Shelf Life Book Review: Paul and the Trinity

Ben Espinoza

Paul and the Trinity: Persons, Relations, and the Pauline Letters
Eerdmans, 2015

Modern biblical scholarship tends to see Paul’s references to God, Christ, and Spirit as separate entities, indicating that monotheism and Christology are at the heart of Paul’s theology. However, Wesley Hill contends that Trinitarian theology offers a better lens through which to understand Paul’s references to God, Christ, and Spirit.

Hill outlines his thesis in contrast to the “high and low” christological debates in Pauline scholarship. Using a synthesis of biblical exegesis and systematic theology, he explores the Trinitarian relationship reflected in various Pauline texts—starting with God and Jesus, then incorporating the Spirit. Throughout, Hill demonstrates that, for Paul, the persons of the Trinity are inextricably bound up in one another.

Hill offers modern New Testament scholarship a way forward in making sense of Paul’s references to the persons of the Trinity. He argues well for a Trinitarian reading of Paul that does not manipulate the text in ways it was not meant to be read. While the book is intended primarily for scholars, most pastors will find it helpful for preaching and teaching.

This review also appears in the May-June '16 issue of Bible Study Magazine.