Wednesday, September 7, 2016

1 Corinthians 15:47 - The Lord in Heaven

Many trinitarians and others present 1 Corinthians 15:47 of the King James Version as proof that Jesus is Jehovah (Yahweh). Evidently, their thought is that since Jesus is referred to as "the Lord from heaven" in this verse, that the word "Lord" there proves Jesus to be Jehovah. Of course, the usage of the word "Lord" of Jesus does not prove Jesus to be Jehovah, Nevertheless, a lot of emphasis is placed on the phrase, "Lord from heaven", as though this in some vague manner is proof that Jesus is Jehovah. 

The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven. -- 1 Corinthians 15:47, New King James Version.

The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven. -- 1 Corinthians 15:47, New American Standard.

The phrase "the Lord" is missing from earlier manuscripts and was obviously added later. If this is true, then Paul did not say that Jesus is the Lord from heaven, but simply spoke of Jesus in comparison with Adam as being the second man as compared with Adam, who provides an example of the earthly, fleshly, physical body, while Jesus, being from heaven, provides an example of a spiritual, heavenly body.

Paul is not speaking here of Jesus' days of the flesh (Hebrews 5:7), but of who Jesus is now, for he is no longer in the days of his flesh, for he sacrificed his flesh for our sins. (John 6:51; 1 Peter 3:18) Paul was, in the context, is speaking of the kinds of resurrection bodues that are given to the seed/grain of the new creature, which explains that there two kinds of bodies, one terrestrial, physical, flesh, of the earth, earthly, and the other celestial, spiritual, of the heavens, heavenly. He tell us that the first is not the glory of the celestial, spiritual, heavenly, but rather the terrestrial, earthly, fleshly, physical, of the earth. (1 Corinthians 15:35-49) The scripture shows that man, humanity, is that of the earth, earthly, a little lower than the angels. (Psalm 8:4,5; Hebrews 2:6-8) Jesus, while in the days of the his flesh, was nothing more, nothing less, that was Adam before Adam sinned. (Hebrews 2:9; 5:7) Jesus sacrificed his body of flesh for our sin. (Luke 22:19; Hebrews 10:10) In view of the context, we believe that in 1 Corinthians 15:47, Paul is using the word "man" - Greek, transliterated, Anthropos -- not to designate that there two kinds of human beings, one who is of the earth, who is flesh, of the dust, etc, and another who is in heaven, who is not of the dust, etc., but rather to designate the two levels of which the new creature in Christ goes through; he is first reckoned as justified as a human being, being equal to what Adam was before Adam sinned. If he reaches the goal of his calling, he receives the prize of not just being a son of God, but also of being a joint-heir with Christ. -- Romans 8:17; Philippians 3:13,14; Revelation 3:21.

That the Greek word often transliterated as "anthropos" (man) does not always mean mean "human being" can be seen from Paul's usage of this word in Romans 6:6; 2 Corinthians 4:16; Ephesians 2:15; 4:22,24; Colossians 2:9.

On the other hand, Jesus while the in days of his flesh (Hebrews 5:7), was "from heaven", since in being made flesh, he came from heaven. -- John 3:13,31; 6:38,41; 8:23,42; 16:27,28.

One asks, then, "Are there two lords in heaven?" and demands for a scripture that says that there two lords in heaven.

We reply: There probably would never have been any reason any Bible author would have had for saying, "there are two lords in heaven." 

Nevertheless, one can see that the Father and the Messiah are two different “lords” by comparing Isaiah 61:1 with Acts 2:36, 5:32,33; and even 1 Corinthians 8:6. The Lord Jehovah (Isaiah 61:1) is not the same “Lord” as the Messiah -- the anointed of Jehovah. The default reasoning is that the Lord Jehovah is not the Lord Jesus, since it was the Lord Jehovah who anointed Jesus, making him both Lord and Christ.

Additionally, we find the angels are referred as lords. -- Genesis 19:2,18; Joshua 5:14; Judges 6:12,13; Daniel 10:17-19.

Likewise, Jehovah is spoken of as being Lord over others who are also "lords". -- Deuteronomy 10:17; Psalm 136:3.

Jesus, also, is made Lord over others who are also lords, including the angels. -- Ephesians 1:3,17-23; 1 Peter 3:22; Revelation 17:14; 19:16.

Some have claimed that 1 Corinthians 15:47 shows that Jesus has always been lord, although we have yet to see anyone actually explain how this would be so. While more than likely Paul did not refer to Jesus as "the Lord from heaven in 1 Corinthians 15:47, Jesus evidently had been "Lord" before he descended; we believe that he was certainly "lord" over the angels who came into existence through Jesus. (Colossians 1:16,17) 1 Corinthians 15:47 as it read in the KJV and some other translations, however, does not speak of Jesus as though he was already “lord from heaven” before his human birth. Paul is contrasting the two kinds of bodies in the resurrection, the physical, earthly body, and the spiritual body. Jesus, while in the days of his flesh (Hebrews 5:7), had the glory of a terrestrial body, a glory that is a little lower than the angels, and he did not possess the glory of a celestial body. Thus, Paul is speaking of Jesus now, who as ascended into heaven, and if he used the expression "the Lord from heaven," such an expression would only mean that Jesus is now the Lord from heaven. Jesus, as the “lord from heaven”, is now a life-giving spirit being, having a spiritual body, no longer with a terrestrial body of a human of flesh. Adam was also a life-giver, although due to sin, his offspring became under his condemnation.. -- Romans 5:12-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22.

One asks, "So are you saying that before Jesus ascended there was no Lord in Heaven with reference to 1 Cor 15:47, he must have been Lord even prior to his human birth or else why is he designated as the firstborn?"

Again, assuming that Paul did refer to Jesus as the Lord from heaven in 1 Corinthians 15:47, this would indeed apply to Jesus who had already ascended into heaven and his spiritual heavenly bodily glory. There is no reason to imagine that Jesus was not the lord of the angels in his prehuman existence. 1 Corinthians 15:47 in the KJV does not say that.

See:
The Manner of the Resurrection

Yes, Jesus’ being the firstborn creature (Colossians 1:15), and Michael the chief of the angels, before his becoming flesh would have meant also that Jesus was “lord” over the angels before his being made flesh — a little lower than the angels (John 1:14; Hebrews 2:9); assuming that Paul did use the expression "lord from heaven" in 1 Corinthians 15:47, such an expression would not be referring to his being "lord" either before he became flesh, or while he was in the days of his flesh, but only to his being "lord" after his ascension. Again, this would not mean, however, that Jesus was not "lord" before he became flesh, or while he was in the days of his flesh.

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