0 THE TRUE MEANING OF TRINITY’S REVEALED

Bism al-Abi wa al-Ibni wa ar-Rûh al-Quddusi, al-Ilahu al-Wâhid, Amin
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, God Almighty, Amen


A dialogue between Bilung’s "EXOTERICISM" AND
Kyai Semar’s "ESOTERICISM"*)

by KP. Senoadiningrat

Indonesian to English translation by :
Glenn Tapidingan
Martin H. Simamora


1.Introductory Note

In Javanese mythology, there are two types of comprehension of spirituality, the first is exoteric (common or popular comprehensible language) which simplistic, and the second is esoteric (inner consciousness language), which refers to the essence beyond all things. At outset reputedly, Sang Hyang Tunggal created egg of life. Extracting from the egg, yolk became "Sang Hyang Shiva" (the essence of all things),  albumen or white egg  to-be Semar (the essence of all things that can be comprehended esoterically), and shell came to be Togog (symbolizing the failure to seize the essence because mistakenly signify the truth exoterically or in "language of the flesh",or wadag, simplistic thinking). Next, a figure in shadow play, Togog who is supported by Bilung, epitomizes the outwardly religious apprehension or thoroughly wadag/simplistic as already mentioned earlier, and Semar followed with Gareng, Petruk, and Bagong who  symbolized spirituality that always longings for the  quintessence, loving for the significance, and understanding the substance.

Therefore, when Jesus says: "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day; and he saw, and was glad". This is the "esoterical language" to say "spiritual language" which must be apprehended inwardly. But the Jewish people hooked it up with outward apprehension of the language or Jesus’ speech, miscarriage the substance the truth, and asked: "Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?" (John 8:56-57, KJVA). Jewish people only saw Jesus to apprehend him in his existence form as a human, and failed to recognize His pre-existence as “the Word of God” (Greek: Logos; Hebrew: Davar; Aramaic: Memra; Arab: Kalimatullah) that "by/ through Him all things exist"(1Cor. 8:6; John 1:3; Psa. 33:6;2Pet. 3:5).

Jesus’ question: “Why do ye not understand my language? Because ye cannot hear MY Word” (John 8:43, KJVA), occurs to Christians themselves who can’t comprehend the principles of their own faith, namely the Godhead and the Deity of the Messiah, and the nature of the Triune God that clearly taught in the Sacred Scripture, transmitted by disciples of the apostles, disciples of the disciples of the apostles to the ecumenical church councils that formulate them  more clearer for us.



2.Bilung Asks, Semar Answers

Bambang Noorsena writings often unapprehended by the people as to what is wrongly alleged as his sophistication language in papery, which were determined as contradict to  bible language which uncomplicate. To be more comprehensible, in this paper will be presented by adopting Javanese wayang characters in to a play roles, but still with bright references. Essential notions in this paper, however, will be set out in a chitchat style of punakawan (special characters in Javanese wayang who consist of Semar, Gareng, Bagong and Petruk) as it happens in a coffee shop between Kyai (Cleric) Semar in his “Joglo” (a uniquely Javanese  veranda architecture), with Bilung  his “guest” who was coming from “across land”.


The Case of Galileo-Galilee (1564-1642)

Bilung
Good morning,Mbah Kyai (Old respected Cleric in society)!

Semar
Good morning to you too, Lung. Good lord, how come that you’re really still alive? Well that’s  fine, the important thing is that you and I are still breathing. How’s your teacher, Reverend Togog? Is he still serves as chairman of Association of Indonesian Togog (AIT)?

Bilung          
Yes, He is, Kyai. But right now, I am so confused concerning which one is the truth? But what crystal to me is “the establishment of a doctrine as the official dogma of the church has never been an assurance of truth”, for it is proved in Galileo case with his theory of “heliocentric” which was once considered wrong, labeled as cult, but then he was proofed to be right, instead. And that’s the same one with the Trinity doctrine. Should not it, Mbah(an appellation for Old Man)?


Semar
It is true in some sense, Lung. But not for everything can be considered as a same thing. For natural science is not part of the dogmatic teachings of the church, the apostles had never transacted with physics, astronomy or geography. So it was church fault to employ Bible as “textbooks of science”. That's Scripturalism, this kind comprehending is from religion infreriority attitude to science.


Bilung          
Then what is the concrete meaning of Trinity, Mbah?

Semar
The word “Trinity” is not found literally in Scripture, but  present substantively in verses which speak out God, His Word, and His Spirit. If you read the Torah, at time you open the first page of Genesis or ‘Bereshit’ in Hebrew, narrated promptly that God (Elohim, Hebr.; Allah, Arb.), who created the heavens and the earth, together with the Spirit of God (‘Ruah Elohim’, Hebr.) who‘ merakhefet alfene hamayyim’, Hebr. (moved upon the water surface), meaning “breathe out life power” into the creation, “and God said (‘Wayomer Elohim’, Hebr.): Let there be light, and there was light” (Gen. 1:1-3, KJVA).


Bilung          
I know that,Mbah. But what’s the difference comparing it to Galileo case?


Semar
I got your point, Lung, but what you have already known only outer things (simplistic thinking). Now listen to my counsel first, because you only know the verses of the Bible and make your own interpretation in accordance with your left brain limitations. What happens next that you read it out of  history context. For example, you don’t know how generations of disciples of the apostles conceived their faith. Have you ever read “The Apostolic Fathers?”

Bilung          
What is that,Mbah?

Semar
Well, that you are; you actually don’t know anything, Lung. You should at least know that you don’t know. Yet you and your friends feel smart but arrogant, it is de facto of yours. Challenging the priests, then claim in writing: “This is a ground breaking book,” “appalling theologians”, etc., but those are the theologian who confused??


Bilung          
That’s not me, Mbah, they are my buddies who wrote that.




Semar
“The Apostolic Fathers”, are the church fathers who came from the disciples of the apostles, like: Papias, bishop of Hierapolis (d. 155); Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna (d. 156); Clement of Rome (d. 101); and Ignatius of Antioch (d. 107), for example. Ignatius noted that Christ has two nature, namely “God-Man” (en anthropo theos, Gr.), “which according to the flesh and according to the spirit, which are born and not born physically, that comes out of Mary and exit from God (kai sarkikos kai pneumatikos, gennetos kai aggennetos, kai ek Marias kai ek Theos, Gr.), which is incomprehensible and unknowable”. Ignatius, known as a disciple of the Apostle John and Peter’s successor at Antioch leadership has also said:“.... His Son, meaning ‘His Word’, is coming out of the eternal silence (tou Hiou auton, hos estin autou Logos apo ages proelthon, Gr.).”

Likewise, when Polycarp, disciple of the Apostle John who died as a shaheed (martyr), he prayed to God the Trinity: “I praise you for all things, I bless you, I glorify you through the eternal priest of heaven, Jesus Christ, your beloved Son. Through him be glory to you, together with him and the Holy Spirit, now and forever.” Similarly, Clement of Rome, the disciples of Peter and Paul, whose name is mentioned in Philippians 4:3, said: “With the mention of the living God, the Lord Jesus Christ is eternal and the Holy Spirit” (ze gar ho Theos, kai ze ho Kurion Iesous Christos, kai to Pneuma to Hagion, Gr.). And there is ample evidence that in the days of the apostles, the disciples of the apostles, until the council fathers, believe the same creeds. So, it is Arius who exactly brought the foreigners teachings that even you now  unbelievable follow them,Bilung?


Bilung          
Are you kidding me, Mbah? In what books I can read the data about that history? I wonder why Father Togog has never taught me that matters.


Semar
That’s because your father Togog is never understood exactly what really was happening back then in histories, Lung. And you know why? It is a result of a poor literature, alias lack of appropriate reading, Lung.

Bilung          
And then what, Mbah? Are there any books to read?

Semar
 All data have been published. One of them: JB Lightfoot - JR Harmer (ed.), The Apostolic Fathers (Michigan: Baker Book House, 1984). In this book, not only comprises the original text in Greek, a glimpse of the historical description of who the disciples of the apostles, what sources are engaged, but also the translation in English. That if you don’t understand Greek. Especially Ignatius who was the one most listened to his beloved teacher Apostle John privilegely that made his teaching at the most codified by the ecumenical councils of the church, as it can  be read  in Tadrus Y. Malathi’s book, Ad-Dalil Al-Mabsud fi ‘Alami Aba’ al-Kanisah, Juz 1 (Cairo: Markaz al-Delta li ath-Thaba’ah, 2003).

Bilung          
Does that mean the Bible is not enough, Mbah? Is that why I have to look for historical data?

Semar           
Wait a minute, your conclusion is a mistake again, that not supposed to be like that, Lung. Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, Unitarians, and all the new sects  that  were built just around “yesterday afternoon” in the west world, all  claimed read the same Bible.  However, why the outcome clashes? The explanation for it, for they interpreted the Scripture according to their own tastes, only!

Bilung          
But yourself, how do you interpret it, Mbah? I mean, what is your interpretation?

Semar
The Bible does not come down from heaven, but born out of historical context. Despite Ignatius, Clement, and Polycarp writings were not a Bible, and also will never be a Scripture, but all the writings came from the times which close to the apostles’. Furthermore in disciples of apostles era. Now, if you have more confidence to the interpretation of Michael Servetus, John Biddle and his Unitarian warriors from 16-17th centuries than disciples of apostles’ writings, I must say that you are very stupid! Don’t mad for I was saying that, because even utilizing the secular historical method, the conclusion will not different. For example, if you will to reconstruct the history and thought of “the chief minister Gajahmada”based on book of “Negara Kertagama,” then which one will be your reliable account, the “Trowulan and Bendosari inscription” which originated from the Majapahit era  or the interpretation of western scholars who live in centuries after the period of Gajah Mada, that their explanation very possible abandon the inscription and reffered to the translation in western/modern languages. Got my point, kiddo?


Bilung          
Yes, yes, Mbah. You were always unhappy with me for you are dislike stupido person. Is there any kind of the herbal medicine to cure and deal with this stupidity thought, Kyai?

Semar
I'm a “doctor for people who lost their mind”, like you, Lung. But this was a religious advice of Father Rochadi to you. So, do not get mad if I say you are stupid, because it is the way for healing therapy.

Bilung          
And what’s the point or meaning of that?

Semar
Well, Lung. People who feel smart, pretending clever, if be told “infidel”, “false”, IT DOES NOT WORK AT ALL. Contradictory you probably would say, “Look, as much I thought, if you can’t answer, what next I knew, yells like those busrted me ! I DON’T CARE whether you are infidel or heretic, but I know for sure that you are STUPID. And what is the herbal medicine to cure the stupid people there is no other way except STUDY HARD, Lung.

Bilung          
Well,Mbah. To be frankly I was angry with you. But I am scared you will spells me. (Bilung probably thinking to himself : “Behold you Kyai, I will report you to Father Tom Jacob.”He was a late respected Catholic pastor in Indonesia, but  whispered only in his mind).

Semar
So, ‘the Galileo-Galilee Case’ can’t serve as an analogy. This is because the doctrine of the Trinity and the divinity of Jesus are not just a matter of individual interpretation, but proved to be the faith of the church since its earliest history. Formulation can indeed be differing, especially if we do not read the results of the councils of the church directly; so, my suggestion to you: do not only read quotations from secondary data, like some priests commonly did,they whom you face so far, because both of you don’t have the main source.




Did Jesus not explain detail as many as possible?

Bilung          
If Jesus taught the Trinity, and He wanted His disciples to understand and believe in the Trinity –to say that Himself is in the Godhead - Should He not give many details in explanations, then dismantling Jewish Monotheism in to the roots? As a matter of fact that is not the case. And if, for example, Jesus has it, should not be produced explanation of the Trinity abundantly?

Semar
Now, you’re getting more insignificant. Listen, the Trinity doctrine does not oppose to Jewish’ Monotheism. When the doctrine was formulated, what will be answered IS NOT the question of: “How many are Gods?” This is different from Islamic Monotheism which was a reaction to idolatry. Trinity is actually ROOTED IN Jewish monotheism. “Shema Y’srael, Adonay Eloheinu Adonay Echad” (Deu. 6:4, HOT). “Hear O Israel: the LORD our Godis one LORD!” (Mar. 12:29, KJVA). This teaching will answer the question: “God who is unanimously said  One, ‘How is that so?’” How the oneness of God is explained, particularly in regard with His Word and His Spirit who exists throughout the verses of the Torah, the Psalms and Prophets that are always mentioned together in the work of creation (Gen. 1:1-3, Psa. 33:6), and also in the work of saving His people (Isa. 63:11-16). The Holy Spirit is also associated with the prophecies of His work of Messiah (Isa. 11:2). Well, after the coming of Jesus, then ponder more deeply on Jesus called Himself: Ego eimi (Gr.) “I Am” (John 8:58), bethought the word of Yahweh Himself: “I AM THAT I AM” (Hebr: Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh) (Exo 3:14, HOT, KJVA). Likewise, Jesus sent his disciples to make disciple of all nations and baptize them: “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Matt. 28:19, ESV). Observe on this, instead of called Eis to Onomati (In The names), it is called: Eis to onoma. It means “In the Name” or “In A name”).



“Ego Eimi” Explanation: Discriminative One?

Bilung          
Whoa…mbah Kyai. You are wrong, because it is discriminatory interpretation. There are so many expressions of “ego eimi”, but why on John 8:58 specifically, somehow, must signify Jesus likened to Yahweh. It’s not come in to my sense, Kyai.


Semar
I thought as much, kiddo! There are many expressions of ‘Ego eimi’ in the Bible: “I am the bread of life – Ego eimi ho artos tes Zoes” (John 6:35). “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life - Ego eimi ho Hodos he Aletheia kai he Zoe” (John 14:6). “I am the true vine - Ego eimi he ampelos he alethine” (John 15:1), and many more. As in the Indonesian language, if people say: “Aku ada-lah direktur”, “Iblis ada-lah pendusta”, “Tuhan ada-lah Pengasih”, then “ada” is a conjunctive, but if it says in this way: “Tuhan Ada” (God Exist), it is to say that: He is God Almighty. Moreover, the expression of Ego eimi in John 8:58 was in fact backgrounded by the LXX (Septuagint) translation of “I am still there” (Hebrew: Ani Hu) which is rendered as: “Eva geote kai pisteosete kai sunete hoti ego eimi”.




Is His-“Messiahship” not enough?
Bilung
You are a discourser, mbah Semar. But I think the more important is what Jesus said about Himself? And it is clear when Peter said: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Mat. 16:16, MKJV), Jesus granted that idea. Is the title of Messiah not enough? Why should we call Him God?

Semar
Concur! I am 100% agree with you Kiddo! But you must know how the Jews of that era grasped the meaning of Messiah. Avoid dependency on western literature, set your course also to read the Jewish Targum, try to figure out the messianic Jews’ comprehension, even to the “the Dead Sea Scrolls” texts, these are manuscripts of the Dead Sea discovered at Qumran, Kiddo! For once western scholars have had thought that the concept of the Godhead of the Messiah (the Christ Divinity) was from the Greek pagan notion which is adopted in Christianity. But with the findings of Qumran, the accusation simply becomes untrue. That because the concept of Messiah Divinity exists in Jewish understanding, and never derived from the Greek idea.


Bilung          
Ahh…are you serious with that Mbah Kyai? You must not lie to me,  mbah. If so, where is the proof to be found?

Semar           
In that scrolls it is mentioned that “Heaven will ‘Shekinah’ in the Messiah forever” (Hebr.: Ha Shemayim ye-shaken ‘amo le ‘ad) Also, allude to what has been taught by the church concerning the divine birth of the Messiah: "God will give birth to the Messiah" (Hebr.: ‘im yolid el et ha Mashiah). And yet there are many more evidences. Even I myself have examined the Israel manuscripts of Qumran since 1995, Kiddo! But if you still don’t believe me, then it's up to you, Lung. And I don’t  intend to force you either. Further more about this issue, you can read it in Bambang Noorsena book, “The Dead Sea Scrolls: Menggoncang atau Mendukung Kekristenan/Shaking Up Or Backing Up Christhianity (Surabaya: Institute for Syriac Christian Studies ‘ISCS’ dan Paguyuban Amin, 2007).




Evidence from the Jewish Targum: the Word was God?


Bilung          
all right, Mbah. But it seems I unlikely to believe. You were mentioning earlier a story of  "Targum", who is that?

Semar
Oh please don’t! Do you think that “Targum” is a name of your friend? Oh My God, Bilung! “Targum” is an Aramaic, parallel with Arabic meaning of “Tarjamah”, or “The Translation” in English. So, the “Targum” is the comments of the Old Testament in Aramaic from the time of Jesus himself.

Bilung          
If  that is the case, then  is  it possible by any chance Lord Jesus knew the“Targum, Mbah?”

Semar
I make sure that He read the Targum. The proof when He was quoting Psa. 22:2, according to Mark 15:34 (KJVA), Jesus cried out: Eloi, Eloi, Lama Sabachthani, and according to Matthew 27:46 (KJVA):Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani. That’s the confirmation. These are dialect forms which found in it, clearly transliterated of an expression: Elahi, Elahi, lmah sabachthani by the Gospel writers. Read the Tanakh (Torah, Nevim We Ketuvim) or the Hebrew Old Testament, it evidently reads: Eli, Eli, lmah azvachthani.

Bilung          
Well, well ... Suppose we could check and reexamine from the Book which is read by Jesus himself, I thought the controversy over the churches teaching can be over.Can it happen Mbah?



Semar
Bravo, that’s a good question. And my reply is, yes of course. At least, we must understand the “Jesus language”of his contemporary through views, mindsets or Jewish paradigms, NOT Western paradigm which was entwined by your teacher, Michael Servetus, John Biddle, who had “missed the boat”.

Bilung          
Do you think is there any relevance with Targum to our discussion, Kyai? I was becoming more complicate to see these all.

Semar
By all means there is, Lung. Ahead of time, we were discussing about what Jesus meant roughly by His Word: Ego Eimi. And the Word was associated with Abraham. In the original text we can read: Amen, Amen lego humin; Prin Abraam genesthai, Ego Eimi (Gr.) which means: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM.” (John 8:58, KJVA). This Word is Jesus affirmation of Himself, when the Jews opposed to his words before: "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see MY DAY, and He saw It and was glad" (John 8:56, KJVA).

Bilung          
Wait, wait a minute, Mbah. Now, I’m becoming more and more confused .  What it has to do with the “Targum”? What is the connection?

Semar
 In the Targum, we know Memra (“Word”, Aram.) who is identified with Yahweh, the Lord himself who is in our New Testament more familiar to be called the Father who reflects God in His transcendence. As it was said by our ancestors in nusantara or archipelago sphere, we call Him “Adoh Tanpo wangenan” (far beyond of imagery).That far-off God who is in Heaven, the most high place, when he presents to address his people in the Targum introduced himself as Memra perpetually.

For example,“In the night, God came to Laban in a dream ...”How was God coming to Laban? His Memra visited Laban, the Targum noted: “Wa ata Memra min qedem Yahwe lwat Laban…” (And Memra together with Yahweh came to see Laban). Likewise, the Prophet Jacob, sent home by the Lord with assurance that He was going to accompany him: We Ehyeh ‘imeka (The literal translation of the Hebrew text: “And I will be with you” Gen. 31:3, ESV). How was God who “tan keno kinoyo ngapa (without our knowing of how)”able with Jacob? The answer is found in Onqelos Targum which translates: We yehi Memrei besa’ideka (And my Memra will be with you).


Bilung
And what is the connection with Abraham?


Semar
Well, specifically through Abraham’s name, all nations will be blessed. To him God spoke: Lo Tira Avraham, anokhi Magen lakha. It means: “Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield” (Gen. 15:1, KJVA). In the Targum it is translated: La tidhal Avraham, Meimrei tegok lekha“Do not be afraid Abraham, my Memra will be with you”. That is to say, as far as God reveals himself to be known to his people, or as far as the transcendent becomes immanent, or up till “adoh tanpo wangenan” (far beyond imagery) is pleased to be “chedak tanpo senggolan” (handy/close without touching). He is always presents in Memra figure, namely “the Word of God” or “His Word”. That is the backdrop of the Apostle John “Christology” that translates Memra into Logos, following the Septuagint in Greek. And then, when Jesus says: “Before Abraham was, I am there (Ego eimi)”distinctly referring to GOD’s Memra himself.“ Abraham should see My day, and he saw” meaning that Abraham now sees the fulfillment of GOD’s promise since the first, that the Word of God actually saves all nations in accordance with the promise of the LORD which is met in Jesus Christ, who physically “the son of Abraham” (Mat. 1:1). He is the incarnation of Memra (Word of God) who comforming to the Targum is the Lord himself, as far as He reveals Himself, who was heretofore the Magen Avraham“ The shield of Abraham” (Gen. 15:1).




“Children of God” and “Begotten Son of God”

Bilung          
Mbah Kyai, not only Jesus who is called the Son of God. In the Old Testament, Solomon was called the Son of God (2Sam 7:14), as well as the Children of Israel generally (Exo. 4:22; Hos. 1:10). And pardon me for saying this,  having said that, why is just Jesus grandiosely called “God the Son”, and not just “Son of God”?

Semar
It’s exclusively the “language of dogma” which hankering to affirm that the ‘Word of God’ is not just a mere“title of Jesus”as it is to the other important figures in the Bible, but Jesus is THE INCARNATION OF ‘Word of God’ (John 1:1; 1John 1:1-4). In the Gospels are distinguished sharply that we are called “children of God” (John 1:12), while our faith is in the “begotten Son (monogenes) of God” (John 1:14,18).

Bilung          
If that is your guidance,Kyai Semar, then go ahead. But I do not believe it, for ‘the Word’is only the title of Jesus. He is called “the bread of life” (John 6:35,48), has never meant that He is the actual bread which we can digest. Conjointly, “the living water” (John 4:10-11) does not mean “the drinkable water”, does it Kyai? Then how come this “Word”is translated into other way?

Semar
That is distinct, Lung. For in John 1:3, the Word is conspicuously correlated with the creation: “All things came into being through Him, and without Him not even one thing came into being that has come into being (LITV)”. So, “the Word” is the nature of Jesus, not just a title.“The Word” is concealed, eternal, without beginning and end. As the result, “the Word” in John 1:1-3 is not only a title, but Yahweh Davar (The Word of God), or Omer Elohim (Gen. 1:3). In Targum “The Word” is called Memra, and subsequently is translated into Logos in the Septuagint, and that's the denotation of which is accentuated by the Apostle John. Do not altercate with me, Lung, for it has never been my interpretation or your own interpretations which WITHOUT ANY RELIABLE OR CONSCIENTIOUS AUTHORITY but was witnessed by Irenius pupils of Polycarp, and Polycarp is pupil of the apostle John. And so Ignatius, the pupil of the apostles: Peter and John who  also told about it. Not alone Polycarp McDonald, before he was an apostate from the Catholic, he he he (Semar’s laughing out loud).


Bilung          
Why must say like that, Mbah, I don’t catch on. If it’s true that “the Word” was one with the Divine Essence, not separated from Him in the oneness of His Being, why then John himself mentioned "…what we have seen with our eyes, what we beheld, and what our hands touched…” (1John 1:1, LITV)? Can you explain it to me, Kyai Semar?


Semar
Your reading is not complete yet, Bilung. Apostle John said, “Which can be felt, seen, concerning the Word of Life” (1John 1:1), right? Besides, try to read them carefully, John affirms that the Word became flesh (John 1:14), and also in the letters of the Apostle of John emphasized, one of the characteristics of ‘Dajjal’ spirit (the spirit of Antichrist) is "not confess that He has come in the flesh "(1John 4:3). So, What we can see is  His Humanity.


Bilung          
You’re adept. You beat about the bush. If I show you a verse up which says: “for My Father is greater than I” (John 14:28, KJVA), or “neither the Son, but the Father only” (Mat 24:36), then you effortless to say/ answer it: “That was in His situation as a human”. No, Mbah. I am still discordant with you.


Semar
“Lae, Lae, mbegegeg, ugeg-ugeg, sandulito-sandulito, Hemel, Hemel”.(A Javanese expression of a person who irritated on somebody). Indeed, you are only collecting spiel, and sell it as news. Read and learn it yourself, boy!! This statement,“in his state as a Man,” obviously comes from the Scriptures themselves. Also alike:“being put to death in the flesh” (1Pet. 3:18, KJVA), “being found in fashion as a man” (Php. 2:8, KJVA). Not only that, the disciple of John himself repeated his teacher saying that He who had"come out from God" as “the Word of God”, as well as “a Man”, “He came out of Mary” (Ignatius of Antioch). And also all data from disciples of the Apostles period, like St. Justin Martyr (written in 150 AD), epistle of Barnabas, and so on. But if you still do not believe it, then who is the fool one, I or you, Kiddo?



The Different concept of Trinity

Bilung          
Ok, enough Mbah. You always make me angry. Ok, I admitted that I was wrong. Now, I want to ask you, is it true that your concept of the Trinity distinguishes  from the priests or scholars in general, Mbah?

Semar
My teaching is not a personal opinion, but judgements of church fathers, the ecumenical councils. Meanwhile the priests or scholars, in general, are rare trying to read directly from the church fathers writings and the results of the the church councils accord which were their hassling. Just give yourself to read it, what are in the “Nicaea Confession of Faith (Nicene Creed)” (325), Constantinople (381), Ephesus (431), and so on, in all of those can be found word “person” in relation to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit? He WHO is “the one (homoousius) with the Essence (ousia) of God". The word “person” (persona) appears in Tertullian’s writings", “Una substantia Tres Personae” (One Substance in three Persons). But this “persona” is also not a “human personality" who one with another is separated entirely, but (the mean of “persona” as it is indicated by the Fathers of the church) to say DIFFERENT BUT NOT SEPARATE. Thus, this is THE PERSONALITY of METAPHYSICAL meaning.


Bilung          
And, since when did they change the meaning of the word, Kyai?


Semar
Since Sigmund Freud's succeed with his theory of “psychoanalysis”. Therefore, since the theory changed the meaning of the English word “person” to be different from what the Fathers of the church meant to say, “person” as a word in such as notion can’t  be used to Trinity.


Bilung          
Then why don’t you protest it, Mbah?


Semar
Why, it’s been a long time ago, Kiddo. And I’m not the only one. B.J. Boland, and Van Niftrik also wrote it in their book on “Dokmatika Masa Kini” [Contemporary Dogmatic]. There are many more that we need to discuss, Lung. But I’m tired right now, I’m going to bed, Lung. Taking  care of you always keeping me dizzy. Please read a lot and study hard, charming boy. And always remember my best advice to you, “Ojo Kagètan, Ojo Gumunan, Ojo Goblok!” [“Do not be shocked, do not be surprised, and do not be stupid!”]. From now on, it is good we pray for each other. God Bless You.


****

*)ISCS comparison paper on a “Discussion with Indonesian Unitarian followers in Surabaya”,April 8th 2008, Organised by Institute for Syriac Christian Studies (ISCS), at Roman Catholic Diocese bldg., Jl. W.R. Supratman No. 4, Surabaya.

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