Why I’m No Longer A Trinitarian
Introduction & Part I
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Late in 2016, a crisis took place in my life. After years of being unable to understand the doctrine of the Trinity, God orchestrated some events that led me to a book that challenged my Trinitarian framework with arguments I could not refute. This excellent book is called, Divine Truth or Human Tradition, by Patrick Navas (2011). As a deacon, I could not read the book slow and meticulously without enormous guilt. I felt I was betraying my pastor, fellow deacons, and the church doctrinal statement.
Because a departure from a Trinitarian understanding of the godhead is enormous, God gave me peace to dedicate at least a year in careful study. During this year, the remaining walls supporting Trinitarianism collapsed from the weight of the truth.
Dear believer, if you are a Trinitarian and read this writing and don’t wrestle with the staggering evidence that Jesus is subordinate and unequal to the Father, then you may want to seriously question if the Bible is your final standard for faith and practice.
Don’t run from the evidence. How important is the truth to you? Do you allow the Bible to be “sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12)?
WHAT IS THE TRINITY
Most Christians believe that the Trinity means belief in the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. While Trinitarians believe in these three, this definition is not correct. Based on this definition, I’m still a Trinitarian.
Because the doctrine of the Trinity is not in the Bible, there exists some ambiguity within the true definition. Although the most common definition is something like this:
There is one God who is Triune. He eternally exists as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Each member is a person who is fully God in the absolute sense, equal in essence —yet there is only one God.
Don’t try to intellectually harmonize this doctrine. It’s not possible using God given, self-evident, established rules of logic.
HOW TO KNOW IF TRINITY IS TRUE
Most Christians just assume the Trinity is true because it’s widely believed. They even think it’s found in the Bible. They are ignorant of early church history (as I was) and assume it can be traced all the way to the early church.
Most Christians don’t objectively examine this doctrine in neutral to determine it’s truthfulness. Just because something is perceived as truthful, popular, and appears to be encased in concrete, doesn’t guarantee it is. Human sincerity is not inerrant.
What criteria should wise Christians use to determine if the Trinity is true? The Bible says, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” 2 Timothy 3:16, ESV. Therefore, the Bible, when interpreted correctly, —that is, while adhering to good principles of interpretation, decides if the Trinity is true or false.
When the Bible is interpreted through deep ceded Trinitarian presuppositions, the outcome with match the disposition. Stated differently, —when the Bible is interpreted under an overlay of held theology, the final result will match the overlay applied. This is why it’s important what method of interpretation one uses to determine a doctrine’s truthfulness.
There are two primary manners of biblical interpretation. One is called eisegesis. The Pocket Dictionary of Biblical Studies defines it, “Reading meaning into a text rather than reading a meaning from a text” (Patzia & Petrotta 40, 2002). Outside of a dictionary, it describes a manner of interpretation that is influenced by one’s beliefs. It involves reading held theology into the text. This method is subjective and doesn’t inform us if the Trinity is true.
The second method is called exegesis. This describes a manner of biblical interpretation that is performed objectively and in neutral. It doesn’t involve reading held theology into the text, but consists of drawing truth out, and is after the intended meaning of the author, as understood by the original audience. This method considers the historical context when written, it analyzes grammar when necessary and allows the Bible and the Holy Spirit of God to have free reign in the interpretation process.
Some honest theologians admit that the doctrine of the Trinity is not in the Bible. The New Bible Dictionary (third edition) defines the Trinity, “1. There is but one God; 2. the Father, the Son and the Spirit is each fully and eternally God; 3. the Father, the Son, and the Spirit is each a distinct person.” Strikingly, it goes on to admit, “Nowhere does the Bible explicitly teach this combination of assertions” (1982, 1209).
Some other Bible dictionaries admit that the doctrine of the Trinity is not found. The Harper’s Bible Dictionary states, “The formal doctrine of the Trinity as it was defined by the great church councils of the fourth and fifth centuries is not to be found in the New Testament” (1985, 1099).
This dictionary admits that the New Testament (NT) doesn’t teach this doctrine. Strikingly, it mentions the origination of this doctrine when it says, “[as] defined by the great church councils of the fourth and fifth centuries.” Without stating it explicitly, the great church councils referenced are a friendlier title for the Roman Catholic Church. They are the architect of this doctrine, as we will see.
A late theologian, named Dr. Charles Ryrie, wrote in his acclaimed book, Basic Theology, “Many doctrines are accepted by evangelicals as being clearly taught in the Scriptures for which there are no proof texts. The doctrine of the Trinity furnishes the best example of this” (1999, 89)
Charles Ryrie (who I suspect and hope was a Christian who loved God) was wrong on some things, including that “many doctrines are accepted by evangelicals … for which there are no proof texts.” Dr. Ryrie stands corrected. Most doctrines held by Evangelical, Biblical Christians contain many proof texts. Given that the doctrine of Trinity is a “core doctrine of the faith,” if you are a Trinitarian, his admission should shake your Trinitarian foundation its very core, because its not anchored in the Bible.
The Oxford Companion to the Bible writes, “Because the Trinity is such an important part of later Christian doctrine, it is striking that the terms does not appear in the New Testament. Likewise, the developed concept of three coequal partners in the Godhead found in later credal formulations cannot be clearly detected within the confines of the canon” (Bruce Metzger and Michael Coogan, 1993, 782).
This Trinitarian book makes some compelling admissions. The canon (which is the Bible) does not contain the doctrine of the Trinity and this doctrine is a product of “later credal formulations.” This is another friendly label for the Roman Catholic Church.
You must already know, that the quotes just provided doesn’t represent every Trinitarian scholar. Sadly, many still don’t admit that the Trinity is not found in the Bible, or that in its infancy it was produced by the Roman Catholic Church.
As these dictionaries implicitly communicate, no one today became a Trinitarian from reading the Bible alone. The doctrine of the Trinity is “learned theology.” So if you are a Trinitarian, just like myself, you didn’t learn this doctrine from the Bible.
Because some theologians provide Matthew 28:19 as a Trinitarian proof text, let’s examine it:
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (ESV).
When this verse is used as a Trinitarian proof text, it demonstrates how desperate, many sincere, God loving Christians are to prove a non-biblical doctrine.
Let’s probe this verse further to determine if it teaches the Trinity.
Does this verse say anything about a Trinity? That is, there is one God who is Triune who exists simultaneously as Father, Son and Holy Spirit (three-in-one)? No, it does not. As stated previously, the doctrine of the Trinity is not in the Bible. Therefore, it is often read into the Bible. Earlier we covered a common method of interpretation called eisegesis. When this subjective method of interpretation is used, the Bible can be made to support any doctrine.
Does this verse teach that each member is equal in essence? No, it does not. The word “essence,” nor this teaching is found.
Does this verse teach that Jesus eternally existed? No, it does not. While Jesus pre-existed His birth, is divine, is the God’s agent of creation, we will examine passages later that state Jesus really is God’s Son. That is, He is God’s Son because He was begotten before the foundation of the world.
Does this verse teach that the Holy Spirit is a separate person from God, who is a Spirit? No, it doesn’t.
In summary, Matthew 28:19 doesn’t teach the doctrine of the Trinity without adding theological presuppositions. It’s been said, “with presuppositions, the Bible can be made to walk across a table.”
There are thousands of pages of Christian writings that exist from the Ante-Nicene Fathers (start of Christianity to the First Council of Nicaea in 325). Not one church Father was a Trinitarian based on today’s post-Nicene definition based on their writings. The doctrine of the Trinity simply did not exist.
For sure there existed non-Trinitarian views of God. For example, Tertullian was the first Latin theologian to use the word “Trinity” based on preserved writings. According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, “Tertullian’s Trinity [is] not a triune God, but rather a triad or group of three, with God as the founding member” (https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/trinity/trinity-history.html —accessed on 4/14/2018)
Saying that Tertullian believed in the doctrine of the trinity because he used the word with a different meaning is like saying that President Lincoln believed in the internet if he used the word internet.
In the book, The Trinity, theologians Roger E. Olson and Christopher Hall admit, “what do we find in the writings of the Christian leaders during roughly the first sixty years of the second century CE? As we might expect, we do not find the developed Trinitarian language or theology that will blossom from the fourth century on” (2002, 16).
Please consider that these scholars also admit that today’s Trinity came out of the Roman Catholic Church, when they state, “Trinitarian language or theology that will blossom from the fourth century on.”
While the Trinity teaches there is one God (sometimes called “three in one”), there really are four Gods. Let’s count them.
The Triune God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (one God).
The Father is fully God (two Gods).
The Son is fully God (three Gods).
The Holy Spirit is fully God (four Gods).
So, how many God’s does the Trinity implicitly teach?
The Bible is a book with many absolutes. The number one means “one,” not two, three, or four. It’s a contradiction to believe and teach that there is one God, if there are three or more who are absolute God. The Bible contains no contradictions; introduced theology to the Bible creates contradictions.
THE TRINITY CAME OUT OF ROMAN CATHOLICISM
Constantine the Great became Emperor of Rome in 306. Some details of his life are significant. He was the first emperor to claim to be a Christian. This was a turning point in world history because previous emperors were pagans and Christians were often persecuted. As emperor, Constantine established preliminary groundwork for a marriage of “church and state” that followed his death. This continued for over 1000 years.
Constantine, with other dictators in this era are regularly assigned the honorary title of emperor. But in reality, based on today’s standards, he was a dictator. He didn’t win an election but became Emperor in part because his father was a co Roman emperor.
Constantine ordered bishops to attend the First Council of Nicaea in 325, after disunity developed in the empire over the divinity of Jesus in relation to His Father. This included the question of the eternal pre-existence of Jesus. Those who believed that Jesus was created were represented by a presbyter named Arius. The opposition was represented by Alexander and taught that Jesus had eternally existed with the Father.
Emperor Constantine sided with Alexander which resulted in condemnation of the view represented by Arias (that Jesus was created by God). A creed was drawn up that Constantine approved after requiring or favoring the insertion of the word “homoousios” (one substance or essence). Those who refused to sign the creed as ordered by Constantine were exiled to include Arias.
Interestingly, the creed produced by the First Council of Nicaea continued to call the Father “one God.” The belief in the Father alone as the one Unitarian God was common within the Ante-Nicene Fathers (What is the Trinity? Dale Tuggy, 2017, 48-51).
While this creed didn’t state that God is triune, consisting of three persons who are equally divine, it laid groundwork that was refined in future Roman Catholic church councils.
Now I want to cover some church history that very few Trinitarians mention or know of its existence. In fact, it’s often omitted in church history books.
After the First Council of Nicaea, where Constantine sided with Alexander against Arias, Constantine went home and murdered his wife and her son the following year.
Within three years, of the First Council of Nicaea, Constantine overturned his imperial backing of the First Council of Nicaea. Arias who was previously exiled was allowed to return to Constantinople and Alexander was banished in his place.
After the death of Emperor Constantine, who, on a side note, did get baptized at the end of his life and hopefully repented and was saved, official church councils followed that re-instated Arius’s view that Jesus was begotten and was not equal to the Father. One is the Synod of Antioch 341, and another one was held in Rimini in 359 (Restoring the Biblical Christ: Is Jesus God?, Jason Kerrigan, 2016, 8, Kindle edition).
So why if you “google” Roman Catholic Church councils, you will probably won’t see their existence? An important lesson from history is that winners often write history or attempt to “white wash” it in their favor. The Roman Catholic Church doesn’t consider church councils that opposed the First Council of Nicaea as valid by using the non-ecumenical argument, when several that they acknowledge as valid were not ecumenical.
So, how did the theology that Jesus is God of the First Council of Nicaea return and subsequently be enforced with the sword for over a 1000 years? In 379 A.D, Theodosius the Great became Roman Emperor who favored the previous orthodoxy championed at the First Council of Nicaea.
For a more detailed study of this time in history and how the theology from the First Council of Nicaea won in the end become of one emperor, please see the book already referenced called, Restoring the Biblical Christ: Is Jesus God?
Once Emperor Theodosius came into power, he began working to restore Nicene theology.
He ordered the First Council of Constantinople which took place in 381 that made Nicene theology the religion of the state.
The First Council of Constantinople modified Nicene theology by making the Holy Spirit equal to the Father and the Son.
I want to briefly examine this council in more detail from Wikipedia under the title, “First Council of Constantinople” which is being accessed on 3/22/18 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Council_of_Constantinople).
Please observe that they wrongly claim the previous council was the First Council of Nicaea. This omission as we discussed earlier is a cover for church councils that were more representative of the population of the empire that refused Nicene theology.
Please also observe that in attendance, the western half of the empire wasn’t represented. Pro-Nicene historians usually dismiss this problem by claiming that the western half of the empire did go on to embrace Nicene theology in the years that followed. But since the dictator Theodosius decreed that Nicene theology was the religion of the land, looking back from our perspective, they didn’t have much of a choice.
Please notice is says, “When Theodosius ascended to the imperial throne in 380, he began on a campaign to bring the Eastern Church back to Nicene Christianity.“
It was not the Christians, but dictator Theodosius making arrangement to force his theology on the known world.
It also states, “On his accession to the imperial throne, Theodosius offered to confirm Demophilus as bishop of the imperial city on the condition of accepting the Nicene Creed; however, Demophilus refused to abandon his Arian beliefs, and was immediately ordered to give up his churches and leave Constantinople .”
Before the Council of Constantinople, dictator Theodosius was getting things in order behind the scene to force his theology on the empire on a council, that unbelievably, the Roman Catholic Church calls ecumenical!
The article continues,
“After forty years under the control of Arian bishops, the churches of Constantinople were now restored to those who subscribed to the Nicene Creed; Arians were also ejected from the churches of other cities in the Eastern Roman Empire thus re-establishing Christian orthodoxy in the East.”
So not only was west of the empire excluded from the council, now we see that Theodosius made the east embrace Nicene theology before the commencement of council.
Once the proceedings take place, we have, “Thirty-six Pneumatomachians arrived but were denied admission to the council when they refused to accept the Nicene creed.”
The First Counsel of Constantinople was rigged to force Nicene theology on the known world.
In summary, the Roman Catholic Church produced the doctrine of the Trinity and became the judge of what is truth or heresy for over a thousand years. The Trinitarian book, Heresy, has a reasonable explanation of this occurrence, “What determines whether a set of ideas is heretical or not is whether those ideas are approved and adopted by those who happen to be in power. Orthodoxy is simply the set of ideas that won out; heresies are the losers” (Alister McGrath, 81, 2009).
THE TRINITY EXAMINED UNDER THE WORD OF GOD
While the development of the Trinity is troubling, it’s far more important what the Bible teaches. The truth or falsehood of the Trinity should NOT be decided based on today’s popularity, it’s past history, but under the searchlight of Scripture, while adhering to the exegetical form of biblical interpretation.
The Bible is God’s absolute and final authority for faith and practice (2 Timothy 3:16). This means that the Bible gets to define (not you or me) the identity of Jesus and His Father if we are to be correct. So, it’s not about upholding or defending one’s pet theology, a church doctrinal statement, what is popular, or following traditions of men.
This writing is not a substitute for your diligent study in God’s Word. Be very critical about what you read and hear if it’s not stated in God’s Word. And please know that God’s Word only has meaning in its original, historical context. Satan quoted God’s Word out of context when Jesus was tempted. As previously stated, we are after the original author’s intended meaning, as understood by the original audience. We must to read the Bible carefully, study it again and again, while compare Scripture with Scripture.
Because there is so much information to cover in this writing, the coverage of passages will not be in depth.
THE BIBLICAL MEANING OF THE WORD “GOD“
Many Christians think that Jesus is equal to God the Father (in essence) because He is called “God” in some passages. But this thinking, while usually sincere, is not exegetically sound. Many beings or persons in the Bible (both good and evil) are called “god.” Therefore, the title “God” alone doesn’t prove or disprove that Jesus is eternally co-equal to His Father.
To follow, will be a brief survey and not an exhaustive coverage of the word “god”:
In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word “elohim,” is one of the words used for god. It can describe the one true God (Psalm 114:7, etc.), false gods (2 Kings 17:31, etc.), foreign gods (Daniel 11:39, etc.), and good angels.
Here is a verse that indisputably assign good angels the title, “god:”
“5 Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor” (Psalm 8:5, ESV).
Most English Bible readers have no idea that angels are called “god” here. This verse has replaced the Hebrew word “elohim” (god) with the words, “heavenly beings.” However, the ESV does include a footnote that says, “Or than God; Septuagint than the angels.” For reference, the Septuagint is a Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament that was used during the time of Christ. Because the Hebrew Bible used the word “elohim” here for angels, angels are gods.
“7 All worshipers of images are put to shame, who make their boast in worthless idols; worship him, all you gods!” (Psalm 97:7). To ESV’s credit, they retained the word “gods” here for the Hebrew word “elohim.” If you believe the Bible, then you have to admit that angels are sometimes called “god.
In addition to angels, good judges are sometimes called God. These humans were assigned to speak for God in decisions they made for God. Because they spoke for God, they can and were called “god.”
“Then his master shall bring him to God, and he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost. And his master shall bore his ear through with an awl, and he shall be his slave forever” (Exodus 21:6).
“If the thief is not found, the owner of the house shall come near to God to show whether or not he has put his hand to his neighbor’s property” (Exodus 22:8).
Unfortunately, the ESV assigned the capital “G” to the word “god” in these verses. I suspect the translators purposefully capitalized the word “God,” so that most Bible readers would not know that humans were called “god.” While judges represented God, and were called “god,” they were not “God” with a capital “G.”
In addition to angels and judges, kings were sometimes called god:
“6 Your throne, O God, is forever and ever. The scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of uprightness; 7 you have loved righteousness and hated wickedness. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions” (Psalm 45:6-7).
A majority of Trinitarian Bible scholars consulted agreed that the title “god” in verse 6 was assigned to David, Solomon or another king when written. The context before and after these verses describes a king, and most importantly, verse 7, says, “therefore God, your God.” Because almighty God has no God over Him, this verse cannot be a description of the all-powerful, all knowing, self-sustaining, almighty God.
The NIV Zondervan Study Bible (2015) says for verse 6, “Your throne, O God. The king, as God’s representative, is addressed as God himself (see NIV text note), certainly a startling use of language at first glance. Yet it reflects the close relationship between any godly king and his God.”
While King David, Solomon, or another king was called “god,” the use of the word “god” in that culture for a king was a title of respect because God placed them in authority. Similarly, today, in the United States, the title “President” is assigned to the highest office, yet when the head of a bank or a company is called “president,” this title, while honorable, is in addition to the President of the United States.
Remarkably, these two verses are applied to Jesus in Hebrews 1:8-9. Because the use of the title “god” for a king did not mean that the king was God almighty, one should not jump to the immediate conclusion that because Jesus is called God here, He is absolute sense God. While Jesus is called God, just like the King, He also has a God over Him, where is says “God your God.”
The exegetical form interpretation seeks the historical meaning. What did the author of Hebrews mean when he called Jesus “God,” who has a God over him? Based on the Jewish Old Testament understanding of this verse, it was not applied to God almighty.
Here is another verse where kings or possibly judges are called “god:
“God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment” (Psalm 82:1).
There are many more examples that could be provided for the word “elohim” that indicates that the Old Testament word “god” applied to a plurality of good or evil gods.
In the Koine Greek New Testament, the word “theos” (god) can describe the one true God Almighty (Matthew 3:9, etc.), Jesus Christ (John 20:28, etc.), a person thought to be god (Acts 28:6), the false prophet (2 Thessalonians 2:4, etc.), a false idol (Acts 7:40, 43), gods in heaven (John 10:34; background is Psalm 82), Satan (2 Corinthians 4:4), etc.
Because many good and evil beings or persons are called “god” throughout the Bible, the identity of Jesus as “God” should be carefully considered, especially in relation to His Father. Secondly, the meaning of Jesus as “God” should be based on the context of a passage, with an understanding of the range of meaning for the word, and a consideration of the historical culture when written.
If Trinitarians were consistent with their argument that because Jesus is called God, He is fully God, they would need to make other good gods such as angels, judges, and kings, fully God. Their rule is not evenly applied across the board. In biblical interpretation, rules that are valid are applied evenly and consistently from Genesis to Revelation. Changing goal posts as necessary to manipulate a desired outcome is the subjective form of interpretation that we covered earlier called eisegesis.
Some Trinitarians admit that the Bible indisputably teaches the plurality of good gods. But many, in spite of overwhelming evidence, can’t accept the plurality of good gods within their Trinitarian framework. In practice, their theology is their authority and not the Bible. The verses provided for “elohim” and “theos” are irrefutable. If we don’t care about the historical context when books of the Bible were written and seek to understand what the authors intended to communicate, then we should question if we care about obtaining and believing the truth based on a correct understanding of God’s Word.
THE ONE GOD OF JUDAISM IS NOT JESUS CHRIST
The Old Testament offers an approximate 2000-year window into Israel’s belief in “one God” (above all others). While nations around Israel believed and worshipped multiple gods, the Jews reserved exclusive worship for one God (Yahweh), the creator of heaven and earth (Genesis 1:1).
Monotheism is the Jewish belief in one God. While monotheistic Jews acknowledged the existence of other good and evil gods, they reserved exclusive worshipped for one God.
This Jewish belief and adoration of the one true God was the core component of their worship and was in their daily prayer called the Shema. The first of the ten Commandments identifies the one God from all others: “2 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. “3 You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:2-3).
Some verses that follow represent the deep-rooted, Jewish disposition of one God (not two or three), who is the Father only, far above all others. After this, shocking quotes from Jesus, Paul, and other disciples will be provided that confirm that the one God in the NT continues to be the Father, and not Jesus Christ.
“35 To you it was shown, that you might know that the Lord is God; there is no other besides him” (Deuteronomy 4:35).
“39 Know therefore today, and lay it to your heart, that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other” (Deuteronomy 4:39).
“4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one” (Deuteronomy 6:4).
“39 See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me …” (Deuteronomy 32:39a). Here are more: 2 Samuel 22:32, 1 Kings 8:60, 2 Kings 19:15, 1 Chronicles 17:20, Nehemiah 9:6, Isaiah 37:20, 43:10, 44:6, 45:5, 45:14, 45:18, 46:9, Zechariah 14:9, etc.
These verses (many more exist) establish that Judaism worshiped one God (the Father, Yahweh) above all others —which is true monotheism. The one God of Israel in the Old Testament was never two or three Gods that were contradictorily called “one.”
HOW TO INTERPET VERSES THAT NO OTHER GODS EXIST
We just covered verses that state there is only one God, who is the Father. An example is, “there is…no god besides him” (Isaiah 45:14b)
These “one God” passages appear on the surface to contradict other passages that we covered earlier which teach a plurality of good and evil gods.
Taken a step further, some Trinitarians use the argument from “one God” passages, that since there is only one God, and since Jesus is called “God,” He has to be included in the “one God” definition.
Of course, there are no biblical contradictions. If Trinitarians were consistent with their argument, that Jesus is called “God” and therefore, He has to be included within the definition of one God, they would have to include other goods gods in the Bible such as angels, judges, kings, etc., to their one God definition. Of course, they don’t.
It’s helpful to know that several “one God” passages hint within the context or in the verse itself, such as, “…there is none like me” (Isaiah 46:9). Here is a similar verse: “For who in the skies can be compared to the Lord? Who among the heavenly beings is like the Lord” (Psalm 89:6). This explains that Yahweh is so great, that He is incomparable; He has no competition. There is no one like Him, or even close. Because of the magnitude of Yahweh’s incomprehensible and incomparable greatness, He stands alone as the only God.
Here is another helpful verse: 11 “Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?” (Exodus 15:11). This verse and the next, stress that no comparable god exists within the same league: “There Is none like you among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like yours.” (Psalm 86:8). A few verses later, this Psalm says, “10 For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God” (Psalm 86:10). The Psalmist says, “you alone are God” because no other God can do the “great” and “wondrous things.”
The following two verses recognize a plurality of gods, while stating that the God of Israel is the God of gods: “17 For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe” (Deuteronomy 10:17). “Give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures forever” (Psalm 136:2).
When practicing good principles of biblical interpretation, consideration should be given to figures of speech. An example is hyperbole. When figures of speech are not recognized, they can create contradictions. One classic example is the command to hate one’s parents (Luke 14:26). But hyperboles are exaggerations to make a point.
Verses such as, “besides me there is no god” (Isaiah 44:6b), should be interpreted how the original Jews understood it. They knew that other incomparable gods existed. Such passages magnify the incomprehensible greatness and exclusive attributes only possessed by Yahweh.
The Faithlife Study Bible has a note for Deuteronomy 4:35. It says, “There is no other besides him affirms that Yahweh is utterly unique and no other gods can compare to Him. This phrase does not necessarily assert that other gods do not exist” (2012, 2016).
The verses provided (more exist) establish that Judaism worshiped one God (the Father, Yahweh) above all others which is true monotheism. Again, the one God of Israel in the Old Testament was never two or three Gods that were contradictorily called “one.”
Here is a two-sentence summary for review: The nation of Israel reserved exclusive worship for one God, the Father. While other good and evil gods existed, their identity was incomparable and unmatched to God’s greatness. The Bible presents the Father as the only God to emphasize that there is no one in comparison to His greatness.
THE ONE GOD OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
Now that we have a basis for the Old Testament Jewish understanding of God which is rarely taught in Trinitarian churches, we can bring this historical understanding to the pages of the New Testament.
The Old Testament belief in one singular God (in the absolute sense) is continuous, throughout the pages of the New Testament. Every passage that references one God (or alludes to it) in the New Testament will be examined in the order they appear. (if you find more, please inform me). Of particular interest is how Jesus Christ is presented. Does God (the Father) continue to be the one (singular) supreme God as the Old Testament testifies? Or, is the one God of the Old Testament really three persons who both together and individually make one God? Please pay careful attention to the words of Jesus. Did He claim to be the Old Testament one God?
“28 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 most important of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 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.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 32 And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him. 33 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.” 34 And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God” (Mark 12:28-34).
Jesus quotes from the Shema, “14 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one” (Deuteronomy 6:4). Jesus affirmed the Old Testament belief in one God (who is always the Father). He did not include Himself, or provide any indication that He is included within the definition of one God, and that Israel needed to modify their belief in one God to include Himself (as the Trinity affirms). Jesus congratulated the scribe for his correct understanding of the Hebrew belief in one God that excludes Himself (v. 34). If the Jews needed to believe in a triune Godhead to be saved, why didn’t Jesus communicate this? Jesus didn’t deceive anyone.
“19 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone” (Luke 18:19).
Jesus reacts to the rich young ruler’s compliment of “good teacher“ by making a strong distinction between Himself and “God alone” and transferred all praise up to His Father. Because the Father is greater (John 10:29; 14:28; 1 Corinthians 3:23, 11:3, 15:24-28, Ephesians 4:6, etc.), not wishing to steal any glory for Himself that was not rightfully His, Jesus praises the one and only God.
“44 How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? 45 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope. 46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me” (John 5:44-46).
Jesus exclusively identifies the Father as the “only God” without including Himself. The writings of Moses do testify about Jesus as this passage affirms. But prophetic passages do not describe Jesus as the one God.
“28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.” 31 The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. 32 Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?” The Jews answered him, “33 It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.” Jesus answered them, “34 Is it not written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’? 35 If he called them gods to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be broken— 36 do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? 37 If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; 38 but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” 39 Again they sought to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands” (John 10:28-39).
Verse 30, (“I and the Father are one”) is a popular Trinitarian proof text, regularly interpreted in a vacuum, outside the context, that Jesus is included in a Trinitarian godhead. But a closer examination refutes this interpretation.
The doctrine of the Trinity teaches that Jesus is not God the Father. God the Father is not the Son. The Holy Spirit is also taught to be a third, separate being. Also, honest Trinitarians should recognize that this passage cannot be legitimately used to teach the Trinity because the context isn’t Trinitarian. Trinitarianism didn’t exist until hundreds of year later, and the Trinitarian belief that Jesus and God the Father are separate persons forbid combining them (modalism or Oneness).
Within the contextual backdrop, Jesus has a role in protecting the sheep: “no one will snatch them out of my hand” (v. 28). The Father also has a role: “no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand” (v. 29). Jesus recognized the supremacy of His Father when He said, “My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all.” Because both Jesus and the Father are united in the preservation of the saints, Jesus states in the next verse, “I and the Father are one” (v. 30). As believers in Christ, we can have confidence in our salvation because both Jesus and His Father are jointly involved and committed to our security!
In John 17, Jesus also said that He was one with the Father. Trinitarians love John 10, but rarely discuss the additional information provided by Jesus in His high priestly prayer on the oneness He shares with the Father. Here is the passage:
“11 And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one…21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. 24 Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world” John 17:11, 20-24
In verses 11, and 21-23, Jesus describes the oneness that He has with His Father. In His priestly prayer, Jesus prayed that we would be one as He is one with His Father. If Jesus was and is absolute sense God, there is no way we could be one in the same way as He is one with His Father. In verse 22, Jesus states that His glory originated from His Father, and He has given to us this very same glory. If Jesus was 100% God, in equal essence, He would have His only glory and receive it from no one. In Matthew 28:18, after Jesus was raised from the dead with His glorified body, Jesus humbly confessed, “…All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” Matthew 28:18b. Not one drop of glory that Jesus has originated from Himself as an almighty God.
Back to John 10, so why did the Jews pick up stones in verse 30? Before providing the reasons stated, some historical background can help us 2000 years later, far removed from the historical context.
Jesus Christ was a poor human being in their presence making bold, outrageous claims. The educated religious leaders of the day were revered by the majority and likely wore religious robes to elevate their status. Jesus likely dressed humbly as a servant.
Jesus didn’t travel with an entourage of dignitaries to insure He spoke at prominent places and was honored as their upcoming Messiah. Jesus was surrounded by ordinary disciples (most uneducated) whom many in society deemed as unimportant (Acts 4:13).
Based on a prophecy in Isaiah 53, Jesus was not a person that most would consider handsome or pleasing. It says, “… he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. 3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not” (Isaiah 53:2b-3).
Jesus (a lowly servant in their presence) claimed to be the door of the sheep (vs. 1-9), “the good shepherd” (v. 11), to have an intimate relationship with the Father (v. 15), to have authority to give them eternal life (v. 28), to have a role with the Father in the preservation of the sheep (vs. 28-29). The culmination of the account within the context is the bold statement, “I and the Father are one.“
So, within the context, there is nothing even remotely associated with a Trinitarian godhead that would come centuries later.
In verse 34, Jesus responds to their false charge of blasphemy (vs. 33: “you, being a man, make yourself God”), by disagreeing and reminding them, that the Old Testament teaches the existence of a plurality of gods (vs. 34-36).
In verse 36, Jesus reminds them that he calls Himself “the son of God.” The phrase, “God the Son” is not found in the Bible and contradicts the Bible. Jesus is not the Father. Since Jesus is the Son of God, He is not the same God that He is the Son of.
In verse 39, after Jesus finished correcting their false charge of blasphemy, they try to arrest Him.
Food for thought: The crowds accused Jesus of “making yourself God” (v. 33), and Trinitarians agree with the crowds. Are not Trinitarians taking sides unknowingly with the accusers and mockers of Jesus?
“3 And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3).
This verse has been used by God to draw many away from Trinitarianism. God sure used it in my life! Who is the “only true God”? It’s not Jesus. While the Father went on to exalt Jesus to His right hand, He’s not the one true God. Please read this verse and allow it’s inspired clarity to sink in and define who Jesus is in relation to His God.
Jesus confessed from His lips that the Father is the “only true God.” The God of Jesus is His Father (Ephesians 1:3; Romans 15:6; Ephesians 1:17; 2 Corinthians 1:3 1 Peter 1:3; 2 Corinthians 11:31). Jesus called His Father “my God” (Mark 15:34; John 20:17; Revelation 3:2; Revelation 3:12). So, eternal life for the believer is knowing God the Father, “the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you [God] have sent.“
While the Father is the only true God, Jesus is the only way to God: “6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
“30 Since God is one—who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith” (Romans 3:30). The God of the New Testament is the God of the Old Testament who continues to be “one.” Excuse the repetition, but the Bible declares again and again that the “one God” is the Father. Since God’s Word says it, that should settle it.
While on earth, Jesus never called Himself God (in the absolute sense). Jesus told His disciples, “1 Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me” (John 14:1).
“27 To the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen” (Romans 16:27).
This “wise God” is due all honor and “glory forevermore,” “through Jesus Christ” (our intermediary). So how does one give glory to this “wise God“? This glory is given to God through the Son!
“4 Therefore, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “an idol has no real existence,” and that “there is no God but one.” 5 For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”— 6 yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist” (1 Corinthians 8:4-6).
We covered Jesus affirming the Old Testament Shema in Mark 12:28-34. Here, Paul also affirms the Shema. The “One God” in this verse is exclusively “the Father.” Please spend quality time at the feet of Jesus, to the glory of the Father, absorbing the significant of this verse. Trinitarians are forced to combine the “one Lord” into the “one God” of this passage. But Paul presents the “one Lord,” Jesus Christ as a separate person, apart, distinct, and in addition to the “One God.“
The phrase, “yet for us there is one God” means one God, not two. So, when sincere Trinitarians add Jesus Christ, they are not following the normal rules of grammar consistent with good principles of interpretation. The Bible as written should define what we believe. Not one’s beliefs, the Bible.
“19 Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary. 20 Now an intermediary implies more than one, but God is one” (Galatians 3:19-20).
Passages that follow are crystal clear; commentary will be minimal.
“4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all” (Ephesians 4:4-6).
“17 To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen” (1 Timothy 1:17).
“15 Which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen” (1 Timothy 6:15-16).
Verse 16 above describes god as, “has immortality.” This cannot describe Jesus because He died. God the Father is immortal.
“5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5). Please believe that the “one mediator” is Jesus Christ who clearly is not the “one God. “This is another crystal-clear verse that God has used on many to chip away Trinitarian presuppositions.
“19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!” (James 2:19).
“25 To the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen” (Jude 25). The “only God, our Savior” is a description of God the Father. But please observe two important facts: we give glory to God (our Savior) through the intermediary Jesus Christ, who isn’t the “only God” (the Father).
How can God the Father be our Savior? Is not Jesus Christ our Savior? The New Testament uses the word “Savior” 24 times. Of these, the title is assigned to Jesus Christ 16 times (Luke 2:11; John 4:42; Acts 5:31; Acts 13:23; Ephesian 5:23; Philippians 3:20: 2 Timothy 1:10; Titus 1:4; Titus 2:13; Titus 3:6; 2 Peter 1:1; 2 Peter 1:11; 2 Peter 2:20; 2 Peter 3:2; 2 Peter 3:18; 1 John 4:14). The title “Savior” is assigned to God, eight times (Luke 1:47; 1 Timothy 1:1; 1 Timothy 2:3; 1 Timothy 4:10; Titus 1:3; Titus 2:10; Titus 3:4; June 25).
God the Father didn’t die on the cross, He did not come and take on human flesh. He sent His Son as his representative (John 1:18, 5:43, 6:38, 8:29, 10:25, 12:13, 14:9, Colossians 1:15, 2 Corinthians 4:4, Hebrews 1:3, Philippians 2:6, etc.). So, Jesus died on the cross for God (1 Peter 3:18; Revelation 5:8). Because Jesus died on the cross for God and for us, both are rightfully called the title “Savior.”
If a man equips another and sends him to save a child out of a burning house, both men, while separate persons, can be called “savior.”
PENTECOST AFFIRMED MONOTHEISM
Acts 2 provides the account of Pentecost. After the ascension of Jesus, the disciples waited in Jerusalem for the promised descent of the Holy Spirit.
Verse five says: “5 Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven.”
If Jesus, and the Father, to include the Holy Spirit, form a Trinitarian Godhead, Peter had a prime opportunity to communicate this doctrine to monotheistic Jews gathered in Jerusalem for the Pentecost feast. They could take this Trinitarian teaching home and spread it throughout the world.
Because these “devout Jews” from different countries, did not know Jesus, what inspired identity did Peter assign to Jesus Christ? Please carefully consider how Peter identifies Jesus to the unsaved, monotheistic Jews.
In Acts 2:22, Jesus is called “a man” and the “mighty works and wonders” that Jesus did are not attributed to Jesus, but to the power of God. It says, “God did through him.“ Because God did these miracles through Jesus, Jesus was not absolute sense GOD.
In the first part of this video, we covered other lesser deities who are called “god” in the Bible. They include angels, judges, and some kings. These gods had almighty GOD over them. While there are some verses that also assign the title “god” to Jesus, He also had almighty God over Him, that enabling Him with power to perform these “mighty works and wonders.”
In verse 24, Peter credits God for the resurrection and not Jesus Christ. This is because Jesus was 100% dead and therefore, it was impossible for Him to rise again being dead. And if Jesus wasn’t dead for three days as the Bible testifies, we have no hope of a future resurrection.
There are more than 26 references in the Bible to God or His Spirit raising Jesus up (John 2:22; Acts 2:24, 32, 3:15, 26, 4:10, 5:30, 10:40, 13:30, 34, 37, 17:31; Romans 1:4; 4:24-25, 6:4, 10:9; Ephesians 1:20, 2:6; 1 Corinthians 6:14, 15:15; 2 Corinthians 4:14; Hebrews 13:20; Galatians 1:1; Colossians 2:12; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 1 Peter 1:21).
In spite of all the biblical evidence that Jesus was raised by His Father, most Trinitarians would probably claim that Jesus while being dead, raised Himself up. There are two verses that Trinitarians may use for a resurrection independent of the Father. So we will take a brief detour:
“19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19).
Please observe that while Jesus speaks figuratively, his “temple” is his body that He says, “I will raise it up.” Because so many verses credit the Father with His resurrection, I prefer to understand this prediction in a general sense.
As believers in Christ, we can say in a general sense that someday we will rise from the dead. But this statement is for a resurrection made to our dead bodies by Jesus Christ.
Supporting this view, only three verses later, Jesus is raised. That is, not raised Himself up, where it says: “22 When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken” (John 2:22).
Here is a second passage less frequently used:
“17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father” (John 10:17-18).
Unfortunately, the ESV has “that I may take it up again” (v. 17). The word “up” is not in the Greek and can be mistaken for a future resurrection. A Greek interlinear illustrates the addition of the word “up” that changed the meaning of the verse into something the Apostle John never wrote. While sometimes it’s necessary for translators to add words to accurately represent the underlying Greek, the additional word here changed the meaning of God’s Word.
In this verse Jesus is not prophesying about His future death and resurrection. He is describing how he gives up his life daily in the present. The word “lay” is in the Greek present tense. If Jesus was speaking of laying down His life someday on the cross, He would have surely used the Greek future tense and English versions would say, “will lay” and not, “I lay.” So Jesus described laying down His life in the present.
Here are some versions that more accurately render the underlying Greek by not adding the word “up”:
“Because of this doth the Father love me, because I lay down my life, that again I may take it” (Young’s Literal Translation).
“Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again” (NKJV).
“For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again” (NASB95).
Back to Acts 2, in verse 30, Jesus is called a prophet; He is further identified as a descendent of David that God promised to place on His throne. These devout Jews probably knew of the Old Testament prophecy where Yahweh speaks: “I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him” (Deuteronomy 18:18). This prophecy predicts the humanity of the Messiah and how Jesus was not Yahweh, but a prophet who spoke for Yahweh, where it say, “I will put my words in His mouth.”
Sometimes Trinitarians use a verse to claim that Jesus is God Himself: “23 Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us)” (Matthew 1:23).
One can believe that this verse teaches that Jesus was God Himself or a representation of God. God loved the world so much that He did not send Himself, but His only Son (John 3:16). God was with us through His Son, who is the image of the Father (Colossians 1:15). Trinitarians confuse the image who is Jesus with God Himself:
“I [God] will put my words in his mouth” (Deuteronomy 18:18), “[He] utters the words of God” (John 3:34), “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work” (4:34), “I [Jesus] have come in my Father’s name” (5:43), “I have come … to do … the will of him who sent me” (6:38), “I always do the things that are pleasing to him” (8:29), “he who comes in the name of the Lord” (12:13), “And whoever sees me sees him who sent me” (12:45), “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (14:9), “Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Corinthians 4:4), “imprint of his nature” (Hebrews 1:3), “in the form of God” (Philippians 2:6).
Back to Acts, verse 33 describes Jesus, “being therefore exalted at the right hand of God.” Because Jesus is exalted to the right hand of the Father, He is not almighty God who occupies the central throne.
Verse 34 says, “…for David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says, ‘the Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand 35 until I make your enemies your footstool.”
In the New Testament, this is the most quoted Old Testament prophecy fulfilled by Jesus. In this verse the Apostle Peter quotes Psalm 110:1. There are two distinct “Lords” in this verse. The first one is indisputably Yahweh. Several English versions such as the ESV, use all caps (“LORD”) to communicate this fact. The second “lord” is Jesus Christ. In this Psalm, king David calls his future, unborn human son, “my lord.” This is unusual because a son out of respect would call their father, “my lord.” On top of this, David was a king. David’s future son sits at Yahweh’s right hand.
Some well intending Christians may conduct a word search on the Hebrew word “Lord” here. A survey of the results would indicate that this word “lord” has different meanings and is also used for Yahweh in verses such as Genesis 15:2. With this information, one could wrongly conclude that Jesus is Yahweh Himself.
There is a saying, a little bit of Greek or Hebrew knowledge can be a dangerous thing. This is because a working knowledge of these ancient languages is difficult to master.
So, what is wrong with the search result that seemed to indicate that Jesus could be Yahweh? Interlinears such as the one referenced often subdivide words into root words. In the Hebrew Old Testament, for Psalm 110:1, there is only one Hebrew word for these three words. It is the Hebrew word transliterated as “adoni.” The Faithlife Study Bible says, “The word adoni is the generic term for ‘lord’ and the appropriate address to an authority figure … not the divine name (note for Judges 6:13, 2012)”
The College Press NIV Commentary: Psalms, Volume 2, states for this verse, “the second word is ‘my Lord’ (אֲדֹנִי, ˒ădōnî, NOT אֲדֹנָי, ˒ădōnāy, which denotes God. ˒Adōnî, is a polite term, normally used of earthly lords (cp. 1 Kgs 1:13). The exceptions are when Joshua, Gideon, Daniel, and Zechariah addressed an angelic being as ‘my Lord’” (note for Psalm 110:1, 1999).
A search for the Hebrew word “ădōnî” produces approximately 198 hits (source: http://www.biblicalunitarian.com/verses/psalm-110-1). A survey of these verses reveals something very startling if you are a Trinitarian. Not one use of “adoni” in the Old Testament is applied to God. Unsurprisingly, most biblical Hebrew dictionaries and lexicons don’t have a dedicated entry for this word.
It is significant that the most quoted Old Testament prophecy for Jesus in the New Testament is attributed to a human lord. Peter’s message at Pentecost to monotheistic Jews was that Jesus was their human Messiah.
In Acts 2:36, Peter boldly declares something they needed to know about Jesus, and it wasn’t that He was a second person of the Trinity: “36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” Jesus is “both Lord and Christ,” because God “made Him” these titles. While the Father is God because He cannot be given any position, title or authority that He already does not possess, in contrast, the authority, Lordship, and Messiahship of Jesus was given to Him by His Father. This fact overrules any teaching that Jesus is the all-powerful, self-sufficient God.
The promotion of Jesus as “Lord” is not a position of equality with the Father, but of subjection now, and into eternity:
“24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. 28 When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:24-28).
The New Living Bible translates, 1 Corinthians 15:27, “27 For the Scriptures say, “God has put all things under his authority.” (Of course, when it says “all things are under his authority,” that does not include God himself, who gave Christ his authority)” (New Living Translation, 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013).
In verse 37, the Jews asked how to be saved. They were to “repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38b).
THE GOD AND FATHER OF JESUS IS GREATER
“26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. 27 And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the son of Man” (John 5:26-27).
God the Father “has life [intrinsic] in himself.” Jesus has life that originated from the Father because it was “granted” to Him. Even His “authority to execute judgement,” “he [the Father] has given him.“
“29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand” (John 10:29). If Jesus was equal to the Father, He would not describe His Father as “greater than all” to include Himself. The word “greater“ here means greater. We should believe the plain, obvious meaning of Scripture.
“28 You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I” (John 14:28).
Trinitarians may try to limit the damage by claiming that the superiority of the Father was limited to Christ’s incarnation. But they also take this back when necessary by claiming that Jesus was 100% God (in essence) while in the flesh. This is contradictory, double talk.
The point of Jesus was that He was “going to the Father” “who was greater” in heaven. The Trinity robs the Father of absolute glory as the only absolute God.
“Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God” (John 20:17).
The God of Jesus is the same God of Mary, the brothers of Jesus, and you and I. The resurrected Jesus was about to ascend to, “my Father” and “my God.” In contrast, the Father has no GOD over Him because He is God!
After Jesus ascended to His Father, He continues being subordinate. The Apostle Paul wrote, “3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 1:3). This phrase is also repeated in 1 Peter 1:3. God clearly is the “God and Father” of our Lord Jesus Christ, today, and into eternity.
In the heavenly realm, hierarchy exists with the Father as almighty God. In Revelation 1:1, God gave a message to Jesus. Jesus gave this message to an angel. The angel gave this message to John. John then transmits this message to the church. Jesus Christ is never above the Father. Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father, which indicates subordination to the One seated on the central throne.
In Revelation 3:2, Jesus continues His subjection to His Father: “2 Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God” (Revelation 3:2). If God’s Word is our authority it defines our theology to include that Jesus has a God, (“my God”).
When I struggled with the overwhelming evidence that the one true God was the Father (John 17:3, etc.), I could continue to bow down before “God the Son” that I regularly exalted over His Father. But glory be to God, by His grace and strength, I abandoned the Trinity, and now bow down to Jesus Christ, who God made Lord, to glory of the Father who is greater.
“3 But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God” (1 Corinthians 11:3). Since Paul didn’t believe that Jesus was equal to God, we should not.
Sometimes Trinitarians provide a verse for belief in the equality of Jesus to the Father: “19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell” (Colossians 1:19). The word “of God” is not even in the manuscripts! Yet it’s added in several trinitarian translations to exalt Jesus as God. The NKJV added the words, “the Father.”
Trinitarians read Colossians 1:19 like I did and have no idea that the word “God” was deceitfully inserted which totally changed the meaning of the verse. The verse should read, “For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell.” The nearest word “God” is four verses away and is not even implied in this verse.
Revelation 22:18 has a warning for those who add to God’s Word. If you have a high regard for God’s Word as originally written, this tampering is an outrage.
Please know, dear believer, and excuse the repetition from the first video, the translation of several verses found in Trinitarian Bibles for the doctrine of the Trinity are disputed for justifiable reasons. This could be because of added words, poor choice of words, manuscript variants, lack of underlying punctuation, etc.
What is the fullness that Jesus has? Verse 18, has some context: “18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.”
Because all the authority of Christ has been given to Him (Matthew 28:18), He has been assigned as head of the church. The words, “He is the beginning” indicates that Jesus has a beginning.
Another verse used by Trinitarians is found in the next chapter: “9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily” (Colossians 2:9).
The NKJV has the word “godhead” in place of “deity.” But the Greek word “θεότητος” means deity. Also, the Greek word is a singular noun for one person, which doesn’t match a multiple person godhead. The word “godhead” is a Trinitarian counterfeit.
Jesus Christ is fully divine, but His divinity should be understood in light of other good gods (angels, judges, kings, etc.), who are also divine because they are called “god.” While every god is divine at least in some sense, every god is not equal based on the biblical range of meaning of the word “god” covered in the first video. It’s possible that Paul wrote this verse because some were limiting or outright denying that Jesus was divine.
Trinitarians often accuse non-Trinitarian Christians of not believing in the deity of Jesus Christ. But this charge is unfounded. It’s the Trinitarians themselves who have a wrong understanding of the “deity of Christ.” In their mind, Jesus is equal to the Father as God within a three-person godhead.
One’s understanding of the deity of Jesus needs to be in harmony with other passages. While in the flesh, Jesus worshipped God His Father (John 4:22; Hebrews 2:12). He called the Father, “my God” (Mark 15:34, Revelation 3:12, etc.). After His ascension, Jesus still has God as His Father (Romans 15:6; Ephesians 1:17; 2 Corinthians 1:31; 2 Corinthians 11:31; Hebrews 1:8).
JESUS IS THE FIRSTBORN OF ALL CREATION
An important belief of Trinitarianism is the eternal pre-existence of Jesus.
“1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made” (John 1:1-3).
Some Trinitarians believe that because the Word was with God in the beginning, He always existed. And because Jesus went on to create “all things,” He eternally predates the Genesis creation.
The exegetical form of interpretation forbids reading more into the Bible than is stated. Outside an exegetical framework, the Bible supports any doctrine. Does John 1:1-3 exegetically state that Jesus eternally pre-existed with the Father? No, it does not.
Certainly, the passage states that the Word was with God in the beginning (John 1:1-2). But it doesn’t comment if Jesus eternally existed. The word “beginning” here (“In the beginning was the Word“) doesn’t mean eternal existence. The “beginning” describes a point or period of time while eternal preexistence has no beginning! The Bible has many “beginnings,” as evidenced by a word search.
Genesis 1:1 has some similarities to John 1:1. It also has a “beginning” that does not describe eternity. This beginning lasted seven days and was approximately 6-8 thousand years ago.
Because chronologically, Jesus went on to create all things, He existed with God before the Genesis creation. So, was there a time when Jesus didn’t exist? Because our passage in John doesn’t answer this question, other passages should be consulted.
Before we do, an argument sometimes made by Trinitarians is worth examining.
Because Trinitarian scholars know that some passages are interpreted by non-orthodox Christians that Jesus is created, and therefore has a beginning, some theologians have generated counter-arguments from John 1:3. In the book, The Deity of Christ, (2017), John MacArthur writes, “Jesus Christ was already in existence when the heavens and the earth were created; thus, He is not a created being, but existed from all eternity” (page 16).
Core church doctrines should come from explicit, biblical affirmations. Therefore, if Jesus eternally existed, it must be a biblical established fact and not something front loaded from an argument.
There is no exegetical support for MacArthur’s extra-biblical argument. While MacArthur is correct that Jesus existed before creation, this doesn’t preclude the possibility that God created His Son before Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1.
Because Trinitarians scholars need help to validate their theology, they commonly introduce arguments that are not biblically stated, as MacArthur practices.
Based on MacArthur’s reasoning, that Jesus existed before the Genesis creation —so He always existed, this makes angels eternally pre-existent because they existed (at least some of them before Genesis 1:1).
At least one clear biblical account indicates that angels were present at creation: “4 Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. 5 Who determined its measurements—surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? 6 On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, 7 when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God [likely angels] shouted for joy?” (Job 38:4-7).
Most scholars are in agreement that “sons of God” is a title for angels. This title is also found in Job 1:6, 2:1 and other verses.
Because angels are created beings, and some or all existed before Genesis 1:1, they most certainly were created before Genesis 1. So, MacArthur’s trinitarian motivated argument for the eternal preexistence of Jesus falls apart when tested under the search light of Scripture.
The following three translations of Colossians 3:10 teach that God created Christ:
“10 and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him” (Colossians 3:10, NASB).
“10 and having put on the new, which is renewed in regard to knowledge, after the image of Him who did create him” (Colossians 3:10, Young’s Literal Translation).
The translations above articulate that God created Christ. Because this is a problem passage for Trinitarians, some Trinitarian translations are ambiguous. For example, the ESV states “after the image of its creator” and the NIV: “in the image of its Creator.”
The book, Restoring the Biblical Christ: Is Jesus God?, summarizes this passage well:
“The parallel is obvious [Galatians 3:27-28]. Christ is the new man that we are to put on. Since Colossians 3:10 says that God created the new man whom we are to put on, and because that new man is Christ, then this is yet another verse that proves that Christ was created” (Jason Kerrigan, 2016, 68).
Here is another passage that teaches that Jesus was created: “15 He [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:15-17).
So how do Trinitarians escape from such clarity when Jesus is the firstborn of all creation, and in the next verse He goes on to create all things? Most define the word “firstborn” in a manner that is inconsistent with the context and how the word is used in the New Testament. Because they read their Bible under the overlay of Trinitarianism, this passage cannot teach that Jesus was created.
The word “firstborn” (“πρωτότοκος”) is found eight times in the New Testament. In each passage, the context determines its meaning, within the range of meaning for the word. This word is consistently used to describe someone (or a group of people) who were first in birth order, or chronologically first for something (literally or figuratively). A Greek–English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 3rd edition (894, 2000), describes this word:
“1. literally pertaining to birth order, firstborn…2. pert. to having special status associated with a firstborn…”
One method to exegetically determine the range of meaning for a word is to survey each use in the Bible (when reasonable). To follow, is a summary for each use of “firstborn” in the New Testament in the order they appear:
“7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths…” (Luke 2:7a). The firstborn son of Mary is Jesus Christ.
“29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers” (Romans 8:29).
Christ is “the firstborn among many brothers.” Because the word “firstborn” consistency means first in order, as Christians, we strive to place Christ first in order in our lives.
“18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent” (Colossians 1:18). Jesus is assigned the title of “firstborn” because He was the first human being to triumph over the curse of sin and was raised from the dead. Because He is the “firstborn from the dead,” we have hope beyond the grave.
“6 And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him” (Hebrews 1:6). God brought His “firstborn” Son into the world as human flesh. Because Jesus previously did not exist in the flesh, He is called God’s “firstborn into the world.”
“28 By faith he kept the Passover and sprinkled the blood, so that the Destroyer of the firstborn might not touch them” (Hebrews 11:28). Satan is called “the destroyer of the firstborn”. In the context, Moses and the children of Israel celebrated the Passover and sprinkled blood so their firstborn children would be safe. But Satan destroyed the “firstborn” children of the Egyptians.
“23 And to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect” (Hebrews 12:23). We, angels, or both are called “the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven.”
“5 and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth” (Revelation 1:5). Because God accepted the sacrifice of His Son for our sins, He raised Him first from the dead.
These seven uses of “firstborn” in the New Testament establish that the word involves first to come into existence, or first in order (literally or figuratively). So Jesus was the first created being (Colossians 1:15), who goes on to create all things (v. 16).
In the book, The Letters to the Colossians and to Philemon (2008), Trinitarian Douglas Moo writes, “calling Christ ‘firstborn,’ especially in the common translation ‘firstborn of all creation’ (e.g [for example]., ESV; NRSV; NASB), could suggest that Christ is a created being, a conclusion that the church leader Arius drew early in the fourth century. Arius’s views stimulated considerable Christological reflection and resulted in the Nicene Creed’s affirmation that Christ was ‘eternally begotten of the Father, … begotten, not made, of one Being (homoousios) with the Father” (page 119).
First, Moo takes liberty and quotes a portion of a modern re-created version of the creed that is different than both original Nicene Creeds (First Council of Nicaea and the First Council of Constantinople). The original creeds did not say “eternally begotten.” Maybe this was an honest misquote by Moo. Hence, his statement that the Nicene Creed affirmed that Christ was “eternally begotten of the Father,” is untrue.
Dr. Moo takes a passage that explicitly states that “[Jesus] is …the firstborn of all creation,” in a creation context, and states it “could suggest” this. Dr. Moo demonstrates well how theology can influence one’s interpretation process.
Human beings (including myself) can allow theological views (sometimes unknowingly) to influence biblical interpretation. It’s human nature to protect, cherish, and defend views that are settled within ones mental framework. However, our partial human disposition does not excuse our responsibility before God to diligently study God’s Word and allow it to redefine when necessary what we believe.
Mr. Moo takes liberty (as do many sincere Trinitarians scholars) to portray (or seems to) Arias as architect of a doctrine that bears his name. Arius defended a view already in existence that Jesus was created by God.
Mr. Moo continues his commentary and agrees with a Trinitarian paraphrase, Today’s New International Version (TNIV): Jesus is the firstborn “over all creation” (119). The underlying Greek doesn’t say “over all creation“. The Greek work “ἐπὶ” (over) is not found in one New Testament manuscript for this verse. What is found is the Greek word “πάσης” which means “firstborn.” The next verse (already covered) has Jesus Christ involved in creation (Colossians 1:16).
Verse 18 adds another description of Christ: “18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.” Trinitarians who reject the normal meaning of “firstborn” three verses earlier yet apply it here.
“14 And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation” (Revelation 3:14). Jesus addressed the church of Laodicea. Once again, within a creation context, Jesus is the “beginning of God’s creation.” Dear brother or sister in Christ, please believe the clear, contextual teaching of Jesus over popular Roman Catholic Church tradition.
“22 The Lord possessed me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of old. 23 Ages ago I was set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth. 24 When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water. 25 Before the mountains had been shaped, before the hills, I was brought forth, 26 before he had made the earth with its fields, or the first of the dust of the world. 27 When he established the heavens, I was there; when he drew a circle on the face of the deep, 28 when he made firm the skies above, when he established the fountains of the deep, 29 when he assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters might not transgress his command, when he marked out the foundations of the earth, 30 then I was beside him, like a master workman, and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always, 31 rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the children of man” (Proverbs 8:22-31).
Trinitarians consistently interpret this passage as wisdom personified. This means that wisdom sometimes acts as a person: speaks, reasons, etc. Here is an example from Proverbs 8:1:
“1 Does not wisdom call? Does not understanding raise her voice?”
The Trinitarian understanding of Proverbs 8:22-31 as wisdom personified, rarely incorporate the biblical teaching that Jesus is the wisdom of God:
“And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption” (1 Corinthians 1:30).
“But to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God” 1 Corinthians 1:24
While Trinitarian scholars seem united that this passage is wisdom personified, they exclude applicability to Jesus as the wisdom of God, created by God, who went on to create the world.
Verse 22 contains an important word that can help unlock the meaning of this passage: “The Lord possessed me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of old.” The word “possessed” is found in the ESV, NKJV, and the NASB95. This word was chosen by Trinitarian translators who don’t believe this passage is a poetic description of Jesus involved in creation. While these translators no doubt believe that Jesus created the world, they can’t accept its applicability to Him because it would mean that Jesus was created before He created all things.
Another Trinitarian problem with the word “possessed” is the lack of accreditation for this word. The Hebrew word in question (“קָ֭נָ”) is found 84 times in the Old Testament. Out of 84 uses, the ESV only used the word “possessed” once for Proverbs 8:22. This is also true of the NASB95. The NKJV used the word “possessed” two times. Besides Proverbs 8:22, they used the word in Jeremiah 32:15. But a survey of seven translations (NIV, YLT, NET, NASB95, TEV, RSV, ERV) indicate that the unanimous consensus of scholars is that the word should be “purchased” and not “possessed.”
From an examination of a Hebrew interlinear, the Hebrew word in question (“קָ֭נָ”) is a verb. So this word will involve a state or action.
Jesus quoted the Septuagint. It is a translation of the Hebrew Old Testament translated into Greek. In this translation, the word used is not “possessed,” but the verb “created.” So, verse 22 reads, “22 The Lord created me as the beginning of his ways, for the sake of his works” (Proverbs to the Readers, New English Translation of the Septuagint, Proverbs 8:22; 2014). The word “created” is also found in the Targum, which is a first century translation of the Old Testament into the Aramaic language 
 Proverbs: An Introduction and Commentary, 75, Derek Kidner, 1964
A few English translations do use the word “create.” The NET Bible (1996-2005) is one example. Also, a footnote in the ESV acknowledges that the word “possessed” can be “fathered,” or “created.”
The most esteemed biblical Hebrew lexicon of our days is probably, The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament (1994-2000). This resource defines the word word “קנה” as “created” for Proverbs 8:22 (Logos Bible Software, under word “קנה”). Other Hebrew dictionaries consulted defined this word (“קנה”) as created.
For the sake of argument, let’s pretend that Trinitarians are correct and this passage is wisdom personified and not Jesus as the wisdom of God.
According to verse 22, wisdom began to exist in the Garden: “The Lord [created] me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of old.”
It is contradictory to believe that “wisdom” was created in the Garden when God eternally existed and is the bank of all wisdom and used it for creation. For it says, “The Lord by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding he established the heavens” (Proverbs 3:19). “…Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might” (Daniel 2:20).
The teaching that God “fathered” or “created” wisdom “at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of old,” doesn’t fit the context and is a forced interpretation to reject the passage’s application to Jesus Christ.
It’s difficult to read this creation account objectively (in my opinion) without concluding that the person described is Jesus Christ. Another indication comes from verse 30: “Then I was beside him, like a master workman, and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always.” This poetical account of creation seems best understood as God accompanied by His Son.
Some of the Ante-Nicene Fathers understood this passage to teach that Jesus was created. During the Arian controversy, Arians used this passage as well to argue that Jesus was created.
“2 But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days” (Micah 5:2).
The application here to Jesus is beyond dispute. However, the description “whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days” denotes antiquity and not eternal pre-existence. Unfortunately, this passage has been misused by some Trinitarians to teach that Jesus eternally existed. If Jesus eternally existed, He would not be “from ancient days,” but from eternity.
The NASB reads: “…His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity.” While this Hebrew word עוֹלָם can mean eternity, according to The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament, it also can mean a long time, duration, times to come, a long time back (798, 2000).
Because the context states, “coming forth is from of old, from ancient days,” this denotes a long time back and not eternity. In fact, the word “days,” may describe 24-hour periods of time that began 6-8 thousand yeas ago when the universe was created. Most Trinitarian commentaries consulted while no doubt believe that Jesus eternally existed, they don’t believe that this passage teaches His eternal preexistence.
IF JESUS ALWAYS EXISTED, HE’S NOT GOD’S SON
Within the Gospels, the title “Son of God” is attributed to Jesus at least 24 times. Jesus used this title to communicate a distinction between Himself and His Father that we can relate to.
A distinguishable feature between a father and a son is that the son is junior to the father. A son is begotten —thereby comes into existence after the father. Consequently, the title “Son of God” indicates that Jesus did not eternally exist.
Because Jesus was created by God, His future existence was foreknown by God:
“20 He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you” (1 Peter 1:20). The same Greek word “foreknown” (προγινώσκω), is used in Romans 8:29 with the same meaning:
As a Biblical Unitarian, I acknowledge that most Biblical Unitarians believe that Jesus did not preexist His physical birth, just as humans have no existence before birth. They believe that Jesus pre-existed His birth in the mind of His Father. While it’s true that humans don’t pre-exist their birth, I respectfully disagree and side by faith with over 25 verses that describe Christ’s pre-human existence (Proverbs 8:22-26; Micah 5:2; John 1:1, 3, 15, 30, 3:13, 31, 6:38, 42, 46, 6:62, 7:29, 8:42, 58, 10:36, 13:3, 15:28, 17:5; Romans 8:32; 2 Corinthians 8:9; Ephesians 4:9; Philippians 2:5-8; Colossians 1:16-17, Hebrews 1:2, Jude 5, etc.).
Another notable distinction in sonship is that a father and son are two distinct persons. The doctrine of the Trinity recognizes this, but many Trinitarians take this back by quoting proof texts where Jesus is allegedly claiming to be His Father, such as John 8:58 & 10:30.
Human beings are made in God’s image as distinct persons. Since we are made in God’s image, God is a single entity or being.
“6 Who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:6-8).
According to verse seven, Jesus “emptied himself.” This implies that Jesus shed one or more attributes to become man. Consequently, one cannot be human while possessing non-human attributes. So, the Trinitarian teaching that Jesus was fully human and absolute God (concurrently), is incompatible with this verse.
Philippians 2:6 has been used by Trinitarians to teach that Jesus is equal to the Father, because it says, “did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped.” But this teaching is a misrepresentation of the grammar.
Many in sincerity think this verse says He, “did count equality with God…” But it says, “did not count equality with God…”
Here is another verse that contradicts the Trinity: “17 Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people” (Hebrews 2:17). If you were 100% God in the flesh, you would not be, “like his brothers in every respect.“
According to Mark 11:13, Jesus was hungry and came to a fig tree looking for food. The account says, “…he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves…”
This verse illustrates the humanity of Jesus. We don’t know if a tree has fruit unless we look. The humanity of Jesus cancels out that Jesus was fully God. Trinitarians want us to believe that Jesus was unaware if there was fruit in His humanity, while being aware that there was no fruit in His divinity.
As Believers in Jesus Christ, we should use God given rules of logic. Two contradictory statements cannot be true concurrently. A glass of water cannot be empty and full at the same time.
The lie of evolution is taught under the cover of billions of years. The lie that Jesus is 100% God in essence within a trinitarian godhead, is covered by the lie that the Trinity is too deep or mysterious for comprehension.
“52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:52). The only way that Jesus increased “in favor with God” is if He was not fully God. God cannot improve on God.
“15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). Since Jesus was “tempted as we are,“ He was not the totality of God because we are not God.
The Wilderness Temptation of Jesus
The wilderness temptation of Jesus is another Trinitarian difficulty. If Jesus was fully God, Satan would not have wasted His time, because God cannot be tempted (James 1:13). It’s outrageous to think that Satan could tempt almighty God. Because Satan tempted Jesus, Jesus was not absolute God.
An overview of the 40 days in the wilderness depicts temptations that were not ordinary for human beings. Have you been tempted lately to turn stones into bread, to jump off the pinnacle of the temple, and to potentially own the kingdoms of the world in exchange for worshipping Satan?
While Jesus was fully human and was not the Father incarnate, one has to admit that the temptations of Jesus were extraordinary. The Bible furnishes many details about the life of Jesus that explain how He could be human and yet be tempted so different than you and I.
The temptations for two different Christians can be very different based on their spiritual maturity. A new believer may be tempted to not attend church. The temptations for a mature believer are different. It could be, for example, how much sacrificial investment to commit in discipline others.
The high-level temptations of Jesus reflected His remarkable spiritual maturity. At a young age (Luke 2:46-47), He had an astonishing knowledge of God’s Word. Jesus invested in learning and memorizing portions of the Old Testament. Jesus surely spent hours daily in prayer and in communion with His Father.
The Bible has accounts of prophets who God gave special power to. A few are Sampson and Moses. These prophets when tempted could use their God given power in a way that honored God or in a sinful manner. Sampson is known for misusing the tremendous strength that God had given him. Moses grew angry at God because of the cries of the people in the wilderness for water. Instead of speaking to the rock as instructed by God when tempted in Numbers 20, he struck the rock for water.
The temptations of Jesus were tailored by Satan based on His maturity level and the power that God entrusted to His Son.
It would have been sin for Jesus to turn the stones into bread. The Spirit of God had lead Jesus to the wilderness to be tempted. It was God’s will for Jesus to be tempted before He began His public ministry. Therefore, Jesus was not to misuse His great miraculous power from God to satisfy His hungry flesh.
“1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil” (Matthew 4:1). Because Jesus was tempted, He could have sinned, (otherwise it’s not a temptation).
“6 And said to him, If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, “‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and “‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’” 7 Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test” (Matthew 4:6-7).
Satan tempted Jesus to test His Father by launching Himself down from the “pinnacle of the temple.” If Jesus is really the Son of God, God would use some means to save Him.
The response of Jesus confirms His humanity and denies He is equal to God: “You shall not put the Lord your God [the Father] to the test.” Just as humans were commanded in the Bible to not test “the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 6:16), Jesus also would not test His Father.
“8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve’” (Matthew 4:8-10).
Jesus responds the same way a Christian should. He exalted His Father as the only one to be worshiped above others and served to the exception of no one (“Him only shall you serve”). If Jesus was fully God in a Trinitarian godhead, He would not exalt His Father as greater.
The Trinitarian teaching that Jesus, while being the totality of God, had to prove Himself stronger than Satan to begin His ministry conflicts with the Biblical record. Satan tempted Jesus because He could have sinned and thereby was not God.
“15 He shall eat curds and honey when he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good. 16 For before the boy knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land whose two kings you dread will be deserted” (Isaiah 7:15-16). Jesus Christ had to learn “how to refuse the evil and choose the good.” If Jesus was fully God in the flesh this is another contradiction. God cannot learn anything. He knows everything.
Sometimes people associate the miracles of Jesus and His great teachings and power as evidence of God’s incarnation. But Jesus stated how He performed miracles and taught. It was never by His own power as God! Here are a few passages:
“19 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise” (John 5:19). If Jesus was fully God, He could have done things of “His own accord.” But in contrast, He always emulates the actions of His Father.
“So Jesus answered them, “16 My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me” (John 7:16). There is no evidence that Jesus taught what He wanted as Almighty God. He obediently spoke the words given by his Heavenly Father who is far greater.
“28 So Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me” (John 8:28).
“49 For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak” (John 12:49).
GOD CANNOT DIE
An attribute of almighty God’s is that He cannot die: “16 Who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen” (1 Timothy 6:16).
Paul is not describing Jesus but God, the Father. Jesus died while God cannot. When Jesus died, He was 100% dead. If not, He didn’t die. Therefore, Jesus is not the immortal God.
One-way Trinitarians attempt to circumvent this contradiction is to claim that Jesus humanly died, but not in His divine nature. But this is double talk. To say on one breath that Jesus fully died as humans for three days, while on the other that Jesus couldn’t fully die because He is God, is to deny that Jesus was human as we are and questions the purpose of a resurrection. One must be dead to be resurrected.
Is Jesus Almighty God?
Before we conclude I want to very briefly address one more verse. I have used the title, “almighty God” many times for the Father. This title is also found in Isaiah:
“6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).
This verse does not state that Jesus is these titles, but states, “his name shall be called” these titles. While Trinitarians wrongly call Jesus “mighty God” and “everlasting Father,” of more concern is the translation of this verse.
The Septuagint rendering is significantly different:
“6 For a child is born to us, and a son is given to us, whose government is upon his shoulder: and his name is called the Messenger of great counsel: for I will bring peace upon the princes, and health to him. 7 His government shall be great, and of his peace there is no end: it shall be upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to establish it, and to support it with judgment and with righteousness…” Isaiah 9:6-7a (The Septuagint Version of the Old Testament: English Translation, Brenton LXX, 1870).
The Septuagint does attribute this passage to Jesus without calling Him “almighty God” and “everlasting Father.” Because the Septuagint is a translation by scholars who had a better working knowledge of ancient Hebrew and Greek than today’s scholars, their interpretation should not be dismissed without good reason. Also, the Septuagint was produced before the time of Christ. Therefore, they were not subject to a particular theological disposition towards the identity of Jesus that is potentially present among Trinitarian and Unitarian Christians.
Secondly, the doctrine of the Trinity teaches that Jesus is the son of God and not the Father. The title “almighty God” and “everlasting Father” is reserved for the Father. While Jesus was a visual representation of His Father (John 1:18, Philippians 2:6, Colossians 1:15), He remains a separate entity from His Father.
Finally, because of these problems and others, Trinitarian scholars are less likely to use Isaiah 9:6 in defense of the Trinity. They know its a problematic passage. Sadly, study Bible and books marketed towards lay Christians usually don’t mention the theological problems associated with this verse. Instead, they champion this as a great Trinitarian passage. Since most lay Christians can’t even state the doctrine of the Trinity and don’t take time to study God’s Word in detail, they remain ignorant of serious theological problems present in this verse and others.
GOD, HIS SON, AND DIVINE AGENCY
A study of the law of Jewish agency can be a fascinating discovery. The following quote is from the Jewish Encyclopedia, under “agency, law of”:
“The law of agency deals with the status of a person (known as the agent) acting by direction of another (the principal), and thereby legally binding the principal in his connection with a third person. The person who binds a principal in this manner is his agent, known in Jewish law as sheluaḥ or sheliaḥ (one that is sent): the relation of the former to the latter is known as agency (sheliḥut). The general principle is enunciated thus: A man’s agent is like himself” (Ḳid. 41b)” (1901-1906, 1232).
A comparison can be made to a general power of attorney (used in some countries) where a principle grants all rights to the agent to act in their behalf. There are two parties in this contractual agreement, the principal and an attorney in fact (or agent). A legal document gives the attorney in fact the rights to act on behalf of the principal.
A significant difference between a power of attorney and Jewish agency is that a power of attorney is in writing while the law of agency is a verbal agreement. Secondly, the two parties in Jewish agency are the principal and the agent. The Encyclopedia of the Jewish Religion (1965), states, “The main point of the Jewish law of agency is expressed in the dictum ‘A person’s agent is regarded as the person himself.‘” (Under title: “agent;”).
The divine law of agency is visible, starting in the book of Genesis. Genesis 12 to 25 covers the life of Moses. In Genesis 12 to 17, there are several accounts where God speaks to Moses.
In the Bible, we are told that human beings cannot see God in the flesh and live (Exodus 33:20; John 1:18, 6:46, 1 Timothy 6:16, 1 John 4:12, etc.). The divine law of agency solves this problem. Because of this reality, accounts where God appeared to Moses (and other such accounts in the Bible), need to incorporate this fact.
In Genesis 18:1, The LORD appears to Abraham: “1 And the Lord appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre …” In the next verse, we are introduced to three angels: “2 He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing in front of him…”
Because of divine agency, it’s not a problem that the Bible says, “The LORD appears to Abraham,” when it was “three angels.” This is because within divine agency, an agent speaks and acts as God Himself. The author of Genesis apparently wants us to know that divine agency is in play because the angels are sometimes called “men” (18:2, 16, 22) and sometimes they are called “LORD” (18:1, 3, 10, 13, 22, 26, 33).
Within the law of divine agency, God the Father (Principal) sent His Son (Agent) as His representative (in His name) to speak and acts in His behalf. Many passages confirm this teaching (Deuteronomy 18:18, John 1:18, 5:43, 6:38, 6:46, 8:29, 10:25, 12:13, 14:9, Colossians 1:15, 2 Corinthians 4:4, Hebrews 1:3, Philippians 2:6, etc.).
Outside the Bible, the Jewish law of agency is mentioned in ancient books from before and after the time of Christ. During the time of Christ, the Jews used the Old Testament law and oral traditions. The oral traditions were written into books (call the Talmud) beginning around the year 200 A.D., because the Jews apparently feared extermination. Inside the Talmud is a detailed description of the law of agency. Also, most Jewish encyclopedias and some secular encyclopedias (such as encyclopedia Britannica) have an entry for this topic.
For an excellent writing on Jewish agency, please visit:
May God bless you as you follow His Son to the Father’s house.
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