Incarnation and Trinity Give Us a Clue

The Apostle Paul wrote to his missionary associate, Timothy, about those who taught in opposition to Paul’s teaching. He said, “If anyone advocates a different doctrine, and does not agree with sound word, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words” (1 Timothy 6:3-4 NASB). And Paul wrote similarly in a later letter to Timothy, “Retain sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you” (2 Timothy 1:13 NASB). So, Paul says to guard the true doctrine by using sound words. Both verses in the Greek text use the words hugiaino and logos, meaning “healthy words.”

Disputes about words that Jesus never used is what the church gradually got into and culminated with the Nicene Creed. This post-apostolic, institutional church–in distinction from the church of the first century–proclaimed that God came down from heaven to earth and became the man Jesus. More specifically, it claimed that the preexistent Logos-Son (Word-Son) took flesh to become the man Jesus. This greatest argument the church ever had was conducted at the Council of Nicea in 325. It centered on the two Greek words homoousios (same substance) and homoiousios (similar substance), the difference of only the letter “i.” These words were not remotely close in meaning to any Aramaic words Jesus used in his teaching recorded in the Greek New Testament (NT).

The church has labeled its doctrine that God became a man as “the incarnation.” It has asserted that the incarnation is one of the most essential doctrines, if not the most essential, of the Christian faith. This church has always declared that a person is not a genuine Christian unless she or he believes in this classical doctrine of the incarnation.

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Author: Kermit Zarley

Keywords: Trinity, trinitarian, trinitarianism, Triune, triune god, preexistence of Jesus, Christ's preexistence, Preexistence of Christ, Jesus' preexistence, Jesus preexisted, Christ preexisted, Christ's pre-existence, Pre-existence of Christ, Jesus' pre-existence, Jesus pre-existed, Christ pre-existed, preexistence, pre-existence, preincarnate, pre-incarnate, preincarnate Jesus, preincarnate Christ, pre-incarnate Jesus, pre-incarnate Christ, Christ preincarnate, Christ pre-incarnate, God manifestation, God incarnated, God incarnate, Incarnate, incarnation, incarnate word, God made flesh, Jesus is God, God manifest in the flesh, God manifested in the flesh

Bible reference(s): John 1:1-3, John 1:14, 1 Timothy 3:16

Source: “Incarnation and Trinity Give Us a Clue—They Aren’t in the Bible So It Isn’t True (Part 1),” patheos, May 8, 2013.

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