Trinity Exposed

Dedicated to exposing the truth about the Trinity through the admissions of Trinitarian Apologists,Historians, and Scholars themselves. A necessary tool for all those who want to enlighten ordinary trinitarians who are ignorant to these facts.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

What Really happened at Nicea?

The Players
Alexander of Alexandria: Bishop of Alexandria. Said Christ was the 'same substance' as the Father. Convened a council of bishops from Egypt and Libya to anathematize Arius and excommunicate him and his followers.

Athanasius: served as a deacon at the Council of Nicaea. He was strongly opposed to Arianism. He helped the Council decide against Arianism, and was later exiled.

Constantine: Emperor of Rome. He called the Council of Nicaea to settle the dispute over Arianism. He was the Emperor who recognized Christianity as a legal religion and later tried to make it the state religion.

Eusubius, Bishop of Nicomedia and a supporter of Arius, would later baptize Constantine. Contrary to popular Christian myth, Constantine was a pagan and was baptized on his deathbed. He also never really made Christianity a state religion because Christians couldn't even agree on anything. The power grab of the pagan Trinitarians would be completed after his death.

"In his theological interpretation of the idea of God, Arius was interested in maintaining a formal understanding of the oneness of God. In defense of the oneness of God, he was obliged to dispute the sameness of essence of the Son and the Holy Spirit with God the Father, as stressed by the theologians of the Neoplatonic influenced Alexandrian school. From the outset, the controversy between both parties took place upon the common basis of the Napoleonic concept of substance, which was foreign to the New Testament itself. It is no wonder that the continuation of the dispute on the basis of the metaphysics of substance likewise led to concepts that have no foundation in the New Testament--such as the question of the sameness of essence (homoousia) or similarity of essence (homoiousia) of the divine persons."

It was 325 A.D. at Nicaea that the doctrine of the Trinity was rammed through by Athanasius (using Mafia tactics) in a Council that was overseen by the Emperor Constantine who, ironically enough, thought of himself as God-incarnate. (Constantine was a Sun Worshiper and only made an official conversion to "Christianity" on his deathbed). Roman coins of the period still portrayed the image of the sun God despite the alleged sudden adoption/conversion of Christianity. Many of those present at the Council Of Nicaea were opposed the doctrine of the Trinity, siding with Arius. Even after the Nicene Creed, the Trinity was still hotly debated for decades and centuries after.

325 AD - Constantine convenes the Council of Nicaea in order to develop a statement of faith that can unify the church. The Nicene Creed is written, declaring that "the Father and the Son are of the same substance" (homoousios). Emperor Constantine who was also the high priest of the pagan religion of the Unconquered Sun presided over this council.

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica:
"Constantine himself presided, actively guiding the discussions and personally proposed the crucial formula expressing the relationship of Christ to God in the creed issued by the council, `of one substance with the Father'."

Quoting Bruce L. Shelley, a writer for Christian History, we read:
"The Council of Nicea, (was) summoned by Emperor Constantine and held in the imperial palace under his auspices. Constantine viewed the Arian teachings—that Jesus was a created being subordinate to God—as an ‘insignificant’ theological matter. But he wanted peace in the empire he had just united through force. When diplomatic letters failed to solve the dispute, he convened around 220 bishops, who met for two months to hammer out a universally acceptable definition of Jesus Christ.

"The expression homo ousion, ‘one substance,’ was probably introduced by Bishop Hosius of Cordova (in today’s Spain). Since he had great influence with Constantine, the imperial weight was thrown to that side of the scales. . . . As it turned out, however, Nicea alone settled little. For the next century the Nicene and the Arian views of Christ battled for supremacy. First Constantine and then his successors stepped in again and again to banish this churchman or exile that one. Control of church offices too often depended on control of the emperor’s favor."
The American Academic Encyclopedia states: "Although this was not Constantine's first attempt to reconcile factions in Christianity, it was the first time he had used the imperial office to IMPOSE a settlement."
"The Emperor Constantine himself is said frequently to have appeared without his imperial state, and, with neither guards nor officers around him, to have mingled in the debate, and expressed his satisfaction at their unanimity, whenever that rare virtue adorned their counsels. For Constantine, though he could give protection, could not give peace to Christianity. . . . Momentous questions, which, up to that time, had been entirely left to a small intellectual aristocracy, had been calmly debated in the villa of the Roman senator or the grove sacred to philosophy, or discussed by sophists whose frigid dialectics wearied without exciting the mind, had been gradually brought down to the common apprehension. The nature of the Deity; the state of the soul after death; the equality of mankind in the sight of the Deity -- even questions which are beyond the verge of human intellect; the origin of evil; the connexion of the physical and moral world had become general topics; they were, for the first time, the primary truths of a popular religion, and naturally could not withdraw themselves from the alliance with popular passions. . . . The first civil wars which divided Christianity were those of Donatism and the Trinitarian controversy." --History of Christianity, vol. ii., pp. 295, 296.

At the end of this council, Constantine sided with Athanasius over Arius and exiled Arius to Illyria.
328 AD - Athanasius becomes bishop of Alexandria.
328 AD - Constantine recalls Arius from Illyria.
335 AD - Constantine now sides with Arius and exiles Athanasius to Trier.
337 AD - A new emperor, Contantius, orders the return of Athanasius to Alexandria.
339 AD - Athanasius flees Alexandria in anticipation of being expelled.
341 AD - Two councils are held in Antioch this year. During this council, the First, Second, and Third Arian Confessions are written, thereby beginning the attempt to produce a formal doctrine of faith to oppose the Nicene Creed.
343 AD - At the Council of Sardica, Eastern Bishops demand the removal of Athanasius.
346 AD - Athanasius is restored to Alexandria.
351 AD - A second anti - Nicene council is held in Sirmium.
353 AD - A council is held at Aries during Autumn that is directed against Athanasius.
355 AD - A council is held in Milan. Athanasius is again condemned.
356 AD - Athanasius is deposed on February 8th, beginning his third exile.
357 AD - Third Council of Sirmium is convened. Both homoousios and homoiousios are avoided as unbiblical, and it is agreed that the Father is greater than His subordinate Son.
359 AD - The Synod of Seleucia is held which affirms that Christ is "like the Father," It does not however, specify how the Son is like the Father.
361 AD - A council is held in Antioch to affirm Arius' positions.
380 AD - Emperor Theodosius the Great declares Christianity the official state religion of the empire.
381 AD - The First Council of Constantinople is held to review the controversy since Nicaea. Emperor Theodosius the Great establishes the creed of Nicaea as the standard for his realm. The Nicene Creed is re-evaluated and accepted with the addition of clauses on the Holy Spirit and other matters.
If Nicaea just formalized the prevalent teaching of the church, then why all the conflicts? If it were the established teaching of the church, then you would expect people to either accept it, or not be Christians. It was not the established teaching, and when some faction of the church tried to make it official, the result was major conflict.
It was a theological power grab by a faction of the church. A major complication throughout all this was that the emperors were involved and directed the outcome. At Nicaea it was Constantine that decided the outcome. Then we have the flip-flopping of opinion with the result that Athanasius is exiled and recalled depending on who is in power. In 357 AD the declaration that homoousios and homoiousios are unbiblical, and that the Father is greater than His subordinate Son. This is 180 degrees from Nicaea.
In 380 AD Emperor Thedosius declares Christianity the state religion. One can come to the conclusion that whichever way Theodosius favors, that is the way in which it is going to end. This is exactly what happened next.
In 381 AD the struggle was finally ended by the current emperor, Theodosius the Great, who favored the Nicene position. Just like at Nicaea, the EMPEROR again decided it. The emperors were dictating the theology of the church.

Gibbon observes, in his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, chap. xxvii., that:
"Theodosius declared his resolution of expelling, from all churches in his dominions, the bishops and their clergy who should obstinately refuse to believe, or at least to profess, the doctrine of the Council of Nice. His lieutenant Sapor was armed with the ample powers of a general law, a special commission, and a military force. . . . In the space of fifteen years, Theodosius promulgated at least fifteen severe edicts against the heretics; more especially against those who rejected the doctrine of the Trinity; and to deprive them of every hope of escape, he sternly enacted that, if any laws or rescripts should be alleged in their favour, the judges should consider them as the illegal productions of either fraud or forgery."

The holy spirit

The New Catholic Encyclopedia:
"The O[ld] T[estament] clearly does not envisage God's spirit as a person . . . God's spirit is simply God's power. If it is sometimes represented as being distinct from God, it is because the breath of Yahweh acts exteriorly. ... The majority of N[ew] T[estament] texts reveal God's spirit as something, not someone; this is especially seen in the parallelism between the spirit and the power of God. ... On the whole, the New Testament, like the Old, speaks of the spirit as a divine energy or power. ... Nowhere in the Old Testament do we find any clear indication of a Third Person."
"For nowhere in the Old Testament do we find any clear
indication of a Third Person. Mention is often made of
the Spirit of the Lord, but there is nothing to show
that the Spirit was viewed as distinct from Yahweh
Himself. The term is always employed to signify God
considered in His working, whether in the universe or in the soul of man."

Catholic theologian Edmund Fortman:
"The Jews never regarded the spirit as a person; nor is there any solid evidence that any Old Testament writer held this view. . . . The Holy Spirit is usually presented in the Synoptics [Gospels] and in Acts as a divine force or power. ... Although this spirit is often described in personal terms, it seems quite clear that the sacred writers [of the Hebrew Scriptures] never conceived or presented this spirit as a distinct person." (The Triune God)
Although this spirit is often described in personal terms, it seems quite clear that the sacred writers [of the Hebrew Scriptures] never conceived or presented this spirit as a distinct person" (The Triune God, p. 9).

The New Catholic Encyclopedia:
"The majority of N[ew] T[estament] texts reveal God's spirit as something, not someone; this is especially seen in the parallelism between the spirit and the power of God." (1967, Vol. XIII, p. 575) It also reports: "The Apologists [Greek Christian writers of the second century] spoke too haltingly of the Spirit; with a measure of anticipation, one might say too impersonally."-Vol. XIV, p. 296.

"The Old Testament clearly does not envisage God’s spirit as a person…God’s spirit is simply God’s power. If it is sometimes represented as being distinct from God, it is because the breath of Yahweh acts exteriorly…The majority of New Testament texts reveal God’s spirit as something, not someone; this is especially seen in the parallelism between the spirit and the power of God" (1967, Vol. 14, pp. 574, 575).

A Catholic Dictionary:
"On the whole the New Testament, like the Old, speaks of the spirit as a divine energy or power" (W.E. Addis and Thomas Arnold, 1960, p. 810).

"The third Person was asserted at a Council of Alexandria in 362...and finally by the Council of Constantinople of 381" (p. 812).

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature:
"[Matt. 28:19] proves only that there are the three subjects named,...but it does not prove, by itself, that all the three belong necessarily to the divine nature, and possess equal divine honor…This text, taken by itself, would not prove decisively either the personality of the three subjects mentioned, or their equality or divinity" (McClintock and Strong, Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature, 1987, Vol. X, p. 552).

New Testament Theology:
"The notion of the Holy Spirit as a third divine
personality is one of the most disastrous importations into the Holy Scriptures" (W. Beyschlag, New Testament Theology, Vol. 2, p. 279).

Gregory of Nazianzus, Bishop of Constantinople, wrote in 380 AD:
"Of our thoughtful men, some regard the Holy Spirit as an operation, some as a creature and some as God; while others are at a loss to decide, seeing that the Scripture determines nothing on the subject" (Oratio 38: De Spiritu Sancto).

Monday, October 16, 2006

Disputed Verses

Trinitarian defenders continue to use these verses as proof even though it is a fact that they have been questioned by their trinitarian scholars as either corrupted ,mistranslated, or misunderstood.

GENESIS 1:1,26
The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge :
Early dogmaticians were of the opinion that so essential a doctrine as that of the Trinity could not have been unknown to the men of the Old Testament. However, no modem theologian who clearly distinguishes between the degrees of revelation in the Old and New Testaments can longer maintain such a view. Only an inaccurate exegesis which overlooks the more immediate grounds of interpretation can see references to the Trinity in the plural form of the divine name Elohim, the use of the plural in Gen. i. 26, or such liturgical phrases of three members as the Aaronic blessing of Num. vi. 24-26 and the Trisagion (q.v.) of Isa. vi. 3. On the other hand, the development of Christology and, later, of the doctrine of the Trinity has undoubtedly been influenced by certain passages of the Old Testament. (1957), Vol. 12, p. 18.

Hastings Dictionary of the Bible
The Old Testament can scarcely be used as authority for the existence of distinctions within the Godhead. The use of 'us' by the divine speaker (Gen. 1:26, 3:32, 11:7) is strange, but it is perhaps due to His consciousness of being surrounded by other beings of a loftier order than men (Isa. 6:8).Davidson, A. B., (1963)

Word Biblical Commentary on Genesis:
When angels appear in the OT they are frequently described as men (Gen. 18:2). And in fact the use of the singular verb in v. 27 does in fact suggest that God worked alone in the creation of mankind. 'Let us create man' should therefore be regarded as a divine announcement to the heavenly court, drawing the angelic host's attention to the master stroke of creation, man. As Job 38:4, 7 puts it: 'When I laid the foundation of the earth all the Sons of God shouted for joy' (cp. Luke 2:13-14)."Wenham, Gordon J. (1987), Word Biblical Commentary on Genesis.

Footnote in the New English Translation. (Online Edition.):
Of course, this view does assume that the members of the heavenly court possess the divine "image" in some way. Since the image is closely associated with rulership, perhaps they share the divine image in that they, together with God and under his royal authority, are the executive authority over the world.

Writing in his Hebrew Grammar, Gesenius advances the following explanation:
Greatness, especially in a metaphorical sense, as associated with power and sovereignty, is plurally expressed. Hence, there are several nouns which are used in the plural as well as the singular, to denote Lord or God (Pluralis majestaticus vel excellentioe) e.g. Eloahh. God is scarcely found in the singular, except in poetry; in prose; commonly elohim; adon, lord, old form of the plural adonai, the Lord, kat exochen (God), shaddai, the Almighty. Often the idea of greatness is no longer associated with the form, the mind having accustomed itself to contemplate the powerful in general as a plural. Another example of the plural majestatis is the use of we by Deity in speaking of Himself (Gen. 1:26; 11:7; Isa. 6:8) and by kings. The German language has it not only in this latter case, but in addressing a second person by Ihr and Sie. This plural is also found in modern Arabic and Persian.

Dr. Rotherham says:
"It should be carefully observed that, although ‘elohim’ is plural
in form, yet when, as here, it is construed with a
verb in the singular, it is naturally singular in
sense; especially since the ‘plural of quality’ or
‘excellence’ abounds in Hebrew in cases where the
reference is undeniably to something which must be
understood in the singular."

Oxford scholar R. B. Girdlestone writes on this matter in his Synonyms of the Old Testament:
"Many critics,
however, of unimpeachable orthodoxy, think it wiser to
rest where such divines as Cajetan [a theologian] in
the Church of Rome and Calvin among Protestants were
content to stand, and to take the plural form as a
plural of majesty, and as indicating the greatness,
the infinity, and the incomprehensibleness of the
Deity."1 The truth on this matter is clearly perceived
by many scholars, but it is hard to restrain some
hard-pressed Trinitarians from stretching the truth to
prove the unprovable.

Oxford Annotated Bible, RSV, 1962:
"The plural 'us,' 'our' (Gen.3:22; 11:7) probably refers to the divine beings [the heavenly host] who surround God in His heavenly court (1Ki.22:19; [2Chron.18:8]; Job 1:6; Isa.6:8; cf. Psa.29:1; [Lk.2:13]) and in whose image man was made."

Word Biblical Commentary:
"Christians have traditionally seen this verse as foreshadowing the Trinity. It is now universally admitted that this was not what the plural meant to the original author."

NIV Study Bible:
"God speaks as the Creator-King, announcing His crowning works to the members of the heavenly court (see Gen.3:22; 11:7; Isa.6:8)."

The term "Mighty God" was not mentioned as one of the names of the child but as part of the name which, in Hebrew, is read as Pele-joez-el-gibbor-Abi-ad-sar-shalom

Jewish Publications Society of America, The explanation in the footnote to this verse in the Jewish Publications Society of America states:
"That is, wonderful in Counsel is God the Mighty, the Everlasting Father, the Ruler of Peace."

Smith-Goodspeed Translation rendered this verse thus:
" 'For us a child is born to us, a son is given to us; And the government will be upon his shoulder; And his name will be called 'Wonderful counselor is God almighty, Father forever, Prince of Peace'."

JOHN 8:58:
Commentators have examined this issue significantly, as EGW EIMI is clearly just a self identification of him being the Christ.

John Gill explains this passage as follows17: "They were confounded, surprised, and intimidated, and seemed as if they would have chose rather to have fled from him, than to have apprehended him; and as they retired and went backward, they fainted away, as it were, either at the majesty of his looks, or at the power of his words, or both, so that they became like ad men, falling to the ground. Sometimes the majesty of a man's person, or his fame for some remarkable things done by him, or the innocence and uprightness of his cause, have had such an influence upon his enemies, that they have not been able to execute upon him what they intended."
Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible states18: "The frank, open, and fearless manner in which Jesus addressed them may have convinced them of his innocence, and deterred them from prosecuting their wicked attempt. His disclosure of himself was sudden and unexpected; and while they perhaps anticipated that he would make an effort to escape, they were amazed at his open and bold profession."

Furthermore, in the footnotes of several English translations of the Bible, we could find their dif­ficulty in translating God's name. Below are several examples:

"Since it seems related to the word translated 'I am', it may mean 'I am the one who is' or 'I will be what I will be' or 'I am the one who brings into being'." (Contemporary English Version)
"Or I will be what I will be." (NIV)
"I am: or I will be what I will be." (New Revised English Bible)
"Or I am what I am or I will be what I will be." (NRSV)

JOHN 1:1
Moffatt's translation:
"The Logos existed in the very beginning, the Logos was with God, the Logos was divine."

The New American Catholic Edition, Douay Confraternity Bible FOOTNOTE:
"St. John employs the term Word. It is so used onlv by St. John and designates the Son as a kind of intellectual emanation from the Father."

An Idiom Book of New Testament Greek, by C.F.D. Moule, this is stated:
"It is necessarily without the article (Theos not o' Theos) in as much as it describes the nature of the Word and does not identify His Person." (p. 116)

Qualitative Anarthrous Predicate Nouns: Mark 15:39 and John 1:1: "with an anarthrous predicate preceding the verb, are primarily qualitative in meaning. They indicate that the logoshas the nature of theos. There is no basis for regarding the predicate theos as definite."(published in Journal of Biblical Literature, Vol. 92, Philadelphia,1973, p. 85, Philip B. Harner)

The Gospel of John, (Daily StudyBible Bible Series):
"Finally John says that the Word was God. There is nodoubt that this is a difficult saying for us tounderstand, and it is difficult because Greek, inwhich John wrote, had a different way of saying thingsfrom the way in which English speaks. When Greek usesa noun it almost always uses a definite article withit. The Greek for God is theos, and the definitearticle is ho When Greek speaks about God it does notsimply say theos; it says ho theos. Now when Greekdoes not use a definite article with a noun that nounbecomes much more like an adjective; it describes thecharacter, the quality of the person. When John saidthat the Word was God he was not saying that Jesus isidentical with God; he was saying that Jesus is soperfectly the same as God in mind, in heart, in beingthat in Jesus we perfectly see what God is like."(William Barclay, Vol. 1, p. 17.)

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library:
"In none of these instances [including John 1:1] is theos [God] used in such a manner as to identify Jesus with him who elsewhere in the New Testament figures as ‘ho theos,’ that is, the Supreme God…If the New Testament writers believed it vital that the faithful should confess Jesus as ‘God,’ is the almost complete absence of just this form of confession in the New Testament explicable?" (, 1967-68, Vol. 50, p. 253).

Hastings Bible Dictionary:
"The ‘word’ of God in the Old Testament [which sets a pattern for the New Testament] is sometimes spoken of as if it had an objective existence, and possessed a native power of realizing itself. The ‘wisdom’ of God in some passages is no more an attribute of God, but a personification of his thought. In Proverbs 8 ‘wisdom’ is God’s world-plan or conception, the articulated frame-work of the universe as a moral organism. Its creation is the first movement of the divine mind outward. Being projected outside of the mind of God, it becomes the subject of His own contemplation; it is ‘with God’" [Cp. John 1:1, ‘the word was with God,’ which does not mean that the word was another person] (A.B. Davidson, , art. God, Vol. II, p. 205, emphasis added).

English translations of the Bible before the KJV rendered the beginning of John 1: "All things were made through it and without it nothing was made that was made. In it was life…." Similarly a number of modern German and French translations describe the word as "it," not "him.

JOHN 10:30
Simple English Bible:
“My Father and I are united.”

The Gospel According to St John, Professor
R.V.G.Tasker, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries,
1960, p.136:
"One translates the Greek neuter hen. This verse was
much quoted in the Aryan controversy by the orthodox
in support of the doctrine that Christ was of one
substance with the Father. The expression seems
however mainly to imply that the Father and the Son
are united in will and purpose. Jesus prays in [John
17:11] that His followers may all be one(hen), i.e.
united in purpose, as He and His Father are united."

Linguistic Key to the Greek New Testament,
Reinecker/Rogers, Zonderavn Publishing House, Grand
Rapids, Michigan, © 1970 Brunnen-Verlag, Giessen, 1997

"[EN] n[euter]. "one thing." Identity is not asserted,
but essential unity is(Morris[=Leon Morris, The Gospel
According to John, London: Marshall, Morgan & Scott,

A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel
According to St. John, J.H.Bernard, T.& T.Clark,
Edinburgh, 1928, pp. 365, 366:

"[EGO KAI HO PATNR HEN ESMEN[Lit: "I and the Father
one we-are]]It has been customary, following the habit
of the patristic commentators, to interpret these
significant words in the light of the controversies of
the fourth century. Bengel, e.g. (following
Augustine), says: "Per sumnus refutator Sabellius, per
unum Arius"; the words this being taken to prove the
identity of essence between the father and the Son,
while the difference of persons is indicated by the
plural [ESMEN]. But it is an anachronism to transfer
the controversies of the fourth century to the
theological statements of the first. We have a
parallel to [EN ESMEN[Lit: "One we-are"]] in 1
Cor.3:8, where Paul says [HO PHUTEUWN KAI HO POTIZWN
EN EISIN[Lit: "The planting and the making-to-drink
one they-are]], meaning that both the "planter" and
the "waterer" of the seed are in the same category, as
compared with God who gives the increase. A unity of
fellowship, of will, and of purpose between the Father
and the Son is a frequent theme in the Fourth Gospel
(cf. 5:18,19; 14:9,23 and 17:11,22), and it is tersely
and powerfully expressed here; but to press the words
so as to make them indicate indentity of
[OUSIA['essence']], is to introduce thoughts which
were not present to the theologians of the first

A unity of fellowship, of will, and of purpose between the Father and the Son is a frequent theme in the Fourth Gospel (cf. 5:18,19; 14:9,23 and 17:11,22), and it is tersely and powerfully expressed here; but to press the words so as to make them indicate indentity of OUSIA ['essence'], is to introduce thoughts which were not present to the theologians of the first century. Bernard, J.H. (1928), A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel According to St. John.

The ancients made a wrong use of this passage to prove that Christ is oJmoousiov of the same essence with the Father. For Christ does not argue about the unity of substance, but about the agreement which he has with the Father, so that whatever is done by Christ will be confirmed by the power of his Father.

Calvin, John, Commentary on the Gospel of John.

The following quoted translations, is very clear that Christ is not God over all . The separate exaltation or doxology to God "God blessed forever or blessed to the ages" at the end of the sentence does not refer to Christ.But to God as supported by eph 4:6 (One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.)

In Today's English Version, it says: "they are
descended from the famous Hebrew ancestors; and
Christ, as a human being, belongs to their race. May
God, who rules over all, be praised forever! Amen.

In Young's Literal Translation, it says: "whose [are]
the fathers, and of whom [is] the Christ, according to
the flesh, who is over all, God blessed to the ages.

In Wesley's New Testament, it says; "To them the
Patriarchs belong, and from them in respect of His
human lineage came the Christ, who is exalted above
all, God blessed throughout the Ages. Amen.

In the Webster Bible, it says: "Whose [are] the
fathers, and from whom according to the flesh, Christ
[came], who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.

In the Dalby Translation, it says:"whose [are] the
fathers; and of whom, as according to flesh, [is] the
Christ, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen

In New American Standard, it says: "whose are the
fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the
flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.

1 TIMOTHY 3:16
(ASV) And without controversy great is the mystery ofgodliness; He who was manifested in the flesh,Justified in the spirit, Seen of angels, Preachedamong the nations, Believed on in the world, Receivedup in glory (BBE) And without argument, great is the secret ofreligion: He who was seen in the flesh, who was givenGod's approval in the spirit, was seen by the angels,of whom the good news was given among the nations, inwhom the world had faith, who was taken up in glory.
(CEV) Here is the great mystery of our religion:Christ came as a human. The Spirit proved that hepleased God, and he was seen by angels. Christ waspreached to the nations. People in this world puttheir faith in him, and he was taken up to glory.
(RSV) Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of ourreligion: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicatedin the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among thenations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.
(RNKJV) And without controversy great is the mysteryof reverence: who was manifest in the flesh, justifiedin the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto theGentiles, believed on in the world, received up intoglory.
(RKJNT) And beyond question, great is the mystery ofgodliness: He was revealed in the flesh, vindicated inthe Spirit, seen by angels, preached among thenations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.
(Holman) And most certainly, the mystery of godlinessis great: He was manifested in the flesh, justified inthe Spirit, seen by angels, preached among theGentiles, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.
(ISV) By common confession, the secret of our godlyworship is great: In flesh was he revealed to sight,Kept righteous by the Spirit's might, Adored by angelssinging. To nations was he manifest, Believing soulsfound peace and rest, Our Lord in heaven reigning!
(NASB) By common confession, great is the mystery ofgodliness: He who was revealed in the flesh, Wasvindicated in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Proclaimedamong the nations, Believed on in the world, Taken upin glory.
American Standard Version: "The word God, in place of He who,rest on no sufficient ancient evidence. Some ancient authorities read which."

"...Precisely here, however, is the textual problem;for the relative (Who) has been subjected toalteration in the course of the text's transmission....there are reasons for suspecting that the changewas not an accident.It should first be observed that four of the uncialwitnesses (manuscripts) that attest "God" do so onlyin corrections (like you and I would cross out a wordand write a new one - unfortunately for them the inkdid not erase well so they left evidence of thecrime). This shows not only that "God" was the"preferred" reading of LATER scribes but also that itdid not creep into tradition unawares. Second, wecannot overlook what the reading "God" provides forthe orthodox scribe - a clear affirmation of thedoctrine that God became incarnate in the person ofYahshua Christ. This certainly is the orthodox"mystery": it was "God" who was "manifest in theflesh, justified in the spirit," etc. (in other wordsthe scribes couldn't let the opportunity pass to"tweak" the manuscript to "support" their own personalbias or the bias of the one paying them to copy themanuscript.)
That the reading "God" cannot be original is shownboth by the character of the manuscript attestation -the earliest and superior manuscripts all support therelative (Who) - and by the fact that ancient creedalfragments typically begin precisely in this way, thatis, with a relative pronoun. The change must havebeen made fairly early, at least during the thirdcentury, given its widespread attestation from thefourth century on. (Council of Nicaea was in the 4thcentury - 325CE) It can therefore best be explainedas an anti-adoptionistic corruption (intentionalchange) that stresses the deity of Christ."

The Expositor's Bible Commentary brings out thefollowing:
"In KJV the first word of the creed is"God" (theos). But the oldest Greek MSS have hos, "hewho" as the subject of "appeared." "

Robertson's Word Pictures:
"He who(hos). The correct text, not theos (God) the readingof the Textus Receptus (Syrian text) nor ho (neuterrelative, agreeing with muste¯rion) the reading of theWestern documents. Westcott and Hort print thisrelative clause as a fragment of a Christian hymn(like Eph_5:14) in six strophes. That is probablycorrect. At any rate hos (who) is correct and there isasyndeton (no connective) in the verbs. Christ, towhom hos refers, is the mystery (Col_1:27; Col_2:2).

TITUS 2:13
The following translations proves that God and Christ are not the same.

The Douay-Rheims version (a Catholic publication from 1610) reads:
"...of the glory of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ."

The American Standard Version (1901) reads
"...of the glory of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ."

The New Testament in Modern English (1963) reads
"...of the great God and of Christ Jesus our saviour."

Segond's La Sainte Bible (1970) reads :
"...of the great God and of our Savior Jesus Christ."

New American Bible (1972) - reads:
"...of the great God and of our Savior Christ Jesus."

The New Revised Standard Version (1997 edition) contains a footnote which presents the optional rendering :
"...of the Great God and our Saviour..."

Trinitarian Albert Barnes writes in his Notes on the Bible:
…it is not a doctrine of the New Testament that God himself as such, or in contradistinction from his incarnate Son, will appear at the last day.
It is said, indeed, that the Saviour will come “in the glory of his Father, with his angels” Matthew 16:27, but that God as such will appear is not taught in the Bible.
The doctrine there is, that God will be manifest in his Son; that the divine approach to our world be through him to judge the race; and that though he will be accompanied with the appropriate symbols of the divinity, yet it will be the Son of God who will be visible

Greek Interlinear Translation:
"toward but the Son The throne of you the God into theage of the age, and the staff of the straightness staff of the kingdom of him."
Revised English Bible:God has enthroned you for all eternity; your royal sceptre is a sceptre of equity

Jewish Publication Society:
Thy throne given of God is forever and ever; A sceptre of equity is the sceptre of thy kingdom
Revised Standard Version: Your divine throne endures for ever and ever; your royal sceptre is a sceptre of equity.

Goodspeed: God is your throne forever and ever!”

Moffat:He says of the Son ‘God is thy throne forever and ever,…”

RSV the footnote in Heb. 1:8 says: "a-Or God is thy throne."

Bible scholar B. F. Westcott states:
"The LXX [Septuagint] admits of tworendering: [ho theos'] can be taken as a vocative in both cases (Thy throne, O God...therefore, O God, ThyGod...) or it can be taken as the subject (or the predicate) in the first case (God is thythrone, or Thy throne is God...), and in apposition to [ho theos' sou] in the second case (Therefore God,even Thy God...)....It is scarcely possible that ['Elohim'] in the original can be addressed tothe king. The presumption therefore is against the belief that [ho theos'] is a vocative in the LXX. Thus on the whole it seems best to adopt in the first clause the rendering: God is Thy throne(or, Thy throne is God), that is 'Thy kingdom is founded upon God, the immovable Rock.' "—The Epistleto the Hebrews (London, 1889), pp. 25,26.

The Stone Edition of the Tanakh renders it as:
Psalm 45:7 7 Your throne is from God, it is forever and ever, [for] the scepter of fairness is the scepter of your kingdom.

1 JOHN 5:7
The Vatican said:
"In recent times the doubts concerning its authenticity have grown and the Holy Office, in 1927, declared that, after careful examination of the whole circumstances, its genuineness could be denied." (Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, p. 56)

NIV Study Bible, which is well known for its ardent belief in the Trinity, says: “The addition is not found in any Greek manuscript or NT translation prior to the 16th century.”

The Greek scholar A. T. Robertson A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in Light of Historical Research, and the multi-volumed Word Pictures in the New Testament, writes:At this point [1 John 5:7] the Latin Vulgate gives the words in the Textus Receptus, found in no Greek MS. save two late cursives (162 in the Vatican Library of the fifteenth century, [No.] 34 of the sixteenth century in Trinity College, Dublin). Jerome did not have it. Erasmus did not have it in his first edition, but rashly offered to insert it if a single Greek MS. had it, and 34 was produced with the insertion, as if made to order. Some Latin scribe caught up Cyprian’s exegesis and wrote it on the margin of his text, and so it got into the Vulgate and finally into the Textus Receptus by the stupidity of Erasmus.”

1 JOHN 5:20:
The Living Bible by Kenneth Taylor here reads: "Jesus Christ his Son, who is the only true God; and he is life eternal."
If the above is correct then we would have to accept that Jesus Christ is "the only true God." As the Bible clearly states that there is only one true God then this might mean that John was saying that the Son, as well as the Father, were this "God". Hence, this passage could be used to support the teaching that God is a being who is also three persons(the other person being the 'Holy Spirit). The 'Trinity'.

The Greek here reads:
"oidamen de hoti ho huios tou theou hekei kai dedwken heuin dianoian hiva ginwskomen ton alethinon: kai esmen en tw alethinos en tw huiw autou Iesou Christw. Houtos estin ho alethinos theos kai zwe aiwnios."

Literally this is "We-have-known but that the Son of-the God is-come, and he-has-given to-us mental-perception in-order-that we-are-knowing the true(one); and we-are in the true(one), in the Son of-him to-Jesus Christ. This(one) is the true God and life everlasting."- Kingdom Interlinear Translation, WTBTS, 1986 edition.

"From the above it is quite clear that John is stressing "that"('hoti') the Son of God has "come" ('hekei'). And why has the Son come? It was to "give us mental-perception"('diaonian'). But about whom should we gain this "mental-perception? John writes "in-order-that we-are-knowing *the true one*('alethinon'). Did not the Son come to explain the Father who is "ton monon alhthinon theou," that is, "the only true God" ?- John 17:3. Is not John focussing on the Father in verse 18,19 and this sets up what he writes in v.20? So the subject of "houtos," "This(one)," is manifestly "the true God and life everlasting.""
Hence, although the closest possible antecedent to "houtos," "This one," is Jesus Christ, it is the "true one," that is the antecedent- God the Father.
"houtos: as a climax to vv.18-20 the ref[erence] is almost certainly to God the real, the true, opp[osite of] paganism(v.21.)"- "A Grammatical Analysis of the Greek New Testament, Zerwick/Grosvenor, Rome Biblical Institue, 1981.

"[1 John 5:]20f. Christ has revealed the one true God, the source of eternal life(cf. 5:12; Jn 17:3, 20:31). 'This is the true God' does not refer to Jesus as Stauffer thinks(Theology of the NT.(English translation 1955), 114)." G. Johnston, Peake's Commentary on the Bible, Thomas Nelson and Sons, reprint of 1964.

"Conclusion: Although it is certainly possible that houtos["this one"] refers back to Jesus Christ, several converging lines of evidence points to "the true one," God the Father, as the probable antecedent. This position, houtos = God, is held by many commentators, authors of general studies, and significantly, by those grammarians who express an opinion on the matter."-M. Harris, "Jesus as God, The New Testament Use of Theos in Reference to Jesus," Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1992, p.253.

" is more likely that the word "this" has a wider and vaguer reference. The writer is gathering together in his mind all that he has been saying about God- how He is light and love, how He is revealed as the Father through his Son Jesus Christ, and "this", he adds, "is the real God"...For illustration of this we need only recall John 17:3." C.H.Dodd, Moffatt New Testament Commentary.

"[1 John]5.20-21. Knowing the true God;... The Greek of 5:20 has only the true (one) and reads literally: we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding 'so that we know the true(one) and we are in the true(one)', in his Son Jesus Christ. 'This (one) is the true God and eternal life.' It is clear from this that 'the true (one)' is God throughout. Christ is his Son. In the final sentence this (one) most naturally refers still to God, not to Christ, as some have suggested. It is not unknown for Christ to be given God's name(Phil. 2:9-11) or even to be called 'God' (Heb. 1:8-9; John 1:1), but that would run contrary to the theme here, which is contrasting true and false understandings of God for which Christ's revelation is the criterion.
"5:20 reminds us of Jesus' prayer according to John 17:3: 'This is eternal life: to know you the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent...."- William Loader, The Johannine Epistles, Epworth Commentaries, 1992, p.79.(This commentary uses the Revised English Bible (1989) for it's quotations.)

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Is Jesus God?

"Jesus is not God but God's representative, and, as such, so completely and totally acts on God's behalf that he stands in God's stead before the world...The gospel [of John] clearly states that God and Jesus are not to be understood as identical persons, as in 14:28, 'the Father is greater than I'" (Jacob Jervell, Jesus in the Gospel of John, 1984, p. 21).

"Apparently Paul did not call Jesus God" (Sydney Cave, D.D., Doctrine of the Person of Christ, p. 48).

"Paul habitually differentiates Christ from God" (C.J. Cadoux, A Pilgrim's Further Progress, pp. 40, 42).

"Paul never equates Jesus with God" (W.R. Matthews, The Problem of Christ in the 20th Century, Maurice Lectures, 1949, p. 22).

"Paul never gives to Christ the name or description of 'God'" (Dictionary of the Apostolic Church, Vol. 1, p. 194).

"When the New Testament writers speak of Jesus Christ, they do not speak of Him nor do they think of Him as God" (J.M. Creed, The Divinity of Jesus Christ, pp. 122-123).

"Karl Rahner [leading Roman Catholic spokesman] points out with so much emphasis that the Son in the New Testament is never described as 'ho theos' [the one God]" (A.T. Hanson, Grace and Truth, p. 66).

"The clear evidence of John is that Jesus refuses the claim to be God...Jesus vigorously denied the blasphemy of being God or His substitute" (J.A.T. Robinson, Twelve More New Testament Studies, pp. 175, 176).

"In his post-resurrection heavenly life, Jesus is portrayed as retaining a personal individuality every bit as distinct and separate from the person of God as was his in his life on earth as the terrestrial Jesus. Alongside God and compared with God, he appears, indeed, as yet another heavenly being in God's heavenly court, just as the angels were - though as God's Son, he stands in a different category, and ranks far above them" (Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, 1967-68, Vol. 50, p. 258).
"What, however, is said of his life and functions as the celestial Christ neither means nor implies that in divine status he stands on a par with God Himself and is fully God. On the contrary, in the New Testament picture of his heavenly person and ministry we behold a figure both separate from and subordinate to God" (Ibid., pp. 258, 259).
"The fact has to be faced that New Testament research over, say, the last thirty or forty years has been leading an increasing number of reputable New Testament scholars to the conclusion that Jesus...certainly never believed himself to be God" (Ibid., p. 251).
"When [first-century Christians] assigned Jesus such honorific titles as Christ, Son of Man, Son of God and Lord, these were ways of saying not that he was God but that he did God's work" (Ibid., p. 250).

"The ancients made a wrong use of [John 10:30, "I and the Father are one"] to prove that Christ is...of the same essence with the Father. For Christ does not argue about the unity of substance, but about the agreement that he has with the Father" (John Calvin, Commentary on John).

"The Pauline Christ who accomplishes the work of salvation is a personality who is both human and superhuman, not God, but the Son of God. Here the idea, which was to develop later, of the union of the two natures is not present" (Maurice Goguel, Jesus and the Origins of Christianity, Harper, 1960).

"Jesus is never identified simpliciter [absolutely] with God, since the early Christians were not likely to confuse Jesus with God the Father" (Howard Marshall, "Jesus as Lord: The Development of the Concept," in Eschatology in the New Testament, Hendrickson, p. 144).

Pagan Origin

The "Dictionary of Religious Knowledge":
"Many say that the Trinity is a corruption borrowedfrom the heathen religions, and ingrafted on theChristian faith."

Edward Gibbon says in the preface to the "History ofChristianity":
"If Paganism was conquered by Christianity, it isequally true that Christianity was corrupted byPaganism. The pure deism of the first Christians[belief in only ONE God]...was changed, by the Churchof Rome, into the incomprehensible dogma of theTrinity. Many of the pagan tenets, invented by theEgyptians and idealized by Plato, were retained asbeing worthy of belief."

"Origin of Triads and Trinities", Mr.Newton quotes Professor Sayce (Gifford Lectures andHibbert Lectures):
"The indebtedness of Christian theological theory toancient Egyptian dogma is nowhere more striking thanin the doctrine of the Trinity. The very same termsused of it by Christian theologians meet us again inthe inscriptions and papyri of Egypt."

The Nouveau Dictionary Universel:
"The Platonic Trinity, itself merely a rearrangementof older trinities dating back to earlier peoples,appears to be the rational philosophic trinity ofattributes that gave rise to the three hypostases ordivine persons taught by the Christian churches…ThisGreek philosopher’s [Plato, fourth century BCE]conception of the divine trinity…can be found in allthe ancient [pagan] religions" (Paris, 1865-1870,edited by M. Lachatre, Vol. 2, p. 1467).

The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of ReligiousKnowledge:
"The doctrines of the Logos and the Trinity receivedtheir shape from Greek Fathers, who were muchinfluenced, directly or indirectly, by the Platonicphilosophy. That errors and corruptions crept into thechurch from this source cannot be denied."

The Church of the First Few Centuries":
"The Doctrine of the Trinity was of gradual andcomparatively late formation. It had its origin in asource entirely foreign from that of the Jewish andChristian Scriptures. It grew up, and was ingrafted onChristianity, through the hands of the PlatonizingFathers."

Outlines of the History of Dogma:
"Church doctrine became rooted in the soil ofHellenism [pagan Greek thought]. Thereby it became amystery to the great majority of Christians."

Concept not in Scripture

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.

New Catholic Encyclopediaa:
"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. . . . Among the Apostolic Fathers, there had been nothing even remotely approaching such a mentality or perspective."
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 (451)."

The mystery

Plato(Father of Pagan Trinity):
"God can in no way be described." -- Plato (Father of the pagan Trinity)

Dr.Walter Martin:
"The Trinity itself is a mystery or a "holy secret". It is incomprehensible. It can never be fully understood."

Catholic priest Martin J. Scott
This is the frank confession of Catholic priest Martin J. Scott, which is concurred in and given imprimatur by higher Catholic authorities:"The trinity is a wonderful mystery. no one understands it. The most learned theologian, the holiest Pope, the greatest saint, all are as mystified by it as the child of seven. It is one of the things which we shall know only when we see God face to face."(God and Myself: An Inquiry Into The True Religion, p. 118)

Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church, Paragraph 237:
The Trinity is a mystery of faith in the strict sense, one of the “mysteries that are hidden in God, which can never be known unless they are revealed by God” (Dei Filius 4: DS 3015). To be sure, God has left traces of his Trinitarian being in his work of creation and in his Revelation throughout the Old Testament. But his inmost Being as Holy Trinity is a mystery that is inaccessible to reason alone or even to Israel’s faith before the Incarnation of God’s Son and the sending of the Holy Spirit.

Bishop Beverage, Anglican:
We are to consider the order of those persons in the Trinity described in the words before us in Matthew 28:19. First the Father and then the Son and then the Holy Ghost; everyone one of which is truly God. This is a mystery which we are all bound to believe, but yet must exercise great care in how we speak of it, it being both easy and dangerous to err in expressing so great a truth as this is. If we think of it, how hard it is to imagine one numerically divine nature in more than one and the same divine person. Or three divine persons in no more than one and the same divine nature. If we speak of it, how hard it is to express it.
If I say, the Father, Son and Holy Ghost be three, and everyone a distinct God, it is false. I may say, God the Father is one God and the Son is one God, and the Holy Ghost is one God, but I cannot say that the Father is one God and the Son is another God and the Holy Ghost is a third God. I may say that the Father begat another who is God; yet I cannot say that He begat another God. I may say that from the Father and Son proceeds another who is God; yet I cannot say that from the Father and Son proceeds another God. For though their nature be the same their persons are distinct; and though their persons be distinct, yet still their nature is the same. So that, though the Father be the first person in the Godhead, the Son the second and the Holy Ghost the third, yet the Father is not the first, the Son the second and the Holy Ghost a third God.
So hard it is to word so great a mystery aright; or to fit so high a truth with expressions suitable and proper to it, without going one way or another from it.Bishop Beverage, Private Thoughts, Part 2, 48, 49, cited by Charles Morgridge (1837), The True Believers Defence Against Charges Preferred by Trinitarians for Not Believing in the Deity of Christ. (Publisher: Boston: B. Greene.)

J. L. Mosheim (D.D.), Lutheran:
The subject of this fatal controversy, which kindled such deplorable divisions throughout the Christian world, was the doctrine of three Persons in the Godhead, a doctrine which in the three preceding centuries had happily escaped the vain curiosity of human researches, and have been left undefined and undetermined by any particular set of ideas.Ecclesiastical History (1863), from the translation by Murdock and Soames.

Cardinal Wiseman:
Who will pretend to say, that he can, by any stretch of his imagination or of his reasoning, see it possible how three persons in one God can be but one Godhead?" -Lectures, p. 370.

Rev. Dr. Robert Flint, writing his article in the Encyclopedia Britannica on "Theism,":
"This obligation (of explaining the various expressions 'Person,' 'substance,' 'divine generation,' and 'processions,' etc., etc., and the relation of 'substance and persons'; and the identity and inter-relation of the persons) could only be temporarily and partially evaded or concealed by representing the doctrine as 'a mystery' to be accepted simply on authority, or with blind faith."This plea of "mystery" has already received attention, but one is sorely tempted to introduce here an irrelevancy, to remark that if this doctrine truly be a mystery, it is beyond man's comprehension, and he therefore is not in a position to perceive nor to think thereon. Such a position, in spite of its absurdity and impossibility of thinking upon, or believing that which can be neither perceived nor comprehended, is what the Athanasian Creed, as already quoted, calls for:"The Father . . . the Son, and the Holy Ghost incomprehensible."It therefore is obvious of this doctrine that it is admittedly impossible to realize its definition, and accordingly the Creed itself is found contradictory and impossible within its own bounds, when it requires that:"He therefore that will be saved: must think thus of the Trinity."If the Creed which alone divulges this great system of mysteries cannot be discovered as an agreeable synthetic whole; how shall confidence be placed in its demands upon us in the most sacred doctrine of the Christian religion?

"When it is proposed to me to affirm that 'in the unity of the Godhead there be three persons, of one substance, power, and eternity; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost;' I have difficulty enough! my understanding is involved in perplexity, my conceptions bewildered in the thickest darkness. I pause, I hesitate; I ask what necessity there is for making such a declaration. . . . But does not this confound all our conceptions, and make us use words without meaning? I think it does. I profess and proclaim my confusion in the most unequivocal manner; I make it an essential part of my declaration. Did I pretend to understand what I say, I might be a Tritheist or an infidel; but I could not both worship the one true God, and acknowledge Jesus Christ to be Lord of all." -Lectures in Divinity, vol. ii., pp. 249-251.

DR. JOHN WALLIS, another English Divine:
"David was at the same time, son of Jesse, father of Solomon, and king of Israel. Now if three persons, in the proper sense of the word 'person' may be one man; what hinders but that three divine persons, in a sense metaphysical, may be one God? And what hinders but that the same God, distinguished according to these three considerations (those of God the Creator, or God the Father; God the Redeemer, or God the Son; and God the Sanctifier, or God the Holy Ghost) may fitly be said to be three persons? Or if the word 'person ' does not please, three 'somewhats,' that are but one God?" -Three Sermons, p. 61.

DR. WM. SHERLOCK, Dean of St. Paul, disputant in "Trinity" Debate with Dr. South:
"It is plain the persons are perfectly distinct, for they are three distinct and infinite minds, and therefore three distinct persons; for a person is an intelligent being; and to say there are three divine persons, and not three distinct infinite minds, is both heresy and nonsense. . . . Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are as really distinct persons as Peter, James and John." -Vindication of the Doctrine of the Trinity, sec. iv., p. 66, v. 105.REV. JOHN HUNT:"Person . . . could only mean an intelligent agent, and in this sense the same God could not be One and yet Three." -Religious Thought in England, vol. iii., p. 29.

THE DUKE OF SUSSEX, one time President of Royal Society:
"This I call at once dogma (the Trinity) and above our comprehension. If they be intelligent agents, they must have three independent wills of their own, and what becomes then of the Unity of the Deity? . . . We cannot be called upon to believe that which we do not understand, and which, after all, is only handed down to us by tradition." --(Quoted Stannus, Origin Doctrine Trinity, pp. 20, 21).