"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Three Persons of the Trinity

The other day I started talking a bit about the Trinity. Something that crossed my mind since then is that I'd better be clear who all was included in that as I believe some people wrongly think the virgin Mary makes up one of the three parts. So for those who are not clear on this, the three "Persons" are

God the Father

Romans 8:
15For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." 16The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. 17Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

God the Son

Matthew 26:
62Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, "Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?" 63But Jesus remained silent.
The high priest said to him, "I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God."

64"Yes, it is as you say," Jesus replied. "But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven."

God the Holy Spirit

John 14:15-17: "If you love me you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father and He will give you another Comforter to be with you forever - the Spirit of Truth. The world cannot accept him because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him for he lives with you and will be in you."

For those interested here is a website
I found while googling "God the Son." It explains some about the meaning of "son of God" for people who have a hard time thinking of this as anything other than a biological relationship.


Suroor said...

Ah! The site is blocked!!

Susanne said...

Don't you love it when people censor what you can read? :-/

Stacy aka Fahiima said...

Here is a video that shows some common misunderstandings of the trinity

Susanne said...

Thank you, Stacy! :)

Achelois said...

I found Stacy's link very useful. Thank you Stacy.
Trinity is a complex ideology and I don't think many Muslims understand it. You can't argue about something you don't understand. On the other hand, we also don't know what exactly the Trinitarian Christians of Arabia believed in the 7th century.
We do know that Islam has deep respect for the "hanif" who are the "pure believers" and followers of the true faith of Abraham. But most of those hanif were Unitarians. Islam understands their viewpoint and states that the Unitarians were the pure followers of the true message of Christ while Trinity is a false ideology and an invention about which all Christians would be questioned on the Day of Judgment before Jesus.
If Muslims really understand Trinity, the argument would change completely. I don't know what form it would take but it would not be what it is today between Muslims and Trinitarian Christians. Muslims understand Trinity as three separate Gods (Father, Son, and Mother of Jesus - according to the Quran). Holy Spirit in the Quran is a reference to archangel Gabriel.
However, Trinity as explained in Stacy's link is Three Persons (Father, Son and the Holy Spirit) in the one Being of God - Jesus being the reincarnation of God which is not what Quran teaches. Reincarnation is not understood there. Reincarnation is understood fully by Hinduism where prophets are sent as God's reincarnation states – Kali being the last reincarnated prophet.
I think Trinity is very complex. I can understand up to the Father and Son, but I still don’t understand the Holy Spirit. I will have to read more on that.

Amber said...


Yeah, that always bugged me. I mean, if the Qur'an was from God, wouldn't He get what the Christians were saying wrong, right? How hard would it have been to say 'Angel Gabriel' instead of Mary being wrongly worshiped as part of God?

"Jesus being the reincarnation of God which is not what Quran teaches"

The who in the what now? I can't watch the link, I'm at work, but that's not right...that sounds more like Mormonism...

Achelois said...

Amber! That was a comment from me :D

God reincarnated in Jesus. That is what the Youtube video number 3 explains. Is that wrong?

Amber said...

Ack! Sleep deprivation! That's my excuse! :)

Well, without having *seen* the video, I'd say yeah, that's wrong. Reincarnation, to me, means something along the lines of the Hindu version, where you are born, die, then get reincarnated, moving up or down the 'scale' of life, depending on how enlightened, or unenlightened you were in your previous life, eventually reaching the stage of enlightenment where you become one with the divine, and no longer need to cycle through life to refine yourself.

Jesus was God's Word Incarnate, but it only happened once, for all time. There was no 'refining' process of multiple lives, since He was God from the beginning, merely taking on human flesh to redeem the world. 'merely'. Heh.

But like I said, I haven't watched the videos, so maybe I'm misunderstanding what they mean when they use the term.

Wafa' said...

Suzanne, thanx for the 2nd post. It's completely different from what we learn in Islam, not complex though :)

Susanne said...

I finally watched the videos! Whoa, Yussef Estes really does *not* know his stuff for being a former minister. Embarrassing for him!

Achelois, you wrote:

"Muslims understand Trinity as three separate Gods (Father, Son, and Mother of Jesus - according to the Quran)"

And I remember in the video Dr. Oakley said it was surprising that Allah didn't know the Trinity didn't include Mary. You'd think God would have known who made up the three Persons of the Trinity. I thought that was a good point he made.

Oh, I see Amber already made that point! Good ol' Amber! (Sorry I am just now reading your comments as I type.)

I didn't hear "reincarnation" in the videos. Just incarnation.

Amber, yeah, "merely." :)

Achelois, for incarnation think of Christmas according to most Christians. God coming to earth as a baby. Incarnate is God coming to earth in human form, Jesus.

As John 1:14 says, "And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us."

Hope that makes a bit more sense. :)

Wafa', thanks for the info. :)

Enjoyed the discussion, Ladies!

Suroor said...

Ah! Stupid me! I was 'listening' to the videos while marking research papers on British colonialism! And had only one earphone on. OK, I get that.

Anonymous said...

Blah, the video doesn't work! =(

"Muslims understand Trinity as three separate Gods (Father, Son, and Mother of Jesus - according to the Quran)"

Hmmm, most muslims I know doesn't say that.

The Quran didn't really say that Mary was PART of the trinity, but that SOME christains worshiped her.



But many christains don't, of course.

I'm still trying to figure out how christains view the trinity.. it's very interesting. If you don't mind me asking: do you have any other links?

PS. I'm Sarah, by the way! =)

Achelois said...

Sarah, That is interesting because all the Muslims I know (and in real life I only know Muslims) believe that Christians worship three different Gods - Allah, Jesus, and Gabriel/Mary :-)

Worship of Mary is quite recent. I am not saying that she is not worshiped by some Christians but in early Islamic Arabia, Mary was treated not like a goddess by some heretical groups but as an intermediary figure like what the Gharaniq (aka Satanic) verses called Al-Manat and Al-Uzza. This concept of being the Mother of God is more recent.

And I do think that the Quran quite clearly confuses Mary as part of the Trinity:

Sura 5, Verse # 116 :

"And behold! Allah will say: O Jesus the son of Mary! Didst thou say unto men, Take me and my mother for two gods beside Allah? He will say: Glory to Thee! Never could I say what I had no right (to say)..."

It is clear from the verse above that the Quran claims that Trinity includes: Allah, Jesus, and Mary.

But of course I can be completely wrong.

Achelois said...

Just wanted to add that if you read the Arabic of 005:116, it clearly refers to "two gods beside Allah" but it is often explained as "other gods besides Allah" by commentators who try to explain that Quran does not call Mary part of Trinity.

The words used are إِلَـهَيْنِ مِن دُونِ اللّهِ and إِلَـهَيْنِ refers to two gods here. Two gods beside "the God" are key words.

Anonymous said...

Ha ha, love to talk to you again, Achelois! =)

I'll get back to you later on (if you're intereted, of course) but right now my teeth is killihng me! =(

gotta run to the dintest. xD

Susanne said...

Sarah, good to see you! I'm sorry some of the links don't work. It seems a lot of nations block anything that explains the Trinity. Too bad because I think learning from others is a GOOD thing and should not be censored by the government. :-/

I did write this post which copied some things from the web. The source is listed so maybe you can open that link for more information.


I'll be back later to read more of what you and Achelois have written. Great to see you ladies.

Hope the dentist can help you. Painful teeth are yuck!!


Susanne said...

Achelois, it does seem from the verse you quoted that the Quran mentions Mary as one of the three gods that we worship. *ahem*

Sorry for just now replying to what you all wrote the other day. Enjoyed the discussion. :)

Sarah, hope the teeth are better.