The Trinity Doctrine: Biblical Truth or Hellenic Philosophy?
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Pagan Trinity Influences
One of the first major issues that comes to Christian’s after reading the Bible in full, especially after reading the Old Covenant (Old Testament) is the huge understanding that Yahweh God DOES NOT want the Hebrews worshipping Him in a similar way the pagans worship their gods. He outlines very different and specific concepts, information, ways of worshiping him, the practices he expects and the understanding he wants them to have of him on a personal level. This is very clear in comparison to the way the other peoples around them worship and interact with their own gods; something Yahweh God makes very clear to them that they are not to involve themselves in these “pagan” gentiles’ religious practices and issues. This became very clear through the Old Covenant and the Hebrews soon learnt that allowing gentile practices into their Worship of Yahweh soon bought strict punishment.
Any Christian, no matter how religious denominationally, even after reading the New Covenant (New Testament) should understand that when Christ Jesus gave us the Biblical Word and told Paul to go forth andgive the Good News of the Truth to the gentiles, that there was going to be some form of issue regarding the gentiles beliefs in the Truth that Christ Jesus had the Apostles teaching. One of the major issues that nearly every country and their religions had at the time was the concept of a Triune deity; something Christians would have a horror of if we found that our own Churches adopted something as unscriptural as this.
Unfortunately this is exactly what has occurred with Christianity. This section of the Study we wanted to show you the number of different civilizations that had “Triune Godheads” allocated to them. We know what you’re thinking, but even if you do, ‘none will be a three in one’. Re-evaluate that thought for yourself after reading the historical evidence presented in this section, for now, we wanted to show you the pagan influence of a triune godhead from other civilizations and their religions. Following are some comments and references to pagan triune godheads in other civilisations and their pagan religions. Leading into this section however I will leave you with the words of Marie Sinclair, Countess of Caithness:
“It is generally, although erroneously, supposed that the doctrine of the Trinity is of Christian origin. Nearly every nation of antiquity possessed a similar doctrine. St. Jerome testifies unequivocally, ‘All the ancient nations believed in the Trinity.’ 1”
“The Puranas, one of the Hindoo Bibles of more than 3,000 years ago, contain the following passage: ‘0 ye three Lords! know that I recognise only one God. Inform me, therefore, which of you is the true divinity, that I may address to him alone my adorations.’” The three gods, Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva, becoming manifest to him, replied, “Learn, 0 devotee, that there is no real distinction between us. What to you appears such is only the semblance. The single being appears under three forms by the acts of creation, preservation, and destruction, but he is one.’
‘Hence the triangle was adopted by all the ancient nations as a symbol of the Deity, embracing in Himself the three stages of time-past, present, and future. Three was considered among all the pagan nations as the chief of the mystical numbers, because, as Aristotle remarks, it contains within itself a beginning, a middle, and an end. Hence we find it designating some of the attributes of almost all the pagan gods.’ 2”
“The ancient Babylonians recognised the doctrine of a trinity, or three persons in one god - as appears from a composite god with three heads forming part of the mythology, and the use of the equilateral triangle, also, as an emblem of such trinity in unity. 3”
These are just two examples of triune deities from other civilizations and their religions, there are several more examples, including Sumeria and also Egypt, yet we want to show you one more example of how the concept of a triune godhead made sense in the 4th century with the creep of Greek philosophy before we go further into that concept. Here are two examples of ancient Greek / Hellenic philosophers that commented regarding the concept of triune or 3 in one deity concepts:
“In the Fourth Century B.C. Aristotle wrote: ‘All things are three, and thrice is all: and let us use this number in the worship of the gods; for, as the Pythagoreans say, everything and all things are bounded by threes, for the end, the middle and the beginning have this number in everything, and these compose the number of the Trinity’4”
“No writer ever avowed or taught a belief in any tenet of religious faith more fully or plainly than Plato sets forth the doctrine of the Trinity in his Phxdon, written four hundred years B.C. His first term for the Trinity was in Greek: I, Agathon, the Supreme God or Father; 2, the Logos, which is the Greek term for the Word ; and 3, Psyche, which the Greek Lexicon defines to mean ‘soul, spirit, or ghost.’ In this exposition of the Trinity adopted by the Greeks, and published four hundred years B.C., we have the identical doctrine of the Christian Church. In the Platonic or Grecian Trinity, the first person was considered the planner of the work of creation, the second person the Creator, and the third person the Spirit, which moved upon the face of the waters in the first chapter of Genesis, and infused life into the mighty deep at creation; who presided at the baptism of Christ as it had done at his conception or generation, and as it does at the incarnation and re-incarnation of all men. 5
It should be noted here in this last quote, that the doctrine of the Trinity which mainstream Christian churches and denominations have was actually written in the 4th Century A.D. by those claiming to be members of the
True Church, but actually written by a Greek Philosopher published in 400 B.C., that’s 400 years even before
Christ was born. What makes it worse is that this Greek Philosophical concept was drawn into the Christian Church, turning the church away from the true teachings of the Bible and Scripture by those who studied Greek Philosophy, as will be seen in the next topic of Greek and Hellenic Philosophy.
Even Arthur Weigall commented on the concept of the Trinity doctrine and its implementation into the Christian Church being a pagan belief and not mentioned in the Bible, he states:
“It must not be forgotten that Jesus Christ never mentioned such a phenomenon [the Trinity], and nowhere in the New Testament does the word ‘trinity’ appear. The idea was only adopted by the
Church three hundred years after the death of our Lord; and the origin of the conception is entirely pagan …”
“The early Christians, however, did not at first think of applying the idea to their own faith. They paid their devotions to God the Father and to Jesus Christ, the Son of God and they recognised the mysterious and undefined existence of the Holy Spirit; but there was no thought of these three being an actual Trinity, co-equal and united in One …”
“The application of this old pagan conception of a Trinity to Christian theology was made possible by the recognition of the Holy Spirit as the required third ‘Person,’ co-equal with the other ‘Persons’...”
“The idea of the Spirit being co-equal with God was not generally recognised until the second half of the Fourth Century A.D. … In the year 381 the Council of Constantinople added to the earlier Nicene Creed a description of the Holy Spirit as ‘the Lord, and giver of life, who proceedth from the Father, who with the Father and Son together is worshipped and glorified.’…
“Thus, the Athanasian creed, which is a later composition but reflects the general conceptions of Athanasius and his school, formulated the conception of a co-equal Trinity wherein the Holy Spirit was the third ‘Person’; and so it was made a dogma of the faith, and belief in the Three in One and One in Three became a paramount doctrine of Christianity, though not without terrible riots and bloodshed…6”
This is interesting when a person understands the Philosophical School of thought that Athanasius belonged to and was trained with:
“It is an undoubted fact that more or less all over the world the deities are in triads. This rule applies to eastern and western hemispheres, to north and south … in some mystical way, the triad of three persons in one. The first is as the second or third, the second as first or third, the third as first or second; in fact, they are each other, one and the same individual being. The definition of Athanasius, who lived in Egypt, applies to the trinities of all heathen religions. 1”
As can be seen, older authors regarding this topic, even though most were Trinitarian themselves, all accept that the concept of the Trinity is purely and fully pagan in origin and not Christian, but was adopted by Christianity to align with Pagan religious concepts, ideals and Philosophies.
It could be asked why the True Church believers allowed this, the answer is simple, by the late first century, we can see from the bible in 3 John 9-10 that conditions for the Church had become so bad that false teachers, apostles and deceitful workers” (2 Corinthians 11:13) had popped up, and some openly refused to acknowledge or receive representatives of the Apostle John and were excommunicating true Christians from the Church.
This leads us to the concepts of Greek / Hellenic Philosophy that caused the move and turning of true worship and understanding away from factual scriptural understanding and into a classical philosophical debate for what was thought, incorrectly, as accurate “understanding”.
1. Countess of Caithness Marie Sinclair, Old Truths in a New Light, or, an Earnest Endeavour to Reconcile Material Science with Spiritual Science, and with Scripture (New York Public Library: Chapman and Hall, 1876). p. 381↩
2. Ibid. pp. 381-382↩
3. Thomas Dennis Rock, The Mystical Woman and the Cities of the Nations : Or Papal Rome and Her Secular Satellites (London: William Macintosh, 1867). pp. 22-23↩
4. Arthur Weigall, Paganism in Our Christianity (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1928). pp. 197-198↩
5. Marie Sinclair, Old Truths in a New Light, or, an Earnest Endeavour to Reconcile Material Science with Spiritual Science, and with Scripture. p. 383↩
6. 6 Weigall, Paganism in Our Christianity. pp. 197-202↩
7. 7 James Bonwick, Egyptian Belief and Modern Thought (Indian Hills, Colo.: Falcon's Wing Press, 1878). p. 396.↩
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