The Bible in the Trinity

The Bible in the Trinity

Written by Scott R. Swain |
Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Viewing the Bible within the domain of the Word also enables us to perceive its purpose as “part of a divinely administered economy of light by which the triune God establishes and administers covenantal relations with its readers” “Scripture is a means of God’s self-presentation.” Fred Sanders’s book The Triune God demonstrates the hermeneutical payoff of adopting this standpoint. Sanders draws on G. K. Beale and Benjamin Gladd’s work on the biblical theology of “mystery” to anchor his understanding of the Trinitarian economy of revelation.

We cannot fully appreciate how “the Trinity is in the Bible” without observing how “the Bible is in the Trinity.” While the Bible is the cognitive principle of the Trinity, the supreme source from which our knowledge of the Trinity is drawn, the Trinity is the ontological principle of the Bible. The Trinity is not simply one of the things about which the Bible speaks. The Trinity is the speaker from whom the Bible and all things proceed: “For us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things … and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things” (1 Cor 8:6). All things in heaven and on earth, including holy Scripture, are ‘produced by the creative breath of the Almighty’ (See Ps 33:6. 2 Tim 3:16).

Recent work on Scripture and hermeneutics rightly locates the Bible and its interpretation within a Trinitarian economy of revelation. According to the late John Webster, “prudent theology will treat questions concerning the nature and interpretation of Scripture … as corollaries of more primary theological teaching about the relation of God and creatures.” Adopting this approach leads us to see “Holy Scripture and its interpretation” as “elements in the domain of the Word of God” a domain whose source and scope are Trinitarian in nature. “In fulfilment of the eternal purpose of God the Father (Eph. 1.9, 11), and by sending the Spirit of wisdom and revelation (Eph. 1.17), the Son sheds abroad the knowledge of himself and of all things in himself.”

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