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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

TRINITY--Pastor Russell's View

TRINITY--Pastor Russell's View. ::Q716:1:: QUESTION (1911)--1--Please give your views of the Trinity?

ANSWER--I wish the brother had quoted the text of Scripture. But I will say that I have never found any text of Scripture from Genesis to Revelation that mentions the Trinity, and if anybody has found one, it would be worth something to me to know where it is. I would give ten dollars for it right away. I cannot find any reference to the Trinity in the Bible. You will find it in the hymn books, and in all kinds of theological books, but you will never find it in the Bible. There is just one text of Scripture which implies it--it does not say it--in `1 John 5:7`, where we read that there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word and the Spirit, and there are three that bear record on earth, the water, the spirit, and the blood, and these three agree in one, and the other three agree in one. What does it mean? Well, it would be very foolish the way it reads. That is one of those things where they tried to make a trinity in olden times, and not having any text of Scripture for it, they tried to manufacture one, and, as usual, they made a botch of it. Now, what does it say? "There are three bearing record in heaven." What are they bearing record to? That Jesus is the Son of God? Who is bearing record in heaven that Jesus is the Son of God? The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit bearing record in heaven that Jesus is the Son of God? What do they need to bear record of that kind for? Are the angels in need of it? The idea of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit going through heaven testifying to the angels that Jesus is the Son of God! It is ridiculous! These words are interpolated. It reads without these words, "There are three that bear record, the water, the Spirit and the blood, and these three agree in one testimony." That is the way it reads without the interpolated words. These words were interpolated, so far as we know, about seven hundred years after the words were supposed to be used. Do not misunderstand me. I fully believe in the Bible kind of a trinity. The Bible tells about the Father, and I believe that; the Bible tells about the Son, and I believe that; and the Bible tells about the Holy Spirit, and I believe that, too. I believe whatever the Bible says. And if anyone finds any text that tells about the Trinity, I will believe that too.

TRINITY--Is Expression "The Triune God" Scriptural? ::Q846:2:: QUESTION--What is understood by the expression, "the triune God?" (E.S.M.)

ANSWER--Some have thought this to be a scriptural expression, but it is not to be found in the Bible. It is believed to have originated in the heathen mythologies of the Hindoos in ancient India. Webster defines the term "triune" as three in one--"an epithet used to express the unity of a trinity of persons in the Godhead." We know of but one passage in the Bible that actually teaches the doctrine of a "triune God." But this passage is now conceded to be spurious by all Bible scholars. The words found in `1 John 5,7` ("in heaven the Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one; and there are three that bear witness in earth"), are not contained in any of the oldest Greek manuscripts. The Religious Dictionary, page 944, says: "It was not until the fourth century that the Trinitarian view began to be elaborated and formulated into a doctrine, and an endeavor made to reconcile it with the belief of the Church in one God . . . Out of the attempt to solve this problem sprang the doctrine of the Trinity . . . Trinity is a very marked feature in Hindooism, and is discernible in Persian, Egyptian, Roman, Japanese, Indian, and the most ancient Grecian mythologies."

TRINITY--Metiphysical or Ethical Sense? ::Q847:1:: QUESTION--Is the oneness between Jesus Christ and God, the Heavenly Father, ethical or metaphysical? (R.A.H.)

ANSWER--In the early history of the Church, after the Apostles had fallen asleep, many bitter controversies were engaged in over this very question. But now in these latter days when knowledge is increasing along all lines, and particularly so as regards the knowledge and understanding of the Scriptures, the solution of the matter is clearly seen. There is not a single passage of Scripture to be found in which it is set forth that the Lord Jesus and the Father are one in the metaphysical sense. Two texts are usually relied upon to support the metaphysical view, but it has been wrongly translated and the other is spurious as it is not contained in any of the old Greek manuscripts. The first of these, `John 1:1`, should read--"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with (ho theos) the God, and the Word was (theos) a God. The same was in the beginning with (ho theos) the God." The Logos was a God (mighty one) and was with the God (the Almighty One). The spurious passage is found in `1 John 5:7`, and consists of the words, "in heaven the Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth." As showing that the oneness of the Father and the Son is in the ethical sense we need only to quote a portion of the Lord Jesus' prayer--"I pray not for the world but for them which Thou hast given Me, for they are Thine . . . neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which believe on Me through their word; that they all may be one, as Thou, Father, art in Me and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us . . . that they may be one, even as We are one; I in them and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one."--`John 17:9,20-23`.

TRINITY--This is My Beloved Son. ::Q847:2:: QUESTION--If Christ was God the Father, and God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit; how could a voice from heaven say--"This is My beloved Son," when He was a man on earth? (Diogenes.)

ANSWER This is an age of general enlightenment. Knowledge is increasing along all lines, and specially so in regard to the teachings of the Scriptures. The superstitions and theories of the darker past are fading away in the light that is gradually widening out unto the perfect day. The shadows of ignorance and prejudice are still lingering here and there; but those minds of bolder sway that have burst the bonds and shackles of the creeds and traditions of former times, are rejoicing in the glorious liberty that comes to those who know the truth. God's Word has been woefully misrepresented both by friends and foes, and because many have been taught to believe that the absurd theories found in the creeds are contained in the Bible; these, in the light of our day, are rejecting the Bible as the inspired Word of God in place of studying the Scriptures to ascertain what they really teach. The expression of the creeds, contained in the question, is nowhere found in the Bible. Our Lord Jesus never claimed to be "God the Father" but always said that He was the Son of God.

"My Father is greater than I"; "God sent His Son into the world." Our Lord Jesus was not His own Father; but as the Scriptures declare He "was the beginning of the creation of God." The voice from heaven to the Son on earth proves absolutely, unless we deny our reasoning faculties and become unreasonable, that the Heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus are two distinct personalities.

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