To all those interested,
The following is in response to Rob Bowman's latest post on 1 Corinthians 8:6:
Thank you for taking the time to interact with my critique. The following is in response to your latest post on the subject of 1 Corinthians 8:6. The statements made in your last correspondence (including my own statements you responded to) will appear below in italics. My most current responses will appear after.
Patrick: In my opinion, the strangest thing attempted in your writings is in reference to Corinthians 8:6. First you start off by overlooking the obvious, namely, that Paul is positively and definitively proclaiming who he believed the one God to be. Rob: Patrick, you will get absolutely nowhere with me, or with other knowledgeable Trinitarians, by claiming that we overlook something that we do not in fact overlook.
With all due respect, Rob, when the theological significance of the creed you promote in the name of Scripture is fully grasped (the Trinitarian), it is clear that youand all Trinitarian apologistsdo in fact overlook, ignore, gloss over, or trivialize, the fact that Pauls creed (his definition of the one God) is not Trinitarian. Pauls creed is explicitly and purposefully one God = the Fatherand, for Paul, the one Lord Jesus
is someone other than the one God.
There is nothing ambiguous about such statements, and there is nothing controversial or debatable in what I am pointing out. How could you deny, after all,in the face of Pauls own creedthat the Lord Jesus is a figure distinct from the one God? Unfortunately, for your position in this debate, you cant, because he is. In fact, that is how we know Pauls identification of Jesus as the one Lord of the Christian community is not identical in meaning to the one Lord/Jehovah of Deuteronomy 6:4; because, in 1 Corinthians 8:6, when Paul articulates his and the entire Christian communitys faith in the role and identity of the Christ, he is no longer
talking about the one God, Jehovah, the God described in Deuteronomy 6:4.
That is, according to the apostle, Christians recognize one God, and, in addition to this one God (the same God identified in the Shema), Christians recognize one Lordthat is, Jesus, the one who holds an exclusive, highly exalted status and authority at the right hand of God, a status and authority that the one God (someone who Jesus is not) has given to him (Matthew 28:18; Acts
2:36). This is the clear teaching of Scripture and the plain, most natural sense of 1 Corinthians 8:6, not a theological inference.
The importance of this text (1 Cor. 8:6), in my opinion, and for this debate, cannot be emphasized enough. Because the very question we (and countless Bible readers throughout the centuries) have wrestled with is in fact given a careful answerin the same way that Jesus identity is clearly and definitively presented in Peters well-known confession at Matthew 16:13-17 (you are the Christ, the Son of the living God), so that one wonders why there would ever even
be a dispute among Bible believers regarding these questions, as if there was some kind of ambiguity (or variety of interpretive options) present in texts like these.
That is why I say, Here is the big moment weve all been waiting for! (Drum-roll please
.) What does the Bible teach about Gods identity? What did the apostle Paul believe and teach? Is the true God of the Bible a Trinity (Father, Son and Spirit), three persons in one being as the orthodox claim? Or, is he, exclusively, and, in the ultimate sense, the Father, as I
Well, we both know that, formally, Pauls creed is that the one God is the Father. This is not the entirety of Pauls proclamation, but it is as far as Paul goes in terms of defining the one Gods identity. The creed of Trinitarianism, on the other hand, is explicitly and ultimately one God = Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. But Paul is neitherat this point or at any otherteaching the doctrine of the Trinity or using the language of Trinitarianism. And the real point is that if we, as professed
Christians, were to simply accept and reiterate the Bibles own unambiguous creedal statements,including Pauls creed (1 Cor. 8:6), Jesus creed (John 17:3; Mark 12:28), and Israels creed (Deut. 6:4)our creed would not be Trinitarian, simply because none of these definitional and central-to-the faith proclamations teach, reflect, or resemble Trinitarianism, in any way, shape or formyet they are the clearest and most important creedal statements in the Bible having to do with the one Gods identity. He is, for Christians, exclusively, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. And Jesus Christ is, to us, the image of the invisible God, the exact representation of Gods very being (Colossians 1:15; Hebrews 1:3), the one whom the one God has made Lord.
For Christians, the language and substance of these declarations are sufficiently clear and definitional. We find no needeven 2000 years laterto formulate or synthesize our own distinctive and scripturally unprecedented creed regarding Gods identity and nature (or that of Christs) based on a series of debatable and subjective biblical interpretations, since the Bible already spells one out for us, at several instances, in no uncertain terms.
Patrick: He does not teach or say to us there is one God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, which he could have done and which he, arguably, should have done if he believed it, especially so in light of the fact that such a highly significant fact (if we assume it to be a fact) is never stated elsewhere in the Bible. Rob: Your argument here assumes that there is only one way to articulate a Trinitarian understanding and that
Pauls expression is incompatible with the doctrine of the Trinity.
The point is, Rob, even if there areas you seem to suggesta variety of ways Paul could have theoretically articulated a Trinitarian understanding of God at this point (1 Cor. 8:6), he used none of them. So in what way does your response answer or impact the significance of the point? And my point was not as much about Paul teaching something incompatible with Trinitarianism (since the unfalsifiable nature of Trinitarianism is such that it can, in
the minds of its proponents, be accommodated to virtually any statement), as it was about Paul teaching something other than Trinitarianism.
Personally, if I truly believed that the one God of the Bible was a tri-unity of persons, and that the Bible writers believed the same, Id be very uncomfortable with the fact that they never said so, even when they had so many appropriate opportunities to make such a uniquely important concept known1 Corinthians 8:6, Deuteronomy 6:4, Mark 12:28, John 17:3, and 1 Timothy 2:5 being among them.
I would be even more uncomfortable if I was expected to maintain and defend the historic, creedalized position which says that acceptance of the dogma is essential to salvation itselfbut thats just me
In my interpretation of things, the real burden faced by Trinitarian apologists is to satisfactorily explain whyin
the face of so many fitting opportunitiesdid the writers and participants of Scripture, essentially, hold back from fully disclosing what they really believed, using misleading language that would naturally make people think that the one/only true God and Jesus were two distinct figures, and that the one and only true God was, exclusively, the Fatherin a class completely by himself. If the writers of Scripture wanted us to understand that Jesus was God (in the sense that you mean), why did they so often speak of him (and why did he so often speak of himself) as Gods Son? Do you find this to be a naïve, unreasonable, or surprising, question? If so, I would kindly suggest that something has distorted and complicated your grasp of the original
Christian message (John 3:16), and that you should rethink the matter through carefully.
Unfortunately, the implication not quite grasped by Trinitarian apologists is that the creeds
there is one God, the Father,
and one Lord, Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 8:6),
the Lord/Jehovah our God is one (Deut. 6:4), there is one God, and one mediator between God and man, the man, Christ Jesus
(1 Tim. 2:5) and John 17:3, are among the Bibles clearest, most important, and formally expressed creedal statementsyet neither of them are Trinitarian; nor do they reflect Trinitarianism, in any way imaginable.
So why not, as professed Christians, simply accept and limit ourselves to those creeds, for what they are, including the language that they use (and what the language most naturally implies), and not go beyond them? (and, please, let us be realistic and candid enough to acknowledge what the statements most naturally imply, namely, that Jesus is not the one God and that God is one, not three in one or one being, three persons) And why not (as those who profess to hold to the Bible as our supreme authority) let the Bible itselfand the Bibles own languageinform us as to the underlying connotations of these expressions and
terms contained therein?
Speaking personally, I find these creeds (1 Cor. 8:6; Deut. 6:4; 1 Tim. 2:5; John 17:3) quite satisfactory and feel no need to formulate anything beyond them. Committed Trinitarians do notand cannotdo this; because, if they did, we would not have Trinitarianism. Of course, all that Trinitarian apologists want to do, in these instances, is have their cake and eat it too so to speak. That is, they want to give the impression that they accept the Bibles creedal statements (sola scriptura), but then they attempt to somehow integrate them (as you clearly want to do) into the overall framework of the Trinitarian formula,
a formula never given in Scripture, but based on a series of subjective inferences, highly questionable interpretations, and debatable translations.
Of course, you are certainly at liberty to argue that Pauls creed is somehow compatible with Trinitarianism, something I would expect you to do as an apologist, but the one thing you cannot legitimately claim is that Paul is teaching Trinitarianism. Again, I can only repeat and reemphasize the fact: Pauls doctrine of God (which most certainly embodies and reflects all of biblical doctrine) is not to us there is one God, the Father, Son and Spirit (your
doctrine), but there is one God, the Father. And it really is that simple.
Notice, Rob, the very doctrine I am defending is explicitly affirmed in Scripture, in more than one place, in more than one way, and necessarily implied and presumed true at all relevant instances.
Scripture, a deliberate point is made to identify the one God (and the only true God, John 17:3) as the Father (Compare 1 Timothy 2:5). Yet no one in Scripture ever affirms the doctrine of the Trinity, or a doctrine of Gods identity that comes close to it.
I realize, of course, that you believe Scripture explicitly identifies the Father as God, the Son as God, and the Holy Spirit as God (in the Trinitarian sense), and that the doctrine of the Trinity is simply an integration of these three key
theological and interpretive points. However, what isnt quite recognized by you (or acknowledged in one of your earlier outlines) is that, aside from the indisputable identifications of the one God as the Father, the interpretive means through which Trinitarians arrive at the notion that the Son and Spirit are God in the same sense (of the same substance) as the Father are well known to be highly questionable and, in fact, can be demonstrated to be in error, or, at least,on an objective interpretive levelfar from conclusive, in every instance. We know this to be true especially when we appreciate (and not casually gloss over) the fact that respected Trinitarians themselvesthroughout history and into our modern timedebate and disagree about the meaning of nearly every text you could potentially point to in an attempt to establish the
propositions Jesus is (Almighty and ontologically) God and the Holy Spirit (as a distinct person from the Father and Son) is God.
It isnt, of course. I say of course because the Nicene Creed, which all Trinitarians affirm, begins with the words, We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth. How can words quoted verbatim in the Nicene Creed, the hallmark of Trinitarianism, be inconsistent with the doctrine of the Trinity?
Because the Nicene Creed is a garble of biblical statements and non-biblical, theological and metaphysical formulas. The Nicene Creed begins with a genuinely biblical statement (identifying God as one person), and then integrates or superimposes a Trinitarian creed onto its introductory declaration.
Portions of the Nicene
We believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
This is a thoroughly biblical statement.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds (ages Bible).
The language here is likewise biblical.
Then, we have non-biblical statements, ones that incorporate philosophically and metaphysically loaded language and concepts quite foreign to the Bible:
God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God
being of one substance with the Father by whom all things were made
And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life
In Scripture Jesus is never identified as God of God
Very God of Very God or as being one substance with the Father. The language is ambiguous, speculative and, most of all, totally unnecessary for Christians.
Patrick, you have a responsibilityan obligationto get this much right. You have taken it upon
yourself to write a book criticizing the doctrine of the Trinity. You therefore present yourself as someone who is knowledgeable on the subject. Yet you repeatedly attack the doctrine of the Trinity on the basis of misunderstandings or caricatures of what Trinitarianism supposedly should say.
At no point have I misrepresented the Trinitarian doctrine. Nor can my comments be properly characterized as an attack on the Trinity. And, for the record, I am not, in any way, attacking a doctrine, but attempting to demonstrate that it has no basis in the Bible.
Trinitarians have a right to believe in their doctrinal interpretation. But they are in error if they claim that the Bible teaches it and that it is necessary to accept in order to be saved, from a scriptural perspective. That is unquestionably the error I am attempting to expose. But I am definitely not trying to attack a belief for its own sake. Thats certainly not the spirit or motivation behind my writings.
Although you disagree with my belief (one God= the Father), and argue vehemently against it, I feel no need to characterize your arguments
as an attack, but as a genuine disagreement, and an attempt on your part to show why I am wrong and why you are right, based on Scripture. So, please, let us be realistic and fair with the language we use.
Patrick: And, instead of articulating the doctrine of the Trinity at this point (what the modern-day orthodox tell us is the very `heart of the Christian faith'), Paul expressly articulates the very doctrine I happen to be defending and reiterating, namely, that the one God is the Father, period. And this also happens to agree with Jesus' teaching that the Father is the only true God and
that Jesus is the one sent forth by the only true God, and the one whom the only true God, the Father, made and exalted as Lord when had given him all authority in heaven and on earth (Acts 2:36; Philippians 2:4-11; Matthew 28:18). Rob: These statements also happen to agree with Trinitarianism.
Your statement above precisely illustrates what I meant earlier about the falsifiable nature of Trinitarian theology, particularly in reference to the God-man concept.
The reality is, in the overall doctrinal system you defend, Jesus himself could have very well said, I am not God, the second person of the Trinity, do not refer to me as such
,yet Trinitarians could simply reason (as they essentially do in several instances), Yes, this statement agrees with Trinitarianism, because we believe that Jesus became a true man. So, as a man, he would not claim to be God, or a member of a triune Godhead, but, he is God at the same time, so this agrees with Trinitarianism.
This is, truly, the underlying nature and spirit of your argumentation in so many instances. It has no substance and no legitimate, logical force or scriptural basis. It is, however, one of the most common tactics of debate; because Trinitarian apologists fully recognize that the God-man notion they have constructed can, as a type of religiously mystical/metaphysical concept, stand immune and exempt from any type of criticism. It can absorb, neutralize, and accommodate itself to anything; becausein the Trinitarian mindJesus is two things at once. He possesses two completely different natures, that of Almighty God and man (so that he even knows all things and does not know all thingsat
the same time!); therefore, nothing in Scripture could say anything to contradict or compromise the argument that Jesus is Almighty God, even if the doctrine is truly wrong! This is, undeniably, how the God-man concept functions in Trinitarian apologetics; and this is most definitely something that you, as a seasoned debater and apologist, certainly realize and attempt to use to your advantage in these exchanges. Yet you are, in these instances, assuming the very thing that is in question (the God-man concept) in order to explain away what, on the most basic and common-sense-level, contradicts your overall claim, that Jesus is God Almighty, the second person of the Trinity.
This reveals why it is likely that a debate of this kind will continue to go on unresolved. This is so because one side cunningly and tactfully presents itself as not even being subject to the ordinary principles of language and logic: Jesus is one hundred percent man and one hundred percent God at the same time. When God, the Son, the second person of the Trinity became human, the two natures (divine and human) became united in the one person of the God-man. But notice, first, how unlike the teaching and language of Scriptures this is. Notice, secondly, how the very concept functions for you and all Trinitarian apologists as a deflector of all scripturally-based criticism that could potentially be brought forth. Every argument from the other side is neutralized via the God-man concept. Yet, it is an illusion, existing only in
the minds and in the theology of Trinitarian apologists.
Therefore, if we hold to such a concept (which is articulated nowhere in the Bible, so why would we?), it follows that our position can never be falsified or refuted, even if it is false and unbiblical to begin with; for it canin the minds of its defendersaccommodate anything that could potentially compromise the overall Trinitarian system.
But beyond the fact that it is simply unscriptural, such a concept is, in the ordinary realms of logic and reason, completely devoid of substance. It is no different than saying something like: this pulpit is one hundred percent wood and one hundred percent gold at the same time, or this shape is a square and a circle at the same time or this glass is one hundred percent full of water and one hundred percent devoid of water at the same time,things we know to be nonsensical and, in fact, impossible.
We can, of course, present and advance such contradictory and incoherent concepts with language, but they do not, and cannot, exist in the real world. But such notions certainly afford Trinitarians an excellent debating advantage, a kind of doctrinal and conceptual safety net they can always fall back on, in spite of the fact that the very doctrine itself is absent from Scripture, not to mention, realistically incongruous. But the fact that it is realistically (and logically) incongruous is the very thing that gives it its (illusory) power, the powerin the minds of apologists and sympathizersto cancel out all argumentation against a cherished tradition.
In this I am not suggesting by any means that it is theoretically or metaphysically impossible for God to inhabit a human body. I suppose he could if he chose to do so. But to suggest that a God-man can exist with attributes such as knowing all things and not knowing all things simultaneously is simply a meaningless proposition. Really, how can a real debate even take place if one side can hold to a position that essentially says, It is impossible for my opponent to present evidence that contradicts my position, for there is nothing my position cannot absorb and accommodate.?
whether or not Paul is alluding to the shema here is irrelevant to the actual fact, that which you simply ignore. In fact, what is so surprising is that you make all these arguments regarding the language of Deuteronomy 6:4 as if there was no distinction present in the text between the figures one God and one Lord. You simply conflate two distinct figures into one. It is actually difficult to believe that anyone, especially
a Bible scholar, would simply gloss over the self-evident fact. Rob: What you find bewildering and surprising and difficult to believe is not what I (or Bauckham) said. We are not merging the two expressions one God and one Lord into one reference to one divine figure. We are saying that Paul took a statement referring to the one Lord God and spliced it into affirmations of two divine persons, the Father and Jesus Christ. Your four paragraphs that I quote above were all criticizing an argument I did not use and a claim I did not make.
You are, at this point, postulating a distinction without any real difference. And you are absolutely trying to merge two figures into one, for in your paper, The Biblical Basis for the Doctrine of the Trinity, you explicitly stated that the terms God (in reference to the Father) and Lord (in reference to Jesus) are synonymous at 1 Corinthians 8:6. That is, you believe there is no substantial difference in meaning between the terms/titles in this text, so that Paul might as well have said, in your thinking, to us there is one God/Lord/Jehovah, the Father and Jesus Christ.
That is the meaning you are undeniably trying to arrive at (since that is what Trinitariansm actually teaches, along with the Spirit), even though it is impossible to extract such a notion from the language of the text in question. What you claim you and Bauckham were not trying to do is, in fact, what Trinitarianism holdsthat Jesus and the Father (and Spirit) are distinct persons who constitute one divine figure or being, the Triune God. So when you suggest that you are not trying to conflate or merge the Father and Son into one figure, this goes against what you as a Trinitarian believes anyway, so what exactly are you arguing against?
In your book you even make the following argument regarding 1 Corinthians 8:6:
Paul has taken the words of the Shema (Deut. 6:4), the classic Jewish creedal affirmation of monotheism, and redefined it to refer to the Father and the Son. Paul has just echoed the Shema in his comment that there is no God but one (1 Cor. 8:4).
he reasserts Jewish monotheism in a distinctively Christian way: The LORD our
God, the LORD is one (Deut. 6:4 ESV) becomes for us there is one God
one Lord, with the Father identified as the one God and the Lord Jesus identified as the one Lord. As Bauckham points out, Paul has in fact reproduced all the words of the statement about YHWH in the Shema
but Paul has rearranged the words in such a way as to produce an affirmation of both one God, the Father, and one Lord, Jesus Christ
Paul is not adding to the one God of the Shema a Lord the Shema does not mention. He is identifying Jesus as the Lord whom the Shema affirms to be one.
[Paul] is distinguishing within the identity of the one Lord God of Judaism two persons, the Father and Jesus Christ. Bowman, Komoszewski, Putting Jesus in His Place, p. 189
This paragraph from your book is filled with so many unfounded and grossly inaccurate statements that it is staggering. Where does Paul say that he has reasserted Jewish monotheism in a different (Christian) way? Where does Paul state or imply that Deuteronomy 6:4 becomes 1 Corinthians 8:6?
You quote Bauckham who (strangely) claims,
Paul is not adding to the one God of the Shema a Lord the Shema does not mention.
Frankly, I couldnt imagine a more bizarre or more absurd statement because this is exactly what Paul has done.
Bauckhams claim is comparable to saying, Pauls statement in Romans 10:17 about God raising Jesus from the dead does not mean that God raised Jesus from the dead.
It is a statement that flatly contradicts what Paul has explicitly stated. In the very same way, to state, as Bauckham has stated (with your approval), that Paul has not added a Lord to the one God of the Shema simply contradicts the very thing that Paul indisputably has done. To Paul, there is one God, and that one God is the Father. And, in addition to this one God, Paul acknowledges one Lord, Jesus Christ. This is not even a point that needs to be argued. For Paul,
Jesus is not the one God, but someone (the one Lord) in addition to him. Just as in John 17:3, Jesus does not portray himself as the only true God, but as someone in addition to the only true God. (This means eternal life, their knowing you, the only true God, and [that is, in addition to the only true God], Jesus Christ, the one whom you sent forth). Both texts are equally clear and explicit in terms of distinguishing the one God and the only true God from the one Lord and the one whom [the only true God] sent forth.
You also claim: [Paul] is distinguishing within the identity of the one Lord God of Judaism two persons, the Father and Jesus Christ. How has he done so? The truth is that Paul could easily have done what you claim he has done by simply using language that would precisely communicate this, like: To us, there is one Lord God, the Father, out of whom all things are, and Jesus Christ, through whom all things are.
Unfortunately, for your argument, Paul says nothing at all like this. It even looks like you purposefully tried to make it seem like Paul was saying something comparable when you quoted the text using ellipsis (
) for us there is one God
one Lordas if you could just simply gloss over or convolute the distinction between the one God and the one Lord in this text, which clearly reveals that Jesus is not the one God, but someone in addition to him. To deny such is to deny a clear reality. What more can be said?
The expressions one God and one Lordcontrary to what you originally arguedare not synonymous, and the words (as they are used in reference to the Father and Son) certainly do not carry with them identical connotations; for, as it has been repeatedly pointed out to you, the one God (the Father) is the one who made and exalted Jesus as Lord when he gave Jesus all authority in heaven and on earth.
That is, the status Jesus rightly holds as the one Lord of the Christian congregation is a status that was given to him by the one God, someone who is greater than he is (John 14:28). Jesus is not being identified by Paul as the one Lord [Jehovah] of the Shema (based on the Septuagint), but as the one Lord who was given his authoritative status, the one who currently (for Paul) is stationed exalted at the right hand of the God of the Shema.
We are saying that Paul took a statement referring to the one Lord God and spliced it into affirmations of two divine persons, the Father and Jesus Christ. Your four paragraphs that I quote above were all criticizing an argument I did not use and a claim I did not make.
What you and Bauckham are saying then at this point is wrong either way. Paul did not take
a statement referring to the one Lord God and splice it into affirmations of two divine persons. What Paul unmistakably did was identify the one God (a reference to Jehovah, the God of Jesus Christ) as the Father. And he identified Jesus Christsomeone distinct from the one Godas the one Lord, whom he and all the apostles indisputably accepted as the Lord of Psalm 110:1, the one who was made Lord by Jehovah, and exalted to (and told to sit at) Jehovahs right hand. And although I am once again stating the obvious, the one who sits at Jehovahs right hand and who was made Lord by Jehovah is not Jehovah, but the one who sits at Jehovahs right hand and the one who was made Lord by Jehovah.
Again, you continue to make your argument as if there were no distinction present between the one God and the one Lord. You can only do this by conveniently and clumsily ignoring the real distinction (kai) present.
Your argument would have merit if Paul had said,
to us there is one Lord (or God), the Father, and Jesus, the Messiah.
That is the real outcome of what youre saying, but it simply ignores that the one God is not the one Lord and the one Lord is not the one God. Really, how difficult of a point is this to accept and acknowledge? It is certainly not based on any opinion or interpretation of my own. Whenever the conjunction and is used of two distinct objects or persons (or beings, divine or human), it always means in addition to not the same as. Just as in the statement the Father and Son or God and man or Christ and the
apostles. In each instance, the purpose of the word and is to distinguish the two subjects or set of subjects in view. In the phrase the Father and Son it goes without saying that the Father is not the Son and the Son is not the Father, or God is not man and man is not God, or Christ is not the apostles and the apostles are not Christ.
The same point applies to 1 Corinthians 8:6. Jesus is not the one God. Neither is the Father the one Lord in the sense meant by this text; just as in Acts 2:36 the Father (whose Lordship is supreme and unqualified) is not the Lord who was made such by
Paul defined the one God (Jehovah, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of Jesus, and the God of Christians) as the Father. When Paul goes on to speak about Jesus, the one Lord, he iscontrary to Bauckhamno longer speaking about the one God, but a figure in addition to the one God. This is the most important point and it is, gladly, one that even you and Bauckham cant deny or convolute by the art of persuasion or theological inference. It is simply a fact of the text.
But denying or distorting the explicit facts of scriptural language is common among Trinitarians. What Bauckham claims regarding 1 Cor. 8:6 is simply a contradiction of what is specifically stated in 1 Cor. 8:6. This reminds me of the claim of Geisler and Howe, in their book, When Critics Ask, A Popular Handbook On Bible Difficulties (Victor Books, p. 336), where they bewilderingly claim:
In [Matthew 8:29], Jesus is citing Daniel 7:13 where the Messiah is described as the Ancient of Days, a phrase used to indicate His deity (cf. Dan. 7:9).
Just look up Daniel 7:9, 13 and ask yourself: Is the Messiah depicted as the Ancient of Days, or is he depicted as the one like a son of man who gained access to and approached (or was presented before, ESV) the Ancient of Days?
It is the same type of phenomenonthat of denying what a text specifically states, or claiming that the text says something it specifically does not.
What you and Bauckham both imply and claim, that Paul has made one reference to the Lord God and placed the
Father and Son (two persons) under that same category, is wrong. This doesnt even resemble Pauls language.
In addition to recognizing one God, who, for Christians, is the Father, Christians also recognize one Lord
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