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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Apostle Paul and the Doctrine of the Holy Trinity

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Joined: 2010/3/10
Posts: 31

 Apostle Paul and the Doctrine of the Holy Trinity

Regarding the historical development of the doctrine of the Holy Trinity:

To what extent was Apostle Paul aware of the deity of Christ, and if he made any attempt to reconcile this with monotheism?

Why wasn't Paul clearer on this issue?

 2010/3/22 10:14Profile

Joined: 2007/6/27
Posts: 1573
Omaha, NE

 Re: Apostle Paul and the Doctrine of the Holy Trinity

Paul said that in Christ all the fullness of the
Deity dwells in bodily form. [Colossians 2:9-10]
Paul used GOD our Savior and Christ our Savior
interchangeably. Paul believed in One Lord, One
faith, One baptism, One GOD and Father of all
who is over all and through all and in all.
[see Ephesians 4:5-6] Paul revealed the mystery
of godliness; GOD was manifest in the flesh,
vindicated in the Spirit, beheld by angels,
proclaimed among the nations, believed on in
the world, taken up in glory. {I Timothy 3:16]

Martin G. Smith

 2010/3/22 11:18Profile

Joined: 2010/3/10
Posts: 31


Thanks. But the deity of Christ (and by extension, the doctrine of the Holy Trinity) is largely implicit than explicit among Paul's epistles. In contrast, John is very explicit about it.

Was Paul aware of the implications of Jesus being God for Judaistic monotheism?

Why Paul wasn't clearer on the deity of Christ Jesus and the doctrine of the Holy Trinity?

 2010/3/24 6:45Profile

Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC


Keep in mind that the apostle Paul's letters were what scholars call, "occasional letters." They were generally written in an ad hoc nature, and addressed issues as they needed to be addressed. If a particular topic did not need to be addressed, he did not bring it up. It seems he probably left his churches with a sufficient knowledge of this issue, and did not need to discuss it by letter.

Jimmy H

 2010/3/24 6:54Profile

 Re: Apostle Paul and the Doctrine of the Holy Trinity


My understanding that 'the doctrine of the Holy Trinity' was a response to heresy being suggested to the Church by outsiders, especially those who did not have the deep understanding of who God is which He had committed to the descendents of Abraham - Romans 3:1 What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit [i]is there[/i] of circumcision? 2 Much every way: chiefly, because that [b]unto them were committed the oracles of God[/b].

So, in the scriptures I quote below, I just want to get you thinking.

Deu 6:4, in the Sacred Names Bible (KJV) states 'Hear, O Israel: YHVH our ELOHIYM is one YHVH:' In Genesis 1, ELOHIYM is the only name God gives Himself (It appears 32 times in that chapter), and in Hebrew, this plural is not limited to three.

For interest, consider Rev 3:1, Rev 4:5, Rev 5:6, Zech 3:9, Eze 43:2, Rev 1:15. Of course there is great symbolism in seven, and three, but perhaps modern Bible students are missing something that was immediately understood by the early Church?

There is also an interesting opposite in this verse: Matt 12:45.


Lev 18:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, I am the LORD your God. 3 After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do: and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do: neither shall ye walk in their ordinances... 27 (For all these abominations have the men of the land done, which [i]were[/i] before you, and the land is defiled;) 28 [b]That the land spue not you out also, when ye defile it[/b], as it spued out the nations that [i]were[/i] before you. 29 For whosoever shall commit any of these abominations, even the souls that commit [i]them[/i] shall be cut off from among their people.

and: Zech 13:2, in light of Jesus Christ's reference to 'this wicked generation'.

1 Cor 14:10, 1 Cor 8:4 As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol [i]is[/i] nothing in the world, and that [i]there is[/i] none other God but one. 5 For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) 6 But to us [i]there is but[/i] one God, the Father, of whom [i]are[/i] all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom [i]are[/i] all things, and we by him.

Acts 17 from the Sacred Names Bible elucidates further:
23 For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.

24 ELOHIYM that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is YHVH of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;

25 Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;

26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;

27 That they should seek YHVH, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:

28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of ELOHIYM, we ought not to think that the divinity is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device.

30 And the times of this ignorance ELOHIYM winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:

Really, what I'm trying to show, is that 'the doctrine of the Holy Trinity' could be considered as a rather limited representation of ELOHIYM revealed by the whole of scripture, (which obviously, I have not quoted in full! ;-))and, by itself, does not express anything of our relationship with God through Christ, as He does, in John 17:21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, [i]art[/i] in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. 24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

10 For it became him, for whom [i]are[/i] all things, and by whom [i]are[/i] all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified [i]are[/i] all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12 Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. 13 And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.

14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. 16 For verily he took not on [i]him the nature of[/i] angels; but he took on [i]him[/i] the seed of Abraham. 17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto [i]his[/i] brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things [i]pertaining[/i] to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. 18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted. (Heb 2)

 2010/3/24 8:54

Joined: 2005/11/2
Posts: 3620


2 Thessalonians 2:16 Now <de> our <hemon> Lord <kurios> Jesus <Iesous> Christ <Christos> himself <autos>, and <kai> God <theos>, even <kai> our <hemon> Father <pater>, which <ho> hath loved <agapao> us <hemas>, and <kai> hath given <didomi> us everlasting <aionios> consolation <paraklesis> and <kai> good <agathos> hope <elpis> through <en> grace <charis>,

Here is the Trinity in full view. Jesus Christ=The Kurios Christos Autos, God the Father=Theos Patter, and the Person of everlasting consolation, the Comforter-Aionios Paraklesis, who is the Holy Spirit Comforter.

John 14:16 And <kai> I <ego> will pray <erotao> the Father <pater>, and <kai> he shall give <didomi> you <humin> another <allos> Comforter <parakletos>, that <hina> he may abide <meno> with <meta> you <humon> for <eis> ever <aion>;

Comforter=Parakletos, Our new birth has put all three in us, The Spirit of Christ in you, The Holy Spirit not just with us, but in us, The Father and His Nature birthed in us by the Incorruptable Seed, Jesus Christ, both making Their abode with us.

Paul speaks of One God in three Persons always and makes the mystery known "Christ in you the Hope of Glory" always in all His epistles.

"Phillip have you been with me so long and not seen the Father". If you have seen Me you see Him."

In Christ by the Father's Seed, sealed by the Holy Spirit



 2010/3/26 12:27Profile

Joined: 2010/3/10
Posts: 31


Thank you all for your responses.

Perhaps it comes down to God - in His infinite wisdom - not having the Bible as a textbook of bullet points. Doctrines are by and large extracted from the biblical text - unfortunately not everyone concurs on what is to be extracted.

 2010/3/29 19:45Profile

Joined: 2009/5/15
Posts: 1042
Pacific Ocean


not having the Bible as a textbook of bullet points. Doctrines are by and large extracted from the biblical text

This quote is astute, and an important observation. A great deal of theology is derivative. This is my own personal opinion, and I am sticking my neck out in an unusual manner for myself on this forum. But it has become a bit of a bother to me when people approach the Word placing the lens of a theological structure in front of interpretation. I think that theology like this needs to generally be in the backseat, because no-one likes a backseat driver. It seems odd how people can give more importance to a theological system (and believe me when I am an equal opportunity offender here, I have no one particular that seems to take precedence over any other in my mind.) than the Bible give importance to itself.

I did not take Calculus, (Differential, and Integral) until way after I had learned to add, subtract, multiply, divide, use fractions, understand variables, develop Algebra, synthetic division, geometry, trigonometry, then I was ready for the calculus. And even then, the real life application of that calculus was iffy and tentative at best. Theology is like the calculus of our faith in a lot of ways, and in many circles it seems that you cannot gain fellowship amongst a set of believers lest you first become inundated with their brand of calculus first. This is not true in all cases, but amongst some it is.

1 John says that a basis of our fellowship is if we "Walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and truly our fellowship is with him." It does not say anywhere in the word that our fellowship with one another has anything to do with adhering to the Calculus of the faith before we even know what a whole number is...

I know that this is not what you were posting about Castling...but your statement made me want to build on it a little bit.

Thank you for the statement :)

Jeremiah Dusenberry

 2010/3/29 22:20Profile


It's not recalled which preacher was heard saying it, but it's amusing NTL:

"Most all of you do not even understand how two shall become one flesh, so let's stick to the basics."

*brazenly staring*
Have you ever considered God being a decanity?
Let's see:
1. Father
2. Son
3. The consolate (aka Holy Spirit)
4. the seven spirits of the Lamb (Rev. 5:6)

Have fun
with that one.


Edited: for one mispelled word

 2010/4/7 18:44


The Roman Catholic New Theological Dictionary makes a number of frank admissions regarding the creation of the concept of "the trinity."

Concerning the Scriptural teaching on the nature of the Holy Spirit, in its article, "Trinity," it acknowledges:

"As such, the Spirit is never
the explicit object of New Testament
worship, nor is the Spirit ever
represented in New Testament
discourse as interacting
in an interpersonal way
with the Father
and the Son."

In the same article, further down, modern Catholic scholars, discussing the background of orthodox teaching on the Trinity, confess pagan influences upon their theology:

" Christians... conversant with
the then dominant philosophy of
middle-Platonism seized the opportunity
to proclaim and elucidate the Christian
message in a thought form which was
meaningful to the educated classes of
the widespread Hellenistic society.
Confident that the God they
[the pagan Greek philosophers]
preached was the Father of Jesus Christ
and the salvation they proclaimed was
that of Jesus, the apologists adapted
much of the Hellenic worldview...
[Tertullian made] the first known
use of the term "trinity" (p. 1054).

Tertullian and Origen were Catholic theologians who flourished in the last part of the second century and the beginning part of the third. Neither of them was even born until well over a century after the founding of the New Testament Church on the day of Pentecost. They were the ones who laid the foundations of Catholic (and later Protestant) teaching regarding the Trinity and the nature of God.
The Bible nowhere describes God as a trinity. Rather, the Bible reveals the truth of a Family that takes its name from God the Father, i.e., the Family of God (Ephesians 3:14-15) into which human beings might ultimately be born at the resurrection (Romans 8:16-17).



 2010/4/7 19:00

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