The Christian doctrine of the
Trinity (Latin: Trinitas,
lit. 'triad', from trinus, "threefold") holds that
three consubstantial persons or hypostases—the Father, the Son
Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit—as "one
God in three Divine
Persons". The three Persons are distinct, yet are one "substance,
essence or nature" (homoousios). In this context, a "nature" is
what one is, whereas a "person" is who one is. The opposing
view is referred to as Nontrinitarianism.
According to this central mystery of most Christian faiths, there is
God in three Persons: while distinct from one another in
their relations of origin (as the Fourth Council of the Lateran
declared, "it is the Father who generates, the Son who is begotten,
and the Holy Spirit who proceeds") and in their relations with one
another, they are stated to be one in all else, co-equal, co-eternal
and consubstantial, and each is God, whole and entire.
Accordingly, the whole work of creation and grace in
seen as a single operation common to all three divine persons, in
which each shows forth what is proper to him in the Trinity, so that
all things are "from the Father", "through the Son" and "in the Holy
Trinitarian theologians believe that manifestations of the
made evident from the very beginning of the Bible. Genesis 1:1-3
posits God, His Spirit and the "creative word of God" together
in the initial
Genesis creation narrative
Genesis creation narrative account. While the Fathers
of the Church saw
Old Testament elements such as the appearance of
three men to
Abraham in Book of Genesis, chapter 18, as foreshadowings
of the Trinity, it was the
New Testament that they saw as a basis for
developing the concept of the Trinity. One of the most influential of
New Testament texts seen as implying the teaching of the Trinity
was Matthew 28:19, which mandated baptizing "in the name of the
Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit". Another New Testament
text pointing to the
Trinity was John 1:1-14, in which the
inter-relationships of the Triune
God are reflected in the gospel
author's description of "the Word", again showing the elements of the
God and their eternal (always was, always is, and always shall
be) existence. (
Revelation 1:8) Reflection, proclamation, and dialogue
led to the formulation of the doctrine that was felt to correspond to
the data in the Bible.
Scripture does not contain the word Trinity, yet, an indication of
three distinct persons can be found in 1 John 5:7 for the validity of
which exist a controversy known as Johannine Comma. Early Christian
belief in the deity of
Jesus Christ existed since the first century in
the writings of John the Apostle. (John 1:1)
Jesus is also quoted as
attesting to being one but not equal with the Father. (John 10:30)
Subsequently, in the understanding of Trinitarian Christian theology,
Scripture "bears witness to" the activity of a
God who can only be
understood in Trinitarian terms. The doctrine did not take its
definitive shape until late in the fourth century. During the
intervening period, various tentative solutions, some more and some
less satisfactory, were proposed. Trinitarianism contrasts with
nontrinitarian positions which include
Binitarianism (one deity in two
persons, or two deities),
Unitarianism (one deity in one person,
analogous to Jewish interpretation of the
Shema and Muslim belief in
Modalism (one deity manifested in
three separate aspects). Additionally, the Church of
Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints believes the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are
three separate deities, two of which possess separate bodies of flesh
and bones, while the Holy Ghost has only a body of spirit; and that
their unity is not physical, but in purpose.
3.1 Trinitarian baptismal formula
3.2 Fundamental monotheism
God as Three Persons
3.5 Eternal generation and procession
3.6 Economic and immanent Trinity
3.8 Political aspect
4 Biblical background
Jesus as God
4.2 Holy Spirit as God
Old Testament parallels
5 Impact of Stoic philosophy
6 Artistic depictions
6.1 Image gallery
8 Islamic views
10 See also
11 Extended notes
12 Endnotes and references
12.1 Other references
13 Further reading
14 External links
The word "trinity" is derived from
Latin trinitas, meaning "the number
three, a triad, tri". This abstract noun is formed from the adjective
trinus (three each, threefold, triple), as the word unitas is the
abstract noun formed from unus (one).
The corresponding word in Greek is tριάς, meaning "a set of three"
or "the number three". The first recorded use of this Greek word
Christian theology was by
Theophilus of Antioch
Theophilus of Antioch in about the year
of 170. He wrote:
In like manner also the three days which were before the luminaries,
are types of the
Trinity [Τριάδος], of God, and His Word, and
His wisdom. And the fourth is the type of man, who needs light, that
so there may be God, the Word, wisdom, man.
Latin theologian who wrote in the early 3rd century, is
credited as being the first to use the
Latin words "Trinity",
"person" and "substance" to explain that the Father, Son, and Holy
Spirit are "tres personae, una substantia". While "personae" is
often translated as "persons," the
Latin word personae is better
understood as referring to roles as opposed to individual centers of
Further information: Trinitarianism in the Church Fathers
The earliest known depiction of the Trinity, Dogmatic Sarcophagus, AD
350. Vatican Museums
The Ante-Nicene Fathers asserted Christ's deity and spoke of "Father,
Son and Holy Spirit", even though their language is not that of the
traditional doctrine as formalised in the fourth century. Trinitarians
view these as elements of the codified doctrine. Ignatius of
Antioch provides early support for the
Trinity around 110,
exhorting obedience to "Christ, and to the Father, and to the
Justin Martyr (AD 100–c. 165) also writes, "in the name
of God, the Father and Lord of the universe, and of our Saviour Jesus
Christ, and of the Holy Spirit". The first of the early church
fathers to be recorded using the word "Trinity" was Theophilus of
Antioch writing in the late 2nd century. He defines the
God, His Word (Logos) and His Wisdom (Sophia) in the context of a
discussion of the first three days of creation. The first defence of
the doctrine of the
Trinity was in the early 3rd century by the early
church father Tertullian. He explicitly defined the
Trinity as Father,
Son, and Holy Spirit and defended his theology against "Praxeas",
though he noted that the majority of the believers in his day found
issue with his doctrine. St. Justin and Clement of Alexandra used
Trinity in their doxologies and St. Basil likewise, in the evening
lighting of lamps.
Origen of Alexandria
Origen of Alexandria (AD 185-c. 253) has often
been interpreted as Subordinationist, but some modern researchers have
argued that Origen might have actually been
Another early, and already more philosophic, formulation of the
Trinity (again without usage of that term) is attributed to the
Gnostic teacher Valentinus (lived c.100 – c.160), who according to
the fourth century theologian Marcellus of Ancyra, was “the first to
devise the notion of three subsistent entities (hypostases), in a work
that he entitled On the Three Natures.” The highly allegorical
exegesis of the Valentinian school inclined it to interpret the
relevant scriptural passages as affirming a
Divinity that, in some
manner, is threefold. The Valentinian Gospel of Philip, which dates to
approximately the time of Tertullian, upholds the Trinitarian formula.
Whatever his influence on the later fully formed doctrine may have
been, however, Valentinus's school is rejected as heretical by
Although there is much debate as to whether the beliefs of the
Apostles were merely articulated and explained in the Trinitarian
Creeds, or were corrupted and replaced with new beliefs,
all scholars recognize that the Creeds themselves were created in
reaction to disagreements over the nature of the Father, Son, and Holy
Spirit. These controversies took some centuries to be resolved.
Of these controversies, the most significant developments were
articulated in the first four centuries by the Church Fathers in
reaction to Adoptionism, Sabellianism, and Arianism.
the belief that
Jesus was an ordinary man, born of Joseph and Mary,
who became the Christ and Son of
God at his baptism. In 269, the
Synods of Antioch condemned
Paul of Samosata for his Adoptionist
theology, and also condemned the term homoousios (ὁμοούσιος,
"of the same being") in the sense he used it.
Sabellianism taught that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are
essentially one and the same, the difference being simply verbal,
describing different aspects or roles of a single being. For this
view Sabellius was excommunicated for heresy in Rome c. 220.
In the fourth century, Arius, as traditionally understood,[note 1]
taught that the Father existed prior to the Son who was not, by
God but rather a changeable creature who was granted the
dignity of becoming "Son of God". In 325, the Council of Nicaea
adopted the Nicene
Creed which described Christ as "
God of God, Light
of Light, very
God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one
substance with the Father". The creed used the term homoousios
(of one substance) to define the relationship between the Father and
the Son. After more than fifty years of debate, homoousios was
recognised as the hallmark of orthodoxy, and was further developed
into the formula of "three persons, one being".
The third Council of Sirmium, in 357, was the high point of Arianism.
The Seventh Arian Confession (Second Sirmium Confession) held that
both homoousios (of one substance) and homoiousios (of similar
substance) were unbiblical and that the Father is greater than the
Son. (This confession was later known as the Blasphemy of Sirmium)
But since many persons are disturbed by questions concerning what is
Latin substantia, but in Greek ousia, that is, to make it
understood more exactly, as to 'coessential,' or what is called,
'like-in-essence,' there ought to be no mention of any of these at
all, nor exposition of them in the Church, for this reason and for
this consideration, that in divine Scripture nothing is written about
them, and that they are above men's knowledge and above men's
Athanasius (293–373), who was present at the Council as one of the
Bishop of Alexandria's assistants, stated that the bishops were forced
to use this terminology, which is not found in Scripture, because
the biblical phrases that they would have preferred to use were
claimed by the Arians to be capable of being interpreted in what the
bishops considered to be a heretical sense. Moreover, the meanings
of "ousia" and "hypostasis" overlapped then, so that "hypostasis" for
some meant "essence" and for others "person".
The Confession of the Council of Nicaea said little about the Holy
Spirit. The doctrine of the divinity and personality of the Holy
Spirit was developed by Athanasius in the last decades of his
life. He defended and refined the Nicene formula. By the end
of the 4th century, under the leadership of Basil of Caesarea, Gregory
of Nyssa, and
Gregory of Nazianzus
Gregory of Nazianzus (the Cappadocian Fathers), the
doctrine had reached substantially its current form.
Gregory of Nazianzus
Gregory of Nazianzus would say of the Trinity, "No sooner do I
conceive of the One than I am illumined by the splendour of the Three;
no sooner do I distinguish Three than I am carried back into the One.
When I think of any of the Three, I think of Him as the Whole, and my
eyes are filled, and the greater part of what I am thinking escapes
me. I cannot grasp the greatness of that One so as to attribute a
greater greatness to the rest. When I contemplate the Three together,
I see but one torch, and cannot divide or measure out the undivided
Devotion to the
Trinity centered in the French monasteries at Tours
and Aniane where
Saint Benedict dedicated the abbey church to the
Trinity in 872. Feast Days were not instituted until 1091 at Cluny
and 1162 at Canterbury and papal resistance continued until 1331.
Trinitarian baptismal formula
Baptism of Christ, by Piero della Francesca, 15th century
Main article: Trinitarian formula
In the synoptic Gospels the baptism of
Jesus is often interpreted as a
manifestation of all three persons of the Trinity: "And when
baptized, he went up immediately from the water, and behold, the
heavens were opened and he saw the spirit of
God descending like a
dove, and alighting on him; and lo, a voice from heaven, saying, 'This
is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.'"[Mt 3:16–17]
Baptism is generally conferred with the Trinitarian formula, "in the
name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit".[Mt 28:19]
Trinitarians identify this name with the Christian faith into which
baptism is an initiation, as seen for example in the statement of
Basil the Great
Basil the Great (330–379): "We are bound to be baptized in the terms
we have received, and to profess faith in the terms in which we have
been baptized." The
First Council of Constantinople
First Council of Constantinople (381) also says,
"This is the
Faith of our baptism that teaches us to believe in the
Name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. According to
Faith there is one Godhead, Power, and
Being of the Father, of
the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." Matthew 28:19 may be taken to
indicate that baptism was associated with this formula from the
earliest decades of the Church's existence.
Oneness Pentecostals demur from the Trinitarian view of baptism and
emphasize baptism ‘in the name of
Jesus Christ’ as the original
apostolic formula. For this reason, they often focus on the
baptisms in Acts. Those who place great emphasis on the baptisms in
Acts often likewise question the authenticity of Matthew 28:19 in its
present form. Most scholars of
New Testament textual criticism accept
the authenticity of the passage, since there are no variant
manuscripts regarding the formula, and the extant form of the passage
is attested in the Didache and other patristic works of the 1st
and 2nd centuries: Ignatius, Tertullian, Hippolytus,
Cyprian, and Gregory Thaumaturgus.
Commenting on Matthew 28:19, Gerhard Kittel states:
This threefold relation [of Father, Son and Spirit] soon found fixed
expression in the triadic formulae in 2 Cor. 13:14 and in 1 Cor.
12:4–6. The form is first found in the baptismal formula in Matthew
28:19; Did., 7. 1 and 3....[I]t is self-evident that Father, Son and
Spirit are here linked in an indissoluble threefold relationship.
Main article: Monotheism
Christianity, having emerged from Judaism, is a monotheistic religion.
Never in the
New Testament does the Trinitarian concept become a
"tritheism" (three Gods) nor even two.
God is one, and that
a single being is strongly declared in the Bible:
Shema of the Hebrew Scriptures: "Hear, O Israel: the LORD our
Gods, the LORD is one."[Deut 6:4]
The first of the Ten Commandments—"Thou shalt have no other gods
And "Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel and his redeemer the LORD
of hosts: I am the first and I am the last; and beside me there is no
In the New Testament: "The LORD our
God is one."[Mk 12:29]
In the Trinitarian view, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit
share the one essence, substance or being. The central and crucial
affirmation of Christian faith is that there is one savior, God, and
one salvation, manifest in
Jesus Christ, to which there is access only
because of the Holy Spirit. The
God of the
Old Testament is still the
same as the
God of the New. In Christianity, statements about a single
God are intended to distinguish the Hebraic understanding from the
polytheistic view, which see divine power as shared by several beings,
beings which can and do disagree and have conflicts with each other.
God as Three Persons
The "Shield of the Trinity" or Scutum Fidei diagram of traditional
medieval Western Christian symbolism
In Trinitarian doctrine,
God exists as three persons or hypostases,
but is one being, having a single divine nature. The members of
Trinity are co-equal and co-eternal, one in essence, nature,
power, action, and will. As stated in the Athanasian Creed, the Father
is uncreated, the Son is uncreated, and the Holy Spirit is uncreated,
and all three are eternal without beginning. "The Father and the
Son and the Holy Spirit" are not names for different parts of God, but
one name for God because three persons exist in
God as one
entity. They cannot be separate from one another. Each person is
understood as having the identical essence or nature, not merely
For Trinitarians, emphasis in Genesis 1:26 is on the plurality in the
Deity, and in 1:27 on the unity of the divine Essence. A possible
interpretation of Genesis 1:26 is that God's relationships in the
Trinity are mirrored in man by the ideal relationship between husband
and wife, two persons becoming one flesh, as described in Eve's
creation later in the next chapter.[2:22]
Main article: Perichoresis
A depiction of the Council of Nicaea in AD 325, at which the
Christ was declared orthodox and
Perichoresis (from Greek, "going around", "envelopment") is a term
used by some theologians to describe the relationship among the
members of the Trinity. The
Latin equivalent for this term is
circumincessio. This concept refers for its basis to John 14–17,
Jesus is instructing the disciples concerning the meaning of his
departure. His going to the Father, he says, is for their sake; so
that he might come to them when the "other comforter" is given to
them. Then, he says, his disciples will dwell in him, as he dwells in
the Father, and the Father dwells in him, and the Father will dwell in
them. This is so, according to the theory of perichoresis, because the
persons of the
Trinity "reciprocally contain one another, so that one
permanently envelopes and is permanently enveloped by, the other whom
he yet envelopes". (Hilary of Poitiers, Concerning the Trinity
Perichoresis effectively excludes the idea that
God has parts, but
rather is a simple being. It also harmonizes well with the doctrine
that the Christian's union with the Son in his humanity brings him
into union with one who contains in himself, in the Apostle Paul's
words, "all the fullness of deity" and not a part. (See also:
Perichoresis provides an intuitive figure
of what this might mean. The Son, the eternal Word, is from all
eternity the dwelling place of God; he is the "Father's house", just
as the Son dwells in the Father and the Spirit; so that, when the
Spirit is "given", then it happens as
Jesus said, "I will not leave
you as orphans; for I will come to you."[John 14:18]
According to the words of Jesus, married persons are in some sense no
longer two but are joined into one. Therefore, Orthodox theologians
also see the marriage relationship between a man and a woman to be an
example of this sacred union. "Therefore shall a man leave his father
and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one
flesh." Gen. 2:24. "Wherefore they are no more twain but one flesh.
God hath joined together, let no man put asunder."
Matt. 19: 6.[image or "icon" 17:22]
Eternal generation and procession
Further information: Filioque
Trinitarianism affirms that the Son is "begotten" (or "generated") of
the Father and that the Spirit "proceeds" from the Father, but the
Father is "neither begotten nor proceeds". The argument over whether
the Spirit proceeds from the Father alone, or from the Father and the
Son, was one of the catalysts of the Great Schism, in this case
concerning the Western addition of the
Filioque clause to the Nicene
Creed. The Roman
Catholic Church teaches that, in the sense of the
Latin verb procedere (which does not have to indicate ultimate origin
and is therefore compatible with proceeding through), but not in that
of the Greek verb ἐκπορεύεσθαι (which implies ultimate
origin), the Spirit "proceeds" from the Father and the Son, and
the Eastern Orthodox Church, which teaches that the Spirit "proceeds"
from the Father alone, has made no statement on the claim of a
difference in meaning between the two words, one Greek and one Latin,
both of which are translated as "proceeds". The Eastern Orthodox
Churches object to the
Filioque clause on ecclesiological and
theological grounds, holding that "from the Father" means "from the
This language is often considered difficult because, if used regarding
humans or other created things, it would imply time and change; when
used here, no beginning, change in being, or process within time is
intended and is excluded. The Son is generated ("born" or "begotten"),
and the Spirit proceeds, eternally.
Augustine of Hippo
Augustine of Hippo explains, "Thy
years are one day, and Thy day is not daily, but today; because Thy
today yields not to tomorrow, for neither does it follow yesterday.
Thy today is eternity; therefore Thou begat the Co-eternal, to whom
Thou saidst, 'This day have I begotten Thee.'"[Ps 2:7]
Most Protestant groups that use the creed also include the Filioque
clause. Its controversial use is addressed in several confessions: the
Westminster Confession 2:3, the London Baptist Confession 2:3, and the
Augsburg Confession 1:1–6.
Economic and immanent Trinity
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The term "immanent Trinity" focuses on who
God is; the term
“economic Trinity” focuses on what
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church,
The Fathers of the Church distinguish between theology (theologia) and
economy (oikonomia). "Theology" refers to the mystery of God's inmost
life within the Blessed
Trinity and "economy" to all the works by
God reveals himself and communicates his life. Through the
oikonomia the theologia is revealed to us; but conversely, the
theologia illuminates the whole oikonomia. God's works reveal who he
is in himself; the mystery of his inmost being enlightens our
understanding of all his works. So it is, analogously, among human
persons. A person discloses himself in his actions, and the better we
know a person, the better we understand his actions.
The ancient Nicene theologians argued that everything the
is done by Father, Son, and Spirit working in unity with one will. The
three persons of the
Trinity always work inseparably, for their work
is always the work of the one God. The Son's will cannot be different
from the Father's because it is the Father's. They have but one will
as they have but one being. Otherwise they would not be one God.
According to Phillip Cary, if there were relations of command and
obedience between the Father and the Son, there would be no
all but rather three gods. On this point St. Basil observes "When
then He says, 'I have not spoken of myself', and again, 'As the Father
said unto me, so I speak', and 'The word which ye hear is not mine,
but [the Father's] which sent me', and in another place, 'As the
Father gave me commandment, even so I do', it is not because He lacks
deliberate purpose or power of initiation, nor yet because He has to
wait for the preconcerted key-note, that he employs language of this
kind. His object is to make it plain that His own will is connected in
indissoluble union with the Father. Do not then let us understand by
what is called a 'commandment' a peremptory mandate delivered by
organs of speech, and giving orders to the Son, as to a subordinate,
concerning what He ought to do. Let us rather, in a sense befitting
the Godhead, perceive a transmission of will, like the reflexion of an
object in a mirror, passing without note of time from Father to
A Greek fresco of Athanasius of Alexandria, the chief architect of the
Nicene Creed, formulated at Nicaea.
Athanasius of Alexandria
Athanasius of Alexandria explained that the Son is eternally one in
being with the Father, temporally and voluntarily subordinate in his
incarnate ministry. Such human traits, he argued, were not to be
read back into the eternal Trinity. Likewise, the Cappadocian Fathers
also insisted there was no economic inequality present within the
Trinity. As Basil wrote: "We perceive the operation of the Father,
Son, and Holy Spirit to be one and the same, in no respect showing
differences or variation; from this identity of operation we
necessarily infer the unity of nature."
The traditional theory of "appropriation" consists in attributing
certain names, qualities, or operations to one of the Persons of the
Trinity, not, however, to the exclusion of the others, but in
preference to the others. This theory was established by the Latin
Fathers of the fourth and fifth centuries, especially by Hilary of
Poitiers, Augustine, and Leo the Great. In the Middle Ages, the theory
was systematically taught by the Schoolmen such as Bonaventure.
Roger E. Olson says that a number of evangelical theologians hold the
view that there is a hierarchy of authority in the
Trinity with the
Son being subordinate to the Father. "The
Gospel of John
Gospel of John makes this
Jesus repeatedly mentions that he came to do the Father's
will." Olsen cautions, however, that the hierarchy in the
"economic Trinity" should be distinguished from the "immanent
Trinity". He cites the Cappadocian Fathers, "the Father is the source
or “fount” of divinity within the Godhead; the Son and the Spirit
derive their deity from the Father eternally (so there is no question
of inequality of being). Their favorite analogy was the sun and its
light and heat. There is no imagining the sun without its light and
heat and yet it is the source of them."
Benjamin B. Warfield saw a principle of subordination in the "modes of
operation" of the Trinity, but was also hesitant to ascribe the same
to the "modes of subsistence" in relation of one to another. While
noting that it is natural to see a subordination in function as
reflecting a similar subordination in substance, he suggests that this
might be the result of "...an agreement by Persons of the
a "Covenant" as it is technically called – by virtue of which a
distinct function in the work of redemption is assumed by each".
Richard E. Rubenstein says that
Emperor Constantine and his advisor
Hosius of Corduba
Hosius of Corduba were aware of the usefulness of having a divinely
ordained church in which the church authority, and not the individual,
was able to determine individual salvation, and threw their support
toward the homoousion Nicene formula. According to Eusebius,
Constantine suggested the term homoousios at the Council of Nicaea,
though most scholars have doubted that Constantine had such knowledge
and have thought that most likely Hosius had suggested the term to
him. Constantine later changed his view about the Arians, who
opposed the Nicene formula, and supported the bishops who rejected the
formula, as did several of his successors, the first emperor to be
baptized in the Nicene faith being Theodosius the Great, emperor from
379 to 395.
From the Old Testament, the early church retained the conviction that
God is one. The
New Testament does not use the word Τριάς
(Trinity) nor explicitly teach the Nicene Trinitarian doctrine,
but it contains several passages that use twofold and threefold
patterns to speak of God. Binitarian passages include Rom. 8:11, 2
Cor. 4:14, Galatians 1:1, Eph. 1:20, 1 Tim. 1:2, 1 Pet. 1:21, and 2
John 1:13. Passages which refer to the Godhead with a threefold
pattern include Matt. 28:19, 1 Cor. 6:11 and 12:4ff., Gal. 3:11–14,
Heb. 10:29, 1 Pet. 1:2 and 1 John 5:7. These passages provided the
material with which Christians would develop doctrines of the
Trinity. Reflection by early Christians on passages such as the
Great Commission: "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the
Holy Spirit"[Matt 28:19] and Paul the Apostle's blessing: "The grace
of the Lord
Jesus Christ and the love of
God and the fellowship of the
Holy Spirit be with you all",[2 Cor. 13:14] while at the same time the
Shema Yisrael: "Hear, O Israel:
The Lord is our God, the Lord
alone."[Deuteronomy 6:4] has led some Christians to question how
the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are "one". Later, the diverse
references to God, Jesus, and the Spirit found in the New Testament
were systematized into a Trinity—one
God subsisting in three persons
and one substance—to combat heretical tendencies of how the three
are related and to defend the church against charges of worshiping two
or three gods.
Some scholars dispute the idea that support for the
Trinity can be
found in the Bible, and argue that the doctrine is the result of
theological interpretations rather than sound exegesis of
scripture. The concept was expressed in early writings from
the beginning of the 2nd century forward, and other scholars hold that
the way the
New Testament repeatedly speaks of the Father, the Son,
and the Holy Spirit is such as to require one to accept a Trinitarian
The Comma Johanneum, 1 John 5:7, is a disputed text which states: "For
there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and
the Holy Ghost: and these three are one." However, this passage is not
considered to be part of the genuine text, and most scholars agree
that the phrase was a gloss.
Jesus as God
God in the person of the Son confronts Adam and Eve, by Master Bertram
Gospel of John
Gospel of John has been seen as especially aimed at emphasizing
Jesus' divinity, presenting
Jesus as the Logos, pre-existent and
divine, from its first words, "In the beginning was the Word, and the
Word was with God, and the Word was God."[John 1:1] The Gospel of
John ends with Thomas's declaration that he believed
Jesus was God,
"My Lord and my God!"[John 20:28] There is no significant tendency
among modern scholars to deny that John 1:1 and John 20:28 identify
Jesus with God. John also portrays
Jesus as the agent of creation
of the universe.
There are also a few possible biblical supports for the divinity of
Jesus found in the Synoptic Gospels. The Gospel of Matthew, for
Jesus as saying, "All things have been handed over to
me by my Father."[Mt 11:27] This is similar to John, who wrote that
Jesus said, "All that the Father has is mine."[John 16:15] These
verses have been quoted to defend the omnipotence of Christ, having
all power, as well as the omniscience of Christ, having all wisdom.
Expressions also in the
Pauline epistles have been interpreted as
attributing divinity to Jesus. They include: "For by him all things
were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible,
whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were
created by him and for him"[Colossians 1:16] and "For in Christ all
the fullness of the
Deity lives in bodily form",[Colossians 2:9] and
in Paul the Apostle's claim to have been "sent not from men nor by
man, but by
Jesus Christ and
God the Father".[Galatians 1:1]
Some have suggested that John presents a hierarchy when he quotes
Jesus as saying, "The Father is greater than I",[14:28] a statement
which was appealed to by nontrinitarian groups such as Arianism.
Church Fathers such as
Augustine of Hippo
Augustine of Hippo argued this
statement was to be understood as
Jesus speaking in as to his human
Holy Spirit as God
As the Arian controversy was dissipating, the debate moved from the
Jesus Christ to the equality of the Holy Spirit with the
Father and Son. On one hand, the
Pneumatomachi sect declared that the
Holy Spirit was an inferior person to the Father and Son. On the other
Cappadocian Fathers argued that the Holy Spirit was an equal
person to the Father and Son.
Although the main text used in defense of the deity of the Holy Spirit
was Matthew 28:19,
Cappadocian Fathers such as
Basil the Great
Basil the Great argued
from other verses such as "But Peter said, 'Ananias, why has Satan
filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for
yourself part of the proceeds of the land? While it remained unsold,
did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your
disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart?
You have not lied to men but to God.'"[Acts 5:3–4]
Another passage the
Cappadocian Fathers quoted from was "By the word
of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all
their host."[Psalm 33:6] According to their understanding, because
"breath" and "spirit" in Hebrew are both "רוּחַ" ("ruach"), Psalm
33:6 is revealing the roles of the Son and Holy Spirit as co-creators.
And since, according to them, because only the holy
God can create
holy beings such as the angels, the Son and Holy Spirit must be God.
Yet another argument from the
Cappadocian Fathers to prove that the
Holy Spirit is of the same nature as the Father and Son comes from
"For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person,
which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of
the Spirit of God."[1Cor. 2:11] They reasoned that this passage proves
that the Holy Spirit has the same relationship to
God as the spirit
within us has to us.
Cappadocian Fathers also quoted, "Do you not know that you are
God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you?"[1Cor. 3:16] and
reasoned that it would be blasphemous for an inferior being to take up
residence in a temple of God, thus proving that the Holy Spirit is
equal with the Father and the Son.
They also combined "the servant does not know what his master is
doing"[John 15:15] with 1 Corinthians 2:11 in an attempt to show that
the Holy Spirit is not the slave of God, and therefore his equal.
Pneumatomachi contradicted the
Cappadocian Fathers by quoting,
"Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake
of those who are to inherit salvation?"[Hebrews 1:14] in effect
arguing that the Holy Spirit is no different from other created
angelic spirits. The
Church Fathers disagreed, saying that the
Holy Spirit is greater than the angels, since the Holy Spirit is the
one who grants the foreknowledge for prophecy[1Cor. 12:8–10] so that
the angels could announce events to come.
The usage of the word "paraclete" (Greek: parakletos) for the Holy
Spirit in John 14:16, which can be translated as advocate,
intercessor, counsellor or protector, and the Holy Spirit's
essence and action characterized by truth, as all three persons of the
Trinity are linked with truth (see v. 17), are seen as arguments
that he is a divine person; especially that
Jesus calls him another
counsellor, in this way expressing that the Holy Spirit is similar to
himself in regard to our counsel.
Old Testament parallels
Russian icon of the
Trinity by Andrey Rublev, between
1408 and 1425
In addition, the
Old Testament has also been interpreted as
foreshadowing the Trinity, by referring to God's word,[Ps 33:6]
his spirit,[Isa 61:1] and Wisdom,[Prov 9:1] as well as narratives such
as the appearance of the three men to Abraham.[Gen 18] However,
it is generally agreed among Trinitarian Christian scholars that it
would go beyond the intention and spirit of the
Old Testament to
correlate these notions directly with later Trinitarian
Church Fathers believed that a knowledge of the mystery was
granted to the prophets and saints of the Old Testament, and that they
identified the divine messenger of Genesis 16:7,21:17, 31:11, Exodus
3:2 and Wisdom of the sapiential books with the Son, and "the spirit
of the Lord" with the Holy Spirit. Other Church Fathers, such as
Gregory Nazianzen, argued in his Orations that the revelation was
gradual, claiming that the Father was proclaimed in the Old Testament
openly, but the Son only obscurely, because "it was not safe, when the
Godhead of the Father was not yet acknowledged, plainly to proclaim
Genesis 18–19 has been interpreted by Christians as a Trinitarian
text. The narrative has the Lord appearing to Abraham, who was
visited by three men.[Gen 18:1–2] Then in Genesis 19, "the two
angels" visited Lot at Sodom. The interplay between
Abraham on the one
hand and the Lord/three men/the two angels on the other was an
intriguing text for those who believed in a single
God in three
persons. Justin Martyr, and
John Calvin similarly, interpreted it such
Abraham was visited by God, who was accompanied by two
angels. Justin supposed that the
God who visited
distinguishable from the
God who remains in the heavens, but was
nevertheless identified as the (monotheistic) God. Justin appropriated
God who visited
Abraham to Jesus, the second person of the
Augustine, in contrast, held that the three visitors to
the three persons of the Trinity. He saw no indication that the
visitors were unequal, as would be the case in Justin's reading. Then
in Genesis 19, two of the visitors were addressed by Lot in the
singular: "Lot said to them, 'Not so, my lord.'"[Gen 19:18 KJV]
Augustine saw that Lot could address them as one because they had a
single substance, despite the plurality of persons.[note 2]
According to Swedenborg, the three angels which appeared to
represent the Trinity, but a
Trinity of one being: the Divine Itself,
the Divine Human and the Divine Proceeding. That one being is
represented is indicated by the fact that they are referred to in the
singular as Jehovah and Lord. The reason why only two of the
angels went to visit Sodom and Gomorrah is that they represent the
Divine Human and the Divine Proceeding, and to those aspects of the
Divine belongs judgment, as
Jesus declared that all judgment was
entrusted by the Father to the Son.[John 5:22] The three angels
did indeed appear to
Abraham as three men, but they are only a
symbolic representation of the Trinity, which should not be taken
literally as three distinct persons. In the Old Testament, Swedenborg
finds the earliest direct reference to a Trine in the
Divinity in the
account of Moses' encounter with the Lord in Exodus which states, "And
Jehovah passed by upon his face, and called, Jehovah, Jehovah, a God
merciful and gracious."[Exodus 34:6]
Some Christians interpret the theophanies or appearances of the Angel
of the Lord as revelations of a person distinct from God, who is
nonetheless called God. This interpretation is found in
Christianity as early as
Justin Martyr and Melito of Sardis, and
reflects ideas that were already present in Philo. The Old
Testament theophanies were thus seen as Christophanies, each a
"preincarnate appearance of the Messiah".
Impact of Stoic philosophy
In the introduction to his 1964 translation of Meditations, the
Anglican priest Maxwell Staniforth discussed the profound influence of
Stoic philosophy on Christianity. In particular:
Again in the doctrine of the Trinity, the ecclesiastical conception of
Father, Word, and Spirit finds its germ in the different Stoic names
of the Divine Unity. Thus Seneca, writing of the supreme Power which
shapes the universe, states, 'This Power we sometimes call the
All-ruling God, sometimes the incorporeal Wisdom, sometimes the holy
Spirit, sometimes Destiny.' The Church had only to reject the last of
these terms to arrive at its own acceptable definition of the Divine
Nature; while the further assertion 'these three are One', which the
modern mind finds paradoxical, was no more than commonplace to those
familiar with Stoic notions.
Trinity in art
Trinity is most commonly seen in
Christian art with the Spirit
represented by a dove, as specified in the Gospel accounts of the
Baptism of Christ; he is nearly always shown with wings outspread.
However depictions using three human figures appear occasionally in
most periods of art.
The Father and the Son are usually differentiated by age, and later by
dress, but this too is not always the case. The usual depiction of the
Father as an older man with a white beard may derive from the biblical
Ancient of Days, which is often cited in defense of this sometimes
controversial representation. However, in
Eastern Orthodoxy the
Ancient of Days
Ancient of Days is usually understood to be
God the Son, not
Father (see below)—early
Byzantine images show Christ as the Ancient
of Days, but this iconography became rare. When the Father is
depicted in art, he is sometimes shown with a halo shaped like an
equilateral triangle, instead of a circle. The Son is often shown at
the Father's right hand.[Acts 7:56] He may be represented by a
symbol—typically the Lamb (agnus dei) or a cross—or on a crucifix,
so that the Father is the only human figure shown at full size. In
early medieval art, the Father may be represented by a hand appearing
from a cloud in a blessing gesture, for example in scenes of the
Baptism of Christ. Later, in the West, the
Throne of Mercy (or "Throne
of Grace") became a common depiction. In this style, the Father
(sometimes seated on a throne) is shown supporting either a
crucifix or, later, a slumped crucified Son, similar to the
Pietà (this type is distinguished in German as the Not Gottes)
in his outstretched arms, while the Dove hovers above or in between
them. This subject continued to be popular until the 18th century at
By the end of the 15th century, larger representations, other than the
Throne of Mercy, became effectively standardised, showing an older
figure in plain robes for the Father, Christ with his torso partly
bare to display the wounds of his Passion, and the dove above or
around them. In earlier representations both Father, especially, and
Son often wear elaborate robes and crowns. Sometimes the Father alone
wears a crown, or even a papal tiara.
In the later part of the Christian Era, in Renaissance European
Eye of Providence
Eye of Providence began to be used as an explicit
image of the Christian
Trinity and associated with the concept of
Divine Providence. Seventeenth-century depictions of the Eye of
Providence sometimes show it surrounded by clouds or sunbursts.
Saint Denis Basilica
Saint Denis Basilica in Paris (12th century)
Father, The Holy Spirit, and Christ Crucified, depicted in a Welsh
manuscript. c. 1390–1400
God the Father,
God the Son, and
God the Holy Spirit as a dove, by
Lucas Cranach the Elder
Lucas Cranach the Elder (d. 1553)
God the Father (top), and the Holy Spirit (represented by a dove)
depicted above Jesus. Painting by
Francesco Albani (d. 1660)
God the Father (top), the Holy Spirit (a dove), and child Jesus,
Bartolomé Esteban Murillo
Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (d. 1682)
Clement I prays to the Trinity, in a typical post-Renaissance
Gianbattista Tiepolo (d. 1770)
Atypical depiction. The Son is identified by a lamb, the Father an Eye
of Providence, and the Spirit a dove, painting by
Fridolin Leiber (d.
13th Century depiction of the
Trinity from a Roman de la Rose
A Christian version of the Eye of Providence, emphasizing the triangle
representing the Trinity
Main article: Nontrinitarianism
Nontrinitarianism (or antitrinitarianism) refers to Christian belief
systems that reject the doctrine of the
Trinity as found in the Nicene
Creed as not having a scriptural origin.
Nontrinitarian views differ
widely on the nature of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Various
nontrinitarian views, such as Adoptionism,
Monarchianism and Arianism
existed prior to the formal definition of the
Trinity doctrine in AD
325, 360, and 431, at the Councils of Nicaea, Constantinople, and
Ephesus, respectively. Following the final victory of orthodoxy
at Constantinople in 381,
Arianism was driven from the Empire,
retaining a foothold amongst the Teutonic tribes. When the Franks
converted to Catholicism in 496, however, it gradually faded out.
Nontrinitarianism was later renewed in the
Gnosticism of the Cathars
in the 11th through 13th centuries, in the
Age of Enlightenment
Age of Enlightenment of the
18th century, and in some groups arising during the Second Great
Awakening of the 19th century.
Modern nontrinitarian groups or denominations include
Christadelphians, Christian Scientists, The Church of
Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints, Dawn
Bible Students, Friends General Conference,
Iglesia ni Cristo, Jehovah's Witnesses, Living Church of God, Oneness
Pentecostals, the Seventh Day Church of God, Unitarian Universalist
Christians, United Church of God,
The Shepherd's Chapel
The Shepherd's Chapel and Spiritism.
Islamic view of the Trinity
Islamic view of the Trinity and Shirk (Islam)
Jesus to be a prophet, but not divine, and Allah
to be absolutely indivisible (a concept known as tawhid). Several
verses of the
Qur'an state that the doctrine of the
"Say: He is God, the One and Only; God, the Eternal, Absolute; He
begetteth not, nor is He begotten; And there is none like unto Him.
— Qur'an, sura 112 (Al-Ikhlas), ayat 1–4
Certainly they disbelieve who say: Surely
Allah is the third (person)
of the three; and there is no god but the one Allah, and if they
desist not from what they say, a painful chastisement shall befall
those among them who disbelieve.
— Qur'an, sura 5 (Al-Ma'idah), ayat 73
Allah will say: O Isa son of Marium! did you say to men, Take
me and my mother for two gods besides
Allah he will say: Glory be to
Thee, it did not befit me that I should say what I had no right to
(say); if I had said it, Thou wouldst indeed have known it; Thou
knowest what is in my mind, and I do not know what is in Thy mind,
surely Thou art the great Knower of the unseen things.
— Qur'an, sura 5 (Al-Ma'idah), ayat 116
Interpretation of these verses by modern scholars has been
varied. Verse 5:73 has been interpreted as a potential
criticism of Syriac literature that references
Jesus as "the third of
three" and thus an attack on the view that Christ was divine.
Edward Hulmes writes:
"The Qur'anic interpretation of trinitarian orthodoxy as belief in the
Father, the Son, and the Virgin Mary, may owe less to a
misunderstanding of the
New Testament itself than to a recognition of
the role accorded by local Christians (see Choloridians) to Mary as
mother in a special sense."
There is also debate about whether this verse should be taken
literally. For example, Thomas states that verse 5:116 need not
be seen as describing actually professed beliefs, but rather, giving
examples of shirk (claiming divinity for beings other than God) and a
"warning against excessive devotion to
Jesus and extravagant
veneration of Mary, a reminder linked to the central theme of the
Qur'an that there is only one
God and He alone is to be
worshipped." When read in this light, it can be understood as an
admonition, "Against the divinization of
Jesus that is given elsewhere
Qur'an and a warning against the virtual divinization of Mary
in the declaration of the fifth-century church councils that she is
God in Judaism, Judaism's view of Jesus, and Shituf
Judaism traditionally maintains a tradition of monotheism to the
exclusion of the possibility of a Trinity. In Judaism,
understood to be the absolute one, indivisible, and incomparable being
who is the ultimate cause of all existence. The idea of
God as a
duality or trinity is heretical — it is even considered by some
Thomas F. Torrance, contemporary theologian
Trikaya, the three Buddha bodies
Trinity Sunday, a day to celebrate the doctrine
Triple deity, an associated term in Comparative religion
^ Very little of Arius' own writings have survived. We depend largely
on quotations made by opponents which reflect what they thought he was
saying. Furthermore, there was no single Arian party or agenda but
rather various critics of the Nicene formula working from distinct
perspectives.(see Williams, Rowan.
Arius SPCK (2nd edn, 2001) p.95ff
^ Augustine had poor knowledge of the Greek language, and no knowledge
of Hebrew. So he trusted the LXX Septuagint, which differentiates
between κύριοι[Gen 19:2] ('lords', vocative plural)
andκύριε[Gen 19:18] ('lord', vocative singular), even if the
Hebrew verbal form,נא-אדני (na-adoni), is exactly the same in
Endnotes and references
^ The Heavenly and Earthly Trinities on the site of the National
Gallery in London.
^ "Definition of trinity in English". Oxford Dictionaries -
^ The Family
Bible Encyclopedia (1972). p. 3790.
^ See Geddes, Leonard (1911). "Person". In Herbermann, Charles.
Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton.
^ Definition of the
Fourth Lateran Council
Fourth Lateran Council quoted in Catechism of the
Catholic Church §253.
^ "Frank Sheed, ''
Theology and Sanity''". Ignatiusinsight.com.
Retrieved 3 November 2013.
^ "Understanding the Trinity". Credoindeum.org. 16 May 2012. Archived
from the original on 25 January 2016. Retrieved 16 Aug 2016. CS1
maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
^ "Baltimore Catechism, No. 1, Lesson 7". Quizlet.com. Retrieved 3
^ CCC §254; Latin: Est Pater, qui generat, et Filius, qui gignitur,
et Spiritus Sanctus, qui procedit (DS §804).
^ Coppens, Charles, S.J. (1903). A Systematic Study of the Catholic
Religion. St. Louis: B. HERDER. Archived from the original on 4 March
^ CCC §253–267: "The dogma of the Holy Trinity".
^ "Genesis 1:1-3". Biblia.com. Faithlife. Retrieved 21 July
^ Younker, Randall W. "Crucial Questions of Interpretation in Genesis
1" (PDF). Biblical Research Institute. Biblical Research Institute
General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved 21 July
^ "John 1:1-4". Biblia.com. Faithlife. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
^ "Trinity, doctrine of" in The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian
Church (Oxford University Press 2005 ISBN 978-0-192-80290-3)
Trinity word not in Scripture". carm.org. 24 November 2008.
^ McGrath Alister E. Christian Theology: An Introduction Blackwell,
Oxford (2001) p.321
^ McGrath, Alister E. Christian Theology: An Introduction Blackwell,
Oxford (2001) p.324
^ Kelly, J.N.D. Early Christian Doctrines A & G Black (1965) p. 88
^ "Godhead". www.mormon.org. Retrieved 2017-01-15.
^ "Lewis and Short: ''trinus''". Perseus.tufts.edu. Retrieved 2
^ Liddell & Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon. entry for Τριάς,
retrieved 19 December 2006
^ Theophilus of Antioch, To Autolycus, II.XV (retrieved on 19 December
^ W.Fulton in the "Encyclopedia of
Religion and Ethics"
^ Aboud, Ibrahim (Fall 2005). Theandros an online Journal of Orthodox
Theology and Philosophy. 3, number 1. Archived from the
original on 24 July 2008.
^ a b "Against Praxeas, chapter 3". Ccel.org. 1 June 2005. Retrieved
19 March 2018.
^ Against Praxeas, chapter 2 and in other chapters
^ History of the Doctrine of the Trinity. Accessed 15 September 2007.
^ See Elizabeth Lev, "Dimming the Pauline Spotlight; Jubilee Fruits",
2009 Archived 14 September 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
^ "Orthodox Outlet for Dogmatic Enquiries: On God". Oodegr.com.
Retrieved 2 January 2012.
^ Eusebius of Caesarea, Church History iii.36
Ignatius of Antioch
Ignatius of Antioch to the Magnesians (Shorter Recension),
Roberts-Donaldson translation". Earlychristianwritings.com. Retrieved
3 November 2013.
^ "First Apology, LXI". Ccel.org. 13 July 2005. Retrieved 3 November
^ Theophilus, Apologia ad Autolycum, Book II, Chapter 15
Tertullian Against Praxeas
^ Mulhern, Philip F. (1967) "Trinity, Holy, Devotion", in New Catholic
encyclopedia. Prepared by an editorial staff at the Catholic
University of America. New York:McGraw-Hill, 14. 306
^ Ramelli, Llaria. "Origen's Anti-Subordinationism and Its Heritage in
the Nicene and Cappadocian Line". jstor.org. Brill. Retrieved 31 May
^ Barnard, L.W. "The Antecedents of Arius". jstor.org. Retrieved 1
^ a b Bingham, Jeffrey, "HT200 Class Notes", Dallas Theological
^ The Encyclopedia Americana (1956), Vol. XXVII, p. 294L
^ Nouveau Dictionnaire Universel (Paris, 1865–1870), Vol. 2, p.
^ "Catholic Encyclopedia: article:''Paul of Samosata''".
Newadvent.org. 1 February 1911. Retrieved 2 January 2012.
^ Chadwick, Henry. The Early Church Pelican/Penguin (1967) p.87
^ "Arianism" in Cross, F.L. & Livingstone, E.A. (eds) The Oxford
Dictionary of the
Christian Church (1974)
^ "Creeds of Christendom, with a History and Critical notes. Volume I.
The History of Creeds. - Christian Classics Ethereal Library".
^ Anderson, Michael. "The Nicaeno-Constantinopolitan Creed".
Creed of Sirmium or "The Blasphemy of Sirmium"".
www.fourthcentury.com. Retrieved 2017-03-09.
^ "Athanasius, Bishop of Alexanria, Theologian, Doctor".
Justus.anglican.org. Retrieved 2 January 2012.
^ "Athanasius: De Decretis or Defence of the Nicene Definition,
Introduction, 19". Tertullian.org. 6 August 2004. Retrieved 2 January
^ a b c "Trinity". Britannica Encyclopaedia of World Religions.
Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica. 2006.
^ On Athanasius, Oxford Classical Dictionary, Edited by Simon
Hornblower and Antony Spawforth. Third edition. Oxford; New York:
Oxford University Press, 1996.
^ Gregory of Nazianzus, Orations 40.41
^ Mulhern, 306.
^ Mulhern, p.306
^ Wolfgang Vondey, Pentecostalism, A Guide for the Perplexed (London;
New Delhi; New York; Sydney: Bloomsbury, 2013), 78.
^ 7:1, 3 online
^ Epistle to the Philippians, 2:13 online
Baptism 8:6 online, Against Praxeas, 26:2 online
^ Against Noetus, 1:14 online
^ Seventh Council of Carthage online
^ A Sectional Confession of Faith, 13:2 online
^ Kittel, 3:108.
^ a b Stagg, Frank.
New Testament Theology. Broadman Press, 1962.
ISBN 978-0-8054-1613-8, pp. 38 ff.
^ Grudem, Wayne A. 1994.
Systematic theology an introduction to
biblical doctrine. Leicester, England: Inter-Varsity Press. Page 226.
^ "Athanasian Creed". Ccel.org. Retrieved 2 January 2012.
^ Barth, Karl, and Geoffrey William Bromiley. 1975. The doctrine of
the word of
God prolegomena to church dogmatics, being volume I, 1.
Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark. Pages 348–9.
^ Thomas, and Anton Charles Pegis. 1997. Basic writings of Saint
Thomas Aquinas. Indianapolis, Indiana: Hackett Pub. Pages 307–9.
^ For 'person', seeRichard De Smet, A Short History of the Person,
Brahman and Person: Essays by Richard De Smet, ed. Ivo
Coelho (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 2010).
^ "NPNF2-09. Hilary of Poitiers, John of Damascus Christian Classics
Ethereal Library". Ccel.org. 13 July 2005. Retrieved 2 January
^ Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity: The Greek and the
Latin Traditions regarding the Procession of the Holy Spirit (scanned
image of the English translation on L'Osservatore Romano of 20
September 1995); also text with Greek letters transliterated and text
omitting two sentences at the start of the paragraph that it presents
as beginning with "The Western tradition expresses first ..."
^ CCC §236.
^ Phillip Cary, Priscilla Papers Vol. 20, No. 4, Autumn 2006
^ "Basil the Great, De Spiritu Sancto, NPNF, Vol 8". Ccel.org. 13 July
2005. Retrieved 2 January 2012.
^ Athanasius, 3.29 (p. 409)
^ Basil "Letters", NPNF, Vol 8, 189.7 (p. 32)
^ Sauvage, George. "Appropriation." The
Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. 1.
New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907. 20 October 2016
^ a b Olsen, Roger E., "Is there hierarchy in the Trinity?", Patheos,
December 8, 2011
^ Warfield, Benjamin B., "Trinity", § 20, The Question of
Subordination, The International Standard
Bible Encyclopaedia, Vol. 5,
(James Orr, ed.), Howard-Severance Company, 1915, pp.3020-3021
^ Rubinstein, Richard. When
Jesus Became God, The Struggle to Define
Christianity During the Last Days of Rome. p. 64.
^ Harvey, Susan Ashbrook; Hunter, David G. (4 September 2008). "The
Oxford Handbook of Early Christian Studies". OUP Oxford – via Google
^ "What Was Debated at the Council of Nicea?".
^ Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church. Volume III. Nicene
and Post-Nicene Christianity, fifth edition revised, §27
^ a b Rusch, William G. (1980). "Introduction". In Rusch, William G.
The Trinitarian Controversy. Minneapolis: Fortress Press(subscription
required). p. 2.
^ "Neither the word
Trinity nor the explicit doctrine appears in the
New Testament ... the
New Testament established the basis for the
doctrine of the Trinity"(Encyclopædia Britannica Online: article
^ "Trinity". Britannica.com. Retrieved 2 January 2012.
^ a b The Oxford Companion to the
Bible (ed. Bruce Metzger and Michael
Coogan) 1993, p. 782–3.
^ McGrath, Alister E.Understanding the Trinity. Zondervan, 9789
^ Harris, Stephen L. Understanding the Bible. Mayfield Publishing:
2000. pp. 427–428
^ See, for instance, the note in 1 Jn 5:7–8.
^ Bruce M. Metzger, The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission,
Corruption, and Restoration, 2d ed. Oxford University, 1968 p.101
^ "The Presentation of
Jesus in John's Gospel". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2
^ Brown, Raymond E. The Anchor Bible: The Gospel According to John
(XIII–XXI), pp. 1026, 1032
^ Hoskyns, Edwyn Clement (ed Davey F.N.) The Fourth Gospel Faber &
Faber, 1947 p.142 commenting on "without him was not any thing made
that was made."[John 1:3]
^ St. Paul helps us understand truths about
Jesus Archived 26 March
2009 at the Wayback Machine.
^ Simonetti, Manlio. "Matthew 14–28."
New Testament Volume 1b,
Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture. Intervarsity Press, 2002.
^ St. Augustine of Hippo,De Trinitate, Book I, Chapter 3.
^ a b c d St. Basil the Great,On the Holy Spirit Chapter 16.
^ St. Basil the Great, On the Holy Spirit Chapter 19.
^ St. Basil the Great, On the Holy Spirit Chapter 21.
^ "Catholic Encyclopedia: article ''Pneumatomachi''". Newadvent.org. 1
June 1911. Retrieved 2 January 2012.
New Jerusalem Bible, Standard Edition published 1985, introductions
and notes are a translation of those that appear in La
Jerusalem—revised edition 1973, Bombay 2002; footnote to Joh 14:16.
^ Zondervan NIV (New International Version) Study Bible, 2002, Grand
Rapids, Michigan, USA; footnote to Joh 14:17.
^ Trinity—see "3 The Holy Spirit As a Person".
^ See Book of Wisdom#Messianic interpretation by Christians
^ The Oxford Dictionary of the
Christian Church (Oxford University
Press, 2005 ISBN 978-0-19-280290-3), article Trinity, doctrine of
^ a b "Catholic Encyclopedia: article ''The Blessed Trinity''".
Newadvent.org. 1 October 1912. Retrieved 2 January 2012.
^ "Encyclopedia of Religion", Vol. 14, p.9360, on Trinity
^ Gregory Nazianzen, Orations, 31.26
^ For the two chapters as a single text, see Letellier, Robert. Day in
Mamre, night in Sodom:
Abraham and Lot in Genesis 18 and 19. Brill
Publishers: 1995.ISBN 978-90-04-10250-7 pp.37ff. Web: 9 January
^ a b c "Francis Watson, Abraham's Visitors, The Journal of Scriptural
Reasoning, Number 2.3, September 2002". Etext.lib.virginia.edu.
Archived from the original on 29 June 2011. Retrieved 2 January
^ Swedenborg, Emanuel. Heavenly Arcana, 1749–58. Rotch Edition. New
York: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1907, in the Divine
New Jerusalem (2012), n. 2149, 2156, 2218.
^ Swedenborg, n. 2319–2320.
^ Swedenborg, n. 10617.
Trinity in the
Old Testament Archived 4 May 2003 at Archive.is
^ Larry W. Hurtado, Lord
Jesus Christ: Devotion to
Jesus in Earliest
Christianity. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2005 ISBN 0-8028-3167-2
^ "Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology: ''Angel of the
Lord''". Studylight.org. Retrieved 2 January 2012.
^ Aurelius, Marcus (1964). Meditations. London: Penguin Books.
p. 25. ISBN 0-14044140-9. ISBN 978-0-140-44140-6.
^ See below and G Schiller,
Iconography of Christian Art, Vol. I,
1971, Vol II, 1972, (English trans from German), Lund Humphries,
London, figs I;5–16 & passim, ISBN 0-85331-270-2 and
^ Cartlidge, David R., and Elliott, J.K.. Art and the Christian
Apocrypha, pp. 69–72 (illustrating examples), Routledge, 2001,
ISBN 0-415-23392-5, ISBN 978-0-415-23392-7, Google books
^ G Schiller,
Iconography of Christian Art, Vol. II, 1972, (English
trans from German), Lund Humphries, London, figs I;5–16 &
passim, ISBN 0-85331-270-2 and ISBN 0-85331-324-5, pp.
122–124 and figs 409–414
^ G Schiller,
Iconography of Christian Art, Vol. II, 1972, (English
trans from German), Lund Humphries, London, figs I;5–16 &
passim, ISBN 0-85331-270-2 and ISBN 0-85331-324-5, pp.
219–224 and figs 768–804
^ Potts, Albert M. The World's Eye. University Press of Kentucky.
^ von Harnack, Adolf (1 March 1894). "History of Dogma". Retrieved 15
June 2007. [In the 2nd century,]
Jesus was either regarded as the man
God hath chosen, in whom the
Deity or the Spirit of
and who, after being tested, was adopted by
God and invested with
dominion, (Adoptionist Christology); or
Jesus was regarded as a
heavenly spiritual being (the highest after God) who took flesh, and
again returned to heaven after the completion of his work on earth
^ Cross, F.L. (1958). The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church.
London: OUP, p. 81.
^ a b Glassé, Cyril; Smith, Huston (2003). The New Encyclopedia of
Islam. Rowman Altamira. pp. 239–241.
^ Encyclopedia of the Qur'an. Thomas, David. 2006. Volume V: Trinity.
^ Quran 3:79–80 (Translated by Shakir)
^ Quran 112:1–4 (Translated by Shakir)
^ Quran 112:1–4 (Translated by Shakir)
^ Quran 5:73 (Translated by Shakir)
^ Quran 5:116 (Translated by Shakir)
^ a b c David Thomas, Trinity, Encyclopedia of the Qur'an
^ Mun'im Sirry (1 May 2014). Scriptural Polemics: The
Qur'an and Other
Religions. Oxford University Press.
^ S. Griffith: Christians and Christianity.
^ Edward Hulmes:
Qur'an and the Bible, The; entry in the Oxford
Companion to the Bible.
^ Mun'im Sirry (1 May 2014). Scriptural Polemics: The
Qur'an and Other
Religions. Oxford University Press. p. 47.
^ The concept of
Trinity is incompatible with Judaism:
Response - Reference Center - FAQ - Proof Texts -
Trinity (Jews for
Trinity in the Shema? by Rabbi Singer (outreachjudaism.org)
The Doctrine of the
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy Online, Trinity
Emery, Gilles, O.P.; Levering, Matthew, eds. (2012). The Oxford
Handbook of the Trinity. ISBN 978-0199557813.
Holmes, Stephen R. (2012). The Quest for the Trinity: The Doctrine of
God in Scripture, History and Modernity.
Dolezal, James. "Trinity, Simplicity and the Status of God's Personal
Relations", International Journal of Systematic
Theology 16 (1)
Fiddes, Paul, Participating in God : a pastoral doctrine of the
Trinity (London: Darton, Longman, & Todd, 2000).
Johnson, Thomas K., "What Difference Does the
Trinity Make?" (Bonn:
Culture and Science Publ., 2009).
La Due, William J., The
Trinity guide to the
International Publishing Group, 2003 ISBN 1-56338-395-0,
Letham, Robert (2004). The Holy Trinity : In Scripture, History,
Theology, and Worship. ISBN 9780875520001.
O'Collins, Gerald (1999). The Tripersonal God: Understanding and
Interpreting the Trinity. ISBN 9780809138876.
Olson, Roger E.; Hall, Christopher A. (2002). The Trinity.
Phan, Peter C., ed. (2011). The Cambridge Companion to the Trinity.
So, Damon W. K., Jesus'
Revelation of His Father: A
Narrative-Conceptual Study of the
Special Reference to
Karl Barth. (Milton Keynes: Paternoster, 2006).
Hillar, Marian, From
Logos to Trinity. The Evolution of Religious
Beliefs from Pythagoras to Tertullian. (Cambridge University Press,
Tuggy, Dale (Summer 2014), "
Trinity (History of Trinitarian
Doctrines)", Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Feazell, J. and Morrison, M. (2013). You're Included — Complete List
of Trinitarian Conversations, 108 Interviews With 25 Theologians: Ray
S. Anderson, Douglas A. Campbell, Elmer Colyer, Gerrit Scott Dawson,
Cathy Deddo, Gary W. Deddo, Gordon Fee, Trevor Hart, George Hunsinger,
Christian Kettler, C. Baxter Kruger, John E. McKenna, Jeff McSwain,
Steve McVey, Paul Louis Metzger, Paul Molnar, Roger Newell, Cherith
Fee Nordling, Robin Parry, Andrew Purves, Andrew Root, Alan Torrance,
David Torrance, Robert T. Walker, William Paul Young. 4th ed. ebook
Grace Communion International, pp. 1–1279.
Webb, Eugene, In Search of The Triune God: The Christian Paths of East
and West (Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 2014)
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