by Matt Slick
The Bible teaches a plurality within the Godhead in both the Old and New Testaments. It is these verses, in part, that lay down the foundation for the doctrine of the Trinity. For more information on the Trinity, please see What is the Trinity? and The Trinity Chart on how the doctrine of the Trinity is arrived at. See more information on the Holy Spirit.
Plurality of God in the Old Testament
- Gen. 1:26, "Then God said, 'Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.'"
- Angels do not create. We are not made in the image of angels.
- There is no place in the OT where a leader refers to himself with the term "us."
- Gen. 3:22, "Then the Lord God said, 'Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, lest he stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever.'"
- Gen. 11:7, "Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech."
- Gen. 19:24, "Then the Lord [YHWH] rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord [YHWH] out of heaven."
- Psalm 45:6-7, "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom. 7 You havet loved righteousness, and hated wickedness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You."
- This is quoted in Heb. 1:8, "But of the Son He [God] says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, And the righteous scepter is the scepter of His kingdom."
- The Jehovah's Witness Bible has it translated as "God is Your Throne forever and ever..." But, God would not be a throne for anyone. A king sits upon a throne and God sits on His throne, not anyone else on God as a throne.
- Isaiah 6:8, "Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, 'Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?" Then I said, "Here am I. Send me!'"
- Isaiah 48:16, "Come near to Me [God], listen to this: From the first I have not spoken in secret. From the time it took place, I was there. And now the Lord God has sent Me, and His Spirit.”
- Amos 4:10-11, “I sent a plague among you after the manner of Egypt; I slew your young men by the sword along with your captured horses, and I made the stench of your camp rise up in your nostrils. Yet you have not returned to Me,” declares the Lord [YHWH]. 11 “I overthrew you as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, And you were like a firebrand snatched from a blaze; Yet you have not returned to Me,” declares the Lord."
Plurality of God in the New Testament
- Matt. 3:16-17, "And after being baptized, Jesus went up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon Him, 17 and behold, a voice out of the heavens, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”
- Matt. 28:19, "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,"
- Note that there is one name and three persons.
- 1 Cor. 12:4-6, "Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. 6 And there are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons."
- "Lord" here is probably Jesus.
- 2 Cor. 13:14, "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all."
- Eph. 4:4-6, "There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all."
- 1 Pet. 1:2, "according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, that you may obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in fullest measure."
- Jude 20-21, "But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith; praying in the Holy Spirit; 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life."