by John Lieberman

    The most famous of all Jewish prayers is The Shema: "Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one." (Deut. 6:4) - the foundation statement of monotheistic Judaism. Aren't Christians wrong, then, when they say that God exists in three persons - the Father, Son & Holy Spirit? Doesn't that imply that there are three separate Gods?"

    To answer those questions, let me first state unequivocally that Messianic Jews as well as biblical Christians teach that there is only one personal eternal Creator God that both Jews and gentiles can have a relationship with.

    But what is this one God like? How does the Bible describe God? In Genesis 1:26, when God decides to create man, the Bible says, "Let's us make man in our image." The Hebrew word used for God, "Elohim"is a plural word! Who, then, is included in the us and our in the text? Could this be one of the first hints in the Bible that the Being of God might exist as more than one person?

    The Hebrew word for one in the Shema is echad which can be translated here as a compound unity. For example, when Adam and Eve became one(echad) flesh, they did not cease to exist individually. (Gen. 2:24)

    Rabbi Jesus made statements that no Jew ever made: "I and my Father are One" and "Before Abraham was, I Am."* He was actually claiming that he existed prior to Bethlehem! It appears that Jesus claimed to be and is more than just a carpenter. What do you think?

*Jn: 10:30, 8:58

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Updated:  01/15/01