Most Christian denominations preach the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. According to this doctrine, within the “Godhead²” there exists three persons — God the father, God the son and God the Holy Spirit³. These three persons are of one substance and therefore are co-equal in all things. However, the word “Trinity” and the doctrine as such appear nowhere in the Bible. Also, the earliest Christians were not aware of it. So, how did this doctrine come to dominate Christianity?
The Christian religion asserts that the earthly Jesus was no mere mortal but was, in reality, the long-awaited Jewish Messiah. In addition to that, he was the son of God.⁴ Christianity further maintains that through his suffering and death Jesus released all humanity from the burden of original sin resulting from Adam’s disobedience. Following his human death on the cross Jesus was resurrected. He ascended directly into heaven⁵ but not before reassuring his followers that he would return shortly and establish the kingdom of God on earth⁶. Because Christianity is a monotheistic religion, these assertions naturally lead to the necessity to explain the precise nature of Jesus and to define his true relationship to God. It had to be done in such a way as not to place Jesus in a subordinate or inferior position. This perplexing question resulted in a controversy that dogged the church for almost four hundred years.
The Apostle Paul, writing possibly as early as 50,⁷ was apparently aware of the need to explain the God/Jesus relationship. In 1 Corinthians 8:6 he states: There is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. Here Paul makes Jesus co-equal with God. However, in 1 Corinthians 11:3 he says just the opposite: “The head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God”. Here he portrays Jesus as being inferior to God. Nowhere does Paul show any awareness of the Trinity.
To continue reading this Bible article, click here.
Author: Louis W. Cable
Keywords: Trinity, Trinitarian, Trinitarianism, Modalism, Modalism heresy, Arianism, Arian, Arian heresy, Trinitarian heresy, Trinitarian heresies, Jesus is not God, Jesus created the world, Jesus as creator, Three gods in one, Three gods, Athanasian, Athanasian Creed, Athanasian trinity, Triplural, Triplurality, Tri-plural, Tri plurality, Three in one, Triunity, Tri unity, Johannine comma, Johanine comma, Johanine coma, Comma Johanneum, Johannine coma, John's coma, John's comma, Three witnesses, Father Son and Holy Spirit, Father Son and Holy Ghost, Blood and water, Water and spirit, Nicene Creed, Nicene, Nicean Creed, Nicean, one god in three persons, Homoousion, Homoousian, homoousios, Incarnation, God incarnate
Bible reference(s): Genesis 1:26-27, Genesis 3:22, Isa 9:6, Mat 1:23, Mat 28:19, John 1:1-3, John 5:23, John 6:38, John 6:62, John 8:23, John 8:58, John 10:30, John 14:9, John 17:5, John 20:28, Rom 9:5, 1 Corinthians 8:6, Philippians 2:6, Col 1:15-16, Heb 1:2, Heb 1:8, Heb 7:3, 1 John 4:3, 1 John 5:7, 1 John 5:20, 1Ti 2:5
Source: “The Doctrine of the Holy Trinity.”
Page indexed by: inWORD Bible Software.