Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Another Trinititarian Perspective on John 14:28 (Thomas Manton)

Though God be Christ’s Father, as second Person, yet they are all equal in power, dignity, and glory; 41but as Mediator, God is his Father in another respect. So it is said, John xiv. 28, ‘My Father is greater than I’—not as God, for so he was equal; ‘He thought it no robbery to be equal with God:’ Phil. ii. 6. But ‘greater than I;’ that is, consider him as man and mediator, in the state of his humiliation; for it is notable to consider upon what occasion Christ speaks these words: ‘If ye love me ye would rejoice because I said I go unto the Father; for my Father is greater than I;’ that is, You admire me and prize my company exceedingly, because you see the power which I put forth in the miracles which I do; ye would rejoice if you understood it aright; he is infinitely more glorious than I appear in this state of abasement and humiliation. Thus, with respect to Christ, God, the first Person, may be called the Father.

See for the context of this quote.

For some historical background on Manton, see


Alethinon61 said...

Looks like just another example demonstrating that Trinitarianism is the very context within which verses are interpreted, i.e. it's inherently circular (an odd form of presuppositional apologetics). The Trinity is brought to the text, not gleaned from the text.


Edgar Foster said...

Yes, Kaz, it's common for Trinitarians to use their doctrinal assumptions as a grid (template) through which the Bible is then read. Athanasius openly wrote that he read scripture in that very way.

Edgar Foster said...

Something I once wrote in a review of Kevin Giles' early work on the Trinity:

Giles initiates his historical treatment of the Trinity/eternal subordination(ism) debate by reminding his readers that Athanasius sought to interpret Scripture in harmony with the biblical "scope" (SKOPOS). The fourth century defender of orthodoxy argued that the SKOPOS of the Bible was that Jesus "was ever God and is the Son, being the Father's LOGOS and Radiance and Wisdom . . . This scope is to be found throughout inspired Scripture" (qt. in Giles 35).