Historical Development of the Trinity doctrine in the first centuries

I am busy editing this article. Sorry for the mess.

PURPOSE 

Nicene Creed
Emperor standing behind the church fathers

The church adopted the Trinity doctrine at the conclusion of the fourth-century ‘Arian’ Controversy. However, over the past 100 years, scholars discovered that the traditional account of how and why the church accepted that doctrine is grossly inaccurate. The purpose of this article series is to explain the true origin of the Trinity doctrine. This series emphasizes the fourth century, but it is also important to consider the views of the pre-Nicene church fathers and key events in the fifth and later centuries that established the Trinity doctrine in the church.

This first article:

    • Discusses the different views of God and
    • Explains the conceptual and historical development of the Trinity Doctrine.

THE TRINITY DEFINED 

One Definition

Matt Slick, a prominent Trinitarian apologist, defined the Trinity, in summary, as follows:

God is one, but is a Trinity of three distinct persons; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Each has a will and is self-aware, but they are not three beings. They consist of one substance.

Each person is the one God and is eternal, equal to the others and equally powerful.  

Jesus, as a man, has both a divine and human nature.

Arian or Sabellian Controversy?

 

It would be much more appropriate to call it the Sabellian Controversy:

The Nicene Council was forced to accept the term homoousios because Emperor Constantine supported the Sabellians and because the Sabellians preferred the term. (See here) For example:

        • “Simonetti estimates (that) … Alexander … accepted virtual Sabellianism in order to ensure the defeat of Arianism.” (Hanson, p. 171)
        • “N [the Nicene Creed] appeared to favour the near-Sabellianism of Marcellus.” (Hanson, p. 272)

In the decade after Nicaea, the church corrected the distortion caused at Nicaea by exiling all leading Sabellians. (See here)

In the 340’s the Western church supported a Sabellian (one mind) theology. (See here) For example, Hanson refers to the Western bishops’ “traditional Monarchianism.” (Hanson, p. 272)

Athanasius was extremely influential in the West and also had a ‘one hypostasis’ (meaning one Person with one mind) theology. (See here) For example, “In the Father we have the Son: this is a summary of Athanasius’ theology.” (Hanson, p. 426)

The key focus of the anti-Nicenes, also called the Eusebians, was to oppose Sabellianism. For example:

“More recent and more thorough examination of Arianism has brought a more realistic estimate of it. Simonetti sees it as an extreme reaction against a Sabellianism which was at the time rife in the East.” (Hanson, p. 95)

Referring to the Dedication creed, Hanson says: “Its chief bête noire is Sabellianism, the denial of a distinction between the three within the Godhead.” (Hanson, p. 287)

One Substance

Slick also says “They consist of one substance.”

In Slick’s definition, “each person is the one God.” In other words:

God = the Father = the Son = the Holy Spirit

This sounds like Modalism, where the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are not three different Persons, but three modes of the same Person. But then Slick adds that they are “three distinct persons.”

In Slick’s definition:

The three-ness of God is expressed as three separate wills and minds.

The one-ness of God is expressed as a single substance, understood as a single Being.

Historical and Conceptual Development

The Trinity doctrine has been developed over about 400 years:

The early parts of the New Testament, such as the Gospel of Mark present Jesus mostly as simply an inspired man to whom God granted authority to forgive sins and authority over nature.

The later parts of the Scriptures, such as the writings of Paul and John, have a much higher Christology, listing many of His divine attributes, but also maintain a distinction between God and Jesus and present Jesus as subordinate to God.

Before Christianity was legalized in the year 313, different theologians proposed different theories attempting to explain the relationship between God and Jesus. However, Christian were more concerned about staying alive than to have a uniform understanding

the church simply The conceptual progression and historical development of the Trinity theory can be described as follows:

Jesus is God.

Worship JesusBased on the High Christological statements in the Bible, Trinitarians believe that Jesus is God as much as the Father is God. This was the main point of the Nicene Creed of the year 325, which identified the Son as “true God from true God.”

One Being

This Nicene Creed caused much dispute and controversy in the church for the next 50 years, for the Bible is clear that only one God exists (monotheism). Trinitarians, therefore, developed the concept that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are a single Being; that together they are the one God of the Bible.

Three Persons

However, since there are differences between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, such as that the one is begotten and the other not, the thought developed that they are three different Persons within the one single Being. This concept was reflected in the writings of the Cappadocian Fathers, late in the fourth century.

The word Trinity has two possible meanings. With a lower case, “trinity” simply means a group of three. Some early Christians used the word in that sense. They did not yet differentiate between upper case and lower case letters, but that was the meaning they attached to the Greek and Latin equivalents of the word. But, today, we do differentiate between upper and lower case, and we use the word “Trinity,” with a capital “T,” as a proper name for the single Being who consists of three divine Persons.

Two Natures

But then, Christ Jesus, when He was on earth, did not know the day and hour of His return, and said that only the Father knows that (Matt 24:36). And, in many other ways, He indicated that He is subordinate to the Father. For example, He was sent by the Father and the Father gave Him what to say and what to do. 

Trinitarians, therefore, developed the thought that Jesus had both a human and a divine nature. In His human nature, He did not know the day or die hour, but in His divine nature, He knows all things. This “two natures” theory was formulated at the Council of Chalcedon in the year 451.

The foundation on which the Trinity theory rests is, therefore, the conclusion that the Son is God as much as the Father is God is. The other aspects of the doctrine, namely that God is one Being but three Persons, and the theory that Jesus has two natures, are attempts to reconcile the Bible with the conclusion that the Son is God. 

The concepts in this section will be brought out in more clarity in the articles that will follow.

Summary

 

:

The foundation on which the Trinity doctrine rests is that Jesus is God as much as the Father is God.

To reconcile this with the monotheism of the Bible, namely, that we only have one God, the next step was to argue that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are a one single Being.

But since there are many obvious differences between them, such as that the Son prayed to the Father, the thought was added that they are three different Persons within one single Being.

However, Jesus said and His disciples believed that He is subordinate to the Father. He said, for example, that of the “day and hour” of His return “no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone” (Matt 24:36). And Paul referred to “God” as “the head of Christ” (1 Cor 11:3). To address this challenge, the church developed the theory that Jesus had both a human and a divine nature. In His human nature, He is limited and only on earth, but in His divine nature, He is omniscient and omnipresent. In other word, He said in His human nature that He does not know but in His divine nature, He knew all things.

These formulations of the relationship between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit were developed over a period of about 400 years.

 

In the year 325, the Council of Nicaea concluded that the Lord Jesus Christ has the same substance as the Father (homoousios) and is co-equal with the Father. The purpose of the first articles is to determine what Christians believed about Christ and the Trinity in the three centuries before Nicaea.

METHOD

Matt Slick is a prominent Trinitarian apologist.  To prove that Christians did believe in the Trinity during the first three centuries, his brief post, “Early Trinitarian Quotes,” provides a collection of proof-texts from prominent second and third centuries theologians.

Sean Finnegan—a Unitarian (believing that the Father alone is God)—responded to Slick’s article with an article titled Trinity before Nicaea.  His purpose was to show that Christians in the first three centuries did not believe in the Trinity. He discussed Slick’s articles but added further quotes. Dr. Tuggy’s podcast 262 presents his response. Dr. Tuggy is a well know Socinian Unitarian, which means that he believes that Christ did not exist before His human birth.  

The current article series analyzes the quotes from both these articles to determine what the Christian authors believed in the first three centuries about the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The purpose is not to determine whether those early Christians were correct in what they taught, but, rather, to understand whether the Nicene and later creeds were consistent with the teachings of the early Christians.

To simplify these articles, many of the quotes below are summarized.  For the full quotes, refer to Finnegan’s article.

 

Arianism

AriusIn the fifty years after Nicaea, The Nicene Creed was generally rejected by the church. Several other views were proposed. One of these views is the view as reflected by the Nicene Creed, but other views include that the Son  and various other creeds were developed during those years in an attempt to find the right answer. In all of these views, the 

to Arianism was the main competitor for the Trinity theory and dominated the church until the year 380. Arianism is explained in a later article.  In summary, Arianism argues that the Son is not equal to the Father, but was begotten by the Father before time and that God created all things through the Son.  In other words, in the infinity beyond time, the Father was before the Son, but then we use the word “before” metaphorically. 

Questions

The articles below discuss the Christologies of Polycarp, Justin Martyr, Ignatius of Antioch, Irenaeus (bishop of Lyons), Tertullian and Origen. Origen was the greatest and most influential Christian theologian before Augustine. The purpose is to evaluate the following aspects from the definition of the Trinity against their works:

1. The Son is God.
2. The three Persons are equal.
3. The Holy Spirit is self-aware.
4. The three Persons consist of one substance.
5. Jesus has both a divine and a human nature.

List of all articles on this website

Does 1 Corinthians 8:6 include Jesus in the Shema?

Summary

ShemaThe Shema

Hear, O Israel!
The LORD is our God,
the LORD is one
!”

(Deuteronomy 6:4)

In contrast to the many gods of the surrounding nations, this verse (called the Shema) declares that there is only one true God, and His name is YHVH.

1 Corinthians 8:6

1 Corinthians 8:4 effectively repeats the Shema, saying:

There is no God but one.

Verse 6 identifies who that one God is:

“There is but one God, the Father,
       from whom are all things and we exist for Him;
and one Lord, Jesus Christ,
       by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.”

This verse contrasts the Father and the Son in both their titles and in their functions:

Different titles Different roles
One God, the Father From whom are all things
One Lord, Jesus Christ By whom are all things

1 Corinthians 8:6 has always been a favorite proof text for Unitarians (as opposed to Trinitarians) for it identifies the Father alone as God, which means that Jesus is not God. But Trinitarians counter this conclusion with the following arguments:

(A) The Son co-created the universe with God.

Father and SonAccording to 1 Corinthians 8:6, the Son co-created the universe with “God, the Father.” From this, Trinitarians conclude that Jesus must be God. However, that verse, and other similar verses (John 1:3, Col 1:16, and Heb 1:2), identify the Father as the Great Source of all things—the uncaused Cause—and identify the Son as the Means through whom God created. For example, according to Hebrews 1:1-3, in some mysterious way, “God” made the world “through” His Son.

(B) “God” and “Lord” are synonyms.

ShemaTrinitarians secondly argue that first-century Jews (such as Paul) understood “one God” and “one Lord” as synonymous and that this is confirmed by the fact that Paul referred to the Father both as “God” and as “Lord.” Therefore, Trinitarians argue, when Paul described Jesus as “one Lord,” he also identified Him as God. This article responds with two counterarguments:

The word that is translated as “Lord” is kurios. This title means “lord” (e.g., Acts 15:26) or “master” (e.g., Mark 13:35) or “owner” (e.g., Matt 20:8). This title, therefore, may be applied to God and Jesus and to human beings without saying that they are all God.

Furthermore, the Father appointed Jesus as Lord of the universe. For example, Peter said, “God has made Him both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36; cf. Phil 2:9-11). Since God appointed Jesus as Lord over all, the Son will always remain subordinate to the Father and the Father will always remain His God, for example: “The God of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph 1:17; cf. Rev 3:12).

(C) Corinthians includes the Son into the Shema.

The third proof which Trinitarians find in 1 Corinthians 8:6, for the claim that Jesus is God, is to argue that that verse intentionally distributes the words of the Shema between the Father and the Son:

The “God” of the Shema becomes
One God, the Father.”

The “LORD” of the Shema becomes
One Lord, Jesus Christ.”

Therefore, Trinitarians propose, Paul included Jesus into the unique divine identity of the Yahweh of the Old Testament. They do not claim that Paul presented Jesus as a second God, but that he redefined monotheism as Christological monotheism. In other words, the unique identity of Yahweh of the Shema CONSISTS OF BOTH the “one God” and the “one Lord.

However, for the following reasons, Paul did not redistribute the words of the Shema between the Father and Jesus to include Jesus into the Yahweh of the Old Testament:

(1) 1 Corinthians 8:4-6 explicitly identifies only the Father as God.

1 Corinthians 8:4-6 says, “there is no God but one” and then explicitly identifies only the Father as God: “For us there is but one God, the Father.” By implication, Jesus is not God.

(2) Other “one God” statements do the same.

1 Corinthians 8:6 is just one of a number of Paul’s “one God” statements in which he applies the Shema within the Christian context, but in all of such statements, the Father alone is God. For example:

There is one God,
and one mediator also between God and men,
the man Christ Jesus
” (1 Tim 2:5; cf. Eph 4:5-6).

(3) Paul consistently identified the Father alone as God.

If Paul thought that Jesus was God, he would have written that frequently and clearly. However, Paul consistently identified the Father alone as God. For example, he opens every one of his letters with phrases that distinguish between God and Jesus and identify God as the Father, e.g.:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ
” (1 Cor 1:3; cf. Phil 4:19-20).

(4) 1 Corinthians 8:6 describes Jesus as subordinate to the Father.

As discussed, 1 Corinthians 8:6 emphasizes the distinction between the Father and the Son by describing God (the Father) as the ultimate Source of all things, while Jesus is the Means by which God works. Jesus, therefore, is not only distinct from God; He is also functionally subordinate to the Father. This is also a consistent teaching of the New Testament. For example:

Christ is the head of every man,
and the man is the head of a woman,
and God is the head of Christ

(1 Cor 11:3; cf. 1 Cor 3:23).

(5) The Trinitarian interpretation contradicts the Shema.

The main point of the Shema is monotheism, namely that “YHWH, our God, YHWH is one.” In the New Testament, the Father and Jesus are two Persons with two separate wills. For example, in the night before He was crucified, He prayed, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42; cf. Mark 15:34). Since the Father and the Son are separate Persons with separate wills, to understand 1 Corinthians 8:6 as saying that YHVH is actually two Persons would be to contradict the Shema.

The articles on Christology are listed at the end of this article. 

– END OF SUMMARY – 


The Shema

Hear, O Israel!
The LORD is our God,
the LORD is one
!”

(Deuteronomy 6:4)

This is called the Shema after the first word (hear), which is Shema in Hebrew. It is the best-known verse in Judaism. In contrast to the many gods of the surrounding nations, the Shema declares that there is only one true god, and His name is YHVH.

LORD” is in all capitals. This means that it translates God’s personal name YHVH, pronounced as Yahweh or Jehovah. (Strangely, modern translators seem to follow the ancient Jewish practice of not mentioning God’s name.)

1 Corinthians 8:4-6

1 Corinthians 8:4 effectively repeats the Shema, saying:

There is no God but one.

Verse 6 identifies who that one god is, namely the Father. Consider 1 Corinthians 8:4-6 more fully:

4 There is no God but one.
5
… indeed there are many gods and many lords,

6 yet for us there is but one God, the Father,
       from whom are all things and we exist for Him;
and one Lord, Jesus Christ,
       by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.

This verse sets three contrasts:

    • Between pagan gods and pagan lords.
    • Between the many pagan gods and lords and
      the one true god and lord.
    • Between the Father and Son.

Verse 6 contrasts the Father and the Son in both their titles and in their functions:

Different titles Different roles
One God, the Father From whom are all things;
We exist for Him.
One Lord, Jesus Christ By whom are all things;
We exist through Him.

1 Corinthians 8:6 has always been a favorite proof text for Unitarians (as opposed to Trinitarians) for it identifies the Father alone as God, which means that Jesus is not God. But Trinitarians counter this conclusion with the following arguments:

(A) The Son co-created the universe with God.

According to 1 Corinthians 8:6, the Son co-created the universe with “God, the Father.” From this, Trinitarians conclude that Jesus must be God. However, with respect to creation, that verse ascribes different roles to the Father and the Son:

The phrase “from whom are all things” identifies the Father as the Great Source of all things; the uncaused Cause.

The phrase “by whom are all things” identifies the Son as the Means through whom God created.

John 1:3, Colossians 1:16, and Hebrews 1:2 also describe the roles of the Father and the Son in creation. Similar to 1 Corinthians 8:6, these verses identify the Father as the Great Source of all things—the uncaused Cause. They also describe the Son as having a passive role in creation, namely as the Means through whom God created all things:”

According to Hebrews 1:1-3, in some mysterious way, “God” made the world “through” His Son.

John 1:3 also claims that “all things” came into being “through” the Word (Christ).

As discussed in the article on Colossians, the same applies to Colossians 1:16.

This means that both the Father and the Son have existed for as long as time has existed. However, scientists claim that time began 13 billion years ago through the Big Bang. We know nothing of the incomprehensible reality that exists outside our universe of space, time, and matter. But what we do know is that the power and energy, which caused our universe to come into existence, came from that incomprehensible reality. This knowledge, which church leaders did not know when the Trinity doctrine was formulated in the fourth to sixth centuries, helps us to understand the distinction between Jesus and God.

For a further discussion, see – God created all things.

(B) “God” and “Lord” are synonyms.

To counter the implications of 1 Corinthians 8:6, Trinitarians secondly argue as follows that the titles “God” and “Lord” are synonyms:

They argue that first-century Jews (such as Paul) understood “one God” and “one Lord” as synonymous and interchangeable; both referring to the same divine being, namely Yahweh.

They find support for this view in the fact that Paul, in his many writings, refer to the Father both as “God” and as “Lord.”

Therefore, Trinitarians argue, when Paul described Jesus as “one Lord,” he also identified Him as God. This article responds with two counterarguments:

Kurios means “lord.”

The word that is translated as “Lord” (kurios in Greek) means “lord” (e.g., Acts 15:26) or “master” (e.g., Mark 13:35) or “owner” (e.g., Matt 20:8). This title, therefore, may be applied to God and to Jesus and to a human being without saying that they are all God.

The Father appointed Jesus as Lord.

Although 1 Corinthians 8:6 identifies Jesus as Lord, this does not mean that He is God or equal to God, for God appointed the Son as “Lord.” For example:

At Pentecost, Peter said to the Jews,
God has made Him both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36).

God highly exalted Him … so that …
every tongue will confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord
” (Phil 2:9-11).

God … raised Him from the dead
and
seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places …
And He put all things in subjection under His feet

(Eph 1:17-22; cf. Matt 28:18).

Since God appointed Jesus as Lord over all, the Son will always remain subordinate to the Father. Jesus is not “co-equal” with the Father, as the Trinity doctrine claims. The Father will always remain His God, for example:

The God of our Lord Jesus Christ
(Eph 1:17; cf. 1 Peter 1:3; Rev 1:6; 3:2, 12).

(C) Corinthians includes the Son into the Shema.

A third proof which Trinitarians find in 1 Corinthians 8:6, for the claim that Jesus is God, is to argue that that verse intentionally distributes the words of the Shema between the Father and the Son:

The “God” of the Shema becomes
One God, the Father.”

The “LORD” of the Shema becomes
One Lord, Jesus Christ.”

Therefore, Trinitarians propose, Paul included Jesus into the unique divine identity of the Yahweh of the Old Testament. They do not claim that Paul presented Jesus as a second God, but that he redefined monotheism as Christological monotheism. In other words, the unique identity of Yahweh of the Shema CONSISTS OF BOTH the “one God” and the “one Lord.

The question, therefore, is, did Paul really redistribute the words of the Shema between the Father and Jesus in 1 Corinthians 8:6 to include Jesus into the Yahweh of the Old Testament? Did Paul purposefully apply the title “Lord” from the Shema to Jesus? For the following reasons, this is not the case:

(1) 1 Corinthians 8:6 identifies God as the Father only.

1 Corinthians 8:4 restates the Shema, saying, “there is no God but one.” Then verse 6 continues by using the titles “God” and “Lord” to differentiate between the Father and the Son, explicitly identifying only the Father as God:

For us there is but one God, the Father.”

By implication, Jesus is not God. This distinction between the Father as God and the Son as Lord is a consistent pattern in the New Testament. The article on Colossians, for example, shows that that letter:

    • Uses the title theos always for the Father;
      never for the Son and
    • Uses the title kurios (lord or master) always for the Son;
      never for the Father.

(2) Other “one God” statements do the same.

1 Corinthians 8:6 is one of a number of Paul’s “one God” statements. It would be fair to assume that, with these statements, he applied the Shema, with which he, as a Pharisee, was intimately familiar, within a Christian context. But in all of such “one God’ statements, the Father alone is God, for example:

There is one God,
and one mediator also between God and men,
the man Christ Jesus
” (1 Tim 2:5).

One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
one God
and Father of all who is over all” (Eph 4:5-6);

(3) Paul consistently identified the Father alone as God.

If Paul thought that Jesus was God, that would have been important information and he would have written that frequently and clearly. However, Paul consistently identified the Father alone as God. For example, he opens every one of his letters with phrases that distinguish between God and Jesus and identify God as the Father, e.g.:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ
” (1 Cor 1:3).

Elsewhere, we find phrases such as “our God and Father” (Phil 4:19-20) and “the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory” (Eph 1:17; cf. 1 Tim 6). (For more detail, see Jesus is not God).

(4) Jesus is subordinate to the Father.

As discussed, 1 Corinthians 8:6 emphasizes the distinction between the Father and the Son by describing God (the Father) as the ultimate Source of all things (“from whom are all things”), while Jesus is the Means by which God works (“by whom are all things”). Jesus, therefore, is not only distinct from God; He is also functionally subordinate to the Father. This is also a consistent teaching of the New Testament. For example:

You belong to Christ;
and Christ belongs to God
” (1 Cor 3:23). OR

Christ is the head of every man,
and the man is the head of a woman,
and God is the head of Christ

(1 Cor 11:3; cf. 1 Cor 15:28).

A further indication, that Jesus is subordinate to the Father, is that the Father is also His God (Matt 27:46; John 20:17). Even many years after His resurrection and enthronement, both Revelation and Paul refer to the Father as His God:

He has made us to be …
priests to His God and Father

(Rev 1:6; cf. Rev 3:2, 12; Eph 1:17).

For a further discussion, see – Head of Christ.

(5) The Trinitarian interpretation contradicts the Shema.

In the Trinitarian interpretation of 1 Corinthians 8:6, Paul contradicted the Shema. The main point of the Shema is monotheism, namely that “YHWH, our God, YHWH is one.” In the New Testament, the Father and Jesus are two Persons with two separate wills. For example:

Jesus prayed to His Father. “He spent the whole night in prayer to God” (Luke 6:12; cf. John 17:1).

In the night before He was crucified, He prayed, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42).

The next day, hanging on the Cross, cried out “my God, my God, why have You forsaken me” (Mark 15:34).

(6) The Holy Spirit is not mentioned.

If 1 Corinthians 8:6 explains God, and if the Trinity includes the Holy Spirit, why does this verse not mention the Holy Spirit?

(8) The title “Lord” does not appear in the Shema.

The Shema theory proposes that the words from the Shema, describing YHVH, are redistributed between the Father and the Son, identifying the Son as the “one Lord.” However, the word “Lord” is not found in the Shema. The word in the Shema, which is translated as “the LORD,” is God’s name YHVH.

The counter-argument would be that YHVH is translated as Kurios (Lord) in the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Old Testament), and that the Septuagint was the translation of the Old Testament generally used when Paul wrote. However, HO KYRIOS (the lord) was never exactly synonymous with YHVH. It replaced YHVH when the Jews developed the practice of not mentioning the name of God. Paul was well-educated, and he would have known the difference.

The Dangers of the Trinity Doctrine

(1) The Trinity doctrine is polytheistic.

Since the Father and the Son are separate Persons with separate wills, to understand 1 Corinthians 8:6 as saying that YHVH is actually two Persons would be to contradict the Shema. While Christianity prides in worshipping one God (monotheism), the Trinity doctrine argues that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are three separate Persons. This compromises monotheism and risks us to a polytheistic belief system. To say that there are three separate Gods with one substance or being is not what the monotheism of the Bible teaches.

(2) God is presented as severe and unforgiving.

The article on Colossians shows that the Father is the active force in redemption and that He redeems people through His Son. The doctrine of the Trinity has led to atonement theories according to which God is not loving or willing to forgive sin, but has to be persuaded by his Son to forgive. In contrast, such theories present Jesus Christ as kind and merciful and pleading on our behalf before God. To present God in this light is a most grievous sin, for to worship a cruel god, even if one uses the right names, is to worship a false god.

Furthermore, we are saved through faith. Faith is not simply to believe that God exists. Faith means to also trust God. It is not possible to trust a cruel, tyrannical, and arbitrary god. I would say that God’s purpose in giving us the revelations, as contained in the Bible, is to give us hope and to build humanity morally. The theory that God is severe and demanding distorts God’s word. 

(3) Jesus did not die.

We are saved by Christ’s death but the Trinity doctrine tesches that Jesus did not really die. In the Trinity theory, the Son was actually two persons with two natures; a divine and a human nature. While His human nature suffered on the cross and died, His divine nature did not and cannot suffer or die.

(4) The Trinity doctrine led to Mariology.

The adoration of Mary as the Mother of God is a natural consequence of the teaching that Christ is God, the Son.

Final Conclusions

1 Corinthians 8:6 is one of the verses in which Paul applies the Shema in the Christian context. In all such instances, the Father alone is God.

The Father as the Great Source of all things—the uncaused Cause. The Son is the Means through whom God created.

The word that kurios (often translated “Lord”) means “master.

 Paul did not redistribute the words of the Shema between the Father and Jesus to include Jesus into the Yahweh of the Old Testament,

The Dangers of the Trinity Doctrine include polytheism, presented God as severe and unforgiving, teaching that Christ did not really die and led to Mariology.

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