The Doctrine of the Trinity. This is a summary of the key Scriptures on both sides of the argument about the Trinity, along with a number of other key points from Scripture that deny the Trinity.
I. Scriptures Showing the Lord Jesus Christ is, was, and always will be a Man separate from, subordinate to and obedient to God the Father:
Deuteronomy 6:4 and Mark 12:29 Hear O Israel, The LORD our God is one LORD
I Timothy 2:5 One God, One mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus
Matthew 3:16-17 Spirit of God descended on Jesus and voice from heaven proclaimed him his beloved son
Matthew 9:8 they "glorified God, who had given such power unto men" (Jesus)
Matthew 19:17 & Mark 10:18 there is none good but one, that is God
Matthew 20:23 It is not mine to give
Mark 13:32 But of that day and hour knoweth no man . . . neither the son
Luke 1:32 the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David
Luke 2:52 "Increased . . in favour with God and man"
Luke 23:34 Father forgive them
Luke 23:45 Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit
Luke 22:42, Matthew 26:39 Not my will, but thine be done
John 5:19 Son can do nothing of himself
John 5:30 Can of mine own self do nothing - not mine own will
John 8:28 I do nothing of myself
John 10:29 My father which gave them me is greater than all
John 14:28 "My Father is greater than I"
John 17:3 that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent
John 17:21-23 We all may be one as they are one
John 20:17 "My Father and your Father, My God and your God"
Acts 2:22, 30-33 A man approved of God
Acts 13:30, 33, 37 God raised Jesus from the dead
Romans 8:17 we can be joint heirs with Christ
I Corinthians 11:3 The head of Christ is God
I Corinthians 3:23 Christ is God’s
I Corinthians 8:6 One God, the Father and one Lord Jesus Christ
I Corinthians 15:28 Then shall the son also be subject
Ephesians 1:17 God . . of our Lord Jesus Christ
Hebrews 2:5-18 (too long to sumarize)
Hebrews 10:12 Christ now "sat down on the right hand of God (subordinate position)
Hebrews 5:7 Jesus "learned obedience"
James 1:13 God cannot be tempted, but Heb 4:15 Jesus, tempted in all points like we are
I Peter 1:3 God . . . of our Lord Jesus Christ
The phrase "Son of God" is used 46 times in the New Testament. The phrase "God the Son" is never used. In scripture, a son is always descendant from and subordinate to a father. A co-equal and co-eternal son makes no sense either scripturally or naturally.
Christ continually referred to himself as the Son of Man; seldom as the Son of God, and never as God.
II. Scriptures commonly misused to claim the divinity or pre-existence of the Lord Jesus Christ:
Genesis 1:26, 3:22 and 11:7 God speaks as "us"
Isaiah 7:14, 8,8, Matthew 1:23 They shall call his name Immanuel, God with us.
Isaiah 9:6 The mighty God, the everlasting Father
Micah 5:2 whose goings forth have been . . . from everlasting
John 1 In the beginning was the Word . . .the Word became flesh
John 1:18 The only begotten God, Who is in the bosom of the Father, has made him known." (NIV)
John 3:13 He that came down from heaven
John 5:18 making himself equal with God
John 8:23 I am not of this world
John 8:58 Before Abraham was, I am
John 10:17, 18 I have power to lay it down (my life), and I have power to take it again . . "
John 10:30 I and my Father are one
John 14:9 Jesus saith . . . he that hath seen me hath seen the Father
John 17:5 the glory which I had with thee before the world was
John 20:28 My Lord and my God
Romans 9:5 Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever
Philippians 2:6-8 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God
Colossians 1:15-16 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created . . .
Colossians 2:9 in him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily
I Timothy 3:16 God (or He Who) was manifest in the flesh
Hebrews 1:2 by whom also he made the worlds
Hebrews 1:8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God is for ever and ever
Hebrews 1:10-12 And thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth
Revelation 1:11, 21:6, 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega
But consider that while Jesus is one with God, we also can be one with them (John 17:11,21, 22, 23). Consider also that while Jesus is referred to as God 3 times, so was Moses (Exodus 7:1 - Elohim) and so were men (Psalm 82:6,7 - Elohim), as Jesus himself points out in John 10:34 in response to the Jew’s (false) accusation that he was making himself God, and so were angels a number of times (e.g. Exodus 3:4-8, Exodus 20:1-5 cp Acts 7:38 and Gen 32:24 cp Hosea 12:3-4)
I John 5:7 is not included in this list because all modern authorities agree that it was inserted (i.e. forged) and was not in the original. However, even the forged verse fails to prove a trinity, but only says that the three witnesses exist and are in harmony.
Notice how many of the scriptures on both sides are in the gospel of John. Clearly, a correct understanding of John’s gospel is essential to correctly understanding God and Jesus, yet it is not so simple and the passages in it need to be taken in the context of the whole book, not out of context or simplistically. As the last of the gospels to be written, it needs to understood in concert with the preceding scriptures. It is also written in a metaphorical or poetic style that can be taken too literally.
There are no verses that discuss, describe or even mention the Trinity. The only verse in scripture that mentions Father, Son and Holy Spirit by those names in the same verse is Matthew 28:19, which lists them, but does not describe the relationship among them. I Corinthians 13:14 includes mention of the Lord Jesus Christ, God and the Holy Spirit, but that actually tends to make it clear the Christ is not God. There are about 39 verses that include both God the Father and Jesus Christ. Most of these describe the Father as the God of the Lord Jesus Christ.
III. Scriptures that mention the God, Jesus and Holy Spirit together in the same passage in some way:
Matt 3:16-17 - Baptism of Jesus
Matt 28:19 - Baptismal formula. (notice v18 says that Jesus was given authority)
Luke 1:35 - Annunciation (defines Holy Spirit as the power of God).
John 15:26 and John 16:7-8 (Comforter to come)
Acts 2:32-33 - Jesus raised and exalted by God (clearly defines unequal relationship)
II Cor 13:14 - Benediction (clearly identifies God as distinct from Jesus)
Gal 4:6 - God sent spirit of his Son
Eph 2:18 (access by one Spirit to the Father), Eph 3 (whole chapter), Eph 4:3-7 (One body, one Spirit, on Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all).
Jude 20-21 (the Faith: praying in Holy Spirit, the love of God, the mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ)
IV. Other passages that clearly distinguish between Jesus and God:
Psalms 89:26-27: He shall cry unto me, Thou art my father, my God, and the rock of my salvation. Also I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth.
Micah 5:2-4: And he shall stand and feed in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God; and they shall abide: for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth.
Matthew 27:46: And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
Mark 15:34: And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
Psalms 22:1-2: My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.
Romans 15:6: That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
Hebrews 1:9: Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
Psalms 45:7 Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
Revelation 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.
Acts 2:24. Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.
Acts 2:32. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.
Acts 3:15. And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.
Acts 3:26. Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.
Acts 4:10. Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.
Acts 5:30. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.
Acts 13:33. Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.
Romans 15:6. Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Corinthians 1:3. Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
I Corinthians 15:24. Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
II Corinthians 11:31. Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Galatians 1:1. Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)
Philippians 2:11. And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Ephesians 4:6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
Ephesians 5:20. Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.
Ephesians 6:21. Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.
II Thessalonians 2:16. Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace.
I Timothy 1:2. Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.
V. Summary of key points regarding the Trinity:
1) It is not actually declared, mentioned, described, or stated in Scripture in any words, anywhere. Even Trinitarian commentators admit that it is nowhere directly stated in Scripture.
2) Not only is the doctrine as a whole, not in Scripture, even important parts (e.g. the “dual nature”) have no explicit statement in Scripture. None of the key Trinitarian statements of the creed that defines the Trinity (The “Athanasian Creed”) can be found in Scripture.
3) Such an important doctrine, which is asserted as THE single most important doctrine, which one must understand for salvation, would just HAVE to be in Scripture if it were true. The early Jewish converts to Christianity could not possibly have just assumed it.
4) Scripture strongly condemns those who reject the humanity of Jesus, but never condemns anyone for rejecting the deity of Jesus.
5) It is an illogical and contradictory conclusion, supposedly arrived at by logical reasoning. That is simply a contradiction. If it is a “mystery” that cannot be understood, then neither can it be deduced by logic.
6) Despite attempted Trinitarian explanations, the Trinity really does take away from the very clear and essential doctrine of the humanity of Jesus. It is utterly impossible to reconcile with the clear scriptural statements that Christ was truly a man like us, who was tempted, and died for us.
7) What died on the cross? If Jesus is eternal God, in what sense did he actually die?
8) The vast bulk of Scripture, outside the writings of John and a very few other obviously figurative or metaphorical passages, categorically contradict it. It is clearly omitted from the Synoptic gospels and the Acts, and even Trinitarians admit to only finding “hints” of it in the Old Testament.
9) Scripture clearly and repeatedly identifies God as the God of Jesus. For Jesus to both BE God and worship God is contradictory.
10) The Trinity requires taking a few of the most metaphorical, figurative, symbolic and just plain difficult passages, and using those to explain the much clearer, simpler, direct and obvious passages.
11) The one Trinitarian point that might be most convincing from a Scriptural standpoint (pre-existence), is easier to explain by the Scriptural concept of foreknowledge, than in metaphysical terms foreign to Scripture.
Trinity, Pro And Con
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