How can we ask our Jewish brothers and sisters to believe in God? They already know there is One God and that he chose them to be his people. Not only did he choose them but through them the salvation of the world. It is as Jesus said to a Samaritan woman, ‘Salvation comes from the Jews.’ (John 4:22) Christians throughout the ages have forgotten this simple fact, and their bishops and priests have driven Christians and Jews further apart by making God appear blasphemous to them. Christians have made Jesus appear to be what he denied and what no Jew can believe. They have made Jesus appear to be God beside which there is no other. The reason is this: the doctrine of the Trinity.
The doctrine of the trinity gives rise to the misunderstanding that Jesus Christ is the same being as God in essence and attributes, coequal with his Father in heaven. Hence, the trinity states that there is One God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, or three persons in One God. However, in a Scriptural sense this is not so, neither in the Old or New Testament. God is the One beside which there is no other as the Old and New Testaments verify. This is what Jesus also says, ‘My Father is greater than I.’ Therefore, if God is the greatest of all beings then there is only one God, the Father Almighty as the Apostles Creed confesses.
Who then is Jesus? As the Scriptures say, Jesus is the Son of God, and just as a human son born of his father is MAN or Mankind, so Jesus is Divine or God-kind. But that is very different from saying the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are God, undivided and coequal. A human son born of a king is most certainly the king’s son and flesh of his flesh but he is not the King and there lies the difference between the King’s son and the King. The difference is one of power and pre existence, authority and parentage.
There is a subtle difference between identifying Jesus as God’s Son and for that reason going on to say, he is ‘light of light, true God of true God, begotten not made and of one being with the Father,’ and from this concluding that Jesus is God in exactly the same way as God, the Father is God, for that disregards parentage, pre existence, identity and attributes. Scripture clearly differentiates all of these from the Son who is the Father’s own kind but not the Father’s own identity, omniscience or almighty power.
It is true that the consanguinity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is real because consanguinity means likeness or affinity and of the Son, descent. But these subtle, fine distinctions are more philosophical than theological. The distinctions between Father, Son and Holy Spirit are much more than nominal. They are substantial.
There is a homoousius consanguinity between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The word Homoousius, a Greek word, was used to identify the identical nature or essence of the Father and Son at the Council of Nicea is 325 AD. But the trinity, from which this homoousius consanguinity was finally concluded at the Council of Constantinople in 381, was inappropriate and insubstantial to draw the conclusion that consanguinity means coequalness in attributes, omnipotence or omniscience. A human son may well have the same flesh and blood as his father but that does not mean that he has the same authority, attributes or power. This is the mistake of drawing a conclusion that the Father and Son have the same nature and therefore the same authority, attributes and omniscience. Scripture does not support this conclusion.
The Council of Nicea politicised the early church making it an arm of the empire and all who call themselves Christian governments ever since. The Jews have suffered so much throughout the ages because of their faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. I believe it is time to recognise that those who believe in the Jewish faith are our brothers and sisters and we have much to learn from them. It is from them that the roots of Christian faith grew in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christians forget too, that it was God’s will that Jesus died on the cross for the sins of the world. The high priest at the time prophesied that one must die for the nation. And it took place as he said. But it was also the Jews, the priests and the apostles who believed in his resurrection and the gift of faith that God gave to his chosen people.
I owe so much to the Jewish people. When I was young the person I was employed by was a Jew and a Justice of the peace. He helped me enormously to finance my studies and become a Christian writer. Let the words of Jesus fill our hearts with the truth that salvation comes from the Jews.