How Jesus Disproves Trinitarian Theology . . . and Other Such Nonsense

One can find a seemingly unending abundance of heretical teachings on-line. From bizarre teachings of God the Father "separating Himself" into three Persons we call "Trinity," to Tritheism, Unitarianism, and Jesus-Onlyism, a world of ideas remain at our fingertips with the click of a button or a Google search; and, most unfortunately, the Internet grants some people a perceptual equality among various teachings. King Solomon writes: "But beyond this, my son, be warned: the writing of many books is endless, and excessive devotion to books is wearying to the body." (Ecclesiastes 12:12 NASB) Contradictory opinions abound and all teachings are not equal. Anyone committed to the biblical truth of the divinity of Christ, for example, cannot insist that Unitarian Christology is on equal par with Christian orthodoxy. Still, with over seven billion people alive on the planet, what is certain is differences of opinion even within a unified group perceived as "Christian."

A self-avowed Open Theistic Pelagian, for example, asked my reaction to a Youtube video presentation, from "The Trinity Delusion," entitled: "Jesus Testifies against the Trinity." The author writes: "Jesus is our most trustworthy witness." Granted what the author of Hebrews confesses (Heb. 1:1-3), that is a great way of starting any biblical discussion. Unfortunately, though, he continues to write: "Our Lord Jesus shows us the Shema means our God is one single He [i.e., one Person] who we are to serve with all our heart. (Mark 12:32; Deut 4:35) Jesus also shows us how to identify that one single He -- his Father alone -- 'there is no other but He [i.e., the Father].'" (link)

When one commences with a false presupposition then one will, inevitably, conclude with a false notion. "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one [אֶחָֽד]" (Deut. 6:4 ESV; cf. "the LORD alone," NRSV, NLT -- the verb "is" cannot be found in the Hebrew text). The great Shema (שְׁמַ֖ע, to hear) of Israel is an affirmation of her one and only God, the LORD [YHWH, cf. Exodus 3:14, 15]. The Hebrew word אֶחָֽד, echad, refers to "one," "one or two," "one and the same," "as one man together" -- not only one man together -- "united," or "one as an ordinal first." (link) This Hebrew word refers to a compound unity and not to a singular unit. Unitarians misuse this verse in order to assume their case that God is not merely one Being but also one Person. This is a lexicographical error.

The author of The Trinity Delusion writes: "If you are a Trinitarian, and you insist upon always looking through the lens of Trinitarian spectacles, it will take you much longer to comprehend what is being described on this site since you will be intepreting [sic] everything through your Trinitarian mindset filter." (link) My response: "If you are a Unitarian, and you insist upon always looking through the lens of Unitarian spectacles, you will never comprehend what is being described on this site since you will be interpreting everything through your Unitarian mindset filter." I will grant the author credit, though, in acknowledging the primary interpretive force of hermeneutics. That is far better than Open Theist Chris Fisher presented on Facebook yesterday while insisting that I was reading my theological presuppositions into the text while he was "just reading John" (from Revelation). Be certain that naïve realism -- an unwarranted assumption that one is being purely objective -- still remains an unfortunate cognitive distortion among Christians. But I digress.

The Jewish people of the Hebrew scriptures and the followers of Christ Jesus in the Christian scriptures all worship one God. There is only one God, as God declares, "I am the LORD, and there is no other; besides me there is no god." (Isa. 45:5 NRSV) If other people claim to worship a God who is not the God of both the Hebrew and Christian scriptures, then they worship a false god, for there is only one God. But can this one God exist in three Persons without contorting the image into Tritheism (three gods)? By way of answer we need to examine carefully the Hebrew word echad.

At Genesis 1:5 we find in the first (echad) day, a single (echad) day, two aspects to this one (echad) day: evening and morning. At Genesis 2:24 we find that Adam and Eve become one (echad) flesh. At Genesis 3:22 the man and woman "have become like one [echad] of us," confesses God. Dr. Robert Morey comments: "But they did not lose their personhood when they became 'one' with God."1 At Genesis 11:6 all of the people are one (echad), united, yet remain many. At Genesis 34:16, 22, the Shechemites desire to become one (echad) people with the Jews. At 2 Chronicles 30:12 the LORD grants the people one (echad) heart in a compound sense (cf. Jer. 32:39). At Ezra 2:64 the Israelites (numbering 42,360) are described as one (echad). Therefore, for the author of The Trinity Delusion -- or any other Unitarian-oriented individual -- to claim that the Shema indicates that God is one (echad), i.e., singular, Person is teaching error, and in this case teaching damnable heresy.


The conclusion should be obvious. Dr. Robert Morey writes: "The passages above are just a small sampling of the many times אֶחָֽד [echad] is used of compound oneness. But it is enough to demonstrate beyond all doubt that the Old Testament, from the Law to the Prophets, used אֶחָֽד [echad] to express a unified or compound oneness,"2 and not to a singular unit. Had the Hebrews intended to convey that God is one in Person, in a strictly singular sense, then they would have used the Hebrew word יתיר, a strictly singular unit, not אֶחָֽד, a compound unity. Dr. Morey asks, "Who would use אֶחָֽד?"
A Unitarian would never apply the Hebrew word אֶחָֽד [echad] to God because it means a compound or unified oneness. If the authors of the Bible were Unitarians, we would not expect to find אֶחָֽד applied to God. On the other hand, if the writers of Scripture believed that God was multi-personal, then we would expect to find that they would apply אֶחָֽד to God because this would mean that God is "one" in a composite or compound sense. As a matter of fact, אֶחָֽד is the only available Hebrew word they could use to express this idea. When we open the Bible, what do we find? We find that אֶחָֽד is applied to God. He is "one" in the sense of compound oneness. This is so central to the Old Testament concept of God that it is found in Israel's Great Confession [at Deut. 6:4].3
Those who reject this biblical truth -- i.e., all who reject the divinity and deity of Jesus Christ -- use Jesus' reference of the Shema to a Pharisee at Matthew 22:37 as a means of philosophizing their way out of a Trinitarian understanding and, inevitably, reject the Jesus of the New Testament -- the eternal λόγος who "already existed with God" and is God (John 1:1 NLT). In other words, to pit Jesus against the Trinity is to present a self-defeating ontology of Jesus Himself, since He exists in the form of God (Phil. 2:6), reflects the very nature of God (Heb. 1:8), and always has (Micah 5:2).

Why do I acknowledge the little-known The Trinity Delusion? Well, for starters, the particular video I watched has been viewed, to date, some 16,916 times and 174 people have approved of the video by giving it a "thumbs up" recommendation. If my response could reach even one of those deceived by his heretical teachings then I would be quite content. Next, I want to challenge this notion, as he confesses: "If you are aware of the facts, it is impossible to be honest with yourself as a Trinitarian. As a former Trinitarian, I personally had to check some serious honesty issues at the door in order to genuinely and honestly examine this doctrine with integrity." (link) That seems like a personal issue within his own heart and mind that requires a great amount of time in therapy with an orthodox and licensed Christian counselor. As a convinced Trinitarian, which has been the orthodox teaching of the Church from the beginning, I have never had "honesty issues" with the doctrine of the Trinity.

But then the author unwittingly betrays his tip-of-the-hat toward hermeneutics by writing: "Personal humility and integrity cannot be companions of theological prejudice or truth will never be found; personal humility and genuine integrity are prerequisites for finding the truth." (link) Notice carefully his cultic thinking here: First, Trinitarians are not humble, and thus they cannot discover the truth of Unitarianism; second, he indicts himself here, and does not even realize it. Trinitarians can turn his own words on him: "Personal humility and integrity cannot be companions of theological prejudice or truth (the truth of Trinitarianism) will never be found" -- meaning, unless he humbles himself, and develops integrity, he will never rediscover the truth. He is actually undone by his own faulty methodical reasoning. Hence the reason why this Unitarian cannot rediscover his Trinitarian foundation is because he is not humble and maintains no integrity. But is this a fair assessment?

Honestly, that such individuals espouse this sort of nonsense, and deceive others by this rhetoric, is a sad telling of our age, one bereft of sound theological teaching of the Bible. If more pastors, preachers, and evangelists presented their messages within a Trinitarian formulaic theology perhaps much of the confusion, misunderstanding, and blatant misrepresentations of the doctrine of the Trinity could be avoided. But Christian orthodoxy was settled in the early Church on the doctrine of the Trinity in the words of the Athanasian Creed which, partially quoted here, reads:

WHOSOEVER WILL BE SAVED,
before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic Faith.
Which Faith except everyone do keep whole and undefiled,
without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.

And the Catholic Faith is this:
That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity,
neither confounding the Persons,
nor dividing the Substance.

Sadly, some people do not value the early Church fathers on this topic, though those same people will staunchly defend the fathers on a particular subject with which they agree. What is most significant about the early creeds of the Church is the manner in which doctrine was handed down from the early apostles to the early fathers and thereby was later developed into systematic theological constructs. When a heresy arose, like the heresy that Jesus is not divine and, thus, equal with God the Father (and God the Holy Spirit), the fathers sought to establish what had already been agreed upon and approved as orthodox by the apostles. So the doctrine of the Trinity is an apostolic teaching.

Jesus in no sense conceivable "disproved" Trinitarianism. If we get Jesus wrong then we get God wrong. Why? Because Jesus is "the reflection of God's glory and the exact imprint of God's very being." (Heb. 1:3) Both the deity (Ps. 2:7, 12; 45:6; Prov. 30:4; Isa. 7:14; 9:6-9; Micah 5:2) and humanity (Gen. 3:15; 22:18; Num. 24:17-19; Isa. 7:14; 11:1-4; Zech. 3:8; 6:10-12) of the Christ were prophesied in the Hebrew scriptures. To deny either aspect of His Person is to deny the Christ of God, the Christ of the Bible, the Christ of our salvation. Jesus is considered omnipotent (Matt. 8:23-27; 28:28; Luke 4:35-41; John 6:36; 14:11; 10:25, 37-38; 15:24), omniscient (John 2:24-25; 18:4) -- limited only in His humanity with reference to the timing of His second advent (Matt. 24:36), which we believe He presently knows fully (cf. Matt. 28:18) -- and omnipresent (Matt. 28:19-20; 18:20; John 3:13). He is immutable (Heb. 1:12; 13:8), self-existent (John 1:4; 5:26; 8:58), eternal (John 1:1-3; 3:16; 5:26; Heb. 1:1-3; Rev. 1:8), Lord (Acts 2:36; Rom. 10:9-10; 1 Cor. 12:3; Phil. 2:10-11) and Savior (Luke 2:11; Acts 5:31; 13:23; Eph. 5:23).

We find divine names applied to Jesus, just as to the Father and the Spirit (cf. Ex. 3:14, 15 with John 8:56, 58; Ps. 110:1; Isa. 9:6; Jer. 23:5, 6; Joel 2:32; Matt. 1:21; 22:43, 44, 45; Luke 2:11; Acts 2:21, 34, 35, 36, 37; 9:17; 16:31; Rom. 10:9, 13; 1 Cor. 12:3; Phil. 2:11; Heb. 1:1, 2; 1 Pet. 1:7, 8; 5:15; Rev. 1:7, 8, 11; 22:13, 16, 17, 18; 19:13); divine works are attributed to Him (cf. Matt. 19:28; John 1:1, 2, 3; 5: 28, 29, 36; 10:28, 37; 11:25; 14:11; 17:2; Acts 5:31; Phil. 3:21; Col. 1:16, 17; 3:13; Heb. 1:3, 10; Rev. 21:5); divine worship is given to Him as being God and, thus, worthy of such divine adoration (cf. Isa. 6:1-5; Matt. 8:2; 15:25, 26, 27, 28; 28:17; Luke 24:51, 52; John 5:23; 9:38; Acts 1:24; 7:59, 60; 1 Cor. 1:2; Phil. 2:9, 10, 11; 1 Thess. 3:11; Heb. 1:6; Rev. 5:12, 13, 14), to which divinity and deity Jesus Himself admits (cf. Matt. 10:37, 38; 12:48; Luke 14:26; John 5:23, 25; 8:56, 57, 58; 10:30, 38; 11:4; 14:10; 18:1-5), which otherwise -- meaning, if He were not deity, not God the Son -- would have been overt blasphemy, and deserving of stoning, rejection, and crucifixion. Do not allow anyone to deceive you about Jesus Christ, His deity, divinity, God-ness, eternality and oneness with both the Father and the Holy Spirit.

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1 Robert Morey, The Trinity: Evidence and Issues (Iowa Falls: World Bible Publishers, Inc., 1996), 88.

2 Ibid., 89.

3 Ibid.