top of page

De Moor V:19: Answering the Anti-Trinitarian Objections of the Socinians

[They object many Passages, 1. In which the Unity of God is inculcated, Deuteronomy 6:4; 1 Corinthians 8:4-6; Ephesians 4:6; 1 Timothy 2:5; etc.] See Catechesem Racovianam, chapter I de Cognitione Dei, questions 23, 24, pages 32, 33, likewise chapter I de Cognitione Personæ Christi, questions 88, 89, pages 116-118.

[With respect to the Unity of Essence, hence and according to many, the Three Persons are signified at the same time in Deuteronomy through the Three Divine Names, Jehovah, our God, Jehovah.[1]] Among these also is TRIGLAND the Younger in his Dissertatione on 1 John 5:7, § 38, 39. But this does not appear sufficiently solid or demonstrative; since the same name is not repeated three times: אֱלֹהֵינוּ, our God, appears to make for a clearer description and determination of the subject יְהוָה/Jehovah, with which it is also joined by the accents: Jehovah our God, that is, that Jehovah, whom we worship and with whom we are united in covenant.

They Object, that יְהוָה/Jehovah as a proper Name in the latter place is not able to be construed with אֶחָד/one, so that יְהוָ֥ה׀ אֶחָֽד׃ might be the Lord is one, just as it would be harsh to say, That Peter is one Peter.

I Respond, that the second יְהוָה/Jehovah is still able to be referred to the subject, repeated for the sake of emphasis; and that אֶחָד/one is able thus to be taken, as that which alone constitutes the predicate, in this manner: Jehovah our God, that Jehovah, is one: the true God, whom we worship, that true God is only one. This has no absurdity in it.

Melchior Leydekker

MELCHIOR LEYDEKKER in his Exercitatione de Theologia vel Symbolo Mosis, which is found in tome I Veritatis Euangelicæ triumphantis, discovers even in Deuteronomy 6:4 an argument for the Trinity: but he seeks that, not so much in the thrice repeated divine Name, as in the plura Name אֱלֹהִים/Elohim/God, which he thinks leads us to a plurality of Persons; with which plurality not withstanding, יְהוָה/Jehovah/Lord is said to be one in Essence. But what is to be thought of the argument for the plurality of divine Persons sought simply from the plural number of the Name אֱלֹהִים/Elohim/God, is able to be judged from the things said in § 14.

[And with Divine glory elsewhere in the context attributed to Christ also.] Just as in 1 Corinthians 8:6, Jesus Christ is joined to the Father as one Lord, by whom are all things: but, as the Father is not thus denied to be Lord, so neither is the Son denied to be God: but God is said to be one over against the Idols, verse 4, as Jesus Christ is said to be εἷς Κύριος, one Lord, over against the בְּעָלִים/Baalim, κυρίους πολλοὺς λεγομένους, called lords many, verse 5: see LEYDEKKER, Veritate Religionis reformatæ, book I, chapter II, § 105-110; HOORNBEECK, Socinianismo confutato, tome 1, book II, chapter V, section III, pages 451, 452; PLACÆUS,[2] opera, tome 2, pages 918-961, 1057-1089. Likewise, in Ephesians 4:5, 7, Christ is called one Lord, who according to His good pleasure measures out and distributes to each of the members of His mystical body spiritual gifts: see PLACÆUS, opera, tome 2, pages 961-975, 1090-1109: compare also on 1 Corinthians 8:4-6 and Ephesians 4:6; ARNOLDI, refutatione Catecheseos Racovianæ, on the passages cited in the Objection, § CVI, CVII, pages 121, 122, likewise § I-IX, pages 328-331; PETAVIUS, Dogmatibus Theologicis, tome 2, book III, chapter I. In 1 Timothy 2:5, 6, the Mediatorial Office, and power of surrendering himself as an ἀντίλυτρον/ransom, which Christ is said to have exercised, prove His true Deity.

[2. Which passages, in addition to the things alleged, appear to say that the Father is God Alone, John 5:44; 17:3 (see the Catechesem Racovianam, chapter I de Cognitione Dei, pages 32); 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; Jude 4; etc.]

[Nevertheless, α. not all these treat of the Father, but either of God considered οὐσιωδῶς/essentially:] as that expression in John 5:44, compared with verse 42, is able to be taken, since the first Person in the context repeatedly goes by the name of Πατρός/Father: [or even of Christ Himself:] see the things soon to be said on the text of Jude 4.

Johannes Hoornbeeck

[β. And the epithet Alone they evidently refer, not to the Subject, Father, but to the Predicate, God, so that a Plurality of Gods might be excluded, not a Plurality of Persons participating in the same Deity:] Indeed, in John 17:3,[3] the article τὸν separates μόνον/only/alone from the Subject σε/ thee, and refers the former to the Predicate, ἀληθινὸν Θεόν, true God: then it is not indeed denied here that Jesus Christ is also of such a sort, who Himself is thus expressly described in 1 John 5:20: see § 10, although the Θεάνθρωπος/God-man sets Himself forth here especially to be considered as the Mediator; but the only True God, of which sort are all three Persons of the Deity, is opposed to Gods many, Θεοῖς λεγομένοις, those called gods, which observation was already made of old by EPIPHANIUS, Ancorato, § II, opera, tome 2, page 7: compare HOORNBEECK, Socinianismo confutato, tome 1, book II, chapter V, section III, page 452; PLACÆUS, opera, tome 2, pages 844-918; PETAVIUS, Dogmatibus Theologicis, tome 2, book III, chapter I.

[With the very Person of Christ also related to the Subject by the Learned, in certain passages:] of which Subject true Deity is predicated. Thus, in John 17:3, the Subject will be σε/thee, καὶ ὃν ἀπέστειλας Ἰησοῦν Χριστόν, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent: of both then is Predicated what is found between the two commas, τὸν μόνον ἀληθινὸν Θεόν, the only true God, which CHRYSOSTOM had already taught of old, as HEINSIUS observes, Observationibus Sacris in Novum Testamentum, page 237. In which manner also, in Jude 4,[4]Θεόν καὶ Κύριον ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦν Χριστὸν, God and our Lord Jesus Christ, is able to be a twofold Subject, God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ; of both is predicated, τὸν μόνον δεσπότην, the only Lord, which precedes: but this passage could also be understood of Christ Alone, in such a way that Jesus Christ is periphrastically described as Θεόν καὶ Κύριον ἡμῶν, our God and our Lord; of whom it is additionally affirmed that He is ὁ μόνος δεσπότης, the only Lord: see LEYDEKKER’S Veritatem Religionis reformatæ, book I, chapter II, § 97-104; ARNOLDI’S refutationem Catecheseos Racovianæ, on the passages cited, § LXXXIX-CV, pages 115-121, and also on chapter I de Cognitione Personæ Christi, questions 23, 27, pages 60, 65, 66, § CLXI-CLXIV, page 231.

On 1 Corinthians 12:4-6, see PLACÆUS, opera, tome 2, pages 1005-1012.

[3. Which passages appropriate the Divine Attributes to the Father, etc.] I Respond, that no exclusion is anywhere made of the Son or the Spirit, but only of creatures: α. For, if anywhere is used the exclusive word μόνος/ alone/only, it is referred to the thing Predicated, good, wise, or to God considered οὐσιωδῶς/essentially, or to the Father in opposition to mere creatures; nowhere are these things affirmed of the Father alone, to the exclusion of the other divine Persons: something else entirely is what is found in Mark 13:32, concerning which § 22. β. On the other hand, in Matthew 19:17, the Lord Jesus, from the Goodness emphatically ascribed to Him in the address in verse 16, wishes to compel that man to acknowledge His Deity: compare § 22. While, γ. the Lord Jesus also attributes to Himself possession of Independent Life, John 5:26; but to possess that Independent Life in such a way that it is received from no one, is not an Essential Attribute, but a Personal Attribute of the Father, which, with the true Deity of the Son and the Spirit preserved, is able to be ascribed to the Father alone: compare § 10 above.

[4. Which passages restrict the Name itself to the Father, while the Son and the Spirit, of God and of the Lord, are distinguished from God and the Lord:] Since no one is the Son of himself. I Respond, that then the Name of God is taken personally, just as elsewhere the same Names of God and Lord are bestowed hypostatically upon the Son and the Spirit in the Nominative Case: see below § 21, 26; whence the Essential significance of these words is not at all lost.

On this §, compare CALVIN’S Institutes of the Christian Religion, book I, chapter XIII, § 23-29; SPANHEIM’S Decadum Theologicarum IV, § 7, opera, tome 3, column 1214, V, § 3, 4, column 1221.

[1] Deuteronomy 6:4: “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORDיְהוָ֥ה) אֱלֹהֵ֖ינוּ יְהוָ֥ה׀ אֶחָֽד׃)…” [2] Josué de la Place (c. 1596-1665) was a French theologian, and colleague of Amyraut and Cappel at Saumur. He is remembered for his doctrine of the mediate imputation of Adam’s sin to his posterity. [3] John 17:3: “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent (αὕτη δέ ἐστιν ἡ αἰώνιος ζωή, ἵνα γινώσκωσί σε τὸν μόνον ἀληθινὸν Θεόν, καὶ ὃν ἀπέστειλας Ἰησοῦν Χριστόν).” [4] Jude 4: “For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ (παρεισέδυσαν γάρ τινες ἄνθρωποι, οἱ πάλαι προγεγραμμένοι εἰς τοῦτο τὸ κρίμα, ἀσεβεῖς, τὴν τοῦ Θεοῦ ἡμῶν χάριν μετατιθέντες εἰς ἀσέλγειαν, καὶ τὸν μόνον δεσπότην Θεόν, καὶ Κύριον ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦν Χριστὸν ἀρνούμενοι).”

1 Comment

Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
May 10, 2021
bottom of page