1. bookVolume 17 (2019): Issue 1 (March 2019)
    The Father, Son, and Spirit in Early Christian Theology, Second Century Examples. Editor: Paul A. Hartog
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2284-7308
First Published
20 Sep 2012
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3 times per year
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English
access type Open Access

Trinitarianism In Didache, Barnabas, and the Shepherd: Sketchy, Scant, or Scandalous?

Published Online: 06 Apr 2019
Volume & Issue: Volume 17 (2019) - Issue 1 (March 2019)<br/>The Father, Son, and Spirit in Early Christian Theology, Second Century Examples. Editor: Paul A. Hartog
Page range: 23 - 40
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
2284-7308
First Published
20 Sep 2012
Publication timeframe
3 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

A survey of works on the development of nascent trinitarianism, especially in the last several decades, reveals that most treatments cut a wide path around three of the earliest Christian writings: Didache, Barnabas, and Shepherd of Hermas. Because these writings straddle the apostolic/post-apostolic eras (c. AD 50-150), they should be regarded as essential links in any historical account of the development of trinitarian theology. Nevertheless, these writings have sometimes been regarded as having sketchy, scant, or scandalous christologies and pneumatologies. This article argues that the typical critical estimations of these writings as nontrinitarian are under-supported by the textual evidence. Rather, Didache, Barnabas, and the Shepherd of Hermas may very well presuppose a basic christocentric and trinitarian creation-redemption narrative. Far from scandalous, these texts provide a positive link in the continuity from seminal apostolic trinitarian thought to the later trinitarian growth of the second century.

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