Tuesday, June 21, 2011

TRACING THE ORIGIN OF THE THREE-IN-ONE-GOD ( CONCEPT ) IN EARLIEST EXTANT SOURCES = GNOSTIC = SIMON MAGUS!

In researching the History and and looking for the possible origin of the "Tri{3}nity" doctrine and trying to find the EARLIEST TRACES of this teaching in extant sources, what I found was remarkable. 

The Tri{3}nity is not mentioned by any Genuine Christian writer in good standing with the "Church" who isn't heavily influenced by Greek Philosophy (compare Col 2:8) in the first and second centuries.

Theophilus uses the word Gk., ( triados ) which was later adapted to the Tri{3}nity doctrine but in the context in which he uses it and in what he actually says he does not teach the real THREE-IN-ONE-FATHER-SON-HOLY-SPIRIT-GOD that is now taught in the Churches. 

Tertullian was, (this point is generally kept under raps or played down as much as possible or completely ignored by Tri{3}nitarians), actually a cult follower of the false prophet MONTANUS at the time when he ( first ) started teaching the Tri{3}nity. In his pre-montantist works he shows BI{2}-nitarian views but not until the turn of the century or just after does he write "Against Praxaes" the first written treatise on the Tri{3}nity. At this time he seperated himself from main-stream Christianity and turned against it. In fact "Against Praxaes" is a MONTANIST defence - ( against ) - true Christianity. He was then excommunicated for being a follower of and teaching these new and hetrodox doctrines originating from this false prophet MONTANUS.

Both of which will be the subject of a more in depth posts at a later date.

But what you DO find is the THREE-IN-ONE-GOD-OF-FATHER-SON-HOLY-SPIRIT --- ( CONCEPT ) --- being used by the earliest "heretics" (for want of a better word) out-side of - and running parallel to - late first and second century Christianity.

In fact the earliest known and nearest to a THREE-IN-ONE-GOD --- ( CONCEPT ) --- within Christian writings that I can find is in the teachings of SIMON MAGUS - who is the very same SIMON mentioned in the book of Acts in the Bible.
This is the earliest TRACE of this DOCTRINAL CONCEPT I can find in historical sources within Christian sources.
And it's not found in the teachings of the Bible, not found in the teachings of the earliest genuine Christian writers - but found - in a demonized Gnostic Apostate's teaching.

Read the citations below and make your own evaluation, think about it and draw your own conclusions.

But make sure you compare the comments in earlier posts and at the bottom after the quoted citations.

It is certainly food for thought.

The following quotes are all about Simon Magus:


IRENAEUS (circa. 130-200 C.E.): “...He, therefore, was glorified by many as a god; and he taught that it was he himself who, forsooth, appeared among the Jews as THE SON, while in Samaria he descended as THE FATHER, and in the rest of the nations he came as THE HOLY SPIRIT. That he was THE HIGHEST POWER, to wit, THE FATHER OVER ALL..." - (Contra Haereses, I. xxiii. 1-4. Text: Opera edidit Adolphus Stieren; Lipsiae, 1848.)
 
IRENAEUS (circa. 130-200 C.E.): “...SIMON THE SAMARITAN was that MAGICIAN of whom Luke, the disciple and follower of the apostles, says, “But there was a certain man, SIMON BY NAME, WHO BEFORE-TIME USED MAGICAL ARTS in that city, and led astray the people of Samaria, declaring that he himself was some great one, to whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, THIS IS THE POWER OF GOD, WHICH IS CALLED GREAT. And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had driven them mad by his sorceries.” [Acts viii. 9–11.] This SIMON, then—who feigned faith, supposing that the apostles themselves performed their cures by the art of magic, AND NOT BY THE POWER OF GOD; [equating holy spirit with the power of God] and with respect to their filling with the Holy Ghost, … This man, then, was glorified by many as if he were a god; and he taught that it was himself who appeared among the Jews AS THE SON, but descended in Samaria AS THE FATHER while he came to other nations IN THE CHARACTER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. He represented himself, in a word, as being THE LOFTIEST OF ALL POWERS, that is, THE BEING WHO IS THE FATHER OVER ALL, and he allowed himself to be called by whatsoever title men were pleased to address him. 2. Now this SIMON OF SAMARIA, from whom all sorts of heresies derive their origin, formed his sect out of the following materials: … They also have an image of Simon fashioned after the likeness of Jupiter, and another of Helena in the shape of Minerva; and these they worship. In fine, they have a name derived from SIMON, THE AUTHOR OF THESE MOST IMPIOUS DOCTRINES, being called SIMONIANS; and from them “knowledge, falsely so called,” [1 Tim. vi. 20.] received its beginning, as one may learn even from their own assertions. 5. The successor of this man was MENANDER, also a Samaritan by birth, and he, too, was a perfect adept in the practice of magic...” – (Against Heresies Bk 1; Chap 23:1-4; Roberts and Donaldson, ANF, Vol. 1, p. 348.)


TERTULLIAN (circa. 145-225 C.E.): “...For SIMON THE SAMARITAN also, the purveyor of the Holy Spirit, in the Acts of the Apostles, ... a Tyrian woman Helen from a place of public pleasure, a fit commodity instead of THE HOLY SPIRIT. And he pretended that he was the highest Father, ... for the purpose of deceiving whom he transformed himself, and pretended that he was a man to men only, playing the part of THE SON in Judaea, and that of THE FATHER in Samaria...” - (Tertullianus De Anima, 34, 36. Text: Bibliothec. Patr. Eccles. Select. curavit Dr. Guil. Bruno Linder, Fasc. iv; Lipsiae, 1859.)

TERTULLIANEuphorbus; and in order that, by the demolition of the metempsychosis and metensomatosis by the same blow, the Found might be cut away which has furnished no inconsiderable support to our heretics. There is THE (INFAMOUS) SIMON OF SAMARIA IN THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES, who chaffered for the Holy Ghost: … He actually reigned himself to be THE SUPREME FATHER, … This wench, therefore, was the lost sheep, upon whom THE SUPREME FATHER, even SIMON, descended, who, after he had recovered her and brought her back-whether on his shoulders or loins I cannot tell-cast an eye on the salvation of man, in order to gratify his spleen by liberating them from the angelic powers. Moreover, to deceive these he also himself assumed a visible shape; and reigning the appearance of a man amongst men, he acted the part of THE SON in Judea, and of THE FATHER in Samaria...” – (On the Soul [Latin tittle: De Anima] Chap 34, ANTE-NICENE CHRISTIAN LIBRARY: Vol VII. Translated by Peter Holmes, Published by T&T Clark 1868)
Origen has some information also:

ORIGEN OF ALEXANDRIA (circa. 185 to 254 C.E.): “...But Celsus is ignorant that the SIMONIANS in no way confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but they say that SIMON IS THE POWER OF GOD…” - (Origenes Contra Celsum, i. 57; v. 62; vi. ii). Text (edidit Carol. Henric. Eduard); Lommatzsch; Berolini, 1846.)

ORIGEN OF ALEXANDRIA (circa. 185 to 254 C.E.): “...For the former (SIMON) pretended he was THE POWER OF GOD, which is called GREAT, and the latter Dositheus that he too was the Son of God...” - (Origenes Contra Celsum, i. 57; v. 62; vi. ii. Text edidit Carol. Henric. Eduard; Lommatzsch; Berolini, 1846.)

ORIGEN OF ALEXANDRIA (circa. 185 to 254 C.E.): “...There was also SIMON THE SAMARITAN … he desired to spread the glory of his name, … quoted from the Acts of the Apostles; ...having proved that SIMON was in no respect DIVINE...” - (Origen, Contra Celsum (LVII), Phillip Schaff ANF 421-422.)

While Origen's account does not contain some of the other details, he does show he claimed to be "divine" "The Great Power of God" and "The Son of God".

HIPPOLYTUS OF ROME (circa. 170-236 C.E.): "...For he said that, as the Angels were misgoverning the world owing to their love of power, he had come to set things right, being metamorphosed and made like unto the Dominions, Principalities and Angels, so that he was manifested as a man although he was not really a man, and that he seemed to suffer in Judaea, although he did not really undergo it, but that he was manifested to the Jews as THE SON, in Samaria as THE FATHER, and among the other nations as THE HOLY GHOST..." - (Philosophumena, vi. 9. Text: Refutatio Omnium Haeresium ediderunt Lud. Duncker et F.G. Schneidewin; Gottingae, 1859.)
[FOOTNOTE]: Hippolytus “Refutation of all Heresies” 6:9 = Latin “Philosphumena.”

GREEK TEXT: “...Σίμωνος γίνεται τοῦ μάγου πρώτη αἵρεσις ἀπὸ Χριστοῦ … ἔλεγεν δὲ ἑαυτὸν εἶναι τὴν μεγάλην δύναμιν τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ ἄνωθεν καταβεβηκέναι. Τὸν πατέρα δὲ ἔλεγεν ἑαυτὸν τοῖς Σαμαρείταις, Ἰουδαίοις δὲ ἔλεγεν ἑαυτὸν εἶναι τὸν υἱόν, παθόντα δὲ μὴ πεπονθέναι, ἀλλὰ δοκήσει μόνον...” – (Panarion † Adversus haereses 1.238 Patrologiae cursus completus. Series graeca. Edidit Migne, J.P., LIBRARY OF RUSLAN KHAZARZAR)

EPIPHANIUS OF SALAMIS (c. 310 to 403 C.E.): “...From the time of Christ to our own day the first heresy was that of Simon the magician, and though it was not correctly and distinctly one of the Christian name, yet it worked great havoc by the corruption it produced among Christians. … by saying that he was THE GREAT POWER OF GOD and had come down from above. And he told the Samaritans that he was THE FATHER, and the Jews that he was THE SON...” - ([Panarion or Latin title] “Contra Haereses,” ii. 1-6. Text: Opera edidit G. Dindorfius; Lipsiae, 1859.)

EPIPHANIUS OF SALAMIS (c. 310 to 403 C.E.): “...It took place [that] Simon the magician the first heresy from Christ, stretching forth until now, this (one) being associated with the name of Christ, but [certainly] not one of [the] faithful, pure, or upright, worked busily in [among] these ones causing corruption … but saying about himself that he was “THE GREAT POWER OF GOD” that had “stepped down from on High!” [Also] he was saying that he was “THE FATHER” to the Samaritans, but to Jews he said he was “THE SON”...” – (1.238, Panarion or Latin title “Adversus haereses,” translated by Matt13weedhacker)
[FOOTNOTE 1]:
Gk., ( τὴν μεγάλην δύναμιν τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ ἄνωθεν καταβεβηκέναι ) “The Great Power of God that had stepped down from on High” = equivalent to the “holy spirit”
[FOOTNOTE 2]: Gk., ( Τὸν Πατέρα ) = “The Father”
[FOOTNOTE 3]: Gk., ( τὸν υἱόν ) = “The Son”

More witnesses to Simon Magus teaching the "THREE-IN-ONE-GOD" - ( CONCEPT ):

PHILASTRIUS ( ? ): “...SIMON, THE MAGICIAN, a Samaritan … saying that he was some POWER OF GOD, ABOVE ALL POWERS. Whom the Samaritans worship as THE FATHER...” - (De Haeresibus, i. Text: Patres Quarti Ecclesiae Saeculi edidit D.A.B. Caillau; Paris, 1842.)


LATIN TEXT: “...Ego sum Sermo Dei, ego sum Speciosus, ego Paracletus, ego Omnipotens, ego omnia Dei...” - (In Matthaeum, IV. xxiv. 5. Text: S. Eusebii Hieronymi Comment.; Migne Patrol. Latina., VII. Col. 176.)

JEROME or HIERONYMUS (circa. 347 to 420 C.E.): “...Of whom there is one SIMON, A SAMARITAN, whom we read of in the Acts of the Apostles, who said he was some GREAT POWER. And among the rest of the things written in his volumes, he proclaimed as follows: "I am THE WORD OF GOD; I am THE GLORIOUS ONE, I THE PARACLETE, THE ALMIGHTY, I THE WHOLE OF GOD...” - (In Matthaeum, IV. xxiv. 5. Text: S. Eusebii Hieronymi Comment.; Migne Patrol. Grec., VII. Col. 176.)
[FOOTNOTE]: Above more commonly known as Jeromes “Commentary On Matthew” Bk 5, Chapter 24:5.

GREEK TEXT: “...Ἑαυτὸν δὲ τὴν ἄπειρον ὠνόμασε δύναμιν, καὶ Ἰουδαίοις μὲν ὡς ΥἹῸΝ φανῆ ναι, πρὸς δὲ Σαμαρείτας ὡς ΠΑΤΈΡΑ κατεληλυθέναι, ἐν δὲ τοῖς ἄλλοις ἔθνεσιν ὡς ΠΝΕΥ͂ΜΑ ἍΓΙΟΝ ἐπιφοι τῆσαι...” - (Haereticarum Fabularum Compendium, I. i. Αʹ. –Περὶ Σίμωνος τοῦ Μάγου)

THEODORETUS (circa. 397 to 457 C.E.): "...Whereas he called himself THE BOUNDLESS POWER, and (said) that he had appeared to the Jews as THE SON, and to the Samaritans he had descended as THE FATHER, and among the rest of the nations he had gone up and down as THE HOLY SPIRIT...” - (Haereticarum Fabularum Compendium, I. i. Text: Opera Omnia ex recensione Jacobi Simondi, denuo edidit Joann. Ludov. Schulze; Halae, 176.)

APOCRYPHAL ACTS OF PETER (circa. 150-200 C.E.): “...SIMON, ... further that he said he was A GREAT POWER OF GOD and without God he did nothing. Is not this THE CHRIST?...Perchance also he will now enter into Rome; for yesterday they besought him with great acclamations, saying unto him: Thou art GOD in Italy, thou art THE SAVIOUR of the Romans: haste quickly unto Rome..." - (Acts of Peter XII, translated by M.R. James. earlychristianwritings.com.) 

Notice SIMON'S strange teaching that he himself was the Father and the Son and the holy spirit all roled into one person and that he was "...THE ALMIGHTY, THE WHOLE OF GOD..." as Jerome relates.

Yes it's not exactly the Tri{3}nity of Christendom, but it is the nearest you will get to that concept in this period within available historical sources in Christianity.

And it's not from a genuine Christian in good standing with the Church but a Gnostic Apostate.

Now the real reason why I wanted to post these quotes about Simon Magus is because of the clear link between his teaching and his followers and their followers after-wards.

Meander his disciple to Valentius etc.

Remember Martin Werners observations:


MARTIN WERNER: "...Consequently one now began to talk of a divine 'Trinity'. In the Nicene Confession-formula of A.D. 325 this concept had been, significantly, lacking. 'Trinitas'- Trias did not signify a kind of 'unity of three', but simply 'three-ness'. In the adoption of this concept the Gnosticising tendency also showed itself. For the 'Trias' -'Trinitas' was first adopted as a doctrinal terminus technicus [technical term] in the period of the Church's controversy with Gnosticism. AS A DOCTRINAL CONCEPT, 'trinitas' WAS OF GNOSTIC ORIGIN. Trias - trinitas was one of a number of numerical-concepts employed in Gnostic pleroma speculation, where there was, with the trias, a dyas, tetras, hexas, an ogdoas, dekas, and dodekas. The VALENTINIAN GNOSTIC had been, accordingly, so far as the existing sources permit us to know, the FIRST Christian theologian to designate the Father, Son and Spirit specifically as a Trias..." (The Formation of Christian Dogma, An Historical Study of its Problems; Martin Werner, p252)

Tracing the links and lineage of the doctrine. 

Couple this with the other Gnostic concepts of same-substance, what is begotten of god is god etc.

But there is another link to Simon Magus which is even more interesting.

In a future post I will compare the teachings of Simon Magus with that of MONTANUS.

Yes the teacher of guess who?

TERTULLIAN.

Starting to form a bigger picture now? Connecting the dots? 

When I finish my research and preparation and post a systematic examination of the actual writings of the Apostolic Fathers and Apologists and Christian writers up to the end of the Second Century and when you see the complete absence of the actual Tri{3}nity doctrine and then see it growing in Heretical sources influencing Christianiyt like Simon Magus, Valentinus and other Gnostics, Montanus, Tertullian, Sabellius the picture will become clearer of it's NON-CHRISTIAN and HERETICAL and PHILOSOPHICAL and NON-BIBLICAL SOURCE.

These Apostate teachers - more than anything else had to do with the slow but gradual rise of this doctrine - from within and with-out.  

DID GNOSTIC CONCEPTS INFLUENCE 2ND CENTURY CHRISTIAN THINKING?

Further proof that the idea of SAME-SUBSTANCE was originally a Gnostic ( CONCEPT ) that slowly infiltrated Christianity:

JEROME (circa. 347 to 420 C.E.): “...Now compare the words of Origen, which I have translated word for word above, with these which by him have been turned into Latin, or rather overturned; and you will see clearly how great a discrepancy between them there is, not only of word but of meaning. I beg you not to consider my translation wearisome because it is longer; for the object I had in translating the whole passage was to exhibit the purpose which he had in suppressing the earlier part. There exists in Greek a dialogue between ORIGEN AND CANDIDUS THE DEFENDER OF THE HERESY OF VALENTINIAN, in which I confess it seems to me when I read it that I am looking on at a fight between two Andabatian gladiators. CANDIDUS MAINTAINS THAT THE SON IS OF THE SUBSTANCE OF THE FATHER, falling into the error of asserting a Probolé or Production. On the other side, ORIGEN, LIKE ARIUS AND EUNOMIUS, refuses to admit that He is produced or born, lest God the Father should thus be divided into parts; BUT HE SAYS THAT HE WAS A SUBLIME AND MOST EXCELLENT CREATION WHO CAME INTO BEING BY THE WILL OF THE FATHER LIKE OTHER CREATURES..." - (Hieronymus – Apologia Adversus Libros Rufini; Jerome’s Apology for Himself Against the Books of Rufinus; Addressed to Pammachius and Marcella from Bethlehem, a.d. 402. Book 2, Section 19, Page 512.)

The next quote is to show the use of the "...SAME-SUBSTANCE..." ( CONCEPT ) in Gnostic writings before it was used in Christianity:

CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA quoting THEODOTUS (EXTRACT 58): “Then after the Kingdom of Death, which had made a great and fair promise, but had none the less become a ministry of death, Jesus Christ the great Champion, when every principal­ity and divinity had refused, received unto himself by an act of power the Church, that is, the elect and the called, one (the spiritual) from the Mother, the other (the psychic) by the Dis­pensation; and he saved and bore aloft what he had received and through them what was CONSUBSTANTIAL. For "if the first fruits be holy, the lump will be also; if the root be holy, then will also the shoots."...” - (EXTRACTS FROM THE WORKS OF THEODOTUS AND THE SO-CALLED ORIENTAL TEACHING AT THE TIME OF VALENTINUS [Theodotus, a second-century Valentinian gnostic, that were compiled by Clement of Alexandria]. Translation by Robert Pierce Casey, The Excerpta ex Theodoto of Clement of Alexandria (Studies and Documents 1; London: Christophers, 1934), 40-91.)

There are many examples of the same-substance ( CONCEPT ) of the Gnostics within both sources quoted above.

See Irenaeus, particuarly in Keble's translation of the Greek version of Book 1 of Adv Haer. 

The Gnostic concept is blended with Christian concepts and mutated into the evolutionary proto-plasim from which the Tri{3}nity will slowly ooze out and take incremental steps toward influencing the minds of those already trained in and pre-disposed to Philosophy within Christianty.

DID GNOSTIC CONCEPTS INFLUENCE 2ND CENTURY CHRISTIAN THINKING?

MARCELLUS OF ANCYRA (circa 300 C.E.): “...MARCELLUS, A THEOLOGIAN OF THE 300'S, OBJECTED TO USING PERSONS IN THE FORMULA OF THE NATURE OF GOD. WHILE HE DID NOT PREVAIL ON THAT POINT IN THE NICENE CREED, YET HIS STING WAS THAT ( THE WHOLE CONCEPT ) - OF THREE PERSON IN ONE – SMACKED OF PAGANISM. His quote below goes far to explain why ( the trinity concept ) was ( not – explicitly utilized ) despite it being argued for in Tertullian, Justin Martyr and Origen. We find the following quote of Marcellus in A. Logan, “Marcellus of Ancyra (Pseudo-Anthimus [of Nicodemia (died-martyred circa 302 C.E.)]), '[To Theodore] On The Holy Church' [De Sancta Ecclesia]: Text, Translation and Commentary. Verses 8-9,” Journal of Theological Studies, NS, Volume 51, Pt. 1 (April 2000) at 95: “...Now with the heresy of the Ariomaniacs, which has corrupted the Church of God. … THESE THEN TEACH THREE HYPOSTASES, JUST AS VALENTINUS THE HERESIARCH FIRST INVENTED IN THE BOOK ENTITLED BY HIM 'ON THE THREE NATURES'. FOR HE WAS THE FIRST TO INVENT THREE HYPOSTASES AND THREE PERSONS OF THE FATHER, SON AND HOLY SPIRIT, and he is discovered to have filched this from Hermes and Plato...” - (Page 197, “Did Calvin Murder Servetus?” By Stanford Rives.)
[PERSONAL NOTE]: From a Thirteenth Century MSS found in the Ambrosian Library, Milan, – another version in a copy in Escorial
[PERSONAL NOTE]: Compare Marcellus fragment of his Letter to Julius
[PERSONAL NOTE]: Compare Eusebius Eccl. Theol. Book III. Chapters 4, 6. for Valentius use of “person” Gk., ( prospona )
[PERSONAL NOTE]: Compare Athanasius Tomus ad Antiochenos = they accept three hypostatic prosopa – rejecting Marcellus ideas



VALENTINUS: “...The FATHER uncovers his bosom, which is the HOLY SPIRIT, revealing his secret. His secret is his SON!...” (Valentinus. Gospel of Truth. Verse 17. English translation by Patterson Brown).

TRIMORPHIC PROTENNOIA (Nag Hammadi Library): ”...Now the Voice that originated from my Thought exists as THREE permanences: THE FATHER, THE MOTHER, THE SON. Existing perceptibly as Speech, it (Voice) has within it a Word endowed with every , and it has THREE masculinities, THREE powers, and THREE names. THEY EXIST IN THE MANNER OF THREE ... secretly within a silence of THE INEFFABLE ONE...” (from James M. Robinson, ed., The Nag Hammadi Library, revised edition. HarperCollins, San Francisco, 1990.)

BAXTER KRUGER: “...The Cappadocian fathers in formulating the Eastern doctrine of the Trinity did not pull perichoresis out of nowhere. The Trinity had already been put forward as such in the early second century by THE PRE-EMINENT GNOSTIC CHRISTIAN VALENTINUS. Perichoresis and coinherence which are the pillars of a true understanding of God, were an experiential reality for a great many people within primitive Christianity who understood the mystery of the Kingdom of God...Ironically, MARCELLUS OF ANCYRA one of the participants at the Council of Nicea was also concerned with what he saw as illegitimate Platonic and Hermetic influences within the Church at the time the Nicean Creed was being hammered out. MARCELLUS, arguing against the direction the Nicean Creed was being steered by the Cappadocian Fathers, warned that the three hypostases and three persons of Father Son and Holy Spirit were in fact a Platonic invention infiltrated into the Church by VALENTINUS!...” - “The Trinity and Perichoresis“ Baxter Kruger Perichoresis Organisation USA.
http://members.ozemail.co...erichoresis_trinity.html

“..
.Valentinus was the first to formulate a doctrine of the Trinity that looked anything like the profound understanding of the Cappadocian fathers. Valentinus clearly had an understanding of both coinherence and the hypostases of Father, Son and Holy Spirit...” – “Rehabilitating Valentinus” By Baxter Kruger Perichoresis Organisation USA.
http://members.ozemail.co...l.com.au/valentinus.html

“...
Thankfully last century saw the rediscovery of what is believed to be Valentinus 'Gospel of Truth' that gives us another perspective, and in it I see a man who prizes intimacy with God through Jesus Christ: [Qoute] “The Father reveals his bosom. - Now his bosom is the Holy Spirit. - He reveals what is hidden of him - what is hidden of him is his Son - so that through the mercies of the Father, the aeons may know him and cease laboring in search of the Father, resting there in him, knowing that this is the (final) rest.” [End Quote] – Valentinus Gospel of Truth...” – “Rehabilitating Valentinus” By Baxter Kruger Perichoresis Organisation USA.
http://members.ozemail.co...l.com.au/valentinus.html

DID GNOSTIC CONCEPTS INFLUENCE 2ND CENTURY CHRISTIAN THINKING?

Although the writer I quote below is desperately grasping at straws to find early proof for the genuineness of the interpolation in 1st John 5:7 he in the process shows proof that the THREE-IN-ONE - ( CONCEPT ) - really originates with Gnostic writers rather than any genuine Christian writer:

CHARLES FORSTER: “...I have myself verified Gk., ( τρία ) in the neuter, applied to ( Persons of the Trinity ), in St. Irenaeus, circ. A.D. 185, St. Hippolytus, A.D. 240, St. Basil, St. Athanasius, Eusebius, and Germanus, Archbishop of Constantinople, A.D. 715. ... The first occurrence of Gk., ( τρία ) I find in St. Irenaeus, in a quotation ( FROM THE ARCH-HERETIC VALENTINUS );{6} a circumstance which carries back its use to A.D. 140, ... from the first verse of St. John's Gospel ; and in this connection so introduces Gk., ( τρία ), ... As he takes HIS GNOSTIC TRINITY from St. John's Gospel, it is only natural that he should take his title for it from the Epistle. We now come to the passage itself: GREEK TEXT: “...Ἔτι [18.] τε [l. δὲ] Ἰωάννην τὸν μαθητὴν τοῦ Κυρίου διδάσκουσι τὴν πρώτην ὀγδοάδα μεμηνυκέναι. αὐταῖς λέξεσι, λέγοντες οὕτως· Ἰωάννης ὁ μαθητὴς τοῦ Κυρίου βουλόμενος εἰπεῖν τὴν τῶν ὅλων γένεσιν, καθ’ ἣν τὰ πάντα προέβαλεν ὁ Πατὴρ, ἀρχήν τινα ὑποτίθεται τὸ πρῶτον γεννηθὲν ὑπὸ τοῦ Θεοῦ, ὃν [ὃ] δὴ καὶ Υἱὸν Μονογενῆ καὶ Θεὸν κέκληκεν, ἐν ᾧ τὰ πάντα ὁ Πατὴρ προέβαλε σπερματικῶς. Ὑπὸ δὲ τούτου φησὶ τὸν Λόγον προβεβλῆσθαι, καὶ ἐν αὐτῷ τὴν ὅλην τῶν Αἰώνων οὐσίαν, ἣν αὐτὸς ὕστερον ἐμόρφωσεν ὁ Λόγος. Ἐπεὶ οὖν περὶ πρώτης γενέσεως λέγει, καλῶς ἀπὸ τῆς ἀρχῆς, τουτέστι τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ τοῦ Λόγου, τὴν διδασκαλίαν ποιεῖται· λέγει δὲ οὕτως· Ἐν ἄρχῃ ἦν ὁ Λόγος, καὶ ὁ Λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν Θεὸν, καὶ Θεὸς ἦν ὁ Λόγος· οὗτος ἦν ἐν ἀρχῇ πρὸς τὸν Θεόν. Πρότερον διαστείλας τὰ τρία, Θεὸν, καὶ Ἀρχὴν, καὶ Λόγον, πάλιν αὐτὰ ἑνοῖ, ἵνα καὶ τὴν προβολὴν ἑκατέρων αὐτῶν δείξῃ, τοῦ τε Υἱοῦ καὶ τοῦ Λόγου, καὶ τὴν πρὸς ἀλλήλους ἅμα, καὶ τὴν πρὸς τὸν Πατέρα ἕνωσιν. Ἐν γὰρ τῷ Πατρὶ, καὶ ἐκ τοῦ Πατρὸς ἡ ἀρχὴ, [ἐν ἀρχῇ δὲ] καὶ ἐκ τῆς ἀρχῆς ὁ Λόγος. Καλῶς οὖν εἶπεν· Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ Λόγος· ἦν γὰρ ἐν τῷ Υἱῷ· καὶ ὁ Λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν Θεόν· καὶ γὰρ ἡ ἀρχή· καὶ Θεὸς ἦν ὁ Λόγος, ἀκολούθως· τὸ γὰρ ἐκ Θεοῦ γεννηθὲν, Θεός ἐστιν· οὗτος ἦν ἐν ἀρχῇ πρὸς τὸν Θεόν· ἔδειξε τὴν τῆς προβολῆς τάξιν...” - (Ap. D. Advers. Haeres. Lib. I. p. 36. Op. Paris, 1639. [SAME TEXT = Book 1. Chapter 1. Section 18. (ed. W. Wigan Harvey) Sancti Irenaei episcopi Lugdunensis libri quinque adversus haereses, vol. 1. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1857].)
[ IRENAEUS (circa. 130-200 C.E.): “...And moreover John, the Disciple of our Lord, by their teaching, indicated the first Ogdoad, these being their very words: “John the Disciple of the Lord, meaning to speak of the generation of all things, wherein the Father ( produced them all ), supposes a beginning, the first thing begotten of God, in whom the Father produced all from seed. And by him he saith that the Word was produced, and in him the whole ( substance ) of the Aeons, which the Word himself afterwards reduced to form. Since than he speaks of the first birth, well does he frame his instruction from the beginning, that is, from God, and the Word. And thus he speaks: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God; He was in the beginning with God.” Having before distinguished THE THREE, God, and the Beginning, and the Word, he again ( UNITES - THEM ) : to indicate at the same time the ( emanation ) of each of them, – of of the Son and the Word, and their ( UNION ) also with one another and with the Father. For in the Father and of the Father is the Beginning, and of the Beginning is the Word. Well therefore said he, “In the beginning was the Word” ; for he was ( in ) the Son : “and the Word was with God” ; for so was the beginning : “and the Word was God,” by way of inference : for that which is begotten ( of ) God, ( is ) God. “The same was in the Beginning with God,” pointed out the ( order ) of the Production...” - (Page 28 Gnostic interpretation of the Prologue of St. John's Gospel. Valentinian perversion of the Holy Scriptures characterized. Five books of S. Irenaeus bishop of Lyons, against heresies. Translated by the Rev. John Keble, with the fragments that remain of his other works. Published 1872 by J. Parker in Oxford.) ] ... comes from an unexpected quarter. It is given by 'a Greek writer,' not a Father of the Church BUT A HERETIC prior to nearly all the Greek Fathers.{7} In the foregoing example, containing THE GNOSTIC corruption of the doctrine of the Trinity, we have the earliest known instance of Gk., ( τρία ) in the neuter applied to Persons, - to the three Persons of Valentinus's Trinity. The earliness of the date of the document (circa. A.D. 140) precludes the possibility of the ( term ) being borrowed from Christian writers. ( But the idea ) is equally precluded by the circumstances of the case. ... But Valentinus, here, not only takes his Gk., ( τρία ) ... contains the whole idea of the verse – its Trinity in Unity : “...Πρότερον διαστείλας τὰ τρία, [His text omits in this citation: Θεὸν, καὶ Ἀρχὴν, καὶ Λόγον,] – πάλιν αὐτὰ ἑνοῖ...” ... that ValentinusValentinus, we have seen, has been preserved to us by St. Irenaeus...” - (Pages 7-, Chapter 1, “( Τρία ) Used Of The Persons Of The Trinity. “A New Plea for the authenticity of the text of the THREE HEAVENLY WITNESSES: Or Porson's Letters to Travis Eclectically Examined and THE EXTERNAL AND INTERNAL EVIDENCES FOR 1ST JOHN V. 7 ECLECTICALLY RE-SURVEYED.” By Rev. Charles Forster, B.D. Cambridge 1867.)
[PERSONAL FOOTNOTE]: I have added an English version of the Greek in this section from Page 28 of Kebles Translation.

This writer tries to call it a "...corruption of..." the Tri{3}nity doctrine of Christendom. 

Which doesn't wash! 

Because there is no real substantial and un-mistakable evidence of this doctrine WITH-IN CHRISTIANITY in this early period. 

There are only a small few of the "...maybes, if you look at it this way, possibly, sort of, not quite, if you twist it this way..." passages within the ANF. Which is very much against his theory.

But this is evidence of the ALIEN SOURCE of the doctrinal concepts that eventually lead to the corruption of Christianity through false teachers within - as foretold in the Scriptures.

DID GNOSTIC CONCEPTS INFLUENCE 2ND CENTURY CHRISTIAN THINKING?

MARTIN WERNER: "...Consequently one now began to talk of a divine 'Trinity'. In the Nicene Confession-formula of A.D. 325 this concept had been, significantly, lacking. 'Trinitas'- Trias did not signify a kind of 'unity of three', but simply 'three-ness'. In the adoption of this concept the Gnosticising tendency also showed itself. For the 'Trias' -'Trinitas' was first adopted as a doctrinal terminus technicus [technical term] in the period of the Church's controversy with Gnosticism. AS A DOCTRINAL CONCEPT, 'trinitas' WAS OF GNOSTIC ORIGIN. Trias - trinitas was one of a number of numerical-concepts employed in Gnostic pleroma speculation, where there was, with the trias, a dyas, tetras, hexas, an ogdoas, dekas, and dodekas. The VALENTINIAN GNOSTIC had been, accordingly, so far as the existing sources permit us to know, the FIRST Christian theologian to designate the Father, Son and Spirit specifically as a Trias..." (The Formation of Christian Dogma, An Historical Study of its Problems; Martin Werner, p252)

Proof the Gnostics and Valentians used the word TRINITY before Tertullian in the writings of Tertullain himself and also from Clement of Alexandria:

LATIN TEXT: “...Hae [1.] sunt doctrinae hominum et daemoniorum prurientibus auribus natae de ingenio sapientiae saecularis quam Dominus stultitiam uocans stulta mundi in confusionem etiam philosophiae ipsius elegit. [2.] Ea est enim materia sapientiae saecularis, temeraria interpres diuinae naturae et dispositionis. [3.] Ipsae denique haereses a philosophia subornantur. Inde aeones et formae nescio quae infinitae et TRINITAS hominis apud VALENTINUM: Platonicus fuerat...” - (Tertulliani Liber De Praescriptione Haereticorum VII.)
http://www.tertullian.org...iptione_haereticorum.htm

TERTULLIAN: “...These are "the doctrines" of men and "of demons" produced for itching ears of the spirit of this world's wisdom: this the Lord called "foolishness," and "chose the foolish things of the world" to confound even philosophy itself. For (philosophy) it is which is the material of the world's wisdom, the rash interpreter of the nature and the dispensation of God. Indeed heresies are themselves instigated by philosophy. From this source came the AEons, and I known not what INFINITE FORMS, AND THE TRINITY OF MAN IN THE SYSTEM OF VALENTINUS, WHO WAS OF PLATO'S SCHOOL. From the same source came MARCION'S better god, with all his tranquility; he came of the STOICS...” – (Tertullian. The Prescription against Heretics, Chapter 7. TRANSLATED BY PETER HOLMES. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 3. Edited by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).

TERTULLIAN: “...THESE are the doctrines of men and of daemons, generated for itching ears by the ingenuity of that worldly wisdom which the Lord called foolish-ness, and chose the foolish things of the world to confound even philosophy itself. For philo-sophy is the theme of worldly wisdom, that rash interpreter of the Divine Nature and Order. And
in fact, heresies are themselves equipped by philo-sophy. THENCE COME VALENTINUS' "AEONS" AND I KNOW NOT WHAT INFINITE "IDEAS" AND "TRINITY OF MAN." HE WAS A PLATONIST...”  – (Tertullian. The Prescription against Heretics, CHAPTER VII Chapter 7 Pages 44-46) TRANSLATED BY BINDLEY.
http://www.tertullian.org.../bindley_test_07prae.htm

GREEK TEXT: “...εἰς [2.] Ὀγδόαδα. Καὶ ἀποθνῄσκουσιν μὲν τῷ κόσμῳ, ζῶσι δὲ τῷ Θεῷ, ἵνα θάνατος θανάτῳ λυθῇ, ἀναστάσει [3.] δὲ ἡ φθορά. Διὰ γὰρ Πατρὸς καὶ Υἱοῦ καὶ ἁγίου Πνεύματος σφραγισθεὶς ἀνεπίληπτός ἐστι πάσῃ τῇ ἄλλῃ δυνάμει, καὶ διὰ ΤΡΙΩ͂Ν Ὀνομάτων πάσης τῆς ἐν φθορᾷ ΤΡΙΆΔΟΣ ἀπηλλάγη· "φορέσας τὴν εἰκόνα τοῦ χοϊκοῦ, τότε φορεῖ τὴν εἰκόνα τοῦ ἐπουρανίου...” (4.80.2,3; Patrologiae cursus completus. Series graeca. Edidit Migne, J.P., LIBRARY OF RUSLAN KHAZARZAR)
http://www.hypotyposeis.org/papers/theodotus.htm

CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA (circa. 153 to 217 C.E.) QUOTING THEODOTUS: “...They say … He whom the Mother generates is led into death and into the world, but he whom Christ regenerates is trans­ferred to life into the Ogdoad. And they: die to the world but live to God, that death may be loosed by death and corruption by resurrection. For he who has been sealed by FATHER, SON AND HOLY SPIRIT is beyond the threats of every other power and by THE THREE NAMES has been released from the whole TRIAD of corruption. "Having borne the image of the earthly, it then bears the image of the heavenly...” - (EXTRACT 79 and 80 FROM THE WORKS OF THEODOTUS AND THE SO-CALLED ORIENTAL TEACHING AT THE TIME OF VALENTINUS [Theodotus, a second-century Valentinian gnostic, that were compiled by Clement of Alexandria]. Translation by Robert Pierce Casey, The Excerpta ex Theodoto of Clement of Alexandria (Studies and Documents 1; London: Christophers, 1934), 40-91.)


Perhaps the Long Recension of Ignatius is correct when it says Gnostic heretics were "...introducing the idea of ... that the Father and Son and spirit of holiness are identical..."


LONG GREEK TEXT: “...τὸν μὲν γὰρ Χριστὸν ἀλλοτριοῦσι τοῦ πατρός, τὸν δὲ νόμον τοῦ Χριστοῦ. τὴν ἐκ παρθένου γέννησιν διαβάλλουσιν, ἐπαισχυνόμενοι τὸν σταυρὸν τὸ πάθος ἀρνοῦνται καὶ τὴν ἀνάστασιν οὐ πιστεύουσι· τὸν θεὸν ἄγνωστον εἰσηγοῦνται, τὸν Χριστὸν ἀγέννητον νομίζουσι, τὸ δὲ πνεῦμα οὐδὲ ὅτι ἔστιν ὁμολογοῦσι. τινὲς δὲ αὐτῶν τὸν μὲν υἱὸν ψιλὸν ἄνθρωπον εἶναι λέγουσι, ταὐτὸν δὲ εἶναι πατέρα καὶ υἱὸν καὶ πνεῦμα ἅγιον, καὶ τὴν κτίσιν ἔργον θεοῦ, οὐ ( διὰ ) Χριστοῦ, ἀλλ' ἑτέρου τινός, ἀλλοτρίας δυνάμεως...” - (LONG RECENSION Chapter VI(6) Toward Trallians ( ΠΡOΣ TΡAΛΛIANOΥΣ ) Patrologiae cursus completus. Series graeca. Edidit Migne, J.P., LIBRARY OF RUSLAN KHAZARZAR.)

IGNATIUS (c. 30-107 C.E.): “...But, they portray Christ as belonging to another Father, even the law of the Christ. They speak slanderously and missrepresent his being born of a virgin, they are ashamed of the torture stake, they disown and cast aside the suffering, and they are not putting faith in the resurection, THEY - ( INTRODUCE ) - THE - ( IDEA ) - THAT GOD IS UN-KNOWABLE, THEY HOLD OUT THE CHRIST TO BE UNBEGOTTEN, and neither are they acknowledging the spirit. Some of them, lay down the Son to be an ordinary man, ALSO THAT THE FATHER AND THE SON AND SPIRIT OF HOLINESS ARE IDENTICAL, and that the creation is not the work of God - [ Gk., διά ] through the intermediate agency - of Christ, but instead to be of another strange power of a totally differen't kind...” - ([LONG RECENSION FOURTH - SIX CENTURY]: Translation by Matt13weedhacker Re-Revised 20/5/11)

DID GNOSTIC CONCEPTS INFLUENCE 2ND CENTURY CHRISTIAN THINKING?

Simon Magus who is according to Irenaeus the “Father of all Heretics” and the source of Valentinus teaching:


GREEK TEXT: "...Ὁ Πέτρος ἀπεκρίθη· ὁ κύριος ἡμῶν οὔτε θεοὺς εἶναι ἐφθέγξατο παρὰ τὸν κτίσαντα τὰ πάντα οὔτε ἑαυτὸν θεὸν εἶναι ἀνηγόρευσεν, ὑιὸν δὲ θεοῦ τοῦ τὰ πάντα διακοσμήσαντος τὸν εἱπόντα αὐτὸν εὐλόγως ἐμακάρισεν καὶ ὁ Σίμων ἀπεκρίνατο· οὐ δοκεῖ σοι οὖν τὸν ἀπὸ θεὸν εἶναι; καὶ ὁ Πέτρος ἔφη· πῶς τοῦτο εἶναι δύναται, φράσον ἡμῖν, τοῦτο γὰρ ἡμεῖς εἰπεῖν σοι οὐ δυνάμεθα ὃτι μὴ ἡκούσαμεν παρ᾽ αὐτοῦ..." - (FOOTNOTE 247, CHAPTER III. THE COMMON FAITH AND THE BEGINNINGS OF KNOWLEDGE IN GENTILE CHRISTIANITY AS IT WAS BEING DEVELOPED INTO CATHOLICISM. HISTORY OF DOGMA - VOLUME I, by ADOLF HARNACK)

SIMON MAGUS (circa. 3 B.C.E. to 66 C.E. ): “...When Simon heard this, he said: “Since you say that we ought not to believe even the prophet that gives signs and wonders if he say that there is another god, and that you know that he even incurs the penalty of death, therefore your teacher also was with reason cut off for having given signs and wonders.” And Peter answered: “Our Lord neither asserted that there were gods except the Creator of all, NOR DID HE PROCLAIM HIMSELF TO BE GOD, but He with reason pronounced blessed him who called Him the Son of that God who has arranged the universe.” And SIMON answered: “Does it not seem to you, then, THAT HE WHO COMES - FROM GOD - IS GOD?” And Peter said: “Tell us how this is possible; for we cannot affirm this, because we did not hear it from Him...” - (HOMILY XVI: Chapter XV.—Christ Not God, But the Son of God. The Clementine Homilies. By the Rev. Thomas Smith, D.D. In Roberts & Donalsons ANF.)


Valentinius a Gnostic and Christian Apostate hands down Simon Magus concept of “...that which is begotten ( of ) God, - is – God...”

IRENAEUS (circa. 130-200 C.E.): “...Thou hast indeed enjoined upon me, my very dear friend, that I should bring to light the VALENTINIAN doctrines, concealed, as their votaries imagine; that I should exhibit their diversity, and compose a treatise in refutation of them. Therefore have undertaken -- showing that they spring from SIMON, THE FATHER OF ALL HERETICS -- to exhibit both their doctrines and successions, and to set forth arguments against them all...” – (Book III, Preface, Verse 1, Adv Haer Roberts & Donaldsons ANF.)





IRENAEUS (circa. 130-200 C.E.): “...For, prior to Valentinus, those who follow Valentinus had no existence; nor did those from Marcion exist before Marcion; nor, in short, had any of those malignant-minded people, whom I have above enumerated, any being previous to the initiators and inventors of their perversity. For Valentinus ... But the rest, who are called Gnostics, take rise from Meander, SIMON'S DISCIPLE, as I have shown...” - (Book III, Chapter 4, Verse 3, Adv Haer Roberts & Donaldsons ANF.)


GREEK TEXT: “...τὸ γὰρ ἐκ Θεοῦ γεννηθὲν, Θεός ἐστιν...” - (Ap. D. Advers. Haeres. Lib. I. p. 36. Op. Paris, 1639. [SAME TEXT = Book 1. Chapter 1. Section 18. (ed. W. Wigan Harvey) Sancti Irenaei episcopi Lugdunensis libri quinque adversus haereses, vol. 1. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1857].) 
 

VALENTINIUS (circa. 100 to 160 C.E.): “...therefore said he [=Valentinius]...by way of inference ; FOR THAT WHICH IS BEGOTTEN OF GOD, IS GOD...” - (Page 28 Gnostic interpretation of the Prolouge of St. John's Gospel. Valentinian perversion of the Holy Scriptures characterized. Five books of S. Irenaeus bishop of Lyons, against heresies. Translated by the Rev. John Keble, with the fragments that remain of his other works. Published 1872 by J. Parker in Oxford.)


Now compare this with Irenaeus own BI{2}-nitarian ( TWO-in-one not THREE-in-one ) views :


IRENAEUS (circa. 130-200 C.E.): “...Therefore, the Father is Lord and the Son is Lord, and the Father is God and the Son is God, SINCE HE WHO IS BORN OF GOD IS GOD..." - (Chapter 47. Proof of the Apostolic Preaching. Joseph P. Smith. Ancient Christian Writers, New York: Newman Press, 1952, p. 78)

Monday, June 20, 2011

LACTANTIUS AND THE TRINITY - DENIES THE PERSONHOOD & DEITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT


LATIN TEXT: “...Lactantius in libris suis et maxime in Epistolis ad Demetrianum Spiritus Sancti omnino negat substantiam, et errore Judaico dicit eum vel ad Patrem referri vel Filium et sancticationem utriusque Personae sub ejus nomine demonstrari...” - (HIERON. Ep. Ad Pammach. Et Ocean. Chap. 7. Ep. 84. Vall. 41. Ben. 65. al.)

JEROME (circa 347 to 420 C.E.): “...Lactantius in his writings, and especially in his letters to Demetrian, he altogether denies [Ltn., substantiam] the entity of the Holy Spirit, and by a Jewish error says that he is to be referred either to the Father or the Son, and that the holiness of each person is pointed out under his name...” - (Page 244, The divine rule of faith and practice, Volume 1, By William Goode.)

Not Just Lactantius but "...MANY..." according to Jerome didn't believe the holy spirit was part of a Tri{3}nity:

LATIN TEXT: “...Multi per imperitiam Scripturarum (quod et Firmianus in octavo ad Demetrianum Epistolarum libro facit) asserunt Spiritum Sanctum saepe Patrem saepe Filium nominari. Et quum perspice in Trinitate credamus, tertiam Personam auferentes non substantiam ejus volunt esse, sed nomen...” - (ID. In Ep. Ad Gal. Lib. ii. In Chap. 4. ver. 6. ed. Vall. Ven. Tom. Vii. Col. 450.)

JEROME (circa 347 to 420 C.E.): “...( MANY ) through ignorance of the scriptures assert (as also Firmianus does in the eighth book of his Letters to Demetrian) that the Father and Son are often called the Holy Spirit. And while we ought clearly to believe in a Trinity, ( they ) taking away the third Person imagine it to be ( not ) a hypostasis of the Trinity but a name...” - (Page 244, The divine rule of faith and practice, Volume 1, By William Goode.)

Note the dressing down and derogatory smear of "ignorance of the scriptures" - which is far to often - typical of Tri{3}nitarian hard-liners, both old and new.

But of course there is no where at all that the scriptures clearly and straight forwardly, without any mistake call the holy spirit "...GOD..."

COLOSSIANS 1:5 - AN ENCOUNTER WITH A TRI{3}NITARIAN ONLINE - SEE "THE HISTORY OF THE TRINITY" ON THE HISTORY CHANNEL FORUM

I have to apologise in advance for my bluntness in my response to Barry (a devout Catholic) below. Several members on the History Channel forum have a severe disliking for Jehovah's Witnesses and are not above posting very insulting and derisive comments about us. So over the year or so I have been posting there, I have become very blunt and to the point with certain people, but, without making insults or childish name calling etc. It is very hard to be nice and  tactful with these ones who only have an agenda to smear our reputation.

Barry wrote:

Was Christ Created?


"Christ was the first of God’s creations." Verses cited by Witnesses in support of this claim include: "He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation" (Col. 1:15). "And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen [Christ], the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation’" (Rev. 3:14).

In the first of the two verses, Witnesses think that "first-born" implies succession and inferiority. But the title "first-born" refers to Christ’s place as the chief and unique Son of God (cf. Rom. 8:29).
Further, the Greek of this verse can also be translated as "the first-born OVER all creation," as in the New International Version of the Bible.

Regarding the second verse from Revelation, it’s hard to see how it helps the Witnesses at all. It merely says Christ was the SOURCE of creation. This implies Christ is divine, since God created everything.

The fact that there was no time when the Son did not exist is indicated in John 1:1–3: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made." This passage also shows that the Son is not a creature because all created things were made through him, and no created things were made except through him.

  copied from "Distinctive Beliefs of the Jehovah's Witnesses"

Hi Barry long time no see.

Although you probably sincerely believe the information above, it is simply wrong.

It is also more than a little bit misleading if the writer knows Greek.

I'm sorry to pop your bubble, but here are the simple facts:

In order for it to mean "...First-born ( OVER ) all of creation..." Or "...First-born ( SOURCE ) of all creation..."

The Apostle Paul under inspiration would have definitely used different Greek words to convey that meaning.

Gk., ( αἴτιός ) = "...cause..." or "...source..."
Gk., ( ὁ ἄρχων τῶν ) = "...the Ruler of the..." or "...the Prince of the..." or "...the Archon of the..."
Gk., ( ὑπὲρ ) = "...over..." or "...above..."
Gk., ( ἐπὶ ) = "...over..." or "...upon..." 

Here is how it would have been written if it ( actually ) meant what the article above said. Also note the Greek in red is added to the text and does not exist in any MSS:

GREEK TEXT: "... πρωτότοκος ὁ αἴτιός πασῆς κτίσεως..."

...the First-Born, the source ( of ) all ( of ) creation...”

...the First-Born, the cause ( of ) all ( of ) creation...”

GREEK TEXT: "... πρωτότοκος ὁ ἄρχων ὑπὲρ πασῆς κτίσεως

...the First-Born, the Ruler - ( over ) - all ( of ) creation...”

...the First-Born, the Ruler - ( over ) - all creation...”

GREEK TEXT: "... πρωτότοκος ὁ ἄρχων τῶν πασῆς κτίσεως

...the First-Born, the Ruler ( of ) all ( of ) the creation...”

...the First-Born, the Ruler ( of ) all the creation...”

GREEK TEXT: "...πρωτότοκος ὁ ἄρχων τῶν πασῆς κτίσεως

...First-Born, the Ruler ( of ) all the creation...”

GREEK TEXT: "...πρωτότοκος ὑπὲρ πασῆς κτίσεως

...First-Born - ( over ) - all ( of ) the creation...”

GREEK TEXT: "...πρωτότοκος ἐπὶ πασῆς κτίσεως

...First-Born - ( over ) - all ( of ) creation...”

But the ( ACTUAL ) Greek text reads differently:

ΠΡΟΣ ΚΟΛΟΣΣΑΕΙΣ 1:15 Greek NT: Westcott/Hort with Diacritics
ὅς ἐστιν εἰκὼν τοῦ Θεοῦ τοῦ ἀοράτου, πρωτότοκος πάσης κτίσεως

LITERALLY: “...Who is an icon/image ( of )-the ( of )-God ( of )-the ( of )-invisible, first-one-to-be-born ( of )-all ( of )-creation...”

"...Who is an image of the ( definitive ) God who is invisible, the first one to be born of all created things..." - (MATT13)

πρωτότοκος = adjective singular nominative ( predicate anathorus )
πάσης = adjective - ( genitive ) - singular feminine
κτίσεως = noun - ( genitive ) - singular feminine

The reason "...of all..." and "...of creation..." are in the feminine gender is because of the rule of concord or agreement so as to agree with the word for "...image..." or "...icon..."

εἰκὼν = noun nominative singular feminine ( predicate anathorus )

CONCLUSION: So your article is incorrect, misleading and simply wrong.

Jesus is definitely NOT being portrayed here as "...source, cause, ruler over..." creation but simply as - a part - ( of ) - creation and the first creature who was created.

This is conveyed by the simple genitive case in the Greek and is un-mistakable.

That is the natural reading of the Greek - un-forced - simple - and easy to understand.

The proposed translations quoted above in the article are - FORCED - PURE IMAGINATION - HYPOTHETICAL - UNSUPPORTED BY & SIMPLY NOT IN THE GREEK and I say down right MISLEADING!

Feel free to check the Greek words in Lexicons and check the Greek grammar as well.

Enjoy your day.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

A TRANSLATION OF THEOPHILUS OF ANTIOCH BOOK II CHAPTER 10

Here is a revised translation of Theophilus I posted in an early blog.


GREEK TEXT: “...Καὶ [10.] πρῶτον μὲν συμφώνως ἐδίδαξαν ἡμᾶς, ὅτι ἐξ οὐκ ὄντων τὰ πάντα ἐποίησεν. οὐ γάρ τι τῷ θεῷ συνήκμασεν· ἀλλ' αὐτὸς ἑαυτοῦ τόπος ὢν καὶ ἀνενδεὴς ὢν καὶ <ὑπάρχων πρὸ τῶν αἰώνων> ἠθέλησεν ἄνθρωπον ποιῆσαι ᾧ γνωσθῇ· τούτῳ οὖν προητοίμασεν τὸν κόσμον. ὁ γὰρ γενητὸς καὶ προσδεής ἐστιν, δὲ ἀγένητος οὐδένος προσδεῖται. Ἔχων οὖν ὁ θεὸς τὸν ἑαυτοῦ λόγον ἐνδιάθετον ἐν τοῖς ἰδίοις σπλάγχνοις ἐγέννησεν αὐτὸν μετὰ τῆς ἑαυτοῦ σοφίας <ἐξερευξάμενος> πρὸ τῶν ὅλων. τοῦτον τὸν λόγον ἔσχεν ὑπουργὸν τῶν ὑπ' αὐτοῦ γεγενημένων, καὶ δι' αὐτοῦ τὰ πάντα πεποίηκεν. οὗτος λέγεται ἀρχή, ὅτι ἄρχει καὶ κυριεύει πάντων τῶν δι' αὐτοῦ δεδημιουργημένων. οὗτος οὖν, ὢν <πνεῦμα θεοῦ> καὶ <ἀρχὴ> καὶ <σοφία> καὶ <δύναμις ὑψίστου>, κατήρχετο εἰς τοὺς προφήτας καὶ δι' αὐτῶν ἐλάλει τὰ περὶ τῆς ποιήσεως τοῦ κόσμου καὶ τῶν λοιπῶν ἁπάντων. οὐ γὰρ ἦσαν οἱ προφῆται ὅτε ὁ κόσμος ἐγίνετο, ἀλλ' ἡ σοφία ἡ τοῦ θεοῦ ἡ ἐν αὐτῷ οὖσα καὶ ὁ λόγος ὁ ἅγιος αὐτοῦ ὁ ἀεὶ συμπαρὼν αὐτῷ. διὸ δὴ καὶ διὰ Σολομῶνος προφήτου οὕτως λέγει· “Ἡνίκα δ' ἡτοίμασεν τὸν οὐρανόν, συμπαρήμην αὐτῷ, καὶ ὡς ἰσχυρὰ ἐποίει τὰ θεμέλια τῆς γῆς, ἤμην παρ' αὐτῷ ἁρμόζουσα.” Μωσῆς δὲ ὁ καὶ Σολομῶνος πρὸ πολλῶν ἐτῶν γενόμενος, μᾶλλον δὲ ὁ λόγος ὁ τοῦ θεοῦ ὡς δι' ὀργάνου δι' αὐτοῦ φησιν· “Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἐποίησεν ὁ θεὸς τὸν οὐρανὸν καὶ τὴν γῆν.”...” - (TO AUTOLYCUS, II:10.)

THEOPHILUS OF ANTIOCH (circa. 115-181 C.E.): "...And First, they taught us this agreed upon and harmonious teaching, that all things existing were made out of nothing. FOR THERE IS NOTHING [Gk., ( συνκμασεν )] COEVAL TO THEE (DEFINITIVE) GOD. But, [when He] willed to make "Mankind" to whom He might become known He was Himself ( of ) Himself, a place, AND IN NEED OF NOTHING AT ALL, and “existing before the ages”. It was to this end therefore, that He prepared the world for His purpose. For he who is [Gk., ( γενητς )] begotten is also in need, BUT IN CONTRAST HE WHO IS [Gk., ( γνητος )] UN-BEGOTTEN, IS IN NEED OF NOTHING AT ALL. This (definitive) God, having internal his Word with-in his own bowels, [Gk., ( γννησεν )] produced the Word with his own wisdom [Gk., ( ξερευξμενος )] “emmittting” him before the entire uninverse. THIS ONE,THE WORD, HE [Gk., ( γεγενημνων )] PRODUCED AS [Gk., ( ὑπουργὸν )] A SUBORDINATE-SERVANT [Gk., ( ὑπ' )] INFERIOR TO HIM, [Gk., ( δι' )] THROUGH WHOSE INTERMEDIATE AGENCY HE ALSO MADE ALL THINGS. This (one) is called [ἀρχή] “a beginning,” because it was [ἄρχει] “to make a beginning” and [κυριεύει] “to be Master of” everything he worked at to fabricate through his intermediate agency. This (one), therefore, being "spirit of God" and "a beginning" and "wisdom" and "power of the Most High", came down into the prophets and [Gk., ( δι' )] through their intermediate agency was speaking concerning the making of the world and of everything else remaining. For the prophets were not yet in existence when the world came to be, but the wisdom of the (definitive) God was in him being, and this the ( holy ) Word of him, is the one always standing by him. On this account, therefore it was He that spoke also [Gk., ( διὰ )] through the intermediate agency of the prophet Solomon, [Prov 8:22-31 LXX] saying: “...When He was preparing the heavens, I was present with Him, and when He was making strong the foundations of the Earth, there I was beside Him harmoniously arranging things, setting them in order...” Moses before Solomon and many of his kinsman even came into existance, or rather I should say the Logos of the (definitive) God, spoke as through an insturment, saying through him: “...In [the] beginning, the (definitive) God made the heavens and the earth...” - (THEOPHILUS OF ANTIOCH, TO AUTOLYCUS, Book II, Chapter 10, revised 19/1/11 RE-REVISED 5/7/11)
[FOOTNOTE]: Gk., ( συνκμασεν ) “...for nothing was coeval with God...” (CCEL) See Lamps Patristic Lexicon Page 1326 onwards.
ENGLISH DEFINITION OF: ( COEVAL ): of the same or equal age, antiquity, or duration
MERRIAM-WEBSTER DICTIONARY.
[FOOTNOTE CCEL 567]: Literally, belching or vomiting. [The reference is to Ps. xlv. where the LXX. read ἐξηρεύξατο ἡ καρδία μου λόγον ἀγαθὸν, and the Latin eructavit cor meum bonum Verbum; i.e., “My heart hath breathed forth a glorious Word.” The well-chosen language of the translator (emitted) is degraded by his note.]
[FOOTNOTE CCEL 568]: Prov. viii. 27. Theophilus reads with the Septuagint, “I was with Him, putting things into order,” instead of “I was by Him as one brought up with Him.” [Here the Logos is the σοφία as with the Fathers generally; e.g. Cyprian, Advs. Judæos, book ii. 2. But see cap. xv. p. 101, infra.] 

COMPARE:


GREEK TEXT: “...ἀλλ’, ἐπειδὴ ἐννοηθέντα τὸν θεὸν ( διὰ ) λόγου τὸν κόσμον ποιῆσαι ἔγνωσαν...” - (Justin Martyr 1st Apol. Chapter 64:5; GREEK TEXT By E. J. Goodspeed.)

JUSTIN MARTYR (circa. 110-160 C.E.): “...But, since they knew the ( definitive ) God concieved in His mind to make the world [Gk., ( διὰ )] through the intermediate agency of [the] Logos...” - (ALTERNATE: Justin Martyr 1st Apol. Chapter 64:5; Matt13weedhacker 3/6/11)
[FOOTNOTE]: See Lamp's Patristic Lexicon Page 476 for Gk., ( ἐννοηθέντα ) under ( ἐννοια ).

I like the Christians Classics version below. It gives the thought clearly:

JUSTIN MARTYR (circa. 110-160 C.E.): "...since they knew that God designed the creation of the world [Gk., ( διὰ ) “through”] by the Word..." - (1st Apology Chap 64: THE LIBRARY OF CHRISTIAN CLASSICS, Early Christian Fathers. Editor: Cyril C. Richardson, Washburn Professor of Church History, Union Theological Seminary, New York.)

Except for the "...by..." instead of the more accurate "...through..." I think the Christian Classics version here gives the best translation of this passage in Justin.

LATIN TEXT: “...Agnoscat [2.] ergo Hermogenes idcirco etiam sophiam dei natam et conditam praedicari, ne quid innatum et inconditum praeter solum deum crederemus. Si enim intra dominum quod ex ipso et in ipso fuit sine initio non fuit, sophia scilicet ipsius, exinde nata et condita ex quo in sensu dei ad opera mundi disponenda coepit agitari, multo magis non capit sine initio quicquam fuisse quod extra dominum fuerit. [3.] Si uero sophia eadem dei sermo est [sensu sophia et], sine quo factum est nihil, sicut et dispositum sine sophia, quale est ut filio dei, sermone unigenito et primogenito, aliquid fuerit praeter patrem antiquius et hoc modo utique generosius, nedum quod innatum fortius et quod infectum facto ualidius, quia quod, ut esset, nullius eguit auctoris, multo sublimius erit eo quod, ut esset, aliquem habuit auctorem? Proinde si malum quidem innatum est, natus autem sermo dei -- eructauit enim inquit sermonem optimum -- non scio an a bono malum possit adduci, ualidius ab infirmo, ut innatum a nato. 4. Ita et hoc nomine materiam deo praeponit Hermogenes, praeponendo eam filio ---- filius enim sermo et deus sermo et Ego et pater unum sumus ----, nisi quod sustinebit aequo animo filius eam praeponi sibi quae patri adaequatur...” - (Tertulliani Liber Adversus Hermogenem Text edited by J.H.WASZINK, 1956.)

TERTULLIAN (circa. 145 to 225.C.E. ): "...Let Hermogenes then confess that the very Wisdom of God is declared to be born and created, for the especial reason that we should not suppose that there is any other being than GOD ALONE WHO IS UNBEGOTTEN AND UN-CREATED. For if that, which from its being inherent in the Lord was of Him and in Him, was yet not without a beginning, — I MEAN HIS WISDOM, WHICH WAS THEN BORN AND CREATED, WHEN IN THE THOUGHT OF GOD IT BEGAN TO ASSUME MOTION FOR THE ARRANGEMENT OF HIS CREATIVE WORKS, — how much more impossible is it that anything should have been without a beginning which was extrinsic to the Lord! But if this same Wisdom is the Word of God, in the capacity of Wisdom, and (as being He) without whom nothing was made, just as also (nothing) was set in order without Wisdom, how can it be that anything, except THE FATHER, should BE OLDER, and on this account indeed NOBLER THAN THE SON OF GOD, the only-begotten and first-begotten Word?...” - (Against Hermogenes, ch. 18 , Roberts & Donaldson ANF 3.487.)


GREEK TEXT: “...ὡς μεγάλην ὄντα δύναμιν καὶ θεὸν κατὰ τὸν τῶν ὅλων θεὸν καὶ πατέρα. Τούτῳ γάρ φαμεν ἐν τῇ κατὰ Μωϋσέα κοσμοποιΐᾳ προστάττοντα τὸν πατέρα εἰρηκέναι τό· «Γενηθήτω φῶς» καὶ «Γενηθήτω στερέωμα» καὶ τὰ λοιπά, ὅσα προσέταξεν ὁ θεὸς γενέσθαι, καὶ τούτῳ εἰρηκέναι τό· «Ποιήσωμεν ἄνθρωπον κατ' εἰκόνα καὶ ὁμοίωσιν ἡμετέραν»· προσταχθέντα δὲ τὸν λόγον πεποιηκέναι πάντα, ὅσα ὁ πατὴρ αὐτῷ ἐνετείλατο...” - (BOOK II [Τόμος δεύτερος] Chapter 9, Contra. Celsus.)

ORIGEN OF ALEXANDRIA (circa. 185 to 254 C.E.): “...[him] being a great power and a god below the (definitive) God and Father of the entire universe. For according to what was said by Moses it was to him the Father gave orders to at the making of the world, declaring [His] command this way: “Let light come to be” and “Let the firmament come to be” along with the rest, inasmuch as the (definitive) God had given orders for things to come into existance. Also he spoke this order to him: “Be about making Man according to our image and likeness.” The Logos was doing everything he was commanded to do by the Father...” - (BOOK II [Τόμος δεύτερος] Chapter 9, Against Celsus, by Matt13weedhacker 12/4/11)
[FOOTNOTE]: Gk., “...καὶ θεὸν κατὰ τὸν τῶν ὅλων θεὸν καὶ πατέρα...” = “...and a god below the (definitive) God and Father of the entire universe...” or "...the Universal God even the Father..." Gk., ( θεὸν ) = anathorus, Gk., ( κατὰ ) literally: “...down...”
 [FOOTNOTE]: Gk., ( κοσμοποιΐᾳ ) = rare word for “creation” a compound word literally: “...world-making...”
[FOOTNOTE]: Gk., (Πεποιηκέναι ) = to-do-for-another or act
[FOOTNOTE]: Gk., ( ἔλεγεν ἐν τῷ Ἰησοῦ τό ) possibly “...who spoke in Jesus this...”