God

Monotheism

The Primary Claim and Assumption of Christianity

You cannot get past the first sentence of the first book in the Bible without encountering the concept of monotheism: “In the beginning God…” (Genesis 1:1).

However, there are those that would beg to differ – the Mormons, for example, would have us believe that “beginning” here is merely referring to the beginning of our planet or “world.” Because God, of course, is not unique – and, in fact, had to attain to “godhood” before he was able to create and populate this; his own personal “creation.”

This idea(and its fellows), is absurd and blasphemous on its face to Jews, Christians, and Muslims. And that is for the simple reason that these uniquely monotheistic religions of the world draw from the special revelation that God made of Himself to the Hebrews of antiquity. Judaism has preserved for us the Tanakh, upon which the religions of both Christianity and Islam claim to be built; or at least they claim to proceed from the same vein as the Hebrew Scriptures – thus these three religions share the doctrine of monotheism. For not only does Genesis and Job assume the existence of only One True God, but portions of the Law and the Prophets argue for and display His unique grandeur.

But before I make a case from Scripture for Absolute Monotheism, allow me to define the term for the sake of clarity.

Monotheism

MON’OTHEISM, noun [Gr. only, and God.] The doctrine or belief of the existence of one God only.”

Simple enough, right?

The authors of the Bible wrote in such a way that it is obvious they assumed the existence of only one divine being: “Know therefore today, and take it to your heart, that the LORD, He is God in heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other.” ~ Deuteronomy 4:39 (NASB) (See also: Numbers 23:19, Romans 11:33-36, Colossians 1:15-17, etc…)

In Scripture we also have God’s own spoken words that ground and affirm that assumption: “For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it and did not create it a waste place, but formed it to be inhabited), “I am the LORD, and there is none else.”” ~ Isaiah 45:18 (NASB) (See also: Isaiah 43:10-13, 44:6-8 & 24, and Job 38-41, etc…)

Notice that many of these texts (and the surrounding context) teach creation itself as a proof for the existence of only one divine Creator – and by right of owning and sustaining that creation this God should be acknowledged and worshipped – moreover He deserves whatever He demands.

Thus we come to my final observation for this post:

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” ~ Deuteronomy 6:4-5 (ESV)

Verse 4 quoted above is called the shema. It is similar to the shahada of Islam in that it serves as the primary declaration of belief and/or allegiance to God in Judaism. This phrase was to be recited and taught among the Jews from generation to generation (see context: Deuteronomy 6).

This declaration, the commands that follow it, and the other texts referenced above seem by themselves to be pretty solid evidence for the doctrine of monotheism. However, they are certainly not even a fraction of the story – the historical Jewish and Christian teaching about God is a mountain of information in and of itself… but that is beyond the scope of this post.

So to keep things simple for the time being, I’ll close with a link to some helpful material – while double-checking that I was spelling “shema” right – I found this interesting article on the subject of Deuteronomy 6:4: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.myjewishlearning.com/article/deuteronomy-64-the-shema/amp/

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1 thought on “Monotheism”

  1. Nice exposition. Whether teaching polytheism or works salvation, false teachers have always been able to prey on the body. In my life I have also noticed the extreme pushback against those who would seek to correctly understand the Bible. That to me is a HUGE sign of a false teacher.

    Liked by 1 person

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