[Read Part One first.] The authors continue with the following red herring:
Other Side Issues
Though this is not related wholly to the topic, we would still like to comment on this obvious tendency of the missionary. In his response to our article, the missionary had often cited the early Trinitarian Church fathers such as Origen, Hippolytus and Justin Martyr and had even cited a part of Justin Martyr's Dialogue of Justin Philosopher and Maryr, With Trypho the Jew, in order to support his original argument that the Holy Spirit is the same with Jesus. What the missionary did not inform us, however, is that both these Church fathers have very different conceptions of not only what the Holy Spirit really is, they also had a very different idea with what the Trinity really is when compared with the definition in the mindset of the missionary! On Origen's conception of the Trinity and the Holy Spirit, we read that:
Origen (died c250 CE) insisted that Father and Son were two separate essences, and that the son was inferior to the father...Origen became head of the Alexandria College, and was ordained priest in 230 CE, in Palestine. Bishop Demetrius deposed and exiled him, so he started a new school in Caesarea. He was condemned in 250 CE by the Council of Alexandria for rejecting the doctrine of Trinity.(The Mysteries of Jesus, p. 195)
In other words, Origen clearly believed that Jesus was a much "lesser god". On Hippolytus, we read that
Hippolytus (died c235CE) said 'God is One God, the first and Only One, the Maker and Lord of all [...] who had nothing of equal age with Him; Who, willing it, called into being that which had no being before.'(Ibid, p. 195)
In other words, Hippolytus believed that Jesus was non-existent prior to the existence of God the Father. That certainly does not bode well for the beliefs of the missionary regarding the Trinity!
And finally, we read the following information on Justin Martyr:
Justin, who pleaded the Christian case apparently accepted the Ebionite doctrine of Adoptionism, that the Divine Grace could fall upon a person at any moment of God's choosing, thus elevating that person to the position of being an 'adopted' son of God. In Jesus' case, he believed that this happened at his baptism. The notion of God impregnating a virgin was pagan and abhorrent to him, and quite unneccessary to his scheme...Justim maintained that John really had been Elijah, and that Jesus became the Christ at the moment of his baptism, when the 'Godhead' came upon him.(Ibid, p. 118)
All this reveals that Justin Martyr was certainly not a Trinitarian in the definition known to us today, and therefore we find it hillarious to see the missionary appealing to someone who would be considered a 'heretic' today.
This concludes our observation of this missionary tendency. Any further treatment of how the early Church fathers had various (conflicting) views of the Trinity with the modern-day Trinitarians would be excellent material which would be more suitably addressed in a future paper, insha'allah.
It is rather sad to see the Fathers misrepresented in this manner. The authors have committed the fallacy of appealing to authority also known as argumentum ad verecundiam. Appealing to authority to support a point is appropriate provided that one supplies sufficient exegetical and factual data in establishing why the cited authority is correct in the assessment given. Yet to cite an authority to support a point without sufficient grounds in doing so is inappropriate and proves nothing. In particular, an appeal to authority is inappropriate if:
(i) the person is not qualified to have an expert opinion on the subject,
(ii) experts in the field disagree on this issue.
(iii) the authority was making a joke, was drunk, or otherwise not being serious. A variation of the fallacious appeal to authority is hearsay. An argument from hearsay is an argument which depends on second or third hand sources.
The authors have evidently not checked the accuracy of their citations, but have taken it for granted that they are reliable. Worse yet, the authors do not really care for truth and will quote any source as long as it helps their agenda against Christianity.
Did the authors "forget" to mention the name of the author of their cited work, The Mysteries of Jesus ? Or is it that adding a Muslim name would have diminished the value of these quotations immediately since polemical Islamic literature can hardly be called upon as a scholarly witness to the topic of early Christian theology.
As we shall now document, both the authors and their sources are completely off in regard to the Fathers' belief concerning the Trinity.
Secondly, we would like to highlight the authors' misreading and/or misrepresentation of my position. The authors claim:
In his response to our article, the missionary had often cited the early Trinitarian Church fathers such as Origen, Hippolytus and Justin Martyr and had even cited a part of Justin Martyr's Dialogue of Justin Philosopher and Maryr, With Trypho the Jew, in order to support his original argument THAT THE HOLY SPIRIT IS THE SAME WITH JESUS.
I challenge the authors to document a single place in my rebuttal where I tried to show that the Holy Spirit is the same with Jesus. A careful reading of my material shows that I said nothing about the Holy Spirit, but rather focused on the eternal divine existence of the Lord Jesus Christ. My citations from Justin highlighted the point that the early Church Fathers, the very followers of the Lord's disciples, affirmed that the preincarnate Christ often appeared to the OT saints. This indicates that the authors have not read my rebuttal carefully. Or, even worse, they have read it carefully but have willfully chosen to misrepresent me, choosing to attack a straw man instead.
We would also like to say in passing that the language Origen employs in his writings may be construed as denying the essential Trinity. Yet, as we shall now document, this is not the case. All three Fathers clearly believed in the Trinity and affirmed Christ's eternal existence and his consubstantiality with the Father. These men explicitly taught that Christ was begotten, yet not made, and existed within the being of the Father as the eternal Word and Reason of God.
The following citations are taken from A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs, Hendrickson Publishers, Massachusetts, 1998, edited by David W. Bercot, unless noted otherwise. All bold and capital emphasis is ours, unless noted otherwise:
Before proceeding, we want to make mention of the fact that in our first rebuttal we had quoted Justin regarding Jesus' preincarnate appearances in the OT. The fact that Justin believed that Christ actually appeared to the OT saints should have alerted the authors that the claim that Justin held to an Adoptionist view of Christ is blatantly false. Justin wholeheartedly believed that Jesus is the eternal Word of God, co-equal to the Father in essence, and was begotten not made as the following citations prove:
The Word ... He is Divine. Justin Martyr (c. 160, E), 1.166 (p. 94)
The Father of the Universe has a Son. And He, being the First-Begotten Word of God, IS EVEN GOD. Justin Martyr (c. 160, E), 1.184. (Ibid.)
Next to God, we worship and love the Word who is from the unbegotten and ineffable God. Justin Martyr (c. 160, E), 1.193. (Ibid.)
For Christ is King, Priest, GOD, LORD, Angel, and MAN. Justin Martyr (c. 160, E), 1.211. (Ibid.)
He deserves to be worshiped AS GOD and as Christ. Justin Martyr (c. 160, E), 1.229. (Ibid.)
David predicted that He would be born from the womb before the sun and moon, according to the Father's will. He made Him known, being Christ, AS GOD, and to be worshiped. Justin Martyr (c. 160, E), 1.237. (Ibid.)
The Son ministered to the will of the Father. Yet, nevertheless HE IS GOD, in that He is the First-Begotten of all creatures. Justin Martyr (c. 160, E), 1.262. (Ibid.)
If you had understood what has been written by the prophets, you would not have denied that HE WAS GOD, Son of the Only, Unbegotten, Unutterable God. Justin Martyr (c. 160, E), 1.263. (Ibid.)
We assert that the Word of God was born of God in a peculiar manner, different from ordinary generation. Justin Martyr (c. 160, E), 1170. (p. 101)
His Son ... also was with Him and was begotten BEFORE the works, when at first He created ALL THINGS BY HIM. Justin Martyr (c. 160, E), 1.190. (Ibid.) (p. 104)
And Trypho [a Jew] said, "For some of it appears to me to be paradoxical, and wholly incapable of proof. For example, you say that this Christ EXISTS AS GOD BEFORE THE AGES." Justin Martyr (c. 160, E), 1.219. (Ibid.)
This is He WHO EXISTED BEFORE ALL, who is the eternal Priest of God, and King, and Christ. Justin Martyr (c. 160, E), 1.247. (Ibid.)
We know Him to be the First-Begotten of God, AND TO BE BEFORE ALL CREATURES ... Since we call Him the Son, we have understood that, BEFORE ALL CREATURES, He proceeded from the Father by His power and will. Justin Martyr (c. 160, E), 1.249. (Ibid.)
I will give you another testimony ... from Scriptures, that God begat BEFORE ALL CREATURES A BEGINNING, a certain Power ... who is called by the Holy Spirit, sometimes the Glory of the Lord, sometimes the Son, again Wisdom, again an Angel, then GOD, then LORD, and Logos. Justin Martyr (c. 160, E), 1.227. (p. 107)
God speaks in the creation of man with the very same design, in the following words: "Let us make man in our image and likeness," ... From this, we can indisputably learn that God conversed with someone numerically distinct from Himself, and was also a rational Being ... For I would not say that the dogma of that heresy which is said to be among you Jews is true, or that the teachers of it can prove that God spoke to angels, or that the human frame was the workmanship of angels. But this Offspring who was truly brought forth from the Father, was with the Father BEFORE ALL CREATURES. And the Father communed with Him. It is even clear, that He whom Solomon calls Wisdom was begotten as a Beginning BEFORE ALL HIS CREATURES. Justin Martyr (c. 160, E), 1.228. (pp. 109-110)
Although He endured the cross, yet AS GOD He returned to life, having trampled upon death. For His God and Father addresses Him and says, "Sit at my right hand." Hippolytus (c. 205, W), 5.166, 167. (p. 96)
By the Ancient of Days, he means, none other than the Lord God, and Ruler of all - even of Christ Himself, who makes the days old and yet does not become old Himself by times and days. "His dominion is an everlasting dominion." The Father, having put all things in subjection to His own Son - both things in heaven and things on earth - presented Him as the First-Begotten of God. He did this in order that, along with the Father, He might be approved before angels as the Son of God and be manifested as also the Lord of angels. Hippolytus (c. 205, W), 5.189. (Ibid.)
Christ's body lay in the tomb, not emptied of divinity. Rather, while in Hades, He was in essential being with His Father. Yet, He was also in the body and in Hades. For the Son of God IS NOT CONTAINED IN SPACE, JUST AS THE FATHER IS NOT. And he comprehends ALL THINGS IN HIMSELF. Hippolytus (c. 205, W), 5.194. (pp. 96-97)
Who, then, was in heaven but the Word unincarnate - who was sent to show that He was upon the earth and WAS ALSO IN HEAVEN? Hippolytus (c. 205, W) 5.225. (p. 97)
Having been made man, HE IS STILL GOD FOREVER. For to this effect, John also said, "Who is, and who was, and who is come- THE ALMIGHTY." And He was appropriately called Christ "the Almighty". For in this, he has said only WHAT CHRIST TESITIFIES ABOUT HIMSELF. For Christ gave this testimony about and said, "All things are delivered unto me by my Father." Hippolytus (c 205, W) 5.225. (Ibid.)
Interestingly, we had quoted this reference in our first rebuttal. This should have signified to the authors that for Hippolytus to call Jesus Christ the Almighty of Revelation 1:8 implies that the latter clearly believed in Christ's eternal Deity and essential unity with the Father. This should have then further indicated that Hippolytus' statement regarding God being alone wasn't referring to the Son or the Holy Spirit, but to all created things. Hippolytus clearly believed that both the Son and the Spirit existed eternally within the very being of the Father, as the following passages demonstrate.
"God, subsisting alone, and having nothing contemporaneous with Himself, determined to create the world... Beside Him there was nothing; but He, while existing alone, YET EXISTED IN PLURALITY... Thus, then, these too, though they wish it not, fall in with the truth, and admit that one God made all things... For Christ is THE GOD ABOVE ALL... He who is over all is God; for thus He speaks boldly, All things are delivered unto me of my Father. He who is over all, God blessed, has been born..." The Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 5, pp. 227, 153, 225 (Source)
The Father begat the Word as the Author, Fellow-Counselor, and Framer of the things that have been created. He uttered the first Voice, begetting Him as Light of Light. And He sent forth to the world as its Lord. Hippolytus (c. 205, W), 5:227. (p. 101)
You will say to me, "How is He begotten?" ... You cannot explain with accuracy the economy in His case. For you do not have it in your power to acquaint yourself with the skilful and indescribable are of the Maker, but only to see, understand, and believe that man is God's work. Moreover, you are asking an account of the generation of the Word, whom God the Father begat as He willed, in His good pleasure ... Is it enough for you to learn that the Son of God has been manifested to you for salvation (if you believe) - but do you also inquire curiously how He was begotten after the spirit [i.e., His heavenly birth]? ... Are you then so bold as to seek the account after the spirit, which the Father keeps with Himself, intending to reveal it then to the holy ones and those worthy of seeing His face? ... For He speaks in this manner: "From the womb, before the morning star, I have begotten you." Hippolytus (c. 205, W), 5:229. (p. 102)
This solitary and supreme Deity, by an exercise of reflection, brought forth the Logos first ... Him alone did [the Father] produce from existing things. For the Father constituted existence, and the Being born from Him was the cause of ALL THINGS that are produced. The Logos was IN [the Father] HIMSELF, bearing the will of His Begetter and not being unacquainted with the mind of the Father. Hippolytus (c. 205, W), 5.150, 151. (Ibid.)
Hippolytus claims that Christ existed within the Father and was begotten from him. He goes on to say that Christ is the cause of all things. That Christ is the cause of all creation means that Christ is before creation, and therefore eternal. That is why Hippolytus insists that Christ was begotten from existing things, i.e. from the Father who is existence, and was not made from nothing.
He who was CO-EXISTENT WITH HIS FATHER BEFORE ALL TIME, and before the foundation of the world, always had the glory proper to Divinity. Hippolytus (c. 205, W), 5.167. (p. 105)
He was born the Word, of the heart of the Father, BEFORE ALL. Hippolytus (c. 205, W), 5.189. (Ibid.)
They killed the Son of their Benefactor, for He is CO-ETERNAL with the Father. Hippolytus (c. 205, W), 5.220. (Ibid.)
Thus there appeared another One beside Himself. But when I say "another," I do not mean that there are two Gods, but that is only as light of light, or as water from a fountain, or as a ray from the sun. For there is but one Power which is from the All. And the Father is the All, from whom comes this Power, the Word. Hippolytus (c. 205, W), 5.227. (p. 108)
The Logos alone of this One is from God Himself. For that reason also, He is God, being of the substance of God. IN CONTRAST, the world was made from nothing. Therefore, it is not God. Hippolytus (c. 205, W),5.151. (p. 110)
In his A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs, David W. Bercot comments on Origen's Christology:
V. Origen's understanding of the Son
It has become quite commonplace today for Origen to be singled out among pre-Nicene writers as holding heterodox views of the Son. This is quite unjust, as Origen's teachings on the Son are essentially the same as the rest of the early church. This can clearly be seen from the many preceding quotations from Origen, which show that he held to a Nicene understanding of the deity of the Son. Of course, like the rest of the early Christians, Origen can be SELECTIVELY quoted to make him appear either Arian, Monarchian, or anything else that is desired. One of the quotations that has often been misunderstood and misquoted is the following passage:
We next notice that John's use of the article in these sentences [John 1:1]. He does not write without care in this respect. Nor is he unfamiliar with the subtleties of the Greek language. In some cases, he omits it. He adds the article before the word "Logos." But to the name, "God," he adds it only sometimes. That is, he uses the article when the word, "God," refers to the uncreated cause of all things [i.e., the Father]. But he omits it when the Logos is called "God." Origen (c. 228, E), 9.323.
There are many persons who are sincerely concerned about religion and who here fall into great perplexity. They are afraid that they may be proclaiming two Gods. As a result, their fear drives them into doctrines that are false and wicked. They sometimes deny that the Son has a distinct nature of His own, besides that of the Father. They thereby make Him whom they call the Son to be the God, all but in name. Or else, they deny the divinity of the Son - giving Him a separate existence of His own and making His sphere of essence fall outside that of the Father, so that they are separable from each other. To such persons we have to say that the God on the one hand is Autotheos [God of Himself]. For that reason, the Savior says in his prayer to the Father, "That they may know you, the only true God." But all other Persons beyond this Autotheos are made Divine [Gr. theos] by participation in His divinity. They are not to be simply called "the God" [Gr. ho theos], but rather, "God" [or "Divine" [Gr. theos]. Origen (c. 228, E), 9.323.
Furthermore, preceding the first passage quoted above, Origen had already stated:
The Word was always with the Father. And so it is said, "And the Word was with God." ... He was in the beginning at the same time when He was with God - neither being separated from the beginning, nor bereft of His Father. And again, neither did He come to be in the beginning after He had not been in it. Nor did He come to be with God after not having been with him. For BEFORE ALL TIME AND THE REMOTEST AGE, the Word was in the beginning, and the Word was with God. Origen (c. 228, E), 9.322.
So in no sense can Origen be accused of holding to an Arian understanding of the Son. The passage that follows is sometimes also misunderstood in an Arian sense:
The Son of God, "the First-Born of all creation," although He seemed recently to have become incarnate, is not by any means recent on account of that. For the Holy Scriptures know Him to be the most ancient of all the works of creation. For it was to Him that God said regarding the creation of man, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness." Origen (c. 248, E), 4.560.
Again, we must remember (as discussed above under 11.E. "Begotten, not made") that most of the pre-Nicene writers used "begotten" [Gr. gennetos] and "created" [Gr. ktizein] interchangeably as synonyms. When Origen refers to the Son as a "work of creation," he does not mean it in the sense of the Son's being created out of nothing. He means in the sense of begetting. As quoted above, Origen distinctly says that "the Word was always with the Father." The following passage shows that Origen was not including the Son among those things that were created out of nothing:
The Word of God, knowing the Father, reveals the Father whom He knows. And NO CREATED BEING can approach the Father without a guide. For no one knows the Father except the Son and he to whomever the Son reveals Him. Origen (c. 228, E), 9.320. (Ibid., pp. 127-128)
The following quotations confirm the author's assessment of Origen's Christology:
The Canaanite woman came and worshiped Him as God, saying, "Lord help me." Origen (c. 245, E), 9.446. (p. 98)
He is perceived as being the Word, for He was GOD in the beginning with God. He reveals the Father. Origen (c. 245, E), 9.452. (Ibid.)
Every prayer, supplication, intercession, and thanksgiving is to be sent up to the Supreme God through the High Priest-the living Word and God, who is above all angels. And to the Word himself will we also pray, make intercessions, and offer thanksgiving. Origen (c. 248, E), 4.544. (Ibid.)
Let him, then, who assigns a beginning to the Word or Wisdom of God take care that he is not guilty of impiety against the unbegotten Father himself. For he denies that He had always been a Father, or had always generated the Word, or had possessed Wisdom in all preceding periods, whether they be called times or ages. Origen (c. 225, E), 4.246, 247. (p. 105)
The Father generates an UNCREATED SON and brings forth a Holy Spirit - NOT AS IF HE HAD NO PREVIOUS EXISTENCE, but because the Father is the origin and source of the Son or the Holy Spirit. Origen (c. 225, E), 4.270. (Ibid.)
The Word was not made in the beginning. There was NO TIME when the beginning was devoid of the Word. For that reason it is said, "In the beginning was the Word." Origen (c. 228, E), 9.334. (p. 106)
The Word that was in the beginning with God (WHO IS ALSO VERY GOD) may come to us. Origen (c. 248, E), 4.499. (p. 108)
According to John, "God is light." The Only-Begotten Son, therefore, is the glory of this light. He proceeds INSEPARABLY from the [God] Himself, as brightness proceeds from light, illuminating the whole creation. Origen (c. 225, E), 4.248. (p. 109)
The Savior is here called simply "Light." But in the catholic Epistle of this same John, we read that God is Light. This, it has been maintained, furnishes further proof that the Son is not different from the Father IN SUBSTANCE. Origen (c. 228, E), 9.336. (Ibid.)
Whatever is a property of physical bodies cannot be attributed to either the Father or the Son. What belongs to the nature of deity is common to the Father and Son. Origen (c. 225, E), 4.245. (p. 112)
It is an attribute of the divine nature ALONE - of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - to exist without any material substance, and without partaking in any way with an adjoining body ... Origen (c. 225, E), 4.262. (Ibid.)
Christ is, in a manner, THE CREATOR, to whom the Father says, "Let there be light." Origen (c. 228, E), 9.307. (p. 113)
The following citations are taken from The Classics of Western Spirituality : Origen - An Exhortation To Martyrdom, Prayer And Selected Works, Paulist Press, 1979. All bold and capital emphasis ours:
As well, my Hebrew teacher used to impart the following tradition. With regard to the fact that neither the beginning nor the end of all things can be understood by anyone, unless only by the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Holy Spirit, he used to say that Isaiah by the type of his vision had spoken of two seraphim alone who with two wings cover the face of God, with two wings His feet, and with two wings fly, crying to one another and saying, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Sabaoth, the whole earth is full of your glory" (Is. 6:2-3). Thus, because the two seraphim alone have their wings over God's face and His feet, we must dare to say that not even the nations, principalities, and powers (cf. Col. 1:16) can correctly know the beginning of everything and the ends of the universe. But we must understand that those holy beings whom we have listed are spirits and powers near the first principles themselves and touch upon them to a degree the others are not strong enough to attain. Nevertheless, whatever those powers say by the revelation of the Son and the Holy Spirit, and however many truths they have been able to overtake, the higher much more than the powers below them, it is impossible for them to understand everything, since it is written, "Most of God's works are concealed" (Sir. 16:21). (pp. 203-204)
... The Greeks call it asomaton, that is, "incorporeal"; but the divine Scriptures use the word invisible, since the Apostle proclaims that God is invisible and says that Christ is the image of the invisible God. Moreover, he says further that through Christ "all things, visible and invisible, were created" (Col. 1:15-16). By this is made clear that even among creatures there are some that are "invisible" substances by their own properties. But although they are not corporeal, they nevertheless make use of bodies, though they are themselves better than corporeal substances. But THE SUBSTANCE OF THE TRINITY, which is the first principle and cause of everything, from which are all things (Rom. 11:36), must not be believed to be a body or to exist in a body, but to be completely incorporeal. (p. 204)
1. The time has now come in our discussion to sum up one by one, so far as we are able, the subjects we have treated and that we have discussed in a scattered way, and first of all to repeat what we have said about the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Since God the Father is invisible and inseparable from the Son, the Son is not generated by a production from Him, as some think. For if the Son is a production of the Father and production is defined as the sort of generation by which the offspring of animals or of men are accustomed to come into existence, then necessarily both He who produces and He who is produced will be bodies. For we do not say, as the heretics suppose, that any part of God's substance has been turned into the Son, or that the Son has been generated from the Father from no substance at all, that is, OUTSIDE HIS OWN SUBSTANCE, SO THAT THERE WAS A TIME WHEN HE WAS NOT. But we remove all notion of corporeality and say that the Word and Wisdom is generated from the invisible and incorporeal God apart from any corporeal passion, as will proceeds from mind. Nor will it seem absurd if it is thought of by the analogy of will, since He is said to be "the Son of His Love" (Col. 1:13). Moreover, John points out that "God is light" (1 John 1:5), and Paul points out that the Son is "the splendor of eternal light" (cf. Heb. 1:3). Therefore, just as light can never exist without splendor, SO NEITHER CAN THE SON, who is said to be "the express stamp of His substance" (Heb. 1:3) and His Word and Wisdom, ever be understood without the Father. Therefore, how can it be said THAT THERE WAS A TIME WHEN THE SON WAS NOT? For that would be no different from saying that there was a time when truth was not, when wisdom was not, when life was not, since it should be judged that the substance of God the Father involves all of these things. They cannot be separated from Him, nor can they ever be cut off from His substance. And what are said to be many by intellectual apprehension, nevertheless are one in fact and in substance; and in them there exists the fullness of Godhead (cf. Col. 2:9). (pp. 205-206)
But what we have said, that there never was a time when He was not, must be taken with qualification. For the very words "when" and "never" bear a meaning implying the notion of time. But what is said about the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit must be understood ABOVE ALL TIME, ABOVE ALL AGES, AND ABOVE ALL ETERNITY. For that only is the Trinity which surpasses every sense of our understanding, not only temporal BUT ALSO ETERNAL. It is other things that are outside the Trinity that must be measured in ages and times. Therefore, as to the Son of God, because He is the Word WHO IS GOD and who was in the beginning with God (Jn. 1:1-2), no one will rightly think that He is contained in any place, nor will he draw that conclusion because He is wisdom or because He is truth or because He is life or righteousness or sanctification or redemption. None of these things require a place to be able to do something or to act, but they must be understood individually, when they refer to those who partake of the Word's power and operation. (p. 206)
2. But perhaps someone will say that through those who are participants (cf. Heb. 3:14) in God's Word or His Wisdom or truth or life the Word and Wisdom appears Himself to be in a place. The answer must be given that there is no doubt that Christ insofar as He is Word and Wisdom and all the rest was in Paul, because of which he said, "Or do you desire proof that Christ is speaking in me?" (2 Cor. 13:3). And again, "But it is no longer I who lives but Christ who lives in me" (Gal. 2:20). Then, therefore, since He was in Paul, who will doubt that He was likewise in Peter, in John, and in each one of the saints, and not only in those on earth but also in those in the heavens? For it is absurd to say that Christ was in Peter and in Paul, but not in Michael the Archangel and in Gabriel. From this it is clearly discovered that the divinity of the Son of God was not confined to any place, since He was not so much in one as not to be in another. Rather, since He is not confined in any place because of the majesty of His incorporeal nature, He is further understood not to be absent from any place. (pp. 206-207)
3. Now that we have briefly repeated our account of the Trinity, we must go on in the same way to remind the reader that through the Son "all things" are said to be "created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers - all things were created through Him and in Him. He is before all things; in Him who is the head all things hold together" (Col. 1:16-18). John in his Gospel also agrees with this and says that "all things were made through Him, and without Him was not anything made" (Jn. 1:3). And David points out the mystery of the entire Trinity in the creation of everything when he says, "By the Word of the Lord the heavens were made, and all their power by the Spirit of His mouth" (Ps. 33:6).
Next we shall properly call to mind the corporeal coming and incarnation of the Only Begotten Son of God. In it we must not take the view that the entire majesty of His divinity was shut up in the confines of one small body so that the entire Word of God and His Wisdom and substantial truth and life was cut off from the Father or forced within the small compass of that body and contained by it, and He should be thought active in no other way than this. Rather, the confession of our religion ought to be aware of two extremes, so that neither should any lack in the divinity of Christ be believed, nor should any division be supposed to have taken place from within the Father's substance, which is everywhere. And John the Baptist points to some such conclusion when in Jesus' corporeal absence he said to the crowds, "Among you stands one who you do not know, even He who comes after me, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie" (Jn. 1:26-27). John could not have said He stood in the midst of those among whom He was not corporeally present about Him who was absent so far as His corporeal presence was concerned. Thus, it is clear that the Son of God was both wholly present in the body and wholly present everywhere. (pp. 207-208)
But just as a person receives the adoption of sons by participation in the Son of God and is made wise by participation in God's Wisdom, so also he is made holy and spiritual by participation in the Holy Spirit. For it is one and the same thing to receive participation in the Holy Spirit as to receive it in the Father and the Son, since, of course, the nature of the Trinity IS ONE and incorporeal. And what we have said about the participation of the soul must be understood to apply to angels and heavenly powers, just as it does to souls, since every rational creature requires participation in the Trinity. (p. 210)
... Not only this, but since the nature of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, from whose intelligible light alone the entire creation draws participation, is itself incorruptible and ETERNAL, it certainly both follows and is necessary that every substance that draws participation from that ETERNAL NATURE also endures itself forever both incorruptible and eternal ... (p. 215)
... And although God knows everything and nothing related to intelligible things escapes His notice (for only God the Father with His Only Begotten Son and the Holy Spirit holds knowledge not only of what He created BUT ALSO OF HIMSELF) ... (p. 216)
The preceding citations should put to rest the false claim that Origen denied the essential Trinity or Christ's consubstantiality with the Father.
It is clear that the missionary arguments are not only mostly out of topic concerning the Greek usage 'ego eimi' in John 8:58, he has also failed to convince us that this phrase can indeed be used, without a shadow of doubt, as evidence for the deity of Jesus. This is not surprising, as we can easily see in the gospels how Jesus actually denied that he is God, much to the chagrin of the pseudo-monotheists. Moreover, the missionary has appealed to early Trinitarian fathers who had very different conceptions of the Trinity from what the missionary himself believes about it!
And certainly, only God knows best!
In light of the facts, it is the authors' arguments that have been mainly out of topic regarding the Greek usage of ego eimi in John 8:58. The authors have failed to refute the clear and explicit testimony of the Holy Scriptures regarding the eternal Deity of the Lord Jesus. The authors seemingly realize that the dozens of passages cited in my initial response was just too much for them to handle, and were therefore unable to refute the facts. The authors were also unable to refute the contrast between Abraham's creation and Jesus' timeless existence as evidenced by Christ's use of the verbs genesthai and eimi. The authors never commented on the fact that Jesus' use of the I AM conclusively proves that Christ is Yahweh God, especially since Christ uses the phrase in the same way that Yahweh in the OT used it. Fourthly, the authors chose to misrepresent the Fathers, giving the misleading impression that these men denied the perfect Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. Yet, as the evidence showed, nothing could be further from the truth. Finally, the authors provide a link to an article that seeks to prove that Jesus denied being God. But as we shall show in a forthcoming rebuttal, their article only proves that they have chosen to misrepresent and misinterpret the Holy Bible in order to deny the obvious.
In conclusion we would like to say that the evidence from both the Holy Bible and the early Church Fathers conclusively demonstrates that Jesus Christ is God Almighty, the Son of the Most High, the Sovereign Ruler and Lord of all creation. This has been the unanimous testimony of both Christ and his true followers, as evidenced by the unbroken chain of narration beginning with the writings of the Apostles (i.e. the NT documents) and continuing right through the writings of their very own followers, and their followers right after them.
Amen. Come Lord Jesus. You are the great God and Savior of us all. We will always love you risen Lord, and you reign as King forever.
And certainly, the only true and eternal Triune God does know best!
For further reading we recommend the following articles: , , 
Responses to Bismikaallahuma
Articles by Sam Shamoun
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