The Trinity: Evidence in the Old Testament


Last Sunday we were able to cover the evidence in the Old Testament that has progressively led to the Biblical Doctrine of the Trinity. Here’s a summary and a preview of where we’ll pick up the subject this coming Sunday.

The first evidence arises, quite appropriately, in Genesis 1:26, “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.’”
The question here is, “who is God talking to?”
Is this simply a royal form of speech? If it were, it would make sense that we would see it used elsewhere in Scripture, especially by Israelite Kings, but we don’t.
Is God talking to the angels? If you want to say that Scripture teaches we’re made in the image of angels you could go out on that limb, but I don’t know any serious Bible readers that would join you.

This is also not the only occurrence of God referring to himself in a plural form. Another example is Isaiah 6:8, ““And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ Then I said, ‘Here am I! Send me.’”

So, at the very least, there is something here that needs to be reconciled with the Doctrine that there is one God (something that is also very clear in Scripture!).

There are three more ASTONISHING references that I came across in preparing last week’s lesson. Each is a powerful example of how the Doctrine of the Trinity is progressively revealed in Scripture, but for the sake of this post, I’ll share Isaiah 48 with you.

Note Isaiah 48 and who is speaking. God is clearly speaking, clearly addressing his covenant people – but look at how verse 16 is arranged. “Draw near to me (God speaking), hear this:
from the beginning I (God again) have not spoken in secret,
from the time it came to be I (still God) have been there.”
And now the Lord God has sent me (what? God sending God?), and his Spirit.”

What an amazing verse! Coupled with what the New Testament reveals, we have the whole Trinity right here in Isaiah 48! Certainly, it takes more revelation over time to arrive at the Doctrine of the Trinity but this is an amazing piece of the puzzle, is it not?

What I did not get to cover was the question, “Why does this matter?” I think at least two reasons are:

1. We want to worship God rightly. That is to say, we want to understand who God is as HE has revealed himself and to understand him in a way that contradicts what HE has revealed is to stir our affections for an idol of our own imagination and to encourage other people to worship that idol (or one of their own).

2. God is not honored by our disinterest. When we express apathy and disinterest in arriving at our doctrine of God we express apathy and disinterest toward God himself.

Jeremiah 9:24,but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.”

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2 thoughts on “The Trinity: Evidence in the Old Testament

  1. I do believe that God continues to reveal Himself to us – and we are on a 'need to know' basis for most things. Since 'Trinity' is not in the Word, could it be possible God is MORE than three persons?

    And thanks for the bookstore link!

    Like

  2. Yolanda,
    Thanks again for commenting! What a good question! Actually, this is a question that speaks more to the idea of whether or not new special or specific revelation continues outside of God's Word. Or, to put it another way, does God speak or reveal new things to us that AREN'T in his Word? Obviously, if we're taking ALL the Biblical data the answer to the question is no – The Bible reveals the Tri-Unity of the One and only God as Father, Son and Spirit.

    Once again however, the real question here is, “Does God continue to reveal things to us today that aren't in the Bible or that we could not infer from the Bible?”

    It is helpful for me, when circling questions such as these to dwell on Hebrews 1. I would encourage you to do the same. In it, the author states that God has revealed himself throughout history in a variety of ways but has in the last days revealed himself through Jesus Christ. What is remarkable about the nature of this “revealing” or “speaking” is the author's description of it, namely, that Christ is the “exact imprint” of God's nature. This speaks to a perfect revealing of God – a sufficient revealing of God that lacks nothing.

    Hopefully, Hebrews 1 will serve you this week as a springboard for answering this question.
    God bless!

    Like

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