Bible Snapshot: the Trinity

Here are the primary Scripture passages that support this important doctrine.

(c) Dimitri Otis

Note: this article is from my Snapshot Series, which means it contains a list of Bible passages that address the doctrine of the Trinity -- and only Bible passages. If you want to see a thoughtful interpretation of the Bible's view on this subject, including expert commentary and my opinions, check out What Does the Bible Say About the Trinity?

The Trinity is one of the doctrines of the Christian faith that can be easy to understand on a surface level, yet very difficult to process once you start to move deeper.

To give some background, the basic concept of the Trinity is that God is one Being who exists as a united community of three distinct Persons. We describe those Persons as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Interestingly, the word "Trinity" itself is not found anywhere in the Bible. There is no biblical definition for that term. However, once you begin to examine the Scriptures in search of the Trinity, you'll find example after example of that doctrine being lived out within the text.

Actually, you don't have to do an exhaustive search through the Scriptures, because I've done it for you! Below you will find the primary passages of Scripture that support the truth of the doctrine we call the Trinity.

For starters, there are several Bible passages that depict all three Persons of the Trinity interacting together. Such as the following:

21 When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened 22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
Luke 3:21-22

15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 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. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”
John 14:15-21

14 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
2 Corinthians 13:14

There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.
Ephesians 4:4-7

The Great Commission is probably the most famous example of a Scripture passage that contains all through Persons of the Trinity:

18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Matthew 28:18-20

In addition to Scripture passages that feature all three Persons of the Trinity, there are other passages in which the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit acknowledge one another. In other words, there are Bible verses in which members of the Trinity acknowledge the existence of the Trinity.

For example:

21 “As for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the Lord. “My Spirit, who is on you, will not depart from you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will always be on your lips, on the lips of your children and on the lips of their descendants—from this time on and forever,” says the Lord.
Isaiah 59:21

25 Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”
John 10:25-30

Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”

Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
John 14:8-14

There are a number of additional passages that continue to support the doctrine of the Trinity, and you can find some of them here. But the overall message is clear: you can be confident in the knowledge that God has revealed Himself as the Trinity -- as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit joined into a single Being who loves you and cares for you.

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Your Citation
O'Neal, Sam. "Bible Snapshot: the Trinity." ThoughtCo, Aug. 25, 2016, O'Neal, Sam. (2016, August 25). Bible Snapshot: the Trinity. Retrieved from O'Neal, Sam. "Bible Snapshot: the Trinity." ThoughtCo. (accessed November 23, 2017).