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Deceptive Quote: Secular

All the quote says is that one pagan (Plato) borrowed his trinity from another pagan! JW's project the false impression that the same source would exempt them from borrowing from Plato in other areas too!

Lachatre, M. Nouveau Dictionnaire Universel (New Universal Dictionary)

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"The Platonic trinity, itself merely a rearrangement of older trinities dating back to earlier peoples, appears to be the rational philosophic trinity of attributes that gave birth to the three hypostases or divine persons taught by the Christian churches. ... This Greek philosopher's conception of the divine trinity ... can be found in all the ancient [pagan] religions."(French Nouveau Dictionnaire Universel [New Universal Dictionary], Vol. 2, p. 1467, quoted in, Should you believe the Trinity?, Watchtower publication and copied from translation in August 1, 1984 "Watchtower", p. 21)

Our comment

First, Nouveau Dictionnaire Universel differentiates between the "Platonic trinity" and the "Christian trinity".

The Nouveau Dictionnaire Universel doesn't say that the Christian trinity is borrowed from either the Platonic or pagan trinities. All the dictionary says it that Plato borrowed his trinity from the pagans. The dictionary suggests, but clearly indicates it is not sure, ("appears to be" is not certain) that there is a connection between the Christian trinity and the "Platonic trinity". In other words, the dictionary is guessing!

Deception Exposed:

  1. First the quote does not say that the church got the "rational for trinity" from Plato, but the "rational of the 4th century hypostases" The watchtower slides this one by in a typical slight of hand, knowing that almost no Jehovah's Witnesses will have any idea what the difference is between the "4th century three hypostases" and "Biblical/elemental trinity." (deity of Christ and personality of the Holy Spirit)
  2. The Watchtower implies a conclusion that is not warranted. The quote STATES WITH SURETY that that one pagan (Plato) borrowed his trinity from another pagan! Then the quote GUESSES and SUGGESTS that the similarities of Christianity were borrowed from Plato.
  3. The Watchtower deceives the reading into thinking that the Platonic trinity, pagan trinities and the Christian trinity are all the same thing. In fact there is very little parallel except for the number three!
  4. Even worse, the same source would GUESS and SUGGEST many elements of core Watchtower doctrine were "borrowed" from Plato!
  5. The Watchtower is creating a false dilemma in the mind of the reader by implying that the existence of similarities in pagan religions automatically means that Christians borrowed that similarity from the pagans. In utter deception, Jehovah's Witnesses know there are many similarities in Pagan religions that, using the same bad logic, could prove that the Watchtower borrowed the doctrines of the virgin birth, incarnation, blood atonement, the ascension, even the name Mary for the mother of Jesus, from the Pagans!

Lachatre, M., Dictionnaire de Théologie Catholique

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Quoted by Anti-Trinitarians including JW's:

"It seems unquestionable that the revelation of the mystery of the Trinity was not made to the Jews." (Dictionnaire de Théologie Catholique, French Catholic)

Our comments

  1. Trinitarians agree! Surprise! We also argue that Baptism, the Lord's supper and the second coming of Christ was not revealed to the Jews!
  2. But that does not mean that there were not pieces of Trinitarian theology that could only be discovered under the light of New Testament revelation. For example Trinitarians could say, "It seems unquestionable that the revelation of the mystery of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, as the Rock that followed the Jews through the wilderness, was not made to the Jews."
  3. They dishonestly and irresponsibly imply that if a doctrine is not found in the Old Testament, that it must be borrowed from the Pagans. Using their own logic, they must conclude that the Lord's Supper and the second coming were borrowed from the Pagans!
  4. JW's are notorious at taking quotes like this that say nothing against trinitarian theology, and make it appear the quote demolishes the fact that Christ is God.

Go To Alphabetical Index Of Deceptive Quotes

Written By Steve Rudd, Used by permission at:

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