The doctrine of the Trinity does not appear in the Bible. The orthodox definition—that the Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Spirit is God, they are coequal and coeternal and together the three of them make one God—has been a traditional but not a biblical position. Ever since the late first century, the Trinitarian (triune Godhead) and Unitarian (One God) views have sparred back and forth for the title of “Orthodoxy.” In an attempt to settle the debate, the early Church Fathers held many councils over the years, with a final decision for the Trinitarian view to be accepted as orthodoxy at the Council of Constantinople in 381 AD.
The debate centers on the identity of Jesus Christ and his relationship to God the Father. The Trinitarian view holds that to call Christ anything less than fully God is reducing him to a “mere man.” To support the supposed “Godhood” of Christ, orthodox teaching of the Trinity relies on fabricated language like “God the Son,” which is found nowhere in scripture. Jesus never referred to himself as God, only the son of God, or the son of man. When we have clear verses that define who Jesus is, and his relationship to God the Father, such as “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus”, (1 Tim 2:5 NIV), then we must be honest in our interpretation and not massage or manipulate the meaning of Scripture to fit preconceived ideas. We must always allow the truth to be spoken out of scripture, and not interject our own ideas into what is written.
In addition to the verses that show Jesus was a fully human man (Acts 2:22; Romans 5:15; 1 Corinthians 15:32) who was also the “only begotten son of God” (John 3:16), there are also many clear Scriptures that define who God is. Here are just a few:
- Jesus called Him the “only true God” (John 17:3).
- God is greater than Jesus (John 14:28).
- There is just one God (1 Cor 8:6).
- He is the God of Jesus Christ (Eph 1:3).
Historically, the Biblical Unitarian position and its adherents have been met with ridicule, persecution, and even death at the hands of opponents. Because of political and church influences, the Trinity has become the predominant doctrine and the cornerstone of most Christian denominations, and the majority of the biblical writings and commentaries have been compiled from a Trinitarian viewpoint. However, a thorough reading of the Bible and an understanding of translational process reveals that the Trinity is an extra-biblical doctrine that was never taught by the followers of Christ, or by those who knew him personally.
Other materials and resources on this subject can be found and studied by following the links below.