BL - 13 Theology - Part - I



The definition of Theology

 Etymologically, the word “theology” comes from two Greek words; ‘Theos’ means “God” and ‘Logos’ means “word or study”.  Hence theology means word concerning God or the study of God.

Strong, a famous theologian defines “Theology is the science of God and of the relations between God and the universe” (Strong. P.1)

The aim of theology

            Every study as well as theology has a definite aim and goal.  Renowned theologian James Leo Garrett clearly lists seven roots or reasons for systematic theology (why systematic theology) as follows:

  1. For teaching in the church; the catechetical root
  2. For an integrated formulation of Biblical truth; the exegetical root
  • For accurate preaching; the homiletical root
  1. For the defence of Christian truth against error; the polemical root
  2. For the challenging of culture; the apologetical root
  3. For the interpretation and application of Christian ethics; the ethical root
  • For a proper encounter with major non-christian religions; the missionary and dialogic root

The study of theology will help to achieve the seven aims given above.

The source of theology

                   The only source of the proper theology is the Bible. All other sources are inferior from the Bible in which God has revealed His will and mind.  The sources like universe, Philosophy of man, rationalism, Mysticism, human experience and Traditions are false sources for the study of theology.  Because, these false sources have no absolute authority and they vary from time to time.  Therefore one can not build his theology on these false sources.

The limitations of theology

   On the one hand, man is a finite creature.  A finite creature like man can not fully understand the infinite Being (God); because man’s mind and understanding capacity have limitations (Job 11:7).

                   On the other hand, God has not revealed every  things about Himself.  There are some secret things that belong to God (Deut. 29 : 29).  However, God has revealed everything that man needs for his salvation.

                   Secret things of God (still unrevealed) and man’s finiteness are the two basic limitations of theology.  However, these limitations will not bind anyone from knowing and understanding God and His word (The Bible).  Although there are limitations, we can certainly know through the scripture, God – the Creator, His will, plan and purpose and His love for man.  Inspite of all these limitations, we can completely rely on the Bible for the study of theology.

The basic qualifications of theologian
  1. He should believe the Bible as the word of God.

One who does not believe the Bible can not be a true theologian (2 Tim. 3 : 16-17).

  1. He should have a holy attitude and affection towards God (Heb 11:6).

He should love the only God, the creator.

  • He should submit himself to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Only when a person wholly submit himself to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, He may receive more illumination of the Holy spirit (Lk. 24 : 27, 32, 45; 1 Cor. 2 : 14-15 ; 1 Jn. 2 : 27)

  1. He should discipline his mind.

High Intelligent Quatient (IQ) is not necessary to be a theologian but one should properly discipline his mind in the learning of God’s word (1 Tim. 4 : 7, 15-16; 2 Tim. 2 : 15-16)

  1. He should have systematic, patient, and tireless study.

Theologian must read the Bible regularly and systematically, Paul also encourages Timothy to read God’s word regularly. (1 Tim. 4 : 13 ; Jn. 5 : 39).

Note : Although the above five are very basic for being a theologian, having the knowledge of original languages (Hebrew & Greek) will be an added advantage to be a theologian.




The term Bibliology is made up of two Greek words Biblion and Logos.  Biblion means a “roll” or “Book” and Logos means “word” or “study”.  Therefore Bibliology means word or study concerning the Bible.
Definition of the Bible

                   The Bible is the book in which God Himself revealed His person, His work, His will and His plan for mankind.  Hence The Bible is God’s word which is the rule of our faith and practice.

The other terms or names of the Bible

There are a few other names used in the Bible, itself to designate the Bible.  They are as follows:

  • Bible from Greek ‘Biblion’ – Lk. 4 : 17 (scroll) used 29 times
  • Old and New Testament from ‘diatheke’ (Gk) means covenant (20 times) Heb. 8 : 6-10; 9 : 18-20; Lk. 22 : 20
  • Scripture ‘Graphe’ (Gk) means ‘writing’ 2 Tim. 3 : 16
  • Holy Scripture – Rom. 1 : 2 ; 2 Tim. 3 : 15
  • Oracles of God – Rom. 3 : 2
  • Law – Lk. 2 : 22-24 ; Ex. 13 : 2,12
  • Law and Prophets and the Psalms – Lk. 24 : 44
  • Word of God – Heb. 4 : 12
  • Psalm 119 attributes other name such as “statutes, Testimonies of the Lord, the word, commandments, Precepts, Judgements”.


  1. Definition

   Revelation is the act of God whereby God Himself communicates the truth to man, whereby He makes manifest to His creatures that which could not be known in any other way.

  It can be defined in other words “Revelation is the act of God by which He communicated to men the truth that were previously unknown”.  The Greek word “apocalupsis” means an “uncovering (or) unveiling”.  This word is used in the sense of God, revealing His mind to the believer (Phil. 3 : 15).

  1. Two kinds of revelation

                   God has used two ways to reveal Himself to men.  They are general and special.

a. General Revelation

   This revelation is available to all men through the nature and created universe.  It gives a general idea and knowledge of God.  It is also a universal witness to His being and existence (Rom. 1 : 20).  Eg. When one sees this beautiful world, planets and stars, one believe there is God who wisely created all.  Through general revelation, one can understand, God’s power, wisdom (Ps. 104 : 24), God’s goodness (Acts 14:17), God’s greatness (Ps. 8 :  3-4) God’s sovereignity, His all sufficiency (Act. 17 : 24-26).

                   Although general revelation reveals God, and His power, it is not sufficient to know God’s love.  Therefore God gave special revelation, to men so as to reveal His love and His will for men.  The fallen man always rejects this general revelation.  Hence, general revelation is not sufficient for salvation.

Special Revelation

                   God revealed Himself to man  in a special manner,   which is called special revelation.  This special revelation is two fold.  The First is “written word of God”, the second is “Incarnated word of God”. 

                   The “written word of God” refers to the Bible; because the Bible is written by the human authors who recorded the message which was revealed by God to them.  The “Incarnated word of God” refers to Jesus Christ (Jn. 1 : 1-18).  This special revelation of God through Jesus Christ will be studied under the doctrine of Jesus Christ (Christology).  Therefore the special revelation of God through “the written word” (Bible) is dealt in this subject.

Process and means of Revelation

                   God revealed the special message in a special way to a specific people at specific time (Heb. 1 : 1).  God used various means so as to reveal His special revelation to the human writers.  God used these following ways of revelation to communicate His message to man when the Bible was incomplete.

(i)Direct words – Ex. 33 : 11

God directly spoke to reveal His message.  The creation account and the flood of Noah were directly revealed to Moses by God.  The moral laws, the cremonial laws, the social laws and the construction of tabernacle were graphically and verbally taught by God to Moses.

(ii)     Direct writing by God – Exo. 33 : 18

God directly wrote about His Ten commandments on the table of stone.

(iii)Oral Traditions

 The Genesis account of the history of mankind, especially Hebrew history was known to Moses by oral traditions.  Moses could have learnt the history of Hebrew people from other Hebrews as well as from the palace of Pharaoh where he studied.

(iv)    Dreams – Dan. 7 : 1

 When the Bible was not written in its complete written form, God used dreams to reveal His message.

(v)     Visions – Ezek. 1 : 1

                   This method of revelation was also used by God to reveal His word. 

(vi)    Prophecy – Deut. 18 : 15

 God used prophecy to reveal His plan till the completion of revelation in the Bible (Rev. 22 : 18-19).

                   These are the ways and means that God used to reveal His message to the mankind, when the Bible was not fully written.  The   messages of  God revealed by using these various means are recorded in the Bible.  Therefore the Bible is God’s special revelation to the mankind.  One could not have known the facts in the Bible in any other way.  God helped the human authors to record His special message in the written form in the Bible.  Hence the Bible is God’s word, no matter in what language it might be.

Medium of Human Language

                   God used human languages to reveal about Himself and His will and plan.  Human language is an adequate vehicle for God to communicate truth about Him to God.  Although human language has limitation – for language is ever developing and finite – it is capable of communicating absolute truth even about Holy God.  God spoke in human language when He spoke to men.  Eg. God spoke to Moses in Hebrew.  When   God used angels to speak to man, angels spoke with men in human language.  Eg. Angels spoke with Joseph and Mary, probably in Aramaic.  Therefore human language is a medium to reveal special revelation.  God did not use angel’s language to reveal His message to mankind.

The Bible is the word of God

                   Every one who systematically reads the Bible will soon find the unusual nature of the Bible.  It is not one of the religious books as supposed, but it is the word of God, though written in human language by human writers.  There are internal and external evidence for the Bible, being the word of God.

  1. Internal Evidence for Revelation

It is the evidence that are found within the Bible.

(i)      Claims of the Bible

  Many passages in the Bible indicates clearly that the Bible is God’s word.  The following scripture references strongly bear witness that the Bible is God’s word.  Deut. 6 : 6-9; Josh. 1 : 8 ;  2 Sam. 22 : 31 ; Ps. 1 : 2 ; 12 : 6 ; 19 : 7-11 ; 93 : 5 ; 119 : 9,11,18, 89-93 ; Pro. 30 : 5-6 ; Is. 55 : 10-11 ; Mt. 5 : 17-19 ; 22 : 29 ; Mk. 13 : 31 ; Lk. 16 : 17 ; Jn. 5 : 24 ; 10 : 35 ; Act. 17 : 11 ; Rom. 10 : 17 ; 2 Pet. 3 : 15-16 ; Rev. 1 : 2 ; 22 : 18

                   The writers of both Testaments and Jesus Christ believed that the scriptures were God’s words.  Hebrew 1 : 1,2 clearly indicates that God spoke in the Old Testament to the prophets and therefore what they spoke and recorded in the Old Testament was God’s word.  And in the New Testament, God spoke through His Son and apostles.

(ii)     The teaching of the Bible

                   The profound teaching of the Bible on various subjects of divine and human affairs prove that it is the revelation of God and therefore, without doubt, it is God’s word.

  • The Doctrine of God : The God who is revealed in the Bible is far different from the gods of human imaginations. The so-called gods are depicted in their mythological writings as cruel wicked, monstrous and fearsome beings.  But God of the Bible is personal, Holy, Loving, all wise, almighty and gracious person, who voluntarily took the human nature that He might reveal Himself to mankind.
  • Teaching about man : The Bible clearly teaches that man has an immortal soul. Man was the direct creation of God.  The Bible, unlike the other religion, honours womenhood.
  • Salvation of Mankind : The Bible teaches the sinless condition of man before fall, and man’s sin,after fall consequence of sin and the plan of salvation for mankind.


  • The moral teachings : Although every religion has certain moral teachings, the Bible excels them in its moral teaching by teaching better and higher standard of moral values. The moral teachings of the Bible are direct reflection of the characters of the Holy God.  Such reflection is not found in any moral or religious books.  The ten commandments in the Old Testament speak of high moral life.
  1. External Evidence for Revelation

These evidences are clear proofs that the Bible is God’s word.

  • (i) The influence and publication of the Bible : The Bible is the only book that has ever been printed and published in so many languages of the world. After the invention of printing machine, the Bible was the first one printed. Although the Bible is very old book, it has never been outdated nor gone out of print.  Its influence upon individuals, homes, societies and nations is the reason for the wide acceptance of the Bible
  • (ii) The continuity of the Biblical revelation : The Bible has been written by over 40 authors living over 1500 years, yet it is a single book. The writers come from different profession such as Kings, Peasants, Philosophers, Fishermen. They lived in different cultures, different experience with quite different characters.  Yet the theme of the Bible is one.

The continuity of the Bible can be seen in its historical sequence, which begins with creation of the present world and which continues to the creation of the new heavens and the new earth.

  • (iii) Subject matter of the Bible : The supernatural character of the Bible is seen in the fact that it deals as freely with the unknown matters and otherwise unknowable as it deals with that which is known. It describes eternity past including creation before mankind was even in existence.  On every subject presented, its statement is very clear, final, accurate, timeless.  Its comprehensive nature has made its readers wise in truth that is related both to time and to eternity.
  • (iv) The Bible as literature : When the Bible is considered as literature, it is also supreme. It contains not only history but detailed prophecy, beautiful poetry, and drama, stories of love, narration of war.  Therfore it attracts scholars and philosophers as its sincere readers.


The word “Inspiration” is found in 2 Tim. 3 : 16.  All scripture is given by inspiration of God.  The Greek word for inspiration is Theopneustos, which is compound of two Greek words, “theos and pneustos”.  Theos means God; Pneustos means  “breathe”.  Therefore Theopneustos means “God – breathed”.  God – breathed is an adjective, to emphasis the quality of the scripture.  Hence “Every scripture is God – breathed” (2 Tim. 3 : 16).

                   The idea involved in inspiration is that as the prophets and apostles spoke, it was God who was speaking through them.   Therefore the source of all that they wrote was God.

  • The Definition of Inspiration

Inspiration is a supernatural act of God by which God superintended the human authors so that using their own individual personalities, they composed and recorded without error His revelation to man in the words of the original autographs.

To explain in other words, God superintended but did not dictate the material.  He used human authors and their own individual styles.  They recorded in perfect accuracy, the full and complete communication of His revelation in the  written record which is the very words of God in the language, style and personalities of the human authors.

  • Manner of Inspiration

 The Holy Spirit was the agent of Inspiration.  This agent, the Holy Spirit guided the writers of the Bible to write God’s revelation in their own style and without error or omission (Jn. 16 : 13 ; Act. 28 : 25 ; 2 Pet. 1 : 21).

When we read Jn. 14 : 26 and Rev. 22 : 18, 19, we know that God’s revelation in the Bible is not only without error but also complete.  Everything we need to know about God and spiritual matters is found in the Bible.

Extent of Inspiration

 The extent of inspiration is described as plenary, verbal, infallible and inerrant.

  1. Plenary inspiration

   Plenary means full or complete.  Hence Plenary inspiration refers that the full influence and Superintendance of the Holy spirit extended to all parts of scripture, equally rendering it an authoritative revelation from God (2 Tim. 3 : 16).

  1. Verbal inspiration

It is the divine influence which surrounded the sacred writers, extended not only to the general thought but also to the very words they employed (Mt. 5 : 17, 18).  Therefore every word in the original manuscript was superintended by the Holy Spirit, when it was written and recorded by the human authors.

c. Infallibility

 The writers of the Bible have recorded that what God said to them with infallible accuracy.  Since they have written what God said; it is God’s word which is authoritative and binding.  Therefore God’s word is beyond objection or debate.


The scripture is without error in any of its accounts of revelation and inspiration for God chose His own words.  The Bible is without error from Genesis to Revelation.  The statements are recorded true to the facts.  Truth is not changed to falsehood nor falsehood to truth.  In other words, the Bible has no manipulated messages.

Theories of Inspiration
  •  Natural Inspiration

It denieis that there is anything supernatural, mysterious, or peculiar in the mode of the Holy Spirit’s operation in and upon the scripture writers.  This is a wrong theory because it claims that scripture writers were no more inspired than any other secular writers were.

We reject this wrong theory, because secular writers fails to predict accurately about future events, whereas the scripture writers have predicted the future events very accurately before the events actually happened.  Moreover secular writers teach false views of life and morals.

  • Mechanical or Dynamic Inspiration (Dictation Theory)

          According to this theory, the human writers were passive instruments, mere typing machine.  They were as insensible to what they were accomplishing as is the spring of the harp to the play of the musician.  This is also a wrong theory.  Therefore we reject this theory.  Because, the writers vary in their style of writing and keep their individual identity.  If they were mere passive instruments, the writing style of the Bible will be the same.

          Since the writing style is obviously different from one writer to the other, it is evident that  God did not use them as mere instruments but allowed them to keep their individuality.

  • Partial Inspiration

                    According to this theory, only some parts of the scripture are inspired.  In other words, it means that the Bible contains the word of God.  This is also a wrong theory.  Therefore we reject it.  The proper answer that we give to this theory is that the Bible is the word of God.

  • Plenary or Full inspiration

 This theory holds that all scripture is equally inspired in original autograph.  This theory bases its teaching on 2 Tim. 3 : 16.  According to this theory, the Bible is the word of God.  This is the correct theory.

Evidence of the inspiration of the Bible

There are many evidences that witness that the Bible is inspired.  Such evidences are classified into two; Internal evidence and External evidence.

A.      Internal Evidence of Inspiration

 Evidences which are found in the Bible itself is called internal evidences.  They prove that God inspired the Bible.

  1. The Bible claim its inspiration.
  1. The Old Testament writers claims divine inspiration of their writings.
  2. Moses said that He wrote the word of God.

Ex. 24 : 4,7 ; 34 : 27 ; Deut. 4 : 2 ; Is. 43 : 1 ; Joel 1 : 1 ; Jer.     1 : 4 ; Hos. 1 : 1

  1. ii) The writers of Old Testament used phrases such as “thus saith the Lord” and “the word of the Lord came” for more than 3500 times.    Isa. 45 : 1

                         iii) The writers give indications that other writers wrote the word of God.

 2 Kings 17 : 13 : Neh. 8 : 1 ; Daniel 9 : 2 ; Zech. 7 : 12

  1. Jesus Christ affirms that Old Testament is inspired.
    1. The scripture must all be fulfilled.

Mt. 5 : 18 ; Lk. 16 : 17 ; Jn. 10 : 35 : Lk. 24 : 44.

  1. Christ approved the teachings and miracles of Old Testament

            Mt. 12 : 40  – Jonah in the great fish

            Lk. 17 : 27, 29 – the flood & Destruction of Sodom

  1. The New Testament (NT) affirms that the Old Testament is inspired
    1. God spoke through the writers – 2 Pet. 1 : 21
    2. The scripture is holy, living and powerful – Heb. 4 : 12
  • It is authoritative – Rom. 3 : 9-18 ; Acts. 28 : 23 ; 24 : 14
  1. Christ pre-confirmed the inspiration of the New Testament
    1. Holy Spirit would bring to their rememberance the words of Christ – Jn. 14 : 16, 17, 26.
    2. Holy Spirit would guide them into all truth – Jn. 16 : 12, 13
  1. The New Testament writers claim divine inspiration.
    1. The apostles wrote what the Holy Spirit revealed to them

            1 Cor. 2 : 9, 10 ; 1 Thes. 4 : 8

  1. Their writings are the word of God.

1 Cor. 14 : 37 ; Gal. 1 : 11, 12 ; 1 Thes. 4 : 2 ; 2 Pet.   3 : 2 ; Rev. 1 : 1 , 2 , 10, 11, 12

  1. The character of the Bible demonstrates that it is inspired of God.
  1. Unity of Doctrine

              The books of the Bible were written by Forty men.  The period of time between the first book and the last book is about 1500 years.  It was written by using three languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek) from three continents (Asia, Africa, Europe).  Although various authors wrote in three languages from three continents for about 1500 years, there is perfect harmony and unity in the teaching of the Bible.  The Bible presents: One norm of moral right and wrong, one plan of salvation; one concept of God etc.  This unity is possible, since God inspired the authors of the books of the Bible.

  1. Subject matter that only God could have revealed

              The Bible is the only book that speaks with authority about: What God is like, what happened before the creation of universe, How man was created, the salvation and future destiny of man, the eternity future and many other similar themes.

              Although Charles Darwin brought the theory of evalution, he miserably failed to prove his own theory.  Therefore the Biblical theory of creation is plausible and believable.  The Bible clearly teaches about creation, because it is inspired by God.

  1. Progressive development of the truths revealed

              The Bible presents the truths in its first books and amplifies and clarifies those truths in later books without any contradiction.  For example, the truth about the shedding of the blood as a substitute for the cleansing of sin.  This truth is figuratively revealed in Genesis Chapter 3 and progressively developed in the following books. 

              Compare these verses on the truth about cleansing of sin .  Gen. 3 : 21 ; 4 : 4 ; Exo. 12 : 3-7, 12, 13, Lev. 4 : 1-7 ; Isa. 53 : 5-7 ; Jn. 1 : 29 ; Jn. 19 : 16-18 ; 1 Jn. 1 : 7

              From these scriptures, one can understand that the Bible is the product of one Divine Mind; because it displays progressive development of the truth revealed.

  1. The Universality of the Bible

              The teaching of the Bible is equally effective irrespective of ages, nations, and people and culture.  People of all races and cultures find in the Bible the message they need, as though it were written especially for them.  Because it is inspired by God.

              Books by human authors do not evidence universality, for they are usually of interest only to certain people or for a limited time.  Such books become out of style and the world soon forgets them because books of secular authors are not inspired.

B.      External evidences of Inspiration

As there are internal evidence for the inspiration of the Bible, there are many external evidences for inspiration.

  1. Fulfillment of prophecy

 Many prophecies predicted in the Bible fulfilled in the history as they were predicted.  As Daniel 11 : 1-15, predicted, every detail of the prophecy was carried out completely in the activities of the nations mentioned by Daniel (Mt. 5 : 18 ; Jero. 29 : 10)

  1. The influence of the Bible

 The Bible has changed the life of many people.  Many wicked persons became very good persons due to the influence of the Bible.  The following will explain the influence of the Bible.

  • The transformation of the life of the believer – 2 Cor. 5 : 17
  • The laws of many countries were written based on the teaching of the Bible.
  • Works of charity are the direct influence of the Bible. The Bible teaches the believers to love their neighbour; therefore many Christians first established, orphanage, missions to help the poor and destitute, and other works of charity.
  1. The Durability of the Bible

  The five  books of Moses were written some 1500 years before Christ.  The parts of the Bible have been preserved by around 3500 years.  The Bible has withstood persistent attacks through out its history.  Yet nobody could destroy it (Jer. 36 : 1-3, 21-26).

                   A famous atheist Voltaire said that within 100 years, Christianity would be extinct.  But Voltaire died in 1783.  Only 25 years after his death, the first Bible society was founded.  The same press which printed the literature of the atheist, later printed the Bible (1 Pet. 1 : 23).  Voltaire died but the Bible is not extinct.

  1. The statements of Josephus

   Flavious Josephus was a Jewish historian who was born about five years after the death and resurrection of Christ.  In his book, “Jewish Antiquities”, he mentions three things that show us the regard which the Jews had for the scripture of the Old Testament.

  • They accepted the scripture as a Divine Book.
  • They would permit no change in the text.
  • They were ready to die for their belief in the scripture.
  1. The early church fathers

The direct followers of apostles were known as the early church fathers.  They believed that the entire Bible is the inspired word of God.  They were the people who lived in the days when the New Testament was being written and recognized as the word of God by the local churches.


The first book of Moses was written about 3500 years ago.  If there was no preservation, writings of Moses as well as writings of other authors of the Bible would have been garbled, lost and destroyed.  Lest the inspired text be destroyed, God providentially preserved the text.  Preservtion is an act of God.  Therefore, God providentially preserved the text of scripture therefore even today we possess the word of God  without corruption (Mt. 5 : 18 ; Jn. 10 : 35 : 1 Pet : 1 : 9-13, Exo. 32, 35 ; Deut. 10 ; Jer. 36).

              Preservation of the inspired text is directly related to the formation of the Canon.


  The word Canon simply refers to a measuring rod.  Theologically, Canon refers to the basic criteria by which the inspired writings were determined.  When we speak of the formation of the Canon, we actually mean the recognition of the canonical books by the church.

The need of Canon

 There were many writings in those days..  Some were inspired and others were not.  Many wrote even about the life of Jesus.  (Luke 1 : 1)  Therefore it was necessary for the early church to determine the inspired writings.  In order to determine the inspired writings, a systematic approach was followed by the early church.  That approach was known as the formation of Canon.

Canon of the Old Testament

 Many theological scholars assert that all the books of the Old Testament Canon were collected and recognized by Ezra in the fifth century B.C. According to Old Testament Canon, it contained thirty ninebooks.  Our Lord Jesus accepted this Canon (Luk. 11 : 51).  Abel’s death is in Genesis (First book) Zachariah’s death is in 2 Chronicles 24 : 20 – 21 (The Last book in Hebrew Bible).  It is equal to say “From Genesis to Malachi” (according to books order of our English Bible).  Therefore, it is as if Jesus had said “Your guilt is recorded all through the Bible from Genesis to Malachi”.  Jesus did not include any apocryphal books in this list.

Canon of the New Testament

              The early church fathers recognized all twenty seven books of our New Testament.  However, the Council of Carthage in 397 AD, which officially first recognized these twenty seven books into canon.  Therefore these twenty seven books were accepted into canon which determined the inspired writings.  The selection of the canon was a process that went on until each book proved its own worth passing the tests for canonicity.

              The following were the general criteria in canon to determine the inspired writings of New Testament.

  1. Was the book written by an apostle? (Jn. 20 : 30-31)
  2. Was the author of a book recognizied by Apostles?

              2 Pet. 3 : 15-16 – Paul was recognized by Peter

  • Did the authors directly associated with Jesus or His apostles?

              Mark and Luke were associated with the apostles of Jesus.

  1. Was a book reliable in history?
  2. Was it accepted as inspired by first century Christians and Church?
  3. Does its teaching contradict the general teaching of the Bible?

vii)Is it authentic?

                   The books that passed these tests were recognized into Canon.  They were inspired writings.  Based on these criteria, total twenty seven books were added into the New Testament.  Therefore we have totally 66 (Sixty six) books in our Bible including 39 Old Testament books.

Result of inspiration

            Since the Bible is inspired by God, it is Inerrant,  Infallible, and Authentic.  Every words in the Bible is inspireid by God (Mt. 5 : 18).  Therefore we can trust it.

Definition of terms

  1.  Inerrancy : Inerrancy means that every facts and records of the Bible is true and accurate record of what actually transpired.  Inerrancy simply means without error.

Therefore Inerrancy means that Bible has no false accounts but has recorded true events that happened in the history past and it has no myths.

Infallibility : The message of the record is authoritative and binding. It is beyond objection or debate.  Infallibility means the Bible will not make any error or mistake in its teaching.

Therefore Infallible means that what the Bible says is final and authoritative for our faith and practice.

  • Credibility : The statements of records of the Bible are trustworthy and thus to be relied on as statements of the facts.

Since the statements of the Bible are credible, we can believe and trust it.


The Bible is the word of God.  Therefore we have to understand them properly and apply them in our life.  We can understand the Bible through the Illumination work of the Holy spirit and Interpretation of the scripture.


Illumination is the work of the Holy Spirit, by which the Holy Spirit enables a believer to understand the scriptural and spiritual truth from the scriptures in the Bible.

If a person is not illuminated he can not properly understand the spiritual truth of the Bible (1 Cor. 2 : 14).  However, every Christian has been promised this illumination of the scripture (Jn. 16 : 12-15 ; 1 Cor. 2 : 9-3:2).  The Holy Spirit may illuminate the believer when the believer reads or listens the scriptures of the Bible.

B.     Interpretation of the Scripture

Illumination, though assured to the believer, does not always guarantee automatic understanding of the scripture, especially background history..  Therefore, one must study the scripture with the help of the teacher God has given to the church (Rom. 12 : 7).  When a person  study the scripture to interpret it, he must follow certain principles.  Those principles are known as “principles of interpretation”.  The principle of interpretation will be dealt in another subject of our course (Subject : Hermeneutics).  However, the following basic principles should be considered while, interpreting the scripture.

  1. Simple and plain meaning of the word and grammar of the sentence
  2. Historical and social and cultural background of the scripture
  • Writing purpose of the author
  1. Meaning of the word in the context of the scripture

If these principles are neglected and violated, the interpreter may misunderstand the text.

Summary of Terms in Bibliology


  1. Revelation is related to disclosure of God’s message.
  2. Inspiration is related to recording of the revelation of God.
  • Canonicity is related to the recognization of the inspired writings
  1. Illumination is related to understanding the scriptural truth of the Bible with the enabling work of the Holy Spirit.
  2. Interpretation is related to knowing the teaching of the Bible with help of principles of interpretation, in the context of original language.
  3. Inerrancy means the Bible is without error in its message and facts.
  • Infallibility means the Bible does not make any error or mistake in its teaching

The Apocrypha

Many Christians ask why there is a variation in the numbers of books between Protestant Bible and Roman Catholic Bible.  The answer is that Roman Catholic have added 14 more books in their Bible, Although those forteen books were not inspired.

                   The word Apocrypha means “hidden”.  This word was first used by Jerome as a title for the 14 non-canonical books.  These books were written nearly the last three centuries before Christ.  These books were never accepted by the Jews.  Even so, Jesus as well as apostles rejected their canonicity.  Therefore these books are not added in our Bible.  The council of Trent (1548 AD) recognized the apocryphal books as canonical, but the reformers rejected this decree.

Benefit of Learning the  Doctrine of the Bible(Bibliology)

 Every teaching of the Bible is good for mankind.  So also, the doctrinal teaching concerning the Bible itself is beneficial to mankind, especially for the Christian believers.  The following outline enlists the benefits (Ps. 19 : 11) of reading and studying the Bible.

  • The Bible explains God’s love for mankind (Jn. 3 : 16).
  • The Bible explains man’s inability to save himself (Jn. 15 : 5, Eph. 2 : 9)
  • The Bible guides us to the Saviour (Lk. 24 : 25-27; Jn. 5 : 39)
  • The Bible brings blessing (Rev. 1 : 3 ; Ps. 119 :1)
  • The Bible assures peace (Is. 26 : 3 ; Phil. 4 : 7 ; Ps. 119 : 165)
  • The Bible makes us joy (Ps. 119 : 92, 143, 162, 174)
  • The Bible corrects our life (2 Tim. 3 : 16, 17, Ps. 119 : 9)
  • The Bible provides us future hope (1 Thes. 4 : 13 – 17)
  • The Bible counsels us (Ps. 119 : 24; 2 Tim. 3 : 16-17)
  • The Bible comforts us (Ps. 119 : 52, 76, 82, 92 ; 1 Thes. 4 : 18 ; Acts 15 : 30,31)
  • The Bible promises eternal life and reward (Jn. 5 : 39, Rev. 22 : 12)
  • The Bible is sweet to read and to hear (Ps. 19 : 7-10 ; 119 : 103)
  • The Bible promotes good moral life (1 Thes. 4 : 7 ; Acts 17 : 11)


                   We have studied about the doctrine concerning the Bible. Now we are going to study concerning God.  Since we study of God, this doctrine is properly named Theology proper.  Therefore “Theology Proper” deals about God’s existence, His Being, His characters, His works, His Plans and His will for mankind.

Theories about God

  There are various theories about God.  Many of such theories are false, and far away from the truth, that is revealed in the Bible.  We see some of the false theories about God as following:

  1. i) Idolatry : This theory tells that any desired and devoted object can be god.  It promotes idol worship.  It is false.
  1. ii) Monolatry : According to this, the worshipper selects one god or idol among many and worship it as long as he likes.  He can change from one god to another.  It is a false theory.

iii)     Polytheism :         Poly means many or multiple.  Therefore Polytheism believes in many gods.  This is also false view.

  1. iv) Deism : According this theory, there is one god, who created all things but he does not care (or) sustain the creation.  This is also false theory because God of the Bible created the universe and sustains it (Heb. 1 : 1-3).
  1. v) Dualism : Dual means two.  So this theory promotes there are two equal powers.  One is good and the other is bad.  These both are locked in eternal conflict and fight.  Finally none of them wins in this conflict.  This theory is also utter falsehood, no support in the Bible.
  1. vi) Pantheism : Pan means all.  So Pantheism means all are gods.  All things we see are gods.  This is a false theory because the Bible clearly teaches that there is one God (Deut. 6 : 4).

vii)    Monotheism :  Mono means one.  So Monotheism means one God or Supreme Being.  This theory is almost similar to the teaching of the Bible.  But if the advocates of this view do not believe and follow the Bible, they would pervert the truth concerning “One God”.  True Monotheism believes in the general and ethical God of The Bible.

The Existence of God
  1. The Definition of God
  1. Theological Definitions:

It is difficult to give an adequate definition for God.  Some of the theological definitions are as follows:

“God is a Spirit, Eternal, Infinite and Unchangeable in His Being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness and truth” (Westminister Catechism).

“God is the infinite and perfect Spirit, in whom all things have their source, support, and end” (Augustus Strong).

  1. Scriptural assertions of God

God is Spirit (Jn. 4 : 24)

God is Light (1 Jn. 1 : 5)

 God is Love (1 Jn. 4 : 16)

God is consuming fire (Heb. 12 : 29)

These assertions are not definitions, but merely descriptions of God’s nature and character.

B. Evidence of the Existence of God


  1. The Bible asserts the existence of God.

          Can we provide proof for God’s existence scientifically?

No, we can not prove God scientifically for the following two reasons.

  1. Science is not perfect and complete in itself.
  2. God is beyond all science.

So science can not prove God.


Science fails to prove God, But the Bible strongly assumes and asserts the existence of God (Heb. 11 : 6, Gen. 1 : 1).

Bible says that denial of God is foolishness (Ps. 14 & 53).  We trust the Bible, not science for the existence of God.  The Bible is the only authoritative record from which we receive the clear revelation concerning God.  The scripture asserts and declares the knowledge of God is universal (Rom. 1 : 19-21, 28, 32 ; 2 : 15.  The Bible begins with the idea that there is a God” In the beginning God created . . . (Gen.        1 : 1).

  1. Philosophical arguments for the existence of God.

There are a few philosophical arguments to prove the existence of God as follows:

(i)      A God consciousness in man: There is a universal belief in the existence of God that naturally comes from within man.  All races of the world know that there is a God though they do not worship the true God.  This God-consciousness in man is born with him.

(ii)     The cosmological Argument :  Cosmos means world.  As we see the world, one natural question comes in the minds “How it come to be?”  There is a cause and effect for everything.  Therefore, there sould be a cause or power behind this world.  That cause must be the maker or creator.

(iii)    Teleological Argument :  The Greek word “Telos” means “design”.  The beautiful design and arrangement of the universe proves the fact that there is an intelligent designer behind it.  That designer is God.

(iv)    Moral view :  Man is a moral being, but animals are not so.  Since man is a moral being, he must have been created by a supreme moral being.  That Supreme Moral Being is God.

          All these philosophical arguments are somewhat helpful to prove the existence of god. However these arguments are helpful to silence many unbelievers, especially atheists.  However The Bible is the best source to know God and His existence.  Therefore the believers must put their trust on the Bible for the existence of God, rather than philosophical arguments (Heb. 11 : 6).

C.The Personality of God

God is a Person.  Three basic ingredients – intellect, emotion and will – make one as person.  Personality also includes self-consciousness and self-determination.  Self-consciousness refers to “the ability to make oneself the object of his own thought.  Self – determination refers to the will that arises from within.  Since God has these elements in Him, He is Person.

          Will – God has will (Rom. 8 : 27 ; 12 : 2 ; 15 : 32)

          Intellect – God has wisdom and knowledge (Rom. 11 : 33)

          Emotion – God repents (Gen. 6 : 6)

  1. God’s Personality known through the personal characteristics.

The following characteristics denotes His personality.  (Reference verses are given, every students must read those verses to understand theology proper)

a        –        God grieves – only a person can grieve (Gen. 6:6)

b        –        God loves – only a person can love another person (Jn. 3 : 16 ;  Rev. 3 : 19)

c        –        God hates – God hates sin (Pro. 6 : 16)

d        –        God creates – Only a person can make or create (Gen. 1 : 1)

e        –        God provides – God gives everything and provides the needs of all

                   (Ps. 104 : 27-30 ; Phil. 4 : 19)

f        –         God hears – God hears the prayer of believer (Ps. 94 : 9,10)

g       –         God judges – Ps. 75 : 7

h       –         God laughs – Ps. 2 : 4 (Only person can laugh)

I        –         God cares – 1 Pet. 5 : 6,7

j        –         God saves – 1 Tim. 4 : 10 ; Tit. 2 : 10

k       –         God knows – Ps. 139 : 1-6

                   All these characters prove God’s personality.

  1. God’s personality known through His Divine names and titles.
  1. a) Elohim – Hebrew word Elohim is translated as God. It is found over 2250 times in the Bible.  This is the official title of God.  It has the idea of being “the strong one” and “the one to be feared or reverened”.  El is the singular form of Elohim.
  1. b) Jehovah – This is the personal name of God. The words GOD (OR) LORD (in capital letters) found in the English versions are the translations of the Hebrew word JEHOVAH.  God revealed Himself in this name to Moses (Exo. 6 : 3).  This name occurs about 7000 times in the Old Testament (OT).  The name Jehovah is derived from the phrase “I am that I am “ (Ex. 3 : 14).  The Hebrew verb for “I am” indicates the eternal existence of God.
  1. c) Adonai or Adon – This means Master. This name is translated as Lord (Gen. 15 : 1,2).  This name implies the idea that God is the Master and man is His servant.
  1. d) Compound names and titles.
  1. Jehovah – Jireh = The  Lord will provide – Gen. 22 : 14
  2. Jehovah – Rapha = The Lord that heals – Exo. 15 : 26
  • Jehovah – Nissi = The Lord (or) Banner – Exo. 17 : 15
  1. Jehovah – Qadash = The Lord that sanctifies – Lov. 20 : 8
  2. Jehovah – Shalom = The Lord our Peace – Jud. 6 : 24
  3. Jehovah – Tsidkenu = The Lord our Righteousness – Jer. 23 : 6
  • Jehovah – Shamma= The Lord is there – Ezek. 48 : 35
  • Jehovah – Sabaoth = The Lord of Hosts – 1 Sam. 1: 3a, Ex. 12 : 41
  1. Jehovah – Raah = The Lord  my shepherd – Ps. 23 : 1
  2. El – Elyon = Most high God – Gen. 14 : 18
  3. El – Olam = Everlasting God – Gen. 21 : 33
  • El – Shaddai = Almighty God – Gen. 17 : 1
  • Qudesh – Israel = The Holy One of Israel – Isa. 1 : 4

All these names denote God’s personality.

D       The Essence of God


                   The essence of God refers to the basic aspect of the nature of God.  Man is combination of body, soul and spirit.  How about God?  What is His nature?

  • Spirituality of God


God is Spirit (Jn. 4 : 24)

There is no article before the word “Spirit”.  Therefore, In Greek, this statement really means that “God as to His nature is Spirit”.  We understand God is pure Spirit.

  1. God is Incorporeal and Immaterial.

Incorporeal means “without material or body”  since God has no body but Spirit, we are prohibited to make “image” to God (Exo. 20 : 4 ; 34 : 17, Deut. 4 : 12 ; Zech. 4 : 6).  Since God is Spirit, He must be without material body.

  1. God is invisible

Since God is Spirit, no human eye can see Him (Jn. 1 : 18).  Since God is invisible, Jesus Christ became the visible image of the invisible God (Col. 1 : 15 ; 1 Tim. 1 : 17).

          Read : Rom. 1 : 20 ; 1 Tim. 6 : 16

Question : If God is Spirit, How can one understand or explain texts which depicts people of Old Testament as seeing God?

          (Ex. 24 : 10-11 ; 33 : 11 ; Isa. 6 : 1-5)

Although God can not be seen, He sometimes appeared to men in Old Testament in a visible form.  This visible form of God is known as “Theophanies”.  These  theophanical appearances of God were voluntary and temporary.  These theophanical manifestations (or) appearances would immediately disappear, at once the purpose of His manifestation was over.

  1. God is alive
  1. a) The living God – He is called “the living God” (Josh. 3 : 10 ; 1 Sam. 17 : 26 ; Mt. 16 : 16 ; 1 Thes. 1 : 9).  Life includes feeling, activity, power etc.  God has all these basic activity of life.  He is the source of all life (Jn. 5 : 26 ; Ps. 36 : 9).
  1. b) Self existence of God – It means that God is not a created being. He, Himself is the source and ground of His existence.

Note :  Man has the ground of existence outside of himself, because man is created being. 

  1. c) Infinity of God – Infinity means “without limit of time or space” or “without termination”. The Divine nature has no limits or bounds.  God can not be limited by the universe, or confined to the universe or limited by the time.  (1 King. 8 : 27 ; Job. 11 : 7-9 ; Ps. 145 : 3 ; Isa. 66 : 1 ; Rom. 11 : 33).  All His characters are infinite.
  1. d) Immensity of God – Immensity means “God’s infinity in relation to space”. God can not be limited by space.  He is present everywhere at the same time.  (1 King 8 : 27 ; 2 Chro. 2 : 6 ; Jer. 23 : 24 ; Ps. 139 : 7-12 ; Is. 66 : 1 ; Acts. 17 : 28)
  1. e) Eternity of God – Eternity is related to time. Hence, Eternity of God means that God is not limited by time. He is without beginning or end.  He is called “the eternal God” (Gen. 21 : 33).  He is from everlasting to everlasting (Ps. 90 : 2). 

Read :  Isa. 40 : 28 ; Deut. 33 : 27 ; Heb. 1 : 12 ; Lament. 5 : 18 ;         Job 36 : 26

          All these qualities reveals the spirituality of God.  This spiritual nature is theologically known as “the essence of God”. 

          Therefore the essence of God refers to “Spirit nature of God” or “Spirituality”.  God’s self existence is implied in the phrase “I am that I am” (Ex. 3 : 14).  God was always existence and He will always be existing.  He, Himself is life and exists in Himself.  Deut. 32 : 40 ; Isa. 44 : 6.  Since we know the essence or nature of God, now we can study about the attributes of God. 

  1. The Attributes of God


The attributes of God are the very essential qualities of a Perfect Being.  They are also known as characteristics of God.  There are two categories of attributes.

  1. The Non – Moral attributes (Incommunicable attributes)
  2. The Moral attributes (Communicable attributes) we shall see these attributes in detail.
  1. The Non – Moral attributes of God


The non-moral attributes are necessary characteristics of

God that do not involve moral qualities.  These qualities or attributes can not be shared by the creatures.  These qualities, only belong to God.  Hence, these attributes are also called incommunicable attributes.  The following are the non-moral attributes.

  1. a) Omnipotence of God : Omnipotence means “all mighty (or) all powerful”. God is able to do what He wills. He can do anything that does not contradict His own nature or Being.

                             Mt. 19 : 26 – “With God all things are possible”.

                             Jer. 32 : 17 – “There is nothing too hard for thee (God)”.

Read : Rev. 19 : 6  Gen. 18 : 14 ; Jer. 32 : 27 ; Job. 42 : 2 ; Lk. 1 : 37.  God is all powerful.  Therefore

  • God has power over nature (Gen. 1 : 1 ; Ps. 33 : 6-9 ; Hag. 2 : 6)
  • God has power over man
    • Man’s life is in God’s hand – James 4 : 12-15
    • God controlled Pharaoh (Ex. 4 : 21)
    • God has power over angels (Dan. 4 : 15 ; Heb. 1 : 14 ; Col. 1 : 16)
    • God has power over Satan – (Job. 1 : 12 ; 2 : 6 ; Rom. 16 : 20; 20 : 2, 10
  • Satan is not equal to God.
  • God has power over death (Eph. 1 : 19-21 ; Rev. 20 : 14)

Note : Though God can do all, He will not do what contradicts His own nature.  Therefore

          God can not deny Himself (2 Tim. 2 : 13)

          God can not lie (Heb. 6 : 18)

          God can not sin (James 1 : 13)

  1. The Omniscience of God : Omnisccience means “all knowing”.  God knows past, present and future of every one and every event.  He is absolutely perfect in knowledge (1 Jn. 3 : 20).


Read :  Job. 11 : 7,8 ; 37 : 16 ; Is. 40 : 28 ; Ps. 147 : 4,5 ; Rom. 11 : 33

             Pro. 5 : 21 ; 15 : 3 ; Heb. 4 : 13 ; Ps. 139 : 1-6 ; Mt. 10 : 29,30

             Act 15 : 18 ; Ex. 3 : 19 ; Is. 46 : 9, 10 ; 48 : 5-8

  1. The Omnipresence of God : Omnipresence means “everywhere present”.  Hence God is present everywhere at the same time.  There is no place where His presence is absent.  Ps. 139 : 7-12 ; Jer. 23 : 23, 24.  Though God’s presence is everywhere, He can make special presence in Heaven (1 King. 8 : 30 ; Eph. 1 : 20 ; Rev. 21 : 2).  In a speicial manner, he could make special presence in other places while He is in Heaven.


     Ex.  He made  special presence to Moses or burning bush (Ex. 3 : 4)

     The following are also special presence of God.

     Read :  Phil. 2 – God in the flesh – Incarnated Christ

                John  14 : 16,17 – Holy Spirit indwells in believer.

  1. The immutability of God : Immutability means “Unchangeableness”  Therefore God is not changeable in His Being, His attribute.  He never changes.  When He created the universe, His power did not diminish or change.

                   Mal. 3 : 6 – I am the Lord, I change not

          Read :  James 1 : 7 ; Heb. 6 : 17

  1. The Sovereignty of God : The word “Sovereign” means “Highest or Supreme”.  Therefore sovereignty of God means that God is the supreme ruler in the Universe.  He has absolute authority over His creation.

Eg.  When Nebuchadezar boasted about his kingdom, God made him to be mad (Dan. 4).  Because Nebuchadnezar did not understand that God is the sovereign Ruler of the world.         

Read :  Ps. 146 : 10 ; 36 : 6 ; 1 Tim. 6 : 15; Mt. 5 : 45 ; Act 17 : 24 ; Mt. 6 : 31-33 ; Is. 40 : 13 –14

  1. The Moral attributes of God

Some attributes of God are related to moral qualities.  They are known as moral attributes.  These moral attributes can be relatively shared with man, but God possess these attributes absolutely.  The Moral attributes are as following.

  1. Holiness : God is Holy. Holy means separated.  Therefore God is separated (Holy) from that which is contrary to His own nature.

Read :  Lev. 11 : 45 ; Is. 57 : 15 ; Ps. 99 : 9 ; Heb. 1 : 13 ; 1 Pet. 1 : 15-16, Jn. 17 : 11 ; Exo. 20 : 18-19 ; Is. 6 : 5-6

Although God is absolutely Holy, a saved person can relatively live a holy life as long as he follows God’s word.  Since God is Holy, we should approach God with reverance (Ex. Chap. 3 – Moses ; Chap. 19 : Israel).

  1. Love : God is love (1 Jn. 4 : 8,16). This means God in His nature is love. He expresses His personality corresponding to His nature.  It is the very nature of God to love.
  • God loves Jesus Christ – Mt. 3 : 17 ; 17 : 5 ; Lk. 20 : 13
  • God loves Believers – Jn. 16 : 27 : 17 : 23
  • God loves sinners, but hates sin – Eph. 2 : 4,5 ; Rom. 5 : 6-8
  • God loves Israel – Deut. 7 : 6-8

              Although God manifested His love in many ways, His love is fully manifested in Jesus (Jn. 3 : 16)

Read :  1 Jn. 3 : 1 ; Is. 38 : 17 ; Eph. 2 : 4, 5 ; Heb.  12 : 6-11 ; Is. 63 : 9 ;

49 : 15,16

God’s love is expressed through His Grace, Mercy and Goodness.

Grace :  Grace is the favour God gives to a sinner, who does not deserves it.  God has saved us by His grace.  Eph. 2 : 4-9.

Read : Rom. 3 : 24 ; 5 : 15,17 ; 2 Cor. 8 : 9 ; Titus 2 : 11 ; 3 : 7 ; Heb. 2 : 9 ; 4 : 16.


Mercy :  Mercy refers to the compassion of God.  ‘Mercy of God is displayed in the forgiveness of sin.’

Read :  Rom. 5 : 8, Num. 14 : 16 ; Deut. 13 : 17 ; Ps. 25 : 7 ; 1 Tim. 1 : 13

Loving Kindness :  Mercy  and Loving Kindness go together.  Loving Kindness is the attribute of God which leads Him to bestow upon His obedient children His constant and choice blessing (Rom. 8 : 32 ; Ps. 51 : 1)

Goodness :  Goodness refers to the benevolence and kindness that God shows towards mankind by giving us life, breath, food, rain, sun, clothing, harvest, seasons, blessings.

Read :  Ps. 145 : 9,15, 16 ; Mt. 5 : 45 ; 6 : 31 – 33; Act. 14 : 17 ; 17 : 25-28

  1. The Righteousness of God : God is righteous who always deals with mankind in fairness. He is impartial in His dealing with man. (Neh. 9 : 33 ; Ps. 11 : 7 ; 19 : 9 ; Dan. 9 : 14)
  1. The Truth of God : God never contradicts Himself. He is consistant with Himself and thus everything He does is true also.  He is true, His words are true.  His declarations are true and His promises will surely be fulfilled.  He is truth (Jn. 14 : 6). 

Read :  Deut. 32 : 4 ; Is. 65 : 16 ; Jer. 10 : 10 ; 1 Jn. 5 : 20

This attribute involves two things, as veracity of God and faithfulness of God.

Veracity of God  –  Veracity refers to habitual truthfulness.  The attribute veracity means that God can not lie. (Tit. 1 : 2 ; Heb. 6 : 18).     God can not lie, because that would be contrary to His nature.  Since He can not lie, one can believe what God says in His word (The Bible).

Faithfulness of God :  God fulfills all His promises, because He is faithful in His nature (Ps. 36 : 5)

Read : Deut 7 : 9 ; 1 Cor. 1 : 9 ; 10 : 13 ; 1 Thes. 5 : 24 ; 2 Thes. 3 : 3 ; 1 Jn. 1 : 9)




  1. The definition of unity

        By the term “Unity”, a true theologian means that there is   only ONE GOD ; and there is no other.

Deut. 6 : 4 – “Hear, O Israel, the Lord Our God is one Lord”.

Read : Is. 44 : 6-8 ; 45 : 5 ; 1 Tim. 2 : 5 ; 1 Cor. 8 : 4,6

  1. The nature of Unity


          The doctrine of the Unity of God does not exclude the idea of a plurality of persons in the Godhead.  The scripture says that “God is One”.  This phrase “God is one” refers to His essence.  This essence is generally termed as Godhead.  That means there is only”One Essence” that is God who exists in three persons.

          The word “one” in the Bible is used many times to refer to a collective unity. 

  • Gen 2 : 24 And they two (Husband & wife) shall be one flesh.
  • 11 : 6 – The people is one.
  • 17 : 22 – That they may be one even as we are one.

          The “oneness” in the above verses is a compound one like ‘One cluster of grapes’ etc.  The Hebrew word ‘one’ (echad) that is used to refer to God is a compound “oneness” or it is used in the sense of compound unity.


  1. Definition

Trinity means that there are three eternal distinctions in the one divine essence known respectively as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

          These three distinctions are three persons and so may speak of the tripersonality of God.  Thus the divine essence is manifested in three persons.  The essence can not be divided, but the persons are distinguished.



These three persons in Godhead are Co-equal, Co-eternal, Co-existing.

  1. The doctrine of Trinity in the Old Testament

Though the doctrine of Trinity is hard to understand by human mind, it is the right doctrine and very foundation for all other doctrine in the Bible.  The Old Testament has the idea of Trinity.

  1. i) In the plural names of the Deity – Elohim (Gen. 1 : 1)

          Elohim in Hebrew Language includes the idea of plurality; it is a   plural noun, meaning three or more.

Read : Gen. 3 : 5 ; Exo. 20 : 3 ; Deut. 13 : 2,3


  1. ii) Plural pronouns used to refer God

          Gen. 1 : 26 “Let us” make men.  Us is a plural pronoun for God.  So Godhead may have  more than one person, specifically three.

Read : Gen 3 : 22, Isa. 6 : 8

           iii)    Scriptural designation has the idea of Trinity

Ps. 2 : 7,12  – Lord and His son refers to second person of Trinity.

                   Is. 42 : 1 –   “My” refers to Jehovah (First Person of Trinity)

                                      “Servant” refers to the Second person of Trinity

                                      “Spirit” refers to the Third person of Trinity

  1. iv) Triple expressions probably suggest Trinity.

                   Num. 6 : 24-26 – Three fold Benediction refers to Trinity.

                   Is. 6 : 3 – Holy, Holy, Holy – 3 times for three persons

c.        Trinity in the New Testament

Though Old Testament teaches the idea of Trinity, it is still obscure in Old Testament.  However, New Testament removes this obscurity  and makes clear the doctrine of Trinity.


  1. Baptism of Christ – Mt. 3 : 16, 17
    • The voice of God, the Father from Heaven
    • Holy Spirit descends like a dove.
    • Son was in the water being baptized.

Here we see three persons at a time.

  1. Baptismal Formula – Mt. 28 : 19, 20. These verses are using “Father, Son, Holy Spirit” as three persons while giving singular noun “Name”, to refer three persons.
  • Apostalic Benediction – 2 Cor. 13 : 14. This verse uses Father, Son, the Holy Spirit.
  1. Other scriptural passage for Trinity

Jn. 14 : 26 – Son,


                   Comforter (Holy Spirit)

Summary of Triunity (or) Trinity

Since both Old Testament and New Testament advocate for three persons in one Godhead, we strongly believe Trinity or Triunity of God.

  • The Father is recognized as God (Rom. 1 : 7 ; Jn. 6 : 27 ; 1 Pet. 1 : 2)
  • The Son is recognized as God (Heb. 1 : 8 ; Tit. 2 : 12, 13)
  • The Holy Spirit is recognized as God (Act. 5 : 3,4)

Note :  When Peter said to Ananias “satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Spirit” (v : 3). In verse 4, Peter again said “You have not lied to men but to God”.  Indeed, Peter said, “lie to the Holy Spirit” is “lie to God”.  Hence Peter equals and declares the Holy Spirit is God.

                   Therefore we conclue based on the above statements of the scripture, that God, the Father, God, the Son and God, the Holy Spirit are one in Godhead of Trinity.  Therefore Trinity simply means “One God who exists in three persons”.

G. The works of God
  1.  God’s work in the Universe
  2. The Decrees of God

  This is the first work of God.

Definition : The decree of God is His eternal plan or purpose in which He has foreordained all things that come to pass.  According to God’s decree He plans everything.  Based on His plan, He does all things He does.  He created the universe according to His decree.  He sustains and preserves His creation based on His decree. All His doings are based on His decree alone.  God’s decrees are according to His will (Eph. 1 : 1).  There are four kinds of God’s will.

  1. Determinitive will of God : All things that God has determined will come to pass and will not and can not be thwarted by any means.

Eg. When God decreed to create the universe, nobody was and none could thwart it. (Is. 42 : 5)

  1. Permissive will of God : Certain things that God has permitted to happen is His permissive will.

Eg. The entrance of sin into the world is not determined but permitted by God.  This means that although God does not like sin, He has permitted in His permissive will.

  1. Desirous will of God : This is the will with which God desires or wishes certain things which is based upon the human responsibility. (Lev.11 : 45 ; 1Pet.1 : 15-16; 1 Tim. 2 : 4)

Eg.  God wishes that we should be holy.  In 1 Thes. 4 : 3, “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification”.  Believers have a responsibility for the fulfillment of this will of God.


  1. Secret will of God : Certain things that God has determined in His plan, but their exact time of fulfillment is kept by God in secret.

Eg. The date and time of second coming of Jesus Christ.  It is a secret will of God, for it is a secret, that nobody knows when Christ comes. (Mt.24 : 36)

 Characteristics of the Divine Decrees

  1. It is founded in Divine wisdom. God decreed His decrees in His infinite wisdom (Eph. 1 : 11).
  2. It is eternal. God decreed His decrees before the beginning of time, more specifically, before the foundation of the world or before the beginning of creative activity.
  • It is efficacious. What God has decreed in His will certainly come to pass (Ps. 33 : 11 ; Pro. 19 : 21 ; Isa. 46 : 10).
  1. It is unchangeable. Man can change his own plan. But God’s decrees can not be changed.  God’s decrees are unchangeable, because God has decreed them in His perfect wisdom.  So there is no need of second consideration to change His decrees.  (Job 23 : 13, 14 ; Isaiah. 46 : 10 ; Luk. 22 : 22 ; Acts. 2 : 23)
  2. It is unconditional. God did not make His decrees due to some situations arised outside of Him. But He made His decrees with His own choice.  Therefore God has determined not only what will come to pass, but also the condition under which it will be realized. (Act.23 : 13 ; Eph. 2 : 8 ; 1 Pet. 1 : 2).
  1. Creation

 Definition :  Creation is that act or work of God by which He made the world and all that is in it, partly without the use of pre-existent materials; and partly out of materials for His glory. (Gen. 1 : 1-2 ; Job. 26 : 13 ; 33 : 4 ; Ps. 33 : 6 ; 104 : 30 ; Is. 40 : 12, 13 ; Jn. 1 : 3 ; Col. 1 : 15-17 ; Jer. 10 : 12 ; Gen. 1 : 26, 27 ; Ps. 148 :  2-5)

Purpose of God’s creation : God has a definite purpose in His creation.  He created every thing for the manifestation of His Glory.  He created them for His Glory alone.  He created them in His good pleasure for His glory.

(Ps. 19 : 1 ; 145 : 10 ; 146 : 4-6 ; Rev. 4 : 11 ; Is. 66 : 17 ; 66 : 22 ; Rev. 21 : 1-4 ; 22 : 1-5)

  1. Preservation
  2. Definition  : Preservation is the act or work of Triune God.  God through His work of preservation upholds the entire universe with all its natural laws, properties, powers and processes.  The universe is functioning and moving based on natural laws, decreed by God.

Eg. The law governing the precipitation cycle (Rain – Evaporation – clouds – rain)

Read :  Heb. 1 : 3 ; Ps. 36 : 6 ; 119 : 90-91 ; Neh. 9 : 6 ; Job. 28 : 23 –26 ; Isa. 40 : 12 ; 26 : 28 ; 1 Tim. 6 : 13.

Note : If God does not preserve the universe by the natural laws, the universe would have been collapsed.  Praise God He preserves the universe until now.

 B. God’s work in Human affairs or Man

As God worked in creation, God also works in man and in his daily affairs.  There are many of such works.  Some are given below taken for the epistle of Romans.

List of God’s work in man

God quickens 4 : 17, 10 : 9

God promises 4 : 20

God gives eternal life 6 : 23

God justifies 8 : 33

God protects 8 : 31

God answers prayers 11 : 4

God calls us 11 : 29

God ordains earthly authority 13 : 1

God gives law 13 : 2

God receives sinner and weak in faith 14 : 3

God rules (Kingship) 14 : 17

God of hope gives hope 15 : 13

God of peace gives peace 5 : 33, 16 : 20

Christian attitude toward God

 Since God has created us especially, He preserves, and  provides us.  Therefore  we should have  following attitudes toward God.

Thanksgiving 6 : 17; 7 : 25, 14 : 6

Serving 6 : 2 ; 9 : 4 ; 12 : 1

Bring fruit to God 7 : 4

Becomes and behave like sons 8 : 14, 16 (John 1 : 12)

Praising God 9 : 5

We can pray 10 : 1; 15 : 30

Intercession for others 11 : 2

We will give account 14 : 12

Note :  Man can oppose God and His purposes (8 : 7 ; 10 : 3 ; 9 : 20).  It is possible that some Christians too oppose God’s plan in their life either unknowingly or willfully.  Every Christian must take heed not to oppose God’s plan and will.

God judges for opposing His plans

 Judgement 2 : 2 ; 5 : 16 ; 3 : 6

Wrath of God 1 : 18 ; 9 : 22

The natural consequence of opposing God’s plan for our life is judgement, which is painful.

Benefits of the doctrine of God (Theology Proper)

It is one of the most benefiting doctrine for everyone’s life.  Because the word of God promises that God rewards those who believe Him (Hebrew        11 : 6).



  1. Write the evidences for Revelation
  2. List out the evidences for Inspiration
  3. What were criteria for the canon of New Testament?
  4. What are the benefits of learning the doctrine of the Bible?
  5. Write the definitions of Revelation, Inspiration, Infallibility, Inerrency, Illumination

Theology Proper

  1. Write the definition of God.
  2. What are the arguments for the existence of God?
  3. What are Non-moral attributes? Explain.
  4. What are Moral attributes? Explain.
  5. What are the works of God?

Useful & Recommended Readings

Theology Notes – Prepared by J.K. Joseph

          Systematic Theology – DBTS, US

          The Seeking Mind – Ravi Kumar