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The Christian doctrine of the Trinity (Latin: Trinitas, lit. ‘triad’, from Latin: trinus “threefold”) holds that God is one God, but three coeternal consubstantial persons or hypostases — the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit — as “one God in three Divine persons”. The three persons are distinct, yet are one “substance, essence or nature” (homoousios). In this context, a “nature” is what one is, whereas a “person” is who one is. The subset of Christianity that accepts this doctrine is collectively known as Trinitarianism, while the subset that does not is referred to as nontrinitarian (see also Arianism). Trinitarianism contrasts with positions such as Binitarianism (one deity in two persons) and Monarchianism (no plurality of persons within God), of which Modalistic Monarchianism (one deity revealed in three modes) and Unitarianism (one deity in one person) are subsets.
While the developed doctrine of the Trinity is not explicit in the books that constitute the New Testament, the New Testament possesses a “triadic” understanding of God and contains a number of Trinitarian formulas. The doctrine of the Trinity was first formulated among the fathers of the Church as early Christians attempted to rationalize the relationship between Jesus and God in their scriptural documents and prior traditions.
While the developed doctrine of the Trinity is not explicit in the books that constitute the New Testament, the New Testament possesses a “triadic” understanding of God and contains a number of Trinitarian formulas, including Matthew 28:19, 2 Corinthians 13:14, 1 Corinthians 12:4–5, Ephesians 4:4–6, 1 Peter 1:2 and Revelation 1:4–5. Reflection by early Christians on passages such as the Great Commission: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” and Paul the Apostle’s blessing: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all”, while at the same time the Jewish Shema Yisrael: “Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God, the LORD is one” has led theologians across history in attempting to articulate the relationship between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Eventually, the diverse references to God, Jesus, and the Spirit found in the New Testament were brought together to form the doctrine of the Trinity — one God subsisting in three persons and one substance. The doctrine of the Trinity was used to oppose alternative views of how the three are related and to defend the church against charges of worshiping two or three gods.
The Comma Johanneum in 1 John 5:7, is a disputed text which states: “There are three that testify in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one.” However, this passage is not considered to be part of the genuine text, and most scholars agree that the phrase was a gloss.[