Jehovah's Witnesses and
1 Corinthians 8:6

© Spotlight Ministries, Vincent McCann, 2007

1 Corinthians 8:6 reads:

there is actually to us one God the Father, out of whom all things are, and we for him; and there is one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things are, and we through him. (1 Cor. 8:6, NWT)
Jehovah’s Witnesses are fond of quoting this verse in an attempt to deny that Jesus is God. “There is only one God,” they will say. “And who is He? The Father.” On the surface, this seems like a good argument. However, most of the time the verse is only read half way through. When the rest of the verse is quoted a problem soon emerges with interpreting this verse to deny Jesus as God. The rest of the verse states that there is one Lord - Jesus Christ. So, to exclude the Son from being God because it says there is to us one God, the Father, would also exclude the Father from being one Lord! In fact, Jude 4 talks about "our only Lord and master, Jesus Christ." Are we therefore to conclude that the Father is not our Lord? Of course not. But by the same measure, if we are to be consistent, neither are we to conclude that the Son is not God either.

The fact is, 1 Corinthians 8:6 should be understood in the light of the fact that the terms “God” and “Lord” are used interchangeably of the Father and the Son in Scripture. In Mark 5:19 (Jehovah in the NWT) and Luke 8:39 the two terms are used interchangeably. The Father is called “Lord” (Matt. 11:25), but the Son is also called God (John 1:1, Titus 2:13; 2 Pet 1:1, etc.) Interestingly, the two terms “Lord” and “God” are both used of Jesus at John 20:28. Jehovah is also called by this title (Rev. 4:11). The two terms are used interchangeably of both the Father and the Son.

Some Jehovah’s Witnesses may counter object by quoting the following verse in response:

“Then assuredly, let all the house of Israel acknowledge that God made Him both Lord and Christ, this same Jesus whom you crucified.” (Act 2:36)
It is then argued that because God has “made” Christ “Lord”, then Jesus is not Lord in the same sense that Jehovah is Lord.

Emphasis is put on the words ‘made Lord’ in an attempt to detract from Jesus’ Lordship. But the context (vv 32-36) implies that Jesus was made both Lord and Christ after his resurrection. Yet scripture elsewhere states that Jesus was both Lord and Christ even before his death and resurrection (see: Matt. 2:1-6; 16:15-20; John 1:41; 13:13-14). So by insisting on taking the word "made" to mean that Jesus actually ‘became’ something at his resurrection that He had not been previously, you would have to deny the Scriptures that clearly state otherwise. Jesus was already Lord and Christ, but this is simply proclaimed after His resurrection. There was no name given to Jesus after his resurrection that did not already belong to him prior to this event.

So to sum up, Scripture uses the terms God and Lord of both Christ and the Father and applies them equally.

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