April 18th, 2013
(Latin trinitas, “three”)
The doctrine or belief that there is one God who eternally exists in three distinct persons—the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—all of whom are fully God, and all of whom are equal. While the principles behind this doctrine are found in Scripture, the term “Trinity” itself is never used. Tertullian, a third-century church father, was the first to use the word in reference to God. The doctrine of the Trinity was further articulated and defended at the Council of Nicea in A.D. 325. Those who hold to the doctrine of the Trinity are called “Trinitarians.” A trinitarian understanding of God is an essential hallmark of orthodox Christianity.