Although Paul certainly believes Jesus is divine in some sense, he seems not to accord to Jesus complete divine equality with God the father. He can speak of “Christ” and “God” as two different persons in a hierarchical relationship. When Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:3 offers something of an equation – Christ is the head of man, man is the head of woman, God is the head of Christ – we must assume subordinate relations in each case. The parallelism doesn’t work otherwise. Christ is no more “equal” to “God” than “man” is to “Christ”.
The same seems to be assumed later in 1 Corinthians 15:24-28: “God” temporally puts “all things” under subjection to Christ, who, after subjecting “all things” to himself, then puts everything again under subjection to God, including himself.
Excerpt from Biblical Truths: The Meaning of Scripture in the Twenty-first Century by Dale Martin. Published by Yale University Press, page 171.
Dale B. Martin is Professor of New Testament at Yale University and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His numerous books include New Testament History and Literature.
Categories: Bible, Christianity, God, Jesus, New Testament scholarship, Scholars