Religion & Spirituality:Christianity
Tracing the Trinity in the Old Testament
Sermon on various Old Testament texts, for Trinity Sunday. How is the groundwork laid in the Old Testament for the full revelation of the doctrine of the Trinity in the New Testament? How are they in harmony, and what is the reason we should seek correct knowledge about God as Trinity? How does it relate to us?
Below are some notes from a Bible study I previously did on this topic, and most of the Scripture references from the sermon are found below, along with many others.
The Trinity: Hints and Allusions in the Old Testament
While the revelation of the Trinity is clear and unambiguous in the New Testament, the ancient Christians also gathered testimonies about the Trinity from the Old Testament, “even though they seemed somewhat obscure. They did this in order that they might use them against heretics and to show that from the very beginning God had thus revealed Himself and that the church of all ages had thus known God, invoked and worshiped Him” (Chemnitz, p. 66).
Several guidelines show where such clues or references to the Trinity occur:
Other significant passages: Daniel 9:19; Psalm 2:7; 110:1 (dialogue within the Trinity); Isaiah 48:16; Genesis 18:2, 16-22; Judges 13:15-25; Zechariah 12:10. Many more passages could be added to these, that follow the pattern of the rules above. Others refer to God as Father (ex. Deuteronomy 32:6; Psalm 89:26); still others refer to the Son (ex. Proverbs 30:4; Daniel 7:13-14) or make reference to appearances of the Son of God as the Angel of the LORD, not to mention prophecies of His future incarnation as Messiah. There are also many places that refer to the Spirit of the LORD (ex. Isaiah 11:1-2; 63:9-10).
While these passages in themselves would not present a fully articulated teaching of the Trinity as we find in the New Testament, they show that the NT teaching is entirely consistent with that of the OT, and that hints and clues run throughout the OT.
Chemnitz, M. (1989). Loci Theologici, Vol. 1. (J. Preus, Trans.) St. Louis: CPH.
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