Hey guys i just read "the watchtower and the nicene fathers" om freeminds.org.
has anyone read what the nicene fathers knew of the trinity and what did you think? Were the Wt accurate in what they said of them?
The Nicene Creed, as I understand,is the basic formulation of the Trinity. The Emperor Constantine wanted Christainity to be a unifying political force in his empire. While he favored the existing diversity among the existing churches for a while, he became tired of the divisions so he summoned the bishops and leaders to Nicea. Various formulations were debated. I also believe The Apostle's Creed fleshes it out. St. Athansius Creed further refined it. It became clear that Constantine decide to favor those who called themselves orthodox. Many different churches recite the creeds every week. They are a major component of Christology. Who was Jesus? Are Christ, the Father, and the Holy Spirit one being? The language is very legalistic.
Today few priests believe in the exact formulation. My priest explained that humans experience God in different ways depending upon mood and circumstances. The Trinity is one attempt to accept that experience.
The Witnesses do not believe Jesus was God. They reject the Nicene Creed. Others might explain it better but I read that for centuries Europe was split between Arians and Trinitarians. There were battles. What Christology you adopted different with geographical area and who your politcal ruler was. Over time, the Trinitarians became dominant.
I would not believe anything the WT teaches about anything. Source documents are available on the Internet. While it is not a great reference, wikipedia is more reliable than the WT. My impression is that this is a complex and controversial area.
The WT says different things. Most of the time they try to make it sound like the RC church teaches Jehovah and Jesus are the same person. This is not true. This is not what they teach although there are some churches that do teach this ( oneness Pentecostal ). Think of it this way....You are one person, your father is one person, your brother is one person but you are all human. Three persons, all human, made of the same stuff. True human from true human. How can a human beget anything but a human? How can God beget anything but God ?
If you believe in God, I don't think he would care if you did not know exactly what his nature is like. Half the scriptures make it sound like yes it's true. the other half make it sound like it's not.
The thing that is NOT ok, is when the WT lies about what other churches teach. Just go to the source yourself. You cannot trust them to give you the full story.
DS211 , certainly in the pamphlet SYBITT the Early Church Fathers are grossly misrepresented . Tetullian for example says :
" This word we have learnt was produced from God , and was generated by being produced , and therefore is called the Son of God and God from unity of substance with God . For God too is spirit . When a ray is projected from the sun it is a portion of the whole sun ; but the sun will be in the ray because it is a ray from the sun ; the substance is not seperated but extended . So from spirit comes spirit , and God from God as light is kindled from light ."
As already mentioned most of the writings of the Early Church Fathers are online . Also Tertullian is the person who coined the word Trinity .;
"while the mystery of the dispensation is still guarded which distributes the Unity into a Trinity , placing in their order the three Persons - the Father , the Son and the Holy Ghost ; ........."
Now Tertullian ws born between 150 and 160 AD and died between 222 and 225 AD . So I believe that means that the word Trinity was first used earlier than the Watchtower says .