A scene from the Leben der heiligen Altväter (1482)
The Whole Trinity in the Whole BibleResponse to Peter Leithart's "Triune Creator"
It is with eagerness and delight that Christian readers turn their attention to the triune God’s self-revelation in Scripture. We take in the whole book from the beginning to the end, and rise from our reading filled with knowledge of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We finish the book, close it, and say to ourselves something like, “the God who created the world and rescues sinners, as self-reported in this book, is the Trinity.” And then we dive back in for more.
But faith makes that true confession of God’s identity after having taken in the meaning of the entire book, from Genesis to Revelation. As the long text unscrolls, certain elements grow in clarity and definiteness; a number of things left unspecified in the opening pages are developed, ramified, specified, and worked out. One of the most important things that grows in clarity over the course of the volume is the personal distinctions in which God exists. The personal distinctions between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are among those things that are, as medieval expositors liked to say, latent in the Old Testament but patent in the New.