Reactions to the Trinity

Several of my readers had vivid reactions to the Trinity doctrine as I outlined it last. It must be recognized that this doctrine is not universal among Christians. Some Christians today, as well as Muslims, view the doctrine as polytheistic even in the form it was framed by the Cappadocians. This criticism of the doctrine is as old as the doctrine itself. The Cappadocians in fact tell us that they were accused of creating a doctrine that allowed for the worship of not just three but even four gods.

One of my readers wanted to know what happened to the female, quoting the Genesis story about God's image being male and female. I am writing on this topic for my new book which I'm calling tentatively, You shall be like God: Sex and the Serpent in Early Christianity. Just a brief overview of one of the chapters on the Trinity which I'm writing. The mother was originally part of the Trinity. She was the Holy Spirit. As long as the Christian tradition remained attached to Aramaic traditions, the Spirit's female gender is retained. But once the church moves away from these roots, more and more into Greek (and eventually Latin) where the Spirit is neutered, the mother falls away, or is dismissed. The result is a very awkward doctrine of a Father god who births a son god from which proceeds a nebulous neutered spirit god. My readers are always asking why the "other" gospels and gnostic materials are important. Here is a case in point. They help us to reconstruct the earliest doctrine of the Trinity as it included the female.