Talk:Trinity

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Binitarianism[edit]

This position was echoed by the late Herbert W. Armstrong, a 20th century radio preacher who founded The Worldwide Church of God, whose position brought others to describe him as an admixture of Mormonism ("social trinitarianism" might be called "social conception of Deity") and the Jehovah's Witnesses ("simple Godhead" or "simple unitarianism").

The fact that nontrinitarian translations of the English Bible appeared so early Christendom is another key point that illustrates the widespread social acceptance within Christendom of the (seemingly) minority conception of 'Theology proper' (the nature of Deity) among churchgoers professing to believe.

Scoping out the broad historical matrix in which this discussion was carried out publicly AND theologically among scholars within and outside Christendom is something Wikipedians could hope to do, and their doing so with succinct rigor could offer a great intellectual service to inquiring readers. --20:19, 15 September 2012‎ MaynardClark

We have an article on Binitarianism, but it's never gained much support within traditional mainstream "orthodox" Christianity. Otherwise, I'm not sure how you would propose to improve the article. AnonMoos (talk) 20:24, 15 September 2012 (UTC)

Logical Coherency[edit]

Someone explain why the sourced references to two Church doctors on logical coherency, Augustine and Hilary of Poitiers, (and the Athanasian Creed) were removed as "unsourced opinions". And why we have an unsourced reference to Bernard Lonergan which does not even explain his position (I have never heard of him). Reading the wikipedia article on Lonergan, he stated the trinity "is a theological mystery in the strict sense and can only be understood analogically." What does that have to do with logical coherency? Lonergan will not be understood until the opinions of at least Augustine and Aquinas are stated, but why does this reference a 20th century Jesuit priest rather than a doctor of the Church? Or shall I add just Augustine and Aquinas and leave out Hilary? Or pull in an Orthodox doctor? The section on logical coherency is lending undue weight to one opinion since 2010 and needs to be fixed. As I had explained the Trinity is regarded by most Christians as a mystery (especially the Orthodox), and questions on logical coherency seems to be only addressed from within the Catholic tradition. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Doug Webber (talkcontribs) 16:59, 28 September 2012 (UTC)

Did I miss whatever source you cited for your claim that "the questionable logical coherency of the doctrine of a Trinity defined as three persons is apparent in the Athanasian Creed itself"? I still can't find it. And "unfathomable" does not mean "incoherent", an idea that moreover lacks a reliable-source citation. Esoglou (talk) 19:58, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
I had rewritten it, that was removed - but for the reason that the Athanasian Creed isn't accepted among the Orthodox. Hilary's statement that God is unfathomable has nothing to do with logical coherency, its to the infinity of God which will never be understood - thus most state its a mystery and leave it at that. Its still incomplete - if Lonergan (or someone else) said something significant I would really like to know what it was. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Doug Webber (talkcontribs) 03:34, 30 September 2012 (UTC)
Good. Esoglou (talk) 08:04, 30 September 2012 (UTC)

I'm not sure whether someone in the discussion above may be referring to the occurrence of the word "incomprehensible" in the Athanasian Creed, but that's actually a 16th-century mistranslation of the Latin word immensus, which means something like "unlimited" or "infinite" much more than it does "incomprehensible"... AnonMoos (talk) 13:16, 15 October 2012 (UTC)

Mormonism and the Trinity[edit]

The introduction to this article asserts that Mormonism is polytheistic or henotheistic. This viewpoint is hotly debated, with many divergent views, and should not be stated as if factual in the introduction. Describing the Mormon view of the Trinity as "three gods in three persons" is also a huge oversimplification, to the point of being misleading. The Mormon view is much closer to "social Trinitarianism" than polytheism or henotheism. See, for example, http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700065755/Daniel-C-Peterson-Mormons-and-the-Holy-Trinity.html?pg=all . 67.166.126.67 (talk) 08:27, 15 October 2012 (UTC)

Yes, an oversimplification, but not necessarily incorrect.Theseus1776 (talk) 15:45, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
During at least part of the 19th-century, the Mormon understanding of the Trinity seems to have been influenced by the Adam–God doctrine, or at least that's what many "mainstream" Christians think... AnonMoos (talk) 13:24, 15 October 2012 (UTC)
The Adam-God Doctrine has not bearing on the Mormon concept of deity. It deals with the plan of salvation and has been repudiated by modern LDS authorities.Theseus1776 (talk) 15:45, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
Many "mainstream" Christians think otherwise... AnonMoos (talk) 17:19, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
I'm not sure how you could describe Mormonism as anything but polytheistic, since God is a being who once was a man, and every man has the potential to become as God is. If anyone has become as God is, then there is more than one god, hence polytheism.
Beyond that, Mormonism affirms that there is a fundamental ontological difference between the Holy Spirit and The Father and the Son. The Father and Son are bodily, have flesh and bones. The Spirit is entirely non-corporeal. They cannot be considered to be Trinitarian if one Person of the godhead is not homoousia with the other two.
"The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us." - "130:22". Doctrine and Covenants. Retrieved 15 October 2012. ReformedArsenal (talk) 13:29, 15 October 2012 (UTC)
Exactly.Theseus1776 (talk) 15:45, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
And ontology matters.Theseus1776 (talk) 15:45, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment: I've read a lot of the scholarly sources and from what I've read, Mormonism is best described as falling under social trinitarianism or non-Trinitarianism. The stuff about polytheism usually comes from non-scholarly polemics, and the stuff about henotheism seems to be original research (or at best synthesis) as I've not seen it described that way in a scholarly source.

    By the way, the citation to Bushman's book at the end of the Lead is wrong. Page 40 is talking about Joseph Smith's "First Vision". The passage cited says nothing about theisms, three deities, or Godheads, and ironically doesn't even mention that there were two "personages" in the vision until the next page. ~Adjwilley (talk) 13:52, 15 October 2012 (UTC)

Mormons affirm a social Trinity, but not an ontological Trinity with homousia. Hence, Mormons reject the fundemental principle of the Nicene Trinity.
If you have three distinct persons who are not of the same essence but are truly God... that is polytheism. Whatever it is, it certainly isn't Trinitarianism.ReformedArsenal (talk) 13:55, 15 October 2012 (UTC)
I'm certainly not arguing that it's Trinitarian. I don't even think Mormonism belongs in the Lead of this article. You should probably have a look at the Social trinity aricle, and perhaps the source the IP provided. ~Adjwilley (talk) 14:03, 15 October 2012 (UTC)
Definitely agree that it should not be in the lead section of the article. If it's thought to be necessary to run through various alternatives to traditional/mainstream Trinitarian doctrine, then there are names of ancient heresies which cover almost all permutations. If the Mormon view is complex (or more complex than many people think), then it's not really a useful contrast for the top section of the article (where nothing can be explained at length)... AnonMoos (talk) 14:06, 15 October 2012 (UTC)
Mormons are best described as Social trinitarianism. Polytheism is the belief that there are multiple gods in a pantheon of gods that can be worshiped. Mormons believe and worship one God. Mormons subscribe to the statement of Paul in the New Testament that states, "As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one. For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) but to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him." (1 Corinthians 8:4-6)
While Mormon teachings allow for the existence of others who could be considered gods, or the ability to progress to become like God, Mormon teachings clearly state that we have only one God and that he will always be "our God forever and ever" (Psalms 48:14) (See [1], [2], [3], and [4] for accurate information on Mormon belief in God).
Yes, however there are still multiple Gods, regardless if there is one God who is in charge. This is part of the issue with Mormon theology; Mormons use similar terms and sayings with very different meanings. For a Muslim to say "there is only one God" and a Mormon to say the same thing have very different meanings. God, or in LDS parlance Heavenly Father, is the only being to be worshiped, and hence the "only God." However, this does not mean that there is only One God.Theseus1776 (talk) 15:45, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
Mormonism believes in three separate beings. Dromidaon (talk) 20:15, 15 October 2012 (UTC)
Just for the record, I recently had the chance to study this in a little more depth. I misread the information on Wikipedia about the description of Social trinitarianism. This is the more accurate description of Mormon belief in the trinity. According to Wikipedia, the base of Nontrinitarianism is a belief that the trinity consists of three "co-eternal, co-equal, and indivisibly united in one essence." According to Mormon doctrine, the members of the Godhead are co-eternal, but they are not co-equal(John 14:28) and not one essence(Luke 23:46). Social trinitarianism describes that the trinity "consists of three persons whose unity consists of a loving relationship" which pretty much sums up the Mormon belief. I have corrected my previous comment. Dromidaon (talk) 16:55, 28 November 2012 (UTC)
"God" in Mormonism consists of three distinct beings with different ousia. They are not one being as in Nicene Christianity. Hence to claim them as polytheist is correct (See The Book of Abraham). Yes, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are unified in purpose (the definition of God e.g. Blake Ostler), they still maintain different centers of consciousness and hence are not one God. Any attempt to describe or reconcile the Mormon Godhead with the Trinity are impossible.Theseus1776 (talk) 15:37, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

holy trinity[edit]

Hi everyone, I tried to find this issue in the archives but I could not find it. What is the problem with using the word "holy" for the Trinity? Could I add it to the article? thanks in advance...CICMI (talk) 22:21, 5 December 2012 (UTC)

Not completely sure what you're asking. It's not Wikipedia's role to assert on our own initiative that the Trinity is holy, but if many people commonly use the term "Holy Trinity", then we can report on that. It probably shouldn't be the name of the article, though... AnonMoos (talk) 06:19, 6 December 2012 (UTC)

Social Trinitarianism (paragraph 3)[edit]

Social Trinitarianism is NOT defined as "three gods in three persons." That is Tritheism. The Wikipedia article on Social Trinitarianism (which is linked to the words "Social Trinitarianism" in the third paragraph) does not make this mistake. This needs to be corrected.108.228.164.215 (talk) 21:58, 19 December 2012 (UTC)Carey Vinzant 12/19/2012

Is this better? ~Adjwilley (talk) 23:42, 19 December 2012 (UTC)


Truth[edit]

Why is it that this article has no criticism section? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 110.33.227.135 (talk) 09:41, 13 December 2012 (UTC)

Because 1) Criticism sections are more tolerated than encouraged at Wikipedia and 2) Various opposing and dissenting views are discussed over the course of the article... AnonMoos (talk) 19:25, 22 December 2012 (UTC)

Art section to move out[edit]

The art section is too large and also not exactly correct. Not for me to do it any more, but I think it needs t move out to Trinity in Christian art just like Transfiguration of Jesus in Christian art, etc. As this article gets cleaned up now, maybe you guys can talk Johnbod to do that. He knows the topic of course, and could easily do it in half a day or less. And that will make this page less bulky and improve its quality. History2007 (talk) 20:34, 14 February 2013 (UTC)

I was literally just thinking about proposing that. I'm not sure the "Christian" is necessary, is there a reason it's included in Transfiguration? --JFH (talk) 20:39, 14 February 2013 (UTC)
Agree. Was editing the rather unsophisticated art appreciation stuff to improve as it was being split off (edit conflict resolved - left a stump para including 4 image examples of trinitarian symbolism in other materials than the painted or printed page)MrsKrishan (talk) 02:51, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
There are novel art forms or Manga or whatever, and punk art and cartoons and what not that confuse the issue if you do not focus it on the traditional "art history" masters etc. That part has enough quality problems to get mixed up in those debates. If you look through Gardener's Art Through the Ages or something like that you get the artistic masters, Rubens, etc. I once joked that the Crucifixion in the arts article should have been called Crucifixion of the arts in its early days. It has gotten better now, but still has a Volkswagon image etc. So the only way to do it right will be to just do the masters, i.e. the term Christian in front like the others ones on Ascension, Resurrection, etc. History2007 (talk) 20:46, 14 February 2013 (UTC)
Interesting. I don't see a problem with being as broad as possible, and I don't really see how the Christian modifier avoids the problems you're concerned about. Anyway, being somewhat of an iconoclast, this is well outside of my area of knowledge and interest. I just think spinning off the section would declutter a very important article. --JFH (talk) 21:01, 14 February 2013 (UTC)
Agree re: spinning off to avoid clutterMrsKrishan (talk) 02:51, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
The point is that if it is just the masters/Chrstian art the lede will be meaningful, but if there are cartoons and VW images can not really write a meaningful lede. The same issue with Christian art vs art in general. These articles are subsidiaries of the Christian art page in fact, and a template needs to group them later. Anyway, I moved it out and left a 1st cut here. Can try to touch up that page and leave a little more here later. History2007 (talk) 21:59, 14 February 2013 (UTC)
I am going to stop watching here now, but the entire article from the top looks unkempt. Some of the text is correct, but the positioning of the boxes and images at the top just looks like a rummage sale. as you clean it up would be better to just have a nice artistic image at the top, then the boxes spread throughout. Will show more respect for the topic - as is it is even disrespectful with all the clutter. History2007 (talk) 22:12, 14 February 2013 (UTC)
Agreed and the clutter isn't just in the visual elements: multiple strands of thought not woven into a coherent whole (rather an apt metaphor for the current state of Christian unity, I'd say, but that might sound rude, see expanded Perichoresis page for more on meme)MrsKrishan (talk) 02:51, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
Italian article is it:Iconografia della Trinità... -- AnonMoos (talk) 00:58, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Strongly object - waiting 3 hours is not enough. Especially as it was replaced by a load of nonsense frankly. In what respects is it "not correct"? Johnbod (talk) 02:59, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
So if we get you upset enough you may even work on it... It needs to move out anyway. As for the text and what it says about art, I have not even read it. I was going t read it over the next few days, but I think it is better if you do it as I started suggesting. Just do it and be done with it. I am not going to work on it, but I think it needs o move out for sure. History2007 (talk) 09:49, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
I wrote pretty much all of it a long time ago. It is a useful contrast to and relief from the over-heavy & ill-organized theological material, as well as offering the non-theologian reader the best approach imo to a sense of how the doctrine of the Trinity was reflected (not the right word, but it will do) in Christianity after the theology had largely settled down. I think it should stay and the more recherche theological stuff be moved out to one or more sub-articles where it can be properly organized. Johnbod (talk) 11:15, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
The topic itself is a theological concept. I agree it is not well done, but going off-topic isn't helpful. --JFH (talk) 12:13, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
Depictions in art are hardly "off-topic" - that is a very strange way of looking at things. The Trinity is (for nearly all Christians) an essential element of Christian belief, that happens (unlike other such elements) to be essentially a theological concept. That does not mean that the article should only contain theology. The theology, and its history, rapidly gets extremely complex and difficult for most readers to follow, and there is far too much of it here for a head article. See below. Johnbod (talk) 13:12, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
Agreed. suggest both art and theology split off, with summary subhead block linking to (main article template) tag - note there are profound cosmic connections to these two areas (see perichoresis, presence-action-movement in the mathematics of Archimedes sprials etc) so need someway to weave them together here BEFORE splitting to details. Can't do more right now I'm off on silent retreat for 4 days, check back in Tues.MrsKrishan (talk) 16:20, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I fail to understand the sense of moving theology out. The article begins by saying that the Trinity is a Christian doctrine. Doctrines are theology. So are mysteries of Christian faith, one of which the Trinity is declared to be in the second paragraph. Distinctions between the doctrine and non-Trinitarian positions, whether within Christianity or outside it, are also theology. The lead suggests that this is precisely what will be in the article - theology. I must suppose that what you mean by theology is instead the section that is now put under the heading "Theology". In isolation, that would be of no interest. What that section needs is a severe reduction, what Jfhutson is patiently working on. There is no need, for instance, for so lengthy a subsection within it as that on "Eternal generation and procession", when a sentence alone directing the reader to the Filioque article would be enough. Surely nobody thinks that this article needs the information given in that subsection on a resolution that the Lambeth Conference adopted in 1978 but that has not been put into effect in all the 35 years since then. Slimmed down, the section now headed "Theology" would become simply the exposition that an article on the Trinity needs to explain what the doctrine of the Trinity is.
This discussion began as a proposal to move the art part out. That does make sense. Esoglou (talk) 17:58, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, I remain completely unconvinced. Some doctrines "are theology", but many other key ones are assertions that certain past and future events did or will happen. These have theology piled upon them, but are not in themselves just theology. That is not the case here, but both old and new versions of the article seem to me to have rather arbitary contents, not well supported by references (see below) that don't amount to a coherent or readable article, by a combination of having too much and too little. It would be much better to move the more detailed material - some of which the article has & some of which it doesn't - out to a new article where it can all be put out at full length for those interested. Personally I found "Eternal generation and procession", though more than is needed, more relevant than much else here. The article also lacks, I suppose driven out by lack of space, the usual sections in articles on doctrines on dedications, celebrations etc etc, and in this case things like the Doctrine of the Trinity Act 1813. These are normally far too long, but should be represented by something. The section on Nontrinitarianism is probably too short - or this should be better covered in the history section. Several of the articles in the category appear unlinked, and should be. Johnbod (talk) 18:46, 15 February 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I'm confused. "Eternal generation and procession" is still there, in fact I added some things to it from other parts of the article. Moving out the bad theological material to a new article is not a solution. Bad material should be carefully deleted. I'd rather have a stub on the trinity than incorrect/misleading material. Maybe at some point I'll get to rewriting, but it almost sounds like I'm being criticized for cutting garbage when I should have sat down and rewritten an article on a very difficult subject. The trinity could have an informative article focused on theology at a moderate length. The fact that you find theology boring is pretty irrelevant. I agree a section on dedications and celebrations and such might be a good idea, SOFIXIT. As for art, I don't see why a theological concept, or any concept, should have a more than a summary style section with a link to an article, as History2007 did. For nontrinitarianism, why should it have more than summary style since it has a whole article? It's basically a criticism of section, and I question whether the existing section should be included at all. --JFH (talk) 16:36, 16 February 2013 (UTC)

Yes, "Eternal generation and procession" is still there; Esoglou thinks it is much too long here, I merely think it is rather too long, and less excessive here than other sections. That all the material you have removed is "bad" I'm not sure; the many changes are hard to follow in diffs, as I say above, and some of it might well be useful in a fuller article just on the theology. Some of the material that's left looks WP:UNDUE to me in a short article, as mentioned above, and I suspect that more important stuff that a balanced article would have is missing. I don't find theology boring, as you assert for no reason, but I do find, as all or the vast majority of readers will, some of the theology here incomprehensible, which is perhaps not surprising for a mystery. I don't say that such material should not be provided for those who can follow it, but that is why we need an offshoot article for a fuller theological account. While we're being personal, you appear to have a Calvinist background which perhaps explains your dismissal of the relevance of church art, not to mention the space still allocated to very obscure modern evangelical writers. You may not like church art, or even think it is blasphemous, but most articles on doctrines that are represented in art have sections on the art that are in most cases the only article on the general subject. The subject of the doctrine of the Trinity cannot be adequately discussed without fuller coverage of those who have rejected it than the listy mentions here. Johnbod (talk) 17:21, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
I apologize for misreading you. I don't think you have to be a Calvinist (I like art! Just not in church) to think that art is more of a related subject than an essential part of an encyclopedic treatment of this topic. I tried to find another article on a theological concept or any concept that had more than a short summary section on art, and came up blank. I agree there's lots of remaining bad material, some of which is probably UNDUE, SOFIXIT. I think everything I've removed would not be appropriate for a more detailed article. Most of it was repetition of other parts of the article, completely unsourced, and/or so confusing I didn't know what to do with it. As for the Nontrinitarian section, what was there before was exactly a list of nontrinitarian groups and why they don't believe in the trinity. I don't see how that helps one understand the trinity. --JFH (talk) 22:20, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
I said doctrines, not theological concepts. Work your way through the Creed & appropriate articles here, and you will find plenty of art. Often short sections are all we have, and some event-related doctrines have many articles on the art. This is in the middle. Johnbod (talk) 23:25, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
Which creed? Neither the Apostles' nor Nicene have art sections. I tried some of the members of the attributes of God template and found no art sections at all. Jesus in Christianity seems like a similar topic and a good candidate for art, but I found not even a section. Crucifixion of Jesus seems like a much more popular subject in art, but currently its art section is much shorter than this one. I think I would be OK with one gallery, as is done at crucifixion, by the way. --JFH (talk) 17:49, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
Please stay awake! " ... who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
   born of the Virgin Mary,
   suffered under Pontius Pilate,
   was crucified, died and was buried;
   he descended into hell;
   on the third day he rose again from the dead;
   he ascended into heaven,
   and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty;" - try the relevant articles. Johnbod (talk) 18:17, 18 February 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Don't forget "From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead." I can't find anything longer than Crucifixion of Jesus#Crucifixion in art, symbolism and devotions, and I'd think that event would be more commonly depicted than this doctrine. --JFH (talk) 19:09, 18 February 2013 (UTC)

Probably correct, which is why that and the Annunciation and Nativity have their own articles, like Resurrection of Jesus in Christian art, but eg Entombment of Christ, Harrowing of Hell and Last Judgement don't. Johnbod (talk) 21:08, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
Then I don't understand your point. Once an art section on a given topic gets too big, it's moved out. That appears to be the case with every other doctrine, and, I would imagine, every other concept. What makes the trinity special? --JFH (talk) 02:19, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
This one has not got too big. Johnbod (talk) 04:42, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure it's the longest art section in an article on a doctrine or episode in Jesus' life, and it is longer than most stand alone Christian art articles. --JFH (talk) 14:33, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
Well one of them has to be, doesn't it? "longer than most stand alone Christian art articles" unfortunately means anything over 100 words - if you'd read more of them you'd know that. I regard the article as unbalanced with that removed, & a large quantity of off-topic waffle remaining. Johnbod (talk) 04:21, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
There must be over a hundred links that should now go to the other arrticle. It is your responsibility to correct them, having initiated the move. Johnbod (talk) 04:31, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
I have looked them over; I honestly don't know what your point is. As Christian art articles go, Trinity in Christian art is a good length article as a stand-alone, and the section here is a good length section as art sections on doctrines go. Searches for [~"Trinity#Artistic depictions"] and [~"Trinity#Art"] return no results, so I'm not sure what you think should link there. --JFH (talk) 16:13, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

Recent changes[edit]

I'm no theologian, and the 128K version before the cuts began was certainly too long, but it seems to me that some babies have been thrown out with the bathwater. A new Theology of the Trinity breakout might be a better route. As it currently stands the article remains very dense theologically (inevitable at some points with this topic), but to lack a natural flow. Some things removed seem more significant than some left in. The "Jesus as God" section, seems rather too long and detailed for here, and also to contain material not in Divinity of Jesus (reds to Christology) that could usefully be there instead. The "non-orthodoxy" section is pretty incomprehensible to me, and are these views significant enough to deserve their own sub-section? Likewise is "George W. Knight III in his 1977 book The New Testament Teaching on the Role Relationship of Men and Women" a sufficiently important figure to mention? Johnbod (talk) 03:38, 15 February 2013 (UTC)

Was not watching here, but received a message. I have not read the article in detail, and I am not going to. Just not on my path to work on. Some statements are correct, but overall it is cluttered and haphazard in many cases; and some of the material was not right when I looked at it a few months ago. Please ask for advice from user:Esoglou, user:Jpacobb user:Mannanan51 and user:StAnselm for all 4 know the theology in detail. I am sure they will be able to do it right if they spend the effort. Some of them edit only occasionally, but just asking them for general comments will be very useful. History2007 (talk) 09:46, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
yes from me - see my comments re: art and cosmic realities such as beauty, goodness, truth (above) can't engage now, on my way out the door for 4 days MrsKrishan (talk) 16:27, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
Two other passing comments: Another user who knows the topic pretty well is user:Jbribeiro1, but he is mostly doing other Wiki languages. Also "Theology of the Trinity" seems unusual, given that most discussions of the Trinity are theology anyway. So to keep the art here and catapult the theology elsewhere looks strange. But anyway, even if I get a message, I will not be looking here for a while, so you guys decide what to do. History2007 (talk) 10:33, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
I hadn't got to cutting the Scripture section, which looks particularly messy, or the non-ortho one, which I know nothing about. I'd welcome review of what I've cut. --JFH (talk) 12:22, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
It's no good just cutting. Much of these needs full rewriting, using a number of standard works. The current references tend to ring alarm bells; there are far too many primary sources, general encyclopedias in various languages, and an absence of standard theological or church history textbooks or other reputable books. These must be easy to obtain on such a fundamental topic, and ideally say 3 different ones, from different parts of the mainstream spectrum of views, should be used in tandem with page refs in the same citation. They ought to be all saying much the same in essence, I would have thought, for most of this topic. The "Orthodox Outlet for Dogmatic Enquiries" is a very poor English translation on the web of the Greek lecture notes of a senior Orthodox cleric; no doubt the original is a fine RS in Greek, but we should be doing better here. Some specific points, though the changes are complicated to follow, & these are only a sample:
agreed re: "just cutting" we need a tailor with a dress pattern to fashion a tunic from this worthy cloth MrsKrishan (talk) 16:27, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
The old "personhood" section, with the list of heresies moved elsewhere, seems useful & should probably be in the lead.
What is this passage trying to say?: "The First Council of Constantinople (381) also says, "This is the Faith of our baptism that teaches us to believe in the Name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. According to this Faith there is one Godhead, Power, and Being of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." Matthew 28:19 may be taken to indicate that baptism was associated with this formula from the earliest decades of the Church's existence."

- Whatever it is it doesn't succeed, and why on earth is this the first section in "Theology"? I'm not convinced that the whole Baptism section would not better reduced to one para, with the rest moved to the "Baptism" article if appropriate.

The "One God" section has only bible refs - actually you don't seem to have changed this para.
Hope this helps, but a full rewrite is really needed. Johnbod (talk) 13:58, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
Agreed re: rewrite (but "full" is in the eye of the beholder of "attribute" - need to be kept open enough that believers of all stripes can "see" their comprehension of the divine mysteries here, such as reverence and awe for mathematical symmetry in non-judeoChristian traditions, such as islam, various virtue-ethic pagan worldviews etc.MrsKrishan (talk) 16:27, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
Baptism is the initiatory rite of Christianity, and the ancientness of the baptismal formula is a common argument for the trinity, so it makes sense to me to start there. It's poorly written. I didn't write it. Some day maybe I'll rewrite it. --JFH (talk) 23:11, 16 February 2013 (UTC)

pickhers[edit]

trinityis my own name that I see and here a lot! — Preceding unsigned comment added by 98.209.249.54 (talk) 22:46, 15 April 2013 (UTC)

"Formula" versus "Doctrine"[edit]

Why is it that, throughout most of the article, the word "formula" is used to denote the idea of the Trinity instead of the word "doctrine?" A doctrine is an important ideology in an organization. Shouldn't the ideology of the Trinity be referred to as a doctrine instead of a formula? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Praestituat (talkcontribs) 04:15, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

"Doctrine" is used many times (31) throughout. Everywhere I see "formula," (10) we're talking about a specific creedal formula or the baptismal formula. --JFH (talk) 14:13, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
I agree with JFH. a quick check showed both Tillich and Justo González make explicit use of the word "formula" for set phrases which are a particular way of expressing the content of a doctrine and I am sure more invetigation would provide other examples. Jpacobb (talk) 15:41, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

trinity question....[edit]

'But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.' mathew 24:36 says this .. if the father ,son and the holy spirt are the same how come the son even dose not no the correct time of the 2nd coming ...Cite error: A <ref> tag is missing the closing </ref> (see the help page). </ref> — Preceding unsigned comment added by ‎124.43.225.115 (talkcontribs)

WP:FORUM. Esoglou (talk) 07:42, 2 July 2013 (UTC)

Eternal Trinity.[edit]

The one perfect observer, symbolized by ‘1’, does not exist as a unit but he exists as the Trinity which consists of the observer, that which the observer observes and the difference between the two. There is no place or time in our reality where the Trinity would not apply. We ourselves are the Trinity. Being eternal the Trinity is invariable and perfect. When there is nothing to observe the observer is on his own and he can observe only himself. The duality of the observer with himself, as 2 identical 1/2, is static in the ‘now’, but when the same duality is observed it changes plurality and position to within the next ‘now’. The two observations create difference between 2 and 4. Because of the lack of balance in the difference the observer is motivated to observe the 4 parts 1/4 of the static ‘1’. The internal dynamism within the static ‘1’ cannot be stopped and it creates plurality of 2 to power ‘n’ of parts 1/2 to power ‘n’ for all ‘n’ in (0<n<oo). It is obvious, from the above considerations, that it is the perfect observer who, out of Nothingness of itself, creates change and dynamism. KK (81.159.57.213 (talk) 19:48, 12 September 2013 (UTC))

If this is personal speculation on your part, it would not appear to have much to do with editing the article... AnonMoos (talk) 23:13, 17 September 2013 (UTC)

Mathematical Trinity (0<1)[edit]

The saying that 'in the beginning there was Nothing out of which, or in which, God created the World' implies that before the beginning there was the Trinity of God, Nothingness and the reason why God acted. The change from non-existence to existence of the World was quantitative, continuous or a combination of the two. If symbol ‘0’ stands for Nothingness and non-existence and symbol '1' stands for full existence then Nothingness, God and the difference between them can be represented by symbol (0<1). Symbol (<) stands for two observations in the two 'now' seen as one unit when the difference is viewed all at once in the second 'now' and in static state. The difference as '1' contains transformation from Nothingness '0' to full existence '1' of the World which is a unit created by God. The duality in the first ‘now’ became the 'past' and memory and the duality in the second ‘now’ became the 'present' containing the past.

When the observer is on his own he is perfect Truth (see The truth about the Truth; TalkTruth). He then observes full existence of the duality of his self and Nothingness as the perfect contradiction of his ‘self’. The difference between observer’s 'self' and Nothingness motivates him for observation in the next 'now'. In the second ‘now’ there are four elements, each of them 1/4 of the static '1' of internal plurality of 4. The continuous observation within the Trinity cannot be stopped so that internal plurality of static '1' grows as 2 to power 'n' of parts 1/n, where (0<n<oo). The medium of Nothingness is independent of the observer but it is the duality of existence non-existence for all ‘n’ because when Nothingness is being observed it exists for the observer but at the same time it non-exists because the observer exists. Therefore Nothingness is identical with the observer ‘1’ and with itself as ‘0’. The transformation remains invariable but the velocity of change is different for each ‘n’ Direction of change is reversed when n=g, where ‘g’ is the plurality equal to ‘n’ at some point ‘n’ at which there is limit of observation for the imperfect observer who is a part of the Perfect observer limited to the plurality of 'g' and who uses 1/g for the unit of truth of description. (See limited infinity 11/06/2010 in Talkinfinity)..KK (81.151.89.114 (talk) 23:30, 18 January 2014 (UTC))

If this is your personal speculation, it doesn't belong on the article... AnonMoos (talk) 07:35, 19 January 2014 (UTC)

Trinitarian or trinitarian?[edit]

I see a problem with consistency in this article: sometimes the word "Trinitarian" is used, whereas in other parts we see "trinitarian". Wouldn't it be best to reach a consensus on the matter? Likewise, if the proper term is "Trinitarian", wouldn't that force "nontrinitarian" to be written "non-Trinitarian"? After all, in the Hyphen article, it reads, "Certain prefixes (co-, pre-, mid-, de-, non-, anti-, etc.) may or may not be hyphenated. (...) A hyphen is mandatory when a prefix is applied to a proper (capitalized) adjective (un-American, de-Stalinisation)." Dontreader (talk) 08:29, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

"Definition of TRINITARIAN
1 capitalized : of or relating to the Trinity, the doctrine of the Trinity, or adherents to that doctrine
2 : having three parts or aspects : threefold" (Merriam-Webster).
"Nontrinitarian" seems to be a Wikipedia invention (2 dictionaries), and as such should be excluded from Wikipedia, which does not admit original research. Cf. this result of a search for "non-trinitarian dictionary". The article Nontrinitarianism thus seems to require renaming. Esoglou (talk) 14:38, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, Esoglou. At least you seem to be establishing that throughout this article the word "Trinitarian" must be capitalized, so I'm willing to do that if no one comes up with a counterargument; however, although the term "non-Trinitarian" might not show up in dictionaries, it is probably because it's a very technical term but it's taken very seriously by many people who don't agree with the concept of the Trinity. Here's one example: http://www.cgg.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/About.FAQ/ID/251/What-Does-Non-Trinitarian-Mean.htm
Besides, although the Wikipedia article about "nontrinitarianism" (which should apparently be called "non-Trinitarianism") does have some original research, I believe it provides a vast amount of useful verifiable information that cannot be found in this article. In theory, one would think that the article about Unitarianism would be enough, but it has a link to "nontrinitarianism" for a reason, surely. It says, "To avoid confusion, this article is about Unitarianism as a religious movement (proper noun). For the generic form of unitarianism (the Christology), see Nontrinitarianism." Since I'm not an expert, hopefully others will express their opinions, too. Dontreader (talk) 19:13, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
I don't think there is any objection to "Non-Trinitarianism" as a title for the other article; but I think the present title, "Nontrinitarianism" is unacceptable, not being commonly used outside of Wikipedia. The title of that article should be changed and references to "nontrinitarianism" in other articles should be changed to "non-Trinitarianism". Esoglou (talk) 19:30, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
I have conducted my own research based on your claims, Esoglou, reaching the same conclusions. "Trinitarian" is a proper noun and must therefore be capitalized unless it does not have a religious meaning; this capitalization is also required for "Trinitarianism". Also, based on my research concerning hyphens, "non-Trinitarian" is the correct form, as you pointed out, plus indeed it's the way the term is spelled in theological articles (not "nontrinitarian", which is incorrect). Does anyone disagree? Dontreader (talk) 23:39, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

Neutral point of view?[edit]

I came across a statement in Trinitarianism#Biblical background that reads, "There is no significant tendency among modern scholars to deny that John 1:1 and John 20:28 identify Jesus with God.", and this assertion is supposedly supported by a book that was apparently written by Raymond E. Brown, a renowned Roman Catholic scholar. I would like to know why that reference is supposed to be deemed reliable and neutral enough to back up the pro-Trinity assertion that was made. Bear in mind that the notion that those two passages that allegedly "identify Jesus with God" has been systematically denied by non-Trinitarians. Please read here Nontrinitarianism#John 1:1 and here Nontrinitarianism#John 20:28-29.

Therefore, I believe that claim should be removed unless we can demonstrate that what Raymond E. Brown wrote supports it without any bias, which I believe is impossible. The only reason why one can argue that "There is no significant tendency among modern scholars to deny that John 1:1 and John 20:28 identify Jesus with God." is because the vast majority of scholars are Trinitarians, and therefore they are biased. The non-Trinitarians (who are also biased) are much smaller in number but they disagree completely with that assertion. In my opinion the claim that is being made does not show a neutral point of view, which is essential to Wikipedia. Dontreader (talk) 06:52, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

There would be faulty logic in a claim that a scholar who believes Jesus is God cannot be cited on the quite distinct question whether a particular text refers to Jesus as God. Similar faulty logic would be found in a claim that a scholar who does not believe that Jesus is God cannot be cited on the, I repeat, quite distinct question whether a particular text refers to Jesus as God. Read this article by Brown. Esoglou (talk) 07:33, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
Thank you very much for the article, Esoglou. I wish every Evangelical Christian in America would read it. Definitely Brown was a brilliant theologian, and I noticed that some of the scholars he cited are not Trinitarians, so he was very open-minded. I still wonder, however, if the assertion that is being made should be attributed to him. Since you seem to agree with me that the reference given for the claim is from a book that he wrote, shouldn't we specify that according to Raymond E. Brown, "There is no significant tendency among modern scholars to deny that John 1:1 and John 20:28 identify Jesus with God." That seems like standard procedure to me. Thanks again for sharing. Dontreader (talk) 08:10, 12 October 2013 (UTC)
Although I have three of Brown's books, I don't have the one referred to in the footnote and I don't feel like searching for it just now. I do believe that the citation is accurate, but you may prefer to reword the article. Esoglou (talk) 08:27, 12 October 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, Esoglou. I did something like that on one occasion, specifying who had made the claim (based on the source that was provided), but back then I was able to study the source article online; this time I don't feel comfortable with making a similar edit because, like you, I don't have access to the information in the pages of the book that are cited as the source. I'm sorry for my late reply, and certainly I regret that our solid points on the "non-Trinitarian" issue did not persuade others to agree to rename the article. I wish more editors had participated in the debate. Anyway, we tried our best. Keep up the great work, and thanks again for showing up when I asked for your help. Dontreader (talk) 03:41, 19 October 2013 (UTC)

"Only"[edit]

An IP editor 72.93.248.186 changed the original wording "can only be understood in trinitarian terms" to "can be understood only in trinitarian terms" on the grounds that this is correct phrasing. Fowler (Modern English Usage (1950) s.v.) gives the following guidelines:

  1. There is an orthodox position for the adverb "only";
  2. It is wrong to choose another position that spoils or obscures the meaning;
  3. However, a different position is justified by history and colloquial usage provided the meaning remains clear;
  4. Furthermore, rhetorical needs may require this change.

Having reread the passage from McGrath, I consider that the original text is unambiguous and represents his thought better and have reverted to it. Jpacobb (talk) 15:25, 9 November 2013 (UTC)

Proposed move to LDR footnotes[edit]

Given the length of the text and the density of footnotes required, I suggest moving to the WP:LDR format. The text has reached the stage where, IMHO, it's quite hard to have any idea what some sections will render as without a preview, due to the lengthy inline refs. mathrick (talk) 17:04, 28 November 2013 (UTC)

NPOV notice in the source comments[edit]

I have restored and strengthened the qualified and indirect language used in the introduction, to reflect better the fact it's only a claim. Since the vast majority of English Wikipedia readers and editors come from some kind of Christian Trinitarian background, it's easier to assume it's self-evident, obvious or natural. However, we still have the responsibility to present things which can be verified, and as such, we can only verify that certain people say things one way or another in their particular doctrine. And as the introduction is the part many people end their reading with, it requires even more care.

To make sure it stays that way, I have added a notice in the source comments before the introduction text. If you have any suggestions to the wording, that is of course welcome. mathrick (talk) 17:38, 28 November 2013 (UTC)

Blasphemy in Islam[edit]

I'm not a scholar in either religion, but the statement at the bottom of the article:

"...several verses of the Quran teach that the doctrine of Trinity is blasphemous."

This statement does not appear to be supported by the two verses which are quoted by its citation. I checked both verses online and neither one of them appears to assert anything about the trinity. One of them generically says that Allah is the only god, and the other one doesn't even seem relevant to the topic of personhood in divinity.

Given that the Quran was mostly complete before the doctrine of the trinity was widespread, how could the Quran reference the trinity concept as a blasphemy? This doesn't make any sense. (Granted, I am not considering the possibility that Jehovah intentionally and directly (or indirectly through Satan or by using other spirits) made Muhammed falsely condemn Jehovah's own trinity nature before the trinity was even fully formulated as a theological concept. I did think of this possibility, but it seemed ridiculous enough that I doubt most trinitarian Christians would defend it.) TricksterWolf (talk) 02:45, 6 February 2014 (UTC)

It's really not the case that "the Qur[']an was mostly complete before the doctrine of the [T]rinity was widespread". In fact, the events occurred in the opposite order (and several centuries apart). I'm not sure about "blasphemy" as such, but Muslims theologians certainly regard it as an offense against strict monotheism, tolerable in Christians, but any Muslims who adopt such views are to be severely condemned. And the Qur'an certainly does reference the Trinity, but it seems extremely doubtful that Muhammad understood the details of Christian doctrine... AnonMoos (talk) 11:31, 6 February 2014 (UTC)
P.S. The form "Jehovah" is based on an old blatantly mistaken misunderstanding of Hebrew, and is somewhat old fashioned and/or associated with certain minority denominations among many English-speaking Christians today. As way of avoiding the word "God", many would find its use objectionable. AnonMoos (talk) 11:36, 6 February 2014 (UTC)
I appreciate the clarification. My initial concern that the citation doesn't support the statement still holds, however. You need to cite a reliable source (perhaps an Islamic scholar) that describes the Trinity as blasphemous, not list verses in the Quran with dubious interpretation.
Also, due apologies for the use of Jehovah, and I realize this is not the place to discuss that issue, but since you brought it up: don't most Christians believe they worship the same deity as the Jews? I'm pretty sure the Jews have always called their deity Jehovah (or Yahweh, the abbreviated form to avoid violating the commandment against saying Jehovah by the laity). TricksterWolf (talk) 14:42, 6 February 2014 (UTC)
I really don't know whether "blasphemy" is exactly the right word or not, and I'm not necessarily defending the article as it stands. However, there is in fact a firm consensus among Muslims that the Christian Trinity is a reprehensible departure from strict monotheism, and this continues along the line of thought already contained in Qur'an verse 5:73 etc. (though some Christian scholars strongly doubt whether Muhammad had any sound understanding of the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, as opposed to a caricatured or strawman version of the Trinity).
And the written purely-consonantal Tetragrammaton יהוה YHWH certainly occurs in the written text of the Hebrew Bible, and in other written Jewish texts, but for well over 2,000 years Jews have refrained from pronouncing this word out loud in almost all or all contexts (in the 1st century A.D., supposedly only the High Priest of the Jerusalem temple pronounced the word exactly once a year in the Holy of Holies; after the fall of the temple in 70 A.D. the prevailing view among Jewish religious authorities is that it should not be pronounced at all). Traditionally, the spoken word adonai אדני is substituted for written YHWH in Hebrew; this was translated into Greek Κυριος in ancient times (see Septuagint), and becomes "LORD" in English, etc. The form "Jehovah" was created as a blatant mistake by early Christian Hebraists who completely misunderstood the Hebrew textual device of Q're perpetuum. The form "Yahweh" was postulated as a speculative linguistic reconstruction by a better-informed later Christian Hebraist in 1814. No traditionally-minded Jew would be likely to pronounce either one out loud (in fact, some Jews are now reluctant to pronounce even words such as Adonai and Elohim except in scripture-reading and prayers, replacing them with substitutes such as "HaShem", "Elokim" etc. in other contexts).
In any case, no matter which version you choose, if you use it in order to avoid using the word "God", many would find it objectionable... AnonMoos (talk) 18:23, 6 February 2014 (UTC)
For the first part, I definitely believe you are correct in your assertion; I just don't think the reference supports it. A reliable source describing how Muslim clerics have interpreted the Trinity would be more useful than referencing vaguely-written verses in the Quran (which may be obvious in meaning to Muslims, but not so much to outsiders).
For the second part, I again apologize. I have no problem or shame in referring to God as God. It's just confusing to speak from an interfaith perspective when you need to specify to which god you are referring, without laying claim to which god is the "real" God. Many Christians do not believe that Allah is the same god as God/Jehovah/the-Jewish-god, for example (as opposed to seeing Allah as a misinterpretation or different point of view on the Jewish God). I don't know of a neutral way to talk about the subject without offending anyone, but anything you can say to educate me is (sincerely) appreciated.  :) The problem with text-based environments is it's difficult to read emotion and intent; mine here is not to insult or belittle anyone's beliefs. TricksterWolf (talk) 23:24, 7 February 2014 (UTC)
A reliable scholarly source for Muhammad denouncing (what he understood to be) the Christian trinity might not explain in detail (for people without prior knowledge of Islam) the particular Qur'an verses involved. It would likely be written by a scholar for other scholars, not for beginners.
Muslims seem to be somewhat internally split on "Allah" vs. "God" (or equivalent) when speaking languages other than Arabic. Some insist on using "Allah", while others are against the practice insofar as it may tend to give non-Muslims the impression that "Allah" and "God" are different. Arabic-speaking non-Muslim monotheists use the word "Allah" to refer to the God of their religions in Arabic texts. A few years ago, part of the government of Malaysia tried to prohibit Christians from using the word "Allah" to refer to their God in the Malay language, and received a lot of pushback (including some from fellow Muslims), and had to abandon the attempt. (There later was a second attempt, but I'm not sure where it stands in the legal system now.)
In any case, Christians are not divided on this matter... AnonMoos (talk) 01:51, 9 February 2014 (UTC)

Hannah Montana illustration[edit]

The Holy Trinity is NOT like Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus, i.e. the Water, Ice and Steam example. This is modalism. Rather, the Holy Trinity is one God. And within the Trinity is the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who is "God" (i.e. attribute). But it is the Trinity itself who is God :) 129.180.152.199 (talk) 12:47, 9 August 2014 (UTC)

Agree about modalism... AnonMoos (talk) 08:44, 10 August 2014 (UTC)