Tuesday, May 24, 2005


I already talked about the Jewish prayer known as the Shema in an earlier post, but I think it's worth revisting as we think about what the Old Testament can tell us about God as Trinity.

The Shema, which may be thought of as the central "creed" of Judaism, begins with the words of Deuteronomy 6:4, Sh'ma Yisrael Adonai Elohaynu Adonai Echad -- Hear, Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One.

This thought of the uniqueness and oneness of God pervades the Bible. Although some scholars think they can detect echos of a time when the Israelites saw their God as one among many deities, the texts as we have them today are decidedly slanted against the idea that there can be any other God than the Lord.

Besides the passage quoted above, we could look at Deuteronomy 4:39, "So acknowledge today and take to heart that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other"; 1 Kings 8:59-60, "May he maintain the cause of his servant and the cause of his people Israel, as each day requires, so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God; there is no other"; Nehemiah 9:6, "And Ezra said: 'You are the Lord, you alone'"; Psalm 148:13, "Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted; his glory is above earth and heaven."; Isaiah 42:8, "I am the Lord, that is my name; my glory I give to no other"; Joel 2:27, "You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I, the Lord, am your God and there is no other"

The message is clear: "The Lord is our God, the Lord is One."

But here was must recognize that this is not an obstacle to Trinitarian faith. This is the foundation of Trinitarian faith. Whatever ideas we may form about the Holy Trinity, we must be careful never to lose sight of this central confession: "The Lord is One."

Continue to "God As Father"
Go back to "Elohim"


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