SPECIAL TOPIC: THE TRINITY

Notice the activity of all three Persons of the Trinity in unified contexts.  The term "trinity," first coined by Tertullian, is not a biblical word, but the concept is pervasive.

A. the Gospels

1. Matt. 3:16-17; 28:19 (and parallels)

2. John 14:26

B. Acts – Acts 2:32-33, 38-39

C. Paul

1. Rom. 1:4-5; 5:1,5; 8:1-4,8-10

2. 1 Cor. 2:8-10; 12:4-6

3. 2 Cor. 1:21-22; 13:14

4. Gal. 4:4-6

5. Eph. 1:3-14,17; 2:18; 3:14-17; 4:4-6

6. 1 Thess. 1:2-5

7. 2 Thess. 2:13

8. Titus 3:4-6

D. Peter – 1 Pet. 1:2

E. Jude – vv. 20-21

 

A plurality in God is hinted at in the OT.

A. Use of plurals for God

1. Name Elohim is plural, but when used of God always has a singular verb

2. "Us" in Genesis 1:26-27; 3:22; 11:7

B. The Angel of the Lord was a visible representative of Deity

1. Genesis 16:7-13; 22:11-15; 31:11,13; 48:15-16

2. Exodus 3:2,4; 13:21; 14:19

3. Judges 2:1; 6:22-23; 13:3-22

4. Zechariah 3:1-2

C. God and His Spirit are separate, Gen. 1:1-2; Ps. 104:30; Isa. 63:9-11; Ezek. 37:13-14

D. God (YHWH) and Messiah (Adon) are separate, Ps. 45:6-7; 110:1; Zech. 2:8-11; 10:9-12 

E. The Messiah and the Spirit are separate, Zech. 12:10

F. All three are mentioned in Isa. 48:16; 61:1

 

The Deity of Jesus and the personality of the Spirit caused problems for the strict, monotheistic, early believers.

1. Tertullian – subordinated the Son to the Father

2. Origen – subordinated the divine essence of the Son and the Spirit

3. Arius – denied Deity to the Son and Spirit

4. Monarchianism – believed in a successive chronological manifestation of the one God as Father, then Son, and then Spirit

 

The Trinity is a historically developed formulation informed by the biblical material

1. the full Deity of Jesus, equal to the Father, and was affirmed in a.d. 325 by the Council of Nicea (cf. John 1:1; Phil. 2:6; Titus 2:13)

2. the full personality and Deity of the Spirit equal to the Father and Son was affirmed in a.d. 381 by the Council of Constantinople

3. the doctrine of the Trinity is fully expressed in Augustine's work De Trinitate

There is truly mystery here. But the NT affirms one divine essence (monotheism) with three eternal personal manifestations (Father, Son, and Spirit).

 

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