The Pagan Theory of TRINITY and its creator the Philosophical Heretic Tertullian

 



Questions? Please email me: vietrandy@gmail.com. General comments please comment below.


BACKGROUND



As I’ve detailed in previous studies, see Blog below, the concept (NOT DOCTRINE) of TRINTY is NOT in the Bible. It was created as Pagan Polytheistic Philosophy from the Greeks. It was never used by the early church and didn’t appear until the late 2nd Century from a PAGAN Stoic philosopher from the bloodthirsty Phoenician heritage, operating as a supposed Catholic Priest who became a self-appointed Prophet (under new anointing directly from his god) & his name is TERTULLIAN. 



Trinity is Pagan Practice of Polytheism in Mainstream Christianity #EndTimes #Apostasy (thethirdheaventraveler.com)



Note:  Why this is so important to me:  I grew up in Church and never could comprehend the insanity of the Trinity.  Please read my background:

I Don't Go To Church (thethirdheaventraveler.com)


The Early First Century Christians did not believe in or practice or use the word Trinity nor did they use the concept.  The Godhead was established from the teachings of Paul and was the ONLY word used to describe and understand ONE God of whom Jesus Christ exists as the visible image. Colossians 1:15 KJV. See my detailed exhaustive studies on this in Links below.


No theologian in the first three Christian centuries was a trinitarian in the sense of a believing that the one God is tripersonal, containing equally divine “persons”, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.



Trinity > History of Trinitarian Doctrines (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)



Then all of a sudden here appears this NEW STRANGE THEORY incorrectly coined as Christians DOCTRINE forged from what Catholic scholars coined as the ecclesiastical writings of a Stoic Philosopher, Catholic Priest, who later mixed Roman Catholic traditions with a bizarre new prophecy movement known as New Prophecy or Montanits. The Montanits was a belief that the Prophetic appointments of the Old Testament continued and certain women and Tertullian among them had special prophetic anointing from their god.


Note: Any bible reading Christian knows the Prophetic anointing ended with John after he wrote Revelation.


Satan found his perfect candidate, this man TERTULLIAN who was born and raised a PAGAN into the people civilization of CARTHAGE.  Do your research on this civilization which came from Phoenicia which came from the Canaanites and tied to the bloodlines of EDOMITES - Esau whom God hated because of the Nephilim bloodlines who are also of the Amalek and other tribes of Canaan. God commanded Israel to slaughter every living soul (Deuteronomy 20:16 KJV 1 Samuel 15:20 KJV). But this was not accomplished, and Israel and the world has paid dearly for this. Just as an example look at what King Saul’s disobedience caused Israel. Ask any true JEW to tell you about Purim. 


Yes, even the brutal Romans were horrified by the child sacrifice bloodthirsty Carthaginians when Rome utterly destroyed Carthage 



https://youtu.be/lZsSB9riza8


Disclaimer: This video, although valuable in its insight of the history, it is a JOKE when they do not seriously consider the Bible to aid in the scientific proof. 


Scholars attribute Tertullian as an Ante-Nicene Father and Origin of “Latin Christianity”. Most of the research shows Tertullian along with other philosophers and heretics like Origin as one of the early church fathers who have been approved by Rome (The Catholic Church) as once being Catholic, even touted as great masters of the faith by a previous Pope. The Catholic Church according to Catholic Scholars acknowledge Tertullian as a “Great   Ecclesiastical (apostolic classical divine doctrinal  godly holy prophetic religious sacred scriptural theological )  SOURCE.


Why?  because as you’ll read further, Tertullian claimed Peter was martyred in Rome and among his most famous theories, The Holy Trinity, which was coined DOCTRINE.  See the meaning of Ecclesiastical in context to Vatican’s usage.


In links below you’ll also see where Tertullian was heavily persuaded by the Catholics to write The Trinity to dispute ALL THE PREVIOUS 200 years of church history where the term and concept of Trinity was never used.   The TRINITY. Catholic Scholars agree that Tertullian was a Catholic. And my other references such as Justin declared him as a priest, and he wrote essential church doctrine LIKE THE TRINITY. Of which documentation shows Tertullian being a Latin scholar was under tremendous pressure to explain the Godhead in terms of PERSONS separate and distinct and also being one. It's hillarious the Catholics refuse to call Tertullian a Catholic Church FATHER. The reason is they admit Tertullian fell deep into Montanism and began criticizing Rome for not adapting the Prophetic utterances of his and other self-appointed prophets.  Silly unlearned women were especially prominent in the Montanism movement claiming to be the oracles of god with new divine revelation for the church.


NOTE:  I’m convinced that the reason leadership of the Roman church would not embrace the Montanits was that they considered themselves oracles of God and wouldn’t always adhere to the seat of power in Rome.  It’s also extremely interesting that the Catholic Church didn’t officially exist until 314 AD after Emperor Constantine appointed Roman Bishop Silvester as the head of the church. 


As Paul and the other Apostles warned that wolves would creep into the church, it surely happened.  In only a matter of years from the passing of Paul and all the other apostles (John the last, died in approximately 100 AD on the Isle of Patmos), the likes of Tertullian parroting FALSE church tradition from Rome started proclaiming NEW DOCTRINE that IS NOT IN THE BIBLE, but CHRISTIANS TODAY PROCLAIM THE HOLY TRINITY IS ESSENTIAL CHURCH DOCTRINE… Modern day so called Christian scholars like Dr. Kim and his kind teach that the GODHEAD and the TRINITY are the same. This is a lie from hell.


As you read through this Blog, please take the time to read the works of scholar references that prove Tertullian's history of coming from Carthage, the Pagan history of BAAL worship was also a part of his affinity for the spiritual world and its interaction in the physical. Robert Mooney explores this as well as his cult Montanism and the Catholics.

Mooney_Robert_H_201412_MA.pdf (ualberta.ca)



Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. III (tertullian.org)


Is Tertullian considered a Church Father? | Catholic Answers


History of the Roman church


https://www.alabasterco.com/blogs/education/historical-background-of-the-book-of-romans



History of the Catholic Church and the persecution of the early Christians


Were the Early Christians Roman Catholic | Talk Jesus


https://www.talkjesus.com/threads/were-the-early-christians-roman-catholic.25960/#:~:text=The%20Roman%20Catholic%20Church%20claims%20that%20the%20early,also%20claims%20that%20it%20gave%20us%20the%20Bible.



North African Christians 


https://www.thoughtco.com/early-christianity-in-north-africa-part-1-44461


Jerome writings 

Tertullian was a priest of the church until middle age, but then, because of the envy and insults of the clergy of the church of Rome, he lapsed into Montanism and refers to the New Prophecy in many treatises. In particular, he directed against the church discussions of modesty, of persecution, of fasting, of monogamy, and of divine possession (in six books, with a seventh against Apollonius). He is said to have lived to an advanced age and published many tracts which are no longer extant.


Tertullian : A Life, by St. Jerome



How the Catholic connection and the tremendous connection with Roman Catholicism and Philosophy.  See quote Roman Catholicism quote:



, Roman Catholicism encompasses, within the range of its multicoloured life, features of many other world faiths; thus only the methodology of comparative religion can address them all. Furthermore, because of the influence of Plato and Aristotle on those who developed it, Roman Catholic doctrine must be studied philosophically even to understand its theological vocabulary.


Peter, having been at Jerusalem and then at Antioch, finally came to Rome, where he was crucified (with his head down, according to Christian tradition, in deference to the Crucifixion of Christ); there was and still is, however, disagreement about the exact location of his grave. Writing at about the end of the 2nd century, the North African theologian Tertullian (c. 160–c. 225) spoke of


Rome, from which there comes even into our own hands the very authority of the apostles themselves. How happy is its church, on which apostles poured forth all their doctrine along with their blood! where Peter endures a passion like his Lord’s! where Paul wins his crown in a death like that of John [the Baptist]!


It is from this quote from Tertullian we gain a tremendous amount of information as to how connected and how misinformed and disingenuous Tertullian truly was. First, there is NO biblical account whatsoever that Peter ever visited Rome or was martyred in Rome. 


In addition to this apostolic argument for Roman primacy—and often interwoven with it—was the argument that Rome should be honoured because of its position as the capital of the Roman Empire: the church in the prime city ought to be prime among the churches


I think it is no coincidence that the heretic Tertullian would be the father of the pagan doctrine of the TRINITY.  Tertullian was born in Carthage in 162 AD. 


To me personally, the most egregious thing about Tertullian and his PAGAN TRINITY teaching is his core belief that JESUS CHRIST WAS CREATED - MADE FROM God after Creation.  If we read carefully Tertullian has an undertone of the spirit of the antichrist John speaks of in 1 John 4. KJV.


Please read documentation as we proceed. HOW CAN TODAY’S CHRISTIAN SAY THEY BELIEVE IN THE HOLY TRINITY. NO ONE BOTHERS TO STUDY THIS.  HOW CAN DR. KIM SAY THE TRINITY IS THE GODHEAD? 


Following are direct quotes from Tertullian's writings: References are attached below: 

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.


The Son, on this theory, is not God himself, nor is he divine in the same sense that the Father is. Rather, the Son is “divine” in that he is made of a portion of the matter that the Father is composed of. This makes them “one substance” or not different as to essence. But the Son isn’t the same god as the Father, though he can, because of what he’s made of, be called “God”. Nor is there any tripersonal God here, but only a tripersonal portion of matter - that smallest portion shared by all three. The one God is sharing a portion of his stuff with another, by causing another to exist out of it, and then this other turns around and does likewise, sharing some of this matter with a third.

Against the common believers concerned with monotheism, Tertullian argues that although the above process results in two more who can be called “God”, it does not introduce two more gods - not gods in the sense that Yahweh is a god. There is still, as there can only be, one ultimate source of all else, the Father. Thus, monotheism is upheld. The one God is unipersonal both at the start and the end of this process. Nor are the persons equally divine; Tertullian holds that the Son is “ignorant of the last day and hour, which is known to the Father only” (Tertullian_and_the_Doctrine_of_the_Trinity_for_Internet.pdf;Tertullian, Praxeas, ch. 27; Matthew 24:36).


What is Tertullian’s answer to his “monarchian” critics? First, he strongly emphasizes that these are truly three; none of the three is identical to any other. They are “undivided” in the sense that the Father, in sharing some of his matter, never loses any; rather, that matter comes to simultaneously compose more than one being. The chart above might suggest that this portion of matter is one thing with three parts; but it is conceived of merely as a quantity of matter. The Father is one entity, the Son is a second, and the Spirit is a third. Nor are they parts of any whole; the latter two simply share some of the Father’s divine stuff. Tertullian does not argue that the three compose or otherwise are the one God. Instead, Tertullian replies that a king may share his one kingdom with subordinate rulers, and yet it may still be one kingdom. Likewise, God (i.e. the Father) may share the governance of the cosmos with his Son (Praxeas, ch. 4)

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


I ask the reader to pause here and read over my work - Come meet my KINSMAN REDEEMER to see exactly who Jesus Christ is according to scripture of the GODHEAD.


Tertullian and the

"Heretical" Origins of the

"Orthodox" Trinity

ANDREW MCGOWAN


Why does Andrew McGowan discuss in ad nauseum the influence of the Montanits on Tertullian’s TRINITY theory which became church doctrine and provide solid evidence throughout his work that it was, and in the conclusion leave it to doubt? Page 20.


The MAJORITY OF Christian believers didn’t believe in 3 separate persons of the Trinity theory as presented by TERTULLIAN. Being the PERFECT NICOLAITAN that Tertullian was, he took it upon himself as an anointed prophet (in his belief of the Montanits that he must convince believers that 1 God is actually three distinct persons.  Tertullian mocked Christians as being SIMPLE MINDED and incapable of comprehending complex ideas of 3 PERSONS BEING 1 PERSON.   


Note: Who is the fool here?  


Do you know how many times while growing up as a Christian I would ask, “But it doesn’t make sense… The Trinity is just too strange the way it is explained 3 IS 1 AND 1 IS 3.  I WAS TOLD IT WAS TOO COMPLEX TO UNDERSTAND BUT REQUIRED FAITH.


The MAIN PROBLEM THAT TERTULLIAN WAS CONFRONTED WITH EXACTLY PRECISELY WHAT I BRING UP HERE IN MY BLOG:  DEBUNKING TRINITY WITH THE GRAMMAR and the word PERSON.


Part 3 Proving Godhead Refuting Trinity with The NOUN (thethirdheaventraveler.com)


Part 2. Using Preposition and OF to prove Godhead and Dispel Trinity (thethirdheaventraveler.com)


The Preposition "Of" proves Godhead and dispels Trinity (thethirdheaventraveler.com)


The Scripture that keeps Trinitarians and Jews up at night. Psalm 110:1 KJV (thethirdheaventraveler.com)



On page 12 of McGowan


2006_JA_McGowan_Tertullian_and_the_heretical_origins_of_the_Orthodox_Trinity.pdf (divinity.edu.au)


We read of the turmoil and how unsettled was the question of Tertullian’s TRINITY philosophy and it was very FAR from being settled. Why? The true remnant of believers REJECTED this pagan stoic philosophical garbage. Why? Because it was NOT in the Bible, and it was a far cry from the scripture of GODHEAD.  How dare you Dr. Kim tell your Baptist cronies and YouTube followers that Godhead in the Bible is actually your doctrine of the TRINITY.  Liar!


You should read how the early church leaders struggled with TERTULLIAN’s concept of TRINITY as Tertullian tried to use the wild ass philosophy of STOICISM to prove the NUMBER and ARRANGEMENT

Page 14 of 


2006_JA_McGowan_Tertullian_and_the_heretical_origins_of_the_Orthodox_Trinity.pdf (divinity.edu.au)


 - despite intellectual limitation of the dummies he tried to brainwash - 3 DIVIDED AND SEPARATE PERSONS are actually UNITED AS 1.  …    This is straight out of Pagan GREEK Philosophy check it out:



Yes, as amazing as it could possibly be, I was shocked that Tertullian was challenged to prove his use of PERSONAE  

Page 15 of


2006_JA_McGowan_Tertullian_and_the_heretical_origins_of_the_Orthodox_Trinity.pdf (divinity.edu.au)


:  PERSON a BODY:  how can God - in reference to God the Father - who is spirit be a person as identified and known in the full meaning as person - especially as compared to His Only Begotten Son who was IN FLESH = THE VISIBLE IMAGE OF GOD?   Yes, Tertullian claimed God was also a BODY 

Tertullian claims that God is corporeal: “For who will deny that God is a body (Deum corpus esse), although „God is a Spirit.‟ For Spirit has a bodily substance of its own kind, in its own form (Spiritus enim corpus sui generis in sua effigie).”Adversus Praxean VII.8.



See an excerpt of my Blog using Grammar:


Continuing forward study and connecting the dots from the early 1st Century Church from Jesus Christ warning of the false teachers and wolves that would creep in.   To the split of Antioch and Alexandria. and where God allowed  Satan to hijack the Levitical Priesthood of Aaron but rather a to Egypt to Alexandria to the 2nd Century Jew named Philo - like Caiaphas - who thought he was a Jew but rather will be proven to be the synagogue of Satan) who loved Greek Philosophy to explain the Torah whose teaching inspired the Alexandrian teacher "TERTULLIAN"  who invented the word TRINITY and who literally by fiat with the pen declared that God Son and Holy Spirit were in fact separate PERSONS defined as "human bodied" concrete persons but were really in existence as 1 person in human form called God - notice not Jesus Christ.   Read it carefully for yourself. 


On page 2,140 of the Oxford English Compact Dictionary (hard copy) We read in Part I that the word Person was set apart as a distinct meaning of the Trinity by Tertullian in 200 AD. Following the Juridical meaning of Person:  Christian meaning by Tertullian (200 c) a "person" of the trinity - generally thought to be related to Latin persondre - to sound through ; but the long o makes this a difficulty the sense that mask has not come down into English. and in the sense that this did not arrive by logical order.  

TRANSLATE:  What we're reading here is although the true meaning of the word person is based exclusively on the definition of Person on the remaining page 2,140 which is a living body, a physical bodily object of an individual human being, Tertullian in the 2nd Century claimed that in Christianity because of his term 'TRINITY' the meaning of "person" changes to include the abstract nature of God. HOWEVER, there is NO LOGICAL ORDER TO ARRIVE AT THIS Change.

Repeat by Oxford University:   There is no logical order to arrive at this change.

Why?  Because even a child can recognize the difference between CONCRETE NOUNS and ABSTRACT NOUNS.   How can God who can only be visually represented by the BODY of Jesus Christ, ALSO be witnessed by the physical body of The Father?  

A Trinitarian will answer: This proves the Trinity because the SON is a PERSON, and the Son is IN the Father and so the 2 are persons.   Again, this is NOT what is written in scripture.   




2006_JA_McGowan_Tertullian_and_the_heretical_origins_of_the_Orthodox_Trinity.pdf (divinity.edu.au)


Tertullian's allegiance to the New Prophecy (later known as "Montanits

sidered irrelevant to his creasingn't of doctrine In the treatise Against Praxe

Free's defense of the Paraclere and the elder Rule of Faith. This work cater

"psychic" majority opposed to the New Prophecy, Thus what was to become

"orthodox" Christian theology depended on the "heretical" New Prophecy at

this particular place and time.


Following excerpts taken from both direct referenced sources by numbers below in NOTES. 


Greek philosophy abounds in the concept of triads or three entities. The term was also used to describe various abstractions e.g., “flesh, souls, spirit;” “the sacred Triad faith, hope, love.” 244 It goes back to Pythagoras and can be found in many cultures as representing groupings of three divinities. In its early version the doctrine of the Trinity was described in terms of subordination to God the Father, but it was condemned by the Council of Constantinople in 381. If we wish to differentiate between groupings of three entities without any special connotation of the unity we use today a term “triad.” The question arises, however, whether Tertullian developed this idea of a triune divinity by himself or was inspired by other sources. Tertullian shows in his writings enormous erudition and knowledge of cultures and literatures of his time, a familiarity with Egyptian religion, and mystery religions, Greek as well as Egyptian. He mentions in De Corona (7), De Pallio (3), and in Adversus Marcionem (1.3) the story of Osiris and Isis. In his Apology (6.8) he mentions the triad of Sarapis, Isis, and Harpocrates. In De Anima (15.5) he alludes to the Egyptian hermetic writings. So it is only natural and logical to infer that he was influenced by the surrounding culture with which he was intimately acquainted. 


He found useful the Egyptian concept of the trinity for interpretation of the Christian biblical mythology, and, at the same time, he explained it in metaphysical terms using the Middle Platonic Logos doctrine and the Stoic logical categories. His theory is based on the assumption of unity and unchangeability of the substance i.e., the spirit as the substance of God and the relative distinctiveness of the three members of the divinity.

Tertullian_and_the_Doctrine_of_the_Trinity_for_Internet.pdf


Thus the Protestant churches inherited the Catholic trinitarian doctrine. But in spite of the centuries of the theological tradition of the trinitarian doctrine, 


Tertullian (160-225) was an early Christian writer from Carthage. 



Tertullian was a STOIC Philosopher:

Stoic Philosophy 

The following 5 principles provide a roadmap to following the Stoic philosophy:

  1. Manage your expectations and judgments

  2. Be realistic about what you have the power to change

  3. Understand the meaning of equanimity— and practice it

  4. Call out your emotions for exactly what they are

  5. Live in harmony with nature — particularly human nature



Tertullian was a teacher of rhetoric, a Christian sophist, and that he belonged to the same literary circles as Apuleius. Tertullian's enormous erudition and his thorough classical education in which rhetoric was the queen of subjects, point unmistakably to this  



Tertullian the Sophist

[ˈsäfəst]

NOUN

  1. a paid teacher of philosophy and rhetoric in ancient Greece, associated in popular thought with moral skepticism and specious reasoning.
    a person who reasons with clever but fallacious arguments.

Tertullian: A Historical and Literary Study 1985th Edition

by Timothy David Barnes  (Author)




WHAT DID PAUL WRITE?


Colossians 2:8

King James Version

8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.




The Use by Tertullian of the Christian Logos Theory In his earlier writings Tertullian fully used the Logos Christology which supplied a general paradigm for eventually building his own interpretation. This aspect of Tertullian theology was a conscious effort to integrate Christianity and classical Greek culture.148 In Apology he expounded the divinity of Christ and identified him with the Logos of Numenius and Greek Stoic philosophy:

Tertullian : The Montanists  MONTANIST


Following quotes referenced in notes by direct reference number and commentary below:

Tertullian, in contradiction, ascribes to it a metaphysical and ontological meaning. There is no doubt that Tertullian‟s concept of metaphysical light which was put forth by God as the Logos (Word), is derived from the Greek theology of the second century. 153 Tertullian also shared the view with the Apologists that the Logos is not God in his entirety, but only a “portion,” (portio) of God, in the same way as is the ray in which there is not the whole but only a “portion” of the sun. The difference between them is in measure not of mode. Tertullian claimed that “The Father is the entire substance, but the Son is a derivation and portion of the whole.”1


Tertullian was very explicit in his treatise Adversus Hermogenem where he clearly stated that the Son had a beginning and origin. His argumentation came from the analysis of terms God and Lord. God is, according to Tertullian, a “designation of the substance itself,” so the name God always existed. However, the name Lord is a designation of the power, not of substance, therefore the title Lord was added after that over which God is Lord (i.e., the creation) “began to exist.” In the same manner, God is a Father and a Judge, But he has not always been Father and Judge, merely on the ground of his having always been God. For he could not have been the Father previous to the Son, nor a Judge previous to sin. There was, however, a time when neither sin existed with him, nor the Son; the former was to constitute the Lord and Judge, and the latter a Father.157 



Tertullian's doctrine of the oikonomia (Economia -Economics)  of God and its Stoic source.  = the management - of God, 


In attacking and destroying the character and reputation of Praxeas who taught what appears to be more in line with the Godhead vs the pagan trinity, Tertullian 


After having condemned Praxeas doctrine, Tertullian explains the true belief accepted by those who are “better instructed by the Paraclete,” implying that his theory of the Trinity was a product of Montanist speculation. (Spiritum sanctum, Paracletum).165 Tertullian_and_the_Doctrine_of_the_Trinity_for_Internet.pdf


He promises to show how these three entities can be differentiated numerically without division. Moreover, he developed a concept of the prolation of the 

Time and time again Tertullian used the worn-out Greek philosophy of Greek “naturalistic mode”.

Tertullian_and_the_Doctrine_of_the_Trinity_for_Internet.pdf



 Note: The irony here is Tertullian claimed to dislike Greek philosophy yet followed and practiced the great Roman stoic philosopher Seneca. 


Tertullian is aware that his opinion is not the only one; on the contrary the majority of believers cannot understand how one can believe in one God who may have his own dispensation in three entities. In popular folkloric interpretation they were considered three divinities. 


 The new trinitarian formulation evidently was not a popular or accepted belief during the time of Tertullian since he emphasized that the simple believers, and they are always in the majority, may have problems understanding this trinitarian assumption. Instead, they accept a triadic division of the unity of God, whereas, according to Tertullian, the triadic doctrine is a misunderstanding of God's economy (oikonomia) or dispensation/disposition (dispensatio or dispositio). 


Tertullian was a profoundly Stoic philosopher, and he developed his concept of the trinitarian God from the analysis of four general Stoic logical categories. His theory is based on the assumption of unity and unchangeability of the substance and the relative distinctiveness of the three members of the divinity, i.e., the Spirit as the substance of God. His concept of substance and the Spirit as the material substance of God is unquestionably Stoic and used to describe the nature of God.169 The source of these assumptions is found in the four categories of being as formulated by the Stoics: substrates or substances of everything that exists (u[poke ,imena), qualities (poia.), the modes of existence or dispositions (pw/j e;conta), and the relative modes or dispositions of existence (pro.j ti, pw/j e;conta).170 The term substrate or substance Stoics applied to the first matter of everything that exists, as a material and corporeal object. The object becomes specific if it acquires qualities which were described as certain matter or pneuma with a certain mode of existence.171 Plutarch reported that, according to Academy, two doves, e.g., are two substances with one quality, while the Stoics hold that they are one substance and two qualified entities. He quotes Chrysippus saying that when the universe is destroyed by fire, Zeus, who alone of all gods will survive the conflagration, withdraws into Providence and the two, presumably distinct entities, will continue to exist as a single substance, ether (e vpi. mi,aj th /j tou/ aivqe ,roj ouvsi,aj). According to this Stoic view everything that exists is present in one substance as the prime matter of all things. Zeus is different, however, from all other particular entities in 35 35. Eusebius, H.E. V.21 Tertullian_and_the_Doctrine_of_the_Trinity_for_Internet.pdf


How came it to pass that God should be thought to suffer division and severance in the Son and in the Holy Ghost, who have the second and the third places assigned to them, and who are so closely joined with the Father in his substance, when he suffers no such [division and severance] in the multitude of so many Tertullian‟s concept of a trinitarian God was developed from the analysis of four general Stoic logical categories: substrates or substances of everything that exists; qualities; the modes of existence or dispositions; and the relative modes of dispositions of existence. Tertullian using these Stoic categories transposes the logical relationship between objects on the metaphysical existence of the divine Father and his Son, and also on the third entity – the Holy Spirit. The divine Father 40  and the divine Son have their existence conditioned by their disposition only. They are not identical, moreover, the father makes a Son and the Son makes a Father by logical relationship, i.e., relative disposition. Generation and the Nature of the Son of God Since Monarchianism claims that “the two are one” and that the Father is the same as the Son, Tertullian proposes to examine the question of whether the Son exists and, if so, who he is and what is his mode of existence (an sit et qui sit et quomodo sit). Adversus Praxean c. V. 1. Tertullian_and_the_Doctrine_of_the_Trinity_for_Internet.pdf


Tertullian dismisses the claim that the scripture begins with the sentence “in the beginning God made for himself a Son” as groundless. But he derives another argument from God‟s own dispensation (dispensatio) which states that God existed alone before the creation of the world and up to the generation of the Son, being for himself the universe, space (locus), and all things. Tertullian claims that God was alone because there was nothing external to him. Adversus Praxean VII.8. Tertullian_and_the_Doctrine_of_the_Trinity_for_Internet.pdf




). Time was when the Son was visible in mystery and an enigma. He became more visible in his incarnation, and he is God because he is God from God (Dei Deum). The last statement is a paradigm of Greek philosophy (similis simili gaudet). 


Tertullian himself is very equivocal about the third person of the Trinity describing him also as the “Spiritus in sermone.” Adversus Praxean c. XII.3.  Nevertheless, Tertullian was the first to call the Holy Spirit God explicitly in a theological treatise, Adversus Praxean VII.8.but it seems that he only repeated what was probably religious folklore in the Greek environment. 



 These early church Fathers followed the Greek Platonic and Middle Platonic speculations either directly or through Philo of Alexandria. Later, in the third century, Plotinus (204-270 C.E.) developed his own abstract doctrine of a metaphysical trinity,  Plotino, Enneadi, traduzione con testo Greco di Giuseppe Fagin, presentazione di Giovanni Reale, revisione di Roberto Radice (Milano: Rusconi, 1996


   This was already after the formative years of the Christian doctrine. Moreover, the members of the Plotinian trinity do not have the character of anthropomorphic “persons” and they do not represent the Tertullian sense of the triunity, namely, una substantia, tres personae, consubstantiality of individual separateness. Eusebius, H.E., V.16.16, V.18.13, V.19.3.

Tertullian_and_the_Doctrine_of_the_Trinity_for_Internet.pdf


Does this sound like a Christian or a Catholic?


The Carthaginian Christian church was trying to develop a sense of identity in the midst of challenges from unorthodox teachers and the persistent, though local and sporadic, threat of persecution. What was important to the North African church of Tertullian was the personality of its church and community. They grappled with the notions of salvation and damnation:

the role of persecution and martyrdom. They sought a true Christian identity through exclusiveness and righteousness in its membership. This identity developed through discipline or rigor and set it apart from the universality and inclusiveness of Rome. Tertullian writes of church unity between discipline and the common hope of eternal life. The ritual of baptism with water calls one to accept a Christian life of persecution: martyrdom chooses one for salvation.

Tertullian knew of persecution and sought to explain the reasons for it. To Tertullian, sacred writings and the unchanging attitude of the ancient world towards Christianity offered a need, and Montanism offered inspiration. Christians could develop an identity and earn salvation. Tertullian’s true Christians Tertullian knew of persecution and sought to explain the reasons for it.




Read more of Robert Mooney's work that gives great insight into the world of Tertullian



NOTES



NOTE:   I found a thorough compilation of Tertullian's works with associated references related to TRINITY from a heretical group known as socinians


CHAPTER VI (socinian.org)


http://www.socinian.org/files/Tertullian_and_the_Doctrine_of_the_Trinity_for_Internet.pdf


who exposed major flaws of TERTULLIAN.  I only list this as a reference because they have exhaustive notes from the original writings of Tertullian that match with the University of Stanford and as where applicable to Dr. McGowan, WH Frend and Mooney. I also checked with Jerome's writings which matched. I use this particular reference in the EXACT manner as I did once in exposing Ravi Zacharias some years ago by an atheist called THE BAJO ATHEIST.  If a reader has issues with the referenced use of a heretic exposing a heretic, then please provide me reasons and email me.


https://premierchristian.news/en/news/article/meet-the-atheist-with-an-agenda-who-helped-reveal-ravi-zacharias-scandal


Here are the references listed by the SOCINIAN ORG. 


http://www.socinian.org/files/Tertullian_and_the_Doctrine_of_the_Trinity_for_Internet.pdf


 Bibliography 1. W. H. C. Frend, The Rise of Christianity (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1984), pp. 285-293; 398-403. 2. James Franklin Bethune-Baker, An Introduction to the Early History of Christian Doctrine to the Time of the Council of Chalcedon (London: Methuen & Co., Ltd, 1933). Eric Osborn, Tertullian the First Theologian of the West (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997). 1. W. H. C. Frend, The Rise of Christianity (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1984), pp. 285-293; 398-403. 2. James Franklin Bethune-Baker, An Introduction to the Early History of Christian Doctrine to the Time of the Council of Chalcedon (London: Methuen & Co., Ltd, 1933). Eric Osborn, Tertullian the First Theologian of the West (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997). c. I. 3. Novatian, Treatise Concerning the Trinity. In Ante-Nicene Fathers, Edited by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. Revised by Alexander Coxe (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1994). Vol. VI, pp. 611-634. 4. Quoted by Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield, Studies in Tertullian and Augustine (Wesport CT: Greenwood Press Publishers, 1970). p. 5. 5. Quinti Septimi Florentis Tertulliani, Opera Pars I. Opera Catholica. Pars II. Opera Montanistica. In Corpus Christianorum Series Latina (Turnholti: Typographi Brepols Editores Pontifici, MCMLIV). English version in Ante-Nicene Fathers, op. cit, Vol. III, IV, Ad Nationes XIV.1-2; De Patientia. I.1; De Pudicitia I; XXI.10. 6. De Virginibus velandis XVII.5. Tertullian gives his name at the end of the tractate as Septimius Tertullianus. 7. Apuleius of Madauros, The Isis-Book (Metamorphoses, Book XI). Edited with an introduction, translation, and commentary by J. Gwynn Griffiths (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1975). 8. The Transformations of Lucius Otherwise Known as the Golden Ass. A new translation by Robert Graves from Apuleius (New York: The Noonday Press, 1951. Third printing 1998). Sancti Aurelii Augustini Hipponensis Episcopi Opera Omnia. In J.-P. Migne, ed., Cursus Patrologiae, Series Latina, (PL), (Paris: 1861-62). Vol. XXXII-XLVII. De Civitate Dei 4:2; 8:12; 15-22; 9:3. English version in Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Philip Schaff, ed., (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1995), Vol. 1-8. Augustine, Writings of St. Augustine. Letters. Vol. I-IV, in The Fathers of the Church, translated by Sister Wilfrid Parsons (New York: Fathers of the Church, Inc., 1951, 1953). Epist. CXXXVIII.19. 9. Timothy David Barnes, Tertullian. Historical and Literary Study (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971), p. 55. 10. Barnes, Tertullian, op. cit. 11. Eusebius of Caesarea, The History of the Church from Christ to Constantine (abbreviated as H.E.) translated with an introduction by G. A. Williamson (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1984). Also in Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, second series, Philip Schaff and H. Wace, eds., op. cit., Vol. 1.II.2. 12. Barnes, op. cit., p. 5, Appendix 5. 13. Barnes, op. cit., pp. 211-232. Robert D. Sider, Ancient Rhetoric and the Art of Tertullian (London: Oxford University Press, 1971). p. 1. 14. Eusebius, H.E. II.2.4; II.25.4; III.20.7; III.33.3; V.5.5. 15. Corpus Iuris Civilis, Editio stereotypa sexta. Volumen secundum, Codex Iustinianus. Recognovit Paulus Krueger (Berolini: Apud Weidmannos, 1895). The Digest of Justinian. Latin Text edited by Theodor Mommsen with the aid of Paul Krueger. English translation edited by Alan Watson. Vol. 1-4 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1985). p. LVII (7. The Confirmation of the 79 79 Digest). 16. Justinian, Institutes. Translated with an introduction by Peter Birks and Grant McLeod with Latin text of Paul Krueger (Ithaca, N. Y.: Cornell University Press, 1987). 17. Corpus Iuris Civilis II, 1889, 342. 18. Ad uxorem I.1.1; II.1.1. 19. Lactantius, Divine Institutions. V. 4; I.21. In Ante Nicene Fathers, op. cit., Vol. 7. 20. Apologeticum IV.3. 21. H. Block, “The Pagan Revival in the West at the End of the Fourth Century,” c. VIII in The Conflict between Paganism and Christianity in the Fourth Century, ed. A. Momigliano (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1963), pp. 193-218. 22. Eusebius, H.E. V.5. 23. Apologeticum I.1. 24. Lactantius, Divinae Institutiones V.1.21. In Ante-Nicene Fathers, op. cit., Vol. 7. 25. JRS vol. LVIII, 1968.32. 26. Apologeticum II.1. 27. Apologeticum IV.3. "It is not lawful for you [i.e., Christians] to exist." 28. Lactantius, Divinae Institutiones V.9; V.11. 29. Quadratus (who presented his Apology to the Emperor Hadrian, 117-138 CE, probably during the emperor's stay in Athens in 126) known only from Eusebius, H.E. IV.3.1-3 and Jerome, De Viris Illustribus c. 19. Aristides, philosopher of Athens, (fl. also during the reign of Hadrian) H.E. IV.3.3. whose text is preserved in three versions: Greek, Syrian and partly in Armenian. Greek text in Migne, PG XCVI, 859-1240. English in Ante-Nicene Fathers, op. cit., Vol. 9 Ed. by Allan Menzies, pp. 263-283. Melito, bishop of Sardis, (fl. during the reign of Marcus Aurelius 161-180 C.E.) H.E. IV.26.1. Miltiades, from the same period, H.E. IV.17.5. The texts of the Apologies written by Melito and Miltiades are not preserved, we know about them only from Eusebius, and we have a fragment of Melito quoted by Eusebius, H.E. IV.26.1. 30. Jerome, De Viris Illustribus, c. 53. As quoted by Barnes, op. cit. 31. Jerome, De Viris Illustribus, c. 12. 32. Barlow, Claude W., ed. Epistolae Senecae ad Paulum et Pauli ad Senecam "quae vocantur" (Rome: American Academy in Rome.1938). 33. Jerome, De Viris Illustribus, c. 34. Eusebius, H.E. V. 23.3; 24.1; III. 31.2. 34. Jerome, De Viris Illustribus, c. 48. 35. Eusebius, H.E. V.21.2 36. De Exhortatione castitatis 7.3 and De Monogamia XII.2. 37. Ad uxorem I.1.1. 38. Adversus Marcionem IV; De Praescriptione Haereticorum I-IV; XXX; Adversus Valentinianos I-XXXIX. 39. Barnes, op. cit., p. 13, p. 15. 40. Augustine, De Haeresibus. In J.-P. Migne, PL, op. cit., Vol. XLII.86; and the anonymous "Praedestinatus" who copies him, in Migne, PL Vol. LIII. 616. 41. W.H.C. Frend, Martyrdom and Persecution in the early Church, a Study of Conflict from the Maccabees to Donatus (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1965). p. 366. 42. Augustine, De Haeresibus ad quodvultdeum liber unus. In J.-P. Migne, op. cit., Vol. XLII., I.86, p. 46-47; Praedestinatus, sive Praedestinatorum haeresis: libri tres. In J.-P. Migne, op. cit., Vol. LIII, LXXXVI, p. 616-617. He states that Tertullian was a "presbyter carthaginianus" and that he "nihil tamen in fide mutavit." 43. Eusebius, H.E. V.5.3. 44. W.H.C. Frend, Montanism: Research and Problems in Archaeology and History in the Study 80 80 of Early Christianity (London: Variorum Reprints, 1988), pp. 521-537. Epiphanius, The Panarion, selected passages translated by Philip R. Amidon (NewYork, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990), XLIX. Anti Marjanen, “Montanism: Egalitarian Ecstatic „New Prophecy.‟” In A Companion to Second-Century Christian “Heretics,” (Leiden-Boston: Brill, 2005), p. 192. 45. Eusebius, H.E., op. cit., V.16-19. 46. Revelation 21:1; De Fuga in Persecutione. IV; De Anima LV.5. 47. Pierre de Labriolle, Les sources pour l'histoire du Montanisme (Paris: Société d'Édition Les Belles Lettres, 1913). 48. Eusebius, H.E. V.16.3 49. Eusebius, H.E. V.16.11-12. 50 . Eusebius, H.E., V.3.4, V.4.1-2. 51. Adversus Praxean I.4. Pseudo-Chrysostom, Sermo, in J.-P. Migne, PG, op. cit., LIX.747. Hermius Sozomenus, Historia Ecclesiastica, in J.-P. Migne, PG, op. cit., Vol. LXVII. In Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, second series, op. cit., Vol. 2. VII.18.12. 52. Passion of Perpetua. In Ante-Nicene Fathers, op. cit., Vol. III. pp. 697-706. 53. Adversus Praxean I.4-5; Pseudo-Tertullian, Adversus Omnes Haereses VII.4. 54. Jerome, De Viris Illustribus, c. 53. 55. Marian Hillar, The Case of Michael Servetus (1511-1553) -- The Turning Point in the Struggle for Freedom of Conscience (Lewiston: The Edwin Mellen Press, 1997). pp. 55-57. 56. Jerome, De Viris Illustribus, c. 53. 57. De Pudicitia I.10. 58. C. Mohrmann, Etudes sur le latin des Chrétiens III. (Roma: Edizioni di storia e letteratura, 1961-65), p. 38; Pierre de Labriolle, La crise montaniste (Paris: Société d'Édition Les Belles Lettres, 1913), p. 354. 59. De Jejunio I.1. 60. Christians expected the Paraclete in the Gospel of John 14.16; 16.13 &ff. 61. De Jejunio I.3. 62. Nothing more is known about this bishop. Eusebius, H.E. V. 3.4, V. 4.1-2, V. 19.1-4. Christine Trevett, Montanism: Gender, Authority and the New Prophecy, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996). 63. Labriolle, op. cit., p. 238. 64. Anti Marjanen, op. cit., 194. 65. W.H.C. Frend, "Town and Country in Early Christianity." In Town and Country in the Early Christian Centuries. (London: Variorum Reprints, 1980). c. I. 66. W.H.C. Frend, "The Winning of the Countryside." In Town and Country, op. cit., c. II. 67. Matt. 23:14. Eusebius, H.E., V.16.12. 68. Bart D. Ehrman, Lost Christianities. The Battles for Scripture, and the Faith We Never Knew, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003), p. 150.69. Trevett, op. cit., p. 98. 70. Trevett, op. cit., pp. 62-66. 71. Eusebius, H.E. V.16.21-22. 72. Eusebius, H.E. V.17.1 73. Apollonius was tried by the Senate in Rome during the reign of Commodus and decapitated. Eusebius, H.E. V. 18.4; 21:2. 74. It was recently discovered that Tymon was a town located near the modern village of Susuzören and Pepuza near the modern village of Karayakuplu in Turkey. Marjan, op. cit., p. 191. 75. Eusebius, H.E. V.18.1-14. 76. Eusebius, H.E., V. 18. 2-3. 81 81 77. Trevett, op. cit., pp. 151-197. 78. Eusebius, H.E., V.16.16, V.18.13, V.19.3. 79. Epiphanius, Panarion, op. cit., 49.2.2, 49.2.5. William Tabbernee, Montanist Inscriptions and Testimonia: Epigraphic Sources Illustrating the History of Montanism, (Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1997). Gal. 3:28. 80. Ep. 75.10. 81. Eusebius, H.E., V.18.2. V.18.7. 82. De Fuga in Persecutione 14.3. 83. Adversus Praxean I.7 & ff. This differentiation between ψυχικός and πvευματικός comes from Paul 1 Corinthians 2:14; 15:44-46. 84. Osborn, op. cit., p. 251. 85. De Pudicitia XXI.17. W.H.C. Frend, Martyrdom and Persecution in the Early Church, op. cit., p 366. P. de Labriolle, La crise montaniste (Paris, 1913), p. 357. T.D. Barnes, JTS NS XX, 1969, 113. 86. De Pudicitia XXI. 87. Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses III.II.9. 88. De Jejunio XIII. 89. Audollent, Auguste, Carthage Romaine (Paris: Albert Fontemoing, Editeur 1901), p. 435. Babelou, E., Carthage, 1896, p.175; W.H.C. Frend Donatist Church (1952) p. 87. W.H.C. Frend, The Archaeology of Early Christianity (London: Geoffrey Chapman, 1996). T. D. Barnes, Tertullian. op. cit. 90. W.H.C. Frend, "Town and Country in the early Christian Centuries." In Town and Country in the Early Christian Centuries, op. cit., c. XVIII. "The Early Christian Church in Carthage," ibidem, pp. 21-40. c. XVII. "Jews and Christians in the Third Century Carthage," ibidem, pp. 185-194. W.H.C. Frend, Archaeology and History in the Study of early Christianity. (London: Variorum Reprints, 1980). "Early Christianity and Society. A Jewish Legacy in the pre-Constantine Era." pp. 53-71. W.H.C. Frend, Religion Popular and Unpopular in the Early Christian Centuries(London: Variorum Reprints, 1976). c. IV. "A Note on Tertullian and the Jews." 91. Paul Monceaux, Histoire littéraire de l'Afrique chrétienne (Paris: 1901) p. 7-9. Marcel Simon, Le judaisme berbère dans l'Afrique ancienne. In Recherches d'histoire judéo-chrétienne (Paris: Mouton, 1962). pp. 30-87. 92. J. Ferron, Inscriptions juives de Carthage. Cahiers de Byrsa 1, 1951, pp. 175-206. 93. Adversus Judaeos I. 94. Apologeticum XVIII. 95. W.H.C. Frend, in Town and Country, op. cit., c. XVII. 96. Apologeticum III.5; Adversus Marcionem IV.8 97. Epiphanius, The Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis Book I (sects 1-46), translated by Frank Williams (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1987). XXIX.7.4. 98. Apologeticum IX.13. 99. Cyprian, De Operibus et Eleemosynis 15. 100. De Jejunio XIV; Augustine, Epistula 54.2-3. 101. A council summoned by Agrippinus in 250 C.E. which declared that those baptized by a cleric not in communion with the church should be rebaptized. Cyprian, Epistula 71.4; 73.3. Augustine, De Unico Baptismo 13.22. Cyprian, Epistula 72; 75.1. Council of Carthage of 311 summoned by Secunus of Tigisis for the election of a bishop of Carthage. 102. W.H.C. Frend, in Town and Country, op. cit., c. XVI, c. XVII. 103. W.H.C. Frend, in Town and Country, op. cit., c. XVII. p. 192. 104. Adversus Judaeos I.1. De Jejunio XVI. De Spectaculis XXV; XXX.5. De Monogamia VII.1. 82 82 W. Harburg, JTS NS XXIII. 2 pp. 455-459. 105. Adversus Judaeos I; II; III; XIII.11. 106. Adversus Judaeos VII-XII. 107. Hippolytus Refutatio Omn. Haeres. IX.7. In Ante-Nicene Fathers, op. cit., Vol. V, pp. 9-153. 108. Scorpiace V.7. 109. Scorpiace II.1. 110. Adversus Marcionem IV. 8. 111. Apologeticum XXXIX.1. 112. De Spectaculis XIV.2. 113. De Idolatria I.1; X.1; X.7; XIII.1; XVIII.1; XIX.1. 114. Ad Nationes I.9,12; II.13; De Testimonio Animae II.7; Eusebius H.E. IV.3. 115. Cyprian, in Ante-Nicene Fathers, op. it., Vol. On the Unity of the Catholic Church VI.; Epistula LXXIII.2. 116. Cyprian, Epistula LXVII. 117. W.H.C. Frend, The Donatist Church (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1952). 118. Cyprian, Epistula LIV.5. 119. De Spectaculis XXX.1. 120. Herbert Musurillo, ed. The Acts of the Scillitan Martyrs. Introduction, texts and translation by Herbert Musurillo (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972). Also in Ante-Nicene Fathers, op. cit., Vol. III. W.H.C. Frend, The North African Cult of Martyrs from Apocalyptic to Hero-Worship. In Archaeology and History in the Study of Early Christianity (London: Variorum Reprints, 1988). pp. 154-167. 121. The Martyrdom (Passion) of Perpetua and Felicitas. In Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. III. W.H.C. Frend, In Archaeology and History, op. cit., pp.154-167. 122. Acts 2.17. Joel 3.1. 123. Passion II.3, 4. 124. Passion IV. 125. Augustine. In Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. XIV. De natura et origine animae II.14; III.12; IV.26,27. 126. Augustine, De natura et origine animae op. cit., I.12. 127. Passion VI.4. 128. Athenagoras, Legatio II.1; Tatian, Oratio ad Graecos IV; Ad Nationes I; Apologeticum I.1,12. Ad Scapulam I.2; V.1,2. 129. Justin Martyr, I Apology 8; 57; II Apology 4. 130. Passion of Perpetua VI.1,4. 131. Migne PG (Paris, 157-1866) op. cit., Vol. XVIII. 467. Tim Vivian, St. Peter of Alexandria. Bishop and Martyr (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1988). 132. Scorpiace II.1; III.5. 133. De Fuga in Persecutione IV; V. 134. Ad Scapulam V; Apologeticum L.3; De Spectaculis I. 135. De Pudicitia I. Passion of Perpetua IV; The Death of Peregrine In The Works of Lucian of Samosata. Complete with exceptions specified in the preface. Translated by H. W. Fowler and F. G. Fowler. Vol. 1-4 (Oxford:Oxford University Press, 1903, 1949). Vol. 4, pp. 79-95. 136. Marcus Aurelius, Meditations XI.3; Apologeticum L.1,15. 137. I Maccabees I.44-50. 138. II Maccabees VI.1-VII.42. 139. IV Maccabees XII.16 140. Flavius Josephus, Against Apion I.8. In Complete Works translated by William Whiston, 83 83 forward by William Sanford LaSor (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1981. 141. W.H.C. Frend, Persecutions: Some Links between Judaism and Early Church. In Religion Popular and Unpopular in the Early Christian Centuries. c. I (London: Variorum Reprints, 1976). 142. H.E. I.1-2. Ignatius, Ad Romanos II. In Ante-Nicene Fathers, op, cit., Vol. 143. Florentino García Martinez, The Dead Sea Scrolls Translated. The Qumran Texts in English. Second edition Wilfred G.E. Watson, translator (Leiden, New York: E.J. Brill: 1996). The Community Rule, 1QS OIX.9-11. J.A.T. Robinson, HTR 50, 175-190, 1957. 144. W.L. Knox, St Paul and the Church of the Gentiles (Cambridge: The University Press, 1939, 1961). A.N. Wilson, Paul. The Mind of the Apostle (New York, London: W.W. Norton & Company, 1997). 145. Eusebius, H.E. IV.24.1. 146. Thomassen, The Structure of the Transcendent World in the Tripartite Tractate. Vigiliae Christianae, Vol. 34, No.4, pp. 358-375, 1980. 147. Kurt Rudolph, Gnosis. The Nature and History of Gnosticism. Translation edited by Robert McLachlan Wilson (San Francisco: Harper & Row Publishers, 1987). 148. Sider, op. cit., p. 128. 149. Apologeticum c. XXI. 150. Apologeticum c. XVII. 151. Adversus Praxean c. VI. 152. Adversus Praxean c. XII. 153. Hans Lewy, Chaldean Oracles and Theurgy. Nouvelle édition par Michel Tardieu (Paris: Études Augustiniennes, 1978). 154. Adversus Praxean c. IX. 155. Adversus Praxean cc. IV, XXII, XXIII. 156. Adversus Praxean c. XIV. 157. Adversus Hermogenem c. III. 158. Adversus Praxean c. V. 159. Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield, Tertullian and the Beginning of the Doctrine of the Trinity in Studies in Tertullian and Augustine (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press Publishers, 1970). pp. 3-109. 160. Hippolytus Against the heresy of Noetus c.1. 161. Adversus Praxean, I.4. 162. Pseudo-Tertullian, Adversus omnes haereses c. VIII. 163. Hippolytus, Refutatio omnium haeresum IX.7.1; X.27.1. 164. Hippolytus, Refutatio omnium haeresium X.27.3. 165. Adversus Praxean c. II. De Praescriptione c. XIII. 166. Adversus Praxean c. II.2. 167. Adversus Praxean c. II.4. 168. This view was accepted in all antiquity and its essence was that the divinity is an intelligent igneous or aerial agent either permeating nature and matter or 84 84 transcendent to it and impassible. Stoicorum Veterum Fragmenta, (abbreviated as SVF), Vol I-III). Collegit Ioannes Arnim, Stugardiae: in Aedibus B.G. Teubneri, 1964). II. 310, 306, 320. Hans Lewy, op. cit. 169. Adversus Marcionem cc. II.9; III.6; IV.33; V.8; Adversus Praxean XIV, XXVI; De Oratione I; Apologeticum XXVIII. G.C. Stead, Divine Substance in Tertullian J. Theolog. Studies, Vol. 14, 46-66, 1963. 170. SVF II. 329, 330, 333-335, 369, 371, 373. John M. Rist, Stoic Philosophy (London: Cambridge University Press, 1969). pp. 152-172. 171. SVF II. 134-151, 301, 318. 172. SVF II.369,375,378,399,400. 173. SVF II.379. 174. SVF II. 403. 175. Maximus of Tyre, quoted in Iamblichus, On the Mysteries of the Egyptians, Chaldeans, and Assyrians. Translated from the Greek by Thomas Taylor (London: Bertram Dobell and Reeves and Turner, MDCCCXCV). p. XIV; Iamblichus (260- 330 C.E.), cc. XIX, XX. 176. Adversus Praxean c. III.5. 177. Adversus Praxean c. IV.4 178. Adversus Praxean c. V. 1. 179. George Bull, Defensio Fidei Nicaenae. In The works of George Bull, Lord Bishop of St. David's. Collected and revised by The Rev. Edward Burton. To which is prefixed The Life of Bishop Bull by Rev. Robert Nelson (Oxford: at the University Press, 1846). Vol. 5, Part (Tome) 1 and 2. T. 2. III.10.1-24.234-250. pp. 635-683. 180. Adversus Hermogenem c. III. 181. Adversus Hermogenem c. XVIII. 182. Epiphanius, Panarion XXX.13.7-8. 183. Adversus Praxean c. VII.5. 184. Adversus Praxean VII.8. 185. Bull Defensio Fidei Nicaenae op. cit., T.2, III. 8.7.2.222 p. 602. 186. Bull Defensio Fidei Nicaenae op. cit., T. 2 III.10.9.234, p. 635-637. 187. Adversus Hermogenem c. XVIII. 188. Bull Defensio Fidei Nicaenae op. cit., T.2. III.10.5.236-237. p. 643. 189. Adversus Hermogenem c. XVIII. 190. Adversus Praxean c. XIX.3. 191. Adversus Praxean c. XXVI.6-7. 192. Peter Lampe, From Paul to Valentinus. Christians at Rome in the First Centuries, translated by Michael Steinhauser, edited by Marshall D. Johnson (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2003). 85 85 193. Matthew 11:27; John 14:31; 6:38; I Corinthian 2:11.8 194. Adversus Praxean, VIII. 195. Adversus Praxean cc. IX-XXV. 196. Isaiah 42:1 in Sacred Writings. Vol 1 Judaism: The Tanakh. The New Jewish Publications Society Translation (New York: Book-of-the-Month Club, 1985, 1992). 197. Adversus Praxean c. XI.10. 198. Adversus Praxean c. XIV.3. 199. Adversus Praxean cc. XI.12; XXVII.11,14. 200. Adversus Praxean c. XVI.3. 201. Adversus Praxean c. XVI.7. 202. Adversus Praxean c. XI.12. 203. Psalm 138 (139):8. 204. Psalm 102 (103) :19. Isaiah 66:1. 205. Psalm 8:5-6. Hebrew texts says "God," but LXX "angels." 206. In Psalm 81(82), 6 the judges of Israel are addressed: "I had taken you for the divine beings, sons of the Most High, all of you." 207. Matthew 17:5; John 12:28. 208. Adversus Praxean c. XXIV.5. 209. Adversus Praxean c. XXIV.8. 210. Adversus Praxean c. XXV. 211. Novatian, De Trinitate c. XXIX. 212. Janes W. McClendon Some Reflection on the Future of Trinitarianism. In Review and Expositor, Vol. 63, No. 2, pp. 149-156, 1966. 213. Adversus Praxean c. XII.3. 214. Adversus Praxean Ibid. c. IV. 215. Adversus Praxean Ibid. c. VIII. 216. Adversus Praxean Ibid. c. XXV. 217. Adversus Praxean Ibid.c. XXX. 218. Adversus Praxean Ibid. c. XXVI. 219. Adversus Praxean Ibid. c. XXVI.2. 220. Adversus Praxean Ibid. c. XXVI.4. 221. Adversus Praxean Ibid. c. XXVI.7. 222. Adversus Praxean Ibid. c. XXVI.7. 223. Adversus Praxean Ibid. c. XXVI.9. 224. Adversus Praxean Ibid. c. XXVII.11. 225. Adversus Praxean Ibid. c. XXVII.11. 226. S.V.F. II.473. 227. Adversus Praxean c. XXVII.14. 228. Ibid. c. XXVII.14. 229. Ibid. c. XXVIII. 230. Ibid. c. XXVIII.1. 86 86 231. Ibid. c. XXVIII.7. 232. Ibid. c. XXVIII.6. 233. Ibid. c. XXIX.5. 234. Ibid. c. XXIX.6. 235. Ibid. c. XXIX.6-7. 236. Ibid. c. XXX.4. 237. Ibid. c. XXX.4. 238. Ibid. c. XXX.5. 239. Ibid. c. XXXI.1-3. 240. Tertullian, Adversus Praxean, III.1. 241. Tertullian, De praescriptione haeres. 7 242. Theophilus of Antioch, Ad Autolycum, in Ante-Nicene Fathers, op. cit., 2,15. 243. Aristotle in his De Caelo says: “For, as the Pythagoreans say, the world and all that is in it is determined by the number three, since the beginning, middle and end give the number of an „all,‟ and the number they give is the triad. And so, having taken these three from nature as (so to speak) laws of it, we make further use of the number three in the worship of the Gods.” De Caelo in The Basic Works of Aristotle, edited and with introduction by Richard McKeon, (New York: Random House, 1941), I, 13-14. 244 Clement of Alexandria, Stromateis, in Ante Nicene Fathers, op. cit., Vol. IV. 7. 245. Adversus Praxean c. V. 246. Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, Greek - English Lexicon, revised and augmented by Henry Stuart Jones and Roderick Mc Kenzie (Oxford: at Clarendon Press, 1983). The Hypostasis of the Archons, introduced by Roger A. Bullard. Translated by Bentley Layton, in J. M. Robinson, ed., The Nag Hammadi Library (San Francisco: Harper & Row Publishers, 1988), p. 162. 247. Adversus Marcionem cc. II.9; III.6; IV.33; V.8; Adversus Praxean XIV, XXVI; De Oratione I; Apologeticum XXVIII. G.C. Stead, Divine Substance in Tertullian J. Theolog. Studies, Vol. 14, 46-66, 1963. 248. SVF, II. 329, 330, 333-335, 369, 371, 373. John M. Rist, Stoic Philosophy (London: Cambridge University Press, 1969). pp. 152-172. 249. Adversus Praxean c. XII.3. 250. Adversus Praxean Ibid. c. IV. 251. Adversus Praxean Ibid. c. VIII. 252. Adversus Praxean Ibid.c. XXX. 253. Adversus Praxean Ibid. c. XXVII.11. 254. Origen, On First Principles. Translation and introduction by G.W. Butterworth (Gloucester, MA: Peter Smith, 1973). Clement of Alexandria, in Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. II, op. cit. 255. Plotino, Enneadi, traduzione con testo Greco di Giuseppe Fagin, presentazione di Giovanni Reale, revisione di Roberto Radice (Milano: Rusconi, 1996



Carthage  History from the Phonecians who were called CANNINITES in the Bible.  the practice of BAAL Worship who sacrificed their children by the fire to BAAL.   Read the horrendous - unimaginable evil and their bloodlines to NEPHLIM - ESAU - NIMROD - CANNINITES - PHARISEES - 




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Trinity > History of Trinitarian Doctrines (Stanford Encyclopedia


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



Against the Galileans (Ancient Greek: Κατὰ Γαλιλαίων; Latin: Contra Galilaeos), meaning Christians, was a Greek polemical essay written by the Roman emperor Julian, commonly known as Julian the Apostate, during his short reign (361–363). Despite having been originally written in Greek, it is better known under its Latin name, probably due to its extensive reference in the polemical response Contra Julianum by Cyril of Alexandria.[clarification needed]


As emperor, Julian had tried to stop the growing influence of Christianity in the Roman Empire, and had encouraged support for the original pagan imperial cults and ethnic religions of the Empire. In this essay Julian's described what he considered to be the mistakes and dangers of the Christian faith, and he attempted to throw an unflattering light on ongoing disputes inside the Christian Church. Julian portrayed Christians as apostates from Judaism,


Tertullian (/tərˈtʌliən/; Latin: Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus; c. 155 AD – c. 220 AD)[1] was a prolific early Christian author from Carthage in the Roman province of Africa.[2] He was the first Christian author to produce an extensive corpus of Latin Christian literature. He was an early Christian apologist and a polemicist against heresy, including contemporary Christian Gnosticism.[3] Tertullian has been called "the father of Latin Christianity"[4][5] and "the founder of Western theology".[6]


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.



This supplementary document discusses the history of Trinity theories. Although early Christian theologians speculated in many ways on the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, no one clearly and fully asserted the doctrine of the Trinity as explained at the top of the main entry until around the end of the so-called Arian Controversy. (See 3.2 below and section 3.1 of the supplementary document on unitarianism.) Nonetheless, proponents of such theories always claim them to be in some sense founded on, or at least illustrated by, biblical texts.


Sometimes popular antitrinitarian literature paints “the” doctrine as strongly influenced by, or even illicitly poached from some non-Christian religious or philosophical tradition. Divine threesomes abound in the religious writings and art of ancient Europe, Egypt, the near east, and Asia. These include various threesomes of male deities, of female deities, of Father-Mother-Son groups, or of one body with three heads, or three faces on one head (Griffiths 1996). However, similarity alone doesn’t prove Christian copying or even indirect influence, and many of these examples are, because of their time and place, unlikely to have influenced the development of the Christian doctrine of the Trinity.


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).


Another influence may have been the Neopythagorean Middle Platonist Numenius (fl. 150), who posited a triad of gods, calling them, alternately, “Father, creator and creature; fore-father, offspring and descendant; and Father, maker and made” (Guthrie 1917, 125), or on one ancient report, Grandfather, Father, and Son (Dillon 1996, 367). Moderatus taught a similar triad somewhat earlier (Stead 1985, 583).


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.


Justin and later second century Christians influenced by Platonism take over a concept of divine transcendence from Platonism, in light of which


no one with even the slightest intelligence would dare to assert that the Creator of all things left his super-celestial realms to make himself visible in a little spot on earth. (Justin, Dialogue, 92 [ch. 60])

Consequently, any biblical theophany (appearance of a god) on earth, as well as the actual labor of creation, can’t have been the action of the highest god, God, but must instead have been done by another one called “God” and “Lord”, namely the logos, the pre-human Jesus, also called “the angel of the Lord”.


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).


Many thinkers influential in the development of trinitarian doctrines were steeped in the thought not only of Middle Platonism and Neoplatonism, but also the Stoics, Aristotle, and other currents in Greek philosophy (Hanson 1988, 856–869). Whether one sees this background as a providentially supplied and useful tool, or as an unavoidably distorting influence, those developing the doctrine saw themselves as trying to build a systematic Christian theology on the Bible while remaining faithful to earlier post-biblical tradition. Many also had the aim of showing Christianity to be consistent with the best of Greek philosophy. But even if the doctrine had a non-Christian origin, it would would not follow that it is false or unjustified; it could be, that through Philo (or whomever), God revealed the doctrine to the Christian church. Still, it is contested issue whether or not the doctrine can be deduced or otherwise inferred from the Christian Bible, so we must turn to it.


2. The Christian Bible

2.1 The Old Testament

No trinitarian doctrine is explicitly taught in the Old Testament. Sophisticated trinitarians grant this, holding that the doctrine was revealed by God only later, in New Testament times (c.50–c.100) and/or in the Patristic era (c. 100–800). They usually also add, though, that with hindsight, we can see that a number of texts either portray or forshadow the co-working of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.


For example, in Genesis 18, Yahweh appears to Abraham as three men, and the text has often been read as though the men spoke as one, with one voice. What is this, they urge, if not an appearance of, or even a triple temporary incarnation of the three persons within God’s nature? (Other interpretations identify Yahweh with one of the men, the one who stays behind while the others travel to Sodom in Genesis 19.)


In numerous other passages, many Christian readers hold, the preincarnate Son of God is mentioned, or even appears in bodily form to do the bidding of his Father, and is (so they believe) sometimes called the “angel of the Lord”. Some have even identified the preincarnate Christ as Michael, protecting angel over Israel mentioned in the books of Daniel, Jude, and Revelation.


And in several passages, Yahweh refers to himself, or is referred to using plural terms. Non-trinitarians usually read this as a plural of majesty, a form of speech which occurs in many languages, or a conversation between God and angels, while trinitarians often read this as a conversation between the persons of the Trinity.


In sum, Christians read the Old Testament through the lens of the New. For example, the former speaks of God as working by his “word”, “wisdom”, or “spirit”. Some New Testament passages call Jesus Christ the word and wisdom of God, and in the Gospel of John, Jesus talks about the sending of another comforter or helper, the “Holy Spirit”. Thus, some Christians claim the door was open to positing two divine intelligent agents in addition to “the Father”, by, through, or in whom the Father acts, one of whom was incarnated in the man Jesus. In opposition, other Christian readers have taken these passages to involve anthropomorphization of divine attributes, urging that Greek speculations unfortunately encouraged the aforementioned hypostatization.  (NOTE:  hypostatisation - regarding something abstract as a material thing hypostatization, reification objectification - the act of representing an abstraction as a physical thing)  Reify abstract into a person (in context - give God who is spirit according to scripture - human 3 dimensional bodily - PERSON characteristics. 


2.2 The New Testament

The New Testament contains no explicit trinitarian doctrine. However, many Christian theologians, apologists, and philosophers hold that the doctrine can be inferred from what the New Testament does teach about God. But how may it be inferred? Is the inference deductive, or is it an inference to the best explanation? And is it based on what is implicitly taught there, or on what is merely assumed there? Many Christian theologians and apologists seem to hold it is a deductive inference.


In contrast, other Christians admit that their preferred doctrine of the Trinity not only (1) can’t be inferred from the Bible alone, but also (2) that there’s inadequate or no evidence for it there, and even (3) that what is taught in the Bible is incompatible with the doctrine. These Christians believe the doctrine solely on the authority of later doctrinal pronouncements of the True Christian Church (typically one of: the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox tradition, or the mainstream of the Christian tradition, broadly understood). Some Catholic apologists have argued that this doctrine shows the necessity of the teaching authority of the Church, this doctrine being constitutive of Christianity but underivable from the Bible apart from the Church’s guidance in interpreting it. This stance is not popular among Christians who are neither Catholic nor Eastern Orthodox. (2) would be the main sticking point, although some groups deny all three.


Many Christian apologists argue that the doctrine of the Trinity is “biblical” (i.e. either it is implicitly taught there, or it is the best explanation of what is taught there) using three sorts of arguments. They begin by claiming that the Father of Jesus Christ is the one true God taught in the Old Testament. They then argue that given what the Bible teaches about Christ and the Holy Spirit, they must be “fully divine” as well. Thus, we must, as it were, “move them within” the nature of the one God. Therefore, there are three fully divine persons “in God”. While this may be paradoxical, it is argued that this is what God has revealed to humankind through the Bible.


3.1.1 The One God in the Trinity

Early Christianity was theologically diverse, although as time went on a “catholic” movement, a bishop-led, developing organization which, at least from the late second century, claimed to be the true successors of Jesus’ apostles, became increasingly dominant, out-competing many gnostic and quasi-Jewish groups. Still, confining our attention to what scholars now call this “catholic” or “proto-orthodox” Christianity, it contained divergent views about the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. No theologian in the first three Christian centuries was a trinitarian in the sense of a believing that theone God is tripersonal, containing equally divine “persons”, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.


The terms we translate as “Trinity” (Latin: trinitas, Greek: trias) seem to have come into use only in the last two decades of the second century; but such usage doesn’t reflect trinitarian belief. These late second and third century authors use such terms not to refer to the one God, but rather to refer to the plurality of the one God, together with his Son (on Word) and his Spirit. They profess a “trinity”, triad or threesome, but not a triune or tripersonal God. Nor did they consider these to be equally divine. A common strategy for defending monotheism in this period is to emphasize the unique divinity of the Father. Thus Origen (ca. 186–255),


The God and Father, who holds the universe together, is superior to every being that exists, for he imparts to each one from his own existence that which each one is; the Son, being less than the Father, is superior to rational creatures alone (for he is second to the Father); the Holy Spirit is still less, and dwells within the saints alone. So that in this way the power of the Father is greater than that of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and that of the Son is more than that of the Holy Spirit… (Origen, First, 33–4 [I.3])

Many scholars call this strain of Christian theology “subordinationism”, as the Son and Spirit are always in some sense derivative of, less than, and subordinate to their source, the one God, that is, the Father. One may also call this theology unitarian, in the sense that the one God just is the Father, and not equally the Son and Spirit, so that the one God is “unipersonal”.


While views about the Spirit remained comparatively undeveloped, and as in the New Testament the Spirit was not worshiped, in the second and third centuries catholic Christianity came to attribute a “a divine nature” to Jesus, and to firmly establish his being called “God”. Language which had been very unusual in the first century (Harris 1992) now became the norm; Jesus was now “God” or “a god”, but not the one true God. (e.g. Novatian, Trinity, ch. 31; Justin First, ch. 13) This divine Son (i.e. the pre-human Jesus) was mysteriously “generated” by God either just before creation (late 2nd to early 3rd c. “logos theologians” or in timeless eternity (from Origen on).


While these developments were new, the worship of Jesus was not. As against earlier theories that it developed only slowly and because of Gentile influence, recent work has shown that Jesus was worshipped alongside God in the earliest known Christianity (Hurtado 2003, 2005). While the basis cited for this practice in the New Testament is

Supplement to Trinity

History of Trinitarian Doctrines


1. Introduction

This supplementary document discusses the history of Trinity theories. Although early Christian theologians speculated in many ways on the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, no one clearly and fully asserted the doctrine of the Trinity as explained at the top of the main entry until around the end of the so-called Arian Controversy. (See 3.2 below and section 3.1 of the supplementary document on unitarianism.) Nonetheless, proponents of such theories always claim them to be in some sense founded on, or at least illustrated by, biblical texts.


Sometimes popular antitrinitarian literature paints “the” doctrine as strongly influenced by, or even illicitly poached from some non-Christian religious or philosophical tradition. Divine threesomes abound in the religious writings and art of ancient Europe, Egypt, the near east, and Asia. These include various threesomes of male deities, of female deities, of Father-Mother-Son groups, or of one body with three heads, or three faces on one head (Griffiths 1996). However, similarity alone doesn’t prove Christian copying or even indirect influence, and many of these examples are, because of their time and place, unlikely to have influenced the development of the Christian doctrine of the Trinity.


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).


Another influence may have been the Neopythagorean Middle Platonist Numenius (fl. 150), who posited a triad of gods, calling them, alternately, “Father, creator and creature; fore-father, offspring and descendant; and Father, maker and made” (Guthrie 1917, 125), or on one ancient report, Grandfather, Father, and Son (Dillon 1996, 367). Moderatus taught a similar triad somewhat earlier (Stead 1985, 583).


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.


Justin and later second century Christians influenced by Platonism take over a concept of divine transcendence from Platonism, in light of which


no one with even the slightest intelligence would dare to assert that the Creator of all things left his super-celestial realms to make himself visible in a little spot on earth. (Justin, Dialogue, 92 [ch. 60])

Consequently, any biblical theophany (appearance of a god) on earth, as well as the actual labor of creation, can’t have been the action of the highest god, God, but must instead have been done by another one called “God” and “Lord”, namely the logos, the pre-human Jesus, also called “the angel of the Lord”.


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).


Many thinkers influential in the development of trinitarian doctrines were steeped in the thought not only of Middle Platonism and Neoplatonism, but also the Stoics, Aristotle, and other currents in Greek philosophy (Hanson 1988, 856–869). Whether one sees this background as a providentially supplied and useful tool, or as an unavoidably distorting influence, those developing the doctrine saw themselves as trying to build a systematic Christian theology on the Bible while remaining faithful to earlier post-biblical tradition. Many also had the aim of showing Christianity to be consistent with the best of Greek philosophy. But even if the doctrine had a non-Christian origin, it would would not follow that it is false or unjustified; it could be, that through Philo (or whomever), God revealed the doctrine to the Christian church. Still, it is contested issue whether or not the doctrine can be deduced or otherwise inferred from the Christian Bible, so we must turn to it.


2. The Christian Bible

2.1 The Old Testament

No trinitarian doctrine is explicitly taught in the Old Testament. Sophisticated trinitarians grant this, holding that the doctrine was revealed by God only later, in New Testament times (c.50–c.100) and/or in the Patristic era (c. 100–800). They usually also add, though, that with hindsight, we can see that a number of texts either portray or forshadow the co-working of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.


STOP HERE!  MAJOR ISSUE.  TELL ME WHERE IN SCRIPTURE IS OLD AND THE NEW TESTAMENT DOCTRINES NOT MIRRORED?  THE ANSWER NONE!


For example, in Genesis 18, Yahweh appears to Abraham as three men, and the text has often been read as though the men spoke as one, with one voice. What is this, they urge, if not an appearance of, or even a triple temporary incarnation of the three persons within God’s nature? (Other interpretations identify Yahweh with one of the men, the one who stays behind while the others travel to Sodom in Genesis 19.)


In numerous other passages, many Christian readers hold, the preincarnate Son of God is mentioned, or even appears in bodily form to do the bidding of his Father, and is (so they believe) sometimes called the “angel of the Lord”. Some have even identified the preincarnate Christ as Michael, protecting angel over Israel mentioned in the books of Daniel, Jude, and Revelation.


And in several passages, Yahweh refers to himself, or is referred to using plural terms. Non-trinitarians usually read this as a plural of majesty, a form of speech which occurs in many languages, or a conversation between God and angels, while trinitarians often read this as a conversation between the persons of the Trinity.


In sum, Christians read the Old Testament through the lens of the New. For example, the former speaks of God as working by his “word”, “wisdom”, or “spirit”. Some New Testament passages call Jesus Christ the word and wisdom of God, and in the Gospel of John, Jesus talks about the sending of another comforter or helper, the “Holy Spirit”. Thus, some Christians claim the door was open to positing two divine intelligent agents in addition to “the Father”, by, through, or in whom the Father acts, one of whom was incarnated in the man Jesus. In opposition, other Christian readers have taken these passages to involve anthropomorphization of divine attributes, urging that Greek speculations unfortunately encouraged the aforementioned hypostasizations.


2.2 The New Testament

The New Testament contains no explicit trinitarian doctrine. However, many Christian theologians, apologists, and philosophers hold that the doctrine can be inferred from what the New Testament does teach about God. But how may it be inferred? Is the inference deductive, or is it an inference to the best explanation? And is it based on what is implicitly taught there, or on what is merely assumed there? Many Christian theologians and apologists seem to hold it is a deductive inference.


In contrast, other Christians admit that their preferred doctrine of the Trinity not only (1) can’t be inferred from the Bible alone, but also (2) that there’s inadequate or no evidence for it there, and even (3) that what is taught in the Bible is incompatible with the doctrine. These Christians believe the doctrine solely on the authority of later doctrinal pronouncements of the True Christian Church (typically one of: the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox tradition, or the mainstream of the Christian tradition, broadly understood). Some Catholic apologists have argued that this doctrine shows the necessity of the teaching authority of the Church, this doctrine being constitutive of Christianity but underivable from the Bible apart from the Church’s guidance in interpreting it. This stance is not popular among Christians who are neither Catholic nor Eastern Orthodox. (2) would be the main sticking point, although some groups deny all three.


Many Christian apologists argue that the doctrine of the Trinity is “biblical” (i.e. either it is implicitly taught there, or it is the best explanation of what is taught there) using three sorts of arguments. They begin by claiming that the Father of Jesus Christ is the one true God taught in the Old Testament. They then argue that given what the Bible teaches about Christ and the Holy Spirit, they must be “fully divine” as well. Thus, we must, as it were, “move them within” the nature of the one God. Therefore, there are three fully divine persons “in God”. While this may be paradoxical, it is argued that this is what God has revealed to humankind through the Bible.



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