In the discussion of the Bible and its relation to the Trinity there is a particular term Trinitarians use which I think is misleading and that is “development.” The word and other related terms and ideas refer to the course of the historical development of the doctrine of the Holy Trinity from the 1st to the 4th centuries, the New Testament to the Nicene Creed.
As a point of historical fact, it is perfectly acceptable to say it developed because the doctrine did not appear out of thin air but there were a series of events that led to it. It is also correct to say that the path to the Trinity began with the New Testament (NT). The problem with the term development is how it is often used to suggest that given what the New Testament says, the formulation of Trinitarian doctrine was inevitable. Continue reading “The Bible and the Development of the Trinity”
A creed is a formal statement of the beliefs of a religious organization. In Christian theology it is a technical term for historic summaries of Christian beliefs, particularly those from the 4th and 5th centuries, that are widely accepted as authoritative by mainstream Christian traditions and are regarded as the standard for doctrinal orthodoxy. There are equivalent terms like “symbol”, “confession” and “article” that are period or denomination specific. When the term creed is used it usually refers to the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed or the Athanasian Creed. These creeds appeared several centuries after the New Testament era and they are considered to represent orthodox Christianity. Given the importance of these creeds, the question is then asked if the New Testament itself contains creeds since the later creeds claim to be ultimately derived from that era.
Continue reading “Creedal Orthodoxy and the New Testament”
One of the leading scholars of Paul in the world, N.T. Wright, discusses the world that shaped one of the most influential individuals in human history, Paul of Tarsus. Continue reading “Paul’s Background”
A few weeks ago I posted something on the Pharisees. They were an issue I had wanted to address for a long time because they have been unfairly characterised in the Christian world. “Pharisee” is now a Christianese synonym for “hater.” The truth is the Pharisees as a group are not just stock villains in Christian sermons but are actually very important, even to today’s Christian. Continue reading “In Fairness to the Pharisees (Part 2)”