Does Paul “Split the Shema”?

Does Paul “Split the Shema”? April 6, 2020

Mike Kok blogged recently about some of my academic work on Christology and monotheism. He writes:

The majority view is that Paul has “split the Shema”, so the divine identity includes the one God (i.e. the Father) and the one Lord (i.e. Jesus) as the source of all creation…The alternative position is advocated by James McGrath on pages 38-44 in his book The Only True God: Early Christian Monotheism in its Jewish Context (University of Illinois, 2009). McGrath argues that the reference to the Shema is restricted to the “one God” and that Jesus is not included within the divine identity but alongside the one God; the one God is contrasted with the gods in heaven and the one Lord with the lords on earth.

What do you think? Does 1 Corinthians 8:6 include Jesus within the divine identity and attribute the divine act of creation to him? Does it support a high or fully divine Christology?

His blog does not allow comments, and so there is no way to answer his question there. But you can do so here, and I encourage you to do so. You can read the relevant section of my book that Mike refers to courtesy of the Google Books preview:

Paul, the Shema, and Christology


Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!