Here is the passage in the King James Version:
23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming. 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. 25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. 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.
(1 Corinthians 15 KJV)
The King James and NRSV differ in their understanding of key phrases:
Verse King James NRSV Greek
24 God, even the Father God the Father τῷ θεῷ καὶ πατρί
27 He hath put God has put ὑπέταξεν
28a him that put the one who put τῷ ὑποτάξαντι
28b that God may be all in all that God may be all in all ᾖ ὁ θεὸς τὰ πάντα ἐν πᾶσιν
In verse 24, the King James renders
τῷ θεῷ καὶ πατρί as God, even the Father where the NRSV has God the Father. In verse 27 the King James renders the verb
ὑπέταξεν as he hath put where the NRSV has God has put. The King James is correct. The NRSV arrives at God by replacing the 3rd person singular form of the verb
ὑποτάσσω (ὑπέταξεν) with a referent, God and a footnote: Greek is he. There are other translations which treat the referent similarly. In verse 28a Paul repeats the 3rd person singular in the verb, which the King James translates as in verse 27. The NRSV alters their earlier treatment opting for the one. Absent any context rendering
τῷ ὑποτάξαντι as the one is better than him, but in light of the previous verse, the article in
τῷ ὑποτάξαντι is likely anaphoric and him should be preferred.
If the referent is understood from
τῷ θεῷ καὶ πατρί, it should not be abbreviated as God. If it is to be shortened from the God and Father, Father is the closest noun. Grammatically speaking, God is impossible. It is a product of an assumption "God" means exclusively Father. This assumption is clearly not what Paul composed.
Paul’s decision to resort to pronouns implied in verbs in place of the God and Father and his failure to state what the assumption believes is obvious (i.e. God) must be explained in a way consistent with how one interprets what Paul actually wrote.
τῷ θεῷ καί πατρί
Paul's first use of God is in the phrase
τῷ θεῷ καὶ πατρί, literally the God and Father. This phrase has two substantives connected with
καὶ and begins with the article. This is the T-S-K-S sequence of Sharp's Rule, named after Granville Sharp whose book describing the rule was published in 1798. With some exceptions, Sharp's Rule states a T-S-K-S sequence is a writer's method of identifying one entity with two words. According to Sharp's Rule Paul's phrase
τῷ θεῷ καὶ πατρί describes a single entity: the God and Father.
Arguably, the difference between God, even the Father of the King James, and God the Father of later translations reflects the impact of Sharp's analysis which, coming almost 200 years later, was not understood at the time the King James translators worked.
On the other hand, if Sharp's Rule is not a valid grammatical principle, then the phrase
τῷ θεῷ καὶ πατρί has been composed to make a distinction between God and Father. Literally the God and Father would be identifying two different: the God and Father. A Trinitarian would reconcile that distinction by recognizing Paul understands
τῷ θεῷ, the God, as Father, Son, Spirit, and
πατρί, as only Father.
If the T-S-K-S in verse 24 is in fact describing one entity as both God and Father, then Sharp's Rule is valid and the New Testament elsewhere describes Jesus as God. The fact Paul does not do so here cannot change this truth, anymore than a failure to always describe God as Father can be used to deny the deity of the Father. For example, no one claims Paul's failure to continue to use Father with God in verse 28 should be understood as denying the title of God to the Father.
ἵνα ᾖ ὁ θεὸς τὰ πάντα ἐν πᾶσιν
The final act described is
ἵνα ᾖ ὁ θεὸς τὰ πάντα ἐν πᾶσιν, literally so that may be the God the all in all. This is accomplished by the Son who Himself becomes subject to Him that put all things under Him.
As in verse 27 the 3rd person singular form of the verb
ὑποτάσσω is used. The King James translators rendered this as in verse 27. However, the NRSV changes the treatment from God to him. Had the NSRV remained consistent verse 28 would read: When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to God [the one] who put all things in subjection under him, so that God may be all in all.
Of course, God in verses 24 and 27 is an assumption which is inconsistent with what Paul has composed. The pronoun does not refer to God. It refers either to Father or to the God and Father. Using the King James here is how the pronoun should be understood:
27 For the God and Father [he] hath put all things under his feet. But when the God and Father [he] saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that the God and Father [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 the God and Father [him] that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.
It is more than curious that Paul begins with the God and Father, then resorts to implied pronouns, before saying God. The statement the Son also himself be subject unto the God and Father [him] that put all things under him, that God may be all in all does not end as expected. To be consistent Paul should use his initial T-S-K-S, that the God and Father may be all in all.
What Paul actually wrote, that the God may be all in all highlights the issue with understanding
ἵνα ᾖ ὁ θεὸς τὰ πάντα ἐν πᾶσιν. How can the God not already be all in all? In other words, if God is not all in all until the Son accomplishes His work, what is deficient? What is lacking now which requires the Son to restore something so that the God will be all in all as it was in the beginning?
The answer is to recognize Paul is describing the work of the Son as restoring the God, not the God and Father to its original condition.
Is the Son second in authority to the God and Father? Given what is described, I would disagree with understanding "ranking" in authority is a proper interpretation of what Paul composed. The fact the Son voluntarily subjects Himself to another authority does not mean a priori the Son is second in authority. This is clearly illustrated in the Fourth Gospel:
10 So Pilate said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?” 11 Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.” (John 19 ESV)
Did Pilate have authority over Jesus? The crucifixion shows yes. Yet no one believes Pilate's exercise of his authority permits ranking him relative to Jesus. In terms of human philosophy, one could argue voluntary submission, that is the decision not to exercise authority is a display of greater authority.
When Jesus was crucified, believers see His decision not to exercise His authority is proof His authority was "higher" than Pilate's. Moreover, who does Jesus have in mind when He tells Pilate he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin? Does the mystery of God's work to restore what sin has defiled permit us to rank Pilate's sin relative to the one from above who gave Pilate his authority?
It is clear to me Paul has made a distinction between Son and the God and Father. It is also clear Paul has made a distinction between the God and Father and God, as any Trinitarian must.