The Onely God

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Daily Reform, Deuteronomy 6:4

From the Reformer

This indeed I confess, that there are many places in the Scriptures obscure and abstruse; not from the majesty of the thing, but from our ignorance of certain terms and grammatical particulars; but which do not prevent a knowledge of all the things in the Scriptures. For what thing of more importance can remain hidden in the Scriptures, now that the seals are broken, the stone rolled from the door of the sepulchre, and that greatest of all mysteries brought to light, Christ made man: that God is Trinity and Unity: that Christ suffered for us, and will reign to all eternity? Are not these things known and proclaimed even in our streets? Take Christ out of the Scriptures, and what will you find remaining in them?

—Martin Luther, The Bondage of the Will

Pulling It Together

The word typically translated “LORD” in all CAPITALS or in SMALL CAPS is done out of respect of the name of God. In the brief text today, the Hebrew reads “Yhwh,” which, if not changed to “LORD,” is translated as either Jehovah or Yahweh. Though we are uncertain of its pronunciation, we know this as the name of God. Moses calls God by this name and says that he is One. This oneness is curious. The word for God in the verse, Elohim, is plural. This may again, be simple respect, as the plural is sometimes ceremonially applied to rulers and judges. The word for One—echad—is also telling. A proper translation for echad is “united.” One sees here that God is Plural and yet One. This Oneness seems to be more than being “onely” (Geneva Bible), or only. Here, in the early Scriptures, the plurality of the Mystery we call God, is a unity.

© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reform: Devotions with the Reformers

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