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1. The snowball Trinity versus the Father Almighty

The snowball Trinity versus the Father Almighty Who is the real God? A tri nity of persons (The Trinity) or just one person, the F at h...

Saturday, 12 January 2013

67. The History of the Development of the Trinity Doctrine, author RBD


Note: (...) I have tried to rely most heavily on other sources in Christendom itself (preferably trinitarian) or my own independent research to provide evidence disproving the Trinity doctrine being examined in this paper. (...)  RDB

                                                                         HIST

                             The History of the Development of the Trinity Doctrine

     It is certain that, in spite of the popularity of such concepts in the false religions surrounding them, the faithful Jewish people and prophets of the Old Testament never accepted a three-in-one God.
     It is true that the unfaithful among the Israelites often borrowed pagan gods, pagan customs, and pagan concepts (including Baal and Astarte) and added them to their God-given religion.  But there is no record (scriptural or secular) of a trinity concept even among them.
     Faithful Israel had only one God and He was always a single individual named Jehovah (possibly pronounced “Yahweh” in Hebrew - but see the PRONOUNCE study paper), their Father in heaven - (Deut. 6:4, 5; Is. 64:8; Ps. 83:16-18).  That is the concept known as monotheism (meaning “one person alone is God”).
“The religion of the [Old Testament] and Judaism is monotheistic and personal.  1. In the [Old Testament] the words el,  eloah, and  elohim, from related roots, are generic designations of God.  Alongside and alternating with them stands the individual, personal name Yahweh [Jehovah].” - The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, vol. 2, p. 67.
     Professor of ecclesiastical history L. L. Paine tells us (quoted in Should You Believe In The Trinity?):
“The Old Testament is strictly monotheistic.  God is a single personal being.  The idea that a trinity is to be found there ... is utterly without foundation.” 1-6
     “From the very beginning, of course, Christians not only believed in God in the sense in which the Jews did, but they also believed in Jesus Christ.” - p. 38, A Short History of Christian Doctrine, Bernard Lohse, 1985, Fortress Press.
     This, then, was the faith that Jesus passed on to his Apostles.  This is the truth that the Apostles passed on to their followers (who lived and taught this very same concept up to at least 150 A. D.).
“At first the Christian faith was not Trinitarian ....  It was not so in the apostolic and sub-apostolic ages, as reflected in the NT [New Testament] and other early Christian writings.” - Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, Hastings.
“In this period [1st century A.D.] churches were still regarded as synagogues, whose members prayed three times a day and fasted twice a week like Jews... They professed monotheism in the same terms as did the Jews. .... Within individual congregations they continued to think, argue, and act like their Jewish counterparts.” - pp. 121-122, The Rise of Christianity, W. H. C. Frend (trinitarian), 1985, Fortress Press.
     It was not until over 300 years after the death of Jesus that the trinity concept was fully developed, refined, and officially and finally accepted by Christendom through a decree by the Church at Rome. 3-26a   (Also see the CREEDS and APOSFATH study papers)
     “Speculative thought began to analyze the divine nature until in the 4th century an elaborate theory of a threefoldness in God appears.  In this Nicene or Athanasian form of thought God is said to consist of three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, all equally eternal, powerful and glorious.”  - Encyclopedia Americana, 1944, v. 6, p. 619, “Christianity”.
     Yes, finally, by the end of the 4th century A.D., the trinity idea had been fully developed.  The Roman Church had officially decreed the following points as being necessary for all Christians to believe:
(1) There are said to be three divine persons - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit - in the Godhead.
(2)  Each of these separate persons is said to be eternal, none coming before or after the other in time.
(3)  Each is said to be almighty, with none greater or lesser than the other.
(4)  Each is said to be omniscient, knowing all things.
(5)  Each is said to be true God.
(6)  However, it is said that there are not three Gods but only one God.
     In the more than 2000 years from Abraham to the death of the last Apostle, John, Judaeo-Christianity had only one God, Jehovah (“Yahweh”), the Father alone.  (Cf. Ps. 83:18, KJV, ASV; Is. 63:16, ASV; and John 17:1, 3  -  compare Jer.10:10, ASV).   But what about the powerful religious systems around them which controlled or profoundly influenced the entire known civilized world?
     Babylon had a union of three gods who together represented all creation.  This Babylonian concept was represented by the same equilateral triangle that represents the trinity concept in Christendom today. 27-29
     It is probable that this three-in-one god concept spread to India and Egypt at a very early date.  Due to the perishable quality of much of the earliest writings in Egypt we get only glimpses of this concept in that land from a period before 700 B. C.30-32   (It is abundantly clear from Egyptian sources in 200 B. C., but this will be covered when we discuss the powerful influence of Alexandria, Egypt.)
      Morenz tells us, in fact:
“The trinity was a major preoccupation of Egyptian theologians ....  Three gods are combined and treated as a single being, addressed in the singular.  In this way the spiritual force of Egyptian religion shows a direct link with Christian theology.” - Egyptian Religion.
And noted trinitarian scholar Dr. M.G. Easton tells us:
“The Egyptians believed in a resurrection and future life, as well as in a state of rewards and punishments dependent on our conduct in this world.  The judge of the dead was Osiris, who had been slain by Set, the representative of evil, and afterwards restored to life. His death was avenged by his son Horus, whom the Egyptians invoked as their “Redeemer.” Osiris and Horus, along with Isis, formed a trinity, who were regarded as representing the sun-God under different forms.” – Easton’s Bible Dictionary, Thomas Nelson Publ.
     India had a clearly defined trinity concept dating back to 300 B. C. at least.33     The Brahmanas (probably composed about 800 B. C.) frequently mention the vedic triad.33-43
     Understandably, some members of Christendom refuse to admit the close relationship between ancient triads and pantheism and the “modern” trinity doctrine of Christendom.  If we closely examine the ancient Hindu pantheistic triad, however, there is no mistaking its close kinship with the trinity doctrine adopted more recently by Christendom:  The One “universal self-existing world soul” is composed of Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva who were worshiped equally and were merely different manifestations of the One.
     The book The Symbolism of Hindu Gods and Rituals admits, regarding the ancient Hindu trinity that was taught centuries before the first Christians:
“Siva is one of the gods of the Trinity.  He is said to be the god of destruction.  The other two gods are Brahma, the god of creation and Vishnu, the god of maintenance....  To indicate that these three processes are one and the same the three gods are combined in one form.” - Published by A. Parthasarathy, Bombay.  (As quoted in ti-E, p. 12.)
     Yes, the ancient Hindu religionists who really believed in a single force or God found themselves unable to compete with the popularity of the many gods being worshiped throughout ancient India.  So, in order to gain influence over the largest number of their countrymen, they actually compromised their belief and borrowed the trinity concept (probably right from its source in ancient Babylon), selected three of the most popular Indian gods, and incorporated them into their “One True God.”  -  “I, the supreme indivisible Lord am three - Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva.” 43
     We find that this Babylonian concept was popular with her “daughters” (her religious offspring), including India and Egypt, for hundreds of years while tiny, insignificant Israel stubbornly clung to her one, single-person God.  Then, about 550 B. C., the rise of the extremely influential Greek philosophy/mystery religions began.  Pythagoras (about 550 B.C.) may have been the founder of Greek philosophy and mystery religions.  Certainly he was the earliest of the most influential Greek philosopher/religionists.
     Pythagoras spent years studying with Egyptian, Babylonian, and Hindu religionists.  When he finally returned to Greece, he formed a religious organization based on his knowledge gained in those foreign lands.  He promoted a numerical symbolism in which he taught that God is number.  More specifically, the Pythagoreans actually worshiped an equilateral triangle composed of dots. 44-50
     Although it was a secret religious organization whose “mysteries” were to be known only among its members, we have some clues to Pythagoreanism’s deep “mysteries” that were borrowed from the religions of Babylon, India, and Egypt.  Medieval numerologists, for example, admitted that they borrowed this mysterious knowledge from Pythagoreanism:  The number three stands for “Trinity and extension of Godhead.” 51
     Aristotle said (over 300 years before Christ):
“All things are three, and thrice is all: and let us use this number in the worship of the gods; for as the Pythagoreans say, everything and all things are bound by threes, for the end, and the middle, and the beginning have this number in everything, and these compose the number of the trinity.”52
     So it appears that this “holy” number three used to “worship the gods” in unity came down from Babylon through Egypt and India, and through the extremely influential Pythagoras to the ancient Greek philosophy/mystery religions and even to Plato himself.53-56a
     From Pythagoras (550 B. C.) until its decline (about 550 A. D.) the great influence of the Greek philosophy/mystery religions was spread by Pythagoreans, Platonists, Neopythagoreans, and finally Neoplatonists.

     “NEO-PYTHAGOREANISM...appeared during the first century B. C. [the faithful Jews were still clinging to their faith in a single one-person God, Jehovah the Father] in Rome, whence it traveled to Alexandria (the sect’s chief center) where it flourished until Neo-Platonism absorbed it in the 3rd century A. D.” 57
     Neo-Pythagoreanism was mainly the old Pythagoreanism with some borrowing from Plato, Aristotle, and Stoicism.
“They appear to have regarded Pythagoras as a divine being [founders of religions tend to ‘develop’ into a divinity or deity for that religion after a period of time] a status which he shared with certain numbers also, particularly one, three, and ten.”  “Neo-Pythagoreanism’s importance consists chiefly in its influence on Neoplatonism ... and on Christian [?] Theology by Clement of Alexandria (150-220 A. D.).”57-58
     We are now at the point where the links of the trinity chain (from pagan Babylon to pagan India to pagan Greece) become enormously strong in their joining to Christendom:  The Alexandria and Neo-Platonism links (along with the Rome influence, of course) were the critical connections that led directly to the Roman Church officially adopting the “Jesus is equally God” doctrine in 325 A. D. at the Council of Nicaea.
     Yes, even if there had been no previous links leading back to Hindu India (and even Babylon), the study of the critical Alexandrian and Neo-Platonist influences would still be sufficient to expose the completely pagan origin of the trinity doctrine.  The two are so intertwined that it is sometimes difficult to know how much one influenced the other and vice versa.  In fact, the Alexandrian philosophy as a whole came to be known as Neoplatonism.59
     Alexandria, Egypt, is probably the single most important source of the infiltration of an already popular pagan trinity concept into Christendom.  We cannot fully appreciate its importance without a close look at this extremely influential city from its birth in the 4th century B. C. until its successful imposition of a trinity doctrine on the Roman church in the 4th century A. D.
     Alexander the Great had the Egyptian city of Alexandria built in 332 B. C.  (The Hindu Trinity had been established in India by this time.)  Alexander had already stretched his empire into the plains of India, “and brought many [Hindu] native princes under his rule.” 60
     As time went on, the ties between Hindu India and Alexandria became even stronger.
“Under the [Roman] Empire, Alexandria became the greatest trade centre in the world.  The Roman Alexandrian merchants had numerous settlements in South India. .... Moreover, Clement, Chrysostom, and other early Christian writers speak about the Indians [Hindus] in Alexandria and their cults.” 61
     Alexandria, Egypt, had even developed a trinity doctrine of its very own long before Christian times.  It appears to have been a blend (not surprisingly) of Egyptian, Hindu, and Greek philosophy/mystery religions.
“This fusing of one god with another is called theocrasia, and nowhere was it more vigorously going on than in Alexandria.  Only two peoples resisted it in this period:  The Jews, who already had their faith in the one God of heaven and earth, Jehovah, and the Persians, who had a monotheistic sun worship [Mithras].  It was Ptolemy I [who died in 283 B. C.] who set up not only the Museum in Alexandria, but the Serapeum, devoted to the worship of a trinity of gods which represented the result of a process of theocrasia applied more particularly to the gods of Greece and Egypt [with a distinct Hindu flavor].
     “This trinity consisted of the god Serapis (= Osiris + Apis), the goddess Isis (= Hathor, the cow-moon goddess), and the child-god Horus.  In one way or another almost every god was identified with one or other of these three aspects of the one god, even the sun god Mithras [very important in the religion of Constantine the Great 96-98    which we shall see when we examine the Nicene Council] of the Persians.  and they were each other; THEY WERE THREE, BUT THEY WERE ALSO ONE.” - The Outline of History, Wells, vol. 1, p. 307, 1956 ed.
     (It may be of some interest to note the name of the first god of this pagan trinity - Serapis and the name of the temple devoted to the worship of this pagan trinity - the Serapeum.  The name of an Egyptian bishop and “a prominent supporter of Athanasius” 62   and “defender of the [trinitarian] Nicene faith at the Council of Sardica in 343 [A. D.]” 63    was Serapion.  This name appears to be a praise to the god Serapis.) 64
     In addition to its own home-grown pagan trinity (and the trinity in its imported Hindu cults), Alexandria became host to Neo-Platonism (which also incorporated a trinity concept as it came down through Pythagoras, and then Plato, into the western world).  From the time of Jesus until about 150 A. D.  Christian teachings had been passed down in fairly pure form.  As the highly respected (and highly trinitarian) Christian history text, Christianity Through the Centuries, states:
“...the writings of the New Testament were completed just before the end of the first century after Christ.  Men who knew the apostles and the apostolic doctrine continued the task of writing Christian literature.  These men were known as the Apostolic Fathers.  Most of the literary works of these men were produced between 95 and 150.  Certain well-defined characteristics appear in their writings.  Their utterances are informal simple statements of sincere faith and piety and show little evidence of the philosophical training in pagan philosophy that one notices in the writings of Origen [in Alexandria] and Clement of Alexandria [and most who followed].”   - p. 77.
     The influence of Alexandria upon Christianity became so great that by the time the Apostolic Fathers had passed away (about 150 A. D.) it had “become the seat of Christian erudition and the Orthodox faith and was frequently torn by bloody religious dissensions.”65
     Alexandria’s most noteworthy feature was its permanent passion for syncretism. 66  Syncretism (like eclecticism) is a word that describes the way that the early church (after the death of the Apostolic Fathers) chose various ideas and doctrines from pagan religions and philosophies and incorporated them into the “Christian” church.  The most influential center (by far) for this practice of borrowing pagan ideas and fusing them into Christendom was in Alexandria, Egypt.67   It became known as the Alexandrian School 68  and the religious “Christian” philosophy it developed is known as the Alexandrian Philosophy. 69
     “Soon after the middle of the 2nd century [or soon after 150 A. D. when the Apostolic Fathers left the scene] a catechetical school70   to instruct converts from paganism to Christianity was opened in Alexandria ....  The men of the Alexandrian School were anxious to develop a system of theology that by the use of philosophy would give a systematic exposition of Christianity.  They had been trained in the classical [pagan] literature and philosophy of the past and thought that it could be used in the formation of Christian theology....
     “They developed an allegorical system70   of interpretation that has plagued Christianity since that time. .... This method of interpretation of the Scriptures has done much harm to the cause of correct interpretation and has resulted in absurd and, often, unscriptural theological ideas.” - Christianity Through the Centuries, E. E. Cairns, Ph.D., Zondervan Publishing House, 1977 printing, pp. 119-120.
     “Influences were strangely mingled [in the Alexandrian School], the reasoning of the refined and imaginative Greek, the practical, positive Roman, the visionary, idealistic Jew, the mystic Hindu, all brought to bear upon pagan philosophy and the new teachings of Christianity.  The outgrowth of this movement was Neo-Platonism, a name sometimes given to Alexandrian philosophy as a whole....  The chief characteristic of Neo-Platonism was the attempt to reconcile Greek philosophy [including, of course, Pythagoreanism] with the teachings of Christianity.  In other words, the Alexandrian Philosophy may be described as Christian truth MODIFIED by philosophic speculation.” - New Standard Encyclopedia, v. 1, 1952, “Alexandrian School.”
(But what is really being done when the Christian truth is being “MODIFIED”?)
     We find this understanding confirmed by The Encyclopedia Americana:
“At Alexandria, Egypt ... the first serious attempt was made by Christians [?] to ADJUST the facts and truths of the gospel and the relations of Christian doctrine to reason and philosophy.  Tertullian, ... the first [in Christendom] to apply the word ‘Trinity’ to the conception ... of the triune Godhead, and Origen 89 ... are the commanding figures of the period.” - 1944, v. 6, p. 609.
(Again, what is really being done when someone attempts to “ADJUST the facts”?)
     Remember that the influence of one philosophy/mystery religion became so great in Alexandria during this time that Alexandrian philosophy as a whole came to be known as Neo-Platonism.  Let’s briefly examine this extremely influential pagan philosophy/mystery religion.
     As we have already seen - the chief characteristic of Neo-Platonism was the extreme effort to thoroughly mix the leaven of “Greek philosophy with the teachings of Christianity.”  Let us see what the leaven of the philosophy of Neo-Platonism included.
     “Neo-Platonism started as a synthesis [blending] of Pythagoreanism, Platonism, Aristotelianism, and Stoicism, adapted Jewish and Oriental [includes Hindu] religious elements, [and] crept, though professedly pagan, into patristic [early church] Christian theology. ....  Its most potent phase [was] from 200 to 550 A. D. wherein it was the chief philosophy of classical paganism.” - Encyclopedia Americana, v. 20, pp. 97-98, 1982.
     “Neo-Platonism is a blend of almost all the major lines of philosophical thought which preceded its epoch; one of the most remarkable attempts in history to weave all the strands of existing systems into a single web of thought.  Its greatest interpreter was Plotinus who was born near Alexandria in 205 A. D. and died in Rome 270. .... The influence of Plotinus and later Neo-Platonists on Christian theology is of immense importance.” - An Encyclopedia of Religion, V. Ferm (ed.), 1945, p. 525.
     Plotinus was a disciple of Ammonius Saccas of Alexandria (about 160-242 A. D.) who is considered to be the founder of Neo-Platonism.  Saccas left no writings of his own, but his lectures greatly influenced Plotinus and others.71
“Plotinus, like the Pythagoreans, had a high respect for the number three; and he makes great use of threefold distinctions.” - The Greek Philosophers, Rex Warner, 1958, p. 221.
“Plotinus ... proclaimed that God is revealed in the material world in a trinity of manifestations” - p. 28, Bible Review, Feb., 1997.
“But what is God [in the writings of Plotinus]?  ‘He’ too is a triad …” – p. 610, The Story of Civilization, vol. 3, Will Durant, Simon & Schuster, Inc.
     To make a long story short, Plotinus (and undoubtedly his influential teacher, Ammonius Saccas, before him) included an already popular pagan trinity concept in his very influential teachings of Neo-Platonism.72-75    Scholars of Church history constantly emphasize the tremendous influence of Neo-Platonism (which has to include its basic pagan-developed trinity idea) on Christendom which had begun to borrow doctrines, customs, and philosophy from paganism by 200 A. D.76-79   The 1983 Academic American Encyclopedia states:
“Neoplatonism had a profound influence on Christian and Islamic philosophy and theology.”         - p. 85, v. 14.
     It is no mere coincidence that at this very time (the beginning of Neo-Platonism’s “most potent phase from 200 to 550 A. D.”) the trinity doctrine began to be developed and promoted by “Christian” philosophers who wanted the entire Church to adopt it.
     TERTULLIAN “was the founder of Latin theology. .... It is his use of the words ‘trinity’ and ‘substance’ for the essence of the Godhead and his developments of that doctrine [for use by Christendom, that is,] in Against Praxeas (ch. 2-3) [written about 215 A. D.] that stands as his greatest contribution to Christian theology.” - Cairns, pp. 122-123.  “...he became a Montanist about 202 A. D.” - Cairns, p. 117.
And he remained a Montanist for the rest of his life.  The same Roman Church which adopted the “Christian” trinity (starting in 325 A. D. at the Council of Nicaea) also “in 381 [A. D.] declared that the Montanists should be looked upon as pagans.” - Cairns, p. 111.80
     So here we have (as the great influence of Neo-Platonism is really beginning) Tertullian, “a celebrated Christian Church writer ... one of the noted fathers of the Church”; 81   “one of the greatest of the Church Fathers” 82   who belonged to a religious cult (Montanists) which “developed fanatical misinterpretations of scripture.” 83    And while a member of that religion (which came to be condemned as pagan 84  by the Church) he allegedly became “the first [about 215 A. D.] to state the theological doctrine of the Trinity” - Cairns, p. 122.
     We need to understand that even Tertullian’s development of a multiple-person God in the 3rd century A.D. (if that’s actually what he intended)84   was still not the “orthodox” trinity doctrine that was finally developed and adopted by “the Church” and which is still accepted by nearly all Christendom today!  85-88
     Among other things Tertullian wrote:  “The Father is ... greater [than the Son],” and “There was a time when the Son was not ....  Before all things, God was alone.”  In fact, the Catholic work Trinitas - A Theological Encyclopedia of the Holy Trinity explains that, even though later writers used some of Tertullian’s terminology to describe the Trinity, it appears that Tertullian did not use them in that sense: “hasty conclusions cannot be drawn from [Tertullian’s] usage, for he does not apply the words to Trinitarian theology.”
{Tertullian} therefore proposed to say that God is ‘one substance {substantia in Latin - compares to homoousios in Greek} consisting in three persons {persona}’.  The precise meaning of the Latin words substantia and persona is not easy to determine in Tertullian’s usage.  {‘In Tertullian substantia could be used in the sense of character or nature [among other things].’ - p. 90, Chadwick.}  - p. 89, The Early Church, Prof. Henry Chadwick (trinitarian), 1986 ed., Dorset Press, New York.
     We find, then, that even many trinitarian historians make statements similar to this:
“The modern popular doctrine of the Trinity ... derives no support from the language of Justin [Justin Martyr - died ca. 165 A. D.]: and this observation may be extended to all the ante-Nicene Fathers; that is, to all Christian writers for three centuries after the birth of Christ [including, obviously, Tertullian].  It is true, they speak of the Father, Son, and ...  Holy Spirit, but not as co-equal, not as one numerical essence, not as Three in One, in any sense now admitted by Trinitarians.  The very reverse is the fact.” 26,26a
     Neo-Platonism is notorious for the paganisms it introduced into Christendom.  The fruits of this eclectic borrowing by the early church are described by professor Douglas T. Holden:
“Christian theology has become so fused with [pagan] Greek philosophy that it has reared individuals who are a mixture of nine parts Greek thought to one part Christian thought.” 90
     How familiar this all must sound to God and his faithful angels!  God’s prophets throughout the long history of Israel’s existence were constantly condemning this very same form of idolatry in their own land among God’s chosen people.
“The actual society they knew was an uneasy accommodation of Israelite tradition to Canaanite mores and institutions, which were based on nature worship .... [God’s prophets] exposed the falsity of the Canaanized religious cult [of the Israelites] ... in which Yahweh’s name was honored while his nature was outraged.  The cult was in all but name the worship of other gods because it sanctioned a way of life abominable to Yahweh.”91,92
     Christendom has followed this very same broad path that leads to destruction!  The Apostles valiantly and constantly fought against this syncretistic trend (as we see throughout the New Testament), but after their deaths the Church welcomed it with open arms. - 2 Tim. 4:3-4; Matt. 7:13-23.
     The dominance of Rome in Church affairs from Constantine’s time onward also cemented this trend.
“Under the Roman Empire, the educated ... believed that the divine was one, but that it manifested itself in countless ways ... and that it was allowable to give to these various manifestations of the one the names of the many gods of popular belief.” - Encyclopedia Americana, 1944, v. 13, p. 395  (compare 1 Cor. 10:20 and Ex. 23:13.)
     “The Romans were the greatest borrowers and most skilled adapters.  Their syncretistic tendencies were accentuated by their Greek education and the influence of Greek literature.”           - p. 190.  And, “according to the monotheistic trend of the age, all deities of all peoples were regarded as but manifestations of the one supreme deity.” - p. 190.  And, “A curious evidence of the consciousness of the unity of the divine is afforded by the amalgamation [blending] of different deities into a ‘Theos pantheus’ [‘God All-God’], or ‘Thea pantheus’ [‘Goddess All-God’], which might be regarded either as an abstract conception or a new deity according to the fluidity of pagan theology.  Usually one deity was chosen, prominent for his merits in the votary’s estimation, and the epithet ‘pantheus’ (‘all-God’) added to the personal name as representative of the totality of the divine.  Thus we find in Latin inscriptions ‘Serapis Pantheus’ ....” - p. 191, The Mystery  Religions, S. Angus, Dover Publications, 1975.
     So it was that Christendom began its adulterous love affair with a pagan-developed trinity doctrine.  It was only about a hundred years from the time of Tertullian’s alleged formulation of a foundation for a trinity concept for Christendom until the Roman Church began its official embrace of it at the Council of Nicaea in 325 A. D., and all during this time Neo-Platonism was at its strongest, influencing ways of life and thought throughout the Empire.  In fact, the pagan Emperor himself, Constantine, who convened the council and forced his final (trinitarian) decision upon the majority of Christian bishops present, had surrounded himself with Neo-Platonists!
“There was a circle of Neo-Platonist philosophers at Constantine’s court; the leading Neo-Platonist, Sopater, grew so influential that the other courtiers plotted to ruin him.” 93
     As to the climactic act itself, the Nicene Council of 325 A. D., we need to investigate the pressures and the backgrounds of several key men to understand what really happened there.  We must learn about the Emperor (Constantine), his chief “Christian” advisor (Bishop Hosius of Cordova), the trinity-pusher (Athanasius of Alexandria), the non-trinitarian defender (Arius) and the leader of the vast majority of Bishops at the Nicene Council (Eusebius of Caesarea).
     About 318 A. D., Alexander, the Bishop of Alexandria, had a private sermon for his presbyters concerning “The Unity of the Trinity.”  One of the presbyters, Arius, because he knew this new teaching of the old pagan trinity concept was blasphemously false,94    attacked this private teaching of his Bishop.  The controversy became so intense that Bishop Alexander had Arius condemned.  Arius fled to non-trinitarian territory. 95
“Sozomen [early 5th century Church historian of Constantinople] (l.i.c.15) represents Alexander as indifferent, and even ignorant, in the beginning of the controversy; while Socrates [early Roman Church historian: 380-450 A.D.] (l.i.c.5) ascribes the origin of the dispute to the vain curiosity of [Alexander’s] theological speculations.” - Gibbon, p. 683, f.n. # 45, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. 1, Modern Library, Random House Publ.
     “The central issue in this [Alexander/Arius] debate as it opened up was, then, that of the Logos [the Word, the pre-incarnate Christ].  This issue hinged in turn on interpretation of the Greek term gennetos as that was applied to the Son.  [Although] traditionally translated ‘begotten,’ in Greek philosophical terminology [as well as Scriptural terminology: Luke 7:28; John 3:5; 1 John 5:1; Ps. 90:2; Prov. 8:25] it had a broader and hence vaguer sense.  It denoted anything which in any way ‘came to be’ and hence anything ‘derivative’ or ‘generated.’  Christian thought had early learned to express its monotheistic stance by insisting that God is the sole agennetos (‘underived,’ ‘ungenerated’ [‘unbegotten’]): that is, the unique and absolute first principle.  By contrast with God, all else that exists - including the Logos, God’s Son - was described as generated.  This implied, of course, not only that the Logos was subordinate to God (as any ‘image,’ even an exact image, is secondary to the reality it represents), but also that the Logos had something in common with creatures which God did not - some quality of ‘generatedness’.” - p. 132, A History of the Christian Church, 4th ed., Williston Walker, Scribners, 1985.
     “A large majority of the bishops of Asia [generally that area outside Palestine which first received Christianity] appeared to support or favour [Arius’] cause; and their measures were conducted by Eusebius of Caesarea, the most learned of the Christian prelates; and by Eusebius of Nicomedia, who had acquired the reputation of a statesman without forfeiting that of a saint.  Synods in Palestine and Bithynia were opposed to the synods of Egypt [Alexandria].” -  p. 683, vol. 1, Gibbon.
     Constantine, still a pagan emperor,96-98   was concerned not with religious truth, but about the unity of his empire.99-102     He wanted the great rift between the extremely influential Alexandria (and its Western “satellites”) and the entire Eastern portion of Christianity (the original home of Christianity) to be healed at once!  He therefore called a council of the bishops of the Church to work out a solution that would benefit his empire.

“This council met at Nicaea in the early summer of 325.  Three hundred bishops of the Church were present .... The [pagan] Emperor presided [more often his own personal religious advisor, Bishop Hosius, actually presided] over the council and paid its expenses.  [‘At Nicaea the emperor provided lodging for the bishops in his palace.  It was there, too, that the discussions took place, and in the presence of the emperor at that. .... It is understandable if the bishops showed their gratitude by generous efforts to oblige the emperor.’ - p. 52, Lohse, Short Hist.]  For the first time the Church found itself dominated by the political leadership of the head of the state.” 103,104
     Three views were advocated at this council.  (Actually, the real question to be decided at this council was only the first step by Alexandrian philosophizers [and their Roman sympathizers] toward establishing a new doctrine of God.  The question was only, “Is Jesus absolutely equal to the Father: all-powerful, always existing, and of the very same substance, or not?”  The introduction of a “third person” as being equal to God was not yet being attempted officially.)
     (1)  Basically, Athanasius, the trinitarian from Alexandria, said,
“Yes, Jesus is absolutely equal to the Father.  He has always existed beside the Father.  He is of the very same substance or essence (Homoousios) 105-107  as the Father.  He is absolute God and must be worshiped as God.”
     There was a very small minority of Western Bishops at the council who agreed with him (those most influenced by Alexandria and Neo-Platonism, including the trinitarian Bishop Hosius). 108
     (2)  There was another (much larger) minority of Bishops at the council who were led by Arius.  Basically, Arius said,
“Jesus is not God, although he could be called ‘divine.’  He was made by God (the Father alone) so there was a time when he did not exist!  He was made out of nothing and is, therefore, of an entirely different substance (or Essence) from that of God.  He must not be worshiped as the One True God.”
(Apparently Arius also believed that in his heavenly pre-existence Jesus had been the highest of angels.  But this was not an invention of Arius.  It was a much earlier Christian tradition which Arius was upholding - p. 50, A Short History of Christian Doctrine, Bernard Lohse, Fortress Press, 1985 - but the more recent trinitarians had rejected it.
“Traditional Christian interpretation has held that this ‘angel’ [the Angel of Jehovah] was a preincarnate manifestation of Christ as God’s Messenger-Servant.” - Gen. 16:7 footnote, NIV Study Bible, Zondervan, 1985.)
     (3)  The vast majority (more than 200 bishops) of those at the Council of Nicaea were led by Eusebius of Caesarea.  These were the Semi-Arians (see The American People’s Encyclopedia,  1954, p. 8-207).  They strongly agreed with the Arians that Jesus was not God109-111   and must not be worshipped as God!  They believed that Jesus did not always exist.  Basically, they said,
“The Father (God alone) generated Jesus (not out of nothing as Arius believed, but) from a substance similar (Homoi ousios) to His own.  He is not equal to God, but is subordinate to Him,118   even though he is above all the rest of creation.  Jesus must not be worshiped as the One True God.”
     Notwithstanding the vast majority of bishops’ unshakably strong insistence upon a non-trinitarian view of God, the determination and power of the Emperor- supported (and Alexandrian and Neo-Platonist-influenced) bishops of the West prevailed after months of stormy debates.
     Eusebius of Caesarea presented the baptismal creed of his own Palestinian community to the Nicene Council.  It did not satisfy the trinitarians.
“Accordingly, they [Constantine and Hosius primarily] took another baptismal creed, of much the same type as Eusebius’s, and altered its text to serve their purpose, in the process creating a new, non-liturgical type of confession. .... In the text itself, they inserted the significant expressions ‘true God from true God,’ ‘begotten not made,’ ‘from the substance [ousia] of the Father,’ and - most important of all, as it turned out - ‘of one substance [homoousios] with the Father.’  .... From the very beginning, however, people like Eusebius of Caesarea had doubts about the creed, doubts that focused on the word homoousios.  This was, to be sure, a vague  and non-technical term which was capable of a fairly wide range of senses.  [According to historian Gibbon it was a mysterious term “which either party was free to interpret according to their peculiar tenets.” - p. 686, vol. 1, Random House.]  It could in principle be taken to mean exact sameness of being, but it could also be taken to suggest no more than a significant degree of similarity between Father and Son [Origen, in fact, used the term to show merely a ‘unity of will’ between the Father and the Son 88  - p. 46, Lohse.] - which, of course, everyone was glad to affirm.  On the other hand, the term was non-Scriptural, it had very doubtful theological history, and it was open to what, from Eusebius’ point of view, were some dangerous misinterpretations indeed [including the one that was finally adopted and enforced by the Roman Church].”   ---   The trinitarians, however, assured Eusebius (and the large majority of other Bishops opposed to them) that homoousios in this new creed would not be interpreted in the way they feared.105  -  pp. 134, 135, Williston Walker, A History of the Christian Church, 4th ed., Scribners, 1985.
     After Eusebius failed to get a compromise (concerning “substance” or “essence,” but which still rejected any concept promoting any equality for Jesus with God)111-112   and the Emperor backed the trinitarians with all his secular power, it was forcefully put to the vast majority of bishops present: sign the trinitarian statement or be exiled and treated as heretics.113-119   It is not too surprising, therefore, that the majority of them signed (although most of them renounced it afterward). 120-122    It is surprising, in fact, that, after escaping from the Emperor’s presence, so many remained faithful to their Arian and Semi-Arian beliefs.  As trinitarian Christian historian Kenneth Latourette describes the situation:
“Constantine banished Arius, ordered the death penalty for those who did not conform, and commanded the burning of the books composed by Arius...” - pp. 50-51, Christianity Through the Ages, 1965, Harper ChapelBooks.
But the minority Western trinitarian bishops had won.
“The [new, non-Scriptural Nicene] creed achieved the aim of excluding Arianism and providing the eastern church with a formula to which all could assent in one sense or another [because of the many different meanings possible with such terms as homoousios].” -  Williston Walker, History, p. 135.
“The decisions of Nicaea were really the work of a minority, and they were misunderstood and disliked by many [even those] who were not adherents of Arius.  In particular the terms [‘out of the substance’ - exousia] and homoousios [‘of the same substance’] aroused opposition, on the grounds that they were unscriptural, novel, ... and erroneous metaphysically.” - p. 41, Documents of the Christian Church, 2nd ed., Bettenson, 1967, Oxford University Press.
“But [the Council of Nicaea’s] formula of the Son’s ‘consubstantiality’ [homoousios] with the Father was slow to gain general acceptance,148   despite [Emperor] Constantine’s efforts to impose it.” - p. 72, The Oxford Illustrated History of Christianity, John McManners, Oxford University Press, 1992.
     In contrast to the conduct of the trinitarians we find the conduct of the Arians and Semi-Arians during the Nicene Council (which we must read in the extremely biased accounts of the Athanasians since their opponents’ accounts, records, and doctrinal evidence were all destroyed by the prevailing Athanasians) to be a much more proper example for those professing to be Christian:
     “The Arians .... recommended the exercise of Christian charity [love] and moderation, urged the incomprehensible nature of the controversy, disclaimed the use of any terms or definitions which could not be found in the Scriptures, and offered, by very liberal concessions, to satisfy their adversaries without renouncing the integrity of their own principles.  The [trinitarians] received all their proposals with haughty suspicion and anxiously sought for some irreconcilable mark of distinction, the rejection of which might involve the Arians in the guilt and consequences of heresy.  A letter was publicly read and ignominiously torn [by the trinitarians], in which [Arian] Eusebius of Nicomedia ingenuously [honestly, openly, honorably, with a superior character - Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary] confessed that the admission of the homoousion, 105-108,110  or Consubstantial [a non-Biblical, paganistic term], a word already familiar to the platonists, was incompatible with the principles of their theological system.  The fortunate opportunity [for the trinitarians] was eagerly embraced by the [minority group of Western, trinitarian] bishops, who governed the resolutions of the Synod, and, according to ... Ambrose, they used the sword, which heresy itself had drawn from the scabbard, to cut off the head of the hated monster [Arianism and semi-Arianism].”  - pp. 685-686, Gibbon, vol. 1, Random House.
     In other words, trinitarian Gibbon, who admittedly dislikes the non-trinitarian Arian teaching, tells us that the Arians wished to keep peace and unity by compromising as much as they honestly could.  They wanted to confine the discussion to the Bible alone and not introduce any philosophic and paganistic teachings.15,79,107,108,143    And they wanted to conduct this Council or Synod in the spirit of Christian Love.  But the trinitarians would have none of it and actually searched for a way to have the non-trinitarian majority persecuted as heretics!  And when the Arian spokesman, in the spirit of Christian honesty and openness, wrote that one thing they simply could not compromise with was the use and potential meanings of the pagan non-Biblical term (“Homoousious” or “of equal substance” - a term introduced at the council by Emperor Constantine himself), the trinitarian bishops immediately and publicly tore up the letter and started the proceedings for heresy!
     Which side seems more in line with the teachings of Christ and his Apostles to you?  (Compare Matt. 5:5-12; 5:39; 6:14-15; Gal. 5:19-24.)  Don’t we find the trinitarian Athanasians - even DURING this most significant Council - more like those the Apostles warned us about at 2 Tim. 4:3-5 and 1 John 3:10-12?   Don’t we find the more humble, peace-loving Arians and Semi-Arians more in line with 1 John 4:17, 20, 21?   Who is more like the self-righteous ones in religious authority in these scriptures: Matt. 12:9, 14; 22:15; 23:23, 34 - the Athanasians?  The Arians and Semi-Arians?
     “Nicaea cost the Church its independence, however, for the Church became imperial from this time and was increasingly dominated by the Emperor.” 123
     “Nevertheless ... Constantine’s unification of state and church did not please everyone. .... it had indeed required a mental and spiritual turnabout to belong to a church which, instead of being perpetually proscribed [“outlawed,” persecuted - see 2 Tim. 3:12, John 15:19-20] was subsidized and directed from the lateran palace under the guidance of the Emperor.” 124
Up to this point Christians had been persecuted by those around them, including the government itself - just as foretold by Christ and the inspired Bible writers, but they would not persecute in return (also as commanded by Jesus).  Then at this single stroke a new God was to be worshiped by all Christians, and these newly-proclaimed “orthodox” (trinitarian) Christians were no longer persecuted, proscribed.  Those being persecuted in accord with Christ’s prophecy were still the non-trinitarians who continued on the narrow road (Matt. 7:13-14) as commanded by their Lord and Savior.
     “The Bishop of Rome (Pope) was given the royal palace of the Laterni [the Lateran Palace] and magnificent new churches.  The liturgy borrowed imposing features from official and court ceremonial.”  Even “episcopal [bishops’] courts were given jurisdiction in civil cases.” - Grant, pp. 220, 221.
     St. Jerome’s doubts about the desirability of such a position for the church echoed a feeling of disgust that went wide and deep among the members of the church:
“This feeling had ancient roots.  Before official recognition of the church, many Christian writers had detested not only the Roman state but the whole Greco-Roman and particularly Greek philosophical culture in which the Alexandrians and other apologists had tried to dress the  Jewish  doctrines of Christianity.” 125
     Yes, the religion which Christ himself had said was no part of the world (Jn 17:16; compare 1 Jn 2:15-17) was now gladly fusing itself wholly with that world.  Protestant Church historian Neander noted,
“the consequence would be a confusion of the church with the world ... whereby the church would forfeit her purity, and, while seeming to conquer, would herself be conquered.” - General History of the Christian Religion and Church, vol. 2, p. 161.
     She herself had become the adulteress (or the Harlot - Rev. 17:1-6; 18:2-3) which she had been so clearly warned against.
“Ye adulteresses [ASV footnote: ‘That is, who break your marriage vow to God’], know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?  Whosoever therefore would be a friend of the world maketh himself an enemy of God.” - James 4:4, 5, ASV.
     But, to get back to the influences upon that infamous council, the most influential person at the Nicene Council was Bishop Hosius of Cordova (sometimes translated “Ossius” or “Osius of Cordoba”) who actually presided over most of the Council sessions.  He was the representative for the Pope (the Bishop of Rome) and the most trusted, most influential “Christian” advisor for the Emperor himself.  As the leader of the Western, Alexandria-influenced bishops he was committed to the trinity idea.  It is he who ultimately convinced the Emperor to decide (against the huge majority of bishops present) in favor of the “Jesus is God” doctrine. 126,127
     In fact, Constantine relied almost exclusively on this trinitarian advisor and had very little interest in the actual decision of this council (except that it must permanently resolve the religious dissension in his Empire):
“Constantine had basically no understanding whatsoever of the questions that were being asked in Greek Theology” - p. 51, A Short History of Christian Doctrine, Lohse, Fortress Press, 1985.
     About 20 years before Emperor Constantine convened the Nicene (or Nicaean) Council, the famous Bishop Hosius of Cordova was the “leading spirit” of the Council of Elvira in 306 A.D.128   As The Catholic Encyclopedia tells us:
“It is significant that the leading bishop at Elvira [Bishop Hosius] was to preside at the Ecumenical Council of Nicaea in 325.” 129
     It is significant indeed!  Was this “leading spirit” himself guided by Holy Spirit and Holy Scripture?  Well, let’s look at the results of the Council of Elvira, for, as Jesus forewarned:
“You will know them by their fruits.” - Matt. 7:16, NASB
     Here, then, are the “fruits” of the Council of Elvira: its published canons.  According to The Catholic Encyclopedia (p. 185),
“[The Council of Elvira] published the oldest known positive law concerning clerical celibacy.”129
     And what is “clerical celibacy”?  Again The Catholic Encyclopedia (p. 100) informs us:
“Celibacy is the ecclesiastical law in the western [Roman Catholic] Church imposed on clerics forbidding ... those in holy orders from marriage.”
     Now turn to God’s inspired word at 1 Timothy 4:1-7 (NEB):
“... some will desert from the faith and give their minds to subversive doctrines inspired by devils, through the specious falsehoods of men whose own conscience is branded with the devil’s sign.”
     And exactly how can we recognize those who “desert from the faith and give their minds to subversive doctrines”?  
“THEY FORBID MARRIAGE and demand abstinence from foods.” - 1 Tim. 4:3, NRSV.
     Throughout the history of Biblical Israel God allowed his priests and high priests to marry (even John the Baptist’s father was a married priest - Luke chapter 1).  And the Christian servants of God were permitted to marry (and remain married) throughout the writings of the New Testament Scriptures (e. g., 1 Tim. 3:2, 4) and up to the time of Hosius.
     So what was it that inspired Bishop Hosius to include this God-defying command to forbid marriages in the edicts of the Roman Church?  Well, 1 Tim. 4:1 clearly shows the source of that spirit, but the actual agent of that spirit at this time was the very popular and influential surrounding pagan mystery religions and philosophies!
     In particular, Hosius and his Alexandrian-influenced confederates borrowed extensively from the Alexandrian trinity cult of Serapis-Isis-Horus:
“The contributions of the Alexandrine cult to Christian thought and practices were even more considerable .... Its priests took on the head-shaving [“tonsure” of Catholic priests] and the characteristic garments of the Egyptian priests, because that sort of thing seemed to be the right way of distinguishing a priest.  One accretion followed another.” 131
     More specifically:
“the ceremonial burning of candles ... was a part of the worship of the Serapeum .... her [Isis’] images stood in the temple, crowned as the Queen of Heaven and bearing the infant Horus in her arms.  The candles flared and guttered before her and the wax ex-votos hung about the shrine.  The novice was put through a long and careful preparation, he took vows of celibacy, and when he was initiated his head was shaved and he was clad in a linen garment .... The garments of ritual and symbol and formula that Christianity has worn, and still in many countries wears to this day were certainly woven in the cult and temples of Jupiter-Serapis and Isis that spread now from Alexandria throughout the civilized world.”132-135
     Rome itself was greatly influenced by its own celibate pagan priests (in addition to those of Jupiter-Serapis-Isis above which Rome also had imported).
“When the worship of Cybele, the Babylonian goddess, was introduced into Pagan Rome, it was introduced in its primitive form, with its celibate clergy.” - p. 220, The Two Babylons, Hislop.
     And the highly-respected and very popular religion of Mithraism (which Emperor Constantine himself favored) was well-known for its celibate priests.
“Originally Mithra was one of the lesser gods of the ancient Persian pantheon, but he came to be regarded as the spiritual Sun, the heavenly Light,... and already in the time of Christ he had risen to be co-equal with, though created by, Ormuzd (Ahura-Mazda), the Supreme Being....” (pp. 136-137)  “Mithraism had its austerities, .... It had also its nuns and its male CELIBATES.” - p. 143, The Paganism in our Christianity, Weigall, New York, 1974.
     So we see that in both Alexandria and Rome the customary perception of a priest included the unscriptural pagan concept of celibacy!
     For those who accept the authority of the Holy Scriptures and the testimony of history, there can be absolutely no doubt as to what “spirit” motivated Hosius, who was the “leading spirit” of the Council of Elvira, and motivated the Roman Church which accepted the paganistic doctrines he advocated.  “[those who] desert the faith and who give their minds to subversive doctrines inspired by devils” include those who “forbid marriage and inculcate abstinence from certain foods.”   (Incidentally that same Roman Church did “inculcate abstinence from certain foods”:  The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1976, admits, in the article entitled “Abstinence”:  “The law of abstinence is binding to all over 14 years of age .... It forbids the eating of meat and soups of meat stock, gravy and sauces of meat.  On days of complete abstinence these foods may not be eaten at all.” - p. 17.)
“In 325 the Council of Nicaea declared that those who were unmarried at ordination could not marry afterward ....” - p. 280, The Christian Book of Why, John C. McCollister (Lutheran minister and university professor - graduate of the Trinity Lutheran Seminary), NY, 1983. - - Also see p. 660 f.n., Will Durant, The Story of Civilization, vol. 3, Simon & Schuster, Inc., 1944.
     It becomes clear, then, why the Athanasians refused to agree to stick to the Holy Scriptures as their support for a multiple-person God during the Nicene Council:  The western pagan-borrowing, Alexandrian-influenced “Christians” had been bending and ignoring Scripture for so long that it was already a clearly established pattern.  Scripture had to be ignored in order to adopt popular paganisms.  It should come as no surprise, then, that these paganizing Alexandria and Rome-influenced western bishops would not stick to scripture (in spite of the pleas by the majority of bishops present at the council) as the sole basis for their desired adoption of the trinity doctrine at the Nicene Council.
     Why even during that very same council, according to Prof. McCollister above, they forced the inclusion of the pagan-inspired scripturally condemned practice of “forbidding marriage” (and “inculcating abstinence from certain foods”135a )!  This certainly shows the “fruits” of these men and the “fruits” of the Nicene Council as a whole!
     Yes, embracing the more popular and influential pagan philosophies and religious doctrines and marrying them to god’s pure religion was more important to them than God’s inspired word.  A clear example of the figurative “adultery” the Bible warns against!
     But what about that “Christian” emperor who convened the Nicene Council and finally decided its “canons” himself?  Saint Constantine some churches have named him.  Was he really a trinitarian Christian?  Was he a Christian at all?
     As we have seen,96-99   Constantine, throughout his reign, was more pagan than Christian and didn’t even ask to be baptized as a Christian until he lay upon his death bed.
“Toward the close of his life he favored the [non-trinitarian] Arians ... and he even banished many Roman Catholic [trinitarian] bishops.  In the year 337 he fell ill ..., was baptized, and died after a reign of 31 years.” - Encyclopedia Americana, p. 555, v. 7, 1944.
     Not only did Constantine “favor” the Arians in his later years and help them to dominant positions in the Church that they retained for many years after his death,136   but he made an extremely significant gesture as he lay upon his death bed!
     “Not until his last illness did he fully accept Christianity.  Then he cried, ‘let there be no ambiguity!’ and asked for baptism [by an Arian, non-trinitarian bishop].” - Compton’s Pictured Encyclopedia, v. 3, p. 456, 1950.
      Yes, instead of calling in his old friend and advisor, Hosius, or even Athanasius, he called for Eusebius of Nicomedia, (the leader of the  Arian party since the death of Arius) to baptize him!  This certainly ended any ambiguity!
“[Eusebius of Nicomedia] baptized Constantine in 337, and became patriarch of Constantinople in 339 [the capital of the empire at that time].”  - Americana, 1944, v. 10, p. 585.
What a powerful and significant deathbed confession by Saint Constantine! 137
     In other words, Constantine, upon the insistent advice of Hosius, had forced the trinitarian views of Athanasius and the Alexandrians upon a reluctant Church.  Shortly after, however, he began exiling the trinitarians and restoring the Arians and Semi-Arians.  Then, when he finally decided to fully become a Christian himself, he chose to be baptized as an Arian Christian to dispel any perception of ambiguity about himself and his desires for the empire.
     It must be made perfectly clear that the original Nicene Creed, as formulated in 325 A. D. and forced upon the Church, did not yet attempt to include the holy spirit as an equal member of a “Godhead.”  The Nicene Council was just the first step in the Alexandrian process of making an official trinity for Christendom.
     “...the early Church did not forthwith attain to a complete [trinity] doctrine; nor was it, in fact, until after the essential divinity [‘deity’] of Jesus had received full ecclesiastical sanction [325 A.D. or later] that the personality of the Spirit was explicitly recognized, and the doctrine of the Trinity [fully and officially] formulated. .... It is better to regard the spirit as the agency which, proceeding from the Father and the Son, dwells in the church as the witness and power of the life therein.” - Encyclopedia Americana, v. 14, p. 326, 1944-1957 (at least).
     The Council of Constantinople (381 A. D.) first officially decreed “the personality of the Holy Spirit”. - Cairns, pp. 142, 145, and Encyclopedia Britannica, v. 6, p. 22, 1985 ed..
     Famed trinitarian Church historian Neander notes in History of Christian Dogma:
“Though Basil of Caesarea  [famed late 4th century trinitarian bishop - one of the ‘Three Cappadocians’ who were instrumental in further developing the trinity doctrine to the final form adopted at the council of Constantinople in 381 A. D. - An Encyclopedia of Religion, p. 794; and p. 237, The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, 1990 printing] wished to teach the divinity [deity] of the holy spirit in his church, he only ventured to introduce it gradually.”
     There was a very good reason for the reluctance of the early Christians to accept this new doctrine of the Spirit:
      And “In the N[ew] T[estament] there is no direct suggestion of a doctrine of the Trinity.  the spirit is conceived as an IMPERSONAL POWER by which God effects his will through Christ.” - An Encyclopedia of Religion, Ferm (ed.), 1945, p. 344.138-142
     In fact, Gregory of Nazianzus (one of the ‘Three Cappadocians’ whom trinitarian Lohse praises as being essential to the final defeat of the Arians at the Council of Constantinople),
“declared that it was the destiny of his time [381 A. D.] to bring to full clarity the mystery which in the New Testament was only dimly intimated.” - p. 64, A Short History of Christian Doctrine, Bernard Lohse, Fortress Press, 1985.
     Trinitarian Gregory also had to admit,
 “But of the wise men amongst ourselves [Christians], some have conceived of him [Holy Spirit] as an Activity, some as a Creature, some as God; and some have been uncertain which to call Him, out of reverence for Scripture, they say, as though it did not make the matter clear either way. And therefore they neither worship Him nor treat Him with dishonor, but take up a neutral position, or rather a very miserable one, with respect to Him. And of those who consider Him to be God, some are orthodox in mind only, while others venture to be so with the lips also.” - “The Fifth Theological Oration,” section 5 (page 616, Vol. 7, The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, second series, The Master Christian Library, Version 5 (software).
     It is important to realize that a Christian must be many things.  It is not enough to have all the faith in the world, for instance, and not have real and abundant Christian Love (1 Cor. 13:1-3; James 1:14-17).  Nor is sincerity alone (though it is important) a proof of truth.  People can, and do, most sincerely believe in the speculations, traditions, and myths of men as being of equal (and even greater) importance to the Bible.  The trinitarians at the Nicene Council (and after) clearly took that approach, whereas the Arians attempted to keep the Bible as their ultimate source of doctrine. (Matt. 15:3, 7-9; Col. 2:8; 1 Tim. 1:3, 4; 2 Tim. 4:3-5)
     Likewise, although you must have the true knowledge of God (Jn. 17:1, 3; 2 Thess. 1:8) that is not enough in itself.
     In other words, although a man may have love, faith, and many other admirable (and essential) Christian qualities, he still may not know God.  And, similarly, just because a man may really know and believe the essential and required truth about the Only True God, does not, in itself, make him a Christian unless he also possesses the other required qualities and knowledge.  So it is not necessarily true that Hosius, or Athanasius, were wrong in all aspects of Christianity (or conversely, that Arius or Eusebius of Caesarea were right in all aspects of Christianity).
     Nevertheless, we must look at their “fruits” as Jesus told us (and as we did for Hosius earlier in this paper) - Matt. 7:16.  And if their “fruits” betray them as “false prophets,” we must ask ourselves, to be honest, in what sense they are “false prophets.”
     We have seen the rotten fruit that Hosius bore even before the Nicene Council.  After that council Hosius violently opposed the Arians and Semi-Arians.
“Hosius presided [at the Council of Sardica], which showed itself so hostile to Arianism, and afterwards he supported Athanasius in such a way as to bring upon himself a sentence of banishment...” - Britannica, 1956, v. 11, p. 790.
 Yes, Hosius’ “fruits” were so vile and violent that even though he was Constantine’s favorite (Gibbon, p. 674, vol. 1) and had so much persuasive influence over the emperor that others complained that he must use magic (Gibbon, p. 651, vol. 1), he was nevertheless banished!
     Athanasius had a violent spirit unlike that of the gentle, scholarly Eusebius of Caesarea and Arius.
“[Arius’] most implacable adversaries have acknowledged the learning and blameless life of the eminent presbyter, who, in a former election, had declined, and perhaps generously declined, his pretension to the episcopal throne.” - The Decline and Fall of the Roman  Empire, Edward Gibbon, p. 374, Dell, 1963 ed.
     Although he was offered the position, the humble Arius declined to become Bishop of Alexandria, and, instead, Alexander eagerly snatched at and became bishop and started the whole trinitarian debate which finally led to the Council of Nicaea.  After that council, when passions had cooled somewhat (at least the Emperor’s had), Arius was recalled from exile (exiled because he had refused to sign the Nicene Creed).
     Upon his return “Arius himself was treated by the whole court with the respect which would have been due to an innocent and oppressed man.  His faith was approved by the Synod of Jerusalem; and the emperor seemed impatient to repair his injustice, by issuing an absolute command [because of the violent objections of Athanasius and his followers] that he should be solemnly admitted to the communion in the Cathedral of Constantinople.  On the same day which had been fixed for the triumph of Arius, he expired; and the strange and horrid circumstances of his death [not to mention the highly improbable timing of this “coincidence”] might excite a suspicion that the orthodox saints [Athanasius, et. al.] had contributed more efficaciously than by their prayers to deliver the [trinitarian] Church from the most formidable of her enemies.  The three principal leaders of the Catholics, Athanasius of Alexandria, Eustathius of Antioch, and Paul of Constantinople, were deposed ... and were afterwards banished into distant provinces by [Constantine], who, in the last moments of his life received the rites of baptism from the Arian bishop of Nicomedia.” - Gibbon, pp. 380-381, Dell.
     Trinitarian Gibbon, who had no sympathy for the “odious” doctrines of Arius, obviously concluded from his studies that someone had poisoned the gentle, humble Arius to prevent him from taking communion and that the probable perpetrators of this terrible deed included the violent Athanasius.  Clearly the Emperor believed he had proof of Athanasius’ involvement also.  It appears that among the violent “fruits” of Athanasius there literally may have been a poisonous fruit. 143
     Eusebius of Caesarea is generally recognized as not only one of the greatest scholars of the age but also as a truly gentle spirit who genuinely sought peace.144,145    It was this love for peace that led him to propose the compromise creed that was rewritten by others into a trinitarian form and forced on the bishops at the Council by Constantine himself.  Eusebius’ unhappy decision finally to sign that reworked creed was also a result of his gentle nature and “dislike of controversy.”  He later greatly regretted his choice and worked diligently to repair the damage it had done.
     We have already seen the pagan “fruits” of Constantine.  We have also seen that when he finally did become a Christian, he became an Arian Christian.
     I’m not entirely certain where all this “fruitage” leads us.  It’s even possible that none of these people (nearly 300 years after the death of Jesus) were true Christians.146    And yet, from what records [mostly trinitarian, of course] we have today of their “fruits,” it is obvious that a real Christian would rather be associated with Arius or Eusebius of Caesarea than Hosius or Athanasius (whether before, after, or during the Council of Nicaea)!
     We must also examine the “fruits” of the man who finally restored the power of the Athanasians and their trinitarian Nicene Creed after it appeared as though they were both a lost cause: Theodosius the Great.
“A second great autocrat who presently contributed to the stamping upon Catholic Christianity of a distinctly authoritative character was ...  Theodosius the Great (379-395).  He forbade the unorthodox to hold meetings, handed over all churches to the Trinitarians.”149  
In other words, the Arians (and Semi-Arians), who had been the “orthodox” Church (at least here in the capital city and in the eastern empire) for about 50 years, were now declared “heretics” again, not by the Church but by the Emperor, Theodosius, and their churches were turned over to trinitarian control by the Emperor!
“Theodosius I in 380 issued an edict that made [trinitarian] Christianity the exclusive religion of the state.  Any who would dare to hold any other form of worship would suffer punishment from the state.”150  
And so the persecution of the Jews and various Christian sects (especially Arian and Semi-Arian) reached new heights.
“The Council [of Constantinople] of 381 was called by Theodosius the Great (379-395), and its chief claim to fame is that it terminated the struggle over the Nicene Creed by the approval of a version of it which is in substantial agreement with that adopted at Nicaea (325).”151
     This council officially established the Holy Spirit as a person equal to the Father and the Son and thereby completed the official acceptance of this pagan doctrine into the Roman Church.
     Besides forcing the Church to follow his own will and personal doctrinal preferences, what kind of “fruitage” can we see from Theodosius?
     “Theodosius [in 390 A. D.] had gathered the people of Thessalonica [at least 7000 men, women, and children], whose governor had been slain, into the circus in that city and had ordered their massacre.”  - p. 156, Cairns
     In an incident highly similar to that perpetrated by Hitler (another professed “Christian” world leader) in WWII, the Christian citizens were ordered massacred by the absolute ruler of the Empire.  The “orthodox” trinitarian Church, however, sternly “disciplined” him:
  “When he came to Church to take the Communion, [Bishop] Ambrose refused him admission to the Lord’s Supper until he humbly and publicly repented of this deed.”152-154  
     WOW!   I guess that really taught him a lesson, huh?
     To show the degree to which the political state had come to control “orthodox” Christendom it is significant that this “terrible” penance “enforced” upon the Emperor Theodosius is “regarded by the Church as one of its greatest victories over the temporal power.” 155
     I think we can clearly see the “fruits” of the man (Theodosius “the Atrocious” is a more apt title) who single-handedly (and permanently) restored the Athanasians and restored (and completed) their Alexandrian trinity doctrine to the “mother” Church (and, ultimately, to all the many churches or “daughters” that sprang from her).
     We can also see that to a large degree the state had become the master of the Church.  (“You cannot serve two masters” - Matt. 6:24, Ro. 6:16, Acts 5:29.)  Remember who controls and manipulates the governments of the world! - Luke 4:5-6; 2 Cor. 4:4; John 18:36.
     Isn’t it extremely significant that it was the state that first forced the Trinity Doctrine on a reluctant church in 325 A.D.?  And it was the state that permanently restored that doctrine to the church when it had nearly died out? -
“We know that we are children of God and that all the rest of the world around us is under Satan’s power and control.” - 1 John 5:19, LB.
     But even with the great power of the Roman Empire dominating the Church and the dire consequences of being branded “heretical” (non-trinitarian) by that power, most Christians resisted the new official “knowledge of God,” and it remained for the great trinitarian “scholars” and “saints” to promote the trinity doctrine among the people to cement it in both mind and heart.
     Of the great “saints” who finally ingrained this pagan-inspired doctrine from within (as compared to the external forces from the Emperor and pagan philosophies) the three “greatest” and most influential were Athanasius, Augustine, and Cyril of Alexandria.156
     So what were the “fruits” of  Cyril of Alexandria?   Besides being a very active promoter of heresy (“he was a zealous advocate of veneration of the Virgin Mary” - An Encyclopedia of Religion, p. 214),
“... he was patriarch of Alexandria from 412, when he succeeded his uncle Theophilus in that station, till his death [June 444 A. D.]. .... so intemperate was his zeal for orthodoxy and for the extermination of dissent from the Creed of Nicaea ... that it has brought down the animadversion [censure] of some modern Church historians ....  Among modern Protestant writers Dean Milman in his History of Latin Christianity presses against him charges of barbarity, persecution and bloodshed, on account of which Cyril, though styled saint, must be esteemed ‘one of the  worst  heretics  against the spirit of the gospel.’  He is charged with ... having with an armed rabble wrecked the synagogues and driven Jews in thousands out of the city.” - Encyclopedia Americana, v. 8, pp. 371-372, 1944.
“Often in open conflict with the civil authorities of the city and province, he may be held responsible, at least indirectly, for riots and even massacres in the city, including Jewish pogroms and persecutions of the heathen and schismatics [various Christian sects including non-trinitarians].” - Encyclopedia Americana, v. 8, p. 371, 1957.
“A nephew of the same Theophilus who had brought about the exile of John Chrysostom, Cyril had succeeded his uncle as bishop in 412 and shared not only Theophilus’s jealousy of the church of Constantinople, but also the lack of scruple in the pursuit of power which had marked the patriarchs of Alexandria since Athanasius.”
“... Cyril of Alexandria, the most powerful Christian theologian in the world, murdered Hypatia, the most famous Greco-Roman philosopher of the time.  Hypatia was slaughtered like an animal in the church of Caesarion ....  Cyril may not have been among the gang that pulled Hypatia from her chariot, tearing off her clothes and slashing her with shards of broken tiles, but her murder was surely done under his authority and with his approval. .... Cyril’s fame arose mainly from his assaults on other church leaders, and his methods were often brutal and dishonest. - p. 19, Bible Review, Feb. 1997.
     But such was the “spirit” of the Roman Church in those days that throughout the 32 years that he promoted the murder and persecution of Christians, Jews, and pagans he retained his high office in that Church and, in fact, later even became canonized as a “saint” and even, in 1882, received the highest accolade by being declared a “Doctor of the Church.”  Only “saints” may receive this high honor because of their learning and “holiness of life”!  Throughout the long history of the Roman Church only 32 “saints” have been so honored! - The Catholic Encyclopedia, p. 170, 1976 ed.; Collier’s Encyclopedia, p. 612, v. 7, 1975 ed.
     As we have seen already in this study, the highest authority among the “saints” and “Doctors” of the Church, Augustine, was one of the greatest borrowers from paganism and pagan philosophy.76-78    Augustine became, by far, the most influential interpreter and defender of the newly adopted trinity doctrine.
“Augustine, St. (354-430), .... his teaching has been a dominant influence in subsequent Christian thought.”  And “Augustine’s philosophy is Neoplatonic in inspiration.  He had fallen under the spell of Plotinus prior to his conversion, and certain permanent elements in his thought ... must be attributed to Plotinus’ influence.” - Encyclopedia International, p. 194, v. 2, 1966 ed.
“Augustine, who was born and lived in North Africa [very much Alexandria-influenced], was not a clear and systematic philosopher [he frequently contradicted his own writings]; but he was a writer of genius, essentially modern in spirit, trying to find the philosophical foundations of a personal faith in an analysis of his own consciousness; he was deeply influenced by Neo-Platonism.” - Encyclopedia Americana, p. 779, v. 21, 1957 ed.
     It is noteworthy that Augustine (like Hosius) supported the “forbidding of marriage” (or celibacy) rule.  Also “He helped to develop the [pagan-originated] doctrine of purgatory with all its attendant evils.”157
“In the writings of Augustine ... there is a recognition that theology can draw on all three sources:  philosophy, Scripture, and tradition.”   [But when Augustine actually, on occasion, “draws on” Scripture, notice how he uses it:]  “Augustine’s acceptance of the allegorical interpretation of Scripture meant that the latter could be treated with a certain measure of freedom.” - p. 79, Encyclopedia International, Grolier, Inc., vol. 18, 1966 ed.
(See trinitarian Church historian Cairns’ comment on “the allegorical system of interpretation” developed in Alexandria which “resulted in absurd and, often, unscriptural theological ideas.” - pp. 119-120, Christianity Through the Centuries, 1977 ed.)
     How much Augustine was devoted to the authority (and traditions) and its already established doctrines of the 5th century Roman Church over and above the actual inspired scriptures can be shown by this statement from his writings,
“I should not believe the Gospel, did not the authority of the Catholic Church move me thereto.”158
     So the fact that the “mother” Church had declared (as “encouraged” by Emperor Constantine) the new doctrine that Jesus is equally God with the Father to be true in 325 A.D. (and reaffirmed it, with the addition of the Holy Spirit, in 381 through the “encouragement” of Emperor Theodosios) was enough for Augustine!  No other proof was necessary for him no matter what the scriptures might say!  And so this Neo-Platonist “Christian” writer of genius became the greatest authority of the Roman Church in defense (and promotion of) its newly-established trinitarian doctrine.
     The Nicene Council itself has been shown to be in complete opposition to the Spirit of God.
“The adoption of a  non-Biblical  phrase at Nicaea, constituted a landmark in the growth of dogma; it is true [say the ‘orthodox’], since the Church - the Universal Church speaking by its bishops [a tiny minority, as we have seen, who, through a pagan emperor, forced their will upon the majority of bishops] - says so; though the Bible does not!” - Encyclopedia Britannica, 14th ed., v. 7, pp. 501-502.
     It is also generally recognized that the Council of Nicaea led directly to many non-Biblical “fruits” such as the doctrine of “veneration” for “Mary, the Mother of God,” the “Queen of Heaven,” “more prayed to than Christ himself.”147,148      An Encyclopedia of Religion, for example, tells us that the “veneration” of Mary “The Mediatrix” derived “from the church’s desire to safeguard the orthodox doctrine of the Deity of Jesus Christ [established, of course, at the Nicene Council] and to maintain a human mediator before the Godhead, as well as from pagan goddess-worship [Isis and other Mother Goddesses].” - pp. 473, 814.
     And, of course, as we have already seen (McCollister), a declaration of the scripture-denying celibacy (marriage-forbidding) doctrine was one of the “fruits” of the Nicene Council of 325 A. D. and clearly shows how “pleasing” to God this highly esteemed (by trinitarians) Council really is!  People enforcing such a thing are clearly identified in the Bible as those who “abandon the faith”:
“The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons [paganisms].”  - 1 Tim. 4:1, NIV
And how can we identify such God-defying apostates?  Among other things which are “taught by demons” they “forbid people to marry...” - 1 Tim 4:1, 3, NIV.
     Author and historian H. G. Wells was not so subtle in his criticism of the Nicene Council:
“the Council of Nicaea, which ... formulated the creed upon which all the existing Christian churches are based, was one of the most disastrous and one of the least venerable of all religious gatherings.”  - God, The Invisible King.
     Wells is referring, among other things, to the trinitarians’ hateful treatment of the Arians and Semi-Arians during the council (and through its decrees).  The trinitarians in this very council were the first to give pagan, non-Biblical terms and concepts critical importance, the first to formally, officially curse their brother Christians, and have them actively and severely persecuted. 148
     Wells went on to say:
“The systematic destruction by the [Western church trinitarians] of all [opposing Arian and Semi-Arian] writings, had about it none of that quality of honest conviction which comes to those who have a real knowledge of God ....” 159
Trinitarian Robert M. Grant writes:
“The books of Arius ... were to be burned; the discovery of such writings if concealed was to result in the application of the death penalty.” - p. 243,  Augustus to Constantine, Harper & Row, 1990.
     Constantine (and the triumphant, hate-ridden western bishops) even made sure that the canons of the Nicene Council would elevate Alexandria, which, as we have seen, already had great influence over the western church, to a position of control over the eastern church.
“The [Nicene] council ... granted papal authority in the east to the Bishop of Alexandria.” - p. 6149, vol. 17, The Universal Standard Encyclopedia (An abridgment of The New Funk & Wagnalls Encyclopedia), 1956 ed.
     A final observation concerning the Nicene Council has to do with an event that may (or may not) indicate a higher judgment.  We know that, upon occasions of great significance in the relationship of mankind with its God, God has shown approval or condemnation through acts often considered to be “acts of God” or “acts of nature.”  For example,
“The earthquake was figurative of divine judgment.”  - New Bible Dictionary, 2nd ed., Tyndale House Publ., 1982.
     The earthquake that hit Jerusalem when Jesus was killed (Matt. 27:51, 54) was obviously a sign of God’s displeasure with the unfaithfulness of His people.  And Rev. 6:12-17 shows the great day of wrath of God and of the Lamb will begin with a “great earthquake.”
     Why would God bring destruction upon a land or a city that claims to be worshiping Him?
“Even all the nations shall say, ‘Wherefore hath Jehovah done thus unto this land?  What meaneth the heat of this great anger?’  Then men shall say, ‘because they forsook the covenant of Jehovah, the God of their fathers ... and went and served other gods, and worshipped them [along with Jehovah], gods ... that he had not given unto them.” - Deut. 29:24-26, ASV.   (Compare Matt. 7:21-23.)
     “I will also stretch out My hand on Judah, and on all the inhabitants of Jerusalem.  …. those who bowing, swearing to Jehovah yet [also] swearing to Malcham [Molech], and those drawing back from [following] after Jehovah, and those who have not sought Jehovah, nor asked of Him.” - Zephaniah 1:4-6, KJIIV.  [The footnote for verse 1:5 in NIVSB reads: “swear by the LORD ... by Molech.  Syncretism (worship of one's own god along with other gods).”]
     As for the fate of the city where a church claiming to serve the God of the Bible (Jehovah - Psalm 83:18, KJV;  Ex. 3:15, NEB; ASV; Living Bible; MLB; Young’s; etc.) first began to proclaim that God was three persons (“gods ... that he had not given unto them” to worship equally with Him!): there was barely enough time for the bishops and their retinues to leave the area and for Constantine to declare his decision as “the judgment of God” before Nicaea was completely destroyed by an earthquake! 160
“Constantine declared that ‘the decision of 300 bishops [at Nicaea] must be considered none other than the judgment of God.’  The judgment of God was perhaps more obvious later in the same year when an earthquake toppled the city.” - p. 87, Safari for Seven, Thea B. Van Halsema, Baker Book House, 1967.
     With the passage of the centuries many ‘daughters’ were spawned as branches broke away from the ‘Mother’ Church at Rome.  And in spite of their sometimes violent disagreement among themselves, they nearly always kept the adulterous mark of their Mother: many of her pagan-inspired doctrines and celebrations.
     Speaking of the doctrine-forming ecumenical councils of the early Roman Catholic Church, starting with the Nicene Council of 325 we are told,
“Of these, the Protestant churches generally recognize [as authoritative today] the first four; the Church of England ... the first five ....  The Greek church accepts the first seven.” - The American People’s Encyclopedia, v. 6, p. 6-395, 1954.
     We have seen how God’s people never had even the hint of a three-in-one God concept throughout their history (see the ISRAEL study paper) while it was a common belief  in many contemporary lands.
     We have seen how the trinity idea was gradually introduced into Christendom through pagan “Christian” philosophers.
     We have seen how, in 325 A. D., the still-pagan emperor and his Alexandrian-influenced trinitarian advisor forced the trinity idea on a reluctant church as the first official doctrinal change of a church that had, for the first time, become dominated by the secular government.  In fact, church historian (and strong trinitarian) Cairns admits that
“[Christendom’s] association with the Roman state between 313 and 590 [A. D.] was to bring it many flaws.” - CTTC, p. 130.
     We have seen how the most respected and most influential Church “authorities” were greatly pagan-influenced and insisted on the authority of state-dominated, pagan-inspired ecumenical council decisions over and above any scriptural authority (or truly Apostolic tradition).
     We have seen how this same Roman Church adopted and taught other obviously pagan-inspired anti-scriptural doctrines during this very same time period through the efforts of these very same “Christians.”
     We have seen how the Pope himself admits that although he has the authority to abolish an obviously pagan doctrine within his church he cannot go against such a strong tradition!132
     And we have seen how nearly all of Christendom today has inherited the traditions imposed by the first councils of that state-dominated, pagan-inspired Roman Church.  (Nearly all of Christendom has come to blindly accept this paganistic tradition as completely natural and proper.  Many of its adherents even claim that only the ignorant and uneducated - or intellectually dishonest - would dispute this essential doctrine.) 163-165
     Clearly this manifestation (or foremost representative) of Babylon the Great161   seated upon the seven hills of Rome has spawned many daughters who share in her harlotry.  And how clearly worshipers of the Only True God are commanded to get away from such idolatrous harlotry and touch not the unclean thing. - Rev. 18:4, 5; Is. 52:11; Jer. 51:9.
     “... take care that you are not ensnared into their ways.  Do not inquire about their gods and say, ‘How do these nations worship their gods?  I too will do the same.’  you must not do for the Lord [Jehovah - ASV] your god what they do, for ALL that they do for their gods is hateful and abominable to the Lord [Jehovah].” - Deut. 12:29-30, NEB.  (Cf. JB.)
     “In the New Testament the word ... (idololatria), afterwards shortened occasionally to ... (idolatria) [‘idolatry’], occurs in all four times, viz., in 1 Cor. 10:14; Gal. 5:20; 1 Pet. 4:3; Col. 3:5.  In the last of these passages it is used to describe the sin of covetousness or ‘mammon-worship.’  In the other places it indicates with the utmost generality ALL the rites and practices of those special forms of paganism with which Christianity first came into collision.” - Encyclopedia Britannica, p. 71, v. 12, 14th ed.  [1 Cor 5:11 and Eph 5:5 fit into the latter category above also.]
(See how strongly these “special forms of paganism,” “idolatry” are condemned: Gal. 5:20, 21.)  - Even the modern Roman Catholic Church admits the Bible’s condemnation of the acceptance by some early Christians of pagan teachings. 162
     The testimony of history, as well as the testimony of scripture, shows us the truly idolatrous nature of the trinity doctrine and why we must not even “touch” such an unclean thing! 166


                                                                  *     *     *     *     *
Note: Although Watchtower Society (WTS) research and scholarship is usually at least the equal of (and often superior to) that of other sources, I have tried to rely most heavily on other sources in Christendom itself (preferably trinitarian) or my own independent research to provide evidence disproving the Trinity doctrine being examined in this paper.  The reason is, of course, that this paper is meant to provide evidence needed by non-Witnesses, and many of them will not accept anything written by the WTS.  They truly believe it is false, even dishonest.  Therefore some of the information provided in this paper may be in disagreement with current WTS teachings in some specifics.  Jehovah’s Witnesses should research the most recent WTS literature on the subject or scripture in question before using this information with others. – RDB.


                                                                 *     *     *     *     *

                                                                           NOTES

    1. “Hebrew and Muslim monotheism is unitarian - God exists as one being [one person].” - Encyclopedia International, Grolier, v. 8, 1966 ed.
       2.  “It seems unquestionable that the revelation of the mystery of the Trinity was not made to the Jews.” - Dictionnaire de Theologie Catholique  (Dictionary of Catholic Theology), quoted in 15 Aug. 1984 WT, p. 28.
       3.  “As we have seen, Christianity inherited the monotheism of Israel, but gradually developed it by the elaboration of the doctrine of the Trinity.”  - p. 619, v. 6, 1941, Encyclopedia Americana.
       4.  From its earliest development in Christendom down till today the trinity doctrine has been viewed with disdain by Jews as a clear contradiction of “the essence of Judaism.”  “It is at this point that the gulf between the Church and the synagogue opens before us in all its depth and significance ....  The teaching of the divinity of Jesus Christ is an unpardonable offence in the eyes of Judaism.” - The Jewish People and Jesus Christ, Jakob Jocz. (Awake!  6/22/91, p. 5)
       5.  “The dogma of the Trinity is of relatively recent date.  There is no reference to it in the Old Testament .... One can even say that it is a conception foreign to primitive [earliest] Christianity.” - Professor Louis Reau of the Sorbonne (France’s leading university), in  Iconographie de l’ Art Chretien, v. 2, Book 1, p. 14. (See Awake! 22 Sept. 1962, p. 7.)
       5a. “Exegetes and theologians today are in agreement that the Hebrew Bible [the Old Testament] does not contain a doctrine of the Trinity ...  Although the Hebrew Bible depicts God as the father of Israel and employs personifications of God such as Word (davar), Spirit (ruah), Wisdom (hokhmah), and Presence (shekhinah), it would go beyond the intention and spirit of the Old Testament to correlate these notions with later trinitarian doctrine.
           “Further, exegetes and theologians agree that the New Testament also does not contain an explicit doctrine of the Trinity.  God the Father is source of all that is (Pantokrator) and also the father of Jesus Christ; ‘Father’ is not a title for the first person of the Trinity but a synonym for God....
           “It is incontestable that the [Trinity] doctrine cannot be established on scriptural evidence alone.” -  The Encyclopedia of Religion,  Macmillan Publishing Co., 1987, volume 15, p. 54.
       6.  “Neither the word Trinity, nor the explicit doctrine as such, appears in the New Testament, nor did Jesus and his followers intend to contradict the Shema in the Old Testament:  ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord [Jehovah] our God is one Lord.’ Deut. 6:4 ....   The  doctrine developed  gradually over several centuries and through many controversies .... It was not until the 4th century that the distinctness of the three and their unity were brought together in a single orthodox doctrine of one essence and three persons.”  - The New Encyclopedia Britannica, 1985, Micropedia, vol. 11, p. 928.
       7.  “Trinity, a word not found in Scripture but used to express the doctrine of the unity of God as subsisting in 3 distinct persons.  Not only is the word ‘Trinity’ not in Scripture, but there is no isolated exposition on this attribute of God in either testament.  It is an inferred doctrine, gathered eclectically from the entire Canon.” - p. 630 of the highly trinitarian publication, Today’s Dictionary of the Bible, Bethany House Publishers, 1982.
       8. “[The Trinity Doctrine] is not ... directly and immediately the word of God.” - (p. 304)  “The formulation ‘One God in three persons’ was not solidly established, certainly not fully assimilated into Christian life and its profession of faith prior to the end of the 4th century.  But it is precisely this formulation that has first claim to the title the Trinitarian Dogma.  Among the Apostolic Fathers [those very first Christians who had known and been taught by the Apostles and their disciples], there had been nothing even remotely approaching such a mentality or perspective.” - New Catholic Encyclopedia, p. 299, v. 14, 1967.
        9. “In the NT there is no direct suggestion of a doctrine of the Trinity.” - p. 344, An Encyclopedia of Religion, Ferm (ed.), 1945.
      10.  The trinitarian reference work, The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, 1986, Zondervan, admits:  “The NT does not contain the developed doctrine of the Trinity.  ‘The Bible lacks the express declaration that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are of equal essence and therefore in an equal sense God himself.  And the other express declaration is also lacking, that God is God thus and only thus, i.e. as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  These two express declarations which go beyond the witness of the Bible, are the twofold content of the Church doctrine of the Trinity.’.... It also lacks such terms as ‘trinity’ ... and homoousios which featured in the Creed of Nicaea (325) to denote that Christ was of the same substance as the Father.”  And “All this underlines the point that primitive Christianity did not have an explicit doctrine of the trinity such as was subsequently elaborated in the creeds [after 325 A. D.] of the early church.” - p. 84, v. 2.
       11.  “The earliest Apostolic teaching and the type of doctrine which seems long to have prevailed among the Churches of Judaic origin and cast was only to a very slight degree dogmatic and brought no enlarged or corrected doctrines touching the nature of God or the character of men.  Indeed no New Testament authors ever approach these themes as if intending to communicate fresh truth, but rather to confirm and apply truth already commonly apprehended [including, of course the essential truth of exactly who our God really is - Jn 17:3; 2 Thess. 1:8; Ps. 83:18].”  - p. 184, v. 20, Encyclopedia Americana, 1944, “New Testament Theology.”
       12.  “The early form of the Apostle’s Creed consisted of ‘I believe in God the Father Almighty, and in Christ Jesus his Son, our Lord, and in holy spirit, holy church, and resurrection of the flesh.’” - An Encyclopedia of Religion, Ferm (ed.), p. 208, 1945 ed. [see CREEDS study].
       13.  “... the doctrine of the Trinity was of gradual and comparatively late formation; that it had its origin in a source entirely foreign from that of the Jewish and Christian scriptures; that it grew up, and was ingrafted on Christianity, through the hands of the Platonizing Fathers; that in the time of Justin [c. 100-165 A. D.], and long after, the distinct nature and inferiority [in comparison to the Father only, of course] of the Son were universally taught; and that only the first shadowy outline of the Trinity had then become visible.” – p. 34, The Church of the First Three Centuries,  Alvan Lamson, D.D.  (see WT 15 Oct. 1978, p. 32.)
       14.  The Illustrated Bible Dictionary (Protestant) says:  “The word Trinity is not found in the Bible .... It did not find a place formally in the theology of the church till the 4th century ....  Although scripture does not give us a formulated doctrine of the Trinity, it contains all the elements out of which theology has constructed the doctrine.”
       15.  “The trinity of persons within the unity of nature is defined in terms of ‘person’ and ‘nature’ which are G[reek] philosophical terms; actually the terms do not appear in the Bible.  The trinitarian definitions arose as the result of long controversies in which these terms and others such as ‘essence’ and ‘substance’ were erroneously applied to God by some theologians.”  -   Dictionary of the Bible (Macmillan Publishing Co., New York, 1965), p. 899.
       16.  Weigall relates many instances of the trinity concept in pre-Christian pagan religions and then states:  “The early Christians, however, did not at first think of applying the idea to their own faith.”  And, “Jesus Christ never mentioned such a phenomenon, and nowhere in the New Testament does the word ‘trinity’ appear.  The idea was only adopted by the Church three hundred years after the death of our Lord; and the origin of the conception is entirely pagan.” - The Paganism in our Christianity, pp. 197,198, Arthur Weigall.
       17.  “When the writers of the New Testament speak of God they mean the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  When they speak of Jesus Christ, they do not speak of him nor do they think of him as God.” - John M. Creed, Professor of Divinity at the University of Cambridge, in his book, The Divinity of Christ, p. 123.  The clear distinction between the only true God and his Messiah, however, is (if possible) even more obvious in the Old Testament.
       18.  “That the historical Jesus did not present himself as God incarnate is accepted by all [theologians] ... Christian laymen today are not fully aware of it.”  And “[Jesus] did not teach the doctrine of the trinity.” - John Hick, Professor of Theology at Birmingham University, in The Myth of God Incarnate  (See 1977 WT, p. 687.)
       19.  “If Paganism was conquered by Christianity, it is equally true that Christianity was corrupted by paganism.  The pure Deism of the first Christians (who differed from their fellow Jews only in the belief that Jesus was the promised Messiah) was changed by the Church at Rome, into the incomprehensible dogma of the trinity.  Many of the pagan tenets, invented by the Egyptians and idealized by Plato, were retained as being worthy of belief.” - The History of Christianity, (Preface by Eckler).
       20.  “Christianity did not destroy Paganism; it adopted it .... From Egypt came the ideas of a divine trinity, …. the adoration of the Mother and Child….” – p. 595, The Story of Civilization: vol. 3, Simon & Schuster Inc., by noted author and historian Will Durant.
       21.  “A passage in the work ‘Against Heresies,’ written by Saint Irenaeus, who died about 202 .... says of the Christians of his day:  ‘All teach one and the same God the Father, and believe the same oeconomy [‘creator’s plan’] of the incarnation of the Son of God, and know the same gift of the Spirit, and meditate on the same precepts, and maintain the same form of constitution with respect to the Church...’” - p. 174, vol. 8, 1944, Encyclopedia Americana. - Irenaeus also wrote: “But there is only one God ....  he is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ [compare John 17:1, 3, NEB].”  -  p. 111 of  A Short History of the Early Church, by strong trinitarian Dr. H. R. Boer, 1976.  Even trinitarian historian W. H. C. Frend admits: “Irenaeus’s monotheism was Hebraic rather than Greek” - p. 245, The Rise of Christianity, Fortress Press, 1985. - See the CREEDS study paper, “Irenaeus.”
       22.  “Wherever in the New Testament the relationship of Jesus to God, the Father, is brought into consideration, whether with reference to his appearance as a man or to his Messianic status, it is conceived of and represented categorically as subordination [to God].” - Professor Martin Werner of the University of Bern, writing in  The Formation of Christian Dogma, 1957.
       23.  “[In the early days of Christianity] one believed in the Father, in the Son and in the Holy Spirit, but no tie was available to unite them together.  They were mentioned separately.  Prayers were addressed, for example, to the  Father who ‘alone,’ according to the statement of Clement of Rome, ‘was God’ [cf. Jn 17:3, NEB; 1 Cor 8:6].” - Revue d’ Histoire et de Litterature  Religieuses (Review of History and of Religious Literature), May-June, 1906, pp. 222, 223.  (See Awake! 22 Sept., 1962, p. 7.)  “Clement, St., Pope of Rome (ca. 92-101) .... St. Clement is looked upon as the first of the ‘Apostolic Fathers’.” - p. 177, An Encyclopedia of Religion.
       The writing of Clement of Rome is “the earliest and most valuable surviving example of Christian literature outside the New Testament” and “was widely known and held in very great esteem by the early Church.  It was publicly read in numerous churches, and regarded as being almost on a level with the inspired scriptures.” - pp. 17, 22, Early Christian Writings, Staniforth, Dorset Press, New York.
       24.  Cardinal Newman was “one of the most influential English Catholics of all time ... universally revered at the time of his death.” - The Columbia Viking Desk Encyclopedia, 1968, v. 2, p. 758.  Cardinal Newman wrote that the Christian creeds before Constantine’s time (4th century A. D.) did not make any mention of a trinity understanding.  “They made mention indeed of a Three; but that there is any mystery in the doctrine, that they are coequal, co-eternal, all increate, all omnipotent, all incomprehensible, is not stated, and never could be gathered from them.” - The Development of Christian Doctrine, p. 15.  (See Awake!  8 Jan. 1973, p. 16.)
       25.  The Apostles’ Creed (and other very early creeds) grew out of very early baptismal questions.  “Around the year A. D. 200, the candidate for baptism answered questions before being baptized as follows:
       “[1]  Do you believe in God the Father Almighty?  [Answer:] I believe.
       “[2]  Do you believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who was born of the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary, who was crucified under Pontius Pilate and died, and rose the third day living from the dead, and ascended into heaven and sat down at the right hand of the  Father  [Ps. 110, Acts 2:32-36], and will come to judge the living and the dead?  [Answer:] I believe.
       “[3]  Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Church, and the resurrection of the flesh?  [Answer:] I believe.
       “This form of questioning the candidate began in Rome.  In the course of time, questions were changed into a statement or declaration.  The beginning of the Apostles’ Creed is found in this development.  For a long time the creed that came into being in this way was known as the Roman Creed.   [This earliest Roman Creed was still in substantial agreement with the above Baptismal Questions even as late as 341 A. D. - see The International Standard Bible  Encyclopaedia, vol. 1, p. 204, Eerdmans.]  As need arose, other beliefs were added.  The form in which the Apostles’ Creed exists today dates from about the fifth century.” - A Short History of the Early Church, Dr. H. R. Boer (Trinitarian), pp. 75-76, 1976, Eerdmans Publishing Co.  (Cf. p. 280, Augustus to Constantine, Robert M. Grant, Harper & Row, 1990.)
     An Encyclopedia of Religion confirms the above and adds that “in the fourth century, the myth of composition by the twelve apostles appears.”  And, “The final form of the Apostles’ Creed was reached in Gaul whence it returned to Rome in the eighth century.  The traditional text can hardly be traced beyond the sixth century”. - pp. 33, 208, 1945 ed.
       Here then, is the true confession of the earliest Christian congregations in Rome itself.  These are the beliefs one must have before he can even be baptized!  Number one, of course, is that most essential question: ‘Who is the God you worship?’  It is “God the Father Almighty”!
       Certainly, if there had been any thought in the Christian community of this city (that over 100 years later would force the teaching of a trinity concept upon the entire church) the question would have been something like “Do you believe in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit who are Almighty?” or “Do you believe God is one and God is three: The Father, The Son, The Holy Spirit?”!!
       But there is no suggestion of such a thing.  God is “God the Father Almighty” - period!!
       Then we go to question #2 in these essential baptismal questions.  It is entirely about Jesus but in no way even implies that he is God or equal to God!  In fact, it clearly designates him as separate from God (“Son of God”) and, of course, separate from the Father, who is God (Jesus sat down at the right hand of the Father).  Certainly, if Jesus were thought to be God, it would have been as clearly stated in this question as were the other required beliefs about Jesus in this question that a candidate must answer before being baptized!
       Then we go to question #3.  Do we see even a hint of the essential knowledge of a 3-in-one God: that the Holy Spirit is a person who is equally God?  No!  In fact, we see a question dealing with important things!
       Question number one deals with the most important belief about the individual who, alone, is the God we must worship.
       Question number two is a question about the second most important belief (and about the second most important person in existence).
       And question number three is about the next most important beliefs:  The holy spirit, The holy church, and the resurrection.  That these three things are lumped together is highly significant!
       A trinitarian might say (although clearly false from context alone) that each of the three questions deals with one aspect of the Trinity.  But question number three alone shows the falsity of such a statement.  If this question were truly speaking of believing in the Godhood of the Holy Spirit, it certainly would not include the church and the resurrection equally in that very same statement.
     Now notice this admission by another trinitarian scholar and church historian:
     “Besides Scripture and tradition one finds at the end of the second century another entity of fundamental significance for the doctrine of the church, namely the creed .... One of the oldest creeds to be canonized in a particular church was the old Roman baptismal creed, which is generally designated as Romanum (R) .... an early form of this confession read as follows:
                            “‘I believe in God, the Father, the Almighty;
                               And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord,
                               And in the Holy Ghost, the holy church, the resurrection of the flesh.’
     “In this form the old Roman confession probably originated not later than the middle of the second century.”  Toward the end of the 2nd century the information about Jesus (‘who was born of the Holy Spirit, etc.’ as found in the quote from trinitarian Boer above) was added to R.  “More or less similar creeds were extant in most of the Christian congregations of the West .... Later the wording of  R became generally accepted in the West.”  The East (the original home of Judaism and Christianity), however, had a slightly different form.  The original eastern creed read as follows:
          “‘I believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, of whom everything [else] is,
             and in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, through whom everything [else] is,
             and in the Holy Ghost.’
     “.... Hence the formula of faith was intended primarily for the instruction of candidates for baptism.  This leads to a further point, namely, that the creed functioned as a  formal summary of the Christian faith.  It was the criterion of faith upon which catechetical instruction was based.” - pp. 33-35, A Short History of Christian Doctrine, Bernard Lohse, Fortress Press, 1985.
     Please notice that this “summary of the Christian faith” hundreds of years after the death of Christ affirms one God only: the Father only!
       So, just as the complete lack of any single clear statement of a trinity idea for the all-important knowledge of God (Jn 17:3) in the entire Bible shows that the Bible writers did not believe any such thing, so does the complete lack of such a suggestion in the baptismal questions about the most important, basic beliefs of a Christian 100 years after the last book of Scripture had been written also show that these early Christians (even in Rome at that time) had no concept of a three-in-one (or even a two-in-one) God!!
       26.  Quotes from A Short History of the Early Church, by trinitarian scholar Dr. H. R. Boer, 1976, Eerdmans:   “The Apostolic Fathers wrote between A. D. 90 and 140.  Their discussion of the person of Jesus Christ simply repeated the teaching of the New Testament.  None of the Apostolic Fathers presented a definite doctrine on this point.  In this respect the New Testament, The Apostolic Fathers, and the Apostles’ Creed stand in one line.”   - pp. 109-110, Boer.
       Therefore, admits this trinitarian: none of the earliest sources calls Jesus “God the Son” (or the Holy Spirit “God the Holy Spirit”) and there is no clear statement that “God is Three” or that “three (or even two) persons are equally God”!  God is only spoken of as a single person, the Father of Jesus.
       The very first Christians to really discuss Jesus’ relationship with God in their writings, according to Boer, were “The Apologists.”  “Justin [Justin Martyr, ‘the best known’ of the Apologists] and the other Apologists therefore taught that the Son is a creature.  He is a high creature, a creature powerful enough to create the world but, nevertheless, A  creature.  In theology this relationship of the Son to the Father is called subordinationism.  The Son is subordinate, that is, secondary to, dependent upon, and caused by the Father.  The Apologists were subordinationists.” - p. 110, Boer.
       (In fact, the trinitarian Eerdman’s Handbook to the History of Christianity, 1977, pp. 112-113 admits: “Before the Council of Nicaea (A D 325) all theologians viewed the Son as in one way or another subordinate to the Father.” - also found on p. 114 in the revised 1990 ed. of The History of Christianity, Lion Publishing.)
       Then came Saint Irenaeus (ca. 130-200) who still did not say that Jesus was equally God:  “’How then was the Son produced by the Father?’  We [Irenaeus writes] reply to him, that no man understands that production, or generation, or calling, or revelation, or by whatever name one may describe His generation, which is in fact altogether indescribable.”  And, “But there is only one  God, the creator ... He it is ... whom Christ reveals .... he is  the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ .... But the Son, eternally co-existing with the Father, from of old ... always reveals the Father to ... all to whom He wills that God should be revealed.” - p. 111, Boer.   (Also see pp. 406, 428, 434, vol. 1, Ante-Nicene Fathers, Roberts, Eerdmans Publishing.)  And, “The Father is indeed above all, and He is the Head of Christ [cf. 1 Cor. 11:3]” - Against Heresies, Ireneaus, Book V, Chapter 18.2.
       Irenaeus still didn’t teach Jesus as being equally God with the Father (and didn’t even suggest that the Holy Spirit was even a person, let alone a person who was equally God), but he did develop the concept that Jesus has somehow always existed beside the Father although not equally God Himself.
       This development of the concept of Jesus’ “eternal existence” by Irenaeus “led many to ask whether Christianity believed in polytheism.  This fear found expression in ... very different conceptions.” - p. 111, Boer.
       26a.  Even Clement of Alexandria (died ca. 215 A. D.) called Jesus in his prehuman existence “A creature” but called God “the uncreated and imperishable and only true God.”  He said that the Son “is next to the only omnipotent Father” but not equal to him. - ti-E, p. 7.
       27.  “In the unity of that one only God of the Babylonians, there were three persons [Anu, Enlil, and Ea], and to symbolize that doctrine of the trinity, they employed, as the discoveries of Layard prove, the equilateral triangle, just as [Christendom] does today.”  (and, as we shall see, so did a pagan, pre-Christian Greek philosophy/mystery religion.) - The Two Babylons, Hislop, p. 16.
       28.  “There is a tendency in [pagan] religious history for the gods to be grouped in threes .... Even in Christianity, the Trinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost reflects the underlying tendency.  In India, the great Triad included Brahma, the Creator, Vishnu, the Preserver, and Shiva, the Destroyer.  These represent the cycle of existence, just as the Babylonian triad of Anu, Enlil and Ea represent the materials of existence: air, water, earth.” - An Encyclopedia of Religion, Ferm, p. 794, 1945.
       29.  Not only did the ancient Babylonians have the major trinity of Anu, Enlil, and Ea, but they worshiped more than one trinity of gods. - Babylonian  Life and History, Sir E. A. Wallis Budge, 1925 ed., pp. 146, 147.
       30.
“Few of the theological speculations of the Egyptians have survived.  This is purely [by chance], owing to the perishable nature of their writing materials.  Nevertheless, a fragmentary copy of a famous theological document has been preserved, copied on stone in the reign of Shabaka (716-701 B. C.) from an ancient text on a badly worm-eaten manuscript.  This presents a religious system developed to promote the interests of the Memphite circle of gods, Ptah and his associates.  Ptah is declared to have been the original god, while the eight principal divinities of creation ... are merely forms of Ptah himself, and Atum’s circle of deities are simply the teeth and lips of Ptah’s mouth, by which he created all things by pronouncing their names.  However, behind the activity of Ptah’s teeth and lips stands in control the heart and tongue and these, though outwardly symbolized as Atum are at the same time Horus and Thoth, respectively, though in  essence  they are at the same time manifestations of Ptah.” - Encyclopedia Americana, p. 23, v. 10, 1957.
       It is this concept (of many gods being manifestations of the one God - or having the essence of that one God - known as pantheism) when coupled with the strong ancient pagan trend of grouping gods in unions of three that gradually led to the trinity doctrine for Christendom.
       31.
“At Memphis Apis was worshiped as the ‘renewed life of Ptah’ or as Ptah’s ‘double’ or ‘deputy.’  It was said that he dwelt in the soul of Ptah.
       “He was later known as an incarnation of the Son of Osiris, and was called the ‘life of Osiris,’ who gives life, health, and strength to the nostrils of the king.  Osiris was in fact connected with Apis in predynastic times, when Osiris was allied with bull-peoples in the Delta; it was then that he acquired the title ‘Bull of Ament’ (the underworld).  The later association of Apis and Osiris derived especially from the creation, death and resurrection triad of Ptah-Seker-Osiris.  Osiris-Apis became known as Serapis or Sarapis.  In an attempt to associate the popular cult of Osiris with that of Ra, the Heliopolitan priests put forward the notion that when the Apis bull died his soul rose to heaven to be united with that of Osiris; Serapis was therefore a sort of heaven-god.” - Egyptian Mythology, Ions, 1968, p. 123.
       32.
“This triad of Abydos [Horus, Isis, and Osiris] is apparently much older than even the earliest records .... These 3 main gods were skillfully incorporated into the Great Ennead or State religion of Egypt .... particularly during the first 5 [3110-2342 B.C.] or 6 dynasties when the worship of this triad was prominent.” - The Ancient Myths, A Mentor Book, Goodrich, p. 25, 1960.
       33.  The Encyclopedia Americana tells of the fully developed “Hindu Trinity” existing “from about 300 B. C.,” p. 197, v. 14, 1957.  Brahmana writings, probably from 800 B. C. or before, frequently include the Vedic triad concept. - Encyclopedia Britannica, 14th ed., v. 3, pp. 1014-1016, and 34, also see The Portable World Bible, The Viking Press, pp. 23, 25.
       34.
      “Brahmanism was a distinctive variation on the ancient vedic themes.  Its practitioners gave to Hinduism a new turn, which was expressed in the Upanishads (c. 800-600 B. C.), sacred writings of a philosophic character.  An urge toward unity favored the combination of conflicting monotheistic and pantheistic tendencies, and from this compromise arose the conception of Prajapati, the personal creator of the world and the manifestation of the impersonal Brahma [Brahma, neuter].  Brahma [Brahma] was conceived as the universal self-existing World soul, the keystone of the pantheistic arch of Brahmanism.
      “Those accustomed to the worship of concrete gods and goddesses did not take kindly to a colorless deity, however, even if the deity was Brahma [Brahma, neuter].  To satisfy them Brahmanism was forced to incorporate certain objects of popular devotion, and accordingly, the three gods Brahma [masculine], Vishnu, and Siva were worshiped equally.  This triad was a triple impersonation of the divinity responsible for the creation, preservation, and destruction of the universe.  Brahmanism thus effected a compromise that satisfied both the esoteric members of the Hindu community and the more popular demands of folk religion.” - Collier’s Encyclopedia, pp. 458, 459, v. 4, 1975 ed.  (Also see Encyclopedia Americana, 1944, v. 14, p. 196.)
       35.
     “Brahma [Brahma, neuter], the supreme being or essence of the universe (that is, the ideal and supreme Brahma [Brahma], who is uncreated, immaterial, and timeless).  The personification of the supreme Brahma [Brahma] is Brahma the creator of the universe, who is also the first member of the Hindu  trinity.” - Funk and Wagnalls Standard Reference Encyclopedia, v. 4, p. 1382, 1966 ed.
       36.  “[The sacred syllable Om] referred to the Hindu trinity of Vishnu, Brahma, and Siva.  It symbolized the abstract unity of the universe: Absolute (a) and Relative (u) are related (m). (a-u-m, pronounced ‘om’).”  - World Book Encyclopedia, v. 16, 1961 ed., p. 100. (Also see p. 579, The Portable World Bible, Viking Press, and The Encyclopedia Americana, p. 724, v. 20, 1957.  This sacred symbol of the Hindu trinity may be found even in the Upanishads of 800-600 B. C. - The Portable World Bible, The Viking Press, pp. 25, 50.
       37.
     “Vishnu, Brahma, and Siva together form the trinity of the Hindu Religion.  At one time these were distinct Hindu deities.  Their rival claims for recognition were finally met by making them three forms of the one supreme god.  This was, however, a creation of the priests and ecclesiastical students.” - Encyclopedia Americana, 1957 ed., v. 28, p. 134.
        38.
     “Trimurti (Tri-moor’ti), ... the Hindu trinity, Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva, considered an inseparable unity .... Trimurti is the theological or philosophical unity, which combines these [three] separate forms in one self-existent being. The Trimurti is represented as one body with three heads.” - p. 66, The Encyclopedia Americana, v. 27, 1957 ed.
      39.
     “Trimurti, the Hindu triad, or the gods Brahma (masculine), Vishnu, and Siva, when thought of as an inseparable unity, although three in form.”  - p. 8591, Universal Standard Encyclopedia, v. 23, 1955 ed.
       40.  Professor E. Washburn Hopkins said of the trinities of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Christendom:
“The three trinities as religious expressions are identical .... One may say: I believe in God as godhead, and in the divine incarnation, and in the creative Holy Spirit, as a Christian, a Vishnuite [Hindu], or a Buddhist.” - Origin and Evolution of Religion  (See WT, p. 75, 1974.)
       41.  “There are also trinitarian concepts in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism.” - p. 348, Merit Students Encyclopedia, Macmillan, v. 18, 1985 ed.
       42.
“The Hindus are thus seen to have had the trinity doctrine many centuries before Christendom adopted it.  A triangle is a symbol of it to them.” - p. 195, What Has Religion Done For Mankind?, 1951.
       43.  “I, the supreme indivisible Lord am three - Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva.” - p. 378, New Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology, 9th impression, 1974.
       44.  “[Pythagoras] was by common consent one of the most influential forces in the whole intellectual history of the west.” - p. 49, Greece - The Horizon Concise History of Greece, Eliot, 1972.
       45.
“Pythagoras (6th century B. C.), with a knowledge gained (according to ancient claims) by years of actual resident and deep study among the Egyptians, ... Chaldeans [Babylonians], ... and Indian Brahmins, founded at Crotona a religious brotherhood for the reformation of society, besides the study of philosophy.  The science of numbers (mathematics and astronomy) was the basis of theoretical teaching developing into numerical symbolism and the displaying of dots as units in symmetrical patterns (as on our dice and dominoes), each pattern group becoming a symbolic unit and thereby becoming the essence of cosmic substance.” - Encyclopedia Americana, 1957 ed., p. 362, v. 23.
       46.
“[Pythagoras] formed a sort of religious brotherhood something like a monastery .... It suited his fancy to keep his knowledge as the secret [Greek: Mystery] of his own brotherhood .... He even thought that numbers were a sort of ultimate stuff out of which everything was made.” - The World of Copernicus, Armitage, 1963, p. 27.
       47.  “God, he [Pythagoras] declared indeed, is ‘number.’” - Men of Mathematics, E. T. Bell, p. 22, 1965.
       48.
“The Monad [’One’] or unit he [Pythagoras] regarded as the source of all numbers [this corresponds to Brahma, ‘The Supreme being or essence of the universe’, from which all things come in Hinduism].  The number two was imperfect, and the cause of increase and division [possibly the influence that made Christendom complete the trinity concept, not stopping with making only Jesus equal to God, the Father as was actually done at the Council of Nicaea.  The equality of the Holy Spirit was gradually added over the next 60 years after the Nicene Council].  Three was called the number of the whole because it had a beginning, middle, and end [in the Hindu Trinity the whole of Brahma (neuter) was made up of Brahma (masculine) the Creator (beginning), Vishnu the preserver (continuation, or the middle) and Siva the destroyer (the end)] .... and ten .... denotes the system of the world.” - Bullfinch’s Mythology, 1948, p. 313.
       49.  The Pythagoreans worshiped the “holy tetractys” an equilateral triangle composed of 10 dots - Encyclopedia Britannica, 14th ed., v. 18, p. 803, and An Encyclopedia of Religion, Ferm, 1945, p. 630.
       We can see that the whole holy symbol (an equilateral triangle - remember the ancient symbol of pagan trinities which is also the symbol for the trinity in Christendom today) represents the monad or unit (the source) and the three equal sides represent the whole (made up of three equal members: beginning, middle, end) and the ten dots denote “the system of the world.”  Therefore the Pythagoreans apparently worshiped a symbol representing three equal gods (“god is a number”) making up a single “unit” or “source” for the “system of the world.”
       50.  “The triple interwoven triangle ... was used by the Pythagoreans as a symbol of recognition between the members.” -  Encyclopedia Britannica, 14th ed., v. 18, p. 804.
       51.
“On the basis of  Pythagorean and gnostic theories, each number [in the Medieval Number Method] was assigned a root meaning and diversified representations.  Some root meanings were: 1 = UNITY OF GOD, ... 3 = TRINITY, extension of Godhead, ... 10 = extension of Unity, Perfect Completeness.” - An Encyclopedia of Religion, Ferm, 1945, p. 755.
       52.
“All things are three, and thrice is all:  and let us use this number in the worship of the gods. For as the Pythagoreans say, everything and all things are bound by threes, for the end, the middle, and the beginning have this number in everything, and these compose the number of the trinity.” - Aristotle, as quoted in Paganism in our Christianity, Arthur Weigall, p. 198, Putnam, NY.  (Weigall is quoting from On the Heavens, Bk I, ch. i., by Aristotle who died  322 B.C.)
       53.  “[The] singular numerological metaphysics [of the Neo-Pythagoreans] was a development of that aspect of Pythagoreanism which had chiefly influenced Plato himself.” - The Greek Philosophers, Warner, pp. 218-219, 1958.
       54.  “Pythagoras’ conception of number, form, was influential on Plato’s thinking.” - An Encyclopedia of Religion, p. 630.
       55.
“The genius of Plato, informed by his own meditation or by the traditional knowledge of the priests of Egypt [or by the ‘mysteries’ of Pythagoras], had ventured to explore the mysterious nature of the deity ....  the three archical or original principles were represented in the Platonic system as  three gods, united with each other by a mysterious and ineffable generation .... such appear to have been the secret doctrines which were cautiously whispered in the gardens of the Academy ....  The arms of the Macedonians [Alexander the Great] diffused over Asia and Egypt the language and learning of Greece; and the theological system of Plato was taught, with less reserve, and perhaps with some improvements, in the celebrated school of Alexandria.” - The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Edward Gibbon, pp. 675, 676, vol. 1, The Modern Library - Random House, Inc.
       56.  The French Nouveau Dictionnaire Universel (New Universal Dictionary) speaks about Plato’s trinity of the 4th and 5th centuries before Christ:
“The Platonic trinity, itself merely a rearrangement of older trinities dating back to earlier peoples, appears to be the rational philosophical trinity of attributes that gave birth to the 3 hypostases or divine persons taught by the Christian churches....  This Greek philosopher’s conception of the divine trinity ... can be found in all the ancient [pagan] religions.” - (as quoted in ti-E, p. 11.  Also found in the Dictionnaire Lachatre as quoted in 8/1/84 WT.)
       56a.   Even the highly acclaimed (and very trinitarian, of course) The Oxford Illustrated History of Christianity, John McManners (ed.),  admits that Plato’s teaching of “the divine triad” is “so close to the now known truth” of the much more modern ‘Christian’ trinity doctrine! - p. 47, Oxford University Press, 1992.
       57.  Encyclopedia Americana, p. 98, v. 20, 1982 ed.
       58.  The Greek Philosophers, Warner, p. 219, 1958.
       59.  New Standard Encyclopedia, v. 1, 1952, “Alexandrian School.”
       60.  World Book Encyclopedia, p. 211, v. 1, 1952 ed.
       61.  The Outline of History, p. 309, v. 1, 1956.
       62.  Encyclopedia Britannica, p. 341, v. 20, 14th ed.
       63.  An Encyclopedia of Religion, Ferm (ed.), p. 704, 1945.
       64.  Webster’s Third Unabridged Dictionary, “Serapeum” - “LL, fr. Gk Sarapeion,
                          Serapeion, fr. Sarapis, Serapis, Egyptian god.”
       65.  Encyclopedia Americana, p. 372, v. 1, 1944 ed.
       66.
“All the pre-conditions for an all-round syncretism [eclectic blending of many religions] obtained in the Graeco-Roman world - ... the international policy of Alexander [the Great] ... [the] unifying allegorical interpretation, the rise of the Roman Empire ... [and] the tolerance of paganism” - p. 187.
            And, “Alexander’s campaigns gave the first powerful impetus to universal syncretism which confounded the nationality of gods as well as of men.” - p. 188.
            And, “Alexander’s unification of mankind and of culture led of necessity to mutual borrowing and lending and conduced to a unity of religion.  He adopted the Persian policy of tolerance toward foreign religious usages and cults subsisted side by side.... His Graeco-Oriental cities were permanent centres for the amalgamation of culture and religion.  Of these foundations the most successful in fulfilling Alexander’s policy of blending the nations was Alexandria, which remained for centuries the headquarters of syncretism.” - The Mystery-Religions, S. Angus, Dover Publications, 1975.
       67.  “... various religious and philosophical systems which attempted to fuse the doctrines of Christianity with Greek philosophy were devised in the city [of Alexandria]” - The Universal Standard Encyclopedia, (Funk and Wagnalls abridgment), p. 155, v. 1, 1955 ed.
       68.
“Alexandrian School .... A School of Christian theology and philosophy conducted at Alexandria during the first five centuries of the Christian era, which sought to combine Christianity and Greek philosophy.” - Universal Standard Encyclopedia, p. 156, v. 1, 1955 ed.
       69.
“Alexandrian Philosophy, a School of Philosophy founded at Alexandria, Egypt, characterized by a blending of the philosophies of the east and west, and by a general tendency to eclecticism [syncretism].” - And, “The amalgamation of Eastern with Christian ideas gave rise to the system of the Gnostics, which also was elaborated chiefly in Alexandria.” - And, “Alexandrian philosophy was the chief contribution of Alexandrian scholars and writers in the early centuries of the Christian era.” - The Universal Standard Encyclopedia, p. 156, v. 1, 1955 ed.
       70.
“The first and most renowned [catechetical school] was established about 175 [A.D.], for the Egyptian Church at Alexandria.... But, by blending Greek speculation and gnostic phantasies with doctrines of the church and by an allegorical interpretation of the Bible, they contributed to the introduction of heresies.” - Encyclopedia Americana, p. 47, v. 6, 1957 ed.
       71.
Ammonius Saccas “may be regarded as the founder of [NeoPlatonism].  Among his disciples were Plotinus, Longinus, Origen 89   the Christian.”  And, “[Neo-Platonism’s founder] Ammonius Saccas ... who left no writings, but whose lectures led Plotinus, his greatest disciple ... to supply the most complete corpus of philosophical principles between Aristotle ... and St. Thomas Aquinas” - Encyclopedia Americana, p. 580, v. 1, and p. 98, v. 20, 1957 ed. And “[Neo-Platonism] originated in Alexandria as the brain child of Ammonius Saccas.”  - Cairns, p. 109.
       72.  “Neo-Platonism, as interpreted by Plotinus, says: ‘Each is Spirit and Being, and the whole is all Spirit and all Being.’ .... There are ‘no separations in the world of Spirit .... There all things are together and yet remain distinct.’” - The Greek Philosophers, p. 228.
       73.
“At the center of all reality in the universe, in Plotinus’ system of thought ... is the Godhead, the one .... From this One, by an overflow of the superabundant Godhead, a succession of emanations radiate out in stages of decreasing splendor and reality. .... The third order of Plotinus’ trinity ...  is the principle of life, of activity and process [corresponds to the Biblical Holy Spirit]” - An Encyclopedia of Religion, p. 525.
       74.  “Plotinus ... evolved a form of Platonism which results in a trinity not dissimilar to that of orthodox Buddhism and Brahmanism.” - Origin and Evolution of Religion, Prof. E. Washburn Hopkins.
       75.  “Nor is it only in historical religions that we find God viewed as a trinity.  One recalls in particular the Neoplatonic view of the Supreme or Ultimate Reality which was suggested by Plato.” - Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, Hastings, p. 458, vol. XII.
       76.
“Amongst the early Christian thinkers Neo-platonic doctrines were widespread and served as the first basis for the growth of theology and scholastic philosophy.  The most famous of the Christian [?] Neo-platonists was St. Augustine.” - The American Peoples Encyclopedia, p. 14-459, v. 14, 1954 ed.
       77.  “the church gradually absorbed Neoplatonism almost entire.  The Christian [?] Platonists of Alexandria led the way; then came Augustine himself.” - Encyclopedia Britannica, p. 81, v. 18, 1956 ed.
       Although Augustine probably did more than any other man to keep the trinity doctrine as a part of the Church, it had already been developed and adopted by that Church by the late 4th century.
       78.  “The philosophy of Plotinus [Neo-Platonism] was the last great effort of the Greek genius; it was succeeded by, and powerfully influenced, the more strictly theological writings of Christians [?].” - The Greek Philosophers, Warner, p. 230, Mentor Books, 1958.
       79.
“The definition of the Christian faith as contained in the creeds of the ecumenical synods [councils] of the early church indicate that unbiblical categories of Neoplatonic philosophy were used in the formulation of the doctrine of the trinity.” - Encyclopaedia Britannica (1976, Micropaedia)    - See 1 Aug. 1984 WT.
       80.
“In spite of the fact that he ended his days outside the Church, Tertullian continued to exercise strong influence on later Western theology.  Jerome relates the anecdote that Cyprian called him simply ‘the master’ and used to study his writings every day.  Many turns of phrase and terminology from the tract against Praxeas came to form a permanent part of the Western vocabulary for discussing the doctrine of the Trinity and of the person of Christ.” - p. 90, The Early Church, Prof. Henry Chadwick, 1986, Dorset Press, New York.
       81.  New Standard Encyclopedia, v. IX, “Tertullian”.
       82.  Cairns, p. 111, 1977 ed., Christianity Through the Centuries.
       83.  Cairns, p. 111.
       84.
“But [Tertullian’s] well-known question, ‘What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?’ expressed a rejection of [Pagan] philosophy that was not true of his own works, since he demonstrated how pagan intellectual achievements could be made to serve [?] Christianity.” - Eerdman’s Handbook to the History of Christianity, p. 111, 1977.
     Even though Tertullian is often “credited” with being the first (c. 215 A. D.) to apply the term ‘trinity’ to the Christian God, he wrote (c. 210 A. D.):
“It is this philosophy which is the...rash interpreter of the divine nature and order.  In fact, heresies are themselves prompted by philosophy.  It [philosophy] is the source of ‘aeons,’ and I know not what infinite ‘forms’ and the ‘trinity of man’ in the [heretical] system of Valentinus [c.140 A. D.].” - pp. 5-6, Documents of the Early Church, Bettenson, Oxford University Press, 2nd ed., 1963.
     Not only did Tertullian condemn the interpretation of the divine nature by philosophy, but he shows his familiarity (and contempt for) the use of the term ‘trinity’ (as applied to man) many years before he is ‘credited’ with first applying that philosophically derived term to God (and the divine nature)!
       85.
“The most influential answer given in the west [where the secular power resided, seated at Rome] was proposed by Tertullian.  Indeed, it provided the foundation for the answer that the Catholic Church was to give to the problem at Nicaea in 325 [over 100 years later] and again at Constantinople in 381 [when the Holy Spirit was finally included as God].  Tertullian taught that there is one divine nature [substantia].  The Father and the Son have this one nature in common.  They are separate and distinct, however, so far as their persons are concerned.  Therefore, there is one divine nature, but there are two divine persons [see #72 above].  Each of these has a specific function.  At the same time, Tertullian gave a distinctly subordinate place to the Son.  The Son is not eternal.  The eternal God became Father when he begot [or “generated” or “produced”] the Son, just as he became Creator when he made the world.  On this point Tertullian is one with the Apologists.  Later theology united Tertullian’s teaching of one nature and two persons with Origen’s 88,89   teaching of the eternal generation of the Son to give the Catholic answer to the question of the relationship of the Son to the Father .... thus Tertullian [about 215 A. D.] provided the main outline for the Christian [?] doctrine of the trinity.” - pp. 112-113, Boer.
       86.
“’All three,’ [Tertullian] says, ‘are one (unus).’  But Tertullian felt that it must be possible to answer the question ‘Three what?’ or even ‘One what?’  He therefore proposed to say that God is ‘one substance  [or “nature” in #85 above] consisting in three persons.’  The precise meaning of the Latin words substantia and persona  is not easy to determine in Tertullian’s usage.15     [‘In Tertullian substantia could be used in the sense of character or nature.’ - p. 90.]  He was a well educated orator rather than a meticulous philosopher, and it is probably a mistake to try to interpret his terminology within a rigorous Aristotelian framework.  He had been influenced by Stoicism with its doctrine that the immaterial is simply the non-existent, and was prepared to explain that God in all three ‘Persons’ is ‘spirit’, which he seems to have interpreted as an invisible and intangible but not ultimately immaterial  vital force.”  - p. 89, The Early Church, Prof. Henry Chadwick, 1986 ed. Dorset Press, New York.  (Henry Chadwick was Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford from 1959-1969.  He is now Regius Professor of Divinity and a Fellow of Magdalene College, Cambridge.)
       87.   Tertullian wrote in his  Apology,  XXI,
“God made this universe by his word, reason and power .... We also claim that the word, reason and virtue, by which we have said that God made all things, have  spirit  as their substance [substantia] ... This Word [Jn 1:1] we have learnt, was produced from God, and was generated by being produced, and therefore is called the Son of God [Jn 1:34], and God [or ‘a god’: Jn 1:1c], from unity of substance [spirit] with God.  For God too is spirit.” - p. 112, Eerdman’s Handbook to the History of Christianity, 1977.
We must not forget, however, that even angels are  spirit, and are called sons of God, and are even, on occasion, called gods!  (see the BOWGOD study paper) - pp. 39, 591, Today’s Dictionary of the Bible, Bethany House Publ.; and pp. 37, 1133, New Bible Dictionary, 2nd ed., Tyndale House Publ.
       88.  The very trinitarian  New Bible Dictionary, Tyndale House Publ., 1982, p. 1222, admits:
“Irenaeus and Origen share with Tertullian the responsibility for the formulation [of the trinity doctrine] which is still, in the main, that of the Church....”  It further admits that “scripture does not give us a formulated doctrine of the Trinity”, but that “theology has constructed the doctrine.”  And, “the necessity to formulate the doctrine was thrust upon the church by forces from without.”
       But even these three pagan-influenced church writers (who are usually blamed for introducing the elements of the trinity doctrine) taught that Jesus Christ is not equally God (which denies the “essential belief” of the trinity doctrine for 99.9% of Christendom today)! - See note #26 (Irenaeus); note #85 (Tertullian), and the CREEDS study paper.  And Origen also believed that the Son was not God nor equal to God, but a person who was subordinate to and lesser than God.  He wrote: “compared with the Father, [the Son] is a very small light.” - quoted in  Should You Believe in the Trinity?, p. 7.
       Origen also wrote: “The agent of redemption as of all creation is the Divine Logos or Son of God, who is the perfect image or reflection of the eternal Father though a being distinct, derivative, and subordinate.” - An Encyclopedia of Religion, p. 551.   Origen believed that “the Son can be divine only in a lesser sense than the Father; the Son is qeo"  (god), but only the Father is autoqeo" (absolute God, God in himself).” - p. 1009, The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, ed. F. L. Cross, Oxford University Press, 1990 printing.  [Trinitarian Murray J. Harris likewise writes: “Origen, too, drew a sharp distinction between qeo" and oJ qeo".   As qeo" , the Son is not only distinct from (‘numerically distinct’) but also inferior to the Father who is  oJ qeo" and autoqeo"  (i.e. God in an absolute sense). - p. 36,  Jesus as God, Baker Book House, 1992.]   And trinitarian Latourette admits that “Origen held that God is one,  and is the Father” - p. 49, Christianity Through the Ages, Harper ChapelBook, 1965.
       “It was possible, for instance, for Origen to say that the Son was a creature of the Father, thus strictly subordinating the Son to the Father” and “Origen is therefore able to designate the Son as a  creature  created by the Father.” - pp. 46, 252, A Short History of Christian Doctrine, by respected trinitarian (Lutheran?) Professor of Church History, Bernard Lohse, 1985, Fortress Press.  Lohse also tells us that Origen used the concept of  homoousios to describe a unity and harmony of will (p. 46).
       In fact, Origen also wrote: “The Father and Son are two substances ... two things as to their essence.” - Should You Believe in the Trinity? - p. 7.   So the “unity of ‘substance’” (homoousios) concept which was used by those who later developed the “orthodox” trinity doctrine apparently meant merely a unity of will for Origen.15    One example of this can be found in Origen De Principiis, Book IV, ch. 1, v. 36: “Everyone who participates in anything, is unquestionably of one essence and nature with him who is a partaker of the same thing.  For example, as all eyes participate in the light, so accordingly all eyes which partake of the light are of one nature.” - p. 381, vol. 4, The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Eerdmans Publ., 1989 printing.  (“The term Homoousios had begun to become current with Heracleon [c. 160 A.D.] who had claimed that those who worshiped God in spirit and in truth were themselves spirit and ‘of the same nature  [homoousios] as the Father.’” - p. 394, note #111, The Rise of Christianity, W. H. C. Frend, Fortress Press, 1985.  Obviously homoousios, as it was first used within Christendom by Heracleon, did not have the same meaning as later trinitarians made it seem.)
       Apparently even as early as 268 A.D. this term had begun to have different meanings for a few Christians.  Noted scholar (and trinitarian) Robert M. Grant tells us that the Bishop of Antioch, Paul of Samosata,
 “seems to have been willing to speak of the Logos [the Word] as homoousios with the Father; this notion too was condemned at the final synod of 268.”
       Grant tells us that this very same Council or Synod of 268 A.D. also excommunicated Paul of Samosata! - Augustus to Constantine, p. 218, Harper & Row, 1970.
It would be strange indeed if those Christians who condemned this doctrine believed that homoousios meant what it did for Origen (and other early Christians).  They surely would not disagree with the statement that the Word (Logos) was united in will [homoousios] with the Father as Origen and others taught.
Therefore these Christians must have known that the heretical Bishop of Antioch was intending a new meaning that God and the Word were of one substance in a more literal sense that suggested that Jesus was equally God (and they most emphatically denied that new teaching!).  At any rate, it is certainly significant that this council so strongly condemned the concept that the Logos was homoousios in any new literal sense with God as late as 268 A.D.!
      And as for Origen’s development of the “Eternal Generation” of the Son - it is true that Origen used the term, but it is apparent that it did not mean to him what those later trinitarians used it to mean.  Lohse tells us:
“It has thus an entirely different foundation from that of a similar idea found in the later theology of the Trinity.... It is immediately apparent that this second feature [‘eternal generation’] is considerably more problematical than the first.” (p.  47.)
In fact, Origen apparently considered  all creation  as ‘eternally generated.’
“Did this mean, though, that Logos and world, since each in its different way is coeval [’of the same age or duration’] with God, are therefore equally primordial with God? .... The ‘eternal generation’ of the Logos did not for [Origen] imply that the Logos is God’s equal; being ‘generated’ or ‘begotten’ entailed being secondary - i.e., subordinate.” - p. 93, A History of the Christian Church, Williston Walker (trinitarian), Scribners, 4th ed.  - See OBGOD (f. n. #4).
      Origen was,
“the greatest and most influential Christian thinker of his age” and, “in the Arian controversy ... one side espoused Origen’s subordinationism, and the other, his idea of the eternal generation of the Logos, while neither seems to have understood what these notions meant in Origen’s system.” - pp. 89, 93, Williston Walker, A History of the Christian Church, Scribners, 4th ed.
     It is ironic that Origen (and the other very early Christian writers) have been “credited” with the beginning of the development of the trinity doctrine.  It is clear that he had no such concept, and, in fact, clearly taught that the Word (Logos), Jesus, was separate from, inferior to, and created by God!
The same holds true for the renowned first century A.D. Jewish scholar, Philo.  He, too, clearly taught that God was a single person only, the Father and that the Word (Logos) was an angel (or ‘a god’), intermediary between God and man.  And yet their teachings have been distorted by early “Christian” philosophers into a trinity-supporting teaching! - See CREEDS and LOGOS study papers.
“... it is the influence of Philo’s theological and philosophical model (mediated through Clement and Origen to the bishops who met at the great councils), combined with the very speculative allegorical interpretation of scripture under the influence of Neoplatonism (typical of the outlook in Alexandria), that explains the theological move of the councils from a Jesus who was filled with the Logos to a Christ who was the being [essence] of God.” - J. Harold Ellens, p. 28, Bible Review, Feb. 1997.
       89.  “Origen [see #71] tried to express the Christian faith in terms of the prevailing Platonic philosophical ideas of his time.  Some of his speculations, for example about the pre-existence of souls and universal salvation, were repudiated by the church, and helped bring about his later condemnation.” - p. 108.  “Origen’s ideas were deeply coloured by middle Platonism.” - p. 112, Eerdman’s Handbook to the History of Christianity, 1977.
       90.  Death Shall Have No Dominion, Prof. Douglas T. Holden.
       91.  An Encyclopedia of Religion, Ferm (ed.), p. 615, 1945.
       92.
“With the exception of occasional and temporary reforms ... Judah [as a whole] was always idolatrous, always reflecting the fetichism of surrounding nations.  The exhortations of such prophets as Elijah, Elisha, ... Isaiah, Zephaniah, Jeremiah, and others, were of no more avail with Judah than with Israel, so that [after finally exhausting the patience of a very patient God] Jerusalem was razed to the ground, the temple destroyed and the people taken captives to Babylonia.” - Encyclopedia Americana, p. 65, v. 16, 1944.
       93.  Encyclopedia Americana, p. 559, v. 11, 1966.
       94.  “Before the Council of Nicaea (A D 325) all theologians viewed the Son as in one way or another subordinate to the Father.” - pp. 112-113, Eerdman’s Handbook to the History of Christianity, 1977.
       95.  Cairns, p. 142.
       96.
“Nevertheless Constantine did not become a thoroughgoing Christian all at once.  As his coins show, he passed through a phase of the sun worship [the Persian sun-god, Mithras] which recent emperors had been stressing as the pagan solution to contemporary yearnings.” - The Ancient World: “Christianity: From Hunted Sect to State Religion,” Michael Grant, p. 223, 1970. - “Michael Grant is universally acknowledged as one of the most eminent scholars of the classical Roman era.” - p. 8.
       97.
“In religious matters, ... he himself [Constantine] was not baptized until he lay on his deathbed .... Moreover, it is probable that he believed that all the monotheists in the empire could be brought eventually to worship a single god in which would be combined the Father-God of the Christians with the Sun-God of the followers of Mithras.  The traditional Roman Paganism, of which, as Pontifex Maximus, he remained head, continued to be tolerated, and a modified Emperor-worship encouraged.” - Encyclopedia Americana, p. 555, v. 7, 1957.
       98.
“It is likely that Constantine’s favoritism to the Church was a matter of expediency.  The Church might serve as a new center of unity and save classical culture and the Empire.  The fact that he delayed baptism till shortly before his death and kept the position of Pontifex Maximus, chief priest of the pagan state religion, would seem to support this view.  Moreover, his execution of the young men who might have had a claim to his throne was not in keeping with the conduct of a sincere Christian.”  Also, he set apart “the ‘Day of the Sun’ (Sunday) [the Holy Day of Worship of the Sun God for the followers of Mithras] as a day of rest and worship” for Christians. - p. 134, Cairns. - Also see pp. 130-131, Eerdman’s Handbook to the History of Christianity, 1977.
       “This is the earliest evidence for the process by which Sunday became not merely the day on which Christians met for worship but also a day of rest, and it is noteworthy that in both law and inscription Constantine’s stated motive for introducing this custom is respect for the sun.” - The Early Church, p. 128, Chadwick, 1967.
       99.
“It is true that neither his intellectual nor his moral qualities were such as to earn the title [Constantine the Great].  His claim to greatness rests mainly on the fact that he divined the future which lay before Christianity, and determined to enlist it in the service of his empire....”  - Encyclopedia Britannica, p. 298, v. 6, 14th ed.
       100.  Constantine “made a great effort to reconcile [the religious] differences in order to have one uniform and harmonious teaching in the community.” - The Outline of History, Wells, p. 438, v. 1.
       101.  “Constantine was probably attracted to Christianity ... by the political use he could make of it.”- Encyclopedia Americana, p. 555, v. 7, 1957.
       102.
“Constantine’s ecumenism was not a defensive closing of the ranks, like its modern counterpart, but a universal missionary attack launched at a time when he had boldly estimated that the tide was running in Christianity’s favor.  Moreover ... Constantine (as King James I of England appreciatively noted) was influenced by a political motive.” - pp. 224-225, The Ancient World:  “Christianity: From Hunted Sect to State Religion”, Michael Grant, 1970, Mankind Publishing Company.
       103.  Cairns, p. 143.
       104.  Constantine first called the council to convene at Ancyra but then transferred “the council from Ancyra to Nicaea so that he could control the proceedings.” - The Early Church, Chadwick, p. 130, Dorset Press, NY, 1986 ed.
       105.
“homo ousios: A Greek word meaning ‘consubstantial,’ ‘of the same essence,’ or ‘substance.’  It represents the formula championed by Athanasius (293-373) and adopted by  the Nicaean Council (325) to express the relation of the Father and the Son.  They are in substance one, numerically identical, indivisible, in contrast to the Arian view [and the Semi-Arian majority view at Nicaea - and the view of all Christian writers of the first two centuries] which subordinated the Son to the Father.” - p. 345, An Encyclopedia of Religion, Ferm (ed.), 1945.
       Although this is the interpretation that the trinitarians put on this term after the Council, “it hardly expresses the original meaning of this expression: the concept homoousios was not understood in this sense at the time [although Eusebius rightly suspected it might be taught that way by the trinitarians anyway - p. 135, Williston Walker, Hist.].” - p. 55, A Short History of Christian Doctrine by distinguished trinitarian scholar Bernard Lohse, Fortress Press, 1985.  (See note #88.)
       106.
“The Emperor himself presided over the critical session [at Nicaea], and it was he  who proposed the reconciling word, homoousios (Greek for ‘of one essence’) to describe Christ’s relationship to the Father (though it was probably one of his ecclesiastical advisers, Ossius [Hosius] of Cordova, who suggested it to him).” - Eerdman’s Handbook to the History of  Christianity, p. 134, 1977.
It is important to note that in the third century (about 50 years earlier) the Council of Antioch condemned the use of the term homoousios in describing the relationship of Jesus to God!  It was proclaimed instead that the term heteras ousias (‘different essence’) must be used in describing Christ’s relationship to God!!  But, of course, fifty years later at Nicaea the new trinitarians managed to reverse this and institute the previously condemned term (homoousios) as the required term.  Those who would disagree with the new reversal of terms were to be persecuted, banished, and their writings burned.
From an article in the Catholic Encyclopedia:
 "(Gr. homoousion - from homos, same, and ousia, essence; Lat. consubstantialem, of one essence or substance), the word used by the Council of Nicaea (325) to express the Divinity of Christ.  [Note that the trinitarian word is homo (same) ousia not homoi (similar but different) ousia]
....
"The question was brought into discussion by the Council of Antioch (264-272); and the Fathers seem to have rejected Homoousion, even going so far as to propose the phrase heteras ousias, that is, Heteroousion, "of other or different ousia [essence]".  Athanasius and Basil give as the reason for this rejection of Homoousion the fact that the Sabellian Paul of Samosata took it to mean "of the same or similar substance".  But Hilary says that Paul himself admitted it in the Sabellian sense "of the same substance or person", and thus compelled the council to allow him the prescriptive right to the expression. Now, if we may take Hilary's explanation, it is obvious that when, half a century afterwards, Arius denied the Son to be of the Divine ousia or substance, the situation was exactly reversed.  Homoousion directly contradicted the heretic.  In the conflicts which ensued, the extreme Arians persisted in the Heteroousion Symbol. But the Semi-Arians were more moderate, and consequently more plausible, in their Homoiousion (of like [similar] substance)." - http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07449a.htm

       107.
“’Consubstantial’ (homoousios) had been introduced to Christian theology by Gnostics who believed that the heavenly powers shared in the divine fullness. .... Its use in  the Creed of Nicaea must have resulted largely from Constantine’s intimidation or overawing persuasion.” - pp. 159-160, Eerdman’s Handbook to the History of Christianity, 1977.
       108.
“The [trinitarians] under the leadership of Athanasius fought for the dogma of the divinity [absolute deity] of the Son (Logos) with the conviction that in it the very essence of the Christian faith was expressed.  It must be noted, however, that in attributing divinity [absolute deity] to Jesus Christ, they proceeded on the basis of the question what he must have been in view of their doctrine of salvation and not what the Gospels described him as having been.  The same abstract and artificial approach ... was also that of the controversy which followed almost immediately....” - p. 166, An  Encyclopedia of Religion, Ferm (ed.), 1945.
     Yes, Athanasius and his followers believed Jesus was God simply because they needed him to be God in order to satisfy their own non-scriptural concepts which were based on Neo-Platonic philosophy and paganistic Egyptian traditions:
     “Intellectually, Athanasius was a Platonist like Basil [‘the Great’], but he was also a populist, as much in sympathy with the ideas of Coptic monks as he was with those of his fellow Alexandrians.  He tended, like the monks, to see salvation in terms of salvation from death and destruction by demonic powers, and as his Life of Antony shows, these were stark realities [terrors] to him.  The abyss and the river of fire that the soul must cross were as vivid in Egyptian [including, of course, Alexandrian] Christian conscience as similar terrors had been to the beholders of the [ancient pagan Egyptian] Book of the Dead in the tombs of a former age.  Heaven, therefore, could be gained only by a soul infused with the power of Christ, and that of necessity must be divine power.  Nothing less than God could save.”  - p. 633, The Rise of Christianity, W. H. C. Frend (trinitarian), Fortress Press, 1989 printing.
     Most Christians today would quickly acknowledge the Mormon [LDS] doctrine of ‘man becoming God’ (“as God is, man may become” - The Gospel Through the Ages, Hunter, pp. 105, 106, Salt Lake City, 1945-1946) as a clearly non-scriptural false doctrine.  However, this is said to be the very doctrine that Athanasius and his trinitarian followers desperately wanted to be true.  Athanasius wrote and taught: “He [Christ] was made man that we might be made God.” - p. 13, Christianity Through the Ages, 1965, Latourette (trinitarian), Harper ChapelBooks (Harper and Row).
     So Athanasius (and his few but influential trinitarian followers) believed he not only needed a Savior who was God in order to sufficiently combat the terrible demonic powers that would otherwise surely bring about the hideous, unthinkable destiny of men, but, even more importantly, if men were to “become  God” as he is said above to have falsely believed, surely the only one able to save them and be King over them would, himself, also have to be God.  Hence, the desperate, never-ending drive to promote a false doctrine making Jesus equally God was in turn based on other false and unscriptural doctrines!
       109.
“A large majority of the bishops of Asia appeared to support or favor his [Arius’] cause; and their measures were conducted by Eusebius of Caesarea, the most learned of the Christian prelates.” - The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Gibbon, p. 374, Dell (Laurel edition).
       110.
“[Eusebius of Nicomedia, a staunch non-trinitarian Arian] appears to have been agreed with Eusebius of Caesarea in placing Christ above all created beings, the only begotten of the Father, but in refusing to recognize him to be ‘of the same essence’ with the Father, who is  alone  in essence and absolute being.” - Encyclopedia Britannica, p. 892, v. 8, 14th ed.
       111.
“The largest party [at the Nicene Council] was led by the gentle scholar and Church historian, Eusebius of Caesarea, whose dislike of controversy led him to propose a view that he hoped would be an acceptable compromise .... over two hundred [the Semi-Arians] of those present [about 300] followed his views at first .... His creed [Caesarean Creed] became the basis of the creed that was finally drawn [at Constantine’s and Hosius’ insistence] at Nicaea, but that one differed from his in its insistence upon the unity of essence or substance of the Father and the Son.” - Cairns, p. 144.
       112.
“What is certain is ... that he [Eusebius of Caesarea] was sympathetic with Arius in the latter’s dispute with the Bishop of Alexandria, and that he was embarrassed by the final recension of his Caesarean creed adopted at Nicaea.  Later also Eusebius sided with the Arian faction ... ‘his acts.’ wrote Neuman, ‘are his confession.’” - An Encyclopedia of Religion,  pp. 260-261.  (Also see Encyclopedia Americana, p. 250, v. 2, 1957.)
       113.
“The Western [trinitarian] Church was represented by seven delegates [out of 300 attending the council!], the most important of whom was Hosius, Bishop of Cordova who presided over the sittings which continued for about two months .... After much discussion of the doctrines of Arius [and Athanasius], his creed was torn in pieces and he himself [Arius] ejected from the council and the Athanasians succeeded, with the help of Constantine and the [seven] Western bishops.” - Encyclopedia Americana, p. 250, v. 2, 1957 ed.
       114.
“The Nicene creed was ratified by Constantine; and his firm declaration, that those who resisted the divine judgment of the synod [council] must prepare themselves for an immediate exile, annihilated the ... opposition.” - p. 380, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Gibbon, Dell.
       115.
“The interference with the Church by the temporal power [began] with the control of the Council of Nicaea by Constantine in 325.” - p. 19.  And, “Constantine at Nicaea in 325 arrogated to himself the right to arbitrate the dispute in the Church, even though he was only the temporal ruler of the Empire.” - p. 137, Christianity Through the Centuries, Cairns, 1977.
       116.
“[The] majority eventually acquiesced in the ruling of the Alexandrians [trinitarians]; yet this result was due ... partly to the pressure of the imperial will. .... We are compelled to the conclusion that in this point, the voting was no criterion of the inward convictions of the council.  Accordingly [?] that the Caesarean creed should be modified by the insertion of the Alexandrian [Constantine-proposed trinitarian] passwords ... and by the deletion of certain portions.  That he appreciated the import of these alterations, or realized that his revision was virtually the proclamation of a new doctrine [Trinity], is scarcely probable.  The creed thus evolved by an artificial unity was no ratification of peace: in fact, it paved the way for a struggle which convulsed the whole empire.  For it was the proclamation of the Nicene Creed that first opened the eyes of many bishops to the significance of the problem there treated; and its explanation led the Church to force herself ... into compliance with those principles, annunciated at Nicaea, to which in the year 325, she had pledged herself without genuine assent.” - Encyclopedia Britannica, pp. 410-411, v. 16, 14th ed.
       117.  “the emperor sustained the trinitarian position [at the Nicene Council].” - The Outline of History, p. 438, v. 1.
       118.  “During the Arian controversy [Eusebius of Caesarea] inclined to the doctrine of the subordination of the Son of God.  To the charge of heresy [during the Nicene Council] Eusebius replied by renouncing [for the moment] Arius.” - Collier’s Encyclopedia, v. 9, 1975 ed.
       119.
“at the Nicene Council ... there were three parties present: the strict Arians, the semi-Arians and the Alexander-Athanasian party.  The latter party, with the help of Constantine and the [7] Western bishops, secured the adoption of a creed which no strict Arian could subscribe to, since it declared that the Son is identical in essence (homoousian) with the Father.  The semi-Arians, although they maintained that the Son was not identical in essence, but of similar essence (homoiousian) with the Father, were finally constrained [‘to compel, force’ - Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary] to sign the document.”  - Encyclopedia Americana, p. 233, v. 2, 1957 ed.
       120.  “Soon after the Nicene Council had concluded its work, the semi-Arians began to assail the creed [which they had been forced to sign earlier].” - Encyclopedia Americana, p. 251, v. 2, 1957 ed.
       121.  “Later [after the Council] also Eusebius [of Caesarea] sided actively with the Arian faction against ... Athanasius.” - An Encyclopedia of Religion, pp. 260-261.
       122.  “[After the Nicene Council] the large party known as Semi Arians ... carried on the strife against the Nicenes [trinitarians] and especially Athanasius.” - p. 359, Encyclopedia Britannica, v. 2, 14th ed.
       123.  Cairns, p. 145.
       124.  “The Emperor [and his designee, Hosius] presided over the council and paid its expenses.  For the first time the church found itself dominated by the political leadership of the head of state.” - Cairns, p. 143.
       125.  The Ancient World: “Christianity: From Hunted Sect to State Religion” - p. 225, Mankind Publishing Company.
       126.  “There is no doubt that Constantine’s signature to the decrees of the Council was gained by his religious adviser [Hosius].” - Encyclopedia Americana, p. 426, v. 14, 1957 ed.
       127.  “[Hosius] powerfully influenced the judgment of the emperor.”- Encyclopedia Britannica, p. 790, v. 11, 14th ed.
       128.  An Encyclopedia of Religion, Ferm (ed.), p. 247, 1945.
     129.  The Catholic Encyclopedia, p. 185, 1976 ed.
       130.
“The first pronouncement that celibacy be required for priests was issued in 305 during the Council of Elvira in Spain.   ...the Council ruled that all men engaged in performing priestly functions refrain from enjoying the company of women - wives included - else forsake their priesthood.” - p. 279, The Christian Book of Why, by Lutheran professor and minister Dr. John C.  McCollister, NY, 1983.
       131.  The Outline of History, v. 1, p. 432.
       132.  The Outline of History, v. 1, p. 308.
       133.  “Former Pope John XXIII, ... said: ‘Ecclesiastical celibacy is not a dogma.  The Scriptures do not impose it.  It is even easy to effect a change.  I take a pen, I sign a decree and, the next day, priests who wish to may get married.  But I cannot.’” - How very revealing!  And how very similar to the unscriptural addition of the Trinity doctrine by this same organization at the same time in history!  The clergy finds the unscriptural pagan trinity addition equally impossible to deny because it has become such a strong tradition! - Jer. 16:19-21; Mark 7:7, 8, 13.
       “Former high-ranking Catholic theologian Charles Davis said: ‘The taboo [on clerical marriages] was not Christian in origin; it is a very ancient one in the history of religion.  Its introduction ... into Christianity was part of the general shift toward paganism.’” - Awake! 5/8/75, p. 28.
       134.  The History of Sacerdotal Celibacy in the Christian Church traces priestly celibacy to ancient pre-Christian India. - Awake! 5/8/75, p. 28.
       135.  The Encyclopedia Britannica notes that the faithful followers of Judaism certainly did not practice celibacy “but Alexander’s conquests brought the Jews into contact with Hindu and Greek mysticism” which probably accounts for the growth of the Essene sect which did sanction celibacy shortly before the Christian era. - Encyclopedia Britannica, p. 94, v. 5, 14th ed.
       135a.   Yes, the ‘fruits’ of the Nicene Council itself also included the forbidding of a certain food:
         “At the Church Council in Nicaea, in 325 A.D., it was officially stated that it was forbidden for Christians ... to eat unleavened bread on Pessach (Passover)....” -  ‘The Jews! Your Majesty’, Dr. Goran Larsson (trinitarian), Jerusalem Center for Biblical Studies and Research, 1987.
      136.  “The sons of Constantine continued to favor the semi-Arian party, which included a large majority of Eastern bishops; but the Western [Alexandria-influenced] churches generally adhered to the Nicene Creed.” - Encyclopedia Americana, p. 233, v. 2, 1957 ed.
       137.  Gibbon writes of a similar deathbed statement made by Emperor Galerius:
 “It is not usually in the language of edicts and manifestos that we should search for the real character of the secret motives of princes; but as these were the words of a dying emperor, his Situation, perhaps, may be admitted as a pledge of his sincerity.” - p. 296, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Dell, 1963.
       138.  “On the whole, the New Testament, like the Old, speaks of the Spirit as a divine energy or power.” - A Catholic Dictionary.
       139.  “The true divinity of the third Person [the Holy Spirit] was asserted ... finally by the Council of Constantinople of 381.” - A Catholic Dictionary.
       140.  “In the OT the Holy Spirit means a divine power” - The Catholic Encyclopedia, p. 269, 1976 ed.
       141.
“The emergence of Trinitarian speculations in early church theology led to great difficulties in the article about Holy Spirit.  For the being-as-person of the Holy Spirit, which is evident in the New Testament as divine power ... could not be clearly grasped....  the Holy Spirit was viewed not as a personal figure but rather as a power.” - The New Encyclopedia Britannica.
       142.
“The definition that the Holy Spirit was a distinct divine Person equal in substance to the Father and the Son and not subordinate to them came at the Council of Constantinople in AD 381” - Encyclopedia Britannica, v. 6, p. 22, 1985 ed.
       143.    A further distinction between Arius and Athanasius was Arius’ dependence upon scriptural authority and Athanasius’ dependence upon paganistic philosophical reasonings and poor scriptural reasoning:  “[Arius] had a sharply logical mind and appealed to biblical texts which apparently backed up his argument” - (p. 157).  Athanasius insisted on non-biblical language and concepts whereas “Arius could agree to any statement using solely Biblical language.”  - (p. 159).  And “Athanasius .... used Scripture as inadequately as his contemporaries.  He did not refute Arius by rejecting the relevance of Proverbs 8:22 and even quoted Psalm 110:3 (in the Septuagint) to prove [?] that the Son was not a created being.” - p. 165, Eerdman’s Handbook to the History of Christianity, 1977.
       Certainly not to be overlooked is Athanasius’ idea of the nature of God and man and their relationship!  This man who almost single-handedly finally managed to cause the “Church” to accept a Jesus who was “True God” also taught:  “He [Christ] was made man that we might be made God.” - p. 158, A History of Christianity, Latourette, 1953, Harper and Row.
       144.  Cairns, p. 144.
       145.  Encyclopedia Britannica, p. 892, v. 8, 1956 ed.
       146.  Arianism (although far superior to Trinitarianism) was still not pure Christianity:  “Arius believed the Holy Spirit was a person, but not of the same substance as the Father or the Son and in fact inferior to both.” - August 1, 1984 WT, p. 24.  Also see September 1, 1984 WT, p. 28.
       147.  A Short History of the Early Church, Boer, p. 145, Eerdman’s, 1976. (Also see Cairns, pp. 173, 174.)
       148.
“... the Creed of Nicaea became entirely distinctive because of its technical [non-scriptural] language and solemn curses (anathemas).” - p. 159.  (This actually began the period of  persecution of Christians by “Christians”!)   And, “The Council of Nicaea set many precedents.  The emperor called it, influenced its decision-making and used his civil power to give its decrees virtually the status of imperial law.  The Council introduced a new kind of orthodoxy, which for the first time gave non-Biblical terms critical importance. ....  In the long term did the whole church recognize that Nicaea had decisively developed its understanding of the divinity of Christ?
       “Nicaea was followed by more than half a century of discord and disorder ....  The ‘faith of Nicaea’, as the Creed was commonly called, was for most of the period out of favor with most churchmen.” - p. 160, Eerdman’s Handbook to the History of Christianity, 1977.
     “At the Church Council in Nicaea, in 325 A. D., it was officially stated that it was forbidden for Christians to keep the Sabbath, to eat unleavened bread [1 Tim. 4:3] on Pessach (Passover) or to follow any Jewish custom.  The Jewish Christians were banned if they did not heed this decree. .... now the root was cut off and the Jews were doomed to endless sufferings by the Church, which grew in power and strength.” - pp. 31-32, ”The Jews! Your Majesty,” Dr.  Goran Larsson (trinitarian), Jerusalem Center for Biblical Studies and Research, 1987.
       149.  The Outline of History, v. 1, p. 439, 1956.
150. Cairns, p. 135.
This persecution of non-trinitarians has persisted for many centuries:
”She was burned to death in England in 1550. Her name? Joan Bocher. Her crime? The Encyclopædia Britannica (1964) says: “She was condemned for open blasphemy in denying the Trinity, the one offense which all the church had regarded as unforgivable ever since the struggle with Arianism.” – WT ’87  6/15, p.4,  The "Blessed Trinity"-Is It in the Bible?

       151.  An Encyclopedia of Religion, Ferm, p. 200, 1945.
       152.  Cairns, p. 156.
       153.  Encyclopedia Americana, p. 512, v. 26, 1957 ed.
       154.  Universal Standard Encyclopedia, p. 8412, v. 23, 1955 ed.
       155.  Universal Standard Encyclopedia, p. 8412, v. 23, 1955 ed.
       156.  “[Cyril of Alexandria] was a great church father, a profound exponent of the Catholic truth, holding a place only a little below that of Athanasius and Augustine.” - Encyclopedia Americana, pp. 371-372, v. 8, 1957 ed.
       157.  Cairns, p. 161.
       158.  Encyclopedia Britannica, p. 684, v. 2, 14th ed.
       159.  God, The Invisible King, Wells, quoted in 1964 WT, p. 376.
       160.  Encyclopedia Americana, p. 302, v. 20, 1944 ed.
       161.  The Roman Catholic Bible, The New American Bible, St. Joseph Edition, 1970, states in a footnote about Babylon the Great in Revelation 17:1-6  - “Babylon, a symbolic name (v 5) of Rome, is graphically described as the great harlot.”  And in a footnote for Rev. 18:3 this same Catholic Bible states: “Rome is condemned for her lewdness, symbol of idolatry (see note on Rv. 14,4) and for persecuting the church”. - (See footnote #148.) The footnote for Rev. 14:4 noted above in the NAB tells us about God’s chosen 144,000 that they are “pure: ... because they never indulged in any idolatrous practices, which are [figuratively] considered to be adultery and fornication.”
       But Babylon the Great cannot simply be the pagan Roman Empire as the Catholic Church believes because, at Rev. 16:19, we find it is still in existence as a world-domineering power at the very end time after the gathering of the armies at Armageddon. The Roman Empire didn’t collapse until shortly after 400 A. D., and it had already been under the influence (“ridden by”) the Roman Church for nearly 100 years by then!  So, if Babylon the Great really  pictures some great power seated on the seven hills of Rome as Catholic sources tell us, then it cannot be the ancient Roman Empire which died about 1600 years ago!  What power has been seated there since the time of Constantine?  The seat of the most powerful and most populous religious organization the world has ever seen!  What could be a more appropriate symbol for all of worldwide false religion?
       162.  Footnotes from the Roman Catholic The New American Bible, St. Joseph Ed., 1970:
       Rev. 2:14-15 - “Like Balaam, the biblical prototype of religious compromisers..., the Nicolaitans in Pergamum and Ephesus accommodated their Christian faith to paganism.”  And notice how strongly this was condemned by Jesus:  He would come and “fight against them with the sword of my mouth”!
       Rev. 2:20 - “The scheming and treacherous Jezebel of old...introduced pagan customs into the religion of Israel [note her fate - 2 Ki. 9:30-37]; this new [’Christian’] Jezebel [or religious ‘harlot’] was doing the same to Christianity.”  And, again, notice Jesus’ powerful condemnation of her and of those who aided her - Rev. 2:22 - and of those who listen to and follow her teachings (her “daughters”) - Rev. 2:23.
       Now review HIST appendix notes #19, 20 (and #3-16) above.   (Also see the Watchtower for the series “Did the Early Church Teach that God is a Trinity?” - WT issues of 1 Nov. 1991, 1 Feb. 1992, 1 April 1992, and 1 Aug.  1992.)
     163.  This is a very common tactic among trinitarian apologists.  For example, Walter Martin in his popular The Kingdom of the Cults, 1985 ed., p. 67, implies that those who don’t believe in Jesus’ deity are “non-intellectuals”.  And on p. 71 he derides those who present evidence against Jesus’ “deity” as “masquerading as Biblical authorities.”  And the booklet published by Seventh-day Adventists, God’s Channel of Truth—Is it the Watchtower?, 1967, pp.  101,102, derides either the scholarship or the honesty (or both) of anti-trinitarian scholars.
     Truth cannot be measured by the reputation of the man.  Truth can be searched out and displayed by any man.  If the matter is properly examined and presented, the facts will speak for themselves.  Jehovah’s Witnesses have done this as well as those with great worldly reputations and deserve to be heard on the basis of their results in Bible scholarship.  However, if worldly reputation is a necessary requirement before some will listen, see notes 164 and 165 below.
     164.    Thomas Jefferson is considered one of the greatest men in history because of his great knowledge, intelligence, honesty and genuine love for his fellow man.  “Whether regarded as a patriot, a statesman, or a scholar, he deserves to rank among the greatest men America has ever produced.” - New Standard Encyclopedia, vol. 5, 1952.  “History recognizes him as one of the greatest and fairest of men ever to hold public office in the nation.” - p. 196, vol. 8,  Britannica Junior, 1956.  And in 1997 he was even called “the Man of the Millennium” (see USA Weekend, Feb. 14-16, 1997) - the greatest single individual to live in the last thousand years!
      Quotes from The Life and Selected Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Koch and Peden, The Modern Library (Random House, Inc.), 1944:
(1)     pp. 631-632 - Ltr to John Adams [who shared Jefferson’s views about the trinity] dated Oct. 13, 1813:
     “In extracting the pure principles which [Jesus] taught, we should have to strip off the artificial vestments in which they have been muffled by priests, who have travestied them into various forms, as instruments of riches and power to themselves.  We must dismiss the Platonists 55-56  and Plotinists 73-74 ... the Eclectics,66,69   the Gnostics and Scholastics, their essences [substance] 15,105   and emanations, their Logos and Demiurgos ..., with a long train of etc., etc., etc., or shall I say at once, of nonsense.  We must reduce our volume to the simple evangelists ....  The result is ... pure and unsophisticated doctrines, such as were professed and acted on by the unlettered  Apostles, the Apostolic Fathers, and the Christians of the first century.  Their Platonizing successors, indeed, in after times, in order to legitimate the corruptions which they had incorporated into the doctrines of Jesus, found it necessary to disavow the primitive Christians, who had taken their principles from the mouth of Jesus himself, of his Apostles, and the Fathers cotemporary with them.  They excommunicated them as heretics....” [bold-type emphasis added by me - Jefferson’s emphasis underlined.]
 (2)   pp. 693-694 - Ltr to William Short [close friend], Oct. 31, 1819:    
“Plato ... dealing out mysticisms incomprehensible to the human mind, has been deified by certain sects usurping the name of Christians; because in his foggy conceptions, they found a basis of inpenetrable darkness whereon to rear fabrications as delirious, of their own invention.  These they fathered blasphemously on Him whom they claimed as their Founder [Jesus], but who would disclaim them with the indignation which their caricatures of His religion so justly excite.  ....[Jesus has been defamed by these] artificial systems, invented by ultra-Christian sects, unauthorized by a single word ever uttered by Him....
( E.g. ... [Jesus’] deification ..., His corporeal presence in the Eucharist, the trinity ..., etc.” - [This is Jefferson’s note. - Bracketed information added by me. ])
(3)  pp. 703-704 - Ltr to James Smith, Dec. 8, 1822:
“No historical fact is better established, than that the doctrine of one God, pure and uncompounded, was that of the early ages of Christianity; and was among the efficacious doctrines which gave it triumph over the polytheism of the ancients, sickened by the absurdities of their own theology.  Nor was the unity [one person only] of the Supreme Being ousted from the Christian creed by the force of reason, but by the sword of civil government, wielded at the will of the fanatic Athanasius.  The hocus-pocus phantasm of a God like another Cerberus [the three-headed hell hound of classical mythology], with one body and three heads, had its birth and growth in the blood of thousands and thousands of martyrs....”
165.    We find similar expressions to Jefferson’s above by other great geniuses of note: statesmen, scientists, justices, etc. They wrote and spoke against the great blasphemy of the trinity doctrine.  For example:
Statesmen: U. S. Presidents John Adams, and John Quincy Adams (and, of course, Thomas Jefferson).
Scientists: Joseph Priestley, Samuel F. Morse, and Sir Isaac Newton.  Sir Isaac Newton was voted by modern science historians (as reported in Science Digest) to have the greatest scientific mind of all time.
(“Sir Isaac Newton ... was a devout Christian who contributed many papers through his personal study of theology.  In fact, Newton made the Holy Scriptures as much a study that commanded his attention as any field of science to which he had given thought.” - p. 71, One Who Believed,  Dr. Robert B. Pamplin, trinitarian author and pastor of Christ Community Church.
                                                            *   *   *   *
"What is not as well understood about Newton was his deep devotion to religion--especially the more mystical variety of it.  Newton considered himself a deeply devout Christian--though not of the normal sort.  He was, in short, a unitarian [one who believes ... that the position of God is not shared by two other "persons," namely Jesus and the Holy Spirit; ... that Jesus is rather an adoptive "Son" of God--as we all have the potential to be--through having lived a Godly life].  Discovery of his unitarianism would have been ruinous for Newton in English society--so he kept his religious beliefs well away from public view.
"In any case, he stood himself before God in great awe--great awe of the One who crafted the universe with such precision.  It was this precision that so inspired Newton--that he gave his life to its uncovery for human viewing.   Science and mathematics were thus for Newton virtually religious enterprises." http://www.newgenevacenter.org/biography/newton2.htm

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                                          Theology and the word of God
When Newton was made a fellow of the College, along with an agreement to embrace the Anglican faith, the Trinity fellowship also required ordination within 8 years.  During his studies Newton had come to believe that the central doctrine of the church, the Holy and Undivided Trinity was a pagan corruption imposed on Christianity in the fourth century by Athanasius.  Newton was faced with an enormous dilemma. He now felt that, in all consciousness, he could no longer take holy orders.  However, to give the reason for this would have led to his immediate expulsion from Cambridge.  At that time, and throughout Newton's life, denunciation of the Trinity was illegal.  He was by rights a heretic.  He sought special dispensation from taking holy orders, something that was eventually granted.  It is not clear what reasons he gave for seeking this dispensation but it is unlikely that it was for the genuine reason.  In 1710, Newton's successor to the Lucasian Chair, William Whiston, was ejected from his position for advocating Unitarianism, the rejection of the Holy Trinity.
Although these views make Newton a heretic from the perspective of established Christianity, he was in fact a fervent believer in the Bible.  Newton's laws of motion contradicted the accepted biblical doctrine in the same way that Galileo's views had.  But rather than contradicting the Bible, Newton believed that the Bible was accurate and that it was the interpretation of theologians that was wrong. He continued to study biblical prophecy until his death, being fascinated by its symbols and developing a lexicon of prophetic emblems. He was also intrigued by the architecture of the Jerusalem Temple, believing it to hold the secrets to many unanswered questions of the Bible.
http://www.skyscript.co.uk/newton.html
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Enthralled by the power of mathematics, Newton launched a series of experiments to determine the nature of light and color. He next turned to theology. Not surprisingly, the doctrine of the Trinity captured his attention.
After scouring the Scriptures, he concluded that it was a lie fabricated by the church fathers. In truth, God was one. If Newton was a heretic, he was not a martyr. Comfortable with his Cambridge professorship and eager for a government post, he cautiously concealed his unorthodox beliefs.
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2003/06/01/RV294132.DTL&type=printable
Law: Chief Justice John Marshall and Associate Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes - the two greatest legal minds of the U. S. Supreme Court.
Literature:  And in the field of literature we have probably the greatest intellect of all time in John Milton.  “He mastered Latin and Greek, and before long he was adept in most European tongues as well as Hebrew.”  “It seems likely that Milton, in his time, read just about everything that was ever written in English, Latin, Greek and Italian.  (Of course, he had the Bible by heart.)” - pp. 870, 871, The Norton Anthology of English Literature.  “His Aereopagitica is, perhaps, the most powerful plea ever written for freedom of the press.”  And, “Although Milton wrote only 23 sonnets, he is considered one of the most important sonnet writers in English.” -  Britannica Junior.
     Milton’s  “Paradise Lost is one of the few monumental works of the world.”  And, Paradise Regained is “one of the most artistically perfect poems in any language” and “Samson Agonistes is the most powerful drama in the English language after the severe Greek model.” - Encyclopedia Britannica, vol. 15, p. 514, 14th ed.
     Milton’s major poems “could have been produced only by a writer of genius who also held deeply sincere religious and ethical opinions.” - Encyclopedia International, vol. 12, p. 99, 1966 ed.  “...while Milton was...a  genuine Christian, believing in the Bible over all the other books in the world, he was at the same time one of the most intrepid of English thinkers and theologians.” - Encyclopedia Britannica.  “Theologically, Milton rejected...the dogma of the trinity....  His anti-trinitarian position, set forth explicitly elsewhere, is obscured in Paradise Lost....” - Encyclopedia Americana, p. 138, vol. 19, 1957 ed.

166.  Another way of looking at this might be summed up by Paul’s words at Gal. 1:8, 9:
“But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!  As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!” - NIV, Zondervan, 1985.
“Preaching the Gospel” applies to
“the declaring of all the truths, precepts, promises, and threatenings of Christianity” - p. 266, Today’s Dictionary of the Bible, Bethany House Publ., 1982.
Appropriately enough, the early English word ‘Gospel’ literally meant “the story concerning God” and in the Bible it can be understood to be “embracing all [Jesus’] teachings” - p. 1281, vol. 2, The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia, Eerdmans Publ., 1984 printing.
So, Paul’s words above certainly (as should be obvious, anyway) include the teaching of exactly who God is and exactly who and what Jesus is.
“Jesus looked up to heaven and said:  ‘Father, .... This is eternal life: to know thee who alone art truly God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.’ “ - Jn 17:3, NEB, Cambridge University Press, 1970.
In fact, Paul himself taught that the glorified Lord Jesus in heavenly blazing fire will:
“punish those who do not know God and do not obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus.  They will be punished with everlasting destruction.” - 2 Thess. 1:7-9, NIV.
So Paul is telling us at Gal. 1:8, 9 above that what he had already taught about (1) God and Jesus and (2) what we must do to inherit eternal life was not to be expanded upon.
It might be worthwhile to see what the majority of members of the highly-respected trinitarian UBS textual committee said when discussing the original text for Romans 9:5:
“nowhere else in his genuine epistles does Paul ever designate o[ xristoj  [‘the Christ’] as qeoj [theos: ‘God’ or ‘god’].  In fact, on the basis of the general tenor of his theology it was considered tantamount to impossible that Paul would have expressed Christ’s greatness by calling him God blessed for ever.”  - p. 522, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, Rev. Bruce M. Metzger, United Bible Societies, 1971.

Well, since Paul would not have taught (of course!) that the one God is three persons, it is clear that that is a gospel other than the one Paul taught!
“even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!”
Please review page 1 and Notes 3-24 above.
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Added 3 Oct. 2006:
“Some find a direct link between the doctrine of the Trinity, and the Egyptian theologians of Alexandria, for example. They suggest that Alexandrian theology, with its strong emphasis on the deity of Christ, was an intermediary between the [pagan] Egyptian religious heritage and Christianity.
“The Church is charged with adopting these pagan tenets, invented by the Egyptians and adapted to Christian thinking by means of Greek philosophy. As evidence of this, critics of the doctrine point to the widely acknowledged synthesis of Christianity with platonic philosophy, which is evident in Trinitarian formulas that appeared by the end of the third century. Catholic doctrine became firmly rooted in the soil of Hellenism; and thus an essentially pagan idea was forcibly imposed on the churches beginning with the Constantinian period. At the same time, neo-Platonic trinities, such as that of the One, the Nous and the Soul, are not a trinity of consubstantial equals as in orthodox Christianity.
“Nontrinitarians assert that Catholics must have recognized the pagan roots of the trinity, because the allegation of borrowing was raised by some disputants during the time that the Nicene doctrine was being formalized and adopted by the bishops. For example, in the 4th century Catholic Bishop Marcellus of Ancyra's writings, On the Holy Church, 9 :
" ‘Now with the heresy of the Ariomaniacs, which has corrupted the Church of God...These then teach three hypostases, just as Valentinus the heresiarch first invented in the book entitled by him “On the Three Natures.”   For he was the first to invent three hypostases and three persons of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and he is discovered to have filched this from Hermes and Plato.’ " (Source: Logan A. Marcellus of Ancyra (Pseudo-Anthimus), 'On the Holy Church': Text, Translation and Commentary. Verses 8-9. Journal of Theological Studies, NS, Volume 51, Pt. 1, April 2000, p.95 ).
“Such a late date for a key term of Nicene Christianity, and attributed to a Gnostic, they believe, lends credibility to the charge of pagan borrowing. Marcellus was rejected by the Catholic Church for teaching a form of Sabellianism.” - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinity
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