A word used with reference to God when one speaks of God's divine nature or essence or of the three persons of the Trinity. See Trinity.
Old Testament Foundations The core concepts of the divine nature are found in Old Testament monotheism. God, who can be known by mankind only as He chooses to reveal Himself, discloses Himself and thus His nature in the context of His relationships with humanity. While the scope of His nature is beyond human comprehension, the essence has been revealed and can be perceived and understood. To Moses God revealed His name (Yahweh) and the essential aspects of His nature as One who exists (Exodus 3:13-14). God is spirit and cannot be represented in material fashion (Exodus 20:4). He reveals Himself as abounding in grace, lovingkindness, and truth (Exodus 34:6-7). God is holy (Leviticus 11:44-45) and thus exists as separate and different from all of His creation. He is righteous (Deuteronomy 32:4) and thus serves as the reference point and judge for all that is good, worthy, and valuable. His nature defines the character of what His people are to be and do.
New Testament New Testament concept of God's nature correlates with the Old Testament. Some aspects are sharpened and emphasized, such as God as Father and God as love. In the main, however, continuity exists with the Old Testament understanding. The most important addition in the New Testament understanding of God is the concept of the Trinity. While not explicitly formulated in the Bible, the Trinity is alluded to in
Matthew 28:19 and other passages. The early church drew from the biblical evidence in affirming God in three equal and coexistent Persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.