Keith C (29 July 2011)
"Is there only one God?"

I have a friend who identifies herself as “a Christian”.  Once we started talking about it, however, she revealed that she believes that Jesus is a God, (the Son of God), the Holy Spirit is a God, and God the Father is a God.  Additionally, she believes that she may become a god someday.


I have attempted to provide scriptural evidence that the name “Christian” might not be the most accurate description for her beliefs.


Your thoughtful input would be greatly appreciated.





1. So what EXACTLY is a Christian?



The name “Christian” was given to the disciples of Jesus at Antioch, in the reign of Claudius, about A.D. 43.  They were before that called Nazarenes and Galileans.


Acts 11:25  Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul:

Acts 11:26  And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.



a disciple is a follower of the doctrines of a teacher or a school of thought; a student of.



One who accepts and applies, as in “to follow advice.”



A belief held or taught.  A doctrine is any body of teachings offered to others as true and practicable;



One seeking knowledge, a scholar



To accept as true. To have faith in, trust.


Therefore, by definition, a Christian is:

disciple of Jesus

…a follower of the doctrines of Jesus

…one who:

1.      seeks knowledge of Jesus and what he taught

2.      accepts the teachings of Jesus

3.      applies the teachings of Jesus

4.      believes the teachings of Jesus

5.      has faith in Jesus and what he taught

6.      trusts Jesus and what he taught



2. So who were these two that “…taught much people ?



He appears mainly in the book of Acts, and in several of Paul's epistles.  He was not an apostle, but a disciple of Jesus.  He was a Jew, specifically a Levite (Acts 4:36)


Tribe of Levi

The Levites were distinguished as servants to God because of their refusal to worship the Golden Calf, zealously protecting the Mosaic law. (Exodus 32:26-29).   Moses, Aaron, Samuel, Ezekiel, Malachi, John the Baptist, Mark the Evangelist, Matthew the Evangelist, and Barnabas were all from the tribe of Levi.



Paul, whose Jewish name was Saul, was "of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee."(Phil. 3:5).  Hebrew of the Hebrews is a Jewish phrase that means both parents were Jews.


They were Jews.



3. Whom were they teaching about?



Christ is the English word for the Greek word “Khristós” which means "the anointed one". 

It is a translation of the Hebrew מָשִׁיחַ (Māšîa), Messiah, meaning “the anointed one”.

The word is a title, hence its common reciprocal use, Christ Jesus, meaning "The Messiah Jesus". 

The term usually refers explicitly to Jesus of Nazareth.



The word is found in the original HEBREW many times, in all of which it is translated “anointed” (except in Daniel 9:25/26).  The ceremony of anointing was intended to mark what God had set apart for his own purposes. 


The prophetic use of the title is as old as the history of the HEBREW race, being found, or alluded to, in the oldest of writings, even before the time of Moses, and especially in the blessing of Jacob (Gen. 49:1-27), and in the psalms of David, and the prophesies of Isaiah, Daniel, etc.  


They were teaching about the Jewish Messiah, as prophesized in the Old Testament.



3. Was Jesus really, REALLY Jewish?


Jesus is a real, historical person, born in the Land of Israel, during the Roman occupation, in approximately the year 3 BCE. His name was pronounced "Yeshua."


That Jesus was born Jewish is one of the least contested truths of the Bible. The very first verse of the New Covenant reads: The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham (Matt. 1:1). Who were Abraham and David?


Abraham was the first Hebrew. God changed his name from Abram (Gen. 17:5). In Gen. 14:13 he is called Abram the Hebrew. So we can see that Jesus is descended from "Abram the Hebrew."  Even to this day, Jews are also called "Hebrews", and the language of the Jews is "Hebrew."


Abraham and his descendants were given the unconditional covenant of the Promised Land (Gen. 17:8) and the covenant of circumcision (Gen. 17:10). Abraham is the father of the Jews (Acts 3:12-25). Isaac was his son and Jacob was his grandson (Matt. 1:2). Thus, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are known as the Patriarchs, the fathers of the Jews.


Jacob's name was changed by God to "Israel" (Gen. 35:10-12) and he had twelve sons (Gen. 35:23-26) from whom come the Twelve Tribes of Israel. All of their descendants are known collectively throughout the Bible as the Children of Israel (Ex. 1:6-7).


One of those twelve sons was Judah (Gen. 35:23, Matt. 1:2) and it is from his name that we get the word 'Jew'. Although Judah was only one of the twelve, by 700 BCE, because of the course of Israel's history, the word “Jew” came to mean any person descended from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Jer. 34:9). So, for instance, Saul of Tarsus (the Apostle Paul) was of the tribe of Benjamin (Romans 11:1) yet he self-identified as a Jew (Acts 22:3).


Nevertheless, according to the Bible, the Messiah must be descended from the tribe of Judah (Gen. 49:10) as King David was (1Sam. 17:12, 1Ch. 28:4) and descended from King David himself (2Sam. 7:12-13, Isa. 9:6-7, Jer. 23:5-6). That is why the Messiah is called Son of David (Matt. 21:9).


Jesus is from the Tribe of Judah (Heb. 7:14). His earthly father was descended from David (Matt. 1:6-16) and His mother was as well (Luke 1:27, 32-34, 3:23-31).


In addition, Jesus was born King of the Jews (Matt. 2:2). The King of the Jews must Himself be Jewish (Deut. 17:15). His aunt Elizabeth was Jewish (a descendant of Aaron, Moses' brother) and His uncle Zacharia was a Jewish priest (Luke 1:5, 36).  Jesus was circumcised according to Jewish law (Luke 2:21, Lev. 12:2-3), and redeemed according to Jewish law (Luke 2:22-23, Num. 18:15). His mother atoned according to Jewish law (Luke 2:24, Lev. 12:6-8). He is called The Consolation of Israel (Luke 2:25) and The Glory of Thy People Israel (Luke 2:32).


Jesus was born Jewish




Although He was born in Bethlehem (Matt. 2:1, Micah 5:2), Jesus was raised in Nazareth (Luke 2:39-40). Both were Jewish towns at the time, according to archeologists and historians. Bethlehem is just south of Jerusalem while Nazareth is north, in the Galilee section. Both of Jesus’ parents were from Nazareth (Luke 1:26-27, 2:4, 39) and they returned there with the Child when they had done everything according to the Law of the Lord that His birth required (Luke 2:39). His aunt and uncle were also Torah observant Jews (Luke 1:6) so we can see that probably the whole family took their faith very seriously.


Jesus’ parents made the 140 mile (225 m.) round trip to Jerusalem every Passover (Luke 2:41) in observance of Deut. 16:16. It was at the age of twelve that Jesus stayed behind an extra three days to learn from the Temple teachers (Luke 2:46). Although He already understood the Torah well (Luke 2:47), His attitude of listening and questioning indicates love of the Hebrew scripture and respect for the teachers. He also respected the Temple itself, calling it His Father's (Luke 2:49). Near the end of His life, He praised a widow for giving all she had to the Temple (Luke 21:1-4).


In adult life, His disciples were Jews (John 1:47, Matt. 20:25-26) and they called Him 'Rabbi' (John 4:31). Mary called Him 'Rabboni' (John 20:16). They sought Him because they believed the Torah and the Prophets (John 1:45).


A Pharisee who had not yet come to faith in Him also addressed Jesus as 'Rabbi' (John 3:2), as did a crowd of people (John 6:25). A Samaritan woman easily recognized He was a Jew (John 4:9).


Jesus’ disciples spoke Hebrew (John 1:38, 41) and so did He, as well as Chaldean, a closely-related language brought back by the Jews from their captivity in Babylon (Matt. 27:46). In the sermon on the mount He affirmed the authority of the Torah and the Prophets (Matt. 5:17) even in the Kingdom of Heaven (Matt. 5:19-20). He regularly attended synagogue (Luke 4:16) and His teaching was respected by the other congregants (Luke 4:15). He taught in the Jewish Temple (Luke 21:37) and if He were not a Jew, His going into that part of the Temple would not have been allowed (Acts 21:28-30).


Although He differed with some of His contemporaries on how to keep the commandments (Matt. 12:12), He did not disagree on whether to keep them, saying such things as, "if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments," (Matt. 19:17). When He healed someone of leprosy, he instructed him to "show yourself to the priest and present the offering that Moses commanded..." (Matt. 8:4, Lev. 14).


Jesus not only taught others how to live a Jewish life, He lived it Himself. The outward signs of this were such things as wearing tzitzit (tassels) on His clothing (Luke 8:43, Matt. 14:36, Strong's # 2899) to serve as a reminder of the commandments (Num. 15:37-39).  He observed Passover (John 2:13) and went up to Jerusalem (Deut. 16:16). He observed Succoth (John 7:2, 10) and went up to Jerusalem (John 7:14). He also observed Hanukah (John 10:22) and probably Rosh haShanah (John 5:1), going up to Jerusalem on both those occasions as well, even though it isn't commanded in the Torah.


When faced with temptation, Jesus answered from the Hebrew Scripture (Matt. 4:2-10, Deut. 8:3, 6:16, 6:13). When teaching, He taught from the Hebrew Scripture (Matt. 22:42-45). When admonishing, He quoted from the Hebrew Scripture (Mk. 7:6-13).


Jesus self-identified as a Jew (John 4:22) and as King of the Jews (Mk. 15:2).

From His birth to His last Passover seder (Luke 22:14-15)…


Jesus lived as a Jew




When Jesus was taken prisoner by a Roman captain, his cohort, and some Jewish officials (John 18:12), He was delivered into the custody of the Jewish priests, elders, and scribes (Mk. 14:53). The Roman soldiers would not have placed Him under Jewish jurisdiction if He were not Jewish.


Later, Jesus was brought before the Sanhedrin, the Jewish council (Luke 22:66). He was charged with an offense against Jewish Law (Matt. 26:65-66, Lev. 24:13-14, John 19:7). Pilate, head of the Roman occupation, also recognized Jewish jurisdiction over Jesus (John 18:31). This was because Jesus was a Jew (John 18:35).


He unequivocally identified Himself as the Messiah (Mk. 14:61-62) and as we have seen above, the Messiah must be Jewish. He said He is the King of the Jews (Matt. 27:11) and, as we have also seen above, the King of the Jews must Himself be Jewish. The Jewish crowd also called Him 'King of the Jews' (Mk. 15:12). He was mocked, spat on and beaten by the Roman soldiers as 'King of the Jews' (Mk. 15:16-20) and when they crucified Him, their charge was 'King of the Jews' (Matt. 27:37).


The place of judgment had a Hebrew place-name (John 19:13) and the place of crucifixion had a Hebrew place-name (Mk. 15:22).


Joseph of Arimethea, who took custody of Jesus’ body, was Jewish (Luke 23:50-52) and he laid the body in his own new tomb (Matt. 27:59-60). Therefore, Jesus was buried in a Jewish cemetery. He was also buried according to Jewish custom of the time (John 19:40).


Jesus died a Jew



Jesus the risen Jew told his Jewish disciples to go out and teach all the Gentiles (Matt. 28:19, Strong's # 1484).


Then, after eating, talking and walking with His disciples, Jesus "lifted up His hands and blessed them" (Luke 24:50). What blessing is spoken with lifted hands? The Aaronic Benediction (Num. 6:24-26) is given in Synagogues and in Churches even to our day, and in the Synagogues it is still given as it was more than a thousand years before the resurrected Jew Jesus gave it: with lifted hands. In fact, another name for the Aaronic Benediction is "The Lifting up of Hands."

The apostle Paul tells us that while he was on the road to Damascus, Jesus spoke to him from heaven - in Hebrew (Acts 26:14). Paul, a Jew who was born a Roman citizen (Acts 22:27-28), was fluent in Greek (Acts 21:37) and possibly many other languages, but Jesus spoke to him in Hebrew, the language of the Jews.


Paul did not become a believer until well after Jesus’ death and resurrection, yet an important part of his message is that Jesus is a descendant of the Jewish king David (2Tim. 2:8).


Many years after His resurrection, Jesus testified that He is the root and offspring of king David (Rev. 22:16), and in a time yet future, two of His titles will be Lion of the tribe of Judah, and Root of David (Rev. 5:5).


In Matt. 24:20 He told us to pray concerning the coming tribulation, that we would not have to flee on the Sabbath. And in Matt. 26:27-29 Jesus told the disciples that He will celebrate the Passover seder anew with us in His Father's kingdom.


The standard He will use at the judgment is the Law God gave the Jews. To those who do not do the will of God, He will say, "Depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness" (Matt. 7:22-23, Strong's # 458, 459).


Jesus was resurrected a Jew



In (Heb. 13:8) we are told Jesus the Messiah is the same yesterday, today and forever. So, if He ever was a Jew, He was resurrected a Jew, and He is one to this day.


He was born a Jew

He lived a Jew

He died a Jew

He was resurrected a Jew



4. What EXACTLY do the Jews believe?


Judaism claims a historical continuity spanning more than 3,000 years. It is one of the oldest monotheistic religions, and the oldest to survive into the present day.


The fact of God's existence is accepted almost without question. Proof is not needed, and is rarely offered. The Torah begins by stating "In the beginning, God created..."


Judaism thus begins with an ethical monotheism: the belief that God is one, and concerned with the actions of humankind.  It is this belief that made the Jews unique among other ancient Semitic peoples and that became the legacy Judaism has passed on to the entire Western world.


Authority on theological and legal matters is not vested in any one person or organization, but in the sacred texts and the many rabbis and scholars who interpret these texts.  Monotheism is central in all sacred or normative texts of Judaism.


The sacred name of God, as revealed to Moses in the book of Exodus, is YHWH. Since ancient Hebrew was written without vowels, we do not know the original pronunciation of this word. The common pronunciation "Jehovah," however, is incorrect. It is derived from combining the vowels for Adonai ("Lord") with the four consonants of YHWH.


A more "correct" pronunciation, and that which is used among scholars, is "Yahweh." The discussion is irrelevant to observant Jews, however, as they do not pronounce this holiest of names. When the Torah is read aloud, Adonai ("Lord") is read in its place. This practice is reflected in most English translations, in which YHWH is rendered "LORD."  The word YHWH is sometimes referred to as the Tetragrammaton, from the Greek, meaning "four-lettered”.


Judaism is based on a strict monotheism. This doctrine expresses the belief in one indivisible God. The concepts of multiple gods (polytheism) or of a God taking multiple forms (for example Trinity) are heretical in Judaism.


The Jews are monotheistic – they believe in only one God



5. The Shema

The centerpiece of the morning and evening Jewish prayer services is a prayer called the Shema. It encapsulates the monotheistic essence of Judaism: " Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:," found in Deuteronomy 6:4 .

Observant Jews consider the Shema to be the most important part of the prayer service in Judaism, and its twice-daily recitation as a mitzvah (religious commandment). It is traditional for Jews to say the Shema as their last words, and for parents to teach their children to say it before they go to sleep at night.

The Hebrew Bible states that "these words" be spoken of "when you lie down, and when you rise up" Deuteronomy 6:7.  The practice among all Jews – men, women, and children—is to recite it. 


As soon as a child begins to speak, his father is directed to teach him the verse "Moses commanded us a law, even the inheritance of the congregation of Jacob" (Deut. 33:4), and teach him to read the Shema. The reciting of the first verse of the Shema is called "the acceptance of the yoke of the kingship of God".


The Jews pray twice a day – every day – all their life – that they believe in only one God



6. What EXACTLY did Jesus teach?


Mar 12:28  And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?


Mar 12:29  And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:


Mar 12:30  And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.


Mar 12:31  And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.


Jesus taught one and only one God



7. Summary


Therefore, by definition, a Christian is:

disciple of Jesus

…a follower of the doctrines of Jesus

…one who:

1.      seeks knowledge of Jesus and what he taught

2.      accepts the teachings of Jesus

3.      applies the teachings of Jesus

4.      believes the teachings of Jesus

5.      has faith in Jesus and what he taught

6.      trusts Jesus and what he taught

7.      believes in one and only one God


The “Trinity” is simply the English word used to express God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are ONE GOD, not three, best noted here:

1 John 5:7  For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.


It is a subject all its own, deserving of its own focus.  It’s not the purpose of this paper.



If you have ever sent or received an email, then you will probably recognize that some emotions don’t transmit very well in writing.  I cant help thinking about this when I read: 


John 20:28 

Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”


He just then understood to whom he was in the presence of.

This is the revelation that the man standing before him was THE God Almighty!!!


The Jews revere Moses, because Moses was in the presence of God.  These Jews have studied all their lives every word Moses wrote.   Here before them was THE GOD that spoke to directly to Moses – that sustained their ancestors in the wilderness for 40 years – THE GOD that parted the Red Sea, THE GOD that led them out of bondage.  THIS WAS THE GOD they prayed to every day, they fasted for, THE GOD that flooded the world, THE VERY GOD that created all that is created,  THE GOD WHO WILL JUDGE THEM IN DEATH.


John 20:28 

Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”

There is a tremendous amount of emotion expressed in these five words.  


The jailer asked Paul, "What must I do to be saved?" The answer was, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16:30-31). 


Why?  Because he is GOD – THE GOD.




Isaiah 45:5 

I am the Lord, and there is no other, besides me there is no God


Deuteronomy 4:35 

To you it was shown, that you might know that the Lord is God; there is no other besides him.


John 1:1 

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.


Joh 1:14  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.


James 2:19 

You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!