The Trinity Delusion An exposť of the doctrine of the Trinity

Colossians 2:9


For in him all fullness of deity dwells bodily.


The Trinitarian Claim

Trinitarians claim this verse indicates that that 'Jesus is God' because it says all the fullness of deity dwells in him bodily.


The Claim vs. The Facts

The facts show that Paul is referring to Jesus Christ's glorified state and how God dwells in the risen Jesus bodily.


The Problems with the Claim

1. Translations

"For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead corporeally." (Douay-Rheims).

"For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily" (ASV).

"For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily" (KJV).

"For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily" (ESV).

"For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form" (NIV).

"For in him dwells the whole fullness of the deity bodily" (NAB).

"For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form" (NASB).

For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily (NRSV).

"For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily" (RSV),


2. Theotēs

Older translations will translate the Greek word theotēs as "Godhead." For some unknown reason, many Trinitarian laypeople think this particular word implies the notion of a three-person God. But this notion is simply mistaken. This word simply meant "God-HOOD" and it was not a particular word used for the notion of a three person being. In modern English, we would express the same idea by saying something like "God-NESS" or "deity" in a qualitative sense. Here Paul is saying that the essence of Jesus Christ's God dwells in the risen Jesus bodily. The word theotes is not referring to "who" but "what."


3. Trinitarian Inconsistency

Just what are Trinitarians trying to argue? The text says the fullness of deity dwells in him bodily. His body is his human nature. On one hand Trinitarians argue that the fleshly body of Jesus is his humanity. On the other hand, they are here arguing that he is bodily "God." His divine nature and his human nature are two distinct and different things in their own doctrine. But here it is as if they want to claim his human nature ("bodily") is deity. In Trinitarian doctrine, you can say a divine identity is deity but you can't say his human nature is deity. Deity was not hanging dead on cross; humanity was. This claim doesn't make any sense and they are contradicting their own doctrine.


4. Mistaken Trinitarian Assumptions

Trinitarians recklessly presume this verse can be applied to Jesus "in the days of his flesh" (Heb 5:5) and they do this routinely even though Paul says we no longer know Christ according to the flesh (2 Cor 5:16). But the context shows beyond any doubt that Paul is obviously referring to the risen Christ.


5. Colossians 1:19

At Colossians 1:19, Paul is referring to the same thing where he says, "in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell." In context, it is clear that he is referring to the glorified Christ, the "firstborn of the dead."


6. Colossians 2:10 and Ephesians 3:19

The very next verse indicates the Colossians were made to have the fullness of deity dwell in them. We would obviously not suppose they are God. And again at Ephesians 3:19, Paul says, "that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." We wouldn't suppose this means believers are God.


Analysis of the Facts

1. Paul is referring specifically to the RISEN Christ

The context of Colossians 2:9 clearly demonstrates that Paul is referring to the RISEN Christ.

a. Paul is referring to Christ in the PRESENT TENSE signifying that he is referring to the risen Christ.

For in him all the fullness of deity dwells bodily, and in him you have been made full, and he is the Head of all rule and authority and in him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands...

b. Paul also emphasizes that all the full of deity dwells in Christ bodily because he is speaking to members of the Body of Christ and showing them what is theirs in Christ, "but the Body is Christ" (2:17). The body of Christ are those who are "in" the risen Christ.

For in him all the fullness of deity dwells bodily, and in him you have been made full, and he is the Head of all rule and authority and in him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands...

Paul also tells the Colossians they have been "made FULL" in Christ. This can only refer to being made FULL in the risen Christ.

c. When God raised Jesus from the dead, He raised him far above all "rule and authority" subjecting all things to him (1 Cor 15:27; Hebrews 2:5-9). For this reason, all things are (lit.) Headed up in Christ (Ephesians 1:9-10) which is what Paul is talking about here in Colossians 2:10.

For in him all the fullness of deity dwells bodily, and in him you have been made full, and he is the Head of all rule and authority and in him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands...

Again, it is quite clear Paul is referring to the risen Christ.

d. Paul explains the Colossians had been raised from the dead together with Christ.

For in him all the fullness of deity dwells bodily, and in him you have been made full, and he is the Head of all rule and authority and in him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands. in putting off the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; 12 having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with him....

The immediate context leaves absolutely no doubt whatsoever that Paul is specifically referring to the risen Christ. Therefore, there is no warrant to abusively apply this text to the uncrucified Jesus in the days of his flesh.


2. The same FULLNESS of deity dwells in all true Christians

In the very next verse, Paul tells the Colossians they are made FULL in Christ:

For in him all the fullness of deity dwells bodily, and in him you have been made full.

The Greek word used in verse 10 is plēroō which is the verb form of the noun plērōma used in verse 9. The are verb and noun forms of the same Greek concept. Paul says essentially the same thing in the letter to the Ephesians:

that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:17-19.

The Colossians also had the fullness of deity dwelling in them. Having the fullness of God does not mean you ARE God. It means the fullness of the Spirit of God dwells in you. All the fullness of deity, the fullness of God, was in Jesus bodily. All the fullness of deity was in the Colossians as well. The Colossians were "partakers of the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4) which means they are "partakers of the Spirit" (Heb 1:4) and this is how they are made full in the risen Christ. The risen Christ baptizes in the Holy Spirit because he was raised to be "life-giving Spirit" (1 Corinthians 15:45); the Lord IS the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:17;4:5). To be "in Christ" means to be in the resurrection life of Jesus who was raised body in the Spirit of Holiness (Rom 1:4). We no longer know Christ according to the flesh but Christ according to the Spirit (2 Cor 5:16; 1 Peter 3:18). The Spirit dwells in the body of Christ, that is, in those Christians are comprise his body. They are made FULL in the risen Christ because the fullness of that Spirit dwells in the risen Jesus bodily.


3. The Fullness of Knowledge and Wisdom

In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul explains that the "wisdom of God" is made known to us in the Spirit. The Spirit reveals to us the very depths of God. And this is precisely what Paul is talking about at Colossians 2:9. Notice the context:

to all the riches that come from the full assurance of understanding into knowledge of the mystery of God and Christ in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this so that no one will delude you with persuasive argument.... See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. For in Him all the fullness of deity dwells in bodily...

Paul's point here is that all the fullness of God's knowledge and wisdom is made known to us through the Spirit when we are in Christ because all that fullness dwells in the risen Christ who was bodily clothed and consumed in the Spirit of the Living God when he rose from the dead. The Spirit dwells in the risen Jesus bodily and that is itself the fullness of deity because the Spirit communicates all the treasures of God and heaven to us. Notice what Paul said:

The "fullness" Paul has in mind is most specifically the fullness of wisdom and knowledge that we have in Christ and he mentions this to the Colossians so that they realize they do not need to be led into deception by men and their philosophies. This fullness comes from the Spirit in us and this is true of Jesus "bodily" because his crucified body was "swallowed up" by the Spirit when he rose from the dead such that he is bodily "life-giving Spirit."

Also compare the following two passage from Colossians and note how Paul is having similar thoughts:

we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be FILLED with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light. 1:9-12.

and

to all the riches that come from the FULL assurance of understanding into knowledge of the mystery of God and Christ in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this so that no one will delude you with persuasive argument.... Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude. See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. For in Him all the FULLNESS of deity dwells bodily and in him you are made FULL...

4. Partakers of the Divine Nature

Believers are "partakers of the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4) because they are "partakers of the Holy Spirit." This is why they have this same fullness of deity dwelling in them as Jesus has dwelling in him bodily. Christians have the fullness of God dwelling inside them in terms of the Holy Spirit dwelling in their hearts. But Christ has the fullness of God dwelling in him bodily because he is bodily glorified. His crucified body was consumed and clothed in the Holy Spirit of God. A crucified body is one which has been clothed with the immortality of the Spirit which gives life. For that reason, the risen Jesus is life-giving Spirit (1 Cor 15:45); the Lord is the Spirit (2 Cor 3:17) and we are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:17-18). And all believers will bear that same image when they resurrected (1 Cor 15:49). Christians, the body of Christ, has this same fullness because this fullness because Jesus was bodily raised to become life-giving Spirit. As such they are partakers of the divine nature and will have all the fullness of deity dwelling in them bodily when they are resurrected. This is what true sonship means.


Conclusion

The Trinitarian claim is built on a house of sand, a false premise. Trinitarians are simply supposing that if all the fullness of deity dwells in Christ then we are to suppose he is God by identity. However, the Colossians also had the fullness of God dwelling in them because they are members of the body of Christ. The fullness in question is the riches of heaven we have in the Spirit of God dwelling in us, the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every Spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ


Last Revision/Update: March 27, 2016


 HOME