Saturday, April 24, 2010

Hannibal analysis - part 2: A description of each part of the Holy Trinity


The Christian doctrine of the Holy Trinity teaches the unity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as three persons in one Godhead. The doctrine states that God is the Triune God, existing as three persons, but one being. Each person is understood as having the one identical essence or nature, not merely similar natures. Trinitarianism, belief in the Trinity, is a mark of Roman Catholicism, Eastern and Oriental Orthodoxy as well as of the "mainstream traditions" arising from the Protestant Reformation, such as Anglicanism, Methodism, Lutheranism and Presbyterianism.[a] The three persons of the Trinity and their main characteristics are listed below.

The Father
God the Father is the title and attribution given to God in many monotheist religions. In Christianity, God is called Father because he is the creator, law-giver, and protector, and because of the mystery of the Father-Son relationship revealed by Jesus Christ. In general, the name Father signifies that he is the origin of what is subject to him, a supreme and powerful authority and protector. Moreover, God the Father is viewed as immense, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, with infinite power and charity that goes beyond human understanding.[b]

The Son
The doctrine of the Trinity identifies Jesus of Nazareth as God the Son. He is co-eternal with God the Father (and the Holy Spirit), both before Creation and after the End. So Jesus was always "God the Son", though not revealed as such until he also became the "Son of God" through Incarnation. "Son of God" draws attention to his humanity, whereas "God the Son" refers more generally to his divinity, including his pre-incarnate existence.[c]

The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is co-equal and co-eternal with God the Father and God the Son. He is different from the Father and the Son in that he proceeds from the Father (or from the Father and the Son) as described in the Nicene Creed. His sacredness is reflected in the New Testament gospels which proclaim blasphemy against the Holy Spirit as unforgivable. The Holy Spirit is believed to perform specific divine functions in the life of the Christian or the church. These include:

1) Conviction of sin. The Holy Spirit acts to convince the unredeemed person both of the sinfulness of their actions, and of their moral standing as sinners before God.
2) Bringing to conversion. The action of the Holy Spirit is seen as an essential part of the bringing of the person to the Christian faith. The new believer is "born again of the Spirit."
3) Enabling the Christian life. The Holy Spirit is believed to dwell in the individual believers and enable them to live a righteous and faithful life.
4) As a comforter or Paraclete, one who intercedes, or supports or acts as an advocate, particularly in times of trial.
5) Inspiration and interpretation of scripture. The Holy Spirit both inspires the writing of the scriptures and interprets them to the Christian and/or church.[d]

As we will soon see, the character Barney in Hannibal, represents a 'corrupted' Holy Spirit.

a. Wikipedia, 'Trinity'. Web, n.d. URL =
b. Wikipedia, 'God the Father'. Web, n.d. URL =
c. Wikipedia, 'God the Son'. Web, n.d. URL =
d. Wikipedia, 'Holy Spirit in Christianity'. Web, n.d. URL =


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