/ Catechisms and articles / The doctrine concerning the Holy Trinity

The doctrine concerning the Holy Trinity

The doctrine concerning the Holy Trinity

 

In the Old Testament the Fatherhood of God is not ignored.  He is mainly referred to as the Father of the people of Israel Who provides them with a Father Who shows love and affection to all who fear Him.  In the New Testament the Fatherhood appears to have a new meaning because God as Father expands His affection to all mankind, especially to those who imitate Him through virtue but even more to those who are regenerated through the Faith in Christ and the Holy Spirit and who become sons of God by Grace and Adoption. However,  these sons of God by Grace, although regenerated, are still mortal and different from the Son of God Who is the Only Begotten Son of God by Nature and not by Grace.  The first Person of the Holy Trinity in relation to the second Person is the Father.  God is proclaimed as the “One God, the Father of Whom are all things” [1]and  “from Whom the whole family in Heaven and earth is named.”[2]

According to Apostolic Tradition, God from the beginning is characterized as being the only Father Who is “not born” (“αγέννητος).  Only He exists without any cause or reason.  He did not pre-exist before the Son in order to become the Father afterwards, as it is with humanity.  He existed before all time and He forever is Father to His co-eternal and inseparable Only Begotten Son.  Thus, God in the New Testament is defined as being the God of Love, characterized as the Father Who is Blessed in the Son Who fulfills the infinite Love of the Father and manifests in Himself the fullness of the Deity of the Father, being Self-sufficient and Blessed.

   The second Person of the Holy Trinity is the Son of God the Father.  The Son is not considered as being the Son of God in the same manner as the Angels, the people of Israel or those who are regenerated by Grace, who are also called “sons of God.”  The Son is by Nature the Son of God, “not made” (αγένητος), Who exists before all time, infinite in nature like the Father and “of the same Essence” (“homoousios”-oμoούσιος) with the Father. The Son knows the Father and is known by the Father.  Being equal to the Father and being His identical and living Image, He is worshipped equally with the Father, having the same honour as the Father.  The Son is the Creator of all things cooperating with the Father through Whom all things were made.

The Son being co-eternal and co-existing with the Father is especially proclaimed by St John the Apostle and Evangelist in his Gospel.  “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.  All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that were made.”[3]  The natural equality of the Son to the Father, which was not obscured even after the Incarnation, is specifically proclaimed by St Paul.  In his Epistle to the Hebrews, the Birth of the Son is exalted as Light of Light, as well as being the identical Image of His Father. The Truth concerning Christ being the Son of God, equal to the Father, was proclaimed from the beginning by the Orthodox Church and in the 1st Ecumenical Synod (325 AD), under the Inspiration of God, these Doctrines were clarified and finalized.

 

It must be noted with regard to the third Person of the Holy Trinity that in the Old Testament the term “Spirit” is used in relation to the Deity in order to declare in most cases, impersonal power that is effective in the world and in man but does not appear anywhere to be a Person acting on His own. However, in the New Testament the Holy Spirit appears from the beginning to be a personal factor of Divine Power distributing various charismata to the Church.

Christ Himself bears witness that the Holy Spirit is an individual Person in the Deity, and warns us that “he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness but is subject to eternal condemnation.”[4]  The Holy Spirit is referred to as the “other Helper”[5] Who proceeds only from the Father,[6]Who will replace Christ as He departs from this world and Who will guide the Disciples in all the Truth, reminding them of all that the Lord had spoken.[7] 

The Holy Spirit proceeds only from the Father and is sent into the world by the Father in the Name of the Son.[8]  He speaks not on His own Authority but whatever He hears from the Father, He speaks and tells of things to come.[9]  In the Epistles of St Paul, the Holy Spirit appears to search the depths of God,[10] distributing various Charismata or Gifts to each one individually as He Wills,[11] dwelling within us[12] and having the human body as His living temple,[13] regenerating man in Jesus Christ[14] and speaking through God-inspired men.[15]

The above Teachings concerning the Holy Spirit were preserved and proclaimed by the Orthodox Church from the period of the Apostolic Fathers and took their final formalisation during the Church’s struggle against the Trinitarian heresies and especially against Macedonius and his followers.  St Athanasius of Alexandria, St Basil the Great, St Gregory of Nyssa and St Gregory of Nazianzus were recognised as the great Fathers of the Orthodox Church who expressed, formulated and proclaimed the true Teachings concerning the Holy Spirit.

 

1.   God the Father

 

As we have mentioned above, the Fatherhood of God is not ignored in the Old Testament.[16]  He is referred to mainly as the Father of the people of Israel[17] Who made them and provides for them as a Father Who shows love and affection to all who fear Him.  The Israelites addressed their prayers to Him and “as a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear Him.”[18]  God had always shown His Mercy and Affection to those who suffered and lacked protection.  He manifested Himself as the “Father of fatherless, and defender widows”[19] and allowed them to endure trials because those “whom the Lord loves, He rebukes and scourges every son whom He receives.”[20]

 

In the New Testament God the Father reveals Himself in a new light.  He reveals Himself as Father, not only because He created everything in the world, providing and protecting the helpless and those in need but mainly in a moral aspect as the Father of all, without differentiating between Jews and other ethnicities.  All those who systematically oppose this Truth are characterized by Christ Himself as being “children of their father Satan,”[21] not because Satan is the cause of their creation but because he became the cause of their ability to become evil and commit wickedness such as lies and murders, which are specifically the malevolent acts of Satan.[22]  All those who through repentance return to God become His children as He becomes their Father once again.[23]  There is no greater joy in Heaven than when a sinner repents[24] and those who are peacemakers are imitators of the Divine through virtues. For this reason they shall be called “children of God,”[25] especially those who through faith and obedience to Christ are regenerated by the Holy Spirit. They truly become sons of God[26] in whose hearts the Spirit of the Son cries out “Abba Father”[27] and “who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”[28]

 

From all these children who are creatures and creations, none have the same nature as God the Father, nor are any of them by nature sons of God.  The Begotten Son of God is the only One Who is of the same Essence as the Father.[29]  He is the Son of God because by Nature He has Communion with the Father[30] and because by Nature the Son has whatever the Father has[31] and whosoever sees the Son has seen the Father.[32] 

 

The Father has a unique and pure metaphysical relationship with His Only Begotten Son Who is by Nature of the same Essence as Him.  All those who through faith are regenerated but they cannot achieve the Nature of God and neither can they be like the Only Begotten Son except through imitation and by Divine Grace.  For what the Son is by Nature,  men are by adoption and philanthropia.[33]

 

Although Christ urged His disciples to pray to God as Father, His relationship with His Father was different from that of His disciples.  In reference to His relationship to the Father Christ used the term “My Father”[34] whereas when He referred to the relationship of His disciples and all mankind, He used the term “your Father”[35] thereby revealing that He is the Only Begotten Son of the Father by Nature and of the same Essence, whereas His disciples and all who believe through them, are sons by adoption and Grace.  This is shown very clearly after the Resurrection when Christ appeared to St Mary Magdalene and said to her, “I Am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.”[36]

 

St Paul emphasized “One is God the Father of Whom are all things”[37] and “from Whom the whole family in Heaven and earth is named.”[38]  He is indeed Father because He had not received this title from anyone else but He granted it to others.  He exists always as Father and He is by Nature Father.  He had not become Father after the Birth of the Son, as in the case of the human race but exists as “what He is” from all Eternity.

 

The Holy Fathers of the Orthodox Church refer to the first Person of the Holy Trinity as Father, being the Father of all, the Beginning and the Cause of all things, the Source of Life from Whom the Son is Begotten before all ages.  For this reason, the Father is the Natural Cause and the Principal of the Son because there is only One Principal and not two in the Godhead.  Therefore the Head of the Son is the Father.[39]  God the Father is the only One Who is without beginning and not born, Who has this Hypostatic Attribute alone and cannot be shared with the other two Persons.  He is called Self-God and True God, the first and for all God the Father.  The Essence of God was never imperfect because if we say that there was a time that He was imperfect, we then ascribe imperfection to Him by saying that He has changed from not being a Father into being a Father.[40]

 

God the Father is understood as always being Father because from Him the Son is Begotten before all time and always exists with Him.  Thus, the first Person of the Holy Trinity is Father to the second Person Who was Begotten from the Father before all time, co-existing with Him Who is the Principal and Source of the Deity and from Whom the third Person of the Holy Trinity, the Holy Spirit, proceeds.[41]

 

The Eternal Fatherhood of the First Person of the Holy Trinity, although it is incomprehensible, when it is related to the two main Attributes of Love and Blessedness, then and only then can it be understood by our limited logic.  God’s Love seeks someone to love.  Concerning the Infinite Love of God, the subject of His Love must be also Infinite.  The second Person of the Holy Trinity fulfills the infinite ocean of Divine Love and proves that the Deity is Self-sufficient and Blessed.  The Son is the Living and Perfect Image of God, in which the Father seeing His own Image is pleased.[42]

 

The Creation was not only realized outside God’s Essence but took place in certain time, as time itself is part of Creation and had not existed before the Creation.  Because sin entered the world, it proved that Creation was neither perfect nor infinite and eternal in order to fulfill the conditions of Infinite Divine Love.  Although in Holy Scripture we read that “God so loved the world”[43] concerning the Son, it is not written that God loved the Son but that “the Father loves the Son”[44] thereby signifying that the Love of the Father is continuous, Eternal and Absolute.  The use of the Name “Father” signifies the close Relationship between the two Persons of the Holy Trinity.[45]

 

2.   God the Son

 

Within the Divine Essence the Son is distinguished from the Father, being an individual Hypostasis or Person.[46]  Although the Son remains undivided and inseparable from the Father, He is one with Him in such a way that it is impossible that the two could exist apart from one another, to be two individual gods.  The Son is also differentiated from the “sons of God” being the Only Begotten Son Who is born without beginning from the Essence of God the Father and not made like all the other creatures.  The Son is not a “son” in the sense of the term that is used in the Old Testament concerning the people of Israel who were called by God: “Israel is my first-born.”[47] Neither is He compared to the Angels, to Adam nor to the peacemakers in the New Testament, who, by imitating the Goodness and Kindness of God the Father, are called “sons of God.”[48] 

 

The Son is from the same Essence and is Begotten of the Father before all time and without beginning as He Himself stressed: “I Am in the Father and the Father in Me”[49] and that “before Abraham was, I AM.”[50]  Using the verb “was” in the past tense, Christ signified that Abraham is mortal and was created in time but for Himself He uses the continuous tense “I AM” to signify His continuous existence that is free from any sense of time.[51]

 

The Son did not take His existence in time like the rest of all Creation that has limited nature.  He was Begotten before all time by the Father and has the same Nature and Essence as Him, being the Only Begotten of the Essence of the Father. Thus, the Son being Infinite and Equal by Nature like His Father, dares to proclaim: “No one knows the Son except the Father.  Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son Wills to reveal Him.”[52]  This Testimony manifests the Equality of the Son to His Father because if they have equal Knowledge of one another, they must be Equal in everything.[53]  The three Persons of the Holy Trinity know equally the depths of one another because they are Equal in Knowledge and of the same Essence.  For this reason “whatever the Father does, the Son also does in like manner”[54] not differentiating in Power or Energy but “as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will.”[55]  

 

The Promise is based upon this Equality of Authority and common Nature, which was given by Christ to the Holy Apostles a short while before His Passion and Crucifixion, according to which “the Helper will come, Whom He shall send to them from the Father, the Spirit of Truth Who proceeds from the Father”[56] and “that all should honour the Son just as they honour the Father. He who does not honour the Son does not honour the Father.”[57]  Consequently, after the Resurrection when the Holy Apostle Thomas saw the Risen Lord, he cried out: “My Lord and my God!”[58] and Christ Blessed “those who have not seen and yet have believed.”[59]

 

Accordingly, the Holy Apostles and Disciples proclaimed the Son to be God, Equal to the Father.  St John the Apostle and Evangelist teaches us concerning the Incarnated Word, that “in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God,”[60] indicating that He always existed and there was never a time that He was not.  Wherever we might turn our thoughts, we cannot find a specific time or period or century where He was not because He always “Is.”  “The Word was with God,” not hiding in God.  He “was with” God.  By adding “and the Word was God” the Evangelist assures us that the Son and Word was God having His own Hypostasis and being of the same Essence and Nature as the Father.[61]

 

St Paul the Apostle speaks of the Son as always being “in the form of God”[62] and being the identical Living “Image of the invisible God.”[63] He bears the Characteristics of the Father, which are not lifeless but exist in the Essence of God preserving the identical Image.  For this reason He did not hesitate to be Incarnated and, taking up our human nature, “made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bond-servant, and coming in the likeness of men.”[64] The Son dwelled amongst us[65] because He had no fear of losing what He “Is,” as He “Is” by Nature God Equal to the Father. And being made Man, He did not lose His Deity nor were His two Natures, Divine and human, confused or mixed. Subsequently He remains the unique God-Man.  Thus, St Paul referring to the Sacrifice of the Son wrote: “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself.”[66]

 

In the Epistle to the Hebrews it is proclaimed that the Incarnated Son “being the brightness of God’s Glory and the express Image of His Person,”[67] Light of Light, is as inseparable from the Father and relative to Him, as the radiance of the light is inseparable from the sun.  The relationship between the Father and the Son is similar to the radiance that is inseparable from the sun and co-exists by nature with its own identity.  The Son is referred to as “the express Image” of the Father’s Hypostasis, being the same as Him in everything:   God, Ruler, Almighty, Creator, Pantocrator and whatever more is characterized to the Father.[68]

 

According to this faith concerning the Son being Equal to the Father and being Perfect God Himself, St John the Evangelist stated that “all things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.”[69]  Using the term “through” St John declared not a service but a cooperation “for by Him all things were created that are in Heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether Thrones or Dominions or Principalities or Powers.  All things were created through Him and for Him.  And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist,”[70] whereas He Himself was not made nor created but being and existing before all, co-exists from all eternity with the Father and the Holy Spirit.  The Epistle to the Hebrews declares the Son to be the Lord Who created and upholds “all things by the word of His Power.”[71]  “Thy Throne, O God, is forever and ever.”[72]

 

Throughout the New Testament one can find many verses in which the Word of God, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, is called God.  In the Book of the Acts, the Church is called “the Church of God, which He purchased with His own Blood.”[73]  Obviously here is manifested the Divinity of Jesus Christ, Who as a Man shed His Blood on the Cross for the Salvation of mankind but, because His human nature was Hypostatically united with His Divine Nature, His Blood was not ordinary human blood but that of the God-Man.  St Paul, writing to Titus and referring to the Second Coming of the Lord, refers to the “glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ,”[74] declaring Christ as the Perfect and Great God.[75]  How then anyone can say that the Son is minor to the Father?[76]  In the Epistle to the Romans the Lord is declared to be “over all, the Eternally Blessed God.”[77]  Theodoretus of Cyrus, interpreting the above verse, stated that St Paul, referring to Christ as being of the Jews “according to the flesh,” observed that He is “Eternally God,” manifesting the two Natures of Christ, Divine and human, which are united in one Hypostasis.[78]  St Paul speaking of Christ’s human nature stated “in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily”[79] and that “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself.”[80]  St John the Apostle and Evangelist, declares Christ as “the True God and Eternal Life”[81]  and as the soul dwells within the body, so likewise “the Word became flesh and dwelt amongst us.”[82]

 

In the New Testament we find few verses[83] in which it seems that the Son is minor in relation to His Father but these verses refer only to the human nature of Christ as He took up flesh and the likeness of a servant.  Through His humility He drew the attention of His Father to look down with mercy upon all men and through His Sacrifice on the Cross, we became His brothers as He participated in our flesh and blood.[84] 

 

These are the following verses:

 1.  In John 14:28 Christ says: “My Father is greater than I.”  This statement refers to the human nature of the Lord, as it is indeed minor to the Divine Nature. 

 2. In John 5:19 Christ says: “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.”  This verse does not reveal dependency of the Son upon the Father  being minor to Him but it manifests the Absolute Equality and Harmony that exists in their Divine Will and Action, having one Will, one Authority and one and the same Equal Power.  When the Lord says that He “can do nothing of Himself,” He reveals that He is Equal to His Father and that they both have the same Will for all things.  Thus it appears that the Father and the Son have one Mind and one Will for all things and consequently, the Father and the Son act as one since “what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.” Furthermore, the Essence of the Father and the Son is One.  Their acts and Essence are One because there can be only One Essence, One Power and One Action in the Deity of the Father and of the Son.[85] 

 

St Ignatius the Theophorus stated that “the Lord did nothing without the Father, either by Himself or through the Apostles (for He was united with Him).”[86]

 3. In John 17:3 Christ says: “And this is Eternal Life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ Whom Thou hast sent.”  This verse does not exclude the Equality of the Son’s Deity because the expression “the only true God” is said in opposition to the false gods.  The fact that to inherit “Eternal Life” one must “know” about the Son, manifests the Equality between the two Persons of the Holy Trinity.[87]

 4. When Christ referred to Himself as being the “Son of Man”[88] it is obvious that He emphasized His human nature.  Therefore, it is not illogical if the Father appears to commit “all Authority to execute Judgment” to the Son because “He is the Son of Man;”[89] or to grant Him “to have Life in Himself;”[90] or to give Him “Authority over all flesh, that He should give Eternal Life;”[91] or to give Him “all Authority in Heaven and on earth”[92] to Judge the living and the dead.  Furthermore, the term “born refers to the in time Incarnation of the Son.[93]

 5. Finally, when St Paul calls Christ “the First Born of all Creation,”[94] he proclaims the Truth that the Lord is not created but Begotten of the Father because he did not say “the first created” but “the First Born” not because the Cosmos is related to Him but because He is Begotten before all Creation.[95]

 

The Orthodox Church received the Truth that Christ is God Equal to the Father from the Holy Apostles and preserved their Apostolic Teachings within the Teachings of the Apostolic Fathers and the following generations to this very day. 

 

In the Second Letter of St Clement of Rome to the Corinthians we read: “Brothers, we ought to think of Jesus Christ as we do of God.”[96] 

 

St Ignatius the Theophorus says that Jesus Christ is the Son of God “Who is His Word which came forth from silence”[97]and “Who before the ages was with the Father and appeared at the end of time.”[98]  Writing to the Romans, he urged them not to interfere so as to prevent his Martyrdom and besought them to allow him “to be an imitator of the suffering of his God.”[99]  To St Polycarp, Bishop of the Church of Smyrna, he wrote: “Understand the times.  Wait expectantly for Him Who is above time: the Eternal, the Invisible, Who for our sake became visible, the Intangible, the Unsuffering, Who for our sake suffered, Who for our sake endured in every way.”[100]

 

St Justin the Philosopher and Martyr stated “the Son of God is the only One to be called mainly Son, for the Word before the Creation exists and is Begotten;”[101] and in time He became Man, “which even the Name Jesus manifests that He is Man and Saviour, Who is the First Born of God and God.”[102] 

 

St Irenaeus proclaimed that the way the Son was Born is ‘indescribeable’ (“Inenarrabilis generation ejus”).  He proclaimed Him to be God and Lord in such a way as no one else is called, being in the Father and having within Him the Father and always co-existing with the Father.[103]

 

Parallel to the above, Tertullian confessed Christ as God and Lord of all.  God from God as Light shines from Light, Son Who was Begotten of the Essence of the Father.  He calls Him “the Crucified God” through Whom we have been Saved through the Blood of God.[104]

 

Clement the Alexandrian stated that the Word is Unique God and Man Who as the Creator gave life in the beginning and after the formation He became our Teacher Who taught us how to live, thereby offering us Everlasting Life.  He is  Pantocrator and Word Who forgives sins as God and Who leads us to become sinless as Man.[105] 

 

The 1st Ecumenical Synod that convened at Nicene (325) investigated Holy Scripture and the living Apostolic Tradition of the Church before proclaiming Jesus Christ as “the Son of God, the Only-Begotten of the Father before all worlds, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, Begotten, not made; of one Essence with the Father; by Whom all things were made.”[106]

 

3.   God the Holy Spirit

 

In the Book of Genesis it is written “and the Spirit of God moved over the water”[107] which covered the unsighted and unfurnished earth and “by the word of the Lord the Heavens were made and all the Host of them by the breath of His Mouth.”[108] So it is clear that it does not refer to a strong wind but to a Power that originates directly from God.  This Spirit of God appears in relation to and dwelling among men but not resting with them because they are flesh.  Therefore God said: “My Spirit shall certainly not remain among these men for ever.”[109]  This Spirit fulfills and inspires virtuous men like Joseph who had the “spirit of God,”[110] Beseleel who was “filled with a Divine Spirit of Wisdom, and Understanding and Knowledge, to invent in every work”[111] and Joshua who received through the laying on of the hands of Moses “the spirit of Knowledge.”[112] Also upon the seventy Elders who Moses had chosen “the Spirit rested upon them” and “they prophesied.” On that occasion Moses said that “whenever the Lord shall put His Spirit upon” His people, they shall prophesize.[113]  The “Spirit of the Lord” came down powerfully upon Gideon[114] as well as upon Sampson[115] and gave them strength to perform great and wonderful things.  The “Spirit of God” was received by Saul and “God gave him another heart and he prophesied in the midst”[116] of the Prophets who met him on the mountain.  The same “Spirit of the Lord” had spoken through King David and inspired him to sing songs to Israel.[117]  The Prophet besought this “generous” and “Holy Spirit” to forgive his sins and not to be taken away from him.[118]

 

In the Book of the Prophet Isaiah, “the Spirit of the Lord” appears to inspire them and gives them words that never fail.[119]  “The Spirit of the Lord” came down upon Ezekiel and spoke to him[120] and is in the midst of His people.[121]  God gives His Spirit and His Blessings to the children of Israel.[122] Upon the Messiah especially “the Spirit of God shall rest upon Him the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel and Strength, the Spirit of Knowledge and Godliness shall fill Him; the Spirit of the fear of God”[123] and having the Spirit of God upon Him, He will pour upon His people[124] “the Spirit of Grace and Compassion”[125] to look upon the Lord.  “And it shall come to pass that whosoever shall call on the Name of the Lord shall be saved.”[126]

 

Nevertheless, nowhere in the Old Testament does the Holy Spirit appear as an individual Person.  On the contrary, He is always inseparable from the Lord God and He never acts on His own.  It is also true that in the Old Testament the term ‘Spirit’ has many other meanings. 

 

St Cyril of Jerusalem observed that “many are the spirits”.  “Our soul is called spirit; the wind is also called spirit; the impure deed is called spirit”.  The use of the term “spirit”[127] differs from the term ‘Spirit of the Lord’ that indicates the Presence of God or Supernatural Power through which Charismata are given.  The Teachings of the Old Testament concerning the “Spirit” become gradually clearer. 

 

The Teachings of the New Testament concerning the Spirit seem to follow the same method.  The Spirit appears in the beginning to be a Principal of Divine Power, which cannot be identified clearly as personal but is always referred to as “the Holy Spirit”[128] Who gives Supernatural Gifts, as in the case of St John the Forerunner and Baptist,[129] St Elizabeth,[130] St Zacharias[131]and St Simeon[132] who were all filled with the “Holy Spirit”and even more importantly, the Most Honorable, Pure, Blessed Lady and Ever-Virgin Mary, the Theotokos (“Mother of God”) at the time of the Annunciation when the Archangel Gabriel announced to her: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the Power of the Highest will overshadow you.”[133]  According to St John the Baptist, the Messiah would baptize those who believe in Him “with the Holy Spirit.”[134]  The Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus Christ “like a dove”  during His baptism by St John the Baptist in the River Jordan. [135]  The Holy Spirit led Jesus Christ into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil[136] and He appeared as “a bright Cloud” at Mount Tabor when Christ was Transfigured before the very eyes of His Holy Apostles, Peter, James and John.[137]  In the fourth Gospel the Grace of God is compared to the “Living Water,”[138] which refers to the Holy Spirit “Whom those believing in Him would receive”[139] and out of their hearts “will flow rivers of Living Water.”[140]  In the abovementioned verses the Holy Spirit is referred to as a Personal Factor and a Hypostatic Source of Divine Life and Supernatural Charismata.[141]

 

Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the Son of God, very clearly witnesses that the Holy Spirit is an individual Person of the Deity and warned: “Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but to him who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven.”[142]  Christ had assured those who believed in Him and who, during the persecutions were brought before the civil authorities, that they should “not worry about how or what they should answer, or what to say.  For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”[143] Christ differentiated Himself from the other “Helper, the Holy Spirit Whom the Father will send” in His Name and Who “will teach all things, and bring in remembrance all things.”[144]  This Holy Spirit testifies to the Son[145] and guides the disciples “into all Truth.”[146]

 

Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is not considered as blasphemy against some impersonal Divine Force but against a Personal and Hypostatic Being.  This was clarified when Christ assured us: “The Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say”[147] “as though He is a Teacher dwelling within us.”[148]  To proclaim blasphemy against the Holy Spirit as inexcusable whereas blasphemy against the Son of Man is forgivable, indicates that the Holy Spirit is of a higher status when compared to the Son Who speaks at that moment as a human Being. 

 

According to the fourth Gospel the Holy Spirit undoubtedly is witnessed as a Person  because when the Lord assured His Disciples that He will send them “another Helper,” the “Paracletus,”[149] He indicated by these words the relationship of their Essence.  This other “Helper” will “teach,” “bring in remembrance all things,”[150] “testify” the Son[151] and “guide” the Disciples “into all Truth.”[152]  As a Teacher, Guide and Witness of Christ, it is obvious that the Holy Spirit has His own Personal Hypostasis.  Thus He is sent by the Father and the Son into the world to “convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.”[153] The characteristic of these verses with regard to the Holy Spirit is that Christ speaks in masculine gender whereas in all other verses He is addressed in neuter gender.  Adding to all the aforementioned, Christ declared that the Holy Spirit “proceeds from the Father”[154] and therefore the Holy Spirit is not a creation of God but of the same Essence as the Father because the procession is the Spirit’s Natural Way of Existence[155] and His Hypostatic Attribute.

 

St Paul the Apostle bears witness to the Holy Spirit as a Person and His Equality within the Deity.  Especially:

 

a)                       In 1st Corinthians he assured us that the Holy Spirit “searches all things, yes, and the deep things of God.”[156]  The use of the verb “search” indicates the Hypostasis of the Spirit as an individual Person Who has full and exact Knowledge not only of God but even of the Essence of God.  The same verb is also used to indicate the Knowledge of God Who “searches the hearts of men.”  As the Son knows the Father and the Father knows the Son and by this the Equality of the two Persons of the Holy Trinity is manifested, likewise, when stating that the Spirit “searches the deep things of God,” it reveals the Equality of the third Person to the other two Persons, for Who else is able to search “the deep things of God” unless He is God Himself?

  

Truly, when St Paul says: “For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of man which is in him,” he comes to the conclusion that “even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.”[157]  As the spirit of man is inseparable from his humanity and essence, likewise the Spirit of God is inseparable from His Divinity and Essence.  Thus, the unity of the Essence, the inseparability and the indivisibility of the Holy Spirit and of the Father and of the Son is proclaimed. 

 

St Basil the Great stated “there is no greater proof of the relation between the Holy Spirit to the Father and the Son rather than that each person has within Him the Holy Spirit.”[158]

 

   It is also worthy of note that when St John refers to man he says “the spirit of man within him” but when he refers to the Spirit of God he avoids writing “within him” because the Holy Spirit consists of an individual Person and although He is inseparable and undivided from God the Father, He does not exists ‘within’ the Father like the soul of man exists within him.  For the soul of man is complementary to the whole man but concerning the Holy Spirit we must never forget that God the Father and the Holy Spirit are two Individuals and perfect Persons.

 

b)                        Since the Holy Spirit exists within the Deity as an individual Person, it is witnessed that He has His own Will.  He distributes the various Gifts and Charismatato each one individually as He Wills.”[159] The fact that the Holy Spirit distributes the Gifts “as He Wills” indicates that He is Lord and not a servant.  The Holy Spirit is not a simple Force of the Deity but a Person having His own Will and acting as He Wills.  Therefore, in the Apostolic Synod the Holy Spirit appears to decide with the Holy Apostles on Church matters and in other cases He is sad because of our sins.[160]

 

Within Holy Scripture one can find many other verses that refer to the Holy Spirit as being God.

 

a)                        The faithful are called “the temple of God” and the “the temple of the Holy Spirit” because the Holy Spirit dwells in them.[161]  Thus, in these two verses the Holy Spirit is proclaimed as God and they manifest His Equality to the other two Persons of the Holy Trinity.[162]

 

b)                        The lie that Ananias told St Peter was characterized as a lie told to the Holy Spirit, which is not a lie “to men but to God.”[163]  This reveals the Equality of the Holy Spirit to God for whatever sins are against the Holy Spirit are against God.[164]

 

c)                        To the Holy Spirit are ascribed Divine Attributes, Authorities and Actions.  He guides “in all Truth.”[165]  He searches the depths of God,[166] which indicates All-knowing.  He distributes Gifts and Charismata as He Wills,[167] which indicates Divine Authority.  Because of His Divine Actions, the Heavens were established[168] and He Regenerates all things.[169] Even Holy Scripture is called “God-inspired” because “Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit”[170] and He spoke through the Holy Prophets.  Therefore, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is considered unforgivable.[171] In all the abovementioned actions the Holy Spirit appears inseparable from the Deity and acts harmoniously with the two other Persons of the Holy Trinity as manifested in 1 Corinth. 12:4-6. “There are diversities of Gifts, but the same Spirit.  There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord.  And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God Who works all in all.”[172]

 

d)                       Concerning the order in which the Holy Spirit is placed, we must note that although He is third, we find verses in Holy Scripture where He is placed second or even first in relation to the other two Persons of the Holy Trinity.  At the end of the 2nd Epistle to the Corinthians the Holy Spirit is placed third in order[173] whereas in 1st Corinthians He is placed first.[174]  By this the Holy Apostle showed that the order of the Names has no significance concerning the Deity of the three Persons except to manifest the Equality of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, being the One God.[175]

 

The Orthodox Church received the Teachings concerning the Holy Spirit from the Holy Apostles and always preserved them until they were completely clarified at the Second Ecumenical Synod, which took place in Constantinople (381).  This Holy Synod faced the heresy of Macedonius and all those who denied the Holy Spirit as True God.[176]

 

According to the Apostolic Fathers, St Clement of Rome wrote in his 1st Letter to the Corinthians: “For as God lives, and as the Lord Jesus Christ lives, and the Holy Spirit.”[177]  This phrase, when compared to the Old Testament “the Lord Lives,” indicates that St Clement placed on an equal level the three Persons and thus proclaimed: “Do we not have one God and one Christ and one Spirit of Grace which was poured out upon us?  And is there not one calling in Christ?”[178] 

 

St Ignatius the Theophorus of Antioch, refers to the Holy Trinity in generalin his letters.[179] 

 

St Polycarp of Smyrna, at his Martyrdom, while closing his final prayer before his departure from this world, referred to the Holy Trinity: “The Lord Jesus Christ might also gather me together with His elect into His Heavenly Kingdom; to Whom be the glory with the Father and the Holy Spirit forever and ever.  Amen.”[180] 

 

Didache concerning Baptism urges the faithful to baptize in running water “in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”[181]  

 

The Shepherd of Hermas also refers to the three Persons of the Holy Trinity.[182]

 

Athenagoras calls the Holy Spirit ‘the Out Spring’ («απόρροια») of God,[183] relating the Holy Spirit and the Father to that of the light and the fire or the radiance to the sun. 

 

St Justin the Philosopher and Martyr found the above examples incomplete in describing the Holy Trinity.[184] He calls the Holy Spirit “the Prophetical Spirit” and counts Him third in order.[185]

 

St Irenaeus calls the Spirit “endless,” existing with the Father before the creation of the world.  He identifies Him with the Wisdom that proceeded from God according to the Book of Proverbs.[186] Elsewhere he states: “the Image of God, that is the Son and the Holy Spirit, the Word and the Wisdom, to Whom all the Angels are submitted.”  In relation to the Church, the Holy Spirit is the Truth, the Grace, the beginning of the Union with God, the engagement of Eternal Life, united with the Church and granting through the Holy Sacraments the means of Salvation.[187]

 

Tertullian expressed the teaching concerning the Person of the Holy Spirit and His place within the Trinity more clearly.  He distinguished the three Persons of the Holy Trinity refuting the heresy of Sabellius and proclaiming that “we should believe in the Father and in the Son and in the Holy Spirit.”[188]

 

Concerning the Holy Spirit as a Person, this was supported by Origen so clearly that St Basil the Great characterized his teachings as the healthiest[189].  He also stated that “wherever you see the Son and the Father, there is always the Holy Spirit having the same Essence by Nature, the Goodness, the Straightforwardness, the Holiness, the Life” and from all the Divine Attributes nothing is added to the Holy Spirit. Everything is inseparable, just as the fire from the warmth and the brightness from the light, the Attributes of Sanctifying, Life-giving, Goodness and Straightforwardness is the same.  The Spirit is God: as the Father is one God and the Son is one God, likewise the Holy Spirit is one God.  Consequently, the Holy Spirit as God, is the Source of sanctification Who fulfills Angels and Archangels, sanctifies the Powers, gives Life to the universe and is All-present, but He is not contained by anything.  He dwells in everyone through His Grace and He is always with God, inseparable by His Essence.[190]

 

St Athanasius the Great stressed that it is “defamatory,” “insanity” and “madness” to say that the Holy Spirit is created.[191]

  

According to St Cyril of Jerusalem, the Holy Spirit is alive and always present with the Father and the Son.[192]

 

Above all the Fathers of the Orthodox Church, St Gregory of Nazianzus spoke profoundly of the Holy Spirit and the other two Persons of the Holy Trinity and thus received the title of Theologian.  Incorporating in one paragraph the Names and Actions of the Holy Spirit described in Holy Scriptures, he notes the following:  “Christ is born, He foreruns; He is baptized, He gives witness; He is tempted, He takes Him away; He performs miracles, He is there;[193] He is lighted up, He replaces.  What can He not do being God?  The Spirit is called the Spirit of the Lord, the Spirit of Christ, the Mind of Christ; He is Lord, the Spirit of Adoption, of Truth, of Freedom.[194] The Spirit of Wisdom, of Understanding, of Will, of Power, of Knowledge, of Piety, of the fear of God;  Good, Straight, Governing, by Nature Sanctifying but not being Sanctified; counting but not being counted; participating but not being participated; fulfilling, but not being filled; Glorified, accounted with, the Finger of God,[195] Fire as God, of the same Essence; the Spirit Who creates, Who regenerates through Baptism, through Resurrection; the Spirit Who knows all, Who teaches, Who breaths wherever He wishes, Who guides, Who speaks, Who sends, Who divides, Who reveals, Who enlightens, Who gives life; He is Self-light and Life, Maker of temples, Who deifies, Who perfects; Who also descends in the Form of flaming tongues of Fire, distributing Charismata, making Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Shepherds and Teachers, Mental, Clear, Powerful, Immaculate, Self-will, Unalterable, Almighty, All-seeing.”[196]


[1] 1 Corinth. 8:6.

[2] Ephes. 3:15. Cf. Kefalas, Catechesis, pp. 85-86.

[3] John 1:1-3.

[4] Mark 3:29.  Matth. 12:32.  Luk. 12:10

[5] John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7.

[6] John 15:26.

[7] John 14: 26; 16:13.

[8] John 14:26.

[9] John 16:13.

[10] 1 Corinth. 2:10.  Rom. 11:33-35.

[11] 1 Corinth. 12:4, 7-11.

[12] Rom. 8:9.

[13] 1 Corinth. 3:16; 6:19.

[14] 2 Corinth. 4:16.  Col. 3:10.  Rom. 12:2.  1 Peter 1:22-23.  John 3:5-8.

[15] Ephes. 3:5.  1 Peter 3:12.  2 Peter 1:21.

[16] Mitsopoulos, Themata, pp. 130-132.

[17] Deut. 32:6.  Mal. 2:10.  Is. 63:16; 64:8.

[18] Psalm 103(104):13.

[19] Psalm 68(69):5.

[20] Prov. 3:12.

[21] John 8:44.  1 John 3:8, 10.

[22] Ammonius, Fragments to John, in Migne, P.G., 85, 1452.  Theophylactus of Bulgaria, To John, in Migne, P.G., 124, 29.

[23] Luk. 15:11-32.

[24] Luk. 15:7, 10. 5:32.  Matth.  9:13; 12:7. Mark 2:17.

[25] John 1:12.  Matth. 5:9.  St Gregory of Nyssa, Homily 7 to the Beatitudes, in Migne, P.G., 44, 1289.  Zigabinos, To Psalms, in Migne, P.G., 129, 225.

[26] 1 John 5:18.  1 Peter 1:23.

[27] Gal. 4:6.  Rom. 8:17.

[28] John 1:13.

[29] Zigabinos, To Psalms, in Migne, P.G., 129, 1124.  St Gregory of Nyssa, Theologicus IV about the Son, Homily 30, § 20, in Migne, P.G., 36, 128.

[30] John 14:10-11; 10:38; 5:19-2.

[31] St Basil the Great, Homily 15 concerning faith, § 2, in Migne, P.G., 31, 468.

[32] John 14:9.

[33] St Cyril of Alexandria, To John, ch. IX, in Migne, P.G., 73, 153.

[34] Matth. 7:21; 10:32; 11:25-27; 15:13; 16:17, 27; 18:10; 18:19, 35; 20:23; 24:36; 25:34; 26:29, 39, 42, 53.  Mark 8:38.  Luk. 2:49; 10:21-22; 22:29, 42; 23:34, 46; 24:49.  John 2:16; 5:17; 6:31; 8:19, 28, 54; 10:17-18, 25,29, 32, 37; 12:26; 14:2, 7, 12, 20-21,23; 15:1, 8, 10, 15, 24, 20:17.

[35] Matth. 5:16, 45, 48; 6:1, 4, 6, 8, 14-15, 18, 26, 32; 7:11; 10:20, 29; 13:43; 18:14; 23:9.  Mark 11:25-26.  Luk. 6:36; 11:13; 12:30, 32.  John 8:42.

[36] John 20:17.

[37] 1 Corinth. 8:6.

[38] Ephes. 3:15.

[39] Lossky, Theology, pp. 46-47.

[40] Origen, in B, v. 11, p. 289; v.10, p. 96.  St Gregory of Nyssa, Against Eunomius, I, in Migne, P.G., 45, 369.  St Athanasius the Great, Against Arians, I, 14, in Migne, P.G, 26, 41.  St Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechesis, in Migne, P.G., 33, 700.  St John of Damascus, Exposition. About the Holy Trinity, book I, VIII,, in Migne, P.G., 94, 812.

[41] St Cyril of Alexandria, To Habbakuk, ch. III, in Migne, P.G., 71, 897. 

[42] Prov. 8:30.  St Athanasius the Great, Against Arians, I, 20, in Migne, P.G., 26, 53.

[43] John 3:16.

[44] John 3:35

[45] Origen, in B, v. 12, p. 366.

[46] Mitsopoulos, Themata, pp. 132-135.

[47] Ex. 4:22. 

[48] Matth. 5:9.  St Cyril of Alexandria, About the Holy Trinity, Homily 12, in Migne, 75, 205.

[49] John 14:10.

[50] John 8:58.

[51] Zigabinos, To John, in Migne, P.G., 129, 1305.  St Cyril of Alexandria, To 2 Corinthians, in Migne, P.G., 73, 937.  St John Chrysostom, Homily 55, § 2, in Montfaucon, v. 8, p. 371.

[52] Matth. 11:27.  Luk. 10:22.

[53] St Cyril of Alexandria, To Luke, in Migne,  P.G., 72, 672-673.  Zigabinos, To Matthew, in Migne, P.G., 129, 361.

[54] John 5:19.

[55] John 5:21.

[56] John 15:26.  St John Chrysostom, Homily 77, § 3, in Montfaucon, v. 8, p. 519.  St Cyril of Alexandria, Homily X, ch. 2, in Migne,  P.G., 74, 420.  

[57] John 5:23.

[58] John 20:28.

[59] John 20:29.

[60] John 1:1.

[61] Zigabinos, Anonymus translation of the two odes of the Theotopkos and Zacharias in Luke, in Migne, P.G., 129, 1109 and 1112.  St Gregory of Nyssa, Against Arius and Sabellius, in Migne, P.G., 45, 1296.  St Cyril of Alexandria, Homily I, ch. III, in Migne 73, 40.  Theodoretus of Cyrus, Homily V, ch. II, About the Son, in Migne, P.G., 83, 452.

[62] Phil. 2:6.

[63] Col. 1:15.

[64] Col. 2:7.

[65] John 1:14.

[66] 1 Corinth. 5:19.

[67] Heb. 1:3.

[68] St John of Damascus, To Hebrews, IX, in Migne, P.G., 95, 932.  St Gregory of Nyssa, About Faith, in Migne, P.G.,45, 140.  St Athanasius the Great, Encyclios Epist. to the Bishops of Egypt and Libya, in Migne, P.G., 25, 568.  Theodoretus of Cyrus, About the Son, Homily V, ch. II, in Migne, P.G., 83, 452.

[69] John 1:3.

[70] Col. 1:16-17.

[71] Heb. 1:3; 10-12.

[72] Heb. 1:8.

[73] Acts 20:28.

[74] Tit. 2:13.

[75] St Ecumenius, To Titus, XII, in Migne, P.G., 119, 256. 

[76] St John Chrysostom, Homily 5 § 2, in Montfaucon, v. 11, p. 824.

[77] Rom. 9:5.

[78] Theodoretus of Cyrus, To Romans, in Migne, P.G., 82, 152.

[79] Col. 2:9.

[80] 2 Corinth. 5:19.

[81] 1 John 5:20.

[82] John 1:14.  St Ecumenius, To Colosians, VII, in Migne, P.G., 119, 33.  Isidorus of Pelusion, Book IV, Epist. 166, in Migne, P.G., 78, 1256.

[83] John 5:19; 14:28; 17:3

[84] Heb. 2:14-15, 17.

[85] St John Chrysostom, Homily 38 § 4, in Montfaucon, v. 8, p. 256.  St Cyril of Alexandria, To John, Homily II, ch. VI, in Migne, P.G., 73, 349.  StBasil the Great, Against Eunomius, Homily IV, in Migne, P.G., 29, 676.  Theophylactus of Bulgaria, To John, in Migne, P.G., 123, 1268.

[86] St Ignatius, To Magnesians, 7, 1, in Lightfoot, Apostolic Fathers, p. 95.

[87] St Basil the Great, Against Eunomius, Homily IV, in Migne, P.G., 29, 705.  St Athanasius the Great, Against Arians, Homily II, in Migne, P.G., 26, 337.

[88] Matth. 8:20; 9:6; 11:19; 12:8, 32,40; 13:37, 41, 55; 16:13, 27, 28; 17:9, 12, 22; 18:11; 19:28; 20:18, 28; 24:27, 30, 37, 39, 44; 25:13, 31; 26:2, 24, 45, 64; 27.  Mark 2:10, 28; 8:31, 38; 9:9, 12, 31; 10:33, 45,; 13:26, 34; 14:21, 41, 62.  Luke 5:24; 6:5, 22; 7:34; 9:22, 26, 44, 56, 58; 11:30; 12:8, 10, 40; 15:17:22, 24, 26, 30; 18:8, 31; 19:10; 21:27, 36; 22:22, 48, 69.  John 1:51; 3:13, 14; 5:27; 6:27, 53, 62; 8:28; 12:23, 34; 13:31.

[89] John 5:22, 27.

[90] John 5:26.

[91] John 17:2.

[92] Matth. 28:18.

[93] Rom. 1:3.  Gal. 4:4.  Heb. 1:5.

[94] Col. 1:15.

[95] St Athanasius the Great, Exposition of faith, in Migne, P.G., 25, 205.  St John Chrysostom, Homily 3 § 2, in Montfaucon, v. 11, p. 398.  Theodoretus of Cyrus, To Colossians, ch. VII, in Migne, P.G., 82, 597.

[96] St Clement of Rome, 2nd Corinthians, 1, 1, in Lightfoot, Apostolic Fathers, p. 68.

[97] St Ignatius, To Magnesians, 8, 2, in Lightfoot, Apostolic Fathers, p. 95.

[98] Ibid, To Magnesians, 6, 1, in Lightfoot, Apostolic Fathers, pp. 94-95. 

[99] Ibid, To Romans, 6, 3, in Lightfoot, Apostolic Fathers, p. 104. 

[100] Ibid, ToPolycarp, 3, 2, in Lightfoot, Apostolic Fathers, p. 116. 

[101] St Justin, the philosopher and martyr, 2 Apology, 6, 4, in B, v. 3, p. 203.

[102] Ibid, 1 Apology, 23, 2 and 63, in B, v. 3, pp. 173 and 196.

[103] St Irenaeus, Heresies, book II, ch. 25, § 3; ch. 28, § 6 and ch. 30, § 9; book III, ch. 6, § 2, in Migne, P.G.,  7, 799, 809, 860 and 822.  Cf. in Hadjephraimides, pp. 164, 170-171, 178-179, 197.

[104] Tertullian, Adversus Judaeos, 7, in imgne, P.L., 2, 651.  Ibid, Adversus Praxeam, 4, in imgne, P.L., 2, 182. Ibid,  Adversus Marcionem, II, in imgne, P.L., 2, 345.  Ibid,  Adversus Uxor, II, 3, in imgne, P.L., 1, 1405.

[105] Clement the Alexandrian, Protrepticus, I, 7; Pedagogus, Ι, 3; ΙΙΙ, 1, in B, v. 7, pp. 20, 21, 83, 190 and 207.

[106] The Nicene Creed.  Cf. Mitsopoulos, Themata, pp. 135-137.

[107] Gen. 1:2.

[108] Psalm 33(34):6.

[109] Gen. 6:4.

[110] Gen. 41:38.

[111] Ex. 31:3.

[112] Deut. 34:9.

[113] Nu. 11:25-30.

[114] Judges 6:34.

[115] Judges 14:6.

[116] 1 Samuel (1 Kings)10:9-10.

[117] 2 Samuel (2 Kings)23:2.

[118] Psalm 51(52):11.

[119] Is. 59:21.

[120] Ez. 2:2; 3:14; 11:5.

[121] Agg. 2:6.

[122] Is. 44:3.

[123] Is. 11:2-3

[124] Joel 2:28-30.

[125] Zach. 12:10.

[126] Joel 2:32.

[127] Psalm 48:8; 104:4; 146:4; 149:8.  Zach. 12:1.  Is. 7:2.

[128] Tsakonas,  Paracletus,  pp. 201-207.

[129] Luke 1:15.

[130] Luke 1:41.

[131] Luke 1:67.

[132] Luke 2:26.

[133] Luke 1:35.

[134] Matth. 3:11.  Luke 3:16.

[135] Matth. 3:16.  Mark 1:10.  Luke 3:22.

[136] Matth. 4:1.  Mark 1:12.  Luke 4:1.

[137] Matth. 17:1-9.  Mark 9:2-10. Luke 9:28-36.

[138] John 4:10; 7:38.  Ammonius, Fragments to John, in Migne,  P.G., 85, 1421.

[139] John 7:39.

[140] John 7:38.  St John Chrysostom, Homily 51, § 1, in Montfaucon, v. 8, p. 345.

[141] Tsakonas, Paracletus, pp. 258-261.

[142] Luke 12:10.  Matth. 12:31-32.  Mark 3:28-29. 

[143] Luke 12:11-12; 21:12.  Matth. 10:19-20.  Mark 13:11.

[144] John 14:26.

[145] John 15:26.

[146] John 16:13.

[147] Luke 12:12.

[148] St Cyril of Alexandria, To Luke, in Migne, P.G., 72, 732.

[149] Tsakonas, Paracletus, pp.184-191.

[150] John 14:26.

[151] John 15:26.

[152] John 16:13.

[153] John 16:8.

[154] John 15:26.

[155] Theodorus Mopsuestias, Fragments to John, in Migne, P.G., 66, 780.  Theophylactus of Bulgaria, To John, in Migne, P.G., 124, 205.  Theodoretus of Cyrus,  About the Holy Spirit, Homily V, ch. III, in Migne, P.G., 83, 456.

[156] 1 Corinth. 2:10.

[157] 1 Corinth. 2:11.

[158] St Basil the Great, About the Holy Spirit, ch. 16, 40, in Migne, P.G., 32, 144.

[159] 1 Corinth. 12:11.

[160] Acts 15:28.  Eph. 4:30. 

[161] 1 Corinth. 3:16; 6:19.

[162] Theodoretus of Cyrus, To 1 Corinthians, II, in Migne, P.G., 82, 252 and 269.  Theophylactus of Bulgaria, To 1 Corinthians, II, in Migne, P.G., 124, 605.

[163] Acts 5:3-4.

[164] St Basil the Great, About the Holy Spirit, ch. 6, 37, in Migne, P.G., 32, 133.

[165] John 16:13.  Cf. Tsakonas, Paracletus, pp. 191-200.

[166] 1 Corinth. 2:10.

[167] 1 Corinth. 12:11.

[168] Psalm 33(34):6.

[169] Tit. 3:5.

[170] 2 Peter 1:21.

[171] Luke 12:10.  Matth. 12:31-32.  Mark 3:28-29. 

[172] 1 Corinth. 12:4-6.  Cf. : St John Chrysostom, Homily 29,  in Montfaucon, v. 10, p. 307.

[173] 2 Corinth. 13:14.

[174] 1 Corinth. 12:4.

[175] St Gregor of Nyssa, Homily 34, ch. 15, in Migne, P.G.,  36, 253.

[176] See: Meyendorff, Legacy, pp. 153-165.

[177] Clement of Rome, 1st Corinthians, 58, 2, in Lightfoot, Apostolic Fathers, p. 61.

[178] Ibid, 1st Corinthians, 46, 6, in Lightfoot, Apostolic Fathers, p. 54.

[179] St Ignatius of Antioch, To Ephesians, 9, 1; 18, 2.  Ibid, To Magnesians, 13, 1.  Ibid, To Philadelphians, in Lightfoot, Apostolic Fathers, pp. 89, 92, 96, 106.

[180] The Martydon of Polycarp, 22, 3,  in Lightfoot, Apostolic Fathers, p. 144.

[181] Didache, 7,1 and 3, in Lightfoot, Apostolic Fathers, p. 153.

[182] Shepherd of Hermas, Mandate 5, 33, 2-3.  Parable 5, 58, 2; 59, 2-6.  Parable 9, 78, 1-2; 101, 4;   102, 1-2; in Lightfoot, Apostolic Fathers, pp. 220, 244-245, 245-246, 262, 281.

[183] Athenagoras, in B, v.3, pp. 288 and 300.

[184] St Justin, the philosopher and martyr, 1 Apology, in B, v.3, p. 327.

[185] Ibid, 1 Apology, 6,2 and 13, 3, in B, v. 3, 164 and 167.

[186] Prov. 8:22.

[187] St Irenaeus, Heresies, book III, ch. XVII, in Migne, P.G.,  7, 931, 993 and 966.

[188] Tertullian, Adversus Praxeam, ch. 2, in migne, P.L., 2, 180.

[189] StBasil the Great, About the Holy Spirit, XXIX, 73, in Migne, P.G., 32, 204.

[190] Ibid, About Faith, in Migne, P.G.,31, 468.

[191] St Athanasius the Great, Epist.s to Serapion, in Migne, P.G., 26, 569, 581, 584-586, 600.

[192] St Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechesis, XVII, § 5, in Migne, P.G., 33, 973.

[193] Luke 1:35; 2:7; 3:23; 4:18.  Matth. 12:28.  Acts 2:4.

[194] 1 Corinth. 2:11.  Rom. 3:9; 8:15.  2 Corinth. 3:17, 18.  Wisdom 1:78. Lam. 4:20.  John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13.

[195] Is. 11:2.  Wisdom 1:7-10. Psalms 143(144):10; 50(51):10, 12. Rom. 8:14.  Ephes. 1:13-14.  Matth. 28:19. Luke 11:20.

[196] Acts 2:3; 10:19; 13:2, 4; 16:6, 7.  John 3:5, 8.  1 Corinth. 2:10-12.  Psalm 143(144):10.  Wisdom 7:22.  St Gregory of Nazianzus, Homily 31, § 29 and 41a, ch. 9, in Migne, P.G., 36, 165-168 and 441.

By His Eminence PANTELEIMON P. LAMPADARIOS Metropolitan of Antinoes

The doctrine concerning the Holy Trinity