Lewis, Bonnie, et. al. "The Holy Trinity." Faithology.com. Faithology, 12 March 2013. Web. 9 March 2014.
Lewis, B., et. al. (2013, Mar 12). The Holy Trinity. Faithology.
Lewis, Bonnie, et. al. "The Holy Trinity" Faithology, LLC. Last modified March 12, 2013.
Faithology, LLC, 2012. (Accessed Mar 9, 2014).. The Holy Trinity.
- Last Updated: March 12, 2013
- Originally Published: July 24, 2012
Symbols of the Holy Trinity are plentiful and found throughout God the Father, God the Son (Jesus ), and the Holy Spirit—is referenced numerous times throughout biblical . However, it was not until the Nicene Creed was composed in 325 CE that this manifestation was titled the "Holy Trinity." Shortly afterward, symbols representing the Holy Trinity began to emerge.church history to the present day. The idea that God is manifested in three distinct ways—as
One of the earliest symbols of the Trinity is the equilateral triangle—an upward-pointing triangle that has sides of equal length and angles of equal size. The equality of this triangle represents both unity and distinctness of the three persons of the Trinity. Each side and angle of the triangle is distinct and unique like the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, yet they are all equal in importance within Christianity.
Another representation of the Trinity is depicted as three circles interwoven together. Each circle is equal in size, indicating that all persons of the trinity are equal in importance, and the circles themselves attest to the eternal nature of the trinity because they have no beginning and no end. Their interwoven nature shows unity between the three persons of the Trinity.
Triangle and Circle Interwoven
This depiction of the Holy Trinity is similar to the equilateral triangle, but a circle is added to emphasize the eternal nature of the Holy Trinity.
This star is formed by two equilateral triangles in which one triangle points directly upward and the other triangle points directly down. Together, these create a six-pointed star that symbolizes the act of creation: God created the heavens and the Earth, and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit concur with God the Father. This six-pointed star is said by historians to be modeled after the Shield of David in the Old Testament.Occasionally, a circle is added, interwoven with the triangles to emphasize the unending nature and existence of the Holy Trinity.
Theis a modification of the three circles. Instead of three complete circles, it is commonly displayed as three lobes, as if one had placed three circles of the same color on top of each other, overlapping to form a single shape similar to that of a cloverleaf. Each lobe is equal in size to the others. It may also be displayed in outline, with a trefoil superimposed on a slightly larger trefoil. Often, an equilateral triangle is added, mostly for decoration purposes and to emphasize the equality of the trinity. Another variation of the trefoil is the addition the points of triangle between the three lobes, again, as if shapes of the same color were laid atop each other to create a new shape. Because this is such an elaborate shape, it is mainly used in stained glass windows or for other decorative purposes.
Theis one of the best-known symbols of the trinity, and is considered to be one of the most beautiful as well. In place of circles, three equal arcs are intertwined and joined together, giving the appearance of one large arc. The intersections of the arcs may be sharp or rounded. The three equal arcs express the equality of the three persons of the Trinity, the union expresses the union of the trinity, and the continuous arc expresses the unending nature of the Trinity. In addition, the appearance of one large arc created by interweaving arcs expresses the indivisibility of the Trinity. Occasionally, a circle or triangle interwoven with the arcs is added to create a more decorative figure.
Shield of the Trinity
The Shield of the Trinity has many variations. The traditional version is three circles connected by three bars of equal length, forming the sides of a downward-pointing triangle. In each circle is written Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in Latin. In the center of the triangle is another circle marked "God", with equal bars connecting the outer with this inner circle. The center bars are inscribed with the word "is", while the sidebars are inscribed with the phrase "is not".
The phrases connect through the bars and circles to form key Christian doctrinal phrases, such as The Father is God or The Holy Spirit is not the Son.
These statements reflect the doctrine of the Trinity as explained in the Nicene. The staging of these words is purposeful in that they can be read from any direction and from any starting point, emphasizing the unending and undivided nature of the Holy Trinity. Variations include an upward-pointing triangle with the Father at the top, curved bars instead of straight bars, triangles instead of circles or a star in the center in place of circle or triangle.
Traditionally, theis used to represent the Virgin . Since lilies have three sprouted tips, it is also associated with the Trinity.
The shamrock, used as a symbol of the Trinity, is based on a legend of the missionary St. Patrick. A group of pagans tested him, asking him to give proof of the Trinity. St. Patrick looked around. Finding a clover, he plucked it and asked the pagans if what he was holding was one leaf or three leaves. He then expanded his questioning: If it was, indeed, one leaf then why has it three lobes of equal sides? If it were three leaves, then why did it have equal stems? No one could explain this mystery. St. Patrick then challenged them: If they could not explain something as simple as a shamrock, then how could they understand something as complex as the Trinity?