SUPPLEMENT 7

A TRINITARIAN RESPONSE

A Trinitarian responds to those attributes of the Father, Absolute God, not possessed by the Son as provided in a previous post:

Unitarian proposition #1. Omnipotence: the Absolute God is All Powerful with no one else equal to His Power

The Trinitarian answer: The Son has this...Matt. 27:16 and Col. 2:10

Unitarian rebuttal: Mt 27.16 is evidently a typo for we can see no reason why it would prove the Son to be All Powerful.

Col 2.10 reads: "And so you are possessed of a fullness by means of him, who is the head of all government and authority." We fail to see how this proves the Son is Omnipotent or All Powerful. Perhaps we do not read it through the same Trinitarian filter. This statement, "head of all government" could not include the Father for the obvious reasons given at 1 Cor 15.27. Additionally, the phrase "government and authority" may be pointed at those angelic powers, particularly the demonic, which heretofore had existed in heaven: " ... the things invisible, no matter whether they are thrones or lordships or governments or authorities." (Col 1:16) Thus, limitations are demonstrated and in no wise proves the Son to be All Powerful, stronger than the Father.

Unitarian proposition #2. Omniscience: the Absolute God is All Knowing with no one else equal to His Knowledge

The Trinitarian offers Mt 11.27 as proof the Son is All Knowing, or Omniscient.
The Son has this as Mt. 11:27 reads: "All things have been delivered to me by my Father, and no one fully knows the Son but the Father, neither does anyone fully know the Father but the Son and anyone to whom the Son is willing to reveal him."

Unitarian answer: We also fail to see how this proves the Son is All Knowing, for the Father "delivered" to the Son everything he knows. The Son did not generate this knowledge himself. That this is not absolute knowledge is shown by the fact it may be imparted to "anyone the Son is willing to reveal Him." As Unitarians we note the holy spirit is absent in this ‘knowing’.


Unitarian proposition #3. Unbegotten Life: all others derive Life from the Absolute Being

To this the Trinitarian responds with Jn 5.21, 26 as proof the Son is "Unbegotten Life." These verses read: "For just as the Father raises the dead up and makes them alive, so the Son also makes those alive whom he wants to. ... For just as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted also to the Son to have life in himself."

Unitarian answer: We Unitarians do not view these verses through Trinitarian filters. We fail to see how these verses prove the Son is "unbegotten life." Indeed, the text states the Son derives his life from the Father and therefore is "begotten" while the Father remains "unbegotten." Rather, they prove the Son, indeed, "derives Life from the Absolute Being."


Proposition #4. Absolute Good: all others must learn goodness from the Absolute Being

The Trinitarian offers Mt 11.27-30 as proof that the Son is Absolute Good: "All things have been delivered to me by my Father, and no one fully knows the Son but the Father, neither does anyone fully know the Father but the Son and anyone to whom the Son is willing to reveal him. Come to me, all you who are toiling and loaded down, and I will refresh you. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am mild-tempered and lowly in heart, and you will find refreshment for your souls. For my yoke is kindly and my load is light."

Unitarian answer: Lacking the Trinitarian filter we cannot see how this proves the Son is Absolute Good. Indeed, the word "good" is lacking from the verses. We Unitarians trust to the words of the Son himself, "And a certain ruler questioned him, saying: "Good Teacher, by doing what shall I inherit everlasting life?" Jesus said to him: "Why do you call me good? Nobody is good, except one, The God (ho theos)." (Lk 18.18, 19) There is only one Absolute Good from whom all others, including the Son, derive their own goodness. The only goodness the Son possesses he derives from his Father.


Unitarian Proposition #5. Absolute Love: all others must learn love from the Absolute Being

The Trinitarian offers the following logic: Without "relationship" God cannot BE love. There must be a relationship. Thus Father, Son, Holy Spirit. A eternal relationship justifies that God IS love. Unless God is full of self-love but then that would be selfishness to the grossest extent...which is against God's character.

"The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hand" Jo. 3:35.
You can't diminish the Glory of Christ. Passage after passage can be shown
stating that the Father has given the Son all things...how can the Son lack
something the Father has if the Father "loves" the Son?"

Unitarian answer: This is the only argument a Trinitarian could use here, for there are no texts stating the Son is Absolute Love. The Father being senior and greater, the Son must learn love through the Father as all others must also. We offer than a person may be loving and still be completely alone because this love is part of the character. Such a person need not be in a city to remain loving. This person may be alone, without any relationship whatever, isolated in a forest, and remain a loving person. Love is what God is as to character.

If we follow the logic above, then when Jesus sought solitude in a lonely and private place by himself, the Son ceased to be a loving person. We do not read John 3.35 through a Trinitarian filter: "The Son loves the Father and has given all things into his hands." It is the Father who has loved the Son first and thereafter "has given the Son all things" which the Son did not possess before.

To our Trinitarian friend: please accept our remarks given with that love taught by the Nazarene.

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HOLY SPIRIT MISSING FROM REVELATION

The term "Holy Spirit" does not occur in the Book of Revelation. The word "spirit(s)" occurs less than twenty times. The majority of these times occur in the phrase "the spirit says." These may be compared to 1 John 4.1 as "inspirations" or "inspired expressions." (Compare John 6.63) The phrase "seven spirits" occurs four times and may refer to the seven different spirits to the seven congregations; or, to the seven attributes of the Messiah as declared in Isaiah 11.1-4 LXX.

In addition to the above, the "holy spirit" is missing where a Trinitarian might expect it. Note these:

In chapter 4 the spirit is missing as "worthy" while the Almighty God and the Lamb are declared "worthy."

Revelation 5:13-14 --- "And every creature that is in heaven and on earth and underneath the earth and on the sea, and all the things in them, I heard saying: "To the One sitting on the throne and to the Lamb be the blessing and the honor and the glory and the might forever and ever." And the four living creatures went saying: "Amen!" and the elders fell down and worshipped.

Note the Holy Spirit is missing in this praise by every creature. It is directed to only God Almighty and the lamb.

Revelation 6:16-17 --- "And they keep saying to the mountains and to the rock-masses: "Fall over us and hide us from the face of the One seated on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb, because the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?"

Note the Holy Spirit is missing in this declaring of the arrival of the day of wrath. The God Almighty and the lamb are mentioned alone.

Revelation 7:10 --- "And they keep on crying with a loud voice, saying: "Salvation [we owe] to our God, who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb."

Note the Great Crowd ascribe salvation only to God Almighty and the lamb. The Holy Spirit is missing.

Revelation 11:15 --- "And the seventh angel blew his trumpet. And loud voices occurred in heaven, saying: "The kingdom of the world did become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will rule as king forever and ever."

Note the Holy Spirit is missing from the seventh and last trumpet.

Revelation 12:10-11 --- "And I heard a loud voice in heaven say: "Now have come to pass the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ, because the accuser of our brothers has been hurled down, who accuses them day and night before our God! And they conquered him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their witnessing."

Note the Holy Spirit is missing.

Revelation 14:1 --- "And I saw, and, look! the Lamb standing upon the Mount Zion, and with him a hundred and forty-four thousand having his name and the name of his Father written on their foreheads."

Note the Holy Spirit is missing. Why is not the name of the Holy Ghost also on the foreheads of the 144,000?

Revelation 14:4 --- "These were bought from among mankind as firstfruits to God and to the Lamb."

The Holy Spirit is missing. Why are the 144,000 also not the firstfruits of the Holy Spirit?

Revelation 14:12 --- "Here is where it means endurance for the holy ones, those who observe the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus."

The Holy Spirit is missing. Why is the Spirit absent in this matter of endurance?

Revelation 19:6-7 --- "Hallelujah, you people, because Lord our God, the Almighty, has begun to rule as king. Let us rejoice and be overjoyed, and let us give him the glory, because the marriage of the Lamb has arrived and his wife has prepared herself."

The Holy Spirit is missing in the celestial praise.

Revelation 20:4 --- "Yes, I saw the souls of those executed with the ax for the witness they bore to Jesus and for speaking about God."

The Holy spirit is missing.

Revelation 20:6 --- "They will be priests of God and of the Christ, and will rule as kings with him for the thousand years."

The Holy Spirit is missing.

Revelation 21:22 --- "And I did not see a temple in it, for the LORD God the Almighty is its temple, also the Lamb [is]."

The Holy Spirit is missing as having any part in the temple.

Revelation 22:1 --- "And he showed me a river of water of life, clear as crystal, flowing out from the throne of God and of the Lamb."

The Holy Spirit is missing when clear opportunity is present to include it as part of the river of life.

Revelation 22:3 --- "But the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in [the city]."

The Holy Spirit is missing as any part of the throne.

Summary: The Trinity is missing from the Book of Revelation. The Holy Spirit does not appear in many circumstances in which a Trinitarian might find it. It also seems clear that the Lamb, or Jesus, is not God for a distinction is made between the two.

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THE MEANING OF THE WORD "WORSHIP"

REGARDING "PROSKUNEOO" [ προσκυνεω ] as obeisance ---

The criticism as been made of the New World Translation because it uses obeisance for one rendering of proskuneo suggesting "obeisance is not even correct English." The Dictionary of New Testament Theology, Vol 2, page 875 gives several meanings to this word: "worship, do obeisance to, prostrate oneself, do reverence to. ... The basic meaning of proskyneo, in the opinion of most scholars, is to kiss." Thus this scholarly work agrees that proskyneo may be rendered by the proper English word "obeisance."

Do other translations render proskyneo as "obeisance"? Compare Mt 8.2, RIEU: obeisance. Is it fair to really accuse, "this is an obvious, deliberate, mistranslation of the Bible"?

Regarding the English word "WORSHIP" what are the meanings of this word proskyneo which is said "to be equivalent of the word in English WORSHIP"? Is there a linguist who will state the root of the English "worship"?

1 Samuel 25.23 reads in the (Catholic) New Jerusalem Bible: "As soon as Abigail saw David, she quickly dismounted from the donkey and, falling on her face in front of David, prostrated herself on the ground. She fell at his feet." In Hebrew the phrase "prostrated herself" is SHaCHaH and means according to Strongs (#7812) "prostrate .... do obeisance." The Amplified version renders this "did obeisance." The New Catholic Edition renders the word, "adored upon the ground." The Greek word used in the Jewish Septuagint is PROSEKUNSEN.

In the context of a bride toward her husband, Psalm 45.11 reads in the King James Version: "So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy lord; and worship thou him." The word "worship" here is again the Hebrew SHaCHaH and the Greek PROSKUNESOUSIN. The Catholic New Jerusalem Bible renders the phrase: "he is your lord, bow down before him." The New Catholic Edition reads: "for he is your lord, and you must worship him" --- with a footnote, "Worship him: pay him homage and be submissive to him."

These two verses using proskuneo prove men, including husbands, were "worshipped" or bowed before in obeisance by women and wives. Both the Hebrew and Greek meaning "obeisance" or "homage" have limited meanings when applied to that respect shown men.

If you will research the Greek word proskuneo (Strongs # 4352 [before + kiss] to prostrate oneself) you will see it used of God (Mt 4.10), of Jesus (Mt 9.18), of men (Mt 18.26; Rev 3.9) as meaning "obeisance" or deep respect demonstrated by bowing and kissing the fringe of a garment. It is still practiced in parts of the Middle East and Arabia. Again, here is a word which may used in an absolute sense as well as a limited sense.

Perhaps the matter can be illustrated in this manner. Using the word "respect" we ask, does the word have degrees? And would these degrees manifest themselves differently? For example, a wife is commanded to respect her husband. The degree of respect may ascend depending on the object of respect: government authorities, "glorious ones," angels, Jesus, the Father of the Son.


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