God reveals himself in Christ to be triune. But, of course, whilst the revelation of God as triune is given with the coming of Jesus we must be clear that God does not become the Trinity with the coming of Jesus. God has always been the Trinity. And the God that is the Trinity is the God of Israel - Yhwh.
Now in Israel's scriptures the revelation of the Trinity is not clear. From a post-Jesus perspective we must say that Yhwh, in the OT, looks like a figure on a blurred photograph where it can be easy to see certain aspects of the shape but hard to make out the details.
But my question is this: now that we see some of the details more clearly in Christ, can we revisit Israel's scriptures and perceive something more of the Trinity there in ways that the original authors and audiences will not have done? Can we offer Trinitrian interpretations of the OT?
Granted Christians have done so since the beginning but some of the somewhat random attempts prompt a further question - can such 'seeing-the-Trinity-in-the-OT' be done in a theologically plausible, methodologically controlled way? What criteria will we have to discern, for instance, whether Yhwh in a particular text is the Father, Jesus, the Spirit, or the Godhead?
Clearly any attempt to discern criteria will have to pay very careful attention to NT use of the OT and historical Christian attempts to see the Trinity in the OT. Whether such attention will yield consistent interpretative principles I do not know. What interests me is the fact that, as far as I am aware, few contemporary Christian scholars have even attempted to address the question.
- Robin Parry
- Robin Parry is the husband of but one wife (Carol) and the father of the two most beautiful girls in the universe (Hannah and Jessica). He also has a lovely cat called Monty (who has only three legs). Living in the city of Worcester, UK, he works as an Editor for Wipf and Stock — a US-based theological publisher. Robin was a Sixth Form College teacher for 11 years and has worked in publishing since 2001 (2001–2010 for Paternoster and 2010– for W&S).