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Friday, March 6, 2009


Many religions of Christendom teach that God is a “Trinity,” although the word “Trinity” does not appear in the Bible. The World Council of Churches recently said that all religions that are part of that Council should advocate the belief that there is “one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,” that is, three persons in one God. Those teaching this doctrine admit that it is “a mystery.” The Athanasian Creed, of about the eighth century of the Common Era, says that the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost (Spirit) are all three of the same substance, all three are eternal (and hence had no beginning), and all three are almighty. So the creed reads that in the “Trinity none is afore or after other; none is greater or less than another.” Is that reasonable? More importantly, is it in agreement with the Bible?

This doctrine was unknown to the Hebrew prophets and Christian apostles. The New Catholic Encyclopedia (1967 edition, Vol. XIV, pp. 306, 304) admits that “the doctrine of the Holy Trinity is not taught in the OT [Old Testament],” and further says: “It is not, as already seen, directly and immediately the word of God.” It also admits (on page 299): “The formulation ‘one God in three persons’ was not solidly established, certainly not fully assimilated into Christian life and its profession of faith, prior to the end of the 4th century. But it is precisely this formulation that has first claim to the title the Trinitarian dogma. Among the Apostolic Fathers, there had been nothing even remotely approaching such a mentality or perspective.” So the early Christians who were taught directly by Jesus Christ did not believe that God is a “Trinity.”

When Jesus was on earth he certainly was not equal to his Father, for he said there were some things that neither he nor the angels knew but that only God knew. (Mark 13:32) Furthermore, he prayed to his Father for help when undergoing trial, saying, “Let, not my will, but yours take place.” (Luke 22:41, 42) Also, he himself said: “The Father is greater than I am.” (John 14:28) Because of this, Jesus spoke of his Father as “my God” and as “the only true God.”—John 20:17; 17:3.

After Jesus’ death, God raised him to life again and gave him glory greater than he had before. However, he was still not equal to his Father. How do we know? Because later the inspired Scriptures state that God is still “the head of the Christ.” (1 Cor. 11:3) The Bible also says that Jesus is to reign as God’s appointed king until he has put all enemies under his feet, and that then shall “the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.” (1 Cor. 15:28, AV) Clearly, even since his resurrection Jesus Christ is not equal with his Father.

But did not Jesus say on one occasion, “I and the Father are one”? (John 10:30) Yes, he did. However, that statement does not even suggest a “Trinity,” since he spoke of only two as being one, not three. Jesus was surely not contradicting the scriptures we have already read. What he meant by this expression he himself made clear later when he prayed regarding his followers that “they may be one just as we are one.” (John 17:22) Jesus and his Father are “one” in that Jesus is in full harmony with his Father. And he prayed that all his followers might likewise be in harmony with his Father, with Jesus and with one another.—1 Cor. 1:10.

What about the statement at John 1:1 (AV), which refers to Jesus as “the Word,” saying: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”? Does that not prove the “Trinity”? No. Notice, first of all, that only two persons are mentioned, not three. Also, in this same chapter, verse 2 says that the Word was “in the beginning with God,” and verse 18 says that “no man hath seen God at any time,” yet men have seen Jesus Christ. For these reasons, and in full harmony with the Greek text, some translations of verse 1 read: “The Word was with God, and the Word was divine,” or was “a god,” that is, the Word was a powerful godlike one. (AT; NW) So this portion of the Bible is in agreement with all the rest; it does not teach a “Trinity.”

Additional Reading:

As for the “Holy Spirit,” the so-called “third Person of the Trinity,” we have already seen that it is, not a person, but God’s active force. (Judg. 14:6) John the Baptist said that Jesus would baptize with holy spirit even as John had been baptizing with water. Water is not a person nor is holy spirit a person. (Matt. 3:11) What John foretold was fulfilled when God caused his Son Christ Jesus to pour out holy spirit on the apostles and disciples during the day of Pentecost 33 C.E., so that “they all became filled with holy spirit.” Were they “filled” with a person? No, but they were filled with God’s active force.—Acts 2:4, 33.

What, then, do the facts show as to the “Trinity”? Neither the word nor the idea is in God’s Word, the Bible. The doctrine did not originate with God. But, you will be interested to know that, according to the book Babylonian Life and History (by Sir E. A. Wallis Budge, 1925 edition, pp. 146, 147), in ancient Babylon, the pagans did believe in such a thing; in fact, they worshiped more than one trinity of gods.

- Published by the WTB&TS