The Holy Trinity

The Trinity is a debated topic of Christian belief. It seems to be a focus of arguments by non-Christian groups (and even a few Christians). However, most Christian faiths believe in the Trinity. The Trinity is the belief that the Father (Creator), the Son (Word), and the Holy Spirit are three divine persons who are one eternal divine being. The first reference to God as a unified being comes from the Old Testament. The following verse is key to arguments against the Trinity.

(Deuteronomy 6:4) Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one:

This verse is commonly used by non-Trinitarian apologists to denounce the Trinity since it says that God is “one.” Where they fail, though, is their translation of the word “one.” They believe it makes God singular. However, the Hebrew word used for “one” in this passage is echad . See it again in Hebrew.

(Deuteronomy 6:4) Sh’ma, Yisra’el! ADONAI Eloheinu, ADONAI echad

Echad translates literally to a composite unity, multiples unifying into one. Echad is the same word used to describe in Genesis how Adam and Eve “became one (echad) flesh.” If they had meant to describe God as a solitary being, they would have used the word yachid, which translates to a “solitary one.” Nowhere in the Bible is yachid used to describe God. Throughout Genesis, when God speaks of himself, he uses plural cases.

(Genesis 1:26) Then God said: Let us make human beings in our image, after our likeness.

Some non-Trinitarian faiths then try to argue that God was including angels and other celestial bodies in that statement, which made it plural. However, the very next verse says:

(Genesis 1:27) So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

This shows He was only speaking of himself, yet uses plural case when doing so. Other examples of God’s plurality are:

(Genesis 3:22) Then the LORD God said: "See! The man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil!

(Genesis 11:7) “Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that no one will understand the speech of another.”

There are other examples in the Old Testament and other Jewish writings that show that ancient Jews viewed God as a unified god. It was at a much later date when the Pharisees abolished the doctrine of a unified god and rewrote Him as a solitary god.

There is one last thing to include concerning the Old Testament Trinity. It may or may not be evidence, but it is something that stirs thought.

(Isaiah 6:2,3) Seraphim were stationed above; each of them had six wings: with two they veiled their faces, with two they veiled their feet, and with two they hovered aloft. “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts!” they cried one to the other. “All the earth is filled with his glory!”

The angels praise God with three holies. Rather than assuming the angels are just redundant, it is more likely that they are addressing all three persons of the Trinity.

Also, the Trinity is referred to many times in the New Testament. The most commonly used name for God in the Bible is Yahweh whom most Christians refer to as God. The name Yahweh is literally translated to “I AM” in English. Let’s look at this passage.

(John 8:53-54) [the Jews said to him,] “Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? Or the prophets, who died? Who do you make yourself out to be?” Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing; but it is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’”

Here, Jesus says that he is the son of God and refers to his Father as a separate entity from himself. However, look just a bit further in the same chapter:

(John 8:56-59) “Abraham your father rejoiced to see my day; he saw it and was glad.” So the Jews said to him, “You are not fifty years old. How could Abraham have seen you?” Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham came to be, I AM.” So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid and went out of the temple area.

Here, Jesus refers to himself as God by calling himself, “I AM.” He says this in direct relation to who God told Abraham He was as well as what He called himself at the burning bush when speaking to Moses. “I AM” is Yahweh in Hebrew. This statement enraged the Jews speaking to him, and they wanted to stone him for speaking blasphemy. Jesus refers to his part in the Trinity several other times in the Bible.

(John 10:38) “…the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”

(John 12:45) “and whoever sees me sees the one who sent me.”

(John 14:7) “If you know me, then you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”

(John 10:30) The Father and I are one.

(John 20:28) Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

We can see that Jesus not only secures his divinity as God but also maintains a separate identity from God the Father. This verse shows two parts of the Trinity, but what about the third? There a few Christians that believe in the divinity of God the Father and God the Son but do not consider the Holy Spirit to be part of that divinity. This theology is called binitarianism. To them, the Holy Spirit is merely a manifestation of God’s power and not an entity if his own. However, Jesus not only refers to the Holy Spirit as a person but also includes the Holy Spirit in the Trinity.

Jesus refers to the Holy Spirit as another entity when he refers to sending the Spirit of truth to the apostles after he leaves.

(John 16:13) But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming.

Next, Jesus names the Trinity, including the Holy Spirit.

(Matthew 28:19) “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the holy Spirit,”

In this verse, the word “name” is singular, showing that all three entities share the same name. We know this name to be Yahweh because Jesus has applied this name to himself and the Father in the previous passages. You don’t need a whole lot of commons sense on this one. A simple formula will suffice. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit share one name. The name of the Father and the Son is Yahweh; therefore, the name of the Holy Spirit is Yahweh, thus forming the Trinity of one God, three persons. God is eternal and unchanging. The Trinity did not form after Jesus was born. It has always been there.

(John 14:7)"The Advocate, the holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name—he will teach you everything and remind you of all that told you. "
Three persons.