More Misunderstandings about the Trinity

The Word Trinity Appears Nowhere in the Bible

While proponents of other religions may question the doctrine of the Trinity, other critics propose questions as well. For instance, anyone who begins to investigate the doctrine of the Trinity discovers that the word trinity appears nowhere in the Bible. For this reason, some suggest that the absence of this word undermines the credibility of this doctrine. Such concern is unwarranted, however, because the necessary question is not whether this word appears in the Bible, but whether the Bible teaches the ideas that this word represents. Consider the irony that the word bible appears nowhere in the Bible, yet the Bible is a theological and historical reality nonetheless. The same is true for words like omniscienceomnipotence, and omnipresence, which appear nowhere in the Bible, yet they accurately portray some divine attributes of God that Scripture clearly teaches. Such is the case for the word trinity.

Did the Catholic Church Invent the Trinity?

Some critics claim that the Catholic Church fabricated the concept of a divine Trinity as extrabiblical tradition. They raise this question because seven ecumenical councils convened between AD 325-787 to discuss pressing theological questions about the members of the Godhead.[9] In particular, the Councils of Nicea (AD 325) and Constantinople (AD 381) published formal statements articulating trinitarian doctrine.[10] These statements, however, did not create the doctrine of the Trinity, nor do they carry authority because the Catholic Church published them. They present sound doctrine on the Godhead for the simple reason that they align with what Scripture has always affirmed.

Where Does the Bible Teach the Trinity?

So, if Scripture affirms the doctrine of the Trinity, it is necessary for a Christian to be able to answer the question of where it teaches this. Indeed, if the Bible does not teach this doctrine, then people should reject it, and without it the entire Christian faith crumbles.[11]However, if Scripture does teach this doctrine, then believers must defend the truth and respond to it with enthusiasm and worship. Unfortunately, Christians who claim to believe in the triune God often find themselves unable to support this belief with Scripture. With this awkward dilemma in mind, one source observes, “It is little wonder that a veteran Jehovah’s Witness, after a lengthy discussion with one who believed in the Trinity, said, ‘I never before met a Trinitarian who actually seemed to believe the doctrine!’”[12]

If Scripture affirms the doctrine of the Trinity, it is necessary for a Christian to be able to answer the question of where it teaches this.

Knowing that Jehovah’s Witnesses, for instance, rigorously prepare to deny the doctrine of the Trinity, Christians should likewise prepare to answer such challenges and to teach this doctrine to others. As such, they should not be lethargic, relegating this preparation to pastors and theologians. To achieve this aim they must learn to state this doctrine clearly and to demonstrate its biblical basis.

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