Paul Believed That Jesus is not God
Many people use Paul’s writings as proof that Jesus is God. But this is not fair to Paul, because Paul clearly believed that Jesus is not God.
In his first letter to Timothy, Paul wrote:
Paul then went on to speak of
Incidentally, many people think that when Jesus is called “Lord” in the Bible that means “God”. But in the Bible this title means master or teacher, and it can be used for addressing humans (see 1 Peter ch. 3, v. 6).
What is more important, however, it to notice what Paul
says next, for this will demolish any supposition that Paul took Jesus for God.
What he says about God in the following passage clearly shows that Jesus
is not God. Paul says:
Paul also said in that passage that God dwells in unapproachable light — that no one has seen God or can see him. Paul knew that many thousands of people had seen Jesus. Yet Paul can say that no one has seen God because Paul was sure that Jesus is not God.
This is why Paul went about teaching not that Jesus was God, but that he was God’s Messiah (see Acts 9:22; 16:3; 18:5).
When he was in Athens, Paul spoke of God as “the God who made the world and everything in it,” then he identified Jesus as “the man whom God appointed” (Acts 17:24-31).
Clearly, for Paul, Jesus was not God, and he would be shocked to see his writings used for proving the opposite of what he believed.
Paul even testified in court saying:
Paul’s letter to the Philippians ch. 2, vv. 6-11 is
often quoted as proof that Jesus is God. But the very passage shows that Jesus
is not God. This passage has to agree with Isaiah 45:22-24 where God
(Yahweh) said that every knee should bow to Yahweh, and every tongue should
confess that righteousness and strength are in Yahweh alone. Paul was
aware of this passage, for he quoted it in Romans 14:11. Knowing this, Paul
The letter to the Hebrews ( ch. 1, v. 6) says that the angels of God should worship the Son. But this passage depends on Deuteronomy, ch. 32, v. 43, in the Septuagint version of the Old Testament. This phrase cannot be found in the Old Testament used by Christians today, and the Septuagint version is no longer considered valid by Christians. However, even the Septuagint version, does not say worship the Son. It says let the Angels of God worship God (Yahweh).
The Bible insists that Yahweh alone is to be
worshipped. In Deuteronomy ch .6, v. 16, we read,
Paul knew that Jesus worshipped God (see Hebrews 5:7), and Paul taught that Jesus will remain forever subservient to God (see 1 Corinthians, ch. 15, v. 28).