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There is one Divine Being but one indivisible essence in three persons and the whole undivided essence belonging equally to all persons operating and subsisting in certain and definite order. - Louis Berkhof's Systematic Theology

There are two categories of Biblical References:

  1. Direct Reference
  2. References that when taken together with other similar references logically necessitates a Trinity.

Direct References to the 3 Persons of the Trinity:

  • Matthew 28:19 - Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
  • 2 Corinthians 13:14 - The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.
  • 1 Peter 1:2 - Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied.
  • John 14-16
  • Ephesians 2:14 - For through Him (Jesus) we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.
  • 1 John 5:7 - Is most likely a 5th century side note and therefore not inspired. Appears in Texus Reseptus (KJ and NKJ) Greek NT because Erasmus, bowing to pressure from Rome, added it to later editions of his Greek NT.

Indirect References:

"I wish, indeed, that such names (such as substance and person, etc.) were buried, provided all would concur in the belief that the Father, Son, and Spirit, are one God, and yet that the Son is not the Father, nor the Spirit the Son, but that each has his peculiar subsistence." - John Calvin, Institutes, I.xiii.5

There are six points that formulate the Biblical concept of the trinity.
  1. The Father is God
  2. The Son is God
  3. The Holy Spirit is God
  4. The Father is not the Son
  5. The Son is not the Spirit
  6. The Father is not the Spirit

It might be worth pointing out that these points are formulated in the Athanasian Creed.

The Father is God

  • 1 Cor. 8:6a "yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him"
  • "God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" passages in 2 Cor. 1:3, Eph 1:3, 1 Peter 1:3

The Son is God

  • John 10:29 Jesus is so explicit in his statement, "I and My Father are one", that the Jews "took up stones again to stone Him".
  • John 1:1
  • John 20:28 Jesus did not correct but affirmed Thomas' confession "My Lord and my God!".
  • Romans 1:4 Resurrection was a declaration that Jesus was God.
  • Titus 2:13 "our great God and Savior Jesus Christ"

The Spirit is God

  • Acts 3:4-5 By lying "to the Holy Spirit", Ananias had "not lied to men but to God."
  • 2 Cor. 3:17-18 "Now the Lord is the Spirit"

The Father is not the Son

  • The salutations in the following books all mentions the Father and Son as distinct persons: Rom., 1st & 2nd Cor., Gal., Eph., Phil., 1st Thess., 2nd Thess., 1st Tim., Titus, Phil., James, 2nd Peter, 2nd John.
  • John 5:31 - Father bears witness to the Son (see law concerning 2 witnesses in Num 35:30 & Deut 17:6;19:15)
  • Father send the Son - John 3:16-17, Gal 4:4, 1 John 4:10
  • Father loves the Son and is well pleased with the Son - Matt 3:17, Matt 17, 2 Peter 1:17
  • Father and Son speak to each other - John 11:41-42 (raising Lazarus), John 12:28 (prayer to God in Jerusalem), John 17 (high priestly prayer)
  • Father and Son know each other - Matt 11:27 (Luke 10:22) speaking to the 70 and other passages
  • John 5:43 - Jesus comes in His Father's name which is contrasted with those who come in their own name, showing that the Father is not the Son.
  • Covenant of redemption shows the distinction between the 1st and 2nd person in the Trinity.
The Father gives the elect as a love gift to the Son
  • John 6:37-40 “All that the Father gives Me...”
  • John 10:29 “My Father who has given them(sheep) to Me...”
  • John 17:2-24 “ many as You have given Him.”(vs. 2), “whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me,...”(vs. 6), “I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me...”(vs. 9), “keep through Your name those whom You have given Me.”(vs. 11), “Those whom You gave Me I have kept..” (vs. 12), “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me...” (vs. 24)
The Son redeems the elect in obedience to the Father
  • John 6:39 “that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing”
  • John 10:15-18 “and I lay down My life for the sheep.”, “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life...”
  • John 17:2 “that He (the Son) should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him.”
The Son establishes His kingdom of elect and delivers it back to the Father in love.
  • 1 Cor. 15:20-28, “Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father...”

The Son is not the Spirit

  • John 14:16 - The Holy Spirit is "another Helper".
  • John 15:26; 16:7 - Jesus sends the Spirit
  • Luke 3:22 - Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus

The Father is not the Spirit

  • John 14:16; 15:26 - The Father sends the Spirit
  • Romans 8:26-27 - The Spirit intercedes with the Father on our behalf