Bible Discussion Thread

 
  • Adam - 5 months ago
    This question has been on my mind for a while:

    When God is mentioned in the Bible, does it mostly mean the Godhead (trinity 1 John 5:7) or does it mostly mean God the Father?

    "I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living." Matthew 22:32 KJV

    Jesus is saying this and quoting scripture.

    Is God in this verse, for example, the Godhead or the Father?
  • Ronald Whittemore - In Reply - 5 months ago
    Hey Adam,

    There is much in this chapter, your question is God in this verse the Godhead or the Father?

    To answer; in context Jesus was telling parables and the Pharisees, and the Sadducees were trying to trip Jesus up. These verses were about the resurrection, the Pharisees believed in the resurrection, but the Sadducees did not. In verse 31 Jesus asked them haven't you read; Job 19:25-27 Psalm 17:15 Psalm 49:15 "which was spoken unto you by God" so Jesus is referring to His Father who is God.

    What does the word Godhead mean? Does it mean a Triune God? It is in three verses, Acts 17:29 Rom. 1:20 Col. 2:9. Translated from Greek words which means divine, divinity, or deity, that was replaced with another English word that was not a word until the 1500s and placed only in these three verses and the reason is questionable.

    Study for your conscience in prayer with an open mind and through the Holy Spirit, God will show you the truth.

    God bless,

    RLW
  • Adam - In Reply - 5 months ago
    Thank you RLW for your input. It sounds like from your response you don't believe that God is triune like 1 John 5:7 says. The 3 verses about Godhead are not the only part of the Bible that says God is plural. Genesis 1:26 for example: "And God said, Let us make man in our image.." Jesus's followers called Jesus "God" and worshipped Him, etc.

    Evidence I see so far indicates that most references to God are triune. One, singular, but triune God. Not 3 Gods, one God. As hard as it is to comprehend the Bible gives a distinction within God between the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost.
  • Ronald Whittemore - In Reply - 5 months ago
    Hi Adam,

    Thank you, you are correct I believe in one God the Father and one Lord Jesus Christ as most of the greetings in the epistles Ephesians 6:23 1 Thessalonians 1:1 and more, and nowhere is this doctrine taught in the New Testament that we must believe for salvation.

    It is like Matthew 28:19 the baptizing in the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit but nowhere do we see it in the New Testament all were baptized in the name of Jesus and only in the name of Jesus are we saved. My study of 1 John 5:7 is that it was added from the Latin Vulgate and was not in the original text, but that can be debated.

    I understand I am in the minority and have discussed this before. We can find Scripture to fit a doctrine, but can we find Scripture where the doctrine was taught? I have not found where the Trinity doctrine is taught. Like Genesis 1:26 there are many beings in heaven and the word us does not say God was speaking to Jesus, that is an assumption.

    Thank you again for discussing this in a loving and respectful manor, this subject is deep and as long as we have love for each other, and truth is what we are in search of.

    God bless,

    RLW
  • Adam - In Reply - 5 months ago
    Hi RLW,

    I don't remember who believes what in this forum, but I feel a duty to defend Jesus and defend the truth, so I will share God's word. I feel that's the least I can do as a Christ follower. Do you consider yourself a Christ follower?

    If you don't believe Jesus is God then I wonder if you believe Christians are in violation of the 1st of the 10 commandments? Because if you don't think Jesus is God or divine then you might think putting Jesus #1 in their life is bad? If you can explain your religious doctrine or denomination more that would be helpful.

    "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." John 1:1 KJV

    It is like Matthew 28:19

    I'd like to ask about your comment, "the baptizing in the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit but nowhere do we see it in the New Testament all were baptized in the name of Jesus and only in the name of Jesus are we saved."

    I don't totally understand this comment yet. Are you saying you don't see baptizing isn't in the new testament? Because you replied with a verse that is in the new testament, so you seemed to have refuted your own comment?

    And the latter half of your comment is "...and only in the name of Jesus are we saved."

    But the Bible says precisely that in Acts 4:12. It says:

    "Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Acts 4:10-12 KJV

    It says the name of Jesus Christ is through whom we are saved. It says it plain as day. Did I understand your comment correctly?

    Also it flat out says Jesus is God in John 1:1 "Word was God" and it says Jesus is the Word in at least a couple other verses
  • Ronald Whittemore - In Reply - 5 months ago
    Hi Adam,

    I understand your passion and I believe you may have misunderstood parts of my post; I am sorry. Your first question is yes, I am a follower of Jesus. Jesus answered the scribe and said, Mark 12: 29-30 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: 30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And yes, I do, but am I perfect, NO.

    I do not belong to any denomination; I have attended many denominations but Catholic and I am in my 70s and there is not a church close to me now that I feel comfortable going to. John 1:1 I will say my understanding is different and too long to explain in this reply maybe another thread.

    What I meant about Matthew 28:19 is in this verse Jesus told them to go baptizing people in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. People use this to support the Trinity doctrine but nowhere in the New Testament is anyone baptized in the name of the three, people were only baptized in the name of Jesus not that there was no baptizing in the New Testament, but they were only baptized in the name of Jesus.

    As you listed Acts 4:10-12 only by the name of Jesus and "none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. And that name is who they baptized people in the New Testament not of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Now in many churches, a person must believe in the Trinity for salvation, and if they do not confess the Trinity, they are not a Christian. Can you show me where that was said or was taught anywhere in the New Testament?

    I am sorry we do not agree on this, and I hope this helps you understand my last post, and may we be guided by the Holy Spirit in our study for the truth, we are one body.

    God bless,

    RLW
  • Adam - In Reply - 5 months ago
    Hi RLW,

    Thanks for the clarification. If we already discussed this months or years ago I just don't remember, so thank you for explaining. I have a better idea of what you meant now. I'm glad you're a Christian.

    My comment didn't have much to do with baptism but your comment did and it seems you were making a distinction between Matthew 28:19 and examples in the Bible where people were baptized. I would have to review to know what if anything was mentioned as being said.

    I don't believe people have to believe in a Godhead to be saved. I think you were thinking that was a requirement. I don't believe this is a salvation issue, but just trying to understand the Bible and arrive at the truth. I believe that is the goal here.

    You wrote: "Now in many churches, a person must believe in the Trinity for salvation, and if they do not confess the Trinity, they are not a Christian."

    In the last 50 years or more I've attended many different Christian church denominations and I've never once heard of anyone saying you must believe in a trinity to be saved. Are you sure that is what someone said? This not what typical Christians believe. Can you give an example of what specific Christian church denomination and location or if it was just one person who said this?

    I once went to a Calvary Chapel where the guy gave a sermon that said if you don't vote for Obama then you're not a Christian. But I knew enough to know that guy was wacko and his cult beliefs did not represent others in the calvary chapel or in Christianity. It's a common logical fallacy to generalize an entire group of people for one individuals actions or beliefs. What's ironic is Obama is a muslim and pro-abortion, which is a very anti-Christian belief.

    But as for not believing Jesus is God. If John 1:1 said and the Word was NOT God, then I would find this belief more credible, but it says the opposite. Jesus is the Word: Revelation 19:13. He's also the I AM: John 8:58, Exodus 3:14.
  • Ronald Whittemore - In Reply - 5 months ago
    Hi Adam,

    It is good to hear we are understanding each other better as brothers in Christ. I will in the future give my understanding of John 1:1. The truth is what is important regardless of what we have been taught.



    Have you ever asked the question is salvation is dependent on the belief in the Trinity?

    God bless,

    RLW
  • Jema - In Reply - 5 months ago
    :) , I do wonder what motivates people to ask a question that they already think they know the answer to , is it just to illicit different responses in order to ' debate ' or to berate ? Silence is golden in those circumstances I think ;) .
  • Adam - In Reply - 5 months ago
    That's an ironic and disrespectful thing to say. RLW's comments deviated from the question. "Silence is golden" Romans 12:10
  • Adam - In Reply - 5 months ago
    Hi RLW,

    I see you didn't respond to the question, so I'll put it here again. It's important to know where you get this idea from.

    In the last 50 years or more I've attended many different Christian church denominations and I've never once heard of anyone saying you must believe in a trinity to be saved.

    Are you sure that is what someone said?

    Ronald, can you give an example of what specific Christian church denomination and location you believe said this or if it was just one person who said this to you?
  • Ronald Whittemore - In Reply - 5 months ago
    Hey Adam,

    Thank you; The statement of faith of many churches has the Trinity doctrine as a foundational belief of their faith, and you cannot join if you do not agree. I can only say what I have been told and how I was treated in some churches the denominations do not matter. The Orthodox view says if you do not believe the Trinity, you are not saved and are not a Christian. Some bible discussion sites before you go on them you must endorse the Nicene Creed. That is why I love this site and the people on it. Let's leave it at that.

    God bless,

    RLW
  • Adam - In Reply - 5 months ago
    I'm sure you know this went off topic of my original question, but am happy to discuss as long as this is genuine and respectful.

    I did some searching online and couldn't yet find any church that believes what you said. A website for Orthodox Christians also said you don't have to believe in trinity to be saved, so I question the validity of this belief.

    Is the goal of this is to demean Christians who believe what the Bible says about God in John 1:1, 1 John 5:7? Believing what the Bible says is not a doctrine, but denying it or twisting it can be considered a manmade doctrine.

    "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty." Revelation 1:8 KJV

    The Alpha and Omega is the Lord Jesus.

    "And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son."

    Revelation 21:6-7

    This says the Alpha and Omega "will be his God". Do you agree?

    Does this not plainly say that the Lord Jesus is God?

    If Jesus was not God, then why would the Bible say so many times that He IS God, like in John 1:1, 1 Timothy 3:16, Isaiah 9:6, and His own name Immanuel means "God with us". One would think if God wrote a Bible to convince us that Him dying for us was not Him but someone else and to tell us that salvation is from someone else and not through Him, then why would it say so many times Jesus is God. People called Him God, His name was God, He has the power of God, and the Bible says He is God. But I'm supposed to believe that He isn't though?
  • Ronald Whittemore - In Reply - 5 months ago
    Adam,

    I do not have a goal, and I have never tried to demean anyone on this site. I feel this conversation is causing emotions that should not be and I am sorry, I never wanted that and to reply to you would be wrong. Out of love and respect, I will end this discussion.

    God bless,

    RLW
  • Adam - In Reply - 5 months ago
    RLW, that's your choice, but its unfortunate that after all the effort to narrow down differences and beliefs that those still remain unknown. I don't know what emotions you are assuming. Most people don't even know what their own spouse is feeling so to imagine and assume what someone you've never met is feeling by a few words typed on the internet would seem like quite a superpower. God bless.
  • Ronald Whittemore - In Reply - 5 months ago
    Adam,

    Thanks, I understand the passion this subject brings. What you said, you may have thought I had a goal to demean Christians believing what the Bible says is when I felt it was going the wrong way. I hope you understand. Maybe we can have other discussions?

    God bless,

    RLW
  • Adam - In Reply - 5 months ago
    RLW, I'm happy to discuss further if its a fair discussion. I asked if your use of trinity "doctrine" was to demean, and I'm gathering from your response that it was unintentional and not a tactic, correct?

    This word was used to characterize our believing scripture like 1 John 5:7. You called it a trinity "doctrine" but I just call it reading the Bible as written. So, if you think my belief is a doctrine then I suppose your belief is a doctrine- that would only be fair. Just want a level playing field for whatever is discussed.

    I think believing the Bible as written is important without distortion or bias, but I believe many things discussed in forums like this, such as the trinity, are not salvation issues. I've never met another Christian who has ever believed this, either. There are more that believe baptism, tithing or taking communion are higher on the essentials list than believing in trinity. Some churches have pastors that don't agree on the trinity. It is admittedly a confusing concept that humans cannot easily relate to, because we don't have 1 be 3 things and also 3 be 1 in our world.

    God is greater than our comprehension and I trust that when God's Word says things like John 1:1 or 1 John 5:7 that it is true. I am aware of your objection with the translation, but I believe it is already accurately translated and other scriptures support it too. I also think there's a tendency to target the translation for verses people don't like, but often the verses people do like aren't equally dissected. This leads to a distorted understanding in my opinion.

    I'm curious what you think about the last two verses shared about Jesus being the Alpha and Omega. To me that says that Jesus is God, but I'm sure you've read this before and have reconciled this with your belief somehow, so I'm open to hearing that. But if you want to save it for another day that's fine too. God bless.
  • Ronald Whittemore - In Reply - 5 months ago
    Hey Adam,

    I have never thought you had any intentions of being unfair or deceiving me. I have always only shared my understanding of Scripture and others that I have discussed on this site have done the same. The main goal is the learn in search for the truth not to prove somebody wrong or to be unfair.

    I would love to discuss but it sounds like you are thinking I will not be fair so if you have those doubts it would be better if we don't. I do not know why you want a level playing field it is like telling me you have no trust in me to be honest which I have been with any discussion I have had with anyone on this site.

    May you be well, and God bless.

    RLW
  • Adam - In Reply - 5 months ago
    Ok, that's unfortunate you feel that way. My question was about the use of the word doctrine because that word is sometimes used to frame someone's beliefs in a negative light as if it isn't from the Bible. If one person uses that and the other doesn't in a dialog, its not even. Maybe that clears that up? Noticing something and asking about it in my opinion doesn't automatically mean lack of trust and doesn't necessarily mean anything beyond the question. As stated previously I unfortunately do not remember what each person believes, so I really have no basis in which to doubt your credibility. God bless.

  • [Comment Removed]
  • Ronald Whittemore - In Reply - 5 months ago
    Hi Jena,

    Thank you, sometimes we need to step back but I must say there is love on this site. You stay strong in your faith, we know He is with us.

    God bless,

    RLW
  • Jema - In Reply - 5 months ago
    Goodbye Ronald , you have said so many things perfectly :) , I hope you continue to do so . Much love to you in Christ .
  • Carleton - In Reply - 5 months ago
    Good evening Ronald! One possible meditation for the Trinity belief to be tied to salvation is the parts of the Godhead are not equal in authority. The door to our salvation was chosen by the Father to be found in the Son and confirmed afterwards by the Spirit.
  • Ronald Whittemore - In Reply - 5 months ago
    Hi Carleton,

    Thank you, hope you and family are doing well. That is interesting, have not heard it put that way. I will look on this in study.

    God bless,

    RLW
  • Carleton - In Reply - 5 months ago
    Thank you Ronald! The family is well! How are you and your family doing? I am glad with you for this nice website that we can freely write back and forth with one another.

    Hope you have a nice rest.

    Carleton
  • Jema - In Reply - 5 months ago
    A good grounding in and knowledge of and respect for the old testament is very helpful I think , it leaves me with no doubts in this matter :) . May God bless you .
  • Ronald Whittemore - In Reply - 5 months ago
    Hi Jema,

    So true, we don't think about it much but for many years the Old Testament was the only Scripture the early Church had and they had to go to synagogues to here them.

    God bless,

    RLW
  • Chris - In Reply - 5 months ago
    Hello Adam. I consider your question through two separate perspectives: one, before the incarnation of the Word of God and the other, after it. From my readings of the whole Word of God, I don't believe that the writers of the OT nor their hearers would have understood any other concept or acceptance of the God's Nature other than 'He is One & there is none beside Him' (e.g. Isaiah 45:5.6).

    Even the "Shema Yisrael" ( Deuteronomy 6:4,5) is Israel's central belief & affirmation on the singularity of God's Person, & any suggestion of a 'compound' Nature of God would be anathema. Also Isaiah 53:1-12 and Isaiah 9:6,7 references to a coming Messiah, which should clearly reveal the Divine Nature of a Coming One, is discarded by them, then & now. So, anything of a Triune God must be rejected by the Jew, & only the operation of God by His Spirit (i.e. God revealing Himself & working before them) should be acceptable to them (e.g. Psalm 51:10,11; Isaiah 11:2; & many others). As believers though, we can see the Triune God in operation in the whole Bible, but Israel is blinded to this Truth & their hearts hardened.

    When Jesus came & spoke (e.g. John 16:27,28; John 17:5), He declared His Divine Nature, that which was not revealed before. So your reference ( Matthew 22:32), speaks primarily of the One Nature of God; but to those who believe, having received salvation through Jesus Christ, know that the God of Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob was always the Triune God, Who would one day manifest Himself fully to a needy world: God's Word first by the prophets, now given through His Word made flesh ( Hebrews 1:1-3) . What Israel knew of the One God then, should have revealed the full Nature of a Triune God at the appearance of their Messiah. But their eyes were blinded & hearts hardened. Therefore, as Christians, I believe that we should see God (in the OT & NT) as a Triune God, manifesting Himself also as His Word and His Spirit going forth to accomplish His Will over His creation.
  • Chris - In Reply - 5 months ago
    Apologies to all. In my first paragraph I had not corrected my initial wording, 'of the Nature of God', when I substituted it here with 'God's Nature' but omitted removing the article preceding it. That's a nasty error & I need to go slower in my revisions.
  • S Spencer - In Reply - 5 months ago
    Amen Brother Chris.

    Your reply reminds me of Saul encounter with the Lord on his way to Damascus in Acts 9:5.

    "And he said, WHO ART THOU, LORD?

    There seems to be a lot here in this question!

    For one, Saul believe in God in the way he's presented in the OT as you said Brother Chris.

    But yet he asked "WHO ART THOU, LORD" as he responds to the Lord's question. " Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

    It seems immediately it came to Saul's mind the accusations against Jesus in John 10:33.

    ( Jesus answers Saul's question knowing position and beliefs in the only God Saul knew of)

    "AND THE LORD SAID, I AM JESUS" whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks."

    God bless
  • Adam - In Reply - 5 months ago
    Great point. That must have been utterly shocking, terrifying, and maybe humiliating for Saul / Paul to hear Jesus like that.
  • Chris - In Reply - 5 months ago
    That's a great point & Scripture ( Acts 9:5) brother S. Spencer & thanks for it. That is indeed a very telling encounter that Saul had. He asked, Who art thou, Lord? Saul was confused. He didn't refer to that Voice as God nor any other divine being, but used 'Kyrie', a title given in this instance, of 'respect or reverence to someone of distinction'. So, we see Saul, on his way to massacre these Christians & probably fuming through his teeth all through his journey there, suddenly falling to his knees in respect, hearing this voice from above calling him by name and asking why he was being persecuted. We can hardly imagine the thoughts & conflicts that Saul must have been going through. Not the least of which, 'there is only one God in Heaven, so who is this speaking?'

    And so the blinders on Saul fell off & his heart was made pliable. How? By hearing the Word of God & having a life-changing experience with the God He actually despised, by rejecting His Son. And so we can understand Paul's yearning in anguished prayer, "my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved." ( Romans 10:1-3). He longed for his people to have what he had received directly from the Risen Christ. And so it must be for all who would turn to Jesus for salvation: the Word must cut deep into their hearts & a mighty revelation received, that makes sin absolutely detestable & the Love of God & His Salvation absolutely craved for & treasured. Every blessing brother & thank you for your posts - always read & well received.
  • Adam - In Reply - 5 months ago
    Powerful.
  • Adam - In Reply - 5 months ago
    Thank you Chris for that substantive answer.



This comment thread is locked. Please enter a new comment below to start a new comment thread.

Note: Comment threads older than 2 months are automatically locked.
 

Do you have a Bible comment or question?


Please Sign In or Register to post comments...