Does the Bible truly teach that God is a trinity?
On our television program Christ in Prophecy, we asked this question of Dr. Ron Rhodes, the founder and director of a ministry called Reasoning from the Scriptures, located in Frisco, Texas. His ministry specializes in defending Christianity against Atheists, Agnostics, Skeptics, the cults, world religions, and about any group that teaches false doctrine. He is a seminary professor and an excellent writer who has written more than 70 books! His latest one is titled, The 8 Great Debates of Bible Prophecy.
Dr. Rhodes addressed some of the outlandish statements Newsweek magazine had made in a recent article that distort the Bible and treat Christianity with contempt.
The Elusive Trinity Argument
“The Trinity, the belief that Jesus and God are the same and with the Holy Spirit are a single entity, is a fundamental yet deeply confusing tenet. So where does the clear declaration of God and Jesus as part of a triumvirate appear in the Greek manuscripts? And they declare, ‘Nowhere!'”
This kind of sounds like the Jehovah’s Witnesses. They have the same kind of argument against the Trinity. So far we’ve seen the author’s gotten his fallacies from Dan Brown novels, and now we are seeing that he is getting stuff from the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Everything but from the Bible.
Anybody who has studied the Bible can answer this. I think my kids who just went to Christian schools could answer that very easily. Let me just answer it this way. First of all, the reality that he can’t understand the Trinity doesn’t mean anything to me. Do you really expect a finite being to be able to understand the infinite God? If we could, He wouldn’t be God!
In terms of the actual biblical evidence for the Trinity, let me just quickly give you five planks.
The first plank is that there is one God, and that is something that we see from Genesis to Revelation. It is a thread that goes all the way from Genesis to Revelation — there is one God.
The second plank is the Father is called God all throughout the Bible. Nobody disputes that.
The third plank is that Jesus is called God on many, many occasions. He is called God in John 1:1. He is called “The Great I Am” of Exodus 3:14 and John 8:58. He and the Father have the same divine nature in John 10:30. The fullness of deity dwells in Jesus Christ according to Colossians 2:9. Thomas confessed Jesus was God in John 20:28, “My Lord, and My God.” That is exactly right. “I am the First and the Last,” Jesus says in Revelation 1:8.
My point being — Jesus is God, just like the Father is. Jesus has the same title as the Father.
The fourth plank is that the Holy Spirit is called God. After all, He is called the Spirit of God all throughout the Bible. The Holy Spirit has all the attributes of God. In Acts chapter 5, lying to the Holy Spirit is equated to lying to God.
So, what have seen so far? There is one God. The Father is God. Jesus is God. The Holy Spirit is God.
The fifth plank is that there are three-in-oneness within the Deity. This is going into the Greek. In Matthew 28:19 Jesus says, “Baptize in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” In the original Greek, the word “name” is singular indicating one God. But, also in the Greek, there is a definite article in front of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit. In English definite articles don’t matter that much, but in the original Greek definite articles mean everything. Those definite articles distinguish the three persons in the one name of God.