The Trinity Debate and the History of Interpretation

Biblical Reasoning

One of the lessons I’m learning from this intramural evangelical Trinity kerfuffle:

Evangelicals (myself included) have a lot of remedial work to do in the history of interpretation.

What do we learn when we read biblical commentaries, polemics, and theological treatises from the patristic, medieval, and Reformation eras?

Rarely are our “simple,” “straightforward,” and “plain” readings of Scripture simple, straightforward, and plain.

Evangelicals are a people of the book, and rightly so. I’m not arguing for the displacement of Scripture with tradition. Nor am I arguing against the Reformation doctrine of Scripture’s perspicuity (though I do believe it has to be carefully nuanced). The point is, as Matt has already argued in this space, the Fathers were no less committed to grounding their theological concepts in the text and narrative of Holy Scripture. The pro-Nicene Fathers believed that the homoousion was manifestly consistent with the biblical portrayal of God’s only Son…

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About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. I study the History of Biblical Interpretation at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio, as part of its Ph.D. program. I have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting.
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