1 Corinthians 6:4, Paul and the Shema part II of II

And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power.

//Yesterday, I introduced Paul’s application of the Shema, and how it leads some scholars to believe Paul expresses a high christology. But the argument relies heavily on Paul’s use of the title Lord (greek: Kyrios) and whether readers of his letters would automatically assume references to the Lord would think of the Lord God.

But in my opinion, the argument simply falls flat. Paul never refers to the Lord God. He reserves the title Lord only for Jesus, meaning we cannot easily draw inferences about what the title “Lord” means to Paul.

We can, however, see in Paul’s writings a low christology; a distinct relationship between God and the Son of God which presents them as two separate beings, even when referring to Jesus with the word Lord:

That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. –Rom 15:6

Here is another example. Note again how it is “God” (not “the Father”) who has a son, and this son is Lord:

God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. –1 Cor 1:9

Sometimes it’s even more clear that the Lord Jesus is a separate being from God, while the Father is God:

Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. –2 Cor 1:2

Whatever Paul meant by his use of the Shema in yesterday’s verse comparing “lords” and “gods,” it certainly did not mean that he thought the Lord Jesus was part of the Godhead.

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