The doctrine of trinitarianism is the orthodox Christian belief that whereas God may be singular in power or essence, God also exists as three persons: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus) and God the Holy Spirit.
It is interesting to note that the term trinity appears absolutely nowhere in the New Testamant. The scriptural origins for trinitarian thinking can be found in the verses such as:
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost... (Matthew 28:19)
Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied. (1 Peter 1:2)
Obviously these passages do not describe a three-in-one god, nor do they necessarily require belief in one. They do, however, set the stage for the development of Christian trinitarianism later on. It was not, in fact, until the 4th century that theologians began to officially describe God as three persons (hypostases) with one being (ousia).
Also Known As: none
Alternate Spellings: none
Common Misspellings: none
What is Christianity?
What are the various Christian groups, denominations, sects and heresies? What are some key concepts in Christian theology? What are some of the most important events in Christian history? All of this and more are covered in the Christianity FAQ.
What is the Philosophy of Religion?
Sometimes confused with theology, the Philosophy of Religion is the philosophical study of religious beliefs, religious doctrines, religious arguments and religious history. The line between theology and the philosophy of religion isn't always sharp, but the primary difference is that theology tends to be apologetical in nature, committed to the defense of particular religious positions, whereas Philosophy of Religion is committed to the investigation of religion itself, rather than the truth of any particular religion.
What is Theism?
What is the difference between monotheism and monolatry? Between pantheism and panentheism? How about between animism and shamanism? Or theism and deism? What the heck is henotheism?
What is Religion?
A system of human beliefs, ideals and practices which is harder to define than it may at first appear. Read more about how dictionaries, scholars and others have tried to define and explain religion.