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Satanic Quote: Trinitarian

JW's Quote Kelly in such a way as to leave the impression that he is not a trinitarian or one with no Bible basis.

Kelly, J.N.D.: Early Christian Doctrines

Kelly is quoted in, Watchtower Magazine, Aug. 1, 1984, p 23 by Jehovah's Witnesses

Watchtower Deception exposed:

How the Watchtower quoted the source

What they left out to deliberately misrepresent the source and deceive you:

"Of a doctrine of the Trinity in the strict sense there is of course no sign" (Watchtower, Aug. 1, 1984, pg 23, quoting J.N.D. Kelly)

"Of a doctrine of the Trinity in the strict sense there is of course no sign, although the Church's triadic formula left its mark everywhere." (Early Christian Doctrines, J.N.D. Kelly, p. 95)

"What the Apologists had to say about the Holy Spirit was much more meagre" (Watchtower, Aug. 1, 1984, pg 23, quoting, J.N.D. Kelly)

"What the Apologists had to say about the Holy Spirit was much more meagre, scarcely deserving the name of scientific theology. This is understandable, for the problem which principally exercised them was the relation of Christ to the Godhead. Nevertheless, being loyal churchmen, they made it their business to proclaim the Church's faith, the pattern of which was of course triadic. [ie. trinitarian] (Early Christian Doctrines, J.N.D. Kelly, p. 101)

"appear to have been extremely vague as to the exact status and role of the Spirit." (Watchtower, Aug. 1, 1984, pg 23, quoting J.N.D. Kelly)

"Yet, as compared with their thought about the Logos, the Apologists appear to have been extremely vague as to the exact status and role of the Spirit. His essential function in their eyes would seem to have been the inspiration of the prophets. Developing this, Justin interprets Is. 11, 2 ('The Spirit of God shall rest upon him') as indicating that with the coming of Christ prophecy would cease among the Jews; henceforth the Spirit would be Christ's Spirit, and would bestow His gifts and graces upon Christians. Hence it is He Who is the source of the illumination which makes Christianity the supreme philosophy., There are passages, however, where he attributes the inspiration of the prophets to the Logos; and Theophilus, too, suggests that it was the Logos Who, being divine spirit, illuminated their minds. There can be no doubt that the Apologists' thought was highly confused; they were very far from having worked the threefold pattern of the Church's faith into a coherent scheme. In this connection it is noteworthy that Justin did not assign the Holy Spirit any role in the incarnation. Like other pre-Nicene fathers, he understood the divine Spirit and 'power of the Most High' mentioned in Luke 1, 3 5, not as the Holy Spirit, but as the Logos, Whom he envisaged as entering the womb of the Blessed Virgin and acting as the agent of His own incarnation. In spite of incoherencies, however, the lineaments of a Trinitarian doctrine are clearly discernible in the Apologists. The Spirit was for them the Spirit of God; like the Word, He shared the divine nature, being (in Athenagoras's words) an 'effluence' from the Deity. Although much of Justin's language about Him has a sub-personal ring, it becomes more personal when he speaks of 'the prophetic Spirit'; and there is no escaping the personal implications contained in his pleas that Plato borrowed his conception of a third One from Moses, and that the pagan custom of erecting statues of Kore at springs was inspired by the Scriptural picture of the Spirit moving upon the waters. As regards the relation of the Three, there is little to be gleaned from Justin beyond his statement that Christians venerate Christ and the Spirit in the second and the third ranks respectively. Athenagoras echoes this idea when he inveighs [a verbal attack] against labeling as atheists 'men who acknowledge God the Father, God the Son and the Holy Spirit, and declare both Their power in union and Their distinction in order'. This order, however, was not intended to suggest degrees of subordination within the Godhead; it belonged to the Triad as manifested in creation and revelation." (Early Christian Doctrines, J.N.D. Kelly, p 102)

The deception of selective quoting that misleads:

What else did they fail to quote from this source?

  1. "The ideas implicit in these early catechedical and liturgical formulae, as in the New Testament writers' use of the same dyadic and triadic patterns, represent a pre-reflective, pre-theological phase of Christian belief. It was out of the raw material thus provided by the preaching, worshiping Church that theologians had to construct their more sophisticated accounts of the Christian doctrine of the Godhead." (J. N. D. Kelly, Early Christian Doctrines, p 90.)
  2. "Naturally the Son is fully divine: 'the Father is God, and the Son is God, for whatever is begotten of God is God'. The Spirit, too, although Irenaeus nowhere expressly designates Him God, clearly ranked as divine in his eyes, for He was God's Spirit, ever welling up from His being. Thus we have Irenaeus's vision of the Godhead, the most complete, and also most explicitly Trinitarian, to be met with before Tertullian. Its second-century traits stand out clearly, particularly its representation of the Triad by the imagery, not of three coequal persons (this was the analogy to be employed by the post-Nicene fathers), but rather of a single personage, the Father Who is the Godhead itself, with His mind, or rationality, and His wisdom. The motive for this approach, common to all Christian thinkers of this period, was their intense concern for the fundamental tenet of monotheism, but its unavoidable corollary was a certain obscuring of the position of the Son and the Spirit as 'Persons' (to use the jargon of later theology) prior to their generation or emission. Because of its emphasis on the 'economy', this type of thought has been given the label 'economic Trinitarianism'. The description is apt and convenient so long as it is not assumed that Irenaeus's recognition of, and preoccupation with, the Trinity revealed in the 'economy' prevented him from recognizing also the mysterious three-in-oneness of the inner life of the Godhead. The whole point of the great illustrative image which he, like his predecessors, employed, that of a man with his intellectual and spiritual functions, was to bring out, however inadequately, the fact that there are real distinctions in the immanent being of the unique, indivisible Father, and that while these were only fully manifested in the 'economy', they were actually there from all eternity." (J. N. D. Kelly, Early Christian Doctrines, p 107)

Our comment:

  1. This is an example of some of the worst deceptive quoting!
  2. When the trusting blind sheep of Jehovah's Witnesses read their "God directed" Watchtower magazine, they are left with the opposite impression of what the source is actually saying!
  3. The Watchtower deliberately leaves the false impression that the source openly admits that there is no basis of the Trinity in either the Bible or the first 300 years of church history!
  4. When you see a name like J. N. D. Kelly, being quoted by the JW's, you can be guaranteed they must misrepresent him! There is nothing Kelly would say that would support the JW's view of Jesus being a creature or that the Holy Spirit cannot be a person!

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Written By Steve Rudd, Used by permission at:

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