What did Isaac Newton
believe
?

1.  Isaac Newton believed in a Creator.

In the General Scholium to his famous Principia, Newton wrote these statements about a Creator:

“This most beautiful System of the Sun, Planets and Comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful being.” 

“This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all: And on account of his dominion he is wont to be called Lord God παντοκρáτωρ or Universal Ruler.” 

 “The supreme God is a Being eternal, infinite, absolutely perfect".

 

In his other famous work, Opticks, Newton concludes with a series of questions about design in nature:  

 

"Whence is it that Nature doth nothing in vain & whence arises all that beauty that we see in the world? . . . How come the bodies of animals to be contrived with so much art, & for what ends were their several parts?"

"Was the eye contrived without skill in Opticks or the ear without the knowledge of sounds? How do the motions of the body follow from the will, and whence is the instinct in animals? . . ."

"Does it not appear from phenomena that there is a Being incorporeal living intelligent, omnipresent, who in infinite space, as it were in his sensory, sees the things themselves intimately & thoroughly perceives them and comprehends them wholly by their immediate presence to himself … And tho’ every true step made in this Philosophy brings us not immediately to the knowledge of the first cause, yet it brings us nearer to it, & on that account is to be highly valued."

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2.  Isaac Newton believed the Bible was of Divine origin.

Yahuda Ms 1.1, folio 2r  (Original at the National Library of Israel, Jerusalem, Israel) 

Transcription of above passage (with modernised spelling and underlining added):

". . . the judgment of the multitude, for so thou shalt certainly be deceived.  But search the scriptures thy self & that by frequent reading & constant meditation upon what thou readest & earnest prayer to God to enlighten thine understanding if thou desirest to find the truth.  Which if thou shalt at length attain thou wilt value above all other treasures in the world by reason of the assurance & vigour it will add to thy faith & steady satisfaction to thy mind which he only can know how to estimate who shall experience it."

Yahuda Ms 1.1, folio 2r  (Original at the National Library of Israel, Jerusalem, Israel) 

In fact, Newton is famous for his rejection of the Trinity doctrine and most of his biographers comment on this. (For example, Professor Richard Westfall writes about this at length in Never At Rest: A Biography of Isaac Newton, published in 1980 by Cambridge University Press, as does Professor Robert Iliffe in his work, Priest of Nature, the Religious Worlds of Isaac Newton, published in 2017 by Oxford University Press.)

3.  Isaac Newton did not believe in the Trinity.

Yahuda Ms 1.4, folio 158r  (Original at The National Library of Israel, Jerusalem, Israel) 

Yahuda Ms 1.4, folio 158r  (Original at the National Library of Israel, Jerusalem, Israel) 

Transcription of above passage (with modernised spelling & underlining added):

"obviate the great Apostacy.  That Apostacy was to begin by corrupting the truth about the relation of the Son to the Father in putting them equal & therefore God began this prophecy with a demonstration of the true relation showing the Son's subordination".

Yahuda Ms 21, “Exposition on 2 Kings 17:15,16,” folio 5r  (Original at The National Library of Israel, Jerusalem, Israel. 

Transcription of above passage (with modernised spelling & underlining added):

"“… whom they carried away from thence. Now the Lord which these nations were here taught to fear was most plainly the true God: first because the name by which he is called in the Hebrew is Jehovah a name given to none but the true God: for in verse 28 it is said that one of the Priests whom they carried away from Samaria came & dwelt in Samaria & taught them how they should fear Jehovah, & in verse 32 So they feared Jehovah & made unto themselves of the lowest of them priests, & in verse 33 they feared Jehovah & served their own Gods & lastly in verse 41 So these nations feared Jehovah & served their graven images.”

4.  Isaac Newton used the Divine Name.

5.  Isaac Newton wrote about the exalted position of Jesus.

Yahuda Ms Ms.15.4, folio 67r  (Original at The National Library of Israel, Jerusalem, Israel.) 

Transcription of above passage (with modernised spelling & circling added):

7.   That Jesus was beloved of God before the foundation of the world & had glory with the father before the world began & was the principle of the creation of God, the Agent by whom God created this world & who is now gone to prepare another place or mansion for the blessed; for in God's house there are many mansions, & God does nothing by himself which he can do by another.

8   That Jesus is the seed of the woman who should bruise the serpent’s head, the Shiloh predicted by Jacob, the Prophet predicted by Moses, the Paschal Lamb, the son of David whose throne should be established for ever, the son of God mentioned in the Psalms, the son of Man predicted in Daniel’s prophecy of the four Beasts, the Messiah predicted in Daniel’s prophecy of the weeks, the Prince of Princes predicted in Daniel’s prophecy of the Ram & He Goat, the great Prince Michael mentioned in the end of Daniel & in the Apocalypse, & the Word or Oracle of God whose testimony is the spirit of prophecy.

6.  Isaac Newton wrote that Christianity had become corrupted.

Yahuda Ms Ms. 7.3e, folio 5r  (Original at The National Library of Israel, Jerusalem, Israel.) 

Transcription of above passage (with modernised spelling & underlining added):

“the Roman Empire before the end of the fourth century became very heretical, that is, in the language of Cyprian & the primitive Christians it became very antichristian.  Which change of religion from heathen to Christian & from Christian to Antichristian being one of the greatest revolutions which ever happened in the Roman Empire deserved here to be explained.  For this is that Apostasy which St Paul calls ye man of sin & ye son of perdition .... It began to work in the Apostles days, & was to continue till the second coming of Christ & therefore is now in being.”

6.  Isaac Newton wrote that Christianity had been corrupted.

6.   Isaac Newton believed Christianity had been corrupted.

Transcription of above passage (with modernised spelling & underlining added):

“At the same time with the invocation of dead men & the superstitious use of the sign of the cross & the consecrating of all things by it & placing a virtue in things so consecrated, came in the going on pilgrimage in crowds to the sepulcher of Christ & the shrines of the saints, & the placing religion in abstinence from lawful meats & marriage, the consecration of virgins, the celibacy of the clergy, the praying by stones or beads, & many other superstitions....”

7.  Isaac Newton believed the soul is mortal.

Yahuda Ms Ms. 7.2e, folio 4v  (Original at The National Library of Israel, Jerusalem, Israel.) 

Transcript of Yahuda Ms. 7.2e, folio 4v:

“That the resurrection from the dead is called living again & therefore between death & the resurrection men do not live.  That men are rewarded at Christ’s coming not before.”

“Paradoxical Questions concerning the morals & actions of Athanasius & his followers” - William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, UCLA

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Transcription of “Paradoxical Questions”

“Now according to the tenour of these texts of scripture the first Christians placed all the dead in Hades, that is, not in hell as we corruptly translate the word, but in the land of darkness & silence as the old testament sometimes expresseth it.”

Information on further of Newton's beliefs to come....