A challenge to tradition – the trinity

When  a Trinity believer reads Ephesians 1, he must surely be like someone driving down the road on a dark night and being blinded for a moment by each of the on coming headlights but he keeps his course and when each passes then he can see again. There are a lot of oncoming headlights in this chapter where he must be reconciled to being temporarily blinded.

Here we have the first chapter of Ephesians. How do we read it? Almost every verse challenges the TRINITY doctrine which has, since the fifth century, been synonymous with catholic Christianity.

It uses words that are not to be found in scripture but taken from the prevailing and much revered Greek philosophers. It says there are three distinct persons who are of the same substance and are co-equal and co-eternal and that these three are ONE.

Eph 1:1  Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:

Eph 1:2  Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Eph 1:3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

Eph 1:4  According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

Eph 1:5  Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

Eph 1:6  To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

Eph 1:7  In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Eph 1:8  Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;

Eph 1:9  Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

Eph 1:10  That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

Eph 1:11  In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

Eph 1:12  That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

Eph 1:13  In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

Eph 1:14  Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

Eph 1:15  Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,

Eph 1:16  Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;

Eph 1:17  That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:

Eph 1:18  The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

Eph 1:19  And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,

Eph 1:20  Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,

Eph 1:21  Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:

Eph 1:22  And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,

Eph 1:23  Which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all.

Most obvious is that the maths are wrong. Jesus said in John that he had another witness- the Father. A matter had to have two or three witnesses and  here he says that he himself is a witness and the Father is too. Jesus and the Father are two. A trinitarian would surely have named a third but he did not.

Jesus always speaks as if the Father is his superior.” I go to my God and your God, my Father and your Father”. “The God and Father of our Lord Jesus” “the revelation which God gave him” “I did not come of myself but I was sent”. Abraham was going to sacrifice Isaac – Isaac was willing but it was not his idea. “he that sends is greater than he who is sent” “my Father is greater than I” and he calls himself “the beginning of the creation of God”

Scripture shows clearly that Jesus and the Father are two separate persons “not my will but thine”, “My God, why hast thou forsaken me?”” the Son of the man sitting at the right hand of God” and Daniel’s vision of one like a son of man being presented to the Ancient of Days.

The problem arises when you try to prove that these two are ONE. Didn’t Jesus say that he and the Father are one? Yes, he did but he used the neuter for the Greek word for ONE and not the masculine as is used in the Shema “ Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord”. Furthermore he prays that we might be ONE even as he and the Father are ONE – again using the neuter en for ONE and not the masculine eis.

Then there is the much written about verse in 1 John 5 that speaks of the three that bear record in Heaven, the Father, the Word and the Holy Ghost and these three are ONE. Even the catholic Jerusalem Bible has dropped this as it is proven to be of doubtful origin. It was first a marginal note and was later incorporated into the Latin Vulgate. When Erasmus compiled his Greek New Testament it did not appear in the first two editions because he could not find it in any of the Greek manuscripts that he had access to. He put it into his third edition when a Greek manuscript was produced that had it – but this was a Greek translation of the Vulgate and of recent fabrication. This was at the time of the Inquisition and so catholic Erasmus was under some pressure to accept it.

There is in Revelation 1:11 a repeat of what had been ascribed to the Almighty in verse 8 but this part of verse 11 is not considered genuine and again the Jerusalem Bible has dropped it. Manuscripts were copied, by hand, sometimes from old and well worn copies and it could be a problem knowing whether what was in the margin was there because the last copyist had missed it or if it was a comment or were they trying to be “helpful”?

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