Trinity Notes
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The following was taken from the Encyclopedia Britannica, volume 12, page 383, 1979

"The Christian Bible, including the New Testament, has no Trinitarian statements or speculations concerning a trinitary deity. The dogmatic formulation, coined by the early church father Tertullian has it, three persons and one substance. This conception was not accepted without contradiction as is proved by theological disputes of the 3rd and 4th century. It is evident that trinitarian speculation greatly resembles the way of thinking of pluriform monotheism."

The following was taken from the New Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 13, page 1021, 1967

"There is the recognition on the part of exegetes and Biblical theologians....that one should not speak of Trinitarianism in the New Testament without serious qualifications... ....New Testament exegesis is now accepted as having shown that not only the verbal idiom but even the patterns of thought characteristic of the patristic (church fathers) and councilian (church councils) developed would have been quite foreign to the mind and culture of the New Testament writers. The Trinitarian dogma is in the last analysis a late 4th century invention. "

" As far as is known, the first use of the Latin word "Trinitas" with reference to God is found in Tertullian's "Adversus Praxean and De Pudicitia." He was the first to use the term "persona" in a trinitarian and Christological context, asserting that the Logos is distinct from the Father as a person and is not as substance and that the Holy Spirit is the "third person" in the Trinity."

"Tertullian was a writer of marvelous fertility and inventiveness. He coined one epigram. one apothegm after another. He almost wrote like an angry man, his treatises on the Christian virtues are polemical. He had a gift for the phrase rather than the paragraph, and most readers appreciated his wit than to follow his arguments."

"Tertullian used strange conceived combinations of words and phrases, highly imaginative metaphors, cryptic allusions, multiple parentheses, and antitheses."

"Tertullian was an extremist, and as a young man he was initiated into the mysteries of Mithra. He confesses he committed adultery frequently. Gibbon calls him little better than a sadist."

The following was taken from 'The Christian Doctrine of God" by Emil Brunner, 1949, Westminster Press.

"The doctrine of the Trinity itself, however, is not a Biblical doctrine and this indeed not by accident but of necessity. It is the product of theological reflection upon the problem....The ecclesiastical doctrine of the Trinity is the product of philosophical speculation, which is remote from the thought of the Bible."

The following was taken from "Dictionary of The Bible, Hastings" Vol. 1 page 241

"The original form of words was into the name of Jesus Christ, or Lord Jesus. Baptism into the name of the Trinity was a later development. There is no mention in the New Testament of anyone being baptized into the name of the Trinity."

The following was taken from The Interpreter's Dictionary of The Bible, page 351.

"The other passages, Matthew 28:19, Go......make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, also has been disputed on textual grounds, but in the opinion of many scholars the words may still be regarded as part of the true text of Matthew. There is however, grave doubt whether they may be regarded as ipissima verba of Jesus. The evidence of Acts 2:38, Acts 10:48, and Acts 19:1-5, suggests that baptism in early Christianity was administered, not in the threefold name, but in the name of Jesus Christ, or in the name of "the Lord Jesus."

The following notes were taken from "The Known Bible and its Defense" by Rev. Maud Hembree, 1933, page 25

"There is in the Old Testament no indication of interior distinctions in the God-head; it is an anachronism to find either the doctrine of the trinity in its pages. There is no doctrine of the trinity in the New Testament. The change from the heavenly Father to the dogma of the trinity in the creeds of Nicea and Chalcedon has been described by Hatch and Harnack as a degeneration rather than a development, a corrupting of truth from its earliest simplicity."

The following notes were taken from "Christian Doctrine" by Shirley Guthrie Jr. CLC Press, Richmond, Virginia, page 90

"It is true that three persons in one Godhead is a mystery no one can understand. The Bible does not teach the doctrine of the Trinity, neither the word "Trinity" or such language as "one in three", or "three in one", or "three persons", is Biblical language. The language of the Trinity doctrine is the language of the ancient church, taken not from the Bible but from classical Greek philosophy."

The following notes were taken from "The Mystery Religions" by S. Angus, 1975, Dover Publications, N.Y.

""Philosophy was to the Greeks the preparatory discipline for the gospel which the Law proved to the Jews.

Origen said, "We should follow reason and a rational guide."

Clement defended the rights of philosophic enquiry in Christian doctrine.

Proclus maintained that the philosophical doctrines (chiefly of Platonism) are of the same content as the mystic revelations, that philosophy in fact borrowed from the mysteries, from Orphism through Pythagoras, from whom Plato borrowed.

Plato spoke respectfully of Orpheus.

Orphism prepared the way in the West for the mystery religions.

The great step which Orpheus took was that while he kept the old Bacchic faith that a man might become a god, he altered the conception of what a god was, and he sought to obtain that godhead by wholly different means.

The retreat of the Messianic categories in favor of the Logos Christology correspond to the universal necessity for a religion with a cosmic outlook.

Plato admitted that the creator and Father of the world is apprehensible by thought. In the Timaeus of Plato, he used cosmic thought.

These men stand out in the transition of mysteries from Western to Eastern religious conceptions: Plato, Posidonius, and Philo.

Attempts were made to fuse Greek philosophy and Hebrew revelation at Alexandria, Egypt. Philo was one who acquired this.

The two spiritual forces of the religion of Israel, and the thought of Greece, confronted each other at Alexandria, and the results of their interaction permeated the whole Mediterranean world.

Plato indulged in a theory of symbolic numbers, and calls him happy who understands spiritual numbers.

Greek ethical and mystical philosophy left an enduring heritage to mankind.

Greek thought saw in Christianity immense possibilities of speculation and essayed to transform it into an eclectic philosophy in which the metaphysical would predominate over the spiritual.

Trinitarian Christianity with its political triumph through Constantine, turned persecutor against Jew,, and non-Catholics, labeled them as heresy, and tried to destroy them by sword and flame.

Greek thought was united with Hebrew revelation and oriental mysticism to meet the needs of the day, which it did to a remarkable degree, but mostly for the cultivated classes.

The following notes were taken from "The Outline of History" by H.G. Wells

"Athanasius taught that the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost were three distinct persons, but one God. This mystery seems to me a disastrous ebullition of the human mind entirely inconsistent with the plain account of Jesus preserved for us in the Gospels."

The following notes were taken from "History of The Christian Church" by Dr. Marvin Arnold, 1979

"The man made and nonBiblical word "trinity" is one of earth's strangest of doctrinal phenomena, it seems ontologically from Greek and Italic reasoning. The so-called "blessed trinity" came from devious Greek minds. Different in Greek philosophical refinement the Trinity is a graphic condensation of polytheism.

Plato (427-347 B.C.) invented elaborate celestial mathematics particularly the "Timaeus." It represented a mathematical plurality of gods. "Timaeus" is a fascinating anthology of the queer perversities to which this magic of symbolism could be pushed. Plato took measurement out of geometry and put magic and religious mysticism in it through the idea of "Timaeus."

Years later, A.D. 210-220, the great Catholic lawyer, Tertullian, simply plagiarized Plato's Timaeus idea, wrested with it, mentally twisted it, making it to evolve into his own "Trinitas."

St. Augustine acknowledged that it was by means of the Platonic system (Timaeus) that he understood the doctrine of the trinity.

In A.D. 190, Praxeas went to Rome and had a confrontation with the bishops in the Episcopate against their emerging triune formula.

In the second century Catholic bishop Justin Martyr appeared with his Logos (triune) doctrine. He was a Post-Apostolic father. Levi Paine wrote, "No trace of a Logos doctrine appears in the early church until Justin Martyr......Justin Martyr (A.D. 100-165) refers to Platonic and Stoic authorities for his Logos ideas.

It has come to be popularly assumed that the doctrine of the Trinity is the abstrusest of human speculations which the Greek mind at its sublest exhausted its ingenuity in devising.

The dogma of the trinity was completed by St. Augustine for the West. Incontrovertibly, the Catholic hierarchy completed the manmade invention called the "Trinity," and handed it to the modern world as current theology. In A.D. 380, Heick wrote, Emperor Theodosius issued an edict establishing the new "orthodoxy" thus, the trinity forever became Protestant theology and Catholic dogma.

The following statements were made by the late Herbert W. Armstrong, World Wide Church of God.:

"The trinity doctrine is the doctrine called in Revelation 17:5, the mystery Babylon the great. By the doctrine of the trinity, Satan has deceived all traditional Christianity.

Simon the sorcer mentioned in Acts 8, in 33 A.D., started the false New Testament Christianity church of the trinity. The very first idea or teaching about God being a trinity began in the latter half of the second century, a hundred years after most of the New Testament had been written. Constantine had power to make the Trinity law, but he never had the power to make it truth."

The following notes were taken from "An Outline of Biblical Theology" by Millar Burrows, professor of Yale Divinity School, The Westminster Press, MCMXLVI, page 81

"What may be called the classical doctrine of the Trinity arose after the apostolic age as an answer to the theological problem of reconciling the Deity of Christ with monotheism.

The trinitarian formula of Matthew 28:19 is not authentic. The one verse in the New Testament which clearly states the doctrine of the Trinity, 1st John 5:7 is not in the best Greek Manuscripts and is omitted by A.S.V. and R.S.V.

The fact that the Bible nowhere clearly stated the doctrine of the Trinity, made possible and perhaps inevitable the Trinitarian controversy of the third century. As finally formulated, the doctrine of the Trinity was an attempt to affirm the Deity of Christ, and thus guard the reality of redemption in Him, without sacrificing monotheism. For this purpose concepts derived from the Bible were used, but recourse was had also to Greek metaphysical ideas which Jesus would undoubtedly have regarded as rank paganism.

The distinction between the one "ousia" (essence) and the three "hypostaseis" (substances) represents nothing in either the Old Testament or the New Testament. When the Western church used "substantia" instead of "essentia" for "ousia". and "persona" instead of "substantia" for "hypostasis", and when the "personae" even came to be thought of as three distinct persons in something, like our common sense of the word, theology went even farther afield from the straight path of Biblical monotheism.

Indeed, a radical departure from the fundamental attitude of the religion of the Bible was made when theology first began to attempt any metaphysical analysis of the nature of God.

The doctrine of the Trinity as a statement of what God is in Himself cannot be justified on the basis of Scripture. Jesus expresses the consciousness of His Sonship and of working by the power of the Spirit, but suggests nothing like the triune nature of Deity; indeed it is hard to imagine Him speaking in such terms.

Matthew 28:19, while not a saying of the historical Jesus, expresses the faith of the later church; it still gives no explicit statement of the triune nature of God, though this may be implied."

The following is a statement made by Dr. Benjamin Warfield:

"The doctrine of the Trinity lies in the New Testament rather in the form of allusions than in express teaching."

The following notes were taken from "The Beginnings of Christianity" by Clarence Tucker Craig, page 141, Abington Press, Nashville, Tenn.

"Throughout the Apostolic church, baptism was in the name of Jesus, rather than according to a trinitarian formula. Believers were placed under the protection of Jesus by baptism in His name; demons were driven out by the same powerful name."

The following note was taken from Harper's Bible Dictionary, page 60:

"The trinitarian formula of Matthew 28:19, was a later addition by some reverent Christian mind."

The following notes were taken from "History of Christianity in the Apostolic Age" by A.C. McGiffert, Union Theology Seminary, N.Y. 1899. page 98

"Of the trinitarian formula into the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, which later became universal in the church, we have no trace in the New Testament, except in a single passage, Matthew such a formula arose, we do not know."

The following note was taken from "A History of the Christian Church" by Williston Walker, Scribner & Sons, N.Y. 1959, page 87

"With the early disciples generally baptism was in the name of Jesus Christ. There is no mention of baptism in the name of the Trinity in the New Testament."

The following notes were taken from "The Doctrine of Baptism, Concordia" by Dr. Edmund Schlink, St. Louis, 1972, page 28

"Most probably baptism was originally performed upon (in) the name of Christ, and this was later expanded, as in the expansion of the Christological confession into the tripartite creeds. In that case the baptismal command in its Matthew 28:19 form cannot be the historical origin of Christian baptism."

The following notes were taken from "Beacon Lights Of History", by John Lord. LL.D., 1886

"The doctrine of the trinity was as vital and important in the eyes of the divines of the fourth century as that of Justification by Faith was to the Germans when they assembled in the great hall of the Electoral palace of Leispsic to hear Luther and Dr. Eck advocate their separate sides.

In the time of Constantine everything pertaining to Christianity and the affairs of the church became invested with supreme importance. All other subjects and interests were secondary, certainly among the Christians themselves. As redemption is the central point of Christianity, public preaching and teaching had been directed chiefly, at first, to the passion, death, and resurrection of the Saviour of the world. Then came discussions and controversies, naturally, about the person of Christ and His relation to the Godhead. Among the early followers of our Lord there had been no pride of reason and a very simple creed. Least of all did they seek to explain the mysteries of their faith by metaphysical reasoning.

Their doctrines were not brought to the test of philosophy. It was enough for these simple and usually unimportant and unlettered people to accept generally accredited facts. It was enough that Christ had suffered and died for them, in His boundless love, and that their souls would be saved in consequence.

And as to doctrines, all they sought to know was what our Lord and His apostles said. Hence there was among them no system of theology, as we understand it, beyond the Apostle's Creed. But in the early part of the second century, Justin Martyr, a converted philosopher, devoted much labor to a metaphysical development of the doctrine drawn from the expressions of the Apostle John in reference to the Logos, or Word, as identical with the Son.

In the third century the whole church was agitated by the questions which grew out of the relations between the Father and the Son. From the person of Christ - so dear to the church - the discussion naturally passed to the Trinity. Then arose the great Alexandrian school of theology, which attempted to explain and harmonize the revealed truths of the Bible by Grecian dialectics.

Hence interminable disputes among divines and scholars, as to whether the Father and the Logos were one; whether the Son was created or uncreated; whether or not He was subordinate to the Father; whether the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost were distinct or one in essence. Origen, Clement, and Dionysius were the most famous of the doctors who discussed these points.

Alexandria was the center of these theological agitations, being then, perhaps, the most intellectual city in the Empire. It was filled with Greek philosophers and scholars and artists, and had the largest library in the world. It had the most famous school of theology, the learned and the acute professors of which claimed to make theology a science. Philosophy became wedded to theology, and brought the aid of reason to explain the subjects of faith.

The Nicene Creed is virtually the old Apostle's Creed, with the addition of the Trinity, as defined by Athanasius.

With the establishment of the doctrine of the Trinity by the council of Nice, the interest in the reign of Constantine ceases.

The last thing the church would tolerate as one of her overseers was a Gallio in religion. She scorned those philosophical dignitaries who would sit in the seats of Moses and Paul, and use the speculations of the Greeks to build up the orthodox faith.

Saint Ambrose knew that the fashionable speculations about the Trinity were not the doctrines of Paul. He knew that the boastful philosophy by which some sought to bolster up Christianity was that against the apostles had warned the faithful.

Leo the Great taught no errors like Origen, and pushed out no theological doctrines into a jargon of metaphysics like Athanasius."

The following note was taken from the Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 2, 1973, page 666.

The doctrine of Athanasius is dependent upon Alexandrian Platonism.

The following notes are from the teachings of Dr. Vestal, Ph.D. president of Cypress Bible Institute:

"We have talked about Trinitarianism, which in reality was Athanasianism, and that while merely a deacon of Alexlandria, Athanasius had propounded the Trinity hypothesis. It is one of the strangest of phenomena that people would listen to such an inept person. He was uncouth, and Emperor Julian the Apostate called him a despicable manikin. What happened to Athanasius?

There were so many dedicated clergymen that accused Athanasius of immorality and given to magical practices (Laux, p. 114). He was even accused of murdering another bishop, Arsenius. Eusebius demanded a synod to examine into these and other charges. Then a woman confronted Athanasius and accused him of immorality. He was also accused of trying to hinder the corn-ships that sailed from Alexandria to Constantinople. After learning about these things, Emperor Constantine then banished Athanasius to Treves, the capital of the Gallic Prefecture in 335 A.D. (Laux, p. 115L. Duchesne, pp. 289-292). Julian exiled him on October 21, 362 A.D.

As of 365 A.D. Athanasius was yet rushing about trying to get fearful and undecided Catholic bishops to sign a version of the Nicene Creed. Many councils were called, but most were fiascoes at best. In 365-366 A.D. the Creed had scarcely any supporters but the Egyptians. (L. Duchesbe, p. 290; Socrates, iv. 12; Sozomen, vi. 10,11).

On August 18, 363 A.D., when Emperor Julian died, Athanasius returned to Antioch from out of exile. Jovian then resigned. Later, at Antioch, in a small Catholic basilica, Athanasius yet preserving, presented the Emperor with a memorial in which he recommended the Creed of Nicea, but it had the addition relating to the Holy Spirit. This shows to us that the great argument that started at Nicea in 325 A.D. yet raged.

On May 4, 365 A.D., Athanasius was again exiled. Finally, on February 1, 366 A.D. an imperial notary formally reinstated him in the basilica of Dionysius in Alexandria. (HOJ Brown, pp. 119-122).

After about forty years (from 325 to 367 A.D.) of theological delusions, years of vain argument, exiles, outlawry, charge after charge of immorality being hurled at him, Athanasius returned to Alexandria (J. Laux. pp. 117-119). He spent the last six years of his life among Catholics ever promoting his Trinitarianism, trying to establish his version of the Nicene Creed. As late as the spring of 365 A.D., few had signed the newer version of the Creed of Nicea. Further, most bishops remained on distant terms with Athanasius (Duchesne, p. 290). Athanasius was born in Egypt in 295 A.D. and died on May 3, 373 A.D. He was earth's greatest heresiarch.

The trinity dogma hammered out at Nicea is forever associated with his name, Athanasianism. In his tempestuous lifetime he helped invent, hammer out, and propagate one of earth's greatest theological delusions, the Trinity hypothesis."

The following statements are taken from the Apostle Paul, the Apostle appointed by Jesus to the Gentile world:

"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in Him, which is the head of all principality and power." (Colossians 2:8-9)

The Apostle Paul gave warning before his death that there would come philosophers after him who would deceive the people on the nature of the Godhead. According to Paul, Jesus was not a member of the Godhead or the Trinity, but all the Godhead dwelt in Jesus Christ. The doctrine of Paul is completely opposite to all the Grecian philosophers and trinitarian theologians of our modern world. (Rev. D.R. Vestal, Ph.D.)