Saturday, October 27, 2018

The Deity of Christ and Bart Ehrman

The Deity of Christ is a fundamental doctrine of the Christian faith. It is taught throughout Scripture. It has been attacked by heretics throughout history including Islam, and is denied today by many liberal scholars who also deny the supernatural, and the concept of miracles, including God's existence. When Christians cite the claims of Jesus that He claimed to be God particularly in the gospel of John, our Muslim friends try to find alternate interpretations to disprove clear texts such as John 1:1; 8:58-59 (cf. Exodus 3:13-14); 10:30; 14:9; and John 20:28. 
Dr. Bart Ehrman in a recent tweet addresses the question of whether or not Jesus called Himself God. You will notice that Ehrman interprets the passages in John cited above in the same way that Christians have interpreted these passages about the deity of Christ, that these are claims that Jesus makes about His identification as God. Ehrman believes that this is crystal clear in John as he says, "For John, Jesus is obviously God". Note as well, that Ehrman acknowledges just as Christians have always maintained, John does not say Jesus is God the Father, which is the heresy of modalism. Ehrman curiously wonders why the other gospel writers do not state the deity of Christ as clearly. They do, but not in the same way John does. Since Muslims are fond of quoting Bart Ehrman in their attacks on the New Testament, perhaps they will be consistent here, and pay attention to Ehrman's treatment of the gospel of John. Ehrman's tweet is available below. I have highlighted the significant parts in bold letters.
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What Do You Think?
Box 10.5  Did Jesus Call Himself God?
It is an interesting to ask: “What did Jesus say about himself?”  More specifically, you might ask: “Did Jesus ever call himself God?”   As it turns out, it depends on which Gospel you read.
In the Synoptic Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Jesus never says he is God.  He does talk about himself as the Son of Man; he says he must be killed and raised from the dead; and he admits he is the messiah.  But the vast bulk of his teaching in these Gospels is not about himself at all.  It is about God, the coming Kingdom of God, and the way to live in preparation for it.
Not in John.  
In John Jesus teaches almost entirely about himself:  who he is, his relation to the Father, how he has come into the world from heaven above to convey the truth that can bring eternal life.   And he makes some remarkable claims about himself.  These claims are found in John and nowhere else.
For example, to the Jews who do not believe in him, Jesus says “Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58).   Abraham lived 1800 years earlier, and Jesus is claiming to have existed before that Even more than that, he claims for himself the name of God, “I am” (see Exodus 3:13-14).  His Jewish opponents know exactly what he is saying.  They pick up stones to execute him for blasphemy.   Two chapters later, he does it again, claiming “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30).   Once again they break out the stones.  Later, to his disciples, he says “If you have seen me you have seen the Father” (John 14:9).
These teachings of Jesus that he is a divine correlate with what John says elsewhere, as we have seen in the Prologue “The Word was with God, and the Word was God” (1:1)  And in the ending, when Thomas confesses that Jesus is “My Lord and my God” (20:28)
For John, Jesus is obviously God, and he says he is (not God the Father but … equal with God?).  Why do you suppose these sayings are not in the earlier Gospels?   If Matthew, Mark, and Luke knew that Jesus had said such things, wouldn’t they want to tell their readers?   It’s worth thinking about.

172 comments:

David Kemball-Cook said...

Tony, what does it mean to say that 'Jesus is God'?
Does it mean that Jesus is one and the same as the Trinity?
Or that he is a member of the Trinity?
Or that he has a divine nature?
Or that he preexisted his birth?
Or something else?
And do we know this is what John means?

Tony Costa said...

Do you even understand what Christians believe? You seem confused.

David Kemball-Cook said...

Tony thanks for your reply. No I am not confused. I was a trinitarian for a long time. After much study, I am now convinced that the apostles did not believe that YHWH was triune nor that Jesus 'is' God (whatever that means).
Can you answer any of my questions?
I hope that you do know what is meant by Jesus 'being' God, seeing that you use the phrase.
It would be good also if you could justify your implicit claim that to be Christians we must believe this, by referencing where in the NT this is laid out.
Where, in the epistles or in the Acts preaching, or perhaps in the apostolic confession of faith (see eg Mt 16:16, John 20:31), is it stated that we have to believe Jesus to 'be' God in order to be saved.
Those are two challenging, but I hope not unfair, questions for you.
I hope you agree that they are important, and deserve answers, which all serious Christians should be able to consider and deal with.
Thanks!

Tony Costa said...

David, would be happy to interact with you but I simply don't have time to do so. I would refer you to a debate I did on this topic where I also address some of your questions. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=485qsV0mO4M

David Kemball-Cook said...

Thanks Tony. Your (rather disappointing) reply seems a bit like evasion to me, or to anyone reading this, I think.
'I have no time to answer' seems to suggest 'I cannot answer', to any unbiased reader.
But you are a scholar.
You specialise in dealing with serious questions of doctrine and theology, and would surely pride yourself on being able to answer fairly simple questions like mine, not to duck out at the first hint of difficulty.
Surely a scholar like you would seek to engage, and defeat defective doctrine, rather than say that you have no time to deal with it?
I know I would if I were in your position, and I would make sure I had ten minutes to spare.
My questions could be answered quite quickly, if one knows the answers
For instance you could say in answer to the first question,
'Jesus is God' means that 'Jesus is a member of the Trinity'.
And to the second,
Well ... that is a problem
There are no texts that say that we have to believe Jesus to 'be' God to be saved / true apostolic Christians, are there?
Perhaps that is why you say you have no time?
Thanks again
David

Andrew said...

David. Jesus said he will judge the whole of humanity. John 5:22-23.

Do you think:

(a) a mere human could judge the whole of humanity.

(b) Jesus is God

(c) Jesus was mistaken?

Let us know?

David Kemball-Cook said...

Thanks Andrew for the reply.
Yes a man can certainly judge if appointed to do so by God.
How is this not possible, if God gives that man the power and authority?

And this is indeed the case, as Paul preached to the Athenians
'Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead' (Acts 17:31)
Notice that Paul nowhere in the sermon says that Jesus 'is' God.
Indeed, nowhere in any of the three sermons recorded in Acts is the 'deity of Christ' mentioned.
A rather difficult fact, I think, for 'Jesus is God' believers to explain.
What do you think?

But I would also like to know from you please, as I asked Tony (who is 'too busy' to reply) what you mean by Jesus 'being' God.
I assume that you know, as you used the phrase.
Does it mean that Jesus is one and the same as God, ie one and the same as the Trinity? (assuming you are a trinitarian of course).
Or that he is a member of the Trinity?
Or that he has a divine nature?
Or that he preexisted his birth?
Or something else?
And how do we know your meaning is what John means in his gospel?
Thanks again

Andrew said...

I am a lawyer. I go to Court. The most cases a Judge can handle in day is about 50. For someone to Judge Billions of people they can't be mere person. They must be God.

Of course Jesus is God. "All things created for him and through him"

David Kemball-Cook said...

Thanks Andrew. But do you know what you mean when you say that Jesus is God?
The differing and rival Trinity theories (eg A) God is a single person with three personal expressions, or B) God is three divine Persons with their own minds in social relationship, or C) God is the divine nature which three divine Persons share or D) God is the Father and the other two are subordinate divine Persons or E) ...) give different possible answers.
You did not tell me, but I assume that you must know what you mean, and I presume you know which of the competing Trinity theories you believe in.
Do you?
As a lawyer, you understand the importance of clear definitions, I presume.
If we do not know what we mean when we claim something to be true, our claim is meaningless, and we would not last 5 minutes on the witness stand against an opposing lawyer, would we?
So over to you on that, hoping for a clear definition this time.
NB I used to be a trinitarian, but after much study I realised that all these theories are inconsistent with the apostolic testimony and/or incoherent.

On 'Jesus must be God and cannot be a man because he will judge humanity', you ignore the testimony of Paul, preferring your human experience.
Andrew, don't you believe that God could give a man the authority, and speed, to judge everyone?
That is, after all, what the NT says (and not just in Acts 17).
But it seems you prefer your human reason to what the Bible says.

On why there is no mention of the deity of Christ in the Acts preaching, you appear to have no answer.
Yet, if the apostles had believed that Jesus 'is' God, it would surely have been the centrepiece of their preaching, wouldn't it?
The amazing fact about the Saviour which everyone should know, that a man is also the creator of the universe and the God of the Jews.
But they keep quiet about it.
Just read the sermons in Acts 2, 13, 17.
Have you thought about this before?

Look forward to your reply
Thanks again

Andrew said...

You have copied the technique of Muslims. Go straight to the trinity and try and ridicule it.

You can't get over the hurdle that only God can physically judge the whole of humanity.

The disciples worshipped Jesus. Thomas called him my Lord and my God.

And that is game, set and match.

Tony Costa said...

David, you may want to check out the meaning of the 'strawman fallacy' and 'ad hominem' fallacy. Because I don't really have time to engage in a meaningful way, not in a quick fire rapid response in 10 minutes as you suggest does not mean I can't answer your questions. I have more respect for you than merely allotting you 10 minutes to answer questions that have eternal ramifications. Please watch the video I sent and give me your comments.

David Kemball-Cook said...

Andrew, you have not engaged with anything I said.
NB there is no such thing as 'the trinity'.
There are various rival theories, developed over centuries.
I asked you which of the various Trinity theories you believe in, and you have not been able to say.
Do you know what you believe?
Have you studied any theology or church history?

David Kemball-Cook said...

OK Tony, sorry. I will watch the video and get back to you.
Thanks

David Kemball-Cook said...

Tony, thanks for the video. Interesting debate.
1) At 28 you give your definition of 'the' doctrine of the Trinity, so please let us start from there
'Within the one God there exists three distinct persons, coequal, coeternal, consubstantial, each called YHWH ... is one What and three Whos'
This definition is ambiguous, as it equivocates over a) 'person' b) 'God'
a) Does 'person' refer to a distinct personality or a personal way of being without being a distinct person?
b) Who or what is the one God?
A collection of three divine Persons in the 'modern sense' (minds, egos, personalities), or one divine Person with three personal ways of existing, or the 'What' (Being, Nature, Essence) that three divine Persons share?
So the defintion covers the different rival formulations without saying which one it is!
If you can unpack this definition, then I will perhaps have your answer to what is meant by Jesus 'being' God as well.

Here are the four broad historical alternatives as I understand them
A) God is a single person with three personal modes of being (Latin Trinity eg Augustine, Barth, Rahner, Brian Leftow)
B) God is three divine Persons with their own minds in social relationship (Social Trinity eg Wiilliam Hasker, WL Craig)
C) God is the divine nature which three divine Persons share (eg Athanasian Creed, James White perhaps)
D) God is the Father and the other two are subordinate divine Persons (Monarchian eg Eastern Orthodox, Samuel Clarke, Beau Branson)
Looks like you believe one of A, B or C because you say 'co-equal'.
Do you think the Persons have their own minds?
If so, it would have to be B or C
What do you believe?
Or do you think that there is just one doctrine of 'the' Trinity which somehow embraces these four rival versions?

2) Then we could get on to whether the Trinity in your sense is the God of the Bible.
Is the God of the Bible a What, a He or a They?
And who speaks when God speaks?
The Father alone as an I and Me?
All three together as a We and Us?
The What, as a sort of impersonal nature speaking?
Your answer should follow from your answer to 1).

3) We can then ask if the apostles believed the version of the Trinity that you are defending.
a) If they did, where do they teach it?
In which epistle is the doctrine actually laid out, clearly argued for and stated in a passage devoted to the subject (rather than just 'indicated','suggested' or 'mentioned')?
I put it to you that the apostles and 1st century had no idea the YHWH might be 'triune', in any of the senses above.
b) If they did, where did they preach it, or 'the deity of Christ', in the Acts preaching (see sermons in Acts 2, 13, 17).
If they believed that Jesus 'is' God, they would have shouted it from the rooftops, wouldn't they?

Or
b) Is the Trinity a construction of theologians in the centuries following the 1st? (my view, but not just mine)
A study of church history would confirm this view, and I presume you have studied church history.
You say that the Trinity was not invented in 325.
This is correct, as the one God in the Nicene Creed is the Father.
Coequality and the 'full divinity' of the Spirit did not emerge until the time of the Cappadocians and Augustine, late 4th century.

So I look forward to your answers.
We could of course discuss the interpretations of the 'trinity texts' you discussed, but in the context of my 3).
Thanks again

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

David Kemball, you should know that there are several models developed by the Church to develop the doctrine of the Trinity as taught in the scriptures. According to the scriptures,
1) The Father is God
2) The Son is God
3) The Holy Spirit is God
4) The Father is neither the Holy Spirit not the Son
5) The Son is neither The Father nor The Holy Spirit
6) The Holy Spirit is neither The Father nor The Son
7) There is only one God Almighty

Second, Kemball, the word "God" can be used in both personal and qualitative sense just like the word "Adam". Jesus is qualitatively God because He possesses all the attributes and qualities that made us to call the Father God in the first place. The same goes for the Holy Spirit. The Bible teaches us that only three persons possesses divine qualities and attributes.

Third, you are confusing the conceptual Trinity with the creedal one. However, the NT is clear that three different persons shares the same divine qualities and attributes. The creedal Trinity was meant to explain this concept.

Fourth, the deity of Christ was taught in the early Church. But people like you are desperate to explain these verses. How do you explain the worship-devotion of the early Church to Jesus Christ if Jesus is not God? Why attribute divine qualities to Jesus if He is nothing more than a mere man

David Kemball-Cook said...

Thanks Oyebola. You make good points, and you make the important distinction between numerical and qualititative (predicative) identity.
You also agree with me that the Trinity was developed by the church, presumably as opposed to being believed by the apostles.
So that is all good!

You say 'Jesus is qualitatively God because He possesses all the attributes and qualities that made us to call the Father God in the first place. The same goes for the Holy Spirit'
This is clear.
But what are these attributes?
Immortality? But the Bible says that Jesus died.
Omnipresence? But Jesus, in his earthly life, was limited to a human body.
Omniscience? But there were things that Jesus did not know (eg the time of his coming, Mark 13:32)/
Impassibility? But Jesus suffered.
So please tell me what are these attributes of God that Jesus is supposed to possess.

Yes, let us discuss all these 'Jesus is God' verses.
Let us take your best one first.

' How do you explain the worship-devotion of the early Church to Jesus Christ if Jesus is not (qualitatively) God?'
I can explain by God's command to worship Jesus!
See eg Phil 2:9-10, Heb 1:6

I look forward to your reply
Thanks

Andrew said...

Isaiah 42:8 I am the Lord. That is my name. My glory I do not share with another.

Jesus is God.

David Kemball-Cook said...

Andrew, two beings cannot be one and the same as each other if there are differences between them.
This is obvious.
There are differences between God and Jesus.
For instance, God has a son, and Jesus did not, God cannot die and Jesus died …
You said that you are a lawyer, but I have yet to see any careful definitions from you.
I was hoping for something a bit more from you than simple assertion.
(I asked you what sort of Trinity you believe in, no reply. Perhaps you don’t know what you believe)
Do you know, then, what it means to say that Jesus 'is' God, if not one and the same as God?
Jesus is a part of God? Jesus has a divine nature? Something else?
You tell me please!

Andrew said...

Jesus indeed has omniscience.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljMliETgD0E

David Kemball-Cook said...

Andrew you ignore scripture in your answer, never a good strategy for a Christian.
' But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.' (Mk 13:32)
Shall I give up waiting for some clear definitions from you?
It seems so!

Andrew said...

Did you even watch the clip? The Greek word Aido has different meanings know/proclaim/reveal.

David Kemball-Cook said...

Andrew, Strong's, Bible dictionaries, the New Testament and all the Bible translators disagree with your clip. Not to mention all the trinitarian theologians, who have thought that this verse poses a problem to the idea that Jesus was omniscient.

Andrew said...

I think I will stick with the disciples and Augustine over unamed "Trinitarian theologians"

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

David Kemball said:

"You also agree with me that the Trinity
was developed by the church, presumably as opposed to being believed by the apostles. So that is all good!"

Well, there is nothing good in distorting someone's position. I never said that that the Trinity was developed by the Church or that the apostles never believed in the Trinity. You are really confused. I was speaking about models used to explain the Trinity not the Trinity itself. Before the invention of mathematical symbols and formulas, people have been carrying out mathematical equations. The word "Trinity" and its model were invented to explain the seven facts I listed above. If you have another way to explain it, then let us know.

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

Kemball also said:

"But what are these attributes? Immortality? But the Bible says that Jesus died."

If the refusal of Jesus to exist in a physical state for three days disqualifies Him as God then what about The Father who never for once existed in the physical state? Has He been dead from eternity (God forbid such a blasphemy!)?
You see, your argument is valid if you believe in physicality or materialism i.e. every aspect of man is physical without immaterial aspect. Is our soul and spirit material like our body? No.
No one argued that the body that Jesus lived in is divine. He is a complete human with a human soul and body. If Jesus died, that means Jesus as a fleshy man ceased to exist. His Spirit and Soul did not wink out of existence.

"Omnipresence? But Jesus, in his earthly
life, was limited to a human body."

You see, it is time for you to understand the roles and functions of each Person of the Godhead. It is the role of the Holy Spirit to be everywhere not that of the Father or The Son. There is orderliness within the Godhead The person of The Father is not omni-present as you think. He is omni-present in His Spirit and the same goes for The Son.
Again, you are confusing the humanity of Christ with His deity.
Read this passage

Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. (John 14:19-20 NIV)

"and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with
you always, to the very end of the age.”
(Matthew 28:20)

O"mniscience? But there were things that Jesus did not know (eg the time of his
coming, Mark 13:32)"

Yes, Jesus in His human nature does not know everything and He is only enabled by The Spirit to tap into His Divine knowledge when necessary.

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

"I can explain by God's command to
worship Jesus!
See eg Phil 2:9-10, Heb 1:6"

Not so easy! Is that not an approval from the Father that Jesus is God? The Bible is clear that only God is worthy of being receipient of worship and praise from creation. If Jesus is a recipient, something The Father approves, does that not prove that Jesus is divine?

David Kemball-Cook said...

Thanks Oyebola
You say I am confused and that 'I never said that that the Trinity was developed by the Church'
But you said
'… there are several models developed by the Church to develop the doctrine of the Trinity …'
Understand inference on my part I think.
But anyway, if you think that the doctrine of the Trinity existed in some (primitive?) fashion, in the minds of Jesus and the apostles, BEFORE the models developed by theologians, then please tell me what is this (primitive? undeveloped?) apostolic doctrine of the Trinity.
And what happened to it then?
Did it lie underground through the 2nd and 3rd centuries, as the Logos theology was speculated on, and Tertulllian and Origen put forward their subordinationism, or was it there in the background, somehow informing these speculations?
And then did it emerge into the light in the late 4th century?
Or what?
Over to you.

On the divine attributes shared by God and Jesus, I asked you for a list of these, and you have not yet given it.
Can you do so?

Immortality. You ignore the facts that the Bible says that a) God cannot die and b) Jesus died.
Omnipresence. Looks like this is not on your list, right?
Omniscience. Also not on the list?
So we need your list, and an explanation of how, if Jesus does not possess all divine attributes, he is still 'fully God', in the light of what you said here
' Jesus is qualitatively God because He possesses ALL the attributes and qualities that made us to call the Father God in the first place'
Perhaps you want to revise that claim?

On worship, you say
'Is that not an approval from the Father that Jesus is God'
If Jesus 'were' God, he would not need anyone's approval for the angels to be worshipped, would he?
' The Bible is clear that only God is worthy of being receipient (sic) of worship and praise from creation.'
I think you are quoting from the OT
But even the OT is against you on this point
Ps 110:1, the most quoted (21 times) OT verse in the NT, says that David's Lord is to be raised to God's RH.
Properly an object of worship, if God commands it, would you not say?
And you have not really answered me on Heb 1:6 and Phil 2:9-10.
' If Jesus is a recipient, something The Father approves, does that not prove that Jesus is divine?'
Not at all, certainly not in your defined sense of possessing all divine attributes (which view you may now have to revise, anyway).
If God tells you to worship someone, are you going to refuse to obey because this person is not sufficiently divine, in your view?

Thanks again for this dialogue.

David Kemball-Cook said...

Correction sorry.

If Jesus 'were' God, he would not need anyone's approval to be worshipped by the angels, would he?

Tony Costa said...

Hi David, I realized this is not the first time you have sparred on this blog. I noticed there was an extensive correspondence in 2014 on this very issue and many of your questions were addressed already and satisfactorily in my opinion. http://www.answeringmuslims.com/2014/03/paul-slanted-david-faltered-but-trinity.html?m=1
I would merely be reiterating the same arguments and points many of my colleagues on this blog have raised. This would in my opinion be a waste of precious time. I am sure you realize by now that you share more in common in your Unitarianism with Islam than Christianity. You unite with them in your denial of the Trinity, the eternal pre-existence of the Son, and the Incarnation. When your theology is aligned with that of the enemies of Christ, it reveals a kindred spirit with them. I pray the Triune God will be merciful to you and grant you repentance.

David Kemball-Cook said...

Thanks Tony. You refuse my invitation to say what kind of Trinity you believe in.
It seems to me that your evasion of discussion reflects your own uncertainly about your beliefs.
1) Do the Persons have their own minds?
2) Who or what is the one God of the Bible?
Why do you refuse to say? It would not take you long!
It seems that you are not really sure what you believe.

If your Muslim opponent had been a bit more knowledgeable, he could have pressed you hard on those questions, couldn't he?

Most trinitarians prefer to keep things a bit vague …
'I believe in 'the' Trinity, but I am not sure what kind … but anyway Jesus is God …'.
You seem one of those vague trinitarians, as opposed to the more scholarly kind.
I had expected you to have thought through your beliefs a bit more!

As for your claim that I have more in common with Islam, that is a faintly ridiculous accusation.
I believe that authentic Christianity is apostolic Christianity, what Jesus and the apostles believed.
Of course the apostles did not believe that YHWH was triune, and I think that you are probably well aware of that.
They were 1st century Jews, after all, and 1st century Jews did not believe that YHWH was triune.
If the apostles had believed YHWH was triune, Paul would have taught it explicitly, not just mention it on the side in passages about something else.
And this 'apostolic Trinity' would not have remained hidden in the following centuries until coming to late in the late 4th century, would it?

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

DKC, you said,
<<>>
Response
There is a big difference between a concept and the models used to develop the concept. Just because the periodic table did not exist until the 19th century by Mendeleev does not means that the elements in the periodic table did not exist until that particular century. The periodic table is a model developed to explain the chemical and physical properties of the elements.
Likewise, several models were developed by the Church to explain these basic facts below:
1) The Father is God
2) The Son is God
3) The Holy Spirit is God
4) The Father is neither The Son nor The Holy Spirit
5) The Son is neither The Father nor The Son
6) The Holy Spirit is neither The Father nor The Son
7) There is only one God Almighty
Several models were used to explain the basic facts listed above. The seven facts listed above had been there since the inception of the Church and was taught throughout the Old and New Testament.

<<< Understand inference on my part I think.
But anyway, if you think that the doctrine of the Trinity existed in some (primitive?) fashion, in the minds of Jesus and the apostles, BEFORE the models developed by theologians, then please tell me what is this (primitive? undeveloped?) apostolic doctrine of the Trinity.
And what happened to it then? >>>
Response
The seven propositions I listed above is the “primitive” Trinity and nothing happened to them. All Trinitarians still hold to it. I should be the one asking you how your Unitarian theology includes these seven propositions. In your words, what happened to them then?

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

<<< Did it lie underground through the 2nd and 3rd centuries, as the Logos theology was speculated on, and Tertulllian and Origen put forward their subordinationism, or was it there in the background, somehow informing these speculations? >>>
Response
You are still labouring under some mistakes that many modern Christians do make concerning the pre-Nicene understanding of the relationship between The Father and The Son. David W. Bercot said:
“The key to understanding the pre-Nicene doctrine of the Trinity is comprehending the difference between "nature," "personal attributes," and "order." These terms refer to three very different things, yet many western Christians do not grasp this distinction. Arius certainly did not grasp it, which is what led to his heresy.
In theology, "nature" or "substance" refers to the essence or class to which a person or creature belongs. All humans are of one nature or one substance, regardless of differing personal characteristics.
In a genetic sense, no man or woman is any less human than anybody else. But humans are not of the same nature or substance as the angels. Now, the Nicene Creed affirms that the Father and the Son are of the same nature or substance. The Son is not something foreign to the Father; rather, He possesses the same nature as the Father. Both the Father and the Son are equally divine. If the Son were not of equal nature or substance as the Father, He would not be fully divine; He would not possess true Godhood.” (David W. Bercot A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs, pp. 113)
Bercot went on to use the analogy of Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve belongs to the same class i.e. they are both human. However, in terms of personal attributes, Adam is very different from Eve. Eve can carry a child in her womb and can breastfeed while Adam cannot. With this analogy in mind, Bercot said:
“Likewise, the church has taught from the beginning, that there are personal attributes that distinguish the Father from the Son. For example, the Father begets the Son, and, therefore, the Son has His origin [arche] in the Father.
Does this make the Son less divine than the Father? Does this reduce the Son to being a demigod? Not at all! Being unbegotten is not an aspect of divinity; it is a personal attribute. Again, the early church believed that the Father could never become incarnate nor could he ever make himself visible to human eyes. To the early church, this would have been a denial of the Father's unique personhood.
That is because the Father is the ultimate Source not only of the universe, but also of the Trinity.
In saying this, the early church was not demoting the Son to being a demigod. Rather, it understood that such things are not attributes of divinity. Rather, those attributes are simply differing characteristics of the Father and the Son. So the early church affirmed that the Father is GREATER than the Son—as to PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES, but NOT AS TO NATURE. The Son (and the Holy Spirit) possess the full attributes of divinity, but the Father possesses UNIQUE PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES THAT MAKE HIM GREATER than the Son and the Holy Spirit.” (ibid. pg. 114)

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

Now, coming to aspect of “ORDER”, Bercot said:
“There is another sense, however, in which the early church taught that the Father is greater than the Son: in the sense of order. Here, "order" means chain of authority. EQUALITY OF NATURE DOES NOT MEAN EQUALITY OF ORDER. Returning to our illustration of Adam and Eve, we find that not only did the first two humans differ in personal attributes; they also differed in order. Although Adam and Eve were equal in nature, Adam was created first, and he was the head of Eve.
Paul explains that there is the exact same order within the Trinity, saying, "I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God" (1 Cor. 11:3). So the Father has authority over the Son. The Son is sent by the Father; the Son does the will of the Father; and the Son sits at the Father's right hand. This hierarchy of order cannot be reversed. Yet this hierarchy of order in no way diminishes the Son's divinity.” (ibid.)
David Bercot, knowing about Christians like you who are so careless to muddle everything up, said:
“When Christians do not understand the difference between NATURE, PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES, and ORDER, they end up with a confused understanding of the Trinity. They also misconstrue what the early Christians taught about the Father and the Son.” (ibid)
Origen is one of the most misunderstood early church fathers. I do not agree that Origen believe in subordinationism in the sense that Jesus is inferior to the Father. Tertullian, as well, did not hold to this view. Orthodox Trinitarians believe that the Son and Holy Spirit are lower to The Father only in POSITION and not nature or essence. I am lower to my father in authority and position, but in terms of essence and nature, we are EQUAL.
The Logos Theology precedes the birth of Christ. The theology of Memra is well-grounded in the theology of the Second Temple Judaism and I can bring you evidences if you don’t mind.

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

<<< And then did it emerge into the light in the late 4th century? >>>
Response
No.
<<< On the divine attributes shared by God and Jesus, I asked you for a list of these, and you have not yet given it.
Can you do so? >>>
Response
Jesus is omniscient

Jesus knew the thoughts of men (Mark 2:8). His disciples testified that Jesus knew all things on two different occasions (John 16:30; 21:17). Jesus is The Great Judge on the Judgment Day and for Him to be the judge, He has to know everything.
Jesus is omnipresent
"In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, AND I IN YOU" -John 14:20
"Jesus answered him, "If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and MAKE OUR HOME WITH HIM" -John 14:23
"But if CHRIST IS IN YOU, although your bodies are dead because of sin, your spirits are alive because of righteousness" -Romans 8:10
"Do you not realize that JESUS CHRIST IS IN YOU?" -2 Corinthians 13:5
"I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but CHRIST WHO LIVES IN ME; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me" -Galatians 2:20
I wonder how Jesus could live in all believers if He is not omnipresent.

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

Jesus is Omnipotent
“And I WILL DO WHATEVER YOU ASK IN MY NAME, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I WILL DO IT.” John 14:13-14
In the book of Revelations, it is written:
“Then I saw standing in the middle of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the middle of the elders, a Lamb that appeared to have been killed. He had SEVEN HORNS and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.” Revelations 5:6
Horn is a biblical imagery for power and strength. Seven is a biblical imagery for perfection. Jesus having seven horns means that He is omnipotent. That Jesus is omnipotent made the early church to direct their prayers to Him because He is able to save.
Jesus is the CREATOR of the universe
“who delivered us out of the power of darkness, and translated us into the Kingdom of the Son of his love; in whom we have our redemption, b the forgiveness of our sins; who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. FOR BY HIM ALL THINGS WERE CREATED, IN THE HEAVENS AND ON THE EARTH, THINGS VISIBLE AND THINGS INVISIBLE, WHETHER THRONES OR DOMINIONS OR PRINCIPALITIES OR POWERS; all things have been created through him, and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things are held together.” Colossians 1:13-17
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. ALL THINGS WERE MADE THROUGH HIM. WITHOUT HIM WAS NOT ANYTHING MADE THAT HAS BEEN MADE.” John 1:3
And I could list even more… But time will allow me.

<<< Immortality. You ignore the facts that the Bible says that a) God cannot die and b) Jesus died. >>>
Response
Please, define death. What do you mean by death? God as a Spirit is immortal since He does not wink out completely out of evidence. Jesus did not also wink out of existence. So what do you mean by death? Define it again and let’s see.

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

<<< On worship, you say
'Is that not an approval from the Father that Jesus is God'
If Jesus 'were' God, he would not need anyone's approval for the angels to be worshipped, would he?
' The Bible is clear that only God is worthy of being receipient (sic) of worship and praise from creation.'
I think you are quoting from the OT
But even the OT is against you on this point
Ps 110:1, the most quoted (21 times) OT verse in the NT, says that David's Lord is to be raised to God's RH. >>>
Response
And who is David’s Lord in this particular context? Read Mark 12:35-37 again and stop raising canned objections. In fact, I do not see how the OT is against our position. In the OT, it is very clear that only God is worthy of religious worship and devotion. No other person, neither even the angelic realm nor the host of Yahweh’s emissaries is given religious worship or devotion.

<<< Not at all, certainly not in your defined sense of possessing all divine attributes (which view you may now have to revise, anyway).
If God tells you to worship someone, are you going to refuse to obey because this person is not sufficiently divine, in your view? >>>
Response
My dear DKC, you are missing the point. God explicitly tell us that:
“I am Yahweh. That is my name. I WILL NOT GIVE MY GLORY TO ANOTHER, nor my praise to engraved images.” Isaiah 42:8
“for you shall WORSHIP NO OTHER GOD: for Yahweh, whose name is Jealous, IS A JEALOUS GOD.” Exodus 34:14
Did Jesus Himself not say,
“for YOU SHALL WORSHIP NO OTHER GOD: for Yahweh, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” Matthew 4:10
“Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘YOU ARE TO WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD AND SERVE ONLY HIM.’” Luke 4:8
Now, supposing the pagans called you to defend Paul’s statement here:
“They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and WORSHIPED AND SERVED THE CREATION rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.”
How will you defend Paul? If Jesus is a creature, how are we different from pagans and heathens? If you believe in Jesus as a creature and you believed that it is okay for you to worship Him, are you not exchanging the truth of God for a lie?
In the apocalypse of John the Beloved, while all the EXALTED 24 elders and all creation were worshipping The ONE on the Throne, why did Jesus not join them? And what do have here? Jesus was receiving worship alongside the Father just as Jesus had commanded here:
“so that all PEOPLE WILL HONOR THE SON JUST AS THEY HONOR THE FATHER. The one who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.” John 5:23
In fact, an angel who rejected worship from John the Beloved, took great pains to emphasize that only God is worthy of worship:
“I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things, and when I heard and saw them, I threw myself down to worship at the feet of the angel who was showing them to me. But he said to me, “DO NOT DO THIS! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers the prophets, and with those who obey the words of this book. WORSHIP GOD!” Revelations 22:8-9

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

<<< Thanks again for this dialogue. >>>
Response
My pleasure. Remember that this site is organized as a response to the diatribes of Muslims and not heretical Christians. If you don’t mind, we can move this discussion to another site.

David Kemball-Cook said...

Thanks Oyebola.
You have said a great deal there.
Can we please focus on your 'basic facts', the basics of the (primitive apostolic) Trinity, first, and then move on to the other points?
'2) The Son is God'
You say that the apostles believed this
I think this is the crucial issue
Can you please tell me what the apostles understood by the Son / Jesus 'being' God?
That
A) Jesus is identical to (one and the same as) YHWH?
B) Jesus is part of YHWH?
C) Jesus has a 'divine nature'?
If so, what does it mean for a man to have one of these?
D) Jesus existed eternally as a 'divine being' with two other 'divine beings'?
E) Something else?

Once we know what you think is meant by this important claim, we can examine the evidence for the apostles believing it.

Thanks again
PS call me a 'heretical Christian' if you like (I was trinitarian, now biblical unitarian)

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

DKC, did you bother to read from the works of David W. Bercot I cited above or you just choose to skip just for you to repeat your objections over and over again? Or should I say that your comprehension skills are poor (If I want to be harsher)?
Before I answer your question, can you give us the reason why the Father is God? Let's start from there
Second, when the NT refers to Jesus as God, in what sense do you think they gave Him the name?

David Kemball-Cook said...

Thanks Oyebola. No I did not read it, sorry.
I am more interested in a) what the apostles believe and b) what you believe.
You evade my question, why?
Do you know what you believe on this?
If you do, is your reluctance to say because you don't wish anyone else to know?
If you don't know what you believe, you have a problem, don't you?

1) 'The Father' is just a title used in the NT for God, aka YHWH, the God whom Jesus called 'Father' and whom he identified with YHWH (John 20:17).
Obviously, then, 'the Father is God' is true by definition.
2) Please give me the verses where the NT 'refers to Jesus as God (god, a god)', and I will tell you how I understand them. The sense will depend on the verse.
I look forward to your answers to my questions
thanks again

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

DKC, since you did not bother to read works I cited above, then why respond to my comments when we all know you will keep repeating the same set of objections that had been refuted a thousand and one times?

(((( You evade my question, why? ))))
Evaded your question? You can't be serious! You are the mole heading straight for the nearest hole yet you blamed for running away from your own hole.
I have listed all the SEVEN propositions that the Apostles believed in yet you keep asking me what the apostles believed. Here are seven propositions again for you to see:
1) The Father is God
2) The Son is God
3) The Holy Spirit is God
4) The Father is neither The Son not The Holy Spirit
5) The Son is neither The Father not the Holy Spirit
6) The Holy Spirit is neither The Father nor The Son
7) There is only one God Almighty

Please, if our doctrine of the Trinity cannot or does not accommodate the facts listed above, can you please entertain us with a terminology that can or do?

Now, when asked to prove that The Father is God, you realized that you are in trouble because the arguments you want to use to prove the deity of The Father is very same of arguments you want to reject when used for The Son!!!

You said,

(((( The Father' is just a title used in the NT for God, aka YHWH, the God whom Jesus called 'Father' and whom he identified with YHWH (John 20:17).
Obviously, then, 'the Father is God' is true by definition. ))))

Your argument above follows like this:

Minor premise: The Father is called God
Conclusion: The Father is God
From this, your major premise goes: Anyone who is called God in the NT is definitely God.

Now, you realize that we can use this very same premise to prove the deity of The Son, you now went on to say,

(((( Please give me the verses where the NT 'refers to Jesus as God (god, a god)', and I will tell you how I understand them. The sense will depend on the verse. ))))

As you understand them? Okay, in what sense do you think that Jesus should be called "God" that will make you believe that He is truly God?
Jesus is known as God (John 1:1), He is in the same nature as God (Phillippians 2:6), He is the Creator, He is omnipresent, He is omnipresence etc. Please what more hurdles will Our Redeemer cross for you to acknowledge His deity? Or how long will you continue in your blasphemy against the Holy Spirit?


David Kemball-Cook said...

Thanks Oyebola
My point is that you need to be able to substantiate your alleged 'facts'
The crucial one is 'the Son is God'
Here again is the question that you evaded answering
1) Can you please tell me what the apostles understood by the Son / Jesus 'being' God?
That
A) Jesus is identical to (one and the same as) YHWH?
B) Jesus is part of YHWH?
C) Jesus has a 'divine nature'?
If so, what does it mean for a man to have one of these?
D) Jesus existed eternally as a 'divine being' with two other 'divine beings'?
E) Something else?

I don't think you know what you, or the apostles, mean by this claim.
If so, your claim is meaningless(obviously).
I claim that the apostles did not believe that Jesus 'is' God in any of the above sense, and I would dispute your interpretation of any scripture text that you thinks says so..


2) I would also like to ask you please, as (presumably) a trinitarian
Who or what is the one God of the Bible, YHWH??
Is it a single person, a 'He'?
Or a collective of three persons, a 'They'?
Or the divine 'Being' / 'Nature' / 'Essence' that three persons share, an 'It'?
Or something else?

Once I know your answers, we can see it this understanding squares with how Jesus and the apostles understood YHWH and the relationship between Jesus and YHWH.
Thanks

As for what you asked me, you say
'Your argument above follows like this:
Minor premise: The Father is called God
Conclusion: The Father is God
From this, your major premise goes: Anyone who is called God in the NT is definitely God.'
I did not say this, or anything close.
You have it round the opposite say.
God is called 'Father', not the other way round.
I actually said
1) 'The Father' is just a title used in the NT for God, aka YHWH, the God whom Jesus called 'Father' and whom he identified with YHWH (John 20:17).
Obviously, then, 'the Father is God' is true by definition.

2) Please give me the verses where the NT 'refers to Jesus as God (god, a god)', and I will tell you how I understand them. The sense will depend on the verse.

You say 'As you understand them? Okay, in what sense do you think that Jesus should be called "God" that will make you believe that He is truly God?'
I would say first that I need to know what is meant by a man 'being truly God' (see above).
If it is numerical identity, then Jesus saying 'I am God' (ego eimi ho theos) would do it.
But there is no such verse.

'Jesus is known as God (John 1:1)'
Thanks. Where in John 1:1 does it mention Jesus?


'He is in the same nature as God (Phillippians (sic) 2:6)'
Where in Phil 2:6 does it say this?

'He is the Creator, He is omnipresent, He is omnipresence etc.'
What verses state these?
Remember I am asking for scriptural texts.

'Please what more hurdles will Our Redeemer cross for you to acknowledge His deity?'
I am waiting to know what it means to say that a man has 'deity'

'Or how long will you continue in your blasphemy against the Holy Spirit?'
Please quote the scriptures that say that it is blasphemy to deny that Jesus 'is God' (whatever that means).
Or are you just sounding off your mouth without any clear idea of how it is supported by scripture?

Thanks again

David Kemball-Cook said...

correction Oyebola, sorry
I meant to say
'You have it round the opposite way'
not
'You have it round the opposite say'!

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

>>>>> 1) Can you please tell me what the
apostles understood by the Son/ Jesus
'being' God? That

A) Jesus is identical to (one and the
same as) YHWH?
B) Jesus is part of YHWH?
C) Jesus has a 'divine nature'?
If so, what does it mean for a man to
have one of these?
D) Jesus existed eternally as a 'divine
being' with two other 'divine beings'?
E) Something else? <<<<<

This would be the last time I would be answering this very objection because I have already answered the questions TIMES and AGAIN. You did not even bother to read the works I cited yet you pretend as if your questions went on unaddressed.
I am not interested in the options you gave me... You are tempting me to play by your rules. When we say that Jesus is God, we mean that Jesus possesses all the qualities that set The Father apart from creation and makes us to call Him God. In other words, Jesus belongs to the same class that The Father belongs to just as Eve belongs to the same class that Adam belongs to. In fact, Eve is known as "Adam" in the scriptures because she belongs to the same class with her husband.
In such a wise, Jesus is God in the sense that He possesses all the divine qualities and attributes.

>>>>> I claim that the apostles did not believe
that Jesus 'is' God in any of the above sense, and I would dispute your
interpretation of any scripture text that
you thinks says so.. <<<<<<<

Yes, the apostles believed that Jesus is God in the sense I stated in my reply above. Jesus is God (John 1:1), the same nature as the Father (Phillipians 2:6), Jesus is the Creator (Colossians 1:16-20). In fact, Paul adjusted the Shema to include The Father and The Son (1 Corinthians 8:4-6) etc.
Needless to say, if you insist on trying to explain these passages away to suit your need, you need to give us sufficient reasons otherwise I can use your methods to explain away the deity of The Father. To deny The Son means to deny The Father.
I have been asking you to prove that The Father is God yet you keep evading me like a plague.

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

>>>>> Who or what is the one God of the Bible, YHWH??
Is it a single person, a 'He'?
Or a collective of three persons, a 'They'? Or the divine 'Being' / 'Nature' / 'Essence' that three persons share, an 'It'? Or something else? <<<<<<
Okay, who is Adam? Is He the first man on earth? Or does it refers to Eve as well? Or does it refers to all his descendants?
Just as the word "Adam" can be used both in a personal manner and in a qualitative manner, the word "God" too carries the same meaning. Do not forget there is at least two different individuals referred to as Yahweh in the Old Testament. Do not forget that we have the Malak Yahweh in the Old Testament who often speaks as Yahweh and identifies Himself as Yahweh.
Do not forget that the Greek word "kyrios" is the translation of the Divine Name - a title almost exclusively reserved for Jesus in the NT. Lest you argue that others too were called "lord", I tell you that context is what matters. The OT passagea concerning Yahweh are applied to Jesus - in other words, the apostles see Jesus as Yahweh and they do not hesitate to substitute Yahweh in some OT passages for Jesus.

Second, if you argue that the word "He" used for God in the OT is an argument against the Trinity, then can't we say that God is of the male gender? At best, the singular pronoun can only disprove POLYTHEISM. After all if "they" was used for God, then the Mormons will have a point while the unitarians will try to dismiss the plural pronoun as pluralis majestatis. After all, what have you unitarians been doing concerning plural verbs being applied to God?
Okay, let us take a look at passages where plural pronoun is used of God:

"Then God said, "Let US make man Our image, according to OUR likeness;" Genesis 1:26

Then [Yahweh] God said, "Behold, the man has
become like one of US." Genesis 3:22

"Come, let Us go down and, confuse their
language, that they may not understand one
another's speech." Genesis 11:7

Then I heard the voice of [Yahweh], saying,
"Whom shall I send, and who will go for US?" Then I said, "Here am I. Send me!" (Isa 6:8)

We all know how unitarians out of desperation tried to explain away these passages - not even to talk of passages like this:

“For your HusbandS are your MakerS (bō‘ălayikə ‘ōśayikə) — Yahweh of hosts is his name — the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the GodS of all the earth (Elōhêy kāl- hā’ārets).” Isaiah 54:5

DKC, please forget about using pronouns to argue for the loneliness of God because it does not favour you. For me as a Trinitarian, singular pronouns/verbs/titles indicates that God is a unity while plural pronouns/verbs/titles indicates that there is diversity in the Godhead. Polytheists have problems with the former while unitarians have problems with the latter. We are aware of how both sides tries to explain the unfavourable aspect away.

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

DKC, you said:

>>>>> I did not say this, or anything close.
You have it round the opposite say.
God is called 'Father', not the other way
round.
I actually said
1) 'The Father' is just a title used in the
NT for God, aka YHWH, the God whom
Jesus called 'Father' and whom he
identified with YHWH (John 20:17).

Obviously, then, 'the Father is God' is
true by definition."

Good! Let's use the word "Adam" to clarify things better.
Adam = The first man
There the first man = Adam by definition. In other words, Adam is the first man or the first man is Adam. Both are 100% convertible.
Now,
Eve = Adam
Does that means
Eve = Adam = the first man?
No.
You are the one insisting on a rigid definition of the word "God" yet you expand the definition to suit your whims when applied to Jesus.

Just as Eve can be called Adam because she shares the same nature with her husband, I do not see any reason why the word "God" when used for Jesus should be explained away in a different sense when the Bible is clear that Jesus is in the same nature as of God (Phillippians 2:6) and that the Bible goes on to give divine attributes to Jesus.
So, in what sense do you think that the word "God" is applied to Jesus?

Now, in John 20:17, Jesus said that He is ascending to His Father and to His God. What if His Father and His God are two different personalities?
Do you know that Thomas said the same thing concerning Jesus:

"Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God! " John 20:28

In what sense do you think you can explain these passage away without hurting John 20:17? Let's see how good you are in acrobatics.

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

>>>>> 'Jesus is known as God (John 1:1)'
Thanks. Where in John 1:1 does it
mention Jesus? <<<<<

Who do you think is the Logos here if not Jesus? Be careful here because your argument may trap you.

>>>>> He is in the same nature as God
(Phillippians (sic) 2:6)'
Where in Phil 2:6 does it say this? <<<<<

Do we have to spoonfeed you, eh?

"Who, being in VERY NATURE God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped," Philippians 2:6

>>>>> 'He is the Creator, He is omnipresent, He is omnipresence etc.'
What verses state these? Remember I am asking for scriptural texts. <<<<<

Go back and read my previous comments where I laid out some scriptural texts for all to see. See my comments at November 13, 2018 at 11:31 AM and November 13, 2018 at 11:32 AM.
I do not need to repeat myself.

>>>>> I am waiting to know what it means to say that a man has 'deity' <<<<<

We didn't say so.

>>>>> Please quote the scriptures that say that
it is blasphemy to deny that Jesus 'is
God' (whatever that means).
Or are you just sounding off your mouth without any clear idea of how it is
supported by scripture? <<<<<

Here you go again. The blasphemy against the Holy Spirit means trying to explain away Biblical evidences and trying to set up your own set of philosophical objections to judge the revelations. In other words, you are trying to teach the Holy Spirit concerning a world where your set of philosophical standards do not apply.

David Kemball-Cook said...

Thanks Oyebola
1) You say you refuse to define what it means to say that Jesus 'is' God, but then you proceed to define it!
You say 'Jesus is God in the sense that He possesses all the divine qualities and attributes'
OK, that is pretty much what you said before, without the precision of 'qualitatively'.

But then you did not answer my reply! I said
You say 'Jesus is qualitatively God because He possesses all the attributes and qualities that made us to call the Father God in the first place. The same goes for the Holy Spirit'
This is clear.
But what are these attributes?
Immortality? But the Bible says that Jesus died.
Omnipresence? But Jesus, in his earthly life, was limited to a human body.
Omniscience? But there were things that Jesus did not know (eg the time of his coming, Mark 13:32).
Impassibility? But Jesus suffered.
So please tell me what are these attributes of God that Jesus is supposed to possess?
Still waiting for that list ... Perhaps you want to revise it, omitting these above attributes?

2) Who or what is the one God of the Bible, YHWH?
You gave a long reply, but you did not answer the question.
Is it a single person, a 'He'?
Or a collective of three persons, each with their own minds, a 'They'?
Or the divine 'Being' / 'Nature' / 'Essence' that three persons share, an 'It'?
Or something else?
Is He / They / It different from Jesus or the same as Jesus?
I think this question is pretty clear, but so far you have been unable to answer it.
It looks like you think YHWH is a collective of three persons, each with their own minds.
But you can clarify.

We really need to know your beliefs before we can discuss scriptures.
Then we can get on to Phil 2, Col 1 and the rest
Thanks

PS ' I have been asking you to prove that The Father is God yet you keep evading me like a plague'
To me 'God is the Father' is a simple statement of numerical identity, as I have explained
Nothing to prove, no logical argument involved.

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

Keep repeating the objections I have already addressed. It makes me feel like talking to a sophisticated robot that is designed for the business of recycling arguments.

Go back and read my previous replies - there you will see my answer. If you have nothing else to say to my replies, then keep quiet. Or why will you pretend as if I never addressed your arguments in the first place? A similar thing on this site occured in 2014 where you were not able to address the arguments presented yet you keep pretending as if your arguments went on unnoticed.

If someone demolishes your argument, you just say "oh, you did not respond to my questions". What a convenient cop-out tricks you've got in your sleeves!

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

Well, I will busy throughout this weekend and Monday. My full response comes up on Tuesday - Lord willing

David Kemball-Cook said...

Oyebola, before we can debate scriptures we need to be clear about what we each believe and how we define terms.
I believe God is one single person and that Jesus is God's Messiah, a real human being.
I want to know what you believe about God and Jesus.
Hence my questions 1) and 2).
You DO know what you believe, don't you?

You sort of answered 1), saying
You say 'Jesus is qualitatively God because He possesses all the attributes and qualities that made us to call the Father God in the first place. The same goes for the Holy Spirit'
But then you cannot seem to be able to tell me what are these attributes that Jesus possesses!
Immortality? But the Bible says that Jesus died.
Omnipresence? But Jesus, in his earthly life, was limited to a human body.
Omniscience? But there were things that Jesus did not know (eg the time of his coming, Mark 13:32).
Impassibility? But Jesus suffered.
So please tell me what are these attributes of God that Jesus is supposed to possess.

2) Who or what is the one God of the Bible, YHWH?
You gave a long reply, but you did not answer the question.
Is it a single person, a 'He'?
Or a collective of three persons, each with their own minds, a 'They'?
Or the divine 'Being' / 'Nature' / 'Essence' that three persons share, an 'It'?
Or something else?
Is He / They / It different from Jesus or the same as Jesus?
I think this question is pretty clear, but so far you have been unable to answer it.
It looks like you think YHWH is a collective of three persons, each with their own minds.
But you can clarify.

We really need to know your beliefs before we can discuss scriptures.
Then we can get on to Phil 2, Col 1 and the rest
Thanks

Andrew said...

David, Jesus will judge the whole of humanity. Which will run into the Billions. A mere human cannot possibly Judge the whole of humanity.

You say he could if appointed by God. But that doesn't explain how Jesus can physically do it? Are you saying God upgrades Jesus ala 2001: a space odyssey?

Andrew said...

David,

when God appeared to Moses in the form of a burning bush he physically manifested himself in a fixed point in space and time in a limited finite form while still being omnipresent.

So do you agree that God can be finite and infinite at the same time?

David Kemball-Cook said...

Andrew, I already answered you. I said
Yes a man can certainly judge if appointed to do so by God.
How is this not possible, if God gives that man the power and authority?

And this is indeed the case, as Paul preached to the Athenians
'Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead' (Acts 17:31)
Notice that Paul nowhere in the sermon says that Jesus 'is' God.
Indeed, nowhere in any of the three sermons recorded in Acts is the 'deity of Christ' mentioned.
A rather difficult fact, I think, for 'Jesus is God' believers to explain.

As for your ' ut that doesn't explain how Jesus can physically do it', I take your point.
But who said anything about 'physically'?
Paul writes that resurrected bodies will be 'spiritual bodies'.
'It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.'

Anyway, can you please tell me what you believe about Jesus and God?
If Jesus the same as God, or part of God, or something else?

Andrew said...

Nice! You use paganism or science fiction to explain unitarianism.

Do you agree God can be finite and infinite at the same time?

Andrew said...

I went back and read most of the 2014 post that Tony referred to. Two things stand out:

1) DKC getting nuked by Anthony Rogers.

2) DKC blaspheming the Holy Spirit by referring to Matthew 28:19 as an "odd" verse and John 20:19 as an "impulsive" verse.

Andrew said...

I mean John 20:28

David Kemball-Cook said...

Andrew, do you know why trinitarians are so reluctant to say what they believe?
It is a bit of a puzzle isn't it?
Tony Costa would not say.
Now you won't say ...
But please tell me what you believe about Jesus and God
If Jesus the same as God, or part of God, or something else?

As for God being 'finite and infinite at the same time', I am sorry I don't know what this means.
Can you explain?

Andrew said...

You do know what I mean. You are just playing dumb.

David Kemball-Cook said...

Thanks Andrew
1) If you knew what you meant, you could explain it!
But you seem reluctant to do so …

2) You seem to have given up on the 'a mere man could not judge humanity …', in the face of scripture.
So that is good.

3) But you are still reluctant to say what you believe about God and Jesus.
Why?
Don't you know what you believe?

Andrew said...

Okay.

God appeared to Moses in a fixed point in space and time in the form of a burning bush. So in a limited finite form of himself. While still being omnipresent. So God can exist in a finite form while still being omnipresent.

Nope. Not given up on anything. I simply pointed out how ridiculous it is a Unitarian importing pagan ideas into scripture.

I have already said Jesus is God. Three persons;one God. I note you are like an energiser bunny. Anthony Rogers went through all the different formulations of the trinity and you keep saying the same thing.

I don't have time to waste on blasphemers who call bible verses odd or impulsive.

Goodbye.

David Kemball-Cook said...

Thanks Andrew.
1) Yes that clarifies. God can appear within His creation in a limited form while still being omnipresent. This is pretty obvious.

2) What pagan idea did I import into scripture?

3) Yes, the formula is Jesus 'is' God, but what does it mean?
This is what stumps trinitarians of the non-scholarly kind.
Does it mean that Jesus is the one and the same as God (aka modalism), or part of God, or something else?
Do the Persons have their own minds (social Trinity) or is there just one mind in God (Latin Trinity)?
Do you know what you believe?
I suspect you don't, which explains your reluctance to say.

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

DKC, Tony was right. It is a waste of time to have a dialogue with you. I see how you keep repeating arguments I have already refuted.

David Kemball-Cook said...

Oyebola your last post was to say ' Well, I will busy throughout this weekend and Monday. My full response comes up on Tuesday - Lord willing'
So what happened to your 'full response'?
Perhaps you have realised that you don't really know what you believe.
Like Tony Costa and Andrew, you are not particularly knowledgeable about the doctrine you claim to believe in.
You don't know, in particular, what are these 'attributes' that Jesus possessed.
I said what I believe, and asked you what you believe.
You give up and walk off!
I
Reminder this was my last to you

1) You say 'Jesus is qualitatively God because He possesses all the attributes and qualities that made us to call the Father God in the first place. The same goes for the Holy Spirit'
But then you cannot seem to be able to tell me what are these attributes that Jesus possesses!
Immortality? But the Bible says that Jesus died.
Omnipresence? But Jesus, in his earthly life, was limited to a human body.
Omniscience? But there were things that Jesus did not know (eg the time of his coming, Mark 13:32).
Impassibility? But Jesus suffered.
So please tell me what are these attributes of God that Jesus is supposed to possess.

2) Who or what is the one God of the Bible, YHWH?
You gave a long reply, but you did not answer the question.
Is it a single person, a 'He'?
Or a collective of three persons, each with their own minds, a 'They'?
Or the divine 'Being' / 'Nature' / 'Essence' that three persons share, an 'It'?
Or something else?
Is He / They / It different from Jesus or the same as Jesus?
I think this question is pretty clear, but so far you have been unable to answer it.
It looks like you think YHWH is a collective of three persons, each with their own minds.
But you can clarify.

We really need to know your beliefs before we can discuss scriptures.
Then we can get on to Phil 2, Col 1 and the rest
Thanks

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

Lol. Every other sensible people will know that I have already addressed your questions. Keep on convincing yourself that we never addressed your questions. For this dialogue between us to continue, I will refer you to my previous answers and you must read them and address them.
For your first question, go back to the my comments I made on November 13, 2018 at 11:31 AM and November 13, 2018 at 11:32 AM. In those comments I laid out some divine qualities of The Son. If you cannot address those comments and you keep pretending that your argument went on unnoticed, I wish you a happy delusion life.

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

For your second question, your idea of the Trinity is quite muddled up. How do we explain Eistein to a little neck clam like you?
The idea of pronouns like "He" or "they" or "it" is quite irrelevant to the doctrine of the Trinity. If God must be called "He" because He is a singular person, then why not go on argue that He is a male?
I believe that each Person of the Trinity has the same nature but each has their own intelligence and mind. However, their minds are collectively the same because they each have THE SAME NATURE. They reason the same because they have the same nature. The three are in PERFECT unity. They reason the same way because their nature is uniform throughout.
So I believe that God is a collection of three divine, co-eternal and co-dependent Persons each with their own mind and intelligence functioning in a PERFECT unity because they are PERFECT.

David Kemball-Cook said...

Thanks Peter
1) I am still waiting for a list of those attributes that you think Jesus possessed.
Have you thought very much about what you believe?

2) You say ' I believe that God is a collection of three divine, co-eternal and co-dependent Persons each with their own mind and intelligence functioning in a PERFECT unity because they are PERFECT'.
Several problems arise with this view of the Trinity
For instance
a) Each have their own minds.
'their minds are collectively the same because they each have THE SAME NATURE'.
This is a confused statement, isn't it?
Do you and I have the same mind because we have the same (human) nature?
I don't think so!
b) The God of the Bible is not three persons but one person, who speaks with 'I' and 'Me'.
There are over 7000 singular personal pronouns used for God in the Bible.
Tell me please who is speaking here, is it the Father, or all three persons together
' That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else.' (Is 45:6)
c) Can you tell me where is the Trinity referenced in the Bible? Please cite the verses.
d) Can you say where the apostle Paul lays out this doctrine that ' God is a collection of three divine, co-eternal and co-dependent Persons each with their own mind and intelligence functioning in a PERFECT unity'?
Nowhere I suggest.
e) Can you tell me where the apostles preach the Trinity in their preaching in Acts?
Nowhere I suggest.

I appreciate this conversation

Andrew said...

"Can you tell me where the trinity is referenced in the bible"?

R.O.F.L!!!

Matthew 28:19

Andrew said...

Mark 10:18 Why do you call me good? No-one is good but God alone.

As in the post that Tony referred to, for Muslims this verse is proof that Jesus is not God.

For DKC there is no way out. If Jesus is not God, then he is an imperfect sacrifice.

David Kemball-Cook said...

Andrew are you talking to me, or just making a general comment?
If the former, I would still like to know what kind of Trinity you believe in, and what pagan idea I imported into scripture (I think you were just sounding off with that comment!).

As for your ' If Jesus is not God, then he is an imperfect sacrifice', it would have some validity if the apostles ever taught anything close to that.
But they do not.
I suggest you read the two premier passages on the atonement, Hebrews 7-10 and Romans 3-7, and then tell me what where the writers say that Jesus has to 'be' YHWH in order for atonement to work.
But they do not, do they?
I expect that you will not reply to me on this, or on anything else.
You guys don't seem to know what you believe, or indeed the Bible very well.
There is no question I ask which does not seem to stump you!

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

DKC
>>>>> 1) I am still waiting for a list of those attributes that you think Jesus possessed. Have you thought very much about what you believe? <<<<<

Are you daft? Or you are being inflicted with a syndrome? How many times should I tell you that you should check the comments I made on November 13, 2018 at 11:31 AM and November 13, 2018 at 11:32 AM where I laid out some of the divine qualities of The Son? Should I take your numbness to the weight of my argument as a backdoor admission that you can't exegetically refute the deity of the Son as laid out in the scriptures?
If you want this dialogue to be fuitful, try to understand your opponent.

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

>>>> a) Each have their own minds.
'their minds are collectively the same because they each have THE SAME NATURE'.
This is a confused statement, isn't it?
Do you and I have the same mind because we have the same (human) nature?
I don't think so! <<<<

No. It is not a confused statement AT ALL.
First, You are comparing the imperfect human mind with that of God. the reason why my mind and yours are not the same is because despite the fact that we have the same nature, how we use our nature and qualities differs in many ways. This unlike God.

Second, each one of the divine person has access to each other mind which brings PERFECT unity among the divine persons. The way the Father perceives something is the way The Son and Holy Spirit perceives the particular thing as well.

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

>>>>> b) The God of the Bible is not three persons but one person, who speaks with 'I' and 'Me'.
There are over 7000 singular personal pronouns used for God in the Bible. <<<<<

Now I see where your delusion comes from. The kind of Trinity you believe in is different from ours. The trinity does not means that there are three figures on three different thrones locking their heads together deciding on the next move. That is your own version of the Trinity keep it to yourself.
For the Trinity to be true, the divine persons do not need to speak together. One of the persons can speak in the first person. It is absurd for the person of The Father when speaking use the plural pronoun. The same goes for The Son and the Holy Spirit.

Second, if the use of singular personal pronouns for God demonstrates His unity what about numerous instances were plural nouns and verbs are used for God?

Third, look at Zechariah 2:8-13:

8 For this is what the LORD Almighty says: “After the GLORIOUS ONE has sent ME against the nations that have plundered you—for whoever touches you touches the apple of HIS eye—
9 I will surely raise MY hand against them so that their slaves will plunder them. Then you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent ME.
10 “Shout and be glad, Daughter Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you,” declares the LORD.
11 “Many nations will be joined with the LORD in that day and will become ME people. I will live among you and you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent ME to you.
12 The LORD will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land and will again choose Jerusalem.
13 Be still before the LORD, all mankind, because he has roused himself from his holy dwelling.”

Now looking at the passage above demonstrates that there are TWO individuals named "Yahweh Almighty". In fact, one is sending the other on an errand. One person is referring to another person. Now according to you, for the Trinity to be true, you expect Zechariah 2:8-13 to read thus:

8 For this is what the LORD Almighty says: “After the Glorious One has sent US against the nations that have plundered you—for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye—
9 We will surely raise OUR hand against them so that their slaves will plunder them. Then you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent US.
10 “Shout and be glad, Daughter Zion. For WE ARE coming, and I will live among you,” declares the LORD.
11 “Many nations will be joined with the LORD in that day and will become OUR people. WE will live among you and you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent US to you.
12 The LORD will inherit Judah as THEIR portion in the holy land and will again choose Jerusalem.
13 Be still before the LORD, all mankind, because THEY has roused THEMSELVES from THEIR holy dwelling.”

This is what polytheists (and not Trinitarians) will love to hear. If the Father is speaking, He will speak in the first person singular and not in the first person plural. The same goes for The Son and Holy Spirit. In the passage above, it is evident that it is the person of The Son Speaking in the passage above and not The Father.

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

However, this does not means that God sometimes do not speak in the first person plural. Look at passages such as these:

"Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” Genesis 1:26

"But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower the people were building.
The LORD said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.
Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.” Genesis 11:5-7

For people who insist that the use of singular person pronouns for God demonstrates His unity, one would think that passages like these will make this particular people to reason that God is pluritarian. And what do we have? Unitarians explain passages like these away as plurlis majestatis despite the fact that there is no evidence for such in the Hebrew scriptures.
So if the use of singular pronouns for God means that God is a monad, then what about other instances where plural pronouns are used?

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

DKC,

>>>>> c) Can you tell me where is the Trinity referenced in the Bible? Please cite the verses. <<<<<

What about Trinity proof-texts like Matthew 28:19 and 2 Corinthian 13:14?

>>>>> d) Can you say where the apostle Paul lays out this doctrine that ' God is a collection of three divine, co-eternal and co-dependent Persons each with their own mind and intelligence functioning in a PERFECT unity'?
Nowhere I suggest. <<<<<<

Bah. This is the kind of argument that atheists raise against the existence of God. If you reason that the for the doctrine of Trinity to be true, then a passage of the Bible must be devoted to it. I am sorry, you will get more than what you bargain for. For instance, which passage in the Hebrew scriptures say that the Messiah will be born of a virgin, will bear our sins, will die on the cross and will be resurrected? Please which passage in the Hebrew Bible do you think that all the life of the Messiah was laid out?
Let me tell you, not even Jesus reason the way you reason. The major timeline of the life of the Messiah was deduced by picking bits from aspects of the scriptures and arranging them to give a whole picture.
Does Paul believe that The Father is God? Yes
Does Paul believe that The Son is God? Yes
Does Paul believe that The Holy Spirit is God? Yes
Does Paul believe that there is only one God Almighty? Yes
Does Paul believe that The Father is neither The Son not The Holy Spirit? Yes

Each one of the seven propositions I listed concerning the doctrine of the Trinity can be deduced from Paul's letters and other parts of the scriptures.
Let me even ask you a question? Does Paul believe in the Virgin birth?

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

>>>> e) Can you tell me where the apostles preach the Trinity in their preaching in Acts?
Nowhere I suggest. <<<

Just curious...
Where in the Book of Acts was the virgin birth of Christ preached?
Where in the Book of Acts was reliability of the scriptures preached?
Where in the Book of Acts was the canon of the Bible established?
Where in the Book of Acts was the Second Coming of Christ preached in detail?
Where in the Book of Acts was utter depravity of human nature preached?

DKC, your argument is ridiculous because using it will get you more than what you bargained for. I believe not only in sola scriptura but in SOTA scriptura (all of scriptures) as well. There are some things for you to believe for you to be saved. There are also teachings that make those beliefs true.

David Kemball-Cook said...

Thanks Oyebola
1) On these divine attributes, you said that Jesus possessed ALL of them
But I pointed out that he did not possess immortality, omnipresence, omniscience and impassibility.
I think my reply stumped you, because you have not yet replied to it.
Perhaps you have not thought out this before?
Of these divine attributes that Jesus possessed, he did not possess all of them, did he?
And that was your claim.

2) ' Second, each one of the divine person has access to each other mind which brings PERFECT unity among the divine persons'
But you forget that there are things the Father knows that Jesus did not know (Mk 13:32).
A bit of a problem for you POV, I think
3) ' One of the persons can speak in the first person.'
Yes of course. But is it is the Father speaking in Is 45:6, why does he say there is none beside him?
There should be two beside him, should there not?
’ That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else'

4) ' Second, if the use of singular personal pronouns for God demonstrates His unity what about numerous instances were plural nouns and verbs are used for God?'
No, the use of singular personal pronouns for God demonstrates that He is a single person.
This is simple grammar.
'Numerous'? Actually four, and these are easily explained by plural of majesty or God speaking to the divine council.

5) ' Can you tell me where is the Trinity referenced in the Bible? Please cite the verses'

'What about Trinity proof-texts like Matthew 28:19 and 2 Corinthian 13:14?'
You misunderstand. I am asking for where the word 'God' is used, referring to the Trinity.
If the Trinity is the God of the Bible, then there should be references to It all through the Bible, shouldn't there?
But where?
This has obviously stumped both of you

6) Can you say where the apostle Paul lays out this doctrine that ' God is a collection of three divine, co-eternal and co-dependent Persons each with their own mind and intelligence functioning in a PERFECT unity?'
You cannot tell me.
So you agree with me that that Paul does not teach this doctrine, correct?
Neither do the other apostles, correct?

7) ' Does Paul believe that The Son is God? Yes'
OK, where does Paul lay out the doctrine of the 'deity of Christ'?
Please cite the passages in the epistles.

8) Can you tell me where the apostles preach the Trinity in their preaching in Acts?
Nowhere I suggest
You cannot tell me.
Please tell me if you believe it is essential to believe in the Trinity to be a true Christian?
If so,m then potential converts would need to be told about the Trinity in the preaching, wouldn't they?

Thanks again for this dialogue

David Kemball-Cook said...

Thanks Andrew
On where the triune God is referenced in the Bible, see my answer to Oyebola.

'What about Trinity proof-texts like Matthew 28:19 and 2 Corinthian 13:14?'
You misunderstand. I am asking for where the word 'God' is used, referring to the Trinity.
If the Trinity is the God of the Bible, then there should be references to It all through the Bible, shouldn't there?
But where?
This seems to have stumped both of you

Andrew said...

So what! The word bible does not appear in the bible.

The word Antichrist does not appear in the book of Revelation even though he is the central character.

Your silly semantic game does not reflect well on you.

Andrew said...

DKC No one can physically Judge the whole of humanity but God. You blithely suggest that God can upgrade Jesus.

Gods turning humans into Gods is a pagan notion.

Andrew said...

DKC. Jesus said no-one is good but God.

a) Is Jesus God?

b) Is Jesus an imperfect sacrifice?

How about a straight answer.

David Kemball-Cook said...

Thanks Andrew
1) I don't think you understand my point.
If YHWH, the God of the Bible, is a Trinity, then the words which translate as 'God' or 'the LORD' would refer to the Trinity many many times in the Bible.
Where? Please cite the passages.
Start with the NT, then if you draw a blank, try the OT.
I hope my point, and the importance if it, is a bit clearer now

2) ' No one can physically Judge the whole of humanity but God. You blithely suggest that God can upgrade Jesus'
It is not me that suggests it, but the Bible. You can quarrel with it!
' The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool' (Ps 110:1)
This verse is quoted 21 times in the NT, the most quoted OT verse in the NT.
I think you trinitarians need to study the Bible a bit more, and spend less time making assertions which contradict it!



3) 'Gods turning humans into Gods is a pagan notion.'
I never said this

4) ' Jesus said no-one is good but God.

a) Is Jesus God?

No Jesus is not God.
Nobody can be the same as someone with whom you differ, and Jesus and God differ.
For instance Jesus died and God cannot die.

5) ' b) Is Jesus an imperfect sacrifice?'
No he is not.
Please take up my suggestion to read Hebrews, rather than make assertions based on your human judgment.

Thanks again

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

DKC, if you want this dialogue to continue, I will want you to understand your opponent's position by taking time to read them carefully.

1) I already responded earlier. since you are too winded to go back to my previous comments, here are the comments again where I answered your first question by laying out the divine attributes of The Son

Jesus is omniscient

Jesus knew the thoughts of men (Mark 2:8). His disciples testified that Jesus knew all things on two different occasions (John 16:30; 21:17). Jesus is The Great Judge on the Judgment Day and for Him to be the judge, He has to know everything.

Jesus is omnipresent

"In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, AND I IN YOU" -John 14:20

"Jesus answered him, "If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and MAKE OUR HOME WITH HIM" -John 14:23

"But if CHRIST IS IN YOU, although your bodies are dead because of sin, your spirits are alive because of righteousness" -Romans 8:10

"Do you not realize that JESUS CHRIST IS IN YOU?" -2 Corinthians 13:5

"I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but CHRIST WHO LIVES IN ME; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me" -Galatians 2:20

I wonder how Jesus could live in all believers if He is not omnipresent.

Jesus is Omnipotent

“And I WILL DO WHATEVER YOU ASK IN MY NAME, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I WILL DO IT.” John 14:13-14

In the book of Revelations, it is written:
“Then I saw standing in the middle of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the middle of the elders, a Lamb that appeared to have been killed. He had SEVEN HORNS and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.” Revelations 5:6

Horn is a biblical imagery for power and strength. Seven is a biblical imagery for perfection. Jesus having seven horns means that He is omnipotent. That Jesus is omnipotent made the early church to direct their prayers to Him because He is able to save.

Jesus is the CREATOR of the universe

“who delivered us out of the power of darkness, and translated us into the Kingdom of the Son of his love; in whom we have our redemption, b the forgiveness of our sins; who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. FOR BY HIM ALL THINGS WERE CREATED, IN THE HEAVENS AND ON THE EARTH, THINGS VISIBLE AND THINGS INVISIBLE, WHETHER THRONES OR DOMINIONS OR PRINCIPALITIES OR POWERS; all things have been created through him, and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things are held together.” Colossians 1:13-17

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. ALL THINGS WERE MADE THROUGH HIM. WITHOUT HIM WAS NOT ANYTHING MADE THAT HAS BEEN MADE.” John 1:3

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

<<< Immortality. You ignore the facts
that the Bible says that a) God cannot die
and b) Jesus died. >>>
Response
Please, define death. What do you mean
by death? God as a Spirit is immortal since He does not wink out completely
out of evidence. Jesus did not also wink
out of existence. So what do you mean
by death? Define it again and let’s see.

If you like, come back and pretend that I never responded to your objections.

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

2) That Jesus did not know the day of parousia is not a problem for me. You might tell that to a docetist and gnostic. I believed that Jesus is a true human being. He is not a false human or God pretending to be a man. There are many things His Divine consciousness never related to His human consciousness and there are good reasons why this is so.

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

3) The Son and the Holy Spirit are not Gods apart from The Father. The Word and Spirit of God does not exist apart from God. It is completely acceptable for any of the divine persons to say, "I am the LORD and there is none else". This perfectly comaptible with the Trinity.
How do you explain Zechariah 2:8-13 where Yahweh Almighty is referring to another Yahweh Almighty that sent Him? You did not address this passage. Why avoid it like a plague?

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

4) DKC, If Yahweh speaks in singular pronoun, you will say that is evidence against Trinity. If He speaks in plural pronoun, you will say that is He is speaking to a divine council or is using plural of majesty. If Yahweh is Triune, then what kind of pronoun do you expect Him to use? This is another assurance to me that unitarianism is a big scam.
Second, there is no evidence for plural of majesty in the Hebrew scriptures. That term is later invention by desperate unitarians to explain away the use of plural pronouns. Or can you give us an example where plural of majesty is used in the Hebrew scriptures?

That God is speaking to a divine council is VERY unacceptable and this is a violation of monotheism. How many people created man? Are you telling us that some of God's creatures were responsible for the creation of man?

Fourth, you are yet to address the use of plural verbs and nouns used for God. For instance, God is said to be the "husbands" and "makers" in Isaiah 54:5?

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

5) Lol. You are inventing a criterion for authenticity of a doctrine without even bothering to defend the validity of the criterion. Tell us, why is it that the Trinity can only be true if it is explicitly expounded philosophically in a passage despite the fact all the scriptures teach it in concept? You are forcing us to play by a rule you invented. Atheists also do something similar to what you are doing.
Because you cannot refute the arguments presented for support of Trinity and against unitarianism, so you decided to invent new rules.
Now, let me do something similar, if unitarianism if true, please where in the Bible is it taught? Running to passages which says that God is one does prove unitarianism, it also proves the Tri-UNITY of God as well.
Since Jesus became the recipient of sacred worship and devotion in the early church, why is it none of the apostles try to refute the deity of Christ or even so, argue that Jesus is just a mere man and no more? Why is it that opposite was the case? Or why did Paul include Jesus in the Jewish Shema?

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

6) Of course, nowhere did Paul utter such. This is not surprising because Paul is not a philosopher - He is speaking as an evengelist and apostle. That the three divine persons are co-equal, co-eternal, co-dependents are implications deduced from the ALL of the scriptures. That is exegesis for you. Or where did Paul say, "Jesus is not eternal" or "The Holy Spirit is not a person but a force"? Where did Paul utter such?

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

7) If I lay out all the passages, you won't bother to read them and you will pretend as if I never did so in the first place. Why don't we deal with these passages ONE by ONE. Let's start with the Christological hymn Philippians 2:5-11

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

8) Can you please tell us where the virgin birth of Christ is taught in Acts? So m, Christians don't need to believe in the virgin birth.
Can you please tell us where the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ is preached in Acts? Hem, Christians don't need to believe in that
Can you please tell us where the authority of the Holy Scriptures is preached in Acts? No. Hem, we can believe otherwise
Can you please tell us where the Heavenly High Priesthood is taught in Acts? Hem, we can now believe that Jesus is not our High Priest.

Lol. You are joke. If you ever want us to believe in that monad you call your God, at least try to be consistent in your dealings.
Moreover, there facts you must believe for you to be saved while there are facts to justify your beliefs.
For instance, I believe in Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. But how do I justify my beliefs? Is it not by believing the authenticity and authority of the scriptures?
The early church made Jesus the object of sacred worship and devotion. What really justify their actions? Is it not the deity of Christ?
The early church believed that the Holy Spirit can dwell in many people at a time and is the bestower of gifts and as well the director of of the Church. Moreover, He speaks and can be grieved and tested. He is also the bestower of grace like The Father and Son? He is also the presence of God. What justify such beliefs? Well, belief that the Holy Spirit is a divine person like The Father.
I am disappointed in your desperate and amateurish arguments. Try harder again.
Thanks.

David Kemball-Cook said...

Thanks Oyebola
1) On divine attributes, you said that Jesus possessed ALL of them.
But you seem unable to give me a list. Why not?
I pointed out that he did not possess immortality, omnipresence, omniscience and impassibility. You brought in omnipotence, so let us discuss that as well.
a) Immortality
'Please, define death'
I define it as the Bible does, end of life.
And the Bible says that Jesus died in the same sense as it says that God cannot die.
So even if there is a different definition, your problems remain.
NB this is obvious. It is logically impossible for the same being to die and also at the same time be incapable of death.
I hope you understand the point.

b) Omnipresence
We are talking about Jesus in his earthly life.
But even post resurrection, there is nothing in the Bible that says he is omnipresent, just that he is in all believers.
Is Jesus on the far side of Pluto right now, do you think?

c) Omniscience
' There are many things His Divine consciousness never related to His human consciousness and there are good reasons why this is so.'
'He has to know everything'
So you believe Jesus had two consciousnesses! This is interesting.
Have you thought this out?
Any theologians who agree with you on this?
Anywhere in the Bible say this?
Any ecumenical councils say this, or have you just come with this theory on your own?
Tell me please, if Jesus knows something in his divine mind, does he know it?
If so, then he would have known the time of his coming.
And I expect you to go off to 'two natures ... as God ... as man', so may I please ask you from where you derived this belief.
Does it come from the apostles' teaching or from the 5th century?

d) Impassibility
You do not answer this, perhaps because you cannot.

e) Omnipotence
In his earthly life? Really?
What evidence for you have for this?

3) 'One of the persons can speak in the first person.'
Yes of course. But if it is the Father speaking in Is 45:6, why does he say there is none beside him?
There should be two beside him, should there not?
’That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else'
You say 'The Son and the Holy Spirit are not Gods apart from The Father. The Word and Spirit of God does not exist apart from God. It is completely acceptable for any of the divine persons to say, "I am the LORD and there is none else". This perfectly comaptible with the Trinity.'
I don't think you understand the point.
Tell me please who is speaking in this verse.
And if it is the Father speaking in Is 45:6, why does he say there is none beside him?

'How do you explain Zechariah 2:8-13 where Yahweh Almighty is referring to another Yahweh Almighty that sent Him? You did not address this passage. Why avoid it like a plague?'
I don't remember you raising this passage before. It seems to me that God and one of His messengers / angels are talking. This is common, where the voice of Yahweh and the voice of His angel are conflated. See eg Gen 16, 22 and Ex 3.
Tell me please what YOU think is going on here, who is speaking in each verse.

David Kemball-Cook said...

4) 'Second, if the use of singular personal pronouns for God demonstrates His unity what about numerous instances were plural nouns and verbs are used for God?'
a) 'If Yahweh is Triune, then what kind of pronoun do you expect Him to use?'
If Yahweh is triune, you should have said 'what kind of pronoun do you expect THEM to use?'
Trinitarians are not consistent with their use of language, are they?
They routinely and incorrectly use singular pronouns for God, because, I suspect, it would sound too silly to use plural. Correct?

b) 'Second, there is no evidence for plural of majesty in the Hebrew scriptures. That term is later invention by desperate unitarians to explain away the use of plural pronouns. Or can you give us an example where plural of majesty is used in the Hebrew scriptures?'
1 Kings 12:9
'And he said unto them, What counsel give ye that WE may answer this people, who have spoken to me, saying, Make the yoke which thy father did put upon us lighter?'
Ezra 4:18
'The letter which ye sent unto us hath been plainly read before me.'

c) 'That God is speaking to a divine council is VERY unacceptable and this is a violation of monotheism. How many people created man? Are you telling us that some of God's creatures were responsible for the creation of man?'
It does not violate monotheism for God to have created subsidiary 'divine' beings, nor for Him to have had agents in creation. After all, this is Logos theology.

d) 'Fourth, you are yet to address the use of plural verbs and nouns used for God. For instance, God is said to be the "husbands" and "makers" in Isaiah 54:5?'
Not in my Bible. What translation are you using?

5) 'Can you tell me where is the Trinity referenced in the Bible? Please cite the verses'
'What about Trinity proof-texts like Matthew 28:19 and 2 Corinthian 13:14?'
You misunderstand. I am asking for where the word 'God' is used, referring to the Trinity.
If the Trinity is the God of the Bible, then there should be references to It all through the Bible, shouldn't there?
You have not answered this question, perhaps because you cannot.

David Kemball-Cook said...

Oyebola Pt 3
6) Can you say where the apostle Paul lays out this doctrine that ' God is a collection of three divine, co-eternal and co-dependent Persons each with their own mind and intelligence functioning in a PERFECT unity?'
You cannot tell me.
So it seems you agree with me that that Paul does not teach this doctrine.
But your explanation why not is absurd
You trinitarians claim that all believers need to acknowledge God as Trinity.
It is an essential doctrine, right?
So you have put yourself into the position of saying that essential doctrines of Christianity were not taught by the apostles.

'Now, let me do something similar, if unitarianism if true, please where in the Bible is it taught?'
Fair point. My answer is that everyone at the time, Jew, Christian and Gentile, understood that YHWH was a single person and that Jesus is a real human being. This is the background assumption of the NT. God is referred to with singular prunouns. Jesus is stated to be a man numerous times. Therefore there was no need to teach it.
By contrast there was every need to teach a Trinity. The Jews did not believe that YHWH was three persons, and I challenge you to prove the opposite!


7) Where does Paul lay out the doctrine of the 'deity of Christ'?
Please cite the passages in the epistles.
'If I lay out all the passages, you won't bother to read them and you will pretend as if I never did so in the first place. Why don't we deal with these passages ONE by ONE. Let's start with the Christological hymn Philippians 2:5-11'
OK thanks. Where in his passage does Paul say that Jesus 'is' God?
And it would be useful to know what you think is meant by this phrase, and whether that is the same as what Paul would understood by it?
Does it mean that Jesus is one and the same as YHWH, or part of YHWH, or something else.
I find that clarity is usually the enemy of trinitarian discourse, but you seem a bit more focussed than most.
So I look forward to your clarification.

8) Can you tell me where the apostles preach the Trinity in their preaching in Acts?
You seem to agree that it is not preached.
Your examples are irrelevant, because we are talking about essential Christian beliefs.
You guys think that we have to believe in a Trinity to be saved, don't you?
But you have not answered me if you believe it is essential to believe in the Trinity to be a true Christian. Why not?
If so, then potential converts would need to be told about the Trinity in the preaching, wouldn't they?
Thanks again

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

DKC,
>>>> 1) On divine attributes, you said that Jesus possessed ALL of them.
But you seem unable to give me a list. Why not?
I pointed out that he did not possess immortality, omnipresence, omniscience and impassibility. You brought in omnipotence, so let us discuss that as well. <<<<<

Response
I gave you 4 attributes and I told you that I could not list all the attributes and qualities here for you to see. Even possessing one divine attribute is enough to establish the deity of Christ. However, can you think of any divine attribute that Jesus lacked?

>>>> a) Immortality
'Please, define death'
I define it as the Bible does, end of life. <<<<<

Response
Ans where does the Bible define it as the end of life? End of life in what sense? The Bible at least identifies two kinds of death. Look at this passage:

Rev 20:14 Death and Hades b were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the SECOND DEATH, the lake of fire.

Death simply means the cessation of existence. According to the Bible, we do NOT CEASE to exist after PHYSICAL death. Your argument only carries weight IF AND ONLY IF physicality or materialist atheism is true. When we say someone die, it means that the person NO LONGER exists in the physical state.

>>>> And the Bible says that Jesus died in the same sense as it says that God cannot die. <<<<

Response
Then that means that Father too is dead! The Father did not exist in the physical body just as the Jesus too did not exist in the physical body for three days. Your arguments goes both ways - another assurance that you have no idea concerning what you are talking about. Your rigid definition of death refutes the deity and existence of The Father as well.
When Jesus died, it means that He was disembodied. He did not wink out of existence. He still exists in the spiritual realm just like He had been doing from eternity alongside Hid Father.

>>> So even if there is a different definition, your problems remain.
NB this is obvious. It is logically impossible for the same being to die and also at the same time be incapable of death. <<<<

According to the Bible, if a man dies, he still exists in the spiritual state. He only died physically. You are confused.

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

>>>> b) Omnipresence
We are talking about Jesus in his earthly life.
But even post resurrection,...
Is Jesus on the far side of Pluto right now, do you think? <<<<

Response
You don't even understand our doctrine of incarnation and that is why you keep embarrassing yourself.
First, we do not believe Jesus to be a man with superhuman abilities. He is man in the sense that God wanted man to be. Man is not omnipresent hence Jesus as a man is not omnipresent.
Second, are you familiar with kenosis as demonstrated in Philippians 2:5-11 where Jesus humbled Himself and did not exercise His Divine attributes so that He can achieve full humanity - a very important criteria for High Priesthood.
Third, in what sense do you even think that the Father is omnipresent? Are you telling me that The Father is sitting on a throne inside your kitchen? Or that He has always been in your bedroom?
Fourth, for instance, one of the abilities of living things is the ability to reproduce. So anytime I am not producing young ones, I cease to be a living organism. You ain't making sense because you think like a kid.
Lastly, it is the role of the Holy Spirit to be present everywhere. It is His own personal role. The Father is forever seated on the Throne while His Spirit roams throughout the world.

>>>> there is nothing in the Bible that says he is omnipresent, just that he is in all believers. <<<<

Response
Lol. Jesus is present in all believers at once, so you don't believe that He is still omnipresent? Are you telling me that Jesus too must be present in your pot or wardrobe for you to believe that He is omnipresence? If Jesus being present in millions of believers worldwide at once is not omnipresence, then what do we call it?

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

>>>>> So you believe Jesus had two consciousnesses! This is interesting.
Have you thought this out?
Any theologians who agree with you on this? <<<<

Response
And since where did you become friends with our theologians?
William Lane Craig said:

"Clearly, on my model I want to say that he does have this knowledge in his subconscious. So I would interpret his statement, “I don’t know the date of my return” as being an expression of what is in his conscious knowledge. It would be a way of giving a kind of phenomenal report, “I don’t know when I am coming again.” But it would have been deep in the subconscious, if either the Father had allowed it to come out or he had been able to reach down and grab it. So I would say that, with a statement like that, don’t overload it with too much theological freight. I think he is just giving a report of what he is aware of. “Yeah, I don’t know,” he is saying."

Jesus is ONE person with with both human and divine consciousness. The Church not only believed that Jesus added a human nature but that He also added a human soul to Himself. In his waking consciousness, He is ignorant of somethings but not in His underlying or "subliminal" or "subconsciousness" as WLC puts it.

Second, concerning the ignorance of the son, let me play the devil's advocate by referring you to another OT passage similar to Jesus "ignorance" in Mark 13:32:

Gen 18:21 I will go down now, and see whether their deeds are as bad as the reports which have come to me. If not, I will know.”

Here Yahweh is assuming ignorance of the wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah. (In reality, this is the pre-incarnate Christ speaking)

It is based on passages like this in the OT that this author argued in this article
http://deovolentenl.nl/1998-2/ argued that the word "know" can also mean "reveal". If you want me to prove this in detail, I can do so. However, whether first or second interpretation, my argument still stands.
Moreover, you are yet to address the passages I brought for the defense of the omniscience of God. I mean passages like:

"Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many people saw the miraculous signs he was doing and believed in his name. But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, FOR HE KNEW ALL MEN. He did not need man's testimony about man, for he knew what was in a man." John 2:23-25

"My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are HIDDEN ALL TREASURES OF WISDOM AND KNWLEDGE… For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form," Colossians 2:2-3,9

"To the angel of the church in Thyatira write: These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze… I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I AM HE WHO SEARCHES HEART AND MIND, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds. Revelation 2:18,23

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

DKC,
>>>> d) Impassibility
You do not answer this, perhaps because you cannot. <<<<

Response
First, why don't you start by explaining some OT passages like:

1Sam 15:11 “It GRIEVES me that I have set up Saul to be king; for he is turned back from following me, and has not performed my commandments.” Samuel was angry; and he cried to the LORD all night.

Psalm 78:40 How often they rebelled against him in the wilderness, and GRIEVED him in the desert!
Psalm 78:41 They turned again and tempted God, and provoked the Holy One of Israel.

Psalm 95:10 Forty years long was I GRIEVED with [this] generation, and said, It [is] a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways:

If you push the doctrine of impassibility, you will be left with deism i.e. a God too distant such that He has a heart of stone. He does not get angry neither is He happy or joyous.

Second, Jesus as part of His human nature has a human body that is susceptible to pain and torture. Even your argument is impotent against docetists not even to talk of me as an orthodox Christian - afterall we believe that Jesus has a human body and his human body is not an aspect of His divine nature

>>>> e) Omnipotence
In his earthly life? Really?
What evidence for you have for this? <<<<

Response
Omnipotence in what sense? Do you mean that God is omnipotent in the sense that He is doing everything at a time? Do you mean God is cooking, creating, rebuking etc. everytime? Don't be silly. When we say that God is omnipotent, we mean that God can do everything.
Second, do you have any evidence that there is anything that Jesus could not do during His earthly life? Is there any thing in life that Jesus could not do? Please list them.
Third, what about people casting out demons by the name of Christ? What about Jesus sending out people on His own authority just as The Father sends out prophets? Oh yes, Jesus is omnipotent because He can do all things.

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

DKC,

>>>> I don't think you understand the point.
Tell me please who is speaking in this verse.
And if it is the Father speaking in Is 45:6, why does he say there is none beside him? <<<<

Response
No you are the one who does not understand my point. It could be any one person. Even if it was the Father speaking here, it does not refute the deity of The Son or Holy Spirit. Something similar occurred in Deuteronomy 32:39:

Deut 32:39 “See now that I myself am he. There is no God with me. I kill and I make alive. I wound and I heal.There is no one who can deliver out of my hand."

Jesus said something similar here:

Jn 10:28 I give eternal life to them. They will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.
Jn 10:29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them out of my Father’s hand. >>
Jn 10:30 I AND THE FATHER ARE ONE.”

Jesus was applying the passage in Deuteronomy to Himself and His Father. Lest someone accuses Him of contradiction, He went on to say that He and His Father are ONE - something we've been telling die-hard unitarians for centuries.

>>>> I don't remember you raising this passage before. It seems to me that God and one of His messengers / angels are talking. This is common, where the voice of Yahweh and the voice of His angel are conflated. See eg Gen 16, 22 and Ex 3.
Tell me please what YOU think is going on here, who is speaking in each verse. <<<<

Response
Oh my!
First, are you telling me that we can refer to angels as Yahweh ALMIGHTY? Lol. This passage had been giving unitarians a difficult time - even the Rabbinical Jews, being at their wits end decided to emend the passage.
Second, have you been listening to arguments of the Trinitarians who argued for the deity of The Son in the OT? A lot of articles have been written about the Divine Angel of Yahweh in the OT. Passages about a specific messenger that is identified as the pre-incarnate Christ. Look at these articles below for more info

https://www.answering-islam.org/authors/rogers/malak_yahweh1.html
https://www.answering-islam.org/authors/rogers/malak_yahweh2.html
https://www.answering-islam.org/authors/rogers/malak_yahweh3a.html
https://www.answering-islam.org/authors/rogers/malak_yahweh3b.html

No, you are yet to do justice to Zechariah 2:8-13.

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

I have other busy things to attend to, so I will be responding to the remaining aspect later.

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

4) Actually, Trinitarians are comfortable with the fact that both singular and plural nouns, verbs and pronouns are used for God simultaneously - it is another assurance that God is a multiplicity in a unity. Unitarians are not comfortable with the plural forms so they conjured plural of majesty out of mid-air. The polytheists like Mormons too are not that comfortable with the singular forms.
Trinitarians are comfortable with both singular and plural forms.

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

4b) The passage in 1 Kings 12:9 is not a plural of majesty AT ALL. The plural was used because the answer given to the people is the answer formulated by Rehoboam and his pals. Since Rehoboam and his friends are the ones who will formulate the response, it is hardly surprising for them to use the royal "We".
Second, read the letter from the beginning again in Ezra 4:11. It states thus:

" To King Artaxerxes: Your servants, the men in the region beyond the River, an now "

More than one person was in view. The letter is latter written on behalf of many people hence the plural pronoun is not surprising at all.

Third, why is that there is no ancient evidence for this "plural of majesty"? None of the early church fathers knew about this device not even Arius suggested it. This device can only be traced back to the 4th century Byzantine empire.
Even a Rabbi, who is also also a professor of Oxford University, disagrees with the use of plural of majesty in the OT times!

"Every one who is acquainted with the rudiments of the Hebrew and Chaldean languages, must know that God, in the holy Writings, very often spoke of Himself in the plural. The passages are numerous, in which, instead of a grammatical agreement between the subject and predicate, we meet with a construction, which some modern grammarians, who possess more of the so-called philosophical than of the real knowledge of the Oriental languages, call a pluralis excellentiae. This helps them out of every apparent difficulty. Such a pluralis excellentiae was, however, a thing unknown to Moses and the prophets. Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar, David, and all the other kings, throughout TeNaKh (the Law, the Prophets, and the Hagiographa) speak in the singular, and not as modern kings in the plural. They do not say we, but I, command; as in Gen. xli. 41; Dan. iii. 29; Ezra i. 2,
etc." (Rabbi Tzvi Nassi, The Great Mystery, 1970, p6, )

If you like, skip this aspect because you don't like it and come again to pretend as if I never responded to you.

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

4c) Are you telling us that other creatures also took part in the creation of man? Okay, if it is so, why is there no mention that man was also created by the divine coucil and was created in the image of the angels?
The worst is yet to come for you, why do we have passages like these in the OT:

“The Spirit of God (rucha el) has made me,
and the Breath of the Almighty gives me
life.” Job 33:4

“As God lives, who has taken away my
right, and the Almighty, who has made my
soul bitter; as long as my breath is in me,
and the Spirit of God is in
my nostrils; my lips will not speak
falsehood, and my tongue will not utter deceit.” Job 27:2-4“

“By the Word of the LORD the heavens
were made, and all their host by the
Breath/Spirit (ubarucha) of his mouth.”
Psalm 33:6

No divine council here. Only three distinct identities were responsible for creation in the OT, God, Spirit of God and the Word of God. Interpreting this in the light of Gen. 1:26 confirms the conviction of the Trinitarians.
Kembal-Cook, while there is evidence in the OT that the Spirit and Word of God took part in creation, where is there no shred of single evidence for your "divine council" taking part in creation"? Paul even came centuries later and said in Colossians that everything, including angels and your divine council were brought into existence by Jesus Christ.
Wake up dude, the devil is playing on your intelligence.

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

4d) Consult your Hebrew text.
"'osayik" is the second person singular feminine
plural participle which is translated to "maker" which literally means "makers".
"Bo' alayik" is the second person singular feminine
plural participle which is translated to "husband" which literally means "makers"

Another similar passage is Job 35:10

“But none saith, Where is God my maker (‘Osay), who giveth songs in the night;” Job 35:10

"'Osay" is first person singular masculine
plural participle which literally reads "makers"

Another example is:

“Remember also thy Creator (Bor’eka) in days of thy youth, While that the evil days come not, Nor the years
have arrived, that thou sayest, `I have no
pleasure in them.’” Ecclesiastes 12 :1

"Bor’eka" is a second person singular masculine
plural participle which literally reads "creators".

Here is how the YLT (Young's Literal Translation) translated one of these passages above:

Remember also thy CREATORS in days of thy youth,
While that the evil days come not, Nor the years
have arrived, that thou sayest, 'I have no
pleasure in them.' Ecclesiastes 12:1 YLT

4e) When I asked for the type of pronoun that God suppose to use if He is Triune, you did not respond. Is that not another way of saying, "Whether God use singular or plural pronoun, I will not believe in the Trinity. There is no type of pronoun that God will use that can convince me of His Triune nature". Is that not blasphemy against the Holy Spirit?

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

5) You are yet to prove the reason why the Trinity must be referenced to in the scriptures for it to be true. If you cannot deal with the seven propositions or facts taught in the Bible which the Trinity entails, then you are just screaming over and over again.

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

6) Sighs. Okay since the Apostle Paul never taught the Trinity in a creedal form, then we should reject it. What about other doctrines? For instance, you mention the impassibility of God but nowhere did Apostle Paul ever made a reference to it. There are many doctrines that Apotle Paul never expounded in creedal forms, are we now to reject them? Should we start with the virgin birth?
Why is it that you can't remain consistent in your dealings?

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

6b) When you said that the Jews believed in unitarianism, I hope you are not talking about the later anti-Messianic Jews because there are lots (you hear me, lotS) of evidences that proved that the Second Temple Jews believed in a nascent kind of Trinity. Not even Trypho the Jew could deny this when Justin Matyr in the second century cited some Jewish evidences.

Talk is cheap. Why don't we take a look at the Jewish literature:

And the Memra of the Lord God called to Adam, and said to him, Behold, the world which I have created is manifest before Me; and how thinkest thou that the place in the midst whereof thou art, is not revealed before Me? Where is the commandment which I taught thee? (Fragmentary Targum, Genesis 3)

It was when the ark went forward. Mosheh stood, with hands (outstretched) in prayer, and said, Arise now, O Memra of the Lord, in the power of Thy might, and let the adversaries of Thy people be scattered, and make Thine enemies flee before Thee. But when the ark rested, Mosheh lifted his hands in prayer, and said, O Memra of the Lord, turn from the strength of Thy anger, and return unto us in the goodness of Thy mercy, and bless the myriads and multiply the thousands of the children of Israel. (Fragmentary Targum, Numbers 10:35)

And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, "If the Memra of YHWH will be my support, and will keep me in the way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, so that I come again to my father's house in peace; then shall the Memra of YHWH BE MY GOD. (Targum Neofiti, Genesis 28)

And the Memra of the Lord said to Mosheh, He who spake to the world, Be, and it was; and who will speak to it, Be, and it will be. And he said, Thus shalt thou speak to the sons of Israel, EHEYEH hath sent me unto you. (Fragmentary Targum, Exodus 3)

Wait... There are more...

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

And I will set the Shekinah of My Glory among you, and my Word shall not abhor you, but the Glory of My Shekinah shall dwell among you, and My Word SHALL BE TO YOU for FOR A REDEEMING GOD, and you shall be unto My Name for a holy people. (Targum Pseudo Jonathan, Leviticus 26)

This day you have made the Memra of the LORD your God to be King over you so that he may be FOR YOU A SAVIOR GOD, [promising] to walk in ways that are right before him.” (Targum Neofiti, Deuteronomy 26)

When the Word of the Lord shall reveal Himself to redeem His people, He will say to all the nations: Behold now, that I am He who Is, and Was, and Will Be, and there is no other god beside Me. – Targum Pseudo-Jonathan, Deuteronomy 32

Amazingly, this last quotation from the Jewish targums reminds us of a passage in the NT:

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” – Revelation 1:8

I have evidences upon evidences to prove that the Second Temple Jews holds to a pluri-tarian nature of God even centuries before Jesus was born. For now, let's look at what an interesting Jewish scholar has to say.

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

Daniel Boyarin, in his latest book, The Jewish Gospels, said:

"It follows that the ideas about God that we identify as Christian are not innovations but may be deeply connected with some of the most ancient of Israelite ideas about God" (The Jewish Gospels, pg.47)

He earlier noted that:

"We know that other Jews adopted wholeheartedly, or simply inherited , the doubleness of Israel,s God... These became the progenitors of the Judaism of Jesus and his followers" (pg. 45-46)

Boyarin also said:

"Some Jews had been expecting this Redeemer to be a human exalted to the state of divinity, while others were expecting divinity to come down to earth and take on human form... Either way, we end up with a doubled godhead and a human-divine combination as the expected Redeemer" (pg. 34)

In a footnote at pg. 34, Boyarin said:

"In these ideas lie the seed that would eventually grow into doctrines of the Trinity and incarnation in all of their variations, variations that are inflected as well by Greek philosophical thinking, the seeds however, were sown by Jewish apocalyptic writings"

In his earlier book, Border Line, Boyarin laid out tons of evidences to prove that concept of God in ancient Judaism gave rise to the doctrine of the Trinity and incarnation.

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

Craig A. Evans beautifully summarizes the connection between the Johannine Logos and the Targums - a connection that leans towards the Trinitarian side.

1. The memra was in the beginning (Jn 1.1a; see §56 [Targ. Neof. Gen. 1.1]).

2. The memra was with God (Jn 1.1b; see §56 [Targ. Onq. Gen. 20.3]).

3. The memra was God (Jn 1.1c; see §57 [Targ. Ps-J. Deut. 32:39] and §58 [Targ. Neof. Gen. 1.26-27; Targ. Isa. 44:24]).

4. Everything came into being through the memra (Jn 1.3; see §58 [Frag. Targ. Exod. 3.14]).

5. In the memra was life (Jn 1.4; see §59 [Targ. Ps.-J. Gen. 3.24]).

6. The memra gave light to the world (Jn 1.4b-5; see §60 [Targ. Neof. Gen. 1.3; Targ. Neof. Exod. 12.42; Targ. Ps- J. Gen. 1.3]).

Every assertion regarding the ensarkos logos [incarnate Word – AR] in the Prologue’s final five verses, with the exception of the incarnation itself, is true of the targumic memra:

1. The memra ‘tabernacled’ among humankind (Jn 1.14a; see §62 [Targ. Ps.-J Exod. 29.42b-45; Targ. Ezek. 43.7b-8; Targ. Zech. 2.5(9)]).

2. The memra’s glory was seen (Jn 1.14b; see §62 [Targ. Isa. 6.1,5] cf. §33 [LXX Exod. 25.8]).

3. The memra is full of grace and truth (Jn 1.14c, 16, 17; see §62 [Targ. Ps.-J. Exod. 29.42b-45; 34.5-6; Targ. Isa. 48.1; 51.1; Targ. Jer. 42.5]).

4. The Baptist bears witness to the memra (Jn 1.15a; see §63 [Targ. Jer. 42.5]) and to the fact that he (the memra) preceded him, not followed him (Jn 1.15b; see §56 [Targ. Neof. Gen. 1.1]).

5. Although one cannot see God, one can see the incarnate Word (Jn. 1.14, 18; see §62 [Targ. Isa. 6.1, 5; cf. Jn 12.41] and §64 [Targ. Onq. Exod. 33.20]).
(Word and Glory: On the Exegetical and Theological Background of John’s Prologue, 1993, pg. 120-121)

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

So, by the evidences I have presented so far (and I still have more), I thinK I have given you a brief insight to the beliefs of the Second Temple Jews.
So you are yet to bring evidences where unitarianism was taught in the NT especially in the light of the fact some Jews hold to a pluri-tarian nature of God.

That the NT repeats that Jesus is a man is something we believe. What about other passages in the NT where the deity of Christ was portrayed? You and your fellow unitarians have been spending centuries trying to explain them away. We Trinitarians need not explain anything away.

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

7). Here is the passage for all to see:

"Who, being IN VERY NATURE GOD, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own
advantage;" Phil. 2:6

Here apostle Paul is telling us that Jesus has the same nature as that of God - something we Trinitarians have been saying all this while.


"rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, [b] being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a
man, he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the
highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee
should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that
Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Phil. 2:7-11

Ouch! That sounds like a passage in the OT which says:

"By myself I have sworn, my mouth has uttered in all integrity
a word that will not be revoked: Before me every knee will bow; by me every tongue will swear." Isaiah 45:23

It is very clear that Yahweh was the speaker in Isaiah. Yet Apostle Paul did not hesitate to apply the passage to the Jesus! If anything, Paul has an explaining to do concerning this passage if he is truly a unitarian like you.

Moreover, look at this passage again:

"yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for
whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus
Christ, through whom all things came and
through whom we live." 1 Corinthians 8:6

In the passage above, Apostle Paul was inserting Jesus into the Shema by taking the word "God", a translation from the Hebrew word "Elohim" and using it as a proper noun for The Father while taking the word "Lord", a translation from the Hebrew word "YHWH" and using it as a proper noun for Jesus.

Lastly, Jesus is not part of Yahweh but is Yahweh (that "is" is a verb of predication in the sense that Eve is Adam). You balk at us referring to Jesus as Yahweh yet you did not hesitate to refer to an angel as Yahweh Almighty in Zechariah 2:8-13. Your inconistency is very glaring to us.

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

8) For your beliefs in the Apostolic preaching to be true, there must be a set of facts that justify those beliefs otherwise the preaching is blind faith.
I do not expect any Apostle or Evangelist to cram all the Christian doctrines into a preaching at a go. Not even modern Trinitarian preachers do so.
Second, the Apostles preaching is based on the Economical Trinity i.e. the role of The Father, Son and Holy Spirit in our salvation. The immanent Trinity is reserved for later.
Third, asking me to believe in Jesus without believing in the NT corpus is VERY absurd. For me to believe in Jesus, there must be some essential things I must accept.
The examples I listed earlier are essential doctrines you must believe not to be saved but to JUSTIFY your faith by which you are saved.
For instance, if you think that the authority of the scriptures is not essential Christian belief, then on what basis do you want to preach Christ to me?

Thanks.

Andrew said...

Really enjoying your work OFP. If this was a boxing match the ref would have stopped it long ago as a TKO.

David Kemball-Cook said...

Thanks Oyebola
Have you finished yet?
If so I shall assemble my replies point by point
I am enjoying this
Thanks again

David Kemball-Cook said...

Thanks Oyebola
I assume you have finished, here my reply
Your comments are in >> <<
Dividing response into parts
1) On divine attributes, you said that Jesus possessed ALL of them.
>>I gave you 4 attributes and I told you that I could not list all the attributes and qualities here for you to see. Even possessing one divine attribute is enough to establish the deity of Christ<<
Why can't you give me a list?
I think that you should have thought about what the attributes are, before saying that Jesus possessed all of them!
You seem very uncertain what actually ARE the divine attributes!

>> However, can you think of any divine attribute that Jesus lacked?<<
I pointed out some time ago that he did not possess immortality, omnipresence, omniscience and impassibility.
Please read what I write!

a) Immortality
>>Please, define death<<
I define it as the Bible does, end of life.

>>And where does the Bible define it as the end of life? End of life in what sense?<<
Look in the Bible dictionary.

>>The Bible at least identifies two kinds of death. Look at this passage
Rev 20:14 Death and Hades b were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the SECOND DEATH, the lake of fire.
Death simply means the cessation of existence. According to the Bible, we do NOT CEASE to exist after PHYSICAL death. Your argument only carries weight IF AND ONLY IF physicality or materialist atheism is true. When we say someone die, it means that the person NO LONGER exists in the physical state<<

Yes, there are two deaths for humans, you are correct.
The death that Jesus died on the cross was the first death.
But so what?
God is immortal in the sense of being incapable of suffering either kind.
Jesus was not immortal because he suffered the first kind.

And I repeat the Bible says that Jesus died in the same sense as it says that God cannot die.
So even if there is a different definition, your problems remain.
this is obvious. It is logically impossible for the same being to die and also at the same time be incapable of death.

>>Then that means that Father too is dead! The Father did not exist in the physical body just as the Jesus too did not exist in the physical body for three days<<

I have no idea what you are talking about.
God is incapable of death (in any sense)
The Bible says that Jesus died, and I think that would be difficult for you to refute!
Therefore Jesus was not incapable of death.
The argument is logically valid, it would apply to any attribute X
God has the attribute not X (eg incapable of suffering death of any sense)
Jesus has X (eg capable of suffering death of any sense)
Therefore Jesus does not have the attribute of not X
Simple logic. It does not depend on any definition of death
Whatever the definition, the argument goes through

David Kemball-Cook said...

1b) Omnipresence
We are talking about Jesus in his earthly life.
But even post resurrection, there is nothing in the Bible that says he is omnipresent, just that he is in all believers.
Is Jesus on the far side of Pluto right now, do you think?

I do not see anywhere in your response where you replied to my points
Where does the Bible say that Jesus in his earthly life was omnipresent?

c) Omniscience
>> There are many things His Divine consciousness never related to His human consciousness and there are good reasons why this is so ... He has to know everything<<
So you believe Jesus had two consciousnesses! This is interesting.
Have you thought this out?
Any theologians who agree with you on this?
Anywhere in the Bible say this?
Any ecumenical councils say this, or have you just come with this theory on your own?
Tell me please, if Jesus knows something in his divine mind, does he know it?
If so, then he would have known the time of his coming.
Does it come from the apostles' teaching or from the 5th century?

You now say
>>Jesus is ONE person with with both human and divine consciousness. In his waking consciousness, He is ignorant of somethings but not in His underlying or "subliminal" or "subconsciousness" as WLC puts it.<<

So you follow WLC on this.
Are you under the impression that what WLC thinks is the same as what 'the Church' believes?
If so, you ought to know that he does not represent the Church!
Do you follow him in his social trinitarianism?
Have you thought through your beliefs?
And where do the apostles teach that Jesus is one person with with both human and divine consciousness?
You did not answer my question
Tell me please, if Jesus knows something in his divine mind, does he know it?

>>The Church not only believed that Jesus added a human nature but that He also added a human soul to Himself<<
But I asked you where in the BIBLE it says this.
Silence from you!

>>Second, concerning the ignorance of the son, let me play the devil's advocate by referring you to another OT passage similar to Jesus "ignorance" in Mark 13:32: Gen 18:21 I will go down now, and see whether their deeds are as bad as the reports which have come to me. If not, I will know<<
OK so are you denying that God is omniscient?
Is your reason for not giving me a list of divine attributes that you don't know what they are?

"FOR HE KNEW ALL MEN'
I think you are a bit confused
Are you arguing that A) Jesus WAS actually omniscient, despite Mk 13:32, or have you now changed your mind, arguing that B) God is NOT omniscient
or both A and B?
Please try to be clear this time.

d) Impassibility
Thanks. So it seems you are denying that God is impassible.
This is why we need that list of divine attributes, isn't it?
I think that you should have thought about what the attributes are, before saying that Jesus possessed all of them.

e) Omnipotence (In his earthly life)
What evidence for you have for this?
You give a confused reply, because i think you are not sure about whether God is omnipotent or if He is, in what sense He is.
This is why we need that list.
I think that you should have thought about what the attributes are, before saying that Jesus possessed all of them

David Kemball-Cook said...

3) Who speaks when God speaks, eg in Is 45:6?
’That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else'

>>One of the persons can speak in the first person<<
Yes of course. But if it is the Father speaking in Is 45:6, why does he say there is none beside him?
There should be two beside him, should there not?
>>The Son and the Holy Spirit are not Gods apart from The Father. The Word and Spirit of God does not exist apart from God. It is completely acceptable for any of the divine persons to say, "I am the LORD and there is none else". This perfectly comaptible with the Trinity<<
I don't think you understand the point.

Tell me please who is speaking in this verse.
>>It could be any one person<<
>> Even if it was the Father speaking here, it does not refute the deity of The Son or Holy Spirit. Something similar occurred in Deuteronomy 32:39<<
Irrelevant to the question.
But if it is the Father speaking in Is 45:6, why does he say there is none beside him?

>>How do you explain Zechariah 2:8-13 where Yahweh Almighty is referring to another Yahweh Almighty that sent Him? You did not address this passage. Why avoid it like a plague?<<
I don't remember you raising this passage before. It seems to me that God and one of His messengers / angels are talking. This is common, where the voice of Yahweh and the voice of His angel are conflated. See eg Gen 16, 22 and Ex 3.
Tell me please what YOU think is going on here, who is speaking in each verse
>> No, you are yet to do justice to Zechariah 2:8-13<<
You do not answer the question.
What is your understanding of this passage, please?

David Kemball-Cook said...

4) >>Second, if the use of singular personal pronouns for God demonstrates His unity what about numerous instances were (sic) plural nouns and verbs are used for God?<<
a) >>If Yahweh is Triune, then what kind of pronoun do you expect Him to use?<<
If Yahweh is triune, you should have said 'what kind of pronoun do you expect THEM to use?'
Trinitarians are not consistent with their use of language, are they?
They routinely and incorrectly use singular pronouns for God, because, I suspect, it would sound too silly to use plural, I suggest
I mean, does it not sound silly to talk about God as a They?

>>Trinitarians are comfortable with the fact that both singular and plural nouns, verbs and pronouns are used for God simultaneously - it is another assurance that God is a multiplicity in a unity<<
I don't care how much inconsistency in language you are 'comfortable' with
You could be 'comfortable' with outright contradiction, but that would not make your view correct!
You do not answer the questions.

b) >>Second, there is no evidence for plural of majesty in the Hebrew scriptures. That term is later invention by desperate unitarians to explain away the use of plural pronouns. Or can you give us an example where plural of majesty is used in the Hebrew scriptures?<<
1 Kings 12:9
'And he said unto them, What counsel give ye that WE may answer this people, who have spoken to me, saying, Make the yoke which thy father did put upon us lighter?'
>>The passage in 1 Kings 12:9 is not a plural of majesty AT ALL. The plural was used because the answer given to the people is the answer formulated by Rehoboam and his pals. Since Rehoboam and his friends are the ones who will formulate the response, it is hardly surprising for them to use the royal "We"<<
That is your opinion, or perhaps that of the authors of the articles you read.
But no, it is Rehoboam who answers the people, not he and his pals.

Ezra 4:18
'The letter which ye sent unto US hath been plainly read before me.'
>>Second, read the letter from the beginning again in Ezra 4:11. It states thus:
" To King Artaxerxes: Your servants, the men in the region beyond the River, an now"
'More than one person was in view. The letter is latter written on behalf of many people hence the plural pronoun is not surprising at all<<
I don't think you understand
The king is talking about his answer to them, and he says 'we'.
He is speaking of himself as 'we'

>>Third, why is that there is no ancient evidence for this "plural of majesty"?<<
I have just quoted the OT.
You quote a rabbi. I quote the OT.

c) >>That God is speaking to a divine council is VERY unacceptable and this is a violation of monotheism. How many people created man? Are you telling us that some of God's creatures were responsible for the creation of man?<<
It does not violate monotheism for God to have created subsidiary 'divine' beings, nor for Him to have had agents in creation. After all, this is Logos theology, a precursor of the Trinity.
>>Are you telling us that other creatures also took part in the creation of man?<<
No I did not say that.
Logos theology has God creating all things by the Son, who was not himself created.

But in any case I think that Gen 1:26 is plural of emphasis or majesty, not God speaking to divine council

David Kemball-Cook said...

4d) >>'Fourth, you are yet to address the use of plural verbs and nouns used for God. For instance, God is said to be the "husbands" and "makers" in Isaiah 54:5?<<
Not in my Bible. What translation are you using?
>>Consult your Hebrew text
'osayik" is the second person singular feminine
plural participle which is translated to "maker" which literally means "makers".
"Bo' alayik" is the second person singular feminine
plural participle which is translated to "husband" which literally means "makers"<<
Yes but all the translators render it as singular, so they must have a good reason for so doing.
If we knew enough Hebrew, we might be able to agree or disagree with them.
But it is striking that none of them translate as plural.
And you did not say what translation you are using.

>>Another example is:
“Remember also thy Creator (Bor’eka) in days of thy youth, While that the evil days come not, Nor the years
have arrived, that thou sayest, `I have no pleasure in them.’” Ecclesiastes 12 :1
"Bor’eka" is a second person singular masculine plural participle which literally reads "creators"<<
Yes indeed. Sometimes a plural word is used for God
The most common example is 'Elohim'
But no trinitarian apologist that I know of considers that a proof that God is more than one person.
Strong's says that the plurality in Elohim is due to the plurality of God's attributes
But see below on this
It is not clear what kind of plurality of God you think that the Jews believed in.

4e) >>When I asked for the type of pronoun that God suppose to use if He is Triune, you did not respond. Is that not another way of saying, "Whether God use singular or plural pronoun, I will not believe in the Trinity. There is no type of pronoun that God will use that can convince me of His Triune nature". Is that not blasphemy against the Holy Spirit?<<
If God were triune, I would expect the 7000+ to 4 ratio in the Bible to be reversed in favour of plural.
The charge of blasphemy would of course have to be related to what the NT says about the criteria for it.
Is there anything in the NT about not believing God is plural to be blasphemous?

David Kemball-Cook said...

5) Can you tell me where is the Trinity referenced in the Bible? Please cite the verses
>>What about Trinity proof-texts like Matthew 28:19 and 2 Corinthian 13:14?<<
You misunderstand. I am asking for where the word 'God' is used, referring to the Trinity.
If the Trinity is the God of the Bible, then there should be references to It all through the Bible, shouldn't there?
You have not answered this question, perhaps because you cannot.

>>You are yet to prove the reason why the Trinity must be referenced to in the scriptures for it to be true. If you cannot deal with the seven propositions or facts taught in the Bible which the Trinity entails, then you are just screaming over and over again<<
You do not seem to understand the question
I am asking for where the word 'God' is used, referring to the Trinity

6) Can you say where the apostle Paul lays out this doctrine that ' God is a collection of three divine, co-eternal and co-dependent Persons each with their own mind and intelligence functioning in a PERFECT unity?'
You cannot tell me.
So it seems you agree with me that that Paul does not teach this doctrine.
But your explanation why not (virgin birth etc not taught) is not to the point.
You trinitarians claim that all believers need to acknowledge God as Trinity.
It is an essential doctrine, right?
So you have put yourself into the position of saying that essential doctrines of Christianity were not taught by the apostles.

>>Now, let me do something similar, if unitarianism if true, please where in the Bible is it taught?<<
Fair point. My answer is that everyone at the time, Jew, Christian and Gentile, understood that YHWH was a single person and that Jesus is a real human being. This is the background assumption of the NT. God is referred to with singular pronouns. Jesus is stated to be a man numerous times. Therefore there was no need to teach it.
By contrast there was every need to teach a Trinity. The Jews did not believe that YHWH was three persons
See below

>>6b) When you said that the Jews believed in unitarianism, I hope you are not talking about the later anti-Messianic Jews because there are lots (you hear me, lotS) of evidences that proved that the Second Temple Jews believed in a nascent kind of Trinity<<
'nascent kind of Trinity'
I think it is time for some more clarification on what you think the Trinity is, exactly.
See 9) below
Just let me note that the idea that YHWH is one person who has subordinates (Word, Spirit, angels etc) is completely different from the idea that YHWH is some collective of three co-equal persons.
These quotes from Jewish literature (thanks) seem to express the former
Time for some clarification I hope

David Kemball-Cook said...

7) Where does Paul lay out the doctrine of the 'deity of Christ'?
You have not done so, all you have done is cite passages where, possibly, it is mentioned that Jesus is God.
Where does Paul actually ARGUE for the Messiah 'being' YHWH?
Please cite the passages in the epistles.

You cite Phil 2
But this passage is about the imitation of Christ, not his deity.
>>'If I lay out all the passages, you won't bother to read them and you will pretend as if I never did so in the first place. Why don't we deal with these passages ONE by ONE. Let's start with the Christological hymn Philippians 2:5-11<<
OK thanks. Where in this passage does Paul say that Jesus 'is' God?
And it would be useful to know what you think is meant by Jesus 'being' God, and whether that is the same as what Paul would understood by it.
Does it mean that Jesus is one and the same as YHWH, or part of YHWH, or something else?
The question that Tony Costa was unwilling to answer
I find that clarity is usually the enemy of trinitarian discourse, but you seem a bit more focussed than most.
So I look forward to your clarification. See also 9).

>>Here is the passage for all to see:
"Who, being IN VERY NATURE GOD, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own
advantage;" Phil. 2:6
Here apostle Paul is telling us that Jesus has the same nature as that of God - something we Trinitarians have been saying all this while<<
But there are two problems with that interpretation
1) If God is triune by nature, that would imply that Jesus is also triune by nature.
Is that your view?
2) The word 'morphe' does not actually mean 'nature' in the NT, but ' something like visible form'. See eg
'After that he appeared in another form unto two of them ...' (Mk 16:12)

>> ... Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father<<
Where does this say that Jesus is God?

>>Moreover, look at this passage again:
"yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for
whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus
Christ, through whom all things came and
through whom we live." 1 Cor 8:6
In the passage above, Apostle Paul was inserting Jesus into the Shema by taking the word "God", a translation from the Hebrew word "Elohim" and using it as a proper noun for The Father while taking the word "Lord", a translation from the Hebrew word "YHWH" and using it as a proper noun for Jesus<<

How do you know that Paul is revising the Shema? (this interpretation has only been thought of in the last 20 years!)
How do you know that 'God' here refers to the Father alone, and not to the whole Trinity?
How do you know that 'Lord' is a translation of 'YHWH'?

>>Lastly, Jesus is not part of Yahweh but is Yahweh (that "is" is a verb of predication in the sense that Eve is Adam). You balk at us referring to Jesus as Yahweh yet you did not hesitate to refer to an angel as Yahweh Almighty in Zechariah 2:8-13. Your inconistency is very glaring to us<<

This is confusion on your part.
You say 'Jesus is God' means 'Jesus has all the divine attributes'
It is false or unclear, IMO because you don't seem to know what are 'all the divine attributes' (see 1), but the meaning is clear.
However this is completely different from an angel speaking the words of YHWH.
Seeing an angel 'as YHWH' in this representational sense is totally different from an angel 'being' YHWH in the predicative sense

David Kemball-Cook said...

8) Can you tell me where the apostles preach the Trinity in their preaching in Acts?
You seem to agree that it is not preached.
Your examples are irrelevant, because we are talking about essential Christian beliefs.
You uys think that we have to believe in a Trinity to be saved, don't you?
But you have not answered me if you believe it is essential to believe in the Trinity to be a true Christian. Why not?
If so, then potential converts would need to be told about the Trinity in the preaching, wouldn't they?

>> For your beliefs in the Apostolic preaching to be true, there must be a set of facts that justify those beliefs otherwise the preaching is blind faith.
I do not expect any Apostle or Evangelist to cram all the Christian doctrines into a preaching at a go. Not even modern Trinitarian preachers do so...<<
You miss the point again.
Tell me please, is it possible to be a true C hristian without believing that God is a Trinity or that Jesus is God?
Please answer this question honestly.

9) it would help if you could define your belief exactly.
You say
>>> three different persons shares (sic) the same divine qualities and attributes. The creedal Trinity was meant to explain this concept.<<<
So who or what is the one God of the Bible, YHWH?
Is YHWH a They, a He or an It, or all of these ...?
Is YHWH A) all three persons somehow together, or
B) the essence they share, or
C) something else?
You suggest that you are a follower of a WLC, so perhaps you are a social trinitarian like he is?
In that case you would go for A.
Looking forward to some clarification
Thanks again

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

DKC, did you really think you responded to my arguments? Most of your replies is just mere repetition - another assurance that you have no idea concerning what you are blabbering about.

1) Don't be silly, you can't expect me to list all the divine qualities of The Son here. That is the reason why I gave you some. Then I challenge you to bring me any divine that you think Jesus lacked. Why didn't you bring all the divine attributes? Why only some? Even those attributes you think Jesus lacked is as a result of your ignorance about the incarnation and Trinity.

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

1a) Yes, we know that death is end of life. But which life? As a theist, two realms exist. So, CAN death only mean the end of BOTH spiritual life and physical life? No, at least according to the Bible, because of passages like these

"For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an
eternal house in heaven, not built by human
hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish
to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our
heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be
swallowed up by life. Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who
has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing
what is to come. Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body
we are away from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home
with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or
away from it." 2 Corinthians 5:1-9

In this passage, Paul was contrasting the earthly body with the heaven and glorified body. According to Apostle Paul in this particular, death means shedding of one's earthly body/tent.

Apostle Peter also said something similar here:

"I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body" 2 Peter 1:13

In the aforementioned passages, death simply means the ripping apart of soul from the bodies because humans are embodied souls.

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

Of course, God is incapable of suffering either kind! The reason why God could not suffer the first death was because HE HAS NO HUMAN BODY TO SHED IN THE FIRST PLACE! As simple as ABC.
God is immortal in the sense that He cannot wink out of existence in the spiritual realm. He exists forever.
Now, the burden of proof is on you to prove that Jesus ceased to exist in the spiritual realm during the 3 days.
So, on what grounds of the definition of death do you wish to refute the deity of the Son?
Is it because Jesus did not live in a body for three days? Or is it because Jesus did not exist in the spiritual realm as well for 3 days? If the former, then what about The Father that did not even exist in a body at all? If the latter, then the burden of proof is on you to prove why Jesus ceased to exist from the spiritual realm while other men don't do so?
That is the reason why I said that your argument is only valid if materialism is true - which is not! Theists at least must hold to cartesian duality.
You have no idea concerning what you are talking about. Or do you?

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

1b) Concerning omnipresence, you don't think that Jesus is in Pluto. Do you? Since you believe that The Father too is omnipresent, do you believe that He is sitting on a throne in your bedroom or kitchen? Seems you cannot answer that. Why? Because your theology is BADLY flawed. People don't become great theologians with this childish thinking of yours.

Second, I quoted Biblical passages where Jesus is present in believers at once. Please, how did you think Jesus managed to accomplish such a feat if He is a mere man?

Third, there is a difference between having a quality and exercising the quality. The fact that I am a good cook does not mean that I cook everywhere and everytime. This is the particular reason why I said earlier that your theology is badly flawed. With a higher precision, The Father and The Son are present everywhere in The Holy Spirit (remember that the Holy Spirit is both the Spirit of Father and Son). It is the role of the Holy Spirit to be present everywhere.
Look at the vision of Heavenly worship in John 5ff. Where worship and adoration is being given to both The Father and Son, The Holy Spirit is rather represented with seven eyes and seven lampstands because He is everywhere and He is in creation convicting them to worship God. Since creatures cannot see everywhere, I can't imagine how they can see the Holy Spirit that is everywhere.

Lastly, Jesus being able to dwell in believers is still enough to establish His omnipresence. Afterall, it would be silly to say, "Oh, The Father is omnipresent. He is sitting on His throne in my kitchen, bedroom, store toilet and even in my cupboard".
This is the aspect where unitarians
Childish theology could not reconcile the omnipresence of God with His transcedence and Heavenly status.

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

1c) That Jesus has *two* consciousness is something we derived from the Bible and the teachings of the early church. Though it is not explicitly stated, at least the Bible in John 1:1-18 introduced the deity of the Logos and went on in vs 14 to say that the Logos became flesh. As we read from other passages in like Luke 2:40 where it said that Jesus grew in wisdom. This means that Jesus has a rational human soul and body. He added them to His divine nature.
Definitely, The Divine Son qua His incarnate status, has two kinds of consciousness - the waking/human consciousness and the subliminal/divine consciousness.
Jesus as a person can switch to any consciousness if He so wishes. The reason why Jesus did not recall the day of His Parousia from His divine memory was because Jesus was not meant to reveal that day in order to avoid unwatchfulness on our part. Jesus, here, is speaking as a human prophet.
Moreover, you are not paying attention to our doctrine of incarnation. We believed that, as inspired by Phil. 2:5-11 and theology of Hebrews, Jesus mostly refused to exercise His Divine prerogatives in order to achieve full humanity.

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

Second, I was not denying the omniscience of God. I brought out the passage in Genesis in order to prove that you hardly know what you are talking about. The *problems* you identify with Jesus being God are also the *problems* we can also identify with Yahweh being God. In the name of being consistent, how do you reconcile Genesis 18:21 with the omniscience of The Father?
In fact, that is the reason why I said that I am playing the devil's advocate. Christians reconcile Gensis 18:21 with the omniscience of God to atheists and anti-Christian adherents MUCH the same way the site I gave you above reconciled Mark 13:32 with the omniscience of The Son. If you can do a better job, please let us know.

Third, you did not address the passages I brought in the defense of the omniscience of The Son despite the fact that I have already addressed Mark 13:32. If you know that you cannot address these passages, then keep quiet and stop embarrassing yourself.

Fourth, I have already explained earlier that Jesus has two divine consciousness. Jesus mostly remained in His waking/human consciousness on earth. However there are times when He use His divine knowledge to tap information. An example is demonstrated here:

"Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves,“Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can
forgive sins but God alone? Immediately Jesus KNEW IN HIS SPIRIT that this was what they were thinking in their hearts,
and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things?" Mark 2:6-8

Here, Jesus was tapping into His Divine consciousness to get information. Since we know that Jesus as a mere man could not read thoughts of other men, then how did He read their thoughts BY HIS OWN SPIRIT? Have you tried doing that with your own spirit?

You are positing a false dilemna on me. I don't throw away one passage to accept another. I rather accept both. So, Jesus is not omniscient as per His humanity (e.g. Mark 13:32) while Jesus is omniscient as per His Divine nature(e.g. Colossians 2:2-3,9). Unitarians and docetists should beware, Jesus is God-Man.

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

Sorry, the part that reads "Jesus has two divine consciousness" is an error. I mean, "Jesus has two consciousness"

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

1d) Please where in the Bible is the impassibility of the God taught? Not even in concept and not even in explicit creedal forms. For someone who insists that the Trinity can only be true if it was expounded in creedal and philosophical words in the Bible, one would expect DKC to remain consistent and tell us why he believed in the impassaibility of God when, apart from the passages that seemingly contradict this doctrine, there are no passages that taught this doctrine whether philosophically, conceptually or in creedal form.
Second, I am not saying that I do not believe in God to be impassible. I am just telling you that pushing the doctrine of impassibility too far will turn you to a deist. In fact, when it comes to the impassibility of God, I am very cautious. By impassibility, I mean that God is controlled by passions in the same way humans are. God does not give into knee-jerks. For instance, a teacher who before leaving home had a bitter quarrel with his wife might get to school still being a foul mood. Sometimes, the teacher can yell because he is still bitter from the earlier quarrel. However, such does not happen with God. Just because my friend is sinning and God is angry, that does not means that God will be angry with me too at the very time my friend commits sin. God does not give into knee-jerk reactions.
However, I believe that God is Love and CAN BE GRIEVED. It is not a sign of weaknesss but a sign of greatness. He is not one aloof God that has a cold heart of stone.

DKC, the doctrine of impassibility of God was taught by theologians to protect the doctrine of immutability of God. Unfortunately, some people confuse impassibility with impassivity.

Lastly, Jesus suffered physical pain and tortures as per His human nature. In fact, that is the very reason why He incarnated in the first instance. Orthodox Trinitarians preserve the distinction between the two natures of Christ while unitarians like you confuse them together such that you keep chasing after the wind.

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

1e) You are yet to address this passage I brought forward previously:

“And I WILL DO WHATEVER YOU ASK IN
MY NAME, so that the Father may be
glorified in the Son. If you ask me
anything in my name, I WILL DO IT.”
John 14:13-14

How can Jesus do everything we ask if He is not omnipotent?

Second, the passage in Revelations depict Jesus with seven horns. Horn is symbol of power and strength while seven is a symbol of perfection. In other words, Jesus is perfect in power and strength.

Lastly, since I have brought passages that demonstrate that Jesus CAN do everything, pls do you know of anything you think that it is impossible for Christ to do?

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

... To be continued later

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

3) It could be any of the divine persons speaking In Isaiah Isaiah 45:6. The Son and Holy Spirit are not gods beside the Father. Jesus made that clear in John 17:3. That is the reason why the early church fathers described Jesus as God of the very God - in other words, Jesus is not a renegade deity or standalone God. The same goes for the Holy Spirit.
I also used a similar example in Deut. 32:39 to illustrate my point. However, you could not refute so it is hardly surprising for me to see brush it aside as irrelevant. However the evidence is there.

"See now that I myself am he! There is no god
besides me. I put to death and I BRING TO LIFE, I
have wounded and I will heal, AND NO ONE CAN DELIVER OUT OF MY HAND" Deut 32:39

Only one person was speaking here. Then why is it that Jesus in the NT applied the passage to both Himself when He said:

"I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. NO ONE CAN SNATCH THEM OUT OF MY HAND.
My Father who has given them to Me is greater than all.
NO ONE CAN SNATCH THEM OUT OF MY FATHER'S HAND. " John 10:28-29

The Greek LXX Deut 32:39 has a striking resemblance with John 10:39.
Now why is it that Jesus applied the verse to The Father and Himself in John when the passage in OT was spoken by one person? How can you explain that?
Well, Jesus gave us the answer in the following verse:

"I and the Father are ONE." John 10:30
Can Trinitarians be even more clearer than this?
John introduced Jesus as the Word of God. Jesus and Father are one at least in the sense my word and I are one. The major difference is that, in the case of God, His Word is an intelligent person. The word of God is truly living.
So, DKC, Jesus had answered your question on Isaiah 45:6 by doing something similar with Deuteronomy 32:39. If you think that Jesus is not making sense, please let us know and stop pretending as if there are no answers to your childish questions.

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

Concerning Zechariah 2:8-13, I can see that you are pulling one your tricks again. Here is my previous reply that you choose to ignore - the reply I made on November 29, 2018 at 6:30 AM

>>>>> Oh my!

First, are you telling me that we can refer to angels as Yahweh ALMIGHTY? Lol. This passage had been giving unitarians a difficult time - even the Rabbinical Jews, being at their wits end decided to emend the passage.

Second, have you been listening to arguments of the Trinitarians who argued for the deity of The Son in the OT? A lot of articles have been written about the Divine Angel of Yahweh in the OT. Passages about a specific messenger that is identified as the pre-incarnate Christ. Look at these articles below for more info

https://www.answering-islam.org/authors/rogers /malak_yahweh1.html

https://www.answering-islam.org/authors/rogers /malak_yahweh2.html

https://www.answering-islam.org/authors/rogers /malak_yahweh3a.html

https://www.answering-islam.org/authors/rogers /malak_yahweh3b.html <<<<<

Considering the fact that you ignore my comment above and pretend that I never responded to your say on Zechariah, is that another backdoor admission that you cannot respond to the passage in Zechariah 2:8-13? Please if you cannot respond, let me know.

So, No, you are yet to do justice to Zechariah 2:8-13.

For now, I have other matters to attend to. To be continued later...

David Kemball-Cook said...

Oyebola, thanks
I am waiting for your complete response before I reply
Regards
David

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

4a) It does not sound silly for Trinitarians to use singular pronouns for God. Maybe you can tell that to your polytheist friend next door. Trinitarians believe in both the multiplicty and unity of God. Monism denies the former while polytheists deny the latter.
We are also curious as to the reason why Unitarians hesitate to use plural pronouns for God whereas God used it for Himself.
Saying that our position is a contradiction shows how ignorant you are. We are more concerned with what the Bible teaches. We should be less concerned with something that sounds "contradictory" to some short-sighted Christians.

4b) 1 Kings 12:9
Whether it is Rehoboam that only appeared before the people, the fact still remains that the answer was formulated by Rehoboam and his pals.
Afterall, why did you think Rehoboam did not say to the elders "advise us" to the elders? It was because he wasn't formualting any answers with the elders. But with his buddies, this is different.
Moreover, the way Rehoboam speaks is still very natural.
In your first comment, you said:

"And do WE know this is what John
means?"

So, DKC, when did you become a king that uses plural of majesty?

Concerning Ezra 4:18, I still don't see any plural of majesty. Of course, Ezra did not send the letter by a mailing service to the king. The letter was first received by the subordinates before being read to the king. So many people received the letter. However, in the following verse, the king said:

"I issued an order and a search was made, and it was found that this city has a long history of revolt against kings and has been a place of rebellion and sedition." Ezra 4:19

The king did not use the word "we" because He was the one solely responsible for giving such orders.

Third, I quote a rabbi and I am willing to bring in expert ANE scholars who believed that plural of majesty does not exist during the OT times. Even if it exists, no evidence that it is rampant among the Jews. Why is it that nobody knew about this poetic device until the 4th century AD? That's curious.

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

4c) Oh yes, it violates monotheism to say that other creatures took part in creation. What about this passage in Isaiah?

"This is what the LORD says-- your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the LORD, who has made all things, WHO ALONE stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth BY MYSELF" Isaiah 44:24

The same is said of the Word of God:

"By the WORD OF THE LORD were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth." Psalm 33:6

And also of the Spirit of God:

"The Spirit of God HAS MADE ME; the breath of the Almighty gives me life." Job 33:4

These are the only three entities that are said to be involved in creation. These are the entities present in account of Creation in Genesis 1. Isn't it obvious?

Apart from the fact that you are yet to prove the use of plural of majesty during OT times, Genesis 1:26 cannot be a plural of majesty. God is saying, "COME, let us make man in our own image". The word "come" in this verse indicates that God is speaking to other persons. Then the Bible went to say that the Word of God and Spirit made everything. Isn't it obvious enough?
Moreover, plural of majesty does not apply to Genesis 3:22. God says, "man as become like ONE of US". This ain't plural of majesty at all.

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

4d) Then when I bring where plural nouns and pronouns are used for God, you started explaining them away like saying that there is plurality of attributes in God and that it is plural of majesty.
Trinitarians can agree with such explanations because they have better evidences than arguing based on singular or plural nouns, verbs and pronouns.
You said that if God is triune, then the ratio of plural to singular should be 7000 to 4. Even if it is so, what is assurance that these 7,000 pronouns cannot be explained away as plural of majesty? Even polytheists can jump at this opportunity.
Even if plural pronouns are used all through, you will still beat a retreat by appealing to plural of majesty and "divine council" theory. Since the plural pronouns, are to you, useless to prove the multiplicity of God, then why coming back again to insist on it? Is this not the reason why I said that you are blaspheming against the Holy Spirit? When I say that you are blasphenmng against the Holy Spirit, it means that you are explaining evidences away and raising the bar so high that you will always demand for one more hurdle for God to jump for Him to convince you.

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

5) I am still waiting for how you arrived at the criterion that Trinity must be taught in philosophical terms for it to be accepted.
I have already laid the seven basic definition of the Trinity earlier, the burden of proof is on you to refute each of the 7 facts. If you cannot do that, then you have no business refuting the Trinity.
You believe in the impassibility of God yet I cannot recall a passage in the scripture that teaches such. This demonstrates the kind of inconsistent life you live as a unitarian.

Second, the word "God" is nowhere used to refer to the Trinity in the NT. And so what? How does that refute the seven basic faccts that comprises the definition of the Trinity? "Theos" in the OT is used as a proper noun for the Father though is sometimes used qualitatively for The Son - in the same sense that the word "Adam" is a proper noun for the first man on earth yet the word is used qualitatively for Eve and her descendants. It seems that the issue of semantics gives you loads of problems.

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

6) Is that another way of saying that believing the authority and authenticity of the scriptures is not an essential Christian belief? Answer. If so, why did Apostle Paul not "lay" out the doctrine in a passage?
The philosophical arguments for the existence of God is not "laid" in Pauline epistles, are now telling us that believing in the existence of God is not an essential Christian belief?
You are not making sense at all. Keep deluding yourself.

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

6b) First, Trinitarians believe that The Son and Holy Spirit are subordinate to The Father only in POSITION but are co-equal in nature and essence. A wife is subordinate to her husband but that does not make her inferior to him. That fact that you are subordinate to your father does not make you less human than him.

Second, how does the quotes from Jewish literature support your unitarian position. I bet you did not read them. Here are some:

And I will set the Shekinah of My Glory among you, and my Word shall not abhor you, but the Glory of My Shekinah shall dwell among you, and My Word SHALL BE TO YOU for FOR A REDEEMING GOD, and you shall be unto My Name for a holy people. (Targum Pseudo Jonathan, Leviticus 26)

Do you believe that Jesus is your redeeming God?

This day you have made the Memra of the LORD your God to be King over you so that he may be FOR YOU A SAVIOR GOD, [promising] to walk in ways that are right before him.” (Targum Neofiti, Deuteronomy 26)

Do you believe that Jesus is your saviour God?

When the Word of the Lord shall reveal Himself to redeem His people, He will say to all the nations: Behold now, that I am He who Is, and Was, and Will Be, and there is no other god beside Me. – Targum Pseudo-Jonathan, Deuteronomy 32

Do you believe that there is no God beside Jesus?

And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, "If the Memra of YHWH will be my support, and will keep me in the way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, so that I come again to my father's house in peace; then shall the Memra of YHWH BE MY GOD. (Targum Neofiti, Genesis 28)

So, Kemball-Cook, when did you accept Jesus to be your God?
How these Jewish quotes support your position is completely beyond me.

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

7) So you expect us to believe that for Paul to argue for the deity of Christ, he must say "Hello, I am Paul. I will be teaching you that Jesus is YHWH in my epistle. Now be attentive as I now lay out my case..."

Paul apply YHWH passages in the OT to Christ several times.
Paul renders sacred worship and devotion to Jesus
Paul believed that Jesus created everything
Paul believed in Jesus to be the Giver of Life
Moreover, why the hurry? Our agreement is that we will treat it one passage at a time. We are still on Philippians 2:6-11.

Second, I never argued that the Christological is about us imitating the deity of Christ. That's absurd. We are asked to imitate the HUMILITY of Christ who despite being in the form/nature of God did not exercise His divine privileges but rather appeared in form of a man in order to accomplish the work His Father gave Him. In other words, if Jesus can submit to The Father despite the fact that they are of the same form/nature (morphe), then can men not demonstrate so such in a likewise manner?

Third, we've been qualifying our statement over and over again yet you stubbornly refused to listen. When we say that Jesus is YHWH, we mean that Jesus can be identified with YHWH of the Old Testament. We have at least two individuals named YHWH in the OT. In fact, the divine angel who declared the divine name to Moses in Exodus 3 is the pre-incarnate Christ. Consult Anthony Rogers' articles I listed earlier for more info.

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

7b) Whether form or nature, our argument still stands. Or how do you explain what Paul mean by Jesus being in the form of God and later in form of man? Please can you explain that aspect to us?

Second, no, Jesus is not triune by nature. You are committing the equivocal fallacy.
For instance,
Lions are cats
Does that means that the cat lurking about in our neighbourhood is a lion?
Humans are multi-cellular organisms
My cheek cell is human
Does that means that my cheek cell is a multi-cellular organism?
DKC, you ain't making sense with your philosophical jargons.

Trinitarians do not hold to a rigid definition of the word "God". Unitarians read YOUR own definition of "God" into our creedal formulations in order to accuse us of making errors.
The statement
God is triune
"God" here is a class where The Father, Son and Holy Spirit belongs to.
So when we say that Jesus is God, we do not mean it in the same sense the word "God" is used above. That is the reason why Trinitarians avoid the statement "God is Jesus".

David W. Bercot warns:

"When Christians do not understand the difference between nature, personal attributes and order, they end up with a confused understanding of the Trinity. They also misconstrue what the early Christians taught about The Father and The Son." (David W. Bercot, A Dictionary of Early Christian beliefs Pg. 114)

So try and understand our doctrine again before spewing jargons.

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

7c) First, in Philippians 2:10-11, Paul is appropriating Isaiah 45:23-25 (originally proclaiming a universal submission to God) to portray the eschatological acclamation of Jesus as Kyrios (Lord) to the glory of God the Father.

Second, the time when it was discovered that Paul was adapting the Shema in 1 Corinthians 8:5-6 is completely beside the point. At worst, it only demonstrates that there are plentiful evidences for the deity of Christ in the scriptures and we will continue to uncover them. Some had been uncovered while some yet to be uncovered.

Third, asking me that how I know that "God" here refers to The Father demonstrates that you have a very poor comprehension skills. The passage said,

"yet for us there is but ONE GOD, THE FATHER..." 1 Corinthians 8:6

Fourth, asking me how I know that "Lord" is a translation of Yahweh is a ridiculous and desperate move on your part.
If the "Lord" here is not the translation of "YHWH", then give us evidences and reasons.
The evidence we present is that Paul is formulating the Shema "one God, one Lord" in order to include The Father and The Son as God and Lord respectively. The shema in the OT is a contrast of Yahweh to other pagan gods. This is the very thing that Paul did in 1 Corinthians 8:4-6. He contrasts the Father (God) as ONE against other gods and contrasts Jesus (Lord) as ONE against other lords.

Larry Hurtado notes:

"We should not that 1 Corinthians 8:5-6, where there is another indication of the acclamation of Jesus as Kyrios, and the close association of him with God in devotional practice. Here, in explicit contrast to the worship practices of the polytheist environment, Paul affirms a two-part exclusicistic confession of "one God [heis Theos] The Father" and "one Lord [heis Kyrios] Jesus Christ" (the latter phrase resembling the longer, sonorous wording of acclamation in Phil. 2:11). In this astonishingly bold association of Jesus with God, Paul adapts wording from the traditional Jewish confession of God's uniqueness, knwon as the Shema, from Deuteronomy 6:4, "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord" (Kyrios heis estin [LXX], translating Heb. Yahweh 'echad)." (Larry W. Hurtado, Lord Jesus Christ: Devotion to Jesus in earliest Christianity, 2003 pg. 114)

There are many passages in the Pauline epistles where Apostle Paul alludes to Old Testament passages that mention Yahweh as the Kyrios and Paul clearly makes Jesus the referent. Passages like:
- 1 Corinthians 10:21 alluding to Malachi 1:7,12
- 1 Corinthians 10:22 alluding to Deuteronomy 32:31
- 2 Corinthians 3:16 alluding to Exodus 34:34
- 1 Thessalonians 3:13 alluding to Zechariah 14:5
- 1 Thessalonians 4:6 alluding to Psalm 94:2

And there are more...

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

7d) Jesus is God because He possess all the divine qualities of His Father. I have already listed some of the divine qualities above. If you can think of any divine quality that Jesus lacked, please let me know.

Second, the angel in Zechariah 2:8-13 is the divine meesenger of Yahweh in the OT. The divine angel is none other than the pre-incarnate. Please consult the Anthony Rogers' articles I listed earlier for more details.

Third, please can you give us another example where any other person apart from "Malak Yahweh" that is known as Yahweh Almighty EVEN in the representational sense. I can promise you that there is none. Ordinary angels do not speak that way. Not even prophets. There is only a mysterious figure that is called God, Yahweh and Yahweh Almighty, and that is the mysterious Malak Yahweh - the divine angel in the OT who later incarnated to be our Lord Jesus Christ. So please consult Anthony Roger' aticles I listed earlier to evaluate the evidences.

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

8a) First, you don't have to believe in the creedal or formulaic Trinity to be saved. The creedal Trinity is there to justify your beliefs.
For instance, you must accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Saviour for you to be saved. As a Christian, you must give praise, glory, adoration, thanks and worship to Jesus Christ.

Now this is a sacred devotion that is exclusive to God, then why give such devotion to Jesus if He is a man? Then we will later turn to the scriptures to justify our beliefs.
We are baptized into the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit (as per the command in Matthew 28:19). The question is: why are we baptized into these figures?
We pray and give thanks in the Holy Spirit to God through Jesus Christ. How do we justify this practice?

Kembal-Cook, you are really confused. The doctrine of the Trinity is meant to justify the devotional life of a Christian to God. I live in Nigeria where many pentecostal Christians knew nothing about the immanent Trinity. They just know that they call upon the name of Jesus and they give thanks and adoration. They treat Jesus the very way they treat God.

What I am saying is that many things justify Christian beliefs. There are many Christians who died before Paul wrote His epistles. For instance, Stephen died being aware of some doctrines taught by Paul. Are we now to argue that Stephen was not saved or that the doctrines taught in Pauline epistles are not be believed?
Knowing God's nature does not being saved. The demons knew God even more better than us. However, does that means that we are not to accept the who and what God is, in the scriptures? Moreover, not knowing the full nature of God as taught in the scriptures is one thing while denying it is another.

For instance, you believe in the omniscience, omnipotence and omnipresence of God Almighty, please where did the Apostles go about teaching these doctrines? Where?

What a pity. Your theology is very poor - this is the reason why you keep faling over your face.

So, now, the question also goes over to you to answer. Is it possible to be a true Christian if you acknowledge the deity of Christ? If you pray to Jesus, you give thanks to Jesus, make Him your personal Lord and Saviour, you render sacred devotion and worship to Jesus, is it possible to call you a Christian if you do so?

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

9) Thanks, if I want to define the Trinity, I won't borrow your choice of words because of the meanings you have probably injected into the Trinity.
I believe in one God Almighty
I believe that The Father is God i.e. possess divine qualities
I believe that The Son is God i.e. possess divine qualities
I believe that The Holy Spirit is God i.e. possess divine abilitie
I believe the The Father is neither The Son nor the Holy Spirit and The Son is neither The Father nor The Holy Spirit and The Holy Spirit is neither The Father nor The Holy Spirit.

Now in terms of relationship,
I believe that Jesus is to the Father what my arm is to me. In fact, that is the reason why I identify Jesus with the Arm of Yahweh in the OT. Kembal-Cook, you are human, is your arm not human as well?

I believe that what the Holy Spirit is to The Father and The Son is what my eyes is to me. That is the reason why we can identify the Holy Spirit as the eyes of Yahweh that roams throughout the world. He is the presence of both the Father and Son.
I believe that they share the same essence and nature.

Just because I cite WLC view on incarnation does not means that hold to his Trinitarian view. I lean towards Latin Trinitarianism though there I some aspects I accept from social Trinitarianism.

Thanks.

David Kemball-Cook said...

Thanks Oyebola
My reply in parts, with some renumbering and sorting
>> DKC, did you really think you responded to my arguments? Most of your replies is just mere repetition - another assurance that you have no idea concerning what you are blabbering about<<
I repeat questions that you have ignored
I think I have tried to respond to everything you have raised
I think I have a good idea what I am talking about
May I ask if you have studied any theology, do you have any theological qualifications?

David Kemball-Cook said...

1) On divine attributes
You said that Jesus possessed ALL of them.
>>I gave you 4 attributes and I told you that I could not list all the attributes and qualities here for you to see. Even possessing one divine attribute is enough to establish the deity of Christ<<
Why can't you give me a list?
You seem very uncertain what actually ARE the divine attributes
>> Don't be silly, you can't expect me to list all the divine qualities of The Son here<<
Why not?
I think that you should have thought it through before saying Jesus possessed all divine attributes
I will hold all my replies to your points on this topic until you can tell me
a) What divine attributes you think Jesus possessed
and
b) In what sense these attributes comprise 'all' divine attributes
In other words, what actually ARE the divine attributes?
Then we could proceed to discuss them in detail

David Kemball-Cook said...

2) Your theory that Jesus had two minds
>>That Jesus has *two* consciousness (sic) is something we derived from the Bible and the teachings of the early church. Though it is not explicitly stated, at least the Bible in John 1:1-18 introduced the deity of the Logos and went on in vs14 to say that the Logos became flesh<<
But the Logos becoming flesh is a metaphor isn't it?
The Word is by definition immaterial.
You read pre-existence into scripture.

>>Jesus has a rational human soul and body. He added them to His divine nature<<
See Phil 2 below, which seems to be your only evidence for 'divine nature'

>> The Divine Son qua His incarnate status, has two kinds of consciousness - the waking/human consciousness and the subliminal/divine consciousness.
Jesus as a person can switch to any consciousness if He so wishes<<
Where does scripture say this?

>>The reason why Jesus did not recall the day of His Parousia from His divine memory was because Jesus was not meant to reveal that day in order to avoid unwatchfulness on our part. Jesus, here, is speaking as a human prophet<<
But Jesus said that he did not know it, not that he knew it and was not meant to reveal it
You seem to change scripture to suit your doctrine

>> Here, Jesus was tapping into His Divine consciousness to get information. Since we know that Jesus as a mere man could not read thoughts of other men, then how did He read their thoughts BY HIS OWN SPIRIT? Have you tried doing that with your own spirit?<<
The Spirit imparts information to ordinary humans, eg prophets, without them having a 'divine consciousness'

>>You are positing a false dilemma on me. I don't throw away one passage to accept another. I rather accept both. So, Jesus is not omniscient as per His humanity (e.g. Mark 13:32) while Jesus is omniscient as per His Divine nature(e.g. Colossians 2:2-3,9). Unitarians and docetists should beware, Jesus is God-Man<<
If Jesus knows something in his 'divine nature', then he knows it, right?

>>Moreover, you are not paying attention to our doctrine of incarnation. We believed that, as inspired by Phil. 2:5-11 and theology of Hebrews, Jesus mostly refused to exercise His Divine prerogatives in order to achieve full humanity<<

I paid attention to your doctrine for 20 adult years.
Did the apostles believe it, do you think?

David Kemball-Cook said...

3) Who speaks when God speaks, eg in Is 45:6?
’That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else'
>>One of the persons can speak in the first person<<
Yes of course. But if it is the Father speaking in Is 45:6, why does he say there is none beside him?
There should be two beside him, should there not?
>>The Son and the Holy Spirit are not Gods apart from The Father. The Word and Spirit of God does not exist apart from God. It is completely acceptable for any of the divine persons to say, "I am the LORD and there is none else". This perfectly comaptible with the Trinity<<

I don't think you understand the point

Tell me please who is speaking in this verse.
>>It could be any one person<<
>> Even if it was the Father speaking here, it does not refute the deity of The Son or Holy Spirit. Something similar occurred in Deuteronomy 32:39<<

Irrelevant to the question.
But if it is the Father speaking in Is 45:6, why does he say there is none beside him?

>>The Greek LXX Deut 32:39 has a striking resemblance with John 10:39.
Now why is it that Jesus applied the verse to The Father and Himself in John when the passage in OT was spoken by one person? How can you explain that?<<

I explain that by Jesus being the Messiah of God and God's agent in salvation.
Those who are in Jesus' hands are one and the same as those in God's hands.
For Jesus to say that nobody can be delivered out of his hands is the same as saying that nobody can be delivered out of God's hands.
Similarly to say that salvation is by calling on Jesus is the same as that it is by calling on God.
This is not to say that Jesus is one and the same as God.
You have not yet answered me on Is 45:6.
'None beside me' is spoken by one of the persons
If the Trinity is three distinct persons, then it should be 'none beside us'
But there is nothing like that in scripture.
You just have these four instances of plural pronouns, and over 7000 of singular, including these sayings like Is 45:6
You don't seem to be able to give an answer on this.
Difficult isn't it?

>>Well, Jesus gave us the answer in the following verse:
"I and the Father are ONE." John 10:30
John introduced Jesus as the Word of God. Jesus and Father are one at least in the sense my word and I are one. The major difference is that, in the case of God, His Word is an intelligent person. The word of God is truly living<<

OK, then what DOES it mean to say that Jesus and his Father are 'one'?
You do not actually say!
A) One and same? It seems you don't believe this option
B) Same nature? I think this is what you believe
C) One in purpose? This is what I think.
D) Something else?
Please clarify

David Kemball-Cook said...

>>How do you explain Zechariah 2:8-13 where Yahweh Almighty is referring to another Yahweh Almighty that sent Him?<<

I do not avoid it
I cannot believe that the Jews believed in two Yahwehs
It would be a manifest violation of the Shema
I am still waiting for you to tell me your understanding of this passage before I answer further.
Who do you thinking is speaking to whom?

On Rogers' articles, he seems to be confused. He says
' The above evidence strongly suggests that Yahweh who appeared in Genesis 18-19, and, therefore, the one who rained fire and brimstone from Yahweh out of heaven in 19:24, was the divine messenger, the Mal'ak Yahweh, who is frequently met with in other places in Genesis and throughout the Old Testament.10 This Divine Messenger, commonly called "The Angel of the LORD", but more literally "The Messenger of Yahweh", is clearly a divine theophany, a voluntary and temporary but nonetheless real condescension of God to appear in a palpable way to His people. Not only does the Angel of the Lord identify Himself as God and not eschew such an identification from others, but He even calls Himself Yahweh just as others also call Him Yahweh.
When the Angel of the LORD (in contradistinction from angels in general, who are created heavenly messengers) appears in the Old Testament, although He is clearly distinguished from another person called Yahweh, on whose behalf he comes and by whom He is sent, He is nonetheless spoken of as very God. He is ascribed divine titles, possesses divine attributes, exercises divine prerogatives, performs divine works, and receives the worship that is due to God alone'

I think this is confused.
As I have said, there are places where an angel appears representing God, and the angel speaking or acting is not sharply distinguished from God.
Gen 19 could be one of those.
Rogers says
1) Yes, the second Yahweh was the Angel of the Lord
2) It was a divine theophany
But also that
3) It is 'divine' and possesses divine attributes
4) It is an independent person from the first Yahweh
Really?
What is the evidence for 3) and 4)?
I accept 1) and 2), but Rogers confuses himself when he conflates them with 3) and 4)
So, when you referenced Rogers, were you implying you believe everything Rogers says?
If so, how do you get 3) and 4) above?
Rogers does not tell us, he just assumes that they follow from 1) and 2)

David Kemball-Cook said...

4) >>Second, if the use of singular personal pronouns for God demonstrates His unity what about numerous instances were (sic) plural nouns and verbs are used for God?<<
I don't think you have got the basic point
Persons speak with singular pronouns, and only fairly rarely with plural
Collectives of persons, if they can speak at all, would speak in unison with 'we' and 'us'.
They would NEVER speak with singular pronouns
Or, if you think so, give me an example
You yourself confirmed what I have just said by trying to explain Is 45:6 etc as one of the persons speaking!

But you have yet to explain the 'none besides me' verses like Is 45:6
It seems that you have not thought about this problem before

4a) >>If Yahweh is Triune, then what kind of pronoun do you expect Him to use?<<
They routinely and incorrectly use singular pronouns for God, because, I suspect, it would sound too silly to use plural, I suggest
I mean, does it not sound silly to talk about God as a They?
>>It does not sound silly for Trinitarians to use singular pronouns for God<<
No it does not, but you misunderstand.
Perhaps you mistyped?
I said that trinitarians use SINGULAR pronouns for God, because, I suspect, it would sound too silly to use plural.
Tell me please, do you use singular or plural pronouns for God?
What do they use in your church?
Do they use 'He' or 'They'?
Please be honest in your reply
I suggest that no Christian, trinitarian or unitarian, ever feels comfortable about talking about God as 'They'
See 9) below

David Kemball-Cook said...

4b) >>Second, there is no evidence for plural of majesty in the Hebrew scriptures. That term is later invention by desperate unitarians to explain away the use of plural pronouns. Or can you give us an example where plural of majesty is used in the Hebrew scriptures?<<

>> In your first comment, you said "And do WE know this is what John means?"
So, DKC, when did you become a king that uses plural of majesty?<<
POM is when a monarch uses plural pronouns for himself or herself
I was obviously not using POM in that case, as I am not a monarch.
The 'we' is a reference to collective humanity
This is common in English, as in 'we know (any commonly accepted fact)'
Perhaps English is not your first language (are you Nigerian?), so this misunderstanding of yours may be understandable.

1 Kings 12:9
'And he said unto them, What counsel give ye that WE may answer this people, who have spoken to me, saying, Make the yoke which thy father did put upon us lighter?'
>>The passage in 1 Kings 12:9 is not a plural of majesty AT ALL. The plural was used because the answer given to the people is the answer formulated by Rehoboam and his pals. Since Rehoboam and his friends are the ones who will formulate the response, it is hardly surprising for them to use the royal "We"<<
That is your opinion, or perhaps that of the authors of the articles you read.
But no, it is Rehoboam who answers the people, not he and his pals.
>> Whether it is Rehoboam that only appeared before the people, the fact still remains that the answer was formulated by Rehoboam and his pals<<
Irrelevant. It is the king who answers
>>After all, why did you think Rehoboam did not say to the elders "advise us" to the elders? It was because he wasn't formualting any answers with the elders. But with his buddies, this is different<<
Irrelevant
>>Moreover, the way Rehoboam speaks is still very natural<<
Yes it is. This is the monarchs speak.
Also presidential candidates ...

David Kemball-Cook said...

Ezra 4:18
'The letter which ye sent unto US hath been plainly read before me.'
>>Second, read the letter from the beginning again in Ezra 4:11. It states thus:
" To King Artaxerxes: Your servants, the men in the region beyond the River, an now"
'More than one person was in view. The letter is latter written on behalf of many people hence the plural pronoun is not surprising at all<<
I don't think you understand
The king is talking about his answer to them, and he says 'we'.
He is speaking of himself as 'we'

>>Third, why is that there is no ancient evidence for this "plural of majesty"?<<
I have just quoted the OT.
You quote a rabbi. I quote the OT.

>>Concerning Ezra 4:18, I still don't see any plural of majesty. Of course, Ezra did not send the letter by a mailing service to the king. The letter was first received by the subordinates before being read to the king. So many people received the letter. However, in the following verse, the king said:
"I issued an order and a search was made, and it was found that this city has a long history of revolt against kings and has been a place of rebellion and sedition." Ezra 4:19

The king did not use the word "we" because He was the one solely responsible for giving such orders<<
You seem to think that POM implies that a monarch must ALWAYS use plural pronouns about himself.
A monarch may use singular pronouns or plural.
Typically he uses plural when he is making a speech or a pronouncement.
Just look at videos of our Queen or presidential candidates ...

>>Third, I quote a rabbi and I am willing to bring in expert ANE scholars who believed that plural of majesty does not exist during the OT times. Even if it exists, no evidence that it is rampant among the Jews<<
'Rampant' is a strange word. Kings were not 'rampant'. There was only one at a time.
I have cited two instances from the OT.
I don't need to show that POM was 'rampant'
I just need to show that it was used in Jewish writing

>>Why is it that nobody knew about this poetic device until the 4th century AD?<<
Irrelevant. Maybe because nobody was arguing about God being a Trinity before then.
After all, the doctrine of the Trinity was not devised until around 400AD

David Kemball-Cook said...

4c) >>That God is speaking to a divine council is VERY unacceptable and this is a violation of monotheism. How many people created man? Are you telling us that some of God's creatures were responsible for the creation of man?<<
It does not violate monotheism for God to have created subsidiary 'divine' beings, nor for Him to have had agents in creation. After all, this is Logos theology, a precursor of the Trinity.
>>Are you telling us that other creatures also took part in the creation of man?<<
No I did not say that.

>>What about this passage in Isaiah? "This is what the LORD says-- your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the LORD, who has made all things, WHO ALONE stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth BY MYSELF" Isaiah 44:24
The same is said of the Word of God:
"By the WORD OF THE LORD were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth." Psalm 33:6
And also of the Spirit of God:
"The Spirit of God HAS MADE ME; the breath of the Almighty gives me life." Job 33:4
These are the only three entities that are said to be involved in creation. These are the entities present in account of Creation in Genesis 1. Isn't it obvious?<<

In the Bible, the Word and the Spirit are aspects of God
God creating by His Word is the same thing as God speaking
The Word is not a separate 'entity' from God!
Any more than your word or spirit is a separate 'entity' from you.

But in any case I think that Gen 1:26 is plural of emphasis or majesty, not God speaking to divine council.
>>Genesis 1:26 cannot be a plural of majesty. God is saying, "COME, let us make man in our own image". The word "come" in this verse indicates that God is speaking to other persons. Then the Bible went to say that the Word of God and Spirit made everything. Isn't it obvious enough?<<
'Come' is just a rhetorical device.
Can you tell me who you think is speaking in Gen 1:26? The Father?

>>Moreover, plural of majesty does not apply to Genesis 3:22. God says, "man as become like ONE of US". This ain't plural of majesty at all<<
No indeed. I think it is God addressing the divine council

David Kemball-Cook said...

4d) >>'Fourth, you are yet to address the use of plural verbs and nouns used for God. For instance, God is said to be the "husbands" and "makers" in Isaiah 54:5?<<
Not in my Bible. What translation are you using?
Have you forgotten about this verse?

>>You said that if God is triune, then the ratio of plural to singular should be 7000 to 4<<
Even if it is so, what is assurance that these 7,000 pronouns cannot be explained away as plural of majesty?<<

Good point, but hypothetical
No assurance, but typically POM is used fairly rarely by monarchs (or presidential candidates)
We have only two instances in the whole of the OT.

>>Even if plural pronouns are used all through, you will still beat a retreat by appealing to plural of majesty and "divine council" theory. Since the plural pronouns, are to you, useless to prove the multiplicity of God, then why coming back again to insist on it?<<

I do not insist on it, it is you that have insisted on it
Remember you raised the point

>> you are yet to address the use of plural verbs and nouns used for God<<
>> Is this not the reason why I said that you are blaspheming against the Holy Spirit?<<

You cannot seem to be able to give me the verse that defines blasphemy in terms of denying the plurality of God.
There is no such verse, is there?

>>When I say that you are blasphenmng against the Holy Spirit, it means that you are explaining evidences away and raising the bar so high that you will always demand for one more hurdle for God to jump for Him to convince you<<

Where does God say that He is plural?

David Kemball-Cook said...

5) Can you tell me where is the Trinity referenced in the Bible? Please cite the verses
>>I am still waiting for how you arrived at the criterion that Trinity must be taught in philosophical terms for it to be accepted<<
You continue to misunderstand.
I am asking for where the word 'God' is used, referring to the Trinity.
>>Second, the word "God" is nowhere used to refer to the Trinity in the NT<<
At last you concede!
And is there anywhere in the OT?

>>And so what? How does that refute the seven basic faccts that comprises the definition of the Trinity? "Theos" in the OT is used as a proper noun for the Father though is sometimes used qualitatively for The Son - in the same sense that the word "Adam" is a proper noun for the first man on earth yet the word is used qualitatively for Eve and her descendants. It seems that the issue of semantics gives you loads of problems<<

If the Trinity is the God of the Bible, then there should be references to It all through the Bible, shouldn't there?
Do you have any idea why there are none?

>>I have already laid the seven basic definition of the Trinity earlier, the burden of proof is on you to refute each of the 7 facts. If you cannot do that, then you have no business refuting the Trinity<<<
Yes, and it is the 'Jesus is God' alleged facts that are the crucial ones, aren't they?
I am happy to debate any of them with you. See 9)

>You believe in the impassibility of God yet I cannot recall a passage in the scripture that teaches such. This demonstrates the kind of inconsistent life you live as a Unitarian<<

No I don't believe it.
I mentioned it as one of the traditional divine attributes, not implying that I believe God actually has it
I am still waiting for a list of divine attributes from you
But you seem unable to provide one ...

David Kemball-Cook said...

6) Can you say where the apostle Paul lays out this doctrine that ' God is a collection of three divine, co-eternal and co-dependent Persons each with their own mind and intelligence functioning in a PERFECT unity?'
You cannot tell me.
So it seems you agree with me that that Paul does not teach this doctrine.

>> Is that another way of saying that believing the authority and authenticity of the scriptures is not an essential Christian belief? Answer. If so, why did Apostle Paul not "lay" out the doctrine in a passage?
The philosophical arguments for the existence of God is not "laid" in Pauline epistles, are now telling us that believing in the existence of God is not an essential Christian belief?
You are not making sense at all. Keep deluding yourself<<

Essential Christian beliefs are those which is it necessary to believe in order to be a Christian
See eg John 3:16, Rom10:9, conversions in Acts
Believing the authority and authenticity of the scriptures is never stated as an essential requirement for becoming saved
The existence of God is not argued for, but it is stated everywhere in Paul's letters

David Kemball-Cook said...

6b) >>Second, how does the quotes from Jewish literature support your unitarian position. I bet you did not read them. Here are some:
And I will set the Shekinah of My Glory among you, and my Word shall not abhor you, but the Glory of My Shekinah shall dwell among you, and My Word SHALL BE TO YOU for FOR A REDEEMING GOD, and you shall be unto My Name for a holy people. (Targum Pseudo Jonathan, Leviticus 26)
Do you believe that Jesus is your redeeming God?
This day you have made the Memra of the LORD your God to be King over you so that he may be FOR YOU A SAVIOR GOD, [promising] to walk in ways that are right before him.” (Targum Neofiti, Deuteronomy 26)
Do you believe that Jesus is your saviour God?

When the Word of the Lord shall reveal Himself to redeem His people, He will say to all the nations: Behold now, that I am He who Is, and Was, and Will Be, and there is no other god beside Me. – Targum Pseudo-Jonathan, Deuteronomy 32
Do you believe that there is no God beside Jesus?
And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, "If the Memra of YHWH will be my support, and will keep me in the way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, so that I come again to my father's house in peace; then shall the Memra of YHWH BE MY GOD. (Targum Neofiti, Genesis 28)
So, Kemball-Cook, when did you accept Jesus to be your God?<<

Oyebola, the Word of God is not a separate person or being from God.
They are not separate personalities or beings
The Word of God is shown in the Bible as an attribute or arm of God
When God creates by His Word, that is just God speaking 'Let there be ...'
The Word speaking is God speaking
I hope that is clear
NB I don't believe Jesus is one and the same as the Word, because the Word is not a person, but instead that he is the Word incarnate

David Kemball-Cook said...

>>Third, please can you give us another example where any other person apart from "Malak Yahweh" that is known as Yahweh Almighty EVEN in the representational sense. I can promise you that there is none. Ordinary angels do not speak that way. Not even prophets. There is only a mysterious figure that is called God, Yahweh and Yahweh Almighty, and that is the mysterious Malak Yahweh - the divine angel in the OT who later incarnated to be our Lord Jesus Christ<<

Where in the Bible does it say that the Malak YHWH was incarnated as Jesus?

David Kemball-Cook said...

7) Where does Paul lay out the doctrine of the 'deity of Christ'?
Where does Paul actually ARGUE for the Messiah 'being' YHWH?
>>So you expect us to believe that for Paul to argue for the deity of Christ, he must say "Hello, I am Paul. I will be teaching you that Jesus is YHWH in my epistle. Now be attentive as I now lay out my case..."<<
No, but I am asking for where Paul argues systematically for this doctrine, as opposed to just mentioning it or assuming it
He does this in the case of other important doctrines, like salvation by faith
So where for the deity of Christ
I hope that is clear now!

a) Phil 2
>>Here is the passage for all to see:
"Who, being IN VERY NATURE GOD, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own
advantage;" Phil. 2:6
Here apostle Paul is telling us that Jesus has the same nature as that of God - something we Trinitarians have been saying all this while<<
But there are two problems with that interpretation
1) If God is triune by nature, that would imply that Jesus is also triune by nature.
Is that your view?
2) The word 'morphe' does not actually mean 'nature' in the NT, but ' something like visible form'. See eg
'After that he appeared in another form unto two of them ...' (Mk 16:12)

>> ... Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father<<
Where does this say that Jesus is God?

David Kemball-Cook said...

Oyebola the captcha is taking too long every time
I don't have the time to keep doing this!
So I have stopped halfway through my replies
Just to note on 9
Thanks. But you have not yet answered the question
Who, or what, is the one God?
Quite an obvious question, I would have thought
So far you have got three 'divine' persons, but you have not said what their relationship is to the one God, YHWH, the God whom Christians worship
Is YHWH one of those three, or all three together, or the 'divine nature' that they share?
Please read the options, select one or choose your own
If you want to continue, my email is davidkemballcook@hotmail.co.uk
Thanks again

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

>>>>> I repeat questions that you have ignored <<<<<

Response
No, you are the one ignoring my responses. At least I made references to some of my points you ignored as far as this thread is concerned. Or can you back up your claims that I ignored some of your points?

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

>>>>> Why can't you give me a list?
<<<<<

Response
Apart from the fact that God is mysterious and you cannot know every of His attributes, only one of these divine attributes is sufficient to prove the deity of a figure if we are still strict monotheists. The ones I listed, have you refuted them? No, you ignored them in your latest reply because they are becoming too difficult for you to refute. If you think you have a case against the deity of Christ, then here is your own chance to list them. I believe that Jesus, as per His divine nature, is omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, immortal, immutable, eternal, immanent, incorruptible, impeccable, infinite etc.
Moreover, there are roles and works that are exclusive to God alone in the scriptures. Jesus is the Creator of all things. Jesus is the source of life. Jesus commission prophets and apostles and gave them His Spirit the way His Father does. Jesus is the Lord of Sabbath.

Jesus is partaker of the honor exclusive to God only. Jesus receives sacred honor and devotion exclusive to God alone in a monotheistic setting.

Jesus also shares the seat of God. He sits on the Throne of His Father. I wonder how a mere creature can be allowed to sit on the throne reserved for God alone especially when we are talking about monotheism.


>>>>> Then we could proceed to discuss them in detail <<<<<

Response
Even the ones I listed, you've not been able to refute them. So why should we go on to the rest IN DETAIL?

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

>>>>> But the Logos becoming flesh is a metaphor isn't it? The Word is by definition immaterial. <<<<<

Response
Metaphor? This is another of the games that you guys play - something we've been chiding Muslims and liberal Christians, which is, metaphorizing any text you did not like.
Even if you are metaphorize any text, there should be other closely related passages that will give you the justification to do so.
Second, the Word is immaterial - we agree with that. DKC, why is it that you think that we Trinitarians believed that Jesus' human body and soul possess divine attributes despite the fact that lots of ink had been poured out on books to emphasize the fact that this is not the case? Sometimes, I get the feeling that you are refuting the deity of the "gods" you watch in movies and read in classical and modern models - gods who are under the impression that once they become human, their humanity must inherit the divine nature hence something which makes the gods superhuman.
Trinitarians (and even oneness modalists) don't believe so. We believe that Jesus is 100% human and 100% divine.
Third, still on the immateriality of the Word. DKC, in my past dealings with you, you seem to be basing your argument on physicality or materialism. I wonder how a Bible-believing theist can think the way you think. Theists must at least hold to the cartesian duality i.e. Man is a soul (immaterial aspect) living in a body (material aspect). Those two are distinct. I hold to the tripartite view.
Almost all Christians well-versed in the doctrine of incarnation believes that The Word had been existing as a spirit (immaterial) and later added a rational human soul and body (material) to Himself. So, that the pre-incarnate Christ is immaterial is not a news to us.
The Word became man simply means that the Word added humanity to Himself - afterall man was created in the image of God.

Lastly, here is another evidence that Jesus is the Word of God:

"He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is THE WORD OF GOD." Revelation 19:13

I'm quite eager to see how you will metaphorize that passage too. I wonder how you people expect John to write if He really means that the Word became flesh the very way we do?

>>>>> You read pre-existence into scripture. <<<<<

Response
Pre-existence of who? If you are talking about Jesus, oh yes, He had been pre-existing - afterall, He is the One through whom The Father created all things. Here is what our Lord Himself said:

No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven--the Son of Man. John 3:13

Well, I know how a Socinian, who feels to uncomfortable with this text decided to use a poetical device to explain it away - I mean he appealed to prolepsis which does not even fit at all with this particular text.
Jesus also said:

"I tell you the truth, " Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am! " John 8:58

When asked how Jesus could have seen Abraham, Jesus retorted that He had been existing before Abraham was!

In fact, I do believe that the pre-incarnate Christ is the Yahweh who dwelt in the Jewish Temple. I believed that He was the Glory of Yahweh that accompanied the Israelites on their journey. I do believe that He was the Malak Yahweh who speaks and acts as Yahweh. I believed that everytime you see Yahweh on earth in the OT, it is the pre-incarnate. I also believe that Jesus was the Adonai that commissioned Isaiah in Isaiah 6 - even Apostle John agrees with. I have evidences upon evidences that confirmed my suspicion.

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

>>>>> But Jesus said that he did not know it, not that he knew it and was not meant to reveal it

You seem to change scripture to suit your doctrine <<<<<

Response
Only if you could pay attention to what we have been saying all along, you won't be saying such nonsense. We agree that Jesus in His human/waking consciousness is not aware of the day of His parousia. You are the one reading docetism into the orthodox doctrine of incarnation.
Second, you are yet to address Genesis 18:21 - a passage some use to interpret Jesus alleged ignorance in the Gospels. Shame on you. You cannot even properly defend the deity of The Father. The best answer Theists come up with concerning Genesis 18:21 is also the very answer some Trinitarians use to explain the ignorance of Jesus parousia.
If you have a better answer that cannot be used to explain the ignorance of the parousia, I'm all ears.

>>>>> The Spirit imparts information to ordinary humans, eg prophets, without them having a 'divine consciousness' <<<<<

Response
My, my, my! But you believe that "The Spirit" is not a person. So, how is the Holy Spirit able to impart information to the prophets and Jesus if according to you, He is not a person?
Second, due to the ambiguous nature of Mark 2:8, we can concede that it was the Holy Spirit that imparted the information to Jesus. However, the Holy Spirit, according to the NT authors is the very Spirit of Christ.

"You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ." Romans 8:9

"trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow." 1 Peter 1:11

The Holy Spirit, also known as the Spirit of God, is known by the NT authors as the Spirit of Christ. Do you have any idea why this is the case? When did the Spirit of a man become the Spirit of God?

Lastly, what about the other passages I brought in the defence for the omniscience of The Son? You did not even bother to address them.

>>>>> I paid attention to your doctrine for 20 adult years. <<<<<

Response
Poor student.

David Kemball-Cook said...

Hi Oyebola
I said in my last comment that I have had enough of this annoying website
It takes forever to post a comment
If you want to continue my email, my email is davidkemballcook@hotmail.co.uk
I look forward to continuing discussion there
Thanks

Oyebola Feranmi Peter said...

Well, I think that we should call this dialogue to an end. If you really want to learn more concerning the doctrine of the Trinity, here is my email: oyebolaferanmipeter@gmail.com
However, if you want to debate this topic on a larger scale, then let's postpone it to January 2019 (Lord willing). If you are ready, kindly let me know.