When was the Trinity revealed?

Singalphile
Posts: 903
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2012 12:46 pm

Re: When was the Trinity revealed?

Post by Singalphile » Tue Jan 01, 2019 11:17 pm

JamesFrench wrote:Trinity doctrine has tainted much in Christianity unfortunately.
How so, JamesFrench?

I think there's a sectarian ("hairetikos" in the Greek, as in Titus 3:10) attitude that has tainted Christianity, but it's not the fault of trinitarianism per se, which is actually a pretty restrained theory, I think.

It's unfortunate that there are some ministries that won't have a person unless he or she affirms a trinitarian formula, but it's no good to respond in a likewise sectarian (i.e., "heretical" in the true, biblical sense) manner. Sectarianism leads to even more sectarianism, and on and on it will go.

I think we needn't affirm anything more than that there is one God, the Father, and one Lord, the Son of God, the anointed one, the man Jesus of Nazareth. Is there something that must be affirmed about the Holy Spirit? Not that I know of, although the Spirit is obviously important to us (as in John 14:26, Acts 19:1-6).
... that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. John 5:23

User avatar
Homer
Posts: 2651
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2008 11:08 pm

Re: When was the Trinity revealed?

Post by Homer » Wed Jan 02, 2019 12:44 am

I think we needn't affirm anything more than that there is one God, the Father, and one Lord, the Son of God, the anointed one, the man Jesus of Nazareth. Is there something that must be affirmed about the Holy Spirit? Not that I know of, although the Spirit is obviously important to us (as in John 14:26, Acts 19:1-6).

I think there is one more - that Jesus was raised from the dead.

User avatar
Paidion
Posts: 4962
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:22 pm
Location: Back Woods of North-Western Ontario

Re: When was the Trinity revealed?

Post by Paidion » Wed Jan 02, 2019 12:41 pm

Homer, you wrote:I think there is one more - that Jesus was raised from the dead.
Are you saying that it was the Spirit who raised Christ from the dead? Well... you're not alone. The writer of the following song also misinterpreted the passage in Romans:

If the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead, dwell in you, dwell in you [Repeat]
He will quicken your mortal bodies, if the Spirit dwell in you...


Let's look at the passage:

If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. (Ro 8:11 ESV)

"If the spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead... " The "him" who raised Jesus from the dead is the Father. Thus since the Father dwells in you, the Father who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies THROUGH his spirit who dwells in you.

Ac 2:24 God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.
Ac 10:40 but God raised him on the third day and made him to appear...
Ac 13:30 But God raised him from the dead...
1Pe 1:21 who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.


So clearly, it was God the Father who raised Christ from the dead. It may have been through His spirit, since His spirit is but an extension of Himself. But it was not a separate "Person of the Godhead" called "the Holy Spirit" who raised Him.
Paidion

Man judges a person by his past deeds, and administers penalties for his wrongdoing. God judges a person by his present character, and disciplines him that he may become righteous.

Avatar shows me at 75 years old. I am now 82.

User avatar
Homer
Posts: 2651
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2008 11:08 pm

Re: When was the Trinity revealed?

Post by Homer » Wed Jan 02, 2019 5:22 pm

Hi Paidion,

I wasn't addressing anything about the Holy Spirit. I was commenting about what is necessary to be believed; the first sentence from Singalphile's post that I quoted, not the second:

This is what I had in mind:

Romans 10:9 (NASB)
9. ]that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;

StevenD
Posts: 40
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2008 2:25 am

Re: When was the Trinity revealed?

Post by StevenD » Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:31 am

The following quote from Justin Martyr was cited as support for an early Christian reference to "begetting before the ages":
From the womb, before the morning star, have I begotten Thee. The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent:Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek. (Justin—Dialogue With Trypho, ch 31)
Interestingly, these words here attributed to Justin predate the early churchman's era by at least a couple of centuries. Justin appears to cite the Septuagint translation of Psalm 110:3 in verbatim form (cf. also Dialogue, chap. 63). The phrase may seem cryptic, though not in a manner uncommon to prophecy expressed via poetry (e.g., Gen. 49; Exod. 15; Num. 23-24; Deut. 32-33).

Despite a strong link to the Hebrew of Psalm 2:7 ("You're my son, this day I've begotten you"), the Masoretic Text presents a vocalization scheme that reads differently. The matter is a point of text critical dispute dating back to late antiquity. For the record, the Syriac text reads similarly (though not exactly) to the Septuagint. (If anyone is interested, I've got a paper about it.)

User avatar
darinhouston
Posts: 2197
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 7:45 am

Re: When was the Trinity revealed?

Post by darinhouston » Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:37 am

StevenD wrote:The following quote from Justin Martyr was cited as support for an early Christian reference to "begetting before the ages":
From the womb, before the morning star, have I begotten Thee. The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent:Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek. (Justin—Dialogue With Trypho, ch 31)
Interestingly, these words here attributed to Justin predate the early churchman's era by at least a couple of centuries. Justin appears to cite the Septuagint translation of Psalm 110:3 in verbatim form (cf. also Dialogue, chap. 63). The phrase may seem cryptic, though not in a manner uncommon to prophecy expressed via poetry (e.g., Gen. 49; Exod. 15; Num. 23-24; Deut. 32-33).

Despite a strong link to the Hebrew of Psalm 2:7 ("You're my son, this day I've begotten you"), the Masoretic Text presents a vocalization scheme that reads differently. The matter is a point of text critical dispute dating back to late antiquity. For the record, the Syriac text reads similarly (though not exactly) to the Septuagint. (If anyone is interested, I've got a paper about it.)
I haven't forgotten Homer's challenge. The New Year draws my attentions elsewhere. I do intend to respond, though an exegesis of what I see as essentially poetry may be more of an exposition than a strict exegesis.

As to Psalm 110:3, I've never even really considered this passage, least not the Septuagint translation. From my cursory searching, I do understand there is a significant controversy over even the Hebrew since there are multiple words with very different meanings for the word the english translations of the Septuagint translate as "begotten." It's a strange passage in any event, though the Masoretic does seem to make better sense in the context of the passage. Even if the Septuagint itself is correct, the english versions I've seen based on the Septuagint seem to force an awkward translation. I haven't seen any decent treatments on this passage that deal with those issues at each of the translation/interpretation steps. I'd be interested if anyone has a paper on that. Maybe Paidion could look at both the MT and LXX and attempt a comparative translation from the greek.

As I've posted elsewhere, I have never found the Justin/Trypho exchange very satisfying and despite its antiquity it's not very persuasive to me except to confirm there were debates about this at a very early date (reaffirming to me the oddity that there is no scriptural apologetic or apostolic controversy about the subject).

User avatar
Paidion
Posts: 4962
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:22 pm
Location: Back Woods of North-Western Ontario

Re: When was the Trinity revealed?

Post by Paidion » Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:00 pm

I will say this. When the New Testament writers quoted from the Old Testament, they either used the Septuagint or the Hebrew from Cave 4 of the Dead Sea Scrolls. I suspect the former, for their quotes are very similar or exactly the same as those found in the Septuagint. The Masoretic Text is a much later Hebrew text which dates from the ninth and tenth centuries. I don't know Hebrew, but I have read that the Septuagint was a good Greek translation of the Hebrew manuscripts from Cave 4, while it differs substantially from the Masoretic text.

You will find that almost every modern translation of the Masoretic text is more or less similar to that of the ESV:
Your people will offer themselves freely on the day of your power, in holy garments; from the womb of the morning, the dew of your youth will be yours.

However, the translation of the Septuagint as found in the Orthodox Study Bible reads as follows:
With You is the beginning in the day of Your power in the brightness of your saints. "I have begotten you from the womb before the morning star."

Interestingly the Douay (Roman Catholic) Bible reads similarly. I suspect it must have been translated from the Septuagint also:
With thee is the principality in the day of thy strength: in the brightness of the saints: from the womb before the day star I begot thee.
Paidion

Man judges a person by his past deeds, and administers penalties for his wrongdoing. God judges a person by his present character, and disciplines him that he may become righteous.

Avatar shows me at 75 years old. I am now 82.

3Resurrections
Posts: 66
Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:32 am

Re: When was the Trinity revealed?

Post by 3Resurrections » Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:35 pm

These are some ramblings from another perspective that haven't been brought up yet, as far as I can tell.

Jesus was "begotten" by God on the day of His resurrection. Paul testified to this in Acts 13:33-34 when he quoted Psalms 2:7, and interpreted it as God having "begotten" Christ by His bodily resurrection. "God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second Psalm", (giving an explanation of how that resurrection was the equivalent of God begetting Christ), "Thou art my Son; THIS DAY have I BEGOTTEN thee. And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David."

As for the poetical phrasing of Psalms 110:3, this verse, too, is referring to the day Christ arose from among the dead. More particularly, it is talking specifically about WHAT TIME OF THE DAY Christ arose from the dead; not that he was begotten before the morning star was created during creation week. Christ arose from the dead at sundown, and before the following morning arrived, and after 3 days and 3 nights in the heart of the earth.

I do like the LXX version of this, because it gives a hint of the group of Matthew 27:52-53 "holy saints" that Christ brought with Him out of the grave. "With thee is dominion in the day of thy power" (Remember, Christ said "all power is given unto me in heaven and in earth..." - past tense, even before His Mt. of Olives ascension.) "in the spendours of thy saints", (the Matthew 27:52-53 saints raised with Christ), "I have begotten thee from the womb before the morning." (Jesus as the First-born, First-begotten rose from the dead when the sun went down, before Mary Magdalene ever encountered Him early the next morning on the 1st day of the week.)

This same "power" of a resurrected Christ in Psalms 110:3 is also mentioned in Rev. 12:10-11, after Satan and his angels were cast out of heaven to the earth. It was a power that the resurrected Christ already had when He first ascended to the Father, immediately after He met Mary Magdalene. "And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, NOW is come salvation, and STRENGTH, and the kingdom of our God, and the POWER of His Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony." (Meaning that the ascended, first-begotten Christ had just applied His blood on heaven's mercy seat, and had become our high priest intercessor - forever destroying Satan's ability to accuse the brethren before God.)

There are some differences also being expressed above as to whether God or the Spirit raised Christ from the dead. There are verses proving that both were involved. And to add to the mix, we also have this verse John 10:17-18 saying that Christ participated in raising HIMSELF from the dead. So, all three were involved in the process, apparently. "Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down and I have power to take it again." This is the same "power" of Rev. 12:10-11, and Psalms 110:3, and Matthew 28:18, and the "power of His resurrection" that Paul termed it in Phil. 3:10. So, it would seem that the "day of thy power" in Psalms 110:3 was the day the power of Christ's resurrection was on full display.

And the original question in the OP? I find the earliest NT evidence of the Trinity is found in Luke 1:35, within the angel Gabriel's words to Mary. "And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God." At Mary's conception of Christ, we have the Three-in-One present and accounted for in that moment. Unless Gabriel was a liar.

User avatar
Paidion
Posts: 4962
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:22 pm
Location: Back Woods of North-Western Ontario

Re: When was the Trinity revealed?

Post by Paidion » Fri Jan 04, 2019 2:05 pm

Hi 3R, you wrote:Jesus was "begotten" by God on the day of His resurrection. Paul testified to this in Acts 13:33-34 when he quoted Psalms 2:7, and interpreted it as God having "begotten" Christ by His bodily resurrection. "God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second Psalm", (giving an explanation of how that resurrection was the equivalent of God begetting Christ), "Thou art my Son; THIS DAY have I BEGOTTEN thee. And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David."
Notice the words, "And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead..." indicating that Luke is then speaking of a different topic.
In the phrase, "Thou art my Son; THIS DAY have I BEGOTTEN thee," the Psalmist is speaking about God begetting His Son as His first act, before all ages—before anything was created. THEN, changing the subject, he begins to speak about God raising Him from the dead.
Paidion

Man judges a person by his past deeds, and administers penalties for his wrongdoing. God judges a person by his present character, and disciplines him that he may become righteous.

Avatar shows me at 75 years old. I am now 82.

3Resurrections
Posts: 66
Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:32 am

Re: When was the Trinity revealed?

Post by 3Resurrections » Fri Jan 04, 2019 4:19 pm

Hi Paidion,

I'm sorry, but I can't find agreement with the idea that there is a change of subject at the end of Acts 13:33-34. The entire paragraph is a kind of "resurrection sandwich", with the Psalms 2:7 prophecy stuck in the middle between the two layers of sentences that both mention Christ rising from the dead. Isn't the context of Psalms 2 a prophecy of the kings of the earth and the rulers conspiring to put Christ to death? (Ps. 2:1-3) Yet in spite of this conspiracy, God would raise Christ and "set my king upon my holy hill of Zion" after Christ's resurrection and ascension (Ps. 2:6). As a "birthday present" to the First-begotten, First-born Christ, God would tell Jesus in Ps. 2:8 to "ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance..." This Ps. 2:7 verse couldn't possibly be occurring at the beginning of creation and the ages, because the "heathen" would already be existing at the time this conversation between God and the ascended Christ would be taking place.

However, I do appreciate your favorable treatment of the Septuagint, Paidion. This was a taboo to even mention the LXX while our family were members of that cult-like church which only allowed one scripture version to be read by the members. I've found the Septuagint quite often gives more clarity to subjects where other versions might be vague , and I've read it with regularity these past 6 years along with other versions, to get a more balanced perspective.

Post Reply

Return to “The Trinity”