It is no secret that the Christian doctrine of the Trinity as such is not found in the Bible. It is systematized from various Biblical texts by later Christians to present one coherent and accurate teaching that attempts to unify all true believers. Traditional Christianity holds that:

  • The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are One God (not three Gods)
  • The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are equal in power and glory (same in essence).
  • The Father functionally is superior to the Son and the Holy Spirit (both Son and the Spirit are obedient to the Father).

As we think through this important topic, here are few things to keep in mind:

First, the original Christ-following movement was still very Jewish and as such was not very interested in doctrines per se. What really concerned first-century Jews was not so much the details of correct beliefs, but rather the details of holy living.

Second, some Jews even prior to Jesus thought of the relation between God and his Word in nearly identical terms as does John’s Gospel (John 1:1). Other pre-Jesus Jews, among many intriguing things, believed in the notion of “the Son of Man” as eternal heavenly being whom God will one day seat on the throne of His glory.

Third, while the Apostles did not think of the Holy Spirit as simply God’s power void of any kind of personality (as in Jehovah Witnesses’ theology) there is embarrassingly little about the divinity of the Holy Spirit in New Testament.

I, therefore, conclude that if the Apostles were presented with the Christian doctrine of Trinity in its traditional form they would be deeply puzzled as to why such a systematization was necessary or considered essential. But then after being pressed for an answer, they would have with some hesitation agreed that the basic ideas presented to them were correct.

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295 COMMENTS

  1. I appreciate him stating the basic tenets of this theology so concisely. However, I’m afraid it is diametrically opposed to Jesus’ lucid theology of John 17:1-5 that only the Father is God. Thus, Jesus’ God was not a multipersonal construct but was a real person, the Father, who was not only functionally superior but also ontologically as well in Jesus’ monotheistic theology. Thus, if the apostles were pressed for an answer about it, there is no doubt they would have condemned it as unscriptural and problematic.

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    • I believe in the Trinity because those that walk with Jesus could not truly understand His present so I can believe that this was above there knowledge at the time. God was talking to persons before man was made in God image.. God the Father can never be around sin. His plan to give man another time to fellowship with Him. God looked for a man to stand in the gap but found none so His sent His Son to tear down the wall that sin created. Jesus then returned then came the Holy Spirit to convict the world.

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    • There are many very good arguments for both positions. However, I'm sure the Apostles were intelligent enough to understand that Adam was made in the image of YHWH, therefore YHWN must have a feminine nature. The "Trinity" theory, while useful in Christian theology, leaves NO room for a feminine aspect of HaShem. A true scholar, not one attempting to rationalize or prove his or her own belief, would be open to embrace the Echad of the Father. Folks need to stop trying to prove their belief system and just embrace the Hebrew Scriptures.

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    • Then how do you deal with the prophecy in Isaiah 9:6-"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Jesus in His human form certainly prayed to His Father, His God but His relationship went further than any person can fathom because His very essence came from the Father and as such was prophesied as "The Everlasting Father". His submission is out and from relationship because it is familial.

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  2. In my humble opinion, I would conclude that... 1. GOD is a spirit being and HE alone is the FATHER GOD 2. JESUS (YESHUA) was a real "soul", with flesh and blood. HE alone is the SON OF GOD... 3. The HOLY SPIRIT was to come to us and be our "comforter". It was to lead us into all "truth"... JESUS said that the HOLY SPIRIT would not come until He had left, and had returned to GOD His FATHER where He was before He came to the earth as a baby. The trinity is false!
  3. The trinity is a false, Platonic construction thrust upon Christendom. Shema! Israel. The Apostles would have rejected the Trinity doctrine vociferously.
    • I believe the apostles understood the Trinity and believed. God the Father and the Holy Spirit are one in the same. If they are not, who is the Spirit Holy? Only God is worthy of being Holy. The Holy Spirit came upon Mary and she was with child. The Holy Spirit is the Father of Jesus who is half God /half human. Therefore, the Trinity exists. There is nothing our God cannot do and that means three beings at once. Just my opinion.
  4. What I think is irrelevant if it is not based on the biblical worldview of the Bible. I agree with Dr.Eli that the apostles believe that there is one God and not the trinity he ( God) was revealed or manifested through flesh, who is Jesus Christ our savior, to save us from our sins. When they looked at Jesus they were looking at God who was the express image of God.
  5. God is neither here nor there, neither Po nor Ti as the Greek philosophers would say. He is seen in all the universe. God is a term out of place because Elohim of the Torah is a plural word that means God and Goddess made the earth. Christians are being taught in the church thinking that God is a man sitting upon a cloud. God is within us when people learn the Torah Or.
  6. If the Trinity wasn't a concern to the earliest Christians, as you say here, and if they would have struggled to grasp it's meanings, how can we describe the doctrine as a successful attempt to "unify all true believers?" Wouldn't it rather be a source of division? Would not many of the earliest Christians have been heretics by later definitions?
    • That's a good question. I am not sure. BUT struggling to grasp the meaning of trinity is nothing usual, I don't know of one person who thought about it and did not struggle with it at all.

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    • We are very happy that you’ve joined our discussion forum. Would you believe that these articles are only a taste of what Israel Bible Center has to offer? We also provide comprehensive teaching on a variety of biblical, historical, and cultural topics. You might begin with The Story of Our Hebrew Fathers: Abraham and Isaac or The Revelation in a Jewish Context II : Discovery. You’ll be amazed at the Jewish world that awaits you. Don’t delay another minute: enroll now!
    • Can a man by searching find out God ? As I read my bible and ALL Scripture is inspired of God the Apostles certainly new God the Father Son And Holy Ghost. For instance we are baptised in each person Matt 28v19. In 2Cor 13v14 note the relationship one to the other. The Deity of Our Lord Jesus Christ 1John 1, Jn 3v13, Philippians 2v6. The Holy Ghost Gives gifts 1Cor 12v5-6.There is the sin against the Holy Ghost Matt12v32. He it was that overshadowed Mary. So we could continue. An interesting study.

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  7. What gets lost in the order of the trinity is the voice. Where does it come from? What does it offer? The Apostles took what was being offered. They received from His fullness (fully God & fully man). What about the Spirit? The Spirit gave testimony that Jesus was the Son of God (John 1: 34). The apostles were baptized with the Holy Spirit after Jesus showed them His hands, John 20:21 ( “forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors") How can we be baptized with the Holy Spirit before the Spirit reveals His Death & Resurrection?
  8. I am still thinking this one through. The problem I am having with the trinity has to do with the Son. I did not recognize Jesus as God's Son. I recognized Him as the Lamb of God. I see that John the Baptist accepted Jesus as the Lamb of God also. Is "all things were made through him" talking about creation or could it mean God Himself will provide the Lamb? (John 1:3) I see the test of Abraham “Take your son, your only son" but I don't know how to apply it here.
  9. I also believe we know in part and when Jesus return we will know in full. The Holy Spirit was sent for the believers and He cannot lie because He is the Spirit of truth. He would correct any false statements about God and the Son for believers. I am a believer and I have no reason or been convicted. Those that walked with Jesus could not understand the resurrection even when Jesus do not try to hide it from them. They started to understand a lot more was the Holy Spirit arrived. The Trinity is real, three are one
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