Richard Worden Wilson has drawn attention to a short piece by Scot McKnight on the relation between Paul’s statement about one God and one Lord in 1 Corinthians 8:6 and the Shema, the great Jewish confession that “The LORD our God (yhwh eloheinu), the LORD (yhwh) is one” (Deut 6:4). McKnight thinks that “one Lord, Jesus Christ” identifies Jesus with YHWH: ‘astoundingly, Paul sees “God” (Elohim) as the Father and he sees “Lord” (YHWH) as Jesus’.
I respectfully disagree with this interpretation. I think it is a mistake to identify the “Lord” who is Jesus in Paul’s statement with YHWH, for reasons which I will set out. But first I want to say again, for the benefit of those who want to banish me into outer darkness, that this is not an argument against the view that Jesus is presented in the New Testament as God. It is an argument for the view that this is not what is meant by the confession that Jesus is Lord. It is the argument that at the heart of the New Testament is the apocalyptic story of how the God of Israel raised his obedient Son from the dead and gave him authority to judge and rule over the nations, a narrative trajectory which I suggest found its historical fulfilment in the conversion of the empire. It is an argument for thinking that this historical ambition is much more important for understanding the New Testament than the assertion of Jesus’ divinity.