Jesus' God was not the Trinity, why is yours?

User avatar
darinhouston
Posts: 2230
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 7:45 am

Re: Jesus' God was not the Trinity, why is yours?

Post by darinhouston » Fri Mar 20, 2020 11:16 am

I want to add one more thing -- there's a tremendous value in engaging these sort of things, scripturally and even in secular life. Any time we can engage people who are approaching our subjects from a completely different perspective, it aims to test our assumptions and let us consider how error may have compounded error leading to erroneous dogma. Or it can alternatively firm up our own beliefs and knowledge of truth. I've been reading academic treatments of the entirety of John, for example, from completely different paradigms and it is very interesting. There is a recent stream of thought that questions who John's audience was and may explain why this gospel is so different from the synoptics. It also enlivens some of the most confusing passages and could give new exegetical breath to things we frequently just scratch our heads about. It's at least an interesting intellectual exercise to consider a possible gnostic audience. It's at least possible that John was engaging a gnostic or even hermetic audience using their own terminology yet recasting it in a gospel account of who Jesus was as God's Messiah in ways they would relate to (similar to Paul relating to those at Mars Hill about their unknown god). If true, it would give a slightly different perspective as to why his language and choice of material is often so different from the other gospel accounts. I have gone down a lot of rabbit holes as I learn more about gnostics and hermeticism and some of it freaks me out a bit as to how it has influenced our secular nation and other aspects of life. But, iron can't sharpen iron and we risk going off into full hereticism if we can't count on our brethren to stay engaged yet not merely dismissive.

I for one am counting on you all.

User avatar
Homer
Posts: 2682
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2008 11:08 pm

Re: Jesus' God was not the Trinity, why is yours?

Post by Homer » Fri Mar 20, 2020 1:45 pm

Darin,

I apologize for my tardy response.

Darin wrote:

(Homer)
But Jesus' words while here on earth reflect his status at that point in time when he had "emptied Himself". How do you exegete Isaiah 9:6 where we see "everlasting Father" as a descriptor of the child who was born to us?
(Darin)
I would exegete it in the same way the Jews would. I'm not aware of any scholars who believe the OT Jewish readers would have Yahweh in view in this passage, and I'm unaware of any Apostolic writing recasting this passage with any prophetic authority. There are any number of natural Jewish ways to take this passage. Just as Abraham is considered Father of many nations, and many other examples (even we talk today of someone being the father of innovation or that sort of thing). Likewise, they were looking for someone that would be the "never-ending" father or "everlasting" father or "father of the ages" etc. of God's people.
(Darin)
So......I guess I would ask how you exegete it since it seems to be a proof-text for you -- can a Trinitarian conflate Jesus with the Father?. According to a Trinitarian proof-text reading of this passage, that would suggest ontological identity between Jesus and the Father Himself. That would deny the separate personality of the Father and the Son.
Isaiah has much to say prophetically of this marvelous child born to and for God's people. It appears to be a prophecy with double fulfillment: in Isaiah's day and also foretelling of the Christ to come. Indeed no mere man could fulfill all that was to be accomplished by this Messiah:

Isaiah 9:6-7 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

6. For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will ]rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

7. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace,
On the throne of David and over his kingdom,
To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness
From then on and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.


The unending kingdom and peace (of a different kind) is only accomplished in Christ. Jesus, who said there would always be wars and rumors of wars, brought to us another kind of peace: peace with God:

John 16:33 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
33.These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”


The context of Isaiah's prophecy about the Messiah's birth is chapters 7 & 9. Matthew unquestionably linked Jesus to the passage in Isaiah when he, word for word, quoted the LXX, Isaiah 7:14, in Matthew 1:23:

Matthew 1:23 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
23. “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.”


(The only difference between Peter and the LXX is Peter uses the Greek kalesousin, third person plural "they shall call", where in the LXX it is "she will call", singular)

So we have Apostolic authority for Jesus being the child spoken of by Isaiah. The question then is what is meant by Isaiah 9:6-7:

Isaiah 9:6-7 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

6. For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
7. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace,
On the throne of David and over his kingdom,
To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness
From then on and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.


However we are to understand the marvelous appellations ascribed to this child (Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace) I think we have Apostolic authority to say they speak of Christ. Another quote of the OT by Matthew reinforces this for me:

Matthew 3:1-3 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
1. Now in those days John the Baptist *came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, 2. “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven ]is at hand.” 3. For this is the one referred to by Isaiah the prophet when he said,

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness,
‘Make ready the way of the Lord,
Make His paths straight!’”


It is noteworthy that in this quoted application of Isaiah to Jesus, the word "Lord" in Isaiah is "Yahweh". As Craig Blomberg has written "Thus the 'Lord' in this quotation is not simply 'Yahweh', but Jesus as God's self revelation".

The quote from Blomberg is found in a most interesting book I have: Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament
by D. A. Carson and G. K. Beale | Nov 1, 2007, over 1200 pages complete with index of scriptures and other ancient writings.

The scriptures speak God being unsearchable which I believe ought to cause us to be humble regarding the doctrine of the Trinity. I think we can take comfort in Paul's words:

Romans 10:9 New American Standard Bible (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;

User avatar
Paidion
Posts: 5012
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:22 pm
Location: Back Woods of North-Western Ontario

Re: Jesus' God was not the Trinity, why is yours?

Post by Paidion » Fri Mar 20, 2020 6:40 pm

Homer wrote:Isaiah 9:6-7 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

6. For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
7. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace,
On the throne of David and over his kingdom,
To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness
From then on and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this
I doubt that the original text had "His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father..."

The Septuagint, an early translation of the Hebrew into Greek, has:

6. For a child is born to us, and a son is given to us, whose government is upon his shoulder: and
his name is called the Messenger of great counsel: for I will bring peace upon the princes, and
health to him.
7. His government shall be great, and of his peace there is no end: it shall be upon
the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to establish it, and to support it with judgment and
with righteousness, from henceforth and forever. The seal of the Lord of hosts shall perform
this.


Not a word about His name being called "Mighty God" or "Eternal Father."
Current Hebrew Bibles are from the Masoretic Hebrew text which was not completed until the 9th century A.D.
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
Paidion
Posts: 5012
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:22 pm
Location: Back Woods of North-Western Ontario

Re: Jesus' God was not the Trinity, why is yours?

Post by Paidion » Fri Mar 20, 2020 7:14 pm

Even the Douay ( a Roman Catholic Translation) does not have "everlasting Father" in the passage, but "the Father of the world to come" or perhaps more accurately they might have rendered it "the Father of the age to come."

For a CHILD IS BORN to us, and a son is given to us, and the government is upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, God the Mighty, the Father of the world to come, the Prince of Peace.
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: 2682
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2008 11:08 pm

Re: Jesus' God was not the Trinity, why is yours?

Post by Homer » Sat Mar 21, 2020 1:52 pm

Hi Paidion,

You reference the LXX. Do you know from what source the copy you cite came from? Could it be from the Siniatic Aleph and/or codex Vaticanus?

User avatar
Paidion
Posts: 5012
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:22 pm
Location: Back Woods of North-Western Ontario

Re: Jesus' God was not the Trinity, why is yours?

Post by Paidion » Sat Mar 21, 2020 5:33 pm

To the best of my knowledge no edition of the Septuagint states that His name shall be called "mighty God" or "everlasting Father."
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: 2682
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2008 11:08 pm

Re: Jesus' God was not the Trinity, why is yours?

Post by Homer » Sat Mar 21, 2020 11:08 pm

Paidion,

So it is your contention that Matthew did not quote the passage in Isaiah correctly, or our NT translations are incorrect, or Matthew made up the verse 3:1? I'm not sure what your point is.

Thanks, Homer

User avatar
Paidion
Posts: 5012
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:22 pm
Location: Back Woods of North-Western Ontario

Re: Jesus' God was not the Trinity, why is yours?

Post by Paidion » Sun Mar 22, 2020 8:10 pm

Matthew 3:1 ????????
Homer, are you actually referring to Matthew 1:23?

20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.


If so, I have no problem with His name "Emmanuel" which means "God with us."
When Jesus walked this earth, though He was fully human, God was in Him ("the God" in Greek, thus referring to the Father). So when Jesus was with people, God the Father was with them. That is different from saying that Jesus IS God the Father.

You're not sure what my point is? It is simply that Isaiah 9:6 which in the Masoretic Hebrew (which translation was not completed until the 9th century) is incorrect in quoting Isaiah as saying, "His name shall be called...Mighty God, Everlasting Father..."
I claim that is NOT what Isaiah said, but that the Septuagint translation of the original Hebrew into Greek is correct.

Also the Hebrew of Cave 4 at Qumran differs from the Hebrew in the other caves. In Cave 4 the translation of the Hebrew text would be similar to the translation of the Greek Septuagint. I think you would find that the words of the Hebrew text of Isaiah 9:6 in Cave 4 would NOT contain the words "Mighty God" or "Everlasting Father."
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: 2682
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2008 11:08 pm

Re: Jesus' God was not the Trinity, why is yours?

Post by Homer » Sun Mar 22, 2020 8:26 pm

Hi Paidion,

You wrote:
Matthew 3:1 ????????
Homer, are you actually referring to Matthew 1:23?
Yes, you are correct. That is what happens when I hurry and am not careful. My 80 year old mind can lose track of things. But that has been happening for at least 25 years. I recall at work leaving my office intending to check on something out in the mill and when I got to the bottom of the stairs someone would approach me with some problem and after discussing it with him I would not remember why I had come downstairs.

I'd like to discuss this more; it may be a few days as I'm working on our taxes.

Be blessed, Homer

User avatar
Paidion
Posts: 5012
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:22 pm
Location: Back Woods of North-Western Ontario

Re: Jesus' God was not the Trinity, why is yours?

Post by Paidion » Sun Mar 22, 2020 9:32 pm

Thank you Homer.

Join the old-age club! I completed 82 years of life in February. I forget the names of people I know really well.
If I go to complete two tasks, and finish the first, I often forget what the second task was.
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.

Post Reply

Return to “The Trinity”