A scene from The Canterbury Psalter (12th century)

From Son to Word via Synoptic Jubilation

A Biblical Path to the Triune God (CUA Press, 2022): Denis Farkasfalvy (Hungarian-born Cistercian who taught in Texas) finished this 100-pager just before dying in May 2020 (at age 83, of COVID). It’s good stuff. Almost a very long article spanning NT studies into early Christian doctrine.

The big idea is to take Jesus’ statement that nobody knows the Son except the Father, or vice versa, as the starting point for the doctrine of the Trinity. Farkasfalvy emphasizes the historical-critical defensibility of this: a well-attested claim of Jesus’ self-understanding.

He calls the passage (Matt 11/Luke 10) “the Synoptic Jubilation.” In it he sees the “reproductive metaphor” of messianic thought (“Son of David/of God”) transposed into epistemic terms (mutual knowledge).

Interesting link to God showing Peter what flesh & blood could not have done, & Paul saying it pleased God to reveal his Son in his own calling. Apostolic alignment with Jesus’ joy that the Father made the Son known to babies.

A lot more gets folded in, but all Farkasfalvy wants is to get readers to the Nicene judgment using this kernel logion. After that they can survey the other trinitarian passages in a wider perspective. Nice little book, tightly focused.

This is one of the first books in the new Verbum Domini series from CUA. Looks like theologically alert biblical studies.

I don’t see any public statement of the series goals, but since the title picks up that of Benedict’s 2010 encyclical, I reckon it’ll be books that treat theology and exegesis as complementary.

About This Blog

Fred Sanders is a theologian who tried to specialize in the doctrine of the Trinity, but found that everything in Christian life and thought is connected to the triune God.

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