Acts 10:36 – Lord of All

Acts 10:34 Peter opened his mouth and said, “Truly I perceive that God doesn’t show favoritism;
Acts 10:35 but in every nation he who fears him and works righteousness is acceptable to him.
Acts 10:36 – The word which he sent to the children of Israel, preaching good news of peace by Jesus Christ — he is Lord of all —
Acts 10:37 – that spoken word you yourselves know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;
Acts 10:38 – even Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.

The expression “Lord of All” in Acts 10:36 is often cited by trinitarians and others as proof that Jesus is All-Powerful, and thus that Jesus is the Most High, the Almighty Yahweh of the Old Testament. However, we need to examine this in context to see what Peter is saying.

In Acts 10:34, Peter refers to “God”. Obviously, Peter is referring to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, as “God”. Is Peter referring to God as one person, or three persons? The context indicates that he is referring to “God,” not as three persons, but as one person, as he does in his first letter in 1 Peter 1:3, where he refers to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob unipersonally as the God and Father of Jesus. This same patter of referring to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as unipersonally the God and Father of Jesus is seen throughout the New Testament. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is never spoken of as more than one person but is always as one person, identified as the Father of Jesus.  We do not find anything in the verse or in the context that even hints of three persons in one God, nor do we find any idea that Jesus is being presented as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

What we do find is that Peter speaks here of “God” unipersonally as a being totally separate from another being whom God sent, that is Jesus Christ. Thus, the context shows that “God” is being unipersonally, and Jesus is not being included in “God”.

There is some disagreement at to whether the expression, “he is Lord of all”, refers to Jesus Christ, or back to God who sent Jesus Christ. More than likely, “he” is meant in the same sense as “he” earlier in the verse, referring to “God” of Acts 10:34, who did the work as described toward Israel through Jesus.

However, the expression “Lord of All” could be applied to Jesus,  in that the God and Father of the Lord Jesus has made Jesus Lord of all (Matthew 28:28; John 5:22; Acts 2:36; Philippians 2:9), with the evident exception of the God and Father of Jesus. Being made “Lord of all” by the Most High, it is evident that Jesus is not the Most High who made him Lord. — 1 Corinthians 15:27.

Nevertheless, in the context of Acts 10:35, Acts 10:38 tells us that God was “with” [Greek, *met*, Strong’s #3326] Jesus; it does not say that Jesus was God. Acts 10:38 thus speaks of “God” as unipersonal, not tripersonal. Peter is saying that the God and Father of the Lord Jesus (1 Peter 1:3) anointed Jesus with, by means of, God’s holy spirit and power, as spoken of in Isaiah 61:1, where Jesus is prophetically quoted as saying “Yahweh has anointed me.”

Rather than giving us any reason to think that there is anything Acts 10:36 to support the claim that Jesus is Yahweh (Jehovah) of the Old Testament, we find the opposite, that Jesus is the one anointed by the unipersonal God of the Old Testament.

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