Christianity along with Judaism and Islam have been categorized
as monotheistic religions. However, since many Christians believed
in the Trinity, some felt their claim of monotheism was suspect.
Since the Trinitarian's historic phrase "one substance"
was nebulous enough to imply their three gods were one person--the
Trinitarian wing of the Christian church was accepted as monotheistic.
word "Trinity" does not appear in the Bible. Adolf Harneck,
a Trinitarian and noted church historian observed that as late
as the 3rd Century most Christians did not believe the holy Spirit
was a personality but merely the power of God.1 Early church writers,
such as Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Origen, Novatian,
Arnobius and Lactantius, were very explicit in affirming that
the Heavenly Father alone is the supreme God and that Jesus is
completely subordinate to His authority and will. As educated
converts from Paganism vied for positions of authority in the
church. They brought with them the pagan concept of a "triune
god" that was resisted by ordinary believers. "The victory
of orthodoxy [so called] was a triumph of priests and theologians
over the indeed deeply rooted faith of the people."2
325 AD Emperor Constantine convened the Council of Nice and through
political intrigue with the bishops had the Nicene Creed formulated.
It stated that the Father and Son are coequal and coeternal. This
disagreed with Jesus' words, "My Father is greater than I."
(John 14:28) "I can of mine own self do nothing my judgment
is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the
Father which hath sent me." (John 5:30) "as my Father
hath sent me, even so send I you." (John 20:21) "I ascend
unto my Father, and your Father: and to my God and your God."
that the Heavenly Father is said to be the God of Jesus. Jesus
spoke of his Father in John 17:3 as the "only true God."
in AD 381, 300 years after the Christian Church began, the holy
Spirit was declared a God and the dogma of the Trinity was forged
by the Trinitarian wing of the Church at the Council of Constantinople.
They defined the Trinity as three Gods in one substance. This
was not a Scriptural teaching held from the inception of the Christian
Church. This was the forging of a tradition that would plague
the church for centuries.
the Tradition Endured
the whole Bible there is only one scripture that seems to teach
the concept of three persons in one. It is the King James rendering
of 1 John 5:7, 8, "For there are three that bear record in
heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these
three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth,
the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree
words italicized in this scriptural quotation are not found in
any of the oldest and most reliable Biblical manuscripts. That
they are not a genuine part of the original text is the unanimous
verdict of contemporary scholars, evangelicals included. Look
up 1 John 5:7, 8, in the Revised Standard Version, New American
Standard Version, New International Version, etc. These translations
do not agree with the King James Version. They omit these italicized
spurious (not authentic) words. Why? Because overzealous Trinitarians
added these words after the Council of Constantinople in AD 381.
properly translated 1 John 5:7, 8, reads: "For these are
three which testify; the spirit, and the water, and the blood;
and the three are of one." 3 Here the holy Spirit is part
of the only trinity (three in one) taught in the Bible. But it
is a trinity of non-personalities, the water (Jesus' baptism),
the spirit (Jesus' anointing), and the blood (Jesus' death). Blood
and water are not persons; therefore, the third part of this trinity-the
holy Spirit is not a person either. Rather, it is the Holy influence
or power of God.
the corruption of 1 John 5:7, 8, was not yet discovered by the
Reformation period, the Protestant Reformers accepted the tradition
established in 381 AD of three Gods in "one substance."
Until the mid 20th Century, the esteem of the King James Version
by many Born-Again Christians bordered on Divine inspiration;
therefore, they were locked into the corruption of 1 John 5:7,
8. But now with their exposure to new translations, Born-Again
Christians are redefining "the Trinity."
now claim that the phrase "one substance" was not used
to teach that the Father, Son, and holy Spirit were one person.
Rather they were of the same nature and one in purpose, yet three
distinct persons. However, history indicates to the contrary.
Papacy has in some of its churches, as, for instance, in the monastery
of the so-called Trinitarians of Madrid, an image of the Triune
God, with three heads on one body. The Babylonians had something
of the same. Mr. Layard, in his last work, has given a specimen
of such a triune divinity, worshipped in ancient Assyria."
the unity of that one Only God of the Babylonians, there were
three persons, and to symbolize that doctrine of the Trinity,
they employed, as the discoveries of Layard prove, the equilateral
triangle, just as it is well known the Romish Church does at this
the mid-20th Century C. S. Lewis was considered an outstanding
spokesman for Protestantism. Lewis affirms the "one substance"
view of the Trinitarians:
"we could never have guessed in advance, any more than a
knowledge of squares would have enabled us to guess at a cube.
He contains 'persons' (three of them) while remaining one god,
as a cube combines six squares while remaining one solid body.
We cannot comprehend such a structure any more than the Flatlanders
could comprehend a cube." 6
traditional view of the trinity was an unfortunate 4th Century
(381 AD) departure from the teachings of Jesus and his Apostles.
This was bad enough, but the redefining of the Trinity by many
contemporary Born-Again Christians has crossed the line to polytheism.
To say that the Father, Son, and holy Spirit are coequal and coeternal
Gods, one in purpose and all of the same nature, yet separate
and distinct persons is plain and simple polytheism--a worshipping
of three separate Gods. This was a gross departure from true Christianity.
Return To Jesus' Teachings
in 1864 Benjamin Wilson, a Christadelphian, published THE EMPHATIC
DIAGLOTT--an interlinear Greek-English translation. It was one
of the first to render 1 John 5:7, 8 correctly, its effect was
electrifying. Many Christian groups founded after its publication
didn't believe in the Trinity. Also, THE EMPHATIC DIAGLOTT rendered
John 1:1, "the Word was with the God and a god was the Word."
This defines Jesus as "a god" who was inferior to and
separate from the Father. Several translations in the 20th Century
that follow this rendering have raised the ire of Trinitarians.
However, THE BIBLE TRANSLATOR (Vol. 28, No. 1, Jan. 1977) published
by translators who are Trinitarians, said of this rendering--"As
a word-for-word translation it cannot be faulted."
word "God" in the Old Testament is often a translation
of the Hebrew word ELOHIM. Since Jesus and the Father are both
called ELOHIM, it is asserted that they are the same being. But
angels (Psalm 8:5), Abraham (Genesis 23:5,6), Israel's judges
(Exodus 21:6) and the Church (Psalm 82:6) are also called ELOHIM
in the Scriptures. ELOHIM signifies: a mighty one, prince, ruler,
or judge; and since it is scripturally used to refer to men and
angels, as well as to God, its use in referring to our Lord Jesus
Christ does not in any way prove his equality with God. Nor is
there any validity in the assertion that, because ELOHIM is plural
in form, its application to God indicates that there is more than
one person in God. In Exodus 7:1, Moses is called ELOHIM by God.
Was Moses plural? Certainly not, for the word ELOHIM, like our
English word "sheep," can be either singular or plural,
as the occasion demands.
scriptures seem to refer to the holy Spirit speaking, however,
other scriptures also symbolically portray non-personal entities
as exercising personality traits. In Proverbs 1:20-22, "wisdom"
is portrayed as speaking and referred to by the personal pronoun
"she." Also, in Luke 7:35, wisdom is designated "she"
and has children. In Romans 7:11, "sin" is spoken of
as exercising mental deception. A dilemma for Trinitarians!
How can the concept that the Father, Son, and holy Spirit are
three Gods that are coequal harmonize with Isaiah 11:2-10? In
this Kingdom scene, the Son will receive the spirit of the Father
that he might have the wisdom to perform the work of the Kingdom.
If these are three equal Gods, why will the Father need to give
his Son a third God to enable the Son to exercise wisdom?
Harnack, OUTLINE OF THE HISTORY OF DOGMA, Translated by E. K.
Mitchell (Starr Kemp Press, 1957) P.266.
Wilson, THE EMPHATIC DIAGLOTT; NESTLE AND MARSHALL; and THE INTERLINEAR
GREEK-ENGLISH NEW TESTAMENT.
Alexander Hislop, THE TWO BABLYONS (Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Brothers,
S. Lewis, THE BEST OF C. S. LEWIS (Washington, D.C: Cannon Press,
STRONG'S CONCORDANCE and NEW ENGLISHMAN'S CONCORDANCE.