Trinity Proof Texts



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John 10:25-39

If You are the Christ, tell us plainly." Jesus answered them, "I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father's name, these bear witness of Me. "But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep. "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand. "My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. "I and the Father are one." The Jews took up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, "I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?" The Jews answered Him, "For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God." Jesus answered them, "Has it not been written in your Law, 'I said, you are gods'? "If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), do you say of Him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, 'You are blaspheming,' because I said, 'I am the Son of God'? "If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father." Therefore they were seeking again to seize Him, and He eluded their grasp.




The argument stated:

  1. This section is a clear and precise statement of Jesus Christ's divine nature and equality with God in both purpose and being.
  2. The text cannot support the Modalist view that Jesus and the Father are the same person because the oneness of the Trinity referenced in this passage is one of unity.
  3. To suggest that the Jews understanding that Jesus claimed to be God was in fact a misunderstanding, is simply impossible to support from the text.
  4. No where in the text does Jesus deny or correct their impression that Jesus was God.


  1. One thing everyone agrees with, including Jehovah's Witnesses, is that the Jews wanted to stone Jesus because they understood Jesus claimed to be God (divine). What we find puzzling, is that Jehovah's Witnesses believe Jesus to be: "mighty god" "a god". If Jesus really is a "created demi-god" like JW's falsely believe, would this not be the place he teaches the Jews this? JW's therefore, have no logical way of refuting this. Further, JW's would lead us to believe that for saying, "I and the Father are one", the Jews wanted to stone Jesus, but if Jesus called himself, "mighty God" the Jews would not stone him! Such illogic is typical of Jehovah's Witnesses.
  2. So, why would the Jews pick up stones to kill Jesus if all He was affirming was His unity of purpose with the Father? Didn't the Jews have unity of purpose with the father? Why would the Jews, who had unity of purpose with the Father, try to kill Jesus for affirming the same thing? If Jesus was just affirming unity of purpose with the Father by saying "I and the father are one," then why did the Jews understand His words to be an affirmation that He was God (John 10:33)? And if they were mistaken in thinking this, Why, did Jesus not correct them? Did they not understand Him correctly? Look at John 10:34-38!
  3. If the watchtower interpretation of John 10:30 is correct, and the oneness that Christ shares with the Father is identical to the oneness that believers have with Christ, are you willing to insert your personal name in John 10:30? In John 14:9? In John 5:23? In John 16:15? Look up each verse and read it aloud!
  4. Jesus NEVER denies the charge that he was claiming to be equal with God or that he was God. The whole section begins and ends with the identical thought: "I and the Father are one" v30 and "the Father is in Me, and I in the Father" v38. Each time he said this, the Jews wanted to stone him. In fact, Ps 82 may have sent them into deep thought so when He made the proclamation a second time, they concluded, "He's blasphemed again!" This proves the Arian interpretation wrong because it assumes the Jews were initially wrong about Jesus making Himself out to be God. The fact that Jesus then makes his argument from Ps 82, yet they still wanted to stone him, proves he was not denying the charge of being God, but rather reinforcing it. After all, the judges of Ps 82 performed no miracles like Jesus was which implies He had a more valid claim to be called God then they!
  5. Ps 82 was a controversial passage from the time it was written. Some of the Jews in Jesus day evidently rejected it as valid scripture for the same reasons Martin Luther rejected the entire book of James as bad and corrupted scripture. ("a straw epistle"): Both felt the texts contradicted true doctrine. Luther could not reconcile James 2:24 because he wrongly rejected water baptism as essential to salvation. The Jews could not reconcile Ps 82 with the false view that only YHWH is called "god" (Elohim). Perhaps what Jesus was saying was something like this: "I am going to bring up a theological discussion you have been having lately about what Ps 82:6 is saying. Since I have been going around calling myself the "Son of God", you have been wondering how to interpret Ps 82:6 which calls humans "gods". Some of you have chosen to say this is bad and corrupted scripture, but this is the wrong path for the truth, because scripture cannot be broken. The Scripture is uncorrupted and divinely authored. God intended to call these men "gods" and "sons of God".
  6. God obviously knew that Ps 82 would always be a flash point of controversy and we must ask why God would do such? Obviously it was there for the sole benefit of the coming Messiah. Ps 82 is a messianic prophecy of the time when the "true and righteous judge" would teach mankind that he was God.
  7. God was foreshadowing by way of antitype in Ps 82, the fact that certain men can function among humanity as though they were God himself. Acting on behalf of God as his divinely commissioned agent. This is exactly the role of Jesus as God's agent for all spiritual things. The incarnation is where the creator (Jesus) is made be flesh just like His creation. Never before in history did men walk around claiming to be God.
  8. Ps 82 therefore, provided an intellectual "half step" making Jesus' job a little easier to teach He was uncreated God. Other "half-steps" include Gen 19:24; Ps 45:7; Isa 7:14; 9:6 ; Zech 12:10. These are the very kinds of verses the apostles used to prove Jesus was the Christ from the Old Testament: Acts 17:2; 11-12.
  9. Psalm 82:6 in the Septuagint (81:6) and the Massoretic text both call humans "gods" and "sons of God" which is a term that came into use and "developed" after Moses.
  10. Ps 82 might best be viewed as a mocking or as irony. The meaning of "I said, you are gods, but you will die like men," means: "I called you gods, but you are not gods, but mere men who will die." Also Ps 82 calls the wicked judges "sons of God". This too is likely mockery or satire because Jesus labeled the same sort of Israelite leaders as "sons of the devil" (Jn 8:44). So to use Ps 82 and Jn 10:33 to support Henotheism, where men can be rightly be called gods, is not what the text is really saying at all. It is saying the opposite!
  11. The men were human judges who were being condemned for being unjust in their judgments.
  12. If "I and the Father are one" means nothing more than "unity", then the same could be said about any of the other prophets of the past or Angels and the Jews would not want to stone Jesus. If Jesus were merely teaching he was a messenger sent from God like Moses or one of the prophets, they never would have tried to stone Jesus. So the Arian view that Jesus is a creature sent from God like Moses, one of the prophets or even an angel, is obviously an invalid interpretation.
  13. If the judges of Ps 82 are wicked creatures and can be called "gods" how much more should Jesus call himself, the "Son of God"? They were made to be "gods" as adults, Jesus has been God from all eternity (Jn 1:2) The "word of God came to them" (v35), Jesus was the Word became flesh (Jn 1:14). They were judges of physical laws, Jesus was God's sole agent of judgment that will determine the spiritual destiny of all men at the end of time. (Jn 5:22) The judges were wicked, Jesus was sinless. (John 8:46) Those wanting to stone Jesus came from the earth (below), He came from heaven above (Jn 8:23). Their existence began when they were born, Jesus has existed from all eternity before he was born. (Jn 8:58) The judges never called themselves "gods", nor where they commonly known as "gods" by others at the time they lived, yet Jesus openly advertised the fact he was to be known as the Son of God (v36). The judges performed no miracles, yet Jesus used miracles as confirming evidence he could rightly call himself God. (v37) The judges would die like every other man in sin, (Ps 82:7) Jesus would die being sinless, then become the source of resurrection and life for all men (Jn 6:39). This is why I can say what no other man or angel has ever said before: "I and the Father are one" because I am not a creature, I, like the Father, am God.
  14. The lack of the definite article (anarthrous) before "Son of God" does not make it any lower or than if the definite article was present. (ie. a Son of God vs. the Son of God). Such semantics are common among Jehovah's Witnesses in John 1:1 where they think it should be translated "a god" rather than "God" proving Jesus is a lessor god than the Father. The Watchtower organization is not honest enough with their own blind followers to tell them that many other times in John 1 the Father is referred to in the exact same "anarthrous" manner as God. Also Jesus is called THE God in John 20:28. The final proof that the Jews made no distinction between the anarthrous and the non-anarthrous (with the definite article) is the fact that in John 19:7, the Jews said, " He ought to die because He made Himself out to be a Son of God [anarthrous]".
  15. Jesus tells the Jews that the Father sent him (God appointed). Then he asks them why they just tried to stone him since He is "the God sent/appointed Son of God". He again chides their original unbelief ("claim to be God") Then they try to stone him a second time after he explained he was the "the God sent/appointed Son of God". The Jews were fully aware that Jesus claimed to be sent/ordained/appointed of God, they rejected the claim! 

Three interpretations of what the passage is saying:

I. The Correct Trinitarian paraphrase/interpretation: "When I said, "I and the Father are one", you should rightly stone me if I were a mere creature. But I am not a creature. But Ps 82 is valid scripture, just as it reads and it calls wicked judges "gods" and "sons of God" on the basis that they were acting as agents of God in regulating the Law of Moses. What this Ps 82 is saying, is that God Almighty Himself is the one who calls these creatures, "gods". Because this is so obviously what Ps 82 teaches, some of you have rejected it as corrupted and invalid scripture. But this scripture is valid and it says what it means because scripture is divinely protect by God from the very corruption you have imagined. Rejecting this text as scripture is not the solution. You have not yet comprehended what this text is saying. God was foreshadowing by way of antitype, the fact that certain men can function among humanity as though they were God himself. Acting on behalf of God as his divinely commissioned agent. This is exactly my role today as I stand before you. I am not God's agent in regards to mere civil law, but in all spiritual things. If the human judges of Ps 82 can be called "gods" because they were appointed agents of God, how much more should the divine Son of God be called this same title "god"? If they wear the title it by privilege, how much more should I, Jesus wear it by nature, as my inherent right!

II. Another Trinitarian paraphrase/interpretation which we reject: I have plainly told you that I am uncreated God, equal to the Father but you reject what I say because only My true sheep can comprehend it. There is nothing I can say to convince you because you are evil and hard hearted. So rather than arguing with fools, I am going to start a theological fire that will cause you to fight among yourselves and take the attention off me, allowing me to bow out. If God calls wicked men who act as God's agents "gods", why is it wrong for me to claim something less (a son of God), since I too am a sent agent of God? Forget, for argument sake, that I have openly taught you I am uncreated God and lets find agreement on a lower level first. Until you can comprehend this easier concept, I find it a waste of time trying to convince you of the more difficult truth that I am uncreated God.

  1. This interpretation is similar to the "Theocratic War Strategy" doctrine of Jehovah's Witnesses, where you will hide the truth from the unrighteous. "the Scriptures justify the 'war strategy' of hiding true facts from the enemy." (Watchtower May 15, 1960, page 295) "As a soldier of Christ he is in theocratic warfare and he must exercise caution when dealing with God's foes. Thus the Scriptures show that for the purpose of protecting the interests of God's cause, it is proper to hide the truth from God's enemies." (Watchtower; 6/1/1960; p. 352) Such an interpretation, for this reason alone, is clearly unacceptable.
  2. Since Jesus could read their hearts, he would have known that nothing he would have said would have convinced them, so Jesus should have just walked away rather than decoy them with Ps 82. Even after this, they were unchanged in their desire to stone Jesus.
  3. If Jesus was merely bowing out he would not have added any fuel to the fire by saying, "I was sanctified and sent by the Father because Father is in Me, and I in the Father". This merely repeats "I and the Father are one" and merely ignited their anger a second time.
  4. Jesus never denies the charge that he is God, but actually adds a very good reason for them to accept his claim of deity based upon his miracles.
  5. The idea that Jesus settled for a lower term "a son of god" than the wicked judges were called (gods) would only be relevant in any logical way if Jesus was viewed a more righteous than the wicked judges. In fact, the wicked judges were highly respected in their day, like the hypocritical leaders of Jesus' day. Jesus, on the other hand, was viewed as one worthy of death for claiming to be God. The judges never actually went around calling themselves "gods". So the lesser title would correspond to a lesser being.

III. False interpretation of Arians: (Jehovah's Witness, Christadelphian) "Your charge of blasphemy is irrelevant since they were called "gods" and I have claimed to be something lower than "a god", namely "a son of God". By this I am making it clear that I am not claiming to equal with the Father. I am merely like these other men whom God calls "a god" or "a son of God". You have misunderstood me because I certainly am a creature just like you and am not fully divine or equal to the Father. If you were my sheep, you would understand what I am really saying and not try to stone me or charge me with blasphemy." The Jews wrongly understood Jesus' words "I am God's Son", to mean that He was teaching he was "THE God" equal to the Father as Trinitarians interpret. In fact Jesus was actually teaching he was a lower ranking "a god" and it was this they misunderstood. If they had comprehended that Jesus was merely claiming to be a lower ranking, created demi-god, the Jews would never have been angry or tried to stone Jesus.

  1. According to the Arian interpretation, the Jews correctly understood that Jesus was saying he was merely "a son of God" or "a god" like the human Judges. We sit by and watch in amazement at the hypocrisy and illogic of Jehovah's Witnesses when they go to great lengths to quote obscure paraphrases that make the Jewish response say, "you make yourself out to be a god", yet claim they misunderstood. Hello! If the Jews really wanted to stone Jesus for saying he was "a god", then this is exactly what Jehovah's Witnesses teach Jesus was actually saying.
  2. In other words, if Trinitarians are right, then the Jews wanted to stone Jesus for claiming to be "THE God". Arians would then logically need to say the Jews misunderstood what Jesus was saying. But if Arians are right, that the Jews wanted to stone Jesus for claiming to be "a god", then Arians cannot also claim the Jews misunderstood Him. This is just another in a long line of examples of how Jehovah's Witnesses have no ability to be logical or honest in theological discussion. They want to have their cake and eat it too! They will argue it any way they can. They will argue it every way they can, even if it contradicts themselves! Such is both dishonest and hypocritical. But most importantly, it proves their interpretation wrong.
  3. So logically, Arians must agree with Trinitarians that the Jews did not misunderstand what Jesus was saying and they wanted to stone Jesus for both the Trinitarian interpretation as well as the Jehovah's Witness/Christadelphian interpretation.
  4. It has not dawned on Jehovah's witnesses that since they actually use Jn 10:33 to prove Henotheism, where Jesus, angels and men are called gods, that they are forced to accept the very thing they deny: That Jesus correctly claimed to be "a god". After all, isn't that what they say John 1:1 says? When Watchtower adherents quote their many obscure translations that render the verse, "making yourself to be a god", it proves that the Jews correctly understood Jesus (from a JW point of view). So the stunning conclusion is that while JW's deny Jesus was teaching he was THE God, they actually must affirm that Jesus was teaching he was "a god" and that the Jews correctly understood this yet wanted to stone him anyway!
  5. It is obvious that the Jews would reject the JW view of Jesus being "a god 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.
  6. This interpretation simply does not fit the context, in which Jesus had ample opportunity to "tell them plainly" yet he never denies any of the charges.
  7. The passage does have some interesting implications on a purely logical point of view for Arians. It is important to know the standard "Watchtower Certified Argument" (the WCA) of Jehovah's Witnesses, and their line of reasoning in explaining Jn 10:34. It fits the pattern of how they can attempt to evade the charge they are rank polytheists (or henotheists) by having Jesus being a lessor created god under the uncreated almighty God. Using their own feeble logic on JW's we arrive at the following example: "Since "scripture cannot be broken" and the scriptures call agents commissioned by God "gods" therefore, every agent of God can be called a "god".... And since Jehovah's Witnesses believe they are special commissioned agents (witnesses) of God, therefore Jehovah's Witnesses have as much a right to call themselves "gods" as Jesus Christ or the Judges of Ps 82."
  8. But it has escaped their notice that since God has commissioned Jehovah's Witnesses to knock on doors, that they too can with equal authority as the judges and Jesus, call themselves "a god".
  9. "Knock, knock." "Who is there?" "a god" "a god who?" "I am here to make a god out of you"!

Anti-Trinitarian rebuttals:



Rebuttal #1 by Anti-Trinitarian Modalists (United Pentecostal Church, UPCI)

When Jesus said in John 10:30, "I and the Father are one.", it proves that Jesus is the same person as the Father.

Anti-Trinitarian Modalist rebuttal refuted

  1. The word for "one" is the Greek word "Hen". It is used of both mathematical "1" as well as a synonym for the word "unity".
  2. "HEN" is used for "unity" (and not mathematical "1") in Mt 19:5 "the two shall become one flesh" and Jn 17:22-23 "that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be perfected in unity".
  3. Husband and wife are one in unity (one flesh) but remain two separate persons. The disciples one in unity but remain many separate persons. God is one in unity, but remain three separate persons in Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This is the meaning in James 2:19 "You believe that God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) is one (HEN = unified). You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder."
  4. "Since He said 'one' thing, let the heretics understand that He did not say 'one' person. For one placed in the neuter, intimates the social concord, not the personal unity. . . . Moreover, that He says one, has reference to the agreement, and to the identity of judgment, and to the loving association itself, as reasonably the Father and Son are one in agreement, in love, and in affection." (Novatian, Treatise Concerning the Trinity, chapter 27, 225 BC)
  5. This doesn't help Arians one bit, for the expression, "I and the Father are one" is clearly intended by Jesus to be taken as a claim of equality with the Father.



Rebuttal #2 by Anti-Trinitarian Modalists (United Pentecostal Church, UPCI)

If unity of purpose is all that is meant by "I and the Father are one", the Jews would not stone Jesus, for Moses was one in purpose with God in the Old Testament.

Anti-Trinitarian rebuttal refuted

Jesus said more than "I and the Father are one". Jesus also said, "My Father", Yet the Jews replied in John 8:41 "we have one Father, even God." So Jesus calling God his Father was not viewed by them as fundamentally offensive or a claim of Deity. It is the statements like: "I give eternal life to MY sheep" combined with the other statements that caused the Jews to view, "I and the Father are one" to be a claim of deity! We have not problem admitting that taken by itself, "I and the Father are one" would not likely be viewed as a claim of deity, but taken together with the other statements, it certainly was. Jesus clearly made claims that only deity would claim and the Jews got the distinct impression that Jesus was claiming to be God. "You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God." A claim Jesus DID NOT DENY!



Anti-Trinitarian rebuttal #3

The Jews mistakenly thought that Jesus was claiming to be God and that is why they wanted to stone him.

Anti-Trinitarian rebuttal refuted

In fact the Jews wanted to stone Jesus for two things: blasphemy and making himself out to be God. Did they also misunderstand the blasphemy... that Jesus "gives eternal life" to men? Not at all! In fact they fully understood this to be something only God can do. Only God is the source of eternal life!

But if you stop and think about this Jesus had done too good a selling job teaching the Jews he was more than an ordinary man. When Jesus says to the Jews "you are not my sheep" was this because they had too high an opinion of Jesus? Talk about overdoing the Job! This means that the Jews first impression of Jesus was too high, rather than too low! Jesus might have said to them, "downgrade your first impression of who you think I, (THE God) to what I really am (a god)". Only a Jehovah's Witness could think this makes sense! Remember, the Jews were expecting the messiah. A prophet designated by God who could perform miracles was a well accepted long-standing tradition. But Jehovah's Witnesses would have us believe that Jesus was unable to convey Himself in a way that would not confuse his listeners that he was not divine! They would not stone him for even being a created angel. They believed in angels! So again we say, it is ridiculous for to suggest that the Jews "were not Jesus' sheep" because they walked away with the impression that Jesus was more than he claimed to be rather than less. They fully understood what Jesus was saying, but rejected Jesus claims of being God!



Anti-Trinitarian rebuttal #4

 "I and the Father are one" is not a claim of deity.

Anti-Trinitarian rebuttal refuted

Then why did the Jews interpret it that way? Whose fault was it? The Jews for misunderstanding, or Jesus' for being a poor teacher? No! The Jews correctly understood this to be a claim of death!



Anti-Trinitarian rebuttal #5

All Jesus was really claiming is that Jesus was "in step with God", not that He was divine.

Anti-Trinitarian rebuttal refuted

This makes no sense because the Jews thought that they were "in step with God". At the very worst, they would have viewed him as the new kid on the block, as competition on an equal playing field as creatures. The fact they wanted to stone him shows they thought Jesus was claiming to be God. The Jews were accustomed to inspired prophets and angels who were "in step with God". If this is all he were saying, they never would have wanted to stone him. They wanted to stone him because he was making a claim of deity that no man or angel had ever made before!



Anti-Trinitarian rebuttal #6

We note there is no article before the theon (God) in 10.33 so this could be translated "a god." The Jews said, "because you being a man make yourself a god." Jesus wasn't claiming to be THE God.

Anti-Trinitarian rebuttal refuted

Then the Jews correctly understood what Jesus was teaching and this was exactly what Jehovah's Witnesses believe, yet they still wanted to stone Him! This would prove that Jesus WAS claiming to be A GOD. Sounds like Jn 10:33 it is right out of the Watchtower! Jehovah's Witnesses are illogical and hypocritical because they want to claim the Jews misunderstood Jesus on one hand, yet argue he was merely claiming to be "A GOD" on the other. The truth is Jesus was claiming to be equal to the Father, and that is why they wanted to stone Jesus.



Anti-Trinitarian rebuttal #7

 Does not Jesus' own use of the Bible show there are other "gods" or degrees of being "god"? How can one argue that Jesus thought himself The God when he only claims to the "the Son of God"?

Anti-Trinitarian rebuttal refuted

Now we see the full acceptance of the false doctrine of Henotheism that Jehovah's Witnesses believe. The ugly thorn bush of the Jehovah's Witnesses polytheism is forced into full light! Remember the expression "sons of God" is used 6 times in the Old Testament in addition to "sons of the most high" in Ps 82:6. Full discussion of henotheism refuted.



Anti-Trinitarian rebuttal #8

John records what the Jews mistakenly thought, not what Jesus was actually teaching. The Jews misunderstood many things and John merely records this misconception.

Anti-Trinitarian rebuttal refuted

It has completely escaped the notice of Arians that there are no examples of where Matthew, Mark Luke or John ever record a misconception without pointing out that it was an error. Jn 21:22-23 is an example of where a misconception was corrected by John, the narrator. When they thought Jesus was a spirit after resurrection, (Like Jehovah's Witnesses believe) Jesus corrected them: Jn 24:39. John 5:18 is not an example of uncorrected error with regards to the charge Jesus broke the Sabbath.




 By Steve Rudd


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