Thursday, June 20, 2013

Resources in Defense of Trinitarianism

[[UPDATE: see also my blog dedicated to defending the doctrine of the Trinity: Trinity Notes]]

In addition to my own Comments and Blog Posts on the Trinity, the following are resources that I recommend to help argue for and demonstrate the doctrine of the Trinity. But before I list those resources and links, here are some surprising quotes:

Christian (and Jewish Messianic Believer in Jesus) Dr. Michael L. Brown, wrote

Interestingly, Dr. Benjamin Sommer, a professor in Bible and ancient Near Eastern languages at the Jewish Theological Seminary (that’s right, the Jewish Theological Seminary), came to similar conclusions in his recent book, The Bodies of God. He wrote: “Some Jews regard Christianity’s claim to be a monotheistic religion with grave suspicion, both because of the doctrine of the trinity (how can three equal one?) and because of Christianity’s core belief that God took bodily form. . . . No Jew sensitive to Judaism’s own classical sources, however, can fault the theological model Christianity employs when it avows belief in a God who has an earthly body as well as a Holy Spirit and a heavenly manifestation, for that model, we have seen, is a perfectly Jewish one. A religion whose scripture contains the fluidity traditions [referring to God appearing in bodily form in the Tanakh], whose teachings emphasize the multiplicity of the shekhinah, and whose thinkers speak of the sephirot does not differ in its theological essentials from a religion that adores the triune God.”
So, it appears that there are Jewish scholars who do not believe in Yeshua who can see what my dear friend Rabbi Blumenthal cannot. Let’s continue to pray for Rabbi Blumenthal!

In a book review of Dr. Sommer's book The Bodies of God and the World of Ancient Israel 
someone named J. Todd Hibbard, (University of Tennessee at Chattanooga) acknowledges that Dr. Sommer believes the Christian conception of the Trinity is not incompatible with various traditions within Judaism. It doesn't matter if Hibbard is a Christian or not. I quote him only to further corroborate Dr. Brown's interpretation of Dr. Sommer.

The final chapter finds Sommer donning his theologian hat in order to answer the question, “What do the Hebrew Bible's fluidity traditions teach a modern religious Jew?” (p. 126). After noting that the antifluidity traditions in P and D dominate the final form of the Hebrew Bible, he notes that fluidity traditions found elsewhere (notably in JE) are still present. He briefly explores the development of these traditions in the postbiblical rabbinic literature, the kabbalah and early Christianity. With respect to the latter, Sommer insists that core Christian assertions—the trinity and incarnation—are not theologically impermissible within the world of Judaism, but rather are faithful to the fluidity model of divinity found in ancient Israel. For modern Jews, Sommer demonstrates how biblical notions of fluidity and antifluidity pose challenges for both liberal and conservative Jews, though not in the same way. He concludes by insisting that, contrary to customary positions, it is the fluidity model that offers the strongest statement of monotheism consistent with the personhood of God.

In another book review, Esther J Hamori says the following:

In chapter 6, Sommer traces the fluidity model into later Judaism and Christianity. He points to the continuation of these concepts—the fluidity of the divine self and multiplicity of embodiment, the rejection of these notions, and various implications for sacred space—in rabbinic literature and kabbalah, addressing what this all might mean for those reading the Hebrew Bible as scripture today. He then frames the concept of incarnation in the New Testament in terms of the fluidity model and discusses the impact this has had on later Christianity. It is fascinating to see some of this unfold, for instance, as he traces the ways in which Protestantism and Catholicism prioritize different  voices among the fluidity and antifluidity traditions. One of his laudable goals here is to demonstrate ways in which much of Christian theology is not so foreign to Judaism. He concludes, “No Jew sensitive to Judaism’s own classical sources, however, can fault the theological model Christianity employs when it avows belief in a God who has an earthly body as well as a Holy Spirit and a heavenly manifestation, for that model, we have seen, is a perfectly Jewish one. A religion whose scriptures contains the fluidity traditions, whose teachings emphasize the multiplicity of the shekhinah, and whose thinkers speak of the sephirot does not differ in its theological essentials from a religion that adores a triune God” (135). The similarities of the Christian concept of the simultaneous presence of God in heaven and God on earth to the older fluidity model are striking, and it will be fruitful to consider Christian theology in light of this. At the same time, there are also important differences between these types of embodiment, and at a certain point the similarity may be a bit overdrawn. Sommer’s view does not take into account the difference between theophany and incarnation, between temporary manifestation and full human identity and life, as claimed in Christian theology. Perhaps more significantly, while the concept of the Trinity may be seen to reflect the multiplicity of embodiment as in the older fluidity traditions, it does not seem particularly fluid. Finally, Sommer concludes that this fluidity in Judaism and Christianity allows God both immanence and transcendence, and that it shows that the divine is not bound to any one place. (Or, as I have argued in regard to some biblical texts, even the embodiment of God demonstrates divine freedom, rather than limitation.)

Some articles from the Jews for Jesus website

Jewishness and the Trinity

The Trinity: Questions and Answers

Kabbalah's Best Kept Secret?

A Look at the Trinity From a Messianic Jewish Perspecctive


The Trinity in the Old Testament VIDEO (Highly RECOMMENDED introductory video)

“Monotheism, Polytheism, Monolatry, or Henotheism? Toward an Honest (and Orthodox) Assessment of Divine Plurality in the Hebrew Bible” by Dr. Michael Heiser

The Gospel of the Memra: Jewish Binitarianism and the Prologue to John by Daniel Boyarin Memra.pdf

A Brief Definition of the Trinity by James White

The Biblical Basis of the Doctrine of the Trinity

Institute for Religious Research webpage on the Trinity

A Formulation and Defense of the Doctrine of the Trinity by William Lane Craig

The doctrine of the Trinity by Wayne Grudem (chapter 18 of his book Systematic Theology)'s main webpage in defense of the doctrine of the Trinity

Romans 9:5 Research By Gary F. Zeolla
Part ONE,  Part TWO has a lot of articles in defense of the Trinity. They break down the topic into the following categories:
Biblical Evidence for the Trinity;
Contemporary Essays & Articles;
Classic Essays & Articles;
Historic and Confessional References;

Here's a link to their main page on the Trinity

Louis Berkhof on the Holy Trinity (from his acclaimed Systematic Theology)

Sam Shamoun and David Wood are Christian apologists who deal with Islam. Because of Islam's denial of the doctrine of the Trinity, they often have to defend the doctrine against Islamic objections. Here are links to some of these works. Scroll down to their articles on the Trinity and Christology:

-Sam Shamoun also sometimes posts guest blogs at this website:

-Answering Muslims website where David Wood blogs on Islamic issues.

Articles by Anthony Rogers at Answering Muslims website

Jesus As God by Murray J. Harris

Department of Christian Defense
This website has a lot of great articles in defense of the Trinity and related doctrines

Some Blog Resources 

Drew Lewis is a former Unitarian (from the Way International) who now defends the doctrine of the Trinity. Some of his material is so good that even informed Unitarians have recommended it to help sharpen their Unitarian arguments. For example, his video on Inconsistent Unitarian Arguments.

Drew Lewis' blog: BEGINNING OF WISDOM   

Drew Lewis' YouTube channel: The Beginning of Wisdom


[see especially part 6 The Shaliach Defense]


Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
This is Nick Norelli's website where he often discusses the doctrine of the Trinity. He's obsessed (in a good way) with the doctrine of the Trinity. His website is recommended on the topic of the Trinity by Steve Hays (of Triablogue fame). Nick reads and addresses authors who delve into the deeper theological, philosophical, historical, and biblical issues regarding the doctrine of the Trinity.

Nick Norelli's:
1. Recommended Reading (includes book reviews)
2. Trinitarian Resources

I also recommend Steve Hays blogs on the doctrine of the Trinity at Triablogue. Especially those where he interacts with Dale Tuggy and/or Drake Shelton. Here are instructions on how to do a comprehensive search at Go to and type in "" in the "site or domain:" field. Do NOT type "www" (as in:  ""). Then type in whatever keywords interest you in one of the first three fields. For example words like "Dale Tuggy"; "Drake Shelton"; "trinitarianism"; "trinity"; "arian"; "arianism"; "modalism"; "sabellianism" et cetera.

Jesus is Jehovah (blog)
This is an interesting blog that has some things that are useful in defense of the full deity of Jesus (and by extension the doctrine of the Trinity).

In my blog on the Messiahship of Jesus, there are various resources that either directly or indirectly address or make a defense for the full deity of Jesus and of a plurality of persons in the Godhead (or specifically the doctrine of the Trinity). The blog on the Messiahship of Jesus can be accessed at the link HERE (

Two blogs where I debated the doctrine of the Trinity
F[L]air-minded Reinvention of the Wheel
Do Rocks Dream of Ceramic Sheep? OR Jade Runner

Some Classic Online Books in Defense of the Trinity

Some of the following books are somewhat out-dated because they were written prior to modern discoveries or modern arguments against the doctrine of the Trinity. Also, sometimes they make a case that hinges on textual variants that they either weren't aware of, or for some reason didn't address. Or that modern scholarship has shown to be inauthentic. Nevertheless, the overall arguments made are useful and show that the doctrine of the Trinity is well grounded in both the Old and New Testament.

Brief Declaration and Vindication of The Doctrine of the Trinity by John Owen

The Doctrine Of The Trinity Stated And Vindicated by John Gill

A Body of Doctrinal Divinity by John Gill [ see especially chapters 26-31]

The Trinity by Edward Henry Bickersteth

The following book might be the same book as above but with a different (original?) title. ↓↑↓↑↓↑↓↑↓

The Rock of Ages; or, Scripture Testimony to the One Eternal Godhead or The Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost by Edward Henry Bickersteth
or (digital version)
 ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑
Unfortunately, this digital version alters the text so that where the original had "Jehovah" it has "Lord." Thus removing instances when Bickersteth specifically intends refer to the tetragrammaton. At the very least they should have replaced it with "LORD" (all caps) or "YHWH" or "Yahweh." Though I personally prefer, but don't insist on, "Jehovah."

Doctrine of the Trinity: The Biblical Evidence by Richard N. Davies

The following two books by Elmer L. Towns weren't written to prove the Divinity of Christ or the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless, these books provide additional supplementary evidence by collecting the names, titles and descriptions of Christ and the Holy Spirit.

The Names of Jesus by Elmer L. Towns [ over 700 names]

The Names of the Holy Spirit by Elmer L. Towns

Recommended books for Purchase

Putting Jesus in His Place: The Case for the Deity of Christ by  Robert Bowman and J. Ed Komoszewski (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED)

The Forgotten Trinity by James White (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED introduction)

The Holy Trinity: In Scripture, History, Theology, and Worship by Robert Letham
The following is what Nick Norelli says about Letham's book, "This book is as comprehensive as you can get in 500 pages. Letham covers just about everything you can hope for in his examination of the Trinity. From the Scriptures to the Church fathers, to modern theologians, almost no stone is left unturned. Hands down, my favorite book on the subject. Again, this is not an introductory book, it assumes some prior acquaintance with the doctrine." Wow, what and endorsement. I haven't read this book, but guess I should.

Any of Larry Hurtado's books on Christology are recommended. For example:
-Lord Jesus Christ: Devotion to Jesus in Earliest Christianity;
-How on Earth Did Jesus Become a God?: Historical Questions about Earliest Devotion to Jesus;
-One God, One Lord, New Edition: Early Christian Devotion and Ancient Jewish Monotheism

The Trinity: Evidence and Issues by Robert A. Morey

Reasoning from the Scriptures with the Jehovah's Witnesses by Ron Rhodes

God In Three Persons by E. Calvin Beisner

"Jesus Only" Churches by E. Calvin Beisner [ addresses Modalism/Modalistic Monarchianism/Oneness theology]

The Real Kosher Jesus: Revealing the mysteries of the hidden Messiah by Michael L. Brown (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED; along with his 5 volume "Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus")

Jesus as God: The New Testament Use of Theos in Reference to Jesus by Murray J. Harris

Nick Norelli's book recommendations & book reviews can be accessed at this link  HERE (scroll down for the reviews)


The Trinity in the Old Testament VIDEO (Highly RECOMMENDED introductory video)

Can Anyone See God? by Michael L. Brown (brief video) 

The Mystery of the Trinity by R. C. Sproul (6 videos)

Devotion to Jesus: The Divinity of Christ in Earliest Christianity with Dr. Larry Hurtado (part 1 of 8 videos)
(Only Part 1 is Freely Available. Access to all is $150.00)

Dr. Michael Heiser Videos on the Trinity including:
The Jewish Trinity: How the Old Testament Reveals the Christian Godhead

Did Paul think Jesus was God? (video)

Wayne Grudem's Lectures on the Trinity [based on his book Systematic Theology] (audio mp3s)
Part ONE, Part TWO, Part THREE, Part FOUR

Simon Gathercole Lectures on the Preexistence of Christ in the Synoptics
The three mp3 files can be downloaded HERE or HERE. He gives special emphasis on Jesus' oft repeated statement "I have come."

Pre-Existence of Jesus in the Synoptic Gospels
(My blog article that's partly based on Gathercole's lecture above)


Deity of the Messiah Debate between Unitarians Buzzard/Goode vs. Trinitarians White/Brown

Dr. James White vs. Sir Anthony Buzzard on the topic of the Trinity on Justin Brierley's radio show Unbelievable

Trinity vs. Oneness White vs. Sabin
Part ONE; Part TWO

Oneness vs Trinity: David Bernard vs James White
Part ONE; Part TWO; Part THREE; Part FOUR

Here's a link to my blog Resources Responding to Bart Ehrman that includes (among other things) links to book reviews of Ehrman's book "How Jesus Became God"

[My own] Comments and Blog Posts on the Trinity

UPDATE:    Here's the link to my new blog Trinity Notes 


  1. I just created a new blog Trinity Notes where I can post miscellaneous notes in defense of the doctrine of the Trinity.