modern Christian Theologians believe essentially this: That the One True God in
Heaven Chose to share the human experience for 33 years; that He needed to make
sure that all the other needs in the Universe were provided for during those
years, so He needed to maintain a Presence in Heaven; that He wanted His human
experience to be as "normal" as was possible, so He arranged a Birth
through Mary, and a childhood and early adulthood which did not include His
(earthly) knowledge of Whom He really was (possibly through a Kenosis type
"emptying" of His Knowledge of His True Divinity)l and that His
earthly knowledge only learned of His True Divinity rather late in His human
situation resulted in His human existence, as Jesus, sometimes oddly asking His
Own Divine existence, Whom He called Father, about various things. Early
Christians were confused at why Jesus would want or need to comunicate with . .
. Himself! This was troubling to early Christian leaders and they decided that a
"Trinity concept" was necessary to explain how the One True God could
seem to be talking to Himself!
desired result was that our One True God has existed since before Genesis, and
that necessity required that He remain in Heaven at the same time that He
experienced the human condition. Since God has unlimited capability, He could
certainly do this. At no time has there ever been more than One True God, but we
humans get confused because He seemed to be in more than one place during those
33 years! So, the One True God is firmly back in Heaven, and the Trinity concept
suggests that He may equally be thought of as being One True God or as being
Three rather different experiences that humans have associated with Him, the
Father experienced by ancient Jews, the Son, Jesus, physically experienced by
people of two thousand years ago, and the Holy Spirit experienced by all
believers ever since. The actual result was probably as much confusion as there
had been before the Trinity concept was formulated!
Trinity refers to the Christian understanding of God as a unity of three
persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. All are equally God and so One, each
sharing in the divine attributes of ultimacy, eternity, and changelessness; yet
they are distinguishable in their relations to each other and in their roles
within creaturely and human life and destiny.
doctrine of the Trinity is a postscriptural attempt to bring to coherent
expression diverse affirmations about God, all of which seemed necessary to a
full statement of Christian experience and belief. First, from the Hebrew Scriptures and
the clear tradition of Jesus' teaching, the church affirmed that not only is God
One, but he is also the creative and sovereign Father and thus, by implication,
transcendent of finite limits, time, and change - all of which characterize
it was affirmed that Jesus Christ was more than a great prophet adopted by God;
rather he was "the Son of God," "the Word made flesh," the
divine Logos itself incarnate in a man. Third, the Holy Spirit, from whose
presence the community of believers received their faith, their confidence in
the truth of that faith, their holiness, and, above all, the efficacy of both
baptism and the Eucharist, was necessarily also God - God's presence in their
midst. For Christians, then, the one God appeared in what they called a
threefold "economy," in, so to speak, three forms or modes.
soon emerged in formulating and understanding this threefold
"economy." Divergent views led early to numerous Trinitarian
controversies such as those over subordinationism (the teaching that the
Son is subordinate to the Father and the Holy Spirit to both; see Arianism)
and modalism (the view that the three modes are transitory; see Monarchianism
and Sabellianism). The Councils of Nicaea (325) and Constantinople (381)
outlined the dogma of the Trinity in express rejection of these teachings.
Nicene, or Niceno - Constantinopolitan, Creed has defined through the ages, for
both Catholic (Roman and Orthodox) and Reformation (Lutheran, Reformed, and
Anglican) churches, the basic doctrine of the Trinity.
Catholic and Protestant theology has sought in various ways to make the doctrine
stated at Nicaea comprehensible.
Augustine's lucid analogies of the divine Trinity in our experience of ourselves
as memory, understanding, and will, and in our experience of our own existence
as characterized by being, truth, and love, have been the point of departure for
most subsequent study. In the religious thought of the
Enlightenment (17th and 18th centuries), there was a strong reaction against
Trinitarianism as an "orthodox" mystery without basis in either
experience or reason - this was the view of Unitarianism and Deism
and of much 19th century liberal theology. The great figures of 20th century
theology - Karl Barth, Paul Tillich, and, most recently, Karl Rahner - despite
their diversity of outlook, have again found the Trinity a central, in fact an
unavoidable, structure for expressing the Christian understanding of God.
The early Christian scholars attempted to make sense of many
confusing aspects of Scripture. Many DIFFERENT ideas were proposed and
considered. After a number of generations of those scholars dealing with those
"problems" it became generally accepted that a concept of a Trinity
was able to "best" explain and describe the many situations that
articles in this BELIEVE presentation make it clear that the Trinity is not
directly from Scripture. The articles do, however, point out the numerous
references to "Father" (mostly by Jesus), the "Son" (again,
often by Jesus), and the Holy Spirit (by many sources, including Jesus). We
trust in Jesus' words. He wouldn't have made irrational comments about such
subjects. SOME explanation regarding these three clearly separate concepts seems
necessary, since Scripture makes it so obvious that all Three apparently exist.
Given that both the Old and New Testaments make it absolutely clear that there
is ONE God, those early scholars came up with the Trinity (or Godhead) as being
the "best" available explanation.
the centuries, many alternative explanations have been thought up to explain
their individual Existences, but they have invariably failed, usually because
they would necessitate some other number than "ONE" for how many Gods
this day, the Trinity "seems" to be the "best" explanation.
Concerns about the "un-Scriptural" nature of the Trinity concept are
valid. It is not specifically mentioned in Scripture (although all Three are,
generally separately). Therefore, technically, it IS un-Scriptural, actually
even somewhat "artificial". But the vast majority of modern Christian
scholars do not think that necessarily means that it is wrong. Maybe consider it
a "working" premise! If, some day, someone comes up with a
"better" explanation of the individual Presence of the Holy Spirit,
and Jesus, and the Father, (which we all agree actually exist) while still
confirming that we only have ONE God, maybe we will discard the concept of the
Trinity for that "better" explanation. It's been close to 2000 years
now, and a lot of the world's greatest minds have worked on these difficult
matters, and the Trinity concept still seems to be the "best"
comments are meant to explain why the concept of the Trinity, while being
technically un-Scriptural, is such a central foundation of Christianity. The
article immediately following gives a pretty compelling logical argument for the
concept of the Trinity, with massive Scriptural references.
an observation, I think that Christians tend to confuse themselves by calling
Jesus the SON of God, since He really IS God Himself! Yes, the way that He
entered human society, through Mary, certainly makes central the idea of
"Son of man" and during His human life, even Jesus felt He was
"Son of the Father". But when we get too carried away with the
"Son" concept we tend to forget that He really is, was, and forever
will be, the One and Only True God of the Universe. Jews called Him Jehovah,
Adonai, Elohim, YHWH and many other Names, but always knowing that there is One
True God. Christians call Him Father, or Son or Holy Spirit, but sometimes seem
to forget that He is One! People in other Faiths often criticize Christians for
this, in appearing to be Worshipping "more than one god"! But we
really only have One True God, who was initially called the God of Abraham.
Muslims seem especially forthright in their criticism of Christians about this,
particularly since they worship the very same God of Abraham (Whom they call
Allah) with a clear insistence that He is the One True God. If we Christians
would just get a little more solid on stating that we Worship the One True God
of Abraham, the One True God that Moses told us about in the First Commandment,
we would receive far less criticism for "worshipping more than one
the Trinity is meant the unity of three persons in one Godhead; Father, Son, and
God as one, the Scriptures also ascribe divinity to Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Outline of the Argument
Details of the Argument
Ex 20:3 De 4:35,39 6:4 1Sa 2:2 2Sa 7:22 1Ki 8:60 2Ki 19:15 Ne 9:6
Ps 86:10 Isa 44:6-8 45:22 Jer 10:10 Joe 2:27 Zec 14:9 Mr 12:29 Joh 17:3 Ro
1:21-23 1Co 8:4-6 Ga 3:20 Eph 4:6 1Ti 2:5
De 32:6 2Sa 7:14 1Ch 29:10 Ps 89:26 Isa 63:16 Jer 3:19 Mal 2:10 Mt
6:9 Mr 11:25 Lu 12:30 Joh 4:21,23,24 2Co 6:18 Php 4:20 Jas 1:17 1Jo 2:15,16
Ps 2:1-11 Mt 11:27 25:34 Mr 8:38 14:36 Joh 5:18-23,26,27 Joh
10:15,30 17:1 Ac 2:33 Ro 15:6 1Co 8:6 15:24 2Co 11:31 Ga 1:1-4 Eph 1:2,3 4:5,6
Php 1:2 1Th 3:11,13 2Th 2:16 1Ti 1:2 2Ti 1:2 Tit 1:4 Phm 1:3 1Pe 1:2,3 2Pe 1:17
1Jo 1:3 1Jo 4:14 Jude 1:1 Re 3:21
Mic 5:2 Joh 8:56-58 17:5 1Co 15:47 Php 2:6,7 Col 1:17 1Jo 1:1 Re
22:13,16 * read 13 & 16 together
Mt 11:27 28:18 Lu 20:41-44 Joh 3:13,31 Ac 10:36 Ro 14:9 Eph 1:20-22
Php 2:9,10 Col 1:15,17,18 Heb 1:4-6 1Pe 3:22 Re 1:5 3:14
Joh 1:3 Col 1:16 Heb 1:2,10
Isa 9:6 Mt 28:18 Joh 10:17,18 11:25 1Co 1:24 Php 3:21 Col 2:10 2Ti
1:10 Heb 1:3 Re 1:8
Mt 18:20 28:20 Eph 1:23
Mic 5:2 Joh 1:1 Re 1:8
Mt 11:27 Lu 10:22 Joh 2:24,25 21:17 Ac 1:24 Col 2:3 Re 2:23
Ps 102:24,25 Heb 1:8-10 Isa 7:14 9:6 Mal 3:1 Mt 1:23 Joh 1:1 20:28
Ac 20:28 Ro 9:5 Eph 5:5 Php 2:6 Col 2:9 Tit 1:3 2:13 Heb 1:8-10 Ps 102:24,25 2Pe
1:1 1Jo 5:20 Re 17:14 19:16
Mt 2:11 14:33 15:25 Lu 24:52 Joh 5:23 Ac 7:59,60 1Co 1:2 2Co 12:8,9
Ga 1:5 Php 2:10 1Th 3:11,12 2Ti 4:18 Heb 1:6 Ps 97:7 2Pe 3:18 Re 5:13
Ge 1:2 6:3 Ne 9:30 Isa 63:10 Eze 36:27,28 Ac 2:16,17 Joe 2:28 Mt
10:20 Lu 12:12 Joh 14:16,17 15:26 Ac 5:3,4 28:25 Ro 8:14 1Co 3:16 Ga 4:6 Eph
1:13 1Th 4:8 Heb 2:4 1Pe 1:2
Mt 3:16,17 28:19 Mr 1:10,11 Lu 3:21,22 Joh 14:26 15:26 16:13 Ac
13:2,4 15:28 Ro 8:26 1Co 12:11
Ne 9:20 Isa 44:3 Eze 36:26,27 37:14 Joe 2:28 Mt 3:11 Joh 3:5,6
14:26 Ac 9:31 Ro 8:9,11,14 1Co 6:11 2Co 1:22 5:5 Ga 4:6 5:22 Eph 1:13 3:16 1Th
1:6 2Th 2:13 Tit 3:5 1Pe 1:2 1Jo 3:24 Re 22:17
Mt 28:19 Ro 8:9,14-17 2Co 13:14 1Pe 1:2 Jude 1:20,21
Result of the Biblical evidence in respect to the divinity of
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
H B Smith
Trinity - Advanced Information
is a word not found in Scripture, but it is used to express the doctrine of the
unity of God as subsisting in three distinct Persons. This word is derived from
the Gr. trias, first used by Theophilus (A.D. 168-183), or from the Lat.
trinitas, first used by Tertullian (A.D. 220), to express this doctrine.
propositions involved in the doctrine are these:
is the term designating one God in three persons. Although not itself a biblical
term, "the Trinity" has been found a convenient designation for the
one God self-revealed in Scripture as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It signifies
that within the one essence of the Godhead we have to distinguish three
"persons" who are neither three gods on the one side, nor three parts
or modes of God on the other, but coequally and coeternally God.
main contribution of the OT to the doctrine is to emphasize the unity of God.
God is not himself a plurality, nor is he one among many others. He is single
and unique: "The Lord our God is one Lord" (Duet. 6:4), and he demands
the exclusion of all pretended rivals (Deut. 5:7-11). Hence there can be no
question of tritheism.
even in the OT we have clear intimations of the Trinity. The frequent mention of
the Spirit of God (Gen. 1:2 and passim) may be noted, as also, perhaps, the
angel of the Lord in Exod. 23:23. Again, the plural in Gen. 1:26 and 11:7 is to
be noted, as also the plural form of the divine name and the nature of the
divine appearance to Abraham in Gen. 18. The importance of the word (Ps. 33:6),
and especially the wisdom, of God (Prov. 8:12ff.) is a further pointer, and in a
mysterious verse like Isa. 48:16, in a strongly monotheistic context, we have a
very close approach to Trinitarian formulation.
the NT there is no explict statement of the doctrine (apart from the rejected I
John 5:7), but the Trinitarian evidence is overwhelming. God is still preached
as the one God (Gal. 3:20). Yet Jesus proclaims his own deity (john 8:58) and
evokes and accepts the faith and worship of his disciples (Matt. 16:16; John
20:28). As the Son or Word, he can thus be equated with God (John 1:1) and
associated with the Father, e.g., in the Pauline salutations (I Cor. 1:3, etc.).
But the Spirit or Comforter is also brought into the same interrelationship (cf.
is not surprising, therefore, that while we have no dogmatic statement, there
are clear references to the three persons of the Godhead in the NT. All three
are mentioned at the baptism of Jesus (Matt. 3:16-17). The disciples are to
baptize in the name of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost (Matt. 28:19). The developed
Pauline blessing includes the grace of the Son, the love of God, and the
communion of the Holy Ghost (II Cor. 13:14). Reference is made to the election
of the Father, the sanctification of the Spirit, and the sprinkling of the blood
of Jesus Christ (I Pet. 1:2) in relation to the salvation of believers.
fact that Christian faith involves acceptance of Jesus as Savior and Lord meant
that the Trinity quickly found its way into the creeds of the church as the
confession of faith in God the Father, Jesus Christ his only Son, and the Holy
Ghost. The implications of this confession, especially in the context of
monotheism, naturally became one of the first concerns of patristic theology,
the main aim being to secure the doctrine against tritheism on the one side and
monarchianism on the other.
the fully developed doctrine the unity of God is safeguarded by insisting that
there is only one essence or substance of God. Yet the deity of Jesus Christ is
fully asserted against those who would think of him as merely adopted to divine
sonship, or preexistent, but in the last resort created. The individuality of
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is also preserved against the notion that these are
only modes of God for the various purposes of dealing with man in creation or
salvation. God is one, yet in himself and from all eternity he is Father, Son,
and Holy Ghost, the triune God.
analogies have been found by many apologists both in nature generally and in the
constitution of man. These are interesting, but are not to be thought of as
providing a rationale of the divine being. More pregnant is the suggestion of
Augustine that without the Trinity there could be no fellowship or love in God,
the divine Triunity involving an interrelationship in which the divine
perfections find eternal exercise and expression independent of the creation of
the world and man.
objections to the Trinity break down on the fact that they insist on
interpreting the Creator in terms of the creature, i.e., the unity of God in
terms of mathematical unity. More scientifically, the Christian learns to know
God from God himself as he has acted for us and attested his action in Holy
Scripture. He is not surprised if an element of mystery remains which defies
ultimate analysis or understanding, for he is only man and God is God. But in
the divine work as recorded in the Bible the one God is self-revealed as Father,
Son, and Holy Ghost, and therefore in true faith he must "acknowledge the
glory of the eternal Trinity."
The individual articles presented here were generally first
published in the early 1980s. This subject presentation was first placed on the
Internet in May 1997.
page - - Trinity, Godhead - - is at http://mb-soft.com/believe/text/trinity.htm
Bring me back to Trinity
Bring me back to the Character of GOD
Send Donations To: Billboards for Christ, Inc. P.O. Box 27 Chester, MD, 21619-0027, U.S.A.
"Everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved." "Todo aquel que invoque el nombre del Seńor sera salvo." - Joel 2:32, Romans 10:13, Romanos 10:13
Fair Use Permission is granted for all teachings on this website with one constraint: All printed or verbally read material must note "Copyright of Billboards for Christ, Inc. Found at www.BillboardsforChrist.org". For more extensive use, please contact us.
All Bible verses are from The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright© 1973,1978,1984 by International Bible Society®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. -- La Santa Biblia, Nueva Version Internacional®, NVI®. Copyright© 1999 by International Bible society®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. -- Verses followed by TEV or CEV are from Today's or Contemporary English Version with copyright permission of the American Bible Society.. NKJV is by Thomas Nelson Publishing. Nueva Biblia Latinoamericana de Hoy(NBLH)©2005 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, California All other writings are used with copyright permission of CSB. Have questions or comments about this web site? Write our webmaster at FEEDBACK Copyright © 2002 Need Hope. For Personal Faith Questions please contact us through our FEEDBACK page. Billboards for Christ, Inc. is not responsible for the content of the links on our website. See also www.NeedHope.net
Have questions, comments or problems about this web site? Send e- mail through our FEEDBACK page. Copyright © 2000 Billboards for Christ, Inc. Last modified: February 08, 2010