The Trinity—three in one—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. While it sounds simple on the surface, the doctrine is quite complex.
How do the members of the Godhead interact with one another? What do each of their roles entail? Is it even proper to say each has a distinct role? How should our understanding of the triune God impact our daily lives?
These often-recommended books on the Trinity help answer those questions and others.
Intro-level books on the Trinity
Want to know the basics? Check out these resources for a broad understanding of the Trinity.
1. The Trinity: An Introduction, by Scott R. Swain (Crossway, 2020)
As Christians, we often struggle to find the right words to describe the union of Father, Son, and Spirit. This book explains how the Bible gives clarity concerning the triune God’s activity in nature (creation), grace (redemption), and glory (reward).
In The Trinity: An Introduction, readers will:
- Learn about the biblical foundations of the Trinity
- Explore the practical relevance for the church today
- Examine the triune God’s activity in nature, grace, and glory
2. The Deep Things of God, 2nd ed., by Fred Sanders (Crossway, 2017)
In The Deep Things of God, systematic theologian Fred Sanders explains why we should embrace the doctrine of the Trinity wholeheartedly. Even more importantly, he explains that the Trinity is grounded in the gospel itself.
The second edition includes a study guide with discussion questions, action points, recommended reading, and more. D. A. Carson gives it a ringing endorsement:
What is already an excellent standard work on the Trinity has just become more useful. Like the first edition of his book, Fred Sanders’s second edition aims to show the astonishingly wide relevance of this Christian doctrine to every area of our living and thinking—but now, with the addition of a helpful study guide, study questions, and other aids, the book deserves the widest circulation.
3. Simply Trinity: The Unmanipulated Father, Son, and Spirit, by Matthew Barrett (Christian Audio, 2021)
Do we believe what the Bible says about the Trinity, or have we manipulated it into our own image? To find out, listen to Simply Trinity, where Matthew Barrett explains how the biblical, orthodox Trinity has been distorted to justify countless social agendas.
After listening, you’ll come away knowing that what we believe about the Trinity has untold consequences for salvation and the Christian life.
4. Meditations on the Trinity, by A. W. Tozer (Moody, 2017)
If you want to contemplate the Trinity, this book is for you. Learn who God is and how to worship him more authentically from A. W. Tozer, renowned author and pastor.
Because of its devotional style, you’ll be able to use Meditations on the Trinity to gaze upon the Lord each day and learn how to offer truer worship.
Here are a few key features:
- Daily readings grounded in Scripture and focused on the Godhead
- Worshipful reflections that teach an accurate view of God
- Thoughtful, vigorously biblical meditation on the Trinity
The Trinity: An Introduction (Short Studies in Systematic Theology)
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The Deep Things of God, 2nd ed.
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Simply Trinity: The Unmanipulated Father, Son, and Spirit (audio)
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Meditations on the Trinity
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Mid-level books on the Trinity
These resources go beyond the basics to help readers develop a greater understanding of the Trinity.
5. Father, Son and Spirit: The Trinity and John’s Gospel, by Andreas J. Köstenberger and Scott R. Swain (InterVarsity, 2008)
This unique resource centers on the Trinitarian themes in John’s Gospel.
Authors Andreas J. Köstenberger and Scott R. Swain offer a fresh examination of John’s Trinitarian vision:
- They deal with major trinitarian themes, including an account of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and mission.
- They discuss the significance of John’s Gospel for the church’s doctrine of the Trinity and conclude with a brief summary of practical implications.
Here are some praises:
In the midst of the Trinity debates in evangelicalism today, Father, Son and Spirit is a welcome contribution that provides a solid biblical-theological study of one of the most important biblical books on the triune nature of the Godhead.
—Phil Gons, chief product officer at Logos
I highly recommend this volume for pastors as well as those interested in more technical debates regarding the Trinity. The conclusions and theological reflections will provide the reader with a solid basis to begin thinking critically about issues such as missions and evangelism. The book will also provide small group leaders and Sunday school teachers with great curriculum ideas.
6. The Trinity, by Augustine of Hippo (New City, 2012)
The Trinity is part of the series The Works of Saint Augustine: A Translation for the 21st Century.
In this classic text, Augustine searches the Scriptures for clues to understanding the Trinity and then defends the orthodox statement of the doctrine. Despite being over 1,500 years old, this treatise on the Trinity continues to benefit those who read it closely.
He also seeks to understand the mystery of the divine Trinity by observing an analogous trinity in the image of God, which is the human mind. Augustine hopes that the serious Christian will undergo spiritual self-discovery and renewal through reading The Trinity.
7. The Trinity and the Kingdom, by Jürgen Moltmann (Fortress, 1993)
In The Trinity and the Kingdom, Jürgen Moltmann offers a unique look at Trinitarian theology by examining the nature of the Trinity through the lens of a suffering God. He encourages readers to plunge into the mystery of the triune God, and to embrace an experiential knowledge of God’s love.
8. The Holy Trinity: In Scripture, History, Theology, and Worship, by Robert Letham (P&R, 2019)
Robert Letham examines the doctrine of the Trinity’s biblical foundations and traces its historical development, then engages critical issues. This new edition addresses developments in Augustine studies.
It also includes teaching on the Trinity and election in Barth studies, East–West relations, and evangelical disputes on the relation of the Son to the Father.
Here are some praises for The Holy Trinity:
Robert Letham’s outstanding book (this substantially updated and expanded version is even better than the first) covers all the bases well, and yet still leaves us in awe of the incomprehensible mystery of our triune God.
—Joel R. Beeke, President, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary
Letham is a master of historical theology. He brings his immense learning to bear on many contemporary Trinitarian issues in an astute and compelling way. Anyone who reads this work will be greatly informed and enriched.
—George Hunsinger, Hazel Thompson McCord Professor of Systematic Theology, Princeton Theological Seminary
You can get The Holy Trinity: In Scripture, History, Theology, and Worship, Revised and Expanded, on its own or save when you purchase it in the Robert Letham Trinitarian Studies (2 vols.) or the Robert Letham Reformed Theology Collection (7 vols.).
Father, Son and Spirit: The Trinity and John’s Gospel (New Studies in Biblical Theology, vol. 24 | NSBT)
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The Trinity (De Trinitate)
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The Trinity and the Kingdom
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The Holy Trinity: In Scripture, History, Theology, and Worship, Revised and Expanded
Regular price: $21.99
Advanced-level books on the Trinity
Looking to dive as deep as possible into the Trinity? If so, the following advanced resources may be good options for you.
9. Retrieving Eternal Generation, eds. Scott R. Swain and Fred Sanders (Zondervan, 2017)
This resource highlights the doctrine of eternal generation as vital to constructive evangelical trinitarian theology.
Retrieving Eternal Generation addresses these aspects of the doctrine of eternal generation:
- The hermeneutical logic and biblical bases
- Key historical figures and moments in the doctrine’s development
- Its broad dogmatic significance
Contributors include Michael Allen, Lewis Ayres, D. A. Carson, and Oliver Crisp.
In contemporary Trinitarian theology, conservative Christians have all too often been moving in one of two directions: either inadvertently undermining the full divinity of the Son—thereby turning Christianity into a unitarianism—or inadvertently distinguishing the divine persons in ways that are logically tritheistic. In response, Swain and Sanders have put together an important and profound volume whose timing simply could not be better.
—Matthew Levering, James N. and Mary D. Perry Jr. Chair of Theology, Mundelein Seminary
10. The Trinity and the Bible: On Theological Interpretation, by Scott R. Swain (Lexham Academic, 2021)
In The Trinity and the Bible, Scott R. Swain asserts that not only does the Bible reveal the Trinity, but the Trinity illuminates our reading of the Bible.
Through loving attention to the Scriptures, he shows how we can understand and marvel at the singular identity and activity of the triune God.
Scott Swain is rare among theologians, combining a mastery of the tools of contemporary biblical exegesis with a metaphysical profundity and theological breadth, from the church fathers onward. These essays exhibit the Trinity in its biblical manifestation and dogmatic proclamation. Is the classical doctrine of the Trinity a biblical truth? In this richly rewarding book, Swain shows that the answer is a resounding yes.
—Matthew Levering, James N. and Mary D. Perry Jr. Chair of Theology, Mundelein Seminary
11. The Trinity: Global Perspectives, by Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen (Westminster John Knox, 2007)
Pick up The Trinity: Global Perspectives to learn how the doctrine of the Trinity is taught around the world. This landmark volume examines the work and thought of contemporary theologians from Europe, North America, Latiaan America, Asia, and Africa.
Veli-Matti Karkkainen provides an overview of the biblical roots of the Trinity, discussing both the idea of plurality in God in the Old Testament and the rise of Trinitarian understandings in the New Testament. He details the historical growth of Trinitarian traditions and delves into specific theologies, both Western and non-Western.
Retrieving Eternal Generation
Regular price: $34.99
The Trinity and the Bible: On Theological Interpretation
Regular price: $17.99
The Trinity: Global Perspectives
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12. 4-hour course: “Perspectives on the Trinity: Eternal Generation and Subordination in Tension” (Lexham, 2017)
This course thoroughly explains various perspectives on the Trinity. Contributors Fred Sanders, Kevin Giles, Millard Erickson, Bruce Ware, and Wayne Grudem lay out their perspectives on the issue that affects our understanding of who God is, what the Bible teaches, and what the historic church has taught: Is God the Son subordinate to God the Father in eternity, or not?
Additional videos by Dr. Michael Bird and Dr. Scott Harrower in the activities resources help frame the background and significance of this topic.
This course helps learners to:
- Understand possible solutions to the issue presented
- Explain scriptural foundations and theological categories for each position
- Learn hermeneutical principles
- Understand how Trinitarian theology and understanding of the Bible inform one another
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