THE WATCHTOWER TRINITY

Copyright 1993 by Natalie Pappas

Jehovah's Witnesses believe with all their heart, and all their soul, and all their mind that Watchtower publications present the truth about the Bible and about Christendom. With these "deeper truths" firmly in hand, they fearlessly set out to share what they have learned with others. One of the main things Jehovah's Witnesses seek to share is their disbelief in the Christendom Trinity.

When meeting people in their door to door work, they find out quickly how easy it is to show WHY the Trinity is confusing and contradictory. Jehovah's Witnesses are able to do this because Watchtower publications misrepresent the Christendom Trinity.

Please remember, however, that Jehovah's Witnesses truly believe they are doing those in Christendom a favor. They are completely unaware that the Christendom Trinity has been twisted into an unrecognizable doctrine which can only be rightly termed "THE WATCHTOWER TRINITY".

It may come to a gigantic surprise to Jehovah's Witnesses that Trinitarians ALSO cannot agree with, nor believe in THE WATCHTOWER TRINITY.

EXAMPLE #1 of THE WATCHTOWER TRINITY

One of the clearest examples of how Watchtower publications accomplish confusing Trinitarianism is in the book: "You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth", first published in 1982.

There are three such examples of THE WATCHTOWER TRINITY on page 39 of this book.

In paragraph 14 the book cites an accurate definition of the Christendom Trinity:

According to the teaching of the Trinity, there are three persons in one God, that is, there is "one God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit".

The two study questions on the bottom of this same page are:

14. What is the Trinity teaching?
15. How does the Bible show that God
and Jesus are two separate persons
who are not equal?

And the third example of THE WATCHTOWER TRINITY on page 39 is the caption under the picture of Jesus. It reads:

Since Jesus prayed to God, asking that God's will, not his, be done, the two could not be the same person.

I. Examining the first example in detail.

According to the teaching of the Trinity, there are three persons in one God, that is, there is "one God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit".

This is an rare and accurate portrayal of the Christendom Trinity in a Watchtower publication. As shown, the Christian Trinity is monotheistic. Monotheism is the belief in only one God. The Jewish people are monotheistic as were the Apostles.

Many Jehovah Witnesses mistakenly believe that Trinitarians are polytheistic and that the Trinity TEACHES polytheism. Polytheism is the belief in more than one God. However, Trinitarians firmly state belief in Deuteronomy 6:4:

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God,
the LORD is one. (NIV)

There is another belief that is not mentioned much by Watchtower publications. That belief is called "henotheism". Henotheism is the belief that one God is bigger and mightier, and in control of the other god/gods. Both Henotheism, and Polytheism are condemned by the Bible.

There are four places in the Bible where the word God is defined.

  1. The kind of gods men make out of idols (Isa 44:17;1 Cor 8:5:6), who are really no gods at all.
  2. Human judges (gods) who come under judgment themselves (Ps 82:6.
  3. The kind of god Satan is: A so-called god who has already been judged (2 Cor 4:4; Isaiah 14:15).
  4. The one True God in the Bible (John 17:3).

    Trinitarians believe in only one God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three persons are separate, distinct, equal, yet all three exist as only One God. Trinitarians believe that the Old Testament is in agreement with the New Testament's belief that there is only one God.

    II. Examining the second example in detail

    The two study questions on the bottom of page 39 are:

    14. What is the Trinity teaching?
    15. How does the Bible show that God
    and Jesus are two separate persons
    who are not equal?
    A. Let's look at study question 14 first.
    14. What is the Trinity teaching?

    The Christendom Trinity teaches that:

    "The Father is God, the Son is God , and the Holy
    Spirit is God, and yet there are not three Gods, but
    one God" -- Athanasian Creed

    The Christendom Trinity does NOT teach that:

    The Father IS the Son or that the Father IS the Holy
    Spirit. It does NOT teach that the Son IS the Father
    or the Son IS the Holy Spirit. It does NOT teach that
    the Holy Spirit IS the Father or that the Holy Spirit
    IS the Son.

    The Christendom Trinity teaches that:

    The three persons of the Trinity are separate and
    distinct, all equal in power, substance and eternity.

    The Christendom Trinity does NOT teach that:

    There are THREE Gods in ONE person.

    The Christendom Trinity teaches that:

    There are three Persons in One God.
    B. Study question #15:


    15. How does the Bible show that God
    and Jesus are two separate persons
    who are not equal?

    The Bible DOES show that the Father and Jesus are two separate persons at 1 Cor 8:5-6. The Trinity teaches this concept also. The Bible ALSO shows that Jesus was equal with God in verse John 5:18. The Jews tried to kill Jesus for three reasons.

    1. Jesus worked miracles on the Sabbath (verses 17-18)
    2. Because Jesus called God HIS OWN FATHER the Jews RECOGNIZED and UNDERSTOOD that Jesus was making himself EQUAL with God.

      The term "Son of God" does not express the idea that Jesus is inferior to the Father. In fact, the opposite is true. This verse shows that Jesus claimed equality with his Father's nature. To the Jewish people, this was pure blasphemy, as John 19:7 clearly demonstrates:
    3. We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God. (NIV)

    The Bible says that Jesus was sinless. Jesus, by calling himself the "Son of God", made himself out to be equal with God. If Jesus WASN'T equal to the Father, then Jesus WOULD be guilty of blasphemy and could NOT have been a perfect ransom for our sins. The sin for blasphemy was stoning.

    III. The third example of THE WATCHTOWER TRINITY on page 39 is a written caption under the picture of Jesus. It reads:

    • Since Jesus prayed to God, asking that God's will, not his, be done, the two could not be the same person.

    This is THE WATCHTOWER TRINITY. Christendom Trinitarians do not believe that Jesus is the Father, nor do Christendom Trinitarians believe that the Father is Jesus.

    There is a term for the belief that the Father IS the Son IS the Holy Spirit. It is called "MODALISM" and it was condemned in the second century by Polycarp. Polycarp was a disciple, or a student, of the Apostle John.

    When a Jehovah's Witness asks a Trinitarian a question like the one above, they, unknowingly, fall right into the Watchtower's trap of teaching THE WATCHTOWER TRINITY instead of CHRISTENDOM'S TRINITY.

    Falsifying the Christendom Trinity has been a longtime Watchtower tradition. There are many books and publications where the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society promote THE WATCHTOWER TRINITY. This was a favorite subject of founder, Charles Taze Russell.

    • Which God gave unto Him.--"The declaration that 'the Son can do nothing of Himself,' if it were not backed up as it is by a score of other testimonies from the same interested and inspired Teacher, is a contradiction to the common thought of Trinitarians, that the Son is the Father."
      --The Finished Mystery (Studies in the Scriptures, Vol 7), 1917, page 11.

    Here, Charles says that the common thought of Trinitarians is that the Son is the Father. As shown above, the belief that the Son is the Father is a MODALISTIC point of view and NOT shared by Trinitarians.

    In the 5th volume of Studies in the Scriptures, Charles writes:

    • Moreover, the very words "Father" and "Son" imply a difference, and contradict the thoughts of the Trinity and oneness of person... -- The Atonement Between God and Man, 1906, page 60.

    Here, Charles says that the distinction between the Father and Son contradict the Christendom Trinity. What does the Trinity teach?

    • That there are three persons in one God, that is, there is "one God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit".

    No contradiction of the Christendom Trinity is found in the belief that the Father is distinct from the Son. Indeed, the distinction between the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit IS taught in the Trinity as well as in the baptismal formula in Matthew 28:19.

    On page 76 of Volume 5, Charles writes:

    • How strange that any should attempt to misuse and pervert these our Lord's words, to make them support the unreasonable and unscriptural doctrine of a Trinity, -- three Gods in ONE PERSON.

    How strange, indeed -- that is...if the Trinity was DEFINED as three Gods in ONE PERSON. This teaching: that the Trinity is three Gods in one person can be found sprinkled throughout Watchtower publications.

    An example of this can be found in the April 1, 1970 edition of the Watchtower (page 210):

    • Ask the student, "How many Jehovahs are there?" Let him answer. The answer is obvious that there is only one Jehovah. When he discerns this, you have caused him to register an important fact in his mind that he might otherwise have missed. Help him to appreciate further what this means to him. Reason with him, perhaps in this way: "If he is one Jehovah, then could he be three gods, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, as the Trinitarians teach?"....You have also exposed a basic false doctrine--the doctrine of the Trinity.

    Again, this Watchtower publication is teaching THE WATCHTOWER TRINITY. The Christendom Trinity does not teach belief in three Gods (polytheism). The Trinity teaches belief in one God (monotheism).

    CONCLUSION

    The WATCHTOWER TRINITY teaches:

    • That there are three persons in one God, that is, there is "one God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit". That the Son is the Father. That the Trinity is polytheistic. That there are three Gods in one person.

    The Christendom Trinity teaches:

    • The Creed of Athanasius

    And the universal faith is this, that we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity;

    Neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Substance.

    For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost is all one: the glory equal, the majesty coeternal.

    Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Ghost.

    The Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Ghost uncreated.

    The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Ghost incomprehensible.

    The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Ghost eternal.

    And yet they are not three eternals, but one Eternal.

    As there are not three Uncreated nor three Incomprehensibles, but one Uncreated and one Incomprehensible.

    So likewise the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Ghost almighty.

    And yet they are not three Almighties, but one Almighty.

    So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God.

    And yet they are not three Gods, but one God.

    So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Ghost Lord.

    And yet not three Lords, but one Lord.

    For like as we are compelled by the Christian to verity to acknowledge every Person by Himself to be God and Lord,

    So are we forbidden by the catholic [universal] religion to say, There be three Gods, or three Lords.

    The Father is made of none; neither created nor begotten.

    The Son is of the Father alone: not made, nor created, but begotten.

    The Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the Son: neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.

    So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts.

    And in this Trinity none is before or after other; none is greater or less than another;

    But the whole three Persons are coeternal together, and coequal: so that in all things, as is aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshiped.

    He, therefore, that will be saved must thus think of the Trinity.

    Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe faithfully the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    For the right faith is, that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man.



Copyright 1994-2001 Natalie Pappas.
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