3

Some may suggest that God is a single figure, a single personality, and that there is no "Trinity" as many have come to understand the term. Does Matthew 3 (among other verses) contradict this?

Matthew 3:16-17: "After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.” (emphasis added).

9
  • Well, we have at least 2 distinct persons here, one spiritual; and one of a human nature, albeit temporarily. The spirit entity is clearly speaking from the 'heavens' (the Father) in praise of His Son, who has just been baptized on 'earth', at which point God's forceful spirit, by way of a dove, acts as confirmation. So we have 2 distinct personages, both with very distinct and meaningful names, separated by the expanse between heaven and earth and we have what amounts to God's active force, which, of course, has no name.... 3 'distinct' persons? No! 3 'facets' of 'divine nature'? Yes! Jul 10 at 19:20
  • Has no name? I suppose Father and God is more of a Name than THE Holy Spirit @OldeEnglish Jul 10 at 20:03
  • 3
    @NihilSineDeo- Father and God are not 'names', they are 'titles' !!! Jul 10 at 20:14
  • 1
    There are numerous theories about the how the Godhead works ranging from, modalism, monarchianism, Arianism, Binitarianism, docetism, trinitarianism, etc. All have fierce defenders from Scripture. We are not going to resolve this two-millennia debate here!!
    – Dottard
    Jul 10 at 22:09
  • @Dottard I think I remember you writing a good overview answer about the passages seen as supporting the three persons, do you remember which one it was? I don't think it is helpful to have a separate question for all of those passages.
    – curiousdannii
    Jul 11 at 6:28
5

Is God omnipresent? Yes. Was He present in spirit at Jesus' baptism? Yes. Does that make His spirit into a separate being? No.

The belief in the Trinity which makes of the Holy Spirit a separate being from that of the Father is actually spiritualism and pantheism. Consider the evidence carefully, as this is sustainable from the Bible.

First, we need to remind ourselves of the definitions of some of these terms.

What is “spiritualism”?

According to the dictionary, we find it stems from a belief in which the spirit is separate from matter (the body) which leads, in religious practice, to communications with that spirit entity, such as even after one has died (a part of the heresy being that the spirit is immortal). See the definition copied below.

spiritualism [ˈspiriCHo͞oəˌlizəm]
noun
* 1 a system of belief or religious practice based on supposed communication with the spirits of the dead, esp. through mediums.
* 2 Philosophy the doctrine that the spirit exists as distinct from matter, or that spirit is the only reality.

DERIVATIVES
spiritualist noun,
spiritualistic [spiriCHo͞oəˈlistik] adjective

Note that it is not spiritualism to believe in the existence of spirits. It is spiritualism to believe that they have a separate existence to that of their (e.g. bodily) source, i.e. that they are beings unto themselves.

Let's look at a Biblical case by which to illustrate this. Consider Paul's teachings:

1 Corinthians

  • 5:3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,
  • 5:4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,
  • 5:5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

We see that Paul's spirit, biblically speaking, could be present in a place where he was not bodily present. Now, if we were to say that the “spirit of Paul” was present there, we are speaking biblically, in agreement with the teaching of Paul in this passage. But suppose we were to say, instead, that “Paul the Spirit” were present—what change does this reordering of the words make?

It converts the “spirit” into a separate being, which is spiritualism.

Let's consider another example:

And when the sons of the prophets which were to view at Jericho saw him, they said, The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha. And they came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him. (2 Kings 2:15)

To whom were the sons of the prophets bowing? By the way, these “sons of the prophets” were themselves prophets. Consider earlier verses as evidence for this.

And Elijah said unto Elisha, Tarry here, I pray thee; for the LORD hath sent me to Bethel. And Elisha said unto him, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they went down to Bethel. And the sons of the prophets that were at Bethel came forth to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the LORD will take away thy master from thy head to day? And he said, Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace. And Elijah said unto him, Elisha, tarry here, I pray thee; for the LORD hath sent me to Jericho. And he said, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they came to Jericho. And the sons of the prophets that were at Jericho came to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the LORD will take away thy master from thy head to day? And he answered, Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace. (2 Kings 2:2-5)

So the sons of the prophets in two places, Bethel and Jericho, had given the same prophetic message to Elisha before Elijah was taken away. When they afterward say “The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha,” what are they meaning? Do they mean to say that Elijah the Spirit is with Elisha?

No. That would be spiritualism.

Just as Elijah, Paul, Nebuchadnezzar (see Daniel 2:1), and every other person on earth, has a spirit, so does God have a spirit. But just as it would be unbiblical to refer to “Elijah the Spirit,” “Paul the Spirit,” or “Nebuchadnezzar the Spirit,” it is unbiblical to refer to “God the Spirit” or “Jesus the Spirit” or “Christ the Spirit.” Nowhere in the Inspired Writings are any of these “_____ the Spirit” forms of address used.

Nowhere.

The reason is clear: this would be spiritualism.

When applied to God, these terms make of Him virtually a non-entity. It is the very essence of pantheism (see definition below).

pantheism [ˈpanTHēˌizəm]
noun
* 1 a doctrine that identifies God with the universe, or regards the universe as a manifestation of God.
* 2 rare worship that admits or tolerates all gods.

DERIVATIVES
pantheist noun,
pantheistic [ˌpanTHēˈistik] adjective,
pantheistical [ˌpanTHēˈistikəl] adjective,
pantheistically [ˌpanTHēˈistik(ə)lē] adverb

ORIGIN mid 18th cent.: from pan-‘all’ + Greek theos ‘god’ + -ism.

Because God's Spirit is omnipresent, a belief that this spirit is itself a being separate from God is the very essence of pantheism. The mere use of the expression “God the Spirit” implies that God is in the very fabric of the universe, because His Spirit is everywhere present, and therefore, the universe is itself God.

In another sense of the word, of course, God is a spirit. We see this truth spoken clearly by Jesus himself in John 4:24. This, however, is not to be taken to mean that God has no form. It is simply to be understood that God is not flesh and blood as we are. Though He is “a spirit,” there is no separate being from God to be addressed as “God the Spirit.” This would be absurd. God is already a spirit. If we say “God the Spirit,” assuming that God is plural, then do we not mean to say that at least one of those beings within the plurality is not a spirit? And then what would that make of Jesus' words at the well? At best his words would have been but a half-truth, right?

God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:24)

How can a person, at one and the same time, believe that God is a spirit and that He is not? If God the Father, the only true God (John 17:1-3), is a spirit, then whom does one reference in saying “God the Spirit”?

The Bible never once speaks of “God the Spirit.” There is a reason for this. The Bible is consistent with itself and teaches that God the Father is the only true God who is everywhere present by His spirit. According to Jesus (see John 14), it was the Father who was in Christ, speaking and working through Him.

9
  • 1
    @TesfayeWolde Greek has no indefinite articles, and to English this can be translated in either way. I do not know which way is best, only that the Greek words are in singular. I, personally, take it as if it were double-meaning: both a spirit and spirit. In my response here, however, I simply followed the KJV translation. In Greek it reads: Πνεῦμα ὁ Θεός (literally "spirit the God"). The verb is implied, as is the article.
    – Polyhat
    Jul 11 at 6:51
  • 1
    @curiousdannii There are many Trinitarians who say God is three beings. They seem to be ignorant of the fact that, by definition, they are not actually Trinitarians (who believe God is one being in three persons), but rather Tritheists. Nevertheless, by the word "person," most people today understand being. If, on the other hand, we accept the original meaning for "person"--character of office, or role--then I agree that God presents Himself to us in three persons. But God is a Being, not three beings. "Trinity" is used in many ways by various people, but it is not a biblical term.
    – Polyhat
    Jul 11 at 6:59
  • 1
    @curiousdannii-my very positive comment (and even that of another) has been removed here, which means, I guess, that it must have been flagged and have had the flag upheld by moderator intervention and yet I don't hear anything about it. How is it that one is not allowed to defend one's comment when just stating facts, and how is this fair to the person here that was truly deserving of the comment. Jul 11 at 7:27
  • 1
    @curiousdannii ... "comments like those"?? Do you mean comments that show true appreciation for an answer, or comments based on certain factual observations? It is a well known fact, for instance, that advocates for this site 'are' predominately drawn towards the 'Trinitarian' belief, as are you. God forbid that you are showing 'favoritism', albeit possibly inadvertently, to the point of certifying exclusion of remarks of a different advocacy, as that would be hardly becoming of a moderator of your ilk. Jul 11 at 8:43
  • 1
    @OldeEnglish Worse yet s/he is angling to have this entire question removed, probably because of his/her disagreement with one particular answer. You might wish to copy it out before it disappears. I'm afraid that the principles of Christianity do not reign supreme here, but the age-old saw that power corrupts stands in evidence supported. It would be far more becoming of a moderator here to show breadth of mind and moderation (balance) in action. It saddens me to see people's questions closed for the slightest "infraction," and many never dare ask anything here again. Sad.
    – Polyhat
    Jul 11 at 8:51
3

Should we understand God as three distinct persons based on (at least) Matthew 3:16-17?

Answer: Yes. Although Matthew 3 probably doesn't definitively establish a multiplicity of identities, we do find abundant evidence for this elsewhere throughout the Sacred Text.

New Testament Evidences

A careful, unbiased study of Scripture should reveal that the divine Godhead consists of three persons, three separate and distinct personalities. These may be distinguished by the following passages in the N/T, the first already noted in the OP:

Matthew 3:16-17: "After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, 17and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased” (emphasis added).

Matthew 28:19: "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit" (emphasis added).

Luke 1:35: "The angel answered and said to her, 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God" (emphasis added).

John 14:26: "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you" (emphasis added).

2 Corinthians 13:14: "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all" (emphasis added).

Ephesians 4:4-6: "There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all" (emphasis added).

1 Peter 1:1b-2a: "To those... who are chosen 2according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ" (emphasis added).

The biblical records reveals that each of these Figures is a separate person, and that each is indeed God, possessing the quality or nature of deity. Naturally, we should all understand the Father is deity (Eph. 1:3). However, that is also true of the Son (Heb. 1:8) and the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3-4).

Suppose we read both of these passages as with the others:

Hebrews 1:8: "But of the Son He says, 'YOUR THRONE, O GOD, IS FOREVER AND EVER, AND THE RIGHTEOUS SCEPTER IS THE SCEPTER OF HIS KINGDOM'" (emphasis added).

The above passage is referring to Christ as God. Next we have:

Acts 5:3a-4b: "But Peter said, 'Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit… Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God'" (emphasis added).

What should be clear is that God cannot both be one and three at the same time: this is an obvious, logical contradiction. It is for these reasons (and many others) that "one" and "three" are not applied interchangeably. What should be crystal clear is that there is one divine nature consisting of three unique personalities to form a unified Godhead or "Trinity."

Any contradictions are, therefore, eliminated. Also of great consequence is the fact that many Bible passages would be virtually impossible to harmonize if this were not true — we have only scratched the surface here, as partially emphasized above.

Old Testament Evidences

The scriptural concept of the "Godhead" unfolds gradually between the Old and New Testaments. We first see evidence of multiple personalities in the first chapter — and indeed, the first verse — of the Book of Genesis:

Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning God [Elohim, plural] created...”

It is hard to simply overlook the fact that God has emphasized, in the very first verse of the Bible, His multiple identities. One commentator, Adam Clarke1 commented:

[In] the plural form Elohim, many scholars see a foreshadowing of the plurality of persons in the Divine Trinity... [The] term has long been supposed, by the most eminently learned and pious men, to imply a plurality of Persons in the Divine nature”

As previously stated, there are many other passages that allude to multiple, divine personalities in the O/T such as these few:

Genesis 1:26: “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness”

Here, some may claim that "Our" refers to angels. But this cannot be the case because, as most will acknowledge, angels are themselves created beings (Neh. 9:6; Psa. 148:2, 5). Further, the context of this passage limits such creative power to God alone:

Genesis 1:27: "God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him" (emphasis added).

There are others:

Genesis 3:22a: “Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil" (emphasis added).

Genesis 11:7: "Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another’s speech" (emphasis added).

These are the tip of the iceberg. They are but a fraction of the Old and New Testament evidences for what we have come to understand as the Godhead, one consisting of multiple identities, namely, the Father, the Son [Word], and the Holy Spirit — the Trinity.

1 Clarke’s Commentary. Vol. 1. Nashville, TN: Abingdon. Smith, Adam. 1959.

8
  • 2
    For every verse you've quoted here in order to support the 3 distinct person theory of the so called 'Godhead', many more can be quoted to the contrary. "In the name of the Holy Spirit" (capitalizations brought about by trinity biased translators and therefore not mine), means/implies recognition of that spirit as having it's source in God and as exercising it's (neuter) function according to the divine will. 'Elohim' is more often used as a plural of majesty and is better explained as an intensive plural, denoting greatness and majesty. Jul 10 at 21:49
  • @OldeEnglish It is both inaccurate and misleading to claim that the Hebrew "Elohim" is plural. It is no more plural than is the word "physics" in English. The number of a Hebrew noun is always determined by the verbs and adjectives used with it. "Panim" (face/faces) is ALWAYS plural in form in Hebrew--there is no singular form for it--but the verbs and adjectives with it will tell the reader whether or not it should actually be plural. Waters (mayim) and heavens (shamayim) are other words that are ALWAYS plural in form but not in construction/usage. Look up "plurale tantum" for more.
    – Polyhat
    Jul 11 at 0:59
  • @Polyhat - El-o-heem, or Elohim (gods), is more often used as a plural of majesty, dignity or excellence and describes JHVH, but even is used in reference to angels, to idol gods (singular and plural) and even to men. Elohim, when applying to JHVH, is almost invariably construed with a singular verbal predicate, and takes a singular adjectival attribute, consequently, must rather be explained as an intensive plural, denoting greatness and majesty, being equal to The Great God. (see the American journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures, Vol XXI, 1905, p.208) Jul 11 at 2:14
  • 1
    The "NT Evidences" are eisegesis, not exegesis. I.e. they are consistent with an existing belief in the Trinity doctrine, but they do not provide evidence from which one could deduce that doctrine. (This is especially obvious when one remembers that the original Greek did not capitalize "Spirit" or "Holy Spirit".) Jul 13 at 13:27
  • 2
    None of the verses provided teach that three persons form one godhead. There is no such verse in entire Bible. Jul 15 at 13:15
2

You wish to know if Matthew 3:16-17 contradicts the view that God is a single figure, a single personality, who is not triune. You also know that there are many scriptures that could be invoked to support the idea of God as triune including, possibly, this one. Having asked this on the Hermeneutics site, it is necessary that a particular text is to be expounded; but most of the answers simply use it as a launch-pad to go on about many other scriptures and interpretations of such. Three answers immediately launched into reasons for the Trinity doctrine being wrong, with your own answer then defending your view that it could be right. And thus you seem to have fallen into the same trap as those who disagree with you!

I hope you don't mind me starting my answer this way, but I have gone over all the answers (and comments) so far, and feel that nobody has really tried to analyze the text in question, in order to answer your simple question. You just want clarity on whether the text provides a basis for contradicting the view that God is distinctly different to the other two mentioned in the text - the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

So, let's consider the text, first of all seeing what it does say about the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Then we might discover what it does not say.

It does remind us of Genesis chapter 1 where, at the start of the world, there was water and there was the Spirit of God hovering over it and that the word of God caused everything to happen. Likewise here, at the start of this new ministry, there was water and then the Spirit of God hovering above the water as the Son of God arose up from it. Then came the very voice of the Father, declaring this person to be his beloved Son in whom he was well pleased. Remember how God voiced how pleased he was with what he'd done on earth at the beginning of it?

But this Jesus had been identified in John's gospel as the Word of God, who was with God in the beginning, who was God, and who made everything that was made (1:1-3). This Word became flesh, as the man Jesus, "...and dwelt among us. And we beheld his glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth (vs. 14). The next few verses go into the baptism of Jesus, where John the Baptist's testimony is given: "I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him" (vs. 32). He adds that he was told that "Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God" (vss. 33-34).

Now, this clearly identifies Jesus as a person, and that the voice of the Father is heard from the opened up heavens, and the Holy Spirit appears in the form of a dove. What this does not give us grounds for supposing is that the person, Jesus, was doing a ventriloquist act while magically causing a dove to flutter down.

Nor are we given grounds for claiming that the Matthew account is teaching us about a doctrine that would later come to be called 'the Trinity doctrine'. It relates an account of an historic event involving the person of Jesus Christ. Ah, but when we put the same account from the apostle John's account alongside it, we get much more information upon which to base our understanding of what this event is teaching us.

There's something supernatural going on about how those three relate to each other. The Father speaks to the Word made flesh. The Holy Spirit appears. And the whole thing is clearly an orchestrated, united display of the working of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Only those who have already formed their conclusions about those three would use the Matthew account on its own to launch a verbal attack on a doctrine that was not completed in word form until a few hundred years later. The Matthew account should be combined with all the other scriptures that speak of the way the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit operate as one, while clearly having their distinctives.

The Matthew account cannot, in itself, form the basis for the Trinity doctrine. Yet only someone with a closed mind would try to rule it out of the equation!

1

No, those verses are not sufficient for demonstrating the Trinity. Neither of the two obvious alternatives (viz. during Jesus' earthly ministry, God was exclusively located in the person of Jesus or Jesus is not God at all) are ruled out by these verses. Taking them in order:

God is exclusively located in Jesus

In this, the voice of God and the Spirit of God are attributes of Jesus, therefore they can have an existence outside of Jesus without being God. Indeed, that the Spirit is an attribute of God is a more obvious assumption than Him being a person of God.

It raises the question of how Spirit and voice come from above to Jesus. But this doesn't actually pose a difficulty. He is God, He can do miracles.

It also raises the question of why the voice of Jesus would be calling Jesus His son. This is a trickier question, but probably no trickier than the entire idea of the Trinity.

Jesus is not God

Still, this second possibility deals away with those two questions. God is in His heaven and voice and Spirit emanate from him in a very human-understandable way. The God in Heaven calls the lesser entity Jesus, His Son in a way that would be very familiar to the Romans (see Heracles or the emperors) while being more foreign to the Jews (although, what about Psalm 82:6?). Indeed, that the Son of God is a different entity from God is a far more obvious assumption than Him being a different person in the same entity.

In conclusion

The doctrine of the Trinity is a complicated subject, and a discovery of the early church based on the full revelation of scripture. Though God could have put clear and explicit verses teaching the Trinity in the Bible, He did not. The Trinity is far from being intuitively obvious and for that reason it will rarely (if ever) be the clearly best answer when exposed to a single verse. What it is, however, is the only approach that keeps all the scriptures in harmony with one another.

14
  • I'm not sure we are on the same page with this subject. (We might be.) Let me at least explain that we are limited (as I understand the site's terms) to one or two verses of Scripture when we post questions. Obviously, I could have cited many others - and perhaps there are much better ones than Matt. 3:16-17.
    – Xeno
    Jul 10 at 19:13
  • @Xeno I'm assuming your question isn't 'is the Trinity true?' with the verses just being mentioned to be allowable on the site, but whether those verses rule out a mono-personal God, and I don't think that they do. However, it may be the case that having accepted the Trinity that these verses take on an enhanced beauty as the Trinity in motion. Jul 10 at 19:23
  • @Xeno My answer is assuming that you understand how it works from the Trinity perspective, and are asking if it works from the unity perspective. Is that where I'm misreading you? Jul 10 at 19:26
  • I wonder if that harmony was there in the 'original' texts.... Jul 10 at 19:38
  • 3
    @Kyle the idea that the trinity, as bizarre as it is, is the only rational explanation is a bewildering conclusion. The bible speaks volumes about One God the Father and one human son who is not God, but has a God. Welcome, thx for contributing.
    – steveowen
    Jul 10 at 23:31
0

Should we understand God as three distinct persons based on (at least) Matthew 3:16-17?
NO!

Jesus, generated by God through His Holy Spirit (a power from God - Matt 1:20 and Luke 1:35), is certainly a person. More, he is the incarnation of God’s logos (John 1:14).

That Jesus is the Son of God does not mean, though, that he is a “pre-existent”, person, let alone eternal.

And the mention of God’s Holy Spirit in the form of a dove at Matt 3:16 certainly does not transform a power of God in a “person” of God.

The fantasy of Jesus as "Michael, the great prince"

(edited to add 12 July)

It is a well known fact that, after Charles Taze Russell presented his teaching on the subject, JWs entertain the idea that the "pre-incarnated Christ" is one and the same as the Archangel Michael.

What few people know is that the historical writings of many protestant trinitarians show that even many of them have claimed that Jesus Christ is Michael the Archangel. See here:

“The earlier Protestant scholars usually identified Michael with the preincarnate Christ, finding support for their view, not only in the juxtaposition of the "child" and the archangel in Rev. 12, but also in the attributes ascribed to him in Daniel (...).” — John A. Lees, The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, 1930, Vol. 3, page 2048. [online entry: [Michael]1, (11) @ bibletools.org]

Among the "Protestant scholars" who "identified Michael with the preincarnate Christ" you may (be more or less surprised to) find Theodore Beza, John Wesley, Adam Clarke, John Gill, Matthew Henry ...

What even fewer people know is that the Protestant reformer John Calvin, on the orthodoxy of whose trinitarian doctrine nobody dared and dares cast even the hint of a doubt, not only entertained the idea that Jesus Christ is Michael the Archangel, BUT, rather disconcertingly, he even changed his mind, on this subject, literally from one day to the next.

Lo and behold.

In 1561, John Calvin wrote a Commentary on Daniel in two volumes, dedicated respectively to the first 6 (mostly in Aramaic) and to the last 6 chapters (mostly in Hebrew) or the Book of Daniel.

See what happened with this verse:

“At that time Michael, the great prince who watches over your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress unlike any other from the nation’s beginning up to that time. But at that time your own people, all those whose names are found written in the book, will escape.” (Dan 12:1)

At first, in his comment immediately appended to the verse, Calvin writes ...

By Michael many agree in understanding Christ as the head of the Church. But if it seems better to understand Michael as the archangel, this sense will prove suitable, for under Christ as the head, angels are the guardians of the Church. Whichever be the true meaning, God was the preserver of his Church by the hand of his only-begotten Son, and because the angels are under the government of Christ, he might entrust this duty to Michael. — John Calvin, Commentary on Daniel, Vol.2 (1561), Chapter 12, Daniel 12:1 [bolding by MdS]

... so, in spite of what "many agree in understanding", Calvin considers it "suitable" to read Michael as ... Michael, and Christ ONLY indirectly referred to, "as the head" ...

Then, after a duly pious Prayer (Lecture 64), Calvin expresses his ... er ... rather revised (actually reversed) thought ...

“As we stated yesterday, Michael may mean an angel; but I embrace the opinion of those who refer this to the person of Christ, because it suits the subject best to represent him as standing forward for the defense of his elect people.” — John Calvin, Commentary on Daniel, Vol.2 (1561), Chapter 12, Lecture Sixty Fifth

... so, having ... slept on it, now Calvin prefers to read Michael as ... Christ ...

Does also the reverse apply, that is, does Calvin believe that Christ is none other than the Archangel Michael?

Well, of course this would be rather hard to reconcile with Calvin's famous trinitarian orthodoxy ...

... but, anyway ...

... your comments are welcome ...

0

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.