Between Trinitarian and Arian

by Don R. Hender


     Between Trinitarian and Arian stands countless flavors and varieties of the same. That 'universal or catholic church' stood not to unite Christianity, but to divide it as there was any number of 'trinity' based flavors which it did 'spit out' for not conforming to its particular brand of trinity belief, though they could not concluded upon it themselves calling it a mystery and not understandable by man. And not always did they divide themselves just because of that definable trinity matter, but also for a number of other reasons as well as the 'power' strugle was on to determine just who was the top dog. And then of course there were all those whom they chose to label and consolidate into the 'Arian' camp, even though a great many of those were not 'Arian' at all, but merely did not oppose the Arian view as they the 'catholic' did. The truth that virtually all did vote at Nicaea to depose Arius is lost in the fray. When in seeking a unity of the faith, Constantine found that Arius himself did not hold such extreme damnable views as the trinitarian camp made him out to have held of God and Jesus Christ, Arius upon agreement to sign the Nicene code, likely according to Bishop Eusebius' stipulation who all had agreed upon during the council the trinitarian view according to Athanasius baulk and even may have murdered Arius rather than to proceed to allow him to be so entered back into 'their fold', because their anger against Arius could not be contained by only ideas upon paper.

Now, upon this premise that there was NOT just 'The Trinitarian' position perpetuated by Athanasius and the Arian position, also more perpetuated by such as Athanasius' contrived views against it than by Arius' own views upon it; there was some type of continuum between the two extremes as well as another position and movement labeled by many historians as the Eusebian position. Some have objectively enlightened the matter by attributing this to such as Eusebius of Caesarea while other have but muddled the water by including that such was also of that other Eusibius which was to be 'clearly defined by them' as Arian also. The Trinitarian doctrine during the time of controversy may first be attributed to Alexander the Bishop of Alexandria who delved into the metaphysical nature of God and in questioning and presenting it to the presbyter of Alexandria, asking for their opinions, it was opposed in that Trinitarian doctrine by one of the presbyters, Arius, first because it made of the Father and Son but one and then because Arius was pressed to further define his own opinion on the matter. What was the true actual understanding and precise positioning of Bishop Alexander and his Presbyter Arius may never really historically be known in total. That either would be satisfied with today’s positional Trinitarian view or views and today’s various Arian positional spin offs, is quite doubtful. Constantine chose well to have Bishop of Caesarea present as a 'true' formulation of the nature of God as agreeably possible, yet Constantine failed in ‘suggesting’ or allowing to be suggested the inclusion of the ambiguous word/term of (ὁμοούσιος) [homoousian-homos "same" and ousia "essence, being"], meaning ‘one in substance’, or essence, to be included or added to the Eusebius’ proposed and agreed upon formula. With the inclusion of (ὁμοούσιος), a ‘general rewrite’ of Eusebius’ formula was drafted and became the one agreed upon when those who had drafted it convinced Eusebius and the Eusebians that it did not effectively change the first presented formulation of Bishop Eusebius and that they did still agree that Father and Son were indeed separate and distinct corporal beings or entities, and only having in common that they were both from the ‘same divine substance’. Which in its depth of doctrinal understanding should not have been attempted to distinguish as it in its very nature was not fully understood by those who were aware of it and had spoken of it. That is, even those who had spoken of that element of the nature of God were not in agreement upon it.

The Defining
Questions

A Trinitarian View
A Catholic* or Traditional View

A True View
An Eusebian* View

An Arian View
An Arian Positional* View

Is Jesus the same being as Jehovah, God of the Old Testament?

Yes. In there is but one God, that is God is one in substance then, Jesus, the Father and the Holy Ghost are but one and the same God. Yet the One God is revealed in three distinct ‘persons’ which are of the same God.

Note: Here the 'Catholic' view redefines the word 'person' to its own use, which is not to denote separateness in being of God, but only that God does reveal himself as three 'persons'.**

Yes. Jesus is the same being and person as Jehovah of the Old Testament. In the Old Testament he is the Spirit God Jehovah and in the New Testament he has taken on the temporal body, being the Only Begotten Son of God and also the son of Mary.

Note: Person here is used in the more common and traditional sense and not in the self defined sense as used by the Catholic Church.**

No. Jehovah of the Old Testament is God and Jesus is his son. They are two separate and distinct beings.

Is Jesus the same person as Jehovah, God of the Old Testament?

No. In the Trinitarian doctrine the word ‘person’ has a unique meaning that is different from the common meaning. As God is one, there are three ‘persons’ or expressions of God in the ‘person’ of the Father, in the ‘person’ of Jesus, and in the ‘person’ of the Holy Ghost; and yet they are but one God.

Yes.

No.

Is God the Father and Jesus Christ His Son the same being and/or person?

Yes/No. God the Father and Jesus Christ are the same God being as there is but one God and this God also includes the Holy Ghost, the third expression of God. But no they are not the same expressed ‘person’. All things are possible to God and he has chosen to ‘express’ himself in the ‘person’ of three ‘persons’ to man, God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

No/Yes. God the Father of Spirits who dwells in His Celestial Heaven is not the same being or person as Jesus Christ or Jehovah. Yet Jehovah who is the Firstborn of the Father in spirit was called and selected by the Father to be the ‘Ministering God’ of this temporal creation, to stand in the stead of the Father in all things as though he were the Father acting in his stead. Thus Jehovah/Jesus may be properly addressed by all the same name titles as is the Father with the exception that he is NOT God the Father of Spirit, our Heavenly Father.

No. The Father is God the Father who is also Jehovah. And Jesus Christ is the Son of God the Father, the Son of Jehovah, he being the Son only.

So God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ are separate persons?

Yes. In that a ‘person’ has the particular meaning as being an expression the One God, they are two separately so expressed persons.

Yes. God the Father of Spirits, Our Heavenly Father who dwells in His Celestial Heaven, who is not Jehovah; is a separate and distinct person and being from Jesus Christ, who is also Jehovah.

Yes. They are separate and distinct persons and beings in every way, the one being Father and the other being Son.

Does the person of God the Father have a corporal body of flesh and bone?

No. God the Father is of Divine Essence, he is spirit, and as such he doesn't have a body (Luke 24:39: "A spirit does not have flesh and bone.")

Note: Catholics believe that Jesus Christ is one person of the Godhead. The scripture quoted is not complete. Luke 24:39 "Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have." The Apostles thought that Jesus was but a spirit, which is evidence that even the spirit is in the same image as the body of flesh and bones which houses it—head, sholders, knees and toes; eyes, ears, mouth and nose.

Yes. God the Father has a separate and distinct glorified Celestial corporal body of flesh and bone which houses his spirit. God the Father is an advanced Celestial being consisting of Intelligence, Spirit and glorified body. We are created in his image (Genesis 1:26-27).

No. God the Father, who is God, is but a God of Spirit.

Does the person Jesus Christ have a corporal body of flesh and bones?

God when revealing himself as Jesus Christ was 'God incarnate', and as such was the 'person' of Jesus Christ, for that purpose before men, he had a body of flesh and bone.

Note: The doctrine of the Trinity becomes variously represented with some concluding this, "If one believes in the doctrine of the Trinity, then Jesus being God incarnate, has a resurrected, glorified body.

Yes, he does now, but No, he did not always have a temporal body. Jesus is the same as Jehovah, the God of the Old Testament, the Creator under the direction of God the Father, Jehovah/Jesus is the Ministering God of this temporal estate.
No. As Jehovah of the Old Testament Jesus who is the same as Jehovah, was but a God of Spirit, yet that spirit was in the same image of that body of flesh and bone which it would take upon himself in the New Testament.
Yes. In the New Testament, Jehovah the Spirit God of the Old Testament did take upon himself a body of flesh and bones, which upon the event of his resurrection became a glorified body of flesh and bones, even as God the Father is also.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* Catholic does not necessarily denote such as the Roman Catholic Church, but more the 'general' universal Church, though an honest attempt is made per such doctrines of the day to fairly represent the 'Trinitarian View' of today.
* Eusebian view may not be precisely all that Bishop Eusebius and such followers would so denote for they are not here to so speak for themselves but again an honest attempt has been made to depict those 'middle' views as to be more of the truth of the matter than either the 'Catholic Trinitarian' of the 'Arian' polarized extremes would make them out to be.
* Arian; hereagain Arius is not here and who is to say just which modernized Arian type view, if any, were exactly those which Arius truly would convey? So here again, with no particular Arain group so represented, an honest effort has been made to a goodly Arian view.
Note: I am open to positive friendly 'revisement' suggestions per each of these views to present them more fairly, but one must understand that I am not able to satisfy everybody so this 'commentator' will have to sift any such suggestion through his own understanding and sources before any such immediate change may be seen. - hunterscastle@gmail.com

** There is a rather deep doctrinal matter here which may or may not have led to some early misunderstanding. Paul in Colossians while speaking of Christ Jesus states:
    "For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily." ~Col. 2:9
This IS NOT stating that Jesus Christ is all three members of the Godhead. What it is stating is that in Jesus bodily alone is the power to act in behalf of all members of the Godhead. Jesus as Jehovah acts for and in behalf of and in the stead of the Father, as the anointed Ministering God of this temporal second estate. He IS NOT the same being as Our Heavenely Father -Our Father Who Art in Heaven, but by divine investiture he minister and acts for the Father in all things for only those who pertain to and are a part of this estate may minister directly unto it (D&C 130:5), and God the Father of Spirits is of the Celestial state, not this earthly temporal estate. Also Jesus/Jehovah is given power to fill such same roles as the Holy Ghost, but he does so in the capacity of being the Spirit of Christ and NOT as being the same person or being as the Holy Ghost. Best said is that all such divine investiture to act for and in behalf of God the Father of Spirits and the Holy Ghost are invested in Christ if need be. Misunderstanding this investiture of power and performance may easily lead one to presume Christ alone and eliminate God the Father and the Holy Ghost, but it should not. For indeed they are three separate and distinct beings. And though they are one in intent, faith and beleif, Jesus does not stand alone in the Godhead. The Godhead is made up of all three separate and distinct beings.

Now it should be noted that the adoption of the Nicene Creed as it is today did not go so smoothly as many of its advocates depict in their historical accounts (see A True Church History). There is a three fold factual set of evidence which speaks to this reality. Bishop Eusebius of Caesarea presented a first formula that was generally accepted and when those others began to altar that formula into something else, Bishop Eusebius received an assurance from those involved that his original meaning and intention was not altared. Of course they did alter it and thus Bishop Eusebius' letter of explanation of the events of the council is the first evidence that what was initially presented IS NOT what eventuated. The second evidence is that the Emperor Constantine condemned and reprimanded both Bishop Alexander and Arius forever bringing up the arguement of the nature of God and the divisive matter not authoritatively and so well understood even by themselves. And third that Athanasius was to be so condemned for his continuence in the matter to the extend that he was exiled from the Church numerous times (7 times) both by Constantine and his succesor. Bishop Eusebius is even said to have held a 'council' whereat Athanasius was so removed from the Church. And it was not until after both the deaths of the Emperor Constantine and Bishop Eusebius of Caesarea that what Athanasius was proposing and pushing even gained audience at the 381 A.D. council. And even then one cannot even truthfully account that exactly what Athanasius was proposing what that which has eventuated as the 'Nicene Creed' of today.