The purpose of the dissertation was to determine the theological ramifications of the human constitution model found in the Shema, Deut 6:5, and its corollaries, Mt 22:37, Mk 12:30, and Lk 10:27, when compared to the established models of the human constitution. After an exhaustive word study of the shemaic referents, the various definitions of the referents were analyzed to determine which of them were well suited to the shemaic context. The criteria produced the shemaic formula of 'mind,' 'spirit,' and 'soul.' The terms translated 'strength' were shown not to be anthropological.
From the shemaic formula, the shemaic model was built. In the theological discussion, the shemaic model adheres to the ancient Hebrew understanding that the soul expresses itself as body, and the physical body and the spiritual body are differentiated. Since the shemaic referents are nonmaterial, materiality is not essential to humanness; embodiment is essential, but physicalness is not.
The problems experienced by all current models of the human constitution surrounding body (continuity) and personhood (locus and continuity) are solved in the shemaic model. The soul, which constantly expresses itself bodily, remains the same from one realm to the next. During the transition between realms, the soul sloughs off the physical body, replacing it with the spiritual body. The body remains the same; only the nature changes. Continuity of body is maintained. The shemaic model locates personhood in the nonmaterial parts; therefore, at the point of physical death, crossing boundaries has no impact on personhood. Continuity of personhood is maintained.
The shemaic model was tested and found to be viable, unique, and valuable. The ramifications of the Shema on the issue of the human constitution are that it solves the problems associated with the locus and continuity of personhood and with the continuity of the body, and that it produces a valuable model of the human constitution. The shemaic model has the potential for making a significant impact on all areas of theology, as well as on psychology and ethics.