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---excerpt from the Illustrated Bible Dictionary
Trinity - A word not found in Scripture, but used to express the doctrine of the unity of God as subsisting in three distinct Persons. This word is derived from the Gr. trias , first used by Theophilus (A.D. 168-183), or from the Lat. trinitas , first used by Tertullian (A.D. 220), to express this doctrine. The propositions involved in the doctrine are these: (1.) That God is one, and that there is but one God (Deuteronomy 6:4; 1 Kings 8:60; Isaiah 44:6; Mark 12:29, Mark 12:32; John 10:30). (2.) That the Father is a distinct divine Person ( hypostasis, subsistentia, persona, suppositum intellectuale ), distinct from the Son and the Holy Spirit. (3.) That Jesus Christ was truly God, and yet was a Person distinct from the Father and the Holy Spirit. (4.) That the Holy Spirit is also a distinct divine Person.
God - (A.S. and Dutch God; Dan. Gud; Ger. Gott), the name of the Divine Being. It is the rendering
(1.) of the Hebrew 'El , from a word meaning to be strong;
(2.) of 'Eloah, plural 'Elohim . The singular form, Eloah , is used only in poetry. The plural form is more commonly used in all parts of the Bible, The Hebrew word Jehovah (q.v.), the only other word generally employed to denote the Supreme Being, is uniformly rendered in the Authorized Version by "Lord," printed in small capitals. The existence of God is taken for granted in the Bible. There is nowhere any argument to prove it. He who disbelieves this truth is spoken of as one devoid of understanding (Psalms 14:1).
The arguments generally adduced by theologians in proof of the being of God are:
(1.) The a priori argument, which is the testimony afforded by reason.
(2.) The a posteriori argument, by which we proceed logically from the facts of experience to causes. These arguments are,
(a) The cosmological, by which it is proved that there must be a First Cause of all things, for every effect must have a cause.
(b) The teleological, or the argument from design. We see everywhere the operations of an intelligent Cause in nature.
(c) The moral argument, called also the anthropological argument, based on the moral consciousness and the history of mankind, which exhibits a moral order and purpose which can only be explained on the supposition of the existence of God. Conscience and human history testify that "verily there is a God that judgeth in the earth." The attributes of God are set forth in order by Moses in Exodus 34:6, Exodus 34:7. (see also Deuteronomy 6:4; Deuteronomy 10:17; Numbers 16:22; Exodus 15:11; Exodus 33:19; Isaiah 44:6; Habakkuk 3:6; Psalms 102:26; Job 34:12.) They are also systematically classified in Revelation 5:12 and Revelation 7:12. God's attributes are spoken of by some as absolute, i.e., such as belong to His essence as Jehovah, Jah, etc.; and relative, i.e., such as are ascribed to Him with relation to His creatures. Others distinguish them into communicable, i.e., those which can be imparted in degree to His creatures: goodness, holiness, wisdom, etc.; and incommunicable, which cannot be so imparted: independence, immutability, immensity, and eternity. They are by some also divided into natural attributes, eternity, immensity, etc.; and moral, holiness, goodness, etc.
In other languages, the word for "Holy Spirit" is:
Click on any of the thumbnails below to get large totally free public domain images of the Persons of the Trinity.
Trin"i*ty, n. Etym: [oe. trinitee, f. trinité, l. trinitas, fr. trini Three each. See trinal.]
1. (Christian theol.)
Defn: the union of Three Persons (The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit) in one Godhead, so that all the three are one God as to substance, but Three Persons as to individuality.
2. Any union of three in one; three units treated as one; a triad, as the hindoo trinity, or trimurti.
3. Any symbol of the Trinity employed in Christian art, especially
Trinity house, an institution in London for promoting commerce and navigation, by licensing pilots, ordering and erecting beacons, and the like.
-- Trinity Sunday, the Sunday next after Whitsunday; -- so called from the feast held on that day in honor of the Holy Trinity.
-- Trinity term. (law) see the note under term, n., 5.
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