What does the word Godhead mean?

To many people it’s simply another way to say Trinity.

As soon as I mention the word Godhead you might immediately think I’m referring to

God the Father, God the Son, and God the spirit.

This understanding is very common today, let me show you a few examples.

SDA Pastor Doug Batchelor.

“The bible does talks about the Godhead; and protestants prefer that term, but for common usage we’ll say trinity. It means try entities, or the three persons of the Godhead.”

 

SDA Pastor Doug Batchelor.

“The Bible does use the word Godhead; there’s nothing wrong with the word Trinity.”

Nader Mansour:

Godheat

 

 

 

The same idea is reflected in the book of the twenty-seven fundamentals of the SDA church; belief number two is listed as the Godhead.

 

 

 

 

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In the current twenty eight fundamentals the same belief is listed as the ‘Trinity’, the same goes for the official website of the church.

 

 

 

 

 

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The trinity is used interchangeably with the Godhead, the idea being that they both mean the same thing, so is this what Godhead means; is it just a different word we can use for the trinity, does it refer to three persons?

 

 

Godhead

 

Today we want to explore the biblical meaning for the word Godhead.

 

Questions that demand answers-Prove All Things.

Hello everyone my name is Nader Mansour and welcome to prove all things, where we explore current issues and questions in light of the Bible.

 

Most people today think that the word Godhead is synonymous with the trinity; some people even think that the word Godhead is a more biblical way to refer to the trinity. Others feel that it is wrong to use the word trinity seeing it’s not in the Bible, but it is more accurate to only use Godhead.

 

Still others actually claim that they don’t even believe in the trinity, but in the Godhead, while it gives the impression that it’s different to the trinity when they define Godhead they basically describe the trinity.

 

The common denominator between all those uses of the word is that it carries a numerical connotation, namely that Godhead means three: Three persons, one God, the trinity Godhead.

The way the word Godhead is used today is very different to how it’s used in the Bible, this difference is rather obvious when a simple examination is carried out.

 

We want to answer some key questions today:

  1. How does the Bible use it?
  2. Does it refer to three persons?
  3. Is this the biblical word for the concept of the trinity?

 

The answer to these questions is very easy to find because the word Godhead actually appears in the Bible only three times; we will look at each instance and see how the word is used and what it actually means.

This will be a short, but exhaustive study. Paul used this word when he was preaching to the Athenians on Mars Hill, the first mention is in that famous sermon recorded for us in Acts chapter 17 and verse 29.

“Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.”

 

The Godhead in this verse comes from the Greek (τό θεῖον) which literally means that which is divine, it’s strictly referring to the divine nature of God, the same Greek word appears in a passage that makes it very clear.

2nd Peter 1:3-4.

“According as his ‘divine’ (θεῖον) power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness,… that by these ye might be partakers of the ‘divine’(θεῖον) nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”

 

So the word Godhead means ‘divine’, the divine nature, it does not refer to any number, so when Paul was preaching on Mars Hill he was saying that God’s divine nature is not like gold, or silver.

 

Other Bible translations of the same verse actually say as much, it’s recorded as the divine being, the divine nature, the deity, the divinity, and that which is divine.

From the context of the passage we actually know that Paul is referring to the unknown God. The God that he wanted to declare to the Athenians, it wasn’t the unknown gods, he wasn’t trying to declare a trinity to them, the God that he was declaring to them was the Lord of heaven and earth who would one day judge the world by his Son, whom he raised from the dead.

This is none other than God the Father, He is the true God that the Athenians were ignorant of.

 

The second time the word Godhead is used is in Paul’s letter to the church in Romans; this well-known verse is in the opening chapter of that epistle.

Romans 1:20.

“The invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse”

 

Once again the word Godhead comes from the Greek word (θειότης) which means divinity, or divine nature.

Creation testifies to the power and Godhood of its maker, notice that Paul has in mind one person, not three.

The invisible things of Him and His power is what nature testifies on its speaking of the attributes and majesty of God.

 

As a matter of fact the SDA Bible Commentary says the following about this verse.

“The Apostle here speaks of the divine essence and the manifestation of the divine attributes, not of the trinity as such.”
SDA Bible commentary on Romans 1:20

Indeed, ‘Godhead’ here has nothing to do with any trinity.

Paul had one person in mind whose power and supreme divinity is exhibited in the works of creation.

 

The last occurrence of the word Godhead in the Bible is found in Colossians chapter 2 and verse 9.

“For in Him [Christ] dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.”

The Greek word used here means essence, and nature of the divine, the very nature of God; divinity resides completely in Christ, in other words He is fully divine, just like His Father is Divine.

 

Christ possesses the fullness of Godhood: The Godhead is really none other than God the Father, He is the great Father of all.

Ephesians 4:6

“One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”

He is also the head of all, including His Son.

1stCorinthians 11:3

“The head of Christ is God”

God the Father is the God; and head of all. This helps us understand why all the fullness of God the Father, the Godhead dwells in Christ, notice why.

Colossians 1:19.

“For it pleased the father that in Him [Christ] should all fullness dwell.”

 

So the Father’s will and pleasure is that His Son should possess His very own fullness, that’s the fullness of the Godhead. It is the very nature of God, the Father himself. There is not a single word in the entire Bible that even hints that the true God is more than one person, or that he is three-in-one, not a single word and as we’ve just seen the word Godhead simply means divinity, according to the Bible.

 

It has no numerical value or connotation, and has nothing to do with the trinity. The Godhead is none other than God the Father himself, it pleased him to have all His divine fullness to dwell in His only begotten Son, that’s the biblical meaning for the word Godhead, the divine nature of God.

Godhead

See the following links for further information on the subject of the trinity and its origins

The Athanasian Creed Defined and Compelled by the Church

Theos: Searching for the One True God

Trinity Quotes by SDA Pioneers

The trinity doctrine was not accepted by the Early Christians

External Link: You will be directed to www.Worlds Last Chance Trinity

External Link: You will be directed to www.trinitytruth.org

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