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Enlightenment

Bible_Study_Guys's Journal: Thoughts on the Holy Trinity 50

Journal by Bible_Study_Guys
If you are familiar with Christianity and the Bible, you know that Christians are monodeists who beleive that God is a trinity of the Father (Jehovah, Elohim), Son (Jesus Christ), and Holy Spirit. Some people have had trouble understanding how God can be made up of three parts. In Bible study last night, we were talking about how the Bible says, "Let us make man in our image", and how this was referring to the Trinity. As I was driving to work this morning, I was contemplating the different things that make up a person. It dawned on me that we are made up of three parts as well, and since it's easier for us to wrap our minds around the make up of a human than God, I think it makes sense to look at our trinary nature.

Humans are made up of the body, mind, and soul. It's easy for us to seperate the body from the other two. We've all seen a dead person before, or can at least imagine a dead person. That is the body, without the mind or soul present. The mind and soul are a bit harder seperate from each other, since they are both rather intangible. But if you think of a person who has suffered massive head trauma or fallen victim to a debilitating disease of the mind, the might still be alive, but their mind might have been destroyed. We assume their soul is with their body until the time of death, so then if the mind is gone, but the soul is sound, we must assume they are different entities. There is other evidence as well*.

Ok, so having pretty much established the existence of the body, mind, and soul, we can move on to how that translates to the Holy Trinity. Jesus came to earth in man-form, so obviously he would translate to the body. God the Father is the designer of the universe, the planner, and the voice that spoke everything into existence. This would most closely correlate to the mind. This leaves the Holy Spirit to correlate to the soul, and indeed that makes sense. The Holy Spirit is the Comforter that comes to live inside you when you accept Christ as your savior. He lives inside you alongside your soul.

Now obviously there is not a definite seperation between all these. If you get hit in your head hard enough, the mind suffers, despite the blow happening to your body. If your mental state is haywire it affects your body and your spirit. Your spiritual life has a profound effect on your state of mind. The Holy Trinity is very similar, and always connected, except when Jesus died for our sins. I think this is what had to happen for our sins to be forgiven. Jesus was seperated from the Father and the Spirit, because sin can not be in God's presence. Our sin seperated Jesus from His Father. Hence the "My God, my God! why have you forsaken me?". And as we see with humans, the body is the easiest to seperate. Jesus received a new body, as will we.

I hope this has helped clarify, if you were having trouble understanding. Obviously, this isn't meant to be all comprehensive, but just a general guide so people can begin to wrap their mind around the trinary nature of God.
-TechnoLust

*My other evidence comes from my experience counseling people. When people forgive themselves for things that they have done in the past, it is removed from the spirit, but the mind might still remember it. They can recall the event, but not feel the shame and spiritual seperation from God that they once did.

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Thoughts on the Holy Trinity

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  • What translation & verse are you referring to? It'd be interesting to look up the reference and compare a few translations. (Remember: for a good period of our language's development, it was proper for the highest ruler to speak in the self-referential plural.)

    Also, humanity's body/mind/soul all interconnect and adapt. My body is shaped by Creation, my soul by God and my mind is the meeting of the body and soul, and my soul forged by the events that my body and mind undergo.
  • I didn't know about this account till now!

    I'll be sure to follow posts from now on.

    jason
    • It's been inactive for a while. We were posting regularly, but these discussions tend to be time consuming, and I didn't want to be spending time I should be working playing on slashdot.
  • oke. now i'm switching into serious mode for a moment. Possibly OT, but serious.

    i think 'made in God's image' means being creators. WHat are we doing? We're building computers that can think. We're caring for other creatures. We're creating machines that can heal themselves and...create other computers.

    that's it; that's all the comment i'm intellectually fit for. But you get to hear it, TL, because i was thinking about it today and thinking i should mention it to you.

    • i think 'made in God's image' means being creators.
      When did you form that opinion? Or more accurately, where do you get that idea from?
    • i think 'made in God's image' means being creators

      For comparison, look in Genesis 4:22 where G-d said the "the man was like one from us, to know good and bad". Likeness to G-d seems to be a knowledge based item. This is also seen in the snake's remark to Eve in 3:5.


      • Interesting you note that knowledge of good and evil is a God-like quality. But note that they were made in God's image before the fall.
        • Interesting you note that knowledge of good and evil is a God-like quality.

          Some would say that's it's not the kowledge of the two, rather the knoeledge of the difference between the two. To understand where good "ends", and bad "starts", takes knowledge. And of all the creations, only the humans seems to really have the capacity.

          But note that they were made in God's image before the fall.

          A side note, i don't believe in a "fall". But perhaps it just a definition thing.

          Anyway, obviously the image and "
          • Some would say that's it's not the kowledge of the two, rather the knoeledge of the difference between the two.

            I don't see the dilema. Its safe to say that the difference is in that they are opposites. To know of them is to know their opposition. You can't know of good and evil without comprehending their differences.

            A side note, i don't believe in a "fall". But perhaps it just a definition thing.

            Probably a non-dilema as above also. The "fall" simply means being kicked out of the Garden where Adam and
            • I don't see the dilema. Its safe to say that the difference is in that they are opposites. To know of them is to know their opposition. You can't know of good and evil without comprehending their differences.

              I know what "warm" is, i also know what "cold" is. I know the difference in between them. However, knowing *exactly* where cold "ends" and warm "starts", takes more knowledge than average. IOW, it takes a very clear knowledge of it, such as, that "cold" is less than my body temperature (97.7F) and sta
              • I know what "warm" is, i also know what "cold" is.

                There is no dilema. Warm and cold are relative terms, evil and good are not. Evil and good are not even really gradients like temperature is.

                The garden had nothing to do with talking.

                Your hyper-exasperating the point here, the location has nothing to do with it. They no longer walked and talked with God *and* were kicked out of the Garden, and no longer got a free ride as far as food.

                Adam only talked to G-d when asked a question, or being told what t
                • Warm and cold are relative terms, evil and good are not.

                  Yes they are. Two people can do the same action, and for one it is good, and the other it is not.

                  Also, must say, i do not believe in evil. G-d is good, G-d is everything, therefore "evil" cannot exist. There is good, and not good, usually referred to as "bad". Good and bad are choices. If a person believes, for example, that G-d wants him to kill somebody, and he overrules his compassion and does the deed, he has done good not bad.

                  afterwards they
                  • Two people can do the same action, and for one it is good, and the other it is not.

                    You realize that would make it contextual, not gradient or relative (and it would need to be gradient for it to even have a chance to be relative). For it to be relative the difference of good and evil relates to the position in realtion to something else on the gradient scale. Contextual means the difference is the position of the subject.

                    Also, must say, i do not believe in evil. G-d is good, G-d is everything, therefore
                    • You realize that would make it contextual, not gradient or relative (and it would need to be gradient for it to even have a chance to be relative). For it to be relative the difference of good and evil relates to the position in realtion to something else on the gradient scale. Contextual means the difference is the position of the subject.

                      Fine. Though, whatever the case, knowing the difference between two things takes more than avcerage knowledge.

                      Interesting. But not useful to this discussion of the kn
                    • G-d isn't even the slightest bit physical

                      If he isn't physical he doesn't exist. Nouns are people, places, things or ideas. All but the ideas are actually physical entities. Spirits are even physical. If God is just an idea, he doesn't exist.

                      and nothing physical has any effect on Him.(Unless, of course, He decides to react with it.)

                      That is more directly explained by being in command of the whole Universe. Concluding a non-physical God on that point is beyond the mark.

                      Good/Evil are things. Good/Bad ar
                    • If he isn't physical he doesn't exist. Nouns are people, places, things or ideas. All but the ideas are actually physical entities. Spirits are even physical. If God is just an idea, he doesn't exist.

                      Physical is that which has boundaries. Non-physical is that which does not have boundaries (although there are different levels of this). Things without boundaries, such as ideas, do exist. Truth and lies exist, yet they are only ideas.

                      Well you have good as both a choice and a thing (which for continuity wi
                    • Non-physical is that which does not have boundaries...Things without boundaries, such as ideas, do exist.

                      I think you're hitting on my point and don't know it. If it isn't physical it doesn't exist. Ideas exist only as comprehension of the conscience. To me God isn't an idea, he actually exists independant of my comprehension and others, therefore he isn't an idea. Therefore he is physical.

                      G-d does not provide an "evil" choice. However, one choice is good for the person, and the other is "bad" for the pe
                    • I think you're hitting on my point and don't know it. If it isn't physical it doesn't exist. Ideas exist only as comprehension of the conscience. To me God isn't an idea, he actually exists independant of my comprehension and others, therefore he isn't an idea. Therefore he is physical.

                      I think we very much disagree. However, because we are using similar words to mean different things, perhaps we cannot discuss this topic properly.

                      And good and bad are qualities of a choice, not the choice itself.

                      Exactl
    • Yes, but also in that we have free will, know right from wrong, and have a soul. Animals don't make deep moral decisions, they act based on instinct and prior experience. Some of them are very intelligent, but are all basically acting on this principle. A puppy chews up your slippers because it has the instinct to chew on things. If you punish it when it does this, after a while it will equate chewing on the shoe with the punishment and with refrain from doing this. Lions don't think of the morality of
      • The cat, not my Ceridwen the goddess. She has too much personality and love. And i don't believe it about other animals; if a gorilla can miss her kitten when the kitten dies, i think that pretty much clinches it for me.

        A puppy chews up slippers because it has an instinct to chew on things, but people eat doughnuts because they crave sugars and fats for the same reason.

        Children don't think of the morality of hurting other animals until they're taguht to, either, and some never learn. children don't hurt

        • My reasons for doubting that animals have souls are simple. We are animals, but we are different. We have science, art, music, etc. Now you can say that birds make music, but that's how they communicate. Some higher primates develop tools which could be considered rudimentary science, but that's survival instinct. I've never heard of or seen a painting or sculpture by an animal.

          My definition of soul would be that part of you that goes to the afterlife when you die. Do you think that when you die, yo

          • I believe that we ARE the souls of previous animals. *shaking head*

            if animals can learn sign language- and use that sign language to say 'koko lonely, you go hug koko now' that's communication. And they've had chimps using finger paints for ages; they look like kindergarten art. Elephants use brushes. But bear in mind that these extremely low-function color blobs are attempts at human art. How the heck do we know that there are no dolphin songs? They play, they have sex for non-reproductive purposes, they

            • I believe that we ARE the souls of previous animals.
              So what animal did you used to be? ;-) I don't believe in reincarnation, so I don't think I was ever an animal. However, I do have wolf stuff all over my house, so if I WERE to believe that I was ever an animal, I guess I would have been a wolf.
              • i have no evidence of any of this, and that includes memories. But i think my kitten used to be a little girl, for reasons best discussed via email. By the way, i also don't maintain that i'm the sanest or most rational creature out there, so i could be wrong on any or all counts. *grin*

                Nor do i think that we get reborn as punishment, though it took me 20 years to come to that understanding.

                sol


          • Animals have souls in my good book. God set certain animals to be over certain domains, just as humans are lords over the whole earth. The talking donkey, the animals that sit at God's thrown (in Revelations and other scripture), and other reasons suggest they are a soul as much as people are. (And by soul I mean the body and spirit together which means they have spirits, which more closely approximates your use of the term "soul".)

            But you don't need to start witnessing to them. As you may note, Adam's eat
        • children don't hurt their mothers, but neither do Lions, as a general rule.

          Actually, yes, children do hurt their mothers. And so do lion cubs, I would reckon. And when they do, the Momma Lion makes a fierce growling noise of pain and disapproval which is unpleasant for the cub, and she learns that it is a first degree no-no to hurt the Momma, or the Daddy, or little brother/sister... Without that guidance, children would *keep* hurting others until they developed empathy (if ever), or until one of those
    • Not to mention creating new life ourselves, the old fashioned way! And then nurturing it, loving it, and watching over it.

      ....Bethanie....
  • I consider myself to be a Christian and I believe that God the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost are three distinct beings. In fact, I believe that God and Jesus each has their own body.

    Now this might cause you to say that I am not a Christian, but I think that it is presumptuous of TL to imply that all Christians believe in a particular interpretation of the "trinity". Does the word "trinity" even appear in the Bible? A quick search at http://unbound.biola.edu/ [biola.edu] confirms my suspicion that it does not.

    • You won't find the word "Trinity" in the Bible.

      However, you will find that early Christians found themselves in a quandary. Jesus clearly stated the Shema: "Hear o Israel, The LORD our God, the LORD is One." (Mark 12:29.) Jesus, being a good Jew (a fact often overlooked today), taught the unity of God.

      So what were Christians to do when they witnessed Jesus' resurrection and then experienced the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 2)? They knew Jesus was God; His resurrection eliminated any doubt. They experien

      • One thing to remember to your final word, John also said (1st John 4:8) "God is love" and (1st John 1:5) "God is light". None of these, not even "God is spirit" precludes God's existance as a corporeal and physical being, and three beings at that.

        I think you are right in the "three in one", however that "in one" part needs fleshing out. That might be where there is disagreement. For me, "Three in one" is accomplished by the shear streangth of unity.

        As Christ prayed for his apostles to be one "even as we a
        • Have we all forgotten that the Christians are worshipping someone of another religion? Of course he preached that god is one; it's basic jewish monotheism. He was raised that way, he was stdying with rabbis. At least, according to the gospels.

          The Christian church hasn't got enough sceptics, darn it. Pick up Asimov's guide to the bible; that ought to throw an incredible wrench into things. One of the best assemblages of historical reference surrounding the bible. *shaking head* take it literally all you wa

          • Have we all forgotten that the Christians are worshipping someone of another religion?

            No, because such a notion is a contrevance of 20th century categorizations on a 0th century situation.

            The Christian church hasn't got enough sceptics, darn it.

            Its hard to argue that scepticism is a way to truth, or even a sure way to know truth when you have it. For the most part, I see a three types of people.

            1) If I don't know, then its no
            2) If I don't know, then I don't know
            3) If I don't know, then my imagionatio
          • Have we all forgotten that the Christians are worshipping someone of another religion?

            The main difference between a Christian and a Jew is that Christians believe Jesus was the Son of God, and a Jew does not. Jesus proclaimed He was the Son of God, which makes Him a Christian. The word "Christian" itself, means "Christ-like". Who is more like Christ than Christ?


    • No, belief in three distinct beings only makes you a non-niceanist. But no reason that isn't "Christian". Its pretty sad all the intrigue that went into the Nicean conference that shaped the Nicean creed that we have today.
    • i say you're still a Christian. i consider myself Christian and have different views from you or TL. i believe in the Father, the son, and the holy spirit, but i don't believe in them as one entity, and i only believe that God the Father is Deity. i believe He is Spirit, and not corporeal. i believe that Jesus was His son. i believe the holy spirit is God's divine wisdom that He imparts to man. this is different from others, but i think we can still all be Christians if we are following the teachings
  • by Chacham (981) *
    "Let us make man in our image", and how this was referring to the Trinity.

    Note that the very next verse says, "And (He) created G-d ..." in the singular. This can easily be compared to an authority who is walking with a group of people. Imagine someone doing parking enforcement is checking the meters with a group of friends. He then sees a a car parked in violation. So, he says to the group "let's go give that car a ticket". He says "let's" not because he needs them, but merely out of decency. In the end,
    • Wow, I got lots of good stuff from the commentaries on that little phrase. Emphasis added by me.

      Albert Barne's Notes on the Bible

      The plural form of the sentence raises the question, With whom took he counsel on this occasion? Was it with himself, and does he here simply use the plural of majesty? Such was not the usual style of monarchs in the ancient East. Pharaoh says, "I have dreamed a dream" Gen_41:15. Nebuchadnezzar, "I have dreamed" Dan_2:3. Darius the Mede, "I make a decree" Dan_6:26. Cyrus, "The

      • his supposition cannot be admitted; because the expression "let us make" is an invitation to create

        Or, a thought process.

        Moreover, this view is irreconcilable with the words "in our image, after our likeness;" since man was created in the image of God alone (Gen_1:27; Gen_5:1), and not in the image of either the angels, or God and the angels.

        To be exact, it does not say "in our image, after our likeness;" It says "in our image, like our likeness", although "likeness" means "comparable", and not necces
  • Remember the image on the cover [amazon.com]? I always thought that that had the makings of a fairly good analogy for the Trinity. Maker, Redeemer, Comforter, perhaps? Creator, Redeemer, Intercessor?

    I'm a little unsure of your reasoning when you get to Jesus. I can buy the correspondence part, though it seems more coincidental than compelling. Much beyond that, and I see it as over-analytical, perhaps trying to impute more than is really there. I don't oppose the use of reason (far from it), but the whole poin

    • You've got me thinking. "Made in God's image" is a specific phrase. As Chacham points out (and I don't do justice to the quote), you can translate it conservatively and interpret it liberally or you can translate it liberally and interpret it conservatively.

      But whats interesting to me is that above we have reference to knowledge of good and evil being a godly quality. "Now they are become as one of us" God says in the garden. But like God, as God, and image of God are different things. The writer of Genesi
    • I equated Jesus to the body, not only because of Him actually coming to earth and having a body, but because He was how God related to us. We relate to others and witness to them with the actions of our bodies. They see our body volunteering at the nursing home. They hear the words of encouragement coming from our mouth. Our body lets us interact with other people, we can shake hands, hug, etc. or use body language. Jesus was and still is a way for God to interact with us.

      As I said, it isn't a perfect

  • The mind and the soul are the same thing. I'm not a big fan of this kind of theology, but I would say that our three parts are body, soul, and spirit, where the soul is your consciousness and personality. Since we are born spiritually dead, only those who have been born again, born of the Holy Spirit, have the spirit component. Being born of the Spirit means you have the Holy Spirit with you. I don't know about body=Jesus and mind/soul=Father. That does possibly give an explanation as to how He was separate
  • 1 John 4:8 says, "Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." 4:16 says it again: "God is love." (And certainly the Tanakh doesn't conflict in any way with this declaration in the New Testament that love is an attribute of God.)

    Is there such a thing as a lumberjack in Antarctica? Well, there are no trees in Antarctica. A person cannot cut down trees, so there can be no lumberjack.

    Can you love if there is no one else to love? Love requires an object -- a receiver.

    Fact 1: God is everl

    • (And certainly the Tanakh doesn't conflict in any way with this declaration in the New Testament that love is an attribute of God.)

      It does. It does not say that He is love, and it does mention many other attributes of G-d.

      The word echad in the Sh'ma (Deuteronomy 6:4) refers to one that consists of multiple parts.

      "echad" means one. One from multiple parts is a related word "eechood".

      Also, the steps for love are

      1) A sees B and likes B.
      2) A does for B.
      3) A loves B.

      Love comes after giving. Before that
      • It does. It does not say that He is love, and it does mention many other attributes of G-d.

        "God is love" does not mean that God is love and nothing but love. As you know, the Bible assigns many attributes to Him.

        1) A sees B and likes B.
        2) A does for B.
        3) A loves B.

        The point is only that love does require both A and B. Without B, A cannot love.

        Thus, I don't understand how a god could be love before the existence of that which is to be loved.

        That was exactly my overall point. And yet, God's attrib

        • 1) A sees B and likes B.
          2) A does for B.
          3) A loves B.

          The point is only that love does require both A and B. Without B, A cannot love.


          My point is, that without A or B, one doesn't want to love.

          That was exactly my overall point. And yet, God's attributes cannot change. Before Elohim (plural -- see K & D Commentary at bottom of my other post)

          That word for G-d actually means strength, from the word "Eyl". That word would mean "one with many strengths".

          Usage of the word echad can have at least conno
          • That word for G-d actually means strength, from the word "Eyl". That word would mean "one with many strengths".

            Or many with a strength, like a council that everyone contributes to a certain purpose and capacity, or in this case beings unified under a particular charechtaristic of power.

            "and ye shall be as gods"...Gen 3:5

            "Then his master shall bring him unto the judges"...Ex 21:6 (cf; 22:8,9)

            "For thou hast made him a little ower than the angels"... Ps 8:5

            We've gone over this before, and I've been suspi
            • Here you just mentioned one.

              True. Point taken. I shall have to be more careful.

              However, in my defence, i will say that in this context it can only have one meaning. Since G-d has many strengths, to say that it refers to G-d, forces it to mean "one with many strengths", since it cannot mean "many with many strengths".

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