Tertullian was the first to use the word persona for the persons of the Trinity. Those who share the one substance of the Godhead exist in three persona. While substantia refers to what joins and unifies the inner life of the Godhead, persona points to what characterizes and distinguishes it. The Son acknowledges the Father “speaking in his own person under the name of Wisdom. ” When God said, “Let us make man in our own image,” He spoke in this way because “He had already His Son close at His side, as a second person, His own Word, and a third person also, the Spirit in the Word’.
The contemporary usage of ‘persona’ implied legal ownership or a ‘mask’ used in theatre. Tertullian probably used the term with reference to these theatrical masks that were worn by Roman and Greek actors to indicate the various parts they were playing within a specific play and to amplify their voices. Thus Tertullian possibly meant to indicate that the expression “three persons in one substance” meant that the one God played three distinct yet related roles in the great drama of human redemption. However, behind the plurality of roles there was only a single reality.
While Tertullian wanted to stress the “personal” character of God, the selection of the term persona – in English “person” – was to become problematic over time. As time went on, person came to be defined as “an individual human being”, thus creating the problem of defining God as “a being”, rather than “Being itself”, the. And, of course, the modern understanding of person is that of a “center of consciousness” has similar implications. The Holy Spirit Due to his apologetical task, Tertullian is primarily interested in the relationship between the Father and the Son, but he does not leave the Holy Spirit out of the discussion.
The Gospel of John is the fourth book of the New Testament. The passage that we will be dealing with from the book of John is chapter one verses one through five. In the outline from the background study it is under the section, The eternal Word incarnate. This passage is the prologue, which John uses in order to establish the foundation that he will use to build his presentation of the life of ...
Jesus promises to pray to the Father so that the Father will send the Holy Spirit who is “another Comforter . . . even the Spirit of Truth,” thus making the Paraclete distinct from Himself. The Son is a second decree from God, the Paraclete, a third degree. 45 The Holy Spirit is the “Third Name in the Godhead,” the “Third Degree of the Divine Majesty,” the “Declarer of the One Monarchy of God,” “the Leader into all truth,” and the “Interpreter of the Economy. ”46 One of Tertullian’s most interesting concepts is his idea of the Son as the revealer of the Conclusion
The tract “Against Praxeas,” it must be borne in mind from the outset, is not an extended treatise. It is a brief document filling but some fifty pages. Nor is it a calm constructive work in which the author sets himself to develop in its completeness a doctrinal elaboration. It is a vigorous and lively polemic designed to meet an immediate crisis. In other words, it is distinctly an occasional writing, devoted to the refutation of a heresy which was at the moment troubling the churches. Substance The meaning of substance is of course, not explicit. It could refer to the three persons being the same material, or of similar existence or being.
Adolf von Harnack argued that the term was used in the sense of legal terminology, referring to the idea of equality of substance rather than unity. However, it seems that it makes more sense if its meaning is taken to be existence, and Hall argues that it is more likely to be logical or philosophical terminology. While it was the person of the Son who acted on earth, it was “uniformly one God” who at all times acted through the agency of the Son. Divine names, such as Almighty God and Lord of Hosts, are equally applicable to both the Father and the Son.
The three persons are “susceptible of number without division” because the Son is undivided and inseparable from the Father. The Son is distinct in degree, not in state. He is entitled to be called God from His union with the Father. The Son shares a unity with the Father in Creation of all things. The Word is God, but He is “God regarded as the Son of God, not as the Father. The pre-existence of the son which Tertullian also implies with this passage will not be discussed here since this notion does not appear explicitly in any of the creeds.
Exegetical Essay on Matthew 11: 25-30 This passage opens up with the phrase, 'I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. This speaks of two kinds of people in his prayer: the 'wise' - arrogant in their own knowledge - and the 'little children' - humbly open to receive the truth of God's Word. ...
Although the Son is referred to in the Athanasian Creed s eternal, this idea does not appear fundamental to the official doctrine of the Trinity. Tertullian also uses an argument from the relational language of Scripture to show the distinction between the Father and the Son. When God says, “My heart hath emitted my most excellent Word” (Ps 45:1), “Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten Thee” (Ps 2:7), “The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way” (Ps 8:22), to say the one speaking and the one spoken of are one in the same person makes linguistic and logical nonsense of the text of Scripture.
Tertullian argues that throughout the prophetic Psalms, one can find evidence of one person of the Trinity conversing with another. When Psalm 45:7 says, “Therefore God, even Thy God, hath anointed Thee,” the psalmist affirms that “God is anointed by God. ” He is either teaching polytheism or multiple persons in the Godhead.