But for us there is one God, the Father, out of whom are all things and we to Him, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and we through him.
Proof of the Trinity Error
In this verse, Paul indicates that the "one God" is one person, "the Father." In contrast to Trinitarian doctrine which states that the one God is three persons, this teaching by Paul clearly and necessarily says that the one God is one person and that one person is the Father of Jesus.
The Trinitarian Response
The standard Trinitarian response here is to insist that if anyone concludes that Jesus cannot be God since the Father is identified as the one God then one must also consistently conclude that the Father is not Lord since Jesus is identified as the one Lord. The expectation here is that no one will conclude the Father is not "Lord" and so the claim that Jesus is not the one God is voided by this response.
"But by that reasoning, since Jesus is the "one Lord," the Father cannot be Lord!"And ironically, Bowman immediately cites Matthew 11:25. We will see why that is so ironic down below.
(Robert Bowman, Why You Should Believe in the Trinity, p. 73).
Essentially, Bowman is arguing that if one argues that Jesus cannot be the one God then to be consistent one must also argue the Father is not the one Lord. This sounds good on the surface doesn't it? But we shall see this is simply a trick to confuse unsuspecting people.
"False prophets also arose among the people just as there will also be false teachers among you who will secretly introduce destructive heresies....they will exploit you with well-turned words." (2 Peter 2:1-3).
As we shall see, this is not a question of whether the Father is Lord. It is a question of whether the Father is THIS Lord mentioned in this verse. He isn't. The Father is the Lord and God of the Lord Jesus.
Your Bible tells you that in the days of King David, he was the Lord of Israel. Does that mean he must be God? No. Israel's Lord was David; David's Lord was God, the Lord God.
1. The Trinitarian Identification of the One God vs. Paul's Identification
In the doctrine of the Trinity, the one God is three persons. The one God is the one Triune Being. But Paul is defining the one God as one person, the Father. The Father is not the Triune Being and the Triune Being is not the Father. Hence, Paul is clearly defining the one God differently than Trinitarians.
Trinitarian: there is one God: the Triune Being (three persons)
The Bible: there is one God: the Father (one person)
2. Deception with Word Trickery
Firstly, the Trinitarian response attempts to change the question and most people don't even notice this deception. The Trinitarian response suggests that if you say Jesus is not God then you would also have to say the Father is not Lord. But Paul was not talking about whether the Father is God or whether Jesus is Lord. He isn't telling us what is true about the Father (whether he is God) and he isn't telling us what is true about Jesus (whether he is Lord). Paul is telling us what is true about our one God (our God is the Father) and what is true about our one Lord (our Lord is Jesus). This Trinitarian trick attempts to change what the question at hand is about to confuse the question at hand.
Secondly, this Trinitarian word game gets people to suppose there is only one Lord in existence and since the Father is Lord and Jesus is Lord, they must therefore be that one and the same Lord which is the only one in existence, or at least, the only one whom Christians recognize. This is false. Paul is not telling us there is only one Lord in existence. He is telling us we have 1 God PLUS 1 Lord. 1 + 1 = 2. Put another way, he is telling us we have one God, the Lord God, and in addition to our one God, we have one Lord, the Lord Jesus. Trinitarians suggestively imply Paul's point is that there is only one Lord in existence because if someone says the one God can't be Jesus (since the one God is identified as the Father), they need to have it that only one Lord exists and then insist you can't say the Father isn't that one Lord. But these claims are not based on facts; they are based on their suggestive words tricks. In this verse, the Father IS NOT "the one Lord" who is mentioned in this verse. Jesus is the one Lord mentioned in this verse. He is someone we Christians have in addition to our one God, the Father. Let us now see this clearly.
3. When men are nullifying Scripture for the sake of their traditions
If Paul was not identifying the one God as one person, the Father, and if Paul was not identifying the one Lord as one person, Jesus, then what was his point? It is quite clear that the Trinitarian response here is designed to nullify this passage and rob it of any meaning whatsoever. They don't care what this passage really means. They only care about what they do not want it to mean and they don't want it to mean that Paul is telling us our God is only one person. But if that were so, what is Paul's point when he said, "for us there is one God: the Father," if it was not to identify quite clearly just who our one God is and that the one God is this one person whom we call "the Father"? The Trinitarian intent is to rob Paul's message of any meaning at all. The effect of the Trinitarian response is that it completely nullifies Paul's point and this is exactly what the Trinitarian apologist wants to do for the sake of his Trinitarian tradition.
4. One Lord/God and One Lord/God = Two Gods
What the Trinitarian response argument is essentially suggesting is that Paul really meant, "for us there is one Lord God, the Father.... and one Lord God, Jesus Christ. Trinitarians want to have the word "Lord" to be just another label for the one "God" just as the word "God" is a reference to the one God. However, if you just stop and think about it, this doesn't make any sense whatsoever. IF that were the case, Paul would be effectively saying there is one Lord God, the Father.... and one Lord God, Jesus Christ. That necessarily amounts to two Gods. One plus One is Two. If we have "one" of these and "one" of those it amounts to two things. Trinitarians like to say, "there is one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit."
But Paul did not say, "there is one God, the Father.... and Jesus." Since Trinitarians want "God" and "Lord" to be different titles for the same identity, God, he has Paul saying there is one God who is the Father and one God who is Jesus Christ for a sum total of two Gods.
The Definition of the word "God" in this Verse
How does the Trinitarian define the word "God" in this verse? Indeed, how does he define the words "one God." This term cannot be defined as the Triune God because that would be saying the Triune being is the Father which makes no sense in Trinitarian doctrine. Hence, the Trinitarian's only option is to try and claim it means "the one divine ousia," the divine nature. And indeed he must since there is no other option. Paul is referring to the "one God" and the oneness of God in Trinitarian doctrine is the divine ousia.
And this is where the Trinitarian is caught in an unsolvable predicament. He needs to have the words "God" and "Lord" be references to the divine nature. So here Paul would be defining the one divine nature as the one person of the Father and the one (same) divine nature (Lord) as the person of the Son. But this doesn't work in their doctrine. Doing such a thing would confuse person and being by granting identity to the divine nature which they claim they do not do. They would be ascribing identity to the divine nature and turning the what into a who. So this claim is also proven false. Not only so, it is clear that the word "God" and "Lord" are references to identities not natures since Paul is contrasting our one God, the Father, with the many gods of the pagans, and our one Lord, Jesus, with many lords of the pagans. Moreover, if they word "God" was a reference to the divine nature, Paul would be identifying this divine nature ("God") as the Father. That would mean the Trinitarian Jesus' divine nature is the Father. Absurd even in Trinitarian doctrine.
But if one loves God, he is known by HIM. Hence, as to the eating of idol sacrifices, we know that an idol is nothing and that there is no God but one. For although there may be gods in heaven or on earth, as there are many gods and many lords, yet for us there is one God, the Father, out of whom are all things and we to HIM, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and we through him.
The one God we love is our Father, the God of Jesus. The word "God" and the word "Lord" are obviously references to identity, not nature.
5. The Structure of the Passage
The Trinitarian error can also be clearly seen when the context is honestly considered:
There is no God but One
Yet for Us
One God - the Father
Out of whom are all things and we to Him
One Lord - Jesus Christ
Through whom are all things and we through him
Paul is contrasting many Gods with our one God AND he is contrasting many Lords with our one Lord.
|Although there are
||For us there is|
|many gods||one God - the Father|
|many lords||one Lord - Jesus Christ|
We have one God in contrast to many Gods. We do not have one God in contrast to many Lords. We do not have one Lord in contrast to many gods either. We have one Lord in contrast to many Lords. It is very important to see this parallel in Paul's argument. There are many Gods but we have one God. AND there are many Lords but we have one Lord.
Some have many gods PLUS many lords. Christians have one God PLUS one Lord (Two).
5. King of Kings and Lord of Lords
In Scripture, there are many Lords (kyrios) identified including Abraham, Saul, David, Solomon, and Paul. The title "Lord of Lords" is an easy and simple way to see that there is not just one Lord in existence. If it were true that there was only one Lord in existence, and the Lords did not exist, the title "Lord of Lords" would be a very empty title. So we see in Scripture that there are indeed "many Lords" as Paul said at 1 Corinthians 8:4. There several Scriptural facts which demonstrate the Trinitarian claim is based on false premises. "Lordships" were created for example (Col 1:16). David is profusely called "Lord" at 1 Kings chapter one and Israelites are bowing down (proskyneo) before him as their Lord, "David our Lord." The Trinitarian response to 1 Corinthians 8:6 is entirely based on suggesting only one Lord exists. They do this because they need to claim that if only Lord exists then the Father is necessarily that one Lord in view because they also want to claim, by an act of their own will, that Jesus is that one God of 1 Corinthians 8:6 despite the fact that Paul has already identified the one God as the Father. But the claim that only one Lord exists is demonstrably false.
The word "Lord" in this verse is Greek kyrios. The Shema command at Deuteronomy 6:4 says, "the Lord (kyrios) our God, the Lord (kyrios) is one." But King David was Israel's Lord (kyrios). So must we conclude that David is the Lord our God? No, and this illustrates the Trinitarian error concerning 1 Corinthians 8:6).
6. Israel: One God and One Lord
At 1 Corinthians 8:6, the word for "Lord" is the Greek word "Kyrios." It was Israel who received the Shema command, "Hear O Israel, the Lord our God the Lord is one." In Greek, this reads, "Hear O Israel, the Kyrios our God the Kyrios is one." Now here is the critical point. Ancient Israelites could also say, "for us there is one God, Yahweh, and one Lord/Kyrios, King David."
Have you not heard that Adonijah the son of Haggith has become King, and David our Lord does not know it? 1 Kings 1:11
Our Lord King David has made Solomon King. 1 Kings 1:43
The King’s servants came to bless our Lord King David. 1 Kings 1:47
In the Greek translation of the Old Testament, the word translated as "Lord" here is the Greek word "Kyrios," the same word which is used of Jesus at 1 Corinthians 8:6. Israel had one Lord God and one Lord David: Two Lords. The Shema command does not mean that only one Lord exists; it means that the Lord our God is only one Lord not many. This is a reference to who God is. It didn't prevent the Israelites from having another Lord, namely, David. In the same way, Yahweh their God was their King. But so was David their Lord; he was also the King of Israel? Same King? No, they were not the same King and they were not the same Lord. The same is true at 1 Corinthians 8:6.
Let's go back to the Trinitarian response to 1 Corinthians 8:6. If someone insisted that David is not the one God because Yahweh is the one God, do they also need to consistently argue that Yahweh is not the one Lord because David is their one Lord? Obviously not. The fact that Israel had one God and one Lord shows us that the one Lord is not necessarily the same identity as the one God. It also shows us that their response to 1 Corinthians 8:6 is fallacious.
7. Two Lords: The Lord God and the Lord Jesus
It is quite clear in the Scriptures that there is not just one Lord in existence and Christians acknowledge more than one Lord. At Acts 2:34-36, we read that Peter quotes Psalm 110:1, "The Lord said to my Lord, 'Sit at my right hand.'" Lord1 speaks to Lord 2. And then we read that Peter proclaims this Psalm was fulfilled when God raised Jesus from the dead and "made him Lord." Acts 2:36 tells us that the Lord God made Jesus "Lord." The word "Lord" obviously isn't a reference to Jesus as God since God obviously didn't make Jesus "God." Prior to his resurrection, he was the King of the Jews, and like David, he was Lord of Israel. But in his resurrection he was made Lord of all creation. The Lord God made him Lord, "the Lord said to my Lord." The Lord God is one and Lord Jesus is another: two Lords. This is no different than the situation in Israel. They had one Lord, God, and one Lord, David. 1 + 1 = 2 different identities. The same is true at 1 Corinthians 8:6. Two distinct identities and one of them is not God. And the other, the Father, is not the Lord mentioned in this verse. Just as the Lord God was not Lord David, the people of Israel had one God, Yahweh, and one Lord, David. Two different identities. David was not Yahweh.
That Jesus and the Father are not the same Lord is also shown by the following:
At that time Jesus said, "I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth. (Matthew 11:25).
The Father was Jesus Christ's Lord. The Father was his God, the Lord God. The Lord of Lord Jesus was the Father. The Lord Jesus has a Lord but the Father does not. The Lord Jesus has a Lord but the Lord God does not. The Head of every man is Christ and the Head of Christ is God. The Lord of every man is Jesus and the Lord of Jesus is God. The Lord of Jesus is God; our Father the Lord God has no Lord. One of these Lords has a Lord but the other does not. This is because they are not the same Lord. Simply understanding these common sense facts tells us plainly there are two Lords whom Christians recognize.
The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever. (Revelation 11:15).
8. The Context: Food Sacrificed to Idols
Now concerning idol sacrifices. Since we know that all of us have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. If any one thinks that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. But if one loves God, he is known by Him. Hence, as to the eating of idol sacrifices, we know that an idol is nothing and that there is no God but one. For although there may be gods in heaven or on earth, as there are many gods and many lords, yet for us there is one God, the Father, out of whom are all things and we to Him, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and we through him.
(1 Corinthians 8:1-6).
Trinitarians also mistakenly suppose Paul is here talking about the Genesis act of creation and God creating all things through Jesus. However, the context shows us that this is not what Paul is talking about. Paul is talking about created things which now exist but he isn't talking about the Genesis ACT of creating all things. In context, he is talking about food sacrificed to idols. What he has in mind here is that all things are ours in the risen Christ whom God has made Lord over all things. God subjected all things to Jesus when He seated the risen Jesus at his right hand and subjected all things to him giving him all authority in heaven and earth. Since all things are ours in Christ our Lord, we can know that food sacrificed to idols is nothing. Nevertheless, Paul's point is that we should not eat food sacrificed to idols in case it could make a brother stumble. Paul's point here is that we are co-heirs with Christ who was made heir of ALL things (cf. Heb 1:2,4) when God raised him from the dead and made him Lord. Paul's thought here is very similar to what he says earlier in this letter:
For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or things present or things to come; all things are yours, and you are of Christ; and Christ of God. 1 Corinthians 3:21-23.
9. Deuteronomy 6:4-5 - The Shema
Some Trinitarians have absurdly attempted to claim that Paul "reworked" the Shema command for Christianity. At Mark 12:28-34, during a discussion with a Jewish scribe, Jesus tells us that the Shema command is the foremost command for the Jews under the Law. Jesus and this Jewish scribe have an agreeable discussion about the Shema and they inform us that the words "the Lord is one" mean that the God of Israel is one "HE" since "there is no other but HE/HIM" (Deut 4:35).
Jesus also makes it clear that the Shema command is referring to God the Father. The Father is this one single "HE." This is because the Shema command says, "Hear O Israel, the Lord OUR God, the Lord is one." Jesus was a Jew under the Law and he was required to obey the Law. For Jesus and this Jewish scribe, the God of Israel was "OUR" God and Jesus was required to obey the Shema command to recognize the God of Israel. We know that the God of Israel was not a three-person-being because Jesus obeyed this command by recognizing the Father and loving only the Father with all his heart and soul and might. The Shema command was for every Jew and Jesus was one of those Jews. We also know that Jesus correctly obeyed the Law and the Shema command. He didn't just recognize and serve "HIS" God; he recognized and served "OUR" God, the God of Israel. Since we know that Jesus obeyed this command correctly, and we know he served only the Father as his God, we know beyond any doubt that the Shema command is referring to the Father. He, the Father, is one and there is no other but Him. Jesus' own testimony about the Shema command, and his testimony in how he obeyed that command, shows us beyond any doubt whatsoever that the Shema command refers to his Father, "OUR God," the God of Israel, since he recognized the God of Israel, as commanded in the Shema, to be no one else but his Father.
The Father was the Kyrios (Lord) of the Shema command. And David was another Kyrios (1 Kings 1:36). Israel had one Kyrios who was Yahweh their God and another Kyrios who was David their Lord and King. David was God's Anointed and Jesus is God's Anointed. So in the same way, we have one Kyrios who is God the Father, an another Kyrios who is Jesus; we know two, the Lord God and His Anointed One, the Lord Jesus.
Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. Deuteronomy 6:4-5.
If anyone loves God, he is known by Him... there is no God but one... for us there is one God, the Father...
10. The Trinitarian's Inescapable Dilemma
When Trinitarians wish to insist that Paul is indicating there is only one Lord in existence, he will find himself caught in an inescapable dilemma with his claim that the word "Lord" is simply another way of indicating that one is "God." Carefully regard the following passages of Scripture:
the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (Rom 15:6).
the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Cor 1:3).
the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Cor 11:31).
the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (Eph 1:3).
the God of our Lord Jesus Christ (Eph 1:17).
the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (Col 1:3).
the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Pet 1:3).
The one Lord, Jesus Christ, has a God. If the word "Lord" was a reference to "God" then all these passages would referring to the God of our God Jesus Christ. God's God? It is absurd to suggest God has a God no matter how you mighty want to qualify it. It is quite clear that the one Lord or 1 Corinthians 8:6 is not God but a Lord who has a God, the Father. The one God, the Father, is the God of the one Lord, Jesus Christ. Likewise, the one God, Yahweh, was the God of Israel's one Lord, King David. The Father is the God of this "one Lord" mentioned at 1 Corinthians 8:6. The Father is not this one Lord but the God of this one Lord. The Lord God is the God of the Lord Jesus.
11. Paul's Point: One God plus One Lord = TWO - The Lord God and His Christ
Paul's point is quite clear. For us Christians there is one God: the Father. In contrast to many Gods we just have one God and that one God is the Father. Period. For us Christians there is also one Lord: Jesus Christ. In contrast to many Lords we just have one Lord and that one Lord is Jesus. We have one God and we also have one Lord. We have one God, the Lord God, plus one Lord, Jesus Christ. The one God is the God of the Lord Jesus. The Lord Jesus has a God and Lord; the Lord God does not.
If we are concerned about consistency, and we said that Jesus cannot be the one God whom Paul is mentioning then we would also have to say the Father is not the one Lord Paul mentions in this verse. And yes we would and should say this because it is most certainly true. The Father is not the one Lord who Paul is talking about at 1 Corinthians 8:6. That one Lord is Jesus. The Father is another Lord, Jesus Christ's Lord. The Father is the God of this Lord, as Paul says several times. Jesus is the one whom God MADE Lord when He raised him from the dead. This Lord is most definitely not the Father. This Lord is not the Lord God; this Lord is the Lord Jesus whose God is the Lord God, our Father.
Can we say with consistency that Jesus cannot be the one God? Yes we certainly can. There is only one true God and Paul identifies that one God as the Father, the Lord God. Do we then need to say that the Father is not Lord? No, there isn't just one Lord. The Father is Lord but he is not the one Lord mentioned in this verse. Christians recognize there are two true Lords: (1) the Lord Jesus, and (2) the Lord God, the God of the Lord Jesus. For us there is one God, the Father, who is the Lord God. But also for us, in addition to the one God our Father, there is one Lord, Jesus Christ, the one whom God made Lord of all when He raised him from the dead.
The crux of the matter is this. The Father is our God and the God of our Lord, the Lord Jesus. Jesus is the Lord of us. When Paul says there is one God, the Father, Jesus cannot also be that one God. When Paul says there is one Lord, Jesus, the Father cannot be that one Lord, and He isn't. He is another Lord, the Lord and God of Jesus who made Jesus Lord when He raised him from the dead. The Lord Jesus has a Lord and God; the Lord God does not.
Paul's point is simply this. Pagans have many Gods and many Lords. They have BOTH of these things. But for Christians, we don't have many Gods, we only have one God, our Father. And we don't have many Lords in addition to that one God; we just have one Lord, Jesus Christ. The one God is the God of the one Lord, our Lord, Jesus. The pagans had many Gods and many Lords; they had BOTH of these things. And we have BOTH of these things: one God and one Lord. The pagans have many Gods plus many Lords; we have one God plus one Lord. Our one God is the God of our one Lord; our one God, the Lord God is the God and Lord of our Lord Jesus. The Lord Jesus has a Lord; the Lord God does not.
The kings of the earth took their stand, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord and His Christ. Acts 4:26.
Trinitarians have had 1600 years to dream up their contrivances and word tricks. This is just another of the many that have been crafted and devised. The suggestive trick here is to imply Paul is referring to how many God and Lords actually exist and to insist that if there is only one Lord then both Jesus and the Father must be that one and same Lord. But that is the problem. They are not the one and same Lord. The Lord God our Father made Jesus into a Lord when He raised him from the dead. By definition, this Lord cannot be the same Lord as the Father.
Paul's point is that "for us" Christians we have two things: (1) one God: the Father, plus (2) one Lord: Jesus Christ, just as the pagans have two things, (1) many gods, and (2) many lords. The "one Lord" in view here can hardly be God since the one God is the God of this one Lord. Moreover, the Lord Jesus has a Lord and God and the Lord God does not. Unlike the pagans who of many of these (gods) and many of those (lords), Christians only have one of these (God) and one of those (Lord).
The one Lord is the Head of every man, Christ, and the one God here is the Head or Lord of Christ, the Father. Jesus said that no one can serve two Lords or he will love the one and hate the other. However, it is clear that he means we cannot serve two different Lord with different agendas because we would have to choose which one to serve. But this does not occur with our Lord Jesus and his Lord, God the Father. Not only so, the Head of every man is Christ and the Head of Christ is God. Our Lord is the one we are directly serving: Jesus, the one whom God put in charge, and his Lord is God the Father.
Scholars such as Murray Harris have stated that one cannot say, "God is Jesus," or that would be saying God is only Jesus. Every once in awhile Trinitarians forget their own lies and betray themselves. If you can't say "God is Jesus" then why could Paul say the one God is the Father? For the very reason that Murray Harris states: that would be saying God is only the Father. Yes, that is what Paul's words mean. Paul is telling us precisely who our one God is. Trinitarians don't care for that too much. For Trinitarians, there is one God, the Triune Being; for Christians, there is one God, the Father. Our one God is the God whom Jesus came to reveal, his God, the Father, the God of our Lord Jesus Christ.
How to Respond to Trinitarians
If you get an argument similar to the following from Trinitarians....
"If you reason that Jesus cannot be "God" then you must consistently reason the Father is not "Lord."
....then you should respond thusly:
"You are incorrect. If I reason that Jesus is not this one God mentioned here, I must consistently argue that the Father is not this one Lord mentioned here. And he isn't. The Father is not this one Lord. This Lord is Jesus and the Father, the Lord God, is the Lord and God of the Lord Jesus. Just as Israel had one God, Yahweh, and one Lord (Kyrios), David, we also have one God, the Father, and one Lord, Jesus. Yahweh was Israel's Lord (Kyrios) and David was Israel's Lord (Kyrios). They were not the same Lord (Kyrios). And neither is the Father and Jesus. The Father is the God of our one Lord (Eph 1:17). The Lord Jesus has a Lord and God, the Lord God, our Father, does not. Jesus is not the one God nor is the Father this one Lord."
For us, there is one God: the Father.
I am ascending to my Father and your Father and my God and your God. John 20:17.
Last Revision/Update: May 2, 2018