Hello everyone,today we will be dealing with an article from the “MANY PROPHETS ONE MESSAGE” site that focussed on 10 points that seemingly disproofs the Trinity!
Here is the actual link: ten ways the Bible refutes the Trinity
1. “God Does not change”:
First point our muslim friends make is that God does not change,so thus they make an argument,that in a deductive form would look something like this:
1.God does not change
2.God would change if he took upon himself a human nature.
3.Jesus is a human,possessing a human nature
4.Therefore, Jesus cannot be God.
A deductive argument can be knocked down if one or more of its premises are refuted. Premise number 1 is clear,there is no disagreement on it. Premise number 3 also. Now premise number 2 is wrong on a few different levels. Firstly,what do we mean by God changing? Do we mean that God changes his way of doing things? God “modifies” his nature? Perhaps changes his mind about what is right and what is wrong? What is meant in verses like Malachi 3:6? We must clarify what is meant by change. Well,that is quite simple,we will quote Matt Slick of CARM on this one: “When God says that He does not change, He is speaking about His nature and character. But this does not mean that He cannot change how He works with people throughout history.”-This is clearly demonstrated by the verse itself- (Malachi 3:6)–“For I, the Lord, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed.”-He does not change his way of thinking,nor does he change his eternal nature.
So in the incarnation,The Second Person of The Trinity took upon himself a human nature. This in no way changes his divine nature. So looking at the previous quote did the eternal divine nature of God change in some way by the addition of the human nature to the second person? No. Now,what do our muslim friends mean by “God would change” here? We affirm that Jesus is God since he possesses a divine nature. In essence,the divine nature is what God is. Let’s make an example. You can call me,Vladimir, a man,since that is what being a human is,it is synonymous. So did God,THAT IS,the divine nature change? No. So it all depends on what we mean by change. If we say “Well,God created the heavens and the earth,but he existed for eternity,he was not a creator before,therefore he changed by becoming a creator” Is this valid Biblical or Quranic reasoning for that matter? No,since the Bible states in WHAT WAY God cannot change.-Psalm 93:2,Malachi 3:6,in the sense of eternal nature and character. Thus the muslim argument is refuted. But to turn the tables on the muslim argumentation,we need to ask our muslim friends,what is the 11th name of Allah? Is it Al-Khaliq perhaps? The creator? How is it that this name was added to him after the creation? Was he not perfect before?
2. “It compromises God’s absolute perfection”:
Moving on,the second point made in this article is perhaps the most showing one of the absolute non-understanding of our doctrine. We do not maintain that Jesus was not perfect before and thus to perfect himself added upon himself a human nature,rather he did so in order to save us,the sinners,as is prophesied in Psalms 22 and Isaiah 53 for example. He did not need to do it,but he loved us so much,that is why he came as a human to save us.
3. “Jesus affirms the pure monotheism of the Old Testament”:
The third point shows the absolute and perfect muslim understanding of history and beliefs of pre-Christian Jews.(sarcasm) No,in fact,it is rather evident that the pre-Christian Jews were bini(trini)tarians,as admitted by one of the top muslim apologists,Yahya Snow. For this,I would recommend the works of Dr.Michael Heiser to our muslim friends,and also a Biblical demonstration of this. Namely,Jews believed in 2 powers in heaven,and in a Trinitarian model. 1.Yahweh 2.The Angel of The Lord 3.The Holy Spirit-these three were considered the same God by the Early Jews,and by the prophets. When we go to Genesis 16:7-12 we see something very interesting,
“The angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, the spring on the way to Shur. 8 And he said, “Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?” She said, “I am fleeing from my mistress Sarai.” 9 The angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress and submit to her.” 10 The angel of the Lord also said to her, “I will surely multiply your offspring so that they cannot be numbered for multitude.” 11 And the angel of the Lord said to her, “Behold, you are pregnant and shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, because the Lord has listened to your affliction. 12 He shall be a wild donkey of a man, his hand against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he shall dwell over against all his kinsmen.” 13 SO SHE CALLED THE NAME OF THE LORD WHO SPOKE TO HER, “You are a GOD of seeing,” for she said, “Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.”
So here,she correctly calls The Angel of The Lord,who spoke to her,her Lord God!
Furthermore, when we look at the witness of Genesis 48:14-16 we see this: “And Israel stretched out his right hand and laid it on the head of Ephraim, who was the younger, and his left hand on the head of Manasseh, crossing his hands (for Manasseh was the firstborn). And he blessed Joseph and said, “THE GOD before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, THE GOD who has been my shepherd all my life long to this day,THE ANGEL who has redeemed me from all evil, bless the boys; and in them let my name be carried on, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.” Again the Angel here is indeed Yahweh. The God of Abraham and Isaac!”
I could also go to Exodus 3 and other scriptures,but for the sake of length,I think the point is clear.
Now we shall go to Isaiah 9:6 and compare the Masoretic and Septuagint text and see that God and Angel were used interchangeably. Masoretic:For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Septuagint: For a child is born to us, and a son is given to us, whose government is upon his shoulder: and his name is called the Angel of great counsel: for I will bring peace upon the princes, and health to him. Again interchangeability is obvious,and it also shows the Jewish understanding that the Second person is the one to be incarnate.
The verses our muslim friends quoted show that Jesus is God,namely in Mark 12:36-37 it says:David himself, in the Holy Spirit, declared, “‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet.”David himself calls him Lord. So how is he his son?” And the great throng heard him gladly.
As the old Trinitarian saying goes: “The context is the killer of heresy”
4. “The Trinity is paradoxical”:
Now not only did our dear muslim friends fail the history class in the point 3 but they also seem to have failed the biology class in this point of theirs. There is a very reasonable explanation why Jesus cursed the fig tree even though it wasn’t the season for figs. Even before the season, fig trees produce little knobs which are eaten by a passerby. As the late renowned NT scholar F.F. Bruce noted:
“The other miracle is the cursing of the barren fig tree (Mk. xi 12 ff.), a stumbling block to many. They feel that it is unlike Jesus, and so someone must have misunderstood what actually happened, or turned a spoken parable into an acted miracle, or something like that. Some, on the other hand, welcome the story because it shows that Jesus was human enough to get unreasonably annoyed on occasion. It appears, however, that a closer acquaintance with fig trees would have prevented such misunderstandings. ‘The time of the fig is not yet,’ says Mark, for it was just before Passover, about six weeks before the fully-formed fig appears. The fact that Mark adds these words shows that he knew what he was talking about. When the fig leaves appear about the end of March, they are accompanied by a crop of small knobs, called taqsh by the Arabs, a sort of fore-runner of the real figs. These taqsh are eaten by peasants and others when hungry. They drop off before the real fig is formed. But if the leaves appear unaccompanied by taqsh, there will be no figs that year. So it was evident to our Lord, when He turned aside to see if there were any of these taqsh on the fig-tree to assuage His hunger for the time being, that the absence of the taqsh meant that there would be no figs when the time of figs came. For all its fair foliage, it was a fruitless and a hopeless tree.”
(Bruce, Are The New Testament Documents Reliable? [Intervarsity Press; Downers Grove, Ill, fifth revised edition 1992], pp. 73-74)
Now our dear friends go onto an eisegetical spree in Mark 13,specifically verse 32,where it says:”But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows,not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Here I will argue,historically and semantically,that here The Son is saying NOT that he has no knowledge of when the day will be,rather that he does not reveal that day,not him nor anyone else,the Father alone does that.
What Christ is saying there is that he will not reveal the day and the hour,neither him nor any angel nor any man,rather it will be the work of the father alone. We see the angel of the Lord doing the same thing back in Genesis,namely in 22:12 and also Deuteronomy 13:3,we see the early Chruch fathers arguing this way,Augustine for example, when god said “now I know” or something similar,the meaning is that it is now MADE known(revealed). It also fits in perfectly with the Jewish tradition of marriage,where father alone declares the date of marriage,and we all know about the bride of the lamb. So again our muslim friends are refuted,moving on.
5.”Not defined anywhere in the Bible”:
The doctrine of the Trinity is clearly taught in the Bible as the Bible teaches that All of these 3 persons are the same God. There is only one God. These 3 are God. They are distinct persons from each other.
And God also understood that since he revealed himself to the people of The OT and The NT as 3 persons,it would be clear,and indeed it is,for we see both the early Church and the pre-Christian Jews as believing in it. Something Dr.James White would call “experiential Trinitarianism”. In Matthew 28:18,1 Corinthians 12:4-6,2 Corinthians 13:14 we also see that we are to baptize in the NAME OF(singular) The Father,The Son, and The Holy Spirit. In the second example we see that The Gifts,The Ministries and The Effects are from these 3 persons,and in the third example we see that Grace,Love and Fellowship are from these 3 persons.
Further on,to again turn the tables on the muslim argumentation where does Allah specifically say that he is only one person in the Quran? There are many indications that Quran is a binitarian,and even a trinitarian book but we will not go into that in this article. Also,since our muslim friends object that the word “Trinity” is not found in the Bible(this has been addressed many times,so I won’t go into it) why then can’t they show us the word “Tawhid” in the quran NOR in the hadeeth? Shouldn’t muslims be consistent and argue in a way that is the best?(29:46)
6. “Fabrications inserted into the Bible to support the doctrine”:
Our dear muslim friend takes that if something does not appear in Greek manuscripts before *insert time period* then it did not exist in *insert time period*,clearly shows their level of research here,most clearly it existed in 3-4 centuries,and perhaps even before,perhaps it is authentic, but since this point requires and entirely new article to address I will not go into it,but I indeed need to ask our muslim friends a question here,a similar to one that Dr.White asked Yusuf Bux: Why if this is such an important verse that we needed to defend our doctrine,do we not find a single Christian using it for the first 4 centuries of Christianity,even tho it was available at the time?
7. “Trinitarian scholars manipulate the Bible to protect the doctrine”:
Moving on,our deceptive muslim friends try to undermine Augustine by claiming that he intentionally wanted to change the scripture and deceive. Well,they are either deceivers themselves or are very ignorant,for Augustines statement goes like this:”And this,” He adds, “is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.” The proper order of the words is, “That they may know Thee and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent, as the only true God.” Here Augustine CLEARLY POINTS OUT WHAT JESUS SAID,however, he gives his interpretation of the words also,saying that it is proper,again,our dear muslim friends need to pay attention to what they are quoting.
Aside from that in no way does John 17:3 contradict the Trinitarian belief,we fully believe that Jesus is the Only True God,Father is The Only True God,HS is the Only true God! We have no problem in saying this since clearly,as Trinitarians,we affirm that they are the Same God,so affirming that one is the only true God is not a denial of the others divinity. Look at my article in refutation of Yahya Snow,that you can find here,for more details: http://adlucem.co/1319-2/
8. “All persons of the Trinity are equal, but some are more-qual than others”:
The reason is that even if they reject the Son,they still have the guidance of the invisible Spirit,whom can still guide them to truth,if they reject him as Satan,as the Jews did,there is no guidance that can help them,and they are lost. In no way does it show inequality of the persons.
9. and 10. “Jesus acknowledge He has a God & God is above Jesus in hierarchy”:
Here our muslim friends try to undermine the divinity of Christ by trying to say that there is someone higher than him in a hierarchy and that he has a God.
First off, John 20:17 and Revelation 3:11-12 in no way undermine his divinity,rather affirm his humanity,and thus as every godly and perfect man should,Christ affirmed that he has a God,namely his Father. Also,our muslim friends are correct in saying that he cast aside his human limitations,but he indeed remained a human,thus he affirmed that he has a God,even after the resurrection. Also, our muslim friends posed a strawman here,by claiming that we explain it away by claiming his human side said that,or something similar.
Further, they say that someone is higher than him in hierarchy,and that he gives up his kingdom,Using First Corinthians 11:3 and 15:28 so let’s address that.
As Christ was in submission to the Father when he was on earth so what Paul states in 1 Corinthians 15:28 is that Christ will become subject to the Father once again at the end of the age. Paul’s statement seems to imply that the Lord, after his ascension, received more than just the glory that he had voluntarily set aside when he became a man. The text seems to suggest that Christ is currently enjoying a position of honor in which he is not functioning as the Father’s subordinate, but as one holding equal rank with the Father. It is only at the end of the age that Christ will then assume his role of subordination.
After all, sons are equal in essence and nature with their fathers, but subject to them in rank . Likewise, Jesus as God’s Son is equal to him in essence and nature but subject to him in rank.
In fact, the word translated here as made subject (hupotageesetai) is used in contexts where the meaning can only be position and rank, not essence or nature, i.e., that a person is subject to the rank of another without this making that one inferior in essence. For instance, the Greek word stems from the verb hupotasso, which is used quite often in the Holy Scripture as in the following examples:
“Then he (Jesus) went down to Nazareth with them (Joseph and Mary) and was obedient (hupotassomenos) to them. Luke 2:51
Christ made himself subject to his parents by virtue of his being their Son. He obviously wasn’t inferior in nature to them in any way, since he is the Divine Savior who had come to save them and others from their sin (cf. Matthew 1:21). Thus, the subjection is purely one of position.
“Everyone must submit (hypotassesthoo) himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.” Romans 13:1
Christians are commanded to submit to the governing authorities, to human rulers. This again shows that the verb relates to a subordination of rank, not of essence or nature.
Christians are also commanded to submit to one another:
“Submit (hupotassomenoi) to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Ephesians 5:21
Obviously, no one will claim that Christians are inferior in value and essence simply because they are commanded to submit to each other.
It becomes clear from the foregoing that the term “submit” or “subject” does not necessarily imply that the person that is submitting is inferior in nature and essence to the other. It can simply refer to a person being in a lesser position of rank including a voluntary submission to somebody who has no natural or enforceable position of authority, like one Christian to another.
Moreover, the context of 1 Corinthians 15:28 indicates that the Greek passive hupotageesetai should be taken as a middle voice. This would mean that the Son is not being made subject, or that someone is forcing him to submit. Rather, the middle voice suggests that the Lord Jesus is voluntarily subjecting himself to the Father. As Greek NT scholar Spiros Zodhiates noted:
The translation of the verb as “the Son Himself also will himself be made subject to the One” is very misleading. It is taken as a passive, whereas the exegesis demands that it should be taken as a middle voice which means that the Lord Jesus Christ at the completion of His mediatorial work subjects Himself to the One who had subjected all things unto Him. It is a voluntary act and not a compulsory subjugation of one person of the Trinity to the other. This is not something which took place while the Lord Jesus was the God-Man on earth, but it is something that will take place in the future when all people will be made subject unto Christ, and then He will finally subject Himself with the finished work of redemption before God the Father. One of the greatest difficulties of the translation of the N.T. lies in discerning when the passive form should be taken with the passive meaning or the middle voice meaning, as, for instance, Jesus Christ “is made subject” or He “subjects Himself.”
(Spiros Zodhiates, New American Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible [AMG Publishers, Chattanooga, TN, 1990], p. 1530)
And also from the Athanasian Creed:” Equal to the Father, as touching his Godhead; and inferior to the Father as touching his Manhood.” -The early Church clearly allowed,and so did the Scriptures,for the Son to be inferior to the Father in the sense of his manhood and rank,this in no way however,undermines his divinity. Also,rather clearly,he is the Eternal King: Christ subjecting himself doesn’t mean he ceases to rule. Paul and the other NT writers clearly teach that Christ rules forever:
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.” Isaiah 9:6-7
“In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands—a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces. The great God has shown the king what will take place in the future. The dream is true and the interpretation is trustworthy.” Daniel 2:44-45
“In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.” Daniel 7:13-14
“He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.” Luke 1:32-33
“and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way”. Ephesians 1:19-23
“and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:11
“The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever.’” Revelation 11:15
Therefore, 1 Corinthians 15:28 simply means that Christ, even though he rules forever, will do so under the authority and headship of his Father. The following biblical example should help to further illustrate this point:
“So Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘Since God has shown you all this, there is none so discreet and wise as you are; you shall be over my house, and all my people shall order themselves as you command; only as regards the throne will I be greater than you.’ And Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘Behold, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.’ Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand, and arrayed him in garments of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck; and he made him to ride in his second chariot; and they cried before him, ‘Bow the knee!’ Thus he set him over all the land of Egypt. Moreover, Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘I am Pharaoh, and without your consent no man shall lift up hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.’ And Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zaph’enath-pane’ah; and he gave him in marriage As’enath, the daughter of Poti’phera priest of On. So Joseph went out over the land of Egypt. Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went through all the land of Egypt… When all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread; and Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, ‘Go to Joseph; what he says to you, do.’” Genesis 41:39-46, 55
“Now Joseph was the ruler over the land; he was the one who sold to all the people of the land And Joseph’s brothers came and bowed down to him with their faces to the ground.” Genesis 42:6
“So it was not you who sent me here, but God; and he has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt. Make haste and go up to my father and say to him, ‘Thus says your son Joseph, God has made me lord of all Egypt; come down to me, do not tarry;’” Genesis 45:8-9
“When he summoned a famine on the land, and broke every staff of bread, he had sent a man ahead of them, Joseph, who was sold as a slave. His feet were hurt with fetters, his neck was put in a collar of iron; until what he had said came to pass the word of the LORD tested him. The king sent and released him, the ruler of the peoples set him free; he made him lord of his house, and ruler of all his possessions, to instruct his princes at his pleasure, and to teach his elders wisdom.” Psalm 105:16-22
Joseph was lord over all of Egypt and was second only to the pharaoh. Thus, both pharaoh and Joseph ruled over Egypt and the world, with one of them being subject to the other. What’s more, both were equal in essence and nature since both were fully humans!
These biblical facts bear repeating: In light of the clear NT teaching that the Lord Jesus is fully and essentially God, submission in reference to Christ in so far as his Deity is concerned can only be viewed in terms of rank, that Christ is subordinate to the Father by virtue of his being a Son. It does not show that the Son is inferior to the Father as far as Christ’s Divine nature and essence is concerned, or that he cannot therefore be God also.
Christ is also subordinate by virtue of his having the nature of a creature, humanity, a nature which is vastly inferior to God’s eternal, uncreated essence.
(Big Thanks to Answering Islam Team)
Praised be The Triune God!