Study Questions for the Brochure Should You Believe in the Trinity?
Page 3, heading: “Should You Believe It?”
1, 2. What observations can be made about the Trinity doctrine?
3. Why should the subject of the Trinity be of interest in our day?
4. Briefly, what is the Trinity teaching?
5. What do those who do not accept the doctrine say?
6. How is the origin of the Trinity teaching described (a) by supporters? (b) by critics?
7. What are some consequences (a) if the Trinity is true? (b) if it is false?
8. What will be examined in this brochure?
Page 3, heading: “How Is the Trinity Explained?”
1. How does the Catholic Church define the Trinity?
2, 3. How do most other churches define the doctrine?
1. How do many react to explanations of the Trinity?
2-4. What do various sources say about the Trinity doctrine?
5, 6. What does a Catholic encyclopedia say about seminary students and their professors, and how can you verify the truthfulness of such comments?
7. What does a Jesuit priest say about the Trinity?
8. What valid observations are made by a Catholic theologian?
9. How do some explain the origin of the Trinity?
1, 2. To say that the Trinity comes from divine revelation creates what major problem?
3. Do people have to be theologians ‘to know the true God and his son’?
Page 5, heading: “Is It Clearly a Bible Teaching?”
1. If the Trinity were true, why should it be clearly taught in the Bible?
2. How did first-century believers view the Scriptures?
3, 4. What did the apostle Paul and Jesus use as the basis for their teaching?
5, 6. (a) What authority did first-century believers credit to the Scriptures? (b) What should we rightly expect to find in the Bible if the Trinity were true?
7-9. (a) What do both Protestant and Catholic sources acknowledge about the word “Trinity,” and when did the word first appear in church theology? (b) Does Tertullian’s use of the Latin word for Trinity mean that he taught the doctrine?
1, 2. What do two encyclopedias acknowledge regarding the Hebrew Scriptures and the Trinity?
3. How does a Jesuit priest comment on the testimony of the Hebrew Scriptures?
4. What does an examination of the Hebrew Scriptures show?
5-7. What do two sources say about the Trinity and the Christian Greek Scriptures?
8-10. What quotes can be used to show that the Trinity was not taught in the Christian Greek Scriptures?
11, 12. As noted by two historians, when did the Trinity begin to be taught in Christendom?
13. To what conclusion does the evidence lead?
14-17. Did the early Christians teach the Trinity?
1. Only after what time period was the Trinity teaching established?
2-4. How did second-century religious teachers Justin Martyr and Irenaeus view God and Christ?
5, 6. What views did Clement of Alexandria and Tertullian have?
7, 8. In the third century, what comments did Hippolytus and Origen make?
9. How does one historian sum up the evidence regarding the Trinity?
10. What is clear from the testimony of the Bible and of history?
Page 7, heading: “How Did the Trinity Doctrine Develop?”
1, 2. Was the Trinity teaching fully formulated at the Council of Nicaea in 325 C.E.?
1. Why did Constantine call the Council of Nicaea?
2. What does a historian say about Constantine’s conversion?
3. What role did Constantine play at Nicaea?
4. Did Constantine really understand the theological questions debated at the Council of Nicaea?
5. In view of what was decided at the Council of Nicaea, what question may be asked?
6, 7. (a) What happened after the Nicaean council? (b) What was determined at the Council of Constantinople in 381 C.E.?
8. What happened after the Council of Constantinople, and when only did the Trinity become formulated into set creeds?
1. Who was Athanasius, and what does the creed that bears his name say?
2. (a) Did Athanasius compose the creed that bears his name? (b) How long did it take for the Athanasian Creed to become widespread in Europe?
3. In the centuries it took for the Trinity to become widely accepted, what mainly guided the decisions?
4. How does the history of the Trinity fit in with Bible prophecy?
5, 6. What did the apostle Paul and other Bible writers foretell?
7. (a) Who did Jesus show was behind this deviation from true Christianity? (b) How does an encyclopedia characterize what happened?
1. What similarity is there in ancient pagan religions, in Hindu and Buddhist religions, and in those of Christendom?
1, 2. (a) What was a common form of false worship in ancient times? (b) How, according to historians, did the idea of the Trinity infiltrate Christianity?
3, 4. What link is there between the Egyptian worship of pagan trinities and Christendom’s Trinity?
5. To what conclusion do two sources come as to the origin of the Trinity?
6. What comment does Hastings’ Encyclopædia of Religion and Ethics make regarding the link between pagan trinities and the Trinity of Christendom?
7, 8. How did Greek philosopher Plato influence the later development of Christendom’s
9, 10. How is Plato’s influence on the development of the Trinity shown by historians?
11, 12. What happened by the end of the third century C.E.?
13. As a religious source notes, what must be said about the development of the Trinity?
1. In harmony with Bible prophecy, what came into full bloom in the fourth century C.E.?
2. What shows that the Trinity doctrine could not have come from God?
3, 4. (a) Why is it not logical for Christians to accept the Trinity? (b) To what conclusion must we come regarding the Trinity?
Page 12, heading: “What Does the Bible Say About God and Jesus?”
1, 2. If people were to read the Bible without preconceived ideas, to what conclusion would they come regarding God and Christ?
3, 4. What does a professor of ecclesiastical history say about the view of God (a) in the Hebrew Scriptures? (b) in the Greek Scriptures?
1. How does the grammar of Deuteronomy 6:4 show that God is one person?
2. What did the apostle Paul confirm about the nature of God?
3. How is God spoken of throughout the Bible?
4. If the Trinity were true, what would the inspired Bible writers have made clear?
5. What did the Bible writers make clear?
6. (a) How did Jesus refer to God? (b) Why is only Jehovah called Almighty?
7. Why is Jehovah referred to in the plural in the Hebrew Scriptures?
8. Although the Hebrew word for God is in the plural, how can it be shown that it refers to only one person?
9. Why does the meaning of ʼelo·himʹ argue against the Trinity?
10. To whom does the Bible also apply the words “god” or “gods”?
1. Why does the Bible’s use of the Hebrew words for “god” and “gods” not support the Trinity?
2. From where did Jesus say he had come?
3. What was Jesus in his prehuman existence?
4. What does the Bible call Jesus in his prehuman existence, and how should we understand that term?
5. Who is “Wisdom” in the Bible book of Proverbs, and how did he originate?
7. How does the Bible refer to the relationship of God and Jesus in the creating of things?
8. Why does the use of the words “us” and “our” at Genesis 1:26 not indicate a Trinity?
9, 10. How does the temptation of Jesus show that he was not God?
1, 2. Jesus’ having a choice in the matter of loyalty demonstrates what?
3, 4. To compensate for Adam’s sin, what must the ransom be?
5. (a) If Jesus had been part of a Godhead, what would that have meant for the ransom sacrifice? (b) How did the position of Jesus when on earth show that he could not have been God?
6. How does Jesus’ being the “only-begotten Son” of God argue against the Trinity?
7. In what way do some religious commentators try to explain away the term “only-begotten,” but why is this illogical?
8. To whom besides Jesus does the Bible apply the word for “only-begotten,” and in what sense?
1, 2. What is the Greek word for “only-begotten,” and what does it mean?
3. When the Bible refers to God as the Father of Jesus, what does this mean?
4. Why is it significant that the Bible uses the term “only-begotten” for Jesus?
5. What did even the demons and the Roman soldiers know about Jesus?
6. Why could Jesus not be God?
7. How does Jesus’ being the “mediator” show that he is not God?
8. What is the Bible’s clear teaching about God and Jesus?
Page 16, heading: “Is God Always Superior to Jesus?”
1, 2. What did Jesus clearly demonstrate about his relationship to God?
1. What did Jesus say about himself that showed he was separate from God?
2. How did the apostle Paul indicate that God and Jesus were separate and distinct?
3. Since the Mosaic Law required two witnesses to verify a matter, what does this show about Jesus and God in their bearing witness?
4. How did Jesus, at Mark 10:18, show that he was not part of a Godhead?
5. What statements made by Jesus show God’s superiority?
6. How does an illustration that Jesus gave reveal his submission to God?
7. How did the followers of Jesus view him?
1. How does the baptism of Jesus show that he was not God?
2. What does Jehovah’s anointing of Jesus indicate?
3. When talking to the mother of two disciples, how did Jesus indicate his Father’s superiority?
4. What do the prayers of Jesus show?
5. When Jesus neared death, how did his outcry reveal God’s superiority?
6. How do the death and resurrection of Jesus argue against his being God?
7. Why does Jesus’ ability to perform miracles not indicate that he was God?
1. Why did Jesus not know when this system of things would end?
2. How does Hebrews 5:8 show that Jesus could not be God?
3. How does Revelation 1:1 show that Jesus could not be God?
4, 5. What does the exalting of Jesus after his resurrection tell us?
9, 10. What observation does the Rylands Bulletin make about the resurrected Jesus?
1. How long will Jesus continue to be in subjection to God?
2. How does 1 Corinthians 11:3 show God’s superiority over Jesus?
3-5. Research in recent times has led an increasing number of scholars to what conclusion?
Page 20, heading: “The Holy Spirit—God’s Active Force”
1. What does the Trinity teaching say that the holy spirit is?
2. In the Bible, which Hebrew word and which Greek word are most frequently used for “spirit”?
3, 4. As noted at Genesis 1:2, what does the Bible say that the holy spirit is?
5. Give examples of how God’s spirit enlightens his servants.
6. How were Bible writers influenced by the holy spirit?
7. What example illustrates that the holy spirit is a force?
1. In what ways does God use his spirit?
2. What can God’s spirit provide his servants?
3. From where did Samson’s power come, and was that force a person?
4. In what form did the holy spirit come upon Jesus, and what did it enable him to do?
5, 6. In what form did the holy spirit come upon the disciples, enabling them to do what?
7. What does a theologian say about the Bible’s use of personal terms to describe the holy spirit?
8. How do the Scriptures personify some things that are not persons?
1. How does 1 John 5:6-8 indicate that the holy spirit is not a person?
2. What common Bible expressions show that the holy spirit is not a person?
3. How can we explain that the Bible says that the holy spirit speaks?
4. What does Matthew 28:19 mean when it says “in the name . . . of the holy spirit”?
5. (a) When Jesus used the Greek word for “helper,” why did he use masculine pronouns? (b) What pronoun is used in connection with the neuter Greek word for “spirit”?
6. How does a Catholic Bible admit that its use of masculine personal pronouns with the word “spirit” is not justified?
7. Why does the Greek text use masculine personal pronouns with the word “helper”?
8-10. What do two Catholic sources acknowledge about the holy spirit?
11, 12. How do two Catholic sources support the Bible’s view of the holy spirit?
1. When did Christendom declare that the holy spirit is a person?
2. What is God’s holy spirit, and what is it not?
Page 23, heading: “What About Trinity ‘Proof Texts’?”
1, 2. What must be kept in mind regarding any Bible texts offered as proof for the Trinity?
3. What three “proof texts” does a Catholic encyclopedia present?
4. What do the texts presented as proof of the Trinity say?
5-7. What do these texts offered as proof of the Trinity really prove, as acknowledged by McClintock and Strong’s Cyclopedia?
8. Although God, Jesus, and the holy spirit are mentioned in the account at Matthew 3:16, why is this no support for the Trinity?
9. Why can we dismiss the text at 1 John 5:7, as found in some older Bible translations?
1. Why do other “proof texts” not support the Trinity?
2. How did Jesus himself show what he meant when he said: “I and the Father are one”?
3. How does Paul’s use of the Greek word for “one” show that this same word at John 10:30 means one in thought and purpose?
4. In the 16th century, what did John Calvin say about using John 10:30 to support the Trinity?
5. In chapter 10 of John, how did Jesus argue that he was not God?
6-8. At John 5:18, what accusation did the Jews make against Jesus, and how did he refute it?
1. How do the Douay Version and the King James Version render Philippians 2:6, and with what intent?
2-7. How do various Bible versions render Philippians 2:6 and show a meaning opposite to that intended by the Douay Version and the King James Version?
10. Translations that render Philippians 2:6 to mean that Jesus did not think it was wrong to be equal to God are doing what, but what does an objective reading of the Greek actually reveal?
11. How do the verses preceding Philippians 2:6 show that Jesus did not want to be equal to God?
1. What is Philippians 2:3-8 actually talking about?
2. How do trinitarians try to use John 8:58 to support the Trinity?
3. How does Exodus 3:14 (KJ) use the phrase “I AM,” and what does it mean?
4. How was Jesus using the expression “I Am” at John 8:58 (JB)?
5-9. How do various Bibles render John 8:58?
10. What is the real thought of the Greek at John 8:58?
11. How do the verses preceding John 8:58 show what Jesus meant?
12. How does the King James Version read at John 1:1?
1. How does even the King James Version show that “the Word” could not be Almighty God himself, as noted by a Catholic writer?
2-11. How do various Bibles render the latter part of John 1:1?
12. What does the use of the definite article in Greek show regarding the first the·osʹ at John 1:1?
13. Since there is no definite article with the second use of the·osʹ in the latter part of John 1:1, what would a literal rendering of the phrase be?
14. (a) Why does the Koine Greek text not have an indefinite article in front of the second the·osʹ? (b) When a predicate noun is not preceded by a definite article, when may it be indefinite?
15. What does the Journal of Biblical Literature say about the latter part of John 1:1?
16. What does John 1:1 highlight about the prehuman Jesus?
17. Why is the indefinite article “a” at times inserted by translators in Greek Scripture texts?
1. What comments did two scholars make regarding John 1:1?
2, 3. Does rendering the second the·osʹ at John 1:1 as “a god” violate any rule of Greek grammar?
4, 5. Does the context of the latter part of John 1:1 require an indefinite article in front of the word the·osʹ?
6, 7. Why does calling Jesus “a god” not conflict with there being only one God?
8. How does the term “Mighty God” applied to Jesus at Isaiah 9:6 indicate that he is not Jehovah God?
9. What comment does the Rylands Bulletin make regarding God and Jesus?
1. What may Thomas have meant when he said, “My Lord and my God,” as found at John 20:28?
2. How does the context of John 20:28 help us to understand that Thomas could not have meant that Jesus was Almighty God?
4. What can be said of any text offered as proof for the Trinity?
5. Is there even one text that clearly teaches the Trinity?
Page 30, heading: “Worship God on His Terms”
1. What kind of knowledge is vital for everlasting life?
2. (a) Identify the source of truth about God. (b) What will knowing the truth help us to avoid?
3. If we want God’s approval, what do we need to ask ourselves?
4. How does the Trinity teaching dishonor God?
5. What has resulted from the Trinity teaching?
6. When people do not hold God “in accurate knowledge,” what actions follow?
7. How have Trinitarians dishonored God?
8. How does God’s Word identify those who have the truth and those who do not?
9. What did a Danish theologian say regarding Christendom?
1. How may Christendom’s spiritual condition be described?
2. How will Christendom soon be judged, and why?
3. Why should we reject the Trinity?
4. Whose interests are served by the Trinity teaching?
5. Why does accurate knowledge of God bring great relief?
6. What urgent reason do we have for honoring God?