2 Corinthians 13:14 – The Three Be With You

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen. – 2 Corinthians 13:14, World English

2 Corinthians 13:14 is often referenced by trinitarians as some kind of support for the trinity. It claimed to be “the benediction which proves the doctrine of the Divine Trinity in unity.”* The idea seems to be that all three alleged members of the alleged trinity are mentioned here. What we do not have here is any thought that these three, Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit are all members of the assumed triune God. Indeed, “God” is being used here unipersonally, not tripersonally, and nothing is said about Jesus as being a member of a triune God, nor of the holy spirit as being a member of a triune God.
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*Jamieson, Robert, D.D. “Commentary on 2 Corinthians 13”. “Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible”.
http://www.studylight.org/com/jfb/view.cgi?book=2co&chapter=013. 1871.

Of course, the mere mention of these three together does mean that they form a triune God. If we were to accept such logic as proof of the trinity, then we would be led to believe that Peter, James and John are a trinity because they are listed together. (See Luke 9:28.) 1 Timothy 5:21 (World English) says: “I charge you in the sight of God, and Christ Jesus, and the elect angels.” Does this make angels a part of the alleged trinity?

Actually, the trinitarian has to imagine, assume, and add to the scripture that “God” means the first person of their triune God, and the Lord Jesus Christ means the second person of their triune God, and the Holy Spirit is the third person of their triune God.

The truth is that all through Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, Paul presents the God of the Old Testament as unipersonally the “The God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Corinthians 11:31, World English) Paul never depicts the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as three persons. The trinitarian idea does have to imagined, assumed, added to, and read into what Paul wrote.

One says that all three are with the believer. Actually, what Paul said is that “grace,” “love,” and “communion” be with the believers, applying “grace” as of Jesus, “love” as of God, and “communion” as being of the holy spirit. In other words, Paul, in saying that these gifts should be with/amongst the believers; he is exhorting the believers to take possession and utilize these that are available to them from Jesus, God and the holy spirit.

But doesn’t this usage of the “Holy Spirit” mean that the holy spirit is a separate and distinct person, just as God is a person, and Jesus is a person? God’s holy spirit certainly displays the personage of the owner of the holy spirit, God, but this does not mean that God’s holy spirit is a person of Himself. If the usage of the holy spirit in 2 Corinthians 13:14 means that the holy spirit is a person of God along with God and Jesus, then to be consistent in such an application, in Revelation 1:4,5 we have nine persons of God. In Luke 2:32,35, Jesus is shown to be the Son of the Most High, while the holy spirit is shown to be the power of the Most High.

As has been pointed in other places, God’s holy spirit is likened to God’s finger (as the power of God). (Matthew 12:28; Luke 11:20) As the revealment of truth, the holy spirit is likened to God’s “mouth”. (1 Kings 8:24; 2 Chronicles 6:4; 36:12,21; Ezra 1:1; Isaiah 1:20; 40:5; 45:23; 48:3; 58:14; 62:2; Jeremiah 9:12,20; Ezekiel 33:7; Micah 4:4; Matthew 4:4; Mark 12:36; Acts 1:17; 28:25; Hebrews 3:7; 9:8; 10:15,16; 2 Peter 1:21) Are we to think of God’s finger or his mouth as a separate and distinct person of God (using trinitarian terminology)?

In reality, we find nothing in 2 Corinthians 13:14 that offers proof of the trinity, or that Jesus is Yahweh (Jehovah), the God of the Old Testament.

See also:

2 Corinthians 13:14 – Trinity?

 

         
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