I know that this is a touchy subject with Believers. Some have come out of the Christian system and go by various names; some are Messianic Jews, but whatever the background and current belief, for many they have still held to the belief that there is a trinity, consisting of the Father, Son and Ruach HaQodesh [Holy Spirit]. I too, was one of those that came out of Christianity and still believed in a trinity, until investigating the roots of Christianity on my own, not what men teach or what Judaism likes to instill as one of the first steps in leading a Messianic believer away from the Messiah. The following is the result of a study concerning the truth about the trinity. Let me state clearly, I HAVE NOT REJECTED YAHUSHA`.
Whenever I do a study, I first begin with the Tanak [OT] and the Testimony, Letters and Revelations (NT). There was a wee bit of a problem with the subject of the trinity; there was no word for trinity in either the Tanak or especially the Testimony, Letters and Revelations. That made me wonder just what was going on, if a doctrine was not even found in the books that were the foundation of a belief. So then I started to look up "three", to see if maybe the concept was listed that way. There was nothing about "three", related to the Father, the Son and the Ruach HaQodesh [Holy Spirit], in the NT. At this point, red lights are flashing in my brain. I next looked up every verse about the Ruach HaQodesh, to see if any verses made a reference to being part of a trinity, but by another term.
I first came across MaththiYahu [Matthew] 28:19, which stated, " Go, therefore, and make talmiydiym [students, disciples] of all the goyim [nations]; and immerse them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Ruach HaQodesh." Now this verse from the Peshitta seems to imply a listing of the three. The odd thing is, that Mark, Luke and Yahuchanan do not mention this at all. So in the Testimony, there was only one single reference. I then checked the Shem Tob version of Matthew. There is no reference to the Father, Son and Ruach HaQodesh, in that verse. No other verse in the NT, lists the Father, the Son and the Ruach HaQodesh.
This situation made me ask just what the Ruach HaQodesh was. In the Tanak [Old Testament], upon doing a word study of the ruach, the ruach is referred the majority of the time, as the ruach YHWH, meaning the ruach [breath, wind, spirit] of YHWH. Other times, YHWH is speaking and is referring to the ruach as "My ruach". Only three times, does the phrase "ruach haqodesh" occur in the Tanak. The ruach in the Tanak, is clearly portrayed, not as a separate entity, but as the breath, wind, spirit of YHWH.
So what did the Testimony, Letters and Revelations say about the ruach? In the books of the Testimony, you see two predominate uses; one is that of the ruach haqodesh [set apart (holy) spirit] coming upon someone. The other major use, is that of the ruach being from YHWH/Elohiym. Generally, when the Testimony and Letters quote a portion of the Tanak, they use YHWH, as the original quote had it, but since these writings were made during a time, when Judaism had a ban on the writing and speaking of the name YHWH, they have a strong tendency to use El/Elohiym, instead of YHWH. Hence the use of phrases like the ruach elohiym, in MaththiYahu , where it states the ruach elohiym descended like a dove. The dominate use, is that of ruach haqodesh, which is a post-Biblical euphemism for ruach YHWH.
The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, under Ruah HaKodesh, states, "(holy spirit). The term Ruah Hakodesh first appears in Isa. 63:10-11 (ascribed by scholars to the Post-Exilic period), as the personification of God Himself, Who is grieved at the disloyalty of the people." "The term is therefore approximately equivalent to 'presence of God,' 'divine blessing.' "
The Encyclopaedia Judaica, under Ru'ah Ha-Kodesh, states, " Although the phrase Ru'ah ha-Kodesh
occurs in the Bible (cf. Ps. 51:13; Isa 63:10),
its specific connotation as divine inspiration is wholly
post-biblical." "A more problematical use of the term Ru'ah ha-Kodesh is
when it is in some way hypostatized, or used as a synonym for God. This
tendency toward hypostatization is already apparent in such expressions as 'Ru'ah ha-Kodesh
resting' on a person or a place, or someone 'receiving Ru'ah ha-Kodesh.' But it is pronounced in
descriptions of the Ru'ah ha-Kodesh
speaking (Pes. 117a), or acting as defense counsel on
An interesting passage is in II Corinthians 3:17, " 'YHWH himself is the ruach. and where the ruach YHWH is, there is the freedom.' " You cannot separate YHWH and His ruach and make His breath as some separate entity that is going around and doing things on its own. His ruach/breath gives life. No one considers that the wrath of YHWH is a separate entity, going about and exacting vengeance and justice on peoples and nations, like some angel of death personification. Neither is the love, mercy or wisdom of YHWH separate. Though YHWH may pour out His love on us, or give us a measure of wisdom, which we can feel and experience, that no more makes them separate than the ruach/breath of YHWH. Romans 8:9-11, " 'you, however, are not in the flesh, but in the ruach; if the ruach of the elohiym truly dwells in you. and if in any one there is not the ruach of the mashiyach he is none of his. but if the mashiyach is in you, the body is dead, in regard to sin; and the ruach is alive in regard to righteousness. and if the ruach of him, who raised our master yahusha`, the mashiyach from the dead, dwells in you; he who raised yahusha` the mashiyach from the dead, will also vivify (make alive) your dead bodies, because of his ruach that dwells in you.' " Yahusha` did not raise himself from the dead, it was the breath of YHWH that made Yahusha` alive again, just as Adam became a living being from YHWH breathing into him. Just as Eliysha` the nabiy [prophet] lay across the dead boy and breathed into his mouth, the boy became alive again, so the breath of YHWH makes alive, but not on its own, but simply because it is the breath of YHWH, who is life.
Now, if we look at the Testimony, to see what Yahusha` states, concerning Himself and His Father, we will see that He does not imply a trinity, but simply He and His Father.
Yahuchanan [John] 14:10, " 'believe me not, that i am in my father, and my father in me? and the words which i speak, i speak not from myself, but my father, who dwells in me, he does these works.' "
Yahuchanan 14:28, " 'you have heard what i said to you that i go away, and come [again] to you. if you had loved me, you would have rejoiced, that i go to my father; for my father is greater than i.' "
MaththiYahu [Matt.] 24:36, " 'but of that day and of that hour, knows no man, nor even the malakiym [messengers/angels] of heaven, but the father only.' "
Yahuchanan 16:32, " 'look, the hour comes, and has now come, when you will be dispersed, each to his place; and you will leave me alone. but i am not alone, for the father is with me.' "
Luke 10:21-22, "in that hour yahusha` exulted in the ruach haqodesh [ruach YHWH], and said, 'i thank you, my father, master of the heavens and the earth, for you have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent, and have revealed them to babes; yes, my father, for such was your good pleasure.' and he turned himself to his talmiydiym [students, disciples], and said to them, 'every thing is committed to me by my father, and no one knows who the son is, except the father; or who the father is, except the son, and he to whom the son is pleased to reveal [him].' "
Luke 18:19, "yahusha` said to him, 'why do you call me, good? for, there is none good, except the elohiym, the one.' "
Yahuchanan 8:17,18, " 'and in your thorah it is written, that the testimony of two persons is certain. i am one, who bear witness of myself, and my father who sent me, bears witness of me.' "
Yahuchanan 10:30, " 'i and my father are one.' "
These are just a small fraction of what is written, but they clearly show that it was YHWH within Yahusha` that directed him what to speak and do; that Yahusha` is not equal to the Father, for Yahusha` does not even know the hour of his return, where only the Father knows that; that Yahusha` himself states that his Father is greater than he; that only the Father can reveal the son and the son the Father; that the Father is with him; that they reveal each other; that they are witness to each other; and the Father and the son are one [echad, united]. NO mention of a separate ruach, involved in any of this relationship.
Then I began to look into
the early church father writings. I could not find the word
"trinity", until Tertullian. Tertullian (Quintus Septimus Florens Tertullianus) was born
around 150 CE, in
Tertullian writes in Against Praxeas, Chapter XXXI, Retrograde Character of the Heresy of Praxeas. The Doctrine of the Blessed Trinity Constitutes the Great Difference Between Judaism and Christianity, "But, (this doctrine of yours bears a likeness) to the Jewish faith, of which this is the substance-so to believe in One God as to refuse to reckon the Son besides Him, and after the Son the Spirit. Now, what difference would there be between us and them, if there were not this distinction which you are for breaking down?"
The further into Church history you go, the use and frequency of trinity, increases, especially after the Council of Nicea. The Council of Nicaea declared the Nicean Creed, in 325 CE, headed by the Roman Emperor Constantine:
" We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of all things visible and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only-begotten of his Father, of the substance of the Father, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father. By whom all things were made, both which be in heaven and in earth. Who for us men and for our salvation came down [from heaven] and was incarnate and was made man. He suffered and the third day he rose again, and ascended into heaven. And he shall come again to judge both the quick and the dead. And [we believe] in the Holy Ghost. And whosoever shall say that there was a time when the Son of God was not, or that before he was begotten he was not, or that he was made of things that were not, or that he is of a different substance or essence [from the Father] or that he is a creature, or subject to change or conversion(3)--all that so say, the Catholic and Apostolic Church anathematizes them."
"The Creed of Eusebius of Caesarea, which he presented to the council, and which some suppose to have suggested the creed finally adopted.
(Found in his Epistle to his diocese; vide: St. Athanasius and Theodoret.)
We believe in one only God, Father Almighty, Creator of things visible and invisible; and in the Lord Jesus Christ, for he is the Word of God, God of God, Light of Light, life of life, his only Son, the first-born of all creatures, begotten of the Father before all time, by whom also everything was created, who became flesh for our redemption, who lived and suffered amongst men, rose again the third day, returned to the Father, and will come again one day in his glory to judge the quick and the dead. We believe also in the Holy Ghost We believe that each of these three is and subsists; the Father truly as Father, the Son truly as Son, the Holy Ghost truly as Holy Ghost; as our Lord also said, when he sent his disciples to preach: Go and teach all nations, and baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."
The Council of Nicaea was a political contest between two major factions, those of Arius, of the East, and those of Anthanasius, of the West. Their disputations arose over whether the Son was created and the same as the Father. Athanasius had Arius exiled, but Constantine later allowed his return. Then a council voted for the exile of Athanasius, who was allowed to return at a later time as well, only to be exiled again. But the battle of the aspects of the Trintiy have raged for centuries.
The fact of the matter remains, that the doctrine is not there in the Tanak and if you look carefully at the Testimony and Letters, you can see, despite what the Church has written into the writings, that Yahusha` himself does not speak of a Trinity. The farther the earlier believers and succeeding generations, drifted from the Hebrew faith and the foundation, HaDerek [The Way], the more pronounced the variant doctrines became. Our foundation should be in the teachings of YHWH, not the teachings of men.
Shema [hear] Yisrael, YHWH our elohey, YHWH is one.