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Christological Monotheism

1 Cor 8.6 and the Shema

In: Horizons in Biblical Theology
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  • 1 Independent scholar, U.K.
  • | 2 Independent scholar, U.K.
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Abstract

Richard Bauckham and N. T. Wright have proposed that in 1 Corinthians 8:6 Paul consciously expands upon the Shema, and would be understood to be doing so by his intended readers, and thus Paul includes Jesus within the unique divine identity. In this paper we question this proposal on several grounds. We argue that it is unlikely that 1 Corinthians 8:6 would be read as an expansion of the Shema. We demonstrate that κύριος in this context is unlikely to stand for Yhwh. We also raise doubts over the concept of “inclusion” within the divine identity. We conclude that 1 Corinthians 8:6 is better understood as an expression of monotheism simpliciter.

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