- Paperback: 396 pages
- Publisher: Lulu.com (September 9, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1411601467
- ISBN-13: 978-1411601468
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The Jewish Trinity Sourcebook: Trinitarian Readings from the Old Testament
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Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
How to Read the OT as Trinitarian
Using the general criterion listed in TJT, the reader may identify the persons of The Trinity in many OT passages. In the appendices of this Sourcebook, special indicators of the persons of The Trinity that are specific to certain texts are mentioned in the intertextual (as opposed to interlinear) notes.
Often in sections where there is a mix of singular and plural words referring to Yahveh, the singular words do refer to The Trinity. Frequently there is more than one type of Trinitarian indicator in a Trinitarian passage, and this confirms that many singulars do indeed refer to The Trinity. The mix of singular and plural words referring to Yahveh shows that the Bible writers knew The Trinity to be three persons, yet one God.
The author is a conservative Christian who subscribes to the so-called Ecumenical or Universal Creeds: the Apostles, Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds. The Athanasian Creed speaks against the heresy of Tritheism, and warns against speaking of The Trinity as "Gods" or "Lords."
The Athanasian Creed was written in the Western church in the sixth century by an unknown author. The unknown author of the Athanasian Creed probably had no familiarity with the Bible in the original languages, but only with the Latin Vulgate. Jerome translated the Hebrew and Greek plurals referring to Yahveh as Latin singulars.
So, the Athanasian Creed forbids using plurals to refer to The Trinity. One can speculate that this may be a reason why the Greek Orthodox Church does not recognize this creed, despite its pseudonymous attribution to Athanasius (circa 296373 AD).
The Athanasian Creed concerns doctrine, and should not necessarily be interpreted as an exegetical gag rule. Exegetes can discuss the fact that the literal translations of plural forms referring to Yahveh are plural without subscribing to polytheism. Where the Athanasian Creed becomes helpful is in the drafting of creedal statements. This book is intended to be an exegetical discussion, not a creedal formulation.
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Here we have the truth clearly stated: denial of the Trinity crept into the translations and transcriptions of the texts. The words which professed the Trinity in the Old Testament were "simplified" because the belief in the Trinity was not there.
I find I need to use "The Jewish Trinity" and the "Sourcebook" together. If I start reading "Isaiah" from the "Sourcebook," I want to turn back to "The Jewish Trinity" to fully understand the implications.
I predict that in years to come, every seminary worth the name Christian will have a course exploring these books.