The Trinity is a long held and often considered “traditional” doctrine of Christendom. That is, the belief that the Father Yehovah (YHWH), the Son Jesus Christ (Yeshua) and the Holy Spirit are all one being of which make up the entity that is the Almighty God.
In this article, I will be examining the Trinity doctrine, and shall endeavour to present an in depth study of the doctrine, for both “for” and “against” the Trinity to enable the reader to come to their own conclusion, whilst also concluding with my own personal statement of conviction on the matter.
I shall firstly list scriptures in which on plain surface reading are directly “against” the notion of Jesus being Yehovah, then I will list the scriptures which appear to be “for” on plain surface reading. Then I shall discuss “frameworking”, as well as Biblical translations and root Hebrew/Greek words. All will be discussed within the limits of “Prima Scriptura” (which means “the scriptures above all”, referring to no outside philosophy, or other church writings on the matter that contradict the holy writings of the Torah prophets, Jesus and his inspired Apostles. Any and all Christian or church writings, be they from the 1st Century or onward, that contradict the Bible’s words and its self-contained internal ‘definitions’ of those words must be outright rejected).
Scriptures against the Trinity
- “Yehovah acquired/created (qanah) me as the beginning of his way, The earliest of his works of long ago. From ancient times I was installed/poured out(?), From the start, from times earlier than the earth. Then I was beside him as a master worker. I was the one he was especially fond of day by day; I rejoiced before him all the time.” – Proverbs 8:22-23, 30
- “As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. Look! Also, a voice from the heavens said: ‘This is my Son, the beloved, whom I have approved.’” – Matthew 3:16-17
- “But Jesus answered them: ‘The hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified. Now I am troubled, and what should I say? Father, save me out of this hour. Nevertheless, this is why I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.”’ Then a voice came out of heaven: ‘I have glorified it and will glorify it again’.” – John 12:23, 27-28
- “However, Jesus cried out and said: “He that puts faith in me puts faith, not in me only, but in him also that sent me; and he that beholds me beholds also him that sent me“ – John 12:44-55
- “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God, have faith also in me.” – John 14:1
- “‘Jesus said to him: ‘Why do you call me good? Nobody is good except one, God.’” – Mark 10:18
- “Jesus said to her: ‘Stop clinging 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 and to my God and your God.’” – John 20:17
- “And going a little way forward, he fell facedown, praying: ‘My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from me. Yet, not as I will, but as you will.‘” – Matthew 26:39
- “So now, Father, glorify me at your side with the glory that I had alongside you before the world was.” – John 17:5
- He has put his trust in God; let Him now rescue him if He wants him, for he said, ‘I am God’s Son – Matthew 27:43
- “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, a man, Christ Jesus“ – 1 Timothy 2:5. “Now there is no mediator when just one person is involved, but God is only one.” – Galatians 3:20
- Concerning that day and hour nobody knows, neither the angels of the heavens nor the Son, but only the Father – Matthew 24:36
- “Jesus called out: “You know me and you know where I am from. And I have not come of my own initiative, but the One who sent me is real, and you do not know him. I know him, because I am a representative from him, and that One sent me.”” – John 7:28-29
- But for the world to know that I love the Father, I am doing just as the Father has commanded me to do. – John 14:31
- “Even in your own law it is written that the testimony of two men is valid. I am one who testifies about myself, and the Father, who sent me, also testifies about me”. – John 8:17-18
- Christ Jesus is the one who died, yes, more than that, the one who was raised up, who is at the right hand of God and who also pleads for us. – Romans 8:34
- “I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, watch over them on account of your own name, which you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are one”. – John 17:11
- “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better”. – Ephesians 1:17
- “But I want you to know that the head of every man is the Christ; in turn, the head of a woman is the man; in turn, the head of the Christ is God.“ – 1 Corinthians 11:3
- “Keep this mental attitude in you that was also in Christ Jesus, who, although he was existing in God’s form, gave no consideration to a seizure, namely, that he should be equal to God. For this very reason, God exalted him to a superior position and kindly gave him the name that is above every other name.” – Philippians 2:5-6, 9
- “For He “has put everything under his feet.” Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ“. – 1 Corinthians 15:27
- “Long ago God spoke to our forefathers by means of the prophets on many occasions and in many ways. Now at the end of these days he has spoken to us by means of a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the systems of things. But about the Son, he says: ‘God is your throne forever and ever, and the scepter of your Kingdom is the scepter of uprightness. You loved righteousness, and you hated lawlessness. That is why God, your God, anointed you with the oil of exultation more than your companions‘.” – Hebrews 1:1-2, 8-9
- “When he was being insulted, he did not insult in return. When he was suffering, he did not threaten, but he entrusted himself to the One who judges righteously“. – 1 Peter 2:23
- ”No, it was not by following artfully contrived false stories that we made known to you the power and presence of our Lord Jesus Christ, but rather, we were eyewitnesses of his magnificence. For he received from God the Father honour and glory when words such as these were conveyed to him by the magnificent glory: ‘This is my Son, my beloved, whom I myself have approved.’ Yes, these words we heard coming from heaven while we were with him in the holy mountain.” – 2 Peter 1:16-18
- “During his life on earth, Christ offered up supplications and also petitions, with strong outcries and tears, to the One who was able to save him out of death, and he was favorably heard for his godly fear“. – Hebrews 5:7
- “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him”. – Revelation 1:1
- “…God cannot be tempted by evil… ” – James 1:13 “…we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God…. we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.” – Hebrews 4:14-15
Questionable scriptures (for OR against the Trinity)
- “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God/Divine/godlike(?), Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace“. – Isaiah 9:6
- “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of/over(?) all creation“ – Colossians 1:15
- “For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with human hands that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence/before God(?)“ – Hebrews 9:24
- “For there are three that testify, the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement/one(?)“. – 1 John 5:7-8
- “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God/a god/divine/godlike(?)“. – John 1:1
- “Then the Jews said to him: “You are not yet 50 years old, and still you have seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them: “Most truly I say to you, before Abraham came into existence, I AM.” – John 8:57-58 (“God said to Moses, “I am who I am/become what I become(?). This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am/I become(?) has sent me to you” – Exodus 3:14).
- “No man has seen God at any time; the only-begotten God/Divine/godlike one(?) who is at the Father’s side is the one who has explained Him” – John 1:18
- “This letter is from Simon Peter, a slave and apostle of Jesus Christ. I am writing to you who share the same precious faith we have. This faith was given to you because of the justice and fairness of Jesus Christ, our God/Lord(?) and Savior”. – 2 Peter 1:1
Scriptures for the Trinity
- “I am the Alpha and the Omega”, says Yehovah God, “the One who is and who was and who is coming, the Almighty.” – Revelation 1:8
- “He said to me: “These words are faithful and true; yes, the Lord, the God who inspired the prophets, has sent his angel to show his slaves the things that must shortly take place.” – Revelation 22:6
- “‘I, Jesus, sent my angel to bear witness to you about these things for the congregations. I am the root and the offspring of David and the bright morning star'”. – Revelation 22:16
- “This is what Yehovah says, The King of Israel and his Repurchaser, Yehovah of armies: ‘I am the first and I am the last. There is no God but me”. – Isaiah 44:6
- Listen to me, O Jacob, and Israel, whom I have called. I am the same One. I am the first; I am also the last. My own hand laid the foundation of the earth, And my right hand spread out the heavens. When I call to them, they stand up together. – Isaiah 48:12-13
- When I saw him, I fell as dead at his feet. And he laid his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last… – Revelation 1:17
- And he said to me: “They have come to pass! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To anyone thirsting I will give from the spring of the water of life free. – Revelation 21:6
- “‘Look! I am coming quickly, and the reward I give is with me, to repay each one according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end”. – Revelation 22:12, 13
- “Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe. Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!””. – John 20:27-28
- “I, even I, am Yehovah, and apart from me there is no savior.” – Isaiah 43:11
- “Jesus is “’the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone. Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”’” – Acts 4:11
- “From this man’s descendants God has brought to Israel the savior Jesus, as he promised”. – Acts 13:23, “In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near. This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for Yehovah, make straight paths for Him”. – Matthew 3:1-3
- “A voice of one calling: ‘Prepare the way for Yehovah in the wilderness; make a straight highway for our God in the desert'”. – Isaiah 40:3
- “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep”. – John 10:11, “He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young”. – Isaiah 40:11. “Yehovah my shepherd; I shall not want”. – Psalm 23:1
Now we have our scriptural references. It’s time to discuss them.
On the one hand, we have many scriptures where it appears Jesus is not God, but was created by God, sent by God, that he tells people not to call him “good” because “only God is good”, that he does the will of God and not his own, talks to God, worships God, is rewarded by God, pleads to God, is saved by God, God speaks from Heaven whilst Jesus is on Earth, that Jesus can be tempted like us whilst God can’t be tempted, Jesus is compared to his Apostles as brothers and companions to be rewarded in an alike manner to them, and that he is sat beside God, and assists God.
But we also have scriptures which appear to say God is our only saviour, and several verses call Jesus the saviour. He is also called the alpha and omega, that ‘God’ sent ‘his’ angel to John, and that later it says it was ‘Jesus’ who sent ‘his’ angel to John, and a verse where Thomas seems to be calling Jesus his “Lord and God”.
And we also have questionable scriptures of word translation, which can support either framework, depending on their translation, of which these phrases may mean several things and can alter depending on context.
Building Our Framework
It’s time to introduce the concept of “creating a framework”. We have two options;
Either, we look at the scriptures “for” the trinity, that Jesus is God, and then we translate the rest of the Bible through that lens, meaning we would have to say Jesus was talking to himself, rescuing himself, worshipping himself, and that any voice from God to him, on Earth or in Heaven, is some sort of “internal monologue”, or that God has voices in his head like thoughts which can be verbally heard by others and that God literally has physical conversations with his own consciousness, of which have their own independence. This framework is what creates the “Trinity”, the teaching that the Father is not the Son, but both are God.
On the other hand, if we look at all the scriptures through the lens of “against” the trinity, then likewise we must find alternative context to fit that framework based in scripture and nowhere else. In this we would claim that such descriptions such as “alpha and omega” are not unique titles to God Almighty, and we also would question such things as; “who is speaking” in Revelation, was there more than one angel, or was one angel speaking on behalf of two people? Is the angel of God also the Angel of Jesus in a manner of proxy? Can we show other examples in the Bible of any of these presented outlooks?
Once applying our frameworks, we will then read the entire Bible using the definitions born from these frameworks and apply them to all scripture universally.
Our framework must be:
- 1. Rooted in scripture
- 2. Harmonious (no contradictions) with the entire Old & New Testament Bible in doctrine, writing style, language and structure
The “Questionable Scriptures”
First I’m going to address the “questionable scriptures”, because it is in ambiguity through which uncertainty and debate is born.
The history of this verse has been a disruptive one. Many translations of the Bible quote it this way; “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one”. However, it is documented that the oldest translations of this verse do not contain anything beyond there being three witnesses bearers; “ὅτι τρεῖς εἰσὶν are οἱ μαρτυροῦντες” – “There are three that are testifying”.
Various scholars state:
“These words are spurious and have no right to stand in the New Testament is certain.” – Professor Bruce M. Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament.
“This text concerning the heavenly witness is not contained in any Greek manuscript which was written earlier than the fifteenth century. It is not cited by any of the ecclesiastical writers; not by any of early Latin fathers even when the subjects upon which they treated would naturally have lead them to appeal to its authority. It is therefore evidently spurious.” – Benjamin Wilson, Emphatic Diaglott
“In the eleventh and twelfth centuries, the Bibles were corrected by LanFrank, Archbishop of Canterbury, and by Nicholas, a cardinal and librarian of the Roman church, secundum Ortodoxam fidem. Not withstanding these corrections, the passage is still wanting in twenty-five Latin manuscripts, the oldest and fairest; two qualities seldom united, except in manuscripts…. The three witnesses have been established in our Greek Testaments by the prudence of Erasmus; the honest bigotry of the Complutensian editors; the typographical fraud, or error, of Robert Stephens in the placing of a crotchet and the deliberate falsehood, or strange misapprehension, of Theodore Beza. The evidence of the three heavenly witnesses would now be rejected in any court of justice; but prejudice is blind, authority is deaf, and our vulgar Bibles will ever be polluted by this spurious text.” – Edward Gibobn
Therefore, 1 John 5:7-8 I contest, would not on its own merits be able to be used to say “Jesus is God”. However, even if these verses ‘were’ in the original texts, it still would not prove that Jesus and God are one “being”, for they could merely be described to be “one in purpose”, just as was described in regard to Jesus Apostles at John 17:22.
This verse has been a very popular verse to advocate the Trinity. However, this is based upon surface reading alone and taking for granted the modern translations written by Trinitarians. So for fairness I will also add here other translations, including ancient manuscripts, not easily found online which give it an alternate rendering.
- “…and the word was a god.” – Sahidic Coptic Manuscript, 200–600 C.E
- “…and the word was a god.” – The New Testament in an Improved Version, Upon the Basis of Archbishop Newcome’s New Translation: With a Corrected Text, 1808.
- “…and a god was the word.” – The Emphatic Diaglott, interlinear reading, by Benjamin Wilson, 1864.
- “…and the Word was a divine being.” – La Bible du Centenaire, L’Evangile selon Jean, 1928.
- “…and the Word was divine.” – The Bible—An American Translation,1935
- “and of a divine kind was the Word.” – Das Neue Testament, Ludwig Thimme, 1946
- “and the Word was a God.” – The New Testament, James L. Tomanek, 1958
- “…and a god (or, of a divine kind) was the Word.” – Das Evangelium nach Johannes, 1975
- “…and godlike kind was the Logos.” – Das Evangelium nach Johannes, 1978
- “…so the Word was divine” – The Original New Testament, 1985
The root of all these alternative renderings can be found in the original languages. These verse in the original Greek renders; “In the beginning there was the Word and the Word was with TonTheon, and Theos was the Word”.
Throughout the scriptures there is a differentiation between the words used to refer to God, pagan gods and divine people. One could even say the word “god” as written in our modern English Bibles in these specific instances is a mistranslation of the original Greek, for the term in which our modern Bibles write “god” in these instances is “theosʹ (Θεός)” in Greek and “Elohim” (אֱלהִים) in Hebrew. These words are used for many individuals such as angels, demons, people and of course Jesus. But when referring to Almighty God Yehovah, a “definite article” is often used in the word; “Ho” (`o), or “Ton” (τὸν) meaning “the” (which could be pronounced “thee”) resulting in “Hotheos”; “the God”, and in Hebrew the equivalent of this is “El-Shaddai (אֵל שַׁדַּי), meaning “God Almighty” or “Lord Almighty”.
(For more information and a deeper look on the topic of the terms and languages the words “God” or “gods”, feel free to read my article on the subject):
Another term which is also used to refer to God is “theon” (Θεὸν) which is the “accusative form” of the Greek word theos, (which is said to be best explained as the same kind of difference in modern English as “He and Him”). At first it may seem to serve as an argument against Jesus being God seeing that this word only ever used to refer to the Father, God Almighty, and not any other divines or lesser beings at any one time in the New Testament, including Jesus. This has lead some to believe (and I myself formally believed this) that “Theon” was a unique term to God Almighty, as akin to Hotheos, and thus served as an argument against the word “theos” in John 1:1 referring to God, because it was believed “theon” was a separate word altogether from theos, leading to the argument that any time “theos” was used, it could never ever refer to God. However further evaluation of the word proves this not to be the case.
This pattern is also observed in the Greek versions of the Old Testament (known as the Greek Septuagint, written 300 years before Christ), God Almighty is sometimes referred to as both “theon”, and “theos” (more often than not with the Ho article but not always), but in addition to this, other people have been called “theon” not just “theos” in these Greek versions of the Old Testament. Thus, we cannot make an argument that “Theon” uniquely is attributed to the Father, God Almighty. Theon is merely another variation of “theos”, and thus both “theon” and “theos” can at times refer to God when used in certain contexts without the “Ho article”. Though it is important to note that the non-definite form still would still merely mean “divine” by definition, as opposed to “God” by definition, lest we make lesser beings in the Bible also God, seeing that they are also called theos and theon.
For example, though Theon seems to be uniquely attributed to God the Father in the New Testament, in the Greek Old Testament the term is used to refer to Moses at Exodus 7:1. (https://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/greek-texts/septuagint/chapter.asp?book=2&page=7).
Nevertheless, we should take note that when referring to Jesus in the New Testament and Greek Old Testament as “theos”, the “Ho” definite article is never once used. In the same manner, in the Hebrew Torah, the Father Yehovah God Almighty is uniquely referred to in Hebrew as “El-Shaddai” (the Hebrew equivalent of Hotheos), whereas Jesus the Son has only ever to my knowledge been called “El, Elohim or Baal” (godly/mighty/divine person, lord), which have also all been used to refer to many other individuals in the Hebrew Bible who are not God.
Whilst the definite form of the word referred to the Almighty God, creator of all things, the non-definite, whilst sometimes is used to refer to God, simply renders the meaning; “divine”, “mighty one” or “strong one”. From the same root word Satan the Devil is called the “god” or theos of this world at 2 Corinthians 4:4, which transliterated in Hebrew means “Elohim”. Jesus himself even at one time referred to the judges in Israel as “gods” with the non-definite form of theos/elohim. Never are any of these people called “Hotheos”.
“Theos: a deity, figuratively, a magistrate. Especially when used with the definite article “Ho”: the supreme Divinity; by Hebraism, very God [Almighty God, YHVH the Father of Jesus.]” – Strong’s concordance
“Elohim: Divine, divine being, exceedingly, God, god, God’s, goddess, godly, gods, great, judges, mighty, rulers, shrine”. – NAS Exhaustive Concordance
If we are to framework “theos” without the Ho article as Almighty God by ‘definition’, then Satan is God, Molech is God, Baal (the false deity) is God, and so are the judges of Israel. But if we keep purely to the language definition and pattern of scripture, then “theos” without “Ho”, is to mean “divine”, “mighty” or “godlike”. As such, taken on its own merits and translated accurately, this verse cannot be explicitly used to claim Jesus as the Almighty God.
John in this verse seems to purposely write “the Word was with Tontheon and the Word was theos“. One could suppose that the reason John chose to use the Ho/Ton article and then afterward “theos” in the same sentence without the article was possibly to make sure he didn’t give the impression that these two “divine beings” were the same person, to make clear a differentiation, that the divine person who is God (Hotheos/Hotheon) is not the divine (theos) person who is the Word.
Some have argued against this notion by saying that because the way John placed the word “theos” in this sentence based on a supposed rule of Greek grammar, that “theos” in this context means the Almighty God (“hotheos”), and thus say the translation of “the word was God” is accurate, but this is not agreed upon universally by all Greek scholars.
There are two issues affecting the translating of the verse, 1) theology and 2) proper application of grammatical rules. The commonly held theology that Jesus is God naturally leads one to believe that the proper way to render the verse is the one which is most popular.The opposing theology that Jesus is subordinate to God as his Chief agent leads to the conclusion that “… a god” or “… divine” is the proper rendering. Some scholars oppose the translation …a god, while other scholars believe it is possible or even preferable. – John 1:1 Wikipedia
We must bare in mind that there are only two forms of “god” or “divine” in the scriptures, “the God” (Hotheos) or “divine” (theos). There is no in-between phrase, it’s one form or the other, theos or hotheos. Whilst God is sometimes called theos without the “ho/ton” article, this does not then mean that the translation of “God” for theos/elohim is accurate, but rather God is merely being called “divine” or “mighty” in the general sense.
The reason I bring this point to bare is because the argument that “theos” should be read as “God” as to mean the identity of Almighty God (Hotheos) based on Greek grammatical structure was stated by these very same Trinitarians to be “heresy” and a mistranslation of text which supports “modalism” or “Sabellianism” (the belief that the Son is the Father).
The text of John 1:1 has a sordid past and a myriad of interpretations. With the Greek alone, we can create empathic, orthodox, creed-like statements, or we can commit pure and unadulterated heresy. From the point of view of early church history, heresy develops when a misunderstanding arises concerning Greek articles, the predicate nominative, and grammatical word order. The early church heresy of Sabellianism understood John 1:1c to read, “and the Word was the God.” The early church heresy of Arianism understood it to read, “and the word was a God.”— David A. Reed, Theologian
Thus we come to an impasse. If “theos” is not to be read as “Hotheos” (which is the only unique definition which refers to God Almighty), then all that remains is the option to translate the word as “theos” in the non-definitive form which by definition only means “divine” or “mighty”, not God. One translation locks out the other, there is no middle ground to grammatically transliterate theos (divine) to mean hotheos (God) without a Trinitarian declaring the “heresy of Sabellianism” according to their own language scholars and doctrine.
Thus, this supposition poses a problem for both Trinitarians and non-Trinitarians. Either we can attest the grammatical argument that it is to be translated to say “the word was God” and we cause John 1:1 to support Sabellianism, or we support the alternative rendering, that “the word was divine”, which favours Arianism.
It was in fact this very issue which caused what is now known as the great and infamous “Arian Controversy” which began some 300 years after Christ’s death at the Council of Nicea in 325AD, where the argument first began between non-Trinitarians (Arius and those who supported him) and Trinitarians (Athanasius and his followers). This debate was launched from the basis of John 1:1, and it was not over whether “Jesus was God” at first, but over the “nature of Jesus”, and what “substance he was”, and it was also over this scripture which caused Heraclides, one of the post-apolistic “church fathers” to claim there were “two Gods”.
“In one sense, the controversy was an old one… A subject that much concerned its most creative and disputatious minds was the relationship of the Son, Jesus Christ, to God the Father—an issue still unsettled in the Christian community as a whole. A century earlier (before Nicea), Origen of Alexandria, the greatest theologian of his time, had caused an enormous stir by declaring that while the Son was eternal like the Father and united with Him, he was separate from and less than God. One of Origen’s dialogues read as follows:
Origen: Is the Father God?
Origen: Is the Son distinct from the Father?
Heraclides: Of course. How can he be Son if he is also Father?
Origen: While being distinct from the Father is the Son also God?
Heraclides: He himself is also God.
Origen: And do two Gods become a unity?
Origen: Do we confess two Gods?
Heraclides: Yes. The power is one” – When Jesus became God: The Struggle to Define Christianity during the Last Days of Rome, Richard E. Rubenstein
“The Arian controversy was a series of Christian theological disputes that arose between Arius and Athanasius of Alexandria, two Christian theologians from Alexandria, Egypt. The most important of these controversies concerned the relationship between the substance of God the Father and the substance of His Son”. – Wikipedia, Arian controversy
This controversy over John 1:1 lasted for over 60 years with several church councils which could not make over their mind about the Trinity. One year Arianism was declared orthodox and the Trinitarians excommunicated, and then another year the positions would switch and the non-Trinitarians would be cast out, until finally a decision to come to a middle ground was decided just to stop the fighting at 361AD where it was finally decided to settle on the position that “the Son is not the father, but is still God”, and this then enabled the Trinitarians to try and distance themselves from Sabellianism, and many of the remaining Non-Trinitarians were happy just to accept the Son wasn’t the Father somehow (whereas the few that still disagreed with this notion were then outcast forever with the help of Roman political power).
The fact that there was such a back and forth debate on this scripture, which started, not over the Godship of Jesus, but over his “substance”, I believe further drives evidence against the notion that the original rendering was “the word was God”, because this was a debate over what the word “divine” meant, which lead to numerous philosophical positions, the main three being “Homoousion” (that Jesus is of the same substance as God), “Homoiousian” (that Jesus was of similar substance, akin to a demi-god), and “Heteroousian” (that Jesus was not at all of God’s substance but was of fully created substance and was likened to an angel or man).
It was these positions which lead to the different parties accusing each other of “polytheism” (worshipping more than one God), for the Homoousions were accused of making Jesus into a second God by saying he was made of “the same essence”, the Homoiousians were accused of polytheism by saying Jesus was of a “similar essence” meaning he was some kind of “separate God” or “false god”, whilst the Heteroousian party was accused of denying John 1:1, not in that they were denying that Jesus was God, but denying that he was “divine”. These philosophical debates being lead off of the basis of a polarised logical fallacy; that the definition of the word “divine” = “substance of God”, and thus according to them “only God was divine” or “of divine substance”.
This all of course did not take consideration the other scriptures which say other people who were not God could also be divine (theos). There were only a few who took this into consideration and they were known as those of the “Homoian” position, who believed Jesus was similar to God, but that his “substance” doesn’t even come into account into the meaning of the word “divine”, and declared that such a debate about “substance” was unscriptural.
“The Homoians taught that the Son is similar to the Father, either “in all things” or “according to the scriptures,” without speaking of substance. Several members of the other schools, such as Hosius of Cordoba and Aëtius, also accepted certain Homoian formula” – Wikipedia, Arian controversy
This small group of course who wanted to stick only to the scriptures and the definitions of the scriptures were quickly drowned out by the arguments between the other groups.
But because the word “divine” had been mislabelled to mean “God’s substance” (which is not found in the Bible as the Homoians tried to astutely get across), this lead the Athanasians to conclude Jesus was God, of which birthed the most heated part of the massive controversy which lasted for 60 years.
It was after this we know for a certainty, when translators began to write in the manuscripts “the word was God” (Hotheos), which in turn then lead to another controversy, that of the accusation of Sabellianism. This was was never addressed “textually” through the scripture itself, but instead was glossed over and cast aside when everyone came to the agreement on the position of “the Son is not the Father” in the 360sAD, which avoided the drama over the rendition altogether.
“What the Cappadoncian theology did was to make it clear that if Christ was fully divine, God could not be primarily a Father, but must equally be a Son and a Spirit… This vagueness may have helped bring in the conservative Arians into the fold, since they could still affirm that God’s Fatherhood was more powerful or causative than His Sonship… Christians who accepted this triune God, distributed over three persons, no longer shared Jehovah with their Jewish forebears… nor could Jews claim to believe in the same God….” – When Jesus became God: The Struggle to Define Christianity during the Last Days of Rome, Richard E. Rubenstein (p.209)
But the point I’m making here is not to go beyond Sola Scriptura and bring in the arguments or positions of the later church writings, but to showcase that if the verse in John was so clear cut, that “the word was God” was indeed the original rendition, then I make the argument that the Arian controversy would never have happened. We have to ask why it took almost over 400 years to “discover” Jesus was God scripturally if it has said so all that time in John’s Gospel. You’d think it would have been easy to do what modern Trinitarians do, to just whip that scripture out to slap the Arians in the face and send them back home, but that didn’t happen. Instead we had a debate for 60 years over the meaning of the word “divine” and its relation to “substance”, which I think is a strong historical source to firmly attest that the original rendering of this scripture was “the word was divine”.
If it was rendered from the beginning that “the word was God” (as let’s not forget, these churches had the original Greek and Hebrew scrolls, they didn’t have our modern translated Bibles), then the argument over Jesus’ substance which then ‘evolved’ into the argument over Jesus being God or not, would never have happened, as an argument over “divine substance” would not have been ‘needed’ to “formulate” the position of the Trinity if “Jesus’ Godship” was already there in print in the Apolistic Gospels the whole time.
But historical suppositions aside, going back to the initial point, it leaves us to this day with the issue which was never settled, that the translation of John 1:1 “the word was God” supports Sabellianism, for there is only theos (divine), or hotheos (God) as the two possible ‘definitions’ of the word. Some would try to argue against this by saying that “Hotheos” means “Father” whilst “theos” means “Son”, but that both equally mean “God” to avoid this textual problem, but this notion is not at all supported in any of the ancient language definitions in any scholarly lexicon or concordance.
It should be noted that a Trinitarian could still support the interpretation of theos in this verse merely meaning “divine” as opposed to “God”, whilst still believing in Jesus being God if he wanted to based on the interpretation of ‘other scriptures’ which supposedly say Jesus is God, for other scriptures as we have covered call God “divine” (theos)… but he certainly couldn’t use ‘this’ verse to say “Jesus (the Word) is God” without contradicting the traditional Trinity doctrine, lest he supported Modalism or Sabellianism.
In regard to this scripture, some say “image” is a title of God, or some “physical part” of God, a “manifestation” that is “projected” from Him to represent himself in physical form, and that Jesus is called “the image” and that “the image” made us, as Genesis states we are made in “his image”; Genesis 1:27. Another debate in this verse is over that of the translation Firstborn “over” or “of”.
To firstly look at what “image” is defined as. Abiding by the rule of Sola Scriptura, we must look to the Bible only to find our definition of the word. In ancient Hebrew; “tselem” (צֶ֫לֶם) and Greek; “eikón (εἰκὼν), “image”, is to mean “similar”, “in likeness to” or “representative of” in the form of an artistic expression of imitation (such as a statue, painting, model). Thus, taken on its own merit, without inserting any other ideas from outside of the scriptures or its definitions, Jesus is the image of God, meaning “alike”.
In turn, mankind is described as being “similar to God and the Son” in that we have a higher consciousness, self awareness, free will and morality as opposed to the animal kingdom. Just as Genesis 1:26 plainly states; “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness“, which uses the exact same word to describe how Jesus is the image of God. At Genesis 5:3, the same again is said in regard to one of Adam’s sons, Seth was the “image” (tselem) of Adam.
That is the meaning of being the “image” of something, nothing more, nothing less. The Bible never states that the word “image” or phrase “image of” means anything else, any terminology beyond this definition of image is invented outside of scripture. Thus we can only state this verse says “he is similar to God”.
Definition: an image, statue, representation
Usage: an image, likeness, bust”. – Strong’s Concordance
Definition: image, likeness, of resemblance”. – Brown-Driver-Briggs
As for the debate of translation between “over or of”, we again must look to the Greek renderings. The original word; πάσης-pas, simply means “all”, there is no term which states “over” in the oldest manuscripts, as such it literally reads “Firstborn all creation”. This is why many translations word it “Firstborn of all”, or “Firstborn of every kind”.
“πάσης, Pas. Usage: all, the whole, every kind of. 3956 pás – each, every; each “part(s) of a totality” (L & N, 1, 59.24). 3956 /pás (“each, every”) means “all” in the sense of “each (every) part that applies.” The emphasis of the total picture then is on “one piece at a time.” 365 (ananeóō) then focuses on the part(s) making up the whole – viewing the whole in terms of the individual parts. [When 3956 (pás) modifies a word with the definite article it has “extensive-intensive” force – and is straightforward intensive when the Greek definite article is lacking.]”. – Strong’s Concordance & HELPS Word-studies.
Thus, this verse does not verbatim state Jesus is Almighty Yehovah God, only does it through “inference” by applying definitions to words which do not originate in the scriptures.
The same statements can be made in regards to this scripture and that of Colossians 1:15, and John 1:1. Jesus, the Son, is begotten (Gennetos), “created”, “made”, “born”, the only one created directly by God alone, and he is described, not as God Almighty, but “divine”, in the form of theos, absent of the Ho article. Thus, this scripture has not stated that Jesus is Almighty God, but that he is in close relationship to him and is the one who has revealed the will of God to us.
“Gennétos: Definition: begotten, born
Monogenés: only, only-begotten; unique”. – Strong’s Concordance
Some interpret this in different ways. Those who believe Jesus is God say “Jesus returned to his Godly form” in Heaven, meaning “he is Almighty God” and is now “presenting himself” as such for us. However, many translations render him “appearing before” God.
This would seem in my opinion more harmonious to other scriptures we have already seen where Jesus is said to be at God’s “right hand”, “worshipping before him”, and “mediating” for us before him. But regardless, this scripture does not word for word say Jesus is God, but rather, much more evidence sways toward him being “before” God, in the manner of 2 Corinthians 2:10 which uses the same root word “prosópon”, where Paul states he was before Christ.
This scripture is often considered a “holy grail” by those who would advocate Jesus is God, for they would state this verse is where Jesus word for word declares himself to be YHVH, the God of Moses as stated in Exodus 3:14, by stating “I AM”. What is important to note is that it is only the modern translations which capitalise the “I AM”, such is not found in the manuscripts as to show that Jesus was stating a name or title.
Upon examining the Hebrew and Greek (respectively) of these verses, one will note that Yehovah does not state he is “I AM”, but it is a unique one time translation of the word “ehyeh” or “hayah”, which means “to fall out, come to pass, become, be” according to Strong’s Concordance.
Note here in the following references, the verse at Exodus is a one time English translation of this specific form of the root word. https://biblehub.com/hebrew/ehyeh_1961.htm, even in the listed references which also state the translation “I am” in them for other scriptures, should be noted that upon direct inspection, the word is always “become” (for example https://biblehub.com/interlinear/job/17-6.htm , compare to the previous link where Job 17:16 is referenced in the list to be saying “I am”).
Definition: to fall out, come to pass, become, be” – Strong’s Concordance
Not one scholarly lexicon states that this phrase can mean “I am”, but rather it has been inserted by English translators who have taken this phrase from the erroneous 2nd-3rd century BC Greek translation of the Old Testament which inserts two separate phrases; “Ego Eimi” (ἐγώ εἰμί); (I am)…
…as opposed to what should have been the singular phrase; “ginomai”(γίνομαι) which is the Greek equivalent of ehyeh, meaning “become”.
“STRONGS NT 1096: γίνομαι (ginomai): to become equivalent to, to come to pass, happen, to become” – Thayer’s Greek Lexicon
I can’t say why “ego emi” was written in place of “ginomai” by the Greek writers… But what I can attest is that we can know for a certainly that it is a mistaken translation on part of the Greeks and modern English translators when we reverse engineer the language back to Hebrew, for the Hebrew phrase “I am” is “ani” (אֲנַי), not ehyeh. Thus, if Yehovah God was saying “I AM” to Moses, the scripture should read in Hebrew as; “He said to Moses, ani”, not; “He said to Moses, ehyeh”.
Definition: I, as for me, mine, myself, we, which, who”. – Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance
An additional note is that whilst God seems to be using the phrase “I become” as a title, or as to describe the meaning of his name (YHVH), the Hebrew phrase “I am” (ani) on the contrary never once appears to be used as a “name” or “title” in the entirety of the Old Testament.
Examining Jesus’ words at John 8:57-58, completely different words are used, not only is it not the same singular phrase “I become” (ehyeh), Jesus speaks with the two separate phrases, of which I referenced earlier were erroneously inserted into the later Greek copies of the Old Testament; “ego” and “eimi”, which mean respectively “I” “am” in the most common every day form and usage. All references show it is never used to refer to “become” (as opposed to God’s statement at Exodus), nor is it ever used as a form of title or name.
Definition: I exist, I am
Usage: I, the first-person pronoun.” – Strong’s Concordance
It appears to me that the term “I am” is not being used as a title, but an answer to a question, that is in context to the Jews who ask him “are you older than Abraham?” In which Jesus responds, not with a name or title, but merely with “yes, truly I am”, to confirm their statement in regard to his age, and in response, the Jews then go to stone him, and without precedent accuse him of claiming to be God himself due to “how old” he claimed he was, as to invent a charge of apostasy toward him at John 10:33.
We know this to be the case as Jesus corrects them and their claims in John 10:34 and lays claim to the term “theos” to defend himself, by means of comparing himself to the judges of Israel and how they too claimed the form of “theos”, to be “divine”, “mighty”, “godlike”. If Jesus was to be claiming he was Almighty God through this, then in this same sentence he claims the judges of Israel to also be Yehovah, but context reveals this not to be the case. Thus, this verse holds no quotation from Jesus claiming the identity or name of God, but only false accusations from desperate Pharisees, just as did when they claimed he was of Satan (Luke 11:15).
This verse is often cited to prove Jesus is God as it calls him on the surface “mighty God” and “Eternal Father”. Of course, in light of the previous explained definitions of “theos”, likewise here, Jesus is called “El”, which has the same connotation, meaning “divine, godlike” according to both Strong’s and NAS Exhaustive Concordance, which is used to describe other beings in the Bible, as opposed to El-Shaddai, God Almighty.
In regard to “Eternal Father”, this ‘could’ be cited as a singular prophecy that Jesus would be known to be God, the Father. However, we must also take note, that this verse is speaking of “the Son”, and calling the Son the Father is not at all compatible with Trinitarian theology, which states the Son is not the Father (and thus is not to be ‘called’ Father). Interestingly, this phrase “Everlasting Father” is the only occurrence found in the scriptures, and the word in Hebrew is “ăḇî‘aḏ”, or “ad”, which one translation, the Biblos Interlinear under Englishman’s Concordance reads as “Eternal Prince of Peace”, and voids the word Father altogether.
The definition according to Strong’s Concordance is “perpetuity“, and again in NAS Concordance: “all (1), continually (1), Eternal (1), ever (15), forever (26), forever* (1), forevermore* (2), old (1), perpetual (1)”.
Again, no mention of Father. Thus the English translation of Isaiah 9:6 inserting Father may be erroneous if not spurious. If not an error however, it could also be contextualised in a non-Trinitarian context as Jesus being in a fatherly position as he represents his Father on the kingly throne, or perhaps has fulfilment in being a father of the children of the marriage of Christ, that is to his Bride of the 144,000 and the blessings upon mankind from that marriage. But this would be conjecture. As such the title of Eternal Father could be at best be ambiguous in meaning if genuine, but I would regard it highly untrustworthy considering examination of the translations.
Another popular verse used to prove that there is a New Testament statement that says word for word that Jesus is God. In this verse it appears on the surface in the interlinear and manuscripts that Jesus is called “TonTheon”, God.
However, there are two problems facing us to lay a solid claim. 1. Grammatic structure, knowing how the verse is meant to be read. 2. Is the word “TonTheon”, even though it appears in some manuscripts, truly accurate?
We must first address ‘how’ the scripture is to be read, regardless of accurate or inaccurate word usage. Whilst it could be easily read as “our God and saviour Jesus Christ”, it could also be read as “Our God, and, our saviour Jesus Christ”, which is in fact written in that format in many other verses through out the Bible.
- 2 Thessalonians 1:2: “Grace and peace to you from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ”.
- 2 Thessalonians 2:16: “May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope”.
- Galatians 1:3: “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ”.
Do you see how the reading of the verse creates two entirely different sentences? One says Jesus “is” God, whilst the other praises two individuals, God “and” Jesus. And the latter reading can be easily seen in many translations. Of course, we have to ask the question of “why” that is, why are there are so many different renderings of grammatical structure? And this leads us to a deeper root…
It is highly probable, that the word “God” in this specific verse is not accurate, but was inserted by later scribes who wrote the manuscripts past the second to third centuries. For the oldest manuscripts, of which include the Codex Sinaiticus, use the word “Kyrios”, which means “lord”, not God. Thus ‘if’ the asserted grammatical structure of Trinitarians is correct, that it should be read as “lord and saviour Christ Jesus” and not “our Lord, and, our saviour Christ Jesus”, we still do not have a statement which says Jesus is God, but merely, that he is “our lord and saviour”, which in fact fits in much more consistently with the textual pattern of the New Testament, where Jesus is time and time again called “lord and saviour”, and not “God and saviour”.
- 2 Peter 1:11: “and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ”.
- 2 Peter 3:18: “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen”.
The term “lord” as aforementioned, whilst at times can refer to God, has also been used to refer to several individuals and beings in the Bible of whom are not God Almighty. Thus 2 Peter 1:1 cannot be said to ‘definitively’ hold any statement of Jesus being God.
Applying the “for” Framework
With the questionable scriptures addressed, I will now go forward by giving the Trinitarian lens a head start and benefit of the doubt through the scriptures we ‘do’ have with a strong case for claiming Jesus is God, through association of scriptural comparisons and titles applying to both the Father and the Son: Saviour, Alpha Omega, First Last, God’s/Jesus’ Angel, and claiming that Thomas called Jesus God (HoTheos) in John 20:28, and John the baptist declaring that a way be made for God when he spoke of the coming of Jesus.
This means through this lens, we can advocate for Jesus being God, and any and all references to God and Jesus conversing, Jesus being his image and likeness, is some sort of “inner experience”, self interaction or form of multi-divine persona in some mysterious manner we do not understand, that all accounts of self worship, rescue, favour, hearing are some sort of “metaphysical” or “metaspritual” terminology on part of the New Testament writers.
The heart and core of this position is founded by means of taking up a “linguistic” and “paralletical” argument. We are an making association of individuals or beings via their sharing of titles or actions in various parallel verses of the Bible.
However, as in the stated framework rules of harmony in all the scriptures mentioned at the beginning of my article, we must look for other accounts which use this exact same textual pattern, and apply this same framework. Scouring the scriptures for such examples we find at least seven (if not more) cases we can claim the duality, trinity, or multi-personhood of other beings:
The first, on the basis of Jesus being the image of God, I will make a claim that Seth, the firstborn son of Adam, is also Adam:
- “Adam lived for 130 years and then became father to a son in his likeness, in his image, and he named him Seth” – Genesis 5:3
Second, I will claim the Roman army officer and the Jewish elders are one being:
- “When he entered Caperʹnaum, an army officer came to him, pleading with him and saying: “Sir, my servant is laid up in the house with paralysis, and he is suffering terribly””. – Matthew 8:5-6
- “When he had completed what he had to say to the people, he entered Ca·perʹna·um. Now an army officer’s slave, who was dear to him, was seriously ill and about to pass away. When he heard about Jesus, he sent some elders of the Jews to him to ask him to come and make his slave well”. – Luke 7:1-3
Third, I shall claim the Apostles will be one being in Heaven, 12 persons in one spirit body, of whom are also God, as they are in the Father and Son:
- “…so that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in union with me and I am in union with you, that they also may be in union with us, so that the world may believe that you sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one” – John 17:21-22
Fourthly, I will say David is God:
- “I will save My flock, and they will no longer be prey. I will judge between one sheep and another. I will place over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he will tend them; he will tend them and be their shepherd”. – Ezekiel 34:22-23
- “He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.” – Isaiah 40:11
Fifthly, I shall say all the prophets, holy men of old, and Othniel are also God. For they are described to be “saviours” in the same original Hebrew root word as both God and Jesus being saviour, “mōwōšîa/yasha”. https://biblehub.com/hebrew/moshia_3467.htm
- “Nevertheless, they were disobedient and rebelled against you and cast your law behind their back and killed your prophets, who had warned them in order to turn them back to you, and they committed great blasphemies. Therefore you gave them into the hand of their enemies, who made them suffer. And in the time of their suffering they cried out to you and you heard them from heaven, and according to your great mercies you gave them saviors who saved them from the hand of their enemies”. – Nehemiah 9:26-27
- “But when the people of Israel cried out to Yehovah, Yehovah raised up a savior for the people of Israel, who saved them, Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother. – Judges 3:9
- “I, even I, am Yehovah, and apart from me there is no savior.” – Isaiah 43:11
Sixth, I shall claim God is an angel whom Jacob wrestled with:
- So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak… Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome…. In the womb he grasped his brother’s heel; as a man he struggled with God. He struggled with the angel and overcame him; he wept and begged for his favor. He found him at Bethel and talked with him there—Yehovah the God of armies, Yehovah is his memorial name”. – Genesis 32:24, 28, Hosea 12:3
Seventhly, I shall claim Abraham is the Lord and God the Father in the same manner that Jesus is Lord and God the Son:
- “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…”. – 2 Corinthians 1:3
- “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better”. – Ephesians 1:17
- “And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven”. – Matthew 23:9
- “Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar?” – James 2:21
- “Then Jacob prayed, “O God of my father Abraham…’”. – Genesis 32:9
- “…like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her Lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear” – 1 Peter 3:6
Eighthly and finally, I shall claim Satan is God:
- Then Satan stood up against Israel and incited David to number Israel. So David said to Joʹab and the chiefs of the people: “Go, count Israel from Beʹer-sheʹba to Dan; then report to me so that I may know their number.” – 1 Chronicles 21:1, 2
- The anger of Yehovah again blazed against Israel when he incited David against them, saying: “Go, take a count of Israel and Judah.” – 2 Samuel 24:1
- “So Satan went out from the presence of Yehovah and struck Job with painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head” – Job 2:7
- All his brothers and sisters and all his former friends came to him and ate a meal with him in his house. They sympathized with him and comforted him over all the calamity that Yehovah had brought upon him. Each of them gave him a piece of money and a gold ring. – Job 42:11
- ..among whom the god of this system of things has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, so that the illumination of the glorious good news about the Christ, who is the image of God, might not shine through. – 2 Corinthians 4:4
- “We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.“ – 1 John 5:19
“Let every person be in subjection to the superior authorities, for there is no authority except by God; the existing authorities stand placed in their relative positions by God. Therefore, whoever opposes the authority has taken a stand against the arrangement of God; those who have taken a stand against it will bring judgment against themselves” – Romans 13:1-2
- “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.” – Revelation 22:16
- “How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!” – Isaiah 14:12
I argue, through the textual lens of the Trinity, that through Revelation and one verse in John where Thomas is seemingly calling Jesus God as the only direct source to claim Jesus to be God, I target the same style of passages throughout the Bible to make my claims here that an Angel is God, Abraham is God, the Apostles are God, and that Satan is God.
I argue, that despite any written individuality, conversations, separation, interaction between any of them, that through the verses putting them all in the same positions, actions and titles, they are all thus one person.
- Just as Lord Jesus’ God is also Jesus because there is only one Lord, Abraham’s God is Abraham for he is called Lord.
- As there is only one Father of God’s children, and that Christians are not to call anyone on Earth father, yet call Abraham father, proves Abraham is God the Father.
- God is an angel, because Jacob wrestled with God the angel, of whom declared himself as God.
- Because Jesus is called theos, proving he is God, so do I state that Satan is God for he is called theos.
- As Satan is seen to incite David and hurt Job, of which so also is the Almighty God Yehovah in the same event, Satan is God.
- As Satan is the ruler of this world, who was able to offer Jesus the Kingdoms of the world in exchange for an act of worship, he is God, for Kingdoms are in place by God, Satan is God.
- Both Jesus who is God and Satan are the same Morning Star, and thus are the same person, in turn who are both God.
- The Apostles are one with one another and with Christ and the Father, and thus are God.
Thus, by the logical, linguistic and textual rules of the Trinity framework of which state Jesus is God because of sharing actions, positions and titles, Abraham, an Angel, the Apostles, Satan, Jesus and Yehovah, are also one, yet they are not each other for all have individuality within their one union of being as shown by their conversing.
A Trinitarian may argue that proof of these people not being God is that they are all in different locations and doing different things at once. Christ and God for example is seen to be ruling whilst Satan is thrown into the Abyss and later is destroyed in Gehenna (Revelation 20:3, Revelation 20:10), so how can they be the same person if they are in two different places at once? One ruling and one being locked away to be punished in another realm? However, ‘Jesus as God’ likewise is said to be in different locations simultaneously and to be worshipping God and yet ruling ‘as God’ at the same time, he is dead for three days yet God is always alive (Matthew 3:17, 2 Peter 1:16-18, Hebrews 5:7, 1 Thessalonians 4:14), thus, in the framework of the Trinity doctrine, this is not an argument that can be used by Trinitarians to prove Satan, as well as all the others mentioned are not also God.
One cannot have their cake and eat it and choose to apply the Trinity framework to what scriptures they wish arbitrarily. If the Trinity comes ‘from’ these scriptures and their paralleticals, then the rules must be universally applied to any and all scriptures which follow the same textual patterns or parallels. If any scriptural reasoning is used to separate people from the identity of God, so then must that same measuring stick be applied to Christ Jesus.
Applying the “against” Framework
To oppose my above claims on God being Satan, then I contest, to read the passages quoted through another lens.
What separates all these people from God despite sharing titles and even simultaneous actions? Only their individuality, their conversations with one another, and their differentiation in locations, all of which are things that equally apply in scripture to Jesus.
As such, through examples such the conversation of Satan speaking to God as our proof that they are not the same person which in turn proves that it is “through proxy” that “God is Satan” because “causes” or “allows” Satan to operate, so then do I say this lens must be applied to the verses of Jesus’ conversations and distinct interactions with God as proof of two individuals.
Therefore, the verses of Revelation likewise can be seen as proxy, that the angel represents Christ, who in turn represents God, a system of cause and effect (1 Chronicles 21:1, 2 Samuel 24:1, Revelation 1:8, Revelation 22:6, Revelation 22:16).
In turn we can also then attest that when Thomas saw Jesus and called out “My Lord and my God!”, he was not calling Jesus God, but was rather praising God for the miracle of what he just witnessed (the resurrection of Jesus), and saw Jesus as God’s authoritative proximal representative. Jesus was God to Thomas, not as a being, but as “his Word”, his messenger, his presence by means of representation.
We can reason that Jesus is no more literally God based on Isaiah’s prophecy just as John the baptist is literally no more Elijah (Luke 9:19).
We can also attest that the title of alpha and omega in this context, not be seen as a God-only title, but contextual of proximal heavenly authority, just as it is with other titles of divinity and godliness such as the “Morning Star”, which is not a title that only applies to Satan, but means something that is bright, powerful and eye catching in Hebrew poetic language. Jesus is the alpha omega, first and last because God “gave him” that name, His own name, which is above all other names (Philippians 2:9).
Likewise, we can see that Jesus is the only agent of God who is the key saviour of our souls who was “sent” to die for us, by ‘the’ pinnacle saviour, Yehovah, just as it was with the other holy men of old whom he called “saviours”.
- “And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the savior of the world”. – 1 John 4:14
- But when the people of Israel cried out to Yehovah, Yehovah raised up a savior for the people of Israel, who saved them, Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother. – Judges 3:9
- “I, even I, am Yehovah, and apart from me there is no savior.” – Isaiah 43:11
Thus, we can understand why God is said to be the “only saviour” whilst being able to call other individuals “saviour”, because it is through proxy, that He sends them as His agents of salvation. Jesus is “authoritatively God” through proximal relation to his Father who is the Almighty God.
In applying the “against” framework, I would argue that there is no textual contradiction, nor doctrinal contradiction, nor language contradiction. All things are in place as they should be, and fits into the style of the Hebrew writing as it was for thousands of years. The Jewish elders “were” the Roman officer because they spoke on his behalf, the angel who wrestled Jacob “was” God because he acted as his ambassador, “God struck” Job because he allowed Satan to do so. The language is unchanging throughout the Old and New Testament, it is wholistic and logical.
To oppose this framework and ignore the interactions and conversations and relative positions between God and Christ on the basis of the “for” framework, so must you then ignore the scriptures in the Bible which show other individuals and God conversing or interacting, in which (just as it is with Jesus and God) is the ‘only’ evidence which separates them all and provides us with the correct context and understanding of language in regard to scriptures which would “seemingly” make multitudes of people look like a single individual.
My Personal Convictions Upon the Trinity
Coming to a conclusion on matters, it is my personal stance that I subscribe to Arianism, that Jesus is not God, but is a lesser being created by God, yet is higher than all other created beings (1 Corinthians 15:27) and existed before the creation of the physical universe, and of whom assisted God as his Master Worker.
I have read many defences of the Trinity. Defences which involve the contexts I already covered, that God is three different people in one body at the same time akin to conjoined triplets, and others such as the arguments of the Modalists who have tried to explain God transforms into three different people on the fly when needed, and address the contradictions as that; “God as a man on Earth” of whom they see as Jesus, had to “act as a perfect righteous man”, which included praying to himself and worshipping himself, Jesus being a human and a God at the same time, “the God-man” (which is not a phrase nor doctrine explicitly found anywhere in scripture). Others would claim the case that God was in Heaven and merely puppeting a soulless perfect human body to sacrifice to pay for our sins, and then there are arguments that claim the Trinity teaches “God is not three ‘persons’ in one, but three ‘components’ that make up the one single conscious person who is God”. But I have found none of these hold up to neither scriptural nor logical scrutiny.
As far I can see, the scriptures advocate God was speaking from Heaven whilst Jesus was on Earth (Matthew 3:16-17, 2 Peter 1:16-18). Jesus in turn listened and spoke back to the voice that was coming out of Heaven in a form of obeisance and submission (John 12:23, 27-28). But this wasn’t just when he was on Earth, Jesus is also seen to act this way both when he is in Heaven prior to coming to Earth, and afterward when returning to Heaven, which to me makes no sense if using such a line of Modalistic or any other form of “Jesus was acting” reasoning (1 Corinthians 15:24).
I would hold that Jesus is clearly seen in scripture to be described as a separate being who relies on God and of whom both are lovingly fond one another of in a father-son relationship (John 14:31, John 5:20, Proverbs 8:30). I do not read or see any evidence even hinting in these scriptures of interaction between God and his Son as to be seen as a form of self-talking or “manifestation of audible introspection” (as explained by Trinitarians of why Jesus seemed to be talking to himself with a voice talking back). Based upon all the textual evidence, to me the common-sense answer would appear to be the wisest one. I hesitate to label God as being a self-loving narcissist who talks to himself (which would better describe either a mentally ill, evil or demonically possessed person), and would much rather see Jesus and Almighty God two separate people altogether, as plainly and aptly described in writing that is intentionally written in a way an everyday man can understand, that is, the relationship between a Father and his Son.
The Bible again and again uses the phrase “God the Father”, yet, not ‘once’ does it use the phrase “God the Son”. I think if the Trinity was such an important core doctrine of the Bible, then at least once we would see the phrase, but we never do.
The Trinity changes the meaning of the Bible’s definitions of words, grammatical structure, and logic, and when applied to the whole Bible it falls apart. As I already covered earlier; Satan becomes both God and Jesus, Seth becomes Adam, the twelve Apostles become one person and also become God, and so on. The madness never ends when the Trinity language rules are applied to the entire Bible, and choosing to apply it to the scriptures about Jesus only, I feel is intellectually dishonest.
The Bible, “Divine Simplicity”, “Hypostasis”, and the Trinity in Conflict
The origin of these philosophical terms and frameworks that have been applied to the Bible originate from two theologies, one which is known as “Divine Simplicity”, which in itself is not necessarily bad or false, and the Greek philosophy of hypostasis.
The belief of Divine Simplicity which gets it basis from scriptures such as Malachi 3:6, asserts that God as the infinite unchanging being that comes before all other things, all things thus that God contains, that is, his qualities; love, justice, power (etc), are also “God incarnate”, that unlike in humans who “have love” but “are not love incarnate”, that God ‘literally’ is love in itself cardinally, for he can not have a “quality” that exists distinct from Himself as a “being”, for that would make the object in itself of infinite origin apart from God, either resulting in some form of polytheism, or one would have to claim God invented love, justice, and all his other qualities which he possesses, which would then imply there was a point in time that He did not have those things.
In theology, the doctrine of divine simplicity says that God is without parts. The general idea can be stated in this way: The being of God is identical to the “attributes” of God. Characteristics such as omnipresence, goodness, truth, eternity, etc., are identical to God’s being, not qualities that make up that being, nor abstract entities inhering in God as in a substance; in other words we can say that in God both essence and existence are one and the same.Varieties of the doctrine may be found in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim philosophical theologians, especially during the height of scholasticism, although the doctrine’s origins may be traced back to ancient Greek thought, finding apotheosis in Plotinus’ Enneads as the Simplex. – Divine Simplicity, Wikipedia
Divine Simplicity in itself does not break up God into three parts, but based upon this premise they bring into the mix Greek philosophy and say God has three “hypostasis” (a term and concept borrowed from Neoplatonism), or “parts” of himself which make up his entire being. In this sense the nature of God is described in a way that humans have “three parts”, “essences” or “states” to themselves, these being; the mind, body and soul, which in turn was reformatted; “the thinker” (or the conscious person), the “thinking” (the act of thinking or reasoning about something), and “the thought” (a thought that is in one’s head or comes to one’s head, an idea, fleeting image, or “seeing something” in the mind, for example, if I want to think of a green cake, I can “see” a green cake in my mind, and it will not be a pink cake unless I will it to be so). By today’s standards this would likely be more associated with psychology than it would “essence” or “substance”.
Thus, in this they say God is made up eternally of these three components (just as humans are). God is the thinker, the thinking, and the thought all at once as they are all part of “one being”, just as our own thinking and thoughts are “independent actions” within our minds, but are still “part of us” as a single person.
The founder of Neoplatonism… In his metaphysical writings, Plotinus described three fundamental principles: the One, the Intellect, and the Soul. His works have inspired centuries of Pagan, Jewish, Christian, Gnostic, and Islamic metaphysicians and mystics, including developing precepts that influence mainstream theological concepts within religions, such as his work on duality of the One in two metaphysical states...
Plotinus’ philosophy had an influence on the development of Christian theology. In A History of Western Philosophy, philosopher Bertrand Russell wrote that: “To the Christian, the Other World was the Kingdom of Heaven, to be enjoyed after death; to the Platonist, it was the eternal world of ideas, the real world as opposed to that of illusory appearance. Christian theologians combined these points of view, and embodied much of the philosophy of Plotinus. […] Plotinus, accordingly, is historically important as an influence in moulding the Christianity of the Middle Ages and of theology”.
Hypostasis (Greek: ὑπόστασις, hypóstasis) is the underlying state or underlying substance and is the fundamental reality that supports all else. In Neoplatonism the hypostasis of the soul, the intellect (nous) and “the one” was addressed by Plotinus. In Christian theology, the Holy Trinity consists of three hypostases: Hypostasis of the Father, Hypostasis of the Son, and Hypostasis of the Holy Spirit – Plotinus, Hypostasis (philosophy and religion), Wikipedia
This “theology” or “theory” of Divine Simplicity, and the idea of God having “three components that make up his one being” as I say, is not really bad in itself… Whilst it’s not described word for word in the Bible and I want to strictly stick to the premise of sola/prima scriptura, for sake of argument, let’s say for a moment it was true, and that God has these three parts of himself, himself as the thinker, his act of thinking and his thoughts, and all three were him and not at all outside of his control because God is the origin of all things (meaning, unlike us, God cannot have “random thoughts” because that would imply God gains his knowledge from “somewhere else” that is not “Him” of His “control”). In this sense, I personally have no problem in one asserting or at least “theorising” that “God is a trinity” in the way “humans are a trinity”, not as three people in one, but as one person with “components” that make up his single being or mind….
However, this is where I feel the trickery starts, and is how they manipulate the (assumed but not proven) nature of God by using it to make Jesus into God. They do this by naming the “three hypostases'” as; “Father, Son, Holy Spirit”. Through this, they externally apply the (assumed) nature of God, that is; “his hypostasis”, onto Jesus and the Holy Spirit by fallacious association via the transformation of Biblical terminology.
As the scriptures have always spoke about the union of “The Father, Son and Holy Spirit”, it then was easy to use the (assumed) nature of God’s three hypostasis’ and then name them “after” terms already found existing in the Bible to make it look as if the Trinity was derived from it. Through this, Jesus becomes “the thought” (or the “image in God’s mind” that he has of himself), whilst his Father is the “thinker”, and the Holy spirit is “the act of thinking”. All three of these components making up the being of God.
Though this, some Trinitarians then try to claim they are not sabellian, nor polytheist, for they say the three “parts” are not “three distinct conscious persons” in the literal sense, but is just a form of poetry, and that God is only “one conscious person” made up of three component hypostasis’, just like humans are, thinker, thinking, thought, which enables them to have awareness, speak, think about things and have ideas.
But of course, the problem lies here is that this is a practice of “eisegesis”, taking an external or non-biblical idea and “reading it into” the text, and changing the definitions of the text and language definitions of the words to suit one’s idea. There is no problem in theorising that God has “three hypostases'” that make up his entire being or mind in the way that humans do, but there is a problem if we then begin to name those hypostases’ “Father, Son, Holy Spirit”, as the Bible itself doesn’t tell us that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are his “hypostasis'”. I would assert that if God truly is made up of three hypostases’ (even though I must stress the Bible nowhere tells us he is), then simply Jesus is not one of those hypostasis’, and therefore is still not a part of the Trinity.
If a being is “made up” in totality of three hypostases, thinker, thought and thinking, then according to the Trinity Jesus as the “Son” is merely “one of” those hypostases, and therefore it’s like saying he is either the thinker, the thought or the thinking. If we apply this to a human being, and we were to “send one of our hypostasis'” out into the world (in the way God sent his Son to the world), then we would either have to take away from ourselves either the thinker (absent of thought and thinking), the thinking (absent of the thinker or thought), or the thought (absent of the thinker and thinking).
Can we really say that a “part” of oneself that is required for consciousness can in itself be conscious? Does “the thinker” reward, give aid to, or appoint with authority; the “thought” or the “thinking”, (or vice versa with any of these hypostases) as to treat it a “person” in of itself? Does the “thought” talk back to the thinker of its own volition in a self-aware manner, in a way that it can contradict or go against what its thinker wills? Are we to understand as “thinkers”, you and me as a people right now, that our thoughts are also people in themselves? The Son after all speaks with his Father when on Earth, and the Father responds in an active conversational manner that was heard audibly by the Apostles on Earth when they were with him. To understand these as “hypostasis” means God is literally talking to himself like a psychotic hears voices in their own head (which are actually just their inner thoughts becoming audible) and speaks back to them.
If the Son is merely the “thought” of God in his own mind, and the Father is the thinker, is the Father not in control of his own thoughts seeing that his thought has a different will to the thinker that conceived of and begatt the thought?
- “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” – Luke 22:42
Can a thought without its thinker make its own independent decisions and judgements?
- “Furthermore, the Father judges no one, but has assigned all judgment to the Son… And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.” – John 5:22
Without one another they are nothing, each hypostasis on its own is incomplete, all are required to have a fully functioning person, for none of these things alone have “their own consciousness” but all three combined ‘are’ a person of consciousness, but only when together. Therefore, when two are taken away, all that is left is either mental retardation or death…. of which we know on Earth, the Son ‘did’ die (and considering the immortal soul doctrine I strongly believe is false and unbiblical, we cannot assert “only the human body” but not the “soul” or “hypostasis” of Jesus died, as that is not a genuine death). So for a moment did God’s “thought” or “thinking ability” die?
If we truly wish to claim Jesus is a fully conscious person who is God and not succumb to polytheism, then he has to be God in “totality”, as to be the being that is the Father, Son and Holy spirit at the same time, but is that not the heresy of sabellianism or modalism? This is error is in fact shown in Trinitarian canon in their own words:
Within Christology, two specific theological concepts have emerged throughout history, in reference to the Hypostasis of Christ: monohypostatic concept advocates that Christ has only one hypostasis; dyohypostatic concept advocates that Christ has two hypostases (divine and human) – Hypostasis, Wikipedia
If Jesus is just one of the hypostasis (a claim Trinitarians use to refute sabellianism), then how is he conscious by himself, for Jesus as the Son (the “thought”) is not the Father (the “active thinker”), and without one another they are both nothing for a thinker without thoughts has nothing to think about and becomes mentally dead, and a thought without a thinker can’t exist. If he has more than one hypostasis then he is not part of God’s Trinity but must be self-contained with “his own three independent hypostases”, just as all other sentient beings are said to be in order that they can be thinkers that can think and have thoughts.
Furthermore, if the law of Divine Simplicity is true, and God merely “is” and “cannot change”, then the very fact that one of the single Hypostasis came to Earth and not to “possess” or “imitate”, or “become an illusion of” but, to truly “become (ginomai) flesh” (John 1:14), breaks this law, for God “cannot change”, yet we are claiming here that a part of God left his Heavenly combined state to take up its own conscious independence and literally transformed in its fundamental nature. Even if one takes up the position of “fully man, fully God”, the fact of the matter is, God changed! Therefore, Jesus surely cannot be God because it required a change in both substance and hypostasis. If God is immaterial and then “becomes material” is that not in itself a change of essence by definition?
1096 gínomai – properly, to emerge, become, transitioning from one point (realm, condition) to another. 1096 (gínomai) fundamentally means “become” (becoming, became) so it is not an exact equivalent to the ordinary equative verb “to be” (is, was, will be) as with 1510 /eimí (1511 /eínai, 2258 /ēn).
1096 (ginomai) means “to become, and signifies a change of condition, state or place” (Vine, Unger, White, NT, 109). – HELPS-Word Studies
This very problematic contradiction in fact has lead to various theological positions to explain this away, one being that God was still fully divine when on Earth, that his “essence did not change”, only his “form”, that he was the “God-man”, that he “became” flesh in “location or presentation only”. But this still doesn’t explain away the “change” of transforming his hypostasis from an immaterial component into material flesh, or gaining an “additional hypostasis” (his “fleshly hypostasis”).
Additionally, this line of reasoning contradicts Hebrews 2:7 and Philippians 2:5-8 where Jesus was made “lower than angels” and “emptied himself” meaning he had to have been less than divine at this point. If his “being”, “spirit” or “essence” remained the same, then only his “fleshly shell” was lower than angels, and contrary to scripture he did not at all become lower than angels or fully empty himself, nor did he really “become” flesh, but merely possessed or appeared as it. Others who realised this contradiction in the past even subscribed to “Docetism” which denies Christ was flesh at all but was a spirit on Earth pretending to be a man, which is an antichrist statement (2 John 1:7).
In the history of Christianity, docetism (from the Koinē Greek: δοκεῖν/δόκησις dokeĩn “to seem”, dókēsis “apparition, phantom”) is the heterodox doctrine that the phenomenon of Jesus, his historical and bodily existence, and above all the human form of Jesus, was mere semblance without any true reality. Broadly it is taken as the belief that Jesus only seemed to be human, and that his human form was an illusion…
Docetism was unequivocally rejected at the First Council of Nicaea in 325 and is regarded as heretical by the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, Orthodox Tewahedo, and many Protestant denominations that accept and hold to the statements of these early church councils, such as Reformed Baptists, Reformed Christians, and all Trinitarian Christians. – Docetism, Wikipedia
If Divine Simplicity states God cannot change, then it means he can never be lower than angels, which Jesus was said to be for a time.
If he was made lower than angels by “position” only but not in essence, being or nature, then the angels at that point were in a higher authoritative position than God himself, yet it was God who had the authority to command angels to assist Jesus (Matthew 26:53) and Jesus himself even was given authority to forgive sins (Matthew 9:6) whereas the angels are not said to have this authority. Thus, the only logical meaning behind “becoming flesh” and being “lower than angels”, if not in authority or position, surely has to mean that the ‘essence’ of Jesus changed, meaning he could not be God, for according to the Trinitarian rule of Divine Simplicity, God’s nature cannot change. If Jesus being God was lower in angels only by means of “subjecting himself to the law” in an expression of humility but not positionally or in being as Trinitarians try to claim in regard to this verse, then Jesus was not at all made lower than angels, but he was merely “acting” like he was lower than angels, but no scripture explicitly states this, but it’s merely ‘inferred’ by those who would claim Jesus was God.
But, wait, there’s more…
The Bible tells us Jesus is “begotten” (John 3:16). Even if Jesus represented the “thought” of God as his “hypostasis”, according to Divine Simplicity even that “thought” or part of God would have to be “unbegotten”, infinite, for it demands all of God’s thoughts have always existed and are not independent of Him. To “come about in time” even as a thought, goes against the doctrine of Divine Simplicity, of which is one of the foundations of the Trinity doctrine itself. The only way around this is to invent another definition for the word “begotten” and that’s exactly what Trinitarians do by saying “it’s not literal, he’s unbegotten, but also begotten at the same time because it just means he’s ‘from’ the Father who is the thinker of the thought”, with no Biblical nor linguistic proof text to support such a contradictory idea or definition of the word.
So we begin to see the problems that arise when we begin to name the theoretical three hypostases of God as “Father, Son and Holy Spirit” in order to associate them with those beings as presented in the Bible. The Trinity asserts that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are God’s hypostasis’, just because they say so, not because it’s derived from a Biblical text. Through this they then apply this theology into the Biblical texts and we enter into circular reasoning;
“This scripture at Matthew 28:19 is talking about the three hypostasis“
“But where does the Bible define or say the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are His hypostasis?“
“It doesn’t but the Trinity doctrine explains that the definitions of these words are his three hypostasis, so therefore the meaning of Matthew 28:19 is about the Trinity of God’s three hypostasis….“.
The very foundation of this style of thinking was founded upon the “for framework” I covered earlier, the ‘assumption’ of the correctness of their interpretations of certain paralletic scriptures, in combination with a meaningless and unscriptural philosophical debate over the word “divine” meaning “substance” in the year 325AD (over 300 years after the New Testament was written), which fallaciously pigeonholed them into saying Jesus was God, and so having to borrow elements by 381AD from Neoplatonic teachings (hypostasis) which were first introduced into Christianity by the Gnostic heretic Valentinus, to presumptuously apply upon the Father, Son and Holy Spirit to explain away the Biblical contradictions raised by the opposition (the Arians), and adopting a Gnostic attitude that the holy scriptures had “secret mystical meanings” not obvious to the everyday man or even well-read Christian, convoluting God’s word and flying in the face of the Bible’s clear and basic language intended for its readers (Matthew 11:25).
“Valentinus, the leader of a sect, was the first to devise the notion of three subsistent entities (hypostases), in a work that he entitled On the Three Natures. For, he devised the notion of three subsistent entities and three persons—father, son, and holy spirit“. – Early Christian Writings
Ramifications & Contradictions upon Biblical Doctrine
But I think there are even further contradictions than just ones of common-sense and theological manipulation of words, ones that are in fact in contradiction with some of the most important founding Biblical doctrines of Christianity.
If we did go with such a premise that Jesus was God, we must ask did he truly die? If he somehow was both in Heaven and on Earth at once as one person, he did not really die and thus our sins are not acquitted, of which is an ‘essential’ teaching and cornerstone of all of Christianity itself. According to Apostle Paul, a perfect man was “required to die” to pay the blood ransom of Adam (1 Corinthians 15:22, 1 Timothy 2:6). But if God was alive to raise himself from the “dead” in order to return to himself in Heaven then he did not die at all and thus our sins would not be paid for. Can he die and yet be alive at the same time and fulfill the promised law Covenant? Can God even die? Some would argue “God can do anything”, yet the scriptures say “God cannot lie” (Hebrews 6:18), and that he cannot “exist in the physical universe” (1 Kings 8:27), are these not “limitations”?
If I refused to acknowledge Jesus as a separate entity from God, I would feel that I was directly disobeying Jesus’ commands at John 12:44 and John 14:1, where he instructs his followers “not only” to have faith in “him”, but “also” in the one who “sent him”, his Father, the God Almighty. I feel if we do not then in turn we may not have neither the Father, nor the Son (2 John 1:9), for by worshipping Jesus as God, we only have faith in ‘him’, the Son alone, and not in the One who sent him, the Father, God.
John 14:1 is especially important to look at, for he does not simply make a differentiation between “the Father and the Son”, but he says directly to his apostles not only to have “faith in him” but also in “God”, implying separation between Jesus and God.
I do not believe this differentiation here can be dealt with in a Trinitarian framework, for it cannot be seen to be merely talking about two components that make up the single entity of God, the “Father and Son”, but it makes a distinction between “Jesus and God”, in a manner which very much follows Jesus’ previous patterns of speech where he talks about himself as the Son being separate to the Father, which in turn I think firmly provides us with the exact context in which he wishes to be understood.
Jesus made the statement that the apostles “already had faith” in God, therefore, if he was God, he would not need to follow up with a request that they also have “faith in him”, for he would be saying “you have faith in me, but now, also have faith in me”, which I think would be quite a nonsensical statement. We know he was not making a statement of “equalisation” in the manner of “you have faith in God, now have faith in me because I am God” (as some like to try and explain this verse, that Jesus was “revealing himself” as God to them), for the apostles clearly stated that he never once said such a thing at Philippians 2:6. Even if Jesus was to be “acting” as a man in order to give us an example, and that the apostles did not know of his Godship at this time, this verse even within that context states that Jesus never called himself or made himself equal to God, even in “hindsight” (of which we must remember the New Testament is written in), which in turn I strongly believe debunks any Trinitarian explanation of the aforementioned verses.
Christ never made himself equal to God, he even called the apostles his “brothers”. Why do I believe that is that important? Because all Christians, humans, the apostles, as well as all angels are called “sons of God” or “children of God”. He referred to these people as his “brothers” not only as a human, but even when becoming a King in heaven; In reply the King will say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me”. – Matthew 25:40.
Later scriptures explicitly state that the people who Jesus called his “brothers” God calls his “sons”; You are all, in fact, sons of God through your faith in Christ Jesus – Galatians 3:26. The only people who can ever refer to each other as brothers or sisters in the Bible are the creations, those who had a beginning, as we all share one heavenly Father, our creator, who had no beginning, who has no equal or sibling. Do we dare make the statement that the apostles were made to be “brothers” or “equals” of God? Are we to become Almighty Gods if we become brothers of Christ as some denominations actually teach? Is that not the lie of Satan? (Genesis 3:5). Or are we to understand that the Apostles are the brothers of God’s single hypostasis that is “a thought of God”? A brother of a part of him? Does that make any sense at all?
This is also why I believe Jesus is called the “firstborn” or “begotten son” of God, and not the “brother” of God, because he is not co-equal or co-eternal to him, but is born from God and is subservient to him, just as a fleshly son is to his fleshly father. An eternal being cannot be the “firstborn” or “begotten” of anything, for that requires one to have a beginning, to be “brought about in time”, that is the definition of the meaning of the word.
Wouldn’t it have been more better for the Bible writers to say “Jesus is the unbegotten son”? The term “son” alone would be enough to infer him to be “lesser” or “from” the Father, would it not? Combined with being “unbegotten” yet at the same time a Son would be a much better allegory for the Apostles of the New Testament to write. But the fact of the matter is… they didn’t, they chose the word “begotten” (which means born, or created) specifically with full intent, knowing full well readers would take it at face definition value.
Even if you reason “begotten” refers to his “birth on Earth through Mary” and not his pre-existence in Heaven (like Unitarians do), after Jesus died and returned to Heaven he was still written about in scripture as a separate entity to Yehovah God. Jesus is compared to other angels and righteous earthly men, them being regarded as his contemporaries, to be compared to, in that he was rewarded by God in the same manner as they were, as a subject and servant of him; “But about the Son, he says… You loved righteousness, and you hated lawlessness. That is why God, your God, anointed you with the oil of exultation more than your companions‘.” – Hebrews 1:8-9.
Is God Himself, or the infinite “hypostasis thought” of God really to be compared to angels and men, and to be rewarded like some kind of separate person by God?
In fact not only did the writer of Hebrews make a reference to “Jesus’ God”, but Jesus himself word for word stated that “our God” was also “his God” (John 20:17), thus if Jesus has a God, then that can only refer to the “One” true God (1 Kings 8:60).
Note it does ‘not’ say “Jesus’ Father” it says “Jesus’ God”. He can’t be saying “I am going to my form of Godship which is your God”, because he makes a direct contextual comparison, that “our God” is “his God”, so either Jesus here says “I am returning to be God” and therefore in the same sentence says his disciples are God by direct parallel in his sentence, or he’s saying the God of the disciples of whom they worship is also his God that he also worships. There is no indication that he was saying two things or two meanings at once here.
Again, at John 8:17-18, Jesus calls God, his Father, a “different person” by claiming his Father to be his witness in court where the law required “two individuals” to vindicate the accused. If Jesus was God, and God is one, then this reasoning Jesus uses as his defence means nothing, and even worse, it makes Jesus a liar! For he didn’t have a second witness as he claimed… Unless of course we resorted to the polytheistic form of the Trinity which ‘literally’ teaches God is “three people” in one (which is something I know personally that Catholics and Orthodox detest).
Whilst some argue that “the Bible says there is one true God, and so if Jesus is not God he is a false god for there is only one or the other” that is simply not true and is a terribly fallacious argument which is not Biblically nor linguistically harmonious. Just because Jesus is “a god”, or “divine” does not make him a “false God” as many Trinitarians would try and argue in an attempt to “catch out” Arianists and label them as polytheists, because that is not the only definition of the word “god” or “divine”. A false god is merely but ‘one’ of the comparative definitions to God, but there have been many “gods” approved by Almighty God in scripture without them being “false gods” (Psalm 82:6, John 10:34), of whom I should note are ‘also’ called “sons” of God, just as the “god Jesus” is.
- “I said, ‘You are “gods”; you are all sons of the Most High.’” – Psalm 82:6
Thus, I believe Jesus makes it unambiguously clear to his listeners, that they must put their faith, belief and obedience in more than one individual; himself, and his Heavenly Father, the Almighty God. Not as a form of polytheism (worshipping more than one god as ‘the’ Supreme Being), but in context of the arrangement that God has made, in declaring his Son our saviour and King, who rules the Heavenly Kingdom on his Father’s behalf, and in turn answers to Him, and mediates to Him on our behalf as our High Priest (Hebrews 2:17, Hebrews 4:14, Hebrews 6:20).
“If not God, then who or what is the real Jesus?”
Some may ask; “if Jesus is not God, then what is his role in our faith? In what way is he important if he is less than God?”.
Well the first and foremost obvious answer is that he died for our sins. The Bible never states that “God” was required to die for our sins, only that “someone” was. I believe that role could have been fulfilled by Gabriel, Michael or any of the other angels of Heaven, but God chose his only-begotten firstborn son especially for this task to honour both him and us and prove his ultimate undying love for us, as the expression of the ‘ultimate’ sacrifice, something which was echoed in the earliest days when God asked Abraham to offer up ‘his’ firstborn son (Genesis 22:1-19).
The second is that he is still the second most powerful being to ever exist next to God. He is the “Word” of God, that is, His spokesperson whom was created directly out of God’s substance.
Just as we are begotten of our parent’s substance (their DNA), meaning we ‘are’ our parents for we are made out of their existing material as opposed to being born out of thin air. Just as when a flame lights a candle, the new flame is of the original flame but is now a separate flame, yet the original flame is not diminished of anything. Jesus is begotten of God’s substance by means of the Wisdom of God being spoken as a Word into existence as a separate conscious being. His first creation, His first Heavenly Son who reflects his Father’s likeness as his Image, just as Seth the son of Adam was the image of Adam, before time began (Psalm 2:7, Proverbs 8, John 1:1, John 3:16, Colossians 1:15, 1 Corinthians 1:30, Hebrews 1:1-3).
Thirdly, Jesus Christ is the “head craftsman”, the “skilled worker”, who put together the creative works of this universe (Proverbs 8:30) of which his Almighty Father created from nothing by means of His holy spirit, His expression of action, His power, for His Son, whom through all things were then assembled (1 Corinthians 8:6, Colossians 1:16).
Fourthly, he is our rightful King and High Priest, the ultimate ruler of the New Kingdom of whom Yehovah God, the Father of Jesus, has set in place.
Just as the high priests of the Old Covenant would mediate between the nation of Israel and God at the Temple in Jerusalem by sacrificing animals before Him, Jesus now fulfils this role in the Heavenly Temple of Spiritual Israel, whom as our High Priest sacrificed himself as “the lamb” before God.
This arrangement is needed. If Jesus were God, then we would have no mediator, for a mediator is someone who is “in between two parties” (1 Timothy 2:5, Galatians 3:20). Just as God cannot be the mediator, neither is God a High Priest, for priesthood is a position given to those lower than Himself. A “priest” by definition is a worshipper and official representative of God, just as King Melchizedek was (of whom’s, Jesus’ priesthood is directly paralleled to in Hebrews 5:4-5 & Hebrews 7:1-3). We see that Jesus did not “grant himself” High Priesthood (as it would have been if he were the Almighty God), but it was “granted to him” by God, a separate individual.
Thus, through study of the scriptures I arrive at my Arianist stance. I see Jesus’ position as the greater fulfilment, the echo of the Old Covenant.
He is the animal that is sacrificed, the Kingdom leader appointed by God, and the temple High Priest who worships God and mediates on behalf of the nation before Him. Jesus takes upon himself all the leadership roles of all those who came before him in the physical nation of Israel, but now that Kingdom will rule from the Heavens, and its citizens are those who worship God by obeying his commands and the commands of the ruler He has stationed in place, Christ.
This is why Christ’s name is said to be “above every name”, and that “every knee will bow in Heaven and on Earth” (Philippians 2:9–11). “Every name” in this context does not include God himself, but only the created beings, angels and humans, which is explained word for word at 1 Corinthians 15:27: “For he “has put everything under his feet.” Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ”.
By sticking to the Bible alone, and accurately translating it, with no false religious influences, styles of thought or outside philosophy upon the nature of God, only then will we come to accurate understanding. The Bible and its internal language definitions come first, and then from ‘it’ we judge any and all asserted doctrines and linguistics comparatively, the church does not divine the Bible, the Bible defines the church.
If you as a reader still subscribe to the Trinity and have come this far and still hold your conviction, then I can at the very least thank you for taking your time to read this article, and state that I do not hold animosity toward you, for we all stand before God alone, and act in accordance upon our consciences before Him. Those of you who feel you have been persuaded by my stances and reasoning, I thank you also for your willingness to be open-minded and follow our God with an equally honest heart.
I pray for us all, no matter what our personal stances, that we continue to come to an accurate understanding of our God, of his Son, the scriptures, salvation and what He wants us all as individuals to do for Him. These are very heavy topics, and for many they are understandably worrying topics to tackle, either due to fear of persecution by man, or condemnation by God… But we must remember, all God wants from us is to obey Him, have Faith that His Son died for our sins, and to be honest in our search for Christian truth.