To begin with, Jesus taught the oneness of God, “Jesus answered him, ‘The first
of all the commandments is: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One. And you
shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind,
and with all your strength.” This is the first commandment.’” (Mark 12:2930). Not only
did Jesus stress importance by sandwiching his words between the repeated “This is the
first commandment,” but the importance of this teaching is equally stressed in Matthew
22:37 and Luke 10:27. Recognizing the continuity from Judaism, Jesus conveyed his
teaching from Deuteronomy 6:45 (as acknowledged in all reputable Bible
commentaries). However, Pauline theology somehow arrived at the Trinity. But how?
Jesus referred to the Old Testament—what did the Pauline theologians refer to?
Significantly absent from Jesus’ teaching is the association of himself with God.
There never was a better time or place, throughout the New Testament, for Jesus to have
claimed partnership in divinity, were it true. But he didn’t. He didn’t say, “Hear, O Israel,
the Lord our God, the Lord is one—but it’s not quite that simple, so let me explain …”
To review the relevant issues in this discussion:
1. The Trinitarian formula was conceived in the third century and codified in the
fourth, distant both in time and theology from the period of revelation.
2. The Trinitarian formula was completely unknown to the Apostolic Fathers.
3. The Trinity is not found in the Old or New Testaments, either in name or in
4. The “achievement” of Pauline theology—the Trinitarian formula—was
conceived by men, relying upon the mysticisms of Paul, and is in direct conflict
with the strict monotheism conveyed both in the Old Testament and in the
teachings of Jesus Christ.
So with all this evidence against the Trinity, what’s the evidence for it?
Depends on whom you ask.
Christian laity are fond of quoting the Johannine Comma (First Epistle of John,
verses 5:78), although no true biblical scholar ever would. And there’s good reason not
to. The verses read, “For there are three who bear witness in heaven: the Father, the
Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one, And there are three that bear witness
on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one.” One
problem—the phrase “the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one”
has long been recognized as an interpolation (a misleading insertion).
The Interpreter’s Bible comments:
This verse in the KJV is to be rejected (with RSV). It appears in no
ancient Greek MS nor is it cited by any Greek father; of all the versions only the Latin contained it, and even this in none of its most ancient
sources. The earliest MSS of the Vulg. do not have it. As Dodd
(Johannine Epistles, p. 127n) reminds us, “It is first quoted as a part of
1 John by Priscillian, the Spanish heretic, who died in 385, and it
gradually made its way into MSS of the Latin Vulgate until it was
accepted as part of the authorized Latin text.