Is The Trinity A Biblical Concept?

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“…we worship one God in Trinity, Trinity in Unity; Neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Substance. For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost is all one: the glory equal, the majesty coeternal. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Ghost. The Father uncreate, the Son uncreate, and the Holy Ghost uncreate. The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Ghost incomprehensible. The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Ghost eternal. And yet they are not three Eternals, but one Eternal….So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God. And yet they are not three Gods, but one God.” —Athanasian Creed

 

While the Watchtower Society admits that the doctrine of the Trinity “has been the central doctrine of the churches for centuries.”—Should You Believe in the Trinity, p. 3, they deny that it has any basis in the Bible. They argue: “Moses reminded the Israelites that ‘Jehovah our God is one Jehovah.’ (Deuteronomy 6:4) Jesus Christ repeated those words. (Mark 12:28-29) Therefore, those who accept the Bible as God’s Word do not worship a Trinity consisting of three persons or gods in one. In fact, the word ‘Trinity’ does not even appear in the Bible.”—KNOWLEDGE That Leads to Everlasting Life, p. 31

Notice how in trying to refute the Trinity doctrine, the Society misstates it (“three…gods in one”). While it is true that the word “trinity” is not found in the Bible, this does not mean that it is not a Biblical concept. The word “theocracy” is not found in the Bible, yet it is a Biblical concept found prevalent in the history of the nation of Israel as recorded in the Old Testament.

Although the doctrine of the Trinity was not formulated into liturgical worship until it was codified in the creeds of the fourth century, the concept of the Trinity can be found throughout the Old and New Testaments and in the writings of the Ante-Nicene Fathers. In the Scriptures, we read that there is only one God (Isaiah 43:10-11; 44:6,8; 45:21-23; 46:9), and yet the Father is called “God” at 1 Peter 1:2, the Son is called “God” at John 20:28, and the Holy Spirit is called “God” at Acts 5:3-4. The Scriptures also reveal that each member of the Trinity has the attributes of Deity and performs activities that only God can perform. Note the following charts:

DIVINE QUALITY
THE FATHER
THE SON
THE HOLY SPIRIT
OMNIPRESENCE
Jeremiah 23:24; 1 Kings 8:27
Matthew 28:20; 18:20; John 1:48
Psalm 139:7
OMNISCIENCE
Psalm 147:5; 1 John 3:20; 1 Kings 8:39
John 16:30; 2:24-25
1 Corinthians 2:10-11
OMNIPOTENCE
Jeremiah 32:17,27; Matthew 19:26; Luke 1:37; Psalm 135:6
Matthew 28:18; John 16:15; Hebrews 1:3
Romans 15:19
HOLINESS
Revelation 15:4
Acts 3:14
Romans 1:4
ETERNITY
Psalm 90:2; Romans 16:26
Hebrews 7:3; Isaiah 9:6; John 8:58
Hebrews 9:14
Each described as the TRUTH
John 7:28
John 8:32,36; 14:6; Revelation 3:7
John 16:13; 1 John 5:6-7
LORD
Luke 1:32; 10:21
Romans 10:9; Philippians 2:11
2 Corinthians 3:17
GOD
1 Peter 1:2; Philippians 2:11
2 Peter 1:1; Titus 2:13; John 1:1; 20:28; Hebrews 1:8
Acts 5:3-4; 1 Corinthians 3:16-17
ALMIGHTY
Genesis 17:1
Revelation 1:8; 22:12-13, 20
Zechariah 4:6

DIVINE WORK
THE FATHER
THE SON
THE HOLY SPIRIT
CREATION
Genesis 2:7; Psalm 102:25; Isaiah 44:24
John 1:3; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:2
Genesis 1:2; Job 33:4; Ps. 104:30
INCARNATION
Hebrews 10:5
Hebrews 2:14; Philippians 2:7
Luke 1:35; Matthew 1:18
CHRIST’S RESURRECTION
1 Thessalonians 1:10; Romans 6:4; Ephesians 1:20
John 10:17-18; John 2:18-22
Romans 1:4; 8:11
THEY SANCTIFY
Exodus 31:13; Jude 1
Hebrews 2:11; 10:10
1 Peter 1:2
THEY ARE LIFE
Deuteronomy 30:20
Colossians 3:4; John 14:6
Romans 8:10
GIVE ETERNAL LIFE
Romans 6:23
John 10:28
Galatians 6:8
RAISE THE DEAD
John 5:21a; Deuteronomy 32:39
John 5:21b
Romans 8:11
INSPIRE PROPHETS
Hebrews 1:1
2 Corinthians 13:3
Mark 13:11; Acts 28:25-27

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit….”—Matthew 28:19

Notice that the word “name” is singular (not plural i.e., “names”). Also, the definite article “the” is placed in front of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, thus implying plurality within unity. The Trinity is not Modalism—the view that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all one person; nor is it Tritheism—the view that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three separate Gods. Although the Trinity cannot be totally comprehended, it can be apprehended and seen illustrated in the world of nature. Take, for example, an illustration involving three candles. Even after lighting each candle, they are still separate and distinct. However, when one combines each of the three flames together, they become one flame. In the same way, each member of the Trinity is separate and distinct, yet they are one God. As Walter Martin founder of the Christian Research Institute put it:

“God is not triplex (1+1+1)—He is triune (1X1X1), and he has revealed Himself fully in the Person of our Lord, Jesus Christ (Col. 2:9, John 14:9).” —Christian Research Institute tract,Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Trinity

“Neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Substance….And yet they are not three Gods, but one God.” —Athanasian Creed

IS THE HOLY SPIRIT A PERSON?

  • He testifies about Christ (John 15:26).
  • He intercedes for believers (Romans 8:26).
  • He teaches believers (John 14:26; Revelation 2:7; 1 Timothy 4:1).
  • He has a “will” and issues commands (1 Cor. 12:11; Acts 8:29; 13:2-4; 16:6).
  • He guides believers (John 16:13; Romans 8:14).
  • He has a “mind” and “searches all things” of God (Romans 8:27; 1 Corinthians 2:10-11).
  • He has emotions and can “grieve” (Ephesians 4:30; Isaiah 63:10).
  • He is treated as a person and can be lied to (Acts 5:3), blasphemed (Matthew 12:31), and tempted (Acts 5:9).How can an “impersonal force” do things that only a person can do?

THE JEHOVAH WHO WAS SEEN BY OLD TESTAMENT BELIEVERS IS JESUS.

  • No man has seen God at any time; the only begotten God, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.” —John 1:18
  • “In the year King Uzziah’s death, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted…Woe is me, for I am ruined!…For my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.” —Isaiah 6:1, 5
  • “…yet they were not believing in Him; that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled….These things Isaiah said, because he saw His glory, and spoke of Him. Nevertheless many even of the rulers believed in Him….” —John 12:37, 41-42

He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how do you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” —John 14:9

THE JEHOVAH WHO CREATED THE UNIVERSE “ALL ALONE” IS THE JESUS WHO CREATED EVERYTHING THAT HAS EVER EXISTED.

  • “I the LORD, am the maker of all things, Stretching out the heavens by Myself, And spreading out the earth all alone.”—Isaiah 44:24
  • All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.” —John 1:3

IS JESUS YOUR “ONLY LORD”?

  • “And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.” —John 17:3

If Jesus is not the “only true God,” but is rather just a “second God” under the True God, according to this passage, He must be a false God. While all other so-called “gods” (1 Cor. 8:5) are not “gods” “by nature” (Gal. 4:8), Jesus is by “very nature God” (Phil. 2:6).

  • “For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him….For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form.” —Colossians 1:19; 2:9
  • “For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me….I am He, I am the first, I am also the last.” —Isaiah 46:9; 48:12
  • “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.” — 1 Timothy 1:17
  • “…do not mention the name of other gods, nor let them be heard from your mouth.” —Exodus 23:13
  • “If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” —John 14:14
  • “…ungodly persons who…deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”—Jude 4

For more information see:

bullets Yes, You Should Believe in the Trinity – A Page-by-Page Response to the Watchower’s Trinity Brochure

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