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Trinity vs Unitarian Discussion - Is Jesus God

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Note: I'm not that knowledge about the Bible, but I have some knowledge about the trinity and the verses used for justifying this shirk and kufr. 

As-salāmu `alaykum! 

Sunnīs and Shi'āh differ with regards to several points, but, Alhamdulillah, we agree that Allāh or God is ONE. We don't accept that Allāh is one in three persons and these three persons are God or Allāh. We consider this as shirk even if Trinitarians assert that they only believe in one God. If that was the case, the Jews wouldn't call trinitarian Christians as polytheists (mushrikeen)

Shi'āh Muslims: 

Tawhid (Arabic: تَوحيد, monotheism) is the belief that there is only one God. It is the most basic and central belief, and the most important slogan, in Islam. The first doctrine that the Prophet (s) taught people was monotheism expressed with the slogan: "La Ilah Illa Allah" (Arabic: لا إله إلّا ألله, There is no god except Allah). - (http://en.wikishia.net/view/Tawhid)

 Muslims (Wahhabis are not Sunnis) - Excerpt from Aqidah at-Tahawiyyah:

▪We say about Allah's unity believing by Allāh's help - that Allāh is One, without any partners. ▪There is nothing like Him. ▪There is no god other than Him.

However, the Trinitarians and Unitarians read the same book, same verses, but can't agree on one basic truth, whether God is ONE or one in three. 

Anthony Buzzard, one of the leading figure in tackling Trinitarians said about John 1:1 -:

One day a theological storm is likely to erupt over the translation of John’s prologue in our standard versions. At present the public is offered a wide range of renderings, from the purely literal to the freely paraphrased. But do these translations represent John’s intention? Or are they traditional, based on what “everyone accepts”? Have they sometimes served as a weapon in the hands of Christian orthodoxy to enforce the decisions of post-biblical creeds and councils? The seeker after Truth of the Berean style (Acts 17:11) should investigate all things carefully.

According to the findings of a recent monumental study of the origin of Christ in the Bible, Bible readers instinctively hear the text of John 1:1 as follows: “In the beginning was Jesus and Jesus was with God and Jesus was God,” or “In the beginning was the Son and the Son was with the Father…”2

This reading of the passage provides vital support for the traditional doctrine of the Godhead, shared equally by Father and Son from eternity. Paraphrased versions sometimes go far beyond the Greek original. The Contemporary English Version interprets John to mean that two beings were present at the beginning. “The Word was the One whowas with God.” No doubt, according to that translation, the Word would be equivalent to an eternal Son. It would certainly be understood in that sense by those schooled on the post-biblical creeds.

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On 5/2/2017 at 0:12 PM, Melvind said:

Note: I'm not that knowledge about the Bible, but I have some knowledge about the trinity and the verses used for justifying this shirk and kufr. 

As-salāmu `alaykum! 

Sunnīs and Shi'āh differ with regards to several points, but, Alhamdulillah, we agree that Allāh or God is ONE. We don't accept that Allāh is one in three persons and these three persons are God or Allāh. We consider this as shirk even if Trinitarians assert that they only believe in one God. If that was the case, the Jews wouldn't call trinitarian Christians as polytheists (mushrikeen)

Shi'āh Muslims: 

Tawhid (Arabic: تَوحيد, monotheism) is the belief that there is only one God. It is the most basic and central belief, and the most important slogan, in Islam. The first doctrine that the Prophet (s) taught people was monotheism expressed with the slogan: "La Ilah Illa Allah" (Arabic: لا إله إلّا ألله, There is no god except Allah). - (http://en.wikishia.net/view/Tawhid)

 Muslims (Wahhabis are not Sunnis) - Excerpt from Aqidah at-Tahawiyyah:

▪We say about Allah's unity believing by Allāh's help - that Allāh is One, without any partners. ▪There is nothing like Him. ▪There is no god other than Him.

However, the Trinitarians and Unitarians read the same book, same verses, but can't agree on one basic truth, whether God is ONE or one in three. 

Anthony Buzzard, one of the leading figure in tackling Trinitarians said about John 1:1 -:

One day a theological storm is likely to erupt over the translation of John’s prologue in our standard versions. At present the public is offered a wide range of renderings, from the purely literal to the freely paraphrased. But do these translations represent John’s intention? Or are they traditional, based on what “everyone accepts”? Have they sometimes served as a weapon in the hands of Christian orthodoxy to enforce the decisions of post-biblical creeds and councils? The seeker after Truth of the Berean style (Acts 17:11) should investigate all things carefully.

According to the findings of a recent monumental study of the origin of Christ in the Bible, Bible readers instinctively hear the text of John 1:1 as follows: “In the beginning was Jesus and Jesus was with God and Jesus was God,” or “In the beginning was the Son and the Son was with the Father…”2

This reading of the passage provides vital support for the traditional doctrine of the Godhead, shared equally by Father and Son from eternity. Paraphrased versions sometimes go far beyond the Greek original. The Contemporary English Version interprets John to mean that two beings were present at the beginning. “The Word was the One whowas with God.” No doubt, according to that translation, the Word would be equivalent to an eternal Son. It would certainly be understood in that sense by those schooled on the post-biblical creeds.

Bishop Arius of Alexandria simplified the question in this format.

He asked 'is Jesus a created being?'. 

If Jesus is a created being he reasoned that the creator is always greater then then the created so he rejected the idea of Trinity.

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4 hours ago, Melvind said:

 

However, the Trinitarians and Unitarians read the same book, same verses, but can't agree on one basic truth, whether God is ONE or one in three. 

I am Lutheran. I do not believe in trinity. I am very certain however that trinitarians agree with me that God is ONE.

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On 5/2/2017 at 0:12 PM, Melvind said:

Anthony Buzzard, one of the leading figure in tackling Trinitarians said about John 1:1 -:

One day a theological storm is likely to erupt over the translation of John’s prologue in our standard versions.

Not likely. Buzzard presents no arguments in his works  that have not been refuted before. The vast majority of biblical scholars are fine with the Prologue.  What " monumental study" is he referring to? The  critiques of Buzzard include  that he does not give his readers the whole story, pulls stuff he likes from  writers who are actually Trinitarian and edits out what he does not like ( he does a real number on the likes of Barclay and Miller), and uses sources barely considered monotheistic ( Krauss), much less Christian. 

On 5/2/2017 at 2:01 PM, A true Sunni said:

Bishop Arius of Alexandria simplified the question in this format.

He asked 'is Jesus a created being?'. 

If Jesus is a created being he reasoned that the creator is always greater then then the created so he rejected the idea of Trinity.

And this was declared a heresy. 

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On 5/3/2017 at 7:12 PM, LeftCoastMom said:

And this was declared a heresy. 

I am aware of that. However Unitarianism survived this. The Roman Emperor wanted trinity declared orthodox and used the might of the Roman Empire to force its propagation.  

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 ^ " Unitarianism" has never been a major force in the church. 

Constantine was just a politician who wanted some things settled for peace and quiet. I seriously doubt he personally gave much of  a rat's nether region about religion or which side in the Trinitarian debate won....he'd enforce whatever the bishops decided. He was baptized on his deathbed by an Arian bishop , did not enforce orthodoxy even in his own family ( there were Arian emperors after him) ,and  gave rights to pagans equally with Christians ( the  tolerance of the Edict of Milan applied to everyone's religion) .

The squabble was centered in North Africa , Asia Minor, and the Middle East. There is even a legend that Nicolas, the Bishop of Myra in modern day Turkey, slapped Arius. Now there's an image....Santa Claus socking heresy. Lol. 

Sorry for the delay in answering.

I had to change a Muslim diaper.

Edited by LeftCoastMom

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On 5/2/2017 at 0:12 PM, Melvind said:

Note: I'm not that knowledge about the Bible, but I have some knowledge about the trinity and the verses used for justifying this shirk and kufr. 

Nice start. shirk and kufr is going to bring lots of positive response. 

We know you don't know much about the Bible, (and don't want to), which is why this reads like" Who wants to challenge my prejudice?"

What do you know of Unitarians? 

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On 5/2/2017 at 9:40 PM, andres said:

I am Lutheran. I do not believe in trinity. I am very certain however that trinitarians agree with me that God is ONE.

I hear what you are saying but since Lutheran is a branch of Protestants they believe in the Trinity.

Historically you can see that the trinity concept was forced upon the Christian church.

Unitarianism though made famous by Bishop Arius predates him and possibly was the original theology of Christianity

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^ Still not sure how anyone thinks Trinitarian theology was " forced". It was part of the Church's thought  from the get-go. Athanasius and  the other bishops did not just suddenly pull it out of their back pockets at a Council. They represented their communities and their communities' thoughts on the subject. They were "the Church."

This reminds me of how our Council works. Say the Feds need an answer from us on how to proceed ,say, on a project which needs native input. The council members talk it over for a good while with their  extended families .Then there is a council meeting held to decide what to tell the Feds. Maybe one family disagrees. They may continue to disagree even though consensus is attempted. The Feds are invited to meet and told what the council has decided based on what most of the members want, with dissension noted and why.  The best you can say is that the  final decision is being " forced" on one family. It isn't being forced on the Council  or tribe and the Feds sure aren't doing the forcing. 

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On 2017-5-5 at 9:38 PM, LeftCoastMom said:

^ Still not sure how anyone thinks Trinitarian theology was " forced".

I think the word "forced" might mean that there were two ideologies before the Council of Nicea in 313 AD when Constantine managed to bring the death of one.

The winner has prevailed ever since.      

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^There were probably several, but another way to look at it is that the majority view won,led by the Holy Spirit.  That would be the Church's view, of course, Again, the historical record does not prove Constantine " forced" anything theologically. He left the decision up to the Council, which had representatives from all over,but mostly North Africa and Asia Minor.

I doubt he understood these concepts or cared. He ( and the Council ) didn't really  "kill "anything. He obviously didn't care who baptized him. He didn't care if pagans went about their practices ( did a few himself) and after his death there were Arian emperors, such as his own son Constantius II ,and Valens, who jailed and banished the Trinitarians.  In fact, Constantine himself banished the Trinitarian champion Athanasius just to keep the peace at one point. Arianism and "semi-Arianism" did survive among the Germanic tribes for a few centuries more.

History is rarely  a neat package. It's much more fun that way. 

Edited by LeftCoastMom
Added thought

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On 5/7/2017 at 0:37 AM, baqar said:

I think the word "forced" might mean that there were two ideologies before the Council of Nicea in 313 AD when Constantine managed to bring the death of one.

The winner has prevailed ever since.      

You mean the winner is the great majority. I belong to the small minority within the Lutheran Church that does not believe in trinity. This has never been a problem, and I dont mind reading the creed. There are more important issues than trying to define the nature of God, which no human fully understands anyway.

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On 5/7/2017 at 9:52 AM, andres said:

You mean the winner is the great majority. I belong to the small minority within the Lutheran Church that does not believe in trinity. This has never been a problem, and I dont mind reading the creed. There are more important issues than trying to define the nature of God, which no human fully understands anyway.

Normally the winner is the one that is backed by central government providing it with all the force of state approval to propogate its doctrine.

Due to state funded indoctrination the winners then become the majority

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42 minutes ago, A true Sunni said:

Normally the winner is the one that is backed by central government providing it with all the force of state approval to propogate its doctrine.

Due to state funded indoctrination the winners then become the majority

Of course. We have Shias in Iran, Sunnies further west, Even further west Orthordox and Catholics. And in Northern Europe the majority is Lutheran. More or less a result of state funded indoctrination.

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3 hours ago, A true Sunni said:

Normally the winner is the one that is backed by central government providing it with all the force of state approval to propogate its doctrine.

Due to state funded indoctrination the winners then become the majority

I don't think you can make a case that " the majority" of Christians were non-Trinitarian and then Constantine rammed Trinitarianism down everyone's throats. My position is that Constantine did not care much, he just wanted to keep the peace. The Council was heavily Trinitarian, which reflected the ideas of a good many Christians at the time, since it was made up of delegates from the major Christian centers all over the empire. It wasn't pulled out of some ivory tower somewhere. And the issue wasn't settled for years afterward anyway. 

If you want to make the case that the empire eventually favored the Trinitarian view and the structure of the Roman Empire helped spread it, no problem.  This was far from certain during the time of Constantine,though.

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6 hours ago, andres said:

Of course. We have Shias in Iran, Sunnies further west, Even further west Orthordox and Catholics. And in Northern Europe the majority is Lutheran. More or less a result of state funded indoctrination.

I am not in disagreement with you. State sponsored 'conformity' has been happening a long time in every religion and sect. 

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On 5/4/2017 at 1:55 AM, LeftCoastMom said:

 ^ " Unitarianism" has never been a major force in the church. 

Constantine was just a politician who wanted some things settled for peace and quiet. I seriously doubt he personally gave much of  a rat's nether region about religion or which side in the Trinitarian debate won....he'd enforce whatever the bishops decided. He was baptized on his deathbed by an Arian bishop , did not enforce orthodoxy even in his own family ( there were Arian emperors after him) ,and  gave rights to pagans equally with Christians ( the  tolerance of the Edict of Milan applied to everyone's religion) .

The squabble was centered in North Africa , Asia Minor, and the Middle East. There is even a legend that Nicolas, the Bishop of Myra in modern day Turkey, slapped Arius. Now there's an image....Santa Claus socking heresy. Lol. 

Sorry for the delay in answering.

I had to change a Muslim diaper.

I think we need to look at this issue more objectively. You are right Unitarianism was never a major force within the church however equally I could be said that Trinitarian was not a major force either. The Majority of people were somewhere in between.

If you look at the Council of Nicea it didn't actually endorse the Trinitarian position.

It recognised the Father and Son as as a di-ity ( same concept as trinity but 2 ) with the Holy Spirit as an added extra .

It wasnt untill 60 years later that the concept of trinity was properly formulated.

It appears the main point of dispute was di-ity + Holy spirit vs Unitairian + son + holy spirit.

All Constantine did was throw his weight behind the di-ity + holy spirit model

The squabble continued for decades after, until non-Trinity was declared a heresy    

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On 5/8/2017 at 2:27 PM, A true Sunni said:

I think we need to look at this issue more objectively. You are right Unitarianism was never a major force within the church however equally I could be said that Trinitarian was not a major force either. The Majority of people were somewhere in between.

If you look at the Council of Nicea it didn't actually endorse the Trinitarian position.

It recognised the Father and Son as as a di-ity ( same concept as trinity but 2 ) with the Holy Spirit as an added extra .

It wasnt untill 60 years later that the concept of trinity was properly formulated.

It appears the main point of dispute was di-ity + Holy spirit vs Unitairian + son + holy spirit.

All Constantine did was throw his weight behind the di-ity + holy spirit model

The squabble continued for decades after, until non-Trinity was declared a heresy    

I agree with LCM. There's nothing says Constantine put any weight behind any decisions in the council. It's not even recorded that he sat in on the council. He only put it together in hopes of finding common ground in the religion. As emperor I'm sure he had other things to do. It didn't exactly happen that way. Arius was silenced, not by Constantine. Not to say Constantine did not promote the new unified belief system, that's all he wanted. Once in place I'm sure that's when the major funding started.

Arius was not the founder of Unitarianism. Unitarianism happened with the Protestant reformation. They may have contemplated his initial concept but I doubt Arius would accept what they did with it.

Arianism was never an established religion as per se. All of his notes were destroyed and everything known about him came from those who opposed him. What is known of his beliefs can be said in under a minute. Not much to start with. That's why Arianism became a mish mash of very few initial doctrines, mixed with whatever parts of Christianity seemed acceptable to the group, but this also kept them divided into small groups. Small groups, small funding, small voices. 

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On Sunday, May 07, 2017 at 2:01 PM, LeftCoastMom said:

^There were probably several, but another way to look at it is that the majority view won,led by the Holy Spirit.  That would be the Church's view, of course, Again, the historical record does not prove Constantine " forced" anything theologically. He left the decision up to the Council, which had representatives from all over,but mostly North Africa and Asia Minor.

I doubt he understood these concepts or cared. He ( and the Council ) didn't really  "kill "anything. He obviously didn't care who baptized him. He didn't care if pagans went about their practices ( did a few himself) and after his death there were Arian emperors, such as his own son Constantius II ,and Valens, who jailed and banished the Trinitarians.  In fact, Constantine himself banished the Trinitarian champion Athanasius just to keep the peace at one point. Arianism and "semi-Arianism" did survive among the Germanic tribes for a few centuries more.

History is rarely  a neat package. It's much more fun that way. 

I thought that arians just believed that the father was superior to the son?

Not that the son wasn't some kind of god.

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14 hours ago, Son of Placid said:

There's nothing says Constantine put any weight behind any decisions in the council.

True but Nicea saw the entrenchment of the Trinity concept for posterity and the collapse of the rival view.

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On 5/2/2017 at 9:40 PM, andres said:

I am Lutheran. I do not believe in trinity. I am very certain however that trinitarians agree with me that God is ONE.

On what basis though?

If I say I have one piece of bread. Half is eaten and half is on my plate. How can we call this one?

If we say something is one, how can it be in parts? how can it have different aspects or forms? We can all say things, but if the meaning of the words do not fit the concept they are describing, the words have no value.

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4 hours ago, iraqi_shia said:

On what basis though?

If I say I have one piece of bread. Half is eaten and half is on my plate. How can we call this one?

If we say something is one, how can it be in parts? how can it have different aspects or forms? We can all say things, but if the meaning of the words do not fit the concept they are describing, the words have no value.

I do not believe we can use human logic when we try to define the relation between Jesus and God. Trinity is a try, I do not believe it is correct, but I may be wrong. 

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16 minutes ago, andres said:

I do not believe we can use human logic when we try to define the relation between Jesus and God. Trinity is a try, I do not believe it is correct, but I may be wrong. 

If we affirm one thing, can we be affirming the opposite in the same respect?

This is fundamental.

https://www.medinaminds.com/the-three-fundamental-laws-of-thought/

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Again, this is human logic. God and Jesus the same, two equal individuals, God created Jesus or somthing else that we cannot imagine. Nobody knows, and does it matter? I do not think so. 

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