches God is one in being and three in person. That is, One WHAT and Three WHOS.

Also, it must be understood that the prophecy was probably not initially understood to mean that Almighty God Himself would take on human nature. Regardless of whether one applies the principle of dual fulfillment regarding Isa. 7:14 or not, the original audience would have interpreted the prophecy to mean that at some future date a human would be born who would represent and inaugurate (in some sense) Almighty God being with "us", that is, His people,  in the sense of being on their side helping and delivering them. The original audience would not have assumed that an elohim that was an inferior supernatural being to Almighty God (but submitted to Almighty God) would be on their side. Therefore, when Matt. 1:23 applies the prophecy to Christ as el or elohim in the flesh, the natural interpretation would be that Matthew intends to teach that the el or elohim who was "with us" wasn't a mere angelic being but God Himself. Moreover, it seems to me the Greek says "ho theos." Which is usually (though not exclusively) reserved for Almighty God in the New Testament. Even the Jehovah's Witnesses Kingdom Interlinear (1969 and 1985) says, "With us the God."





"He who comes from above is above all, he who is of the earth is from the earth and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all.- John 3:31
Twice in this verse Jesus said said to be "above all." Being "over all" or "above all" is normally a description reserved for God alone. Therefore, this verse suggests Jesus is fully divine.

For the LORD, the Most High, is to be feared, a great king over all the earth.- Ps. 47:2


that they may know that you alone, whose name is the LORD, are the Most High over all the earth.- Ps. 83:18

The LORD is great in Zion; he is exalted over all the peoples.- Ps. 99:2


The LORD has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.- Ps. 103:19




Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.- John 3:36

that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.- John 5:23

"Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.- John 14:1
In these three verses in the Gospel of John we are taught to believe, obey, and honor Jesus in ways that would seem should and could only be appropriately given to true Deity. Therefore, these verses suggest Jesus is fully and truly God. What creature, no matter how highly exalted, could command, demand or deserve the same belief/trust, obedience and honor as God? None. Therefore, Jesus is fully God (as many other parts of the Gospel of John teach).





 So Abraham called the name of that place, "The LORD will provide"; as it is said to this day, "On the mount of the LORD it shall be provided."- Gen. 22:14

 While reading Genesis chapter 22 in the ESV I noticed that the translator's footnote for verse 14 states the ending could be translated "he will be seen." I thought that might suggest the manifestation of Jehovah as Christ/Messiah. Since, this episode of Abraham sacrificing Isaac is recognized by all to be a type of the antitype of God the Father's sacrifice of His only Son the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross. So, I decided to read some commentaries. Here is what two say.

Jehovah - jireh - יהוה יראה  Yehovah-yireh, literally interpreted in the margin, The Lord will see; that is, God will take care that every thing shall be done that is necessary for the comfort and support of them who trust in him: hence the words are usually translated, The Lord will provide; so our translators, Gen_22:8, אלהים יראה  Elohim yireh, God will provide; because his eye ever affects his heart, and the wants he sees his hand is ever ready to supply. But all this seems to have been done under a Divine Impulse, and the words to have been spoken prophetically; hence Houbigant and some others render the words thus: Dominus videbitur, the Lord shall be seen; and this translation the following clause seems to require, As it is said to this day, בהר יהוה יראה  behar Yehovah yeraeh, On This Mount The Lord Shall Be Seen. From this it appears that the sacrifice offered by Abraham was understood to be a representative one, and a tradition was kept up that Jehovah should be seen in a sacrificial way on this mount. And this renders the opinion stated on Gen_22:1 more than probable, viz., that Abraham offered Isaac on that very mountain on which, in the fullness of time, Jesus suffered. See Bishop Warburton.- Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

"And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh,...." Which may be rendered either "the Lord hath seen", as the Septuagint, or "has provided", the future being put for the past, as Abendana observes, and so it is called, in answer to what Abraham had said, Gen_22:8; "God will provide": now he had provided, and, as a memorial of it, gives the place this name; or "he will see or provide" (m); as he has provided for me, so he will for all those that trust in him; as he has provided a ram in the room of Isaac, so he has provided, and will send his only Son in the fulness of time to be a sacrifice for the sins of his people:

"as it is said to this day, in the mount of the Lord it shall be seen"; from this time to the times of Moses, and so on in after ages, even until now, it has been used as a proverbial saying, that as God appeared to Abraham, and for his son, in the mount, just as he was going to sacrifice him, and delivered him, so the Lord will appear for his people in all ages, in a time of difficulty and distress, and when at the utmost extremity, who call upon him, and trust in him. This may also refer to the presence of God in this mount, when the temple should be built on it, as it was, 2Ch_3:1; and to the appearance of Christ in it, who was often seen here: some choose to render the words, "in the mount the Lord shall be seen" (n); "God manifest in the flesh", 1Ti_3:16, the "Immanuel", "God with us", Mat_1:23, who was frequently in the temple built on this mount, and often seen there in his state of humiliation on earth.
(m) יהוה יראה "Dominus videbit", V. L. Montanus, Drusius, Schmidt; "Dominus providebit", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator. (n) בהר יהוה יראה "in monte Dominus videbitur", Pagninus, Montanus, Tigurine version. -
John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible




 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.- Matt. 1:20

And the angel answered her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy---the Son of God.- Luke 1:35
 These verses suggest the true personality of the Holy Spirit since in Jewish thought only persons can be the agency of conception. And the fact remains that every other kind of spirit (e.g. angelic, demonic, Divine) is personal. It's true that the same words for spirit (ruach in Hebrew and pneuma in Greek) is also used to refer to the wind or air. However, the context determines whether it refers to physical wind or a supernatural person. Clearly the Holy Spirit isn't a physical gust of wind. Therefore, the Holy Spirit is a person. Especially since the Holy Spirit possesses all the attributes of persons (as I've shown HERE).

Also, if the "sons of God" in Genesis 6 were fallen angels (which is one possible, not to mention ancient interpretation), then their ability to conceive children supports the idea that only persons can do so. Hence, the Holy Spirit is a person.





12    Since we have such a hope, we are very bold,13 not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end.14 But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away.15 Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts.16 But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed.- 2 Cor 3:12-16


If the "Lord" in verse 16 is the Lord Jesus Christ, then that would suggest the full deity of Christ because it seems to echo (however faintly) Isa. 45:22 which states, ""Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other." Remember too that the very next verse, Isa. 45:23 is a passage in about Jehovah that's applied to Christ in Philippians chapter 2.





Some Trinitarians are offended by the following analogies to the Trinity, but I myself think they are helpful. One view of the Trinity sees each person as a "center of consciousness." Assuming this version for the sake of argument, then the Trinity could be analogous to a human being with multiple personality disorder or to the mythical dog of the underworld Cerberus. In both cases there is one being but three centers of consciousness.

Cerberus was often described as having multiple heads (often 3). Each head had it's own center of consciousness. Each consciousness could be said to be Cerberus. Yet, at the same time each consciousness is distinct/different from the other two consciousnesses. Similarly, each person of the Trinity is fully God, even though each person is not the other two persons, yet there is only one God not three Gods.

12 And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him---A THREEFOLD CORD IS NOT QUICKLY BROKEN.- Eccl. 4:12 (see verses 9-12)

Ecclesiastes 4:12 may or may not be a remez regarding the Trinity. Even assuming it isn't, the verse can illustrate the Trinity in some sense.

T1 The First-Cord is not the Three-Fold-Cord

T2 The Three-Fold-Cord is Cord





Is the First-Cord Cord or not? Yes and no. On the one hand, the First-Cord is Cord in it's own right. Yet, on the other hand (and in another sense) the First-Cord is not Cord in the sense of being the Three-Fold-Cord. The Same is true of the Second-Cord and the Third-Cord.

Similarly, the Trinity is God, and the Father is God even though the Father is not the Trinity, or the Son or the Holy Spirit.

The three incomparable parables of our Lord - The Lost Son, The Lost Sheep, The Lost Coin (Luke 15), fittingly illustrate the work of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit in man's redemption. - Herbert Lockyer, All the Divine Names and Titles in the Bible, p. 310










6 comments:

  1. Hi A.P. it’s me again Paul.
    As I have said many times, the trinity is NOT true. There is no such doctrine in the Bible.
    Only some kind of self anointed theologians are able to cook up such a nonsensical doctrine as the trinity.
    Well, I have a good suggestion my friend.

    Put the BIBLE on the table and ALL other books from every theologian, and then please keep the BIBLE and throw ALL other books in the rubbish bin.
    Yes my friend, that’s all they are good for :-)

    And then start afresh.
    But this time start with the Word of God the Bible alone, don’t look to the left and don’t look to the right, only look to the Lord Jesus Christ and HE will lead you into all the truth. :-)
    Your brother Paul.

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    Replies
    1. If you were to consistently employ that approach, you would erase your own blog. Also, if you were consistent, you would not connect yourself to the 16th century Puritans as you do on your blog. The fact is that we are all theologians and it's natural to speak and write out our understanding of Scripture in non-Scriptural terms. As John Owen stated:

      In the declaration, then, of this doctrine unto the edification of the church, there is contained a farther explanation of the things before asserted, as proposed directly and in themselves as the object of our faith, — namely, how God is one, in respect of his nature, substance, essence, Godhead, or divine being; how, being Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, he subsists in these three distinct persons or hypostases; and what are their mutual respects to each other, by which, as their peculiar properties, giving them the manner of their subsistence, they are distinguished one from another; with sundry other 379things of the like necessary consequence unto the revelation mentioned. And herein, as in the application of all other divine truths and mysteries whatever, yea, of all moral commanded duties, use is to be made of such words and expressions as, it may be, are not literally and formally contained in the Scripture; but only are, unto our conceptions and apprehensions, expository of what is so contained. And to deny the liberty, yea, the necessity hereof, is to deny all interpretation of the Scripture, — all endeavours to express the sense of the words of it unto the understandings of one another; which is, in a word, to render the Scripture itself altogether useless. For if it be unlawful for me to speak or write what I conceive to be the sense of the words of the Scripture, and the nature of the thing signified and expressed by them, it is unlawful for me, also, to think or conceive in my mind what is the sense of the words or nature of the things; which to say, is to make brutes of ourselves, and to frustrate the whole design of God in giving unto us the great privilege of his word.

      - John Owen, Brief Declaration and Vindication of The Doctrine of the Trinity [source]

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  2. Thank you A.P.for your comment. It seems that our brother Steve does not post any comments that do not agree with his doctrines.
    I wonder, what is the point to have a comment section then ?

    OK. I and we are not connected to the 16th century Puritans, although I and we like some of their doctrines.
    The 16th century Puritans did not all agree with every doctrine, they had many big disagreements with each other, just like we have :-)

    I and we believe in only ONE Puritan and that is the Lord Jesus Christ, He is the PURITAN of all doctrines. Every man errs in many ways, but the Lord Jesus Christ does NOT err, He is the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE.
    If we all look to Jesus and believe in Him, then we will know the truth and the truth will set us free from every error, especially the doctrine of God which I have been debating for many years with everyone who is willing to debate.

    It seems to me that trinitarians (in general) don’t like to be confronted with that blatant nonsensical doctrine like the trinity.

    We all love our brother John Owen, but he never understood the doctrine of God, that is simply, because the Lord Jesus didn’t gave him that understanding.

    You see, the doctrine of God is so simple for children to understand, but the learned (the wise guys), they will never know it and neither will they believe it, the Lord Jesus Christ will not give it to them.
    Remember, the Lord Jesus said, ‘I praise thee O Father that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and gave it to babes.’
    When Jesus said that He has hidden these thing, that’s exactly what He means and what He did.

    You said, “Godhead, or divine being; how, being Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, he subsists in these three distinct persons“.

    Can you see how John Owen has a preconceived assumption that God is three persons ?
    For that reason it is important that you don’t believe John Owen.
    It is required from you to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and NOT in man made doctrines who are nonsensical.

    Everyone who is deceived or does NOT understand the doctrine of God, but WILL invent that kind of nonsense.
    No one in his right mind can say or will say that THREE persons equal ONE God. That is an oxymoron at best.
    You can’t call THREE beings “HE”.
    God is ONE person and He is always called “HE”.
    THREE persons you call “THEY”.
    And for that reason you need to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, or else you will die in your sins (John 8:24).

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  3. Concerning the trinity.
    What would you say if I would say that my natural father is three persons ? Well, I can imagine what you would say or think.

    That would be exactly the same nonsense as if I would claim that God is my Father who is in heaven and He is also three persons ?
    Remember, there is only one God and that is the Father. (1 Cor. 8:6)


    It is so plainly obvious that God is NOT three persons in one God.
    Trinitarians are exactly like the evolutionists, even if all evidence speaks against their theory, they wilfully believe the lie.

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    1. It seems that our brother Steve does not post any comments that do not agree with his doctrines.
      I wonder, what is the point to have a comment section then ?


      He does. However, he'll sometimes block people who either persistently present bad arguments, or who repeat their comments or arguments without updating them in light of (and in response to) his comments.

      The 16th century Puritans did not all agree with every doctrine, they had many big disagreements with each other, just like we have :-)

      Yet they were in general agreement regarding the Trinity (though, they differed on some of the finer points).

      We all love our brother John Owen, but he never understood the doctrine of God, that is simply, because the Lord Jesus didn’t gave him that understanding.

      Have you read Owen's Vindication of the Trinity? I have. I recommend it. Though, I think some of his arguments are antiquated or outdated. For example, he'll use arguments in defense of the Trinity based on verses we now know have textual variants. So I wouldn't have used those verses to defend the doctrine of the Trinity.

      No one in his right mind can say or will say that THREE persons equal ONE God. That is an oxymoron at best.

      No it's not. All you've done is make assertions and poison the well instead of giving good reasons or arguments for your position.

      You can’t call THREE beings “HE”.

      Again, you misunderstand the Trinity if you think we believe three BEINGS are one. You seem to not understand what we mean by "being" or "essence" or "substance". Either that, or you're being disingenuous.

      God is ONE person and He is always called “HE”.
      THREE persons you call “THEY”.


      You haven't addressed my comments at Triablogue or on one of my other blogposts regarding the evidence for plurality in God in the OT. If you persist on not addressing them, I too might be forced to block your comments.

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    2. You need to read my blogpost: Old Testament Passages Implying Plurality in God

      http://trinitynotes.blogspot.com/2014/08/old-testament-passages-implying.html


      Here's a sample:


      Anthony Rogers pointed out, "The word Elohim is used thousands of times for “God”; Adonai is used hundreds of times for “Lord”; both of these words are plural nouns in Hebrew."


      Nick Norelli in his book The Defense of an Essential: A Believer’s Handbook for Defending the Trinity listed the following:


      1. Plural Verbs


      o Genesis 20:13

      English Translation: God caused me to wander

      Hebrew: ה התתְעוו ו אלתהים, א אלֹל ה היםם

      Literally: They caused me to wander


      o Genesis 35:7

      English Translation: God appeared

      Hebrew: נהגתְלֹו ו א אלֹלָיםו לָ ה א אלֹל ה היםם

      Literally: They appeared


      o 2Samuel 7:23

      English Translation: God went

      Hebrew: לָ הלֹתְכוו ו -א א אלֹל ה היםם

      Literally: They went


      o Psalms 58:12

      English Translation: God that judges

      Hebrew: א אלֹל ה היםם ששלפתְ ה טיםם

      Literally: Gods that judge


      2. Plural Adjectives


      o Deuteronomy 5:26

      English Translation: living God

      Hebrew: א אלֹל ה היםם ח חים ה יםום

      Literally: Living Gods8


      o Joshua 24:19

      English Translation: holy God

      Hebrew: א אלֹל ה היםם תְ קדֹלששהיםם

      Literally: Holy Gods


      3. Plural Nouns


      o Ecclesiastes 12:1

      English Translation: thy Creator

      Hebrew: בוולרתְ אֶ איםךלָ

      Literally: Creators


      o Isaiah 54:5

      English Translation: For thy Maker is thy husband

      Hebrew: בל ע עולֹחיִךתְ עולששחיִךתְ

      Literally: Makers, Husbands9


      o Malachi 1:6

      English Translation: Master

      Hebrew: ע אדֹולנהיםם

      Literally: Masters10


      o Daniel 7:18

      English Translation: Most High

      Hebrew: אֶ עולֹתְיםולנהיםן

      Literally: Most High Ones


      footnotes:

      8 See also 1Samuel 17:26, 36 & Jeremiah 10:10, 23:36 for “living Gods”

      9 See also Psalm 149:2 for “Makers”

      10 Nearly every occurrence of the noun “Lord” ( ע אדֹולנהים ) in reference to God appears in the plural form.


      This excerpt from Nick's book was taken from a larger excerpt that can be downloaded HERE


      As Anthony Rogers says in one of his articles:


      When all is said and done, the Old Testament uses plural nouns, pronouns, verbs, adverbs and adjectives for God.

      Meaning, plural nouns, plural pronouns, plural verbs, plural adverbs, and plural adjectives for God.

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