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In Gal. 1:1, it is written,

1 Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;) KJV, 1769

Αʹ Παῦλος ἀπόστολος οὐκ ἀπ᾽ ἀνθρώπων οὐδὲ δι᾽ ἀνθρώπου ἀλλὰ διὰ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ καὶ θεοῦ πατρὸς τοῦ ἐγείραντος αὐτὸν ἐκ νεκρῶν TR, 1550

Paul writes that he is an apostle (literally, “one who is sent”) “not from men, neither by man,” but rather, by Jesus Christ and God the Father.

Does such a statement preclude the possibility that, in the eyes of the apostle Paul, the Lord Jesus Christ was simply a man (rather than God-man)?

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  • I suppose one could read all sorts of meanings into just one single verse, but why would one read just one verse of Paul's in isolation from everything else he wrote (or in isolation from the rest of the New Testament for that matter)?
    – user33515
    Apr 7 '17 at 22:33
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In [Gal 1:11-16] Paul speaks of his own conversion. His specific attitude towards the nature of his ‎מָשִׁיחַ or māšîaḥ (Yehshua or Jesus) is notably evident in [Gal 1:12] where he says:

For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.

If the Gospel Paul proclaims did not come from any man but Christ, he's clearly contrasting the nature of any man from that of Christ showing Christ to be something special and certainly more than a man. In fact throughout all of Galatians the attitude Paul portrays of Christ precludes the possibility that his Lord Jesus was simply a man.

ANSWER:

Yes. Paul's statement in [Gal. 1:1] precludes the possibility that the Lord Jesus Christ was simply a man. Furthermore, this sense is consistent throughout the entire book of Galatians.

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Yes it does:

  1. When Paul says his apostleship is not "from men" nor "through man," he is simply highlighting the fact that his apostleship is not of human origin. Rather (notice the strong disjunctive ἀλλὰ), it is of divine origin.

  2. Paul parallels the two-fold statement of human origin (men & man) with a two-fold statement of divine origin (Jesus Christ & God the Father). But notice how he uses one preposition (διὰ) and includes both persons as co-sources of divine origin. By identifying both as such, Paul attributes to both the same divine authority. In other words, Jesus is just as much the source of divine authority as is the Father.

  3. Galatians isn't the only place we see this. Paul repeatedly identifies Jesus and the Father as co-equal sources of divine blessing and authority in his greetings. For example:

Eph 1:2 "Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."

2 Thess 1:2 "Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."

1 Tim 1:1-2 "Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope, To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord."

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No, Gal 1:1 does not preclude or rule out the possibility that the Lord Jesus Christ was simply a man. It is a simple statement of comparing men on earth to Jesus. see: NRS Galatians 1:1 ¶ Paul an apostle -- sent neither by human commission nor from human authorities, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead -- This gives the essence of the Greek.

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    I don’t see how that translation still does not preclude the possibility. If Jesus was just a man, then Paul was indeed sent by human commission (i.e., by Jesus). Furthermore, one’s nature is not changed whether one is on earth or in heaven. In other words, if Jesus was just a man, he is just a man whether he is on earth or in heaven.
    – user862
    Dec 29 '16 at 4:07

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