And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, "Which commandment is the first of all?" Jesus answered, "The first is, "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.' The second is this, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." And the scribe said to him, "You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that He is one, and there is no other but He and to love Him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength, and to love one's neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices." And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." And after that no one dared to ask him any question.
Proof of the Trinity Error
Jesus and the Jewish scribe show us how the Shema is to be understood. He proves that the oneness indicated in the Shema is a oneness of identity, not nature, and that the God in question is the God of both Jesus and this scribe.
1. "The Lord is one" means God is one "He."
The Shema says, "the LORD our God, the LORD is one" (Deuteronomy 6:4). In this passage, Jesus quotes the Shema and teaches that it was the foremost commandment for a Jew under the Law. And then the scribe responds by saying, "You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that He is one, and there is no other but Him." Jesus responds to him by saying he spoke intelligently.
In the doctrine of the Trinity, the oneness of God is a oneness of divine substance. The doctrine indicates that three persons all have this one divine substance and it is this one divine substance they call "God." So the statement, "the Lord our God the Lord is one" can only mean that God is "one divine substance," or "one what."
But here in Mark 12, we can clearly see that the word "one" in the Shema is intended to mean "there is no other but HE/HIM." Quite clearly, the scribe is referring to personal identity, a who, and not nature, a what, "there is no other but He." So Jesus and this Jewish scribe teach us that the Shema commandment, "the Lord is one" means that God is one "He" not three.
One He/Him. What is the purpose of singular personal pronouns in human language? To signify a single person.
2. There is no other but He/Him
There is no other, nobody else. Nobody else is God except the identity who Jesus and the scribe are talking about. Jesus and the scribe confirm this when they agree that the Shema command means, "there is no other but He." There is no other God but the God of Israel.
3. One Lord
The Greek word for "Lord" is Kyrios. The Shema says that God is only one Lord, not two Lords, or three Lords. He is one Yahweh, not two Yahwehs or three Yahwehs. The Lord Jesus has a God, the Lord God. The Lord Jesus has a God (Eph 1:17) and the Lord Jesus has a Lord (Matthew 11:25) but the Lord God does not have a Lord or God. This tells us that the Lord Jesus and the Lord God cannot possibly be the same Lord (see Acts 2:33,36). Christians have one God, the Lord God, and one Lord, Jesus (1 Corinthians 8:6): two Lords. This is the authority structure for us just as Israel had one Lord/Kyrios, Yahweh, and one Lord/Kyrios, King David (1 Kings 1:36). The Lord David had a Lord and God, the Lord God, but the Lord God has no Lord or God. One Lord plus One Lord is Two Lords. The Lord God and Lord David were not the same Lord and the Lord God and Lord Jesus are not the same Lord. The Shema tells us that God is one single Lord and we know that Lord is the Father since the Father's is our Lord's Lord (Matthew 11:25) and our Lord's God (Rom 15:6; 2 Cor 1:3; 11:31; Eph 1:3,17; Col 1:3; 1 Peter 1:3). That God is one single Lord also tells us that the "one" of the Shema means one "HE", one Lord.
4. OUR God
As a Jew under the Law, Jesus was required to obey this command. Notice how the Shema command says, "Hear O Israel, the Lord OUR God..." The command is to recognize the God of Israel, the God of every Israelite. Being a Jew under the Law, Jesus was required to obey this command in the same manner as every other Israelite. And Jesus obeyed this command by recognizing only one single person as his God, the God of Israel: his Father alone. He was commanded to recognize and serve "OUR" God. Will anyone say Jesus obeyed this command improperly?
5. The Impossibility of the "HE" being a Triune God
Given these facts, Trinitarians routinely try to claim this one "He" is the Triune God. However, this does not work. It is plainly obvious, among Trinitarians and non-Trinitarians alike, that Jesus Christ's God was his Father alone. Jesus was referring to HIS God, the God of Israel. Jesus Christ's God was not a Trinity. HIS God was not a Triune being. His God was only one person. It is quite impossible for Jesus to be referring to HIS God as a Trinity, a Triune being.
Jesus agrees that the words, "there is no other but HE," are what the words "the Lord is one" do mean. "The LORD is one" means there is one HE and there is no one else who is God but this one HE. Jesus was a Jew born under the Law. He was obligated to keep the Law and serve the God of Israel, HIS God who is also "OUR God." Hence, there is no doubt that this HE in Mark 12:32 is God the Father, the God of Jesus. And if Jesus agrees there is no other but God the Father this fact does by necessity exclude everyone else, including himself, from identity as YAHWEH, the God of Israel. The Trinitarian claim that the HE of Mark 12:32 is the Triune God is an impossibility since Jesus is referring to HIS God and HIS God was not a Triune God. It is also an impossibility since Jesus was required to obey the command to recognize the "OUR God" of the Shema and he obeyed that command by recognizing only one person, one He, as the God of Israel: his Father alone.
We have one Father: God. John 8:41.
The facts here are clear, and decisive and leave us beyond any doubt. The Jewish scribe qualified the Shema, "the Lord our God the Lord is one" by telling us these words mean, "He is one, and there is no other but He." And Jesus tells us that he responded intelligently. "The Lord is one" mean there is only one single "HE." The words, "there is no other but He" means that HE is the only one, that is, "the Lord our God the Lord is one." Jesus and the scribe leave us no doubt as to the meaning of the words "the Lord is one." One HE.
Jesus also tells us this is the foremost commandment of the Law. As a Jew under the Law, he was required to obey this commandment like every other Israelite. And the commandment calls every Israelite to recognize the God of Israel, "OUR God." This command was for every Jew to recognize the God of every Jew. Jesus obeyed this commandment to recognize only the God of Israel by recognizing only one HE as his God, the Father alone. Jesus himself shows us how the Shema command was to be obeyed by every Jew - by recognizing only one person, his Father, as the God of Israel.
When one honestly considers the facts here, it leaves us with absolute certainty that the Shema is referring to only one person: the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I ascend to my Father and your Father, and my God and your God. John 20:17.
Related Links: Deuteronomy 6:4
Last Revision/Update: March 10, 2015