The Old Testament and the Trinity (Part 1)
The Trinity- a doctrine unique to Christianity, and absolutely essential in beginning to understand God's work of salvation (among other things). Some say it's copied from pagan beliefs- that will be dealt with in another post. Some say it is illogical, or nonsense, or that it doesn't exist in the bible but was made up during the early church. The objections go on and on.
Our first, and best, response to almost every objection to the Trinity is to go right to the source- the scriptures themselves.
This is the first of a short series of posts, which will present the biblical basis for the doctrine of the Trinity, and will also respond to the most popular objections. The goal will be lots of short posts, each one introducing one or two key ideas or verses.
We will begin with the Old Testament. It is true that there is very little specific teaching that directly points to the Trinity in the Old Testament, but there is overwhelming evidence for what is sometimes called a "Multi-personal" God, that is, a recognition that there is definitely only one God and yet at the same time this God is somehow made up of multiple persons. Therefore, the first few posts in this series will examine this evidence, to lay a foundation.
To find the first indication in our bible that this 'multi-personal' nature of God is true, we do not need to look far. In fact, we don't even need to get past the very first chapter.
Notice how economical the writer of Genesis is with his words. He does not embellish his narrative or go to great lengths to be overly poetic or descriptive. There is a directness, a brevity, in his style. Each statement is compact and does its job quickly and efficiently.
Yet if you look at Genesis 1:2 tells us "The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters"
This may seem to be insignificant, you may have skipped over this verse a dozen times or more without considering the implications. But recognize this- We are told, mysteriously, right in the opening lines of the word of God, that in some sense there is a Spirit of God that is at once part of God and yet is distinct. Genesis 1:2 does not say "God hovered over the face of the deep", but "The Spirit of God hovered over the face of the deep". When we consider how compact and purposeful each line of Genesis 1 is, it is undeniable that we should sit up and take note of this.
In the next post, we will still be in Genesis 1....