I GOT SOME PUSHBACK to the 5-minute, all-you-need-to-know-about-the-Trinity video I released on New Year’s Day, The Trinity.
I was a little leery of a line I paraphrased from the Gospel of John, which I’m working on now for the Casual English Bible. One viewer jumped right on it. I commend her for picking up on it.
Here’s the line spoken by Jesus, as translated by the good folks with the New International Version.
“I and the Father are one” (John 10:30).
Here’s how I’ve paraphrased it for my yet unpublished beta edition, which I quoted in the video.
“The Father and I are one and the same.”
One gentle spirit asked what version reads that way. When I told her, she said, “Scripture talks about Adam and Eve being one but they surely were not one and the same. ‘One and the same’ doesn’t imply unity in my mind but identical without any distinction.”
To which I replied, “Think Identical with distinction. That sure seems to be what Jesus was trying to say. But that doesn’t seem to be something we can relate to or imagine. The Trinity was and is a mystery that we’re going to have to wait and watch unfold before us.”
Another viewer, a minister, wrote, “Methinks you are making the same mistake LDS makes as in Salishah—not 3 separate gods, but 1 God with 3 natures—so to speak. Our ability to correctly and accurately verbalize the nature of God is limiting. If Christ is not God, as Paul points out, then we are still in our sin.”
Well, I still don’t know what “Salishah” is, and I googled it. So in ignorance of that word, I wrote back,
“I don’t recall Paul ever calling Jesus ‘God.’ ‘Lord,’ yes but not ‘God.’ I think you’re confusing the Paul quote with this one: ‘If Christ wasn’t raised from the dead, then our preaching is a lie and your faith is a joke’ (1 Corinthians 15:14 Casual English Bible). The KJV puts it more like you did: ‘And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.’
Also, I don’t think I’m making the same mistake as the LDS unless they, too, are saying they are baffled by the idea of the Trinity. What I’m trying to say is that the church fathers agreed that they didn’t understand the Trinity, but they believed in it. I don’t have a problem with that, though what I think doesn’t matter much. We all have to work through our understanding of God, or our lack of it. Peace to you.”
Another reader added a note that got be thinking even more about this.
“Another thing that is profound to ponder on, is how in John Jesus prays that his disciples may be one as He is one with The Father.”
I think he was talking about this line:
“I am not praying just for these followers. I am also praying for everyone else who will have faith because of what my followers will say about me. I want all of them to be one with each other, just as I am one with you and you are one with me. I also want them to be one with us. Then the people of this world will believe that you sent me” (John 17:20-21 CEV).
Do you have any reaction to any of this? If so, what? I thank you very much.