Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

Unveiling Ibn Anwar Part 2

Sam Shamoun

We continue with our analysis of Ibn Anwar’s misquotes.

Ibn Anwar cites the New Catholic Encyclopedia and follows it up with some questions:  

In fact, Dr. White somewhat seems to be echoing the words of the Catholic encyclopedia which says regarding the Trinity,

“There is the recognition on the part of exegetes and Biblical theologians, including a constantly growing number of Roman Catholics, that one should not speak of Trinitarianism in the New Testament without serious qualification. There is also the closely parallel recognition on the part of historians of dogma and systematic theologians that when one does speak of an unqualified Trinitarianism, one has moved from the period of Christian origins to, say, the last quadrant of the 4th century. It was only then that what might be called the definitive Trinitarian dogma ‘One God in three Persons’ became thoroughly assimilated into Christian life and thought … it was the product of 3 centuries of doctrinal development.” [2] (emphasis added)

So who brought and defined the Trinity? Which or what Prophet? NONE! This doctrine was developed by men who are now regarded by mainstream Christians as Church Fathers or early Christian theologians at the expanse of other concepts that existed at that time that are now deemed heretical. One cannot help but compromise strict adherence to the so called idea of sola scriptura(only scripture) in order to arrive at the Trinity. For if you only went by scripture without the assistance of theologians you will miss the Trinity and may come up with other strange doctrines concerning God. Thus, the Trinity depends on the tradition of men which is rather ironic for the Protestants who oppose Catholocism [sic] because of its dependance [sic] on the “tradition of men”.

[2] The New Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume XIV. p. 295

The problem with Ibn Anwar’s reference is that there is nothing about the Trinity on that page. The entries on this particular page are: UNDERSTANDING, GIFT OF and UNDSET, SIGRID.

The articles concerning the Trinity are found on pp. 187-208. But that is the least of his problems since the encyclopedia doesn’t even contain the quotation that Ibn Anwar mentions!(1)


In a long tradition with roots in the early patristic period, Christian writers have identified certain revelations of God in the Old Testament (OT) as containing representations or foreshadowings of the Trinity. In the strict sense, however, God is not explicitly revealed as Trinity in the OT. In the New Testament (NT) the oldest evidence of this revelation is in the Pauline epistles, especially2 Cor 13.13, and 1 Cor 12.4-6. In the Gospels much of the evidence of the Trinity has to do with the revelation of the relation between the Father and the Son. The only direct statement of Trinitarian revelation is the baptismal formula of Mt 28.19.

In the Old Testament. On account of the polytheistic religions of Israel’s pagan neighbors, it was necessary for the teachers of Israel to stress the oneness of God. In many places of the OT, however, expressions are used in which some of the Fathers of the Church saw references or foreshadowings of the Trinity. The personified use of such terms as the Word of God [Ps 32(33).6] and the SPIRIT OF GOD (Is 63.14) reflects poetic license, though it does show a sense for a self-communication of God to the world in which the divine force is distinct from God, is not part of the world, and is not a being intermediate between God and the world. Such language shows that the minds of God’s people were being prepared for the concepts that would be involved in the forthcoming revelation of the doctrine of the Trinity.

In the New Testament. The revelation of the truth of the triune life of God was first made in the NT, where the earliest references to it are in the Pauline Epistles. The doctrine is most easily seen in St. Paul’s recurrent use of the terms God, Lord, and Spirit. What makes his use of these terms so significant is that they appear against a strictly monotheistic background.        

In the Pauline Epistles. The clearest instance of this usage is found in 2 Cor 13:13, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” The grammatical usage in this blessing, especially the subjective genitive tou kyriou ‘Iesou Christou... tou theou... hagiou pneumatos gives us a basis not only for the distinction of persons, but also for their equality inasmuch as all the benefits are to flow from the one Godhead.

Another example of Paul’s probable reference to the Trinity by his use of the triad, Spirit, Lord, God, can be seen in 1 Cor 12:4-6. Here, in speaking of the spiritual gifts or charisms that are bestowed upon Christians, he says, “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of ministries, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of workings, but the same God, who works all things in all.” This passage witnesses to the doctrine of the Trinity by ascribing the various charisms, viz, gifts, ministries, and workings, to the Spirit, the Lord (the Son), and God (the Father), respectively. Since all these charisms of their very nature demand a divine source, the three Persons are put on a par, thus clearly indicating their divine nature while at the same time maintaining the distinction of persons.    

In the Gospels. The only place in the Gospels where the three divine Persons are explicitly mentioned together is in St. Matthew’s account of Christ’s last command to His Apostles, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (Mt 28.19). In this commission Christ commands the Apostles to baptize all men “in the name of” the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The expression “in the name of” (eis to onoma, literally, “into the name”) indicates a dedication or consecration to the one named. Thus Christian baptism is a dedication or consecration to God–Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Since the Son and the Holy Spirit are mentioned here on a par with the Father, the passage clearly teaches that they are equally divine with the Father, who is obviously God. These words testify to the belief of the Apostolic Church in a doctrine of three Persons in one God.

The accounts of THE BAPTISM OF THE LORD as described in Mt 3.13-17; Mk 1.9-11; Lk 3.21-22; Jn 1.32-34 have been understood by older scholars as indications of the doctrine of the Trinity. Modern scholars, however, see rather in these accounts references to the authoritative anointing of Jesus as the Messiah. Yet in the light of the fullness of revelation, the possibility is not to be excluded that the Evangelists had the doctrine of the Trinity in mind when they described this event. (Underline emphasis ours)

Seeing that this encyclopedia claims that the Trinity is revealed in the NT this leads me to suspect that Ibn Anwar hasn’t actually read this source for himself but simply lifted this misquotation from some anti-Trinitarian website or book.(1)

Nor is this the only reference work that Ibn Anwar misquotes or only partially quotes! Here is what he cites from the Encyclopedia Britannica.

The Encyclopedia Brittanica tells us that, “…in Christian doctrine, the unity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as three persons in one Godhead. Neither the word Trinity nor the explicit doctrine appears in the New Testament, nor did Jesus and his followers intend to contradict the Shema in the Old Testament. The doctrine developed gradually over several centuries and through many controversies…” [3] (emphasis added)

[3] Encyclopaedia Britannica, Volume 11. p. 928

Ibn Anwar should have mentioned that this comes from the New Encyclopedia Britannica.

However, Ibn Anwar (or the source from which he lifted this quote) conveniently omitted a very important part of the reference which helps to put things in perspective: 

Trinity, in Christian doctrine, the unity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as three persons in one Godhead.

Neither the word Trinity nor the EXPLICIT doctrine appears in the New Testament, nor did Jesus and his followers intend to contradict the Shema in the Hebrew Scriptures: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord” (Deuteronomy 6:4). The earliest Christians, however, had to cope with the implications of the coming of Jesus Christ and of the presumed presence and power of God among them—i.e., the Holy Spirit, whose coming was connected with the celebration of the Pentecost. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were associated in such New Testament passages as the Great Commission: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19); and in the apostolic benediction: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Corinthians 13:14). THUS, THE NEW TESTAMENT ESTABLISHED THE BASIS FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY. (Source; capital and italic emphasis ours)

So even though this reference work claims that the DOCTRINE of the Trinity does not EXPLICITLY appear in the NT it didn’t stop there since it goes on to say that the NT establishes the basis for it!   

Ibn Anwar again misquotes another source!

Shirley Guthrie who is a professor of Systematic Theology at Columbia Theological Seminary puts it even more bluntly,

“The Bible does not teach the doctrine of the Trinity. Neither the word “Trinity” itself nor such language as “one-in-three”, “three-in-one, one “essence” (or “substance”), and three “persons” is biblical language. The language of the doctrine is the language of the church taken from classical Greek philosophy… The doctrine of the Trinity is not found in the Bible…” [7]

[7] Shirley C. Guthrie. Christian Doctrine(1994). Louisville, Westminster: John Knox Press. p. 76-80 

Ibn Anwar gives the misleading impression that this is another author who denies that the Holy Bible teaches and affirms the glorious and majestic Trinity.  

However, here is what Guthrie actually said in context:

“The Bible does not teach the doctrine of the Trinity. Neither the word ‘trinity’ itself nor such language as ‘one-in-three’, ‘three-in-one’, one ‘essence’ (or ‘substance’), and three ‘persons’ is biblical language. The language of the doctrine is the language of the church taken from classical Greek philosophy. BUT THE CHURCH DID NOT SIMPLY INVENT THIS DOCTRINE. It used the language and concepts available to it to interpret WHAT THE BIBLE ITSELF SAYS ABOUT WHO GOD IS AND HOW GOD IS PRESENT AND AT WORK IN THE WORLD. Although the Scripture does not teach the doctrine itself, it says some things about God THAT MADE THE DOCTRINE NECESSARY.” (Pp. 76-77; capital emphasis ours)


“The doctrine of the Trinity is not found in the Bible. But the Bible does speak of the one God who is present and at work in three ways. What is the meaning of this ‘one’ and this ‘three’? How are the three unified yet distinct in who they are and what they say and do? THESE ARE THE QUESTIONS THAT LED TO THE CHURCH’S DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY. It is as important for us modern Christians as it was for ancient Christians to struggle with this doctrine NOT ONLY BECAUSE SCRIPTURE ITSELF LIES BEHIND IT but also because we too have to contend with the charge of Jews and other ‘monotheists’ who believe that we Christians are ‘polytheists’ who believe in three Gods.” (Pp. 80-81; capital emphasis ours)

And this is what this very same author wrote concerning the Deity of the Lord Jesus and his relationship to God the Father:

God the Son

Who is this one true God? The first Christians could not talk about the God of Israel who was their God too without talking about a man named Jesus. They did not speak of Jesus’ “deity” or “divinity,” nor did they speculate theoretically about his divine “nature” or “essence.” They thought about what Jesus did. Here is a man who acts like God, does what ONLY God can do. He speaks with absolute authority that belongs ONLY to God–even to the extent of calling into question the ethical teachings the people believed to be the will of God made known to Moses. He heals and raises the dead with the life-giving power that belongs ONLY to God. He dares to forgive sin as ONLY God has the right to do. He speaks and acts as if his coming means that the kingdom of God is breaking into the world. He speaks and acts as Judge, Reconciler, Redeemer, Liberator, and Lord over life and death. It is not surprising that religious people of his day accused him of blasphemy: he claimed that in what he said and did God was speaking and acting.

During Jesus’ lifetime, his disciples were confused and uncertain about what all this meant. After his death and resurrection it became clearer to them. They still did not try to explain it, but they now confess that the risen Jesus is “Lord” and “Savior” who is “far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named” (Eph. 1:21). That is, they now give Jesus the same names, the same authority, the same saving power THAT THEY HAD RESERVED FOR GOD.

The New Testament does not solve the problem. But it gives a clue that helped the ancient church in its later struggle to find a solution as it moved toward what became the doctrine of the Trinity. According to the New Testament, we must speak of both unity and a distinction between God and Jesus. (Pp. 78-79; capital and underline emphasis ours)

She further states:

Unity with God

On the one hand, Jesus is Immanuel, “God with us” (Matt. 1:23). According to John 1, in Jesus the “Word” that from ALL ETERNITY was God has come to dwell among us in a flesh and blood man. Jesus himself can say “The Father and I are one” (John 10:30) and “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). According to Colossians 2:9, “in him the whole fulness of deity dwells bodily.” In Jesus we have to do with God, not just a great and good man sent from God, or a prophet, or an angel. If we want to know who God is and what God does, we have to look at this man Jesus and what he does.

Distinction within God

On the other hand neither the eternal Word nor the man Jesus is simply identical with God. John 1:1 says the Word was with God, suggesting that the two can be distinguished from one another. According to Jesus himself, the Son is not the same as the Father; he is sent by the Father, and his sonship is in obedience “to do the will of him who sent me and to complete his work” (John 4:34). “The Son can do nothing on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing” (John 5:19). These and other similar passages suggest that if we want to know who God is and what God is like we have to look at Jesus. But we also have to distinguish between the Father who “sends” and the Son who is “sent,” between the will of the Father and the Son who does the Father’s will. 

Could it be that the solution to understanding the problem of confessing one God yet confessing Jesus as God-with-us lies in trying to understand both the unity and the distinction between Father and Son? That is the way the ancient church tackled the problem... (Pp. 79-80; capital and underline emphasis ours) 

And here is what she writes in regards to the Holy Spirit and the Trinity:

God the Holy Spirit

Just as the first Christians could not talk about the one God who is the God of Israel and their God too without talking about the “Word” or the “Son” of God, so they could not talk about their God without talking about the Holy Spirit. The same God who is God over us as God the Father and Creator, and God with and for us as the incarnate Word and Son, is also God in and among us as God the Holy Spirit. But how are we to understand this Spirit? On the one hand, the Spirit is the Spirit of God (1 Cor. 2:11; 6:11; 7:40). On the other hand, the Spirit is the Spirit of the Son (John 14:16; Rom. 8:9; 2 Cor. 3:17). In John 14:15-18 Jesus promises his disciples that he will pray to the Father to send “another Advocate ... the Spirit of truth” to be with them, but then says “I am coming to you.” Is the Spirit the Spirit of the Father or the Spirit of the Son–or a third party (the “Advocate”) besides the Father and the Son? Is what the Holy Spirit wills and says and does the same thing, something additional to, or even perhaps something different from what the Father and the Son will and say and do? That is not only a very important question for all Christians who seek the guidance of the Spirit, but also a very important question for Christians who believe in one God, yet want to talk about God as Father and Son and Holy Spirit. Could it be that the answer lies in thinking about the both the unity and the distinction between the three? That is the way the ancient church thought about it as it worked out the doctrine of the Trinity.

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

All the questions raised by the “three names” of God become all the more pressing when we look at the numerous passages in the New Testament in which the Father (or God), Christ (or the Lord), and the Spirit are mentioned together. Look for instance at the following passages: Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:13; Eph. 4:4-6; 1 Cor. 12:4. (P. 80; underline emphasis ours)

It is apparent from these quotations that Ibn Anwar has confused the explicit formulation of the doctrine of the Trinity with the Biblical revelation of the Trinity. He erroneously assumes that the Trinity cannot be a Biblical teaching if the Holy Bible doesn’t use the precise language which subsequent generations of Christians used to categorize and explain what the inspired Scriptures teach concerning the unity of God and the relationship between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 

In light of his confusing the two issues together it is now time to turn the tables on Ibn Anwar to see whether his Islamic beliefs can stand up to his own criticisms and objections.


Islam and the Doctrine of Tauhid

Even though Muslims such as Ibn Anwar have been led to believe that Islam upholds the absolute unity of God (otherwise known as the doctrine of Tauhid) the fact is that neither the word Tauhid nor its precise formulation appears either in the Quran or in the traditions attributed to Muhammad.    

In fact, Muslim authorities have readily admitted that the word Tauhid and its various subsets were only coined and developed centuries after Muhammad’s death and were therefore unknown to him and his companions.

What makes this all the more ironic is that Tauhid literally means to unite, and therefore presupposes that Allah is actually a plurality of some kind!

Tauhiyd comes from the verb wahhad which literally means TO UNITE. In Islamic terminology, it means to realize and maintain the unity of Allâh in one's actions (inwardly and outwardly). The actual word tauhiyd does not occur in the Quran or Sunnah though the present tense of the verb (from which tauhiyd is derived) is used in Sunnah. The Prophet sent Muadh ibn Jabal as governor of Yemen in 9 A.H. He told him, "You will going to the people of the book, so first invite yuwahhidu Allâh [them to the assertion of the oneness of Allâh]".[1]

Further, the division of tauhiyd into the components known to us today WERE NOT DONE BY THE PROPHET OR HIS COMPANIONS. It was systematically defined as such in order to convey, as concisely as possible, the simple unitarian belief of Islam. This was necessary because as Islam quickly spread to the four corners of the world, new converts began to interpret the teachings of Islam in line with their own philosophical concepts of Allâh and so confusion arose. Preconceived interpretations, all of which are blameworthy, were propagated by those who wanted to destroy Islam from the inside. The first such enemy of Islam was an Iraqi convert from Christianity named Sausan who preached man's absolute free will while denying (qadr) Divine Decree[2]. His student, Ma`bad ibn Khalid al-Juhani[3], spread such deviant ideas until he was tried and executed by the Umayyad Caliph. There were three other such executions over the period of 26 years. The later Umayyad Caliphs were relatively more corrupt and cared less about such religious issues. At the same time, the masses were also relatively less educated about their religion. This proved to be a deadly combination. As the number of deviants increased through the liberation of various lands, apostates were no longer executed. Instead, Muslim scholars rose to execute the tide of heretics intellectually. Tauhiyd, precisely defined, EMERGED OUT OF THIS DEFENSE STRATEGY. Tauhiyd had been divided into the three following categories: tauhiyd ar-rububiyah, tauhiyd al-asma was-sifaat, and tauhiyd al-`ibadah or tauhiyd al-`uluuhiyah. Tauhiyd has been likened to a tree, the roots being tauhiyd ar-rububiyah, the trunk being tauhiyd al-asma was-sifaat, and the fruit being tauhiyd al-`ibadah. Each category of tauhiyd will now be discussed in some detail. (The Concept of Tauhiyd in Islam, 7 October 2005; bold and capital emphasis ours)



Definition and Categories:

Islam believes in ‘Tawheed’ which is not merely monotheism i.e. belief in one God, but much more. Tawheed LITERALLY MEANS ‘UNIFICATION’ i.e. ‘asserting oneness’ and is derived from the Arabic verb ‘Wahhada’ which means TO UNITE, UNIFY OR CONSOLIDATE. (Concept of God; bold and capital emphasis ours)

Isn’t it ironic that the very word which Muslims coined to denote absolute monotheism bespeaks of plurality and unification? Instead of pointing to Allah’s singularity Tauhid actually points to Allah being a plurality-within-unity, a unified being composed of separate and distinct aspects! Thus, the word Tauhid actually demonstrates that in some sense the Islamic deity is more than one.

Suffice it to say not all Muslims are happy with dividing Tauhid into three categories. In fact, some Muslims are rather quite vocal that this is nothing more than an innovation and perversion of Muhammad’s teaching!

Or consider the seventy-three-page "introduction" to volume one of this same translation, a tract that explains the Muslim Trinity: Tawhid al-Rububuyya, Tawhid al-Uluhiyya, and Tawhid al-Asma wa al-Sifat—the (1) Tawhid of Lordship, (2) Tawhid of Godhood, and (3) Tawhid of Names and Attributes. By way of preface to it, Dr. Khan notes that many Western converts enter Islam without knowing what belief in the Oneness of Allah really means. He clarifies that tawhid is not one; namely, to say and believe the shahada of Islam with complete conviction—as it was from the time of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) until the advent of Ibn Taymiya seven centuries later—as new converts might imagine, but must now be three in order to be one, and cannot be one without being three. While such logic may be already familiar to converts from Christianity, Imam Bukhari (d. 256/870) certainly never knew anything of it, and its being printed as an "introduction" to his work seems to me to qualify as "tampering with classical texts"—aside from being a re-form of traditional ‘aqida, in which Islam, in the words of the Prophet of Islam (Allah bless him and give him peace), "is to testify that there is no god except Allah, and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah …" (Sahih Muslim, 1.37: 8). (Nuh Ha Mim Keller, Question 3, Re-Forming Classical Texts: As far as Wahhabi tamperings with classical texts goes, how widespread is this heinous crime? Can you give some serious examples of this?; bold emphasis ours)

Another noted Sunni scholar claims:

It is related by al-Harawi from Imam al-Shafi`i, that he said, Imam Malik was asked about kalam (Theological rhetoric) and tawhid, so Malik said:

"It is foolishness to think about the Prophet, that he taught this Umma about istinja (cleaning after relieving oneself), but he did not teach them tawhid. And tawhid is what the Prophet said:

‘I was commanded to fight the people until they say: There is no Deity worthy of worship besides Allah.’" [Quoted in Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim]

This report is true and its meaning undisputed. It shows that tawhid is One, NOT THREE. Its splitting into three IS ONE OF THE INNOVATIONS OF MISGUIDANCE that created fitna among the Muslims and is reminiscent of the Byzantine disputations. It is strange that some are still confused over this. (Shaykh Gibril Foaud Haddad, "Salafi" Tamperings of Classical Texts – The ‘Aqida of the Imams, (2) Tampered Report - Imam Malik And Istawa; bold and capital emphasis ours)

And in his criticism of Ibn Taymiyya Haddad writes:

His Invention of a Double or Triple Tawhîd

Also among Ibn Taymiyya's kalâm innovations was his division of tawhîd into two types: tawhîd al-rubûbiyya and tawhîd al-ulûhiyya, respectively, Oneness of Lordship and Oneness of Godhead. The first, he said, consisted in the acknowledgment of Allâh as the Creator of all, a belief shared by believers and non-believers alike. The second, he said, was the affirmation of Allâh as the one true deity and only object of worship, a belief exclusive to believers. His natural conclusion was that "whoever does not know tawhîd al-ulûhiyya, his knowledge of tawhîd al-rubûbiyya is not taken into account because the idolaters also had such knowledge." He then compared the scholars of kalâm to the Arab idol-worshippers who accepted tawhîd al-rubûbiyya but ignored tawhîd al-ulûhiyya! This dialectic was imitated by Ibn Abî al-`Izz in his commentary on al-Tahâwî's `Aqîda. (Ahmad ibn Taymiyya (661-728) A Brief Survey)

Despite this candid admission that such terms and concepts were unknown to Muhammad and his followers we are going to insist that Ibn Anwar be consistent and quote Quranic references where all of these doctrines are mentioned by name explicitly; otherwise we are going to have to assume that the Muslim scripture doesn’t endorse such theological distortions (actually it doesn’t since it teaches that there is more than one god!).

So we need to ask Ibn Anwar the following questions. Who invented this innovation of Tauhid? Who is actually responsible for adopting this word and breaking it down into three distinct categories? And which specific prophet of the true God ever used this word or referred to its three distinct classifications?

The answer? NONE! NOT EVEN THE FALSE PROPHET MUHAMMAD TAUGHT TAUHID OR CLASSIFIED IT INTO THREE SEPARATE WAYS! This doctrine was developed by men who are regarded by Salafi Muslims as authorities and scholars at the expense of other concepts that existed at that time that are now deemed heretical, i.e. the views of the Kharijites, Mutazilites, Asharites, Maturidites, Jahmiyyites, Qadarites, Murjiites etc. One cannot help but compromise strict adherence to the so called idea of the perspicuity of the Quran and the supposed all-comprehensive nature of Muhammad’s sunna in order to arrive at Tauhid. For if you only went by these sources without the assistance of a particular school of Muslim theology twisting the Islamic sources you will miss Tauhid and may come up with other strange doctrines concerning God. Thus, Tauhid and its threefold classification depends on the traditions of men which is rather ironic since Salafi Muslims who oppose other branches of Sunni Islam as well as Islamic sects such as Shia Muslims because of their dependence on the “traditions of men” as opposed to deriving their beliefs from the Salaf. And yet the Salafi belief in Tauhid and its three subsets, which are supposed to be the core essential doctrine of Islam, turn out to be nothing more than the traditions and innovations of men!

Related Articles

If anyone is interested in seeing the clear evidence which shows that Islam does not teach absolute monotheism we recommend going to the following links:

And looking under all of these sections:

Theological Issues

Quranic Issues

Analysis of Muhammad

Responses to Muslim authors

Make sure to also look through our replies to various Muslim authors and polemicists which can be found here.


(1) It seems that Ibn Anwar may have lifted these quotes from the following Muslim polemicist, who in turn may have “borrowed” them from this other Muslim apologist.

This perhaps also explains why I couldn’t find Ibn Anwar’s quote from the New Catholic Encyclopedia (NCE) since I checked the 2003 edition. Al-Kadhi published his book in 1995 and could have only referenced the first edition of the NCE, from 1967, which is what he clearly says he did:

In “The New Catholic Encyclopedia” (with all it’s seals of approval), 1967, p.295, we get a glimpse of how the concept of the trinity was not introduced into Christianity until close to four hundred years after Jesus (pbuh): “.......It is difficult in the second half of the 20th century to offer a clear, objective and straightforward account of the revelation, doctrinal evolution, and theological elaboration of the Mystery of the trinity. Trinitarian discussion, Roman Catholic as well as other, present a somewhat unsteady silhouette. Two things have happened. There is the recognition on the part of exegetes and Biblical theologians, including a constantly growing number of Roman Catholics, that one should not speak of Trinitarianism in the New Testament without serious qualification. There is also the closely parallel recognition on the part of historians of dogma and systematic theologians that when one does speak of an unqualified Trinitarianism, one has moved from the period of Christian origins to, say, the last quadrant of the 4th century. It was only then that what might be called the definitive Trinitarian assimilated into Christian life and thought” (emphasis added). Jesus (pbuh), John, Matthew, Luke, Mark, all of the apostles, and even Paul, were completely unaware of any “trinity.” (What Did Jesus Really Say?, 1.2.5: Historical origin of the “trinity” myth, p. 64)

Although al-Kadhi gives us the date and page number he fails to mention the volume where this quote can be found! Unfortunately, such shoddy research and careless scholarship are characteristic of Islamic apologists.    

As far as this statement goes, assuming that this is an accurate quote there is little to disagree with since it is true that one can find so-called Christian scholars, theologians, historians etc., who would deny that the Christian Greek Scriptures lay the foundation for the doctrine of the Trinity. However, this is simply the logical fallacy of appealing to authority since not all scholars agree. Besides, citing the opinions of so-called scholars is one thing; providing evidence that these scholars’ assertions are correct is another thing altogether.

The inspired Scriptures emphatically and unambiguously affirm the following:

1. There is only one eternal God.

2. There are three Divine Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

3. These three Divine Persons are coeternal and coequal in essence.

These three revealed truths are the very foundation upon which the doctrine of the Holy Trinity is based. Therefore, one has to first adequately deal with and address the overwhelming and massive amount of Biblical data supporting the Trinity before running to scholars for help.