Holy Trinity

What is the Holy Trinity

The Holy Trinity is the fundamental dogma of Christianity. It consists of the belief that God is one and triune, that is, he is a unity made up of three divine persons related to each other: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. This principle of communion of three persons in one God is also known as hypostasis.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines it as follows:

The Trinity is one. We do not confess three gods but one God in three persons: “the consubstantial Trinity”… The divine persons do not share the one divinity, but each one of them is entirely God: “The Father is the same as the Son is.” , the Son the same as the Father, the Father and the Son the same as the Holy Spirit, that is, one God by nature”.

According to the different confessions of Christianity, the Holy Trinity has manifested itself through the Old Testament and the New Testament. But the full revelation of the mystery of the Holy Trinity is attributed to Jesus himself, both judging by his manifest relationship with God, whom he called “Father”, and through his testimony and his teachings.

Within the framework of dogma, God the Father is the creator of life in all its forms and manifestations. Jesus is the only Son of God, who comes from the same nature as him and agrees to incarnate in Humanity to fulfill the Father’s designs. Finally, the Holy Spirit, who comes from both, is the one who infuses life and inspires good actions and words in hearts.

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See also: Dogma and Holy Spirit

biblical foundations

The belief in the Holy Trinity rests on the interpretation or exegesis of various books of the Bible. The following examples serve to illustrate this point:

In the book of Genesis, the narrator puts the voice of God in the first person plural on more than one occasion. For example: “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” (Gn 1, 26).

Throughout the gospels, these interpretations take on more form, thanks to the words of Jesus. For example: “Philip said to him: “Lord, show us the Father, and that is enough for us.” Jesus replied, “I have been with you so long, and you still don’t know me, Philip? He who sees me sees the Father. How come you say: Show us the Father?” (Jn 14, 8-9).

Another example that we can record is in the Gospel of Matthew: “Go therefore and make all nations my disciples. Baptize them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Mt 18, 19).

The evangelist Saint John reflected extensively on this matter, laying the foundations of Trinitarian theology. That is visible in the first chapter of his gospel: “No one has ever seen God, but God the only Son has made him known to us; he is in the bosom of the Father and made him known to us.” (Jn 1, 18). The same was also done by the apostle Paul in the pastoral letters he addressed to his communities: “For in him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Col. 2, 9).

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councils

The dogma of the Holy Trinity is a concept that seeks to define the nature of the God of Christians. This concern was not formulated in this way before the Romanization of the Church, because in times of persecution, Christians concentrated on reflecting on the jesus mission.

The issue became a central debate after the institutionalization of the Church. Thus, the Council of Nicaea (year 325), promoted by Constantine, head of the Byzantine Empire, dealt with defining the nature of the Son with respect to the Father. Later, the council of Constantinople (year 381) recognized the Holy Spirit and, finally, the council of Chalcedon (year 451) ratified it. Thus, the definitive form was given to the doctrinal prayer of the Church par excellence: the creed.

However, the issue was not therefore a finished debate. The inquiries of Saint Augustine of Hippo or Saint Thomas Aquinas on this dogma are famous. However, Christianity continues to be based on the formulation born of the first councils.

See also:

  • Bible
  • Characteristics of Christianity