In a discussion about the Trinity, I offered a metaphor, and decided to post an edited version to have a bit of sport with the elves at CaNN — who, all kidding aside, seem to be very nice people despite their extreme theological conservatism.
How did the early Christian authors view Jesus, the Father, and the Spirit? They seem to have regarded them in something like football terms (yes, yes, I know it's an anachronism):
• Jesus, the superstar, All-Cosmos, and mortal, quarterback, is temporarily sitting on the bench in heaven.
• When the divine Head Coach (the Father) calls his number, Jesus will go back into the game on earth. There, he'll run the final, decisive plays, leading God's Team to victory.
• The Spirit is both the offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator, periodically communicating the wishes of the Head Coach to selected players.
Outlandish? Certainly. But that's approximately how the early Christian writings seem to describe what we now call the Trinity.
What the early writings did not envision, was that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were all divine Persons of a unified Godhead.
The only early writing I can think of that even comes close to trinitarian thinking is Phil. 2.5-7, where Paul is thought to have quoted an existing hymn:
Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness. ....
That, of course, doesn't mean that Jesus's purported equality with God was widely accepted in the early church — nor that it's correct.