Is the doctrine of the Trinity pagan in origin?
Posted 15 November 2012 - 10:50 AM
Posted 15 November 2012 - 01:24 PM
Posted 15 November 2012 - 02:39 PM
One thing that keeps coming up in discussions about Christianity is the claim that the doctrine of the Trinity is of pagan origin. This claim is made by some Protestants, Jehovah's Witnesses, and even atheists. Can anyone point me to some *thorough* refutations of this?
Historically I don't see how it follows. The pagans of the time when Trinitarian doctrine was being developed within the Church, held to many (and I mean many, many) gods, not just three.
I suppose someone could refer to neo-Platonism. But then there is the theory that neo-Platonism was heavily influenced by Christian theology!
Posted 15 November 2012 - 05:37 PM
They make the same accusations against Christians as Muslims do. They are just ignorant, regarding Christian theology.
Further, Jehovah's Witnesses have created their own version of bible to support their cacodoxy. I think it is ineffectual to debate any issue with them.
They also misrepresent pagan religion. For instance, Hinduism presents images of three main deities (Brahma , Vishnu, Shiva) but its dogma is very complex. Hinduism is about one divine source that is perceived in a multiplicity of distinct ways and at the same time it is absolutely transcendental so that it becomes non existed. It is very strange but Hinduism is at the same time monotheistic, pantheistic and atheistic religion. By the way, Buddhism is even more atheistic than Hinduism.
But it is very limited to express the dogmas of any religion in just a phrase or two. When we talk about religions it is wrong to oversimplify things. Oversimplification is Jehovah's Witnesses main methodology to support their perspective (this is true for Muslims too).
Posted 15 November 2012 - 06:44 PM
The main religions that I can think of that could have influenced Christianity would have been:
Roman Pantheon and subsidiaries:
Cult of Saturnalia
Cult of Mithras
Cult of Sol Invictus
Greek Pantheon and subsidiary:
Cult of Hercules
Egyptian Diety worship and subsidary:
Cult of Isis
Cult of Cybele
Various Gnostic groups with origins in Christianity
I can't think of any others, but I'm sure there might be. None of these have any significant Trinitarian formulation.
Posted 15 November 2012 - 08:58 PM
I don't think much thought was given to the above by Christian writers nor even the philosophers they just group well. A primitive concept of photosynthesis.
Posted 15 November 2012 - 09:19 PM
Posted 16 November 2012 - 09:39 AM
Luther's intent, in fact, was to re-Judaize Christianity. Part of the motivation for doing that was that he believed he could convert all of the Jews, which he believed was necessary, in part, in order to build a stronger coalition in defense of Europe against the threat of Islam, which he believed the Pope was ignoring. On the latter point of course he was correct. So there is a kind of subliminal anti-Trinitarianism there in all of Protestantism.
Posted 18 November 2012 - 12:04 AM
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