PDA

View Full Version : Trinity. What is the difference between Being and persons?



Christian3
08-24-2018, 06:24 AM
The Trinity is that there is one Being in three persons.

What is the difference between Being and persons?

Thanks.

Sparko
08-24-2018, 08:34 AM
That's not really what the Trinity "says"

One God revealed in three persons.

37818
08-24-2018, 09:06 AM
That's not really what the Trinity "says"

One God revealed in three persons.

Trinitarian Van Til also refers to God as a person. [God the Father is one person.]

Christian3
08-24-2018, 10:11 AM
OK, guys. Take some pity on me.

There is one Being who is God, but God in three persons.

What is the difference between Being and person?

Jedidiah
08-24-2018, 11:21 AM
Where are you coming up with the term 'being' in this connection? Don't mean to be hard on you but it reads as though you are making it up from nothing.

Christian3
08-24-2018, 11:49 AM
Where are you coming up with the term 'being' in this connection? Don't mean to be hard on you but it reads as though you are making it up from nothing.

I'm getting it from a book called "The Forgotten Trinity" by James R. White.

On page 26, it says:

"With in one Being that is God, there exists eternally three coequal and coeternal persons, namely, the Faher, the Son, and the Holy Spirit."

thewriteranon
08-24-2018, 11:58 AM
"Being" is definitely a word that was used when I was in seminary. The other thing is "one what with three whos."

37818
08-24-2018, 12:15 PM
I'm getting it from a book called "The Forgotten Trinity" by James R. White.

On page 26, it says:

"With in one Being that is God, there exists eternally three coequal and coeternal persons, namely, the Faher, the Son, and the Holy Spirit."

That statement is fine. God is one entity, one being. The LXX translates "I AM that I AM" (Exodus 3:14) as "I Am the Being." And it was the Son of God on behalf of God the Father who appeared and spoke (John 1:18, compare John 14:9).

The Apostle Paul explicitly refers to the Father as the "one God" (1 Corinthians 8:6 & Ephesians 4:6). Jesus called His Father the true God (John 17:1). It is to be understood that the Son is God too (John 5:18). They are eternally different persons, but the very same God.

The term "Trinity" needs to be understood as the name of the explanation. The error is when one tries to explain the explanation.

Sparko
08-24-2018, 12:28 PM
I'm getting it from a book called "The Forgotten Trinity" by James R. White.

On page 26, it says:

"With in one Being that is God, there exists eternally three coequal and coeternal persons, namely, the Faher, the Son, and the Holy Spirit."

That is more precise than your initial statement. I don't like the statement "with in" though, it makes it sound like God is some sort of being with three people stuck inside him. Each person is fully God, they are not part of God. Yet there is one God. And the three persons coexist eternally. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit all exist together and yet they are not each other, but are all fully God. The Son is not the Father. The Father is not the Son. The Holy Spirit is not the Father. etc. Yet each person is fully God. And there is only one God. Not Three Gods and not one God that is split into three pieces, or One God that changes from Father to Son to Holy Spirit at different times.

Christian3
08-24-2018, 03:13 PM
"Being" is definitely a word that was used when I was in seminary. The other thing is "one what with three whos."

I have heard it explained this way too.

I am trying to explain the concept of the Trinity to a lady and I think I confused her with the word "Being." She asked what the difference between Being and Person is. I will try "one God in three persons" and see if that helps her.

Christian3
08-24-2018, 03:14 PM
That is more precise than your initial statement. I don't like the statement "with in" though, it makes it sound like God is some sort of being with three people stuck inside him. Each person is fully God, they are not part of God. Yet there is one God. And the three persons coexist eternally. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit all exist together and yet they are not each other, but are all fully God. The Son is not the Father. The Father is not the Son. The Holy Spirit is not the Father. etc. Yet each person is fully God. And there is only one God. Not Three Gods and not one God that is split into three pieces, or One God that changes from Father to Son to Holy Spirit at different times.

You might be surprised to learn that some people think 3 persons is three people.

Sparko
08-27-2018, 08:01 AM
You might be surprised to learn that some people think 3 persons is three people.

In another thread Littlejoe came up with an analogy for the Trinity that I think is one of the best I have seen:


Let's suppose that there is a treaty drawn up between the US and Germany. How many treaties are executed? The answer is three: A treaty executed in English, a treaty executed in German, and a treaty executed in French (which of course is the language of the UN). Every one of the these three treaties is fully the treaty, they are not just copies of the treaty. The English Treaty is fully and actually the treaty apart from and separate from the other two. The French version is fully and actually the treaty...again apart from and separate from the others. At the same time, the German Treaty is also fully and separately the actual treaty. Yet, there is no question that the treaties are different as one is in English, one in French and one in German. So, you have one "Thing", the treaty between the US and Germany can be made up of three "Things" (the English, German and French treaty) where each of them is fully the "Thing" (the treaty) but each of the 3 things are distinct from each other.

There you have it, three things that are one thing.

37818
08-28-2018, 06:48 AM
I have heard it explained this way too.

I am trying to explain the concept of the Trinity to a lady and I think I confused her with the word "Being." She asked what the difference between Being and Person is. I will try "one God in three persons" and see if that helps her.

You might point out that:
God is a Spirit (John 4:24).
That God the Father, the Son of God and the Holy Spirit are three Persons (Luke 3:22; 2 Corinthians 13:14).
That they are three distinct Spirits who are God the one Spirit (Romans 8:9, 16). See also John 16:7-15. The Trinity is the explanation, not what needs explanation.
There is God and the three distinct Persons who are God. God is invisible, the Son is God made visible (John 1:18; John 14:6, 9), and they are one in Spirit by the third person the Holy Spirit (Rpmans 8:9, 16).

Joel
10-16-2018, 04:43 PM
The Trinity is that there is one Being in three persons.

What is the difference between Being and persons?

Thanks.
I just replied to this in another thread, then saw this, more recent, thread. What I said there is:


A being is just something that exists. A rock is a being. A tree is a being. But neither of those is a person.
I think people get confused because they think "a being" means "a sentient being".


Then what is one being? Is a rock one being, or multiple beings (e.g. atoms)? A rock is a compound being; it can be broken into two, smaller, rocks which may exist independently of the other. Traditional Christian theology holds that God is a simple being, meaning God cannot possibly be separated into multiple sub-beings, like an absolutely elementary particle which cannot possibly be further subdivided. A simple being is unambiguously "one being."

None of this precludes a (one) simple being from having three persons. Rather it implies that the three persons cannot be separated into separate beings. And that no one (or two) of them could possibly exist without the other(s). It is necessary that all three exists, or none exists. Thus their existence (i.e. being) is one.