The Trinity Doctrine: Biblical Truth or Hellenic Philosophy?
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Scriptural Evidence about the Holy Spirit
The Nicaean and more so the Constantinopolitan Creed with the Greek philosophical belief put forth by Plato 400 years before Christ’s birth, included the Holy Spirit as the third person of the pagan philosophical view of all gods having a triune nature. The problem with this is that the Holy Spirit, while seeming to have some form of personhood throughout scripture, really has none and is purely the spirit of Yahweh God as an inanimate power, whom he directs to do his will and after Christ Jesus resurrection, even “gave authority” for Christ Jesus to direct the Holy Spirit to people.
Notice however the commentary by Alvan Lamson regarding the greek pholosopical view that places the Holy Spirit into the Trinity or triune God concept:
“… we must look, not to the Jewish Scriptures, nor to the teachings of Jesus and his apostles, but to Philo and the Alexandrian Platonists. In consistency with this view, we maintain that the doctrine of the Trinity was of gradual and comparatively late formation; that it had its origin in a source entirely foreign from that of the Jewish and Christian Scriptures ; that it grew up, and was ingrafted on Christianity, through the hands of the Platonizing Fathers ; that in the time of Justin, and long after, the distinct nature and inferiority of the Son were universally taught; and that only the first shadowy outline of the Trinity had then become visible.21”
This in itself shows once again the move by Athanasius, who studied Platonian Philosophy as we have already seen, simply applied their Greek Philosophical views and beliefs onto the Holy Scritpures to create something that was not supported, nor even taught by the Apostles or early Christians. As witnessed earlier in this Bible Study, philosophy should be ignored at all times as it is manmade and not of God. All things should be judged by scripture before accepting them as right or wrong, something clearly shown in this Bible study that Athanasius and those that supported the philosophical concept of the doctrine of the Trinity did not do, for we know that they could not even write the original Nicaean Creed from a scriptural perspective.
Regarding the Holy Spirit, had they started in the Old Covenant (OT) of the Bible to see what it states, they would have found the following:
Gen 1:1-3 NJB
1. In the beginning God created heaven and earth.
2. Now the earth was a formless void, there was darkness over the deep, with a divine wind sweeping over the waters.
3. God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light.
The King James Version uses the word Spirit instead of “divine wind” however look at the meaning of the
Hebrew word for Spirit.
Gen 1:2 KJV
2. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit (H7307) of God moved upon the face of the waters.
From H7306; wind; by resemblance breath, that is, a sensible (or even violent) exhalation; figuratively life, anger, unsubstantiality
In both these verses it is clear that the Holy Spirit, which is a “divine wind” or the “Spirit of God”, is not a person. It is a power that emanates from God himself and does his will as part of creation, at least in this example. It does of course have other abilities, but none of which it grants of its own will, all are granted by Gods will as with Gifts of God (see our Scriptural Article: Gifts of God). We also see Jesus breathing out the Spirit himself and commanding it in the following verses:
John 20:19-22 NJB
19. In the evening of that same day, the first day of the week, the doors were closed in the room where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood among them. He said to them, 'Peace be with you,'
20. and, after saying this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled with joy at seeing the Lord,
21. and he said to them again, 'Peace be with you. 'As the Father sent me, so am I sending you.'
22. After saying this he breathed on them and said: Receive the Holy Spirit.
How can the Holy Spirit be a person when we read comments like the ones below with God “anointing” Jesus with the Holy Spirit, how do you anoint somebody with a person?
Acts 10:38 NJB
38. God had anointed him with the Holy Spiritand with power, and because God was with him, Jesus went about doing good and curing all who had fallen into the power of the devil.
Or how do you take a “share” of a person as is pointed out in John below where he states “he has given us a share in his Spirit.”
1 John 4:13 NJB
13. This is the proof that we remain in him and he in us, that he has given us a share in his Spirit.
There is also this verse, where the Holy Spirit comes down on many people and poured out on gentiles as well, so how can the Holy Spirit be anything but an impersonal force emanating from God, commanded by God and also Christ Jesus after his death and Resurrection?
Act 10:44-45 NJB
44. While Peter was still speaking the Holy Spirit came down on all the listeners.
45. Jewish believers who had accompanied Peter were all astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit should be poured out on gentiles too,
21. Alvan Lamson, The Church of the First Three Centuries: Or, Notices of the Lives and Opinions of the Early Fathers, with Special Reference to the Doctrine of the Trinity, Digitized Version ed. (Boston: Walker, Wise and Company, 1860), Digital. ↩
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