951753

This Site Is No Longer Active

Check out RESTITUTIO.org for new blog entries and podcasts. Feel free to browse through our content here, but we are no longer adding new posts.


The Creator (Heb: bara)

  

Heb: bara – to create, to bring into existence, out of/from nothing (creation ex nihilo (latin) – “creation out of nothing”)

This is a singular verb (evidence that the Creator [God] is a single entity [one person]). Are the 3 persons of the trintiy co-creators, or did the one person God do it alone?

Genesis 1:1, 20 – 21, 26 – 27

V1 (beresit bara elohim) – universe brought into existence by God – out of nothing; prior to this, there was no universe.

V21 (wayyibara elohim) – sea creatures brought into existence by God – out of nothing.

V27 (wayyibara elohim) (note: single personal pronoun [He] – strong evidence that the Creator is a single God [one person])

Man/mankind were brought into existence by God … out of nothing; prior to this event, there was no man (Adam & Eve)

Christian theological tradition – opposing “creation ex nihilo”

OT scholar John Walton argues that the Hebrew word “bara” does not mean to create “ex nihilo”, but rather it means to give already existing material a function. Eg. in Gen 1:1, “in the beginning God created” is inherently ambiguous; he believes it should say, “when God began to create” and so in verse 2, “the earth was without form” means that the earth always had existed and God was simply working with pre-existing materials.

Thomas Jay Oord (born 1965), Christian philosopher and theologian, argues that Christians should abandon the doctrine of creation ex nihilo. Oord speculates that God created our particular universe billions of years ago from primordial chaos. Oord suggests the chaotic elements did not predate God, but were not created from absolute nothingness.

Oord offers several objections to creation ex nihilo…

One cannot conceive absolute nothingness.

There is no evidence that our universe originally came into being from absolutely nothing.

Creation ex nihilo assumes that a powerful God once acted alone. But power, as a social concept, only becomes meaningful in relation to others.

If God once had the power to create from absolutely nothing, God essentially retains that power. Yet this God is unable to prevent evil.

This kind of divine power implied in creation ex nihilo supports a theology of empire, based upon unilateral force and control of others.

Several early Jewish and Christians theologians and philosophers in the time of the early, like Philo, Justin Martyr, Athenagoras from Athens, Hermogenes, Clement of Alexandria made statements that seem to indicate that they did not hold to the concept of creation ex nihilo. Philo, for instance, postulated pre-existent matter alongside God. It is fascinating how this thinking is inline with Greek philosophy (when speaking on the subject of pre-existence)

The usage of the word bara as “creation ex nihilo”

The bible clearly shows that the word bara does speak of a bringing into existence, hence prior to the event of creation, that object/person did not exist

Psalm 102:16 – 18

The psalmist, in times of affliction, calling upon God, seeking mercy and appealing to His promises made to Israel. He says, all God’s promises have been written for the generation to come, a people “yet to be created”. The generation to come, did not exist; they were yet to be created – hence these people were “nothing” (no pre-existent material)

Isaiah 48:3, 6 – 7

God spoke in times past about Judah’s sins and consequences of chastisement – and He brought His words to pass. Now God spoke again in their time about their sins, chastisement and finally redemption. These prophecies/events, God created at the time – they did not pre-exist from times past; prior to them, they did not exist (should they?). God need not create judgment where there is no sin, nor deliverance where there is no bondage!

Numbers 16:28 – 31

In the rebellion of Korah, Moses speaks of their impending doom. If they die naturally, then God has not judged them; if they earth opens up and swallows them, this is the sign that God has judged them. Moses said, this event God will create – prior to it, this event did not exist!

Psalm 148:1 – 6

Regarding the physical elements of the universe, earth … God said it, and therefore He created them. Prior to God commanding them, there were no creation elements – when He did create them, He made them to endure forever (perpetually). It is important to note: bara means to create (idea of bringing into existence). All peoples/things in this world had a beginning; God alone did not!

Genesis 5:1 – 2, 6:5 – 7

V2 – this one God (note: single personal pronoun [He] – created (singular verb) mankind (defined as [male/female]) (note the plural pronoun [them]). God was / is responsible in creating human beings; they are the product of His intelligence and making

V7 – this one God (pronoun [I]) who created mankind, has the right to destroy them (plural pronoun). God, who authored their existence, He alone has the right to eradicate their existence – if they live evil!

Isaiah 42:5 – 6

The God who created all things (universe, earth, mankind) reveals His name – Yahweh! (we can personally identify who created all things)

V5 – Yahweh God governed by the singular verb “created” – evidence that Yahweh God is a single God (unipersonal)

V6 – single personal pronoun [I] – Yahweh is an I, one person, single God (He alone is the Creator – no co-creator here)

Isaiah 45:18 – 19

Yahweh God seeks to be identified by His role in the genesis creation: He is God, He is Almighty, all-powerful! Yahweh God is the only God, there is no other – He is unipersonal, He alone created the universe, there is no other like Him.

Malachi 2:10

The one Father = the one God = the one Creator = Yahweh!

God the Father (the phrase in NT) is Yahweh God of the OT – who alone created the universe and mankind!

Isaiah 40:25 – 26

Q: can Yahweh God be compared (likened) to someone else?

Q: can Yahweh God be equal with someone else?

A: no to both questions – God is in a league of His own: what defines that? His sole role in creation!

Hence, can God the Son and God the Holy Spirit be compared to God the Father (who is Yahweh God) and solely created all things? Trinitarians who say Jesus is God the Son, 2nd member of the Trinity is a co-creator. God the Father says – no! (I have no equals, I cannot be compared to no-one)

It is evidently clear from the OT that Yahweh God who is the Father acted alone when creating the universe, the earth, the animal kingdom and mankind. It is clear that everything else had a beginning, except God, who is the Creator and has no beginning. It is clear that a tri-une God was not responsible for the act of the genesis creation, but God the Father (Yahweh) only. God therefore is not tri-une, has no co-creators.

This listen to an audio recording of this presentation, click here.

34 Responses to “The Creator (Heb: bara)”

  1. on 28 May 2011 at 7:21 amXavier

    Another interesting Hebrew word to look into is yalad, often translated as gennao in the Koine Greek.

    PS: welcome Steve…get ready to be bombarded. 😉

  2. on 28 May 2011 at 9:30 amXavier

    Steve

    The bible clearly shows that the word bara does speak of a bringing into existence, hence prior to the event of creation, that object/person did not exist.

    The other day I came across Rev 4.11 and was told that the Greek there should be translated something like…

    You [God] created all things and by Your will they existed and were created.

    Is this correct? If so, how does this relate to this topic?

  3. on 28 May 2011 at 10:53 amRay

    If something is in the Bible why not believe it?

    God created all things by Jesus Christ who is the Word of God that was with God from before the world was made. Being with God and in him, he was at the very least, a part of God. He was the very nature of God himself, being one with him. There was no difference between them, though I suppose there was some distinction.

    And if God was not yet willing to reveal all of this what does that mean to us,… that none of it was even so?

    It was very real that Jesus was with God, very real that he and God had the glory in the beginning, that Jesus had a full share of God from the beginning, even before the world was.

    And when David said in the spirit, “The Lord said unto my Lord..” wasn’t the Father, the Son, and the spirit, (the Godhead) revealed?

    It should have been. We should have received it.

    Did God really have to say to his chosen Israel, “I and my Son Jesus created all things, and we don’t have any idols here with us.”?

    Wasn’t Jesus included in God? Wasn’t he a part of the Godhead?
    Isn’t the Godhead what God is all about?

    I suppose we made ourselves a rule that says, “If God says something to us, it had better be the whole truth, with nothing left out, or it’s not the truth at all. It’s simply being deceptive.”

    I believe God is in the business of breaking all of our rules. He does if for our salvation, that we might get to know him for who he is, God.

  4. on 28 May 2011 at 11:21 amXavier

    Ray

    I believe God is in the business of breaking all of our rules.

    Does that include God [somehow] dying for you and me?

  5. on 28 May 2011 at 4:48 pmSteve

    Xavier

    Another interesting Hebrew word to look into is yalad, often translated as gennao in the Koine Greek.

    Amen. There are other words that do draw the same meaning. Would be good to look into. With “bara” it’s wonderful to see that the word does convey the idea of “creation ex nihilo” – while these other philosophers and perhaps early church fathers carried the idea of ontological preexistence – even as far as the universal elements themselves!

    I guess it shows perhaps were the preexistence of the son may have been derived from.

    Thanks for the welcome.

  6. on 28 May 2011 at 4:58 pmSteve

    Xavier,

    The other day I came across Rev 4.11 and was told that the Greek there should be translated something like…

    Regarding Revelation 4:11, the Greek text has it written like this…

    Ἄξιος εἶ, ὁ κύριος καὶ ὁ θεὸς ἡμῶν λαβεῖν τὴν δόξαν καὶ τὴν τιμὴν καὶ τὴν δύναμιν, ὅτι σὺ ἔκτισας τὰ πάντα καὶ διὰ τὸ θέλημα σου ἦσαν καὶ ἐκτίσθησαν

    I think the words your referring to are the following in the text:

    καὶ kai and
    διὰ dia because
    τὸ to the
    θέλημα thelēma will
    σου sou you
    ἦσαν ēsan agree

    There’s no hint in the text of ontological existence (Gr. υπήρχε) before God created. I think the text speaks more about how the are agreeable with His will, hence were created.

  7. on 28 May 2011 at 4:59 pmSteve

    Ray,
    Are you able to substantiate, from the OT only, that Jesus was a co-creator?

  8. on 28 May 2011 at 9:05 pmRay

    Xavier, about your question in #4, I suppose it very well may include that depending on what people mean by it. However, I don’t think there are very many Christians that would say that God the Father died on a cross instead of Jesus, do you? I’ve never actually heard one say that.

    Steve, from the old Testament, the closest thing that comes to mind right now is when God said, “Let us make man in our image…” For many years now I had seen that as a clue given to us that there was someone with God in the creation work. I had told a Trinitarian that I believed it was Jesus that was with God in the making of man.
    He said he thought it was the Holy Spirit. I was surprised to hear that answer.

    There are some interesting things said in Isaiah also that I said to myself, “This sounds just like he’s speaking of God and Christ together.” That happened a lot for me when reading Isaiah.

  9. on 29 May 2011 at 5:10 amSteve

    @Ray,
    Some people still in evangelical circles claim God died on the cross (to mean, Jesus – because they say Jesus is God). I don’t think there are many anymore out there whom I could term “patripassionists” – but you never know.
    That said, some try to use the “angel of the LORD” texts to teach a “christophany” (pre-existent son), yet with a bit of study, can realize that is fallacious. Unless one does some real scriptural gymnastics, then perhaps one may convince another of a prexistent son from the OT. But anyone who does a little bit of scholarly homework will know that there is hardly any evidence from the OT and so they need to appeal to the Johannine texts. I don’t believe John was introduce an idea that was completely foreign all throughout the OT.

    Even the Gen 1:26 text, “and God said (singular verb), ‘let us make man…'”. If you read Gesenius’ book on Heb grammar you’ll see that he indicates that the unipersonal God was speaking to his angelic host (through the use of Heb grammar).

  10. on 29 May 2011 at 6:30 amXavier

    Steve

    There’s no hint in the text of ontological existence (Gr. υπήρχε) before God created.

    So most translations are wrong by adding the word “existence” or implying a before and after creation?

    How is it to be properly translated then?

    Ray

    I don’t think there are very many Christians that would say that God the Father died on a cross instead of Jesus, do you?

    Yes, actually I was kicked out of a [famous] theological school when the principal said such a thing and I objected.

    In any case, if Jesus was God, as you seem to believe, or some preexistent, eternal Being, wouldn’t that amount to God dying? Maybe not God the Father as such but God the Son. A “God” nonetheless. 😛

  11. on 29 May 2011 at 9:59 amRay

    Steve,
    Some Christians get into legalism and legality, looking at all written scripture as some kind of legal document by the letter, examining every jot and tittle, becoming a Pharisee, not being able to hear the voice of the spirit, unable to discern prophetic language, nor do they know the sound thereof.

    Therefore they can not see a forest for the trees.

    Xavier,
    Did the man you speak of in 10 above really say that Jesus did not die on a cross? I would think that all of the students would have taken issue with that principal.

    When the Son of God died on the cross, I believe it was the same one that lived with God in heaven prior to his coming to this earth in the flesh through his conception and birth. Before his conception by the Holy Spirit in the womb of Mary, he was one with God the Father, being a part of the threefold Godhead, (The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit) he was certainly a part of God himself. But he was not simply a part of God. He was more than that. He shared fully with God. He and God the Father had a holy communion of full sharing. In that sense, men say that he was God, for he was the Word that was in the beginning with God, and as the apostle John wrote, the Word was God, for what real practical difference was there that could prohibit us from seeing him as God himself? There is no law that I know of Do you?

    If you know of such a law, please place it before our eyes and we will examine it to see if it is the will of God, or if someone is simply trying to play religious police officer in order to manipulate people,
    intimidate them, cause them to stumble, or to harm them.

  12. on 29 May 2011 at 10:32 amXavier

    Ray

    …for what real practical difference was there that could prohibit us from seeing him as God himself? There is no law that I know of Do you?

    If that is true then God died for you on the cross?

    If you’re gonna go down that route there is no practical difference whether he was also Satan or an angel, etc.

  13. on 29 May 2011 at 12:58 pmRay

    Xavier,

    The road you are on is an old one. It’s the one the Pharisees traveled.

    Is that why you were kicked out of a theological school, or was it because you were the only man of God and they were a legalistic
    school of hypocrites?

  14. on 29 May 2011 at 4:41 pmXavier

    Ray

    Is that why you were kicked out of a theological school, or was it because you were the only man of God and they were a legalistic school of hypocrites?

    I told you why I was kicked out, I objected to their saying that God died on the cross.

    BTW the Shema Ysrael prohibits the inclusion of any other God besides the one God of Israel, YHWH. I thought that was a “law”, the greatest of the commandments!

  15. on 29 May 2011 at 5:38 pmDoubting Thomas

    Ray,
    In msg. #11 you asked, “In that sense, men say that he was God, for he was the Word that was in the beginning with God, and as the apostle John wrote, the Word was God, for what real practical difference was there that could prohibit us from seeing him as God himself? There is no law that I know of Do you?”

    Y’shua said in Mark 9:36, “…Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me ‘DOES NOT’ welcome me but ‘THE ONE’ who sent me.” (ESV – emphasis mine).

    It is clear from the verse above that Y’shua is saying he “IS NOT” God. Jesus clearly says, “…whoever welcomes me ‘DOES NOT’ welcome me but ‘THE ONE’ who sent me.” You can’t get much clearer than that. Y’shua “IS NOT” God!!! If Y’shua ‘WAS’ God then the above teaching of Jesus makes no sense whatsoever.

    Y’shua also said in Mark 10:40, ” but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared. ”

    Again Jesus is saying it “IS NOT” his decision who will sit at his right or sit at his left side. If Y’shua was God then he would be able to decide these things. He is clearly saying that he is not God, for only God can decide these things.

    Y’shua also said in Mark 14:62, ” And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven. ”

    How can Jesus sit at the right hand of God if Jesus and God are one and the same being???

    Y’shua also said in Mark 13:32, ” No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. ”

    If Jesus and God were one and the same being, then Jesus would know “EVERYTHING” that the Father knows. This is just basic common sense. Again Y’shua is making it clear that he and God are two separate and distinct individuals. God knows many things that the Son (Y’shua/Jesus) does not know.

    I understand that all this goes against the things you may be hearing in other places, but that’s because this is a Unitarian site, where people understand that Y’shua /Jesus “IS NOT” God…

  16. on 30 May 2011 at 10:29 amRay

    xavier,
    By the answer you gave to my question (14) I would think that you were a Pharisee and that’s why they threw you out.

    Thomas,
    I think Jesus often said that there is one that is someone other than he who is greater than him, not necessarily saying that he isn’t God, or like him, or that he will never be exactly as he is in all points.

  17. on 30 May 2011 at 10:58 amRay

    I think we have the hope of becoming just like Jesus, and yet there is also a sense in which we never will be just like him.

    We will always have Jesus as our head, our Lord, and our Saviour, but Jesus will have no one but the Father as his head.

    I think there is a way that men may say that God died on a cross, and that there is a way to say that and be in denial of Christ who was the one who died on the cross, but I don’t think I have ever heard a Christian who truly denied that it was Jesus who died on the cross while he said that God died on a cross.

    Yet, I do find that there are times when I think the testimony of Christians can be confusing in this matter.

    In all practical ways, Jesus is and will be God to all those who are saved and do know him. He will also be the lamb that was slain for them, and he will be the man that came to be born into this world that we might be saved.

  18. on 30 May 2011 at 1:25 pmXavier

    Ray

    By the answer you gave to my question (14) I would think that you were a Pharisee and that’s why they threw you out.

    I’ll bite my lip!! :/

  19. on 30 May 2011 at 7:58 pmDoubting Thomas

    Ray,
    Most Trinitarians say that you must believe that God died on the cross for your sins, or you are not a true Christian and you can’t achieve salvation. Xavier objected to the school’s teaching on this subject, since he doesn’t believe that God died on the cross. After all it’s just common sense that God can’t die!!! This is the “most basic” of Unitarian beliefs and is what sets us apart from the Trinitarians.

    Therefore the school decided that it couldn’t allow someone who holds such heretical beliefs (like Xavier) to attend their school. So they told him he was not welcome there as a student. It had nothing to do with Xavier being a pharisee (like you said). This intolerance of other people’s beliefs does not reflect well on Christianity as a whole. Y’shua said in Mathew 7:1-3;

    “Judge not, that you be not judged. (2) For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. (3) Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?”

    I respect your right to disagree with me (and others), but I wish you would recognize the right of people on this site to also disagree with you. In msg. #17 you said, “In all practical ways, Jesus is and will be God to all those who are saved and do know him.” Like it has been repeatedly pointed out to you “NO-ONE” on this site believes that “Jesus is God”. It goes completely against our Unitarian beliefs.

    When you say that, “Jesus is and will be God to all those who are saved and do know him.” You are basically saying that “NO-ONE” on this site is saved or knows Jesus (except you). You should not judge people like that because it shows a complete intolerance of other people’s beliefs. We have repeatedly explained to you (with scriptures) why we don’t believe that “Jesus was God”. We “ARE” entitled to have our own beliefs.

    In Mark 10:18, Y’shua said, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.”

    This and the other scriptures I have quoted to you show that Jesus repeatedly said that he “WAS NOT” God. Jesus is clearly saying that all goodness comes from God!!! Including any goodness that Jesus (or any of us) have. It is important for us to know the source of “ALL” that is good. That source is our heavenly Father who was the Creator of heaven and earth (and everything in it, including us and Jesus).

    You really shouldn’t judge people by saying that “Jesus is God to all those who are saved and do know him.” You are condemning everyone on this site (including myself) when you do this. As a fellow brother in Christ you should try to learn to be more tolerant of people who’s beliefs are different from your own.

    BTW – I’m not saying this in anger, but in love for you as my brother in Christ…

  20. on 30 May 2011 at 8:07 pmXavier

    DT

    As a fellow brother in Christ…

    You still consider such people as your spiritual brethren?

    I’ll bite my tongue and lips yet again. : /

  21. on 30 May 2011 at 8:16 pmDoubting Thomas

    Xavier,
    From what I’ve seen from Ray over the past year or so, is that he does try to follow Y’shua’s teachings as best as he can. The way I see it, that makes him my brother. Like all of us, he sometimes falls short. I know I have fallen short many a times. That’s where his brothers in Christ should help him and support him, so that we can all grow together as the body of Christ, to become more perfect like “OUR” Father in heaven…

  22. on 30 May 2011 at 9:02 pmRay

    Concerning Jesus, how can a man find acceptable words?

    Is it better if he say that he is who he isn’t, or that he say that he is who he is?

  23. on 30 May 2011 at 9:21 pmRay

    I think I can say that Jesus is God because he is what he is, just as God said of himself to Moses.

  24. on 30 May 2011 at 10:35 pmXavier

    DT

    …he does try to follow Y’shua’s teachings as best as he can. The way I see it, that makes him my brother. Like all of us, he sometimes falls short.

    Same goes for Mormons, Catholics, etc.?

  25. on 30 May 2011 at 11:13 pmDoubting Thomas

    Xavier,
    My best friend is a non-conforming Roman Catholic (he believes most of their doctrines, but does disagree with some of their teachings). I have known him since I was teenager. I wish I could be as good a Christian as he is. I’ve never known him to lie or to cheat anyone, he doesn’t swear, smoke or drink very much. He’s always studying the bible and reading about early church history etc.. He took a Sabbatical (two years off work) to go to a seminary in British Columbia and he’s always taking correspondence courses. He hopes to one day get his Masters in Theology.

    He’s dedicated his life (decades) to learning as much as he can and is the most knowledgeable person that I know (personally). He accepts me as a fellow Christian and as a friend even though we have different opinions regarding the Trinity, the immortality of the soul, the pre-existence of Y’shua, etc… He accepted the fact that I have doubts about certain writings, but the writings of Paul are still a touchy subject (that I’ve learned to try to avoid).

    Like most Christians, he loves Paul’s writings and considers him to be the greatest of the N.T. writers. Even though we disagree on so many different things he still respects me, and I highly respect him and respect his opinions on things. Because of his experience he has a lot of insight on different things and of course is much more knowledgeable than I am. After all I’m still just a new Christian in comparison to him and others (like you and most other people on this site). I did spend almost 20 years of my life as a staunch atheist.

    I consider him to be my brother in Christ and would be shocked if he were not included among the sheep on the day of judgment. The way I see it he is a much better (more dedicated) Christian then I am. It takes me a couple of months just to read one book. I’m always getting sidetracked with different things that come up in my life, etc… In many ways he and I are opposites. I’m very emotional and feelings orientated, where he is very logical and practical and doesn’t put too much emphasis on feelings.

    Of course he is human and does have feelings (just like all of us). Maybe we are best friends because we are opposites??? I’m not really sure. I am just thankful that God put him in my life…

  26. on 31 May 2011 at 7:10 amXavier

    DT

    My best friend is a non-conforming Roman Catholic…

    Atheists and Buddhists can be very charitable and “good” people too.

  27. on 31 May 2011 at 9:13 amRay

    I was at a men’s advance not long ago and there was a word from one who we did not see with our physical eyes, but one who received a vision from him about a brotherhood of men who hugged each other and were in one accord.

    He wanted them to make some promises before God and man.

    One of the promises was “I promise to love cherish, and to respect others in the Body with no regard to race, color, or creed.”

    Maybe I should mention that the first thing the Lord wanted us to affirm before him and each other is that “I am a member of the Body of Christ.”

    I think spiritual brotherhood is closer than simply respecting another in the Body with no regard to race, color, or creed, but
    by doing that, one is walking brotherly as the Lord will have us to do.

    It can take time to win a brother. Until then let’s continue to strive to love, cherish, and respect others in the Body with no regard to race, color, or creed.

    Bothers should share fully. They should be about the same work together. They should be interested in the work they do together more than what they themself are doing. They should see their work as greater than their group.

    I wonder if they should see their work as greater than their brotherhood.

    Brotherhood is important isn’t it?

    But a brotherhood needs to be right. It needs to be on a right foundation. If not, what would it look like? A gang? A band of criminals?

    So we want to be right. We want to be about the work of the Lord.

    I suppose a brother is closer than simply another member of the Body. A brother is someone a man can go to for help and know that he will render aid.

    This brings me to promise #2 which says, “I promise to love, strenghten, and to aid the other members of the Body.”

    I believe the Lord is building a Brotherhood.

  28. on 31 May 2011 at 9:15 amRay

    Correction in the second line above, There was one we did not see with our physical eyes, but there was one who received a vision…

  29. on 31 May 2011 at 6:42 pmDoubting Thomas

    Xavier,
    You said, “Atheists and Buddhists can be very charitable and ‘good’ people too.”

    We have had this discussion before. You said that you believe that doctrine is everything. Whereas I believe that doctrine isn’t as important as most people think it is. Almost all Christians will say that you must believe some doctrine or another to attain salvation, even though they can’t agree with each other what those actual doctrines might be. But, this belief (that you must believe a certain doctrine), is something that we are all taught from a very young age.

    What doctrines did Abraham believe??? It seemsto me that he just feared and loved his God (our Father), and loved his neighbor as himself. It seems that this is all that God required of him. Why should we demand more than this from our brothers??? I don’t pretend to know who will receive salvation and who won’t. I don’t believe that anybody can know this (for sure).

    But, like I have pointed out to you before, I believe most people put too much emphasis on doctrines. Right from the very beginning the Trinitarians believed that since Y’shua was God, there was no point in trying to get ordinary layman to try to emulate him. After all you can’t expect ordinary layman to emulate God. This activity was something that was reserved for only the most holy of holy men, like monks, etc…

    These Trinitarians believed that it was impossible to change the behavior of common laymen and that the “only” way that an ordinary layman could achieve salvation was by believing the “correct doctrines” (as set out by them) and participating in certain rituals, which they called sacraments. The power to attain salvation was therefore in the hands of the church officials who controlled who received the sacraments and who also got to decide what the “correct doctrines” were.

    To me this whole philosophy of being saved by your doctrines is something that I believe was made by men seeking power and control over their fellow men. Y’shua said in Mathew 20:24-28;

    “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. (26) It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, (27) and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, (28) even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

    Of course I know that my views are in the minority, and I do realize that you don’t see it the same way that I do. Like I said, we’ve had this discussion before…

  30. on 31 May 2011 at 7:17 pmSteve

    Xavier
    Regarding Rev 4:11, the word “existed” is “ἦσαν” which occurs approx 95 times in the NT and in all cases means “were/they were/they are”.

    So most translations are wrong by adding the word “existence” or implying a before and after creation?

    How is it to be properly translated then?

    The YLT has…

    ‘Worthy art Thou, O Lord, to receive the glory, and the honour, and the power, because Thou — Thou didst create the all things, and because of Thy will are they, and they were created.’

    The ASV has…

    Worthy art thou, our Lord and our God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power: for thou didst create all things, and because of thy will they were, and were created.

    I understand this verse to mean that the fact that the genesis creation was God’s will and already present in His mind, they were certain to be created and were created!

  31. on 31 May 2011 at 10:36 pmXavier

    Steve

    …they were certain to be created and were created!

    So the idea conveyed by some translations as something that existed prior to it becoming a reality as we know it is wrong?

  32. on 01 Jun 2011 at 1:06 amSteve

    Xavier,
    If the word “existed” is interpreted as “pre-existed materials” that were simply given a function (as per my article) and contravenes “creation ex nihilo” than I believe that is an error.

    But if it is interpreted as something existing in the will of God of which it was made a reality when they were created, then I can accept that. The problem in translation is that it really shouldn’t be worded as “existed” if we want to get literal to the text!

    Hope that helps.

  33. on 01 Jun 2011 at 6:54 amXavier

    Steve

    Thanx Steve. Nice to have a Greek speaking person on board.

    One more thing, I often say that the Bible does espouse a “preexistence” teaching. But it defines it as somehow “ideal”. So when we talk about this with trinis I don’t just close up and say it doesn’t exist. Could be a good way to continue our dialogue with them.

  34. on 02 Jun 2011 at 10:20 amRay

    I suppose that God could have worded the first few veses of Genesis a bit different if he would have wanted to, but the way it is written, it seems to me to portray a shadow of things to come concerning Christ, the subject of our redemption.

  

Leave a Reply