"O My Lord! Increase me in knowledge!" - Qur'an 20:114
Voltaire on the Trinity 
Translated from Voltaire's Dictionnaire Philosophique
© 1998, 1999, 2000 - MUSLIM ANSWERS
(Note: For those not familiar with Voltaire's style, this entire essay is written tongue-in-cheek, i.e. he is being sarcastic.)


There are heretics who might not be regarded as Christians.  Nevertheless, they recognize Jesus to be saviour and mediator; but they dare to maintain . . .

From all this they conclude that it would be wiser to abide by the authority of the apostles, who never spoke of the Trinity, and to banish from religion for ever all terms which are not in the scriptures, such as Trinity, person, essence, hypostasis, hypostatic and personal union, incarnation, generation, procession, and so many more like them, which, being absolutely meaningless, since they have no real representative in nature, can provoke only false, vague, obscure and incomplete ideas in the understanding.

 Let us add to this article what Dom Calmet says in his dissertation on this passage from the epistle of John the Evangelist:  "There are three who bear witness on earth, the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and the three agree in one.  There are three who bear witness in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Spirit; and these three are one."  Dom Calmet admits that these two passages are not in any ancient "Bible"; and it would indeed have been strange if Saint John had spoken of the Trinity in a letter, without saying a single word about it in his gospel.  No trace of this dogma is to be found in the canonical gospels, nor in the apocryphal ones.  All these reasons could excuse the anti-Trinitarians had the councils not taken their decisions.  But as heretics make light of councils, we are at a loss to know how to confound them.  Let us simply believe and hope that they believe.




*  The Trinitarian Controversy - by William C. Rusch
*  Oneness Pentecostals and the Trinity  - by Gregory A. Boyd
*  A Short History of Christian Thought  - by Linwood Urban

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