1 Cor. 10:9(KJV) says,

"μηδὲ ἐκπειράζωμεν τὸν Χριστόν καθὼς καί τινες αὐτῶν ἐπείρασαν καὶ ὑπὸ τῶν ὄφεων ἀπώλοντο (Neither should we test the Christ, as some of them tested, and by serpents perished-Interlinear translation)

In vs 4 he says,"

καὶ πάντες τὸ αὐτὸ πόμα πνευματικὸν ἔπιον ἔπινον γὰρ ἐκ πνευματικῆς ἀκολουθούσης πέτρας ἡ δὲ πέτρα ἦν ὁ Χριστός" (And all the same spiritual drank drink; they drank indeed of (the) spiritual following rock, the rock moreover was Christ-Interlinear translation)

Is Paul being anachronistic in imposing "Christ" as the meaning of "the Lord" in Num. 21:6, since "Christ(Christos-the Anointed One) had yet to be revealed in the text? Or is he merely making a correlation to the Corinthian audience to which they can draw a lesson from?

2 Answers 2


Logos, before the Logos' historical incarnation, at which Incarnation He got also the name Jesus Christ, remaining changelessly the same eternal Person/Hypostasis of the Logos/Son, can also be called "Christ", due to the very fact that we deal with the same eternal Person of the Father's co-eternal Son. Like, for instance, we can say "Mohammad Ali was a difficult child" without anachronism, even though in his childhood he was not called yet Mohammad Ali, but Kasius Kley, but both denote the same person.

This Son/Logos is called in Exodus 23:21 "Angel", but unlike other angels that are created and have their names, this special Angel has God's name "in Him", and He thus bears also divine self-sovereign authority of forgiving or not forgiving, which authority does not belong to angels. Thus, Logos is Angel of God, bearing His name and the same authority as God. The same Angel, who is called "God" by the Prophet David (Psalm 68:7), is referred to as Christ by Paul (1 Cor. 10:4).

In this way, Paul is in no way mistaken or anachronistic when he says that people tested Christ in desert, for Christ is Lord and God, co-eternal and co-authoritative with God-the Father.

  • 1
    The illustration of Ali was a good analogy. I believe I asked you before if Christ's preexistent form was that of an angel. I believe you were ill disposed at the time because of an engagement and could not not answer right away. Did we ever get back to that question? I don't recall. Was Christ's preexistent form that of an angel to whom was given use of the divine name?
    – Ruminator
    Jul 26, 2018 at 13:26
  • Hey Levan, I wanted to chat with you about Georgia if you have a few minutes: chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/80707/…
    – Ruminator
    Jul 26, 2018 at 13:33
  • @LevanGigneishvili Thank you for your response! Can you point to another example in Scripture where an 'apparent' anachronism is not an anachronism?
    – Tau
    Jul 26, 2018 at 15:04
  • @Tau What immediately comes to my mind is Matthew 23:37 when Jesus laments about Jerusalem which kills prophets: "how many times I wished to gather your children to me as hen gathers her chicken under her wings", with an apparent indication that it was Him who was sending those killed prophets with a purpose to gather the children of Jerusalem under His wings (cf. Ruth 2:12 "God of Israel under whose wings you find refuge"). But there will be more, I am sure. Will write to you as I will find more. Jul 26, 2018 at 19:50
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    @Tau Another similar instance is Matthew 22:43-45, when Jesus reprimands those who call Christ "son of David", saying that David himself called Christ "his Lord", quoting from Psalms an address of Lord (the Father) to Lord (the Son). Jesus implies that David could not address as "Lord" somebody, who is yet to come to being and is posterior to him, but to somebody who already exists. Now who existed as Lord who could also be called Christ? Of course, the eternal Logos of God, who became incarnate 10 centuries later. Jul 28, 2018 at 18:17

1Cor 10:9 Neither let us test the Mashiach, as some of them tested, and perished by the serpents. [Ex 17:2, 7]”

This above verse is simply exhorting the audience not to test Mashiach YaHshua, just like the forefathers tested mashiach Mosheh. Because whoever have the audacity to test ADONAI’s mashiach/ Mashiach, is as good as testing ADONAI HIMSELF. Mosheh was ADONAI’s mashiach in the wilderness days; YaHshua is ADONAI’s Mashiach in these latter days.

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