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Is the Trinity in the Bible?

One of the greatest difficulties for people to understand Christianity is the doctrine of the Trinity. Christians are asked to explain and to prove that the Trinity is a true representation of the divine reality. They want to know if God is one or that the Supreme Being is divided in different parts. On this page the Biblical foundation.

1. Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed

The doctrine of the Holy Trinity of God has been described in 381 AD in the document of the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed [1]: “There is One God, who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit”. The doctrine that there is One God, who is (1) Father, (2) Son, and (3) Holy Spirit means that only one God exists. Trinity is part of the statements of Christian faith of traditional churches. The doctrine is necessary to describe true Christian faith. In history, such as in Arabia in 7th century in Muhammad’s life there were Christian sects who don’t believe in Trinity. Today Jehova Witnesses and Mormons don’t support the Trinity. For more explanation about the doctrine of Trinity, refer to the related pages below.

2. Support for the Trinity from the New Testament

Matthew 28:19

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost”;

John 14:15-17

“If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; [Even] the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”;

1 Corinthians 12:3-6

“Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and [that] no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.”;

2 Corinthians 1:21-22

“Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, [is] God; Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts”. 2 Corinthians 13:14

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen”.

Ephesians 2:20-22

“And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner [stone]; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit”.

2 Thessalonians 2:13-14

“But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ”.

3. Support for the Trinity from the Old Testament

Genesis 1:1-3

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light". "God created the heavens and the earth" is about the Father. "The Spirit of God" is about the Holy Ghost. "Light” refers to Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Jesus said: "I am the light of the world" (John 8:12).

Genesis 1:26

"And God said, Let us make man in our image". The word God is in Hebrew אֱלֹהִ֔ים (Elohim). This is plural every time it is used in the Old Testament. This kind of plural, is not the same as used by a majesty on earth, because Hebrew doesn’t have that kind of plural. The word “our image” is in Hebrew: בְּצַלְמֵ֖נוּ and this is also plural. According to the apostolic Fathers, the Father was talking to the Son, Jesus Christ.

Genesis 3:22

“And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us”. Again the word God in plural in Hebrew Hebrew אֱלֹהִ֔ים (Elohim). The word “our image” is in Hebrew: מִמֶּ֔נּוּ and this is also plural.

Genesis 11:7

“Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech”. Again “let Us”: God is plural.

Genesis 18:1-3

“Then the LORD appeared to him by the terebinth trees of Mamre, as he was sitting in the tent door in the heat of the day. So he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing by him; and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them, and bowed himself to the ground, and said, ‘My Lord, if I have now found favor in Your sight, do not pass on by Your servant’”. Abraham is visited by the Lord in three individuals. This event between Abraham and God is what Jesus Christ, the Son of God, referred to when he said, "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad." (John 8:56) According to the apostolic Fathers, Jesus Christ, the Son of God visited Abraham.

Conclusion

Trinity is about grace, love and communion: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen” (2 Corinthians 13:14). It is also about responsibility: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 28:19). There is evidence for the Trinity in the Bible.

Notes

  1. Philip Schaff, The Creeds of Christendom, with a History and Critical Notes, New York, 1877, 28-29.

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