“The Trinity” by Augustine of Hippo (A.D. 354-430)

“It is not easy to find a name that will suitably express so great an excellence, unless it is better to speak in this way: the Trinity, one God, of whom are all things, through whom are all things, in whom are all things.

Thus the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and each of these by Himself, is God, and at the same time they are all one God; and each of them by Himself is a complete substance, and yet they are all one substance.

The Father is not the Son nor the Holy Spirit; the Son is not the Father nor the Holy Spirit; the Holy Spirit is not the Father nor the Son: but the Father is only Father, the Son is only Son, and the Holy Spirit is only Holy Spirit.

To all three belong the same eternity, the same unchangeableness, the same majesty, the same power. In the Father is unity, in the Son equality, in the Holy Spirit the harmony of unity and equality.

And these three attributes are all one because of the Father, all equal because of the Son, and all harmonious because of the Holy Spirit.”

–Augustine of Hippo, On Christian Doctrine, I.V.5.

5 Comments

Filed under Augustine, Christian Theology, Church Fathers, Quotable Quotes, Trinity

5 responses to ““The Trinity” by Augustine of Hippo (A.D. 354-430)

  1. RICHARD MILTON NEWTON, SR.

    THIS IS THE GREATEST ELUCIDATION OF
    THE TRINITY THAT I HAVE EVER READ.

    • I have given this statement a lot of prayerful thought: It seems to me, the more I meditate on it, that Augustine is speaking in modalist terms. As a modalist I would have no debate with this statement.

  2. I have given this statement a lot of prayerful thought. I seems to me, the more I meditate on it, that Augustine is speaking in modalistic terms. As a modalist I would have no debate with this statement.

  3. Bk

    This isn’t Modalist in any way Jerry. The modalist hold that The trinity is 3 manifestations of one person, which is “God the Father”. But you heard him right, “The Father is not the Son nor the Spirit; the Son is not the Father nor the Spirit; the Spirit is not the Father nor the Son”. This line expressly goes against the Modalists as you are (and I hope you leave that dangerous position). But the Three are one in Unity (cos of the Father; equal (cos of the Son), and harmonious (cos of the Spirit). (Bk – ask4bk@yahoo.com)

  4. Fem-k

    this passage was very helpful i wish you would have explained further on this Augustinian exposition

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