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The Bible is the Word of God to man; the Creed is man's answer to God. The Bible reveals the truth in the popular form of life and fact; the Creed states the truth in the logical form of doctrine. The Bible is to be believed and obeyed; the Creed is to be professed and taught. Hence we find few traces of creeds in the Bible.

In the Old Testament the fundamental doctrine of Monotheism is placed as a command at the head of the Decalogue, Exod. xx. 2, 3, and put in the form of a dogma, Deut. vi. 14:

שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל

Hear, O Israel:

יְהוָֹה אֱהֵינוּ יְהוָֹה אֶחָד

Jehovah our Elohim, Jehovah is one
[The Lord our God, the Lord is one].

These words form the beginning of what is termed Shama (Hear), and are repeated in the daily morning and evening services of the Jews. They are the Creed of the Jews, in distinction from the Gentiles or idolaters.

The sentence does not mean, 'Jehovah is our God, Jehovah alone' (and no other God), but it means either 'Jehovah, our God, Jehovah is one,'11    So Oehler (Theologie des A. Test. Vol. I. p. 159), and others: 'Our Elohim' is in apposition to the first Jehovah, and אֶחָד is predicate to the second Jehovah. or, 'Jehovah, our God, is one Jehovah.'22    So our English Version, Keil, and others, who take 'Jehovah, our Elohim' as the subject, and 'one Jehovah' as the predicate, of the sentence. The Mohammedans have borrowed their monotheistic watchword from the Jews, with a heretical addition—'There is no God but Allah; and Mohammed is his prophet.' In either case it is an affirmation of the unity of God, and this is made the basis of the fundamental moral precept which follows (ver. 5): 'And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.' Hence our Lord, Mark iv. 29, quotes these two passages together as 'the first of all the commandments.'

Similar assertions of the unity of God are found in Deut. iv. 35, 39 ('Jehovah is the God; there is none else beside him'); 2 Sam. vii. 22; xxii. 32; 1 Kings viii. 60; I Chron. xvii. 20; Psa. xviii. 31 ('Who is God save Jehovah? or who is a rock save our God?'); Psa. lxxxvi. 10 ('Thou art God alone'); Isa. xliii. 10-12; xliv. 6, 8; xlv. 22; Joel ii. 27; Zech. xiv. 9.

The New Testament confirms this doctrine repeatedly: Mark xii. 29; John xvii. 3 ('Thee, the only true God'); 1 Cor. viii. 4 ('There is none other God but one'); Gal. iii. 20; 1 Tim. ii. 5.

But while the New Testament presupposes the unity of the Godhead, it makes the Divinity and Messiahship of Jesus of Nazareth the centre of the Christian religion in its distinctive fundamental creed. The following are the passages which furnished the nucleus for the ancient rules of faith and baptismal creeds.


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