Defending the Trinity in the Reformed Palatinate: The Elohistae

ISBN : 9780198749622

Benjamin R. Merkle
240 Pages
138 x 216 mm
Pub date
Nov 2015
Oxford Theology and Religion Monographs
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This study begins with an examination of Girolamo Zanchi's De Tribus Elohim (1572), setting this important defense of the doctrine of the Trinity in the immediate context of the recent rise of antitrinitarianism within the Reformed Palatinate. De Tribus Elohim focused on the grammatical peculiarity of the Hebrew word Elohim (God) in order to refute the biblicism of its contemporary antitrinitarians. In doing so, Zanchi's argument followed an exegetical thread common within the late medieval case for the doctrine of the Trinity, but which ran contrary to the exegetical sensibilities of many of Zanchi's own Reformed colleagues. This disagreement over the correct interpretation of the word Elohim, then became a touchstone for distinguishing between two different approaches to the Hebrew text with the Reformed Church of the late sixteenth century, and becomes a significant piece in understanding the development of Reformed exegesis.


Introduction: Beware of Calvinism
1. How Many Elohim? Reformed Exegesis and the Challenge of Antitrinitarianism
2. The Example of Heidelberg
3. Girolamo Zanchi
4. De Tribus Elohim
5. The Hunnius / Pareus Debate
6. Franciscus Junius and Johannes Drusius

About the author: 

Benjamin R Merkle is a Fellow of Theology and Classical Languages at New Saint Andrews College, in Moscow, Idaho.

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