Lets Debate the Trinity

by UnDisfellowshipped 124 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Chalam

    Actually, in the Greek there is only ever a singular throne depicted. The Father and the Son sit on one throne, not thrones. Sometimes the Son/Lamb is said to sit in the middle of the throne.

    Agreed (or "midst of the throne")!

    All the best,


  • UnDisfellowshipped

    Understanding all about The Trinity Doctrine is not a salvation issue, but believing in the Deity of Christ (believing that Jesus is God) and honoring Him as God, is a salvation issue, as many Scriptures declare, such as John 8:24, John 5:23-24, Romans 10:9-13.

  • paul from cleveland
    paul from cleveland
    Understanding all about The Trinity Doctrine is not a salvation issue, but believing in the Deity of Christ (believing that Jesus is God) and honoring Him as God, is a salvation issue, as many Scriptures declare, such as John 8:24, John 5:23-24, Romans 10:9-13.

    I don't believe that regardless of what the bible reads. If God is so petty as to destroy someone for not understanding some cryptic, obscure doctrine so as not to understand his true nature, he deserves no worship.

  • designs


    If God is not kind he is not God...........

  • JosephMalik


    We know that Jesus is God, our God in fact. Jews used the word God for their Kings and they understood such use. It was an argument for some as they did not all seem to understand it but our lord could refer to such use in his defense. We find Kings of Israel referred to as God at: Heb 1:8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. And now this verse this position of Davids throne as they called it would be filled by our lord when he returns and is now applied to him prophetically. We all know that this kingdom and the God that will be running it is what we are looking forward to. Words and their use in times past and their use now have muddled all this for us. When we discuss the Supreme Being and use the word God to express Him we are using the word another way. After all it has many such uses as Strong's will show. We can see this use only in the context of the verse and our knowledge of prior use in times past but today it eludes many. Not so much for Jews since they did not teach a trinity. They had their feet planted in the text and the Law and did not think like many do today. Our Lord did not command that we suddenly change our grasp of this word God and expand on it during our ministry to include a trinity. In fact he brought out its proper use. Joh 10:35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; Men called Gods by God and they were supposed to understand this use which Jesus explained to them now. At least we should know that the Supreme Being does not inherit the throne of David and is unreachable by us without this King in Hebrews between us and God.

    As to this being a salvation issue? That is a guess at this point but I doubt that it is the salvation issue many think. It is a serious matter just as keeping the Law was serious for Jewish Christians, but being thrown out of the Faith and labeled as an evil slave is not as final as some think. Being viewed as someone of the Nations as a consequence who also have a hope in Christ though not in our Lord's administration means that there is still hope for them and us. If we are wrong then that is where we end up. Despite our doctrinal views we should all be decent human beings at least and qualify as sheep when our lord returns. Not so much for JW's however since they treat their disfellowshipped brothers cruelly and this is what the goats that are destroyed are separated out from the Nations for doing.


  • UnDisfellowshipped

    Paul from Cleveland, how are you?

    You said:

    "I don't believe that regardless of what the bible reads. If God is so petty as to destroy someone for not understanding some cryptic, obscure doctrine so as not to understand his true nature, he deserves no worship."

    God is not going to destroy people for failing to believe something. He is going to destroy people for their sins. The wages sin pays is death. There is no difference between anyone. Every single human on earth is a sinner. God provided one way to be saved: His Son receiving the punishment for our sins in our place when He died on the cross for us all.

    But God has placed a condition on being saved through this sacrifice: We must trust in the One who made the sacrifice for us and repent of our sins (change our minds about our sins and sinful ways).

    It is a salvation issue because the condition is that we must trust in the True Jesus who died for us, not a cheap false imitation "Jesus" who is a created angel (or just a "good human teacher") who never died for the sins of anyone.

    The Bible says that the only Jesus who will save anyone is the One who is God -- the One who suffered and died in your place.

  • jonathan dough
    jonathan dough

    Let's start with some definitions, and then illustrate the JWs' confusion with respect to the doctrine.

    “The Christian doctrine of the Trinity is that there is one God, who exists in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. These three persons share the one divine nature. They are equal, co-eternal and omnipotent. They are distinct from one another: The Father has no source, the Son is born of the substance of the Father, the Spirit proceeds from the Father (or from the Father and the Son). Though distinct, the three persons cannot be divided from one another in being or in operation (Oxford Dictionary of the Bible [New York, Oxford University Press, Inc., 2005] 1207) (Oxford). With minor changes, the reformed Protestant churches have essentially adapted the Catholic teachings on the Trinity Doctrine (see section 12).

    Central to the doctrine that God is three Persons in one nature is the premise that “Jesus is God,” a term which causes great confusion among the Jehovah’s Witnesses who unfortunately do not understand what is meant by this Trinitarian phrase or what the Trinity doctrine teaches. One of their more bizarre errors lies in believing that Christ is a created angel who became man and after the resurrection reverted back to being an angel.

    The Jehovah’s Witnesses have published countless pages of criticism of Christian Trinitarianism, teaching that it is the work of Satan and utterly illogical. This relentless attack, however, is based upon certain misconceptions and falsehoods allowing them to capitalize on many unsuspecting individuals’ ignorance of accurate Trinity dogma.Three of the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ false teachings are particularly misleading and form the core vehicle for the dissemination of gross distortions.

    First, they do not understand that a "Person" is not a material human being like you or I. Persons of the Trinity are spirit. Secondly, they do not understand that God is "three" in one sense, and "one" in a completey different sense. And third, the Jehovah’s Witnesses are unwilling or unable to acknowledge or grasp the concept of the hypostatic union, the union that is the God-man Jesus, who is fully God the Son and fully man, a divine Person who assumed a human nature. Intertwined with this concept is the often ignored principle that the created humanity of Jesus is not God. Accordingly, Jesus, the man in the God-man equation, could pray to His Father and acknowledge His Father’s superiority without committing any doctrinal contradictions. The Jehovah’s Witnesses, on the other hand, teach that the incarnate Jesus was nothing more or less than a man.

    This treatise begins by shining a light on the worst of the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ misunderstandings, and goes on to explain in greater detail what the Trinity doctrine actually teaches. From there, many of the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ arguments against the doctrine of the Trinity are disposed of in light of more accurate teaching, after which a further examination is made of scriptural support for the Trinity in the Bible.

    A major section is then devoted to select Bible verses that prove that Jesus was, and is, God, followed by a brief summary of early Trinitarian theology which provides us with a better understanding of the doctrine’s foundation. The concluding section is devoted to the issue of Jesus Christ being a created angel.

    The Jehovah’s Witnesses, whose religion is essentially 4th century Arian Subordinationism (see section 41) have said many things about the doctrine of the Trinity that are simply not true. Out of a sense of common decency and respect, those who propound and believe in the doctrine and people who seek to understand it better are entitled at a minimum to a fair hearing on the issues, which is the primary goal of this work.

    But before you begin, it is very important to understand two simple concepts which lie at the heart of the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ errors; the difference between immanent Trinity and economic Trinity, and how their religion has commingled them resulting in untold confusion.


  • paul from cleveland
    paul from cleveland
    It is a salvation issue because the condition is that we must trust in the True Jesus

    I believe the ransom is for everyone not just for those that believe in Jesus. I believe if one man's sin got all of into this mess then Jesus' sacrifice will undo all the results of that sin. (Adam's) I don't believe you have to believe anything more than a baby has to believe to receive his mother's milk.

  • jonathan dough
    jonathan dough

    Immanent Trinity versus economic Trinity; God in Himself and God for us.

    At the outset it is crucial to understand two key concepts. You must distinguish between immanent Trinity (theological Trinity) and economic trinity, and understand how they relate to each other. This is not difficult. The Jehovah's Witnesses fail to separate them and erroneously combine the two concepts. This error lies at the root of the Jehovah's Witnesses’ harsh attacks on the Trinity and allows them to get away with distorting Trinitarian teaching. It is the means by which they are able to convince many people, who otherwise would know better, that the Trinity is utterly illogical and false when it is true and reasonable, even if certain aspects are grounded upon a measure of faith.

    Immanent (theological) Trinitarianism, refers to the essence of God the Almighty, his hypostatic three-fold nature and his absolute and perfect being, before creation. It deals with the “infinite, blessed communion of the divine Persons among themselves, without reference to creation,” (B. Brobrinskoy, The Mystery of the Trinity [New York, St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1999], 2, 3) (Mystery). It is the triune God as he is in himself (J. Moltmann, The Trinity and the Kingdom of God [Munich, Germany, SCM Press, Ltd., 1981], 151) (Trinity and the Kingdom).

    This should not be confused with economic Trinitarianism (God for us), the concerted activity of the three Persons in creation as they “maintain and restore the created world to a state of well-being and communion with God” (ibid., 2). “Economic” refers to “divine management of earthly affairs” (The Encyclopedia of Religion [New York, Macmillan Publishing Company, 1987], 54) (Encyclopedia of Religion). “It is oriented to the concrete history of creation and redemption: God initiates a covenant with Israel, God speaks through the prophets, God takes on flesh in Christ, God dwells within as Spirit” (ibid., 54). It is also called revelatory Trinity because the triune God reveals himself through his dispensation of salvation (Trinity and the Kingdom, 151).

    Accordingly, much Trinitarian theological discussions about the “One God in three Persons” deals with immanent Trinity, not economic Trinity. The economic aspect of the Trinity includes the created humanity of Jesus, who was not God (The New Catholic Encyclopedia [Washington D.C., The Catholic University of America, 1967], 943) (Catholic Encyclopedia) and not part of the immanent Trinity. But that is precisely where the Jehovah's Witnesses mistakenly inject him resulting in a great deal of unnecessary confusion.

    They argue, to take one illustration, that Jesus could not be God yet be with God; and he could not be the Father whom he prayed to (Should You Believe in the Trinity? [New York, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, 1989; http://www.watchtower.org/e/ti/index.htm], Chapter 7) (Should You Believe). But this is a classic example of the Jehovah’s Witnesses mixing apples and oranges. The man of the God-man Jesus, the created humanity who was not God (Catholic Encyclopedia, 943), could rightfully pray to God the Father and did regard himself as inferior; this He performed in the context of economic Trinity.

    The idea that the preexistent Word (God the Son) was with God stems from John 1:1:

    In the beginning was the Word,
    And the Word was with God,
    And the Word was God.

    Even though John 1:1 speaks in the context of pre-creation immanent Trinity, the Jehovah’s Witnesses have swapped out God the Son, the preexistent Word, with the created humanity of Jesus. This is not accurate Bible teaching nor does it properly reflect the doctrine of the Trinity. John 1:1 does not claim to say that the created humanity of Jesus was God or was with God in the beginning.

    If you keep this distinction in mind you will be in a much better position to navigate the Jehovah's Witnesses’ maze of misleading tactics and come to a better understanding of what the Trinity doctrine actually means.


  • jonathan dough
    jonathan dough

    Questions of “otherness”: How can God be one, yet three? How can the Word be God yet be with that God?

    Ancient, medieval and modern theologians grappled with the problem of unity and otherness. How can God be one and also three? How can the Word be God, yet also be with God? Or, as the Jehovah's Witnesses put it, “As the Son of God, he could not be God himself” (Should You Believe, Chapter 6). Or, “God could not be his own son” (ibid., Chapter 7).

    Once again, the prologue to John’s gospel sums up the issue as it exemplifies this apparent contradiction:

    In the beginning was the Word,
    And the Word was with God,
    And the Word was God.
    (John 1:1 Green’s Literal Translation)

    First, John 1:1 pertains to divine Persons of the immanent Trinity, not the created humanity of Jesus, who was not God. Furthermore, the ancients were aware of conceptual difficulties with respect to God being one yet three, but they also understood that if John 1:1 is to be taken at face value, then God must be “one” in one sense, and “three” in a different sense (Catholic Encyclopedia, 296). With time it became apparent that the conceptual obstacles were not insurmountable once it became clear that the answer lies not in comparisons to the material, vegetable or sensory worlds, but in the intellectual and psychological.

    For instance, “Justin pictures the preexistent Word as the Father’s rational consciousness (1 Apol. 46; 2 Apol. 13), as emerging, therefore, from the interiority of the Godhead while never-the-less remaining inseparable from the Godhead” (Catholic Encyclopedia, 296).

    Tertullian (d. 230 A.D.) displayed a good sense of the manner in which God is one, and the way in which he is at the same time three:

    God is indeed three: in grade or order, in appearance or aspect, but with a realist connotation, and in manifestation; but in substance (granting an indecisiveness in Tertullian’s use of the term), in power, God is perfectly one. (ibid., 297)

    The Word stands forth and is other than the Father though still within the Godhead in the manner suggested by human reflection, as internal discourse is in some sense another, a second in addition to oneself, though yet within oneself. (ibid., 296)

    Irenaeus (d. 200 A.D.) saw the Son and Spirit’s roles as the two hands of the Father; and by the third century the three Persons were understood to be “distinct yet not divided, different yet not separate, and each with a particular yet complementary role to play in salvation” (Oxford, 1208).

    Additionally, Thomas Aquinas (d. 1274 A.D.) elevated the psychological analogy to another level, drawing parallels with man’s understanding of self and the interior conceptualization of the intellect:

    Men can and do think of their own minds; and when the human intellect reflects upon itself, understands itself, there comes forth within the intellect, in consequence of the act of understanding, the concept or interior conceptualization of the intellect itself so understood.

    This, moreover, is the only type of generation or coming forth that is possible in the immaterial and infinite Godhead. As God understands Himself, there issues forth from God Understanding (the Father) God Understood (the Son).

    In terms of this psychological analogy, then, the three Persons are both immanent to the undivided Godhead and yet distinct as Persons - as God understood in God Understanding, and as God Beloved (the Spirit, ch. 19) in God Loving (the Father and the Son as single source). (Catholic Encyclopedia, 303)

    There are other ways to look at this. For example, you have a spirit within you; it is with you yet it is you. Or, in terms of one person being with another person, an individual with multiple personalities is one individual composed of multiple individuals in his mind, each of which is that person yet with him and each other. Or, Scripture states that husband and wife are one flesh, not two (Genesis 2:24), yet we accept this illogical unity on a spiritual, abstract level as perfectly acceptable.

    Accordingly, the idea that the Word was God and was with God and that each of the three Persons of the Trinity dwell in each other is entirely within the realm of logical abstract possibilities. As a matter of fact it is perfectly reasonable. Bear in mind, we are dealing with spirit, and the immanent preincarnate Word at John 1:1, not the created humanity of Jesus.

    Finally, the Word’s relation to the Godhead, in the sense of being “with” God does not mean “mere company, but the most intimate communion” (Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words Compilated and Expanded upon in Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible [Nashville, Tennessee, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2001], 152) (Strong and Vine’s). This intimacy of the Word with God is a product of their mutual indwelling, among other things, the Father in the Son and the Son in the Father (John 17:21 NAB). Furthermore, the Word (Logos) is the personal manifestation, “not of a part of the divine nature, but of the whole deity” (Strong and Vine’s, 152).


Share this