Hear O Israel... Jesus is Lord!

  More than 3,400 years ago, the prophet Moses penned these words:

  “Listen, Israel: 
   The Lord our God, the Lord is One."     
   Deuteronomy 6:4 

  Transliterating from the Hebrew:

  "Shema Yisrael YHWH Elohim (plural) echad (one) YHWH." 

  Or, literally, 

  "Hear, Israel, YHWH our God(s) One YHWH."

  More than 1,400 years later, Jesus was approached by a scribe and asked, 

  “Which command is the most important of all?”

  And Jesus replied, confirming Moses' words:

  “This is the most important... Listen, Israel! 
    The Lord our God, the Lord is One." 
    Mark 12:29

  We have already shown in a previous article how the Hebrew word for "one" in Deuteronomy 6:4 is "echad," which refers, not to a numerical oneness but to a oneness of unity, much like a husband and a wife are one (see link below). This, in contrast to the Hebrew word, "yachid," which refers to a numerical oneness.

  We have also seen how the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the unlimited God of complex unity (see link below) Who is always able -- and willing -- to enter into His creation. He is the Almighty YHWH Who can take any form He wishes, even the form of a man. 

  We have also listed in other articles a few of the multiple times that the word "Lord" is applied to Jesus in the very same way it is applied to the God of all creation throughout both the Old and New Testaments.

  In this article, we will take a look at yet another way in which the Bible teaches indisputably that Jesus is the very same God of Whom Moses wrote. 

  Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the very same Spirit spoken of in Moses' first book, Genesis, the Apostle Paul writes,

 5 "For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth—as there are many “gods” and many “lords”—

 6 yet for us there is one God, the Father.
    All things are from Him,
    and we exist for Him.
    And there is one Lord, Jesus Christ.
    All things are through Him,
    and we exist through Him." 1 Corinthians 8

  In this passage, Paul contrasts the false gods worshiped by unbelievers (v. 5) with the One True God (v. 6). But then Paul goes on to describe Who that God is.

  Let us restate the verse to try and make it even simpler to grasp what is being said, 

  "... yet for us there is one God, the Father.

   All things are from the Father,

   and we exist for the Father.

   And there is one Lord, Jesus Christ.

   All things are through Jesus,

   and we exist through Jesus."

  This graphic may help to show us what Paul is doing in verse 6:

  The Greek word "kurios" that is used here for "lord" is the same word that is used for God. While it can also mean "master," it is context that helps us to determine how to interpret it.  

  Paul frequently uses the word "God" for the Father and "Lord" for the Son, but context tells us that Paul is not here calling Jesus simply a "master." Take a look at what he said about the Father and the Son once more as we took the liberty of restating it:  

   "... there is one God, the Father.

    All things are from the Father,

    and we exist for the Father.

    And there is one Lord, Jesus Christ.

    All things are through Jesus,

    and we exist through Jesus."

  Anyone who believes in God should have no trouble accepting the top verses which state that all things are from God the Father and that we exist for Him. 

  But if Jesus is not God, no one can say what Paul says here about Him. 

  All things cannot have come, as in all creation, through a mere man. 

  We, as in all humanity, cannot have come into existence through a mere man.      

  So Paul states in our passage that Jesus is God, affirming what the Apostle John says in John 1:1-3.

  Now, this declaration of Jesus' deity from 1 Corinthians 8:6 alone is powerful enough as it stands, but scholars tell us that Paul is doing something else here which would have most definitely caught the attention of 1st century Jews. 

  Paul has taken the battle cry of the Jew, the Shema, and made a doctrinal statement that expounds further on the true nature of God. Here is the Shema once again: 

  “Listen, Israel: 
   The Lord our God, the Lord is One."     
   Deuteronomy 6:4 

  The writers of the New Testament invariably quoted from the Greek Septuagint, also known as the LXX, and only rarely from the Hebrew texts. And so the statement Paul is making is made most obvious when comparing the two sources. This is how the Shema reads in the LXX, 

  "akoue israêl kurios ho theos hemôn kurios eis estin."

  While 1 Corinthians 8:6 reads:

  "all êmin eis theos ho patêr, ex ou ta panta kai hmeis eis auton, kai eis kurios iêsous xristos, di ou ta panta kai hmeis di autou"

  Let's focus on just four specific phrases:

   Deut 6 "kurios ho Theos hemôn"
               Lord     the  God     our

  1 Cor 8 "eis Theos ho pater"     

               one  God   the Father

   Deut 6  "kurios eis estin"
                 Lord     is   one

  1 Cor 8  "kai eis kurios iEsous christos" 
                and one Lord     Jesus    Christ

  When we put them together, we see what Paul is teaching: 

“... The Lord our God, the Lord is One." 
Deuteronomy 6:4 

"One God the Father, and one Lord Jesus Christ."
1 Corinthians 8:6 (paraphrased)

  Where Deuteronomy 6:4 says "The Lord is our God..." 

  1 Corinthians 8:6 (and elsewhere) says Jesus is Lord, therefore Jesus is God.

  The Father is God. The Lord is our God.

  Jesus is Lord, therefore Jesus is God. 

  Once again, this is the Biblical doctrine of the Trinity, in which the Father and the Son remain distinct Persons, and yet are One YHWH with the Holy Spirit. 

  Paul's critics will note that, through this passage we have also seen that, when Paul wrote, he only affirmed what Jesus had already taught. 

  As Jesus had said in John 5 to some unbelieving Jews,

39 "You pore over the Scriptures because you think you have eternal life in them, yet they testify about Me. 

40 And you are not willing to come to Me so that you may have life." John 5

  If you still don't know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, He waits for you with arms open wide. 

  Come to Him, that you may have life!

  With thanks to Dr James White for mentioning this on his podcast. 

  See also: 

  The Lord Our God Is One


  The Jewish Concept of the Complex Unity of God



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