The Instigator
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The Contender
Con (against)
3 Points

The Bible Teaches God is a Trinity

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/31/2011 Category: Religion
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,444 times Debate No: 17680
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (16)
Votes (3)




I would like to challenge you to disprove my evidence that the Bible teaches that God is a trinity. First round is for acceptence only. For the purposes of this debate both participants will accept that the whole Bible is the word of God and is the truth. The Burden of proof is on Pro to prove the trinity doctrine is supported by the Bible, and all Con has to do is to critique the Scriptural evidence I present, even though he is allowed to give Biblical evidence against the trinity as well. The Bible is the 66 books generally accepted as inspired by God.



I'm not the best debater in the world, nor do I have infinite time. This is an interesting topic, however, and it has always been my feeling that the Bible is vague at best on this issue. I'll take the other side of this debate. I look forward to an interesting and useful discussion.

I'll let Pro place his first argument and I suppose that we'll go from there.
Debate Round No. 1


God: In the Bible (as well as in most other literature) it is customary for a single word to have more than one meaning. There are two definitions of the word "God" I will be using as respects the Trinity.

(1) The nature of the Divine Being, that is, divine nature. Gal 4:8 "Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which BY NATURE are no gods." Here the Bible says that false gods are not gods "by nature," hence, that is why they are false. So someone my worship a stone, hence making that rock his god, but in reality the stone has no innate nature to make it divine. This implies that God himself is by nature God. So, I'll be using the word God in this way. This nature involves a number of characteristics that are unique to God alone, such as omnipresence, omnipotence, omniscience, and immutability.

(2) The Being which possesses such a nature as the one ascribed to God in my comments above. The distinction can be illustration with human beings. "Human" can mean a person himself as a living entity, but it can also refer to his human nature as in "he is human." The word "human" will involve all the attribute of humans, such as skin, flesh and bone, emotions, reasoning capacity, etc. So too, "God" brings to mind a sum of attributes as well.

Trinity: A single Being (that is, God) who is comprised of, or exists in the form of, 3 persons. Each person is fully "God" in the sense that each person shares the nature of the total divine being such as the attributes of omnipresence, omniscience, and so forth. But each person is not "God" in the sense that each person is the entire Being (entire Trinity). Each person is only "part" of this Being. To illustrate, a scoop of flour cannot be the whole bag of flour; but the scoop will have all the attribute in itself that makes it "fully" flour by nature, just as each person has the attributes that make them "fully" God by nature.

Person: Wikipedia defines "person" as: "an entity that has certain capacities or attributes associated with personhood, for example in a particular moral or legal context.[2] Such capacities or attributes can include agency, self-awareness, a notion of the past and future, and the possession of rights and duties, among others."

Based on this definition, the criteria I will use for the purpose of this debate, is "any living thing which possesses intelligence, rationality and consciousness. The Holy Spirit fits this definition:

He has a mind and knowledge (intelligence)
"And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what the is the mind of the Spirit" (Rom 8:27)
"The things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God." (1 Cor 2:11)

He reasons (rationality)
For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us..." (Acts 15:2)

He is self-aware (consciousness)
"As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them ." (Acts 13:2)

Now that definitions are cleared up, onto the evidence for the Trinity:

Isa 44:24 tells us that Yahweh created all things, stretched out the heavens ALONE and spread out the earth BY HIMSELF. Yet the Bible reveals the Father as Creator (Mal 2:10), as well as the Son (John 1:1-3, 10; Col 1;16-18) and the Holy Spirit. (Job 26:13; 33:4; Ps 104:30) This is why God says "us" and "our" when creating man at Gen 1;26. Either God had help in creation and was thus lying when he said he did it ALONE, BY HIMSELF, or else the Trinity is true.

Scripture declared in unambiguous terms that there is one and only one God in all of existence. (Deu 4:35; Isa 43:10-11; 44:6, 14, 21-22; 46:9; Mal 2:10; Mk 12:32; Rom 3:30; 1 Cor 8:6; Eph 4:6; 1 Tim 1:17; 2:5; Jam 2:19) Unclear passages should be interpreted in light of the clear ones, and these are unabashedly clear in pronouncing that there is only one God. Yet, Scripture reveals the Father is God (Mal 2:10), the Son is God (John 1:1-3, 14; 5:18; Heb 1:8-12), and the Holy Spirit is God. (Acts 5:3-4; Heb 3:7-11)

There is only one true God. (1 John 5:20; John 17:3) Therefore, all other gods are false. So either Jesus and the Holy Spirit are false gods, or they must be the true God, one God with the Father.

Previously I stated that the word "God" sums up the nature of the Divine Being just as the word "human" brings to mind our own nature. There are aspects of this divine nature that are unique to God. For example, 1 Kings 8:39 says that "only" God can read hearts. "thou only knowest the hearts of all the children of men." Yet, the Bible says that Jesus does too. (Mk 2:6-8; Matt 9:4; John 2:24-25; also compare Jer 17:9-10 and Rev 18, 23) This shows Jesus is God. More examples:

The Father is omnipresent (Ps 139:7-10; Jer 23:23-23; Eph 4:6), as is the Son (Eph 1:22-23; 6:10), and the Holy Spirit. (Ps 139:7)

The Father is eternal (Ps 90:2), as is the Son (Heb 7:3; John 1:3; Col 1:17), and the Holy Spirit. (Heb 9:14)

The Father is omnipotent (Dan 4:35), as is the Son (Matt 28:18), and the Holy Spirit. (Isa 40:12-14)

The Father is omniscient (1 John 3:20), as is the Son (John 16:30; 21:170, and the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor 2:10-11)

Since only one Being possesses these attributes, and all three persons exhibit them, we must conclude that the 3 persons constitute the one Being. So again the Trinity is proven to be Biblical.

Jesus is God:
Yahweh declares that "I am the Lord; and besides me there is no Savior." (Isa 43:11) "A just God and a Savior; there is none besides me." (Isa 45:21) Yet, Acts 4:12 says of Jesus, "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must get saved." Here Jesus, as part of the trinity, speaks on behalf of the others for they are not completely separate entities from himself. Being omnipresent, in the spirit world, they all share the same substance, yet have three minds. Its like 3 brains in one body, and that's why ancients Trinitarian art depicted the Trinity as a man with 3 heads. The body belonged to each mind, so each mind could claim to be the man, that is, the entire body; so too, each mind in the trinity (each consciousness in the trinity) can speak for the entire Divine Being. Jesus is the only Savior by virtue of being God. If Jesus isn't God, then Acts 4:12 is lying, and there are two Saviors; but if there are two Savior then Isaiah was also in error too.

Granville Sharp's rule of grammar states that when 2 nouns in Greek are both singular and both describe a person, and both are connected by the word "and," the first having the definite article ("the") and the second not having it, they both describe the SAME PERSON. (Granville Sharp's Rule, by James White)

Titus 2:13 and 2 Peter 1:1 qualify under this rule. Titus calls Jesus "our great God and Savior," and Peter calls him "our God and Savior." In both verses the noun "God" (theou) has the article (tou) and is connected to the second noun "Savior" (sosteros) which doesn't have the article, by the word "and" (kai). Thus "God and Savior" both refer to the same person, Jesus. Jesus is even called "my God" by Thomas, and he blesses this profession of faith. (John 20:28-29) If Jesus weren't God, he would have rebuked Thomas as any monotheistic Jew would.

Prayer is also given to Jesus (1 John 5:12-15; Acts 7:59; 1 Cor 1:2) as well as worship. (Heb 1:6) Since God alone is to be worshiped (Rev 22:8-9) Jesus must be God. I look forward to hearing Con's view of Jesus true position in relation to the Father.


Would the Jews have understood YHWH to be Triune?

The answer to this simple question is no. In fact, the Torah explicitly states that YHWH is one (Deut. 6:4). This is the closest thing in the Bible to a direct contradiction of the Trinity doctrine right here. YHWH is not saying by “Ahad” that he is the only God. It was beyond obvious that He was not multiple gods, so when He calls himself “one,” he is referring to his nature. His nature is oneness, not triune.

Are other viewpoints just as legitimate as the mainstream one?

-The Holy Spirit is not necessarily a distinct entity.

The Holy Spirit need not be taken as completely different entity from YHWH, or from “God the Father.” The Old Testament references to YHWH’s Spirit never indicate to an honest reader that there is some three-in-one Godhead. There is no reason to make a separation here. We see references to YHWH’s hand, yet no one seriously believes that we must therefore invoke a concept of “God the Hand.”

-Jesus did not have 2 dads.

Matthew 1:18 et seq. discusses the Virgin Birth. Matthew says that while Mary was still a virgin, she “was found with child of the Holy Spirit.” If the Spirit of the LORD must be some separate part of a Godhead, then the Trinity looks like this: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit Who is Also the Father of God the Son. Instead, it seems that this reference to the “Holy Spirit” is talking about YHWH Himself, the Father of Jesus.

Calvin commented on the book of Romans and pointed out that in ch. 8, the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ are used interchangeably.

-The Son is subordinate to the Father

Things get somewhat confusing when we get into the relationship between YHWH and Jesus. Jesus speaks of the Father as a separate entity. Jesus did not exist before he was born. In Luke 1, an angel announced that there will (future tense) be a Son of God. Before this, there was eternal separation of two distinct entities. YHWH made an appearance as a human being. Jesus was that manifestation, but because of his humanity, He is subordinate to the Father. The separation, then, is not some sacred triumvirate of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – but is useful to draw some distinction between YHWH as He exists as a Spirit and YHWH as he exists as a human. Even then, these are ways in which YHWH reveals Himself or ways that we experience Him, not a Trinity.

The fundamental flaw with Trinitarianism

I would never consider what I just described (which is something along the lines of what is called Modalism) to be sacred doctrine. Many things about YHWH are mysterious. My primary problem with Trinitarianism is that it is not expressly spelled out in the Scriptures. Therefore, while it is legitimate speculation, it is by no means a doctrine. This quote sums up my position on this well “Any time non-biblical words become benchmarks of orthodoxy, it is at least dangerously close to affirming extra-biblical revelation. If Christians cannot be saved by making their confession of faith using only biblical language, it is hard to escape the conclusion that the language that is required is equally authoritative with Scripture.“ Daniel Segraves, Theology of the Church II.

Debate Round No. 2


"Would the Jews have understood YHWH to be Triune?"

Irrelevant; the Jews didn't understand Jesus to be the Messiah either and they were wrong. (John 1:11) They had a history of rejecting God's prophet and not understanding the word. (Matt 23:33-37; Acts 4:24-29) But true believers among them would have known God is triune. The question is "does the Bible teach" a triune God, not if the Jews would have known.

Deu 6:4 merely shows YHWH is one God, not that he is one person. The Hebrew word here for "one" is "echod," and is also used in the Bible to indicate a plurality within unity: "and they [husband and wife] shall be one (echod) flesh." (Gen 2:24) "And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed to him but a few (echod) days." (Gen 29:20) "the rest also of Israel were of one (echod) heart." (1 Chron 12:38) So the singular use of "one" is Biblically used to denote plural subjects in unity; hence, it could also refer to one being, that is, one God, with 3 minds; thus, one God existing as 3 persons. In fact, even singular personal pronouns are used to mean more than one person (groups) which entirely wipes out Con's argument on the singular use of the word "one." (Hosea 11:1; 13:1; Isa 40:2)

"Are other viewpoints just as legitimate as the mainstream one?"

Irrelevant; truth isn't decided by majority or minority vote! What makes a view legitimate is the evidence for it, not how many accept it.

"The Holy Spirit need not be taken as completely different entity from YHWH, or from "God the Father.""

Yes he should; at Matthew 1:16-17 the Father spoke from heaven as the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus. It wasn't the Holy Spirit speaking, but the Father. Also, the Father "sends" the Holy Spirit. (John 14:26) Do you think the Father sent himself? At John 16:13 the Holy Spirit speaks only what he will hear; hear from who if not the Father? Jesus goes on to explain that he [the Holy Spirit] will receive from the Father and give unto the disciples (vss 14-15), showing the Holy Spirit and the Father are distinct; hence they are mentioned as distinct in Matthew 28:19. The Holy Spirit makes intercession for us, that is, he prays for us. (Rom 8:26-27) To whom if not to the Father? Does the Father pray to himself? This shows the Holy Spirit is not the Father.

"Jesus did not have 2 dads"

Says who? Joseph was one father, so was his father is heaven, so what's the big problem with having more than one dad? (Luke 3:23; Matt 26:53) How does this disprove the trinity? It merely gives the title "Father" to the Holy Spirit as well (in your mind), but that's no problem for Trinitarians, cause Jesus is called "Father" too. (Isa 9:6)

"Calvin commented on the book of Romans and pointed out that in ch. 8, the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ are used interchangeably."

So the Holy Spirit has more than one name, so what?

"Jesus did not exist before he was born."

Yes he did; Jesus said: "And now, O Father, glorify thou me with the glory which I had with thee BEFORE the world was." (John 17:5) The Son could not have glory with the father before the world was if he did not yet exist.

"[God the Father] hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds." (Heb 1:2) Since the Son was involved in creating the worlds with the Father, he had to exist before his human birth. This is also shown true at John 1:1-4, 14; Col 1:15-18.

"He was in the world, and the world was made by him…" (John 1:10) Jesus made the world.

"And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that CAME DOWN FROM HEAVEN, even the Son of man." (John 3:12) Jesus came from heaven. He said so more than once: "For I came down from heaven." (John 6:38) Also see John 6:41, 46; 51, 62.

"Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, before Abraham was, I am." (John 8:57-58) Jesus existed before Abraham, so his existence didn't begin with his human birth. At John 1:27-30 John the Baptizer admits that Jesus existed before him, even thought John was born 6 months before Jesus.

Con goes on to argue that Jesus is the Father in the flesh, at least, that's how I understand his words. If I misunderstoof you I apologize, but the Bible shows Jesus is not his Father: Jesus said that the Father sent him. (John 3:17; 5:30) So either the Father sent himself, or Jesus was sent by the Father. Clearly they are two separate persons.

"Neither came I of myself, but he sent me." (John 8:42) Jesus didn't come of his own will, so he didn't decide to go, but was "sent" by another. Had Jesus been the Father he would have decided to become man and come into the world of his own volition, but that isn't the case.

"I go unto my Father." (John 14:12, 28) How could the Father go to the Father? Obviously, Jesus wasn't the Father, but a person separate from him who could "go" to him. At John 17:5 Jesus describe himself as being "with" the Father before the world was. How could he be "with" the Father if he was not another person?

"To him that overcometh will I grant to sit WITH me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down WITH my Father in his throne." (Rev 3:21) Jesus invites us to overcome and sit WITH him in the same way he overcame and sits WITH the Father, showing he is another person from the Father just as much as we are. In fact, at Rev 5:6-7 the Lamb (Jesus) is pictured as going to the Father who sits on the throne and taking a scroll from his hand, showing they are two persons. In verse 13 the distinction is made between "him that sitteth upon the throne" and "the Lamb."

Jesus sits at the right hand of God, no doubt, as another person from the Father. There is even a conversation between God the Father and the Son when the Father tells him to sit at his right hand. (Acts 2:31-36)

The Son and the Father are further distinguished at John 5:19; 30; 8:28; Matt 28:18; John 14:28 and 1 Cor 11:3. Since my opponent didn't rebut any of the evidence that Jesus is God and the Holy Spirit is God or that there is only one God, and since I have shown all three are separate persons, then all the essential elements in the trinity doctrine are proved Biblical. Thus, the Bible teaches the trinity.

His last argument is that the language of the trinity isn't used in the Bible, but really, that doesn't mean the concept isn't there. The Bible doesn't use the terms omnipresence, omniscience, omnipotence, immutability, and so forth, so does that mean that isn't what the Bible teaches about God? Surely not! The language Christians use to get over their beliefs may change in the future yet again, as language continues to change, and people seek more clear terms to define their beliefs and distinguish them from heresy. For example; to say "I believe in God," hardly tells us which God or which faith one belongs to; even a Muslim can make that same statement or a Hindu. But to say "I believe in the God of the Bible" narrows down the meaning somewhat. Is the word "Bible" in the Bible? No; does it mean we can't use that word for the books we hold as inspired? Why shouldn't we? So I don't see using non-Biblical language as a problem to describing Biblical teachings. The word "rapture" isn't in the Bible, but it's a very Biblical teaching. So Con's argument fails. I have shown every part of the Trinity doctrine to be Biblical: The Father, Son and Holy Spirit as distinct persons; there is only one God; each person is God; thus, 3 persons in one God.

I look forward to Con's next post.


Okay, when I mention the "Jews" in regards to what they would consider YHWH's nature to be, I am talking about "true believers among them" and not those who rejected His prophets. Your dismissal of my question as irrelevant is rather unfair. However, since you won't make any attempt to actually understand what I'm trying to say, I'll reword. Would "true believers" in the Old Testament times have understood YHWH to be Triune – or would their understanding of YHWH even have allowed for that possibility? Unless you want to argue that Abraham, Isaac, David, Isaiah, and Elijah were not "true believers among them," than my question is concerning whether or not there is any evidence that they understood YHWH to be Triune. Obviously, a negative answer to this question does not disprove the Trinity – but it is a relevant question and that is the point you made in response to my question. You said "true believers among them would have known God is Triune." So I ask the unavoidably relevant question: Is there any evidence that these true believers understood YHWH to have a Triune nature?
On to "Ahad / Echod." I mention both here to clarify for a 3rd party reading this that when I said "Ahad" in Round 2 I was referring to the same word that Pro is calling "Echod." There are different standards for transliterating Hebrew and I saw the Kh sound and went with an "H." Also, I saw the vowel and the vowel is some weird combination I didn't quite understand, but it looks like an "a" sound. Nevertheless, now that I have made that clarification, I will use "echod" for this brief discussion of the word. It is the word that means "one" as in "one, two, three." I hear it on my daughter's Baby Einstein: Languages of the World video when they count. Now I have my Hebrew Tanach open in Genesis. In the passage about man coming together with woman, the relevant phrase in Hebrew is "lebashr echod." (Again, transliterations may vary.) "Bashr" is the word for "flesh." "Le" is a hard to define preposition that often means something along the lines of "for" but I think might be best rendered here as "like" or "as." Either way, a man and woman do not become one bashr, they become [preposition] on bashr. An honest Hebrew reader would not assume that they actually became one flesh. In the passage regarding Jacob and Rachel, the relevant phrase in Hebrew is "keyomim echodim." The suffix "-im" is plural. "Echodim" is literally "ones" not the singular "echod" referring to a plural meaning. The translation "few" is appropriate. Either way, "yom" is the word for day, and it too is affixed with a prepositional prefix "ke" which means "as." The seven years were not as one day, they seemed as a few days. When all Israel is of one heart, this means they all shared one desire. The metaphorical nature of the term "one heart" is clear. In the phrase "YHWH is one," it does not have any preposition affixed to indicate that YHWH is "like one" or "as one," nor is it at all apparent that there is some hidden metaphor whereby He is actually three but instead says that He is one. Regarding the Hosea 11:1 reference, the word "Israel" is a singular word, and thus rates a singular pronoun. To say "I loved them" of Israel would be grammatically incorrect. Here, Hosea uses a singular pronoun to refer to a singular antecedent. None of this "entirely wipes out" my argument that "one" means "one" and that only changes when a preposition indicates that something is like "one," or in the case of obvious metaphor. If Deut said that "YHWH is one" and didn't mean "one," than whoever translated YHWH's words into Hebrew (or wrote it down if it was in Hebrew) used the wrong word to express it.
I asked if other viewpoints on the Godhead were as legitimate (that is, can other explanations equally find a basis in Scripture) as the mainstream, Trinitarian view. Pro says that the truth isn't decided by majority vote. I certainly agree, and if truth was decided by majority vote, Pro would be right. The Trinitarian position is the majority Christian position and has been since at least Nicaea. So, Pro's answer was something "irrelevant" to my question.
One needs to be more careful not read preconceived notions into texts. In Matthew 3, the YHWH's spirit makes an appearance and a voice is heard. The voice of YHWH came down from heaven. If YHWH can be everywhere at once, His manifestation as a dove and His voice coming down from heaven need not be contradictory, and there is no need due to Matthew 3 to invoke a separation of persons.
The big problem with having more than one dad is that Joseph and YHWH were not both his actual fathers. Joseph had the role of human father in Jesus' life. The question regards the source of the Jesus' conception. I do not claim that the Holy Spirit has the title "the Father" per se. I claim that a strict reading of the verse would make the Holy Spirit (and not "the Father" if we accept the Trinitarian distinctions) the conceptual father of Jesus instead of the Father. It has nothing to do with titles; rather I am saying that if the Holy Spirit is separate from the Father then the Holy Spirit is actually the father instead of the Father.
My purpose is not to totally prove that Modalism or any other view is the correct one. My only point in bringing any of this up is to show that this is yet another way (in addition to the Trinity) to attempt to deal with these dilemmas. The supposed "God the Son" is never alluded to before the birth of Jesus. Clearly, Jesus claims to have been the Creator. This is because in addition to being human, Jesus was YHWH. Now, of course this brings up problems with modalism right off the bat. I admit that the following notion is somewhat of a dilemma: In addition to being a physical human who was the son of both Mary and YHWH, he was a spiritual being, YHWH. Now to me, there is really no way around the teachings of Jesus and the Old Testament that does not involve asserting some confusing hypothesis regarding the Godhead. I don't believe that this modalistic dilemma is any more problematic than the Trinitarian assertion that God is both one and three.
Now, if Jesus claims to be Creator that means He is YHWH. But that also means that He was not merely "with" the Creator. There is no separation of persons implied – only unity. Jesus is stating his divinity unequivocally. He also does so when He says that He came down from heaven. He was also a human and thus in that role He had to submit to His Father – YHWH – who was omnipresent and thus present in heaven as well as in the person of Jesus. Therefore, Jesus the human would have to refer to the Father as somewhat separate since YHWH was not limited to Jesus.
If Jesus was human and God, and the Holy Spirit was God, and at some times some Biblical authors deal with these modes or experiences of God by drawing distinctions, it does not follow that God is Triune, that He is limited to 3 ways of expressing Himself, or any other systematic way of looking at it (I also want to be clear that I would not categorically argue that Modalism is taught in the Bible).
I must also clarify my final point. I do not object to the Trinity because the word "Trinity" is not in the Bible. That is not my complaint. Your point about omnipresence, omniscience, and omnipotence would be well taken if that were the case. I was complaining that these doctrines of the Trinity are not clearly spelled out in Scripture but are inferred instead – I don't care about what word is used to express it. The Bible makes many independent claims by many different authors that could be arranged in such a way to support the Trinity but not singular passage exists by one author comprehensively addressing the issue. It is clearly stated that YHWH can do all things, so I have no problem with omnipotence as a doctrine by any name. It is clearly stated that YHWH can see all things, so I have no problem with omniscience as a doctrine by any name. It is clearly stated that one cannot escape from YHWH, so I have no problem with omnipresence either. I will not address the issue of the rapture other than to say there is certainly something there but there are so many different ways of looking at it that I don't know one word can capture it all. But my point is that I am okay with a belief expressly stated in the Bible regardless if the word Christians use to describe it can be found. The Trinity instead is the result of a verse here, part of a Pauline letter here, some part of the Torah there, etc. Anything can be defended using so liberal a form of hermeneutics. I have no problem with the Trinity as a hypothesis to try and explain the issue, but it does not have a monopoly on "what the Bible teaches."
Debate Round No. 3


I plainly said in my opening paragraph of round 3, "But true believers among them would have known God is triune." But the debate is on what the Bible teaches, not what certain people believed. For example, the disciples of Jesus didn't believe in his resurrection till after it occurred. They didn't even believe the Messiah was supposed to die. (Matt 24:1-11; 16:21-22; Luke 24:19-26) Does that mean that the Old Testament didn't prophesy the Messiah's death and resurrection just because "true believers" had no prior believe in a dying or rising Messiah? No. His death and resurrection is proclaimed in Isaiah 53 and Psalm 16:10. So what true Christians "grasp" and what the Bible teaches, might not be synonymous at all times and in all cases; that's why the question is irrelevant.

"my question is concerning whether or not there is any evidence that they understood YHWH to be Triune."

Abraham address 3 men as "my Lord" (sing) and not "my Lords" (plural). (Gen 18:1-3) The writer of Genesis (who's obviously another true believer) says it was the Lord [YHWH] who appeared to Abraham, yet say he saw 3 men; and in the Hebrew, all 3 men are called YHWH. (Gen 19:18; 18:22, 1-3) Just an example; but like I said, I don't have to prove that they believed this to win this debate; only that Scriptures teaches the doctrine.

Deu 6:4 is teaching that God is one YHWH, that is what it says; it is not saying that God is one "person." The Shema is a declaration of monotheism, which itself doesn't disagree with the Trinity doctrine which also affirms the existence of only one God; so this in no way refutes the Trinity. Echod is often used for a composite group such as "one" cluster of grapes. Con's objection seems to be that the word "one" must mean a single entity, but I can agree with that and yet believe in the Trinity inasmuch as the omnipresent God is (in spirit) a single entity. Having 3 centers of consciousness (3 minds), in no ways stops God from being a single being or entity. So I don't see this as refuting the Trinity.

Would Deu 6:4 cause people to assume God is only one person? Maybe; it could. It has cause Jehovah's Witnesses to do so. But John 14:28 also causes them to think Jesus isn't God, when Scripture plainly says he is at John 20:28-29. Is it misleading therefore on God's part? Well, take for example Luke 4:26, "If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple." Just as with the word echod, there are no antecedents to show the word "hate" means anything other than "hate," which is he opposite of love! Was this misleading on Jesus part? Jesus himself said he came to put a sword, and to set a man against those in his own house. (Matt 10:34-35) Many people have interpreted this to mean Jesus was mad, or that he contradicted himself, was a false teacher, etc. These verses are no less "misleading" than Deu 6:4. We can't argue against a doctrine on the basis of how "some" people "might" interpret them. But that is what Con is doing. It would also be good for him to remember people interpret things in the context of their prior theology. Many people don't even believe that God is a person at all. Some people don't define "Spirit" to mean "person," and since God is Spirit (John 4:24), they look at Deu 6:4 differently. I don't hold that view, but people interpret things based on their own theology. So Con is on shaky ground when he tries to get into people's heads and ask "if" they would understand the word "one" in such and such a way. That's why I'm dealing with if the Bible teaches the Trinity, as opposed to if certain folk would interpret a verse as I do.

"Regarding the Hosea 11:1 reference, the word "Israel" is a singular word, and thus rates a singular pronoun." To say "I loved them" of Israel would be grammatically incorrect."

And yet it goes on to use a plural pronoun for Israel in verse 2, "As they called them [plural], so they [plural] went from them; they [plural] sacrificed to Balaam." So here we have a singular Israel being referred to in both the singular "he," and the plural "they." So much for Con's grammatical rule. So too, God (Elohim, plural) can denote a composite group just as Israel does, and be referred to in the singular "echod."

Let me repeat that what makes a view legitimate is the evidence for it, not if it is mainstream or in the minority!

He says there is no need to invoke a separation of persons in Matthew 3. So was it the Holy Spirit being baptized? If not, it was another person. But there is no Bible verse saying Jesus is the Holy Spirit and Jesus even distinguishes himself from the Holy Spirit. (Matt 12:31-32) Was it Jesus coming down in the form of a dove? If not, it was someone else. The voice from heaven said "This is my son, the beloved, in whom I am well please;" so was this Jesus saying that he was his own Son? That he was please with himself? The separation is obvious. What, I ask, is baptism? It's a symbol of one's dedication to God; so was Jesus dedicating himself to himself? Obviously not, for he said "For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me." (John 6:38) He dedicated his life to do another person's will. Strange how Con argues that if the Trinity is true, that the word echod at Deu 6:4 would be misleading; yet, does he not think that if Jesus were the Father in the flesh, that the voice from heaven saying "this is my Son," would be misleading too? The disciples would never guess these were not 2 separate persons from that event!

Heb 1:1-2 says it was by "the Son" that God made the worlds. So Jesus was the Son of the Father even before his human conception in Mary's womb. 1 John 4:9-11 has the Father sending his Son "into" the world, showing that he was the Son even before he entered the world. That makes Con's objection about the Holy Spirit being Jesus' Father mute.

"Clearly, Jesus claims to have been the Creator."

"And God said, Let US [plural] make man in OUR [plural] image." (Gen 1:26) If God is not more than one person, then to whom was God talking? If Con claims he was talking to the angels, he needs to back this up with Scripture. No where does the Bible say we are made in the image of angels, nor does it say that angels are made in the image of God. What's more, there are only 3 persons the Bible identifies as sharing in creation. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. I gave the Scriptures proving this in round 2 where I said "Yet the Bible reveals the Father as Creator (Mal 2:10), as well as the Son (John 1:1-3, 10; Col 1;16-18) and the Holy Spirit. (Job 26:13; 33:4; Ps 104:30)." So the "us" and the "our" must be the Father, Son and Holy Spirit; yet, we are made only in God's image and no one else. This is airtight proof that God is a plural being, inasmuch as he refers to himself in the plural, and the Hebrew word itself for God in Gen 1:26 is also plural. So tell us, Con, who is the "us" and the "our" at Gen 1:26?

"Now, if Jesus claims to be Creator that means He is YHWH. But that also means that He was not merely "with" the Creator."

I have shown he was "with" the Father in John 17:5; Rev 3:21 and other places.

"He was also a human and thus in that role He had to submit to His Father – YHWH"

If God is only one person, and that one person was Jesus, then Jesus would have no Father. He wouldn't need to refer to the Father separately because if the Father became flesh he would still be the Father, just as he didn't stop being God when he became a man.

Matt 28:19 "in the name [sing] of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." One name, 3 persons. Who else can bears God's name but God? But Con wants God to say things the way he wants, and that won't happen. God's word can't contradict itself, so if the passages combined lead to a Trinity; we must accept it as Biblical.


In Genesis 18, the narration begins with the assertion that what is about to described is an appearance by YHWH to Abraham. The next thing we see is that three men approach Abraham. Abraham bows down and says “Adoni (my Lord).” It does not expressly state the direct object (either as all 3 men or one among them). Who are these three men? Are they the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit? I wouldn’t rule that out. Could it be YHWH appearing in the form of three men and there’s nothing more to it? Or can it be that one is a Theophany and He is accompanied by a guard of two angels? There is no reason to favor any of these explanations over the others, other than the fact that immediately after YHWH departs, 2 angels go to Sodom. I do not need to call into question the true faith of the writer to say that this passage does not teach the Trinity.

The Shema is not a declaration of monotheism. Monotheistic support is found elsewhere in the Scriptures. Duet 6:4 would be monotheistic if it declared “YHWH is the only God.” The phrase “YHWH is one” does not by itself preclude the existence of other deities. YHWH could still be one God and other Gods could still exist. Since no contradiction exists between those two terms, we cannot write the Shema off as having only (or at all) a monotheistic meaning.

Yes, “echod” can mean “one,” even if that one thing (such as a cluster) has multiple parts. If YHWH had claimed to be one/echod triumvirate of divine beings, I would not be asserting what I am asserting about the meaning of one. Simply because “one” can apply to a singular composite thing (cluster, flock) does not mean that we may infer plurality whenever we see “one.” If we do this, we totally deprive the language’s ability to ever declare something is one, and thus set up the rules in a way already biased towards a Trinitarian conclusion.

No, Jesus is not misleading when he says one must “hate” even his own life or that he was come to bring a sword. Jesus was a radical and not a pacifist, thus these passages do not stand in contradiction in anything Jesus said. I am not trying to get in any one’s head. What does that even mean? What precisely are you saying that I am trying to do? I am asking if the person who wrote the words down and people to whom it was written (in other words, people infinitely closer to those words than you or I are) would get “such and such” an understanding. If their understanding is different than yours, it really should cause you to question your ideas – especially since these are the people who lived through these experiences and the people who put together the Bible itself. These are not just certain folk. The beliefs of those who wrote the Bible (say, Moses) are relevant to what the Bible teaches.

Let’s return to Hosea and make a point about Elohim as well. You are right that Hosea goes from singular 3rd person pronouns to plural verb forms very quickly in a grammatically awkward way. No real meaning is lost, but this awkward construct does not render my grammatical point moot. He goes from referring to Israel as “he” to conjugating verbs as if the subject was “they.” This can be very simply explained. While it is an awkward move, this is common in most languages. Rather than referring to Israel as “they,” he shifts to Israelis as the antecedent. I can see no other explanation for this. This does not disprove my grammatical distinction between singular and plural, and it is not merely “Con’s grammatical rule,” it is an elementary linguistic principle. Now we must look at Elohim. Elohim is a title for YHWH. The –im ending gives it a plural sound, but since it is conjugated to the singular we know that Elohim is simply a title but is actually singular. If Elohim were plural, then its meaning would be “Gods.” The –im may be added just to add an extra level of respect, as is done with 2nd person pronouns in other semitic cultures, but this is just speculation at this point. Elohim is a singular subject as evidenced by the verbs conjugated to it. It is like Israel is singular in Hosea 11:1. Now, since Israel is made up of multiple people, “they” is sometimes applied to it (such as Hosea 11:2) with no need to explain that it is obviously referring to Israelis. I will be forced to make a major concession to Pro if he can demonstrate that Elohim is ever the subject of a verb conjugated to the plural or the antecedent of a plural pronoun. That would prove that just as Israel is singular and made of multiple parts (Israelis), so Elohim is singular and made of multiple parts (or persons, or whatever).

Of course the legitimacy of a position is not determined by whether or not it is mainstream. I never gave an indication to the contrary. Because in round 2 I began a section by asking if other views on the Godhead have as much legitimacy as the mainstream one, you assert that legitimacy is not determined by whether or not an idea is in the mainstream? These two statements do not contradict. I merely used “mainstream” to refer to the Trinitarian take on the Godhead. This does not imply that I believe the fact that the Trinity is the mainstream view has any bearing on its veracity.
So let’s apply this to Matthew 3. You can look at it as 3 persons of a Godhead here. You can also look at it as YHWH’s appearance as a human is being baptized, YHWH also appears as a dove on his shoulder and speaks from heaven. An omnipresent God can do this easily without being 3 persons. If He chose to, YHWH could make an appearance as 5 humans walking around the earth for an entire human lifetime. They could even have a chain of command and interact and some be subordinate to others and ascend into heaven and sit in thrones. He would not have to be some divine Pentagon for this to work.

To answer your question about Gen 1:26 gets to the heart of this debate. I don’t know! That’s the answer. That’s my point. I believe that “I don’t know” is the only honest answer to that question. That’s the difference between our positions. I don’t need to back up that angels may be among the “us” here in order to assert that we can’t know that it’s referring to a Trinity. It could be a Godhead. It could be the angels. The fact that angels are not said to be in God’s image does not mean they aren’t. It could be any number of beings that we have no knowledge of. To leap to a Trinitarian conclusion (or even the conclusion that God is plural in any way) is premature.

Evidently, I have to spend a portion of the 8,000 character limit defending myself against ad hominems. So, I do not want God to say things the way I want, whatever that utterly vacuous accusation is supposed to mean. I suppose that I certainly wish things were different than they are (in that I wish there was no Hell, but I believe in its existence anyway). Even then, I gave no indication of even that earlier in the debate. From what is this accusation drawn?

I agreed to the a priori assumption of canonical validity, but passages do not “combine” to present some emergent doctrine. Passages teach what they teach and where two passages teach the same thing, all the better. You cannot take one thing from here and one thing from there and make a doctrine. This is invalid hermeneutics. Hosea wrote his scrolls with no knowledge of what Paul would tell the Romans. Therefore, we cannot hold Hosea responsible for what might be taken from his book and mixed with Paul’s letters to make a new doctrine. This is true with any given two authors. Legitimate interpretation involves taking what a passage expressly says, and then comparing it to others to check for support or contradiction. If a seeming contradiction arises between to texts of which inspiration is not negotiable to you, the correct response is not come up with some fancy dogma to explain it away. It should be left a mystery and we should not commit what Job admits to doing in 42:3 “I have uttered what I did not understand, Things to wonderful for me, which I did not know."
Debate Round No. 4


Con's reply to Gen 1:26 is so amusing to me I have to respond to it first:

"To answer your question about Gen 1:26 gets to the heart of this debate. I don't know! That's the answer. That's my point. I believe that "I don't know" is the only honest answer to that question."

The Bible does tell us who the "us" and the "our" is. John 1:1-3 says that "the Word was with God" in the beginning (the same period when man was made, the beginning: Matt 19:4, 8). The Word is a person (Rev 19:13) who was "with" God the Father in the beginning, who shared in creation all things. (John 1:3) This Word became flesh in the person of Jesus Christ. (John 1:14-18) We know the Word is not the Father because he was "with" the Father. (John 1:1) Yet John 1:1 says "and the Word was God." So we have 2 person in the "us" and "our" at Gen 1:26, both of whom are God. Add the Holy Spirit and that makes 3 persons. (Gen 1:2; Ps 104:30) He too is God. (Acts 5:3-4) So the Bible tells us who created man, God; it also tells us about 3 person, each of whom is God, who also created all things; that tells us who the "us" is. So now you know. Let me also add that if God was only one person, he would not refer to himself in the plural as "us" and "our." (Gen 1:26)

Modaism is not a Biblical answer because one person would not refer to himself in the plural as "us" and "our," nor can we appeal to angels, because we have no Biblical evidence to corroborate that (1) angels were involved in creation; (2) angels are made in God's image; (3) we are made in the image of angels; (4) angels are God. The Trinity brings harmony to God's word and removes contradiction. It is derived at my examining all the verses in contexts and seeing what each one teaches. A trinity inevitably arises from such a careful analysis.

"If their understanding is different than yours, it really should cause you to question your ideas – especially since these are the people who lived through these experiences and the people who put together the Bible itself. These are not just certain folk. The beliefs of those who wrote the Bible (say, Moses) are relevant to what the Bible teaches."

Should the fact that the Jews (including true believers) didn't believe in a Messiah that would die cause Christians to question their belief in the resurrection? For hundreds of years believers didn't believe the Messiah would have to die and they were wrong. So even if Moses didn't believe in the Trinity that wouldn't make the teaching false, it would simply make Moses mistaken. By the way, Moses didn't write the Pentateuch, and probably didn't write any part of the Bible. (see my debate: Moses did not write the Pentateuch (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy) King David and King Solomon were polygamists; they obviously believed it was ok cause they practiced most of their lives. These were true believers, and yet, what does the Bible teach about it? The law said of the king, "Neither shall he multiply wives to himself." (Deu 17:17) The king wasn't supposed to have more than one wife, yet, David and his son did so without repentance. Men can be wrong in their beliefs, that's why I don't rely on what they believed to structure my beliefs; I rely on what God's word says.

Con believes the Trinity isn't spelled out in Scripture and thus is open to question, yet he believes Moses wrote books of the Bible which is nowhere stated in Scripture. He thinks that if the Trinity were true it would be stated more clearly in the Bible, which is tantamount telling God how he should have had his his word written. This is similar to the atheist who says that "if God existed he would have given us better proof, like make an annual appearance over the skies of New York and declare his holiness." Sure, we can think of much more clear ways God could have made the Trinity clear in the Bible, just as we could think of ways he could have more clearly shown his own existence, or other doctrines like if Sabbath keeping is binding, if Christians can drink alcohol, and many other teachings. But all we can do is accept what he says the way we have it and derive doctrine from that.

The Trinity is not a matter of piecing together passages, but getting the true meaning of each passage. One verse tells us the Word is God. (John 1:1) Another says the Word was "with" God. (John 1:2) Another says there is only one God. (Isa 45:5) All three verses in context show that there are two persons involved, each is God, and since there is only one God, then they both must be part of that God. Modalism would allow the contradiction to stand.

Asfor echod, I think my point on this is clear. "Behold, the people is one [echad]." (Gen 11:6) A single people existing as many persons, just as a single God exists as three persons. "The whole [echad] congregation." (Ezra 2:64) "One [echad] cluster of grapes." (Num 13:23) These are a few of the many examples of how echad is used to show the unity of oneness. How would the Hebrew be different if God had wanted to express absolute oneness? There is another Hebrew word, yachid, that is used to express the idea of absolute oneness. Examples of it are: "She was his only [yachid] child; beside her he had neither son nor daughter." (Jud 11:34) "Make thee mourning, as for an only [yachid] son." (Jer 6:26)

Job 35:10 refers to God as the "Makers" of mankind. The word `sa (Makers) is a plural participle of `asah. What Unitarian would ever speak of God as his "Makers"? Only Trinitarians do this. At Gen 11:6-9, YHWH says "let US go down, and there confound their language." Who is the "us"? The only being that is said to actually scatter them and confound their language was YHWH himself; so in the absence of any other beings, we can safely say that YHWH is the "us." God is a plural being.

Isa 48:16 has all three members of the Godhead distinguished, "and now the Lord God, and his Spirit, hath sent me." Both God and the Holy Spirit sent him, but who is "him"? The contexts seems to suggest the "him" is also God. Three persons again. Nor did Con respond to Matt 28:19 which nicely ties the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit together in one name. But because of the word limit I'll have to excuse him just as I hope he'll excuse me for not replying to an of his points I might have missed.

I don't believe Con has adequately responded to the points I raised against modalism. For example, how can the Son be "with" the Father in heaven? (John 17:3; Rev 3:21) "Neither came I of myself, but he sent me." (John 8:42) The second person pronoun "he" means "another person," not the same person in a different from; so the "he" that sent Jesus must be another person. The Father and the Son are clearly distinguished. How can Jesus sit at the Father's right hand if he is the Father in the flesh? (Acts 2:31-36) There would be no Father to sit "next" to! I is obvious to any reader that the Father and the Son are two separate persons.

Con says an omnipresent God could become 5 people and still be one person. Well, this debate isn't about what God "could" do, but what does Scripture say he "did" do. And the Bible says it was "the Word" who became flesh in the person of Jesus, not the Father. (John 1:1-3, 14) It also says this word was "with" the Father, indicated a separate person from the Father. So I know the one being baptized in Matthew 3 (the Word/Jesus) is a separate person from the Father in heaven whose voice was heard.


Why is it "so amusing" that I claim not to know who the "us/our" is? Why do you preclude "I don't know" as a legitimate answer to a mystery? I have no idea why such things amuse people. Either way, I've been to church many times, so I'm plenty used to being mocked for coming to different conclusions than most Christians – and especially for favoring no conclusion to a hasty one.

John 1's description of the YHWH's coming down into human form does not identify the antecedent of "us / our" as including "the Word." Even if John was trying to identify the subject of Gen 1:26, we would have to view this skeptically as John could not possibly know any better than we can what the writer (see later) intended. It can be angels. Absence of Biblical evidence is not evidence that angels are not among the "us." First of all, we know for certain that angels exist. There is more Biblical evidence for this than the Trinity. As for the 4 points raised about angels, 1. The Bible does not specifically preclude angels from having assisted in Creation. 2. Angels may or may not have been made in the image of God. 3. If angels were made in the image of God, than we would be made in a similar image to angels. All these three points remain possible, thus a reference to angels in Gen 1:26 remains possible. Point 4, I believe is not possible (that angels are divine) – but it's not necessary to be possibly true for them to be included in Gen 1:26. I will certainly concede to you that a singular God would not be referring to Himself as "us / our." Either God has multiple persons or angels or some other beings other than YHWH are included.

Bringing "harmony" to the Bible is not a fair test of Biblical teaching. It's a fair test for a Biblical hypothesis in that it poses a tentative idea that can explain certain mysteries. That is distinct from being an actual doctrine.

Moses certainly did not write the entire Torah – especially the parts after his death and the parts after he finished writing. I saw your debate, too. It came to a great end, haha. We should hope that whoever compiled the Torah (or wrote, since it looked like you don't like the documentary idea) at least had access to that which Moses did write – otherwise we have serious accuracy problems. And it is relevant what whomever this author believed in, because he could not be trying to convey an idea he did not know or believe. If we can know that this author believed God to be multiple, than we can assume the Trinity is probably referenced in Gen 1:26. If this author did not believe in the Trinity or believed God was only one in person, than we know that the Trinity is not referenced in Gen 1:26. Since we don't know this (at least I don't), we don't know about Gen 1:26.

Again, you mix up what I am saying. I do not say "If the Trinity were true, it would be more clearly stated in the Bible." What I am saying is "If the Bible more clearly stated the Trinity, than we could say that the Trinity is true." This is tantamount to no such nonsense as the atheist New York annual appearance argument. The Trinity could be perfectly true and it was no priority to the Biblical authors who knew it to attempt to convey in any clear terms. We can at least know that the Sabbath is binding, at the very least to Jews and that at the very least there is certainly no Biblical prohibition an alcohol. We have what we have and to assert a Trinity or a prohibition on alcohol are both going beyond what we have.

Yachid means "only," which is not the same as absolute oneness. It means that there are no others. If anything, the fact that YHWH did not use Yachid in 6:4 shows that He is not claiming to be the only God that exists – at least not by that sentence.

Job 35:10 uses the word (I am going to transliterate differently in order to be hyperprecise) `asai. The three consonant root from which it is derived is ` - s – h. `asah means maker. To add "my" to a word you add the ending "i" or "ai" (as in adding "ai" to "Adon" to get "Adonai'). The "ah" ending of some words often gets dropped when you add a suffix. Thus, `asai. There is nothing plural about this word and all 5 translations I have (NKJV, NIV, ESV, NASB, and Young's Literal) all correctly translate this word as "my maker" or "my Maker." I am curious (I do not mean this in the snide way that it will inevitably sound) as to where you heard it was plural. As a student of semitic languages, I am genuinely curious to learn more about this.

My response to someone being "with" "sent by" "subject" to another was precisely the point of my Pentagon God argument. Since He could have manifested in some five-mode form, I see no problem with a one-person God manifesting as 3 (although I only see the need for 2 – the dove and the human (voice could be with the dove)) at the baptism in Matthew or asking to be honored by 3 titles in future baptisms in the Great Commission.

For the sake of placing intellectual honesty over trying to explain everything away, I have to grant that you make a compelling point by raising Isaiah 18:16. I had never seen that before, and at the very least this verse compels me to at least consider the Trinity a serious possibility. Clearly you have saved the big gun for last. This verse is especially compelling for the following reasons: 1. It is in the Old Testament 2. It actually names 2 of the persons of the supposed Trinity instead of being a vague "us / our" to which the antecedent is unknown. 3. Isaiah is a validated prophet who spoke about things before they happened 4. This verse is in a clearly Messianic prophecy. 5. All of these elements are present together in one single sentence, the element that I found most missing in most other verses that supposedly support the Trinity. I still believe that Modalism is perfectly valid in this case as well. The human Jesus can say that He was sent by YHWH. That same human Jesus could ascend and his human form could sit next to the rest of YHWH just fine. I had to grant you that compelling verse. I often ask my Trinitarian friends at my church to show me a verse that meets those qualifications before I will even take it seriously. I'm surprised this verse had not yet been brought to my attention since I had been vocal for quite awhile about my skepticism of this issue.
Debate Round No. 5
16 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by daley 7 years ago
Hey guys, please follow my debate with DoctrinallyCorrect closely. It sould be interesting.
Posted by ReformedArsenal 7 years ago
Also, the doctrine of the Trinity is not a "side issue" as it has HUGE impacts on soteriology. That is the reason the initial councils were so important, because the heresies they were combating presented soteriologies that were not salvific. They argued, and I would too, that Christ cannot save us the way he claims to if he is not fully divine (Coessential and coeternal) with the Father. The same can be said of the Holy Spirit, he cannot join us to Christ if he is not Coessential and coeternal with the Son and the Father.
Posted by ReformedArsenal 7 years ago
"Speaking of anachronisms, while I shouldn't refer to what was done by the friends of Job as Systematic Theology, I believe what they were doing was similar in that they were speculating on aspects of God's character. Furthermore, while the term systematic is relatively new, humans have always been capable of rational and organized thought."

I actually think that what they were doing is the opposite of systematic theology. Systematic theology is the act of taking everything we know about God and organizing it into a system, so that we may have a coherent and consistent understanding. That way when we learn something new about God (or about anything really) we are able to test it to see if it fits into the system consistently (If it doesn't we know that either the new thing is false, or the system is false). Jobs friends didn't do this. By the time of Job we know that God had provided for Adam and Eve despite their sin, protected Noah and preserved the human race despite his unworthiness. They were ignoring aspects of God's character and likely favoring understandings of the cultures around them who thought in terms of fickle gods. HAD they been thinking systematically they would have been able to see that the portraits of God that they presented are not in line with what had already been revealed to humanity about the nature of God.
Posted by DoctrinallyCorrect 7 years ago
I have challenged daley to debate me on the Trinity.
Posted by adampjr 7 years ago
Yeah, Daley. As far as the Moses thing, I certainly agree with you that Moses is not the author. I actually thing the so-called documentary hypothesis has a lot of merit to it as well. The references to places by contemporary names rather than names that Moses would have known them as is the main convincing factor for me that Moses didn't write it.

DoctrinallyCorrect and Daley, it was a good debate. I personally consider the Trinity (since its not as explicit as other doctriens) to be something of a side-issue. At the moment, I am not sure how much I believe in it or not. It's a good thing we're not having this debate during the era of John Calvin (who apparently believed in executing people over theological disagreements), lest I suffer the fate of Miguel Serveto.

Speaking of anachronisms, while I shouldn't refer to what was done by the friends of Job as Systematic Theology, I believe what they were doing was similar in that they were speculating on aspects of God's character. Furthermore, while the term systematic is relatively new, humans have always been capable of rational and organized thought.
Posted by DoctrinallyCorrect 7 years ago
DoctrinallyCorrect Debate is healthy for Christians to do. Thank you guys for discussing an all important question.
Posted by daley 7 years ago
what did u think of my debate about moses not writing the pentateuch. i argued that he didn't write any of it at all, at least, there is no evidence that he did...what he wrote was the law of moses, but the person who wrote genesis to deuteronomy was not moses; it was someone else who incorporated things that moses had written in the law. what did u think of that debate and my reasoning there?
Posted by adampjr 7 years ago
Yeah good debate. You're clearly my superior as far expressing your ideas well, so I expect a win by you. Thanks for the good discussion.
Posted by daley 7 years ago
That debate was fun, to bad its over; the last round left some serious questions. You are a person whom I greatly enjoyed debating with. Let's see what the voters say. Thanks for the debate adampjr.
Posted by daley 7 years ago
ur right, the character limit is irritating.
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: 1) I'd like to give a point to Pro because I see the initial rules as requiring the bible as the whole truth and Con wavering on that. 2) I'd like to give a point to Con because Pro came very close to asserting a heresy in his "parts of God", see "St. Anselm, On the Procession of the Holy Spirit" 3) I'd like to give a point to Con for Pro's failure to address Modalism. But I can't score that way and Pro won most back and fourth.
Vote Placed by DoctrinallyCorrect 7 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: The weight of evidence swings in favor of Con.
Vote Placed by ReformedArsenal 7 years ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Daley presents a case that adampjr did not cast sufficient shadow on.