Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism Sacred Doctrine

Calvin on the Trinity (5)

In this next installment of the Admonition to the Polish Brothers, Calvin treats Malachi 3.1: if Malachi spoke of Christ in saying that “the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple” (ESV), then Christ must be Yahweh–for Yahweh alone is worshiped in the Temple.


Add to this also the fact that, although Malachi speaks specifically about Christ, it nevertheless is not permissible to ascribe to him what is transferred from the one and only God.1 For to whom was the Temple on Mount Zion dedicated? To whom were sacrifices offered? Surely it would have been sacrilegious profanation to worship there anyone besides the true God. Malachi, however, speaking of Christ, says (3.1): “The ruler2 whom you seek will come to his Temple.” Because is is named Yahweh in Jeremiah (23.6), he certainly had always to be worshiped together with the Father. For it is appropriate in this case to consider carefully and with pious attention what the name “Yahweh” means. By this title of praise the God of Israel separates himself not only from all creatures, but shows that his essence must not be sought anywhere else than in himself alone. When the prophets in their speech share this name with Christ, they demonstrate clearly enough that he is the one who spoke in such a way in the presence of Moses.3

  1. I.e., if Christ is not God.
  2. dominator, not dominus, the usual term for “Lord” or “Master.”
  3. The translation is my own.

By E.J. Hutchinson

E.J. Hutchinson is Assistant Professor of Classics at Hillsdale College.