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In the Name of God بسم الله

Writings on Christianity

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Right now I'm kind of learning about early Christianity and its history and I'm struggling to understand how and when the Trinity and divinity of Jesus was introduced into the religion. Obviously Paul played in a big role in shaping the theology through the constructing of the biblical canon. But no historical evidences or proofs seem to remain that would indicate that these things were fabricated. I guess the only way now to refute the credibility of their theology and beliefs is through critic of the contents rather than critic of its historicity.

idk, still got lots to learn obviously,

what do you think? 

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18 minutes ago, Berber-Shia said:

Right now I'm kind of learning about early Christianity and its history and I'm struggling to understand how and when the Trinity and divinity of Jesus was introduced into the religion. Obviously Paul played in a big role in shaping the theology through the constructing of the biblical canon. But no historical evidences or proofs seem to remain that would indicate that these things were fabricated. I guess the only way now to refute the credibility of their theology and beliefs is through critic of the contents rather than critic of its historicity.

idk, still got lots to learn obviously,

what do you think? 

Praxaes was among one of the people who believed in it, along with Origen and a few other early writers. Tertullian refuted Praxaes in his Adversus Praxean. I know about a handful of people who hinted at or believed in it. Before Tertullian left the Church (and by extent, Christianity) to become a Montanist, he refuted a lot of claims about the Trinity, despite popular belief. 

Moreover, whenever you use "divinity", the early Church Fathers did not necessarily believe Jesus was God, but someone divinely sent or anointed by Him, hence the term "Messiah".

Would you like for me to write about that? I was going to write something in a PDF for people to learn about.

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4 minutes ago, Nightclaw said:

Would you like for me to write about that? I was going to write something in a PDF for people to learn about.

Most definitely! I would love to learn more about it in one PDF and have some Muslim commentary with it I guess. 

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Just now, Berber-Shia said:

Most definitely! I would love to learn more about it in one PDF and have some Muslim commentary with it I guess. 

Alright, will do. Thank you for giving me a suggestion. I will tag you in this thread with the PDF attached when finished. Thank you again, brother!

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@Berber-Shia

I'm sorry this took so long, brother. I've been trying to figure out what the problem is as to why I can't upload the PDF. It says it's too big. I took off a lot of information, they say it's still too big. Therefore, you'll have to deal with Google Docs for now. I pray you learn something and enjoy reading. Please let me know if I can do anything to elaborate or if there are any mistakes. 

I pray this link works. If not, let me know.

 

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@Nightclaw Salam bro

I've read your article, nice little read. Learned quite some stuff, so thanks for that. However I have a question:

So basically it's well established that the concept of the trinity has been introduced and, through the councils, been set as the core of the Christian theology centuries after Jesus's time. However you seem to mention that the early patriarchs believed that Jesus was merely a prophet in their eyes but the quotes you append to them clearly show that they believed in some kind of divinity of Jesus. And you have not mentioned, Paul (Saul of Tarsus) who is known for being attributed for a majority of the New Testaments. Don't you think that because Paul had such a role in creating this new theology through his "work" that practically all early patriarchs believed Jesus to be divine or some form of "God incarnate", despite not believing in the trinity? And that because of Paul, practically almost every new christian believed in the divinity of Jesus by the second and third century?

 

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10 hours ago, Berber-Shia said:

However you seem to mention that the early patriarchs believed that Jesus was merely a prophet in their eyes but the quotes you append to them clearly show that they believed in some kind of divinity of Jesus. And you have not mentioned, Paul (Saul of Tarsus) who is known for being attributed for a majority of the New Testaments. Don't you think that because Paul had such a role in creating this new theology through his "work" that practically all early patriarchs believed Jesus to be divine or some form of "God incarnate", despite not believing in the trinity? And that because of Paul, practically almost every new christian believed in the divinity of Jesus by the second and third century?

They never believed he was divine in the sense that he was Allah, but of a status higher than humans. The wording they used is evident of this. As time went on, they equated him to being God, but not on the same level. They believed in subordination of sorts, but him being part of Allah nonetheless. They never mention a Trinity once. The Holy Spirit is not mentioned nor being equated to Allah in the slightest. If you read the remainders of the Didache, عيسى عليه سلام was compared to David as being nothing more than a mere servant of Allah.

Paul had his take of influence, but this was due to his changing and manipulating the Bible. Even then, people were not staunch believers in the Divinity (i.e. being equal with Allah) of Jesus. No Christian believed in the Trinity in the second century. The Church fathers slowly begun to exonerate Jesus and raise him to the level of Allah as time went on, but they never stated he was equal to Allah (though being part of Allah). This wasn't solely the doing of Paul alone. He only manipulated the texts so he could have it entirely what HE thought and ultimately wanted to be correct, as well as making Jews look bad. 

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On 1/10/2021 at 1:30 PM, Nightclaw said:

Do you want something on another religion? 

U can’t help them their belief is based on ‘faith ‘ not logic or some scholarly established fundamentals, even amongst themselves they have huge differences, like some say Jesus is god other say he isn’t other say other things , they’re very confused and very individual in belief , I’ve been discussing with them for decades , always they just run away from arguments fundamentally or logic and never believe some denominations always have personal interpretations and on and on, it’s pointless just look here how they argue and debate , it’s just perplexed confused , u can’t help them  

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On 12/23/2020 at 9:19 AM, Nightclaw said:

Hi there. An interesting article. However I can't agree at all with with your conclusion, and I think the evidence against it is overwhelming.

You seem to miss out the New Testament entirely, much the best source for what the earliest church believed. You might not like Paul, but he worked very closely with the disciples who knew Jesus thoroughly, and that they gave him a highest level role within the Early Church is excellent evidence that they agreed with him. Paul was very clear that Jesus was God.

Clement 1 who you use as evidence was also a big fan of Paul, as can be seen in his writing. That Clement says that Jesus spoke through the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament, and says of Jesus “through him we behold, as in a glass, the immaculate and lofty countenance of God the Father”, gives us a pretty clear idea that Clement saw Jesus as God.

The Gospels too back up the idea that the first Christians believed Jesus was God. From Jesus as God's Son in the parable of the tenants; to Jesus seen as doing things that God had said He would do; to the immense statement in John 1, it is clear what the first Christians believed about Him.

There is more to be said, but I hope that you find this helpful.

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35 minutes ago, Leslie P said:

Hi there. An interesting article. However I can't agree at all with with your conclusion, and I think the evidence against it is overwhelming.

You seem to miss out the New Testament entirely, much the best source for what the earliest church believed. You might not like Paul, but he worked very closely with the disciples who knew Jesus thoroughly, and that they gave him a highest level role within the Early Church is excellent evidence that they agreed with him. Paul was very clear that Jesus was God.

Clement 1 who you use as evidence was also a big fan of Paul, as can be seen in his writing. That Clement says that Jesus spoke through the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament, and says of Jesus “through him we behold, as in a glass, the immaculate and lofty countenance of God the Father”, gives us a pretty clear idea that Clement saw Jesus as God.

The Gospels too back up the idea that the first Christians believed Jesus was God. From Jesus as God's Son in the parable of the tenants; to Jesus seen as doing things that God had said He would do; to the immense statement in John 1, it is clear what the first Christians believed about Him.

There is more to be said, but I hope that you find this helpful.

The point was how the Holy Trinity of Niceae was introduced into Christianity. Up until Tertuliian, this was not prevalent. It was a subordination of Jesus and God, if that. You didn't mention the Didache, which mentions Jesus being a mere servant-son, a term used for David that's deducted from the Hebrew "Son of God", which in turn means "Servant of God", hence why they mentioned it. Nobody had equated him to God and made him divine except as a servant. Go and bring a Jew and try to explain the New Testament to him using Greek/Hebrew and you'll see why it doesn't make sense for Jesus to be God from this standpoint.

John 1 is attributed to John but is anonymous, so I take it with a grain of salt. 

I didn't mention the New Testament specifically due to me having to go in great detail with the language. I'd be very specific with it and give grammar rules and cross references instead of my personal opinion. If you want me to deconstruct everything and do that, you'd have to wait a while.

None of the disciples worshipped Jesus. If you argue they asked of him as an intermediary, then there's no problem with this because they did this when he was alive. No person disagrees with this. However, after he died, they didn't worship him. They never claimed him as God nor did he ever claim himself as God. The Romans crucified him because they thought he was blaspheming - not because he claimed to be God, but because he claimed to be a prophet and it did not fit their political and religious aspect concerning his prophethood. Nowhere is Jesus stated to be God in the earliest sources. Only after Paul did this divine nonsense take place and slowly begin to grow.

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Thanks for the reply.

What they did at Nicea was bring together a number of conclusions from the New Testament documents, and put them together. As such I agree with it. However they did it in a way that is complex, unhelpful and deliberately exclusionary. As such I prefer the simpler expressions of Jesus' divinity found in the New Testament.

As for “servant”, the Greek word used in the Didache is pais, which can be translated as servant, but also as child or boy (Strong's 3816). In any case, any use of servant would be a reference to the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53, an iconic and prophetic passage for Christians  here.

The Romans killed Jesus because they thought he was about to start a rebellion, and their normal response was crucifixion.

Paul is writing significantly before the Gospels were written, so he is the earliest source. Paul was thoroughly endorsed by the disciples of Jesus- he was given a leading role, and his relationship with the disciples is documented in the New Testament.

The only possible conclusion is that they agreed with what he was writing. The people that lived with Jesus and heard every word He said agreed with Paul that “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth”, a title specifically taken by God in Isaiah 45:23.

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On 1/13/2021 at 3:29 AM, Nightclaw said:

John 1 is attributed to John but is anonymous, so I take it with a grain of salt

John 1:1 in the beginning was the word(“let their be”/i.e decree) and the word was with God (I.e in God’s foreknowledge) and divine was the word(I.e decree) 

 

that’s the literal translation of John 1:1

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On 1/13/2021 at 3:29 AM, Nightclaw said:

The point was how the Holy Trinity of Niceae was introduced into Christianity

Today’s concept of the trinity didn’t exist until the late 4th century or early 5 century. Tertullian concept of the trinity was basically polytheism, he believed Jesus and the holy spirit were divine(gods) but subordinate to God the Father. In the early third century and perhaps very late 2nd century this concept of tertullian formed a new concept of the trinity called modalism then eventually In the middle of the 4th century or early 5th century the current concept of the trinity was formed. Three concepts crept into Christianity which stole the name “trinity” to name their new concept. 

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Hi there. I wonder if I might put a slightly different perspective on things.

The basic concepts underlying the Trinity have been present from the beginning. Christianity has always believed that Jesus and the Holy Spirit were in some way God. The New Testament writings are pretty clear on that. However in the centuries after, various church theologians started asking questions about what that might mean in detail, and based their answers on the New Testament.

Now those questions didn't need asking then, and don't get asked today outside of university theology courses. A few writers might have come up with individual answers that don't fit with the Trinity, but it is worth noting that the divinity of Jesus etc is not called into question by the writers. Based on their understanding of what the disciples believed, they were all clear that Jesus is God.

After a few centuries of discussion, the Trinity was developed as a means of expressing the outcome of the discussions.

The experimental ideas of a few earlyish theologians really have no impact on Christianity.

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On 1/21/2021 at 1:45 PM, Leslie P said:

The New Testament writings are pretty clear on that.

They completely opposed that as I have clearly shown before. 
 

On 1/21/2021 at 1:45 PM, Leslie P said:

Christianity has always believed that Jesus and the Holy Spirit were in some way God.

That’s when you run away from history to beat around the bush and take EVERYTHING out of context and make non-corresponding and irrational arguments and taking verses out of context. 
 

On 1/21/2021 at 1:45 PM, Leslie P said:

they were all clear that Jesus is God.

No proof. 

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OK, let's take a bit of a look again, then.

First Century Judaism was expecting the arrival of the Kingdom of God. This was not a small event- it was the declaration that forgiveness for God's people had arrived, that a new stage of humanity had begun, that the problem of death had been solved. This Kingdom would be inaugurated by God Himself- He had reserved that role for Himself.

Jesus spent a lot, lot, lot of time talking about how the Kingdom of God was arriving at that time. The historical evidence that this was the case is clear- multiple attestation of forms and sources. Then Jesus went and died, and something happened next which made the disciples declare that the Kingdom of God had begun through Jesus. It would appear that the problem of death had been solved.

Jesus Himself must also have said things that sent His disciples off in the direction of His divinity, because there's no way that they would have headed off there otherwise. That, and the fact that Jesus did things that God had reserved for Himself, told the disciples that Jesus was God.

When Paul says that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, he's using a title for God. When Paul puts Jesus in the middle of the Shema in 1 Corinthians 8:6 he is putting Jesus into the holiest and strongest assertion of monotheism in Judaism. Paul was heavily supported by the disciples, who must therefore have agreed with him.

Every shred of the mass of historical evidence we have says that the disciples thought that Jesus is God.

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