We have only sent down the Book to you so that you can make clear to them the things about which they differ, and as a guidance and a mercy to people who believe. (Surat an-Nahl: 64)
True Christianity in the New Testament
Many phrases in the New Testament leave no room for belief in the trinity. In fact, they actually support the monotheistic belief of God as the One and Only. Indeed, groups opposed to the trinity have drawn attention to these down the ages, while proponents of the trinity have offered interpretations based on no evidence at all.
Trinitarian belief ascribes the same divine status to Prophet Jesus (pbuh) as to God (Surely God is beyond that!), although the New Testament describes God's oneness and eternal sovereignty over all things in great detail. People are called to monotheistic faith in both the message of Prophet Jesus (pbuh) to his people and followers, and in the words of his disciples. In addition, Prophet Jesus (pbuh) constantly makes it clear that everything he does is the result of God's infinite power and might, that it is God Who causes him to say everything he says, and that he performs these miracles only because God wills them to occur. He also invites those who elevate him to elevate God, remember His infinite might, and submit to Him. We shall look at this in the pages that follow.
Several Qur'anic verses reveal the kind of message communicated by Prophet Jesus (pbuh). For example:
And when God asks: "Jesus son of Mary. Did you say to people: 'Take me and my mother as deities besides God?'" he will exclaim: "Glory be to You! It is not for me to say what I have no right to say! If I had said it, You would have known it. You know what is in my self, but I do not know what is in Your Self. You are the Knower of all unseen things. I said to them nothing but what You ordered me to say: 'Worship God, my Lord and your Lord.' I was a witness against them as long as I remained among them, but when You took me back to You, You were the One watching over them. You are Witness of all things. If You punish them, they are Your servants. If you forgive them, You are the Almighty, the All-Wise." (Surat al-Ma'ida: 116-18)
As is revealed in the verses, Prophet Jesus (pbuh) called on his people to believe in God alone and live for Him. Monotheism constitutes the basis of true Christianity, just as it does of Islam. (The word Father in the extracts from the New Testament in this chapter has been changed to God, the word Son to prophet –messenger, and the title Lord used to address Prophet Jesus (pbuh) to teacher.)
Monotheism in the Old Testament
The mistaken belief in the son of God, which emerged 30-40 years after Prophet Jesus (pbuh) had been raised to God's presence, gradually began to spread. However, this concept could not be clearly defined for a long time. Some interpreted it as a metaphorical concept referring to his honored position in God's sight and continued to believe in His oneness, while others deified Prophet Jesus (pbuh) and began to consider him the actual son of God.
As we know, Prophet Jesus (pbuh) was a Jew who was sent to the Children of Israel, who had been monotheists for the last two centuries. Our Lord sent His revelation to them through a long series of prophets, beginning with Prophet Abraham (pbuh), all of whom had warned the Jews to abide scrupulously by His revelation. They had known the Torah, "a guidance and light" (Surat al-Ma'ida: 44), ever since the time of Prophet Moses (pbuh). Prophet Jesus (pbuh) came to confirm the Torah, which is also accepted by Christians. The Torah and other books of the Old Testament contained reports concerning his coming.
This fact reveals just how mistaken the belief in the trinity, which was accepted by majority vote at the Council of Nicaea, actually is. Nowhere in the Torah or the New Testament is this doctrine even mentioned. All of the prophets of Israel called on their people to believe in God as the One and Only, and none of their statement can possibly be equated with trinitarian belief. No such statement was ever heard from Prophet Abraham (pbuh), nor Prophet Moses (pbuh) nor any of the other prophets. All of the prophets taught only one message: know that God is the One and Only and take no other deity but Him. The following passage from the Torah, most frequently repeated by the Jews, says: "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is One" (Deuteronomy 6:4).
This same truth is also emphasized in the Old Testament:
Given the above statements from the Old Testament, our Lord's infinite might and power, as well as His dominion over the universe, is a basic truth of Judaism.
Given these facts, the trinity is a mistaken belief that somehow found its way into the Divine religion at a later date.
The New Testament is based on belief in the One and Only God
The Qur'an reveals that Prophet Jesus (pbuh) called on his people in the following manner:
…O Tribe of Israel. Worship God, my Lord and your Lord… (Surat al-Ma'ida: 72)
Such statements by Prophet Jesus (pbuh) calling people to belief in the one God are still to be found in the otherwise corrupted Gospels of the New Testament. For instance, according to the Gospel of Saint Mark, Prophet Jesus (pbuh) gave the following reply to a Jew who asked him which commandment was the most important:
"The most important one,"answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.' (Mark 12:29-30)
Another passage in the Gospel of Saint Mark shows that Prophet Jesus (pbuh) objected to being praised, let alone deified:
As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. "Good teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" "Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good except God. (Mark 10:17-18)
This passage alone is sufficient to show that doctrine of the trinity violates the most basic teaching of Christianity. In rejecting praise and stressing that God is the only One worthy of praise, Prophet Jesus (pbuh) is clearly stating that he is a servant of God.
The truth that he related to the people of Israel is the same truth related by all prophets since the beginning of time: Our Lord, Almighty God, created the universe from nothing, creates flawlessly in the most beautiful manner, is the great and superior, knows the inner face and secret aspects of all things, is the first and the last, was not born, is unsullied by any imperfection, is the Omniscient and All-powerful, the Glorious, the Ruler, the Beneficent, and the Forgiver. Everything in heaven and Earth has submitted to Him.
Indeed, the "oneness of God" appears as an essential article of faith in the New Testament -both in the four Gospels and in the writings and letters of the apostles, which condemns all forms of polytheism, trinitarianism, and paganism, as does the Old Testament. Those who think that there are other deities besides God are called to monotheism throughout the New Testament. Some of these passages read as follows:
The New Testament contains many other statements that describe God as the One and Only. For example, consider the messages communicated by Prophet Jesus' (pbuh) disciples. Following his ascension, Christians traveled throughout the region to report his words and call on the people to surrender to God. The New Testament reports that they called on those whom they addressed to become Christians believing in the One and Only God:
But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting: "Men, why are you doing this? We too are only men, human like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, Who made heaven and Earth and sea and everything in them… He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; He provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy." (Acts 14:14-17)
The God Who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and Earth, and does not live in temples built by hands. He is not served by human hands, as if He needed anything, because He himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man He made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole Earth; and He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him …though He is not far from each one of us. For in Him we live and move and have our being. (Acts 17:24-28)
God possesses infinite power and might
According to trinitarian belief, Prophet Jesus (pbuh) was not created; rather, he has always existed and has the same powers and abilities as God. (Surely God is beyond that!) This is a grave error. Those who believe in the trinity believe that Prophet Jesus (pbuh) will save them and answer their prayers, thanks to which they will be freed from all of their sins. (The misguided belief in the atonement for sins will be examined in detail in due course.) This deception, which the Qur'an describes in detail, is not supported by any of the New Testament's passages. On the contrary, it is rejected.
Trinitarians offer several pieces of "evidence" for this belief fromzz the New Testament. Heading this list is the miracles performed by Prophet Jesus (pbuh). However, this is no proof at all of his supposed divinity, for all of the miracles associated with him (e.g., being born without a father, speaking from the cradle, and curing the sick and blind, which are facts separately set out in the Qur'an) were no more than a blessing from our Almighty Lord, the ruler of the universe, and the expression of His will. God also willed Prophets Moses, Solomon, Abraham, and Zachariah (peace be upon them all), among many other prophets, and our Prophet Muhammad (may God bless him and grant him peace) to perform miracles. The proponents of the belief in the trinity, however, point to their own view of these miracles in ascribing alleged divinity to Prophet Jesus (pbuh). Yet this claim is in open contradiction to these and many other statements in the New Testament.
As the New Testament records, Prophet Jesus (pbuh) always praised God and stated that all power belonged to Him. For example, he stated that I do exactly what God has commanded me (John 14:31), The words I say to you are not just my own (John 14:10), and I tell you the truth, the apostle can do nothing by himself (John 5:19).
Other passages refer to God's infinite might and power:
These facts revealed in the New Testament are in complete harmony with those revealed in the Qur'an, and are expressions of the absolute truths taught by all of God's prophets since the beginning of history down to the present day: God created time, space, human beings, all the worlds, and all that exists within them. Our Lord, Who is unsullied by any imperfection or deficiency, is the Superior and Great. Everything takes place according to His will and with His permission. As the Qur'an reveals, not a leaf falls to the ground unless He wills it to do so, and no female conceives and no living thing gives birth without His knowledge. God knows everything, whether secret or open, and is Almighty. God has the power to do whatever He wills, for He is the Lord of infinite might and power. It is sufficient for Him to say, Be! for a thing to come into being. Nothing is impossible in His sight, for He is the sole authority and sole Lord of might in the universe.
The New Testament proclaims His absolute dominion over the universe through examples indicating that God, the Lord of the Worlds, gives human beings all of their powers and abilities, creates everything that happens, and gives life to all living things.
All of these passages from the New Testament clearly show that true Christian belief is a sincere one directed only toward God. However, the misguided belief in the trinity was added to these true beliefs, and this corrupted Christianity itself.