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waheed1  
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote waheed1 Replybullet Topic: The Abrahamic traditions
    Posted: 03 April 2008 at 1:26pm
The Abrahamic traditions: some thoughts on the similarities and the differences.

Judaism, Christianity and Islam are usually seen as the three great monotheistic religions of the world, tracing their origins, in theological as well as in ethnic terms, back to the great Patriarch Abraham.

In light of several social and political factors, most notably the horrible events of September 11, 2001, the Islamic claim to the legacy of Abraham has been widely challenged by Western pundits and right-wing evangelical leaders such as Pat Robertson and John Hagee. These figures have attempted to convey the idea that Islam is an Arab-centered faith, a product of an illiterate man's delusions, originating in a primitive desert society, a violent faith that must be destroyed at all costs.

By advocating such wrong ideas about Islam, these commentators are in actuality behaving in a way similar to the Nazi-propaganda machine. The Nazis advocated a strict racial identity, and as well known, managed to convince the German people that the Jews were to blame for all of Germany's failings. This was the foundation for the events of WWII, including the Holocaust. While it is true many Jews and Non-Germans suffered, it is also true that the Nazi ideology in the end was a complete failure, led to great suffering and occupation upon the conclusion of the war.

It is our prayer that these religious and political commentators see reason and learn to control their emotions, and not lead the world to a path no right-minded human wishes to see. Here, it is our hope to show some of the most important similarities between these faiths. The connection between the origins of Judaism and Christianity [as we have it today] are well known, but what about Islam?


Monotheism

All three traditions maintain the view that there is only One God, the creator and nourisher of the universe. Jewish tradition refers to this important doctrine as the Shema, while Muslims refer to this as Tauheed.

Among the false notions widely advocated by pundits is the idea that Muslims worship a deity other than the Creator of the heavens and the earth, or to put it in Judeo-Christian terms, the "Lord of Abraham, Issac and Jacob" [ Luke 20:37]. They claim that "Allah" is a reference to a moon deity, that the Muslims in fact worship the moon. In fact, Allah is simply the Arabic name for God, just as Dios is the Spanish name, and Khuda is the Farsi name. Allah is also the name used by Arabic speaking Jews and Christians. [ ft.#1]

Jews and Christians differ in their understanding of God, as the Christians assert that God is a Triune, and that Jesus Christ is also Divine. While it is not our intention to comment on that difference of ideology, it should be noted that the Islamic conception of the Divine closely resembles that of the Monotheistic base found in the Scriptures, and it also makes the claim that it retains that teaching in its essence, its pure form.

"And whosoever turns away from the way of Abraham, [none do this] except one who is foolish with his own self [interest].." [Qur'an 2:130]


"..Say: God is the creator of everything, and he is the One, the Mighty" [Q 13:16] [Ft.2]
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote waheed1 Replybullet Posted: 03 April 2008 at 1:26pm
[Part 2]

Same religious figures

It often comes as a surprise to Non-Muslims reading the Qur'an for the first time that a great many of the figures found in the Judeo-Christian scripture play a prominent role in it as well.

" Say: We believe in God, in what has been sent down to us, to Abraham, Ishmael, Issac, and Jacob. In that given to Moses, Jesus and all the Prophets. We make no distinction between anyone of them, and we are for him submissive" [ Q 2:136].

Some surprising facts about the Qur'an include the fact that Jesus is mentioned by name 25 times, that Chapter 19 is named Mary, 14 is named Abraham, Chapter 12 is named Joseph, and Chapter 34 is named Sheba.

Moral code

Any fair minded person can appreciate the moral guidelines as given in the Qur'an.

"Righteousness is not facing towards the East or the West, but it is righteousness to believe in God, the last day, angels, scripture, prophets, to spend from your wealth..for the close family, orphans, needy, wayfarers {ft. 3}, those who seek assistance, for the freedom of slaves, [righteousness is also] praying regularly, contracting in good faith, and patience. These folks are truthful, and God-aware" [ Q 2:177].

See the Qur'an 17: 23-39 for a list of moral guidelines that resemble the 'ten commandments' as found in Exodus 20:1-17.

This brief composition is by no means intended to be comprehensive, but nonetheless it is our sincere wish to show that the religion of Islam is a faith of spirituality and love, and that its followers are also human beings, with the same aspirations, hopes and fears as other people. Muslims are not monsters. We also hope to show that the Islamic claim to Abraham is well grounded, in principal as well as in family origins, as the Prophet Muhammad, the one to whom the Qur'an was originally sent, is a descendant of Abraham through Ishmael, from whom the Bible itself [ Gen. 17:20] says a blessed nation will arise.

Footnotes

{1} The author can testify first hand that many Egyptian churches are decorated with the Biblical maxim "God is Love" [ 1 John 4:16] which in Arabic is translated as Allah Muhabbah.

{2} For a deeper examination of Islamic teachings regarding God, see Tauheed:understanding the Divine, Monotheism as given in Islam http://shamsuddinwaheed.blogspot.com/2008/...monotheism.html

{3} Ibn as- sabeel literally "Son of the road" an expression for a stranded traveler.
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Janet Waters Replybullet Posted: 04 April 2008 at 6:39pm
Originally posted by waheed1

The Abrahamic traditions: some thoughts on the similarities and the differences.
Monotheism

All three traditions maintain the view that there is only One God, the creator and nourisher of the universe. Jewish tradition refers to this important doctrine as the Shema, while Muslims refer to this as Tauheed.
 
Judaism, Christianity and Islam are usually seen as the three great monotheistic religions of the world, tracing their origins, in theological as well as in ethnic terms, back to the great Patriarch Abraham.
 
Jews and Christians differ in their understanding of God, as the Christians assert that God is a Triune, and that Jesus Christ is also Divine. While it is not our intention to comment on that difference of ideology, it should be noted that the Islamic conception of the Divine closely resembles that of the Monotheistic base found in the Scriptures, and it also makes the claim that it retains that teaching in its essence, its pure form.
 
Just wanted to make a comment in regards to the Christian tradition...All Christians do not follow after the Trinity.  A triune god is a man-made theory attempting to define the Godhead doctrine.  The Godhead doctrine is what is taught in the Bible---the terms trinity and triune were coined hundreds of years after the fact.  (Just like the terms monotheism and polytheism).
 

Originally posted by waheed1

In light of several social and political factors, most notably the horrible events of September 11, 2001, the Islamic claim to the legacy of Abraham has been widely challenged by Western pundits and right-wing evangelical leaders such as Pat Robertson and John Hagee. These figures have attempted to convey the idea that Islam is an Arab-centered faith, a product of an illiterate man's delusions, originating in a primitive desert society, a violent faith that must be destroyed at all costs.

By advocating such wrong ideas about Islam, these commentators are in actuality behaving in a way similar to the Nazi-propaganda machine. The Nazis advocated a strict racial identity, and as well known, managed to convince the German people that the Jews were to blame for all of Germany's failings. This was the foundation for the events of WWII, including the Holocaust. While it is true many Jews and Non-Germans suffered, it is also true that the Nazi ideology in the end was a complete failure, led to great suffering and occupation upon the conclusion of the war.

It is our prayer that these religious and political commentators see reason and learn to control their emotions, and not lead the world to a path no right-minded human wishes to see. Here, it is our hope to show some of the most important similarities between these faiths. The connection between the origins of Judaism and Christianity [as we have it today] are well known, but what about Islam?


Among the false notions widely advocated by pundits is the idea that Muslims worship a deity other than the Creator of the heavens and the earth, or to put it in Judeo-Christian terms, the "Lord of Abraham, Issac and Jacob" [ Luke 20:37]. They claim that "Allah" is a reference to a moon deity, that the Muslims in fact worship the moon. In fact, Allah is simply the Arabic name for God, just as Dios is the Spanish name, and Khuda is the Farsi name. Allah is also the name used by Arabic speaking Jews and Christians. [ ft.#1]
 
I understand that it is frustrating-- not be acknowledged, understood, or credited for what Islam is as a religion.  For those who confuse you with radicals----call it ignorance.  I'm sorry my response can't change what people of the world choose to believe and it surely doesn't change your situation in dealing with their ignorance.
 
 


Edited by Janet Waters - 04 April 2008 at 6:45pm
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote waheed1 Replybullet Posted: 04 April 2008 at 10:33pm
This article was an attempt to deal with the ignorance and fear surrounding Islam. You are also correct in your assertion that the trinity is not universally accepted by Christians, as people like the Jehovah's witnesses reject that, as well as the doctrine of Jesus' Divinity.

Thanks for your kind words of understanding.
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote eldon Replybullet Posted: 07 April 2008 at 11:45am
Originally posted by Janet

Just wanted to make a comment in regards to the Christian tradition...All Christians do not follow after the Trinity.  A triune god is a man-made theory attempting to define the Godhead doctrine.  The Godhead doctrine is what is taught in the Bible---the terms trinity and triune were coined hundreds of years after the fact.  (Just like the terms monotheism and polytheism).
 
Janet, if you look into the original Greek language of the New Testament, you'll see that the word "Godhead" is NOT in the text at all.
 
It is a corrupt translation of the Greek words theion, theios, and theotes, occuring only three times in the NT.
 
(Godhead in Greek would be ~ theoskephale)
 
What we do have in the New Testament is this:
 
... the head of Christ is God. 1Corinthians 11:3
 
That alone destroys the "co-equal Godhead" tradition.
 
 
So lose not heart nor fall into despair, for ye MUST gain mastery if ye are true in faith.3:139

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Janet Waters Replybullet Posted: 08 April 2008 at 4:07pm
Originally posted by Janet

Just wanted to make a comment in regards to the Christian tradition...All Christians do not follow after the Trinity.  A triune god is a man-made theory attempting to define the Godhead doctrine.  The Godhead doctrine is what is taught in the Bible---the terms trinity and triune were coined hundreds of years after the fact.  (Just like the terms monotheism and polytheism).
 
Originally posted by eldon

Janet, if you look into the original Greek language of the New Testament, you'll see that the word "Godhead" is NOT in the text at all.
 
It is a corrupt translation of the Greek words theion, theios, and theotes, occuring only three times in the NT.
 
(Godhead in Greek would be ~ theoskephale)
 
What we do have in the New Testament is this:
 
... the head of Christ is God. 1Corinthians 11:3
 
That alone destroys the "co-equal Godhead" tradition.


The Godhead Doctrine pre-dates the Greek language.  Which doctrine was known by Adam down to Abraham's day.  From Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the House of Israel this doctrine has been taught in one form or another.

Jesus Christ and the Apostles spoke in Aramaic and their words were translated and/or recorded into the Greek language.


Greek was adapted from Canaanite/Phoenician alphabet which meanings were lost by the time it was adopted by the Greek.

Aramaic was used by the conquering Assyrians as a language of administration communication, and following them by the Babylonian and Persian empires, which ruled from India to Ethiopia, and employed Aramaic as the official language.


Greek:  godhead [gOdhed] ουσ. θρησκ. η Θεότητα # θεία φύση
Hebrew:  godhead   תוהולא
Aramaic:  godhead

Godhead (Judaism)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Godhead is a relatively recent addition to the lexicon of Jewish theology, as is every other term in the English language. The closest corresponding terms in the classical and modern languages of Jewish scholarship are as follows:

Conceptions of Godhead

In Judaism, among the major views on the Godhead are the Neoplatonic, Rationalistic, and Kabbalistic, discussed below.

Neoplatonic Conception of the Godhead

The leading Jewish Neoplatonic writer was Solomon ibn Gabirol. In his Fons Vitae/Mekor Haim, Gabirol's position is that everything that exists may be reduced to three categories: the first substance, God; matter and form, the world; the will as intermediary. Gabirol derives matter and form from absolute being. In the Godhead he seems to differentiate "essentia," being, from "proprietas," attribute, designating by "proprietas" the will, wisdom, creative word ("voluntas, sapientia, verbum agens"). In reality he thinks of the Godhead as being, and as will or wisdom, regarding the will as identical with the divine nature. This position is implicit in the doctrine of Gabirol, who teaches that God's existence is knowable, but not His being or constitution, no attribute being predicable of God save that of existence.

Kaufmann holds that Gabirol was an opponent of the doctrine of divine attributes. While there are passages in the "Fons Vitæ," in the "Ethics," and even in the "Keter Malkut" (whence Sachs deduces Gabirol's acceptance of the theory of the doctrine of divine attributes) which seem to support this assumption, a minute examination of the questions bearing on this, such as has been made by Kaufmann (in Gesch. der Attributenlehre), proves very clearly that will and wisdom are spoken of not as attributes of the divine, but with reference to an aspect of the divine, the creative aspect; so that the will is not to be looked upon as intermediary between God and substance and form. Matter or substance proceeds from the being of God, and form from God as will, matter corresponding to the first substance and form to the will; but there is no thought in the mind of Gabirol of substance and will as separate entities, or of will as an attribute of substance. Will is neither attribute nor substance, Gabirol being so pure a monotheist that he can not brook the thought of any attribute of God lest it mar the purity of monotheism. In this Gabirol follows strictly in the line of Hebrew tradition.

Rationalistic Conception of the Godhead

In the philosophy of Maimonides and other Jewish-rationalistic philosophers, there is little which can be predicated about the God other than his "existence," and even this can only be asserted equivocally.

How then can a relation be represented between Him and what is other than He when there is no notion comprising in any respect both of the two, inasmuch as existence is, in our opinion, affirmed of Him, may He be exalted, and of what is other than He merely by way of absolute equivocation. There is, in truth, no relation in any respect between Him and any of His creatures.

Maimonides, Moreh Nevuchim (Pines 1963)

Kabbalistic conception of the Godhead

Main article: Ein Sof

In Jewish mystical thought (Kabbalah), the term "Godhead" usually refers[citation needed] to the concept of Ein Sof (אין סוף), the aspect of God that lies beyond the emanations (sefirot). The "knowability" of the Godhead in Kabbalistic thought is no better that what is conceived by rationalist thinkers. As Jacobs (1973) puts it, "Of God as He is in Himself—En Sof—nothing can be said at all, and no thought can reach there."

Ein Sof is a place to which forgetting and oblivion pertain. Why? Because concerning all the sefirot, one can search out their reality from the depth of supernal wisdom. From there it is possible to understand one thing from another. However, concerning Ein Sof, there is no aspect anywhere to search or probe; nothing can be known of it, for it is hidden and concealed in the mystery of absolute nothingness.

David ben Judah Hehasid, Matt (1990)

There is a divergence of opinion among the kabbalists concerning the relation of the Sefirot to the En Sof. Azriel (commentary on the Sefer Yeẓirah, p. 27b) and, after him, Menahem Recanati (Ṭa'ame ha-Miẓwot, passim) considered the Sefirot to be totally different from the Divine Being; the "Ma'areket" group took the Sefirot to be identical in their totality with the En Sof, each Sefirah representing merely a certain view of the Infinite ("Ma'areket," p. 8b); the Zohar clearly implies that they are the names of the Deity, and gives for each of them a corresponding name of God and of the hosts of angels mentioned in the Bible; while Luria and Cordovero, without regarding them as instruments, do not identify them with the essence of the Deity. The "Absolute One," they argue, is immanent in all the Sefirot and reveals Himself through them, but does not dwell in them; the Sefirot can never include the Infinite. Each Sefirah has a well-known name; but the Holy One has no definite name (Pardes Rimmonim, pp. 21-23).




Edited by Janet Waters - 08 April 2008 at 5:15pm
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote eldon Replybullet Posted: 09 April 2008 at 8:29am
There is no Old Testament or New Testament term in Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek that is reliably translated as "Godhead".
 
It is a supposition of men injected into Scriptural interpretation. Your quotes from Neoplatonic, Rationalistic, and Kabbalistic Jews illustrate that point.
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote yishmael Replybullet Posted: 17 April 2008 at 2:25pm
Hi Eldon,

Agreed that the godhead is not an authentic Christian concept. In order to fully understand where these godhead ideas come from, you have to read Mormon history pretty extensively.

The prophet of Mormonism was a Vermont-born farmboy named Joseph Smith. Many Mormons will give him credit for these ideas, though it's largely unfounded. Much of the esoterica in Mormonism actually originated with a fellow named Orson Pratt. Pratt was a renowned mathematician and astronomer in the secular world, and he was a fan of Pythagoras, Aristotle, and the Greek atomists. I suspect he may have had a copy of Qur'an too, but I have no proof of this.

What Pratt seems to have been attempting was to use his relationship with Smith to return to a more monotheistic interpretation of Christianity. Jesus in the Mormon pantheon started out as a Christian interpretation (part of a trinity). With the arrival of Pratt, he began to be reduced in favor of worshiping the One God of Abraham.

Unfortunately, before the theology/cosmology was completed, the prophet Joseph Smith attempted to seduce Pratt's wife, Sarah (some accounts have her being raped by Smith) while Pratt was on a church mission. As might be expected, Pratt wasn't too happy about this and it caused a falling out with long-term consequences. Not only did the estrangement between Smith and Pratt prove to be a disaster for the community, but Pratt lost his seniority and never became the leader of the Mormon church as a result. Had he done so, I suspect most Mormons today would have reduced Jesus to prophet status and be worshiping the God of Abraham, like you guys. As it is, we have that idea in theory, but we also have later attempts to paint Jesus as a separate god in his own right (hence the godhead idea).

If you're really interested in this stuff I could gather some reading suggestions up for you (it has been years since I have been interested in Mormon history). I like Joseph Smith for many of his ideas re: socialism/communism, social justice and economic equality; but he was not a theologian of any great renown. After Pratt split Joseph Smith started taking ideas from other sources (Masonry, etc.) which were not quite as inspired as the could have been, in my opinion.
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote waheed1 Replybullet Posted: 17 April 2008 at 2:46pm
Dear Yishmael,

That was very interesting, thanks for posting. Since the campaigns started and Romney was running, I have had some interest in knowing more about Mormonism. I have been to their sites, as well as anti-Mormon sites, and have attempted to read the book of Mormon.

As you have noted, we cannot say if pratt or Joseph smith had copies of the Qur'an at their disposal. The Qur'an itself says something very apt for this discussion, it says:

"It is he [God] who has sent his messenger [Muhammad] with guidance, and the religion of truth, so it may outshine [yudh-hiruhoo] completely [other] religions, despite the hatred of the disbelievers".

Another verse has the same wording, but ends with "and God is sufficient as a witness".

Generally, this is taken to mean that Islam, as given in the Qur'an and Muhammad himself, will have adherents more in number than the followers of other religions. That may be the case, as indeed Islam is the fastest growing faith in the world.

However, another way of looking at it is that the influence of Islam will be shown in the way others look at their own faiths. I have long believed that the Quranic concept of Shuraa influenced the ideas of representative democracies, parliaments and such. I have also suspected that the Quranic teaching about self-responsibility and spiritual independence influenced Martin Luther and the Protestant movement.

Check out my blog, I have other articles which may interest you, such as Deen in the presence of God.

Regards,
S.Waheed
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote eldon Replybullet Posted: 18 April 2008 at 8:57am

Yes, Ishmael, I was aware that Janet is posting some Mormon ideas of "godhead" which vary against the popular Christian concept under that term. I also found those bits of Mormon history interesting.

"Godhead" was used in the 1611 KJV NT in three places, so the word itself predates Orson Pratt and Joseph Smith, yet there is no connection I can see to the Greek words translated as "godhead".

(theios, theiotes, and theotes)  all mean divinity, which is defined as "being of God or relating to God", but carry no connotations of God's actual Head, composite, tripartite, unified, or what have you;
 
Like I posted earlier, 1Corinthians 11 says "the head of Christ is God", which is proof in and of itself against the concept of Godhead as it is generally understood among Christians.
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Janet Waters Replybullet Posted: 18 April 2008 at 1:34pm
divinity

ουσ. θειότητα, θεία φύση: the divinity of Christ
η θεία φύση του Χριστού # θεότητα: Egyptian divinity
αιγυπτιακή θεότητα # θεολογία: Doctor of divinity
διδάκτορας θεολογίας § divinity courses
 
godhead  

     ουσ. θρησκ. η Θεότητα #θεία φύση  φύση                                                      

 
 
What the dictionary says about divinity and The Godhead.....
 
Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1) an adverb and/or noun
di·vin·i·ty
1. the quality of being divine; divine nature.
2. deity; godhood.
3. a divine being; a God.
4. the Divinity, (sometimes lowercase) "the Deity."
5. a being having divine attributes, ranking below God but above humans: minor divinities.
6. the study or science of divine things; theology.
7. godlike character; supreme excellence.
8. Also called divinity fudge. a fluffy white or artificially tinted fudge made usually of sugar, corn syrup, egg whites, and flavoring, often with nuts.

[Origin: 1275–1325; ME divinite < AF < L dīvīnitās. See divine, -ity]
 
God·head    Audio Help   /ˈgɒdˌhɛd/
–noun
1.
a. the essential being of God; the Supreme Being.
b. Some use to describe the Holy Trinity of God the Father, Christ the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
2. (lowercase) divinity; godhood.
3. (lowercase) Rare. a god or goddess; deity.

[Origin: 1200–50; ME godhede; see god, -head]
 
The Greek words are the same.  The English words overlap.  The English term of Godhead (noun) predates the term of divinity (which is a noun that also can be used as an adverb).
 
 
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote yishmael Replybullet Posted: 18 April 2008 at 1:51pm
Hi Janet,

Thanks very much for the references. I'm able to read Classical Greek but don't know how the Koine standard (i.e. "Biblical Greek") translations stack up. I got honors in my institute classes at the University of Utah, by the way, so I am very familiar with (and deeply respect) your interpretation of the divine reality, even if I don't share it.

I'm still unclear of any other religious movement that defines godhead in the polytheistic fashion that some LDS do. As Eldon and Wahid pointed out, most Christians try to weld the trinity into one God so as to at least pretend to come under the banner of monotheism. The Jews who use the term seem to do so verbatim, as the intelligence or will of the divine (a literal analogy of the head, in other words).

The Mormons (I'm assuming you'd be one of these) who use the term to refer to a sort of divine committee of three separate gods seem to be unique in this respect.

For anyone watching, I mentioned *some Mormons* because there are others, like me, who sees the Jesus character as a wonderful, protecting elder brother, who (as the story goes) took the punishment that was his siblings'...but I have never prayed to him. Even if I were to take the blue pill and become an observant, true believing Mormon, I wouldn't. He wouldn't be able to do anything for me, except perhaps to petition Heavenly Father on my behalf...and I can do that myself without wasting his time.

Aviatrix wrote some excellent articles on monotheism yesterday, which explained the issue better than I possibly could.

Best,

Yishmael
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Janet Waters Replybullet Posted: 18 April 2008 at 2:50pm
Originally posted by yishmael

Hi Janet,

Thanks very much for the references. I'm able to read Classical Greek but don't know how the Koine standard (i.e. "Biblical Greek") translations stack up. I got honors in my institute classes at the University of Utah, by the way, so I am very familiar with (and deeply respect) your interpretation of the divine reality, even if I don't share it.
 
Very good, nice to meet you, Yishmael.

Originally posted by yishmael

I'm still unclear of any other religious movement that defines godhead in the polytheistic fashion that some LDS do.
 
The Trinity theory is Christianity's attempt of understanding the Godhead doctrine.  However, in order to avoid the distinction of being considered a "polytheistic religion" it described God as such:
 
Trinity:  1 + 1 + 1 = 1 God (with three personalities/presences).
 
Instead of:
 
Godhead:  1 + 1 + 1 = 3 Gods (who are one in purpose). 
 
The terms trinity and polythesim/monothesim are modern theories about ancient doctrines.  We (unlike trinitiarians) are not fearful of the implications that the Godhead has 3 distinct members who are unified as one in purpose. 
 
 
Originally posted by yishmael

As Eldon and Wahid pointed out, most Christians try to weld the trinity into one God so as to at least pretend to come under the banner of monotheism.
 
So true. 
 
But there is a difference between the title of "One God" and the description of "1" God.  This is wherein they choose to state "1" to conform to the modern monotheisitic understanding of God. 
 
However, both the Father and the Son have the same character...which is "ONENESS" in other words....unity.  If they were not "one" (unified) then both could not claim perfection "perfect oneness."  The Son taught this concept in his mortal sorjourn, and charged that his disciples also be "one" with them (in the same way that the Father and the Son are "one.")  Otherwise....if the apostles were not one....then they would not be Christ's."
 
The title of "One God" is the same as Eloheim which is the plural form of God.  Another name for this is the "Godhead" or the "Council of the Gods" or the "Quorum of God" (priesthood quorum of God--quorum being plural) or a position of attaining "Godhood."
 
Originally posted by yishmael

The Jews who use the term seem to do so verbatim, as the intelligence or will of the divine (a literal analogy of the head, in other words).
 
Since the great High Priest, Hiram Abith (master temple builder) was murdered...the Jews lost the key whereby man can know God.  It was restored again with Christ, however they did the same to him.   The Head of the Corner was rejected....Our Lord and Master. 

Originally posted by yishmael

The Mormons (I'm assuming you'd be one of these) who use the term to refer to a sort of divine committee of three separate gods seem to be unique in this respect.
 
This has been taught in other dispensations of time, however this information has been lost.  Whenever Israel fell into wickedness then to apostasy....the first thing to go is the understanding about God---the understanding about HIS character and attributes.  He thus was called the "Unknown God."  Therefore, people then needed to create theories in attempt to know him.  However, God cannot be known through the scientific method....he only can be known through personal revelation....or forever be "unknown" to man.

Originally posted by yishmael

For anyone watching, I mentioned *some Mormons* because there are others, like me, who sees the Jesus character as a wonderful, protecting elder brother, who (as the story goes) took the punishment that was his siblings'...but I have never prayed to him. Even if I were to take the blue pill and become an observant, true believing Mormon, I wouldn't. He wouldn't be able to do anything for me, except perhaps to petition Heavenly Father on my behalf...and I can do that myself without wasting his time.
 
We pray to the Father "in the name of the Son."  The Son is our Advocate with the Father and he pleads our case for us.  He took upon himself our sins...thus we have become "blameless" because of his sacrifice (as well as our repentance!)
 
You mentioned that you see our Advocate as having a wonderful character and see him as a protecting elder brother....but you don't want to waste his precious time.  I have to say.....that your soul is precious in his sight...that is why he did what he did.  Will his sacrifice be in vain?
 
I understand that you don't want to waste the Advocate's time or maybe even God's time.  I have felt that way before too.  In fact after I finished reading the Book of Mormon, I didn't ask if it was true......because I thought I already knew....and I didn't want to offend God by asking about something which I already knew.  That is where I was taught a great lesson.  I was taught of the great love that they have for us.  Since that time, my life changed.  I testify to you that God lives and he loves us enough to send his Son!!   

Originally posted by yishmael

Aviatrix wrote some excellent articles on monotheism yesterday, which explained the issue better than I possibly could. Best,
Yishmael
 
I will look back on that, thank you Yishmael.
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote yishmael Replybullet Posted: 18 April 2008 at 3:45pm
Hi Janet,

I appreciate your kind response and your efforts bearing your testimony. I'm from an old pioneer family and I respect that.

I actually looked around last night. The first time I can see the term Godhead defined in the way that you define it, is in speeches by Brigham Young in the 1870s.

In one of those same speeches (I found them in the Journal of Discourses) the prophet Brigham Young (saw) also said that Adam was God, our Heavenly Father. I doubt you believe that now, as few Mormons do, though I'm sure you'll correct me if I'm wrong.

If President Young was wrong in this area, I think it's also possible that he made other mistakes.

I'm snipping some things just so that I can stay on topic of the original post.

You wrote:
We pray to the Father through the name of the Son.  The Son is our Advocate with the Father and he pleads our case for us.  He took upon himself our sins...thus we have become "blameless" because of his sacrifice as well as our repentance).

I've heard that from Mormon scholars before. However, I've also heard the theory that Satan is the accuser (i.e. a sort of agent provocateur and prosecuting attorney all rolled into one) and the Holy Ghost is the comforter (advocate, barrister, defense attorney). In this alternate theory, Jesus is our judge, who announces and executes sentence on behalf of Heavenly Father.

The problem with studying Mormon theology is that it changes so rapidly. You seem to be a little bit older than I, because your view is consistent with the view of my parents.
 
I understand that you don't want to waste the Advocate's time or maybe even God's time.  I have felt that way before too.  In fact after I finished reading the Book of Mormon, I didn't ask if it was true......because I thought I already knew....and I didn't want to offend God by asking about something which I already knew.  That is where I was taught a great lesson.  I was taught of the great love that they have for us.  Since that time, my life changed.  I testify to you that God lives and he loves us enough to send his Son!!  

God's son is simply a man like me. I'm God's son too (though I'd never claim to be comparable to the Jesus character (saw)). Why pray to Jesus, when Jesus hasn't been exalted? He did his job, so that I could go directly to the source. My dad (who unlike me, actually does believe all this stuff) calls him "The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob".

Of course, this is all theoretical, because I am skeptical of a historical Jesus and I don't believe in God, except in the way ibn-Sina might have, as something so abstract, powerful and pervasive that no human can possibly wrap his mind around the concept. I am absolutely certain that God isn't an exalted human being (as many observant Mormons believe), and I've had my own testimony of that since I was young, but I respect people who differ and I appreciate your opinion.

Nice to meet you too, and I'm sure we'll talk again...

Yishmael
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