Debate: Monotheism vs Trinitarianism. What Did Jesus teach?

Ibn Anwar vs John_14_1 

The recording is of the most recent formal debate I had on Paltalk with a Christian. The topic was on the Trinity, did Jesus teach it? Insha’Allah, I will add a commentary on the debate when I can.  The time allocated was very restricted, thus many of the points raised by the opponent could not be addressed during the debate. However, I did manage to deal with most of them during the Q & A session. Unfortunately, it was not recorded. So, insha’Allah I shall endeavour to respond to the unaddressed claims in the upcoming commentary. In the meantime I hope you will enjoy the debate.

 

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32 Responses to “Debate: Monotheism vs Trinitarianism. What Did Jesus teach?”

  1. R. Eric Sawyer says:

    Of course, the heart of the Christian postition, and the one that is uderstandably scandelous in non-christian ears, is not whether or not Jesus taught trinity. We believe that Jesus IS Trinity. Not that, as a prophet was his teaching right or wrong, but that He Himself is part of that blessed “plural unity”

    His teaching had very little to do with the nature of God, but had much to do with the nature of mankind. The issue of the nature of God only comes tangentaly into His teaching. As you may know, the “liberal” end of the Christian spectrum proclaims often the need to follow the teachings of Jesus, and not the teachings ABOUT Jesus. I reject this approach as too self-serving, too much arguing from conclusions. Jesus said enough to validate His identity with the Father, and as you and I both proclaim, God is One.

    I doubt that I am a fit adversary for your debate sword, but I wished to add my little voice.
    May the peace and light of the Father of all, and the creator of all good gifts bless you richly!

    -R. Eric Sawyer

  2. Ibn Anwar says:

    Greetings,
    First and foremost I would like to thank you for dropping by and taking the time to share your thoughts with us at Unveiling Christianity Mr. R. Erick Sawyer. We always appreciate comments and critique from visitors especially if they come from Christians.
    I thank you for being frank with your theology. Indeed, whn we speak of the trinity we are in actual fact discussing that which is “plural”. And what is plural? Plural is more than one. If you have two, you have a plural. If you have three, you have a plural and so on. Likewise, in the Trinity we are dealing with three entites in a “unity” of sorts. Despite that unity we are still dealing with more than one, hence, your admittance to “plural”. And that is the crux of the whole affair! The thing is, we want Christians to be straight forward and honest about what they really believe and what they really are. The Hindus believe in ONE God namely, Brahma. This can be seen in Chandogya Upanishad 6:2:1 where we read in Sanskrit, “Ekam evaditiyam” which means “He is Only one without a second”. However, at the same time they believe that that One Supreme God incarnates into different forms and manifestations. The thousands of different deities in theHindu pantheon stem from one source i.e. Brahma. They are in a unity of Godhood as is the belief. Despite this concept of PLURAL UNITY I have yet to find one Christian scholar who would consider them monotheists. They have been and remain polytheists in the eyes of Jews, Christians and Hindus. The only significant difference between the Hindu theology and the Christian theology concerning God is that in Hinduism(Vedantism) God may manifests in countless foms as opposed to the Chrstian concept of God restricted to only three forms i.e. Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Nevertheless, at the heart of the matter when one analyse the situation carefully, there is little distinction between the Hindu polytheism with the Christian polytheism. However you may try toi reconcile the predicament, you will always have a PLURAL of existence. Remember the verse of Jesus coming back on clouds SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER! The Key words are “THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER” So you have the Father on one side and the son on another side. How many beings do you have? TWO. And of course, let us not forget John 1:1. The Greek word used there in the second clause is PROS which is what? Yes it is a PREPOSITION(of position). It literally means FACE TO FACE or towards. So, if I am in front of you and facing you that may be described in Greek as PROS. So you have the word which according to Trinitarians represent Jesus the Son and you have theos or ton theon rather which represents the Father. So, the Son is PROS to the Father. How many are we dealing with? One??? One has to seriously suffer from some mental deformity to say yes, absolutely ONE! lol…the fact is we are dealing with more than one. What is more than one in Greek? Yes, you got it. It is not MONOS, but rather POLY which means more than one! Based on our brief analysis we may safely conlude that the Trinity is indeed “polytheism” which is something totally foreign to concept of God subscribed by all the prophets and believers of God throughout the history of the Old Testament. They al submitted to the concept which still exists today and believed staunghly by those who are known as Jews. In truth, the Trinity has no place in the house of Abraham.

    You said, “His teaching had very little to do with the nature of God, but had much to do with the nature of mankind.” Now, I think you’re missing the point. Did Jesus throughout his 3 year ministry ever teach about God? Even if there was only one instance where he actually taught about God, don’t you think it is worth emulating? The fact of the matter is, he did indeed teach about God and not just once! In the debate I discussed Mark 12:29 onwards. I am sure you know the incident. The scribe(who is a learned Jew) came to Jesus andasked him the first commandment of all. Jesus replied by quoting the Shema from Deut. 6:4 and affirmed the commandment of love towards God etc. Later in the passage the scribe affirmed what Jesus said. However, notice that the attestation was not to everything Jesus said, but rather an emphasis was given on the Shema, that is, God is ONE(Heis in Greek). After that Jesus said, “You are not far from the kingdom of God”. Now, the question is very simple. When the scribe attested Jesus’ confirmation of Deut. 6:4 what theology did he have in mind? The answer to that question in light of another verse where Jesus says, “As you believe the Father is God…” and also in light of the standing Jewish belief concerning God is of course that God is absolutely numerically and not conceptually One and he may be called the Father. There is no other besides Him. There is no son or sons or whatever kind of spirit who share in the Father’s Godhood. This is certainly the concept which the scribe adhered to. Is this concept right? No, it is similar to the belief of the Ebionites who are considered heretics by Chistian Orthodoxy. The concept which the scribe trusted in when he said,”You are right, God is One” is absolutely wrong according to the Trinitarian. If that is so, Jesus being a Rabbi himself, learned in the ways of the Jews as well as God according to you should have rectified the erroneuous belief of the scribe. Instead of doing that he gave his tacit approval and said, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God”. If you deny Jesus and the Spiritand only accept the Father, can you be close to God’s Kingdom? No, you will go to hell! That is according to the trinitarian concept. Now, this line of reasoning is not without basis. I am only arguing from the Christian logic that if Jesus did not correct the person then he is affirming as in the cases of people “worshipping” or proskoneo him. The standard Trinitarian argument is that he did not rebuke their worship, then that must mean he concurred. Likewise, here we have a case of someone saying something which Jesus obviously did not rectify. If that is so, then it is safe to conclude that Jesus submitted that the scribe’s concept was correct! And so the Trinity goes out the window. Let us not forget John 17:3 where Jesus said that the Father is “ho monos aleithenos theos”..this is clear admission of the Father’s absolutely divinehood and disclaiming his own(as alleged by Trinitarians and others). And the thing is, it is not just that Jesus did not teach the Trinity. The fact of the matter is NOBODY throughout the Bible or Bible(s) that are available NOT a single person ever taught the Trinity. A reformed Christian scholar observes:
    “Nowhere is it clearly and unequivocally stated in scripture”
    (Roger E. Olson and Christopher A. Hall, The Trinity, Grand Rapids, Eerdmans, 2002, 1)
    This is a huge predicament for the Christians as one Trinitarian Christian scholar admits:
    “The doctrine in many ways presents strange paradoxes…it is a widely dsputed docrine…Yet manyare unsure of the exact meaning of their belief. It was the very first doctrine dealt with systematically by the church, yet it is still one of the most misunderstood and disputed doctrines. Further, it is not clearly or explicitly taught anywhere in Scripture, yet it is widely regarded as a central doctrine, indispensable to the Christian faith. In this regard, it goes contrary to what is virtrually an axiom[that is, a given, a self evident truth] of Biblical doctrine, namely, that there is a direct correlation between the scriptural clarity of a doctrine and its cruciality to the faith and life of the church.”
    (Millard J. Erickson , God in Three Persons, A Contemporary Interpretation of the Trinity, Baker Books, 1995, p. 11)

    In other words, the fact that the doctrine which is considered to be of the utmost importance is not clearly taught in scripture is truly problematic since important doctrines tend to be lucidly detailed. This is the axiom he mentioned. He succinctly admits to this problem from pages 108 to 109 in the same book. One might think that Millard is a lonewolf in his assessment. One would be wrong. The same view is shared by numerous other Trinitarian and Christian scholars suchas Dr. Colin Brown in The New International Dictionary of the New Testament Theology and Shirley Guthrie, the Professor of Systematic Theology at Columbia Theological Seminary who boldly says in Christian Doctrine the Revised Edition from pages 76-80, “The Bible does not teach the doctrine of the Trinity.”

    You said,”As you may know, the “liberal” end of the Christian spectrum proclaims often the need to follow the teachings of Jesus, and not the teachings ABOUT Jesus. I reject this approach as too self-serving, too much arguing from conclusions. Jesus said enough to validate His identity with the Father, and as you and I both proclaim, God is One.”

    I believe that you like many of your brethren take that position due to the fact that most of what we find in the New Testament are really not the words and propagation of Jesus, but rther others who claim to speak for Jesus about Jesus. It is only natural that you as a believing Christian would say that one has to follow the words about Jesus besides the direct teachings of Jesus himself lest you undermine your own faith. However, I believe it is more logical and rational(which is important since God gave us a mind to rationalise with) that we consider first and foremost the teachings of Jesus before the teachings of others whoever they may be. After considering the teachings of Jesus, one should use that as a yardstick to judge the teachings of others. That is to say if the teachings concerning Jesus match or do not clearly contradict Jesus’ own words then that teaching about him should be considered and perhaps accepted after muh scrutiny. However, if those teachings clear cotradict the axiomatic teachings of Jesus then one ought to be bold enough to scrupulously critically assess the teachings and reject it forthwright if the contradiction is true. This is only reasonable since we know from Textual Criticism that many if not most of what we find in the New Testament are actually the teachings of anonymous scribes instead of those whom they are ascribed to. Good examples of this would be the longer ending of Mark, the infamous passage about the adulteress in John, the Trinity formula in 1 John 5:7 and many others.

    The bottom line is that Jesus never once taught the Trinity. As the Catholic Encyclopedia admits, the Trinity is a product of a theological development that took 300 years!

    Ibn Anwar
    (Admin. of Unveiling Christianity, International Islamic University of Malaysia)

  3. R. Eric Sawyer says:

    The thing is, we want Christians to be straight forward and honest about what they really believe and what they really are
    I cannot blame you for rejecting the idea of the Trinity. In the metaphysic according to the mind of man, a “plural unity” seems self contradictory. Your arguments accuse Christians of not being straight forward, or if I understand you, of not being truthful about “what they really believe, and what they really are.” You then proceed to, in essence, demand that the Christian choose; in effect, “well, which is it! Is God three, or is God one?” Of course, to an orthodox Christian, either answer BY ITSELF is both truth, and blasphemy. Our claim, that which we really believe, is exactly that impossibility for you, namely that God is indeed One; And equally, God in His perfect unity exists in three distinct persons.
    I can accept that this is a hard saying, and beyond the mind of man to fully comprehend. It can only be approached through mental images, each imperfect and imprecise. But for you to imply that Christians do not really believe this, that God must be many or one, and that therefore Christians are dissembling when they say “plural unity” is most unfortunate, as well as disrespectful. Our belief is what it is, “three in one” and we hold as equally grave errors the “confusing of the persons” and the “dividing of the essence”. One may legitimately reject this teaching, on the grounds that it is hard to understand (I rather expect that things above me are hard for me to understand), but it is an error both to charity and to the pursuit of wisdom to claim that one’s opponents do not really believe what they say they believe. The way of understanding first requires that one accept that the partner in discussion is accurately representing his own belief. If those seem illogical or contradictory, they may be refuted, or objections raised to be clarified if possible, and ultimately either accepted or rejected.
    To claim that we do not believe what we say we believe is not the path of understanding.
    Pehaps I misunderstood your point on this matter?

    On a point more central, you base your biblical objections to the Trinity on some select texts. One of the principals of interpretation is that the Bible must interpret itself, or no portion of the Bible is to be interpreted in such a manner as to invalidate another portion. This approach is mandated by our faith in the divine inspiration of the text. thus, I am not at liberty to reject the Pauline epistles on the grounds that my theology would be simpler if I did so. I must take my theology from the whole, as well as from the councels of the early church, not from individual voices.

    Blessings
    -R. Eric Sawyer

  4. Roy Wood says:

    hey..the debate’s good
    I think mr. ibn anwar owned john. John needs to brush up on his English and debating skills.

  5. Ibn Anwar says:

    Greetings,
    You said,” In the metaphysic according to the mind of man, a “plural unity” seems self contradictory.” I do not believe I ever made such a claim. I did not say or argue that your theology of a “plural unity” is logically incoherrent or self contradictory or anything to the effect. My exposition for the “plural unity” showed that we are in fact dealing with more than one entity each of whom are considered equally divine and God. Whether you say that they are uniformed under one nature or share some mysterious divine nature and these make them One(in unity) does not disprove my proposition that in reality there are three. An entire nation of people under one leadership exhibiting total patriotism may be described as “ONE PEOPLE” due to their utmost unity. That however, does not change the fact that we are dealing with hundreds, thousands or even millions of entities and beings. If you have a set of triplets you may describe their uncanny resemblances as that of a “plural unity” i.e. that they are one(conceptually). However, you can never logically or rationally argue that they are not three entities, three beings, three persons and three existences. They may share a million and one things that can qualify calling them one such as the exactness in shape and form(weight, height, eye colour, hair colour, etc.) and that they are made of the same sbstances(flesh and bones), and that they require the same substances to survive(food and water) and that they all work as managers at the same company and that their bodies are all drives by the same force, namely the soul etc. Despite all these stark similitudes and exactness they remain THREE BEINGS, THREE ENTITIES, THREE PERSONS. Yes, they may be ONE in some sense, but we are still dealing with three beings of existence. This in brief was my argument. The Christian Trinitarian cannot desclaim the fact that the Trinity consist of THREE separate entities. No matter how they try to argue their equality or shared nature or characteristics, thy yet remain THREE beings. In that the tru monotheists will label you polytheists instead of monotheists since you worship NUMERICALLY three DISTINCT forces.
    Yes, I do not believe that all Christians are intellectually honest about their beliefs. They may sincerely believe what they believe, that however does not mean that they are “intellectually honest” about the concepts and doctrines. I am only speaking out of experience. If I sounded too general(as if I was painting all Christians with the same brush) or too harsh I do apologise. However, let us not be sidetracked. I truly appreciate your response,but I am totally disappointed that you did not care to respond to the Hindu concepts that correlate with Christian theology which I elaborated. I would have especially liked to have seen you respond to my analysis of Mark 12:29,30,31,32 which you also conveniently failed to address. I believe the exegesis of Mark 12 clearly disproves the Trinitarian theology and upholds the Judaic one instead.

    You aid,”On a point more central, you base your biblical objections to the Trinity on some select texts. One of the principals of interpretation is that the Bible must interpret itself, or no portion of the Bible is to be interpreted in such a manner as to invalidate another portion.”
    Yes, I do select texts as do Christians themselves. Do you believe in 1 John 5:7? Iknow many Christians the so called KJV-only folks who would die first before placating that the passage is a corruption. Yet, there is another group who says it’s false. Whom shall I side with and is this not a clear example of “text selection” by Christians? Now, Prof. Bart D. Ehrman asked a most interesting and thought provoking question, that is, if you don’t even know what the text really says how can you claim inspiration and understanding? The fact of the matter is there are numerous variants in your texts, changes, deletions, alterations left, right and centre. If the texts themselves are filled with such uncertainties to say that the Bible has to interpret itself seems rater foolhardy, wouldn’t you say? Can you tell me if there is a solid text to support the NT prior to p52? If you cannot, then you have no case. In any way, even if one were to accept the entire New Testament from beginning to end of all the numerous Biblical versions of it one will still not be able to prove the Trinity beyond doubt. No passage in the entire Bible from Genesis to revelations impart the Trinity as a theology from God. I shall repeat what an eminent Trinitarian scholar says concerning this predicament:
    “The doctrine in many ways presents strange paradoxes…it is a widely dsputed docrine…Yet manyare unsure of the exact meaning of their belief. It was the very first doctrine dealt with systematically by the church, yet it is still one of the most misunderstood and disputed doctrines. Further, it is not clearly or explicitly taught anywhere in Scripture, yet it is widely regarded as a central doctrine, indispensable to the Christian faith. In this regard, it goes contrary to what is virtrually an axiom[that is, a given, a self evident truth] of Biblical doctrine, namely, that there is a direct correlation between the scriptural clarity of a doctrine and its cruciality to the faith and life of the church.”
    (Millard J. Erickson , God in Three Persons, A Contemporary Interpretation of the Trinity, Baker Books, 1995, p. 11)

    As the Catholic Encyclopedia admits, the Trinity is the product of 300 years of development. They keyword in that submission is “development”. And who developed it? God or men? The answer to that question is very clear. The Trinity is man mandated. D not forget that the early history of Christianity were full of groups that vehemently rejected the Trinity and claimed their own theology, but for many reasons the Trinitarians eventually won the day and stamped out all those who opposed and disagreed.

  6. www-sultan-org says:

    Salam Alikom to Muslims and Hello to non muslims.

    masha Allah akhi Ibn Anwar , may Allah very good job

    lol John_14_1 he is big joke , he don’t know what he speaking about they are 3 not one

    or 1 in 3 lol am i crzy look here

    Who is Jesus?

    1. God is All Knowing…..but Jesus was not
    When speaking of the day of judgment, Jesus clearly gave evidence of a limitation on his knowledge when he said, “but of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in Heaven, neither the son, but the Father.” Mark 13:32, and Matt 24:36. But God knows all. His knowledge is without any limitations. That Jesus, of his own admission, did not know when the day of judgment would be, is clear proof that Jesus is not all-knowing, and that Jesus is therefore not God.

    2. God is All Powerful…..but Jesus was not
    While Jesus performed many miracles, he himself admitted that the power he had was not his own but was derived from God when he said, “Verily, verily I say unto you, the Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do…” St. John 5:19. Again he said, “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” St. John 5:30. But God is not only all-powerful, He is also the source of all power and authority. That Jesus, of his own admission, could do nothing on his own is clear proof that Jesus is not all-powerful, and that therefore Jesus is not God.

    3. God does not have a God…..but Jesus did have a God.
    God is the ultimate judge and refuge for all, and He does not call upon nor pray to any others. But Jesus acknowledged that there was one whom he worshipped and to whom he prayed when he said, “l ascend unto my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God.” St. John 20:17. He is also reported to have cried out while on the cross, “My God, my God why hast thou forsaken me?” Matt 27:46. If Jesus were God, then couldn’t this be read, “Myself, myself why hast thou forsaken me?” Would that not be pure nonsense? When Jesus prayed the Lord’s prayer (Luke 11:2-4), was he praying to himself? When in the garden of Gethsemane he prayed, “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: Nevertheless not as I will but as thou wilt.” Matt 26:36-39. Was Jesus praying to himself? That Jesus, of his own admission and by his own actions, acknowledged, worshipped, and prayed to another being as God is clear proof that Jesus himself is not God.

    4. God is an invisible spirit…..but Jesus was flesh and blood
    While thousands saw Jesus and heard his voice, Jesus himself said that this could not be done with God when he said. “No man hath seen God at any time.” St. John 1:18. ‘”Ye have neither heard His voice at any time nor seen His shape.” St. John 5:37. He also said in St. John 4:24. “God is a spirit and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” That Jesus would say that no one had seen or heard God at any time, while his followers both saw and heard him, is clear proof that Jesus was not God.

    5. No one is greater than God and no one can direct Him but Jesus acknowledged someone greater than himself whose will was distinct from his own.
    Perhaps the clearest indication we have that Jesus and God are not equal, and therefore not one and the same, come again from the mouth of Jesus himself who said in St. John 14:28, “My Father is greater than I.” When someone referred to him as good master in Matt 19:17, Jesus responded, “Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is God…” Furthermore, Jesus drew clear distinctions between himself and God when he said, “I proceeded forth and came from God, neither came I of myself but He sent me.” St. John 8:42. Jesus gave clear evidence of his subordination to God, rather than his equality with God,when he said in Luke 22:42, “not my will but thine be done” and in St. John 5:30, “I seek not mine own will but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” That Jesus would admit that he did not come into the world on his own initiative but was directed to do so, that he would acknowledge another being as greater than himself, and that he would negate his own will in deference to affirming the will of another, give clear proof that Jesus is not the Supreme One and therefore Jesus is not God.

    What is the word of God about Jesus:

    A. Regarding Sonship of Jesus:
    That is Jesus, son of Mary, in word of truth, concerning which they are doubting. It is not for God to take a son unto Him. Glory be to Him! When He decrees a thing he but says to it “Be”, and it is. (Qur’an 19:34,35).

    And they say, ‘The All-merciful has taken unto Himself a son.’ You have indeed advanced something hideous. The heavens are well nigh rent of it and the earth split asunder, and the mountains well nigh fall down crashing for that they have attributed to the All-Merciful a son; and it behoves not the All-Merciful to take a son. None is there in the heavens and earth but comes to the All-Merciful as a servant (Qur’an 19:88-93).

    Truly the likeness of Jesus, in God’s sight, is as Adam’s likeness; He created him of dust, then said He unto him, “Be”, and he was. (Qur’an 3:59).

    People of the Book, go not beyond the bounds in your religion, and say not as to God but the Truth. The Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, was only the Messenger of God, and His Word that He committed to Mary, and a spirit from Him. So believe in God and His Messengers. and say not, ‘Three’, Refrain, better is it for you. God is only One God. Glory be on Him – that He should have a son! To Him belongs that which is in the heavens and on the earth, God suffices for a guardian. (Qur’an 4:171)

    B. Regarding Jesus being God:
    And when God said. ‘O Jesus son of Mary,did you say unto men, “Take me and my mother as gods, apart from God?” He Said, ‘To You be Glory! It is not mine to say what I have no right to. If I indeed said it, You knew it, knowing what is within my soul, and I do not know what is within Your soul; You know the things unseen. I only said to them what You did command me: “Serve God, my Lord and your Lord.” And I was a witness over them, while I remained among them; but when You did take me to Yourself the Watcher over them; You are the witness of everything. (Quran 5:116,117)

    C. Regarding Crucifiction of Jesus:
    And for their unbelief, and their uttering against Mary a mighty calumny, and for their saying, ‘We slew the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, the Messenger of God’…yet they did not slay him, neither crucified him, only a likeness of that was shown to them. Those who are at variance concerning him surely are in doubt regarding him, they have no knowledge of him, except the following of surmise; and they did not slay him of certainty… no indeed, God raised him up to Him; God is Almighty, All-Wise. There is not one of the people of the Book but will assuredly believe in him before his death, and on the Resurrection Day he will be a witness against them. (Qur’an 4:156-159)

  7. D@!Z says:

    Salaam,
    Can Anyone tell me if there is an mp3 of this debate??
    The Internet Is Pretty slow here 🙂

  8. Ali_mtsc@hotmail.com says:

    Walikum Salam Wr Wb

  9. Ali says:

    Walikum Salam Wr Wb
    I am not to sure if it is,
    Maybe Brother Anwar can you give you the details of the video or of who recorded it. Sorry for not being to much of a help. Though the only thing you will be watching is Ibn Anwar destroying his opponent.
    Sallam Brother

  10. Ibn Anwar says:

    Assalamu’alaikum,
    Hey there bro Ali. Very good to hear from you again at long last! lol…The debate was recorded by bro Oxelite. I do not know if there is an mp3 recording of the debate. If you need to download it then I’d suggest contacting oxelite on paltalk. I’m sorry if I couldn’t be much of help there. I’m no computer wiz : p.

  11. Frankie says:

    To R. Eric Sawyer,

    I am a Christian and I am confused of whether God is One or Three. If we claimed we are monotheism than according to the definition “God must be one” otherwise we have to come out with with a new term for our believe. Trinity is somewhere between Monotheism and Polytheism.

    And please be professional and give good references and evidence to your argument so that we will have solid ground of proof.

  12. R. Eric Sawyer says:

    Frankie, unfortunately (as I have already claimed and have demonstrated) I am no scholar. The basis for the Christian claim that God is triune can be found with a bit of research. As has been noted, the Bible itself makes no explicit direct claim, although there are many hints and allusions. The doctrine of Trinity was developed as the Church continued to ponder the mystery of Jesus, and what that meant in keeping with the revealed truth that God is one.
    I think a more accurate phrase would be that Trinity is not between, but beyond Monotheism and Polytheism. We who believe in the Holy Trinity unreservedly reject Polytheism. We claim that God is One, as rational thought and Divine revelation agree He must be. But just as looking at a picture we see a form in 2 dimensions, yet claim that the reality which the picture represents is deeper, so we claim that in the very Unity that is the One , there is a more complex truth. It is hard to grasp, as much as trying to grasp an existence which does not involve time, or what a 6th dimension would be like, or a previously unknown primary color, not made by combining other colors. It is outside our understanding.
    However, since God made everything, it is not irrational to expect that some of the things He made show the hand marks of the maker. For instance, we speak of humans as being a unity of body and soul, flesh and spirit, yet one being. We Christians speak of becoming “one flesh” in marriage, while remaining 2 persons. Jesus prayed for us “that they may all be one, even as you and I are one” Again, these are hints only, seeing the “tool marks” of the master craftsman who made us “in His own image” They are also things for us to live into as we contemplate our relationships in light of the Trinity. But for myself, they are very powerful reminders.
    Please not that I am not so much trying to argue for the Trinity, I have not the research time, nor the scholorship to do that well. My goal has been to simply declare what the Christian view actually is, as contrasted with a charactured view. True wisdom always begins with understanding the actual nature of compeating claims, not simply a children’s level misunderstanding.
    For real scholarship on the issue, you will need to consult the scholars. Sorry to disappoint.

    -Blessings
    R. Eric Sawyer

  13. Ibn Anwar says:

    Greetings,
    Thank you R. Eric Sawyer for your admissions:
    “As has been noted, the Bible itself makes no explicit direct claim, although there are many hints and allusions. The doctrine of Trinity was developed as the Church continued to ponder the mystery of Jesus, and what that meant in keeping with the revealed truth that God is one.”

    Indeed, the Bible does not make any explicit direct claim for the Trinity! Allusions? What allusions? There’s a famous saying that goes,”One can prove anything from the Bible”. There are allusions in the Bible that suggest racism and bigotry, shall we say the Bible promotes them? The fact is that throughout the Old Testament and the teachings of Jesus only one concept of God is imparted namely, that God is absolutely one with no partners. I’d take the explicit and leave the “allusions” out the window.

    You submitted that you are not a scholar and you then said at the end,”For real scholarship on the issue, you will need to consult the scholars. Sorry to disappoint.”
    That’s the rule of thumb. If one wishes to know about something the best way is to go to the experts. So, let’s see what the Trinitarian scholar Millard Erickson says regarding the Trinity,
    “The doctrine in many ways presents strange paradoxes…it is a widely dsputed docrine…Yet manyare unsure of the exact meaning of their belief. It was the very first doctrine dealt with systematically by the church, yet it is still one of the most misunderstood and disputed doctrines. Further, it is not clearly or explicitly taught anywhere in Scripture, yet it is widely regarded as a central doctrine, indispensable to the Christian faith. In this regard, it goes contrary to what is virtrually an axiom[that is, a given, a self evident truth] of Biblical doctrine, namely, that there is a direct correlation between the scriptural clarity of a doctrine and its cruciality to the faith and life of the church.”
    (Millard J. Erickson , God in Three Persons, A Contemporary Interpretation of the Trinity, Baker Books, 1995, p. 11)

    In other words, the fact that there are no explicit statements to support the Trinity is a huge stumbling block for Trinitarians since anything that is fundamental in the religion should be supported by clear instructions. And as you yourself admitted,
    “The doctrine of Trinity was developed as the Church continued to ponder the mystery of Jesus, and what that meant in keeping with the revealed truth that God is one.”

    Exactly! It was DEVELOPED. That’s the keyword. Jesus never taught it, nor did anyone in the Bible for that matter. It is a doctrine that took several hundred years to shape as the Catholic encyclopedia mentions.

    What is clear and explicit is that Jesus is distinguished from God and God remains God the one who deserves worship(John 17:3).

  14. Mansoor_ali says:

    John 17:3

    Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

    How is it possible for the Father to be the ONLY true God, while at the same time the Son and Holy Spirit are God as well?If the Son and Holy Spirit are God as well, then it is false to say that the Father is the ONLY true God.Similarly, if we say that the Father is the ONLY true God(how clearer can it get for someone to express Unitarianism?) then we can’t say that anyone else (i.e. Son and Holy Spirit) is God as well.

    Note:This short piece of article i took from brother Bassam Zawadi

    Thanks

  15. Fatahi Onibudo says:

    This is a brilliant debate. The Christian knows that trinity is not compatible with loving one true God. But if they reject trinity-they can no longer be Christians. Their religion loses its appeal because Jesus is no longer divine. Once they realise Jesus is only a man- they might as well become Muslims and worship the one only true God.

    They purport to believe in the prophets-who worshipped one God-and still maintain belief in trinity. How can that be-when did God suddenly decide he was three.

    May ALLAH guide these people to the truth.

  16. holy ghost says:

    From the beginning of revelation to until 325 CE we had no idea God was a “trinity” and that was too by a mere “show of hands” that it was formed.

    Amazing how we didn’t get a single explicit verse or anything to inform us about a triune God but we do get a bunch of verses stating that Allah (swt) is one.

    • Orrin Sharp says:

      I agree this is problematic for Trinitarian theology. However, there are a lot of theologies from different religions that don’t start very close to the actual date attributed to the writing of the sacred document and are further accepted as a general truth.

      The concept is there, it is just put into words until later.

      • Ibn Anwar says:

        It should be noted that had the early followers of Christianity believed in the Trinity there would have been an uproar from conservative Jewish camps. At the very least heated debates would have ensued just as the issue of circumcision did when Paul came to the scene. the absence of such doctrinal conflict is markedly evident in the historical texts including the NT available to us. The most reasonable conclusion anyone can derive from this finding is that the Trinity simply did not exist in the thoughts of the early Christians, hence it was a much later development.

  17. Chris says:

    Dear IBN and Mr. Sawyer,
    I came across the debate of comments here and skimmed through to see what had been discussed. I feel it is very important that we declare what we believe and ensure that it is upheld in the Bible. Eph. 4:5 let’s us know there is only one Lord ,one faith, and One baptism. The Bible also let’s us know that straight is the gait and narrow is the way so with that said I don’t believe there are all roads leading to heaven but one way and God established a firm doctrine and way for us to get there in his Word. Mr. Sawyer as an explanation of what you call “PLURAL UNITY” you stated that its similar to marriage because its known that when you marry you become one flesh in unity but yet still two seperate people. This may stand if it had not been that Jesus clearly let us know when he told Philip in John 14 when Philip asked to see the father and Jesus told him Have I been with you all this time and you still don’t know me. He then stated when you see me you see the father. When they saw Jesus they were looking at the Father. Well when I see you I don’t see your wife and vice versa because your marriage brought unity but yet when your apart I can’t see both of you. Jesus wherever He was was the father. Simply explanation 1 Tim. 3:16 gives a great illustration of God but follows by listing all things Jesus did..it says God manifest in flesh, was justified in the spirit, Seen of angels, preached unto Gentiles, believed on in world and received up into Glory…all aspects of Jesus but says God did them. Simple Jesus is God. If trinity was true the Jesus would have two spiritual Fathers for we speak of God as Father but yet new testament let’s us know He was conceived of Holy Ghost. I know this paragraph is long and have more to share with you all but will wait for response.
    Thanks Chris.

    • Ibn Anwar says:

      The verse that you cited as evidence for your claim does not actually say ‘God manifested in the flesh…’. That reading in 1 Timothy 3:16 is a corruption according to most Textual Critics of the Bible. If you refer to the RSV, the NIV and other modern versions of the Bible besides the KJV you will be able to see that the reading of that verse is actually ‘HE manifested in the flesh’. What happened was that the Codex Alexandrinus was changed either intentionally or otherwise whereby a pronoun i.e. HOS is changed to what appeared to scribes handling the text as a nomina sacra for THEOS whereby the omicron which is an O in Greek became a theta. The change was very easily made. To change an Omicron to a theta all you have to do is add a line in the middle of the omicron(O). Whoever the scribe was and whatever his motivation he changed by accident or otherwise an O to a T hence changing the meaning of the text. Earlier manuscripts however such as Codex Sinaiticus and Vaticanus affirm the original reading which says ‘Hos’ meaning ‘He’ rather than TS meaning theos or God. So no…God was not manifested in the flesh at all according to 1 Timothy 3:16.

  18. rob says:

    “all aspects of jesus but says god did them. Simple jesus is god. If trinity was true the jesus would have two spiritual Fathers for we speak of God as Father but yet new testament let’s us know He was conceived of Holy Ghost. I know this paragraph is long and have more to share with you all but will wait for response.”

    there is definately something wrong with the human brain. there is definately something wrong. you brain might suffer from brain disorders. the name yeshua / yeshuur was for humans beings who came BEFORE your yeshua

    when you think of the name , you know it paints a picture of a jew in your brain

    absolutely blatantly obvious

    when you think of your jesus, the picture it paints is of a jew who was bleeding to death on a cross.

    imagine the jews contemporary to jesus hear the christians say ” oh jeezus”

    the jews would say,

    ” these fools are calling out to a human LOL , these blasphemers are calling out to a dead guy we nailed on a cross , lol”

    see the picture is formed

    the form of a man
    a man

    you worship a man

  19. rob says:

    if Joe Schmoe in Rome worshipped Caesar as God in human form, I know you would agree that’s idolatry. So what’s the difference between you and Joe Schmoe? The same thing is happening with you in your devotion to jesus the human being.

    you would clearly worship his image – which is blatant idolatry. If jesus commanded you to worship and pray to him as god, you would. Or would you say, “nope j-man, that’s image worship. Against the commandments. No can do. Bye-bye.” No, you’d worship his image because he commanded you to do so.

  20. rob says:

    ” If trinity was true the Jesus would have two spiritual Fathers for we speak of God as Father but yet new testament let’s us know He was conceived of Holy Ghost.”

    n o it is only a disgusting deception . playing with words. disgusting. this game chrisitianity has played for hundreds of years.

    your jesus, before he died , ASKED WHY he was FORSAKEN

    this is easy to understand rendering of the hebrew

    like david asKED WHY he WAS forsaken

    SEE , he didn’t know WHY

    SOME assume that the 100 % man who was carrying / or was fused with 100 % god KNEW WHY he was forsaken, but asked a rhetorical question

    but this is DECEPTION IN triNITY

    the people who R neAR by INTERPRET the question in a DIFFERENT WAY

    They ASSUME that the bleeding god on the cross is AWAITING HELP ,NOT that the ? is rhetorical

    they interpret the question literally

    “And certain of those standing by, having heard, said, `Lo, Elijah he doth call;’

    and one having run, and having filled a spunge with vinegar, having put [it] also on a reed, was giving him to drink, saying, `Let alone, let us see if Elijah doth come to take him down.’

    And Jesus having uttered a loud cry, yielded the spirit,”

    those stander by’s near jesus , according to trinitarians, TOTALLY misUNDERSTOOD the question jesus ASKED.

    trinity god who preplanned his DEATH ALREADY knew that they would misunderstand

    and instead of a CLARIFICATION they hear a loud cry lol

  21. rob says:

    they were DECEIVED by what theY oBSERVED .

    instead of ” i am splitting with the father” the narrator says “loud cry”

  22. Orrin Sharp says:

    Hi Rob. You mentioned the fact that Jesus said “Why have you forsaken me God” on the cross. If you look at Psalm 22 I think you might find something interesting.

    In the times of Jesus, people often started the reciting of scripture by starting the first verse rather than just flat out stating it (I.E. Jesus wouldn’t have just said Psalm 22). The reason that is true is because the Psalms had yet to be fully combined, named and numbered. This Psalm was a fairly well-known psalm amongst the Jews because of its historical references. Reading it in Israel’s history in mind you see that the writer is talking about being persecuted and wants God to reveal himself and save them from the “dogs” that surround them. We know that in history this doesn’t happen, or so it seems. God doesn’t seem to have directly answered this prayer, especially before Jesus.

    Jesus says this not as a question, but as a reminder of that psalm. Jesus is the perfect man being scorned on a cross to which God does not stop. Yet, the psalm continues to say that God answers the prayer. The Psalmist goes into this trance about how God will one day answer this prayer. I believe the answer to this prayer is in Christ’s resurrection. It says that God has not scorned the suffering of the afflicted one. Yet, he answers his prayer.

    In dying Christ becomes the afflicted one, the perfect representation of Israel is in Jesus. Rather than coming short, Jesus meets the requirements of the covenant by being the perfect man. He endures the suffering of Israel, yet he is redeemed through resurrection. This is the moment the world will rejoice about and remember time and time again as it goes on to speak of in the poem. Israel was meant to be a priestly nation, and she only became one through Jesus. This is what opened up the rest of the world to the grace of God.

    As for the trinity. Jesus in the New Testament claims to be God, claims to be one with God, and declares the same authority as God. Obviously you can reject the gospels, but you can’t use the Gospel’s account of Christ on the cross as proof the trinity is deception when you have rejected it. You don’t believe the Gospel is true, okay thats fine. But using it as evidence to support your claim is like me using the Qu’ran as evidence to support mine. It contradicts what I am saying. Plus, because I don’t fully understand the Qu’ran I will most likely misrepresent it.

    • Ibn Anwar says:

      Hello Orrin Sharp. Thanks for visiting our site. It is good to know that educated Christians such as yourself take the time to honour us with their visits and thoughts. By the way are you from the Australian Catholic University? Putting aside the formalities and coming to the point with regards to Psalms 22 please refer to my article on it here http://unveiling-christianity......psalms-22/. As for the last part of your comment you might like to read http://unveiling-christianity......-i-am-god/ and http://unveiling-christianity......e-trinity/. In addition, I refer you to James Dunn in his recent work ‘Did the First Christians Worship Jesus’ who says:
      “…’Did the first Chrisians worship Jesus?’ Most of the evidence so far considered discourages an unequivocal ‘Yes’, and points at best to a qualified ‘Yes’, or perhaps more accurately a qualified No! Worship language was little used with reference to Jesus.” (Dunn, J. D. G. (2010). Did the First Christians Worship Jesus?: The New Testament Evidence. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press. pp. 59) In relation to that I would also like to add that others such as Daniel in Daniel 2 is given ‘proskuneo’ by King Nebuchanedzar. The sparse or rare occurrence of “worship” for Daniel for example does not amount to his deification and in like manner Jesus too should not be deified just because there are a few passages that may suggest some kind of “worship”. Therefore, it should be noted that he word ‘proskuneo’ or ‘proskunein’ is not exclusively used for the Creator God. Strong’s define the term as ‘a dog licking the hand of its master’ meaning to receive ‘proskuneo’ is to receive respect and not necessarily religious devotion. Sir Anthony Buzzard in his latest work cites Arthur Wainwright in his ‘The Trinity in the New Testament’ saying:
      “The examples of proskunein [to worship] which have been discussed do not greatly strengthen the evidence for the worship [in the sense of worshipping Deity] of Christ. The ambiguity of the word proskunein, which can be used of oriental obeisance, as well as actual worship [of Deity] makes it impossible to draw certain conclusions from the evidence.” (Buzzard, A. (2007). Jesus Was Not a Trinitarian: A Call to Return to the Creed of Jesus. Morrow, GA: Restoration Fellowship. pp. 139)

      Another term used for worship which comes close to ‘proskuneo’ is ‘latreuein’ or ‘latreia’. This word means cultic or religious service/worship/adoration. James Dunn correctly observes, “Cultic worship or service (latreuein, latreia) as such is never offered to Christ, and other worship terms are used only in relation to God (including acts 13.2?).” (Dunn, J. D. G. Op. Cit. pp. 27)

      Historically, Jesus never once claimed divinity. This is the position of such erudite scholars as Geza Vermes, E.P. Sanders and others.

  23. rocky says:

    if the prayer was answered, why didn’t all 4 narrators put in jesus’ mouth , “thanks father , you have answered my prayer”
    when jews were suffering under roman rule, didn’t they ever cry out “god , why have you forsaken us” ? those who were near by assumed that your god in flesh was asking for help, did they assume the reinterpretation which you are talking about? forget about all the later gospels and just lets concentrate on mark and his forsaken jesus, lets jsut assume we have no other gospel ,except marks, what do we see ? we see a jesus who is a sinner, a sinner similar to a jew who is defeated.

    and since your god became sin and his flesh was like a magnit which attracted sin, how do you know a percentage of the many sins didn’t affect his brain which caused him to spew blasphemy?

    read the psalms

    the composer complained that God was not helping him and said God
    was far from saving him and ignoring his prayers (Psalm 22:1,2). He
    was refusing to believe that God was doing him a favour by letting his
    enemies torment him. And the very fact that he was asking why it was
    happening to him shows that he did not trust God. If he had he would
    have been asking no questions. Then he changed his mind and decided
    that God was right.

    just like christianity has been changing its mind?

    you said the nt said that your jesus is a god

    let me show you a verse in your new testament, a verse you may have never seen.

    “And behold, they brought to him a paralytic, lying on his bed, and when Jesus saw their faith he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, my son. Your sins are forgiven.” And behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming. [Who can forgive sins but God alone?]” But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, “Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, “Rise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins,” he then said to the paralytic, “Rise, take up your bed and go home.” And he rose and went home. When the CROWDS SAW IT, they were in awe, and they glorified God who had given such authority to MEN.” (Matthew 9:2-8; Mk 2:7). ”

    I HAVE COMBINED THE VERSES IN both ACCOUNTS TOGETHER.
    do you see something ,christian? THE CROWDS did not automatically ASSUME that jesus must have been a god in meat because sin was forgiven , but the JEWISH people glorified jesus’ GOD and said gave authority to MEN to forgive sin i.e they saw jesus as a man, they did not see EUROPEAN church tradition. they did not see your INTERPRETATION , the crowd who were observers of your jesus SAW not the european churches interpretation.

  24. rocky says:

    something doesn’t make anysense

    mark says jesus uttered why he was forsaken and then he died

    just look at the picture of jesus in marks account.

    the people who watch jesus say

    “he is calling out to elijah to come and save him”

    luke aswell as john aswell and matthew

    put different words into jesus’ mouth which he is on the cross.

    the POINT IS each narrator is giving TIME for jesus to UTTER MANY things BEFORE he dies.

    but uttering many things is not what is derived from mocked , beated, whiped and torchered jesus who is hanging off a cross in MARKS account

    note in luke jesus DOESN’T get a severe beating like he does in marks account? so luke paints the image that jc had enough energy to say many things.

    if you can put many words into your god in flesh BEFORE he died , then why didn’t the silly billy mark think about all those good nuggets ?

    why have you forsaken me …THE END?

    WHAT?

  25. Lutheranandproud says:

    Philip said to Jesus, “Lord, show us the Father. That is all we need.”
    Jesus answered, “Philip, I have been with you for a long time. So you should know me. The person that has seen me has seen the Father too. So why do you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you truly believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The things I have told you don’t come from me. The Father lives in me, and he is doing his own work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Or believe because of the miracles I have done.”

    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1

    Scripture does not contradict scripture. I would love to see hyper monotheists debate a quality Christian apalogist. As a Christian I ask myself, was Martin Luther, Augustine, Apostle Paul, trinitarians. Yes. Martin Luther translated the Bible word by word and people in this post think they have the answers

    The Bible clearly shows that Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all God but have different functions or personhood of the “One God”. Our human minds cannot comprehend!!

    • Ibn Anwar says:

      So Jesus said, “if you have seen me you have seen the Father”. That makes him God? No, if you took that literally what it does is make Jesus into the Father which would be a heresy according to Lutheran theology. Why don’t you quote the two verses before that where Jesus says, “if you know me you know the Father”. The seeing is not physical seeing, but seeing in terms of understanding. This would be a better understanding that the one commonly held by trinitarians lest they turn jesus into the Father which would require a total reformation of the Trinity.
      What about John 1:1? Prof. Collin Brown from Fuller Seminary pertinently remarks that, “It is a common but patent misreading of [John 1:1] to read it as if it said: ‘In the beginning was the Son'”.

      So you’re an enthusiastic supporter of Martin Luther who incidentally called the epistle of James ‘eine recht stroherne Epistel’ or that the Epistle of James is a mere epistle of straw. He also rejected Revelation as canonical and said that ‘Christ is not taught in it’. Why don’t you continue with this belief os his? Luther was of course also responsible for recommending the burning down of synagogues and Jewish schools. He also had a hand in the death of former priest and scientist Giodarno Bruno. You must be proud of this man, aren’t you?

      No, the Bible does not clearly show that God exists in three person with one essence. This is Greek philosophy mumbo jumbo.

  26. truthseeker says:

    Can anyone answer my question? .I know that, there is only one God , that is blatantly obvious from reading scripture , and I take the Holyspirit to be a manifestation of God ‘s power, but Jesus? I read that he was a sacrifice for our sins, and Jesus says ” No one comes to the Father , except through me” but how does that work? How do we go through Jesus to get to God? I know he is very important as he sits at the right hand of god, so how do we treat him? Thanks in advance for your thoughts .

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