Trinity on Trial An in-depth examination of Trinitarian doctrine
The Divine Nature Fallacy


Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven. (1 Corinthians 15:49).

One of the false premises of Trinitarian doctrine involves the idea that if Jesus has a divine nature then this would prove he is "God" by identity. This fallacy of equating what Jesus is to who Jesus is constitutes the the basic premise of the Trinitarian model. In Trinitarianism, it is argued that since the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit all have a divine nature, they are all therefore "God" and the oneness of unity between these three rests on the premise that they all have one divine nature. The oneness of God is that divine nature.

However, this premise is demonstrated to be obviously false when it is realized that all believers are sharers in the divine nature even now and will be even moreso in their resurrected states. There are two Bible passages which reveal this quite clearly.

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and viture, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, that through these you may become partakers of the divine nature having escaped the corruption that is in the world. (2 Peter 1:4).

For in him dwells all the fullness of the deity bodily and you are made full in him. (Colossians 2:9-10).

At 2 Peter 1:4, we are told that believers are partakers (koinonos) of the divine nature. And at Colossians 2:9, Paul tells us the fullness of deity was pleased to dwell in Jesus bodily. This is the same idea expressed at Colossians 1:19 referring to the fullness of God taking u[ residence in Jesus, the firstborn of the dead, in his resurrection. The word used at Colossians 2:9 translated as "fulness" is the Greek word pleroma. The word used at Colossians 2:10 is pleroo, the verb form of the same word. So, Paul is saying that in Christ we too have this same fullness of deity. Sharing in the divine nature of God does not qualify one to be God by identity.

Theios

The word translated as "divine" at 2 Peter 1:4 is the Greek word theios. This word is also used at Acts 17:29.

Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device. (KJV).

Being then the children of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man. (NASB).

Being then God's offspring, we ought not to think that the Deity is like gold, or silver, or stone, a representation by the art and imagination of man. (RSV).

Being then the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and device of man. (ASV).

Being, therefore, offspring of God, we ought not to think the Godhead to be like to gold, or silver, or stone, graving of art and device of man. (Young's Literal).

Being therefore the offspring of God, we must not suppose the divinity to be like unto gold or silver or stone, the graving of art and device of man. (Douay-Rheims).

Since therefore we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the divinity is like an image fashioned from gold, silver, or stone by human art and imagination. (NAB).

Therefore since we are God's offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone--an image made by man's design and skill. (NIV).

The NASB translates this word here as "divine nature." However, the word "nature" does appear at 2 Peter 1:4 in the Greek text but it does not appear in Acts 17:29. The word theios is derived from the Greek word theos, "God." It is the adjective form of the noun theiotes used at Romans 1:20. The idea behind this word is to stress the power of the divine nature of God. It refers to the divinity of God in a more functional sense.

Theotetos

This word is distinguished from theios and theiotes in that it does not refer to the divinity of God in a functional sense but in a substantial sense. It refers to the essence of the divinity of God. This word is only used at Colossians 2:9 in the Scriptures. In that passage, Paul is referring to the fact that all the fullness of the Father's deity was pleased to take up residence in the risen Jesus. The word katoikei used in both verses means "to take up permanent residence." The idea here is that all the fullness of God the Father was pleased to take up permanent residence in the body of Jesus when he rose from the dead. Paul presents the same notion at Colossians 1:18-19 and is re-emphasizing this reality here.

The Pleroma

Paul teaches that the fullness of the divinity of God was pleased to take up residence in Jesus bodily. He then goes on to say that we too are "made full." The word used here is pleroo, the verb form of the noun pleroma used in verse 9. In other words, Paul is saying that we believers enjoy this same fullness of deity in Chirst because that fullness is in Christ and we have been made full of deity due to his fullness of deity. The idea here is that all Christians are the body of Christ and all the fullness of deity is in the body of the risen Christ. This is essentially the very same idea that Peter is indicating in his first letter, "partakers of the divine nature." This fullness of deity is simply another way of saying we have been filled with the Holy Spirit. Jesus is bodily filled with the Holy Spirit now that he is risen in a way we do not yet experience.

Life-giving Spirit: The Significance of the Resurrection

At 2 Corinthians 3:17 Paul says, "the Lord is the Spirit" in reference to Jesus Christ. For Paul "the Lord" is Jesus Christ. Pauls says the Corinthians are a letter of Christ written by the Spirit of the living God. He says that where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom. This is basically the same concept Paul discusses in Galtians 4-5 where he talks about the Spirit of God's Son and by this Spirit we have freedom. This is a troublesome passage for Trinitarians since Paul is saying that Jesus is the Holy Spirit. However, in Trinitarianism, Jesus is not the Spirit but a distinct person from the Spirit. This problem for Trinitarians illustrates their misunderstandings concerning the relationship of God, His Son, and the Holy Spirit.

When Jesus rose from the dead, Paul tells us that he was raised "life-giving Spirit." The word "life-giving" is literally "life-doing" or "life-making." The idea here is that the Spirit is the power of life. The same word and concept is found at verse 22 and 36. Paul also has the same concept in mind at Romans 10-11 where he says the "Spirit is life" where he also says God will make our mortal bodies alive. The Spirit in view is the Holy Spirit. The same concept is also found at Romans 1:4 which teaches Jesus was raised in the "Spirit of Holiness" and 1 Peter 3:18 where we find Jesus was "made alive in the Spirit." At 2 Corinthians chapter 3, where we find Paul saying, "the Lord is the Spirit," we also find him saying "The Spirit makes alive" in verse 6, using the same word he uses at 1 Corinthians 15:45. The intent of all these passages is to indicate that Jesus was made alive by the power of the Holy Spirit which consumed his mortal body and this is the means by which he rose from the dead.

At 1 Corinthians chapter 15, Paul is describing the nature of the resurrected body. When he says that Jesus was raised life-making Spirit, he does not mean Jesus became a spirit as opposed to a physical body. The idea here is that the Holy Spirit of life swallowed up the human body of Jesus and because the Spirit is life and the flesh is death, mortality was swallowed up in immortality. The same thing happens when we consume an apple. That apple becomes us and the apple becomes one with our flesh. In Jesus' resurrection, the Spirit consumed the body of Jesus such that the body of Jesus became one with the Holy Spirit and there is no division between the two.

When Jesus walked the earth, the Holy Spirit was one thing and his human body was another thing and the two were together but had a horizon between them. They were distinct from each other. However, when Jesus rose from the dead, the Holy Spirit and his body became one new creation, one thing, not two. This is why Jesus is the "new Adam," the "second and last Adam." It means he is a new kind of humanity, a divinized humanity of immortality.

God is spirit. The Holy Spirit is the spirit of our Holy God. When Jesus rose from the dead, this Spirit of Jesus' God, his Father, became one with him. This is what Paul means when he says all the fullness of the deity was pleased to dwell in him. The very same thing will happen to us when we are raised from the dead. The Bible says our bodies will be made to be like Jesus' body of glory and we will bear the image of the man of heaven bodily. This did not make Jesus "God" and it will not make us "God" either. "God" is the Father and although we will share his nature we will not be Him.

If indeed the Trinitarian argument made any sense the Trinitarian would have to admit that if Jesus is God, and that if we will become just like him and bear his image when we are raised from the dead, then we will also be "God." In fact, Trinitarians use this type of argumentation to promote the idea that Jesus is God with passages such as Colossians 1:15 and Hebrews 1:3. Here we can see the complete fallacy of this type of thinking. Sharing the nature of God does not qualify one to be identified as God anymore than sharing the nature of Adam qualifies us to be identified as Adam. In His love, God is making us like Him by nature but He is not making us be Him by identity.

The concept of humanity being divinized is understood among many Trinitarian scholars. It is usually called "theosis" or "divinization" (not to be confused with divination). This doctrine is however kept relatively quiet in the world of Trinitarianism because it has consequences against the doctrine of the Trinity. Most Trintarians are completely ignorant concerning the nature of the resurrection of the body or at best have a very vague notion. The fact that Jesus was divinized when he rose from the dead also demonstrates he was not divine before he rose from the dead. To this the Trinitarian will of course argue that his human nature was divinized but not his divine nature. However, he has a huge problem on his hands here. Trinitarian theology does not distinguish between Jesus having two natures either before or after his resurrection.

The very fact that we will also share the divine nature of God bodily when we are raised from the dead should cause the Trinitarian to pause. This divine nature of God won't qualify us to be God by identity. So why then does the Trinitarian insist the divine nature of Jesus qualifies him to be "God?" He is caught in his own contradiction.

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