Re: On Colwell's Rule

Mike Phillips (
Wed, 21 Aug 1996 11:28:11 -0700

> From: Paul Dixon - Ladd Hill Bible Church <>, on
8/21/96 10:53 AM:
> Mike:
> The author of John's prologue was certainly not versed in the
> doctrine of the Trinity as we now know it <wink>. Does that mean any
> argument for the doctrine of the Trinity from the Gospel is therefore to
> be discarded?

Please note, this is my second reply to you on this subject. It would
be helpful if you read the other first on this matter, if only to place this
one in appropriate perspective. The vagaries of email don't ensure you will
receive them in the order in which I posted them, so I offer this intro as a
means of alerting the reader that some context is missing if you don't read the
other first.

Now, Paul. I note you have posted to two forums (I hadn't noted this
before), one for Greek Exegesis, and one for Greek Studies. I had to reexamine
the invitations I received to each to decide again, whether to follow up in the
vein of the question as you asked it. I choose not to, given my understanding
of the forum. However, your mileage may vary.
Yet, your quesion raises a counter question. Is it exegesis if we view
the text through a trinitarian lens and determine what it must or must not mean
given the lens we know it must be viewed through (my tongue, admittedly, is in
my cheek)? I don't believe so. Hence, not only does my intitial comment on
the logic of your take stand, but this follows: any exegesis which applies the
doctrine of the Trinity _as we understand it_ (underlined) to authors, texts
and communities who, historically did not share our convictions regarding the
verity of our present day claims, risks being eisegesis. That doesn't mean it
won't preach, Paul, it just means it shouldn't publish <smile> without being
critiqued for what it is.

Best wishes,

Mike Phillips

A word is not a crystal, transparent and unchanging;
it is the skin of living thought and changes from day
to day as does the air around us. - Oliver Wendell Holmes