Monotheism and the Trinity

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God did not reveal himself in clearly defined Trinitarian terms in the OT. To do so would have provided needless temptations to polytheism in the light of ancient culture. But the OT prepares for the doctrine of the Trinity in several ways: (1) It uses a plural word for God (elohim) with singular verbs (Gen. 1:1 and often). (2) It employs various triadic formulas in reference to God (e.g., the three - man visitation of Gen. 18:2, the triple name of the God of the patriarchs in Exod. 3:15 and often, and the thrice - spoken "Holy" of Isa. 6:3). (3) The "angel of God / the Lord" sometimes refers to God as his sender, sometimes speaks as though he himself were God. (4) Father, Spirit, and Word are all active in creation (Gen. 1:1 - 3; see also John 1:1 - 3).

(Elwell Evangelical Dictionary)

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The individual articles presented here were generally first published in the early 1980s. This subject presentation was first placed on the Internet in May 1997.

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