The Shema is a Jewish prayer that teaches:
The original Hebrew:
שְׁמַ֖ע יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֵ֖ינוּ יְהוָ֥ה ׀ - אֶחָֽד׃
And Strong's Concordance:
echad: one Original Word: אֶחָד Part of Speech: Adjective Transliteration: echad Phonetic Spelling: (ekh-awd') Definition: one
This directly translates from:
This was also quoted by Jesus himself:
Jesus answered, "The most important is,
Hear, O Israel: **The LORD our God, the LORD is one**." -- Mark 12:29 (ESV)
God refers to Himself as one:
God spoke all these words, saying, "I am the LORD (YHVH) your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me." -- Exodus 20:1-3 (ESV)
This is what Hanna believed:
"No one is holy like the LORD, for there is none besides You, nor is there any rock like our God." -- 1 Samuel 2:2 (NKJV)
This is what King David believed:
Then King David went in and sat before the Lord and said... "Therefore you are great, O LORD God. For there is none like you, and there is no God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears." -- 2 Samuel 7:18,22 (ESV)
This is what Isaiah believed:
“Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts:
I am the First and I am the Last;
Besides Me there is no God.
And who can proclaim as I do?
Then let him declare it and set it in order for Me, since I appointed the ancient people. And the things that are coming and shall come, let them show these to them.
Do not fear, nor be afraid;
Have I not told you from that time, and declared it?
You are My witnesses.
Is there a God besides Me?
Indeed there is no other Rock; I know not one.’”
-- Isaiah 44:6-8 (NKJV)
This is what Zechariah believed:
On that day the LORD will be one and his name one. -- Zechariah 14:9 (ESV)
This is what Malachi believed:
Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us? -- Malachi 2:10 (ESV)
Jesus teaches that he comes in his Father's authority, who is "the only God":
Then Jesus answered and said to them... “I do not receive honor from men. But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in you. I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not receive me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive. How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God? -- John 5:41-44 (ESV)
If Jesus was God, and he came with his own honor he would be guilty of the same thing that he accuses the Jews of.
Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said... "And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent." -- John 17:1,3 (ESV)
Some argue that this is true for the Old Testament before Jesus was born, but Paul also believed that God is one after the crucifixion and after Jesus ascended:
God is one -- Galatians 3:20
In Paul's letter to Corinthians he wrote:
There is no other God but one.
For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords),
- yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him;
- and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live.
-- 1 Corinthians 8:4-6 (NKJV)
For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus... -- 1 Timothy 2:5 (NKJV)
Why would in the same sentence "one God", means union of multiple, but "one mediator" means "one"?
The following verse is badly translated and causes confusion:
There is One God and Father of all. -- Ephesians 4:6 (ESV)
For an English reader it seems like Paul is contradicting himself. How can two entities be one? But the original Greek:
εἷς Θεὸς καὶ Πατὴρ πάντων
one God also Father of all -- BibleHub
because the Strong Concordance states:
kai: and, even, also Original Word: καί Part of Speech: Conjunction Transliteration: kai Phonetic Spelling: (kahee) Definition: and, even, also Usage: and, even, also, namely.
So what Paul is actually saying is the
"There is one God, who is also known as the Father of all"
This is also what Paul wrote in the previous chapter:
To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. -- 1 Timothy 1:17 (ESV)
Paul explains it in his letter to Corinthians as:
- Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit
- and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord;
- and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.
-- 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 (ESV)
And to the Romans Paul teach there is only one God:
... To the only wise God be glory forevermore... -- Romans 16:27 (ESV)
Again this is confirmed in the Book of James:
You believe that God is one. You do well. -- James 2:19
Even, in the future, the book of Revelations reveals:
"Just are you, O Holy One, Who is and who was, for You brought these judgments. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and You have given them blood to drink. It is what they deserve!" And I heard the altar saying, “Yes, Lord God the Almighty, true and just are your judgments!”
-- Revelation 16:5-7 (ESV)