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1 Corinthians 10:9, "Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents." In context the Apostle Paul is referring to Israel at Verse 7, "And do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, "The people sat down to eat and drink, and stood up to play. (Exodus 32:4.)

So why does the Apostle Paul "juxtapose" or contrast God the Father with Jesus Christ as being one and the same God? 1 Corinthians 8:6, "yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things, and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things and we exist through Him."

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  • wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1101985092
    – 007
    Commented Jun 9 at 22:07
  • Context! God appeared to Moses in the burning bush at Exodus 3:2. At vs4, "When the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, "GOD called to him from the midst of the bush." At vs6, "God said, "I am the God of your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. At vs 13 Moses says, "What is Your name? Vs14, "I AM WHO I AM." God is independent, all sufficient in Himself, and the only source of all existence and life. YHWH is the name that describes this essence and identity most clearly. At Exodus 23:21 God says of the angel of the Lord, My name is in him. Who do you think this is? Exodus 13:21, Exodus 14:19
    – Mr. Bond
    Commented Jun 9 at 22:38
  • Context. Deuteronomy 6:16 numbers 21:5-6 which are referenced in Corinthians use yhwh that’s why nwt used Jehovah in the verse you asked about
    – 007
    Commented Jun 9 at 23:21
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    @MikeBorden Yes, it does help in answering my question. In fact, it gives support to my question/viewpoint. Notice Jude 4, "For certain person have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ." Would not "our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ" be the Lord who is identified at Jude 5? Also, it was the angel of the Lord who brought them out of Egypt. Exodus 14:19, Exodus 13:21, Exodus 20:1-2. Even Isaiah backs this up at Isaiah 63:9-10.
    – Mr. Bond
    Commented Jun 10 at 13:49

3 Answers 3

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The reason why is shown in their Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures. In my 1969 edition, page 775, there is an asterisk at 'Jehovah' in verse 9. The corresponding footnote gives references where Jehovah was written, namely, J 7,8,17,18. It then gives 'the Lord, Aleph B (Vatican MS #1209 4th century); God, Alexandrian (5th century uncial).

The 'J' references are how they reference 21 places where 'Jehovah' appears.

#7 = A 1599 work by Elias Hutter of Nuremberg, his Greek Scriptures in Hebrew.

#8 = A 1661 work by William Robertson, his revision of Hutter's work above.

#17 = An 1877 work by Franz Delitzsch who translated the Greek scriptures into Hebrew, with 1892 seeing 10 revisions after his death

#18 An 1885 work by Salkinson and Ginsburg, the 1891 3rd edition, Greek scriptures in Hebrew.

It would be interesting hearing comments from experts in such writings, as to the extent to which they bolster the NWT rendering of Jehovah in 1 Corinthians 10:9 (or not.)

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The NWT will often replace "Kurios" or "Lord" with "Jehovah" when the NT quotes an old testament verse where "Jehovah" is used. In 1 Cor 10:9 it says "Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents". This is not a quote from the OT, but a reference to it. Most manuscripts have "Christ" in this verse. Some have "Kurios", which is Lord. Either way, the reference is to Christ. If the verse is left as is, it would mean Christ is God/Jehovah. The Jehovah Witnesses don't believe that, so they want to change the verse to match their belief. From a traditional Christianity standpoint, I would say this is very improper. One must ask themself what is the Word of God in the New Testament (NT)? What is the inspired Word of God? Christians believe the greek manuscripts are the NT word of God. There are over 5,000 NT greek manuscripts. We don't find the word "Jehovah" in any of them. The Jehovah Witnesses believe that people tampered with the NT manuscripts and replaced Jehovah with Kurios or Theos (Lord and God). They don't have any proof for this, just a theory, and it is basically impossible for some sect to have run all over the world and stole all the existing manuscripts, and wrote new manuscripts replacing Jehovah. Secondly, we have a ton of quotes of the NT from the early church fathers and not one single quote has "Jehovah" in them. I think that is powerful evidence that the writers of the NT did not include "Jehovah" in the inspired NT. It's very dangerous to be tampering with the inspired word of God by replacing or adding words. This is warned about in several places in the Bible, including Revelation 22:18 "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book".

Also, revelation is progressive. The NT provides greater revelation than the OT about salvation, the gospel, sanctification, regeneration/being born again, kingdom of God, grace, the nature of God, etc. That is because God is giving greater and clearer revelation than what was in the Old Testament. We find Paul talking about one mystery that was not all that clear in the OT but is made clear in the NT. In Ephesians 3:3 Paul he says "How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, 4Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) 5Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;". In the Old Testament we had some references to the Gentiles being included, but it was not that clear. The NT has greater and more clearer revelation than what was in the OT. But the doctrines always agree. So, the NT has greater revelation about who God is, than does the OT. In the NT, God is revealed as Father, Son and Holy Spirit (the Trinity).

In response to other comments. I don't have enough points to make comments I guess as it blocks me. So I'm adding my response here to my answer.

Most manuscripts have "Christon" in 1 Cor 10:9. A few have "Kyrion" (Lord). Christon occurs 67 times in the NT, all referring to Jesus Christ. Here is the best article I could find and I quote "Χριστόν scores high on multiple metrics: it is the reading of the oldest manuscript; it is the reading of the most manuscripts by far; it is the reading of the most diverse array of manuscripts; it is the reading favored by a strong combination of early patristic writers". J versions are translations; not God's word. https://www.thetextofthegospels.com/2022/07/first-corinthians-109-lord-or-christ.html

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  • „The Jehovah Witnesses don't believe that, so they want to change the verse to match their belief.“ - Do you have corroborating evidence for this clam?
    – Js Witness
    Commented Jun 10 at 16:37
  • The q asks for jw answer. Yiu have provided your opinion on why jw are wrong. Thus answer should be deleted as off topic
    – 007
    Commented Jun 10 at 17:17
  • Hi Js Witness. Yes, I provided evidence in my answer. The question cited 1 Cor 10:9. The NWT has "Jehovah" in that verse. The NWT has removed the original inspired word in that verse (Christ or Kurios) and replaced it with Jehovah. I have a copy of the 1961 NWT and they cite 237 times they have inserted "Jehovah" in the NT. However, none of the 5,000 greek manuscripts have Jehovah in them. We have many NT quotes from the early church fathers, one of which was a disciple of the Apostle John, and none have Jehovah in them. Also their kingdom interlinear doesn't have Jehovah in it. Thx.
    – Steve H
    Commented Jun 10 at 19:16
  • Most manuscripts have "Christon" in 1 Cor 10:9. A few have "Kyrion" (Lord). Christon occurs 67 times in the NT, all referring to Jesus Christ. Here is the best article I could find and I quote "Χριστόν scores high on multiple metrics: it is the reading of the oldest manuscript; it is the reading of the most manuscripts by far; it is the reading of the most diverse array of manuscripts; it is the reading favored by a strong combination of early patristic writers". J versions are translations. not Gods word. thetextofthegospels.com/2022/07/…
    – Steve H
    Commented Jun 10 at 19:44
  • The q asks for jw answer. Yiu have provided your opinion on why jw are wrong. This answer should be deleted
    – 007
    Commented Jun 11 at 2:19
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First, the question in the OP is wrong when asking "Why does the Apostle Paul 'juxtapose' or contrast God the Father with Jesus Christ as being one and the same God?"

I don't understand how one could say that 1 Corinthians 8:6 talks about a single entity (God) when it says, "yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things, and we exist for Him ; AND one Lord, Jesus Christ, through (greek: dia) whom are all things and we exist through (greek: dia - again) Him."

The semi-colon ; and the word "and" clearly shows that 2 distinct/separate individuals are meant (even using separate titles that DO NOT MEAN the same).

It clearly says that there is the ONE GOD, which is THE FATHER, (Jesus himself declaring the same when he says that the Father is "the only true God" in John 17:3) and goes on to say that there is another individual who is the ONE LORD which is JESUS CHRIST.

So the presupposition of the current OP question is wrong imho.

Second, to the question: "Why at 1 Corinthians 10:9 does the Jehovah's Witnesses NWT use the word 'Jehovah' when the Greek uses "Christos/kurion" referring to Jesus Christ?"

The question again presupposes that at 1 Corinthians 10:9, Jesus Christ is referred to. There is no mention of the name "Jesus" in the whole chapter. The immediate context talks about the Israelites as a warning example, of how the Christians in Corinth should NOT behave. Just as Israelites were "baptized into Moses by means of the cloud and of the sea" (1 Corinthians 10:2), they were baptized into Christ (Galatians 3:27). This symbolic baptism of the Israelites was “into Moses” in that the people had to follow his leadership.

Paul goes on to say that despite this "baptism into Moses", "God was not pleased with most of them, for they were struck down in the wilderness." (1 Corinthians 10:5) - same could happen to the Corinthians, if they wouldn't listen to Paul's warnings, in which he shows the reason for God not being pleased with some of the Israelites. The behavior to heed against were Idolatry (verse 7), sexual immorality (verse 8), rebellion/murmuring (verses 9,10).

In verse 9 Paul alludes to a specific time in the second part of this verse by saying as some of them put "christon/kyrion" to the test, only to perish by the serpents. This event is described at Numbers 21:5, 6, where the record says that “the people kept speaking against GOD and MOSES” and that “YHWH sent poisonous serpents among the people.

Now it is disputable from the available manuscripts which rendering is correct, whether in 1 Corinthians 10:9 "christon" is being tempted or "kyrion". The NWT goes with the latter, and takes the immediate example in Numbers 21:5 as the reason - the tempting or "speaking against" was going towards the OT God/Lord (kyrion being the hebrew adonai) whose name is "YHWH/Jehovah". If "christon" would be correct however, it does not automatically mean that "Jesus" is meant here. According to Strong's, christon means "the anointed one" - the Israelites did "speak against Moses" who was God's anointed at that time (Hebrews 11:24-26).

This is acceptable from the context as well, as the Israelites were "baptized in Moses" similar to the 1st century Christians who were "baptized in Christ". Hence, 1 Corinthians 10:9 merely warns us to not speak or rebel against God's anointed. It would ultimately mean rebellion against God Almighty Himself (1 Samuel 24:6; 26:11).

So NO - the verse doesn't say in any shape or form that Jesus is God. Nor is the NWT wrong in putting "Jehovah" in the rightful place here, if "kyrion" is the right word in the Original text (and it is the word used in the "Critical Text" by Westcott & Hort which they used as the NT basis in the NWT). If "christon" is right however, the essential meaning is preserved even in the NWT rendering as shown in my explanation above.

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  • 1
    Checking the Westcott & Hort Greek text (faithfully copied in the Kingdom Interlinear), the literal English rendering of W&H is "Neither may we be testing out the Lord..." That's because their Greek text has the word 'kyrion'. But in the Kingdom Interlinear English right-hand-side column the KIT has said 'Jehovah', giving the references I detailed in my answer. Westcott & Hort do not seem to support the 'christon' view.
    – Anne
    Commented Jun 10 at 17:00
  • 1
    Indeed - but as a few answers here and the OP question suggests, “christon” appears to be the preferred rendering in trinitarian thinking. I just showed, that even if that was the best rendering, it would still not prove that Jesus Christ is being referred to in 1 Corinthians 10:9
    – Js Witness
    Commented Jun 10 at 18:34

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