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Romans 10:9 says:

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Is Paul's use of the word "Lord" referring to Jesus's deity?

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    God is immortal, unlike Jesus who died and had to be raised from the dead by his God. Take a look at Romans 10:9 again, who raised Jesus from the dead? Commented Dec 11, 2022 at 10:26
  • Well Alex, how do you explain what Jesus clearly stated at John 2:19, "Jesus answered and said to them, "Destroy this temple and in three days I WILL RAISE IT UP." The apostle John explains what Jesus meant at John 2:21, "But He was speaking of the temple of His body." Romans 8:11, "But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you." In short, all three persons of the Godhead raised Jesus from the dead.
    – Mr. Bond
    Commented Mar 15, 2023 at 14:23

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The answer is to be found in Paul's continuing argument in that passage.

He says in v12 "There is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and bestows his riches upon all who call upon him" (RSV), which certainly looks like the "all peoples are under the same God" argument. More conclusively, he founds his argument on a quotation from Joel; "Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved" (v13, RSV). But Joel (ch2 v32) is definitely speaking about "The LORD" in the Old Testament sense, the Lord of hosts. So Paul's line of argument identifies the two.

To clarify, I am agreeing with the proposal that "Lord" in Romans ch10 v9 refers to the deity of Jesus.

Admittedly there is a sense, according to Peter, in which Jesus receives the title of Lord, or at least becomes more widely known as Lord, on being raised from the dead; "Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified" (Acts ch2 v36, RSV) The verse we are looking at also associates declaring that Jesus is Lord with believing that he was raised from the dead. But I see no reason why Paul should not be combining the two senses, "risen Lord" and "Lord of hosts".

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    Seems very conclusive to me. To clarify, I am agreeing with the proposal that "Lord" in Romans ch10 v9 Up-voted +1.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Nov 28, 2022 at 11:16
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    Has made in Acts 2:36 is aorist in tense, which is silent about when the occurrence is in time. Commented Nov 28, 2022 at 12:39
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    @MikeBorden which is silent about when the occurrence is in time. Only if you make a Jesus before his birth which Biblically speaking is not a reasonable assumption. Then the time must be after his birth sometime - meaning he was not always Lord and Christ but made so by his God.
    – Steve
    Commented Nov 29, 2022 at 1:43
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    Firstly, I identified two senses of the word "Lord", and Peter's comment seems to refer to an enhancement of status that came (or was more recognised) with the Resurrection. Not the divinity. Secondly, the ambiguity of Christ being God and also being distinct from the Father runs through the New Testament (see the ambuguity about who is "sitting on the throne" at the end of Revelation), and it is recognised by the Nicene teaching that Father and Son are different "Persons" WITHIN the Godhead Commented Nov 29, 2022 at 6:25
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    @Stephen oh ok, so while this is Biblical H. it's acceptable to include whatever other writings whether they agree with scripture or not. The Jesus of scripture has a God - the same God Mary had and all the rest of us - rendering him not the God he said he has. These other ideas of Godhead and Nicene teaching are a distraction from the word we are here to examine.
    – Steve
    Commented Nov 29, 2022 at 9:39
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Yes, because the "you will be saved" means that you will also be raised from dead, just like Jesus was raised by the Father. But, is this raising from dead just raising of a biologically dead physical body back to a biological life? Yes, this also, but first of all and primarily it means the abolition of "the body of sin" (Romans 6:6) of the "old man" that we may become a "new creation" in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17). This abolition is far greater a deed than raising of a biologically dead body back to a life.

That "body of sin", that death working in us which poisons our life and creates such a dramatic split within our nature, so that we want to do good things according to law of God, which our conscience attests to be good, but still do evil, which our conscience attests to be bad and which we do not want, therefore, to do, but the "body of sin", the very sin and falledness working in our essence as a deadly infection does it (Romans 7:17). And Paul groans and asks rhetorically: "What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?" and immediately answers himself presenting the only remedy from that impasse: "Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!" (Romans 7:24-25).

Thus, here is the crucial ontological-theological question: can God deliver not "through Jesus Christ our Lord", but alone, by Himself, to the effect that Father only chooses to use Christ for delivery of men, but ontologically is not at all unable to do the same even without Christ. Of course this is totally wrong a supposition, for the Father not only does not rescue us from sin without His Son - Jesus Christ, but also is totally impotent to do so alone, to give an analogy, just like the sun is totally impotent to enlighten without its rays.

Now, if it is so, then we can confidently say that also the Lord Jesus Christ was raised by God through the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, that is to say, His human dead body was brought to life by Father through His Son/Logos to whom this dead body hypostatically/personally belonged. Since we understand that the Father does nothing and can do nothing without His Son, who after the incarnation is called also Jesus Christ, then through the logic enlightened by Holy Spirit we are necessitated to call Jesus - "Lord" and worship him alongside with the Father, for anybody who is in Spirit is necessitated to do so, for Truth necessitates (1 Cor. 12:3).

Indeed, according to Paul even creation of all invisible and visible things God Father affects through His Son (Colossians 1;16), and therefore Both are uncreated and in the Biblical perspective only God is uncreated.

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Paul uses the Greek words "theos" (God) and "kurios" (Lord) to reference two separate and distinct entities. We see this in 1 Corinthians 8:6.

But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. (1 Corinthians 8:6, KJV)

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 (1 Corinthians 8:6, Greek TR)

Even a child can quickly understand that Jesus, as the "Son of God," is not the same person as the Father--nor does Paul equate them.

But there are clues in the passage under study that show Paul has not changed his understanding in Romans as compared to in 1 Corinthians.

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus,1 and shalt believe in thine heart that God2 hath raised him3 from the dead,4 thou shalt be saved. (Romans 10:9, KJV)

Note the following:

1 - The "Lord" Jesus follows from Greek "kurios," and is used in accusative case (object of the verb).
2 - "God" is from the Greek "Theos," in nominative case (it is the subject).
3 - The "him" (auton/αὐτὸν) is in accusative case.
4 - The "dead" is in plural form, genitive case.

Seeing "the dead" referenced as plural indicates the common state of all mankind upon death, as opposed to a state of being only applicable to the "him" in question. That "him" can refer only to Jesus, both grammatically and contextually, should not be difficult to ascertain.

It is clear from the verse that "him" cannot apply to "God"--they must, of grammatical necessity, be separate entities. The "auton" is not in reflexive form, as would be required if it were to refer to God Himself.

Furthermore, the Bible teaches that God is immortal, so it would be impossible for God to die (see 1 Timothy 1:17 and 6:16). And anyone knows that a dead person would be powerless to raise himself, which is why, both here and in Acts 13:30, "God" is the one said to raise "Jesus" from the dead.

As two distinct entities, the word "Lord" cannot refer to Jesus' deity, because God (deity/divinity) cannot die, whereas our Lord did die.

Conclusion

No, Paul does not use "Lord" to reference Jesus' deity, as even the grammar of the text shows.

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    – Steve can help
    Commented Nov 30, 2022 at 20:52
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Even if Jesus is the apostles' lord, Romans 15:6; 2 Corinthians 1:3 and Ephesians 1:3. 1 Peter 1:3. show that our lord Jesus Christ still has a God and he is not the God he himself serves because the true God has no God. If Jesus is God because he is called Lord, then many others who are also called lords beside Christ would also be God. Examples are husbands, 1 Peter 3:6, the Roman emperors, kings. as the following verses show Acts 25 :26. Genesis. 24:36; 24:54; 32:4; 44:33 1 Samuel 25:27 2 Samuel 19:28 to cite a few.

Romans 15:6 ASV

that with one accord ye may with one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 1:3 ASV

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort;

Ephesians 1:3 ASV

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ:

1 Peter 1:3

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy begat us again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

Genesis 24:36 ASV

and Sarah, my lord’s wife, bears a son to my lord, after she has been aged, and he gives to him all that he has.

The account in Mark 12:36-37 is a reference to Psalm 110:1. Studying Psalm 110:1, I learned that;

The 1st LORD in Psalm 110:1 is Jehovah/YHWH. The second lord is translated from the hebrew word adoni. The word adoni is a title which never refers to God. Peter narrated God's plan based on the truth of Psalm 110:1 in Acts 2:33-36 Being therefore by the right hand of God exalted and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he hath poured forth this, which ye see and hear. For David ascended not into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Till I make thine enemies the footstool of thy feet. Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly, that God hath made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom ye crucified.

God is the first LORD(YHWH) and Jesus is the second lord(adoni) in Psalm 110:1. God is (LORD) YHWH. Jesus is adoni lord, not LORD (YHWH)

Psalm 110:1 ASV

A Psalm of David. Jehovah saith unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, Until I make thine enemies thy footstool.

It is the God/Father of Jesus that made him Lord. Nobody makes God,God. The God of Jesus is the God of Gods. Deuteronomy 10:17.

Deuteronomy 10:17 ASV

For Jehovah your God, he is God of gods, and Lord of lords, the great God, the mighty, and the terrible, who regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward

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