The Trinity on Trial An in-depth examination of a doctrine

Why the Trinity is an Illogical Farce: Fallacy of Equivocation

Introduction to the Fallacy

In Trinitarianism, the one true God is the Triune God, a three person being. Now try to be honest with yourself and ask yourself what Paul the Apostle of Jesus really and truly intended to tell us when he wrote this:

Therefore concerning the eating of things sacrificed to idols, we know that there is no such thing as an idol in the world, and that there is no God but one. For even if there are gods, whether in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords, yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him. (1 Corinthians 8:4-6).

Notice that Paul does not identify the one God as a Triune Being. He did not say, "for us there is one God: the Triune God." He identifies our one God as the Father. While Trinitarians insist that the one God is not one person, Paul does identify the one God as one person: the Father. Nor does Paul identify our one Lord as a Triune Being. Rather he identifies our one Lord as Jesus Christ.

An illusionist does his deceptions by keeping you focused on one thing so that you don't notice another. In Trinitarianism, what they like to do is keep all the attention on whether or not Jesus and the Holy Spirit are "God." In doing this, they keep your attention off the real question.

The Only True God

At John 17:3, Jesus makes a very important statement:

This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

Father.... You, the only true God.... "

When this verse is pointed out, most Trinitarians respond in this manner:

The passage does not say "only the Father is the true God." It rather says that the Father is the only true God. The Father is the only true God, the Son is the only true God, and the Holy Spirit is the only true God.

Now think about that carefully for a minute. In Trinitarianism, the one true God is the Triune God. Now let us try out their claim:

The Father is the Triune God, the Son is the Triune God, and the Holy Spirit is the Triune God.

It didn't work. In Trinitarian doctrine, the Father is not the Son or the Holy Spirit or vice versa and the Holy Spirit is not the Father or the Son or vice versa. And neither are any of them the Triune God for that would be saying one person is three persons. So why didn't it work? You will soon see.

Notice the statement:

Jesus is the one true God (True in Trinitarianism).

The one true God is the Triune God (True in Trinitarianism).

Jesus is that one true God (False in Trinitarianism).

What just happened there? Why didn't that work? Later in this article, you will see quite clearly what happened. But let us first observe this:

Jesus is the one true God (True in Trinitarianism).

The one true God is the Triune God (True in Trinitarianism).

Jesus is not that one true God (True in Trinitarianism).

Is.......is not......is........is not.... the foundation of illusionists. We will also decisively prove that the following is necessarily true in Trinitarian doctrine:

Jesus is the one true God (True in Trinitarianism).

The one true God is the Triune God (True in Trinitarianism).

Jesus is not that one true God (True in Trinitarianism).

Jesus is another true God (True in Trinitarianism).



A Doctrine from Logic and Reason

The first important thing to realize here is that the doctrine of the Trinity is a teaching that is arrived at by logic and reason. This doctrine is not taught anywhere in the Bible. Trinitarians come to their conclusions by observing statements made in several Bible verses and they reason out that God is three persons in one divine substance. If their reasoning is incorrect, the doctrine is also incorrect.

Some Trinitarians like to claim their doctrine is incomprehensible complete with a quotation of Isaiah 55:3, "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," declares the LORD." But so what? God's thoughts are not our thoughts. We are not talking about God's thoughts but our own human reasoning process that Trinitarians have used to conclude their doctrine. Since there is no Scripture verses which says anything like, "The one God is three persons," no Trinitarian can show you their doctrine without appealing to reason. Indeed, their doctrine is the product of reason. It is therefore quite insane to claim their own reasoning cannot be comprehended.

Some Trinitarians like to claim they should just "accept the doctrine of the Trinity on faith." What exactly are we to accept on faith? This doctrine is not taught anywhere in Scripture. What then do these people expect anyone to accept? The only thing then that one could possibly "accept on faith" is that other men have reasoned out this doctrine correctly. Now why would anyone desire to blindly accept what other men say? Do we not kow that this kind of response is just how every false teacher out there would hope we would respond? Only a madman would accept things on blind faith, and without question, from other men when Jesus and his Apostles repeatedly warned us that men, wolves in sheep's clothing, would deceive the flock with well-turned words. But such are the statements of people who do not wish to even entertain their beliefs might be erroneous.

Now while there is much more to it than the simple argument which follows, the following argument illustrates the basic way which Trinitarians themselves claim their reasoning and conclusions are correct:

Premise 1: The Bible teaches that there is only one God.

Premise 2: The Bible teaches that there are three distinct persons called God, known as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Conclusion: The three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are the one God.

Sounds plausible doesn't it? Well it should sound plausible. If it didn't at least sound plausible then nobody would believe it. But the question is not whether it sounds plausible. Fallacies sound plausible. The question is whether this reasoning is plausible.

The doctrine of the Trinity is a farce because it cannot be maintained without implementing the fallacy of equivocation, or by admitting that Jesus is another God in addition to the Triune God. This will be illustrated quite clearly. In logic and reason, a conclusion is completely false if it can be shown that the fallacy of equivocation is used in the argument and the argument stands or falls where the fallacy is used. So let us first review the nature of this fallacy.



The Nature of the Fallacy of Equivocation

The English word fallacy is a nice sounding word for a deception, a mistaken conclusion. This word ultimately comes from the Latin word fallere, to deceive. A fallacy is an argument that can sound plausible at first but is completely erroneous and misleading. Essentially, it is a misleading argument which results in a farce, a ridiculous or totally empty conclusion.

The Fallacy of Equivocation is the misleading use of a word with more than one meaning in an argument (by glossing over which meaning is intended at a particular time). Here is a humourous example of the fallacy of equivocation resulting in a complete farce:

The sign said, "FINE for parking here."

So I thought it was fine to park there.

As you can see here, the word "FINE" was used in two different ways in the argument which results in a fallacy, a farce, a completely ridiculous conclusion. In the first statement, the word FINE has a definition meaning a financial penalty. But in the second statement, the word FINE has a definition meaning acceptability. The letters "F", "I", "N", and "E," are the same in each statement. This set of letters sounds exactly the same in each statement. The result is that the argument "sounds" right because the same word is used. But it is a complete illusion resulting in a ridiculous conclusion. This is because the two concepts behind the word "FINE" in each sentence are completely different. When we present logical arguments, we are not comparing sets of alphabet letters and comparing how they sound from one instance to the next. Rather, we are dealing with a comparison of CONCEPTS.

If you watch closely, you will find that this fallacy is a common device of false teachers in Christianity. It is really quite easy to deceive people using this fallacy when the concepts behind the letters of words are more subtle than our example above. The way to flesh out an error like this is to use a different word with the same meaning which clarifies the error.

The sign said, "FINANCIAL PENALTY for parking here."

So I thought it was ACCEPTABLE to park there.

Here we illustrate the truth of the matter by comparing the TRUE difference in the two concepts being compared. The argument is not only ridiculous, it also sounds and appears more absurd that it did when the same words were used. And it more reflects the ludicrosity of the argument in a way less confusing to human minds. When we examine the concepts, the definitions, behind the words more carefully, we can discover how absurd an argument really is. This is what we will also later show with the Trinity doctrine.

Here is another example:

The sign at the beach said: "Man-eating sharks in the water."

"Since I am a woman I thought I did not need to worry about man-eating sharks."

In this example, the word "man" means "human" in the first statement but means "male gender" in the second statement. As you can see, the difference in the concepts, the definitions, behind the words is more subtle than it was in our first example. This is how the Trinity fallacy works.

Now let us look at how deceptive these fallacies can get. In the Bible, we are told that God called the man and woman he created by the name "Adam."

At Genesis 1:27 we are told God created man in his image. The word used there is "Adam," the Hebrew word for "human." And we are also told God made "Adam" male and female. We find the same thing at Genesis 5:2 which says, "He created them male and female, and blessed them and called them Adam in the day they were created.

So let us conclude then that both Adam and Eve are Adam. This sounds a lot like what Trinitarians claim doesn't it? Jesus is the Son of God and Jesus is God. Eve is the wife of Adam and is Adam. But is she? No. Eve is adam, not Adam. She is human, not the identity Adam.

Carefully observe how that subtle difference in terms, a simple capital letter, changes the definition of the word. Adam means the first man. The word "adam" simply means "human" and can refer to any man. And so we were able to create an absurd argument from Scripture that Eve was Adam. It sounded good and we used Scripture to do it. But it was a complete farce. The Trinitarian argument is created and falls apart in exactly the same way.



The Trinity Farce

What many people do not know is that the doctrine of the Trinity implements the same kind of fallacy in their argumentation, the fallacy of equivocation. Let us remember that the Fallacy of Equivocation is the misleading use of a word with more than one meaning in an argument (by glossing over which meaning is intended at a particular time). Trinitarians arrive at an absurd conclusion because they use two different definitions of the word "God" in their argumentation.

Let us look again at their basic argument. But let us also make Premise 2 into a statement which is completely true in Trinitarianism:

Premise 1: The Bible teaches that there is only one God.

Premise 2: The Bible teaches that the one God is the Triune God.

Conclusion: Each of the three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are that one God.

Their argument cannot work this way can it?

Trinitarians use more than one definition of the word "God" in their argumentation and this is why the doctrine turns out to be a farce.

1. God - a divine nature/essence.

2. God - a personal being

But it gets even worse. There are actually five or more definitions of the word "God" in Trinitarian doctrine.

1. God - a divine nature/essence of three persons

2. God - a person who is the Father of Jesus

3. God - another person who is the Father's son

4. God - yet another person who is the Holy Spirit

5. God - and yet another identity who is the Triune Being

Now if you have been following along, you can see how easy it is for them to commit the fallacy of equivocation and make an argument which might "sound" good (because they always use the word "God") but in the end their conclusion results in an absurdity because they have used different definitions of the word "God" in their argument and have thereby compared two or more different concepts just like the examples above. Let us now review what that absurdity is.

The word "God" in the Scriptures refers to the Creator, the personal identity who created the universe. However, Trinitarians have created other definitions for the word God as we have seen above.

Because God is regularly identified as a "HE" and "HIM" and "I" and "ME," Trinitarians are forced to admit their Triune God is a single personal being. While they refuse to admit that a single personal being is a person, they do insist that their one God is a single personal being and identity which is why this God can say "I" and "ME" and be referenced as "HE" and "HIM."

And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, "Which commandment is the first of all?" Jesus answered, "The first is, "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.' The second is this, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." And the scribe said to him, "You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that He is one, and there is no other but He; and to love Him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength, and to love one's neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices." And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God."

This results in 4 WHO's, 4 HE's. There is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. In Trinitarian doctrine this is three WHO's, three "HE's". But they also have one more WHO, one more HE, the Triune God, HE,HIM, who refers to HIMSELF as "I" and "ME". And that is the God they don't like to talk about when they are reasoning out their doctrine. That is only the God they want to find in conclusion.

Trinitarians want you to spend all your time focusing on whether or not the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, are three persons who are the one and only God. They want to take your attention off the fact that their one and only God is the Triune God in their argumentation process. They do not want you to ask where the Triune God fits in their argument. They only want you to see their Triune God is the conclusion to their argument.

It is quite easy to claim three things are one. Three feet are one yard. Three persons are one trio. Three persons are one human nature. All you need to do is put three things into one category. So when Trinitarians claim three persons are one God, and they implicitly mean that these three persons are one divine nature, it is quite easy to persuade people. This is true because six billion humans are one humanity and one flesh. Same thing.

But they wish to stop right there. However, they cannot stop there. There is another WHO, another HE. The one God of Scrpture is a WHO, a personal identity.



The Deception Precisely Illustrated

When Trinitarians say, "the Father is the one God, the Son is the one God, the Holy Spirit is the one God," they implicitly define the word "God" to mean "divine nature/essene." Hence, they are saying "the Father is the one divine nature/essence, the Son is the one divine nature/essence, and the Holy Spirit is the one divine nature/essence." That is about as simple as saying, "the three, Adam, Eve, and Abel are one human nature."

HOWEVER, and this is the critical turning point, Trinitarians ALSO define "the one God" as the Triune Being, the one Triune God. And now it does not work to say, "the Father is the Triune God, the Son is the Triune God, the Holy Spirit is the Triune God." Let us now return to their "logic."

It is quite easy to make a claim that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one divine nature. It is just as easy as claiming Adam, Eve, and Cain were one sinful flesh. But the God of the Bible is not simply a nature. The God of the Bible is a personal identity who has a divine nature in the same way that Adam is a personal identity that has a human nature.

Now since there is only one God, any claim that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are that one God, IS ALSO a claim that each of these three are that one and only personal identity, the one "I" who created the universe. But in the doctrine of the Trinity, each one of these three persons is not this one "I." In Trinitarianism that one "I" would be the one Triune God. None of these three are that one Triune God. Rather they are each only one hypostasis of that one Triune God.



In Trinitarianism this problem results in:

Jesus is the one true God (the one divine nature)

Jesus is not the one true God (the one Triune God who created the world)

Now if you are a thinking person, you know by the above two statements that we have a serious deception on our hands. Let us now illustrate their fallacy of equivocation clearly:

Premise 1: There is one WHO.

Premise 2: Father, Son, Holy Spirit, are each the one WHO.

Conclusion: The three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are the one WHO.

FALSE.



Premise 1: There is one WHO.

Premise 2: Father, Son, Holy Spirit, are each the one DIVINE NATURE.

Conclusion: The three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are the one DIVINE NATURE.

Fallacy of Equivocation - using a word with two different definitions in the same argument does not result in a logical conclusion. Let us try one more time:


Premise 1: There is one DIVINE NATURE.

Premise 2: Father, Son, Holy Spirit, are each the one DIVINE NATURE.

Conclusion: The three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are the one DIVINE NATURE.

Presuming Premise 2 is correct, and presuming the Holy Spirit is a separate third person (both of which this site denies), this argument is TRUE.

Now here is the most important question of all. When the Bible says that there is one God, is it referring to a WHO or a WHAT (divine nature). It is referring to a WHO, a personal IDENTITY. The one God is a LORD, a personal identity, a personal authority, a personal identity to be loved. The one God is not simply a "divine nature" that is possessed by three persons. Divine natures do not created universes, beget sons, Lord over creation, or anything of the like. Personal identity does such a thing. The one God is a Lord of the chosen people of God, a personal authority figure to be served.

And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, "Which commandment is the first of all?" Jesus answered, "The first is, "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.' The second is this, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." And the scribe said to him, "You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that He is one, and there is no other but He; and to love Him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength, and to love one's neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices." And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God."

Jesus and the Jewish scribe understood that the words "the Lord our God the Lord is one" to mean the Lord is one "HE" not one nature.

Let us use the word WHO rather than the word "God" and see what happens.

Premise 1: There is one WHO. TRUE

Premise 2: The Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, are each that one WHO. FALSE

Conclusion: The three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are the one WHO. FALSE

The Trinity is FALSE. You see, all you need to do is ask a Trinitarian to define his terms.

Worship Jesus' God.


In Trinitarianism, there is the one God, the Triune God, and Jesus is "another God." He certainly is not the Triune God. So when it is said by Trinitarians that Jesus is God it means "Jesus is divine by nature" because it cannot mean "Jesus is that one Triune God." Hence, their own doctrine results in there being the one Triune God and Jesus is another God because the word "God" in the second statement is another definition for the word "God", another God. Indeed, it also means, in the very same way, that the Father is another God. Different definitions of God (i.e. defining different identities) means you have different Gods on your hands, different YAHWEHs, different Lords.

Or their own doctrine results in Jesus truly being truly God (truly divine by nature) and the Triune God is another God (not a divine essence but the one being who created the universe) since the word "God" in each of these two claims is different by definition. Six of one, half dozen of the other.

This can be further demonstrate in this way. At 1 Corinthians 8:6, Paul says that we have one Lord, Jesus Christ. Quote this verse and ask a Trinitarian if his one Lord is Jesus Christ? Once he answers, ask him if his one Lord is Jesus or the Father or the Holy Spirit or the Triune God.

Essentially, Trinitarians are trying to persuade people they can have their cake and eat it too. They wish to persuade you Jesus is the one God. But at the same time they wish to persuade you that the Triune God is their one God. Jesus is not that one God because that one God is the Triune God and Jesus is not the Triune God. Hence, they must either accept there are two Gods, the one that Jesus is and the one that Jesus is not. Or they must confess their doctrine is wrong. Their only other option is denial.

Therefore concerning the eating of things sacrificed to idols, we know that there is no such thing as an idol in the world, and that there is no God but one. For even if there are gods, whether in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords, yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him. (1 Corinthians 8:4-6).

There is one God, the Father, and there is one Lord Jesus Christ and this one God, the Father, is the God of this one Lord, "the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." Worship not any other God than the God Jesus worshiped and served.

Last Updated: November 4, 2011

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