Proverbs 30:6 “Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.”
Revelations 22:18 “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words (logos- words, thoughts, ideas) of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:”
So, you believe in a Trinity of Gods. You’re not alone. All the ancient pagans did as well. Trinity, Holy Trinity, Divine Trinity, Triune, Three-in-one, Three-of-one, God the Son, God the Holy Ghost, Separate Persons, Separate Egos, Separate Individuals, Divine Plurality, Divine Individuality, Divine Unity, Mystery Above Reason, etc.
Think about this. Before pagan philosophy merged with Christianity, the above Trinitarian words and phrases WERE NOT USED OR KNOWN by the original church.
If a person believes the Bible is complete (2 Tim. 3:16 “All scripture is given… 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all…”) then they should reject the Trinity doctrine on the simple fact of it’s being extra-Biblical, and therefore non-scriptural.
I’m not making this up. Trinitarians have said these things about the doctrine!
“The doctrine of the Trinity itself, however, is NOT A BIBLICAL DOCTRINE… It is the product of theological reflection upon the problem… The ecclesiastical doctrine of the Trinity is not only the product of genuine Biblical thought, it is also THE PRODUCT OF PHILOSOPHICAL SPECULATION, which is REMOTE FROM THE BIBLE.” -The Christian Doctrine of God, by Emil Brunner.
“When one does speak of an unqualified Trinitarianism, one has moved from the period of Christian origins to, say, the last quadrant of the 4th century… From what has been seen thus far, the impression could arise that the Trinitarian dogma is in the last analysis a late 4th century invention. In a sense this is true… The formulation ‘one God in three persons’ was not 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’.” -The New Catholic Encyclopedia.
“The Bible does not explain to us how the three Persons are one God.” -Essential Christianity, by Dr. Walter Martin, Regal Book.
The doctrine of the Trinity was concisely stated by the Westminster Confession of Faith (1647)…” – Bowman. Are Trinitarians able to rely on scriptural terminology alone to defend their beliefs? “The Trinity… doctrine employs nonbiblical terminology (Trinity, persons, etc.)… this is true…”- Bowman Do Trinitarians rely solely on explicitly stated scripture in deriving their doctrine? “…Jesus… IMPLIED that He and the Father were two persons…- Bowman.
Are you aware of where this idea of “Trinity” originated before being introduced into the Christian faith by pagan-philosopher-Christians?
“Dr. Adolf Harnack, the church historian, was prompted to write that the dogmatic teaching of the trinity had built a ‘theory of legal factions with no more foundation in fact than the conscienceless personality of a joint stock company created by lawyers for legal purposes.’ In other words, the trinity doctrine exists only on paper… No apostle of our Lord Jesus Christ ever taught such a doctrine… NONE OF THE IMMEDIATE DISCIPLES OF THE APOSTLES (E.G., CLEMENT, IGNATIUS, HERMAS, OR POLYCARP) TAUGHT SUCH A DOCTRINE… Who began such a teaching?… TRINITIES ABOUND IN THE ANCIENT, FALSE RELIGIONS…” -William Chalfant, Ancient Champions of Oneness, pages 116-118.
“The thing that most people do not realize is that THE IDEA OF TRINITY WAS CENTRAL TO MITHRA WORSHIP. It (Trinity) was taught in the oldest Chaldean, Egyptian, and Mithraitic schools. The Chaldean Sun-god, Mithra, was called ‘Triple,’ and the Trinitarian idea of the Chaldeans was a doctrine of the Akkadians, who themselves belonged to a race which was the first to conceive a metaphysical trinity.” -Blavatsky, vol. 2 sec.1 page 46, as quoted from Three Persons- from the Bible? Or Babylon, by Thomas Weisser, page 26.
“The Trinity doctrine… traces it’s history to a rebellious extremist named Tertullian… And it is not improbable that the development of the doctrine of THE TRINITY, WHICH FORMED NO PART OF THE ORIGINAL JEWISH CHRISTIANITY, may be traced to Egyptian influence; as the whole of the OLDER EGYPTIAN THEOLOGY WAS PERMEATED WITH THE IDEA OF TRIPLE DIVINITY, as seen by both in the triads of gods which the various cities worshipped, and in the threefold names, representing three differing aspects of the same personality, under which each god might be addressed.” -Joseph Crafton Milne, “A History of Egypt, pg 155. Vol. 5. as quoted in After The Way Called Heresy, by Thomas Weisser, pg 21.
“The Cappodicians, theologians who reconciled the faith of Athanasius with the current philosophy, and apprehended it abstractly, did not retain his teaching pure and simple… They boldly characterized the PLURALITY OF HYPOSTASES, E.G., AS A PHASE OF TRUTH PRESERVED IN GREEK POLYTHEISM” -Adolf von Harnack, “History of Dogma”, pg 142-143.
“It is a solution BY HARMONIZATION, an attempt to COMBINE, as Gregory of Nyssa characterizes it, THE MONOTHEISM OF THE JEWS AND THE POLYTHEISM OF THE GREEKS. THE METHOD OF HARMONIZATION USED BY THEM WAS TO THIN DOWN THE JEWISH MONOTHEISM AS A CONCESSION TO GREEK POLYTHEISM.” -Wolfson, Harry A. “The Philosophy of the Church Fathers”, pg 578-579, as quoted in After The Way Called Heresy, by Thomas Weisser, page 32.
“In the Trimurti, Brahma… The Lord God, though one without a second, assumes the three forms respectively of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva… though three in form, are one entity… It may, however be noted that, whereas THE TRINITY IS PRESENTED IN SCHOLASTIC PHILOSOPHY AS A MYSTERY, IT IS A FUNDAMENTAL DEFINITION OF HINDU RELIGIOUS PHILOSOPHY!” -Edward Rice, Eastern Definitions, pg 387. as quoted in After The Way Called Heresy, by Thomas Weisser, Page 34.
“Trimurti… the Hindu Trinity of gods, Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva, conceived as an inseparable unity…” Webster’s Dictionary.
“Trinity… was FIRST defined by the earliest council of churches. This was the first council of Nicea in 325 A.D…” World Book, 1984, vol. 19.
“THE ANCIENT BABYLONIANS, just as the modern Romans, RECOGNIZED IN WORDS THE UNITY of the Godhead; and, while worshipping innumerable minor deities… they distinctly acknowledged that there was One infinite and Almighty Creator, supreme over all… IN THE UNITY OF THAT ONE ONLY GOD OF THE BABYLONIANS, THERE WERE THREE PERSONS, and to symbolize that doctrine of the Trinity, they employed… the equilateral triangle… just as is well known the Romish Church does at this day… THE RECOGNITION OF A TRINITY WAS UNIVERSAL IN ALL THE ANCIENT NATIONS OF THE WORLD… The triune emblem of the supreme Assyrian divinity shows clearly… though blasphemously, the unity of Father, Seed, or Son, and the Holy Ghost… Will anyone after this say that the… church must still be called Christian, because it holds the doctrine of the Trinity? So did the Pagan Babylonians, so did the Egyptians, so do the Hindus at this hour…” -The Two Babylons, chapter 2, by Rev. A. Hislop. “The Holy Trinity- the basis for the doctrine of the Trinity… The question as to how to reconcile the encounter with God in this threefold figure (The Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit) with faith in **THE ONENESS OF GOD, which WAS THE JEWS’ AND CHRISTIANS’ CHARACTERISTIC MARK OF DISTINCTION** over against paganism, agitated the piety of ancient Christendom in the deepest way… Christ as the Logos, UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF NEOPLATONIC PHILOSOPHY, BECAME the subject of a speculative theology… This question was answered through the Neoplatonic metaphysics of being… In Neoplatonic philosophy both the nous and the idea of the world are designated the hypostases (essences, or natures) of the transcendent God. Christian theology took the Neoplatonic metaphysics of substance as well as its doctrine of hypostases as THE DEPARTURE POINT FOR INTERPRETING THE RELATIONSHIP of the ‘Father’ to the ‘Son’ in terms of the Neoplatonic hypostases doctrine… The Neoplatonic concept of substance… was foreign to the New Testament itself… The dispute on the basis of the metaphysics of substance… LED TO CONCEPTS THAT HAVE NO FOUNDATION IN THE NEW TESTAMENT.” -Encyclopedia Britannica, 15th edition, 1984, Vol. 4, page 485.
“It is a well confirmed historical fact that beginning in about 130 A.D. many of the Church Fathers- the Apologists- were converts from paganism and trained pagan philosophers. These included Justin Martyr (ca. 100-165), Tatian (ca. 200) and Theophilus of Antioch (ca. 160-200). Indeed their knowledge of the Old Testament came through their readings of the PHILOSOPHER Philo. Tertullian EXPLICITLY EMPLOYED written works of PAGAN PHILOSOPHERS in support of his Christian philosophy (De Test. Animae I). Such fathers as Justin Martyr (Apol. I, 4, 5, 7, 20) and Athenagoras (ca. 177) (Supplic. 5, 6), in order to defend Christianity, stated that THEY WERE FOLLOWING SOME OF THE PRACTICES ADVOCATED BY THE BEST OF THE PAGAN PHILOSOPHERS. Clement of Alexandria (ca. 150-215) actually undertook to create a new Christian philosophy he termed the ‘true philosophy’ (Strom. II, 11).” – Robert A. Hermann, “Oneness, The Trinity, And Logic”, pg 18.
William B. Chalfant, “Ancient Champions of Oneness”, pg 116-117: ‘Indeed, Numenius of Apamea (fl. c. 175 A.D.), a Syrian pagan philosopher, and one of great influence upon the Alexandrian Trinitarians, BOASTED THAT HE HAD GONE BACK ‘TO the fountainhead of PLATO, SOCRATES AND PYTHAGORAS, to the ancient traditions of the Brahmins, Magi, Egyptians and Jews, AND HAD RESTORED to the schools the forgotten doctrine of THREE GODS’. Bigg calls Numenius the founder (along with the Catholic Clement of Alexandria) of Neo-Platonism. (Chalfant here quotes Charles Bigg, from “The Christian Platonists of Alexandria” Oxford at Clarendon Press, 1913, page 251-252.)
“…The rejection of Modalism (oneness) and the recognition of Christ as the Logos forced upon the West the necessity of rising FROM FAITH TO A PHILOSOPHICAL AND, IN FACT, A DISTINCTIVELY NEOPLATONIC DOGMATIC.” -Adolph Harnack, “History of Dogma 3” as quoted by William B. Chalfant, in “Ancient Champions of Oneness”, pgs. 121-122.
“…AUGUSTINE found his ultimate demonstration of the TRINITY IN PAGAN PHILOSOPHY… like Origen… based his reasoning on the metaphysics of PLATO, WHO DECLARED THAT MAN IS A TRICHOTOMY consisting of body, mind, soul. Using this as A POINT OF DEPARTURE, Augustine found it a reflection of the trinal unity of the godhead.” -William B. Chalfant, quoting Larson, in “Ancient Champions of Oneness”, pg 123.
“It is not difficult to understand why his opponents asserted that Augustine had never ceased to be a Manichee. HIS SYSTEM IS IN TRUTH THAT OF THE GNOSTICS, the ancestors of the Manichees.” William B. Chalfant, “Ancient Champions of Oneness”, pg 124 (Chalfant here quotes Charles Bigg, from “The Christian Platonists of Alexandria” Oxford at Clarendon Press, 1913, page 289.)
“Aristotle (384-322 B.C.)- ‘The deity stands in lonely self-contemplation outside the world… his intellect (nous) is the only thing through which He stands in immediate contact with it…’ Plato (428-328 B.C.)- (taught that gods, by definition) ‘are exalted above pleasure and pain, and are untouched of all evils.’… THUS THE TRINITARIANS MADE A FATHER, WHO WAS IMPASSABLE (i.e. incapable of suffering or feeling pain), the first person, and then a second person (whom they styled the Logos, Mind, or nous), who was passable… WHAT THE TRINITARIANS WERE SAYING WAS THAT… THEY DID NOT BELIEVE JESUS CHRIST TO BE THE ALMIGHTY GOD.” The above as quoted by William B. Chalfant, in “Ancient Champions of Oneness”, pg. 122.
Were any of the post-apostolic (the early Catholic Church Fathers who followed after the apostles) trinity believers?
No apostle of our Lord Jesus Christ ever taught such a doctrine… NONE OF THE IMMEDIATE DISCIPLES OF THE APOSTLES (E.G., CLEMENT, IGNATIUS, HERMAS, OR POLYCARP) TAUGHT SUCH A DOCTRINE… Who began such a teaching?… TRINITIES ABOUND IN THE ANCIENT, FALSE RELIGIONS…” -William Chalfant, Ancient Champions of Oneness, pages 116-118.
“Ignatius (ca. 107 AD)… “Let us all run together as to one temple of God, as to one altar, to one Jesus Christ, who came forth from one Father and remained with One and returned to the One.” (Mag. 7:2).)
The theology of Ignatius was Oneness Modalistic Monarchianism, and not Trinitarian.
“If one term must be chosen to indicate the tendency of his thought, IGNATIUS MUST BE SAID TO BE MONARCHIAN…” -Virginia Corwin (A well-known scholar), St. Ignatius and Christianity in Antioch (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1960, page 140.
“Ignatius seems to have had the confidence of the apostles, for he is said to have been appointed pastor of the church at Antioch by John in 67 AD, and he succeeded Evodius, who had been appointed by Peter in 40 AD” William B. Chalfant, Ancient Champions of Oneness, page 16-17.
“Clement of Rome had warned earlier in his second epistle of putting Christ in second place” ‘Brethren, WE MUST THINK OF JESUS CHRIST AS OF GOD’.” -William Chalfant, Ancient Champions of Oneness, pages 39-48
“Polycarp of Smyrna (c. 69-156 AD) was another one God preacher, who overlapped what is called the Apostolic Age and the sub-Apostolic Age. He was John’s disciple… It is said that the Apostle John designated Polycarp as the pastor of the church at Smyrna. Polycarp… was personally acquainted with Philip and his four daughters, who lived at Hierapolis… He was also acquainted with Ignatius, and no doubt knew many who had sat directly under the teaching of the apostles, as he had himself…
“Polycarp and Ignatius had respect for one another. We know this from their correspondence. Moreover they shared the same teaching. In a letter to Polycarp, we find that Ignatius acknowledges Jesus Christ as the only God. In one place he writes- ‘…and expect HIM, WHO IS ABOVE ALL TIME, ETERNAL, INVISIBLE, THOUGH FOR OUR SAKES MADE VISIBLE; IMPALPABLE, AND IMPASSABLE, YET FOR US SUBJECTED TO SUFFERINGS; enduring all manner of ways for our salvation.’ -Polycarp 1:15…
“TO IGNATIUS AND POLYCARP, ONLY ONE GOD HAS DONE THIS- ONLY ONE PERSON. THEY TAUGHT NO SUCH DOCTRINE AS A TRINITY OF THREE PERSONS. THAT IS NOT IN THEIR VOCABULARY, NOR DO THEY UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES DEMONSTRATE THAT THEY BELIEVED IN SUCH A TEACHING. Polycarp stated that Ignatius was an example of holiness and endurance, and urged the Philippians to follow his example… HISTORIANS CALL THIS ONE GOD TEACHING OF IGNATIUS AND POLYCARP ‘Asiatic MODALISM.’… Modalism because these early disciples of the apostles taught, as the apostles did, that God is indeed only one being… Loofs and Kroyman, for example, were historians who were convinced that Ignatius was a Modalist or Oneness.
“Polycarp, and eleven Christians from Philadelphia, were put to death. Before being executed, the eighty-six-year-old Christian testified that HE WORSHIPPED CHRIST ALONE.” William Chalfant, Ancient Champions of Oneness, pages 18-21.
Ireneus (ca. 180 AD) – “Now man is a mixed organization of soul and flesh, who was formed after the likeness of God, and moulded by His hands, that is, by the Son and the Holy Spirit, to whom He also said, ‘Let Us Make Man'” (Heres. IV. preface).
“An early catholic father of note was Irenaeus (c. 135-200 AD)… Actually in his life we may think to observe A TRANSFORMATION FROM MODALISM TO TRINITARIANISM. He claims to have been, as a youth, a disciple of Polycarp. POLYCARP NOWHERE CONFIRMS THIS insofar as we know. NO CONTEMPORARY SOURCE CONFIRMED IT. If it is true, IRENAEUS TAUGHT A TRINITARIAN DOCTRINE LATER IN LIFE that was different from the modalism (oneness) taught by Polycarp. Ireneus maintained that the only succession that counted was the succession of bishops and presbyters which went back to the apostles. Unfortunately, many churches in the Roman Empire’s confines could trace their pastors back to the apostles perhaps, but what was their present spiritual condition and what doctrine did they teach? It is ironic that IRENAEUS HAD TO USE AN EXTREMELY CONSERVATIVE ONENESS CHURCH IN ROME TO DEMONSTRATE HIS POINT IN APOSTOLIC SUCCESSION… Some of (Ireneaus’) statements, to be sure, are not incompatible with an earlier oneness position he may have held, as in the following statements” ‘…The Father is that which is invisible about the Son, the Son is that which is visible about the Father.’ Also, this very striking phrase” ‘The Father is God revealing Himself, and the Son is god revealed.’… Ireneaus is undoubtedly indebted to Justin Martyr, and not Polycarp for… Trinitarian teachings…” -William Chalfant, Ancient Champions of Oneness, pages 31-32.
“Listed below are the ONENESS PASTORS of the church at Rome… Linus (42-67 A.S.), Anacletus (79-90 AD), Clement of Rome (90-99 AD), Evaristus (99-107 AD), Alexander (107-116 AD), Sixtus (116-125 AD), Telesphorus (125-136 AD), Hyginus (136-140 AD), Pius (140-154 AD), Anicetus (154-165 AD), Soter (166-174 AD), Eleutheras (174-189 AD), Victor (189-198 AD), Zephyrinus (198-217 AD), Callistus (217-222 AD)… Adolf Harnack accounted Eleutheras, Victor, Zephyrinus, and Callistus, all to be Modalists or oneness.” -William Chalfant, Ancient Champions of Oneness, pages 46-55.
“Noetus (b. 130 AD)… Unlike Ireneaeus, who claimed Polycarp for his teacher, Noetus taught the Oneness of God as Polycarp had. LeBreton (The History of the Primitive Church, pg 600) has pointed out THAT THE DOCTRINE OF NOETUS IS VERY SIMILAR TO THAT OF IGNATIUS…” -William Chalfant, Ancient Champions of Oneness, page 39.
If all this evidence of where the trinity came from (through both pagans and philosophers) is not enough for you, or the fact that there is not even one scripture that explicitly points it out as Christian doctrine, and you still choose to continue to believe in it as truth… Well, there’s but one scripture for you. “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, (having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables).” 2 Timothy 4:3