The Trinity in the New Testament

Many skeptics are constantly telling me that there is no teaching of the Trinity in the New Testament. And as a Christian when I hear this, I just roll my eyes. Saying the Trinity is not in the Bible is like saying your car doesn’t have an engine. Just open it up and you’ll see that it’s in there. So in this video I’m going to point out the obvious. There are a few objections made by Unitarians that the Trinity is not in a New Testament. The biggest objection I hear from Unitarians is that the Bible never says the word “Trinity”. Well the Bible never says the word “omnipresent” either but no one claims that means the Bible says God isn’t. The Bible never says the word “omniscient” but no one says that means the Bible says God is not all-knowing. The Bible never says the word “Unitarian” but that certainly doesn’t stop skeptics from thinking God as a Unitarian being. These words were made up at a later date to describe a concept in the Bible. Likewise just because the word Trinity is not in the Bible that doesn’t mean that there isn’t the teaching of it. 

There is a clear understanding of one God who is three distinct persons throughout the New Testament. And most skeptics will simply cherry-pick verses to say God is not a Trinity. Now there are places where the three persons are mentioned together and are distinct from one another. Matthew 3:16-17 says “When he had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water and behold the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven saying this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” Matthew 28:19 says “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.” Now many skeptics will say this verse was added later but there is no good evidence this is the case. The idea that this verse was added later is nothing but a conspiracy at this point since several early church fathers quoted and no manuscripts have been found without it. So moving on we also see the Trinity in Titus 3:4-6 “but when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy he saved us, through the washing of regeneration, renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior.” Now I could go on but these verses are just mentioning the three persons of God.

Most Unitarians do not deny that the New Testament mentions all three persons; they deny that the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ are both eternal and fully God, existing with God the Father. However, this is easy to refute. The New Testament says Jesus and the Holy Spirit are both fully God and both eternal. We’ll start by looking at the Holy Spirit. In Acts 5:3-4, we see that Peter directly calls the Holy Spirit “God” 

Acts 5:3-4: But Peter said “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself. While it remained, was it not your own and after it was sold was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God. 

Verse 3 says that Ananias lied to the Holy Spirit but the very next verse says Ananias lied to God.  So Peter calls the Holy Spirit “God”. In other passages, we also see the attributes of God apply to the Holy Spirit. Hebrews 9:14 says the Holy Spirit is eternal. 

Heb 9:24: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the Eternal Spirit, offered himself without spot to God.

1 Corinthians 2:10 says the Spirit is omniscient.

1 Cor 2:10 – But God has revealed them to us through his spirit for the spirit searches all things, yes the deep things of God.

So according to the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit is eternal and is omniscient. Now some skeptics say the Holy Spirit is just a force from God. But there are verses where the Holy Spirit speaks and does more than a force is capable of doing. Acts 13:2 says the Holy Spirit speaks and commands.

Acts 13:2 – As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said “Now separate to me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them. 

Paul later says in Romans 8:27 the Holy Spirit has a mind. So clearly the Holy Spirit is more than a force, has attributes of God and is directly called God. So the Holy Spirit is God, yet distinct from the father who is also God. 

What most skeptics argue is that Jesus isn’t God and never claimed to be. They constantly say there is no verse in the Bible where Jesus says he is God. Actually yes there is. In fact, there are several skeptics who are looking for a verse where Jesus says “I am God.” And if Jesus was talking to modern English speakers, that is exactly what he would say. But he was talking to ancient Jewish people and if Jesus said “I am God”, it wouldn’t mean he was claiming to be the eternal Almighty God of heaven. In John chapter 10, Jesus quotes Psalm 82:6 to show that if one claims to be a god, it doesn’t mean one is claiming to be the eternal creator. For the ancient Jews, if one called himself the personal name of God, he was committing blasphemy by claiming to be the Lord. And that is exactly what we see. In John 8:58. Jesus says “Before Abraham was, I am.” Jesus says he is “I am”, which indicates a correlation in Exodus 3:14 when God said to Moses that he was “I am Who I am.”

Many skeptics say there’s no correlation and Jesus was just saying he existed before Abraham. But this is not what the verse says. Jesus uses this phrase to contrast between Abraham’s beginning with his own lack of beginning. In other words, Jesus was unlike Abraham having been brought into existence whereas Christ just always is and has a continual present existence. This is brought out more clearly in the Greek words used – “genesthai and “eimi”. Robert M Bowman Jr. says “

…the aorist genesthai “came into being” used of Abraham is contrasted with the present “eimi”, which can express duration up to the present “I have been and still am” as well as in the simple present “I am”. Jesus claims that his mode of existence transcends time like God’s and his “I am” is understood by the Jews as a claim to equality with God…

If Jesus was simply saying he existed before Abraham he would have said “ego ybarcho”. In saying “ego eimi”, he was saying he just exists without a past beginning unlike Abraham who had a beginning. This is why the Jews wanted to stone him in the next verse because Jesus said he was the Lord. This is not the only place we see Jesus claiming to be the “I am”. There are other instances throughout the book of John. Jesus also claims to be God in the other Gospels although it is not apparent in the English. In the Greek, Jesus makes the claim to be the great “I am” as well when Jesus walked on water. In Matthew 14:27, it reads 

Matt 14:27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them saying “Be of good cheer. It is I. Do not be afraid.” 

In all three of these passages in the Greek, Jesus says “ego eimi” “I am” so the verse says in Greek “Be of good cheer. I am. Do not be afraid.” So we have several verses where Jesus claims to be the eternal God. 

Also Jesus constantly referred to himself as the Son of Man. Skeptics say this is Jesus affirming his humanity by calling himself a Son of Man but actually the opposite is true. In Daniel chapter 7, a divine figure known as the Son of Man is said to have an everlasting kingdom and is riding on the clouds of heaven. And when Jesus was brought before the Sanhedrin in Mark 14, Jesus quotes from Daniel 7 to show he is a divine figure mentioned. Again the high priest asked him saying to him “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” Jesus said “I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the power and coming with the clouds of heaven.” So when Jesus called himself Son of Man, he was actually referring to himself as the divine figure in Daniel 7. The other interesting thing about this is that in the Old Testament the act of riding on the clouds is exclusive to God only. Not only is Jesus claiming divinity, he’s claiming he will do something that is reserved only for God.

Jesus also did things that only God can do like accept worship and forgive sins. In Matthew 9, we read…

Matt 9:2-6 Then behold they brought to him a paralytic lying on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic “Son, be of good cheer. Your sins are forgiven.” And at once some of the scribes said within themselves “This man blasphemes.” But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said “Why do you think evil in your hearts for which is easier to say your sins are forgiven you or just say and walk? But that you may know that the Son of Man has the power on earth to forgive sins.”

The Bible says only God can forgive our sins but Jesus claimed he also had that authority. I think it is clear the New Testament says the father is God, the Holy Spirit is God and Jesus Christ is God. And they are all distinct from one another. This is most apparent in John 14:26.

John 14:26 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 things I said to you.

Besides this verse and the others I already mentioned, there are several verses that show the distinction and the coexistence of all three members of the Trinity. So they are not different modes of one God. Now some skeptics take this distinction too far to say there are three separate gods but that is inconsistent with the rest of the New Testament, which says there is only one God not three. Plus we see the three members of the Trinity acting as one. In John 14:17, Jesus says after he leaves, the Spirit of Truth will come and live in them. But in verse 21 Jesus says he will manifest himself in us. But then in verse 23, we read it is actually the father who will come with Jesus to live in us. So who is coming to live in us? The Holy Spirit, Jesus or the father? It is obvious all three are acting as one and are one just as the New Testament has been telling us. As it is clearly seen, there was a strong teaching of the Trinity in the New Testament and I’ve barely covered the evidence. I didn’t mention the book of Revelation and I barely touched on the evidence in the Gospels. So the only way to deny the Trinity is to deny the New Testament because it is obviously clear even without mentioning 1 John 5:7. The New Testament teaches that God is triune in his nature.