Shema

The Shema Doctrine teaches:

"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one!" -- Deuteronomy 6:4, Mark 12:29

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 to:

"Hear Israel, Yahweh our God Yahweh is one." -- BibleHub

God refers to Himself as one:

God spoke all these words, saying, "I am the LORD 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 King David believed:

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 7:22 (ESV)

The prophets teach:

On that day the LORD will be one and his name one. -- Zechariah 14:9 (ESV)

Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us? -- Malachi 2:10 (ESV)

This is also how the apostles believed after they meet Jesus Christ:

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)

Paul confirms this understanding later again:

  • 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)

Note that Paul called the Father "God" and Jesus Christ "Lord".

For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. -- 1 Timothy 2:5

Again Paul differentiate between "God" and the "man Christ Jesus".

The following verse is badly translated and causes confusion:

There is One God and Father of all. -- Ephesians 4:6 (ESV)

At first glance it seems like Paul is contradicting himself in the same sentence. How can two entities be one? But the original Greek:

εἷς Θεὸς καὶ Πατὴρ πάντων

translates to:

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"

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)

In other words, Paul is saying:

  • Only 1 Holy Spirit exists.
  • Only 1 Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, exists.
  • Only 1 God, the Father, exists.

Again this is confirmed in the Book of James:

You believe that God is one. You do well. -- James 2:19

Controversies

Does the Bible contradict itself when people claim that Jesus is also "God"?

Possible explanations:

  • Christians claim that Jesus is one of the members of a single "Godhead".
  • The meaning of the word "god" in the English language is not the same as the meaning of the word "god" in the Greek or Hebrew.