Watchtower interprets early christians - need reference

by icocer 13 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • M.J.
    Bummer nothing on Tertullian.

    *** w92 4/1 p. 28 Part 3—Did the Apologists Teach the Trinity Doctrine? ***

    Tertullian’s Theology

    Tertullian (c. 160 to 230 C.E.) was the first to use the Latin word trinitas. As noted by Henry Chadwick, Tertullian proposed that God is ‘one substance consisting in three persons.’ 25 This does not mean, however, that he had in mind three coequal and coeternal persons. However, his ideas were built upon by later writers who were working toward the Trinity doctrine.

    Tertullian’s concept of Father, Son, and holy spirit was a far cry from Christendom’s Trinity, for he was a subordinationist. He viewed the Son as subordinate to the Father.


  • icocer

    From the 1989 "Should you Believe in the Trinity"

    The Catholic Encyclopedia also comments: "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 ." However, this is no proof in itself that Tertullian taught the Trinity.

    to 2002 watchtower

    Tertullian viewed the Son as subordinate to the Father. However, in his attempt to counteract modalism, he went "beyond the things that are written." (1 Corinthians 4:6) As Tertullian erroneously sought to prove the divinity of Jesus by means of another theory, he coined the formula "one substance in three persons." Using this concept, he attempted to show that God, his Son, and the holy spirit were three distinct persons existing in one divine substance. Tertullian thus became the first to apply the Latin form of the word "trinity" to the Father, the Son, and the holy spirit.

    The light does become brighter. Who do I contact to start my personal home studies?

  • abbagail

    Wow, "Ask and ye shall receive"! icocer's wish was jgnat's command... good job.

    As for your/icocer's Q: "Who do I contact to start my personal home studies?"

    Try contacting the Holy Spirit first and foremost - John 16:13.

    Then set up your VCR to record these daily Bible studies right off your TV, the best Bible study around, "THROUGH the Bible" -- LINE BY LINE, VERSE BY VERSE, all in their original context (which is opposite to how the WT would teach as they pick and choose scriptures by subject, taking them out of context): .

    If it doesn't air in your area, try here anytime:

    Check it out for a week or two. I think you'll really like it.

    Happy learning!

  • Leolaia

    That 2002 article does indeed look like a response to criticism of the Trinity broshure. Check out what they wrote on that page that purports to present what early Christian writers believed. There is no hint at all in that paragraph that Tertullian believed anything along the lines of what is intimated in the 2002 article. Everything they mention in that paragraph could be harmonized with Witness beliefs.

Share this