Instigator / Pro
Points: 18

The Trinity is unsupported by the Holy Bible and is an invention of later scholars.

Finished

The voting period has ended

After 3 votes the winner is ...
Thoth
Debate details
Publication date
Last update
Category
Religion
Time for argument
Three days
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
One week
Point system
Four points
Rating mode
Rated
Characters per argument
30,000
Contender / Con
Points: 6
Description
Definition of Terms:
- My contention is that the Bible contains no evidence in support of the Trinity, except perhaps for weak implications and ambiguous statements. I furthermore contend that Christian Orthodoxy since the First Council of Nicaea has been incorrect in this regard. Con is charged with refuting these beliefs.
- By "the Trinity," I am referring to either, depending on context: (1) the belief that God is one entity in three "hypostases" (persons), namely God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit; or (2) the aforementioned entity itself.
- By "the Bible," I am referring to the books which compose the 1611 edition of the King James Version of the Bible (i.e., excluding Apocrypha, the Book of Mormon, and so on). Technically, we ought to use the original-language versions of these books for this debate, but unless my opponent objects, I suggest that we source our Bible quotes from the KJV 1611 or any edition of the New International Version.
- This debate does not concern the existence of God in any form, nor does it concern the validity of Christianity or any other religion, nor does it pit the Trinity against any particular variety of Non-Trinitarianism. This debate only concerns whether or not the Trinity is supported by the Holy Bible.
Round 1
Published:
Before I bring in an extensive attack on my opponent's arguments, I am going to present two basic quotations and analyses of them, then see how my opponent responds.

John 14:28 (NIV): "You heard me say, 'I am going away and I am coming back to you.' If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.

Comment: This is a crystal-clear statement that Jesus, God the Son, is in some regard inferior to God the Father. Therefore the two cannot be co-equal. The classic pro-Trinity response is that Jesus said this in reference to his human nature, while he also had a fully divine nature. But "the Father is greater than I" is a direct, absolute statement, and therefore precludes such quibbles.

John 14:23 (NIV): Jesus replied, "Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.

Comment: Here, Jesus says that anyone who loves him will obey his teachings. Therefore, if someone does not obey his teachings, they do not love him. From the perspective of propositional logic: if P implies Q, then not Q implies not P. This establishes the complete importance for Christians of obeying Jesus' teachings. One would think that Jesus would have informed his disciples of such a crucial matter, but the Bible contains no direct reference to the Trinity. Was Jesus unconcerned with such an important doctrine?
Published:
 www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvEv_lgafLk&t=1534s I hope you are willing to use video evidence. God is one but three: 1 John 5:7 For there are three that bear witness [a]in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.
Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go [c]therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” [d]Amen.
The Deity of the Holy Spirit: Acts 18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go [c]therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” [d]Amen. 5 Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things. 6 And the young men arose and wrapped him up, carried him out, and buried him.  7 Now it was about three hours later when his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 And Peter answered her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for so much?” She said, “Yes, for so much.” 9 Then Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.” 10 Then immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. And the young men came in and found her dead, and carrying her out, buried her by her husband. 11 So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things.
Psalms 139:7 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? 8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in [c]hell, behold, You are there.
Colossians 2:9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead [a]bodily; 
John 8:24 Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”
Colossians 1:15  He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
Philippians 2:6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it [a]robbery to be equal with God,
I doubt you are disputing the Godhood of the Father Yahweh, but we can discuss that if you want.
Round 2
Published:
To begin with, I do accept video evidence, but the timestamp in the link my opponent gave does not immediately precede a pro-Trinity argument, and it is unreasonable to expect me or anyone else to watch an entire video of nearly an hour in length to retrieve the material they apparently wish to present. Therefore, I will not be addressing in this round whatever contention that video was intended to convey, although I will gladly do so in the third round should my opponent present it more accessibly.

Before I directly explain how the Bible verses my opponent presents cannot be regarded as definitive proof that the Holy Bible supports the Trinity, I should mention the classic mantra of real estate agents: "Location, location, location." This can easily be adapted for literary analysts as, "Context, context, context." I believe that my explanation of each verse will be enough to persuade the audience to my position.

Now, I analyze the verses my opponent presented in favor of their position, in the order they presented them.

1 John 5:7: For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.

Comment: Of the quotes my opponent presents, this is by far the most problematic for my position because it is the only one which explicitly affirms anything like the Trinity. However, I would like to offer a non-Trinitarian explanation: that, by "these three are one," what is meant is that these three are all in alliance. Going from "these three are one" to "these three are working together" may seem like a grand leap of logic, but I invoke Occam's Razor in favor of this interpretation. Which is more likely: 1. That these entities are simultaneously three existences and one existence, which violates basic and intuitive logic? Or 2. That "these three are one" is a figure of speech, probably meant to sound cryptic and imposing?

Matthew 28:18: "And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen."

Comment: To my reading, nothing in these verses states that Jesus is God. What it does state is that God has given Jesus authority on Heaven and Earth, but acknowledging someone's authority is clearly different from ascribing Godhood to them. For example, see Matthew 22:21: "Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”" I contend that, by analogy, if Matthew 28:18 is proof that Jesus is God, then Matthew 22:21 is proof that Caesar is God, since the Bible attributes "authority" to both of them, and this is an obvious absurdity. It would be more accurate to consider Jesus as a viceroy or demiurge based on his statement in the former verse.

Neither does baptizing someone in the name of "the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit," by itself, prove that the Son and the Holy Spirit are God. It is possible to derive that meaning by implication, but it could just as well be said that the Son and the Holy Spirit are simply mentioned without being attributed with Godhood, and the Occam's Razor argument presented for the previous quote weighs the scales in favor of the latter position.

Psalms 139:7: Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.

> Comment: Frankly, I have no idea how this is supposed to support the Trinity. It implies that the Spirit is inescapable, but then again, the same is in practice true of obviously non-divine existences like time and space. One could also contemplate that the phrase "Your Spirit" implies that the "Spirit" is possessed by God, and therefore subservient to and created by Him.

Colossians 2:9: "For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily"

> Comment: These is easily the second most problematic quote my opponent confronts me with, but I believe that I can weather this assault. Firstly, I do not believe that it is necessarily accurate to interpret the word "fullness" literally. From context, it could easily mean "blessing" or "mission." Secondly, even if the reader were to concede based on this quote that Jesus Christ is God, Con still would have failed to evince the Trinity proper since they have not incontrovertibly established the divinity of the Holy Spirit. This must also be done.

John 8:24: "Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins."

Comment: Here I think it is reasonable to interpolate "I am he" as "I am from Him." John 14:28 explicitly establishes that the Son is inferior to the Father. Simultaneously accepting that statement and accepting that John 8:24 proves that Jesus is God is to violate the Occam's Razor argument I have previously mentioned. However, the reader may believe that this verse is explicit proof of the Trinity and therefore overcomes that razor by establishing itself as more likely than the alternatives, or by completely negating the alternatives. I would not blame them for that.

Colossians 1:15: "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation."

Comment: Analogical deduction clearly demonstrates that this verse cannot be proof of Jesus' divinity. See Genesis 1:27: "So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them." If one's being in the image of God is proof of one's Godhood, then all men are God!

Philippians 2:6: "who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God"

> Comment: If being in the image of God does not necessarily mean being God, then I do not think that being in the form of God should mean being God either. Also, this verse only states that Jesus did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, which implies that Jesus is God, but it does not directly state it. It could be referring to an unrealized and perhaps impossible situation.

Conclusion: I believe that my opponent has presented Scriptural excerpts which offer a good argument for the divinity of Jesus Christ, although the audience is implored to ponder my counter-interpretations as well. However, Con has definitely failed to establish the divinity of the Holy Spirit. Furthermore, I am increasingly tempted to believe that the Holy Spirit is not an agent in its own right, but a metaphor for God's omnipotence. I am not making this into a cornerstone of my position, so Con need not refute it, but they are invited to do so.

I warmly await your reply and the final round, YeshuaBought.
Forfeited
Round 3
Published:
I rest my case.
Forfeited
Added:
--> @Thoth
I found your argument weak. You failed to take into account that the Bible discloses that Son subjected Himself to the Father when He became human to redeem humanity. He did this so to live the perfect life as a human being on behalf of those who would believe. Thus, speaking in His human capacity He could say, "The Father is greater than I am." So, it does not take away from His deity. Not only this but what is applied solely to God in the OT is now applied to Jesus Christ in the NT. This can be demonstrated by Scripture in so many ways.
#2
Added:
There are many verses that shows a oneness of nature and understanding between the father, son and spirit. I personally believe that God is one, and that he expresses himself primarily 3 different ways to our perspective and to those who believe on/in him. The bible shows that the son will step down from being king and be a high priest whereas the father shows no position of changing.
#1
#3
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
Rebellious vote addressed to Thoth
I don't care of you think I am trolling, I am not. This is simply idiotic, three of the verses Con used directly showed how the Bible itself supports a tri-state god having three forms and you say every time it just means the three are in alliance but the resolution explicitly says the Bible doesn't support it and only later interpretation does when yuore doing the exact opposite.
I admit that the way Con laid out their debate made it so hard to read so I'll give you s&g
#2
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
No information
#1
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
No information