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Romans 1:20

The following summary is not a new truth development of this site.  It is a historical teaching in the Branch Davidian message, coming into focus from several sources from within the Branch Davidian movement in the early 1980s, and before.  This position on the Divine Matron and The Matronit [according to Jewish literature], or the “Divine Feminine” in modern terminology, is developed from Scripture, OT and NT, ancient historical texts, ancient sacred art works and archaeological sources, particularly in the Jewish Old Test. economy.  This Truth was first brought to modern emphasis in new publication(s) and media interviews by Lois Scott Roden in the late 1970s, the early and mid 1980s.  Lois Roden was the wife of Benjamin Roden, co-founder of The Branch (Branch Davidian) movement.  Again, it is not a new concept, but from its modern revival in the last 37+ years is indeed prophetic in the Advent Movement, according to TIME and TYPE, representing the “repeat” phase of the Third Angel’s Message of Revelation 14:18, depicted as an angel coming down from Heaven, with “power over fire”, a fitting symbol of a Truth about the Holy Spirit/Holy Ghost, …Mother and Daughter.  This message is first given to the church, the Advent Movement, then to the world.  This is Gospel order, according to history and type.  It is indeed a harvest message, first to separate the “Wavesheaf” (barley) section harvest in the church, then to separate the 144,000 (wheat) section harvest in the church, then for the world harvest, comprising the second fruit harvest of humanity.  

“Different periods of the history of the church have each been marked by the development of some special truth, adapted to the necessities of God’s people at that time.   Every new truth has made it way against hatred and opposition; those who were blessed with its light were tempted and tried.   The Lord gives a special truth for the people in an emergency. Who dare refuse to publish it.” E. G. White, GC 609

“The significance of the Jewish economy is not yet fully comprehended.  Truths vast and profound are shadowed forth in its rights and symbols.  The Gospel is the key that unlocks its mysteries.”  COL 133

“These scenes are to be repeated and with greater power.  The outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost was the former rain, but the latter rain will be more abundant.  The Spirit awaits our demand and reception.  Christ is again to be revealed in His fullness, by the Holy Spirit’s power.”  E.G. White, COL 121.   


CHRIST - THE FULLNESS OF THE GODHEAD

In April of 1981, the first day of Passover week, the Fullness of the Godhead Study was presented by Charles Joseph Pace in Canada to a group of Branch Message believers in Toronto, Canada.  Clive Doyle, (1993 Waco survivor) a long time associate of Benjamin and Lois Roden, from Waco, Texas, who was visiting the Canadian Branch members at the time, also witnessed this first presentation of the “Divine Daughter message”, the Revelation of the Person and the Intercessory Office of the  Holy Ghost (John 7:39 ; John 14:26 ; Hab. 3:4 ; Rom. 8:26).  Exactly three years later, during a time of religious crisis in The Branch movement, this same revelation of the Divine Daughter of Heaven, repeated and enlarged, was given by Charles Pace at the beginning of Passover 1984 at New Mt. Carmel, Waco, Texas.  This study, fully developed, was finally published in book manuscript by Charles Pace in 1992.

In the Divine Providence of things, this same message of a/the Fourth Member of the Godhead, Christ the Hidden Manna, was announced by Athen Slawson, a long time appointed Branch leader of Southern California.   Athen made this announcement on the first day of the Passover week in April of 1981, in Glendale, California, the very same day as the study given to the Canadian brethren by Charles Pace.  The author of this page was present at that meeting in California and heard this announcement by Athen Slawson.   Indeed, it was a significant confirmation by an elder in the message on the west coast (USA) on the very day that Charles Pace was presenting the initial message of the Daughter, the Glory of Yahshua (Jesus), on the east coast.  The two men knew of each other, but had no communication between them prior to this event.   Even more interesting, the Branch congregation understood that something most significant was approaching at Passover 1981, some undisclosed event, based upon the multiple time chart studies, published by Lois Roden, two years prior.   Lois Roden was then leader and President of the Branch organization after the passing of her husband, Benjamin, October 22, 1978.

Charles Pace confronted Vernon Howell (a.k.a. David Koresh) on April 17, 1984 at New Mt. Carmel headquarters, Waco, Texas.   The author of this Branch-Davidian History website was present then and there as well, and witnessed the events of that great meeting at New Mt. Carmel in April 1984. The details of this meeting, with the key events before and after, are published in the “Sign of Jonah” Field Report written by the author of this site.   The following statements of inspiration resonate throughout the presentation of The Fullness of the Godhead as revealed from 1981 to 1984. 

Consider the following statement from Inspiration:

“Lift up Jesus, you that teach the people, lift Him up in sermon, in song, in prayer. Let all your powers be directed to pointing souls, confused, bewildered, lost, to "the Lamb of God." Lift Him up, the risen Saviour, and say to all who hear, Come to Him who "hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us." [Ephesians 5:2.] Let the science of salvation be the burden of every sermon, the theme of every song. Let it be poured forth in every supplication. Bring nothing into your preaching to supplement Christ, the wisdom and power of God. Hold forth the word of life, presenting Jesus as the hope of the penitent and the stronghold of every believer. Reveal the way of peace to the troubled and the despondent, and show forth the grace and completeness of the Saviour.”  E. G. White, Gospel Workers, page 160.

This “completeness of the Savior” means “the fullness of the Godhead”, so indicated in various statements in the Spirit of Prophecy, including the 1888 message, in the book “Christ and His Righteousness” by E. J. Wagonner.    That message of 1888 and the present message of today are crucial for the understanding of the “completeness” of Christ as the “fullness of the Godhead bodily.”

"We talk of the Holy Ghost; we preach of the Holy Ghost; but we need to understand better what the office of the Holy Ghost is. We need to understand that we must co-operate with God in every sense or God cannot co-operate with us. "We are laborers together with God."
{E.G. White, General Conference Bulletin, April 3, 1901 par. 30}

Women today, in particular those who are advanced in spirit and in religious thought, are prayerfully seeking for a balanced and Scriptural model of the Divine Image to embrace.  This knowledge is no less than a yearning of the soul, particularly for half of the human race. 

Such a woman of faith who spearheaded this quest for knowledge and the revelation of the Holy Spirit, concerning the Divine Feminine, was Lois I. Roden, whose ministry of the Holy Spirit from 1977 to 1984 brought to the forefront of the Christian and Jewish world the pathway of understanding answering this question, this paradox, even an historical cover-up.  Lois Roden’s many publications on the topic of the Person and feminine personality of the Holy Spirit are reproduced in the Original Publications section of this website.  The following brief interview sets forth basic principles of a nearly two millennia religious conspiracy to hide this most beautiful truth of our sacred history. 

However, those of us who understand the Divine Feminine concept in its fullness today, from the perspective of the “The Branch” (Waco, Texas), the Advent Movement and the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, do not embrace any notion of (a non-historical) Mary Magdalene as the “wife of Jesus”, as promoted in Dan Brown’s popular book a few years ago.  In the above study links, the answer to the falsehood and denigration of the Savior’s FULNESS (“completeness”), His true nature, upholding sacred history, will become evident.

It was Lois Roden (and Charles Pace) who first taught that there were three “Mary(s)” in the Gospel narratives, who were closely connected with the ministry of Messiah Yahshua (Jesus) who represented archetypes of personage, of a Divine Personage no less, representing different aspects of the Person and Ministration of the Holy Ghost (the Ruach (fem. noun) Ha Kodesh), the feminine counterpart (the Glory) of Messiah.   It is this lost knowledge of “The Bride” we are most interested in, that we have been given the full light of day, lighting our path to the Second Advent, even “the day star rising in (y)our hearts” (2 Pet. 1:19).

Coming from the SDA perspective in the question of WHO is truly “The Bride”, in clear and distinct lines, Who it will be the Messiah Yahshua-Jesus will marry, there are important questions to be posed, such as whether humanity will actually “marry” the Messiah (Deity) or is there a specific person being referred to here.   How do we harmonize the issue of how the Creator Himself will actually marry created beings, quite a large number in reality, crossing a line of reason and morality, a true spiritual paradox of the plural marriage issue (polygamy), and other significant scriptural issues that must be fully addressed.  The body of believers in Messiah today do have a direct part or relationship in the future marriage of the King-Messiah, as part of the Bride, but NOT as the Bride.   Our role must be carefully and fully defined.  

This concept of marriage is multifaceted since the giving of the Torah (Law), at Mt. Sinai and the acceptance of the Law by the children of Israel constituted a “covenant”, representing a spiritual marriage of a corporate body, when understood in its fullness, however as between a parent and an adopted child, accepting the rules of the household being adopted into.   There is a whole other dimension of this Divine marriage concept that has not been understood by the mainstream of Christianity which ties into the adoption of the body of Christ (the children, “born of the Spirit”), which will become evident as we explore Christ, as “the Fullness of the Godhead bodily”.  With this in mind, we do well to remember the landmark statement of Ellen White:

“In the Revelation the people of God are said to be the guests at the marriage supper.  Revelation 19:9.  If guests, they cannot be represented also as the bride“.  Great Controversy, p. 427.

In the above statement, Ellen White addressed and corrected one of the primary misunderstandings, and falsehoods of our day, in mainstream Christian theology, including Seventh-day Adventist theology.  The above statement represents an open door for investigation into the Truth of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Ghost.

Finally, in light of the above statements, the question needs to be posed: 

Who Is The Bride, …. The Bride of Christ? 

It is in this quest for Divine truth, for the true spiritual Fatherhood and ‘Motherhood’ of all believers in Messiah, that the words are fulfilled “But Wisdom is justified of all Her Children.”  Matt. 11:19; Luke 7:35.   Who is She?

The Book of Proverbs, chapters 8 & 9, will begin this pathway of revelation.   Search it out.
 

Scriptural balance, evidence and reason must be brought into this equation of Truth for our time.

May the Holy Spirit of Yahshua (Jesus) attend you in your search for Truth.

  

THE TRINITY DOCTRINE CONTROVERSY
and the
 REVELATION OF CHRIST AS THE FULLNESS OF THE GODHEAD BODILY

The problem with the “Trinity” doctrine is simply the fact that the early church, first century, did not teach it and the concept of an (supposedly) ALL EQUAL Godhead, “co-equal” and “co-eternal” by definition of the Trinity doctrine, cannot be found in Scripture or Spirit of Prophecy citations.   This is why NONE of the Advent Movement founders or founders of the SDA church taught or supported Trinitarianism.   Trinitarianism has been assumed by the mainstream leadership of the SDA church today, because at first glance seems valid, is easy to teach, and because it is the mainstream of Christian teaching on the Godhead today and thereby promotes broader acceptance of the SDA message.  However, it is actually a doctrine of the Roman church which came out of the Council of Nicea, 325 AD. Also, the acceptance of the Trinitarian idea by the leaders of the SDA church, the General Conference,  after Ellen White’s death in 1915, was the final effort to unify the church on the issue and concept of the Godhead under the Fundamental Beliefs statement that began to appear in 1931 and after.  This effort was intended to hopefully eradicate the persistent belief of some in the church that still  held to the Arian or semi-Arian belief in Christ as a “created being” , a view that was fostered by some of the SDA leaders in the mid to late 1800s.    Nevertheless, the “Trinity” concept leaves out the most important aspect (development) of the Divine Personages (the Godhead), that being, the ‘Delineation of Authority’ and ORDER of Divine manifestation of the Godhead in eternity past.   The subsequent brief studies by two different and independent scholars summarize the key issues of “Trinity”, versus the Godhead according to Delineation of Authority and according to a revelation of manifestation of each Member of Deity as a composite Unity.          

Consider the verse in 1 Corinthians 15:27-28:

15:27   “For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under [him, it is] manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.

15:28    “And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.”

In the above verse, WHO is the one “excepted” in those who are under the Divine Authority of Christ, so elevated by the Father?  Well, it would be “the Father” of course.   The Father Most High!  He is the One “excepted” because He is the “Most High” El (God).  Again, in the above verse, Who is the One referred to as “all things under Him”?  This would be the Son of course.

Therefore, there is a Supreme Deity, the Most High, THE Father, the Eternal One.   The Son of God is subject to Him, of course.  But the Father has put the entire creation under the authority His Son, Scripture clearly states.

Notice that the verse shows forth the concept of delineation of authority, from Father to Son.  But the authority concept, or delegation of authority, is from the Father, the Most High.   So in Truth and reality there is only ONE Authority, per Deuteronomy 6:4 (“Hear O Israel, … YHVH is ONE.”), and the One Authority is the Most High Father.   And in this summary I would dare say that this delegation of authority is from Father, to Mother (the Holy Spirit) to Son, to (and through) the Holy Ghost (the Divine Daughter, the Other Comforter) then to the church, the body of Christ on earth.   Two major manuscripts have been written in the last 20 years to substantiate this claim such as the site listed above with four links to the first study manuscript in the history and context of the Advent Movement today.    There are many verses of NT Scripture, even in the OT, that evinces the delineation of authority from Father to Son, in general, or showing the relationship of the “greater” YHVH to the “lesser” YHVH as Psalms 110:1 and Mark 12:36 denote.  

No Son is greater than his father, as to age, order of manifestation, position, authority or wisdom.  However, a Son can be equal to his father if he is elevated by his father to act in his stead.   This is a Scriptural truth.  This is exactly the picture and reality that the New Testament evidences in the relationship between the Father and the Son.   It is simple.  It is not a mystery.  What is a mystery is the understanding of the Holy Spirit and the Holy Ghost and Their relationship and ministration in the Godhead.   The Minneapolis General Conference session of 1888, or the 1888 Message in the SDA church, began to unravel this mystery in the Godhead, but certainly not fully.  Today it has been more fully revealed.   It awaits your investigation and reception.

Friends, this is not rocket science.  These are not theological constructs that are theoretical and difficult to understand, but rather, this Truth of the Divine Family is straightforward and simple as Romans 1:20 and Genesis 1 tell us, …“Let US make man in our image, after OUR likeness”.  It is so simple that a child could understand.

The Godhead are not a theoretical “three in one” concept, but rather each Member with LIFE inherent, eternal, unconditional, for , just as the Son is described, “In Christ is life, original, unborrowed, underived” as E.G. White stated in Evangelism, p. 616.  The Godhead is a UNITY of Members under the Father’s NAME (YHVH) and under His Authority, which is the source and power of the UNITY.   All proceeds from the Most High Father, His will, His power, and most of all, LOVE.  They are a “composite” Unity, not an absolute Unity, nor singularity of Being.  Their composite form or Unity is seen and understood just as the Word evidences, Romans 1:20 and Genesis 1, in reality, a Divine nuclear Family UNIT, just as we have on earth in the human (nuclear) family,…. A Family, just like us.   Nothing could be simpler, clearer and dearer.  No unnatural theory or no theological construct, not evidenced in nature, is presented here.   The Truth of the Divine Unity (Echad in Hebrew) in Scripture countermands any concept or possibility of a Greek or Roman “pantheon” of gods, who are continually combating within their realm for position or personal interest, often working against each other and sometimes hurting each other cavalierly,  as so many of the mythical stories tell .  It is not so in the realm and reality of the Divine Family of the Scriptures, of Genesis 1.   There is perfect Unity of purpose in spirit and the essence of Divine nature, which is LOVE.   There are many who think that any divine personage beyond the Father constitutes a pagan concept of “pantheon” of gods.  Not so.   There are many who now believe that if there is a divine personage beyond the “Father” and the “Son”, it constitutes a pagan concept of “pantheon”.  Not so!   If there was (only) the Father and the Son talking to each other in the Genesis 1 account, to make man in “Their” (“Our”) image and after Their likeness,…..then where in the “Heavens” did the concept of WOMAN originate!?    I assure every reader, there were only TWO speaking to each other in the Genesis 1 account, and, I dare say, it was not the Father talking to His Son.  It was a Masculine and a Feminine Deity in counsel with each other.  Again, it is not rocket science.   It is simple.  

This brings us to some unfinished business, concerning the Person of the Holy Spirit.  There has always been some, a small contingent of members in the SDA church who believe and teach that the Holy Spirit/Holy Ghost is an impersonal force, like the “Star Wars” “Force”.    The Scriptures teach that the Holy Spirit and the Holy Ghost have volition, will, feelings (can be grieved) as the next brief study shares.   The Spirit of Prophecy in the Advent Movement was and is very clear on this most critical point of Truth.   Ellen White was very clear on this matter at the turn of the century when Dr. Harvey Kellogg published the book “The Living Temple”, where he impersonalized the entire Godhead, as elemental forces in nature, inhabiting all things and all people. 

Her response in many places was the same as her clear statements in the compilation Evangelism, page 616, that “The Holy Spirit is a person.”  And, “The eternal heavenly dignitaries – God, and Christ, and the Holy Spirit ….”  And, “We need to realize that the Holy Spirit, who is as much a person as God is a person, is walking …”   The truth of this position, of denial, is that to deny the Personhood of the Holy Spirit, is in reality to deny Christ, that is, Christ as the “fullness of the Godhead bodily”.   


Why is this important?  It is important to know the authority and authority structure in a home, such as the existing personages and structure of a household that one is being adopted into,…. would you not agree?   If a child, an orphan, is about to be adopted into a new home would it not be wise and thoughtful for the child (that would be all of us!) to understand and acknowledge who the Father is in His authority, the head of the household, and next, to know and acknowledge who the Mother is in Her authority in the home and Her RELATIONSHIP to the Father, then to know and acknowledge existing natural son(s) and/or daughters(s) in the household?   Such is the reality and relationship of the Divine/heavenly household that we all are being invited there to, as adopted children of the King.

May this be a blessing to enlighten you.   

 

A Fresh Look at the Godhead—Part I

[Clear observations presented by an independent SDA scholar]

“The language of the Bible should be explained according to its obvious meaning.” Great Controversy, 599.

1.  “The invisible things of Him…are clearly seen…by the things that are made, even His…Godhead” Rom 1:20

2.  “God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” Seven times (like Revelation’s sevens for end-time),  God emphasizes that we are made in Their image and likeness; twice specifying “make and female.” Gen 1:26,27; 5:1,2.

3.  “Man was created in the likeness of God, not only in character, but in form and feature.Great Controversy, 645.

4.   God has feet and hands (Exod 24:10,11), mouth (Num 12:8), hair (Dan 7:9).

5.   “Jerusalem which is above…is the Mother of us all.” Gal 4:26. Cities are named for important personages.

6.   “God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son.” John 3:16. All others are created sons.

7.   “Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,” Eph 3:15. Family = Father, Mother and children.

8.   This supports a heavenly Father, Mother and Son. But more truth is “here a little, there a little.” Isa 28:10.

9.   Jews cannot see that God has a Son in Hebrew Scriptures; there is more evidence to support a Daughter!

10.  “The daughter of Jerusalem has shaken her head at thee. Whom hast thou reproached and blasphemed?”  Blasphemy is a sin of speaking against God as Rabshekah did.  That She was offended is clear from 185,000 who were dead outside the city the next day. These words (Isa 37:22,23) are repeated in 2 Kings 19:21,22.

11.   Scholars agree that the Song of Solomon is the most misunderstood book in the Bible. This is because the Jews don’t see Solomon as typifying Christ as the wise King and Christians don’t see His love for His Sister.

12.  “My Sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled.” S.S. 5:2. “Undefiled” does not fit anyone human, yet it is the verse after He prophetically consummates His marriage, “I am come into my garden, my Sister, my spouse.”

13.   “My dove, my undefiled is…the only one of her Mother.” Song of Sol 6:9.

14.   Personified as wisdom, She says, “I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.  When there were no depths, I was brought forth.” Prov 8:23,24. She grew up with Christ…

15.   “I was by him, as one brought up with him: I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him.” Prov. 8:30.

16.   “A King…made a marriage for his Son.” Matt 22:2. “The King’s Daughter is all glorious within.” Ps 45:13.  Marginal reference is Rev 19:7,8—“His wife has made herself ready…arrayed in…the righteousness of saints.”

17.   This is the greatest love story. They loved each other from eternity, but when man became lost in sin, They put off their marriage to save us. “Why should I be turned aside by the flocks of Thy companions” S.S. 1:7.

18.   “My Sister, my dove” S.S. 5:2. She was the dove that descended on Him and spoke through Him, “I will Not leave you [spiritual] orphans [orphanos, Greek word] I will come to you.” Jn 14:18.

19.   None of the pronouns “He” for the Holy Spirit are supported by Greek which was neuter. Hebrew has gender and “She shall be called the LORD our righteousness.” Jer 33:16.

20.   Most men notice women’s shape (ie, their breasts). Laodicea is blind; doesn’t see who knocks: “in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man…girt about the paps” [mastos, female breast, Rev 1:13]

21.   “The seven candlesticks that you saw are the seven churches…hear what the Spirit says to the churches” Rev. 1, 2.

22.   Christ intercedes for us in heaven. “The Spirit also…makes intercession for us [in us]...” Rom 8:26; Jn 14:18.

23.   The papacy “plucked up” three horns, Arian kings (Dan 7:8). Most SDA pioneers were Arian, not Trinitarian.

24.   Ellen White never used the word Trinity, which the papacy claims is the foundation of all their doctrine.

25.   Ellen White, coming out of apostate Protestantism may not have fully understood the information as shown above, but she wrote, “The truth is an advancing truth and we must walk in the increasing light…. We have many lessons to learn, and many, many to unlearn.” Counsels to Writers and Editors, 33,37.

26.   Ellen White referred to a “heavenly trio” which may be understood as the Father, Mother (Gal 4:26) and Son. “The Daughter of Jerusalem” (Isa 37:22; 2 Kgs 19:21) is the Holy Spirit’s Daughter interceding within us (or FOR us, from without).

27.   She will be withdrawn from us at the close of probation, taking on humanity (already), as the Son took on, clothing Her Divinity with humanity,  hence, “One like Unto the Son of man…girt about the paps” (Rev 1:13). “She should be arrayed in white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints” for her wedding, Rev 19:7-9.

28.   Feudal lords in Suzerain covenants took a bride, but also married the people, the city and the land. This is a reflection of biblical truth that “the Bridegroom comes,” (Matt 25:6). “In the Revelation the people of God are said to be the guests at the marriage…If guests, they cannot be represented also as the bride.” GC 427.

29.   The King “sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding.” Matt 22:3. Can we really be His servants and invite others if we do not understand the marriage, our role and that there is a real Bride!

30.   Man rejected God ---the Flood.   Man rejected Christ at the cross.  Rejection of the Holy Spirit is not forgivable.  Unwillingness to accept this begs the meaning of all texts above. Is Scripture meaningful or meaningless?

 

The Origin of the Trinity: From Paganism to Constantine

A historical summary by Cher-El L. Hagensick, from http://www.heraldmag.org/olb/Contents/doctrine/The%20Origin%20of%20the%20Trinity.htm

The Rabbi‘s deep voice echoes through the dusk, ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord’.{# De 6:4} What a far cry that is from Judaism’s offspring, Christianity, and its belief in the Trinity. While the majority of the Christian world considers the concept of the Trinity vital to Christianity, many historians and Bible scholars agree that the Trinity of Christianity owes more to Greek philosophy and pagan polytheism than to the monotheism of the Jew and the Jewish Jesus.

The search for the origins of the Trinity begins with the earliest writings of man. Records of early Mesopotamian and Mediterranean civilizations show polytheistic religions, though many scholars assert that earliest man believed in one god. The 19th century scholar and Protestant minister, Alexander Hislop, devotes several chapters of his book The Two Babylons to showing how this original belief in one god was replaced by the triads of paganism which were eventually absorbed into Catholic Church dogmas. A more recent Egyptologist, Erick Hornung, refutes the original monotheism of Egypt: ‘[Monotheism is] a phenomenon restricted to the wisdom texts,’ which were written between 2600 and 2530 BC (50-51); but there is no question that ancient man believed in ‘one infinite and Almighty Creator, supreme over all’ (Hislop 14); and in a multitude of gods at a later point. Nor is there any doubt that the most common grouping of gods was a triad.1

Most of ancient theology is lost under the sands of time. However, archaeological expeditions in ancient Mesopotamia have uncovered the fascinating culture of the Sumerians, which flourished over 4,000 years ago. Though Sumeria was overthrown first by Assyria, and then by Babylon, its gods lived on in the cultures of those who conquered. The historian S. H. Hooke tells in detail of the ancient Sumerian trinity: Anu was the primary god of heaven, the ‘Father’, and the ‘King of the Gods’; Enlil, the ‘wind-god’ was the god of the earth, and a creator god; and Enki was the god of waters and the ‘lord of wisdom’ (15-18). The historian, H. W. F. Saggs, explains that the Babylonian triad consisted of ‘three gods of roughly equal rank... whose inter-relationship is of the essence of their natures’ (316).

Is this positive proof that the Christian Trinity descended from the ancient Sumerian, Assyrian, and Babylonian triads?  No. However, Hislop furthers the comparison, ‘In the unity of that one, Only God of the Babylonians there were three persons, and to symbolize [sic] that doctrine of the Trinity, they employed... the equilateral triangle, just as it is well known the Romish Church does at this day’ (16).

Egypt’s history is similar to Sumeria’s in antiquity. In his Egyptian Myths, George Hart, lecturer for the British Museum and professor of ancient Egyptian heiroglyphics at the University of London, shows how Egypt also believed in a ‘transcendental, above creation, and preexisting’ one, the god Amun. Amun was really three gods in one. Re was his face, Ptah his body, and Amun his hidden identity (24). The well-known historian Will Durant concurs that Ra, Amon, and Ptah were ‘combined as three embodiments or aspects of one supreme and triune deity’ (Oriental Heritage 201). Additionally, a hymn to Amun written in the 14th century BC defines the Egyptian trinity: ‘All Gods are three: Amun, Re, Ptah; they have no equal. His name is hidden as Amun, he is Re... before [men], and his body is Ptah’ (Hornung 219).

Is this positive proof that the Christian Trinity descended from the ancient Egyptian triads? No. However, Durant submits that ‘from Egypt came the ideas of a divine trinity...’ (Caesar 595). Dr. Gordon Laing, retired Dean of the Humanities Department at the University of Chicago, agrees that ‘the worship of the Egyptian triad Isis, Serapis, and the child Horus’ probably accustomed the early church theologians to the idea of a triune God, and was influential ‘in the formulation of the doctrine of the Trinity as set forth in the Nicaean and Athanasian creeds’ (128-129).

These were not the only trinities early Christians were exposed to. The historical lecturer, Jesse Benedict Carter, tells us of the Etruscans. As they slowly passed from Babylon through Greece and went on to Rome (16-19), they brought with them their trinity of Tinia, Uni, and Menerva. This trinity was a ‘new idea to the Romans,’ and yet it became so ‘typical of Rome’ that it quickly spread throughout Italy (26). Even the names of the Roman trinity: Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva, reflect the ancestry. That Christianity was not ashamed to borrow from pagan culture is amply shown by Durant: ‘Christianity did not destroy paganism; it adopted it’ (Caesar 595).

Is this positive proof that the Christian Trinity descended from the Etruscan and Roman triads? No. However, Laing convincingly devotes his entire book Survivals of the Roman Gods to the comparison of Roman paganism and the Roman Catholic Church. Dr. Jaroslav Pelikan, a Catholic scholar and professor at Yale, confirms the Church’s respect for pagan ideas when he states that the Apologists and other early church fathers used and cited the [pagan] Roman Sibylline Oracles so much that they were called ‘Sibyllists’ by the 2nd century critic, Celsus. There was even a medieval hymn, ‘Dies irae,’ which foretold the ‘coming of the day of wrath’ based on the ‘dual authority of ‘David and the Sibyl”(Emergence 64-65). The attitude of the Church toward paganism is best summed up in Pope Gregory the Great’s words to a missionary: ‘You must not interfere with any traditional belief or religious observance that can be harmonized with Christianity’ (qtd. in Laing 130).

In contrast, Judaism is strongly monotheistic with no hint of a trinity. The Hebrew Bible (the Old Testament) is filled with scriptures such as ‘before Me there was no God formed, Neither shall any be after Me’ (#Isa 43:10 qtd. in Isaiah), and ‘there is no other God...I am the Lord and there is none else’ (#Isa 45:14,18 qtd. in Isaiah). A Jewish commentary affirms that ‘[no] other gods exist, for to declare this would be blasphemous...’ (Chumash 458). Even though ‘Word,’ ‘Spirit,’ ‘Presence,’ and ‘Wisdom’ are used as personifications of God, Biblical scholars agree that the Trinity is neither mentioned nor intended by the authors of the Old Testament (Lonergan 130; Fortman xv; Burns 2).

We can conclude without much difficulty that the concept of the Trinity did not come from Judaism. Nor did Jesus speak of a trinity. The message of Jesus was of the coming kingdom; it was a message of love and forgiveness. As for his relationship with the Father, Jesus said, ‘... I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me’,{# Joh 5:30} and in another place ‘my doctrine is not mine, but His that sent me’;{# Joh 7:16} and his words ‘my Father is greater than I’ {#Joh 14:28} leave no doubt as to their relationship.

The word ‘trinity’ was not coined until Tertullian, more than 100 years after Christ’s death, and the key words (meaning substance) from the Nicene debate, homousis and ousis,  are not biblical, but from Stoic thought. Nowhere in the Bible is the Trinity mentioned. According to Pelikan, ‘One of the most widely accepted conclusions of the 19th century history of dogma was the thesis that the dogma of the Trinity was not an explicit doctrine of the New Testament, still less of the Old Testament, but had evolved from New Testament times to the 4th century. (Historical Theology 134)

If the Trinity did not originate with the Bible, where did it come from? To find the origins of the Trinity in Christianity, we need to take a look at the circumstances in which early Christians found themselves.

Even the Church of the Apostles’ day was far from unified. The Apostle Paul wrote to the Thessalonians that ‘the mystery of iniquity doth already work’.{# 2Th 2:7} Throughout his book Orthodoxy and Heresy in Earliest Christianity, the German New Testament scholar, lexicographer, and early Church historian, Walter Bauer, effectively proves that many early Christians were influenced by gnosticism. He believes it possible that certain ‘[heresies recorded by early Christian Fathers] originally had not been such at all, but, at least here and there...were simply ‘Christianity”(xxii). Bauer goes even further, as he proves that early Christians in Edessa appear to have been followers of the Marcion’s beliefs (considered heretical today), with ‘orthodox’ views being so strongly in the minority that ‘Christian’ referred to one with Marcion’s beliefs, and ‘Palutian’ to one with ‘orthodox’ (by today’s standards) beliefs (21-38). In his work The Greek Fathers, James Marshall Campbell, a Greek professor, bears out the great fear of gnosticism prevalent in the early church.

With Gnosticism being so predominant in this early period, it behooves one to learn what they believed, for many early church writings were defenses against gnosticism. Gnosticism borrowed much of its philosophy and religion from Mithraism, oriental mysticism, astrology, magic, and Plato. It considered matter to be evil and in opposition to Deity, relied heavily on visions, and sought salvation through knowledge. The late Professor Arthur Cushman McGiffert interprets some of the early Christian fathers as believing the Gnosticism to be ‘identical to [sic] all intents and purposes with Greek polytheism’ (50). Gnosticism had a mixed influence on the early Christian writers: like the pendulum on a clock, some were influenced by Gnostic thought, while others swung to the opposite extreme.

Knowledge was also the desire of the Greek philosophers. We owe a lot to these sages of old. J. N. D. Kelly, lecturer and principal at St. Edward Hall, Oxford University, states that ‘[the concepts of philosophy] provided thinkers... with an intellectual framework for expressing their ideas’ (9) to the extent that it became the ‘deeper religion of most intelligent people’ (9). The eminent theologian Adolf Harnack considered Greek philosophy and culture to be factors in the formation of the ‘ecclesiastical mode of thought’ (1: 127). According to McGiffert, the concepts of philosophy prevalent during the time of the early church were Stoicism, which was ‘ethical in its interests and monistic in its ontology’ and Platonism, which was ‘dualistic and predominately religious’ (46).

That these philosophies affected Christianity is a historical fact. What did these philosophers teach about God? In Plato’s Timeus, ‘The Supreme Reality appears in the trinitarian form of the Good, the Intelligence, and the World-Soul’ (qtd. in Laing 129). Laing attributes elaborate trinitarian theories to the Neoplatonists, and considers Neoplatonic ideas as ‘one of the operative factors in the development of Christian theology’ (129).

Is this positive proof that the Christian Trinity descended from Greek philosophy? No. However, in a comparison between the church of the third century and that of 150-200 years before, the noted German theologian, Adolf Harnack, finds ‘few Jewish, but many Greco-Roman features, and... the philosophic spirit of the Greeks’ (1: 45). In addition, Durant ties in philosophy with Christianity when he states that the second century Alexandrian Church, from which both Clement and Origen came, ‘wedded Christianity to Greek philosophy’ (Caesar 613); and finally, Durant writes of the famed pagan philosopher, Plotinus, that ‘Christianity accepted nearly every line of him...’ (Caesar 611).

World conditions were hardly conducive to the foundation of a new and different religion. Pagan gods were still the gods of the state, and the Roman government was very superstitious. All calamities were considered the displeasure of the gods. When the dissolute Roman government began to crumble, it was not seen as a result of corruption within, but as the anger of the gods; and thus there were strong persecutions against Christians to placate these gods.

In such a time was Christianity born. On one side were persecutions; on the other the seduction of philosophy. To remain faithful to the belief of Jesus Christ meant hardship and ridicule. It was only for the simple poor and the rich in faith. It was a hard time to convert to Christianity from the relatively safer paganism. In the desire to grow, the Church compromised truth, which resulted in confusion as pagans became Christians and intermingled beliefs and traditions. In his Emergence of Catholic Tradition, Pelikan discusses the conflict in the Church after AD 70 and the decline of Judaic influence within Christianity. As more and more pagans came into Christianity, they found the Judaic influence offensive. Some even went so far as to reject the Old Testament (13-14).

As the apostles died, various writers undertook the task of defending Christianity against the persecutions of the pagans. The writers of these ‘Apologies’ are known to us now as the ‘Apologists’. Pelikan states that ‘it was at least partly in response to pagan criticism of the stories in the Bible that the Christian apologists... took over and adapted the methods and even vocabulary of pagan allegorism’ (Emergence 30). Campbell agrees when he states that ‘the Apologists borrowed heavily, and at times inappropriately, from the pagan resources at hand’ (23). They began the ‘process of accommodation’ between Christianity and common philosophy, and used reason to ‘justify Christianity to the pagan world’ (22-23).

The most famous of these Apologists was Justin Martyr (c.107-166). He was born a pagan, became a pagan philosopher, then a Christian. He believed that Christianity and Greek philosophy were related. As for the Trinity, McGiffert asserts, ‘Justin insisted that Christ came from God; he did not identify him with God’ (107). Justin’s God was ‘a transcendent being, who could not possibly come into contact with the world of men and things’ (107).

Not only was the Church divided by Gnosticism, enticed by philosophy, and set upon by paganism, but there was a geographic division as well. The East (centered in Alexandria) and the West (centered in Rome) grew along two different lines. Kelly shows how the East was intellectually adventurous and speculative (4), a reflection of the surrounding Greek culture. The theological development of the East is best represented in Clement and Origen.

Clement of Alexandria (c.150-220) was from the ‘Catechetical School’ of Alexandria. His views were influenced by Gnosticism (Bauer 56-57), and McGiffert affirms, ‘Clement insists that philosophy came from God and was given to the Greeks as a schoolmaster to bring them to Christ as the law was a schoolmaster for the Hebrews’ (183). McGiffert further states that Clement considered ‘God the Father revealed in the Old Testament’ separate and distinct from the ‘Son of God incarnate in Christ,’ with whom he identified the Logos (206). Campbell summarizes that ‘[with Clement the] philosophic spirit enters frankly into the service of Christian doctrine, and with it begins... the theological science of the future’ (36). However, it was his student, Origen, who ‘achieved the union of Greek philosophy and Christianity’ (39).

Origen (c.185-253) is considered by Campbell to be the ‘founder of theology’ (41), the greatest scholar of the early church and the greatest theologian of the East (38). Durant adds that ‘with [Origen] Christianity ceased to be only a comforting faith; it became a full-fledged philosophy, buttressed with scripture but proudly resting on reason’ (Caesar 615). Origen was a brilliant man. At 18 he succeeded Clement as president of the Alexandrian school. Over 800 titles were attributed to him by Jerome. He traveled extensively and started a new school in Cesarea.

In Origen we find an important link in the changing view of God. According to Pelikan’s Historical Theology, Origen was the ‘teacher of such orthodox stalwarts as the Cappadocian Fathers’ (22) but also the ‘teacher of Arius’ (22) and the ‘originator of many heresies’ (22). Centuries after his death, he was condemned by councils at least five times; however, both Athanasius and Eusebius had great respect for him.

As he tried to reckon the ‘incomprehensible God’ with both Stoic and Platonic philosophy, Origen presented views that could support both sides of the Trinity argument. He believed the Father and Son were separate ‘in respect of hypostasis’ (substance), but ‘one by harmony and concord and identity of will’ (qtd. in Lonergan 56). He claimed the Son was the image of God.

In the way in which, according to the bible story, we say that Seth is the image of his father, Adam. For thus it is written: ‘And Adam begot Seth according to his own image and likeness.’ Image, in this sense, implies that the Father and the Son have the same nature and substance. (qtd. in Lonergan 58)

He also maintained that there was a difference between the God and God when he said ‘_ß _&hibar; 2, __is indeed the God [God himself].... Whatever else, other than him who is called _ß _&hibar; 2, __, is also God, is deified by participation, by sharing in his divinity, and is more properly to be called not the God but simply God’ (qtd. in Lonergan 61).

As Greek influence and Gnosticism became introduced into the Eastern church, it became more mystical and philosophical. The simple doctrines that Jesus taught to the uneducated gave way to the complex and sophisticated arguments of Origen.

As Clement and Origen represented theological development in the East, so Tertullian had tremendous influence in the West. Kelly explains that the West, centered in Rome, gave greater credence to the traditional role of faith than to philosophy, and was more apt to expound on scripture (4).

It was Tertullian (c.160-230) who first coined the term trinitas from which the English word ‘trinity’ is derived. He clarifies thus the ‘mystery of the divine economy... which of the unity makes a trinity, placing the three in order not of quality but of sequence, different not in substance but in aspect, not in power but in manifestation’ (qtd. in Lonergan 46). At other times he used other images to show his point, such as the monarchy: ‘... If he who is the monarch has a son, and if the son is given a share in the monarchy, this does not mean that the monarchy is automatically divided, ceasing to be a monarchy’ (qtd. in Lonergan 47). Again, Tertullian explains the concept of being brought forth: ‘As the root brings forth the shoot, as the spring brings forth the stream, as the sun brings forth the beam’ (qtd. in Lonergan 45).

Tertullian did not consider the Father and Son co-eternal: ‘There was a time when there was neither sin to make God a judge, nor a son to make God a Father’ (qtd. in Lonergan 48); nor did he consider them co-equal: ‘For the Father is the whole substance, whereas the Son is something derived from it’ (qtd. in Lonergan 48). In Tertullian we find a groundwork upon which a trinity concept can be founded, but it has not yet evolved into that trinity of the Nicene Creed.

The world around the early Church was changing. The Roman empire began to crumble and Constantine came to power. He wished to unify the Empire, and chose Christianity to do so. But Christianity was far from unified.

Constantine invited the bishops from East and West to join him in the small seaside village of Nicea for a council to unify the church. McGiffert summarizes the council: three main groups were present at this council: Eusebius of Nicomedia presenting the Arian view of the Trinity, Alexander of Alexandria presenting the Athanasian version, and a very large ‘middle party’ led by Eusebius of Cesarea whose various theological opinions did not interfere with their desire for peace (259). Eusebius of Nicomedia submitted the Arian creed first and it was rejected. Then Eusebius of Cesarea submitted the Cesarean baptismal creed. Instead of submitting a creed of their own, the anti-Arians modified Eusebius’, thereby compelling him to sign it and completely shutting the Arians out. Those Arians who did not sign were deposed and exiled (261-263).

Thus Constantine had his unified Church which was not very unified. McGiffert asserts that Eusebius of Cesarea was not altogether satisfied with the creed because it was too close to Sabellianism (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three aspects of one God). Eusebius was uncomfortable enough with the Nicene creed that he felt it expedient to justify himself to his own people in a long letter in which he states that he ‘resisted even to the last minute’ until the words were examined and it was explained that the words ‘did not mean all they seemed to mean but were intended simply to assert the real deity of the Son...’ (264-265). McGiffert goes on to show that a ‘double interpretation [was authorized by the leaders] in order to win Eusebius and his followers.’ (266).

Lonergan shows just how much of the creed Eusebius took exception to as the words were explained. ‘Out of the Father’s substance’ was now interpreted to show that the Son is ‘out of the Father’, but ‘not part of the Father’s substance.’ ‘Born not made’ because ‘made’ refers to all other creatures ‘which come into being through the Son’, and ‘consubstantial’ really means that the Son comes out of the Father and is like him (75). It is clear that the council strongly lacked unity of thought. Lonergan goes on to explain that the language of debate on the consubstantiality of the Father and the Son has made many people think that the ‘Church at Nicea had abandoned the genuine Christian doctrine, which was religious through and through, in order to embrace some sort of hellenistic ontology’ (128). He concludes that the Nicene dogma marked the ‘transition from the prophetic Oracle of Yahweh... to Catholic dogma’ (136-7).

The end result was far less than Constantine had hoped. That he personally was never truly swayed to Athanasius’ views is amply shown by Durant: Constantine invited Arius to a conference six years later; did not interfere with Athanasius’ expulsion by the Eastern bishops; had an Arian bishop, Eusebius of Nicomedia, baptize him; and had his son and successor, Constantius, raised as an Arian (Age 7-8).

The Nicene was not a popular creed when it was signed. Durant affirms that the majority of Eastern bishops sided with Arius in that they believed Christ was the Son of God ‘neither consubstantial nor co-eternal’ with his Father (Age 7). Arianism has never been truly quenched. While the West accepted the Athanasian view of the Trinity, and the East accepted the Trinity of the Cappadocian fathers, Arianism lives on in the Unitarian Church, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and in many smaller religions.

There is an unfortunate side to the whole Athanasian/Arian debate. Campbell could find no parallel in medieval nor modern times in the intensity of debate (49). Historically, this ‘doctrine of God’ has proved to be a bloody doctrine that has no relation to the true God of love, nor His Son Jesus Christ. Durant details the problems that arose from the Council at Nicea and summarizes that period with a dreadful verdict: ‘Probably more Christians were slaughtered by Christians in these two years (342-3) than by all the persecutions of Christians by pagans in the history of Rome’ (Age 8). Thus they perverted the teachings of Christ: ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself’,{# Mt 19:19} and of his apostles: ‘If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and His love is perfected in us’.{# 1Jo 4:12}

The evolution of the Trinity can be well seen in the words of the Apostles’ Creed, Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed.2 As each of the creeds became more wordy and convoluted, the simple, pure faith of the Apostolic church became lost in a haze. Even more interesting is the fact that as the creeds became more specific (and less scriptural) the adherence to them became stricter, and the penalty for disbelief harsher.

In summary, the common culture of the day was one filled with triune gods. From ancient Sumeria’s Anu, Enlil, and Enki and Egypt’s dual trinities of Amun-Re-Ptah and Isis, Osiris, and Horus to Rome’s Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva the whole concept of paganism revolved around the magic number of three. In Greek philosophy, also, we have seen how the number three was used as an unspecified trinity of intelligence, mind, and reason.

In stark contrast, is the simple oneness of the Hebrew God. Jesus was a Jew from the tribe of Judah. He claimed to be sent to the ‘lost sheep of the house of Israel’.{# Mt 15:24} His apostles were all Jews. His god was the Jewish God. He called himself the Son of God and acknowledged his role as the Christ, {#Mt 16:15-17} and the Messiah. {#Joh 4:25-26} His message was one of love, righteousness, and salvation, and he despised the religious dogma of tradition. What a contrast from the proceedings of the Council of Nicea and the murders that followed! He gave the good news of his coming kingdom to the poor and meek: the lowly of this world. He did not require dogmatic creeds that had to be believed to the word, but rather said, ‘Follow me’.{# Mt 9:9}

There can be no doubt: Jesus was a stranger to all sides of the political proceedings in Nicea. He never claimed to be God, but was content to be God’s son. His creed was not of words that must be followed to the letter, but rather of spirit: ‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God’.{# Mt 4:8} He did not require wealthy and learned bishops to mingle philosophy and pagan polytheism with his simple truth, but blessed the ‘poor’ and the ‘meek’.{# Mt 4:1-12} No, it was not from Jesus that the dogma of the Trinity came.

Is this positive proof that the Trinity owes it origins to paganism and philosophy? The evidences of history leave little doubt. The concept of the Trinity finds its roots in Pagan theology and Greek philosophy: it is a stranger to the Jewish Jesus and the Hebrew people from which he sprang.

Reference Notes

1. Hislop devotes the first 128 pages of his book The Two Babylons to proving that the Christian Trinity is directly descended from the ancient Babylonian trinity. In particular, he convincingly proves that the origin of the Babylonian trinity was the triad of Cush (the grandson of Noah), Semiramis (his wife), and Nimrod (their son). At the death of Cush, Semiramis married her son, Nimrod, and thus began the confusion between the father and son so prevalent in early paganism.

It is interesting to note that the Gnostics considered the Holy Spirit to be the ‘motherly mystery of God,’ based on its attributes. It is also interesting to note that a modern controversy wants to bring back the feminine side of the Trinity by making the Holy Spirit feminine. (This is a very weak argument based on the attributes of the Holy Spirit as Paraklete (comforter) and the fact that, in Hebrew grammar, the word for spirit, Ruach, is feminine.) [Bearing witness to a truth nevertheless].

2. The three most famous Christian creeds are the Apostles’, Nicene, and Athanasian (or Trinitarian). The words of these three creeds show us a lot about the evolution of the Trinitarian theology. The creeds are printed below as translated in the Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England, and quoted in pages 18-20 of an unpublished work by Bible Scholar, Eugene Burns.

The Apostles’ or Unitarian Creed was the creed used during the first two centuries AD. It was not written by the Apostles, though it bears their name:

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth:

And in Jesus Christ, his only son our Lord: who was conceived by the holy ghost (spirit), born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell (the grave); the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God, the Father Almighty: From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead:

I believe in the holy ghost (spirit); the holy catholic (general) Church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

The Nicene, or Semi-trinitarian Creed, as commonly used today, is a revision of the original creed signed at Nicea in 325 AD. It was revised at the Council of Constantinople in 381.

I believe in One God, the Father Almighty,  Maker of heaven and earth; and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God; begotten of his Father before all worlds; God of (or from) God;  Light of (or from) Light;  Very God of (or from) Very God;  begotten, not made; being of one substance with the Father; by whom all things were made; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven; and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the virgin Mary; and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; he suffered, and was buried, and the third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father: and he shall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.

And I believe in the Holy Ghost, (the Lord and Giver of life; who proceedeth from the Father (and the Son); who is with the Father and the son together is worshipped and glorified; who spake by the prophets).

And I believe [in] one catholic and apostlic [sic] church: I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins: and I look for the resurrection of the dead; and the life of the world to come. Amen.

The Athanasian, or Trinitarian creed was probably written sometime in the fifth century. Although it bears the name of Athanasius, it was not written by him.

Whosoever [sic] will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic Faith; which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.

And the Catholic Faith is this: that we worship One God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity;  neither confounding the Persons nor dividing the substance. For there is one person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one; the glory equal, the majesty co-eternal. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Ghost, the Father uncreate, the son uncreate, and the Holy Ghost uncreate; the Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Ghost eternal; and yet they are not three eternals, but one eternal. As also there are not three incomprehensibles, nor three uncreated, but one uncreated, and one incomprehensible. So likewise the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty, and the Holy Ghost Almighty; and yet they are not three Almighties, but one Almighty. So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God; and yet they are not three Gods, but one God. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Ghost Lord; and yet not three Lords, but one Lord. For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every person by himself to be God and Lord; so we are forbidden by the Catholic religion to say, There be three Gods, or three Lords. The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone, not made nor created, but begotten. The Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the Son; neither made nor created nor begotten, but proceeding. So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts. And in this Trinity none is afore or after another, none is greater or less than another; but the whole three persons are co-eternal together, and co-equal. So that in all things, as is aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity,  and the Trinity in Unity, is to be worshipped. He, therefore, that will be saved, must thus think of the Trinity.

Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting salvation, that he also believe rightly the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the right faith is, that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man; God of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and man, of the substance of his mother, born in the world; perfect God, and perfect man; of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting; equal to the Father, as touching his Godhead; and inferior to the Father, as touching his manhood; who, although he be God and man, yet is he not two, but one Christ; one, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking of the manhood into God. One altogether, not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ: who suffered for our salvation; descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead; he ascended into heaven, he sitteth on the right hand of the Father, God Almighty, from whence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead; at whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies, and shall give account for their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting; and they that have done evil, into everlasting fire. This is the Catholic faith, which except a man believe faithfully, he cannot be saved. Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Works Cited

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