Moulton on 1 Corinthians 15:28

Moulton-Howard-Turner Greek Grammar CollectionI just installed the new Moulton-Howard-Turner Greek Grammar Collection from Logos.

It comes with the four volumes of A Grammar of New Testament Greek:

  • Vol. 1: Prolegomena by James H. Moulton
  • Vol. 2: Accidence and Word-Formation by James H. Moulton and Wilbert F. Howard
  • Vol. 3: Syntax by Nigel Turner
  • Vol. 4: Style by Nigel Turner

It also includes Turner’s volume Grammatical Insights into the New Testament.

I’ve been looking forward to this collection since it was first put on Pre-Pub in June of 2006. We used Turner’s volume on syntax in an advanced Greek grammar course in seminary, and I found his meticulous analysis to be incredibly helpful. I’m eager to dig into the other volumes as well.

The first thing I did after installing this collection was to run a search in the Reference Browser for 1 Cor 15:28.

The first hit was this relevant quote from Moulton:

An ingressive future may probably be seen in ὑποταγήσεται, 1 Co 15:28: the τότε seems to show that the Parousia is thought of as initiating a new kind of subordination of the Son to the Father, and not the perpetuation of that which had been conspicuous in the whole of the mediatorial æon. The exposition of this mystery must be taken up by the theologians.1

None of us is able to interpret the Scripture with sheer objectivity, but Moulton’s best attempt at reading this text grammatically rather than theological leads him to see an ingressive future, which denotes a subordination of the Son to the Father that differs from the Son’s present subordination to the Father (i.e., during the mediatorial age—from the incarnation until “God has put all things in subjection under His feet”).

See my previous post: John Frame on 1 Corinthians 15:28 and Eternal Subordination.


  1. James Hope Moulton, A Grammar of New Testament Greek, Volume 1: Prolegomena, (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 2006), 149.

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4 Responses to Moulton on 1 Corinthians 15:28

  1. Mike April 11, 2008 at 10:58 pm #

    And 100 years later and the theologians are still arguing about it. Maybe we should just stick with Moulton’s explanation.

  2. Phil Gons May 7, 2008 at 9:20 pm #

    Thanks for the note, Mike. I think that Moulton’s grammatical insight is on track and fits with the conclusion I’ve been leaning towards, but it doesn’t really answer the important theological questions of what the Son’s present and future subordination actually entail. Exegetes might be content to leave these matters unresolved, but theologians are not so easily satisfied. I’m inclined to probe further than Moulton has, and I think he’s not opposed to such probing: “The exposition of this mystery must be taken up by the theologians.”

  3. Ed Dolan December 2, 2010 at 8:46 pm #

    You guys are killing me! (I’m saying that in brotherly love). I was hoping to hear the definitive breakdown of 1 Corinthians 15:28. I’ve spent hours online and in commentaries to, in essence, understand that there is no easy answer.

    As a complete novice theologically, I do appreciate the time and effort you brothers have put into this. Should you be able to offer advice to one who speaks no Greek, but loves the Lord, I would deeply appreciate it.

  4. Andy Doerksen April 22, 2016 at 7:51 pm #

    No, there’s no “easy” answer – but I would suggest there’s an indication of the answer in Genesis 2. There we see God in harmonious relations with humanity, of course pre-Fall. On the basis of Trinitarian revelation which came later, we may confidently assert that the Father, Son, and Holy spirit were ALL communing with Adam and Eve. The Son was in subjection to the Father – but not in a mediatorial role, because that wasn’t needed.

    In the future God will be “all in all” – just as He was very briefly in the Garden. The Son’s current reign is linked to his role as mediator. The end of his mediation between us and the Father will mean the end of his reign as glorified man, for it is as glorified man that he functions as mediator. The “all in all” reality of the future is theologically linked to the same phraseology applied to the Son – as our mediator – in Col. 3:11.