Paul - Jesus and God

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Jesus and God in the Letters of St Paul

Opening greetings

Paul typically began his letters with a formula that associated Jesus with God. Most often this formula included the set phrases, "from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ" [ἀπὸ θεοῦ πατρὸς ἡμῶν καὶ κυρίου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ].


1 Thessalonians

Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace. [1Thess 1:1]


Galatians

Paul an apostle—sent neither by human commission nor from human authorities, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead—2and all the members of God's family who are with me, To the churches of Galatia: 3Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4who gave himself for our sins to set us free from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen. [Gal 1:1-5]


1 Corinthians

Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes, 2To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, together with all those who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours: 3Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. [1Cor 1:1-3]


2 Corinthians

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the church of God that is in Corinth, including all the saints throughout Achaia: 2Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation ... [2Cor 1:1-3]


Philippians

Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: 2Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. [Phil 1:1-2]


Romans

Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures, 3the gospel concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh 4and was declared to be Son of God with power according to the spirit of holiness by resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, 5through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for the sake of his name, 6including yourselves who are called to belong to Jesus Christ, 7To all God's beloved in Rome, who are called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. [Rom 1:1-7]


Philemon

Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, To Philemon our dear friend and co-worker, 2to Apphia our sister, to Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church in your house: 3Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. [Phlm 1-3]



Closing formulae

A slightly different pattern can be observed in the way that Paul typically ended his letters.


1 Thessalonians

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. [1Thess 5:28]


Galatians

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen. [Gal 6:18]


1 Corinthians

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. 24My love be with all of you in Christ Jesus. [1Cor 16:23-24]


2 Corinthians

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. [2Cor 13:13 - perhaps a later editorial conclusion to composite letter?]


Philippians

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. [Philo 4:23]


Romans

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. [Rom 16:20b]


Philemon

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. [Phlm 1:25]


Note especially the complex doxology that now concludes the letter to the Romans:

Now to God who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages 26but is now disclosed, and through the prophetic writings is made known to all the Gentiles, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith—27to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever! Amen. [Rom 16:25-27]