The word “trinity” is not found in the Scriptures. The English word trinity is derived from Latin trinitas, meaning the number three or a triad. The corresponding word in Greek also means a set of or number three. The majority of the “Christian” faith believes in two principle doctrines:
The Nicene Creed
We believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father by whom all things were made; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, and was made man, and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried, and the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father. And he shall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead, whose kingdom shall have no end.
And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, who proceedeth from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, who spoke by the prophets. And we believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins. And we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
1. Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith;
2. Which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.
3. And the catholic faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity;
4. Neither confounding the persons nor dividing the substance.
5. For there is one person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit.
6. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit is all one, the glory equal, the majesty coeternal.
7. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit.
8. The Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Spirit uncreated.
9. The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Spirit incomprehensible.
10. The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal.
11. And yet they are not three eternals but one eternal.
12. As also there are not three uncreated nor three incomprehensible, but one uncreated and one incomprehensible.
13. So likewise the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Spirit almighty.
14. And yet they are not three almighties, but one almighty.
15. So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God;
16. And yet they are not three Gods, but one God.
17. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Spirit Lord;
18. And yet they are not three Lords but one Lord.
19. For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every Person by himself to be God and Lord;
20. So are we forbidden by the catholic religion to say; There are three Gods or three Lords.
21. The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten.
22. The Son is of the Father alone; not made nor created, but begotten.
23. The Holy Spirit is of the Father and of the Son; neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.
24. So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Spirit, not three Holy Spirits.
25. And in this Trinity none is afore or after another; none is greater or less than another.
26. But the whole three persons are coeternal, and coequal.
27. So that in all things, as aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.
28. He therefore that will be saved must thus think of the Trinity.
29. Furthermore it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe rightly the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
30. For the right faith is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man.
31. God of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and man of substance of His mother, born in the world.
32. Perfect God and perfect man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting.
33. Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching His manhood.
34. Who, although He is God and man, yet He is not two, but one Christ.
35. One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking of that manhood into God.
36. One altogether, not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person.
37. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ;
38. Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead;
39. He ascended into heaven, He sits on the right hand of the Father, God, Almighty;
40. From thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
41. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies;
42. and shall give account of their own works.
43. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting and they that have done evil into everlasting fire.
44. This is the catholic faith, which except a man believe faithfully he cannot be saved.
The basic problem is that trinitarianism is a nonbiblical doctrine that contradicts a number of biblical teachings and many specific verses of Scripture. Moreover, the doctrine contains a number of internal contradictions. Of course, the most obvious internal contradiction is how there can be three persons of God in any meaningful sense and yet there be only one God. Below we have compiled a number of other contradictions and problems associated with trinitarianism. This list is not exhaustive but it does give an idea of how much the doctrine deviates from the Bible.
1. Did Jesus Christ have two fathers? The Father is the Father of the Son (I John 1:3), yet the child born of Mary was conceived by the Holy Ghost (Matthew 1:18, 20; Luke 1:35). Which one is the true father? Some trinitarians say that the Holy Ghost was merely the Father’s agent in conception – a process they compare to artificial insemination!
2. How many Spirits are there? God the Father is a Spirit (John 4:24), the Lord Jesus is a Spirit (II Corinthians 3:17), and the Holy Spirit is a Spirit by definition. Yet there is one Spirit (I Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 4:4).
3. If Father and Son are co-equal persons, why did Jesus pray to the Father? (Matthew 11:25). Can God pray to God?
4. Similarly, how can the Son not know as much as the Father? (Matthew 24:36; Mark 13:32).
5. Similarly, how can the Son not have any power except what the Father gives Him? (John 5:19, 30; 6:38).
6. Similarly, what about other verses of Scripture indicating the inequality of the Son and the Father? (John 8:42; 14:28; I Corinthians 11:3).
7. Did “God the Son” die? The Bible says the Son died (Romans 5:10). If so, can God die? Can part of God die?
8. How can there be an eternal Son when the Bible speaks of the begotten Son, clearly indicating that the Son had a beginning? (John 3:16; Hebrews 1:5-6).
9. If the Son is eternal and existed at creation, who was His mother at that time? We know the Son was made of a woman (Galatians 4:4).
10. Did “God the Son” surrender His omnipresence while on earth? If so, how could he still be God?
11. If the Son is eternal and immutable (unchangeable), how can the reign of the Son have an ending? (I Corinthians 15:24-28).
12. If in answer to questions 3 through 11 we say only the human Son of God was limited in knowledge, was limited in power, and died, then how can we speak of “God the Son”? Are there two Sons?
13. Whom do we worship and to whom do we pray? Jesus said to worship the Father (John 4:21-24), yet Stephen prayed to Jesus (Acts 7:59-60).
14. Can there be more than three persons in the Godhead? Certainly the Old Testament does not teach three but emphasizes oneness. If the New Testament adds to the Old Testament message and teaches three persons, then what is to prevent subsequent revelations of additional persons? If we apply trinitarian logic to interpret some verses of Scripture, we could teach a fourth person (Isaiah 48:16; Colossians 1:3; 2:2; I Thessalonians 3:11; James 1:27). Likewise, we could interpret some verses of Scripture to mean six more persons (Revelation 3:1; 5:6).
15. Are there three Spirits in a Christian’s heart? Father, Jesus, and the Spirit all dwell within a Christian (John 14:17, 23; Romans 8:9; Ephesians 3:14-17). Yet there is one Spirit (I Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 4:4).
16. There is only one throne in heaven (Revelation 4:2). Who sits upon it? We know Jesus does (Revelation 1:8,18, 4:8). Where do the Father and the Holy Spirit sit?
17. If Jesus is on the throne, how can He sit on the right hand of God? (Mark 16:19). Does He sit or stand on the right hand of God? (Acts 7:55). Or is He in the Father’s bosom? (John 1:18).
18. Is Jesus in the Godhead or is the Godhead in Jesus? Colossians 2:9 says the latter.
19. Given Matthew 28:19, why did the apostles consistently baptize both Jews and Gentiles using the name of Jesus, even to the extent of rebaptism? (Acts 2:38; 8:16; 10:48; 19:5; 22:16; I Corinthians 1:13).
20. Who raised Jesus from the dead? Did the Father (Ephesians 1:20), or Jesus (John 2:19-21), or the Spirit? (Romans 8:11).
21. If Son and Holy Ghost are co-equal persons in the Godhead, why is blasphemy of the Holy Ghost unforgivable but blasphemy of the Son is not? (Luke 12:10).
22. If the Holy Ghost is a co-equal member of the trinity, why does the Bible always speak of Him being sent from the Father or from Jesus? (John 14:26; 15:26).
23. Does the Father know something that the Holy Spirit does not know? If so, how can they be co-equal? Only the Father knows the day and hour of the Second Coming of Christ (Mark 13:32).
24. Did the trinity make the Old and New covenants? We know the LORD (Yahweh) did (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Hebrews 8:7-13). If Jehovah/Yahweh is a trinity then Father, Son, and Spirit all had to die to make the new covenant effective (Hebrews 9:16-17).
25. If the Spirit proceeds from the Father, is the Spirit also a son of the Father? If not, why not?
26. If the Spirit proceeds from the Son, is the Spirit the grandson of the Father? If not, why not?
27. Can it be logical to say that one plus one plus one (1+1+1=1) equals only one? Mathematicians would say that math formula would equal three.
28. Why did it take over four hundred years to make up this teaching?
History reports a ‘trinity’ of gods was widespread in paganism. The Catholic Church adopted the trinity in order to satisfy Roman Emperor Constantine and solidify his kingdom, as well as to incorporate something that had been familiar and acceptable to former pagans in an effort to convert them to Christianity.
The Babylonians of about 2,500 BC had a trinity in unison:
The triad of backsliding Israel from around 1200 BC:
The Egyptians had three main gods, Osiris, Isis and Horus. Horus was in turn divided into 3 parts or persons:
Horus – the King
Horus – Ra
Horus – the Scarabaeus.
Likewise the Hindu Vedas of around 1000 BC claimed that one God existed in three forms:
Agni – Fire, presiding over the earth
Indra – the Firmament, presiding over the mid-air
Surya – The Sun. presiding over the Heavens.
In later Hinduism, the ‘trimurti’ or trinity of gods became:
Brahma – the creative power
Vishnu – the preserving power
Siva – the transforming power.
The fact remains that the trinity doctrine was developed over time by the Catholics. It took nearly four hundred years to formulate this doctrine. Jesus, Peter and Paul never taught it. In fact, not one person (prophet, apostle or otherwise) ever wrote about the trinity in any form. If it were really true and so vitally important to believe in, why did they not teach it? Let’s take a look at what the encyclopedias, historians and people have said about this subject.
“The cult that arose in Babylon and spread it’s tentacles throughout the world was trinitarian. At first, this doctrine was merely humanism, man making himself god. The first humanism trinity of record to be setup and worshiped as gods, was that of Nimrod, Semiramis, and Tammuz. Semiramis demanded worship for both her husband and her son as well as herself. These are in the Old Testament in the Canaanite language identified as Baal, Ashtoreth, and Tammuz. At the dispersion of the people at the Tower of Babel, this trinity doctrine of humanism was spread all over the world. Each religion of all the pagan religions held two common traits: 1.) A trinity of gods and; 2.) These were in a form of human gods.” (Two Babylons, by Alexander Hislop).
“The word (Trinity) itself does not occur in the Bible…The explicit formula was thus formulated in the post-biblical period, although the early stages of its development can be seen in the NT. Attempts to trace the origin still earlier (to the Old Testament literature) cannot be supported by historical-critical scholarship, and these attempts must be understood as retrospective interpretations of this earlier corpus of Scripture in the light of later theological developments.” The Harper Collins Study Bible Dictionary
“We are judged to be heretics because we can no longer believe in essence, person, nature, incarnation, as they want us to believe. If these things are necessary for salvation, it is certain that no poor peasant Christian be saved, because he could never understand them in all his life.” — Francis David (1510-79)
“The word Trinity is not found in the Bible . . . It did not find a place formally in the theology of the church till the 4th century.” — The Illustrated Bible Dictionary
The Catholic Encyclopedia also says: “In Scripture there is as yet no single term by which the Three Divine Persons are denoted together. The word [tri’as] (of which the Latin trinitas is a translation) is first found in Theophilus of Antioch about A. D. 180 . . . Shortly afterwards it appears in its Latin form of trinitas in Tertullian.” However, this is no proof in itself that Tertullian taught the Trinity. The Catholic work Trinitas – A Theological Encyclopedia of the Holy Trinity, for example, notes that some of Tertullian’s words were later used by others to describe the Trinity. But then it states: “But hasty conclusions cannot be drawn from usage, for he does not apply the words to Trinitarian theology.”
The New Encyclopedia Britannica: “Neither the word Trinity nor the explicit doctrine appears in the New Testament.” Yale University Professor E. Washburn Hopkins: “To Jesus and Paul the doctrine of the trinity was apparently unknown; . . . they say nothing about it.” — Origin and Evolution of Religion.
Tom Harpur states, “As early as the 8th century, the Theologian St. John of Damascus frankly admitted what every modern critical scholar of the NT now realizes: that neither the Doctrine of the Trinity nor that of the 2 natures of Jesus Christ is explicitly set out in scripture. In fact, if you take the record as it is and avoid reading back into it the dogmatic definitions of a later age, you cannot find what is traditionally regarded as orthodox Christianity in the Bible at all.” — For Christ’s Sake.
Historian Arthur Weigall: “Jesus Christ never mentioned such a phenomenon, and nowhere in the New Testament does the word ‘Trinity’ appear. The idea was only adopted by the Church three hundred years after the death of our Lord.” — The Paganism in Our Christianity
The New Encyclopedia Britannica: “Neither the word Trinity, nor the explicit doctrine as such, appears in the New Testament, nor did Jesus and his followers intend to contradict the Shema in the Old Testament: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord’ — Deut. 6:4
The doctrine developed gradually over several centuries and through many controversies . . . By the end of the 4th century . . . the doctrine of the Trinity took substantially the form it has maintained ever since.” — Micropaedia, Vol. X, p. 126. (1976)
The New Catholic Encyclopedia states: “The formulation ‘one God in three Persons’ was not solidly established, certainly not fully assimilated into Christian life and its profession of faith, prior to the end of the 4th century. But it is precisely this formulation that has first claim to the title the Trinitarian dogma. Among the Apostolic Fathers, there had been nothing even remotely approaching such a mentality or perspective.” – (1967), Vol. XIV, p. 299.
The Encyclopedia Americana: “Christianity derived from Judaism and Judaism was strictly Unitarian [believing that God is one person]. The road which led from Jerusalem to Nicaea was scarcely a straight one. Fourth century Trinitarianism did not reflect accurately early Christian teaching regarding the nature of God; it was, on the contrary, a deviation from this teaching.” — (1956), Vol. XXVII, p. 294L.
The Nouveau Dictionnaire Universel, “The Platonic trinity, itself merely a rearrangement of older trinities dating back to earlier peoples, appears to be the rational philosophic trinity of attributes that gave birth to the three hypostases or divine persons taught by the Christian churches . . . This Greek philosopher’s [Plato, fourth century B.C.E.] conception of the divine trinity . . . can be found in all the ancient [pagan]religions.” — (Paris, 1865-1870), edited by M. Lachâtre, Vol. 2, p. 1467.
“The belief as so defined was reached only in the 4th and 5th centuries AD and hence is not explicitly and formally a biblical belief. The trinity of persons within the unity of nature is defined in terms of “person” and “nature: which are Gk philosophical terms; actually the terms do not appear in the Bible. The Trinitarian definitions arose as the result of long controversies in which these terms and others such as “essence” and “substance” were erroneously applied to God by some theologians.” Dictionary of the Bible by John L. McKenzie, S.J. p. 899
Regarding the Nicene Council and those that followed, Hans Kung in Christianity says, “The councilor decisions plunged Christianity into undreamed-of theological confusions with constant entanglements in church politics. They produced splits and sparked off a persecution of heretics unique in the history of religion. This is what Christianity became as it changed its nature from a persecuted minority to a majority persecuting others.”
For the most part, the Trinitarian church has silenced critical thought and dealt treacherously with anyone of open mind and free thought. In the 1670’s, Isaac Newton quietly studied the Trinity and came to the conclusion that the doctrine was foisted on the Church by Athanasius in order to swell the numbers and fill the coffers. He concluded Arius was right and he claimed that the Bible had prophesied the Rise of Trinitarianism(“this strange religion of the west”, the cult of 3 equal gods) as the abomination of desolation. — The Rise of Science and Decline of Orthodox Christianity. A study of Kepler, Descartes and Newton.
Albrecht Ritschl (1822-89) saw the Trinity doctrine as flagrantly Hellenistic. It had corrupted the Christian message by introducing an alien “layer of metaphysical concepts, derived from the natural philosophy of the Greeks,” and it had nothing to do with early Christianity.
“The Chalcedonian formula [the council’s decision declaring Jesus both God and man]makes genuine humanity impossible. The councilor definition says that Jesus is true man. But if there are two natures in him, it is clear which will dominate. And Jesus becomes immediately very different from us. He is omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent. He knows the past, present and future…He knows exactly what everyone is thinking and going to do. This is far from ordinary human experience. Jesus is tempted but cannot sin because he is God. What kind of temptation is this? It has little in common with the kinds of struggles we are familiar with.” To Know and Follow Jesus, Roman Catholic writer Thomas Hart (Paulist Press, 1984), 46.
Historian Will Durant: “Christianity did not destroy paganism; it adopted it. . . . From Egypt came the ideas of a divine trinity.” And in the book Egyptian Religion, Siegfried Morenz notes: “The trinity was a major preoccupation of Egyptian theologians . . . Three gods are combined and treated as a single being, addressed in the singular. In this way the spiritual force of Egyptian religion shows a direct link with Christian theology.”
“The doctrine of the Trinity has in the West come into increasing question…there has for long been a tendency to treat the doctrine as a problem rather than as encapsulating the heart of the Christian Gospel.” The Promise of the Trinity, Gunton, p.31
“Despite their orthodox confession of the Trinity, Christians are, in their practical life, almost mere monotheists. We must be willing to admit that, should the doctrine of the Trinity have to be dropped as false, the major part of religious literature could well remain virtually unchanged.” Karl Rahner, The Trinity, J. Donceel, trans, p.10
“But how can such weak creatures ever take in so strange, so difficult and so abstruse a doctrine as this [the Trinity], in the explication and defence whereof multitudes of men, even men of learning and piety, have lost themselves in infinite subtleties of dispute and endless mazes of darkness? And can this strange and perplexing notion of three real persons going up to make one true God be so necessary and important a part of that Christian doctrine, which, in the Old Testament and the New, is represented as so plain and so easy, even to the meanest understandings.” William G. Eliot, Discourses on the Doctrines of Christianity (American Unitarian Association, Boston,1877), pp. 97, 100
The Eastern Theologian John of Damascus (c. 675-749) once used a very curious argument in favor of icons…John replied to the criticism are unscriptural by admitting the fact, and adding that you will not find in scripture the Trinity, of homousian or the two natures of Christ either. But we know those doctrines are true. And so, having acknowledged that icons, the Trinity and the incarnation are innovations, John goes on to urge his reader to hold fast to them as venerable traditions delivered to us by the Fathers…He was not the only one to use this argument: Theodore the Studite (759-826) adopted it too. It brings out an odd feature to Christianity, its mutability and speed with which innovations come to be vested with religious solemnity to such an extent that anyone who questions them find himself regarded as the dangerous innovator and heretic.” The Christ of Christendom by Don Cupitt, as used in The Myth of God Incarnate, p. 133
“No historical fact is better established, than that the doctrine of one God, pure and uncompounded, was that of the early ages of Christianity . . . Nor was the unity of the Supreme Being ousted from the Christian creed by the force of reason, but by the sword of civil government, wielded at the will of the Athanasius. The hocus-pocus phantasm of a God like another Cerberus, with one body and three heads, had its birth and growth in the blood of thousands of martyrs . . . The Athanasian paradox that one is three, and three but one, is so incomprehensible to the human mind, that no candid man can say he has any idea of it, and how can he believe what presents no idea? He who thinks he does, only deceives himself. He proves, also, that man, once surrendering his reason, has no remaining guard against absurdities the most monstrous, and like a ship without rudder, is the sport of every wind. With such person, gullibility which they call faith, takes the helm from the hand of reason, and the mind becomes a wreck.” — Thomas Jefferson: Letter to James Smith, Dec. 8, 1822
“Anyone who can worship a trinity and insist that his religion is a monotheism can believe anything.” — Robert A. Heinlein
“When we look back through the long ages of the reign of the Trinity . . . we shall perceive that few doctrines have produced more unmixed evil.” A Statement of Reasons for Not Believing the Doctrine of the Trinitarians Concerning the Nature of God and the Person of Christ, 1833 Andrews Norton