The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Poll: Are you a Trinitarian?


From a Greek scholar in response to Paidion:

That’s incorrect. In the Greek it reads “and God was the word” this organization of the wording is for emphasis. It implies that everything God is, the word is. The word contains the definite article because it is the subject. While he’s right that it carries with it the nature of essence, that is because it’s separating the person if the Word (i.e. Christ) from the person of God. If both contained the definite article we would be left with sabellianism.

Essentially what John is saying is that Jesus possesses all the attributes of the Father, but the lack of the definite article demonstrates that he is not the Father.


NM. I don’t want to get into a heated debate on this issue. I apologize for my tone so I deleted the comment. When it comes to stuff like this I’m passionate and sometimes way too passionate so I go off the rails. I keep forgetting that effective apologetics has to be done with humility and love. Something I need to tattoo on my arm or hand.


Lay off Paidion, James. There’s no call for that. I’m not qualified to say which of you is the better Greek scholar although I suspect it’s Paidion, who’s been studying Biblical Greek for probably longer than you’ve been alive. He and I differ greatly in our theology. I think he’s wrong and he thinks I’m wrong, but on the whole we manage to be respectful to one another and even agree on things once in a while. I’ve learned a lot from him.

As for heresy, here’s the definition:

I’m an heretic by that definition and so is Paidion and so, I assume, are you since you’re arguing for the Trinity rather than arguing against universalism. It’s perfectly fine for you to disagree with Paidion. That said, I’m a Trinitarian and while I do understand why I believe that, I seldom get into discussions with the non-Trins on that topic. First, they also know why they believe as they do and I respect that they’ve studied the matter in-depth (probably more-so than I have) and that they believe what they believe for what are to them very convincing reasons. Second, while I realize that in this case I am right and they are mistaken :wink: I respect their right to believe as they think best–and I respect the role of the Holy Spirit to lead all of us into all truth. I am not the Holy Spirit. I leave that sort of thing to more capable “hands” than mine. I suggest you do the same–especially if you find it difficult to show sufficient respect to those who disagree on this subject.

You mention your unfinished formal studies in the ancient languages which leads me to suppose you are fairly young and in college or seminary. Paidion is one of our elders here, and the subject of well-deserved respect from all of us–again, whether we agree with him or not. It’s fine to discuss and disagree with anyone here, including on the topic of biblical Greek. Just please try to do so with kindness and deference .

Blessings, Cindy


First Cindy I already apologized and deleted my comment. And second this is what Paidion said about how long he’s been studying Greek “I have studied Greek formally for 2 years and 2 months” but I digress it doesn’t matter since I already said I’m sorry and will do a more humble and loving way of apologetics.


Yes, I saw that after I posted my note–sorry to repeat what Dave had already well-said.


From another:

There’s always Dan Wallace’s blurb in the BBG,

We know that “the Word” is the subject because it has the definite article, and we translate it accordingly: “and the Word was God.” Two questions, both of theological import, should come to mind: (1) why was θεός thrown forward? and (2) why does it lack the article?

"In brief, its emphatic position stresses its essence or quality: “What God was, the Word was” is how one translation brings out this force. Its lack of a definite article keeps us from identifying the person of the Word (Jesus Christ) with the person of “God” (the Father). That is to say, the word order tells us that Jesus Christ has all the divine attributes that the Father has; lack of the article tells us that Jesus Christ is not the Father. John’s wording here is beautifully compact! It is, in fact, one of the most elegantly terse theological statements one could ever find. As Martin Luther said, the lack of an article is against Sabellianism; the word order is against Arianism

This verse is dealt with in more detail by Wallace, GGBB, pages 266–269."

Mounce, William D. Basics of Biblical Greek: Grammar. Ed. Verlyn D. Verbrugge. Third Edition. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2009. Print.


Actually, James, the position of the author that you quoted above is similar if not identical to that of my own. In explaining my understanding, I too, have quoted that succinct statement of Martin Luther’s.

Here are two other Scriptural statements that employ the same inverted word order.
God is love [ I John 4:16] “‘o θεος ‘αγαπη ‘εστιν” (God love is). Love is the kind of thing God is, the kind of “stuff” of which He consists ---- His essence.

Your word is reality. [John 17:17]. “‘o λογος ‘ο σος ‘αληθεια ‘εστιν” (The word of you reality is) Reality is the kind of thing God’s word is. It’s the stuff of which His word consists — the essence of His word.

I lifted the above statements from an article I wrote some years ago. I immediately followed them by:

Thus: The Expression was Deity [John 1:1] “θεος ‘ην ‘ο λογος” (Deity was the Expression). Deity is the kind of thing that the Expression of God was. It is the stuff of which He consists ---- His very essence.

Martin Luther concurred with this understanding. Whatever else he might have been, Luther was a good Greek scholar. He put it quite succinctly, saying that the lack of an article is against Sabellianism and the word order is against Arianism.


I believe they are one in purpose but not one in essence. Christ is the image of the invisible God. An image depicts something accurately but is not what it is depicting. A picture of a chair accurately represents what a chair is but a picture of a chair is not, in itself, a chair.

How could one be the son to his own father, how could God himself die, how does 1+1+1=1, how God be both God and the mediator between man and Himself if mediator implies a middle personage between two parties, how would God be invisible if Christ was visible, why would God pray to himself, why does Christ make distinctions between himself and the father?


Personally ive found in most things,as a general rule, that when the majority agrees on something you should always be skeptical about it. Maybe im just paranoid. But I dont think appealing to its popularity would in itself justify it as true either way.


“The plan was God”
Could very well be a bold mataphor. A bold metaphor takes out the “like” or “as” to more boldly assert that one thing is another although they obviously arent.

For example “This bread is my body” does not mean that the bread was literally Christs body.

So in the example of “the plan was God” it very well could be equating the upmost goodness of both the plan and God beside each other. Stated less boldly it would/could have been “The plan was like God” i.e. good.


In the world of investing you would be a “Contrarian” which is a good thing IMO. I do believe in a variation of the Trinity which is at some point in time “The Spirit of God” & “The Word of God” came forth from God & are the essence of God but their divinity comes from the Father who is the source. So the one true God is the Father but Christ and the Holy Spirit are divine & made from God stuff!


Being a contrarian makes me all the rage at parties (not really, thats why im not invited to things anymore i suppose hahah)


I filled in “definitely yes” to the poll, but have this caveat: a better question is why the Bible uses the terms “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” to speak of the divine. The earliest used of the term “Trinity” is found in Theophilus, bishop of Antioch (c. 180 CE); and his Trinity is unorthodox, consisting of “God, God’s Word, and Wisdom.” The later concept of “person” (Latin: “eersona”) is an imposition on the NT mindset, whether the term is understood with the nuance “person,” “mask” or “actor.”

A better way to examine the problem might include the following insights:
(1) The Holy Spirit is God’s saving power in action. One can experience the Spirit and exercise the gifts of the Spirit. But NT writers normally don’t think in terms of experiencing or knowing God. Paul prefers to think in terms of being known by God. True, the Psalms speak of knowing God, but mean something different from the wey Paul construes the concept. For the Psalms, knowing God generally means knowing God’s will, precepts, and nature, not a mystical connection with Him. God is present to us through the Spirit and the Spirit mediates our connection with God. For Paul, “the Holy Spirit” can be used interchangeably with “the Spirit of Christ” in this sense.


Unorthodox compared to what, praytell? Who decides that? :slight_smile:
In any case, apparently he believed in a Triad; and I agree the word ‘person’ would have to be imposed on his thought to make it more ‘orthodox’.
I believe in the Father, Maker of heaven and earth; in God’s Son the man Jesus Christ; and in the Holy Spirit, God’s energy working in the world. So I’m a small ‘t’ trinitarian. I can go that far.


Nope, Dave. I doubt that your statement above qualifies you for even “small t.”


I believe in the triunity of man:

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.


I can understand that belief, if you believe that man is a being that consists of 3 different entities. I think man is a single entity and that spirit, soul, and body.are but descriptions of that entity, “Spirit” might refer to “life” in man. God breathed “the spirit of life” into the mere body of the first man, and man became a living “soul,” which seems to simply mean “a living being,” for Genesis speaks of the “soul” of beasts as well. “Soul” might also be thought of as the mind of man, since “soul” in the New Testament seems to refer to “self.”