Apologetics Index
The Biblical Basis of the Doctrine of the Trinity

The Biblical Basis of the Doctrine of the Trinity


II - This One God Is Known In The OT As "Jehovah/Yahweh" ("The Lord")

  1. Texts where Jehovah is said to be elohim or el: Deut. 4:35, 39; Psa. 100:3; etc.

  2. Texts where the compound name "Jehovah God" (Yahweh Elohim) is used: Gen. 2:3; 9:26; 24:3; Ex. 3:15-18; 4:4; 2 Sam. 7:22, 25; etc.

  3. Only one Yahweh/Jehovah: Deut. 6:4; Mark 12:29

  4. Conclusion: Jehovah is the only God, the only el/elohim


III - God Is A Unique, Incomprehensible Being

  1. Only one God, thus unique: See I.A.

  2. None are even like God: see I.B

  3. God cannot be fully comprehended: 1 Cor. 8:2-3

  4. God can only be known insofar as the Son reveals Him: Matt. 11:25-27; John 1:18

  5. Analogical language needed to describe God: Ezek. 1:26-28; Rev. 1:13-16

  6. God is transcendent, entirely distinct from and different than the universe, as the carpenter is distinct from the bench
    1. Separate from the world: Isa. 40:22; Acts 17:24
    2. Contrasted with the world: Psa. 102:25-27; 1 John 2:15-17
    3. Created the world: Gen. 1:1; Psa. 33:6; 102:25; Isa. 42:5; 44:24; John 1:3; Rom. 11:36; Heb. 1:2; 11:3
IV - Is God One Person?

  1. God is one God (cf. I above), one Yahweh, one Lord (cf. II above), one Spirit (John 4:24)

  2. However, the Bible never says that God is "one person"
    1. Heb. 1:3 KJV speaks of God's "person," but the word used here, hupostasis, is translated "substance" in Heb. 11:1 KJV; also in Heb. 1:3 "God" refers specifically to the Father
    2. Gal. 3:20 speaks of God as one party in the covenant between God and man, not as one person
    3. Job 13:8 KJV speaks of God's "person," but ironically the Hebrew literally means "his faces"

  3. The use of singular and plural pronouns for God
    1. Over 7000 times God speaks or is spoken of with singular pronouns (I, He, etc.); but this is proper because God is a single individual being; thus these singular forms do not disprove that God exists as three "persons" as long as these persons are not separate beings
    2. At least four times God speaks of or to Himself using plural pronouns (Gen. 1:26; 3:22; 11:7; Isa. 6:8), and nontrinitarian interpretation cannot account for them
      1. Plural reference to God and the angels possible in Isa. 6:8, but not in the Genesis texts; in 1:26 "our image" explained in 1:27, "in God's image"; in 3:22 "like one of us" refers back to 3:5, "like God"
      2. The "litarary plural" (possibly, though never clearly, attested in Paul) is irrelevant to texts in which God is speaking, not writing
      3. The "plural of deliberation" is apparently unattested in biblical writings, and cannot explain Gen. 3:22 ("like one of us")
      4. The "plural of amplitude" or of "fulness" (which probably does explai nthe use of the plural form elohim in the singular sense of "God") is irrelevant to the use of plural pronouns, and again cannot explain Gen. 3:22
      5. The "plural of majesty" possibly attested in 1 Kgs. 12:9; 2 Chron. 10:9; more likely Ezra 4:18; but none of these are certain; and again, it cannot explain Gen. 3:22; also nothing in the context of the Gen. texts suggests that God is being presented as King

  4. The uniqueness of God (cf. III above) should prepare us for the possibility that the one divine Being exists uniquely as a plurality of persons
V - The Father Of Jesus Christ Is God

  1. Explicit statements: John 17:3; 1 Cor. 8:6; etc.
  2. The expression, "the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ": 2 Cor. 1:3; Eph. 1:3; 1 Pet. 1:3