Watchman Willie Martin Archive

                       The False Doctrine of the Trinity

The Catholic Church says that Yahweh is a trinity: "The Father is Yahweh, the Son is Yahweh, and the Holy Spirit is Yahweh, and yet there are not three Yahwehs but one Yahweh." (The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1912)

However, any bible will actually read:  Psalm 83:18

"You, whose name is Yahweh, you alone are the Most High over all the earth."

Yahweh, Himself, even tells us:

"I am Yahweh. That is my name; and to no one else

shall I give my own glory." (Isaiah 42:8)

"I am Yahweh your Father... You shall have no

Elohims except Me." (Exodus 20:2-3)

"I am Yahweh, and there is no one else." (Isaiah 45;5)

It seems obvious that anyone could be confused. Even the Catholic Encyclopedia claims "A dogma so mysterious presupposes a Divine revelation." Catholic scholars Karl Rahner and Herbert Vorgrimler state in their Theological Dictionary:

"The Trinity is a the strict sense...which could not be known without revelation, and even after revelation cannot become wholly intelligible."

HOWEVER, even more confusing is the thought that divine revelation itself does not allow for such a view of Yahweh:  So would Yahweh be responsible for a doctrine about Himself that is so confusing that even Hebrew, Greek, and Latin scholars cannot really explain it? We doubt it. It appears that according to Catholic doctrine one has to be a theologians 'to know the only true Yahweh and Yeashua whom he has sent'? If the Trinity were true, We would think that it would be clearly and consistently presented in the Bible because the Bible is Yahweh's revelation of Himself to Us. And since we need to know Yahweh to worship Him, the Bible is clear in telling us just who He is.

In Our research We looked to see if indeed the "trinity" was in the Bible. A Protestant publication states:

"The word Trinity is not found in the Bible...It did not find a place formally in the theology of the church till the 4th century."

And a Catholic authority says that the Trinity

"is not...directly and immediately [the] word of Yahweh."

New Catholic Encyclopedia The Catholic Encyclopedia also comments:

"In Scripture there is as yet no single term by which the Three Divine Persons are denoted together. The word tri'as is first found in Theophilus of Antioch about A D 180...Shortly afterwards it appears in its Latin form of trinitas in Tertullian."

So then We at least looked for the IDEA of the trinity being taught clearly in the Old Testament. The Encyclopedia of Religion admits:

"Theologians today are in agreement that the Hebrew Bible does not contain a doctrine of the Trinity."

And the New Catholic Encyclopedia also says:

"The doctrine of the Holy Trinity is not taught in the Old Testament".

In The Triune Yahweh, Jesuit Edmund Fortman admits:

"The Old Testament...tells us nothing explicitly or by necessary implication of a Triune Yahweh who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit...There is no evidence that any sacred writer even suspected the existence of a [Trinity] within a Yahweh head...Even to see in [the Old Testament] suggestions or foreshadowing or 'veiled signs' of the trinity of persons, is to go beyond the words and intent of the sacred writers."

So is at least the IDEA of the trinity taught clearly in the New Testament? The Encyclopedia of Religion says: "Theologians agree that the New Testament also does not contain an explicit doctrine of the Trinity." Jesuit Fortman state:

"The New Testament writers...give us no formal or formulated doctrine of the Trinity, no explicit teaching that in one Yahweh there are three co‑equal diving persons... Nowhere do we find any Trinitarian doctrine of three distinct subjects of divine life and activity in the same Yahweh head."

The New Encyclopedia Britannica


"Neither the word Trinity nor the explicit doctrine appears in the New Testament."

Bernard Lohse says in A Short History of Christian Doctrine:

"As far as the New Testament is concerned, one does not find in it an actual doctrine of the Trinity."

The New International Dictionary of New Testament

Theology similarly states:

"The New Testament does not contain the developed doctrine of the Trinity. 'The Bible lacks the express declaration that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are of equal essence.'[said Protestant Theologian Karl Barth]."

Yale University professor E. Washburn Hopkins  affirmed:

"To Yeashua and Paul the doctrine of the Trinity was apparently unknown...they say nothing about it."

Origin and Evolution of Religion. Historian Arthur Weigall notes:

"Yeashua never mentioned such a phenomenon, and nowhere in the New Testament does the word 'Trinity' appear. The idea was only adopted by the Church three hundred years after the death of Yeashua."

                      The Paganism in Our Christianity

The absolute closest scripture, which is commonly used to explain the Trinity is John 1:1. The term "Yahweh" is applied to both the Father and the son, the Word. But, in the Greek text, the word for "Yahweh" (theos) is written differently in these two instances. To a person unfamiliar with the Greek language, it might seem that there is a significance indicated by the fact that, first, the word is spelled "theon" and next "theos". But, the difference is simply a matter of complying with the Greek grammatical case used. (For more information please see Appendix A)

So where did we get the Trinity from since

"Primitive Christianity did not have an explicit doctrine in the Trinity such as was subsequently elaborated in the creeds."

The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology.

"The early Christians, however, did not at first think of applying the [Trinity] idea to their own faith. They paid their devotions to Yahweh the Father and to Yeashua, the Son of Yahweh, and they recognized the...Holy Spirit; but there was no thought of these three being an actual Trinity, co‑equal and united in One."

The Paganism in Our Christianity.

"The formulation 'one Yahweh 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...Among the Apostolic Fathers, there had BEEN NOTHING EVEN REMOTELY APPROACHING such a mentality or perspective." (New Catholic Encyclopedia).

With all these facts it would be easy to sum up the historical evidence: Alvan Lamson says in The Church of the First Three Centuries:

"The modern popular doctrine of the Trinity...derives no support for the language of Justin [Martyr]: and this observation may be extended to all the ante‑Nicene Fathers; that is, to all Christian writers for three centuries after the birth of Christ. It is true, they speak of the Father, Son, and...holy Spirit, but not as co‑equal, not as one numerical essence, not as Three in One, in any sense now admitted by Trinitarians. The very reverse is the fact."

This makes absolutely no sense to Us. Therefore, Our next logical question would be if the Trinity is not a Biblical teaching, how did it become a doctrine of Christendom?

Many think that it was formulated at the Council of Nicea in 325 C.E. However, the council did not establish the Trinity, for at that council there was no mention of the holy spirit as the third person of a triune Yahweh head.

Here is the story:

In the year 325 C.E., Roman emperor Constantine convened a council of bishops in the city of Nicaea in Asia Minor. His purpose was to resolve the continuing religious disputes over the relationship of the Son of Yahweh to Almighty Yahweh.

Regarding the results of that council, the Encyclopedia Britannica (1971 volume 6, p. 386) says:

"Constantine who was not a Christian, but yet worshiped the Unconquered Sun; his conversion should not be interpreted as an inward experience of grace...It was a military matter. His comprehension of Christian doctrine was never very clear, but he was sure that victory in battle lay in the gift of the Yahweh of the Christians" The Early Church, by Henry Chadwick. But yet he himself presided, actively guiding the discussions, and personally proposed...the crucial formula expressing the relation of Christ to Yahweh in the creed issued by the council, 'of one substance [ho‑mo‑ou'‑sios] with the Father.'...Overawed by the emperor, the bishops, with two exceptions only, signed the creed, many of them much against their inclination."

Hence Constantine's role was crucial. After 2 months of furious religious debate, this pagan politician intervened and decided in favor of those who said that Yeashua was Yahweh.

Did this pagan ruler intervene because of his Biblical convictions? No. A Short History of Christian Doctrine (Berham Lohse, 1963) states:

"Constantine had basically no understanding whatsoever of the questions that were being asked in Greek theology."

What he did understand was that religious disputes

threatened the unity of his empire, and he wanted them resolved.

Did the Council of Nicaea establish, or affirm, the Trinity as a doctrine of Christendom? Many assume that this was the case. But the facts show otherwise.

The creed promulgated by that council did assert things about the so‑called Son of Yahweh that would allow various clergymen to view him as equal to Yahweh the Father in a certain way. Yet, it is enlightening to see what the Nicene Creed did not say. As originally published, the entire creed stated:

"We believe in one Yahweh, the Father almighty, maker of all things visible and invisible; "And in one Lord Yeashua, the Son of Yahweh, begotten from the Father, only begotten, that is, from the substance of the Father, Yahweh from Yahweh, light from light, true Yahweh from true Yahweh, begotten not made, of one substance with the Father, through Whom all things came into being, things in heaven and things on earth, Who because of us men and because of our salvation came down and became incarnate, becoming man, suffered and rose again on the third day, ascended to the heavens, and will come to judge the living and the dead; "And in the Holy Spirit."

Does this creed say that Father, Son, and holy spirit are three persons in one Yahweh? Does it say that three are equal in eternity, power, position, and wisdom? No, it does not. There is no three‑in‑one formula here whatsoever. The original Nicene Creed did not establish or affirm the Trinity.

That creed, at most, equates the Son with the Father in being "of one substance." But it does not say anything like that about the holy spirit. All it says is that "we the Holy Spirit." That is not Christendom's Trinity doctrine.

Even the key phrase "of one substance" (ho‑mo‑ ou'si‑os) did not necessarily mean that the council believed in a numerical equality of Father and Son. The New Catholic Encyclopedia states:

"Whether the Council intended to affirm the numerical identity of the substance of Father and Son is doubtful."

Had the council meant that the Son and the Father were one numerically, it would still not be a Trinity. It would only be a two in one Yahweh, not three in one as required by the Trinity doctrine.

Back to the council ‑ did the Bishops in general believe that the Son was equal to Yahweh? No, there were competing points of view...Regarding the council's decision to consider the Son of the same substance as Yahweh, Martin Marty states

"Nicaea actually represented a minority viewpoint; the settlement was uneasy and was unacceptable to many who were non Aryan in outlook."

Then even...After the council, disputing continued for decades. Those who were for the idea of equating the Son with Almighty Yahweh even fell out of favor for a time. For example, Martin Marty says of Athanasius:

"His popularity rose and fell and he was exiled so often...that he virtually became a commuter Athanasius spent years in exile because political and church officials opposed his views that equated the Son with Yahweh.

So to assert that the Council of Nicaea in 325 C.E. established or affirmed the Trinity doctrine is not true. What later became the Trinity teaching was not in existence at the time. The idea that the Father, Son, and holy spirit were each true Yahweh and equal in eternity, power, position, and wisdom, yet but one Yahweh ‑ a three in one Yahweh ‑was not developed by that council nor by earlier Church Fathers. As The Church of the First Three Centuries states: Even

"The modern popular doctrine of the Trinity...derives no support from the language of Justin (Martyr): and this observation may be extended to all the ante Nicene Fathers; that is, to all Christian writers for three centuries after the birth of Christ. It is true, they speak of the Father, Son and prophetic or holy Spirit, but not as co‑equal, not as one numerical essence, not as Three in One, in any sense now admitted by Trinitarians. The very reverse is the fact. The doctrine of the Trinity, as explained by these Fathers, was essentially different from the modern doctrine. This we state as a fact as susceptible of proof as any fact in the history of human opinions."

"We challenge any one to produce a single writer of any note, during the first three ages, who held this [Trinity] doctrine in the modern sense." Nicaea, though, did represent a turning point. It opened the door to the official acceptance of the Son as equal to the Father, and that paved the way for the later Trinity idea.

The book Second Century Orthodoxy by J. A. Buckley, notes:

"Up until the end of the second century at least, the universal Church remained united in one basic sense; they all accepted the supremacy of the Father. They all regarded Yahweh the Father Almighty as alone supreme, immutable, ineffable and without beginning...

"With the passing of those second century writers and leaders, the church found itself...slipping slowly but inexorably toward that point...where at the Council of Nicaea the culmination of all this piece meal eroding of the original faith was reached. There, a small volatile minority, foisted its heresy upon an acquiescent majority, and with the political authorities behind it, coerced, cajoled and intimidated those who strove to maintain the pristine purity of their faith untarnished."

Then in 381 C. E., the Council of Constantinople affirmed the Nicene Creed. And it added something else. It call the holy spirit "Lord" and "life giver." The expanded creed of 381 C. E. (which is substantially what is used in the churches today and which is called the "Nicene Creed") shows that Christendom was on the brink of formulating a full blown Trinitarian dogma. Yet, not even this council completed that doctrine.

The New Catholic Encyclopedia acknowledges:

"It is interesting to note that 60 years after Nicaea I the Council of Constantinople I [381 C.E.] avoided homoousios in its definition of the divinity of the Holy Spirit. Scholars have been puzzled by the apparent mildness of expression on the part of this creed; its failure, for example, to use the word homoousios of the Holy Spirit as consubstantial with the Father and Son."

That same encyclopedia admits:

"Homoousios does not appear in Scripture."

Even after Constantinople, it was centuries before the Trinity teaching was accepted through out Christendom. The New Catholic Encyclopedia says: "In the West...a general silence seems to have prevailed with regard to Constantinople I and its creed." This source shows that the council's creed was not widely recognized in the West until the 7th or 8th century.

History shows that the Trinity Doctrine began its slow development over a period of centuries. The Trinitarian ideas of Greek philosophers such as Plato gradually crept into church teachings.

As The Church of the First Three Centuries says:

"We maintain that the doctrine of the Trinity was of gradual and comparatively late formation; that it had its origin in a source entirely foreign from that of the Jewish and Christian Scriptures; that it grew up, and was ingrafted on Christianity, through the hands of the Platonizing Fathers; that in the time of Justin, and long after, the distinct nature and inferiority of the Son were universally taught; and that only the first shadowy outline of the Trinity had then become visible."

We know for certain that before Plato, triads, or trinities, were common in Babylon and Egypt. And the efforts of churchmen to attract unbelievers in the Roman world let to the gradual incorporation of some of those ideas into Christianity. This eventually led to acceptance of the belief that the Son and the holy spirit were equal to the Father.

Throughout the ancient world, as far back as Babylonia, the worship of pagan Yahwehs grouped in threes, or triads, was common. That influence was also prevalent in Egypt, Greece, and Rome in the centuries before, during, and after Yeashua of Nazareth. And after the death of the apostles, such pagan beliefs began to invade Christianity. Historian Will Durant observed:

"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 Yahwehs 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."

It appears that the church did not clean up the pollution of paganism but rather sanctified the pollution.

Even the word "Trinity" was only slowly accepted. It was in the latter half of the second century that Theophilus, bishop of Antioch in Syria, wrote in Greek and introduced the word trias, meaning "triad" or "trinity". Then the Latin writer Tertullian in Carthage, North Africa, introduced into his writings the word trinitas, which means "trinity". But the word trias is not found in the inspired Christian Greek Scriptures, and the word trinitas is not found in the Latin translation of the Bible called the Vulgate. Neither expression was Biblical.

Yet, even after the Council of Constantinople, the Trinity did not become a widely accepted creed. Many opposed it and thus brought on themselves violent persecution. It was only in later centuries that the Trinity was formulated into set creeds.

The Encyclopedia  Americana notes:

"The full development of Trinitarianism took place in the West, in the Scholasticism of the Middle Ages, when an explanation was undertaken in terms of philosophy and psychology."

It seems apparent then that secular and church politics largely determined the doctrine. In the book The Christian Tradition, author Jaroslav Pelikan calls attention to the

"non theological factors in the debate, many of which seemed ready again and again to determine its outcome, only to be countermanded by other forces like unto themselves. Doctrine often seemed to be the victim ‑ or the product ‑ of church politics and of conflicts of personality."

17 Yale professor E. Washburn Hopkins put it this way:

"The final orthodox definition of the trinity was largely a matter of church politics"

After Nicea, debates on the subject continued for decades. Those who believed that Yeashua was not equal to Yahweh even came back into favor for a time. But Emperor Theodosius decided against them. He established the creed of the Council of Niceae as the standard for his realm and convened the Council of Constantinople in 381 C E to clarify the formula. That council agreed to place the holy spirit on the same level as Yahweh and Christ. For the first time, Christendom's Trinity began to come into focus.

How unreasonable the Trinity doctrine is compared with the simple Bible teaching that Yahweh is supreme and has no equal! As Yahweh so eloquently put it:

"to whom will you people liken me or make me equal or compare me that we may resemble each other?" (Isaiah 46:5)

It is clear from the Council of Nicaea (A.D. 325) forward that the Roman Emperor Constantine fused the existing apostate Christianity together with the pagan Roman state cult, forming a new state religion labeled the Catholic Church. Barriers to demon control once let down, the gates were open to a flood of Babylonish doctrines and forms of pagan organization as they swept into the new, politically organized state Catholic Church.

The bottom line is why for thousands of years, did none of Yahweh's prophets teach his people about the Trinity? Would Yahweh inspire hundreds of pages of Scripture and yet not use any of this instruction to teach the Trinity if it were the "central doctrine" of faith?  Are We to believe that centuries after Yeashua of Nazareth and after having inspired the writing of the Bible, Yahweh would back the formulation of a doctrine that was unknown to his servants for thousands of years, one that is an "inscrutable mystery" "beyond the grasp of human reason," one that admittedly had a pagan background and was "largely a matter of church politics"?  We do not think so.

Further: The Bible describes two personages, not three: John 1:1‑3

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with Yahweh, and the Word was Yahweh. He was with Yahweh in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made."

"In Scripture there is as yet no single term by which the Three Divine Persons are denoted together." (The New Catholic Encyclopedia Online.)

Holy Spirit is not a person; the original Greek indicates 'it' not 'he': John 14:15

"I will request the Father and He will give you another  helper to be with you forever, the spirit of the truth, which the world cannot receive because it neither beholds it nor knows it. You know it, because it remains with you and is in you."

When 'he' is used in scripture, it is referring to the Greek word, 'paraclete', a word which Yeashua used to personify the Holy Spirit as: The Comforter; The Counselor; The Helper.

All of Paul's letters contain this greeting:

"Grace to you and peace from Yahweh our Father and the Lord Yeashua."

Could Paul have neglected to included the Holy Spirit if 'he' was one of the 'Holy Trinity'?

Holy spirit is the power that emanates from Yahweh:

Romans 15:19

" the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Holy Spirit..."

Reference Materials