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Books to Study on the Trinity

Requests and Replies in
The Expository Times 10 (1899) 551



Kindly inform me what are the best authorities for a study of the doctrine of the Trinity, especially in its Old Testament development. - G.J.R.

Swete's reply:

The doctrine of God as revealed in the O.T. may be studied in such introductions as those of Oehler and Schultz. When it appears, Dr. A.B. Davidson's Theology of the Old Testament (in ‘The International Theological Library’) will probably be the most useful book of its kind in English; meanwhile, some help may be found in his article, ‘God in (O.T.)’, ‘Hastings’ D.B. vol.2.

It is, of course, to the N.T. that the student will look for direct revelations as to the existence of distinctions in the Being of God. He should begin by reading afresh St. John's Gospel, with Westcott's commentary, and then proceed to the Pauline Epistles, where he will be aided by Lightfoot on Philippians and Colossians, and by Sanday and Headlam on Romans. From the N.T. he will go to the Greek and Latin writers of the fourth century, and read Athanasias on the Incarnation, Basil on the Holy Spirit, the theological orations of Gregory of Nazianzus, and part of the great work of Augustine on the Trinity. He may pursue the history of his subject in Dorner's Doctrine of the Person of Christ, or Ottley's Doctrine of the Incarnation. A more dogmatic treatment of the doctrine will be found in Canon Mason's Faith of the Gospel, and Canon Gore's Bampton Lectures for 1891; its philosophical aspect is unfolded in Mr. Illingworth's Personality, Human and Divine, and Divine Immanence.

The literature is enormous. But the student who begins with the course which I have ventured to indicate will have laid a secure foundation for further study.