Wesley Hill, assistant professor of biblical studies at Trinity School for Ministry, answers one of five questions posted at EerdWord:
What makes Paul and the Trinity such a unique contribution?
There has been a lot of interest in what I might call the “forward movement” from Paul to later Trinitarian theologies. Many scholars have written well on how Paul’s letters laid the foundation in the first century for the eventual development of what we know as the creedal, Nicene Trinitarian doctrine in the fourth century. But what my book is trying to suggest is that there is a complementary “backward movement,” from later Trinitarian theologies back to Paul. In other words, I’m suggesting that Trinitarian theologies can serve as reading aids for us. My argument is that Trinitarian doctrine isn’t so much a later conceptuality that hinders us from engaging with Paul on his own terms in his own historical context. Rather, Trinitarian doctrine can assist us in the effort to read Paul and understand his theology.