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Paul Did Not Believe In The Trinity


consiglieri

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In continuing my study of 1 Corinthians, I find that Paul makes a statement there that clearly views Jesus as subordinate to the Father, a heresy defined by the Catholic Church and its successors in Trinitarianism as antithetical to the doctrine of the Trinity.

I refer to 1 Corinthians 15:23-28.

In speaking of the order of the resurrection, Paul makes this interesting comment:

23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christâ??s at his coming.

24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.

25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.

26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.

28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

My handy-dandy Oxford Bible Commentary states on page 1131 regarding this passage:

Even so, Paul insists that Christ is ultimately subordinate to God, who is not himself, of course, subject to Christ (v. 27) but is the one to whom Christ is subject in "handing over the kingdom' (v. 24; cf 3:23; Rom 11:36).

And so, in light of this, my question is:

Why should I believe the Trinity when Paul obviously did not?

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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Why should I believe the Trinity when Paul obviously did not?

Makes sense because even Jesus affirmed a condition that can't exist in the trinity in John 20:17 so why should Paul believe such a thing? No ECF believed in anything like the trinity either. I wonder why?

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Why should I believe the Trinity when Paul obviously did not?

Dunno --- best I could come up with, is to keep old Aunt Matilda, the Presbyterian, happy.

Was Jesus a trinitarian? Was his mother one? Was John the Baptist one? Or Isaiah, or Jeremiah?

I think no.

UD

.

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If only the Oxford Bible Commentary was available at the council of Nicea! Dangit!

One would think that at a minimum they had a copy of 1 Corinthians floating about.

It was doubtless based in part on this passage that the opposing faction argued in favor of subordinationism. I believe Arius led the charge on that front.

In spite of the Arian's well-founded reasoning, the decision went to the Trinitarians, led by Athanasius (I believe).

And the rest, as they say, is history.

But it does seem strange that the Christians of 325 A.D. elected to believe a doctrine that was contradicted by Paul.

Perhaps they felt they were better informed than one who had seen the risen Lord.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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In continuing my study of 1 Corinthians, I find that Paul makes a statement there that clearly views Jesus as subordinate to the Father, a heresy defined by the Catholic Church and its successors in Trinitarianism as antithetical to the doctrine of the Trinity.

I refer to 1 Corinthians 15:23-28.

In speaking of the order of the resurrection, Paul makes this interesting comment:

My handy-dandy Oxford Bible Commentary states on page 1131 regarding this passage:

And so, in light of this, my question is:

Why should I believe the Trinity when Paul obviously did not?

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

This is a good question abuot the incarnation, not the Trinity. Trinitarians say that when Christ became man he took on a human nture, and since it belongs to human nature to be subject to God, Christ was subject to the Father. When Christ was resurrected he exalted human nature to a divine status and resumed his place of equality with the Father. One must distinguish between ultimate and temporary subordination. See Phil 2:5-11. The same thing, though less evident on the surface is found through the Letter to the Hebrews, most evidently in the first chapter, though I recommend dropping the KJV and looking at the RSV or NRSV for the verses I just mentioned.

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Looking at John 17 would completely debunk the Trinitarian theorem as well. When Jesus is praying he is praying for His followers...that they may become one in Him and the Father.

Now, I don't believe that we are God or Jesus Christ...but we can become AS God and Jesus Christ following Christ's example...

Kinda interesting that two of our doctrines come into play here...the potential for man to become like Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, and also Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father being two seperate personages. It would make no sense for Christ to be praying to Himself.

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Looking at John 17 would completely debunk the Trinitarian theorem as well. When Jesus is praying he is praying for His followers...that they may become one in Him and the Father.

Now, I don't believe that we are God or Jesus Christ...but we can become AS God and Jesus Christ following Christ's example...

Kinda interesting that two of our doctrines come into play here...the potential for man to become like Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, and also Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father being two seperate personages. It would make no sense for Christ to be praying to Himself.

Trinitarians again have no problem with John 17. Look at my last reply on the Trinity Is Not a Math Problem thread.

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I think that only the bishops that felt one way toward the trinity were invited. Was this by design, possibly so? Other decisions were made too, such as the need for infant baptism, resurrection etc but none like the trinity were they more messed up on... IMO

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This is a good question abuot the incarnation, not the Trinity. Trinitarians say that when Christ became man he took on a human nture, and since it belongs to human nature to be subject to God, Christ was subject to the Father. When Christ was resurrected he exalted human nature to a divine status and resumed his place of equality with the Father. One must distinguish between ultimate and temporary subordination. See Phil 2:5-11. The same thing, though less evident on the surface is found through the Letter to the Hebrews, most evidently in the first chapter, though I recommend dropping the KJV and looking at the RSV or NRSV for the verses I just mentioned.

The problem is Soren... This particular verse is speaking of a Future event so it it the Ultimate.

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I think that only the bishops that felt one way toward the trinity were invited.

This is not true. In fact, many of the bishops there had no real knowledge of or opinion regarding the Arian issue. It was much more of an issue in the East, so the western bishops came in with no real thoughts on the matter. That all changed when Arius' representative actually presented the Arian case before the council. If I remember right, the bishops almost immediately began crying heresy, and Arianism was rejected by the vast majority. The western bishops finally saw what the big deal was about. And the Arians had their day in court, so to speak. The results were not "fixed" before the council convened.

But it does seem strange that the Christians of 325 A.D. elected to believe a doctrine that was contradicted by Paul.

Perhaps they felt they were better informed than one who had seen the risen Lord.

Here you bring up one of the other salient issues in this line of thinking. Was Paul primarily a theologian, trying to unpack the revelation of God in Christ and all its myriad implications? Or was Paul primarily a witness to the resurrected Christ, passing on the basic gospel message to as many people as possible? I think he was both, but far more the latter than the former. The implications and new questions that arose when Christians began thinking deeply about these matters would have been beyond the scope of Paul's primary mission and identity.

In short, Paul didn't know everything. Obviously Paul knew nothing about temple marriage, spirit prisons, and a plurality of Gods either, so by your logic, wouldn't those also be off the table? <_<

Take care, everyone :P

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In short, Paul didn't know everything. Obviously Paul knew nothing about temple marriage, spirit prisons, and a plurality of Gods either, so by your logic, wouldn't those also be off the table?

Rhino:

We don't know that Paul didn't know anything about the above items. Maybe he did, maybe not. The fact that he doesn't mention them in the very limited venue of the NT is not proof of what he did or did not know.

We have Paul's statements in the NT on what he believed and what he did not believe; outside of that , it's just speculation.

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The problem is Soren... This particular verse is speaking of a Future event so it it the Ultimate.

Two issues to mention in this regard. First, the Son retains his human nature after the ascension.

Second, and more conclusive (in my opinion), is the passage that soren mentioned earlier, Philippians 2. In this case, Paul is using an earlier Christian hymn to make a point about humility for believers, using Christ as the exemplar. He basically says that Christ was equal with God, but gave it up and humbled himself to become a human being. You see, there is a difference between ontological subordination (the Son is subordinate by nature) and voluntary subordination (the Son is ontologically equal to the Father in terms of being, but chooses to be subordinate, to humble himself before the Father). I think the latter idea is biblical and sound, but the former contains problems. I would be interested to hear what soren's take would be on this particular issue.

Take care, everyone :P

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We don't know that Paul didn't know anything about the above items. Maybe he did, maybe not. The fact that he doesn't mention them in the very limited venue of the NT is not proof of what he did or did not know.

We have Paul's statements in the NT on what he believed and what he did not believe; outside of that , it's just speculation.

I think we can make some educated guesses on certain issues, but I agree with you generally. Of course, this also tanks consiglieri's conclusion as well, I think.

Take care :P

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In my reading on the subject, and discussions with others, I am becoming more and more convinced that the doctrine of the Trinity was:

a - finalized by the councils,

b - not preached by Jesus and the apostles, nor before them, and

c - is a result of outside influences on a church that had strayed far from its roots by the time of the councils.

I continue to be surprised by how much was lost and changed by the time of the councils.

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I think we can make some educated guesses on certain issues, but I agree with you generally. Of course, this also tanks consiglieri's conclusion as well, I think.

This, I believe, is the difference between how EVs and LDS approach doctrinal questions.

Both groups look to the scriptures to find justification for the doctrines they hold; it needs to be emphasized that both groups' doctrinal views do not have their origins in the Bible, but instead came from other sources. Both groups simply take these preconceived doctrinal notions and then go to the Bible to find justification for them.

The difference is in the source for those preconceived doctrinal notions. The LDS source is, as we claim, prophetic insight given to us in our day.

The EV source is the councils and Christian tradition and scholarship as it has evolved over the years.

Given the lack of clear direction on many doctrines from the Bible, these are, as I see them, the real primary sources of doctrine for both groups.

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b - not preached by Jesus and the apostles...

Besides which, I see no record of Paul's ever having been ordained an apostle.

If the "Apostle's Creed" goes back to any real apostles, I'd like to know which one it was.

Had the catholic councils simply said: "Regarding the nature of God, we proclaim it ineffable," that

would have settled things -- at least down to the year 1820 (if indeed anything new happened then).

UD

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Except for the fact that Paul DID believe in the Plurality of Gods. "(as there are gods many and Lords many)"

Yes, many gods and lords and the like on earth, which Paul also says are, by nature, not gods at all (Galatians 4:<_<. There is no God but one.

When you say... "Retains his Human Nature"... what all is packed into that? Surely he can never die again.

Death was not a part of the perfect human nature; it only entered the picture through sin. So the human nature of Christ can never die again, just as our glorified bodies post-resurrection will never die.

In my reading on the subject, and discussions with others, I am becoming more and more convinced that the doctrine of the Trinity was:

a - finalized by the councils,

b - not preached by Jesus and the apostles, nor before them, and

c - is a result of outside influences on a church that had strayed far from its roots by the time of the councils.

I continue to be surprised by how much was lost and changed by the time of the councils.

As you are a faithful LDS, I would hardly expect you to believe otherwise. Heck, I might even agree with you on (a), and in a nuanced way, (cool.gif. What Jesus and the apostles taught was not the Trinity per se, but the building blocks of the doctrine. They provided the raw material of which the Trinity was and is best synthesis.

Take care, everyone :P

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Yes, many gods and lords and the like on earth, which Paul also says are, by nature, not gods at all (Galatians 4::P.

He did not say that all other gods were not divine. He simply said those particular gods the Galatians had been going after were not real and divine Gods.

In 1 Cor 8:4-6 Paul makes a clear distinction between idol gods and real and divine Gods which do exist.

What Jesus and the apostles taught was not the Trinity per se, but the building blocks of the doctrine.

The Bible contains no such building blocks.

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The Bible contains no such building blocks.

There is the "Glory of God," or the "Angel of the Presence," or the "Spirit of God," or other mediating

divine forms by which YHWH communes and communicates with humankind.

The Johanine "Logos" and the Hebrew "Word of God" depend upon a philosophical understanding of

some aspect of YHWH that brings human beings into the Divine Presence.

These "building blocks" may, for some, provide the means for constructing trinitarianism.

For me they do not -- and thus an impassible gulf is created between unitarian Jesus-followers like

myself and the creedal trinitarian Christians, who demand that their Christology be accepted before

their full fellowship is extended.

It is a problem --- and a baseless, needless problem at that.

Uncle Dale

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Yes, many gods and lords and the like on earth,

ummm... Can you tell me what beings on earth are ACTUALLY "gods" according to your view?

Last I checked there was only one, and in heaven, and one who came to earth, and all the rest are IMAGINED.

Yet, Paul specifically states there ARE gods and lords many. We aren't adding to the word here, you are by placing "on earth".

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ummm... Can you tell me what beings on earth are ACTUALLY "gods"...

George W. Bush -- who carries about in his pocket a card with the nuclear arming codes --

who (unless his generals disobey him) can effectively destroy the world in ten minutes.

A god who may not know whether his thermonuclear weapons are in North Dakota or in Louisana,

but who could quite possibly destroy every man, woman and child in Iran, before I finish my lunch.

What god, since Noah's day, has held such power in his hands?

UD

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The problem is Soren... This particular verse is speaking of a Future event so it it the Ultimate.

Which one do you mean? I mentioned both Phillippians and Hebrews.

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George W. Bush -- who carries about in his pocket a card with the nuclear arming codes --

who (unless his generals disobey him) can effectively destroy the world in ten minutes.

A god who may not know whether his thermonuclear weapons are in North Dakota or in Louisana,

but who could quite possibly destroy every man, woman and child in Iran, before I finish my lunch.

What god, since Noah's day, has held such power in his hands?

UD

Is stupidity a power? If so, then I rule the multiverse. :P

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