Where is the Trinity in the Bible?
There are many things, attributed to the Bible, but not actually in the Bible.”
- “God helps those who help themselves…”
- “Love the sinner, hate the sin…”
- “This too shall pass…”
- “Cleanliness is next to godliness…” and
- “To thy own self be true.”
On the other hand, there are great truths, not specifically identified as such in the Bible, but that are actually Biblical. The “rapture” and the “trinity” are two such truths that fall into this category.
This post addresses the Trinity. You can read about the Rapture here.
It should be understood, initially, that the writers of the Old Testament, even though they were inspired in their writing through the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:20-21) were not fully aware of all that they wrote. As 1 Peter 1:10-11 states “the prophets…made careful searches and inquiries, inquiring to know what time or what kind of time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He was predicting the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow.” In fact, 1 Peter 1:12 says, pertaining to the gospel, even the “angels long to look.”
As such, many verses in the Old Testament are somewhat obtuse with respect to the revelation of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. This is simply because the full truth of the Gospel and the involvement of the Trinity had yet to be revealed.
The Trinity in the Old Testament
There are, however, several hints of this Trinity, the triune Godhead, even from the book of Genesis.
- Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning, God [Elohim plural] created [bara singular]…”
- Genesis 1:26-28 “Let us create man in our image…” and even
- Genesis 3:22 “man has become like one of us…”
The Trinity in the New Testament
On the other hand, the New Testament is more revealing and the Trinity shows up a number of times as follows:
- Matthew 28:19 “… baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”
- 1 Corinthians 12:4-5 “Now there are varieties of ministries, and the same Spirit…the same Lord…but the same God who works everything in everyone.”
- 2 Corinthians 13:14 “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.”
- Ephesians 4:4-6 “There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.”
- 1 Peter 1:1-2 “To those…chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to the obedience of Jesus Christ and the sprinkling of His blood…”
- Revelation 1:4-5 “John to the seven churches…from the One who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness…”
- 1 John 4:9-13 “By this, the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son…by this, we know that we abide in Him and He in us because He has given us of His Spirit.”
Just a cursory reading of the above New Testament verses that discuss the Trinity reveals a mini-theology lesson of their character, relationship, and functions.
Although the above verses may be viewed as the primary trinity verses, the trinity is all over the Bible. For example, in Ephesians alone, the following verses relate to the Trinity:
Ephesians 1:3 Father: Blessed be the God and Father; Son: of our Lord Jesus Christ; Spirit: every spiritual blessing.
1:11-13 Him who works all things according to …His will; to hope in Christ; sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.
1:17 God…the Father of glory; our Lord Jesus Christ; a spirit of wisdom and of revelation.
2:18 access…to the Father; through Him; by the Spirit.
2:22 a dwelling place for God; in Him; by the Spirit.
3:2-5 the stewardship of God’s grace; the mystery of Christ; revealed…by the Spirit.
3:14-17 the Father…the riches of His glory; so that Christ may dwell in your hearts; through His Spirit.
4:4-6 one God and Father; one Lord; one Spirit.
5:18-20 giving thanks…to God the Father; in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ; be filled with the Spirit.
Summary of the Trinity
Although the word Trinity is never used in the Bible, the existence of the Trinity, the Triune Godhead is ubiquitous in both the Old and New Testaments.
For a summary of Christian Fundamentals please see my post here.