Observations on the Use Of Kurios in the NT in Relation to God and Jesus and With Respect to the Definite Article

It is well known by serious Bible students that in the New Testament the Greek word kurios is used to denote the Tetragrammaton i.e. the name of God, YHWH, whenever OT passages that contain the Name are quoted. This coincides with the Septuagint (LXX) practice (from the 2nd century CE on) of using kurios (typically without the definte article) in place of the Tetragram. The earliest copies of the Greek OT did contain the Tetragram in various forms, such as old Hebrew, Paleo-Hebrew, or various Greek transliterations, such as IAW (so LXX manuscripts before the second century do not have kurios in place of YHWH). Later manuscripts abandoned this use and substituted kurios in place of the Tetragram. This stemmed from the Jewish practice of not saying the divine name when reading scripture, but substituting adonai instead. Adonai is the intensive plural of adoni which means my lord. Therefore, kurios is not a translation of the Tetragram, but rather a translation of adonai, in both the LXX and the NT. Kurios has no semantic relationship to YHWH, but does share the same semantic range with adon and adonai.

So when kurios is used in the NT it cannot be simply assumed that it is denoting the divine name, for the word is also used quite often in accordance with it’s own semantic range. The uses of kurios in the NT are as follows:

  1. As a substitute for the name of God, YHWH, based on the practice of pronouncing adonai instead of speaking the Tetragram
  2. As the equivalent of adonai and adon when referring to God as Lord or Master
  3. As the equivalent of adon when referring to Jesus and other men as lord or master.

The problem that we encounter when reading our English versions is that both 1. and 2. are translated as “the Lord“, and 3. is translated as “the Lord” when referring to Jesus and as “master” or “lord” when referring to men other than Jesus. So you can see that when you encounter “the Lord” in your English bibles it can be ambiguous as to who is being referred to or in what sense, if the context does not clearly establish it’s usage. What I will present in this article are my observations on how the phrase “the Lord” can be understood in relation to the presence or absence of the definite article.

At first glance it may appear that the presence or absence of the article before kurios in the NT is random. The article is both present and absent in uses of kurios that refer to God as well as in uses that refer to Jesus. While it is an attractive idea to suggest that the originals and the earliest copies of NT documents contained some form of the Tetragrammaton, the fact is we have no extant NT manuscripts which evidence this. All extant copies of NT manuscripts use kurios in place of YHWH when quoting OT passages which contain the Name. This being so, it is reasonable to think that Jewish scribes had some means of distinguishing between the use of kurios as a substitute for YHWH and it’s more common use as a title for either God or men. I believe that a pattern emerges, when one looks at all of the uses of kurios in the NT, that helps the reader to discern how the use of kurios is to be understood.

Observation 1 In cases where we know for certain that kurios is being used as a substitute for YHWH, such as in OT quotations in which the Tetragram appears in the Hebrew text, it is typically anarthrous (i.e. without the definite article).

It is also true that the LXX typically uses an anarthrous kurios for YHWH, but there are some exceptions, which should be expected. At least some exceptions could be due to inadvertent inclusions of the article by copyists. In the NT we have the same phenomenon of exceptions, but in every case they follow the LXX.

The verses which demonstrate Obs. 1 are: Matt. 3:3; 4:7, 10; 21:42; 22:37, 44; 27:10; Mark 1:3; 11:9; 12:11, 29, 30, 36; Luke 3:4; 4:8, 12, 18, 19; 10:27; 20:42; John 1:23; 12:13, 38; Acts 2:20, 21; 3:22; 7:37, 49; 15:17; Rom. 4:8; 9:28, 29; 10:13, 16; 11:34; 12:19; 14:11; 1 Cor. 1:31; 2:16; 3:20; 14:21; Heb. 7:21; 8:8-11; 10:16, 30; 12:5-6; 13:6; 1 Pet. 1:25; 3:12 (2x).

There are a few exceptions, where the Hebrew text being quoted has YHWH and the NT has kurios with the definite article. In each of these cases the LXX also has the article, so that it would seem that the NT author simply followed the LXX, perhaps being unaware of the Hebrew text. Here are the exceptions: Acts 2:25, 34; 4:26; Rom. 15:11; 1 Cor. 10:26; Heb. 8:11; 1 Pet. 2:3.

Observation 2 When “the Lord” stands alone in our English bibles, without any other name or title attached, and the context clearly establishes that Jesus is the referent, then kurios is typically arthrous (i.e. with the definite article), except in cases where Jesus is being addressed.

The verses that demonstrate Obs. 2 are: Matt. 21:3 (?); 28:6; Mark 11:3 (?); 16:19; Luke 7:13, 31; 10:1, 39, 41; 11:39; 12:42; 13:15; 17:5; 18:6: 19:8, 31 (?), 34 (?); 22:31, 61; 24:34; John 6:23; 11:2; 20:2, 18, 20, 25; 21:7, 12; Acts 9:27, 35, 42; 11:16 (?), 21 (2nd x), 23, 24; 13:12; 18:8; 23:11; Rom. 12:11; 14:8; 1 Cor. 2:8; 4:5; 6:13-14, 17; 9:5; 11:26, 27, 29; 15:47; 2 Cor. 5:6, 8; 8:5, 19; Gal. 1:19; Eph. 5:22; 6:7; Phil. 4:5; 1 Thess. 1:6; 4:15-17; 2 Thess. 1:9; 2 Tim. 1:8, 18(1st x); 4:8; Heb. 2:3; James 5:7-8, 14.

The exceptions to this observation are primarily with the phrase “in the Lord” (Gr. en kurios). All instances of this phrase are anarthrous and in the dative case. The lack of the article cannot be determinate for kurios not referring to Jesus or for being a substitute for YHWH because the article is implicit in this construction.

Observation 3 There are many instances when “the Lord” stands alone in the text and kurios is anarthrous and the context clearly establishes God as the referent. I propose that these anarthrous uses of kurios for God should be understood as substitutions for YHWH.

Here are examples: All passages with the phrase “angel of the Lord“, such as Matt. 1:20, 24; 2:13, 19; 28:2; Lk. 1:11; 2:9; Acts 5:19; 8:26; 12:7, 23. Passages where something from the OT is being referenced, such as Matt. 1:22; 2:15; 21:9; 23:39; Lk. 1:16, 17, 76; 2:23, 24, 39; 20:37; Acts 7:31; Eph. 6:8; 1 Thess. 5:2; James 4:10; 5:4, 10, 11; 2 Pet. 2:9, 11; 3:8, 9, 10; Jude 1:5, 9, 14; Rev. 1:8; 4:8; 22:5. Passages where God is seen as presently at work, such as Mark 13:20; Lk. 1:25, 32, 38, 45, 58, 66, 68; 2:9 (2nd x), 26; 5:17; 19:38; Acts 1:24; 2:39; 4:29; 5:9; 8:39; 11:21; Rom. 14:6 (3x); 1 Cor. 4 4; 7:22 (2x), 25 (2x), 39; 14:37; 16:10; 2 Cor. 2:12; here’s a significant one: 3:16, 17 (2nd x), 18 (2x); 8:21; 11:17; 12:1; Eph. 6:4, 8; Phil. 3:1; 4:4, 10; Col. 3:20; 1 Thess. 4:6, 15, 17 (2nd x); 5:27; 2 Thess. 2:13; 2 Tim. 1:18; 2:19 (2x), 24; Rev. 11:17; 15:3; 16:7; 18:8; 19:6.

Some of these may be disputed, of course, as inadvertent omissions of the article by a copyist, but there is no way to be certain.

Observation 4There are many instances where “the Lord” stands alone in the English text and is arthrous in the Greek text, and God is the referent. I propose that these should be understood as corresponding to the Hebrew title adon or adonai which is applied to God in the Hebrew Bible. This is consistent with the LXX usage of ho kurios for adonai.

The passages are: Matt. 5:33; 9:38; Mark 5:19; 16:20; Lk. 1:6, 9, 15, 28, 46; 2:15, 22, 23 (2nd x); 10:2; Acts3:19; 7:33; 8:22, 24; 9:31; 10:33; 12:11, 17; 13:2, 10, 47; 14:3; 15:40; 16:14, 15; 18:25; 20:19; 21:14; Rom. 14:4; 1 Cor. 4:19; 7:17; 10:9, 22, 26; 11:32; 16:7; 2 Cor. 3:17 (1st x); 5:11; 10:18; 12:8; 13:10; Eph. 5:10, 17, 19; Col. 1:10; 3:22, 23; 2 Thess. 3:3, 5, 16 (2x); 2 Tim. 1:16, 18 (1st x); 2:7; 3:11; 4:14, 17,18; Heb. 8:2; 12:14; James 1:7; 3:9; 4:15; 5:11 (2nd x), 15; 1 Pet. 2:13; 2 Pet. 3:15; Rev. 4:11; 11:15; 21:22; 22:6.

A couple of these may be disputed as references to Jesus but most are clearly references to God. Included in this group are most if not all verses containing the phrase “the word of the Lord.” The nine occurrences of the phrase in Acts fit this observation and should be read as “the word of adonai“. The phrase is used interchangeably with the similar phrase “the word of God.” In 1 Thess. 4:15 kurios is anarthrous and would therefore fall under Observation 3.

Observation 5Of 126 occurrences of “the Lord” in conjunction with “Jesus”, “Christ” or “Jesus Christ”, 100 are arthrous and are found in all cases, but predominantly the genitive case (71).

The verses which fall under this category are: Lk. 24:3; Acts 1:21; 4:33; 8:16; 9:17; 11:17; 11:20; 15:11; 15:26; 16:31; 19:5; 19:13; 19:17; 20:21; 20:24; 20:35; 21:13; 28:31; Rom. 1:4; 4:24; 5:1; 5:11; 5:21; 6:23; 7:25; 8:39; 13:14; 15:6; 15:30; 16:20; 1 Cor. 1:2; 1:7; 1:8; 1:9; 1:10; 5:4; 6:11; 9:1; 11:23; 15:31; 15:57; 16:23; 2 Cor. 1:3; 1:14; 4:14; 8:9; 11:31; 13:14; Gal. 6:14; 6:18; Eph. 1:3; 1:15; 1:17; 3:11; 5:20; 6:24; Phil. 3:8; 4:23; Col. 1:3; 2:6; 3:24; 1 Thess. 1:3; 2:5; 2:19; 3:11; 3:13; 4:2; 5:9; 5:23; 5:28; 2 Thess. 1:7; 1:8; 1:12; 2:8; 2:14; 2:16; 3:6; 3:18; 1 Tim. 1:2; 1:12; 6:3; 6:14; 2 tim. 1:2; Philemon 1:5; 1;25; Heb. 13:20; James 2:1; 1 Pet. 1:3; 2 Pet. 1:2; 1:8; 1:11; 1:14; 1:16; 2:20; 3:18; Jude 1:4; 1:17; 1:21; 1:25; Rev. 22:21.

Observation 6There are 26 anarthrous occurrences of kurios, when used in conjunction with “Jesus”, “Christ” or “Jesus Christ”. These fall into three categories:

1.) In the introductory and closing benedictions of the epistles, mainly of Paul, where the full title “the Lord Jesus Christ” (or some variation) occurs in juxtaposition to “God, our [the] Father”. Not only is ‘kurios’ always anarthrous in these instances but so is ‘pater‘ (i.e. Father). Here are the verses: Rom. 1:7; 1 Cor. 1:3; 2 Cor. 1:2; Gal. 1:3; Eph. 1:2; 6:23; Phil. 1:2; Col. 1:2; 1 Thess. 1:1 (2x); 2 Thess. 1:2; Philemon 1:3; James 1:1. In these verses kurios is definite because it is attached to the proper name Jesus, which is why every English version includes the article in their translation.
2.) In passages which are setting forth a confession made by believers: Rom. 10:9; 1 Cor: 12:3; 2 Cor. 4:5; Phil. 2:11.
3.) In the prepositional phrase “in the Lord Jesus [Christ]” : Rom. 14:14; Phil. 2:19; 1 Thes. 4:1; 2 Thess. 1:1; 3:12 (see the exception to Observation 2 above). In these cases kurios is definite, being followed by the proper noun Jesus.

There are four more cases which do not fit into the above categories: Lk. 2:11; Phil. 3:20; Col. 3:17; 1 Pet. 3:15. Lk. 2:11 is a case of a nominative in simple apposition and the article is implied, hence all English versions have “Christ the Lord.” Phil. 3:20 may be a case of an inadvertent omission of the article by a copyist. All English versions supply the article. Col. 3:17 is likely also a copyist’s accidental omission; again all English versions have the article. In 1 Pet. 3:15 ‘Lord‘ and ‘the Christ‘ should probably be taken as appositional, and hence should read, “But sanctify the Lord, the Christ . . .” This would be in distinction to ‘the Lord, the God.’

Specific Passages

Let’s look at some specific passages to see how these observations can aid us when reading scripture. Let’s look at Rom. 14:5-9. The word kurios appears 7 times (8 times with the variant reading): 3 times (4 times with the variant) in v. 6 without the article, 3 times in v. 8 with the article, and in v. 9 in the verb form kurieuo, meaning ‘to exercise lordship over’. There are a number of ways we could read this passage. We must first ask some questions. Why are three (or 4) of the uses of kurios anarthrous and three arthrous? They are all in the dative case except the third one in v. 8 which is genitive, so what makes the difference? Is there a single referent in view or not?

I included the three anarthrous cases under observation 3 but I did not include the three arthrous case in v. 8 under any of the observations because of the ambiguity involved. Are these three cases referring to the Lord God or the Lord Jesus? So let’s see the different ways to read the text.

5. One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be convinced in his own mind. 6. He who regards one day as special, does so to Yahweh. He who eats meat, eats to Yahweh, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to Yahweh and gives thanks to God. 7. For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. 8. If we live, we live for the Lord God; and if we die , we die for the Lord God. So, whether we live or die we belong to the Lord God. 9. Indeed, the reason Messiah both died and came to life was so that he should be lord of both the dead and the living.

Rom. 14:5-9

This reading finds support from vv. 3-4 where Paul states that the man who eats is accepted by God i.e. as his servant. He then warns against judging another’s servant. The ‘another’ refers back to God, who is then called the servant’s “own lord”, to whom he either stands or falls. Paul then says that the Lord (i.e. God) is able to make him stand. Furthermore, in verses 10-12, the focus is on giving an account to God.

Another way we could read this passage is like this:

5. One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be convinced in his own mind. 6. He who regards one day as special, does so to Yahweh. He who eats meat, eats to Yahweh, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to Yahweh and gives thanks to God. 7. For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. 8. If we live, we live for the Lord (Jesus); and if we die, we die for the Lord (Jesus). So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord (Jesus). 9. Indeed, the reason Messiah died and came to life was so that he should be lord of both the dead and the living.

Rom. 14:5-9

This reading has in it’s favor Paul’s statement in v. 9 regarding the Messiah being lord of the living and the dead, and provides a smoother transition from v. 8 to v.9, although it makes the transition from vv.6-7 to v. 8 less smooth. Only the context can aid us in determining who is the referent in v.8.

The context is that of servanthood. As believers we do not live to ourselves i.e. when we make decisions about how to behave or about what course of action to take in a given circumstance, it is not only our own will, desires and feelings that we must take into consideration, but the will and desire of another, the one whose servant we are. But who do we serve – God or Jesus? The Trinitarian and Oneness Christian will say that there is no difference, because in their systems Jesus and God are either the same being or the same person respectively. The biblical unitarian will say both, for to serve the Messiah is to serve the one who appointed him. In fact, biblically speaking, one cannot properly serve God while refusing to serve his appointed agent, Yahweh’s anointed one. The faithful servant of God will serve his Messiah. In the NT believers are designated as servants of both God and Christ {of God see Rom. 1:9; 6:22; 2 Cor. 6:4; Phil. 3:3; 1 Thess. 1:9; 2 Tim. 1:3; Titus 1:1; Heb. 9:14; James 1:1; 1 Pet.2:16; Rev. 1:6; 5:10; 7:3, 15; 19:5; 22:3,6; of Christ see Rom. 1:1; 14:18; 1 Cor. 4:1; Eph. 6:6; Phil. 1:1; Col. 4:12; Jude 1:1}. So the passage makes sense from either of the proposed readings offered above.

Now let’s look at 1 Cor. 4:4-5 to see another example of how kurios can be used with two different referents in the same passage. The first kurios is anarthrous and the second has the article.

4. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is Yahweh who judges me. 5. Therefore, judge nothing before the appointed time, but wait till the Lord (Jesus) comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.

1 Cor. 4:4-5

Here we see ‘the Lord‘ appears twice in two verses, but with a distinction – the absence and presence of the article. How could this not have been on purpose, in order to make a distinction between the two ‘Lords’? The theology of this reading is confirmed in Rom. 2:29: “This will take place in the day when God will judge men’s secrets by Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares” and in Acts 17:31: “For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has provided assurance of this to all men by raising him from the dead.

Now I want to look at an important passage where kurios is used five times, but in two different ways, in my opinion, 4x in accordance with Observation 3 and once in accordance with Observation 4. The passage is 2 Cor. 3:16-18. The first, third, fourth and fifth kurios accord with Obs. 3 and, I propose, the second kurios accords with Obs. 4. Here is how I would read the passage:

16. But whenever anyone turns to YHWH, the veil is taken away. 17. Now the Lord (God) is the spirit, and where the spirit of YHWH is there is freedom. 18. And we all, having been unveiled in face, and beholding as in a mirror the glory of YHWH (i.e. in the face of Messiah; see 4:6), are being transformed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as from YHWH (comes the) spirit.

2 Cor. 3:16-18

Now I know that most exegetes see all the occurrences of kurios in this passage as referring to Jesus, but I think the above reading can be justified. First it answers why four of the five uses of kurios are anarthrous. Although, from my perspective, God is the referent for all of them, he is being referred to in two different ways – once as Adonai (i.e. Lord) and four times as YHWH.

Next, the concept of ‘turning’ is typically used of an action done toward God { see Acts 3:19; 14:15; 15:19; 20:21; 26:20; 1 Thess. 1:9}. The phrase “turn[ed] to the Lord” occurs 3 times – in our text and in Acts 9:35 and 11:21. These verses can be taken either way, as referring to God or to Jesus. Because typically ‘turning’ is toward God, then that makes me favor God as the referent in these three verses.

Next, the phrase ”spirit of the Lord” is quite common in the Hebrew Bible, where it renders the Hebrew phrase ‘ ruach YHWH.’ In the NT the phrase occurs three other times besides in our text, Lk. 4:18; Acts 5:9; 8:39. In each case kurios is anarthrous and is clearly referring to God. The phrase appears to be synonymous with the more common phrase “the spirit of God.”

Next, the phrase “the glory of the Lord” is, again, quite common in the Hebrew Bible, where it translates ‘kabowd YHWH.’ In the NT the phase appears once more, at Luke 2:9, where again it is without the article. The most natural way to take the phrase in our text is as a referent to YHWH. Finally, the last kurios, being anarthrous, should be taken as the previous three anarthrous uses.

But why take the one arthrous use of kurios as a reference to God as Lord (Adonai) rather than as a reference to Jesus as Lord? I admit that this arthrous use of kurios is ambiguous and could refer to either God or Jesus. The statement itself ( i.e. “the Lord is the spirit”) does not help us because it is unusual and not found anywhere else in either the OT or NT, so we have nothing to compare it to. It is a one-off statement that is strange to our ears. There are no textual variants for this verse so the text stands as it is.

Even if we could determine who the referent is, what does the verse mean? While the statement, taken in the most literal sense, would seem to be equating either YHWH or Jesus with the Spirit, I think that it is possible to take the statement in a figurative sense. Not every such statement, like a is b, would necessarily mean a = b, for there is an idiomatic use of such statements. For example, the phrases ‘money is power’ and ‘knowledge is power’ are understood to mean not that money and knowledge are identical to power but that they are a source of power in some sense, they result in power of some kind. If I say “water is life” I do not mean that water and life are the same thing but that water is necessary for life to be maintained. Let’s look at some biblical examples of this idiom.

1 John 4:8 – “God is love” – This does not mean that God and love are the same thing, but rather that God is the ultimate source of love, as verse 7 states.

John 6:63 – Jesus said, “the words I have spoken to you are spirit and life” – This means that the words he spoke, if believed, are the means by which one receives the spirit and everlasting life.

John 12:50 – “I know that [the Father’s] command is eternal life” – This means that the Father’s command will result in or produce eternal life in those who believe.

1 John 5:6 – “the spirit is the truth” – This does not mean that the spirit and the truth are the same thing, but that truth comes from the spirit.

Rom. 1:16 – “the gospel . . . is the power of God” – This means that the gospel is the means of obtaining the power of God for salvation for those who believe it, or that the power of God that brings salvation comes from the gospel.

Rom. 8:6 – “the mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the spirit is life” – These statements mean that these mindsets result in either death or life.

So then we can understand the statement “the Lord is the spirit” idiomatically as “the Lord is the source of the spirit.” Understood this way, the verse could be referring to God as the ultimate source of the spirit {see Acts 5:32; 11:15-17; 15:8; 2 Cor. 5:5; Gal. 3:5; 1 Thess. 4:8; Titus 3:5-6; 1 John 3:24} or to Jesus as the secondary source or the channel through which the spirit is given {see John 15:26; 16;7; Acts 2:33; Titus 3:15-17}. So while I prefer to read it as referring to God, I will not argue with those who say it refers to Jesus, in the sense that I have proposed.

Let’s look at one more passage where kurios is probably being used in three senses. The passage is 2 Tim. 1:16-18 and the first possible reading is:

16. May the Lord (God) bestow mercy to the household of Onesiphorus . . . 18. May the Lord (Jesus) grant that he may obtain mercy from Yahweh on that day. . .

2 Tim. 1:16-18

The first two occurrences are arthrous and the last one is anarthrous. Another possible way to read this passage is:

16. May the Lord (Jesus) bestow mercy to the household of Onesiphorus . . . 18. May the Lord (Jesus) grant that he may obtain mercy from Yahweh on that day . . .

2 Tim 1:16-18

While this reading is certainly possible I prefer the first one for the following reason. The predominate idea in the NT is that mercy, in connection with salvation, comes from God {see Lk. 1:50, 58, 72, 78; Rom. 9:16, 18, 23; 11:31: 12:1; 15:9; 2 Cor. 1:3; 4:1; Eph. 2:4; Phil. 2:27; Titus 3:5; Heb. 4:16; James 5:11; 1 Pet. 1:3}. Mercy may be said to come from Jesus, but this would be only in a secondary sense {see 1 Tim. 1:2; 2 Tim. 1:2; 2 John 1:3; Jude 1:21}. V. 18 would be teaching that the mercy of God is finally obtained through Jesus’ mediatorship. In light of v. 18 the first reading seems preferable. If the Lord Jesus can simply bestow mercy upon Onesiphorus {v.16}, then what would be meant by v. 18, unless the mercy that Jesus would bestow is that of interceding for him that he might obtain ultimate mercy from Yahweh. Likewise, the Lord God bestowing mercy upon Onesiphorus in v. 16 would be parallel to Onesiphorus obtaining mercy from Yahweh in v. 18.

What these examples show is that it is not always clear who is being referred to when “the Lord” appears in the text of our English bibles. In many cases the context clearly shows whether God or Jesus is the referent, but there are a number of cases where the referent is ambiguous. In these cases only sound contextual exegesis can help us determine the referent. In some cases we simply have to take our best guess.

A Caveat

I myself am not, by any stretch, an expert in biblical Greek. The observations I presented here are the simple facts of the matter based on the biblical data. However, any propositions I have offered based on these observations are my own opinions, the opinions of one who is not an expert. If any one reading this article, who has some level of expertise in biblical Greek, can show me some aspect of Greek grammar or syntax that would invalidate my propositions, please do so; I am eager to learn and make any necessary corrections.


Author: Troy Salinger

I am 60 yrs. old. I live with my wife of 37 yrs. in Picayune MS. I have been a believer in the Lord Jesus since August of 1981. I have no formal theological education, but have been an ardent student of Scripture for 41 yrs. I am a biblical Unitarian i.e. I believe the Father is the only true God (John 17:3) and Jesus is His human Son, the Messiah.

2 thoughts on “Observations on the Use Of Kurios in the NT in Relation to God and Jesus and With Respect to the Definite Article”

  1. Excellent work putting this together Troy! I also agree with most of your conclusions. Of course the “Observation 4” category is most debatable. IMHO, it’s important to resist the urge to view the NT through the lens of the OT. ‘New wine in New wineskins’. Context and audience is likely important as well — letters written to Christian believers would be expected to use arthrous Kurios in reference to Jesus, whom God made to be “both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2.36). In contrast, in Acts 3:19 when Peter is verbally preaching to Jews in Jerusalem, yes, “the Lord”, would communicate the thought/identification of Adonai (Yehovah).


    1. Thanks Steve. I take a different view as to reading the NT through the lens of the OT – I think we should. If the NT is an out growth of the OT then it cannot rightly be understood apart from the OT. Many uniquely Christian doctrines have arisen precisely because the OT was ignored or reinterpreted by early Gentile church fathers to supposedly fit the NT. The OT was all that the apostles had and they based everything upon it. If there is new revelation to be found in the NT it will not contradict or annul OT truth, but will complement and fill out what was lacking in the revelation of the OT, IMHO.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: