God the Father of us and of Christ?

The usual translations of the passages in the letters of St. Paul
such as Romans 1:7, 2 Cor 1:3, Eph 1:3 etc. are along the lines of -

To 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. (Romans 1:7 RSV)

ie. translators seem to take the "grace from" phrase as also governing
"the Lord Jesus Christ", that is that he is invoking grace from both the
Father and Christ. However, I wonder if this is necessarily correct. In
other passages, Paul certainly seems to use these phrases somewhat
differently, and "the Lord Jesus Christ" is related more directly to
"the Father of". There are several such passages, about 9 in all, where
this would appear to be the case, notably -

that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our
Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 15:6 RSV)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed
us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,
(Ephesians 1:3 RSV)

The expression in Greek is ambiguous - apo Theou patros emon kai tou
Kuriou Iesou Christou. Both senses are _possible_ grammatically, but
could not the above passages (there are about 7 of them) be equally well
translated "Grace and peace from God, the Father of us and of our Lord
Jesus Christ", thereby retaining a greater sense of the uniqueness of God
the Father, perhaps more likely in someone like Paul, with his Jewish
monotheistic background? Before the Arian controversy the "equality" of
the Son with the Father hardly arose, but it is easy to see how post
Nicene theologians and translators would feel more happy in turning Paul
into a good post Nicene orthodox writer. Apart from these passages,
which anyway are susceptible of this more pre Nicene interpretation,
there are no other passages that I can think of in St. Paul where he
would appear to be placing Christ on precisely the same level as "God
the Father". It seems rather anachronistic to make him do so.

There are many other passages where Paul sees Jesus Christ more in terms
of a mediator between God the Father and us, rather than in the full
sense co-equal with God the Father.

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus
Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:57 RSV)

Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God
through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:1 RSV)

Not only so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
through whom we have now received our reconciliation. (Romans 5:11 RSV)

yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and
for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all
things and through whom we exist. (1 Corinthians 8:6 RSV)

(To see Christ as our "master" or "Lord" is not, it would seem, quite
the same as to see him as "God".)

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we
might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21 RSV)

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the
Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians
3:17 RSV)

It is not a question of turning Paul into a "subordinationist", but of
_first_ deciding what Paul did actually say, and _then_ deciding what is
orthodox - if that word has any meaning. To do things the other way
around is hardly critical, or even fully honest.

????? - Shoot me down!

John Richards                                          Pembrokeshire (UK)
Internet - jhr@elidor.demon.co.uk             CompuServe ID - 100113,1250