American Unitarian Conference

Promoting the American Unitarian Tradition


Back to the Classic Unitarian Writings  page The first edition of this work was a small pamphlet that was published in 1819, during the height of the Unitarian Controversy. Fourteen years later (1833), Mr. Norton made extensive additions to the work and rereleased it. The third edition (1859) was published posthumously with some corrections and additions drawn from Mr. Norton's notes and indices. The translation of Bible verses was also updated to the wording of Mr. Norton's own translation of the Gospels, which was released shortly before that time. This electronic text is of the third edition of the work.

A Statement of Reasons for Not Believing the Doctrines of Trinitarians, Concerning the Nature of God and the Person of Christ (1819, 1833, 1859)

Andrews Norton




Section I: The Purpose of this Work.

Section II:

A. The Proper Modern Doctrine of the Trinity Contradictory in Terms to that of the Unity of God.

B. The Doctrine that Christ is Both God and Man, a Contradiction in Terms.

C. No Pretense that Either Doctrine is Expressly Taught in the Scriptures.

Section III: The Statement that Christ is God Proved to be False from the Scriptures.

Section IV: On the Origin of the Doctrine of the Trinity.

Section V: Concerning the History of the Doctrine of the Hypostatic Union.

Section VI: Difficulties that May Remain in Some Minds Respecting the Passages of Scripture Alleged by Trinitarians.

Section VII: On the Principles of the Interpretation of Language.

Section VIII: Fundamental Principles of Interpretation Violated by Trinitarian Expositors.

Section IX: Explanations of Particular Passages of the New Testament, Adduced by Trinitarians.

Class I: Interpolated and Corrupted Passages.

Class II: Passages Relating to Christ Which have been Mistranslated.

Class III: Passages Relating to God Which have been Incorrectly Applied to Christ.

Class IV: Passages that Might be Considered as Referring to the Doctrine of the Trinity, Supposing it Capable of Proof and Proved, But Which in Themselves Present No Appearance of Any Proof or Intimation of It.

Class V: Passages Relating to the Divine Authority of Christ as the Minister of God, to the Manifestation of Divine Power in His Miracles and in the Establishment of Christianity, and to Christianity Itself, Spoken of Under the Name of Christ, and Considered as a Promulgation of the Laws of God's Moral Government, Which have been Misinterpreted as Proving that Christ Himself is God.

Class VI: Passages Misinterpreted Through Inattention to the Peculiar Characteristics of the Modes of Expression in the New Testament.

Class VII: Passages, in the Senses Applied to Which, Not Merely the Fundamental Rule of Interpretation Explained in Section VIII is Violated, But the Most Obvious and Indisputable Characteristics of Language are Disregarded.

Class IX: The Introduction of St. John's Gospel.

Section X: Illustrations of the Doctrine of the Logos.

Section XI: Conclusion.  



2005 American Unitarian Conference