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Why Is the 'Trinity' Not Mentioned in Scripture? - Part 2
Good News Magazine
November 1975
Volume: Vol XXIV, No. 11
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Why Is the 'Trinity' Not Mentioned in Scripture? - Part 2
Garner Ted Armstrong   
Church of God

Born: February 9, 1930
Died: September 15, 2003
Member Since: 1930
Ambassador College: 1956
Ordained: 1955
Office: Evangelist

Does religion have to be a "mystery" in order to understand it? No one truly "understands" the so-called "mystery of the Trinity." Scholarly theologians nevertheless insist their followers must accept the doctrine, though admitting it is a mystery, incapable of understanding! But Jesus said: "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." He said: "Thy word [the Bible] is truth." Can you really understand about God; about the family of God; about who and how many members make up the Godhead? God's Word says you can — and you must. Believe it or not, the Bible nowhere teaches the doctrine of the "Trinity." Here's the proof. Why is the word "Trinity" nowhere in the Bible? Look it up for yourself — use any Bible dictionary or exhaustive concordance. The word "Trinity" just isn't there!

   Why is the word "Trinity" nowhere in the Bible? Look it up for yourself — use any Bible dictionary or exhaustive concordance. The word "Trinity" just isn't there!
   But then, neither is the doctrine of "Lent," nor the word "rapture," for that matter.
   But why?
   Why should it be that some of the major doctrines of a professing Christian world are shockingly absent from the Bible, the Word of God? Don't most religious organizations claim to find their doctrines in the Bible?
   Probably you have either heard or sung many times the song called "Holy, Holy, Holy." Millions have. In it, the words "blessed Trinity" appear.
   In the songbook.
   But not in the Bible!
   But then, millions of Americans spend more time opening and closing a songbook in church services than they do a Bible — so it's little wonder the impression gained from habit and tradition sometimes outweighs solid biblical truth.
   In the pages of this magazine, we dare to bring out the real truths of the Bible, proving, carefully, by the Word of God, the doctrines presented. We have seen through these past few months the truth about many of the totally pagan doctrines masquerading as "Christian," which have been subtly brought into a professing "Christian" religion.
   As shocking as it may seem to many, the doctrine of the "Trinity" is another of the pagan "mysteries" which is not found in the Bible!
   Does a "doctrine" have to be obscure, murky, dark, mysterious, impossible to understand in a practical, day-to-day, commonsense manner? Not according to Christ! He promised His followers the truth! He plainly said the Father would reveal truth to real Christians!
   True Christianity consists of a collection of sane, logical, two-plus-two-equals-four, practical, commonsense doctrines of life and living — laws, principles and precepts that really work when put to the test — concepts that are credible and believable to a person who would approach them just like any other practical, everyday-life circumstance.

The Truth Makes Sense

   Most of the really true concepts and doctrines of God's Christianity are not "out of sync" with the real world of natural laws involving physics, chemistry and just the way things work in this whole orderly universe. To our finite, limited, unseeing human minds, of course, miracles might be an exception to this general truism.
   But the whole panorama of pagan doctrines seems to have this one common denominator: they are all patently illogical. And the Trinity is no exception! The Trinity is cloaked in a murky maze of mystery. Theologians find it exceedingly difficult to pin this doctrine down and get a firm grip on it. The layman is simply told not to bother his head about it — it is a "mystery," anyway. "The mind of man cannot fully understand the mystery of the Trinity. He who would try to understand the mystery fully will lose -his mind. But he who would deny the Trinity will lose his soul" (Lindsell & Woodbridge, A Handbook of Christian Truth, pp. 51-52).
   So accept it or else, we are told in rather intimidating language, yet there is no use in trying to understand it.
   Says The New Catholic Encyclopedia: "It is difficult in the second half of the 20th century to offer a clear, objective, and straightforward account of the revelation, doctrinal evolution, and the theological elaboration of the mystery of the Trinity. Trinitarian discussion, Roman Catholic as well as other, presents a somewhat unsteady silhouette" (vol. XIV, p. 295).
   A Christian, who is firmly admonished by the apostle Paul to "prove all things" and to "search the scriptures daily," cannot afford to base his biblical understanding (and perhaps even his very salvation) on an "unsteady silhouette." True Bible doctrine can be understood! It makes sane, logical sense when subjected to proofs and tests. Christ said: "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32).

To Whom Did Jesus Pray?

   Can we apply a little plain old biblical "horse sense" to this time-honored doctrine of a three-person Godhead? Consider this completely unshakable biblical fact: Jesus Christ of Nazareth — your Savior and my Savior — was conceived not by a human father as all other human beings (excepting Adam and Eve) — but by the Holy Spirit.
   A great angelic being appeared to Joseph, Jesus' legal father, in a dream and said: "... Fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit" (Matt. 1:20; cf. verse 18). Perhaps the very same angel — in this case the archangel Gabriel (Luke 1:26) — was sent with a similar message to the virgin Mary.
   Notice carefully the wording of their conversation. "And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus" (verses 30-31).
   Mary's reply was just exactly what you would expect of a woman in that situation. "Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest [this is the real biblical definition of the Holy Spirit; it is a force or power] shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.... For with God nothing shall be impossible" (verses 34- 35, 37).
   So if we want to believe the Bible, we are forced to admit that Jesus Christ was conceived through the agency of the Holy Spirit.
   Yet Jesus calls God His Father not the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ said to Mary Magdalene in the book of John: "... Go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God" (John 20:17).
   Can you begin to see how utterly illogical the concept of the Trinity is? If the Holy Spirit were a person, "he" would be Jesus' father — not God the Father. Yet Christ dogmatically stated, as you have just read, that God is His Father.
   Consider further. If the Holy Spirit were a person, Jesus Christ prayed to the wrong "father." Since Jesus was conceived of the Holy Spirit, if the Holy Spirit were a person, Jesus' father would be the Holy Spirit. But throughout the four Gospel accounts, we find Christ praying directly to His Father — God Almighty! Just one example: "These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee.... And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God [still talking to the Father], and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent" (John 17:1, 3).

A Simple Lesson in Grammar

   About now, somebody is going to ask: "What about the fact that John uses the personal pronoun 'he' when referring to the Holy Spirit or Comforter in the 14th, 15th and 16th chapters of his Gospel?"
   In the Greek language, like the Romance languages (Spanish, Italian, French, etc.), every noun has what is called gender; that is, it is either masculine, feminine or neuter.
   Even such an inanimate object as a glass — being utterly devoid of any real life — has masculine gender in Spanish. Elvaso is the Spanish equivalent of the two words "the glass" in English. The "el" prefix and the "o" ending to the word vaso gives the word "glass" masculine gender in Spanish. Yet by no stretch of the imagination could a glass be considered a male person in the human sense. That would be utterly ridiculous!
   La mesa is the Spanish equivalent of the two English words "the table." The "la" prefix and the "a" ending give the word "table" (mesa) feminine gender in Spanish. Yet it would be completely ludicrous to the extreme to consider a table as a human female personality.
   Likewise in the Greek language, the gender of a word has nothing whatever to do with whether it is really masculine or feminine in the human sense at all. Gender in languages is really nothing more than a convenient grammatical tool. In the 14th, 15th and 16th chapters of John, the English pronoun "he" is definitely used in connection with the word "Comforter" — but not for theological or spiritual reasons.
   Grammatically, all pronouns in Greek must agree in gender with the word they refer to — or in other words, with the term that the pronoun replaces or takes the place of (the antecedent if you want to get technical). The Greek word parakletos ("comforter" in English) has masculine gender; hence the translators' use of the personal pronoun "he." ("It" would have been a far better rendering into the English language.)
   In some cases "he" is incorrectly used in the King James where the original Greek uses the neuter "it." The reason? The translators already believed in the Trinity and allowed themselves to interpret rather than translate. For example, In John 14:17 the personal pronouns "he" and "him" should have been rendered "it" (as they are in the original Greek).
   In this and other cases, pneuma is the Greek word — always grammatically neuter and always properly represented by the pronoun "it." But the King James translators — swayed by the doctrine of the Trinity — generally mistranslated pronouns referring to pneuma as masculine. Romans 8:16 is a notable exception: "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God."
   So Trinitarians cannot honestly fall back on a personal pronoun to "prove" that their doctrine is biblical.

I John 5:7-8

   But so deliberate has been the deceptive attempt to foist this false doctrine upon the world that a monk copyist in the fourth century A.D. inserted totally and completely spurious words into the Bible in order to "prove" this major doctrine of pagan antiquity.
   Turn in your own Bible (King James Version) to I John 5:7-8: "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one."
   But did you know that not one of the italicized words is in any of the accepted New Testament Greek manuscripts? Did you know this spurious section was not found in the text of any Greek manuscripts until after the invention of printing? Comparison with many of the more modern translations and simple research will prove my point. Verses 7 and 8 should actually read as follows: "There are three witnesses, the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree." This is how the passage is rendered in the Revised Standard Version, perhaps the best overall of all modern Bible translations.
   The editors of both liberal and conservative Bible commentaries (ancient and modern) agree as to the very dubious origin of I John 5:7-8 (as it now stands in the King James or Authorized Version). Notice a couple of quotes from two commentaries of a more recent vintage. Says the conservatively oriented New Bible Commentary Revised: "... The words are clearly a gloss and are rightly excluded by RSV [Revised Standard Version] even from its margin" (p. 1269). Peake's Commentary on the Bible, universally" recognized as a liberal work, is even more incisive with its comments: "The famous interpolation after 'three witnesses' is not printed even in RSV, and rightly.... No respectable Greek MS [manuscript] contains it. Appearing first in a late 4th century Latin text, it entered the Vulgate and finally the NT [New Testament] of Erasmus [and eventually the King James]" (p. 1038).
   The majority of the more recent New Testament translations (including Moffatt, Phillips, Williams, The Living Bible [a paraphrase]) do not contain the King James text of I John 5:7-8. Clearly it is a spurious addition that is in no way, manner, shape or form a part of the New Testament Canon. I John 5:7-8 has no credibility, credence or authority and should be considered nonexistent as far as the Bible is concerned.

Matthew 28:19

   Another grossly misunderstood text (often cited to "prove" there is indeed a Trinity) is Matthew 28:19: "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." Rotherham actually has a much better translation of this verse. "Go you therefore and disciple all the nations, immersing them into [Greek, eis] the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."
   To infer that this verse means to imply that all three (the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit) are persons is just not being honest with the Scriptures. Clearly the first two (God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ) are two separate individual spirit personalities in the Godhead; but that fact does not automatically make the Holy Spirit also a person.
   Think about it a moment! People give names to many things that are simply not persons. Nearly everything — whether person, place or thing — has a name!
   But why did Jesus command the apostles to baptize converts into these three names? And why must they be baptized (see Acts 2:38) into these names in order to receive the Holy Spirit? God the Father grants human beings real repentance (Rom. 2:4; Acts 11:18; II Tim. 2:25). We become His sons (literally!) — the sons of God (bearing His name) — when we receive the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:9, 14, 16-17). Is that so hard to understand? Human beings often bear the names of their forebears, i.e., Johnson, Robertson, Jackson, meaning originally the sons of John, Robert and Jack.
   "God" is the family name in English of the divine Kingdom of spirit beings. The apostle Paul wrote: "For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and [on] earth is named" (Eph. 3:14-15). The Father's name is called "God" in English. Jesus Christ — who was crucified so our, past sins may be forgiven — is also called God in John 1:1, Hebrews 1:8 and other New Testament texts. The Holy Spirit — which comes forth from the very person of God — is the begettal agent by which we receive the earnest of our salvation (II Cor. 1:22; Eph. 1:14; Rom, 8:16).
   Many religionists do not understand the part that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit each play in the salvation process. The Trinity is. the result, in part, of such fundamental misunderstandings.
   But here is another one of those "famous" biblical opposites. Instead of teaching the pagan doctrine of the Trinity, Matthew 28:19 really tells us that God is a growing family or Kingdom into which we may enter upon repentance, baptism, the receipt of the Holy Spirit and patient endurance to the end of our natural lives and/or Christ's coming — whichever comes first.
   A closed Trinity or triad, or triumvirate of three persons (whatever you want to call it), is as far from God's mind and His plan and purpose for human beings as the east is from the west. The false doctrine of the Trinity can only blind gullible human beings to the transcendent purpose of human life — to be born as literal spirit beings (sons of God) into the great God family!

The Godhead Is Now Dual

   God is dual! There is God the Father and Christ the Son. In almost all of creation, God made pairs of humans, pairs of sexes, pairs in the animal kingdom. A man has two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, two hands, two feet, two legs, two arms.
   Notice the theme of duality running throughout the Bible. There was the first man Adam, and the second man Adam, who was Christ (I Cor. 15:45-47). There is the Old Covenant and the New Covenant; the Old Testament and the New; the former prophets and the latter prophets; the old Jerusalem and the new heavenly Jerusalem.
   God is one, in two persons — not three. Jesus said: "I and my Father [just the two of us] are one" (John 10:30).
   Hundreds of years before Christ was born as a human being, the prophet Daniel wrote: "I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days..." (Dan. 7:13). Daniel then saw, in advance, this "Son of man" given rulership in a kingdom that shall never be destroyed (the Kingdom or family of God, verse 14). This description of the "Son of man" can only fit Jesus Christ of Nazareth approaching the Father on His throne; it is not referring to a mere physical human being.
   King David, like the prophet Daniel, was also aware of the duality of the God family. "The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool" (Ps. 110:1). Again two separate, distinct God persons are mentioned.

Why the Deliberate Deception?

   The author of all the religious deception in which this world is steeped is Satan the devil (see Rev. 12:9). Believe it or not, it is he who originally was one part of a great "Trinity." There are only three great archangels mentioned in the Bible: Lucifer (who became Satan), Michael and Gabriel. But Lucifer fell (Luke 10:18) — leaving only two who are loyal to God.
   But why has the devil palmed off the mysterious doctrine of the Trinity on this unsuspecting world? Because He desperately desires to prevent any further additions to the God family. He wants to deprive humanity of the knowledge that God's family is open-ended — not a closed Trinity of three persons.
   Further, Satan fully realizes that one of the future responsibilities of real Christians is to judge angels (see I Cor. 6:2). The ultimate fate of Satan and his demons may yet be decided by future members of the God family.
   Are you actively preparing yourself for such an awesome job? God Almighty has called us to much more than just some inactive eternity of laziness and ease! We are going to have the responsibility of ruling the universe with Christ.
   God is not a limited Trinity! He is the divine Head of a growing family or Kingdom into which we may, through the grace of God, freely enter! The apostle Peter wrote that if you have the fruits of God's Holy Spirit (II Peter 1:5-9), "an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ" (verse 10).
Is God a Trinity?
The doctrine of the "Trinity" is believed, or at least accepted, by most professing Christians. Yet the word Trinity is not found in the Bible! Nor is there substantive proof for such a doctrine.
What is the truth about the nature of God? What is the Holy Spirit? Was Jesus Christ God, or merely a man? Was Jesus the born Son of God, or only an adopted son? To receive the answers to these and other questions read our informative booklet "Is God a Trinity?"

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Good News MagazineNovember 1975Vol XXIV, No. 11
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