Orthodox Christians affirm and worship a triune God. But how should this affect our reading of the Bible? In The Trinity and the Bible, Scott R. Swain asserts that not only does the Bible reveal the Trinity, but the Trinity illuminates our reading of the Bible.
Swain reflects on method and applies a Trinitarian framework to three exegetical studies. Explorations of three genres of New Testament literature—Gospel, epistle, and apocalyptic—display the profits of theological interpretation.
Through loving attention to the Scriptures, one can understand and marvel at the singular identity and activity of the triune God.
Books about theological interpretation often fail to engage the material content of the Christian doctrine of God; books on the doctrine of God sometimes fail to reflect on their own hermeneutical method, or to do actual exegesis. Scott Swain has put together the perfect combination here. This highly readable volume leads readers into Scripture and the doctrine of the Trinity simultaneously. It is deeply informed, cogently argued, and elegantly written.
—Fred Sanders, Torrey Honors College, Biola University
Scott Swain is rare among theologians, combining a mastery of the tools of contemporary biblical exegesis with a metaphysical profundity and theological breadth, from the church fathers onward. These essays exhibit the Trinity in its biblical manifestation and dogmatic proclamation. Is the classical doctrine of the Trinity a biblical truth? In this richly rewarding book, Swain shows that the answer is a resounding yes.
—Matthew Levering, James N. and Mary D. Perry Jr. Chair of Theology, Mundelein Seminary
Scott Swain is among the foremost scholars working on the doctrine of the Trinity in the present-day, and The Trinity and the Bible brings together some of his important contributions over the years. It is a must read for those interested in the doctrine specifically and theological interpretation more broadly. Swain offers exemplary material for both.
—Madison N. Pierce, Assistant Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
“We cannot fully appreciate how ‘the Trinity is in the Bible’ without observing how ‘the Bible is in the Trinity.’2 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’3 (See Ps 33:6; 2 Tim 3:16).” (Pages 9–10)
“The God who names himself as YHWH our God also names himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And so we confess that within the one Lord God there are three person who are distinguished from one another by their mutual, asymmetrically ordered, dialogical relations.” (Pages 22–23)
“In each instance, these illustrations indicate complete ontological correspondence between the Father and the Son: the Word of God is God (John 1:1); the image of the invisible God stands on the Creator side of the Creator-creature divide as the One by whom, in whom, and for whom creation exists (Col 1:16–17); the radiance of God is the exact imprint of the Father’s substance (Heb 1:3).” (Pages 48–49)
“Warfield omits any mention of the personal properties that distinguish the divine persons from one another—namely, the Father’s eternal begetting of the Son (‘paternity’), the Son’s eternal generation from the Father (‘filiation’), and the Spirit’s eternal procession from the Father and the Son (‘spiration’).” (Page 33)
Scott R. Swain (PhD, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is president and James Woodrow Hassell Professor of Systematic Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. He is also author or editor of several books, including Trinity, Revelation, and Reading, Retrieving Eternal Generation, and The Trinity: An Introduction.