Trinity- True or False

by defd 215 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • JosephMalik

    1) The gospel of John was dependent on the Greek LXX, not the Hebrew OT. Thus the use of ego eimi in the LXX is quite relevant to appreciating its use in John.


    What? How do you know? Ego eimi is a simple common Greek phrase that has nothing to do with the LXX and that is the way John used it in his Gospel. For example: Joh 18:5 They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them. Joh 18:6 As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground. Joh 18:8 Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way:

    Who then is this Ego eimi in such texts written by John? Why Jesus of Nazareth as John wrote of course. They were fearful of this Jesus as they knew or heard of him that he performed miracles and many powerful works but they got over that and arrested this Jesus of Nazareth. As for scholars they do not know the answers, so I prefer to stay with the texts.

    Hellrider, Are you sure Jesus didn`t mean to "hint" to the name of God when uttering those words?
    The name of God is not ego eimi. The name of God is YHWH. There simly is no substance in any of your speculations.


  • inquirer

    The reason why everyone is arguing over it, because it simply is a complicated issue! Correct issues always come out eventually! This is Constantines' Council god!

    If there was no son or holy spirit (Let's just think like this for a moment) people would think of terms of one in one, because there is only one entity of importance.

    But when there is three entities involved people think everything is God, God, God. Oh Jesus is holy and he can walk and walk and turn water into wine -- he must be God! If the holy spirit was hovering the waters -- it must be God too! It was his power hovering over the waters in Genesis!

    I can seen how the Pagans liked this unity of paganism and Christianity in the 300's AD!

    If I was wrong about any doctrines, I would beg for forgiveness! Honestly! I read Carl's book about 607 BC and now I don't believe it! I am prepared to change believe me!

    Look at these web pages:

    I am so sick of people commenting on John 20:28! If Satan is a god Jesus can be too! There's one scripture in the Bible that might seem a bit out of place and everyone goes balistic!

    I might provide more links later that are not trinitarian and not Jehovah's Witness related.

  • A Paduan
    A Paduan

    He who has seen me has seen the Father; how can you say, `Show us the Father'?
    I am in the Father and the Father in me
    I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you for ever

    Sounds like three of 'em to me

  • the_classicist
    Whilst I have an appreciation for the doctrine of the Trinity, I dont see it as a salvation issue. The Divinity of Christ is more important, from a primitive Christian perspective.

    Ah, theological archaeologism... what a great heresy our time has produced!

  • Leolaia

    As for the dependence on John on the LXX, we could note as one of many examples:

    John 1:23: phóné boóntos en té erémó, euthunate tén hodon kuriou "The voice that cries in the wilderness, Make a straight way for the Lord"
    Isaiah 40:3 LXX: phóné boóntos en té erémó, hetoimasate tén hodon kuriou, eutheias poieite tas tribous tou theou hémón "The voice that cries in the wilderness, Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight the paths of our God"

    The only major difference is that the author of John has conflated the second and third clauses into one. The wordings of this verse in Aquila and Symmachus are quite different, illustrating the great variety of ways the Hebrew could be rendered into the Greek.

    To respond to your specific comment, egó eimi is not just a "simple common Greek phrase that has nothing to do with the LXX". By itself, it just means "I am" but even here there are many different ways of saying this (e.g. just eimi with the subject understood, or just egó with the copular verb omitted, or in reversed order eimi ego); the context in which egó eimi occurs, however, can show that certain OT "I am" passages are related to certain Johannine expressions. As mentioned earlier, the use of the predicate absolute in subordinate clauses in John is strikingly like passages in Deutero-Isaiah. This pertains not just to the egó eimi itself but surrounding words in the OT text that occur in the Johannine texts:

    "Be my witnesses as I am a witness, the Lord God says, and my servant whom I have chosen (exelexamén), so that men may know (gnóte) and believe (pisteuséte) and understand that I am [he] (hoti egó eimi)" (Isaiah 43:10; LXX).
    "Unless you believe that I am [he] (pisteuséte hoti egó eimi), you will die in your sins....When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know (gnósesthe) that I am [he] (hoti egó eimi)" (John 8:24, 28; cf. also John 13:19).

    In this instance, it isn't just the common use of egó eimi, but the fact that (1) it is a predicate absolute, (2) it is preceded by the complementizer hoti, (3) and the subcategorizing verb of this dependent clause is either "believe" (pisteuséte in both) or "know" (both inflected forms of gnoó). Furthermore, in both cases the absolute use of egó eimi has theological or christological significance; the claim of egó eimi is to be an article of faith. Moreover, the conjunction of "believe" and "know" with a hoti-clause occurs elsewhere in John, again in a christological claim: "We believe (pepisteukamen) and know (egnókamen) that you are (hoti su ei) the Holy One of God" (6:69). Finally, a repeating cliche in Ezekiel is the phrase "you/they will know that I am the Lord (gnósesthe/gnóse hoti egó eimi kurios)" (kurios = YHWH in the Hebrew) in Ezekiel 7:9, 28:23, 24, 26, 29:6, 9, 16, 21, 30:8, 19, 25, 26, 32:15, 33:29, 34:27, 30, 35:4, 9, 12, 15, etc. The egó eimi is thus part of the allusiveness of the Johannine passages.

    Note also that these two cases of absolute egó eimi in 8:24 and 8:28 precede and set up the absolute egó eimi in 8:58 ("Before Abraham was, I am"). Moreover, in 8:18 there is likely another allusion to Isaiah 43:10 LXX; in the former, Jesus calls himself a witness (egó eimi marturón), and in the latter (an interpolation in the LXX) God calls himself a witness (egó martus).

    There are a number of other instances of absolute egó eimi in Deutero-Isaiah. One of these replaces the theological claim "I am Yahweh" in the Hebrew with the absolute egó eimi (Isaiah 45:18; LXX). Elsewhere there is the non-absolute egó eimi kurios or the doubled egó eimi egó eimi kurios "I am I am the Lord" or egó eimi ho theos "I am God" (Isaiah 45:8, 19, 22, 46:9, 48:17; compare 43:25). There is the use of the present tense absolute egó eimi to a non-present context (like in John 8:58) to indicate the changeless eternity of God: "From infancy to old age, I am (egó eimi), and until you have grown old, I am (egó eimi)" (Isaiah 46:3-4; LXX).

    This is not to prove that John's use of egó eimi is itself based on the OT LXX, but there is some evidence of specific similarities. Moreover, egó eimi is not just a "simple common" phrase to John; it uses this phrase twice as much as all the other gospels combined, it has specific theological uses (cf. Koester's and Bultmann's treatment), and it appears to be a structuring feature of the gospel (cf. the "I am" discourses in 6:35, 8:12, 10:11, 11:25, 14:6, 15:1).

  • JosephMalik


    John 1:23 and Isaiah 40:3 show only a similarity not a dependence. If they were exact then perhaps a dependence could be established, but they are not. No one would expect a radical difference in such texts even if was rendered or translated directly from the Hebrew by John. What such differences really show is that this was more probably a paraphrase or summation of this text from whatever unknown source it was derived and not a dependence on the LXX version of it.

    Of what value is word matching of Isaiah 43:10 and John 8:24,28 or John 13:19. None other than to demonstrate that such a common expression can also be found in such translations from Hebrew. You see John 8:24, 28 is pointing to that great secret that even the apostles were not to disclose which was that He was the Christ, the Messiah that they all were looking forward to. The verses clearly do not identify this “I am” as the Father as in Isaiah but to someone obedient to such a Father. Someone in fact that was sent by this Father that came in from a non-human source available to this Father for such a mission. John 1:1 demonstrated this right off the bat in his introduction calling this non-human the WORD (not the Son). And John 8:58 simply verifies this fact as it points to time and history not to the LXX for the way it is used in that text. John therefore maintained this theme in his work. Leolaia: John ; it uses this phrase twice as much as all the other gospels combined,
    John also filled in huge amounts of data not present in the other Gospels. Most of his work consisted of such fills. He writings demonstrate a familiarity with the other Gospels and he wrote at a spiritual level more like that of Paul who also had visions of Jesus. So John was different, unique yes, but this does not prove your point nor does it demonstrate special use highly dependent upon the LXX? No! The texts speak for themselves in this matter and ego eimi is nothing more than a common expression that is not dependent upon other texts for clarification. Joseph

  • LittleToe

    Without the background of the Greek Septuagint (OT), John 8's use of "I AM" makes absolutely no grammatical sense whatsoever.

    Why upset at this verse? The point isnb't about who was called a "god" in the bible, as Thomas' explicit use of it. What was his opinion? Did he view Jesus as a "god" in the sense of Satan or Moses, or did it go deeper than that?

    Cygnus ran out of posts last night, and asked me to post this for him:


    : How about celebrating the diversity of opinion, the mystery, rather than feel compelled to profess one harmonizing theology?

    I would certainly do that, and all else that you said, as a liberally-minded Catholic. I believe Catholicism does allow for such, upon scrutiny of the Catechism. I am just the type of person who is a fan of and is awed by research and development, argumentation, and yes sometimes even fervent justification for one's beleifs, plus I just (probably would) like the mysticism, ritual, liturgy and tradition of the Catholic Church. I would (causally, and casually) accept that "She" was there from the start.


    : The JWs have very little concept of Jesus other than as an angel turned perfect human turned angel again. This is NOT divinity, by any stretch of the imagination!!!

    I beg to differ. JW christology does not have Jesus being resurrected to an angelic nature. His nature post-resurrection is that of "the divine quality," "immortal and incorruptible," having and possessing 'life within himself,' or, a self-generation of being and sustenance, which according to JW mythology angels do not possess. Time and again the WT calls Christ our King, Savior, Benefitor, etc. He is consistently and oft referred to as the 2nd greatest Personage in the universe behind the Almighty Jehovah God. Your crass mischaracterization of the WT's position on Jesus is untenable and smacks of something a never-has-been-JW evangelical would mistakenly fabricate.

    In response:

    Having been a JW Elder for several years, and been raised with the WTS, I can assure you that I am intimately familiar with WTS beliefs on this subject.

    The WTS maintains the opinion that Jesus is now Michael the Archangel, so whist many of your comments about his position are correct, you are being disingenuous to declare that they believe him to be Divine. They hold no such belief. He is a created angel, to their mind, regardless of what titles and abilities have been confered upon him.

    This is in stark contrast with the Christian view that he is what he has eternally been - the very Son of God, Divine, and of "God-kind".

  • sonnyboy
    Let me pretend for a moment that this is a subject even worth discussing.


    Anyway, if all of this mumbo-jumbo is reality-based, I don't see how Jesus could be the Almighty. It would make no sense for him to pray to and call out to himself. I've heard people explain this by saying that the Father part of Jesus remained in Heaven while the Son part came to Earth as a man. Hmmm....that sounds like more than one person to me.

    They explain God as a triumvirate being who can split up yet still be the same being. IMO, that would make him three beings in one, not one in three...or something like that. Even if he could split, wouldn't his 'Son' part be a distinct being upon splitting if he called out to the Father part? What good would the temptation of Christ do Satan if it wouldn't be an act against a higher power? If Jesus was God he'd have the power to take it all anyway without worshiping Satan.

  • Hellrider
    Even if he could split, wouldn't his 'Son' part be a distinct being upon splitting if he called out to the Father part? What good would the temptation of Christ do Satan if it wouldn't be an act against a higher power? If Jesus was God he'd have the power to take it all anyway without worshiping Satan.

    The point of christianity is that Christ was both man and god, not just almighty God. He was that too, exemplified by his miracles (waking the dead etc), but he was also man, capable of...mistakes? Capable of being tempted? Forced to exercise free will, like the rest of humanity, choosing between good and evil, not as a God, but as a human being. And that, his humanity, is what gives mankind hope of redemption, but also the responsibility of exercising free will. I think christians see the duality of christ, both man and god/part of God, as Gods greatest gift to mankind, because when Jesus/Christ chose between good and bad (such as when he was tempted by Satan with all the power of the world), he acted as a human, not as God (LoL, sure would have been interesting if he had messed up, though).. However, this choice would only make sense if Jesus wasn`t absolutely sure he was who he said he was! If Jesus knew all along, for sure, that he was Gods reflection on earth, and would go back to heaven after his death, then Satans offer wouldn`t have been an offer at all! So Jesus had to be in doubt (and personally, I see this as the most appealing part of christianity: Doubt is ok, blind faith is not required, although you can certainly get this impression, believe blindly, from 99% of the christian world, and also from the JWs!) Doubt is part of the life of every true christian, imo, and the ability to "sometimes" still believe, in spite of all "counter-evidence", is...christianity?

  • Hellrider

    Edited to add: And that could be the reason why Jesus prays to God, and calls out to God, I think! He wasn`t sure about who he was, whether he was really Gods reflection on earth in human form, or whatever, and he couldn`t be sure of that, because then his mission would have had no point! And thus, Jesus asks his father in heaven for strength, the night before he is arrested, to be accused, sentenced and crucified. He even has doubts when hanging on the cross (eli, eli, lama sabakthani)! The passages where Jesus cries out to, or prays to his Father, are not passages that speaks against his own claim of being deity, imo.

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