The most known creed to the Jews is:
“Sh’ma, Yisra’el! Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai echad”
[“Hear, Isra’el! Adonai our God, Adonai is one“];
– Deuteronomy 6:4 (CJB, emphasis mine)
(This is confirmed by Jesus in Mark 12:29)
Note that it does not read “yachid” (strictly “one individual”, as the Jews and Muslims imagine God to be) but, thanks to the inspiration by God, “Echad” (possible “unity”).
The Trinity consists of 3 Persons, in 1 eternal Unity.
The 3 Persons have 3 Wills (1 will each), but due to their (eternal) divine unity, they have 1 united will. That united will is how I describe God – YHWH (I Am).
EACH INDIVIDUAL PERSON
The Son is at right hand of the Father (Mark 16:19). The Holy Spirit is present in every believer ( He also is 1 Person because, although he is in different people at the same time, He has 1 will. 1 Will is what makes up a person.
We can use the same logical reasoning on Jewish/Christian marriage.
“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one [echad] flesh.”
– Genesis 2:24 (KJV, Hebrew added emphasis mine)
I like the way the Wycliffe translation puts it:
“Wherfor a man schal forsake fadir and modir, and schal cleue to his wijf, and thei schulen be tweyne in o [echad] fleisch.”
– Genesis 2:24 (WYC, Hebrew added emphasis mine)
(This is confirmed by Jesus in Mark 10:8)
2 persons with 2 wills become 1 person with 1 united will, while keeping their individual wills.
Conclusion: The Holy Trinity is not at odds with the Holy Bible nor with reason.
Dr. William Lane Craig put it this way (excellent video!):
Source: my youtube account (check description for primary source).
We can conclude with a Bible passage which, in my opinion, is one of the best proofs for the plurality of the Godhead [the father is represented in blue, the Son in red, the Holy Spirit in green]:
“Hearken to me, O Jacob,
and Israel, whom I called!
I am He, I am the first,
and I am the last.
My hand laid the foundation of the earth,
and my right hand spread out the heavens;
when I call to them,
they stand forth together.
( … still talking about the same person: Jesus Christ … )
Draw near to me, hear this:
from the beginning I have not spoken in secret,
from the time it came to be I have been there.”
And now the Lord God has sent me and his Spirit.”
– Isaiah 48:12-13,16 (RSV, colours mine)
In the previous passage, Jesus Christ (the First and the Last) is represented as the Creator (who laid the foundation of the earth), send forth by the Father (the Lord God), as the Holy Spirit (his Spirit) is also sent forth by the Father (the Lord God). Therefore we can conclude with the words of Athanasius of Alexandria:
“Jesus that I know as my Redeemer
cannot be less than God”
– Athanasius of Alexandria
‘Do we not remember when we first came to Him as our Saviour, how He forgave, freely and gladly, all our sins, and sent us on our way rejoicing? Do we not recall how shortly after, when we had sinned and spotted the clean white sheet of paper He had given us, that when we brought it back to Him all spotted with sin He freely pardoned, gave us another clean sheet, and, without upbraiding, sent us away, saying, “Thy sins are forgiven; sin no more”? Yes, we recall it. We believe in the deity of Christ, not because of the metaphysical arguments that have been produced to prove it, no matter how elaborately stated or eloquently discussed; not because our library shelves are groaning beneath the weight of evidences of His deity; nor because theologians are said to have forced Him to that high eminence. We believe Jesus Christ to be God because when we sinned and came asking pardon He freely forgave, and gave us a clean sheet of acquittal, saying “Thy sins are forgiven; go and sin no more,” and then when we did sin again and brought back the sheet of paper all blotted over with sin and said we were sorry and again asked pardon, He freely forgave, and without chiding sent us on our way rejoicing.’
– William Evans, The Shepherd Psalm, “He restoreth my soul; he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”, The Gentleness of The Shepherd, p 37 (1921)
A short but clear explanation can be found in the words of scholar William Birch:
This is Trinitarian theology 101: x and y may be considered two selves without the demand that x and y be two Gods; without demanding that x and y are two modes of one God (one Self); or that x and y are strictly “numerically one.” Therefore the Father ≠ Son.
– Will Birch, “Dale Tuggy and Anti-Trinitarians: Consequences of Denying the Trinity” (williambirch).
It is important to not misunderstand the above or to take this model too far. This is a pertinent warning against a possible misunderstanding of the concept of the Trinity.
Read also “Echad” by Will Birch, for more information on the Hebrew word echad.
Read also “Some Passages that speak of Trinitarianism“.
Read also “The Trinity” for a thorough explanation of my view on the Trinity.
(Pictures: copyright crosstheology. May only be copied, if credits to this website and my name are included. May not be adjusted, except for the typo in the first picture 😉 .)