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Jesus is deity but not part of a Trinity:

John 1 disproves the Trinity

by Bill Wong

 

 

 

The Lord Jesus is not a created being and is indeed deity, but how?

  

John 1:1 is often used to explain why the Trinity doctrine and its concept of oneness is true and why the father and son are equals.  But the English translation of John 1:1 from the Greek does a disservice to Bible truth.

 

This is the English translation:

 

John 1:

1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

   (NASB)

 

 

The Greek language uses the definite article ‘the’ to identify or draw attention to an object or person.  The article ‘the’ is used right before the first appearance of the word ‘God’ in the verse above, but we do not see this in the English translation. 

 

This is how the Greek looks like (with Strong’s numbers); the definite article ‘the’ is in red immediately preceding the word ‘God’:

 

John 1:1 εv <1722> {IN [THE]} αρχη<746> {BEGINNING} ηv <2258> {WAS}  o <3588> {THE} λoγoς<3056> {WORD,} καi <2532> {AND} o <3588> {THE} λoγoς <3056> {WORD} ηv <2258> (5713) {WAS} πρoς <4314> {WITH} τον <3588> {THE} θεον <2316> {GOD,} καi <2532> {AND} θεος <2316> {GOD} ηv <2258> {WAS} o <3588> {THE} λoγoς <3056> {WORD.}

 

 

 

Therefore, this is how the English should read if we knew what the Greek says:

 

John 1

1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with (the) God, and God was the Word.

 

 

Notice that ‘the God’ immediately confers personality – a specific person.  Namely, that ‘the God’ is the Father and the Word is in no way the same person as ‘the God’, because the article “the” is not used in the second appearance of the word ‘God’:

 

          "The basal function of the Greek article is to point out individual identity".

  

          -  H.E. Dana and Julius R. Mantey, "A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament", page 137.    

 

 

In the English translation, reading “the Word was with God, and the Word was God” makes it appear that the Word and God are somehow the same person or in some way part of one God.  This is not the case as the original language – Greek, indicates.

 

As just mentioned, the second time the word ‘God’ is used does not have the article ‘the’ preceding it.  What does this mean in the original language?  In Greek, where there is an absence of an article (an anarthrous construction), a word is used like an adjective which describes quality:

 

          "Sometimes with a noun which the context proves to be definite the article is not used. This places stress upon the qualitative  aspect of the noun rather than its mere identity. An object of thought may be conceived of from two points of view: as to identity or quality.  To convey the first point of view the Greek uses the article; for the second the anarthrous construction is used.”

 

- H. E. Dana and Julius R. Mantey, ‘A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament’, page 149.

 

 

It means that the Word has the same qualities as His Father.  The Word is God (deity), but He is not the same person as His Father (the God) in any way, but is exactly like Him. There is only one person who is ‘the God’, which is used to describe our Heavenly Father, and He has a son who by default is also God (deity) as His father is. It is the same way a man would describe his son: if the father is a human being, his son is also a human being.

 

The Bible tells us why the Lord Jesus is deity – He is God’s true son.   He is like His father God, similar to how a son is like his father, but the son is not the same person as his father.  Likewise, the Lord Jesus is God (deity), but is not somehow the same person as God Himself or a 2nd person of 3 persons in one God.  

 

The Bible truth, as evidenced in the original Greek, clearly denounces a Trinity, because it states:  

 

Since our Heavenly Father is God/‘the’ God (a noun), then His son by nature is also God (an adjective).

 

There is only one person ‘the God’, and then another person who has the same characteristics of God (deity), because He is the son of His father. When the word ‘God’ is used to describe Jesus in John 1:1, it is an adjective; the presence of the article ‘the’ before the first appearance of the word ‘God’ delineates this fact and refers to a person, while the use of the second word ‘God’ without a preceding article is a descriptive.

 

A Trinity doctrine wants us to believe that the Word is mysteriously part of or one with God and use the erroneous and misleading English translation to promote this idea. A Trinity doctrine says that Jesus IS somehow one with the person ‘the God’ and not just like Him. It says that they are 2 of 3 persons who are one God.

 

However, a Trinity doctrine cannot have it “both ways”.

 

The Watchtower Society (the Jehovah’s Witnesses) who believe Jesus is a created being or angel say that the absence of an article preceding the second word ‘God’ necessitates inserting an indefinite article ‘a’ before the second word ‘God’, hence making the verse read:

 

John 1:

1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with (the) God, and the Word was (a) god.

 

 

This thereby changes the meaning of the second word ‘God’ from being an adjective referring to qualities of ‘the’ God, which is correct Greek, but instead calls the Word merely ‘a’ god (mighty one) or ‘a’ God – two Gods.  The interpretation and translation of the Jehovah’s Witnesses are wrong.

 

But a Trinity doctrine is speaking out of both sides of its mouth, because though it uses the correct Greek to oppose the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ insertion of the indefinite article ‘a’ before the second word ‘God’, the Trinity doctrine simultaneously says that it is more than an adjective that describes the Word.

 

Instead, it illogically and incorrectly states that the Word is not merely like His father, ‘the God’, as the adjective declares, but it means the Word is somehow the same as ‘the God’, because the Word is a 2nd person in one God and ‘the God’ is the 1st person in this one God! This is patently false.

 

The other incorrect conclusion that comes from the Trinity doctrine is that since it takes one who is God (describes quality) and makes Him the equal of ‘the God’,  is that not actually saying that there are two Gods (polytheism)?

 

But perhaps this is the reason that the Trinity doctrine insists that there “must” be 3 equal persons in 1 God and tries its hardest to deny there is more than one God being spoken of.

 

Where does the Trinity doctrine come up with the idea that ‘the God’ is just 1 of 3 persons in a one God? The Bible truth, as revealed in the Greek, states unambiguously that there is only one God and He IS ‘the God’. ‘The God’ is not 1 of 3 persons in a one God, but ‘the God’ alone IS the one God.

 

To make the Word of God somehow the same or equal to ‘the God’ is to say there are 2 Gods no matter how illogical the argument used to support 3 persons in 1 God.  Remember, the Word is of God; this means the Word is His Word, God’s Word.  And there is only one ‘the God’.

 

Look at John 1:2 which has the same Greek article ‘the’ preceding the word ‘God’ which means it is referring to God, the father of the Lord Jesus:

 

John 1:

2  He was in the beginning with (the) God.

 

 

Again, clearly the Bible is telling us that ‘the God’ is only one person and He is the only one who is God. God is the Lord Jesus’ father.

 

Have we considered how it does not make sense that a person can both be God and the Son of God at the same time which is what a Trinity doctrine proposes? Is it not illogical to state that the Word is with God if He is supposedly also this same God in a Trinity formula?   Is the Word with Himself?

 

Hopefully, the reader can see the word games, hypocrisy, illogical nature, and deception in all this.   The Bible states there is only one God and it is ‘the God’, who is the father of the Lord Jesus Christ. Because the Lord Jesus is the Son of God, He shares the characteristics and nature of His father which makes Him deity as well.

 

 

 

Does John 1:2 proclaim the Word is co-eternal in a Trinity?

 

This is what John 1 says (and note the correct article ‘the’ in both verses 1 and 2):

 

John 1:

1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with (the) God, and the Word was God.

2  He was in the beginning with (the) God.

3  All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.

 

 

A Trinity doctrine states that John 1:1-2 declares the co-eternality of the Word with God and therefore the Son is equal to His father.  It cites this as well as any verse that says the Lord (Jesus) preceded the creation as the creator means He was eternal with God and therefore His equal.  However, is this an objective and true interpretation? 

 

The Bible states in many places that Jesus is deity, but the Bible also tells us this does not make Him the equal of His father (please see the other articles on this site about this topic).  The Bible also says that Jesus is eternal, but again, the Bible also says that the eternal nature of Jesus is not the equal of His father.  We see this in the fact that Jesus can and did die for our sins, but His father cannot die and is immortal.  This very plainly states that though Jesus is eternal, His eternality is not the same or equal of that of His father.  We see this in 1 Timothy 6 where we are told that God is immortal and Jesus testified the good confession to Pilate before His crucifixion:

 

1 Timothy 6:

13   I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate,

14   that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ,

15   which He will bring about at the proper time--He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords,

16   who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion!  Amen.    (NKJV)

 

 

So while the Gospel of John may tell us that the Word of God is eternal and God (adjective describing His deity/divine nature), it does not state that He is ‘the God’ Himself (who is His father) or that He is the equal of His father.  So what does John tell us? The apostle John, as inspired by God, refers back to creation to tell us who was there with ‘the God’ to do the creating.  John 1:1-3 is a parallel of the Genesis account of the creation as stated in the very first verse of the entire Bible:

 

Genesis 1:

1  In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

   (NASB)

 

 

In John we are given more detail as to who was actually there and involved in the creation. We are told that the Word was there with God before the creation of the heavens and the earth; in fact, it is through the Word that all things came into being. This time, John needs to elaborate further, because God is introducing His son to us as the one who was with Him during creation and did the creating according to His will.

 

Now we know that it was not God by Himself who created all things, but it was God through His Word – His only-begotten son, who created all things. We see this also in:

 

1 Corinthians 8:

6  yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him;

   and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him

   (NASB)

 

Colossians 1:

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.

16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible,

    whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-- all things have been created through Him and for Him.

    (NASB)

 

 

We must remember that the New Testament is about the revelation of the Son of God as not only deity who creates all things and is therefore in all ways deserving to be the sole heir, but He is the Messiah who saves all creation by enacting the New Covenant in His blood.   The Old Testament foretold a coming Messiah and a begotten son, but the New Testament reveals Him literally in the flesh.

 

The reader may know that of all the gospels, the deity of the Lord Jesus is perhaps most evident in the Gospel of John.  This is so, because God wants to make it clear not only that He has a son, but as this son, the Lord Jesus is God (deity), because He is the only-begotten Son of God.  As the Son of God, He is also the creator who dies for His creation.  This is why the very first chapter of John recalls the Genesis account of Creation.  God wants us to know who was actually there (His son was with Him) and that it was His son who created – and therefore His son (who is not created), but as the creator dies for His creation and is the one true heir of all things that are/He created.

 

 

John 1 explains to us exactly why there is a reference to more than one person upon the creation of man:

 

Genesis 1:

26  Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness;

     (NASB)

 

 

In the entire Bible there is only one other that is in the likeness of God. It is His son. We saw this in Colossians 1:15 and also:

 

Hebrews 1:

3  who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person,

   and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins,

   sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

   (NKJV)

 

 

And then these two, God and His son, created us in their image.

 


In John 1:1-3 we get a replay of creation of who was there who created the heavens and the earth.  It tells us that the Word of God is eternal, but at the same time says that His eternal nature is not like His father who is ‘the God’.  It refers back to creation and gives us more information about who created the heavens and the earth.  ‘The God’ was not alone, but He was with His son, the Word who was also God/deity, and was there to do the creating. God wants us to know who was there and it was He and His son.