Can the doctrine of the Holy Trinity be proven Biblically? It is my finding that this is the only Biblical doctrine. In fact, the scripture is so clear on this that if one holds to another confession they are simply in rebellion to the Word.
Before getting started it is fair to ask what the historic teaching on the Trinity actually is. To answer this I am going to appeal to the Athanasian Creed. The meat and potatoes of this creed is within the first few lines:
“We worship one God in Trinity and Trinity in Unity, neither confusing
the persons nor dividing the substance”
To read it in its entirety please click HERE.
If you do read the creed you will see that they go on much further to put all debate to rest, painfully stating every conceivable dot and tittle of their position in what I consider an effort to eliminate any ambiguity from which future generations could re-interpret. How were they so sure though? Where did they get this teaching? Was it from scripture or did they make it up?
I believe that they got it from accepting all teachings of scripture as true. With the doctrine of the Trinity you have three fundamental theses taught:
- One Being
- Three Divine Persons
- Same Substance
The first claim of the thesis is an unabashed confession of monotheism. Can this be supported by Scripture? Let’s take a look and see how clear scripture is on this:
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord” Deut 6:4 KJV“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Gen 1:1 KJV
“Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest know that the Lord he is God; there is none else beside him. Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the Lord he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else.” Deut 4:35-39 KJV“See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.” Deut 32:39 KJV
” As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one.” 1 Cor 8:4 KJV
To attempt to believe in the Bible word for word and confess polytheism simply doesn’t work. Furthermore it wont even support belief in demi-gods like the cults teach, as it is clear with the use of a lower case “g” in verses like Deut 32:39 that “there is no god with me”.
Three Divine Persons
The doctrine of the trinity teaches that there are three distinct persons in the singular being of God. For this to be accurate we would have to be able to find clear language in the Bible that specifies all three persons of the Trinity.
“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.” 2 Cor 13:14 KJV
“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:” Matt 28:19 KJV
“And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Matt 3:16-17 KJV
Notice in the above verse that we see all three persons of the Trinity expressed separately at the same time
“Elect 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 1:2 KJV
“8 In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them…. 10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.” Zec 12:8-10 KJV
In the above passage we see the word LORD being used in the KJV, this signifies the word Yahweh for God. Notice that he himself as being “pierced” and that they will “mourn” for him. I believe this is an example of Yahweh is identifying himself as Jesus Christ, pre-incarnate, the coming messiah.
“And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” John 17:5 KJV
I would recommend reading each verse in John 17 very carefully on this topic as it not only teaches the one being of God but the separate persons very clearly. In verse 5 specifically we see Jesus talk about himself before the incarnation and how he was “with” the father even before creation.
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Php 2:5-11 KJV
Notice in the above passage that “humbled himself” happens chronologically after “being in the form of God”. That proves that Christ was in existence as God, a person of the Trinity, prior to the incarnation. The exaltation also comes chronologically after, this sheds light on verses where Christ refers to the Father as “greater” (John 14:28), greater because Christ had humbled himself and was then after the resurrection in a position from which to be exalted.
Please notice in all the verses cited above that three separate persons of the Trinity are named. Thus, for ones doctrine to be in line with the teaching of scripture both monotheism are true and separate persons of one being must also be true.
Though there is one being and three persons, you cannot divide the persons into three bodies as the cults do. The Bible teaches unequivocally that God is Spirit (John 4:24), I also further argue that God is one substance, not a divided substance. Read the below passages very carefully:
“I and my Father are one.” John 10:30 KJV
Notice that it doesn’t say one in purpose, or like one, but that they are one. In every such clarity as Deut 6:4 teaches that there is one God. The only logical explanation that accepts both verses as true is same substance of being but separate persons.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1 KJV
How can the Word (Christ) be both with God and be God at the same time? Again, same substance same being, different person of the Trinity.
“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: …” Gen 1:26 KJV
In Genesis 1:1 it refers to God in the singular, but later God says “us” in reference to himself. Some argue that he is speaking to angels, but if that were the case then he would be sharing the creative work of making man with angelic beings. The only Biblical explanation is that the Trinity is in view here very early in the Old Testament.
“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;” 1 Tim 2:5 KJV
The above verse not only argues for the Trinitarian teaching of one substance, but also for the inseparable dual natures of Christ as fully God and fully Man. This is because it affirms monotheism, cites Christ as sole mediator in the heavenly council of God, and then references the human nature of Christ.
“For who is God save the LORD? or who is a rock save our God?” Psa 18:31 KJV
Notice in the above verse, by checking the Biblehub.com screen cap below, that Elohim and Yahweh are utilized interchangeably. I see this as another view of the Trinity in the Old Testament, again same substance as both are one God, but two persons of the Trinity in view as they are cited separately.
“Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” Acts 20:28 KJV
Notice that the Holy Ghost is not only referred to as God, but Jesus Christ as well via the statement “purchased with his own blood”. This is a clear example of the Holy Ghost being the same substance of God and Christ even though Christ is also flesh of man.
“God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” John 4:24 KJV
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. Col 2:8-9 KJV
The “him” it speaks of here is Christ. This is teaching that Christ is God, not part of God but all of God. One being, same substance but still a different person of the Trinity.
Verses like this is why we say that Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man. The words clearly state “fullness of the Gohead bodily”. Every bit of God is every bit of Christ and visa versa, meaning that this goes both ways. This is why the doctrine of the Holy Trinity teaches “same substance”.
Attributes of God
At this point I feel confident that I have Biblically proven:
- One Being: one God in Trinity and Trinity in unity,
- Three Divine Persons: neither confusing the persons
- Same Substance: nor dividing the substance
I have researched opposing views to this doctrine and my assessment is that they will place one of the above thesis of the doctrine of the Trinity as abrogating one or more of the others. I have also found that their reasoning for doing so is not based on the canon of scripture, but rather comes from extra biblical revelations or their own logic and philosophy. To believe in the Trinity, one must take all of the Biblical teachings of God in the Bible as true accepting them word for word. This not only gives us the greatest theological revelation the Bible has to offer, but also gives us a walk through on the plenary word for word method by which we are to understand the inspiration of the canon of scripture.
To drive my point home though I am going to give you a graph of the attributes of God. One of the amazing things about scripture is that it credits each person of the Trinity as being God. See below:
|Divine Attributes||Father||Son||Holy Ghost|
|Eternal||Psa 90:1-17; Jhn 17:5||Rev 1:17-18; Jhn 17:5||Heb 9:14|
|Omnipresent||1 Kings 8:27||Eph 1:23||Psa 139:7|
|Omniscient||1 John 3:20||John 21:17||1 Cor 12:11|
|Creator||Gen 1:26||Col 1:16||Psa 104:30|