A lot of criticism has been leveled at Jehovah's Witnesses for this, now very old, article on the Early Church Fathers. Let us examine the articles purpose and main thrust. Being a Jehovah's Witness myself, I think I am in a good position to give a fair explanation, in my own words, of its meaning.
Lets, over the next few blogs examine this article in detail.
*** w56 8/15 p. 504 Early Church Fathers and the Trinity ***First it makes a simple statement about the basic "ingredients" that are needed to make up the Churches of Christendoms MODERN DOCTRINE of the "trinity":
"ACCORDING to the trinity the Father, the Son and the holy spirit are three persons of one godhead, coequal, cosubstantial and coeternal. Those teaching it claim that the so-called church fathers also taught the trinity, and since they lived so close to the apostles themselves it must be that the apostles also believed and taught the trinity. But did these “church fathers” believe in a trinity as held by Christendom? Note the following quotations from these men as published in The Church of the First Three Centuries, by Dr. A. Lamson."
1. Three persons: Father + Son + holy spirit = (ONE) godhead
I ask what is inaccurate about this statement? As far as I can see nothing! I'm sure Trinitarians would agree, so, lets proceed.
Next it asks:
"Those teaching it claim that the so-called church fathers also taught the trinity, and since they lived so close to the apostles themselves it must be that the apostles also believed and taught the trinity."What do they mean by "the trinity"?
The MODERN DOCTRINE that was then, in 1956, and now, 2010, taught in the Churches of Christendom.
This is the main thrust of the article!
It has always been the contention of Jehovah's Witnesses that the ORIGINAL DOCTRINE of Christ and the Apostles has CHANGED GRADUALLY from what it was in the very beginning, into something very differen't!
This is made clear by the next sentence:
"But did these “church fathers” believe in a trinity as held by Christendom?"Then it goes on to say this:
"Note the following quotations from these men as published in The Church of the First Three Centuries, by Dr. A. Lamson."Theres nothing complicated about this! There's no conspiracy theory in this! It simply say's it's going to QUOTE what "Dr Alvin Lamson" as published in his book "The Church of the First Three Centuries"!
Whats dishonest and deceptive about that? Where's the mystery? It simply was going to QUOTE a book written by someone else who is not a Jehovah's Witness.
In the series of blogs to come we will proceed to the substance of it's quotations and the unfair criticisms leveled at it by HATERS of Jehovah's Witnesses.
To be continued!