Page 5: IF THE Trinity were true, it should be clearly and consistently presented in the Bible. Why? Because, as the apostles affirmed, the Bible is God's revelation of himself to mankind. And since we need to know God to worship him acceptably, the Bible should be clear in telling us just who he is.
Note: Getting to know God begins and ends with Jesus Christ. Do you personally know Him?
John 14:9 Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, 'Show us the Father?'"
Page 5: First-century believers accepted the Scriptures as the authentic revelations of God. It was the basis for their beliefs, the final authority. For example, when the apostle Paul preached to people in the city of Beroea, "they received the word with the greatest eagerness of mind, carefully examining the Scriptures daily as to whether these things were so." - Acts 17:10, 11.
Note: Paul focused his preaching on Jesus Christ. Are you focused on Jesus Christ?
Acts 17:17-18 Therefore he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and with the Gentile worshipers, and in the marketplace daily with those who happened to be there. Then certain Epicurean and Stoic philosophers encountered him. And some said, "What does this babbler want to say?" Others said, "He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign gods," because he preached to them Jesus and the resurrection.
Page 5: What did prominent men of God at that time use as their authority? Acts 17:2, 3 tells us: "According to Paul's custom ... he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving by references (from the Scriptures)."
Note: Paul focused his preaching on Jesus Christ. Are you focused on Jesus Christ?
Acts 17:2-3 Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, "This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ."
Page 5: Jesus himself set the example in using the Scriptures as the basis for his teaching, repeatedly saying: "It is written." "He interpreted to them things pertaining to himself in all the Scriptures." - Matthew 4:4, 7; Luke 24:27.
Note: Only God can give understanding of spiritual things.
Isaiah 54:13 All your children shall be taught by the LORD, And great shall be the peace of your children.
John 6:45 "It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God.' Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me."
John 6:59 These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum.
Note: Is Jesus Christ "first place" in your life? Are you a Christian?
Page 5: Thus Jesus, Paul, and first-century believers used the Scriptures as the foundation for their teaching. They knew that "all Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness, that the man of God may be fully competent, completely equipped for every good work." - 2 Timothy 3:16, 17.
Note: Have you placed your faith in God for eternal life?
Mark 11:22 So Jesus answered and said to them, "Have faith in God."
2 Timothy 3:14-15 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
Page 5: A PROTESTANT publication states: "The word Trinity is not found in the Bible ... It did not find a place formally in the theology of the church till the 4th century." (The Illustrated Bible Dictionary) And a Catholic authority says that the Trinity "is not ... Directly and immediately (the) word of God." - New Catholic Encyclopedia.
Note: Using Watch Tower logic, the Bible is false since the word Bible is not in the Bible.
Pages 5-6: However, this is no proof in itself that Tertullian taught the Trinity. The Catholic work Trinitas - A Theological Encyclopedia of the Holy Trinity, for example, notes that some of Tertullian's words were later used by others to describe the Trinity. Then it cautions: "But hasty conclusions cannot be drawn from usage, for he does not apply the words to Trinitarian theology."
Note: Tertullian taught the Holy Trinity in all the essential elements.
Him we believe to have been sent by the Father into the Virgin, and to have been born of her -- being both Man and God, the Son of Man and the Son of God, and to have been called by the name of Jesus Christ; we believe Him to have suffered, died, and been buried, according to the Scriptures, and, after He had been raised again by the Father and taken back to heaven, to be sitting at the right hand of the Father, and that He will come to judge the quick and the dead; who sent also from heaven from the Father, according to His own promise, the Holy Ghost, the Paraclete, the sanctifier of the faith of those who believe in the Father, and in the Son, and in the Holy Ghost. Tertullian, Against Praxeas, Chapter 2.
Tertullian, in answering Praxeas, stated that God is one substance in three persons. He coined the terms to be used in the later definitions of the doctrines of the Trinity and the Incarnation. Exploring Christian Thought, Tony Lane, page 19.
Page 6: WHILE the word "Trinity" is not found in the Bible, is at least the idea of the Trinity taught clearly in it? For instance, what do the Hebrew Scriptures ("Old Testament") reveal?
Note: The plurality of persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) of God created mankind.
Genesis 1:26-27 Then God (singular) said, "Let Us (plural) make man in Our (plural) image, according to Our (plural) likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
Note: Mankind was created as a trinity similar to God.
1 Th 5:23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Page 6: The Encyclopedia of Religion admits: "Theologians today are in agreement that the Hebrew Bible does not contain a doctrine of the Trinity." And the New Catholic Encyclopedia also says: "The doctrine of the Holy Trinity is not taught in the O(ld) T(estament)."
Note: The plurality of persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) of God drove Adam out of Eden.
Genesis 3:22-23 Then the LORD God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever"; therefore the LORD God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken.
Note: Angels do not make decisions with God.
Page 6: Similarly, in his book The Triune God, Jesuit Edmund Fortman admits: "The Old Testament ... Tells us nothing explicitly or by necessary implication of a Triune God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit ... There is no evidence that any sacred writer even suspected the existence of a (Trinity) within the Godhead .... Even to see in (the "Old Testament") suggestions or foreshadowings or 'veiled signs' of the trinity of persons, is to go beyond the words and intent of the sacred writers." - Italics ours.
Note: The plurality of persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) of God diversified language.
Genesis 11:6-9 And the LORD (singular) said, "Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. Come, let Us (plural) go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another's speech." So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city. Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the LORD (singular) confused the language of all the earth; and from there the LORD (singular) scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.
Page 6: An examination of the Hebrew Scriptures themselves will bear out these comments. Thus, there is no clear teaching of a Trinity in the first 39 books of the Bible that make up the true canon of the inspired Hebrew Scriptures.
Note: Jehovah's Witnesses have more in common with Muslims than with Christians.
Isaiah 48:12-17 "Listen to Me (the Son), O Jacob, and Israel, My called: I am He, I am the First, I am also the Last. Indeed My hand has laid the foundation of the earth, and My right hand has stretched out the heavens; when I call to them, they stand up together. All of you, assemble yourselves, and hear! Who among them has declared these things? The LORD (the Father) loves him; He shall do His pleasure on Babylon, and His arm shall be against the Chaldeans. I, even I, have spoken; Yes, I have called him, I have brought him, and his way will prosper. Come near to Me, hear this: I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; From the time that it was, I (the Son) was there. And now the Lord GOD (the Father) and His Spirit (Holy Spirit) have sent Me (the Son)." Thus says the LORD (the Son), your Redeemer, The Holy One of Israel: "I am the LORD your God, Who teaches you to profit, Who leads you by the way you should go."
Note: Is Jesus Christ your God? Are you following Jesus Christ?
John 10:27 "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me."
Page 6: WELL, then, do the Christian Greek Scriptures ("New Testament") speak clearly of a Trinity? The Encyclopedia of Religion says: "Theologians agree that the New Testament also does not contain an explicit doctrine of the Trinity."
Note: The Encyclopedia of Religion is not Scripture.
Luke 10:21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, "I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight."
Page 6: Jesuit Fortman states: "The New Testament writers ... give us no formal or formulated doctrine of the Trinity, no explicit teaching that in one God there are three co-equal divine persons ... Nowhere do we find any trinitarian doctrine of three distinct subjects of divine life and activity in the same Godhead."
Note: The plurality of persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) of God helps Christians.
Isaiah 41:13 "For I, the LORD your God, will hold your right hand, Saying to you, 'Fear not, I will help you.'"
John 14:16-17 "And I (the Son) will pray the Father, and He (the Father) will give you another Helper, that He (Holy Spirit) may abide with you forever; the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you."
Page 6: The New Encyclopedia Britannica observes "Neither the word Trinity nor the explicit doctrine appears in the New Testament." Bernhard Lohse says in A Short History of Christian Doctrine: "As far as the New Testament is concerned, one does not find in it an actual doctrine of the Trinity."
Note: The plurality of persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) of God instructs Christians.
John 14:26 "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you."
1 Thessalonians 4:9 But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another;
Page 6: Yale University professor E. Washburn Hopkins affirmed: "To Jesus and Paul the doctrine of the trinity was apparently unknown; ... they say nothing about it." - Origin and Evolution of Religion.
Note: The plurality of persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) of God creates godly relationship.
Ephesians 2:18 For through Him (the Son) we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.
Galatians 4:6 And because you are sons, God (the Father) has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, "Abba, Father!" (not "Abba, Jehovah")
Page 6: Historian Arthur Weigall notes: "Jesus Christ never mentioned such a phenomenon, and nowhere in the New Testament does the word 'Trinity' appear. The idea was only adopted by the Church three hundred years after the death of our Lord." - The Paganism in Our Christianity. Thus, neither the 39 books of the Hebrew Scriptures nor the canon of 27 inspired books of the Christian Greek Scriptures provide any clear teaching of the Trinity.
Note: The plurality of persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) of God empowers Christians.
Isaiah 43:12 "I have declared and saved, I have proclaimed, and there was no foreign god among you; Therefore you are My witnesses," Says the LORD (the Son), "that I am God."
Acts 1:7-8 And He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."
Note: Are you a Jesus Witness or is your testimony of someone or something else?
Page 6: DID the early Christians teach the Trinity? Note the following comments by historians and theologians: "Primitive Christianity did not have an explicit doctrine of the Trinity such as was subsequently elaborated in the creeds." - The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology. "The early Christians, however, did not at first think of applying the (Trinity) idea to their own faith. They paid their devotions to God the Father and to Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and they recognized the ... Holy Spirit; but there was no thought of these three being an actual Trinity, co-equal and united in One." - The Paganism in Our Christianity.
Note: Early Christians worshipped the Father and the Son in the Spirit without reservation.
Luke 4:8 And Jesus answered and said to him, "Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship (proskuneo) the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.'"
Luke 24:51-53 Now it came to pass, while He blessed them, that He was parted from them and carried up into heaven. And they worshiped (proskuneo) Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple praising and blessing God.
Page 7: "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 .... Among the Apostolic Fathers, there had been nothing even remotely approaching such a mentality or perspective." - New Catholic Encyclopedia.
Note: There was no need to have a full explanation of God until the Council of Nicea in 325.
Arius, (AD 256?-336), was a priest of Alexandria, Egypt, who founded an early Christian theological view called Arianism. About AD 318, Arius challenged the doctrine that the three Persons of the Christian Trinity - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit - were equal. Arius taught that God the Father ranks above the Son, who is Jesus Christ, and that both rank higher than the Holy Spirit. 2001 World Book Encyclopedia.
Note: The Apostolic Fathers taught and worshipped the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Be eager, therefore, to be firmly grounded in the precepts of the Lord and the apostles, in order that "in whatever you do, you may prosper," physically and spiritually, in faith and love, in the Son and the Father and in the Spirit, in the beginning and at the end, together with your most distinguished bishop and that beautifully woven spiritual crown which is your presbytery and the godly deacons. Ignatius letter to the church at Magnesia 13:1, circa 108 AD.
Page 7: Justin Martyr, who died about 165 C.E., called the prehuman Jesus a created angel who is "other than the God who made all things." He said that Jesus was inferior to God and "never did anything except what the Creator ... Willed him to do and say."
Note: The Watch Tower quoted Justin Martyr out of context.
Hence are we called atheists. And we confess that we are atheists, so far as gods of this sort are concerned, but not with respect to the most true God, the Father of righteousness and temperance and the other virtues, who is free from all impurity. But both Him, and the Son, and the prophetic Spirit, we worship and adore, knowing them in reason and truth, and declaring without grudging to every one who wishes to learn, as we have been taught. THE FIRST APOLOGY OF JUSTIN, chapter 6.
Page 7: Irenaeus, who died about 200 C.E., said that the prehuman Jesus had a separate existence from God and was inferior to him. He showed that Jesus is not equal to the "One true and only God," who is "supreme over all, and besides whom there is no other."
Note: The Watch Tower quoted Irenaeus out of context.
Therefore neither would the Lord, nor the Holy Spirit, nor the apostles, have ever named as God, definitely and absolutely, him who was not God, unless he were truly God; nor would they have named any one in his own person Lord, except God the Father ruling over all, and His Son who has received dominion from His Father over all creation, as this passage has it: "The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit at my right hand, until I make Your enemies Your footstool." Here the [Scripture] represents to us the Father addressing the Son; He who gave Him the inheritance of the heathen, and subjected to Him all His enemies. Since, therefore, the Father is truly Lord, and the Son truly Lord, the Holy Spirit has designated them by the title of Lord.
Irenaeus, Book 3, Chapter 6.
Page 7: Clement of Alexandria, who died about 215 C.E., called Jesus in his prehuman existence "a creature" but called God "the uncreated and imperishable and only true God." He said that the Son "is next to the only omnipotent Father" but not equal to him.
Note: The Watch Tower quoted Clement of Alexandria out of context.
This visible appearance cheats death and the devil; for the wealth within, the beauty, is unseen by them. And they rave about the carcase, which they despise as weak, being blind to the wealth within; knowing not what a "treasure in an earthen vessel" we bear, protected as it is by the power of God the Father, and the blood of God the Son, and the dew of the Holy Spirit. But be not deceived, you who have tasted of the truth, and been reckoned worthy of the great redemption. Who is the Rich Man That Shall Be Saved?, section 34.
Page 7: Tertullian, who died about 230 C.E., taught the supremacy of God. He observed: "The Father is different from the Son (another), as he is greater; as he who begets is different from him who is begotten; he who sends, different from him who is sent." He also said: "There was a time when the Son was not .... Before all things, God was alone."
Note: The Watch Tower quoted Tertullian out of context.
Bear always in mind that this is the rule of faith which I profess; by it I testify that the Father, and the Son, and the Spirit are inseparable from each other, and so will you know in what sense this is said. Now, observe, my assertion is that the Father is one, and the Son one, and the Spirit one, and that They are distinct from Each Other. This statement is taken in a wrong sense by every uneducated as well as every perversely disposed person, as if it predicated a diversity, in such a sense as to imply a separation among the Father, and the Son, and the Spirit. Tertullian, Against Praxeas, Chapter 9.
Page 7: Hippolytus, who died about 235 C.E., said that God is "the one God, the first and the only One, the Maker and Lord of all," who "had nothing co-eval (of equal age) with him ... But he was One, alone by himself; who, willing it, called into being what had no being before," such as the created perhuman Jesus.
Note: The Watch Tower quoted Hippolytus out of context.
The Logos alone of this God is from God himself; wherefore also the Logos is God, being the substance of God. Now the world was made from nothing; wherefore it is not God; as also because this world admits of dissolution whenever the Creator wishes it. Book 10, chapter 29.
Note: Nothing in this world or creation is of equal age as God.
You shall escape the boiling flood of hell's eternal lake of fire and the eye ever fixed in menacing glare of fallen angels chained in Tartarus as punishment for their sins; and you shall escape the worm that ceaselessly coils for food around the body whose scum has bred it. Now such (torments) as these shall you avoid by being instructed in a knowledge of the true God. Book 10, chapter 30.
Page 7: Origen, who died about 250 C.E., said that "the Father and Son are two substances ... two things as to their essence," and that "compared with the Father, (the Son) is a very small light."
Note: The Watch Tower quoted Origen out of context.
For none of these plainly declared His Godhead, as John does when he makes Him say, "I am the light of the world," "I am the way and the truth and the life," "I am the resurrection," "I am the door," "I am the good shepherd;" and in the Apocalypse, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last." We may therefore make bold to say that the Gospels are the first fruits of all the Scriptures, but that of the Gospels that of John is the first fruits. The Commentary on the Gospel of John, section 6.
Note: Men of God admit that Jesus Christ is God.
But the Son Himself, the glorified God, the Word, has not yet come; He waits for the preparation which must take place on the part of men of God who are to admit His deity.
The Commentary on the Gospel of John, section 9.
Page 7: Summing up the historical evidence, Alvan Lamson says in The Church of the First Three Centuries: "The modern popular doctrine of the Trinity ... Derives no support of the language of Justin (Martyr): and this observation may be extended to all the ante-Nicene Fathers; that is, to all Christian writers for three centuries after the birth of Christ. It is true, they speak of the Father, Son, and ... holy Spirit, but not as co-equal, not as one numerical essence, not as Three in One, in any sense now admitted by Trinitarians. The very reverse is the fact."
Note: Polycarp glorified the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit when he was martyred.
"For this reason, indeed for all things, I praise you, I bless you, I glorify you, through the eternal and heavenly High Priest, Jesus Christ, your beloved Son, through whom to you with him, and the Holy Spirit be glory both now and for the ages to come. Amen."
The Martyrdom of Polycarp 14:3, circa 167 AD.
WORD FAITH INDEX