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#106    Frank Merton

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 09:41 AM

Some sort of inclusion of Mary in the Trinity may have been around, after the model of the Egyptian Trinity of Osiris, Horus and Isis (Mother, Father and Son).  There was in early Christianity enough misogyny to exclude her (although of course later she became an extremely important deity).  Indeed, I have long thought that this is where the idea of the Trinity came from in the first place.


#107    eight bits

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 10:10 AM

Howdy, Frank

Quote

Some sort of inclusion of Mary in the Trinity may have been around, after the model of the Egyptian Trinity of Osiris, Horus and Isis (Mother, Father and Son).  There was in early Christianity enough misogyny to exclude her (although of course later she became an extremely important deity).  Indeed, I have long thought that this is where the idea of the Trinity came from in the first place.

Deification of Mary is a fairly surface idea. Even the false accusations that others did it, are doing it, or have planned to do it, are revealing of how easy it would be to cast Mary in the archetypal role of Cosmic Mother.

Including her in the Trinity is trickier, because you'd have to evict one of the current godpersons. I can find allusions to a divine Mary, but I really can't find much of anything that puts Mary in a Trinity, except the misreading of the Koran which, as I said to PA, looks a lot like the same-ol' same-oh anti-Catholic bigotry, only this time, the target wears a turban instead of a mitre.

I doubt Egyptian mythology has anything whatsoever to do with the Christian Trinity, which is so clearly instrumental to resolve self-conscious problems in christology and ecclesiology peculiar to the idea that the Jewish God had a biological child who was supposed to come back and obviously didn't. It's like claiming that a jackhammer is a borrowing from Egypt, because after all, Egyptians used copper chisels to work stone, and "it's the same thing." No, it isn't.

As to Mary, there are only so many ways to be born on Earth. There's having a mother, and ... then there's ... um, ... Ooh! ooh! Beaming an infant down from orbit.

So, the church fathers went with Jesus having a mother. And not to be all unsentimental and bloodless about it, but one mother with a baby in her lap looks pretty much like any other.

Edited by eight bits, 09 February 2013 - 10:11 AM.

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#108    Esoteric Toad

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 10:53 AM

An afterlife that you could choose would be nice. Not one where you are immortal but one where things were as you would like them to be. You would still have to face struggles but you could truly uncover the real answers to the University. And when that life runs out you could opt to carry on or call it a day.

Edited by Esoteric Toad, 09 February 2013 - 10:54 AM.


#109    Paranoid Android

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 11:59 AM

View Posteight bits, on 09 February 2013 - 08:59 AM, said:

PA

Although it is clear that Mohammed read some "Gospels" that weren't in the canon, the business about his misunderstanding Trinitarian doctrine seems to be a doubtful Christian counterapologetic maneuver, and not supported in the Koran. Morevover, there is a clear and present possibility that some Protestants are going for a "two-fer," criticizing Islam while indulging in anti-Catholic bigotry and demagoguery on the Marian question.....

....5: 116 seems to be the money verse. It includes "And when Allah will say: O Isa son of Marium! did you say to men, Take me and my mother for two gods ..." but there is nothing there about a Trinity, nor about who might have believed this divine pairing.
That was the verse I was thinking of.  As you say, the word "trinity" is not mentioned specifically in this verse, but in context it's pretty obvious that it is referring to a triune concept:

And when Allah will say: O Isa son of Marium! did you say to men, Take me and my mother for two gods besides Allah he will say: Glory be to Thee, it did not befit me that I should say what I had no right to (say); if I had said it, Thou wouldst indeed have known it; Thou knowest what is in my mind, and I do not know what is in Thy mind, surely Thou art the great Knower of the unseen things.

It doesn't just say "take me and my mother for two gods", it is followed by "two gods besides Allah".  That's three gods there, and I see it as clearly a reference to the Trinity

View Posteight bits, on 09 February 2013 - 08:59 AM, said:

Like the Bible itself , the Koran has no mention of The Trinity as a term. It follows, then, that any interpretation of some mention of three persons as a reference to "The Trinity" needs scrutiny. Then, a second issue would be whether or not Mohammed actually attributes that belief to mainstream Christianity.
On this, I beg to differ.  I offer Surah 4:171 as Exhibit A:

O followers of the Book! do not exceed the limits in your religion, and do not speak (lies) against Allah, but (speak) the truth; the Messiah, Isa son of Marium is only an apostle of Allah and His Word which He communicated to Marium and a spirit from Him; believe therefore in Allah and His apostles, and say not, Three. Desist, it is better for you; Allah is only one God; far be It from His glory that He should have a son, whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth is His, and Allah is sufficient for a Protector.
~ Surah 4:171


I've seen other translations of the Qu'ran translate the word "three" as "trinity" instead.  If that is an inaccurate rendering of the word, then so be it, but the meaning of this verse is clear - do not believe in the idea of three beings as God Trinity, Allah is only one God.  Incidentally, I offer as Exhibit B an almost identical comment in Surah 5:73 -

Certainly they disbelieve who say: Surely Allah is the third (person) of the three; and there is no god but the one God, and if they desist not from what they say, a painful chastisement shall befall those among them who disbelieve.
~ Surah 5:73


This suggests believing Allah to be only one of three is worthy of "painful chastisement", in the same Surah you declare appeared to be the "money verse" for Mary's triune nature (albeit separated by approximately 40 verses).  I would argue that under these circumstances it is not unreasonable to suggest that Mohammed wrote the Qu'ran with the mistaken belief that Mary was one of three, alongside Jesus and Allah in the Christian trinity.

I'm not sure how anyone could arrive at an alternative conclusion, actually.

~ Regards, PA

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#110    freetoroam

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 12:40 PM

View Postwillowdreams, on 09 February 2013 - 05:12 AM, said:

i never thought of an 'after life' as in.. ghoste.. or heaven or such, but sometimes I wish for a new life. Like reincarnation. And not always on this planet, or even as a 'human'..

Just.. something different. New experiences.
Maybe you will come back as a fly, like that annoying little one running about on your sig. I still fall it!! :cry:


#111    eight bits

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 02:11 PM

PA

Quote

It doesn't just say "take me and my mother for two gods", it is followed by "two gods besides Allah".  That's three gods there, and I see it as clearly a reference to the Trinity

No, 5: 116 is clearly a reference to three divine candidates: The God whom Jesus preached, which would be Allah in the Koran, Jesus himself and his mother. The Christian Trinity, last I heard, was one God with three persons. There's nothing like that in the verse, and nothing about any "people of the book" believing in all three god candidates that are mentioned in the verse.

The conceit is that this is Jesus' reply to Allah's question about whether he preached a specific polytheist doctrine, deifying himself and his mother. There is no dispute that Jesus preached Allah as well. Yup, one plus one plus one is three, all right. But threefoldness does not imply the Trinity, it implies that Jesus plus his mother would be two more than Allah alone.

Jesus defends himself by denying that he preached the two deifications of people, and states affirmatively what his preaching was. On it face, the question is what did Jesus preach, without stating what group says he preached the deification of himself and his mother. Christians don't. That's not a reason to conclude Mohammed screwed up Christian doctrine. That's a reason to ask who else might have said something inaccurate and inflammatory about what Jesus preached?

Well, Jesus preached to Jews, not all of whom were receptive to his preaching. The Koranic verse, then, may be a witness to Jewish anti-Jesus and anti-Marian calmunies, others of which are found in the Babylonian Talmud, which even in written form is older than the Koran. We know that sectarian religious calumny can enjoy wide circulation outside the group of origin, because we are all familiar with Protestants who flatly lie today about Roman Catholics worshipping Mary.  

Mohammed wouldn't swipe at the Jews? No, of course not, what am I thinking? OK, then, as I noted in my post, we have Epiphanius' witness to an earlier pagan-syncretic Marian cult, and Al-Azraqi's placement of a portrait of Jesus and his mother among the Arab pagan idols. So, there is no reason to assert that only a Christian would discuss Jesus' mother, but on the contrary, plenty of non-Muslim non-Chrisitans might have done so.

There is, as I said, no textual support for Mohammed teaching that a divine Mary was the actual doctrine of any Christian group. That verse 5: 116 mentions Mary and two persons whom you would call God is not evidence that Mohammed doesn't know who the Christian Trinity is; it is evidence that he wasn't talking about Christians' view of the Trinity.

Conversely, 4: 171, from a different sermon given at a different time, is directed at Christians, and does deny the Christian Trinity, without using the term. None of that rebuts "Like the Bible itself , the Koran has no mention of The Trinity as a term." There is nothing there which rebuts that the interpretation of a Koranic mention of three persons requires scrutiny. There is nothing there which rebuts that there is a second question, whether Mohammed misstates Christian beliefs about the Trinity, especially as concerns Mary's membership in the Godhead.

And lest, we lose sight of the issue being addressed in the paragraph of mine you quoted, Mary isn't described as a member of the three whom any followers of the book profess to be God.

Edited by eight bits, 09 February 2013 - 02:17 PM.

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#112    Frank Merton

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 02:59 PM

I see nothing in the text of the New Testament that unambiguously teaches the Trinity.  Even the word "Trinity" as well as words like "God-Head" don't appear.

I am functioning from distant memory here from when I was going to school in the States and took some "Bible lessons" from Jehovah's Witnesses -- about forty years ago.

The first verse of John is about the closest you get, and it is ambiguous.  There are passages all over the place that say the Son is less than the Father, with no accompanying mention that this only applies to his earthly manifestation.

Of course later on what to do with Jesus became a real problem for the early Christians, and various Trinities were all over the ancient world, and from somewhere the formula, "In the name of the Father, etc.," had become established as part of the baptism ritual (which seemingly comes out of nowhere -- I would guess in imitation of other mystery cults), so a divine Trinity is a way to elevate Jesus to godhood enabling the Christians to compete with other similar groups as to the status of their founder.


#113    Paranoid Android

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 08:16 PM

View Posteight bits, on 09 February 2013 - 02:11 PM, said:

PA



No, 5: 116 is clearly a reference to three divine candidates: The God whom Jesus preached, which would be Allah in the Koran, Jesus himself and his mother. The Christian Trinity, last I heard, was one God with three persons. There's nothing like that in the verse, and nothing about any "people of the book" believing in all three god candidates that are mentioned in the verse.
I can't agree with your reading.  To me it's an obvious reference to three beings as God, heresy to Muslims, but an important aspect to Christianity (and yes, you are right that the Christian Trinity is one God with three persons - the comment made in the Qu'ran seems to be arguing against that as heresy, mistaking the three persons to include Mary.  As I said, I cannot see any other way to interpret this passage.


View Posteight bits, on 09 February 2013 - 02:11 PM, said:

We know that sectarian religious calumny can enjoy wide circulation outside the group of origin, because we are all familiar with Protestants who flatly lie today about Roman Catholics worshipping Mary.  
Lying implies that they know the truth but intentionally hide it by using a coverstory.  Many protestants who say Catholics worship Mary simply don't know better.  That is not the same as lying.


View Posteight bits, on 09 February 2013 - 02:11 PM, said:

Conversely, 4: 171, from a different sermon given at a different time, is directed at Christians, and does deny the Christian Trinity, without using the term. None of that rebuts "Like the Bible itself , the Koran has no mention of The Trinity as a term." There is nothing there which rebuts that the interpretation of a Koranic mention of three persons requires scrutiny. There is nothing there which rebuts that there is a second question, whether Mohammed misstates Christian beliefs about the Trinity, especially as concerns Mary's membership in the Godhead.
I was using 4:171 as a first example.  I also included 5:73, from the same Surah as where we get our comment on Mary.  And whether the word Trinity is exactly there, it refers to "three" - as such, arguing the semantics of Trinity is really just that; semantics.  Later in that same Surah it goes on to speak about Jesus and Mary being gods alongside Allah, and thusly I find no recourse but to connect the "three" of verse 73 with the Mary/Jesus/Allah of verse 116.  If one were so inclined, they may just use "..." to edit the Surah to read as follows:

Quote

Certainly they disbelieve who say: Surely Allah is the third (person) of the three; and there is no god but the one God... And when Allah will say: O Isa son of Marium! did you say to men, Take me and my mother for two gods besides Allah he will say: Glory be to Thee, it did not befit me that I should say what I had no right to (say)...
~ Surah 5:73, 116
Sounds very much like the topic of the Surah is still on the subject matter of Allah's oneness.

~ Regards, PA

Edited by Paranoid Android, 09 February 2013 - 08:23 PM.

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#114    dougeaton

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 08:24 PM

Sometimes I wish for one, at other times, when days a dark and shi-ty, when my body aches and I am restless, the thought of not existing appeals to me.  It would be good to shut the mind down for like forever.

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If you must have  finale absolute answers, then become an  hard nosed atheist or a fundie of any religion, both seem to be black and white thinkers, and have only contempt for those who think differently.

#115    eight bits

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 11:22 PM

PA

Quote

As I said, I cannot see any other way to interpret this passage.

Oh no, the argument from incredulity. There's a stopper. I am undone.

Mohammed was clever not to mention Christianity anywhere in the passage, especially not after he has suspiciously counted to three. Three is the number of Gods Jesus would necessarily have preached if Jesus had preached two more gods in addition to the one god which he did preach.

That the focus of the passage is whether Jesus taught two more gods than the one god he did teach that isn't in dispute obviously fails to account for the mention of three. No, the key to the passage lies not in what it says, but in what it doesn't say.

Mohammed's silence about Chrisitanity, combined with this uncanny ability to add two plus one and get three, while enumerating three gods who aren't the Christian Trinity, proves that the never mentioned Trinity of the never mentioned Christians is what is really being mentioned here. Add to that that what he described absolutely cannot be mistaken for the Christian Trinity, and it's just obvious what he meant. Case closed.

Quote

Lying implies that they know the truth but intentionally hide it by using a coverstory.

Lying also includes reckless negligence or depraved indifference. It's easy enough to look up what the Catholic position on Mary is, from official written sources, direct consultation with any church information office, etc.

There is no excuse for anyone to shoot their mouth off and spew bigotry, especially not on a fact claim that is both false and trivially easy to learn the actual facts about.

Quote

And whether the word Trinity is exactly there, it refers to "three" - as such, arguing the semantics of Trinity is really just that; semantics.

Your material was offered in rebuttal to some true connective-tissue observations I made, which you quoted. What you presented in "rebuttal" does not contradict anything that I wrote which appears in your quote box. That is not semantics, that is a fact.

Quote

  If one were so inclined, they may just use "..." to edit the Surah to read as follows:

Except that the ellipsis is about 40 intervening verses. At one point point in the sermon Mohammed is talking about one thing, and sometime later he is talking about something else.

That's not called editing, it's called quote mining. Of course, if we each simply write our own Koran, cherry picking the original for what we like, and leaving the rest, then that would considerably simplify finding there whatever we wished to find.

Think the Muslims will buy that?

Quote

Sounds very much like the topic of the Surah is still on the subject matter of Allah's oneness

Quite so. Too bad that that isn't the question which divides us. The question in contention is whether Mohammed asserted that Christians include Mary in the Trinity. He didn't.

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#116    apn

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 12:32 AM

I hope I will cease to exist.  When I think about me before my first memory I think of nothing but peace.  It is a bliss, without bills to pay, books to read, things to learn, without competition and heartbreaks.  Beside, if it happens that I would encounter gods, I don't think that I would be able to forgive them the atrocities that they allowed to commit on this planet in their name.

Existence of hell is not necessarily constant in Christianity.  I was reading Origen of Alexandria some time ago, and he represented view that the burning flames of hell is a cleansing process necessary for sinners (everybody) to become pure enough to gain access to the divine kingdom. Judaism has somehow similar concept. All denominations have different version of hell.  Catholics today claim that hell is the same as heaven, except the hell-goer does not see God. Evangelicals are very brutal in the vision: burning flames, demons, etc.  Bible is very obscure about the subject.

Therefore: existence of heaven without hell is not only plausible in Christianity, but it's actually a belief that was widespread in early years of these faiths, as well as believed by some branches today.  As for me, to hell with afterlife.




#117    Melo -

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 01:03 AM

I can honestly say i'm quite fond of the idea of floating in infinite black waters with the one's i love in complete bliss and eternally discussing the great mess and curiosity of things...u know?

more dangerous than any weapon is a face of evil, with a mask of good intention...

#118    Paranoid Android

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 03:24 AM

View Posteight bits, on 09 February 2013 - 11:22 PM, said:

PA

Oh no, the argument from incredulity. There's a stopper. I am undone.
I'm just stating my reading of the Qu'ranic verse here.  I can't help it that it is different to your interpretation.


View Posteight bits, on 09 February 2013 - 11:22 PM, said:

Mohammed's silence about Chrisitanity, combined with this uncanny ability to add two plus one and get three, while enumerating three gods who aren't the Christian Trinity, proves that the never mentioned Trinity of the never mentioned Christians is what is really being mentioned here. Add to that that what he described absolutely cannot be mistaken for the Christian Trinity, and it's just obvious what he meant. Case closed.
I can't agree.  Case is far from closed.


View Posteight bits, on 09 February 2013 - 11:22 PM, said:

Lying also includes reckless negligence or depraved indifference. It's easy enough to look up what the Catholic position on Mary is, from official written sources, direct consultation with any church information office, etc.

There is no excuse for anyone to shoot their mouth off and spew bigotry, especially not on a fact claim that is both false and trivially easy to learn the actual facts about.
Lying is the intentional withholding of facts to twist the truth into something else. Reckless negligence or depraved indifference do not necessarily mean that the person is not sincere in their belief.  Even if confronted with evidence to the contrary it may be so ingrained into their worldview that they are unable to see beyond their own nose.  Again, this is not lying.


View Posteight bits, on 09 February 2013 - 11:22 PM, said:

Your material was offered in rebuttal to some true connective-tissue observations I made, which you quoted. What you presented in "rebuttal" does not contradict anything that I wrote which appears in your quote box. That is not semantics, that is a fact.
"Three" vs "Trinity".  Whether or not the word itself is accurately translated as "trinity" (and as I said, some translations of the Qu'ran do translate it as "trinity"), it clearly refers to the concept of three-ness within the godhead.


View Posteight bits, on 09 February 2013 - 11:22 PM, said:

Except that the ellipsis is about 40 intervening verses. At one point point in the sermon Mohammed is talking about one thing, and sometime later he is talking about something else.

That's not called editing, it's called quote mining.
True, the forty-odd verses between them do make for an unusually long break in the train of thought, but the topic is still about the oneness of Allah. Now if the text went on to describe other deities compared to Allah, perhaps I may agree.  But it speaks of the oneness of Allah, it attacks the doctrine of the trinity (referring to Allah as the "third person") and that those who believe this should suffer "painful chastisement".  It then continues on to speak of Allah's mercifulness for those who turn back to him (verse 74), then reaffirms Jesus' earthly apostleship rather than divine nature (verse 75).  Verse 76-80 go on to affirm that the "followers of the book" should not engage in evil practices.  Perhaps the scope of the sermon is being broadened to include other evils, or perhaps the topic is still focused on the three-ness of those who follow the book compared to the oneness of Allah.  Verses 81 and 82 finally move away from Allah, but only insofar as to argue against the polytheists and Jews.  The focus is still on Allah.....

Eventually the topic gets back to Jesus' alleged godhood (already addressed in verse 74 by stating he was simply an apostle of Allah).  This time it refers to Jesus and Mary, raising the question of whether they are two gods besides Allah.  

And here, apparently you and I take convergent ideas.  I can't agree with your interpretation.  That's that.  


View Posteight bits, on 09 February 2013 - 11:22 PM, said:

Quite so. Too bad that that isn't the question which divides us. The question in contention is whether Mohammed asserted that Christians include Mary in the Trinity. He didn't.
Clearly we are divided on this answer.  I can't agree.

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#119    eight bits

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 10:39 AM

Quote

I'm just stating my reading of the Qu'ranic verse here.  I can't help it that it is different to your interpretation.

PA, your original pronouncement was

Quote

The Christianity that Mohammed had contact with is actually quite different to the mainstream Christianity of the time.  For example, I can't recall the exact quote from the Qu'ran, but at one point Mohammed argues against the Christian view of the Trinity, referring to God, Jesus, and Mary.  The view of God/Jesus/Mary as the Trinity was never a widely held belief, it's always been God/Jesus/Holy Spirit.  But it was a belief held by small isolated groups in the Middle East at the time of Mohammed.  So whenever Mohammed speaks about Christianity it's wise to take into account the limits of his understanding of what Christians actually believed.

There's not one single word about "My reading of the Koran is ..." You say Mohammed argues such and such. That's a simple declarative sentence, asserting that Mohammed did something as an accomplished fact.

No, he did not. He wrote something and you argue that you can read it in your way. Sure you can. It's scripture. That well-known labilitiy doesn't alter what's in the black-letter text.

When Mohammed does argue against the Christian Trinity, which he surely does because he surely rejects it, there is nothing in his text to indicate that it isn't the Nicene Trinity he rejects. When he argues against a divine Mary, which he also rejects, there is nothing to indicate that he thinks her divinity is part of any Christian belief, whether about the Trinity or otherwise.

You mention unnamed "groups in the Middle east at the time of Mohammed," but you skip the questions of whether they're Christians, and whether the "belief held" is that the Trinity actually is Father-Son-Mother, or whether the holding is that Jesus taught that, as might be said by non-Christians to discredit the competition. I showed three historically attested avenues whereby a divine Mary might have been taught by non-Nicenes, with a variety of motives for their proposing a hypothetical divine status that may or may not have been part of the Trinity.

That Mohammed is a witness to somebody proposing a divine Mary does not mean that he teaches that typical Christians of his day included Mary in their Trinity.

Quote

Again, this is not lying.

It was entirely reasonable of you to inquire what I meant by a word. You asked and I explained. If you prefer to use the word differently, then I am not stopping you. My own statement stands.

Quote

it clearly refers to the concept of three-ness within the godhead.

Godhead? There is no godhead mentioned in the passage. There is a hypothetical pantheon with at least three members. Or, is it your proposal that when I read, at 53: 19-20

Have you then considered the Lat and the Uzza, and Manat, the third, the last?

I am to suppose that Mohammed also believed that the Christian Trinity consists of three Arab pagan goddesses?

Quote

...but the topic is still about the oneness of Allah.

You're harping on the undisputed. The whole religion is about the oneness of Allah.

Christianity is only one variety of conceiving God's unity differently than Islam does. Mohammed discussed both yours and many other views as well. Threefoldness comes up in many religious contexts, not just yours. Mohammed rejects all threefold or otherwise manifold concepts of God. To impute ignorance about something that you cannot establish was being discussed is your prerogative, but if so, then the plain and timely disclosure that this is your personal reading would be welcome.

Now that you have belatedly amended the record, it would seem that we are approaching the frontier of discussability concerning your earlier pronouncement.

Edited by eight bits, 10 February 2013 - 10:41 AM.

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#120    Beckys_Mom

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 11:42 AM

View PostParanoid Android, on 09 February 2013 - 05:09 AM, said:

The Christianity that Mohammed had contact with is actually quite different to the mainstream Christianity of the time.  For example, I can't recall the exact quote from the Qu'ran, but at one point Mohammed argues against the Christian view of the Trinity, referring to God, Jesus, and Mary. The view of God/Jesus/Mary as the Trinity was never a widely held belief, it's always been God/Jesus/Holy Spirit. But it was a belief held by small isolated groups in the Middle East at the time of Mohammed.  So whenever Mohammed speaks about Christianity it's wise to take into account the limits of his understanding of what Christians actually believed.

Growing up as a young catholic, the trinity was - The father and of the son and the holy spirit ..  Some said holy ghost, but holy spirit was used more in catholic churches ....Mary has nothing to do with the trinity

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