The role of the Trinity in creation

According to St John’s Gospel, the Trinity was present at creation. God the Father is the creator but the Holy Spirit also had a role:

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The Spirit of God was hovering over the water. And God said, ‘Let there be light.’ And there was light.Genesis 1:2–3

St John’s Gospel also describes the role of the Son of God, referring to him as “the Word”:

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In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made.John 1:1

Many Christians interpret this as evidence from the Bible that although God is three distinct divine persons, God is one:

A triangular diagram to explain the Trinity, with God labelled in the centre, and the three distinct parts labelled on each corner - The Father, The Son, The Holy Spirit.

Interpretations

There are various interpretations of the creation story, and Christian beliefs differ depending not only on denomination but also on personal belief.

  • Literal - Some Christians interpret the creation stories in Genesis literally, and believe the events documented in the Bible happened exactly as written. For these Christians, the Bible is the literal word of God and therefore they believe it is completely true.
  • Inspirational - Other Christians believe that the Bible was inspired by God, which means that there could be inconsistencies in the stories because they were written by humans, who, whilst inspired, are not completely perfect. This means the Bible’s stories can be interpreted in many ways. Christians who hold these beliefs could, for example, question the duration of a ‘day’ in Genesis - in this context, could the word ‘day’ actually mean an era?
  • Metaphorical - Some Christians believe that the stories are metaphors or symbolic descriptions. These Christians will accept scientific theories about the origins of the universe, such as the Big Bang theory. What is important for these Christians, is the message of the Genesis account of creation, which is that God created the world and gave humans a special role, status and purpose in it.