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Ozymandias_KingofKings
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creationtruth
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Anti-Trinitarianism

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/14/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 860 times Debate No: 54658
Debate Rounds (5)
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Ozymandias_KingofKings

Pro

I would like to debate the doctrine of the trinity and whether or not such a doctrine is expressed in the Bible I do not believe the trinity is biblical. If you are not familiar with the trinity please do not attempt the debate. Please use Biblical verses as your primary sources though other sources may be used to explain or help interpret such verses.
creationtruth

Con

I accept the challenge. I believe 1 John 5:7 most clearly points to the "Trinity."
Debate Round No. 1
Ozymandias_KingofKings

Pro

Ozymandias_KingofKings forfeited this round.
creationtruth

Con

"For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one" (1 John 5:7). How can one coherently reject the doctrine of the Trinity when this verse is so very clear? We know the Word is Jesus from John 1, who created all things and who is God.

Notice in Matthew 28:18 the disciples were commissioned to baptize in the name of the FATHER, SON, & HOLY GHOST!

In Genesis 1:26, God says "let us make man in our image." The possessive plural pronoun "our" necessitates the multiplicity of the one making the proclamation. Genesis 1:1 tells us God was there along with the preponderance of passages which refer to the Father God (Abba Elohim) as Creator (i.e. Isaiah 64:8). Genesis 1:2 tells us that the Holy Spirit was there along with Genesis 2:7 ("naphach," the Hebrew word which denotes "breathe" in Genesis 2:7 and Ezekiel 37:9; compare also to "ruach" the Hebrew word which denotes "Spirit" in Genesis 1:2 and Psalm 33:6). And John 1:1-3, Colossians 1:16-17, Ephesians 3:9,and Hebrews 1:1-3 tells us that Jesus was there. From these verses we can make a solid argument that the "our" in Genesis 1:26 refers to the Trinity. With this verse alone one might make a claim that there is more than one God, but verse 27 tells us that "God created man in HIS own image." So in verses 26-27 we go from "our" (plurality) to "His" (singularity) thus "these three are one." We can therefore say with confidence that "The Lord our God is one Lord" (Deuteronomy 6:4). He is the Father, the Word and the Holy Ghost.

"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen"
(2 Corinthians 13:14).
Debate Round No. 2
Ozymandias_KingofKings

Pro

Even many Arians believe in God, Jesus and the Holy spirit. Just demonstrating there are three beings is far from demonstrating a triune God of the nicene creed. Secondly the section of 1 John that is quote is a later addition. It is found in a handful of late manuscripts and in many of those manuscripts it is not found in the text its self but as a marginal note, demonstrating this was some note that eventually got incorporated into the text and hence not original. If you read the entire chapter you will also see that the chapter deals with whether or not a witness can be believed. In the same chapter we read

If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.

the verse that you allude to demonstrating the trinity-- even though it is spurious--- only goes to demonstrate and interpret the following verse (this interpretation of the next verse (1 John 5:8) was most likely a note added by the reader of the text)

8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.

this shows that they merely are one in AGREEMENT and not one in essence or being. What John is trying to say is that We have three who are bearing witness to the things that John has said and this should be believed because it meets the criterion laid forth in the Torah.

One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established. Deuteronomy 19:15

But this time John goes even further by saying if the witness of man is enough to establish a matter how much more the witness of God!
If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.

This again goes to show that this section is about witnesses being one and in agreement not on in essence! We can see this same phrase paralleled in Paul's writing:

5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? 6I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. 7So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. 8Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. 9For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.
1 Corinthians 3:5-9

Would you now become an "apostolic Binitarian" believing Paul and Apollos to be the two persons of the Pauline "binity" because that is what you must be believe in order to be consistent. Or will you take the text in context and understand that Paul and Apollos are one in agreement and purpose as the text clearly states and as 1 John 5 is trying to demonstrate? I do agree that 1 John 5 is quite clear and hence my rejection of your interpretation and rejection of 1 John 5:7 is quite coherent!

Matthew 28:18 is another verse that has been horribly abused and misused. Firstly this verses authenticity is in question due to the fact that this formula of baptism only appears in this verse and all other baptismal formulas in the entire New Testament are in the name of Jesus only. Baptism was in no way unique to christianity-- in fact the greeks practised baptism to demonstrate that one was following a new philosophy of a philosopher or teacher. This parallelism is broken in Matthew 28:19 where you are not baptised in the name of your teacher "Jesus" but in the name of the Holy Ghost and God! Its interesting to note that however that Hebrew Matthew reads:

"Go and teach them to carry out all the things which I have commanded you forever."

It is also interesting to note that I am unaware of any instance in which Eusebius quotes the current version of Matthew 28:19 but instead quotes "'Go ye and make disciples of all nations in my name, teaching them to observe all things, whatsoever I commanded you." or other quotes where he just demonstrates baptism is in Jesus name only! I am not aware of any instance of the 21 instances that i know of where he uses the threefold formula of baptism!

The apostles seem to also have been unaware of the supposed command of Matthew 28:19!

Acts 2:38 "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."

Acts 8:16 "For as yet he [it] was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus."

Acts 10:48 "And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord."

Acts 19:5 "When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus."

Acts 22:16 ". . . arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord."

1Cor 6:11 "And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God."

Rom 6:3 "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? "

Gal 3:27 "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ."

So we must either say that the apostles did not heed the commands of Jesus that Eusebius must have had a corrupt version of scripture along with other evidences or we must come to the conclusion that the threefold formula is a corruption. Having said that however all that verse demonstrates is that there is but three beings it does not show these three beings to be in one in essence and co-eternal as the nicene formula would state
creationtruth

Con

Thanks for responding, I will address your rebuttals below.

You say, "Even many Arians believe in God, Jesus and the Holy spirit. Just demonstrating there are three beings is far from demonstrating a triune God of the nicene creed." What Arians believe is irrelevant to the subject at hand, we are arguing from the scriptures, not from creeds and the beliefs of certain sects of Christians.

You say, "Secondly the section of 1 John that is quote is a later addition. It is found in a handful of late manuscripts and in many of those manuscripts it is not found in the text itself but as a marginal note, demonstrating this was some note that eventually got incorporated into the text and hence not original." Your claims are false and unsubstantiated. While it is true that most Greek manuscripts do not contain 1 John 5:7, it should be noted that less than 500 of the more than 5,000 Greek manuscripts even contain 1 John 5, and of these, only 12 are from before the 11th century. In other words, the vast majority of manuscripts which contain 1 John 5 would be considered "late." Old Latin manuscripts which are dated earlier than the majority of Greek manuscripts containing 1 John 5 include: Codex Toletanus (10th century), Codex Complutensis (10th century), Codex Cavensis (9th century), Codex Ulmensis (9th century), Codex Theodulphianus (8th or 9th century), Sangallense MSS 63 and 907 (8th or 9th century), Codex Legionensis (7th century), Frisingensia Fragmenta (7th century), and Codex Speculum (5th century), all of which contain verse 7 as read in the KJV. (http://www.kjvtoday.com...). The fact that 1 John 5:7 is not found in most Greek manuscripts does not negate its authenticity as this verse is clearly supported by a plethora of early Christian writers and unto the Protestant Reformation. These include (from late to early):
*
Erasmus, Commentary on 1 John 5:7 (Paraphrase on The First Epistle of John, 1520 A.D.)
"For the Spirit too is truth just as the Father and the Son are. The truth of all three is one, just as the nature of all three is one. For there are three in heaven who furnish testimony to Christ: the Father, the Word, and the Spirit.
*
Lombard, Second Distinction (Libri Quattuor Sententiarum, 1150 A.D.)
"That the Father and the Son, says he, not by confusion of persons, but by Unity of Nature, St. John hath taught us in his Canonical Epistle, saying, 'There are three which bare record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one.'" (http://rarebooks.dts.edu...) [p. 14]
*
Jerome, Prologue to the Canonical Epistles (Codex Fuldensis, 546 A.D.)
"Just as these are properly understood and so translated faithfully by interpreters into Latin without leaving ambiguity for the readers nor [allowing] the variety of genres to conflict, especially in that text where we read the unity of the trinity is placed in the first letter of John, where much error has occurred at the hands of unfaithful translators contrary to the truth of faith, who have kept just the three words water, blood and spirit in this edition omitting mention of Father, Word and Spirit in which especially the catholic faith is strengthened and the unity of substance of Father, Son and Holy Spirit is attested." (http://kentbrandenburg.blogspot.com...)
*
North African Bishops, Council of Carthage (484 A.D.)
"And so that we may teach the Holy Spirit to be of one divinity with the Father and the Son still more clearly than the light, here is proof from the testimony of John the evangelist. For he says: There are three who bear witness in heaven, the Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one.' Surely he does not say 'three separated by a difference in quality' or 'divided by grades which differentiate, so that there is a great distance between them?' No, he says that the 'three are one.'"
*
Priscillian, (Liber Apolegeticus, 385 A.D.)
"As John says 'and there are three which give testimony on earth, the water, the flesh, the blood, and these three are in one, and there are three which give testimony in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Spirit, and these three are one. . .'"
*
Cyprian, On the Unity of the Church (Treatise 1, 250 A.D.)
"The Lord says, 'I and the Father are one;' and again it is written of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, 'And these three are one.'" (http://www.newadvent.org...)
*
Regardless of what the above quoted men believed, it is clear that this verse was authentic and to be found in many then extant manuscripts. Your accusation of the spuriousness of 1 John 5:7 is demonstrably false. There is more evidence as to the authenticity of this verse, but for sake of time I have limited myself to what I have given (http://brandplucked.webs.com...)
.
You say, "This again goes to show that this section is about witnesses being one and in agreement not on in essence!" Verse 8 says that the Spirit, water, and blood "agree in one" but you cannot extrapolate this back to verse 7 which says they "are one." Of course they would be in agreement, God cannot contradict Himself, but verse 7 was written for the purpose of expounding the fact that the witness of the Spirit (verse 6) is "truth" (consider John 14:6) because this witness comes with the authority of the "three that bear record in heaven." Of necessity these three must be one because the Holy Spirit is one in the same with God (1 Corinthians 3:16 and 6:19, where God's Spirit is equated with the Holy Spirit), and the Word is one in the same with God (John 1:1), so therefore we have the triadic formula: Holy Spirit=God=the Word. To say that there are three which bear record in heaven, but to then deny the unity of these three, demands a heretical proposition that there be three Gods, and we know from many passages that God is one (Ephesians 4:6, et al).
.
You say, upon quoting 1 Corinthians 3:5-9, "Would you now become an 'apostolic Binitarian' believing Paul and Apollos to be the two persons of the Pauline 'binity' because that is what you must be believe in order to be consistent. Or will you take the text in context and understand that Paul and Apollos are one in agreement and purpose as the text clearly states and as 1 John 5 is trying to demonstrate? I do agree that 1 John 5 is quite clear and hence my rejection of your interpretation and rejection of 1 John 5:7 is quite coherent!" Your rejection of my "interpretation" of 1 John 5:7 is really quite incoherent. Paul and Apollos are one in the Spirit, not one in essence. You cannot compare 1 John 5:7 to this passage because in the former, the three which are one are listed (Father, Word, and Holy Ghost), whereas in the latter, the ones the plant and water are given to not only mean Paul and Appalos but also ANY person which waters and plants, so you cannot say these are a "binity." Notice Jesus says, of the people are His, "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me." The oneness of Apollos and Paul is in relation to the Spirit in them of which the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost consists. We cannot say that we become part of the Trinity because Revelation 21:3 says that in the end, we shall be His people and He shall be our God, so of necessity we must conclude that the oneness of the believers and the oneness of God are two different things. And in fact, from the context of these passages we can clearly understand that the oneness of the Trinity is unique and separate from the oneness of the believers. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are eternal whereas man had a beginning (Genesis 1). Man is the vessel through which the one triune God works. Notice Paul says in that same letter, "Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all" (1 Corinthians 12:4-6). This expounds the oneness of the body of Christ, we are one IN THE SPIRIT. We may have different gifts, administrations, and operations (i.e. planting and watering), but the same Spirit of God dwells in al the believers. The unity of the body of Christ (the Church) is a major theme is Paul's epistles. Consider Ephesians 4:3-6, "Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. "There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all." Nothing about 1 John 5:7 or 1 Corinthians 3:5-9 speaks of agreement. Agreement is no doubt contextually present, but the subject of the oneness in both cases is a derivative of the nature of the Spirit. There is one Spirit (God) working in the united body of Christ.

Your delineation of Matthew 28:18 is erroneous; you unsuprisingly relinquish yet another trinitarian proof-text to obscurity. Verse 18 is authentic and the disciples did follow this command, but more on this in the next round as I am out of space.

Debate Round No. 3
Ozymandias_KingofKings

Pro

Ozymandias_KingofKings forfeited this round.
creationtruth

Con

You say, "Matthew 28:18 is another verse that has been horribly abused and misused. Firstly this verses authenticity is in question due to the fact that this formula of baptism only appears in this verse and all other baptismal formulas in the entire New Testament are in the name of Jesus only." I think you mean Matthew 28:19? The fact that this triadic formula for baptism is only explicitly found once no more brings in to question its authenticity then does the phrase "first begotten of the dead" in Revelation 1:5 being found only once. If this is your reasoning for questioning the authenticity of a verse, then surely there are many other verses which you would have to question.

First of all Matthew 28:19 is found as it reads in the KJV in most manuscripts, Greek or otherwise. To say that it has been dubiously added to every manuscripts from the 4th century onward is quite naive. I guess it comes down to a matter of faith though. I believe God has preserved His words and requires us to have every word to live by (Matthew 24:35, Luke 4:4).

You say, "Baptism was in no way unique to christianity-- in fact the greeks practised baptism to demonstrate that one was following a new philosophy of a philosopher or teacher. This parallelism is broken in Matthew 28:19 where you are not baptised in the name of your teacher "Jesus" but in the name of the Holy Ghost and God!" Really, Greek philosophers? This is totally irrelevant. The command of baptism was not modelled after Greek practice, it was modelled after Jewish practice. The Jews baptized people from other nations who sought to become proselytes and sojourn with Israel and the one true Creator God (http://www.jewsforjesus.org...). Titus 3:5 and Romans 6:3-4 tells us the symbolic meaning of baptism---we have been washed of our sins and have been buried with Christ (hence immersion) and we arise into new life which also pictures being dead to sin and the promise of the future resurrection. Baptism has nothing to do with following a teacher, it has do with recognizing what Jesus Christ has done for us.

You say, "Its interesting to note that however that Hebrew Matthew reads. . ." Matthew was written in Greek not Hebrew. People spoke Greek, Latin and sometimes Aramaic during Matthew's time, but very few people could speak Hebrew let alone read it. Only those of the Sanhedrin were typically the ones who could read and write Hebrew. Besides this, there is no record of there ever being an original Hebrew edition of the gospel account according to Matthew.

You say, "It is also interesting to note that I am unaware of any instance in which Eusebius quotes the current version of Matthew 28:19. . . I am not aware of any instance of the 21 instances that i know of where he uses the threefold formula of baptism!" Eusebius (of Cesarea?) is irrelevant since many other early Christians quote v. 19 as it reads in the KJV (http://www.answering-islam.org...). Eusebius was heavily influenced by Origen of Alexandria and therefore had corrupt doctrines as well as scriptures. The codices B and Aleph today represent this corruption. He could have quoted a corrupt manuscript from Origen which was altered to say "in my name" rather than "in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost." Origen did not believe in the unity of substance or essence which trinitarians proclaimed of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In either case, your argument is fallacious as Eusebius did quote v. 19 as read in the KJV:

Eusebius (Letter to the People of His Diocese 3, 323 A.D.)

"We believe . . . each of these to be and to exist: the Father, truly Father, and the Son, truly Son, and the Holy Ghost, truly Holy Ghost, as also our Lord, sending forth his disciples for the preaching, said, Go teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Concerning whom we confidently affirm that so we hold, and so we think, and so we have held aforetime, and we maintain this faith unto the death, anathematizing every godless heresy." (http://thetrinity.info...)

Just as with 1 John 5:7, early Christian writers attest to the authenticity of Matthew 28:19. Your one example of Eusebius is found wanting when compared to the preponderance of manuscript evidence and early Christian quotation.

You say, "The apostles seem to also have been unaware of the supposed command of Matthew 28:19!" Your only given verses of which can be attributed any real dispute are Acts 2:38, 8:16, 10:48 and 19:5 which say deal explicitly with being baptized in the name of the Lord. The other verses you gave do not explicitly state that one is baptized only in the name of the Lord but that they "call on the name of the Lord," "are justified in the name of the Lord," or "baptized into Jesus" as opposed to being baptized in His name. With that said, let me explain why the verses in Acts do not negate the veracity of Matthew 28:19.

Matthew 28:19, although a sure trinitarian formula, was not given as a commanded verbal formula to be proclaimed at every baptism. Instead Christ only says that they are to baptize them, of which baptism is done in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. If this was a clear command to repeat the words "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" at every baptism, then why in Acts 8:36-38 do we not have any proclamation of the triadic formula or any proclamation for that matter (such as "in the name of the Lord"). Indeed both Matthew 28:19 and the verses in Acts speak of the meaning of baptism not a formulaic proclamation to be announced at every baptism. Philip in Acts 8:37 asks the Ethiopian man if He believes in Jesus Christ, and upon affirmation of his belief, Philip baptizes him. When, in Acts, it says that they were baptized in the name of the Lord, this signified that they were Christians, and this was the meaning of "in the name of the Lord."

The truth that baptism is in the name of the Lord (regardless if a formula is proclaimed at the baptism) and in the name of the Father and Holy Spirit is vindicated by such verses as John 1:1,14, John 10:30, John 14:16-18, 1 Corinthians 8:6, 2 Corinthians 13:14, Philippians 2:5-7, Colossians 1:15-19, Colossians 2:9, 1 Timothy 1:17, 1 Timothy 2:3, Titus 1:4, Titus 2:13, Hebrews 1:3,8,10, Hebrews 9:14, Hebrews 10:15:16 (compared to Romans 8:16 and Ephesians 1:13), 1 John 5:7, Jude 1:24,25 (compared to 1 Corinthians 1:7-9 and Colossians 1:21,22), Revelation 1:8-18, Revelation 4 (compared to Revelation 3:21), Revelation 5:5-9 (compared to Genesis 49:8-10, Hebrews 7:14, and Revelation 22:16), Revelation 19:16 (compared to Psalm 136:3, 1 Timothy 6:15, and Revelation 17:14), Revelation 20:12 (compared to Acts 10:42, 1 Corinthians 4:5, 2 Corinthians 5:10, 2 Timothy 4:1, and 1 Peter 4:5), Revelation 21:5-7 and Revelation 22:12,13 (compared to 2 Corinthians 5:17, Isaiah 41:4, Isaiah 44:6, and Isaiah 48:12). By these verses we see that 1 John 5:7 and Matthew 28:19 are vindicated.
Debate Round No. 4
Ozymandias_KingofKings

Pro

I apologize for my late response I had a family emergency that prevented me from posting my argument and forfeiting the last round.

This is your evidence of the Comma Johaneum! Minuscule 61 was the first Greek manuscript discovered to contain the comma and the only reason it is in the Greek text produced by Erasmus.It was so sloppily put into the Greek from Latin that even Erasmus had to clean it up by inserting and supplying the applicable articles to the nouns (There are no definite articles in Latin as there are in Greek) and still it is from 1520! This was a manuscript created in haste to insert the comma into the Greek New Testament. Erasmus' first two editions of the new testament rightfully left this verse absent. The other three are so laughably new that they are really of no consideration. The Other 4 Manuscripts that are of a much earlier date would be of great interest had it been that the Comma Johaneum was actually in the original text and not inserted into the text

61 (produced in 1520)

629 (14th century)

918 (16th century)

2318 (18th century)

List of Manuscripts in which the Comma Johaneum was written in the margins of the text much later.

88 (12th century; comma Johanneum added in 16th century)

221 (10th century; comma Johanneum added later)

429 (14th century; comma Johanneum added later. Metzger says that 429 is from the 16th century [Textual Commentary2, 647])

636 (15th century; comma Johanneum added later. Metzger says that 636 is from the 16th century [Textual Commentary2, 648])


*******YOU SAY*******
You say, "Secondly the section of 1 John that is quote is a later addition. It is found in a handful of late manuscripts and in many of those manuscripts it is not found in the text itself but as a marginal note, demonstrating this was some note that eventually got incorporated into the text and hence not original." Your claims are false and unsubstantiated. While it is true that most Greek manuscripts do not contain 1 John 5:7, it should be noted that less than 500 of the more than 5,000 Greek manuscripts even contain 1 John 5, and of these, only 12 are from before the 11th century. In other words, the vast majority of manuscripts which contain 1 John 5 would be considered "late." Old Latin manuscripts which are dated earlier than the majority of Greek manuscripts containing 1 John 5 include: Codex Toletanus (10th century), Codex Complutensis (10th century), Codex Cavensis (9th century), Codex Ulmensis (9th century), Codex Theodulphianus (8th or 9th century), Sangallense MSS 63 and 907 (8th or 9th century), Codex Legionensis (7th century), Frisingensia Fragmenta (7th century), and Codex Speculum (5th century), all of which contain verse 7 as read in the KJV.
. The fact that 1 John 5:7 is not found in most Greek manuscripts does not negate its authenticity as this verse is clearly supported by a plethora of early Christian writers and unto the Protestant Reformation. These include (from late to early):

***MY RESPONSE*****

The New Testament was not originally written in Latin it was written in Greek and had this verse existed in Greek why do we have no record of a GREEK Church father quoting it? You have even stated that “ How can one coherently reject the doctrine of the Trinity when this verse is so very clear? We know the Word is Jesus from John 1, who created all things and who is God.“ You mean to tell me this verse is never availed to even once by a Greek church father? You can not say it is supported by a plethora of early Christian writers all you can say is your reading it supported by several LATIN writers. This is nothing more than a corrupt reading in the latin that was far too convenient to leave out of the Greek.

*****YOU SAY********

Erasmus, Commentary on 1 John 5:7 (Paraphrase on The First Epistle of John, 1520 A.D.)

"For the Spirit too is truth just as the Father and the Son are. The truth of all three is one, just as the nature of all three is one. For there are three in heaven who furnish testimony to Christ: the Father, the Word, and the Spirit.

*****MY RESPONSE**********

Erasumus also did not include it in his first two editions of his Greek New Testament however if he did accept such a verse as authentic its clearly a moot point because we are viewing the evidence from which he based his conclusion namely Manuscipt 61.

********YOU SAY************

Lombard, Second Distinction (Libri Quattuor Sententiarum, 1150 A.D.)

"That the Father and the Son, says he, not by confusion of persons, but by Unity of Nature, St. John hath taught us in his Canonical Epistle, saying, 'There are three which bare record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one.'" [p. 14]

******MY REPSONSE**********

Again his quote means nothing other than a latin version of the spurious verse was available to him a fact that I do not dispute

*********YOU SAY**********

  • Jerome, Prologue to the Canonical Epistles (Codex Fuldensis, 546 A.D.)
    "Just as these are properly understood and so translated faithfully by interpreters into Latin without leaving ambiguity for the readers nor [allowing] the variety of genres to conflict, especially in that text where we read the unity of the trinity is placed in the first letter of John, where much error has occurred at the hands of unfaithful translators contrary to the truth of faith, who have kept just the three words water, blood and spirit in this edition omitting mention of Father, Word and Spirit in which especially the catholic faith is strengthened and the unity of substance of Father, Son and Holy Spirit is attested."

*******MY RESPONSE********

Two of the earliest manuscript available of the latin vulgate attest to the fact the the Comma Johaneum was never in Jeromes Vulgate infact the very manuscript in which the prologue of which you quote was attached does not contain it! Jerome who based his Vulgate on the Greek Texts of the day saw it fit to leave the verse absent!

*******YOU SAY*************

North African Bishops, Council of Carthage (484 A.D.)

"And so that we may teach the Holy Spirit to be of one divinity with the Father and the Son still more clearly than the light, here is proof from the testimony of John the evangelist. For he says: There are three who bear witness in heaven, the Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one.' Surely he does not say 'three separated by a difference in quality' or 'divided by grades which differentiate, so that there is a great distance between them?' No, he says that the 'three are one.'"

(http://en.wikipedia.org......)

**********MY RESPONSE*******

I agree this is an early authentic quote of the Comma Johaneum however these were latin fathers and as I have stated I do not dispute that a comment in the margins of a latin text got incorporated into the body of many of the Vetus Latina Manuscripts.

*******YOU SAY******

Priscillian, (Liber Apolegeticus, 385 A.D.)

"As John says 'and there are three which give testimony on earth, the water, the flesh, the blood, and these three are in one, and there are three which give testimony in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Spirit, and these three are one. . .'"

(http://www.oocities.org......)

*********MY RESPONSE**********

I concur this is an early Quote from a Heretic concerning this LATIN verse. This is in fact the EARLIEST substantiated quote of the text.

*****YOU SAY*********

Cyprian, On the Unity of the Church (Treatise 1, 250 A.D.)

"The Lord says, 'I and the Father are one;' and again it is written of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, 'And these three are one.'" (http://www.newadvent.org......)

*****MY RESPONSE*****

This can not be cited as evidence for the verse as this does not Quote it. The only parts that are actual quotes of scripture are “I and the father are one” and “ and these three are one” in fact he does not even use the same terms using “son” instead of “the Word”. Many scholars have said this is weak evidence for the Comma.

******YOU SAY*****

Regardless of what the above quoted men believed, it is clear that this verse was authentic and to be found in many then extant manuscripts. Your accusation of the spuriousness of 1 John 5:7 is demonstrably false. There is more evidence as to the authenticity of this verse, but for sake of time I have limited myself to what I have given (http://brandplucked.webs.com......)

****MY RESPONSE******No the only thing you demonstrate by these quotes are that some Latins were familiar with this verse. None of the Greek fathers ever quote the Comma Johaneum. The Vetus Latina manuscripts were early but Chaotic and sometimes highly interpretive. This is why Jerome was commissioned by the Pope to make a standard Latin Bible (The Vulgate). Jerome even found this wanting in Greek manuscripts of his day, and hence did not put it in his Vulgate. The Comma Johaneum has it origins in the Vetus Latina manuscripts and hence they were not in the peshitta or peshitto, in the Greek or the later Vulgate and Arabic, Quoted by the Greek fathers, they are clearly isolated to only the Latin tradition. There is a common theme throughout all your evidence and that is this verse has its roots in the Old Latin manuscripts! The fact that the Greek fathers seem to never appeal to the verse and that many of the other language traditions seem ignorant of the verse is also quite remarkable. Perhaps this is why so many bibles translations either omit the verse or simply make it nothing more than a footnote. in the book Codex Montfortianus it is state that the Comma was an unauthorized gloss (pg 61) as it is not contained in the manuscript from whence it was copied!

As I am running out of room for this debate I will be make one more brief remark on Matthew 28:19, whether or not it is authentic it simply does not prove the trinity all it demonstrates is there is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost there is nothing in that verse suggesting they are part of a trinity, or that they are co-eternal or of the same substance!

creationtruth

Con

I understand, family is definitely more important than debates!

Your first response paragraph conveys your unwarranted bias towards Greek manuscripts. Also it should be noted the "earlier" does not correlate to "authentic." Two of the earliest codices are riddled with errors and disagreements amongst themselves, namely Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus. Consider that in the Gospels alone, the Aleph and B codices disagree over 3,000 times (https://archive.org......). These codices are demonstrably unreliable (http://preservedword.com......). Even the BBC ran a story on the unreliability of the Codex Sinaiticus, the "oldest and most reliable" manuscript most of the footnotes in modern versions are referring to, and concluded with ". . .more evidence that the Bible is the word of man, not God" (http://news.bbc.co.uk......).

Erasmus left out the verse in his first two editions because he wished to translate directly from the Greek. He was in the process of querying and collating many Greek manuscripts. He knew full well that it was heavily attested to in the Latin and other language bibles, but he would only include it when he would find it in the Greek as a measure of faithfulness to the outset of his endeavor: he wished to translate directly from the Greek, not back translate from the Latin to the Greek.

Your rejection of the Latin witnesses, in both manuscript form and early Christian quotation is also unwarranted. We must consider all witnesses to the word of God, not just the Greek which was locked up for some time and restricted to primarily the areas of Byzantium (Constantinople) and Alexandria, Egypt (two primary places of corruption I might add).

Consider John Wesley's comments on 1 John 5:7 in removing doubt about the authenticity of this passage on the account of three considerations: "(1.) That though it is wanting in many copies, yet it is found in more; and those copies of the greatest authority: -- ( 2.) That it is cited by a whole gain of ancient writers, from the time of St. John to that of Constantine. This argument is conclusive: For they could not have cited it, had it not been in the sacred canon: -- (3.) That we can easily account for its being, after that time, wanting in many copies, when we remember that Constantine's successor was a zealous Arian, who used every means to promote his bad cause, to spread Arianism throughout the empire; in particular the erasing this text out of as many copies as fell into his hands. And he so far prevailed, that the age in which he lived is commonly styled, Seculum Aranium, -- "the Arian age;" there being then only one eminent man who opposed him at the peril of his life. So that it was a proverb, Athanasius contra mundum: 'Athanasius against the world' (http://brandplucked.webs.com...).

As John Wesley noted, we can easily account for its lack of early Greek attestation: Arianism had a hold for some time in Greek speaking countries. If a manuscript omits 1 John 5:7, it can be said of the author that either he left out the verse deliberately himself for some bias, or that he merely made a copy or translation of a text which had previously been altered as to remove 1 John 5:7. Reliance on the oldest Greek manuscripts has only led to the corruption of the word of God, beginning in 1881 (Matthew 11:15).

We must keep in mind the fact that most early bibles were destroyed, and Latin bibles, especially in terms of 1 John 5, flourished early on in Christian history more than Greek, at least according to what is extant. As stated before, less than 500 of the more than 5,000 Greek manuscripts even contain 1 John 5. Of these 500, only 12 are "early." And these early texts do not agree with each other which demonstrates their unreliability (at least as a reliable whole). Approximately 2% of manuscripts containing 1 John 5 are early, and adversely, 98% of them are late.

I did not give a Greek Christian quotation because I did not deem it necessary, but since you insist on using this to your advantage in this debate (as part of you proposed evidence), here are Greek Christian quotations:

Athanasius of Alexandria (Disputasio Contra Arium, 350 A.D.)

"But also, is not that sin-remitting, life-giving and sanctifying washing, without which, no one shall see the kingdom of heaven, given to the faithful in the Thrice-Blessed Name? In addition to all these, John affirms, 'and these three are one.'" (http://www.documentacatholicaomnia.eu...)

Gregory of Constantinople (Fifth Theological Oration, 379 A.D.)

"What about John then, when in his Catholic Epistle he says that there are Three that bear witness, the Spirit and the Water and the Blood? Do you think he is talking nonsense? First, because he has ventured to reckon under one numeral things which are not consubstantial, though you say this ought to be done only in the case of things which are consubstantial. For who would assert that these are consubstantial? Secondly, because he has not been consistent in the way he has happened upon his terms; for after using Three in the masculine gender he adds three words which are neuter, contrary to the definitions and laws which you and your grammarians have laid down. For what is the difference between putting a masculine Three first, and then adding One and One and One in the neuter, or after a masculine One and One and One to use the Three not in the masculine but in the neuter, which you yourself disclaim in the case of Deity? What have you to say about the Crab, which may mean either an animal, or an instrument, or a constellation? And what about the Dog, now terrestrial, now aquatic, now celestial? Do you not see that three crabs or dogs are spoken of? Why of course it is so. Well then, are they therefore of one substance? None but a fool would say that. So you see how completely your argument from connumeration has broken down, and is refuted by all these instances. For if things that are of one substance are not always counted under one numeral, and things not of one substance are thus counted, and the pronunciation of the name once for all is used in both cases, what advantage do you gain towards your doctrine?" (http://www.newadvent.org...)

The quote given above of Gregory's dispute with the Arians concerning the omission of 1 John 5:7, clearly testifies to the "antiquity" of the verse in question. When he says, "after a masculine One and One and One," he can only be referring to v. 7 "the Father (Pater), the Word (Logos), and the Holy Ghost (Hagios Pneuma)" which by all interpretive means are masculine. No one would argue that they are feminine, and the scripture is clear that the Holy Spirit is masculine (John 15:26, John 16:13, et al).

Your contention concerning mss 61 is moot as I never once referenced it as part of my evidence.

Your response to the quote given of Jerome fails to address the fact that Jerome claimed that those who omitted the text were "unfaithful translators." Also, your claim that Jerome did not include 1 John 5:7 in his original work is unsubstantiated. We do not have any of Jerome's "originals," the earliest we have is Codex Fuldensis dating to about 546 A.D. and Jerome dies in 420 A.D. Indeed his original text most likely contained the verse given his remarks in his Prologue to the Canonical Epistles.

The Syriac Peshitto was not established as a recognizable text until the 5th century. The earliest of these do not contain the epistles of John. So the Peshitto doesn't really have any weight in this debate.

You seem to be of the persuasion that the verse is rooted in Old Latin scribal addition, but in reality, given the evidence, we find that the verse is authentic. It may very well have been primarily attested to in the Old Latin, but I see no problem wit this as this text is derived from the original "authentic" Greek (http://brandplucked.webs.com...).

Codex Montfortianus may state (in a footnote?) that 1 John 5:7 is "an unauthorized gloss," but of course this text is from the 16th century. Jerome's plea to the authenticity of this verse predates this codex by nearly 11 centuries!

In conclusion, it seems that my opponent agrees to there being a Father, Son and Holy Spirit, but does not agree to their unity. How can this unity be denied given the verses already mentioned, even if you were to not consider 1 John 5:7 and Matthew 28:19? My opponent never addressed my statements concerning Genesis 1 or the given passage of 2 Corinthians 13:14. I also gave many scriptures to support 1 John 5:7 including: John 1:1,14, John 10:30, John 14:16-18, et al. Of course I did not expect my opponent to respond to every individual verse, but given the preponderance of attestations to the unity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, one cannot coherently reject the doctrine of the Trinity. John 1:1,14, 1 Timothy 3:16, and 1 John 3:16 clearly tell us that it was God who gave His life in the form of a man (Jesus Christ) to be the sacrificial Lamb for the atonement of the sins of the world! To deny this is to deny the Book!

Modern versions which bring into question these clear proof-texts of the Lord's Deity are guilty of relying on Egyptian manuscripts which have been corrupted by Gnostic and Arian doctrine (http://www.studytoanswer.net...).

I think it is safe to say that any unbiased reader of the texts given would agree with St. John "these three are one!"

"For in him [Jesus] dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily." -Colossians 2:9
Debate Round No. 5
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Emmarie 11 months ago
Emmarie
I know this debate is over, but check this out
https://bible.org...
""5:7 For there are three that testify, 5:8 the Spirit and the water and the blood, and these three are in agreement." R09;R09;NET Bible"
Posted by Benjthoven 2 years ago
Benjthoven
John 1:1,15
Matthew 12:31-32 (Remember the context)
Matthew 28:19 "THE name of The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit." One name for The triune God.
I can give more verses if you want/need me to.
See this: http://carm.org...
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