Review: God the Trinity

25802620God the Trinity: Biblical Portraits  by Malcolm B. Yarnell III is one of the most important works on the Trinity in recent decades. The book is divided into eight chapters. Each chapter paints a portrait of God through the exegesis and examination of eight specific Trinitarian passages: (1) Matthew 28:19, (2) 2 Corinthians 13:14, (3) Deuteronomy 6:4-7a, (4) John 1:18, (5) John 16:14-15, (6) John 17:21-22, (7) Ephesians 1:9-10, and (8) Revelation 5:6.  Furthermore, each of these chapters more narrowly converge on a single word from the passage that Yarnell uses to unearth and construct a clear biblical portrait of the trinity. These eight chapters are sandwiched between a prologue—which presents the necessity of the study—and an epilogue—which provides a succinct portrait of the triune God framed by ten Trinitarian theses in three categories: (1) Trinitarian Reality, (2) Trinitarian Hermeneutics, and (3) Trinitarian Economy.

There is much to be praised in this volume. First, and probably foremost, Yarnell is a first-rate scholar, and God the Trinity echoes serious and seasoned reflection on the subject matter. Second, there is a lot of excellent information in this book that will expand the reader’s understanding and knowledge of the biblical portrait of the trinity. Still, the exegesis of the biblical passages therein is where the real benefit of this volume surfaces. Yarnell is clear, articulate, and judicious in his presentation, and the reader will benefit with every turn of the page. This is a volume that is both rich with depth and accessible and easy to digest. Third, the organization around the “portrait” concept of the Trinity does well to display the biblical revelation concerning the triune God. The only true critique, and this is more of a desire than a critique is the lack of interaction within the Old Testament portrait of the Trinity. Yarnell spends nearly all of his time in the New Testament, and most of that time in the Gospel of John. It would have been good to see more canonical representation, but the limitations of such are understandable.

God the Trinity: Biblical Portraits by Malcolm B. Yarnell III is a timely and welcomed defense and articulation of the biblical doctrine of the Trinity. From the approach to the delivery, Yarnell has provided a volume distilled in seasoned scholarly reflection and research. The depths of this volume are deep, and the insights are accessible. Malcolm Yarnell has easily delivered one of the most important works on the Trinity in recent decades. It comes highly recommended!


I received a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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