Jesus myth
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07-01-2014, 02:59 PM (This post was last modified: 07-01-2014 03:31 PM by anonymous66.)
RE: Jesus myth
(07-01-2014 02:09 PM)TwoCultSurvivor Wrote:  That's a really good book to get into the issue (The Christ Myth Theory and Its Problems). I read it last year and was impressed with the intellectual honesty. He admits that some aspects of the historical record are better explained by an historical Jesus than a mythical one. True, he does make some arguments that are a bit of a stretch (my favorite is a much, much later figure's use of the term "brother of Christ" as relevant to whether that phrase applied to James means anything other than the obvious).

In any event, I find the Christ Myth theory fascinating, and there's quite a bit to argue for it. But I still think a real person named Jesus makes better historical sense than the myth theory. I am looking forward to Richard Carrier's next book, though.
Bart Ehrman appears to be the loudest proponent of a historical Jesus.... even though he calls himself an agnostic and admits there is no historical evidence of a resurrected Jesus.

Ehrman is also at odds with the Jesus Seminar in that he believes Jesus was an apocalyptic preacher, while
Quote:(from wiki)The seminar holds a number of premises or "scholarly wisdom" about Jesus when critically approaching the gospels. They act on the premise that Jesus did not hold an apocalyptic worldview, an opinion that is controversial in mainstream scholarly studies of Jesus.[9] Rather than revealing an apocalyptic eschatology, which instructs his disciples to prepare for the end of the world, the fellows argue that the authentic words of Jesus indicate that he preached a sapiential eschatology, which encourages all of God's children to repair the world.[10][11]
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07-01-2014, 03:15 PM
RE: Jesus myth
Bart Ehrman and the Quest for the Historical Jesus of Nazareth

That's a link to a good book by mythicists challenging Bart Ehrman on the question of a historical Jesus. Again, the arguments are compelling, and the book does a good job of showing the weaknesses of Ehrman's argument. But in my view, it falls short of convincing me that Jesus never existed at all.
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07-01-2014, 03:20 PM
RE: Jesus myth
(07-01-2014 03:15 PM)TwoCultSurvivor Wrote:  Bart Ehrman and the Quest for the Historical Jesus of Nazareth

That's a link to a good book by mythicists challenging Bart Ehrman on the question of a historical Jesus. Again, the arguments are compelling, and the book does a good job of showing the weaknesses of Ehrman's argument. But in my view, it falls short of convincing me that Jesus never existed at all.

[Image: 1517562_748188185208666_1069216228_n.jpg]

This is the main point the rest is just academic quibbling. Jesus is a myth he never lived. Could there have been a Yeshua ben Josef? Maybe. But could the Man-God Zombie Jew King have ever existed? No that is silly.

(31-07-2014 04:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  America is full of guns, but they're useless, because nobody has the courage to shoot an IRS agent in self-defense
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07-01-2014, 03:42 PM
RE: Jesus myth
(04-01-2014 12:48 PM)Fat Mac Wrote:  Did jesus walk on water? No, probably not. But I do think Jesus was an actual person.

OK....question: for both you and Dr. Carrier and Bart Ehrman....why do you believe this to be true???

"People don't go to heaven when they die; they're taken to a special room and burned!" Evil_monster
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07-01-2014, 04:03 PM
RE: Jesus myth
Carrier doesn't believe it.
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08-01-2014, 12:09 AM (This post was last modified: 08-01-2014 06:25 AM by EvolutionKills.)
RE: Jesus myth
(07-01-2014 03:20 PM)Revenant77x Wrote:  
(07-01-2014 03:15 PM)TwoCultSurvivor Wrote:  Bart Ehrman and the Quest for the Historical Jesus of Nazareth

That's a link to a good book by mythicists challenging Bart Ehrman on the question of a historical Jesus. Again, the arguments are compelling, and the book does a good job of showing the weaknesses of Ehrman's argument. But in my view, it falls short of convincing me that Jesus never existed at all.

[Image: 1517562_748188185208666_1069216228_n.jpg]

This is the main point the rest is just academic quibbling. Jesus is a myth he never lived. Could there have been a Yeshua ben Josef? Maybe. But could the Man-God Zombie Jew King have ever existed? No that is silly.

Agreed. I just think that Carrier, Price, Doherty, FitzgeraLd, and Zindler make a more compelling case. But even if they're all wrong, the god-man as described by a literal interpretation is most certainly a myth. Drinking Beverage

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08-01-2014, 12:44 AM
RE: Jesus myth
Point of information: After seeing and experiencing, firsthand, Carrier's personal conduct online WRT his involvement in the inception/launch of the "AtheismPlus" experiment/debacle/abortion, I wouldn't trust/use his word as a source of information for ANYTHING, whatsoever. I wouldn't trust the sonofabitch to tell me if the fucking sun was out.

It's Special Pleadings all the way down!


Magic Talking Snakes STFU -- revenantx77


You can't have your special pleading and eat it too. -- WillHop
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08-01-2014, 05:11 AM (This post was last modified: 08-01-2014 06:07 AM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Jesus myth
(04-01-2014 06:00 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  The bible was created by Constantine I, at the First Council of Nicaea (321ad). He instructed Eusebius of Caesarea to organize the compilation of a uniform collection of new writings developed from primary aspects of the religious texts submitted at the council. His instructions were:

"Search ye these books, and whatever is good in them, that retain; but whatsoever is evil, that cast away. What is good in one book, unite ye with that which is good in another book. And whatsoever is thus brought together shall be called The Book of Books. And it shall be the doctrine of my people, which I will recommend unto all nations, that there shall be no more war for religions' sake." (God's Book of Eskra, op. cit., chapter xlviii, paragraph 31)

"Make them to astonish" said Constantine, and "the books were written accordingly" (Life of Constantine, vol. iv, pp. 36-39). Eusebius amalgamated the "legendary tales of all the religious doctrines of the world together as one", using the standard god-myths from the presbyters' manuscripts as his exemplars. Merging the supernatural "god" stories of Mithra and Krishna with British Culdean beliefs effectively joined the orations of Eastern and Western presbyters together "to form a new universal belief" (ibid.). Constantine believed that the amalgamated collection of myths would unite variant and opposing religious factions under one representative story. Eusebius then arranged for scribes to produce "fifty sumptuous copies ... to be written on parchment in a legible manner, and in a convenient portable form, by professional scribes thoroughly accomplished in their art" (ibid.). "These orders," said Eusebius, "were followed by the immediate execution of the work itself ... we sent him [Constantine] magnificently and elaborately bound volumes of three-fold and four-fold forms" (Life of Constantine, vol. iv, p. 36). They were the "New Testimonies", and this is the first mention (c. 331) of the New Testament in the historical record. Its is suspected that Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus are possible surviving examples of these Bibles.

With his instructions fulfilled, Constantine then decreed that the New Testimonies would thereafter be called the "word of the Roman Saviour God" (Life of Constantine, vol. iii, p. 29) and official to all presbyters sermonizing in the Roman Empire. He then ordered earlier presbyterial manuscripts and the records of the council "burnt" and declared that "any man found concealing writings should be stricken off from his shoulders" (beheaded) (ibid.). As the record shows, presbyterial writings previous to the Council of Nicaea no longer exist, except for some fragments that have survived."

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As for the existence of original New Testament documents, none exist. No book of the New Testament survives in the original autograph copy. What we have then come from copies, and copies of copies, of questionable originals (if the stories came piecemeal over time, as it appears it has, then there may never have existed an original). The earliest copies we have came more than a century later than the autographs, and these exist on fragments of papyrus. According to Hugh Schonfield, "It would be impossible to find any manuscript of the New Testament older than the late third century, and we actually have copies from the fourth and fifth.

In 1945, an Arab made an archeological discovery in Upper Egypt of several ancient papyrus books. They have since referred to it as The Nag Hammadi texts. They contained fifty-two heretical books written in Coptic script which include gospels of Thomas, Philip, James, John, Thomas, and many others. Archeologists have dated them at around 350-400 C.E. They represent copies from previous copies. None of the original texts exist and scholars argue about a possible date of the originals. Some of them think that they can hardly have dates later than 120-150 C.E. Others have put it closer to 140 C.E. [Pagels, 1979]

Other Gnostic gospels such as the Gospel of Judas, found near the Egyptian site of the Nag Hammadi texts, shows a diverse pattern of story telling, always a mark of myth. The Judas gospel tells of Judas Iscariot as Jesus' most loyal disciple, just opposite that of the canonical gospel stories. Note that the text does not claim that Judas Iscariot wrote it. The Judas gospel, a copy written in Coptic, dates to around the third-to fourth-century. The original Greek version probably dates to between 130 and 170 C.E., around the same time as the Nag Hammadi texts. Irenaeus first mentions this gospel in Adversus Haereses (Against Heresies) written around 180 C.E., so we know that this represented a heretical gospel.

Since these Gnostic texts could only have its unknown authors writing well after the alleged life of Jesus, they cannot serve as historical evidence of Jesus anymore than the canonical versions. Again, we only have "heretical" hearsay.

Many problems occur with the reliability of the accounts from ancient historians. Most of them did not provide sources for their claims, as they rarely included bibliographic listings, or supporting claims. They did not have access to modern scholarly techniques, and many times would include hearsay as evidence. No one today would take a modern scholar seriously who used the standards of ancient historians, yet this proves as the only kind of source that Christology comes from. Couple this with the fact that many historians believed as Christians themselves, sometimes members of the Church, and you have a built-in prejudice towards supporting a "real" Jesus.

In modern scholarship, even the best historians and Christian apologists play the historian game. They can only use what documents they have available to them. If they only have hearsay accounts then they have to play the cards that history deals them. Many historians feel compelled to use interpolation or guesses from hearsay, and yet this very dubious information sometimes ends up in encyclopedias and history books as fact.

In other words, Biblical scholarship gets forced into a lower standard by the very sources they examine. A renowned Biblical scholar illustrated this clearly in an interview when asked about Biblical interpretation. David Noel Freeman (the General editor of the Anchor Bible Series and many other works) responded with:

"We have to accept somewhat looser standards. In the legal profession, to convict the defendant of a crime, you need proof beyond a reasonable doubt. In civil cases, a preponderance of the evidence is sufficient. When dealing with the Bible or any ancient source, we have to loosen up a little; otherwise, we can't really say anything."

-David Noel Freedman (in Bible Review magazine, Dec. 1993, p.34)

The implications appear obvious. If one wishes to believe in a historical Jesus, he or she must accept this based on loose standards. Couple this with the fact that all of the claims come from hearsay, and we have a foundation made of sand, and a castle of information built of cards.

Although the New Testament mentions various cities, geological sites, kings and people that existed or lived during the alleged life of Jesus, these descriptions cannot serve as evidence for the existence of Jesus anymore than works of fiction that include recognizable locations, and make mention of actual people.

Homer's Odyssey, for example, describes the travels of Odysseus throughout the Greek islands. The epic describes, in detail, many locations that existed in history. But should we take Odysseus, the Greek gods and goddesses, one-eyed giants and monsters as literal fact simply because the story depicts geographic locations accurately? Of course not. The authors of mythical stories, fictions, and novels almost always use familiar landmarks as placements for their stories. The authors of the Greek tragedies not only put their stories in plausible settings as happening in the real world but their supernatural characters took on the desires, flaws and failures of mortal human beings. Consider that fictions such as King Kong, Superman, and Star Trek include recognizable cities, planets, and landmarks, with their protagonists and antagonists miming human emotions.

Likewise, just because the Gospels mention cities and locations in Judea, and known historical people, with Jesus behaving like an actual human being (with the added dimension of supernatural curses, miracles, etc.) but this says nothing about the actuality of the characters portrayed in the stories. However, when a story uses impossible historical locations, or geographical errors, we may question the authority of the claims.

For example, in Matt 4:8, the author describes the devil taking Jesus into an exceedingly high mountain to show him all the kingdoms of the world. Since there exists no spot on the spheroid earth to view "all the kingdoms," we know that the Bible errs here.

John 12:21 says, "The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee. . . ." Bethsaida resided in Gaulonitis (Golan region), east of the Jordan river, not Galilee, which resided west of the river.

John 3:23 says, "John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim. . . ." Critics agree that no such place as Aenon exists near Salim.

No one has evidence for a city named Nazareth at the time of the alleged Jesus. [Gauvin] Nazareth does not appear in the Old Testament, nor does it appear in the volumes of Josephus's writings (even though he provides a list of cities in Galilee). Oddly, none of the New Testament epistle writers ever mentions Nazareth or a Jesus of Nazareth even though most of the epistles appeared before the gospels. In fact no one mentions Nazareth until the Gospels, where the first one didn't come into existence until about 40 years after the alleged death of Jesus. If a city named Nazareth existed during the 1st century, then we need at least one contemporary piece of evidence for the name, otherwise we cannot refer to it as established history. Many historians do not agree with this of course. Some think Nazareth existed, some don't think it existed, and some remain skeptical, but the fact that historians still debate it should tell you that that we should not use this uncertainly as a certainty. Moreover, some scholars think it as a moot point because they believe "Nazareth" refers to a Christian movement, not a city. For one example, Acts 24:5 refers to a sect of the Nazarenes. The Gospel writers then might have confused the term to mean the city (which by the time they wrote the gospels, a city did exist with that name). We have a lot of educated guesses by scholars, but no certainity.

Many more kinds of errors and uncertainties like this appear in the New Testament. And although one cannot use these as evidence against a historical Jesus, we can certainly question the reliability of the texts. If the scriptures make so many factual errors about geology, science, and contain so many contradictions, falsehoods could occur any in area.

If we have a coupling with historical people and locations, then we should also have some historical reference of a Jesus to these locations and people. But just the opposite proves the case. The Bible depicts Herod, the Ruler of Jewish Palestine under Rome as sending out men to search and kill the infant Jesus, yet nothing in history supports such a story. Pontius Pilate supposedly performed as judge in the trial and execution of Jesus, yet no Roman record mentions such a trial. The gospels portray a multitude of believers throughout the land spreading tales of a teacher, prophet, and healer, yet nobody in Jesus' life time or years after, ever records such a human figure. The lack of a historical Jesus in the known historical record speaks for itself.

I salute you! Well written and researched! Have you got references?

Allow me to add a little re Nazarenes/ Nazareth...

The Nazareth part of the story is probably untrue, as there’s little evidence outside Christian literature that a city called Nazareth existed in the first century. Today’s Nazareth was probably only first named as such in the third or fourth century, and there is little good archaeological evidence the place was a town before that (http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/nazareth.html, http://www.nazarethmyth.info). Richard Carrier, a well respected scholar, disagrees in the sense that he thinks Nazareth may have existed in the first century, but doesn’t think Jesus, if he existed, grew up there. (http://freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/arch...pmp_tp=1). So Yeshua may have grown up in one of many small Jewish villages that dotted the countryside in Galilee, but it almost certainly wasn’t today’s Nazareth.

The Nazarenes
Yeshua was a Nazarene, as stated in the bible: Acts referred to
“Jesus Christ the Nazarene” (Acts 2:22, 3:6, 4:10, 6:14, 22:8, 26:9, NJB.) Most Christians assume the term “Nazarene” referred to the fact that Jesus came from the village of Nazareth. This was, after all, what Matthew claimed, (Matt. 2:23) but Nazareth the place was probably not the real origin of the term. On (almost) every occasion that Jesus was referred to as being “of Nazareth,” the real meaning is “the Nazarene” (http://www.essene.com/What is a Nazarene.htm.) As mentioned, Nazareth the village probably didn’t exist in Yeshua’s time. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxEJHO8KIXY). Calling him Jesus “of Nazareth” was a ploy to distract from his sectarian affiliations. The bible made it clear the term “Nazarene” referred to a sect, when in the book of Acts, Paul is accused of being a Nazarene.
“The plain truth is that we find this man a perfect pest; he stirs up trouble among Jews the world over, and is a ringleader of the Nazarene sect.” (Acts 24:5, NJB.) An important religious sect would not have been named after an obscure Galilean village.
Hugh Schonfield, who devoted his life to studying Judaism and Yeshua, claims Nazarenism was an ancient version of Judaism. (http://archive.org/search.php?query=creator%3A"Hugh J.Schonfield" AND subject%3A"Nazarenes"). He thought the original founder of the Nazarene sect may have been a Jewish-Arabian prophet named Essa in approximately 400 BCE. So, if he was right, they were already well established in Jesus’ time.

Many eminent scholars have linked the Nazarenes with the Essenian sect at Qumran. One might consider the Nazarene sect a strongly developed messianic form of “Essenism.” (http://www.essene.com/History&Essenes/TrimmNazars.htm).

John the Baptist, Yeshua’s family, disciples and followers were all Nazarenes. The “pillars” Paul refers to (James, Peter, and John) in his second letter to the Galatians, were the leaders and key figures of this group after Yeshua’s death. They too were Jews, not Christians. They practiced circumcision, believed in baptism, and were strict about the Sabbath. They were vegetarians who didn't approve of the slaughter of animals, either for food or sacrifice. They developed their own “Halacha,” which was their interpretation of the Torah. They were true believers in the power and glory of Israel, saw themselves as God's chosen people, and were vehemently opposed to the Romans. I think they were zealots, willing to take the Romans on, which was why the Roman world considered a Nazarene “a pest” who “stirs up trouble among Jews the world over.”
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08-01-2014, 05:23 AM
RE: Jesus myth
(04-01-2014 08:07 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  
(04-01-2014 06:22 PM)maklelan Wrote:  It is.


Nicea was about the Arian controversy, which was the question of Jesus' relationship to God. They also decided on an official date for the celebration of Easter and some other smaller things.

you have to dig deeper then wiki.

I will pick out a few paragraphs from the 49 pages of information I have accrued on the nicene council, you cant depend on wiki for everything guys.

Constantine saw in this confused system of fragmented dogmas the opportunity to create a new and combined State religion, neutral in concept, and to protect it by law. When he conquered the East in 324 he sent his Spanish religious adviser, Osius of Córdoba, to Alexandria with letters to several bishops exhorting them to make peace among themselves. The mission failed and Constantine, probably at the suggestion of Osius, then issued a decree commanding all presbyters and their subordinates "be mounted on asses, mules and horses belonging to the public, and travel to the city of Nicaea" in the Roman province of Bithynia in Asia Minor. They were instructed to bring with them the testimonies they orated to the rabble, "bound in leather" for protection during the long journey, and surrender them to Constantine upon arrival in Nicaea (The Catholic Dictionary, Addis and Arnold, 1917, "Council of Nicaea" entry). Their writings totalled "in all, two thousand two hundred and thirty-one scrolls and legendary tales of gods and saviours, together with a record of the doctrines orated by them" (Life of Constantine, op. cit., vol. ii, p. 73; N&PNF, op. cit., vol. i, p. 518).

Thus, the first ecclesiastical gathering in history was summoned and is today known as the Council of Nicaea. It was a bizarre event that provided many details of early clerical thinking and presents a clear picture of the intellectual climate prevailing at the time. It was at this gathering that Christianity was born, and the ramifications of decisions made at the time are difficult to calculate. About four years prior to chairing the Council, Constantine had been initiated into the religious order of Sol Invictus, one of the two thriving cults that regarded the Sun as the one and only Supreme God (the other was Mithraism). Because of his Sun worship, he instructed Eusebius to convene the first of three sittings on the summer solstice, 21 June 325 (Catholic Encyclopedia, New Edition, vol. i, p. 792), and it was "held in a hall in Osius's palace" (Ecclesiastical History, Bishop Louis Dupin, Paris, 1686, vol. i, p. 598).

It was at that puerile assembly, and with so many cults represented, that a total of 318 "bishops, priests, deacons, subdeacons, acolytes and exorcists" gathered to debate and decide upon a unified belief system that encompassed only one god (An Apology for Christianity, op. cit.). By this time, a huge assortment of "wild texts" (Catholic Encyclopedia, New Edition, "Gospel and Gospels") circulated amongst presbyters and they supported a great variety of Eastern and Western gods and goddesses: Jove, Jupiter, Salenus, Baal, Thor, Gade, Apollo, Juno, Aries, Taurus, Minerva, Rhets, Mithra, Theo, Fragapatti, Atys, Durga, Indra, Neptune, Vulcan, Kriste, Agni, Croesus, Pelides, Huit, Hermes, Thulis, Thammus, Eguptus, Iao, Aph, Saturn, Gitchens, Minos, Maximo, Hecla and Phernes (God's Book of Eskra, anon., ch. xlviii, paragraph 36).

Constantine's intention at Nicaea was to create an entirely new god for his empire who would unite all religious factions under one deity. Presbyters were asked to debate and decide who their new god would be. Delegates argued among themselves, expressing personal motives for inclusion of particular writings that promoted the finer traits of their own special deity. Throughout the meeting, howling factions were immersed in heated debates, and the names of 53 gods were tabled for discussion. "As yet, no God had been selected by the council, and so they balloted in order to determine that matter... For one year and five months the balloting lasted..." (God's Book of Eskra, Prof. S. L. MacGuire's translation, Salisbury, 1922, chapter xlviii, paragraphs 36, 41).

At the end of that time, Constantine returned to the gathering to discover that the presbyters had not agreed on a new deity but had balloted down to a shortlist of five prospects: Caesar, Krishna, Mithra, Horus and Zeus (Historia Ecclesiastica, Eusebius, c. 325). Constantine was the ruling spirit at Nicaea and he ultimately decided upon a new god for them. To involve British factions, he ruled that the name of the great Druid god, Hesus, be joined with the Eastern Saviour-god, Krishna (Krishna is Sanskrit for Christ), and thus Hesus Krishna would be the official name of the new Roman god. A vote was taken and it was with a majority show of hands (161 votes to 157) that both divinities became one God. Following longstanding heathen custom, Constantine used the official gathering and the Roman apotheosis decree to legally deify two deities as one, and did so by democratic consent. A new god was proclaimed and "officially" ratified by Constantine (Acta Concilii Nicaeni, 1618). That purely political act of deification effectively and legally placed Hesus and Krishna among the Roman gods as one individual composite. That abstraction lent Earthly existence to amalgamated doctrines for the Empire's new religion; and because there was no letter "J" in alphabets until around the ninth century, the name subsequently evolved into "Jesus Christ".

I could go on and on

Wow. thankyou.
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08-01-2014, 05:32 AM
RE: Jesus myth
(04-01-2014 09:19 PM)WillHopp Wrote:  I thought this was interesting, from Ehrman's Jesus Interrupted.

"All of this mattered in part because the Roman emperor Con- stantine had converted to Christianity and wanted to use this new religion to help unify his fractured empire. A split religion could not bring unity. The religion had to be united first. And so the emperor called a meeting in Nicaea of the most important Christian bishops in the empire, in order to debate the issues and to make a judgment to be binding on all Christians. This was the famous Council of Nicaea of the year 325 CE.
In the end the council voted for Athanasius’s position. Contrary to what is sometimes said, it was nearly a unanimous decision, not a close vote. Still, even after that day the debates continued, and for a while in the fourth century it looked as though the Arians were going to emerge victorious after all. But eventually the orthodox position was that of Athanasius. There are three persons in the God- head. They are distinct from each other. But each one is equally God. All three are eternal beings. And they all are of the same substance. This, then, is the doctrine of the Trinity.
It is quite a development from anything found in the New Testa- ment, where there is no explicit statement of anything of the sort. Not even in a document like the Gospel of John, where Jesus is thought of as divine, is there any discussion of three being one in substance. As you might expect, later scribes of the New Testament found this lack disturbing, and so in one place at least they inserted an explicit reference to the Trinity (1 John 5:7–8).9 The Trinity is a later Christian invention, which was based, in the arguments of Athanasius and others, on passages of Scripture but which does not actually appear in any of the books of the New Testament.
Within three hundred years Jesus went from being a Jewish apocalyptic prophet to being God himself, a member of the Trinity. Early Christianity is nothing if not remarkable."

So basically the Council is what made the Holy Spirit part of the Trinity, nowhere else.

Thanks for pointing out that John got interpolated with the trinity. I didn't know that.
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