The Trinity – an expression of God’s redemptive purposes

The most familiar object of Muslim attack and scoffing is the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, for it is judged to be not only blasphemous but irrational. That, however, is not surprising. A notable Christian scholar, A. S. Peake, has, admitted that much the same attitude is taken towards the doctrine by a large class of people in the West who have little or no interest in theology. He says, “It seems an arithmetical puzzle which shocks the reference of the most devout: while it provokes the derision of those who pride themselves on a robust common sense.” A Muslim journal once affirmed that the Christian belief was comparable to the formula 1+1+1 = 1 a conclusion which if reached by a schoolboy would promptly earn for him a spanking!

the-trinity-1024x576But the Muslim makes no serious attempt to weigh the reasons put forward by Christian theologians for the origin of this doctrine, or to consider what its real implications are. We find the influence of the fundamental doctrine of Islam so dominating the minds of Muslims that any statement about the nature of God not expressed in conformity with it, is rejected out of hand. And, of course, they claim that support is found in the pages of the Quran for their protest against what they deem yet another blasphemous heresy on the part of Christians.

 

References to the Trinity in the Quran

The wording of the relevant verses is, to say the least, curious:

> “O ye people of the Book! Exceed not the limits in your religion’

>’of God, say not what is untrue. The Messiah, Jesus, Son of Mary, is but an apostle of God ………… Believe, therefore, in God and His apostles, and say not ‘Trinity’ forbear—it will be better for you! For God is one God’, (An-Nisa 4:171).

> “They surely blaspheme who say.’ God is the third of three’ for there is no god but the one God and if they refrain not from what they say, a grievous chastisement shall befall such of them as do blaspheme”, (Al-Maidah 5: 73).

>”And when God shall say, ‘0 Jesus, Son of Mary, hast thou said unto mankind Take me and my mother as two gods, besides God?’ He shall say, ‘Glory be unto thee! It is not for me to say that which I know to be not the truth; had I said that, verily Thou wouldest have known it: Thou knowest what is in me, but I know not what is in Thee”. (Al-Maidah 5:116).

Commenting on the first of these verses Mr. Yusuf Ali says:”Here the Christian attitude is condemned, which raises Jesus to an equality with God; in some cases venerates Mary almost to idolatry; attributes a physical son to God; and invents the doctrine of the Trinity, opposed to all reason, which according to the Athanasian Creed, unless a man believes, he is doomed to hell for ever.”

Maulana Muhammad Ali in his comments on the above verses, contends that the Quran “nowhere says that the Christian Trinity is formed of Jesus, Mary and God,” as some Christian critics of the Quran have concluded. The reference to Mary, he says, has to do with the Roman Catholic doctrine of the worship of Mary”; and adds, “Had Mary not been worshipped by the Christians as the Mother of God’, the conclusion would have been safe that the Quran mistook Mary for the third person of Trinity” (The Holy Quran notes 654, 723, and 751). On the contrary, since the Quran nowhere associates the Holy Spirit with the Trinity, it seems reasonable to hold that, in some way or other, Mary was connected by Muhammad with this doctrine. Moreover, the remarks made by JalaIain on the first two verses, and by Baidawi on 4:168, make it clear that in their opinion at any rate, the Quranic view of the Trinity did consist of Father, Mother, and Son. (# Jalalain, Urdu ed. Husaini Press, Agra, pp. 214. 248; Baidawi, op, cit. I, p. 319.) The extraordinary veneration known to have been shown by Abyssinian Christians for the Virgin Mary may, conceivably, have given rise to such a notion.

 

Trinity Bible-study-Triune-God-470x260Christians believe in the unity

The first thing to be said, and said emphatically, is that we, no less than Muslims, believe in the Unity of God, there is no Christian anywhere who believes in “three gods”. This fundamental conviction concerning the Unity of the divine being was expressed by Jesus Christ Himself; for He quoted the words of Moses to the Israelites:

<“Hear, 0 Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord”, (Deuteronomy 6:4).- He went on to add the ethical content of this belief (Mark 12:29,30):

>”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”,

He even declared this to be “the greatest and foremost commandment”. But to the Christian, as to the Jew, the supreme fact disclosed by this utterance is that the divine being is a righteous and holy God, not that He is one.

 What support has the doctrine in Scripture?

The Muslim may say, however, and with much semblance of truth, that whereas the doctrine of the Unity, which he holds, has abundant support in the actual words of the Quran the Christians have departed from the plain teaching of the Bible, as set forth in the passage just cited, and have invented a doctrine which has, contrary to all expectation, no support in their Scriptures. The objection, so stated, raises two questions:

1) What is “the one great theme” of the New Testament?

It is true that at a very early date the form of Christian doctrine did become Trinitarian, nevertheless, if the distinctively Christian teaching about God were to be compressed into a single phrase, it would be the declaration, not that God is Triune, but that He is redemptive love. The doctrine of the Trinity becomes significant for the Christian, in relation to this redemptive purpose of God. And while data for this doctrine are to be found in the gospel narratives, yet the great theme – proclaimed alike by Jesus and the Apostles is always that of God’s offer of grace to sinful men. Indeed, one cannot for a moment imagine that when Jesus Himself went about the towns and villages of Palestine, speaking of God and revealing God through His works of mercy his chief concern was that the people should grasp the idea that God was to be thought of as “in three persons”. The truth is that neither the doctrine of the Trinity, nor the Unity, could ever be received as, in themselves, a gospel, “good news” for men in need of a saving knowledge of God.

2) What support have we in Scripture for this doctrine?

We are therefore led to make the farther observation that this doctrine, as a creedal statement, is not to be found in Scripture. It is not there because it was not yet formulated when the last book in the New Testament was completed. Its origin is due to the facts which underlie the Christian experience of God’s redeeming love, and to prolonged reflection upon that experience; a conclusion to which believers were led by the Holy Spirit. For instance, it is not possible to give an adequate exposition of St. Paul’s faith in the deity of Christ without recourse to a theology which is essentially Trinitarian. Consider these statements of his:

> “God who shined in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ”(2 Corinthians 4:6).

In this passage we see the very elements out of which, at a later date, the doctrine of the Trinity was, so to speak, crystallized: a) God, in His transcendent being is inscrutably above the universe; b) God made manifest to men in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ; God present, unseen but very near, in the hearts of men.

3) Foreshadowing’s of a creedal statement may be seen in the following:

>”Baptizing them into the Name of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”. (Matthew 28:19) – a baptismal formula.

>”The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all”( 2 Corinthians 13: 14) – a form of benediction.

The doctrine in relation to early experience of the Christian revelation

We turn, then, to consider more closely the nature of that experience which led the early Christians to arrive at conclusions which prepared the way for such a statement of their faith about God, notwithstanding their exceeding strong monotheistic convictions.

In the first place they were compelled to account for the Person of Jesus Christ. They could place Him in no known category. Not His teaching particularly, but His character, His personal dealings with them, proclaimed Him to be related to God, to the power and wisdom and love of God, in some unique and unheard-of manner, They owed it to Him that they had become “new creatures”, (2 Corinthians 5:17) rescued from bondage to evil and filled with new hope and purpose and power for living. And though, as Jews they had been brought up to abominate idolatry as the one unpardonable sin, yet we find them putting their whole faith in Christ. They were thus compelled to adjust their new experience and conviction to the fundamental fact of the Divine Unity. And they solved the problem by concluding that Christ belonged, in some mysterious way, to the category of “God”.

It became, in time, a necessity of thought for them to declare that there must be some hitherto unsuspected “distinction” within the divine nature, and their way of indicating this conviction was to call Christ the “Son of God”, or the “Word of God”. That, for these men, was “a triumphant discovery, based on experience, as all scientific truth must be based “.

Similarly with their experience of the Spirit. In strict accord with the promise made to them by Jesus Himself, they found that the Spirit took of the things of Christ and revealed them unto men. His words literally came true, for the Spirit carried on the characteristic work of Christ in men’s hearts, convicting them of sin and sanctifying them unto righteousness (John 16:8,14-15) and, in particular, they themselves, through fellowship in the Spirit, came to apprehend more deeply the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God. But, again, these ways of the Spirit’s dealings with them were the very ways of God Himself, so what could they do but conclude that the Spirit also rightly belonged to the category of “God”, In other words, God the Father proclaimed by Jesus, Jesus Himself “the Son of God”, and the Holy Spirit at work within them, were essentially one in redemptive purpose and activity. That was a fact apprehended in their experience in the Spirit, and from it came the legitimate inference that God is Triune.

If the Muslim can be brought to understand that in the doctrine of the Trinity an attempt is made to explain our apprehension of the redemptive operation of God’s Holy Spirit within us, then, though it may still appear unacceptable to him, he will see that it is no longer unreasonable, and certainly not blasphemous. And, of course, among Muslims themselves there is, not withstanding the rigidity of the more common doctrine of Allah, a very real belief in God’s intimate dealings with men. The Sufis, in particular, have frequently carried their doctrine of “union with the Beloved” to such extravagant lengths that many of them, in days gone by paid for their temerity with their lives.

Let us, then, invite the devout Muslim to explore the phenomena of spiritual experience, his and ours. It is when the Muslim, under conviction by the Holy Spirit, is driven to ask,’ Who can this be who so deals with me’? That he is in the way of understanding something of this great mystery about God.

Reasons for formulating the doctrine of the Trinity

The early Christians, as has been indicated, were themselves satisfied that they had come, through the Spirit’s guidance, to perceive in this “mystery” new clues to the nature of the One living and invisible God. At first they formulated no doctrine about it; there was no need. But the time came when the truths they held were called in question and, by controversy, imperilled; and so, in self-defence, they sought to reduce their convictions to creedal form.

The more they thought upon this mystery, the surer they were that, for this fuller knowledge of God, their experience of Jesus, the Heavenly Father, and the Holy Spirit was, in its very nature, inseparable. It was this that led to the conception of what may be called, for want of better language, the “three-foldness” of God; and the Church at length agreed to define the truth she held as indicating “a real distinction within the Godhead – differentiation of being or function”. But the doctrine so formulated, did not, and does not; affirm “the reality of independent conscious beings, qualified by separate essences”. So that if and when the word “person” is used in speaking of the Trinity it must be understood that a) it is a term that has been in use in this connection for many centuries; b) it is used in a sense quite different from that which it ordinarily conveys, and (c) that it is still forced upon us by the very poverty of human language. Further, no Christian claims that even the most widely-accepted definition of the Trinity is adequate to the ultimate truth about God, but we do claim that it is a contribution to a better understanding of the mystery of His nature.

15 Responses to “The Trinity”

  • Faraz:

    I’ve to re read the Gospels and John is the best place to start, I’ve read it several times before to remember each and everything, from the first verse, in the beginning … the Holy spirit coming to Mary and telling him about the Messiah to be born ………. first miracle of turning water into wine, ….. choosing his disciples, his miracles ……. his struggle against Jews ….. his coming to Jerusalem riding on a donkey ……….. how he was tortured, put onto the cross, died, buried, resurrected after 3 days and ………. Mary Magdalene was the first person to see Jesus, then in the end he came to the upper room and meet Thomas, who in amazement said o My God, o my Lord, that’s how it finishes.

    Trinity is a issue of salvation, yet their isn’t a single incident where Jesus said to worship him Bible which is double the size of Quran yet there’s not a single verse ……… Jesus would’ve been explicit about it, you just can t expect God to roam around Bushes and not even saying this …………….. The first Christian were Jews …… they didn’t create their own Chrurch, they rather went into Jews church, if they would’ve said that Jesus is God, the Jews for sure have thrown them out, or they would’ve created their own church but it wasn’t the case.
    As it comes to again the verse, he who has seen me has seen the father …………… I’ve explained it in my previous message ……… he was the way, the way to enter eternal life, the rightful Messiah, so in order to enter heaven you’ve to believe in him so in order to go to Father (God) you’ve to believe him. So Philip replies, show us the father and it suffices us, at that Jesus was disappointed because Philip was a Jew and He knew that no one at any time has seen the God, you just can’t see Him, yet he was asking, so Jesus said he who has seen me has seen the father. In bible it’s also written, even Jesus said this, no one has seen father at any time.

    If you see the Gospel of Barnabas, these things are clear, in it it’s clearly written that Jesus was no more than a prophet of God and in it Jesus also prophecies about coming of Mohammed, the same verse is in there which is in Quran ………. and I would also like to know why Gospel of Barnabas and the dead sea scrolls aren’t considered to be Authentic.

    • admin:

      Its really good that you are re-reading the Gospel of John, thank you for telling us that. As some points may be considered to reflect the Trintarian view we will respond on this page.

      1) As far as your comments “there isn’t a single incident where Jesus said to worship him” it is important that you grasp that it was not until after the resurrection that the disciples came to appreciate the magnificance of the person of Jesus Christ from that time on he became a focus of worship. You identified this yourself in the exclamation of the Jew Thomas (John 20:28). Jewish disciples are also found worshipping Jesus in Matthew 28:9, Luke 24:52.

      2) You are correct saying “the first Christian were Jews” for they believed that Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah and Son of God. The way you epressed yourself “they didn’ t create their own Chrurch, they rather went into Jews church” is a little ambiguous – We think you are trying to say that the Jews would not have created a church which centred on Jesus being divine however, this is not correct for the first church of any kind ocurred in Jerusalem (historically known in some circles as the ‘mother church)’. This group of believers were exclusively Jews who gathered together to pray and then as the book of Acts shows went out into the public and made their confession that Jesus had been crucified and rose again. Th confession of this Jewish church was exactly the same as the later majority Gentile churches. The Apostle Paul who at that time was a conservative Jewish person was enraged and toatllay opposed to his fellow-Jews that they he took steps in attempting to destroy them (Acts 9: 1-22)

      3) We have given you our response to John 14:1-12 in our last response. It’s a shame, because you almost seem to have grasped the point of the discussion when you say “he was the way, the way to enter eternal life, the rightful Messiah, so in order to enter heaven you’ve to believe in him.” After the resurrection the Jewish first Christians preached “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ”. (Acts 2:36). Acts 1:13 places Philip amongst the other believing Jewish believers who formed the first church on the basis that Jesus, having obtained salvation for mankind, returned to the Father from where he will return again. Clearly, Philip was no longer disappointed! You are correct in saying the Gospel of John 1:18 states “No man hath seen God at any time” but did not complete the sentence which reads: “ the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” (King James Authorised Version)

      4) Please read our article about the Gospel of Barnabas under ‘Apologetics’ and the ‘Authority of the Bible’. If you have any comments after reading the article it would be good to hear from you in the appropriate section. We are not sure why you do not think we consider the Qumran Dead Sea scrolls to be authentic – clearly they are – unlike the Gospel of Barnabas.

  • Faraz:

    First of all Jesus never introduced this idea nor do any of his disciples, however Paul laid it’s foundation which was adopted later.
    1. Baptism in the early Church, as discussed by Paul in his letters, was done only in the name of Jesus; and The “Great Commission” found in the first gospel written, that of Mark, bears no mention of Father, Son and/or Holy Ghost – see Mark 16:15.
    2. To further make sure that this verse is fabrication, I ve collected other points also, this is rather long but it s prove that this text is a fabrication Adolf Harnack says in his book The History of Dogma: “This concept of trinity which speaks of the “Father, Son and Holy Spirit” is something strange that was never uttered on Christ’s lips. It did not exist at the time of the Apostles. … Moreover, it was never mentioned until a later stage in the development of Christian teachings and Christ never spoke of it when he was preaching and teaching after he rose from the dead. Paul knew nothing of that either, because he did not quote anything that he attributed to Christ that urged spreading Christianity among other nations.”
    3. The fact that this idea was not an original one is confirmed by Bible scholars and historians of Christianity, as was stated by Archbishop Cyril Salim Bustros — the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Baalbek and environs — who said: “The Bible scholars think it most likely that this injunction which the Gospel says was spoken by Jesus did not come from Jesus himself; rather it was the formula spoken to prepare people for Baptism in Greek society. Baptism in the early years of Christianity was given ‘in the name of Jesus Christ’ [Acts 2:38; 10:48] or ‘in the name of the Lord Jesus’ [Acts 8:16; 19:5]. Hence historians regard it as more likely that the Trinitarian baptismal formula was a brief summary for preparing for baptism. Thus they went further and included with the name of Jesus ‘God the Father and the Holy Spirit’.” Al-Laahoot al-Maseehi wa’l-Insaan al-Mu‘aasir (Christian Divinity and Modern Man), Archbishop Cyrille Salim Bustros, 2/48.
    4. When the historian Eusebius of Caesarea quoted this passage from the Gospel of Matthew, he did not mention therein “the Father” or “the Holy Spirit”; rather he said: “They went to all nations to spread the Gospel, relying on the power of Christ who said to them: ‘Go and teach all nations in my name.’” Tareekh al-Kaneesah (Ecclesiastical History), Eusebius of Caesarea, p. 100
    5. Another matter that confirms that is the fact that in the recently-discovered Hebrew manuscript of the Gospel of Matthew — which was originally written in Hebrew — this text is not present. This was regarded by Dr G. Reckart, Professor of Theology at the Apostolic Theological Bible College of Kaufman, Texas, as definitive evidence that this text has been added to the Gospel of Matthew. He said: “The Catholic Church has willingly lied about Matthew 28:19 and the Catholics in general (including the Eastern Orthodox) have lied to the world. Everyone who was baptized with this false baptism has died lost and without salvation.” http://www.jesus-messiah.com/apologetics/catholic/matthew-proof.html Dr. Reckart tells us of a number of New Testament texts which speak of baptism in the name of Jesus Christ only, as in the words of Peter in his famous sermon: “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit”
    6a. The history of the disciples confirms that they had no knowledge of this text, because they did not go out to call people as enjoined by Christ in this so-called text; rather he instructed them to avoid calling anyone except the Jews. Matthew 10:5-6
    6b This is in accordance with historical evidence going back to the second century CE, which contradicts the so-called Great Commission to call the nations and baptize them in the name of the trinity, as the church historian Apollonius said: “I learned from the earlier generations that Christ, before his ascension to heaven, instructed his Apostles not to go far away from Jerusalem for twelve years.”
    6c The disciples followed the instructions of Christ and did not leave Palestine unless circumstances forced them to do so (Acts 11:19). If they had heard Christ instructing them to call the nations in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, they would have gone out in obedience to his words, without any objection, to tell the nations of his message.
    6d When Peter was summoned by the pagan Cornelius to find out about Christianity from him, then he became Christian at Peter’s hands, the other disciples objected to that, but he said to them: “He said to them: ‘You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with a Gentile or visit him. But God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean’” (Acts 10:28). But he did not say that Christ had instructed them to do that; rather he said: “… us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people” (Acts 10:41-42), i.e., to the Jews only. When he went back to Jerusalem, he was faced with more criticism, “the circumcised believers criticized him 3and said, ‘You went into the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them!’” (Acts 11:2-3). Then Peter began to tell them of a dream he had seen that justified his eating with the Gentiles (Acts 11:4-10). And he told them how the Holy Spirit had come to him and told him to go: “the Spirit told me to have no hesitation about going with them and he also went with me” (Acts 11:12). After this detailed and convincing argument from Peter, the disciples approved of his going to the uncircumcised. “When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, ‘So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life’” (Acts 11:18). Based on that, all these people, including Peter, knew nothing about the text of Matthew which enjoins baptizing all nations in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Why is that? Because Christ did not say it and they did not hear it. If Christ had said it, there would not have been any need for blame and rebuke.
    7. Moreover, the Disciples agreed with Paul that he would call the Gentiles while they would call the circumcised, i.e. the Jews. Paul says: Galatians 2:7-9. So how could they go against the commandment of Christ — if the text in Matthew is true — and refrain from calling the nations, then leave that to Paul and Barnabas only? All these facts prove the text in Matthew to be false and confirm that it is a fabricated text that cannot be soundly attributed to Christ.
    Regardless of all that, there is nothing in the text to indicate that it is talking about three holy ones united in one being. Rather it is talking about three different essences mentioned together in conjunction, which indicates that they are different, distinct essences. The correct meaning of this passage at the end of Matthew’s Gospel is: Go in the name of God and His Messenger Jesus and the Revelation sent down to him with the teachings of God.
    The wording mentioned in Matthew is similar to another phrase which the Christians do not interpret it as referring to trinity. In 1 Timothy 5:21 No one understood this text as being indicative of the divinity of the angels, or suggesting that they are the third “person” [of the trinity]. . The same may be said about the text in Matthew as about the text of Paul. Similar to that is the text in Exodus which calls upon the Children of Israel to believe in God and in Moses, without any notion that the two who are mentioned together are equal (Exodus 14:31)
    Now coming to the doctrines of Trinity: While Paul of Tarsus, the man who could rightfully be considered the true founder of Christianity, did formulate many of its doctrines, that of the Trinity was not among them. He did, however, lay the groundwork for such when he put forth the idea of Jesus being a “divine Son.” After all, a Son does need a Father, and what about a vehicle for God’s revelations to man? In essence, Paul named the principal players, but it was the later Church people who put the matter together. Tertullian, a lawyer and presbyter of the third century Church in Carthage, was the first to use the word “Trinity” when he put forth the theory that the Son and the Spirit participate in the being of God, but all are of one being of substance with the Father.
    A Formal Doctrine Is Drawn Up: When contrversy over the matter of the Trinity blew up in 318 between two church men from Alexandria – Arius, the deacon, and Alexander, his bishop – Emperor Constantine stepped into the fray. Although Christian dogma was a complete mystery to him, he did realize that a unified church was necessary for a strong kingdom. When negotiation failed to settle the dispute, Constantine called for the first ecumenical council in Church history in order to settle the matter once and for all. Six weeks after the 300 bishops first gathered at Nicea in 325, the doctrine of the Trinity was hammered out. The God of the Christians was now seen as having three essences, or natures, in the form of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

    *** Admin here – Yes, your response continues but that is plenty to go along with at the moment. You are welcome to submit these things again as long as you make sure they are in the appropriate section of the web-site.

    • admin:

      Firstly we need to draw your attention to one or two outstanding matters.

      a) We are still waiting to here what dream this was and with whom did Paul have discussions with to come to a Trinitarian concept. You seem to be confused between the words of Stephen, the first Christian martyr, and Paul. It was Stephen who saw “Jesus sitting on the right hand of God” (Acts 7:56), perhaps you should familiarise yourself with the whole of Chapter 7. From suggesting that it was Paul’s dream and later discussions with some unknown persons you are now suggesting that although “Paul of Tarsus …. could rightfully be considered the true founder of Christianity (he) did formulate many of its doctrines, that of the Trinity was not among them”. So now he is is only responsible for the “idea of Jesus being a “divine Son.” We have already shown you that the Jewish apostles based in Jerusalem believed Jesus was the divine son and were preaching this message even before Paul came on the scene but now somehow Paul is accused of developing the doctrine of the Son of God – Amazing. The technical formation of doctrine naturally occurs later, as it does in Islam, and we will look at that later. Suffice to say you seem to have changed your position. Perhaps you could tell us which doctrines Paul formulated bearing in mind doctrines are not the same as forms and approaches of preaching the gospel?

      b) We claim that the Trinitarin concept began with Jesus himself and wrote in the following way : Who spoke about God being his Father – Jesus; who said he had come from the Father and was returning – Jesus; who said “No one comes to the Father except through me? – Jesus; Who said that after his departure he would send the Holy Spirit who shall lead you into all truth – Jesus etc, etc. All you say is “Jesus never introduced this idea nor do any of his disciples, however Paul laid it’s foundation which was adopted later” Please address the issue of the Trinitarian claims and words of Jesus as found in the gospels.

      c) While rejecting the normal translation of John 1:1 we are still waiting to know from you which ‘god’ of ‘God’ was with God before the creation of the world if not Jesus?

      Now to your new material. Your argument seems to be based around Matthew 28:19. Perhaps, you are thinking if the textual authority can be destroyed and/or certain persons call it into question this can be strong evidence to disprove the Trinity.

      1) You argue that the Trinitarian name was not used when believers came for baptism in the book of Acts for they were only baptised in the name of Jesus (Acts 2;38, 10:48, 19:5). The quotations you provide are solely from the book of Acts which records the history of Christian mission from the beginning and in doing so does not give details of the Christian rites of baptism or the Lord’s Supper for that matter. The details of the baptismal ceremony are set forth purely to indicate that the practice of baptism was continued from the earliest days. Baptism is a public confession that the blessings of forgiveness and salvation have been obtained through the Father, sending the son into the world to suffer and die for our sins and then giving the assurance of salvation through the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. This is the reason why baptism is a Trinitarian rite. Some have questioned whether Matthew 28:19 is in fact a baptising formula and should be used for liturgical purposes. We know that in the early Christian writing The Didache (The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles) baptism in the name of Jesus and baptism in the name of the Trinity co-exist side by side. The church was not bound by precise formulas and felt no embarrassment at a multiplicity of them.

      2) Quoting Arian and/or controversial theologians and historians takes us nowhere they do not represent main-line biblical teaching.
      a) Adolf Harnack not only denied Christ’s institution of baptism but challenged the authorship of the fourth Gospel and other New Testament books. Along with this he had unorthodox interpretations of biblical miracles including the resurrection. His depiction of Jesus is quite controversial and unorthodox. b) Archbishop Cyril Salim Bustros seems to be another controversial person even having to explain certain views which he held to the Vatican. Some of his views do seem to be opposed to Roman Catholic theology but as Protestants we do not need to engage in this discussion. c) It is not surprising that Eusebius wrote as he did. The bishop writing three hundred years after the Christ event supported the views of Arius although he signed the creed of the Council of Nicea which ha a high Christology. He later led a widespread reaction to the teaching of Nicea. His personal contacts with the imperial household allowed him to engineer the exile of the opponents of Arianism. d) the issue of the Shem-Tob’s Hebrew Matthew manuscript is very interesting. We have not read it, and therefore are dependent upon those who have although we can see discussions on it involve far more than the issue of Matthew 28:19. The credibility of the Shem-Tob’s text is still not agreed for some are of the opinion that it has passed through a stage of revision (or various stages) and s being copied from a defective manuscript. It is viewed as a heretical Jewish-Christian copy of some kind, perhaps an Ebionite document which was copied in the period 100-400 C.E. It certainly cannot be classified as ‘definitive evidence’ e) Before commenting on Apollonius could you confirm that you mean Appolinaris, bishop of Laodicia (died 390) or are you referring to another Apollonius?

      Now regarding other matters you raised which we will take in the order you gave.

      1) You wrote: “If they had heard Christ instructing them to call the nations in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, they would have gone out in obedience to his words, without any objection, to tell the nations of his message (Acts 11:19). ———– The Lord’s disciples were obeying his injunctions found in Acts 1:8, which amounted to obedience to the same command. They should preach the gospel in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the uttermost parts of the world. This exactly what happened and is the purpose of the Book of Acts which shows them beginning in Jerusalem and ending with the preaching of the gospel in Rome, the capital of the empire.

      2) While you correctly you say that Peter was criticised for going into the house of uncircumcised men and eating with with (Acts 11:2-3), this criticism came not from the apostles but those who were called Judaizers. You correctly say that the verdict of the apostles was “they had no further objections and praised God, saying, “So then, even to Gentiles God has granted repentance that leads to life.” (Acts 1:18). The book of Acts shows the united efforts of all the apostles involved in the historical expansion of the Christian mission.

      3) In respect of the Jewish apostles going against the commandment of Christ and leaving it to Paul and Barnabas only. James, Peter and John who headed the Jewish mission fully recognised that Paul had been called to the Gentiles. You should not see that as a black line dividing these individual ministries for Paul first also preached to the Jews. Peter while being the spokesman before the Jewish authorities (Acts 4:8ff) significantly, as you mentioned, is the first apostle associated with the Gentile mission (Acts 10:1ff); Philip went to Samaria and engaged with an Ethiopian proselyte (Acts 8); it was the Antiochan church who commissioned Paul and Barnabas (Acts 13:1) We also find Peter in Antioch (Galatians 2:11) which was the first church with a significant ex-pagan element. Peter, is closely associated with Christians in northern Asia Minor (1 Peter 1:1) and it is likely that he wrote his first letter from Rome.

      4) You wrote “Regardless of all that, there is nothing in the text to indicate that it is talking about three holy ones united in one being.” ——— If the three persons “are different, distinct essences” then you would expect Matthew 28:19 to read baptizing them in the names of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost but the text says “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” – they are baptised into the name of the Trinity. Where do you get textual authority that the text is saying “Gospel is: Go in the name of God and His Messenger Jesus and the Revelation sent down to him with the teachings of God?” – if you cannot support it on textual grounds you have no basis to suggest such an interpretation.

      5) You are correct I Timothy 5:21 is not a Trinitarian statement but wrong that it is similar to our Matthew 28:19 there is no verbal agreement whatsoever. The only agreement is that it has a threefold phrase of God, Christ Jesus, and the elect angels which as you correctly say is not Trinitarian. How you quite turn your argument to say that it is similar to Moses and God being considered as equal i.e.“that the two who are mentioned together are equal” is quite honestly incomprehensible.

      6) The objectives of Paul in conjunction with all the apostles was to preach Jesus as the Saviour of mankind for all nations they were in total agreement about the nature of God, the nature and work of the Son and the blessings of the Holy Spirit. The doctrine is worked out from the basic text and this was the work of the Church Fathers who produced their arguments against various heresies; their main source was the New Testament. Tertullian was one such person who defended the New Testament teaching when refuting the arguments of the Gnostics and Docetists as produced in his ‘Against Praxeas’. His thinking made a helpful contribution to the Christian understanding of the Trinitarian doctrine.

      7) You are correct that Emperor Constantine was deeply concerned about the problem of Arianism threatening the unity of the Christian Church in the 4th century. What basically Arius was saying is that Christ was created and that the son was inferior to the Father. He used similar texts that you yourself have used namely, Matthew 28:18, Mark 13:32 Luke 18:19; John 5:19, 14:28; 1 Corinthians 15:28 but also Proverbs 8:22 (Septuagint translation). The decision of the Council in favour of the Trinitarian doctrine did not terminate the controversy for the emperor sought to impose the council’s decision, and this of course only stirred up further strife. The roots of the Arian doctrine is still with us today and it is found in the teaching of Jehovah Witnesses. Islam has also taken this path.

      Just one or two final comments:
      a) The New Testament can scarcely conceive of a disciple who is not baptised and instructed into the faith. This instruction involved the activities of each person of the Trinity in the obtaining of salvation.

      b) The triple formula containing the Father (God), Son (Christ) and Spirit occurs frequently in the New Testament indicating that Trinitarian thought was present in the beginning in Christian teaching. c/f 1Corinthians 12:4-6; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 4:4-6); 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14; 1 Peter 1:2; Revelation 1:4-6.

      c) Trinitarian ideas are found in the resurrection accounts of both Luke and John, even if these evangelists do not report the Trinitarian baptismal formula (Luke 24:45 f John 20:19).

      d) The focus of Jesus’ commands were not the law for Matthew 28:19 indicates that the disciples were to go and teach whatever Jesus had commanded them. This teaching will not become outmoded, as Islam suggests, but must be passed on until ‘the end of the age.’ What the disciples teach is not merely dogma steeped in abstract theorizing but content which is to be obeyed.

    • admin:

      Firstly we need to draw your attention to one or two outstanding matters.
      a) We are still waiting to here what dream this was and with whom did Paul have discussions with to come to a Trinitarian concept. You seem to be confused between the words of Stephen, the first Christian martyr, and Paul. It was Stephen who saw “Jesus sitting on the right hand of God” (Acts 7:56), perhaps you should familiarise yourself with the whole of Chapter 7. From suggesting that it was Paul’s dream and later discussions with some unknown persons you are now suggesting that although “Paul of Tarsus …. could rightfully be considered the true founder of Christianity (he) did formulate many of its doctrines, that of the Trinity was not among them”. So now he is is only responsible for the “idea of Jesus being a “divine Son.” We have already shown you that the Jewish apostles based in Jerusalem believed Jesus was the divine son and were preaching this message even before Paul came on the scene but now somehow Paul is accused of developing the doctrine of the Son of God – Amazing. The technical formation of doctrine naturally occurs later, as it does in Islam, and we will look at that later. Suffice to say you seem to have changed your position. Perhaps you could tell us which doctrines Paul formulated bearing in mind doctrines are not the same as forms and approaches of preaching the gospel?
      b) We claim that the Trinitarin concept began with Jesus himself and wrote in the following way : Who spoke about God being his Father – Jesus; who said he had come from the Father and was returning – Jesus; who said “No one comes to the Father except through me? – Jesus; Who said that after his departure he would send the Holy Spirit who shall lead you into all truth – Jesus etc, etc. All you say is “Jesus never introduced this idea nor do any of his disciples, however Paul laid it’s foundation which was adopted later” Please address the issue of the Trinitarian claims and words of Jesus as found in the gospels.
      c) While rejecting the normal translation of John 1:1 we are still waiting to know from you which ‘god’ of ‘God’ was with God before the creation of the world if not Jesus?
      Now to your new material. Your argument seems to be based around Matthew 28:19. Perhaps, you are thinking if the textual authority can be destroyed and/or certain persons call it into question this can be strong evidence to disprove the Trinity.
      1) You argue that the Trinitarian name was not used when believers came for baptism in the book of Acts for they were only baptised in the name of Jesus (Acts 2;38, 10:48, 19:5). The quotations you provide are solely from the book of Acts which records the history of Christian mission from the beginning and in doing so does not give details of the Christian rites of baptism or the Lord’s Supper for that matter. The details of the baptismal ceremony are set forth purely to indicate that the practice of baptism was continued from the earliest days. Baptism is a public confession that the blessings of forgiveness and salvation have been obtained through the Father, sending the son into the world to suffer and die for our sins and then giving the assurance of salvation through the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. This is the reason why baptism is a Trinitarian rite. Some have questioned whether Matthew 28:19 is in fact a baptising formula and should be used for liturgical purposes. We know that in the early Christian writing The Didache (The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles) baptism in the name of Jesus and baptism in the name of the Trinity co-exist side by side. The church was not bound by precise formulas and felt no embarrassment at a multiplicity of them.
      2) Quoting Arian and/or controversial theologians and historians takes us nowhere they do not represent main-line biblical teaching.
      a) Adolf Harnack not only denied Christ’s institution of baptism but challenged the authorship of the fourth Gospel and other New Testament books. Along with this he had unorthodox interpretations of biblical miracles including the resurrection. His depiction of Jesus is quite controversial and unorthodox. b) Archbishop Cyril Salim Bustros seems to be another controversial person even having to explain certain views which he held to the Vatican. Some of his views do seem to be opposed to Roman Catholic theology but as Protestants we do not need to engage in this discussion. c) It is not surprising that Eusebius wrote as he did. The bishop writing three hundred years after the Christ event supported the views of Arius although he signed the creed of the Council of Nicea which ha a high Christology. He later led a widespread reaction to the teaching of Nicea. His personal contacts with the imperial household allowed him to engineer the exile of the opponents of Arianism. d) the issue of the Shem-Tob’s Hebrew Matthew manuscript is very interesting. We have not read it, and therefore are dependent upon those who have although we can see discussions on it involve far more than the issue of Matthew 28:19. The credibility of the Shem-Tob’s text is still not agreed for some are of the opinion that it has passed through a stage of revision (or various stages) and s being copied from a defective manuscript. It is viewed as a heretical Jewish-Christian copy of some kind, perhaps an Ebionite document which was copied in the period 100-400 C.E. It certainly cannot be classified as ‘definitive evidence’ e) Before commenting on Apollonius could you confirm that you mean Appolinaris, bishop of Laodicia (died 390) or are you referring to another Apollonius?
      Now we regarding other matters you raised which we will take them in the order you gave.
      1) You wrote: “If they had heard Christ instructing them to call the nations in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, they would have gone out in obedience to his words, without any objection, to tell the nations of his message (Acts 11:19). ———– The Lord’s disciples were obeying his injunctions found in Acts 1:8, which amounted to obedience to the same command. They should preach the gospel in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the uttermost parts of the world. This exactly what happened and is the purpose of the Book of Acts which shows them beginning in Jerusalem and ending with the preaching of the gospel in Rome, the capital of the empire.
      2) While you correctly you say that Peter was criticised for going into the house of uncircumcised men and eating with with (Acts 11:2-3), this criticism came not from the apostles but those who were called Judaizers. You correctly say that the verdict of the apostles was “they had no further objections and praised God, saying, “So then, even to Gentiles God has granted repentance that leads to life.” (Acts 1:18). The book of Acts shows the united efforts of all the apostles involved in the historical expansion of the Christian mission.
      3) In respect of the Jewish apostles going against the commandment of Christ and leaving it to Paul and Barnabas only. James, Peter and John who headed the Jewish mission fully recognised that Paul had been called to the Gentiles. You should not see that as a black line dividing these individual ministries for Paul first also preached to the Jews. Peter while being the spokesman before the Jewish authorities (Acts 4:8ff) significantly, as you mentioned, is the first apostle associated with the Gentile mission (Acts 10:1ff); Philip went to Samaria and engaged with an Ethiopian proselyte (Acts 8); it was the Antiochan church who commissioned Paul and Barnabas (Acts 13:1) We also find Peter in Antioch (Galatians 2:11) which was the first church with a significant ex-pagan element. Peter, is closely associated with Christians in northern Asia Minor (1 Peter 1:1) and it is likely that he wrote his first letter from Rome .
      4) You wrote “Regardless of all that, there is nothing in the text to indicate that it is talking about three holy ones united in one being.” ——— If the three persons “are different, distinct essences” then you would expect Matthew 28:19 to read baptizing them in the names of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost but the text says “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” – they are baptised into the name of the Trinity. Where do you get textual authority that the text is saying “Gospel is: Go in the name of God and His Messenger Jesus and the Revelation sent down to him with the teachings of God?” – if you cannot support it on textual grounds you have no basis to suggest such an interpretation.
      5) You are correct I Timothy 5:21 is not a Trinitarian statement but wrong that it is similar to our Matthew 28:19 there is no verbal agreement whatsoever. The only agreement is that it has a threefold phrase of God, Christ Jesus, and the elect angels which as you correctly say is not Trinitarian. How you quite turn your argument to say that it is similar to Moses and God being considered as equal i.e.“that the two who are mentioned together are equal” is quite honestly incomprehensible.
      6) The objectives of Paul in conjunction with all the apostles was to preach Jesus as the Saviour of mankind for all nations they were in total agreement about the nature of God, the nature and work of the Son and the blessings of the Holy Spirit. The doctrine is worked out from the basic text and this was the work of the Church Fathers who produced their arguments against various heresies; their main source was the New Testament. Tertullian was one such person who defended the New Testament teaching when refuting the arguments of the Gnostics and Docetists as produced in his ‘Against Praxeas’. His thinking made a helpful contribution to the Christian understanding of the Trinitarian doctrine.
      7) You are correct that Emperor Constantine was deeply concerned about the problem of Arianism threatening the unity of the Christian Church in the 4th century. What basically Arius was saying is that Christ was created and that the son was inferior to the Father. He used similar texts that you yourself have used namely, Matthew 28:18, Mark 13:32 Luke 18:19; John 5:19, 14:28; 1 Corinthians 15:28 but also Proverbs 8:22 (Septuagint translation). The decision of the Council in favour of the Trinitarian doctrine did not terminate the controversy for the emperor sought to impose the council’s decision, and this of course only stirred up further strife. The roots of the Arian doctrine is still with us today and it is found in the teaching of Jehovah Witnesses. Islam has also taken this path.
      Just one or two final comments:
      a) The New Testament can scarcely conceive of a disciple who is not baptised and instructed into the faith. This instruction involved the activities of each person of the Trinity in the obtaining of salvation.
      b) The triple formula containing the Father (God), Son (Christ) and Spirit occurs frequently in the New Testament indicating that Trinitarian thought was present in the beginning in Christian teaching. c/f 1Corinthians 12:4-6; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 4:4-6); 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14; 1 Peter 1:2; Revelation 1:4-6.
      c) Trinitarian ideas are found in the resurrection accounts of both Luke and John, even if these evangelists do not report the Trinitarian baptismal formula (Luke 24:45 f John 20:19).
      d) The focus of Jesus’ commands were not the law for Matthew 28:19 indicates that the disciples were to go and teach whatever Jesus had commanded them. This teaching will not become outmoded, as Islam suggests, but must be passed on until ‘the end of the age.’ What the disciples teach is not merely dogma steeped in abstract theorizing but content which is to be obeyed.

      • Faraz:

        Coming to Paul, interesting though, sorry I was confused by my teachers words but it led me to investigation and some undeniable facts, Islam never agrees Paul to the disciple, Paul is really important in the matter we are discussing, his story is very unique that itself contradict, so he declaired himself to be the apostle and that he saw a light, we all are familiar with his background, how he was used to torture, point to be noted, none of the Disciple was alive when the Bible was written, many of the books are written by Paul so he wrote what he wanted to and nobody could stop him, firstly we ll see what is the criteria for a apostle then we’ll look at his mysterious story, What is an apostle?” ……………. etc, etc *edited and awaiting response as shown in reply.

        • admin:

          As this subject is really not connected with the Trinity please would you resubmit it on our ‘Apologetic Section’ under ‘Untangling Muslim Arguments’ following on then to ‘The Renegade Paul’ – please re-read your response and shorten it – this will save me having to edit it.

          • Faraz:

            First verse, firstly I’ll explain yours, John 14:6 I’m the way to the truth and the life., I’ ll be more clear this time, I’ ve to prove that it doesn’ t refer to trinity, We all know that the disciples never understood Jesus, he was talking about spiritually while his disciples were thinking geographically. He said you know where I’ m going, you know the way, I’ m going to make a place for you and you know where I m going, earlier he said there are many palaces in my father’s home so basically I’m going to make a place for you, his disciples said we don’t know where are you going, show us the way, then Jesus said I’m the way to the truth and the life, he was speaking spiritually …… Later Philip said show us the father then and we’ll believe you, Jesus was disappointed with it because Philip was a Jew he knew that nobody can see the father, our eyes will burn …….. God said that he has no image, nobody has ever seen him in any time, nobody, so he said Philip you are asking, because Philip knew it was impossible yet he was asking. He said aren’t you with me so for so long, he was trying to say that you’ve spend so much time with me to know it’s impossible so he said he who has seen me has seen the father, because you clearly can’ t see the father, so he meant to follow again, Jesus told whatever God wanted and as earlier so he was the way.

            Second verse, Baptise in the name of your Lord, Jesus Christ and The Holy Ghost, I’ve already given a detailed answer why it s a fabrication, I’ll only give a brief reply this time. If you see this then Bible contain contradiction Matthew 15:24 that I m only sent for the lost sheep of Israel, Jesus said go not into the way of Gentiles, who were Gentiles, the non Jew but rather to Jews for as Im only here for the lost sheep of Israel, and if the above verse isn’t a fabrication then why didn’t his disciples follow his commands, they only kept there teachings to Jews, that s when Paul came that s why I wanted to discuss him.

            John chapter 1 is explained that the words were of a Jew philo of Alexandria and he surely wasn t refering to Jesus when he wrote it, as it comes to John, why he pick it up, why he copy it, only God knows.

            For there a three that bare record in Heaven, the father, the son and the Holy spirit, it s in epistle of John, it s already been confirmed as a fabrication and it isn t in the bible which I read, New International Version, New Revised Edition, the Christian missioneries of highest eminent has thrown this verse out as a fabrication, not muslims, not Jews but Christian, Genessis doesn t refer to trinity, so tell me if there s any verse left now, my challenge is still there, if you can show me any unamigous verse, any verse in complete Bible where Jesus said I m God or worhsip me, I m willing to be a Christian but it isn’ t.

            So coming to Dual nature of Jesus, that s what New testament Writers told us, not Jesus, there s not even a single incident of Jesus life or in which Jesus said something like this which support this idea,he New testament writers just couldn t place it anywhere, sinless life, son of God, so they thought him to be a mysterious. Somewhere in between, they would ve surely gicen him Divine nature but his incidents tell us different, there are alot, like the fig tree incident, praying, bowing eating, limited to time, so his father God, his mother human, so they came to a conclusion that he has a dual nature, divine because of God and Human because of Mary …………………. So from where are coming to a conclusion that he was God or he was having divine nature? …………

            I was visitijg your Paul s page, well sir, I’m disappointed, you are playing with verse, Matthew 5 17 to 19,17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets …….

          • admin:

            1a) Concerning John 14:6 “I’m the way to the truth and the life” ——- what you seem to be saying is that Jesus was trying to say …… “that you’ve spent so much time with me to know it’s impossible” i.e to see the father …….. but this is not actually what Jesus said for he said: “He that has seen me has seen the Father” (14:9) and I am in the Father and the Father is in me” (v11). Likewise Philip did not say “show us the Father then and we’ll believe you” but rather “show us the Father and it suffices us” (8). Such inaccuracies do not help your cause or get to the truth.

            1b) Context is always key to understanding passages. Here Jesus seeks to alleviate the concerns of his disciples who were troubled because he spoke about his departure John 13:33-36. Jesus spells out that his departure is to the advantage of his disciples for he was going to prepare a place for them. Here, we read, he was going back into heaven, from where he had come. It is because they know Jesus that they too will be able to go to heaven. What the disciples had not grasped at this time, was that as much as they knew Jesus, they at this stage, were not able to grasp that in Jesus God had made himself known – this is part of the area which you correctly mentioned that “we all know that the disciples never understood Jesus”. Jesus goes on to explain that he is in the Father and the Father in him (v 10). In respect of the verse you highlight Jesus reiterates that he is the way: he is the way because he is the truth and life of God. He embodies the supreme revelation of God and not only has life in himself (John 5:26) but is the resurrection and the life (John 11;25) The true God and eternal life (1 John 5:20). ———– these verses are not normally involved in any Trinitarian discussion for they clearly set out the nature, authority and power of Jesus Christ.

            2) We have already responded to your argument concerning Matthew 28:16-20; as you have presented no new response we rest our case. What you do do is raise the issue of Matthew 15:24 “I was sent only to the lost house of Israel” although this too has no connection with the Trinity. We know that Matthew’s gospel had a great deal of importance to Jews who had come to believe that Jesus was their Messiah. In Matthew 15:21-28 we find Jesus going into the pagan region of Tyre and Sidon. Now this was not the first time that Jesus had healed Gentiles before (see 4:24-25, 8:5-13) but this was the first time in Gentile territory; a direct reply to the Cannaanite woman was need. Matthew emphasis that the she addressed Jesus as ‘the son of David’ ( a Messianic title) for she realised that she had no right to be healed by Israel’s Messiah. Jesus wanted the Canaanite woman to recognise that his activities were circumscribed, not only by the limitation of his manhood but that as the Jewish Messiah he must first offer the kingdom to them first. Matthew 10:18 points out that one day the disciples will take their message to the Gentiles but that time had not yet arrived. It is a principle applied by our Lord and his disciples that the gospel must be preached to the Jew first.

            3) In respect of Philo you produce no evidence that John 1:1 came from Philo of Alexandria and turn entirely to conjecture. We think what you are trying to say is that the Jew Philo, who lived at the time of Christ, used the term ‘Word’ in respect of creation in his attempt to unite Judaism with Greek speculative ideas. He believed that the platonic ideas of ‘World of forms’ could be an avenue through which he could propagate Judaism amongst the Greeks. There is no connection with his speculations and that of Jesus Christ who physically entered the world as a man.

            4) You seem to be referring to 1 John 5:7,8 and then claim it is a fabrication. Yes, there is some debate about these verses amongst Christians and it depends on which type of manuscript evidence you consider more authentic but this is not the time to go into that debate (you are welcome to share your views on the Apologetic section of the ‘Authenticity of the Bible). You seem to be suggesting that the removal of the above verses destroys the Trintarian position how wrong can you be! If you read the letter you will find many verses which support the Trinitarian view: such as Jesus was with the Father and was manifested to mankind (1:2); believers now have fellowship with both the Father and the Son (1:3); Jesus’ blood cleanses from all sin (1:7); his atoning sacrifice was for the sins of the whole world (2:2); anyone who denies the Father and the Son is of the anti-Christ (2:22); this truth was conveyed from the very beginning and believers are encouraged to keep to this fundamental truth for through it believers find eternal life; (2:23,24); the command is to believe in the name of the Son, Jesus Christ (3:23) and realise that Christ lives in the believer by the Holy Spirit (3:24) etc, etc.

            5a) You wrote: “So coming to Dual nature of Jesus, that’s what New Testament writers told us, not Jesus” ————- Amazing! you spend all this time arguing for support from the New Testament writers in supporting your case but now you are saying that their evidence cannot be accepted. Have you not realised yet that these are eye-witness to the things that happened? (1 John 1:1-4, Luke 1:1-4). You are just not prepared to let the gospels stand on their own merit but continue only to believe only those selected things which support your purposes. You need to re-read the Gospel accounts where Jesus speaks of his divinity, relationship with the Father and his teaching to his disciples; the gospel of John is a good starting point.

            5b) Again you wrote: “they would surely given him Divine nature …….. so they came to a conclusion that he has a dual nature, divine because of God and Human because of Mary” ————- so who awarded Jesus with this divine nature? The New Testament documents are emphatic to the witness of the human and divine nature of Jesus Christ – after all that is why it is possible for him to become the Saviour of the world In short you will have to tell us who invented the divinity of Jesus?

            6) The remainder of your response is confusing and we have had to edit it thoroughly in order to try to understand your points – we have also deleted the latter part of your response for this same reason. Again we plead with you please be more concise and keep to one point at a time – this will help others who view your comments. In your latest response you started off in an organised way but then it gradually deterioated.

            7) You said “I was visiting your Paul’ s page, well sir, I’m disappointed, you are playing with verse, Matthew 5 17 to 19, —– that’s fine if you have any comment to make please do so on the appropriate page. We have already encouraged you to do this in an earlier response.

  • Faraz:

    First of all first their are three different people, God (father)son ( Jesus) and Holy Spirit, the Holy spirit is in the world but the Son and Father are ruling, two different beings, second belief, their are three but they are one, mean the father, the son and the Holy spirit combine to be one God, they are parts of God and these three combine to be oen single God, the third, that their s one God, and on different occassions He showee himself in varioud states to various persons, like for a time he become a man, before it he was in skies, now he s in the world as spirit, perhaps you shouod tell me that which one is correct ………….. First of all check the verse again you ve written, baptise in the name of Lord, Jesus and Holy spirit, it has lkng been known as a Historical fraud, it is nowhere in the Manuscripts before 16th century……………

    Now other verses ……… Matthew: 24 36… Here Jesus makes a distinction between what he knows and what the Father knows. That tells us that they all can t be same ……….. Matthew 6:9 ……. He didn’t pray, Our Father, which art standing right here!” For first belief, that their are three, or for second belief that they all are equal….. Matthew 26:39 ……….. Jesus’ will is likewise autonomous from God’s Will. Jesus is seeking acquiescence to God’s will…….. John 5:26 …….. Jesus received his life from God. God received his life from no one. He is eternally self-existent………….. John 5:30 …….. Jesus says, “by myself, I can do nothing.” This indicates that Jesus is relying upon his own relationship with God………… John 5:19 The Son can do nothing by himself ……… Jesus declares that he is following a pattern laid down by God. He is expressing obedience to God. Mark 10:18 Here Jesus emphatically makes a distinction between himself and God. John 14:28
    The Father is greater than I. This is another strong statement that makes a distinction between Jesus and God. Matthew 27:46 My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me? Inconceivable if he is God the Creator. John 17:21-23 ………. Christian believers are to model their relationship (to become one) after the relationship of God and Christ (as God and Christ are one). 1 Corinthians 15:27-28 Paul declares that God put everything under Christ, except God himself. Instead God rules all things through Christ. Hebrews 1:3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being. Jesus is the exact representation of his being. I send my representative to Congress. He is not me, myself. He is my representative. Hebrews 4:15 (compared with James 1:13) and Hebrews 5:7-9. ——– ** we have had to edit this response because of its extreme length all the main features of the respondents views have been retained.

    • admin:

      1) You wrote “first of all theirs no agreement about trinity amongst Christian, every sect have their own belief.” This is completely untrue. From the earliest days believers who came for baptism were baptised into the Trinitarian confession based on Matthew 28:19 “baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” This Trinitarian form became established in the ancient creeds and the earliest Christian Counsels. Apart from sects like the Jehovah witnesses and the Mormons all Christians retain a Trinitarian faith.
      2) What you seem to be describing is the third century theological debates which centered around the person of Jesus Christ and the Trinity. These are known in history as Monarchianism and Modalistic Monarchianism but as they failed to recognise the full personhood of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit they were considered to be erroneous teaching and therefore never entered into the Christian understanding of the Trinity. The Athanasian Creed clarified the Christian teaching as “We worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Substance”
      3) The historical fraud of Matthew: As far as we understand the two earliest MSS. extant (Sinaiticus and Vaticanus), written in the 4th century, both include the end of Matthew also contain the threefold name. All ancient translations (Syriac/Latin) have the long ending. Many of the Church Fathers used the trinitarian formula there are 24 such quotations prior to the Council of Nicea. Additional Trinitarian formulas are present in the New Testament (Matthew 3:16-17; Mark 1:10-11; Luke 3:21-22; John 1:32; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 Peter 1:2-3a)
      4) Apart from Matthew 6:9 which is simply stating that God is a relationship God (a personal and a caring Father who should not be approached with ostentatious prayer as in verses 5,6) all the verses you propose as denying the Trinity are simply statements of fact expressing the humility of Christ in the days of his flesh. The New Testament writers insist on both the deity and humanity of Christ – “ but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men” (Philipians 2:7)
      To put it another way the references (Matthew 24:36,26:39, John 5:26, John 5:30, John 5:19, Mark 10:18, John 14:28, Matthew 27:46) drawn from the Gospels express the work of the incarnate Christ. The New Testament epistles concur with the Gospels that “the word became flesh” (John 1:14) e.g.Romans 8:3 “God sent his son in the likeness of sinful flesh”; “He appeared in the flesh” (1 Timothy 3:16). The verses you cite show that in his incarnate existence Jesus was subject to all the needs, limitations and sensations of human life. The assumption of flesh by the Son of God involved a unity with sinful man sufficient for the bearing and destruction of sin. We agree the humanity of Jesus must be given no less weight than his deity.
      In respect of 1 Corinthians 15:27-28 it should be born in mind that the text is not speaking about the essential nature of either Christ or the Father but he is speaking about what Christ has accomplished and will accomplish. He has died for men, and has risen, he will return again and subdue all the enemies of God. The climax of his whole work will come when he renders up the kingdom. He became man for the accomplishment of that work. He took upon himself a certain subjection. The subordination of the Son does not in any way conflict with the full deity of Christ – the subordination is one of office not of person.
      The Book of Hebrews which you cite continues to draws on this same duality of the deity and humanity of Christ. Hebrews 5:7-9 confirms his humanity Hebrews 1:2-4 provides eight statements expressing his eternal being and absolute deity. Hebrews 1:3 reads “who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person. The Greek word ‘charakteer’ is used and this conveys the idea of a seal or coin which makes an impression bearing the image produced by it. The Son therefore, is both personally distinct from and yet literally equal to Him of whose essence he is the adequate imprint.
      The amalgamation of ideas in respect of Hebrews 4:15 and James 1:13 is illusory. Hebrews 4 speaks about the sinless Christ who when in his incarnate nature overcame temptation fulfilling the role of high priest as an intercessor so that those who trust him can come to God through him in prayer. James 1:13-16 insists that human nature has an impulse to sin when under temptation but God is not susceptible to any desire for evil. Mankind is not able to resist temptation. Christ, of course being perfect man and perfect God was tempted and able to resist temptation.

      • Faraz:

        First of all the trinity idea wasn’t introduced by Jesus himself, after him it was Paul who saw a dream and with discussion came to idea that he belong to a different category, he was tempted to sin, God can never even tept to sin, he was, for he himself has been tempted to sin, New Testament told us that God s nature can never be change, how can then God obtain Human Nature, Matthew 3 16 and 17, this is my beloved son to whom I m well pleased, if you read biblical language, according to him every prophet is the son of God, psalms 82 6. If you read Bible, Old Testament, it says, Moses is the son God, John is the son of God, Adam is the son of God, Efram is the son of God, so God got children by tons in bible, it d bible language, every prophet is metaphorically son of God, later people started to misunderstood it that s why in Quran, instead of Ab (father) their is word rab (lord) and if you remember, Jesus was baptised, baptised in the name of Father, not himself neither do in Holy spirit, nor did he ever told to even worship Holy Spirit and that holy spirit is a part of Him.

        If you read Genesis, it tells us that at the creation of the world their was only One God, their isn’t anywhere written about Jesus or the Holy Spirit, some Christian says that Jesus was made my God, so it doesn t made him God, God make everything by himself, Even jesus is His creation, God is from Always and was From Always but Jesus wasn’t from always,at the creation of the world he wasn t,you said the days of Jesus in which he was in flesh,point to be noted here, God can t put on flesh and can’t change his nature, how is it possible that coming to world, his nature was change, bible tells us that He can’t change.

        You seem to put john 1 14 really consistently, let’s discuss it s context. From the verse one, in the begginning was the word and the word was with God,and the word was God. My purpose here isn’t to tell what it meant but does it refer to Jesus or not, so The first clause states that there is a distinction between the Word and God (since the one is with the other), while the second states that they are one and the same. As it stands the sentence does not make sense. It does make sense, however, if we realize that the word theos in Greek used here is an equivalent of the Hebrew word Elohim. Now Elohim can mean God, gods, a god, judge, exalted one, and even angel. The first word refers to God, while the second to another entity. It’s the only way it can make sense. Let me explain briefly, you’re trying to say that the word was God, which was make Flesh, verse 1, in the beginning their was word, the word was with God, and the word was God, later that word was make flesh. Now I always check the Manuscripts and their translation and it really helps, you’re cheating, you’re giving misconceptions to peoples. The Greek word for God is Ho theos. In greek their is no such things as capitals and smaller letters but in english for proper noun, capital is used and for common noun small is used, so here the first God is Ho theos (proper noun) in the beginning their was word, the word was with God. The second word for God is tontheos, which refers to small g, as it means any god, so the verse goes like this, in the begginning their was a word, the word was with God, and the word was god (not big God). So what do we obtain from God, psalms 82 6, you all are sons of gods, book of expdus chapter 7 verse 1, it tells us that Moses was sent to Pharaoh as a god, small god is used in bibles on many occasions to describe prophets. So the conclusion, the word which was god was a prophet or a god with small g, not God almighty, which is represented by capital G, so verse 14, the word was make flesh, who was word, small g, ton theos, so this tells us that God wasn’t made flesh.

        • admin:

          1) You wrote: “first of all the trinity idea wasn’t introduced by Jesus himself” —— Amazing! Poor Paul gets the blame for everything! Who spoke about God being his Father – Jesus; who said he had come from the Father and was returning – Jesus; who said “No one comes to the Father except through me? – Jesus; Who said that after his departure he would send the Holy Spirit who shall lead you into all truth – Jesus etc, etc. What was this dream you are referring to and with whom did he have discussions in order to come to a Trinitarian conclusion?

          2) You wrote “How can then God obtain Human Nature?” We thought you believed that God can do anything – by suggesting it was impossible for God to become man you are placing limitations on the Almighty, how dreadful!

          3) You wrote “if you read biblical language, according to him every prophet is the son of God” – that may be the case In Islam but normally Muslims are reluctant to use this term. Psalm 82:6 refers to the judges who had the great responsibility of ruling justly and needed to act in the way the children of God should behave. Adam yes, Luke 3:38; Ephraim, yes Jeremiah 31:9, 20; Moses was to be to Aaron (not Pharaoh) ‘instead of God’ i.e. Aaron was to accept the words of Moses (Exodus 4:16) and act accordingly – being called the son of God is another matter he was the friend of God, the servant of God please send the quotation saying he is the son of God. You are right the term expresses the fact that they had a relationship with God and what is more when men and women place their faith in Christ they are called the children of God (1 John 3:1). What a privilege! However, these sons of God that you mention did not come from God, they did not have such a close relationship with the Father or return to where he came from in heaven; they did not have a virgin birth, perform a vast amount of miracles, rise from the dead or are expected to return to judge the world. Jesus was the son of God par excellence.

          4) You wrote “Jesus was baptised in the name of Father, not himself neither in Holy spirit.” The gospels do not say this. What they do say is that when he was baptised the Holy Spirit descended upon him and a voice came out of heaven saying “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased (Matthew 3:13-17).

          5a) You wrote when referring to John chapter 1 that : “my purpose here isn’t to tell what it meant but does it refer to Jesus or not,” but then you give a long explanation telling us why it cannot refer to Jesus. Yes, you have understood correctly how Christians and authoritative Greek scholars understand the text but to suggest we are cheating and misleading is another matter. You seem to be influenced by Jehovah Witnesses’ who treat this text in a similar way to yourself but they take it that Jesus is a created angel. Is that what you are suggesting? No, not really because it suits your purpose to apply ‘god’ to a prophet but you do not supply any biblical text where the term ‘theos’ is used of a prophet – it would be helpful to see such verses please.

          5b) Perhaps, your Koine New Testament Greek is better than ours but our view is quite different. We know that ‘theos’ is used occasionally in the New Testament when referring to the polytheism of the Greeks. We also know that ‘theos was an appropriate word for the Jews and it was retained by the Christians to denote the true God. The Greek Septuagint generally translates the Hebrew words Elohim and Jehovah as ‘theos’ to mean God’s power, immutability and eternal self-sustained existence. In our text (John 1:1) we read the Word was with God, showing that he is talking about a person who was with God and therefore distinguishable from God and enjoying a personal relationship with him. “And the Word was God” seems to be the issue you are wrestling with namely ‘theos en ho logos’ . It is true that here ‘theos’ does not have the article but we are advised that there are many places in the New Testament where the predicate noun has no article and yet is specific. The effect of ordering the words in this way is to emphasize ‘God’ and so the text reads the Word was God! We look forward to hearing of your use of ‘theos’ applied to a biblical prophet. Was that biblical prophet, or maybe an angel, with God before he created anything? Perhaps, you are of the opinion that the one with whom God was communicating was your Prophet Muhammad (Nur Muhammad).

          • Faraz:

            First of all ……… every single Muslim believe in Jesus Christ ………. we believe in his miraculous birth (which many modern day Christian don’t believe) we believe him as the Messiah mentioned in Hebrew Scriptures without any objection, we believe in all of his miracles, perhaps the difference came when Christians compared him with God, in Islam it s known as Shirk.
            Yeah it’s true, trinity idea wasn’t introduced by Jesus. From what I obtained is that Paul has a dream and he introduced it ………. Jesus told his (12) disciples you didn’t choose me, I choose you …………. Jesus never choose Paul. After the death of Jesus, Paul embraced Christianity, and he even change laws, according to Jesus a man can obtain salvation by keeping the law and the commandment, but according to Paul, salvation can be obtained by believing in risen Christ and cross, according to him if Christ hasn’t risen, our teachings are in vain. Jesus very clearly said that alcohol and pork is prohibited ………… but Paul made it legal ……..
            The Bible isn’t the word of God it does not contain God ‘s exact words….. so it was lost. Later people wrote what they remembered …………………. their are many differences in Gospels, especially after the crucifixion, it contains scientific error because it’s written by men not God.
            You said Mesus spoke God to be his father, metaphorically we all are son of God, if you read biblical language, in it for God, the word ab is used, which means Father,
            Jesus was right, no one comes through the father except through me, what he meant by it, comes to the father, entering heaven. In order to enter heaven, only Jesus is the way …………. (he) shows us the same thing, how to live a righteous life, in order to come to the father, enter heaven ……….. and how can we enter heaven, by Jesus, by keeping his laws and the commandment and the first commandment, Deutoromy 6 4 is O people of Israel, your Lord is one, Jesus also said the same thing.
            Paul in a dream saw Jesus sitting on the right hand of God, that s how he come up to a conclusion ………. God can’t even temp to sin ……….. God didn’t change, his nature can’t be changed. In Book of Acts, Jesus of Nazareth, a man amongst you with miracles and signs which God did by himself and you re witness to it, so with God s help he was able to did it, he raise a person from death, he could make things and make them alive ……………… yeah he was the prophet but he was of more respect and bigger than others but only in respect of prophets, as every prophet spoke of him, John said he who comes after me was before me, what he meant, that he was the long awaited messiah, the whole world was waiting for him,
            You are right, Gospels don’t say that Jesus was baptized in the name of Father, but isn’t it rather strange that a person is baptizing in the name of himself and why God even required to baptize? …….. but here s the thing, why did only his disciples listen that voice, why not other Jews,
            As it comes to John 1:1 I said it absolutely correct. Bible scholars are misleading, I read the king James Version and it clearly says that their was a word, the word was God, and the word was make flesh, but it was later in the Manuscripts that I came to know about it, anyway it’s not what I m suggesting ………. their was a Jew whose name was Philo of Alexandria, it was written by him way before Jesus was born, but the reason I explain it is because even if we believe it, it still shows that their is a difference between two Gods, one is the God, the almighty, second is small god, so clearly their s a difference. The term is ton theos, as this was said by a Philo, it s unlikely that he was even refering to Jesus. That isn’t Mohammed, it’ s not even Jesus, the verse was taken from Philo of Alexandia, he wrote it way before Jesus birth, and he can t possibly be refering to Jesus. As for Jews the messiah will have a natural birth and he ll have a father from king David, so he can t possibly mean Messiah …………… I’ve some questions regarding Christianity, first, when the world was made, was Jesus also their, when God made the world, he can’t, because at that time their was no human being, the first person was Adam, so Jesus was’n t their.

          • admin:

            We have on a number of previous occasions expressed the biblical teaching of the work of John the Baptist, how Jesus was tempted, or how the nature of Jesus was both human and divine so we will not go over old ground again but we will of course consider and respond to new material you present. However, you have failed to answer our questions which we put to you once again.

            a) We are still waiting to here what dream this was and with whom did he have discussions to come to a Trinitarian concept. You seem to be confused between the words of Stephen the first Christian martyr and Paul. It was Stephen who saw “Jesus sitting on the right hand of God” (Acts 7:56), perhaps you should familiarise yourself with the whole of Chapter 7. You put no other argument to support your idea that Paul was the instigator of Trinitarian views.

            b) We claim that the Trinitarin concept began with Jesus himself and wrote in the following way : Who spoke about God being his Father – Jesus; who said he had come from the Father and was returning – Jesus; who said “No one comes to the Father except through me? – Jesus; Who said that after his departure he would send the Holy Spirit who shall lead you into all truth – Jesus etc, etc. These are all Trinitarian concepts which you need to address.
            c) while rejecting the normal translation of John 1:1 we are still waiting to know who was with God before the creation of the world if not Jesus?

            Now to your new material:
            1) You correctly say that Peter and the eleven when preaching said “Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs which God did by him” (Acts 2:22) but you neglect to mention that he was taken by wicked hands, crucified and slain and it was impossible for the pangs of death to retain him, which lead on to a resurrection discourse. The issue behind all this is once again your refusal to acknowledge the New Testament writers believed in both Christ’s divinity and human nature. Unless you are prepared to consider the whole biblical revelation it will take us nowhere.

            2) You wrote: “Jesus never choose Paul” so what is Acts chapter 9 all about? Here the resurrected Christ appears to Saul commissioning him saying “he was a chosen vessel” for the purpose of preaching Jesus to Jews and Gentiles.

            3) In respect of Jewish ordinances Jesus’ ministry was centred upon the the Jews who had received the covenant promises. Quite naturally they should keep to the covenant but they equally along with Gentiles considered in God’s sight to have fallen short of his glory and in need of forgiveness which they found in Jesus Christ. When the gospel was preached to the non-Jew the covenant requirement of laws and ordinances was not imposed upon them. You wrote “Jesus very clearly said that alcohol and pork is prohibited” – well for the Jewish covenant people there were certainly Jewish food laws such as the prohibition of eating pork but where did you get the idea that alcohol was also prohibited? This is nothing to do with the Trinity so please discuss this under the appropriate heading.

            4) You wrote: “The Bible isn’t the word of God it does not contain God ‘s exact words….. so it was lost” ——— so when was it lost obviously not in Muhammad’s day for he highly revered its three basic elements : the Torah, the Zabur and the Injil. Your prophet said they were sent down in truth and a guide to mankind and your Quran is supposed to confirm its truth rather than saying it got lost (Al-Imran 3:3 c/f Fatir 35:31, An-Nisa 4:47). It is basic to your Imam that you believe in the books sent down (Al Baqarrah 2:285). Who are these people who later wrote down the Bible from what they remembered? Again this is nothing to do with the Trinity so please discuss this under the appropriate heading.

            5) “You said Mesus spoke God to be his father,” we presume you mean Moses said God was his father therefore he is a son of God. We do not actually recall Moses saying this nor have we implied that the prophets were all equally the ‘son of God’.

            6) Yes, you are correct the only way to enter into heaven is to come through Jesus but it was even more than this – it is knowing Jesus and knowing the Father (John 14:7) It is realising that “he that hath seen me (Jesus) hath seen the Father.” It is knowing that Jesus is in the Father and the Father is in in him; that the Father dwells in the Son and doeth the works (John 14: 10). Jesus responding to his disciples does say that if they loved him they should keep his commandments – what are his commandments? The commandment he gives them was that they should love one another as he loved them and he shows his great love for them by laying down his life (John 15:9-14). In this what is called the upper room discourse (which covered a number of chapters) Jesus was preparing them for his death and in this discourse nothing is said about the Jewish legal requirements. It is about abiding in a relationship with Jesus Christ who is a manifestation of the Father. This of course does not mean that the Jewish disciples opposed the law they kept it as their covenant responsibility but that was not the way to heaven for as as you rightly say only Jesus is the way.

            7) You wrote “You are right, Gospels don’t say that Jesus was baptized in the name of Father, but isn’t it rather strange that a person is baptizing in the name of himself and why God even required to baptize” —– who says anything about Jesus baptising in his own name – if that is what you mean? You continue “why did only his disciples listen that voice, why not other Jews” – if you care to read John 12: 29 you will have your answer “ The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him”.

            8) You wrote “As it comes to John 1:1 I said it absolutely correct. Bible scholars are misleading” – we have explained how the Greek grammar works and, that apart from the New World Translation, most Christian and neutral translators interpret it in the standard way. We may add that John uses the imperfect tense to stress that he was and continued to be. This may more suitably discussed on the Authority of the Bible section of this web-site.

            9) You seem to want to take the conversation on to include Philo of Alexandria but in order to comment we need to know exactly what your argument is. He is mostly mentioned in connection with John 1:1 because he used the term ‘logos of God’ in order to make the distinction between the Platonic ideal world and the real world but I don’t think that is you argument but if it is you need to explain it more clearly.

            10) You wrote: “ for Jews the messiah will have a natural birth and he’ll have a father from king David, so he can t possibly mean Messiah” – the Jews may have understood that the Messiah’s birth would be natural but as things worked out historically this was not the case. Once again you need to realise that Jesus is not only the son of God but also the son of David, or in other words the Messiah. That is why the incarnation story is centred around Jesus being in the line and lineage of David (Matthew 1:20, Luke 2:4,11); that is why those who sought healing from him addressed him as the son of David (Matthew 9:27,15:22,20:30,31 etc); that is why the Jewish crowd welcomed his entrance into Jerusalem by saying “Hosanna to the son of David (Matthew 21:9). Unless you are prepared to recognise the dual human nature and deity of Christ you will continue to have this confusion. This confusion comes out once again in your last point : “when the world was made, was Jesus also their, when God made the world, he can’t, because at that time their was no human being, the first person was Adam, so Jesus was’n’ t their” – of course if Jesus was only human he would not be with God in the beginning, but regretfully you still can’t see that the New Testament teaches that Christ is both divine and human.

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