God NEVER means Trinity in the New Testament

The word ‘God’ in the New Testament NEVER means Trinity

by Ibn Anwar, BHsc (Hons), MCollT


Trinitarian theology says that God is neither the Jewish nor the Muslim conception of God but that He is the Trinitarian Christian conception that defines the term ‘God’ as ‘three persons in one being.’ Unfortunately, the New Testament, which is the basis of Christian worldview, does not bear out the Trinitarian definition of the term ‘God.’ Of the more than 1300 occurrences of the word God (or ‘Theos’) in the 27 books of the New Testament, not a single one of them mean ‘the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.’ Some Trinitarians may simply dismiss this as an inconsequential anomaly in the New Testament record, but when one really weighs it against Trinitarian claims, the anomaly may prove quite significant.

Although believing that the New Testament as a whole reveals the Trinity doctrine, Trinitarian theologian Ben Witherington III, who is Professor of New Testament Interpretation at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky, and an ordained pastor in the United Methodist Church, readily admits that the New Testament data shows that the word ‘God’ never means the Trinity:

“In all but seven places in the New Testament the term theos refers to the one whom the Jews knew as their God and earliest Christians called “Father” or “Abba.”…The term [God] never refers to the Trinity in the New Testament…” [1]

The human Jesus VS the god-man Jesus

Jesus was a human being

By Ibn Anwar, BHsc (Hons), MCollT

It is an axiomatic truth that Jesus was a human being. Despite believing in the divinity of Jesus, Trinitarian dogma dictates that Jesus was indeed one hundred percent human being and in that it corroborates Islam’s insistence on Jesus’ humanity. One does not need to go out of one’s way to search for evidence of Jesus’ manhood. The New Testament does a perfect job in showing that Jesus was a veritable historical human being with a real human anatomy (Luke 2:21) who walked the earth with the rest of mankind in flesh and blood and had to intellectually grow through learning and experience like any other human being (Luke 2:40). He experienced emotion, such as crying, like any other normal human person (John 11:35). He felt fear when faced with something frightening (Matthew 26:39) and had to eat when feeling hungry (Luke 24:42).

If there is still doubt that Jesus was a human being, then, the New Testament puts it to rest by pointing to the fact that Jesus’ supporters (Matthew 9:8), his top disciple, Peter (Acts 2:22), Paul’s sympathiser (1 Timothy 2:5) and even Paul himself (Roman’s 5:15) all insisted that Jesus was ‘anthropos’ which is the Greek word for ‘real human being.’ Such frequent recurrence of identifying Jesus as ‘anthropos’ throughout the New Testament is as if the writers had to make sure that nobody would misidentify him as other than a human creature.

The New Testament is evidently heavily preoccupied with showing that Jesus was absolutely, definitely and totally a human being. It does so in the most emphatic and unequivocal way. Former Archbishop of Canterbury, the pillar of the Anglican Church, the conservative Trinitarian Dr. Michael Ramsey agrees with our observation:

Did Jesus claim to be God? Nope!

Did Jesus Claim to be God? The leader of more than 47 million Christians said no.

by Ibn Anwar, BHsc (Hons), MCollT

The classic question “Did Jesus claim to be God?” that Muslims have asked Trinitarians for decades can easily be answered in the negative. The late Dr. Michael Ramsey, who served from 1961 to 1974 as the 100th Archbishop of Canterbury, i.e., the office of the spiritual head of the Anglican Church, answers the question precisely. As the head of the Anglican communion in the 1970’s, he led 47, 408, 000 Anglican Christians globally. [1] That was in fact a rather significant portion of the entire worldwide Christian population at the time.

In his book ‘Jesus and the Living Past,’ in the chapter on ‘Jesus and God,’ he begins by dismissing, rather emphatically, proposals that Jesus might have claimed to be God:

“Jesus did not claim deity for himself. He proclaimed the sovereignty of God, a sovereignty realized in and through his own mission;” [2]


Sun Day: How Christianity hijacked a pagan holiday

Christ’s birth or pagan holiday?

by Ibn Anwar, BHsc (Hons.), MCollT

In discussing the “sources” of Islam, uncouth Christian apologists attack the faith by accusing it of having pagan roots. For example, they argue that the many rituals of Islam in Hajj (the pilgrimage) are built on older pagan rituals that the early Muslims adopted and modified to their own liking. If Islam did indeed have its absolute beginnings in the person of Muhammad s.a.w., then those apologists would have a point. However, in the Islamic worldview, Islam did not actually begin with Prophet Muhammad’s ministry. It is the longstanding contention of Islam that prior to the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w., Islam was already afoot and numerous messengers came before him bringing essentially the same fundamental doctrines of faith (i.e., monotheism) but with some variations in matters of jurisprudence. The Prophet Muhammad’s s.a.w. preaching was regarded by his followers, from the very beginning, as the culmination of that long succession of prophetic office.

Though the Arabs– the children of Ishma’el — prior to Prophet Muhammad’s monotheistic revolution were idolaters and did practise some of the rituals that we may today see in Islam in their idolatrous fashion, they were not, in fact, the promulgators of those rituals and nor was idolatry their forefathers’ original tradition. The Arabs are typically regarded as the descendants of Ishma’el and this has been commonly held as a fact by both Muslim and non-Muslim historians. Emeritus Professor for the History of the Near and Middle East at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), Dr. G. R. Hawting writes:

“The designation of the Arabs as Ishmaelites or Hagarenes (after Ishmael’s mother, Hagar) is relatively common in pre-Islamic and later Christian and Jewish texts, and the descent of the Arabs from Abraham through Ishmael and his mother is frequently asserted in Islamic literature (the earliest extant texts of which are not earlier than the late 8th century). The idea that the Arabs are the physical descendants of Abraham through Ishmael is indeed taken by many, non-Muslims as well as Muslims, as a genealogical and historical fact.” [1]

As Jesus was not Omniscient, he should not be regarded as God

As Jesus was not Omniscient, he should not be regarded as God

by Ibn Anwar, BHsc (Hons.), MCollT

Mark 13:32 (and Matthew 24:36) remains a huge conundrum for Trinitarians as it clearly negates Omniscience– an essential attribute of deity –in the person of Jesus. The text reads as follows:

“But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Mark 13:32; ESV)

All three so-called Abrahamic faiths (i.e., Judaism, Christianity and Islam) agree that one of the fundamental attributes of Almighty God is Omniscience (All-Knowing). The attributes of God are immutable and unchanging as He was, is and will be the same for all eternity and this is a doctrine that mainstream Muslims, Christians and Jews agree upon. And so Mark 13:32 presents an insurmountable stumbling block for the belief in Jesus’ divinity as it demonstrates Jesus’ evident lack of supreme and unconditional knowledge. The typical excuse that many conservative apologists offer to ameliorate the problem is that in the incarnation, Jesus gave up some of his divine attributes to fulfill his mission on earth as an obedient servant. To substantiate this proposal they appeal to the Pauline text of Philippians 2:7 which reads:

“Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form,” (NLT)

‘Emptied himself,’ ‘laid aisde,’ or ‘veiled himself’ are some of the phrases that are commonly used to forward this concept, which is technically called the ‘kenotic doctrine’ or the ‘doctrine of kenosis.’ In this doctrine, it is alleged that when Jesus, as the second person of the Triune Godhead, added the human nature to his being in the so-called hypostasis, he lowered himself to the level of an obedient human being and by doing so, he “emptied himself” of some of the attributes that he had prior to the incarnation. One of those attributes that was subtracted, according to theologians that subscribe to the kenotic doctrine, was Omniscience. James White is one of those apologists that favour the kenotic doctrine, appealing to it whenever faced with Mark 13:32 or Matthew 24:36. In a debate in 2012 with Dr. Shabir Ally on the topic ‘Did Jesus Claim Deity?,’ Dr. James White says the following in answer to a question posed to him on the Markan verse in question:

“Your question is about Jesus saying not knowing the day or the hour, right? In this particular text, Jesus is talking as the Son and he says, “of that hour, no man knows, not the Son nor the angels or anybody else.”… There are certain things of Jesus’ divine attributes that were veiled in the incarnation, for example, his glory was not seen. He didn’t glow when he walked down the streets of Jerusalem… Obviously, Omnipresence, things like that, there was a veiling and for some purpose it is not explained to us. For some purpose, Jesus, in that particular instance, that particular piece of knowledge has been veiled during the time of the incarnation.” [1]

Where was the Trinity in the first century?

The Trinity as Post-Biblical Doctrine: Jesus, the disciples and first century Christ followers did not know the Trinity

by Ibn Anwar, BHsc (Hons), MCollT

The period of the Enlightenment saw great theological dissent among the Christian intellectuals of Europe. Great minds like John Milton and Isaac Newton, who were the intellectual giants of their time, abandoned the faith of their forefathers in the Trinity and became quite opposed to it. They maintained, contrary to many Christians today, that the Trinity was a human invention that came much later in the history of the church and it most certainly did not exist in the ministry of Jesus or in the early days of apostolic preaching after Jesus’ departure from the scene. Noting this very important, distinguished scholar in the Renaissance studies Professor Gordon Campbell and colleague Emeritus Professor Thomas Corns write:

“From the perspective of the modern Christian consensus, Milton’s central aberration was his antitrinitarianism. Dissent from trinitarianism was, however, much more common among seventeenth-century Christians than among their twenty-first century successors. There was, for example, a widespread awareness that the doctrine of the Trinity was post-biblical, and that the central biblical proof text for the Trinity (1 John 5:7) was a medieval forgery inserted into Bibles to support a trinitarian doctrine that had been erected on a disconcertingly thin biblical base.” [1]

In the view of Campbell and Corns, the fact that the Trinity was an idea that was brought forth after the first century, which would be the post-biblical period, was a pervasive historical position already held in western academia several hundred years ago. In Cambell and Corns’ scholarly estimation, the doctrine is founded on such flimsy biblical textual evidence that irresponsible medieval hands had to concoct an entirely novel verse, i.e., 1 John 5:7, that would support the belief, which they forced upon the Bible in hopes of fooling the unlearned that the doctrine has biblical backing.

If we had a time machine to take us all the way back to the first century and bring Trinitarians along, it wouldn’t be surprising to find the followers of Jesus in those days appraising the Trinity as an odd and exotic concept. They would not be able to recognise the doctrine of the Trinity because neither their master Jesus nor his immediate disciples ever taught it to them. They would surely find it strange and in direct contradiction to their simple monotheistic faith as preserved in Mark 12:22 wherein Jesus reiterates the Mosaic creed of monotheism in Deuteronomy 6:4 without a change of an iota.

Likewise, Warren Carter, who is Professor of New Testament at Brite Divinity School, lends his expert testimony concerning the Trinity’s late emergence in Christian history:

“Contemporary Christian readers might solve the dilemma by pointing to the Christian understanding of the Trinity. But in the late first century, such an understanding did not exist. God was not understood as a triune being whose three persons share the same essence or being. This trinitarian understanding would emerge in subsequent centuries, partly as readers wrestled with the gospel’s difficult claims.” [2]

The Trinity Confounds the Mind

The Trinity is Confusing

by Ibn Anwar, BHsc (Hons), MCollT

A charge that is often levelled against the Trinity by Muslims is that the doctrine is way too complicated and is, in fact, very confusing. Because it is too confusing to behold, Muslims contend that the doctrine cannot possibly originate from God and must therefore be relegated into the category of man-made things.

It is a historical and theological fact that Muslims did not actually invent the allegation that the Trinity is a confusing doctrine.Rather, this is a view taken by many theologians, quite a number of whom are Christians. In the Princeton Theological Monograph Series, Dr. Dick Eugenio, who is Assistant Professor of Theology at Asia-Pacific Nazarene Theological Seminary in the Philippines, writes concerning elements within the Christian community that were dissatisfied by the doctrine of the Trinity’s confusing nature:

“Meanwhile traditional Catholics and Protestants continued to affirm their belief in the Trinity, but the doctrine seemed to be rather esoteric, abstract, confusing, and irrelevant to the life and mission of the church.” [1]