What did Jesus really say?
A book by Dr. Mishaal Abdullah Al-Kadhi
1.2 Muslim Perspective
(Note: the rest of Chapter One is an expansion of the original response to Mr. J's letter)
Thank you Mr. J for your most thought provoking letter. I would also like to thank you for the knowledge you have provided therein. In what is to follow I have striven to avoid objectionable or disrespectful wording. This is an academic exchange and not a slug-fest. I am however human. If one or two cases have slipped by me, then I apologize in advance for them. They were not intentional. I also realize that this is quite a lengthy response for someone to read in one sitting. However, I ask the reader to try to do so and not to pass judgment until they have managed to receive a complete picture. Now, the response:
The three faiths, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, all purport to share one fundamental concept: belief in God as the Supreme Being, the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe. Known as "Tawhid" in Islam, this concept of Oneness of God was stressed by Moses (pbuh) in the Biblical passage Known as the "Shema," or the Jewish creed of faith:
"Hear, O Israel The Lord our God is one Lord"
It was repeated word-for-word approximately 1500 years later by Jesus (pbuh) when he said
"...The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord."
Muhammad (pbuh) came along approximately 600 years later, bringing the same message again:
"And your God is One God: there is no god but He"
The noble Qur'an, al-Bakarah(2):163
Christianity has digressed from the concept of the Oneness of God, however, into a vague and mysterious doctrine that was formulated during the fourth century CE (see historical details in section 1.2.5). This doctrine, which continues to be the source of controversy both within and outside the Christian religion, is known as the Doctrine of the Trinity. Simply put, the Christian doctrine of the Trinity states that God is the union of three divine persons - the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit - in one divine being. Christians must guard themselves from ever claiming that they worship three gods since this would be a heresy of the worst kind. Christians are commanded to always refer to them all as ONE God. This belief, as we shall soon see in coming chapters, was first put to words in the famous "Creed of Nicea" in 325C.E. Among other things, it says:
"Whoever wishes to be saved must, above all, keep the Catholic faith. For unless a person keeps this faith whole and entire he will undoubtedly be lost forever. This is what the Catholic faith teaches: we worship one God in the Trinity and the Trinity in unity. We distinguish among the persons, but we do not divide the substance. For the Father is a distinct person; the Son is a distinct person; and the Holy Spirit is a distinct person. Still the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit have one divinity, equal glory, and coeternal majesty. What the Father is, the Son is, and the Holy Spirit is. The Father is uncreated, the Son is uncreated, and the Holy Spirit is uncreated. The Father is boundless, the Son is boundless, and the Holy Spirit is boundless. The Father is eternal, the Son is eternal, and the Holy Spirit is eternal. Nevertheless, there are not three eternal beings, but one eternal being. Thus there are not three uncreated beings, nor three boundless beings, but one uncreated being and one boundless being. Likewise, the Father is omnipotent, the Son is omnipotent, and the Holy Spirit is omnipotent. Yet there are not three omnipotent beings, but one omnipotent being. Thus the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. But there are not three gods, but one God. The Father is Lord, the Son is Lord, and the Holy Spirit is Lord. There as not three lords, but one Lord. For according to Christian truth, we must profess that each of the persons individually is God; and according to Christian religion we are forbidden to say that there are three gods or lords. …But the entire three persons are coeternal and coequal with one another….So that, as we have said, we worship complete unity in the Trinity and the Trinity in unity. This, then, is what he who wishes to be saved must believe about the Trinity….This is the Catholic faith. Everyone must believe it, firmly and steadfastly; otherwise He cannot be saved. Amen."
Christian sects are many and varied. However, the majority of Christians the world over believe in the following four basic concepts:
Everything else is pretty much relegated into the background. A Christian can be saved and enter heaven by simply believing in the above creeds. According to St. Paul, the previous law and commandments of God are worthless, this simple belief will guarantee for all comers eternal salvation. For example, St. Paul is quoted to have said:
"Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law."
The words of Saint Paul are held by most of Christianity in the highest regard, and this is understandable since he is the primary author of the majority of the books of the New Testament. However, no matter what role St. Paul played in the definition and spread of Christianity, when displaying respect for the teachings of Paul, it is necessary not to lose sight of the fact that he is in no way equal to Jesus, nor should his command be placed before the command of Jesus if we were to find them to differ from one another. No one, not even Paul or the apostles of Jesus has this right, since they are all, after all, subordinate to Jesus Christ himself.
However, were we to study the religion known today as "Christ"ianity, we would find that it is the interpretation of St. Paul of what he personally believed to be the religion of Jesus(pbuh). Christianity as it stands today has been reduced to an interpretation of the words of Jesus (pbuh) within the context of what Paul taught rather than the other way around which is the way it should be. We would expect Christianity to be the teachings of Jesus (pbuh) and that the words of Paul and everyone else would be accepted or rejected according to their conformity to these "Jesuit" teachings. However, we will notice in what follows that Jesus (pbuh) never in his lifetime mentioned an original sin, or an atonement. He never asked anyone to worship him, neither did he ever claim to be part of a Trinity. His words and actions are those of a loyal messenger of God who faithfully and faultlessly followed the commands of his Lord and only told his followers to do the same and to worship God alone (John 4:21, John 4:23, Matthew 4:10, Luke 4:8 ...etc.).
Just one of the countless examples of this placement of the words of Paul above the words of Jesus can be seen in the following analysis: Jesus (pbuh) is claimed to have been prepared for his sacrifice on the cross from the beginning of time and was a willing victim (otherwise we would have to claim that God is a sadistic and torturous God who forced Jesus into such a savage end). However, whenever Jesus (pbuh) was asked about the path to "eternal life" he consistently told his followers to only "keep the commandments" and nothing more (Matthew 19:16-21, John 14:15, John 15:10). Not once did he himself ever mention an original sin or a redemption. Even when pressed for the path to "PERFECTION" he only told his followers to sell their belongings. He departed this earth leaving his followers with the very dire threat:
"For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilledJesus, Fulfillment of Law of Moses. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven."
Obviously, heaven and earth have not yet passed. The fact that you are reading this book bears witness to this very simple fact. So Jesus (pbuh) is telling us that so long as creation exists, the commandments will be required from his followers. Anyone who will dare to say otherwise, until the end of time, will be called "the least in the kingdom of heaven." Jesus (pbuh) had foreseen mankind's attempt to distort and annul his commandments, the commandments of Moses (pbuh), which he had taught his followers to keep and himself had kept faithfully till the crucifixion, and was warning his followers in no uncertain terms to be wary of all those who would attempt to do so.
Not long after, Jesus departs. Now Saul of Tarsus (St. Paul), a man who never met Jesus (pbuh), a man who by his own admission persecuted the followers of Jesus (pbuh) by every means within his power and presided over their execution (see below), comes along. Suddenly one day St. Paul receives a vision from Jesus (pbuh), and his whole life is turned around. He now takes it upon himself through the authority of his visions to spread the word of Jesus to the whole world and to explain what Jesus really meant. Paul claims that the law of God through Moses (pbuh) is worthless, decaying and ready to vanish away and faith in the crucifixion is the only requirement for a Christian to enter heaven (Romans 3:28, Hebrews 8:13...etc.). Who do Christians listen to, Jesus or Paul? They listen to Paul. They take the words of Paul literally and then "interpret" the words of Jesus (pbuh) within the context of the words of Paul. No one takes the words of Jesus (pbuh) literally and explains the words of Paul within the context of Jesus' words.
According to this system of explaining the words of Jesus within the context of Paul's teachings, Jesus never actually means what he says but is constantly speaking in riddles which are not to be taken literally. Even when people attempt to cite the words of Jesus as confirming the teachings of Paul with regard to the original sin, the atonement, ...etc. they never bring clear and decisive words where Jesus actually confirms these things. Instead, they say such things as "When Jesus spoke of the exodus he was really speaking of the atonement" or so forth. Are we to believe that Paul is the only one who can say what is on his mind clearly and decisively while Jesus (pbuh) is not capable of articulating what he means clearly and decisively but requires interpreters to explain the "true" meaning of what he said, and to explain how, when he spoke of the commandments, he was not talking of "the commandments" but of a spiritual commandment and that they will now tell you what this spiritual commandment is that Jesus never managed to talk clearly about?.
It is interesting to note that Jesus was not talking in riddles when he commanded his followers to keep the commandments but was talking of the actual physical commandments of Moses. This can be clearly seen by reading for instance Luke 18:20 where Jesus spells out in no uncertain terms what he means by "keep the commandments."
"And I (Jesus) have come confirming that which was before me of the Torah, and to make lawful for you part of that which was forbidden upon you. And I have come to you with a sign from your Lord so seek refuge in Allah and obey me"
The noble Qur'an, Aal-Umran(3):50
In the past, I have searched for a logical answer to this puzzle by posing the following questions to respected Christian clergy:
Whenever this question would be presented to a respected member of the Christian clergy the response would always be the same: "Well, don't take Jesus' words literally. St. Paul has told us in Romans ...," or "Yes, but St. Paul tells us in Galatians ....," or "St. Paul tells us in Corinthians .." Yet my question remains: where did JESUS every say it? Where does the RED ink say it? Doesn't St. Paul's authority come from Jesus? I simply want a single clear statement from Jesus himself where he endorsed Paul's claims and then it would be possible to accept Paul's claim that he was indeed preaching the "command of Jesus." If Jesus were only to say it once then I can accept Paul repeating it a thousand times. However, as we shall soon see, never, not even once in his whole lifetime did Jesus (pbuh) endorse the preachings of Paul.
Getting back to the matter at hand, the reader will notice in Mr. J's response a surprising absence of certain very fundamental verses usually quoted by any Christian man or woman off the street in defense of the "Trinity" and other issues. The reader may further surmise that Mr. J might not be well versed enough in the Bible to have referred to these verses. This is far from the case. His occupation requires that he know those verses. The fact of the matter is that I have had an ongoing correspondence with Mr. J for a number of months now which he has now asked be publicized. In this correspondence, many of these fundamental verses were dealt with in detail and refuted for various reasons. This is why he did not quote them here. However, in order that all may benefit from this information we will quote these same verses that he has elected not to. We will also study the other verses he has presented.
1.2.1 "Blind faith" or "Prove all things"?
Before actually getting down to our response, let us first establish the ground rules. All Bibles in existence today tell us that Christians are taught by Jesus (pbuh) himself:
"And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment."
They are also told
"Prove all things; hold fast that which is good"
1 Thessalonians 5:21
and "For God is not [the author] of confusion"
1 Corinthians 14:33.
So, contrary to the teachings of many, Jesus (pbuh) did not want his followers to believe everything they were told on "blind faith." Rather, he wanted his followers to believe "with all thy mind." He wanted us to THINK in order to protect his words from corruption. Let us comply with the teaching of Allah's elect messenger, Jesus (peace be upon him), and see where the truth and our minds will lead us:
1.2.2: The "Trinity," or 1+1+1=1
"Opeople of the book! commit no excesses in your religion: nor say of Allah aught but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was [no more or less than] a messenger of Allah, and His word, which he bestowed upon Mary, and a spirit preceding from Him: so believe in Allah and his messengers. Say not "Three": desist!, it is better for you, for Allah is one god, Glory be to Him, Far exalted is He above having a son. To Him belong all things in the heavens and the earth. And enough is Allah as a disposer of affairs."
The noble Qur'an, Al-Nissah(4):171
"Or have they (mankind) chosen gods from the earth who raise the dead If there were therein gods besides Allah then verily both (the heavens and the earth) would have gone to ruin. Glorified be Allah, the Lord of the throne from all they ascribe (unto Him)"
The noble Qur'an, Al-Anbia(21):21-22
"Allah coineth a similitude: A man in relation to whom are several partners quarreling, and a man belonging wholly to one man. Are the two equal in similitude? Praise be to Allah, but most of them know not."
The noble Qur'an, Al-Zumar(39):27.
In other words, which would be more conducive of harmony: For an employee to have two bosses quarreling over him, or for each employee to have only one boss?
"Say (O Muhammad, to the disbelievers): If there were other gods along with Him, as they say, then they would have sought a way against the Lord of the Throne. Glorified is He, and High Exalted above what they say! The seven heavens and the earth and all that is therein praise Him, and there is not a thing but hymns his praise; but you understand not their praise. Lo! He is ever Clement, Forgiving."
The noble Qur'an, Al-Israa(17):42-44.
"And say: Praise be to Allah, Who has not taken unto Himself a son, and Who has no partner in the Sovereignty, nor has He any ally through dependence. And magnify Him with all magnificence."
The noble Qur'an, Al-Israa(17):111.
"Allah has not chosen any son, nor is there any God along with Him; else would each God have assuredly championed that which he created, and some of them would assuredly have overcome others. Glorified be Allah above all that they allege. Knower of the invisible and the visible! and exalted be He over all that they ascribe as partners (unto Him)!"
The noble Qur'an, Al-Muminoon(23):91-92.
The concept of the "Trinity" as originally adopted by Christianity three centuries after the departure of Jesus (see historical details at the end of this chapter) and taught to Christians ever since is the merging of three entities into one similar entity while remaining three distinct entities. In other words: Three bodies fold, blend, or merge into one body so that they become one entity while at the same time exhibiting the characteristics of three distinct and separate entities. It is described as "a mystery." As we just read, the first definition of the Trinity was put forth in the fourth century as follows: "...we worship one God in the trinity, and Trinity in Unity...for there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, another of the Holy Ghost is all one... they are not three gods, but one God... the whole three persons are co-eternal and co-equal...he therefore that will be saved must thus think of the trinity..." (excerpts from the Athanasian creed).
When the Church speaks of worship, God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost are claimed to be one being. This is because verses such as Isaiah 43:10-11 and countless others are very explicit in affirming that God Almighty is ONE. However, when they speak of "the death of God" it is Jesus (pbuh) who is claimed to have died and not God or the "Trinity." Now the three are separate. When God is described as having "begotten" a son it is not the "Trinity" nor Jesus (pbuh) which has begotten, but a distinctly separate being from the other two... there are many such examples. So how do we resolve this problem? Do we simply have blind faith or do we "love the Lord thy God … with all thy mind,"?. If we chose the later course of action then we shall first need to specify what authority we shall accept in our recognition of the true divine nature of God Almighty.
When God Almighty sends down a revelation, He addresses it to the common man, the carpenter, the blacksmith, the local merchant. God does not reveal His scriptures in a language that only the deep thinkers, the most learned scholars, and those with Ph.D.s in rocket science alone can understand. This is not to say that it is not necessary to consult people of authority in this scripture in times of difficulty regarding matters of secondary importance, however, if it were impossible for the common man to even recognize from his scripture who is God, or "who do I worship?" without extensive external influences from learned clergymen, then I am sure you will agree that not very many people shall ever be guided to the truth of this scripture and the basic message contained therein.
The matter of "who do I worship" is without a doubt the hands-down most important, nay crucial, piece of information that must be provided a reader of a divine scripture before they can accept a single word of this scripture. This matter must be made exceedingly clear to them before they can accept a single commandment. If I wish to work for a company but I do not know who is(are) my boss(s) then how can I know what he(they) want me to do? How can I know which commands to follow and which not to?
For the same reason, we would be justified in expecting that if we were to present a native of the jungles of Zimbabwe with a copy of a divine scripture in it's original language, and we were to leave without saying a single word to him, then we would expect that at the very least, this person should be able to extract from this scripture the nature of the One who inspired this book.
Therefore, let us begin by drawing a table and including in this table some commands of the Bible where we are explicitly commanded to recognize that God is one, and also all verses where it explicitly commands us to believe that He is three. Once the Bible commands me to believe that God is three in one then I shall not ask for an explanation or a justification. I do not need God to explain "how" He can be "one" and also "three" at the same time. All I want is for the Bible to command me to believe that this is so and then command me to have blind faith. Here is our table:
Now that we have built this table we are ready to proceed. Let us begin by filling in the first line.
In the Bible we read:
This is only a brief sampling, however, it is sufficient for now. So let us fill in the table.
So now let us move on and fill in the second line. Let us start with the verses quoted by Mr. J.
Mr. J. has presented us with Matthew 28:19, I Corinthians 12:4-6, II Corinthians 13:14, and Jude 1:20-21 as proof of the claim that God Almighty is three-in-one. Let us study them. But first, let us clearly define our goal. When I asked for a verse wherein God is explicitly claimed to be "three in one," what I wanted was a verse that says something like "God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost are all gods, however, they are not three gods but one God," or "God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost are the same being," or "God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost are one and the same" etc.
Just because the words "God," "Jesus," and "Holy Ghost" might appear together in one verse does not mean this verse requires a "Trinity," or "merging of three into one." Even if this verse also contains the word "one" this still does not necessarily require a "Trinity." For example, if I say "Joe, Jim, and Frank speak one language" this is not the same as saying "Joe, Jim, and Frank are one person." As we shall see, the examples Mr. J. has presented are all at best implicit statements, so let us begin by modifying our table and inserting these verses:
Let us now study Mr. J.'s examples:
220.127.116.11 Matthew 28:19
"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:"
If ex-President George Bush told General Norman Schwartzkopf to "Go ye therefore, and speak to the Iraqis, chastising them in the name of the United States, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union," does this require that these three countries are one physical country? They may be one in purpose and in their goals but this does in no way require that they are the same physical entity.
Further, the "Great Commission" as narrated in the Gospel of Mark, bears no mention of the Father, Son and/or Holy Ghost (see Mark 16:15). As we shall see in chapter two, Christian historians readily admit that the Bible was the object of continuous "correction" and "addition" to bring it in line with established beliefs. They present many documented cases where words were "inserted" into a given verse to validate a given doctrine. Tom Harpur, former religion editor of the Toronto Star says:
"All but the most conservative of scholars agree that at least the latter part of this command was inserted later. The formula occurs nowhere else in the New Testament, and we know from the only evidence available (the rest of the New Testament) that the earliest Church did not baptize people using these words - baptism was 'into' or 'in' the name of Jesus alone. Thus it is argued that the verse originally read 'baptizing them in my name' and then was expanded to work in the dogma. In fact, the first view put forward by German critical scholars as well as the Unitarians in the nineteenth century, was stated as the accepted position of mainline scholarship as long ago as 1919, when Peake's commentary was first published: 'The church of the first days did not observe this world-wide commandment, even if they new it. The command to baptize into the threefold name is a late doctrinal expansion.'"
"For Christ's sake," Tom Harpur, p. 103
This is confirmed in 'Peake's Commentary on the Bible' published since 1919, which is universally acclaimed and considered to be the standard reference for students of the Bible. It says:
"This mission is described in the language of the church and most commentators doubt that the Trinitarian formula was original at this point in Mt.'s Gospel, since the NT elsewhere does not know of such a formula and describes baptism as being performed in the name of the Lord Jesus (e.g. Ac. 2:38, 8:16, etc.)."
For example, these Christian scholars observed that after Jesus allegedly issued this command and then was taken up into heaven, the apostles displayed a complete lack of knowledge of this command.
"And Peter said to them, 'Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins;...'"
These Christian scholars observed that it is extremely unlikely that if Jesus had indeed specifically commanded his apostles to "baptize in the name of the father and the son and the holy Ghost" that the apostles would later disobey his direct command and baptize only in the name of Jesus Christ, alone.
As a final piece of evidence, it is noted that after the departure of Jesus, when Paul decided to preach to the Gentiles, this resulted in a heated debate and a great difference of opinion between him and at least three of the apostles. This would not be the case if Jesus had, as claimed, openly commanded them to preach to the Gentiles (see section 6.13 for more). So we notice that not only does this verse never claim that the three are one, or even that the three are equal, but most scholars of Christianity today recognize that at the very least the last part of this verse ("the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost") was not originally part of the command of Jesus but was inserted by the church long after Jesus' departure.
18.104.22.168 I Corinthians 12:4-6
"Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all."
If I were to say: "There are diversities of gifts, but the same Santa Claus. And there are differences of administrations, but the same government. And there are a diversity of operations, but the same God worketh all in all." Do God, the US government and Santa Claus now form another "Trinity"? Is this indeed how this verse was meant to be read? Is it impossible to receive "gifts," "administrations," and "operations" except from ONE person? There is a big difference between this verse and between saying "God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost are one and the same." Even in the very best case, no one who reads I Corinthians 12:4-6 will claim that it explicitly states that the three are one, they themselves will have to admit that it only implies such a connection. So now we need to ask: Why would God Almighty need to resort to implying His triune nature if this is indeed what He intended? What is preventing Him from simply coming out and stating His intent clearly if this is indeed what He meant?
Why does everything have to be so abstract? If this is the true nature of God then why can't the Bible just come out and say "God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost are physically joined in one being" or "God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost are one and the same." Is this so very hard? Look at how much less space this would require. Look at how infinitely more clear and decisive that would be. Look at the clear cut decisiveness of Deuteronomy 4:39
"Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the LORD he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else."
God does not philosophize and speak all the way around matters. He speaks clearly and in no uncertain terms so that there can be no doubt as to what He meant. If God was indeed a Trinity why would He not simply just come out and say so, just as clearly and decisively as He does when He speaks about his uniqueness?
22.214.171.124 II Corinthians 13:14
"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, [be] with you all. Amen."
If I say: "May the genius of Einstein, the philosophy of Descartes, and the strength of Schwarzenegger be with you all" does this require all three to be joined in a "Trinity"? Does it require that Einstein is Descartes (or a different "side" of Descartes)? Does it require that Descartes is Schwarzenegger (or a different "side" of Schwarzenegger)?
126.96.36.199 Jude 1:20-21
"But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life."
By now we begin to get the picture. Do these verses require a Trinity?. Do they say "God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost are ONE God?" If a father told his sons who were going off to war "But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your training, obeying your superior officers, Keep yourselves in the love of your country while you look for the mercy of God to return you home to us safely," can we honestly claim that this statement requires a "merging of three into one"?. Deuteronomy 4:39 requires the uniqueness of God. It is very explicit. There are no two ways about it. It is very clear, decisive, and to the point. The explicit (and not the "hidden") meaning is quite clear and direct. Is it impossible to find the Bible only a single verse that is similarly decisive about the claimed Trinity?. All of these verses require you to really strain the words and stretch their meaning to arrive at any merging of three into one.
With regard to Mr. J.'s description of the Trinity please read the analysis of the original sin and the redemption coming up soon.
An interesting point is that when people tell us about the doctrine of the "Trinity," even in the very best case, they never try to claim that any Jew knew of this formula before the coming of Jesus (pbuh) or worshipped a "Triune" God. However, God Almighty was sending prophets to the Jews for centuries before the time of Jesus, and Jesus is claimed to have been in existence before all of creation. Why did none of these previous prophets tell their people that God was three?. They went out of their way to make it very explicitly clear that God was ONE as seen in the above examples, however, there is not a single Jew alive who worships a Trinity, believes that the Holy Spirit mentioned in their Old Testament is God, or worships a "Son of God." Even if the Jews do not believe that Jesus is the "Son of God," would we not be justified in expecting that they should at least believe that "there is" a "Son of God" even if he was someone other than Jesus? Would we not be justified in expecting the previous prophets to have mentioned this fact? Why did God wait to favor us alone with this knowledge and chose to deprive many countless thousands of generations before Jesus the knowledge of this claimed fact? Did the countless prophets of the Old Testament not know about the "Trinity"? Did God not see fit to tell the Jews about the Trinity? Was God not yet a "Trinity" when He sent Abraham (pbuh) to his people? Was He not yet a "Trinity" when He spoke to Moses (pbuh)? Did He become a "Trinity" later on? How then do we explain the Christian creed of Nicea, the official Church definition of the "Trinity" which requires the "co-eternity" and "co-substantiality" of Jesus with God? But let us continue with our analysis. Let us begin by updating our table:
When someone speaks to someone else about a specific matter, they usually spend the majority of their time explaining the major issues and much less time on side-issues. For instance, if I wanted to give someone my favorite recipe for chicken parmesan I would spend most of my time speaking about the ingredients, their amounts, their order of combination, the amount of time needed to cook each one and so on. I would spend very little time (comparatively) talking about how to set the table or what color bowl to serve it in. When comparing this observation to the Bible, I found that for a matter of such profound and dire importance, the "Trinity" is never mentioned in the Bible at all. Sound preposterous? Read on.
Let us first begin by modifying our table and including all of the verses of the Bible which are used today in defense of the "Trinity." The reason for these modifications shall be made clear in our analysis.
188.8.131.52 1 John 5:7
The only verses in the whole Bible that explicitly ties God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit in one "Triune" being is the verse of 1 John 5:7
"For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one."
This is the type of clear, decisive, and to-the-point verse I have been asking for. However, as I would later find out, this verse is now universally recognized as being a later "insertion" of the Church and all recent versions of the Bible, such as the Revised Standard Version the New Revised Standard Version, the New American Standard Bible, the New English Bible, the Phillips Modern English Bible ...etc. have all unceremoniously expunged this verse from their pages. Why is this? The scripture translator Benjamin Wilson gives the following explanation for this action in his "Emphatic Diaglott." Mr. Wilson says:
"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 it's authority. It is therefore evidently spurious."
Others, such as the late Dr. Herbert W. Armstrong argued that this verse was added to the Latin Vulgate edition of the Bible during the heat of the controversy between Rome, Arius, and God's people. Whatever the reason, this verse is now universally recognized as an insertion and discarded. Since the Bible contains no verses validating a "Trinity" therefore, centuries after the departure of Jesus, God chose to inspire someone to insert this verse in order to clarify the true nature of God as being a "Trinity." Notice how mankind was being inspired as to how to "clarify" the Bible centuries after the departure of Jesus (pbuh). People continued to put words in the mouths of Jesus, his disciples, and even God himself with no reservations whatsoever. They were being "inspired" (see chapter two).
If these people were being "inspired" by God, I wondered, then why did they need to put these words into other people's mouths (in our example, in the mouth of John). Why did they not just openly say "God inspired me and I will add a chapter to the Bible in my name"? Also, why did God need to wait till after the departure of Jesus to "inspire" his "true" nature? Why not let Jesus (pbuh) say it himself?
The great luminary of Western literature, Mr. Edward Gibbon, explains the reason for the discardal of this verse from the pages of the Bible with the following words:
"Of all the manuscripts now extant, above fourscore in number, some of which are more than 1200 years old, the orthodox copies of the Vatican, of the Complutensian editors, of Robert Stephens are becoming invisible; and the two manuscripts of Dublin and Berlin are unworthy to form an exception...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. Notwithstanding 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."
"Decline and fall of the Roman Empire," IV, Gibbon, p. 418.
Edward Gibbon was defended in his findings by his contemporary, the brilliant British scholar Richard Porson who also proceeded to publish devastatingly conclusive proof that the verse of 1 John 5:7 was only first inserted by the Church into the Bible in the year 400C.E.(Secrets of Mount Sinai, James Bentley, pp. 30-33).
Regarding Porson's most devastating proof, Mr. Gibbon later said
"His structures are founded in argument, enriched with learning, and enlivened with wit, and his adversary neither deserves nor finds any quarter at his hands. 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."
To which Mr. Bentley responds:
"In fact, they are not. No modern Bible now contains the interpolation."
Mr. Bentley, however, is mistaken. Indeed, just as Mr. Gibbon had predicted, the simple fact that the most learned scholars of Christianity now unanimously recognize this verse to be a later interpolation of the Church has not prevented the preservation of this fabricated text in our modern Bibles. To this day, the Bible in the hands of the majority of Christians, the "King James" Bible, still unhesitantly includes this verse as the "inspired" word of God without so much as a footnote to inform the reader that all scholars of Christianity of note unanimously recognize it as a later fabrication.
Peake's Commentary on the Bible says
"The famous interpolation after 'three witnesses' is not printed even in RSVn, and rightly. It cites the heavenly testimony of the Father, the logos, and the Holy Spirit, but is never used in the early Trinitarian controversies. No respectable Greek MS contains it. Appearing first in a late 4th-cent. Latin text, it entered the Vulgate and finally the NT of Erasmus."
It was only the horrors of the great inquisitions which held back Sir Isaac Newton from openly revealing these facts to all:
"In all the vehement universal and lasting controversy about the Trinity in Jerome's time and both before and long enough after it, the text of the 'three in heaven' was never once thought of. It is now in everybody's mouth and accounted the main text for the business and would assuredly have been so too with them, had it been in their books… Let them make good sense of it who are able. For my part I can make none. If it be said that we are not to determine what is scripture and what not by our private judgments, I confess it in places not controverted, but in disputed places I love to take up with what I can best understand. It is the temper of the hot and superstitious part of mankind in matters of religion ever to be fond of mysteries, and for that reason to like best what they understand least. Such men may use the Apostle John as they please, but I have that honor for him as to believe that he wrote good sense and therefore take that to be his which is the best"
Jesus, Prophet of Islam, Muhammad Ata' Ur-Rahim, p. 156
According to Newton, this verse first appeared for in the third edition of Erasmus's (1466-1536) New Testament.
For all of the above reasons, we find that when thirty two biblical scholars backed by fifty cooperating Christian denominations got together to compile the Revised Standard Version of the Bible based upon the most ancient Biblical manuscripts available to them today, they made some very extensive changes. Among these changes was the unceremonious discardal of the verse of 1 John 5:7 as the fabricated insertion that it is. For more on the compilation of the RSV Bible, please read the preface of any modern copy of that Bible.
Such comparatively unimportant matters as the description of Jesus (pbuh) riding an ass (or was it a "colt", or was it an "ass and a colt"? see point 42 in the table of section 2.2) into Jerusalem are spoken about in great details since they are the fulfillment of a prophesy. For instance, in Mark 11:2-10 we read:
"And saith unto them, Go your way into the village over against you: and as soon as ye be entered into it, ye shall find a colt tied, whereon never man sat; loose him, and bring [him]. And if any man say unto you, Why do ye this? say ye that the Lord hath need of him; and straightway he will send him hither. And they went their way, and found the colt tied by the door without in a place where two ways met; and they loose him And certain of them that stood there said unto them, What do ye, loosing the colt? And they said unto them even as Jesus had commanded: and they let them go And they brought the colt to Jesus, and cast their garments on him; and he sat upon him. And many spread their garments in the way: and others cut down branches off the trees, and strawed [them] in the way And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed [is] he that cometh in the name of the Lord: Blessed [be] the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest."
Also see Luke 19:30-38 which has a similar detailed description of this occurrence. On the other hand, the Bible is completely free of any description of the "Trinity" which is supposedly a description of the very nature of the one who rode this ass, who is claimed to be the only son of God, and who allegedly died for the sins of all of mankind. I found myself asking the question: If every aspect of Christian faith is described in such detail such that even the description of this ass is so vividly depicted for us, then why is the same not true for the description of the "Trinity"? Sadly, however, it is a question for which there is no logical answer.
Once again, here is the table:
184.108.40.206 John 1:1
Another verse quoted in defense of the "Trinity" is the verse of John 1:1 :
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
When I first learned of this verse it appeared to me that I had finally found my elusive goal. However, after substantial research into Christian theological literature, I would later come to learn that this verse too can not be interpreted to justify a "triune" God. My own experience has shown that this verse is the one most popularly quoted by most Christians in defense of the Trinity. For this reason I shall spend a little more time in it's analysis than in the analysis of the other verses.
First of all, it is quite obvious from simply reading the above verse that even in the very best case, this verse speaks only of a "Duality" not a "Trinity." Even the most resolute conservative Christian will never claim to find in this verse any mention whatsoever of a "merging" of a Holy Ghost with God and "the Word." So even if we were to accept this verse at face value and just have faith, even then, we find ourselves commanded to believe in a "Duality" and not a "Trinity." But let us see if this verse does in fact even command us to believe in a "Duality." To do this we need to notice the following points:
1) Mistranslation of the text:
In the "original" Greek manuscripts (Did the disciple John speak Greek?), "The Word" is only described as being "ton theos"(divine/a god) and not as being "ho theos" (The Divine/The God). A more faithful and correct translation of this verse would thus read: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was divine" (If you read the New World Translation of the Bible you will find exactly this wording).
Similarly, in "The New Testament, An American Translation" this verse is honestly presented as
"In the beginning the Word existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was divine."
The New Testament, An American Translation, Edgar Goodspeed and J. M. Powis Smith, The University of Chicago Press, p. 173
And again in the dictionary of the Bible, under the heading of "God" we read
"Jn 1:1 should rigorously be translated 'the word was with the God [=the Father], and the word was a divine being.'"
The Dictionary of the Bible by John McKenzie, Collier Books, p. 317
In yet another Bible we read:
"The Logos (word) existed in the very beginning, and the Logos was with God, the Logos was divine"
The Holy Bible, Containing the Old and New Testaments, by Dr. James Moffatt
Please also see "The Authentic New Testament" by Hugh J. Schonfield and many others.
If we look at a different verse, 2 Corinthians 4:4, we find the exact same word (ho theos) that was used in John 1:1 to describe God Almighty is now used to describe the devil, however, now the system of translation has been changed:
"the god of this world (the Devil) hath blinded the minds of them which believe not."
According to the system of the previous verse and the English language, the translation of the description of the Devil should also have been written as "The God" with a capital "G." If Paul was inspired to use the exact same words to describe the Devil, then why should we change it? Why is "The God" translated as simply "the god" when referring to the devil, while "divine" is translated as the almighty "God" when referring to "The Word"? Are we now starting to get a glimpse of how the "translation" of the Bible took place?
Well, what is the difference between saying "the word was God," and between saying "the word was a god (divine)"? Are they not the same? Far from it! Let us read the bible:
"I have said, Ye (the Jews) are gods; and all of you are children of the most High"
"And the LORD said unto Moses, See, I have made you a god to Pharaoh"
"the god of this world (the Devil) hath blinded the minds of them which believe not."
2 Corinthians 4:4
What does all of this mean? Let me explain.
In the West, it is common when one wishes to praise someone to say "You are a prince," or "You are an angel" ..etc. When someone says this do they mean that that person is the son of the King of England, or a divine spiritual being? There is a very slight grammatical difference between saying "You are a prince" and between saying "You are THE prince," however, the difference in meaning is quite dramatic.
Further, it is necessary when translating a verse to also take into account the meaning as understood by the people of that age who spoke that language. One of the biggest problems with the Bible as it stands today is that it forces us to look at ancient Hebrew and Aramaic scriptures through Greek and Latin glasses as seen by people who are neither Jews, Greeks, nor Romans. All of the so called "original" manuscripts of the NT available today are written in Greek or Latin. The Jews had no trouble reading such verses as Psalms 82:6, and Exodus 7:1, while still affirming that there is only one God in existence and vehemently denying the divinity of all but God Almighty. It is the continuous filtration of these manuscripts through different languages and cultures as well as the Roman Catholic church's extensive efforts to completely destroy all of the original Hebrew Gospels (see last quarter of this chapter) which has led to this misunderstanding of the verses.
The Americans have a saying: "Hit the road men." It means "It is time for you to leave." However, if a non-American were to receive this command without any explanation then it is quite possible that we would find him beating the road with a stick. Did he understand the words? Yes! Did he understand the meaning? No!
In the Christian church we would be hard pressed to find a single priest or nun who does not address their followers as "my children." They would say: "Come here my children", or "Be wary of evil my children" ... etc. What do they mean?
A fact that many people do not realize is that around 200AD spoken Hebrew had virtually disappeared from everyday use as a spoken language. It was not until the 1880s that a conscious effort was made by Eliezer Ben-Yehudah to revive the dead language. Only about a third of current spoken Hebrew and basic grammatical structures come from biblical and Mishnaic sources. The rest was introduced in the revival and includes elements of other languages and cultures including the Greek and Arabic languages.
Even worse than these two examples are cases when translation into a different languages can result in a reversal of the meaning. For example, in the West, when someone loves something they say "It warmed my heart." In the Middle East, the same expression of joy would be conveyed with the words: "It froze my heart." If an Mideasterner were to greet a Westerner with the words: "It froze my heart to see you," then obviously this statement would not be greeted with a whole lot of enthusiasm from that Westerner, and vice versa. This is indeed one of the major reasons why the Muslims have been so much more successful in the preservation of their holy text than the Christians or the Jews; because the language of the Qur'an has remained from the time of Muhammad (pbuh) to the present day a living language, the book itself has always been in the hands of the people (and not the "elite"), and the text of the book remains in the original language of Muhammad (pbuh). For this reason, a translator must not and should not "translate" in a vacuum while disregarding the culture and traditions of the people who wrote these words. As we have just seen, it was indeed quite common among the Jews to use the word "god" (divine) to convey a sense of supreme power or authority to human beings. This system, however, was never popularly adopted by them to mean that these individuals were in any way omnipotent, superhuman, or equal to the Almighty.
2) Basic message of John:
Now that we have seen the correct translation of the verse of John 1:1, let us go a little further in our study of the intended meaning of this verse. This verse was taken from the "Gospel of John." The very best person to ask to explain what is meant by a given statement is the author of that statement himself. So let us ask "John" what is his mental picture of God and Jesus (pbuh) which he wishes to convey to us:
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him."
So the author of John tells us that God is greater than Jesus. If the author of this Gospel did indeed wish us to understand that Jesus and God are "one and the same," then can someone be greater than himself? Similarly,
"Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come [again] unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I."
Can someone "go" to himself? Can someone be "greater" than himself?
"These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:"
If John meant to tell us that "Jesus and God are one and the same" then shall we understand from this verse that God is saying to Himself "Self, glorify me so that I may glorify myself"? Does this sound like this is the message of John?
"While I (Jesus) was with them in the world, I kept them in thy (God's) name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled."
If the author of John wanted us to believe that Jesus and God are one person then are we to understand from this verse that God is saying to Himself "Self, while I was in the world I kept them in your name, self. Those who I gave to myself I have kept ..."? Is this what the author intended us to understand from his writings?
"Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world."
Similarly, did the author intend us to interpret this as "Self, I will that they also whom I have given myself be with me where I am; that they my behold my glory which I have given myself, for I loved myself before the foundation of the world"?
So, we begin to see that in order to understand the writings of a given author, it is necessary to not take a single quotation from him in a vacuum and then interpret his whole message based upon that one sentence (and a badly mistranslated version of that sentence at that).
3) Who wrote the "Gospel of John"?:
The "Gospel of John" is popularly believed by the majority of regular church-goers to be the work of the apostle John the son of Zebedee. However, when consulting Christianity's more learned scholars of Church history, we find that this is far from the case. These scholars draw our attention to the fact that internal evidence provides serious doubt as to whether the apostle John the son of Zebedee wrote this Gospel himself. In the dictionary of the Bible by John Mckenzie we read
"A. Feuillet notes that authorship here may be taken loosely."
Such claims are based on such verses as 21:24:
"This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true."?
Did the apostle John write this about himself? Also see 21:20, 13:23, 19:26, 20:2, 21:7, and 21:20-23. The "disciple who Jesus loved" according to the Church is John himself, but the author of this gospel speaks of him as a different person.
Further, The Gospel of John was written at or near Ephesus between the years 110 and 115 (some say 95-100) of the Christian era by this, or these, unknown author(s). According to R. H. Charles, Alfred Loisy, Robert Eisler, and other scholars of Christian history, John of Zebedee was beheaded by Agrippa I in the year 44 CE, long before the fourth Gospel was written. Did the Holy Ghost "inspire" the apostle John's ghost to write this gospel sixty years after he was killed? . In other words, what we have here is a gospel which is popularly believed to have been written by the apostle John, but which in fact was not written by him. In fact no one really knows for certain who wrote this gospel.
"Since the beginning of the period of modern critical study, however, there has been much controversy about [the Gospel of John's] authorship, place of origin, theological affiliations and background, and historical value"
The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, Volume 2, Abingdon Press, p. 932
4) Who "inspired" the author of this gospel to write this verse?:
The words of John 1:1 are acknowledged by most reputable Christian scholar of the Bible as the words of another Jew, Philo of Alexandria (20BC-50AD), who claimed no divine inspiration for them and who wrote them decades before the "gospel of John" was ever conceived. Groliers encyclopedia has the following to say under the heading "Logos"("the word"):
"Heraclitus was the earliest Greek thinker to make logos a central concept ......In the New Testament, the Gospel According to Saint John gives a central place to logos; the biblical author describes the Logos as God, the Creative Word, who took on flesh in the man Jesus Christ. Many have traced John's conception to Greek origins--perhaps through the intermediacy of eclectic texts like the writings of Philo of Alexandria."
T. W. Doane says:
"The works of Plato were extensively studied by the Church Fathers, one of whom joyfully recognizes in the great teacher, the schoolmaster who, in the fullness of time, was destined to educate the heathen for Christ, as Moses did the Jews. The celebrated passage : "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word Was God" is a fragment of some Pagan treatise on the Platonic philosophy, evidently written by Irenaeus. It is quoted by Amelius, a Pagan philosopher as strictly applicable to the Logos, or Mercury, the Word, apparently as an honorable testimony borne to the Pagan deity by a barbarian........We see then that the title "Word" or "Logos," being applied to Jesus, is another piece of Pagan amalgamation with Christianity. It did not receive its authorized Christian form until the middle of the second century after Christ. The ancient pagan Romans worshipped a Trinity. An oracle is said to have declared that there was 'First God, then the Word, and with them the Spirit'. Here we see the distinctly enumerated, God, the Logos, and the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost, in ancient Rome, where the most celebrated temple of this capital - that of Jupiter Capitolinus - was dedicated to three deities, which three deities were honored with joint worship."
From Bible Myths and their parallels in other religions, pp. 375-376.
6) What was "The Word"?
"O people of the book! commit no excesses in your religion: nor say of Allah aught but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) a messenger of Allah, and His Word, which he bestowed upon Mary, and a spirit preceding from him so believe in Allah and his messengers. Say not "Three," desist! It will be better for you, for Allah is one God. Glory be to him. Far exalted is he above having a son. To him belong all things in the heavens and the earth. And enough is Allah as a disposer of affairs."
The noble Qur'an, Al-Nissa(4):171
In the Qur'an we are told that when God Almighty wills something he merely says to it "Be" and it is.
"Verily! Our (Allah's) Word unto a thing when We intend it, is only that We say unto it "Be!" - and it is"
The noble Qur'an, Al-Nahil(16):40 (please also read chapter 14)
This is the Islamic viewpoint of "The Word." "The Word" is literally God's utterance "Be." This is held out by the Bible where thirteen verses later in John 1:14 we read:
"And the Word was made flesh".
In the Qur'an, we read:
"The similitude of Jesus before Allah is as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him: 'Be.' And he was."
The noble Qur'an, Aal-Umran(3):59.
Regarding what is meant by Allah by "a spirit preceding from him" I shall simply let Allah Himself explain:
"And [remember] when Allah said to the angles: 'I shall create a human (Adam) from sounding clay, from altered mud. So when I have fashioned him and have breathed into him of my spirit, then fall down in prostration before him'"
The noble Qur'an, Al-Hijr(15):29
For more on this topic, please read section 220.127.116.11
Let us once again update our table:
18.104.22.168 John 10:30
The third verse which Christians claim validates the doctrine of the trinity is the verse of John 10:30
"I and my father are one."
This verse, however is quoted out of context. The complete passage, starting with John 10:23, reads as follows:
"And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch. Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one."
In divinity? In a holy "Trinity"? No! They are one in PURPOSE. Just as no one shall pluck them out of Jesus' hand, so too shall no one pluck them out of God's hand.
Need more proof? Then read:
"Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one."
Is all of mankind also part of the "Trinity"?
Such terminology can be found in many other places, read for example:
"Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit,"
1 Corinthians 6:15-17
"One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all."
"For as the (human) body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many."
1 Corinthians 12:12-14
Once we read the above verses and understand what the message was that Paul was trying to get across, then we can begin to understand his words in such places as
"There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all."
"St. Paul" was speaking about Christian unity, not about a plurality of gods merged into one body. As we shall soon see, he was completely ignorant of where his teachings would later lead, and how decades later, they would be the foundations which would spawn the "Trinity" doctrine.
Once again, here is our updated table:
22.214.171.124 Genesis 1:26
In the Book of Genesis 1:26, we read:
"And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth."
In this and other verses of the Bible, God refers to Himself as "us" and "our," etc. Does not the use of the terms "us" and "our" prove that the God which created all of creation is not a singular entity but a Trinity?
For the answer to this question please refer to chapter 14 which discusses the use of plural pronouns with respect to God in both the Bible as well as the Qur'an.
And our table now looks like this:
126.96.36.199 John 14:8-9
Well, what about the verse
"He that hath seen me hath seen the father."
Let us look at the context:
"Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?"
Philip wanted to see God with his own eyes, but this is impossible since no one can ever do ever do that. The Bible says:
"No man hath seen God at any time,"
"No man hath seen God at any time,"
1 John 4:12
So Jesus simply told him that his own actions and miracles should be a sufficient proof of the existence of God without God having to physically come down and let himself be seen every time someone is doubtful. This is equivalent to for example
If we want to insist that when Philip saw Jesus (pbuh), he had actually physically seen God "the Father" because Jesus "is" the father and both are one "Trinity," and Jesus is the "incarnation" of God, then this will force us to conclude that John 1:18, 1 John 4:12, ..etc. are all lies.
Well, is Philip the only one who ever "saw the father"? Let us read:
"Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father."
Who is this who "is of God" and had seen the Father you ask? Let us once again ask the Bible:
"He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God."
"Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God"
3 John 1:11.
Have all people who have done good also physically seen God?
In "The New Catholic Encyclopedia" (Bearing the Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur, indicating official approval) we get a glimpse of how the concept of the Trinity was not introduced into Christianity until close to four hundred years after Jesus (pbuh):
".......It is difficult in the second half of the 20th century to offer a clear, objective and straightforward account of the revelation, doctrinal evolution, and theological elaboration of the Mystery of the trinity. Trinitarian discussion, Roman Catholic as well as other, present a somewhat unsteady silhouette. Two things have happened. There is the recognition on the part of exegetes and Biblical theologians, including a constantly growing number of Roman Catholics, that one should not speak of Trinitarianism in the New Testament without serious qualification. There is also the closely parallel recognition on the part of historians of dogma and systematic theologians that 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. It was only then that what might be called the definitive Trinitarian dogma 'One God in three Persons' became thoroughly assimilated into Christian life and thought ... it was the product of 3 centuries of doctrinal development" (emphasis added).
"The New Catholic Encyclopedia" Volume XIV, p. 295.
They admit it!. Jesus' twelve apostles lived and died never having heard of any "Trinity" !
Did Jesus leave his closest and dearest followers so completely and utterly baffled and lost that they never even realized the "true" nature of God? Did he leave them in such black darkness that neither they nor their children, nor yet their children's children would ever come to recognize the "true" nature of the One they are to worship? Do we really want to allege that Jesus was so thoroughly incompetent in the discharge of his duties that he left his followers in such utter chaos that it would take them fully three centuries after his departure to finally piece together the nature of the One whom they are to worship? Why did Jesus never, even once, just say "God, the Holy Ghost and I are three Persons in one Trinity. Worship all of us as one"? If he had only chosen to make just one such explicit statement to them he could have relieved Christianity of centuries of bitter disputes, division, and animosity.
Top Harpur writes in his book "For Christ's Sake":
"What is most embarrassing for the church is the difficulty of proving any of these statements of dogma from the new Testament documents. You simply cannot find the doctrine of the Trinity set out anywhere in the Bible. St. Paul has the highest view of Jesus' role and person, but nowhere does he call him God. Nor does Jesus himself anywhere explicitly claim to be the second person in the Trinity, wholly equal to his heavenly Father. As a pious Jew, he would have been shocked and offended by such an Idea....(this is) in itself bad enough. But there is worse to come. This research has lead me to believe that the great majority of regular churchgoers are, for all practical purposes, tritheists. That is, they profess to believe in one God, but in reality they worship three.."
The Encyclopaedia Britannica states under the heading "Trinity":
"in Christian doctrine, the unity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as three persons in one Godhead Neither the word Trinity nor the explicit doctrine appears in the New Testament,… The Council of Nicaea in 325 stated the crucial formula for that doctrine in its confession that the Son is 'of the same substance [homoousios] as the Father,' even though it said very little about the Holy Spirit. Over the next half century, Athanasius defended and refined the Nicene formula, and, by the end of the 4th century, under the leadership of Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nyssa, and Gregory of Nazianzus (the Cappadocian Fathers), the doctrine of the Trinity took substantially the form it has maintained ever since."
Once again, let us have a look at our table:
188.8.131.52 John 14:6
Some people read:
"I am the way, ...no one comes to the Father, but through me."
When reading this verse, for some reason some people see in it a confirmation of the Trinity. Although I can not see how they can read either an explicit or even an implicit reference to the Trinity in this verse, still, due to it's popularity it deserves to be studied
There appear to be a sizable number of Christians who when reading this verse interpret it to state that Jesus is God and that no one shall enter into heaven except if they worship Jesus. For this reason this verse should ideally be dealt with in section 1.2.3 (The 'Son of God'), however, since it is brought up so often in discussions of the Trinity it appears to be appropriate to discuss it here.
The popular perception that this verse claims that Jesus requires our worship in order for us to receive salvation is not the intended meaning of this verse. However, in order for us to recognize this fact it is necessary to study it's context.
If we were to back up a little and read from the beginning of this chapter, we would find that just before Jesus spoke these words, he said;
"In my Father's house are many mansions (dwelling places); if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a mansion (a dwelling place) for you."
The above statement is quite clear. It is in exact conformance to the teachings of the Qur'an. In the Qur'an we are told how God sent messengers to all tribes and nations. We are told that the basic message which was given to each of these tribes was the same: "Worship God alone and worship none else." Some of the secondary details of this worship might differ from one tribe or nation to the next according to God's infinite wisdom and his knowledge of those people. It was made very clear to each prophet that he was not to preach to anyone but his own people. It was further made clear to this messenger's people that if they were to obey him that they would receive the reward of God. God would not hold them accountable for what any other tribe or nation did or did not do. This would continue until God's last messenger, Muhammad (pbuh) would be sent to all mankind as the seal of the prophets.
This is exactly what Jesus is saying here. He said that in God's mansion there are "many" rooms. Jesus was sent to guide to only one of them. The countless other rooms were reserved for other tribes and nations if they would obey their messengers. However, Jesus was telling his followers that they need not worry themselves about the other rooms. Anyone from among his people who wished to enter into the room which was reserved for them could only do so if they followed Jesus and obeyed his command. So Jesus confirmed that he was going to prepare "a" mansion and not "all" the mansions in "my Father's house".
Further, the verse clearly states that Jesus was the "WAY" to a mansion. He did not say that he is the "DESTINATION" which would be the case if he were God. What else would we expect a prophet of God to say except "I am the 'way' to God's mercy"? That is his job. That is what a prophet does. It is why God chose him in the first place; in order to guide to the mercy of God. This is indeed confirmed in John 10:9 where Jesus tells us that he is "the door" to "the pasture." In other words, he is the "prophet" who guides his people to "heaven" (see also Jn. 12:44). Once again, this is the message of Islam.
"Not every one that says to me(Jesus); 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of my Father, who is in heaven."
Here, once again is our table:
184.108.40.206 John 20:28
"Then saith he (Jesus) to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust [it] into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God."
Once again, when I was first quoted this verse, I immediately thought that I had at long last found my elusive goal. Finally, I had found a verse that explicitly claims that Jesus "is" God. However, it was not long after that, upon further research into Christian theological literature, I once again would come to find that the true meaning of this verse was quite different than what a casual glance might have me believe.
This verse is at best an example of an "implicit" affirmation of a "Duality." This is because this verse appears to imply that Thomas thought that Jesus was God Almighty. The words are those of Thomas and not Jesus. However, there are a number of problems with interpreting this verse to mean that Jesus is God.
Firstly, the phrase "Thomas answered" is somewhat misleading since nowhere before this verses was Thomas asked a question. Thomas' words could more appropriately be referred to as an "outburst" or an "exclamation." This is indeed why most translations of the Bible (excluding the King James Version) follow this exclamation with an "exclamation mark" as follows: "And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God !"
Christian scholars such as Theodore of Mopsuestia (c.350-428), the Bishop of Mopsuestia, interpreted this verse to not be directed at Jesus but at God "the Father." Thus, it is similar in meaning to our modern exclamations of surprise "My God!" or "My Lord!." In other words, this was an outburst designed to display surprise and disbelief rather than an affirmation that Jesus was in fact God "the Father."
Secondly, the word translated in this verse as "God" is indeed the Greek "Ho theos" (The God), and not "theos" (divine). However, when studying the history of this verse in the ancient Biblical manuscripts from which our modern Bibles have been compiled we find an interesting fact, specifically, that the ancient Biblical manuscripts themselves are not in agreement as to the correct form of this word. For example, the codex Bezae (or codex D) is a fifth century manuscript containing Greek and Latin texts of the Gospels and Acts, which was discovered in the 16th century by Theodore Beza in a monastery in Lyon. The predecessor of the codex Bezae and other church manuscripts do not contain the article "Ho" ("THE") in their text (The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture, Bart D. Ehrman, p. 266). What this means is that this verse in it's original form, if it is to be understood to be addressing Jesus (pbuh) himself, only addresses him as "divine" and not as the "Almighty God." Thus, it is similar in meaning to the meaning conveyed when prophet Moses is described as being a "god" in Exodus 7:1 (or when all Jews are described as being "gods" in Psalms 82:6, or when the devil is described as god in 2 Corinthians 4:4), effectively reducing the exclamation of Thomas, if it were indeed directed to Jesus, to "My lord the divine!," or "my divine lord!"
For a Muslim the matter is simple. The Qur'an very explicitly states that Jesus was not forsaken by God to the Jews to be crucified, rather "it was made to appear so to them." So the claim that Jesus came to Thomas and asked him to witness the imprint of the nail in his hand and the spear in his side is, for a Muslim, clear evidence that this whole episode was a fabrication and later insertion. However, since a Muslim's claim in this regard would not be regarded as authoritative unbiased proof in this matter, therefore, it is necessary to use a little logic to arrive at the truth.
Since we now have on our hands a dispute between the ancient Biblical manuscripts themselves as to what Thomas actually said, therefore, let me pose this very simple request. Please get out a pencil and a piece of paper, stop reading this book for the moment, and in your own words, please write down in about twenty words, very concisely but as directly as possible, what is the foremost obvious conclusion you are able to draw from Thomas' outburst. Study your words carefully and write them down as if your very life and the salvation of thousands of generations depend on what you are about to say. Make it clear and to the point. Have you finished?. Okay, let us continue.
Let us now compare what you have just written with what the actual author of this Gospel had written when faced with the same requirements I have just presented you with. If we were to continue reading from this same Gospel of John, we will find that immediately following this discourse between Jesus and Thomas depicted by the author of "John," the same author of "John" goes on to write:
"And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name."
If the author of John had recognized Thomas' words to be a testimony that "Jesus is God" and if the author interpreted Jesus' silence to be his approval of this claimed testimony, then John would have written "that ye might believe that Jesus is the Almighty God" and not "that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ..." (For an explanation of the terms "son of God" and "Christ" please read sections 220.127.116.11, and 18.104.22.168 which are coming up soon).
To make this matter clearer let us first remember that Christian scholars tell us that the disciples did not fully comprehend who Jesus "was" until after the resurrection. They admit that the Trinity was not "fully" incorporated into Christianity until three hundred years after the departure of Jesus (see rest of chapter one). However, they then point to this verse in order to exhibit to us how in the end the "true" nature of Jesus was made clear to the apostles. Now, we need to ask, what is the single most important piece of information we have just learned from Thomas' outburst? What is the single most glaring, obvious, and outstanding, piece of information we have learned from this statement? Any random missionary would tell us that it is the fact that "Jesus is God!" In other words, the disciples have just spent many years with Jesus learning from him, following him, obeying him, and preaching his message. Suddenly he is allegedly taken away, crucified, buried, and then he is resurrected. Now Thomas sees him and according to the testimony of "John," he realizes that Jesus is "God the Father" who has come down to earth to walk among us. So what would we logically expect to be the foremost topic of most urgent and critical concern in the eyes of the author of "John"? Obviously, it should be the instillation within us of the "fact" that "Jesus is the 'incarnation' of God Almighty!" Does this not stand to reason? Why then does the author now casually disregard such an earth shattering observation and choose to simply return to describing Jesus with the benign terms of "son of God" and "Messiah/Christ"(see sections 22.214.171.124, and 126.96.36.199)? Did the author of this book not make the connection which we have just made? Did the author of "John" have less understanding of what he was writing than us? Think about it.
Furthermore, some Christian scholars believe that the whole episode of "doubting Thomas" is a later "insertion." "The Five Gospels" mark this passage as being a complete fabrication and not the word of Jesus (pbuh).
There are a number of other verses which could be brought up in this comparison, however, the ones just quoted are the strongest and most often quoted verses. A number of other verses that are brought up in such discussions shall be dealt with in chapter 1.2.3 since they are more directly applicable to the concept of the divinity of Jesus or the claim that he is the physical/begotten son of God than they are to the discussion of the Trinity.
Finally, let us now have a final look at our table:
As we can see from the table, there is not a single explicit or implicit statement in the whole Bible confirming the "Trinity." Indeed this was the very reason why it was decided so many centuries ago to insert the verse of 1 John 5:7 into the Bible. Because without this fabricated verse there would be absolutely no earthly way to prove that God is a Trinity. In such a case we would simply have to take the Church's word for it. However, by the grace of God Almighty, this fabrication was not exposed by Muslims, it was not exposed by a liberal Christian, it was not even exposed by a conservative Christian, rather it was exposed by thirty two conservative biblical scholars of the highest eminence backed by fifty cooperating Christian denominations. No matter what your church or denomination, chances are that it was a member of the committee that compiled the RSV Bible and, among other changes, threw out 1 John 5:7 as a complete fabrication.
Does it not seem a little strange that God did not choose to include just one single explicit statement in the whole Bible where He said "I am three gods in one."?
Does it not seem just a little strange that we have been reduced to picking and choosing implicit references to a "Duality" and trying to "piece together" the nature of God?
Why did God feel the need to repeatedly explicitly state throughout the Bible that He is ONE, yet when it comes time for Him to explicitly state that He is THREE suddenly it is left up to our intellect to "observe" or "gather" that He "must" be a "Trinity."?
Why was this matter not resolved back at the time of prophets Noah or Abraham or Moses (pbut)? Why do we not find a single Jew worshipping a Trinity?
I know that there are still many unanswered questions, however, please bear with me, the picture shall begin to become much clearer once we get into sections 1.2.3 and 1.2.4 by the will of Allah.
188.8.131.52 A Logical Analysis
As we have seen at the very beginning of our analysis, Jesus (pbuh) has commanded us to "love the Lord thy God ... with all thy mind," Mark 12:30. We were also taught that "For God is not [the author] of confusion" 1 Corinthians 14:33.
So, if God's nature is not one of confusion, then it should not be necessary to command us to simply "have faith" in the Trinity because it is a "mystery." Is this not fair? Is this not what the Bible and Jesus himself say? So let us use our minds and be inquisitive. Let us ask questions so that we may indeed be able to truthfully claim that we have loved God "with all our minds."
Now, most Christians today are taught that because of Adam, all of humanity has inherited sin. This sin was so great that it could not be forgiven by any normal means. This sin was so great that God could not simply say "You are all forgiven." This sin was so great that even the sacrifice of a sinless mortal would not do. This sin was so great that it was necessary for God Almighty to offer up His only begotten son as the only possible purifying sacrifice for the sins of humanity. The only possible way for God to forgive humanity this tremendous sin was to have his son delivered to his mortal enemies so that they might beat him, spit on him, whip him, strip him, cut him, humiliate him, hang him up on the cross, and finally kill him. In this manner, God would finally be able to grant us the forgiveness He so wishes to bestow upon us. (1 Corinthians 15:3 "Christ died for our sins", Romans 5:6 "Christ died for the ungodly" etc.)
However, when we look closely at this picture we find a number of problems. For example, if Jesus (pbuh) is part of a divine Trinity which makes up the essence of God Almighty, and if this God is ONE God and not THREE gods, and if Jesus (pbuh) died on the cross, then what happened to God Almighty?. Did the Trinity die also, or was a third of the Trinity ripped away from the whole, then tortured, killed, and sent to hell for three days, while the remaining two thirds (of God?) remained in it's crippled form a safe distance away? Who was overseeing the heavens and the earth while all of this was happening? A crippled Trinity? No one? If I am made up of heart, mind, and soul, and one of them dies; what happens to the rest of me? Are they ONE or THREE? If God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost are three names for the same being, (definition of the "Trinity" required by Isaiah 43:10-11 and many other verses) and not three separate gods, then the "death of Jesus" is just another way of saying "the death of God the 'Father'," which is also another way of saying "the death of the Holy Ghost."
Some members of the clergy will object that it was not Jesus "per se" who died, but rather it was only "his human form" that died. His "godly" form was not affected. It is described as one describes someone removing his coat. This leaves us with a dilemma, because it leaves us with one of two cases:
1) Either Jesus (pbuh) "himself" did NOT die, but only shed his earthly body (as it were), and in this case we must ask, where then is the great sacrifice in this shedding of a useless shell? Did we not just agree a few minutes ago that the sacrifice of a sinless mortal was not sufficient in order to erase the sins of all of humanity? Did we not just claim that it must be a sinless "GOD" that must die? How then is Jesus' shedding of this useless mortal shell which is not his actual essence an ultimate sacrifice in atonement for all of mankind's sins? How is it any different than the sacrifice of any normal human being? Did the death of Jesus' coat atone for the sins of all mankind? Can Jesus not simply make one thousand more human "shells" for himself to inhabit? Is his discarding of one of them an "ultimate sacrifice for the sins of all humanity"?
2) Or, Jesus (pbuh) "himself" died, in which case, since he is claimed to be part of the "Trinity", and the "Trinity" is claimed to be ONE god, not three (required by Isaiah 43:10-11, Deut. 4:35, 4:39, 1 Kings 8:60, Isaiah 45:5 and many other verses), then God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost are all claimed to have died, since they are all "the same essence." Further, if all three are indeed ONE God then the death of this one God contradicts many verses such as:
"But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king."
Also, if the giver of life is dead then who shall bring Him back to life? The only way out of this dilemma is to accept the truth, that Jesus (pbuh) was not God but only an elect messenger of God.
Remember when Jesus (pbuh) is alleged to have died?:
"And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost"
When people die they go to their Lord to be judged. If Jesus (pbuh) was, as claimed, a part of a Trinity and the Trinity is only ONE god (as required by the above verses), then Jesus was with God in a Trinity before his death. It was only after his death that he was claimed to have left God, died, and gone down into hell for three days. However, this verse tells us a completely different story. It claims that Jesus' essence was somewhere other than already with God while he was on earth (otherwise it would not have to go to Him) and was now going to God. Also read John 17:11: "…I come to thee. Holy Father." And John 17:13: "And now come I to thee"...etc.
Sadly enough, most Christians are taught to brush off these matters with words like "It is incomprehensible, that is why it must be true," or "believe blindly or you will lose your soul."? Have we so soon forgotten "For God is not of confusion" 1 Corinthians 14:33 ? Have we so soon forgotten "thou shalt love the Lord thy God ... with all thy mind," Mark 12:30?.
Many missionaries attempt to prove that God is "three" by drawing analogies between God and His creation. They say: "There are three members in a family, father, mother and children. There are three states for water, ice, water and steam, etc. Don't you see? God is three!"
Well, if this is the case then we need to notice that "Each person gets only one life. There is only one sun. There is only one earth. Each person only has one heart and one mind, etc."
Similarly, "We all have only two eyes. We all have only two ears. Days are split into two parts, morning and night, etc."
As we can see, following such tactics is indeed a frivolous pursuit. Such examples could be extended forever. We could say "There are four seasons in every year. There are five fingers on each hand. The Jews were only allowed by God to work for six days. There are seven days in every week, ..." but you get the picture.
Now, God Almighty is claimed to have "begotten" Jesus (pbuh). He is claimed to be the "father" of Jesus. Naturally a father is present before he "begets" his son (no matter how you wish to define "beget"). Before Jesus (pbuh) was "begotten," was the "Trinity" a "Duality"? Was God complete? Explain Isaiah 43:10-11. If Jesus (pbuh) was "begotten" then he is not eternal, but the definition of the Trinity which was first put together in 325 C.E. when the Trinity was first officially defined requires the "co-eternity" of God and Jesus (pbuh) (see below).
If Jesus is one face of a "Trinity" and the Trinity is one god not many, then anyone who sees Jesus has seen God, however, John 1:18 says
"No man hath seen God at any time."
And we have just read in the Athanasian creed (Nicean creed) that "God" is a "Trinity" made up of "the Father," the "Son," and the "Holy Ghost." We also read therein that God is not three gods but one God. If this is the case then anyone who has seen Jesus has seen "God." But the Bible tells us that this is not the case.
Jesus (pbuh) claims to not even know when "that day" is
"But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father"
Is he not part of God? Is the "Trinity" not ONE god? The fact that one "personality" of God has knowledge not available to the other "two thirds" is a clear indication that they are distinct and separate beings, and not three faces of one being.
There are many such questions to be raised about this supposed Trinity which defy common sense. When someone loves God "with all thy mind" and they "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good" are they not presented with countless contradictions regarding the "Trinity"? I am speaking about the logic of Jesus (pbuh) here and not blind faith. Jesus is beseeching us to use our minds but we would rather follow others who demand blind faith. Jesus (pbuh) tells us
"If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him."
Sadly, the same people who love him dearly have now been taught that in order to love Jesus they must completely disregard everything he ever taught his followers and must follow others who are better able to explain his message than himself. In effect, his words have been totally abandoned (see below).
"Say: 'O people of the Book! exceed not in your religion the bounds [of what is proper], trespassing beyond the truth, nor follow the vain desires of people who went astray in times gone by, who misled many, and strayed [themselves] from the straight path.'"
The noble Qur'an, Al-Maida(5):77
184.108.40.206 On "steam, water, and ice "
If I have three balls of clay and I press them together into one ball then they become ONE but now it is impossible to retrieve the original three exactly as they were originally.
If I have three bricks and I stack them above each other then I can separate them, but I can not call the three bricks ONE brick.
By far, the most common analogy given for the "Trinity" by the church is that of the three forms of water, specifically, ice, liquid, and steam. They say, just as water is "one" but with three "states" or three "forms," so too is God Almighty one but with three states.
On the face of it this appears to be quite a compelling argument. So let us apply it to a few verses of the Bible in order to see whether it holds up to scrutiny and is actually endorsed by the Bible. In other words, it is necessary to see whether the Bible itself actually confirms such a picture of God. Only then can we accept or reject this analogy.
If I have a cup of water which can become steam, liquid, or ice, then it is not possible for me to drink the "liquid" while the "ice" and "steam" remain inside the glass. It is not possible for the "liquid" to beseech the ice to save it from being drunk while the ice stayed a safe distance away and was not itself drunk. This is simple logic. In a similar manner, if God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost are all merely three "personalities" or three "states" for one being, namely God Almighty, then it is not possible for one "personality" of God to DIE while the other two remained a safe distance away unharmed by death (Mark 15:37, John 19:33, Romans 5:6,...etc.).
Some will then solve this dilemma, as seen in the previous section, by claiming that Jesus (pbuh) did not actually "die," rather, he simply shed his earthly "skin." His actual essence was not killed. In this case it is necessary to ask: where then is the great sacrifice? If one of us has five thousand coats, and he takes one off and throws it in the fire then puts on a different one and says: "I did this as an ultimate sacrifice for you," is this truly an ultimate sacrifice if he can simply create one thousand more earthly "skins" to inhabit in place of the one he shed? Does his taking off of his coat and putting on a new one after three days "atone" for the sins of all of the "inherently wicked and sinful mankind" from the beginning of time? "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God ... with all thy mind ... this is the first commandment" Mark 12:30
There are many other situations in the Bible that contradict this analogy and the theory of "three" gods. For example:
Would it be logical to picture the "ice" form of a bucket of water praying to the "steam" form of itself (e.g. Luke 6:12). Further, did water start out as liquid and then decide to "beget" for itself another personality as "ice" and then add on a third personality as "steam"? Did God start out with one "personality" and then one day "beget" for Himself multiple personalities to keep Him company?. Does He usually speak to His other personalities and beseech them for salvation? (Matthew 27:46) Did He sacrifice one of His personalities to "save" mankind? Do some of His personalities have knowledge not available to others (Mark 13:32)? Are some of His "personalities" more powerful than others (John 14:28)? Are some of his personalities submissive to others (Luke 22:41-44)? Is this our mental picture of God? How will we answer Him on the day of judgment when He asks us about these claims we have made against Him?
In order to demonstrate the absurdity of this "ice, water, and steam" theory, let us use the following analogy:
Assume that "Joe" is a university student who is also serving in the army. In such a case we might be able to say that there are two "personalities" to Joe, a "student" personality and a "military" personality. Does this mean that it is logical to imagine "student Joe" humbling himself before "military Joe" and appealing to him to have mercy upon him while "military Joe" sat some distance away accepting "student Joe's" pleas and considering whether to grant them or not (Matthew 26:39)?
Further, if some killers attacked "student Joe" while he was in the university, would it be logical for us to claim that "student Joe" ran for the telephone and pleaded with "military Joe" to quickly come and save him? Would it be logical to say that "military Joe" did not answer this plea and "student Joe" was murdered in the university while "military Joe" remained safe and unharmed in the military base?
Continuing, according to the Bible, God and Jesus are claimed to not be equal in knowledge nor in power (Mark 13:32, John 14:28, etc.). So is it then logical in the above analogy to claim that "military Joe" is stronger than "student Joe" or that "student Joe" is smarter than "military Joe"?
It is always important when we are presented with a theory or "explanation" regarding the claimed "Trinity" to carefully analyze it and apply it to the Bible and test it thoroughly before accepting it. It is not at all acceptable to say I can not explain it nor prove it, neither does the Bible explicitly command me to have blind faith in this matter, yet since the church told me to do so, therefore, I shall do so. Indeed, Jesus (pbuh) wanted his followers to think, analyze, study, ask questions, and interrogate. This is his very FIRST commandment (Mark 12:30). Indeed, the Bible teaches us "For God is not [the author] of confusion" 1 Corinthians 14:33.
Let us conclude this section with a very eloquent example which was once presented by the British scholar Richard Porson. One day, Porson was discussing the "Trinity" with a Trinitarian friend when a buggy containing three men passed by. "There," Porson's friend exclaimed "is an illustration of the Trinity." Porson replied "No, you must show me one man in three buggies, if you can."
For the historical details of how such a doctrine was developed in the first place, please read section 1.2.5 which is coming up soon. But first:
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