Trinity and translation

Trinity relationshipsI once heard a pastor joke about he and other pastors at a church trying to pass the buck as to which one of them would preach on the trinity as Trinity Sunday was approaching. I thought that was a great example of the perceptions of the trinity as a complex topic.

But since Trinity Sunday is May 31 this year, now is as good a time as any to write something on the topic. Especially as a number of theologians have pointed out a connection between the trinity and communication.

Our God is a God who communicates. He reaches out to us in communication which is at our level. That is stated in the Bible, as it is in Deut 30:11-14.

“For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend to heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it.

Trinity b&wAnyone who does not believe that God reaches out to us in communication will find it impossible to interpret the life of Jesus or the fact that God sent him. God shows over and over by his actions in the New and Old Testaments that he reaches out to us to communicate with us. The Bible itself is a testament to God’s desire to communicate with us. This is where the trinity comes in. Since forever, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit have been in perfect communication with each other.

All Christian communication starts with the fact that God is communication in Himself. – Joseph Oomen

Trinity communicationIf God were not triune, then he would have no need for internal communication. If a god existed forever without communication, then why would he need or want communication with his creation? But if God has perfect, loving and joyful communication between his different persons, then it is no mystery that he would want the same with the people he created. So he would send messages which would be written down in the Bible – his word, and he would send his Son – the Word – to explain himself.

“We love God’s Word because in his Word we hear him speaking to us. We see him coming to us.” – Valdir Steuernagel

“We love the Bible as a bride loves her husband’s letters, not for the paper they are, but for the person who speaks through them.” The Cape Town Commitment

“Translation is about letting God speak anywhere and everywhere … because that is what God is like.”
Dr. Lamin Sanneh

2 thoughts on “Trinity and translation

  1. Ed, I loved this fresh look at the Trinity! It made me think also, about how we are made in the image of God….that we also “talk to ourselves” with some satisfaction! I make myself laugh, I give myself a good talking to, etc. And of course, as a believer, with the mind of Christ and the indwelling Holy Spirit…there is even more communication going on inside of me than the average passerby might guess! 😀


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