In 1 Corinthians 15 Paul has a terminus for Christ's reign, which is when death has been put under his feet:

[1Co 15:24-28 CSB] 24 Then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, when he abolishes all rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he puts all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be abolished is death. 27 For God has put everything under his feet. Now when it says "everything" is put under him, it is obvious that he who puts everything under him is the exception. 28 When everything is subject to Christ, then the Son himself will also be subject to the one who subjected everything to him, so that God may be all in all.

But in Ephesians 1 Chris't reign continues on into the next generation:

[Eph 1:20-22 CSB] 20 He exercised this power in Christ by raising him from the dead and seating him at his right hand in the heavens ​-- ​ 21 far above every ruler and authority, power and dominion, and every title given, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he subjected everything under his feet and appointed him as head over everything for the church,

Why the discrepancy?

  • There doesn't seem to be a discrepancy in the duration of Christ's reign. The transition here seems to be in the state of the kingdom, when it is turned over to God the Father. So there is a duration of time where Christ rules, but the creation is still distant (alienated) from God. Christ works with the world to bring it into subjection, then turns it over to the Father. After the turnover, God is all in all. Christ doesn't necessarily retire at this point, but his kingdom is close to God in a way it wasn't before.
    – Solocutor
    Commented Dec 31, 2018 at 16:17
  • I think the answer will be found in Ephesians and where he points to Psalm 8 and the point of Joshua 18:1!
    – Ruminator
    Commented Dec 31, 2018 at 16:20
  • @Ruminator: Which part of verse 28 has a terminus for Christ's reign ?
    – Lucian
    Commented Jan 2, 2019 at 22:34
  • That is what this seems to be saying: "when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father"
    – Ruminator
    Commented Jan 2, 2019 at 23:03

2 Answers 2


There is no discrepancy. "Until" doesn't itself denote a change after the given period demarcated. That is to say, it doesn't itself contain information about what follows. Its context could imply There may be one (e.g. by the obviousness or necessity of there being a change afterwards), but the 'until' doesn't itself carry that information. It is a simple demarcator of a limited time period in view: here 'the time until all enemies shall have been brought under Him.'

A famous historical example is Matthew 1:25:

Matthew 1:25 (DRB) And he knew her not till she brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.

That is, some use the argument that since Matthew wrote that Joseph did not have relations with Mary "until" Jesus was born, that therefore he did afterwards. In the words of the great Jerome, "I don't know whether to laugh or cry!" Whether he did or did not have relations with Mary after the birth of Jesus, this "until" doesn't carry or even imply such a course of events, since that would make the focus not on Joseph's role in the conception of Jesus, and Mary's actual virginity (the purpose of Matthew's including this little comment), but about the 'sex life,' to use profane terminology, of Joseph and Mary, which is irrelevant to Matthew 1's context apart from showing what role Joseph had in the conception of Christ.

I don't think most people think through what this reading of 'until' (as indicating a change afterwards). It would read like 'Joseph didn't know Mary before Jesus, but did after; and by the way, he called the child Jesus).'

The humble 'until' simply never carries such information. A change must be inferred from somewhere else.

Also, Ephesians doesn't say anything about Christ's reign (or in any event, the length thereof) but that His titles and names and power is far above any creature, celestial or terrestrial. It also does not say that He has this kind of reign or role forever in "the age to come," (which is a Biblical term for eternity or heaven, not a future place or thing absolutely, but relatively to time) but rather there will be place for whatever it means for God to be "all in all," which I believe has to do with the fact that the Son in His humanity must lead people to God until "the fulness" come in, and that the people of God cannot have as the center forever a man, or rather a human nature, but God Himself. Jesus' mission and role in the Trinity is to herald and bring all to His Father—even in His divine nature (since it doesn't imply subservience to serve the other in love, especially when that is perfect, selfless, divine love), even if that means bringing people to recognize that in Him the Father is fully present, and that He is the very image and expression and speech of God Himself, nothing less. But the Speech must also of necessity come back to a Speaker. I think this is what God being "all in all" means.

  • What about the part about "hands over the kingdom to the Father"?
    – Ruminator
    Commented Dec 31, 2018 at 1:28
  • I interpret it as I have described: the purpose served in subjecting all to Christ, once accomplished, will be perfected by uniting all in Christ back to God, just as Adam was not to be an end in himself, but a tie back to having been made a son of God personally, individually. The very term 'Son' as implying the 'Father' might imply such a thing. The humanity of Jesus linking God to man, will have perfectly served its purpose once man is united to God himself, and not 'merely' in Christ to God. However, I'm cautious about being dogmatic about this mere guess at the meaning. Commented Dec 31, 2018 at 1:34
  • Well I think you are in the same vein as Ephesians. I just have difficulty reading Corinthians as having the same viewpoint. But I'm learning. I think it may have to do with Joshua 18:1 and Psalm 8. So complicated.
    – Ruminator
    Commented Dec 31, 2018 at 1:39
  • I think your epistemology seems to be fundamentally flawed, in that you make the canon of Scripture subject to you and your reasoning, and so make yourself the authority, not the Word of God. This would, for example, mean you could never have revealed to you in a true Scripture what seems nonsensical to you, but is nonetheless true, because it would not survive your 'tests.' Commented Dec 31, 2018 at 15:13
  • So what is the correct test? That it is approved by the Pope?
    – Ruminator
    Commented Dec 31, 2018 at 15:37

To keep my response short I’m going to assume you understand what I’m referring to when I speak of divine council. As in Deuteronomy 32:8,9 the division of the nations according to the sons of G d (the elohim) and Psalm 82 and Psalm 89 and Job 1&2.

The sons of G d according to Psalm 82 started to accept worship and acted unrighteously so G d took away their eternality. They would later be referred to as the gods of the nations but they are one and the same and they have subordinates because we have Apostle Paul speaking of Daimonions and daimons. Not going into those details either.

So 1 Corinthians 15 you quoted is specifically dealing with His ENEMIES. These are those in His divine council the powers and principalities, rulerships in Ephesians 6 that we currently still at war against.

In contrast Ephesians 1 is not speaking of His enemies in the age to come because they are done away with but of those in position of power after all His enemies have been annihilated. Who are they? Revelations tells us it is those who overcome, who get to replace the defeated enemies

“To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.” ‭‭Revelation‬ ‭3:21‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

These are humans who are also under the New Covenant called sons of G d. And the overcomers will get to co-rule as did the elohim (or the sons of G d), who fell did/do in the Old Testament and today.

Hence Jesus’ dominion continues even in the age to come because there will be those with powers and authorities from the Church in the new age.

1 Corinthians 15 deals with His enemies and Ephesians with those replacing the enemies. Dominion over the enemies ends but dominion over His subordinates who are promoted continues.

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