Rom 9:5 – Does this passage support the deity of Christ?

Problem: Paul writes, “From whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever” (Rom. 9:5). Is this referring to Jesus being God?

Solution: There are a number of reasons for believing that this is referring to the deity of Christ: First, Paul uses the expression “Lord over all” many times (Rom. 10:12; 14:9; 1 Cor. 8:6; Phil. 2:10). Second, the nearest antecedent of “God” is Christ. The natural reading would make Jesus God, unless there was reason to think otherwise. Third, a passage on the deity of Christ would fit with the context of Jewish unbelief in the Messiah, which was a principal objection to Christianity at the time. Fourth, the expression “who is over all, God blessed” should really be more literally translated “who really is God.” Jewett writes, “The participle ὤν makes excellent sense in reference to Christ, with the connotation ‘who is really God,’ reflecting the controversial point.”[1] Fifth, the early church fathers believed that this supported the deity of Christ. James White writes, “Metzger mentions Irenaeus, Tertullian, Hippolytus, Cyprian, Athanasius, Epiphanius, Basil, Gregory of Nyssa, John Chrysostom, Theodoret, Augustine, Jerome, and Cyril of Alexandria, among others, as reading the passage in support of the deity of Christ.”[2]

[1] Jewett, R., & Kotansky, R. D. Romans: A commentary. (E. J. Epp, Ed.). Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press. 2006. 568.
[2] White, James R. The Forgotten Trinity. Minneapolis, MN. Baker Publishing Group. 1998. 205.

“Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen. (Rom 9:5)”

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