So this is going to be the first in a series of videos discussing the proof texts that Trinitarians refer to in an effort to prove their theory.
Let’s begin by laying down a couple of ground rules. The first and most important is the rule covering ambiguous Scriptures.
The definition of “ambiguity” is: “the quality of being open to more than one interpretation; inexactness.”
If the meaning of a verse of Scripture is not clear, if it can be reasonably understood in more than one way, then it cannot serve as proof on its own. Let me give you an example: Does John 10:30 prove the Trinity? It reads, “I and the Father are one.”
A Trinitarian could argue that this proves both Jesus and Jehovah are God. A non-Trinitarian could argue that it refers to oneness in purpose. How do you resolve the ambiguity? You can’t without going outside of this verse to other parts of the Bible. In my experience, if someone refuses to acknowledge that the meaning of a verse is ambiguous, further discussion is a waste of time.
To resolve the ambiguity of this verse, we look for other verses where a similar expression is used. For example, “I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one.” (John 17:11 NIV)
If John 10:30 proves that the Son and the Father are both God by sharing the same nature, then John 17:11 proves that the disciples are God as well. They share God’s nature. Of course, that’s nonsense. Now a person might say that those two verses are talking about different things. Okay, prove it. The point is that even if that is true, you cannot prove it from those verses so they cannot serve as proof on their own. At best, they can be used to support a truth that has been confirmed elsewhere.
In an effort to get us to believe these two persons are one being, Trinitarians try to get us to accept Monotheism as the only accepted form of worship for Christians. This is a trap. It goes like this: “Oh, you believe Jesus is a god, but not the God. That’s polytheism. The worship of multiple gods like pagans practice. True Christians are monotheistic. We only worship one God.
As Trinitarians define it, “monotheism” is a “loaded term”. They use it like a “thought-terminating cliché” whose sole purpose is to dismiss any argument that goes contrary to their belief. What they fail to realize is that monotheism, as they define it, is not taught in the Bible. When a Trinitarian says there is only one true God, what he means is that any other god, must be false. But that belief does not match the facts revealed in the Bible. For example, consider the context of this prayer which Jesus offers up:
“These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:1-3 King James Version)
Here Jesus is clearly referring to the Father, Jehovah, and calling him the only true God. He does not include himself. He does not say that he and the father are the only true God. Yet at John 1:1, Jesus is called “a god”, and at John 1:18 he is called “the only begotten god”, and at Isaiah 9:6 he is called a “mighty god”. Add to that, the fact that we know that Jesus is righteous and true. So, when he calls the Father, and not himself, “the only true God”, he is not referring to God’s truthfulness nor His righteousness. What makes the Father the only true God is the fact that he is over all other gods—in other words, ultimate power and authority rests with Him. He is the source of all power, all authority, and the origin of all things. All things came into being, including the Son, Jesus, by His will and His will alone. If God almighty choose to beget a god as he did with Jesus, that doesn’t mean he stops being the only true God. Quite the opposite. It reinforces the fact that he is the only true God. This is the truth that our Father is trying to communicate to us, his children. The question is, will we listen and accept, or will we be hellbent on imposing our interpretation on how God should be worshipped?
As Bible students, we must be careful not to put the definition ahead of the thing it is supposed to define. That is just thinly disguised eisegesis—imposing one’s bias and preconceptions onto a Bible text. Rather, we need to look at Scripture and determine what it reveals. We need to let the Bible speak to us. Only then can we properly be equipped to find the right terms to describe the truths that are revealed. And if there are no terms in our language to properly describe the realities revealed by Scripture, then we have to invent new ones. For instance, there was no proper term to describe the Love of God, so Jesus seized a rarely used Greek word for love, agape, and reshaped it, putting it to good use to spread the word of God’s love for the world.
Monotheism, as defined by Trinitarians, does not reveal the truth about God and his Son. That doesn’t mean we can’t use the term. We can still use it, as long as we agree on a different definition, one that fits the facts in Scripture. If monotheism means that there is only one true God in the sense of one source of all things, who alone is Almighty; but allows that there are other gods, both good and bad, then we have a definition that fits with the evidence in Scripture.
Trinitarians like to quote scriptures like Isaiah 44:24 which they believe prove that Jehovah and Jesus are the same being.
“This is what the LORD says— your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the LORD, the Maker of all things, who stretches out the heavens, who spreads out the earth by myself.” (Isaiah 44:24 NIV)
Jesus is our redeemer, our savior. In addition, he is spoken of as the creator. Colossians 1:16 says of Jesus “in him all things were created [and] all things have been created through him and for him”, and John 1:3 says “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.”
Given that scriptural evidence, is the Trinitarian reasoning sound? Before we address that question, please bear in mind that only two persons are referred to. There is no mention of the holy spirit here. So, at best we are looking at a duality, not a trinity. A person who is seeking truth will expose all the facts, because his only agenda is to get at the truth, whatever that may be. The moment a person hides or ignores evidence that doesn’t support his point, is the moment we should be seeing red flags.
Let us begin by ensuring that what we are reading in the New International Version is an accurate translation of Isaiah 44:24. Why is the word “LORD” capitalized? It is capitalized because the translator has made a choice based not on accurately conveying the meaning of the original—the one overriding obligation of a translator—but rather, based on his religious bias. Here is another translation of the same verse that reveals what is hidden behind the capitalized LORD.
“Thus says Jehovah, your Redeemer, and he who formed you from the womb: “I am Jehovah, who makes all things; who alone stretches out the heavens; who spreads out the earth by myself;” (Isaiah 44:24 World English Bible)
“Lord” is a title, and as such can be applied to many persons, even humans. It is therefore vague. But Jehovah is unique. There is only one Jehovah. Even God’s Son, Jesus, the only begotten god is never called Jehovah.
A name is unique. A title is not. Putting LORD instead of the divine name, YHWH or Jehovah, blurs the identity of the one being referred to. Thus, it aids the Trinitarian in promoting his agenda. To clear up confusion caused by the use of titles, Paul wrote to the Corinthians:
“For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or on earth; as there are gods many, and lords many; yet to us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we unto him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and we through him.” (1 Corinthians 8:5, 6 ASV)
You see, Jesus is called “Lord”, but in the pre-Christian Scriptures, Jehovah is also called “Lord”. It is appropriate to call Almighty God, Lord, but it is hardly an exclusive title. Even humans use it. So, by removing the uniqueness that the name, Jehovah, the Bible translator conveys, who is customarily a Trinitarian or beholden to his Trinitarian patrons, blurs the distinction inherent in the text. Rather than the very specific reference to Almighty God carried in the name Jehovah, we have the unspecific title, Lord. If Jehovah had wanted his name replaced by a title in his inspired Word, he would have made that happen, don’t you think?
The Trinitarian will reason that since “the LORD” says he created the earth by Himself, and since Jesus who is also called Lord, created all things, they must be the same being.
This is called hyperliteralism. The best way to deal with hyperliteralism is to follow the counsel provided or found at Proverbs 26:5.
“Answer a fool according to his foolishness or he’ll become wise in his own eyes.” (Proverbs 26:5 Christian Standard Bible)
In other words, take foolish reasoning to its logical and absurd conclusion. Let’s do that now:
All this came upon the king Nebuchadnezzar. At the end of twelve months he was walking in the royal palace of Babylon. The king spake and said, Is not this great Babylon, which I have built for the royal dwelling-place, by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty? (Daniel 4:28-30)
There you have it. King Nebuchadnezzar built the entire city of Babylon, all by his little lonesome. That is what he says, so that is what he did. Hyperliteralism!
Of course, we all know what Nebuchadnezzar means. He didn’t build Babylon himself. He probably didn’t even design it. Skilled architects and craftsmen designed it and oversaw the construction effected by thousands of slave laborers. If a Trinitarian can accept the concept that a human king can speak about building something with his own hands when he never so much as picked up a hammer, why does he choke at the idea that God can use someone to do his work, and still rightly claim to have done it himself? The reason that he will not accept that logic is because it doesn’t support his agenda. That is eisegesis. Reading one’s ideas into the text.
What does the Bible text say: “Let them praise the name of Jehovah, For he commanded, and they were created.” (Psalm 148:5 World English Bible)
If Jehovah says that he did it by himself in Isaiah 44:24, who was he commanding? Himself? That’s nonsense. “ ‘I commanded myself to create and then I obeyed my command,’ thus saith the LORD.” I don’t think so.
We have to be willing to understand what God means, not what we want him to mean. The key is right there in the Christian Scriptures we just read. Colossians 1:16 says that “all things have been created through him and for him”. “Through him and for him” indicate two entities or persons. The Father, like Nebuchadnezzar, commanded that things be created. The means by which that was accomplished was Jesus, his Son. All things were made through him. The word “through” carries the implicit idea of there being two sides and a channel connecting them together. God, the creator is on one side and the universe, the material creation, is on the other side, and Jesus is the channel through which the creation was achieved.
Why does it also say that all things were created “for him”, that is, for Jesus. Why did Jehovah create all things for Jesus? John reveals that God is love. (1 John 4:8) It was Jehovah’s love that motivated Him to create all things for his beloved Son, Jesus. Again, one person doing something for another out of love. For me, we have touched on one of the more insidious and damaging effects of the Trinity doctrine. It obscures the true nature of love. Love is everything. God is love. The law of Moses can be summed up in two rules. Love God and love your fellow human. “All you need is love,” is not just a popular song lyric. It is the essence of life. The love of a parent for a child is the love of God, the Father, for his only begotten Son. From that, the love of God extends to all his children, both angelic and human. Making the Father and the Son and the holy spirit into a single being, really clouds our comprehension of that love, a quality that surpasses all others on the road to life. All the expressions of love that the Father feels for the Son and the Son feels for the Father turn into some sort of divine Narcissism—self love—if we believe the trinity. I don’t think so? And why doesn’t the Father ever express love for the holy spirit if it is a person, and why doesn’t the holy spirit express love for the Father? Again, if it is a person.
Another passage that our Trinitarian will use “to prove” that Jesus is God Almighty is this one:
“You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior. (Isaiah 43:10, 11 NIV)
There are two element from this verse that Trinitarians cling to as proof of their theory. Again, there is no mention of the holy spirit here, but let’s overlook that for the moment. How does this prove that Jesus is God? Well, consider this:
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6 NIV)
So if there was no God formed before nor after the LORD, and here at Isaiah we have Jesus called a Mighty God, then Jesus must be God. But wait, there is more:
“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” (Luke 2:11 NIV)
There you have it. The Lord is the only savior and Jesus is called “a Savior”. So they must be the same. That means that Mary gave birth to God Almighty. Yahzah!
Of course there are many scriptures where Jesus unambiguously calls his Father God distinct from him.
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46 NIV)
Did God forsake God? A trinitarian might say that Jesus here, the person is speaking, but he being God refers to his nature. Okay, so then could we simply reword this as, “My nature, my nature, why have you forsaken me?”
“Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” (John 20:17 NIV)
Is God our brother? My God and your God? How does that work if Jesus is God? And again, if God refers to his nature, then what? “I’m ascending to my nature and your nature”?
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:2 NIV)
Here, the Father is clearly identified as God and Jesus as our Lord.
“First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world.” (Romans 1:8 NIV)
He doesn’t say, “I thank the Father through Jesus Christ.” He says, “I thank God through Jesus Christ.” If Jesus is God, then he is thanking God through God. Of course, if by God he means the divine nature of the person of Jesus, then we could reword this to read: “I thank my nature divine through Jesus Christ…”
I could go on and on. There are dozens more like these: verses that clearly, unambiguously identify God as distinct from Jesus, but oh no…We are going to ignore all these verses because our interpretation matters more than what it clearly stated. So, let’s return to the interpretation of Trinitarians.
Returning to the key scripture, Isaiah 43:10, 11, let’s look at it remembering that LORD in uppercase is used to hide God’s name from the reader, so we will read from the Literal Standard Version of the Bible.
“You [are] My witnesses, a declaration of YHWH, And My servant whom I have chosen, So that you know and give credence to Me, And understand that I [am] He, Before Me there was no God formed, And after Me there is none. I [am] YHWH, And besides Me there is no savior.” (Isaiah 43:10, 11 LSV)
AHA! You see. Jehovah is the only God. Jehovah wasn’t created, because no God was formed before him; and finally, Jehovah is the only savior. So, since Jesus is called a mighty god at Isaiah 9:6 and he is also called the savior at Luke 2:10, Jesus must also be God.
This is yet another example of Trinitarian self-serving hyperliteralism. Okay, so we’ll apply the same rule as before. Proverbs 26:5 tells us to take their logic to its logical extreme.
Isaiah 43:10 says that there was no other God formed before Jehovah nor after him. Yet the Bible calls Satan the devil, “the god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4 NLT). Additionally, there were many gods at that time that the Israelites were guilty of worshiping, for example Baal. How do Trinitarians get around the contradiction? They say that Isaiah 43:10 is only referring to the true God. All other gods are false and so are excluded. I’m sorry, but if you going to be hyper literal you have to go all the way. You can’t be hyper literal some of the time and conditional other times. The moment you say that a verse doesn’t mean exactly what it says, you open the door to interpretation. Either there are no Gods—NO OTHER GODS—or, there are the gods, and Jehovah is speaking in a relative or conditional sense.
Ask yourself, what in the Bible makes a god into a false god? Is it that he doesn’t have the power of a god? No, that doesn’t fit because Satan has godlike power. Look what he did to Job:
“While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The fire of God fell from the heavens and burned up the sheep and the servants, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”” (Job 1:16 NIV)
What makes the devil into a false god? Is it that he has the power of a god, but not absolute power? Does just having less power than Jehovah, the Almighty God, make you into a false God? Where does the Bible say that, or are you again jumping to a conclusion to support your interpretation, my trinitarian fellow? Well, consider the case of the angel of light that became the Devil. He didn’t acquire special powers as a result of his sin. That makes no sense. He must have possessed them all along. Yet he was good and righteous until evil was found in him. So obviously, having powers that are inferior to God’s almighty power doesn’t make one into a false God.
Would you agree that what makes a powerful being into a false god is that he stands in opposition to Jehovah? If the angel who became the devil had not sinned, then he would have continued to have all the power he has now as Satan which power makes him the god of this world, but he would not be a false god, because he would not have stood in opposition to Jehovah. He would have been one of Jehovah’s servants.
So if there is a powerful being that does not stand in opposition to God, would he not also be a god? Just not the true God. So in what sense is Jehovah the true God. Let’s go to a righteous god and ask him. Jesus, a god, tells us:
“Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”(John 17:3 NIV)
How can Jesus, a mighty and righteous god, call Jehovah, the only true God? In what sense can we make that work? Well, where does Jesus get his power from? Where does he get his authority from? Where does he get his knowledge from? The son gets it from the Father. The Father, Jehovah, doesn’t get His power, authority, nor knowledge from the son, from anyone. So only the Father can be called the only true God and that is what Jesus, the son, calls him.
The key to understanding this passage of Isaiah 43:10, 11 lies in the last verse.
“I, even I, am Jehovah, and apart from me there is no savior.” (Isaiah 43:11 NIV)
Again, our Trinitarian fellow will say that Jesus must be God, because Jehovah says that there is no other savior apart from Him. Hyperliteralism! Let’s put it to the test by looking elsewhere in Scripture, you know, to practice exegetical research for once and let the Bible provide the answers rather than listen to the interpretations of men. I mean, isn’t that what we did as Jehovah’s Witnesses? Listen to the interpretations of men? And look where that got us!
“When the children of Israel cried to Jehovah, Jehovah raised up a savior to the children of Israel, who saved them, even Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother.” (Judges 3:9 WEB)
So, Jehovah, who says that besides Him there is no savior, raised up a savior in Israel in the person of Othniel, a judge of Israel. Referring back to that time in Israel, the prophet Nehemiah had this to say:
“Therefore you gave them into the hand of their enemies, who made them suffer. And in the time of their suffering they cried out to you and you heard them from heaven, and according to your great mercies you gave them saviors who saved them from the hand of their enemies.” (Nehemiah 9:27 ESV)
If, over and over, the only one to provide you with a savior is Jehovah, then it would be quite accurate for you to say that your only savior is Jehovah, even if that salvation took the form of a human leader. Jehovah sent many judges to save Israel, and finally, he sent the judge of all the earth, Jesus, to save Israel for all time—not to mention the rest of us.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16 KJV)
If Jehovah hadn’t sent his Son, Jesus, would we be saved? No. Jesus was the instrument of our salvation and the mediator between us and God, but ultimately, it was God, Jehovah, who saved us.
“And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Acts 2:21 BSB)
“Salvation exists in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12 BSB)
“Hold on just a minute,” our Trinitarian friend will say. “Those last verses you just quoted prove the Trinity, because Acts 2:21 is quoting from Joel 2:32 which reads, “It will happen that whoever will call on the name of Jehovah shall be saved;” (Joel 2:32 WEB)
He will argue that at both at Acts 2:21 and again at Acts 4:12, the Bible is clearly referring to Jesus.
Okay, that’s true.
He will also argue that Joel is clearly referring to Jehovah.
Again, yes, he is.
With that reasoning, our Trinitarian will conclude that Jehovah and Jesus, while two distinct persons, must both be one being—they must both be God.
Whoa, Nelly! Not so fast. That is a huge leap of logic. Again, let’s allow the Bible to clear things up for us.
“I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.” (John 17:11, 12 NIV)
This makes it clear that Jehovah has given his name to Jesus; that the power of his name has been imparted to his Son. So, when we read in Joel that “whoever calls on the name of Jehovah shall be saved” and then read in Acts 2:21 that “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord [Jesus] will be saved”, we see no disharmony. We don’t have to believe they are one being, only that the power and authority of the name of Jehovah has been given to his Son. As John 17:11, 12 says, we are protected “by the power of Jehovah’s name which He gave to Jesus, so that we, the disciples of Jesus may be one in the same way that Jehovah and Jesus are one. We do not become one in nature with each other, nor with God. We are not Hindus believing the ultimate goal is to become one with our Atman, which means being one with God in his nature.
If God wanted us to believe he is a Trinity, he would have found a way to convey that to us. He would not have left it up to wise and intellectual Scholars to decipher his word and reveal hidden truths. If we couldn’t figure it out for ourselves, then God would be setting us up to put our trust in men, something he warns us against.
At that time Jesus said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent, and have revealed them to infants. (Matthew 11:25 NASB)
The spirit guides the little children of God to truth. It is not the wise and intellectual who are our guides to truth. Consider these words from Hebrews. What do you discern?
By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. (Hebrews 11:3 NIV)
In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs. (Hebrews 1:1-4 NIV)
If the universe was formed by God’s command, whom was God commanding? Himself or somebody else? If God has appointed his Son, how can his Son be God? If God appointed his Son to inherit all things, from whom does he inherit? Does God inherit from God? If the Son is God, then God made the universe through God. Does that make sense? Can I be the exact representation of myself? That is nonsense. If Jesus is God, then God is the radiance of God’s glory and God is the exact representation of God’s being. Again, a nonsensical statement.
How can God become superior to the angels? How can God inherit a name superior to theirs? From whom does God inherit this name?
Our Trinitarian friend will say, “NO, NO, NO.” You don’t get it. Jesus is only the second person of the Trinity and as such he is distinct and can inherit.
Yes, but here it refers to two persons, God and the Son. It doesn’t refer to the Father and the Son, as if they were two persons in one being. If the Trinity is three persons in one being and that one being is God, then it is illogical and wrong to refer to God in this instance as one person apart from Jesus.
Sorry, my Trinitarian friend, but you can’t have it both ways. If you are going to be hyperliteral when it suits your agenda, you have to be hyperliteral when it doesn’t.
There are two other verses listed in our title that Trinitarians use as proof texts. These are:
“This is what the LORD says— your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the LORD, the Maker of all things, who stretches out the heavens, who spreads out the earth by myself…” (Isaiah 44:24 NIV)
“Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him.” (John 12:41 NIV)
A trinitarian concludes that since John is referencing back to Isaiah where in the same context (Isaiah 44:24) he clearly refers to Jehovah, then he must mean that Jesus is God. I won’t explain this because you now have the tools to work it out for yourselves. Have a go at it.
There are still a great many more Trinitarian “proof texts” to deal with. I will try to deal with them all over the next few videos in this series. For now, I want to again thank everyone who supports this channel. Your financial contributions keep us going. Until next time.