The Trinity is Simultaneous Modalism

This is wrong. The Doctrine of the Trinity states that the One Being of God is shared co-equally and co-eternally in three Persons, not modes. I believe you posted a thread like this before: Trinity = Eternally Simultaneous Modalism?
What I said in that thread applies here. You are having a difficult time, it seems, differentiating between Person and Mode.
Mode is the way or manner in which something occurs. So if God was one person but with three different modes, coming from the greek that means acting, then yes, mode would be acceptable. But God is three Persons! Not modes. A Person is far different than a mode. Aquinas says: " ‘Person’ signifies what is most perfect in all nature—that is, a subsistent individual of a rational nature
A mode is not this.

No. Each Person of the Trinity has fully the Divine Nature. They are not modes of the Fathers nature, for they are the divine nature, especially in light of God’s absolute simplicity. If God is simple, then God is his essence which is his existence. Therefore, each Person of the Blessed Trinity is the essence and existence of the Divine.

I know that you are trying to find some new way at looking at an old heresy. But when one takes the personhood away from each of the Persons and turns them into simply modes that exist at the same time as the other modes, that is heresy. For the Person of the Son is not merely a mode of the Father, but is a separate Person who is wholly and simply God.


And lastly, if God the Son and the Holy Spirit are just modes of the Father, even simultaneously, we still have the issue of saying then, that the Father was incarnate, the Father was crucified, and the Father submits to the Father. You are still saying that the Son is the Father. And yet, Scripture is full of occasions where this just cannot be. The Son is clearly separate to the Father in Person-hood. Not just a mode of the Father that projects simultaneously as the mode of the Father and the Spirit. And then it falls into an issue. If the Son is a mode, is the Father a mode? If not, then what is the Father? Then one still fall into Arianism and heresy, being forced to say that the Son exists differently that the Father if the Son is merely a mode of the Father’s being.


Isn’t this kind of close to Arianism?


Thank you for responding.

Three modes of existences is the description of the Trinity’s concept of hypostasis, simply saying “mode” is a gross misrepresentation of what I’ve expressed and does not do the real existence of the Word and Spirit justice and causes problems.

Also, to say that God is one existence is incorrect, this would literally be calling God one hypostasis making the Father the Son and the Spirit both the Father and the Son and vice versa.

You would basically be accepting Sabellianism “Patripassianism” as only the Father, in this description would be impossible to distinguish the Word’s existence to be from the Father’s existence and the Spirit’s existence, because they would all be of the same hypostasis and ousia.

God’s simplicity is in the substance, and this substance subsists"exists" in three different hypostasis “modes of existence.” < This is Trinitarian doctrine.

Stating that the Word is a real existence of God’s being is to say this.

The Word is begotten of the Father, therefore is distinct from the Father but of the Father’s single ousia, the Spirit proceeds from the Father, therefore is distinct from the Father but of the Father’s single ousia as well as the Word, the Spirit is not the Word because the Spirit is not begotten but proceeding.

These three real and distinct modes of existences (hypostasis) are how the one God’s ousia exists.

If the Father exists, so the Word and Spirit must exist also.

The Father cannot be His Word because His existence is not to be begotten nor can His existence be the Spirit’s because He does not proceed fourth His personal existence"hypostasis" from the Spirit’s hypostasis.


I agree with this and may have misapprehended the OP. Origin implicit in modalism does not require sequence.

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Could you elaborate?

And there is the problem you have separated “the being” into 3 beings.
But that is not what we believe, GOD is 1 being with 3 Persons.

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Never stated this friend.

I simply said that the Father’s Being/Substance is the being/substance of God, and the Father’s being/substance is in three modes of subsistences(Hypostasis).

The Father’s hypostasis necessitates the Word’s and Spirit’s hypostasis.

Aka Co-Essential.

Some real issues here. First , existence does not mean hypostasis. A hypostasis is an underlying reality or substance, hence where the Aquinas gets that a person is an individual substance of a rational nature. You are conflating hypostasis with nature.
Second, all that you said doesn’t solve an issue with simplicity. God is simple by nature not by substance. It wouldn’t make sense for His nature to not be simple and yet His substance be simple. That would mean He is composed of parts, a nature and a substance, which breaks Divine Simplicity.
Third, what you said also doesn’t answer my last question. If the Son is a mode of the Father’s Being, then that means the Son doesn’t have His own Being. And then it raises another question as to what is the Father? A mode or something else? If the Son is only separate from the Father because He is a mode, and same with Spirit, then they aren’t separate in person, and that gives the question of what is the Father? Is the Father a person while the Son and Spirit are modes? Then you have heresy and Arianism, for that makes the Son a different in nature than the Father.
Fourth, you also again, are conflating person and mode. Those are different and you made no attempt to answer that. The three Persons are not mere modes of existence, but three separate Persons, that is, individual substances of a rational nature. Three persons that share co-equally and co-eternally the one Divine Nature.
Your theory is very much heresy when pushed to its logical conclusion. It introduces parts in God, which denies His Divine Simplicity, which then lessens God to not being God. It allows for division in the Trinity in bringing into question the relationships of the three persons as just modes of the Father, which you still can’t get away from in your explanation. And leads to them not truly being relationships, for only persons can have relationships, not modes. And also it forces one to either fall into full Modalism or tritheism. Your theory doesn’t work.
I’d recommend returning to the Catholic understanding and definition of the Trinity. Not some new theory that goes against all of Historical Christianity. There is a reason no one promoted this idea of yours for two thousand years, it doesn’t work


Being and substance are not the same thing philosophically. Need to do more research into that. And what you said leads you to say that the Son’s substance is not that of God’s if only the Fathers being/substance is that of God’s. Your conflating terms that can’t be and your taking an unnecessary step that doesn’t need to be taken

I believe this is relevant…


Didn’t St. Thomas Aquinas say something along the lines that the trinity was beyond the ability of our finite minds to understand that which is infinite and that is ok? I’m not sure but i thought i remembered reading something like that.

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I fail to see how that picture is not modalism plain and simple.

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The word of God actually uses the analogy of the Word as God’s right arm and that the Father is the head monarch of authority of will and want within the Godhead.

It wouldn’t be Sabellian due to there being a real distinction within the ousia.

There are three real distinct hypostasis within the ousia of the Father, each hypostasis is of the same ousia as the Father since it is the Father’s being.

The incarnation is beyond reason to understand other than God being almighty, I believe the hypostasis union of the Word made flesh explains the incarnation fairly well.

But we can understand the basic principle of the one true God the Father almighty.

I will say that God is now in a new life and that new life is a true human life.

The Son(Word) when made flesh Was given a true human life in his hypostasis and this human life is genuine and true Jesus is all of who and what God is in and as a true man.

The reason that this would not be Arianism is because the Son has a real existence before the incarnation in eternity as the Word of the Almighty God.

And the reason also as to why it is not a different God is because Jesus is God himself expressing the fullness of his nature as a true man therefore this real man can pray and do all things as a real man and not be affected in his eternal deity.

All authority of the Father is given to the Son so that the Son has authority as the Father in his humanity because the Son of God is the exact character of God imprinted in a human ousia and of one hypostasis of the Word.

The reason this would also not be Nestorian is because there is one type of hypostatsis of the Son of God, But that there are two ousia of the one hypostasis of the Word, So it is not a different God who was made flesh but the one God was made flesh through His Word becoming man.

If it were Nestorian then Jesus would have two hypostasis and two ousia.

But we know that the Son of God is one existence”hypostasis” both God and man fully God and fully man, the reason the Son of God does the works of the Father and will of the Father is because it is the one divine will of the Father, the one divine work of the Father, and the one authoritative power of the Father.

So you have one divine consciousness that is eternal and one true human consciousness that is now united with the divine in one existence as the Word of God Jesus Christ.

To put simply, God would be Jesus if God were a man and he is, Jesus would be God if he were God and he is.

@OddBird modalism is not Sabellian, the modes Sabellius speaks of is that there is one hypostasis of the Father and that the Father’s existence was made flesh, so the Father was therefore born, the Father prayed to Himself, and the Father was crucified.

Mode in Sabellianism is merely a way in which one expresses his existence. Modalistic Monarchianism or anti social trinitarianism teaches that God subsists or exists in three hypostasis, underlying realities.

Meaning, the Father who has a real hypostasis is the one ousia(substance) and necessitates the other two hypostasis or real existence of the Word(Son) eternally begotten and the Spirit which is proceeding from the Father.

Each are not a different ousia of the Father but are of the same ousia, homoousia, the Son is a distinct hypostasis or mode of existence, a real subsistence who is of the same ousia of the Father.

To put plainly, since the Father is therefore the Son is and therefore is the Spirit also.


I’m really not sure I’m following you here. If there is one hypostasis with can be in turn the Father, the Son or the Holy Spirit, how is that not modalist ? Maybe I’m missing something…

How is that not the very definition of modalism ?

I think part of which I don’t understand is that equivalence. Etymologically – and, as far as I understand it, in orthodox Trinitarian theology – an hypostasis isn’t a mode. It is a subject (which is the literal translation of hypostasis).

That said, English isn’t my first language, I could be understanding that completely in the wrong way.

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Sabellian modalism is defined as that.

The Father is just expressing himself not that those expressions of self have any real subsistence to them.

That is why it is patripassianism.

Sabellius most likely taught one hypostasis.

Mode in Sabellianism is literally just the one hypostasis and one Ousia expressing his single hypostasis and Ousia in different manners, it’s not three distinct real subsistences to Sabellius.

For Sabellius God did not eternally exist as Father, Son and Holy Spirit but that the Father was changing his way of appearing, even if this way of appearance were eternal in Sabellius’ doctrine it would still be unbiblical as the Word and Spirit have distinct hypostasis from the Father’s.

The description of Orthodox doctrine is that they are modes of existences, meaning manners, ways, that the one ousia exists or subsists.

Meaning, the one God subsists or exists in three modes of existences(Hypostasis).

Father, Word and Spirit.

Sabellius did not recognize the genuine distinction of the three distinct modes of existences of the one Ousia and therefore created patripassianism.

Hope this clarifies any problems.


I am advocating for a unification and understanding of the Godhead for both trinitarianism and Oneness from a biblical understanding of the Godhead.

As being a oneness myself I have now completely recognized that oneness theology is trinitarianism and is no different than the other but is horribly explained by both parties you guys no offense suck at explaining this stuff.

What I mean by “you guys” is both the Oneness and Trinitarians.

As the Oneness group sound like Patripassians at times.

While the Trinitarians sound exactly like Tritheists a majority of the times.

I’m probably being dense, but not really :sweat_smile:

What I do not understand is this :

How come modalism is not Sabellian, when this :

is precisely, as far as I’m aware, one the definitions of modalism (one single Being expressing Itself in different ways) ?

Harnack, in his classical work The History of Dogma (vol. 3), classifies Sabellius among the Modalist Monarchians, precisely because of the precedence he gives to the Father.

And, a bit later (quoting from Harnack here) :

Sabellius, however, taught — according to Epiphanius and Athanasius — that God was not at the same time Father and Son; but that he had, rather, put forth his activity in three successive “energies”; first, in the Prosopon (= form of manifestation, figure; not = Hypostasis) of the Father as Creator and Lawgiver; secondly, in the Prosopon of the Son as Redeemer, beginning with the incarnation and ending at the ascension; finally, and up till the present hour, in the Prosopon of the Spirit as giver and sustainer of life.

There lies the crux of what I do not understand.

You said :

You seem to equate mode and hypostasis.
But, as in the bolded bit in Harnack’s quote above, the orthodox comprehension of an hypostasis is precisely that it is not a mode (= a way of expressing existence), but a person or a subject.

Am I clear ? Can you understand what I can’t understand ? :upside_down_face:

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