What is the best analogy for the Trinity?


I mentioned elsewhere that I dislike mathematical expressions for the Trinity because math is inherently limited when it comes to God. But this isn’t too bad. I’d say


That makes no sense mathematically, but it’s the best we can probably come up with for the processions.


The Saint Patrick’s Day parade got roasted. Is Lutheran Satire actually Lutheran, because this is surprisingly Catholic? They did say Patrick a bit too much.

After watching this I realized that all I understood about the Trinity was a lie. Its even worse than my whole life being a lie.


If I’m not mistaken, he’s a Confessional Lutheran, so a fairly conservative Lutheran.


Dante (in his Paradiso) used the analogy of a circle and he saw it shaded in three different colors at the same time.


Lutherans are pretty catholic in their theology except for some rather glaring flaws.


Its kind of hard for me to tell since the Lutherans seem to be divided into different types.


But the man was not always a husband and not always a father. The wife and husband and child were not always a family. Water cannot be all water, ice and vapour at the same time - it’s a mystery which we cannot explain. We believe and accept by faith.


The Trinity can be explained, and it is comprehensible in the loose sense, even if we can’t relate to it through our own experience or by analogy to the common things of our experience.


Well… While I don’t agree with the water in three states analogy either, actually, water can be in all three states at once.


Water is made up of three atoms, but that might be partialism. The analogies give a somewhat general idea even though that is not correct.


(Hopefully this is an authentic Aquinas quote. There have been a lot of accusations on what Aquinas said without reference *cough *cough)
I guess this would apply to the Trinity as well.


I’ve also heard people suggest the egg analogy - shell, white, yolk. I have been blessed to never question the trinity - it is the trinity.


All analogies fail to a greater or lesser degree. How do you analogize an utter mystery?


That’s why I don’t like thinking about those things.


Also partialism. :wink:


I know all of that, porthos11. I said it wasn’t perfect, didn’t I? I was just trying to give the OP an alternative that avoids polytheism and modalism, to complement the three analogies that he had thought of himself. The best “analogy” is simply the Trinity as given.


I like to think of it as a rose. You can see the color of a rose and think of a rose, you can see a black and white picture of a rose and think of a rose, and you can smell a rose and think of a rose. To the trained eye or nose, all these things reveal a rose but togethers they still make one rose. I think this topic has gone too far down the rabbit hole of arguing over insignificant things. The OP was clearly asking for good ways to describe the Trinity, not hatred for asking in the first place. We are only human, but it can’t hurt to think about these things. A mystery of the faith is not something so hard to understand we should ignore it, it’s an invitation to contemplation.



There are analogies that are better than others in some circumstances, but there is no analogy that is best in all circumstances. For instance. The clover analogy for example teaches that the trinity, while a mystery, is familiar and a part of one’s surroundings.

All analogies fall short, God is more unlike the analogy than like. But they are the only things we have.

My favorite analogy for the Trinity is Speaker, Word, Breath.



1x1x1=1 is what I have seen but how does 1+1+1=1 work?


It is the most basic info on the trinity,
One Father + one Son + one Spirit = one God.

It works by ignoring the basic rules of mathematics to assert the mystery of their relationship.

It should perhaps be accompanied by
one Father = one God = one Son = one God= one Spirit
That in fact is a direct quote from the Athanasian creed, translated into maths.

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