The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Trying to understand non-Trinitarians. (Present your cases?)

Firstborn, the thread is set kind of for no responses, or at least no debate, so that may be why nobody has responded,

or everyone is just ignoring you :smiley:

I hear you brother! Preach it! I love a good theological shoot-out myself, but this stuff really doesn’t mean that much in the Kingdom. Your theology is of little consequence to your salvation. You are saved in the context of your practice, through faith in Yeshua. Getting absorbed in abstract doctrines to the detriment of works/life is immensely dangerous. I recently escaped this sort of attitude in my last church. I feel more alive in Christ then ever because of it too! All that said, please continue: Ding! Ding!..


Hi firstborn,

I think that understanding and believing sound doctrine is very important to our life as disciples (Matt 28:19-20; Acts 2:42; Eph 4:11-14; 1 Thess 5:21; 1 Tim 1:3; 2 Tim 3:10-17; 4:3; Titus 1:9-13; 2:7), and that we should be concerned when people are being lead astray with false teachings (1 Tim. 6:3-5; 2 Tim. 2:16-18). But I also think we all need a “wake up call” when what we affirm intellectually or verbally is not inspiring and challenging us to live in obedience to Christ (which means loving others and doing what we can to minimize the suffering we see around us), and so I appreciate the sentiment expressed in your words above. The doctrines we affirm, strive to understand better and contend for must be more than mere “head knowledge” if they are to influence what we do. And believing the truth should always have a positive influence on our lives and lead to greater conformity to Christ in our interaction with others.

You’re blessed to have never believed ECT! While I do think the doctrine of the Trinity is erroneous (and a “sacred cow” that would be better off as a hamburger! :slight_smile:), I find the doctrine of ECT far more destructive and offensive. I would rather be a Trinitarian Universalist any day than a Unitarian who believes in ECT. At the same time, I think it’s important that we seek to know what is true (especially the truth concerning who God is!), and that believing what is true is important to our worship of God. Recall Jesus’ words to the Samaritan woman in John 4:21-24: “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Yes, I do know that some writings contained in the collection of writings we call “the bible” (as well as “the church”) put a high emphasis on correct doctrine. That is my very complaint and the purpose of my rant.

Too often the Bible is used as a magic perfect book where people can find ammunition to support their many and widely varying (even opposing) views to prove the rightness or wrongness of theirs or others beliefs. A really weird culture IMO where such things are accepted as normal/rational human behavior. Many of us are born brainwashed to thinking that this is how it should be done.

All that said - I enjoy the bible and all the nuances of doctrine IF they are recognized for what they really are. Using them (the scriptures) to discuss the inspiration and ideas of men about God and seeing the progression/evolution of spiritual thought and ideas through the ages is fascinating and I’ve learned so much - especially in the Hebrew and Greek. But when it all became an institution and political force - forget it.

Obviously - good hearted people like you and most here are not a part of (what I see) as the problem pre se, but are still trained to operate largely within the problem created by religious creeds and dogma through the centuries.

Does this make any sense?

Sorry if I come across as overly critical, I just see things this way and try to express what I see as best I can. Also - I’m off topic because I know the purpose of this thread is pro and con from scripture, so I’ll try to refrain from taking this into a different subject any further.

I have to say, I was hoping and looking forward to Aaron’s contributions to the thread (from the standpoint of having a fine opponent)! Yay! :smiley:

Being swamped at ‘work’ work (which is good in some ways, not so good in others at the moment), I doubt I’ll have the time and energy to go after all these–heck, I haven’t even been able to get back to our fascinating discussion on OT theophanies from a year or more ago!–besides which I do link to a vast amount of my arguments on these topics in 1Cor1522’s sister thread already.

However, another slightly-less-new-member :mrgreen:, “RedHotMagma”, has set up a thread at this link, for replying to the various non-Trin claims and arguments.

Anyone wanting to defend against and/or rebut Aaron or any other non-Trinitarian member contributing to this thread, should either go to that thread or start other threads for specific purposes. Please link back here (and from here to there), if you do so.

John 10:30-33 " ‘I and the Father are one.’ Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, ‘I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?’ ‘We are not stoning you for any of these,’ replied the Jews, ‘but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.’"

All will admit that Jesus’ Father is God. It is the Father, and not Jesus himself, whom Jesus understood to be the God of Israel (John 8:54), and whom he and all true worshippers worship “in spirit and in truth” (John 4:21-24). It is the Father whom Jesus addressed and referred to as “my God” (Matt 27:46; John 20:17; Rev 3:12), as the “only God” (John 5:43-44), and as the “only true God” (John 17:3). What then does “I and the Father are one” mean? Does it mean, “I and the Father are the same person?” No, it doesn’t – and no orthodox Trinitarian would answer otherwise. But why shouldn’t Jesus’ statement be interpreted in this way? Answer: Because such an interpretation would force Jesus to declare an absurdity. Jesus (a man) and Jesus’ Father (who is Jesus’ God) are most assuredly not the same person. But for the same reason that we cannot understand Jesus to be affirming that he and the Father are the same person (because this would make Jesus declare an absurdity), so we cannot understanding Jesus to be affirming that he and the Father are the same divine being. Jesus’ words cannot mean that he and the Father are both the “only true God” and the “one God.” Throughout the Gospels Jesus both implicitly and explicitly distinguishes himself from God. What then does Jesus mean when he declares that he and the Father are “one?” Answer: “One” here in John 10:30 means “one in purpose,” just as it does in John 17:21-23 in reference to believers. Similarly, when the apostle Paul speaks of he and Apollos as being “one” in 1 Corinthians 3:8, no one understands him to be saying that he and Apollos were the same human being, or shared the same “substance.” A more reasonable interpretation of Paul’s words is that he and Apollos were unified in a common purpose.

Thus, while Jesus was indeed making an astounding claim (i.e., that he and the Father were mutually “one” in purpose, thus giving Jesus a unique status as a human being), we are not told that he was claiming to be “the only true God” (YHWH) - and it is unlikely that this is what the Jews were accusing him of. A better translation of v. 33 would be, “…because you, a man (anthropos; the word “mere” is not in the original Greek text), claim to be a god.” The word theos, without the definite article, can be translated “god” (or “gods”) or “divine” (cf. Acts 12:22; 14:11; 28:6). It is possible, then, that the Jewish people were accusing Jesus of claiming to have the same “divine” status as an angelic being, which are referred to as “gods” (elohim) in Psalm 8:4-5 (cf. Heb 2:7; see also Psalm 86:8; 95:3; 136:1-2; 138:1; Job 38:7). We can be sure that this is a more correct translation and interpretation because, in the very next verses (vv. 34-35), the same expression (theos, without the definite article) is used again by Jesus in his quotation of Psalm 82:6. There, theos is translated “gods.” Jesus’ response to their accusation is basically, “If the corrupt human judges of Israel were called ‘gods’ (in the sense of being God’s human representatives invested with his judicial authority) then there is no impropriety in my calling myself the Son of God.” Thus, neither in the Jews’ accusation nor in Jesus’ response is anything being said about Jesus being YHWH, the Most High God of Israel.

John 14:8-9 "Philip said, ‘Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.’ Jesus answered: ‘Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?’ "

What does Jesus mean when he says, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father?” Does he mean that he and the Father are the same person? Answer: no, that is not what Jesus means (and again, no orthodox Trinitarian would argue otherwise). But why shouldn’t Jesus’ statement be interpreted in this way? Again, because such an interpretation would force Jesus to declare an absurdity. For the same reason, we cannot interpret Jesus’ words to mean that he and the Father are both YHWH. What then does Jesus mean? Answer: he is declaring himself to be the Father’s perfect human representative. As a sinless human being and thus the Father’s perfect human representative (or as Paul says, the “image of the invisible God” – Col 1:15; 2 Cor 4:4), Jesus could with all propriety declare, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.”

When Thomas later exclaims (upon seeing the risen Christ) in John 20:28, “My Lord and my God,” Jesus’ words in John 12:44-45 and John 14:7-9 should come to mind. In John 12 Jesus declared, “Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. And whoever sees me sees him who sent me.” And in John 14 we read, “If you had known me, you would have known the Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him” (14:7). Jesus, of course, is not the Father (and no orthodox Christian would argue otherwise). However, because Jesus perfectly represents God, to see and know Jesus is to see and know the Father (which is what Jesus then explains to his disciples in response to Philip’s request – vv. 8-11). But again, it is because Jesus is not the Father that Jesus is not God (because it is the Father who is the “one God”). Jesus even distinguishes himself from God in v. 1 of this very chapter: “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.” Throughout the entire Gospel of John, whenever Jesus or his disciples address or refer to “God,” it is the Father alone who is meant. For example, after Jesus’ resurrection, he told Mary Magdalene, “Go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” It is the Father who is the God of Mary Magdalene and the disciples (including Thomas), and it is the Father who is the God of Jesus. Thus, when Thomas exclaims “My Lord and my God,” we can reasonably infer that by “my Lord” Thomas meant Jesus (whom Paul calls the “one Lord”), and by “my God” he meant the Father (whom Paul calls the “one God”). Upon seeing Christ after he was raised from the dead by God, Thomas must have recalled what Jesus had taught shortly before his death - i.e., that whoever sees Jesus sees him who sent Jesus (i.e., the Father). Thus, Thomas’ declaration “my Lord and my God” should best be understood as an affirmation of this truth.

You’re an Orthodox UR? Is that possible? O.O

Sure, if UR is orthodox doctrine (in the sense of being true). :wink:

Quite a few of the Eastern Orthodox would agree that (one or another variant of) UR is orthodox doctrine.

And insofar as “Orthodoxy” is a handy title for the groups which affirm the Big Three Creeds (Apostle’s, Nicene, and the catholic faith statement within the wrapping statements of the so-called Athanasian Creed), so long as someone affirms those they belong within that set of groups somewhere.

I myself first came to be a Christian universalist (instead of trying to decide between a version of Calvinism or Arminianism, with leanings toward Arm) thanks to extensive study into understanding and believing orthodox trinitarian theism to be true. That isn’t usual (I only know a few other people who arrived at a version of Katholicism this way–maybe I should run a member poll on the topic!) But it does happen. :slight_smile:

I’ve always been interested in the Eastern Orthodox for various reasons, but never courageous enough to go to a parish or something. They’re probably my favorite Christians, though.

just a comment and then a serious question I would like answered by you more learned disciples.
As to “Orthodox”, of course there are NUMEROUS flavors of these - my personal experience with some of what in America we call “Greek Orthodox” - they can be very very narrow-minded in the sense of excluding from their idea of “christian” any of us who subscribe to other-than-orthodox denominations [or non-]. Having good friends that are longtime missionaries in the middle east, we find that much persecution comes from various “orthodox” groups against christian missionaries and small groups of non-orthodox believers. To me their history might show them to be just another form of “Protestant” - decrying some of the doctrines of the Roman church and splintering off to go their own way, retaining much of the baggage of the parent just as other Protestants have. That all said, I think their common understanding of the Trinity is biblically sound.

Question: for the purposes raised by the OP in this thread, do the experts define “Trinitarian” in what I might call the “Lateral Alignment” mode? What I find in the canon [and, to a point raised above, in the ante-nicene fathers also] is a hierarchical understanding of “Trinity”.

To paraphrase Gandhi my issue is not with the Trinity but that so many alleged Trinitarians are practical Modalists.

Claudius; Yes that’s true, and is one of the things that got me to start questioning trinitarianism; too much practical modalism, as you say.

Just as long as nobody here thinks Michael is Jesus, I don’t care if they are trinitarian or unitarian, or modelist, or arian, etc.

The Orthodox are more permissive of “flavors” than other denominations. They have a stronger adherence to the idea of “mystery”, while others like to “know”. This permits for ranges of views. That’s why something like UR can be compatible with Orthodoxy. I’ve even heard a statement that the Orthodox Church believes what its Church (i.e., the members) believes.

The Orthodox are not very clear on the whole Christian/nonChristian thing, either. The Orthodox view their religion as a way of healing, learning, spiritual growth. They believe this is only possible within their church. I think they do a pretty good job in that department. They believe at the judgment, we all encounter God’s love and have to deal with it, and this doesn’t seem religion specific. I feel there’s a bit of a jump here, perhaps where they got off (exclusivity is a bit of a defensive reaction of religions). I asked a few Orthodox if they believe other Christians or unbelievers will be saved. Mostly they avoid the question, and say they can’t know (besides, Orthodoxy is self-centered, not other-people-centered). One notable Orthodox guy said that “there may be sheep outside, we should watch for wolves inside”. Again, very self-centered. The Orthodox are (supposed to be) concerned with THEIR flaws, THEIR problems, and any time I have spoken to an Orthodox, they seemed to reflect that philosophy. Furthermore, the Orthodox are afraid of the book of Revelation /s.

The Orthodox possess a rather strong tradition, compared to most Protestant denominations. It seems to give them a lot of power in terms of how well they follow Jesus. When Protestants give up (bla bla bla all fall short), the Orthodox try to perfect themselves (yes, these are sweeping generalizations and all). The Orthodox have a very strong monasticism tradition, as well.

As for the Roman Catholic Church, the Orthodox believe the RCC schizmed, not them… I don’t really know. But there is Catholic Church history, and there’s Orthodox Church history. Feel free to compare them.

I guess the only question now is why the heck am I still not Orthodox. :laughing:


For purposes of this thread, modalists are also invited to present their cases against trinitarians, since trinitarians (whether among the central orthodoxy promoted by Western and Eastern Rome, or otherwise) would affirm the real distinction of the Persons, “neither confounding the Persons nor dividing the substance.”

(Ideally anyway. Even professional trinitarians sometimes have difficulty keeping that in mind, and so shift effectively into some variety of modalism or unitarianism. But it is a shift. The position that professes both modalism and unitarianism, to roughly oversimplify it :wink: , may be difficult to hold, but it isn’t one instead of the other.)

I know that I am coming in to this after much discussion has already transpired, however, after many years of trying to discover a more, and I believe it should be, simpler understanding of the composition of God.

The first step I needed to take was, in understanding what God is comprised of in the definition of “spirit”.

In John 4:24; Jesus Himself said that, “God is spirit and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth".

God, then, exists as “Spirit”. He is Holy, Omnipresent, Omniscient, Omnipotent, Immutable and Infinite.

Along with God being Spirit, He also has His “logos”, (mind, will, emotions and expression), His inner clockwork, (this makes John 1:1-14 much easier to understand).

God is not triplex as we are, (body, soul and spirit), He is Spirit and soul, (the faculties of His logos).

God’s animating, life sustaining component is Spirit. His Spirit which is Holy and is the medium by which we are able to sense Him and by which He affects and interacts with His Creation.

The teaching of, “the **equal ultimacy **of the one and the many; one God, (in unity), in three persons, (in diversity)", are actually “fog words” that provide absolutely no definitive clarity for the whatness of God, nor does it adequately define Him.

Greetings !

I am really delighted with the passionate zeal of posters here ...

I am also filled with confidence and joy ( meaning more than just an emotive happi-ness feeling )
that forum members here have more than enough diversity yet have a conscious unity …

The teaching of, “the equal ultimacy of the one and the many; one God, (in unity), in three persons, (in diversity)", are actually “fog words” that provide absolutely no definitive clarity for the whatness of God, nor does it adequately define Him.

   "fog words"   <img src="/uploads/default/original/1X/15680453330e74f929b585a237613f0bdf61e069.gif" width="15" height="17" alt=":mrgreen:" title="Mr. Green"/>    really?

 I appreciated the long post with lots and lots of proof texts ... ( just teasing )  because it demonstrates
 that each person should have more than enough passion ( as in passionate zeal not the sensual variety )
    and confidence along with patience to explain their own particular proposal for whatever 
 Theological perspective they hold to...  

  Also although jason has written so very much verbiage (  <img src="/uploads/default/original/1X/15680453330e74f929b585a237613f0bdf61e069.gif" width="15" height="17" alt=":mrgreen:" title="Mr. Green"/>  actually jason I was rofl when I 
   read this comment about your posts -- which by the way I respectfully disagree with - meaning I do 
   not agree with the poster comments towards your passionate writings ... keep up the great writing !  :smiley:  )

  Also Jason seems to hold to a hierarchical model of the Trinity while I most certainly do not ... 
   in fact,during the late 80s when Egalitarian was NOT so popular as it is now .. and during my 
   stinit in an Evangelical Seminary where my controversial questions made me somewhat of a 
     "Lone Ranger" most of the time ...  My MA Thesis was on proposing an Egalitarian view 
     within the Church ... including the roles thereof ..   and those on the other side were 
    trying to constantly hammer me with Wayne Grudem et al...   :smiley: 

   What does this have to do with this topic ?

     Passion, Confidence and Patience with others is crucial in developing one's own Theological insights.

   I would agree with the other posters above .. that throughout the OT time and including up to 300 AD
  (never did like the BCE way of dating ... )  A Jewish believer would not have any inkling of 
   my Trinitarian view ..   more in a short time ...

     all the best !

greetings very brief comment
i have not noticed anyone yet to mention Paul’s Damascus road experience
james and others involved in Acts meeting Peter’s housetop experience John’s experience whilewriting the book of revelation Priscilla Aquila Phoebe Luke as gentile living within that area Antioch church now in McDonald’s using Samsung so can’t elaborate blessings to all especially those who have passion for their own perspectives

Greetings !

 I wish to share my appreciation to Aaron for his writing ...  
   Thus I will post some thoughts here .. but on the other hand ..
  I will present much more writing in the other Trinitarian area ...

I wish to present an idea concerning usage of a Concordant Literal Translation …
or using Mounce’s NT Version or Young’s Literal and so on …

The challenge at the beginning comes from the perceived notion
that finding the “best” translation available into English
will generate the “best” available “text” for potential correct exegesis

I use potential due to the murky mire with its associated hazards of hermeneutics
even though this will appear to be so very obvious to step over it and continue on crusading …

Therefore, allow me to present a hopefully interesting example …

   你是海,我是山  (ni shi hai - wo shi shan )  -- it is easy to display Chinese characters in WinXP  
pinyin joe website  --     <img src="/uploads/default/original/1X/15680453330e74f929b585a237613f0bdf61e069.gif" width="15" height="17" alt=":mrgreen:" title="Mr. Green"/> 

   So now I will give you 3 or more English translations from reputable and reliable sources 
    (following the concept that having reputable and reliable source is crucial for any crusading efforts ) :wink: 

 You are the sea, I am mountain  from Youdao fanyi 
  You are the sea, I am mountain from Google translation 
 You are the sea, I is a mountain   from iciba thru its beta translation 
   ( iciba by the way is one of the best word dictionaries online --- rated 5 stars 
     by an old china man ---  me !   :laughing: )
  I could go on with baidu along with other mobile or PC dictionaries or the considerable publishing market in book form ...
     including Systran ( which by the way cost almost 1,000 US for its CD years ago )
  Then I could enter into an exhaustive concordance listing for "sea" and "mountain"
   utilizing really famous printed dictionaries such as ...  Oxford's 
   along with [](  which helps foreigners to automatically segment each Chinese sentence
      so that the foreigner could have better idea of which is the grammatical parts ...
     along with various pronunciation ...   

snip from Wikipedia …
Chinese dictionaries date back over two millennia to the Eastern Zhou Dynasty, which is a significantly longer lexicographical history than any other language. There are hundreds of dictionaries for Chinese, and this article will introduce some of the most important. For additional information, see Jerry Norman (1988:170-180) for an overview or Paul Fu-mien Yang (1985) for a scholarly bibliography.
1 Terminology
2 Traditional Chinese lexicography
2.1 Semantically organized dictionaries
2.2 Graphically organized dictionaries
2.3 Phonetically organized dictionaries
2.4 Functional classifications
3 Modern Chinese lexicography
3.1 Chinese–English dictionaries
3.2 Chinese–Chinese dictionaries
4 Specialized dictionaries
4.1 For dialects
4.2 For idioms
4.3 For loanwords
4.4 For vernacular literature
4.5 For Chinese learners
5 References
6 Online Chinese dictionaries
7 External links

     The linguist and professor of Chinese, John DeFrancis edited a groundbreaking Chinese–English dictionary (1996) giving more than 196,000 words or terms alphabetically arranged in a single-tier pinyin order. The user can therefore in a straightforward way find a term whose pronunciation is known rather than searching by radical or character structure, the latter being a 2-tiered approach.[citation needed] This project had long been advocated by another pinyin proponent, Victor H. Mair (1986).

          Hopefully this should provide an excellent beginning into the potential correct exegesis 
          of this Chinese poetic nuance ...  

      We surely "must" have highly reputable and scholarly aptitude with keen acuity and discernment 
      while working our way thru the dangerous landscape filled with forests and valleys ...
         threatening our prodigious crusading effort !

      Who knows who is lurking behind those giant oaks waiting to ambush our very Holy pursuit ....
       And trekking through each Valley presents many challenges and thorny bushes along 
         with toooo much poison ivy ( from would be detractors ) such that Pilgrim's Progress 
        surely must ring a loud bell here ...    :sunglasses: 

        Therefore, now we enter into the task at hand...
          You are sea, I am mountain     
        What meaning does this have in English for our present spiritual - social - psychological sitz im leben ?

         aha !  Obviously it is as unintellible and full of babblesome gibberish ... as those Trinitarians 
            who are always parading thru the Forests and Valleys with their song ...  

          Incapable of being grasped by the intellect or understanding: impenetrable, incomprehensible, inscrutable, uncomprehensible, unfathomable  
           Surely the key point is that this has been translated from Chinese ...
            Secondly, surely Chinese are the epitome of being considered inscrutable 
          ( which is derived from many reputable and respectable sources .. especially even some 
              Sinologists as well...  oh! oh! oh! .. we should consult Sinologists by all means ! )

          however, our consultation with Sinologists will probably give us a hearty ear full of ...  
       linguistic grammatical literary nuances springing forth from repetitious lectures concerning 
        various aspects of the Tang Dynasty poems ... 

          Then again, why bother ?  Should "we" be able to 
  Conform to factual evidence : be correct, be exact, nay even be faithful! , be precise, rightly dividing the Word, rigorous, true, veracious, veridical. Having no errors ( following the Holy Sacred Cow of innerrancy: correct, errorless,  and filled with Saintly rigorous behavior  ---  
     translate the Chinese into English then we should have no anxiety as to missing the "message"
     (Chinese has enough affinity 

        ---- meaning the correspondence, resemblance and the inclination towards
      the same process of dealing with Koine Greek or that mysterious, enigmatic, mystic, mystifying, 
    Holy Ghost (using the archaic term) Bible Greek language that existed for such a brief period of time 
        utilized only by those Apostolic Writers while composing their "Inspired " "inerrant " letters
        for those turkeys who colllected themselves into various Eccelesia...

       Yes!  Halleujah !  Hermeneutical Victor reigns !  ( usually it is Christus Victor ) 

       Now we reach the point of being able to elucidate the signficant meaning !

         You are sea (followed by a breath taking pause ) I am mountain ! 

          Wonderous rapture at being able to utilize so much proof texting along 
          with a Concordant Literal Translation from highly reputable and reliable sources 
          along with a Sanctified hermeneutic ...   

        amazing my dear Watson .. truly amazing ...   

           and there will be a chorus of Church Choirs singing -- unintellible nonsense !
        even though Sherlock Holmes with his acute keen acuity for solving complex Cases...
         even though his ( referring to Holmes in case you got lost in these tortured sentences )
        Chinese Cousins -- Judge Bao and Judge Dee ( who being held in highest esteem 
          for their exquisite clever detective skills in solving complex Cases within the Middle Kingdom ...
        for these 3 bear their testimony and witness !  they are able to easily understand the meaning  <img src="/uploads/default/original/1X/15680453330e74f929b585a237613f0bdf61e069.gif" width="15" height="17" alt=":mrgreen:" title="Mr. Green"/> 

         Can you ?  I surely can ... since I often use this phrase in classes ... 
            and there appears that very few have any trouble comprehending the significant meaning 
            unless of course .. some adults or kids present have calloused "cold " hearts rendering 
          their Artistic ability to become inane...   :laughing: 

         What is the point ?   Stay tuned for the thrilling conclusion of ....
                 The Case of the Hermeneutical hermit ... 

             May the spontaneous overflowing of  voluminous blessings via the Grand Dance at the Eschaton
           be present in your daily lives ... for without the Perichoretic koinonia ( which precludes

Greetings !

 Now we continue with our hit TV show 

What is the point ? Stay tuned for the thrilling conclusion of ....

The Case of the Hermeneutical hermit …

May the spontaneous overflowing of voluminous blessings via the Grand Dance at the Eschaton
be present in your daily lives … for without the Perichoretic koinonia ( which precludes …
there was a technical difficulty so I could not finish … :wink:

The key question I asked in the previous post was … Can you ?
Can you understand the English meaning of You are sea… I am mountain … :mrgreen:

 Also this long enough post series does have a connection with this topic by the way ... 
  it is just taking a while to get there ...

  If you are Trinitarian or non- Trinitarian ... I dare say that exceedingly few members here 
   will be able to make any heads or tails or any sense at all of my query ...

  simply because within the socio - cultural milieu of native English speaking people 
   it is a really hefty challenge to be able to understand the meaning of the English translation 
 whereas ... for Chinese it is quite easy ...  the difference being the ability to appreciate
    understand and realize the various nuances of the Chinese original ...

  Ok .. so I asked more than enough Chinese as individuals and as a group in various classes
   What would you say or do IF a foreigner came to you and said  "ni shi hai -- wo shi shan "
   for those Chinese girls who do have a typical Asian chilly heart ( being practical )
   their facial expressions would most likely frown or put on a poker face ...
    and complain if they felt comfy enough without being embarrassed ...
    Next , I asked these same girls what would you say or do IF a foreigner came to them
   and asked... what does this Chinese mean ?  ni shi hai -- wo shi shan...
     these girls would most likely reply ... nonsense.. nothing ... 
     or the really typical ni gan ma ?
    ( now please remember do not attempt to use this chinese phrase with any chinese ....)
     which means ... in different contexts or situations ranging from the casual  
       what are ya doin? why are ya doin this ?  to the impolite and obnoxious WTF?

    Next, I asked those girls who hearts are friendly and congenial due to my charming 
       social skills  <img src="/uploads/default/original/1X/15680453330e74f929b585a237613f0bdf61e069.gif" width="15" height="17" alt=":mrgreen:" title="Mr. Green"/> 
      I asked them the same two questions ...  
        They would chuckle, blush sometimes, display a cutesy smile or even flash their eyes...
       and respond with the vocalized -- you are crazy and similar expressive comments
       for the if the foreigner asked them to explain the meaning ...
        they would quickly respond by saying ... it means nothing ... 
        Should these Chinese be in a hurry... or even moderately busy ... they do not wish 
          to spend the time to explain ... thus the " it means nothing"  which in Chinese culture
        is a polite way to quickly deflect any further conversation upon it ...
        So !
        The foreigner could very well record these responses and then tell me that it means nothing ...
         But actually in fact, due to the body language ... due to my understanding of some of 
        their social dynamics ...  it does mean something !  
          So I continued to prod them to open up more with my charming social skills ...
         and the conclusion to my query above is ... 
           Watson my dearest fellow --  It is Elementary ...
           this Chinese phrase or sentence however you wish to declare it grammatically ...
           belongs to the charming sweet talk used by men towards women ... 
             To the Chinese ear it has more than enough musical melody and harmony ...
             To the English native speaker hearing it in English makes little more sense than 
                 is it shorter to Seattle or by bus ...

         So what does this have to do with hermeneutics or "**Concordant** Literal Translation" effort ?
          ***** note: I have put quote marks around it so that it becomes a nickname for 
               many different kinds of literal translation projects ... *******

          Without being immersed for an extended amount of time within the warp and woof of 
          dynamic active living of any particular socio Cultural environment ...
            then there is a probability that the Concordant Literal Translation of the target language
           will certainly have more than enough ambiguity as a huge cloud of dust is kicked up 
            near those traveling along the trail ( even tho many Cowboys will 
          still yell "Circle the wagons" and continue to attempt persuade others that 
             having successfully translated the target language into English they are ready 
             for the Indians who are attempting to ambush them -- this being in their mindset
            as they observed the sudden cloud of dust .. )

           So jimbo ... you figure ya got enough time livin with dem Chinese to understand 
               Chinese written material ?  

             obviously not ... and that is another reason for too many Sinologists dickering with each other ...

           but the basic premise does hold enough water to float a boat ....  :wink: 

             When approaching the multi-valent text of the NT there exists an abundance of hermeneutical
             quagmires and swampy areas ...  it is one thing for Trinitarians and non- Trinitarians
               to use various texts for to explain what they mean by Trinity or no Trinity... 
               by attempting to flatten the contextual pericopes so that it is more 
            convenient to lift out "verses" from said flattened areas -- then to be used in formulating
               a systematic theological statement ... (  i will assume that most members here already
            realize that many greek sentences in the NT consist of many "verses" so that while the 
            English might have nice clean grammatical 'stops' with a 'period'  the greek most likely does not )

            As far as the Jewish converts to earliest Christianity goes ... from my previous research ...
             Jewish converts continued to join the early churches up until 300 AD...
            I do not think that most Jewish converts had in their minds ... that there would exist 
              a Trinitarian emphasis within the early movement of the Christian Church ...
             In the book of Acts... there were even several meetings between the Gentile member side
              and the Jewish member side ... between Antioch and Jerusalem ...
             Also the early Gentile converts probably did not receive any dedicated Church catechism
            instructing or teaching these new Church members that there was a Trinity...
             at least not any known MSS exists ... but this does not prove or indicate that there 
          might have been ...  in my estimation there were surely a myriad and a multitude of MSS
           that have went to the "Mss heaven " made it there by many diverse manners...

              I recall that there might have been more than 2 letters sent to those turkeys at Corinth ... :wink: 
             Then again ... 
             Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
               This indicates that there was some very basic catechism while baptizing disciples...

               But then again I will need to write more about these issues in the Trinitarian area...  :slight_smile: 

            My proposal is that We need to encourage each other with enthusiastic passion --  
               in order that more members here in this forum will have the confidence to 
           express their own personal choices for whichever Theological proposal 
                  makes satisfying reasonable sense to them..
             The days of tossing anathemas and attempting to exercise "authoritative clout" over others
               should be moved to the edge of the cliff where the winds from summer typhoons
               or autumn windy days will exert enough force to push these behaviors over the edge
              and into the ravine of "forgetful begone times"   

              If today was still countless centuries ago or untold millenia then the time when 
               Grand Dance at the Eschaton would be still light years away ....   
             which people could then say ... fight kill for tomorrow we need to follow the tactics
                 of the first Emperor of China to unify all of it under his exceedingly strong arm tactics

             was the king of the Chinese State of Qin from 246 BC to 221 BC, during the Warring States Period.[4] He became the first emperor of a unified China in 221 BC.[4] He ruled until his death in 210 BC at the age of 49.[5]

Calling himself the First Emperor (Chinese: 始皇帝, Shǐ Huángdì) after China’s unification, Qín Shǐ Huáng is a pivotal figure in Chinese history, ushering nearly two millennia of imperial rule. After unifying China, he and his chief advisor Li Si passed a series of major economic and political reforms.[4] He undertook gigantic projects, including building and unifying various sections of the Great Wall of China, the now famous city-sized mausoleum guarded by the life-sized Terracotta Army, and a massive national road system, all at the expense of numerous lives. To ensure stability, Qin Shi Huang outlawed and burned many books and buried some scholars alive.[5]
If anyone is interested I can send some amazing and fascinating info that I gleaned while attending
the Museum of History exhibition in HK recently
Amazingly as it really was … incredible … A very short time after his Death…
his huge Empire crumbled into dust …

       Thus another exceptional example to illustrate and indicate that seeking hierarchical order amongst 
          mankind and especially in the Church ... most likely will lead to similar situations ... 
        due mostly in part to our " personal autonomous behavior "  seeking benefit at the expense 
            of another ... whereas I believe that seeking "mutual benefit " has many valuable blessings 
          to be bestowed upon all ...   τῇ φιλαδελφίᾳ εἰς ἀλλήλους φιλόστοργοι, τῇ τιμῇ ἀλλήλους προηγούμενοι,

         all the best .. 
           May the fruitful blessings of Grand Dance at the Eschaton .. encircle everyone deeply ....
              Λέγει ὁ μαρτυρῶν ταῦτα· Ναί· ἔρχομαι ταχύ. Ἀμήν· [q]ἔρχου, κύριε Ἰησοῦ.

                       Ἡ χάρις τοῦ κυρίου [r]Ἰησοῦ μετὰ [s]πάντων.