DID JESUS TEACH HIS DISCIPLES TRINITARIANISM?
As the search continues for the first Trinitarian in the NT, the next question that comes up is whether Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, founded a Trinitarian faith. This is a scenario which cannot possibly be entertained. Any such teaching on Jesus’ part would not have been consistent with his own strict Unitarian belief. It would have produced disciples rejecting their own Master’s creed. How could Jesus possibly have called on people to “Follow me” whilst instructing them to take a confessional route so different from his own? This would have well and truly separated the sheep from their shepherd right from the outset. Christianity would never have got off the ground.
Furthermore, had Jesus taught Trinitarianism he would have been in hot water with the Father. His disciples were also Jews and as such, like their Master, they were subject to the Old Covenant Mosaic law still in force at the time. By teaching them Trinitarian doctrine Jesus would have effectively been inciting them to disregard that law’s first and greatest commandment. Jesus would thus have made himself a minister of sin. Such an approach to instructing the disciples would not have befitted their perfectly sinless Messiah.
It is therefore most reassuring to discover from Matt 23:1-3 that Jesus was not involved in any nonsense of this kind. Jesus is seen there exhorting his disciples, and anyone else in the crowd who might wish to join their ranks, to be good Mosaic law-abiding Jews. This proves beyond doubt that Jesus’ disciples were taught to retain their Jewish Unitarianism, just as their Master had done (Mark 12:29 cf Deut 6:4).