ΠΡΟΣ ΚΟΡΙΝΘΙΟΥΣ Α΄ 8:6 Greek NT: Westcott and Hort / [NA27 and UBS4 variants] ἀλλ' ἡμῖν εἷς θεὸς ὁ πατήρ, ἐξ οὗ τὰ πάντα καὶ ἡμεῖς εἰς αὐτόν, καὶ εἷς κύριος Ἰησοῦς Χριστός, δι' οὗ τὰ πάντα καὶ ἡμεῖς δι' αὐτοῦ.

The Greek phrases eis theos and eis kyrios did not occur in the Septuagint but they seem to allude the Shema in the Septuagint.

καὶ ταῦτα τὰ δικαιώματα καὶ τὰ κρίματα ὅσα ἐνετείλατο κύριος τοῖς υἱοῖς ισραηλ ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ ἐξελθόντων αὐτῶν ἐκ γῆς αἰγύπτου ἄκουε ισραηλ κύριος ὁ θεὸς ἡμῶν κύριος εἷς ἐστιν. Deut 6:4 LXX

What is the relation of 'eis kyrios' (one Lord) of 1 Cor 8:6 with 'kyrios eis estin' (the Lord is one) of the Shema?

Are the terms 'one God' and 'one Lord' in 1 Corinthians 8:6 equally divine terms?

  • 2
    The OT has Trinity as the Lord, the Angel of the Lord and the Spirit of the Lord and there are many passages to show they are distinct from each other and many passages to show that they claim(/share) divinity independent of each other. God is echad/united and the Greek “equivalent” is the hen as opposed to the monos which would correspond to the yachid of Hebrew. Father, Son and Holy Spirit. For Jesus to take the title of Lord, meant to call Himself by the same name as the Father in the OT. To then be called Lord of all lords means to claim supreme preeminence which only God (echad) can do Jan 30 '20 at 13:13

No they are not equally divine, if by equally divine you mean that they are both the Almighty. The word echad in the Shema strictly means one, not two or more. Echad is a numerical adjective that is sometimes found modifying a collective noun. The sense of plurality is in the compound noun and not in the word echad “one” The idea that the God of the Hebrew Bible, who is a single Individual, revealed in 2 or 3 is contradicted in the NT. Jesus deliberately makes any change in the nature of God impossible. He insisted on the unitarian Shema of his Jewish heritage. Mark 12:28-34, John 17:3, John 5:44. Jesus is never called "the only God" nor "the Almighty" nor "the Sovereign Lord".

The Sovereign Lord is God, the Father, Psalm 73:28, Acts 4:24 while Jesus is adoni (my lord} lord Christ. Psalm 110:1 says, Jehovah saith unto my Lord/adoni, Sit thou at my right hand, Until I make thine enemies thy footstool.

Luke 1:43 says, And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come unto me?

Luke 2:11 says, for there is born to you this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. God made Jesus both Lord and Christ. Acts 2:35-36 says, For David ascended not into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord/adoni, Sit thou on my right hand, 35 Till I make thine enemies the footstool of thy feet. 36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly, that God hath made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom ye crucified.

I Corinthians 8:6 is against polytheism, and Scripture is clear that “there is no God but one” (1 Cor. 8:4). Then the text continues with the statements that although there may be many gods and lords, for Christians there is but one God, the Father, and one Lord, Jesus Christ. If the binitarianism is correct, then this text can only be construed as confusing. Here was the perfect opportunity to say, “for us there is only one God made up of the Father and the son, or something similar, but, instead, Scripture tells us that only the Father is God.

The greek word “Eis [one] 1 Corinthians 8:6 means ‘single, unique, only, unitary

The Aramaic in plain English of Mark 12:29 says Yeshua said to him, “The first of all the commandments: 'Hear Israel, THE LORD JEHOVAH your God, THE LORD JEHOVAH, he is One

There is no reference to the word echad “one” as to a plurality of any kind. It is used of “one” in number, “the first” in a series, “one” in the sense of “the same,” and “one” in the sense of “each” or “a certain one.” A study of its uses in the Old Testament will reveal its simple meaning and the truth it conveys. It is translated “first” in Genesis 1:5, when God made light on the “first” day. The whole earth spoke “one” language before Babel (Gen. 11:1). Hagar cast her child under “one” of the bushes (Gen. 21:15). In Pharaoh’s dream, there were seven ears of grain on “one” stalk (Gen. 41:5). In the plague on Egypt’s livestock, not “one” cow died in Israel (Ex. 9:6). Exodus 12:49 says that Israel shall have “one” law for the citizen and the foreigner.

Accorgding to Jesus Christ “Hear, O Israel! The Lord our(Jesus included) God is Lord alone!” was a part of the greatest commandment in the Law.

The Pharisee in Mark 12:28-34, who was also a “scribe,” asked Jesus what was the greatest commandment in the Law.

How do we know that when Jesus quoted the Shema that he quoted it with the same meaning it had in the Old Testament; that God “alone” was God? We know it by reading the whole account in Mark.12:28-34.

First, the Pharisee’s question: “What commandment is the first of all?” Jesus answered the question by quoting both Deuteronomy 6:4 and 5. The Pharisee’s response showed that both he and Jesus have the same conclusion about the Shema.

The Pharisee admitted that Jesus’ answer was “well said,” and then he connected the Shema with Deuteronomy 4:35, that YHWH is God and there is no other God but him. The Pharisee and Jesus did not talked about a “compound unity” in God, but rather the Pharisee spoke to Jesus the simple message of the Old Testament contained in the Shema: YHWH alone is God and there is no other God, That is the God of Jesus Christ, John 17:3 John 20:17.

  • Of course if it was so obvious why did Moses find it necessary to say YHVH Elihenu YHVH echad? Why are three words necessary to make echad? Jun 24 '20 at 21:30
  • 2
    @RevelationLad because God knew this triad nonsense was going to come and He wanted to get in early! I love how you pick on the little side details, but fail to address any legitimate points raised by biblical text.
    – steveowen
    Jun 25 '20 at 1:55
  • 1
    @RevelationLad. Since the bible itself does not define the"trinity", would the position held by the apologists imply that Christians must therefore look to professionally trained theologians in order to have an accurate concept of God? Was it proper for the 4th and 5th century theologians to have dogmatically defined what God himself has not expressly defined (scripturally speaking), having gone so far as to use their definition as a standard by which the genuineness of one's Christianity is to be determined true or false?
    – user35499
    Jun 26 '20 at 10:14
  • If echad means one as you understand, how do you explain Genesis 2:24? Jun 29 '20 at 18:14
  • @RevelationLad. The combining of Adam and Eve as"one flesh" has not altered the meaning of "echad" one. If echad is a "compound one" how would you explain Nehemiah 11:1"one(echad) out of ten"? Or Ezra 10:13, Ecclesiastes 4:9, Ecclesiastes 4:11. Echad means one as the cardinal number one.
    – user35499
    Jun 29 '20 at 21:22

yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.
(1 Corinthians 8:6) [ESV]

When this statement is considered in light of his message in Athens, it is obvious Paul believes the Lord Jesus Christ is to be called God (ὁ θεὸς):

22 So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription: ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. 24 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, 25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. 26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27 that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, 28 for “‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, “‘For we are indeed his offspring.’ 29 Being then God's offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. 30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” (Acts 17)

Since there is one Lord, Jesus Christ, He is the God (ὁ θεὸς) who made the world and everything in. At the same time, God (ὁ θεὸς) has appointed a man (Jesus Christ), whom He raised from the dead to judge the world in righteousness. Both parts of the statement in the letter to the Corinthians are present in Paul's message at Athens and they should be understood as equally divine.

Referencing the altar with the inscription "to the unknown God," Paul said he would proclaim what was unknown to them. This cannot be understood to mean Paul was going to proclaim "God" as the Jewish people believed, because the Athenians already knew what the Jews believed about God. Rather, what was not known to them was the deity of Jesus Christ.

In light of the message in Athens, saying "for us there is one Lord Jesus Christ" is the same as saying Jesus is God (ὁ θεὸς).

  • Jesus himself was created/begotten. John 3:16, Revelation 3:14.
    – user35499
    Jun 28 '20 at 7:01
  • @AlexBalilo For Paul there is one Lord Jesus Christ, in. ὁ θεὸς who made the world and everything in it. Jun 28 '20 at 7:05
  • @RevelationLad.Throughout the Scriptures God is identified as the Creator. (Isa 45:18) (Am 4:13) and is “the One who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all the things in them.” (Ac 4:24; 14:15; 17:24) “God created all things.” (Eph 3:9) Jesus Christ recognized God as the One who created humans, Mat 19:4;Mr 10 :6. (God is called “the Creator.”​—Isa 40:28. It is because of God’s will that all things “existed and were created.” (Re 4:11). I Corinthians 8:6 does not teach polytheism or Jesus is the Sovereign Lord/Creator. Jesus was never called the only God nor Almighty in the bible
    – user35499
    Jun 28 '20 at 8:54
  • +1 this is a good answer. Jesus was indeed called θεος in Scripture in relation to his being κυριος for he created all things [τα παντα εγενετο] (cf. John 1:1-3, 20:28). and he had divine nature [θειας φυσεος] (2 Peter 1:1-4).
    – Radz Brown
    Jun 29 '20 at 15:26

Yes. The phrases 'one God' and 'one Lord' in 1 Corinthians 8:6 are translations of the Greek εις θεος and εις κυριος. The basis of these phrases being equally divine terms is the Jewish Shema in Greek.

The Lord our God, The Lord is one - kyrios o theos hemon kurios eis estin) (source).

'kurios' (Lord) in the Shema (LXX) represents the Tetragrammaton (YHWH) in the Hebrew Bible.

Jesus Christ is 'one Lord' (eis kyrios from the kyrios eis estin of the Shema, Deut 6:4 Lxx) in 1 Corinthians 8:6. This means Jesus is the "one YHWH".

In the Hebrew Bible, an angel was called "YHWH" as YHWH's representative (shaliah principle). There is evidence that this angel is actually YHWH himself in another form (bodily on earth) distinct person or self from YHWH in heaven. This phenomenon is called "fragmentation" wherein the one self of God was fragmented into many selves (Benjamin Sommers, 2009). In the New Testament, Jesus was not only "YHWH" but "one YHWH" which strongly indicated that this was not referring to the shaliah principle wherein a creature represents God.

Contextual Evidence:

The context of 1 Corinthians 8:6 speaks of one God and one Lord (one YHWH) who both have part in the creation of all things in direct contrast against the idols (false 'gods') whom the Graeco-roman empire worships ("offered sacrifices"). Offering sacrifices to a god is a practise normative in the ancient world. In the Hebrew Bible itself, the Israelites offers sacrifices to YHWH alone.

In 1 Corinthians 8:6 together with 1 Cor 10:14-22, 15:27-28, Phil 2:9-11 and Rev 20:6, we see that all things i.e. all creation, are subjected to and are worshipping Jesus Christ as co-equal with the Father.

The Father and Jesus Christ are equal because they are not part of ''all things'' which worship them.

Authoritative Reference:

1 Cor 8:6 relies on a classic text of Jewish monotheism (Deut 6:4 LXX) (Wesley Hill, 2015)

What Paul has done seems plain enough. He has kept the “one” intact, but he has divided the Shema into two parts, with θεός (God) now referring to the Father, and κυριός (Lord) referring to Jesus Christ the Son" (Pauline Christology, Gordon Fee, 2007)

In 1 Corinthians 8:6, within a specifically Jewish-style monotheistic argument, he adapts the Shema itself, placing Jesus within it: “For us there is one God—the Father, from whom are all things and we to him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and we through him.” This is possibly the single most revolutionary christological formulation in the whole of early Christianity, staking out a high christology founded within the very citadel of Jewish monotheism

“It should be quite clear that Paul is including the Lord Jesus Christ in the unique divine identity. He is redefining monotheism as christological monotheism. If he were understood as adding the one Lord to the one God of whom the Shema’ speaks, then, from the perspective of Jewish monotheism, he would certainly be producing, not christological monotheism, but outright ditheism. The addition of a unique Lord to the unique God of the Shema’ would flatly contradict the uniqueness of the latter…..Paul is not adding to the one God of the Shema’ a ‘Lord’ the Shema’ does not mention. He is identifying Jesus as the ‘Lord’ whom the Shema’ affirms to be one.” (Richard Bauckham, 2008).

First, one God is affirmed in v. 4. That is, Paul affirms his God is the God of Israel. Continuity theme. Second, others may believe in more than one God but Paul doesn’t.Third, Paul is “exegeting” the Shema, where two names for God are given: Lord (YHWH) and God. This observation is fundamental to what is happening in this text. Fourth, astoundingly, Paul sees “God” (Elohim) as the Father and he sees “Lord” (YHWH) as Jesus. The affirmation of one God entails belief that the Father is Elohim and the Son is YHWH. (One and Only One, Scott McKnight, 2013)

Psalm 110:1 LXX speaks of a second κυριος. The New Testament identified this as Jesus. The New Testament defined the Lordship of Jesus to be identical to that which the Father himself possesses. Jesus lacks no authority over every angel and every human being. Every one, except the Father, is subject to Jesus Christ [cf. Matthew 28:18, Phil 2:9-11].

Paul himself applied the monotheistic YHWH text Isaiah 45:23 to the identity of Jesus Christ as κυριος in Philippians 2:10. Thus, Jesus being κυριος does not merely refer to his messianic/royal power as king of Israel but to his divinity as Lord of all creation.

This did not cause di-theism because all creatures confessing Jesus as κυριος (i.e. the one God in Isaiah 45) glorifies the Father. Jesus being κυριος refers to his equality with YHWH in authority over every angel and every human being as defined by Paul in Philippians 2:10-11.

Jesus being κυριος refers to his authority and rule above every angel and every human being. Jesus being made κυριος does not mean that he was ontologically subordinate to the Father. Being made κυριος is all about Jesus being of the same authority over every angel and every human being as the Father.

Jesus has no authority over the Father. Rather, Jesus was given all authority in heaven and on earth by the Father. This is evident in the New Testament passages:

Matthew 28:19 says that Jesus was given all authority in heaven and on earth. That is, Jesus did not have some authority or half of the authority which the Father possesses over angels and men. Scripture says that Jesus has "all authority" over every angel and every human being.

Philippians 2:10-11 indicated that Jesus has authority not only in heaven and on earth but also under the earth. Philippians 2:6-7 shows that Jesus was equal to God even before he became human. This equality was of being κυριος which he temporarily replaced with the form of a δουλος. Notice the contrast between "master" and "servant". In the incarnation, Jesus chose a lowly status in order to live as a human being, that is, to be found in the form "as a human being" or "as a man" [ος ανθροπως] who practises humility and obedience that lead to crucifixion [Philippians 2:8]. In this case, God himself had shown us the image and likeness of what a human being should be. A man must be humble and obedient, "following Christ and carrying their own crosses " [Luke 14:27].

1 Corinthians 15:26-27 says that the Father subjected "all things" (except himself) to his Son and the Son subjected himself to the Father.

(i) In this case, the Son is equal to the Father in the sense that they are are not part of those all things that are being subjected to the Son. They are above them.

(ii) The Son subjecting himself to the Father means he was acknowledging the authority of the Father over him. It is natural for the "Son" to subject himself to the Father because functionally a father is always higher than his son. This does not indicate ontological inequality. Pharaoh made Joseph κυριος over his house [Psalm 105:21] without making Joseph less of a human than Pharaoh. Joseph was only being functionally subordinate to Pharaoh.


The Lxx had 'Kyrios' as the Greek substitute for the Tetragram.

This clear dominance of the anarthrous kyrios as Greek equivalent of YHWH, a dominance exhibited already in the Pentateuch (which were the earliest Hebrew scriptures translated), suggests strongly that it had become a widely-used oral substitute for YHWH among Greek-speaking Jews. I.e., the anarthrous kyrios served as virtually a proper name for God, a reverential substitute for YHWH." (YHWH in the Septuagint, Larry Hurtado, 2014)

  • This answer could be improved if the only other instance of "one Lord" is also considered in Eph 4:4.
    – Dottard
    Feb 8 '20 at 21:36
  • See Mark 12:29 for one of many instances where Κύριος is used to translate YHWH.
    – Dottard
    May 29 '20 at 10:20
  • @RadzMatthewCBrown. It is as stated in Philippians 2:6, “he did not grasp at equality with God”. Yet, this is precisely what others do on Jesus’ behalf! They insist on imposing on him that which he himself rejected. Paul, in harmony with Jesus' words at John 17:3, identified the "one God" as the Father.No other person is included in his identification of the "one God" and then Paul identified Jesus as the "one Lord" God made Jesus both Lord/ adoni and Christ. Acts 2:35-36.Did God made Jesus YHWH? "Psalm 110:1 LXX speaks of a second κυριος" this second kurios is adoni not YHWH.
    – user35499
    Jun 30 '20 at 10:10

Let’s face it, there are only two ways of coming out of this conundrum: either accepting the trinitarian (or at least binitarian) implications of 1 Cor 8:6, OR considering Paul’s expression eis kyrios attributed to Christ abusive, when compared to the Shema’s YHWH echad (Deut 6:4 - LXX: kyrios eis), attributed to the One God, YHWH.


Best start with the Shema, which the apostle Paul would have understood inside out and back to front. Regarding Deuteronomy 6:4, this commentary notes:

"In Heb. shem'ayisrael y'hovah'eloheynuy'hovah echad = "Hear , O Israel, Jehovah [the Self and ever existing One), our Elohim, is one Jehovah."

one. Heb. 'ehad - a compound unity (Latin unus), one made up of others [Then gives 8 O.T. examples...] It is not yahid, which is (Latin) unicus, unique - a single, or only one [and gives 12 OT examples of that...]." (The Companion Bible notes p247)

Comment on this verse is worth quoting from another source:

"Some have thought there is here a plain intimation of the trinity of persons in the unity of the Godhead; for here is the name of God three times, and yet all declared to be one." (Matthew Henry Commentary, p192, 3rd column).

Of course, before his conversion to Christ, Saul of Tarsus would never have thought that! Neither his reading of the Hebrew text, nor of its translation into Greek in the LXX would have made him wonder for even a second if the one God of Israel was a complex deity, yet he would know as Saul and as Paul that there is only one true God who, alone, is to be worshipped.

So, what happened after his conversion to Christ, to make Paul say there is 'one God the Father' and 'one Lord, Jesus Christ' in 1 Corinthians 8:6? Well, obviously, he had a divine meeting with the risen Christ and then he began to see what had hitherto been kept from his spiritual sight and understanding. As the Lord God alone is to be worshipped, and Paul was writing about pagan views of deity, the context of verse 6 gives the understanding. Pagans had hierarchies of deities. Some were 'more' divine than others. Paul referred to their ignorance, contrasting that with the knowledge Christians had of the only true God. The pagans had 'gods many and lords many' (vs. 5). Christians had but one God, the Lord (in agreement with the Shema).

Yet the second anyone thinks that there is a supreme designation of deity, then a lesser designation of deity, they have fallen into the trap pagans have fallen into. If they claim to have but one supreme deity who alone they worship, they cannot then say they have a different, or lesser deity, who is not actually worshipped by them because their idea of The Big God means that Christ and the Holy Spirit can only be semi-divine, in a sense that must exclude any worship.

In what way are they significantly different to pagans, then? There is only a semantics difference; the pagans openly worship their degrees of deity (plural divinities) while believers in Jesus not being divine give him lip service but no actual worship. For those who claim Jesus the Lord is not equally divine to the Father, they have fallen into the trap of degrees of divinity. There can only be one true God who, alone is to be worshipped, and this God is the Lord, according to the Shema.


No. However one assumes the questioner is infering that 'divinity' somehow EQUALS God. Many things are divine - only God is God. Jesus is divine in the sense that he is holy and righteous, and the very son of God. None of which make him God.

Perhaps 'divinity' should be defined initially. There is no biblical text that speaks of God and Jesus having equality. Jesus - even when ascended, is clearly subordinate to his Father and God in ALL things.

That Jesus HAS a God - the same as all other men, should speak plainly to his complete INequality!

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ

Rom 15:6 so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Revelation 1:1 The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him

Romans 15:6 ... with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

‘I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth’ Matt 28:18, John 17:2

If divinity means 'godly', which Jesus certainly is, he is still not God, so their divinity cannot be equal.

Does it mean Jesus' divinity is equal to God's divinity? If he is not equal in any other way then the answer must be no!

God is sinless, holy and righteous too - but He isn't human!

For an article on the name of God, which is not the name of Jesus, LORD vs Lord, Adonai vs adoni.



Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.