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Seminary book review of The Jewish Trinity, 24 Nov. 2004
Wisconsin Lutheran Quarterly, Vol. 101, Number 4, Fall 2004, Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Professor John P. Hartwig, Book Review Editor, Book Review by Professor John F. Brug, PhD, 1984, U of Minnesota, Semitic Languages and Archaeology
__Despite conventional wisdom that the Old Testament only hints at distinct persons of Yahweh, the premise of this book holds that it is, in fact, as explicit about the Trinity and the deity of the Messiah as is the New Testament. Moses and the other writers of the Old Testament wrote strikingly and often about the Trinity and the deity of the Messiah.
__Trinity in the Old Testament. He includes many more passages than those traditionally cited in connection with this topic. Among the lines of evidence considered are the plural references to the Trinity, collective nouns, and special names such as the Angel of the Lord, Spirit, Panim, etc. Evidence is also arranged as presented by individual authors or sections of the Old Testament. Natan refutes those who deny that the Trinity is found in the Old Testament and deals with the issue of whether the Masoretes may have minimized some of the evidence pointing to the Trinity in the Old Testament. The New Testament usage of the Old Testament Trinitarian passages is also summarized.
__Natan presents a massive amount of evidence for his case. I did not find all of it to be persuasive, for example, his belief that Panim is a true plural "Presences" and refers to both the Son and the Spirit. It seems more likely that Panim in its various forms refers to the Spirit, even in passages in which they stand in relationship of poetic parallelism with each other. But even if one questions a number of his arguments, a huge amount of evidence for his case remains.
__Interesting side discussions cover topics such as whether Jesus' trial was conducted in Greek or Aramaic and the proportionate use of Aramaic, Hebrew, Latin, and Greek in Israel.
__Though presenting a very complex argument with many lines of evidence, the volume is relatively user-friendly since synopses are provided for each chapter, and evidence is presented both in individual chapters and in topical appendices. Since Natan is speaking from a perspective of Messianic Judaism [Yoel Natan note: or rather "writes in a Messianic Jewish-friendly style"], Jesus is regularly referred to as Yeshua. In the section on the Presences of Yahweh, Natan does present the Lutheran doctrine of the real presence of Christ in the Lord's Supper. He has a high view of the inspiration and authority of Scripture.
__This book is a very comprehensive argument for the recognition of the Trinity in the Old Testament.
Professor John F. Brug, PhD, 1984, U of Minnesota, Semitic Languages and Archaeology