The Hebrew word translated "God" throughout the Old Testament is Elohim, a plural noun pointing to more than one almighty Being—essentially "Gods." However, it is normally singular in usage when referring to the true God of Israel, being paired in such cases with singular verbs and adjectives. Where such passages are quoted in the New Testament, the Greek word used to translate the term is the singular Theos, meaning God.
To use an example mentioned earlier, we have a comparable example in American English of a noun being plural in form but singular in usage—the national name United States. While the plural form represents a true plurality of states, singular usage shows the constituent states to form a unit. We might say, "The United States is going to intervene," but not—since the country's early years—"The United States are . . ."
Thus there is one United States made up of a plurality of states that are united. Similarly, there is , one God consisting of more than one divine Being. Indeed, in two telling places in the book of Genesis, rather than using the singular pronouns "Me" or "My," God uses the plural pronouns "Us" or "Our" (Genesis 1:26; Genesis 3:22). The New Testament reveals two Beings as God—God the Father and the Word, the One who became Jesus Christ (John 1:1-3, John 1:14).
Christ's title the Word refers to His position as the One who speaks and acts on the Father's behalf (compare John 8:26-28; John 12:49-50; John 14:10). Numerous passages refer to Jesus Christ as God (Isaiah 9:6; John 20:27-28; 1 Timothy 3:16; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 1:8-9).
The plural aspect of God is often taken as evidence supporting the doctrine of the Trinity, which maintains that God is three distinct persons (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) in a single being. Yet this idea runs counter to reason and sound logic.
More importantly, this doctrine is unscriptural. Again, God—that is, the God family—at present comprises God the Father and God the Son, Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is never listed in Scripture as a third person who is also God. For instance, the apostle Paul says we are to be aspiring to understand the "mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Colossians 2:2-3). There is no mention here of the Holy Spirit.
Scripture shows that the Holy Spirit is not a person, but rather is the power, mind, life and shared essence of God (compare Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8; Romans 15:13; Romans 8:27; 1 Corinthians 2:16; John 4:24; John 5:26; John 6:63).
Furthermore, contrary to the Trinitarian view that the Father and Son are coequal in authority (along with the Holy Spirit), Jesus Christ not only said, "My Father . . . is greater than all" (John 10:29), but He also said, "My Father is greater than I" (John 14:28; see also 1 Corinthians 11:3; 1 Corinthians 15:27-28).
The Trinity doctrine has done much to obscure the clear truth of Scripture that God is a family. God is the name of the Father, and God is also the name of the Son—as well as of both of Them together. Moreover, God intends for this family name to also be the name of other sons He is in the process of bringing to glory, as the rest of this booklet explains (Ephesians 3:14-15; Hebrews 2:10).
Irenaeus, a second-century bishop, was right when he observed: "There is none other called God by the Scriptures except the Father of all, and the Son, and those who possess the adoption [i.e., sonship as God's children]" (Against Heresies, Book 4, preface; compare Book 3, chap. 6). Note that there is no hint here of a Trinitarian formula in this early time period. That doctrine wasn't formulated until much later.
Regrettably, in the centuries since it was introduced, the Trinity doctrine has misled millions of people about who and what God really is. By presenting God as three divine persons who are simultaneously one, and as a closed group of three, this teaching blinds people to the truth of the Bible that God is a family—a family into which many others have the opportunity to enter!
Again, that family presently consists of two divine Beings, the Father and Christ, but with more to come who will likewise bear the family name. Indeed, the human family was meant as a lesser model or type of this greater spiritual reality. Marriage is another aspect of this, as it is God's intention for those who are added to His family to enter a divine marriage relationship with Jesus Christ, the human covenant being patterned after the higher, God-plane relationship (compare Ephesians 5:22-23; Revelation 19:7-9).
To learn more about what the Bible has to say on these matters, be sure to download or request our free booklets Jesus Christ: The Real Story, Who Is God? and Marriage and Family: The Missing Dimension.