Three In One Or One God? On Trinity in Christianity (Part I)

Christian Trinity Throughout History

From time to time many Christians used to see the doctrine of Trinity as a taken-for-granted Christian faith and that no one may be admitted to the kingdom of God except after having faith in it. The question is: Has this belief remained irrefutable as such throughout history by all Christians?

There are many voices opposing this belief within the Christian communities themselves. In Spain, the Spanish reformer Servetus declares his own opinion of the unity of God and the denial of Trinity to be burned alive in 1553 by the Church.

In Bologna, Sussens called for the unity of God and the divine nature of Christ and that God does not unite with human beings. Among his disciples were the Monotheists who called for clearing Christianity of idolatry, and the Church persecuted them and punished them.

Perhaps this raises several other questions: Why did this doctrine not hold up throughout history? Why does the Church insist on its existence?

There is a growing faint voice within the church calling to refer to the teachings of Christ as regards to the unification of God Almighty and to renounce polytheism–A fact of which no stage of Christianity was free of. The cry came as the result of contemplation on the teachings of the gospel and the words of Christ in it which include:

“You are the true God alone”. (John, 17-2).

“You are the true God alone”. (John, 17-2).

There are also Christian philosophers  who rejected such pagan doctrines attributed to Jesus. The Christian philosopher Tertullian (220 AD) says,

“We are innocent of those who invented a stoical, Platonic Christianity, or dialectic Christianity. We are not in need of any other thing after Christ and the Gospel!”

Nestorius was Archbishop of Constantinople, Sabellius (fl. ca. 215) and Paul the Shimshati deny the divinity of Christ and decide that he is a human being like all other human beings, except that he is full of graces and blessings. Bishop Maqadinius, on the other hand, rejects the divinity of the Holy Spirit.

All of them realized that Christianity had deviated from the right path and that, in some stages, it had been influenced by the paganism and political differences that guided its faith.

The Qur’an alludes to such difference,

“So she pointed to him. They said, “How can we speak to one who is in the cradle a child?” [Jesus] said, “Indeed, I am the servant of Allah. He has given me the Scripture and made me a prophet. And He has made me blessed wherever I am and has enjoined upon me prayer and zakah as long as I remain alive And [made me] dutiful to my mother, and He has not made me a wretched tyrant. And peace is on me the day I was born and the day I will die and the day I am raised alive. That is Jesus, the son of Mary – the word of truth about which they are in dispute. It is not [befitting] for Allah to take a son; exalted is He! When He decrees an affair, He only says to it, “Be,” and it is. [Jesus said], “And indeed, Allah is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him. That is a straight path. Then the factions differed [concerning Jesus] from among them, so woe to those who disbelieved – from the scene of a tremendous Day.” (19/29-37

“Those messengers – some of them We caused to exceed others. Among them were those to whom Allah spoke, and He raised some of them in degree. And We gave Jesus, the Son of Mary, clear proofs, and We supported him with the Pure Spirit. If Allah had willed, those [generations] succeeding them would not have fought each other after the clear proofs had come to them. But they differed, and some of them believed and some of them disbelieved. And if Allah had willed, they would not have fought each other, but Allah does what He intends.”(2/253

“[Mention] when Allah said, “O Jesus, indeed I will take you and raise you to Myself and purify you from those who disbelieve and make those who follow you [in submission to Allah alone] superior to those who disbelieve until the Day of Resurrection. Then to Me is your return, and I will judge between you concerning that in which you used to differ.”(3/55)

Christian Difference on Trinity

Difference arose after the demise of Christ as to his nature: whether he is of a human or divine nature. A group of deviant people adopted falsehood for which was the upper hand. In his life, Christ -peace be upon- him felt of the arising difference, so warned his disciples against exaggeration as regards to his position.

In the face of the doctrine of the Trinity, the Qur’an shows it as a heretic doctrine and warns the people of the Book (Christians) against adopting it:

” O People of the Scripture, do not commit excess in your religion or say about Allah except the truth. The Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, was but a messenger of Allah and His word which He directed to Mary and a soul [created at a command] from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers. And do not say, “Three”; desist – it is better for you. Indeed, Allah is but one God. Exalted is He above having a son. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. And sufficient is Allah as Disposer of affairs.”(4/171

He Almighty tells that:

“They have certainly disbelieved who say, “Allah is the Messiah, the son of Mary” while the Messiah has said, “O Children of Israel, worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.” Indeed, he who associates others with Allah – Allah has forbidden him Paradise, and his refuge is the Fire. And there are not for the wrongdoers any helpers.They have certainly disbelieved who say, “Allah is the third of three.” And there is no god except one God. And if they do not desist from what they are saying, there will surely afflict the disbelievers among them a painful punishment.. (5 / 72-73)  

“They have certainly disbelieved who say that Allah is Christ, the son of Mary. Say, “Then who could prevent Allah at all if He had intended to destroy Christ, the son of Mary, or his mother or everyone on the earth?” And to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and whatever is between them. He creates what He wills, and Allah is over all things competent”..(5/17)

The Qur’an frequently stated that Jesus was the son of Mary and not the son of God, and that neither he nor his mother invented miracles appearing at their hands.

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