Notes on the Entire Bible-The Book of 2nd Thessalonians (John Wesleys Notes on the Entire Bible 53)

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Well, alethinos "is unquestionably used sometimes in the Gospel and First Epistle [of John] to signify that a thing truly corresponds to the idea of the name given to it" - p. And respected NT Greek expert W. Vine tells us that alethinos "denotes true in the sense of real , ideal , genuine ; it is used a of God, John Therefore, if we should see, for example, someone being called the ' true prophet,' that should mean that the person so described is truly a prophet.

In either case this certainly does not have to mean that all other prophets must be false! Even if it was said that this one was the " only true Prophet," we would probably consider him the only prophet in the highest sense of the word, but that still would not make all other prophets of God false prophets!

Or, since the Proverb quoted at 2 Peter is " the true alethous Proverb," does that really mean that all other Proverbs must be false? And at Heb. Here again, although the heavenly "tabernacle" is the " true tabernacle," that does not mean that the earthly tabernacle was a false tabernacle. Vine puts it when discussing Heb. Therefore, the heavenly tabernacle was the only true Tabernacle. There could be other , earthly, tabernacles which were still not false tabernacles.

Or as Heb. No, just because the heavenly tabernacle is the true one, does not make holy tabernacles on earth false tabernacles. They were merely tabernacles in a lesser sense of the word - " in the image of " the only true Tabernacle in heaven! I , not thereby denying that Israel also was God's vine Ps.

I; Deut. As far as Christians are concerned there is only one " true Christ," our Savior, Jesus! We know that the Bible has also warned us about " false christs. This included the high priests, prophets, and righteous kings of Israel.

Why, even the foreign king, Cyrus, was called the christ christw of God Is. So, even though we would say that Jesus is the only true Christ and that there have been many false Christs who have arisen, it still would not be proper to insist that any person other than Jesus who is called "christ" or "a christ" must be a false christ!

We would then be saying that King David, Moses, and innumerable others chosen by God to do his will were false christs! What we are saying, then, is that Jesus is the only true Christ in that he is the only person who is God's anointed i n the highest sense of the word! And all others called "christ" are either false christs or faithful servants of God in a lesser sense of the word as compared to Jesus himself!

So, for God to say that he is the true alethinos God does not demand that all others called 'god' or 'gods' are false gods as a few trinitarian apologists imply.

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These are called "gods" in the sense of faithful servants of God, representing the true God. Also remember that capital letters were not used to distinguish things in the original manuscripts of the Bible as they are in modern English Bibles: G od, C hrist, etc. But let's examine the scriptural uses of the " true God" more closely. Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible shows only 5 places where this is used in the entire Bible: 1 2 Chron. Jehovah's Witnesses teach that Jehovah the God of the Bible is one person only as his singular , masculine, personal name, "Jehovah" clearly shows : the Father in heaven.

So does the term "the only true God" ever refer to the Son or the Holy Spirit or a 'multiple-person' God? Or do the JW's teach the truth about the knowledge of God that means our very eternal lives Jn ; 2 Thess. God , and without a teaching priest, and without law: but when in their distress they turned unto Jehovah , the God of Israel, and sought him, he was found of them. This passage is not in the Septuagint. And the only person to be identified as Jehovah in the entire OT is the Father alone! And, in fact, it is also clearly shown that the Messiah is not Jehovah!


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But what about the New Testament? Is "the true [real] God" ever clearly identified here in contradiction to the OT as the Son? As the Holy Spirit? As a "multiple-person" God? Well, here again the true God is clearly the Father alone as context demands and who has been identified as Jehovah alone above. And the Son, Jesus, is clearly differentiated from that 'true God"! So what about the only two remaining references in the NT: 1 John and John ? The only hope for the trinitarian argument that the " true God is Jesus" is found at 1 John This [ outos ] is the true [ alethinos ] God , and eternal life.

Some trinitarians actually insist that the word "this" outos here refers to Jesus. In other words, "[Jesus Christ] is the true God and eternal life. I understand why some trinitarians are so desperate in their search for non-existent scriptural "evidence" that they have to make it up, but this is incredibly poor! It is obvious that grammatically the word "this" outos could be referring to either the Father or Jesus in this particular scripture see the footnote for 1 John in the very trinitarian NIV Study Bible.

The highly trinitarian NT scholar Murray J. Harris sums up his page analysis of this scripture as follows: "Although it is certainly possible that outos refers back to Jesus Christ, several converging lines of evidence point to 'the true one,' God the Father , as the probable antecedent.

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Notice how this trinitarian scholar actually admits that the probability is that the Father not Jesus is being called the true God here. He even tells us and cites examples in his footnotes that New Testament grammarians and commentators most of them trinitarian, of course agree! So this single "proof" that the "true G od" is a title for anyone other than the Father alone is not proof at all. The grammar alone merely makes it a possibility. The immediate context makes it highly improbable since as in all other uses of the term the true God or the true one was just identified as the Father "We are in the one who is true as we are in his Son , Jesus Christ.

He is the true God and this is eternal life. We live in union with the true God - in union with his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and this is eternal life. And now we live in fellowship with the true God because we live in fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ. He is the only true God, and he is eternal life. So the immediate context alone makes it probable that the true God is the Father in this scripture also.

As we have seen, if we include the context of all the uses of the 'true God,' it is certain that He is the Father alone whose personal name is Jehovah - Ps. To clinch John's intended meaning at 1 John , let's look at his only other use of the term: John , 3, where, again as in 1 Jn , he mentions Father, Son, and eternal life. Here the Father alone is not only very clearly identified as the only true [alethinos] God , but Jesus Christ is again pointedly and specifically excluded from that identification " AND Jesus Christ whom you [the only true God] have sent"!

Notice how this popular trinitarian Bible has rendered John , 3 - " Father , This is eternal life: to know thee who alone art truly God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent. So, the title "the true God" does not have to mean that there are no others who may be called "gods" or "a god" in a subordinate but righteous sense. And clearly it refers exclusively to the Father! No one else is the G od or the True G od!

Compare Ps. Therefore, the argument by certain trinitarian "guides" that the term ' true God' must mean that all others called 'gods' in the Scriptures are false gods is clearly false itself. Those who use it have not examined it with anything that could be called proper scholarship.

They are either terribly misinformed the fault of their spiritual "guides" or, in the case of the trinitarian authors, lecturers, and ministers who are aware of methods of proper research, Bible language grammar, etc.

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How does this fit with the command that we must worship God in truth aleth eia - Jn ? Or the warning that when the knowingly blind false religious leaders lead the blind the ones following those leaders with blind faith both will fall into the pit? Shouldn't we ALL carefully and diligently examine all sides of any essential , life - saving Bible teaching?

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The meaning of scripture was seen as proven from the faith universally held in the churches see Phil. The Biblical canon itself was thus viewed by the church as part of the church's tradition, as defined by its leadership and acknowledged by its laity. The first generation of Christians did not yet have a written New Testament, and the New Testament itself demonstrates the process of living Tradition. The Catholic Church teaches that Christ entrusted the preaching of the Gospel to the apostles, who handed it on orally and in writing, and according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church , "the apostolic preaching, which is expressed in a special way in the inspired books, was to be preserved in a continuous line of succession until the end of time.

One would be in error to suppose that Scripture and Tradition are two separate and distinct sources of Christian Faith, as some do, since there is, in reality, only one source; and the Holy Bible exists and found its formulation within Tradition". Catholics apply to apostolic tradition many of the qualities that evangelicals and other Protestants apply to scripture alone. For example, the Evangelical declaration Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy , states: "We affirm that inspiration was the work in which God by His Spirit, through human writers, gave us His Word.

The origin of Scripture is divine. The mode of divine inspiration remains largely a mystery to us. We deny that inspiration can be reduced to human insight, or to heightened states of consciousness of any kind. Since the Catholic Church professes that apostolic tradition and scripture are both the word of God, Catholics can affirm that many of these propositions apply equally well to tradition: It is the work of the Holy Spirit, which cannot be reduced to human insight or heightened consciousness.

This ties in with the question of what constitutes apostolic tradition. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that this tradition is given "by the apostles who handed on, by the spoken word of their preaching, by the example they gave, by the institutions they established, what they themselves had received - whether from the lips of Christ, from his way of life and his works, or whether they had learned it at the prompting of the Holy Spirit".

There remains some confusion on the matter among both Catholics and non-Catholics. This confusion can be seen in those who interpret Catholic researcher James Keenan to claim that the doctrines given by apostolic tradition have changed. Keenan reviewed the history of moral theology, and in particular a change in the approach of moral theologians, specifically in the twentieth century. Keenan noted that Mark D. Jordan said that medieval texts he had reviewed appeared to be inconsistent.

This refers to medieval traditions and not to apostolic tradition or doctrine. Keenan, however, says that John T. Noonan Jr.

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