Thursday, November 29, 2007

Trinity defense

John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

The prologue to John's gospel makes a precise identification of Christ with Wisdom, describing the Logos' Christological role (1:3), its role as the ground of human knowledge (1:9) and as the mediator of special revelation (1:14) -- the three roles of the pre-existent Logos/Wisdom. In calling Jesus God's Logos, John was affirming Jesus' eternality and ontological oneness with the Father by connecting him with the Wisdom tradition.


There are approximately 120 passages in the New Testament in which for no reason at all the Father, the Son, the Spirit are mentioned together. Consider Peter speaking in Acts 2:32-33.

32 "This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses.
33 "Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear.

How in the world did Peter, an heir of Jewish monotheism, ever come to the point of referring to God, Jesus, and the Spirit in such a casual manner without one iota of an explanation or even a defense?

Because it was very much a part of the early church language that the christian community shared. It would only be natural for Peter to speak as such. This is how the trinity was revealed to the world and this is how, Jew and Gentile have come to believe in the Father, the Son, and the Spirit.

The Old Testament prepared their minds to retain only one true and living God. It taught that God is constantly and most assuredly involved in history. Finally the Old Testament prepared their minds with the concept of a corporate personality (Israel was both individual and a nation).

The New testament writers do not record a trinity doctrine. It does however record a history, a faith, a common life, and 120 Trinitarian texts that collectively make the revelation of the Trinity. In that faith by the fourth century, the church had developed the doctrine.

The 120 passages:

Matt 1:18-23, 3:16-17, 4:1-3, 10:20, 12:18, 12:28,12:31-32, 22:43, 28:19 Mark
1:10-l1, 3:29, 12:36,13:11; Luke 1:35, l:15, 41,67, 2:25-32, 4:1-3, 4:14-19, 10:21,
11:13, 12:10, l2:l2 John 1:32-34, 3:5, 3:34,6:63-65, 14:15-17, 14:26, 15:26, 16:5-11,
16:12-15, 20:21-22; Acts 1:1-3,1:7-8, 2:4, 11, 22, 2:33, 2:38-39 4:30-31, 5:29-32, 7:55-56. 8:14—19, 8:29-39, 9:17-20, 10:38, 10:39-48, 11:15-17, 15:1—11, 16:6-10, 19:1-8,20:21-23, 20:28, 20:23-25; Rom 1:1-4, 5:l-8, 8:1-2, 8:3-4, 8:9, 8:11, 8:15-17, 14:17-18,15:12-13,
15:16,15:18-19 15:30; 1 Cor. 2:6-16, 3:16-23, 6:11, 6:19-20,12:1-3,12:4-6, 12:12,13, 28;
2 Cor 1:21-22, 3:3, 3:4-6, 3:17-4:1,5:5-7, 13:14; Gal 3:1-5, 3:6, 3:10-14, 4:4-6, 5:21-
25; Eph 1:13-14,1:17, 2:18, 2:22, 3:5, 3:16, 4:4-6, 5:18, 6:10, 11, 17; Phil l:19, 3:3; Col
1:7-9; I Thess 1:4-6; 2 Thess 2:13; 1 Tim 3:15-16; 2Tim 1:3, 13, l4; Titus 3:4-6; Heb 2:3-5, 6:4-6, 9:14,10:29; 1 Pet 1:2, 1:3-12, 3:18,4:14; I John 3:23-24, 4:2,4:13-14, 5:5-9; Jude 20-21; Rev 1:4-6, 1:9-10, 2:1, 7, 3:21-22, 14:12-13, 22:16-18.




Reference Material used: Perspectives in Religious Studies 33.3(Fall 2006), The Revelation of the Trinity, pp285-303.


A reminder to my pal Justin who thinks God is the boss and seperate from Christ: Matt 28:18-20.


And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age"

2 comments:

Neil said...

I had no idea there were that many passages! Thanks - this is a keeper.

Mark said...

Hey Neil,
I did an update, I mistyped one of the Roman verses. :) 120 + verses & my eyes? eyes loose.