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Deceptive Quote: Trinitarian

Leaves the false impression that ISBE reject trinity, that Jesus is a creature and that Trinity had no foundation in scripture, but is of pagan origin.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (ISBE)

What Anti-Trinitarians quote:

"In the earliest thinking of the Church the tendency when speaking of God the Father is to conceive of Him first, not as the Father of Jesus Christ, but as the source of all being. Hence God the Father is, as it were, God par excellence. To Him belong such descriptions as unoriginate, immortal, immutable, ineffable, invisible, and ingenerate. It is He who has made all things, including the very stuff of creation, out of nothing. . . . This might seem to suggest that the Father alone is properly God and the Son and Spirit are only secondarily so. Many early statements appear to support this." (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ISBE)

What they fail to tell the same article also says:

"Introduction. Though "trinity" is a second-century term found nowhere in the Bible, and the Scriptures present no finished trinitarian statement, the NT does contain most of the building materials for later doctrine. In particular, while insisting on one God, it presents Jesus Christ as the divine Son in distinction from God the Father, and probably presents the Holy Spirit or Paraclete as a divine person distinct from both. Obvious problems admittedly attach to both claims; indeed, "person" as a trinitarian (threeness) term has itself been controversial since Augustine, and especially in the modem period. Still, the doctrine of the trinity does lie in Scripture "in solution" (B. B. Warfield, ISBE [1929], s.v.); i.e., the NT presents events, claims, practices, and problems from which church fathers crystallized the doctrine in succeeding centuries. A classic statement emerges in Augustine (De trin. v.8.9) and comes down the centuries as the 15th and 16th verses of the Athanasian Creed: (15) So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God; (16) and yet they are not [or, there are not] three Gods, but one God. (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ISBE, Trinity, p914)

Our comment

  1. The quote does not say that early Christians viewed Jesus as a creature, but rather as subordinate to the Father. This, in fact, is what Trinitarians openly admit to!
  2. But in the very first sentence of the article, ISBE clearly states two important things: (a) that the foundation of Trinity is in the scripture and (b) that the Bible portrays Jesus as divine.
  3. What the article is saying, is that Trinitarian doctrine developed in an effort to explain how Jesus could be distinct from the Father, yet divine! We agree!

Deception Exposed:

When Anti-Trinitarians quote only this section, they leave a false impression that ISBE reject trinity, that Jesus is a creature and that Trinity had no foundation in scripture, but is of pagan origin.

Go To Alphabetical Index Of Deceptive Quotes

Written By Steve Rudd, Used by permission at:

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