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Saturday, March 8, 2014

Why Don't Jehovah's Witnesses Believe in the Trinity?

Jehovah's Witnesses do not believe in the Trinity Doctrine simply because Scripture, when taken in context, never describes the God of the Bible as being part of a Trinity.

The idea that God came to earth and lived as the man Jesus, which is central to the doctrine of the Trinity, has been around for a long time—but it does not date back to Jesus. Rather, The New Encyclopædia Britannica observes: "Neither the word Trinity, nor the explicit doctrine as such, appears in the New Testament, nor... in the Old Testament." - 1985, Micropedia, vol. 11, p. 928.

The Bible Does Not Say That Jesus Was God

Nowhere in the Bible is it mentioned that Jesus ever claimed to be God. Rather, he specifically called the "Father...the only true God." (John 17:1-3; Also see John 20:17; 2 Corinthians 1:3 and 1 Corinthians 8:6)

Nowhere in the Bible does it conclusively say that Jesus is God. Instead, the Bible repeatedly refers to Jesus as the "son of God". Because the Bible describes Jesus as the second oldest and second most important person in the universe (Prov. 8:22), the Bible calls Jesus:

the "only-begotten Son" of God. (John 1:14; 3:16, 18; 1 John 4:9)

"the first-born of all creation". (Colossians 1:15)

"the beginning of God's creation". (Revelation 3:14)

The Bible shows that Jesus is subordinate to God: "The head of the Christ is God." (1 Corinthians 11:3) Jesus himself said: "The Father is greater than I am." (John 14:28)

The Bible Does Not Show That The Holy Spirit is God

Concerning the supposed third person of the Trinity, nowhere in the Bible is the Holy Spirit called "God, the Holy Spirit." Instead, the Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit is not a person, but rather is God's active force. Even many trinitarian scholars will admit this.

For just one example, An Encyclopedia of Religion says:

"In the New Testament there is no direct suggestion of the Trinity. The Spirit is conceived as an impersonal power by which God effects his will through Christ." - p. 344, Virgilius Ferm, 1945 ed. (For more, see: The Holy Spirit - Not a Person or God, But an Impersonal Force From God.)

The History of the Development of the Trinity Doctrine

Earnest Bible students would do well to consider the history of the development of the Trinity Doctrine. In the more than 2,000 years from Abraham to the death of the last Apostle, John, Judaeo-Christianity had only one God, Jehovah ("YHWH"), the Father alone. (Cf. Ps. 83:18, KJV, ASV; Is. 63:16, ASV; and John 17:1, 3 - compare Jer.10:10, ASV).

Professor of ecclesiastical history L. L. Paine L. L. Paine, A Critical History Of The Evolution Of Trinitarianism, p. 4, tells us:

"The Old Testament is strictly monotheistic. God is a single personal being. The idea that a trinity is to be found there ... is utterly without foundation." [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]

Again, it was not until over 300 years after the death of Jesus that the trinity concept was fully developed, refined, and officially and finally accepted by Christendom through a decree by the Church at Rome.
[3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26-26a]

"Speculative thought began to analyze the divine nature until in the 4th century an elaborate theory of a threefoldness in God appears. In this Nicene or Athanasian form of thought God is said to consist of three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, all equally eternal, powerful and glorious." - Encyclopedia Americana, 1944, v. 6, p. 619, "Christianity". (For more, see: The History of the Development of the Trinity Doctrine.)

Trinity and Pagan Influence

Concerning the church’s adoption of the pagan concept of the Trinity, Historian Will Durant said that

"Christianity did not destroy paganism; it adopted it. . . . From Egypt came the ideas of a divine trinity." – p. 595, The Story of Civilization: vol. 3, Simon & Schuster Inc.,

And Arthur Weigall stated that

"Nowhere in the New Testament does the word `trinity' appear. The idea was only adopted by the Church three hundred years after the death of our Lord; and the origin of the conception is entirely pagan." - The Paganism in our Christianity, pp. 197, 198.
(For more, see: Trinity And Pagan Influence.)

Why Some Believe in the Trinity Doctrine

Probably trinitarians believe in the Trinity (despite it not being a Bible teaching) because many people have a very difficult time when confronted with evidence that may contradict a life-long, deeply ingrained belief or tradition. Often, many end up rejecting the facts and rationalize some sort of counter-explanation instead of accepting the scriptural and historical truth.

So some may look to a few selected Bible texts as "proof" of the Trinity. However, not even so much as one of these "proof texts" says that the Father, Jesus, and the holy spirit are one in some mysterious Godhead and, very often, the true meaning of such a text is clarified by the context of surrounding verses.

 "Trinity, a word not found in Scripture but used to express the doctrine of the unity of God as subsisting in 3 distinct persons. Not only is the word `Trinity' not in Scripture, but there is no isolated exposition on this attribute of God in either testament. It is an inferred doctrine, gathered eclectically from the entire Canon." - p. 630 of the highly trinitarian publication, Today's Dictionary of the Bible, Bethany House Publishers, 1982. (For more, see: Exposing the False Reasoning Behind Trinity Proof Texts.)

(To those who are not Jehovah's Witnesses (JWs), please remember that if you are looking for the authoritative information about the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society's (WTBTS) Bible-based beliefs and practices, you should look to our OFFICIAL WEBSITE at Numerous publications as well as the New World Translation Bible (NWT) and the very useful Watchtower Online Library can be found there.)

For more, see:

Is God a Trinity? (JW.ORG)

What Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Believe? (JW.ORG)

Should You Believe in the Trinity? (JW.ORG)

The Truth About the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (JW.ORG)

Myth 4: God Is a Trinity (JW.ORG)

Must You Believe in the Trinity to Be a Christian? (JW.ORG)

Exposing the False Reasoning Behind Trinity Proof Texts (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)

The Trinity - Is the Fundamental Nature of God SUPPOSED to be a "Mystery"? (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)


Defend Jehovah's Witnesses