Arguments against the trinity

A jehovah’s witness said " I think that anyone who reads the bible and has a little common sense can see that Jesus can’t pray to his father for strength, say that he has come to do his fathers will and that his father is greater than he is etc and still be the same person."

What can I say in responce?

Evanescence

We do not say that the trinity is one person. We say that it is one God in three persons.

Shift the focus to the recorded false prophecies of their sect:
(Source: catholic.com/library/Stumpers_for_Jehovah_Witnesse.asp)

Among other things, the WTS predicted the following:
1889 "The ‘battle of the great day of God almighty’ (Rev 16:14) which will end in AD 1914 . . . " (Studies, Vol. 2, 1908 edition, 101).
1891 “With the end of AD 1914, what God calls Babylon, and what men call Christendom, will have passed away, as already shown from prophecy” (Studies, Vol. 3, 153).
1894 “The end of 1914 is not the date for the beginning, but for the end of the time of trouble” (WT Reprints, 1-1-1894, 1605 and 1677).
1897 “Our Lord is now present, since October 1874 AD” (Studies, Vol. 4, 1897 edition, 621).
1916 “The six great 1000 year days beginning with Adam are ended, and that the great 7th day, the 1000 years of Christ’s reign began in 1873” (Studies, Vol. 2, p. 2 of foreword).
1917 “Scriptures . . . prove that the Lord’s Second Advent occurred in the fall of 1874” (Studies, Vol. 7, 68).
1918 “Therefore, we may confidently expect that 1925 will mark the return of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the faithful prophets of old” (Millions Now Living Will Never Die, 89).
1922 “The date 1925 is even more distinctly indicated by the scriptures than 1914” (WT, 9-1-1922, 262).
1923 “1925 is definitely settled by the scriptures. As to Noah, the Christian now has much more upon which to base his faith than Noah had upon which to base his faith in a coming deluge” (WT, 4-1-1923, 106).
1925 “The year of 1925 is here. . . . Christians should not be so deeply concerned about what may transpire this year” (WT, 1-1-1925, 3).
1931 “There was a measure of disappointment on the part of Jehovah’s faithful ones on earth concerning the dates 1914, 1918, & 1925 . . . and they also learned to quit fixing dates” (Vindication, 388, 389).
1939 “The disaster of Armageddon is just ahead” (Salvation, 361).
1941 “Armageddon is surely near . . . soon . . . within a few years” (Children, 10).
1946 “Armageddon . . . should come sometime before 1972” (They Have Found a Faith, 44).
1966 “Six thousand years from man’s creation will end in 1975, and the seventh period of a thousand years of human history will begin in the fall of 1975 C.E” (Life Everlasting in Freedom of the Sons of God, 29).
1968 “The end of the six thousand years of man’s history in the fall of 1975 is not tentative, but is accepted as a certain date” (WT, 1-1-1968, 271).

[quote=Evanescence]A jehovah’s witness said " I think that anyone who reads the bible and has a little common sense can see that Jesus can’t pray to his father for strength, say that he has come to do his fathers will and that his father is greater than he is etc and still be the same person."

What can I say in responce?

[/quote]

Exactly right. The Son and the Father aren’t the same Person. They are different Persons who, along with the Holy Spirit, are One God. IOW: Reading the Bible with a little common sense demonstrates that what the Church says about the Trinity fits the bill rather nicely.

– Mark L. Chance.

[quote=Evanescence]A jehovah’s witness said " I think that anyone who reads the bible and has a little common sense can see that Jesus can’t pray to his father for strength, say that he has come to do his fathers will and that his father is greater than he is etc and still be the same person."
What can I say in responce?
Evanescence
[/quote]

Hi evan -

The catechism is a great place to understand the Trinity. Here’s the teaching…vatican.va/archive/catechism/p1s2c1p2.htm#II

**II. THE REVELATION OF GOD AS TRINITY **

The Father revealed by the Son

238 Many religions invoke God as “Father”. The deity is often considered the “father of gods and of men”. In Israel, God is called “Father” inasmuch as he is Creator of the world.59 Even more, God is Father because of the covenant and the gift of the law to Israel, “his first-born son”.60 God is also called the Father of the king of Israel. Most especially he is “the Father of the poor”, of the orphaned and the widowed, who are under his loving protection.61

239 By calling God “Father”, the language of faith indicates two main things: that God is the first origin of everything and transcendent authority; and that he is at the same time goodness and loving care for all his children. God’s parental tenderness can also be expressed by the image of motherhood,62 which emphasizes God’s immanence, the intimacy between Creator and creature. The language of faith thus draws on the human experience of parents, who are in a way the first representatives of God for man. But this experience also tells us that human parents are fallible and can disfigure the face of fatherhood and motherhood. We ought therefore to recall that God transcends the human distinction between the sexes. He is neither man nor woman: he is God. He also transcends human fatherhood and motherhood, although he is their origin and standard:63 no one is father as God is Father.

240 Jesus revealed that God is Father in an unheard-of sense: he is Father not only in being Creator; he is eternally Father in relation to his only Son, who is eternally Son only in relation to his Father: "No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him."64

241 For this reason the apostles confess Jesus to be the Word: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”; as “the image of the invisible God”; as the “radiance of the glory of God and the very stamp of his nature”.65

242 Following this apostolic tradition, the Church confessed at the first ecumenical council at Nicaea (325) that the Son is “consubstantial” with the Father, that is, one only God with him.66 The second ecumenical council, held at Constantinople in 381, kept this expression in its formulation of the Nicene Creed and confessed “the only-begotten Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, light from light, true God from true God, begotten not made, consubstantial with the Father”.67

The Father and the Son revealed by the Spirit

**243 **Before his Passover, Jesus announced the sending of “another Paraclete” (Advocate), the Holy Spirit. At work since creation, having previously “spoken through the prophets”, the Spirit will now be with and in the disciples, to teach them and guide them “into all the truth”.68 The Holy Spirit is thus revealed as another divine person with Jesus and the Father.

244 The eternal origin of the Holy Spirit is revealed in his mission in time. The Spirit is sent to the apostles and to the Church both by the Father in the name of the Son, and by the Son in person, once he had returned to the Father.69 The sending of the person of the Spirit after Jesus’ glorification70 reveals in its fullness the mystery of the Holy Trinity.

245 The apostolic faith concerning the Spirit was confessed by the second ecumenical council at Constantinople (381): "We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life, who proceeds from the Father."71 By this confession, the Church recognizes the Father as “the source and origin of the whole divinity”.72 But the eternal origin of the Spirit is not unconnected with the Son’s origin: "The Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, is God, one and equal with the Father and the Son, of the same substance and also of the same nature. . . Yet he is not called the Spirit of the Father alone,. . . but the Spirit of both the Father and the Son."73 The Creed of the Church from the Council of Constantinople confesses: "With the Father and the Son, he is worshipped and glorified."74

continued…

III. THE HOLY TRINITY IN THE TEACHING OF THE FAITH

The formation of the Trinitarian dogma

**249 **From the beginning, the revealed truth of the Holy Trinity has been at the very root of the Church’s living faith, principally by means of Baptism. It finds its expression in the rule of baptismal faith, formulated in the preaching, catechesis and prayer of the Church. Such formulations are already found in the apostolic writings, such as this salutation taken up in the Eucharistic liturgy: "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all."81

250 During the first centuries the Church sought to clarify her Trinitarian faith, both to deepen her own understanding of the faith and to defend it against the errors that were deforming it. This clarification was the work of the early councils, aided by the theological work of the Church Fathers and sustained by the Christian people’s sense of the faith.

251 In order to articulate the dogma of the Trinity, the Church had to develop her own terminology with the help of certain notions of philosophical origin: “substance”, “person” or “hypostasis”, “relation” and so on. In doing this, she did not submit the faith to human wisdom, but gave a new and unprecedented meaning to these terms, which from then on would be used to signify an ineffable mystery, “infinitely beyond all that we can humanly understand”.82

252 The Church uses (I) the term “substance” (rendered also at times by “essence” or “nature”) to designate the divine being in its unity, (II) the term “person” or “hypostasis” to designate the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in the real distinction among them, and (III) the term “relation” to designate the fact that their distinction lies in the relationship of each to the others.

The dogma of the Holy Trinity

**253 **The Trinity is One. We do not confess three Gods, but one God in three persons, the “consubstantial Trinity”.83 The divine persons do not share the one divinity among themselves but each of them is God whole and entire: "The Father is that which the Son is, the Son that which the Father is, the Father and the Son that which the Holy Spirit is, i.e. by nature one God."84 In the words of the Fourth Lateran Council (1215), "Each of the persons is that supreme reality, viz., the divine substance, essence or nature."85

254 The divine persons are really distinct from one another. "God is one but not solitary."86 “Father”, “Son”, “Holy Spirit” are not simply names designating modalities of the divine being, for they are really distinct from one another: "He is not the Father who is the Son, nor is the Son he who is the Father, nor is the Holy Spirit he who is the Father or the Son."87 They are distinct from one another in their relations of origin: "It is the Father who generates, the Son who is begotten, and the Holy Spirit who proceeds."88 The divine Unity is Triune.

255 The divine persons are relative to one another. Because it does not divide the divine unity, the real distinction of the persons from one another resides solely in the relationships which relate them to one another: "In the relational names of the persons the Father is related to the Son, the Son to the Father, and the Holy Spirit to both. While they are called three persons in view of their relations, we believe in one nature or substance."89 Indeed "everything (in them) is one where there is no opposition of relationship."90 "Because of that unity the Father is wholly in the Son and wholly in the Holy Spirit; the Son is wholly in the Father and wholly in the Holy Spirit; the Holy Spirit is wholly in the Father and wholly in the Son."91

256 St. Gregory of Nazianzus, also called “the Theologian”, entrusts this summary of Trinitarian faith to the catechumens of Constantinople: Above all guard for me this great deposit of faith for which I live and fight, which I want to take with me as a companion, and which makes me bear all evils and despise all pleasures: I mean the profession of faith in the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. I entrust it to you today. By it I am soon going to plunge you into water and raise you up from it. I give it to you as the companion and patron of your whole life. I give you but one divinity and power, existing one in three, and containing the three in a distinct way. Divinity without disparity of substance or nature, without superior degree that raises up or inferior degree that casts down. . . the infinite co-naturality of three infinites. Each person considered in himself is entirely God. . . the three considered together. . . I have not even begun to think of unity when the Trinity bathes me in its splendor. I have not even begun to think of the Trinity when unity grasps me. . .92

Subrosa

Having “studied” with the jws many years ago, I repeatedly heard arguements like this.
Their religion is dry, their god is narrow and there is no mystery in their faith.
Everything with them is reason and common sense (theirs) and they cannot see beyond.
A jw that opens his mind and heart to the truths of The Faith will be the most joyfull and active convert you have ever seen. I know.

A jehovah’s witness said " I think that anyone who reads the bible and has a little common sense can see that Jesus can’t pray to his father for strength, say that he has come to do his fathers will and that his father is greater than he is etc and still be the same person."

What can I say in responce?

This question had long been answered almost 1700 years ago during the time of Arian heresy. You might look up the history of the Council of Nicaea (AD 325) to take a fresher look at the origins of Arianism, and the modern neo-Arianists like the JW, Iglesia ni Cristo (in the Philippines), etc.

There is only One Person of the Word of God–Jesus. In His Person He has two natures, Human and Divine. At the Incarnation, the Second Person of the Trinity assumed our human nature. He become like one of us. This act is complete and inseparable union of the two natures–but resulting in only one Person. Thus, if you say that they are different because of their nature, you are declaring that there are two Christs–and this cannot be, since God did not willed it to be. For we have only one saviour, the person of Jesus Christ–true God and true Man–Son of God and Son of Man.

The human nature of Christ is not greater than the Father (Jesus said; “the Father is greater than I…”) But his Divine nature is co-equal with the Father ("‘I and the Father are One.’, making himself equal to God."). He also said to the Father; “Glorify thy Son, so that the Son may glorify you.” God doesn’t need any glorification from a creature. But He said this to manifest that Jesus is God the Son glorifying God the Father.

Pio

[quote=urquhart]We do not say that the trinity is one person. We say that it is one God in three persons.

Shift the focus to the recorded false prophecies of their sect:
(Source: catholic.com/library/Stumpers_for_Jehovah_Witnesse.asp)

Among other things, the WTS predicted the following:
1889 "The ‘battle of the great day of God almighty’ (Rev 16:14) which will end in AD 1914 . . . " (Studies, Vol. 2, 1908 edition, 101).
1891 “With the end of AD 1914, what God calls Babylon, and what men call Christendom, will have passed away, as already shown from prophecy” (Studies, Vol. 3, 153).
1894 “The end of 1914 is not the date for the beginning, but for the end of the time of trouble” (WT Reprints, 1-1-1894, 1605 and 1677).
1897 “Our Lord is now present, since October 1874 AD” (Studies, Vol. 4, 1897 edition, 621).
1916 “The six great 1000 year days beginning with Adam are ended, and that the great 7th day, the 1000 years of Christ’s reign began in 1873” (Studies, Vol. 2, p. 2 of foreword).
1917 “Scriptures . . . prove that the Lord’s Second Advent occurred in the fall of 1874” (Studies, Vol. 7, 68).
1918 “Therefore, we may confidently expect that 1925 will mark the return of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the faithful prophets of old” (Millions Now Living Will Never Die, 89).
1922 “The date 1925 is even more distinctly indicated by the scriptures than 1914” (WT, 9-1-1922, 262).
1923 “1925 is definitely settled by the scriptures. As to Noah, the Christian now has much more upon which to base his faith than Noah had upon which to base his faith in a coming deluge” (WT, 4-1-1923, 106).
1925 “The year of 1925 is here. . . . Christians should not be so deeply concerned about what may transpire this year” (WT, 1-1-1925, 3).
1931 “There was a measure of disappointment on the part of Jehovah’s faithful ones on earth concerning the dates 1914, 1918, & 1925 . . . and they also learned to quit fixing dates” (Vindication, 388, 389).
1939 “The disaster of Armageddon is just ahead” (Salvation, 361).
1941 “Armageddon is surely near . . . soon . . . within a few years” (Children, 10).
1946 “Armageddon . . . should come sometime before 1972” (They Have Found a Faith, 44).
1966 “Six thousand years from man’s creation will end in 1975, and the seventh period of a thousand years of human history will begin in the fall of 1975 C.E” (Life Everlasting in Freedom of the Sons of God, 29).
1968 “The end of the six thousand years of man’s history in the fall of 1975 is not tentative, but is accepted as a certain date” (WT, 1-1-1968, 271).
[/quote]

Why would they keep making predictions then? You would think the members would take a hint after all these bad predictions.Its as if they just dont get it!

Hi Evanescence,

I too have had the same conversation with a very good friend of mine who is a JW. She would ask me “who was Jesus praying too?”. My reply was of course, “God”. Then the whole, “that proves Jesus is not God…” argument ensued.

We used to have discussions quite often and I would feel ashamed because I did not know the answers to reply to her questions. Since then I have found this AWESOME forum and here I found answers to so many of her questions. And now our discussions about religion have pretty much come to an end. I think she is used to ‘winning’. That is truly what it felt like was a contest of sorts and she always had the last word. Our last 3 discussions, I have had the last word. Then, she emailed me and said we should not discuss religion anymore in order to save the friendship. Because she is so dear to me, I no longer bring up topics for discussion. But I still pray for her conversion and I have told her that.

Thank God for this forum!!!

Deanna

Thanks all for your help!

Lol deanna I agree!

Evanescence

The JW’s basis for there being no Trinity is that they don’t believe that Jesus is God, but they’ll also tell you that they don’t believe in the Trinity because it’s not explicity mentioned in the bible and that it is pagan in origin. All these arguments can be refuted with the help of info on this website.

So maybe re-focus the discussion on the divinity of Christ. If you can prove Jesus’s divinity (and beware – they’ll call him divine as well, but they don’t mean equal to God) then you’re 2/3rds of the way to the Trinity.

Also, go to catholicxjw.com for resources from a JW convert to Catholicism.

Good luck.

[quote=Evanescence]A jehovah’s witness said " I think that anyone who reads the bible and has a little common sense can see that Jesus can’t pray to his father for strength, say that he has come to do his fathers will and that his father is greater than he is etc and still be the same person."

What can I say in responce?

Evanescence
[/quote]

He is right, they are not the same person. They are two seperate persons, one being. One God in three persons. When John1;1 says that “The Word was God”, I don’t think you can understand it any other way than that The Word was God. The Word was incarnate and became man, Jesus Christ. In John6 Christ uses the same term The Father uses speaking to Moses. He says, “before Abraham was, I AM.” This passage says alot. It says that Christ exists outside of time, considering that he uses a present verb for himself whereas for Abraham he used a past verb. It is also a term that The Father used for himself. He is calling himself God in this sentence.

Also in the epistle of John it says “the Father, The Word, and The Spirit are one”. They are one and the same.

Just to offer a different perspective, I have found that non-Trinitarians of all stripes offer a very strong challenge to “mainstream” Protestants. They sling bible verses back and forth at each other and often the mainstreams have to fall back on “it’s true because the Church has always taught it”. That is, the non-Trinitarians often force the mainstreams out of their “sola Scriptura” and into asserting the authority and infallibility of the Church, at least on this question. For a brief moment, in their exasperation, they become Catholic. :smiley:

[quote=Evanescence]A jehovah’s witness said " I think that anyone who reads the bible and has a little common sense can see that Jesus can’t pray to his father for strength, say that he has come to do his fathers will and that his father is greater than he is etc and still be the same person."

What can I say in responce?

Evanescence
[/quote]

Point out to the JW from John 6 (and any other areas), that Christ came to do the will of the Father. The idea of the economy of God runs that the Son issues from the Father, and the Spirit issues from the Father and the Son, each of the same essence, co-equal etc., but the function of the Son as Savior, and in the incarnation is to do the will of the Father. That is Jesus’ constant refrain, not His own will, but the will of the Father.

This can be illustrated by asking the JW, are you and your boss both men? Do you submit to the will of your boss at work, for the good of the company, and to ensure that the company goes in the direction that the President/owner of the company wishes it to go? The owner and the worker are of the same essence, with the worker submitting to the will of the owner.

The Father, the Son, the Spirit are all God, each functions with respect to the overall plan in submission to the will of the Father.

**1. 2 Cor **13:14
*14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. *

**Note: **(from above verse)
Jesus Christ….……Grace (or gift)
God the Father…… Love
Holy Spirit………… Fellowship

2. Peter 1:2
2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.

Note: (from above verse)
God the Father.……Foreknowledge
Spirit…………………Sanctifying work
Jesus Christ.………Obedience, sacrifice

3. 1 Cor 12:4-6
4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit.
5 And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord.
6 There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons.

4. Matthew 28:19
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,

A new name for God—Father, Son, Holy Spirit

Note:
● Name is singular
**● **The name embodies the fullness of a person
● When a person is baptized he is identifying with
everything that God is, has, and represents

SUMMARY: CO-EQUAL CO-ETERNAL CO-SUBSTANTIAL

● God the Father—From whom all revelation proceeds
● God the Son—Who incarnates the revelation into history; and who mediates between the Father and man
● God the Spirit—Divinely outpours and applies the revelation to man

Grace,

Bill

[quote=VociMike]Just to offer a different perspective, I have found that non-Trinitarians of all stripes offer a very strong challenge to “mainstream” Protestants. They sling bible verses back and forth at each other and often the mainstreams have to fall back on “it’s true because the Church has always taught it”. That is, the non-Trinitarians often force the mainstreams out of their “sola Scriptura” and into asserting the authority and infallibility of the Church, at least on this question. For a brief moment, in their exasperation, they become Catholic. :smiley:
[/quote]

see above argument; I have fallen back on the scripture, and there is more that can be said from the scripture:D

Bill

[quote=sonseeker]see above argument; I have fallen back on the scripture, and there is more that can be said from the scripture:D

Bill
[/quote]

Nonetheless, I have seen the phenomenon I described many times. The non-Trinitarians are very tenacious and active in defense of their views. In the end, absent a divinely-inspired teaching authority, it’s all a matter of duelling scripture verses.

Evanescence,

I have another sharing.

God is the Creator, not angels or any other created being. In the book of Genesis, God said; “Let ***us ***make man in our image, in our own likeness…” (emphasis added). God is not solitary. The book of Genesis suggests that God was speaking to another Person. Each Person of the Most Holy Trinity was talking with each other, as Scripture reveals at the time of creation. The first book of the Bible already revealed to us, though not explicitly, that God the Creator of the universe is not solitary.

Pio

You might find the following link helpful:

catholicxjw.com/Trinity1.html

Jeff Schwehm
www.catholicxjw.com

[quote=VociMike]Nonetheless, I have seen the phenomenon I described many times. The non-Trinitarians are very tenacious and active in defense of their views. In the end, absent a divinely-inspired teaching authority, it’s all a matter of duelling scripture verses.
[/quote]

2 Tim 3:16?

Bill

[quote=Evanescence]A jehovah’s witness said " I think that anyone who reads the bible and has a little common sense can see that Jesus can’t pray to his father for strength, say that he has come to do his fathers will and that his father is greater than he is etc and still be the same person."

What can I say in responce?

Evanescence
[/quote]

Ok we just had the celebration of Pentecost, where Jesus knew the apostles were sad at His departing.
Jesus said it was neccessary for Him to leave so that the Spirit might come.

Why ? may I ask would it be neccessary for Jesus to leave so that the Spirit would come, if the three wern’t intertwined ?

Also in the Baptism in the Jordan, we have the manifestation of the Trinity, Jesus in the river, a voice from Heaven, His Father, and the Holy Spirit decending in the form of a dove.

Also Emmanuel means God among us, a hard concept to grasp, but there you go !

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