The Concept of the Triune God


#1

Perhaps the major teaching of historical Christianity is the teaching of God is Triune. This is meant to mean God is Three Divine persons, co-equal, co-eternal, co-existent made of the same substance, essence, or being.

Due to both the nature of this doctrine and the misunderstandings people have of it, this teaching has caused MUCH confusion in Christendom. Historically post-nicene Christianity has downgraded, persecuted, and even killed those who even dared opposed this historical position which was finally formulated at the council of Nicea in 325 A.D.

This was several hundred years after Christ and his apostles’ ministry. The doctrine is never explicitly stated in the Scriptural Canon but advocates of the doctrine believe the concepts are there due to the interaction of Father to the Son to the Holy Spirit and so on.

This doctrine constitutes a few things

  1. The God of the Old Testament is both a HE and a THEY.
  2. Jesus Christ was eternally with the Father and was God.
  3. God formulated his eternal plan by sending His Son in the form of man to bring redemption back to a lost creation.

While these statement are alluded to, they are never explicitly stated except for number 3.

According to the Bible God is a He
Isaiah 43:11, 44:6
(He knows no other)

If these scriptures are true, it is obvious God the Father knows the Son but therefore as the Scripture says, Beside me there is no Savior. So Scripturally the Father and the Son are a He and not a they.

In contrast this would mean God took of himself instead of sending one like Himself or of the same substance of Himself.

Comments?


#2

The Arian Emperiors also killed those who believe in the Trinity, thus the “perscution” went both ways.

The fact that people like Issiac Newton could publish his notebook on the trinity disproves your whole premiss that arians were supressed.

The fact that there were Arian Emperiors also disproves your nonsense too.

:wink:


#3

Person does not equate to a seperate being thus you are refuting a strawman.

The Biblical Basis of the Doctrine of the Trinity: An Outline Study By Robert M. Bowman, Jr. apologetics.com
spotlightministries.org.uk/bowmanonthetrinity.htm

the Word was with God—The preposition translated “with” is pros. In Koine Greek pros (short for prosôpon pros prosôpon, “face to face”) was used to show intimacy in personal relationships (see Matt. 13:56; 26:18; Mark 6:3; 14:49; 1 Cor. 13:12; 6:10; 2 Cor. 5:8; Gal.1:18). Thus, for John to say “the Word was with God” was for him to mean “the Word was face to face with God” (see Williams’s translation) or “the Word was having intimate fellowship with God.” This speaks of the preincarnate Son’s relationship with the Father prior to creation—in fact, prior to everything (see 1:18; 17:5, 24). the Word was God—The Greek clause underlying this clause stipulates, according to a rule of grammar, that “the Word” is the subject and “God” is the predicate nominative. Another particularity of the Greek is that the article is often used for defining individual identity and often absent in ascribing quality or character. In the previous clause (“the Word was with God”), there is an article before “God” (ton theon), thus pointing to God the Father; in this clause, there is no article before “God.” The distinction, though a fine one, seems to be intended. In the previous clause, John indicates that the Son was with God, the Father; in this clause, John indicates that the Son was himself God (or should we say, deity) but not the God (i.e., God the Father). Therefore, some translators have attempted to bring out these distinctions by rendering the last clause as follows: “and what God was the Word was” (NEB) or “and he was the same as God” (TEV). Thus, we see that John presents the Word as being eternal, as being with God (the Father), and as being himself God (or, deity). This is the One who became flesh and dwelt among men on earth

forananswer.org/John/Jn1_1.htm

In short, in John 1:1b the text is saying “the word was face to face with God the Father” thus indicating plainly that they are two persons like two people sitting accross from each other at dinner. John 1:1c is simply saying that “the word is by nature God”, it is NOT saying the word is God the Father. It is simply saying that the word has the same divine nature as the Father.

If you misinterpret John 1:1c to mean that the word was the father then you have a glaring contradiction in the text because John 1:1b clearly in the greek desinates them as seperate persons who are “face to face” to each other.

:slight_smile:


#4

Isaiah 43 simply says there were no other gods, the Trinity is ONE God. But, are also three persons in the godhead. They are NOT three seperate Gods. Thus your whole premiss is that of a strawman argument mainly that we trinitarians believe in three seperate Gods. We don’t believe in three seperate Gods.

Also, I don’t recall a creed saying co-existent, can you provide a quote please from authoritive Catholic sources for your definition of the Trinity.

Thanks
Daniel

We believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father by whom all things were made; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, and was made man, and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried, and the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father. And he shall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead, whose kingdom shall have no end.

And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, who proceedeth from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, who spoke by the prophets. And we believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins. And we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

creeds.net/ancient/nicene.htm


#5

Hi
This is perhaps a sentimental issue with the Catholics, concealed behind one of their mysteries. Since there are no rational, reasonable and logical arguments with the Catholics for three in one or one in three hence it has been pronounced a mystery.That is what the Catholic belief is, as I could understand from them.
For me, an Ahmadi a peaceful Muslim, it is an open secret. Just ask any of my Catholic friends to give attributes of the three person with references from OTBible, and you would know that the three are not co-equal, they are not co-eternal, they are not co-existent, they are not made of same substance, they are not of the same in essence and they are not same in being. It is just their misconception, but never mind, every body is free to believe whatever he wants to, it is their discretion , no compulsion. I have to respect every human being on the face of earth whatever he believes in. Of course I am also free to submit my view point with reason ,rationality and logic.
I love JesusYeshuaIssa and Mary.
Thanks


#6

A sentimental issue? Perhaps you should start by reading this book. It always astounds me that this doctrine is criticized without at least understanding the terms of it, first of all by making a distinction between person and nature. But Sheed, at least, is no sentimentalist. Neither was Aquinas or hundreds of theologians over the course of the past several thousand years who expounded the doctrine.

Since there are no rational, reasonable and logical arguments with the Catholics for three in one or one in three hence it has been pronounced a mystery.

Not quite. The doctrine of three persons in one God is believed because it was taught by Christ and handed down by the Apostles. It is called a mystery because no human being can fully comprehend the inner workings of the Godhead.

That doesn’t mean that the doctrine contains any contradiction. The doctrine does not assert that there are three persons in one person. Neither does it assert that there are three natures in one nature. It states rather that God is one in Being, and that one essence is expressd in three Persons. The three persons are not distinct beings.


#7

We are fallible human beings trying to understand the perfect, infinite God. So, we can only accept his revelation to us in scriptures. See Bowman’s outline on the Trinity in my other posts above. and, 1 x 1 x 1 = 1


#8

Athanasian Creed…

The Trinity is ONE God, correct. The Trinity is a God of THREE persons, correct. The Three persons talk as a HE and an I which means the three are not individual persons but the makeup of ONE person, that is God, Jehovah, Yahweh and in the new Testament, Jesus.


#9

The doctrine of the Trinity was not taught by Jesus and his apostles. John simply taught God had a Logos which was with Him and was Him and was incarnate in Human flesh and then formulated Father, WORD, and Spirit and these three are One.

The interaction between the WORD (Jesus) and the rest of God did not even occur until AFTER the incarnation.


#10

One one is one and so on… So Therefore the Father, SOn, and Holy Ghost is the same being, person, God… etc…

Each of God’s attributes, expressions, manifestation, etc… shows personal individuality but None of the three can lay claim to individual personhood apart from the other. God exists perfectly and unitedly as One being, never being a plurality of persons but a plurality of Majesty.


#11

Arians were completely opposite and did not even believe in the deity of Jesus Christ. Trinitarians killing people were not just the Catholic church but Protestants too! Michael Servetus was burned as a heretic.


#12

Jesus said “before Abraham was, I AM”. How much clearer did he need to be?


#13

Yes, he echoes the words of Genesis at the beginning of his gospel:

In the beginning was the Word,
And the Word was with God,
And the Word was God.
Note that he identifies the Word with God. Jesus addresses God as “Father,” a distinct person, not a distinct entity from the Word. With the Holy Spirit, there are three persons.

The word that we give to that doctrine is Trinity.

The interaction between the WORD (Jesus) and the rest of God did not even occur until AFTER the incarnation.

“In the beginning” means “in the beginning.” The allusion to Genesis is purposeful. Later, John says “the Word became flesh.” But he was already there in the beginning.

(Since God has no parts, one cannot really allude to “the rest of God.”)


#14

Jesus doesn’t call God father until after his human birth. Please explain this??

In the beginning God, God exists as One being and that one being is said to be Father, Word, and Spirit. This does not necessitate the identity of different persons. Mind, Intellect, and spirit are different aspects within myself, but hardly consultate different persons.

The Personhood of the Son only appears after the incarnation, The Word however has existed always as the Wisdom of God.


#15

My Wisdom is me, wouldn’t you suggest?


#16

Christians would agree. God is one being. God is named Father, Son (or Word) and Spirit.

God has faculties of intellect and will. By intellect, He knows himself, thereby generating the Word, Logos, or Son. He knows himself so perfectly that there is nothing in his generated idea of himself that is missing, not even personhood.

We only know Jesus is the Word because of the Incarnation. We humans have no access to the inner life of God except as given through his Son. Jesus, the Son, calls God Father because he is eternally generated from the Father in his divine personhood. He didn’t just acquire personhood by reason of taking on a human nature. If that were the case, he would have gone from being impersonal in the godhead to personal in his humanity. An impersonal divine son of God can not be identical with God. And Jesus does claim identity with God.


#17

Psalm 2:12
Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.


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