1. Multiculturalism Today.
In recent years many countries have experienced a shift in religious attitudes. Countries like Britain, Canada and Australia that were formerly “Christian,” at least in name, are now “multicultural”socially and in religion, pluralist. Their temples and houses of worship tell us that Muslims and Hindus are no longer people in distant places to whom we sent missionaries. They are now here, alongside us. At the same time, in former colonial societies like Canada and Australia, there has been a dramatic upswing of support for indigenous peoples in recognition of past evils perpetrated against them, including – it is asserted – by the religion of the imperialist colonizers, Christianity. Indigenous religion and spirituality is increasingly appreciated. In short, the sense of local monopoly that Christians once had is no more. All the signs are that it has gone forever. Newcomers to our shores, with their religions, are given equal rights in all things in the public arena, as is only fair. Implicit in this new situation is the possibility that Jesus is only “a way, a truth and a life” and that it is no longer acceptable to claim that “no one comes to the father but by [him].”
Relationships between Christians and members of other religions is obviously important. Common humanity dictates that courtesy and decency is extended by all parties. Muslims have long memories stretching back to the injustices of the crusades. Hindus remember too well the paternalism of the “Christian” colonial era. The playing field for all parties is now more or less level. Christians now have the opportunity to witness to the Lord Jesus by showing love and concern to fellow-citizens of different faiths, not from a position of superiority but from the new reality of equality.
But what does this mean for Christian attitudes to their religions ? Should we attempt to persuade them of “our truth and their error” ? Should we evangelize others of different faiths ? Should we accomodate ourselves to them theologically ?
2. Theological Accomodation.
In recent years various theological responses have been offered to the growing sense of the presence and influence of other religions.
Since Vatican 2 a number of Roman Catholic theologians have taught that earnest members of non-Christian religions are really worshipping Christ, though they are unaware of it. Karl Rahner coined the term, “anonymous Christian” and Raimundo Pannikar, an Indian, wrote a book entitled, The Unknown Christ of Hinduism. Quite understandably members of other religions have not warmed to the idea that they are really Christians after all. Is this not paternalism by another name ? Besides, there is no biblical warrant for this approach.
Among numerous writers John Hick is prominent among those who advocate a pluralistic approach to God. According to Hick there is but one God, whom the faithful in the various religions are actually worshipping. Every religion has developed within a concrete historical context; one’s religion is “an accident of birth,” whether Christian, Hindu or Muslim. This view challenges the proposition of the uniqueness of Jesus Christ as the only saviour.
It can be objected that whereas “inclusiveness” speaks of the “anonymous Christ” in other religions “pluralism” affirms the “anonymous God” whom all, without their knowledge, are actually worshipping. Besides, pluralism by definition dispenses with discrimination. It must logically include all religious activity, even witchcraft.
Pluralism is at odds with the totality of NT teaching about the uniqueness of Christ Even if, for the sake of argument – and this is not my own view, one has difficulty accepting all the words of Jesus as quoted in the gospels as his ippsisima verba, his very words, there can be no doubt that those gospels echo and give expression to his teachings, including his claims to uniqueness as the only way to the Father. Those who committed to writing the teachings of the greatest Rabbi would not dare wilfully to change his teachings or to put teachings into his mouth he he would not have said.
A sub-set of pluralism is the theory that “God” is to be experienced mystically by members of different religions, above and beyond those religions. According to Frithjof Schuon, The Transcendent Unity of Religions (1993), the various religions are concrete and finite vehicles, from which, nonetheless, those who meditate meet ultimately in God. The Hindu is right to be Hindu, and the Christian is right to be Christian; earnest commitment to the particular is reasonable. But the things which, from our human viewpoint are absolute and true, are merely relative from the divine perspective.
There are echoes here of the third century philosopher Plotinus, who combined Platonic thought with eastern mysticism; Plotinus is believed to have travelled to India and to have been exposed to Hindu teaching. According to Plotinus the One is a Unity-Absolute from which all plurality proceeds. Union with the One is the supreme self-realization. The proposition of a “God who is above and beyond,” who is the focus of the various religions and yet not ultimately revealed in any of them sounds rather like a re-cycled form of Plotinus’ Neo-Platonism.
Does this mystical way make any moral discrimination, for example, against a revival of the occult or witchcraft ? Appeal is made to do just that as well as the need to belong to a secure religious base or community from which to know God in this way. This caution restricts religious expression to existing faith communities which have been tested over time. However, one must ask why this should be done and by what criteria one “faith” (e.g., Christianity) would be acceptable and another (e.g., Satanism) would not be acceptable.
One senses here an overriding post-modernism, which allows for individualism of belief, but yet tends to be harsh in its judgements, for example, towards any form of fundamentalism, Christian, Muslim or Hindu. Mystic-pluralism is, then, judgemental after all and its canons are those of the political correctness of the intellectual elites. It is to say, the Muslim is right, the Christian is right and the Hindu is right and no one is wrong, but let none of them say with any seriousness that others are wrong and they are right.
It is doubtful whether this view will satisfy any one except the religious dilletante. Those who hold a high view of their faith, as a revelation of the divine, will not be enthusiastic at propositions of religious indifferentism. For their part, Christians who hold to a biblical faith will not agree with these mystical paths to the One Being.
3. The Pluralistic Environments of the Old and New Testament.
During the 1950’s the SCM series Studies in Biblical Theology published texts which highlighted the pluralistic environments of the OT and NT respectively, the one written by G.E. Wright, the other by F.V. Filson. Each pointed to the distinctiveness of the faith of each testament against the religious culture in which it was born. More recently, and based on more up-to-date data, a collection of essays, One God One Lord in a World of Religious Pluralism (ed. B.W. Winter and A. Clarke, Cambridge: Tyndale Press, 1991), has made the same point.
Religious pluralism, which may be new to us, is not new against a broader historical background. It was, in fact and in particular, a distinguishing mark of the Graeco-Roman culture of the world in which the heralds of Jesus went forth to proclaim him as the unique Lord and Christ.
4. The Uniqueness of Yahweh.
The proposition of the uniqueness of Christ begins with the uniqueness of Yahweh, the covenant God of Israel. According to the Shema, God said
“Hear, O Israel, the Lord your God is one.
And you shall love the Lord your God
with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”
Yahweh had revealed himself to the people he chose in word and saving act and he was jealous for his name, forbidding the worship of other or alternative deities. That he is “one,” is not a statement of arithmetic relating to an indivisible monotheism. Rather, it asserts that he is “one,” in the sense that he is incomparably, incontestably unique. This is the teaching of the Law and the Prophets.
The prophet Isaiah makes a number of “I am” statements on behalf of Yahweh, for example, “I am the Lord, and there is no other.” Jesus, too, makes “I am” statements, apart from “I am the bread…,” etc. It has been long-recognised that Jesus’ absolute ego| eimi statements in John relate in some way to Yahweh’s words jani hu / “I am” quoted in Isaiah, for example
I am he who bears witness concerning myself John 8:18
Unless you believe that I am, you shall die in your sins John 8:24
When you have lifted up the Son of man, then you shall know that I am John 8:28
Before Abraham was I am John 8:58
In LXX Isaiah 43:10 Yahweh said,
I am (ego| eimi) a witness, says the Lord your God….that you may know and believe and understand that I am (ego| eimi).
The author of this gospel is presenting Jesus as making claims “as if” Yahweh the God of Israel. The question must be asked, why would this author have so-presented Christ if this was not true historically of Jesus’ own attitudes and teachings. The question is especially pointed when NT writers across the board present Jesus in this way (see e.g., “Many will come in my name saying, ego| eimi ”- Mk 13:6).
5. Pluralism in Corinth.
Corinth, like other cities in the Graeco-Roman world, was pluralist in religion, with “many ‘gods’ and many ‘lords.’” Pausanias, a travel writer who visited Corinth some time after Paul, describes numerous temples and shrines to a bewildering array of deities in the public square (Gk. agora) of the Achaian capital – for Artemis, Dionysius, Fortune, Apollo, Poseidon, Aphrodite, Hermes, Zeus, Athena, Octavia the sister of Augustus.
Tourists who visit the remains of classical civilizations may easily have the impression of ancient societies marked by order and beauty. However, in the course of his travels in Galatia, Asia, Macedonia and Achaia Paul would have addressed people who worshipped rocks, believed trees could be gods, owned sacred animals, accepted ritual castration and participated in temple prostitution, both heterosexual and homosexual. Moreover, these were societies which sanctioned bloody combats in the arena, exposed their unwanted children to the elements and bought and sold men, women and children as slaves. The world to which the apostle Paul came preaching the gospel of Christ was a pluralistic world, both in religion and ethics. In reality it was by no means in all matters morally elevated or spiritually enlightened.
6. The Uniqueness of Christ.
6.1 In 1 Corinthians: the Unique Lord.
In the face of such pluralism, religious and ethical, in which the Corinthian Christians had previously freely participated, Paul rehearses the following statements introduced by “we know.” Some kind of prior catechetical instruction is presupposed by Paul’s “we know” -type statements.
We know that ‘an idol has no real existence’
‘there is no God but one.’
Negatively, Paul and the Corinthians “know” that no reality exists behind man-made gods, but positively that there is “no God but one.” The latter confession, “There is no God but one,” is adapted from the Shema, “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is one” and is also found in various other statements in the NT, for example, “There is one God and Father of us all,” and “There is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”
“There is no God but one” also echoes Yahweh’s own self-revelation of his uniqueness in “I am the Lord, and there is no other.” There it is affirmation clinched by denial. “I am the Lord, and there is no other.” In the Pauline catechism it is reversed, “there is no God but one.” In pluralist Corinth, with “gods many and lords many,” Paul’s denial of the gods and his affirmation “there is no God but one” completely rules out the worship of any other deity.
That these gods are said to be “in heaven and on earth” identifies them as current objects of worship. Later he will say, “Flee from the worship of idols” (Gk. pheugete apo te|s eido|lolatrias ) and “what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons.” In the face of their stubborn continuing involvement in their temples Paul urges in the Second Letter, “Come out from them and be separate from them…and touch nothing unclean.”
It should be noted that the temple worship in question frequently involved the sacrifice of animals. Moreover, cultic prostitution often occurred within the cultus of the temple. Paul urges the Corinthians to “flee” from the twin and connected evils of eido|lolatria and porneia. 
Paul then continues in a brief creed-like statement expressing this “one”-ness or uniqueness of God in terms of his final, now-completed revelation in the “one…Father” and the “one…Lord, [his Son].” Through the coming, death and resurrection of Christ, the unique God of Israel has now disclosed himself as “the Father” of “one” who is “Lord,” Jesus Christ. The unique God has revealed himself uniquely from the inside to the world as “Father” of the man who is Jesus Christ the Lord.
but for us
there is one God, the Father,
from whom are all things
for whom we exist
one Lord, Jesus Christ,
through whom are all things
and through whom we exist.
The gods do not exist in the way the Corinthians think they do. They are “so-called gods” or “said-to-be gods.” Yet though they do not exist the Corinthians are connected with spiritual forces as they worship these apparent deities. They are offering sacrifices to demons. The assertion “there is one God, the Father….and one Lord, Jesus Christ” declares that only to the Father, through the one Lord, who is his Son, are men and women to think of God, to serve God and to worship God. As Paul commented to the Thessalonians, “You turned to God from idols, to serve a living and true God and to wait for his son from heaven.”
Against the plethora of deities in Corinth and elsewhere Paul is insisting that “all things,” that is, in creation and redemption, are “from” the one God, the Father, but that they are “through” the one Lord, Jesus the Christ. Christ is the agent of both creation and redemption.
Paul summed up his ministry as, “We proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord.” The church’s confession, perhaps associated with baptism, was “Jesus is Lord.” Solemnly, he declares, “If any one does not love the Lord, let him be anathema. Maran atha, ‘Lord come.’” Against the background of “many lords” the Corinthians must understand that there is but one true Lord, the Messiah Jesus.
6.2 In 2 Corinthians: the Unique Sin-Bearer.
In Second Corinthians Christ’s role in redemption is emphasized. Having spoken of the “new creation” which is “in Christ” Paul moves on to speak about “reconciliation with God,” a concept which he now introduces in his letters. “All this,” that is, the new creation, “is from God who through Christ reconciled us to himself…”
He continues, God was in Christ reconciling the world (Gk. kosmos) to himself not counting their trespasses against them…
The grammar is important. The present tense “was…reconciling” and “not counting” of v. 19 emphasizes the thoroughly completed nature of “reconciled” (aorist tense, completed action) in v. 18. The third person pronouns “their trespasses…against them” underscores the reality that the trespasses of all the people in the world now said to be reconciled to God have been dealt with, at least potentially in the death of Christ.
The same cosmic or universal note is struck earlier in the words, “one died for all, therefore all died…” The “one” who was qualified to die “on behalf of (Gk. hyper) all” must, indeed, be a unique “one.” Is Paul again picking up the Shema ?
And he died for all,
that those who live might no longer live for themselves
but to him who for their sake died and as raised.
He does not say, “he died for all that they might live” as if “all will live.” That would be a form of universalism that believes that “all” will “live,” regardless of their response to Christ’s love for them. Rather, Paul puts it, “he died for all that those who live.” “Those who live” represents a smaller circle within the universal circle of the “all” for whom he died. God’s intention is that the “those” who respond to him should “live for him who for their sake died and was raised.” Within the great circle of “all” humanity for whom Christ died there is a smaller circle of “those” who now no longer live ego-centrically, but Christo-centrically. Here on one hand is the world, the human cosmos, but here on the other, within that cosmos, is the true people of Jesus Christ who are reconciled to God in him and who now live for him.
The words, “One died for all…he died for all” anticipates and points to the climax of the passage:
For our sake God made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
In life Christ “knew no sin” yet he was “made sin” [by God] in his death for others. His sinlessness in life qualified him to be their sin-bearer in death. He was their sin-bearer before God, in order that “in him” we might be deemed to be the “righteous ones” of God. Corporately, all who are “in him” through faith-commitment are dedicated, forgiven to God as his holy ones.
Christ is the “one” who died and was raised for “all,” that is, for “the world,” to bring about its reconciliation to God, from whom its community of people is alienated by sin. His person and work is sufficient for the totality of humankind throughout the whole of history. Yet theology has always asserted that Christ crucified and risen is even greater and bigger than the task he came to accomplish, the reconciliation of human-kind. He is a figure so incomparably unique that words are inadequate to portray him.
Yet not all are “in him,” either because they are as yet uninformed about him or because they are disobedient towards him. Does he, nonetheless, somehow save them, regardless of their positive response to him ? The answer based on 2 Corinthians 5:14-21 must be in the negative. No universalism is possible from that passage.
This great passage by no means exhaust Paul’s reflections on this majestic person.
In another passage his words, “you know…that” reminds the readers what they have already been taught through the gospel. An echo of carechetical teaching is once again to be heard. In this verse both incarnation and atonement are in view.
For you know the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,
for you, rich though he was
he became poor,
that you through his poverty
might be made rich.
“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ” is a benediction Paul often prayed for the churches. In this verse, however, he expands upon Christ’s gracious action for his people. (The pointed repetition of “you” at the beginning of each leg is directed at the Corinthians who were anything but generous !)
Again the grammar is important. The Lord Jesus Christ “being rich” (Gk. plousios o|n – present participle) speaks of his previous state as one of continuous, unlimited condition of wealth. “He became poor” (Gk. epto|cheusen) points to a specific time and a specific place. Here Paul has in mind Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem, but also his indigent life in Galilee (with “nowhere to lay his head”) and his God-forsaken death at Golgotha. He was rich in heaven, but he became poor on earth.
But this was intentional, as the purposive particle hina shows. “He became poor so that you…might be made rich.” The verb (Gk. ploute|se|te) is aorist and divine passive; at a particular moment God made his people rich. When was that moment ? It was revealed earlier in chapter 5 verse 21. It was in the “poverty” of his death at Golgotha that he “became poor.” At that time he was “made sin” we were made rich in the righteousness of God. We were made rich precisely because he became poor.
We must confine ourselves to one remaining passage. Here Paul sets Christ within an eternity to eternity frame of reference. In the preaching of the historic Son of God God has said, “yes” to his promises made under the old covenant. Beyond that, however, this Son of God is God’s unambiguous, never-to-be-retracted “yes.”
As surely as God is faithful, our word to you is not yes and no.
For the Son of God, Jesus Christ,
whom we preached among you, Silvanus, Timothy and I,
did not become yes and no; but in him it has become and is yes.
For all the promises of God find their yes in him.
That is why we utter the ‘amen’ to God through him.
Paul is replying to Corinthian accusations that he has broken his word to them, promising to return directly to them (saying “yes”), but knowing in his heart that he would do something else (meaning “no”). Paul replies that his personal word (Gk. logos) is inseparable from his preached word; his own word is as certain and unambiguous as God’s word which he has preached among them.
God’s word, as preached in Corinth is centred on the Son of God, Jesus Christ, in fulfilment of the promises in the OT scriptures. Again Paul’s verb tenses are quite important. There is a contrast between “did not become” (Gk. egeneto – aorist tense) and “has become and is” (Gk. gegonen – perfect tense). Paul is saying that the Son of God became God’s “yes” in his birth and in his historic ministry, and that as a consequence of that historic ministry, but also of his death, resurrection and exaltation he has become and forever will remain God’s “yes,” his standing affirmation. The absoluteness of the divine “yes” demands our recognition of his unqualified uniqueness.
7. The Christ of Faith is the Jesus of History.
The last two decades have witnessed a flood of books about the historical Jesus. Many of them are quite humanistic in their attitude, denying the deity, miracles and resurrection of Jesus. As it happens, this interest in the historical but all too human Jesus corresponds with the many “lives of Jesus” which appeared in latter decades of the nineteenth century. The historical Jesus then was, to generalize, a figure of religious idealism (expressing the romanticism of the nineteenth century); the late twentieth century Jesus is a political idealist and activist (expressing our preoccupation with politics). Now as then, a wedge is driven between the “Jesus of history” and the “Christ of faith,” to pick up the title of Martin Kähler’s famous book, which he then wrote against the “lives of Jesus” movement and which remains thoroughly worth reading.
Prominent among recent biographers of Jesus is John Dominic Crossan. According to Crossan Jesus was a Galilean social subversive who was crucified but who was buried but not raised from the dead. This is typical of many versions of Jesus. For some he is a devout rabbi. To others, a fiery apocalyptist. To others, a zealot sympathizer. To some he is thoroughly Jewish, to others as much Greek as Jewish. Among the many Jesuses on offer the common element is that he was not raised bodily from the dead. These reconstructions depend exclusively on evidence from the gospels in particular the Q source, along with the Gospel of Thomas.
The second of Luke’s volumes, however, in immediate continuity with the first volume narrates that after his death and resurrection Jesus was “lifted up and a cloud took him from their sight.” The angels said, “This Jesus who was taken up into heaven will come in the same way you saw him go into heaven.” Peter declared, “This Jesus whom you crucified, God has made Lord and Christ.” In other words Luke carefully establishes an objective continuity from the historical Jesus to the heavenly Jesus (who is the returning Jesus). The Acts of the Apostles insists that the historical Jesus of Nazareth of the first volume became Jesus exalted as Lord and Christ.
It is only by removing the Acts of the Apostles and the Letters of the Apostles that such humanistic versions of Jesus can be constructed. It is quite unhistorical simply to assert that the early Christians many years later superimposed on this man who was crucified and buried – we know not where – the belief that he was somehow to be worshipped as Lord. This is to equate the rise of Christianity with the birth of the Elvis cult. Here the writings of Paul, including to the Corinthians, are highly significant.
8. The Importance of Paul.
Most of this paper has been devoted to passages from the writings of Paul. Why this concentration on Paul ?
Paul is both a source of clear Christian teaching on the uniqueness of Christ. Equally important, he is our earliest historical witness to Christianity. His letters inform us about Christianity as he came across it very soon after the hsitorical Jesus. Thus Paul is critical in historical apologetics.
Three elements are important our witness to other religions. We must speak out of doctrinal conviction based on the Holy Scriptures. Second, we must speak out of a full heart. Deep Christian experience gives conviction to what we say. Third, we need to be assured of the rock of “truth” – historical truth, that is – on which our faith is founded. This third leg is important. Other wise in our interface with e.g., Muslims we may only exchange our dogmatism for their dogmatism and our experience for their experience. Gridlock ! But historical evidence can break that gridlock. Christianity is centred in the historical incarnation, the historical ministry of Jesus, the historical death, the historical bodily resurrection and the historcial exaltation of Christ. The evidence for each of these historical element s is strong.
Paul is very important for historical apologetics.
Paul is an early convert to the faith of Christ; the Damascus Road encounter occurred within less than than two years of the first Easter (which I take to have occurred in 33). Before that he was the much-feared persecutor of the early Christians. Paul was part of the history of earliest Christianity almost from the beginning with enough knowledge about Jesus, even as a non-Christian, to know his movement was dangerous to Judaism. It is clear from recollections in his first letter, Galatians, written in c. 48, that at the time of his conversion about fifteen years earlier there were already “apostles,” “churches” and a body of teaching he calls “the faith.” In other words, these entities had come into existence in the immediate aftermath of Jesus, within the few months between his resurrection and the conversion of Saul of Tarsus.
How can we explain these historical phenomena within earliest Christianity except by the impact of Jesus himself upon his disciples ? Earliest historical Christianity arose from the impulse of the historical Jesus upon his disciples. A movement, with leaders and teachings with its own speed and trajectory was already in motion which confronted Paul and to which Paul took took violent exception. Paul did not invent earliest Christianity, as is routinely claimed. Rather, he sought to destroy it.
There is no time-chasm between the historical and the heavenly Jesus. The historical Jesus became the heavenly Jesus after an interval of only forty days. Paul refers to both the historical and the heavenly Jesus in the two letters to the Corinthians. He alludes to the poverty and sinlessness of his life, his meekness and gentleness in ministry, his institution of the Lord’s Supper, his betrayal, his crucifixion and his resurrection. Equally, however, Paul speaks of him Son of God, Christ and Lord.
There is a close alliance between many scholars in the contemporary Jesus-studies movement which is dismissive of the historicity of the gospels, whether regarding the words or the works of Jesus, and the religious pluralists who deny the uniqueness of Christ and who assert that “all mystical roads lead to ‘God.’” A mere Galilean rabbi, unrisen from the dead, goes well with the newly recycled Neo-Platonist mysticism, discussed earlier.
But the historical Paul, persecutor, early convert and first theologian in earliest Christianity, stands like a great barrier, blocking the road to these views. Paul’s letters, so surely datable and so early in Christian history, point certainly to an early Christianity which is so close to the historical Jesus that only the historical Jesus himself can account for its existence and character. Those letters of Paul innocently and gratuitously reveal a Jesus who was a genuine figure of history and who is a heavenly figure to be worshipped and served.
It is for this reason that I have chiefly used some of the letters of Paul and taught from the text of those letters. Doing theology apart from exegesis and a sense of historical sequence is a slippery operation, quite lacking in control or accountability.
It is clear that multiculturalism is driving liberal Christians away from historic, “catholic” Christian beliefs and practices. It is possible that liberal Christians were previously propped up within a broadly nominal Christian culture. The pressure of multiculturalism may mean that only those who hold firmly to “the faith once delivered to the saints” will be able to survive as Christians and as church members.
More than ever it is now necessary for Christians to know what they believe and to know why they believe it. Not least our pastors need to be seized by a Christ-centred Genesis to Revelation biblical theology and by a commitment to the text of Holy Scripture as the revelation of the mind of God. Otherwise the Bible is merely a bundle of texts testifying to an evolutionary now irrelevant phase of religious history with Christ merely one among a number of teachers and prophets. But a coherent biblical theology will give unity to and make sense of those scriptures and the careful teaching of it will nourish the souls of pastors and people alike.
For a major discussion of pluralism and post-modernism see D.A. Carson, The Gagging of God (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996).
Jn 14:6; Acts 4:12; Phil 2:9-10; 1 Tim 2:5.
See D.M. Ball, “My Lord and My God: The Implications of the ‘I Am’ Sayings for Religious Pluralism,” in One God One Lord ed. A.D. Clarke and B.W. Winter (Cambridge: Tyndale, 1991), pp. 53-71.
1 Cor 8:5
Pausanias, Description of Greece 2.6-7.
D.W.J. Gill, “Behind the Classical Facade: Local Religions of the Roman Empire,” in One God One Lord, pp. 72-87.
Eph 4:5; 1 Tim 2:5.
1 Cor 10:14,19.
2 Cor 6:17.
1 Cor 6:18; cf. 6:9.
1 Cor 10:20.
1 Thess 1:9-10.
2 Cor 4:5.
1 Cor 12:3.
1 Cor 16:22.
Was this due to Paul’s concern about the impact of the Judaizers who were teaching an alternate route to righteousness via Torah observation ? See 2 Cor 3:7-9; 11:4,15.
2 Cor 5:18.
2 Cor 5:14.
2 Cor 5:21.
2 Cor 8:9 (my translation).
 See e.g., 1 Thess 5:28.
The use of the passive voice was reverent way of avoiding over-use of the word “God.”
2 Cor 1:18-20 (my translation).
2 Cor 4:4.
2 Cor 4:5.
Gal 1:13; 19; 23.