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Comparative Islam/THE TRINITY DOCTRINE

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QUESTION: What is Trinity? Is it necessary to have faith in ELOHIM HA KHAYYIM?

ANSWER: Dear Mary,

Thank you for your question. The Trinity you find explained here:

http://www.christianityexplained.net/explainedto/muslims/11.html

The most important thing necessary to have faith in God is described here in the New Testament:

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1Co 15:1  My friends, I want you to remember the message that I preached and that you believed and trusted.
1Co 15:2  You will be saved by this message, if you hold firmly to it. But if you don't, your faith was all for nothing.
1Co 15:3  I told you the most important part of the message exactly as it was told to me. That part is: Christ died for our sins, as the Scriptures say.
1Co 15:4  He was buried, and three days later he was raised to life, as the Scriptures say.

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Once you repent (=turn around from your own ways) and believe this, God will lead you deeper into understanding his Trinitarian nature.

Kind regards,

A. Abraham



---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: IF THE TRINITY DOCTRINE WAS SUCH AN IMPORTANT ONE , IT COULD HAVE BEEN MENTIONED BY MESSIAH IN THE N.T. UNFORTUNATELY , NOWHERE IT IS MENTIONED.
BUT IN Mark 12:28-29 "And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all? Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one." Note the words "the most commandment of all", if it was trinity it could have explained in such an importance..... AND TO HAVE THE ETERNAL LIFE " And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.”"(MATHEW 19:17)...AND YOU KNOW WHAT THOSE COMMANDMENTS ARE....IN Exodus 20 AND IN Deuteronomy 5 CLEARLY EXPLAINED THE FAITH. BUT YOU WERE QUOTING FROM 1 CORINTHIANS....WHOSE MESSAGE WAS Christ died for our sins, as the Scriptures say. IS THERE ANY REFERENCE FOR TRINITY IN O.T?
Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only (Matthew 4:10)
reply is needed urgently

ANSWER: Dear Mary,

Thank you for your message. You wrote:

IF THE TRINITY DOCTRINE WAS SUCH AN IMPORTANT ONE , IT COULD HAVE BEEN MENTIONED BY MESSIAH IN THE N.T. UNFORTUNATELY , NOWHERE IT IS MENTIONED.

Actually the Trinity is alluded to here: (The reason why it is only alluded to is most probably because, traditionally, the nations around the people of God in the Bible have been polytheist, believing in many gods. Had God revealed himself as one, unique God in three persons, a multiplicity within unity, in that religious climate, people would have been confused. Once, a person believes in the God of the Bible they are able to cope with this element of mystery surounding the nature of God. Similarly, any person of faith believes that God has no beginning and no end, hears and sees everything at once, etc, without understanding how this is possible. Why should a person of faith be surprised about the fact that God can never be known totally?)   

The following verses teach also that Jehovah, God the Holy Trinity is His own community built upon a loving relationship as the essence of reality. It brings forth a perfect and beautiful unity:

'In the beginning God ('elohim', plural, the Father) created ('bara' singular verb) the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, (God the Son who is known as His word in Joh 1:1 through whom he created all things according to Col 1:16)



'Let there be light,' and there was light.' (Gen 1:1-3)

'...hear this: from the beginning I have not spoken in secret, from the time it came to be I have been there. And now the Lord GOD has sent me and his Spirit.' (Isa 48:16)

Ultimately, these verses find their fulfilment in Jesus (Joh 10:36, Luk 4:1,14,18).



'I will tell of the kindness of the LORD, the deeds for which he is to be praised, according to all the LORD has done for us - yes, the many good things he has done for the house of Israel, according to his compassion and many kindness. He said, 'Surely they are my people, sons who will not be false to me'; and so he became their Saviour. In all their distress he too was distressed, and the angel of his presence saved them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old. Yet they rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit. So he turned and became their enemy and he himself fought against them.' (Isa 63:7-10)



There are a number of verses in the New Testament that call Jesus and the Holy Spirit God, besides God the Father. (Joh 8:58, compare with Exo 3:14; Act 5:3-4 etc.) In the light of this truth the following verses are understood to be speaking about the Trinity:



'And when Jesus was baptized, he went up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and alighting on him; and lo, a voice from heaven, saying, 'This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.' (Mat 3:16-17)



'Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name (singular!) of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,...' (Mat 28:19)



'May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.' (2 Cor 13:13)



'Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the elect who are sojourners of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied.' (1 Pet 1:1-2)



In Acts 2:38, 8:16, 19:4 people are baptized in the name of Jesus only. Since Jesus is now included in a way he was not in John's baptism (19:4), the abbreviated form is used in the beginning to emphasize the distinctive quality of the new baptism. For more verses speaking about the Trinity when one considers the Biblical context see, Ephesians 4:4-6, 5:18-20, 1 Corinthians 12:4-6, Romans 8:9-11.

You mentioned this verse:

'Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.' (Deu 6:4-5)

Firstly we need to look at the definition of the word 'one'. 'The idea is not, Jehovah (later translated as 'LORD') our God is one (the only) God, but 'one Jehovah'...(it) simply states that it is to Him alone that the name Jehovah rightfully belongs, that He is the one absolute God, to whom no other Elohim can be compared. This is also the meaning of the same expression in Zechariah 14: 9, 'Jehovah will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Jehovah, and His name one' where the words added 'and His name one,' can only signify that in the future Jehovah would be acknowledged as the one absolute God, as King over all the earth' (Keil-Delitsch Commentary)



'The word used for 'one' is the ordinary Hebrew numeral. God is all on his own. He has no 'relations'. As far as his Godhead is concerned he is alone, unique.... Some passages use plural forms for God. One form of the name for God, Elohim, is itself plural. This is remarkable in view of the Old Testament emphasis on the unity of God. It cannot be explained as a plural of 'majesty'; this was entirely unknown to the Hebrews. It has been seen as on a level with the words for 'water' and 'heaven', which both also happen to be in the plural in Hebrew. Water can be thought of in individual raindrops or in terms of the mass of water in the ocean. The plural in this case points to 'diversity in unity'. Some believe that the same is true of the plural 'Elohim'. But there are also passages where God speaks of himself in the plural. We find them in particular in the first chapters of Genesis.

'God said, 'Let us make man in our image, after our likeness...'

and,

'The Lord God said, 'Now the man has become like one of us...'

You mentioned Matthew 19:17, but unfortunately again totally out of context. Jesus Christ's words in Matthew 19:17 (see also Mark 10:17-22 and Luke 18:18-23) do not mean that he is not good and not God. The man who called Jesus 'good' was focused on earthly things and not on God, and therefore regarded Jesus as nothing more than a man. The rich man was equating 'good' and 'man' in his mind, which Jesus does not want him to do.

This is why Jesus questions the rich young man about calling him good. Jesus also mentions God to get the rich young man to focus on God and not simply on earthly things. Had the man recognised that Jesus was God, Jesus would have accepted the title 'good'. (St Augustine, On the Trinity, Book 1, Chapter 13, Section 31; online edition)

I think this interpretation fits well with the passage in question and with rest of the Bible. The rich man is obviously so focused on earthly things that he has neglected to focus on God. This is seen by the fact that he puts his money and possessions above obeying Jesus' call to leave everything and follow Him (Matthew 19:21-22, Mark 10:21-22, and Luke 18:22-23). Other parts of the Bible show Jesus calling Himself 'Lord' and 'Good Shepherd', and accepting the titles 'Lord' and 'God' (John 10:11, 14; 13:13; 20:26-29).

You wrote:

BUT YOU WERE QUOTING FROM 1 CORINTHIANS....WHOSE MESSAGE WAS Christ died for our sins, as the Scriptures say.

Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures. The fifty-third chapter of Isaiah is especially exact in the outlines of our Lord's suffering. He quotes it in Luk_22:37.

That he was buried and rose again the third day, according to the scriptures. Paul himself quotes Psa_16:10 as predicting the resurrection. See Act_13:35.

Would you be interested in the six lessons e-mail Bible study to give you the context of the Bible?

Kind regards,

A. Abraham


 

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: FIRST OF ALL I AM INTERESTED IN YOUR "SIX LESSONS E-MAIL STUDY"
LET ME START IN THE NAME OF ELOHIM WHO CREATED THE EARTH AND HEAVENS IN SIX DAYS........
Philo of Alexandria, a Hellenized Jew also called Judaeus Philo, is a figure that spans two cultures, the Greek and the Hebrew. When Hebrew mythical thought met Greek philosophical thought in the first century B.C.E. it was only natural that someone would try to develop speculative and philosophical justification for Judaism in terms of Greek philosophy. Thus Philo produced a synthesis of both traditions developing concepts for future Hellenistic interpretation of messianic Hebrew thought, especially by Clement of Alexandria, Christian Apologists like Athenagoras, Theophilus, Justin Martyr, Tertullian, and by Origen. He may have influenced Paul, his contemporary, and perhaps the authors of the Gospel of John (C. H. Dodd) and the Epistle to the Hebrews (R. Williamson and H. W. Attridge).
JOHN IS THE ONLY ONE WHO IS TALKING OF " LOGOS" IN THE NEW TESTAMENT IN SUCH A MANNER THAT WHICH MEANS THE WORD WAS GOD; JESUS WAS GOD?!
that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.(2JOHN 17:21-24) DOES IT MEAN ALL ARE ONE AND ALL ARE GOD-ONE IS A PERFECT "SINGULAR WORD" AS YOU MENTIONED ABOVE "IN THE NAME".....
AND MESSIAH WAS " Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was A MAN ACCREDITED BY GOD to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know.(ACTS 2: 22)
Joh 10:36 THE ONLY PLACE WHERE JESUS HIMSELF CALLS SON OF GOD......
YOU WROTE..."There are a number of verses in the New Testament that call Jesus and the Holy Spirit God, besides God the Father"
וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֶל-מֹשֶׁה, רְאֵה נְתַתִּיךָ אֱלֹהִים לְפַרְעֹה(wai’yo’mer YHWH el mo’sheh re’eyh ne’ta’ti’kha e’lo’him le’phar’oh-The LORD answered Moses, "I have made you a god to Pharaoh-eXODUS 7:1) IS MOSES A GOD?.....
(Joh 8:58, compare with Exo 3:14; Act 5:3-4 etc) NICE REFERENCES AND COMPARISONS.....PLEASE DON'T DO THAT.... EHIYEH ASHER EHIYEH....SENT MOSES , SO WHAT, BEFORE ABRAHAM WAS BORN I AM.....

IN JEWISH ENCYCLOPEDIA
   "The most common of the originally appellative names of God is Elohim plural in form though commonly construed with a singular verb or adjective. This is, most probably, to be explained as the plural of majesty or excellence, expressing high dignity or greatness" BUT YOU WROTE " It cannot be explained as a plural of 'majesty'; THIS WAS ENTIRELY UNKNOWN TO THE HEBREWS"....??????!!!!!
Matthew 19:17 "WHY TOU CALLEST ME GOOD, THERE'S NONE GOOD BUT ONE THAT IS GOD" IF HE WAS GOD HE WOULD HAVE APPRECIATED IT AND WOULD NOT HAVE TOLD THE ABOVE ANSWER "THERE'S NONE GOOD BUT ONE THAT IS GOD"

"During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission." ( MATHEW 5:7)

9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
   my body also will rest secure,
10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
   nor will you let your faithful[b] one see decay.
11 You make known to me the path of life;
   you will fill me with joy in your presence,
   with eternal pleasures at your right hand. (PSALMS:16:9-11)
IT CONFIRMS THAT HE WAS NOT DEAD....OR CRUCIFIED......

YOU CAN CONTACT ME THROUGH MY MAIL ID " "
thanks and regards

Answer
Dear Mary,

Good to hear from you again! Thank you for your message. You wrote:

JOHN IS THE ONLY ONE WHO IS TALKING OF " LOGOS" IN THE NEW TESTAMENT IN SUCH A MANNER THAT WHICH MEANS THE WORD WAS GOD; JESUS WAS GOD?!

Yes, actually that is what it means. However, it is not a man claiming to be god as in pagan religions but God claiming to have become a man in Jesus as expressed in the same chapter:

Joh 1:14  The Word became a human being and lived here with us. We saw his true glory, the glory of the only Son of the Father. From him all the kindness and all the truth of God have come down to us.

You wrote: OHN 17:21-24) DOES IT MEAN ALL ARE ONE AND ALL ARE GOD-ONE IS A PERFECT "SINGULAR WORD" AS YOU MENTIONED ABOVE "IN THE NAME".....

No, here in the context it is not the union of nature which is referred to, but the union of plan, of counsel, of purpose seeking the same objects, and manifesting attachment to the same things, and a desire to promote the same ends.

You wrote: AND MESSIAH WAS " Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was A MAN ACCREDITED BY GOD to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know.(ACTS 2: 22)

The Bible teaches in the following verses that Jesus, being in very nature God did take on the very nature of a man but without sin. In other words, Jesus had two natures at the same time.

Php 2:5  Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Php 2:6  Who, being in the nature of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
Php 2:7  But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the nature of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
Php 2:8  And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

In Acts 2:22 his second nature was stressed.

You wrote: Joh 10:36 THE ONLY PLACE WHERE JESUS HIMSELF CALLS SON OF GOD......

No, here is another one:

Rev 2:18  And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;

and here:

Joh 13:31  Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him.

On other occasions people called him Son of God and he did not corredt them:

Joh 11:27  She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.

You wrote:

eXODUS 7:1) IS MOSES A GOD?

The context is important. In chapter 20 o Exocus  God says there is no God besides him. Therefore, Moses is not a god by nature, but made so; he was so by commission and office, clothed with power and authority from God to act under him in all things he should direct; not for ever, as angels are gods, but for a time; not in an ordinary way, as magistrates are gods, but in an extraordinary manner; and not to any other but to Pharaoh, being an ambassador of God to him

In the context of Jesus being God, it clearly points to the truth that he is God in the unique sense of the word not as someone having authority like God as in the case of Moses.

You wrote: IN JEWISH ENCYCLOPEDIA
  "The most common of the originally appellative names of God is Elohim plural in form though commonly construed with a singular verb or adjective. This is, most probably, to be explained as the plural of majesty or excellence, expressing high dignity or greatness" BUT YOU WROTE " It cannot be explained as a plural of 'majesty'; THIS WAS ENTIRELY UNKNOWN TO THE HEBREWS"....??????!!!!!

Please note their words, 'most probably' menaing they are not entirly sure. Here is what other scholars, some of them Jewish, have to say:

"Every one who is acquainted with the rudiments of the Hebrew and Chaldee languages, must know that God, in the holy Writings, very often spoke of Himself in the plural. The passages are numerous, in which, instead of a grammatical agreement between the subject and predicate, we meet with a construction, which some modern grammarians, who possess more of the so-called philosophical than of the real knowledge of the Oriental languages, call a pluralis excellentiae. This helps them out of every apparent difficulty. Such a pluralis excellentiae was, however, a thing unknown to Moses and the prophets. Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar, David, and all the other kings, throughout TeNaKh (the Law, the Prophets, and the Hagiographa) speak in the singular, and not as modern kings in the plural. They do not say we, but I, command; as in Gen. xli. 41; Dan. iii. 29; Ezra i. 2, etc." (Rabbi Tzvi Nassi, Oxford University professor, The Great Mystery, 1970, p6, )

"This first person plural can hardly be a mere editorial or royal plural that refers to the speaker alone, for no such usage is demonstrable anywhere else in biblical Hebrew. Therefore, we must face the question of who are included in this "us" and "our." It could hardly include the angels in consultation with God, for nowhere is it ever stated that man was created in the image of angels, only of God. Verse 27 then affirms: "and God [Elohim] created man in His own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female He created them" (NASB). God--the same God who spoke of Himself in the plural--now states that He created man in His image. In other words, the plural equals the singular. This can only be understood in terms of the Trinitarian nature of God. The one true God subsists in three Persons, Persons who are able to confer with one another and carry their plans into action together--without ceasing to be one God." (Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties, Gleason Archer, p.359, commenting on whether Gen 1:26 is a "plural of majesty")

"The best answer that they [Old Hebrew lexicographers and grammarians] could give was that the plural form used for the name (or title) of God was the 'pluralis majestatis,' that is the plural of majesty...to say nothing of the fact that it is not at all certain that the 'pluralis majestatis' is ever found in the Old Testament, there is an explanation much nearer at hand and much simpler, and that is, that a plural name was used for the one God, in spite of the intense monotheism of the Jews, because there is a plurality of person in the one Godhead." (The God of the Bible, R. A.Torrey, 1923, p 64)

"Another very popular view in modem times is that God uses the plural, just as kings do, as a mark of dignity (the so-called "plural of majesty"), but it is only late in Jewish history that such a form of speech occurs, and then it is used by Persian and Greek rulers (Esdr. iv. 18; 1 Mace. x. 19). Nor can the plural be regarded as merely indicating the way in which God summons Himself to energy, for the use of the language is against this (Gen. ii. 18; Is. xxxiii. 10)." (Trinity, A Catholic Dictionary, William E. Addis & Thomas Arnold, 1960, p 822-830)

I have alreaday answered Hebrews 5:7 and Matthew 19. Please refer to my previaous messages on that.

Regarding Psalm 16:9-11:

For thou will not leave - The language used here implies, of course, that what is here called the soul would be in the abode to which the name hell is given, but “how long” it would be there is not intimated. The thought simply is, that it would not be “left” there; it would not be suffered to “remain” there. Whether it would be restored to life again in a few days, or after a longer period, is not implied in the term used. It would be fulfilled, though, as in the case of the Lord Jesus, the resurrection should occur in three days; or though, as in the case of David, it would occur only after many ages; or though, as Abraham believed of Isaac if he was offered as a sacrifice Heb_11:19, he should be restored to life at once. In other words, there is no allusion in this language to time. It is only to the “fact” that there would be a restoration to life.

neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption; that is, to lie so long in the grave as to putrefy and be corrupted; wherefore he was raised from the dead on the third day, according to the Scriptures, before the time bodies begin to be corrupted;

Regarding the six lessons e-mail study: Unfortunately I cannot send you the word doc. of lesson 1 through this forum which does not allow me to see your e-mail address. You would need to send me a message with your e-mail address written down in it. By putting it on 'private' nobody else will be able to see it.

Kind regards,

A. Abraham  

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I AM A FOLLOWER OF JESUS CHRIST AS HE IS DESCRIBED IN THE HOLY BIBLE. With God`s help I will attempt to answer ONLY those questions Muslims have regarding the Christian view of Christianity, such as: Who is Jesus? Has the Bible been changed? What is the way to heaven? Do Christians believe in three gods or One? The Christian perspective of questions Muslims ask. Etc. PLEASE DO NOT SEND ME QUESTIONS REGARDING THE MUSLIMS VIEW OF ISLAM. I WILL ONLY ANSWER QUESTIONS MUSLIMS ASK ABOUT ISSUES RELATED TO CHRISTIANITY. I WILL DO SO FROM A CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE ONLY, GOD WILLING. I AM OFFERING THIS HUMBLE SERVICE TO THE MUSLIM COMMUNITY SO IT CAN GET A BETTER, FIRST HAND UNDERSTANDING ABOUT THE TEACHINGS OF THE TAWRAT, ZABUR AND INJEEL FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF SOMEONE WHO STUDIES AND FOLLOWS THE TEACHINGS OF THOSE BOOKS. THIS ENABLES A PROPER, SCHOLARLY APPROACH FOR THE STUDENTS. THEY WILL NOT HAVE TO RELY ON SECONDARY (MUSLIM) SOURCES TO LEARN ABOUT CHRISTIANITY.

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I have been interacting with Muslims for about 24 years.

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I have an MA in Christian Studies.

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