The Trinity

This is Rublev’s Icon of the Trinity

English is not always helpful when interpreting the Bible or the theology of the early church. One of the confusions in the Trinity is our talk of ‘persons’. To a modern English ear, a person is an individual. However, the original thinkers of the Trinity were Greek speakers and they had a very different understanding of the word ‘person’. For them it was ‘persona’, which was a mask used in Greek theatre (I’m sure you’ve seen the happy/sad masks). In Greek theatre, the mask revealed the actor’s true self. So the ‘persona’ of each part of the Trinity Godhead was a revelation of God’s true self in the form of the Creator, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

God the Parent

From the beginning of Genesis, God has been the creator of the universe. The entirety of the Bible is dedicated to having a relationship with God and to understand God. From a Christian perspective, God becomes more accessible as the Bible proceeds, from distant creator to king & judge, and finally to Saviour who lived and loved with humanity.

God the Son

More names have been used for Jesus than the other persons of the Trinity. Jesus is the only human form of God. Since art is a two dimensional medium, God is often depicted as three physical beings, but that was never the understanding in the early church. God has no physical form aside from that taken briefly by Jesus.

God the Holy Spirit

Perhaps the hardest part of the Trinity to define and yet the most accessible on a feelings level. Often when the Trinity has been referenced, the overwhelming male language has been difficult. The Holy Spirit is often the only ‘feminine’ part of the Trinity. New ways of thinking about the Trinity have reduced the gender divide.

The fourth part of The Trinity is not really considered part of the Godhead. The earliest Trinitarian thinkers included Theophilus of Antioch (d. 183 CE), who wrote that humanity was a crucial element for the Trinity. Relationship between humans and God was why the Trinity exists.

The template to make this Trinity pyramid is in Kids Korner for this week, Sunday June 7, 2020.