What is the Shema?


Clarify Share Report Asked July 01 2013 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

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Shea S. Michael Houdmann Supporter Got Questions Ministries
Shema ("hear") is the Hebrew word that begins the most important prayer in Judaism. It is found in Deuteronomy 6:4, which begins with the command to "Hear." The whole Shema prayer, which includes v...

July 01 2013 0 responses Remove Vote Share Report

Mini Al Mari Private practice as a cardiovascular & thoracic surgeon
The Shema doctrine is a key concept of Judaism on who God is. 

As stated, this concept originated from Deut. 6:4; the English translation is: "Hear O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one". In the original Hebrew, Lord is YHVH, God is Elohim and "one" is echad. So, to rephrase the verse: "Hear O Israel, the YHVH our Elohim, the YHVH is echad."

If one compares Genesis 1, the God/Elohim(the Creator) and Genesis 2, it is clear that the word "Elohim" is generic or common name for God and YHVH ELOHIM is the proper name. Much like John Smith, Smith is a common name but John is the proper name. There is only one specific John Smith as there is only "one/echad" YHVH ELOHIM translated in English as "Lord God".

We all acknowledge that the Creator of and who "purposed" all is the Father (Heb. 1:2; Eph. 3:9-11; I Cor. 8:6). But, creation was actually and proximately done, not by the Father, but by the LOGOS, the WORD (just by his word, creation happened as in God said, Gen. 1). This LOGOS incarnated into man-Jesus (John 1). That Genesis Creator therefore is the LOGOS who became man-Jesus, " the same yesterday, today and forever"(Heb. 13:8).

But, notice how Paul was clear as to how distinct, separate and unique are each one: 
I Cor. 8:6 " But we know that there is only one God(theos), the Father, who created everything...and there is only one Lord(kyrios), Jesus Christ through whom God(theos) made everything..."! Tim. 2:5 " There i s one God(theos), and one mediator also between God(theos) and men, the man Messiah Yeshua"(Jesus)

WHile this Father and Son relationship was prophesied, it did not come to fruition until declared officially in the "river Jordan", "You are my son; today I have become your father (Ps. 2:7). Again, notice not yesterday or tomorrow, but "today". When there is a son, there is a father (Matt. 3:17; Mk.1:11). This relationship was planned even before creation, Jesus is the "beginning and the end"(Rev.22:13), to bring "many sons to glory" (Heb.2:10).

Indeed, the God that the Hebrews were referring to in Genesis is "one/echad", the YHVH ELOHIM (LOGOS, Jesus). The Jews in Jesus' time did not recognize nor acknowledge this fact and instead accused him of "blasphemy". For how could a "man" claim to be the Jews YHVH ELOHIM who is spiriti, not human? (Jn 10:31-39).He is separate from the Father who is also "one/echad". Both are distinct, separate and unique from each other as a "being" although "one" as in "one body yet many members" (I Cor. 12:20). 
However, while they are "distinct" yet "one", to further differentiate the two, notice that while "all powers were given" back to Jesus (Matt. 28:18) he will be subjected to the Father so that the Father may be "all in all". Yes, we will "all be one in the Father". Jesus will make us "kings and priests unto God, his Father" (Rev. 1:6). We are being made from "an image" of YHVH ELOHIM (Gen. 1:26-27) to be "conformed to his likeness" (Jesus) as in Rom. 8:29; 2 Cor. 3:18;I Thes.1:6;Lu.6:40;Jn.16:26;Phil.2:4-5).

Retrospectively, the meaning of the original Hebrew words "elohim',YHVH, echad, Adonai, El Shaddai as well as the Greek words, "theos, kyrios," have been "lost in translation to English" 

In general, the English word "God" in the Old Testament refers to YHVH ELOHIM/Jesus. Whereas, in general in the New Testament, the English word "God" refers to the Father.

Yes, this was his plan all along when it came to "man" in Genesis and reflected in Ps. 8:4-6 and explained in Heb. 2:6. As we were created initially as an "image", a template" or "temple" into which the Holy Spirit will dwell God has an interest as a Potter to "marred clay" (Jer. 18:4-6) to conform us into his Son. Indeed, we will all be in the God-kingdom, not the plant-kingdom, animal kingdom nor the angelic-species. As Eve came from the flesh of Adam, so shall the church/woman will come from man-Jesus, and the "twain shall be one flesh".

Now, the Shema doctrine hopefully wil be better understood.

March 05 2015 0 responses Remove Vote Share Report

Mini Georg Kouz
The word 'shema' means to hear, to listen, or to pay attention.
The verse quoted (Deuteronomy 6:4) means exactly what it says: God is one. He is not two, three, or any other number. …. but the word used for “one” in original Hebrew text is ECHAD (. אֶחָד.)which means one in union.

Later the Mazorites changed the word echad (אֶחָֽד׃) into “Yachid” which means numerically one. This is because they did not believe in Jesus as Messiah.

June 23 2014 1 response Vote Up Share Report

My picture Jack Gutknecht ABC/DTS graduate, guitar music ministry Baptist church
According to the Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, the definition of Shema is "the Jewish confession of faith made up of Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and Deuteronomy 11:13-21 and Numbers 15:37-41."

I often referred to these verses in Deuteronomy 6:4-9 from the pulpit when I pastored Genoa City Bible Church in Genoa City, Wisconsin.

4Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:

5And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

6And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:

7And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

8And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.

9And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates."

September 01 2021 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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