Definitions of the Trinity



"God eternally exists as three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and each person is fully God, and there is one God." (Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, p 226).

"In the one Divine Nature, there are three Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. The Fathers is not the Son, the Son is not the Holy Ghost, the Holy Ghost is not the Father: no one of the Persons is either of the others. The Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Ghost is God. There are not three Gods but one God." (F.J. Sheed, God: Unity and Trinity (1955), p. 56)

"We worship one God in the Trinity, and the Trinity in unity; we distinguish among the persons, but we do not divide the substance. The entire three persons are co-eternal and co-equal with one another, so that ... we worship complete unity in Trinity and Trinity in unity." (The Athanasian Creed).

"There is in the Divine Being but one indivisible essence (ousia, essentia)...In this one Divine Being there are three Persons or individual subsistences, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit...The whole undivided essence of God belongs equally to each of the three persons...The subsistence and operation of the three persons in the Divine Being is marked by a certain definite order...There are certain personal attributes by which the three persons are distinguised...The Church confesses the Trinity to be a mystery beyond the comprehension of man." (Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology (1984 ed.), pp. 87-89).

"Within the nature of the one God there are three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and these three share the same nature and attributes." (Walter Martin, Jehovah's Witnesses, Jesus Christ and the Trinity (cassete, side 1)).

"Trinity: One God in three Persons: Father, Son, Spirit.
1.   God is one in his essential being but in this being there are three persons.
  (a)   Though there are three persons they do not compete with each other.
  (b)   They are three modes or forms in which the divine being manifests himself to us.

2. The three persons are self-distinctive in the one true God.
  (a)   The divine essence is wholly in each person.
  (b)   This means the Father is wholly God, the Son is wholly God and the Spirit is wholly God.
    (1)   Jesus is distinct from the Father but is truly God even as the Father is God.
    (2)   The Holy Spirit is distinct from the Son and the Father but is truly God as is either the Son or the Father." (R.T. Kendall, Understanding Theology, p. 29)

"There is one God, but in the unity of the Godhead there are three co-eternal, co-equal Persons, the same substance but distinct in subsistence." (Charles Ryrie, electronic media quoting B.B. Warfield, "Trinity," The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia, James Orr, ed., Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1930, 5:3012.)






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