The Holy Trinity

 

The title alone, Holy Trinity, seems to command reverence. No doctrine is as fiercely held onto by the Church as is this one. It is so universally acknowledged that any who does not hold to its tenets are thought to be un-saved and are commonly referred to as unbelievers, indeed even heretics. This Holy Trinity is so welded to the fabric of Church doctrine that few are willing even to discuss its merits. The Catholic Encyclopedia even calls it "the central doctrine of the Christian religion". I don't think that even the resurrection of our Lord is so widely accepted to be true. Thomas doubted the resurrection, but according to Trinitarians he was the first of the Apostles to embrace this concept of the Trinity, when he said unto Yeshua (Jesus), "My Lord and my God" (JOHN 20:28).

The actual doctrine of the Trinity is quite lengthy and the presumption that Yeshua is GOD was only a portion of it. The following is a summation of the doctrine from the Catholic Encyclopedia.

...there are Three Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, these Three Persons being truly distinct one from another. Thus, in the words of the Athanasian Creed: "the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God, and yet there are not three Gods but one God." In this Trinity of Persons the Son is begotten of the Father by an eternal generation, and the Holy Spirit proceeds by an eternal procession from the Father and the Son. Yet, notwithstanding this difference as to origin, the Persons are co-eternal and co-equal: all alike are uncreated and omnipotent.

Do you suppose this is what Thomas believed? Do you suppose this is what the other eleven Apostles believed? Or Paul, or Barnabas, or Apollos, or Stephen or any of Yeshua's disciples? Do you suppose that his mother and siblings believed this? Did Yeshua Himself believe that this was the central doctrine of His religion? If so, there is no evidence of it. There is not even a hint in Scripture that anyone believed in an "eternal generation" or an "eternal procession". So from where did it come? It was erected centuries after the passing of the last of Yeshua's Apostles. So why is it considered the "central doctrine of the Christian religion"? Church Tradition!

For many people, it seems that true doctrine does not have to stem from the Bible. If the Church propounds it then that is good enough for them. If the Priest or Minister says it is true, then they believe it. But what if the Priest or Minister is wrong? Could they be wrong? Of course! Sometimes Peter was wrong (MATTHEW 16:22). Sometimes Paul was wrong (ACTS 26:9). That is why we have the Scriptures, so as to be able to measure what is taught, to determine its validity.

The definition given by the Catholic Encyclopedia for the Trinity seems like a lot of double talk, and it is. "...there are not three Gods but one God", and "the Son is begotten" yet "all alike are uncreated and omnipotent". These contradictory statements may be true and a great mystery that we cannot comprehend as mere mortals, but we have every right to ask, who then came up with it. If not Yeshua or His Apostles, who first penned it to paper? Why is it not explicitly set forth in the Bible, if it is the "central doctrine of the Christian religion"? Why must we find evidence of it in some creed called the Athanasian Creed? In his book The Serpent and the Dove, Samuel Laeuchli, a resolute Trinitarian, wrote on page 76, the following concerning Athanasius.

The language of his theology is by no means purely scriptural, let alone traditional, but betrays time and again the idiom of Alexandrian Gnosticism and Hellenistic philosophy. The metaphors of the sun and its rays, the images of fountain and water, the begotten and the unbegotten, finally the whole discussion about monad and triad, were all a mixture of speculation and revelation.

If GOD was able to preserve for us in Scripture for thousands of years the story of Balaam's ass speaking (NUMBERS 22:28), or of Yeshua turning some water into wine, why are not the intimate details of this "central doctrine of the Christian religion" given to us within the covers of HIS Holy Book? Does not the acceptance of this strange doctrine force its adherents to reject the sole authority of the Scripture and elevate Church Tradition as their primary source of truth?

The best that the proponents of this mystical doctrine can produce from the Bible is a suggestion in some particular epistle or a hint in some other book or gospel, and after having put all these scattered pieces together, they come up with a fragmented picture that sort of looks like the mutation of the Trinity. Are we to expect that this is how GOD would reveal HIMself? Are we to read between the lines and then ignore what is plainly written on the lines to discover something as important as the relationship between GOD and HIS only begotten Son? If the reader will take the time to simply search for Trinity in say wikipedia and read about its history, he can't fail to realize that it evolved over many centuries. This one selection says so much,

...all scholars recognize that the Creeds themselves were created in reaction to disagreements over the nature of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. These controversies, however, were great and many, and took some centuries to be resolved.

Consider and ponder this very carefully. If the "central doctrine of the Christian religion" is not from the Bible, then are we not to suspect that what is being palmed off to us today as the "Christian religion" may very well be something entirely different then true Christianity? If our Church's doctrine defining who GOD is, is not from the Bible, then how can that Church present itself as representing the Bible? We're not talking about lesser doctrines, like the different ways to be baptized or whether or not speaking in tongues is appropriate. We're talking about who GOD is! If that definition is derived from Church tradition then let it be. Then let Church tradition be their source for truth. But let them be honest and not hold up the Bible and intimate that they proclaim it.

For further reading on this topic, see the short study, Who Art Thou, Lord?

For additional reading, see The Origins of the Trinity.