The Instigator
Valtin
Pro (for)
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The Contender
philochristos
Con (against)
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Trinity is not biblical

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/22/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 666 times Debate No: 53072
Debate Rounds (3)
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Valtin

Pro

This is a short debate on whether that doctrine of Trinity is biblical.

First round is for acceptance.
philochristos

Con

I accept. Good luck to my opponent.
Debate Round No. 1
Valtin

Pro

Thanks for accepting the debate, good luck to you too!
(I will use the NASB only)
The doctrine of Trinity is in which 1 God, manifest in 3 persons, Father, Jesus, and HS, now first by proving that Jesus the Son is not God, therefore Trinity fails, since Jesus is not God which I am going to demonstrate now.

Jesus is not God:

God cannot be tempted by evil, but Jesus was tempted:

James 1:13 "for God cannot be tempted by evil"

Matthew 4:1 "Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil."

The Bible says Jesus's human nature was tempted but Jesus was which includes him 'all'.

It has been recorded many times in the NT where Jesus distincts himself from God, which makes him in no way God:

John 17:3 "3 This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent."

Jesus is making a distinction between him and 'the only true God', leave no space for Jesus to be God.

Jesus is God but has a God, this is very illogical, when Jesus has a God:

Ephesians 1:17 "17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him."

1 Peter 1:3 "3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,"

If Jesus fully died then does God die?


1 Timothy 1:17 "Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen."

1 Corinthians 15:3 "For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures."

Notice how the Bible clearly says that Christ died, not body of Christ, not Human 'mind' all of Christ.

The Holy Spirit:

pneuma hagion, holy spirit, is used, it can refer either to (a) one of the names of God, one which shows His power in operation, or (b) the gift of God.

Let us see some Bible verses that show HS is not a person:

Matthew 11:27"27 All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him."

Only the Son knows the Father, If the HS was a person, then Jesus's words are false, because obviously the Holy spirit should know the Father, since it is a part of the triune god.

In Matthew 24:36 we read "36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone."

If the HS was truly co-equal with the Father/Son, how could the HS not know this when it is part of the 'Godhead'.

In Luke 9:26 "26 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels."

Only the glorious ones are the Father, Son and the Holy angels, wait where is the HS? yes it is not a person!

By proving that the Son is not God and the HS is not a person, trinity is false.

You may put forth your contention.
philochristos

Con

The doctrine of the Trinity is arrived at by deductive reasoning from the following points:

1. There is one and only one God.
2. The Father is God.
3. The Son is God
4. The Holy Spirit is God.
5. The Father is not the same person as the Son.
6. The Son is not the same person as the Holy Spirit.
7. The Holy Spirit is not the same person as the Father.

It follows from 1-4 that:

8. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are the same God.

It follows from 5-8 that the one God is three persons. That's the doctrine of the Trinity. Since it is arrived at through deductive reasoning from points 1-7, it follows that if 1-7 are Biblical, then the Trinity is Biblical.

Burden of proof

Since the burden of proof in this debate is on Pro, I will not attempt to prove the above seven points. Instead, I will just rebut Pro's attempt to disprove the Trinity.

Pro can disprove the Trinity by disproving any one of the above seven points. In his opening, Pro attempted to disprove points 3, 4, 6, and 7.

The personhood of the HS

Concerning point 4, 6, and 7, Pro attempted to show that the Holy Spirit is not a person. If the Holy Spirit is not a person, then 4, 6, and 7 are false.

The best (and possibly the only) way to show the Holy Spirit (or anything else) is a person is to show that it has the attributes of personhood, such as sentience, emotions, a faculty of volition, etc. There are some pretty clear passages in the New Testament concerning these things. The Holy Spirit has a mind (Romans 8:26-27) and a will (1 Corinthians 12:11). He can be lied to (Acts 5:3-4), he can be grieved (Ephesians 4:30), he can be blasphemed (Matthew 12:31-32), and he can speak (Acts 13:2). Since only persons can have these capacities, it follows that the Holy Spirit is a person.

The typical response to these passages by people who deny the personhood of the HS is to say they are personifications. That is a weak response because it could be used of any spiritual person in the Bible. It could be used of the Father. It could be used of Satan. If attributing personal attributes to a being does not indicate that the being a person, then nothing does.

Besides that, you can't blaspheme an inanimate object. Blaspheme is a form of insult, and only persons can be insulted. So while personification might work when it comes to things like speaking, it doesn't work in the case of blaspheme.

Pro brought up three passages that he thinks show the HS is not a person. Luke 9:26 and Matthew 24:36 merely excludes the HS from their field of reference. There's no indication that the HS isn't a person; only that the field of reference is not exhaustive.

Matthew 11:27 is the only passage Pro brought up that could possibly be used as an argument against the personhood of the HS. But since it isn't clear what the field of reference is when Jesus said, "no one," this is a weak argument against the personhood of the HS. Pro must make the case that the "no one" is absolutely exhaustive.

The deity of the Son

Pro points out that while Jesus was tempted, God could not be tempted. But being tempted can mean one of two different things. To be tempted can mean to be successfully persuaded to do wrong or it can mean to have an attempt made to persuade to do wrong. Neither the Father nor the Son can be tempted in the sense of being persuaded to do wrong. That's why inspite of the devil's efforts, Jesus remained sinless. But both the Father and the Son can be tempted in the sense of having someone attempt to entice them to do wrong. If the Father could not be tempted in this sense, then the command not to tempt God would be superfluous. The fact that there is a law against tempting God shows that it is possible to tempt God in some sense. Otherwise, the sin of tempting God would be uncommittable.

Pro's arguments from John 17:3, Ephesians 1:17, and 1 Peter 1:3 all beg the question against the Trinity because they only work if you assume God is only one person, whereas according to the Trinity, God is three persons. If God is only one person, and Jesus is distinguished from God, then it's impossible for Jesus to be God. But if God is three persons, and Jesus is distinguished from God, then that doesn't necessarily mean Jesus isn't God. After all, according to the Trinity, Jesus is a distinct person from the Father, and since the Father is God, we can distinguish Jesus from God even if Jesus is God. So when it says the Father is the only true God, that doesn't exclude Jesus from also being the only true God unless you assume God is only one person, and therefore beg the question. If Jesus has a Father, and if that Father is God, then Jesus has a God even if Jesus is God. So it's only by begging the question that Pro can use these passages an argument against the deity of Jesus.

Pro also points out that while Jesus died, God did not die. He further says that it wasn't just Jesus' body that died, but Jesus himself. This argument is fallacious because what it means for a person to die is for their body to die. Jesus died in the sense that his physical human body died. I'm not sure what he means by God dying. Obviously, the Father didn't die because the Father didn't have a physical body. Perhaps he means that for God to die would be for God to cease to exist. If so, then he's just equivocating on the word "die." The claim that Jesus died is not the claim that Jesus ceased to exist. According to the doctrine of the Incarnation, Jesus had both a human nature and a divine nature. Jesus only died with respect to his human nature. Nothing about the divine died.

Arguments for the deity of Jesus

I've got a little room left, so I thought I'd make some arguments for the deity of Jesus.

John 1:3 "All things came into being through him [Jesus], and apart from him, nothing came into being that has come into being."

Think about that for a minute. It says that everything that has come into being, came into being through Jesus. If Jesus is one of the things that came into being, then he would have to have come into being through himself, which means he would have to have existed before he existed, which is a contradiction. So it's impossible for Jesus to have come into being. That means Jesus is eternal, and that means Jesus is God.

Jesus' role in creation is also presented in Colossians 1:15-17 where it says that all things were created by Jesus. Paul goes on to emphasize the exhaustiveness of the "all things." He says, "both in heaven and earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions, or rulers or authorities--all things have been created through him and for him." He goes on to say that Jesus is before all things" and that "in him all things hold together." So Jesus is the uncreated creator.

According to Isaiah 44:24, God created the heavens and the earth all alone. If Jesus had any role at all in creation, then either he is God, or God was not all alone. Since Isaiah tells us that God was all alone, it follows that Jesus must be God.

Isaiah also tells us that God will not give his glory to another (Isaiah 42:8 and Isaiah 48:11). But John's gospel tells us that Jesus shares God's glory (John 17:5 and John 5:23). We see a picture of Jesus receiving the same glory, honor, and worship as the Father in Revelation 5:13.

Revelation 5:13 "And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, 'To him to sits on the throne, and to the lamb [i.e. Jesus], be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.'"

Noticed that it says "every created thing" was giving glory, etc., to both the lamb and the one sitting on the throne. It follows that neither the one sitting on the throne nor the lamb can be one of the created things.


Debate Round No. 2
Valtin

Pro

Thanks Con for this response!

'Personhood of the HS':
Non-Trinitarian, Dutch theologian Ellen Flesseman-van Leer explains that the Holy Spirit is “not an independent entity alongside God, but the evidence of God’s active presence in the world."

Paul mentions both God the Father and Jesus Christ in the salutations of all ten of his NT letters (assuming he wrote them all), yet he does not mention the Holy Spirit. This absence suggests that Paul did not regard the Holy Spirit as a person.

The HS is the 'Spirit of the Father' Matthew 10:20 "20 For it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you."

We know that the Spirit of the Father speaks 'in you' another verse confirms that the SOF(spirit of the father) is same as the HS, Mark 13:11 "11 When they arrest you and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour; for it is not you who speak, but it is the Holy Spirit."

It would be illogical for 2 spirits speak in the same person at the same time.

Luke 1:35 "35 The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God."

The attributes of the HS is personification of the SOF, as you said that this is a weak response but I will reinforce it further:

Holy Spirit, The Anchor Bible Dictionary describes it as the "manifestation of divine presence and power perceptible especially in prophetic inspiration" (Vol. 3, 1992, p. 260).

God imparted divine inspiration to His prophets and servants through the Holy Spirit, In 2 Peter 1:21 "21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God."

The HS spoke from 'God' again remember the SOF.

"mind of Christ" (1 Corinthians 2:16)—also referred to as the "mind of the Spirit" (Romans 8:27).

As the Messiah, He was prophesied to have "The Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him, The spirit of wisdom and understanding, The spirit of counsel and strength, The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord." (Isaiah 11:2)

we can see from this prophecy we can understand what I have said above about the 'Mind of the HS'.

Impersonal of the HS:

Many verses refer to the HS as not a person but a gift of God,etc:

Acts:10:45 "45 All the circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also."

It is highly unlikely to gift a 'person' to the gentiles(Also refer to 1 Timothy 4:14).

1 Thessalonians 5:19 "19 Do not quench the Spirit;"

I do not think the HS If it is a person can be quenched.

Hebrews 6:4 "4 For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit,"

You join into the HS? that seems illogical, no, It is not a person! ok that is logical!

Matthew 3:11 11 “As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire."


I can baptize someone with the HS? baptizing a person with a person?! no the HS is not a person.

In contrast to the Father and Jesus Christ, who are consistently compared to human beings in Their form and shape, the Holy Spirit is consistently represented, by various manifestations, in a completely different form such as wind (Acts:2:2), fire (Acts 2:3), water (John 4:14; 7:37-39), oil (Psalm 45:7; compare Acts:10:38; Matthew25:1-10), a dove (Matthew 3:16).


The Deity of Jesus Christ:

Con asserts that God cannot be tempted but the Son and the Father can, Con actually contradicts himself:
"To be tempted can mean to be successfully persuaded to do wrong or it can mean to have an attempt made to persuade to do wrong. Neither the Father nor the Son can be tempted in the sense of being persuaded to do wrong. "

Then writes:
" But both the Father and the Son can be tempted in the sense of having someone attempt to entice them to do wrong"

I do not see your point, your rebuttal on this subject is frail, again I restate, Devil is evil, Jesus was tempted by the devil, God cannot be tempted by evil, but Jesus was tempted(Look for the verses in the previous round).


Then Con goes on and points out that since Jesus is a different person still does not mean he is God, but God is 3 persons.

Let us see the verse:
John 17:3 "3 This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent."

THE ONLY TRUE GOD, AND Jesus whom you have sent, the only true God has sent Jesus Christ, it is excluding him from the true God who sent him, your rebuttal is deficient, I say Jesus is not God according to the Bible, but you say Jesus is God because I believe in the Trinity.
And then you further admit that the Son has God but is God, please, I mean really, I am showing these verses that say Jesus had a God, and is not the only true God, you are only repeating the trinity.

Death of Jesus:

" This argument is fallacious because what it means for a person to die is for their body to die"

Death does not mean their body dies it means: "the end of life : the time when someone or something dies"[1] end of life, that means Jesus had no life for a certain time according to the Bible.
Again asserts same argument " Jesus died in the sense that his physical human body died." no the verse says that Jesus suffered something called death which is explained above.
How is the Father related to Jesus, father did not die, because there is no trinity in the Bible.
"Jesus had both a human nature and a divine nature. Jesus only died with respect to his human nature. Nothing about the divine died."
Provide evidence that Jesus had 2 different natures, meaning he was a divine but not a divine at the same time, interesting.

The Word(Logos):

Con quotes the usual John 1, the Word, I do not have enough space but I will God willing show a decisive rebuttal:

I assert that the logos in John 1:1 cannot be Jesus. Please notice that “Jesus Christ” is not a lexical definition of logos. This verse does not say, “In the beginning was Jesus.” “The Word” is not synonymous with Jesus, or even “the Messiah.” The word logos in John 1:1 refers to God’s creative self-expression His reason, purposes and plans, especially as they are brought into action. It refers to God’s self-expression, or communication, of Himself. This has come to pass through His creation (Rom. 1:19 and 20), and especially the heavens (Ps. 19). It has come through the spoken word of the prophets and through Scripture, the written Word. Most notably and finally, it has come into being through His Son (Heb. 1:1 and 2).

The logos is the expression of God, and is His communication of Himself, just as a “word” is an outward expression of a person’s thoughts. This outward expression of God has now occurred through His Son, and thus it is perfectly understandable why Jesus is called the “Word.” Jesus is an outward expression of God’s reason, wisdom, purpose and plan. For the same reason, we call revelation “a word from God” and the Bible “the Word of God.”

If we understand that the logos is God’s expression—His plan, purposes, reason and wisdom, it is clear that they were indeed with Him “in the beginning.” Scripture says that God’s wisdom was “from the beginning” (Prov. 8:23). It was very common in Hebrew writing to personify a concept such as wisdom. No ancient Jew reading Proverbs would think that God’s wisdom was a separate person, even though it is portrayed as one in verses like Proverbs 8:29 and 30: “…when He marked out the foundations of the earth, I [wisdom] was the craftsman at His side."

Sources:

[1]http://www.merriam-webster.com...

And http://www.biblicalunitarian.com...


Thanks for the amazing debate!!

Please think not I was offending you if I did, Good luck to you in the future!

philochristos

Con

The personhood of the Holy Spirit

As predicted, Pro dismisssed all the verses showing the HS to be a person as "personifications," but he failed to deal with my argument to the contrary. He never explained how an impersonal entity can be blasphemed. His dismissals also leave us with no reason to think the Father or Satan are persons since we could just as easily dismiss all of their personal attributes as "personifications."

Pro dropped his arguments from Luke 9:26, Matthew 24:36, and Matthew 11:27. In this round, he brought up several more passages which he thinks indicate that the HS is not a person.

He argues that the HS is not a person because Paul didn't mention him along with the Father and the Son in the salutations of his letters. That conclusion doesn't follow. Paul mentions all three together elsewhere.

2 Corinthians 13:14 "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all."

It is just as absurd to conclude that the HS is not a person based on his omission in some passage as it is to conclude the Father or the Son are not persons due to their omission in other passages. Here's another passage that mentions all three.

Matthew 28:19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit."

This would be an odd passage if the HS weren't just as much a person as the Father and the Son. Here's another showing all three.

1 Corinthians 12:4-6 "Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit [i.e. the Holy Spirit]. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord [i.e. the Son, Jesus]. There are varieties of effects, but the same God [i.e. the Father] who works all things in all persons."

Again, this would be a very odd passage if the HS were not just as much a person as the Father and the Son. Paul goes on to mention various gifts distributed by the HS, then says, "But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills" (1 Cor 12:11).

The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit play different roles, which is why they are spoken of in different ways and why two appear in some passages but not the third. So none of the passages Pro brought up amount to an argument against the personhood of the HS.

Pro brings up several other passages he thinks indicate the HS is not a person, but I don't see it. He says a person can't be a gift, but why not? He says you can't quench a person, but why not? To quench the HS in the context of 1 Thessalonians 5:19 is to "dispise prophetic utterance." As Pro pointed out, it is the HS's role to move prophets to speak from God. I fail to see how that's any indication that the HS is not a person. He says you can't partake of a person, and you can't be baptized with a person, but he doesn't tell us why not. None of these passages are inconsistent with the HS being a person and the fact that Pro would use these passages as his strongest case against the pesonhood of the HS shows just how weak his position is.

Pro attempts to show the differences in how the Father and Son are portrayed and how the HS is portrayed. He says that uniike the Father and Son, the HS is portrayed as a dove; however, Jesus is portrayed as a lamb (John 1:36). He says the Holy Spirit is likened to a fire; however YHWH is also portrayed as a consuming fire (Deuteronomy 4:24). There are lots of metaphors for how the various persons of the Trinity are portrayed. Some of them are the same and some of them are different, but none of them indicate that any of them are not persons.

Since none of the passages Pro brought up in his attempt to disprove the personhood of the HS did any such thing, and since Pro failed to respond to some of my arguments for the personhood of the HS, we can conclude that the HS is a person.

The deity of Jesus

Pro attempted to respond to some of my arguments for the deity of Jesus and to shore up some of his previous arguments against the deity of Jesus. Since he ignored some of my arguments for the deity of Jesus, those arguments stand, but let me just point out which arguments he ignored.

He ignored my arguments from Colossians 1:15-17 showing that Jesus is the uncreated creator, he ignored my argument from Isaiah 44:24 showing that Jesus is God, he ignored my argument Isaiah 42:8, 48:11 and John 17:5, 5:23 showing that Jesus shares the glory of God and is therefore God, and he ignored my argument from Revelation 5:13 showing that Jesus is uncreated and receives the same glory and worship as the Father.

Pro failed to understand my discussion about the different senses in which a person can be tempted, so let me explain again. There are two different senses in which a person can be tempted.

1. Tempted in the sense of being persuaded to do wrong.

2. Tempted in the sense of somebody trying to persuade to do wrong.

When the Bible tells us that Jesus was tempted, it is uses temptation in the 2nd sense. When the Bible says the Father can't be tempted, it is using temptation in the 1st sense. Both the Father and the Son can be tempted in the 2nd sense, but neither the Father nor the Son can be tempted in the 1st sense. Pro's argument against the deity of Jesus was that Jesus can be tempted, but God can't, so Jesus isn't God. My point is that his argument fails since "temptation" has two different meanings. He claims I'm contradicting myself because he fails to recognize the two different meanings of temptation.

Pro also failed to understand how his arguments from John 17:3, Ephesians 1:17, and 1 Peter 1:3 are question-begging, and in his attempt to explain himself further, he just continues to beg the question against the Trinity. My point is that all of these passage are consistent with the Trinity, and it is only by assuming that God is one person that he can argue that Jesus is not God. Let's look at John 17:3 one more time.

John 17:3 "This is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent."

The "you" in this passage clearly refers to the Father. According to the doctrine of the Trinity, there is only one true God; the Father, Son, and HS are each that same God. So when it says the Father is the only true God, that does not exclude Jesus or the HS from also being the only true God. When John 17:3 distinguishes Jesus from "the only true God," it is only distinguishing Jesus from the Father since the "you" refers to the Father.

If the passage said something like, "Only you [the Father] are the true God," then this would work as an argument against the Trinity, but since it's perfectly consistent with the Trinity as it is written, it does not work out as an argument against the deity of Jesus.

Pro attempts to defend his case that Jesus died but God did not. I don't see how anything he said really salvages his argument. He tries to make a distinction between bodily death and death. But death just is when your body dies. "End of life," "death," and "bodily death," all mean the same thing.

I explained that according to the doctrine of the incarnation, Jesus had a human nature and a divine nature, and he died with respect to his human nature. He asked me to provide proof of the two natures. Well, if my arguments for the deity of Jesus are sound, that proves Jesus has a divine nature. Pro and I already agree that Jesus had a human nature because he was a physical human, born of a human woman.

Pro responds to my John 1:3 argument by claiming the Logos is not Jesus. But the context of John 1 makes it perfectly clear that the Logos is Jesus. It says in verse 18 that the Logos became flesh and dwelt among us. The logos refers unambiguously to Jesus. I also showed from Colossians 1:15-17 that Jesus himself was involved in creation, just as the Logos was in John 1:3. Pro is right that sometimes words like "word" and "wisdom" are personified, but in the context of John 1, the Logos refers plainly to a real person, namely Jesus.

Thank you for the debate.


Debate Round No. 3
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