Is the "One God" the Father or the Trinity?

The Nicene Creed (325/381) emphatically states that the “one God” is the Father. This conforms to the New Testament grammar concerning references to the “one God”. Many Eastern Orthodox theologians follow this ancient tradition by affirming that the “one God” is the Father and not the Trinity. Note the following from Fr. Thomas Hopko:

…in the Bible, in the creeds, and in the Liturgy, it’s very important, really critically important, to note and to affirm and to remember that the one God in whom we believe, strictly speaking, is not the Holy Trinity. The one God is God the Father. In the Bible, the one God is the Father of Jesus Christ. He is God who sends his only-begotten Son into the world, and Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

(From the transcript of the podcast, “The Holy Trinity” -

Now, to my knowledge, the first theologian to state that the “one God” is the Trinity is Augustine. Fr. John Behr has recently penned some interesting insights on this “new” theological development from Augustine:

Augustine, on the other hand, does not seem to be aware that he is using the term “God” of the Trinity in a radically new manner, one that is not only different but also problematic. The concern of the Cappoadocians, following Athanasius, Origen, and Irenaeus, was not the implications of how one affirms that each divine person is God and the one God, singularly and collectively, but the reverse: how to affirm the one God is Father.

(“Calling upon God as Father: Augustine and the legacy of Nicaea”, in Orthodox Readings of Augustine, p. 161 - see, for further selections from this informative essay.)

I wonder what prompted Augustine to impose “a radically new manner” into the theological reflections on God. It sure seems to me that Eastern Orthodox theologians been more accurate/faithful to the grammar of the New Testament and early Ecumenical Creeds on this issue.

Grace and peace,


The Holy Trinity is the One God.

One God, Three Persons

Monarchism really fascinates me as a polytheist. I thought polytheists and Trinitarians both affirmed a plurality as ultimate: the former affirming a plurality of that which is God, the latter affirming a plurality of that which is person, subsisting relation, procession or so forth. But, monarchism seems to deny that Father, Son and Holy Spirit are each autotheos, so I’m not sure how to relate the two.

The fact is that: Father is God. Son is prophet. Holy Spirit is Angel Gabriel. All verses of Bible support that fact. There are some meatphorical terms and that is all. Otherwise if God had three personalities hence God would declare that very clearly in Bible and in Torah and in Qur’an. But there are hundreds of verses which clearly say “God is one and unique”.

The terminology of Trinity depends on the natural language used, Latin or Greek. St. Augustine used Latin, St. John Chrysostome - Greek.

One God is Trinity, and Trinity is one God.

However, in the Old Testament, where the revelation was not yet perfect, the word “God” (“Elohim”) designated God the Father.

“The Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. Yet there are not three Gods, but one God.” – from the Athanasian Creed.

So it seems to me that referring to the entire Trinity as the one God is an important statement of the Nicene doctrine, even if Scripture and the Creed itself also apply that term to the Father.

If the Father alone is the One God, but the Son and the Spirit are also God, how does that guard against the notion of three gods?

No that is not the fact…

Yes God the Father is God the Father and the Son is God the Son (the Logos) and the Holy Spirit is God the Holy Spirit. One God - three Divine Persons.

The Angel Gabriel is an Angel.

And one may search the Catholic Answers site regarding all the various verses in the Bible for this --that would be too much to include in a thread.

And this is getting off the Topic of the Thread.

There is only One God, period and we know that there is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. I think the way to phrase it to “get” what the Orthodox emphasize is that Jesus is the Wisdom/Word/Logos of God, the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, but God being outside of time we don’t technically see the Wisdom of God coming before or after the Father. The Trinity is outside of time, so isn’t it a matter of limited human concept that it is debated at all? :confused:

When you all work out the Trinity, let me know.

The Father is the head of the Trinity. The Trinity is one God.

One of the interesting readings I have gleaned from the visionary Mother Mary Agreda is her explanation of Genesis.

In that chapter, she refers to God the Father as Ad Intra and God the Son as Ad extra. IOW, God the Father communicates toward the internal Trinity whereas God the Son communicates to all outside the Trinity. God the Holy Spirit is the communication between God the Father and God the Son. Now by communication we don’t imply speaking, but rather direction of activity so to speak.

This conforms marvelously with St. John’s Gospel of “The Word.”

By this we see the oneness of God, as well as the Trinitarian persons. It would also account for God the Father’s “Word” (the Second person of the Trinity) being responsible for all creation.

But there is pre-eminence in God the Father as a person, which I don’t know how to define, but that Jesus Christ seemed to teach, even in their Divinity.

But otherwise I believe the Athanasian Creed is the safest (theologically speaking) Trinitarian definition.

You are way out of your depth.

Perhaps you would like to know how Christians would like to correct your mistaken understandings of the Qur’an?

Some interesting comments so far; though it is following from AmbroseSJ which intrigues me the most:

But there is pre-eminence in God the Father as a person, which I don’t know how to define, but that Jesus Christ seemed to teach, even in their Divinity.

Thomas Aquinas reflects on this “pre-eminence in God the Father as a person” in a number of instances in his writings. Note the following:

“the Father is the principle of the whole Godhead” (Summa Theologica, P1.Q.39.A5); He is the “fontal principle of the entire divinity” (*fontale principium totius divinitatis *- Commentum in Lib. 1 Sententiarum, D.34.Q.2)

Aquinas clearly has the above in mind when he comments on John 14:28 (the following is from his lectures on the Gospel of St. John):

One could also say, as Hilary does, that even according to the divine nature the Father is greater than the Son, yet the Son is not inferior to the Father, but equal. For the Father is not greater than the Son in power, eternity and greatness, but by the dignity of a grantor or source. For the Father receives nothing from another, but the Son, if I can put it this way, receives his nature from the Father by an eternal generation. So, the Father is greater because he gives…

I have found the reflections from the brilliant 19th century Catholic theologian, Matthias Joseph Scheeben, to be helpful:

The term “generation” is of course employed, in the first place, to indicate that the production of the Second Person in God is wholly different from creation, the act by which non-divine beings come into existence. Creation is a free act of the divine will, whereby God calls into being things which of themselves were nothing, and communicates to them an existence which is essentially different from His own. But God brings forth His interior Word by communicating to Him His own being, His own substance. The Word proceeds from the Father’s innermost substance, which passes over to the Word and places Him in full possession of the very nature that is proper to the Father.

. (The Mysteries of Christianity, p. 87.)

Grace and peace,


Three persons are not one. İsn’t that so simple?

The words of God are/were always perfect. And there is no any statement in Bible about three gods or three god persons!

Trinity is not outside of time. Jesus lived on the world in time and Holy Spirit came on the world in time.

The essence of God has simplicity so there is no divisions in personality of God. Otherwise if there have been three persons in God hence every person would act and decide in different ways. But there is no cock up in universe and all actions are being processed into perfect union.

You obviously haven’t read it. Jesus refers to Himself as the Son of God the Father, while maintaining that He Himself is God, and introduced the apostles to the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, who is also God.

(Gabriel is not the Holy Spirit, by the way. An angel is an angel)

Jesus was called Son of God but that was metaphorical. Because Jesus was born without a father. If Jesus were God hence He would not always want from Father(God).

By the way a human(Jesus) is a human.

Holy Spirit got form of a dove. God do not got form of material but Angel can. Gabriel was used to come in form of human also.

I’m sorry, but that is not what God has taught, so I must believe Him over you, or Muhammad. All things were made, came into being, through The Word of God, Who is Jesus the Christ. The Son existed before Abraham existed. The Spirit moved over the surface of the waters prior to any life. God is love, and love is only possible in relationship, the Trinity has always been. The Trinity is not bound by time, as God is not bound by time.

The essence of God has simplicity so there is no divisions in personality of God. Otherwise if there have been three persons in God hence every person would act and decide in different ways. But there is no cock up in universe and all actions are being processed into perfect union.

You’ve just inadvertently proven why Christianity is the perfect answer to the Euthyphro Dilemma.

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