Showing posts from February, 2021

The Trinity in the 4th Century-Part 3

Part 1 Part 2 The Trinity in the 4th Century-Part 3 by David Burke By AD 325 there was still no resolution in sight and Constantine’s patience was exhausted. He summoned every bishop in the empire to an ecumenical[1] council at his summer palace in Nicaea, where a new Christian creed would be drafted for the entire church. Attendance is open to debate. Eusebius says more than 250 bishops attended. Athanasius gives the figure of 300 on one occasion but amends this to 318 in another account. Eustathius claims “over 270.”[2] Christians of a much later period settled on Athanasius’ second estimate of 318[3] (no less than six subsequent church councils recalled this number and appealed to it as authoritative.)[4] Wand is one of many who observe a connection to Genesis 14:14,[5] while Davis points out that in Greek, 318 is a cipher for “TIH,” widely interpreted by early Christians as representative of Jesus and the cross.[6] Symbolism was often more important to the ancients than numerical p

The Trinity in the 4th Century-Part 2

Part 1 The Trinity in the 4th Century-Part 2 by David Burke The resulting encyclical consisted of a concise account of Arius’ [supposed] false doctrine, an extensive refutation on behalf of the synod, and a stinging reference to Eusebius of Nicomedia. But by AD 320 it was clear that Alexander’s intimidation had failed. Arius was now back in Nicomedia where he drew up a profession of faith, signed by himself and all those who had been excommunicated with him. It asserted that the faith they held was the same they had heard Alexander proclaim within the Church of Alexandria: that only the Father is eternal, while the Son does not possess his being with the Father, for the Father existed before the Son. Eusebius of Nicomedia lent authority to the cause by convening a local council which declared Arius orthodox and readmitted him to communion. Encouraged, Arius composed a new sermon called Thalia (“The Banquet”) which contains some of the most famous references to his Christology.[1] Durin

The Trinity in the 4th Century-Part 1

The Trinity in the 4th Century-Part 1 by David Burke By the 4th Century AD, Christian speculation about the nature of Christ had resolved into three basic camps: those who believed Jesus was a mortal human raised to immortality at his resurrection,[1] those who saw him as a pre-existent being created by the Father before all things,[2] and those who worshipped him as true deity.[3] The first of these positions was now marginal to the point of extinction, while the second and third vied for predominance. At this stage disputes over doctrine were addressed at a local level, since no individual or institution had authority to define orthodoxy for the entire church.[4] But the conversion of Constantine the Great in AD 312 precipitated a dramatic change. Constantine sought unity through uniformity, and the process was rapidly politicized as opposing factions vied for control of a newly empowered Christian hierarchy.[5] The seeds of this development were inadvertently sown by a Libyan presby


Crossroads Was Jesus nailed to a "cross" (with a cross-beam) or a "stake"? Does this issue matter? These questions are in light of my recent exploration of the New World Translation. Many reading this are going to ask, "Why are you even 'exploring' the NWT?" Those asking this question are taught it's a waste of time because, after all, the Jehovah's Witnesses are a dangerous cult! Depending on your flavor of KJV-Onlyism, the thought of "going back to the Greek or Hebrew" is anathema. If you're a current or former member of the IFB movement or KJV-only camp, you know exactly what I'm talking about. The point of this study is very simple, and it answers the question why I even considered adding a NWT to my shelf for personal study. The NWT is probably a little more accurate than the KJV in some places. "Original" word? For example, the word translated "cross" in our Bibles is actually stauros, which liter