. . .upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Matthew 16:18

Bible Facts

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 6:4Bible quoteHear, 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 8:6Bible quoteBut 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 4:6Bible quoteOne God and Father of all, who [is] above all, and through all, and in you all.Ephesians 4 verse 6, 1 Timothy 2:5Bible quoteFor [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.

Teaching
Old Testament
New Testament
THE BIBLE TEACHES THAT THERE IS ONLY ONE GOD
THE BIBLE SPEAKS OF GOD AS THREE DISTINCT PERSONS
God the Father is distinguished from the Son in Psalm 2:7Bible quoteI will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou [art] my Son; this day have I begotten thee.Psalm 2 verse 7 (cf. also Psalm 68:18Bible quoteThou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, [for] the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell [among them].Psalm 68 verse 18, Isaiah 9:6Bible quoteFor 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, Isaiah 61:1-3Bible quote(verse 1) The Spirit of the Lord GOD [is] upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to [them that are] bound;

(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 63:16Bible quoteDoubtless 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 9:6Bible quoteFor 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 1:1-2Bible quote(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 31:3Bible quoteAnd 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 15:14Bible quote[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 11:2Bible quoteAnd 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).
The New Testament sets forth in clear terms that the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ is God (John 1:18Bible quoteNo 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 verse 18, 1 Corinthians 8:6Bible quoteBut 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, Philippians 2:11Bible quoteAnd [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father.Philippians 2 verse 11, 1 Peter 1:2Bible quoteElect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.1 Peter 1 verse 2). No one disputes this truth. The New Testament authors at numerous places present Jesus Christ as God Himself, yet distinct from God the Father (John 1:1, 18Bible quote(verse 1) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

(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 8:58Bible quoteJesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.John 8 verse 58, Romans 9:5Bible quoteWhose [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 2:13Bible quoteLooking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.Titus 2 verse 13, 2 Peter 1:1Bible quoteSimon 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 5:4Bible quoteWhiles 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.
THE BIBLE TEACHES THAT THREE DISTINCT PERSONS HAVE THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD
The Father possesses the divine attributes (cf. Psalm 90:2Bible quoteBefore the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou [art] God.Psalm 90 verse 2, Jeremiah 17:10, 23-24Bible quote(verse 10) I the LORD search the heart, [I] try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, [and] according to the fruit of his doings.

(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 9:6-7Bible quote(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 7:13-14Bible quote(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 1:2Bible quoteAnd 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 9:20Bible quoteThou 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 139:7Bible quoteWhither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?Psalm 139 verse 7).
The Father possesses divine characteristics (John 7:28Bible quoteThen cried Jesus in the temple as he taught, saying, Ye both know me, and ye know whence I am: and I am not come of myself, but he that sent me is true, whom ye know not.John 7 verse 28, Romans 2:4Bible quoteOr despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?Romans 2 verse 4, 1 Peter 1:5Bible quoteWho are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.1 Peter 1 verse 5, Revelation 15:4Bible quoteWho shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for [thou] only [art] holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.Revelation 15 verse 4). The Son is presented as having the nature of God (Matthew 18:20Bible quoteFor where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.Matthew 18 verse 20, John 1:2Bible quoteThe same was in the beginning with God.John 1 verse 2, 2 Corinthians 12:9Bible quoteAnd he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.2 Corinthians 12 verse 9, Revelation 3:7Bible quoteAnd to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth.Revelation 3 verse 7), and the Spirit of God is presented similarly (Acts 1:8Bible quoteBut ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.Acts 1 verse 8, Romans 15:19Bible quoteThrough mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.Romans 15 verse 19, 1 Corinthians 2:11Bible quoteFor what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.1 Corinthians 2 verse 11, 1 John 5:6Bible quoteThis is he that came by water and blood, [even] Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.1 John 5 verse 6).
THE BIBLE TEACHES THAT THREE DISTINCT PERSONS PERFORM THE WORKS OF GOD
The Father is presented in the Old Testament as the Creator (Psalm 102:25Bible quoteOf old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens [are] the work of thy hands.Psalm 102 verse 25), and the other members of the Godhead are as well. Genesis 2:7Bible quoteAnd the LORD God formed man [of] the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.Genesis 2 verse 7 uses the plural to identify more than one person to the being of God. If we understand Jesus, the Logos, as the Wisdom of God by which He made the world, then the Son is intimated in the Old Testament as Creator too. The Spirit of God is the creative force brooding over the waters in Genesis 1:2Bible quoteAnd 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 (cf. Job 26:13Bible quoteBy his spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent.Job 26 verse 13).