Theology & the Christian Life
Azusa Pacific University
Dr. Russell Duke
October 1, 2002
"The Trinity"

I. Translation Problem
1John 5:6 This is the one who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ, not with the water only but with the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one that testifies, for the Spirit is the truth. 7 There are three that testify: 8 the Spirit and the water and the blood, and these three agree.
1John 5:6 This is He who came by water and blood  Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth. 7 For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. 8 And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one.
A. The printer was under pressure to get the printing out and he added the text - eventually the printer took out the text, however, King James forced him to put it back in
II. Biblical Support for the Trinity
A. Matthew 3:16 - Jesus Baptism - As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him.
B. Genesis 1:26 - Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."
1. Hebrew: in (the) beginning Elohim (plural) created bara (sing.) Elohim said, let us (plural) make (sing.) man (ind.) in our (plural) image (sing.)
2. This section of Genesis was written in Poetry
3. Biblical Support that to 1st century Jews this passage was strictly poetry
a. Exodus 20:5
b. Exodus 18:11
c. Exodus 19:6
d. Deut 5:9
C. 1Timothy 3:16 - Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great: He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.
D. 1Corinthians 12:3 - Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus be cursed," and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.
E. John 1
1. Trinity is one essence, but three persons (One ousia and three hypostases)
2. 1:1 - God = Word; Word is w/God
3. 1:17 - Word = Jesus
4. 1:18 - Only begotten = monogenes & God
5. 1:1-18 - shows Father & Son
6. 1:33 - Holy Spirit
III. The process of Jesus' divinity (Romans 9:5)
A. Earliest writing - Thessalonians - Jesus was divine in the resurrection
B. Early writing - Mark - Jesus was divine at his baptism
C. Middle writing - Matthew & Luke - Jesus was divine at birth
D. Latest writing (after 70 AD) - John - Jesus was divine at the very beginning
IV. The development of the Holy Spirit (2Cor 3:17-18)
V. Historical Development of the Doctrine of the Trinity
A. The doctrine of the Trinity is central to biblical Christianity; it describes the relationships among the three members of the Godhead in a manner consistent with Scriptures
B. Central to this doctrine is the question of how God can be both one and three. The early Christians did not want to lose their Jewish monotheism while exalting their Savior. Heresies emerged as men sought to explain the Christian God without becoming tritheists (which Jews were quick to accuse them of being). Christians argued that O.T. Jewish monotheism did not preclude the Trinity
C. The climax of Trinitarian formulation occurred at the Council of Constantinople in A.D. 281. To this council we owe the expression of the orthodox view of the Trinity. To appreciate what the council said, however, it is helpful to trace the doctrine's historical development. This is not meant to imply that the church or any council invented the doctrine. Rather, it was in response to heresies that the church explicated what the Scriptures already assumed.
D. The Pre-Nicene Church (150-325 AD)
1. Justin Martyr: Christ is distinct in function from the Father
2. Anthenagorus: Christ was without beginning
3. Theophilus: The Holy Spirit is distinct from the Logos
4. Origin: The Holy Spirit is coeternal with the Father and the Son
5. Tertulierian: the one that uses the words "persons" and starts to call it Trinity