If the purpose of theology is to make us better readers of Scripture (which I believe), then this is one area where the opposite seems to be the case. The interface between the Trinity and the Old Testament wreaks havoc on the intelligibility of both. The doctrine itself is entirely absent (I'm not one of those who would attempt to "prove" the Trinity from the OT, let alone the New) and hence an imposition on the text. But the OT too loses intelligibility, at least if one is trying to read it in Christian terms (which is not necessarily the only way to read the OT, but must be at least a way).
The nub of the problem is this question: Is "God" in the OT the Father or the whole Trinity?
Option #1: God is the Father
The advantage to this formulation is that it quickly solves the problem by relegating all trinitarian interpretation to the NT. The God of the OT, the one who brought
The disadvantage to this formulation is that the doctrine of the Trinity is rendered unintelligible. The whole purpose of the doctrine of the Trinity is to ensure the divinity of the Son and the Spirit, who must be divine in order to bring us salvation and revelation. If the Son is not “there” in the OT, then he is not really “there” in the eternal triune God. Jesus ends up being one historical manifestation of one God, not the incarnation of the second person of the Trinity.
Option #2: God is the TrinityThe advantage to this formulation is that a robust doctrine of the Trinity is maintained. God in the OT is the eternal triune God acting in time with his people
The disadvantage to this formulation is obvious: the triune God is nowhere to be found on the pages of the OT text. Only forced exegesis finds the Trinity in the OT. So those who hold this position are cornered into talking about the Trinity being “hidden” during this time. Theological problems abound as well, for the Son becomes detached from his historical incarnation and thus his human particularity can be questioned.
What do you think?
Which one is better?
Which one is worse?
Is there a way to hold on to both?
Is there a third option?