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1 Corinthians 11:3: Inequality of the Son and the Father?

One of the favorite points of refuters of Christianity is to deny that Jesus Christ is God. One of the verses they refer is the following: “But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God” (1 Corinthians 11:3). Does this verse imply that Jesus Christ is not equal to God the Father in divinity?

1. Jesus Christ is head of Christian faith

“The head of Christ is God” means that it is about Christian faith and its characteristics. Jesus Christ established a new way of lifestyle, separated from the Jewish religion and therefore Christ is the head or author of this lifestyle and creator, preserver, and Lord of every man. God sends Jesus, the Messiah to the earth to liberate man from sin. Jesus came to be a sacrifice for the sin of mankind. Every believer who receives Jesus Christ in his heart is able to express that Jesus Christ is Lord [1].

2. Context is to defense Christian salvation to Greek philosophy

The context of 1 Corinthians 11:3 is that the whole letter is a defense against the temptation to Greek philosophy and rhetoric. For academic people, the preaching of Christ crucified was too simple: “a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures” (Acts 18:24). It needed further explanation to people with a long training in philosophy and abstract thinking. One of the answer to such people is the formulation of Christian salvation in this verse, where Jesus Christ is a mediator between God and man. A mediator who is able to forgive sin must have divine power, so he must be divine.

3. Conclusion

That the head of Christ is God is not a denial that he is in union with God. Jesus Christ has a role to be mediator between God and man, but such a role needs divine power. Therefore there is not an inequality of the Son and the Father in the sense of divinity.

Notes

1. Adam Clarke, Commentary on the Whole Bible, Volume VI: Romans to Revelations, Lane & P.P. Sandford, 1849, 1 Corinthians 11:3.