The doctrine of the Trinity attempts to describe how the one God is revealed as three distinct persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and yet is one substance. The language of Father and Son could be viewed as implying a hierarchy within the Trinity. In this paper I will outline the problems with this interpretation and the use of figurative language when describing the orthodox understanding of the Godhead. After briefly presenting the historical and theological background to the doctrine of the Trinity and describing three common heresies I will explain how the language used to describe God can be regarded are hierarchical, and briefly touch on the problems of using everyday human language to describe the transcendent Trinity.
‘And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us’ (John 1:14). Saint Athanasius of Alexandria (c.296–373) took this verse from the Gospel of John in order to unpack his Christology of the incarnation. In this essay I will examine the work of Athanasius in order to study the claim that ‘The Word became flesh.’ Athanasius argued that God ‘became man, and did not come into man.’ The implications of his conviction are firstly, only God could save humanity and secondly, the Word was fully divine. I will assess the implications of Athanasius’ arguments in his treatise ‘On the Incarnation’ with reference to some of his other works.