5

2 Corinthians 13:11-14 (NIV) reads:

11 Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.

12 Greet one another with a holy kiss. 13 All God’s people here send their greetings.

14 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

Is this evidence that the Apostle Paul was a trinitarian?

2
  • As asked, the question was leading and theological. I've tried to recast it as an exegetical question. If you don't like the recasting, you can refuse my edit. However, I will certainly vote to close it as something that belongs on Christianity.SE.
    – Ruminator
    Feb 10 at 3:03
  • Also let's not forget 1 Thess 2:3 "Let no one deceive you in any way, because, unless the apostasy come first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself against every one that is called God, or an object of worship, so that he sits in the temple of God, openly showing himself that he is God"
    – Adam
    Feb 11 at 11:04
4

In the "scholarly" theological literature (which need not delay us here) there is much debate about whether Paul as "unitarian", "binitarian", or, "trinitarian". There is a huge amount of evidence for all three positions and so this cannot decided on the basis of a single text.

This age-old problem will not be resolved here. Suffice to say that other passages of Paul list three persons as well - Rom 1:2-4, 8:9, 15:30, 1 Cor 6:11, 12:2-6, 2 Cor 13:14, Gal 3:11-14, 4:6, Eph 1:17, 2:18, 22, Titus 3:6. However, 2 Cor 13:14 is the most impressive or most explicit.

Paul is very reserved when it comes to the deity of Christ and chooses his words with extreme caution. However, we have a few almost-explicit declarations of Christ's divinity in a few passages such as:

  • Rom 9:5, “…Messiah, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen”, about which Ellicott writes:

Who is over all, God blessed for ever. - These words are a well-known subject for controversy. Trinitarian and English interpreters, as a rule, take them with the punctuation of the Authorised version, as referring to Christ. Socinian interpreters, with some of the most eminent among the Germans, put a full stop after “came,” and make the remainder of the verse a doxology addressed to God, “Blessed for ever be God, who is over all.” Both ways are possible. The question is, Which is the most natural and probable? and this is to be considered, putting altogether on one side prepossessions of every kind. We are not to read meaning into Scripture, but to elicit meaning from it. The balance of the argument stands thus:—(1) The order of the words is somewhat in favour of the application to Christ. If the clause had really been a formal doxology, the ascription of blessing would more naturally have come at the beginning in Greek as in English, “Blessed be God,” &c. (2) The context is also somewhat in favour of this application. The break in the form of the sentence becomes rather abrupt on the other hypothesis, and is not to be quite paralleled. Intruded doxologies, caused by a sudden access of pious feeling, are not uncommon in the writings of St. Paul, but they are either worked into the regular order of the sentence, as in Romans 1:25, Galatians 1:5, or else they are formally introduced as in 2 Corinthians 11:31; 1Timothy 1:17. (3) But on the other hand, to set somewhat decidedly against this application, is the fact that the words used by the Apostle, “Who is over all,” and the ascription of blessing in all other places where they occur, are referred, not to Christ, but to God. (Comp. Romans 1:25; 2 Corinthians 1:3; 2 Corinthians 11:31; Ephesians 1:3; Ephesians 4:6.) There is, indeed, a doxology addressed to Christ in 2 Timothy 4:18; it should, however, be remembered that the Pauline origin of that Epistle has been doubted by some, though it is also right to add that these doubts do not appear to have any real validity. The title “God” does not appear to be elsewhere applied to our Lord by St. Paul, though all the attributes of Godhead are ascribed to Him: e.g., in Philippians 2:6 et seq., Colossians 1:15 et seq. In 1 Timothy 3:16, which would be an apparent exception, the true reading is, * Who was manifested,” and not “God was manifested.” On the other hand, St. John certainly makes use of this title, not only in John 1:1; John 20:28, but also in the reading, adopted by many, of John 1:18, “God only begotten” for “Only begotten Son.” Weighing the whole of the arguments against each other, the data do not seem to be sufficient to warrant a positive and dogmatic conclusion either way. The application to our Lord appears perhaps a little the more probable of the two. More than this cannot be said. Nor is a stronger affirmation warranted by any considerations resting on the division of authorities.

  • Phil 2:5-8, “…Jesus Christ: who, being in very nature God…”
  • 2 Thess 1:12, “…according to the grace of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ.” [By Sharps' rule]
  • 1 Tim 3:16, “Who was revealed in flesh …” [The antecedent of “who” is God in v15, according to NA28/UBS5, etc. The Byzantine text makes this explicit: “God was revealed in flesh …”.] Compare Matt 1:23.
  • Titus 2:13, “…our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.” [This also has, “ho theos”.]

I could find no explicit declarations by Paul about the divinity or otherwise of the Holy Spirit. However we come close in Eph 4:4-6

There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord [= Jesus], one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

Again, the interpretation of this text is controversial and should be treated with caution.

Back to 2 Cor 13:14. The Cambridge Commentary says this:

The form of this benediction has always been regarded as a proof of the essential unity and equality of Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

The Pulpit commentary says this:

Verse 14. - The grace of our Lord, etc. This is the only place where the full apostolic benediction occurs, and is alone sufficient to prove the doctrine of the Trinity.

Barnes is even clearer -

(2) there is a distinction in the divine nature; or there is the existence of what is usually termed three persons in the Godhead. If not. why are they mentioned in this manner? If the Lord Jesus is not divine and equal with the Father, why is he mentioned in this connection? How strange it would be for Paul, an inspired man, to pray in the same breath, "the grace of a man or an angel" and "the love of God" be with you! And if the "Holy Spirit" be merely an influence of God or an attribute of God, how strange to pray that the "love of God" and the participation or fellowship of an "influence of God," or an "attribute of God" might be with them!

(3) the Holy Spirit is a person, or has a distinct personality. He is not an attribute of God, nor a mere divine influence. How could prayer be addressed to an attribute, or an influence? But here, nothing can be plainer than that there were favors which the Holy Spirit, as an intelligent and conscious agent, was expected to bestow. And nothing can be plainer than that they were favors in some sense distinct from those which were conferred by the Lord Jesus, and by the Father. Here is a distinction of some kind as real as that between the Lord Jesus and the Father; here are favors expected from him distinct from those conferred by the Father and the Son; and there is, therefore, here all the proof that there can be, that there is in some respects a distinction between the persons here referred to and that the Holy Spirit is an intelligent, conscious agent.

1
  • "We are not to read meaning into Scripture, but to elicit meaning from it" is very well said. Feb 7 at 18:10
2

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Council_of_Nicaea#Trinity

The Council of Nicaea dealt primarily with the issue of the deity of Christ. Over a century earlier the term "Trinity" (Τριάς in Greek; trinitas in Latin) was used in the writings of Origen (185–254) and Tertullian (160–220), and a general notion of a "divine three", in some sense, was expressed in the second-century writings of Polycarp, Ignatius, and Justin Martyr. In Nicaea, questions regarding the Holy Spirit were left largely unaddressed until after the relationship between the Father and the Son was settled around the year 362.[83] So the doctrine in a more full-fledged form was not formulated until the Council of Constantinople in 360 AD,[84] and a final form formulated in 381 AD, primarily crafted by Gregory of Nyssa.[85]

Trinity, as defined above was unknown to Paul.

1
  • 3
    The term may not have been invented yet, but that doesn't mean the theological position, that there is one God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, wasn't know to Paul. Answers to this question should focus on the theology and whether 2 Corinthians indicates Paul's adherence to it, not the history of the term 'trinity'.
    – curiousdannii
    Feb 10 at 2:51
2

That Paul is Trinitarian is clear from the fact that He regards Jesus as his Lord to whom he prays (cf. Acts 22:18, or 2 Cor. 12:8), for to pray means to pray to God, and regards Him as equal to the God Father (Phil. 2:6); and as to the Holy Spirit that we are His living temples (1 Cor. 3:16), and temples mean that temples of God, and that the Holy Spirit is person and not just an impersonal power is quite clear in Paul, because Holy Spirit knows (1 Cor. 2:10), is well-pleased (Acts 15:28-30) and has the same self-sovereign authority to do whatever He pleases (1 Cor 12:11), as do the Father and the Son.

Thus, that Paul believes in three divine personal entities in the reality of God, is clear even without this passage (i.e. 2 Cor. 13:14), but since we already know that it is so, then it is justified to affirm that this statement of Paul is clearly a Trinitarian statement even if the word Trinity was yet not coined in Christian devotional life.

But also this passage shows that the three things - i) grace of Jesus Christ; ii) love of the Father and iii) fellowship of Holy Ghost are indispensable and necessary for each other, because:

in order to love God sine qua non is that one should listen to the commandments of His beloved Son (Luke 9:35) and 'listen' here means also to keep, to fulfill His commandments (John 14:15); but nobody can fulfill His commandments, unless He works in his heart Himself (cf. John 15:4-5; Col. 1:29); this work or operation of Christ in our heart is called 'grace' in a less theological/metaphysical and commonly accepted expression. Now, we have firmly established the necessary connection between the two initial aspects of Paul's blessing - the grace/operation of Christ and the love of the Father: that is to say, the Father's love will never abide with us, unless His Son Jesus Christ operates in our heart through our synergic free cooperation;.

Let us move now to the third aspect of the blessing, the "fellowship of Holy Spirit"; in fact, how do we understand who Christ is so as to call on Him in a due way and not regard Him as just a prophet or a human teacher of divine things like many wrongheadedly did (cf. John 3:2 or Luke 18:18)? How do we perceive His Lordship, His Divinity, His eternal Sonship of the eternal Father? It is only by fellowship of the Holy Ghost that we do so, for it is Father (Matthew 16:17) yet through Holy Ghost who teaches us to worship Jesus as Lord (1 Cor. 12:3), and nobody else. Indeed, did not Jesus say that it is impossible for anybody to understand Him being God's only-begotten Son who came down to us not from any angelic level, but from the very Heaven where God is? And does anybody need to be a philosopher to understand that only God can be on the level of God? (John 3:13); and this we can learn only after being born anew in Holy Spirit.

Thus, this is a clear statement that it is an ontological impossibility for humans to access Father but through Jesus and Holy Ghost, and conversely, it is a theological impossibility for the Father to access, be understood by and save humans save through His Son/Logos (who after Incarnation is also called Jesus Christ) and the Holy Ghost who eternally proceeds from Him (John 15:26). And, yes, Paul thus implicitly asserts the divinity of respectively the Son the Father and the Spirit in this three-une blessing.

Trinity doctrine is the logically the only consistent interpretation of the evidence of Scripture, among the others, of the evidence of Paul's acts and writings, not any sort of eisegesis, but 100% exegesis.

6
  • 1
    A decasyllabic dedication to my anonymous @Down-voter: "O, down-voter, please, hearken you my words,//Please do attend to my request and plight://I care not for points, less or more,//But care much for search of what is right.//So, please, do not deprive me of this pleasure://Say, what did not you like in my post,//Let's well discuss all things in peace and leisure,//And let us find truth at any cost." Feb 10 at 11:16
  • I'm not the downvoter, but I am honestly very curious as to your implicit statement that you want to find truth at any cost. According to your profile, you are "of the orthodox confession". What if finding the truth costs you that "confession"? Would you still desire to seek the truth if that is where it definitively leads? Thanks for your reply!
    – David
    Feb 19 at 20:30
  • @David Yes, definitely. Even though I was baptized as a child, I was mostly brought up in an atheist or at best agnostic surrounding; was attracted to things spiritual and religious through great literature, like Dickens, Tolstoy, Stendhal etc., then was coming to Christianity through apologetic books of all confessions, attended Evangelic services and Bible study gatherings, but in Orthodox spiritual tradition I think there is a greater taste and riches than in others, although I can but attest sincere and good Christians in all three mainstream Christian confessions. Feb 19 at 21:05
  • Hi there, I'm glad to hear that. I share the same desire for truth as you, but I would say it is precisely because of that desire that I ended up believing that most of the tenets of mainstream christianity are false. Would you be interested in us having a detailed discussion regarding this? It's perfectly alright if you don't feel like doing so. =)
    – David
    Feb 20 at 8:58
  • @David Sure, yes. Just post me your objections as to the main tenets of the mainstream Christianity. Here’s my e-mail: lgigineishvili@yahoo.com Feb 20 at 9:33
2

There is great scope for the bible to be manipulated / interpreted to one's perspective, even interpolation due to ambiguity. This question can be best answered on the basis that Paul followed Jesus teachings. If that is the case, then Paul was not a Trinitarian. A few of many examples;

nothing will be changed from the OT Matthew 5:17-19 "17 Think not that I came to destroy the law or the prophets: I came not to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass away from the law, till all things be accomplished. 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven." - until the end of time not until Jesus comes/resurrection/ ascension etc…

Matthew 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

John 12:49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.

John 8:54 Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God:

Mark 12:29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:

Mark 12:32 And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he:

John 5:30 By myself, I can do nothing: I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who has sent me.

Mark 10:18 Why do you call me good? No one is good, except God alone.

James 1:13: When tempted, no one should say, God is tempting me. For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt.

Matthew 4:4 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. - is this the same spirit in the trinity?

1
  • No, but sensible and useful answer. +1
    – steveowen
    Feb 11 at 7:00
1

Was the Apostle Paul a trinitarian? 2 Corinthians 13:14

14 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

No, it does not, no more than if we say Jack and Jill went for a walk with Lasie, it does not mean that they are three in one. This type of citation only proves that there are three subjects named, it does not prove that they possess equal authority or that they possess equal divine nature,

When reading such texts that are claimed to support trinity, one must ask: Do such interpretations harmonize with the teachings of the Bible? If not , then such an interpretation is incorrect.

Some thoughts for consideration:

“How foolish to think that Satan would try to tempt the Almighty God to bow down before him in exchange for all the kingdoms of the world!”

Luke 4:5-6 NASB

5 And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of [b]the world in a moment of time. 6 And the devil said to Him, “I will give You all this domain and [c]its glory, for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I want.

In John 14:28, Jesus said His Father was greater than He was. Does this mean He was greater than Himself?

In John 20:17, Jesus said He would ascend to the Father after His resurrection. Did He ascend to Himself?

Was there trinity during Mary's gestation period?

The holy spirit is the Power of the Most High, said the angel Gabriel to Mary.

J.Moffat Luke 1:34,35

34" Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” 35 "The angel answered her, "The holy Spirit will come upon you, the power of the Most High will overshadow you; hence what is born will be called holy, Son of God."

In Matthew 22:44, the Father said Jesus would sit at His right hand until His enemies were made His footstool. Was Jesus to sit at His own right hand?

11
  • 2
    -1 For failing to address the specific text which not only specifies three different person; it assigns each a different action. For example, grace is from Christ, not God. Unless you claim equality is present you have grace without God. On the other hand, if you have grace with God, it is only because there is equality between Christ (who is placed first) and God. Feb 8 at 0:10
  • This is Platonic philosophy and has nothing to do with the scriptures. Tell me what equality was during Mary's gestation period?. Feb 8 at 8:25
  • A Scripture has nothing to do with Scripture? What equality was there during Mary's gestation period? How about focusing on the passage in the question and explain why the "Father" is nowhere in the text. Feb 8 at 15:40
  • Its a -1 from me to Ozzie Ozzie. You misunderstand the very scriptures you are using to backup your opinion. You are referencing Jesus the "Man God" or Son of man. Of course in human flesh he is the son of a God. That is blatantly obvious, in human form he was conceived, born, and raised as a normal human child. He did not fully realise he was God until his brain had fully developed in the same way any other child develops.
    – Adam
    Feb 11 at 11:17
  • First, I like to thank you for at least commending why you downvoted, this gives me the opportunity to reply to you. At what age do you think the human brain develops fully? Please supply scriptures to support such a theory?If Jesus were flesh for this period then you simply dissolve the theory of trinity. God provided the Ransom- Since a perfect human life was lost, no imperfect human life could ever buy it back (Psalm 49:7-8). What was needed was a ransom equal in value to what was lost, soul will be for soul.( Deuteronomy 19:21) Feb 11 at 19:59
1

Consider the three parts of this verse:

  • May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,
  • and the love (John 3:16) of God,
  • and the fellowship of the holy spirit

The first two obviously relate directly to the Son and the Father:

  • Religious "grace" is usually defined as an unmerited divine gift (Merriam-Webster), in this case the gift of salvation being made available by Jesus's sacrifice.
  • God's "love" is best defined by John 3:16 ("For God so loved the world …").

That leaves "Fellowship", which means a companionship, usually of equals or friends (Merriam-Webster).

God's spirit is the part of God's power that combines with human spirit at baptism. It is this spirit that provides divine guidance and allows communication between man and God, a form of companionship.

If one didn't already believe in the concept of Trinity (i.e. using eisegesis rather than exegesis) there would be no reason to even suspect that Paul was referring to a third being in this verse, much less to deduce it.

0

The Final Trinitarian Passage
The passage in question is known as the Apostolic Benediction which many commentators (see note 2) state is one of the most explicit New Testament statements of the Trinity. Yet, simply describing three entities does not necessarily indicate deity or equality. Perhaps Paul understands Jesus is only "a" god as some (mis)understand the beginning of the Fourth Gospel.

The opening and ending when considered together demonstrate Paul understands the Lord Jesus Christ is equal to the Father, God, and the Holy Spirit and so God is three equal persons:

2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort (2 Corinthians 1) [ESV]
2 χάρις ὑμῖν καὶ εἰρήνη ἀπὸ θεοῦ πατρὸς ἡμῶν καὶ κυρίου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ 3 εὐλογητὸς ὁ θεὸς καὶ πατὴρ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ὁ πατὴρ τῶν οἰκτιρμῶν καὶ θεὸς πάσης παρακλήσεως

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. (2 Corinthians 13:14) [Note: verse 13 in some translations]
ἡ χάρις τοῦ κυρίου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ καὶ ἡ ἀγάπη τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ ἡ κοινωνία τοῦ ἁγίου πνεύματος μετὰ πάντων ὑμῶν

The final formulation describes three separate entities (always with the article) each with a separate gift (always with the article) for the Church: enter image description here

If Paul has the Father in mind in this formulation he is relying on the reader to understand by God he means Father, as in the opening. When the reader recalls and compares the opening, they see the benediction has been constructed to imply Christ's superiority:

  • The Lord Jesus Christ is named first and the source of grace
  • The Father as such is not included

After opening the letter with explicit reference to grace and peace from the Father, the omission of Father in the closing benediction is unlikely to be an oversight or something Paul has left for the reader to complete. Rather, this is a simple technique to show equality. That is, any argument one is superior to the other is refuted by the passage which shows the other is superior. When considered together, the variation is explained by the equality of Christ and Father.

Moreover, the omission of Father in the ending is consistent with a Trinitarian understanding that "God" is not a singular superior Father but a collective equality of Father, Son, Spirit:

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God [that is Father, Son, Spirit collectively and equally] and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. enter image description here

It is proper to singularly attribute grace specifically to the Lord Jesus Christ (cf. John 1:17) and fellowship with the Holy Spirit (cf. John 15:26). However, since God is love (cf. 1 John 4:8, 16), a Trinitarian would not automatically attribute love exclusively to the Father: enter image description here

Therefore, within the context of the letter, this Apostolic Benediction has been constructed using grace to convey equality between Christ and the Father from the opening, and love to convey equality between Christ, and God, and the Holy Spirit.

The Introductory Trinitarian Passage
The benediction must be compared to a similar passage in the introduction which some commentators1see as Paul's anticipation of the ending:

21 and He who is confirming you with us into Christ, and did anoint us, [is] God, 22 who also sealed us, and gave the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. (2 Corinthians 1 YLT)
21 ὁ δὲ βεβαιῶν ἡμᾶς σὺν ὑμῖν εἰς Χριστὸν καὶ χρίσας ἡμᾶς θεός 22 ὁ καὶ σφραγισάμενος ἡμᾶς καὶ δοὺς τὸν ἀρραβῶνα τοῦ πνεύματος ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις ἡμῶν

This formulation begins as expected, with God first, then Christ, then Spirit. Similar to the ending Father is omitted. Unlike the ending there are four actions which are all attributed to God. The first is in the present participle indicating it is ongoing. The three which follow (with the article) are in aorist participle indicating they are completed and chronologically "out of order" to the first: enter image description here

The personal experience in being a Christian has been reversed in order to place the current experience of the Church ("you and us") first. This work is attributed to God and Christ. From a Trinitarian's perspective, fellowship of the Holy Spirit is missing. The passage ends with three finished works of God and the Spirit, which from a Trinitarian's perspective is missing Christ.

Therefore, with the exception of the Father, the benediction completes what was missing from the introductory formulation if what is describes is placed in correct order: enter image description here

Paul leaves the reader to add the love of God to the introductory passage. It was by God's love the believer was anointed and sealed and gave the earnest of the Spirit and it is God's love which is now confirming those in Christ.

Lastly, before the benediction, Paul recalls the opening in a way which recalls the Father:

Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. (2 Corinthians 13:11)
λοιπόν ἀδελφοί χαίρετε καταρτίζεσθε παρακαλεῖσθε τὸ αὐτὸ φρονεῖτε εἰρηνεύετε καὶ ὁ θεὸς τῆς ἀγάπης καὶ εἰρήνης ἔσται μεθ᾽ ὑμῶν

Love and peace are a TSKS construction and following Sharp's Rule, means equality between the two. In this way the reader may understand by "the love God" Paul also means "Father" is included in the benediction since that is how Paul invoked "peace" in the beginning of the letter.

Summary
The oldest confessions of the faith are expressed exclusively in Christological terms:3 it is exclusively belief in Jesus which brings salvation. Most of the Corinthians who became Christians were Gentiles. They were anointed, sealed, and received the Holy Spirit without knowing anything about the Father. For these, the issue is understanding that despite being the exclusive means of salvation, Jesus is not a superior God; He is equally God.

The benediction in 2 Corinthians 13 which begins with Christ is explicitly and implicitly Trinitarian in form. It has ever since been a part of Christian worship tradition.4


Notes:
1. John T. Fitzgerald, The Harper Collins Study Bible, Harper Collins Publishers, 1993, p. 2180
2. Cambridge Bible Commentary, Pulpit Commentary, Barnes Notes, Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
3. Oscar Cullmann, The Christology of the New Testament, translated by Shirley C. Guthrie and Charles A. M. Hall, The Westminster Press, 1963, pp. 1-2
4. NIV Study Bible, Zondervan, Fully Revised 2002, p. 2414

1
0

Yes! Paul tells us that the Holy Spirit is a person! The Holy Spirit "talks" and makes decisions like a person. So yes! This is part of the evidence that God is three persons in One. All Three get the same worship and glory.

-2

No. If one wants to base a primary doctrine on verses like this - simply the mention of three different aspects or presences of God, that is up to them. But it does not speak of ANY of the trinitarian parameters of co-equality etc etc.

No one is denying the son of God or the spirit of God or God Himself. The nature of each is defined in scripture and it does not a 'trinity' make.

That Jesus is a man has been expressed elsewhere. https://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/49429/what-does-my-father-mean-in-john-517/49447?r=SearchResults&s=2|49.3544#49447

There seems some confusion regarding the man Jesus - born a man, died a man, raised a man and continues as a man by his Father's side.

We are not told otherwise.

Jesus never claimed to be immortal or God - if we choose to believe otherwise it is not from scripture's plain teaching, but fabricated from all manner of eisegetical interpretations - adding to the word with ideas never intended or implied.

Why else would we have the consistent and unambiguous testimony of the apostles confirming Jesus' risen state?

1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! Rom 5:15

Acts 2:23 This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you ... put him to death by nailing him to the cross.

Acts 2:22 “Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God

Never a hint of Jesus being God.

The Holy Spirit is God - as in the Father and not some other person or entity as shown clearly by the apostles who understood the various titles the new given spirit could be expressed as. Here they describe the same event with both titles showing that either they were mistaken, confused, OR, they simply knew that the Holy Spirit WAS in fact, the spirit of the Father.

for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say." Luke 12:12 for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Matthew 10:20

  • the one and same spirit through which Jesus and his Father would abide with new believers. John 14:23 No mention of this third entity - just the son and the Father.

Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and we will come to him and will make a home with him. We read many times about 'the spirit of...' Jesus, and others

1 Chronicles 5:26 So the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul king of Assyria

the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia Ezra 1:1 I

1 Peter 1:11 to which the Spirit of Christ in them was...

the Spirit of wisdom and revelation Eph 1:17

God has sent the Spirit of his Son Gal 4:6

  • None of these entities are separate from the person or gift mentioned - neither is God's spirit separate from Him - hence the term Spirit OF God or OF the Father.

So, as Paul said, re stating Jesus' own words with greater force,

there is but one God, the Father 1 Cor 8:6 (who IS Holy Spirit)

Jesus answered... The Lord our God, the Lord is one Mk 12:29

Paul never taught a trinity, Jesus, his master, never mentioned one or said he was God. If Paul did, with his extensive writings and corrections of the churches misguided approaches to various matters - it is still never hinted at, let alone TAUGHT. If he was to teach such a thing it would be blatantly obvious - it is not - it is non-existent.

Are we to wonder what inspired Paul to write about the new life, the new age, the new body, the exalted son is anything but the spirit of God who also inspired a collection of writings to be held as the holy word of the Creator?

In this bible did our remarkable God never consider putting in a few lines that made clear what He was actually made of as a 3in1 God? He must have thought it wasn't necessary as He's spent the last 4000 yrs telling everyone He was one God. And then His son echoed the same and expressed quite clearly that he (Jesus) has a God - the same as all other men.

(there is a verse in 1 John 5:7 - we know that is not of God, but sadly of men desperate to include some evidence for their construct)

John 20:16-17 Jesus said to Mary... “Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.'

This is the risen Jesus speaking. The risen Jesus with the new spirit life. 1 Pet 3:18

This same Jesus who is still a man with flesh and bones

See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” Luke 24:39

For He (God) has set a day when He will judge the world with justice by the man He has appointed. Acts 17:31

Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades Rev 1:17,18

God didn't die. Jesus died, he cannot be God. (any suggestion that Jesus has two natures - a physical one and a spirit one has found that idea from outside scripture. Did God give His only son or not? Did he die or not? Did only the physical Jesus die in a charade while an ever-living Son watched on from 'heaven'?) At the close of this age, Jesus is still dependant on the Father,

The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to His servants...Rev 1:1

Is God giving something to God? He is giving a word to Jesus - the logos become flesh!!! Why is Jesus receiving anything he already has?

So at the end of the story, Jesus is still a man - an exalted spirit-life man, with a God - his Father, our Father, his God, our God.

History shows that a trinity was never a thing until 100's of years after Paul wrote and preached. This is well documented by wiki (ty John) Was the Apostle Paul a trinitarian? 2 Corinthians 13:14

8
  • +1 I wonder if it would be more accurate to say the HS is the activity of God, though. A sentence like 'the Spirit of your Father speaking through you' suggests they are distinct, though obviously closely related, concepts. Feb 6 at 22:12
  • @Anthony ty - you get used to it. There are many references to 'spirit of Christ' - would we think this spirit is another entity? Or distinct from Jesus himself?
    – steveowen
    Feb 6 at 22:31
  • -1 You consistently claim "Jesus is a man" effectively denying His resurrection. What I mean is you cannot on one hand claim His identity is defined solely by His life in the flesh (i.e. looking back in time) and ignore the consequences of His resurrection. For to do so assumes His current condition is no different from that before His death, which is clearly not the case, Feb 8 at 0:05
  • Simply asserting that Jesus is a man is hardly an argument. Almost everyone asserts that, except perhaps the Apollinarians, Docetists. and maybe a few others.
    – curiousdannii
    Feb 8 at 0:34
  • @user48152 -1 for making many unsubstantiated claims. You claim that Jesus is a man but never quote the relevant parts of the link that supposedly support your claim. You claim that the Holy Spirit is the Father (the same being, not different beings) but it's not clear at all how the couple of verses provided support such a claim. Lastly, you claim that the trinity was never a thing until 100's of years after Paul, but, once again, you fail to provide any source whatsoever to back it up. Feb 8 at 0:46

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.