In the comments box of my last post, mushtaq_tariq and myself have been having a dialogue. As it may be of wider interest, and others may wish to comment, and as his comments are good ones, I thought it might be useful to rescue it from the combox and respond here. His comments are in italic, mine not.
Mushtaq begins by courteously thanking me for my responses, and then answers them:
Thank you Madam Jessica for a nice and friendly discussion here. My reply has following FIVE (05) parts, you may reply separately to each part.
The problem is that your Trinity is wrong (e.g. Father and Son are equal in age) because you do not understand the teachings of Prophets of Old Testament in Previous centuries, nor the teachings of Blessed Jesus.
Why did Adam, Noah, David, Solomon, Moses and Blessed Jesus never speak and hear following words required to clarify basic requirement of salvation (i.e. Concept of God / Trinity)?:
(1) Trinity (2) Three Persons (3) Triune God (4) Three (5) Same substance, no three parts.
Blessed Jesus and Prophets always used Number ONE, Never Number THREE to teach concept of God to their nations. God is not author of confusion, but the pagans of 4th century are authors of confusion who invented these words and introduced in Christianity as basic requirement of salvation concept of God.
The problem is that this view fails to read the OT in the light of the New; it also fails, oddly for someone whose book is in a Semitic language, to understand the Hebrew.
- The word Elohim is used thousands of times for “God”; Adonai is used hundreds of times for “Lord”; both of these words are plural nouns in Hebrew.
- A number of passages speak of the “faces” or “presences” or “persons” of God (Exodus 33:14; Deuteronomy 4:37; and Job 13:8).
- God refers to Himself as “Us,” “Our,” and “We” (Genesis 1:26, 2:18 (LXX), 3:22, 11:7; Isaiah 6:8, and 41:21-2 – a phenomenon that is reflected in virtually every English translation.
In addition to plural words and the divine distinctions pointed out above, mention can be made of the triadic prayers, benedictions, and doxologies of the Old Testament (e.g. Genesis 48:15-16; Numbers 6:24-26; Isaiah 6:3 see also Isaiah 33:22; Jeremiah 33:2; Daniel 9:19), which given their formulaic character, cry out for some kind of explanation.
As for the Lord Jesus’s teaching, it is clear enough:
7 “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.”
8 Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.”
9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.
He who has seen Jesus has seen the Father, who is in Him, as He is in the Father.
As for the notion that the Trinity was invented in the fourth century, well that cannot stand the test of a study of the Church Fathers. Here are some examples which show Trinitarian thought in the Fathers:
Polycarp (70-155/160). Bishop of Smyrna. Disciple of John the Apostle.
“O Lord God almighty… I bless you and glorify you through the eternal and heavenly high priest Jesus Christ, your beloved Son, through whom be glory to you, with Him and the Holy Spirit, both now and forever” ( PG 5.1040).
Justin Martyr (100?-165?). He was a Christian apologist and martyr.
“For, in the name of God, the Father and Lord of the universe, and of our Savior Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit, they then receive the washing with water” (First Apol., LXI).
Ignatius of Antioch (died 98/117). Bishop of Antioch. He wrote much in defense of Christianity.
“In Christ Jesus our Lord, by whom and with whom be glory and power to the Father with the Holy Spirit for ever” (n. 7; PG 5.988).
“We have also as a Physician the Lord our God Jesus the Christ the only-begotten Son and Word, before time began, but who afterwards became also man, of Mary the virgin. For ‘the Word was made flesh.’ Being incorporeal, He was in the body; being impassible, He was in a passable body; being immortal, He was in a mortal body; being life, He became subject to corruption, that He might free our souls from death and corruption, and heal them, and might restore them to health, when they were diseased with ungodliness and wicked lusts.” (Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, eds., The ante-Nicene Fathers, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1975 rpt., Vol. 1, p. 52, Ephesians 7.)
Irenaeus (115-190). As a boy he listened to Polycarp, the disciple of John. He became Bishop of Lyons.
“The Church, though dispersed throughout the whole world, even to the ends of the earth, has received from the apostles and their disciples this faith: …one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are in them; and in one Christ Jesus, the Son of God, who became incarnate for our salvation; and in the Holy Spirit, who proclaimed through the prophets the dispensations of God, and the advents, and the birth from a virgin, and the passion, and the resurrection from the dead, and the ascension into heaven in the flesh of the beloved Christ Jesus, our Lord, and His manifestation from heaven in the glory of the Father ‘to gather all things in one,’ and to raise up anew all flesh of the whole human race, in order that to Christ Jesus, our Lord, and God, and Savior, and King, according to the will of the invisible Father, ‘every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth, and that every tongue should confess; to him, and that He should execute just judgment towards all…'” (Against Heresies X.l)
All these men knew either Apostles or those taught by them. The idea that Trinitarian thought started in the 4th century is just another area where Muslims err.
If you are a true follower of Blessed Jesus, you should avoid these words listed above as Unitarain Christians avoid use of these words to describe God, in this sense, Unitarian Christians are more closer to Blessed Jesus and Original Christianity of first century, Trinitarian Christians are more closer to Pagans of 4th century than original concept of God in times of Blessed Jesus.
Al Quran: Surah/Chapter 004 – An-Nisa. Verse 171.
People of the Book, do not go to excess in your religion, and do not say anything about God except the truth: the Messiah, Blessed Jesus, son of Mary, was nothing more than a messenger of God, His word, directed to Mary, a spirit from Him. So believe in God and His messengers and do not speak of a ‘Trinity’—stop, that is better for you—God is only one God, He is far above having a son, everything in the heavens and earth belongs to Him and He is the best one to trust.
There are no Unitarians in the early Church, and the Church has taught that Jesus was in God and God in Him from the start, and as my quotations show, the Fathers taught as the Apostles, and as the Church still does. The Unitarians as heretics who, like the Muslims, fail to grasp the mystery of God as Trinity. Quite what quoting the Koran proves, other than it is in error, I am unsure.
Writing ‘part of the Triune God’ is not an error. The error is in your statement that Triune God has NOT parts because of same substance of three persons. You are providing wrong reason as identity of parts. A book is made of same substance paper, yet it has no parts? It has parts in form of pages each identified with separate page number. Each page is part of book though of same substance.
To define “Part”, also use its opposite word “Whole”. A part is always less than “Whole” and parts can be counted. A page is “part” and book is “whole” and one page is not whole book, many pages combine to make Whole book and parts of book (pages) can be counted.
Your words are “Blessed Jesus is fully Divine, but He is not the whole of the Trinity”. You acknowledged Blessed Jesus is not whole of Trinity (A page is not whole book). Blessed Jesus and other persons are made of same substance (all pages of book are made of same substance), Three persons can be counted as first person father, second person Son and third person Holy Spirit (pages of book can be counted), Blessed Jesus and other two persons are parts of Trinity (all pages are parts of book). Trinity and Triune God are same, therefore, Blessed Jesus is part of Triune God, you have acknowledged that Blessed Jesus is not whole Trinity / Triune God.
You can hide word “parts” behind man made confusion of “substance”, but you cannot hide word “Whole” (Opposite word of Part), which exposes parts of Triune God.
Al Quran: Surah/Chapter 23 – -Mumenoon. Verse 91.
No son did Allah beget, nor is there any god along with Him: (if there were many gods), behold, each god would have taken away what he had created, and some would have lorded it over others! Glory to Allah! (He is free) from the (sort of) things they attribute to Him!
Writing that God has ‘parts’ is indeed a grievous error, as is comparing the Creator to a physical, man-made object. Let us take the shamrock. It has three leaves, the first is not the second, the second is not the third, and they are one shamrock not three. Three leaves of the same substance, not one leaf, not three parts, but one shamrock with three leaves. So with the Trinity, Three Persons, not one, where the Father is not the Son, the Son is not the Father, and neither is the Spirit, but all are in each other – even as Jesus tells us in John 14:7-11.
Your next misunderstanding is to divide Godhead. I am not asking you to divide “Godhead”, My question is about “Fatherhead”. You have acknowledged Blessed Jesus is not Son of himself and Son and Holy Spirit are not fathers. You have accepted division of “Fatherhead” restricted to one person only. Blessed Jesus is Son of God, but God as you say cannot be divided into parts then Is Blessed Jesus also Son of himself? You have refused it, then in Fatherhead of Blessed Jesus, Son and Holy Spirit are already excluded. Now my question to you, Blessed Jesus is Son of what? Is He Son of Godhead which includes him as well (Godhead cannot be divided) and he is also among his own fathers?
Al Quran: Surah/Chapter 005 – Al-Mâ’idah. Verse 75.
The Messiah, son of Mary (Blessed Jesus), was no other than a messenger, messengers (the like of whom) had passed away before him. And his mother (Mary) was a saintly woman. And they both used to eat (earthly) food. See how we make the revelations clear for them, and see how they are turned away!
There is no ‘Fatherhead’. There is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Jesus is is the Son of the Father, not the Godhead. Muslims do not understand that the Godhead is made of Father, Son and Holy Ghost; that does not divide God any more than three leaves divides the shamrock.
To prevent this becoming inordinately long, I shall finish in a second post, where I will then ask some questions of my own.