Sunday, June 29, 2008

God the Son Brought Down the Rain From God the Father

"Then Jehovah rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from Jehovah out of heaven." (Gen. 19:24; ASV, 1901)

Among the many passages of the Old Testament that provide support for the doctrine of the Trinity, passages that have been looked upon as significant in this regard from the earliest of times, are such as the one above that attributes the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah to the activities of more than one personal agent., each designated 'Jehovah' or 'God'. Just as surely as the church has found repose in verses such as this, so those outside of the church have (unsuccessfully) attempted to put them in a different - i.e., non-Trinitarian - light. As I have shown elsewhere, some modern Christians have capitulated on this as well, not by denying that the doctrine of the Trinity is found in the Bible but by denying that these passages in their Old Testament setting provide certain of the necessary indicia for Trinitarianism. Some go so far as to deny that these Old Testament texts speak to the issue at all, even when the full light of the doctrine as given in the New Testament is made to shine back upon them. Nevertheless, as will be demonstrated, the Old Testament does speak to this issues with sufficient clarity, leaving those who deny the Trinity in material breach of both Testaments.

Against all of these notions the following provides a case for the historic Trinitarian understanding of Genesis 19:24, first from the Old Testament and then from the New Testament. The view of the present paper is the same as Leupold's who saw this downgrade trend over fifty years ago:

"We believe that the view the church held on this problem from days of old is still the simplest and the best: Pluit Deus filius a Deo patre ="God the Son brought down the rain from God the Father", as the council of Sirmium worded the statement. To devaluate the statement of the text to mean less necessitates a similar process of devaluation of a number of other texts like [Gen.] 1:26 and only by such a process can the claim be supported that there are no indications of the doctrine of the Trinity in Genesis. We believe the combined weight of these passages, including Gen 1:1,2, makes the conclusion inevitable that the doctrine of the Trinity is in a measure revealed in the Old Testament, and especially in Genesis. Why should not so fundamental a doctrine be made manifest from the beginning? We may see more of this truth than did the Old Testament saints, but the Church has through the ages always held one and the same truth." (H. C. Leupold, Exposition of Genesis (Grand Rapids,Michigan: Baker Book House, 1942)
Update: This article, in full, is now available on the Answering Islam website at the following link. Click here.

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