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I have done an extensive amount of research and study on texts such as 1 Corinthians 15:28 and 1 Corinthians 11:3, which seem to communicate a submission of the son to the Father after His incarnation.

I'm aware that eternal submission or eternal subordination is not a historically orthodox Christian doctrine and is considered heresy by many.

But please help me make sense of these texts in relation to the topic. Is the son eternally submitting? If yes, how so if the submission is yielding to the will of another and the will is a property of nature/being? If no, how do I then think through these texts which seem to communicate an eternal submission of the Son well after the incarnation?

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  • Welcome to Christianity.SE! and thank you for your contribution. When you get a chance, please take the tour to understand how the site works and how it is different than others. I would also recommend reading the Help Center's sections on asking and answering questions.
    – agarza
    Dec 7, 2023 at 4:05
  • Hello and welcome to the site! We like for the verses to be included in the question itself. Do you have a preferred translation?
    – curiousdannii
    Dec 7, 2023 at 6:00
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    The verses you cite do not include the word Father. God is not Father only, but Father, Son, Spirit. If the Holy Spirit intended submission to only Father, we would read Father. Since we read God, we should understand accordingly. Dec 7, 2023 at 7:32
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    The relationship of Father to Son and Son to Father is a matter of Persons. (Not nature ; they share the same nature.) That relationship results in a filial submission which is always there, since the relationship is always there, since the Persons are always there. I can copy this into an answer box if people want me to, but it seems so obvious to me that this is just a comment.
    – Nigel J
    Dec 7, 2023 at 12:50
  • Are yiu asking fir a response from denominations that do not believe in eternal submission ie that the son is not eternal ie had a beginning?
    – Kris
    Dec 8, 2023 at 13:35

2 Answers 2

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Yes, the relationship of submission to the Father is eternal as regards the Son.

(The name 'Jesus' is only relevant after the event in Bethlehem when a child was laid in a manger and named.)


The relationship of Father to Son and Son to Father is a matter of Persons.

(Not nature ; they share the same nature. But they are different Persons.)

That relationship results in a filial submission which is always there, since the relationship is always there, since the Persons are always there.

God is a Spirit, said Jesus. (Literally 'Spirit the Deity'.) And we know that, being in form, God, he thought it not robbery to be equal God. That is a matter of nature. The nature of Deity, in Spirit.

But as to the relationship of Father to Son, Jesus said, 'The Father is greater than I'. A matter of relationship between Father and Son.

Sons are equal to fathers, by nature.

But Fathers beget sons and they are, thus, greater.

If one has the faith to perceive and understand that these relationships within Deity are eternal ; then one can view these matters with the eye of faith.

For the natural man perceives them not.


There are a number of scriptures within this answer and I am quoting the KJV in every single case, but highlighting the literal (TR-Stephens 1550) where necessary.

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  • The op asks “if the verses in 1cor do not teach eternal submission how am I to understand them “? Your answer ignores that premise
    – Kris
    Dec 11, 2023 at 2:33
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    I answered the original question Is the son eternally submitting? and Please Help! Jesus eternal submission to the Father. I am not responsible for edits.
    – Nigel J
    Dec 11, 2023 at 6:30
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If these passages from 1 Corinth 11:3 & 15:28 don't teach the eternal submission of Jesus to the Father, then how should I understand them?

On Sunday 25 Feb 2018, Dr Peter Masters preached on "The Light of Christ" from John 1. In it at about 39 minutes in online video he said some people believed in the eternal submission of the Son to the Father, but actually the Son's submission to the Father was only while he was on earth: there was/is no eternal submission. It is just an aside in his message, no evidence is given.

I confess I find this viewpoint baffling. (I had no idea that my answer here was remotely controversial: Is 1 Corinthians 15:27 problematic for trinitarians? )

With the greatest respect to all who hold this view, where is the biblical evidence for the absolute equality of Father and Son in their personal relations in eternity? Equality in divine nature does not require equality in relationship.

This is not just a quibble about words, but maybe it is close: after all, the Son wills and has aways willed in His Divine nature precisely what the Father wills: the Son's will has never been constrained to agree with the will of the Father: their Divine wills are and have always been in perfect harmony about everything.

Nevertheless, the Son is the Son and the Father is the Father: God calls us to obey our parents: Surely, this commandment is eternally obeyed by the Son of God.. He would not break one of His own commandments.

It is a wonder of my faith to believe that God Himself, in the Person of the Son of God, obeys: He is not hypocritical in calling us to honour our parents and those in authority, by obedience to them.. and if even God (the Son) obeys then how much more should we?

"If yes, [i.e. if the submission is eternal] how so if the submission is yielding to the will of another and the will is a property of nature/being?"

The ability to yield is the property of a nature, but yielding to the will of another person is the act of a person. The three persons of the Godhead have the same nature but are not identical in their actions: the Son went to the cross, not the Father, nor the Holy Spirit; "This is my beloved Son, listen to him" was said by the Father not the Son. The Son yielding to the will of the Father is not inconsistent with the Son having the same nature as the Father.

Now, after His resurrection, the Son of God is both God and man for all future eternity. In such a condition He, of course, offers up all to God (1 Cor 15:28).. the resurrected Lord, as a resurrected creature, offers all up to God. 1 Cor 11:3 is also speaking of the person of Christ as the God-Man. The head of the man, our Lord Jesus Christ, is God.

("If no, how do I then think through these texts which seem to communicate an eternal submission of the Son well after the incarnation?"

In this view the submission is not only "after the incarnation" but also before.)

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