The Christian doctrine of the triune God. The Trinity is not explicitly mentioned in the NT: it was defined as a result of continuous exploration of the biblical data. The one God is made known as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; each is God, but each is a distinct ‘Person’. The gospel of John provides most of the NT foundations for the doctrine; Jesus repeatedly refers to his Father who sent him and is one with him (John 14: 7–10) and the Holy Spirit (John 16: 13–15). But all the NT writers are clear that in having to refer to the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus they are having to do with God. The final commission of Jesus is reported in trinitarian terms (Matt. 28: 19) and Paul uses similar language of the gifts of the Spirit (1 Cor. 12: 4 ff.) and in his benediction (2 Cor. 13: 13). This experience of the Trinity was thrashed out in debate and treatises, and was formulated at the Council of Nicaea in 325 CE.

As Job (26: 14) could discern but the outskirts of the ways of God and hear only his small whisper, so the writers of the NT do not elaborate a doctrine of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but they are confident in that common activity which initiates and maintains the corporate life of the Church.