This is a very controversial subject to cover in a brief article. I would like to start by reminding readers of a very important statement that Jesus Himself gave us concerning becoming one of His followers:
And said, Verily I say unto you, Except you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
The above verse, in context of what preceded it and followed it, references two important concepts. The verses preceding it led to the fact that we must humble ourselves. The verses following it led to a warning of stumbling blocks. Trying to understand and explain the concept of the trinity has been a stumbling block for centuries - far exceeding the ability of a child, much less scholars.
For those that don’t know it, the word trinity does not appear anywhere in the Bible. The concept of the “Trinity” is man-made. The trinity is s Catholic version of a pagan/mystic/mythological triune godhead. That’s right - Catholic version. Hordes of pagan/mystic religions, and mythology, before and after the Catholic Church have had a triune godhead: Egyptian triad of Osiris; Isis and Horus, Hindu triad of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva; the Buddhist Triratna (Soderblom), etc. Even in Homeric mythology, the trident of Poseidon, as a symbol, is based on triune beliefs in the sacredness of the number three. This focus on trinity goes back as far as Babylon to as recent as the latest focus of the “me, myself, and I” movement. None of this is of God.
Still, it took several hundred years (3rd to 4th century A.D. - Nicene Creed of 325 AD, etc.) for the Roman Catholic Church to iron out some of the wrinkles and come up with its own version. Of course, with them, you either “believed” or risked being tortured or killed as a heretic (See Note1).What many may not consider is that this man-made concept has been a great tool for Satan because it is the biggest hindrance (stumbling block) preventing turning Jews and Muslims to Jesus as the Christ. Why? Because the Bible clearly says:
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:
Anyone familiar with the Bible knows that every pertinent New Testament concept is founded upon the Old Testament - i.e. the messiah, sacrifice, forgiveness of sin, etc.; and, I know of no points that are addressed by trinity supporters with verses that are found in the Old Testament. Trinity supporters say that is because it is a “revealed doctrine” - as if it did not exist until man “discovered” it later. Well, if that were true, it wasn’t even revealed to Jesus - He emphasized the verse above:
And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
It may have been revealed - but it was not by, or from, God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit.
So, please note the following points before we continue:
1. Nowhere in the Bible does God say that a part of Him is Jesus, or that Jesus is a part of Him, or that He is Jesus.
2. Nowhere in the Bible does God say that a part of Him is the Holy Spirit, or that the Holy Spirit is a part of Him, or that He is the Holy Spirit.
3. Nowhere in the Bible does the Holy Spirit say that a part of Him is God, or that He is a part of God, or that He is God.
4. Nowhere in the Bible does the Holy Spirit say that a part of Him is Jesus, or that He is a part of Jesus, or that He is Jesus.
5. Nowhere in the Bible does Jesus say He is a part of God, or that a part of Him is God, or that He is God.
6. Nowhere in the Bible does Jesus say He is a part of the Holy Spirit, or that a part of Him is the Holy Spirit, or that He is the Holy Spirit.
Trinity supporters will argue a few of these points; but, to my knowledge, they never address almost 75% of them - i.e. any of the points concerning the Holy Spirit.
Trinity supporters typically turn to three primary sources. One is the baptismal formula at the end of Matthew. I won’t delve any farther here than to say that most all folks who seriously study the Bible know that this ending in Matthew was added at a later date and is not original. Besides, it does not say that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are the same person anyway.
The second primary source trinity supporters turn to is Paul - the only place where the word “godhead” appears in English translations. Paul is cited as using the word ”godhead” three times (Acts 17:29, Romans 1:20, and Colossians 2:9) and each time a different word is actually being translated - theios , theiotēs, and theotēs! That alone should give rise to question. I won’t delve farther on a false apostle right now - read my other articles for details.
The third primary source trinity supporters turn to is the Gospel of John. Specifically, people that support a trinity claim that Jesus “implied” He was God. The primary verse they use to support that false notion is:
I and my Father are one.
First, note the use of “are” (esmen - first person plural of “to be”) - as in plural beings. More importantly, what does the phrasing of “one” mean? Well, let’s start with the basics. How does this same writer depict Jesus using this same phrasing elsewhere?
And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to you. Holy Father, keep through your own name those whom you have given me, that they may be one, as we are.
That they all may be one; as you, Father, in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that you have sent me. And the glory which you gave me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and you in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that you hast sent me, and have loved them, as you have loved me.
John heard and wrote these verses. He understood what Jesus meant - read the proof written by John himself in 1 John 4:13/16. Are all Christians one entity? No! Are you, as a Christian, part of God? No! We are each completely separate entities that strive to work as one - with a singularity of purpose, not of being. We see that “one” does not mean or imply a singularity of being with multiple parts; but, multiple parts with a singularity of purpose. Jesus prayed that we would achieve that oneness of purpose. Who does He say will be saved? Those that become one with Him in purpose:
Not every one that says unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven.
If we do this, God’s will, we become one. That certainly doesn’t mean we are God. God the Father and Jesus the Son are not separate parts of a whole. They are each individually whole beings. Jesus is saying that He operates as one with His Father - a singularity of purpose, not of being. Jesus, like us, has His own free will; but, to become one with God He submitted His will to God’s will - just as we must submit our will to God’s will to be one. Jesus came for one reason and one reason only - to do God’s will:
Saying, Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but yours, be done.
Jesus’ use of this phrasing of “one” is not unique to the Gospels. It is used elsewhere in the Bible. The first example is one many folks probably know:
Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
Do husband and wife actually become a single entity? No they don’t. They are not a single entity with parts. They are two entities functioning together - a singularity of purpose, not of being.
Here is another example:
Say to them, so says the Lord Jehovah: Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel, his companions. And I will put them with him, with the stick of Judah, and will make them one stick, and they shall be one in my hand.
Again, we see that “one” does not mean or imply a singularity of being with multiple parts; but, multiple parts with a singularity of purpose.
Did Jesus say He was God? No! Did He imply it? No! So, does this mean Jesus was just a messenger? No! He was and is God’s only Son. The Son is not the Father - the Son serves the Father - read the Bible! We are told that He was the very beginning of creation:
And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; these things says the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
In fact, let’s look at what Jesus said His Father revealed to Peter about who He (Jesus) was:
He said unto them, but who say you that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, you art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, blessed are you, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood has not revealed it to you, but my Father which is in heaven.
Plain as day Jesus is saying that God revealed to Peter that Jesus was the Son of the Living God - not that Jesus was God! (In Luke 9:20, Peter is quoted as answering, “The Christ of God”.)
A human father does not have anything from the son in him; but, a human son has something from his father in him (DNA). The son is from the father; but, the son is not a part of the father. God does not have anything from Jesus in Him; but, Jesus has something from His father in Him - Jesus was created by and from God, before anything else was created. Jesus is from His Father; but, Jesus is not a part of His father. All physical creation - even Man - was made from matter and energy that had already been created. Only Jesus was and is directly from God Himself - hence, to explain it in a manner understandable to us - Jesus is the Son of God. We came from dust - Jesus came from God!
This explanation makes it clear what is meant by “us” in the following verses:
And he said: Let us make man to our image and likeness: and let him have dominion over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and the beasts, and the whole earth, and every creeping creature that moves upon the earth.
And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever:
(Genesis 3:22) (See Note2)
They - God and Jesus - are speaking to each other! Notice in the last verse this is God Himself speaking - the self-existent God - YHVH. We know from the Bible that there are more gods - divine beings. There is only one God - the self-existent - YHVH! YHVH is the God above and before everything - including all other gods - divine beings. Jesus is the King of Kings. Jesus is God’s chosen ruler over all that They created. But YHVH is over and above Jesus and you will have no other gods before YHVH.
Jesus, as per the Bible, sits on the right hand of God (See Note3). The concept of the trinity places Jesus, not on the right hand, but on the very throne of God!
Jesus said He was taught by God (John 8:28). Jesus too serves God. Jesus prayed to God. Jesus said God was His God too:
Jesus said to her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and my God, and your God.
Jesus specifically prayed that we know them both:
And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
If that isn’t plain enough bear in mind that the word “only” in the verse above is translated from “monos” which is also translated 21 times as “alone”. Jesus knew He wasn’t God. Jesus knew God knew things that He (Jesus) didn’t (Mark 13:32). What did Jesus say when they tried to call Him good?
And He said to him, why do you call Me good? No one is good except One, God! But if you desire to enter into life, keep the commandments.
Why did Jesus say that? He knew what YHVH said in Isaiah 45:21.
Jesus is our mediator with God. Jesus is our path to God. Jesus is our Lord, our Savior, and our High Priest; but, Jesus is not YHVH!
But in vain they do worship me, teaching doctrines the commandments of men.
If you are worshipping Jesus as God you are violating the commandments of God for the doctrine of men!
Now we will look briefly at the issue of the Holy Spirit. If you look for the term ”the holy spirit” in the Old Testament you won’t find it. You will find David speaking to YHVH and saying “thy holy spirit” - Psalms 51:11. You will find several people speaking to YHVH and saying “thy spirit” - 2 Kings 2:9, Nehemiah 9:30, Job 15:13, Psalms 104:30, 139:7, 143:10, and Ecclesiastes 7:9. You will find several people speaking about YHVH and saying “his spirit” Numbers 11:29, Job 26:13, Isaiah 48:16, and Zechariah 7:12 (even 1 John 4:13 in the New Testament). You will find Isaiah talking about YHVH and saying “His holy spirit” - Isaiah 63:10 and 11. You will find the “the Spirit of God” over a dozen times. You will find “the spirit of the LORD” over two dozen times. You will find YHVH saying “my spirit” in Genesis, Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Zechariah.
The Holy Spirit is YHVH’s spirit. That’s why Jesus said what He did in Matthew 12:32 and Mark 3:29 (see Note4).
Thank you for joining me on The Path to Light.
In Brotherly Love,
Note1 - Ironically, this concept is so convoluted that getting folks to know where the Holy Spirit fit in was (and is?) more than the Catholic Church wanted people to try to understand - they were supposed to leave it all up to their priest. To make it easier the RCC switched gears and soon focused on a different three - God, Jesus, and Mary!
Note2 - This is another example that shows that when the Bible uses “one” in this manner it does not mean or imply a singularity of being with multiple parts; but, multiple parts with a singularity of purpose.
Note3 - Read Matthew 22:44, 26:64; Mark 12:36, 14:62; Luke 20:42, 22:69; 1 Peter 3:22, and many more from Acts, Hebrews, etc.
Note4 - It is my understanding that among trinity supporters an historical debate has been whether or not the “entities” are equal or have “rank”. Many people who still believe in a trinity give each “entity” a rank. Since they are separate beings, and I too believe they have “rank”, I will address this issue. They state:
God is number one based on the following:
You have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If you loved me, you would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.
I understand clearly how and why God is greater than Jesus. How it is over looked that they are separate entities is inconceivable.
Jesus is number two. I have seen the following verse given as a justification for this ranking:
Verily, verily, I say unto you, the servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.
This in turn is linked to the following:
But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, which proceeds from the Father, he shall testify of me:
(John 15:26) (or John 16:7)
I can see Jesus applying John 13:16 to why God is greater than Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I cannot see it applied to Jesus versus the Holy Spirit. The trinity crowd has skipped a few verses, specifically:
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever;
But the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
Furthermore, Jesus makes it plain from another writer that it is God specifically who gives the Holy Spirit:
Then if you being evil know to give good gifts to your children, how much more the Father out of Heaven will give the Holy Spirit to those asking Him.
The Holy Spirit is from God Himself, not from Jesus; and, according to Jesus, the Holy Spirit is superior to Him - consider:
And whoever may speak a word against the Son of Man it shall be forgiven to him, but whoever may speak against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this age, nor in that which is coming.