Father, Son and Spirit: The Trinity and John's Gospel, By Andreas J. Köstenberger and Scott R. Swain alt

Father, Son and Spirit

The Trinity and John's Gospel

New Studies in Biblical Theology


by Andreas J. Köstenberger and Scott R. Swain
Series edited by D. A. Carson

Father, Son and Spirit
  • Length: 224 pages
  • Published: February 10, 2016
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 8119
  • ISBN: 9780830881192

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From the patristic period until today, John's Gospel has served as a major source for the church's knowledge, doctrine and worship of the triune God. Among all New Testament documents the Fourth Gospel provides not only the most raw material for the doctrine of the Trinity, but also the most highly developed patterns of reflection on this material—particularly patterns that seek to account in some way for the distinct personhood and divinity of Father, Son and Spirit without compromising the unity of God.

While there have been recent, fine studies on aspects of John's doctrine of God, it is surprising that none summarizes and synthasizes what John has to say about God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In order to fill this gap, Köstenberger and Swain offer a fresh examination of John's trinitarian vision in this New Studies in Biblical Theology volume.

Part One situates John's trinitarian teaching within the context of Second Temple Jewish monotheism. Part Two examines the Gospel narrative in order to trace the characterization of God as Father, Son and Spirit, followed by a brief synthesis. Part Three deals more fully with major trinitarian themes in the Fourth Gospel, including its account of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and mission. A final chapter discusses the significance of John's Gospel for the church's doctrine of the Trinity, and a brief conclusion summarizes some practical implications.

Addressing key issues in biblical theology, the works comprising New Studies in Biblical Theology are creative attempts to help Christians better understand their Bibles. The NSBT series is edited by D. A. Carson, aiming to simultaneously instruct and to edify, to interact with current scholarship and to point the way ahead.

"A welcome attempt to bridge a disciplinary divide that sometimes serves to stifle conversation between practitioners of biblical and theological studies. . . Like all interesting conversations, it is well worth listening to the dialogue that emerges from this collaborative effort."

Aaron J. Kuecker, Biblical Theology Bulletin, Volume 40

"A clearly argued and accessible study on the trinitarian theology of the Gospel of John. . .A stimulating overview to both current trinitarian thought and the broader scholarly debates within the field of Johannine studies."

J. Brian Tucker, Bulletin for Biblical Research

"Kostenberger and Swain have written an accessible and practical volume that provides a stimulating overview to both current trinitarian thought and the broader scholarly debates within the field of Joahnnine studies. This work will prove useful for thoughtful pastors, seminary students, and informed laypersons. It fills a lacuna in the field of biblical studies by providing a biblical survey and theological overview of the Trinity as it is presented in the Gospel of John."

J. Brian Tucker, Bulletin for Biblical Research, 19.4, 2009

"In the midst of the Trinity debates in evangelicalism today, Father, Son and Spirit is a welcome contribution that provides a solid biblical-theological study of one of the most important biblical books on the triune nature of the Godhead."

Philip R. Gons, Themelios (thegospelcoalition.org), Issue 33-3

"I highly recommend this volume for pastors as well as those interested in more technical debates regarding the Trinity. The conclusions and theological reflections will provide the reader with a solid basis to begin thinking critically about issues such as missions and evangelism. The book will also provide small group leaders and Sunday school teachers with great curriculum ideas."

Jason Button, Sharper Iron (sharperiron.org), November 20, 2008


Series preface
Authors' preface

Introduction: John's Gospel and the church's doctrine of the Trinity

Part I: Historical Context
1. John's Gospel and Jewish Monotheism

Part II: Biblical Foundations
2. God in John's Gospel
3. The Father in John's Gospel
4. The Son in John's Gospel
5. The Spirit in John's Gospel
6. Father, Son and Spirit in John's Gospel

Part III: Theological Reflections
7. Christology in John's trinitarian perspective: Jesus' filial identity
8. The Spirit who rests and remains on God's Son and his brothers
9. 'As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you': Toward a Trinitarian mission theology
10. The Trinity and John's Gospel


Index of authors
Index of Scripture references
Index of ancient sources


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