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Author Topic: The Unitarian Abuse of 1 Corinthians 8:6  (Read 1580 times) Average Rating: 0
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Matthew777
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« on: August 21, 2006, 03:31:50 AM »

But to us [there is but] one God, the Father, of whom [are] all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom [are] all things, and we by him. (1 Corinthians 8:6)

Jehovah's Witnesses and other Unitarians interpret this verse to mean that the Father alone is God. However, if one were to remove one comma, the meaning would be much different:

There is but one God the Father, of whom [are] all things...

See the difference? The verse changes from vaguely implying Unitarianism to stating that in the Trinitarian Godhead, there is only one God the Father. If I am not mistaken, the original version of Corinthians doesn't have commas anyway, so it would be best to consider the context of Paul's writings.

Peace.
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« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2006, 11:00:52 AM »

Thank you for sharing.

Unitarians, JWs, Mormons and others abuse much more than this passage.  There isn't really anything to discuss - these other organizations are just non-Christian.
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« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2006, 12:09:02 PM »

The Father is O Kyrios: God.  Christ, the Son, is God because he is the Word of God.  Notice that St Paul often refers to "God" and "Jesus".  Of course, Jesus is God, but that is because the Father begets him.  There is no question of being a secondary sense, but prior to the Arian controversy, when the Church began to emphasize (the already existing) doctrine of the equality of the persons, it was much more common to speak of the Father as God and of Jesus as His Son, although of course divine as his only-begotten Son.

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« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2006, 12:19:11 PM »

Quote
prior to the Arian controversy, when the Church began to emphasize (the already existing) doctrine of the equality of the persons, it was much more common to speak of the Father as God and of Jesus as His Son

That makes sense of a search I did last night. After seeing Matthew's post I went to one of the net Bible programs and searched for the words "God Father," and in something like 2 dozen Bible verses Paul makes a slight but very consistent distinction between the two like "God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ". I guess different people will see in that what they want though, as that could also be used by Unitarians.
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Matthew777
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« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2006, 06:19:08 PM »

Of course, Jesus is God, but that is because the Father begets him.ÂÂ

Has Jesus, the Word of God, existed from eternal past?
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« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2006, 06:23:48 PM »

Has Jesus, the Word of God, existed from eternal past?

There was never a time when he was not.  You might like to read Basil's On the Holy Spirit, and St Gregory Nazianzus's five Theological Orations. The SVS press edition of the former is readable but suffers from clarity; the latter is great.  Both are in a good theological library or you can get them from interlibrary loan. They are in the Popular Patristics Series.

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« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2006, 06:27:10 PM »

There was never a time when he was not.ÂÂ

If the Son is equal to the Father, and is co-eternal with the Father, how can it be said that the Father begets the Son? From my understanding, this is a begetting which is beyond the human concept of cause and effect.

You might like to read Basil's On the Holy Spirit, and St Gregory Nazianzus's five Theological Orations.

There is a collection of patristic writings at the local library, I'll have to check it out.

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« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2006, 07:00:48 PM »

If the Son is equal to the Father, and is co-eternal with the Father, how can it be said that the Father begets the Son? From my understanding, this is a begetting which is beyond the human concept of cause and effect.

There is a collection of patristic writings at the local library, I'll have to check it out.

Peace.

The Son is indeed equal with the Father, and co-eternal. But I'm under the impression that these take a ontological connotation. There is a functional subordination (got to make that known, dont want to be labeled as an Arian here!) in the Holy Trinity. The Father begats the Son out of eternity, transcending time and human understanding - and reigns with the Father for eternity within the same essence. However, each person of the Godhead has their own 'duties,' if you will (The Father sending the Son, the Son asking the Father to send the Holy Spirit).

And yes you are right that it does go beyond concept of cause and effect. The Father is not the efficient cause of the Son, meaning that the Father did not create the Son in any way nor did He exist in any way before the Son.

Peace
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« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2006, 07:02:19 PM »

Quote
Paul makes a slight but very consistent distinction between the two like "God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ".

Nicene Creed:

"We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God...


Quote
If the Son is equal to the Father, and is co-eternal with the Father, how can it be said that the Father begets the Son?

"...begotten of the Father before all ages, God of God, Light of Light, True God of True God, begotten, not made, of one essence with the Father by whom all things were made; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, and was made man, and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate..."
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« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2006, 07:05:45 PM »

Nicene Creed:

"We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

Or:

"We believe in One God:
1) The Father Almighty....
2) And in One Lord Jesus Christ.....
3) And in the Holy Spirit...."
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« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2006, 07:19:14 PM »

Or:

"We believe in One God:
1) The Father Almighty....
2) And in One Lord Jesus Christ.....
3) And in the Holy Spirit...."

I doubt that was the intention of the framers of the creed. As we know from the historical debates surrounding the creed's formulation, the intention of the Fathers was to use as much Biblical terminology and phraseology as possible. The Creed only deviates from such Biblical terminology and phraseology where absolutely necessary (e.g. the term homoousios, and the qualification of Christ not being made). As noted already, the distinction between the Father as God and Christ as Lord is fundamentally Pauline. As many scholars have noted, verses like 1 Corinthians 8:6 represent a re-formulation of the Jewish Shema, whereby St. Paul affirms strict Jewish monotheism, whilst modifying it so as to include Christ within the unique Divine Identity.
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« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2006, 07:45:40 PM »

The Creed only deviates from such Biblical terminology and phraseology where absolutely necessary

Then the Fathers of the Council must have considered it necessary to differ from the phraseology of the Bible in defining God, because, the Biblical term for "God the Father" is "Theos o Patir", however the preposition "o" is missing in the Nicean-Constantinoplian Creed which says: "Pisteuo eis ena Theo Patera Pantokratora...."
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Matthew777
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« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2006, 10:54:13 PM »

"...begotten of the Father before all ages

Does this clearly state that Christ has existed from eternal past?
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« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2006, 11:01:22 PM »

Does this clearly state that Christ has existed from eternal past?

How would there be any difference?  That's what "begotten befor all ages means."  It is outside of our time or even comprehension for that matter.
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« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2006, 11:31:05 PM »

ÂÂ  It is outside of our time or even comprehension for that matter.

But it could imply that in the Father's concept of time, the Son had a beginning. And if that were the case, how could the Son be equal to the Father?
I believe that God has existed in three persons from eternal past. I wish that the Scriptures and the creed more clearly stated this, even though it is, at least, very implicit.
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