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Deceptive Quote: Trinitarian

JW's and Christadelphians should be spanked for quoting Hislop as saying trinity came from the Pagans! Hislop's actual view is that God revealed Himself as Trinity from the beginning to the patriarchs calling trinity "original patriarchal faith" and that the pagans corrupted it!

Hislop, Alexander: The Two Babylons

Quoted by JW's &

Christadelphians & Victor Paul Wierwille of The Way International

"Trinity in Unity, In India, the supreme divinity, in like manner, in one of the most ancient cave-temples, is represented with three heads on one body, under the name of "Eko Deva Trimurtti," "One God, three forms."" (The Two Babylons Alexander Hislop, Chapter II Section I)

"The three heads are different arranged in Layard's specimen, but both alike are evidently intended to symbolise the same great truth [of the trinity], although all such representation of the Trinity necessarily and utterly debase the conceptions of those, among whom such images prevail, in regard to the sublime mystery of our faith." (Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons, p. 17.)

What they won't tell you when they quote Hislop:

  1. "While overlaid with idolatry, the recognition of a Trinity was universal in all the ancient nations of the world, proving how deep mated in the human race was the primeval doctrine on this subject, which comes out so distinctly in Genesis." (Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons, p. 18)
  2. "The ancient Babylonians held, the modern Hindoos skill hold, clear and distinct traditions of the Trinity the Incarnation, the Atonement. Yet, who will venture to say that such nominal recognition of the cardinal articles of Divine revelation could relieve the character of either the one system or the other from the brand of the most deadly and God-dishonoring heathenism?'' (Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons, p. 282)
  3. "Now, viewed in this light, the triune emblem of the supreme Assyrian divinity shows clearly what had been the original patriarchal faith. First, there is the head of the old man; next, there is the zero, or circle, for "the seed"; and lastly, the wings and tail of the bird or dove; showing, though blasphemously, the unity of Father, Seed, or Son, and Holy Ghost. From the statement in Genesis 1:2, that "the Spirit of God fluttered on the face of the deep" (for that is the expression in the original), it is evident that the dove had very early been a Divine emblem for the Holy Spirit. While this had been the original way in which Pagan idolatry had represented the Triune God, and though this kind of representation had survived to Sennacherib's time, yet there is evidence that, at a very early period, an important change had taken place in the Babylonian notions in regard to the divinity; and that the three persons had come to be, the Eternal Father, the Spirit of God incarnate in a human mother, and a Divine Son, the fruit of that incarnation. (Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons, p. 18)

Our comments

  1. Anti-Trinitarians quote profusely from Alexander Hislop in such a way so as to make the reader think that Hislop held believed that Trinity was of Pagan source and that Hislop rejected trinity. Having checked the book, Hislop is conservative minded and does not trash the whole of Christianity, like all who say Trinity originated with the pagans. What Hislop refutes is not the Trinity, but the vain attempts of the Roman Catholic Church to use a triangle to represent the King eternal. Hislop's minces no words, calling the Trinity "the same great truth" and condemns only representations of it.
  2. Hislop, like all Christians, recognize that there are some elements of Catholicism, that originated in Pagan thought, Christmas and the elevation of Mary, are two pretty clear examples.
  3. While Hislop rejects Christmas and Martolatry as untrue, he believes that trinity is of divine revelation. This is an important distinction to keep in mind in his book.
  4. Hislop's view is that God revealed Himself as Trinity from the beginning to the patriarchs calling trinity "original patriarchal faith".
  5. To Hislop, God's people did not adopt pagan doctrine; instead pagan religion continued to teach divine revelation from the beginning, but shamefully perverted it.
  6. Therefore it is not honest to use Hislop as proof that trinity came from the Pagans, for that is not what he says!
  7. If you think Hislop's view is unbelievable, be informed that Justin Martyr takes the view that the similarities between Christianity and Paganism were the result of demons. Justin noted that these resemblance's go far beyond Trinity doctrine but touch upon foundational doctrines of which Trinitarians and Anti-trinitarians share as a common belief (Like the Lord's Supper, for example)

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Written By Steve Rudd, Used by permission at:

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