The Trinity Doctrine in the Bible

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Apr 21, 2021
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#1
Can anybody help make The Doctrine of The Trinity clear to those who are new to the Faith using scripture alone?

There are only 2 known verses in all of scripture that even hint at the concept of a '3-person God' who is actually 'One'.

Matthew 28:19 lists the 3 persons of the Trinity, but does not describe their relationship in any way or teach the "concept" of the Trinity at all.

"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:"
(Mt. 28:19)
It is very significant to note that after this verse, the only baptisms that are related in detail describe baptizing in the name of Jesus or Jesus Christ. These are found in Acts 2:38 & 8:12

The other verse that comes close to describing the Trinity is Ephesians 4:4-6.

"There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all."
(Eph. 4:4-6)
This verse, as well, fails to teach the actual "concept" of the Trinity.

There are many pagan religions with 3-person gods which go into great detail about the 3-person relationship of their gods and the history of how they came about, but in Christianity, there is no teaching anywhere in scripture about the Trinity. The word Trinity is found nowhere from Genesis to Revelation.

There is not a single book in the 66 books of the Bible, much less even a paragraph, that teaches the actual concept of the Trinity.

So how do we teach this concept to a new inquisitive Christian who is interested in learning about it in their Bible?

If you can teach this concept using the Bible alone, please supply those books, chapters and verses for the edification of those who are eager to learn.
 

Deuteronomy

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Jun 11, 2018
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#2
Hello @S3RV4NT, you are correct, the word "Trinity" is not found in the Bible, but the teaching that the one God .. Deuteronomy 6:4 exists as a "Godhead" (one Divine Being who has existed from everlasting as more than one Divine Person) begins in the first Chapter of Genesis.

Genesis 1
26 God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
Genesis 3
22 Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”
Isaiah 7/Matthew 1:23
14 The Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel, which translated means, “GOD WITH US.

It's verses/passages like these, along with many others (in both the OT and the New) concerning the Deity of Son and the Person of the Holy Spirit that prompted the church to formulate the Doctrine of the Trinity. We did this to circumscribe and safeguard the truth about this Biblical "mystery," not explain it, because that is simply beyond us (at least on this side of the grave anyway).

So, the Trinity is one Divine "Being" existing both from and to everlasting as three Divine "Persons" (NOT 3 different Gods/Beings, and NOT one Divine Being who transforms or manifests Himself in three different ways/modes to fit the situation). No other religion teaches that their "god/gods" exist in this manner.

God bless you!

~Deut
p.s. - below is a funny, but informative video about what the Trinity is (or perhaps better, what it is not, and why analogies, while useful in a way (you know, water, ice, steam, etc.), can never properly describe the Godhead and, in fact, always end up being heretical to one degree or another.


Finally, it may interest you to know that the word "name" in Matthew 28:19 is "singular". IOW, the Lord Jesus told us to baptize in the ~name~ of God, and His ~singular~ name is, "the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit".

Mark 1
9 It came about in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan.
10 And immediately coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens opening, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him;
11 and a voice came out of the heavens: “Thou art My beloved Son, in Thee I am well-pleased.”


 

Deuteronomy

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Jun 11, 2018
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#3
Hello again @S3RV4NT, if you're interested in reading about the Deity of the 3rd Person of the Trinity as well, here are a few verses/passages to get you started .. e.g. Genesis 1:1-2; Mark 1:9-12 (see v12 in particular); John 14:25-26, 15:26, 16:12-15; Acts 13:1-4. Take note that Jesus uses the personal pronouns "He/Him" when referring to the Holy Spirit, and the HS Himself uses "Me" to describe Himself in the passage from Acts.

God bless you!

~Deut
p.s. - and here are more, important passages concerning the Deity of Jesus Christ (God the Son), which I should have included in my first post.


John 1
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 He was in the beginning with God.
3 All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.
4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.
14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Colossians 1
16 By Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created by Him and for Him.
17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
Colossians 2
9 In Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form.
 

Deuteronomy

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#4
Finally, we do not believe/teach that the one Divine Being (who we refer to as "God" or "YHWH") is divided somehow into three "parts" (as if 33.3% of Him exists in each Person of the Trinity). Rather, we believe that ALL of Him/100% of God exists (at the same time) in/as the three Members of the Godhead.

He is omnipresent, which is another Biblical, "mystery".

~Deut
 

Deuteronomy

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#5
Whoops, I should have included this as well (as I believe that it is useful).


Trinity Triangle.png
 
Apr 21, 2021
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#6
Thanks, Deuteronomy.

And thanks for the video that really emphasizes how difficult it is to grasp the Trinity concept.

The book of John makes a very good case for Jesus and the Father, and Jesus claims multiple times that they are 'One', directly and indirectly. The first verses help to explain all the 'US' references in Genesis and throughout scripture.

Also many believe Gen. 1&2 refer to the angels being present with God when man was being created.

Throughout all of those verses though, there is no mention of any 3rd entity/member of the Godhead. This makes it difficult when presenting a case for the Trinity. People seem to grasp the Father and the Son relationship, and many ascertain the spiritual concept that they are one, but it leaves the begging question of 'what about the Holy Ghost/Spirit?'

It might have to suffice to simply tell people that it truly is a 'mystery.'
 

CS1

Well-known member
May 23, 2012
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#7
Can anybody help make The Doctrine of The Trinity clear to those who are new to the Faith using scripture alone?

There are only 2 known verses in all of scripture that even hint at the concept of a '3-person God' who is actually 'One'.

Matthew 28:19 lists the 3 persons of the Trinity, but does not describe their relationship in any way or teach the "concept" of the Trinity at all.

"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:"
(Mt. 28:19)
It is very significant to note that after this verse, the only baptisms that are related in detail describe baptizing in the name of Jesus or Jesus Christ. These are found in Acts 2:38 & 8:12

The other verse that comes close to describing the Trinity is Ephesians 4:4-6.

"There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all."
(Eph. 4:4-6)
This verse, as well, fails to teach the actual "concept" of the Trinity.

There are many pagan religions with 3-person gods which go into great detail about the 3-person relationship of their gods and the history of how they came about, but in Christianity, there is no teaching anywhere in scripture about the Trinity. The word Trinity is found nowhere from Genesis to Revelation.

There is not a single book in the 66 books of the Bible, much less even a paragraph, that teaches the actual concept of the Trinity.

So how do we teach this concept to a new inquisitive Christian who is interested in learning about it in their Bible?

If you can teach this concept using the Bible alone, please supply those books, chapters and verses for the edification of those who are eager to learn.

This question can not be answered by those who hold to the doctrine of the trinity or those who do not.

Deu 6:4 "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:" meaning the Lord God is the ONLY God there is no other.

Yet we see in scriptures God revealed as the Father = Creator and God as the Son = the very expression of God found in John chapter 1 and as God the Holy Spirit who we see in Genesis at the creation the first time He is mentioned.


The problem is fallen man cannot comprehend the full nature of God we are limited God is not. Those who think they can explain the full nature of the triune God are errored in that thinking.

We on this side can only know God three ways :

1. general revelation = His creation testifies of HIS existence Rom chapter and genesis chapter 1-3
2. Special revelation His word whereby we can know His attributes: Holiness, Eternal, Power, all-knowing, all -present, unchanging Mercy, love
3. by a relationship with the Son we know the Father. The Holy Spirit agrees with the witness of Christ that helps us to believe into salvation.



It is pride to say one can fully explain the full nature of God when HE is unlimited. For us to even come close, we would need to have the same abilities as God, we don't. Even the creation of what we see can't explain all about the creator from vast to deep to big too powerful. The very Bible doesn't provide every single detail But enough to provide righteous living and appropriate worship.

You can study all you want you will not be able to understand the Triune God fully.
 

Deuteronomy

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Jun 11, 2018
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#8
...many believe Gen. 1&2 refers to the angels being present with God when man was being created.
Yes, I used to believe that as well. Of course, I was confused about many things when I was a non-Christian ;) (and for good reason .. e.g. 1 Corinthians 2:12-16 .. please take special note of v14).

The good news is, God makes it clear that we were NOT created in the ~collective~ image of God AND His (created) heavenly host (whatever that might be :unsure:) in the very next verse.

Genesis 1
27 God created man ~in His own image~, ~in the image of God~ He created him; male and female He created them.

So, if you run into someone who is pushing for "Us" and "Our" in Genesis 1:26 being a "combo" image, just tell them to keep on reading :geek:

BTW, it's also interesting to note that God's plural name, אֱלֹהִים / "Elohim", is first used/translated as "God" in Genesis 1:5.

~Deut
p.s. - I’ll finish my reply to your post (about the Spirit) in my next post (as this post is already long enough :)).


Isaiah 9
6 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, Counseller, The mighty God,
The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of His government and of 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.
 
Apr 21, 2021
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#9
Hello @S3RV4NT

It's verses/passages like these, ... that prompted the church to formulate the Doctrine of the Trinity. We did this to circumscribe and safeguard the truth about this Biblical "mystery," not explain it, because that is simply beyond us (at least on this side of the grave anyway).
Would you say, then, that the Trinity is primarily a Catholic concept?

And what should we make of these verses concerning this action of the church?

"You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it... " (Deut. 4:2)
"Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it." (Deut. 12:32)
"Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. Do not add to His words, Lest He rebuke, and you be found a liar." (Prov. 30:5-6)

It could be argued that the first 2 verses pertain only to The Law, but the 3rd verse is very general and pertains to the entirety of God's Word.

If the church devised a doctrine, or concept, that is not clearly presented in scripture, how do we reconcile the blanket teaching of such a doctrine and embrace it across all of Christendom today?

Are there any other doctrines or concepts that the church has created that are observed by the majority of denominations today?
 

Deuteronomy

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Jun 11, 2018
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#10
Would you say, then, that the Trinity is primarily a Catholic concept?
Hello again S3RV4NT, the Trinity is, first and foremost, a "Biblical" concept (as the Bible is the only source that was used in the formulation of that doctrine by the church).

The Trinity is a (small "c") "catholic" doctrine as that word means "universal" (IOW, every church within Christendom teaches it as Biblical truth), ~including~ the Roman Catholic Church.

Just to be clear, the Roman Catholic Church officially became a "church" at the schism in 1054 AD, but the doctrine/concept of our Triune God began in the 1st Century (both in the Bible, of course, as well in writings like the The Didache and those of the Early Church Fathers). You continue:

And what should we make of these verses concerning this action of the church?

"You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it... " (Deut. 4:2)
"Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it." (Deut. 12:32)
"Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. Do not add to His words, Lest He rebuke, and you be found a liar." (Prov. 30:5-6)


It could be argued that the first 2 verses pertain only to The Law, but the 3rd verse is very general and pertains to the entirety of God's Word.
The church's creation of this particular doctrine was done as a means of summarizing, protecting and explaining (as best we can anyway) the combined Biblical teachings about God/the Godhead, so it is hardly the same thing as "adding" something to the Biblical text! This is the same thing that we do when we write catechisms and creeds ("creed" is taken from a Latin word that means, "what we believe"). This helps the many among us who don't know the Bible well-enough/from cover to cover, to know what it ACTUALLY teaches, especially concerning those things in the Bible that are the most important truths for us to know/comprehend.

You continue:

If the church devised a doctrine, or concept, that is not clearly presented in scripture, how do we reconcile the blanket teaching of such a doctrine and embrace it across all of Christendom today?
The Doctrine of the Trinity, unlike some of the other doctrines out there (like some of the recent doctrines that the Roman Catholic Church created concerning the Virgin Mary), is a summation of what the ~Bible~ teaches us, as a whole, about the nature of the Godhead. So, the church didn't "devise" anything in this case, because everything that is taught in the Trinity doctrine comes from the Bible itself.

God bless you!

~Deut
 

Deuteronomy

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Jun 11, 2018
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#11
Throughout all of those verses though, there is no mention of any 3rd entity/member of the Godhead. This makes it difficult when presenting a case for the Trinity. People seem to grasp the Father and the Son relationship, and many ascertain the spiritual concept that they are one, but it leaves the begging question of 'what about the Holy Ghost/Spirit?' It might have to suffice to simply tell people that it truly is a 'mystery.'
There are seemingly endless verses about the Holy Spirit in the Bible, but yes, many do not set Him apart as the 3rd Person/Member of the Trinity in the manner that Father and the Son are more often and more clearly described for us. Please take careful note again of these verses/passages: Genesis 1:1-2; Mark 1:9-12 (see v12 in particular); John 14:25-26, 15:26, 16:12-15; Acts 13:1-4.

I'll need to get back to you with more about this a little later however (as I need to go right now) but, in the meantime, you can rest assured that after two millennia plus of theologians, church doctors, pastors, linguists, apologists AND lay congregants looking into all of the individual Biblical teachings that resulted in the Doctrine of the Trinity, that this Biblical truth/doctrine has been well-vetted/fact-checked, over and over and over again (y)(y)

Finally, many things in the Bible are "mysteries" (things that we cannot completely grasp/understand, but that we hold as true because the Bible tells us that they are), but the fact that the Holy Spirit is 1. God and 2. a Divine Individual/Person other than the Divine Persons of the Father and the Son (and not simply a "force" of some kind), is not among them, as the Bible makes His nature, who and what He is, perfectly clear for us :)

~Deut
 

TMS

Senior Member
Mar 21, 2015
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#13
Can anybody help make The Doctrine of The Trinity clear to those who are new to the Faith using scripture alone?

There are only 2 known verses in all of scripture that even hint at the concept of a '3-person God' who is actually 'One'.

Matthew 28:19 lists the 3 persons of the Trinity, but does not describe their relationship in any way or teach the "concept" of the Trinity at all.

"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:"
(Mt. 28:19)
It is very significant to note that after this verse, the only baptisms that are related in detail describe baptizing in the name of Jesus or Jesus Christ. These are found in Acts 2:38 & 8:12

The other verse that comes close to describing the Trinity is Ephesians 4:4-6.

"There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all."
(Eph. 4:4-6)
This verse, as well, fails to teach the actual "concept" of the Trinity.

There are many pagan religions with 3-person gods which go into great detail about the 3-person relationship of their gods and the history of how they came about, but in Christianity, there is no teaching anywhere in scripture about the Trinity. The word Trinity is found nowhere from Genesis to Revelation.

There is not a single book in the 66 books of the Bible, much less even a paragraph, that teaches the actual concept of the Trinity.

So how do we teach this concept to a new inquisitive Christian who is interested in learning about it in their Bible?

If you can teach this concept using the Bible alone, please supply those books, chapters and verses for the edification of those who are eager to learn.
You are correct about the word "trinity" not being in the bible, and the concept of the trinity can be very different among different groups. Some teachings are simply pagan and false, but some are presumptions and that can be worse. When it comes to understanding the God that created us and is all powerful, all knowing, and beyond time and space, we fail to come close.
All i know is that Jesus is 100% God and the Holy Spirit is 100% God and the Father is 100% God and that they are one.
 

TMS

Senior Member
Mar 21, 2015
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#14
Few doctrinal subjects have generated more passionate debate among Christians than the theme of the trinity. Churches have split and wars have even been fought over the issues that surround the nature of the Godhead.
 

TMS

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Mar 21, 2015
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#15
Since creation, people have tried to understand and explain God. In the book of Job, Zophar uttered the cry of each human heart when he declared, “Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know?” (Job 11:7, 8).

John Wesley adds, “Bring me a worm that can comprehend a man, and then I will show you a man that can comprehend the triune God!”
 

TMS

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Mar 21, 2015
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#16
“If the Bible teaches that there is only one God, then how can God be composed of three persons?”
Scripture unequivocally declares that there is only one God.
Deuteronomy 6:4. “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord.”

“Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God. … Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any” (Isaiah 44:6, 8).

Jesus also taught about “the only true God” (John 17:3) and Paul wrote, “There is one God” (1 Timothy 2:5).
 

TMS

Senior Member
Mar 21, 2015
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#17
Most agree with the above texts. but how they apply them is debated....

Does this mean that there is one person who has three different titles?
Or are there three separate persons who mysteriously morph into one being?
Is Jesus merely a good man, a creation to redeem us, and only the Father is God?
Still others hold that the Father and Son are indeed God but the Holy Spirit is only the impersonal force that does their bidding.

Each of these conflicting ideas has attracted its loyal followers.
 

TMS

Senior Member
Mar 21, 2015
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#18
In the 3rd century, Sabellius, a Libyan priest living in Rome, taught that God is a single person with different titles—known as modalism. Thus, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit represent different hats or titles that God wears, depending on how He wishes to communicate with man at the time. It’s akin to water, which can take on the form of a solid, liquid, or gas.

However, they are not three roles played by one person. The church recognized Sabellius’ ideas as contrary to Bible teaching, and he was quickly excommunicated. Yet he still has adherents today in what is commonly known as the “Oneness” or “Jesus Only” doctrine. The Jesus Only teaching claims that Jesus Christ is not only the Son, but also the Father and the Holy Spirit. Isaiah 9:6, in which the Messiah (or the promised Son) is called “The everlasting Father,” is used to provide biblical support for this belief.

The Oneness doctrine, however, overlooks the fact that the Son came to earth to reveal the true character of God the Father to a world groping in spiritual blindness. Jesus prayed to His Father in Gethsemane, “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world” (John 17:5, 6). Jesus is the only one who could reveal the Father, because He is the express image of the Father (Luke 10:22; Hebrews 1:3).

Thus when the disciples asked Christ what the Father was like, He could say, “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father” (John 14:9). Jesus so mirrored the character of the Father that He perfectly reflected Him, hence the title “The Everlasting Father.” Another reason Jesus is called the Everlasting Father is because this world and everything in it was created through Christ. So in a very real sense, Jesus is our father (Hebrews 1:2; John 1:3).

Isaiah 9:6 is the only place in the Bible where Jesus is called the Father. Keep in mind that Jesus also calls Himself the Son of man, our brother, our shepherd, our friend, and our priest. To build a doctrine on one Scripture is as foolish as building a house on top of a single fence post.

The Bible physically separates the Father and the Son repeatedly. While Christ was on earth, He referred to His Father in heaven. “My Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32). He always directed His prayers heavenward to the Father and stated that the Father had His own individual will; “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42). “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit” (Luke 23:46). Then after He died and rose again, He ascended to “the right hand of God” (Romans 8:34). This indicates the Father has a separate presence.

In fact, Jesus said that He wasn’t the Father more than 80 times. While always remaining one in purpose and origin, Jesus and the Father are clearly separate and distinct persons. And on more than one occasion, the Father spoke to Jesus from heaven. “And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased’” (Matthew 3:17 NKJV).
 

TMS

Senior Member
Mar 21, 2015
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#19
Most of the confusion regarding the number of beings composing the Godhead springs from a simple misunderstanding of the word “one.” Simply put, “one” in the Bible does not always mean numerical quantity. Depending on the Scripture, “one” can often mean unity.

We see this principle established very early in Scripture. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24,). “One flesh” here does not mean that a married couple melt into one human after their wedding, but rather they are to be united into one family. Jesus prayed that the apostles would be one, saying, “And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one” (John 17:22, 23).
 

peldom10

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May 22, 2020
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#20
Can anybody help make The Doctrine of The Trinity clear to those who are new to the Faith using scripture alone?

There are only 2 known verses in all of scripture that even hint at the concept of a '3-person God' who is actually 'One'.

Matthew 28:19 lists the 3 persons of the Trinity, but does not describe their relationship in any way or teach the "concept" of the Trinity at all.

"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:"
(Mt. 28:19)
It is very significant to note that after this verse, the only baptisms that are related in detail describe baptizing in the name of Jesus or Jesus Christ. These are found in Acts 2:38 & 8:12

The other verse that comes close to describing the Trinity is Ephesians 4:4-6.

"There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all."
(Eph. 4:4-6)
This verse, as well, fails to teach the actual "concept" of the Trinity.

There are many pagan religions with 3-person gods which go into great detail about the 3-person relationship of their gods and the history of how they came about, but in Christianity, there is no teaching anywhere in scripture about the Trinity. The word Trinity is found nowhere from Genesis to Revelation.

There is not a single book in the 66 books of the Bible, much less even a paragraph, that teaches the actual concept of the Trinity.

So how do we teach this concept to a new inquisitive Christian who is interested in learning about it in their Bible?

If you can teach this concept using the Bible alone, please supply those books, chapters and verses for the edification of those who are eager to learn.
I believe using the concept of the rapture reference is effective;
The Bible does not contain that reference either. One paragraph heading....which was added by man. However, reference to the three is repeated in scriptures and man captured it as the Trinity.