Book Plunge: Jesus Was Not A Trinitarian Chapter 4

Is it hard to find the Trinity in the Bible? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

So at the start, Buzzard has a howler here with saying that the best Trinitarian apologetics can do is find a handful of verses in John and a few in Paul, but no place where God is used to refer to the triune God. I wish I was joking, but I am not. Reading most any Christology would disabuse someone of that notion. Buzzard still has a mindset of Western Consumerism that says something needs to be explicitly stated to be believed.

There is also the idea that the pagan notion of Logos was brought into the Gospel of John. It’s much more rooted in the concept of Wisdom in the Old Testament and the Memra of God, which was also His word, in the Jewish targums, which was a sort of paraphrase of their writings. It’s not a shock to see Buzzard jump to heathenism though.

Next a look at some quotes from Alister McGrath:

The casual reader of Scripture will discern a mere two verses in the entire Bible which seem, at first glance, to be capable of a trinitarian interpretation: Matthew 28:19 and 2 Corinthians 13:14 . Both these verses have become deeply rooted in the Christian consciousness… Yet these two verses, taken together or in isolation, can hardly be thought of as constituting a doctrine of the Trinity.

“This is a significant admission.”

The line about an admission is Buzzard’s, but it’s not significant. It’s stating that the whole statement is not found explicitly. That’s the same for many doctrines of Scripture.

The doctrine of the Trinity can be regarded as the outcome of a process of sustained and critical reflection on the pattern of divine activity revealed in Scripture, and continued in Christian experience. This is not to say that Scripture contains a doctrine of the Trinity; rather, Scripture bears witness to a God who demands to be understood in a trinitarian manner. We shall explore the evolution of the doctrine and its distinctive vocabulary in what follows.

To which Buzzard says

There is no doctrine of the Trinity in the Bible, he admits, and yet in its pages, God demands belief in the Trinity.

Make your pick. He’s either being dishonest or ignorant. All McGrath is saying is that the Trinity is not explicitly in Scripture. That is far from saying that it is not in Scripture. Unfortunately, Buzzard doesn’t show any of McGrath’s arguments. I wonder why…..

I find it even more amusing when Tom Harpur is cited later on. Harpur is one who thinks everything is borrowed from paganism and is a journalist. Why is Buzzard using this person as a source?

There is some mention of Murray Harris with his excellent work Jesus as God, but you won’t find in-depth interaction with Harris’s arguments. He also speaks about James White and just says White’s attempts to find the Trinity in the Bible are unconvincing. Again, we are not told what these attempts are so excuse me if this dismissal is, well, unconvincing.

He argues that Hebrews 1: 8 doesn’t work since it would mean God has a God, not explaining how this is a difficulty in Trinitarianism. He doesn’t interact with the last part of that section where the Son is made the agent of creation. He says the Logos in John 1 is not identified with the Son saying the Son only began existing when He appeared in the flesh in John 1:14.

There is also the claim in John 10:33-38 that Jesus refuses the claim He is making Himself equal to God. What Jesus does is a qal wahomer argument in Jewish thinking. We would call it A fortiori. In this, Jesus takes a lesser point and uses it to make a greater point.

Psalm 82 which Jesus references has God saying to wicked people “You are gods.” God then sarcastically says they will die like mere men. Jesus then says “If these wicked people can be called this, how much more can I be called the Son of God?” He doesn’t deny the claim. He intensifies it.

At any rate, this chapter is short because again, Buzzard isn’t giving us more. It’s hard to say a lot when you just say the same thing over and over again.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

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