A biblical and Patristic Perspective

The Blessed Trinity is THREE Divine Persons in ONE UNDIVIDED GOD.

"And forthwith coming up out of the water he saw the Heavens opened and the Spirit as a Dove descending and remaining on Him. And there came a Voice from Heaven; 'Thou art My Beloved Son; in Thee I am well pleased'." St. Mark 1:10-11

The above verses reveal GOD the Father and Son, the First and Second Persons of the Blessed Trinity; Jesus coming out of the water and His Father's 'Voice from Heaven'. The Holy Spirit, Who is the Third Person, is also revealed in the form of a 'Dove', descending from Heaven, onto Jesus. Scripture has now identified the Blessed Trinity, meaning Three. Yet Scripture goes beyond this by showing them as Three Persons in One Undivided GOD:

"In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with GOD and the Word was GOD." St. John 1:1 The 'Word was with GOD' (Jesus the Son, was with GOD, His Father), in the 'beginning'; and the 'Word was GOD' .... And the Word was made Flesh and dwelt among us, (and we saw His Glory, the Glory as it were of the Only Begotten of the Father), full of Grace and Truth."

The 'Word' that was with GOD (and Who was GOD), took 'Flesh' from the Virgin Mary and became Man and 'dwelt among us'. Jesus the Son was the 'Word' that took 'Flesh'.

The Fact that Christ is God is not only clear from the words of Christ as we shall prove, yet it is best seen from the fact that Christ Himself claims Divine attributes which belong to God alone, these attributes that Christ claims, no man can claim without committing the sin of blasphemy unless he were truly God!

Christ is Creator - JOHN 1:3 "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made". (Cf. Also JOHN 1:10 , 1 CORINTHIANS 8:6 , EPHESIANS 3:9, COLOSSIANS 1:16, HEBREWS 1:2, HEBREWS 1:10, REVELATION 3:14).

Christ is Eternal & Unreated -

JOHN 5:26 "For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself"

JOHN 8:58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

(Cf. Also Apoc 1:17-18; 22:13, JOHN 4:34, JOHN 6:29, JOHN 6:32-33, JOHN 6:62, JOHN 7:16, JOHN 7:28-29 JOHN 8:16, JOHN 8:23, JOHN 8:29, JOHN 8:42, JOHN 17:5, JOHN 17:24).

Jesus is Adored and Worship as God -

MATTHEW 8:2 And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, . . .

(Cf. Also MATTHEW 9:18, MATTHEW 14:33, MATTHEW 15:25, MATTHEW 20:20, MATTHEW 28:9 MATTHEW 28:17, MARK 5:6, LUKE 24:52, JOHN 9:38, JOHN 20:28, MATTHEW 2:2, MATTHEW 2:11, PHILIPPIANS 2:9-11, HEBREWS 1:6, APOC 5:8; 4:10, 7:11, 5:12-14, 4:9, Rom 11:33, Col 2:6-7).

Christ is Omnipotent (All Powerful)

MATTHEW 28:18 . . . All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

(Cf. Also MATTHEW 11:27, JOHN 2:19, JOHN 5:19-21, JOHN 6:40, JOHN 10:17-18, APOC 1:18 ; 3:7, JOHN 3:35, JOHN 13:3, PHILIPPIANS 3:20-21, COLOSSIANS 1:17, HEBREWS 1:3, 1 PETER 3:22, APOC 19:15)

Christ Claimed to be Omniscient (All Knowing)

MATTHEW 9:4 And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?

(Cf Also MATTHEW 22:18, MATTHEW 26:46, MARK 2:8, MARK 5:30, LUKE 22:10-13, JOHN 5:42, JOHN 6:64, JOHN 13:10-11, MATTHEW 12:25, MATTHEW 13:54, LUKE 2:47, LUKE 6:8, LUKE 9:47, JOHN 2:24-25, JOHN 4:29, JOHN 7:15, JOHN 13:1, JOHN 16:30, JOHN 18:4, JOHN 21:17, COLOSSIANS 2:3, APOC 2:23).

{Additionally, there are many other verses illustrating that Jesus knew the future perfectly (e.g., Mt 12:40, 16:21, 17:9,11-12,22-23, 20:18-19, 21:39, 24:2, 26:2,12,21,31-34,54 Mk 8:31, 9:31, 10:32-34, 14:9,18,27-30,42,49, Lk 9:22,44, 11:30, 12:50, 17:25, 18:31-33, 22:15,21-22,32,34,37, Jn 2:19, 3:14, 10:11,15,17-18, 12:32-34, 13:18-21, 14:19, 15:13, 16:20, 18:11, 21:18-19}

Christ Claimed to be Omnipresent (Present Everywhere)

MATTHEW 18:20 "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them"

(Cf Also MATTHEW 28:20, EPHESIANS 1:23, COLOSSIANS 3:11).

Christ forgives sins in His Own Name

MARK 2:5-10 When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. (6) But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, (7) Why doth this {man} thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only? (8) And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts? (9) Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, {Thy} sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? (10) But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) . . .

(Cf Also LUKE 5:20, LUKE 7:47-50, MATTHEW 26:28, LUKE 24:47, JOHN 1:29, ACTS 5:31;10:43; 13:38; 26:18, 1 JOHN 1:7, 1 JOHN 2:1-2, 1 JOHN 2:12, APOC 1:5, Rom 3:25, 4:25, 5:9-11,18, 2 Cor 5:19, Gal 1:4, Eph 1:7, 2:13-18, 5:2, Col 1:14,21-22, 1 Tim 2:5-6, Titus 2:14, Heb 1:3, 2:17, 9:14-15,26, Heb 10:10,13,18-19, 12:24, 13:12,20, 1 Pet 1:18-19, 2:24, 3:18, 1 Jn 3:5, 4:10, 5:9).

Christ claims to be sinless and Perfect

JOHN 8:46 Which of you convinceth me of sin? . . .

(Cf Also JOHN 7:18, APOC 3:7, MARK 1:24, LUKE 1:35 ACTS 3:14, ACTS 13:35, 2 CORINTHIANS 5:21, HEBREWS 4:15, HEBREWS 7:26, HEBREWS 9:14, 1 PETER 1:19, 1 PETER 2:22, 1 JOHN 3:5).

"I and the Father are ONE." St. John 10:30 "...He that seeth Me seeth the Father also." St. John 14:9 "...The Father is in Me and I in the Father." St. John 10:38 Jesus in His own words has revealed to us the Unity of the Blessed Trinity; that He and the Father are One.

The Holy Ghost

The Third Person of the Blessed Trinity is the Holy Spirit, Who is One with the Father and the Son:

"And I will ask the Father and He shall give you another Paraclete, (Holy Spirit)..." St. John 14:16 "...The Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My Name; He will teach you all things..." St. John 14:26

Note here, the Three Divine Persons working together in unity as ONE; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

"But when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will teach you all Truth. For He shall not speak of Himself; but what things soever He shall hear, He shall speak; and the things that are to come, He shall shew you." St. John 16:13

In this verse, it will be neither the Father nor the Son who will teach them all 'Truth', but it will be the Holy Spirit and 'He will teach them all things'. The words 'He' and 'Himself' signify a personality of His own; the Third Divine Person in One Undivided GOD. This is the Blessed Trinity, revealed by Scripture, yet denied by many who fall within the following verses.

"The Spirit of Truth, Whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, nor knoweth Him; but you shall knoweth Him, because He shall abide with you and shall be in you." St. John 14:7

Notice how Jesus continually referred to the Holy Spirit in the words 'He' and 'Him', indicating that the Holy Spirit is distinct in Person, yet equal to the Father and the Son, as He is ONE with the Father and the Son.

It is clear from the following verse that the Holy Spirit is GOD. When you sin against the Holy Spirit, you sin against GOD.

"Why hath satan tempted thy heart, that thou shoudst lie to the Holy Ghost...Thou hast not lied to men, but to GOD." The Acts 5:3-4

"And there are Three Who give testimony in Heaven, the Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit. And these Three are ONE." 1 St. John 5:7 1 St. John 5:7 reveals Jesus as being the 'Word', as the Son, Who was 'with GOD' in the 'beginning' as mentioned (St. John 1:1), and the 'Word' taking 'Flesh' and becoming 'Man' (St. John 1:14).

These verses have proven that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, though Thy are Three, yet They are ONE. This UNDIVIDED ONENESS (1 St. John 5:7) is the Blessed Trinity, ONE GOD.

Holy Scripture reveals the Blessed Trinity as GOD even before creation itself.

"In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with GOD and the Word was GOD." St. John 1:1

"In the beginning GOD created Heaven and earth." Genesis 17:5

Notice the 'Word' (Jesus), is GOD in the 'beginning' (St. John 1:1), Who 'created Heaven and earth' in the beginning (Genesis 1:1). Without Jesus, Who is GOD, nothing was made.

"All things were made by Him; and without Him was made nothing that was made." St. John 1:3

"And now glorify thou Me, O' Father, with Thyself, with the glory which I had, before the world was, with Thee." St. John 17:5

"Behold a Virgin shall be with Child and bring forth a Son and they shall call His Name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, GOD with us." St. Matthew 1:23

The Book of Genesis foreshadows the Trinity as Three distinct Divine Persons. After the Triune GOD had created Heaven and earth, They created man.

"And He said: 'Let Us make man in our Image and Likeness'...'And GOD created man to His Own Image; to the Image of GOD, He created him'..." Genesis 1:26

When GOD made man, He made him in His 'Image', the Image of GOD. When GOD took 'Flesh' and became 'Man', He was still GOD and still in 'His Own Image', hence the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity.

"And He said: 'Behold Adam is become one of Us, knowing good and evil'..." Genesis 3:22

"Let Us go down and there confound their tongues." Genesis 11:7

Remember that the 'Word' (Jesus) was 'with' GOD and 'was' GOD in the 'beginning' (St. John 1:1), and in each verse of the Book of Genesis, GOD revealed His Divinity referring to Himself 'let us' rather than 'I will'.

The Persons of the Blessed Trinity are working together in unity, in ONE UNDIVIDED GODHEAD.

Before Jesus Ascended into Heaven, He ordered His Apostles and Disciples to go out and make disciples of all nations and to Baptize all those who embrace the Faith in the Name of the Blessed Trinity.

"Going therefore, teach ye all nations; Baptizing in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and behold, I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world." St. Matthew 28:19-20

Jesus, knowing that He is to Ascend into Heaven, promised to send the Holy Spirit; and He will 'teach them all things' (St. John 14:16,26), (St. John 16:13). Jesus in His own words: "I Am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world", by His Ascension, Jesus has revealed Himself to be ONE with the Holy Spirit, to teach us 'all things' and to be with us always, to the end of time.

The Blessed Trinity are Three Divine Persons with Three distinct roles:

GOD the Father: The Creator (Gen 1:1, Jn 1:1) GOD the Son: The Redeemer (Jn 1:1,14) GOD the Holy Spirit: The Sanctifier (Jn 14:16-17,26, Mt 28:20)


A Patristic Perspective: What the Church Fathers taught about the Trinity

The Didache

"After the foregoing instructions, baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in living [running] water. . . . If you have neither, pour water three times on the head, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" (Didache 7:1 [A.D. 70]).

St. Clement of Rome, Letter to the Corinthians (C. 98 A.D.):

"Do we not have one God, one Christ, and one Spirit of Grace poured out upon us? And is there not one calling in Christ?"

Ignatius of Antioch

"[T]o the Church at Ephesus in Asia . . . chosen through true suffering by the will of the Father in Jesus Christ our God" (Letter to the Ephesians 1 [A.D. 110]).

"For our God, Jesus Christ, was conceived by Mary in accord with God’s plan: of the seed of David, it is true, but also of the Holy Spirit" (ibid., 18:2).

Justin Martyr

"We will prove that we worship him reasonably; for we have learned that he is the Son of the true God himself, that he holds a second place, and the Spirit of prophecy a third. For this they accuse us of madness, saying that we attribute to a crucified man a place second to the unchangeable and eternal God, the Creator of all things; but they are ignorant of the mystery which lies therein" (First Apology 13:5–6 [A.D. 151]).

The Martyrdom of St. Polycarp (C. 155 - 157 A.D.):

"...In this way and for all things I do praise you, I do bless you, I do glorify you through the eternal and heavenly High Priest Jesus Christ, your beloved child: through whom be glory to you with Him and with the Holy Spirit, both now and through ages yet to come. Amen."

Theophilus of Antioch

"It is the attribute of God, of the most high and almighty and of the living God, not only to be everywhere, but also to see and hear all; for he can in no way be contained in a place. . . . The three days before the luminaries were created are types of the Trinity: God, his Word, and his Wisdom" (To Autolycus 2:15 [A.D. 181]).

St. Irenaeus of Lyons, Against Heresies (C. 180 A.D.):

"If any one, therefore says to us, ‘How then was the Son produced by the Father?’ we reply to him, that no man understands that production, or generation, or calling, or revelation, or by whatever name one may describe His generation, which is in fact altogether indescribable. Neither Valentinus, nor Marcion, nor Saturninus, nor Basilides, nor angels, not archangels, nor principalities, nor powers (possess this knowledge), but the Father only who begat, and the Son who was begotten. Since therefore His generation is unspeakable, those who strive to set forth generations and productions cannot be in their right mind, inasmuch as they undertake to describe things that are indescribable."

"For the Church, although dispersed throughout the whole world even to the ends of the earth, has received from the apostles and from their disciples the faith in one God, the Father Almighty . . . and in one Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who became flesh for our salvation; and in the Holy Spirit" (Against Heresies 1:10:1 [A.D. 189]).


"We do indeed believe that there is only one God, but we believe that under this dispensation, or, as we say, oikonomia, there is also a Son of this one only God, his Word, who proceeded from him and through whom all things were made and without whom nothing was made. . . . We believe he was sent down by the Father, in accord with his own promise, the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, the sanctifier of the faith of those who believe in the Father and the Son, and in the Holy Spirit. . . . This rule of faith has been present since the beginning of the gospel, before even the earlier heretics" (Against Praxeas 2 [A.D. 216]).

"And at the same time the mystery of the oikonomia is safeguarded, for the unity is distributed in a Trinity. Placed in order, the three are the Father, Son, and Spirit. They are three, however, not in condition, but in degree; not in being, but in form; not in power, but in kind; of one being, however, and one condition and one power, because he is one God of whom degrees and forms and kinds are taken into account in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" (ibid.).

"Keep always in mind the rule of faith which I profess and by which I bear witness that the Father and the Son and the Spirit are inseparable from each other, and then you will understand what is meant by it. Observe now that I say the Father is other [distinct], the Son is other, and the Spirit is other. This statement is wrongly understood by every uneducated or perversely disposed individual, as if it meant diversity and implied by that diversity a separation of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit" (ibid., 9).

"Thus the connection of the Father in the Son, and of the Son in the Paraclete, produces three coherent persons, who are yet distinct one from another. These three are, one essence, not one person, as it is said, ‘I and my Father are one’ [John 10:30], in respect of unity of being not singularity of number" (ibid., 25).


"For we do not hold that which the heretics imagine: that some part of the being of God was converted into the Son, or that the Son was procreated by the Father from non-existent substances, that is, from a being outside himself, so that there was a time when he [the Son] did not exist" (The Fundamental Doctrines 4:4:1 [A.D. 225]).

"No, rejecting every suggestion of corporeality, we hold that the Word and the Wisdom was begotten out of the invisible and incorporeal God, without anything corporal being acted upon . . . the expression which we employ, however that there was never a time when he did not exist is to be taken with a certain allowance. For these very words ‘when’ and ‘never’ are terms of temporal significance, while whatever is said of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, is to be understood as transcending all time, all ages" (ibid.).

"For it is the Trinity alone which exceeds every sense in which not only temporal but even eternal may be understood. It is all other things, indeed, which are outside the Trinity, which are to be measured by time and ages" (ibid.).


"The Word alone of this God is from God himself, wherefore also the Word is God, being the being of God. Now the world was made from nothing, wherefore it is not God" (Refutation of All Heresies 10:29 [A.D. 228]).


"For Scripture as much announces Christ as also God, as it announces God himself as man. It has as much described Jesus Christ to be man, as moreover it has also described Christ the Lord to be God. Because it does not set forth him to be the Son of God only, but also the son of man; nor does it only say, the son of man, but it has also been accustomed to speak of him as the Son of God. So that being of both, he is both, lest if he should be one only, he could not be the other. For as nature itself has prescribed that he must be believed to be a man who is of man, so the same nature prescribes also that he must be believed to be God who is of God. . . . Let them, therefore, who read that Jesus Christ the son of man is man, read also that this same Jesus is called also God and the Son of God" (Treatise on the Trinity 11 [A.D. 235]).

Pope Dionysius

"Next, then, I may properly turn to those who divide and cut apart and destroy the most sacred proclamation of the Church of God, making of it [the Trinity], as it were, three powers, distinct substances, and three godheads. . . . [Some heretics] proclaim that there are in some way three gods, when they divide the sacred unity into three substances foreign to each other and completely separate" (Letter to Dionysius of Alexandria 1 [A.D. 262]).

"Therefore, the divine Trinity must be gathered up and brought together in one, a summit, as it were, I mean the omnipotent God of the universe. . . . It is blasphemy, then, and not a common one but the worst, to say that the Son is in any way a handiwork [creature]. . . . But if the Son came into being [was created], there was a time when these attributes did not exist; and, consequently, there was a time when God was without them, which is utterly absurd" (ibid., 1–2).

"Neither, then, may we divide into three godheads the wonderful and divine unity. . . . Rather, we must believe in God, the Father Almighty; and in Christ Jesus, his Son; and in the Holy Spirit; and that the Word is united to the God of the universe. ‘For,’ he says, ‘The Father and I are one,’ and ‘I am in the Father, and the Father in me’" (ibid., 3).

  Gregory the Wonderworker

"There is one God. . . . There is a perfect Trinity, in glory and eternity and sovereignty, neither divided nor estranged. Wherefore there is nothing either created or in servitude in the Trinity; nor anything superinduced, as if at some former period it was non-existent, and at some later period it was introduced. And thus neither was the Son ever wanting to the Father, nor the Spirit to the Son; but without variation and without change, the same Trinity abides ever" (Declaration of Faith [A.D. 265]).


"[The Trinity] is a Trinity not merely in name or in a figurative manner of speaking; rather, it is a Trinity in truth and in actual existence. Just as the Father is he that is, so also his Word is one that is and is God over all. And neither is the Holy Spirit nonexistent but actually exists and has true being. Less than these the Catholic Church does not hold, lest she sink to the level of the Jews of the present time, imitators of Caiaphas, or to the level of Sabellius" (Letters to Serapion 1:28 [A.D. 359]).

"They [the Father and the Son] are one, not as one thing now divided into two, but really constituting only one, nor as one thing twice named, so that the same becomes at one time the Father and at another his own Son. This latter is what Sabellius held, and he was judged a heretic. On the contrary, they are two, because the Father is Father and is not his own Son, and the Son is Son and not his own Father" (Discourses Against the Arians 3:4 [A.D. 360]).

St. Ambrose of Milan, Hexameron (Post 389 A.D.):

"But let us consider the course of our own creation. He says: ‘Let Us make man to our image and to our likeness.’ Who says this? Is it not God, who made you?...To whom does He say it? Certainly not to Himself, for He does not say ‘Let Me make’ but ‘Let Us make.’ Nor to the Angels, for they are ministers; and servants can have no partnership in the operation of the master, nor works with their author. It is the Son to whom He speaks, even if the Jews will not have it and the Arians fight against it...[And it is the Son] who is the image of God the Father, the Son who always is and who was in the beginning."

Patrick of Ireland

"I bind to myself today the strong power of an invocation of the Trinity—the faith of the Trinity in unity, the Creator of the universe" (The Breastplate of St. Patrick 1 [A.D. 447]).

"[T]here is no other God, nor has there been heretofore, nor will there be hereafter, except God the Father unbegotten, without beginning, from whom is all beginning, upholding all things, as we say, and his Son Jesus Christ, whom we likewise to confess to have always been with the Father—before the world’s beginning. . . . Jesus Christ is the Lord and God in whom we believe . . . and who has poured out on us abundantly the Holy Spirit . . . whom we confess and adore as one God in the Trinity of the sacred Name" (Confession of St. Patrick 4 [A.D. 452]).

St. Augustine of Hippo (+430 A.D.)

"All the Catholic interpreters of the divine books of the Old and New Testaments whom I have been able to read, who wrote before me about the Trinity, which is God, intended to teach in accord with the Scriptures that the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit are of one and the same substance constituting a divine unity with an inseparable equality; and therefore there are not three gods but one God, although the Father begot the Son, and therefore he who is the Son is not the Father; and the Holy Spirit is neither the Father nor the Son but only the Spirit of the Father and of the Son, himself, too, coequal to the Father and to the Son and belonging to the unity of the Trinity" (The Trinity 1:4:7 [A.D. 408]).

"For that which must be understood of persons according to our usage, this is to be understood of substances according to the Greek usage; for they say three substances, one essence, in the same way as we say three persons, one essence or substance." -  De Trinitate, Bk. 7, Ch. 4: