QUESTION—What is understood by the expression, “the triune God?” (E.S.M.)
ANSWER—Some have thought this to be a scriptural expression, but it is not to be found in the Bible. It is believed to have originated in the heathen mythologies of the Hindoos in ancient India. Webster defines the term “triune” as three in one—”an epithet used to express the unity of a trinity of persons in the Godhead.” We know of but one passage in the Bible that actually teaches the doctrine of a “triune God.” But this passage is now conceded to be spurious by all Bible scholars. The words found in 1 John 5,7 (“in heaven the Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one; and there are three that bear witness in earth”), are not contained in any of the oldest Greek manuscripts. The Religious Dictionary, page 944, says: “It was not until the fourth century that the Trinitarian view began to be elaborated and formulated into a doctrine, and an endeavor made to reconcile it with the belief of the Church in one God . . . Out of the attempt to solve this problem sprang the doctrine of the Trinity . . . Trinity is a very marked feature in Hindooism, and is discernible in Persian, Egyptian, Roman, Japanese, Indian, and the most ancient Grecian mythologies.” – Q846:2
QUESTION (1911)—1—Please give your views of the Trinity?
ANSWER—I wish the brother had quoted the text of Scripture. But I will say that I have never found any text of Scripture from Genesis to Revelation that mentions the Trinity, and if anybody has found one, it would be worth something to me to know where it is. I would give ten dollars for it right away. I cannot find any reference to the Trinity in the Bible. You will find it in the hymn books, and in all kinds of theological books, but you will never find it in the Bible. There is just one text of Scripture which implies it—it does not say it—in 1 John 5:7, where we read that there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word and the Spirit, and there are three that bear record on earth, the water, the spirit, and the blood, and these three agree in one, and the other three agree in one. What does it mean? Well, it would be very foolish the way it reads. That is one of those things where they tried to make a trinity in olden times, and not having any text of Scripture for it, they tried to manufacture one, and, as usual, they made a botch of it. Now, what does it say? “There are three bearing record in heaven.” What are they bearing record to? That Jesus is the Son of God? Who is bearing record in heaven that Jesus is the Son of God? The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit bearing record in heaven that Jesus is the Son of God? What do they need to bear record of that kind for? Are the angels in need of it? The idea of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit going through heaven testifying to the angels that Jesus is the Son of God! It is ridiculous! These words are interpolated. It reads without these words, “There are three that bear record, the water, the Spirit and the blood, and these three agree in one testimony.” That is the way it reads without the interpolated words. These words were interpolated, so far as we know, about seven hundred years after the words were supposed to be used. Do not misunderstand me. I fully believe in the Bible kind of a trinity. The Bible tells about the Father, and I believe that; the Bible tells about the Son, and I believe that; and the Bible tells about the Holy Spirit, and I believe that, too. I believe whatever the Bible says. And if anyone finds any text that tells about the Trinity, I will believe that too. Q716:1