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Old 04-01-2010, 07:16 AM
 
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Jesus is reported to have said “he that hath seen me hath seen the Father” and “I am in the Father, and the Father in me” (John 14:9-10); but in the same passage he shortly goes on to add: “At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.” (John 14:20) Again, while Jesus does proclaim “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30), he also prays for his followers, “that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us.” (John 17:21) Whatever the nature of the “oneness” Jesus is claiming exists between God and himself, it is apparently something that is supposed to hold between God and all Christians – in which case it can hardly be the relation of numerical identity.

Likewise, in the two New Testament passages where Jesus is said to have regarded himself as “equal with God” – John 5:18 and Philippians 2:6 – the Greek word translated “equal” is isos, which means “on the same level” or “of the same rank,” never “identical.” The claim that Jesus was God did not become Christian orthodoxy until the Council of Nicaea in 325 CE. The orthodox reading of these passages seems natural today only because they are read through the lens of what “everybody knows” about Jesus’ claims to divinity; few would find incarnationism in the texts unless they first brought it there.

An objector may point to the opening lines of the Gospel of John, which apparently identify the “Logos” with God (John 1:1) and the “Logos made flesh” with Jesus (John 1:14). Of course these lines were not spoken by Jesus, and so do not show that Jesus himself claimed to be God; but in any case, what exactly are they saying? The relation between God and the Logos seems to fall short of strict identity; the Greek, literally translated, says something like “the Logos was with the God, and God is what the Logos was” – an awkward construction clearly trying to express a subtler relation than identity. The term “Logos” is borrowed from Greek philosophy, where it means a thing’s abstract rational nature; the Logos that is “with” God and is what God is, is not God but God’s nature. To say that Jesus is the Logos made flesh, then, is simply to say that he is a physical embodiment of God’s nature. This hardly makes him identical with God, since all human beings are supposed to be created from God’s spirit (Genesis 2:7) and in God’s image and likeness (Genesis 1:26-27).

Indeed the New Testament authors clearly understand Jesus as offering everyone the opportunity to be sons (and daughters) of God and to partake of God’s nature:


“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13)

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. ... And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.” (Romans 8:14-17)

“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him.” (1 John 3:2)

As the New Testament authors understand Jesus’ message, being the “Son of God” is evidently not a status that Jesus claims for himself alone, but one that is open to all Christians; a fortiori it is not a way of being identical with God. Jesus puts himself forward, not as God, but as the first man to have succeeding in manifesting the divine nature that is open to all; anyone who follows his example, who "believes" in him "trusts" or" accepts" would be a better translation " will himself become" a Logos made flesh. Hence those who receive the " Logos" are even described as "gods". (John 10:35)

Had Jesus thought he was God, he would hardly have said, �He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do.(John 14:12) No one could be expected to do greater works than God. But if instead Jesus thought of himself merely as a trailblazer, one who showed by his example the path others should follow, the prophecy makes perfect sense.

There are, of course, ways of interpreting all these passages so as to make them consistent with orthodox trinitarian and incarnationist theology. My point, once again, is that the orthodox readings, while possible, are not the most obvious or natural readings, and were by no means universally accepted by the early Church; they seem obvious and natural nowadays only because people are begging the question by reading the passages through the lens of an already-assumed orthodox interpretation.

In a Blog's Stead - February 2004

Quran confirmed the Gospel but attacked the Trinity. It confirmed the Old Testament but attacked the Talmud. And Muslims today follow the Hadith(oral Trdaitions) that has nothing to do with Quran.

Judaism = Talmud firsters

Christianity = Trinity firsters

Islam = Hadith firsters.

Torah, Gospel and Quran is from God.

Talmud, Trinity and Hadith is from man.

Who do you trust?
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Old 04-01-2010, 07:19 AM
 
2,893 posts, read 5,165,880 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quranist View Post

Who do you trust?

No man who claims to have unknowable knowledge.
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Old 04-01-2010, 10:16 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn
40,057 posts, read 29,713,783 times
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I think the real problem lies in a desire by people to pick and choose among Biblical verses and instructions. The ones they want to follow are immutable truth, while the others are routinely ignored.

In this case, I'm fascinated that someone started a thread on the subject of trinitarians. Because there's one particular verse in Scripture I'd like to quote in this regard. It happens to be Deuteronomy 6:4

"Hear, O Israel, the Lord our G-d, the Lord is one."

It would be difficult to be any clearer than that. Trinity? Not likely.
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Old 04-02-2010, 08:04 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
29,722 posts, read 47,483,706 times
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Good arguments all.

None are better than the first of the Ten Commandments
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Old 04-02-2010, 08:12 AM
 
1,243 posts, read 1,315,399 times
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Trinitarianism is antichrist.
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