top of page

The Greatest Threat To Biblical Monotheism

Updated: Jul 24, 2023

Why I reject the Orthodox view of God's nature aka the Doctrine of the Trinity

My reasons for writing this paper stems from multiple reasons. First and foremost, it has been said that the theological position that I'm perpetuating is not “kingdom-worthy”. There are suppositional roadblocks put in place on the highway to salvation if one doesn't hold to the antithetical theological stance of Unitarianism, that is none other than Trinitarianism. Which in my view, is the greatest threat to the very fabric of biblical Monotheism. Admittedly, I do acknowledge this to be an uphill battle, however, to use a biblical analogy, the 12 disciples climbed a steep hill to deliver a message to the known world likewise. They did not leave it a mystery that was left incomplete.

To be transparent, I do not subscribe to shelving logic for a mystery that is pinned with some "progressive revelation". That to me opens us up to all kinds of logical contradictions and wild imaginations. No theory could be refuted since we need our God-given logic to do that.

My supposition as a Unitarian strongly suspects that the Father alone is the ἀληθινὸν Θεὸν (True God). That is The Father is depicted as God par excellence. I will proceed to lay out my basic arguments with 3 important key tasks in which my position is substantiated. This brand of Monotheism is the exhausted form of monotheism. You may have other supposed loopholes, i.e. monolatry, Trinitarianism, Oneness, etc. However, Unitarianism is the most explicit and strict.

1. Is there enough evidence that we can find in the inspired literature that are explicit, unambiguous and clear in the Bible that show Jesus and the HS is and was the covenant God of Israel? Not just mere inferences? I.e an Apostle’s confession in a clear manner that tells of Jesus’s activity as God in the OT. [note the emphatic ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ Θεὸς -(Matthew 22:32) was also never used in relation to Jesus or the Trinitarian view of the Holy Spirit.]

2. Can we find evidence that the Bible proposes any other sentient being other than the Father as a se’? That is, does the Son possess aseity which is a necessary attribute to the God of Israel?

3. Can we prove Jesus and the HS is the lone creator exnihilo *of* all material things (like people, trees) and immaterial things (like spirits); The passages found in the Gospel of John, Colossians, and Hebrews when read in context will not suffice enough to denote Jesus —himself—being the creator of all things, instead, we see things being created through [δι’+genitive] and for him by someone else [with passive verbal expressions like ἔκτιστα]ι , he is made like us, being made lower than angels, and his very LIFE is delegated to him from the Father [Jhn 5:26], etc…

A Progressive Revelation

It is quite often argued that the Doctrine of the Trinity was revealed between testaments. That is, after Malachi and before the Gospel of Matthew, the Triune God concept was embedded in the NT writer's psyche as a revelation that they in real-time was living in. The historical events of the ministry, death, burial, resurrection, and exaltation of the Son in conjunction with the outpouring of the Spirit serves as an impetus for how some Trinitarians claim how the NT authors maneuvers around the explicit vs the implicit dichotomy this doctrine is faced with. However, this is just an immature over-emphasis of "Progressive Revelation" and it leads to an apriori against the OT theses…Ultimately an argument from silence.

Here is an interesting quote from a historical Trinitarian, Gregory Nazianzus

“The Old Testament proclaimed the Father openly, and the Son more obscurely; the New manifested the Son, and suggested the deity of the Spirit; now the Spirit himself dwells among us, and supplies us with a clearer demonstration of himself (Gregory Nazianzus in his Fifth Theological Oration 26 [SC 250:326-27]).”

The great Church leader doesn't seem to ascribe to the concept of the most direct text should have the final “say” on doctrinal matters. Lordship was at the very heart of Jesus' redemptive work on the cross. Paul makes this clear in Romans 14:8-9 (NKJV): "For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord's. For to this end Christ died, and rose and lived again, that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living."

Jude 5 (Christ’s admission?)

This text could be a conversation/debate killer if the ambiguity was clear enough. The absence of Christ’s affirmation of his involvement in the rescue mission of the Israelites during the Exodus events is telling. If Jesus doubles down on the idea of him being the LORD that saved the Israelites, then we need not discuss whether Jesus is YHWH, the second person of the Triune God we so adamantly debate.

In the background, there seems to be a dispute concerning textual evidence. That the word κύριος or Ἰησοῦς was a part of the original author’s pin. Was it an apparent corruption? Was it a simple scribal error? We really can't know for certain if it was a deliberate scribal alteration. However, throughout the verses in Jude, there is a consistent pattern that reveals that "the Lord" (KJV, NASB, NIV) is probably the best option in Jude 1:5 ...

1. When Jude refers to "God" at the present time, he calls him "the Father" (v. 1) and distinguishes Him from Jesus Christ (v. 1, 25).

2. When Jude refers to something that happened prior to the time of Jesus, he uses "the Lord" (without a name) which was a title for God the Father prior to the time of Jesus (v. 5, 9, 10).

3. When Jude refers to Jesus Christ as "the Lord" at the present time, he uses his name as "our Lord Jesus Christ" (v. 4, 17, 21, 25) to distinguish him from God the Father.

Thus, we can see that the title of "the Lord" could apply to both God the Father and Jesus Christ (as elsewhere in the NT), but that Jude consistently qualified it with "our" and "Jesus Christ" when he was not referring to God or someone prior to the present time of writing.

Hence, biblical unitarians can take "the Lord" (KJV, NASB, NIV) as the preferable reading of Jude 1:5 from both an exegetical and contextual standpoint without needing to debate about the different manuscripts thereof.

So the question is now begged, did Jesus or YHWH the Father lead the Israelites out of Egypt? I'm my opinion this is a game changer, as I believe Jude alone is sufficient in refuting this idea, but for the sake of clarity I would like to also introduce some extra-biblical scholarship in to the conversation.

Beginning with the text of Jude itself: If it was Jude’s intention to claim or belief that Jesus was the LORD in the OT, who “saved the people out of the land of Egypt”( v.5), then surely Jude would have not only identified YHWH as Jesus in verse 5 as a clear caveat but would have have seemed normal to have carried that theme to verse 9. If it was believed that Jesus was the pre-existent person who led the Israelites out of Egypt, and Jude believed Jesus was YHWH, why not then identify “Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ” as YHWH in verse 9, while recording an event that would have taken place with a 40 year time span? Suc-year time span? Such a reading would look like "The κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ rebuke thee”. This is what we expect to see if the author intended for us to see this "newly revelation”…

If we consider only some of the manuscript evidence, we may claim that Jude was saying or believed that Jesus was indeed a divine angel or the divine being YHWH being who led the Israelites out of Egypt. But, what we see is several different manuscripts. In Bart Ehrman’s ‘Orthodox Corruption of Scripture’, he identifies several corruptions and variants in different manuscripts.

Regarding Jude 5, Ehrman notes: “Thus, in Jude 5, where manuscripts vary over whether it was “the Lord” (most manuscripts), or “Jesus” (A B 33 81 1241 1881) or “God (c2 623 VGms) who saved the people from Egypt…p72 stands alone in saying that the Savior of the people was “the God Christ”.” So, we see that are 4 different variations, with a 3rd century (approx.) copy going as far as changing the text to “the God Christ”. pp.85-86

From my understanding, the earliest manuscript we have of Jude is P72 from the 3rd-4th century. ‘κύριος’ (Lord) is also the favored translation by Tommy Wasserman who is accredited with compiling “the most exhaustive investigation of the epistle” (‘Jude on the Attack by Alexandra Robinson pg.12). Also see: The Epistle of Jude: Its Text and Transmission by Wasserman. To be fair, Robinson also notes “the committees on the Greek New Testament clearly struggled to come to a consensus on the matter given their verdict to class this variant as category D (Unresolved)”.

However, not only is the epistle by Jude damning to the case it’s claimed Ἰησοῦς’ led the Israelites out of Egypt in Jude’s epistle, which in view destroys the very idea that Jesus pre-existed as the covenant God, but scholarship, including an unbiased agnostic (Ehrman) as well as by the professor who’s complied “the most exhaustive investigation” on the epistle by Jude, both identify corruptions and variants of the text, but Wasserman also believes κύριος’ to be the proper translation (Ehrman doesn’t state specifically regarding Jude, although he does identify the p72 manuscript as having several “modifications”).

Taking all of the evidence in to consideration, it seems highly unreasonable to me to claim the original text read ‘Ἰησοῦς’ and not ‘κύριος’. Ehrman’s also pointed out that “most” manuscripts read “the Lord”.

So, in the epistle of Jude, even if we were to claim that Ἰησοῦς’ was the original reading, Jude clearly doesn’t believe that Jesus was YHWH, because he identifies by name,

It should be obvious that Jude 5 is not about Jesus because:

i) the O.T. does not mention Jesus led the people out of Egypt.

ii) the O.T. does not mention Jesus punished anyone for unbelief.

iii) Jesus was begotten and born long after these events.

iv) God did not speak through Jesus in the past. Hebrews 1:1-2

v) the OT informs us that this was done by YHWH and no other God or LORD.

The word “Lord". The Father is indeed the sovereign Lord of creation but he is not the "one Lord" who was "made Lord" by one who is "greater" than himself (1Cor 8:6; Acts 2:36; Jn 14:28).

A short summary of my reasons for rejecting Trinitarianism.

  1. The "God dying" dichotomy - The idea that God at some point experienced death is oxymoronic. The loopholes that have been given seems to be factored out by biblical and ancient history in general. The EXPLICIT teachings in the Bible such as 1 Timothy 1:16 explain the immunity of the nature of God to death. Any form. The two things can be true theory is generally correct, but here it's ad -hoc and grossly misapplied. Whenever it seems like a fringe in the pro-deity claim, it seems far too convenient to apply God's human aspect into the equation. In the grand scheme of things, there isn't enough Biblical evidence to endorse such a theory.

  2. The subordinate factor- The idea that God has a superior, whether ontological or authority proves inadequate for Supreme deity. That God has a God seems anti-reflexive and antithetical to the Bible’s EXPLICIT teachings of God's sovereignty. The idea of the covenant God of Israel voluntarily submitting himself to someone else weakens the complete omniscient nature of the God of the Bible.

  3. Christ’s admissions- The EXPLICIT declarations from Jesus himself that God is Uni-personal and alone true (John 17:3). The truth about the nature of God should be understood in light of what Jesus says in plain Scripture. Notwithstanding other's views of the biblical author's aphorisms. For example, It seems improper to interpret Jesus teachings in light of Paul. Paul seems to be definitive in 1 Corinthians 8:6 that in their day God was exclusively God the Father. If he was implicitly teaching Jesus is also conflated with the one YHWH, then Jesus’s theological conversation with his fellow Jewish practitioner in Mark 12:29 would seem incomprehensible. You have the unfitting redundant declaration in Paul’s letter to Corinth, "To us, we have one YHWH and one YHWH” or “We have one true God and one true God".

The John 17:3 dilemma (the subordinate factor)

In my experience, I've seen and heard every explanation at attempts for damage control. From the wrong modifying nouns to the idea of knowledge of two subjects being the result of eternal life prove one subject is equally as sovereign as the next. In my experience, I have yet to hear a plausible response. There is one that is put out there that doesn’t necessarily disagree with 17:3, and that is the "monotheism” theory. However, this idea is like a straw-man argument, to say the least. We would all agree jesus’ statement by nature is a monotheistic proclamation. Nevertheless, when you get to the essence of the statement, that is where the Trinitarian arguments falls through the quicksand that was created by themselves, and the semantics start to play in. Jesus does indeed get to the meat by emphatically pointing to one person in this passage, not a being in vague terminology. Also, just simply placing the word "Only” before the pronoun (that ironically points to the Father) is a non-sequitur. It's just a fallacious game of semantics when in reality, the text grammatically and contextually says exactly that.

Dr. Robert Bowman provides the most common standard response to the 17:3 dilemma. In his popular Journal "Cross-Examination: Socinus and the Doctrine of the Trinity

He writes:

"Modern anti-Trinitarians clearly think that John 17:3 delivers a coup de grace to the belief that Jesus Christ is God, and therefore to the doctrine of the Trinity. But does it?

In fact, what John 17:3 actually says is perfectly consistent with the doctrine of the Trinity. Trinitarianism affirms that the Father is the only true God. After all, if there is only one true God, and the Father is that God, then the Father must be the only true God. It is also consistent with the Trinity to affirm that the Father sent Jesus Christ. So what's the problem? Anti-Trinitarians think that the sentence creates a disjunction between "the only true God" and "Jesus Christ," implying that Jesus Christ is not the only true God. But this is not quite correct. John 17:3 does distinguish between the Father ("you") and "Jesus Christ," and in this same statement identifies the Father as "the only true God," but this does not necessarily imply a denial that Jesus Christ is also true God.”

Saying the Only true God is the Father and Only the Father is the true God are glaringly interchangeable... In Greek grammar, it is technically called a convertible proposition. I'm most cases, you will be quickly directed to the 5th verse as a redirection of the point of emphasis in vs 3. This is a tactic of a fallacious conclusion based on a single unrelated factoid. The goal here for defenders of Trinitarianism is to present a text in the same chapter in close proximity that will put you in a position to agree with it or dismiss it. Well, I'm confident that no one that believes biblical inerrancy will disagree with vs 5. However, the usage in which they utilize it to neutralize vs 3 is faulty. For me, if this text is read in any other way besides a unitarian view that Jesus himself puts forward would destroy the integrity of not only this text, but the entire NT and OT oeuvre in general.


John 17:3 and the convertibility of propositions has an extremely convincing case for my reasons why I believe traditional biblical Unitarianism is the far superior credo. A convertible proposition in Greek simplified is when two terms, the subject and the Predicate of simple apposition, are identical and have an identical referent.

{S} (Predicate Nominative)

Example 1: (A){Jesus} is (the only true Christ)

{S} (Predicate Nominative)

(B) {Christ} is (the only true Jesus)

These propositions are completely interchangeable. This essentially means that the titles of Christ and Jesus are exhausted. This also means only the subject fits this category. Since the Bible speaks of only one Jesus Christ this means that there is only one who is truly Jesus Christ par excellence.

When we apply this logical grammatical structure to John 17:3, we have an is with Trinitarian monotheism.

Example 2: "thee the only true God"

{S} (Predicate Nominative)

(A) {the Father} is (the only true God)

(B) {The only true God} is (the Father)

(*) Only the True God is the Father

In theory, if one can agree with example 1, then it is the only logical conclusion one should agree with the proposition in example 2. That only the Father (σε) in 17:3 is the true God.

The evidence for the Holy Spirit as a separate person (or lack thereof)

The Trinitarian claim: "The Holy Spirit is a person because He/it speaks"

Well, I guess the David’s bones has personhood also in Psalms 35:10: "All MY BONES SHALL SAY, Jehovah, who is like unto thee, Who deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him, Yea, the poor and the needy from him that robbeth him?"

I guess lightning from God, much like the Spirit from God is a person because it also speaks: "God says he can send out lightnings which can say to you, “Here we are.” - Job 38:35, RSV, NASB

Oh, at Proverbs 8:1, 3-4, Does not wisdom call, She cries aloud: ‘To you, o men, I call,...’” - RSV, etc. Yes, even scripture speaks to us: Romans 4:3.

Trinitarian claim says only a person can be grieved:

The grieving of the holy spirit is a Hebrew way of declaring things spirituality. The same can be said of grace. Depending on the Bible version, grace can be insulted/outraged/despited in Hebrews 10:29. Interestingly, The Epistle to Diognetus mentions grace explicitly being grieved "the grace [charis] of the prophets is recognized.... If thou grieve [lupeo] not this grace [charis] thou shalt understand.” [See p. 183, Early Christian Writings, Staniforth, Dorset Press, 1986 ed.]

Anthropomorphically, abstract concepts can be personified as Sean explained earlier in the discussion. The Holy Spirit is God the Father’s Spirit.

Ancient concerns:

During the post-apostolic period, a great fear of the destruction of Monotheism integrity arise. Certain important theological influencers rightfully maintained the faith once delivered to the Saints. Individuals who lived in Rome in the second and third centuries, Theodotus, Asclepiodotus, and Artemas (or Artemon), & the bishop of Antioch Paul Samosata who was publicly condemned in 268 ad.

33 views1 comment

Recent Posts

See All

1 Comment

George Edward Dunn
George Edward Dunn
Oct 08, 2022

The earliest ECFs who espoused the Incarnation, which preceded the Trinity Concept are en whole denying the numerical "echad" of Adonai, which is intrinsic to the Shema Command. Which is to say that all rationales attending this "echad" subsequently deny its own number (one) altogether. As an adjective denoting singularity then, the Echad of Adonai has to be in modern terminology...a complex, compound, or even MYSTICAL "one." And, even historically, this NUMBER of the adjective...was DENIED ALTOGETHER as an option, for YHWH. Instead, the Karaite View of the Echad Nehemiah Gordon expresses, the SIMPLE and ALONE, by ITSELF singularity the One True God has. This is...the JUDAIC FLAVA for monotheism, and as Gordon points out, even a child can (and every…

bottom of page