-3

One poster's answer to a separate question has "As is clear from Mark 12:29, this is not a statement which is consistent with the Shema. Jesus should say there is one, εἷς true God, or even more properly, there is one, εἷς God. Instead, Jesus abandons the Shema by saying the Father is the μόνον true God. μόνον means only as in alone. At the time Jesus is praying, He is not at the right hand of God; the Son and the Father are temporarily separated, a condition Jesus affirms by calling the Father the alone true God.

Contrary to the Shema, the adjectives μόνον ἀληθινὸν are necessary to show the Son is not in the Father's presence at that point in time. However, after resurrection, the Son is back at the right hand of God. Therefore, μόνον is no longer necessary to describe God:

Does the context of Mark 12:29 prove that Jesus abandoned the Shema?

Deuteronomy 6:4 ASV

Hear, O Israel: Jehovah our God is one Jehovah

שְׁמַ֖ע‪‬ (šə·ma‘) יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל (yiś·rā·’êl) יְהוָ֥ה (Yah·weh) אֱלֹהֵ֖ינוּ (’ĕ·lō·hê·nū) יְהוָ֥ה ׀ (Yah·weh) אֶחָֽד׃‪‬ (’e·ḥāḏ)

Mark 12:29 ASV

Jesus answered, The first is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God, the Lord is one

Ἰησοῦς (Iēsous) Ἀπεκρίθη (Apekrithē) ἐστίν (estin) Ὅτι (Hoti) Ὅτι (Hoti) Πρώτη (Prōtē) Ἄκουε (Akoue) Ἰσραήλ (Israēl) Κύριος (Kyrios) ἡμῶν (hēmōn) Θεὸς (Theos) ἐστιν (estin) εἷς (heis) Κύριος (Kyrios)

The link below shows Revelation Lad's answer in full. I specifically asked this question because the 14th and 15th paragraph of his answer needed to be clarified.

Does it follow from John 17:3 that Knowing God alone cannot give Eternal Life? What then is the need for the adjectives "The only True"

1

4 Answers 4

2

Since Jesus equates the Shema to the greatest commandment in Mark 12:27-30, to suggest that the one use of monos in Jn 17 would be the abandonment of the Shema would be to also suggest that he is abandoning what he asserts is the greatest commandment. And that would be absurd, as his whole ministry was built on that.

8
  • 1
    If it is the greatest commandment and if it is repeated twice each day, one doesn't replace a clear confession of faith with something new, The Shema identifies God unambiguously as one, εἷς. OTOH, monos, μόνον means either only or alone. IF one chooses "only" it means only in the sense of alone. IOW, since the Son is on earth the only the Father is in heaven. at that time. Dec 7, 2022 at 4:36
  • 2
    @RevelationLad I'm confused, please clarify: are you saying that if the Father is in "heaven" he can't also be on earth? Are you asserting that the Father's locality is limited to one place at a time within his creation? Or am I reading your comment incorrectly?
    – Akradecki
    Dec 7, 2022 at 4:48
  • I am saying the Son since the Son came to earth, He was not in heaven when He was praying: When Jesus had spoken these words, He lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father... (John 17:1). Jesus said "Father in heaven..." Similar is Matthew 27:46 Dec 7, 2022 at 5:10
  • 1
    @RevelationLad ... There's nothing intrinsically remarkable with lifting up his eyes to pray...while we modern Americans are used to closing our eyes and bowing our heads to pray, the ancient Jewish people did just as Jesus did.
    – Akradecki
    Dec 9, 2022 at 1:24
  • 1
    @AlexBalilo because much of what Jesus did he did as demonstration for us to emulate. It was a demonstration of the relationship we are supposed to have with the Father. He wants us to pray to the Father, so he demonstrated it. He wants us to obey the Father, so he demonstrated it. He wants us to depend absolutely and abjectly on the Father, so he demonstrated it. We are to imitate him, so he had to provide a model to imitate.
    – Akradecki
    Dec 9, 2022 at 15:23
2

Jesus is not misquoting the LXX shema with respect to the use of the word we translate in English as one

Deu6:4

ακουε Ισραηλ κυριος ο θεος ημων  κυριος  εις   εστι

Mark12:29

…ακουε ισραηλ κυριος ο θεος ημων κυριος εις εστιν

The Greek is consistent in that it uses hen rather than monos exactly as the Hebrew uses echad rather than yachid.

After much back and forth this question is really asking about John 17:3 and the use of the monos by Jesus one single time.

The idea being that Jesus saying that the Father is monos God, to the non-Trinitarian ears means Jesus acknowledges that there is only one singular person called God, even though every other time the Greek hen is used.

The question is actually not well worded and nor can it be succinct.

The shema uses the word echad which is the Hebrew equivalent for hen in Greek. By Jesus in John 17:3 using monos is He departing from the shema? No.

Jesus in John 17:3 is acknowledging that the Father is the singular true God TO himself because immediately after He asks the Father to do the exact same thing for Him

I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.” ‭‭John‬ ‭17‬:‭4‬-‭5‬ ‭

And it also says before the world existed, that means before Creation and nothing existed prior to Creation, not heaven, and if there was no heaven no heavenly beings because they would have nowhere to exist in but Jesus is saying He existed prior to Creation, which is saying He is God.

To infer and imply that Jesus said the Father is the only True God means Jesus is saying He (Jesus) is not God is an invalid assumption by non-Trinitarians. Take Ephesians 4

“There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” ‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4‬:‭4‬-‭6‬ ‭

If the Father is the only person who can be God, then the Father cannot therefore also be Lord because there is only one Lord. But that’s not what is being said. It’s not said to the exclusion of the other.

Is Jesus rejecting the Shema? No. He is reinforcing it in John 17:4,5 highlighting the shema’s echad or hen in the LXX that says The Lord God is echad/hen/united and united means there is more than one. The Elohim of Hebrew is plural, otherwise the shema should read El not Elohim is echad It should read El is yachid But it reads El is Elohim in Deut 6:4 and it's echad not yachid.

8
  • Thank you for your answer. Please note the Q ask if Jesus abandoned the Shema. Please confirm if Jesus abandoned the Shema or not. Dec 7, 2022 at 2:58
  • Abandoned it how @Alex? Dec 7, 2022 at 3:09
  • 1
    Maybe link to the answer so we can read the broader context @Alex Dec 7, 2022 at 3:21
  • 1
    I now understand the question, it’s about the single time Jesus used the word monos whereas every other time He uses the hen. The simplest way to understand this is “There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” ‭‭E ‭4‬:‭4‬-‭6‬ if God is used exclusively of the Father then Lord is used exclusively of the son because it’s the same word being used to translate one. So if the Father can be both God and Lord, so can the Son. Dec 7, 2022 at 3:30
  • 1
    Profound comment Nihil Dec 7, 2022 at 21:22
1

Mark
In giving the most important command Jesus said:

Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. (ESV)
ἀπεκρίθη ὁ Ἰησοῦς ὅτι Πρώτη ἐστίν ἄκουε Ἰσραήλ κύριος ὁ θεὸς ἡμῶν κύριος εἷς ἐστιν

He is referring to Deuteronomy:

And these are the statutes and the judgments, which the Lord commanded to the sons of Israel in the wilderness as they were coming out from the land of Egypt. Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord. (LXX-Deuteronomy 6:4 NETS)
καὶ ταῦτα τὰ δικαιώματα καὶ τὰ κρίματα ὅσα ἐνετείλατο κύριος τοῗς υἱοῗς Ισραηλ ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ ἐξελθόντων αὐτῶν ἐκ γῆς Αἰγύπτου ἄκουε Ισραηλ κύριος ὁ θεὸς ἡμῶν κύριος εἷς ἐστιν

When answering the scribe, Jesus followed the Greek rendering of the Shema verbatim. Obviously in this case Jesus did not abandon the Shema.

John
In His final prayer, Jesus prayed to the Father in heaven and He included a statement which like the Shema, speaks to the nature of God:

And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
αὕτη δέ ἐστιν ἡ αἰώνιος ζωὴ ἵνα γινώσκωσι σὲ τὸν μόνον ἀληθινὸν θεὸν καὶ ὃν ἀπέστειλας Ἰησοῦν Χριστόν

Based on the Shema, as given in Mark the correct term is one God, or the one true God. Yet in the prayer, Jesus replaced εἷς with μόνον. μόνον ἀληθινὸν θεὸν does not follow the Shema. In addition Jesus replaced εἷς, whose meaning is clear, with μόνον which means either only or alone. Based on these changes, Jesus did abandon the Shema when praying to His Father.

The ambiguous μόνον can mean the Son is on earth and only the Father is in heaven when being addressed by the Son. That is, the Father is alone as in separated from the Son due to His earthly mission. [As the disciples prayer begins, Our Father who art in heaven...]

This understanding of μόνον explains why John restated the words of Jesus' prayer in the letter:

And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.

John removed μόνον from the expression Jesus used in His prayer. When the letter was written, the Son had returned to the Father: μόνον was no longer needed. Finally, when writing, John did not have to cite the expression from the prayer. Obviously he was willing to change what Jesus said, yet in making a change, John also avoided restoring the language of the Shema. In this sense John also abandoned the Shema.

14
  • @RevelatioLad. The Shema was not the subject of John 17:3. How could he abandon it in John 17:3 Dec 7, 2022 at 5:07
  • Here is the 14th paragraph of your answer. "As is clear from Mark 12:29, this is not a statement which is consistent with the Shema. Jesus should say there is one, εἷς true God, or even more properly, there is one, εἷς God. Instead, Jesus abandons the Shema by saying the Father is the μόνον true God. μόνον means only as in alone. At the time Jesus is praying, He is not at the right hand of God; the Son and the Father are temporarily separated, a condition Jesus affirms by calling the Father the alone true God. Dec 7, 2022 at 5:14
  • Interesting rendering of John 17:3 monos as alone, I’ll check it out Dec 7, 2022 at 5:59
  • Please do not undo rollbacks on question edits. Your edit was removed as conflicting with the OP's intent.
    – Steve can help
    Dec 10, 2022 at 1:14
  • @Stevecanhelp Have you read the question and the answer from which the OP says he has asked the question? Nowhere do I say Jesus abandoned the Shema in Mark. I answered a question about John and First John and showed how what Jesus said and John wrote deviated from the Shema. The OP is intentionally misrepresenting what I said. I would appreciate if you would not empower him to misrepresent what I said. The issue is what Jesus said in His prayer compared to Mark. Dec 10, 2022 at 2:06
0

In His prayer did Jesus abandon the Shema He gave in Mark 12:29?

There is no verse in the bible that shows Jesus abandoned the Shema when he prayed in John 17:3.The Father is a single Person and is the only God, as John 5:44 also show. Jesus, his apostles and the apostles' ancestors did not teach a God different from the God of the Shema as Acts 3:13 show.

John 17:3 ASV

And this is life eternal, that they should know thee the only true God, and him whom thou didst send, even Jesus Christ

John 5:44 ASV

How can ye believe, who receive glory one of another, and the glory that cometh from the only God ye seek not?

Acts 3:13 ASV

The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Servant Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied before the face of Pilate, when he had determined to release him

About the Shema

The word "one" in the Shema in Mark 12:29 is εἷς (heis) not hen as shown in John 17:21-22.

The one/heis (masculine) in Mark 12:29 means mathematical oneness. It does not carry the meaning describing a figurative unity of purpose just as the Greek “one” hen (neuter) does in John 17:21, 22

The context in Deuteronomy 6:4's echad, does not show a plural oneness, Echad means the cardinal number 1 we use in counting. Jesus never stated or even hinted that he and the Father composed the one true God. According to Jesus, his and his Father's testimonies equals 2 testimonies as John 8:17-18 shows, Jesus said that the testimony of two men is true I am he that beareth witness of myself and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me. Thus, Jesus cannot be the only true God as his God is and be counted as "one", the cardinal number 1, as John 8:17-18 show. The only true God is not a compound unity of persons.

Part of another poster's answer stated "If the Father is the only person who can be God, then the Father cannot therefore also be Lord because there is only one Lord. But that’s not what is being said. It’s not said to the exclusion of the other".

Examining the above-mentioned assertion I found;

Jesus referred to Psalm 110:1 as Matthew 22:45-46 and Mark 12:37 show. Does Jesus' statement in Mark 12:36 reinforce the idea that "If the Father is the only person who can be God, then Father cannot therefore also be Lord because there is only one Lord". Mark 12:36 says "David himself said in the Holy Spirit, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Till I make thine enemies the footstool of thy feet".

Let us examine who the two lords are and if they both are God.

Psalm 110:1 ASV

A Psalm of David. Jehovah saith unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, Until I make thine enemies thy footstool.

The 1st LORD in Psalm 110:1 is Jehovah/YHWH. The second lord is translated from the hebrew word adoni. The word adoni does not refer to God. Adoni is a title which never refers to God. Peter narrated God's plan based on the truth of Psalm 110:1 in Acts 2:33-36. "Being therefore by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he hath poured forth this, which ye see and hear. For David ascended not into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Till I make thine enemies the footstool of thy feet. Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly, that God hath made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom ye crucified".

God is the first LORD(YHWH) and Jesus is the second lord(adoni) in Psalm 110:1. God is (LORD) YHWH . Jesus is adoni lord, not LORD (YHWH)

There is no biblical support showing that Jesus abandoned the Shema when he prayed to his Father/God in John 17:3. There is also no support that he is the God of the Shema

6
  • 1
    "The one/heis (masculine) in Mark 12:29 means mathematical oneness. It does not carry the meaning describing a figurative unity of purpose" Incorrect. "Besides its purely numerical value, our noun εις (heis) may express unity ("one flesh", Mark 10:8) and inclusivity ("each one", Matthew 17:4, Ephesians 5:33, Revelation 21:21). It may mean "even one" (Matthew 5:36), "one and the same" (Romans 3:30), "someone" (Matthew 19:16), "a certain one person" (Mark 14:51). On occasion our word may be used as ordinal number, meaning first (Matthew 28:1)." Dec 9, 2022 at 13:55
  • @MikeBorden. Does the "one" God in the Shema express unity, inclusivity. "even one" a certain one person "or "first". Please show us why the "one" God in the Shema means mathematical oneness is incorrect. Dec 9, 2022 at 17:40
  • My comment is regarding your incorrect declaration about heis not carrying a meaning describing a figurative unity of purpose. The word heis often does carry just such a meaning as I've shown. Since the Lord uses heis in the place where the Hebrew has echad and, since echad also often carries that same meaning (cf Genesis 2:24), it is also incorrect to insist that the Shema contains a cardinal number. Dec 10, 2022 at 15:56
  • Here is a good article making a solid case that echad in the Shema is best rendered as representing positional uniqueness rather than as a cardinal number. hebrew-streams.org/works/hebrew/echad.html Dec 10, 2022 at 16:02
  • @MikeBorden. It may be good if you post a Q about the word echad in the Shema, or answer this Q. Dec 10, 2022 at 22:28

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.