Teachings on the nature of God

The beliefs about the nature of God within Judaism can be categorised into the following:

1. Monotheism (belief in one God)

2. The unity of God

3. God as creator and law giver

4. God as transcendent

1. Monotheism

Within Judaism, the Shema is the declaration of faith. The first line of the Shema is:

quote
Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One.Deuteronomy 6:4

This first sentence of the Shema outlines one of the most important beliefs within Judaism - the belief in one God (monotheism).

Along with Christianity and Islam, Jews believe in one God.

2. The unity of God

Unlike Christianity, Jews do not believe in the Trinity. There is the belief that God alone should be worshipped, and it is because of this that Jewish people reject the idea of Jesus as the ‘Son of God’. Whilst God may express Himself in different ways, it is always the one God who we experience.

3. God as creator and law giver

Jews believe that God created the universe and everything in it. Most importantly, there is the belief that God created the world out of nothing - because of this, the world was made exactly according to His plan.

Not only did God create the world, He continues to work through it today – creation is continuous and God is active in human history.

Jews also see God as law giver – God revealed His laws and these are found in the Tenakh. God demands that Jews follow His instructions and show their appreciation of Him visibly.

4. God as transcendent

Jews believe in the transcendence of God. In other words, that He is beyond the human and material world. Due to this, He cannot be fully grasped by human beings.

As well as being transcendent, God is omnipotent (all powerful), omniscient (all knowing) and omnipresent (He is everywhere, at all times).