Did Christians COOK UP the Trinity? Responding to Religion and Politics at The Dinner Table

Street Theologian
20 min readApr 17, 2024
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A Biblical Case for the Trinity (including the Old Testament!)

Religion and Politics at The Dinner Table (RPTDT) published an article in February on Medium.com, contending the “Trinity Doesn’t Exist in The Bible”.

RPTDT exclaimed the Trinity is “another concept that Christians cooked up.”

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Positives about RPTDT

Before I address RPTDT’s article, I want to thank RPTDT for making an effort to share some of the conclusions they have reached during their journey.

I can sympathise with RPTDT in some respects, being brought up in a Christian setting and turning on core Christian teachings for quite some time with substantial doubts. I also love writing as does RPTDT. RPTDT is a prolific writer.

A name such as Religion and Politics at The Dinner Table carries with it a sense of open, honest and cordial dialogue on difficult topics and that is something I appreciate.

I also liked how RPTDT assessed both evidence for and against the Trinity.

Our contention

Today we will contend:

  1. Monotheism- God is One Being (RPTDT’s article helps support this)
  2. The Father is God (RPTDT’s article helps support this)
  3. Jesus is God
  4. The Holy Spirit is God
  5. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are distinct Persons
  6. Therefore, the doctrine of the Trinity (One in Essence/ Being, Three in Person) is in line with the Bible

RPTDT’s contention

RPTDT contends:

As it turns out the key verse that many Trinitarians use to confirm the existence of the Trinity was invented for the KJV and doesn’t exist in newer translations since it didn’t exist in the earliest source manuscripts. It seems to have been just added in later, likely by scribes who believed in this concept.

RPTDT then cites 1 John 5:7 that was included in the KJV and claims this was added in by scribes.

A simple question?

Before proceeding further, I’d like to ask RPTDT, if we assume the key verse supporting the Trinity is a sheer fabrication for the KJV and no other verse in the Bible supports the Trinity.

Does RPTDT think the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed and early ecumenical councils supporting the Trinity over 1000 years before the KJV were based on church fathers (many of whom suffered intense persecution) who reached their conclusions without explaining their views with biblical support?

Clement of Alexandria


I find it ironic RPTDT mentions the Trinity spurring the creation of Islam when Surah 5:116 reads, “And imagine when thereafter Allah will say: ‘Jesus, son of Mary, did you say to people: “Take me and my mother for gods beside Allah?” and he will answer: “Glory to You! It was not for me to say what I had no right to. Had I said so, You would surely have known it. You know all what is within my mind whereas I do not know what is within Yours. You, indeed You, know fully all that is beyond the reach of human perception.

The concept of the Trinity as demonstrated in the Quran does not even seem to address the historical Christian view!

RPTDT attempting to define the Trinity

RPTDT incorrectly defines the Trinity according to what is really the heresy of partialism:

The key elements are that the “One God” is broken up into 3 separate but equally powerful and important components, The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit.

The Trinity can be concisely defined as God being one in Being, three in person. One is essence or nature, three in Person.

God is not split into parts or components. God is a mind, not a physical body (different from adding on human flesh to divinity!) RPTDT is falling into partialism in their aim to define the Trinity.

You might ask, where is the Trinity in the Bible?

The Trinity is a concept summarising how God is portrayed in the Bible. It is based on the Bible.

I could, for example, write a book about Sarah without ever calling her a human being. Yet, if she has all the traits of a human being, you are not incorrect in calling her one based on my book.

You might ask, where is my evidence?

Not 1 John 5:7

RPTDT makes a valid point that 1 John 5:7 does not have strong manuscript support. 1 John 5:7 was not even included in the first two editions of Erasmus’ Novum Instrumentum that played a foundational role in the translation of the KJV.

King James Onlyism EXAMINED: 16+11 KJV Considerations

Are modern Bible translations wildly corrupted? Short conversation with a KJV Onlyist

So what then?

To respond to RPTDT, I will provide a brief overview for the support for God as One in Being, three in person throughout the Bible. Starting with, yes.. the Old Testament.

The Old Testament supports the notion that God is One in Being, yet more than one in person.

During the time of Jesus, some Jewish rabbis held to a binitarian view of God.

In the first and second centuries, there were Jewish non-Christians who firmly held theological doctrines of a second God, variously called Logos, Memra, Sophia, Metatron, or Yahoel; indeed, perhaps most of the Jews did so at the time.” Historian Dr. Daniel Boyarin, Borderlines, pg. 92.

Jewish philosopher Philo of Alexandria taught that the Logos, somewhat of a “second God” proceeded from God as somewhat of an intermediary between God and the cosmos and was a separate person.

The Babylonian Talmud in a legendary account refers to the famous Rabbi Akiva (lived in 1st and 2nd century) in Chagigah 14a as taking on a binitarian view of the two thrones in Daniel 7 which would seem to suggest it was known he held such a view in real life.

For a more detailed review of this topic, I would recommend Alan Segal’s Two Powers in Heaven: Early Rabbinic Reports about Christianity and Gnosticism.

A Multi-Personal God in the Old Testament

RPTDT claims the Old Testament is “pretty clearly monotheistic”. This is correct. Ironically, RPTDT then states the Israelites “early on were polytheistic.”

However, it seems RPTDT seems to mean the Old Testament is pretty clearly Unitarian, not allowing for the possibility of a multi-personal God. Is this true?

Genesis 16, Genesis 22, Exodus 3, Exodus 14, Numbers 22, Judges 2, Judges 6, Judges 13, Zechariah 3, Zechariah 12 all show the Angel of YHWH is a divine figure.

Genesis 21, Judges 5, 2 Samuel 24, 1 Chronicles 21, 2 Kings 1, 2 Kings 19, Isaiah 37 and Zechariah 1 all make a distinction between the LORD and the angel of the LORD.

In Genesis 19:24, YHWH rains fire from the YHWH of heaven. YHWH is shown to be One throughout the Old Testament, how was another person called YHWH?

Rabbi Akiva

God appearing as a man/ angel

In Genesis 31:11–13, the angel of God calls himself the God of Bethel.

In Genesis 32:24–30, God is a man who wrestles with Jacob, Hosea 12:2–4 in covering this passage parallels God with an angel who wrestled Jacob.

In Joshua 5:13–15, a man appears to Joshua and is yet described in ways God is described. Joshua removes his sandals for the ground is holy when the man appears just as when God appears to Moses in Exodus 3.

God sent by God

In Zechariah 2:10–11, YHWH is sent by YHWH.

God, your God

In Psalm 45:6–7, God has a God, yet throughout the Psalms we read there is no one like God.

In Psalm 110:1, the Lord sits at God’s right hand, implying co-rulership with God.

Son of Man

In Daniel 7:9–14, the Son of Man comes with the clouds of heaven when only God does this (eg. Deut. 33:26), has a clear human appearance, is given dominion and served by the nations when this role is reserved for God (Is. 45:23; Dan. 4:34), a heavenly throne (Dan. 7:9–14), glory and honour attributable to God (Is. 48:11) and an everlasting kingdom when only God’s kingdom is an everlasting kingdom (Ps. 145:13; Dan. 4:34).

Interestingly, the Son of Man was Jesus’ favourite name for himself and he was charged with blasphemy for using this title (Mark 14:60–64).

Highly exalted Suffering Servant

In Isaiah 52:13, the Suffering Servant is described as highly exalted when this is a way to describe God in the Old Testament.

The Holy Spirit is God in the Old Testament, yet a distinct person

2 Samuel 23:2–3 equates the Spirit speaking to God speaking:

The Spirit of the LORD speaks by me; his word is on my tongue. The God of Israel has spoken; the Rock of Israel has said to me: When one rules justly over men, ruling in the fear of God.”

Yet, the Spirit, while being God, is also distinct from God in Isaiah 63:11–12 as God sends his Spirit amid the people. In Ezekiel 11:5, the Spirit also speaks.

The Word of the LORD in the OT

RPTDT refers to John 1:1 that describes the Word as God while claiming this doesn’t show the Word is equal with God. In a monotheistic context, saying the Word is God is claiming equality with God.

Moreover, the Word is described as having no beginning (John 1:2–3) and in John 1:14 the Word can be literally translated as tabernacling among us, just as God dwelt among the people of Israel in the tabernacle.

Moreover, as Ronning notes in his book, Jewish Targums and John’s Logos Theology,

In hundreds of cases in the Targums [Aramaic translations of the OT with comments and paraphrasing] where the Masoretic text refers to God, the corresponding Targum passage refers to the Word [MEMRA].

Ronning adds:

Considered against this background, calling Jesus “the Word” is a way of identifying him with the God of Israel.

RPTDT completely misses this context but it gets worse still.


Dr. Michael Brown in Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, shows that the Angel of the YHWH is also referred to as the Word of YHWH.

Logos Bible Software

Further, in several places in the Old Testament, the Word of YHWH is described as YHWH or YHWH’s revelation, yet as a distinct person.

For example, in Genesis 15:1–7, 1 Samuel 3:19–21 and perhaps most noteworthy in Jeremiah 1:4–7.

In Jeremiah 1:4–7, as Heiser notes, the Word of God is referred to as YHWH:

“Now the word of the LORD came to me, saying,

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
and before you were born I consecrated you;
I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

Then I said, “Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.” But the LORD said to me..”

A Trinitarian formula in the Old Testament?

Interestingly, when we go to Isaiah 48, God, who is speaking, is the One who laid the foundation of the earth (Is. 48:13). God, who is speaking, will not share his glory with another (v.11), acts for his own sake (v. 9–11), called Israel and is the first and the last (v.12) just as Jesus refers to himself as the first and the last in Revelation (1:17).

Yet, when we go to Isaiah 48:16, we see God who has been speaking was sent by the Lord GOD and his Spirit! The very same Person who laid the foundations of the earth!

Objection: Isn’t God one in the Old Testament?

RPTDT objects that Deut. 6:4 says God is one and Jesus quotes this in Mark 12:29. Does this strictly contradict the Trinity? No.

The word echad used in Deuteronomy 6:4 can allow for compound unity- for example husband and wife becoming one flesh (Gen. 2:24) and a group of people being one (Gen. 11:6). To refer to absolute singularity the word yachid could have been used, but it was not.

Moreover, plural names and pronouns in Hebrew are used to describe God throughout the Old Testament.

This alone does not prove the Trinity but indicates how Deuteronomy 6:4 is not contradictory to the Trinity.

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New Testament Evidence

RPTDT claims in the Old Testament God is One. Except of course in places like Genesis 1:26 where God says “let us make man” and RPTDT purports this shows Jews were originally polytheists.

Yet, in Isaiah 44:24, YHWH describes himself as creating the world alone! How does this work?

It is a very convenient way for RPTDT to avoid facing the doctrine of the Trinity by simply claiming any contrary evidence to Unitarianism is evidence of polytheism. Remember as well RPTDT seemed to suggest earlier the Old Testament is clearly monotheistic.

However, if we agree with RPTDT that YHWH is One in the Old Testament, we then turn to the New Testament and find Jesus is clearly purported to be YHWH.

With strong evidence for Jesus as God, the case for the Trinity is further fortified.

Jesus is YHWH in Matthew, Mark and Luke

In Matthew 21:16, Jesus applies Psalm 8:2 concerning YHWH to himself. He does a similar thing in Luke 20:18, applying a YHWH passage from Isaiah 8:13–15.

John the Baptist applies a passage concerning YHWH to Jesus (Mk. 1:1–3; Is. 40:3).

Jesus is called God with us (Matt. 1:23), paralleled with God (Luke 8:37–39) and promises to be omnipresent until the end of the age.

Jesus purports his Words, like YHWH’s in the OT, will never pass away (Is. 40:8; Lk. 21:33).

Jesus forgives sins when no one can except God (Mark 2:1–10).

He claimed, as the Son of Man, he would co-rule with the Power, sitting at his right hand, coming in the clouds when only God is described as coming in the clouds (Mark. 14:60–64). Jesus is charged with blasphemy for this.

Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath when God is the Lord of the Sabbath (Mark 2:27–28).

As divine Judge, your eternal destiny depends on whether you know Jesus or not (Matt. 7:21–23, Mark 8:37–38).

Jesus has power over Satan and the demonic (Mark 3:27–28), when not even the angel Michael could rebuke Satan (Jude 9).

Jesus receives worship when in a monotheistic Jewish culture, worship was only due to God (Matt. 2:11, 14:33, 28:9–17; Luke 24:52).

Jesus is the Wisdom of God, which as James Dunn notes in Christology in the Making, was equivalent to the Logos or Word. God’s Wisdom cannot be separated from him. Passages such as Luke 7:31–32, 9:58, 11:49–51 and Matthew 11:16–19 and 23:34–36 support this.

Jesus walks on water in Mark 6:49–50 when God alone tramples the waves of the sea in Job 9:8.

In Jesus, God has a human face

Moses and Elijah who could not see God’s face (Ex. 33:20–23, 1 Kings 19:11–13), finally get the chance to as in Jesus of Nazareth, God has a human face on the mountain with Jesus’ identity revealed through a thick cloud as God’s presence was revealed in Exodus.

Lord over nature and Saviour

Jesus is Lord over nature, stilling the storm by his own command (Mark 4:39) as YHWH does in Psalm 107.

Jesus is portrayed as a Saviour, telling the sinful woman her faith saved her (Luke 7:50) and coming on earth to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). Yet if we read how YHWH is described in Isaiah 40–48, he is the one who can blot out transgressions (Is. 43:25) and there is no saviour besides him (43:11).

Jesus is God in John

As discussed earlier, by Jesus being called the Word he is equated with God. Jesus refers to himself as the I AM (John 8:58, 13:19, see also Mark 6:49–50) that is God’s unique name from Exodus 3. Jesus is charged with blasphemy for making himself God (John 10:33).

In John 5:18, the Jews seek to kill Jesus for claiming to work on the Sabbath (Jews held God could work by sustaining the universe on the Sabbath without breaking it) and making himself equal with God.

John purports that Isaiah who saw YHWH’s glory, saw the glory of Jesus (John 12:41).

Thomas refers to Jesus as “my Lord and my God” (John 20:29).

Jesus is God in the rest of the New Testament

In Joel 2:32, everyone who calls on the name of YHWH shall be saved.

Peter quotes this passage in Acts 2:22. Later on in his Pentecost sermon, he illustrates that forgiveness of sin comes from the name of Jesus.

In Acts 4:12, Peter echoes this view and claims “there is salvation in no one else”. Yet, Peter is from a monothestic Jewish background where in Isaiah 43:11, there is no Saviour besides YHWH!

Paul in Romans 10:9–13 also applies Joel 2:32, which is about YHWH, to Jesus.


Colossians 1:15–20 describes Jesus as:

  • the image of the invisible God (v.15),
  • creating all things for himself (v.16) echoing Paul’s words in Romans 11:36 that all things are for God and his glory and Isaiah’s words that YHWH does things for his own sake sharing his glory with no one (Isaiah 48:11)
  • holding together or sustaining all things (v.17)
  • being before all that exists (v.17)
  • preeminent (v.18)
  • the beginning (v.18) when God is the first and the last in Isaiah 44:6
  • indwelt by the fullness of God (v.19) echoing Colossians 2:9
  • reconciling and making peace by the blood of his cross (v.20) when Isaiah explains there is no Saviour besides YHWH in Isaiah 43:11 and YHWH is the one who blots out sins in Isaiah 43:25

Thus, it is abundantly clear, Paul, who knew his Old Testament very well equates Jesus with YHWH.


Philippians 2:5–11 speaks of Jesus having equality with God (v.6), yet humbling himself. Paul claims every knee will bow and tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. This language is taken straight out of a passage concerning YHWH in Isaiah 45:21–25 and Paul is applying it straight to Jesus.


In Hebrews 1:1–14, Jesus is described as:

  • creating the world (v.2)
  • the radiance of the glory of God (v.3) when Isaiah 48:11 illustrates God shares his glory with no one
  • the exact imprint of God’s nature (v.3)
  • sustaining the world (v.3)
  • worshipped by the angels (v.6) when worship is due to no one but God alone (Exodus 20:3–6, Revelation 19:10)
  • God (v.8), with an eternal throne (v.8) much like the Son of Man of Daniel 7:13–14 which Jesus called himself multiple times including Mark 14:60–64
  • God (v.9), the One who laid the foundation of the earth (v.10)
  • YHWH of Psalm 102 as Psalm 102:25–28 concerning YHWH is applied to Jesus (v.10–12)
  • unchanging and the same (v.12) when YHWH is unchanging in Malachi 3:6
  • the Lord or Adonai of Psalm 110:1 when this verse is quoted in v.13

Much like the author of Colossians, the author of Hebrews illustrates Jesus is God.

1 Peter

1 Peter 2:2–4 applies Psalm 34:8 “taste and see that YHWH is good” to Jesus!

1 Peter 3:14–15 draws on Isaiah 8:12–13 and Peter urges readers to honour Christ the Lord as holy (Metzger notes this is the best reading of the text in A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament) when in Isaiah 8:13, Isaiah urges his listeners to honour YHWH as holy!

God and Saviour Jesus Christ

In Titus 2:13 and 2 Peter 1:1 when applying the Granville-Sharp rule, Jesus is referred to as our “God and Saviour”.


In Jude 5, when taking the context of verses 4–6 into consideration, Jesus is spoken of as rescuing a people out of the land of Egypt, when God is the One who does this in the Old Testament.

Jude 25 speaks of Jesus having majesty, power, authority and glory before all time.

In Daniel 4:34, God has an everlasting kingdom, yet Jude applies this to Jesus.


In Revelation 19:10 John is told to only worship God and Jesus, the Lamb of God, is worshiped in Revelation 5:13–14. Jesus has hair like pure white wool in Revelation 1:14 which the Ancient of Days or God has in Daniel 7:9 (metaphorical).

Jesus is the first and the last in Revelation 1:17 which echoes the Lord of Isaiah 48:12–16 who is uncaused, timeless and formed the world.

Jesus is God, yet a different Person to God the Father

Some of the verses RPTDT mentions help illustrate how Jesus is a different person to God the Father. Yet, as clearly shown above Jesus is still YHWH.

What about some of the objections RPTDT raises?

Subjected to the Father?

RPTDT lists verses where Jesus is subject to the Father. This doesn’t contradict the doctrine of the Trinity. The Father has a different function or rank to the Son but is of the same essence or nature. This can be explained as a difference in function, not essence. Even in the Old Testament YHWH is sent by YHWH (Zech. 2:10–11, Gen 19:24).

How can the Son be God?

For this I’d recommend you read some of my other articles.

One Lord and One God?

RPTDT cites 1 Corinthians 8:6 about “one God, the Father and..one Lord, Jesus Christ through whom are all things and through whom we exist.” I find it baffling RPTDT would cite this as proof against the Trinity, for here Paul is taking the formula from the Shema of Deuteronomy 6:4 where “the LORD our God, the LORD is one” and including Jesus in the formula.

If there is only one Lord as per 1 Corinthians 8:4, does that mean Paul is trying to contend God, the Father is not Lord of all as Jesus Christ is Lord of all? To claim such would be preposterous yet critics of the Trinity try and apply the same logic to Jesus.

One mediator between God and man?

RPTDT also cites 1 Tim 2:5 where Paul states there is one mediator between God and man in Christ Jesus as evidence Jesus is not equal with God.

Yet, as mentioned in Isaiah 45:21 there is no Saviour but God alone. Jesus could only function as a true Saviour of or mediator for mankind by being sinless as truly God and truly man with this context in mind.

Moreover, 1 Timothy 3:14–16 can be argued to show Jesus is God made manifest in the flesh.

No one is God but God alone

RPTDT then quotes Mark 10:18 where Jesus asks the rich man why call him good when no one is good except God alone. RPTDT ignores the context of this passage which indicates Jesus is testing the man to assess his view of Jesus.

In Mark 10:21, Jesus tells this man who has perfectly followed God’s laws alluded to by Jesus that he lacks one thing- he needs to sell all he has and follow Jesus.

Yes, that’s right- Jesus is putting following him on the very same level as the commands of God!

Far from being an encounter which shows Jesus is not God, in context, this passage supports Jesus’ divinity! The implication is the rich man cannot enter the kingdom (10:23) for not following Jesus.

Is Jesus GOD in Matthew, Mark and Luke? 20 Key Considerations

The Holy Spirit is God in the New Testament

In 1 Corinthians 3:16, believers are defined as “God’s temple.” On what basis? That the Spirit of God dwells in them. Thus, the Spirit is defined as God.

In Acts 5:3–4, Peter parallels lying to the Holy Spirit to lying to God.

Ananias and Sapphira

The Holy Spirit is a different Person to God the Father and Jesus, yet God

Similar to Jesus, the Holy Spirit is differentiated from God the Father. Jesus’ baptism in Matthew 3:16–17 exemplifies this as do some of the passages from John 13–16 RPTDT cites.

A Trinitarian formula in the New Testament

RPTDT mentions some verses where Jesus is mentioned alongside the Father and the Spirit such as Matthew 28:19, 2 Corinthians 13:14 and 1 Peter 1:2.

RPTDT could have also mentioned 1 Corinthians 12:3–6 where there is the same Lord, same Spirit, same God or Ephesians 4:4–6 where there is one Spirit, one Lord and one God and Father of all. These two passages point to the otherness of the Spirit, Lord and Father as well as Their unity.

RPTDT contends baptising in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit does not convey equality.

Again, this fails to consider a monotheistic context whereby it would not make sense to mix the name of a non-divine being with a divine Being. For example in Exodus 23:21, YHWH says his name is in the angel of the YHWH. He wouldn’t say my name mixed with a man’s or an angel’s name is in him.

Moreover, to the Jews as per Joel 2:32 calling on God’s name saves them so it would make no sense to them to add the name of Jesus and the Spirit in the mix in baptism.


We have shown:

1. God is One Being

2. The Father is God

3. Jesus is God

4. The Holy Spirit is God

5. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are distinct Persons

6. Therefore, the doctrine of the Trinity is in line with the Bible

The significance

Through this, Jesus is truly God and truly man. Taking fallen man’s place in bearing the sins of humanity. Yet, sinless as God is. To make forgiveness of sins possible, as Saviour.

Your hurt. Your brokenness. Your pain. Your fallenness. It’s not a burden you can carry alone. In Jesus, we can leave it at the foot of the cross. In the hands of God.

As RPTDT quoted from 1 Peter 1:2:

According to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood. May grace and peace be multiplied to you.

This is what the cross of Jesus makes possible.

All the best with your writing endeavours and study RPTDT.






Street Theologian

Theology and apologetics for those who want to get their hands dirty