Doctrine of God 0001 - Lesson 5

  1. THE NAMES OF GOD (Continued)
    1. Primary Names: The Old Testament uses three primary names for God. In the English, they are usually seen as God, Lord, and LORD. NOTE:  The Jews often refer to God simply as Hashem, which means The Name.
      1. God
        1. Taken from the Hebrew El, Elah, or Elohim
        2. The corresponding Greek is theos
        3. The plural Elohim is often used with singular meaning as seen in places where the corresponding pronoun is plural (Genesis 1:26-27; Genesis 3:22; Isaiah 6:8). This is an Old Testament indication of the trinity.
        4. Generally refers to a strong one and can be used of beings other than the Almighty God (1 Corinthians 8:4-6).
          1. False gods (Exodus 20:3, 23)
          2. Devils (Deuteronomy 32:17)
          3. Earthly rulers (Exodus 22:28; Psalm 82:6-7)
        5. The name, God, contains the ideas of strength and prominence (Numbers 23:22; Deuteronomy 10:17; Nehemiah 9:32; Job 36:5; Psalm 89:8; Zephaniah 3:17).
        6. The name, God, is closely connected to creation.
          1. “God” is referred to 32 times in the 31 verses of the first chapter of Genesis. This is the greatest number of mentions of God in a chapter in the Bible.
          2. “LORD” is not mentioned until Genesis 2:4. Even here, the Bible refers to the “LORD God.” “LORD” is not used by itself until Genesis 4:1.
          3. This shows God to be the power of creation and to have the right to rule over all creation (2 Chronicles 20:6; Daniel 5:21).
        7. The name, God, is closely connected to His power to rule
          1. “God” is referred to 31 times in the 35 verses of Psalm 68. This makes Psalm 68 the chapter with the second most references to “God.”
          2. God is connected with strength (Psalm 68:1-2, 8, 28, 34-35)
          3. God is connected with salvation (Psalm 68:17-20)
          4. God is connected with supply (Psalm 68:7, 9-10, 19)
      2. Lord
        1. Taken from the Hebrew Adonai.
        2. The corresponding Greek is kurios
        3. The title Lord/lord can refer either to God or to lesser lords (Daniel 5:23; 1 Corinthians 8:5-6).
        4. The name is written as Lord when referring to God and lord when not used as a title for God. The all-capitalized spelling, LORD, is used only when translated from the Hebrew Jehovah.
        5. Refers specifically to the master/servant relationship (Genesis 18:3; Genesis 19:2; Genesis 44:16; Exodus 4:10; Matthew 10:24; 1 Corinthians 7:22; 2 Corinthians 4:5).
        6. First used as a title for God in the compound “Lord GOD” in Genesis 15:2, 8. First used alone as a title for God in Genesis 18:3. Notice the servant/master relationship in this passage. The primary concept found in the title Lord is that God is our owner and master and we are his servants. At the time of his conversion, Paul prayed, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” (Acts 9:6). That is the essence of what it means to say that God is our Lord.
        7. The personal nature of this title is seen in the frequent use of the personal pronoun with it. The Lord is “my Lord” (Exodus 4:10; Judges 6:13; Psalm 16:2; Psalm 110:1). He is also “our Lord” (Psalm 8:1; Psalm 135:5) as is Jesus Christ (Romans 1:3; Romans 6:23; 1 Corinthians 1:9; Ephesians 5:20). By way of contrast, the phrases “my LORD” and “our LORD” are never used in the Bible.
        8. The Lordship of God demands obedience and submission from the Master’s servants. However, it also implies the watchcare of the Lord over His subjects (Psalm 39:7; Psalm 40:17; Psalm 68:19-20; Psalm 86:3-5).
        9. A great illustration of lordship is found in Isaiah 6. In the year that Isaiah lost his earthly lord, he saw a vision of his heavenly Lord (Isaiah 6:1). This Lord is identified as the King, the LORD of hosts, and He is holy, holy, holy (Isaiah 6:3-5). Then, as “Lord,” He commissions Isaiah to take the message of God to the people (Isaiah 6:8-9) and He gives him the length of his commission (Isaiah 6:11). Compare these verses with those that refer to the LORD (Isaiah 6:3, 5, 12).
      3. LORD
        1. Translated from the Hebrew Jehovah
        2. In the Old Testament, Jehovah is generally translated as LORD with all capital letters. In some compound titles (as Lord GOD), it is translated as GOD (to avoid a title such as Lord LORD).
        3. In seven verses in the King James Bible, the Hebrew is transliterated as Jehovah.
          1. In verses where a special significance is given to the name Jehovah:
            1. Exodus 6:3 – “And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.”
            2. Psalm 83:18 – “That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.”
          2. In verses where a compound form of Jehovah is used:
            1. Genesis 22:14 – “And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.”
            2. Exodus 17:15 – “And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovahnissi:”
            3. Judges 6:24 – “Then Gideon built an altar there unto the LORD, and called it Jehovahshalom: unto this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.”
          3. In verses where a double form of Jehovah is used:
            1. Isaiah 12:2 – “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.”
            2. Isaiah 26:4 – “Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:”
        4. It is transliterated once in the shorter form of JAH: Psalm 68:4 – “Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him.”
        5. The name is seen in the shorter form of jah in Hallelujah which means “Praise ye the LORD.”
        6. The source of the name
          1. Comes from four Hebrew consonants. Often called by Bible scholars the Tetragrammaton, meaning the four-lettered name.
          2. Unpronounced by the Jews for centuries. They did this in extension to the warnings against blaspheming the name of the Lord (Leviticus 24:16).
          3. It has the same vowel markings as Adonai. Therefore, when the Jewish scribes copied scripture, they would write Jehovah but say Adonai.
        7. The pronunciation of Jehovah is disputed by modern scholarship. They have changed Jehovah to Yahweh. However, this is not the settled fact that it is claimed to be. John M. Frame, in The Doctrine of God (p.36-37), says of this name of God: “Its pronunciation is problematic, too. At an early point in the transmission of the Bible, the Jews decided that God’s name was too holy to be uttered, and so they replaced it in Scripture reading with ‘adonay [Adonai], which means ‘Lord.’ Because the vowel points of ‘adonay were superimposed on the consonants of the sacred name in the Hebrew text, we cannot be sure what the original vowels were, but most scholars have settled on Yahweh as the original Hebrew word. The older English name Jehovah (used, for example, in the American Standard Version of 1901 [and in the King James Bible]) follows the Hebrew text as it literally appears.” Therefore, Jehovah is the literal rendering of what is in the Hebrew text while Yahweh is a guess by the scholars.
        8. The ASV of 1901 consistently left Jehovah in the text. However, the King James Bible normally uses LORD. This name is found almost 6500 times in the Old Testament. It is used more than any other name for God. There are several reasons the Bible translates Jehovah to LORD.
          1. It avoids creating an Old Testament God not found in the New Testament.
          2. It follows the practice of the Jewish scribes in using Lord for LORD
          3. It follows the practice of the New Testament in using the Greek kurios (meaning Lord) in quoting Old Testament references to Jehovah (compare Matthew 3:3 with Isaiah 40:3; compare Matthew 4:7 with Deuteronomy 6:16; Matthew 22:37 with Deuteronomy 6:5).
        9. Jehovah is the unique name of God. Other names, like God and Lord, may be used at times of other beings (1 Corinthians 8:5); but Jehovah is the name that refers only to the God of the Bible (Psalm 83:18).
David Reagan

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 19:8

He that getteth wisdom loveth his own soul: he that keepeth understanding shall find good.