8

αλλ ημιν εις θεος ο πατηρ εξ ου τα παντα και ημεις εις αυτον και εις κυριος ιησους χριστος δι ου τα παντα και ημεις δι αυτου [TR - undisputed - Stephanus, Beza, Elzevir and Scrivener : all identical]

'One' is applied to two persons.

Firstly, to 'God the Father' and secondly, to 'Lord Jesus Christ'.

Some translations insert a comma between 'God' and 'the Father' but they do not insert a comma between 'Lord' and 'Jesus Christ'.

Therefore I think it should be clarified that 'one' (in the first case) does not mean 'there is only one Deity who is named the Father'. This is the implication in the addition of the comma. But the comma is not there in the original.

Therefore the question (for interpreters of the meaning of the passage) is : to what does 'one' refer ?

Is it the case that 'one' refers to the whole that follows 'God the Father' ?

That is to say, there is one Person who possesses Divine attributes of Deity as such (Divine attributes regarding Divine nature) and who also, within that Divine nature, is in a relationship of Person which relationship is denoted 'the Father'.

Thus the 'one' refers to the entire expression 'God the Father' and should not be misinterpreted due to the insertion of a divisive comma.


EDIT after response.

I would point out that 'one (God the Father)' has a different meaning to 'one God (the Father)'.

1

7 Answers 7

2

The OP notes, “Thus the 'one' refers to the entire expression 'God the Father' and should not be misinterpreted due to the insertion of a divisive comma.” I would agree with this statement.

In English, a noun that is in apposition to another noun is placed within commas. Take for example this sentence: “I know his father, the carpenter.” Placing a comma between God and “the Father” implies that “the Father” is in apposition to “God.”

yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom… – NKJV

Because “the Father” is in the same case as "God," the syntax meets the criteria for “the Father” to be taken as an appositive of “God.” While this may be so, there remains the unanswered question of why the word God is in the nominative case in the first place.

εις (Adj-Nominative Masculine Singular) θεος (N-NMS) ο (Art-NMS) πατηρ (N-NMS)

The most common use of the nominative case is to identify the subject of a sentence. However, the clause in question has no verb (interlinear, biblehub.com) to warrant the use of the nominative case. Looking carefully at the other functions of the nominative, I conclude that the nominative case here functions as a nominative of proper name or appellation (“Major Uses of the Greek Nominative Case,” ezraproject.com). In other words, “God the Father” is intended to be a proper name or title.

If we accept that “God the Father” is a title, an argument can be made that the entire expression “God the Father” should be considered as one unbroken unit modified by the adjective “one.” The expression “Lord Jesus Christ,” which shares a similar syntactical structure, would also be considered as one unbroken unit.

In context, 1 Cor 8:6 presents a contrast with the preceding verse between the many and the one. In my opinion, this contrast is complicated by the fact that two distinct persons are identified in the place where we would expect there to be only one.

For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords), 6 yet for us there is one God, the Father… and one Lord Jesus Christ - NKJV

On the one hand there are many, but on the other there are not one but two? Without even considering the theological implications, the literary style alone makes little sense, that is, until we consider the nouns as nominatives of appellation. In other words, “God the Father” and “Lord Jesus Christ” are two designations, each denoting a distinct person, of the one God. If we diagram the semantic structure of verse 5 and 6 based on this interpretation, the contrast between them becomes much more clear.

many gods      vs.  one God
     many gods          one God the Father 
     many lords         one Lord Jesus Christ
8
  • So there are two distinct person of the one God. Do you mean that 1 here equals 2? Accordingly to Jesus, Jesus and his God equals 2. John 8:17-18. What verse say that there are 2 person of the one God. Apr 30, 2023 at 3:30
  • 1
    @AlexBalilo I'm not saying that the 1 is 2, but that the 2 here are 1. I respect the fact that you disagree with me. Setting our differences aside, I wonder whether you see the conundrum presented by 1 Co 8:6. Your comment suggests to me that you do. There is one God the Father and one Lord Jesus Christ. One and one is two, but that does not make any sense in a context where polytheism is being contrasted with monotheism.
    – Nhi
    Apr 30, 2023 at 13:29
  • 1
    @AlexBalilo The concept of 2 becoming 1 is not foreign to Scripture. "For 'the two,' He says, 'shall become one flesh.' But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him." - 1 Co 6:16-17
    – Nhi
    May 1, 2023 at 11:34
  • 1
    @AlexBalilo When 1+1=2, that is plurality and that is human logic. When 1+1=1, that is love, that is union and that is a mystery of faith. cf Jn 17:20-23
    – Nhi
    May 1, 2023 at 12:44
  • 1
    1 corinthians 13:6. Love rejoices when truth prevails. May 2, 2023 at 2:04
6

It is an important observation, I think, because this verse was used as a proof text by the Arians against the Divinity of Christ1 and continues to be used to this day by the Jehovah's Witnesses (who are neo-Arians).

For example, in the book What Does the Bible Really Teach? they write:

The Bible teaches that the Father is the only true God and that Jesus is His Son. (John 17:3; 1 Corinthians 8:6) Jesus himself said: The Father is greater than I am. (John 14:28)2


The original manuscripts had no punctuation at all. Most often Scriptures would be heard in the Church and not read in print, so the placement of pauses fell to oral tradition, and their interpretation was laid out in sermons often originating from Church Fathers.

In this case, Chrysostom refutes this passage being used to fortify the Arians:

Paul does not say "one God the Father" and "one creature the Son," but "one God the Father" and "one Lord Jesus Christ," to indicate the difference between the Son and the rest of creation... The Son is Lord of creation, not because he is a creature, but because he is Creator. He is not a subject of the Father, but co-eternal with him (Homily XV on 1 Corinthians)


1. e.g. Athanasius, Discourses Against the Arians, I.3; Epiphanus, The Panarion, LXIX.1
2. p.31

1
1

It is true that Greek did not have the punctuation, and that this is added to the English by the translators. They have used the punctuation to give a particular translation/interpretation of the text.

Were they correct? This is a good question.

If we consider the rest of scriptures on the same question, allowing the scriptures to interpret the scriptures, the answer is soon clear.

One Father

Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers? (Malachi 3:10, KJV)

Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God. (John 8:41, KJV)

One God (He)

And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he: (Mark 12:32, KJV)

Note that Jesus did not correct the scribe to say "them" in place of "he." The Jews knew God to be singular in being.

Paul is clear in other places regarding his understanding.

One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. (Ephesians 4:6, KJV)

For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; (1 Timothy 2:5, KJV)

Note that "the man" is not, and cannot be God, because God's Word is clear that "God is not a man" (Numbers 23:19). Paul, being an educated Jew in the schools of the Pharisees would not have been ignorant of this.

God is the Father

Jesus taught that God is the Father, and that the Father is the only true God.

1These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:... 3And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. (John 17:1-3, KJV; cf. John 4:21-23)

Since the Father is the only true God, the translators were correct to use the commas as appears in the KJV for the verse in question.

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)

8
  • I don't see that this answers my question. I am asking about 'one' in the specific text. One (God the Father) has a different meaning to one God (the Father).
    – Nigel J
    Apr 25, 2023 at 9:06
  • @NigelJ there is only one, yes. There is only one "God the Father" and there is only one "God," the Father. The comma really makes little difference, because both are true.
    – Biblasia
    Apr 25, 2023 at 9:08
  • I disagree. See my edit.
    – Nigel J
    Apr 25, 2023 at 9:08
  • Let us continue this discussion in chat.
    – bob
    Apr 26, 2023 at 22:51
  • Your answer ignores one Lord. You cannot reasonably appeal to phrases like Malachi 3:10 and John 8:41 to explain 1 Corinthians 8:6 because those are silent about one Lord, Jesus Christ. Arguably Paul’s statement is addressing the incompleteness in these phrases. Moreover in many places in the OT, Lord and God are considered as referring to one, not two as Paul states. May 2, 2023 at 14:54
1

This verse, 1 Cor 8:6, historically speaking, is extremely controversial as it has been used by all sides in several quite vicious debates about Christology. This question will not resolve those debates. So let me observe several things about the 1 Cor 8:6.

The verse is extremely difficult to translate as it contains no verbs (and no punctuation) and any English translation must interpretively add verbs to give it any kind of meaning in English. Here is my literal translation:

but to us one God the Father of whom the all and we for Him and one Lord Jesus Christ by whom the all and we through Him

Even in Greek it makes little sense - UNLESS we understand this as several references to OT passages. Such a sentence in Hebrew would make perfect sense. The concept of "ONE", FATHER", and "LORD", are very significant in the OT as follows:

[Note that the sacred name of God, the tetragrammaton, YHWH, is always translated as "Lord" in the NT, eg, mark 12:29 - ‘Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.]

  1. ONE alludes to the Shema and the Creator and Savior/Redeemer
  • Deut 6:4 - Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is One. (See also Deut 4:35, 6:4, 32:39; 2 Sam 7:22, 1 Kings 8:60, Isa 44:6, 8, 45:5, 6, 14, 18, 21, 22, 46:9, etc)
  • Deut 32:39 - See now that I am He; there is no God besides Me. I bring death and I give life; I wound and I heal, and there is no one who can deliver from My hand.
  • Isa 45:5 - I am the LORD, and there is no other; there is no God but Me. I will equip you for battle, though you have not known Me,
  • Isa 44:24 - Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer who formed you from the womb: “I am the LORD, who has made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who by Myself spread out the earth,
  • Isa 43:11 - I, yes I, am the LORD, and there is no Savior but Me.
  1. FATHER alludes to a few passages:
  • Deut 32:6 - Is this how you repay the LORD, O foolish and senseless people?
  • Isa 63:16 - Yet You are our Father, though Abraham does not know us and Israel does not acknowledge us. You, O LORD, are our Father; our Redeemer from Everlasting is Your name.
  • Isa 64:8 - But now, O LORD, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You are the potter; we are all the work of Your hand.
  • Isa 9:6 - For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government will be upon His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Thus, "God the Father" in 1 Cor 8:6 appears to be alluding to a function as much as title. The same is true of "Lord". Thus, "ONE" alludes to:

  • One God the Father of spiritual Israel, who initiated/founded and created Israel (and all else), now understood spiritually
  • One Lord/Ruler of Spiritual Israel, Jesus Christ who is Savior and Creator (eg, Heb 1:1-3, etc)

Acts 17:28 - ‘For in Him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are His offspring.’

-1

Let us examine the OP's assertion.

"Therefore I think it should be clarified that 'one' (in the first case) does not mean 'there is only one Deity who is named the Father'

The word one in 1 Corinthians 8:6 in not a compound one. Bible Hub shows it as. one εἷς (heis) Adjective - Nominative Masculine Singular Strong's 1520: One. (including the neuter Hen); a primary numeral; one.

There is no ambiguity in the word one here. one equals the number 1.

The bible positively identifies the "one God" as the Father. It does not identify Jesus as the one and only true God, or both Jesus and the Father collectively as constituting the "one" and "only true" God.

Some may advance the notion that the "one" God applies to both the Father and Jesus but that is false. According to Jesus' own statement, the Father and Jesus count as 2, not 1, as John 8:17-18 show.

John 8:17-18 Literal Standard Version

and also in your law it has been written that the testimony of two men is true; I am [One] who is testifying of Myself, and the Father who sent Me testifies of Me.”

There is nothing in the bible that imply or expressly state the OP's further assertion that "That is to say, there is one Person who possesses Divine attributes of Deity as such (Divine attributes regarding Divine nature) and who also, within that Divine nature, is in a relationship of Person which relationship is denoted 'the Father'."

There is nothing in the 1 Corinthians 8:6 that reinforces such an assertion.

There are numerous verses in clear unaltered scripture language, that show the Father alone is the true God as John 17:3, Mark 12:29-32, Jeremiah 10:10 and Ephesians 4:6 to cite a few.

Granting that Jesus and the Father make up one God, how is it that there is no record in the bible that show God as a relationship of persons, namely YHWH and Jesus?

To say that the "one" God is not really one but two is an attempt to make an apparent polytheism fit into some concept of monotheism. Also, note the use of the word "person" as used in the body of question. This should be clarified.

OP states "'One' is applied to two persons". then later one OP states "That is to say, there is one Person who possesses Divine attributes of Deity as such (Divine attributes regarding Divine nature) and who also, within that Divine nature, is in a relationship of Person which relationship is denoted 'the Father'.

The OP uses the word "one" and "person" in a new sense that is not defined.

How could this be? numbers are assigned meaning? What could possibly be meant by

"'One' is applied to two persons". then later one OP states "That is to say, there is one Person who possesses Divine attributes of Deity as such (Divine attributes regarding Divine nature) and who also, within that Divine nature, is in a relationship of Person which relationship is denoted 'the Father'.

There are either two or one, but not both. If words such as person, one, nature are reconceptualized to enhance a postulation, then the definitions of these words needs to be stated.

A person is a separate intelligent being. If the word "One' is applied to two persons." then there are two beings. Then that would mean there are two Gods, which is false. If the person is used here in another sense, then that needs to be stated by the OP.

8
  • 2
    You say, "There is no ambiguity in the word one here. one equals the number 1." What does the Scripture say? He who plants and he who waters are one. There are terms which mean one without ambiguity, εἷς is not one. Actually, your claim would be valid if Paul had simply used the article ὁ θεός ὁ πατήρ. The fact he chose to write εἷς θεὸς ὁ πατήρ not ὁ θεός ὁ πατήρ is contrary to your interpretation. Apr 26, 2023 at 16:35
  • @RevelationLad. You can look the word one on that verse you cited yourself and you can interpret it anyway you want. Apr 26, 2023 at 18:30
  • 1
    They are two who for the purpose of salvation can correctly be identified as one. The issue is not "one of what..." but the fact two which must be spoken of separately at the same time can be spoken of as one. Regardless of how you choose to identify it (nature, purpose, etc.), εἷς is not unambiguous and it is not numerically "1." Apr 26, 2023 at 18:52
  • 1
    It’s not one numerically in in verse 3:8. It’s one as a unity of two there. Apr 27, 2023 at 2:00
  • 2
    @RevelationLad. The word "one" in I Corinthians 8:6 is the masculine Greek word "eis".The sense is one person, one individual. Equivocating the word one/eis to accommodate the idea that God is more than 1 being is not consistent with monotheism. If God wanted us to know that He is more than 1, He would have told us about it instead of unambiguously stating there is only "one" "eis" 1God. Apr 27, 2023 at 5:29
-1

'one (God the Father)' has a different meaning to 'one God (the Father)'.

[1Cor 8:5-6 NHEB21] For though there are things that are called "gods," whether in the heavens or on earth; as there are many "gods" and many "lords;" yet to us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things, and we for him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and we live through him.

You seem to be asking for whether the sentence should be punctuated as "One God, the father", or "One, God-the Father". For the latter case, if the comma comes after one, then the verse would mean to present the counting or listing of this and that; one and another. There is one: God - the father; and the second/ another: Lord - the Christ. However, this is not the meaning we take from the verse, which emphasizes on the oneness or exclusiveness of God, the Father, and the agent/memra/logos Christ as the Lord. The verse is citing the exclusiveness of the two, not showing contrast or listing them, where we should expect another, second as adjectives, not one, for the second referent.

This is why some translations supply only for them, since it is referring to the exclusivity and monotheism of Judaism. The verse shows the Jewish monotheistic creed. The Mohammadan Shahada creed can be comparable to this which states, "No god, except Al-Lah (god Lah), and Mohammad his prophet".

Therefore I think it should be clarified that 'one' (in the first case) does not mean 'there is only one Deity who is named the Father'. This is the implication in the addition of the comma. ...Thus the 'one' refers to the entire expression 'God the Father' and should not be misinterpreted due to the insertion of a divisive comma.

There is no difference between "God, the father" and "God the father", it is just a matter of punctuating, and the lack of punctuation makes no difference, since it is not a relative clause which would present either a restrictive or non-restrictive clause for God, if the clause presented a quality of God, or if God was performing an act. See Apposition construct. Just as KJV and many other versions don't use comma for "one Lord Jesus". There is an article with the father. If it was the Son, Jesus Christ, then they could use a comma. The punctuation is a personal preference of the editors, and don't change the meaning of the phrase. This means the question is based on an English language and orthography, and more suitable for the English-SE.

God is only used for the father in the verse. However, just as in the various other verses like "the only true God", it does not exclude the Son from deity. This is why we can ignore the point about systematic theology or trinity, since that is outside the scope of the question. The Metatron/memra/logos, that is Jesus, is always considered an extension of the one God himself, unbegotten and uncaused, throughout the Bible. The reference to his Lordship pertains to his incarnate form which doesn't restrict his deity. Some early Christians commentaries:

Gregory The Dialogist AD 604:
Establishes the oneness of the nature; and thus there is a (divinity that is the) property of the Father, according to the word, "There is one God the Father; ". For Paul addresses the Father as one in respect of divinity, and speaks of the Son as one in respect of lordship: "There is one God the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by Him."

and

Severian of Gabala AD 425:
The Father is one, just as the Son is one. If the Son is called Lord, that does not make the Father any less Lord, just as when it is said that God the Father is one, the Son is no less God. .

7
  • -1 Jesus monotheism says there is one, the Lord God, not there is one God and one Lord. Paul is “unpacking” what Jewish monotheism conflates. May 2, 2023 at 14:58
  • That's not what the text and translations say. This is why you need to learn Greek
    – Michael16
    May 3, 2023 at 3:42
  • How do you understand κύριος ὁ θεὸς ἡμῶν κύριος εἷς ἐστιν? May 3, 2023 at 5:13
  • The Lord our God, the Lord is one.
    – Michael16
    May 3, 2023 at 5:15
  • I believe the Gentiles in Corinth would have the same understanding. When Paul says the Christians have εἷς κύριος Ἰησοῦς Χριστός... hard to ignore the obvious in order to arrive at your understanding. May 3, 2023 at 5:24
-2

Background: Sacrifices to idols
Paul begins with these introductory remarks:

1 Now concerning food offered to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up. 2 If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. 3 But if anyone loves God, he is known by God. 4 Therefore, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “an idol has no real existence,” and that “there is no God but one.” 5 For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords” — 6 yet for us...one God...one Lord... (1 Corinthians 8 ESV)

Paul has chosen to use a matter the Corinthians raised, food sacrificed to idols, to illustrate how yet for us one God...one Lord... is to be understood. The NIV commentary explains the issue:

8:1 Now about food. Another matter the Corinthians had written about (see 7:1). sacrificed to idols. Offered on pagan altars. Meat left over from a sacrifice might be eaten by the priests, eaten by the offerer and his friends at a feast in the temple or sold in the public market. Some Christians felt that if they ate such meat, they participated in pagan worship and that compromised their testimony for Christ. Other Christians did not feel this way.1

By beginning with yet for us... Paul is making a distinction between an implied them and us, the saints in Corinth. That is, all who have received the Gospel which Paul preached (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:1). The implied them are those who rejected Paul's Gospel. Both groups, us and them consist of those whose physical ancestry would be identified as Gentiles or Jews. With respect to making and eating sacrifices to idols this diagram depicts the situation: enter image description here

Jews who rejected the Gospel remain unchanged in their practice of Judaism: they do not make offerings to idols nor would they purchase or consume the left overs. Similarly, Gentiles who reject Paul's preaching continue their practice of making, purchasing, and eating the offerings. The one group who is clearly affected by the Gospel are Gentiles who believe: they have stopped making sacrifices to idols. However, as the above diagram shows, the question of the "left overs" remains.

...no God but one
Despite sharing in the rejection of Jesus as the Christ and refusing to call Him Lord, unbelieving Gentiles and Jews have very different beliefs about God. Gentiles who reject Paul's Gospel have and continue to make offerings to many gods and many lords. On the other hand, Jews who reject Paul's Gospel do not make offerings or have any part with the left overs. It violates their Law.

Despite their rejection of the Gospel, Jews claim there is no God but one:

3 But if anyone loves God, he is known by God. 4 Therefore, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “an idol has no real existence,” and that “there is no God but one.”
(1 Corinthians 8)

Arguably Jews who reject the Gospel still love "God" and are known by "God." Like Christians they know idols have no real existence and they know there is no God but one. This phrase is another of parallelism:

ὅτι οὐδὲν εἴδωλον ἐν κόσμῳ καὶ
ὅτι οὐδεὶς θεὸς ἕτερος εἰ μὴ εἷς

The group Paul identifies as know there is no God but one, includes Jews who have rejected Paul's Gospel. When a Jew rejected the Gospel, they only rejected Paul's claim Jesus was the Christ, and they continued in their previous beliefs of God as found in the Scriptures. Furthermore, they do not accept Jesus as the Christ and they do not call Him "Lord" or "lord."2

Yet for us...one Lord...
Paul's one God...one Lord... needs to be understood with the them-us contrast:

[unlike Gentiles and Jews who reject the Gospel] 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.

All who reject the Gospel lack the Spirit of God and do not call Lord Jesus (cf. 1 Corinthians 12:3). This means neither unbelieving Gentiles or Jews say Lord Jesus. Instead, those who reject Jesus as the Christ continue with their previous religious practices. For the Gentiles this means offering their sacrifices to their many gods and their many lords.

Unbelieving Jews continue their practice of Judaism. They remain steadfast in rejecting anything associated with idols, and they remain steadfast in their belief there is one God who is their Lord:

4 ...Hear O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord. (LXX-Deuteronomy 6:4 NETS)

Each group who accepts Paul's Gospel must change their previous beliefs. Gentiles must give up their belief in many gods and many lords; Jews must change their belief in the Lord.

![enter image description here

For the believer whose ancestry was Jewish, the requirement of Lord Jesus Christ in Paul's Gospel is a profound change in the understanding of Lord in the Judaism they had been taught. The change demanded by Paul's Gospel very likely was a factor in their rejection of Jesus as the Christ. In other words, for the Jew, Paul was not saying a simple confession of Jesus as Christ was sufficient; rather Jesus must be both Lord and Christ (cf. Acts 2:36).

Conclusion: One God...
As the accepted answer shows, the literary structure of Paul's composition is clear: εἷς is in opposition to God-the-Father and to Lord-Jesus-Christ. An accurate translation should preserve the identical nature of the two expressions, and any punctuation difference is contrary to the meaning in the original text.

There are other significant elements to Paul's composition of 8:6.

  • In verse 4 he says God is one; in verse 6 he reverses the order. Either Paul is making the point there is a difference or his composition is haphazard.
  • He identifies one God as θεὸς ὁ πατήρ, a phrase not used in the LXX and one which is never repeated in the NT. If there is just "one" as monotheism demands, the term should be the same: there is no reason to use other terms.

Also when the Pauline corpus is considered in light of the OT, there are other aspects to consider:

  • Nowhere is the term "Lord God" used.
  • Paul routinely uses anthropomorphic terms such as θεοῦ πατρὸς to describe God. a practice Judaism considers wrong and avoids.
  • Paul uses different terms by which the Father may be addressed. Not only is this anthropomorphic practice to be avoided, different phrases could indicate different meanings. The LXX is not everywhere considered a good translation of the Hebrew, but the translation philosophy is consistent, unlike Paul's treatment which would be considered as haphazard.

When contrasted with the Old Testament, these compositional elements are objective evidence Paul's understanding of the Lord our God is one is now quite different from what he held before believing the Gospel he preaches. This change in his understanding of the nature of God is evident by his need to introduce terms foreign to the OT to identify the Father. It is most unlikely a Jew who accepted the OT as Scripture would invent new terms for "God." If they felt there was a need to make a change, they would first make the relationship between the new term and OT explicit and they would then consistently use the new term.

There is simply no way to reconcile traditional and current Judaism's monotheism and Paul's language as the Shema clearly shows:

Hear O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord, the Lord Jesus Christ through whom all things are and through whom we exist.


1. NIV Study Bible, Fully Revised, Revision Editors Kenneth L. Barker, John H. Stek, Walter W. Wessel, Ronald Youngblood, Zondervan, 2002, p. 2370
2. Of course the original language lacked capitalization; the difference is only in translation to English.

4
  • 1 Chr 29.10, Tobit 13.4,Mal 2.9, the phrase God being the father is very common. You're twisting the monotheistic formula and claiming Paul denied it. Jews were always Trinitarian. See Targum Memra and other sources about Metatron. You know the context contrast polytheism to monotheism, yet you said that there's no need to repeat the formula if he wasn't changing it. Nobody ever changed or diverted from monotheism. Until heathen Gnostics joined Xianity,devoid of NT or Jewish Knowledge of religion. The problem lie in misunderstanding the incarnation/Son as a new mediator in NT
    – Michael16
    May 3, 2023 at 5:54
  • @Michael16 You say Tobit 13:4 αὐτὸς κύριος ἡμῶν καὶ θεός αὐτὸς πατὴρ ἡμῶν - if you use Paul's one Lord, κύριος ἡμῶν identifies Jesus. This is exactly what I am addressing. Paul's NT language of Lord is radically different from OT. May 3, 2023 at 23:28
  • It is different because Jesus didn't exist before incarnation. Not at all radically different because all believed about the divine Messiah. biblestudying.net/rabbinic4.html
    – Michael16
    May 4, 2023 at 2:55
  • @Michael16 "...Jesus did not exist before incarnation..." sounds like understanding based on assumption not the text. Nevertheless, assume your line of thinking is correct, after one born Jewish who speaks only Greel accepts Jesus is the Christ by confessing "Lord Jesus" and after they accept there is for us one Lord Jesus Christ... have they abandoned the Shema or do they understand this verse now has an asterisk? May 4, 2023 at 16:05

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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