Trinity

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The Holy Trinity by El Greco

The Christian Trinity consists of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, as established by the Nicene Creed of 325 AD. The Trinity refers to the three parts that make up the one God, all co-equal, and all forming one God.

Although it is never made explicit in the Bible, the concept of the Trinity is embraced by the Roman Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church, and nearly all Protestant denominations. The name was coined by the Church Father Tertullian (145-220 AD). It is based on inferences from texts emphasizing the closeness of God-the-Father and Jesus (such as Rom. 8:31-34), the role of the Holy Ghost, and especially the baptismal formula in Matt. 28:19

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

A good illustration is H2O. It can take three forms, all of which are considered water. In the same way, God exists as three distinct but united persons.

Contents

Denials

The Arians of the 4th century denied the Trinity. They were condemned as heretics and they died out, but Arian ideas appeared in Europe after 1500. Isaac Newton was secretly an Arian. By the mid-18th century Unitarianism had emerged in England, and it spread to the U.S. by 1800. It dominated schools like Harvard by 1820.

In the 20th century Jehovah's Witnesses do not believe in the Trinity, and see it as contradicting the commandment to have no god but the one God.[1] Jehovah Witnesses disparage the Trinity by depicting it as a three-headed creature and claim the doctrine as a corrupt addition by Satan to Christianity.

Islam has taught that the Trinity is Father, Son, and Mother (the Virgin Mary).

Trinity Sunday

The Trinity is remembered in worship in liturgical churches each year on Trinity Sunday, the Sunday after Pentecost. In 2013, this will be May 26th.

Further reading

  • Joyce, George. "The Blessed Trinity." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 15. (1912) online edition
  • Kirn, O. "Trinity, Doctrine of the" in New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge (1911), Vol. 12: pp18-22, Protestant interpretation
  • Slovan, Gerald S. The Three Persons in One God (1964) scholarly study online edition

See also

References

  1. Watchtower, July 2008


The Two Trinities by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, about 1675-1682.
The Godhead
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God the Father
God the Son
God the Holy Spirit
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