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Some people trust to Encyclopedias, Bible dictionaries, Lexicons, theologians who write books on theology. What do they say about the Trinity?
The New Encyclopaedia Britannica: "Neither the word Trinity, nor the explicit doctrine appears in the New Testament... The doctrine developed gradually over several centuries and through many controversies . . . It was not until the 4th century that the distinctness of the three and their unity were brought together in a single orthodox doctrine of one essence and three persons." New Encyclopedia Britannica.1985 edition. Micropaedia. Vol. 11. p928. https://www.britannica.com/topic/Trinity-Christianity
The Encyclopedia Americana: “Christianity derived from Judaism and Judaism was strictly Unitarian [believing that God is one person]. The road which led from Jerusalem to Nicea was scarcely a straight one. Fourth century Trinitarianism did not reflect accurately early Christian teaching regarding the nature of God; it was, on the contrary, a deviation from this teaching.” The Encyclopedia Americana Vol. XXVII. p294. (1956)
The Columbia Encyclopedia: “Trinity … the doctrine is not explicitly taught in the New Testament.” Legasse P. (Ed.) (2000). The Columbia Encyclopedia p2885.
Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics: “In the New Testament we do not find the doctrine of the Trinity in anything like its developed form, not even in the Pauline and Johannine theology.” Hastings, J. (1951). Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics Vol. XII. p458.
Encyclopedia International: “The doctrine of the Trinity did not form part of the apostles’ preaching, as this is reported in the New Testament.” Henderson. I (1969). Encyclopedia International p226.
New Bible Dictionary: “The word Trinity is not found in the Bible, and, though used by Tertullian in the last decade of the 2nd Century, it did not find a place formally in the theology of the Church till the 4th century.” Douglas. J.D. (1962). The New Bible Dictionary p1298.
Dictionary of the Bible: “The Trinity of God is defined by the Church as the belief that in God are three persons who subsist in one nature. The belief as so defined was reached only in the 4th and 5th centuries AD and hence is not explicitly and formally a biblical belief.” McKenzie. J.L (1995) Dictionary of the Bible p899.
New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology: “The NT does not contain the developed doctrine of the Trinity … primitive Christianity did not have an explicit doctrine of the Trinity such as was subsequently elaborated in the creeds of the early church.” Brown. Colin (1932). New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology Vol.2 p84.
The Oxford Companion to the Bible: “Because the Trinity is such an important part of later Christian doctrine, it is striking that the term does not appear in the New Testament. Likewise, the developed concept of three coequal partners in the Godhead found in later creedal formulations cannot be clearly detected within the confines of the canon… While the New Testament writers say a great deal about God, Jesus and the Spirit of each, no New testament writer expounds on the relationship among the three in the detail that later Christian writers do.” Metzger. B.M & Coogan. M.D. (1993). The Oxford Companion to the Bible p782.
The New Catholic Encyclopedia: “The formula [one God in three Persons] itself does not reflect the immediate consciousness of the period of origins; it was the product of 3 centuries of doctrinal development … The formulation ‘one God in three Persons’ was not solidly established, certainly not fully assimilated into Christian life and its profession of faith, prior to the end of the 4th century. But it is precisely this formulation that has first claim to the title the Trinitarian dogma. Among the Apostolic Fathers, there had been nothing even remotely approaching such a mentality or perspective.” The New Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. XIV. p295 & 299. (1967)
The New Catholic Encyclopedia: “The doctrine of the Holy Trinity is not taught in the OT. In the NT the oldest evidence is in the Pauline epistles, especially 2 Cor 13:14 and 1 Cor 12:4-6)… In the Gospels, evidence of the trinity is found explicitly only in the baptismal statement.” New Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 14 page 306, ‘Trinity, Holy’.
Encyclopedia of Religion: “Exegetes and theologians today are in agreement that the Hebrew Bible does not contain a doctrine of the Trinity, even though it was customary in past dogmatic tracts on the Trinity to cite texts like Genesis 1:26, “Let us make humanity in our image, after our likeness” (see also Gn. 3:22, 11:7, Is. 62-3) as proof of plurality in God….
Further, exegetes and theologians agree that the New Testament also does not contain an explicit doctrine of the trinity… In the New Testament there is no reflective consciousness of the metaphysical nature of God (“imminent trinity”), nor does the New Testament contain the technical language of later doctrine (hupostasis, ousia, substantia, subsistentia, prosopon, persona).” Encyclopedia of Religion. ‘Trinity’. Vol.15, p54. (1987) Ed. M. Eliade. Brackets in quote.
New Schaffe-Herzog Encylcopedia of Religious Knowledge: "... in the New Testament the doctrine of the Trinity is not enunciated ..." but only "deduced from a collocation of passages ...." The New Schaffe-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge. Vol. 12. ed. S. Jackson. Reprint of early 1900's edition republished by Baker Book House. Grand Rapids. Mich.
Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: “Philosophical discussions of the Trinity have suggested solutions to the Trinity puzzle comparable to solutions proposed to these classic identity puzzles. When it comes to the Trinity puzzle, however, one must determine whether such solutions accord with theological constraints.” http://www.iep.utm.edu/trinity/
A Dictionary of Religious Knowledge: "Precisely what that doctrine is, or rather precisely how it is to be explained, Trinitarians are not agreed among themselves." Lyman Abbott. Editor. 1885. ‘Trinitarians’. http://mycog.com/trinity6.htm
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: The "church fathers crystallized the doctrine in succeeding centuries -- long after the apostles had passed from the scene.” International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. 1988, Vol. 4. ‘Trinity’. p914.
The Harper Collins Bible Dictionary: "The formal doctrine of the Trinity as it was defined by the great church councils of the fourth and fifth centuries is not to be found in the NT." Harper Collins Bible Dictionary. Paul Achtemeier. Editor. 1996. ‘Trinity’.
The Harper Collins Encyclopedia of Catholicism: "Today, however, scholars generally agree that there is no doctrine of the Trinity as such in either the OT [Old Testament] or the NT [New Testament] . . . It would go far beyond the intention and thought-forms of the OT to suppose that a late-fourth-century or thirteenth-century Christian doctrine can be found there... Likewise, the NT does not contain an explicit doctrine of the Trinity." Harper Collins Encyclopedia of Catholicism. Richard McBrien, General Editor. 1995. ‘God’. p564-565.
The New Unger's Bible Dictionary, speaking of the Trinity: "It is admitted by all who thoughtfully deal with this subject that the Scripture revelation here leads us into the presence of a deep mystery; and that all human attempts at expression are of necessity imperfect." New Unger’s Bible Dictionary. 1988. p1308.
The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology: "…primitive Christianity did not have an explicit doctrine of the Trinity such as was subsequently elaborated in the creeds of the early church." New International Dictionary of NT Theology. Colin Brown. Editor. Vol. 2. 1976. ‘God’. p84.
Alister E McGrath wrote in his classic ‘Christian Theology: An Introduction’, “The doctrine of the trinity is unquestionably one of the most perplexing aspects of Christian theology, and requires careful discussion.” Alister E. McGrath. Christian theology - An introduction. p319. ‘The doctrine of the trinity’.
H. Maldwyn Hughes wrote in the early 1900s: “The doctrine of the Trinity is not primarily a speculative doctrine. It is a speculative construction of materials provided by revelation and Christian experience. The definition has stood the test of time, mainly because it is believed that the Church was divinely guided in framing it…
But the definition, in its terminology and in its description of processes in the internal life of the Godhead, goes beyond New Testament teaching. These may, of course, be legitimate developments, but it is impossible to deny the speculative elements present." H. Maldwyn Hughes. M. A., D. D. Christian foundations. An introduction to Christian doctrine. p141. fourth edition. July 1933.
A. W. Argyle wrote in his book God in the New Testament: “The fully developed Christian Doctrine that God is three Persons in one Godhead is nowhere explicitly stated in the New Testament. But there is to be found in its language concerning the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit what may be described as the first germinations of that doctrine.” A. W. Argyle. God in the New Testament. p173. Chapter ‘The beginnings of the doctrine of the Trinity in the New Testament’.
Martin Luther stated: "It is indeed true that the name 'Trinity' is nowhere to be found in the Holy Scriptures, but has been conceived and invented by man." Reproduced in The Sermons of Martin Luther. John Lenker. Editor. Vol. 3. 1988. p406.
Professor Charles Ryrie stated in Basic Theology: "Many doctrines are accepted by evangelicals as being clearly taught in the Scripture for which there are no proof texts. The doctrine of the Trinity furnishes the best example of this. It is fair to say that the Bible does not clearly teach the doctrine of the Trinity... In fact, there is not even one proof text, if by proof text we mean a verse or passage that 'clearly' states that there is one God who exists in three persons." Basic Theology. Charles Ryrie. p89. 1999.
Millard Erickson, research professor of theology at South-Western Baptist Theological Seminary, wrote: The Trinity "is not clearly or explicitly taught anywhere in Scripture, yet it is widely regarded as a central doctrine, indispensable to the Christian faith. In this regard, it goes contrary to what is virtually an axiom of biblical doctrine, namely, that there is a direct correlation between the Scriptural clarity of a doctrine and its cruciality to the faith and life of the church…
It is claimed that the doctrine of the Trinity is a very important, crucial, and even basic doctrine. If that is indeed the case, should it not be somewhere more clearly, directly, and explicitly stated in the Bible? If this is the doctrine that especially constitutes Christianity's uniqueness... how can it be only implied in the biblical revelation?... For here is a seemingly crucial matter where the Scriptures do not speak loudly and clearly.
In view of the difficulty of the subject and the great amount of effort expended to maintain this doctrine, we may well ask ourselves what might justify all this trouble." God in Three Persons: A Contemporary Interpretation of the Trinity’. 1995. p12.
Shirley Guthrie, Jr., professor of theology at Columbia Theological Seminary, wrote: "The Bible does not teach the doctrine of the Trinity. Neither the word 'trinity' itself nor such language as 'one-in-three,' 'three-in-one,' one 'essence' (or 'substance'), and three 'persons,' is Biblical language. The language of the doctrine is the language of the ancient church taken from classical Greek philosophy." Christian Doctrine. 1994. p76-77.
Theology professors Roger Olson and Christopher Hall state: "It is understandable that the importance placed on this doctrine is perplexing to many lay Christians and students. Nowhere is it clearly and unequivocally stated in Scripture... How can it be so important if it is not explicitly stated in Scripture?” ‘The Trinity’. Roger Olson. Christopher Hall. p1.2. (2002)
A.W. Tozer wrote that the Trinity is: "incomprehensible mystery" and attempts to understand it "must remain forever futile". He further states that the churches, "without pretending to understand”, have continued to teach the doctrine. (He believed in the Trinity himself) ‘The Knowledge of the Holy’. p17.18. (1961)
Cyril Richardson, professor of church history at New York's Union Theological Seminary, a dedicated Trinitarian stated: "My conclusion, then, about the doctrine of the Trinity is that it is an artificial construct... It produces confusion rather than clarification; and while the problems with which it deals are real ones, the solutions it offers are not illuminating. It has posed for many Christians dark and mysterious statements, which are ultimately meaningless, because it does not sufficiently discriminate in its use of terms." ‘The Doctrine of the Trinity’. p148-149. (1958)
He also admitted, "Much of the defense of the Trinity as a 'revealed' doctrine, is really an evasion of the objections that can be brought against it." Ibid p16.
Reasonable Belief: A Survey of the Christian Faith: The Trinity doctrine came as a result of "a process of theological exploration which lasted at least three hundred years . . . In fact it was a process of trial and error (almost of hit and miss), in which the error was by no means all confined to the unorthodox... It would be foolish to represent the doctrine of the Holy Trinity as having been achieved by any other way." ‘Reasonable Belief: A Survey of the Christian Faith.’ Theology professors Anthony and Richard Hanson. p172. (1980) Brackets in quote.
The professors conclude: "This was a long, confused, process whereby different schools of thought in the Church worked out for themselves, and then tried to impose on others, their answer to the question, 'How divine is Jesus Christ?'... If ever there was a controversy decided by the method of trial and error, it was this one." Ibid. p175.
K.E. Kirk, Anglican churchman and Oxford University lecturer stated of the adoption of the doctrine of the Trinity: "The theological and philosophical vindication of the divinity of the Spirit begins in the fourth century; we naturally turn to the writers of that period to discover what grounds they have for their belief. To our surprise, we are forced to admit that they have none...
This failure of Christian theology... to produce logical justification of the cardinal point in its trinitarian doctrine is of the greatest possible significance. We are forced, even before turning to the question of the vindication of the doctrine by experience, to ask ourselves whether theology or philosophy has ever produced any reasons why its belief should be Trinitarian." ‘The Evolution of the Doctrine of the Trinity’. published in ‘Essays on the Trinity and the Incarnation’. A.E.J. Rawlinson. Editor. p221-222. (1928)
Historian and science fiction writer H.G. Wells stated: "There is no evidence that the apostles of Jesus ever heard of the trinity -- at any rate from him." The Outline of History Vol. 2. p499. (1920)
Catholic priest W.G. Rusch wrote: “No doctrine of the Trinity in the Nicene sense is present in the New Testament... There is no doctrine of the Trinity in the strict sense in the Apostolic Fathers...” Rusch W.G. The Trinitarian Controversy. Fortress Press, Phil. p2-3. (1980)
A Muslim stated on his site: “Even the most fanatical supporters of Trinity cannot scientifically trace modern-day Trinity any farther back than the second Christian century. Even then, it was an alien creed, never propagated by Jesus (peace be upon him) or by any of his disciples. During that era, Trinity would have competed with other alien theories popular among Christians about the nature of Jesus Christ (peace be upon him).” http://www.islamhouse.com/p/107087
The Nouveau Dictionnaire Universel: "The Platonic trinity, itself merely an arrangement of older trinities dating back to earlier peoples, appears to be the rational philosophic trinity of attributes that gave birth to the three hypostases or divine persons taught by the Christian churches... This Greek philosopher’s [Plato, fourth century B.C.E.] conception of the divine trinity . . . can be found in all the ancient [pagan] religions." The Nouveau Dictionnaire Universel. Paris, 1865-1870. Edited by M.Lachâtre.Vol. 2. p1467.
Yale University Professor E. Washburn Hopkins: "To Jesus and Paul the doctrine of the trinity was apparently unknown... they say nothing about it." Origin and Evolution of Religion
Catholic theologian Hans Küng: "Even well-informed Muslims simply cannot follow, as the Jews thus far have likewise failed to grasp, the idea of the Trinity . . . The distinctions made by the doctrine of the Trinity between one God and three hypostases do not satisfy Muslims, who are confused, rather than enlightened, by theological terms derived from Syriac, Greek, and Latin. Muslims find it all a word game . . . Why should anyone want to add anything to the notion of God's oneness and uniqueness that can only dilute or nullify that oneness and uniqueness?" The Illustrated Bible Dictionary. ‘Christianity and World Religions’.
William G. Eliot: "But how can such weak creatures ever take in so strange, so difficult and so abstruse a doctrine as this [the Trinity], in the explication and defence, whereof multitudes of men, even men of learning and piety, have lost themselves in infinite subtleties of dispute and endless mazes of darkness? And can this strange and perplexing notion of three real persons going up to make one true God be so necessary and important a part of that Christian doctrine, which, in the Old Testament and the New, is represented as so plain and so easy, even to the meanest understandings." William G. Eliot. Discourses on the Doctrines.
Albrecht Ritschl (1822-89), theologian and economic history professor: saw the Trinity doctrine as flagrantly Hellenistic. It had corrupted the Christian message by introducing an alien "layer of metaphysical concepts, derived from the natural philosophy of the Greeks," and it had nothing to do with early Christianity.
Historian Will Durant: "Christianity did not destroy paganism; it adopted it.... From Egypt came the ideas of a divine trinity." And in the book Egyptian Religion, Siegfried Morenz notes: "The trinity was a major preoccupation of Egyptian theologians... Three gods are combined and treated as a single being, addressed in the singular. In this way the spiritual force of Egyptian religion shows a direct link with Christian theology." "The doctrine of the Trinity has in the West come into increasing question... there has for long been a tendency to treat the doctrine as a problem rather than as encapsulating the heart of the Christian Gospel." The Promise of the Trinity. Gunton. p31.
Thomas Jeffersen, founding father of the United States: “The Athanasian paradox that one is three, and three but one, is so incomprehensible to the human mind, that no candid man can say he has any idea of it, and how can he believe what presents no idea? He who thinks he does, only deceives himself. He proves, also, that man, once surrendering his reason, has no remaining guard against absurdities the most monstrous, and like a ship without rudder, is the sport of every wind. With such person, gullibility which they call faith, takes the helm from the hand of reason, and the mind becomes a wreck." Thomas Jefferson: Letter to James Smith, Dec. 8, 1822.
Even Robert A. Heinlein, American science fiction writer had something to say: "Anyone who can worship a trinity and insist that his religion is a monotheism can believe anything."
One cannot but be impressed by the quantity of men (or women) who have come to the same conclusion.
Are all these 'authorities' wrong? They might be right. After all, if they all said the Sabbath was a false day of worship, we would know for certain they were mistaken.
How would we know?
Simply because we have studied the Word of God.
All truth comes from God's Word. Always remember that fact. If it doesn't, then we should discard it.