What does the BIBLE say about the Trinity
"A common tactic of Satan is to imitate or counterfeit the things of God in order to make himself appear to be like God. What is commonly referred to as the "unholy trinity," described vividly in Revelation 12 and 13, is no exception. The Holy Trinity consists of God the Father, the Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. Their counterparts in the unholy trinity are Satan, the Antichrist, and the False Prophet. While the Holy Trinity is characterized by infinite truth, love, and goodness, the unholy trinity portrays the diametrically opposite traits of deception, hatred, and unadulterated evil." Read entire article at What is the unholy trinity in the end times?
Source: Nelson Study Bible, New King James Version, Copyright 1997, Thomas Nelson Publishing.
Historical Development of the Doctrine of the Trinity
The term trinity is not found in the Bible but is a theological word which expresses the clear teaching of the Holy Scripture, especially the New Testament. The first theologian of the church to use the term was Theophilus who spoke of God as trias. The great Latin church father Tertullian first developed the concept of trinitas, ONE GOD in three Persons. Though the fathers of the church in the second and third centuries spoke of the three Persons of the Godhead while recognizing that there is but ONE GOD, the councils of Nicaea (A.D. 325) and Constantinople (A.D. 381) gave the fullest expression to the biblical doctrine.
The Bible Explicitly Teaches That There Is Only ONE GOD
The Teaching of the Old Testament
Belief in one God in the ancient Mediterranean world was unique to the nation of Israel. The faith of Israel is given in the famous Shema: "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is ONE" (Deuteronomy 6:4Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God [is] one LORD.Deuteronomy 6 verse 4). Repeatedly the teaching of the Law and the pronouncements of God's prophets confirm this absolute truth.
The Teaching of the New Testament
The church continued the teaching of the Hebrew Scriptures, as well as the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ, that there is only ONE GOD (see 1 Corinthians 8:6But to us [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.1 Corinthians 8 verse 6,
Ephesians 4:6One God and Father of all, who [is] above all, and through all, and in you all.Ephesians 4 verse 6,
1 Timothy 2:5For [there is] one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.1 Timothy 2 verse 5). This it did in contrast to the rampant
polytheismthe belief that there is more than one god; French polytheisme, from Late Greek polytheos polytheistic, from Greek, of many gods, from poly- + theos god.
Belief in many gods. Though Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are monotheistic (see monotheism), most other religions throughout history have been polytheistic. The numerous gods may be dominated by a supreme god or by a small group of powerful gods. The gods originated as abstractions of the forces of nature such as the sky or the sea and of human and social functions such as love, war, marriage, or the arts. In many religions the sky god is powerful and all-knowing (e.g., Dievs), and the earth goddess is maternal and associated with fertility. Gods of death and the underworld (e.g., Osiris and Hel) are also important. In addition to many gods, polytheistic religions generally also include malevolent or benevolent spiritual forces or powers. See also god and goddess.
Reference: www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/polytheism that permeated the Greco-Roman world with its multitude of gods, including worship of the emperor as a god during the latter half of the first century. As the apostles and later the church began to articulate this monotheism against pagan religion, it was necessary to explain how this belief in one God was consistent with the concurrent belief that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are each God and yet still ONLY ONE GOD.
Scripture Teaches That Three Persons Are ONE GOD
Glimpses of the Trinity in the Old Testament
Use of the Word Elohim with Singular Verbs
The usual word for God in the Hebrew is Elohim (אלהים). This noun is in the plural, whereas in several places the term for God is a singular, such as El (or אל) or Eloah (הלא or הולא). In spite of the plural term for God, the true Jewish faith was strongly
monotheisticBelief in the existence of one god. It is distinguished from polytheism. The earliest known instance of monotheism dates to the reign of Akhenaton of Egypt in the 14th century BC. Monotheism is characteristic of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, all of which view God as the creator of the world, who oversees and intervenes in human events, and as a beneficent and holy being, the source of the highest good. The monotheism that characterizes Judaism began in ancient Israel with the adoption of Yahweh as the single object of worship and the rejection of the gods of other tribes and nations without, initially, denying their existence. Islam is clear in confessing one, eternal, unbegotten, unequaled God, while Christianity holds that a single God is reflected in the three persons of the Holy Trinity.
Reference: www.merriam-webster.com/concise/monotheism. When Elohim (or אלהים) is used regarding the God of Israel, it is used with singular verbs, indicating that the God of Israel is a single being. The plural allows for a plurality of expression for God, as later revealed in the New Testament, but Hebrew grammar may also simply be using a plural of plenitude.
(verse 3) Thou shalt have no other gods before me.Exodus 20 verses 2-3, Exodus 3:13-15(verse 13) And Moses said unto God, Behold, [when] I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What [is] his name? what shall I say unto them?
(verse 14) And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.
(verse 15) And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this [is] my name for ever, and this [is] my memorial unto all generations.Exodus 3 verses 13-15).
(verse 5) For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)
(verse 6) But to us [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.1 Corinthians 8 verses 4-6, 1 Timothy 1:17Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, [be] honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.1 Timothy 1 verse 17, 1 Timothy 2:5-6(verse 5) For [there is] one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
(verse 6) Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.1 Timothy 2 verses 5-6, James 2:19Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.James 2 verse 19).
(verse 2) To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
(verse 3) To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.Isaiah 61 verses 1-3, Hebrews 1:1-13), and the Holy Spirit is set forth as distinct fro them both. The Father is seen to be God in Isaiah 63:16Doubtless thou [art] our father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not: thou, O LORD, [art] our father, our redeemer; thy name [is] from everlasting.Isaiah 63 verse 16, the Son in Isaiah 9:6For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.Isaiah 9 verse 6, and the Spirit in Genesis 1:1-2(verse 1) In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
(verse 2) And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness [was] upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.Genesis 1 verses 1-2 (cf. Exodus 31:3And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship.Exodus 31 verse 3, Judges 15:14[And] when he came unto Lehi, the Philistines shouted against him: and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and the cords that [were] upon his arms became as flax that was burnt with fire, and his bands loosed from off his hands.Judges 15 verse 14, Isaiah 11:2And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.Isaiah 11 verse 2).
(verse 18) No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared [him].John 1 verses 1, 18, John 8:58Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.John 8 verse 58, Romans 9:5Whose [are] the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ [came], who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.Romans 9 verse 5, Titus 2:13Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.Titus 2 verse 13, 2 Peter 1:1Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.2 Peter 1 verse 1). Moreover, the Holy Spirit is called God by Peter (Acts 5:4Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.Acts 5 verse 4), yet He is introduced at the baptism of Jesus as different from Jesus, and as distinct from the Father and Son in the apostolic benedictions.
(verse 23) But they obeyed not, neither inclined their ear, but made their neck stiff, that they might not hear, nor receive instruction.
(verse 24) And it shall come to pass, if ye diligently hearken unto me, saith the LORD, to bring in no burden through the gates of this city on the sabbath day, but hallow the sabbath day, to do no work therein;Jeremiah 17 verses 10, 23-24). The Son has the attributes of deity (cf. Isaiah 9:6-7(verse 6) For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
(verse 7) Of the increase of [his] government and peace [there shall be] no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.Isaiah 9 verses 6-7, Daniel 7:13-14(verse 13) I saw in the night visions, and, behold, [one] like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
(verse 14) And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion [is] an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom [that] which shall not be destroyed.Daniel 7 verses 13-14). The Holy Spirit possesses the divine attributes (Genesis 1:2And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness [was] upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.Genesis 1 verse 2, Nehemiah 9:20Thou gavest also thy good spirit to instruct them, and withheldest not thy manna from their mouth, and gavest them water for their thirst.Nehemiah 9 verse 20, Psalm 139:7Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?Psalm 139 verse 7).
(verse 2) The same was in the beginning with God.
(verse 3) All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.John 1 verses 1-3, Colossians 1:6Which is come unto you, as [it is] in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as [it doth] also in you, since the day ye heard [of it], and knew the grace of God in truth.Colossians 1 verse 6).