Friday, October 01, 2010

The Trinity in the New Testament

I'm spasmodically plugging away at an eventual "Evangelical Theology" volume. I'm currently getting into the Trinity and I am looking at the biblical basis of Trinitarian theology. Along the way I've found a couple of good quotes on the subject:

Concerning the devotional practices of early Christianity and the Trinity, Larry Hurtado writes:

The struggle to work out doctrinal formulations that could express in some coherent way this peculiar view of God (as “one” and yet somehow comprising “the Father” and Jesus, thereafter also including the Spirit as the “third Person” of the Trinity) occupied the best minds in early Christian orthodox/catholic tradition for the first several centuries. But the doctrinal problem they worked on was not of their own making. It was forced upon them by the earnest convictions and devotional practices of believers from the earliest observable years of the Christian movement.
Larry Hurtado, Lord Jesus Christ (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1998), 651

On the Trinitarian nature of the baptismal formula in Matt 28:19-20, John Meier states:

Certainly, one could hardly imagine a more forceful proclamation of Christ’s divinity – and incidentally, of the Spirit’s distinct personality – that this listing together, on a level of equality, of Father, Son, and Spirit. One does not baptize in the name of a divine person, a holy creature, and an impersonal force.
John P. Meier, Matthew (NTM 3; Delaware: Liturgical, 1980), 371-72

6 comments:

bugman said...

Is there any chance you could share your main resources on the Trinity (READ: bibliography)?

Nick Norelli said...

bugman: You might find this bibliography of interest.

DAE WOO SEO said...

Recently, in my mind, Köstenberger and Swan (Father, Son and Spirit: The Trinity and John’s Gospel [Downers Grove: IVP, 2008], 123 n. 49) give a crucial comment concerning Trinity that “Giles (esp. The Trinity and Subordinationism [Downers Grove: IVP, 2002]) has brought a great deal of confusion to contemporary trinitarian studies due to his misapplication of the term ‘subordinationism.’ Subordinationism is the heretical teaching that the Son is not God but is instead a creature of God, albeit a highly exalted one. Giles, however, does not sufficiently distinguish ‘subordinationism’ from ‘subordination.’ The latter term may be applied appropriately to the way that the consubstantial Son relates to his Father. As the consubstantial Son of the Father, the Son submits to his Father in all things. As the present study demonstrates, there is a personal order and subordinations in the Godhead (taxis) that does not vitiate the essential equality of the persons.”

Richard Fellows said...

I wonder if there is a kind of reference to the trinity in Acts 16:6-10, where Paul and the others receive divine guidance from the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus, and God. I see this divine guidance as having the same purpose (to get the missionaries to Macedonia as soon as possible). See my discussion here. This unity of purpose is relevant to discussions of the trinity, I think.

Note that in Acts 16:10 it is "we" (not just Paul) who conclude that God was bringing them to Macedonia. This makes sense if the group came to that conclusion on the basis of all three pieces of divine guidance and it Luke had been one of the recipients of the first two.

volker said...

Have a look at this article!
Turner, Max, ‘“Trinitarian” Pneumatology in the New Testament? – Towards an Explanation of the Worship of Jesus’, Asbury Theological Journal 57 (2003), 167-86.

Rafael said...

I'm not sure you'll notice this, but if so, I found William Placher's little book, The Triune God, very helpful.