Three In One

Welcome back everyone to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth. We’ve lately been going through the Watchtower booklet of “Should You Believe In The Trinity?” Now, we’re finally going to start going to specific Trinitarian prooftexts that can be used to support the Trinity. Some I will find weaker than others. Some I would not even use. However, let’s start with three in one passages the Watchtower brings up.

The verses are 2 Corinthians 13:13-14, 1 Corinthians 12:4-6, and Matthew 28:19. I would agree that these verses in themselves do not prove the Trinity. The Watchtower makes much about whether a verse explicitly states the Trinity. I do agree that there is no verse that explicitly states the Trinity. I do not see why that is a problem however and it is up to the Watchtower to convince me that that is what must be done for any doctrine.

Matthew 28 however I consider the most important of all of these. Note that the actions are to be done in the name, singular, of the three persons. It does not mean they all share the same name in the sense the Watchtower means of Tom, Dick, and Harry. It means that they all possess the same authority. Now how is it that the Son and Spirit possess the same authority as YHWH and that they can be subsumed under His name?

One would think that for an organization that makes much of knowing what the name of God is, that they would take this much more seriously.

The Watchtower also brings up the baptism of Jesus and says that this does not prove the Trinity. Again, I agree. The Watchtower keeps forgetting that the Trinity is a cumulative case. It is a building block of the Trinity. For the Trinity to be true, there must certainly be three persons.

Reading this kind of thinking makes me think of how I can read atheistic rebuttals to the five ways of Aquinas for instance that think it’s something to say “But this argument does not prove that God is triune and possesses all the omni-attributes.”

At that point I just want to say “It wasn’t supposed to.” Neither were these verses supposed to prove the Trinity, although it is interesting how many verses there are that have all three persons mentioned as interacting together. They do not prove the Trinity, but they certainly can support it. They are what we call a necessary but not a sufficient condition.

Finally, the Watchtower says that 1 John 5:7 was added in later. With that, I agree, and I think it’s a shame when Christians want to jump straight to this verse to prove the Trinity. Even if you think it’s valid, you have to get into a whole other argument just to get it to be accepted. There are better texts to go to and ones that do not depend on a questionable text.

I thus conclude that the Watchtower is simply making the mistake that the new atheists also make. It is an all-or-nothing game instead of realizing that there is a cumulative case to be made.

We shall continue next time.

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