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TRINITY: WHY IT IS NOT A BIBLICAL DOCTRINE

By Elena & Enrico B.  /  August 28, 2016

The doctrine of the Trinity…was established in the church by the council of Nice, A.D. 325. This doctrine destroys the personality of God, and his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. The infamous measures by which it was forced upon the church which appear upon the pages of ecclesiastical history might well cause every believer in that doctrine to blush.

J. N. Andrews

Trinitarian Doctrine Definition: “The Christian doctrine of the Trinity defines God as three consubstantial persons: the Father (God), the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit, ‘one God in three persons’. The three persons are distinct, yet are one ‘substance, essence or nature.” (Wikipedia)
 

TRINITY COMPARED WITH THE BIBLICAL VIEW OF GOD

With the desire for absolute power, it became pivotal for the Roman rulers to establish ecclesiastical and ecumenical order in their kingdom through legislation (Lee, 2015). The doctrine of Trinity in the Christian Church began with its induction at the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D. under the auspice of Emperor Constantine the Great, adopted in the face of the Arian controversy (Barry, 1970; Vermes, 2012,) and gained strength with the obliteration of the Herulian kingdom in 493 A.D. (Thompson, 2016) and the Vandals in 534 A.D. (Baker, 2002; Lee, 2013). In 537-538 A.D., Belisarius, the Roman General, waged a war against the Ostrogoths called the First siege of Rome (Baker, 2002). This siege played a decisive role in the subsequent defeat of the Ostrogoths and sealed the fate of the Arian belief with the annihilation of the last of these three Arian believing Germanic kingdoms. There was no resistance any longer to the spread of the Trinitarian doctrine. This increase in religious regulation also set the stage for the rise of prominence of the bishops and ultimately the papal power during the dark ages (Lee, 2015) that ended with the French General Berthier’s imprisonment of Pope Pius VI in 1798 A.D.

The  word 'trinity' is not found in the Bible. But supporters of the doctrine of Trinity use the verses Matthew 28:19 ("...baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost”) and 1 John 5:7 ("...in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one…”) as proof. However, considering the controversy surrounding these verses, it is imperative that we carefully study to ensure that the Bible verses in themselves are coherent.

1 John 5:7-8 should correctly read "For there are three that testify: the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement." (NIV). This version is found in manuscripts before the fourteenth century and, both secular and theological sources agree that this version is authentic (Metzger, 1994). In fact, some older Bible versions which contain the revised version also clearly included the correct version in footnotes. Even this information is omitted in most of today's Bible versions.

Also, for Matthew 28:19 there is no evidence for the baptismal phrase in any manuscripts prior to trinitarian controversies from the fourth century validating the trinity concept (Ploughman, 1962; Hughes, 2000). Eusebius (circa 260—340 A.D.), the Bishop of Caesarea is known as "the Father of Church History." In all his writings concerning Church history covering the Apostolic period to 325 A.D., never did he mention Matthew 28:19 in its current form, "...in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost…"  but rather as "in my name" as mentioned a total of 17 times in his writings prior to the Council of Nicaea. He was forced to include the trinitarian concept in his later writings. However, this new version is mentioned only a total of 5 times in his writings after 325 A.D. This indicates that the original understanding, "in my name," is probably the right form (Besagt der Missionsauftrag in Matthäus 28:19, dass "Gott" Einer in Dreien ist?, 2015).

J.  N. Andrews, a co-founder of a well-known Protestant Church that truly aligns its doctrines to the Bible, "Sola Scriptura," wrote, "The doctrine of the Trinity…was established in the church by the Council of Nicaea, A.D. 325. This doctrine destroys the personality of God, and his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. The infamous measures by which it was forced upon the church which appear upon the pages of ecclesiastical history might well cause every believer in that doctrine to blush." (Andrews, 1855). Why does he use such strong words? See 1 John 4:1-3 and 1 John 2:22-23. Did you notice that the Holy Spirit is not mentioned here? Andrews, who was able to recite the New Testament by memory, certainly knew the impact of these verses. We believe that there has been a tremendous attack on the biblical model and the sad truth is, the whole Christendom today follows an anti-biblical model.

The Biblical Model does not support the Trinity concept, it is closer to the Arian teaching as paraphrased below:
God the Father, the only true God created everything and everybody. The Holy Spirit is the breath (character) of the Father, i.e., not an independent God, person or role. As "the beginning of the creation of God," "Archangel," "Morning Star," Jesus Christ is called the Son, who obeyed the Father in all things. Jesus Christ voluntarily sacrificed himself for us so that we may be free from the yoke of sin. Therefore, the Father gave Jesus Christ, the sacrificed lamb, an inheritance of worship and adoration by us and the heavenly host – exactly what Satan desired and plotted to have. Consequently, we pray to the almighty God, the Holy Father, for all things including the forgiveness of our sins in the name of Jesus Christ.

THE BIBLICAL MODEL

God the Father, the only true God (John 17:3; 1 John 5:20) is worthy of our worship. And, we are encouraged to pray to the Father in Heaven in the name of Jesus Christ (John 14:13-14; Matthew 6:9)

Deuteronomy 6:4 states "...The Lord our God is one Lord." Christ also supports this in Mark 12:28-34 where God the Father is the only true God; see also John 17:3. There is only one God (God the Father) and one Lord Jesus Christ (2 Samuel 7:22; 2 Kings 19:15; Nehemiah 9:6; Isaiah 37:16; 1 Corinthians 8:4-6; Ephesians 4:6; 1 Timothy 2:5; James 2:19).

sinner by himself cannot come to the Father and worship Him (Proverbs 21:27; John 9:31): "The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord but the prayer of the upright is His delight" (Proverbs 15:8). Jesus is portrayed as the mediator in both the Old and the New Testaments. Praying "in Jesus’ name" is biblical. Jesus very clearly states that we can go to the Father only through Him (John 14:6). We are encouraged to ask the Father in Jesus' name (John 16:23-24; 1 John 5:13-15). Only by following Christ's example in faith, truth, and action can we worship the Father in spirit and in truth (John 4:24).

God the Father created all things and everyone including His first begotten Son, Jesus Christ (Proverbs 8:22-31; Hebrew 1:5) and; restoration is made possible only through the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:12-15) although the Bible mentions other Sons of God.
Isaiah 37:16 and Nehemiah 9:6 clearly state that God the Father created everything. When comparing the use of Greek preposition "dia" in the original text of the New Testament, one notices that it can be translated as either "with" or "by". In this context, the meaning changes from Jesus being present at creation to being the creator, e.g. in John 1:3. In the Old Testament, the word "Elohim” as used in the story of creation of the earth and the universe refers to several gods. "Elohim” does present God in plural. So the theologians, influenced by the Trinitarian doctrine claimed, the plural use of "gods" must refer to God the Father, God the Son and, God the Holy Spirit. Our alternate interpretation to the use of "Elohim" in this context is that, God the Father is the Creator and Jesus Christ including all the Sons of God and the Morning Stars were present (Job 38:4-12). Note, the word "Eohim” is also used in Psalm 82:6 when referring to saved men. This word itself is not exclusively used for the almighty God the Father, e.g., in Exodus 3:14, God the Father is "...I AM that I AM..." (Heb. "hayah hayah") and Jesus is only "I AM" (Heb. "shalach"). Besides, with the use of "God" or "Gods" alone it is unclear if this God(s) is/are worthy of worship (Psalm 82:6). The fact is that Judaism is monotheistic (see the 1st Commandment – Exodus 20:2-3). And if God’s clarification of the importance of the 4th Commandment to the Israelites is considered (Exodus 31:14), one cannot imagine that God the Father would somehow overlook the constant violation of the 1st Commandment by His people. Thus monotheism must be the right explanation. In this sense, God the Father created all things with Jesus Christ being present.
God the Father made Jesus Christ first: Proverbs 8:22-23 (NIV) states, "The Lord brought me forth as the first of his works...I was formed long ages ago..." [Christ is also known as the wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:24, 30; 1 Corinthians 2:7; Matthew 11:19)] and Revelation 3:14 "...the beginning of the creation of God." Jesus was, therefore, always the firstborn in God’s family (Colossians 1:15 "...the firstborn of every creature”) with all the rights associated with a firstborn (in Greek, the word "monogenes" is used meaning"Unique” or in the order of "the first") followed by other sons including Satan, the heavenly host and the rest of creation. In fact, the Bible reveals more than one Son of God. See Job 1:6, Job 38:7 and; Daniel 10:13-21. We are also called children or sons and daughters of God when adopted into the family of God (Matthew 5:9, 45; Luke 20:36; Romans 8:14-19; Romans 9:4; 2 Corinthians 6:18; Galatians 3:26; Galatians 4:5; Ephesians 1:5). Of course, we cannot compare with the morning stars that were there from the beginning (Job 38:7).
Jesus submitted to the Father in all things (John 5:19-20; Matthew 19:17; Hebrews 2, and specifically 2:6; Revelation 1:1 "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him [Jesus Christ], to shew unto his servants…") and functioned in the role of a mediator (1 Timothy 2:5). In the Old Testament, Jesus is clearly called "the angel of the Lord" (Genesis 16:7-12; Genesis 21:17-18; Genesis 22:11-18; Exodus 3:2; Exodus 14:19; Judges 2:1-4; Judges 5:23; Judges 6:11-24; Judges 13:3-22; 2 Samuel 24:16) and,"messenger” (Job 33:23-24) who does the will of the Father. And even in the Old Testament, Jesus acts as the mediator before the Father (Zechariah 1:12). In the story of the journey through the wilderness, Jesus was present with the Israelites in the pillar of Fire (Exodus 14:19; Nehemiah 9:12). And, only through Jesus Christ is restoration possible (Isaiah 42; Colossians 1:12-15; Revelation 5:9). Hence, Jesus is known as the son of man (Psalms 8:4-6; Daniel 7:13-14; Acts 7:56; Revelation 1:13-14; Revelation 14:14) because He saved man from eternal death and restored him to the Father (Psalms 80:17-19; Matthew 18:11; Luke 19:10; Hebrews 2:6-9).
The Father was originally described as solely having "life in Himself" which He later gifted to His Son, Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 6:16; John 5:26) and exalted Him (Revelation 5).

As stated in 1 John 5:11, God the Father gave us eternal life through His Son, Jesus. But, this differs from the gift of "life in Himself” as described in John 5:26."Having life” is not the same as "having life in oneself” which should not be confused with immortality. Notice, God the Father and all the heavenly host including Satan and his evil angels are all independent of time restrictions that we currently face as mortal beings and earthly creation. A possible explanation for"having life in oneself”  is that God the Father is self-sustaining, self-sufficient, self-existing and Creator of life. Jesus was dependent on the Father in all things (John 5:30; John 8:28-29) and submitted His will to the Father even to the ultimate sacrifice on the cross. Jesus did not have this life in Himself—it was given to Him by the Father. Therefore 1 John 5:20 and 1 Timothy 6:16 make sense that God the Father is the only "One" who is unapproachable but made approachable to us through Jesus Christ. We believe Jesus received this gift of "having life in oneself" circa 31 A.D. (after His death, resurrection, and ascension) to circa 34 A.D. (Acts 7:55-56—Stoning of Stephen and seeing Christ at the right hand of God the Father) when He was exalted, honored and worshiped by the heavenly host (Revelation 5). The Father gave all things to Jesus as an inheritance (John 5:26; Hebrews 1:2-6) and anointed Him with oil (Hebrews 1:9, comparable to the anointing of David by Samuel in 1. Samuel 16). Jesus waits taking His throne (Matthew 22:44; Hebrews 10:13) until after the millennium and, before the second death (Revelation 20) and every knee shall bow down before him (Philippians 2:9-11). And at the end of times, Jesus alone sits on the throne of God in the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:4-6; Revelation 22:1, 3). The Father remains in Heaven (Revelation 21:2"...new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven...") but His glory encompasses the new heaven and the new earth including the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:22-23).

The Holy Spirit is an attribute/character/power of God the Father: not an independent person or role. The gift of the Holy Spirit can also be ours similar to Jesus Christ if we are restored in His example.
In Job 33:4 and Job 34:14-15, the words "spirit(Heb. "ruwach") and "breath(Heb. "nĕshamah") are used as two separate things to identify their separate functions. In Genesis 2:7, God gives the breath ("nĕshamah") of life to Adam and he becomes a living soul. This breath only guarantees life—it remains neutral in that, it does not state whether a person is just or wicked in the eyes of God. The word "ruwach" however is used when referring to spiritual life (Ecclesiastes 3:18-21; Psalms 33:4-6). In the New Testament, the use of the Greek word "pneuma" for Spirit is also synonymous with breath or wind same as "ruwach". According to Strong’s concordance, when the attribute 'holy' is used for both pneuma and ruwach, it refers to the Holy Spirit. This Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost (hagios pneuma) is a gift from God to those who are sealed having heard and believed "the word of truth, the gospel of Salvation" (Ephesians 1:13). Jesus is called "a quickening spirit" (1 Corinthians 15:45-47) and the Greek word used here is also "pneuma". In this context and similar to Job 34:14-15, the Spirit or pneuma is associated with the spiritual state and those who have eternal life. The Holy Spirit, therefore, is the breath (pneuma) of God the Father.

John 4:24 (NIV) states "God is spirit..." and in Acts 2:17, God states, "I will pour out my Spirit…" This indicates, first, God is not a person. Second, this indicates that the Spirit is one with God, inseparable: not a role or an individual person as claimed by the Trinity doctrine. There is no biblical reference whatsoever that says that Spirit is God. Also, Jesus says that the Spirit does not have flesh and bones (Luke 24:39). The simplest explanation is that the Holy Spirit is defined as ruwach in Old Testament Hebrew or pneuma in New Testament Greek: the breath of God (see above; it is also important to note that the word ruwach is a feminine noun, pneuma is a neuter noun and in some instances, e.g., John 16:13 the pronoun "he" is used translated from the Greek word ekeinos, a neuter noun meaning "that one" and could be translated as he/she/it which makes it all the more incomprehensible that the pronoun "he" is arbitrarily attributed to the Holy Spirit in the English translation of the Bible. Some Bible Scholars in the English language have used this pronoun as evidence that the Spirit must be masculine, a person and therefore God which is overly interpreted and obviously a misinterpretation). The Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost is identified as the "Spirit of God" (1. John 4:2) and the "spirit of truth" (John 14:16-17 and Acts 2:4). Jesus, who is "the way and the truth" (John 14:6) refers to the Holy Spirit as "the spirit of truth." How can the Holy Spirit also mentioned as "Spirit is truth" (1 John 5:6) be a separate entity from Christ if He is also called "the truth"? If you consider this closely, the Holy Spirit is an attribute of God the Father given to Christ. It is written in Luke 24:29 that the "power" (Holy Spirit) "comes from on High" (cross-reference with the pouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, see Acts 2:1-4). Luke 1:35 states that the Holy Spirit, even (Greek word kai is translated in KJV as "and" but could also be translated as "even") "the power of the Highest..." came upon Mary. The word “even” makes more sense in light of Luke 24:49. Through the Holy Spirit, God gives us power, love and discipline (see 2 Timothy 1:7). By grace, God the Father gives the Holy Spirit to each individual at conception (e.g., Luke 1:35; Jeremiah 1:5) because we are all made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27). This does not mean physical appearance but being imbued with the character and attributes of God the Father. To reflect this perfect character/attributes, we need the Holy Spirit same as Jesus who was the perfect representation of the image of God the Father (Hebrews 1:3) which is our goal (Philippians 2:5-8, Matthew 5:48). The Holy Spirit did not decide by itself to fill Christ but rather, Christ did not let go of this attribute through obedience to the Father (John 6:37-40). The Bible consistently states that disobedience results in loss of the Holy Spirit and eternal life (Matthew 7:21-23; Mark 3:29). Also, did Jesus raise Himself from the dead (John 10:17-18) and does this contradict with other Bible texts where it indicates that God the Father resurrected Him (Acts 2:24; Acts 3:15, 30; Acts 4:10; Romans 4:24; Ephesians 1:20; Galatians 1:1)? No, Jesus clearly had the authority (authority is defined as the power to give orders or make decisions) to lay down His life and take it up again: by His decision to be obedient, Jesus freely laid down His life on the cross (Matthew 27:50) and because of His decision to always obey the Father even unto death, Jesus was resurrected through the Father's power and glory (see above and, Romans 6:4; 1 Corinthians 6:14). 

Observe that the Bible alludes to the spirits in plural both the spirits of God and evil (1 John 4:1). The Bible specifically references 7 spirits of God (Isaiah 11:2; Revelation 1:4; Revelation 3:1;  Revelation 4:5;  Revelation 5:6). These seven spirits belong to the power of God the Father; this power was given to Jesus Christ. Christ embodied these seven spirits and was, therefore, able to claim having "...the seven Spirits of God…" (Revelation 3:1). Note, that the Bible also refers to evil spirits with the Greek word pneuma (Romans 8:15; 1 John 4:1) the same word used for the Spirit of God. The spirit, therefore, is not a god or a person; but, rather an attribute/character/power in association with, e.g., God, Man, Demons.

Unless otherwise stated, KJV is used for Bible texts

References:

Andrews, J. N. (1855, March 6). The Three Angels Of Rev. XIV, 6-12. (J. White, Ed.) The Advent Review, And Sabbath Herald, 6(24), p. 185. Retrieved

July 04, 2016, from http://documents.adventistarchives.org/Periodicals/RH/RH18550306-V06-24.pdf

Baker, G. P. (2002, April 15). Justinian: The Last Roman Emperor. New York: Cooper Square Press.

Barry, W. (1970). Arianism. (Robert Appleton Company) Retrieved 07 17, 2016, from The Catholic Encyclopedia:

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01707c.htm

Besagt der Missionsauftrag in Matthäus 28:19, dass "Gott" Einer in Dreien ist? (2015). Retrieved September 19, 2015, from 

http://www.bibel-offenbarung.org/trinitaet-antitrinitaet-welchen-gott-betest-du-an/zur-gottheit-schoepfer/210-besagt-der-missionsauftrag-in-matthaeus-28-19-dass-gott-einer-in-dreien-ist.html

Hughes, R. D. (2000). Analysis of Matthew 28:19 in A study of the Test of the New Testament. Retrieved July 31, 2016, from 

http://www.godglorified.com/matthew_2819.htm

Lee, A. D. (2013). From Rome to Byzantium AD 363 to 565: The Transformation of Ancient Rome. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Lee, A. D. (2015). Pagans and Christians in Late Antiquity: A Sourcebook (2 ed.). London: Routledge.

Metzger, B. M. (1994). A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (2 ed.). Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft.

Ploughman, A. (1962, January 1). A Collection of the evidence for and against the traditional wording of the baptismal phrase in Matthew 28:19.

Retrieved July 31, 2016, from http://jesus-messiah.com/apologetics/catholic/matthew2819.html

Thompson, E. A. (2016). Theodoric. Retrieved 07 17, 2016, from Encyclopædia Britannica: 

          https://www.britannica.com/biography/Theodoric-king-of-Italy

Vermes, G. (2012). Christian Beginnings: From Nazareth to Nicaea, AD 30-325. Penguin UK.