A fundamental Christian doctrine claiming that God is three in one, that a single God reveals Himself using three persons. These are God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit. Although the three are separate they still remain a unity, sharing a single substance. The doctrine was defined by a series of early church councils in the third and fourth centuries, which sought to reaffirm both the separate and unified aspects of the Trinity and to reconcile Christian histor y and teachings with monotheism. The scriptural basis of the notion appears in such New Testament books as Matthew and Corinthians, where the three are celebrated together. The precise nature of the Trinity is considered different, however, in the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox branches of Christianity. Roman Catholics, and most Prot- estants, believe that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, and placed that assertion into the Nicene Creed; it is known as the filioque (and from the Son) clause. Eastern Orthodox Christians believe instead that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father through the Son.
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