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    'Abd-al Latif's Avatar
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    Who Invented the Trinity?

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    Who Invented the Trinity?

    What is the source of the Christian concept of the Trinity?

    The three monotheistic religions – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam – all purport to share one fundamental concept: belief in God as the Supreme Being, the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe. Known as “tawhid” in Islam, this concept of the Oneness of God was stressed by Moses in a Biblical passage known as the “Shema”, or the Jewish creed of faith: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord.” (Deuteronomy 6:4)

    It was repeated word-for-word approximately 1500 years later by Jesus when he said “...The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord.” (Mark 12:29)

    Muhammad came along approximately 600 years later, bringing the same message again:

    “And your God is One God: there is no God but He...” (Quran 2:163)

    Christianity has digressed from the concept of the Oneness of God, however, into a vague and mysterious doctrine that was formulated during the fourth century. This doctrine, which continues to be a source of controversy both within and outside the Christian religion, is known as the Doctrine of the Trinity. Simply put, the Christian doctrine of the Trinity states that God is the union of three divine persons – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit – in one divine being.

    If that concept, put in basic terms, sounds confusing, the flowery language in the actual text of the doctrine lends even more mystery to the matter:

    “...we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity... for there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, another of the Holy Ghost is all one... they are not three gods, but one God... the whole three persons are co-eternal and co-equal... he therefore that will be saved must thus think of the Trinity...” (excerpts from the Athanasian Creed)

    Let’s put this together in a different form: one person, God the Father, plus one person, God the Son, plus one person, God the Holy Ghost, equals one person, God the What? Is this English or is this gibberish?

    It is said that Athanasius, the bishop who formulated this doctrine, confessed that the more he wrote on the matter, the less capable he was of clearly expressing his thoughts regarding it.

    How did such a confusing doctrine get its start?

    Trinity in the Bible

    References in the Bible to a Trinity of divine beings are vague, at best.

    In Matthew 28:19, we find Jesus telling his disciples to go out and preach to all nations. While this “Great Commission” does make mention of the three persons who later become components of the Trinity, the phrase “...baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” is quite clearly an addition to Biblical text – that is, not the actual words of Jesus – as can be seen by two factors:

    1) baptism in the early Church, as discussed by Paul in his letters, was done only in the name of Jesus; and

    2) the “Great Commission” was found in the first gospel written, that of Mark, bears no mention of Father, Son and/or Holy Ghost – see Mark 16:15.

    The only other reference in the Bible to a Trinity can be found in the Epistle of 1 John 5:7. Biblical scholars of today, however, have admitted that the phrase “... there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one” is definitely a “later addition” to Biblical text, and it is not found in any of today’s versions of the Bible.

    It can, therefore, be seen that the concept of a Trinity of divine beings was not an idea put forth by Jesus or any other prophet of God. This doctrine, now subscribed to by Christians all over the world, is entirely man-made in origin.

    The Doctrine Takes Shape

    While Paul of Tarsus, the man who could rightfully be considered the true founder of Christianity, did formulate many of its doctrines, that of the Trinity was not among them. He did, however, lay the groundwork for such when he put forth the idea of Jesus being a “divine Son”. After all, a Son does need a Father, and what about a vehicle for God’s revelations to man? In essence, Paul named the principal players, but it was the later Church people who put the matter together.

    Tertullian, a lawyer and presbyter of the third-century Church in Carthage, was the first to use the word “Trinity” when he put forth the theory that the Son and the Spirit participate in the being of God, but all are of one being of substance with the Father.
    Who Invented the Trinity?

    And verily for everything that a slave loses there is a substitute, but the one who loses Allah will never find anything to replace Him.”
    [Related by Ibn al-Qayyim in ad-Dâ' wad-Dawâ Fasl 49]



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    'Abd-al Latif's Avatar
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    Re: Who Invented the Trinity?

    A Formal Doctrine Is Drawn Up

    When controversy over the matter of the Trinity blew up in 318 between two church men from Alexandria – Arius, the deacon, and Alexander, his bishop – Emperor Constantine stepped into the fray.

    Although Christian dogma was a complete mystery to him, he did realize that a unified church was necessary for a strong kingdom. When negotiation failed to settle the dispute, Constantine called for the first ecumenical council in Church history in order to settle the matter once and for all.

    Six weeks after the 300 bishops first gathered at Nicea in 325, the doctrine of the Trinity was hammered out. The God of the Christians was now seen as having three essences, or natures, in the form of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

    The Church Puts Its Foot Down

    The matter was far from settled, however, despite high hopes for such on the part of Constantine. Arius and the new bishop of Alexandria, a man named Athanasius, began arguing over the matter even as the Nicene Creed was being signed; “Arianism” became a catch-word from that time onward for anyone who didn’t hold to the doctrine of the Trinity.

    It wasn’t until 451, at the Council of Chalcedon that, with the approval of the Pope, the Nicene/Constantinople Creed was set as authoritative. Debate on the matter was no longer tolerated; to speak out against the Trinity was now considered blasphemy, and such earned stiff sentences that ranged from mutilation to death. Christians now turned on Christians, maiming and slaughtering thousands because of a difference of opinion.

    Debate Continues

    Brutal punishments and even death did not stop the controversy over the doctrine of the Trinity, however, and the said controversy continues even today.

    The majority of Christians, when asked to explain this fundamental doctrine of their faith, can offer nothing more than “I believe it because I was told to do so.” It is explained away as “mystery” – yet the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 14:33 that “... God is not the author of confusion ...”

    The Unitarian denomination of Christianity has kept alive the teachings of Arius in saying that God is one; they do not believe in the Trinity. As a result, mainstream Christians abhor them, and the National Council of Churches has refused their admittance. In Unitarianism, the hope is kept alive that Christians will someday return to the preachings of Jesus: “... Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.” (Luke 4:8)

    Islam and the Matter of the Trinity

    While Christianity may have a problem defining the essence of God, such is not the case in Islam:

    “They do blaspheme who say: Allah is one of three in a Trinity, for there is no god except One God” (Quran 5:73)

    It is worth noting that the Arabic language Bible uses the name “Allah” as the name of God.

    Suzanne Haneef, in her book What Everyone Should Know About Islam and Muslims (Library of Islam, 1985), puts the matter quite succinctly when she says:

    “But God is not like a pie or an apple which can be divided into three thirds which form one whole; if God is three persons or possesses three parts, He is assuredly not the Single, Unique, Indivisible Being which God is and which Christianity professes to believe in.”[1]

    Looking at it from another angle, the Trinity designates God as being three separate entities – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. If God is the Father and also the Son, He would then be the Father of Himself because He is His own Son. This is not exactly logical.

    Christianity claims to be a monotheistic religion. Monotheism, however, has as its fundamental belief that God is One; the Christian doctrine of the Trinity – God being Three-in-One – is seen by Islam as a form of polytheism. Christians don’t revere just One God, they revere three.

    This is a charge not taken lightly by Christians, however. They, in turn, accuse the Muslims of not even knowing what the Trinity is, pointing out that the Quran sets it up as Allah the Father, Jesus the Son, and Mary his mother. While veneration of Mary has been a figment of the Catholic Church since 431 when she was given the title “Mother of God” by the Council of Ephesus, a closer examination of the verses in the Quran most often cited by Christians in support of their accusation, shows that the designation of Mary by the Quran as a “member” of the Trinity, is simply not true.

    While the Quran does condemn both trinitarianism (the Quran 4:171; 5:73)[2] and the worship of Jesus and his mother Mary (the Quran 5:116)[3], nowhere does it identify the actual three components of the Christian Trinity. The position of the Quran is that WHO or WHAT comprises this doctrine is not important; what is important is that the very notion of a Trinity is an affront against the concept of One God.

    In conclusion, we see that the doctrine of the Trinity is a concept conceived entirely by man; there is no sanction whatsoever from God to be found regarding the matter simply because the whole idea of a Trinity of divine beings has no place in monotheism. In the Quran, God’s Final Revelation to mankind, we find His stand quite clearly stated in a number of eloquent passages:

    “... your God is One God: whoever expects to meet his Lord, let him work righteousness, and, in the worship of his Lord, admit no one as partner.” (Quran 18:110)

    “... take not, with God, another object of worship, lest you should be thrown into Hell, blameworthy and rejected.”
    (Quran 17:39)

    – because, as God tells us over and over again in a Message that is echoed throughout ALL His Revealed Scriptures:

    “... I am your Lord and Cherisher: therefore, serve Me (and no other) ...” (Quran 21:92)



    ---------------------------------------------------

    Footnotes:


    [1] What Everyone Should Know About Islam and Muslims (Library of Islam, 1985) (pp. 183-184)

    [2] O People of the Scripture, do not commit excess in your religion or say about God except the truth. The Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, was but a Messenger of God and His word which He directed to Mary and a soul [created at a command] from Him. So believe in God and His messengers. And do not say, ‘Three’; desist—it is better for you. Indeed, God is but one God. Exalted is He above having a son. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. And sufficient is God as Disposer of affairs.” (Quran 4:171)

    [3] “And [beware the Day] when God will say, ‘O Jesus, Son of Mary, did you say to the people, ‘Take me and my mother as deities besides God?’ ‘He will say, ‘Exalted are You! It was not for me to say that to which I have no right. If I had said it, You would have known it. You know what is within myself, and I do not know what is within Yourself. Indeed, it is You who is Knower of the unseen.’ (Quran 5:116)
    Who Invented the Trinity?

    And verily for everything that a slave loses there is a substitute, but the one who loses Allah will never find anything to replace Him.”
    [Related by Ibn al-Qayyim in ad-Dâ' wad-Dawâ Fasl 49]



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    Re: Who Invented the Trinity?

    You were doing fine until you got to this statement:


    Quote Originally Posted by 'Abd-al Latif View Post
    Let’s put this together in a different form: one person, God the Father, plus one person, God the Son, plus one person, God the Holy Ghost, equals one person, God the What? Is this English or is this gibberish?
    There is no addition in a proper Christian understanding of the Trinity. No matter which person you are referring to, it is still the same one god that we are referring to each and every time. Those who try to project this in the form of an addition equation do not properly represent the Christians concept of trinity in doing so. I too would reject that idea as being polytheistic. Fortunately we don't believe it in that form any more than you do.

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    Re: Who Invented the Trinity?

    I am NOT a Christian, and yet have no problem in considering the doctrine of the Trinity monotheistic. It amounts to no more than 'three aspects of the same thing', which is simple enough. It genuinely baffles me why otherwise seemingly intelligent muslims keep pretending otherwise.
    Last edited by Trumble; 06-13-2009 at 08:56 AM.

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    Re: Who Invented the Trinity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trumble View Post
    I am NOT a Christian, and yet have no problem in considering the doctrine of the Trinity monotheistic. It amounts to no more than 'three aspects of the same thing', which is simple enough. It genuinely baffles me why otherwise seemingly intelligent muslims keep pretending otherwise.
    Monothiesm in Islam is as follows:

    Allah/God is 1 (one), singular. He has no partners or a family. He has no sons or daughters or a wife. He has no intermediaries at all whether this is a human or a statue/stone. No one can intercede on someones behalf except with the permission of god. No one has any power or authority over anything except Him, such as life, death, alternating the night and day etc. Nothing can harm you if He alone doesn't Will for it to happen - even if the whole world was to go against you - nor can anything bring you any good except He alone. He is not like us in shape or form, rather there are none equal to him in any shape or form. No one has any form of authority over Him or equal to Him or even close to Him because He is overwhelingly unique in this aspect. He knows everything that you do in your daily life, even the deepest secrets that you conceal deep within your heart. Not even a leaf falls except that He has knowledge concerning it.

    One god in a mathmetical and logical sense and you worship Him alone without anything inbetween. Anything besides this view is not seen as monotheistic.
    Who Invented the Trinity?

    And verily for everything that a slave loses there is a substitute, but the one who loses Allah will never find anything to replace Him.”
    [Related by Ibn al-Qayyim in ad-Dâ' wad-Dawâ Fasl 49]



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    Re: Who Invented the Trinity?

    Interesting. So in practice, the concept of the divine trinity was established only after the First Council of Nicea ? And not at the time of Jesus (according to Christians) ?
    Last edited by Banu_Hashim; 06-13-2009 at 11:27 AM.
    Who Invented the Trinity?

    ‘Say: If the ocean were ink wherewith to write out the words of my Lord, sooner would the ocean be exhausted, even if We added another ocean like it.’~Al Qu'raan (18:109)


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    Re: Who Invented the Trinity?

    The Core Belief of Arianism (if anyone is interested):


    A letter from Arius to the Arian Eusebius of Nicomedia succinctly states the core beliefs of the Arians:

    Some of them say that the Son is an eructation, others that he is a production, others that he is also unbegotten. These are impieties to which we cannot listen, even though the heretics threaten us with a thousand deaths. But we say and believe and have taught, and do teach, that the Son is not unbegotten, nor in any way part of the unbegotten; and that he does not derive his subsistence from any matter; but that by his own will and counsel he has subsisted before time and before ages as perfect God, only begotten and unchangeable, and that before he was begotten, or created, or purposed, or established, he was not. For he was not unbegotten. We are persecuted, because we say that the Son has a beginning, but that God is without beginning."

    (Peters, Heresy and Authority in Medieval Europe, p. 41)
    Source
    Last edited by Banu_Hashim; 06-13-2009 at 11:27 AM.
    Who Invented the Trinity?

    ‘Say: If the ocean were ink wherewith to write out the words of my Lord, sooner would the ocean be exhausted, even if We added another ocean like it.’~Al Qu'raan (18:109)


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    Re: Who Invented the Trinity?

    Interesting post, jazak Allah khair brother 'Abd-al Latif

    It can, therefore, be seen that the concept of a Trinity of divine beings was not an idea put forth by Jesus or any other prophet of God. This doctrine, now subscribed to by Christians all over the world, is entirely man-made in origin
    the thing that really confused me in this trinity thing is that it was not mention in the bible even one time.

    While Paul of Tarsus, the man who could rightfully be considered the true founder of Christianity, did formulate many of its doctrines, that of the Trinity was not among them. He did, however, lay the groundwork for such when he put forth the idea of Jesus being a “divine Son”. After all, a Son does need a Father, and what about a vehicle for God’s revelations to man? In essence, Paul named the principal players, but it was the later Church people who put the matter together
    Interesting! so not even Paul use that term


    Tertullian, a lawyer and presbyter of the third-century Church in Carthage, was the first to use the word “Trinity” when he put forth the theory that the Son and the Spirit participate in the being of God, but all are of one being of substance with the Father
    Good! coming to that word founder, first time to know that. I did a simple search about him and this is what I got:

    Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus, anglicised as Tertullian, (ca.160 – ca.220 AD)[1] was a prolific and controversial early Christian Berber author, and the first to write Christian Latin literature. He also was a notable early Christian apologist and a polemicist against heresy.
    However, when he approved innovation, he did originate and advance new theology to the early Church. He is perhaps most famous for coining the term Trinity (Latin trinitas) and giving the first exposition of the formula[2]. Other formulations that first appear in his work are "three Persons, one Substance" as the Latin "tres Personae, una Substantia" (itself from the Koine Greek "treis Hypostases, Homoousios"), and also the terms vetus testamentum ("old testament") and novum testamentum ("new testament").
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tertullian

    even in his other book as the above source says, he is explaining it as three persons


    My question now is the following:
    What were Christians exactly believe in before that terms? "before the forth century"

    or what were the denominations exist at that time?
    Who Invented the Trinity?

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    Re: Who Invented the Trinity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trumble View Post
    I am NOT a Christian, and yet have no problem in considering the doctrine of the Trinity monotheistic.
    I see no wonder when someone who accepts Buddhism to find no problem with the trinity , If he accepts the former he wouldn't wonder the later......

    but It genuinely baffles me when he wonders why intelligent muslims(as if only muslims who criticize it) don't accept it.!! ,but his opinion is as a voice in the wilderness,as most of the non-christian intelligent gentlemen on our planet wouldn't accept his laughable simplification with the problems accompanied with the trinity .
    Last edited by Imam; 06-14-2009 at 10:41 PM.

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    Re: Who Invented the Trinity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trumble View Post
    I am NOT a Christian, and yet have no problem in considering the doctrine of the Trinity monotheistic. It amounts to no more than 'three aspects of the same thing', which is simple enough. It genuinely baffles me why otherwise seemingly intelligent muslims keep pretending otherwise.
    Ah ok. So one aspect of God can crucify the other, and temporarily separate itself eh? What about being separate and distinct from the other?

    Correct me if I'm wrong Trumble, but it seems you are agreeing with a false explanation of the trinity.
    Who Invented the Trinity?

    Even Satan believes in Allah.

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    Re: Who Invented the Trinity?

    I don't know what the trinity is really about but I like the concept of the divine nature covered in mystery, too compluicated for humans to understand it.

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    Re: Who Invented the Trinity?

    I sense another debate thread about the trinity - In Pure monothestic terms its preety much shirk - thats the real problem muslims have with it.
    Who Invented the Trinity?

    Do you think the pious don't sin?

    They merely:
    Veiled themselves and didn't flaunt it
    Sought forgiveness and didn't persist
    Took ownership of it and don't justify it
    And acted with excellence after they had erred - Ibn al-Qayyim

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    Re: Who Invented the Trinity?

    Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. John 8:58 KJV


    8:58 (Arabic Life Application Bible)

    58 أَجَابَهُمْ: الْحَقَّ الْحَقَّ أَقُولُ لَكُمْ: إِنَّنِي كَائِنٌ مِنْ قَبْلِ أَنْ يَكُونَ إِبْرَاهِيمُ».


    In these two verses Jesus said that he has been with us always. To Christians this is Christ admitted his divinty.



    1 John 5:7 (King James Version)

    7For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.


    5:7 (Arabic Life Application Bible)

    7 فَإِنَّ هُنَالِكَ ثَلاَثَةَ شُهُودٍ غفِي السَّمَاءِ، الآبُ وَالْكَلِمَةُ وَالرُّوحُ الْقُدُسُ، وَهَؤُلاءِ الثَّلاَثَةُ هُمْ وَاحِدٌف.


    In this it says that these things bear record in Heaven. Jesus is the Word. In the Gospel of John Jesus is called the "Word made flesh".

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    Re: Who Invented the Trinity?

    Quote Originally Posted by ragdollcat1982 View Post
    Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. John 8:58 KJV


    8:58 (Arabic Life Application Bible)

    58 أَجَابَهُمْ: الْحَقَّ الْحَقَّ أَقُولُ لَكُمْ: إِنَّنِي كَائِنٌ مِنْ قَبْلِ أَنْ يَكُونَ إِبْرَاهِيمُ».


    In these two verses Jesus said that he has been with us always. To Christians this is Christ admitted his divinty.



    1 John 5:7 (King James Version)

    7For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.


    5:7 (Arabic Life Application Bible)

    7 فَإِنَّ هُنَالِكَ ثَلاَثَةَ شُهُودٍ غفِي السَّمَاءِ، الآبُ وَالْكَلِمَةُ وَالرُّوحُ الْقُدُسُ، وَهَؤُلاءِ الثَّلاَثَةُ هُمْ وَاحِدٌف.


    In this it says that these things bear record in Heaven. Jesus is the Word. In the Gospel of John Jesus is called the "Word made flesh".
    Just for the record, John 5:7 is a fabrication (a later addition made by a scribe).

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    Re: Who Invented the Trinity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Banu_Hashim View Post
    Interesting. So in practice, the concept of the divine trinity was established only after the First Council of Nicea ? And not at the time of Jesus (according to Christians) ?


    Established?

    If you mean declared an official position of the Church, then that would be correct.

    If you mean that it didn't exist? Then no, that would not be true.

    The term "trinitas" was coined by Tertullian (c. 155-230) nearly 2 centuries earlier. And he felt the need to do this because from the beginning the early church (even before Paul was a Christian) understood their worship to be directed to Jesus even as they believe that there was only one God. So, Tertullian tried to explain how both could be true at the same time. To do so he coined the words "Trinity" and "person" and explained that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit were "one in essence - not one in Person."

    Such ways of thinking are rooted in Jewish thought that actually pre-date the Christian era. For more on this see especially any discussion of the Jewish presonification of "wisdom of God" and "spirit of God" from the rabbinical era that preceeded Jesus.

  20. #16
    Grace Seeker's Avatar
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    Re: Who Invented the Trinity?

    Quote Originally Posted by rpwelton View Post
    Just for the record, John 5:7 is a fabrication (a later addition made by a scribe).
    Just for the record. I don't think you mean John 5:7. There is no doubt regarding its authenticity.

    I believe you meant to say 1 John 5:7. Here there is a interpolation present in the KJV which modern translations realize is "spurious and have no right to stand in the New Testament" (Bruce Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, United Bible Societies, 1971).

    The longer passage 1 John 5:7-9 in the KJV reads:

    7For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

    8And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.

    9If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.
    While in more modern translation using better textual sources the same passage reads:
    7For there are three that testify: 8the[a] Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. 9We accept man's testimony, but God's testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son.
    The the NIV there is a footnote found at verse 8 explaining by means of the following information:
    Late manuscripts of the Vulgate include "...that testify in heaven: the Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one. 8 And there are three that testify on earth: the Spirit..." (but is not found in any Greek manuscript before the sixteenth century)

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    Re: Who Invented the Trinity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grace Seeker View Post
    J
    I



    While in more modern translation using better textual sources the same passage reads:



    I only read the KJV. I however do have other translations for my own referance should I need them. From my own personal research and study I do believe that the KJV is more accurate than other English translations.


    http://atschool.eduweb.co.uk/sbs777/...v/part1-3.html
    Last edited by ragdollcat1982; 06-13-2009 at 05:35 PM. Reason: add link

  22. #18
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    Re: Who Invented the Trinity?

    Quote Originally Posted by ragdollcat1982 View Post
    I only read the KJV. I however do have other translations for my own referance should I need them. From my own personal research and study I do believe that the KJV is more accurate than other English translations.


    http://atschool.eduweb.co.uk/sbs777/...v/part1-3.html
    That's fine. The differences between the KJV and other English translations are mostly minor points. Its translators did the best they could with the text they had. The Textus Receptus on which it was based was not perfect, no text available today is yet perfect, and unless we are able to get back to the original autographs (which of course we can't) none is ever going to be perfect. But whether you are talking the text used for the KJV or those used for other translations, the text of the NT is better established than any other document of its age. And though the OT text has a few more problems, for its age it has held up incredibly well too. With the notable exception of a few short passages (like 1 John 5:7-8 or John 7:53-8:11) I have confidence in the integrety of our biblical texts. So, then, the question of which translation to use is more about personal preference of a more literal word-for-word translation or of a more dynamic thought-for-thought translation. I know lots of people that use the KJV and nothing more simply because that is what they were raised on and they are comfortable with it. Personally, I switched to the NIV years ago, that doesn't make it better, just better for me.

    If you use the KJV, you have a version that has held up for centuries, one that has impacted the language, and even influenced our own government. There are probably more commentaries and other reference books based on the KJV than all of the rest of the world's translations combined. Even those of us who use other translations will often memorize key verses in the KJV. For instance, the 23rd Psalm only sounds right to my ears when recited in the KJV.

    But, at the same time, I would caution you to be aware of some of the issues that caused later translations to differ from the KJV with respect to the accuracy of the selected texts from which their translations were made from. When a passage (such as 1 John 5:7-8) cannot be found in any extant copy prior to the 16th century, then the odds are that it probably wasn't originally penned by John when he wrote his letter and would not be a verse I would want to make as a foundation text for pinning an important doctrine such as the Trinity on. Yes, it might ring nice in my ears (like with the 23rd Psalm), but that is not sufficient reason to hold to it when it doesn't appear in any of the older manuscripts of the letter. In fact, that particular line was not even a part of the textus receptus, but was added by Guttenburg later when a friend asked him why it was not in the first version of the Bible he printed. He said that is was because it could not be found in the original Greek. His friend challenged him that it still belonged, and Guttenberg told him that he would print it if he could find it in any Greek edition of the manuscript. Well, the man found one copy with it in it and that is how it made it into the 2nd printing of Guttenberg's Bible which is the edition used by the translators of the KJV. Not a pretty story for something that has had such a large impact on so many, but we must be honest in our evaluation of our own faith if we are to be received with integrity when being critical of others.
    Last edited by Grace Seeker; 06-14-2009 at 02:02 AM.

  23. #19
    rpwelton's Avatar
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    Re: Who Invented the Trinity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grace Seeker View Post
    Just for the record. I don't think you mean John 5:7. There is no doubt regarding its authenticity.

    I believe you meant to say 1 John 5:7. Here there is a interpolation present in the KJV which modern translations realize is "spurious and have no right to stand in the New Testament" (Bruce Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, United Bible Societies, 1971).

    The longer passage 1 John 5:7-9 in the KJV reads:



    While in more modern translation using better textual sources the same passage reads:


    The the NIV there is a footnote found at verse 8 explaining by means of the following information:
    Late manuscripts of the Vulgate include "...that testify in heaven: the Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one. 8 And there are three that testify on earth: the Spirit..." (but is not found in any Greek manuscript before the sixteenth century)
    I was referring to the verse ragdollcat quoted about three bearing witness in heaven. So yes, I suppose that would be 1 John, not John.

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