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beenblake
Member



Joined: 2005/7/26
Posts: 524
Tennessee, USA

 Re: godhead

Dear Philologos,

This raises some questions in response, and I am curious to hear your answers.

1) To whom should we pray, the Father, the Son, or the Holy Spirit? Does it matter?

2) To whom should we worship? Does it matter?

3) What is meant by saying God is three persons in one? How are they seperate? How are they one?

4) Jesus is God. Is this an accurate statement? What is the difference between this statement and Modalism? How does this differ from Sebellianism?

5) Some claim: "Within the Godhead there is subordination." What is your reply to this? What does this mean?

Thanks,

Blake


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Blake Kidney

 2005/11/3 10:11Profile
bluinos
Member



Joined: 2005/2/4
Posts: 78


 Re:

Philologos,

From the paragraph -- That was the true Light,

Again, John has reverted to his long list of imperfect tenses. He was the true Light; always; He was the Light, the true. This is the first use of one of John’s favourite words; true. It means more than factually accurate. Christ is the genuine Light, by implication, every other ‘light’ is not the ‘genuine’ article. Later John will speak of the True Bread, the True Vine, the True God. Religion has always been full of imitations but Christ’s provenance is clear. He has God’s hall-mark; …for him hath God the Father sealed. (Joh 6:27 KJV)

I have been blessed by your post, and am looking forward to more on; Johns writting of The Bread, the True Vine, and the True God.

Christ is the genuine Light, by implication, every other ‘light’ is not the ‘genuine’ article.

One is not born with this "light", but is this "light" made available to everyone who is born again and who desires to be transformed into the image of Christ?





 2005/11/3 12:02Profile
philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
4) Jesus is God. Is this an accurate statement? What is the difference between this statement and Modalism? How does this differ from Sebellianism?


Hi blake
perhaps we can take these one at a time. The earlier ones I think will need no specific answers if we can satisfactorily answer the others. I am going to take it slowly so that others can join in.

I'm going to try to answer this question briefly so that we don't drag too many 'red herrings' into the discussion. The struggles of the 3rd century were in trying to find the right way of expressing the unity of God and the deity of Christ.
[u]Modalism[/u] teaches that the three persons within the godhead are 'modes' in which God has manifested Himself:
Historically it was also called '[u]Patripassionism[/u]' because it taught that the Father Himself had become incarnate in Christ and there fore also suffered with Him.
It was called [u]Sabellianism[/u] after its chief exponent.
In our day it is often called [u]'Oneness' or 'Jesus Only'[/u] and is held by at least one major penecostal denomination.

So modalism=patripassionism=sabellianism=Jesus Only.


Your simple equation 'Jesus is God' is an accurate statement but we would need to add more statements to exclude 'modalism' from this. The most immediate problem with modalism, of course, is the conversations between the Father and the Son, and the promise of the Son to send the Spirit. At one level it is an attempt to maintain the full divinity of the Son but it produces the confusion expressed by an early opponent when he said they had "driven out the Paraclete and crucified the Father".

Your statement 'Jesus is God' would be accepted by modalists but they would not accept the idea that God is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit AT THE SAME TIME. They are really saying that God is the Father, OR the Son, OR the Holy Spirit but is not Father, Son and Holy Spirit in communion. In this view there could be no 'communion'. The original proponents viewed the revelation of God almost as a 'one-man play' with God playing three characters; there could never be two characters on stage at the same time because there was only one 'in the cast'.

Sabellius regarded the names Father, Son and Holy Spirit, as simply designations of three different phases under which the one divine 'essence' manifested itself.

OK? digest that and we'll move on to the 'subordination' question. ;-)


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Ron Bailey

 2005/11/3 14:15Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
I am going to take it slowly so that others can join in.



Quote:
Your statement 'Jesus is God' would be accepted by modalists but they would not accept the idea that God is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit AT THE SAME TIME. They are really saying that God is the Father, OR the Son, OR the Holy Spirit but is not Father, Son and Holy Spirit in communion. In this view there could be no 'communion'. The original proponents viewed the revelation of God almost as a 'one-man play' with God playing three characters; there could never be two characters on stage at the same time because there was only one 'in the cast'.



A common way that Oneness Pentecostals express this is that God the Father [u]became[/u] God the Son, [u]became[/u] God the Holy Spirit. Hence, they will use doctrinal language such as, "God exists as a trinity in three [u]manifestations[/u]". Notice the word 'manifestation' in place of 'person.'

It is important I think also to understand how God revealed Himself in the Hebrew Shema. This is the passage where God is declared to be 'One.'

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is [u]one[/u] LORD: (Deut 6:4)

Shmai Yisrael Adonai Eloheynu Adonai [u]Echad[/u].

Hear O’ Israel the Lord your God is [u]ONE[/u].

The Hebrew language has two words that can be translated "ONE": [i]echad[/i] and [i]yachid[/i]. Where as yachid (yah-keed) refers to the 'number one' (i.e., absolute unity), echad (ek-kawd) refers to a 'composite' or 'plural unity'.

An example of this is in the book of Genesis chapter 2, verse 24, where it says that a couple joined together in marriage shall become 'one' flesh. Since the Shema uses the word echad, not yachid, it is reasonable to say that God's essence or nature is that of a plural unity.

Understanding this word helps us apprehend that when we are speaking of God we are talking about one 'what' and three 'who's'. this is not three manifestations of the same person; but three persons as the plural unity of the One True God.


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Robert Wurtz II

 2005/11/3 15:06Profile
LetUsPray
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Joined: 2004/10/12
Posts: 173


 Re: The Godhead

This thread is awesome. I thank God for the care that is put into the detail and explanations.

I do have some questions, but I don't want to take away from the general thread.

God bless you Brothers.


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Hans Prang

 2005/11/3 15:43Profile
bluinos
Member



Joined: 2005/2/4
Posts: 78


 Re:

I found my answer,

John is still using those ‘timeless’ imperfect tenses. In Him was life, always. And the light was the light of men, always. Wherever there is a revelation of truth to men and women, in whatever culture or era, it has always been because of the Life being Light to men. So far, whenever John has spoken of Christ he uses the ‘timeless’ imperfect tense.

It is fascinating that Proverbs also describes Wisdom as a ‘tree of life’. He always was the only source of life and light.

 2005/11/3 17:42Profile
philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
The Hebrew language has two words that can be translated "ONE": echad and yachid. Where as yachid (yah-keed) refers to the 'number one' (i.e., absolute unity), echad (ek-kawd) refers to a 'composite' or 'plural unity'.

HI robert
This is interesting. Do you have Strongs numbers? my pathetic Hebrew is not good enough for me to follow this through.


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Ron Bailey

 2005/11/3 18:12Profile
dohzman
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Joined: 2004/10/13
Posts: 2132


 Re:

Following this thread has made all the time I spent reading others worth it. Some real rich stuff here. Thanks guys. God Bless :-)


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D.Miller

 2005/11/3 18:40Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Hi Ron,

Sorry for the spelling. The actual Strongs spelling is:

Yachiyd (Strongs 3173)

This would be an absolute 'one'

Echad' (Strongs 259)

This word is translated many times throughout the Old Testament, but as you often say, words have histories. The first occurances are very telling:


And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the [u]first[/u] day. (Genesis 1:5)

Evening + Morning = 'echad' day. This is a plural unity.


Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be [u]one flesh[/u].(Genesis 2:4)

This is also a plural unity.


And the LORD said, Behold, [u]the people is one[/u], and they have all [u]one language[/u]; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. (Genesis 11:6)

Here echad' is used in both places translated 'one.' The first is a plural unity, the second seems to indicate simply 'one.'


Then will we give our daughters unto you, and we will take your daughters to us, and we will dwell with you, and we will become [u]one people[/u]. (Genesis 34:16)


Only herein will the men consent unto us for to dwell with us, to be [u]one people[/u], if every male among us be circumcised, as they are circumcised.(Genesis 34:22)

Similar to Adam and Eve becoming one (echad') flesh, this people would become a plural unity.


Also in Judah the hand of God was to give [u]them one heart[/u] to do the commandment of the king and of the princes, by the word of the LORD. (2 Chron 30:12)
KJV


The whole congregation [u]together[/u] was forty and two thousand three hundred and threescore, Beside their servants and their maids, of whom there were seven thousand three hundred thirty and seven: and there were among them two hundred singing men and singing women. (Ezra 2:64-65)

Here echad' is translated as 'together'. There were 42,360+ persons referred to as one or echad'.

I must clarify the fact that there are many different Hebrew words translated into our English word 'one'; however, the Messianic's argue that if God had meant to say 'absolute one' He had used [i]Yachiyd[/i] and not echad'. Since the Jews place such an emphasis on the Shema it is also said that they changed the word from echad to yachyid. This is alleged because they knew that echad' could mean complex or plural unity. The arguments are too complex to post here, and the sites that have good arguments I would prefer not to link to, but I think the case is pretty compelling for Anti- Trinitarians to come to grips with 'echad'. The key words to start a search going: [i]"Yachid vs. Echad"[/i]



God Bless,

-Robert



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Robert Wurtz II

 2005/11/3 21:32Profile
RobertW
Member



Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
Some real rich stuff here.



Ron, I believe your work here should be archived in the Text database. That is one of the best pieces I have read on the subject of John 1. :-)


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Robert Wurtz II

 2005/11/3 21:36Profile





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