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No Other Name

No Other Name

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Published by A. Herald
Why is the name of Jesus superior to all other names or titles? With such profound truth in mind, consider the emphatic and unequivocal declaration of Peter concerning him, whose name is above every name (Act4:12): Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name (Jesus) under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. We can safely conclude that salvation is in no other name, but Jesus Christ only, and not in the erroneous Trinity of persons declared by the Council of Chalcedon.
Why is the name of Jesus superior to all other names or titles? With such profound truth in mind, consider the emphatic and unequivocal declaration of Peter concerning him, whose name is above every name (Act4:12): Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name (Jesus) under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. We can safely conclude that salvation is in no other name, but Jesus Christ only, and not in the erroneous Trinity of persons declared by the Council of Chalcedon.

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Published by: A. Herald on Nov 20, 2013
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12/30/2013

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NO OTHER NAME
WHAT THE APOSTLES REALLY TAUGH CONCERNING THE TRUE IDENTITY OF JESUS CHRIST
Written by
Stanley A. Bernard 
 
2
Written by Stanley A. Bernard, P.O. Box 409, Cruz Bay, St. John, VI 00831; email: scabernard@yahoo.com
1. The Origin of the Trinity
Tertullian, properly Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus (A.D.160
 – 
 220), in the first half of the second century, laid the foundation for the later theological formation of the incarnation and of the trinity in the fight against those who were dubbed Monarchians. In one of the most interesting scholarly work on church history and Christological controversies that gripped the post-apostolic church and gave us enormous insight into the formulation of the Trinitarian dogma, Wilfred Briggs credited the Moroccan lawyer and theologian, Tertullian, as the first person to characterize the Godhead of the Judeo-Christian faith, as a trinity of persons: an appellation originally used among pagan nations to describe their triune deities. In developing his theological concept of God, Tertullian employed the word
 substantia
 in the sense of property, and
 persona
 in the sense of a person with legal rights. His definition of the Godhead, as being one
 substantia
 shared by three persons, was in joint ownership of the three persons. This terminology, applied to the incarnation, gave rise to the conception of
“a double status not confused, but jointed in one person, Jesus Christ, God and Man.”
In this respect, humanity is one substance, owned along with Divinity, another substance, by the same Jesus Christ.
Instead of defeating the Monarchians‟ position, his theological speculation, after it
 became widely known and embraced, ignited fierce opposition among many of his Christian contemporaries through the Roman world and provoked the greatest Christological controversy of all times in the history of Christendom. It may be noteworthy to mention that Tertullian was not an adherent to Greek philosophers, although he was conversant with their teach
ings. He abhorred and mocked the proponents of „a Stoic or a Platonic or an Aristotelian Christianity‟ and asked „What has Athens in common with Jerusalem?‟
However his trinitarian idea or concept of God was the progeny of what was to become the  Neoplatonic doctrine of the trinity. Several years later, in attempting to provide a plausible explanation of the relationship  between the Godhead and the divine nature of Jesus Christ, the Constantinople council, also like Tertullian, left many things unsettled concerning the nature of Christ. Already the way was being prepared for the great formulation of the doctrine of the trinity at the Council of Chalcedon in AD 451. Once again the theologians of Neoplatonic persuasion, who retained the rank of philosophers, embarked on the task of unraveling the nature and personality of
Christ. The galvanizing influence of Plato‟s metaphysical speculations and philosophical
system, without due consideration or reference to the Old Testament, were the vehicle by which solutions were sought and thought to be apprehended by Basil the Caesarean (the great), Gregory of Nazianzus and Gregory of Nyssa, who were leaders together with
Ambrose of Milan, of the new „Nicene‟ party
. These men tried, and in large measures, in the language of Neoplatonic mysticism, managed to remove the fears which were present in some minds with regards to the terminology of Nicea, which was first convened in AD 325. Biggs further revealed that the action of the Church after Constantinople, with the active support of secular powers, illustrated clearly the emergence of dogmatic intolerance as a definite principle bound up with the Catholic idea of religion. He cogently showed that the Church has come to demand assent to abstract proposition touching the divine nature in
 
3
Written by Stanley A. Bernard, P.O. Box 409, Cruz Bay, St. John, VI 00831; email: scabernard@yahoo.com
Christ and its relation to his human nature: “
assent rather than New Testament faith was becoming the criterion of orthodoxy
.” Considering the magnitude of this departure from
 biblical faith to unreservedly embrace Platonic philosophy, Biggs asserted that the warning of Robert MacKintoch that the Trinity and the Hypostatic Union (three hypostases in one
ousia
) are vast speculative constructions reared upon slander of biblical data is worth  pondering in this connection.
At the Council of Chalcedon, the Church‟s doctrine of the Trinity was formulated in a
way that was in the main satisfactory: three hypostases in one
ousia
. That is, three persons in one substance which constitute God. In classical trinitarianism,
God is a
substance 
 shared by these three separate and distinct persons and each of these persons is God as a result of each possessing the divine substance
. But this left unresolved the problem of Christ‟s
nature and personality, and especially the way in which the divine and human nature were united in him. One of the most provocative questions that fueled the controversy was:
“Wherein lay the personal center of the Lord’s life, in his humanity or in his divine nature?”
 In order to understand the course of these fierce disputes that split the church in the first half of the fifth century, it is imperative to keep in mind that according to the Greek's view,  personality consists of three elements, namely, body, soul and spirit. For them the latter is the seat of the personality. Philosophically speaking, the Greeks assert that the soul is irrational and the spirit is the rational soul.
Armed with such pagan influence, Pope Leo‟s statement formed the basis of the
definition
 of the humanity and divinity of Christ at the fourth General Council of Chalcedon, in AD 451. It should be noted that this was an eastern council and the only delegates from the west were two Africans and the papal legates, but its
definition
has been generally accepted as setting forth the essential theological dogmas of the Trinity and the Person of
Christ. It was from Leo‟s definition that the Trinitarians got the
 phrases
God the Son
 and
God the Holy
 
Ghost 
; terms that were never used in scripture by the apostles or in the writings of those who were disciples of the apostles. Biggs concluded that the Greek mind could not contain the mystery of the incarnation, so the Greek mind is ever seeking for it resolution, whereas the Hebrew mind could contain it,  both in power and expression. Therefore in this quest for truth the Christian must start from the unique historical personality of the Lord. Jesus Christ lived a fully human life as a Jew,
yet he was not just a man, but also the Hebrew God “
manifested in the flesh
.” The Greek
mind has always had the propensity to say
 Either/ Or 
. However, when the Christian mind
contemplates the “
 great...mystery of godliness
”, is not the answer
then more likely to be found when we consider the Hebrew mind and start with
 Both/ And 
? A careful examination of the Old Testament, shows the plurality of God in function and work, but does not imply a trinity of persons or what constitutes a triune God. Hence the Hebrew mind embraces Yahweh Elohim (God) as I Am, Father, Redeemer, Saviour, Creator, the Holy One, Counselor, Lord, the Spirit of God, the Word, and other epithets, giving rise to his plurality of function, rather than a
divine substance
 divided equally and shared jointly by three persons, resulting in their Godhood. If these theologians had perused the Hebrew Scriptures, especially the writings of Isaiah, instead of Platonic mysticism, the scale of truth would undoubtedly tip towards an all-powerful, self-existent God, who has no rival or equal and certainly not a group of individuals as in a government.

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