Author Topic: Sabellianism  (Read 64469 times)

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Offline Aindriú

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Re: Sabellianism
« Reply #135 on: May 22, 2011, 03:48:34 PM »
No, I am not avoiding your questions.
I asked about who witnessed these events at Jesus's baptism.  Someone said several people and I said it was only John.
Why is that relevant is because it is an entirely different thing if something is objectively witnessed as a real event by multiple people, or if it is one person's personal revelation or experience.

We are not talking about something that happened in a real sense, like the other miracles Jesus performed.  We are talking about something that John experienced alone.  John, who was the prophet who foretold of Jesus.

So you have to put it into the category of personal revelation.

"Personal revelation" is a RC distinction between things that are determined to be real and True, and things that are undetermined an of a personal nature so as to be of no obligation of any other believer.

Even in RC, John the Baptist is a "prophet". This is not a random title given to anyone that speaks something True.

Orthodox believe in a very real phenomena, also, that can be known a divine knowledge. That is, the closer an individual is to God (prayer, relationship, filled with His Grace, progressing along in Theosis), the more of a shared nature we have with Him. For example, a Saint's words are not just important because they are faithful, but because they are literally "Holy" and can tell us something of God.

A prophet can express this Divine Knowledge to reveal God to us, and this is a very precious thing. John the Baptist was a Prophet, he is Holy. We do not believe he is expressing opinion, but "revealing" to us the mind and nature of God Himself.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2011, 03:51:24 PM by Azurestone »

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Offline Leisa

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Re: Sabellianism
« Reply #136 on: May 22, 2011, 03:59:32 PM »


And you're avoiding ours. What does it matter?

It appears you hold your position you are comfortable with by rejecting parts of the Bible. First, the 20-30 year difference between Mark and John being written down is good enough to throw out the book of John. Now your saying that John the Baptist was a Prophet enough to know God and point people to Him, but he is not holy enough to be trusted in all divine revelation, especially when it conflicts with your current logic.

I would say that Jesus's baptism does not prove the existence of three independent persons in the trinity.
When I read the texts, what I see is John reaches the fulfillment of his prophecy and his job in the revealing of prophecy.
He has found the Messiah.  He knows this because he sees (and maybe hears something, not all the gospel accounts record the voice) something happen as Jesus is baptized.
Now, some accounts place Jesus outside the water and praying when this happens, and some place him in the water during his baptism.
Obviously one is true but both cannot be correct.
But if we assume that it did happen this way, in one place or the other, then we know that John got his signal from God that prophecy was fulfilled.  And he says he saw a dove descend and land on Jesus.  

How do we know that we cannot take this incident literally?  If we were to take it literally then we would have to say that the Holy Spirit is a bird.  Obviously the Holy Spirit is not a bird is it?
We are dealing with the language of revelation and spirit.  Jesus didn't since that day, walk around with a bird on his shoulder.  (As John says the spirit landed on him and stayed on him).

And that is why I do not take it as there being literally three "persons" present.  We are not dealing with a literal event.
When Jesus resurrected we were dealing with a literal event.  The baptism is not that kind of event.

I would like to hear if someone has a different reading of the event.







Offline Aindriú

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Re: Sabellianism
« Reply #137 on: May 22, 2011, 04:14:13 PM »
I would say that Jesus's baptism does not prove the existence of three independent persons in the trinity.
When I read the texts, what I see is John reaches the fulfillment of his prophecy and his job in the revealing of prophecy.
He has found the Messiah.  He knows this because he sees (and maybe hears something, not all the gospel accounts record the voice) something happen as Jesus is baptized.
Now, some accounts place Jesus outside the water and praying when this happens, and some place him in the water during his baptism.
Obviously one is true but both cannot be correct.
But if we assume that it did happen this way, in one place or the other, then we know that John got his signal from God that prophecy was fulfilled.  And he says he saw a dove descend and land on Jesus.  

How do we know that we cannot take this incident literally?  If we were to take it literally then we would have to say that the Holy Spirit is a bird.  Obviously the Holy Spirit is not a bird is it?
We are dealing with the language of revelation and spirit.  Jesus didn't since that day, walk around with a bird on his shoulder.  (As John says the spirit landed on him and stayed on him).

And that is why I do not take it as there being literally three "persons" present.  We are not dealing with a literal event.
When Jesus resurrected we were dealing with a literal event.  The baptism is not that kind of event.

I would like to hear if someone has a different reading of the event.

Was it a literal dove? Or did the Holy Spirit descend "like/as" a dove?


I don't expect you to hold St. John Chrysostom in very high opinion, however the Orthodox certainly do, as well as the Roman Catholics. As forth century Bishop, well known for his orthodoxy and spiritual sermons, I've included his sermon on Matthew for your reference to another opinion.

Homily XII.
Matt. III. 13.
Quote
2. “Then he suffereth Him. And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water; and, lo, the heavens were opened unto Him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him.”

For inasmuch as many supposed that John was greater than He, because John had been brought up all his time in the wilderness, and was son of a chief priest, and was clothed with such raiment, and was calling all men unto his baptism, and had been born of a barren mother; while Jesus, first of all, was of a damsel of ordinary rank (for the virgin birth was not yet manifest to all); and besides, He had been brought up in an house, and held converse with all men, and wore this common raiment; they suspected Him to be less than John, knowing as yet nothing of those secret things;—and it fell out moreover that He was baptized of John, which thing added support to this surmise, even if none of those mentioned before had existed; for it would come into their mind that this man was one of the many (for were He not one of the many, He would not have come with the many to the baptism), but that John was greater than He and far more admirable:—in order therefore that this opinion might not prevail with the multitude, the very heavens are opened, when He is baptized, and the Spirit comes down, and a voice with the Spirit, proclaiming the dignity of the Only Begotten. For since the voice that said, “This is my beloved Son,” would seem to the multitude rather to belong to John, for It added not, “This that is baptized,” but simply This, and every hearer would conceive it to be said concerning the baptizer, rather than the baptized, partly on account of the Baptist’s own dignity, partly for all that hath been mentioned; the Spirit came in form of a dove, drawing the voice towards Jesus, and making it evident to all, that This was not spoken of John that baptized, but of Jesus who was baptized.

And how was it, one may say, that they did not believe, when these things came to pass? Because in the days of Moses also many wonderful works were done, albeit not such as these; and after all those, the voices, and the trumpets, and the lightnings, they both forged a calf, and “were joined unto Baal-peor.” And those very persons too, who were present at the time, and saw Lazarus arise, so far from believing in Him, who had wrought these things, repeatedly attempted even to slay Him. Now if seeing before their eyes one rise from the dead, they were so wicked, why marvel at their not receiving a voice wafted from above? Since when a soul is uncandid and perverse, and possessed by the disease of envy, it yields to none of these things; even as when it is candid it receives all with faith, and hath no great need of these.
Speak not therefore thus, “They believed not,” but rather inquire, “Did not all things take place which ought to have made them believe?” For by the prophet also God frames this kind of defense of His own ways in general. That is, the Jews being on the point of ruin, and of being given over to extreme punishment; lest any from their wickedness should calumniate His providence, He saith, “What ought I to have done to this vineyard, that I have not done?”

here likewise do thou reflect; “what ought to have been done, and was not done?” And indeed whensoever arguments arise on God’s Providence, do thou make use of this kind of defense, against those who from the wickedness of the many try to raise a prejudice against it. See, for instance, what astonishing things are done, preludes of those which were to come; for it is no more paradise, but Heaven that is opened.
But let our argument with the Jews stand over unto some other time; for the present, God working with us, we would direct our discourse to what is immediately before us.
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf110.iii.XII.html

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Offline Wyatt

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Re: Sabellianism
« Reply #138 on: May 22, 2011, 04:15:00 PM »
How do we know that we cannot take this incident literally?  If we were to take it literally then we would have to say that the Holy Spirit is a bird.  Obviously the Holy Spirit is not a bird is it?
We are dealing with the language of revelation and spirit.  Jesus didn't since that day, walk around with a bird on his shoulder.  (As John says the spirit landed on him and stayed on him).
The passage doesn't say that the Holy Spirit is a dove, it says He descended on him like a dove.

Offline Leisa

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Re: Sabellianism
« Reply #139 on: May 22, 2011, 04:21:50 PM »
Luke 3:22 "and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in a bodily form like a dove."

Offline Aindriú

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Re: Sabellianism
« Reply #140 on: May 22, 2011, 04:36:56 PM »
Luke 3:22 "and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in a bodily form like a dove."

Luke does reference a body.

22 And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape, as a dove, upon him. And a voice came from heaven: You are my beloved Son. In you I am well pleased.
22 et descendit Spiritus Sanctus corporali specie sicut columba in ipsum : et vox de cælo facta est : Tu es filius meus dilectus, in te complacui mihi.
22 καὶ καταβῆναι τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον σωματικῷ εἴδει ὡς περιστερὰν ἐπ' αὐτόν, καὶ φωνὴν ἐξ οὐρανοῦ γενέσθαι, σὺ εἶ ὁ υἱός μου ὁ ἀγαπητός, ἐν σοὶ εὐδόκησα.

However, the method it is described, that is "the Holy Spirit itself descends as a dove", not "a dove lands like the Holy Spirit". As well as correlation with the other Gospels, would still point strongly to symbology of the dove, not the Spirit.

The dove brings meaning, in addition to it's shape. A dove was used in Genesis, and has long represented a messenger from God as well as a bringer of peace.


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Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: Sabellianism
« Reply #141 on: May 22, 2011, 05:58:32 PM »
"Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question, saying, 'What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?' They said to him, 'The son of David.' He said to them, 'How is it then that David, in the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying,

'The Lord said to my Lord,
Sit at my right hand,
until I put your enemies under your feet’?

'If then David calls him Lord, how is he his son?' And no one was able to answer him a word, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions."

-Gospel of Mark

"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all." -2 Corinthians

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being." - Gospel of John

"There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.
And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord." -Book of Isaiah

"Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble;
He saved them out of their distresses.
He sent His Word and healed them,
And delivered them from their destructions." -Psalm 107
Quote from: Fr. Thomas Hopko, dystopian parable of the prodigal son
...you can imagine so-called healing services of the pigpen. The books that could be written, you know: Life in the Pigpen. How to Cope in the Pigpen. Being Happy in the Pigpen. Surviving in the Pigpen. And then there could be counselling, for people who feel unhappy in the pigpen, to try to get them to come to terms with the pigpen, and to accept the pigpen.

Offline Theophilos78

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Re: Sabellianism
« Reply #142 on: May 22, 2011, 06:31:11 PM »

I would say that Jesus's baptism does not prove the existence of three independent persons in the trinity.
When I read the texts, what I see is John reaches the fulfillment of his prophecy and his job in the revealing of prophecy.
He has found the Messiah.  He knows this because he sees (and maybe hears something, not all the gospel accounts record the voice) something happen as Jesus is baptized.

I see that you continue playing this game by maintaining your fallacy of RED HERRING. I cannot take your posts seriously and cannot have an academic debate with you as long as you stick to these logical fallacies, sorry.

Now, some accounts place Jesus outside the water and praying when this happens, and some place him in the water during his baptism.
Obviously one is true but both cannot be correct.

RED HERRING.

But if we assume that it did happen this way, in one place or the other, then we know that John got his signal from God that prophecy was fulfilled.  And he says he saw a dove descend and land on Jesus.  

RED HERRING.

How do we know that we cannot take this incident literally?  If we were to take it literally then we would have to say that the Holy Spirit is a bird.  Obviously the Holy Spirit is not a bird is it?

STRAW-MAN. You are reaching an illogical/faulty conclusion and trying to ascribe it to John the Baptist and the Evangelists.

We are dealing with the language of revelation and spirit.  Jesus didn't since that day, walk around with a bird on his shoulder.  (As John says the spirit landed on him and stayed on him).

According to your view, Jesus descended on Himself.  :D

And that is why I do not take it as there being literally three "persons" present.  We are not dealing with a literal event.

Now you claim that people experienced an illusion? A funny illusion that wanted to convince people that Jesus declared Himself His own Son from heaven and then descended on Himself in the bodily form of a dove?  :D

Nothing surprising when we remember that Sabellianism is based on the idea of illusion/deception.

When Jesus resurrected we were dealing with a literal event.  The baptism is not that kind of event.

You mean the baptism was part of a fable or myth? Maybe there is no Holy Spirit at all because this is the first incident through which the people could see the Spirit descend on Jesus. If that was not a literal event, maybe the Holy Spirit does not even actually exist.  :D

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Offline Leisa

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Re: Sabellianism
« Reply #143 on: May 23, 2011, 10:59:01 AM »
Psalm 110 is not talking about two Gods.  It is talking about God, and the human lord of someone.  For instance, a prophet could be called 'lord' and a wife can address her husband as me'lord.  It is referencing a person who has power over them.  So "The Lord says to my lord..
is God addressing the speaker's master. 

Matthew 22:41 Demonstrates how Jesus knows the scriptures better than his opponents and uses it against them.  He is speaking to who the Messiah will be.  Someone higher than David, otherwise David wouldn't address him as "my lord".
But it is more of a demonstration of Jesus's intellectual might over the pharisees.

How do you think Matthew 22 demonstrates the trinity?

And what are your thoughts about Jesus's baptism? 







Offline Wyatt

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Re: Sabellianism
« Reply #144 on: May 23, 2011, 11:01:07 AM »
Psalm 110 is not talking about two Gods.
Of course not, but then no one is even bringing up multiple gods except for you. The Church doesn't teach that the Trinity means multiple gods.

Offline Aindriú

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Re: Sabellianism
« Reply #145 on: May 23, 2011, 11:26:33 AM »

Father is God, Son is God, Holy Spirit is God
Father is not Son, Son is not Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit is not Father

One God revealed in three hypostases (persons).

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Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: Sabellianism
« Reply #146 on: May 23, 2011, 11:28:19 AM »
Psalm 110 is not talking about two Gods.  It is talking about God, and the human lord of someone.  For instance, a prophet could be called 'lord' and a wife can address her husband as me'lord.  It is referencing a person who has power over them.  So "The Lord says to my lord..
is God addressing the speaker's master. 

Matthew 22:41 Demonstrates how Jesus knows the scriptures better than his opponents and uses it against them.  He is speaking to who the Messiah will be.  Someone higher than David, otherwise David wouldn't address him as "my lord".
But it is more of a demonstration of Jesus's intellectual might over the pharisees.

How do you think Matthew 22 demonstrates the trinity?
so you really don't think the "my lord" in Matthew 22 is Jesus?
Quote from: Fr. Thomas Hopko, dystopian parable of the prodigal son
...you can imagine so-called healing services of the pigpen. The books that could be written, you know: Life in the Pigpen. How to Cope in the Pigpen. Being Happy in the Pigpen. Surviving in the Pigpen. And then there could be counselling, for people who feel unhappy in the pigpen, to try to get them to come to terms with the pigpen, and to accept the pigpen.

Offline HabteSelassie

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Re: Sabellianism
« Reply #147 on: May 23, 2011, 02:57:21 PM »
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ


When I read the texts, what I see is John reaches the fulfillment of his prophecy and his job in the revealing of prophecy.
He has found the Messiah.  He knows this because he sees (and maybe hears something, not all the gospel accounts record the voice) something happen as Jesus is baptized.


Now see this my dear is entirely and fundamentally what is wrong with the Protestant "read the Bible for yourself" ethos, it is flawed.  My aunt and I were having a similar conversation in regards to "End of the World" folks who constantly misread the Bible to say the world is always seeming to end on this or that date or after such and such an event.  The problem is that they are all reading this Bible for themselves, and further what languages and translations are they reading? Do these translations convey the intended poetic and spiritual meanings of the original languages? See, this is one of the reasons the Church (be it Catholic or Orthodox) has always had problems with vernacular translations of the Bible, because it inherently can cause misunderstandings and things can honestly get lost in translation.  What language are you reading this Bible? What translation? Are you cross-referencing other translations and languages? That is entirely why the Church largely leaves the Bible for the experts, the clergy and the priests.  No, you don't have to be ordained to be a Biblical scholar, in the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo tradition our most learned clerics are not ordained, they are literally clerks called "Debtera" however they are also Cantors in that they chant along in Vigils and Matins.  These scholars and scribes and of course many of the priests are dedicated to the Bible and they are more reliable sources to consult for your questions.  I do read the Bible frequently, but less and less I find myself reading it for facts or revelations so much as for a prayerful serenity and guided meditation.  

I have no trouble with you reading the Bible, however when you have misunderstandings you shouldn't parade them as the Gospel truth ;)

In Orthodox we have a very simple adage, ask your priest.  If persons do not have a relationship with a priest well enough to ask him about such matters, then those persons are hardly ready to begin to understand the depth and profundity of the Bible, these should be seeking a relationship with the priests and the Church first and foremost, and then from that Orthodox relationship a better understanding of the Bible will emerge. How could ones seek to do Trigonometry when they don't even have their basic arithmetic skills honed in? Further more,  God is not trapped in the Bible like the minotaur in the labyrinth for us to solve the puzzle and release Him, no, God exists on His own.  Seek God first, then read about Him later.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
« Last Edit: May 23, 2011, 03:02:36 PM by HabteSelassie »
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Offline deusveritasest

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Re: Sabellianism
« Reply #148 on: May 25, 2011, 03:11:00 AM »

BTW, how do you account for all three hypostases being present simultaneously at Jesus' Baptism and His Transfiguration?

I would ask you, where do you get this information that "all three hypostases being present simultaneously at Jesus' Baptism"?
(Lets stick to the baptism for now).

The Father's voice coming from outside Jesus and the Holy Spirit descending upon Jesus from outside of Him.

Offline Leisa

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Re: Sabellianism
« Reply #149 on: May 27, 2011, 11:29:33 AM »

so you really don't think the "my lord" in Matthew 22 is Jesus?


I know that Jesus won that debate with the Pharisees.

There is only one Lord or God in the Torah.  So when psalm 110 says "The Lord says to my lord,"
it is referring to a human who is doing God's will.  A priest or king perhaps, a righteous ruler.

However, why does Jesus refer to psalm 110? Was Jesus a warrior king who led people into battle?  Does he "shatter kings"?
Psalm 110 is not talking about Jesus as far as the description of this person in psalm 110 goes.  But Jesus refers to it.

Why?  I think he does because the Jews held their prophets in the highest estimation even though the one standing before them is greater than the prophets who have gone before.  They sortof have it backwards.  And he is using his logic to stop them in their tracks.
How can he be his son if he calls him lord?

I think he is using 110 for didactic purposes and not because he is saying that he is that priest/king in 110.  110 cannot be referring to Jesus.  God doesn't sit next to God.  Prophets who did the will of God were at God's right hand figuratively speaking.  And 110 is speaking of a ruler. 

That is my guess or the best I can come up with at this time.


Offline Leisa

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Re: Sabellianism
« Reply #150 on: May 27, 2011, 11:53:57 AM »

BTW, how do you account for all three hypostases being present simultaneously at Jesus' Baptism and His Transfiguration?

I would ask you, where do you get this information that "all three hypostases being present simultaneously at Jesus' Baptism"?
(Lets stick to the baptism for now).

The Father's voice coming from outside Jesus and the Holy Spirit descending upon Jesus from outside of Him.

Yes, but are they present?  If they were present, then they would be perceived by everyone there.
God's voice is heard by John, and John sees a spirit descend, but this voice and this spirit are not real in the sense the river they are standing in is real.
So you could argue whether or not God's voice and the Holy Spirit were present in that way.

John may or may not have heard a voice.  But he did report seeing a spirit descend in all 4 gospels.  But only John sees this.
This tells me that it is meant for John to see alone.

Also, how is it John knows that the one who comes after him will baptize with the spirit?  Through his own revelation from God.  No one else knows that. How does John know anything at all? Where does he get his information from? Does he get it from dreams?  Perhaps from waking dreams or visions?  Does he get messages in a bottle?  (kidding).

No doubt, John gets his information in the form of visions.  And this vision is no different from his other visions.  How did he know Jesus was coming?  How did he know Jesus would baptize with the spirit?  From his visions no doubt.  But the thing about visions is that they are not necessarily literal.  They are more likely in a metaphor.  For instance, John says that he is not qualified to loose the sandle straps of the one who is coming?  Is that literally true? Are Jesus's sandles so strong that no one can untie them?  Is that a statement about Jesus's cobbler?

Of course not. 

To say that John's vision means there is a second person in the godhead is really stretching it in my opinion.  That would be to read too much into the text.

Another reason I don't think the spirit or dove literally landed on Jesus is because Jesus doesn't need to be baptized with the Holy Spirit.  Just like he doesnt NEED to be baptized by John.  However, this was Johns way of knowing it was Jesus who baptizes with the spirit. 




Offline Leisa

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Re: Sabellianism
« Reply #151 on: May 27, 2011, 11:57:54 AM »


Now see this my dear is entirely and fundamentally what is wrong with the Protestant "read the Bible for yourself" ethos, it is flawed.  My aunt and I were having a similar conversation in regards to "End of the World" folks who constantly misread the Bible to say the world is always seeming to end on this or that date or after such and such an event.  The problem is that they are all reading this Bible for themselves, and further what languages and translations are they reading? Do these translations convey the intended poetic and spiritual meanings of the original languages? See, this is one of the reasons the Church (be it Catholic or Orthodox) has always had problems with vernacular translations of the Bible, because it inherently can cause misunderstandings and things can honestly get lost in translation.  What language are you reading this Bible? What translation? Are you cross-referencing other translations and languages? That is entirely why the Church largely leaves the Bible for the experts, the clergy and the priests.  No, you don't have to be ordained to be a Biblical scholar, in the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo tradition our most learned clerics are not ordained, they are literally clerks called "Debtera" however they are also Cantors in that they chant along in Vigils and Matins.  These scholars and scribes and of course many of the priests are dedicated to the Bible and they are more reliable sources to consult for your questions.  I do read the Bible frequently, but less and less I find myself reading it for facts or revelations so much as for a prayerful serenity and guided meditation.  

I have no trouble with you reading the Bible, however when you have misunderstandings you shouldn't parade them as the Gospel truth ;)

In Orthodox we have a very simple adage, ask your priest.  If persons do not have a relationship with a priest well enough to ask him about such matters, then those persons are hardly ready to begin to understand the depth and profundity of the Bible, these should be seeking a relationship with the priests and the Church first and foremost, and then from that Orthodox relationship a better understanding of the Bible will emerge. How could ones seek to do Trigonometry when they don't even have their basic arithmetic skills honed in? Further more,  God is not trapped in the Bible like the minotaur in the labyrinth for us to solve the puzzle and release Him, no, God exists on His own.  Seek God first, then read about Him later.

stay blessed,
habte selassie


I am not a Protestant I am a Catholic. 

Offline Papist

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Re: Sabellianism
« Reply #152 on: May 27, 2011, 11:59:36 AM »
^ you are anything but Catholic.
"For, by its immensity, the divine substance surpasses every form that our intellect reaches. Thus we are unable to apprehend it by knowing what it is. Yet we are able to have some knowledge of it by knowing what it is not." - St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa contra gentiles, I, 14.

Offline Aindriú

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Re: Sabellianism
« Reply #153 on: May 27, 2011, 12:10:27 PM »

BTW, how do you account for all three hypostases being present simultaneously at Jesus' Baptism and His Transfiguration?

I would ask you, where do you get this information that "all three hypostases being present simultaneously at Jesus' Baptism"?
(Lets stick to the baptism for now).

The Father's voice coming from outside Jesus and the Holy Spirit descending upon Jesus from outside of Him.

Yes, but are they present?  If they were present, then they would be perceived by everyone there.
God's voice is heard by John, and John sees a spirit descend, but this voice and this spirit are not real in the sense the river they are standing in is real.
So you could argue whether or not God's voice and the Holy Spirit were present in that way.

John may or may not have heard a voice.  But he did report seeing a spirit descend in all 4 gospels.  But only John sees this.
This tells me that it is meant for John to see alone.

Also, how is it John knows that the one who comes after him will baptize with the spirit?  Through his own revelation from God.  No one else knows that. How does John know anything at all? Where does he get his information from? Does he get it from dreams?  Perhaps from waking dreams or visions?  Does he get messages in a bottle?  (kidding).

No doubt, John gets his information in the form of visions.  And this vision is no different from his other visions.  How did he know Jesus was coming?  How did he know Jesus would baptize with the spirit?  From his visions no doubt.  But the thing about visions is that they are not necessarily literal.  They are more likely in a metaphor.  For instance, John says that he is not qualified to loose the sandle straps of the one who is coming?  Is that literally true? Are Jesus's sandles so strong that no one can untie them?  Is that a statement about Jesus's cobbler?

Of course not. 

To say that John's vision means there is a second person in the godhead is really stretching it in my opinion.  That would be to read too much into the text.

Another reason I don't think the spirit or dove literally landed on Jesus is because Jesus doesn't need to be baptized with the Holy Spirit.  Just like he doesnt NEED to be baptized by John.  However, this was Johns way of knowing it was Jesus who baptizes with the spirit. 

Homily XII.
Matt. III. 13.
Quote
2. “Then he suffereth Him. And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water; and, lo, the heavens were opened unto Him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him.”

For inasmuch as many supposed that John was greater than He, because John had been brought up all his time in the wilderness, and was son of a chief priest, and was clothed with such raiment, and was calling all men unto his baptism, and had been born of a barren mother; while Jesus, first of all, was of a damsel of ordinary rank (for the virgin birth was not yet manifest to all); and besides, He had been brought up in an house, and held converse with all men, and wore this common raiment; they suspected Him to be less than John, knowing as yet nothing of those secret things;—and it fell out moreover that He was baptized of John, which thing added support to this surmise, even if none of those mentioned before had existed; for it would come into their mind that this man was one of the many (for were He not one of the many, He would not have come with the many to the baptism), but that John was greater than He and far more admirable:—in order therefore that this opinion might not prevail with the multitude, the very heavens are opened, when He is baptized, and the Spirit comes down, and a voice with the Spirit, proclaiming the dignity of the Only Begotten. For since the voice that said, “This is my beloved Son,” would seem to the multitude rather to belong to John, for It added not, “This that is baptized,” but simply This, and every hearer would conceive it to be said concerning the baptizer, rather than the baptized, partly on account of the Baptist’s own dignity, partly for all that hath been mentioned; the Spirit came in form of a dove, drawing the voice towards Jesus, and making it evident to all, that This was not spoken of John that baptized, but of Jesus who was baptized.

And how was it, one may say, that they did not believe, when these things came to pass? Because in the days of Moses also many wonderful works were done, albeit not such as these; and after all those, the voices, and the trumpets, and the lightnings, they both forged a calf, and “were joined unto Baal-peor.” And those very persons too, who were present at the time, and saw Lazarus arise, so far from believing in Him, who had wrought these things, repeatedly attempted even to slay Him. Now if seeing before their eyes one rise from the dead, they were so wicked, why marvel at their not receiving a voice wafted from above? Since when a soul is uncandid and perverse, and possessed by the disease of envy, it yields to none of these things; even as when it is candid it receives all with faith, and hath no great need of these.
Speak not therefore thus, “They believed not,” but rather inquire, “Did not all things take place which ought to have made them believe?” For by the prophet also God frames this kind of defense of His own ways in general. That is, the Jews being on the point of ruin, and of being given over to extreme punishment; lest any from their wickedness should calumniate His providence, He saith, “What ought I to have done to this vineyard, that I have not done?”

here likewise do thou reflect; “what ought to have been done, and was not done?” And indeed whensoever arguments arise on God’s Providence, do thou make use of this kind of defense, against those who from the wickedness of the many try to raise a prejudice against it. See, for instance, what astonishing things are done, preludes of those which were to come; for it is no more paradise, but Heaven that is opened.
But let our argument with the Jews stand over unto some other time; for the present, God working with us, we would direct our discourse to what is immediately before us.
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf110.iii.XII.html

From someone who read the original Greek over 1,600 years ago, there wasn't an inkling of thought that the voice was heard by John only. In fact, the voice confirms to everyone else that Jesus greater than John the Baptist.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2011, 12:14:15 PM by Azurestone »

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Offline Aindriú

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Re: Sabellianism
« Reply #154 on: May 27, 2011, 12:11:05 PM »


Now see this my dear is entirely and fundamentally what is wrong with the Protestant "read the Bible for yourself" ethos, it is flawed.  My aunt and I were having a similar conversation in regards to "End of the World" folks who constantly misread the Bible to say the world is always seeming to end on this or that date or after such and such an event.  The problem is that they are all reading this Bible for themselves, and further what languages and translations are they reading? Do these translations convey the intended poetic and spiritual meanings of the original languages? See, this is one of the reasons the Church (be it Catholic or Orthodox) has always had problems with vernacular translations of the Bible, because it inherently can cause misunderstandings and things can honestly get lost in translation.  What language are you reading this Bible? What translation? Are you cross-referencing other translations and languages? That is entirely why the Church largely leaves the Bible for the experts, the clergy and the priests.  No, you don't have to be ordained to be a Biblical scholar, in the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo tradition our most learned clerics are not ordained, they are literally clerks called "Debtera" however they are also Cantors in that they chant along in Vigils and Matins.  These scholars and scribes and of course many of the priests are dedicated to the Bible and they are more reliable sources to consult for your questions.  I do read the Bible frequently, but less and less I find myself reading it for facts or revelations so much as for a prayerful serenity and guided meditation.  

I have no trouble with you reading the Bible, however when you have misunderstandings you shouldn't parade them as the Gospel truth ;)

In Orthodox we have a very simple adage, ask your priest.  If persons do not have a relationship with a priest well enough to ask him about such matters, then those persons are hardly ready to begin to understand the depth and profundity of the Bible, these should be seeking a relationship with the priests and the Church first and foremost, and then from that Orthodox relationship a better understanding of the Bible will emerge. How could ones seek to do Trigonometry when they don't even have their basic arithmetic skills honed in? Further more,  God is not trapped in the Bible like the minotaur in the labyrinth for us to solve the puzzle and release Him, no, God exists on His own.  Seek God first, then read about Him later.

stay blessed,
habte selassie


I am not a Protestant I am a Catholic. 


Your faith is not Catholic.

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Offline Theophilos78

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Re: Sabellianism
« Reply #155 on: May 27, 2011, 01:09:37 PM »

No doubt, John gets his information in the form of visions.  And this vision is no different from his other visions.  How did he know Jesus was coming?  How did he know Jesus would baptize with the spirit?  From his visions no doubt.  But the thing about visions is that they are not necessarily literal.  They are more likely in a metaphor.  For instance, John says that he is not qualified to loose the sandle straps of the one who is coming?  Is that literally true? Are Jesus's sandles so strong that no one can untie them?  Is that a statement about Jesus's cobbler?

Of course not. 


Zechariah had a vision in the temple and got from the angel appearing only to him the good news of John's birth. Likewise, Mary was informed of Jesus' birth through a vision. According to your weird and faulty interpretation, these visions were not literal; therefore, neither Zechariah had a son named John nor did Mary conceive and give birth to a son named Jesus! Your argument turns even the person of Jesus into a symbol or metaphor.  ;D
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Offline Theophilos78

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Re: Sabellianism
« Reply #156 on: May 27, 2011, 01:15:52 PM »
I also wonder how you would interpret Jesus' following statement:

But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and will cause you to remember everything I said to you. (John 14:26)

 ::)
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Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: Sabellianism
« Reply #157 on: May 27, 2011, 01:48:41 PM »
However, why does Jesus refer to psalm 110? Was Jesus a warrior king who led people into battle?  Does he "shatter kings"?
Yes.

He shattered the dominion of the enemy and trampled down princes, He is the Lord mighty in war.

Psalm 110 is not talking about Jesus as far as the description of this person in psalm 110 goes.  But Jesus refers to it.
Then you disagree with every Father of the Church and every exegesis, mainstream protestant, Orthodox, Catholic, Church of the East, even gnostic, etc, for the first 1900 years of Christianity. Even Sabellius or Apollinarius would have surely said this person is Jesus.

There is only one Lord or God in the Torah.
Yep. And He exists eternally together with His Word and Spirit.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2011, 01:57:28 PM by NicholasMyra »
Quote from: Fr. Thomas Hopko, dystopian parable of the prodigal son
...you can imagine so-called healing services of the pigpen. The books that could be written, you know: Life in the Pigpen. How to Cope in the Pigpen. Being Happy in the Pigpen. Surviving in the Pigpen. And then there could be counselling, for people who feel unhappy in the pigpen, to try to get them to come to terms with the pigpen, and to accept the pigpen.

Offline Leisa

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Re: Sabellianism
« Reply #158 on: May 27, 2011, 03:15:45 PM »
^ you are anything but Catholic.

I was the first to admit that my views were "heretical".
But that doesn't change the fact that I am baptized and married and have received Catholic sacraments.

I was never a Protestant nor do I now claim to be one.

I already said I follow the line of thinking that they are manifestations of one God. Not three "persons" of a trinity.


Offline Leisa

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Re: Sabellianism
« Reply #159 on: May 27, 2011, 03:30:05 PM »

From someone who read the original Greek over 1,600 years ago, there wasn't an inkling of thought that the voice was heard by John only. In fact, the voice confirms to everyone else that Jesus greater than John the Baptist.

Is that right? 

Offline HabteSelassie

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Re: Sabellianism
« Reply #160 on: May 27, 2011, 03:51:28 PM »
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



I was the first to admit that my views were "heretical".
But that doesn't change the fact that I am baptized and married and have received Catholic sacraments.

I was never a Protestant nor do I now claim to be one.


Pardon me, but I never meant to insinuate that you were a Protestant. I was speaking about the Protestant ethos of "read the Bible for yourself" which is not strictly Protestant, but did originate from the Protestant traditions.

I agree fully that the Bible should be read by the laity, often and frequently, however with a kind reverence and reservation of judgment.  Those of us in the Apostolic Church (Catholic or Orthodox) should venerate the Bible but not read it as a spiritual fact book, or a "Where's Waldo" approach to the Divine.  It is not a puzzle to be solved with the mind, it is a meta-narrative of God's interaction with a particular family and genealogy to be experienced with the heart

The Apostolic Tradition has taught us time and time again to read the Bible carefully under the guidance of both our current spiritual fathers as well as the Patristic Fathers and the light of the Holy Tradition.  The Bible as it sits on the shelf is incomplete, it is a half, the other half is the Holy Tradition of the Church, and both the Bible and the Holy Tradition absolutely must be interpreted and experienced cooperatively, integrally, united.  So if you are interpreting ideas from the Bible which are not in line with the experience of the Church across several layers and times, then perhaps you may need to read it again ;)

stay blessed,
habte selassie
"Yet stand aloof from stupid questionings and geneologies and strifes and fightings about law, for they are without benefit and vain." Titus 3:10

Offline Aindriú

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Re: Sabellianism
« Reply #161 on: May 27, 2011, 04:29:10 PM »

From someone who read the original Greek over 1,600 years ago, there wasn't an inkling of thought that the voice was heard by John only. In fact, the voice confirms to everyone else that Jesus greater than John the Baptist.

Is that right? 

Is that wrong? I quoted it twice. Look up St John Chrysostom, if you are unfamiliar with him.

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Offline Wyatt

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Re: Sabellianism
« Reply #162 on: May 27, 2011, 04:47:47 PM »
I was the first to admit that my views were "heretical".
But that doesn't change the fact that I am baptized and married and have received Catholic sacraments.
Are you still receiving the Eucharist?

Offline Leisa

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Re: Sabellianism
« Reply #163 on: May 27, 2011, 05:34:13 PM »

From someone who read the original Greek over 1,600 years ago, there wasn't an inkling of thought that the voice was heard by John only. In fact, the voice confirms to everyone else that Jesus greater than John the Baptist.

Is that right? 

Is that wrong? I quoted it twice. Look up St John Chrysostom, if you are unfamiliar with him.

Ok. I'm very confused by that quote from St. John Chrysostom. I admit I have NO IDEA what he is talking about.
I'll pick the first English translation on Biblos but please go to Bibos or another site to compare translations.

John 1:29-42
Jesus the Lamb of God

29The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ 31I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.”

32Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. 33I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 34I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God.”

Jesus’ First Disciples

35The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. 36When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!”

37When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. 38Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?”

They said, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are you staying?”

39“Come,” he replied, “and you will see.”

So they went and saw where he was staying, and spent that day with him. It was about the tenth hour.

40Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. 41The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). 42And he brought him to Jesus.

Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peterj). 


Now ask yourself, if everyone knew who Jesus was AT HIS BAPTISM, then why don't they know it the following day, and the day after that, except that John TELLS them?

Notice also there is no voice recorded in this gospel.

Matthew 3:13-17

The Baptism of Jesus

13Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”

15Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.

16As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. 17And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

This is interesting because in this gospel John recognizes Jesus BEFORE baptizing him.  In contrast to the other three gospels.

Mark 1:9-11
The Baptism and Temptation of Jesus

9At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

12At once the Spirit sent him out into the desert, 13and he was in the desert forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.

Notice it is always "he" saw, not "they".  And notice that Jesus departs straight for the wilderness.

Luke 3:21-22

The Baptism and Genealogy of Jesus

21When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened 22and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

Please notice that this time it happens when Jesus is praying, not during his baptism. 

Do any of the gospels testify to the fact that people were alerted to Jesus's status as the Messiah at his baptism?
Or do they say that John was cognizant of it?  And then John told others.
Lets assume that the gospel of John has it wrong.  And lets even assume for one crazy second that the gospels that say "he saw" are wrong and mistranslated from "they saw".  Now even in that situation, we still don't see anyone chasing after Jesus following his baptism.  Don't you think that if they found out Jesus was the Messiah at his baptism they would have gathered around him and started to follow him and ask him questions?
But according to three gospels he goes out into the wilderness harassed by no one.  In John's gospel he starts his ministry after his baptism when John announces him.

So tell me how it is that you arrive at the conclusion that this event at his baptism was experienced by all those present and not just experienced by John?




Offline Aindriú

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Re: Sabellianism
« Reply #164 on: May 27, 2011, 06:04:15 PM »
Some of the bolder items, I believe are irrelevant to your point, but instead of arguing over English grammatics of translated Koine Greek, I'll put St. john's words into better English.

He starts with the context of the story. There are many people who are being baptized by St. John in the waters of the Jordan. St. John was a well known prophet, and people revered him as such for his great wisdom. Many people even believed St. John to be the possible Messiah. He was certainly of God, why not! But John has been saying No, I am not the Messiah!  (Luke 3:15-17)

The comes Jesus. There has been word that He is a holy man, as well, but certainly not holier than the prophet John! When Jesus comes to John to be baptized, John doesn't think himself worthy enough; He already knows who Jesus is(Matthew 3:14). When Jesus is baptized, the other hypostases of God show themselves proclaiming His Divinity. S

St John Chrysostom is saying, the voice and dove weren't for John the Baptist, but for everyone else. John already knew, he was a prophet, but now everyone else realizes who the Messiah truly is.
Quote
For since the voice that said, “This is my beloved Son,” would seem to the multitude rather to belong to John, for It added not, “This that is baptized,” but simply This, and every hearer would conceive it to be said concerning the baptizer, rather than the baptized, partly on account of the Baptist’s own dignity, partly for all that hath been mentioned; the Spirit came in form of a dove, drawing the voice towards Jesus, and making it evident to all, that This was not spoken of John that baptized, but of Jesus who was baptized.

Does this read any differently?
Quote
Matthew 3:

11 I indeed baptize you in water unto penance, but he that shall come after me, is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you in the Holy Ghost and fire. 12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly cleanse his floor and gather his wheat into the barn; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.

13 Then comes Jesus from Galilee to the Jordan, unto John, to be baptized by him. 14 But John stayed him, saying: I ought to be baptized by you, and you come to me? 15 And Jesus answering, said to him: Allow it to be so now. For so it becomes us to fulfil all justice. Then he allowed him. 16 And Jesus being baptized, forthwith came out of the water: and lo, the heavens were opened to him: and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon him. 17 And behold a voice from heaven saying: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
http://newadvent.org/bible/mat003.htm

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Offline Aindriú

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Re: Sabellianism
« Reply #165 on: May 27, 2011, 06:12:33 PM »
From a Catholic apologist. RC doctrinal apology is typically too scholastic (over thought) for Orthodox, but perhaps it will help clarify the mindset.

From the book 'Theology and Sanity' by Frank Sheed
Quote
(ii) "Person" and "Nature"

Let us come now to a consideration of the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity to see what light there is in it for us, being utterly confident that had there been no light for us, God would not have revealed it to us. There would be a rather horrible note of mockery in telling us something of which we can make nothing. The doctrine may be set out in four statements:

In the one divine Nature, there are three Persons - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

The Father is not the Son, the Son is not the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit is not the Father: no one of the Persons is either of the others.

The Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Spirit is God.

There are not three Gods but one God.

We have seen that the imagination cannot help here. Comparisons drawn from the material universe are a hindrance and no help. Once one has taken hold of this doctrine, it is natural enough to want to utter it in simile and metaphor - like the lovely lumen de lumine, light from light, with which the Nicene Creed phrases the relation of the Son to the Father. But this is for afterward, poetical statement of a truth known, not the way to its knowledge. For that, the intellect must go on alone. And for the intellect, the way into the mystery lies, as we have already suggested, in the meaning of the words "person" and "nature". There is no question of arithmetic involved. We are not saying three persons in one person, or three natures in one nature; we are saying three persons in one nature. There is not even the appearance of an arithmetical problem. It is for us to see what person is and what nature is, and then to consider what meaning there can be in a nature totally possessed by three distinct persons.

The newcomer to this sort of thinking must be prepared to work hard here. It is a decisive stage of our advance into theology to get some grasp of the meaning of nature and the meaning of person. Fortunately the first stage of our search goes easily enough. We begin with ourselves. Such a phrase as "my nature" suggests that there is a person, I, who possesses a nature. The person could not exist without his nature, but there is some distinction all the same; for it is the person who possesses the nature and not the other way round.

One distinction we see instantly. Nature answers the question what we are; person answers the question who we are. Every being has a nature; of every being we may properly ask, What is it? But not every being is a person: only rational beings are persons. We could not properly ask of a stone or a potato or an oyster, Who is it?

By our nature, then, we are what we are. It follows that by our nature we do what we do: for every being acts according to what it is. Applying this to ourselves, we come upon another distinction between person and nature. We find that there are many things, countless things, we can do. We can laugh and cry and walk and talk and sleep and think and love. All these and other things we can do because as human beings we have a nature which makes them possible. A snake could do only one of them - sleep. A stone could do none of them. Nature, then, is to be seen not only as what we are but as the source of what we can do.
Quote
Returning to the point at which this digression started: we must not say three separate persons, but three distinct persons, because although they are distinct - that is to say, no one of them is either of the others - yet they cannot be separated, for each is what he is by the total possession of the one same nature: apart from that one same nature, no one of the three persons could exist at all. And we must not use any phrase which suggests that the three persons share the Divine Nature. For we have seen that in the Infinite there is utter simplicity, there are no parts, therefore no possibility of sharing. The infinite Divine Nature can be possessed only in its totality. In the words of the Fourth Council of the Lateran, "There are three persons indeed, but one utterly simple substance, essence, or nature."

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Offline Wyatt

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Re: Sabellianism
« Reply #166 on: May 27, 2011, 06:36:00 PM »
I was the first to admit that my views were "heretical".
But that doesn't change the fact that I am baptized and married and have received Catholic sacraments.
Are you still receiving the Eucharist?
?
« Last Edit: May 27, 2011, 06:36:10 PM by Wyatt »

Offline Aindriú

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Re: Sabellianism
« Reply #167 on: May 27, 2011, 06:42:03 PM »
For an Orthodox description of the Trinity, Fr. John Meyendorf's book 'Byzantine Theology' may offer some value.

Quote
Unity and Trinity.

The Cappadocian Fathers adopts the formulation which would remain the criterion of Orthodox Trinitarian theology in the East: God is one essence in three hypostases. This Cappadocian settlement given the circumstances of the fourth century never pretended to be anything more than the best possible description of the divine mystery, not the solution of a philosophical process similar to the Plotinian "Trinity of hypostases." The Fathers always affirms that we cannot know what God is; only that He is because He has revealed Himself — in salvation history — as Father, Son, and Spirit. God is Trinity, "and this fact can be deduced from no principle nor explained by any sufficient reason, for there are neither principles nor causes anterior to the Trinity."8

Why then are this description and this terminology preferable to others? Mainly, it is because all the options then available seemed inadequate from the start. The formula "one essence, three prosopa," for example, was not able to exclude a modalistic Trinity since the term prosopon although commonly used to designate "person" could also mean "mask" or "appearance." The Cappadocian Fathers meanwhile have wanted to affirm simultaneously that God is one object and three objects, that both His unity and His trinity are full realities. "When I speak of God," writes Gregory of Nazianzus, "you must be illumined at once by one flash of light and by three. Three in properties, in hypostases or Persons, if anyone prefers so to call them, for we would not quarrel about names so long as the syllables amount to the same meaning; but one in respect of the ousia, that is, the Godhead."9

There is no claim here for philosophical consistency although an effort is made to use current philosophical terms. The ultimate meaning of the terms however is clearly different from their meaning in Greek philosophy, and their inadequacy is frankly recognized.

This is particularly true of hypostasis, a term crucial in Trinitarian theology, and in Christology. Neither in Aristotelianism nor in Neo-Platonism was the term intended to designate a person in the Christian (and modern) sense, an agent, "possessing" his own nature and "acting" accordingly, a unique subject whose absolute identity can in no way be duplicated. Against the "old Nicaeans," the Cappadocian Fathers wanted to emphasize that the Nicaean homoousion ("consubstantial") did not identify the Son with the Father on the personal level but only on the level of the ousia. "Neither is the Son Father, for the Father is one, but He is what the Father is; nor is the Spirit Son because He is of God, for the Only-begotten is one, but He is what the Son is."10 Thus, in God, the "what" is one, but the three hypostases are personal identities irreducible to each other in their personal being. They "possess divinity,"11 and divinity is "in them."12

One recognizes the hypostatic character [of the Spirit] in that He is revealed after the Son and with the Son, and in that He receives His subsistence from the Father. And the Son, in Himself and with Himself revealing the Spirit, who proceeds from the Father, shines alone with the un-begotten light and has nothing in common with the Father and the Spirit in the identity of His particularities, but is revealed alone in the characters proper to His hypostasis. And the Father possesses the particular hypostatic character of being the Father and of being independent from all causality...13

The same personalistic emphasis appears in the Greek Fathers’ insistence on the "monarchy" of the Father. Contrary to the concept which prevails in the post-Augustinian West and in Latin Scholasticism, Greek theology attributes the origin of hypostatic ‘‘subsistence" to the hypostasis of the Father — not to the common essence. The Father is the "cause" (aitia) and the "principle" (archē) of the divine nature, which is in the Son and in the Spirit. What is even more striking is the fact that this "monarchy" of the Father is constantly used by the Cappadocian Fathers against those who accuse them of "tritheism": "God is one," writes Basil, "because the Father is one."14 And the same thought is found in Gregory of Nazianzus: "God is the common nature of the three, but the Father is their union [henōsis]."15 Pseudo-Dionysius also speaks of the Father as the "source of Divinity,"16 and John of Damascus in his Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith also affirms the essential dependence of the Son and the Spirit upon the Person of the Father:

Whatsoever the Son has from the Father, the Spirit also has, including His very being. And if the Father does not exist, then neither does the Son and the Spirit; and if the Father does not have something, then neither has the Son or the Spirit. Furthermore, because of the Father, that is because of the fact that the Father is, the Son and the Spirit are; and because of the Father, the Son and the Spirit have everything that they have.17

By accepting Nicaea, the Cappadocian Fathers eliminated the ontological subordinationism of Origen and Arius, but they preserved indeed together with their understanding of hypostatic life, a Biblical and Orthodox subordinationism, maintaining the personal identity of the Father as the ultimate origin of all divine being and action: "The three [are] one God when contemplated together; each [is] God because [they are] consubstantial; the three [are] one God because of the monarchy [of the Father]."18 Developing his well-known doctrine of the divine image in man, Gregory of Nyssa defines one aspect of human personal existence which is clearly different from that of God: each human person possesses the power of reproducing himself while in God there is only "one and the same Person of the Father from whom the Son is born and the Spirit proceeds."19 Thus, the human race is in a constant process of fragmentation, and can recover its unity only through adoption by the Father in Christ — i.e., by becoming children of the one single hypostasis which generates without fragmenting or multiplying. The origin of unity in the Trinity, the Father restores the unity of creation by adopting humanity in His Son, the New Adam, in whom humanity is "recapitulated" through the activity of the Spirit.
http://www.holytrinitymission.org/books/english/byzantine_theology_j_meyendorf.htm#_Toc26430278

A large portion of this book is online. Please go to that link or here to read more, as it was only a snippet.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2011, 06:45:34 PM by Azurestone »

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Offline xariskai

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Re: Sabellianism
« Reply #168 on: May 27, 2011, 07:29:59 PM »
So tell me how it is that you arrive at the conclusion that this event at his baptism was experienced by all those present and not just experienced by John?
Lk 3:21: "Now when all the people were baptized [ἐν τῷ βαπτισθῆναι ἅπαντα τὸν λαὸν] Jesus was also baptized, and while He was praying, heaven was opened..."

Acts 1:21: "Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from John's baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection."

« Last Edit: May 27, 2011, 07:33:21 PM by xariskai »

Offline xariskai

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Re: Sabellianism
« Reply #169 on: May 27, 2011, 08:20:55 PM »
John 10:17: "For this reason the Father loves Me..."

Not "the Son is the Father," but the Son is loved by the Father.


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Re: Sabellianism
« Reply #170 on: May 27, 2011, 08:36:46 PM »
John 10:17: "For this reason the Father loves Me..."

Not "the Son is the Father," but the Son is loved by the Father.


« Last Edit: May 27, 2011, 08:39:07 PM by xariskai »

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Re: Sabellianism
« Reply #171 on: May 27, 2011, 08:42:19 PM »
^ you are anything but Catholic.

I was the first to admit that my views were "heretical".
But that doesn't change the fact that I am baptized and married and have received Catholic sacraments.

I was never a Protestant nor do I now claim to be one.

I already said I follow the line of thinking that they are manifestations of one God. Not three "persons" of a trinity.


Which is precisely why you are not Catholic. Once you cease to profess the Catholic faith, and adhere to man-made teachings, then you are no longer a Catholic. Face it. You are picking and choosing what to believe and what not to believe, rather than humbly submitting to Christ's Church. That makes you a protestant.
"For, by its immensity, the divine substance surpasses every form that our intellect reaches. Thus we are unable to apprehend it by knowing what it is. Yet we are able to have some knowledge of it by knowing what it is not." - St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa contra gentiles, I, 14.

Offline Wyatt

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Re: Sabellianism
« Reply #172 on: May 27, 2011, 11:50:44 PM »
^ you are anything but Catholic.

I was the first to admit that my views were "heretical".
But that doesn't change the fact that I am baptized and married and have received Catholic sacraments.

I was never a Protestant nor do I now claim to be one.

I already said I follow the line of thinking that they are manifestations of one God. Not three "persons" of a trinity.


Which is precisely why you are not Catholic. Once you cease to profess the Catholic faith, and adhere to man-made teachings, then you are no longer a Catholic. Face it. You are picking and choosing what to believe and what not to believe, rather than humbly submitting to Christ's Church. That makes you a protestant.
And not even a good Protestant because the vast majority of them still profess belief in the Holy Trinity.

Offline Leisa

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Re: Sabellianism
« Reply #173 on: May 28, 2011, 11:01:56 AM »
Some of the bolder items, I believe are irrelevant to your point, but instead of arguing over English grammatics of translated Koine Greek, I'll put St. john's words into better English.

He starts with the context of the story. There are many people who are being baptized by St. John in the waters of the Jordan. St. John was a well known prophet, and people revered him as such for his great wisdom. Many people even believed St. John to be the possible Messiah. He was certainly of God, why not! But John has been saying No, I am not the Messiah!  (Luke 3:15-17)

The comes Jesus. There has been word that He is a holy man, as well, but certainly not holier than the prophet John! When Jesus comes to John to be baptized, John doesn't think himself worthy enough; He already knows who Jesus is(Matthew 3:14). When Jesus is baptized, the other hypostases of God show themselves proclaiming His Divinity. S

St John Chrysostom is saying, the voice and dove weren't for John the Baptist, but for everyone else. John already knew, he was a prophet, but now everyone else realizes who the Messiah truly is.
Quote
For since the voice that said, “This is my beloved Son,” would seem to the multitude rather to belong to John, for It added not, “This that is baptized,” but simply This, and every hearer would conceive it to be said concerning the baptizer, rather than the baptized, partly on account of the Baptist’s own dignity, partly for all that hath been mentioned; the Spirit came in form of a dove, drawing the voice towards Jesus, and making it evident to all, that This was not spoken of John that baptized, but of Jesus who was baptized.

Does this read any differently?
Quote
Matthew 3:

11 I indeed baptize you in water unto penance, but he that shall come after me, is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you in the Holy Ghost and fire. 12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly cleanse his floor and gather his wheat into the barn; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.

13 Then comes Jesus from Galilee to the Jordan, unto John, to be baptized by him. 14 But John stayed him, saying: I ought to be baptized by you, and you come to me? 15 And Jesus answering, said to him: Allow it to be so now. For so it becomes us to fulfil all justice. Then he allowed him. 16 And Jesus being baptized, forthwith came out of the water: and lo, the heavens were opened to him: and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon him. 17 And behold a voice from heaven saying: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
http://newadvent.org/bible/mat003.htm

I appreciate your answer.  But Matthew's gospel still says "he saw".

Chrysostom is telling us that everyone saw it, but the gospels don't say that.  How are we as readers of the gospels to assume that everyone saw this when the gospels say "he saw"?  And we have a narrative that has Jesus departing the baptism scene alone and unaddressed.

And you are relying on Matthew's gospel but you must realize that John's gospel contradicts it.  John's gospel says the exact opposite -
John 1:33
I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, 'The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.'

So how does John know Jesus is the Messiah BEFORE he baptizes him and sees the Spirit descend? 

Matthew 3:13-14
Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?"

Do you see the problem here?






Offline Wyatt

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Re: Sabellianism
« Reply #174 on: May 28, 2011, 11:36:16 AM »
I appreciate your answer.  But Matthew's gospel still says "he saw".

Chrysostom is telling us that everyone saw it, but the gospels don't say that.  How are we as readers of the gospels to assume that everyone saw this when the gospels say "he saw"?  And we have a narrative that has Jesus departing the baptism scene alone and unaddressed.

And you are relying on Matthew's gospel but you must realize that John's gospel contradicts it.  John's gospel says the exact opposite -
John 1:33
I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, 'The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.'

So how does John know Jesus is the Messiah BEFORE he baptizes him and sees the Spirit descend? 

Matthew 3:13-14
Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?"

Do you see the problem here?
Reading Scripture is pointless if you don't interpret it with the mind and heart of the Church.

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Re: Sabellianism
« Reply #175 on: May 28, 2011, 11:42:22 AM »
John 1:
Quote
29 The next day, John saw Jesus coming to him; and he says: Behold the Lamb of God. Behold him who takes away the sin of the world. 30 This is he of whom I said: After me there comes a man, who is preferred before me: because he was before me. 31 And I knew him not: but that he may be made manifest in Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. 32 And John gave testimony, saying: I saw the Spirit coming down, as a dove from heaven; and he remained upon him. 33 And I knew him not: but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me: He upon whom you shall see the Spirit descending and remaining upon him, he it is that baptizes with the Holy Ghost. 34 And I saw: and I gave testimony that this is the Son of God.

I don't think it's saying what you think. I think it's saying he did not know the man (Jesus), but he knew who he IS, and the the baptism was confirmation.

If you are not convinced, this is not the only place in the Bible we have presented as contradicting your desired position. Either way, we are still presented with the problem of Sola Scriptura. I don't just trust in my amateur abilities alone to interpret the Bible, choosing which scripture to trust over another. I trust the Church Fathers and the Tradition of the Church of which the Bible is only a part. We are told in the Bible to hold tight to our Traditions. Catholic doesn't mean universal in Greek, it means 'according to the whole', because our faith is verified through the consensus of all the saints and faithful.


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Re: Sabellianism
« Reply #176 on: May 28, 2011, 11:52:27 AM »
So tell me how it is that you arrive at the conclusion that this event at his baptism was experienced by all those present and not just experienced by John?
Lk 3:21: "Now when all the people were baptized [ἐν τῷ βαπτισθῆναι ἅπαντα τὸν λαὸν] Jesus was also baptized, and while He was praying, heaven was opened..."

Acts 1:21: "Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from John's baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection."



Luke's gospel in contrast to the others, doesn't say who the witness is.  It is silent.  

And as far as Acts 1:21 goes, it is interesting.  Why do you think it is important for them to pick someone who is there from that point forward?

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Re: Sabellianism
« Reply #177 on: May 28, 2011, 12:06:42 PM »
Why do you think it reasonable to ignore the constant witness of the Christian Church against Sabellianism?

You are free to become and be a Sabellian, but by doing so you cease to be a Christian.

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Offline Leisa

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Re: Sabellianism
« Reply #178 on: June 02, 2011, 01:26:00 PM »
Why do you think it reasonable to ignore the constant witness of the Christian Church against Sabellianism?

You are free to become and be a Sabellian, but by doing so you cease to be a Christian.



In the early church there were many who baptized in the name of Jesus alone and they were not necessarily considered non-Christians.  It wasn't until the 400's I believe when it was declared heretical to baptize in the name of Jesus only.
Obviously in the middle ages men were wrongly burned at the stake for rejecting the trinity.

I think that a Christian is someone who follows Christ.  And if I have a stricter definition of who Jesus is than you, I considering the 3 to be a matter of perception, and you considering the 3 to be a matter of essence, does that make me a non Christian?

"During the development of trinitarian theology, it was often proposed that the Christian God had three "faces" or "masks" (Grk. prosopa). The questions thus arose, is this threeness a matter of essence or perception? Where the three "persons" of the Godhead permanent distinctions, or modes of God's activity?" http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Sabellianism

Maybe you are the non-Christian for believing in three persons (trintiy)?  Instead of emphasizing the oneness of God?

It seems to me that there is more than one possible interpretation.  Perhaps this is hinted at in the vehemence towards the "judaizers"?  Obviously the early community was very diverse.  And the church can excommunicate until the cows come home, and burn every text that differs from orthodoxy but at the end of the day history will determine if that is a prudent move.

And I am open to discussing these views.


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Re: Sabellianism
« Reply #179 on: June 02, 2011, 01:44:34 PM »
That's just a red herring. The early church accepted baptism in the name of Jesus.

I asked about Sabellianism. This has always been rejected. On what authority do you believe that you alone are correct?
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