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If Jesus is God, how is he called God's only begotten son?

 
 
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 May, 2005 07:20 pm
I'm not sure that what you believe about the trinity is what most believers have been taught. I found what is purported to be the Athanasian Creed at this SITE
A long statement which reads in part :
". . .The Father is uncreated,
the Son is uncreated,
the Holy Spirit is uncreated. . ."

Is this what we are talking about?
0 Replies
 
real life
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 May, 2005 09:45 pm
Neologist,

I did not say that I need not provide an answer. But, I will say it now. I don't give divine revelation.

If you have a hard time accepting divine revelation because it is beyond your understanding, congratulations. You have proved yourself to be a human.

Man will not always understand every aspect of God. If you do not understand how God could appear as a man, you are with the rest of us.

It is beyond our understanding how Infinite God could clothe Himself in a human body and live a life as a man.

However, just because we don't understand it does not mean it is not true.

God clothed Himself with a body and came in the form of a man when He appeared to Abraham outside the city, as well.

Questions like "who did Jesus pray to?" (George Carlin asked "If God can do anything, can God make a rock so big that He can't lift it?") are often an attempt to rule with our logic in everything and may sometimes fall into the category of foolish and unlearned questions the apostle commanded to avoid. Modern man is fond of saying that there is no such thing as a foolish question, but God apparently has a different opinion on this as well.

Jesus said regarding His prayer, that because of the people standing by He said it, not that He needed to say it otherwise.

So instead of our objections overruling Scripture, we must admit that God is beyond our ability to understand.

Does that mean we do not try to understand? Of course not. But God's word is the final word, not our gray matter.

The most religious men of Jesus' day rejected His claims. They did not understand them. They prided themselves on their knowledge of the Bible and their strict adherence to it. Their mind was a stumblingblock because of pride.

The Bible reveals Jesus Christ as Creator of all things in heaven and earth, not just "through" Him, but by Him all things were made.
0 Replies
 
Derevon
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 May, 2005 04:35 am
neologist wrote:
I'm not sure that what you believe about the trinity is what most believers have been taught. I found what is purported to be the Athanasian Creed at this SITE
A long statement which reads in part :
". . .The Father is uncreated,
the Son is uncreated,
the Holy Spirit is uncreated. . ."

Is this what we are talking about?


Yes, of course. There is One God, yet three persons. A trinity of unity, a unity of trinity. One cannot just worship parts of the divine. One has to worship It in Its entirety, for God is One essence. I really don't understand how you can say that Jesus is divine, and yet say that He is not entitled to worship. That would make him an external, lesser deity, and that would be polytheism for sure.
0 Replies
 
agrote
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 May, 2005 04:46 am
So God has three names? If Christians are truly monotheists, then Father = Holy Spirit = Jesus Christ. If so, anything that applies to one must apply to the other. Jesus suffers for our sins, so the Father must suffer for our sins. But the Father doesn't suffer for our sins, how do you explain that?
Derevon
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 May, 2005 06:16 am
You don't think the Son's suffering also makes the Father suffer? What father would not suffer if his dearly beloved son was suffering?
0 Replies
 
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 May, 2005 08:54 am
real life wrote:
I did not say that I need not provide an answer. But, I will say it now. I don't give divine revelation.
Understood. I should just believe because you or some preacher says so.
real life wrote:
If you have a hard time accepting divine revelation because it is beyond your understanding, congratulations. You have proved yourself to be a human. .
OK, His thoughts are not our thoughts.
real life wrote:
Man will not always understand every aspect of God. If you do not understand how God could appear as a man, you are with the rest of us. It is beyond our understanding how Infinite God could clothe Himself in a human body and live a life as a man. However, just because we don't understand it does not mean it is not true.
Nor does it give us permission to assume it is true.
real life wrote:

God clothed Himself with a body and came in the form of a man when He appeared to Abraham outside the city, as well.
Even if it were true that Abraham witnessed the very person of God, it would not prove your assertion regarding Jesus, only that all things are possible with God.
real life wrote:

Questions like "who did Jesus pray to?" (George Carlin asked "If God can do anything, can God make a rock so big that He can't lift it?") are often an attempt to rule with our logic in everything and may sometimes fall into the category of foolish and unlearned questions the apostle commanded to avoid. Modern man is fond of saying that there is no such thing as a foolish question, but God apparently has a different opinion on this as well.

Jesus said regarding His prayer, that because of the people standing by He said it, not that He needed to say it otherwise.
There is no way John chapter 17 makes sense under this premise.
real life wrote:
So instead of our objections overruling Scripture, we must admit that God is beyond our ability to understand. Does that mean we do not try to understand? Of course not. But God's word is the final word, not our gray matter.
If you mean God is not subject to the same rules of causality as are we, I would have to agree.
real life wrote:
That is not proof.
The most religious men of Jesus' day rejected His claims. They did not understand them. They prided themselves on their knowledge of the Bible and their strict adherence to it. Their mind was a stumbling block because of pride.
It wasn't as much their strict adherence to the bible, but rather their multiplying the difficulty of the law, making it oppressive to the common people. Read Matthew, chapter 23.
real life wrote:

The Bible reveals Jesus Christ as Creator of all things in heaven and earth, not just "through" Him, but by Him all things were made.

Colossians 1:15-17 reads: "15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; 16 because by means of him all [other] things were created in the heavens and upon the earth, the things visible and the things invisible, no matter whether they are thrones or lordships or governments or authorities. All [other] things have been created through him and for him. 17 Also, he is before all [other] things and by means of him all [other] things were made to exist."
0 Replies
 
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 May, 2005 09:47 am
agrote wrote:
So God has three names? If Christians are truly monotheists, then Father = Holy Spirit = Jesus Christ. If so, anything that applies to one must apply to the other. Jesus suffers for our sins, so the Father must suffer for our sins. But the Father doesn't suffer for our sins, how do you explain that?

Good point,agrote. Let me address Derevon's answer:
Derevon wrote:
You don't think the Son's suffering also makes the Father suffer? What father would not suffer if his dearly beloved son was suffering?

Derevon, you can't have it both ways. Either the father and son have separate personalities or they do not. That we without fail think of Jesus when we contemplate Jehovah and that we without fail think of Jehovah when we mention Jesus is not proof of their sameness.

One huge problem with the trinity dogma is that it cheapens the value of Jesus' sacrifice. Jesus' death was partly prefigured in the story of Abraham and Isaac. Can you imagine the anguish Abraham endured as he and Isaac traveled to Moriah? BTW, Josephus avers that Isaac was about 25 years old at the time, so he most surely cooperated at some point. Thus we have a picture of a father and son enduring the most excruciating trial so that God's will might be done.

If God and Jesus were one and the same, it just wouldn't be the same.
0 Replies
 
Derevon
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 May, 2005 10:47 am
Neologist,

There isn't anything in Colossians 1:15-17 that contradicts that the Son dwells in the Father, and the Father in the Son. If you believe so, you misinterpret what "He is the image of the invisible God" signifies. It means simply that He is the visible manifestation of the invisible God. It doesn't say that He is created in the image of the invisible God (i.e. a copy of God), but that He is the image itself.

neologist wrote:
Derevon, you can't have it both ways. Either the father and son have separate personalities or they do not. That we without fail think of Jesus when we contemplate Jehovah and that we without fail think of Jehovah when we mention Jesus is not proof of their sameness.


Again, two persons, One God. God has many aspects. One of them is His perfect justice. Another is the Son who atones for the sins of man to satisfy this justice. Since the true, ultimate nature of God and many of the logical repercussions of it, obviously are beyond all human comprehension, this matter does of course come down to faith. By dismissing certain parts of the Bible, because one cannot understand them logically, one places one's own intellect above Holy Scripture, and that is nothing else than intellectual pride, which is a stumbling block between human and God, as Real life said.
0 Replies
 
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 May, 2005 11:18 am
Derevon wrote:

Yes, of course. There is One God, yet three persons. A trinity of unity, a unity of trinity. One cannot just worship parts of the divine. One has to worship It in Its entirety, for God is One essence. I really don't understand how you can say that Jesus is divine, and yet say that He is not entitled to worship. That would make him an external, lesser deity, and that would be polytheism for sure.

There is a difference between love and worship. If God had not created Jesus, if He had not been willing to sacrifice his son, if Jesus had not been willing to undergo trial on our behalf (and his father's), we would not be having this conversation, or any conversation for that matter.
I don't see how that attitude constitutes worship of Jesus.
0 Replies
 
Derevon
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 May, 2005 02:36 pm
neologist wrote:
There is a difference between love and worship. If God had not created Jesus, if He had not been willing to sacrifice his son, if Jesus had not been willing to undergo trial on our behalf (and his father's), we would not be having this conversation, or any conversation for that matter. I don't see how that attitude constitutes worship of Jesus.


That Jesus is due worship is clearly and unambiguously stated in Hebrews 1:1-6:

In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs. For to which of the angels did God ever say, "You are my Son; today I have become your Father"? Or again, "I will be his Father, and he will be my Son"? And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says, "Let all God's angels worship him.[/color]"
0 Replies
 
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 May, 2005 07:00 pm
You did well. My own bible reads "Let all God's angels do obeisance to him", which is essentially the same thing, so I stand corrected. I'm still not buying an identity between Jesus and God. In fact the very sentence negates the assertion of co-eternal.

I must say I am enjoying this discourse. As Solomon said in Proverbs 27:17, "By iron, iron itself is sharpened. So one man sharpens the face of another."
0 Replies
 
real life
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 May, 2005 09:02 pm
neologist wrote:
Understood. I should just believe because you or some preacher says so.
You exaggerate and misrepresent what I said. That is very close to lying.

neologist wrote:
Even if it were true that Abraham witnessed the very person of God, it would not prove your assertion regarding Jesus, only that all things are possible with God.
Yes read Genesis. Abraham was approached by "three men" ; they stopped and ate with Abraham. Two angels then proceeded on to Sodom to rescue Lot. But Abraham stood before the LORD and spoke.....
Why is it thought God could not be incarnate in Christ when He had done so before?

Jesus said regarding His prayer, that because of the people standing by He said it, not that He needed to say it otherwise.
neologist wrote:
There is no way John chapter 17 makes sense under this premise.
Are you saying that what Jesus said does not make sense? Yes it is difficult to understand, this is my point exactly. We may not accurately understand it, but He is the only one who makes sense.

neologist wrote:
Colossians 1:15-17 reads: "15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; 16 because by means of him all [other] things were created in the heavens and upon the earth, the things visible and the things invisible, no matter whether they are thrones or lordships or governments or authorities. All [other] things have been created through him and for him. 17 Also, he is before all [other] things and by means of him all [other] things were made to exist."
Why do you stop at verse 17 and not quote in context verse 18 which states Christ is the "FIRSTBORN FROM THE DEAD"? Christ was not the first one to rise from the dead. He had raised several people from the dead prior to this. Firstborn must have a deeper meaning and it does. In Jewish society , the firstborn is the one with the inheritance and the headship of the family. Many examples in the Old Testament of the right of the firstborn being conveyed upon a man who was NOT the eldest ("first born") son.

Christ is the head of the family, the one with the right to rule. It does not indicate He was the first creature to be created.

Ps 102:24-27 describes the LORD God as Creator of the Heavens and the earth. The New Testament says plainly "But to the Son He says" and quotes the same verses. see Heb. 1:8-12

And why do you add the word "other" into the Colossians passage except to change the meaning of the verse?
0 Replies
 
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 May, 2005 10:55 pm
real life wrote:
neologist wrote:
Understood. I should just believe because you or some preacher says so.
You exaggerate and misrepresent what I said. That is very close to lying.
Sorry; I obviously did not understand what you said. I still don't.
real life wrote:
Why is it thought God could not be incarnate in Christ when He had done so before?
All I said was it, in and of itself, would not prove Jesus is God. Jesus sacrifice was not just to provide redemption for us. It also was an answer to Satan's challenge about the integrity of God's intelligent creations. Read the book of Job to get an idea of Satan's thinking on the matter. Jesus proved that nothing Satan could do would break his devotion to his father. If Jesus was God, how could that statement make sense?
real life wrote:

Jesus said regarding His prayer, that because of the people standing by He said it, not that He needed to say it otherwise.
neologist wrote:
There is no way John chapter 17 makes sense under this premise.
Are you saying that what Jesus said does not make sense? Yes it is difficult to understand, this is my point exactly. We may not accurately understand it, but He is the only one who makes sense.
I sure wish you would provide the reference for that statement and it's not that I don't believe you. I'd just like to find it for my own reference. This is what I mean when I say John 17 doesn't make sense: (starting with verse 3) " This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ. 4 I have glorified you on the earth, having finished the work you have given me to do. 5 So now you, Father, glorify me alongside yourself with the glory that I had alongside you before the world was. " If Jesus is not talking about himself separate from God, how could this make sense? The whole chapter reads like that.
real life wrote:
Why do you stop at verse 17 and not quote in context verse 18 which states Christ is the "FIRSTBORN FROM THE DEAD"? Christ was not the first one to rise from the dead. He had raised several people from the dead prior to this. Firstborn must have a deeper meaning and it does. In Jewish society , the firstborn is the one with the inheritance and the headship of the family. Many examples in the Old Testament of the right of the firstborn being conveyed upon a man who was NOT the eldest ("first born") son.Christ is the head of the family, the one with the right to rule. It does not indicate He was the first creature to be created.
Others had been raised from the dead, but their resurrections had not been permanent. Jesus was the firstborn from the dead in that he would never again die.
real life wrote:

And why do you add the word "other" into the Colossians passage except to change the meaning of the verse?
The word other was placed in brackets by the translators to indicate that it did not appear in the original text. I chose that scripture because it made sense to me. Obviously it didn't make sense to you. It certainly makes sense when compared to Proverbs 8: 22-31, however. I'll try to use more easily understandable examples in the future. There are many to choose from.

I really appreciate your arguments and am sorry if I seem to make light of them. Many of them are ones I have never heard articulated in such a way before. You are helping me to understand your point of view. I hope you are getting some perspective on mine.

The bible was written to be understood by the most unsophisticated among us. Should not its representations of God's nature and purpose be simple and straightforward? The trinity doctrine, aside from being so popular among pagans (which itself should bring suspicion) is esoteric to the point of obfuscation.
0 Replies
 
real life
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 May, 2005 12:16 am
neologist wrote:
...If Jesus was God, how could that statement make sense?.... There is no way John chapter 17 makes sense under this premise..... This is what I mean when I say John 17 doesn't make sense..... If Jesus is not talking about himself separate from God, how could this make sense? The whole chapter reads like that. .....I chose that scripture because it made sense to me. .....The bible was written to be understood by the most unsophisticated among us. Should not its representations of God's nature and purpose be simple and straightforward? The trinity doctrine, aside from being so popular among pagans (which itself should bring suspicion) is esoteric to the point of obfuscation.....
All of your arguments are over what makes sense to you. This is almost always the case when I talk to Jehovah's Witnesses. I hear repeatedly, "How can that be?" , "I don't understand" , and "That doesn't make sense"

Nobody understands. You and I are not stupid, we're just human.

God may tell us things that we cannot make sense of, however, that doesn't mean that they are not Truth.

The Bible was written to guide us to God. Part of the purpose of the Bible is to show us that His ways are higher than ours, not necessarily to be understood.

God knew He could NOT be fully (or even greatly) understood. That is why He says , "Trust Me."

-------------------

The reference you are looking for is John 10:41-42.

---------------------

BTW, I never said I was trinitarian. The trinity is one way of trying to understand the nature of God. It is a good, but not a perfect way. Even the famous trinitarian Billy Graham said as much. There is no exact way for man to understand the true and full nature of God.

(Try understanding the reference to "the seven Spirits of God" in the book of Revelation. God is so much greater than we can know or understand!)

However, the Bible makes it clear that Jesus is God, the Creator of the Heavens and earth and all that is in them., the Head of the Family and Heir of all things.

----------

He is First and Last

Is 44:6 Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel, and (Israel's) Redeemer the LORD of hosts, I am the First and I am the Last. Besides me there is no God.

Rev 1:11-13 "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last....then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw ....One like the Son of Man.

Rev 2:8 These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life....

Rev 22:12-13 Behold I am coming quickly and My reward is with Me.....I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.

---------

He is Keeper of the Book

Rev 3:5 He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life

Rev 22: 19 If anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life.

----------------

And so much more.
0 Replies
 
agrote
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 May, 2005 06:52 am
Derevon wrote:
You don't think the Son's suffering also makes the Father suffer? What father would not suffer if his dearly beloved son was suffering?


This doesn't solve the problem - the father would have to suffer in the same ways as the son for them to be equal. Let's try a more obvious example:

The Father = The Son,
The Son died for our sins,
The Father did not die for our sins,
Therefore, The Father does not equal The Son.

Bit of a problem there. Either (Father = Son = HS) or not-(Father = Son = HS). Which will it be?
0 Replies
 
Derevon
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 May, 2005 09:21 am
neologist wrote:
You did well. My own bible reads "Let all God's angels do obeisance to him, which is essentially the same thing, so I stand corrected"


Take a look at this link: http://www.carm.org/jw/nwt_proskuneo.htm

It shows that the Bible which JW use (The New World Translation) translates the original Greek word "proskuneo" to "worship" on every occasion, except for when it refers to Jesus. From it, it seems clear that the NWT is a biased translation made to suit JW beliefs. Every other English Bible I've looked in translates it to "worship" also on these occasions.

Quote:
I'm still not buying an identity between Jesus and God. In fact the very sentence negates the assertion of co-eternal.


You have to try to understand that God is much more than a mere person. The Father and the Son are not the same identities as such, yet they are One in essence, with One will, perfectly aligned and in harmony.
0 Replies
 
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 May, 2005 09:33 am
agrote wrote:
Derevon wrote:
You don't think the Son's suffering also makes the Father suffer? What father would not suffer if his dearly beloved son was suffering?



This doesn't solve the problem - the father would have to suffer in the same ways as the son for them to be equal. Let's try a more obvious example:

The Father = The Son,
The Son died for our sins,
The Father did not die for our sins,
Therefore, The Father does not equal The Son.

Bit of a problem there. Either (Father = Son = HS) or not-(Father = Son = HS). Which will it be?

Congratulations, agrote, on your 500th post. You are a man of few words, yet what you say makes sense. (sorry, real life).

I have a neighbor who I'm sure must be the quintessential common man. His name is Joe Sixpack. He's happily married with 1.75 children and works as a fletzer pusher for Boeing Company, a well known Pacific Northwest employer.

Since the bible was written for the unlettered and ordinary. I had him read this thread. You know what? You were the only one he understood, though he did give me 2 Cents for trying.

When he asked me why this argument was important. I told him about the pagan origins of the trinity; he wasn't impressed. Then I explained that Satan believes he can turn any one against God. I had him read the first few chapters of Job. Then he said "And Jesus was the most important person in creation. I get it! He was willing to endure an excruciating trial, even experience death, to prove Satan wrong once and for all. And at the same time, he provided a ransom for us. Wow ,neo, you're not such a nerd after all!"

I had to tell him this wasn't my idea. I just had to figure it out like anyone else.
0 Replies
 
Derevon
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 May, 2005 09:43 am
agrote wrote:
Derevon wrote:
You don't think the Son's suffering also makes the Father suffer? What father would not suffer if his dearly beloved son was suffering?


This doesn't solve the problem - the father would have to suffer in the same ways as the son for them to be equal. Let's try a more obvious example:

The Father = The Son,
The Son died for our sins,
The Father did not die for our sins,
Therefore, The Father does not equal The Son.

Bit of a problem there. Either (Father = Son = HS) or not-(Father = Son = HS). Which will it be?


The problem, I believe, is the inability of the human mind to comprehend the multifaceted nature of God. There are three persons who are all One essence. They are not equal in the sense that they are the same persons, they are equal in that they are the same Deity. If one person suffers, all suffer, but not necessarily so in the same manner. They are after all different persons, representing different aspects of God's wholeness.
0 Replies
 
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 May, 2005 09:47 am
Derevon wrote:

You have to try to understand that God is much more than a mere person. The Father and the Son are not the same identities as such, yet they are One in essence, with One will, perfectly aligned and in harmony.
Sometimes I wonder if we are both eating the same sandwich. So I ask: Was Jesus created by God?
0 Replies
 
Derevon
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 May, 2005 12:38 pm
Since Jesus is one with the Father, and since the Father is eternal, it follows that Jesus is also eternal and uncreated.
0 Replies
 
 

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