WAS JOHN A TRINITARIAN?

It has been said that the apostle John must have believed in The Trinity (three separate and distinct persons comprising One God) because of his introduction in John 1: 1 – 3.

First and foremost, the doctrine of The Trinity was never taught in the bible. From cover to cover, it is never mentioned that we serve “a triune God”, or that a “second member of the Godhead” came to earth, or that we will see “One God in three persons” when we get to heaven. The concept of multiple persons was first alluded to by a scholar named Tertulian in 180 A.D. It was not officially formulated (to include the third person) until 381 A.D. Keep in mind that the New Testament Church began in approximately 33 A.D., 50 days after the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

John is the writer of 5 books in the New Testament: The Gospel of John, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, and Revelation. The Gospel of John was believed to be his first writing and was written to the general Jewish population and centered largely on proving the Deity of Christ. It also addresses His life, death, burial and resurrection. The last 4 books were written in the order they were listed and were directed to those who had accepted the New Testament Plan of Salvation and had become a part of the body of Christ.

It is of utmost importance to note that NONE of these books were written until several years after the death of Jesus Christ. It was not until John had completely observed and absorbed all that he had personally witnessed and heard about the incredible life of Jesus Christ, that he penned his very first words:

John 1: 1 – 3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

One would think, that if John truly believed that “God the Son” had come to earth, and that God was indeed a Trinity of persons, that this introduction to his very first writing would have been the perfect time to explain The Trinity. Now to those that would argue that John DID explain The Trinity here, allow me to respond.
It is of utmost importance to recognize that John did NOT say “in the beginning was the SON”. He said “In the beginning was the WORD”. Why is this important? The Greek manuscripts used the word, “logos”, where KJV uses “Word”. Look up the word, “logos” in any dictionary. You will NOT find it to mean “Son” or “second person”: You will find that logos was a Greek word meaning logic. You will also find many variations of the definition stemming from this one word to mean “speech”, “wisdom”, “thought” and “plan”:

From Strong’s Concordance (3056.logos): “logos: a word (as embodying an idea), a statement, a speech. Short definition: a word, speech, divine utterance, analogy”

From Merriam-Webster: logos: “the divine wisdom manifest in creation…”

That alone will make you see things in a whole new way! After John had observed and absorbed all there was to see and hear, he begins his first writing by saying that in the beginning was the logos (logic, divine wisdom) of God. When we realize what John was saying, it will bring perfect harmony to the only other book that starts off with these three words: IN THE BEGINNING.

Genesis 1: 1 – 3 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. 3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

“AND GOD SAID”…You will see this repeated over and over in the creation account of Genesis. God literally “spoke” the world into existence. It was His WORD (Logos, Wisdom), and it came to pass exactly as He willed it. The world was literally created by the Word of God.

Hebrews 11: 3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

Think about it this way: Even down here on earth, everything that has ever been created, has been created twice. Every creation or invention of man was first created in the human mind, then the visual product was born. From light bulbs, to automobiles, to the computer: wisdom preceded the product. We received this pattern from God Himself.

I want to focus now on Proverbs 8. Some Trinitarians have said that this is proof that “God the Son” was present with God the Father at creation. The problem with that is two-fold: (1) The Jewish Nation did not know of a separate person in the Godhead, and (2) the bible emphatically declares it was the WISDOM of God that is being spoken of. Here are two examples:

Prov. 8: 1 Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice?

Prov. 8: 12 I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions. (See Prov. 8: 1, 5, 11, 12, 14)

This should come as no surprise, since the entire book of Proverbs is primarily poetic in nature, and constantly urges us to gain wisdom and instruction. (See Proverbs 23:23; 4: 11; 15:33) Let’s pick up Proverbs 8 from the creation account. The parenthesis are mine to emphasize the presence of the wisdom of God in creation:

Prov. 8: 22 – 30 The LORD possessed me (wisdom) in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. 23 I (wisdom) was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. 24 When there were no depths, I (wisdom) was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. 25 Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I (wisdom) brought forth: 26 While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. 27 When he prepared the heavens, I (wisdom) was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: 28 When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: 29 When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth: 30 Then I (wisdom) was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him;

Now fast forward to John 1. You cannot separate God from His Spirit, His Wisdom, or His Word. The Word (Logos) which was always with God, and was in fact God, became flesh and dwelt among men:

John 1: 1 – 3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, AND THE WORD WAS GOD. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 ALL THINGS WERE MADE BY HIM; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

John 1: 10 He was in the world, AND THE WORLD WAS MADE BY HIM, and the world knew him not.

John 1: 14 And THE WORD WAS MADE FLESH, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Why does the bible say in some places that God made the world, and at other times say that Jesus created the world? Because Jesus was God incarnate. (See 1 Timothy 3:16)
Can I also remind you that there are not two creators? (See Malachi 2: 10; Is. 44: 24)

Genesis 1 gave us the details of how God created the world; John 1 gives us the account of how God stepped into the world He created. Genesis 1 tells us how God created man; John 1 tells us how God became man. It was only after John beheld His incarnation that he could write about His visitation.

If John was a Trinitarian, he would have given us the description of it. He would have told us that “God the Son” was made flesh, and lest we forget: he would have spoken about the third person also being present at creation, as Trinitarians interpret Genesis 1:26. Instead, he tells us that the WORD was God – the WORD was with God, and the WORD (God) was made flesh.

Interesting side note: The Jehovah Witnesses interpret John 1: 1 to mean that the Word was “a god”, but not God he Father. Ironically, Trinitarians interpret John 1: 1 to mean that the Word was “Deity”, but not God the Father.

By Rick Flores

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