Hey I've been reading the magazine "Should You Believe In the Trinity" - very well laid out and I know its been around for years.
I'm struggling with this whole issue and have looked at some of the quotes and they don't seem to match the actual quotes of the Early Church Fathers. Mainly the one by Tertullian which reads as follows from the magazine
Tertullian, who died about 230 C.E., taught the supremacy of God. He observed: "The Father is different from the Son (another), as he is greater; as he who begets is different from him who is begotten; he who sends, different from him who is sent." He also said: "There was a time when the Son was not. . . . Before all things, God was alone."
When you read the actual reference this is what it says:...."In the beginning God made for Himself a Son." As there is no ground for this, I am led to other arguments derived from God’s own dispensation, in which He existed before the creation of the world, up to the generation of the Son. For before all things God was alone — being in Himself and for Himself universe, and space, and all things. Moreover, He was alone, because there was nothing external to Him but Himself. Yet even not then was He alone; for He had with Him that which He possessed in Himself, that is to say, His own Reason. For God is rational, and Reason was first in Him; and so all things were from Himself. This Reason is His own Thought (or Consciousness) which the Greeks call logos, by which term we also designate Word or Discourse.
Its seems the magazine has left out bits that would imply a different statement of belief.
Can anyone shed light on this for me
Are you kidding?
Shed light on this.
You are trying to fit God into your physical mind, it will not work. If you think God can fit into your mind you have greatly overestimated its potiential.
I respect that your question is sincere.
I do not believe that what you are attempting is possible.
You can develope a feel for the concept of the Holy Trinity but even a Catholic Priest will tell you it is not within your grasp to totally understand the nature of God.
What could you program into your mind that would reflect even a small portion of the reality of the source of all Light in the universe?
The concept of the trinity is designed to get your mind to shut down or immobilize long enough to actually expierence something greater then itself. Pondering it and seeking it will bring it closer to your expierence. Touching the Light will bring a knowing a joy and a love such as you have never know in the physical, but the mind will never understand it while it is engaged in chugging such concepts.
The quotes you are reading are men attempting to describe the expierence. When you expierence it yourself thier words will make more sense.
Hi Libra-spirit - I'm sorry I can't understand what your getting at - I'm not trying to do anything with the trinity all I'm questioning is the accuracy of the pamphlet "Should you believe in the trinity". I basically want to know if this is an error in the quotation of Tertullian or that I'm reading the pamphlet Incorrectly.
This is something that I have been trying to look into as well. I'm currently unsure of whether I believe in the trinity or not. Here are a couple of links that may help you:
These are in defense of the trinity. I can also give you scripture to refute the belief, as well.
Best of luck...
Oh and there are errors in that brochure. That second link I gave you above, covers this in detail, including the quotation of Tetullian to which you are referring.
that brochure is a joke.
I wasted many months looking up all the quotes. So knock yourself out.
This doesn't prove or disprove the trinity, it shows to what deceptive measures the WT will go to don the sheep's clothing as long as they can. The more ancient & obscure the quote, the longer it'll take to look up and the less chance the average, "more mature" christian would even bother.
Libre - very nice description. This is the reason why culture after culture, religion after religion has screwed up in their attempt to attach a label, name or "teachable" idea to this concept of "God"
Then as soon as you put words to it something is wrong, that is because the words to describe God do not exist in any language.
Thats why so many people have so many different yet similar ideas about who/what God is.
in you last reply "The more ancient & obscure the quote, the longer it'll take to look up and the less chance the average, "more mature" christian would even bother". Isn't this just the problem --- some Christians don't even bother checking - that seems the same when it comes to doctrines like original sin - for years I've heard people stating that Jesus was born of a virgin to avoid the link of original sin - but if the scriptures were studied and checked they would find a biblical reason not a human idea.
Thanks sadie for those links
This booklet (and others) is dishonest & very deceptive & a clever method to proclaim their very own doctrine and if history gets ignored or changed in the process well, so be it.
Some don't even bother checking....
Especially if there is a quote with ... in the middle, the ... usually represent the part of the quote they don't want you to read and more often taken entirely out of context. So many quoted don't even believe in the bible or God, so of course they have no support for the trinity idea. As well alot of quotes are taken from works that actually support it but the sentence they choose is either them quoting someone else or talking about the difficulty people have understanding the concept.
The misquotes are placed & figure that if they explain the quote their way, top it off with a scripture then everything is OK. I especially don't like the scriptures that are also used out of context here.
and there is no mention of Arius (230-336) or marcion, sabellism, gnosticism, all the great heresies WAY before the so called Constantine thing. Their "expert expose" on they way history unfolded leaves out many main characters and misrepresents others.
So many of the early writers Irenaeus (130-200), Tertullian (160-220) who was 1st to use "the word" in descriptions of Jesus, Origen (185-254), justin martyr, clement, had much to say
The WT claims the early conspiracy theory, then ignores what theories were fought against & why.
Yet they use the "light gets brighter" in their own defence not even allowing such luxury to the apostles, or to paul
gotta go, parents just stopped by
Obviously, because the JWs are anti-Trinity (and just about anti-ANYTHING Christian), all their material are against the Trinity. Because the Watchtower itself proves to be faulty in MANY ways, it's almost safe to assume that their views of the Trinity are flawed too.
(Although it's best to stick to Biblical evidence for the Trinity)
They try to disprove the Trinity by various methods:
1) They change their "bible" in key areas that prove the Deity of Jesus
2) They over-focus on the non-human part of Jesus, asking questions such as "If Jesus were God, did he pray to himself?" (understanding that Jesus was fully human too, refutes their reasoning)
3) They try to "prove" that the Holy Spirit is not a person, but contradict themselves in their own "bible" by calling the Holy Spirit both "it" and "he"
The list goes on...
In order to come to a better understanding of the Trinity, don't just read the material refuting it, read BOTH sides first.
http://www.carm.org has some great explanations on the Trinity and the Deity of Christ, as well as two audio files regarding the Trinity that you could listen to using Windows Media Player or even Winamp. ( http://www.carm.org/audio.htm)
http://www.christian-thinktank.com/trin01.html also has an extensive "Trinity" section.
But as libra_spirit said, we as finite beings will NEVER fully grasp the whole concept of an infinite God. We will be with Him for an eternity and ALWAYS see and experience new qualities and aspects of Him that we have not seen before.
Wanna know about the Trinity? Read the Bible, NOT the Watchtower!
Even by just reading their own, perverted 'bible' (without a guided tour from the Watchtower literature) one can reach the conclusion of a Trinity. (Strange how someone JUST reading the Bible alone will NEVER link the archangel Michael to Jesus... you need their over-complicated excuses with the scriptures to reach some form of understanding of their arguments)
"and NO ONE can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit" - 1 Corinthians 12:3 (Meditate on this scripture and its meaning)
So obviously one needs the Holy Spirit to acknowledge Jesus as God (and mean it!). Pray thus, that the Lord will send you the Holy Spirit (who testifies and glorifies Jesus) to teach you about the REAL Jesus from the Scriptures. Then READ the scriptures via the Holy Spirit, and you will notice the Trinity leaping at you from just about every passage.
No longer will Isaiah 42:8 and John 17:5, or Isaiah 43:11 and Acts 4:10-12 contradict each other, but become a harmony toward a better (if only slightly better) understanding of who God is and how limitless His love for you is...
Hope this helped, if only somewhat...