The Trinity and the Old Testament

Well, indeed. You need the gift of hindsight to make the connection. Here is the first example ! came across on a quick search.

Nostradamus should look to his laurels! :wink:

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If the concept of a Messiah was already part of your belief system, then it is quite possible that one would make this interpretation.

Someone of whose belief system this is not a major aspect, OTOH, might quite justifiably see this passage as nothing more but a myth explaining how the enmity between humans and snakes began. I hardly see what would be unreasonable about that interpretation. Do you?

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There was a sizeable minority of Second Temple Jews who did discern a plurality in the Godhead. It was deemed so helpful to Christians that it was deemed heresy by Jews in the 2nd c. The scholarly work is done by the Harvard professor Alan Segal. (Michael Heiser popularizes Segal’s work.)

Also, the early Christians did not have a presupposed Trinity, so we at least need to wonder why it became the dominant position. Yes, they were reading the OT through the lens of Jesus…but that reading led them to the doctrine of the Trinity (thus, not b/c they were “immersed in a religion based on the ‘Trinity’”).

No, but the “seed of the woman” (which takes on various trajectories as the story unfolds).

@Faizal_Ali I agree with this. The story takes on different readings, interpretations, and dimensions depending on one’s parameters, filters, etc. I don’t think it’s a crazy idea to see an etiological reading. i happen to read the story in a larger context (which doesn’t deny the etiology, but adds to it).


Well first have to be looking for truth. If not, then you are incurably the skeptic. But let’s say you are reading the Scripture and looking for a description of God. Consider first, your ‘layers’ which the Word must accommodate. You are corporeal. You are intellectual. You are spiritual. Are the words of the text appealing to your intellect? Are they appealing to your spirit? Are they appealing to your natural, corporeal existence? Yes and no to the last one, except to say that the discussion of faith, being that which is unseen but very real nonetheless, brings the physical, corporeal, natural into full view.

If the text has appealed to you in all three dimensions, then God just might be single, yet multi-dimensional in a sense. Three in one begins to make more sense to you. But again, you must be a seeker, not a skeptic to be privy to these matters.

"It could be that the use of multiple names for God points to his trinitarian nature."

Or it could be that the differing uses of “Yaweh” and “Elohim” are holdovers from Judaism’s origins in Canaanite/Ugaritic polytheism – cf “ilhm” the Canaanite pantheon of gods. I find it strange how Zondervan’s “excellent summary” fails to mention this very relevant point.

Uh, no. If the Big Bad Wolf assumed she was divine after speaking with her, then your analogy holds.

Binary thinking clouds understanding.

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I suggest you learn what an analogy is.

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Comfort yourself, you would not seek me if you had not found me.

You would instead be wondering how the Angel of the Lord could be talking to people and they could know that this Angel is God. Somehow it was obvious to them. I agree that you don’t see the fullness of the Trinity until the New Testatment because God waited to reveal Himself in fullness until then.

But again there are all the other references to the Spirit in the OT. Certainly a careful reader would have a lot of questions and expectations of who God really is.

Uh, no. No more than I would wonder how the Big Bad Wolf knew the little girl on her way to Grandma’s house was Little Red Riding Hood.

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In the Quran, Allah often refers to himself in the plural. I’m pretty sure that has nothing to do with the Christian trilogy.

OK. I don’t understand your point.

When God is referred to as plural in the OT, there is no more reason to see this as pointing ahead to the Trinity than the Quran would be pointing back towards it.

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I’ve never argued for the plural of elohim to have anything to do with Trinity (I take it to refer to the divine council); thus my confusion why you made this response to my post. I do see latent binitarianism from other OT usage (a la Two Powers), but not in the label “God” itself.


6 posts were split to a new topic: The Quran and the Trinity

OK, I get it.

For those interested in exploring the two powers theology then Mike Heiser has some stuff on it, including a lecture

There is a difference of opinions about the ‘three persons’ idea. For starters, the Holy Trinity notion is a bit sketchy at best in Jewish theology. Along different lines there are groups within Christianity who are non-trinarian, although they tend to be outliers. It’s interesting – for me, and to be honest, I’m less interested in the dogma than in the history – that it took a few centuries for the Trinarian doctrine to win out and become established as a church dogma.

16 posts were split to a new topic: The Doctrine of the Trinity and Christianity