There is a long Christian tradition of asserting that the final questions of Prov 30:4 –“What is his name, and what is his son’s name?”–are a clear, Old Testament depiction of two members of the Triune Godhead. Augustine directly applied this phrase to Christ as the divine Son, doing so in conjunction with his welding of Prov 8:25 to 1 Cor 1:24.1 In the early 18th Century, Matthew Henry opined, “In ver. 4, there is a prophetic notice of him who came down from heaven to be our Instructor and Saviour, and then ascended into heaven to be our Advocate. The Messiah is here spoken of as a person distinct from the Father, but his name as yet secret.”2 In his excellent article on Christ and the Trinity in Prov 8, Richard Davidson makes a passing reference to Prov 30:4 as possible evidence of the Trinity in the Old Testament, saying “This inner-textual hint is perhaps reinforced in Prov 30:4 (with possible allusions to the Father and Son as Co-Creators).”3 Several Christian internet sites make similar claims that this text reveals Christ as Son of God in the Old Testament. 4 Some of these websites advocate the eternal subordination of the Son to God the Father, but with a fundamentally Trinitarian reading of the text. 5 The eternal subordination debate raises the specter of an alternate, anti-Trinitarian application of Prov 30:4 which remains otherwise Christological. From my experiences in assisting congregations who are grappling with anti-Trinitarian elements,6 these opponents of the Trinity use Prov 30:4 to support their assertion that there are only two persons in the Godhead, the Father and the Son.7 In addition, they use this text to support their belief in the perpetual sonship and subordination of Christ to the Father. I say “perpetual” instead of “eternal” because these anti-Trinitarians have informed me that they believe that the Father precedes the Son in existence. This would mean that Christ could not have preexisted throughout past eternity as a distinct individual, but would perpetually have been subordinate once he was “begotten.8 ” The common element shared by Trinitarians, advocates of eternal subordination of the Son, and the anti-Trinitarians is that all assert some kind of Christological interpretation of Prov 30:4. All of them appear to make these claims without any significant exegetical work with the passage, either doing like Augustine and piecing proof-texts together or simply assuming the point to be self-evidentially true. A surface reading of this verse certainly tempts the Christian reader to draw such a conclusion. The fact that opposing views all claim Prov 30:4 in support their particular view of Christ raises a more basic question: Does this text speak about the composition of the Godhead?

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