Monday, February 27, 2012
Firstly, I take note that it seems that the trinity doctrine is formulated to find a spatial hierarchy between God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. So many a time, I am asked “where do I place Jesus and the Holy Spirit”. In my opinion, a doctrine should not be about placing what or where. Rather, it should be about what the Bible says and most importantly, what our Lord Jesus said about himself, God, angels etc
Secondly, I would like to specifically respond to some verses which some claim that they support trinity and how I understand them.
1 Tim 3:16 talks of the mystery of godliness "God" manifest in the flesh. Different versions render that verse differently. In fact, there is very big debate that originally there was “He” not the word “God” . Check the online parallel Bible (http://bible.cc) which lists different versions of a particular verse. Check also the commentary below it that talks about this verse being tampered with. Another example of a verse that is also tampered with is 1 John 5:7. So I feel that we can not base an argument on a verse that “was tampered with”. Nevertheless, Jesus, the Son of God is the express image of God - Hebrews 1:3 (KJV)
“Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high”. You will agree with me that if X is an image of Y, it does not mean that X=Y? In Jesus, we see the character of God
“For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;”Col 1:19 (KJV). But Jesus and the Father are different beings and the Father is the only true God as per what Jesus said in John 17:3. Also check what John says in 1 John 4:1-2 (KJV) -
“ Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.”.Notice what the apostle says – we have to acknowledge that JESUS CHRIST (not God) came in the FLESH.
Coming to John 10:30, you will see the story that is unfolding in John 10 culminates in the Jews misinterpreting Jesus statement –
“I and my Father are one”to mean that Jesus is claiming that he is God. Jesus emphatically refutes that in verse 36 – “Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? Jesus is saying do you say that I have blasphemed because I am saying that I am the SON OF GOD? In fact he says the famous verse in verse 34 “Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?” In other words, if God called “mere men” gods what is wrong with being called the “Son of God”? (Jesus quoting Psalm 82). By the way, the name God is translated from Hebrew “Elohim” and Greek “Theos” and is not exclusive. You may google the word “Elohim” for a greater exposition of this word or check http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elohim. In addition to that, if we read John 17:11 (NIV) –
“ I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one.” Notice that “they be one as we are one”Clearly this oneness is unity in purpose “not that the Father is Jesus and Jesus is the Father”.
About Hebrew 1:8, check the verse that follows Hebrews 1:9 (KJV) –
“Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.”In verse 9, “God, even thy God”. It is clear that this Jesus as God has a God. In other words, Jesus has a God, that only true God which he talked of John 17:3. This is also talked of in 1 Cor. 8:6. The Apostle John also writes in 1 John 5:20 –
“We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.” Notice “He is the true God and eternal life”. Its not difficult to understand how how Jesus being God has a God once you understand the word “Elohim” and its usage. Jesus is Elohim but God the Father, who is the God of Jesus, is the Almighty Elohim. Remember, the quote Jesus used in John 10:34
“You are gods”
On the name Emmanuel, yes through Jesus, God is with us. Even today, by giving a child the name “Emmanuel”, we do not mean that, that child is “God”, that we express our prayer that through the child, we are reminded that God is with us. By the way, there is no any place in the New Testament where Jesus is actually being called by people as “Emmanuel”. He is called Jehushua in Hebrew or Jesus in Greek.
About Isaiah 9:6 Jesus is indeed Mighty Elohim or God. I have already explained the use of Elohim above. Also note that it is not saying “Almighty God”. On everlasting Father, I should ask this question: In the trinity doctrine, Jesus is the “Second person of the Trinity”, and the Father is the “first person of the Trinity”. Now I should ask, is Jesus the Father of himself as you would like it to imply I guess. On John 17, Jesus prayed to the Father. Did He pray to himself?. Surely, the everlasting Father should mean something else. In my opinion, Adam is our father being the person from which the whole human race came from. But Jesus, with authority from God, created everything including humanity. Hebrews 1:2 says
” Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;”.Jesus can rightfully be called our Father. He is everlasting because he was with God in the beginning – John 1:1 and he will always be there.
About John 14:14 check what Jesus says in the preceding verse 13: -
“13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son”. Christ does everything to the glory of God. Also check verse 28: -
“You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.”Jesus is saying that the Father is greater than him. Do we need to add anything here? Remember Christ said on John 17:3 –
“1 After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 4 I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.”