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The «Trinitarian» Formulae in St. Paul

An Exegetical Investigation into the Meaning and Function of those Pauline Sayings which compositely make mention of God, Christ and the Holy Spirit


Joseph Maleparampil

Paul's own experience of God's saving activity through Christ the messiah and risen Lord and through the Holy Spirit meant for him, as it did for the Early Church before him, an expanded understanding of the one God as Father and Son (the Lord Jesus Christ) and Holy Spirit. This study attempts to offer a contribution to the deeper understanding of this fact which Paul expressed through the «trinitarian formulae» in his letters. These formulae are analyzed from various perspectives, namely, their syntactical characteristics, meaning, function, and 'trinitarian' implications, These implications paved the way for a dynamic redefinition of God in the 'trinitarian' direction. The dense theological formulations are significant for the right understanding of Paul's Gospel, Paul's apostleship, ministry, and the Christian life with its final fulfillment.
Contents: There are «trinitarian» texts in Paul's Letters that line up God (or the Father), Christ (Lord or the Son) and Holy Spirit - These original Pauline formulations succinctly sum up salvation history - Paul shared with the Synoptics, St. John, and the other writings of the New Testament the same content in his understanding of God in 'trinitarian' perspective.