I hope you are still with us ! I downloaded all the pages of this thread and have spent most of this evening reading through.
First of all, let me state my
answer to the original question
Jesus is The Son of God, He is
God in human form. The Holy Spirit is that same entity, in the past, the present and the future. Jesus (God in his hman form) came to live with us briefly and died to atone for all our misdeeds (not just for Adam & Eve eating an apple) for which one of us can honestly say he/she has never "sinned"
Okay - that's got that off my chest
Right - The Trinity - The word "Trinity" isn't mentioned in The Bible. But the beginning of John says "In the beginning was the Word, (note capitalisation)
and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God at the beginning." Most Christians will agree thet the reason for the capitalisation is that John was referring to Jesus. (Sorry, my Greek is rusty, so I can't explain the translations - I leave that to wiser men and women than I)
So here John is saying that Jesus and God are the same entity. During His time on earth, Jesus says much the same thing (as others have quoted earlier), so if we believe that the Bible is at least basically true, that takes care of the first two of the Trinity.
Now to use your own argument "if it looks like a duck" - when Jesus appeared to the disciples, they recognised Him (apart from one occasion when he caused them to not realise who He was until later in the day - maybe he was wearing a hooded cloak and kept his face partly covered?) He looked like Jesus, he sounded like Jesus, and he was saying the things that Jesus had previously said. The Holy Spirit was/is
So apart from the lack of use of the actual word "Trinity", the Bible does
imply quite clearly the principle of the Trinity.
Next - The doubts about the authenticiy of translations. In recent years, biblical scholars have had access to more and more very early (Greek and Aramaic) manuscripts. A couple of hundred hundred years ago, all we in the Western world had access to was a translation into English of a translation from Latin. I have a copy of the New English Version (as well as an old "King James Authorised Version", which I sometimes turn to for comparison), which was produced in the 1960s and 70s by a large number of scholars from difernt "persuasions" and used the oldest reliable texts available, to produce the final English language version - including the Dead Sea Scrolls (for part of the Old Testament) and other Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek early texts.
An interesting discovery emerges from reading this and the KJAV - although the wording
is sometimes different, the meaning[
always seems to be the same! - So although the NIV is easier to read, the KJAV was pretty accurate too!
Now the "omitted books" - I haven't read any of these, but I suspect that they were not included due to doubts about their accuracy or origins - surely that only enhances the veracity of the books that were
On the subject of the apparent conflicts between the Gospels - As has been mentioned before, these were sometimes written for diferent audiences, and by different "players" with their own impressions of what was most significant. It is only natural that they would have placed different emphasis on the events. Some events may have been forgotten by one or two of the writers, or they may have felt that other events were more important for inclusion in their book.
Back to the "court scenario", if I were a juror, I would be very suspicious of 4 different witnesses whose accounts of events a couple of decades ago were 100% in agreement as to the exact order and details of events; I would suspect a serious degree of recent collusion!
Women - Yes, you are right, women were considered "less than men" in the world 2000 years ago. That was the Old Testament society - Jesus made a very important point on this - in reference to divorce - He said "That was the law in the day of Moses, when your hearts were hard; now the law is in your heart and you may not divorce without very, very good reason" (my interpretation, based on all three Gospel accounts of this speech of Jesus')
. There is at least one major religion today where it is practiced that a man may obtain divorce for very minor reasons (e.g. a wife failing to produce male offspring - despite the fact that it is the man who determines the sex!) whereas a woman may not obtain a divorce unless the man commits something close to a capital crime! That's not what Jesus taught us!
Angel G, you haven't told us in your posts "where you are coming from", and I find it difficult to tell what your religion, if any, is, but thanks for the input - please come back, but try to raise one point at a time to make the debate a bit more structured and easier to follow