DISCOURSE ON MAINSTREAM RELIGION:

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DISCOURSE ON MAINSTREAM RELIGION:

Post  Admin on Wed Nov 21, 2012 5:41 pm

DISCOURSE ON MAINSTREAM RELIGION:

INTRODUCTION:

Mainstream religion or the religion that is considered 'orthodox' in any era has varied tremendously with time. What one era or time or nation or group of nations considers mainstream religion varies greatly both with time and geography. In the western world, the Catholic Church and the groups that split from it, the eastern or Orthodox church, and Protestant groups are generally viewed as mainstream religion; whereas, in the eastern world, depending on area, the Islam Religion or the Hindu Religion is considered mainstream. Now one could wonder if the mainstream groups have anything in common? Or they correct in belief?

BIBLE POINTS TO SERIOUSLY CONSIDER:

In considering whether the mainstream groups of Christianity are correct in belief or in serious error, one needs to consider several scriptures in the new testament showing the Truth with respect what God (YHWH) has to say through inspired writers and then reflect back to how this would apply to mainstream Christianity to which most so called Christians belong. First let's consider both Luke 13:24 and Matthew 7:13-14, it is in both of these that the road followed by true believers would be narrow and cramped, Luke 13:24, "Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able." (Authorized King James Bible: AV); And Matthew 7:13-14, "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, abroad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." (AV); thereby, clearly showing few would be entering the narrow gate "which leadeth unto life." In reality, it will be difficult for even true Christians to enter as testified to at 1 Peter 4:18, "And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear." (AV). In order to enter, we must have the right sort of guide, Luke 1:79, "To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace." (AV). Now, if one picks the wrong group, just because it is popular or the so called 'one to belong to in a community' and not because of Bible Truths, there is an important warning given at Matthew 15:14, "Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch." (AV). In fact, being with the wrong group can mean you are NOT having fellowship with the Son of God, Jesus (Yeshua) as testified to at 1 John 1:6, "If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not [have] the truth." (AV). This danger is made abundantly clear at Luke 12:32 when Jesus (Yeshua) spoke of his true followers as a little flock and not a large one, "Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." (AV). Simply stated, his true followers will be relatively few in number which should cause all sincere individuals to question whether mainstream religion with its vast membership is heading for the narrow gate!

SATAN'S TRICK - FALSE DOCTRINE EVOLUTION:


Now do most mainstream religions through the ages have anything in common be they so called Christian or pagan? Absolutely, history shows that one mainstream religion evolved into another one while maintaining many of the beliefs of the one before it, but simply changing the name of the God(s). No where is this more self evident than with respect to the doctrine of the Trinity. In has been with us since at least the time of ancient Sumeria as shown by The historian H. W. F. Saggs explains that the Babylonian triad consisted of three gods of roughly equal rank. Their "inter-relationship is of the essence of their natures." Is this positive proof that the Christian trinity descended from the ancient Sumerian, Assyrian, and Babylonian triads? (*1). No. However, Hislop furthers the comparison: "In the unity of that One, Only God of the Babylonians there were three persons, and to symbolize that doctrine of the trinity they employed...the equilateral triangle, just as it is well known the Romish Church does at this day." (*2).

Yes, the concept of a trinity has been a prevailing belief for a very, very long time perhaps longer than most Christians would imagine. While worshipping innumerable minor deities, triads of gods appeared in all the ancient cultures of Sumer, Babylonia, Egypt, India, Greece and finally Rome. The "mysteries" of the first universal civilization, Babylonia, were transported down in time. The names of the gods changed. The details of ancient incomprehensible religions changed, but the essential ideas were the same. The Sumerians worshipped Anu (the Father), Enlil (the god of earth) and Enki (the lord of wisdom). The Egyptians worshipped Amun who was really three gods in one: Re was his face; Ptah his body and Amun his hidden identity "combined as three embodiments or aspects of one supreme and triune deity." (*4 - page 201).

Now with respect the next evolution of mainstream religion, the Egyptian, Egypt's history is nearly as old as Sumeria's. In his Egyptian Myths, George Hart shows how Egypt also believed in a "transcendental, above creation, and preexisting" one, the god Amun. Amun was really three gods in one. Re was his face; Ptah his body; and Amun his hidden identity (*3). The well-known historian Will Durant concurs: "In later days Ra [sic], Amon [sic], and Ptah were combined as three embodiments or aspects of one supreme and triune deity." (*4). A hymn to Amun written in the 14th century BC distinguishes the Egyptian trinity: "All Gods are three: Amun, Re, Ptah: they have no equal. His name is hidden as Amun, he is Re before [men], and his body is Ptah." (*5). Certainly is not this positive indicator that the Christian trinity descended from the ancient Egyptian triads? However, Durant submits that "from Egypt came the idea of a divine trinity..." (*6). Laing agrees when he says that "it is probable that the worship of the Egyptian triad Isis, Serapis, and the child Horus helped to familiarize the ancients with the idea of a triune God and was not without influence in the formulation of the doctrine of the trinity as set forth in the Nicene and Athanasian creeds." (*7). And The Encyclopedia of Religions goes even farther when it states that as Christianity "came in contact with the triune gods of Egypt and the Near East, it developed a trinity of its own." (* .

The next evolution or more correctly one concurrent with the Egyptian but originating also from the early Sumeria was the Babylonian. A very important evolution of spread originated from the Babylonian trinity that ultimately spread to Rome by way of the Etrusans. The Etruscans were a group that all indicators indicate as having originated in Babylon. As they slowly passed through Greece and went on to Rome, they brought with them their trinity of Tinia, Uni, and Menerva (*9). This trinity was a "new idea to the Romans," and yet it became so "typical of Rome [that] it was imitated in the capitolia of Italy. . . (*7 - page 26)" Even the names of the Roman trinity: Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva, reflect the ancestry. Is this positive proof that the Christian trinity descended from the Etruscan and Roman triads? No, but an extremely significant indicator of this fact. However, Dr. Gordon Laing convincingly devotes his entire book Survivals of the Roman Gods to the comparison of Roman Paganism and the Roman Catholic Church. (*7). Pelikan adds to Laing's work when he states that the early church fathers used and cited the Roman Sibylline Oracles so much that these were called "Sibyllists" by the 2nd century critic Celsus. (*10). There was even a medieval hymn, "Dies irae" which prophesied the coming of the day of wrath on the "dual authority of David and the Sibyl." (*10 - page 64-65).

Now let's consider the ancient Grecian world; And in order to fully understand it, we need to digress to gaining an understanding of the origins of the word Trinity and the two types that existed in the ancient world and evolved into the Trinity of mainstream so called Christian religions. First, the word trinity comes from the kemetic language. It consist actually of two words: hemt (three) and neter (which carries the concepts of gods). Therefore, Trinity defines a concept of three gods.

Ths pantheon of Gods is composed of two categories of Gods. We have the creator and self-created Gods on one side and the creator gods that are non autogenic on the other. The creator Gods that are self-created are those who form the first group of trinities. The gods that are not self-created then form the second group of trinities. The Gods of the second trinity exist only in the context of a group of Gods composed of a God-father, a Goddess-mother, and a God-son. They are somehow considered very close to the human nature. The original second group of trinities came from a story known as the holy drama, and is composed by a God-father called Wsr (Osiris) and a goddess-mother Aishat (Isthar or Isis) and the God-son Heru (Horus). It is the second group of trinities that taught humanity the concept of a family, giving a man and woman the idea of a spiritual union with the goal of procreation. We should observe that the importance of the trinities is such that they became a serious problem for the monotheistic religions that are stubbornly talking about the creation of the world by one single god while they are still maintaining the concept of a trinity.

The ancient Trinities of the Greek's were composed of the God-son Perseus, born from Zeus and Danae; Hercules born from Zeus and Alcmene; Apollo born from Zeus and Leto; Dionysos born from Zeus and Semele; Minos born from Zeus and Europe; Aesculapius born from Apollo and Coronis. (*11).

It if from an evolutionary merging of ancient Greek trinities and Roman trinities that in themselves partially evolved from the Greek, but with a precedence being taken by the Etruscans' of their trinity of Tinia, Uni, and Menerva. (*9). This trinity as previously mentioned, became the ancient Roman Trinity of Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva, which was campaigned by the mainstream religions of the empire of that era. Even the names of the gods in this Trinity reflect from whence it came. (*7). This one is of extreme importance to us of the modern era as it evolved into the Trinity of the mainstream so called Christian religions of today. This Trinity consisted of Jesus born from Yahweh and Mary. However, this new concept of trinities that is presented by the new Christian authorities only comes to add on the contradictions that were undermining the psychological stability of the human of the modern society. The Trinity of the modern time that the religions want us to accept is composed of a God-father, a God-son and a mother that is purely human and considered virgin. (*11).

However since the mother, the Virgin Mary, she is a human, she cannot be classified as a Goddess, and that will not complete the concept of trinity. In this evolution, the religious authorities had to use a little creativity to overcome this; the concept of personalizing the power or force of the supreme God (YHWH), Yahweh. To do this, something new had to enter the equation. What was this?

Whereas, the Gods of the first trinities stayed really far away from the philosophical and political arguments of the society, but the leaders used that fact to kind of drown them in the collective memory of the society. The world has been created in stages. The Gods of the first trinity are recognized by the fact that the first two of them have created the four elements (fire, air, water and matter) and the third God has used them to fashion and create everything that exists. The gods of the first trinity do not intervene in our daily lives, but they guarantee the harmony of the universe. They some-how occupy a very important place in the spiritual essence of anything that exists. By recognizing their exist-ence, we are illuminating the universal conscious on the makers of this world that we are trying to redefine. (*11).

At this point, we need to pause and regress a little. One may ask, How do we know these trinities are not just misrepresentations of the real threeness of God? (After all there were "flood stories" in every culture too reminiscent of the Genesis account.) Assyrian clay tablets now available have most strikingly confirmed the narrative of Scripture which give us revealing insight into our questions (*12). Where did the idea of a three-in-one God originate? After the flood, Nimrod a descendent of Noah's son Ham settled in Asia: "And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the LORD and the beginning of his kingdom was Babel out of that land went forth Asshur [mar., "he went out into Assyria"] and builded Nineveh" (Genesis 10:8-11). "Mighty hunter" was the title given to the great conquering warrior-monarchs of the time. In rebellion of God's command to disburse and people the earth, Nimrod built the Tower of Babel, became very powerful and was even worshipped. We now know the ancient Babylonians worshipped the first person in the Godhead, the Great Invisible, also the Spirit of God incarnate in the human mother and also the Divine Son. Nimrod was this "Son," the first king of Babel, Babylon. And so in this the first notion of a triune God was born. (*7).

In the immediate centuries before the advent of Jesus Christ, we see Plato even in his deeply philosophical mode proposing a trinity of sorts. ("The Supreme Reality appears in the trinitarian form of the Good, the Intelligence, and the World-Soul"). Through all cultures, this perversion of the truth about God was handed down. (*7).

One God (YHWH), One culture, however, escaped this corruption of truth. From the line of Shem, Noah's other son, Abraham was called out of "Ur of the Chaldees" (Genesis 11:31; 12:1,2), the ancient Babylonian empire. His descendants were given the revelation of God by Moses from Mount Sinai. "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD" (Deuteronomy 6:4). No Hebrew scripture supports the idea of a trinity god. Some verses have been pressed into use by Trinitarians, but without success. For example, in the creation account, Genesis says, "God [elohim, plural.] created the heavens and the earth" (1:1). However, the plural does not have to do with number; it is "plentitude of might" (Pentateuch & Haftorahs, The Soncino Press). In any case, the verb "created" is singular, and would not indicate two gods, let alone three. Even the New Catholic Encyclopedia admits that the doctrine of the Trinity is not taught in the Old Testament (Vol. XIV, 306). And the world renown "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia" says, under the article on the Trinity in it, "The term 'Trinity' is NOT a biblical term....In point of fact, the doctrine of the Trinity is a purely revealed doctrine...As the doctrine of the Trinity is indiscoverable by reason, so it is incapable of proof from reason." (*14).

While he walked the earth, Jesus clearly acknowledged, "My Father is greater than I" (*15) and that it was his Father who sent him, "He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me" (*16). He consistently acknowledged God as the source of power for his miracles and finally implored his Father, "yet not my will but thine be done." (*17) he be the one sent and also the Sender and why would he pray to himself that not his will but His other will be done? It seems the Trinitarians only answer, "It's a mystery"?

If the trinity is supposed to be an unexplainable "mystery," why do the apostles always talk about revealing mysteries to Christians? "I would not have you ignorant of this mystery [about Jewish blindness] (*1 the revelation of the mystery (*19) the mystery hidden God hath revealed (*20 1 Corinthians 2:7) Behold I show you a mystery (*21) "having made known the mystery of his will" (*22) "to make known the mystery of Christ" (*23) "make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory" (*24), etc. So how did the Christian Church accept a mystery of a trinity? This will be shown in the next part.

HISTORY OF POLITICAL INTRIGUE AND DECEIT THAT EVOLVED THE TRINITY INTO SO CALLED CHRISTIANITY:

To understand how the Trinity wormed its way into so called Christianity we need to know the political and social climate of the first three centuries after the passing of Jesus (Yeshua) and his apostles, and why true faith deteriorated into compromise; and then total acceptance by the mainstream so called Christian groups, not withstanding its violation of the Word of God, the Holy Bible. Now let's look at that period and try an insert ourselves mentally into it.

In the early church the apostles needed to refute another rising belief system gnosticism. It considered matter to be evil and sought salvation through knowledge. Gnosticism also focused on the "mysteries" meant only for the intellectuals to understand. Christ, the gnostics said, entered Jesus at baptism and left just before he died on the cross. The Apostle John particularly addressed this budding heresy: "Many false prophets, have gone forth into the world, You gain knowledge of the inspired expression from God by this: Every inspired expression that confesses Jesus Christ as having come in the flesh originates with God, but every inspired expression that does not confess Jesus does not originate with God. Furthermore, this is the anti-christ's [inspired expression] which you have heard was coming, and now it is already in the world." (*25). Jesus' humanity was repulsive to gnostics. After the Apostles died, Christians responded to gnosticism by claiming not only did Jesus Christ come in the flesh as the Son of God.

By the third and fourth centuries, Christians were weary of Pagan persecution. The temptation was to compromise. Besides, the Pagan emperor Constantine needed Christians to salvage his shaky empire. Constantine embraced; howbeit only on his deathbed. However, he saw Christianity as a tool he could use to firm up his shaky empire. To this opportunity for political intrigue, and happy blend of politics and people was the chief triumvirate of Roman gods Jupiter, Juno and Minerva. Jupiter was the principal deity of Roman mythology and Juno was the next highest divinity. Minerva, the "offspring of the brain of Jupiter" was regarded as the "personification of divine thought, the plan of the material universe of which Jupiter was the creator and Juno the representative" (26). Many Pagan ideas, in fact, were incorporated into Christianity. "Christianity did not destroy paganism; it adopted it" (*26).

Roman Emperor Constantine needed to make his subjects feel secure if he were to maintain control of the empire; he wanted to rule a unified empire, be it pagan and/or Christian. But first he would have to find a way to end the dispute over the divinity of Jesus-was he a man or God? So he ordered his Christian bishops to meet at Nicaea in 325 A.D. to settle the matter once and for all. To do this, "he made himself the head of the church, and thus the problems of the church became his responsibilities. As a whole the Western Empire with its Roman influence, with some exceptions, had accepted Tertullian and his new theory of the Trinity in the early part of the previous century, but in the East the church adhered more closely to the older formula of baptism in the name of Jesus, or Jesus the Christ. Especially was this true with the Armenians, who specified that baptism "into the death of Christ" was that which alone was essential (*28) .

Now let's see how Constantine got the Trinity. As previously shown, The Roman Empire at this time was being torn apart by religious differences between pagans, mostly Sun God worshippers, and Christianity. Constantine the Emporer was a worshipper of the Unconquered Sun, but he was a very pragmatic individual and saw the need to bring religious unity to his empire. The central doctrine of the pagans was the dogma of a Trinity that they had received from earlier pagans in Babylon (Chaldea). In this, the pagan Emperor, Constantine, saw a possibility for unifying his empire if he could only lead the majority of the Christians to accept a Trinity or a Duality. He knew however that he had to make them think it was their own idea. To this end, he, the Roman emperor Constantine summoned all bishops to Nicaea, about 300, but even though it was the emperor's direction, only a fraction actually attended.

This council went on for a very long time and the emperor worked behind the scene to get support for a Trinity or a Duality. This effort was not completely successful, but finally he got a majority and declared under imperial degree
that this hence forth would be the central doctrinal pillar of the Christian church, which by this time was apostate. Even with this declaration by the emperor himself not all bishops signed the creed. (*29).

So is was the political product of an apostate church, an apostate church that allowed a pagan Roman Emporer, Constantine, to tell it which dogma to accept at the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D., and then have it rammed down their throats as blessed dogma by another Roman Emporer, Theodosius, at the Council of Constantinople in 381 A.D. This in direct violation of God's (YHWH's) word found in the Bible " Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God." (James 4:4 AV), " If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you." (John 15:19 AV).
Their solution was to create a creed making it illegal for anyone to believe Jesus was not the same as God by inventing the notion of a Trinity. This intellectual tower remained in full force for well over a thousand years, until the Reformation. (*29).

Contrary to popular belief, it was not Constantine's fourth century Council of Nicea in A.D. 325 that formalized the "Doctrine of the Trinity." The Athanasian Creed in the fifth century finally included the three, "the godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost...the glory equal, the majesty co-eternal So likewise the Father is God, the Son is God and the Holy Ghost is God; and yet they are not three Gods, but one God." Furthermore, this creed added that belief in the trinity "is necessary to everlasting salvation." Strong belief led to action. "Probably more Christians were slaughtered by Christians in these two years ([A.D.]342-3) than by all the persecutions of Christians by pagans in the history of Rome." (*30).


The fact is Christianity never conquered paganism--paganism conquered Christianity. (*31).

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION OF DISCOURSE ON MAINSTREAM RELIGION:


The search for the origins of the Trinity begins with the earliest writings of man. Records of early Mesopotamian and Mediterranean civilizations show polytheistic religions, though many scholars assert that earliest man believed in one god. The 19th century scholar and Protestant minister, Alexander Hislop, devotes several chapters of his book The Two Babylons (*2) to showing how this original belief in one god was replaced by the triads of paganism which were eventually absorbed into Catholic Church dogmas. A more recent Egyptologist, Erick Hornung, refutes the original monotheism of Egypt: '[Monotheism is] a phenomenon restricted to the wisdom texts,' which were written between 2600 and 2530 BC (50-51); but there is no question that ancient man believed in 'one infinite and Almighty Creator, supreme over all' (*2); and in a multitude of gods at a later point. Nor is there any doubt that the most common grouping of gods was a triad. (*32).

As the apostles died, various writers undertook the task of defending Christianity against the persecutions evoked by the Church's expansion. (*10)
The most famous of these Apologists was Justin Martyr (c.107-166 AD). He was born a pagan, became a pagan philosopher, then a Christian. He believed that Christianity and Greek Philosophy were related. According to McGiffert, "Justin insisted that Christ came from God; he did not identify him with God. . . [He] conceiv[ed] of God as a transcendent being, who could not possibly come into contact with the world of men and things." (*10).

An exhaustive review of Scripture and history reveals the simple fact that the Trinity teaching was unknown to the early New Testament Christians. That the doctrine of the Trinity is a "borrowed doctrine" and foreign to the Scriptures is supported by many authorities. Under the article Trinity we read, "The term 'Trinity' is not a biblical term...In point of fact, the doctrine of the Trinity is a purely revealed doctrine...As the doctrine of the Trinity is indiscoverable by reason, so it is incapable of proof from reason" (*14).


As can readily be seen from the foregoing, even the concept of the Trinity came from the pagan world, and the Bible shows " In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." (*33) is trying to keep out the glorious gospel of Christ. Satan the Devil is slipping false dogma in its place. Do not be trapped by him, reject false dogma of the Trinity.

REFERENCES:

*1 - Saggs,H. W. F. "The Greatness that was Babylon: A Sketch of the Ancient Civilization of the Tigris-Euphrates Valley." New York: New American Library. 1968.
*2 - Hislop, Alexander. "The Two Babylons: Or, the Papal Worship." 1853. 2nd American ed. Neptune: Loizeaux. 1959.
*3 - Hart, George. "Egyptian Myths." Austin: U of Texas. 1990.
*4 - Durant, Will. "Our Oriental Heritage". New York: Simon. 1935. Vol. 1 of The Story of Civilization.11 vols. 1935-75. (page 201)
*5 - Hornung, Erik. "Conceptions of God in Ancient Egypt: The One and the Many." Trans. John Baines. Ithaca: Cornell UP. 1982.
*6 - Durant, Will. "Caesar and Christ." New York: Simon. 1944. Vol. 3 of The Story of Civilization. 11 vols. 1935-75. (page 595)
*7 - Laing, Gordon Jennings. "Survivals of Roman Religion.". New York: Cooper Square Publishers. 1963.
*8 - The Encyclopedia of Religions.
*9 - Carter, Jesse Benedict. "The Religious Life of Ancient Rome: A Study in the Development of Religious Consciousness, from the Foundation of the City Until the Death of Gregory the Great." New York: Cooper Square Publishers. 1972. (page 16-19).
*10 - Pelikan, Jaroslav. "The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition" (100-600). Chicago: U of Chicago P. 1971. Vol. 1 of "The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine." 5 vols.
*11 -
*11 - Morodenibig, Naba Lamoussa. "Light From the Trinities."
*12 - Edersheim Bible History (page 59-62).
*13 - New Catholic Encyclopedia, (Vol. XIV, 306).
*14 - International Encyclopedia of the Bible," Vol. 5, (page 3012).
*15 - The New Chain-Reference Bible, 4 th. Ed. (King James Bible), (page 116 in NT, John 14:29)
*16 - The Holy Bible (King James Bible), American Bible Society, NY (page 10 in NT, Matthew 10:40).
*17 - The Holy Bible, The Douay Version of the OT-The Confraternity Edition of the NT, John C. Winton Co., Philadelphia, Pa., (page 109 in NT, St. Luke 22:42).
*18 - The Holy Bible, The Douay Version of the OT-The Confraternity Edition of the NT, John C. Winton Co., Philadelphia, Pa., (page 205 in NT, Romans 11:25).
*19 - The Holy Bible, The Douay Version of the OT-The Confraternity Edition of the NT, John C. Winton Co., Philadelphia, Pa., (page 210 in NT, Romans 16:25)
*20 - The Holy Bible, The Douay Version of the OT-The Confraternity Edition of the NT, John C. Winton Co., Philadelphia, Pa., (page 213 in NT, 1 Corinthians 2:7).
*21 - The Holy Bible, The Douay Version of the OT-The Confraternity Edition of the NT, John C. Winton Co., Philadelphia, Pa., (page 227 in NT,1 Corinthians 15:51).
*22 - The New Chain-Reference Bible, 4 th. Ed. (King James Bible), (page 202 in NT, Ephesians 1:9).
*23 - The New Chain-Reference Bible, 4 th. Ed. (King James Bible), (page 206 in NT, Ephesians 6:19).
*24 - The New Chain-Reference Bible, 4 th. Ed. (King James Bible), (page 210 in NT, Colossians 1:27).
*25 - New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, 1984 revision, (pages 1517 and 1519, 1 John 7; also 1 John 4:1-3).
*26 - McClintock & Strong's Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature, Vol. 6
*27 - Lamson, Newton & Durant, Will, "Caesar and Christ," cited from Charles Redeker Caesar and Christ, W. Duran (page 595).
*28 - ENCYLOPEDIA BRITANNICA, 11th Edition, Vol. 3, (page 366).
*29 - Payne, Robert, "The Holy Fire: The Story of the Early Centuries of the Christian Churches in the Near East" (1957); BETHUNE-BAKER, J,F. "An Introduction to the Early History of Christian Doctrine". Methuen; 5th Ed., 1933 and ENCYLOPEDIA BRITANNICA, 11th Edition, Vol. 3, (page 366); David, Francis and Blandrata, Georgio, "De falsa et vera unius Dei Patris, Filii, et Spiritus Sancti cognitone" [Latin](The False and True Knowledge of the Unity of God the Father, Son, and Holy spirit), 1566 A.D.; Eklof, Todd F., "David's Francis Tower, Strength through Peace," (06-16-02); The New Encyclopedia Britannica: " Micropædia, Vol. X, p. 126. (1976); Parkes, James, "The Foundation of Judaism and Christianity," 1960; Durant, Will. "Caesar and Christ." New York: Simon. 1944. Vol. 3 of The Story of Civilization. 11 vols. 1935-75.
*30 - Durant, Will, "Age of Faith,"
*31 - Jonas, Hans, "The Gnostic religion: the message of the alien God and the beginnings of Christianity," 2nd ed., 1963.
*32 - Hagensick, Cher-El L, "The Origin of the Trinity: From Paganism to Constantine."
*33 - The Holy Bible (King James Bible), American Bible Society, NY (page 185, 2 Corinthians 4:4).

APPENDIX TO DISCOURSE ON MAINSTREAM RELIGION:


(1) it wasn't until the Council of Nicea that Babylonian paganism became the official doctrine of "modern" Christianity. [The Foundation of Judaism and Christianity, James Parkes, 196

(2) It is customary in Trinitarian language to speak of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. These are assumed to be proper titles, and used extensively. Yet in the Scriptures only one of these appears, "God the Father," and that not as a title, but an expression denoting that God is the Father. "There is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things ... and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things" (1 Corinthians 8:6). The term appears 11 times in the New Testament. By contrast, the terms "God the Son" and "God the Holy Spirit" appear zero times.


(3) Will Durant, the popular Catholic historian of our day, wrote: "Christianity did not destroy paganism; it adopted it ... pagan cultures contributed to the syncretist results. From Egypt came the ideas of a divine trinity ... [Caesar and Christ, page 595) (Lamson, Newton & Durant cited from Charles Redeker, To Us there is One God, June 197 ]

(4) When Constantine succeeded in becoming sole emperor of Rome in A.D. 324, he publicly embraced Christianity. Politically, he saw Christianity as an effective tool of unifying his domain and therefore viewed the Arian controversy as a significant threat to his goal. To solve the problem, in 325 he convened the first ecumenical council of Christendom since Bible days, paying for the delegates to come to the town of Nicea, near the imperial residence. [The FORWARD magazine, January - March 1996, volume 28, No. 1]

(5) It was of great importance in Christian and even in world history," wrote historian W.H.C. Frend about the first Council of Nicea. In Christian history, the doctrine of Christ's divinity (a doctrine essential and unique to Christianity) was formally affirmed for the first time. In world history, never before had the entire church gathered to determine policy and doctrine (let alone at the bidding of the Roman emperor).The follow article, written by the late writer and biographer Robert Payne (d. 1983), is excerpted and adapted from his "The Holy Fire: The Story of the Early Centuries of the Christian Churches in the Near East" (1957).

A - It was at the Council of Nicea, in 325 AD that the Roman Sun-day or day of the Sun was declared to be the Christian Sabbath along with the worship of the sun being the official state religion.

B - It was at the Council of Nicea, in 325 AD that the emblem of the Sun god, the cross of light, was adopted as the emblem of Christianity. ....

(6) Around the start of the 4th Century AD, The Roman Empire was governed by the Emperor Constantine. The Empire at this time was not in the best of health, being a morass of different cults and belief systems. The official state religion was the worship of Sol Invictus, the Sun God, and this was Constantine's own religion. However, the relatively new cult, as it then was, of Christianity was starting to enjoy a groundswell of support, and it did not require much thought to see that steps needed to be taken if Rome's tenuous grip on the Empire was to be strengthened. [British Broadcasting Corp., http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A307487]

(7) CONSTANT1NE was faced with a very difficult problem when he became Emperor of the Roman Empire in 313 A.D., for he made himself the head of the church, and thus the problems of the church became his responsibilities. As a whole the Western Empire with its Roman influence, with some exceptions, had accepted Tertullian and his new theory of the Trinity in the early part of the previous century, but in the East the church adhered more closely to the older formula of baptism in the name of Jesus, or Jesus the Christ. Especially was this true with the Armenians, who specified that baptism "into the death of Christ" was that which alone was essential [ENCYLOPEDIA BRITANNICA, 11th Edition, Vol. 3, page 366]

( "The three-in-one/one-in-three mystery of Father, Son and Holy Ghost made tritheism official. The subsequent almost-deification of the Virgin Mary made it quatrotheism . . . Finally, cart-loads of saints raised to quarter-deification turned Christianity into plain old-fashioned polytheism. By the time of the Crusades, it was the most polytheistic religion to ever have existed, with the possible exception of Hinduism. This untenable contradiction between the assertion of monotheism and the reality of polytheism was dealt with by accusing other religions of the Christian fault. The Church - Catholic and later Protestant - turned aggressively on the two most clearly monotheistic religions in view - Judaism and Islam - and persecuted them as heathen or pagan. The external history of Christianity consists largely of accusations that other religions rely on the worship of more than one god and therefore not the true God. These pagans must therefore be converted, conquered and/or killed for their own good in order that they benefit from the singularity of the Holy Trinity, plus appendages." - {The Doubter's Companion (John Ralston Saul)}

(9)To Jesus and Paul the doctrine of the trinity was apparently unknown; . . . they say nothing about it." - [Yale University Professor E. Washburn Hopkins: Origin and Evolution of Religion.]

(10)As early as the 8th century, the Theologian St. John of Damascus frankly admitted what every modern critical scholar of the NT now realizes: that neither the Doctrine of the Trinity nor that of the 2 natures of Jesus Christ is explicitly set out in scripture. In fact, if you take the record as it is and avoid reading back into it the dogmatic definitions of a later age, you cannot find what is traditionally regarded as orthodox Christianity in the Bible at all." - [Tom Harpur states, For Christ's Sake. ]

(11) Historian Arthur Weigall: "Jesus Christ never mentioned such a phenomenon, and nowhere in the New Testament does the word 'Trinity' appear. The idea was only adopted by the Church three hundred years after the death of our Lord." - [Historian Arthur Weigall: The Paganism in Our Christianity ]

(12) Neither the word Trinity, nor the explicit doctrine as such, appears in the New Testament, nor did Jesus and his followers intend to contradict the Shema in the Old Testament: 'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord' -- Deut. 6:4
. . . The doctrine developed gradually over several centuries and through many controversies . . . By the end of the 4th century . . . the doctrine of the Trinity took substantially the form it has maintained ever since." -[The New Encyclopedia Britannica: " Micropædia, Vol. X, p. 126. (1976) ]

(13) The formulation 'one God in three Persons' was not solidly established, certainly not fully assimilated into Christian life and its profession of faith, prior to the end of the 4th century. But it is precisely this formulation that has first claim to the title the Trinitarian dogma. Among the Apostolic Fathers, there had been nothing even remotely approaching such a mentality or perspective." [The New Catholic Encyclopedia states: "- (1967), Vol. XIV, p. 299. ]

(14) The Encyclopedia Americana: "Christianity derived from Judaism and Judaism was strictly Unitarian [believing that God is one person]. The road which led from Jerusalem to Nicea was scarcely a straight one. Fourth century Trinitarianism did not reflect accurately early Christian teaching regarding the nature of God; it was, on the contrary, a deviation from this teaching." -[ The Encyclopedia Americana: " (1956), Vol. XXVII, p. 294L. ]

(15) The Nouveau Dictionnaire Universel, "The Platonic trinity, itself merely a rearrangement of older trinities dating back to earlier peoples, appears to be the rational philosophic trinity of attributes that gave birth to the three hypostases or divine persons taught by the Christian churches . . . This Greek philosopher's [Plato, fourth century B.C.E.] conception of the divine trinity . . . can be found in all the ancient [pagan] religions." -[ The Nouveau Dictionnaire Universel, " (Paris, 1865-1870), edited by M. Lachâtre, Vol. 2, p. 1467.]

(16) "The belief as so defined was reached only in the 4th and 5th centuries AD and hence is not explicitly and formally a biblical belief. The trinity of persons within the unity of nature is defined in terms of "person" and "nature: which are Gk philosophical terms; actually the terms do not appear in the Bible. The trinitarian definitions arose as the result of long controversies in which these terms and others such as "essence" and "substance" were erroneously applied to God by some theologians." [Dictionary of the Bible by John L. McKenzie, S.J. p. 899 ]

(17) "Anyone who can worship a trinity and insist that his religion is a monotheism can believe anything." - [Robert A. Heinlein]

First, From http://www.convert.org/differ.htm GOD Judaism insists on a notion of monotheism, the idea that there is one God. As Judaism understands this idea, God cannot be made up of parts, even if those parts are mysteriously united. The Christian notion of Trinitarianism is that God is made up of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Such a view, even if called monotheistic because the three parts are, by divine mystery, only one God, is incompatible with the Jewish view that such a division is not possible. The Jewish revolutionary idea is that God is one. This idea allows for God's unity and uniqueness as a creative force. Thus, for Jews, God is the creator of all that we like and all that we don't. There is no evil force with an ability to create equal to God's. Judaism sees Christianity's Trinitarianism as a weakening of the idea of God's oneness. Jews don't have a set group of beliefs about the nature of God; therefore, there is considerable, and approved, debate within Judaism about God. However, all mainstream Jewish groups reject the idea of God's having three parts. Indeed, many Jews see an attempt to divide God as a partial throwback, or compromise with, the pagan conception of many gods.

Second, Why was the Trinity adopted and for what reason? To understand we need to look at the conditions of the Roman Empire in the early 4 th. Century. The Roman Empire at this time was being torn apart by religious differences between pagans, mostly Sun God worshippers, and Christianity. Constantine the Emporer was a worshipper of the Unconquered Sun, but he was a very pragmatic individual and saw the need to bring religious unity to his empire. The central doctrine of the pagans was the dogma of a Trinity that they had received from earlier pagans in Babylon (Chaldea). In this, the pagan Emperor, Constantine, saw a possibility for unifying his empire if he could only lead the majority of the Christians to accept a Trinity or a Duality. He knew however that he had to make them think it was their own idea. To this end, he, the Roman emperor Constantine summoned all bishops to Nicaea, about 300, but even though it was the emperor's direction, only a fraction actually attended.

This council went on for a very long time and the emperor worked behind the scene to get support for a Trinity or a Duality. This effort was not completely successful, but finally he got a majority and declared under imperial degree that this hence forth would be the central doctrinal pillar of the Christian church, which by this time was apostate. Even with this declaration by the emperor himself not all bishops signed the creed.

So is was the political product of an apostate church, an apostate church that allowed a pagan Roman Emporer, Constantine, to tell it which dogma to accept at the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D., and then have it rammed down their throats as blessed dogma by another Roman Emporer, Theodosius, at the Council of Constantinople in 381 A.D. This in direct violation of God's (YHWH's) word found in the Bible " Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God." (James 4:4 AV), " If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you." (John 15:19 AV).

(18) Jamieson, Fausett and Brown, volume 6, page 643, regarding I John 5:7 "The only Greek manuscripts, in any form which support the words 'in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth...' are the Montfortianus of Dublin, copied evidently from the modern Latin Vulgate; the Ravianus copied from the Complutensian Polyglot; a manuscript at Naples, with the words added in the margin by a recent hand; Ottobonianus, 298, of the 15th century, the Greek of which is a mere translation of the accompanying Latin. All old versions omit the words."

(19) World Book Encyclopedia, volume 19, page 363 "Trinity - is a term used of God to express the belief that in the one God there are three divine persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (or Holy Ghost). The idea of trinity is drawn from the teaching of Christ as recorded in the New Testament. Belief in Father, Son and Holy Spirit was first defined by the earliest general council of churches. This was the First Council of Nicaea in 325. This council declared that the Spirit is of the same substance as the Father. The Eastern and Western branches of the church later disagreed as to how the Holy Spirit proceeds from the other divine Persons. The Eastern Church held that the Spirit comes from the Father and the Son comes from the Father through the Spirit. The Western Church held that the Spirit comes from the Father and Son together. Most Christians believe that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have equal power and glory. Each has His own activity. The Father creates; the Son saves souls; and the Spirit makes holy."

(20) From Funk and Wagnalls New Encyclopedia, 1972, volume 23, page 291 "Trinity - in Christian theology, doctrine, according to the Book of Common Prayer that in 'unity of the Godhead there be three Persons, of one substance, power, and eternity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost'. The most elaborate statement of the doctrine is to be found in the Athanasian Creed, which asserts that 'the Catholic faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity, neither confounding the persons nor dividing the substance, for there is one person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost is all one; the glory equal; the majesty coeternal.' "The term Trinitas was first used, in the second century, by the Christian ecclesiastical writer Tertullian, but the concept took form only in the debates on Christology. It was not until the progress of opposing parties sought, on the one hand, to degrade the divine dignity of Christ (Ebionitism in its various forms and Arianism) or, on the other hand, to confound the personality of Christ with God the Father, that the Church was led to define in the Nicaean Creed the relation of the Son to the Father and further, in the Nicaeno-Constantinopolitan Creed, the relation of the Holy Ghost to the Father."

(21) From Sacred Origins of Profound Things, by Charles Panati, pages 302-306 "Among the three great monotheistic religions, only Christianity embraces the Trinitarian Creed: the coexistence of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit in a single Godhead, distinctly different, yet one and the same." "One might ask - as Jews and Muslims repeatedly have - isn't it cheating for a religion to be monotheistic if it recognizes three distinctly different Gods? Three Gods; three different names; three different functions: the Creator, the Redeemer, the Sanctifier. Should, Muslims suggested, this not be called 'tritheism'? "Significantly, the Christian books of the Bible - the Gospels, Acts, Epistles (or letters), Revelation, and the Apocrypha ('things that are hidden') - make no explicit reference to a three-fold Godhead. "Nor did Jesus, a Jew, perhaps with rabbinic training, violate the Judaic motto - 'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord' - in his teachings. "God the Father does mention God the Son in the New Testament, and the Son in turn mentions the Father and the Holy Spirit. The outline of a trinity is there, but it is never clearly delineated "Early in the fourth century, the Trinitarian controversy heated to the high point of heresy, pitting two theologians, Athanasius and Arius, against each other and drawing concern from the Roman emperor Constantine himself who had warmed up to Christianity and would eventually convert. "Today, Arius' name is a byword for heresy: the Arian Heresy. "Back in 320, Arius, who knew Scripture inside and out - and was a skilled propagandist and musician - insisted that Christ, the Word, Logos could only be a creature like ourselves, created by God. When he put his ideas to music and sang songs of Christ's second-rank status to God, thousands of ordinary Christians, once content in their monotheism, became aware of the passionate debate raging among bishops. "Christian bishops gathered at Nicaea on May 20, 325, convening the Council of Nicaea, which, after much acrimonious contention, decided upon the crucial formula for the Trinitarian doctrine, setting it forth in a credo, the Nicaean Creed. The Son, it declared, is 'of the same essence as the Father.' The creed said troublingly little about the Holy Spirit. "In fact, the entire lengthy creed, as first written, wrestles with logic and common sense to equate Father and Son, giving nod to the Holy Spirit only in the last passing line: 'And we believe in the Holy Ghost.' "The controversy raged on for some years. Later the Nicaean Creed was revised under the leadership of Basil, bishop of Caesarea. It was altered to end 'We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father'.

(22) "Thus, the concept of the Trinity did not take its present form until some 400 years after Christ's death." From Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, revised by Ivor H. Evans, page 1101.

(23) "The Trinity - the three Persons in one God - God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. "And in this Trinity none is afore, or after other; none is greater or less than another; but the whole three Persons are co-eternal together; and co-equal. The Athanasian Creed "The term triad was first used by Theophilus of Antioch (c. 180) for this concept; the term Trinity was introduced by Tertullian about 217 in his treatise Adversus Praxean." From Hastings Bible Dictionary, volume 12, page 458

(24) From the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, volume 4, page 3012-3014, "The term 'Trinity' is not a Biblical term and we are not using Biblical language when we define what is expressed by it as the doctrine that there is one only and true God, but in the unity of the Godhead there are three coeternal and coequal Persons, the same in substance but distinct in subsistence. A doctrine so defined can be spoken of as a Biblical doctrine only on the principle that the sense of Scripture is Scripture. And the definition of a Biblical doctrine in such un-Biblical language can be justified only on the principle that it is better to preserve the truth of Scripture than the words of Scripture.
"...the doctrine of the Trinity is given to us in Scripture, not in formulated doctrine, but in fragmentary allusions.
"The doctrine of the Trinity is purely a revealed doctrine. That is to say, it embodies a truth which has never been discovered, and is indiscoverable, by natural reason.
"Triads of divinities, no doubt, occur in nearly all polytheistic religions, formed under very various influences. Sometimes, as in the Egyptian triad of Osiris, Isis and Horus, it is the analogy of the human family with its father, mother and son which lies at their basis. Sometimes they are the effect of mere syncretism, three deities worshipped in different localities being brought together in the common worship of all.
"Sometimes they are the result apparently of nothing more than odd human tendency to think in threes, which has given the number three wide-spread standing as a sacred number.
"It should be needless to say that none of these triads has the slightest resemblance to the Christian doctrine of the Trinity.
"As the doctrine of the Trinity is indiscoverable by reason, so it is incapable of proof from reason. There are no analogies to it in Nature, not even in the spiritual nature of man, who is made in the image of God. In His Trinitarian mode of being, God is unique; and, as there is nothing in the universe like Him in this respect, so there is nothing which can help us to comprehend Him. Many attempts have, nevertheless, been made to construct a rational proof of the Trinity of the Godhead.
"Certainly we cannot speak broadly of the revelation of the doctrine of the Trinity in the Old Testament. It is a plain matter of fact that none who have depended on the revelation embodied in the Old Testament alone have ever attained to the doctrine of the Trinity.
"It would seem clear that we must recognize in the Old Testament doctrine of the relation of God to His revelation by the creative Word and the Spirit, at least the germ of the distinctions in the Godhead afterward fully made known in the Christian revelation."

(25) "Trinity: Because the Trinity is such an important part of later Christian doctrine, it is striking that the term does not appear in the New Testament. Likewise, the developed concept of three coequal partners in the Godhead found in later creedal formulations cannot be clearly detected within the confines of the canon.
"Later believers systematized the diverse references to God, Jesus and the Spirit found in the New Testament in order to fight against heretical tendencies of how the three are related. Elaboration on the concept of a Trinity also serves to defend the church against charges of di- or tritheism. Since the Christians have come to worship Jesus as god (Pliny, Epistles 96.7), how can they claim to be continuing the monotheistic tradition of the God of Israel? Various answers are suggested, debated, and rejected as heretical, but the idea of a Trinity - one God subsisting in three persons and one substance - ultimately prevails.
"While the New Testament writers say a great deal about God, Jesus, and the Spirit of each, no New Testament writer expounds on the relationship among the three in the detail that later Christian writers do.
"The earliest New Testament evidence for a tripartite formula comes in 2 Corinthians 13:14, where Paul wishes that 'the grace of the Lord Jesus, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit' be with the people of Corinth. It is possible that this three-part formula derives from later liturgical usage and was added to the text of 2 Corinthians as it was copied. In support of the authenticity of the passage, however, it must be said that the phrasing is much closer to Paul's understandings of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit than to a more fully developed concept of the Trinity. Jesus, referred to not as Son, but as Lord and Christ, is mentioned first and is connected with the central Pauline theme of grace. God is referred to as a source of love, not as father, and the Spirit promotes sharing within the community. The word 'holy' does not appear before 'spirit' in the earliest manuscript evidence for this passage." From The Oxford Companion to the Bible, edited by Bruce M Metzger and Michael D Coogan, page 782.

(26)McClintock and Strong's Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature, "proves only that there are the three subjects named, . . . but it does not prove, by itself, that all the three belong necessarily to the divine nature, and possess equal divine honor."

(27) "Trinity - this word is not used in the Bible. It is the name given to the statements about God in the creeds drawn up in the early centuries of the church to explain what is meant by saying that God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This is the teaching of Jesus and the New Testament as a whole. From earliest times it was stated at every Christian baptism.
"The Jewish teaching was that there is only one God. No one and nothing must compromise that belief. Yet the New Testament writers clearly show God as the Father who created and sustained everything in his love and power, as the Son who came into this world, and as the Spirit who worked in their own lives.
"After the end of the New Testament period the church found it necessary to work out carefully worded statements about three persons in one God, in order to uphold the truth of the New Testament against false beliefs." From The Lion Encyclopedia of the Bible, page 158.

(24) The Trinitarian dogma, The Cyclopoedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature, New York 1871, by John M'Clintock and James Strong, Vol. II, page 560-561, states, "We worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; neither confounding the persons, nor dividing the substance. For there is one person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost is all one: the glory equal, the majesty coeternal. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Ghost.....The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Ghost eternal...So likewise the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Ghost almighty...So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God. And yet there are not three Gods, but one God...The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone; not made, nor created, but begotten. The Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the Son; neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding...And in this Trinity none is afore or after other; none is greater or less than another. But the whole three persons are coeternal together, and coequal. So that in all things, as is afore said, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped. He therefore that will be saved must thus think of the Trinity." [this is the Athanasian Creed quoted in the above mentioned Cyclopoedia].

(25) Ralph Martin, in The Epistle of Paul to the Philippians, says of the original Greek: "It is questionable, however, whether the sense of the verb can glide from its real meaning of 'to seize', 'to snatch violently' to that of 'to hold fast.'" The Expositor's Greek Testament also says: "We cannot find any passage where [har•pa'zo] or any of its derivatives has the sense of 'holding in possession,' 'retaining'. It seems invariably to mean 'seize,' 'snatch violently'. Thus it is not permissible to glide from the true sense 'grasp at' into one which is totally different, 'hold fast.'" From the foregoing it is apparent that the translators of versions such as the Douay and the King James are bending the rules to support Trinitarian ends. Far from saying that Jesus thought it was appropriate to be equal to God, the Greek of Philippians 2:6, when read objectively, shows just the opposite, that Jesus did not think it was appropriate. The context of the surrounding verses (3-5, 7, 8, Dy) makes it clear how verse 6 is to be understood. The Philippians were urged: "In humility, let each esteem others better than themselves." Then Paul uses Christ as the outstanding example of this attitude: "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus." What "mind"? To 'think it not robbery to be equal with God'? No, that would be just the opposite of the point being made! Rather, Jesus, who 'esteemed God as better than himself,' would never 'grasp for equality with God,' but instead he "humbled himself, becoming obedient unto death." Surely, that cannot be talking about any part of Almighty God. It was talking about Jesus Christ, who perfectly illustrated Paul's point here-namely the importance of humility and obedience to one's Superior and Creator, Jehovah God.


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