Is the Trinity Biblical with Patrick Navas

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Patrick Navas has been a Bible student for the last fourteen years–ever since one of the Gideons handed him a free pocket New Testament and he was gripped by John 3.16. In his quest to understand Christianity he quickly learned that there were quite a few differences between various groups which all claimed to have the truth. This propelled Patrick into long years of study as he researched the biggest question of all–who is God?

The result of that work was his 2006 book titled Divine Truth or Human Tradition?: A Reconsideration of the Roman Catholic-Protestant Doctrine of the Trinity in Light of the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures. His book not only lays out the clear biblical teaching about God, but it also interacts with top trinitarian defenders such as Dr. James R. White, John MacArthur, Dr. Wayne Grudem, Robert Bowman Jr., Dr. Robert Morey, Dr. R. C. Sproul, and others. Patrick defends his position with cogency and humility as he enumerates the reasons why the Trinity is not a biblical doctrine.

13 Responses to Is the Trinity Biblical with Patrick Navas

  1. Joseph Malik says:

    Good interview and I agree with the conclusions that Patrick came to. 30 years ago I wrote a paper called Beyond Trinitarianism and tried to keep it up to date since then. It was not intended to be an exhaustive study but simply to provide enough information for a student to thing things through for themselves. This is found on my web page. So as long as we keep our minds active and open, good information like the book Patrick wrote help to advance the faith for many.

  2. “The Trinity of God is defined by the Church as the belief that in God are three persons who subsist in one nature. The belief as so defined was reached only in the 4th and 5th century AD and hence is not explicitly [definite] and formally a biblical belief. The Trinity of persons within the unity of nature is defined in terms of “person” and “nature” which are Greek philosophical terms: actually the terms do not appear in the Bible. The Trinitarian definitions arose as the result of long controversies in which these terms and others such as “essence” and “substance” were erroneously applied to God by some theologians. The ultimate affirmation of trinity of persons and unity of nature was declared by the Church to be the only correct way in which these terms could be used [and until the Church burned you at the stake if you disagreed]

    The elements of the trinity of Persons within the unity of nature in the Bible appear in the use of the terms Father, Son and Spirit. The personal reality of the Spirit emerged more slowly than the personal reality of the Father and Son, which are personal terms. On the application of the name of Spirit to the Son in the Pauline writings, cf. SPIRIT. The unity of nature does not appear as a problem in the Bible and indeed could only arise when a philosophical investigation of the term nature as applied to God was begun {Beware lest anyone spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, Col 2:8].

    In the NT the Father is “the God.” (Greek ho theos) and Jesus is “the Son of God.”

    The Spirit is “the spirit of the God” or “the holy spirit,” in this context a synonymous term. Deity is conceived not in the Gk term of nature, but rather as a level of being, “the holy.” Between this level and the level of flesh there is an impassible gulf. Impassable that is by man.; it is bridged by Jesus, the Son [also pais, servant, lad] who renders it possible to be adopted as sons [he was also begotten Matt. 1:20; John 18:37; I John 5:18].

    Without an explicit formula the NT leaves no room to think that Jesus is himself an object of adoption which he communicates to others [?]. He knows the Father and reveals Him. He therefore belongs to the divine level of being. What is less clear about the Spirit is His personal reality; often He is mentioned in language in which his personal reality is not explicit. This distinction between God and flesh is the NT basis for the affirmation of the unity of nature; the very identification of the Father with “the God,” shows that the NT writers intend to distinguish the Son and the Spirit from the Father. The NT does not approach the metaphysical problem of suboridination, as it approaches no metaphysical problem.

    It offers no room for a statement of the relations of Father, Son and Holy Spirit which would imply that one of them is more or less properly on the divine level of being than another. In Jewish thought of the time the son and the spirit are angels; it does not even take the trouble explicitly to deny it. At the same time it is necessary to recall that in Catholic belief the trinity of persons within the unity of nature is a mystery which ultimately escapes understanding; and in no respect is it more mysterious thatn in the relations of the persons to each other. Son and Spirit do not express perfect identity and are not intended to express it; th edinstinction of person is not merely numerical but reposes upon a mysterious personality of character in each on which is unknown in its ultimate reality. The Church has declared that any statement of his disticnition which reduces the divinity of any of the persons is a false statement; equally false would be a statement which would deny their personal distinction. The notions of Father, Son and Spirit are revealed that we may know God better; and the theologians should explore these ideas.

    The OT does not contain suggestions or foreshadowings of the Trinity of persons. What it does contain are the words which the NT employs to express the trinity of persons such as Father, Son and Spirit, etc. A study of these words shows us how the revelation of God in the NT advances beyond the revelation of God in the OT. The same study of these words and their background is the best way to arrive at an understanding of the distinction of persons as it is stated in the NT [Forget the mystery, then, which makes that distinction unknowable].” Dictionary of the Bible, by John l . McKenzie, S.J., University of Chicago, 1965.

  3. […] by Patrick Navas (from an email, posted here by permission)…check out his Truth Matters interview […]

  4. […] they technically owed us one more airing). As a result, the next Sunday Patrick’s show “Is the Trinity Biblical?” did air, though unfortunately it was the last show to […]

  5. […] the author of Divine Truth or Human Tradition? You can listen to an audio interview with him on the Truth Matters […]

    • jim charron says:

      funny how Christians use the Bible Scripts to prove the Trinity is the reality of God, but disbelievers use a lot of their own words,
      and facts about history, long winded stories for their credibility?

      It really is all confusing, so I’ll just go with the Holy Bible and
      believe in ” the Trinity” as stated/implied in the Sciptures.

  6. Thank you for the radio interview. I decided to go and buy the book by Patrick on Amazon Kindle.

  7. jim says:

    You have to rely on history to understand how the modern day translation of the bible came to be.

  8. cheryl says:

    I believe what the bible says ….. And for that matter what God himself says,when Jesus was babtized and the heavens opened up God said this is my Son My beloved whom I aproved…So according to God himself Jesus is his son.

  9. […] Patrick Navas is the author of Divine Truth or Human Tradition?: A Reconsideration of the Orthodox Doctrine of the Trinity in Light of the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures. I’ve listened to a few of Navas’ debates and he exemplifies a Christ-like respect and gentleness combined with strength and confidence. If you would like to listen to my own interview with Navas on the subject of the Trinity, click here. […]

  10. sanboih says:

    i really need some more explanation clearer because i going to a thesis on the necessity of believing in trinity for salvation for my Master of Divinity Course……please give me some ideas

    • Greg says:

      Hi I don’t pretend to be an expert, but the problem I have with making the belief in the Trinity essential for salvation is you are moving away from the cross of Christ – believing the gospel alone for salvation. The first step away is you must deduct the Trinity is true because it is not specifically stated in the Bible. The second step away from the cross of Christ for salvation is you must then deduct that an ontological relationship exists between the 3 persons because that is also not specifically stated in the Bible. The third step away from the cross is you must believe words such as hypostasise means “person” when in the Bible it means “substance” or “confidence”. So the Greek influenced church bishops redefined a biblical word for their doctrine and you have to believe this to be saved. There is a different Greek word for person in the Bible which by the way is used in relation to the Father and Son (but not the Holy Spirit) – interesting? The next step away is Paul and the apostles never taught that you must believe in the Trinity to be saved, but believe in the Lord Jesus Christ – His death, burial and resurrection as the foundational truth as of first importance of the gospel. I believe in Jesus Christ and His merits alone for my salvation – not my ability (work) in deduction. There are other steps away, but the last step away from the cross is you must believe what we say and not check it up in the Bible – never question it – question anything else, but not the Trinity. You see we cannot agree on the mode of baptism, or pre or post tribulation or once saved always saved or what repentance is, or which day the Sabbath is or is the Lord’s day/Sunday and should we keep Sunday holy as that is now the 4th commandment and are we still under the 10 commandments or living in the new covenant or what is the baptism of the Holy Spirit is or should we do Christmas and Easter or when should the Lord’s Supper be observed, should we use wine or grape juice, leavened or unleavened bread or have miracles ceased, have the gifts of the Holy Spirit stopped, will there be a literal Kingdom of God on the earth and our elders cannot agree with each other either etc etc etc. BUT just believe us that we know what we are talking about when we say you must believe in the Trinity to be saved………sorry I’m going back to the Bible to God’s grace and the merits of Jesus Christ alone for my salvation. Sure I’ll aim to understand Bible teachings and grow in grace and knowledge and obey God by faith, but I’m not giving my brain/mind to any man…….cursed is the man who trusts in man who makes flesh his armour.

  11. sean says:

    Hey Sanboih,

    Where are you going to seminary? Also, have you listened to Dan Gill’s message entitled, “Is the Trinity Necessary for Salvation?

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