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keithbvadu2

(37,194 posts)
Tue Jan 9, 2024, 11:55 PM Jan 2024

When Jesus was a man on Earth, did he cease being God in Heaven? Was there a Trinity prior to the birth? Were there two

When Jesus was a man on Earth, did he cease being God in Heaven?
Was there a Trinity prior to the birth and resultant death?
Were there two Jesus entities at the same time?

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When Jesus was a man on Earth, did he cease being God in Heaven? Was there a Trinity prior to the birth? Were there two (Original Post) keithbvadu2 Jan 2024 OP
The Trinity is a confusing and very vague concept. Ocelot II Jan 2024 #1
Not sure where you got those verses from, but at best it's highly edited Major Nikon Jan 2024 #9
The quote is from (I think) the New International version; I didn't make it up. Ocelot II Jan 2024 #10
The NIV is the work of evangelicals Major Nikon Jan 2024 #12
Yes. It was the first version that came up on Google; I wasn't looking for Ocelot II Jan 2024 #13
Whatever else he was, Jesus was a Jewish Rabbi Major Nikon Jan 2024 #15
Probably not. He was kind of an anti-establishment guy, Ocelot II Jan 2024 #16
Almost certainly not in the way he was described Major Nikon Jan 2024 #17
There's a lot of influence of Platonism, both in John 1, and the development of the "Trinity" by Tertullian muriel_volestrangler Feb 2024 #18
Interesting. I suppose it makes as much sense as anything else. Ocelot II Feb 2024 #19
Promises. czarjak Jan 2024 #2
Scripture does not show that jesus considered himself a god any more than Karadeniz Jan 2024 #3
seriously? NoRethugFriends Jan 2024 #4
Very serious. keithbvadu2 Jan 2024 #5
Wow. Just wow. Willing suspension of disbelief NoRethugFriends Jan 2024 #6
If the creation does not exist, does the creator exist? sanatanadharma Jan 2024 #7
It's obvious nonsense. Voltaire2 Jan 2024 #8
Of course it's irrational, but this is the Religion forum, Ocelot II Jan 2024 #11
It is the religion forum, but unlike most of the other religion forums Voltaire2 Jan 2024 #14

Ocelot II

(116,155 posts)
1. The Trinity is a confusing and very vague concept.
Wed Jan 10, 2024, 12:18 AM
Jan 2024

John 1 says Jesus was always God:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning....The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. ...The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.


I think the Council of Nicaea, which mostly came up with the idea, potentially tied themselves into a conceptual knot. As inheritors of Jewish monotheism, they couldn't claim that Jesus was a god separate from the God, of which there is only one; but at the same time they had to acknowledge that Jesus was divine or there was no point in the new religion at all. So the essence of God has three parts: the creator, the redeemer, and the essence of God that lives in and inspires people. But they are all God, and God is simultaneously in heaven and on earth. And no, I don't grok the whole thing at all.

Major Nikon

(36,831 posts)
9. Not sure where you got those verses from, but at best it's highly edited
Wed Jan 10, 2024, 12:03 PM
Jan 2024

Not even the KJV reads that way. I don't know of any serious biblical scholar that attributes John 1 as biblical proof of the trinity doctrine. What most will tell you is that it's been mistranslated through most biblical translations as to remove what it would have meant at the time it was written.

The synoptic gospels contain no evidence the anonymous authors of those scriptures ever were intended to suggest a trinity. What they actually do intend and explicitly say was Christ was the messiah, and the messiah and god are mutually exclusive at least as far as any practicing Jew in the first century would have perceived those two entities. The reason the concept of the trinity is vague and confusing is because the biblical evidence for it or even any reasonableness is non-existent. As you allude, it was a doctrine formed centuries after the death of Christ.

Ocelot II

(116,155 posts)
10. The quote is from (I think) the New International version; I didn't make it up.
Wed Jan 10, 2024, 12:17 PM
Jan 2024

I do like KJV better. I posted it in only answer to the question of whether Jesus existed from the beginning (and apparently he did, as logos), not as a basis for the doctrine of the Trinity, which was concocted much later to resolve a doctrinal dilemma - can you believe Jesus was God without becoming a polytheist?

Major Nikon

(36,831 posts)
12. The NIV is the work of evangelicals
Wed Jan 10, 2024, 01:04 PM
Jan 2024

It takes considerable liberty as a translation with a decidedly trinitarian perspective, and the passage offered is edited in that it’s missing several relevant verses which betray the idea the author is trying to project. To answer your question, you can’t really believe in the divinity of Christ without either becoming a polytheist or tying yourself into some serious logical pretzels. According to the gospels, Christ was quite clear he existed along with the invisible sky daddy and not of the same entity. Not all Christian denominations believe in the trinity, precisely because the biblical evidence for it is both missing and nonsensical.

Ocelot II

(116,155 posts)
13. Yes. It was the first version that came up on Google; I wasn't looking for
Wed Jan 10, 2024, 01:14 PM
Jan 2024

translational accuracy (which is beyond my ken), and it was edited for brevity by me, just in a quick and dirty attempt to answer the OP's question as to whether Jesus was always around or just kind of came and went from heaven to earth - not how he fit into the Trinity, which, as I also noted, was an idea that was made up much later to try to explain how a divine being could be divine without being a god in a religion that allowed for only one of them.

Major Nikon

(36,831 posts)
15. Whatever else he was, Jesus was a Jewish Rabbi
Wed Jan 10, 2024, 01:53 PM
Jan 2024

I don't think he would have approved of the direction of most Christian denominations just purely from a theological standpoint, let alone a moral one.

Ocelot II

(116,155 posts)
16. Probably not. He was kind of an anti-establishment guy,
Wed Jan 10, 2024, 01:53 PM
Jan 2024

and the church (churches) came to be among the most powerful and sometimes oppressive establishments ever. If he ever does come back like they say, he might chase a few more money-changers out of temples.

Major Nikon

(36,831 posts)
17. Almost certainly not in the way he was described
Wed Jan 10, 2024, 10:29 PM
Jan 2024

For one thing, it's impossible to separate the myth from reality and the myth is certainly going to trump anything that approaches reality. His life was so uninteresting nobody bothered to even begin writing anything down about him until at least 70 years after his death. We have more factual information about Plato who lived centuries before.

The money changer story is one of those that almost certainly never happened. But for the sake of argument, let's assume it did happen. These were people who would have been scamming people out of their money in exchange for religious approval. In other words, not that much different from what Jesus himself was doing. According to the bible, his ministry lasted at least 3 years and during that time he would have had to provide for himself and the people in his organization. Unless one believes he was hocus pocusing up all their worldly supplies, that takes money which came in the form of donations. He would have been selling the conveniently unverifiable promise of atonement in exchange for cash. If you think about it much, that makes him more establishment and less valuable to society than the money changers were. At least they were providing an actual service, albeit one that did take significant advantage from their clients.

The anti-establishment part about Christ that probably resulted in his execution was his messianic claims. This would have probably been viewed as blasphemous by the Jewish authorities.

muriel_volestrangler

(101,470 posts)
18. There's a lot of influence of Platonism, both in John 1, and the development of the "Trinity" by Tertullian
Sat Feb 3, 2024, 08:43 AM
Feb 2024

about 150 years later.

A direct influence on second century Christian theology is the Jewish philosopher and theologian Philo of Alexandria (a.k.a. Philo Judaeus) (ca. 20 BCE–ca. 50 CE), the product of Alexandrian Middle Platonism (with elements of Stoicism and Pythagoreanism). Inspired by the Timaeus of Plato, Philo read the Jewish Bible as teaching that God created the cosmos by his Word (logos), the first-born son of God. Alternately, or via further emanation from this Word, God creates by means of his creative power and his royal power, conceived of both as his powers, and yet as agents distinct from him, giving him, as it were, metaphysical distance from the material world (Philo Works; Dillon 1996, 139–83; Morgan 1853, 63–148; Norton 1859, 332–74; Wolfson 1973, 60–97).
...
Justin Martyr (d. ca. 165) describes the origin of the logos (= the pre-human Jesus) from God using three metaphors (light from the sun, fire from fire, speaker and his speech), each of which is found in either Philo or Numenius (Gaston 2007, 53). Accepting the Philonic thesis that Plato and other Greek philosophers received their wisdom from Moses, he holds that Plato in his dialogue Timaeus discussed the Son (logos), as, Justin says, “the power next to the first God”. And in Plato’s second letter, Justin finds a mention of a third, the Holy Spirit (Justin, First Apology, 60). As with the Middle Platonists, Justin’s triad is hierarchical or ordered. And Justin’s scheme is not, properly, trinitarian. The one God is not the three, but rather one of them and the primary one, the ultimate source of the second and third.
...
Another influence may have been the Neoplatonist Plotinus’ (204–70 CE) triad of the One, Intellect, and Soul, in which the latter two mysteriously emanate from the One, and “are the One and not the One; they are the one because they are from it; they are not the One, because it endowed them with what they have while remaining by itself” (Plotinus Enneads, 85). Plotinus even describes them as three hypostases, and describes their sameness using homoousios (Freeman 2003, 189). Augustine tells us that he and other Christian intellectuals of his day believed that the Neoplatonists had some awareness of the persons of the Trinity (Confessions VIII.3; City X.23).
...
Under the influence of Stoic philosophy, Tertullian believes that all real things are material. God is a spirit, but a spirit is a material thing made out of a finer sort of matter. At the beginning, God is alone, though he has his own reason within him. Then, when it is time to create, he brings the Son into existence, using but not losing a portion of his spiritual matter. Then the Son, using a portion of the divine matter shared with him, brings into existence the Spirit. And the two of them are God’s instruments, his agents, in the creation and governance of the cosmos.
...
Despite these fundamental differences from later orthodoxy, Tertullian is now hailed by trinitarians for his use of the term “Trinity” (Latin: trinitas) and his view that it (at the last stage) consists of three persons with a common or shared “substance”.

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/trinity/trinity-history.html

Karadeniz

(22,639 posts)
3. Scripture does not show that jesus considered himself a god any more than
Wed Jan 10, 2024, 12:47 AM
Jan 2024

We are all children of god via our possessing souls.
If he thought he was God, why would he say that students can surpass the teacher? No one could surpass god. And why, if he came to forgive our sins to give us pardons, did he give instructions on all the things we had to do to earn heaven?

sanatanadharma

(3,769 posts)
7. If the creation does not exist, does the creator exist?
Wed Jan 10, 2024, 07:13 AM
Jan 2024

What is the nature, the essence, the non-negatable truth of God before the creation? And after?
Is the creation (including humanity) intrinsic or extrinsic to God?
If God, does God have existence or is God 'existence'?
If God is equivalent to (the meaning of) 'existence', can God be non-existent.
If God, is consciousness an add-on or essential nature of Divinity?
If God is infinite, limitless, unbounded, and if God is also consciousness, how can the limited me claim to be separate 'consciousness'?

Way too many loosy-goosy words, thoughts, ideas, concepts, fallacies, and countless confusions exist about the word/name "God".

Voltaire2

(13,436 posts)
8. It's obvious nonsense.
Wed Jan 10, 2024, 11:03 AM
Jan 2024

And has been nonsense for 1800 years or so since it was more or less invented. The christians of the 200s-400s spent a lot of time arguing about and frequently killing each other over ‘the true nature of christ’. The intervention of the Roman State, starting with Constantine, resolved the dispute (with state violence of course) in favor of the absurd trinitarian ideology.

The christian god is three divine entities all of which are eternal and all of which are basically aspects of the one god. There are no logical rational answers to your questions as the belief system is irrational at its core.

Ocelot II

(116,155 posts)
11. Of course it's irrational, but this is the Religion forum,
Wed Jan 10, 2024, 12:25 PM
Jan 2024

dedicated to the discussion of religion, which is "irrational" almost by definition because it requires acceptance of certain unprovable things as a matter of faith. This particular thread has to do with the origin of certain Christian beliefs, not whether they are actually true. If you find religion offensive you might not want to participate in the religion forum.

Voltaire2

(13,436 posts)
14. It is the religion forum, but unlike most of the other religion forums
Wed Jan 10, 2024, 01:30 PM
Jan 2024

it is open to both believers and non- believers.
"Discuss religious and theological issues. All relevant topics are permitted. Believers, non-believers, and everyone in-between are welcome."

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