Book Plunge: Jesus Was Not A Trinitarian Chapter 12

Does the church really believe in the Trinity? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

This chapter is asking if everyone believes in the Trinity? Well, no. I can’t think of a single statement that you would find EVERYONE agrees with or believes. There are always differences. However, let’s look at the “arguments” Buzzard puts forward this time.

One statement he makes is about your average churchgoer who he says believes that:

1) “Jesus Christ is God”; 2) “God is our Heavenly Father”; 3) “Jesus Christ is not our Heavenly Father”;4) “There are not two Gods.” Yet he has never considered how to reconcile these four separate opinions of his together; it probably has not occurred to him that they are inconsistent with one another…The average Englishman has not troubled himself with the matter.

Unfortunately, he’s correct in that the average church member hasn’t thought about this and will get flummoxed by it, which makes sense. Unfortunately, this is again something I consider dishonest on Buzzard’s part for he should know that no one believes this and if you think a simple set of statements can make a position look absurd, you’re probably wrong. So what is the answer?

Saying “Jesus is God” is theological shorthand. It does not mean that Jesus is the entirety of the Godhead. It means Jesus fully possesses all the attributes of deity. When we then say that God is our Heavenly Father, that’s because we normally think of God as the source of deity who begets the Father and the Son and the Spirit are subsumed under Him in the divine identity while still maintaining being their own persons.  Difficult to think about? Yep. Still, it resolves the problem and again, Buzzard should know this.

Buzzard goes on to say that some famous New Testament scholars grant that the Trinity is not a New Testament doctrine by quoting one saying:

No responsible New Testament scholar would claim that the doctrine of the Trinity was taught by Jesus, or preached by the earliest Christians, or consciously held by any writer in the New Testament.”

But this is NOT saying the Trinity is not a New Testament doctrine. It’s saying that for the first part, Jesus was not walking around Palestine talking about the doctrine of the Trinity. Correct. The early Christians were not going around quoting the Chalcedonian Creed. Right. The writers of the New Testament did not have fully laid out in front of them the Trinity. Yes. All the seeds were there and the view is being formed in the New Testament. Again, statements like this are just dishonest on Buzzard’s part.

He does go to the question of the rich young ruler saying Jesus differentiated between Himself and God and saying that only God is absolutely good.

Well, there you have it.

For Buzzard, Jesus is NOT absolutely good.

I cannot see any way around that. If Buzzard wants to have that differentiation, he has to have all of it. To defend Unitarianism, he not only has to deny the deity of Jesus, but He has to say this sinless man who lived a perfect life among men is NOT absolutely good.

Yep. This position sure is honoring the savior.

He also looks at Genesis 1:26 and Isaiah 6:8 where God uses the “us” language. Now some people have said that this is a hint at the Trinity. All Buzzard says is that the address is obviously to attendant angelic beings.


He doesn’t have an endnote to make his case. He just says it’s obvious and moves on. When he thinks a Trinitarian in interpreting a passage is throwing his ideas onto the text, that’s bad! Buzzard gets a free pass though!

Keep in mind, I’m not saying he’s wrong in his interpretation. I’m saying that he doesn’t get to just say what it is and move on. He needs to make a case. There are a number of positions one could take.

It could be the Trinity.
It could be the Divine Council as someone like Michael Heiser argued.
It could be the royal we.
It could be angels.

There could even be possible other interpretations. These are the ones I know. If there are at least four, you should make the case.

Imagine if we read the Olivet Discourse and in arguing for my position of orthodox Preterism I just said “The text is obviously referring to events within the first century.”

I would hope my fellow Preterists would call me out on that if I did that. I need to make an argument for it. The same applies here.

He says also to see veiled signs of the Trinity in the Old Testament is to go beyond the intent of the sacred writers. Does the same apply to any idea of Jesus in the Old Testament. 1 Peter 1 tells us that the prophets themselves didn’t understand what they were necessarily referring to.

If so, then therefore, to read Jesus into Old Testament prophecy is to go beyond the intent of the sacred writers. Right? Again, Buzzard cannot have it both ways.

He returns to John 1 saying that in verses 3-4, many translations say “through him all things were made” when it should be through it. Buzzard really is going against the largest number of translators on all sides. Technically, the word from my reading could be translated masculine or neuter. Why does Buzzard assume it has to be the neuter without an argument? Again, rules for thee, but not for me.

He also quotes someone saying that “a person is created by his relationships with other people and especially by his interaction with his parents and family.” First off, this is going by a modern idea of personhood. Even going past that, there is a much bigger problem here.

What makes God the Father a person?

If Unitarianism is true, it was just God alone at the beginning and no one else so thus, no relationships and definitely no parents or family. Was God not a person then? If God had to create to have a relationship, then in some way, God is dependent on His creation to be a person.

If these are the rules Buzzard wants to live with, he gets to pay the price.

Not only that, we could ask about angels. Do angels have parents and family? Angels don’t reproduce and metaphysically, it can be argued that each angel is his own species. How does this work?

Buzzard doesn’t tell us.

He goes back to Ehrman reminding us to see Jesus as an apocalyptic prophet of the new millennium. I have responded to that book here. No word on Ehrman’s position is given. Buzzard knows it, but he doesn’t care to share it. He also references Tom Harpur again later on, nowhere letting the reader know the even more bizarre stances that Harpur holds.

Well, we’re almost done with this book. Thank the Trinity for that!

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)



Book Plunge: Jesus Was Not A Trinitarian Chapter 11

Does having more support change a position? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

In this chapter, Buzzard lists several people who he says support his cause. Sadly, they all use pretty much the same kinds of arguments. There is really less and less to comment on, but let’s go on with what one of these people says about the history of the doctrine of the Trinity:

Fourth-century Trinitarianism did not reflect accurately early Christian teaching regarding the nature of God; it was, on the contrary, a deviation from this teaching…It developed against constant unitarian opposition and was never wholly victorious. The dogma of the Trinity owes its existence to abstract speculation on the part of a small minority of scholars.

In response, here’s at least one good thing that came out of the later Star Wars movies.

Indeed. For one thing, this was not a fourth century doctrine as much as it was one started in the second century and further refined up to that point and is still being refined. We have made plenty of arguments against Buzzard’s idea that Trinitarianism is a deviation, but also there was not constant Unitarian opposition and finally, it was hardly a minority. I would expect to find this more in the Da Vinci Code!

Buzzard also writes about the Angel of the Lord and how that was accepted to be a theophany without proof. As to why Stephen who talked about the Angel in his speech before the Sanhedrin never said that, why should he? For one thing, Buzzard assumes that statement would be controversial to say that the Angel of the Lord was an appearance of deity. This assumes they held to Buzzard’s strict unitarianism. Second, if they don’t accept Jesus, what good would it do to say “This Angel was Jesus all along!” Not a bit.

Those interested in seeing the Angel of the Lord can search through my blog where I have stated that He is an appearance of deity. Go to the verses under question and look for them here or just search for Angel of the Lord. Either way, Buzzard is begging the question.

Finally, he says that Hebrews not only says that Jesus is greater than the angels, but if Jesus was the Angel of the Lord, what about how Hebrews also says in these last days God has spoken by His Son? The first one is quite easy in that the angel of the Lord is the messenger of the Lord and not an angel in the same sense as all the other angels. In the second, these appearances are also definitely not the same as a full incarnation taking on human nature. It’s sad Buzzard thinks these are great objections when one can come up with an answer easily with a moment’s thought.

Buzzard also says:

It is encouraging to hear scholars say that the Trinitarian dogma “was determined neither by scripture nor by experience but by the Arian controversy on the doctrine of the Trinity.”

Why does he consider this encouraging? Error has always led to the refining of truth. It was Marcion’s false canon that led Christians to establish the true canon. It is failure in modern fields that leads to success.

Finally, I want to bring out this closing remark of his:

Unitarianism has of course continued since the early twentieth century when the Schaff-Herzog article was penned. In general Unitarians have become less “biblical,” meaning that they lost a grip on central biblical teachings such as the virgin birth, the resurrection and the Second Coming. The loss of these central truths is hardly likely to make unitarianism attractive to evangelicals and the fault lies in this respect with the Unitarianism which has lost its biblical basis, other than its rejection of creeds which superseded the creed of Jesus.

I highlight this as I found it revealing of Buzzard’s character. Any time any Trinitarian has done something he despises, he has pointed to how dreadful the doctrine is and what it does. However, when Unitarians consistently start denying other essential biblical doctrines, including the virgin birth, which I do affirm, well that’s just that these people have lost their Biblical Basis. It has nothing to do with rejecting the Trinity!

It must be nice to live in Buzzard’s world where the rules are always different for you than they are for the other side.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Book Plunge: Jesus Was Not a Trinitarian Chapter 10

Does the Trinity contradict Math? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Once again, Buzzard pretty much has one main argument and that is how he keeps playing the game over and over. Here, he wants to keep stressing that there is one God. The Jews at the time of Jesus would have said they worshipped one God. This is never challenged in the New Testament. Nor should it be! Buzzard apparently doesn’t know that Trinitarianism doesn’t challenge this either. In reality, we couldn’t be Trinitarians if there was more than one God.

He says that the important point about Messiah is that He is a human representative. If He is God Himself, then we have two who are God and biblical monotheism is threatened. One would have hoped that by this point, Buzzard would have moved beyond this argument, but no. If you made a drinking game based on how many times he presented this argument, you would die of alcohol poisoning before finishing the book. (Except for my fellow Baptists as we would just have drunk a lot of grape juice.)

He says that in the Shema, Trinitarians have done verbal acrobatics to argue that one does not mean one. No. None of us have. Now there have been arguments that echad can refer to a compound unity, which is true, but no one has denied that an echad is one. One reads this wanting to see if Buzzard will ever get it through his head that his opponents believe in one God. I don’t know what position Buzzard is arguing against, but it sure isn’t one his opponents hold.

We have talked already about how he says the sense of the Greek word eis when used of Jesus and God is that they are one person. This is the game Buzzard plays. When we point to our interpretation, we are adding to the text. When Buzzard says eis means one person instead of just, you know, one, that’s solid and faithful interpretation!

Rules for thee, but not for me!

It’s arguments like this that lead me to think Buzzard is just being dishonest. He is counting on the average Christian reading this not being skilled in Biblical interpretation, and sadly, he will likely be right. We have plenty of Christians who will be able to jump to Revelation and argue for the rapture, but they won’t have a clue how to answer someone like this.

We have a problem.

He has also brought up the claim of Jesus and the rich man with Jesus asking “Why do you call me good?” This is one we have already dealt with in this series. He also says James was a unitarian also saying that you believe God is one? Good. So do the demons, and they tremble. Well, yes, but again, I as a Trinitarian will say the exact same statement. God is one.

Again, Buzzard is counting on his audience being ignorant and suspecting they won’t know the counter-arguments to his positions. I fear he is right in that. We need to do a lot more to educate our churches on the essential positions of their faith and what they believe instead of secondary doctrines and making every sermon about application.

He later makes another type of argument meant to fool the unsuspecting saying:

Later church fathers admitted that their Trinitarian view of God was not found in Moses. Church father Epiphanius says: “The divine unity was first and foremost proclaimed by Moses, the duality (the distinction between Father and Son) was heavily stressed by the prophets, and the Trinity was clearly shown forth in the Gospel.”

But this is just progressive revelation. We might as well say to Buzzard, “Then please show where in Moses we find the Messiah will be crucified and raised from the dead in the middle of space and time and sit at the Father’s right hand? Oh! You can’t find it spelled out there? Then your view of Jesus is not found in Moses!”

This is the absurdity of Buzzard’s position. If the rules were changed for the doctrines he believes, then they would be seen just as false. Does he want to say nothing new about God was revealed in Jesus? If he believes in any kind of progressive revelation in Jesus, then he has views that aren’t found in Moses.

Keep in mind the rules. They only apply to what Trinitarians believe. What Buzzard already believes is exempt.

Lastly, he concludes with saying that if the Torah had wanted us to know God was more than one, it would have told us about the Trinity. Again, we hold that God is one. We might as well still ask where the Torah talks about the crucified Messiah.

Rules for thee, but not for me.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)




Book Plunge: Jesus Was Not A Trinitarian Chapter 9

Is Buzzard a good detective? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

In this chapter which Buzzard calls Detective Work and Word Tricks, we’ll get to see Buzzard try to deal with some arguments against his position, but not very well. The first one to point out is again Titus 2:13. There is still no mention of the Granville Sharpe Rule and he does go back to the KJV, which was put together before that rule was brought to light. He says that evangelicals say the text is clear, but then says translations can strikingly differ and as was said, points back to the KJV. Then in the next paragraph after saying the verse is not as clear, says God and Jesus are clearly separated.

So when you don’t want to go with how it’s interpreted, it’s unclear. When you want to go with your interpretation, it’s suddenly clear. Got it!

He then goes back to begetting saying it means to be brought into existence and then says how can that apply to Jesus then in Psalm 2:7. “You are my Son. Today, I have begotten you.” Well, considering that Psalm was to be said on the day a king was coronated, we can easily say that the king was not brought into existence that day. Could it be that Buzzard’s idea of what begetting is is just wrong?

He says that for the early church, the origin of Jesus was an embarrassment. No indication is given of this. No church father is cited. This is still trying to push his point on Psalm 2:7 where Buzzard is still ignoring the context of the psalm.

He then says that orthodoxy says that Christ did not come into existing the way we do. In some way, His conception was His own doing. He assumed freely and consciously our own nature. While I wouldn’t phrase it that way exactly, yes. This is what the Son did for us.

His interpretation of John 1:1 is frankly bizarre. For Buzzard, the Word is an it instead and is the plan of God to bring about the Messiah. No word yet on how the plan can have a divine nature. Not only that, but saying the Word became flesh only means it got embodied. It doesn’t mean that it became a rational person. We would need the word Kardia for that instead.

Another quote later gives us again Buzzard is either ignorant or dishonest. Your choice:

If Mary was taking into herself a being undergoing transformation from a spiritual being to a human person , Luke and Matthew have misled us. There is no room in the womb for two persons, one added to the other. Would this be a form of twins? Mary did not bear a person who is two “wholes,” fully God and fully man. She did not bear a “double person, ” a preexisting spirit person adding to himself a human being. The biblical account of the genesis of Jesus is much simpler ]. Mary bore the blood descendant of David, one person, the promised Messiah whose coming into existence was promised for a definite moment in history. Mary conceived a child six months later than her relative Elizabeth. She did not take in and transform a person into a fetus.

Unfortunately, after seeing so much of this book, I have to go with dishonest for my guess. Buzzard should know very well Chalcedon and the rejection of Nestorianism. Despite that, he treats a Nestorian view as if it was the orthodox view. I look at this and see absolutely nothing resembling the position he should be arguing against.

He says in John 8:58, Jesus was speaking of Abraham seeing his messiahship and said “I am He.” No word on when Abraham saw this. Nothing also about why the words seem to strangely mirror the usage of the divine name in both Isaiah and Exodus. I guess Buzzard doesn’t want to deal with that.

I really wish there was more to deal with, but the arguments are so repetitive. These are the ones I have chosen to highlight this time. We’ll look at more another time.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Book Plunge: Jesus Was Not A Trinitarian Chapter 8

What about Nicea? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

In this chapter, Buzzard looks at questions surrounding the Council of Nicea and the sort of Da Vinci Code claims. Thankfully, I can’t think of any place in the book where Buzzard uses the pagan copycat idea. Give credit where credit is due, but it’s a small credit considering how bad the book is.

Unfortunately, he uses Bart Ehrman a lot (Not giving the uninformed any idea of who he is.) of usage. He says Ehrman asks how could Jesus and God be God without there being two Gods? This is still the assumption of unipersonalism and the problem is treating God as a nature in one sense and treating God as a unipersonal person in another. When we say Jesus is God, we are using theological shorthand saying that Jesus has the full nature of God.

He does use Mark 13:32 with Jesus not knowing the day and hour of His return (I think it’s His coming to His throne, but it doesn’t matter). This is at least a substantial argument. In my thinking, Jesus takes on the limitations of knowledge for His ministry where He didn’t need to know the time of His coming.

He brings up the claim later that the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God, and yet there is one God. He declares this problem insoluble when again, it is simple. There are three persons that each have the nature of God.

Later he says:

The great ecumenical councils that formulated the old theology were the scene of unchristian antagonisms, and bitter strife and fightings that were never rivaled in the history of any other religion, and no religion of which history has a record was ever guilty of such cruel persecutions as Christianity, whose founder was the meek and lowly Jesus of Nazareth…

Yep. Those were far fiercer than the constant raiding of the Muslims up until the time of Charles Martel and than the Crusades. Thank goodness those Muslims with suicide bombers and raiding parties were at least not as violent as the Christians. Seriously. He makes the above claim in the book and I just can’t help but think he knows NOTHING of world history on religion.

He again brings up the idea that Jesus never said “I am God.” Buzzard constantly speaks out of both sides of his mouth. At one time, he will point out the confusion that would be brought about if Jesus said this. Then in the next point, he will say that He never said this. Then he will make the same earlier point again.

He also brings up Isaiah 44:24 saying that God created all things by Himself. Who was with Him? Good question. This is especially so since we see Jesus is with Him in John 1, Hebrews 1, 1 Cor. 8, and Col. 1. I’d also include Proverbs 8.

At a later point, he says that he is not assuming that monotheism = unitarianism. He says that, but he never makes an argument to the effect to establish that. He looks in-depth at Luke 1:35 and Psalm 110:1, but he never does any in-depth exegesis of the Shema, the main passage he wants to use.

He does say that Jesus said He and the Father are one in John 10:30, but prays that the disciples be one as well. Context as always determines meaning. The Jews there seemed to understand Him and as I have said, He was pointing out that if wicked people sarcastically can be called gods, how much more a right does He, the righteous one, have the right to be called the Son of God, which they understood to be deity.

On Jesus being tempted which shows up, see here.

The next quote I want to bring up is:

The falsehood that Jesus being called “lord  proves that he is the One Lord God needs to be challenged and dismissed. Yes, there are some Old Testament “Yahweh verses” fulfilled by Jesus as Yahweh’s unique representative in the New Testament, but this no more makes Jesus identical in person with Yahweh, than the angel of the Lord is identical with the Lord God. The angel could bear the divine name without actually being God. “An agent is as his master’s person” is the well – established principle known to Judaism and so obviously true of Jesus in relation to God. Jesus spoke of the persecution of Christians as the persecution of himself ( Acts 9:4 ; 22:7 ; 26:14). This does not make Jesus and the Church identical.

No prophet ever spoke as if he were God Himself, but the Angel of the Lord certainly did and those who saw Him thought they were seeing God at least. Also, Jesus is not identical with the church, but there is something about saying the church is His body. It is true an agent can act on behalf of the person, but he is never understood to be the agent himself.

He does go to 1 Cor. 15:24-28 referencing James Dunn with the Son being subject to the Father, but notice this. Paul treats it as a change. Then the Son HImself will be subject. That is what the text says. What does that say about the Son now?

Something to think about….until next time.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)




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