The above is one attempt, not to illustrate the Trinity per se, but rather to capture in a diagram some of the truths related to the persons of the Godhead.

The internal lines identify the nature, substance, or essence of each person:

  1. The Father is God.
  2. The Son is God.
  3. The Holy Spirit is God.

As Basil of Caesarea writes in the 370s (Letter 236.6):

The distinction between ousia and hupostasis is the same as that between the general and the particular; as, for instance, between the animal and the particular man.

Wherefore, in the case of the Godhead, we confess one essence or substance so as not to give a variant definition of existence, but we confess a particular hypostasis, in order that our conception of Father, Son and Holy Spirit may be without confusion and clear. If we have no distinct perception of the separate characteristics, namely, fatherhood, sonship, and sanctification, but form our conception of God from the general idea of existence, we cannot possibly give a sound account of our faith.

We must, therefore, confess the faith by adding the particular to the common. The Godhead is common; the fatherhood particular. We must therefore combine the two and say, I believe in God the Father.

The like course must be pursued in the confession of the Son; we must combine the particular with the common and say I believe in God the Son, so in the case of the Holy Ghost we must make our utterance conform to the appellation and say in God the Holy Ghost.

The lines of the triangle represent two sets of propositions. First, they remind us that while each of the persons in the Godhead is God (fully divine), the persons are at the same time distinct. In other words:

  1. The Father is not the Son.
  2. The Son is not the Father.
  3. The Father is not the Holy Spirit.
  4. The Holy Spirit is not the Father.
  5. The Son is not the Holy Spirit.
  6. The Holy Spirit is not the Son.

After all, the Father is never “sent” in Scripture. Nor is he incarnated or poured out at Pentecost. The Spirit does not die on the cross for our sins. The Father begets the Son, not vice-versa. The Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son.

Another aspect indicated by the lines on the triangle is that of mutual indwelling (or perichoresis). The three persons indwell each other in the one being of God. So:

  1. The Father is in the Son.
  2. The Son is in the Father.
  3. The Father is in the Holy Spirit.
  4. The Holy Spirit is in the Father.
  5. The Son is in the Holy Spirit.
  6. The Holy Spirit is in the Son.

Finally, each of the three persons in the one being of God glorify one another. As Gregory of Nyssa writes, there is a “revolving circle” of glory:

The Son is glorified by the Spirit; the Father is glorified by the Son; again the Son has His glory from the Father; and the Only-begotten thus becomes the glory of the Spirit. . . .  In like manner, again, Faith completes the circle, and glorifies the Son by means of the Spirit, and the Father by means of the Son. (Gregory of Nyssa, On the Holy Spirit, in NPNF, Second Series, 5:324).

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Comments:


71 thoughts on “Using a Diagram to Illustrate Trinitarian Relationships”

  1. Brad says:

    Very interesting diagram, Justin.

  2. MarkO says:

    Helpful analysis. Under those conditions it seems impossible that there could be any notion of eternal subordination of the Son to the Father. For me the reality of the eternal mutual indwelling cancels out that recent theory of eternal subordination of roles.

    1. Justin Taylor says:

      Mark,

      You might want to check out Bob Letham’s interaction with Kevin Gilles:

      http://is.gd/HcVPPw

      He is uncomfortable with some of the terminology of Ware and Grudem but holds to the basic idea and shows some of the dangers of denying it.

      JT

      1. MarkO says:

        Hi Justin,
        Interesting debate between these two gents. I have thot for some time that it is unfortunate on both sides that egalitarians and complementarians want to use the Trinity as support for their respective positions. I think there is plenty of other data in Scripture which either side can spar over without touching the doctrine of the Trinity.

        However, I noticed Vicar Latham’s excellent and pithy blurb of his opponents pov.

        “He [Kevin Giles] maintains that the Son is eternally equal to the Father in power and authority, possessing the one identical divine will; that the obedience of Christ was as the second Adam, as man, for our salvation; and that once His saving work was done, He was exalted to the full exercise of omnipotence.”

        Very well said by him even though he disagrees with it.

    2. carl peterson says:

      MarkO,

      Interesting since I think the Cappadocians and the other early Eastern fathers would disagree with you. As I read the pro-nicenes there seems to be an order to God that reflects an eternal subordination of the Son to the Father. Not a subordination in power or glory but in order. I think this is part of what made some of the hammering out of the Trinitarian grammar so difficult.

      CARL

      1. MarkO says:

        Hi Carl,
        There can be no subordination of order if there is a pure equality of glory and power. These two disparate traits cannot exist in the same divine Being. Also, there is no order in the eternal Being of God since He exists in eternity where there is no sequence (order). The perceived order we see is merely a convention of time and space. We are finite thus bound by order. God is not finite thus not bound eternally to ordination.

        1. Justin Taylor says:

          Mark, maybe I’m misunderstanding what your saying, but to say that there is no order in the Trinity seems to say that what we see in the economic trinity is essentially arbitrary and that there is no relationship between the immanent trinity and the economic trinity. It goes against virtually the whole flow of trinitarian discussion both in the east and the west (Athanasius, Cappadocians, Augustine, Aquinas, Calvin, Owen, etc). No order (taxis) whatsoever would also fall under the condemnation of the Nicene Creed. It’s going out on quite a theological limb, IMO.

          1. MarkO says:

            Justin,
            I see your point. I am not suggesting “no order” under any circumstances. Certainly there is an ordering of Trinitarian processes and divine participation with relation to the world, mankind, salvation, restoration, etc. As I understand it this is what the Nicene Creed is mostly putting before us – Trinitarian processes within our time and space.

            On the other hand within the eternal (or immanent as some say) Being of God I don’t see how there can be “order” since order is a sequential operation and function of time. For the record I understand the expression in the Nicene Creed – “eternally begotten of the Father” – as not referring to eternal subordination or order, but the unbroken bond between the Son and Father.

            I love how the Athanasian Creed affirms the full bloom sovereignty of the Son with the rest of the Godhead:

            “…So likewise the Father is Almighty;
            the Son Almighty;
            and the Holy Ghost Almighty.
            And yet they are not three Almighties;
            but one Almighty…”

            In my way of thinking the Son is not allowed to be fully Sovereign if He is permanently a lesser authority in the Trinity. For those who hold to ESofR the Father alone has a full allotment of Sovereignty within the Trinity.

        2. carl peterson says:

          MarkO,

          I am not implying an temporal order of the Trinity. I reject that. And the Nicenes rejected it by using “etenally begotten.” But I do not think order has to be understood temporally. There could be a logical order or an order of roles. The latter is what I am speaking about. So the Son is not subordinate in power, glory, time but he is subordinate in a way regarding role. Or that is possible. I think we can debate if that is actually true. But I do not think a order or roles in the eternal or immanent Trinity is rejected by perichoresis or by those who came up with that idea.

  3. This is a helpful diagram that begins to flesh out the mysterious nature and character of our God.

  4. James Rednour says:

    The only real-world analogy I’ve seen that comes close to describing the trinity is the wave-particle duality of light. Light is both a particle and a wave but the waves and particles are not each other. It makes no sense and even quantum physicists don’t understand it, but that is the way electromagnetic radiation behaves. So when someone tells you the trinity doesn’t make sense, you can point them to light and say it doesn’t make sense either but it is 100% true.

  5. Abram K-J says:

    Agreed with MarkO, above. Great diagram! Of course, it’s hard to capture a doctrine like the Trinity with a single diagram, but this is one of the best efforts I’ve seen. Definitely worth of use in teaching settings.

  6. What do you think about the Eastern Orthodox separation of “essence” and “energies” in this context?

    1. Justin Taylor says:

      I think it’s open to criticism and at worst can lead to a form of agnosticism about the nature of God. For a discussion see Letham’s book “Through Western Eyes,” pp. 283-84.

  7. Luma says:

    I like this, Justin. Thanks for the Letham link.

  8. Dane Ortlund says:

    Very instructive, thanks JT!!!!!!!!

  9. Luma says:

    I don’t know what to say just yet, Justin. I just got done reading the Letham and Giles interaction and I am extremely grateful to you for the link. I have not read Bob Letham’s book but I have always been uncomfortable with the doctrine of the eternal subordination of the Son. I think I’ll stop here and go chew on this stuff for a while.

    1. Luma says:

      Justin, I wanted to make it very clear that the spiritual check I have had for a very long time now over the eternal subordination of the Son, has nothing to do with egalitarianism. I am a complementarian.

      By the way, we have a son we named Athanasius (we call him Athan for short). There’s a reason we named our son after a theologian who worked tirelessly for the Trinity contra mundum. :-)

      MarkO, I’ll take a look and see what that’s about, thanks.

      1. MarkO says:

        Luma, That is cool – Athan – I like that. I am complementarian also and have serious concerns about eternal subordination.

  10. A. Amos Love says:

    Was wondering…

    Didn’t Jesus say???
    “I and the Father are “ONE” John 10:30 KJV
    “he that hath seen me hath seen the Father” Jonh 14:9 KJV

    BUT – The chart says…
    The Father is NOT the Son
    The Son is NOT the Father

    And – John calls the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit “ONE.”

    1 John 5:7 KJV
    For there are three that bear record in heaven,
    the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are “ONE.”

    And – What about Isaiah 9:6 – Could Jesus be the Everlasting Father in Isaiah 9:6?
    We know Jesus as – The Mighty God – And – The Prince of Peace – Yes?
    Couldn’t Jesus also be the Everlasting Father?
    If not Jesus, who is Isaiah 9:6 referring to as Everlasting Father?

    Isaiah 9:6 KJV
    For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given:
    and the government shall be upon his shoulder:
    and **his name shall be called** Wonderful, Counsellor,
    The mighty God, **The everlasting Father,** The Prince of Peace.

    Then -Jesus calls Himself – The Root of David – And – The offspring of David.

    Rev 22:16 KJV
    …I am the root and the offspring of David…

    Doesn’t that sound like Jesus is saying – I’m the Father of Daivd – And – the Son of David?

    1. MarkO says:

      Amos,

      I’ll attempt an explanation.

      regarding “…are One” – this use of “one” is not necessarily demand numerically one, but refers to unity or bond. an example: the US Army Ad campaign, “An Army of One” – this does not mean the US Army only has one person in it.

      regarding I Jn 5:7 – manuscript authority for these verses (I Jn 5:7-8) in the KJV translation are suspect. It is referred to as the Comma Johanneum. more info here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comma_Johanneum

      regarding Is 9:6 – a literal rendering of the Hebrew should be “father of eternity” or “founder of the ages”.

      regarding Rev 22:16 – we should not assign a modern/western idea of root to an ancient use of “root” – it simply means that Jesus is directly of the family of David. I understand this to be an iterative use of “and.” In other words, the two words (or phrases) on both sides of “and” are saying the same thing, but in two different ways. This is a common use of “and” in Hebrew. We do this in English too: ‘my wife is my friend AND companion’ – same concept expressed in two ways.

  11. A. Amos Love says:

    MarkO

    Thanks for the explanations – Still have some doubts about this chart.
    And some of the other of the sayings given here – NOT backed with scriptures.
    ———–
    You write…
    **regarding “…are One**

    I’m familiar with the Hebrew “Echad” in Deut 6:4 The LORD our God is “ONE” LORD…
    refering to your “Army of one” – relating to many being as one. Kinda a plural “ONE.”

    BUT – Seems this “ONE” that Jesus uses when saying – I and my Father are “ONE” – Is singular.
    And is used many times in the NT as a singular, numerical, “ONE.” – Greek – heis – Strongs #1520.

    Here are some examples where *this “ONE”* Jesus used is seperated from, called out of, the many.

    Mat 22:35 Then “ONE” of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question…
    Mat 23:8 But be not ye called Rabbi: for “ONE” is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.
    Mat 23:10 Neither be ye called masters: for “ONE” is your Master, even Christ.
    Mat 26:21 And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that “ONE” of you shall betray me.
    Mat 26:14* Then “ONE” of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot…
    Mark 9:17 And “ONE” of the multitude answered and said, Master…
    ————
    You write…
    “regarding Is 9:6 – a literal rendering of the Hebrew should be “father of eternity”

    Seems you are saying that in Isa 9:6 – The Everlasting Father – “father of eternity” – Is Jesus.
    ————
    I’m also a little familiar with 1 John 5:7 KJV being “suspect” BUT “suspect” does NOT mean wrong.
    And Jesus still said – “he that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” John 14:9 KJV
    And Jesus also said – “And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me.” John 12:45 KJV
    And – “…but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.” John 15:24 KJV
    ——

    1. MarkO says:

      “I’m also a little familiar with 1 John 5:7 KJV being “suspect” BUT “suspect” does NOT mean wrong.”

      There is ample evidence the Johanine Comma is a later insertion from the Latin Vulgate. Study Metzger for more on this.

      So “one” ALWAYS must be read as a value of 1?

  12. A. Amos Love says:

    MarkO

    Was wondering if you ever noticed this.

    1 – In the OT Jehovah and Jehovah Elohim is referred to as – *our Father* – and – *our Redeemer.*

    1Chronicles 29:10 KJV
    … Blessed be]thou, LORD God (Jehovah Elohiym) of Israel *our father.*

    Isaiah 63:16 KJV
    Doubtless thou art *our father,* though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not:
    thou, O LORD, (Jehovah) art ** our father, our redeemer;** thy name is from everlasting.

    Isaiah 64:8 But now, O LORD, (Jehovah) thou art *our father;*
    we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.

    2a – John the Baptist came to; “Prepare ye the way of the Lord, …our God.”
    2b – John the Baptist only knew the OT prophecy from Isaiah.
    2c – This scripture is in the OT and NT.
    2d – In the OT, Isaiah 40:3, the LORD refers to Jehovah.
    2e – In the NT, Matthew 3:3, the Lord refers to Jesus.

    Isaiah 40:3
    The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness,
    Prepare ye the way of the LORD, (Jehovah = self-Existent, eternal)
    make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

    Matthew 3:3
    For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying,
    The voice of one crying in the wilderness,
    Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

    2f – John the Baptist came to prepare the way for Jehovah, our Father, our Redeemer…

    And Jesus showed up.

    1. MarkO says:

      shape-shifting (in mythology) = modalism (in historical theology) = Oneness theology (in contemporary notions)

      kinda like the legend of “Beauty and the Beast”
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ms05La1pDIU

    1. carl peterson says:

      I think he is wondering like I am if you are a oneness pentacostal and thus a modalist. That is what I see in your posts.

  13. A. Amos Love says:

    carl – Thanks

    No I’m NOT Oneness Pentalcostal or Modelist.

    I believe – And – I can find scriptures that say…
    The Father is God
    The Son is God
    The Holy Spirit is God

    I do NOT think the chart, and some stuff in the article, is accurate – Because…

    I can NOT find scriptures that say…

    1 – The Father is not the Son.
    2 – The Son is not the Father.
    3 – The Father is not the Holy Spirit.
    4 – The Holy Spirit is not the Father.
    5 – The Son is not the Holy Spirit.
    6 – The Holy Spirit is not the Son.

    And when the article says – After alll – Wait a minute – “After all” does NOT sound very certain…

    “After all, the Father is never “sent” in Scripture. Nor is he incarnated or poured out at Pentecost. The Spirit does not die on the cross for our sins. The Father begets the Son, not vice-versa. The Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son.”

    Here I can only see “mere fallible humans” using their very fallibe “Wisdom” – To try to understand…
    To prove – “Their” point – Kinda hoping this is how it works. The Chart looks nice…

    BUT – – The Chart maker is NOT using scripture. He reasons from what is NOT said.
    It’s – “Never Sent” – “Nor is he incarnated” – The Spirit does not die”
    And that sounds like a kinda “Weak” way to establish doctrine.
    ————–
    carl – How would you answer these verses

    And Jesus still said – “he that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” John 14:9 KJV
    And Jesus also said – “And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me.” John 12:45 KJV
    And – “…but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.” John 15:24 KJV

    Hmmm? – both *seen and hated* both *me and my Father* – How was the Father seen???

    And – have you ever noticed?

    John the Baptist came to prepare the way for Jehovah, our Father, our Redeemer…

    And Jesus showed up.

    And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:
    them also I must bring, and they shall “hear My voice; “
    and there shall be “ONE” fold, and “ONE” shepherd.
    John 10:16

    One Fold – One Shepherd – One Voice – One Leader

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

    1. MarkO says:

      Amos,

      How do you explain Jesus talking (praying) to the Father? John 17 shows 2 divine Persons at both ends of that prayer in the same moment – – – – unless God the Father is a ventriloquist (or vice versa).

  14. A. Amos Love says:

    carl

    Oh – and MarkO didn’t seem to have an answer for Isaiah 9:6

    Who do you say is – The everlasting Father?

    If NOT Jesus – then who?

    1. MarkO says:

      Amos,

      At I noted above Is 9:6 reads literally in Hb: “father of eternity” thus is used as an expression to ascribe eternality to the Son. The problem for we moderns is that we like to push metaphorical language too far. “father of eternity” is simply an expression which indicates the Son’s supremacy over all time, ages and eternity itself. The reverse implication is also true. He, the Son, is not a byproduct of eternity. Is 9:6 is a prophetic description of Christ in His office a Sovereign Ruler.

  15. carl peterson says:

    I have not read the article from Letham above but I was in a seminar in which one student turned in a paper that showed how what some call “eternal subordination” (Orthodox style) helps the argument for complementarianism. That is that one can see the relationship between the Father and Son is a good example of two persons (if that is the best word) who are equal in being. power, importance, etc. but that one’s role is subordinate to the other. So the Son is equal to the Father but does the things he sees his Father doing etc. Not arguing for this necessarily but I think it can be intersting.

    1. MarkO says:

      yes, I see that line of thinking used often by eternal role subordinationists. The problem with that approach is that it makes Christ the “weaker vessel.”

      Also, co-equal literally means “of the same rank or position” and subordinationists cannot logically affirm BOTH eternal subordination AND co-equality (of the same rank) in the Godhead.

      1. carl peterson says:

        MarkO,

        Well it is definitely something that one is arguing from God to mankind. One does not use the example in mankind to explain God. The example of God is just that there are two persons that have different roles but are equal. The roles are different between God and His Son than Man and wife. But man and wife are equal just like the Father and Son are equal.

        But I take issue with the second part of your post because I am not sure how you can be a complimentarian and hold that position. Because complimentarian would not hold that a husband and wife have the same rank or position. They are equal but have different roles and for the husband and wife also different ranks because of those roles. So it seems like you would be stuck in something more conservative that a complimmentarian position.

        Also I do not think that a being has to be equal at all things to be equal. Another words I am saying that a being can have different roles and different ranks because of those roles but still be equal. For instance I am no less equal than the pastor of my church. However he has a role and a rank in my church that is over my own. That is okay with me. I have submit to his authority and to that of the elders underneath that of Christ who is the head of the church. So I believe and I think scripture supports the idea of equality of people and of the Godhead however different people have different roles. Different persons of the god head have different roles. And that also brings up again that you cannot really agree with different roles or ranks in the economic Trinity because of your views.

        1. MarkO says:

          I appreciate your thots. However, the mistake you are making about my position is that I do not see it as essential for one who is complementarian to therefore believe in eternal subordination OR if one is egalitarian he must therefore believe in mutuality within the Trinity. The roles within the Trinity are based on a permanent relationship. Marriage is a temporary relationship and the institution of marriage will end at some future point.

          1. carl peterson says:

            MarkO,

            Thanks for the post but I do not know how having one as temp and one as permanent changes anything. I am reacting to your viewof equality more than anything else. I think your next reply is more helpful.

        2. MarkO says:

          another observation:

          with regard to my position you are conflating “role” with “rank.”

          It is possibly and real that persons of the same rank can have different roles. So it is within the Trinity.

          1. carl peterson says:

            MarkO,

            Maybe we are using our verbiage differently and talkign past one another. But I definitely see different ranks between man and woman because of he different roles in family. Both are equal but have the different roles give them different ranks in teh family structure. I do not view a difference in rank = a difference in equality. I see that you do. However using your own verbiage how can the eternal TRinity not have different roles for each person and still have the same rank? Why is it okay for the family to be this way but not the immanent Trinity? You seem to equate the possibilty of a different role of Son as a Son to the Father in he immanent Trinity as making the Trinitarian persons unequal.

  16. carl peterson says:

    “And Jesus still said – “he that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” John 14:9 KJV
    And Jesus also said – “And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me.” John 12:45 KJV
    And – “…but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.” John 15:24 KJV

    Hmmm? – both *seen and hated* both *me and my Father* – How was the Father seen???”

    How would I explain these verses? Well Jesus is the perfect image of the invisible God. First why would Jesus say if you have seen me then you have seen the Father? Why use a phrase with two different subjects/objects. What I mean is that Jesus did not say you see the Father when you see me because I am the Father. He just said when you see me then you see the Father. It seems like he is saying he is just like his Father but his Father is someone else. It would be like if I said if you see my boy then you have seen me. Why? Because my boy is just like me. He acts just like me. Jesus never says he is the Father. Never. Instead he prays to the Father. He is not praying to Himself is he? No. He always speaks of the Father as someone else. He says he is one with the Father but that can clearly not mean that he is the same person as the Father because he is speaking to the Father at the time. (that is if it is verse that I think you are using).

    you claim that others are using worldly wisdom when they study scripture and make deductions based upon it. But you do the same thing. You deduct that the Father, Son and spirit must be one because of how the words are used. That is the same type of so called worldly wisdom.

  17. Bill says:

    Really like this tool, its helpful for teaching the nature of the Trinity. To improve it: is it possible to give biblical support (supporting scripture) to each of the relational aspect illustrated?

  18. A. Amos Love says:

    MarkO
    “How do you explain Jesus talking (praying) to the Father? John 17 shows 2 divine Persons at both ends of that prayer in the same moment”

    carl
    “Instead he prays to the Father. He is not praying to Himself is he?”

    Good questions – I’ve asked the same… Over and over again…
    I NO longer see a simple answer that can easily dismiss
    I do have some thoughts, some theories – But nothing definite.
    And this question leads to lots, and lots, of other questions…

    1 – When Jesus prays to the Father – Where is the Father?

    Is the Father separated from the Son? Is the Father in Heaven? And the Son on earth?
    When Jesus teaches His Disciples to pray – He begins – “Our Father which art in Heaven.” Mat 6:9

    2 – Is the Son is in Heaven – with the Father – when he prays?
    Seems Jesus has the ability to be in Heaven and Earth at the same time.

    John 3:13
    And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven,
    even *the Son of man which is in heaven.*

    3 – Is the Father in Jesus – and – Jesus in the Father – When Jesus prays?

    John 17 does show two who are divine… AND… Also – “ONE” that is both human and divine.

    Two who are divine – “ONE” is in Christ – “ONE” is in the Father – At the same time? Eternity?
    Praying – That we may be “ONE”- As they are “ONE”

    Hmmm? The Father is in Jesus – AND – Jesus is in the Father – That sounds like they might be “ONE.”

    4 – Why did His Disciples NOT pray to the Father?
    Jesus prayed to the Father and Jesus also taught His Disciples to – pray to the Father.
    Mat 6:6, Mat 6:9, John 14:16, John 16:25-26, etc.

    But – In the Bible – I can only find one verse where His Disciples might have prayed to the Father.
    And Jesus was included. They expected, God, and the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ…. “ONE.”
    To direct our way unto you.

    1 Thessolonians 3:10
    Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face,
    and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith?
    11 Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you.

    His Disciples prayed to God – His Disciples prayed to the Lord. But – NOT to the Father – Why NOT?
    Seems only Jesus prayed to the Father. But – I cudda missed that…

    If the Father is in Jesus – and – Jesus is in the Father – Maybe He was – Praying to Himself.

    Maybe the natural human God – was talking to the Spiritual God. God is a Spirit. John 4:24.
    Lots and lots of “Maybe’s” –

    But – they couldn’t be separate and apart from one another. – Wouldn’t that be “TWO” Gods?

    1. carl peterson says:

      A Amos,

      No they were not seperated. That is part of the doctrine of the Trinity. However it is also clear there is two distinct person. The Father and the Son. That is also part of the Trinity. So the Son is not the Father but there is one essence. See how interesting the doctrine really is and how it is true to scripture?

      Now many scholars think much of Ephesians 1 is a prayer. Here is how the prayer starts “3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. ” Paul is praying to the Father. There are many other examples but most of the prayers in the Bible are not just to the Father only but are Trinitarian prayer.

  19. A. Amos Love says:

    And here is something else I noticed when debating with someone who said – Jesus is NOT God.
    Seems the OT and the NT consistantly – Identifies – and – Interchanges – Jehovah with Jesus.
    The Father with the Son.

    The Chart uses differences – to say – The Father is NOT The Son.
    What about these scriptures – that seem to – Identify – and – Interchange – Jehovah with Jesus?

    1 – In the OT Jehovah – our Father, our Redeemer – is my Salvation.
    1 – In the NT Jesus – is my Salvation – and neither is there salvation in any other.

    Psalm 27:1 The LORD (Jehovah) is my light and my salvation…
    Jonah 2:9 … Salvation is of the LORD. (Jehovah)

    Acts 4:9-13 … Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven…

    2 – In the OT Jehovah – our Father, our Redeemer – creates the heavens and the earth and all things.
    2 – In the NT Jesus – creates the heavens and the earth and all things.

    Exodus 20:11 For in six days the LORD (Jehovah) made heaven and earth…
    Proverbs 16:4 The LORD (Jehovah) hath made all things for himself…
    Psalm 33:6 By the word of the LORD (Jehovah) were the heavens made…
    Psalm 121:2 My help cometh from the LORD, (Jehovah) which made heaven and earth.

    John 1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, (Jesus)

    Colossians 1:14-18 For by him (Jesus) were All things created…
    …all things were created by him, and for him…
    …And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. (to set together)
    …And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning…
    ….that in all things he (Jesus) might have the preeminence. (to hold first place)

    3 – In the OT Jehovah – our Father, our Redeemer – is my Rock – and my Deliverer.
    3 – In the NT Jesus – is my Rock – and my Deliverer.

    2 Samuel 22:2 And he said, The LORD (Jehovah) is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer.
    Psalm 18:2 The LORD (Jehovah) is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer…

    Rom 7:24 … *who shall deliver me* from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ …
    1 Thess 1:10 …even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.
    2 Tim 3:11 …what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.
    2 Tim 4:18 And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work…
    2 Peter 2:9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations…
    1 Cor 10:4 …they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

    4 – In the OT Jehovah – our Father, our Redeemer – is the Light.
    4 – In the NT Jesus – is the Light

    Isaiah 2:5 O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the LORD. (Jehovah)
    Isaiah 60:19 … but the LORD (Jehovah) shall be unto thee an everlasting light…
    Micah 7:8 … when I sit in darkness, the LORD (Jehovah) shall be a light unto me.

    John 1:9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
    John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world…
    John 9:5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
    John 12:36 While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light.    
    Rev 21:23 …and the Lamb is the light thereof.

    There is More – but I think you get the idea.

  20. renspost says:

    can you tell me where in the Word of God you can find:
    God the Son or God the Holy Spirit? all what is shown in that diagram is theology from the early days of christianity, but the Scripture knows nothing of this godhead!

    1. carl peterson says:

      John 20
      renspost:

      26Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” 28Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

  21. Hi Amos,

    The NET Bible has a noteworthy note on Isaiah 9:6-

    19 tn This title must not be taken in an anachronistic Trinitarian sense. (To do so would be theologically problematic, for the “Son” is the messianic king and is distinct in his person from God the “Father.”) Rather, in its original context the title pictures the king as the protector of his people. For a similar use of “father” see Isa 22:21 and Job 29:16. This figurative, idiomatic use of “father” is not limited to the Bible. In a Phoenician inscription (ca. 850–800 B.C.) the ruler Kilamuwa declares: “To some I was a father, to others I was a mother.” In another inscription (ca. 800 B.C.) the ruler Azitawadda boasts that the god Baal made him “a father and a mother” to his people. (See ANET 499–500.) The use of “everlasting” might suggest the deity of the king (as the one who has total control over eternity), but Isaiah and his audience may have understood the term as royal hyperbole emphasizing the king’s long reign or enduring dynasty (for examples of such hyperbolic language used of the Davidic king, see 1 Kgs 1:31; Pss 21:4–6; 61:6–7; 72:5, 17). The New Testament indicates that the hyperbolic language (as in the case of the title “Mighty God”) is literally realized in the ultimate fulfillment of the prophecy, for Jesus will rule eternally.

  22. Amos,

    “If the Father is in Jesus – and – Jesus is in the Father – Maybe He was – Praying to Himself.”

    Kinda nonsensical isn’t it? Unless of course there is some biblical distinction.

    “Maybe the natural human God – was talking to the Spiritual God. God is a Spirit. John 4:24.”

    Isn’t a “natural human God” an oxymoron? And how can a “natural human” be a Spirit? You seem to be conflating categories, Amos.

    Yet,I don’t see these categories being conflated in scripture. I see profound ontological distinctions.

    Now I can see how God can be in a “natural human”- but I don’t see how a “natural human” can be in God, Amos. That appears to be something quite supernatural… which is what Jesus was actually claiming in John 14:11 (among other places).

    And supernatural with profound distinctions. Distinctions that are also evident in John 16:15.
    Where Jesus makes quite evident the distinctions between Himself and the Father. And Himself and the Spirit.

    Yet He also makes evident that EVERYTHING that the Father has… belongs to Himself. And that the Spirit belongs to Himself (but we don’t hear complaints about the subordination of the Spirit, do we, Amos :).

    So, Amos, in response to your-

    “I can NOT find scriptures that say…

    1 – The Father is not the Son.
    2 – The Son is not the Father.
    3 – The Father is not the Holy Spirit.
    4 – The Holy Spirit is not the Father.
    5 – The Son is not the Holy Spirit.
    6 – The Holy Spirit is not the Son.

    I think you are going to have to look a little harder, Amos.
    I think that you have gone far-too-far in your conflation.

    And that you should be concerned about going too far (2 John 1:9). And then you will have “BOTH the Father and the Son”.

    Blessings,

  23. A. Amos Love says:

    Hi Ron

    Thanks for the info about Isaiah 9:6, from the NET Bible.
    BUT – It seems the first couple of words – point out a hugh problem. That Jesus warned us about.

    Jesus, in Mark 7:13, warned us about the “Traditions of men”
    KJV – Making the word of God of “none effect” through your tradition…
    ASV – Making “void” the word of God by your tradition…
    NIV – Thus you “nullify” the word of God by your tradition…

    The NET Bible says…
    “This title *must not* be taken in an anachronistic Trinitarian sense.
    (To do so would be theologically problematic,”

    Who ever is writing this seems to want to make the scriptures – To fit with their theology.

    They have already started with – “The Father is NOT the Son.”
    And NOW they *must not* let the Bible, or anyone, repeat – When speaking about – “a Son is Given…
    “his name shall be called… The everlasting Father…

    This verse, Isa 9:6, does NOT fit with their tradition and becomes – ”theologically problematic.”
    So they have to twist and turn to try to explain – The Son – being called – “The Everlasting Father.”

    Then they even go outside the Bible to adjust our thinking. To dismiss what the Bible says.
    They go to – “Phoenician inscription (ca. 850–800 B.C.)” – And – “the ruler Azitawadda boasts” Huh??

    Then they use words like *might and may* – That doesn’t sound very certain. Very “biblical???”
    “Might and May”sounds like they’re fishing for a plausable answer to protect their theology.

    The NET Bible says…
    “The use of “everlasting” *might* suggest the deity of the king (as the one who has total control over eternity), but Isaiah and his audience *may* have understood the term as royal hyperbol”

    Are “Phoenician inscriptions” – and – “Might and May” – and – “royal hyperbol”
    How I’m supposed to search for and understand – What the Bible is really saying?

    Can’t the Bible speak for itself?

    Most do NOT have a problem with Jesus being called “The Mighty God” and “The Prince of Peace.”
    BUT – Jesus being called – “The Everlasting Father” – becomes – “theologically problematic”

    IMO – The info from the NET Bible is – “theologically problematic” – for me.

    Everlasting – From Thayers
    1) perpetuity, for ever, continuing future – 1a) ancient (of past time) – 1b) for ever (of future time)
    1b1) of continuous existence – 1c) for ever (of God’s existence)

    Father – From Thayers
    1) father of an individual – 2) of God as father of his people
    3) head or founder of a household, group, family, or clan

    Jesus loves me this I know…

    1. Hi Amos,

      “Who ever is writing this seems to want to make the scriptures – To fit with their theology.”

      Pretty bold claim of a conspiracy, don’t you think?

      Particularly when the bias is so boldly stated? And boldly stated by a committee.
      A committee of scholars far greater than yourself. From numerous colleges and Universities. Including a Prof from the oldest Jewish Seminary in the America’s.

      And it seems you don’t understand the argument. The leading sentence was to caution you from imputing a trinitarian sense to this passage… since that sense was obscure at that time. Then the NET argument goes to show contemporaneous senses of that time.

      With the NET’s alleged ‘weasel words’ being just as indefinite as your old Thayers lexicon. Which one is it now… Thayers a), b), or c) Amos?

      OR

      How about the more recent Holladay’s Hebrew Lexicon-

      1. (physical) father Gn 224, = grandfather 2813, ancestor of tribe, nation 1021; pl. = forefathers Gn 1515; metaph. begetter (of rain) Jb 3828; — 2. originator, founder of group, trade Gn 420f; — 3. fatherly protector Ps 686; — 4. hon. title: of one’s elder 1S 2412, prophet 2K 621, husband Je 34; — 5. bêt °¹b(ôt) family Jos 2214, > (ellipt.) °¹bôt 1K 81; — 6. of God: father (of Isr.) Dt 326; of the king 2S 714; title of a (tree-)god Je 227. (pg 1)

      Yer pretty stuck on #1, huh?

      So, it seems you only want to import your narrow anti-trinitarian tradition- to falsify a far more general understanding of that time and place. Why is that, Amos?

      No wonder it’s “theologically problematic” for you.

  24. A. Amos Love says:

    Ron

    You ask…
    “Isn’t a “natural human God” an oxymoron?”

    Thanks – let me correct – How about if I remove “natural?”
    “Maybe the human God, Jesus – was talking to the Spiritual God. God is a Spirit. John 4:24.”

  25. Richard Worden Wilson says:

    Perhaps we should all take up our crosses so as to become Christ’s followers and example/teachers of others rather than taking up our arguments and our diagrams as though they might instruct others in the way of Christ. Isa. 53 doesn’t get us close to all this convoluted intellectual distraction from what it means to have faith in God the Father of Jesus, nor to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, nor to the witness of the Apostles in Acts, nor to the rest of the New Testament.

    This extraordinarily speculative diagram, and the centuries of theological extrapolations beyond scripture, don’t get us any closer to knowing God in and through Christ. What we need to get moving along the way toward knowing God in Christ is a kind of humble recognition that getting closer to sitting at the feet of the living Christ requires the kind of extraordinary simplicity of the new wine skin consciousness of a Galilean fisherman or taxman, or at least that of a completely humiliated would be theologian like Paul. But there are too few of this type around today.

    It seems rather apparent to me that Old Testament Hebrew believers thought of the Spirit of God as the active and enabling presence of Yahweh, God the Father. This suggests that instead of the HS Not being God the Father, The Spirit Is God the Father (is the presence of Yahweh). There are, of course, lots of post-biblical arguments for asserting that the Spirit is a distinct “person” alongside Yahweh the Father of Jesus the Messiah, but those are to me clearly Post-biblical and misguided. They are, historically speaking, arguments developed by those who were not particularly in synch with Jewish conceptions of God, were historically at a some distance from Jewish thought, and not particularly inclined toward adopting Jewish as opposed to Greco-Roman modes of reasoning and reflection on scriptural history and culture. Sure, they were being pressed by opposing views, but that they won the arguments as they allied themselves with the political powers of the day doesn’t mean their views are true. You may fault my historical analysis, but unless you can reconstruct a second Temple Jewish model for the Spirit of God being a distinct PERSON along side Yahweh, a model that then subsequently also gets expressed in the NT, I don’t think you’ve got a reasonable basis for transitioning into the developments of 4th Century doctrine. That is a pretty big leap.

    A concise and positive restatement of what is not clearly stated in scripture may not be what we should be trying to do today, but then perhaps it is. There are those like Larry Hurtado who have ventured into this historical re-constructionist quagmire, sallied forth with the conclusion that the early church was “bi-nitarian,” but then as churchmen feel compelled to acknowledge and accept the constructs of later church dicta as appropriate and valid restatements in light of the challenges faced by the later church fathers (one can see some of this kind of historical analysis and retrenchment in N T Wright as well). But is that not just an acceptance of the teaching authority of the church, acceptance of church tradition as equally authoritative along side scripture? How do you Protestants, you who hold to the Solas get with that? What is not stated explicitly in scripture has been replaced by at least 18 centuries of developed arguments that have subsequently become the “truths” imposed on others by a “lord it over others” church. Who in this context is going to be content to admit that God didn’t answer the many questions the church has answered throughout its history? How unsatisfying would that be for you?

  26. carl peterson says:

    Richard,

    Very eloquent post. And yes I do take much exception to your historical analysis because it is not very accurate. It is reminiscent of late 19th and early 20th century scholarship of those like Harnack and others.

    But I do not really want to get into that. First why should we accept a Second temple Jewish understanding of scripture more tghan a Christian understnading of all Scripture? Or maybe what I am asking is why is a second temple understanding of the OT that authoratative? I do not see a reason why it should hold as much authority as you are given it.

    Also it seems like the NT treats the HS as a person. That is first the HS as something different than the Father and the Son. Also the HS does things as a person not as a power.

    For instance in John 14:
    25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

    To think of the Holy spirit as the power and/or the presence of the Father seems to make little sense in this passage.

    Third the reformation did not argue against tradition per se but instead tradition on the par with scripture. So understanding scripture through the church and a traditional/ historical view is not foreign to protestantism.

    CARL

    1. Richard Worden Wilson says:

      Carl,
      Thanks for your kind words (eloquence isn’t often seen as an attribute of my communication).
      European “liberal” analyses of church history aren’t the only ones that find fault with the third and fourth century cultural drifts and shifts and outright abandonment of basic principals of Christian discipleship: love of enemies, avoiding the humanly devised philosophizing wisdom of the world, not lording it over others using the power and physical force of the worldly kingdoms of Satan, etc. Not many deny that by the time the trinitarian traditions developed and were imposed often by force on others there is plenty of evidence for the Church having lost touch with the patterns of discipleship which predominated in its first centuries. This doesn’t in itself invalidate the developed doctrines, but it certainly casts doubt on the faithfulness of those who acted in faithless ways to impose their beliefs on those with whom they disagreed, and ought to give us reason to question whether those doctrines are actually from God rather than men. Having lost touch with the practical behavioral teaching of the NT at least suggests that there may have been a lack of understanding of its theology as well.
      It seems to me that your question: “why should we accept a Second temple Jewish understanding of scripture more than a Christian understanding of all Scripture?” contains its answer. Doesn’t this imply that a Christian understanding of scripture is not Jewish? The New Testament understanding of all scripture is in fact a Second Temple Jewish understanding. To think that it is otherwise seems to betray a commitment to post-biblical conceptions of scripture over any possible re-conception of the altogether JEWISH Christian scriptures (Old and New). The point is not that there might even be a distinct “Second Temple Jewish” understanding of the OT, but rather that it might be the case that gentile post-biblical reformulations of Jewish understandings may contain mis-understandings, mistakes, and errors that need correcting. One may never be able to comprehend what the authors of the NT actually thought and wrote unless their thoroughly Jewish nature is understood. This problem has also been illustrated recently in the new versus old theological perspectives on Paul, justification, etc.
      That the Holy Spirit seems to you and even most Christians as a distinct “person” in the NT, doesn’t make him/it one. A personification doesn’t make a person (eg. Wisdom in the OT). This is one place where it seems to me that an OT Jewish conception of the Spirit of God, that the Apostles undoubtedly embraced, is completely abandoned; and that seems to me to be no small matter. It may not be a problem if one supposes that there is a completely new revelation of God that completely supplants OT portrayals and understandings of God in the NT. However, the validity of the NT revelation of God in Christ is completely dependent on continuity with OT revelation. This validity seems to me to be largely undermined by the dis-continuity of gentile philosophical concepts and arguments with the Jewish representations of God in the NT. If one doesn’t pre-conceive of the Holy Spirit as a person distinct from Yahweh, God the Father, the language the NT uses regarding The Holy Spirit doesn’t compel one to think in those terms. The arguments for there being a “third person of the trinity” are all clearly post-biblical, and therefore suspect. That there is no evidence in the NT for anyone praying to or worshiping the Holy Spirit strongly suggests we may be depending on non-biblical traditions in our later creedal formulations. I am, of course, arguing that tradition is being placed on the same level of authority as scripture in this case (despite the Reformation dictum).
      When you say: “so understanding scripture through the church and a traditional/ historical view is not foreign to protestantism,” you seem to be saying exactly what you ought to want to deny. Understanding the scripture through the church and its traditions is precisely the way tradition is given equal authority with scripture; that is the problem!

      1. A. Amos Love says:

        Richard

        Good stuff – Much agreement with ”That is the problem.”

        “When you say: “so understanding scripture through the church and a traditional/ historical view is not foreign to protestantism,” you seem to be saying exactly what you ought to want to deny. Understanding the scripture through the church and its traditions is precisely the way tradition is given equal authority with scripture; that is the problem!”

        I would ask Carl – Which Traditions? And from which church?

        I’ve had some experience with these three – And their Traditions – NOT in the Bible.

        Let’s see…
        We have the “Evangelical Lutheran Church in America”
        How are they doing as a witness for Christ? Who are they ordaining? :-(
        So, Am I to agree with their “Traditions” – NOT found in the Bilble?
        Seems they are splitting again. Some aren’t happy with the elder/leaders.

        We have the “Episcopal Church of America”
        How are they doing as a witness for Christ? Who are they ordaining? :-(
        So, Am I to agree with their “Traditions” – NOT found in the Bilble?
        Seems they are splitting again. Some aren’t happy with the elder/leaders.

        We have the “Catholic Church of Rome”
        How are they doing as a witness for Christ? Who are they ordaining? :-(
        So, Am I to agree with their “Traditions” – NOT found in the Bilble?
        Some aren’t happy with the elder/leaders, popes and priests.

        Nope – Trusting – “the church (We see today) and a traditional/ historical view”

        ”That is the problem.”

        1. carl peterson says:

          A. Amos,

          I respectfully disagree. I think we all interpret scripture through a grid of a tradition whether we acknowledge it or not. Again I think scripture affirms some uses of Tradition. See my other post for examples. I am not putting tradition on par with scripture. I am acknowledging its presence and that we are not longer theologians. We are not meant to interpret on our own. We have a church. While the church and tradition is fallible we have to use it in order to interpret scripture. We are using each other in this blog post to sharpen each other and get a better view of scripture. That is what the church and tradition does. I can read Augustine and see how he interpreted John 1:1 and maybe get a different understanding that I would never get to on my own. God gave us each other so that we can talk abotu Him and his Word (not the only reason but a reason). He gave us community to build each other up and encourage one another towards a closer communion with Him.

          So I reject your premise. Sure one has to discern what to keep and what to throw out of tradition(s) but that does not mean we throw the baby out with the bath water. I do not see Calvin doing this. He threw up some of the tradtional roman catholic ideas as non-scriptural but also embraced some very traditional ideas of the interpreation of scripture. He praised church fathers and quoted Gregory of Nazianzus and Bernard of Clairvaux often.

          I hope this helps. I think it is just a misguided premise that we need to disregard all tradtional and teaching that have come from the church. I do not see this actually taught in scripture.

          1. A. Amos Love says:

            Carl

            I respectfully – agree with you – I’m guilty as charged…

            “I think we all interpret scripture through a grid of a tradition whether we acknowledge it or not.”

            I would question this…

            “I think it is just a misguided premise that we need to disregard all tradtional and teaching that have come from the church.”

            Found out – many – who call themselves – the Church – Are very corrupt…

            My “Tradition” NOW is – subject to another change of mind – is…

            After these “Religious Systems” fail in so many areas – Lie in so many areas…
            I’m NO longer trusting what they say – Every thing they say is – suspect – and…
            And needs to be checked out – Be a Berean – And trust God.

            Psalms 118:8
            It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.

            Psalms 32:8
            I (God) will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go:
            I (God) will guide thee with mine eye.

            Deuteronomy 4:36
            Out of heaven he (God) made thee to **hear His voice,**
            that he (God) might instruct thee:

  27. A. Amos Love says:

    Ron

    Thanks – Didn’t even know about “Holladay’s Hebrew Lexicon” defining Father – And you ask…
    “Yer pretty stuck on #1, huh?” Nope – NOT at all – Also like Father as #2. originator, founder of group.
    Seems – “all things were created by him, and for him” = Jesus = Son is given = Father = Originator. ;-)

    And – Thanks for explainig the info from the NET Bible.
    You’re probably correct – “And it seems you don’t understand the argument.”
    I looked up “anachronistic Trinitarian” three times and still couldn’t figure that out. Thanks again.

    And there is lots of other stuff I don’t understand. That’s why I ask lots of questions.
    Seems this particular debate – The Father is NOT the Son – has been debated, questioned, for years.

    And I do NOT understand why you say things like…
    1 – “Pretty bold claim of a *conspiracy*, don’t you think?”

    *Conspiracy* is your word, NOT mine. If you re-read the statement you’ll see I was “claiming”
    “Traditions of men” as our challenge to overcome. NOT *Conspiracy.* – Because…

    I’ve been blinded in the past by the “Traditions of men” Jesus warned us about. I ‘ve even had my
    own “Traditions” that I’ve had to walk away from. Being the “mere fallible human” that I am.
    It turned out, lots of doctrines I was taught as being from the Bible – Were from Men – NOT God.

    2 – “So, it seems you only want to import your narrow anti-trinitarian tradition…”

    Once again “anti-trinitarian” is your word, NOT mine. I only questioned – The Father is NOT the Son.

    And – Which “Anti-Trinatarian” am I?
    Is it – The Trinity – According to Scholars – Theologians – Commitees – Where…
    The Son is eternally equal to the Father?

    Or – Is it – The Trinity – According to Scholars – Theologians – Commitees – Where…
    There is this so-called – eternal subordination of the Son to the Father? Did I give myself away?

    I do NOT have too much fath in these – Scholars – Committes – that you promote for the NET Bible.
    These guys speak in a language which is forign to most human beings. You might want to have
    them rewrite their highly intelectual information for us common folks to understand.

    And – If your so-called Pro-Trinatarian – Scholars – Committes, – can’t agree on – “The Trinity.”
    What is a poor un-edjumacated little lambikins like me supposed to do?

    Seems there are many of these guys, writing books, holding confrences, to give their opinion…

    “committees of scholars far greater than myself. From numerous colleges and Universities.
    Including a Prof from the oldest Jewish Seminary in the America’s.”

    And yet – there are now Thousands of Denominations whose – Scholars – Committes –
    disagree about many things.

    IMO – Someone having a “Title” – Being a highly educated “Scholar” – and on a “Commitee”
    Doesn’t guarrantee accuracy – or truth…

    Does it?

  28. A. Amos Love says:

    Ron

    I hope we’re still blog-buddies. Being a little “snarky” – and – name-calling is okay with me.
    Throwing, and countering, “Spiritual Darts” keeps us nimble and makes us think a little.

    In my expeience – We all can use the Bible to validate our life style, our beliefs, our doctrines.
    And we all disagree about something. In this case – I disagree with this chart. Maybe I’m wrong.
    Been wrong before. But – so far – lots of the questions, scriptures, have NOT been answered.
    At least to my satisfaction.

    Like – John the Baptist – Preparing the way of – Jehovah, our Father, our Redeemer, our Creator…
    And Jesus, shows up – the Son, our Redeemer, our Creator.

    Do we have “TWO” Redeemers – “TWO” Creators? And – Do we have “Two” Saviors?

    5 – In the OT Jehovah – our Father, our Redeemer – is our Savior – and there is no savior beside Him.
    5 – In the NT Jesus is – our Savior.

    Isaiah 43:11 I, even I am the LORD (Jehovah); and beside me there is no savior.
    Hosea 13:4 Yet I am the LORD (Jehovah) thy God…for there is no savior beside me.

    Luke 2:11 unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.
    2 Timothy 1:10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ,…
    Titus 2:13 …the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ;

    If there is – NO Savior besides Jehovah, our Father – and Jesus, the Son is also our Savior…
    Do we have “Two” Saviors? Or is Jehovah, our Father – and – Jesus, the Son – ”ONE Savior?”

    1. “Do we have “TWO” Redeemers – “TWO” Creators? And – Do we have “Two” Saviors?”

      “Do we have “Two” Saviors? Or is Jehovah, our Father – and – Jesus, the Son – ”ONE Savior?”

      Still way off base, Amos. THREE Saviors!
      How could you possibly neglect the Holy Spirit in Salvation?

      Surely you are familiar with Jesus telling Nicodemus that you “must be born of the Spirit”?- John 3:5
      And that “it is the Spirit who gives life”?- John 6:63

      And surely you are familiar with Paul rebuking us for being dull about ‘the Spirit resurrecting our bodies just as He did for Jesus’? -Romans 8:11

      After all, the Spirit created us (yes, THREE creators- Psalm 104:30). So why would He not be the one to recreate us? Is this not saving?

      You’re not just trying to obfuscate here are you? Get with the program, Amos. Steel is not sharpening steel here.

      You want a different picture? A much simpler picture? Pick up Grudem’s Systematic Theology (pg. 255). It’s actually not a bad picture.

      OR

      Try reading James White’s The Forgotten Trinity. And marvel at the heated intimacy and the glorious distinctions of the traditional Trinity. Distinctions abundant in the Old as well as the New.

      It should make you long for such intimacy. An intimacy that your theology is lacking. A love that your theology is lacking, Amos.

      A loving rebuke,
      Ron

  29. Mike Sung Im says:

    Just a quick note.

    “This title/name is used in an OT passage referring to the Father and by a NT author referring to Jesus” is a strong argument for the deity of Jesus. (cf Joel 2:32; Rom 10:9-13)

    An argument for the deity of Jesus should not be confused with an argument for modalism/unitarianism/oneness.

    I am seeing a LOT of that by one commenter.

  30. A. Amos Love says:

    Mike

    What is “Modelism?” How do you explain it?

    So I can know for sure if I’m the “one commenter” you’re writing about?

    And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:
    them also I must bring, and they shall “hear My voice; “
    and there shall be “ONE” fold, and “ONE” shepherd.
    John 10:16

    One Fold – One Shepherd – One Voice – One Leader

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

  31. A. Amos Love says:

    Ron

    I’m enjoying this exchange. Like your passion. Seems we agree on lot’s of things.

    Really appreciate your acknowledgment of The Holy Spirit as – Savior. Much agreement.

    But – You say “Three Saviors.” – You’re NOT a closet “Tri-Theist” are you? – “Wink – Wink”
    Am I a – *Three and “ONE”* – kinda guy? Maybe? – But – Labels – kinda limit us – limit God in us.
    You might already know everything about these “Three” But most folks haven’t a clue when asked.
    I’m still searching. Find it interesting how upset folks get – When you challenge their “Traditions.”

    And I also appreciate your mention of The Holy Spirit in the resurection of Jesus. Because…
    (And – I haven’t gotten to it yet – BUT) – I also have a problem with this chart saying…

    3 – The Father is not the Holy Spirit.
    4 – The Holy Spirit is not the Father.
    5 – The Son is not the Holy Spirit.
    6 – The Holy Spirit is not the Son.

    First, because I find NO scriptures that say that.
    And second, there seems to be verses that contradict that. At least to simple little me.

    I could be wrong in my understanding – But – I’m sure you will point my wrongness out to me. ;-)

    Or, you will use what some “so-called theologian” like Grudem says – is my wrongness.
    Don’t think I’ll be reading Grudem anytime soon. I disagree with, strongly, many of his “Traditions.”
    And as Jesus warned us – You make “Void” the Word of God – by – your (Grudems) – “Traditions.”
    Oh, and I’m NOT alone. There are other – Scholars – Theologins – who disagree with Grudem.
    Wow!!! Who would have thunk it? Scholars – who disagree about the “Trinity” and “Grudem.”

    Oh foolish Galations – who has bewitched you? That ye should not obey the “truth?”

    I would much rather hear what “you” Ron has to say. How God has reaveled Himself – to you.

    I’ll give you what I’ve noticed about the resurection you mentioned in the next comment.

    Who raised Jesus from the dead? God? The Spirit? The Father? Jesus? “One?”

  32. A. Amos Love says:

    Ron

    You probably know this already – but – here’s something I just saw a few years ago when I was
    writing to, and debating with, someone who declared – Jesus is NOT God.

    While researching verses that said – Jesus is God – I noticed these verses about the Resurrection.
    And – I asked him this question in one of my letters.

    Who raised Jesus from the dead? God? The Spirit? The Father? Jesus? “One?”

    1 – God raised Jesus from the dead. (John 4:24 God [is] a Spirit.)

    Acts 2:24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death…
    Acts 2:32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.
    Romans 10:9 :…and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead,
    1 Peter 1:21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead…

    2 – The Spirit raised Jesus from the dead. (John 4:24 God [is] a Spirit.)

    1 Peter 3:18 For Christ… being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
    Romans 8:9-11 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that “the Spirit of God”
    …..dwell in you. Now if any man have not “the Spirit of Christ,” he is none of his.
    …..And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin;
    ……but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

    (Whose Spirit Les? The Spirit of God? Or the Spirit of Christ? Or are they One?)

    …..But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you,
    …..he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies
    …..by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

    (Whose Spirit Les? The Spirit of God? The Spirit of Christ? Or are they One?)

    3 – The Father raised Jesus from the dead.

    Galatians 1:1 Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ,
    …..and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)

    4 – Jesus Raises Himself from the dead. (2 Co 3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit…)

    John 10:17-18 …”I” lay down my life, that “I” might take it again.
    …..No man taketh it from me, but “I” lay it down of myself.
    …..”I” have power to lay it down, and “I” have power to take it again.
    …..This commandment have “I” received of my Father.
    John 2:19 Jesus answered … Destroy this temple, and in three days “I” will raise it up.
    1 Corinthians 15:45-47 …the last Adam was made a quickening spirit… (Jesus = quicking Spirit?)
    …..The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
    Matthew 26:61 …This fellow said, “I” am able to destroy the temple of God,
    …..and to build it in three days.
    Mark 14:58 We heard him say, “I” will destroy this temple that is made with hands,
    …..and within three days I will build another made without hands.
    Rev 1:18 “I” am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, “I” am alive for evermore…
    Rev 2:8 These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;

    Who raised Jesus from the dead? God? The Spirit? The Father? Jesus? “One?”

  33. carl peterson says:

    A. Amos,

    First a Modalist might be best explained by using the familiar ice, water (liquid), vapor analogy for the Trinity. Sometimes water can be ice and sometimes it is liquid, and other times it is vapor or steam. Sometimes this analogy is used to support the belief in the Trinity however the same water cannot be water, ICE and steam at the same time.

    A modalist is fine with that. A Modalist would state that God is at times Father, other times he is Son, and at other times he is the Holy Spirit. These labels are kind of like hats for God. There is only one God who wears different labels at different times.

    The doctrine of Trinity says no. While there is one essence there is 3 persons in theTrinity. These persons are not 3 modes of existence (as a modalist might say). Instead the Son is different from the Father in the sense that he is the Son. This is a mystery but it seems that it is explicitly taught in scripture although the word Trinity is not explicitly used in scripture.

    So in the Trinity there is a oneness in essence and a distinction in persons. Unlike modalists, these distinctions are real and eternal not just a result of how God wants to explain himself to us at a given time.

    I hope that helps. I think many believe that you are modalist becuase of your insitence that the Son is the Father and is the Spirit. It seems you use the terms FAther, Son, and Spirit more as labels for the one god and not as real distincitions in hte Trinity. My problem with your scriptural interpretation is that the Bible (i.e. john 1 and John 14) treats different persons of the Trinity as different subjects (maybe not the best word). What I mean is that although Christ might create as does the Father, scriptural passages treat the Father and the Son as different subjects or objects in the same verses or set of verses. Jesus prays to the Father. Jesus sends ANOTHER comforter (the Holy Spirit). Jesus does only what he sees the Father doing. in all these examples and there are many more it is clear that the Son or Jesus does not equal the Father.

    there is only one God so what do we do with the passages above? Ignore them. Maybe the scribes wrote them down wrong. No. WE take our Doctrrine of God from scripture itself. WE also listen to how the church and tradition has interpreted the doctrine of God in scripture although we know it can be fallible. But we are not lone ranger scriptural interpreters also.

    Scripture seems to support a oneness and a diversity in the Godhead. there is a oneness (Deut 6) that has been called historically the essence. So there is one essence of God. But then scripture also states that there is a Father, Son and Spirit. So we also understand the distinction and have traditionally used the word “person” to understand this.

    So in the chart there is one God. Not disagreement here. But when it states that the Father is not the Son and is not the Spirit etc. the chart is speaking about the realm of the persons. So God is one and yet the Father is not the Son.

    Finally I think you are using your own traditions to go against the traditions of others. I am reminded of a great quote. “The only alternative to tradition is BAD TRADITION.” Florovsky.

    BTW tradition is used in scripture in a negative (verse you quoted) AND a positive way. See the song of Moses and the Shema for clear statements by God to use tradition as a means to teach future generations about God and His faithfulness.

    CARL

  34. A. Amos Love says:

    Carl

    Thanks for your well written, well thought out, explanation.

    I think I need to read it a few times. And dwell on it.

    Much agreement with – “This is a mystery”

  35. A. Amos Love says:

    Carl

    And thanks for the respectful tone.

    These are certainly important, and sensitive topics for the Body of Christ.

    Mal 3:16
    Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another:
    and the LORD hearkened, and heard it,
    and a book of remembrance was written before him
    for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.

  36. A. Amos Love says:

    Carl

    Thanks again for the info on Modalism – if this is correct, as you say…

    “A Modalist would state that God is at times Father, other times he is Son, and at other times he is the Holy Spirit. These labels are kind of like hats for God. There is only one God who wears different labels at different times.”

    Then that is NOT me. Thanks – Can I use you for a recommendation?
    When someone accuses me of being a modelist? When their “Tradition” is challenged?

  37. A. Amos Love says:

    Carl

    I would like to add something to what you said in the first paragraph.

    1 – In the first paragraph you write…
    “Sometimes this analogy is used to support the belief in the Trinity however the same water
    cannot be water, ICE and steam at the same time. “

    But isn’t – Water – Ice – Steam = “ONE” *Essence* – h2o – NO matter which form.
    Sounds like a resonable way to explain this “Three and “ONE” at the same time.

    Water = Liquid = h2o
    Ice = Solid = h20
    Steam = Vapor = h20

    2 – And in paragraph 3 you write…
    “While there is one essence there is 3 persons in the Trinity.”

    I can NOT find any scriptures calling – The Father or The Holy Spirit – a person.
    Calling God the Father and God the Holy Spirt = Persons… That sounds so – errrr – human… :-(

    From the dictionary – http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/person
    1.a human being, whether man, woman, or child: The table seats four persons.

    So neither – the Bible – or – the Dictionary – reports “Person” – as a word used for God, for Spirit.

    And “essence” is NOT found in the Bible…
    And the Dictionary says this about “essence” – 1 – the basic, real, and invariable nature of a thing.

    Isn’t the basic, real, “essence” of God = Spirit? – God is a Spirit John 4:24

    In the Bible – It mentions – “ONE” Spirit – a lot – 1Co 6:17, 1Co 12:13, Eph 2:18, Eph 4:4, Php 1:27.

    And – Spirit of God.- Spirit of Christ – Spirit of his Son – Spirit of Jesus Christ – Holy Spirt. And…

    God lives in us. 1 John 4:12-15
    The Spirit of God lives in us. 1Cor 3:16
    The Father is in us. Eph 4:6 –
    Jesus and the Father live in us. John 14:23
    Jesus Christ is in us. 2Cor 13:5
    Christ lives in us. Eph 3:17
    The Holy Spirit is in us. 1Cor 6:19

    Wow!!! Gettin kinda crowded inside — Yes?

    So, when trying to describe God – Can’t we use words that are in the Bible?
    Why NOT use “Spirit” instead of “essence?” And leave out “Persons” and replace Trinity?

    So instead of – “While there is one essence there is 3 persons in the Trinity.”

    Maybe some Theologian can say…

    While there is “ONE Spirit” there are “Three in “ONE” in the Godhead.

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