Though the word “trinity” does not appear in the Bible, the concept is taught in God’s Word.  The trinity is the fact that within the Being of the one true God there are three distinct persons; one Supreme Being, but tri-personal (in three persons): God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

[“Being” is the essence/attributes/nature of a person or people. “Person” is a distinct (complete and separate) entity.].

The Hebrew word Elohim is a plural noun having the masculine plural Hebrew ending “im”. It is used of the true God in Gen. 1:1, “In the beginning God (Elohim) created the heavens and the earth…” It is also used of false gods (plural), as in Ex. 20:3, “You shall have no gods (Elohim) before Me…” or as in Deut. 13:2, “Let us go after other gods (Elohim)…” While the use of the plural Elohim doesn’t prove the trinity, it shows the possibility of the plurality in the Godhead. It is often called the “plurality of majesty” in a singular sense of the one true God. For this reason, singular verbs are usually used with this plural noun (Elohim) to show God’s singular Being, as in Gen. 1:1, “God created” (a singular verb in Hebrew). But Elohim is also used with plural verbs, emphasizing the plurality of this one God, as in Gen. 20:13, “when God caused” (literally, “They caused”, a Hebrew plural verb is used). Or, as in Gen. 35:9, “God appeared” (literally, “They appeared”, a Hebrew plural verb is used). The writers of the Old Testament could have used the singular form of Elohim, which is Eloah, if they wanted to communicate God as only singular (e.g., Deut. 32:15, 17). Yet, this singular noun for God is used only 250 times while Elohim (plural) is used 2,500 times. A singular Being is in a plural personage.

Also, when God speaks of Himself, He often uses a plural pronoun, as in Gen. 1:26, “God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.’” Or, as in Gen. 3:22 and Gen. 11:7. In Isaiah 6:8 it says, “the voice of the Lord, saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?’” Both the singular “I” and the plural “Us” are used, thereby, showing God as a plurality in a unity (plurality of persons in the one Being/God).

Also, Hebrew nouns and adjectives used in speaking of God are plural. Eccles. 12:1 says, “Remember now your Creator (literally, “Creators”, in Hebrew); Psa. 149:2 says, “Let Israel rejoice in their Maker” (literally, “Makers”, in Hebrew); and Isa. 54:5 says, “For your husband is your Maker” (literally, “husbands and Makers”, in Hebrew).

YHWH / YHVH (or Yahweh/Yehovah) is the Hebrew word for “LORD”, the name of God (also translated, “I AM” in Ex. 3:14).

 

Deut. 6:4               What does this verse say about the LORD (YHVH)?

 

While Deut. 6:4, “The LORD is our God, the LORD is one” shows that God is one (Heb. “echad”), this oneness is a compound “one” and not an absolute “one”. It’s the same Hebrew word used in Gen. 2:24, where a man and a woman become one (echad)/united flesh in marriage. Or, in Ezra 3:1, where the whole assembly was as one (echad), though it was composed of numerous people. Or, in Ezek. 37:17, where two sticks are combined to become one (echad), showing this word to mean a compound and not an absolute unity. There is a Hebrew word, “yachid”, which means an absolute unity or oneness or the only one. This is seen in Judges 11:34, “she was his one (yachid) and only child”. If Moses wanted to teach God’s absolute oneness as opposed to His compound unity, he would have used “yachid” instead of “echad”.

 

Deut. 4:35, 39      What do these verses say about the LORD (YHVH ) God (Elohim)?

 

1 Tim. 2:5          What does this verse say about God (Gk. Theos)­?

 

Gal. 3:20; Jas. 2:19         What do these verses say about God (Gk. Theos)?

 

2 Pet. 1:17; 1 Pet. 1:2; Psa. 89:26; Jer. 3:1, 4, 19-20; Jn. 5:18; Matt. 11:25; Eph. 4:6

Whom is the Father called?

 

Matt 3:16; Lk. 3:22            The Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of Whom?

 

[From these parallel passages, we see that the Holy Spirit is the same person as the Spirit of God.].

The Holy Spirit is a person (e.g., Acts 13:2, 4) having intellect (e.g., Rom. 8:14, 16, 26-27), emotions (e.g., Eph. 4:30), and will (e.g., 1 Cor. 12:11).

 

Acts 5:3-4             Who is the Holy Spirit called in Acts 5:4, to whom Ananias lied?

 

[This shows that the Holy Spirit is God.].

 

Matt. 12:28          In the parallel passage of Lk. 11:20, it states that Jesus cast out demons by the finger/power of God; whereas, in Matt. 12:28, it states that Jesus cast them out by Whom?

 

[This shows that the Spirit of God is the same being as God.].

 

2 Cor. 3:3             Whom is the Holy Spirit called?

 

Eph. 4:30              The Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of Whom?

 

Isa. 63:10-11       Whose Spirit (Isa. 63:7) is the Holy Spirit?

 

Acts 28:25-27      Acts 28:25 attributes this quote to the Holy Spirit, yet Isa. 6:8-10 attributes it to the LORD.

 

So whom does that make the Holy Spirit?

 

Heb. 10:15-17      Hebrews 10:15 attributes this quote to the Holy Spirit, yet Heb. 10:16 attributes it to the LORD, as does Jer. 31:31-34.

So whom does that make the Holy Spirit?

 

1 Cor. 2:10-11    Is there a distinction between God (referring to the Father) and the Spirit of God (i.e., the Holy Spirit), thus showing that they are two different persons?

 

Psa. 51:10-11      Is there a distinction made between God (i.e., the Father) and the Holy Spirit?

 

Ex. 31:1-3             Do these verses show that the LORD and the Spirit of God are two different persons?

 

1 Cor. 6:11           Is a distinction made between the Lord Jesus Christ and the Spirit of God (i.e., the Holy Spirit)?

The Holy Spirit has the following attributes that are only true of God: omnipresent/present everywhere (e.g., Psa. 139:7-8), eternality (Heb. 9:14), absolute holiness (Rom. 1:4; 1 Thes. 4:8); omnipotent/all-powerful (Lk. 1:35.  Since the Most High is a title for God, Mk. 5:7, and here in Luke 1:35, it’s referring to the Holy Spirit, and since God is all-powerful, Gen. 17:1; Rev. 19:6; therefore, the Holy Spirit is also); omniscient/all-knowing (1 Cor. 2:10-11), absolute truth (Jn. 14:17; 15:26; 1 Jn. 5:7); absolute glory/perfection (1 Pet. 4:14; Eph. 1:17), absolute goodness (Neh. 9:20; Lk. 18:19).  Also, there are activities that the Holy Spirit did which are only true of God, like: raising Jesus from the dead (Rom 8:11; 1 Thes. 1:9-10), which Jesus did as well (Jn. 2:19-21) and creating men, animals, etc. (Job 33:4; Psa. 104:25, 30; Gen. 1:26-27), which Jesus did as well (Col. 1:13-16).

 

Titus 2:13; 2 Pet. 1:1         Whom is Jesus called in each of these passages?

 

Jn. 1:1   Who was the Word?            And who is the Word, according to Jn. 1:14-18, 29-30?

 

[So, Jesus Christ is God, yet separate from God the Father, Jn. 1:1].

[The word “with” shows that the Word is a separate entity from God.].

 

Jn. 10:30

Who are one (Gk. “hen” is in the neuter gender, meaning “essential unity” or “one in essence/nature”; whereas, if “heis”, masculine gender, had been used, it would indicate “absolute identity”, meaning “one and the same person”)?

Also, the word “are” is the Greek word “esmen” (1st person plural), meaning “we are”, indicating two separate persons. So, Jesus and the Father (God) are one in essence/nature (as God) but two in persons.

 

Jn. 20:26-28         Whom is Jesus called by Thomas?

 

1 Jn. 5:20              Whom is the Son of God, Jesus Christ, called?

 

Heb. 1:1-2, 8-10       Whom does God call His Son in Heb. 1:9-10?

 

Jn. 14:9-10          Jesus said that to see Him is the same as seeing Whom?

 

[Jesus is the visible image of the invisible nature of God the Father, Col. 1:15; Heb. 1:3].

In Jn. 8:58, Jesus calls Himself “I AM”, and in Ex. 3:13-15, God (YHVH) calls Himself “I AM”.  The Jews recognized that Jesus was claiming to be God by making this statement, but because they didn’t believe Him, they wanted to kill Him by stoning Him, which was the penalty for blasphemy, according to the law of Lev. 24:16 (blasphemy being, to make yourself out to be God when you’re not God).

According to the prophecy of Isa. 9:6, the future child to be born (Jn. 7:14 with Matt. 1:23), Jesus, is called Mighty God.

In John 19:7, it states that the Jews said Jesus was making Himself out to be the Son of God, while in 10:33, it states that the Jews said Jesus was making Himself out to be God.  In both cases, the Jews wanted to stone/kill Him for blasphemy (i.e., making Himself out to be God); thereby, showing that to claim to be “the Son of God” is synonymous with claiming to be God.

To claim to be the Son of God (e.g., Matt. 26:63-65; 27:43; Lk. 22:70) is a claim to be God Himself, as seen by the reaction of the Jewish religious leaders accusing Jesus of blasphemy.

 

Jn. 5:18            To be “the” (one of a kind) Son of God and have God as Your own (unique) Father is to make Yourself what?

 

Phil. 2:5-8

Jesus, who existed in the form/nature (Gk. “morphe”, the very essence) of God, didn’t regard what, a thing to be grasped/clung to (by staying in heaven with its glory rather than coming to earth in the likeness of men and humbling Himself)?

[So Jesus regarded Himself equal with God.].

In Jn. 5:43, it says that Jesus Christ came in His Father’s name.  The word “name” is used here with the meaning of “authority”.  So, Jesus came in His Father’s authority.  In Jn. 17:6, 11-12, “Thy name” means “the Father’s authority and power”.

In Jn. 5:32, Jesus states that there is another (Gk. “allos”, meaning “someone who is different from the one who is speaking, which in this case, Jesus is the one speaking) who bears witness of Him/Jesus, referring to the One who sent Him (i.e., God the Father, Jn. 5:30, 36; 3:17). So, Jesus is a different person from God the Father.

 

Psa. 2:7-12           What does the LORD (YHVH) say about His Son in Psa. 2:7?

 

[The word “begotten”, Heb. “yalad”, here, means “brought forth” or “declared”, and refers to God the Father raising up Jesus from the dead, Acts 13:33, which was a declaration that Jesus Christ was/is the Son of God or God the Son, Rom 1:4.].

The word “son” is often used as a metaphor (a figure of speech) to show similarity. The phrase “Son of” is often used as an idiom (a figure of speech) to show that the person or thing so described stands in some relation to the object mentioned after the phrase “son of”.  That relation may be one of quality, resemblance, derivation, destiny, etc. – Dr. W. Hendriksen, New Testament Commentary – Luke, p. 628.  Basically then, the phrase “son of”, here, means that the person is like/similar (in some way) to the person he is the “son of”.  So, the phrase “the Son of God” (not “a” son of God), referring to Jesus Christ, means that Jesus Christ is like God the Father in a unique way, and that unique way is in terms of God’s nature/essence/attributes (Heb. 1:3; Jn. 10:30) and works (e.g., Jn. 5:21), which are only true of God, such as being: immutable/never-changing (Heb 13:8; 1:8, 10-12); almighty (Isa. 9:6; Rev. 1:8 with Rev. 1:17-18 and Rev. 22:12-16, 20; Matt. 16:24, 27); eternal (Isa 9:6, where the phrase “Eternal Father”, an idiom, means “possessor of eternalness”; Jn. 1:1-2, 14-18; 17:5; 8:58; Micah 5:2 with Lk. 2:4-11); omniscient/all-wise and all-knowing (Col. 2:2-3; Jn. 16:30; 21:17); truth (Jn. 14:6; 1:14); omnipresent/present everywhere (Col. 3:11; Eph. 1:20-23); absolute holiness (Lk 1:35; Heb 4:15; 1 Jn. 3:5); absolute righteousness (1 Jn. 2:1; 1 Pet. 2:22); etc.  Jesus Christ is also identified in equality with God in the following ways: in being worshipped as God (Matt. 14:33; 2:2; 28:9, 17; 4:10; Heb. 1:5-6); in being honored as God (Jn. 5:22-23); in being able to forgive sins as God (Lk. 5:20-24); in creating all things in the heavens and on the earth (Col. 1:13-16; Heb. 1:8, 10; Jn. 1:3; Gen. 1:24-27); in authority/name (Matt. 28:18-19); in possession (Jn. 16:15; 17:10; Matt. 11:27); in Deity/God’s nature (Col. 2:9; Heb. 1:3; Jn. 10:30); in raising Himself from the dead (Jn. 2:19-21; 1 Thes. 1:9-10).  So, we see that Jesus Christ is God, but just one of the three persons in the Godhead and distinct from the LORD (God the Father).

 

Psa. 45:6-7        What does it say about God (Elohim) in the last part of Psa. 45:7?

 

Who is the first person that’s called God (Elohim) and the second, but different, person who is called God (Elohim) according to this quote found in Heb 1:8-9 and its context in Heb. 1:1-7?

 

[So we see that God is at least two different persons from this passage.].

 

Isa. 48:12-16

In Isa. 48:16, who is the Lord God, and who is the Me [who is the first and last, Isa. 48:12 (Rev. 1:17-18) and who founded/created the earth and spread out the heavens, Isa. 48:13 (Col. 1:13-16) and was sent by God (Jn. 3:17)], and who is the Spirit [whom God sent, Jn. 14:24-26]?

 

[So, we see from this passage that the speaker, God, who created the earth distinguishes Himself from the Lord God and then from God’s Spirit. So God is three different persons here.].

 

Isa. 63:7-14

Who is the LORD (YHVH) in Isa. 63:7, and who is the angel of His (YHVH) presence in Isa. 63:9, and who is His (YHVH) Holy Spirit in Isa. 63:10-11 or the Spirit of the LORD (YHVH) in Isa. 63:14?

 

[So, we see three different persons in this passage, all of Whom, are the LORD (YHVH).].

Now, the angel of His presence (Isa. 63:9) is the angel of the LORD (Ex. 23:20-23; 33:14-15; 40:34-38), and the angel of the LORD is God/ the LORD (Ex. 3:2-7).

First, we find an angel who is identified with/as YHVH/LORD in Gen. 16:7, 9-13; 22:11-18: 31:11-13; 48:15-16; Ex. 3:2-6; 13:21 with Ex. 14:19, 24; Num. 22:20, 35, 38; Judges 2:1-4 with Gen. 17:7-8 and Ex. 20:2; Judges 6:11-24; Zech. 12:8.

Second, we find that the angel of the Lord is identified with/as the LORD/God, yet distinct from God/the LORD in Judges 13:21-22 with Judg. 13:3, 8-9, 16; Zech. 3:1, 2a with 3:2a, 2b; Gen. 24:7, 40 with Gen. 24: 27, 48; Ex. 20:22 and Ex. 23:20-23 and Ex. 32:33 – 33:2.  Also, the angel of the LORD is distinct from God/the LORD in 2 Sam. 24:16-17 and Zech. 1:11-13.

YHVH/God revealed Himself in this angel.  The essential nature of YHVH was manifested in this angel.  This angel (Ex. 23:20) is not a created spirit, but the manifestation of YHVH/God Himself.  Apparently, the angel in Ex. 23:20 is the preincarnate Christ.  This angel is frequently called YHVH/Jehovah (LORD) or Elohim (God), for example see Ex. 3:4.  And YHVH is Elohim (1 Ki. 18:39).  The angel of the LORD is an Old Testament appearance of Christ Himself.  This angel is also called the angel of God’s presence in Isa. 63:9 referring to God in Ex. 33:14.  This angel is YHVH – Christ

Another appearance of Christ in the OT is found in Gen. 32:24-30.  But this time, He comes in the form of a man (Gen. 32:24).  After wrestling all night with Jacob, the man tells Jacob that he has striven with God.  The man has supernatural power to dislocate Jacob’s thigh simply by touching it, and Jacob himself says that he saw God face to face, referring to the man (Gen. 32:30).  Even the prophet Hosea confirms this in Hosea 12:4, 5 while calling the man an angel (i.e., the angel of the Lord).

Then in Joshua 5:13 – 6:2, we find a man, called the captain of the host of the LORD, standing opposite Joshua.  And this captain tells Joshua to take off his sandals because the place/ground he’s standing on is made holy (just like God told Moses in Ex. 3:5).  Joshua worships him in Josh. 5:14.  In Joshua 6:2, this man/captain is called (referred to as) the LORD/YHVH.  This captain is a physical preincarnate appearance of Christ, a theophany of the Son of God.

Since Jesus Christ is God or God the Son (Jn. 10:30, 33; 1:1-2, 14; Heb. 1:8; Col. 2:9; 1 Jn. 5:20; 2 Pet. 1:1; Titus 2:13) and, therefore, eternal (Jn. 1:1-2, 14; 8:56-58; Micah 5:2 with Lk. 2:4-11; Isa. 9:6), we find Christ/God the Son appearing in the Old Testament.

 

Psa. 110:1             What does the LORD/YHVH say to King David’s Lord (Heb. Adonay)?

 

The Hebrew word Adonay (which is used exclusively as a divine name – Vine’s An Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, p. 228) means “Lord” or “Master” and is in the plural form referring “only” to God (Dr. L. Richards, Expository Dictionary of Bible Words, p. 416).  An example of this is found in Psa 2:2-4, where the LORD/YHVH is sitting in heaven laughing in derision at the kings of the earth, and then it says He, the Lord/Adonay scoffs at them.  So Adonay, the “Lord”, refers to YHVH/ “the LORD” or “God”/Elohim (Josh. 22:34; Isa. 48:16; Deut. 6:4).

So in Psa. 110:1, David shows a differentiation between the LORD/YHVH and his Lord/Adonay/Master/God.  That Lord/Adonay is referring to Jesus Christ here can be seen from Jesus’ own interpretation of this verse as found in Matt. 22:41-45.  Also, the Pharisees (the Jewish religious leaders) understood Jesus’ comment in Matt. 26:63-65 about His sitting at the right hand of Power/God to mean that He/Jesus was claiming to be God, as they accused Him of blasphemy (i.e., His making Himself out to be God).

 

Isa. 11:1-4

In this passage, we find all three persons of the Godhead/Trinity.  There’s a “shoot/branch from the stem of Jesse” (Isa. 11:1), the Spirit of the LORD who is resting on the branch of Jesse (Isa. 11:2), and the LORD whom the branch of Jesse delights in fearing (Isa. 11:3).  Now the “shoot/branch” of Jesse (Jesse being King David’s father) refers to Jesus Christ (Rom. 15:8, 12), as Jesus is a descendent of Jesse, David’s father (Matt. 1:1, 6) and of David as well (Rev. 22:16).  That the “shoot/branch” refers to Jesus can also be seen from Jer. 23:5, 6; 33:15, where a righteous Branch for and of David is called “the LORD our righteousness”, which refers to Jesus (2 Cor. 5:21; Rom. 3:22; 1 Cor. 1:30).  And in Isa. 53, Jesus is referred to as a “tender shoot” (Isa. 53:2).  This can be deduced from the prophecies about Jesus in Isa. 53, as seen in their fulfillment in Him.  Note the following comparisons: “despised and forsaken” (Isa. 53:3 with Lk. 18:31-33), “despised and not esteemed” (Isa. 53:3 with Jn. 1:11), “our griefs/sicknesses He Himself bore and our sorrows/pains He carried” (Isa. 53:4 with Matt. 8:17), “pierced through for our transgressions” (Isa. 53:5 with Jn. 19:33-34; Heb. 9:28; Rom. 4:25), “by His scourgings we are healed” (Isa. 53:5 with 1 Pet. 2:24), “the iniquity of us all to fall on Him” (Isa. 53:6 with 2 Cor. 5:21), “oppressed, afflicted, yet He didn’t open His mouth” (Isa. 53:7 with 1 Pet. 2:23), “His grave with a rich man” (53:9 with Matt. 27:57-60), “done no violence nor deceit in His mouth” (53:9 with 1 Pet. 2:22), “the Righteous One” (Isa. 53:11 with Acts 3:14; 7:52), “My Servant” (Isa. 53:11 with Matt. 12:18; Acts 3:26), “will justify the many” (Isa. 53:11 with Rom. 3:24, 26), “was numbered with the transgressors” (Isa. 53:12 with Lk. 22:37), “He Himself bore the sins of many” (Isa. 53:12 with 1 Pet 2:24).  So, the “shoot/branch” is Jesus.  The Spirit of the LORD/YHVH is the Holy Spirit, and the LORD/YHVH whom the branch of Jesse delights in fearing is God the Father.

 

Matt. 28:19          In whose name should Jesus’ disciples baptize new converts/disciples?

 

   [Notice that the word “name” (means the author/source of a delegated authority) is a singular noun, yet it refers to three different people.].

 

Matt. 3:16-17      Who got baptized, who descended upon Him as/like a dove, and who spoke out of heaven regarding His Son?

 

2 Cor. 13:14         In the benediction of Paul, the grace of Whom, the love of Whom, and the fellowship of Whom does Paul want to be with all the Corinthian believers?

 

2 Thes. 2:13-14, 16; Acts 2:32-33    Do you see three separate persons of the Trinity/Godhead in these two passages?

 

Jn. 14:23, 26        Whom is the Helper/Counselor/Comforter, who sent Him, and in whose name (i.e., on behalf of Whom) was He sent?

 

Jn. 15:26; 16:13-15            Do you see three separate persons in these two passages: the Spirit of truth, the Father, and Me/Jesus?

 

1 Cor. 6:11, 14-15, 19       In the name of Whom (i.e., because of Whom) were these Corinthians washed, sanctified, and justified?

 

And Who raised Whom?

 

And the bodies of these Corinthian believers are members of (i.e., part of, in union with) Whom?

 

And the body of each Corinthian believer is a temple of Whom, Who is from Whom?

 

1 Pet. 1:2

These believers were chosen according to the foreknowledge of Whom, by the sanctifying work of Whom, that they may obey Whom and be sprinkled (i.e., made clean spiritually) with His blood?

 

Eph. 4:4-6

In this passage, we see that there is one Spirit (i.e., the Holy Spirit), and one Lord (referring to the Lord Jesus Christ, Eph. 3:11), and one God and Father (three persons in the one Being of God).

As a result of this study from God’s Word, we see that there is only one true God, yet this one God is in 3 distinct persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, all of whom compose the one Supreme Being of God and each of whom are God.

 

A Closer Look At the Trinity – Part 3 (The Doctrine of the Trinity Among the Early Christian Fathers by Gary Leazer), May 1993

Many people who reject the doctrine of the Trinity argue that the doctrine was the product of three centuries of development. Most point to the Council of Nicea in A.D. 325 and the Council of Constantinople in A.D. 381 as the times in which the doctrine of the Trinity was introduced into the Christian church. However, the conclusion of these two councils merely affirmed that the doctrine of the Trinity was a biblical teaching and that it had been accepted by the church since the first century. This can be clearly shown by examining the writings of the early Christian fathers during the first and second centuries.

Clement, a bishop of Rome, wrote a letter to the church at Corinth in about A.D. 96. Commonly called Clement’s First Letter, the doctrine of God presented is clearly trinitarian, “Do we not have one God, one Christ, one Spirit of grace which was poured out on us?” – 46.6 in Cyril Richardson, Early Christian Fathers (New York: The Macmillan Co., 1970), p. 65. Clement makes another trinitarian statement at 58.2, “For as God lives, and as the Lord Jesus Christ lives and the Holy Spirit (on whom the elect believe and hope)…” – ibid, p. 70.

The trinitarian formula from Matt. 28:19 is quoted twice in The Didache, a church manual from A.D. 90-100, in connection with instructions on baptism – 7.1-4, Richardson, p. 174.

Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, wrote several letters, which still exist, to different churches before he was condemned to death by the Romans no later than A.D. 117 for his faith. Ignatius affirmed both the humanity and divinity of Christ. “The source of your unity and election is genuine suffering which you undergo by the will of the Father and of Jesus Christ, our God” – To the Ephesians, Richardson, pp. 87-88. Later in the same letter, he writes, “There is only one physician – of flesh yet, spiritual, born yet unbegotten, God incarnate, genuine life in the midst of death, sprung from Mary as well as God, first subject to suffering then beyond it – Jesus Christ our Lord” – ibid, p. 90. In his letter to the Romans, Ignatius again refers to Jesus as “our God.” – ibid, p. 103.

Justin, who wrote his First Apology about A.D. 155, acknowledged that “the Son, who being the Word and First-begotten of God is also divine” – Richardson, p. 285.

The trinitarian is clearly implied in Athenagoras’ Plea to Emperors Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Arelius in A.D. 176-77, “the Son is in the Father and the Father in the Son by the unity and power of the Spirit” – Richardson, p. 309. Athena­goras repeats his trinitarian position later in his Plea, “We speak of God, of the Son, his Word, and of the Holy Spirit, and we say that the Father, the Son, and the Spirit are united in power” – ibid, p. 326.

Irenaeus, a bishop of Lyons in the late second century, wrote selections entitled Work Against Heresies. In it, he refers to “Christ Jesus our Lord and God and Sav­ior and King, according to the pleasure of the invisible Father” – 10.1, Richardson, p. 360.

Tertullian (A.D. 160/70 – 215/20) ex­plained how it is possible that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are one God and that they, however, are differ­ent in his treatise Against Praxeas – Justo L. Gonzalez, A History of Christian Thought, vol. 1 (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1970) pp. 182-83. Other early Christians affirmed their be­lief in the doctrine of the Trinity, includ­ing Origen (A.D. 185-254) and especially Novatian of Rome (mid-third cen­tury) in his On the Trinity – ibid, pp. 226, 242.

None of these early Christian fathers speculated on the philosophical nature of the Trinity. The doctrine of the Trinity was their way of explaining the biblical truth that God is one and yet the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are God.

 

Let us know what you think.