Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 14

Evidence of the Holy Trinity - Father, Son and Holy Spirit

What is the Holy Trinity?

Although the words "holy trinity" are not found in the Bible, the Bible - both Old and
New Testaments - clearly refers to the one God as a tri-unity - Father, Son, and Holy
Spirit.

The term "trinity" is a contraction of "tri" (meaning three), and "unity" (meaning one): "tri"
+ "unity" = "trinity".

Simply put, the Holy Trinity is one God in


three persons
who each share the same essence of deity.

God is the absolute compound unity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit - three persons in one divine essence. Three
persons who share one divine nature.

Think of a triangle - it has three corners, but it is still one triangle.

What the Holy Trinity is Not!

 It is not three Gods, or three modes of one God, or three essences.


 God is also not three separate physical beings.
 The Trinity is not the Father, Mary and Jesus.

Why Do Christians Believe in the Holy Trinity?

Simply, because the Bible teaches it. Throughout the


Bible, both Old and New Testaments, God refers to
Himself in both singular and plural terms. In addition,
the Father is referred to as God, the Son as God, and the
Holy Spirit as God. Furthermore, the three personalities
of the Godhead - Father, Son and Spirit, each conduct
particular activities which are characteristic of their
personality. Finally, they are all unified in absolute
communion from all eternity as the one God.

So the Holy Trinity is one God, and yet three persons


sharing one divine nature. Jesus, as the eternal Word of
God, has shared the Father's divine nature before time
began. But when He entered time, space and matter, and,
became flesh, He added a human nature to His
existence. He did not cease being God - He simply
added a human nature. Thus Jesus is one person of the
Godhead, but with two natures - a human nature, and a
divine nature.

Realizing that Jesus actually had two natures helps us


understand and better appreciate how only Jesus could
bridge the gap between the Creator God and His Creation. For example, did Jesus know all things (as God
would)? As God, yes; as man, no. Did Jesus get hungry? As God, no; as man, yes. Did He know the time of His
second coming? As God, of course; as man, no.

Understanding the Holy Trinity also helps us understand why Jesus subordinated Himself to the Father, saying "The
Father is greater than I." The Father and Son are equal in essence, but different in function. Much like human
relationships, a father and son both share a human essence, but the father holds a higher office.

The same hold true with the Holy Spirit - He too shares in the same divine essence, but differs in function. 1 The
Spirit is referred to both as God, and as a person in Scripture. He was also there at the beginning of creation ("and
the Spirit hovered over the face of the waters"). As does any person, He makes choices, directs followers, and is
grieved as well when His children go astray.

So although we may not understand HOW the one true God can also be three persons, the fact is, this is what
Scripture teaches. And if God is who He claims to be, the eternal one who has always existed beyond time, space,
and matter - who are we to question His triune nature? We shouldn't be surprised at this. In fact, does He not say
"My ways are not your ways, neither are My thoughts your thoughts."

Evidence of the Holy Trinity in the Old Testament

Here are a just a few examples of the Holy Trinity - Father, Son and Spirit -- in the Old Testament (there are many
more!):

In the Beginning, The Triune God Creates the Universe

Gen 1:1: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." The Father
is portrayed as the creative source of all things.
Gen 1:2: ".. and the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the
waters." Here, in the second verse of Genesis, the Spirit of God appears as active
in the creation process.
Gen 1:3: "Then God said, "Let there be light; and there was light." The Son, the
eternal Word of God, speaks the first of Gods works into existence.

Points to note:

 The first three verses of Genesis portray the triune God creating the heavens and the earth
 Genesis 1 refers to the Father, verse 2 the Spirit, and verse 3 the Son, as the eternal Word of God speaking
light into existence.

The Triune God Creates Man

Gen 1:26: "Then God said, "Let Us [plural] make man in Our image, according to Our likeness...".
Gen 1:27: "So God [singular] created man in His [singular] own image; in the image of God He created him; male
and female He created them."

Points to note:

 Verse 26 mentions God three times - Us, Our and Our


 In verse 26, God refers to Himself in the plural form; while in verse 27, immediately following, He refers
to Himself in the singular form!
 Verse 27 mentions God three times - His, He and He
The Triune God Seeks an Intercessor

Isaiah 6:8-10: "Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?" Here
God refers first to Himself in the singular, then in the plural pronoun, confirming that there are multiple persons in
the Godhead.

The Pre-incarnate Son Speaks of the Father and Spirit

Isaiah 48:16 "Come near to Me, hear this: I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was,
I was there. And now the Lord God and His Spirit have sent Me." In this instance the pre-incarnate Son of God is
speaking, indicating that He will go on behalf of the Father and the Spirit and redeem God's creation.

Pre-incarnation Appearance of the Son

Gen 18:1: "The LORD appeared to him by the terebinth trees of mamre, as he was sitting in the tent door in the heat
of the day."
Gen 18:2: "So he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing by him."
Gen 19:24: "Then the LORD rained brimestone and fire on Sodom and Gormorrah, from the LORD out of the
heavens."

Points to note:

 This passage recounts the events preceding the destruction of the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah
 Here the LORD (YHVH) has appeared on earth to Abraham, along with two angels
 Verse 24 described how the Son (LORD) while on the earth, rained brimstone and fire from the Father
(LORD) out of the heavens.

The Holy Trinity in the New Testament

The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are presented throughout the New Testament as the eternal Godhead. One
God and Lord, existing and ministering in three persons. Here are a few examples (again - there are many more!):

Father and Spirit at the Baptism of the Son

Mark 1:9-11 "It came to pass in those days that Jesus came from
Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And
immediately, coming up from the water, He saw the heavens parting
and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove. Then a voice came
from heaven, "You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

Here we have the Father, looking down approvingly at His beloved


Son, while the Spirit descends and rests upon Him.

The Commandment to Baptize in One Name, but Three Persons

Jesus is record as saying in Matthew 28:19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the
name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."

Note:
 We are not baptizing in multiple names, but ONE NAME. There is but one God and Lord to baptize in
the name of.
 But we are also to baptize in the one name of the three-person Lord - Father, Son and Spirit.

Three Who Bear Witness, and These Three are One

John wrote in 1st John 5:7 about the assurance we have of salvation, by stating: "For there are
three who bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit: and these three
are one."

Blessing Given

Paul, writing to believers, encourages them to in 2 Corinthians 13:14: "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the
love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen." Here we have the three persons of the
Godhead described, each with their own distinctive qualities:

 The grace of the Lord Jesus ("the law came by Moses, grace and truth by Jesus Christ"
 The love of God the Father ("God is love")
 The fellowship of the Holy Spirit ("I will give you another Comforter")

Peter, writing in 1 Peter 1:2, also greets fellow believers in the name of the Triune God: "To the ...elect, according
to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of
Jesus Christ: Grace to you, and peace be multiplied."

Jesus Direct Claims to be Eternal and One with the Father

Mark 14:61-64: "Again the high priest asked Him, saying to Him, 'Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?' And
Jesus said, 'I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of
heaven.' Then the high priest tore his clothes..". Here Jesus answers a direct question
with a direct answer: "I am." (note this also happens to be the name God gives to
Himself, the great "I am", the eternal, self-existent One).

Why did the high priest tear his clothes? Because he knew that Jesus was claiming to be
the same 'Son of Man' that was described in Daniel 7:13, who would come with 'the
clouds of heaven' and be given dominion over all the earth by God the Father (the 'Ancient
of Days').

John 8:56 "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad." The
the Jews said to Him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham? Jesus
said to them, 'Most assuredly I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.' Then they took up
stones to throw at Him ..." In this passage Jesus plainly claims to be the same eternal, self-
existent God that spoke to Moses out of burning bush - the great 'I AM." They took up stones to throw at Him
because they immediately recognized His claim.

John 10:30-31 "I and My Father are one. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him."

John 10:38 "...the Father is in Me, and I in Him." The Father and the Share the same divine
nature.

John 12:45 ".. he who sees Me sees Him who sent Me." Here Jesus emphasizes His nature as
the express image of the invisible God.
Christ Proclaimed as God Manifested in the Flesh by the Apostles

John 1:1, 14: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God...and the Word
became flesh, and dwelt among us.."" Here we note that Jesus was
existent with God the Father "in the beginning", and that at a moment in
history chosen by God, He took on flesh and became a man, and dwelt
among His creation.

Romans 9:5: .". Christ came, who is over all, the eternal blessed
God. Amen."

Colossians 2:8-9: "Christ, for in Him dwells all the fullness of the
Godhead in bodily form."

Hebrews 1:3 "God, who at various times and in different ways spoke in
times past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to
us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom
also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the
express image of His person..." Here Jesus is referred to by the apostle as
the very image of God.

2 Peter 1:1: "Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained like precious faith with
us by the righteous of our God and Savior Jesus Christ."

The Son is Proclaimed God in the Book of Hebrews

Hebrews 1:8: "But to the Son [Jesus] He [God] says: 'Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of
righteous is the scepter of Your Kingdom." God the Father is recognizing that Jesus is God, and King of Kings.

Jesus, as the Second Person of the Trinity, is Eternal

Hebrews 13:8: "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever."

The Spirit Appoints Overseers for God's Church

Acts 20:28 "Therefore, take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you
overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood." Here we have the Holy Spirit
acting as a person, appointing overseers to guide the church which He (God in Christ) purchased with His own
blood.

His Spirit Who Raised Jesus Will Also Gives Us Life

Romans 8:11: "But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ
from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwells in you." Here Paul describes how the
Spirit of God the Father raised Jesus up from the dead; and that how likewise, His Spirit will also give life [spiritual
life] to our mortal bodies.

The Holy Spirit Proclaimed as One with His Son

Galatians 4:6: "God has sent the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out "Abba, Father!". Here the Father,
Son and Holy Spirit are all referenced.

The Holy Spirit Referred to as God


Acts 5:3-4 "But Peter said, 'Ananias, why has Satan filled your hear to lie to the Holy Spirit...? ..You have not lied
to me but to God."

1 Cor 3:16 ""Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?" In this
passage it is clear that we are the temple of God, and that He dwells in us through His Holy Spirit.

Praise to the Holy Trinity: The Three Person LORD of All

Romans 11:36: "For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, [are] all things: to whom [be] glory for ever.
Amen." Here Paul is administering a blessing on his readers, and he exalts the three-person Lord when doing
this: for of Him (the Spirit) all are things, and through Him (Jesus) all things came into being and are sustained, and
to Him (the Father) all things will eventually meet their destiny at the end of time. He is giving glory to the one God
in three persons - Father, Son and Spirit.

Paul Asks Another Blessing of the Holy Trinity

At the close of his second letter to the Corinthians, Paul asks a blessing from God upon the saints in
Corinth: Roman 13:14: "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy
Spirit be with you all. Amen."

Here we see three complimentary aspects of God: our Lord Jesus, the second person of the Godhead, has provided
us all with unmerited "grace", by giving His life on the cross as a "ransom" for us - so that we can now enter into
eternal life if only we choose to do so; how that God the Father loves us so much that He was willing to "give His
one and only Son" to die for us; and that because He has given us His Holy Spirit to dwell in our hearts, we can
have communion and fellowship with one another.

Paul Describes the Work of the Trinity: the Three Person Godhead

In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul describes how God, acting in the form of His three person existence, has:

 Chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world

Ephesians 1:3-4: "Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all
spiritual blessings in heavenly [places] in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of
the world.."

 Redeemed us through His blood

Ephesians 1:7: "In whom we have redemption through his [the Lord Jesus] blood, the forgiveness of sins, according
to the riches of his grace.."

 Sealed us with the Holy Spirit of promise

Ephesians 1:14: "In whom ye also [trusted], after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in
whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise,.."

Through Jesus by One Spirit We Have Access to the Father

Ephesians 2:18: "For though Him [Jesus] we both have access by one Spirit to the Father." Paul is describing
how that it is only through Jesus that we have access to the Father, because of what He did on the cross. And that
the way we have this access is through the indwelling of His Holy Spirit in us - for he that worships God "must
worship Him in Spirit, and in Truth."
Great is the Mystery of Godliness

In his first letter to Timothy, Paul cites what appears to be a common doxology of the time, one that the early church
may have recited routinely. We see the nature of the Trinity here in that the Son was sent forth from the Father,
manifested in the flesh, and justified in the Spirit:

I Timothy 3:16: "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God [Jesus] was manifested in the
flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into
glory."

New Covenant Sacrifice

The writer of Hebrews depicts the Trinity when he describes Christ's sacrifice for mankind: Hebrews 9:14: ".. how
much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God.."

Shared Characteristics of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit

Below is a table of scriptures drawn from both the Old and New Testaments, where we see the
Holy Trinity - Father, Son and Spirit - working as God.

(Note: the matrix below is a work in progress - so stay tuned for more as we fill in the details from Scripture!)

Father Son Spirit


Isaiah 6: "For unto us a Child
is born, Unto us a Son is given
..and His name will be called Acts 5:3-4 "But Peter said,
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty 'Ananias, why has Satan filled
God, Everlasting Father, your hear to lie to the Holy
Referred to as God Prince of Peace." Spirit...? ..You have not lied to
Isaiah 45: 22 "For I am God, me but to God."
and there is no other .. John 10:30-31: "I and My
Father are one." Then the 1 Cor 3:16 "Do you not know
Jews took up stones again to that you are the temple of God
stone Him." and that the Spirit of God
dwells in you?"
"He that has seen Me has seen
the Father"
Gen 1:2 "And the Spirit of God
was hovering over the face of
John 1:3 "All things were made the waters." The Spirit
through Him, and without Him participated in the act of
nothing was made that was creation, along with the Father
Isaiah 45:12 "I have made the
made. and the Word.
earth, and created man on it. It
Creator of All Things was I - My hands that stretched
Psalm 33:6 "By the word of the Psalm 104:30 "You send forth
out the heavens.."
LORD the heavens were made, Your Spirit, they are created."
and all the host of them by the
breath of is mouth." Job 33:4 "The Spirit of God
has made me, and the breadth
of the Almighty gives me life."
Gen 2:7 "And the LORD God John 6:51: "Most assuredly, I Rom 8:11 "But if the Spirit of
Lives, and is the formed man of the dust of the say to you, if anyone keeps my Him who raised Jesus from the
ground, and breathed into his Word, he shall never see dead dwells in you, He who
Source of Life nostrils the breath of life; and death." raised Christ from the dead
man became a living being." will also give life to your
"I am the resurrection and the mortal bodies through His
life." Spirit who dwells in you."

John 10:17-18 "I lay down My 1 Cor. 3:16 "Do you not know
life that I may take it again... I that .you are the temple of God
have power to lay it down, and and that the Spirit of God
I have power to take it again." dwells in you?

Jesus proved He had power


over life - by raising many
from the dead, as well as
reclaiming His own life after
being put to death on a cross.
Eternal John 8:58-59 "Jesus said to
them, Most assuredly, I say to
Existence Isaiah 57:15 "For thus says the you, before Abraham was, I
Hebrews 9:14: "...Christ, who
through the eternal Spirit
High and Lofty One Who AM." Then they took up stones
offered Himself without
inhabits eternity, whose name to throw at Him ..."
blemish to God." (here we see
is Holy..." John 12:41: These things
the triune God as well!)
Isaiah said when he saw His
glory and spoke of Him."
Before the incarnation, Jesus -
Isaiah 66:1 "Thus says the
the eternal Word - was indeed
LORD, "The heaven is my
everywhere. Upon entering
throne, and the earth is my
space and time He willingly
footstool: where is the house Psalm 139: 7 "Where can I go
limited Himself by assuming a
Present Everywhere that you build unto me?" from Your Spirit? Or where
human nature in addition to
can I flee from Your
His divine nature. Subsequent
Jer 23:34: "Can any hid in Presence?" God's Sprit is
to His resurrection, He again is
secret places that I shall not see present everywhere.
omnipresent, and near when
him? says the LORD. Do I not
needed ; Matt 28:30 "Lo, I am
fill heaven and earth? says the
with you always, even to the
LORD."
end of the world."
1 Cor 2:11 "Even so no one
God the Father describes to Job Jesus displayed an amazing
Has Intellect and Will how He created all things, and intellect by virtue of His knows the things of God except
the Spirit of God." Here it is
maintains their own by the teachings, and had absolute
clear the Spirit is capable of
power of His will. control of His own will.
knowing.

Special Characteristics Jesus and the Holy Spirit Share with the Father

Below is a table of scriptures drawn from both the Old and New Testaments, where we see
the Son and the Spirit sharing certain special characteristics with the Father.

Father Son Spirit


Isaiah 43:25 "I, even I, am He
Mark 2:5-12 "Son, your sins
who blots out your
are forgiven you." Scribes
Forgives Sins transgressions for My own
nearby said "Who can forgive
sake; and I will not remember
sins but God alone?"
your sins."

Commands the Mark 6:48: "..He came to them


Elements walking on the sea.."
Isaiah 41:4: "I, the LORD, am
the first; and with the last I am Revelation 1:8 "I am the
He." Alpha and the Omega, the
Alpha and Omega Beginning and the End,
Isaiah 44:6 "Thus says the says the Lord, who is and
(Beginning and End) LORD, the King of Israel, and
who was and who is to
his Redeemer, the LORD of
Hosts: I am the First and I am come, the Almighty."
the Last; Besides Me there is
no God." Rev 1:11 "I am the Alpha
and the Omega, the First
Isaiah 48:12 "I am He, I am the and the Last."
First, I am also the Last".
Rom 10-11: "we shall all stand
before the judgment seat of
Christ, for it is written: 'As I
live, says the LORD, every
To God Every Knee knee shall bow to Me, and
every tongue shall confess to
Shall Bow, Every Isaiah 45: 22-23 "For I am God."
Tongue Confess God, and there is no other ...to
Me every knee shall bow, every Phil 2:10-11: "that at the name
tongue shall take an oath." of Jesus every knee should
bow, of those in heaven, and of
those on earth, and of those
under the earth, and that every
tongue should confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord, to the
glory of God the Father."
John 8:48: "Which of you
convicts Me of sin?"
Holy and Sinless Lev 11:44 "For I am the LORD
Mark 1:24 "I know who you
your God. You shall therefore
are - the Holy One of God!"
sanctify yourselves, and you
shall be holy, for I am holy."
Psalms 16:10 "Nor will You
allow Your Holy One to see
corruption."
Jesus predicted His capture,
death and resurrection
numerous times.
Sees Past, Present and
Jesus predicted the destruction
Future Isaiah 42:9 "And new things I of the Temple with amazing
declare; Before they spring accuracy (not one stone was
forth I tell you of them." left standing after the Romans
took the temple apart stone by
stone to retrieve the gold)

He also made many other


predictions.
Isaiah 43:3 "For I am the
LORD your God, the Holy One Matthew 1:21 "And she will
Savior of Israel, your Savior." bring forth a Son, and you
shall call His name JESUS, for
Isaiah 45:21 "..there is no God He sill save His people from
besides Me, a just God and a their sins."
Savior."
Worshipped Ex 34:14 "for you shall
John 9:38: "Then he said,
worship no other god, for the
"Lord, I believe!" And he
LORD, whose name is jealous,
worshipped Him." (Jesus)
is a jealous God."

The people were astounded, The Holy Spirit speaks: Acts


because Jesus spoke not as the 8:29 "Then the Spirit said to
Communicates scribes, but as one having Philip, 'Go near and overtake
authority ("But I say unto you this chariot.'" See also Acts
..."). 10:19, 11:12, 21:11, 1 Tim 4:1,
Heb 3:7.
The Holy Spirit interacts as a
person: He may be lied to
(Acts 5:3), tested (Acts 5:9),
Jesus, the eternal Word of God,
insulted (Heb. 10:29) or
was made flesh and dwelt
Interacts as a Person blasphemed (Matt. 12:31). He
among us for this very reasons
also leads (Rom. 8:14),
- to interact with us,
convicts (John 16:8),
communicate to us and reach
intercedes (Rom. 8:26), calls
each of us on a personal level.
(Acts 13:2), and commissions
(Acts 20:28).... Only a person
can be vexed (Isaiah. 63:10) or
grieved (Eph. 4:30).

Counselor and John 14:26 “But the


Teacher Comforter, which is the
Holy Spirit, whom the
Father will send in My
name, He shall teach you
all things.

Did the Early Church Believe in the Holy Trinity? Yes!

Some maintain that the Holy Trinity was a later invention by the Church, and that the first Christians
believed no such thing. We have already seen how the Bible - the Law, the Prophets and the Psalms, present the
compound unit of God - Father, Son and Spirit. Let's consider the evidence: what did the earliest Christian writers
have to say? Plenty - the evidence shows that the early 1st - 2nd century church (long before Constantine and the
Council of Nicea in 325 AD) believed in a triune God.

Letter of Ignatius to the Magnesians

Ignatius was one of the early "church fathers" - a disciple of the apostles, and
bishop of Antioch. Date of writings is estimated to be 105-155 AD. Eusebius
(Hist. Eccl. 3.36) places Ignatius' martyrdom in the reign of Trajan (A.D. 98-
117). For more about Ignatius: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ignatius_of_Antioch.

"Defer to the bishop and to one another as Jesus Christ did to the Father in the
days oh His flesh, and as the Apostles did to Christ, to the Father, and to the
Spirit. In that way we shall achieve complete unity."
Letter of Ignatius to the Romans:

"Nothing you can see has real value. Our God, Jesus Christ, indeed, has revealed himself more clearly by returning
to the Father."

Athenagoras' Plea

Athenagoras of Athens was a philosopher who converted to Christianity in the second century. He wrote his Plea for
Christians approximately in 177 CE. To learn more about Athenagoras go to:
http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/athenagoras.html. The following is an extract from a letter written to
Emperor Marcus Aurelius.

"... But the Son of God is His Word in idea and in actuality; for by Him and through Him all things were made, the
Father and Son being one. And since the Son is in the Father and the Father in the Son by the unity and power of
the Spirit, the Son of God is the mind and Word of the Father."

"I do not mean that He (the Son) was created, for, since God is eternal mind, He had His Word within Himself
from the beginning, being eternally wise. Rather did the Son come forth from God to give form and actuality to all
material things."

"But there are other who reckon this present life of very little value. They are guided by this alone - to know the true
God and His Word, to know the unity of the Father with the Son, the fellowship of the father with the Son, what
the Spirit is, what unity exists between these three, the Spirit, the Son, and the Father, and what is their
distinction in unity."

First Apology of Justin

Justin Martyr (Justin the Martyr a.k.a Justin of Caesarea) (100 – 165 AD)
was an early Christian apologist. His works represent the earliest surviving
Christian apologies of notable size. The following letter is extracted from a
letter by Justin Martyr to the Emperor Titus; Justin was providing a defense of
the Christian faith to the emperor. It is dated about 155 AD. Read more about
Justin: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justin_Martyr.

".. the Father of the Universe has a Son, who being the Word and First-
begotten of God is also divine. Formerly he appeared in the form of fire and
the image of a bodiless being to Moses and the other prophets. But now in the
time of your dominion he was, as I have said, made man of a virgin
according to the will of the Father for the salvation of those who believe in
him, and endured contempt and suffering so that by dying and rising again he
might conquer death.

Athanasius - On the Incarnation

Athanasius of Alexandria (also spelled "Athanasios") (c.298 – May 2, 373 AD) was a Christian bishop, the
Patriarch of Alexandria, in the fourth century. He is revered as a saint by both the Roman
Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church, and regarded as a great leader and
doctor of the Church by Protestants. For more on Athanasius, please see
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athanasius_of_Alexandria.

Here is an extract from Chapter 1 of the On the Incarnation"...


"..the Word of the Father is Himself divine.... For it is a fact that the more unbelievers pour scorn on Him, so much
the more does He make His Godhead evident. The thing which they, as men, rule out as impossible, He plainly
shows to be possible; that which they deride as unfitting, His goodness makes most fit; and things which these wise
acres laugh at as "human" He by His inherent might declares divine. Thus by what seems His utter poverty and
weakness on the cross He overturns the pomp and parade of idols, and quietly and hiddenly wins over the mockers
and unbelievers to recognize Him as God."

Nicene Creed (325 AD)

The Nicene Creed originated at the Council of Nicea in 325 AD, in an effort to encapsulate the core beliefs of
Christianity in one easy to remember and recite creed. The highlighted portions below make it obvious that a core
doctrine of Christianity was the Holy Trinity: to believe in one God in three persons - God the Father, His
"one and only son" the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit:

"I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God,
Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all
things were made.

Who, for us men for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin
Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the
third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the
Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.

And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who with
the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.

And I believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the
remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.
Amen."

Answering Objections to the Doctrine of the Holy Trinity

The Concept of a Trinity is Too Complex!

Some say that the Trinity is too complex, not comprehensible to us. We can't understand how one God could also
existing in three Persons. But if we take this position, aren't we putting God in a box? After all, who are we to say
what God - the Almighty, the Creator - can and can't do? The Truth is not always simple.

Recall that God says in Isaiah that "my ways are not your ways, neither are my thoughts your thoughts." So
why should we be so presumptuous to think that everything about God - the Creator of the universe of space, time
and matter - should be totally comprehensible to us? Quite the contrary, we should NOT be surprised if there are
quite a number of things that we do not understand when it comes to the things of our Creator.

Yes, it goes beyond our comprehension, but the fact remains: He is a Triune God - one God existing in three
persons - Father, Son and Spirit.

But God Would Not Beget a Son of God!

Many Muslims misconstrue what the Bible is teaching on this point, because they interpret "begotten" in a
fleshly, anthropomorphic manner - in the sense of someone literally begetting children. Begetting implies to a
Muslim a physical act, and since God is Spirit and has no body, this doesn't make sense. Besides, claim Muslims,
this is beneath God. This would amount to the Uncreated creating another Uncreated - which again doesn't make
sense.

These views are reflective of the misunderstandings that many Muslims have about what Christians believe. No
Christian that I know of holds that "begat" equates with "made" or "create". The new Testament clearly records that
the power of the Holy Spirit "overshadowed" Mary, such that she conceived. There was no physical act by God
involved, but rather a miracle - the virgin birth. Jesus became the "Firstborn" of a new creation, the Head of God's
new family.

Also note that the words "only begotten" can also be translated, as the NIV does, as God's "one and only Son". It
does not imply a creation by the Father, but rather a unique relationship to Him. There is no physical generation,
but rather an eternal procession from the Father. So while Muslims believe that the book the Quran is not identical to
God, but eternally proceeds from Him, so Christians believe that the Lord Jesus Christ - God's living "Word" -
eternally proceeds from Him.

The important point is that Jesus, the Son of God, was not created, but always eternal. To quote John 1: "In the
beginning was the Word ... and the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us". In other words, before the creation of
time, space and all matter, the eternal Son was already there. When He was born, He added a human dimension to
His existence ("became flesh"), but He did not cease to be the eternal Son. As it says, Jesus - the same, yesterday,
today, and forever.

Don't Christians Believe in Three Gods?

Christians do not confess a belief in three gods, but in only one God. They hold to the word in the Old
Testament that exclaims "The Lord our God, the Lord is One!" (Deu 6:4). Jesus and His followers also
demonstrated an adherence to this belief (Mark 12:29, , 1 Cor 8:4, 6). So any true
Christian must believe in only one God, the Creator and Sustainer of all things.

What is at issue is whether there can be any plurality of persons in this unity of
nature. Christians were led to the complex truth of the Trinity by several key
factors. First, by the fact there can only be one God.

Second, by the fact that Jesus claimed to be God, and validated His claim by
performing numerous miracles - finally rising from the dead. He clearly claimed to be God, and did the works of
God, although He was not the same as the one He addressed - the Father.

Third, the Spirit was also God by associating with the Father in the act of creation (see Gen 1). He is also called
God in numerous places (see above). Characteristic of God, the Spirit possesses the characteristics of omnipresence
(is everywhere - PS 139:7-12) and omniscience (is all knowing - 1 Cor 2:10-11). He is also involved with the other
members of the Godhead in the work of redemption (John 3:5-6), and is associated with the other members of the
Trinity under the one "name" of God (see Matt 28:18-20).

Thus Christians were undeniably led to the conviction that there was one God, but that the one God existed in
three persons - Father, Son and Spirit.

But the Word Trinity is Not Recorded in the Bible!

While this is true, we do rationally and reasonable infer the existence of the
Trinity from the Bible:
 It is indisputable that both the Old and New Testaments affirm that there is only ONE God - not multiple
Gods. Yaweh (YHVH), insists that He is the one and only Creator, Savior, Redeemer, and Giver of Life.
 And yet, there are also numerous instances of the One God being referred to as Father, Son and Spirit
throughout the Old and New Testaments (see above for examples).
 All three of these entities have the characteristics of "persons" - they think, act, make judgments, speak,
direct, love, are grieved, etc.
 Jesus claimed to be God come in the flesh ("and the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us") - the
second person of the Godhead. The fact that He died as the prophets had foretold, and rose, again,
validated His claim.
 The Holy Spirit is referred to as God in both the Old and New Testaments

It is also clear from the evidence that the early Christian Church believed in and taught the doctrine of the
Trinity. This is evident from an inspection of the New Testament writings, as well as a review of the writings of the
early church fathers. Furthermore, the early church "creeds" - the Apostles Creed, the Nicene Creed, and others, all
emphasize that Christians believe in one God, manifested in three persons - Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Why Believe in the Trinity - Father, Son and Spirit

Simply put, because that is what the Bible teaches, and that is who our Lord is. Our God is one God, but three
persons - the Father, Son and Holy Spirit - in absolute unity from all eternity. And God loves you - so much that
He, in the fullness of time, became a man like one of us, led a perfect, sinless like, and paid the penalty for our sins
by giving His life in exchange for ours. He returned to His Father, but left us with His Holy Spirit to dwell in every
believer, unifying us, guiding us, and teaching us all things.