*🌹Understand Islam 2️⃣1️⃣7️⃣*
*❓If Trinity is Not Biblical Teaching, How Did it Become the Doctrine of Christianity?*
✅The Trinity, which we see today, is not biblical. The word trinity is not even in the Bible, nor the Bible dictionaries. The trinity was never taught by Jesus and was never specifically mentioned by Jesus.
*Council of Nicaea:*
Many think that it was formulated at the Council of Nicaea in 325 C.E. That is not totally correct. However, the Council of Nicaea asserted that Christ was of the same substance as God, which laid the groundwork for later Trinitarian theology. But it did not establish the Trinity, for at that council there was no mention of the holy spirit as the third person of a triune Godhead.
For many years, there had been much opposition on Biblical grounds to the developing idea that Jesus was God. To try to solve the dispute, Roman emperor Constantine summoned all bishops to Nicaea. About 300, a fraction of the total, actually attended. Constantine was not a Christian. Supposedly, he converted later in life, but he was not baptized until he lay dying. Now you may ask ‘what role did this unbaptized emperor play at the Council of Nicaea?’!
Constantine’s role was crucial. After two months of furious religious debate, this pagan politician intervened and decided in favor of those who said that Jesus was God. But why? Certainly not because of any Biblical conviction. “Constantine had basically no understanding whatsoever of the questions that were being asked in Greek theology,” says ‘A Short History of Christian Doctrine’. What he did understand was that religious division was a threat to his empire, and he wanted to solidify his domain.
However, none of the bishops at Nicaea promoted Trinity. They decided only the nature of Jesus but not the role of the holy spirit. If a Trinity had been a clear Bible truth, should they not have proposed it at that time?
*Council of Constantinople:*
After Nicaea, debates on the subject continued for decades. Those who believed that Jesus was not equal to God even came back into favor for a time. But later Emperor Theodosius decided against them. He established the creed of the Council of Nicaea as the standard for his realm and convened the Council of Constantinople in 381 C.E. to clarify the formula.
That council agreed to place the holy spirit on the same level as God and Christ. For the first time, Christendom’s Trinity began to come into focus. Yet, even after the Council of Constantinople, the Trinity did not become a widely accepted creed. Many opposed it and thus brought on themselves violent persecution. It was only in later centuries that the Trinity was formulated into set creeds.
*The Athanasian Creed:*
The Trinity was defined more fully in the Athanasian Creed. Athanasius was a clergyman who supported Constantine at Nicaea. The creed that bears his name declares: “We worship one God in Trinity… The Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God; and yet they are not three gods, but one God.”
Well-informed scholars agree, however, that Athanasius did not compose this creed. The New Encyclopedia Britannica comments: “The creed was unknown to the Eastern Church until the 12th century. Since the 17th century, scholars have generally agreed that the Athanasian Creed was not written by Athanasius (died 373) but was probably composed in southern France during the 5th century…”
So, it took centuries from the time of Christ for the Trinity to become widely accepted in Christendom. And in all of this, what guided the decisions? Was it the Word of God, or was it clerical and political considerations? In Origin and Evolution of Religion, E. W. Hopkins answers: “The final orthodox definition of the trinity was largely a matter of church politics.”
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