Posts Tagged ‘Trinity’

In Genesis Why did God appear in 3 men? Sign for trinity?

January 17, 2010

It is debatable as to why God appeared in 3 men to Abraham in Genesis 18.  Tradition, especially Eastern Orthodox tradition, holds that this visitation was representative of the trinity.  But there has been debate over the subject since the earliest Christian theology.  Augustine believed that God’s appearance here was representative of the trinity, siting that there is no hierarchy.  However, others note that when the visitors go to Sodom to warm Lot, only two go and they are called angels.

No matter where you come down on the issue though it doesn’t not take away from the important part of the text which is that God met with Abraham again and confirmed his promise with him.

Andrei Rublev’s (1360-1427) icon “Trinity” depicts Abraham and the three visitors in Genesis 18. It is the most famous christian icon and is considered the greatest work of Russian art.

Who is “us” in the first few chapters of Genesis?

January 5, 2010


Who else is God referring to when he mentions ‘us’?  Gen 1:26 ‘ let us make human beings’.  Gen 3:22 ‘look humans have become like us’?


There is no doubt in my mind that these are the first references to the fact that our creator God exists in a community called the Trinity.  This is a foundational doctrine of the Christian faith, it is not the belief in 3 gods, or the belief that God takes on 3 different shapes or ‘modes’ (a heresy called modalism).  Rather, this is the simple yet ineffable idea that God is One AND God is 3, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  In the Gospel of John Chapter 1, we see that Jesus (described as logos or ‘the Word’) was there at creation:

1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning. 3Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

Thus, God can have a conversation with himself, because he dwells eternally in the community of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  In Genesis 1:22 and Genesis 3:22 we get a glimpse of what that conversation looked like.