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Nontrinitarianism (or antitrinitarianism) refers to monotheistic belief systems, primarily within Christianity, which reject the mainstream Christian doctrine of the Trinity, namely, the teaching that God is three distinct hypostases or persons and yet co-eternal, co-equal, and indivisibly united in one essence or ousia.
According to churches that consider ecumenical council decisions final, trinitarianism was infallibly defined at the First Ecumenical Council (the Council of Nicaea) in A.D. 325.1 Nontrinitarians disagree with the findings of the Council for various reasons, including the belief that the Bible as they understand it takes precedence over creeds, or that there was a Great Apostasy prior to the Council. Church and state in Europe suppressed nontrinitarian belief as heresy from the 4th to 18th century.2345 Today nontrinitarians represent a small minority of professed Christians.
Nontrinitarian views differ widely on the nature of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Various nontrinitarian views, such as Adoptionism, Monarchianism and Arianism existed prior to the formal definition of the Trinity doctrine in A.D. 325, 360, and 431, at the Councils of Nicaea, Constantinople, and Ephesus.6 Nontrinitarianism was later renewed in the Gnosticism of the Cathars in the 11th through 13th centuries, in the Age of Enlightenment of the 18th century, and in some groups arising during the Second Great Awakening of the 19th century.
Modern nontrinitarian Christian groups or denominations include Christadelphians, Christian Scientists, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), Dawn Bible Students, Friends General Conference, Iglesia ni Cristo, Jehovah's Witnesses, La Luz del Mundo, Living Church of God, Oneness Pentecostals, Members Church of God International, Unitarian Universalist Christians and the United Church of God. Islam, which considers Jesus a prophet but not divine,7 has been described as anti-Trinitarian when compared to Christianity, or in books written for a Western audience: Islam teaches the absolute indivisibility of a supremely sovereign and transcendent god (see God in Islam),8 and is further distinctly antitrinitarian as several verses of the Koran teach that the doctrine of Trinity is blasphemous.9
Most nontrinitarians identify themselves as Christian. There are some groups that do not describe themselves as either Christian or Trinitarian.
The Christian Apologists and other Church Fathers of the 2nd and 3rd centuries, having adopted and formulated the Logos Christology, considered the Son of God as the instrument used by the supreme God, the Father, to bring the creation into existence. Justin Martyr, Theophilus of Antioch, Hippolytus of Rome and Tertullian in particular state that the internal Logos of God (Gr. Logos endiathetos, Lat. ratio), that is his impersonal divine reason, was begotten as Logos uttered (Gr. Logos proforikos, Lat. sermo, verbum) and thus became a person to be used for the purpose of creation.10
The Encyclopædia Britannica states, "To some Christians the doctrine of the Trinity appeared inconsistent with the unity of God....They therefore denied it, and accepted Jesus Christ, not as incarnate God, but as God's highest creature by Whom all else was created....[this] view in the early Church long contended with the orthodox doctrine."11 Although the nontrinitarian view eventually disappeared in the early Church and the Trinitarian view became an orthodox doctrine of modern Christianity, variations of the nontrinitarian view are still held by a small number of Christian groups and denominations.
- Those who follow the life and teaching of Jesus but consider the question of divinity to be completely inconsequential and a distraction to the message that Jesus taught.citation needed
- Those who believe that Jesus is not God, but that he was a messenger from God, or prophet, or the perfect created human.
- Adoptionism (2nd century A.D.) holds that Jesus became divine at his baptism (sometimes associated with the Gospel of Mark) or at his resurrection (sometimes associated with Saint Paul and Shepherd of Hermas).
- Arianism — Arius (A.D. c. 250 or 256 - 336) believed that the pre-existent Son of God was directly created by the Father, that he was subordinate to God the Father, and that only the Father was without beginning or end, but that the Son was also divine. Arius' position was that the Son was brought forth as the very first of God's creations, and that the Father later created all things through the Son. Arius taught that in the creation of the universe, the Father was the ultimate Creator, supplying all the materials, directing the design, while the Son worked the materials, making all things at the bidding and in the service of the Father, by which "through [Christ] all things came into existence". Arianism became the dominant view in some regions in the time of the Roman Empire, notably the Visigoths until 589.12
- Psilanthropism — Ebionites (1st to 4th century A.D.) denied the virgin birth and believed the Son to be nothing more than a special human.
- Socinianism — Photinus taught that Jesus, though perfect and sinless, and who was Messiah and Redeemer, was only the perfect human Son of God, and had no pre-human existence prior to the virgin birth.
- Many Gnostic traditions held that the Christ is a heavenly Aeon but not one with the Father.
- Those who believe that the heavenly Father, the resurrected Son and the Holy Spirit are different aspects of one God, as perceived by the believer, rather than three distinct persons.
- Modalism — Sabellius (fl. c. 215) stated that God has taken numerous forms in both the Hebrew and the Christian Greek Scriptures, and that God has manifested himself in three primary modes in regards to the salvation of mankind. His contention is that "Father, Son, and Spirit" were simply different roles played by the same Divine Person in various circumstances in history.13 Thus God is Father in creation (God created a Son through the virgin birth), Son in redemption (God manifested himself into the begotten man Christ Jesus for the purpose of his death upon the cross), and Holy Spirit in regeneration (God's indwelling Spirit within the Son and within the souls of Christian believers). In light of this view, God is not three distinct persons, but rather one Person manifesting himself in multiple ways.13 Trinitarians condemn this view as a heresy. The chief critic of Sabellianism was Tertullian, who labeled the movement "Patripassianism", from the Latin words pater for "father", and passus from the verb "to suffer" because it implied that the Father suffered on the Cross. It was coined by Tertullian in his work Adversus Praxeas, Chapter I, "By this Praxeas did a twofold service for the devil at Rome: he drove away prophecy, and he brought in heresy; he put to flight the Paraclete, and he crucified the Father."
- Those who believe that Jesus Christ is Almighty God, but that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are actually three distinct almighty "Gods" with distinct natures, acting as one Divine Group, united in purpose.
- Tri-theism — John Philoponus, an Aristotelian and monophysite in Alexandria, in the middle of the 6th century, saw in the Trinity three separate natures, substances and deities, according to the number of divine persons. He sought to justify this view by the Aristotelian categories of genus, species and individuum. In the Middle Ages, Roscellin of Compiegne, the founder of Nominalism, argued for three distinct almighty Gods, with three distinct natures, who were one in purpose, acting together as one divine Group or Godhead. He said, though, like Philoponus, that unless the Three Persons are tres res (three things with distinct natures), the whole Trinity must have been incarnate. And therefore, since only the Logos was made flesh, the other two Persons must have had distinct "natures", separate from the Logos, and so had to be separate and distinct Gods, though all three were one in divine purpose. Thus in light of this view, they would be considered "three Gods in one". This notion was condemned by St. Anselm.
- Those who believe that the Holy Spirit is not a person.
- Binitarianism — people through history who believed that God is only two co-equal and co-eternal persons, the Father and the Word, not three. They taught that the Holy Spirit is not a distinct person, but is the power or divine influence of the Father and Son, emanating out to the universe, in creation, and to believers.
- Marcionism — Marcion (A.D. c. 110-160) believed that there were two deities, one of creation and judgment (in the Hebrew Bible) and one of redemption and mercy (in the New Testament).
- Other concepts
- Docetism comes from the Greek: δοκέω (dokeo), meaning "to seem." This view holds that Jesus only seemed to be human and only appeared to die.
- American Unitarian Conference started as a reply to Unitarian Universalism becoming 'too theologically liberal'. They refrain from social activism and believe religion and science can improve the human condition. They have a deist population.citation needed
- Associated Bible Students believe that the Father is greater than the Son in all ways, and that the Trinity doctrine is unscriptural. They hold to beliefs similar to Jehovah's Witnesses.141516
- Christadelphians hold that Jesus Christ is the literal son of God, the Father, and that Jesus was an actual human17 (and needed to be so in order to save humans from their sins18). The "holy spirit" terminology in the Bible is explained as referring to God's power,19 or God's character/mind20 (depending on the context).
- Church of God General Conference (Abrahamic Faith).21
- Jehovah's Witnesses teach that God the Father, Jehovah, is the only true God. They consider Jesus to be the "First-begotten Son", God's only direct creation, and the very first creation by God. They give "obeisance" (homage, as to a king) to Christ,22 pray through him as God's only high priest, consider Jesus Christ to be Mediator and Messiah, but they believe that only the Father is without beginning, and that the Father is greater than the Son; only Jehovah therefore is worthy of highest worship. They believe that the Son had a beginning, and was brought forth at a certain point, as "the firstborn of all creation" and "the only-begotten". They identify Jesus as the Archangel Michael, mentioned in the Bible at Jude 9. They believe he left heaven to become Jesus Christ on earth, and that after his ascension to heaven he resumed his pre-human identity. This belief is partly based upon 1 Thessalonians 4:16, in which "the voice of the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ is described as being that of an archangel". They also cite passages from the books of Daniel and Revelation in which Jesus and Michael take similar action and exercise similar authority, concluding these scriptures indicate them to be the same person.23 They do not believe that the Holy Spirit is a person, but consider it to be God's divine active force.24
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often referred to as Mormonism, teaches that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are distinct beings that are not united in substance, a view sometimes called social trinitarianism. Mormons believe the three individual deities are "one" in will or purpose, as Jesus was "one" with his disciples. Mormons officially believe that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit constitute a single Godhead or a Divine Council, and are united in purpose, in manner, in testimony, in mission. They believe Them to be filled with the same godly sense of mercy and love, justice and grace, patience, forgiveness, and redemption. Mormons believe the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one in every significant and eternal aspect imaginable except believing Them to be three co-equal persons combined in one substance. Because their official belief is that the Father, Son, and Spirit are each "Gods" in one Godhead, Mormonism is said to hold a form of tri-theism.
- The Iglesia ni Cristo (Tagalog for Church of Christ) views Jesus Christ as human in nature, but endowed by God with attributes not found in ordinary humans and that likewise, God has attributes not found in Jesus. They further contend that God wants humans to worship Jesus.25
- The Members Church of God International, an offshoot of the Iglesia ng Diyos kay Kristo Hesus Haligi at Suhay ng Katotohanan (Tagalog for Church of God in Christ Jesus, Pillar and Support of the Truth), believes in the divinity of Christ but rejects the doctrine of Trinity. They believe in what appears to be a Subordationist viewpoint in which Jesus Christ, a Mighty God, is the Father's only Begotten Son (in Romanized Greek: monogenestheos, meaning "only-begotten god") and thus is subject to the Father.
- Oneness Pentecostalism is a subset of Pentecostalism that believes God is only one person, and that he manifests himself in different ways, faces, or "modes": "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (or Holy Ghost) are different designations for the one God. God is the Father. God is the Holy Spirit. The Son is God manifest in flesh. The term Son always refers to the Incarnation, and never to deity apart from humanity."26 Oneness Pentecostals believe that Jesus was "Son" only when he became flesh on earth, but was the Father prior to his being made human. They refer to the Father as the "Spirit" and the Son as the "Flesh". Oneness Pentecostals reject the Trinity doctrine, viewing it as pagan and unscriptural, and hold to the Jesus' Name doctrine with respect to baptisms. Oneness Pentecostals are often referred to as "Modalists" or "Sabellians" or "Jesus Only".
- Some forms of Quakerism hold universalist views.clarification needed
- Denominations within the Sabbatarian tradition (Armstrongism) believe that Christ the Son and God the Father are co-eternal, but do not teach that the Holy Spirit is a being or person. Mainstream Christians characterise this teaching as the heresy of Binitarianism, the teaching that God is a "Duality", or "two-in-one", rather than three. Armstrong theology holds that God is a "Family", that expands eventually, but that there was originally a co-eternal "Duality", the Father and the Word, rather than a "Trinity".
- Swedenborgianism holds that the Trinity exists in one person, the Lord God Jesus Christ. The Father, the being or soul of God, was born into the world and put on a body from Mary. Throughout his life, Jesus put away all human desires and tendencies until he was completely divine. After his resurrection, he influences the world through the Holy Spirit, which is his activity. Thus Jesus Christ is the one God; the Father as to his soul, the Son as to his body, and the Holy Spirit as to his activity in the world.
- Unitarian Christians and Unitarian Universalist Christians are Holy Spirit Unitariansclarification needed.
Nontrinitarian doctrine often generates controversy among mainstream Christians, as most trinitarians consider it heresy not to believe in the doctrine of the Trinity. At times, segments of Nicene Christianity reacted with ultimate severity toward nontrinitarian views. Following the Reformation, among some Protestant groups such as the Unitarians and Christadelphians, the same views have been accommodated.
- Members of Unitarian Universalism may or may not identify as Christian. Traditionally, unitarianism was a form of Christianity that rejects the doctrine of the Trinity. Unitarianism was rebuffed by orthodox Christianity at the First Council of Nicaea in a Synod meeting of the bishops in 325, but resurfaced subsequently in Church history, especially during the theological turmoils of the Protestant Reformation. In 1961, the American Unitarian Association (AUA) was consolidated with the Universalist Church of America (UCA), forming the Unitarian Universalist Association
- In Islam's holy book, the Quran, Allah (God) denounces the concept of Trinity (Qur'an 4:171, 5:72-73, 112) as an over-reverence by Christians of God's Word, the prophet and messiah Jesus Christ son of the virgin Mary, while maintaining Jesus as one of the most important and respected prophets and Messengers of God, (2:136) primarily sent to prevent the Jews from changing the Torah, (61:6) and to refresh and reaffirm his original message as revealed to Moses and earlier New Testament prophets. The creation of Jesus is framed similar to the creation of Adam out of dust, but with Jesus' birth meaning his creation excludes male human intervention rather than creation completely without human participation (3:59). Belief in all of the aforementioned about Jesus as a prophet (5:78), as well as belief in the original gospel and Torah and belief in Jesus' virgin birth (3:45) are core criterion of being a Muslim and Quranic criterion for salvation in the hereafter along with belief in the Prophet Muhammad and all the prior prophets. In short, God is seen as being both perfect and indivisible. He can therefore have no peer or equal. Jesus, being God's creation, can never be considered to be equal with God or a part of God. To do so is considered by Islam to be blasphemy.
Most nontrinitarians take the position that the doctrine of the earliest form of Christianity (see Apostolic Age) was nontrinitarian, but (depending on which church) believe rather that early Christianity was either strictly unitarian or binitarian or modalist. Typically, nontrinitarians believe Christianity was altered by the edicts of Emperor Constantine I, which eventually resulted in the adoption of Trinitarian Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire during the reign of Theodosius I. Because it was during a dramatic shift in Christianity's status that the doctrine of the Trinity attained its definitive development, nontrinitarians typically consider the doctrine questionable. Nontrinitarians see the Nicene Creed as an essentially political document, resulting from the subordination of true doctrine to state interests by leaders of the Catholic Church, so that the church became, in their view, an extension of the Roman Empire.
Although nontrinitarian beliefs continued to multiply, and among some people (such as the Lombards in the west) were dominant for hundreds of years after their inception, Trinitarians gained prominence in the Roman Empire. Nontrinitarians typically argue that the primitive beliefs of Christianity were systematically suppressed (often to the point of death), and that the historical record, perhaps also including the scriptures of the New Testament, was altered as a consequence.
Nontrinitarians also dispute the veracity of the Nicene Creed based on its adoption nearly 300 years after the life of Jesus as a result of conflict within pre-Nicene early Christianity. Nontrinitarians (both Modalists and Unitarians) also generally claim that Athanasius and others at Nicaea adopted Greek Platonic philosophy and concepts, and incorporated them in their views of God and Christ.27 Nontrinitarians also cite scriptures such as and that warn the reader to beware the doctrines of men.
The author H. G. Wells, later famous for his contribution to science-fiction, wrote in The Outline of History: "We shall see presently how later on all Christendom was torn by disputes about the Trinity. There is no evidence that the apostles of Jesus ever heard of the Trinity, at any rate from him."28
The question of why such a central doctrine to the Christian faith would never have been explicitly stated in scripture or taught in detail by Jesus himself was sufficiently important to 16th century historical figures such as Michael Servetus as to lead them to argue the question. The Geneva City Council, in accord with the judgment of the cantons of Zürich, Bern, Basel, and Schaffhausen, condemned Servetus to be burned at the stake for this and his opposition to infant baptism.
The Encyclopædia of Religion and Ethics describes the five stages that led to the formulation of the doctrine of the Trinity.29
- The acceptance of the pre-human existence of Jesus as the (middle-platonic) Logos, namely, as the medium between the transcendent sovereign God and the created cosmos. The doctrine of Logos was accepted by the Apologists and by other Fathers of the 2nd and 3rd centuries, such as Justin the Martyr, Hippolytus, Tertullian, Ireneus, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Lactantius, and the 4th century Arius.
- The doctrine of the timeless generation of the Son from the Father as it was articulated by Origen in his effort to support the ontological immutability of God, that he is ever-being a father and a creator. The doctrine of the timeless generation was adopted by Athanasius of Alexandria.
- The acceptance of the idea that the son of God is homoousios to his father, that is, of the same transcendent nature. This position was declared in the Nicene Creed, which specifically states the son of God is as immutable as his father.
- The acceptance that the Holy Spirit also has ontological equality as a third person in a divine Trinity and the final Trinitarian terminology by the teachings of the Cappadocian Fathers.
- The addition of the Filioque to the Nicene Creed, as accepted by the Roman Catholic Church.
Following the Protestant Reformation, and the German Peasants' War of 1524–1525, by 1530 large areas of Northern Europe were Protestant, and forms of nontrinitarianism began to surface among some "Radical Reformation" groups, particularly Anabaptists. The first recorded English antitrinitarian was John Assheton (1548). The Italian humanist "Council of Venice" (1550) and the trial of Michael Servetus (1553) marked the clear emergence of markedly anti-Trinitarian Protestants. Though the only organised nontrinitarian churches were the Polish Brethren who split from the Calvinists (1565, expelled from Poland 1658), and the Unitarian Church of Transylvania (1568-today). Nonconformists, Dissenters and Latitudinarians in Britain were often Arians or Unitarians, and the Doctrine of the Trinity Act 1813 allowed nontrinitarian worship in Britain. In America Arian and Unitarian views were also found among some Millenialist and Adventist groups, though the Unitarian Church itself began to decline in numbers and influence after the 1870s.3031
Non-trinitarian Christians of Arian persuasion contend that the weight of Scriptural evidence leans more towards Subordinationism, that of the Son's total submission to the Father, and of Paternal supremacy over the Son in every aspect. They acknowledge and confess the Son's glorious and high rank, at God's right hand, but teach that the Father is still greater than the Son, in all things. While acknowledging that the Father, Son, and Spirit are essential in creation and salvation, they argue that that in itself does not necessarily prove that they three are each co-equal or co-eternal. They also contend that the only number clearly ascribed to God in the Bible (both Testaments) is the number one, and that the Trinity, literally meaning a set of three, ascribes a co-equal threeness to God that is not explicitly Scriptural.
Critics argue that the Trinity, for a teaching described as fundamental, lacks direct scriptural support, and even some proponents of the doctrine acknowledge that direct or formal support is lacking. The New Catholic Encyclopedia says, "The doctrine of the Holy Trinity is not taught [explicitly] in the [Old Testament]", "The formulation 'one God in three Persons' was not solidly established [by a council]...prior to the end of the 4th century".32 Similarly, Encyclopedia Encarta states: "The doctrine is not taught explicitly in the New Testament, where the word God almost invariably refers to the Father. [...] The term trinitas was first used in the 2nd century, by the Latin theologian Tertullian, but the concept was developed in the course of the debates on the nature of Christ [...]. In the 4th century, the doctrine was finally formulated".33 Encyclopædia Britannica says: "Neither the word Trinity nor the explicit doctrine appears in the New Testament, nor did Jesus and his followers intend to contradict the Shema in the Old Testament: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord” ( ). [...] The doctrine developed gradually over several centuries and through many controversies. [...] by the end of the 4th century, under the leadership of Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nyssa, and Gregory of Nazianzus (the Cappadocian Fathers), the doctrine of the Trinity took substantially the form it has maintained ever since."34 The Anchor Bible Dictionary states: "One does not find in the NT the trinitarian paradox of the coexistence of the Father, Son, and Spirit within a divine unity."35
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Nontrinitarians claim that there is no clear Scriptural backing for the doctrine of the co-equal divinity of Jesus. They point to verses that purport to demonstrate that Jesus himself explicitly stated that "the Father is greater" than he ( );15 that he disavowed omniscience as the Son ( ; in ), that he "learned obedience" ( ); questioned even being called even "good" in deference to God in the parable of the rich young ruler ( ); that only the Father is referred to as the "one God, out of (ex) whom are all things" ( ); that Christ is called the 'firstborn of all creation' ( ) and 'the beginning of God's creation' ( ); that he referred to ascending to "my Father, and to your Father; and to my God, and to your God" ( ) and that he said "the Father is the only true God" ( ).
Additionally, Jesus quoted "'The most important [commandment] is this: Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.'" It has been pointed outby whom? that in the original Greek in Mark 12, there are no "plural modifiers" in that Greek word there for "one" (eis), but that in Mark 12 it is simply a masculine singular "one".when saying in
Theywho? also argue to show that "Elohim" (sometimes translated "gods")citation needed does not hint at any form of plurality, but rather to majesty pointing to the Hebrew dialect and grammar rules that render this title in nearly all circumstances with a singular verb. Raymond E. Brown, who remained a devout Catholic and Trinitarian, nevertheless wrote that , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and are "texts that seem to imply that the title God was not used for Jesus" and are "negative evidence which is often somewhat neglected in Catholic treatments of the subject."36
Trinitarians, and nontrinitarians who also hold Jesus Christ as Almighty God (such as the Modalists), claim these statements are based on Jesus' existence as the Son of God in human flesh; that he is therefore both God and man, who became "lower than the angels, for our sake," ( ) and that he was tempted as humans are tempted, but did not sin ( ).
Some nontrinitarians counter the belief that the Son was limited only during his earthly life by citing "the head of Christ is God" (), placing Jesus in an inferior position to the Father even after his resurrection and exaltation. They also cite and , indicating that Jesus became glorified and exalted after ascension to heaven, and to , , and , regarding Jesus as a distinct personality in heaven, still with a lesser position than the Father, all after Christ's ascension.
Nontrinitarian Christians such as Jehovah's Witnesses argue that a person who is really seeking to know the truth about God is not going to search the Bible hoping to find a text that he can construe as fitting what he already believes. They say it is noteworthy at the outset that most of the texts used as “proof” of the Trinity actually mention only two persons, not three; so nontrinitarians claim that even if the trinitarian explanation of the texts were correct, these would not prove that the Bible teaches the Trinity.37
John 1:1 - The contention with this verse is that there is a distinction between God and the Logos (or "the Word"). Trinitarians contend that the third part of the verse (John 1:1c) translates as "and the Word was God", pointing to an equivalence between God and the Logos. Nontrinitarians contend that the Koine Greek ("kai theos ên ho logos") should instead be translated as "and the Word was a god", or the more literal word-for-word translation from the Greek as "and a God was the Word", basing this on the contention that the section is an example of an anarthrous, that is, "theos" lacks the definite article, meaning its use was indefinite - "a god", which could denote either Almighty God or a divine being in general. Nontrinitarians also contend that had the author of John's gospel wished to say "and the Word was God" that he could have easily written "kai ho theos ên ho logos", but he did not. In this way, nontrinitarians contend that the Logos would be considered to be the pre-existent Jesus, who is wholly distinct from God. The argument being that the distinction between the Logos and the Father was not just in terms of "person", but also in terms of "theos".38 Alternatively, others argue that the Greek should be translated as "and the Logos was divine" (with theos being an adjective), and the Logos being interpreted as God's "plan" or "reasoning" for salvation. Thus, according to Modalists, when "the Logos became flesh" in John 1:14, it is not interpreted to be a pre-existent Jesus being incarnated, but rather the "plan" or "eternal mind" of God being manifested in the birth of the man Jesus.
- Nontrinitarians such as Arians believe that when Jesus said, "I and the Father are one," he did not mean that they were actually "one substance", or co-equal and co-eternal, but rather that, according to context, which was that of shepherding the sheep, he and the Father were "one" in pastoral work. The thought being a "unity of purpose" in saving the sheep. Arians also cite where Jesus prayed regarding his disciples: “That they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they may be in us.”, adding “that they may be one even as we are one.” They point out that Jesus used the same Greek word (hen) for "one" in all these instances and assert that since Jesus did not expect for his followers to literally become "one" entity, or "one in substance", with each other, or with God, then it is said that Jesus also did not expect his hearers to think that he and God the Father were "one" entity either. Rather Arian nontrinarians insist that the oneness meant in that context was a oneness in divine work, mission, love and purpose.
39 which means, "gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative",40 and can also refer to powers and potentates, in general, or as "God, god, gods, rulers, judges or angels".39 and as "divine ones, goddess, godlike one"41 The first explanation is perhaps the most plausible, in that the Greek forms used in the text do not denote two descriptions of one personage, but two personages described separately. A nontrinitarian would link this witnessing of Thomas to Jesus's saying that, to paraphrase, "He who sees me, sees the Father", and would point out that this text affirms the doctrine that Jesus is Lord but only God the Father is absolute deity, and hence the Lord of Jesus. Because "no one can come to the Father except through me (Jesus)", it is necessary however to call Jesus "Lord" (a requirement of belief in the New Testament), which is exactly what Thomas did when he believed.- "And Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said to him, "Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed"". Since Thomas called Jesus God, Jesus's statement appears to endorse Thomas's assertion. Nontrinitarians typically respond that it is plausible that Thomas is addressing the Lord Jesus and then the Father. Another possible answer is that Jesus himself said, "Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?" ( ) referring to Psalms 82:6-8. The word "gods" in verse 6 and "God" in verse 8 is the same Hebrew word "'elohim",
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Nontrinitarians state that the doctrine of the Trinity relies on non-Biblical terminology, that the term "Trinity" is not found in Scripture and that the number three is never clearly associated with God necessarily, other than within the Comma Johanneum which is of spurious or disputed authenticity. They argue that the only number clearly unambiguously ascribed to God in the Bible is one, and that the Trinity, literally meaning three-in-one, ascribes a co-equal threeness to God that is not explicitly biblical.
Nontrinitarians cite other examples of terms not found in the Bible; multiple "persons" in relation to God, the terms "God the Son", "God-Man", "God the Holy Spirit", "eternal Son", and "eternally begotten". While the Trinitarianism term hypostasis is found in the Bible, it is used only once in reference to God
Nontrinitarians state that the major term Homoousios (of the same essence) was introduced into the Creed at the First Council of Nicaea. In support of this they cite, Pier Franco Beatrice: "The main thesis of this paper is that homoousios came straight from Constantine's Hermetic background. [...] The Plato recalled by Constantine is just a name used to cover precisely the Egyptian and Hermetic theology of the "consubstantiality" of the Logos-Son with the Nous-Father, having recourse to a traditional apologetic argument. [...] Constantine's Hermetic interpretation of Plato's theology and consequently the emperor's decision to insert homoousios in the Creed of Nicaea."42
Trinitarians maintain that these ideas are implied within scripture and were necessary additions of the Nicene Era to counter the doctrine of Arianism.
It is also argued that the vast majority of scriptures that Trinitarians offer in support of their beliefs refer to the Father and to Son, but not to the Holy Spirit. Some nontrinitarians, including Jehovah's Witnesses, believe that the Holy Spirit is not an actual person but rather the divine energy or active force of God.43
Non-trinitarian views about the Holy Spirit differ in certain ways from mainstream Christian doctrine and generally fall into several distinct categories.
Groups with Unitarian theology such as Polish Socinians, the 18th-19th Century Unitarian Church, Christadelphians conceive of the Holy Spirit not as a person but an aspect of God's power.44 Christadelphians believe that the phrase Holy Spirit refers to God's power or mind/character, depending on the context.20
Though Arius himself believed that the Holy Spirit is a person or high Angel, that had a beginning, modern Arian or Semi-Arian Christian groups such as Dawn Bible Students and Jehovah's Witnesses believe, the same as Unitarian groups, that the Holy Spirit is not an actual person but is God's "power in action", like God's divine "breath" or "energy", which had no beginning, that he uses to accomplish his will and purpose in creation, redemption, sanctification, and divine guidance, and they do not typically capitalize the term.45 They define the Holy Spirit as "God's active force", and they believe that it proceeds only from the Father.45 A Jehovah's Witness brochure quotes Alvan Lamson: "...the Father, Son, and... Holy Spirit [are] not as co-equal, not as one numerical essence, not as Three in One... The very reverse is the fact."46
Armstrongites, such as the Living Church of God, believe that the Logos and God the Father are co-equal and co-eternal, but they do not believe that the Holy Spirit is an actual person, like the Father and the Son. They believe the Holy Spirit is the Power, Mind, or Character of God, depending on the context. They teach, "The Holy Spirit is the very essence, the mind, life and power of God. It is not a Being. The Spirit is inherent in the Father and the Son, and emanates from Them throughout the entire universe". Mainstream Christians characterise this teaching as the heresy of Binitarianism, the teaching that God is a "Duality", or "two-in-one", rather than three.47
Oneness Pentecostalism, as with other modalist groups, teach that the Holy Spirit is a mode of God, rather than a distinct or separate person from the Father. They instead teach that the Holy Spirit is just another name for God the Father. According to Oneness theology, the Holy Spirit essentially is the Father. The United Pentecostal Church teaches that there is no personal distinction between God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.484950
These two titles "Father" and "Holy Spirit" (as well as others) do not reflect separate "persons" within the Godhead, but rather two different ways in which the one God reveals himself to his creatures. Thus, the Old Testament speaks of "The Lord God and his Spirit" in Isaiah 48:16, but this does not indicate two "persons" according to Oneness theology. Rather, "The Lord" indicates God in all of His glory and transcendence, while the words "His Spirit" refer to God's own Spirit that moved upon and spoke to the prophet. The Oneness view is that this does not imply two "persons" any more than the numerous scriptural references to a man and his spirit or soul (such as in Luke 12:19) imply two "persons" existing within one body.51
In the Latter-day Saint movement, the Holy Ghost (usually synonymous with Holy Spirit.)52 is considered the third distinct member of the Godhead (Father, Son and Holy Ghost),53 and to have a body of "spirit,"54 which makes him unlike the Father and the Son who are said to have bodies "as tangible as man's."55 According to LDS doctrine, the Holy Spirit is believed to be a person,5556 however having a body of spirit, he is able to pervade all worlds.57 Latter-day Saints believe that the Holy Spirit is part of the "Divine Council", but that the Father is greater than both the Son and the Holy Spirit.57 According to official Latter-day Saint teaching, the Father, Son, and Spirit are three distinct "Gods" joined in purpose as "one Godhead". Because of this, some view Latter-day Saint theology as a form of "tri-theism".
The "holy spirit" (also transliterated ruah ha-qodesh) is a term used in the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh) and Jewish writings to refer to the Spirit of Yehowah. (The expression in Hebrew is: יהוה .קָדְשְׁך) The Hebrew term ruakh kodeshka, without the definite article, also occurs. The Holy Spirit in Judaism generally refers to the divine aspect of prophecy and wisdom. It also refers to the divine force, quality, and influence of the Most High God, over the universe or over his creatures, in given contexts.58 It is not considered a separate person of God, but rather God's divine breath or moving power.
The Unity Church interprets the religious terms Father, Son, and Holy Spirit metaphysically, as three aspects of mind action: mind, idea, and expression. They believe this is the process through which all manifestation takes place.59
As a movement that developed out of Christianity, Rastafari has its own unique interpretation of both the Holy Trinity and the Holy Spirit. Although there are several slight variations, they generally state that it is Haile Selassie who embodies both God the Father and God the Son, while the Holy (or rather, "Hola") Spirit is to be found within Rasta believers (see 'I and I'), and within every human being. Rastas also say that the true church is the human body, and that it is this church (or "structure") that contains the Holy Spirit.
The Trinity doctrine is integral in inter-religious disagreements with the other two main Abrahamic religions, Judaism and Islam; the former rejects Jesus' divine mission entirely, and the latter accepts Jesus as a human prophet and the Messiah but not as the son of God. The concept of a co-equal trinity is totally rejected, with Quranic verses calling the doctrine of the Trinity blasphemous.60 Manywho? within Judaism and Islamcitation needed also accuse Christian Trinitarians of practicing polytheism—believing in three gods rather than just one.
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Many nontrinitarians contend that the doctrine of the Trinity is a prime example of Christianity borrowing from Indo-European and Egyptian pagan sources.citation needed According to them, after the death of the Apostles their simpler idea of God was lost and the doctrine of the Trinity took its place due to the Church's accommodation of pagan ideas.
Those who argue for a pagan basis note that as far back as Babylonia, the worship of pagan gods grouped in threes, or triads, was common, and that this influence was also prevalent among the Celts, as well as in Egypt, Greece, and Romecitation needed. The ancient Egyptians, whose influence on early religious thought was considered profound, usually arranged their gods and goddesses in groups of three, or trinities: there was the trinity of Osiris, Isis, and Horus, the trinity of Amen, Mut, and Khonsu, and the trinity of Khnum, Satis, and Anukis.
In ancient India, the concept of the trio—Brahma the creator, Shiva the destroyer, and Vishnu the preserver dates back to millennia before Christ. At the very least, they suggest that Greek philosophy brought a late influence into the creation of the doctrine.
Some nontrinitarianswho? also find a link between the doctrine of the Trinity and the Egyptian Christian theologians of Alexandria, suggesting that Alexandrian theology, with its strong emphasis on the deity of Jesus, served to infuse Egypt's pagan religious heritage into Christianity. They charge the Church with adopting these Egyptian tenets after adapting them to Christian thinking by means of Greek philosophy.61
The claim is that there was much pagan Greek and Platonic influence in the development of the idea of a co-equal triune Godhead. They point out that Aristotle wrote: "All things are three, and thrice is all: and let us use this number in the worship of the gods; for, as Pythagoreans say, everything and all things are bound by threes, for the end, the middle, and the beginning have this number in everything, and these compose the number of the Trinity."62
It's been noted that the Greek philosopher Plato believed in a special "threeness" in life and in the universe. In Plato's work Phaedo, he introduces the word "trinity", meaning "set of three" (the Greek "trias" for "triad" or "trinity"). Plato believed and taught that the Ultimate Reality was a "trinity of divine forms", of the One, Nous, Psyche. This was adopted by 3rd and 4th century professed Christians as roughly corresponding to "Father, Word, and Spirit (Soul").63 Non-trinitarian Christians contend that such notions and adoptions make the Trinity doctrine more suspect, as not being Biblical, but extra-Biblical in concept.
As evidence of this, they point to the widely acknowledged synthesis of Christianity with Platonic philosophy evident in Trinitarian formulas appearing by the end of the 3rd century. Hence, beginning with the Constantinian period, they allege, these pagan ideas were forcibly imposed on the churches as Catholic doctrine rooted firmly in the soil of Hellenism. Most groups subscribing to the theory of a Great Apostasy generally concur in this thesis.
The early apologists, including Justin Martyr, Tertullian and Irenaeus, frequently discussed the parallels and contrasts between Christianity, Paganism and other syncretic religions, and answered charges of borrowing from paganism in their apologetical writings.
Advocates of the "Hellenic influences" argument attempt to trace the influence of Hellenic philosophers, such as Plato or Aristotle, who taught an essential "threeness" of the Ultimate Reality, and also the concept of "eternal derivation", a "birth without a becoming". Nontrinitarian Christians point out that theologians of the 4th century A.D., such as Athanasius of Alexandria, then interpreted the Bible through a Middle Platonist and later Neoplatonist filter. The argument is that many of these 3rd and 4th century Christians mixed Greek pagan philosophy with the Scriptures, incorporating Platonism into their concept of the Biblical God and the Biblical Christ. These advocates point out the similarities between Hellenistic philosophy and post-Apostolic Christianity, by examining the following factors:
- Stuart G Hall (formerly Professor of Ecclesiastical History at King's College, London) describes the subsequent process of philosophical/theological amalgamation in Doctrine and Practice in the Early Church (1991), where he writes:
"The [Christian] apologists [such as Justin Martyr and Irenaeus] began to claim that Greek culture pointed to and was consummated in the Christian message, just as the Old Testament was. This process was done most thoroughly in the synthesis of Clement of Alexandria. It can be done in several ways. You can rake through Greek literature, and find (especially in the oldest seers and poets) references to ‘God’ which are more compatible with monotheism than with polytheism (so at length Athenagoras.) You can work out a common chronology between the legends of prehistoric (Homer) Greece and the biblical record (so Theophilus.) You can adapt a piece of pre-Christian Jewish apologetic, which claimed that Plato and other Greek philosophers got their best ideas indirectly from the teachings of Moses in the Bible, which was much earlier. This theory combines the advantage of making out the Greeks to be plagiarists (and therefore second-rate or criminal), while claiming that they support Christianity by their arguments at least some of the time. Especially this applied to the question of God."
- The neo-Platonic trinities, such as that of the One, the Nous and the Soul, are not considered a trinity of consubstantial equals as in mainstream Christianity. However, the neo-Platonic trinity has the doctrine of emanation, a timeless procedure of generation having as a source the One and being paralleled with the generation of the light from the Sun. This was adopted by Origen and later on by Athanasius, and applied to the generation of the Son from the Father, because they believed that this analogy could be used to support the notion that the Father, as immutable, always had been a Father, and that the generation of the Son is therefore eternal and timeless.64
- The synthesis of Christianity with Platonic philosophy was further incorporated in the trinitarian formulas that appeared by the end of the 3rd century. "The Greek philosophical theology" was "developed during the Trinitarian controversies over the relationships among the persons of the Godhead."65 Some assert that this incorporation was well known during the 3rd century, because the allegation of borrowing was raised by some disputants when the Nicene doctrine was being formalized and adopted by the bishops. For example, in the 4th century, Marcellus of Ancyra, who taught the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were one person (hypostasis), said in his On the Holy Church, 9:
"Now with the heresy of the Ariomaniacs, which has corrupted the Church of God...These then teach three hypostases, just as Valentinus the heresiarch first invented in the book entitled by him 'On the Three Natures'. For he was the first to invent three hypostases and three persons of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and he is discovered to have filched this from Hermes and Plato."66
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- Bibliotheca antitrinitariorum
- Free Christianity
- Urantia Foundation
- John 1:1
- Davis, SJ, Leo Donald (1990). The First Seven Ecumenical Councils (325-787): Their History and Theology (Theology and Life Series 21). Collegeville, MN: Michael Glazier/Liturgical Press. p. 68. ISBN 978-0-8146-5616-7.
- von Harnack, Adolf (1894-03-01). "History of Dogma". Retrieved 2007-06-15. "[In the 2nd century,] Jesus was either regarded as the man whom God hath chosen, in whom the Deity or the Spirit of God dwelt, and who, after being tested, was adopted by God and invested with dominion, (Adoptionist Christology); or Jesus was regarded as a heavenly spiritual being (the highest after God) who took flesh, and again returned to heaven after the completion of his work on earth (pneumatic Christology)"
- Glassé, Cyril; Smith, Huston (2003). The New Encyclopedia of Islam. Rowman Altamira. pp. 239–241. ISBN 0759101906.
- Encyclopedia of the Qur'an. Thomas, David. 2006. Volume V: Trinity.
- Qur'an 3:79-80, 112:1-4, etc.
- Justo L. González, The Story of Christianity: The Early Church to the Present Day, Prince Press, 1984, Vol. 1, pp. 159-161• Jaroslav Pelikan, The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine, The University of Chicago Press, 1971, Vol. 1, pp. 181-199
- Encyclopædia Britannica 1942 edition p.634 "Christianity"
- HISTORY OF ARIANISM, Alexandria and Arius: A.D. 323-325
- David K. Bernard, Oneness and Trinity A.D. 100-300 - The Doctrine of God and Ancient Christian Writings - Word Aflame Press, Hazelwood Montana, 1991, p. 156.
- Encyclopedia of Protestantism, page 474, J. Gordon Melton, 2005: "... for his many departures from traditional Christian and Protestant affirmations including the Trinity and the deity of Christ. ... 1 (1886; reprint , Rutherford, NJ: Dawn Bible Students Association, nd)"
- Watch Tower, October 1881, Watch Tower Reprints page 290 As Retrieved 2009-09-23, page 4, ""He gave his only begotten Son." This phraseology brings us into conflict with an old Babylonian theory, viz.: Trinitarianism. If that doctrine is true, how could there be any Son to give? A begotten Son, too? Impossible. If these three are one, did God send himself? And how could Jesus say: "My Father is greater than I." John 14:28. [emphasis retained from original]"
- Zion's Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence, July 1882, Reprints 370, page 3.
- Flint, James; Deb Flint. One God or a Trinity?. Hyderabad: Printland Publishers. ISBN 81-87409-61-4.
- Pearce, Fred. Jesus: God the Son or Son of God? Does the Bible Teach the Trinity?. Birmingham, UK: The Christadelphian Magazine and Publishing Association Ltd (UK). p. 8.
- Tennant, Harry. The Holy Spirit: Bible Understanding of God's Power. Birmingham, UK: The Christadelphian Magazine and Publishing Association Ltd (UK).
- Broughton, James H.; Peter J Southgate. The Trinity: True or False?. UK: The Dawn Book Supply.
- Nelson's guide to denominations J. Gordon Melton - 2007 "Later in the century, various leaders also began to express doubts about the Trinity, and a spectrum of opinion emerged. ... Still others, such as the Church of God General Conference (Abrahamic Faith) specifically denied the Trinity ..."
- The Watchtower: 23. January 15, 1992.
- Insight on the Scriptures 2. Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. 1988. pp. 393–394.
- The Holy Spirit-God's Active Force - Jehovah's Witnesses Official Web Site
- Manalo, Eraño G., Fundamental Beliefs of the Iglesia ni Cristo (Church of Christ) (Iglesia ni Cristo; Manila 1989)
- David K. Bernard, THE ONENESS OF GOD, Chapter 12. TRINITARIANISM: AN EVALUATION, Table 11: Trinitarianism and Oneness Compared.
- David Bernard's The Oneness of God, Word Aflame Press, 1983, ISBN 0-912315-12-1. pgs 264-274.
- Wells, H. G. (n.d.). The Outline of History: being a plain history of life and mankind. Forgotten Books 2. London, UK: The Waverley Book Company. p. 284.
- W. Fulton, ”Trinity”, Encyclopædia of Religion and Ethics, T. & T. Clark, 1921, Vol. 12, p. 459.
- Unitarians face a new age: the report of the Commission of Appraisal. American Unitarian Association. ed. Frederick May Eliot, Harlan Paul Douglass - 1936 "Chapter III CHURCH GROWTH AND DECLINE DURING THE LAST DECADE Year Book data permit the calculation of growth or decline in membership for 297 Unitarian churches which existed throughout the last decade and ..."
- Charles Lippy Faith in America: Changes, Challenges, New Directions p2 2006 "However, when the national interest in novel religious forms waned by the mid- nineteenth century, Unitarianism and Universalism began to decline.2 For the vast majority of religious bodies in America, growth continued unabated;"
- New Catholic Encyclopedia (1967) Volume XIV p.299
- John Macquarrie, "Trinity," Microsoft Encarta Reference Library 2005. © 1993-2004 Microsoft Corporation. Retrieved on March 31, 2008.
- "Trinity," Encyclopædia Britannica 2004 Ultimate Reference Suite DVD. Retrieved on March 31, 2008.
- Jouette M. Bassler, "God in the NT", The Anchor Bible Dictionary, Doubleday, New York 1992, 2:1055.
- Theological Studies #26 (1965) p. 545-73, "Does the NT call Jesus God?"
- Reasoning from Scriptures, Watch Tower bible and tract society page 411 para 4
- Patrick Navas - Divine Truth Or Human Tradition?: A Reconsideration Of The Orthodox Doctrine Of The Trinity in Light of the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures - AuthorHouse, 2007, 2011 - p 267.
- The Word "Homoousios" from Hellenism to Christianity, by P.F. Beatrice, Church History, Cambridge University Press on behalf of the American Society of Church History, Vol. 71, No. 2, (Jun., 2002), pp. 243-272. (retrieved @ noemon.net)
- What Does God Require Of Us (published by Jehovah's Witnesses) http://watchtower.org/e/rq/ lesson 2 paragraph 3 "What, though, is the holy spirit? It is not a person like God. Rather, it is God's active force.—Psalm 104:30. "
- The Unitarian: a monthly magazine of liberal Christianity ed. Jabez Thomas Sunderland, Brooke Herford, Frederick B. Mott - 1893 "We believe in the Holy Spirit, man's sole reliance for guidance, safety, or salvation, not as a separate person, entity, reality, or consciousness, existent apart from man or God, but as the recognizing sympathetic inter-communication in love between God and the human soul, the direct converse or communion of man's consciousness with Deity."
- "Is the Holy Spirit a Person?". Awake!: 14–15. July 2006. "In the Bible, God’s Holy Spirit is identified as God’s power in action. Hence, an accurate translation of the Bible’s Hebrew text refers to God’s spirit as “God’s active force.”"
- "Is It Clearly a Bible Teaching?", Should You Believe in the Trinity?, ©1989 Watch Tower, p. 7, Reproduced here.
- Who and What Is God? - Mystery of the Ages - Herbert W. Armstrong. Retrieved 19 May 2012.
- Peter Althouse Spirit of the last days: Pentecostal eschatology in conversation p12 2003 "The Oneness Pentecostal stream follows in the steps of the Reformed stream, but has a modalistic view of the Godhead"
- See under heading "The Father is the Holy Ghost" in David Bernard, The Oneness of God, Chapter 6.
- See also David Bernard, A Handbook of Basic Doctrines, Word Aflame Press, 1988.
- See under "The Lord God and His Spirit," in Chapter 7 of David Bernard, The Oneness of God.
- Wilson, Jerry A. (1992). "Holy Spirit". In Ludlow, Daniel H. Encyclopedia of Mormonism. New York: Mcmillan. p. 651. ISBN 0-02-904040-X. "The Holy Spirit is a term often used to refer to the Holy Ghost. In such cases the Holy Spirit is a personage."
- McConkie, Joseph Fielding (1992). "Holy Ghost". In Ludlow, Daniel H. Encyclopedia of Mormonism. New York: Mcmillan. p. 649. ISBN 0-02-904040-X. "
- D&C 131:7-8 ("There is no such thing as immaterial matter. All spirit is matter, but it is more fine or pure, and can only be discerned by purer eyes; We cannot see it; but when our bodies are purified we shall see that it is all matter.")
- D&C 130:22.
- Marion G. Romney (April 1974). "The Holy Ghost". Retrieved March 30, 2011.
- Millennial Star XII. October 15, 1850. pp. 305–309. Retrieved March 30, 2011.
- Alan Unterman and Rivka Horowitz,Ruah ha-Kodesh, Encyclopedia Judaica (CD-ROM Edition, Jerusalem: Judaica Multimedia/Keter, 1997).
- The Holy Qur'an. 4:171.
- 'At times he forms one of a trinity in unity, with Ra and Osiris, as in Fig. 87, a god with the two sceptres of Osiris, the hawk's head of Horus, and the sun of Ra. This is the god described to Eusebius, who tells us that when the oracle was consulted about the divine nature, by those who wished to understand this complicated mythology, it had answered, "I am Apollo and Lord and Bacchus," or, to use the Egyptian names, "I am Ra and Horus and Osiris." Another god, in the form of a porcelain idol to be worn as a charm, shows us Horus as one of a trinity in unity, in name, at least, agreeing with that afterwards adopted by the Christians--namely, the Great God, the Son God, and the Spirit God.'—Samuel Sharpe, Egyptian Mythology and Egyptian Christianity, 1863, pp. 89-90.
- How Ancient Trinitarian Gods Influenced Adoption of the Trinity
- Course of Ideas, pp 387-8.
- Select Treatises of St. Athanasius - In Controversy With the Arians - Freely Translated by John Henry Cardinal Newmann - Longmans, Green, and Co., 1911
- A. Hilary Armstrong, Henry J. Blumenthal, Platonism. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved May 13, 2008, from Encyclopædia Britannica 2006 Ultimate Reference Suite DVD.
- Logan A. Marcellus of Ancyra (Pseudo-Anthimus), 'On the Holy Church': Text, Translation and Commentary. Verses 8-9. Journal of Theological Studies, NS, Volume 51, Pt. 1, April 2000, p.95
- Neusner, Jacob, ed. 2009. World Religions in America: An Introduction, Fourth Ed. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press, p. 257. ISBN 978-0-664-23320-4
- Beit-Hallahmi, Benjamin. 1998. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Active New Religions, Sects and Cults, Revised Ed. New York, New York: Rosen Publishing Group, p. 73. ISBN 0-8239-2586-2
- Walker, James K. (2007). The Concise Guide to Today's Religions and Spirituality. Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers. pp. 117–118. ISBN 978-0-7369-2011-7
- Whether Origen taught a doctrine of God that was or was not reconcilable with later Nicene Christianity is a matter of debate (Cf. ANF Vol 4), although many of his other views, such as on metempsychosis, were rejected. Origen was a economic subordinationist according to the editors of ANF, believing in the co-eternal aspect of God the Son but asserting that God the Son never commanded the Father, yet only obeyed. This view is compatible with Nicene theology (as it is not held by Nicene Christians that the Son or Holy Spirit can command the Father), notwithstanding any other doctrines Origen held.
- Williams, Rowan (1987, 2002). Arius (Revised ed.). Grand Rapids, Mich: W.B. Eerdmans. p. 98. ISBN 0-8028-4969-5.
- Avery Cardinal Dulles. The Deist Minimum. 2005.
- Pfizenmaier, T.C., "Was Isaac Newton an Arian?" Journal of the History of Ideas 68(1):57–80, 1997.
- Snobelen, Stephen D. (1999). "Isaac Newton, heretic : the strategies of a Nicodemite" (PDF). British Journal for the History of Science 32 (4): 381–419. doi:10.1017/S0007087499003751.
||This article's use of external links may not follow Wikipedia's policies or guidelines. (June 2012)|
- Five Major Problems With The Trinity 21st Century Reformation by Dan J. Gill
- The Trinity: True or False? by James H. Broughton & Peter J Southgate
- The Origin of the Trinity: From Paganism to Constantine
- Should you believe in the Trinity? - Jehovah's Witnesses perspective
- An investigation of the trinity of Plato and of Philo Judaeus, and of the effects which an attachment to their writings had upon the principles and reasonings of the father of the Christian church, by Caesar Morgan, Cambridge University Press, 1853.
- Antitrinitarian Biography; or, Sketches of the lives and writings of distinguished antitrinitarians, exhibiting a view of the state of the Unitarian doctrine and worship in the principal nations of Europe, from the reformation to the close of the seventeenth century, to which is prefixed a history of Unitarianism in England during the same period, Robert Wallace, 1850.
- A list of 70 nontrintarian translations of John 1:1