By Juan R. Rains
The Trinity Revisited
The doctrine of the Trinity resurfaces from time to time within
the Church of God.  We need to take a fresh look at this
doctrine and see if the Bible really confirms it as truth.

Perhaps the strongest "proof" Scripture used by pro-trinity
advocates is:

Matthew 28.19, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them
in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:"

Below is a quote from Bullinger about this verse of Scripture.  
Keep in mind that Bullinger was a Trinitarian; therefore, one
will have to give him credit for bringing out the following
information.  Had Bullinger not given us this bit of history, it
would have become all the time more distant, rather than
staying bright for all to see.

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<<<<<<<"These words (editor's note: referring to Matthew 28.19
"baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the
Holy Ghost") are contained in every Greek MS. known, and are
therefore, on documentary evidence, beyond suspicion: but yet there is
one great difficulty with regard to them.

The difficulty is that, the Apostles themselves never obeyed this
command; and in the rest of the New Testament there is no hint as to its
ever having been obeyed by anyone.  Baptism was always in the name
of the one person of the Lord Jesus.

Acts 2.38, "Be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ."

Acts 8.16, "They were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus."

Acts 10.48, He commanded them to be baptized in the name of the
Lord."

Acts 19.5, "They were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus."

It is difficult to suppose that there would have been this universal
disregard of so clear a command, if it had ever been given; or it ever
really formed part of the primitive text.

It is a question, therefore, whether we have here, something beyond the
reach of the science, or the powers of ordinary Textual Criticism.

As to the Greek MSS. there are none beyond the fourth Century, and it
seems clear that the Syrian part of the Church knew nothing of these
words.

Eusebius quotes this verse no less than <eighteen times> and always
quotes it in this form,
"Go ye into all the world and make disciples of
all nations.”
 He omits all reference to "baptizing them in the name of
the Father, Son and Holy Ghost."

Now Eusebius, the great Ecclesiastical historian, died in 340 AD, and
his work belonged, therefore, in part to the third century.  Moreover, he
lived in one of the greatest Christian Libraries of that day.  If the Greek
MS. there contained these words it seems impossible that he could have
quoted this verse eighteen times without including them.

Professor Lake....  and Mr. Conybeare have called attention to this fact,
and shown that neither Justin Martyr (who died in 165 AD), nor
Aphraates, of Nisibis (who flourished in Syria, 340 AD), knew anything
of these words.

It looks, therefore, as though the words got into the text (perhaps from
the margin) in the Church of North Africa; and that the Syrian
Churches did not have them in the MSS. at their disposal.”  >>>>>>>
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The above quote was taken from "Word Studies on the Holy
Spirit"
pages 47-49.  This is a very interesting book that shows
the several different ways the words <holy> and <spirit> are
used in the Greek Manuscripts.

In the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew (Shem Tov), edited by
George Howard (Mercer University Press), the Trinitarian
reference is also lacking.  This is an early Jewish Christian
source.

Another interesting quote from Bullinger's book, mentioned
above, page 37,

<<<<<<<"It is not therefore correct to speak of the Holy Spirit as a
Person apart from His being God Himself.”  >>>>>>>

This statement inspired me to discover the synonym usage of
the term holy spirit, in the Bible.  There are times when the
words <holy spirit> are used as the personification figure.  
However, there are times when the personification language
tool will not answer.  In those cases, the words <holy spirit> are
being used as the synonym figure for God.

The meaning I have in mind here for synonym is: "A word or
an expression that serves as a figurative or symbolic substitute
for another."  In other words, when the words <holy spirit> are
making reference to a person, that person is God.  The words
<holy spirit> are a figure of speech for God when they are used
as a person, either a personification or a synonym.  The person
that this symbolic substitute can refer to is either the Father,
or the Son, or both - for they are both God.  The context would
have to give us enough information to let us know which is
being referred to.

An example of this is given in the two verses below.  In Acts 5.3
Peter asks Ananias why he has lied to the <Holy Spirit>.  In
Verse 4 Peter says that Ananias has lied to <God>.  We know
here that the term <Holy Spirit> is a synonym for God.  We
know this for two reasons.  First, Peter shows that the Holy
Spirit and God are referring to the same person in these two
verses.  Second, we know that God is spirit, and we know that
God is holy.  That makes God the Holy Spirit.  Of course, this
does not make the holy spirit a person, except as Bullinger said,
“…when we are referring to God Himself, with those two
words.”  Usually the words <holy spirit> refer to the mind of
God or some manifestation of His mind.  Sometimes I write
<holy spirit> in small letters and sometimes I write <Holy
Spirit> as capitalized words.  If the Biblical reference shows
that the term <Holy Spirit> is a synonym for, or a
personification of God, I capitalize them.  Otherwise I do not.

Acts 5:3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to
lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?
4 Whiles it remained, was it not thine own?  and after it was sold, was
it not in thine own power?  why hast thou conceived this thing in thine
heart?  thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.
Is the Holy Spirit a Person?
The holy spirit is not a person separate from God Himself
because it is never established as a person on its own.  There
has to be concrete evidence establishing a personage, for us to
know it to be a fact.  No one could say that The Christ is not a
person (with any degree of believability) because the Bible
makes it plain that The Messiah is a person.  The fact that
there is even a question concerning the holy spirit in this
regard should make us pause and reflect.

It is very interesting to note that the phrase <holy spirit> is
made up of two generic words <holy> and <spirit>.  This alone
shows that we are not dealing with a name, but with an idea or
concept.  Holy is an adjective that can <refer> to a person,
place, or thing.  The word <holy> is not a noun.  Neither the
word holy nor the word spirit is ever used as the name of a
person.

The word <spirit> is a noun.  It is a very versatile word.  The
term <holy spirit> is two words in the Greek.  The word
<holy> is Strong’s #40 and the word <spirit> or <ghost> in the
KJV is #4151.

Old Testament references to the holy spirit make clear that it
is put within a person and that it belongs to God.

Psalms 51:11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy
holy spirit from me.

Isaiah 63:10 But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he
was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them.

Isaiah 63:11 Then he remembered the days of old, Moses, and his
people, saying, Where is he that brought them up out of the sea with the
shepherd of his flock?  where is he that put his holy Spirit within him?

In Matthew 12:31 the KJV translators added the word
<Holy>.  The term <Holy Spirit> is used correctly in verse 32.  
It would have been better if the translators had followed the
Greek more closely.  This would have shown again that the
word <Spirit> is used as a synonym for God.  This is one of
those times when the Holy Spirit is referring to God.  In other
words, the term <Spirit> in verse 31 and the term <Holy
Spirit> in verse 32 are synonyms of God!

The Pharisees had claimed that The Messiah was casting out
demons by Satan.  This was a direct assault on God the
Father.  For, The Christ was casting out demons by the power
of God the Father.  In the next verse Yahshua says that one
may speak against the <Son of man> and it will be forgiven
him.  In other words, they could speak against Him as a human,
the Son of man.  But if anyone speaks against (blasphemes) the
Holy Spirit (God) it won’t be forgiven him.  The synonym, Holy
Spirit was more appropriate here because the power to do
miracles was through the mind of God.  The holy spirit is the
mind of God.

Matthew 12:31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and
blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the
<Holy> Ghost <4151> shall not be forgiven unto men.
32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be
forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall
not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.

Blasphemy against God is taking authority to oneself to
determine what is right or wrong to the exclusion of God
Himself!  In verse 25 we are told that Yahshua knew their
thoughts.  They were close to the point of sinning
presumptuously.  Their arrogance was locking them into a
position of refusing to accept that they could be wrong.  In the
Old Covenant one who sinned presumptuously was cut off from
Israel.  Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (against God) is
when one rebels to the point that he turns his back on God
because of his own reckless and brazen arrogance.  One must
not consider himself a god.  If he does, he will be cut off from
the true God.

Mat 12:24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth
not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.
25 And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom
divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house
divided against itself shall not stand:

Deuteronomy 1:43 So I spake unto you; and ye would not hear, but
rebelled against the commandment of the LORD, and went
presumptuously up into the hill.

Numbers 15:30  But the soul that doeth ought presumptuously, whether
he be born in the land, or a stranger, the same reproacheth the LORD;
and that soul shall be cut off from among his people.

The word <spirit> #4151 is translated as (evil) spirit 47 times
and (human) spirit 49 times among other ways.  This shows
that there is nothing in the word <spirit> alone that has to do
with a name.  Definitions 1, 1a, 1b, 1c, below are forced,
because they give the theory of what is believed to be true
about the two words #40 and #4151 (holy spirit) when they are
used together.  The definition here should only encompass
#4151.  When both words are combined in a definition, we get
into what is called a theological doctrine or argument.  One
can see the doctrine of the trinity and the immortal soul in
these definitions.  These are presented because most people
accept and use the words <holy spirit> in that manner.  Of
course, just because it is a theological argument, doesn’t make
it so!


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4151 pneuma {pnyoo'-mah}

from 4154; TDNT - 6:332,876; n n

AV - Spirit 111, (Holy) Ghost 89, Spirit (of God) 13,
Spirit (of the Lord) 5, (My) Spirit 3, Spirit (of truth) 3, Spirit (of
Christ) 2, (human) spirit 49, (evil) spirit 47, spirit (general) 26, spirit
8, (Jesus' own) spirit 6, (Jesus' own) ghost 2, misc 21; 385

1) the third person of the triune God, the Holy Spirit, coequal,
coeternal with the Father and the Son
1a) sometimes referred to in a way which emphasizes his
personality and character (the Holy Spirit)
1b) sometimes referred to in a way which emphasizes his work
and power (the Spirit of Truth)
1c) never referred to as a depersonalized force
2) the spirit, i.e. the vital principal by which the body is animated
2a) the rational spirit, the power by which the human being feels,
thinks, decides
2b) the soul
3) a spirit, i.e. a simple essence, devoid of all or at least
all grosser matter, and possessed of the power of knowing, desiring,
deciding, and acting
3a) a life giving spirit
3b) a human soul that has left the body
3c) a spirit higher than man but lower than God, i.e. an angel
3c1) used of demons, or evil spirits, who were conceived
as inhabiting the bodies of men
3c2) the spiritual nature of Christ, higher than the highest
angels and equal to God, the divine nature of Christ
4) the disposition or influence which fills and governs the soul
of any one
4a) the efficient source of any power, affection, emotion, desire, etc.
5) a movement of air (a gentle blast)
5a) of the wind, hence the wind itself
5b) breath of nostrils or mouth
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Some Questions Answered
Some feel that the holy spirit acts on its own.  The reason it
seems that the holy spirit acts independently is because this
term is used as a metaphor for God Himself.  But the holy
spirit is not just a metaphor.  It is the mind of God.  However,
as the <holy spirit> is the mind of God, it is the perfect
metaphor for God.  The holy spirit is referred to, directly
referenced, as the mind of God, which is what it is, and at the
same time the term stands as a synonym for God.

The words <holy spirit> are two generic words to express a
concept, not a name as some have assumed.  Because of the
trinity doctrine of the Catholic and Protestant Churches,
confusion has persisted.  If we can wash our minds of those
pagan misconceptions we can see clearly to understand the
truth.  If the holy spirit is a person or being of and by itself,
what is its name?  Why is no name given in the Bible for the
holy spirit?  For something to be a being or person and not
have a name is illogical!  The two generic words <holy spirit>
hardly compose a name of a being or person.  The two figures,
personification and synonym adequately cover all mentions of
the holy spirit.  There should be some literal references to the
holy spirit, if it is a person.  For instance, “The Holy Spirit
journeyed from Galilee to Jerusalem on the first day of the
week.”

Continue …
The Trinity