The Trinity Delusion An examination of the doctrine of the Trinity

The Fact List

Inconvenient Facts

Assuming I have the time, I anticipate this list will grow substantially. If there is anything in this list which you believe to be inaccurate please contact me.

General Facts

  • It is common to insist that the doctrine of the Trinity is the central and/or the most important doctrine in Christianity.

  • No New Testament writer ever attempts to elucidate anything which resembles the doctrine of the Trinity.

  • Trinitarians commonly insist that the doctrine of the Trinity, while not explicitly taught in the Scriptures, is nevertheless "taught" (i.e. inferred) in the Scriptures.

  • The one true God is the main character of the Scriptures and He is mentioned thousands of times.

  • Not one single unambiguous mention of a three person being can be found anywhere in the Scriptures.

  • The doctrine of the Trinity is not simply that there are three persons but that there are three persons who are also one being/God. Counting "one, two, three" does not amount to a three person being or the doctrine of the Trinity. Counting to three amounts to three. That these three are also one being (ousia) is an additional concept not stated in the Scriptures.

  • The purpose of singular personal pronouns in Hebrew and English is to signify a single person is being identified.

  • The one true God of the Bible was/is one "I", "Me", "He", and "Him."

  • Trinitarians deny that the one true God a single "person" and insist rather that the one true God is a single "being."

  • Paul identified the one God of the Christians as a single person.

  • In Trinitarian doctrine, the third person of the Trinity conceived Jesus but somehow the first person of the Trinity turns out to be Jesus' father.

  • Trinitarianism implies that two day old baby Jesus was omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent.

Scriptural Facts

  • Jesus never identified himself as the one God of Israel.

  • The Jews charged Jesus with making himself "son of God."

  • The Jews handed over Jesus because of envy/jealousy.

  • Jesus identified his one God as his Father and indicated the God of his disciples was his Father.

  • There is nothing in the Bible which states that a previously existent divine person came down from heaven and went into the virgin Mary's womb.

  • There is nothing in the Bible which states God the Father placed anything in the womb of Mary.

  • The Scriptures state that the Holy Spirit conceived Jesus and that God the Father is Jesus' father.

  • The Scriptures say that Jesus was made like us in every respect.

  • The Scriptures say that God sent us son in the likeness of the flesh of sin.

  • The Scriptures say that death lorded over him.

  • The Scriptures say that Jesus grew in wisdom and knowledge.

  • The Scriptures say that Jesus does not know the day or hour but only the Father.

  • Jesus indicated his Father is "greater than I." The word "I" refers to person. This "I" would be the second person of Trinitarian doctrine.

  • Jesus learned obedience through suffering.

  • Jesus became perfect through suffering.

  • Jesus had a God.

  • Jesus has a God.

  • Matthew indicates Jesus' authority to forgive sins means this authority had been given to men.

  • Jesus indicated that he cast out demons by the Spirit of God.

  • Peter indicates Jesus was able to do miracles just as his disciples were able to do miracles - through the Spirit of His God and Father indwelling him.

  • The Bible never indicates Jesus created anything. It only says all things were created "through" or "by means of" Jesus who was God's Word which had become flesh.

    Genesis 1:26

  • Trinitarian scholars demonstrate their rejection of the Trinitarian apologetic claim by means of their variety of interpretations for Genesis 1:26.

  • God called both the first man and woman by the name "Adam."

  • A singular vs. plural interplay occurs at Genesis 1:26 concerning Adam (man).

  • The possibility that the image and likeness in question is "male and female" is ignored by Trinitarians.

  • The Book of Proverbs personifies Wisdom and contrasts her virtue with Folly the Adulteress. The book also ends with a description of the perfect wife.

  • Proverbs 8 indicates Wisdom was there in the beginning with God.

  • "The LORD acquired me," at Proverbs 8:22 is typical bride-price language.

  • The Wisdom of Solomon and Ecclesiasticus also portray Wisdom as an espoused bride.

    Isaiah 9:6

  • The Hebrew word EL was not translated as "God" in the Septuagint in this verse.

  • The Hebrew word EL, usually translated as "God" at Isaiah 9:6, can refer to anything which is "mighty" and is used in Scripture to refer to men, mountains, and trees.

  • The Hebrew word EL is usually accompanied by additional qualifying terms called "construct forms" when used of the one God of Israel.

  • In several translations, Trinitarian scholars have translated EL as "Mighty One" at Joshua 22:22 and Psalm 50:1 when it is clear this word EL is referring to the one God of Israel.

  • The ancient Israelites gave names to both people and places which did not describe the place or describe the infant bearing the name but which descriptively honored the God of Israel.

  • The term EL GIBBOR used at Isaiah 9:6 is used in plural form in Ezekiel to refer to human rulers.

    Micah 5:2

  • The Hebrew word olam used at Micah 5:2 is used in the Scriptures numerous times where it cannot possibily mean "eternity."

  • Jesus' ancestral Davidic origins were in Bethlehem where David was born about 1000 years prior to his own birth.

    Zechariah 12:10

  • Zechariah 12:10 contains Hebrew manuscript variations which read "him" instead of "me."

  • God is "mocked" not "pierced" in the (Greek) Septuagint version of Zechariah 12:10.

  • Jewish scholars translate the "me" version of Zechariah 12:10 as "look upon me concerning whom they have pierced and will mourn for him or some similar language. Christian scholars have openly agreed with the Jewish translation due to the nature of the Hebrew text.

    John 1:1

  • Trinitarians simply assume the word logos at John 1:1 is a reference to a person, namely, Jesus.

  • The Greek word theos is anarthrous at John 1:1c (the definite article is missing).

  • Colwell's Rule says that the grammatical structure of John 1:1 means theos could be read as definite at John 1:1c.

  • Most Trinitarian scholars insist the lack of the definite article at John 1:1c implies a qualitative understanding of theos.

  • Numerous Trinitarian scholars have insisted that if John had used the definite article it would have indicated exclusivity indicating that ONLY the Word was God and thereby excluding the Father. However, this same argument is not consistently applied to John 5:44, 17:3 and John 20:28.

    John 1:1

  • Both Trinitarians and JW's mentally replace the Word "Word" or "Logos" in John 1:1 with "Jesus" or "the Son" or some similar idea.

  • Both Trinitarians and JW's have two distinctly different definitions of the word "God" in this verse.

  • Both instances of the word "God" at John 1:1 are joined by the conjunction "and," and the word order in Greek reads, "God and God."
  • The words "in the beginning" are the opening words of Genesis where God creates by his spoken Word.

    John 1:2-3

  • The two Greek words, houtos and autos commonly translated as "He" and "Him" are not words which by themselves indicate a person is being referenced. These words are used in the Koine Greek language to simply refer back to the subject under discussion whether the subject is a person or an animate object.

  • The Bible indicates God created all things by His spoken Word.

    John 1:14

  • Trinitarians read this passage as "Jesus became flesh" rather than "The Word became Jesus."

    John 1:18

  • Early ante-Nicene christians almost always quoted "only begotten son" for John 1:18.

  • The manuscript evidence for the "only begotten God" version of John 1:18 is Alexandrian and was found near Nag Hammadi, Egypt.

    John 8:58

  • A blind man identifies himself as "I AM" (ego eimi) in John 9. Nobody seems to think he was invoking a divine name.

  • The Jews had asked Jesus if he was greater than Abraham. In chapter 1, John the Baptist explained that he who is before is greater. If Jesus claimed to be before then Jesus would be claiming to be greater.

  • The claim that one would need to claim to be God Himself to be guilty of blasphemy is simply false. Anything which was perceived to be a desecration of their God's name was considered blasphemy by the Jews.

  • Jews of the same stock stoned Stephen.

    John 10:33

  • The definite article is missing in the Greek text at John 10:33. If a Greek speaking person wanted to say, "you being a man make yourself a god" this is how he would say it in Greek.

  • At John 10:34, Jesus' response to the Jewish charge at John 10:33 strongly suggests that Jesus understood them to say "make yourself a god."

  • The full verse which Jesus quotes says, "I said you are gods and sons of the Most High." This suggests that sons of the Most High are the gods whom Yahweh is identifying.

    John 17:3

  • Trinitarian doctrine implies that Jesus could have just as easily said, "Father... this is eternal life, that they may know US the only true God.

    John 20:17

  • Jesus identifies his God as his Father and Mary Magdelene's God as his Father.

    John 20:28

  • The Greek grammar used at John 20:28 is the grammar one would use to refer to two persons. This is also stated in the Granville Sharp Sixth Rule. Trinitarians make an exception to the rule for this verse.

  • Trinitarians give no relevance to John 12:44-45 and John 14:9 when interpreting John 20:28.

  • The Spirit which proceeds from the Father was breathed into the disciples by the risen Jesus.

    Acts 2

  • Peter explains that Psalm 110:1 was fulfilled when God raised Jesus from the dead and seated him at His right hand.

  • Peter explains that Jesus "receive the Spirit" in his resurrection.

  • Acts 2:36 indicates that God "made" Jesus "Lord."

    Acts 10:33

  • Acts 10:30-33ff. indicates Psalm 2:7 was fulfilled when God raised Jesus from the dead.

  • The same idea is presented at Hebrews 1:4-5.

  • Important manuscripts read "church of the Lord" at Acts 20:28 rather than "church of God."
  • Paul did not use punctuation at Romans 9:5. Based on the grammar alone, three translations are possible, two of which would not identify Jesus as God.

  • The language and vocabulary of Paul used elsewhere in his writings does not support the Trinitarian interpretation of Romans 9:5.

    Hebrews Chapter One

  • The book of Hebrews was written to exhort Jewish Christians to refrain from returning to Judaism and the Law.

  • The Law was a "relgion of angels" and organized or patterned after angelic structures.

  • Jesus inherited a better name than the angels.

  • Jesus became superior to the angels.

  • The Greek word commonly translated as "world" does not refer to this earth but refers to the world to come.
  • The word "proskuneo" used at Hebrews 1:6, and commonly translated as "worship", was not used exclusively of God by ancient Jews.

  • Trinitarian scholars admit that the grammar of Hebrews 1:8, which literally reads, "the throne of you the god to the age of the age," allows the verse to be understood either as (1) 'God is your throne' or (2) Jesus' throne is God's throne. The entire chapter is about Jesus ascending to God's throne.

  • Hebrews 1:8 refers to Jesus' God, "God, your God has anointed you." The implication of the Trinitarian translation is that God has a God.

  • The subject of Hebrews 1:10 is identified in verse 13.

  • The writer presents Three "Jesus vs. Angels" constrasts/arguments in Hebrews 1. Verse 10 is the beginning of the 3rd.
  • 2 Peter 1:1 in the Codex Sinaiticus reads "our Lord and Savior" rather than "our God and Savior."

  • 1 John 5:7 is not found in any Greek (eastern church) manuscripts prior to the 15th or 16th centuries except as later marginal glosses.

  • 1 John 5:7 is found in Latin manuscripts (western church) as early as the fifth century.

  • No early Christian writer mentions 1 John 5:7 prior to the Council of Constantinople.

  • The earliest possible mention of a text which resembles 1 John 5:7 is found in Liber Apologeticus which is attributed to Priscillian or perhaps an associate of Priscillian.

  • Augustine, a Latin writer, who completed "On the Trinity" early in the fifth century, never once mentions 1 John 5:7.

Historical Facts

  • Theophilus of Antioch is the first known person to use the word "trinity" (Greek: trias). However, his use of the word is simply intended to denote the "threeness" of God, God's Word, and God's Wisdom.

  • Clement of Alexandria's writings reflect numerous concepts which are in common with Gnosticism which flourished in Alexandria. Origen was his disciple.

  • Tertullian used the word "trinity" (Latin: trinitas) to describe the Father, Son, Holy Spirit.

  • The Latin term persona, as used by Tertullian, did not mean the same thing as the English word "person." Persona was a reference to one's "role" or a "mask" worn by an actor. Incidentally, the word hypocrite is derived from the correlating Greek word.

  • The term homoousian was a philosophical term borrowed by the Gnostics from Greek philosophy and was being used by the Gnostics long before Nicea.

  • The term hypostasis was widely used among the Gnostics long before Nicea.

  • Fourth century documents indicate the concept of God as three hypostaseis or persons was first devised by the Gnostic Valentinus.

  • Alexandria was the center of Valentinian Gnosticism.

  • The term homoousian was rejected by the Synods of Antioch several decades before Nicea.

  • Constantine did not make Christianity a state religion. He only made Christianity legal to practice along with the many other religions of the empire.

  • Constantine intentionally refused baptism until his deathbed and was baptized at that time by the Arian bishop of Constantinople, Eusebius of Nicomedia.

  • Arius was recalled from exile and the Niceans were ordered to receive him into communion in Constantinople. He died under extremely suspicious circumstances before he made it to the church for that particular communion.

  • Athanasius was exiled five times. At least one of the exiles was due to his violence.

  • Prior to Nicea, and the influence of Athanasius, nearly every church leader observed some form of subordinationism.

  • The Nicene Creed as it is recited today was modified several decades after the council and is not the original form of the creed of Nicea. The modern version is rather the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed of 381 A.D. (or even perhaps a later modification of that creed).

  • The Nicene Creed does not attempt to identify the one God as a Triune being. The creed explicitly identifies the one God as the Father and identifies Jesus as the Son of that one God, and as such, it indicates the Son of that one God is the same substance homoousian as that one God.

  • The Council of Nicea did not turn out to be a theological agreement. Numerous church leaders went about their business as if the council never occurred, created their own creeds, and disputed the matter well into the fifth century.

  • The Council of Nicea did not deal with the doctrine of the Trinity. It was a Christological debate pertaining to the relationship between the Father and the Son and whether the Son was subordinate to the Father or equal to the Father. The matter of the Holy Spirit as a distinct third person was not even considered. At this point of history, "trinity" simply meant "three" in reference to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and did not mean "three persons, one substance." The word "trinity" was still a word which was used to primarily refer to the economic relationship of the three (function rather than ontological being).

  • The Council of Nicea anathematized anyone who denied the Father and Son were the same hypostasis. Today, Trinitarians deny the Father and Son are the same hypostasis. The word hypostasis and the word ousia seem to have originally been synonymous, or nearly synonymous terms. The terms were later redefined to suit Nicean theology several decades later by the Cappadocians (Gregory Nyssa, Gregory Nazianzen, Basil).

  • The concept of the Holy Spirit as an equal distinct third person of a Triune God developed under the theology of the Cappadocians about five decades after Nicea. This concept was met with significant disagreement among church leaders.

  • Emperor Theodosius imposed the Nicene definition upon the people of his empire as the definition of Christianity which he had made a state religion.

Philisophical Facts: Logic/Reason

  • Trinitarians have at least five key definitions of the word "God." If one of these definitions change in the middle or a logical argument, their argument becomes a logical fallacy.

  • A Mediator is by definition neither party in question. Jesus is indeed neither party in queestion at 1 Timothy 2:5. He is neither the one God nor the group of men for whom he mediates.

  • If the one God is one being because these three persons have one nature then to be consistent one must say Jesus is two beings because this one person has two natures.

  • If Jesus is the one true God this means Jesus is the one divine being. This would also result in Jesus the human being and Jesus the divine being or two beings.

  • Whether or not you qualify how Jesus grew in wisdom and knowledge, he still grew in wisdom and knowledge.

  • Whether or not you qualify how Jesus did not know the day and hour, he still did not know the day and hour.

  • Whether or not you qualify how Jesus has/had a God, he still has/had a God.

  • In Trinitarian theology, things are both true and false about the person Jesus at the same time.

Last Update: February 8, 2011