A concept of the Trinity

Thomas

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Periodically the very difficult notion of the Trinity pops up on this board.

Not to drag up the whole debate again, but for those interested, I found a particularly suitable analogy from Justin (100-167) who likened the Father and the Son to the sun and its light - it is by the light of the sun that everything is perceived.

If one thinks that we cannot look at the sun directly without being blinded and yet it is that light 'of' the sun (as opposed to the light 'from' the sun) by which all things are seen.

The Holy Spirit is then the life that the sun engenders in everything it shines upon.

Thomas
 
You don't think that tie and that notion appeased those that worshipped the gods...including the sun? As with the placiment of Jesus's birth celebration at the solstice...the time when it was always celebrating the rebirth of the sun (son) as days grew longer?

Darkness no longer reigns, the light/wisdom of the Son/Sun gains...
 
Thomas said:
Periodically the very difficult notion of the Trinity pops up on this board.

Not to drag up the whole debate again, but for those interested, I found a particularly suitable analogy from Justin (100-167) who likened the Father and the Son to the sun and its light - it is by the light of the sun that everything is perceived.

If one thinks that we cannot look at the sun directly without being blinded and yet it is that light 'of' the sun (as opposed to the light 'from' the sun) by which all things are seen.

The Holy Spirit is then the life that the sun engenders in everything it shines upon.

Thomas

thats a good analogy. i liken the sun to the twinkle of gods eye, and how much more holy his face is that we cannot even gaze upon it. my analogy i used before in another post was god is the pitcher of water, and jesus is the cup of the same water that is poured for us to drink.
 
Another from Ignatius is that God is building a temple for himself, we are the stones he builds it with, the cross is the crane which lifts them, and the Spirit is the hawser ... I would have said the Spirit is the mortar that holds it all together, but who am I to contradict Ignatius?

(Thinking about it, I guess Ignatius meant God is building a temple in heaven, then the hawser makes sense...)

Thomas
 
I'm just so confused....when was the crane invented, wouldn't this be more probably lever or something? And the cross, I thought that as well wasn't the christian symbol till like the 6th century, prior to that it was used by many but derided by christians...since it was on that Jesus was crucified. During Ignatius day wasn't the fish the symbol of christianity?

It all reminds me of the old poems that were written in greek, or hebrew or whatever (Rumi for example) funny how they rhyme in english...
 
I'm just so confused....when was the crane invented, wouldn't this be more probably lever or something?

Probably more an arm with a block and tackle? A rope over a beam? I read the analogy in translation, so I don't know what term Ignatius used.

And the cross, I thought that as well wasn't the christian symbol till like the 6th century, prior to that it was used by many but derided by Christians ... since it was on that Jesus was crucified. During Ignatius day wasn't the fish the symbol of christianity?

It wasn't until you mentioned it that I seem to recall hearing that the cross was a sign of disaster for the early Christians - I think because there were no signs of the cross in the catacombs, whereas there was the sign of the fishes? Seems scholarship has cast doubt on that one. Perhaps the cross was too much of a give-away, whereas the fishes might have been a secret sign? (Even I think that sounds a bit dubious).

Yet in the teaching of St Paul we have a detailed idea of the redemptive symbol of the Cross, and he was writing before the gospels:

"For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God."
1 Corinthians 1:17-18

And Mark (8:3):
"And when he had called the people [unto him] with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me."
As Mark is widely regarded as the scribe of Peter, we can assume both Peter and Paul were preaching the cross both as a sign of faith and a personal symbol of the Christian way. And if Peter and Paul were, everyone was.

Thomas
 
As Mark is widely regarded as the scribe of Peter, we can assume both Peter and Paul were preaching the cross both as a sign of faith and a personal symbol of the Christian way. And if Peter and Paul were, everyone was.
agreed, does anyone here have the capability to double check translations? ie read the greek? Like my reference to the Ignatious/Rumi quotes, often things are updated and changed for the modern audience....With Paul my understanding is we can get close to the time period, but with Mark we have we only have 4th and 5th century translations...

Now this is where it gets wierd (me translating and interpretting with having no knowledge of the languages)(oh and thanx for making me look, it is actually Mark 8:34) When I look to Corinthians and look at the greek, while I don't read greek, every greek or latin text I find appears to reference not the cross but Christ on the Cross, while this doesn't change the text, it does change the symbol...not just the cross....and the words that appear to be cross I can't find in the same translations of Mark...but in some English translations and other translations it appears to reference not the cross but suffering and as I attempt to understand is sort of If you are going to take part in this great venture, give up your complaints, quit your bitchin and follow me. As we say today 'he's got a cross to bear' is a euphamism for suffering....it could be that it worked its way into our translations as it has a dual meaning, both of which could have been acceptable to early scribes and their masters...adding a double whammy to His words, while seemingly fortelling His future fate...
 
but with Mark we have we only have 4th and 5th century translations...

It is generally believed (I believe) that Mark's is one of the earliest gospels, written just after the Revolt against Rome (about 70?). His use of Aramaic, his refernce to Christ as Rabbi (not Lord) etc., and for numerous other arcane reasons, place the gospel about that time.

When I look to Corinthians and look at the greek, while I don't read greek, every greek or latin text I find appears to reference not the cross but Christ on the Cross, while this doesn't change the text, it does change the symbol

You've lost me here. The Greek word is 'stauros'?

but in some English translations and other translations it appears to reference not the cross but suffering

You'd have to give me an example.

I'm not sure of the point you're trying to make here about the meaning of the cross as symbol. The cross, as a symbol, is common to most if not all traditions because it is a primary shape (like a circle, a triangle, a star etc.) but in Christian symbology it transcends all its derivative meanings.

The cross as an instrument of torture was adopted from the Phoenicians, although I am sure it, like the gibbet, is global (the Japanese used to crucify). But what Christ does is take the symbol in its basest sense and elevate it - only in Christianity does the cross have a sacramental aspect, whereas in other cultures it is cosmological - and in a sense the first to 'benefit' from the cross is the robber crucified alongside him ...

... again, we're into profoundly metaphysical waters ...

Thomas
 
Yes I agree that the current consensus is the book of Mark was written first century, however the only copies available are 4th century. And I still have to see what I can find someone who can help me find the word cross in the greek texts. Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. or Calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, "Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You're not in the driver's seat; I am. Don't run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I'll show you how. Obvioiusly both are interpretations of the original....the question is what reference would Jesus be making to the cross prior to his being on it???

In Paul's account..." For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God."
1 Corinthians 1:17-18 If you change it to Christ on the Cross v. cross ..it changes completely, the reference is about Christ's suffering and not the symbol of the cross.

Again reading the translation which drops out the reference Christ on the cross...leads us to believe Paul used the cross as a reference...and it appears it was 6th century before the church adopted the cross alone, without Christ on it.
... again, we're into profoundly metaphysical waters ...
I'm still trying to get the words right for a literal understanding...haven't even dipped our toes in those waters yet...
 
Again reading the translation which drops out the reference Christ on the cross...leads us to believe Paul used the cross as a reference...and it appears it was 6th century before the church adopted the cross alone, without Christ on it.

I find it hard, if not impossible, to conceive of a Christian talking about the cross without reference to Christ. The 6th century? The church has never 'adopted the cross alone' - to the church the cross and Christ are in that sense synonymous - without Christ the cross devolves into a local cosmological sign.

I'm still trying to get the words right for a literal understanding...haven't even dipped our toes in those waters yet...

I think the literal understanding is staring you in the face - you just won't have it.

Thomas
 
Help me understand it Thomas...

You are saying that Jesus told his disciples and the people to 'pick up the cross and follow me' What did that mean to them...all of them as common language for the masses before he was crucified?? This has got to be a mistranslation.
 
You are saying that Jesus told his disciples and the people to 'pick up the cross and follow me' What did that mean to them...all of them as common language for the masses before he was crucified?? This has got to be a mistranslation.[/]

Has it? Or maybe you're reading the verse in isolation?

Try reading it in context:
"And he saith unto them, (the 12) But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ." And he charged them that they should tell no man of him. And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and [of] the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again."
Mark 8:29-31

So 'pick up thy cross' follows from this dialogue. Not that they understood it, or believed it, as John states later, not until they saw the empty tomb did they begin to believe ... and not until they began to believe could they begin to understand ... and not until they began to understand did they begin to see...

It's the same with faith - it sounds like a Catch 22, but it's a fact - if you don't believe, you won't understand, because when you don't believe you've already said 'no'.

The trouble with us humans is we want to be convinced first, then we'll commit. But life isn't like that. If God wanted to prove Himself beyond a shadow of a doubt He could do it, but then what?

What would it mean to be human? Nothing. If there was a proof of God, you'd have to be mad to deny it, and if it is undeniable, then where is freedom?

Where there is no freedom, there is no love, only obligation.

I love the Celtic notion of Christianity - It's one huge adventure, it's a risk, let's go for it!

The Trinity is a Mystery, and it is central to the Catholic and Orthodox Faiths. It remains a Mystery because it is Limitless, Infinite, it is a disclosure of the Interiority of God, and God is limitless, infinite ... it opens into Infinite depths ... read Eckhart, who tried to give it a definition, and got into deep water because of it.

Do I understand it? Yes, and No. Like Augustine said, when no-one asks me what time is, I know what it is, but when someone asks, I can't explain it.

Do I have a sense of it? Absolutely.

Do I believe in it? Yes.

A Zen master once said "No more questions. Just sit." The point is, not until you 'do' it will you really understand it.

Thomas
 
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