Development of Trinity Doctrine from the Old to the New Testament.
The Old Testament is the New Testament concealed, and the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed!
I. Watchtower Hypocrisy:
When the Watchtower says, "the concept of trinity as revealed in the New Testament, is not taught in the Old Testament". They are right, but many concepts that are taught in the New Testament like the Trinity, were merely alluded to in the Old Testament. Trinity is merely one of a long list of doctrines that developed between the Old Testament and the New Testaments. Only the unlearned would deny this.
Jehovah's Witnesses are part of a modern religious movement that teaches a false doctrine called, "New light". They base this on a very bad interpretation of Proverbs 4:18. They use this "new light" excuse every time they find out they made another false prediction of the end of the world, or to explain why the watchtower Magazine once endorsed JW's actually celebrating Christmas!
Now here is their hypocrisy: Jehovah's Witnesses believe that God, even in the 21st century, is revealing new doctrines, or clarifying old doctrines, that were not understood properly. Yet they say trinity cannot be true because the New Testament revealed "new light" on the Old Testament! Yet every week, JW's all over the world, wait for the Watchtower magazine's latest "new light". Such utter blind hypocrisy is simply unforgivable and is actually the norm with most Jehovah's Witnesses. Don't get us wrong. JW's don't even see this as hypocrisy! If the Watchtower organization tells Jehovah's Witnesses they are "God's servant" to dispense "new light" on a weekly basis! JW's accept this blindly and believe it. If the Watchtower organization tells Jehovah's Witnesses that since Trinity was not fully developed in the Old Testament, it proves Trinity false, they blindly accept it as true. All the while, if they ever stopped to think, they would realize this is a satanic deception, illogical and utter hypocrisy!
It is obvious that the Jews would reject the JW view of Jesus being "a god" (see Jn 10:33) as quickly as the Trinitarian view that Jesus was "THE God" (as Jn 20:28 teaches). Evidently, the Jews never made such distinctions as JW's do. This all proves that the Jehovah's Witness doctrine of Henotheism is something not understood or comprehended by the Jews any more than trinity Doctrine was! Both must claim development from the Old to the New Testament.
II. New Testament Doctrines merely alluded to in the Old Testament that some of the Jews had figured out, but were generally not fully understood.
2 Tim 1:10 is most helpful here because it says that Jesus "brought life and immortality to light through the gospel". So although several Old Testament passages merely hinted at certain doctrines, these teachings were fully brought to light by Christ. Many concepts merely alluded to in the Old Testament, were explicitly taught in the New Testament. All these things were alluded to in the Old Testament but the Jews didn't comprehend it. Same with Trinity!
- Final resurrection (Ps 16:10; 17:13-15; Dan 12:1-12 = Jn 5:28)
- Final judgement (Ps 96:13; Dan 7:10 = Rev 20:12)
- The Messiah would be all of the following: both king and priest (Zech 6:13) and prophet (Deut 18:18) The Jews were looking for several different individuals and hadn't understood that Jesus would fulfill all three roles. (Acts 3:22; Jn 18:37; Heb 3:1)
- The Messiah would be crucified (Isa 53 = Jn 19:6)
- The Messiah must be killed (Dan 9:26 = Lk 9:22)
- The Messiah was to be raised from the dead (Ps 16:10 + Lk 24:46)
- Immortality and eternal life (Dan 12:3 = 2 Tim 1:10)
- That the first covenant (10 Commandments) would be abolished and replaced by a new covenant (Jer 31:31f = Heb 8:6-13).
- The Trinity (Gen 1:26 = Jn 1:1; 20:28; Mt 28:19)
III. New Testament Doctrines merely alluded to in the Old Testament that the Jews had misinterpreted:
Some of the concepts alluded to in the Old Testament, were misunderstood by the Jews because they misinterpreted the scriptures:
2 Sam 12:22-23.
The following will send shivers up the spine of every Jehovah's Witness! To their horror, the divine name underwent change and development. "God spoke further to Moses and said to him, "I am the Lord; and I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name, Lord, I did not make Myself known to them." (Exodus 6:2-3) From Adam to Moses, God's name was "El-Shaddai" (God Almighty). From Moses to Christ, God's name was YHWH (Yahweh or Jehovah). For Christians the name of God is JESUS! "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12) Certainly the Jews never foresaw the time when YHWH would no longer be used as the name for God and it would be replace with Jesus! But actually, in God's providence, the Jews were actually part of the change. The Septuagint was a translation in 250 BC from the Hebrew Old Testament by 70 scholars into Greek. They translated YHWH as LORD (Kurios). It was no mistake that the Holy Spirit Himself continued in this tradition in the New Testament. God ordained that YHWH would never once be found in the original Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. Of course the New World Translation (sectarian paraphrase used only by JW's) adds YHWH into the English New Testament where never found in the underlying Greek. The Watchtower has actually added to the word of God and will be punished according to the curses of Revelation for doing such! Meanwhile, thousands of Jehovah's Witnesses are also deceived.
The Essenes and even the disciples, incorrectly expected the messiah to deliver the Jews from Roman domination and restore an independent Jewish nation, (Acts 1:6) yet they were clearly mistaken about this role of the Messiah because Jesus came and returned to heaven without doing what they were expecting. (Mk 1:15) Even the Romans had heard this rumor that Jesus would overthrow them. When specifically asked by Pilate if His kingdom was physical, Jesus told Pilate that His kingdom was spiritual, not physical. (Mk 1:15; Jn 18:33-36)
The Jews may have had the mistaken idea that during the age of the Messiah (between cross and resurrection) that they would be keeping the weekly Sabbath and monthly New moon festival (Isa 66:23), yet they were abolished by the Messiah. (Col 1:14-16; Gal 4:10)
They didn't understand his death and resurrection even though the Old Testament prophesied it and Jesus explicitly taught it: (Lk 24:46; Mt 16:21-22; Lk 18:31-34; Jn 16:16-18; 20:9)
They didn't understand the second coming even thought Jesus explicitly taught it: (Jn 13:36-14:6)
- The Sadducees for example, rejected conscious life after death but Jesus stated they were wrong, (Luke 16:19-31; 20:37-38 = Ex 3:6). However, the Pharisees opposed the Sadducees and Luke 16, (rich man and Lazarus) was exactly what they believed at the time of Jesus Even David understood conscious life after death:
IV. New Testament Doctrines merely alluded to in the Old Testament by way of shadows and types, and the Jews had not comprehended at all. These represent unique New Testament revelation.
Many concepts completely lacking in the Old Testament (except in some cases for shadows and types) were introduced as brand new revelation in the New Testament. In other words, without the New Testament, no one would have ever understood the hidden meaning of the Old Testament events, shadows and anti-types.
all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God shall call to Himself." The key phrase is "all who are far off" which is a reference to the Gentiles now included in God's specific plans for salvation for the first time at Pentecost. A direct parallel is Eph 2:13 "But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ." The amazing thing is, that Peter did not understand what he was saying through the Holy Spirit! He preached that the Gentiles were on the same equal level as the Jews, yet we see in Acts 10, that Peter did not understand this because God had to show Peter this truth, through an elaborate vision. In the same way, New Testament writers taught the basic elements of trinity doctrine, but may not at first, have understood the specific plumbing of how the trinity works, as discussed in the later centuries.
- Water baptism (Acts 2:38 = Ex 30:18; Col 2:11 + Ex 30:6 = Gen 17:10)
- The Lord's Supper (1 Cor 11:26 = Ex 12)
- The second coming of the Messiah (Heb 9:28 = Jude 14)
- That the Messiah was the creator Jn 1:3 + Col 1:16 + Heb 1:10-12 = Gen 1:26 + Eccl 12:1 [lit: creators])
- That we would become part of the body of the Messiah, (1 Cor 12:12f)
- That the physical universe would be uncreated at the second coming (2 Pe 3:8-10, Rev 20:11)
- That Jesus Christ was the "Rock that followed" the Jews through the wilderness (1 Cor 10:1-4)
- An excellent example of progressive revelation in the Bible is Peter's first sermon in Acts 2:39 "For the promise is for you and your children, and for
V. New Testament Doctrines that contradicted Old Testament doctrines:
During the Old Testament God's people first entered into "Covenant relationship" by way of circumcision on the 8th day, and afterward were taught about the conditions of the covenant. The New Testament teaches the opposite because God's people will first be taught, then enter covenant relationship by "consensual believers baptism" (Heb 8:9-11)
Great emphasis is placed in the Old Testament about God's people living the physical life to the fullest of enjoyment, yet Jesus taught the opposite, namely that we should deny ourselves in this life, for the sake of the kingdom, and await for eternal reward. (Mt 16:24-26)
Moses permitted divorce for reasons other than adultery (Deut 24), Jesus had forbidden divorce unless your spouse had committed adultery (Mt 19:9; 1 Cor 7:10-12)
VI. False doctrines taught by Jehovah's Witnesses and Christadelphians that were absent from the Old Testament entirely!
We ask Jehovah's Witnesses these questions:
You say: "Nowhere in the Old Testament do we find any clear indication of trinity". We accept the truthfulness of this statement, but reject your conclusion that it proves trinity false. Your question is, "Where do we find any clear indication in the Old Testament that Jesus was God's agent of creation (true) or that Jesus was the Angel Michael (False Heb 1:5)? According to your own logic, you must reject both of your Watchtower (false) doctrines because they, like trinity are not clearly indicated in the Old Testament."
You say: "The Jews thus far have likewise failed to grasp, the idea of the Trinity" We accept the truthfulness of this statement, but reject your conclusion that it proves trinity false. Your question is: "Did the Jews grasp your watchtower (false Heb 1:5) doctrine that the Messiah was Michael the angel?
Discussion and Analysis of the Old to New Testament development of trinity doctrine:
We can now see that doctrinal development is both command and expected, as we view the Old Testament in the light of the New Testament, the Arian argument that Trinity is false, merely because it is not clearly revealed in the Old Testament, is and invalid argument that Jehovah's Witnesses should be spanked for even using.
Notice that while the watchtower quotes Trinitarians sources who will say Trinity is not taught in the Old Testament, they never find Trinitarian sources saying, "trinity is not taught in the New Testament."
By Steve Rudd
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