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Apostolic Collections

Apostolic Collections

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Published by Ross
Here's a great collection of articles that will be enjoyed by all who love the Apostolic and Pentecostal preaching. Most of these have not been released to the public. God bless every in Jesus' name.
Here's a great collection of articles that will be enjoyed by all who love the Apostolic and Pentecostal preaching. Most of these have not been released to the public. God bless every in Jesus' name.

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Published by: Ross on Oct 23, 2013
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03/20/2014

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THE ORIGIN OF THE TRINITY
I. TRINITY ORIGINS
 
THE ANTIQUITY OF PAGAN TRINITIES THROUGHOUT THE WORLD
This article will propose to examine the philosophical and pagan origins of the Trinityand its early development. Pagan pantheons (national families of gods) of the variousethnic gods will be compared, and triads (sets of three gods) in these pantheons will beexamined for specific trinitarian qualities. The antiquity of the Babylonian pantheon, andits subsequent influence upon the various pantheons, is pointed out.The idea of the Greek “Logos” (Word), a secondary, derived messenger god, is seen inthe ancient pantheons of the nations with a clear differentiation observed between the pagan-philosophical use of the term “logos” (word), and the Hebrew understanding of theterm in their writings up to the time of Philo, the Jewish priest-philosopher of Alexandria.The gnostic influence of the Greek and neoplatonic philosophers upon the architects of the Christian Trinity is emphasized, especially the critical role of Philo in thedevelopment of the
Logos
 
doctrine
, which is a keystone doctrine of trinitarian theology.The Catholic fathers of the Trinity are identified, and comments will be made upon thecomparative, developmental trinitarian theology among them.Theological concepts developed by early trinitarians will be noted. One such example is
subordinationism
, a fatal flaw of trinitarian theology, which forever subordinates JesusChrist to the status of a secondary, derived God.The antiquity of the Trinity is not denied. On the contrary, the Trinity doctrine has takenmany millennia to develope, and is yet in the process of change.Our study will show that the Trinity is actually of pagan, philosophical ancestry, and wasengrafted onto, and accomodated to, Christian theology.Many scholars in comparative religion and mythology have found common relationshipsand attributes among the various pantheons.Alexander Hislop, in his TWO BABYLONS, seems to trace the various mythologies back to a common heritage. Hislop pointed out the antiquity of the theological concept of the Trinity by giving examples of pagan trinities in Siberia, Japan, and India. He notedthat the recognition of the Trinity was “universal in all the ancient nations of the world”.He went so far as to say that “the supreme divinity in almost all heathen nations wastriune”. While Hislop was attempting to prove that mankind has always believed in a“trinity”, he also unwittingly shows the pagan origins of the idea of a “trinity”.
 
NO TEACHING OF A TRINITY IN OLD TESTAMENT JUDAISM
Arthur Wainwright can find no doctrine remotely resembling the doctrine of the Trinitytaught in Judaism, the ancestor of Christianity, until the time of Philo in the first centuryAD. And we know that Philo, even though he was a Jewish priest, was heavily influenced by Greek pagan thought.The idea of a “plural” God was far from the Hebrew mind. The non-canonical book of Jubilees (second century BC) alters the plural verb of Genesis 1.26, in conformity withGenesis 1.27, stating, “And after all this he created man, a man and a woman, created hethem” (Jubilees 2.14).Both the Palestinian Targum and the Jerusalem Targum maintain that God was addressingthe angels in Genesis 3.22 and in Genesis 11.7.The Jews, who, after all, wrote the Old Testament under the inspiration of the Spirit,themselves refute the presence of any “Trinity” in Genesis.
VARIOUS ANCIENT PAGAN TRIADS
The pagan idea of a
triad
is very old. Sumerians, according to Morris Jastrow, paidhomage to a triad of El-lil, “god or lord of the storm”, Ea, “water deity” of Eridu on thePersian Gulf, and Anu, sun god of Ur-uk.El-lil, was called “the father of Sumer” (“Shinar”), and “chief of gods”, “creator andsustainer of life”. The universe was apparently up among these three “pre-eminent”deities.Later, Marduk, the “firstborn” of Ea, and the patron deity of Babylon, is made “god of theearth”,and his symbol, oddly enough, is the dragon. He was called “Bel” or “Baal” (lord).Ashur, the god of the Assyrian capital was a “sun god”, and his consort or wife wasIshtar, the “great mother” goddess of Nineveh, a city founded by Ninus or Nimrod.Ishtar, known as Ashtoreth to the Phoenicians, and Astarte to the Greeks, was often portrayed riding on a lion. She was called the daughter of the moon, and identified inastrology as the Roman Venus (“goddess of love”). She was also known as Nana or Madonna (Lady).Morris Jastrow tells us that the Mother Goddess was quite common throughout theMiddle east. She was brought from Asia minor to Rome with the hope that her statue(idol) might save the Roman state from the Carthaginians.Ishtar has a bloody history as a goddess. She was reputedly the murderer of her consortTammuz (variously known as Baal, Adonis, the Egyptian Osiris, the Greek Bacchus, or simply Nimrod). Queen Semiramis later brought forth an illegitimate son, which sheclaimed was Nimrod resurrected. He was called El-Bar, or “God the Son”, and “theBranch of Cush”. Thus was formulated one of the ancient triadic patterns of “father,mother, son”The early triadic pattern is noted in connection with the construction of the Tower of Babel. Diodorus Siculus, in his Bibliotheca, relates that in the topmost completed story of the Tower was placed the images of three gods.
 
Franz Cumont tells us that triads were very common in the religion of the Chaldeans. TheBabylonian triad became the Syrian triad of Hadad, Atargatis, and Simios. In Rome, thistriad was Jupiter, Venus, and Mercury. Not only did the triadic pattern of deity spreadthroughout the world, but Cumont remarks on the continuing influence of the Babylonian priesthood after the fall of Babylon from political leadership.The system of the Babylonian priests affected many other countries worldwide (e.g., theDruids of England and Europe).
SOME PAGAN TRINITIES SIMILAR IN STRUCTURE TO THE CATHOLICTRINITY
Trinitarians today may argue that the pagan trinities were completely different from themodel of the Christian Trinity. But some pagan triads have models which are surprisinglyfamiliar. For example, the Hindu Trinity:The conception most closely linked with Vedism and Brahmanism is that of the HinduTrinity, the Trimurti. ‘The Absolute manifests himself in three persons, Brahma theCreator, Vishnu the Preserver, and Shiva the Destroyer’. The syllable we write as om, butwhich is in reality made up of three words, ‘a’, ‘u’, and ‘m’, (which) is the symbol of thistrinity.-Asiatic MythologyAnd the Egyptian triad of the sun god was “one god expressed in three persons”. He wasknown as the “noonday sun” (Ra), “the evening sun” (Tum), and “the dawning sun”(Khepera). The sun god reportedly said, “Lo! I am Khepera at dawn, Ra at high noon, andTum at eventide”. He was one god in three distinct persons. And so it is not correct to saythat the pagan trinities do not resemble the Christian Trinity, insofar as the structure goes.
II TRINITARIAN DEVELOPMENT
 
NEO-PLATONIC SCHOOL INDEBTED TO BABYLONIAN WISDOM
The ancient Greeks were very impressed with the wisdom of the Babylonians. FranzCumont said, “Philosophy claimed more and more to derive its inspiration from thefabulous wisdom of Chaldea (Babylon) and Egypt”.According to Cumont, the “entire
neo-platonic school
is heavily indebted to theChaldeans (Babylonians)”. It was the neo-platonic school of philosophy which influencedthe Catholic fathers, Justin Martyr, Clement of Alexandria, and Origen.Porphyry reveals that the neo-platonists had incorporated Babylonian and Persiandemonology into their philosophical system.
PLATO CONVEYED THE IDEA OF A MESSENGER GOD (LOGOS) TO THECATHOLIC FATHERS
Plato, the famed Greek philosopher, greatly influenced the Catholic fathers. He wasacquainted with Babylonian wisdom, and had traveled to Babylonia, Israel, and Egypt.Plato advocated the idea of a secondary messenger god, representing the unknown primary god, who remained impassible (unable to suffer or to feel pain) and unknowable.This being was called the
Logos
(“the Word”).

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