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"A lot of uproar can occur over a relatively minor issue. This topic can be great fodder for a bar-brawl. A root beer or two can wind up in your face as the evening progresses. Is God a single triune being or three completely separate persons? Does your salvation depend on it? In the end, does it matter anyway?"
# Question Answer
1 Does the Bible ever use the word Trinity? No.
2 Is God a single though triune being? Yes.
3 What do you mean by triune? tri = three; une = one. Three in one. The adjective triune describes the nature of its object. For example, water has a triune nature. Water appears in three different states: vapor, liquid and ice. Each state has a different appearance, but water is still H20 irregardless of state. At STP (standard temperature and pressure), water exists as vapor, liquid and ice at the same time. Water, ergo, has a triune nature. Water has a trinity of states. Above STP, we only see water as liquid and vapor.
4 What are the three states of God? The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. A trinity of beings.
5 The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit look like three separate people to me. Given verses like Luke 3:22, it certainly looks that way to me too. Luke 3:22 describes Jesus's baptism. "And the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: 'You are my Son whom I love . . . .'" It does look like three separate beings here.
6 But . . . Then you have verses which unify the three beings into one. For example, in Matthew 28:19:

"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit . . ."

Note that the word name is singular. It is not the names of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. This is a pivotal distinction. If you are the ambassador of the USA, you are acting in the name of the USA. But if you are representing Canada, the USA and Mexico, then you are acting in the names of Canada, the USA and Mexico. Names is the proper use of grammar in this example because Canada, the USA and Mexico are three separate entities. But in Jesus's statement, he did not use the plural form. Because of Jesus's use of the word name in the singular, Jesus himself regards the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit as one entity. This is profound, and especially so in ancient Hebrew culture where the name of a person is purposed to represent the person's very nature.
7 What else do you have?
Isaiah 9:6. You hear it every Christmas:

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
8 Hmmm. That's a good one. Isaiah 9:6 is a good example of all three persons in the trinity equated to one another. It is a clear declaration that the son is also the Counselor and the Everlasting Father. The Counselor is another name for the Holy Spirit (John 14:16). There are many more occasions when just Jesus and the Father are equated
9 Name some of those references.
  • Jesus's is also called Emmanuel: God with us. Matthew: 22:23
  • Jesus is God (John 1. Follow the progression of identity of the Word of God.)
  • Jesus is "God the One and Only." (John 1:18).
  • Jesus claims to be God (Compare John 8:58 and Ex. 3:14. Then note the context.)
  • The Hebrew word for God is "Elohim". It's a plural word meaning "majesties". However the name of God is Yahweh and Yahweh is "One". Deut 6:4.
  • Jesus said, "Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father." (John 14:9)
10 I think the Bible is contradicting itself. No. You probably don't want to accept those verses which unify Jesus and God because you do not understand the possibility of such a thing. However, understanding is not a prerequiste for acceptance. Acceptance has never has been that way. We accept many things we don't understand. For example, we accept that atoms are composed of protons, neutrons and electrons but we don't understand why. We accept that gravity holds our feet to the ground, but we certainly do not understand what causes gravity. Nature reveals to us millions of things that we do not understand. We just accept them because that is the way Nature reveals them. We accept. Then we investigate.

The triune nature of God is like that. The people who have encountered God have wrote up what they know about God. They did not limit their encounters to what they understood. They simply revealed what they know of God's nature. The data they collected reveals that God's nature is triune. The data is profound. Non-understanding is what one should expect. For if nature is impossible to grasp in its entirety, and God created nature, then God should be at least as incomprehensible.

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