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Bahá'í Buddhist Christian Hindu Islamic Mormon Sikh In Christianity, the doctrine of the Trinity states that God is one being who exists, simultaneously and eternally, as a mutual indwelling of three persons: the Father, the Son (incarnate as Jesus of Nazareth), and the Holy Spirit. Since the 4th century, in both Eastern and Western Christianity, this doctrine has been stated as "three persons in one God," all three of whom, as distinct and co-eternal persons, are of one indivisible Divine essence, a simple being. Supporting the doctrine of the Trinity is known as Trinitarianism. The majority of Christians are Trinitarian, and regard belief in the Trinity as a test of orthodoxy. Opposing, nontrinitarian positions that are held by some groups include Binitarianism (two deities/persons/aspects), Unitarianism (one deity/person/aspect), the Godhead (Latter Day Saints) (three separate beings) and Modalism (Oneness).
In addition to teaching that God comprises three persons, the doctrine also teaches that the Son Himself has two distinct natures, one fully divine and the other fully human.
Neither the Old Testament nor New Testament uses the term "Trinity," though Trinitarians believe the concept is implicit in various biblical passages (see Scripture section below). The doctrine of the Trinity is the result of continuous exploration by the church of the biblical data, argued in debate and treatises.

Neither of the words "Trinity" nor "Triunity" appear in the Old Testament or New Testament. Various passages from both have been cited as supporting this doctrine, while other passages are cited as opposing it.

Trinity in Scripture
Many passages from the Old Testament have been cited as supporting the Trinity, and the Old Testament depicts God as the father of Israel and refers to (possibly metaphorical) divine figures such as Word, Spirit, and Wisdom. Some biblical scholars have said that "it would go beyond the intention and spirit of the Old Testament to correlate these notions with later Trinitarian doctrine."

Summarizing the role of Scripture
To support Trinitarianism, Bible exegetes cite references to the Trinity, to Jesus as God, and both to God alone and to Jesus as the Savior.

Scriptural texts cited as implying support
A few verses directly reference the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit:

Matthew 3:16–17: "As soon as Jesus Christ was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, 'This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.' " (also Mark 1:10–11; Luke 3:22; John 1:32)
Matthew 28:19: "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (see Trinitarian formula).
2 Corinthians 13:14: "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you."
1 John 5:7–8: "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one." (This is the controversial Comma Johanneum, which did not appear in Greek texts before the sixteenth century.)
Luke 1:35: "The angel answered and said to her, 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.' "
Hebrews 9:14: "How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!" Jesus as God
The Old Testament identifies the LORD as the only savior, and the New Testament identifies Jesus Christ as God and Savior. These verses are consistent with Trinitarianism, as well as various nontrinitarian beliefs (binitarianism, modalism, the Latter-Day Saints' godhead, Arianism, etc.).

Isaiah 43:11: "'I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior.'"
Titus 2:10: "and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive."
Titus 3:4: "But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared," in regard with:
Luke 2:11: "'Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.'"
Titus 2:13: "while we wait for the blessed hope-the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,"
John 4:42: "They said to the woman, "We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man [Jesus] really is the Savior of the world.'"
Titus 3:6: "whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior," God alone is the Savior and the Savior is Jesus
The importance for the first Christians of their faith in God whom they called Father; in Jesus Christ whom they saw as the Son of God, the Word of God, Modern textual criticism has since concurred with his findings; many modern translations now either omit the passage, or make it clear that it is not found in the early manuscripts.

The most significant developments in articulating the doctrine of the Trinity took place in the 4th century, with a group of men known as the Theologians.

Formulation of the Doctrine

"After the foregoing instructions, baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in living [running] water…. If you have neither, pour water three times on the head, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." (Didache 7:1 [A.D. 70]). The Didache

"[T]o the Church at Ephesus in Asia ...chosen through true suffering by the will of the Father in Jesus Christ our God." (Epistle to the Ephesians, 0:0 [c. A.D. 110]). Ignatius of Antioch

"We will prove that we worship him reasonably; for we have learned that he is the Son of the true God himself, that he holds a second place, and the Spirit of prophecy a third. For this they accuse us of madness, saying that we attribute to a crucified man a place second to the unchangeable and eternal God, the Creator of all things; but they are ignorant of the mystery which lies therein." (First Apology 13:5–6 [A.D. 151]). Justin Martyr

"It is the attribute of God, of the most high and almighty and of the living God, not only to be everywhere, but also to see and hear all; for he can in no way be contained in a place.... The three days before the luminaries were created are types of the Trinity: God, his Word, and his Wisdom." (To Autolycus 2:15 [A.D. 181]). Theophilus of Antioch

"For the Church, although dispersed throughout the whole world even to the ends of the earth, has received from the apostles and from their disciples the faith in one God, the Father Almighty ...and in one Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who became flesh for our salvation; and in the Holy Spirit." (Against Heresies 1:10:1 [A.D. 189]). Tertullian

"For we do not hold that which the heretics imagine: that some part of the being of God was converted into the Son, or that the Son was procreated by the Father from non-existent substances, that is, from a being outside himself, so that there was a time when he [the Son] did not exist." (The Fundamental Doctrines 4:4:1 [A.D. 225]). Origen

"The Word alone of this God is from God himself, wherefore also the Word is God, being the being of God. Now the world was made from nothing, wherefore it is not God." (Refutation of All Heresies 10:29 [A.D. 228]). Hippolytus

"For Scripture as much announces Christ as also God, as it announces God himself as man. It has as much described Jesus Christ to be man, as moreover it has also described Christ the Lord to be God. Because it does not set forth him to be the Son of God only, but also the son of man; nor does it only say, the son of man, but it has also been accustomed to speak of him as the Son of God. So that being of both, he is both, lest if he should be one only, he could not be the other. For as nature itself has prescribed that he must be believed to be a man who is of man, so the same nature prescribes also that he must be believed to be God who is of God…. Let them, therefore, who read that Jesus Christ the son of man is man, read also that this same Jesus is called also God and the Son of God." (Treatise on the Trinity 11 [A.D. 235]). Novatian

"Next, then, I may properly turn to those who divide and cut apart and destroy the most sacred proclamation of the Church of God, making of it [the Trinity], as it were, three powers, distinct substances, and three godheads.... [Some heretics] proclaim that there are in some way three gods, when they divide the sacred unity into three substances foreign to each other and completely separate." (Letter to Dionysius of Alexandria 1 [A.D. 262]). Pope Dionysius
The Trinitarian view has been affirmed as an article of faith by the Nicene (325/381) and Athanasian creeds (circa 500), which attempted to standardize belief in the face of disagreements on the subject. These creeds were formulated and ratified by the Church of the third and fourth centuries in reaction to heterodox theologies concerning the Trinity and/or Christ. The Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed, revised in 381 by the second of these councils, is professed by the Eastern Orthodox Church and, with one addition (Filioque clause), the Roman Catholic Church, and has been retained in some form in the Anglican Communion and most Protestant denominations.
The Nicene Creed, which is a classic formulation of the doctrine of the Trinity, uses "homoousios" (Greek: of the same essence) of the relation of the Son's relationship with the Father. This word differs from that used by non-Trinitarians of the time, "homoiousios" (Greek: of similar essence), by a single Greek letter, "one iota," a fact proverbially used to speak of deep divisions, especially in theology, expressed by seemingly small verbal differences.
One of the (probably three) Church councils that in 264–266 condemned Paul of Samosata for his Adoptionist theology also condemned the term "homoousios" in the sense he used it, with the result that, as the Catholic Encyclopedia article about him remarks, "The objectors to the Nicene doctrine in the fourth century made copious use of this disapproval of the Nicene word by a famous council."[1]
Moreover, the meanings of "ousia" and "hypostasis" overlapped at the time, so that the latter term for some meant essence and for others person. Athanasius of Alexandria (293–373) helped to clarify the terms.[2]
Because Christianity converts cultures from within, the doctrinal formulas as they have developed bear the marks of the ages through which the church has passed. The rhetorical tools of Greek philosophy, especially of Neoplatonism, are evident in the language adopted to explain the church's rejection of Arianism and Adoptionism on one hand (teaching that Christ is inferior to the Father, or even that he was merely human), and Docetism and Sabellianism on the other hand (teaching that Christ was identical to God the Father, or an illusion). Augustine of Hippo has been noted at the forefront of these formulations; and he contributed much to the speculative development of the doctrine of the Trinity as it is known today, in the West; the Cappadocian Fathers (Basil the Great, Gregory of Nyssa, and Gregory Nazianzus) are more prominent in the East. The imprint of Augustinianism is found, for example, in the western Athanasian Creed, which, although it bears the name and reproduces the views of the fourth century opponent of Arianism, was probably written much later.
These controversies were for most purposes settled at the Ecumenical councils, whose creeds affirm the doctrine of the Trinity.
According to the Athanasian Creed, each of these three divine Persons is said to be eternal, each almighty, none greater or less than another, each God, and yet together being but one God, So are we forbidden by the Catholic religion to say; There are three Gods or three Lords.—Athanasian Creed, line 20.
Modalists attempted to resolve the mystery of the Trinity by holding that the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost are merely modes, or roles, of God Almighty. This anti-Trinitarian view contends that the three "Persons" are not distinct Persons, but titles which describe how humanity has interacted with or had experiences with God. In the Role of The Father, God is the provider and creator of all. In the mode of The Son, man experiences God in the flesh, as a human, fully man and fully God. God manifests Himself as the Holy Spirit by his actions on Earth and within the lives of Christians. This view is known as Sabellianism, and was rejected as heresy by the Ecumenical Councils although it is still prevalent today among denominations known as "Oneness" and "Apostolic" Pentecostal Christians, the largest of these sects being the United Pentecostal Church. Trinitarianism insists that the Father, Son and Spirit simultaneously exist, each fully the same God.
The doctrine developed into its present form precisely through this kind of confrontation with alternatives; and the process of refinement continues in the same way. Even now, ecumenical dialogue between Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Roman Catholic, the Assyrian Church of the East, Anglican and Trinitarian Protestants, seeks an expression of Trinitarian and Christological doctrine which will overcome the extremely subtle differences that have largely contributed to dividing them into separate communities. The doctrine of the Trinity is therefore symbolic, somewhat paradoxically, of both division and unity.

"There is one God.... There is a perfect Trinity, in glory and eternity and sovereignty, neither divided nor estranged. Wherefore there is nothing either created or in servitude in the Trinity; nor anything super-induced, as if at some former period it was non-existent, and at some later period it was introduced. And thus neither was the Son ever wanting to the Father, nor the Spirit to the Son; but without variation and without change, the same Trinity abides ever." (Declaration of Faith [A.D. 265]). Gregory the Wonderworker

Trinitarian Theology
Baptism itself is generally conferred with the Trinitarian formula, "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 28:19); and Basil the Great (330–379) declared: "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." "This is the Faith of our baptism," the First Council of Constantinople declared (382), "that teaches us to believe in the Name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. According to this 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 Trinitarian formula from the earliest decades of the Church's existence.
In the synoptic Gospels the baptism of Jesus himself is often interpreted as a manifestation of all three Persons of the Trinity: "And when Jesus was 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." (Matthew 3:16–17)

Baptism as the beginning lesson
God is one, and the Godhead a single being: The Hebrew Scriptures lift this one article of faith above others, and surround it with stern warnings against departure from this central issue of faith, and of faithfulness to the covenant God had made with them. "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD" (Deuteronomy 6:4) (the Shema), "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" (Deuteronomy 5:7) 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 God." (Isaiah 44:6). Any formulation of an article of faith which does not insist that God is solitary, that divides worship between God and any other, or that imagines God coming into existence rather than being God eternally, is not capable of directing people toward the knowledge of God, according to the Trinitarian understanding of the Old Testament. The same insistence is found in the New Testament: "...there is none other God but one..." (1 Corinthians 8:4). The "other gods" warned against are therefore not understood as gods at all, but as substitutes for God, and so are, according to St. Paul, simply mythological (1 Corinthians 8:5).
Which brings the question, what is meant by "one?" In the Hebrew, the word for God is Elohim [אֱלֹהִים]. In every other instance where elohim is with a small e (indicating non-gods), it indicates a plurality because the word elohim is in fact plural. In the abovementioned passages, the Hebrew word for "one" is echad [אֶחָד] which may signify a compound unity, unified in perfect harmony and purpose, unlike the Hebrew word yachid which unequivocally means an absolute (not compound) singularity. The concept of echad would be similar to a perfectly functioning family or the cleaving of husband and wife as one flesh (cf. Gen. 2:24).
So, in the Trinitarian view, the common conception which thinks of the Father and Christ as two separate beings is viewed as incorrect by many but not all groups in Christianity and Messianicism. 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 is still the same as the God of the New. In Christianity, it is understood that statements about a solitary 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. The Gospel of John depicts the Father as united with Jesus as Jesus is united with his followers (John 17:20–23).

One God
This one God however exists in three persons, or in the Greek hypostases. God has but a single divine nature. ChalcedoniansRoman Catholics, Orthodox Christians, Anglicans and Protestants—hold that, in addition, the Second Person of the Trinity—God the Son, Jesus—assumed human nature, so that he has two natures (and hence two wills), and is really and fully both true God and true human. In the Oriental Orthodox theology, the Chalcedonian formulation is rejected in favor of the position that the union of the two natures, though unconfused, births a third nature: redeemed humanity, the new creation.
In the Trinity, the Three are said to be co-equal and co-eternal, one in essence, nature, power, action, and will. However, as laid out in the Athanasian Creed, only the Father is unbegotten and non-proceeding. The Son is begotten from (or "generated by") the Father. The Spirit proceeds from the Father (or from the Father and through the Son—see filioque clause for the distinction). The Roman Catholic Church teaches that the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son.
It has been stated that because God exists in three persons, God has always loved, and there has always existed perfectly harmonious communion between the three persons of the Trinity. One consequence of this teaching is that God could not have created Man in order to have someone to talk to or to love: God "already" enjoyed personal communion; being perfect, He did not create Man because of any lack or inadequacy He had. Another consequence, according to Rev. Fr. Thomas Hopko, an Eastern Orthodox theologian, is that if God were not a Trinity, He could not have loved prior to creating other beings on whom to bestow his love. Thus we find God saying in Genesis 1:26, "Let us make man in our image." 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. Genesis 2:22 Some Trinitarian Christians support their position with the Comma Johanneum described above, even though it is widely regarded as inauthentic and was not used patristically.

God exists in three persons
A useful explanation of the relationship of the distinct divine persons is called "perichoresis," from Greek going around, envelopment (written with a long O, omega—some mistakenly associate it with the Greek word for dance, which however is spelled with a short O, omicron). This concept refers for its basis to John 14–17, where 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. At that time, 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 3:1). [3]
This co-indwelling may also be helpful in illustrating the Trinitarian conception of salvation. The first doctrinal benefit is that it effectively excludes the idea that God has parts. Trinitarians affirm that God is a simple, not an aggregate, being. The second doctrinal benefit is that it 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 St. Paul's words, "all the fullness of deity" and not a part. (See also: Theosis). 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, himself, 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)
Some forms of human union are considered to be not identical but analogous to the Trinitarian concept, as found for example in Jesus' words about marriage: "For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh" (Mark 10:7–8). According to the words of Jesus, married persons are in some sense no longer two, but joined into one. Therefore, Orthodox theologians also see the marriage relationship as an image, or "ikon" of the Trinity, relationships of communion in which, in the words of St. Paul, participants are "members one of another." As with marriage, the unity of the church with Christ is similarly considered in some sense analogous to the unity of the Trinity, following the prayer of Jesus to the Father, for the church, that "they may be one, even as we are one." John 17:22

Mutually indwelling
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.
This language is often considered difficult because, if used regarding humans or other created things, it would necessarily imply time and change; when used here, no beginning, change in being, or process within time is intended and is in fact excluded. The Son is generated ("born" or "begotten"), and the Spirit proceeds, eternally. 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." {Psalm 2:7}

Eternal generation and procession
Because the Son is begotten, not made, the substance of his person is that of Yahweh, of deity. The creation is brought into being through the Son, but the Son Himself is not part of it except through His incarnation.
The church fathers used a number of analogies to express this thought. St. Irenaeus of Lyons was the final major theologian of the second century. He writes "the Father is God, and the Son is God, for whatever is begotten of God is God."
Extending the analogy, it might be said, similarly, that whatever is generated (procreated) of humans is human. Thus, given that humanity is, in the words of the Bible, "created in the image and likeness of God," an analogy can be drawn between the Divine Essence and human nature, between the Divine Persons and human persons. However, given the fall, this analogy is far from perfect, even though, like the Divine Persons, human persons are characterized by being "loci of relationship." For Trinitarian Christians, this analogy is particularly important with regard to the Church, which St. Paul calls "the body of Christ" and whose members are, because they are "members of Christ," also "members one of another."
However, any attempt to explain the mystery to some extent must break down, and has limited usefulness, being designed, not so much to fully explain the Trinity, but to point to the experience of communion with the Triune God within the Church as the Body of Christ. The difference between those who believe in the Trinity and those who do not, is not an issue of understanding the mystery. Rather, the difference is primarily one of belief concerning the personal identity of Christ. It is a difference in conception of the salvation connected with Christ that drives all reactions, either favorable or unfavorable, to the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. As it is, the doctrine of the Trinity is directly tied up with Christology.

Son begotten, not created
Or more simply—the ontological Trinity (who God is) and the economic Trinity (what God does). Most Christians believe the economic reflects and reveals the ontological. Catholic theologian Karl Rahner went so far as to say "The 'economic' Trinity is the 'immanent' Trinity, and vice versa."
The terminology of Godhead concerns the nature of God and so is largely distinct from that which concerns specifically the interrelations of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Economic Trinity: This refers to the acts of the triune God with respect to the creation, history, salvation, the formation of the Church, the daily lives of believers, etc. and describes how the Trinity operates within history in terms of the roles or functions performed by each of the Persons of the Trinity—God's relationship with creation.
Ontological (or essential or immanent) Trinity: This speaks of the interior life of the Trinity "within itself" (John 1:1–2, note John 1:1)—the reciprocal relationships of Father, Son and Spirit to each other. Economic and Ontological Trinity

Old Testament evidence
In the Old Testament, several theophanies are recorded in which "God appeared" to one or more human beings in a physical manifestation that could be seen and heard.

Genesis 12:7; 18:1 - to Abraham
Genesis 26:2, 24 - to Isaac
Genesis 35:1, 9, 48:3 - to Jacob
Exodus 3:16; 4:5 - to Moses
Exodus 6:3 - to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob
Leviticus 9:4; 16:2 - to Aaron
Deuteronomy 31:15 - to Moses and Joshua
1 Samuel 3:21 - to Samuel
1 Kings 3:5; 9:2; 11:9 - to Solomon
2 Chronicles 3:1 - to David
2 Chronicles 7:12 - to Solomon Old Testament theophanies

Genesis 16:7–14
Genesis 22:9–14
Exodus 3:2
Exodus 23:20, 21
Numbers 22:21–35
Judges 2:1–5
Judges 6:11–22
Judges 13:3 The Angel (Messenger) of the Lord

Deuteronomy 32:6 (Moses' time)
Isaiah 63:15; 64:8 (pre-exile)
Malachi 2:10 (post-exile) God identified as "the Father" in the Old Testament

Psalm 2:12 includes the phrase "kiss his Son."

  • The "Anointed One" in verse 2 is called the "Son" in verse 12.
    Both Jewish and Christian scholars say this Psalm speaks of the Messiah.
    God's works are applied to "the Son" (compare Psalm 24:1–2; Job 34:24; Jeremiah 51:19–23)
    The "Son" is begotten (compare 2 Samuel 7:14; Acts 13:33)
    Proverbs 30:4 includes the phrase "His son's name."

    • Two separate persons are spoken of: "His name" and "His son's name"
      This cannot be a metaphor or impersonal force.
      This is not Hebrew parallelism.
      Isaiah 9:6 includes the phrase "a son is given," along with the following phrases.

      • "Wonderful Counselor" (compare Judges 13:17-18)
        "born to us" (compare Isaiah 7:14, "God with us")
        "Mighty God" (compare Isaiah 10:21)
        "Eternal Father"
        "Prince of Peace" (compare Psalm 2:7–9) God identified as "the Son" in the Old Testament
        Deity of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament
        Words of the Holy Spirit called the words of God

        1 Samuel 10:10, 19:20, 23
        2 Samuel 23:1
        1 Kings 22:24
        Nehemiah 9:30
        Psalms 51:11
        Isaiah 63:10,11
        Micah 2:7
        Job 33:4
        Psalms 104:30
        Psalms 139:7
        1 Samuel 10:10
        2 Samuel 23:2
        Zechariah 7:12; 12:10 God the Spirit in the Old Testament
        The Western (Roman Catholic) tradition is more prone to make positive statements concerning the relationship of persons in the Trinity. It should be noted that explanations of the Trinity are not the same thing as the doctrine itself; nevertheless the Augustinian West is inclined to think in philosophical terms concerning the rationality of God's being, and is prone on this basis to be more open than the East to seek philosophical formulations which make the doctrine more intelligible.
        The Christian East, for its part, correlates ecclesiology and Trinitarian doctrine, and seeks to understand the doctrine of the Trinity via the experience of the Church, which it understands to be "an ikon of the Trinity" and therefore, when St. Paul writes concerning Christians that all are "members one of another," Eastern Christians in turn understand this as also applying to the Divine Persons.
        The principal disagreement between Western and Eastern Christianity on the Trinity has been the relationship of the Holy Spirit with the other two hypostases. The original credal formulation of the Council of Constantinople was that the Holy Spirit proceeds "from the Father." While this phrase is still used unaltered in the Eastern Churches, it became customary in parts of the Western Church, beginning with the provincial Third Council of Toledo in 589, to add the clause "and the Son" (Latin filioque) into the Creed. Although this was explicitly rejected by Pope Leo III, it was finally used in a Papal Mass by Pope Benedict VIII in 1014, thus becoming official throughout the Roman Catholic Church. The Eastern Churches object to it on both ecclesiological and theological grounds.
        Anglicans have made a commitment in their Lambeth Conference, to provide for the use of the creed without the filioque clause in future revisions of their liturgies, in deference to the issues of Conciliar authority raised by the Orthodox.
        Most Protestant groups that use the creed also include the filioque clause. However, the issue is usually not controversial among them because their conception is often less exact than is discussed above (exceptions being the Presbyterian Westminster Confession 2:3, the London Baptist Confession 2:3, and the Lutheran Augsburg Confession 1:1–6, which specifically address those issues). The clause is often understood by Protestants to mean that the Spirit is sent from the Father, by the Son, a conception which is not controversial in either Catholicism or Eastern Orthodoxy. A representative view of Protestant Trinitarian theology is more difficult to provide, given the diverse and decentralized nature of the various Protestant churches.

        Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Protestant distinctions
        Some feminist theologians refer to the persons of the Holy Trinity with gender-neutral language, such as "Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer (or Sanctifier)." This is a recent formulation, which seeks to redefine the Trinity in terms of three roles in salvation or relationships with us, not eternal identities or relationships with each other. Since, however, each of the three divine persons participates in the acts of creation, redemption, and sustaining, traditionalist Christians reject this formulation as suggesting a new variety of Modalism. Some theologians prefer the alternate terminology of "Source, and Word, and Holy Spirit."
        Responding to feminist concerns, orthodox theology has noted the following: a) the names "Father" and "Son" are clearly analogical, since all Trinitarians would agree that God is beyond all gender); b) that, in translating the Creed, for example, "born" and "begotten" are equally valid translations of the Greek word "gennao," which refers to the eternal generation of the Son by the Father: hence, one may refer to God "the Father who gives birth"; this is further supported by patristic writings which compare the "birth" of the Divine Word "before all ages" (i.e., eternally) from the Father with his birth in time from the Virgin Mary; c) Using "Son" to refer to the Second Divine Person is most proper only when referring to the Incarnate Word, Jesus, who is clearly male; d) in Semitic languages, such as Hebrew and Aramaic, the noun translated "spirit" is grammatically feminine. Images of God's Spirit in Scripture are also often feminine, as with the Spirit "brooding" over the primordial chaos in Genesis 1, or grammatically feminine, such as a dove.

        Naming the Persons
        On the face of it, the doctrine of the Trinity seems to be logically incoherent as it appears to imply that identity is not transitive—"for the Father is identical with God, the Son is identical with God, and the Father is not identical with the Son." Recently, there have been two philosophical attempts to defend the logical coherency of Trinity, one by Richard Swinburne and the other by Peter Geach et al. The formulation suggested by the former philosopher is free from logical incoherency, but it is debatable whether this formulation is consistent with historical orthodoxy. Regarding the formulation suggested by the latter philosopher, not all philosophers would agree with its logical coherency. Richard Swinburne has suggested that "the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be thought of as numerically distinct Gods." Peter Geach suggested that "a coherent statement of the doctrine is possible on the assumption that identity is 'always relative to a sortal term'." Christians admit that the Trinity is beyond our finite understanding to understand completely, as God is beyond our finite understanding.
        On the other hand, some Messianic groups, the Branch Davidian Seventh Day Adventists, and even some scholars within (but not necessarily representing) denominations such as Southern Baptist Convention view the Trinity as being comparable to the concept of a family, hence the familial terms of Father, Son, and the implied role of Mother for the Holy Spirit. The Hebrew word for "God," Elohim, which has an inherent plurality, has the function as a surname as in "Yahweh Elohim." The seeming contradiction of Elohim being "one" is solved by the fact that the Hebrew word for "one" is "echad " meaning compound unity, harmonious in direction and purpose; not "yachid" which means singularity.

        Logical Coherency
        Some Protestant Christians, particularly some members of the restoration movement, are ambivalent about the doctrine of the Trinity. While not specifically rejecting Trinitarianism or presenting an alternative doctrine of the Godhead and God's relationship with humanity, they are neither dogmatic about the Trinity nor hold it as a test of true Christian faith. Some, like the Society of Friends (Quakers) and Christian Unitarians, may reject all doctrinal or creedal tests of true faith. Others, like some members of the restorationist Churches of Christ, in keeping with a distinctive understanding of "Scripture alone," say that since the doctrine of the Trinity is not clearly articulated in the Bible, it cannot be required for salvation. Still others may look to church tradition and say that there has always been a Christian tradition that faithfully followed Jesus without such a doctrine. They point out that the Trinitarian doctrine, which they see as being steeped in Greek philosophical distinctions, was not clearly articulated for some centuries after Christ.

        Ambivalence to Trinitarian doctrine
        The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) identify the Trinity (or Godhead) as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, but they regard these three as one in purpose and unity, but not in identity.
        The Trinity in Christian Science is found in the unity of God, the Christ, and the Holy Ghost or—"God the Father-Mother; Christ the spiritual idea of sonship; divine Science or the Holy Comforter." The same in essence, the Trinity indicates "the intelligent relation of God to man and the universe."

        Trinity Unorthodox Trinitarianism

        Main article: Nontrinitarianism Nontrinitarianism
        Nontrinitarians commonly refer to the following points in objection to Trinitarian teaching.

        That it does not follow the strict monotheism found in Judaism and the Old Testament, which Jesus claimed to have fulfilled.
        That it is an invention of early Christian church fathers, such as Tertullian.
        That it is paradoxical and therefore not in line with reason.
        That it reflects the influence of pagan religions, some of which have divine triads of their own.
        That the doctrine contradicts the Holy Scriptures, such as when Jesus states that the Father is greater than he is, or the Pauline theology: "Yet to us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we unto him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and we through him."
        That the doctrine relies almost entirely on non-Biblical terminology. Some notable examples include: Trinity, Three-in-one, God the Son, God the Holy Ghost, Person in relation to anyone other than Jesus Christ being the image of God's person (hypostasis).
        That the scriptural support for the doctrine is implicit at best. For example, the New Testament refers to the Father and the Son together much more often than to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and the word "Trinity" doesn't appear in the Bible.
        Three persons in one or a personal Trinity suggests polytheism. Criticisms of Trinitarian doctrine
        Since Trinitarianism is central to so much of church doctrine, nontrinitarians have mostly been groups that existed before the Nicene Creed was codified in 325 or are groups that developed after the Reformation, when many church doctrines came into question
        In the early centuries of Christian history adoptionists, Arians, Ebionites, Gnostics, Marcionites, and others held nontrinitarian beliefs. The Nicene Creed raised the issue of the relationship between Jesus' divine and human natures. Monophysitism ("one nature") and monothelitism ("one will") were heretical attempts to explain this relationship. During more than a thousand years of Trinitarian orthodoxy, formal nontrinitarianism, i.e., a doctrine held by a church, group, or movement, was rare, but it did appear. For example, among the Cathars of the 13th century. The Protestant Reformation of the 1500s also brought tradition into question. At first, nontrinitarians were executed (such as Servetus), or forced to keep their beliefs secret (such as Isaac Newton). The eventual establishment of religious freedom, however, allowed nontrinitarians to more easily preach their beliefs, and the 19th century saw the establishment of several nontrinitarian groups in North America and elsewhere. These include Christadelphians, Jehovah's Witnesses, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Unitarians. Twentieth-century nontrinitarian movements include Iglesia ni Cristo and the Unification Church. Nontrinitarian groups differ from one another in their views of Jesus Christ, depicting him variously as a divine being second only to God the Father (e.g., Jehovah's Witnesses), Yahweh of the Old Testament in human form, God (but not eternally God), Son of God but inferior to the Father (versus co-equal), prophet, or simply a holy man.
        Of notable exception are Oneness Pentecostals, who affirm that God came to Earth as man (i.e., manifested Himself) in the man Jesus Christ. Oneness Pentecostals fully affirm, like Trinitarians, that Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man. One can understand Oneness Pentecostals by replacing the Trinitarian term 'person' with the term 'mode' or 'manifestation' when discussing the Christian Godhead. Many Oneness Pentecostals can recite the first Nicene Creed, as it rejects Arianism, yet preserves the oneness of God and divinity of Jesus Christ.

        Nontrinitarian groups
        Trinity is the central female character in the movies, Matrix trilogy. Some believe that the three main characters resemble the Holy Trinity throughout the trilogy. Morpheus as the Father, Neo as the Son, and Trinity as the Holy Spirit. Another view is that Morpheus represents Elijah, or John the Baptist as the one who sought out and recognized that Neo had the dedication to constantly seek truth. It was Morpheus who baptized Neo and announced to the others that Neo was the One. While none of them are certain of what God is, they are certain that what they previously knew to be the truth, was indeed a lie to prevent discovery of the truth that they were being used as energy to fuel their own selfish fantasies while keeping all the Agent Smiths "on the payroll" (see Trinity (The Matrix)).
        Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell, and Christy Turlington, were called the "Trinity" of top supermodels in the 1990s.


        God the Father
        Fleur de lys
        Holy Trinity Icon
        Oneness Pentecostal
        Social Trinity
        Trimurti, the Hindu Trinity
        Trinitarian Universalism
        Ahura, the Zoroastrian Trinity
        Ayyavazhi Trinity
        Holy Trinity columns

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