Jehovah Witnesses claim Catholic doctrine don't really support the Trinity

They quote Catholic sources, in a J.W. tract called “Should you believe in the Trinity”.

 The Catholic Encyclopedia: "Nowhere in the O.T. do we find any clear indication of a Third Person." 
Catholic theologian Fortman:  "The Jews never regarded the spirit as a person; nor is there any solid evidence that any O.T. writer held this view ... The Holy Spirit is usually presented in the Synoptics and in Acts as a divine force or power."
The New Catholic Encyclopedia:  "The O.T. clearly does not envisage God's spirit as a person ... God's spirit is simply God's power.  It also says: "The majority of the N.T. texts reveal God's spirit as something, not someone; this is especially seen in the parallelism between the spirit and the power of God."
 A Catholic Dictionary: "On the whole, the N.T., like the Old, speaks of the spirit as a divine energy or power." 

Thus the Jehovah Witnesses hold the following views on 3rd Person of Trinity :

Hence, neither the Jews nor the early Christians viewed the holy spirit as part of a Trinity. The holy spirit is not a person and it is not part of a Trinity. … It is not equal to God but is always at his dispostion and subordinate to him.

Well here are some early church father quotes that prove the church has always supported the holy trinity. And also, Jesus himself speaks of the holy trinity before he ascends “go out to all nations and preach, baptising them in the name of the father and of the son and of the holy spirit…”

Here are some early church afther quotes:

  • Our teacher of these things is Jesus Christ, who also was born for this purpose, and was crucified under Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judea, in the times of Tiberius Caesar; and that we reasonably worship Him, having learned that He is the Son of the true God Himself, and holding Him in the second place, and the prophetic Spirit in the third, we will prove." Justin Martyr, First Apology, 13 (A.D. 155).

  • “[T]he ever-truthful God, hast fore-ordained, hast revealed beforehand to me, and now hast fulfilled. Wherefore also I praise Thee for all things, I bless Thee, I glorify Thee, along with the everlasting and heavenly Jesus Christ, Thy beloved Son, with whom, to Thee, and the Holy Ghost, be glory both now and to all coming ages. Amen.” Martyrdom of Polycarp 14 (A.D. 157).

  • “For God did not stand in need of these [beings], in order to the accomplishing of what He had Himself determined with Himself beforehand should be done, as if He did not possess His own hands. For with Him were always present the Word and Wisdom, the Son and the Spirit, by whom and in whom, freely and spontaneously, He made all things, to whom also He speaks, saying, ‘Let Us make man after Our image and likeness;’ He taking from Himself the substance of the creatures [formed], and the pattern of things made, and the type of all the adornments in the world.” Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 4,20:1 (A.D. 180).

  • “[T]he statements made regarding Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are to be understood as transcending all time, all ages, and all eternity. For it is the Trinity alone which exceeds the comprehension not only of temporal but even of eternal intelligence; while other things which are not included in it are to be measured by times and ages.” Origen, First Principles, 4:28 (A.D. 230).

Hope this helps.

This is a common ploy by the JWs where they quote Catholic sources showing that the Catholic Church does not believe in the Trinity. The quotes are accurate but are taken out of context. They know that most people will not look up the actual document and read it for themselves so that person is likely to believe the JWs “because they actually quoted from a Catholic source so it must be true!”

**“Nowhere in the O.T. do we find any clear indication of a Third Person.” **

If you would look at the above in the Catholic Encyclopedia and read past the quote, the article would say, “however in the N.T. we find clear evidence of a Third Person”. That’s not a direct quote as I did it from memory but you get the idea. They also use quotes from former Catholic priests but they don’t tell you they are no longer associated with the Church. Deception at its highest.

Yes, this.

And, after showing the JW’s the quotes in their full content, one should ask, “If the JW’s have the truth, why do they need to lie to convince others?”

I had two JW’s coming to my house regularly for a while. When I finished researching their material and showed them the Watchtower had lied, one went away angry and the other very sad.

The bottom line is everyone one chooses for him/herself whether to believe the truth or the lie.

Sadly, some choose to continue in a lie even after seeing the truth.
Why, I cannot understand.


You said what I wanted to say!

Another case of misquotation by the Jehovah Witnesses.

This sums it up nicely:

I love this picture! It reminds me of a famous saying (it’s true as a general rule):
Text without Context is Pretext.

Also taken from this J.W. document :

"It is said that some Bible texts offer proof in support of the Trinity.  However, when reading such texts, we should keep in mind that the Biblical and historical evidence does not support the Trinity.
The New Catholic Encyclopedia offers three such "proof texts" but also admits: "The doctrine of the Holy Trinity is not taught in the OT.  In the NT the oldest evidence is in the Pauline epistles, especially 2 Cor. 13:13, and 1 Cor: 4-6.   In the Gospels evidence of the Trinity is found explicitly only in the baptismal formula of MT 28:19"

Now, listen to the logic the J.W. [scholars] use to disprove the Trinity in the above 3 NT scriptures.

“Do these verses say that God, Christ, and the holy spirit constitute a Trinitarian Godhead, that the three are equal in substance, power, and eternity? No, they do not, no more than listing three people, such as Tom, Dick, and Harrry, means that they are three in one.”

Notice here they Capitalize God & Christ … but, leave the ‘holy spirit’ in lower case :frowning:

I am always stunned by the loose associations done by the Watchtower Society in support of its doctrines. It would be nice to think that they know no better, but regular use of context-free argument suggests that it is deliberate.

When I am given W.S. materials, I look up the Biblical references and end up shaking my head. The nexus is often so weak that I wonder why they bothered. Then I end up at the same point, they bothered because they either think tangents bolster the case or because they don’t really think anyone will bother to check. Either way, it appears reckless or deliberately misleading.

Sometimes people just don’t think about whether something make sense or not.

… the WTS society tells you no one ever believed in the Trinity, the OT denies the Trinity, the NT denies the Trinity, even the Catholic Catechism denies the Trinity…

The WTS can make all the claims of denial they like, but at some point the reader should ask himself:

If the Catholic Church teaches there is no Trinity, why do all Catholic believe in the Trinity? :eek:


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