1 Timothy 6:15-16, (DRB):

13 I charge thee before God who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus who gave testimony under Pontius Pilate, a good confession: 14 That thou keep the commandment without spot, blameless, unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 Which in his times he shall shew, who is the Blessed and only Mighty, the King of kings and Lord of lords: 16 Who only hath immortality and inhabiteth light inaccessible: whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and empire everlasting. Amen.

If 1 Timothy 6:15-16, means God the father, does this mean that the Holy Spirit is to taste death also like the Christ?

In other words, if God the father is the only one who has immortality, does this mean that the Holy Spirit is to taste death also?

Note: in verse 13 it suggests that God in verse 16 may be God the father, while verse 14 suggests that He may be God the son.


2 Answers 2


The word in 1 Tim 6:16 translated "immortality" is ἀθανασία (athanasia) which occurs only here and in 1 Cor 15:53, 54 where we are told that the resurrected righteous (V 35 onwards) will receive this gift, from God, of immortality.

Strictly speaking, ἀθανασία (athanasia) mean "undying" and thus is generally rendered "immortal". We must be reminded that:

For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. John 5:26.

Thus, the Godhead has innate immortality while we humans are granted immortality and derive our source of life from God (1 John 5:11, 12).

Note about terminology: In the OT the patriarch is often used as a synonym for the nation. "Israel" means the nation of Israel; "Edom" means the nation of the Edomites, etc. In the NT (1 Tim 6:16 is a good example), "God" meaning God the Father is sometimes used to mean the entire Godhead. John 5:26 shows this again.

Note the comments of Barnes on John 5:26 -

As the Father hath life - God is the source of all life. He is thence called the living God, in opposition to idols which have no life. Acts 14:15; "we preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities (idols) 'unto the living God,'" Joshua 3:10; 1 Samuel 17:26; Jeremiah 10:10. See also Isaiah 40:18-31.

In himself - This means that life in God, or existence, is not derived from any other being. Our life is derived from God. Genesis 2:7; God "breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul" - that is, a living being. All other creatures derive their life from him. Psalm 104:30, Psalm 104:29; "thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created; thou takest away their breath, they die and return to their dust." But God is underived. He always existed as he is. Psa 90:2; "from everlasting to everlasting thou art God." He is unchangeably the same, James 1:17. It cannot be said that he is "self-existent," because that is an absurdity; no being can originate or create himself; but he is not dependent on any other for "life." Of course, no being can take away his existence; and of course, also, no being can take away his happiness. He has "in himself" infinite sources of happiness, and no other being, no change in his universe can destroy that happiness.

So - In a manner like his. It corresponds to the first "as," implying that one is the same as the other; life in the one is the "same," and possessed in the same manner, as in the other.

The same case could be made for the Holy Spirit as an indispensable part of the Godhead. See John 6:63, Rom 8:2, 10, 2 Cor 3:6. Since the Holy Spirit is the source of Life (Just as Jesus and Father are the source of Life) He does not and cannot die.

  • This nice answere shows an interesting perspective on the Trinity. Similarly as Jacob/Israel is part of Israel, and their father, but not all israelites are Jacob; and:Edom was part of the Edomite nation, and their father, but not all Edomites are Edom. God the Father is part of the "Godhead",, and its/their father, but not al Gods are Yahweh/the Father. So basically the descendants originate from their Fathers, and represent their fathers but they are not equal to their fathers.
    – Hjan
    May 16, 2021 at 9:39

Is the Holy Spirit to taste death also?

For this premise to be true, the Holy Spirit must be a 'person' or animated entity with self-awareness - a la trinity. Let's rehearse what we know with absolute confidence because the bible tells us - absolutely.

  • We're not told it is a 'person' anywhere.

  • We are told it comes from the Father, and now the son. Notice it comes from the Father - not GOD!

...Spirit of truth which proceeds from the Father John 15:26

  • Most verses refer to 'it' in the Greek - not 'he' or 'him' as the translators persistently express.

  • Paul never refers to the spirit in any greeting, The 'Holy Spirit' has no name.

‘And I looked, the Lamb was standing on Mt Zion, and with him 144,000 having his name and the name of the Father on their foreheads’ Rev 14:1


According to the Bible, the Holy Spirit is not a 'person' so cannot 'taste death'.

It is the presence, power and expression of God and now the son, Jesus, who has risen to eternal life - which he did not have before and can now give to others.

For Christ also died for sins once for all... having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit 1 Pet 3:18

When Jesus said he will send the 'comforter', he explained further on that he and the Father will make their abode with us. They do this in and through the spirit OF God. John 14:23

Luke 10:22 "All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the son and those to whom the son chooses to reveal him."

As is usual for the NT authors, the holy spirit is left out as if it doesn't exist in the centrality of who the Father is and who Jesus is. Of course, it DOES exist...but not as its own 'person'.

God, the Father, is spirit, He is holy, he is Holy Spirit. Jesus also IS the Spirit 2 Cor 3:17

The subject of the passage is God - the Father. Jesus intersects the passage as he is obviously involved in what God is accomplishing. God remains the subject till the end of v16

We might also note than in every vision recorded regarding the throne, we see the 'invisible' God the Father and we see the Lamb, Jesus. But there is never a holy spirit mentioned.

While there are many reasons to think there could be a Holy Spirit 'person' in a 3in1 God from some Bible verses, we must not ignore the very clear and persistent facts from scripture which refute such an idea. Considering the Holy Spirit was not 'invented' as part of a 3in1 God until centuries after the Apostles, we should defer to the Biblical record and not those of other writers.

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