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In this quote from Paul's writings about the post resurrection Jesus; how can Jesus be "subjected" to God if he is God? What does the Greek word for "subjected" mean?

MLVBL 1 Cor. 15:27-28 "But whenever he says, All things are subjected, it is evident that it is all things unless it is the one who has subjected all things to him. 28 But whenever all things are subject to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to the one who subjected all things to him, in order that God may be all in all."

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    Jesus Christ, the Son of God, will be subject (in manhood as Head of a new humanity) to God.
    – Nigel J
    Nov 21 '18 at 19:11
  • @Nigel J But this is post resurrection Jesus so he is not human any longer as he is in heaven he therefore is a spirit being! Paul penned it c.55 C.E.
    – user26950
    Nov 21 '18 at 19:17
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    Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. Luke 24:39.
    – Nigel J
    Nov 21 '18 at 19:35
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    When Jesus Christ ascended, it is reported he did so, bodily.
    – Nigel J
    Nov 21 '18 at 20:07
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    Right. Kind of the only point in 'the empty tomb.' His body 'not decaying' was the whole point. He resurrected not to no purpose, but in a glorified body. A human being is not only a soul, but a body by definition. It's definitional to man. Nov 21 '18 at 20:33

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1 Corinthians 15:28 is an allusion to Psalm 110 which indicates that the messiah serves temporarily from God's right hand to subjugate God's enemies and then he delivers the subjugated domain to God so that God alone will rule and God will rule alone:

[Psa 110:1 KJV] 1 [[A Psalm of David.]] The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.

In this link, David Guzik lists 34 remarkable ways that Joseph, the son of Jacob serves as a type of Christ. Among the ways that he foreshadows Christ is that he is "highly exalted" from a servant to acting lord of the realm. As Joseph was made lord to all of Egypt (except to his own lord, Pharaoh) until he had reduced "all countries" to literally "feeding out of his hands" and subjected to his god (Pharaoh), so Jesus was made Lord of all (except his own God, the Father) until God subjected all his enemies to him and thus to his God.

[Gen 41:57 NKJV] 57 So all countries came to Joseph in Egypt to buy [grain], because the famine was severe in all lands.

Like Joseph, Jesus' exaltation to God's right hand is temporary and upon the subjugation of God's enemies to Christ (the last of which is death itself) Jesus surrenders the kingdom (all the subjects) to God. Jesus will then be just one more subject so that God may be all in all. IE: "God alone will rule and God will rule alone".

Update

I have come to believe that what Paul is referring to in 1 Corinthians 15:28 has its beginnings in Exodus where God warns the Israelites not to give the angel that God sent to lead the Israelites any trouble because "my name is in him"!

[Exo 23:21 KJV] 21 Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name [is] in him.

That this is Christ is suggested by Paul here:

[1Co 10:9 KJV] 9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.

It is for this reason that we often see what seems to be two YHVHs, the second being closely identified with the angel of the LORD:

[Num 22:31 KJV] 31 Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face.

This temporary exaltation of Christ is spoken of throughout scripture but this is the most quoted Psalm in the NT:

[Psa 110:1 KJV] 1 [[A Psalm of David.]] The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.

Zechariah spoke of this same end of the name of YHVH being in his angel:

[Zec 14:9 KJV] 9 And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.

Paul alludes to this ending of the Christ's mission to destroy death. Now that Jesus has conquered death, death shall no longer be a problem so his mission is over:

[1Co 15:24, 26-28 KJV] 24 Then [cometh] the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. ... 26 The last enemy [that] shall be destroyed [is] death. 27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under [him, it is] manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. 28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

[Jhn 16:25-33 KJV] 25 These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father. 26 At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you: 27 For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God. 28 I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father. 29 His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb. 30 Now are we sure that thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe that thou camest forth from God. 31 Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe? 32 Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me. 33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

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    Excellent link to Joseph as a type of Christ. Thanks.
    – user25930
    Nov 22 '18 at 21:54
  • This is Jehovah-Witnetistic-que interpretation: i.e. God has a special creature, an Angel, whom He exalted twice (at least): first when He sent this Angel (in JW account Michael) to lead Jews in the desert by giving him divine authority of forgiving/not-forgiving, and second when this Angel received human flesh becoming Jesus and destroying death by dying for humans, or these two temporal subjugations should be taken together+that God by some odd reason used the same created Angel for creation of the (rest) of the world. Thus the first exaltation was utilization of this Angel in creation, then Aug 17 '20 at 4:43
  • @LevanGigineishvili More or less.
    – Ruminator
    Aug 17 '20 at 11:00
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    Then in a pause before creation of the rest of the world the created Angel, called “Logos”, was even more exalted because the Creator God made this Angel his equal as His co-Creator, and then, after the creation He again exalted this Angel to His level twice (1. giving him power to forgive 2. Destroying death for him) and in the interim deprived him this glory, thus the Angel vacillated from sitting on right hand (=equality) to coming down from that status and back. Or He let the Angel sit right to Him from creation to the destroying of death, and then put him down again. Aug 17 '20 at 15:24
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This is a good question about the meaning of 1 Cor. 15:28 – how can Jesus eventually be subjected to God if Jesus is God? You also ask for the meaning of the Greek word for ‘subjected’ in that verse.

First, I would suggest that the verse itself shows the meaning of that word in question, as demonstrated in the A.V., for it occurs three times in slightly different grammatical construction. The first time it is translated as be ‘subdued’ unto [Christ], then in the same sentence it says that Christ shall be ‘subject’ unto [God]. The third time shows that God had subjected all things to Christ.

For all things to be subject to Christ means that all things are settled, subdued, quieted under the authority of Christ. Clearly, the ‘all things’ does not include God who is under no need of becoming settled, subdued, or quieted, any more than Christ is! When this glorious end is achieved, then God will be “all in all” as Christ with all that is subdued under him hands over all things, as it were, to the totality of God because Christ is included in God.

Believers are said to be “included in Christ” (Ephesians 1:13) through belief in him, and they are then at peace, subdued, settle, quieted “in Christ” which is beautifully pictured in the 131st Psalm. I suggest this shows us what 1 Cor. 15:28 means – one who is not haughty, who does not have lofty eyes, is like a weaned child holding its mother’s hand, contented, quiet, satisfied.

Jesus is not haughty, he has never had lofty eyes to rise above his godly station, but he is not the child! He is the one who holds all things given to him, and all who are in his hand are contented, quieted and satisfied – exactly what should be once all things are restored in God’s plan. Then, when that restoration has been achieved by Christ, the peace continues. Jesus does not even think to become haughty by looking to usurp God! No! That was what the evil one did but he is now dealt with. Even death has been destroyed as the last enemy. All is at peace, all is at rest, all is perfect. Mission accomplished, all is then subjected to God which includes Christ, who actually never was anything other than subjected to God. How could the Son of God ever disagree with the Father? It is unthinkable. So, the conclusion to all things being subjected to Christ is for Christ to hand all in his duty of care back to the Father so that total harmony and peace will continue forever.

This is not a strange concept to those who believe Jesus is God – your first question. Having sorted out the meaning of ‘subject to’ (subdued under, at peace with, settled and quieted) there is no attempt by the Son to try to become superior to the Father, or to keep grasping on to all that was given to him. There is 100% unity of purpose and achievement. Jesus never did have designs to become superior to the Father, or to be in some kind of competition, to vie for a position that would challenge the exquisite balance in the Godhead. No, 1 Cor. 15:28 shows the harmony in the Godhead, the equality of the Persons. If someone misunderstood the Trinity doctrine, they might think that Jesus is a secondary deity by being a created deity and therefore not equal with the Father. Equality, however is entirely different to submission to a superior authority, and that’s not what ‘subjection’ in this verse means. Being subject to another is not being lesser than that other. Many people fail to grasp that in the economy of the Trinity, which gives rise to asking how Jesus could be God if he is said to be subject to God. However, those who view the Christ as a separate being created by the Being of the Only God, are bound to think Jesus must be lesser than God. Not so, once the Trinity doctrine is fully understood as Christ never having been created and of the same Being as is the Father. Trinitarians have never, ever, suggested that Christ could be greater than the Father, or superior to the Father. No, these Persons are co-equal and both are uncreated. Reading 1 Cor. 15:28 in that light answers your two questions, I trust.

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  • Up-voted +1. The verse, itself, shows the meaning of the word. Agreed.
    – Nigel J
    Aug 5 '20 at 8:33
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    @NigelJ I don't see your answer anywhere - just lots of comments. As you have wisely offered many times, 'the bible must be respected as the only source of truth' (I've paraphrased) - from which other matters may be interpreted - but they still must not ignore the bible in doing so. I feel the responsibility to point out the departure from original truth when it occurs. That's why we have protestants! (although, they didn't finish the job, yet)
    – steveowen
    Aug 5 '20 at 9:08
  • @Anne this answer displays many odd concepts according to scripture. Jesus had a will that did differ from the Father and his God. If Jesus is God (as you contend) why is anything made subject to him by the Father? Why is God the one granting life to the son - who didn't exist until the logos was made flesh ~4BC? John 6:57 (and God and Father raising him from death). Does God die? no. How can he rise above his 'godly station' if he is already God? The broad content is a parroted construct of men - sadly, not slightly biblical. Jesus is subject so that God may be all in all - incl. Jesus!
    – steveowen
    Nov 18 '20 at 4:54
  • @user48152 I see that in your answer you did not even refer to 1 Cor 15:28, which seems odd, given that the whole Q is based on that verse. Instead, you collated many verses which, to you, prove that Jesus is inferior to God so there can be no other meaning to his being ‘subjected’ than that he has always been ‘beneath’ the Father and always will be. Yet an answer that attacks the Trinity doctrine instead of examining the text in question just avoids the point that the verse, in itself, shows the meaning of the word. You disagree on that. I won't argue all around the houses, missing the point.
    – Anne
    Nov 18 '20 at 12:56
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There is a need to tread very carefully to avoid the trap in the very next verse about being baptised for the dead. If we press Paul too hard we end up trying to advocate baptism for the dead.

The verb, "hupotasso" is well translated by "subjected", or "subordinated". W E Vine says it is "primarily a military term to rank under". BDAG says, "to cause to be in a submissive relationship, to subject, to subordinate."

In my opinion, the best rendering of 1 Cor 15:27, 28 is provided by David Bentley Hart: "For 'He subordinated all things beneath his feet.' But, when it says 'all things' have been subordinated beneath his feet, it is clear that this does not include the one who has subordinated all things to him. And, when all things have been subordinated to him, then will the Son himself also be subordinated to the one who has subordinated all things to him, so that God may be all in all."

In a footnote to this verse, D B Hart offers this insight.

This is the fullest depiction of Paul's eschatological vision anywhere in his writings. He describes three phases in the life-giving reconciliation of all things to God: Christ's resurrection, then the salvation of those who already belong to Christ at the time of his parousia ("presence", second coming), and finally the full completion of this universal renewal (perhaps on the far side of that purging fire of judgement described at 3:10-15 above), when all things and persons will have been "set in order beneath" Christ, including the celestial powers (who will be rendered powerless, not - as the verb often is, but probably ought not to be translated, "abolished"), and then the whole of the cosmos will be returned to its fulness and perfect order to the Father by Christ."

Back to the "subordinated/subjected" question. Again, Paul should not be pushed to hard here for at least two reasons.

  • Notice in 1 Cor 15:27, 28 it is only when all things have been subordinated to him that the Son becomes subordinate to him. That is, before the final reconciliation of all things, the Son is not yet subordinated to God? (This cannot be true!)
  • Paul also asks wives to be subject (same verb as above) to their husbands (Eph 5:22); BUT only after saying that all Christians should submit (same verb) to one another (v21). Given the instructions that Christians are to "imitators of God" (Eph 5:1), this gives valuable insight into the "unearthly" relationship that exists between the Father and the Son - mutual love and submission (Eph 5:1, 2, John 13:34, 35, 15:12, 1 John 4:8, 11, 19).

Thus, Paul presents the process by which all things will be brought into submission - mutual submission.

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    “Mutual love and submission betweeb the Father and the Son” — I don't think there is mention anywhere in the Bible of the Father submitting to anyone, including the Son. Aug 4 '20 at 14:49
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It Is very interesting to me indeed. The verse is very clearly stated. Jesus hands everything back to his Father whom he said this about (John 14:28). And this view continues here at John 20:17. And obviously those statements were made while Jesus was on earth. Then we have Revelation 1:1. God giving something to Jesus and Agsin Jesus showing that he has a God at Revelation 3:12. If you don't listen to people and listen to the Bible the answer is clear. Jesus said at John 17:17, "Your word is Truth."

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In "Cambridge Greek for schools an colleges" printed 1905, with regard to John 1v1 it says,"ton theon" having the article means "the Father". As I go through the Greek N.T. I find that that is true though if some other reason shows it is the Father then the device of using the article is not necessary. e.g. In John 1v18 No one has ever seen theon [the Father], the only God [Jesus] is at the Father's side, that One [Jesus] has made him [the Father] known. Here theon does not have the article because the rest of the verse makes it clear that this refers to the Father. How can God be subjected to God? The Son is subjected to the Father [ho theos] with the article.

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The phrase "put all things under his feet" is taken from Psalm 8:4-6:

What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet

This psalm describes how man was created to have dominion over God's creation. It can also be seen as a type of Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:20-26 describes how Christ will conquer the world, rule the Kingdom of God, and eventually destroy death and turn everything over to the Father. In particular, note 15:24, which includes:

Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father

It then goes on, in verse 15:27, to quote the phrase from Psalms:

For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.

This is simply stating the obvious ("it is manifest"), that if God puts everything under someone's control, God himself isn't included in "everything".

1 Corinthians 15:28 continues:

And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

This describes the time when Christ will finally turn "everything" over to the Father.

"... how can Jesus be "subjected" to God if he is God?"

For those that believe in the Roman doctrine of the Trinity, that is a difficult question.

Others believe that the Bible teaches that God the Father and God the Son are a type of family. The two can be in all senses equal, but there is an overriding relationship between them that is not symmetric.

Jesus, by becoming a physical human and then being reborn as a spirit became God's firstborn son. Romans 8:29 refers to Jesus as "firstborn among many brethren".

Upon repentance and baptism converted Christians receive part of God's spirit, which unites with their own human spirit to create a new being, much as in the physical world a sperm and egg unite to form an embryo. It is this spirit that we develop throughout the rest of our lives by exercising our faith and building our character.

The few called during this age, and the many during the Millennium, will be born again as fully spiritual beings. They will be full brothers of Jesus, and full members of God's family.

"*What does the Greek word for "subjected" mean?"

The Greek word is hypotassō (ὑποτάσσω). It can have various meanings, but they are all very similar. Some of the KJV translations include:

  • put under (6x)
  • be subject unto (6x)
  • be subject to (5x)
  • submit (one's) self unto (5x)
  • submit (one's) self to (3x)
  • be in subjection unto (2x)
  • put in subjection under (1x)

If we consider a family relationship, a son could very easily be physically or mentally superior to his father, but because of their relationship the son would normally defer to his father, to willingly and naturally submit himself to his father's authority.

So it is with the Son and the Father. The Son and Father are equals, but the Son defers to the Father.

Similarly, when Christians are eventually reborn as spirit beings, they might very well be Jesus's "equal". But Jesus is their eldest brother, so they would naturally and willingly submit to his authority.

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  • How does God the son, and (I assume) Jesus is one and the same, have a God if he and God are equal as you describe? What passages do you use to show there is a God the Son?
    – steveowen
    Nov 17 '20 at 11:17
  • @user48152 asks "How does God the son … have a God if he and God are equal as you describe?". I'm not clear how this confuses you. Kirk Douglas and Michael Douglas are great actors, Michael has actor Douglas as a father, and both are equally Douglases and actors. Ditto for Tom and Colin Hanks. Nov 17 '20 at 15:07
  • @user48152 asks "What passages do you use to show there is a God the Son?". I thought that was taken for granted by Christians. — John 3:16 (For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son …) shows he is God's son. — John 5:18 says that Jesus "said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God". — 1 Timothy 3:16 says about Jesus:"God was manifested in the flesh". — Colossians 2:9 says "For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily". — and of course John 1:1 says "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God". Nov 17 '20 at 15:17
  • 1 Timothy 3:16 cmon, you're proof texting! He who was revealed in the flesh, Was vindicated in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Proclaimed among the nations, Believed on in the world, Taken up in glory. None of that refers to God, just Jesus. Jesus is not the logos 'in the beginning', only @ 4BC when logos made flesh.
    – steveowen
    Nov 18 '20 at 4:05
  • Jesus only ever said he was a man, the son of God, never a God the son. God cannot die, Jesus died and his Father raised him, exalted him, made him heir etc etc, gave him life John 6:57
    – steveowen
    Nov 18 '20 at 4:09
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Is not this "subjection" a simple referent to the fact of the Second Person of the Trinity being eternally begotten of the Father? The only Begotten Son draws His divine Being from the Father eternally: "This day have I begotten you". (Ps 2:7). What day can this be if not the eternal day, that is: always? And the response of the Son to this, His Father's eternal act of complete self-giving is a complete recapitulation of it. What God asks of us as creatures is an imitation of this recapitulation in God the Son, returning to God our Father through His Son the service of all that we have been given. "For what do you have that you have not been given? (1 cor. 4:7)

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  • hi, unfortunately, not much of what you write is 'biblical', but rather questions and conjecture. We are supposed to show how we arrived at our conclusions rather than simply offer an opinion. Glad you are here, enjoy the ride. Please explore how you might improve your answer.
    – steveowen
    Aug 6 '20 at 1:54
  • To user48152: Exactly what is it I have written here that you reject as unbiblical? Is it the Trinity, or the Eternally Begotten Son, or are these quotations from the Bible unbiblical? Exactly what do you find unreasonable in my articulation of these elements of Faith? What is it I have stated that you yourself do not believe? What makes my understanding of this subject a mere opinion? If you would that I improve my comment, perhaps you, for the love of God, would improve your criticism of it. Aug 6 '20 at 3:48
  • btw, I love the last line :) (sounds like Shakespeare) draws His divine Being from the Father eternally, eternally begotten, imitation of this recapitulation in God the Son - none of which are found in the bible. These remarks may do well on twitter, but on BH I think not. Unless of course, you find verses to support your understandings. I look forward to them if you should ever find some.
    – steveowen
    Aug 6 '20 at 3:58
  • To user 48152: What is it you mean by "found in the Bible?" Aug 6 '20 at 14:47
  • the three mentioned concepts of 'eternally begotten', 'God the Son', 'His divine Being' are unsupported by the text - in fact they are refuted by the text. The terms are manmade and contrary to God's extensive, consistent and plain revelation. If you need to understand more - ask a BH question. Comments are not the place for extended discussion. Or, 'chatroom' is available if you wish - happy to help
    – steveowen
    Aug 6 '20 at 23:34
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How was Jesus 'Subject to the Father/God'? To answer this question, I will show verses that support Jesus as being always subject to God. In other words, how can he NOT be if these verses are understood correctly.

  • As stated in John 10:30, they are ONE in purpose and not as ONE entity.

  • In John 13:16 "no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him."

  • John 14:28 that the Lord Jesus emphasized the Father is greater than him?

  • Satan always asks permission from the Father to test God's man like Job in Job 1:6-12 and Peter in Luke 22:31-32 and not ask permission from Jesus.

  • 1 Cor 11:3 states that the head of Christ is God.

  • Matthew 28:18 shows that Jesus received his power and authority from God?

  • Galatians 4:4 Jesus was sent in the fullest of time of the Father. Can the Father be sent by Jesus to become a man?

We cannot just rewrite the Bible and take away or delete this verses!

We should just follow what Jesus has told us in Matthew 28:20, "teach them to obey what I have commanded you.", instead of, like in Isaiah 14:14 making yourself like the Most High.

Please consider the verses mentioned and again will a man not be saved if he believes only on what Jesus had told in the Bible.

Thank you and God bless.

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    Welcome, Joselito, from another relatively new user! I confess, even after I formatted your post to make it more readable (inserted two spaces and a carriage return after each question), I found it incomprehensible. It appears you may be trying to make a point, but I don't know what it is. Consider posting your OWN question, not commenting, unless you can make your comment, or your answer, to relate to the original post.
    – Papa Pat
    Dec 7 '19 at 21:28
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    You are quoting references but not quoting the texts and stating how the texts are relevant. This is not hermeneutic and, as the above comment says, this answer is totally incomprehensible.
    – Nigel J
    Aug 5 '20 at 8:42
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This is a question of Christology, for one should make a distinction between Christ's divine nature that He completely shares with the Father from all Eternity, even before the creation of the world (cf. John 1:1-3) and His human nature, that He adopted at His historical incarnation.

This needs a bit of an explanation.

In fact, God-Father cannot create anything but through His Son-Logos (cf. John 1:3) not any less than a surgeon cannot operate a patient without using his hands (Irinaeus of Lyon, already in the second century, aptly compared the Logos and the H. Ghost to the Father's "hands"). Now, "creation" is far more all-inclusive action than "subjection" of the things created by the act of the creation out of nothing. Therefore, if the totum is conducted by the Father only through the Son, how much more the aspect of this totum, which is subjection is conducted also through the Son-Logos and cannot be conducted without the Latter, for it would be an ontological impossibility. Moreover, not only the totum of the creation, but the very beingness of creation is vouchsafed by the Father and the Son together, and how much more the attribute of this beingness or existence of the creation, i.e. "subjection" is conducted by Them together.

However, one can think about the Father-Son relationship also before and beyond the creation of the world, in the very theology, and in this relationship there is one and the same status and Glory (John 17:5), for the Father eternally gives the entirety of His essence to the Son who is a-temporally, that is to say, eternally and always-ly born from Him and therefore shares with Him the entirety of His perfection and divinity, the Father holding only a causal, a-temporal precedence over the Son, for He causes the Son and not vice versa. Therefore, there is no any process of development with respect of the Father-Son relationship, for Their Love is infinite and perfect, and there is no more perfect and more infinite to the perfect and infinite, more unbegan to the unbegan or more unending to the unending, the very concept of "more" evaporates with those words that properly apply only to God.

Having established this, we can proceed safely interpreting what the Pauline dictum that "the Son will be subjected to the Father" can mean. Of course, this has necessarily to do with the Logos' human nature that He adopted in the Incarnation. Now, since in His humanized status the Logos can be called "New Adam", who is not any more a "living soul" as the first Adam, but the "life-giving Spirit" (1 Cor. 15:45), He not only restores the human nature to its unfallen status, but also, further than that, divinizes or deifies it and brings to perfection (Eph. 4:13). Since this process of deification of humans is a historical process, and this deification is conducted in and through the Incarnate Logos' human nature, for as His human nature is totally subjected to the divine nature and will, so will in the process the human nature of all humans - who will out of free will participate in this salvific process - be subjected through Him to God-the Father. And this is the meaning of "Son be subjected to the Father", that is to say, "the Incarnate Logos will subject the entire created nature through Himself to the Father as a result of the salvific process".

However, it is impossible to be subjected to God-the Father and not at the same time to His Son and to His Holy Spirit. Thus, "Son will be subjected to the Father" can also be freely restated as "the entire created human nature will be through agency of Jesus Christ in the historical process of salvation be subjected to His (Christ's) divine will, that is to say, the divine will of the Son", for the Father and the Son have one eternal undivided divine will, as They have eternal common undivided divine nature.

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  • @Dovn-voter There is no point in down voting unless you substantiate the reason for it: if I was wrong in any important theological point, then, please, instruct me to deliver me from such a perilous error, for I am reedy to listen. If the style and rhetoric is the reason for your dislike and down voting, then, also, tell me and I will think about it. But to down vote just so is to lose your precious time in a totally useless clicking of a button :) Aug 17 '20 at 4:29
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I have been pondering this verse for some time and finally decided to do a search to see what others have to say about it. My point of reference to answering it has more to do with responding to those of other faiths as well as confirming that the Trinity is what I have come to understand it to be. I also noticed that the last posting in the way of a response was nearly a year ago. Anyway, trying to follow the guidelines of posting a response, I hope that I am doing justice in answering as I am about to. Likewise, I felt there was a great insight in prior responses, to which I hope I am not just being redundant. Finally, I am not a theologian or hermeneutics person by any means, but maybe my thoughts on this verse will provide additional light and clarity in case they're needed to be for someone, who may come across this very page, and especially from a layperson, moved by the Spirit of God and His Word.

First, I could be wrong, but I do not believe that there is any other verse in scripture that approaches what appears to be the questions this verse potentially raises or would include the magnitude of its inference.

Second, in light of arguments that come from other faiths may use as “proofs” that there is no support of the Trinity, namely this verse, as they try to discredit Christ’s representation, role, or position in the Trinity. I feel that it is like so many other verses in scripture that it feels like God purposely provides what appears to be such stumbling blocks, to help the real inquisitor, pursuer, diligent seeker, etc (as opposed to the analytical skeptic), reach deeper to find that God does indeed have an answer where it appears He does not cover Himself. Here is one such verse, but in fact, He has.

Third, while I cannot articulate as others here have so eloquently done, from a grammatical or hermeneutical perspective, I will approach this from a very simple perspective, that may or may not have been covered already (I was trying to follow along, so that I was not just repeating someone else’s thought or idea, but may have missed it). Fourth, okay, now that I have laid out all of the “disclaimers”, here is the conclusion I feel I have come to, which could possibly have blind sidedness on my part, but I believe is very plausible. Here goes:

God reveals Himself in different ways throughout scripture: He did it through His Spirit hovering over the waters in Genesis. He did it through a still small voice to Elijah in 1 Kings 19. He did it as a Theophany (prior to His revelation as a babe in a manger or as our Savior on the cross as well as other forms) where we see God reveal Himself in Genesis 18, 32, Exodus 3, 13, and Job 38, and in so many other ways. It was God’s way of revealing Himself for that moment in time, to those people at that time and for a specific purpose.

So, then we read in Hebrews 1:1, 2, “In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.” (NIV), as well as 1 Peter 1:19,20 where it says “19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.” (NIV). This is further confirmed at the end of Revelation 13:8, where it says “the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world.”

Therefore, while God lives outside of time, He still works within it on our behalf. It seems to me that for a time, God manifests Himself in the grand theme of things, for a time, as our Savior, Redeemer, Mediator, etc. Once that moment or act is no longer needed, certainly at the conclusion of many things, then His manifested revelations are no longer needed as such, while He always was and is God, He then resumes as the God He is. However, He does this while all the while continuing to be all of those things anyway. While He is our Redeemer at the moment of redemption, the need for Him to redeem will one day pass, but He is always known as our Redeemer. He brings forth His arm of Salvation, He reveals Himself with a mighty right arm or the Arm of the Lord is revealed at given times.

Another verse that some non-orthodox faiths try to use with regards to Jesus being brought forth or argue that He is a created being, is when they use the verse in Proverbs 8:22-31, where it speaks of what appears to be God bringing forth Wisdom and as Creator at the beginning... The Lord formed and brought me [Wisdom] forth at the beginning of His way, before His acts of old. I [Wisdom] was inaugurated and ordained from everlasting, from the beginning, before ever the earth existed. [John 1:1; I Cor. 1:24.] When there were no deeps, I was brought forth, when there were no fountains laden with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills, I was brought forth, [Job 15:7, 8.] While as yet He had not made the land or the fields or the first of the dust of the earth. When He prepared the heavens, I [Wisdom] was there; when He drew a circle upon the face of the deep and stretched out the firmament over it, When He made firm the skies above, when He established the fountains of the deep, When He gave to the sea its limit and His decree that the waters should not transgress [across the boundaries set by] His command, when He appointed the foundations of the earth–[Job 38:10, 11; Ps. 104:6-9; Jer. 5:22.] Then I [Wisdom] was beside Him as a master and director of the work; and I was daily His delight, rejoicing before Him always, [Matt. 3:17; John 1:2, 18.] Rejoicing in His inhabited earth and delighting in the sons of men. [Ps. 16:3.] AMPC: Amplified Bible, Classic Edition.

This is used in correlation with 1 Corinthians 1:18-2:16, where Christ is called “the Power and Wisdom of God”- (1 Cor. 1:24). Therefore, Christ is indicated in that place, since it would seem that Jesus is the Wisdom of God. So again, per time in God’s economy, did God only begin to have wisdom when He brought forth Jesus, or did God not always have Wisdom, thus, if Jesus is the Power and Wisdom of God, would not that mean that Jesus was always with Him. It is just a matter of when the Godhead chooses to bring forth the manifestation or revelation of some aspect of Himself. Again, in our finite limitations, where we have to work within time, God reveals different aspects of His character, love, wrath, etc. Moreover, so with the revelation of Jesus as our salvation, our redeemer, His wisdom, etc, God brings forth His revelation at His appointed time and as often, as is necessary.

In light of all of this, it would seem to me that in God’s timing and for His purposes, God reveals who He is. In other words, though there appears to be a time stamp on when Jesus is seated at God’s right hand, was He not always seated there? I ask this, especially since Jesus refers in John 17:4, 5 to the Father in prayer, while here in His earthly body, to have shared a glory with the Father before the world began. Is not this, in terms of once more sharing it again, having accomplished the work He came to do, in a specific time and space, though He did it before the world began, but was only revealing it at that space and time, literally, since He is not confined by the limitations of time as we are?

I could be completely off on any one of these views, not having the biblical credentials or the academia, to put forth such ideas. However, if I am wrong or missing anything, please correct me as this is how I have viewed it and have moved forth in it, trusting that if this is a revelation of what God is revealing, then perhaps like Paul says in 1 Corinthians 2:6-8, this is God’s wisdom, hidden from the wise and in times past and is revealing it now. Unfortunately, in this last statement, perhaps I am violating the rules, since I am asking for help or to be corrected, should I be possibly missing something in my argument or comments.

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Q what does it mean that Jesus is “subjected”?

The word for subjected, ὑποταγήσεται (hypotagēsetai) is used once. Should we fuss over what it might mean with elaborate, learned opinion, or simply look to the treasury of scripture to see how Jesus is subordinate to God in other verses? Noting the total lack of any verse that points to them being equal in any way ever.

...you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God. 1 Cor 3:23

That's bluntly clear - Jesus, the Christ is owned by God, ruled by God, instructed by God. A son belongs to the Father.

There is an order to all things that God has arranged - naturally, as God - He is at the top! The following verses are a sampling of this subjected order, specifically, regarding Jesus the Christ.

1 Cor 11:3 ... the head of Christ is God. John 14:28 ... my Father is greater than I.

Eph 4:4-6 … one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.

We don't read one God who is over all - Paul is explicit lest anyone try to make this read some other way - one God and Father. This naturally excludes Jesus. If Jesus is not 'over' then he must be 'under'.

Jesus, when in the flesh was clearly subject to God in every manner... saying that he could do nothing of himself, or speak of himself.

For I have not spoken on My own, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a command as to what I should say and what I should speak. John 12:49

Jesus, faced with a desire to abandon the 'cup of sacrifice' submitted again to the Father's will for the last steps of a successful mission.

Jesus relies on his Father for everything including life and being raised from death. The death he died as a mortal human.

having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit 1 Pet 3:18

If Jesus was somehow God, even manifest as a man - either he is still God or he isn't. If he is in some way God - he must be still spirit in some place of his existence or he is not God. How are we to understand, put to death in the flesh, if he was still spirit? Some think he had two natures but the bible never speaks of this. Upon 'two natures' does the scholar make up a theology attempting to escape the true reading delivered. And God has done so without waffle or confusion, but starkly clear and consistent.

Now God has not only raised the Lord, but will also raise us up through His power. 1 Cor 6:14 and ~30 other places)

Jesus speaks of raising men from death at the last day - he does this by God's power - not any inherent power - God gives him the power and authority.

Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth".

If God has given this - clearly Jesus didn't have it of himself.

1 Peter 3:22 who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him.

Were they always subjected to him ? No!

Jesus answered, “You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above John 19:11

knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him Rom 6:9

All his authority and kingship is given from the Father to His beloved son.

"No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father." John 10:18

It was posed, 'how can Jesus be "subjected" to God if he is God?

He cannot be unless we ignore plain, consistent teaching of who Jesus is.

There is no paradox. The biblical text shows Jesus as a man (clearly documented through the entire NT), the last 'Adam/human' is not God at all, but was made in the form of God and a true image of God.

Jesus also provided context for this claim via the coin story. (Matt 22:19-20) let us not think the image IS Caesar, but rather an image which 'represents' Caesar) eikōn same word used in Matt and Col 1:15 Is an 'icon' the real thing or a pointer to the real thing? Jesus is the pointer to God. He carries the authority OF God and represents God just as the image on the coin does to its owner. The coin is a servant of Caesar - Jesus is the servant of God Acts 3:26 unto death on a cross - that's what you call being subjected!

Every living thing is subject to God - Jesus included - but not by decree, power or coercion, but love and worship alone. He was subjected 'in the flesh' and remains so 'in the spirit' as Paul points out consistently.

That Jesus expressed and his apostles said often - he had, and HAS, a God! Surely indicating more than adequately that to think Jesus is also God, is to have made an error.

Rev 1:1, 3:12, John 17:3, 20:17, 2 Cor 1:3, Eph 1:3, Col 1:3, 2 Cor 11:31, Rom 15:6, Rom 1:7

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Gen 1:26-28 NKJV 26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over [a]all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Gen 2:21-22 21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22 Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He [b]made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.

If man was made in God's image why would Jesus not have come out of the Father, could he not be subjected back into the Father so God could be made All In All. Zech 14:9 And the Lord shall be King over all the earth. In that day it shall be— “The Lord is one,” And His name one.

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