Growing Believers into Missionaries to Our Community
Through
Worshiping God
Being Family
Learning the Bible

The Trinity

Truth or Tradition?

Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Deuteronomy 6:4 (NIV) 
It is said by most Christians that there is one God and God exists in three persons.

How do we know what is correct and what is error? ANY Christian doctrine MUST stand the test of scripture. If what we believe is not consistent with scripture, it MUST be discarded as false doctrine.

What the Bible Really Says

The truth is that this teaching is NOT scripture. There isn’t any scripture that says God is three- three anything.

If you discuss the Godhead with those that believe in the Trinity, you will find that they will show you in the Bible that the Father is God and the Son is God and so is the Holy Ghost. 

They are correct in doing this.

However this approach to the subject is incorrect. This approach ASSUMES that there are three and then tries to prove all three are God.

The words FATHER, SON and HOLY GHOST are attributes. They are not individual beings.
If Father, Son and Holy Ghost are individual beings and each one is a deity then there are three GODS.

Let’s take a different approach.

Let’s start by looking at SCRIPTURE to see what God is.
Is He persons? Sorry, no scriptural evidence.
Is He three spirits? Again, no scripture.

What does the scripture say about this? 
"God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth."
John 4:24

 

GOD IS A SPIRIT.

The Bible says that God is a spirit. So let’s start from there.
The Bible says that God created the heavens and the earth.

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
Genesis 1:1
All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
John 1:3

 

God is a holy God.

God (a spirit) created everything.
Exalt the LORD our God, and worship at His holy hill; for the LORD our God is holy. 

Attribute

Any property, quality, or characteristic that can be ascribed to a person, or thing; as strength, bravery, mercy, etc.


Since the scripture clearly says that God is a spirit
...and that He is a holy God,
...this makes God a HOLY SPIRIT.
Now where in scripture do we find the term Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost referring to a third PERSON of the Godhead?
No where.
This term is an attribute of God.

The second person of the Godhead

God, who is a spirit, placed His seed in the womb of the virgin Mary.

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
Matthew 1:18.

A child was born.

His name was Jesus and Emanuel. This baby was a human being AND God.

He had all the attributes of man and the fullness of the spirit of God.




For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.

Colossians 2:9

The word "Godhead" is the same as "Deity." Jesus is the son or offspring of God. He is the ONLY biological son of God. Nowhere in scripture is Jesus called the second person of the Godhead or of the Trinity.

Let’s take a look at the word Father.

The word father is NEVER used in scripture to describe a deity in the Godhead. The word is an attribute of God
God is our Father.

He is everything to us as an earthly father is to his children. God is:
  • our provider,
  • our defense,
  • our shelter
  • etc…

Is God Plural? Is God more than one entity?

There are two questions I would like to address.
# 1. Does the word Elohiym (A name of God) declare that God is more than one entity?
# 2. Do the words “Let us” prove that God is more that one entity?

First let’s look at the word Elohiym.

Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? Ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside Me? Yea, there is no God; I know not any.
Isaiah 44:8
 
Remember the former things of old : for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like Me,
Isaiah 46:9

Lexicon Results
Strong's H430 - 'elohiym
אֱלֹהִים
Transliteration 'elohiym Pronunciation el·ō·hēm' (Key)

Part of Speech masculine noun
Root Word (Etymology) Plural of אֱלוֹהַּ (H433) TWOT Reference
Outline of Biblical Usage
1) Plural
  • a) Rulers, judges
  • b) Divine ones
  • c) Angels
  • d) Gods
2) Plural intensive - singular meaning
  • a) God, goddess
  • b) Godlike one
  • c) Works or special possessions of God
  • d) The (true) God
  • e) God
The two essential and personal names of God in the Hebrew Scriptures are Elohim and Jehovah (more correctly Yahweh).

Elohim calls attention to the fullness of divine power and Jehovah meaning “He who is” thus declaring the divine self- existence.

These terms are varied or combined with others to bring out or emphasize certain attributes of the Godhead, such variations or combinations being rendered in our English version,
God Almighty,
The Living God,
The Most High,
The Lord, or
The God of Host.

The English word God is identical with the Anglo- Saxon word for good, and therefore it is believed that the name God refers to the divine goodness.

God, as revealed through the scripture, is the one infinite and eternal Being. He is purely spiritual, the supreme Intelligence, the Creator and Preserver of all things, the perfect moral Ruler of the universe and the proper object of worship.
 
God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
John 4:24
If you look to the books of the Bible you'll find that they are a blending of the Elohim tradition with the YHVH tradition, followed closely by the words of Deuteronomy 6:6,


"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD".

This literally means "YHVH and Elohim are One, YHVH".

YHVH and Elohim are One. God and the Holy Spirit are One being.

Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy.
Leviticus 19:2

 

How do you talk about new ideas?

With old words.

The danger is in then assuming too close a relationship between the old and new ideas because some of the words are the same.

Only the noun is in plural form in scriptures that use the term Elohim. The verbs and other parts of speech are singular.

This made sense to the people who wrote the Bible. We can only speculate as to why and look for comparisons with similar usage.

An indication of majesty or grandeur fits. And part of what the Jewish re-imagining of the divine does is to move from images of concrete, specific deities (associated more literally with carved wood and rocks than we can really understand today) to a vast formless all-encompassing, single and unique deity.

The most commonly used Hebrew word of God is Elohim. This is the original word in almost every Old Testament passage where we see the English word God. It is the plural form of the Hebrew word Eloah, which means God or deity.

Most scholars agree that the use of the plural word Elohim indicates God's greatness or His multiple attributes; it does not imply a plurality of persons or personalities.

The Jews certainly do not see the plural form as compromising their strong monotheism. Flanders and Cresson explain that the plural usage in Hebrew has a certain function other than to indicate plurality:

"The form of the word, Elohim, is plural. The Hebrews pluralized nouns to express greatness or majesty."

(For example, my one year old grandson would be a "boy," his six foot three inch father a "boys" in Hebrew grammar.)

The Bible itself reveals that the only way to understand the plural form of Elohim is that it expresses God's majesty and not a plurality in the Godhead, both by its insistence on one God and by its use of Elohim in situations that definitely portray only one person or personality.
For example,
  • Elohim identifies the singular manifestation of God in human form to Jacob (Genesis 32:30).
  • The Israelites used the word Elohim for the golden calf they made in the wilderness (Exodus 32:1, 4, 8, 23, 31), yet the Bible account makes it clear that there was only one golden calf (Exodus 32:4, 5, 8, 19-20, 24, 35).
  • The Old Testament often uses elohim for singular pagan gods such as Baalberith (Judges 8:33), Chemosh (Judges 11:24), Dagon (Judges 16:23), Baalzebub (II Kings 1:2-3), and Nisroch (II Kings 19:37).
  • The Bible even applies Elohim to Jesus Christ (Psalm 45:6; Zechariah 12:8-10; 14:5), and no one suggests there is a plurality of persons in Jesus.
So the word Elohim does not indicate three persons in the Godhead.

Just as elohim is an expression of greatness in reference to God, the words “let us” in Genesis 1:26 is also an expression of the greatest of God’s creation.

 It is easy to understand the use of the words "Holy Spirit" in the Bible.

The words "Holy Spirit" are a description of God. God is a spirit (John 4:24) and He is holy (Leviticus 11:45, Leviticus 19:2).

There are some questions that every Christian should ask.
  1. Is there any scripture that states that God is a trinity?
  2. Is there any scripture that states that God is three, three anything?
  3. Is there any scripture that uses the term; first person of the godhead, second person of the godhead or third person of the godhead?
  4. Is there any scripture that refers to God as a person? *
The answer to all these questions is NO.


Some scriptures used to support the three person godhead.

We will start with Matthew 28:19.
 
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
Matthew 28:19

This scripture has nothing to do with the Godhead.
This scripture is talking about discipleship.
Jesus is telling us to teach people that God is our FATHER, and to teach that his SON died for us, and that the HOLY GHOST empowers us.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.
2 Corinthians 13:14

If you are already convinced that God is three then this scripture would be addressing those three.

However these three are titles or attributes.

This applies to many other scriptures. I have just used these two as an example.

If we insist that because the words Father Son and Holy Ghost are used in the same setting of scripture then I, by using the SAME method, can PROVE that God is SEVEN persons.


For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6

 

Has Jesus always existed?

It is assumed that the word Logos means JESUS. This simply isn’t the case. Let’s take a look at this Greek word and see exactly what it does mean.

Lexicon Results
Strong's G3056 - logos
λόγος
Transliteration logos
Pronunciation lo'-gos (Key)

Part of Speech masculine noun
Root Word (Etymology) From λέγω (G3004) TDNT Reference 4:69,505 Vines View Entry

Outline of Biblical Usage
1) of speech
  • a word, uttered by a living voice, embodies a conception or idea
  • What someone has said
  • a word
2) the sayings of God
3) decree, mandate or order
4) of the moral precepts given by God
5) Old Testament prophecy given by the prophets
6) what is declared, a thought, declaration, aphorism, a weighty saying, a dictum, a maxim
  • c) discourse
7) the act of speaking, speech
8) the faculty of speech, skill and practice in speaking
9) a kind or style of speaking
10) a continuous speaking discourse - instruction
  • doctrine, teaching
  • anything reported in speech; a narration, narrative
  • matter under discussion, thing spoken of, affair, a matter in dispute, case, suit at law
  • the thing spoken of or talked about; event, deed
2) its use as respect to the MIND alone
  • a) reason, the mental faculty of thinking, meditating, reasoning, calculating
  • b) account, i.e. regard, consideration
  • c) account, i.e. reckoning, score
  • d) account, i.e. answer or explanation in reference to judgment
  • e) relation, i.e. with whom as judge we stand in relation
1) reason would
  • f) reason, cause, ground
 
The Greek word Logos means a concept or idea. In the beginning before God created the heavens and the earth He had a plan, an idea. God didn’t just start creating and hope everything would come out right.

No, He had a Logos.

God's logos included redemption for mankind. This redemption was the death burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. At the appointed time the logos was made flesh (Jesus was born) and dwelt among us.

In the following scripture replace "word" with "idea" or "plan."

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (what God intended).

2 The same was in the beginning with God.

3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made...

10 He (God) was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

14 And the Word (logos) was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
John 1


Jesus was both man (physical) and Divine (God).

For in him dwelleth all the Fullness of the Godhead bodily.
Colossians 2:9

 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.
John 8:58

The Son Jesus did not exist before his conception. Jesus was speaking as the Father (Spirit) when He said, "Before Abraham was I AM."

And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness:
  • GOD was manifest in the flesh,
  • justified in the Spirit,
  • seen of angels,
  • preached unto the Gentiles,
  • believed on in the world,
  • received up into glory.
1Tomothy 1:16

We are all made up of a body and a soul.
  • Jesus was the physical body of God.
  • God was the Soul of Jesus.

 

Scriptural Problems with a Three person Godhead.

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
Matthew 1:18

In this verse The Holy Ghost is the father of Jesus. Is Jesus the child of the first person of the Godhead or is he the child of the third person of the Godhead?

The Holy Ghost is the PHYSICAL father of Jesus Christ. This is why Jesus is called the Son of God. Jesus is the offspring of the eternal God. Jesus is the ONLY begotten son (John 3:16).

If there is ONLY ONE in the Godhead, then this scripture isn’t a problem.


Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
Acts 20:28

Did Jesus or the Holy Ghost purchase the church with his blood? Again if there is only one in the Godhead, this scripture isn’t a problem.

 

Is the Godhead A trinity?

There isn’t a single place in the scriptures that says the Godhead is triune, three persons or three of any kind. There is only one place in scripture where we find the words FATHER, SON, HOLY GHOST all in one verse of scripture. That verse is Matthew 28:19



And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
Genesis 1:26

Does this scripture prove that God is plural? The plurality here is the fact that we were created physical and spiritual beings. God is a spirit and later he provided himself a physical body to dwell in. This constitutes the likeness of God. AFTER HIS IMAGE.



Suggested reading;
The development of the TRINITY. By Glen Davidson
The Origin of the Trinity Doctrine. By Davia E. Adams