Monday, September 1, 2014

All Three Persons of the Trinity Mentioned In Scripture (Directly or Indirectly)

Currently being written

This blog will list some passages both in the Old Testament and New Testament where all three persons of the Trinity are either directly or indirectly mentioned or alluded to. These passages in themselves don't prove the doctrine of the Trinity. However, they should cause Unitarians to reconsider their position. It should lead them to ask themselves why so many passages in the Bible cluster allusions to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit together.

According to the first note of chapter 4 in Putting Jesus in His Place by Robert Bowman, J. Ed Komoszewski:

The Trinitarian pattern is noted by R.T. France, "The Worship of Jesus: A Neglected Factor in Christological Debate?" in Christ the Lord: Studies in Christology Presented to Donald Guthrie, ed. Harold H. Rowdon (Leicester, UK; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1982), 30. For a review of over sixty such "Trinitarian" passages in the New Testament, see Robert M. Bowman Jr., Why You Should Believe in the Trinity (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1989), 127-31.

I don't have either book, but I'll list some of the ones I'm aware of below. But before I do I want to make some comments.

Regarding the Shema and Mark 12:29, David H. Stern notes in his Jewish New Testament Commentary:

...Likewise, here in the Sh'ma (Deuteronomy 6:4) there are two such r'mazim: (1) the triple reference to God, and (2) the use of the word "echad," which often means a multiple unity (such as "one" cluster of grapes or "one" bundle of sticks) instead of "yachid," which nearly always excludes multiple oneness. -page 97
Notice that Stern does not make the common Christian mistake in claiming that "echad" [always] means "compound unity." Echad merely means, "one." Whether it is compound or simple oneness.

R'mazim is plural for remez.
 (2) Remez ("hint") — wherein a word, phrase or other element in the text hints at a truth not conveyed by the p'shat. The implied presupposition is that God can hint at things of which the Bible writers themselves were unaware. - page 12
(1) P'shat ("simple") — the plain, literal sense of the text, more or less what modern scholars mean by "grammatical-historical exegesis,"...- page 11
See Wikipedia's article on PaRDeS

Notice also that this Jewish concept of God hinting at deeper meanings is consistent with the Christian understanding of Progressive Revelation.

In light of that see my blogs:

The Aaronic Blessing Is Highly Suggestive of the Doctrine of the Trinity

Quotes from "Of A Plurality In The Godhead" by John Gill

Proving That There Is A Plurality In The Godhead

Regarding Jewish Professor Dr. Sommer's Comments About the Trinity

Praying to and Worshipping the Holy Spirit

The Witness of the Holy Spirit

Here are links to two interviews of Trinitarian Robert Bowman by Unitarian Dale Tuggy:

Dr. Robert M. Bowman Jr. on triadic New Testament passages – part 1

Dr. Robert M. Bowman Jr. on triadic New Testament passages – part 2

The Biblical Passages:

I've color coded the apparent allusions. Green regarding the Father (because in the Old Testament God likens himself to a green fir tree in Hos. 14:8). Pink regarding the Son (because we have redemption through Christ's blood according to Eph. 1:7). Yellow regarding the Holy Spirit (because the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth who gives spiritual enLightenment to our eyes [cf. Dan. 5:11, 14; John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13; Rev. 4:5; Isa. 11:2]). Keep in mind that there will be times when I will color a reference to God as green indicating a reference to the Father, even when it might as well be a reference to the Son or Spirit in context. Since, if Trinitarianism is true, then all three persons are God and YHWH. Which means, whenever a text doesn't specify which person of the Trinity is being alluded to, it might refer to all three persons together, or anyone of the three persons, or specifically to one of the three persons but it is just not specified which one.

1    Who is this who comes from Edom,
        in crimsoned garments from Bozrah,
    he who is splendid in his apparel,
        marching in the greatness of his strength?
    "It is I, speaking in righteousness,
        mighty to save."
2    Why is your apparel red,
        and your garments like his who treads in the winepress?
3    "I have trodden the winepress alone,
        and from the peoples no one was with me;
    I trod them in my anger
        and trampled them in my wrath;
    their lifeblood spattered on my garments,
        and stained all my apparel.
4    For the day of vengeance was in my heart,
        and my year of redemption had come.
5    I looked, but there was no one to help;
        I was appalled, but there was no one to uphold;
    so my own arm brought me salvation,
        and my wrath upheld me.
6    I trampled down the peoples in my anger;
        I made them drunk in my wrath,
        and I poured out their lifeblood on the earth."

7    I will recount the steadfast love of the LORD,
        the praises of the LORD,
    according to all that the LORD has granted us,
        and the great goodness to the house of Israel
    that he has granted them according to his compassion,
        according to the abundance of his steadfast love.
8    For he said, "Surely they are my people,
        children who will not deal falsely."
        And he became their Savior.
9    In all their affliction he was afflicted,
        and the angel of his presence saved them;
    in his love and in his pity he redeemed them;
        he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.
10    But they rebelled
        and grieved his Holy Spirit;
    therefore he turned to be their enemy,
        and himself fought against them.
11    Then he remembered the days of old,
        of Moses and his people.
    Where is he who brought them up out of the sea
        with the shepherds of his flock?
    Where is he who put in the midst of them
        his Holy Spirit,
12    who caused his glorious arm
        to go at the right hand of Moses,
    who divided the waters before them
        to make for himself an everlasting name,
13    who led them through the depths?
    Like a horse in the desert,
        they did not stumble.
14    Like livestock that go down into the valley,
        the Spirit of the LORD gave them rest.
    So you led your people,
        to make for yourself a glorious name.

15    Look down from heaven and see,
        from your holy and beautiful habitation.
    Where are your zeal and your might?
        The stirring of your inner parts and your compassion
        are held back from me.
16    For you are our Father,
        though Abraham does not know us,
        and Israel does not acknowledge us;
    you, O LORD, are our Father,
        our Redeemer from of old is your name.
17    O LORD, why do you make us wander from your ways
        and harden our heart, so that we fear you not?
    Return for the sake of your servants,
        the tribes of your heritage.
18    Your holy people held possession for a little while;
        our adversaries have trampled down your sanctuary.
19    We have become like those over whom you have never ruled,
        like those who are not called by your name.- Isa. 63:1-19
This entire chapter of Isaiah has Trinitarian fingerprints all over it. We have at least three references to each of the three persons of the Trinity. As I said above, some of the passages where "LORD" is used might also be referring to any one or all three persons of the Trinity. That's also true for the word Father in the Old Testament since it might be referring to God generally, and not specifically the first person of the Trinity, God the Father. Remember Jesus is called "everlasting Father (i.e. possessor of the attribute of eternality) in Isa. 9:6. While only the first person of the Trinity is Father within the ontological Trinity, any one of the persons of the economic Trinity can be Father in relation to creation or with respect to redemption. Also, the early references to the LORD as a warrior wearing a splendid garment who treads in the winepress is reminiscent of Rev. 19:11-16 where Jesus is similarly described as a warrior treading a winepress and wearing a robe that is dipped in blood (similar to the imagery of the LORD's robe being stained with red grape juice in Isa. 63:2). The parallels are striking and obviously intentional. Either because Jesus does in the New Testament what the Father did in the Old Testament, or because it was Jesus who did it in the Old Testament as well. Notice that the "arm of the LORD" is mentioned twice. Most everyone who believes in the New Testament agrees that that is a prophetic and veiled reference to Jesus (cf. Isa. 53:1; Luke 1:47,51; Isa. 40:10-11 etc.). The angel of God's presence is mentioned repeatedly elsewhere in the Old Testament and is also universally understood to refer to the pre-incarnate Christ. Finally, the three references to the LORD in verse 7 could just as well have been colored using all three colors.

By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host.- Ps. 33:6

Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations.- Isa. 42:1
 Draw near to me, hear this: from the beginning I have not spoken in secret, from the time it came to be I have been there." And now the Lord GOD has sent me, and his Spirit.- Isa. 48:16
While the ESV doesn't capitalize "me," both the NASB and the NKJV do because rather than Isaiah speaking, the translators agree that Jehovah/YHWH is speaking. If that's the correct interpretation, then it is the pre-incarnate Christ, as Jehovah who is speaking about his future ministry.

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;- Isa. 61:1

6 Then he said to me, "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts.7 Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain. And he shall bring forward the top stone amid shouts of 'Grace, grace to it!'"
8    Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying,9 "The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also complete it. Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you.- Zech. 4:6-9

He sends out his word, and melts them; he makes his wind blow and the waters flow.-Ps. 147:18

O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive. O Lord, pay attention and act. Delay not, for your own sake, O my God, because your city and your people are called by your name."- Dan. 9:19

For the LORD is our judge; the LORD is our lawgiver; the LORD is our king; he will save us.- Isa. 33:22

And one called to another and said: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!"- Isa. 6:3 [cf. Rev. 4:8]

As I've written elsewhere, it's often pointed out that the use of triples in the above passages doesn't necessarily allude to the Trinity since the same grammatical repetition is used of other things in the Old Testament and in the Hebrew language in general. That's true. But we have to ask ourselves why three rather than two or four or five is the number of times to be used for the full, complete and highest degree of absolute emphasis? Might it be that God Himself implanted, directly or indirectly by His providence, in the historical development of the languages and Semitic cultures of that time a subconscious echoing knowledge and understanding of the Absolute, the ultimate reality? That is, of the reality of  God as a Trinity? Might it be the other way around? That rather than the use of triples in reference to God MERELY being a hinting at and pointing toward the Trinity, might it also ultimately be the case that the Trinity itself is the very source and grounding of that linguistic feature found in various Semitic cultures?

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.- 2 Cor. 13:14

4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.- 1 Cor. 12:4-6

Theologians have pointed out that the use of the word "SAME" in "...same Spirit...same Lord...same God..." suggests an intertwining equality of being, dignity, glory and activity between the three and therefore suggestive of the doctrine of the Trinity. The three are simultaneously distinguished yet united and equal.

4 There is one body and one Spirit---just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call--- 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.- Eph. 4:4-6
In Eph. 4:6b some theologians find a possible hint referring to the Trinity. It would make sense since Paul just referred to "one Spirit," "one Lord" and "one God." For example, Adam Clarke wrote in his commentary:
Who is above all - Ὁ επι παντων· Who is over all; as the King of kings, and Lord of lords.
And through all - Pervading every thing; being present with every thing; providing for all creatures; and by his energy supporting all things.
And in you all - By the energy of his Spirit, enlightening, quickening, purifying, and comforting; in a word, making your hearts the temples of the Holy Ghost. Some think the mystery of the blessed Trinity is contained in this verse: God is over all, as Father; through all, by the Logos or Word; and in all, by the Holy Spirit.
Jamieson Fausset and Brown Commentary similarly states:
 above — “over all.” The “one God over all” (in His sovereignty and by His grace) is the grand source and crowning apex of unity (Eph_2:19, end).
through all by means of Christ “who filleth all things” (Eph_4:10; Eph_2:20, Eph_2:21), and is “a propitiation” for all men (1Jo_2:2).
in you all — The oldest manuscripts omit “you.” Many of the oldest versions and Fathers and old manuscripts read, “in us all.” Whether the pronoun be read or not, it must be understood (either from the “ye,” Eph_4:4, or from the “us,” Eph_4:7); for other parts of Scripture prove that the Spirit is not “in all” men, but only in believers (Rom_8:9, Rom_8:14). God is “Father” both by generation (as Creator) and regeneration (Eph_2:10; Jam_1:17, Jam_1:18; 1Jo_5:1).

For through him [i.e. Jesus Christ] we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.- Eph. 2:18

In him [i.e. Jesus Christ] you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.- Eph. 2:22

14    For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith---that you, being rooted and grounded in love,- Eph. 3:14-17

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,- Eph. 1:3
Some theologians (e.g. Bruce Ware) argue that this verse is Trinitarian in that the term "spiritual" in the Greek alludes to the Holy Spirit. If so, then all three persons are alluded to in the verse either explicitly (Father and Son) or implicitly (Holy Spirit). Here's what Jamieson Fausset and Brown Commentary states:
 blessings Greek, “blessing.” “All,” that is, “every possible blessing for time and eternity, which the Spirit has to bestow” (so “spiritual” means; not “spiritual,” as the term is now used, as opposed to bodily).

31 Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.32 And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.- Matt. 12:31-32
The opposite of worship is blasphemy. Yet the New Testament talks about blaspheming the Holy Spirit. That suggests 1. the Holy Spirit can and should be worshipped, and therefore 2. the full deity of the Holy Spirit. How so? Well, we have to ask "What is blasphemy?" It is any reviling of God's name or person, or any affront to His majesty or authority. Or anything that takes away from the proper reverence and worship that God alone is rightly due.

Therefore, blasphemy is normally in reference to God. So, the first reference to blasphemy in the passage refers to God the Father. Yet, interestingly the passages also talks about blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. This would suggest that the Holy Spirit is God since it makes no sense blaspheming an impersonal force. Notice too that Jesus clusters criticisms against Himself in conjunction with blasphemy against the Father and the Holy Spirit. It may be claimed that a word against Jesus doesn't necessarily imply that it's blasphemy since it can be forgiven; therefore Jesus isn't necessarily God. However, using that logic, the Father isn't God either since blasphemy against the Father can be forgiven as well. Moreover, the fact that blasphemy against the Father and the Son can be forgiven while the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit can't, strongly suggests the full deity of the Holy Spirit since it makes no sense for it to be more severe to blaspheme the Holy Spirit above God the Father if the Holy Spirit isn't God. Analogously, that would be like saying insulting the electricity and gasoline of your father's prized Porsche is worse than insulting your father directly. Regarding the Full Deity of the Holy Spirit, see my blogs HERE and HERE.

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,- Matt. 28:19
Along with 2 Cor. 13:14, this verse is one of the major texts supporting the doctrine of the Trinity. Notice that the passage doesn't say in the "nameS" (plural) of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. If it did, then that would be evidence that each of the three have different names and different authorities. Since, "name" in Jewish culture can refer to one's proper name or to one's authority and will or to one's character or nature. The fact that it's one name rather than three names lends support to the doctrine of the Trinity. Notice too that in the Greek it says in the name of THE Father, THE Son, and THE Holy Spirit (using the definite article "the" three times for each person). If the Greek hadn't used the definite article for each person, then that might have lent support for some kind of Sabellianism or Modalism. Finally, it has to be mentioned that there is no textual variant in this passage despite attempts by Modalists to argue that Matt. 28:19 is an interpolation or forgery. No existing manuscript has it significantly different.

It has been argued that Eusebius of Caesarea cited Matt. 28:19 differently than as we find it in modern texts. According to one source, Eusebius cited or alluded to it 18 times and always as “in my name.” Well, at times he may have been paraphrasing without realizing he was changing the text. We all tend to do that when quoting texts from memory. For example, I remember a Oneness person who often quoted John 1:1 as “In the Beginning was the Word and the Word was God;” unconsciously leaving out the middle of the verse, “and the Word was WITH God.” He left out the very thing that undermined his position. Or Eusebius might be paraphrasing the passage in that way to save space and time, knowing that other writers quote it in its entirety. Besides, there are other ante-Nicene fathers who did essentially quote it as we have it.

The fact that the Didache follows the baptismal formula as we have it in Matt. 28:19 strongly supports its authenticity since the Didache is acknowledged by all scholars to be one of the earliest (if not the earliest) extra-scriptural Christian document that has survived. Moreover, other ante-Nicene fathers followed the baptismal formula as found in Matt. 28:19. I'm not aware of Eusebius citing the passage as a correction to or in competition with how we have it in modern texts and how earlier fathers apparently quoted it.

[see for example: Didache (a.d. 60-150) chapter 7.1-4; First Apology by Justin Martyr (a.d. 155) chapter 61; Against Heresies by Irenaeus (a.d. 180) book 3 chapter 17.1; On Baptism by Tertullian (a.d. 198) chapter 13; The Apostolic Tradition by Hippolytus (a.d. 200-235) chapter 21.12-18  source]

18 "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."- Luke 4:18-19
Remember that this is a quotation from Isa. 6:1-2a. Therefore, this is another passage in the Old Testament where all three persons of the Trinity appear to be alluded to.

I appeal to you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf,- Rom. 15:30

to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.- Rom. 15:16

17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.18 Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men.- Rom. 14:17-18

5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. 6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.- Rom. 5:5-6

In that same hour he [i.e. Jesus] rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.- Luke 10:21

 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.- Heb. 9:14

3 how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard,4 while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.- Heb. 2:3-4

according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you.- 1 Pet. 1:2

And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!"- Gal. 4:6

You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.- Rom. 8:9

David himself, in the Holy Spirit, declared, "'The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet.'- Mark 12:36

43 He said to them, "How is it then that David, in the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying, 44 "'The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet'?- Matt. 22:43-44

And the angel answered her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy---the Son of God.- Luke 1:35

And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ.- Luke 2:26

And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.- 1 Cor. 6:11

Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says "Jesus is accursed!" and no one can say "Jesus is Lord" except in the Holy Spirit.- 1 Cor. 12:3

4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared,5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,- Titus 3:4-6

20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit,21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.- Jude 1:20-21

how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.- Acts 10:38

But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.- Acts 7:55

32 This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses.33 Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing.- Acts 2:32-33

 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.- John 14:26

"But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me.- John 15:26

15    "If you love me, you will keep my commandments.16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever,17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
18    "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.19 Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.20 In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.21 Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him."22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, "Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?"23 Jesus answered him, "If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.- John 14:15-23
Notice how all three persons of the Trinity are mentioned and how in verse 17 the Holy Spirit will dwell within believers, and how verse 23 states the Father and the Son will make their home in or with believers. In other words, in this passage all three persons are said to dwell with or in believers. This strongly suggests that the Holy Spirit is a person since He will dwell in believers like the Father and the Son who are persons will. This also suggests the full deity of all three persons since it takes the divine attribute of omnipresence for any person to be in multiple places at once.

See my blog: The Holy Spirit Contradicts the Accidence of Personality

Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.- John 3:5

 For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure.- John 3:34

16 And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him;17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased."- Matt. 3:16-17

While some references to the "seven spirits of God" may refer to angels, the passage in Rev. 1:4-5 probably refer to the Holy Spirit because in that passage John is wishing the divine blessings of GRACE and PEACE from three sources to his readers. The three sources seem to correspond to the Father, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus (i.e. the persons of the Trinity). Compare with  Zech. 3:9; Rev. 3:1; 4:5; 5:6.

4    John to the seven churches that are in Asia:
    Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne,5 and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth.- Rev. 1:4-5
The Father
The Son
The Holy Spirit
The seven spirits of God might refer to the fullness and omnipresence of the Holy Spirit. Seven being the number of perfection. The seven eyes might refer to God's perfect knowledge of all things. In other words, omniscience. Many places in the Old Testament refer to the "eyes of Jehovah" (Gen. 6:8; Deut. 11:12; 12:25, 28; 13:18; 21:9; 2 Sam. 15:25; 1 Kings 15:5, 11; 22:43; 2 Kings 12:2; 14:3; 15:3; 15:34; 16:2; 18:3; 22:2; 2 Chron. 14:2; 16:9; 20:32; 24:2; 25:2; 26:4; 27:2; 28:1; 29:2; 34:2; Ps. 33:18; 34:15; Prov. 5:21; 15:3; 22:12; Isa. 49:5; Zech. 4:10).

 One of the most famous is 2 Chron. 16:9 which states that "the eyes of Jehovah  run to and fro throughout the whole earth." Apparently indicating God's providential eyes are watching everything. If the seven spirits of God and the seven eyes of God are identical and refer to the Holy Spirit, then that would imply that the Holy is omniscient. Which would again suggest the full divinity and deity of the Holy Spirit.

1 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.- Rev. 22:1-2
This passages might hint at the deity of the Holy Spirit because the river of the water of life flows from the throne of God and of the Lamb. If God and the Lamb are both God because of their proximity to the throne, then why not the Holy Spirit as well who is being referred to as "the river of the water of life"? This is reminiscent of Jeremiah 2:13 which states, "for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters,  and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water." By God's own self-description, God is analogous to a fountain of living waters. If the Holy Spirit is God in the fullest sense, then it makes perfect sense that the river of the water of life flowing from the throne is none other than the Holy Spirit. Hence, all three persons of the Trinity are mentioned there. It might be objected that the passage refers to literal water. Even if it did, it could still be symbolic of the Holy Spirit. But it need not refer to a literal river since the passage also describes the Lamb. No one thinks that a literal lamb that was slain with seven eyes and seven horns is being described in Rev. 5:6 or here in Rev. 22:1-2 which refers to the same lamb.

Compare that with:

37 On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, 'Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'"39 Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.- John 7:37-39; cf. John 4:10,13-14

Regarding Acts 20:18 there are at least two issues that make it questionable as to whether it should be added as part of the list in this blogpost. The first is a textual issue, the second an issue of interpretation. The textual variants include "the church of the Lord" or "the church of God." It is not certain which variant is original. Secondly, the interpretation of the last phrase is uncertain. Should it be translated "His own blood" or "the blood of His own [Son]." The word "son" is not in the text, but it might be implied. James White summarized the three possible interpretations:

(1) The passage is, in fact, a reference to the deity of Christ, and the phrase "with His own blood" would refer directly to the term "God," making Jesus God.

(2) The passage is actually a Trinitarian passage, with all three divine Persons being mentioned: the Holy Spirit (who sets apart the overseers for their duties in the church), God the Father ("the church of God"), and Jesus Christ ("the blood of His own," or "His own Son").

(3) If we read the passage as "church of the Lord," the phrase "with His own blood" would naturally refer to the blood Christ.

[James White goes on to state] "I believe the evidence favors the second choice, though certainly the first choice remains a valid possibility. But in light of the possibilities, one cannot be dogmatic on the passage."- James White, The Forgotten Trinity, pp. 82-83
If James White's hunch is correct, then the verse is a Trinitarian verse. In which case, we could highlight it the following way.

Watch out for yourselves and for all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God that he obtained with the blood of his own Son.- Acts 20:28 NET

More Verses to to be added and commented on in the future:

Rev. 1:4-5 (see this blog)
Rev. 22:1 (see this blog)

Honorable mention:

Heb. 10:29
 Luke 11:13
Jesus baptism
Luke 11:20

May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.- 2 Thess. 3:5
Some commentators see in this passage three persons where "Lord" here is interpreted as a reference to the Holy Spirit. This shouldn't be surprising since elsewhere Paul refers to the Holy Spirit as "Lord" (2 Cor. 3:17).

    "And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn.- Zech. 12:10
Some Unitarians dispute the word "me" in the Hebrew text. Setting aside this texual issue, we have in this verse a divine person referring to a "him" and to a "spirit of grace." If Trinitarianism is true, either the "I" of the verse is the Father or the Son. However, if "me" authentic, then the "I" might be the Son. Or the "I" might be the Father, and then the "me" the Son. Because of this uncertainty I didn't highlight the "I" as either green (referring to the Father) or pink (referring to the Son).

1 comment:

  1. Annoyed,

    Your listing of scriptural texts demonstrating the Trinity should be rather encouraging to the folks who are wondering whether the doctrine is truly biblical. I have been looking for a blog like this for awhile already, and in fact plan to link it publicly on mine!