The Doctrine Of The Trinity As Held By The Old Lutheran Theologians -- By: Frank S. Adams

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 039:154 (Apr 1882)
Article: The Doctrine Of The Trinity As Held By The Old Lutheran Theologians
Author: Frank S. Adams


The Doctrine Of The Trinity As Held By The Old Lutheran Theologians

Rev. Frank S. Adams

[The following article is a translation from the seventh edition of Hase’s “Hutterus Redivivus.” Hahn’s “Lehrbuch des christlichen Glaubens” (2d ed.), Schmid’s “Dogmatik” (3d ed.), and Bretschneider’s “Handbuch der Dogmatik” (4th ed.), have been consulted, and additional statements have been taken from these authors for the purpose of explaining the doctrine more fully. With these works the translator has compared the “Dogmatik” of Dr. Martensen (rendered into English by Rev. William Urwick, M.A., Edinburgh, 1866); “The Conservative Reformation and its Theology,” by Dr. Krauth (Philadelphia, 1871), and Hagenbach’s “History of Doctrine “(2d ed.). The text is the translation of Hase; enclosed in brackets will be found quotations from the authorities mentioned above.]

The Holy Trinity

The General Conception According To The Holy Scriptures,
History, And The Church.

God has revealed himself in Christianity as the triune God; that is, as God reconciling fallen humanity with himself through his own person. Therefore faith in the triune God is essentially one with faith in that reconciliation by which alone salvation is secured. Consequently, in the Old Testament, and generally in ancient times, it was indicated only so far as faith in the atonement was typically indicated in the sacrifices. On the other hand, the old church dogmatists, as Quenstedt, say: “As the mystery of the holy Trinity has been set forth in the books of the Old Testament with sufficient clearness, so likewise from the same alone the divinity of Christ and of the Holy Spirit, and thus the whole mystery of the Trinity, can be proved against any opponents who hold the books of the Old Testament to be divinely inspired.”

They appeal to passages where God speaks of himself in the plural number (Gen. 1:26; 3:22; 11:7; Isa. 6:8). This is without regard to the plural of majesty, אֱוֹּהִים. They appeal also to passages where he distinguishes in himself a subject and an object (Gen. 16:7–13; 18:1 seq.; 19:24; Ex. 3:2–15) and to passages in which he is addressed in a threefold manner (Num. 6:24 seq.;

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