caleb_richard — 2014-06-13T13:30:23-04:00 — #1
What does the bible say about the Trinity? Is Jesus really the same person as God or not?
lynden_williams — 2014-06-22T09:53:09-04:00 — #2
I prefer the term Godhead, although the two terms are used synonymously. Trinity
ken_mcguire — 2014-06-23T12:59:58-04:00 — #3
As many have observed, the word "Trinity" is not in the Bible. But Jesus certainly is, and he certainly spoke of his Father, and a Spirit for his community. In addition, there are a few instances where the Three are spoken of together, eg. Mt 28:19 and 2 Cor 13:14 (and a few others). What exactly this means was a topic of theological discussion in the early church, esp. in the 4th Century. And some are not entirely satisfied the the results of that theological discussion.
The discussion, of which I spoke of above, hammered out some specific vocabulary to speak of the mystery of God. In the Western Church, the acceptable language was to speak of the Father and the Son as being one "Substance" but two different "Persons". So, we do not speak of Jesus and his Father as being the same person, since the term "Person" is used to describe how they are different - namely their relations with each other.
But to a large extent, the answer to your question depends on what you mean by "person".
xavier_wiltbank — 2014-06-23T19:47:21-04:00 — #4
Ken I was wondering if there are a few usual definitions of a "person" or being, in the context of the Trinity or Godhead?
ken_mcguire — 2014-06-23T22:09:02-04:00 — #5
Speaking as a Lutheran, our Augsburg Confession summarizes the ancient discussion by saying "What is understood by the word “person” is not a part nor a quality in another but that which exists by itself, as the Fathers once used the word concerning this issue."
But if you want to return to the sources, St. Basil's Letter 38 would be a very good start.
xavier_wiltbank — 2014-06-24T12:26:32-04:00 — #6
Thanks Ken, I'll go check that out.
lee_garrison — 2014-07-15T05:00:29-04:00 — #7
Look at Matthew 1:23 Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call his name Immanuel, which is translated, God with us.
This is God coming to man and taking on human flesh.
Look at John 1:1-2 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2.He was in the beginning with God.
When I see this I am looking at the Father and Son. Also in reading Genesis 1:2 the Spirit of God, 1:26 I see the Father, Son, and Spirit or Godhead.
jonathan_srock — 2014-07-29T13:24:13-04:00 — #8
one of the best examples of the three persons of the Trinity being seen at one time is that Jesus baptism in Matthew 3:16 – 17 where Jesus comes up out of the water, the Holy Spirit descends as a dove and the Father speaks from heaven. There are also several parts of the New Testament that have a Trinitarian theme. One example is Romans 8: 26 – 39). Here we see the Holy Spirit is for us when he interprets our prayers (vv.26 – 27). The Father justifies saints (vv. 29 – 33). Jesus the Son is for us as the sacrifice for atonement (vv. 34 – 39). These are just a couple of examples why people talk about the Godhead or Trinity. There is a separation of persons in these passages and yet in other passages all three are given the substance and quality of being divine.
lu1 — 2014-07-29T22:50:57-04:00 — #9
God, as revealed in the Bible, provides the antidote to both rigid conformity and selfish individualism. The one true God is a community of persons. Just as God is truly God by being Father, Son and Spirit relating to one another, so it is in relating to other people that human beings are truly human. Such true humans can also be part of a true community where both unity and diversity are celebrated. This doesn’t mean that a nation should be made up of diverse communities living in their own spaces and never engaging with one another (though our politicians might suggest this); it means one united community of different, other-centred people who serve each other.
We see within the Godhead that the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. He gives the Son a wonderful inheritance and sends the Son to fulfil the vision of a new creation. The Son obeys the Father even to the point of dying. In his resurrection, ascension and return he gives all honour to his Father. The Holy Spirit is sent by the Father and the Son to bring people into the Son’s new creation. The Spirit makes the Son known among the nations and lives in people so that their lives are God-honouring, selfless and just. Within the Godhead, therefore, the Father, Son and Spirit live in joyful, righteous, self-giving, other-enriching intimacy. Imagine if our marriages, our families and our communities were marked by such love. What a difference that would make! Having been made in God’s image, we were made for such a life.
Scott, Robert (2012-06-08). Questions Muslims Ask: What Christians Actually Do (and Don't) Believe (p. 100). Intervarsity Press. Kindle Edition.
Scott, Robert (2012-06-08). Questions Muslims Ask: What Christians Actually Do (and Don't) Believe (p. 99). Intervarsity Press. Kindle Edition.
paolo_russo — 2014-07-30T04:16:01-04:00 — #10
I found quite interesting the review of an unitarian guy over a muslim apologist, on the topic of trinity: http://trinities.org/blog/archives/6352
If you have 30mins to spare, we can maybe talk about some of those points.
wolfgang_schneider — 2014-08-04T03:09:49-04:00 — #11
what do you mean with "God ... taking on human flesh" ? Can God (who is SPIRIT ... cp Jesus' words in John 4:24) change and become a human? Did God become a human being and yet also remain a Spirit being, seeing that in John 4:24 - as well as other places - Jesus himself is making reference to God, his Father, as being in heaven and never mentions anywhere that he considered himself to be God?
wolfgang_schneider — 2014-08-04T03:16:29-04:00 — #12
If this observation from R. Scott were correct, wouldn't then all pronouns referring to "God" in Scripture have to be plural ("they, them" or "we, us", etc.) rather than the singular "he, him, his" which we find throughout the Scriptures of the OT and NT?
It appears to me that "God" is a term used in the Scriptures in reference to one singular "person" (acting entity, acting living spirit being) ... thus I am wondering about the validity of defining "God" as "a community of persons" ...
lu1 — 2014-08-04T04:10:06-04:00 — #13
Here are two examples of a plural announcement for God but a constructive that is a singular pronoun of God
A plural noun, based on El (q.v.); generically, used of plurality of gods; especially used of the God of the Old Testament; Mal. 3:18; Gen. 1:1.
Paul S. Karleen, The Handbook to Bible Study: With a Guide to the Scofield Study System (New York: Oxford University Press, 1987), 322.
Elohim (el´oh-him). The most frequent Hebrew word for GOD, occurring over 2,200 times in the OT (e.g., Gen. 1:1).
Moisés Silva, The Essential Bible Dictionary (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), 76.
mary_e_lewis — 2014-08-04T13:37:52-04:00 — #14
It is a sad thing that the Bible translators chose to remove the name of our Creator from the Judeo/Christian Bibles. Many differing doctrines plague Christianity today by not seeing our Creator's true Hebrew name and his Hebrew title of deference as it is used in the Bible. I would like to offer what I have learned on this subject. I hope it will be helpful.
The following is quoted from the Word of YHVH Bible:
1—In the beginning Elohim created the heaven and the earth. 2—And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness [was] upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of Elohim moved upon the face of the waters. 3—And Elohim said, Let there be light: and there was light. 4—And Elohim saw the light, that [it was] good: and Elohim divided the light from the darkness. 5—And Elohim called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
Note for Genesis 1:1—Spirit in Hebrew is ruach, meaning breath. According to Genesis 2:4-5 one Supreme Deity who is YHVH Elohim, created all by the omnipotence and omnipresence of His breath (aka Spirit).
The following verse cannot be construed as plural in any way except as greater than all.
23—[Am] I Elohim at hand, said YHVH, and not Elohim afar off? 24—Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him?—Said YHVH. Do I not fill heaven and earth?—Said YHVH. (Jeremiah 23:23-24)
Elohim is a title of deference. Elohim appears in the OT 2,601 times—2,359 times in reference to YaHavah (YHVH), 240 times in reference to other gods, judges, or magistrates, and 2 times in deference to believers as sons of Elohim. The definition of Elohim, as it is used in the Bible, is more about deference than plurality. Used in reference to YHVH, Elohim means “one Supreme Deity.” For Jesus, it carries the next level of deference as “Deity” because his Father is Deity and his mother was human. For humans, it means, “judge or magistrate, or any other form of leadership.” Jesus was born in the tribe of Judah to inherit the throne of David and he was born the Son of YaHavah to inherit the throne of his father, YaHavah. As the Son of YaHavah he did not inherit the sin of Adam as all other humans have.
I am the owner of the Word of YHVH Bible and offer it and several other books for free on my website at www.fireofthelord.com. Please feel free to explore.
robert_moses_dryer — 2014-08-09T16:25:32-04:00 — #15
The Bible says nothing about the trinity but it doesn't make the doctrine untrue. And no Jesus is not the same person as God if you mean God the father. If you mean God the concept then yes.
I have a video on my website about the trinity if that would help?
wolfgang_schneider — 2014-08-10T03:29:17-04:00 — #16
From your comment it seems that you define the term "God" as being "a concept" rather than "a person" ? Does Scripture not speak throughout about "God" acting and doing things? How does "a concept" act or do something? When the Bible states "In the beginning GOD created ...." -- Who (that is, which individual singular "person") created? Are you saying a concept created heavens and earth?
ken_mcguire — 2014-08-10T07:52:07-04:00 — #17
Pretty sure you were not replying to me, but properly speaking, God is three persons, not one.
mary_e_lewis — 2014-08-10T22:39:29-04:00 — #18
When did a video become wiser than YaHavah the creator of all and the Bible in which everything we need to know about him is written? The plurality of the word God is based on the understanding that the Hebrew word Elohim is plural. Elohim is a term of deference meaning when used in reference to YaHavah it addresses him as the one and only supreme deity. He was called YaHavah Elohim by Moses and he referred to himself the same way many times. By your understanding the term Elohim would mean there are three YaHavah's because it is used with the name YaHavah. He says there is only one of him and he is above and greater than all.
eric_seelye — 2014-08-12T20:38:26-04:00 — #19
Jesus is one of the three persons of the Trinity, and he is just as much God as the Father and the Holy Spirit. The three are united in their purpose, but they have different rolls in accomplishing the purpose. It is the Trinitarian nature of God that makes our salvation possible.
The Westminster Confession of Faith has this to say:
In the unity of the Godhead there be three persons, of one substance, power, and eternity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost: (Matt 3:16–17, Matt. 28:19, 2 Cor. 13:14) the Father is of none, neither begotten, not proceeding; the Son is eternally begotten of the Father; (John 1:14, 18) the Holy Ghost eternally proceeding from the Father and the Son. (John 15:26, Gal. 4:6)
Want to learn more? Check out this great set of seventeen FREE booklets from R.C. Sproul one of which is "What is the Trinity?" They are a great addition to your Faithlife/Biblia library: https://www.logos.com/product/41253/crucial-questions-series#015
(Note: you need to have a FREE Faithlife.com or Biblia.com account to be able to read these booklets, and the website will ask you for a credit card as part of your initial purchase, but your card will not be charged for these books. Before you come to finalize the transaction, it will show you a zero charge. If you have a Christian Discourse account, I'm pretty sure you'll be able to log in to order these books with the same e-mail and password)
wolfgang_schneider — 2014-08-13T06:52:15-04:00 — #20
Indeed ... adherents to the trinity dogma at times refer to the plural noun Elohim and claim that this is "proof" for "a plurality of persons in one Godhead". However, such claim does not recognize and distinguish between grammatical form of a word and meaning of a word and furthermore assumes that the grammatical form determines the meaning (which is NOT the case)
The use of the plural (according to its grammatical form) noun Elohim in association with singular verbs and pronouns (he, him) is a particular usage in Semitic languages such as Hebrew to emphasize in this case the singular (according to the meaning derived from context and scope) supreme One, who alone is the true God. When the grammatically plural noun Elohim is used with a plural meaning, it is used associated with plural verbs and pronouns (they, them) and it is then translated into Englis has "gods".
next page →