Ivo_G, Jason_J has already explained this very well in a previous thread. I am going to copy and paste his post.
Originally Posted by Jason_J
As already mentioned, one need to understand the meaning of the words being used, especially because the Trinity doctrine is over 1000 years old, and therefore:
-1) it wasn't formulated by English speaking people
-2) the words being used by us are translations (and translations of translations)
Therefore, it is always helpful to go back to the Greek and Latin and learn what those words mean. The most important word to understand is "being". An LDS person would have no problem saying that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three separate beings (or use "person/personage" interchangeably with "being"), because they are using that word ("being") in its modern usage, where "being" is used interchangeably with "person" (i.e. human being=human person).
This is not possible with the Trinity. A Trinitarian would have no problem with someone saying that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three persons, but they would never say that they are three beings, because of what the word "being" means in its original context. The word translated as "being" in reference to the Trinity comes from the Greek word "ousia", which means "essence, being, nature". As you can see, it has nothing to do with "person", and cannot be used interchangeably with "person". Instead of saying "being", the word "substance" is also used. Substance is a translation of the word "substantia" from Latin, which in turn is a translation of the Greek "ousia".
So that is it. You have to remember that Trinitarians are not using the word "being" in its current meaning or usage (where it is used interchangeably with "person"), but the way that it was used over 1000 years ago when the Trinity doctrine came around, when the Greek word "ousia" was being used, and it was referring to the essence or nature of something. This is extremely important if one wants to understand what the Trinity is actually talking about.
Here's another one:
Originally Posted by Jason_J
Quite simply, "being" ("ousia", "substantia") refers to the divine nature. The three distinct Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, are of the same, one and only, divine nature. They are each fully divine/God because they are all of the same nature, and nothing/no one else is. The way that the Persons are one does not preclude them being three, because they are one and three in entirely different ways. "Being"/"nature" refers to what they are (namely, divine), and Person refers to "who" they are.
From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
In the words of the Fourth Lateran Council (1215), "Each of the persons is that supreme reality, viz., the divine substance, essence or nature."85
Frank Sheed in his book "Theology and Sanity" (essentially an indepth overview of the Catholic "plan of salvation") emphasizes the use of "nature" as a translation of "ousia", instead of "being", which is something that I personally favor, as it avoids the confusion that the word "being" brings due to its modern usage. Ousia is variously translated in Trinitarian discourse as "being", "essence", "nature", and "substance" (from the Latin "substantia", which is a translation of ousia).
I'd rather be a could-be if I cannot be an are; because a could-be is a maybe who - is reaching for a star. I'd rather be a has-been than a might-have-been, by far; for a might have-been has never been, but a has was once an are. - Milton Berle
Sound, balanced teaching is a must. Our default should be to partake. Our default should be to live in joy, not condemnation. Our default should be to love, not to correct, to encourage, not to criticize. (Quote from prisonchaplain)
Last edited by Maureen; 12-17-2011 at 06:18 PM.