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Title:Lohse, Bernard: A Short History of Christian Doctrine
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Satanic Quote: Trinitarian

First the Watchtower leaves the reader with the false impression that Lohse believes that trinity originated with the pagans and has no scriptural basis. Second, the Watchtower, through a series of deceptive quotes, irresponsibly portrays Constantine as a faithless sun-god pagan idol worshipper with no understanding of Christianity who single-handedly introduces trinity to Christianity from the pagans and is almost the author of the Nicene creed.

Lohse, Bernard: A Short History of Christian Doctrine

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A Short History of Christian Doctrine by Bernard Lohse quoted in, Should you believe the Trinity?, Watchtower publication

Watchtower Deception exposed:

How the Watchtower quoted the source

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

"As far as the New Testament is concerned, one does not find in it an actual doctrine of the Trinity." (A Short History of Christian Doctrine, Bernard Lohse, 1966, p 38, as quoted in, Should you believe the Trinity?, Watchtower publication)

First, it is important to note that the doctrine of the Trinity does not go back to non-Christian sources [pagan], as has sometimes been supposed in the past. There has been no lack of attempts to find the initial form of the doctrine of the Trinity in Plato, or in Hinduism, or in Parsiism. All such attempts may be regarded today as having floundered. It is another question, of course, whether or not the church, in developing the doctrine of the Trinity, had recourse to certain thought forms already present in the philosophical and religious environment, in order that, with the help of these, it might give its own faith clear intellectual expression. This question must definitely be answered in the affirmative. In particular cases the appropriation of this concept or that can often be proved. Unfortunately, however, it is true that particularly in reference to the beginnings of the doctrine of the Trinity there is still much uncertainty. In this area final clarity has not yet been achieved. As far as the New Testament is concerned, one does not find in it an actual doctrine of the Trinity. This does not mean very much, however, for generally speaking the New Testament is less intent upon setting forth certain doctrines than it is upon proclaiming the kingdom of God, a kingdom that dawns in and with the person of Jesus Christ. At the same time, however, there are in the New Testament the rudiments of a concept of God that was susceptible of further development and clarification, along doctrinal lines. ... Speaking first of the person of Jesus Christ ... In other passages of the New Testament the predicate "God" is without a doubt applied to Christ (A Short History of Christian Doctrine, Bernard Lohse, 1966, p37-39)

"Constantine had basically no understanding whatsoever of the questions that were being asked in Greek theology," (A Short History of Christian Doctrine, Bernard Lohse, 1966, p51, as quoted in, Should you believe the Trinity?, Watchtower publication)

The first emperor to become a Christian, Constantine had basically no understanding whatsoever of the questions that were being asked in Greek theology. ... Even though he had a general antipathy to the controversies, and even though he himself had only a rudimentary "theology," he was still not entirely without sympathy for the problems which arose. In any case, he permitted himself to be more fully instructed about many things by his episcopal counselors. The decisive catchword of the Nicene confession, namely, hoinoousios ("of one substance"), comes from no less a person than the emperor himself. To the present day no one has cleared up the problem of where the emperor got the term. It seems likely that it was suggested to him by his episcopal counselor, Bishop Hosius (Ossius) of Cordova, and it was probably nothing more than a Greek translation of a term already found in Tertullian (A Short History of Christian Doctrine, Bernard Lohse, 1966, p51-53)

More quotes from this source that refute Anti-trinitarians

What else does this source say:

Our Comment:

First, it is important to note that the doctrine of the Trinity does not go back to non-Christian sources [pagan], as has sometimes been supposed in the past. There has been no lack of attempts to find the initial form of the doctrine of the Trinity in Plato, or in Hinduism, or in Parsiism. All such attempts may be regarded today as having floundered. It is another question, of course, whether or not the church, in developing the doctrine of the Trinity, had recourse to certain thought forms already present in the philosophical and religious environment, in order that, with the help of these, it might give its own faith clear intellectual expression. This question must definitely be answered in the affirmative. In particular cases the appropriation of this concept or that can often be proved. (A Short History of Christian Doctrine, Bernard Lohse, 1966, p37-39)

Lohse flatly contradicts the Watchtower view that Trinity came from the Pagans. Rather what Lohse says, and correctly so, is that early Christians would frame Christian doctrine in terms understand within the current culture for illustrative purposes. Of course JW's do the same thing today, when they explain man's soul when he dies being stored on a floppy disk in God's computer room! In 3000 AD, it would be just as ridiculous to dig up Watchtower Magazines from this century and conclude JW's (should they survive that long) borrowed their extinction doctrine from Bill Gates, as it is for JW's to say that early Christians borrowed trinity doctrine from the pagans!

Speaking first of the person of Jesus Christ ... In other passages of the New Testament the predicate "God" is without a doubt applied to Christ.' With these affirmations, which for Jewish monotheism were utterly offensive. (A Short History of Christian Doctrine, Bernard Lohse, 1966, p37-39)

We notice that Jews would be offended at calling Jesus Lord OR God. JW's do call Jesus Lord and "a God" which is just as much offense to Jews as Trinitarians calling Jesus "Very God".

Most of the bishops who were present at the council signed this creed. Among the signers were those who, judging by their theological presuppositions, could not do so, or could hardly do so, such as Eusebius of Caesarea. What seemed especially objectionable to many bishops and theologians of the East was the concept put into the creed by Constantine himself, the homoousios, which in the subsequent strife between orthodoxy and heresy became the object of dissension. Even most of the Arians put their names to the creed. Only Arius and two of his friends refused to sign, for which they were excommunicated." (A Short History of Christian Doctrine, Bernard Lohse, 1966, p51-53)

A majority signed the creed! In fact only two did not sign the creed! A few of these did so under duress. But what does that say about their willingness to stand up for the false things they held as faith!

Watchtower deception exposed:

First the Watchtower leaves the reader with the impression that Lohse believes that trinity originated with the pagans and has no scriptural basis. In fact this is exactly opposite on both counts to what Lohse actually says. He flatly rejects a pagan source after stating it has its foundation in the Bible.

Second, the Watchtower irresponsibly portrays Constantine as a faithless sun-god pagan idol worshipper with no understanding of Christianity who single-handedly introduces trinity to Christianity from the pagans and is almost the author of the Nicene creed.. A full discussion about Constantine's genuine conversation and faith is made in Britannica.

Constantine had a good understanding of Christianity. What Lohse means and Britannica confirms: "the Arian heresy, with its intricate explorations, couched in difficult Greek, of the precise nature of the Trinity, was as remote from Constantine's educational background as it was from his impatient, urgent temperament. (Encyclopedia Britannica, 1979, Constantine the Great, Vol. 5, p.71) is that the arguments between the Trinitarians and the Arians in council of Nicea, were based on complex etymology (precise Greek word definitions etc).

Let me illustrate: How many English speaking Jehovah's Witnesses living in North America today could immediately identify and define complex sentence structure in English. (noun, verb, adverb, predicate, subject, past-participle, pronoun.) If we started arguing some doctrinal point because the of the nature of the past-participle in the English Bible, it could be truthfully said: "Jehovah's Witnesses have basically no understanding whatsoever of the questions that were being asked in English theology".

Now true, Constantine had also not grappled with the concepts of the Trinity discussion. But again the same is true of 99% of Jehovah's Witnesses. If this author, for example, had a private audience with 100 different JW's, they would walk away saying of themselves, "I don't understand the subject". Whereas there are a tiny number of JW's who do understand Trinity doctrine who would be able to argue in an intelligent manner (unsuccessfully none the less).

So the fact that Lohse says Constantine had little understanding and that Trinity is not found in the Bible projects the false impression that such facts refute the fact that Jesus is divine and the Holy Spirit is a person not a thing!

Full Text:

First, it is important to note that the doctrine of the Trinity does not go back to non-Christian sources [pagan], as has sometimes been supposed in the past. There has been no lack of attempts to find the initial form of the doctrine of the Trinity in Plato, or in Hinduism, or in Parsiism. All such attempts may be regarded today as having floundered. It is another question, of course, whether or not the church, in developing the doctrine of the Trinity, had recourse to certain thought forms already present in the philosophical and religious environment, in order that, with the help of these, it might give its own faith clear intellectual expression. This question must definitely be answered in the affirmative. In particular cases the appropriation of this concept or that can often be proved. Unfortunately, however, it is true that particularly in reference to the beginnings of the doctrine of the Trinity there is still much uncertainty. In this area final clarity has not yet been achieved. As far as the New Testament is concerned, one does not find in it an actual doctrine of the Trinity. This does not mean very much, however, for generally speaking the New Testament is less intent upon setting forth certain doctrines than it is upon proclaiming the kingdom of God, a kingdom that dawns in and with the person of Jesus Christ. At the same time, however, there are in the New Testament the rudiments of a concept of God that was susceptible of further development and clarification, along doctrinal lines. ... Speaking first of the person of Jesus Christ ... In other passages of the New Testament the predicate "God" is without a doubt applied to Christ.' With these affirmations, which for Jewish monotheism were utterly offensive, Christians expressed their faith that it was not merely some heavenly being which encountered them in Jesus Christ, but God himself, and that because of this, his coming, especially his cross and his resurrection, had meaning for the entire world. The New Testament affirmations about the Holy Spirit are not so clear and univocal as those about Jesus Christ. ... How vividly the early church experienced the reality of the Spirit, and how definitely it was influenced by that reality, can be seen on every hand in the Pauline letters. The Spirit is called the Spirit of God, as well as the Spirit of Christ (Rom. 8:9)., Here, too, however, the Spirit is not yet conceived in personal terms, at least not in the sense of the later doctrine of the Trinity. The New Testament is not satisfied, however, with these sometimes rather far-reaching assertions about God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. Some passages present triadic formulas. They are called "triadic," and not "trinitarian," because they name Father, Son, and Spirit alongside one another without reflecting upon the oneness of God and, hence, do not yet contain a doctrine of the Trinity. (A Short History of Christian Doctrine, Bernard Lohse, 1966, p37-39)

When in the year 324 Constantine the Great, after his victory over Licinius, had become ruler also of the eastern part of the Roman Empire, lie found the Eastern church embroiled in bitter controversy. The first emperor to become a Christian, Constantine had basically no understanding whatsoever of the questions that were being asked in Greek theology. In the controversy over the doctrine of the Trinity he saw nothing more than unnecessary bickering of theologians, which might best be avoided by eschewing all speculation and by living together in love and harmony. At the same time Constantine was concerned about keeping or restoring ecclesiastical peace. After all, the church had an important service to perform in his empire. It was to rid the people of the immoralities which had made broad inroads among them and to guide men into law and order; it was to be concerned about the extension of the pure worship of God; and above all else, it was to ask and to obtain God's blessing for the emperor and his realm by discharging responsibly its tasks as a church. The emperor therefore stepped into the controversy and extended invitations for a great council to be held at Nicaea (325), the imperial residence not far from the sea of Marmara in Asia Minor. ... Constantine's conversion had come on the heels of the Diocletian persecution, which had been the most ruthless the ancient church had ever known. ... At Nicaea the emperor provided lodging for the bishops in his palace. It was there, too, that the discussions took place, and in the presence of the emperor at that. The changed situation could not have been brought home more forcefully. It is understandable if the bishops showed their gratitude by generous efforts to oblige the emperor. In the course of the long discussions which now took place at Nicaea the emperor intervened personally several times. Even though he had a general antipathy to the controversies, and even though he himself had only a rudimentary "theology," he was still not entirely without sympathy for the problems which arose. In any case, he permitted himself to be more fully instructed about many things by his episcopal counselors. The decisive catchword of the Nicene confession, namely, hoinoousios ("of one substance"), comes from no less a person than the emperor himself. To the present day no one has cleared up the problem of where the emperor got the term. It seems likely that it was suggested to him by his episcopal counselor, Bishop Hosius (Ossius) of Cordova, and it was probably nothing more than a Greek translation of a term already found in Tertullian, who used it to express the idea that Father and Son are of one substance. ... The Nicene confession of 325 AD reads as follows: "We believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of all things visible and invisible; And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten from the Father, onlybegotten, that is, from the substance of the Father, God from God, light from light, true God from true God, begotten not made, of one substance with the Father, through Whom all things came into being, things in heaven and things on earth, Who because of us men and because of our salvation came down and became incarnate, becoming man, suffered and rose again on the third day, ascended to the heavens, and will come to judge the living and the dead; And in the Holy Spirit." Immediately upon this confession follow the anathemas upon heretical opinions. They read as follows: "But as for those who say, There was when He was not, and, Before being born He was not, and that He came into existence out of nothing, or who assert that the Son of God is of a different hypostasis or substance, or is created, or is subject to alteration or change these the Catholic Church anathematizes." Most of the bishops who were present at the council signed this creed. Among the signers were those who, judging by their theological presuppositions, could not do so, or could hardly do so, such as Eusebius of Caesarea. What seemed especially objectionable to many bishops and theologians of the East was the concept put into the creed by Constantine himself, the homoousios, which in the subsequent strife between orthodoxy and heresy became the object of dissension. Even most of the Arians put their names to the creed. Only Arius and two of his friends refused to sign, for which they were excommunicated." (A Short History of Christian Doctrine, Bernard Lohse, 1966, p51-53)

Go To Alphabetical Index Of Deceptive Quotes

Written By Steve Rudd, Used by permission at: www.bible.ca

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