台灣基督東正教會 The Orthodox Church in Taiwan
關於「上帝的本質」About the Essence of God
About the Essence of god 關於「上帝的本質」 In the famous film start wars , they talk about the FORCE. The force is a power, and powerful personalities can control it and make it to balance to the good or to evil. The POWER BE WITH YOU, is the wish. 在著名的電影「星際大戰」中,他們談到了「暴力」。「暴力」是一種力量,然而一個強大的人格就有能力來駕御這股力量,使它在善與惡之間達到平衡。這個力量將與你同在,這個力量,就是智慧。 many western Christians have unfortunately have a similar concept about god. And most of the chinese friends I asked they have .. No idea about the essence of god. 很不幸地,大部分西方的基督徒對於「上帝」的概念都很類似。而我所問過的中國朋友當中,大部分的人對「上帝的本質」都沒有任何的概念。 When we say ‘essence’ in Greek philosophy we mean what makes things to exist. For example , the book, the table , the chair , the tree , all exist because they are made of wood. So the wood is their essence. We are chinese, japanese etc… but mainly we are humans, so the humanity is our essence. 在希臘哲學的領域當中,當我們說「本質」時,指的是「使事物存在的根本原因」。例如:這本書、這個桌子、這個椅子、這顆樹,它們都存在因為他們是由木頭造成的。所以,木頭就是他們的本質。同樣的,雖然我們是中國人、日本人…等不同國籍的人,然而,基本上來說,我們都是人。所以「人」就是我們的本質。

關於「上帝的本質」About the Essence of God

About the Essence of god
關於「上帝的本質」

In the famous film start wars , they talk about the FORCE. The force is a power, and powerful personalities can control it and make it to balance to the good or to evil. The POWER BE WITH YOU, is the wish.
在著名的電影「星際大戰」中,他們談到了「暴力」。「暴力」是一種力量,然而一個強大的人格就有能力來駕御這股力量,使它在善與惡之間達到平衡。這個力量將與你同在,這個力量,就是智慧。
many western Christians have unfortunately have a similar concept about god. And most of the chinese friends I asked they have .. No idea about the essence of god.
很不幸地,大部分西方的基督徒對於「上帝」的概念都很類似。而我所問過的中國朋友當中,大部分的人對「上帝的本質」都沒有任何的概念。
When we say ‘essence’ in Greek philosophy we mean what makes things to exist. For example , the book, the table , the chair , the tree , all exist because they are made of wood. So the wood is their essence. We are chinese, japanese etc… but mainly we are humans, so the humanity is our essence.
在希臘哲學的領域當中,當我們說「本質」時,指的是「使事物存在的根本原因」。例如:這本書、這個桌子、這個椅子、這顆樹,它們都存在因為他們是由木頭造成的。所以,木頭就是他們的本質。同樣的,雖然我們是中國人、日本人…等不同國籍的人,然而,基本上來說,我們都是人。所以「人」就是我們的本質。

 

 

About the Essence of god
關於「上帝的本質」

 

In the famous film start wars , they talk about the FORCE. The force is a power, and powerful personalities can control it and make it to balance to the good or to evil. The POWER BE WITH YOU, is the wish.
在著名的電影「星際大戰」中,他們談到了「暴力」。「暴力」是一種力量,然而一個強大的人格就有能力來駕御這股力量,使它在善與惡之間達到平衡。這個力量將與你同在,這個力量,就是智慧。

 

many western Christians have unfortunately have a similar concept about god. And most of the chinese friends I asked they have .. No idea about the essence of god.
很不幸地,大部分西方的基督徒對於「上帝」的概念都很類似。而我所問過的中國朋友當中,大部分的人對「上帝的本質」都沒有任何的概念。

 

When we say ‘essence’ in Greek philosophy we mean what makes things to exist. For example , the book, the table , the chair , the tree , all exist because they are made of wood. So the wood is their essence. We are chinese, japanese etc… but mainly we are humans, so the humanity is our essence.
在希臘哲學的領域當中,當我們說「本質」時,指的是「使事物存在的根本原因」。例如:這本書、這個桌子、這個椅子、這顆樹,它們都存在因為他們是由木頭造成的。所以,木頭就是他們的本質。同樣的,雖然我們是中國人、日本人…等不同國籍的人,然而,基本上來說,我們都是人。所以「人」就是我們的本質。

The essence has characteristics, attributes . For example if you have 4 legs , mouth , tail and you can bark, you are a dog, but if you have 2 legs , 2 hands, no tail, and you can speak you are human. Or if you can fly you are a bird , etc…
本質是有特徵、有屬性的。舉個例來說:如果你有四條腿,一張嘴,一個尾巴,而且你只會吼叫,那麼你就是條狗。可是如果你有兩條腿,兩隻手,沒有尾巴,而且你可以說話,那麼你就是個人。或者,例如:你會飛,那麼你就是隻鳥…等。

 

But essence does not exists like a material. There is always special and individual. For example, there is not human essence, some material, that you can take and make human beings. There is not human essence separated from human being. It is not like a plastic material, that you can use and make many different things, like plastic caps, coats, plastic chairs , toys etc…
但是「本質」存在的方式,和一般物質存在的方式不同。它是特別的、單獨存在的。例如,我們無法找出人類的本質,因為,我們無法找到一些物質原料,可以用來創造出人類。離開了人類的「存有」,就沒有人類的「本質」了。可見,人的本質與塑膠原料是完全不同的,你可以用塑膠原料製作許多不同的東西,例如:塑膠杯、塑膠外套、塑膠椅子、塑膠玩具…等。

 

From this point of view , the essence has priority to anything that is produced . The plastic (=essence) has priority over the plastic cups, spoons, clothes chairs etc…
從這一點來看, 「本質」是先於所有受造的萬物。這個塑膠(=本質),是先於塑膠杯、塑膠杓子、塑膠衣服、塑膠椅子…等物品的。

 

The big misunderstanding
天大的誤解

 

Can we use this ideas for understand God better? We may use , but if we give a new meaning , from the bible and the experience of the church, and not the common philosophical ideas.
是否我們可以利用這個觀念,來對「上帝」有更深入的瞭解呢?我想,答案應該是肯定的,但是,前提是我們必須從聖經以及教會的體驗中,汲取一些新的想法,賦予它一些新的意義,使它不只是一般的哲學概念。

 

We must understand this , because it became the reason of the divisions between Christians.
我們必須了解這個觀念,因為,它已經成為基督徒分裂的原因了。

 

1 . We can not compare god with man , and take ideas from man to apply to god
1.我們不可以拿上帝來和人類來比較,不可以把人類的概念直接應用到上帝身上。

 

2. the knowledge of god is different with the knowledge of human things. To know human things , we compare with other existing things , and create a theory. We have nothing to compare god.
2.上帝的知識和我們人類的知識有著天壤之別。我們可以知道人類的事物,也可以和其它的存在物做比較,並創造一些理論,然而,我們卻無法找到一樣東西,可以和上帝作比較。
We know god only because god wants to reveal Himself. The highest knowledge of god is by his Son Jesus Christ. (we will say a lot about this later) (Matthew 11:27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.
我們之所以認識上帝,只因為上帝想要向人類顯現自己,上帝的最高知識,是藉由聖子耶穌基督而顯現的。(我們稍後還會深入的討論)(馬太福音11:27 一切都由我父交付了我;除了父,沒有一個認識子;除了子和子所願意啟示的,也沒有一個認識父。

 

We do not understand things from general ideas but the general ideas from the things. To make it more simple. YOU are mr. or ms. X , you have a name, you are very unique, you are not not just one human being. If I say I am just a human being, some part of the human nature, a number, my id card number, then this is not what I am.
我們無法從一般的概念中理解各別的事物,而是從各別的事物之中得到一般性的概念。讓我說得更簡單一點。你是X先生或是X小姐,你有一個名字,你是獨一無二的,你不僅僅是一個人類。但是,如果我說我只是一個人類,是人類本性的某一個部分,我是一組數字,就像是我的身份證字號一樣,那麼,這樣的東西,並不是真正的我。

 

We can not make a list of attributes about ideas (like power, kindness, mercy, immortality…. Etc…) and project those ideas to god and say all those things MAKE GOD TO BE GOD.
我們不可以列出觀念上的一堆屬性(例如力量,仁慈,憐憫,永恆…等等),就把這些觀念投射到上帝身上,並且說這些屬性的綜合就是上帝。

 

The essence
本質

 

The bible does not makes philosophy. Jesus speaks about a somebody who is very unique, and calls him Father, which means a very unique and special relationship, and gives us the opportunity to enter to this relationship. And he calls him god also.
聖經並沒有創造哲學。耶穌所說的「那一位」是獨一無二的,而且,耶穌稱他為「父」,這表達了一個獨一無二而且特別的關係,也讓我們有機會進入這個關係當中。而且,耶穌也稱「那一位」為上帝。

 

In bible only once in 2Peter 1:4 is mentioned the word ‘physis’ .
在聖經中,只有彼得二書1:4 有提到「本性」(physis)這個字。

 

In bible we have persons who act and talk. :
the father
the son
the holy spirit.
聖經中,我們談到的那幾位有:


聖靈

 

We call essence the common things that the 3 persons have.
我們把這三位所擁有的共同點稱為「本質」。

 

God the father exists, IS and HAS. This is called essence. For example the father has life, the son has life , the holy spirit has life. The same for power, wisdom etc….
聖父存在,聖父是…,聖父有…。這就是所謂的「本質」。例如聖父有生命,聖子有生命,聖靈也有生命。其它的例子還有:力量、智慧…等屬性。

 

For example matthew 11:27 delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.
例如:馬太福音 11:27,我父交付我的;除了父,沒有人知道子;除了子和子所願意指示的,沒有人知道父。
John 17:10 , And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.
約翰福音 17:10,凡是我的,都是你的;你的也是我的,並且我因他們得了榮耀 。
John 16:13Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
約翰福音 16:13,只等真理的聖靈來了,他要引導你們進入一切的真理;因為他不是憑自己說的,乃是把他所聽見的都說出來,並要把將來的事告訴你們。
But there are not 3 different lives , or 3 different wisdoms or powers, other for the father, other for the son , other for the holy spirit.
然而,這並不是說,有三個完全不同的生命,或者,有三個完全不同的智慧或力量,還是,有些屬於聖父,有些屬聖子,有些則屬聖靈。事實並不是這麼一回事。

 

There is one life and this life the father shares with the son and the holy spirit. They do not share 1/3 , but each of them has all the life etc….
只有一個生命,而這個生命是由聖父與聖子、聖靈所共享的,他們並不是只分到其中的1/3,而是他們每一位,都擁有完整的生命,其它如智慧,力量等等…,也以此類推。

 

The essence or the person? The big misunderstanding
本質?位格?天大的誤解

 

Pay attention to the following because is one of the main differences between the christians
請注意接下來的討論,因為這是基督宗教之間最主要的差異之一。

 

What is the most characteristic in god? The power, the life etc… which is the essence or the Persons, the Father, the son and holy spirit, and which of them?
上帝最主要的特徵是什麼?是力量、生命…等嗎?那一個才是上帝的本質?是聖父、靈子、聖靈,還是這三位都是?

 

For example the son of god is god because he participates in the essence of god?
舉個例來說:上帝之子就是上帝,因為他分享了上帝的本質?

 

as Christians we believe that the Father, the Son the holy spirit are Gods, then how we say that we believe to one god? What makes god to be one?
身為一個基督徒,我們相信,聖父、聖子、聖靈都是上帝,但是,我們如何能夠說我們相信的是一個上帝?是什麼因素使上帝成為一個?

 

The answer of the bible, the answer of the life of the church is that what makes god to be one is THE FATHER.
聖經上的答案以及教會生活中的答案一致認為:使上帝成為「一個」的因素是「聖父」。

 

The western people , misunderstood , and influenced of the roman state and law ideas, they say the essence of god ,makes god to be one.
西方人受到羅馬政府和法律概念的影響,產生了誤解,所以,他們說:是上帝的「本質」使他成為「一個」上帝。

 

This is opposite to what Jesus revealed to us, and what the bible says.
這個觀念,和耶穌給我們的啟示完全相反,也和聖經所說的不同。

 

In exodus 3:14, god says God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. God does not says I am the essence.
在出埃及記 3:14中,上帝對摩西說:「我是自有的。」又說:「你要對以色列人這樣說:『那自有的打發我到你們這裡來。』」上帝並沒有說「我就是本質」。

 

In the old testament , but specially in the new all god is Personal, the Father. Exists by himself, is the self-life, has no origin. But this Father, is the reason by 2 different ways of other 2 persons. The Son and the Holy spirit. We cannot say that he created them, because this means that they did not existed in time, that it was some time that the Son or the Holy spirit did not existed.
在舊約裡,特別是一些晚出現的經典裡,所提到所有的上帝都是「那一位」,也就是「聖父」。上帝自存者,他本身就是生命,沒有其他的源頭存在。但是,藉由兩種方式,還有另外兩位,也就是「聖子」和「聖靈」的存在,聖父成為萬物存在之「因」。然而,我們不能說,聖父創造了他們,因為這裡所說的「他們的存在」,超越了時間的概念,所以,我們不能說,在某一個時間點,聖子、聖靈並不存在。

 

So the father is the source of the persons of the Son and the holy spirit. This is the meaning of John 14:28 .. for my Father is greater than I. (greater from human point of view, because Jesus is human, and from God point of view because Jesus is the Son of the Father, the Father is his reason)
所以,「聖父」是「聖子」及「聖靈」的源頭,這也是約翰福音 14:28的意義。因為「父」比我大(「比較大」這個概念是從人類的角度出發的,因為耶穌是人,而從上帝的角度來說,因為耶穌是「聖父」之子,「聖父」就是他的因)。

 

三位一體並不是指 三位 + 一體 = 四個個體(1/2)

 

Chinese language has different structure from Greek language, in which (greek) the theological concepts and terms are expressed. So by the一 體 what do they mean?
中文和希臘文的結構並不相同,而這個神學的概念卻是由希臘文所陳述的,那麼,「一體」所指的究竟是什麼呢?

 

Something like a somebody which has one body and 3 heads, or 3 faces? Actually a roman god Janus was one body but 2 faces. If they mean that this一 體 is the essence of god, is correct, but still needs to be more clear.
這就好像有一個人,他有一個身體,但卻有三個頭或三張臉?事實上,在羅馬的神雅努斯,就是擁有一個身體但卻有兩張臉的神,如果他們用這個概念來說,一體就是上帝的本質,那麼是正確的,只是說的還不夠清楚。

 

Clear means to understand that god is ONE, because there is
說得清楚一點,我們說「上帝是一體」,那是因為:

 

one reason of the Son and the holy Spirit
上帝是聖子及聖靈唯一的因。

 

One initiator
上帝是唯一的創始者。

 

One source
上帝是唯一的源頭

 

out of time
超越時間

 

Out of space
超越空間

 

The Son is born (not created in time) from the essence of the Father, which means from the Father himself.
聖子是從聖父的本質裡誕生的(不是在時間的概念中誕生),意思是說,聖子來自於聖父本身。

 

But because of the lack of philosophy the Latins specially st Augustine misunderstood the concepts
因為拉丁民族在哲學概念上的缺乏,所以聖奧古斯汀誤解了這個概念。

 

The trinity and the world
聖三位一體與世界

 

The holy trinity exists independently of the world. There is nothing in the world that can express 100% how is god.
「聖三位一體」是獨立於世界之外而存在的。這個世界沒有任何的事物可以百分之百的表達上帝。

 

In the world acts IN TIME, and IN SPACE.
因為世界是在時間及空間裡運作的。

 

What was misunderstood was that the son of god promised to sent the holy spirit. So john 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: , augustin and the western people, because they do not know greek language they thought that son sents the holy spirit also. So the holy spirit has 2 who can sent it. The Father and the son.
若說聖子允諾要派遣聖靈,這也是一種誤解。因為約翰福音 15:26說:「當護慰者,就是我從父那裏要給你們派遣的,那發於父的真理之神來到時,他必要為我作證。」奧古斯汀因和西方的人,因為他們不了解希臘文,所以他們認為聖子也可以派遣聖靈。若如此,聖靈就會受到兩位的派遣,也就是聖父及聖子。

 

But this is very wrong and cannot be accepted. It is wrong because there are 2 different words in greek language, but in latin, english and from this in chinese they undertand as one.
然而,這是一個非常嚴重且不可被接受的錯誤,錯誤的原因在於,在「希臘文」中,這是兩個不一樣的字,可是在「拉丁文」、「英文」以及由這兩種語言所翻譯過來的「中文」,都被理解為同一個字。

 

Πεμψω is different from εκπορεύεται.
Πεμψω和εκπορεύεται是兩個不同的字。

 

Πεμψω means send you somewhere
Πεμψω的意思是「將你送到某處」。

 

εκπορεύεται. Means comes from, your family. For example you are born in taipei but you εκπορεύεται from HongKong, your family is from there, your pronunciation is from there, but you still are here,
εκπορεύεται的意思是「來自你的家庭」。舉個例來說:你在台北出生,但是,你εκπορεύεται於香港,意思是「你的家庭是從香港來的」,你的發音也是來自香港的口音,可是你現在卻是在台北。

 

In history, for our salvation, yes, the son sends the holy spirit to us, and vise versa,
the holy spirit sends the son. Jesus is born from the holy spirit and Maria, and the
holy spirit brings us to Jesus. (Matthew 1:18, 1:20, 1cor 12:3 etc…)
在歷史上,為了我們的救贖,聖子送聖靈到我們這裡來,反之亦然,正是聖靈送聖子
來的,耶穌是藉由聖靈和聖母瑪利亞才誕生,聖靈為我們帶來了耶穌。(馬太福音
1:18,1:20,哥林多前書 12:3 …等等)

 

But this has nothing to do with the how the holy spirit exists for ever. The holy spirit
has only one reason, the Father, exists because the Father proceeds the Spirit.
然而,這與聖靈是如何存在卻一點關係也沒有。聖靈只有一個「因」,那就是聖父,
因為,聖父發出聖靈而使得聖靈存在。

 

If the holy spirit proceeds from the son also (not in the bible) then the Holy spirit has
2 origins, then there are 2 origins in trinity , 2 gods, not one. !!!! This is why the
church never accepted it and can not accept it.
如果聖靈也可以由聖子發出(這不是聖經的關點),那麼聖靈就有兩個源頭,聖三位一
體也將會有兩個源頭,那就會有兩個上帝,而不是一個上帝!!!這也是為何教會無
法接受這個論點,也絕對不能接受這個論點。

 

The priority of the person over the essence
「獨一無二的那一位」優先於「本質」

 

But for the westerners important is the essence. They say , god is one still, because there is one essence. what is happening in this essence is not so important.
然而,對於西方人來說,「本質」才是最重要的。他們會說,上帝是唯一的,因為上帝只有一個「本質」,但是,在這個「本質」裡究竟發生了什麼事就不那麼重要了。

 

For example even the 3 persons quarrel, still god is one, because there is one essence, the essence makes god to be god.
舉個例來說:即使是這三個人彼此爭吵,上帝仍然是唯一的,因為他們的只有一個本質,這個本質使的上帝成為上帝。

 

You may say, the theologians fight for nothing it is not important to you. But actually is very important.
你也許會說,神學家只是在做無用的爭吵,這對我一點都不重要。然而,事實上,這的確是非常的重要。

 

God loves you, PERSONALLY, does not love you generally as one human being, a number. Jesus did not come to save the humanity, abstract, but PERSONALLY ME AND YOU AND ALL.
上帝愛你,他所愛的是「獨一無二」的你,而不是把你當成人類的一部分或者某一個編號來愛。耶穌並不是在抽象意義上拯救人類,而是要具體的拯救每一個個體,包括:你,我,以及所有的人。

 

God is the god of persons of Abraham (Matthew 22: 32) not just some power.
上帝是亞伯拉罕的上帝、以撒的上帝、雅各的上帝(馬太福音 22:32),上帝不只是一種力量。

 

If I am just a number, a citizen , this is the dictatorship of the mass to the persons. Now the human nature is a constrain to my freedom. I am human, I can not change this. My nature is sick, I die. But god gives me way to overcome this (john 1:13) what I am is not complete now. It will be in the future. (revel 2:17 3:12)
如果我只是一個公民,擁有自己的編號,那麼,對這個群體來說,這個人就是一種獨裁的政權。現在,人性已經約束了我們的自由。我是人類,這是無法改變的。我的天性是一種病態,所以我會死亡。可是上帝給我一條道路來克服這種病態(約翰福音 1:13)。現在的我並不是完全的我,在未來,我將會變成完全的我。(啟示錄 2:17 3:12)

 

A man does not love a woman generally, (and vise versa) but a particular woman . But see how tragic it becomes if somebody says , (as happens) I just want a woman to give birth to kids, I do not care who she is.
一般來說,一個男人並不會隨便一個女人都愛,而是只愛特定的一個女人,反之亦然。然而,如果一個人說,我只想要一個女人來為我生小孩,我並不在乎她是誰(這樣的情形確實發生過),這是多麼可悲的一件事啊。

 

The essence can not exist without persons.
如果沒有「獨一無二的那個人」,本質是無法存在的。

 

Why I love somebody? For what he HAS (this is essence) or for what he IS , for his personality (which is a free love, sometimes even out of logic, may be somebody is bad, bur we still love him)
為何我會愛某個人?是因為他有什麼(這就是「本質」)或者,他是什麼?我想,我們之所以愛上一個人,是因為他的人格(這是一種自由的愛,有時這是超出邏輯的,儘管某個人非常的差勁,但我們卻仍然愛他)。

 

 

 

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