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JenniferP's avatar

If the Trinity is such an obvious Bible teaching why did it take so many centuries to become an official church teaching?

Asked by JenniferP (2103 points ) December 2nd, 2012

It wasn’t until the 3rd and 4th centuries that it was instituted as a church doctrine. Why wasn’t it just recognized right away that God, Jesus and the holy spirit are the same? Why was the idea brought up centuries later and if it was so obvious why was it so hotly debated?

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23 Answers

janbb's avatar

Who is saying it is so obvious? It’s quite a sophisticated and unusual doctrine.

Jeruba's avatar

As I understand it, this is not only not an obvious Bible teaching but not a Bible teaching at all.

cookieman's avatar

I think all that was obvious at the time of Christ and his death was that a prophet claimed to be the son of god and was killed for being a trouble maker. The rest, as we know it, was interpreted or invented after the fact.

I suspect this was the case with the trinity.

kitszu's avatar

I’m assuming it was because the christian invaders figured a few decades would help their cause. (You know, re-introducing a concept of the britians as their own.)

zenvelo's avatar

even as a practicing catholic it’s not obvious to me. The consideration of the Holy Spirit as a separate entity within the Trinity is easily debatable: Is it a separate Godhead or is it just the way God bestows His Grace and enthuses people?

Buttonstc's avatar

As others have noted, it’s not obvious and never really has been.

And there are numerous Christian groups who do not believe the doctrine of the Trinity; these include Mormons, JWs, Christian Science and Oneness Pentacostals, to name a few.

It was the RC church back in the first few hundred years who began to codify Christian doctrine. And their approach was basically “My way or the highway” once each doctrine was declared “Official”.

There were few who wanted to risk being classified a heretic (with the penalty of excommunication, torture or death) so these doctrines came to be widely accepted by the masses. Remember The Spanisf Inquisition ? Spain certainly was not t the only country where the hunt for and punishment of heretics was widespread and terrifying.

The Trinity is not the only doctrine which is not obvious at all and yet widely accepted due to the early momentum gained by using coercion.

The entire concept of an eternal, never ending hell is not obvious either if one studies carefully how much faulty translation has been responsible for its acceptance.

Jesus NEVER taught the concept of unending, eternal torture in hell. We have the harsh, cruelly punitive and murderously barbaric Roman Army to thank for that.

kitszu's avatar

The druids had the trinity concept well before they were taken over. Maiden, Mother and Crone, v.s Son, Father and Holy Ghost.

You have the un-initiated child, you have the wiser parent, and you have the ‘all knowing and wise’ grandparent.

Anyone else wonder what role the Holy Spirit was actually cast for?

Harold's avatar

It took that long to be an official CATHOLIC doctrine, but Catholicism is not the original form of Christianity. It was the teaching of the first Christian believers.

Harold's avatar

@Buttonstc – thank you, you are correct about Jesus’ teaching on hell. So few people realise that.

ragingloli's avatar

It is heresy.

JenniferP's avatar

There are a lot of good answers here.

Rarebear's avatar

The idea of a trinity existed long before Christianity
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triple_deity

submariner's avatar

If you want a theistic religion that doesn’t challenge your intellect, certain non-Christian forms of monotheism may satisfy you. But if you want to be a Christian, you have to accept that most of us will only see God “through a glass darkly” during our earthly life. The Trinity is not an easy doctrine to get one’s mind around. But if you want to roll up your sleeves and get into it, here is a good place to start.

Kardamom's avatar

Because the Christian church (whatever that means, because there are hundreds of different types of Christianity, Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, Greek Orthodox, Serbian Orthodox and those are only the biggies, and then there’s lots of subsects of Christianity and each one of them believes something slightly or enormously different than the others) does not resemble what it was like during the time of Jesus.

Christianity evolves to suit the people that are running the religion to make the believers of the religion fall into line, to obey orders faithfully. Things get added, removed and changed over time, for expediency.

KingCupcake's avatar

the trinity is a false pagan teaching, the Catholics adopted it while th y were trying to convert the pagans to Christianity a long time ago. about 300 to 400 years after christ died…

Jesus sits on the right hand side of his father in heaven – Mark 16:19 (if Jesus was God almighty, how could he possibly do that?)

Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” Matthew 4:10

Jesus replied, “The Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the LORD your God and serve only him.’” Luke 4:8…. here, Jesus says to worship God almighty (his father only).

God wants you to believe and have faith in his son (that he came and died for you and rose and again) – John 3:16, and repent from your sins – Acts 3:19, faith!!! – Ephesians 2:8,
God wants you to have faith in him as well 1 Peter -1:21–23, Obey his commandments – 1 John 5:3

You must pray to our heavenly Father, in Jesus’ name.
a We are told to address all prayer to God the Father. Matt 6:9, 1 Pet 1:17, Eph 3:14.
b. We can only approach the Father in the name of Jesus, the Son, John 14:13 & 14.
Jesus is the mediator between God and man – I Timothy 2:5

these few points make it very clear that Jesus and God almighty are 2 separate beings.

my understanding is very limited because i became a non-trinitarian a few months ago/

Buttonstc's avatar

@KingCupcake

Just for curiosity, what was it that prompted that change and caused you to become a non trinitarian?

kitszu's avatar

@KingCupcake What do you mean by “false pagan teaching”?

JenniferP's avatar

@kitszu I know Cupcake from another site. I think he means it is a false teaching and is pagan. He just put the words together and didn’t insert a comma.

kitszu's avatar

@JenniferP I’m failing to understand your differentiation.

JenniferP's avatar

He is saying it is a pagan doctrine and he is saying it is false. So he is saying it is a false, pagan teaching.

Response moderated (Writing Standards)
kitszu's avatar

Yeah…, got that. Should have been more specific, I suppose. My point is who the *uck is he to say whose religion is right and go check the history books. Unless, he was there?

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