The Trinity is the main Christian belief which states that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are one God. This section will discuss the trinity, and see if it is really from God or not. Jesus (Peace be upon him) never told that he is God, but he rather said that the Father is the only true God, as mentioned before, Jesus didn’t say anything concerning the Trinity. However there are some verses Christians cite to prove the Trinity.
God using the plural for Himself?
Christians usually cite Genesis 1:26 where God used the plural form when talking about Himself:
Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.
Actually using the plural is not a proof that God is more than one person. This has been a language commonly used by kings as a way of glorifying, which was called “the royal we” or majestic plural (pluralis majestatis in Latin, literally, “the plural of majesty”), which is the use of a plural pronoun (or corresponding plural-inflected verb forms) to refer to a single person holding a high office, such as a sovereign (e.g., a monarch) or religious leader (e.g., the Pope).(Source here). No one said that these kings or popes who used this form are 3 persons in one human being. However it was understood that it was just for glorification.
Same thing applies here on God in Genesis 1:27 and the next verse prove that it is just related to glorification not to physical three persons:
Genesis 1:27 And God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
If Genesis 1:26 really mean the trinity, Genesis 1:27 would have been like that: “And God created man in their own image” for the verses to be consistent. Otherwise, this proves that the former verse was just used for glorifying, otherwise this will mean that the other two persons went away, and only one person remained of whom man was created on his image.
Also using the word Elohim for God which is a plural form in Hebrew is commonly cited by Christians to prove that. However, if this is considered to be a proof for the trinity, then we would say that Moses as well is a trinity as Exodus 7:1 uses the word Elohim when it says that Moses is a god to the Pharoah:
Exodus 7:1 And the LORD said to Moses, See, I have made you a god (elohim) to Pharaoh: and Aaron your brother shall be your prophet.
The baptismal formula is frequently used as a proof that God is a trinity where Jesus said to his disciples:
Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit:
There are some comments on this verse:
- The verse doesn’t say that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are one, all what it said is to baptize people in the name of the 3 of them. Saying name not names doesn’t mean that the 3 are one. When a leader tells his soldiers: “fight your enemies in the name of the country the people and the king” doesn’t mean that the 3 are one. Otherwise, if we used the same way, we can have another Trinity from the Bible:
1Timothy 5:21 I charge you in the sight of God, and Christ Jesus, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing by partiality.
It is the first time to hear that the elect angels became the third person in the Trinity and it didn’t say “in the sights” but rather “in the sight”. So if Matthew 28:19 really meant that the Father, son and holy spirit are one God, then 1 Timothy 5:21 tells that the third person of the trinity would be the elect angels not the holy spirit.
- The apostles didn’t respond to what Jesus ordered in this verse, since the baptismal formula was never told that way by the apostles, but they were always baptizing people in the name of Jesus, and they were baptizing the Jews only not the gentiles, only Paul and Baranabas (who were not present when Jesus said the above) baptized the gentiles.
- There is a problem in the canonicity of the verse itself as Eusebius quoted it, “Go ye and make disciples of all the nations in my name.”(Church history 3.5.2). Basil said that he knew nothing about it:
”Of the rest I say nothing; but of the very confession of our faith in Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, what is the written source? If it be granted that, as we are baptized, so also under the obligation to believe, we make our confession in like terms as our baptism, in accordance with the tradition of our baptism and in conformity with the principles of true religion, let our opponents grant us too the right to be as consistent in our ascription of glory as in our confession of faith.” (Source here)
Johannine Comma (1 John 5:7)
May be this verse in 1 John 5:7 is the only verse that states the Trinity explicitly and says that God is three in one:
1John 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
However, there is a problem in its authenticity among Christians themselves. This verse was omitted from most of the Bible translations, and most Christians agree that it was added to the Bible, Albert Barnes says in his commentary:
“The reasons which seem to me to prove that the passage included in brackets is spurious, and should not be regarded as a part of the inspired writings, are briefly the following:
- It is missing in all the earlier Greek manuscripts, for it is found in no Greek manuscript written before the 16th century.
- It is missing in the earliest versions, and, indeed, in a large part of the versions of the New Testament which have been made in all former times. It is wanting in both the Syriac versions – one of which was made probably in the first century; in the Coptic, Armenian, Slavonic, Ethiopic, and Arabic.
III. It is never quoted by the Greek fathers in their controversies on the doctrine of the Trinity – a passage which would be so much in point, and which could not have failed to be quoted if it were genuine; and it is not referred to by the Latin fathers until the time of Vigilius, at the end of the 5th century.” (Source here)
God met with Jesus and the Holy Spirit
A common verse also used is the following verse:
And Jesus when he was baptized, went up straightway from the water: and lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon him; (Matthew 3:16)
Actually it is not clear how this verse proves the Trinity, it doesn’t say that the 3 persons are one, all what it says is that they were present with each other for a moment; neither it says that the Son or the Holy Spirit are God.
What we can conclude is that there is no solid ground for the belief in Trinity, all the verses used are not that serious, and doesn’t give the real description for the Trinitarian belief, but they can have many meanings, which doesn’t match with a belief that is supposed to be the basic belief, and other scripts were inserted to the Bible to try to get an evidence for that belief, which proves that this was a major problem that faced Christians for centuries.
What we can conclude is that there was no solid ground for the belief in Trinity, all the verses used are not that serious, and doesn’t give the real description for the Trinitarian belief, but they can have many meanings, which doesn’t match with a belief that is supposed to be the basic belief, and other scripts were inserted to the Bible to try to get an evidence for that belief, which proves that this was a major problem that faced Christians for centuries.