Is Jesus God?
Yes. "And Thomas answered and said unto him [the risen Christ], My Lord and my God." (John
Is Jesus separate from the God, the Father?
Yes. Jesus cried out from the Cross, when he became sin, "My God, my God, why hast thou
forsaken me?" (Matt. 27:46)
Is the Holy Spirit a person (in the modern sense)?
No. "Now the birth of Jesus Christ ... she was found with child of the Holy Spirit" (Matt. 1:18) -
if the Holy Spirit is a person, then the Holy Spirit is the father of Jesus!
How does the New Testament define the Holy Spirit?
2 Timothy 1:7 "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a
The Holy Spirit is the presence and power of God, the mind of God, the essence of God. See
Knowing God: Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.
Is the Doctrine of the Holy Trinity obsolete?
Yes. "God in three persons, Blessed Trinity" is an outdated and inaccurate statement of the
nature of God.
(a) The meaning of the word "person" has changed.
(b) Our understanding of relationships has changed.
(c) Our understanding of the "substance" of which God is composed has changed.
(d) The divine self-revelation has continued.
(e) The theological problems the Doctrine was intended to solve are no longer of prime concern.
All this is well-understood by theologians, but has not yet permeated down to the broad mass of
Christians. Many still feel that "belief in the Trinity" is required - but, when pressed, no one is able
to explain the Doctrine! It has been called a "strict mystery" - a hidden truth that is still hidden
even after it has been revealed!
The Doctrine of the Trinity is not stated in the Bible, but was composed much later. It has been
claimed that "The formal statement, however, is legitimately and necessarily deduced from the
Scriptures of the New Testament" (Unger's Bible Dictionary, art. Trinity. Chicago: Moody Press,
1966). The nearest there is to a "formal statement" is the Athanasian Creed (which is neither a
creed, nor composed by St. Athanasius!). In the midst of a long and obscure argument about the
divine nature, this states that the Trinity is "incomprehensible".
The early Christians came out of the strictly monotheistic world of Judaism into the rampantly
polytheistic Roman Empire. The Doctrine of the Trinity, "God in one substance, but in three
persona, Gk. hypostaseis" was an attempt to position themselves theologically between these
Starting from the "Baptismal Formula" of Matt. 28:19, "baptizing them into the name of the
Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit:", Theophilus of Antioch utilized the Greek term trias
for three-in-one-ness. This was translated by Tertullian (ca. 200 A.D.) as trinitas, explained as
"three persons in one substance". This was adopted as the viewpoint of main-line Christianity at
the Council of Nicea (325 A.D.). It was then further developed by the Cappadocian monks, and
formally proclaimed at the Council of Constantinople (381 A.D.). Augustine of Hippo's De Trinitate
became its authoritative explanation.
In the past 1800 years, the Doctrine has been both elaborated and criticized. Many early
protestants rejected it as part of Catholic hocus pocus, but they were unable to formulate a
In recent centuries, the concepts of personhood, self-expression and the rights of individuals have
become ever more pronounced in our society. Consequently, the conventional formulation of the
Trinity is ever more misleading as an expression of the nature of God, whatever one's theological
position on the subject.