Rawlings School of Divinity


Master of Arts in Biblical Studies (MA)


Ron C. Fay


monotheism, prayer, Paul, Shema, Trinity, worship




This thesis seeks to show that true Pauline worship is Trinitarian. Thus, proper Christian worship must be Trinitarian. This work begins by examining the Shema and exploring the unique identity of God presented in the Old Testament and the literature of Second Temple Judaism. Building on this foundation, this work evaluates statements found in Paul’s letters in which Paul reformulates the Shema to include Christ and the Spirit in the divine identity of God. The goal is to understand how the first Christians, who were Jews committed to the exclusive worship of Yahweh, moved from monotheistic worship to Trinitarian worship that included Christ and the Spirit. Finally, this work closes with a discussion of Paul’s presentation of worship in the early church, as it maintained faithfulness to the Jewish confession of faith while including Jesus and the Spirit. If the Shema encompasses the belief and practice of exclusive worship required by the one true God, and if Paul rightly reformulates the Shema to include Christ and the Spirit, then the declaration of allegiance to the one true God and exclusive worship of him must now include a declaration of allegiance to and exclusive worship of God as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, for all three belong within the unique identity of God.

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