Select Bibliography on the Trinity
by Paul Petersen, Field Secretary of South Pacific Division
Allaback, Fred. No New Leaders . . . No New Gods. Creal Springs: Fred Allaback, 1995.
• An example of an influential anti-Trinitarian.
Anderson, David. Basil the Great On the Holy Spirit. Introduction and translation by David Anderson. Crestwood, N.Y.: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1980.
• For anyone who wants to enjoy reading one of the great Cappadocian fathers.
Bettenson, Henry. Ed. and trans. The Early Church Fathers: A Selection from the Writings of the Fathers from St. Clement of Rome to Athanasius. London: Oxford University Press, 1956.
• Always good to read the fathers in their own words, albeit good background information is needed to understand them
Boff, Leonardo. Trinity and Society. Translated by Paul Burns. Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 1988.
• Another theologian looking at implications of the doctrine for human community, highlighting the Trinity as a model of love and fellowship. Brasilian Catholic with some awkward positions; in conflict with the Vatican over liberation theology and his views on Mary (linked for Buff to the working of the Holy Spirit).
Bray, Gerald L. "Out of the Box: The Christian Experience of God in Trinity." In God the Holy Trinity: Reflections on Christian Faith and Practice. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2006: 37-55.
• Compares the Christian doctrine with Judaism. Roots the understanding of the nature of God firmly in the OT. Finds the decisive difference in the Christian experience of Jesus through the working of the Spirit. Tends slightly towards subordinationism and reveals an antropology different from the Adventist position. Nevertheless a very good and valuable reflection.
Burt, Merlin D. "History of Seventh-day Adventist Views on the Trinity." Journal of Adventist Theological Society 17 (2006): 125-139.
• Adding significant details to previous studies, including also the discussion at the 1919 Bible Conference.
Canale, Fernando L. "Doctrine of God." Handbook to Seventh-day Adventist Theology. Commentary Reference Series. Edited by George W. Reid and Raoul Dederen. Hagerstown, MD: Review & Herald, 2000. 12:105-159.
• Comprehensive coverage of the present Adventist understanding of God and the Trinity. Deals with some of the theological challenges of SDA history and approaches the issue from a biblical philosophical perspective. Significant for anyone who wants to follow the development of Adventist doctrine.
Coppedge, Allan. The God Who Is Triune. Revisioning the Christian Doctrine of God. IVP Academic. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2007.
• Approaching the doctrine of the Trinity from a Christological perspective, and describing the nature of the triune God against a broader biblical framework than traditionally done. Is comprehensive in scope and provides profound insight on a large number of significant and time relevant theological issues. Contains balanced discussion of major theologians of past and present and is thus also a splendid introduction to present trinitarian thinking.
Cory-Kuehl, Rachel. The Persons of God. Albuquerque: Aggelia, 1996.
Davidson, Richard M. "Proverbs 8 and the Place of Christ in the Trinity." Journal of Adventist Theological Society 17 (2006): 33-54.
• Splendid discussion of the exegesis of Proverbs 8. Some new angles with significant theological implications.
Dederen, Raoul. "Reflections on the Doctrine of the Trinity." Andrews University Seminary Studies 8 (1970): 1-22.
• Summarizing the consensus view of SDA theologians at the time after generations of movement towards a full blown Trinitarian position.
Edgar, Brian. The Message of the Trinity. The Bible Speaks Today. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2004.
• Pastorally valuable and theologically practical application of the doctrine of the Trinity. Maybe the best recent book on the topic for the reading lay person.
Erickson, Millard. Christian Theology. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1998.
• A good place to view the doctrine of the Trinity in the broader context of conservative, evangelical theology.
Erickson, Millard. God in Three Persons: A Contemporary Interpretation of the Trinity. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1995.
• A conservative, evangelical scholar presents the Trinity doctrine.
George, Timothy, editor. God the Holy Trinity: Reflections on Christian Faith and Practice. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2006.
• Contains various articles related to the Trinity by modern scholars from different denominational background.
Giles, Kevin. Jesus and the Father: Modern Evangelicals Reinvent the Doctrine of the Trinity. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2006.
• Giles continues his critique of evangelicals who abuse the Trinity doctrine in support for male dominance in home and church. In this book he devotes more time to historical theology.
Giles, Kevin. The Trinity & Subordinationism: The Doctrine of God & the Contemporary Gender Debate. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity, 2002.
Grant, Robert M. Gods and the One God. Library of Early Christianity 1. Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1986.
• As other works in the series edited by Wayne A. Meeks a good introduction, in this case to the Early Chrstian understanding of God against the background of Hellenistic and Roman culture.
Grenz, Stanley J. Rediscovering the Triune God: The Trinity in Contemporary Theology. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004.
• Grenz is a Baptist scholar who reflects on the Trinitarian God as being and community. Significant contribution to modern evangelical theology.
Grenz, Stanley J. Theology for the Community of God. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000. (Originally published by Broadman & Holman, 1994).
• Splendid systematic theology from modern Protestant perspective. The discussion of the Trinity in the theological wider context is valuable.
Grenz, Stanley. "The Social God and the Relational Self. Toward a Theology of the Imago Dei in the Postmodern World." In Personal Identity in Theological Perspective. Eds. Richard Lints, Michael S. Horton, and Mark R. Talbot. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2006.
• Discusses personal identity on the basis of the Trinity doctrine in a thematic issue of Interpretation devoted to Imago Dei, the image of God.
Grudem, Wayne. Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994.
• Presents traditional arguments for the Trinity in the context of systematic theology as a whole. Represents the evangelical scholars who believe in the subordination of Christ within the Trinity in order to justify male dominance in church and home.
Hall, Christopher A. Learning Theology with the Church Fathers. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity, 2002.
• Excellent introduction to the thinking and argumentation of the church fathers. Contains valuable chapters on issues in the development of the doctrine of the Trinity.
Harris, Murray J. Jesus as God: The New Testament Use of Theos in Reference to Jesus. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1992.
• Solid analysis of the evidence.
Hatton, Max. Understanding the Trinity. Grantham: Autumn House, 2001.
• Popular response to the JW type anti-Trinitarian argumentation.
Hurtado, Larry W. How on Earth Did Jesus Become God? Historical Questions about Earliest Devotion to Jesus. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2005.
• Traces the devotion of early Christianity towards Jesus and analyses how they reflect practices that against the background of monotheistic Judaism were reserved for God alone. A significant contribution to the background for the development of Trinitarian theology.
Jenson, Robert W. Systematic Theology. Volume I. The Triune God. Oxford: Oxford University, Press, 1997
Jenson, Robert W. The Triune Identity: God according to the Gospel. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1982.
• Jenson is perhaps the most influential North American Lutheran systematician of the last half of the 20th century.
Johnsson, Carsten. "How Could Lucifer Conceive the Idea of a Rivalry with Jesus Christ?" Unpublished paper, 1976.
• Unique contribution by one of the greatest philosophers of the Adventist Church.
Journal of the Adventist Theological Society (JATS) 17:1, 2006.
• This issue is dedicated to the question of the Trinity with papers from the 2005 ATS symposium on the Trinity in Southern University.
Kärkkäinen, Veli-Matti. The Doctrine of God: A Global Introduction. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2004.
• Focus on contemporary discussions of the concept of God, including also a section on non-Western perspectives. Not always up to date on exegetical issues, nevertheless a very worthwhile read for its purpose.
Kärkkäinen, Veli-Matti. The Trinity. Global Perspective. Louisville/London: Westminster John Knox Press, 2007.
• Analysis of and dialogue with major Trinitarian theologians from a wide range of historical and denominational background worldwide. Includes a brief intro to the historical development of the doctrine, focus on the renaissance of the doctrine in the 20th century with Barth and Rahner, Zizioulas, Moltmann, and Pannenberg, and subsenquently assesses theologians of the last 40 years from both Europe, USA, South America, and Africa. Truly a remarkable achievement which is a central and indispensable work for anyone who wants to know that is going on in Trinitarian theology in the early 21st century.
Köstenberger, Andreas J. and Scott R. Swain. Father, Son and Spirit. New Studies in Biblical Theology 24. Nottingham/Downers Grove: Apollo/InterVarsity Press, 2008.
• An absolutely excellent study of the Trinity in the Gospel of John. Answers many pertinent anti-Trinitarian questions with exegetical precision.
Leupp, Roderick T. The Renewal of Trinitarian Theology: Themes, Patterns & Explorations. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2008.
• This book gives, though somewhat uneven at at times written in a somewhat inaccessible language, a fair introduction to the areas impacted by recent Trinitarian theology.
Letham, Robert. The Holy Trinity. In Scripture, History, Theology, and Worship. New Jersey: P&R Publishing, 2004.
• Text book quality by an evangelical scholar. Some weakness in the area of philosophy.
McGrath, Alister E. "The Doctrine of the Trinity: An Evangelical Reflection." In Timothy George. Editor. God the Holy Trinity: Reflections on Christian Faith and Practice. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2006: 17-35.
• Personal, well-written, insightful.
McGrath, Alister E. Historical Theology. An Introduction to the History of Christian Thought. Oxford: Blackwell, 1998.
• Reading about the Trinity within the context of systematic theology as a whole is beneficial.
Mettinger, Tryggve N.D. In Search of God. The Meaning and Message of the Everlasting Names. Translated from Swedish Gudsbeteckningar och gudsbild i Gamla Testamentet by Frederick H. Cryer. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1988.
• Almost a classic. Still valid investigation of the names of God in the Old Testament.
Moon, Jerry. "The Adventist Trinity Debate, Part 1: Historical Overview." Andrews University Seminary Studies 41 (2003): 113-129.
Moon, Jerry. "The Adventist Trinity Debate, Part 2: The Role of Ellen G White." Andrews University Seminary Studies41 (2003): 275-292.
• Excellent up-to-date researched two part series, including hitherto overlooked historical sources.
Moon, Jerry. "The Quest for a Biblical Trinity: Ellen White's ‘Heavenly Trio'." Journal of Adventist Theological Society 17 (2006): 140-159.
• Yet another excellent and precise study by Moon. Indispensable for those who study or discuss the position of Ellen White in relation to the traditional teaching of the Trinity.
O'Collins, Gerald. The Tripersonal God: Understanding and Interpreting the Trinity. New York: Paulist Press, 1999.
• Not least excellent in the analysis and description of the historical development of the doctrine.
Olson, Roger W. The Mosaic of Christian Belief. Twenty Centuries of Unity & Diversity. Downer's Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, 2002.
• In this systematic theology from a historical perspective Olson presents an overview of positions and arguments in relation to basic Christian doctrine. A splendid summary of views and introduction to Christian theology.
Olson, Roger W. and Christopher A. Hall. The Trinity. Guides to Theology. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002.
• Readable and concise introduction to the development of the doctrine of the Trinity from patristic times to the present. The discussion of developments within the last century of great value. Contains a very helpful annotated bibliography.
Peters, Ted. God as Trinity: Relatoinality and Temporality of Divine Life. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1993.
• Significant North American Lutheran scholar.
Petersen, Paul. "Trinitarian Equality and ‘Eternal Subordination of the Son' - A Revival of an Anti-Trinitarian Heresy?". Edited by Jiri Moskala. Forthcoming Festschrift: Andrews, 2008.
• Looks at the present evangelical discussion of the relationship between the doctrine of the Trinity and gender roles. Contains valuable summary of the development of the understanding of the Trinity in the Early Church.
Pfandl, Gerhard. "The Trinity in Scripture." Journal of the Adventist Theological Society 14 (2003): 80-94.
• Brief and precise, this article leads the reader through important biblical texts, arguing for the presence of the teaching of the Trinity in both Old and New Testament and also dealing with some of the perceived textual difficulties.
Pfandl, Gerhard. "The Doctrine of the Trinity Among Seventh-day Adventists." Journal of Adventist Theological Society 17 (2006): 160-179.
• Discusses recent anti-Trinitarian attacks on the SDA position.
Poirier, Tim. Ellen White's Trinitarian Statements: What Did She Actually Write? In Ellen White and Current Issues Symposium. 2006: 18-40.
• Poirier meets the challenge from anti-Trinitarians that Ellen White's statements regarding the Trinity were tampered with. Clear and logical presentation.
Saint Augustine. The Trinity. De Trinitate. New York: New City Press, 1991.
• Augustine's book on the Trinity contains a theological section and a second section with analogies from human life. In contrast to many versions, this fairly recent edition contains also the first and most important section. Augustine's work exercised huge influence on Western Christian theology.
Stump, Allen. The Foundation of Our Faith. Welch: Smyrna Gospel Ministries, 2000.
• Another influential anti-Trinitarian
"The Doctrine of the Trinity and Its Bearing on the Relationship of Men and Women." Sydney Anglican Diocesan Doctrine Commission Report in Yearbook of the Diocese of Sydney. Sydney: Diocesan Registry, St. Andrews House, 2000, 538-550.
• Favors a subordinate position of the eternal Son in order to justify a submissive position of women in home and church. The views are criticized as heretical by Giles et alia.
Thieselton, Anthony C. A Concise Encyclopedia of the Philosophy of Religion. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2002.
• Not in specific on the Trinity. Nevertheless, this concise encyclopedia presents a number of related entries with great clarity and is recommended for the library of every minister and scholar.
Torrance, Thomas F. Incarnation. The Person and Life of Christ. Ed Robert T. Walker. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2008.
• Significant work on Christ by the perhaps greatest Reformed theologian since Karl Barth.
Toon, Peter. Our Triune God: A Biblical Portrayal of the Trinity. Wheaton: Victor Books, 1996.
• Good assessment of the biblical basis for the Trinity doctrine.
Torrance, Thomas F. The Christian Doctrine of God: One Being Three Persons. Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1996.
• Significant contribution from a modern Protestant, Reformed theologian
Ware, Bruce A. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: Relationships, Roles, & Relevance. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2005.
• A practical and pastoral application of the doctrine of the Trinity from a conservative, evangelical perspective. Contains much of good value, but Ware also moves into heresy when imposing a hierarchal view of the internal relationship within the Godhead and applying it to human relationships.
Whidden, Woodrow, Jerry Moon and John W. Reeve. The Trinity. Review & Herald, 2002.
• A solid Adventist product for the popular audience, taking the specific challenges of the SDA Church into account by evaluating the historical development of the doctrine within the Church as well as the role of Ellen White in that development.
Zizioulas, John D. Being as Communion: Studies in Personhood and the Church. Crestwood, N.Y.: St. Vladimir's Press, 1985.
• A Greek orthodox theologian whose reflection on the divine being as relational has become influential in present theological discussion
Young, Norman H. "Jesus - Divinity Revealed in Humility." In The Essential Jesus: The Man, His Message, His Mission. Edited by Bryan W. Ball and William G. Johnsson. Boise, ID. Pacific Press, 2002, 103-123.
• Clear and succinctly, Young deduces the basic element of the doctrine of the Trinity from the New Testament texts about the divinity of Jesus.