Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Names of God I

Three primary names in Old Testament:

YHWH(Relationship) the distinctive name of God of Israel. It’s original pronunciation lost b/c of unwillingness of Jews to pronounce the divine name. In the KJV, NIV, and NASB and others, the divine name is written in small caps (Lord or God) so that you can recognize it. The seminal text for this name is Exodus 3:14-15.

The name is often used by God when relationship between Him and man is involved, especially when man’s redemption is in view. For example, Israel’s redemption from Egypt demonstrates his divine attributes of holiness, justice, and love. YHWH is often used in covenants of grace with Israel

Examples: Exodus 3:14-15; 6:3; 20:12; Genesis 15:2; Jeremiah 31:31-34

ELOHIM(Plurality in Unity) is the name most frequently used of God in the OT, and sometimes appears as El or Eloah. It is a common word for God in the ancient Semitic languages of the Middle East. The derivation is conjectural, perhaps a root meaning “strong One” or a root denoting “fear.” Possibly both meanings help us see the word as one calling for reverence.

Elohim is plural in form and for centuries has been seen as implying the Trinity. Liberal theologians and Jewish scholars have disputed it, but the word is definitely plural and occurs in places where the Trinitarian nature of God is shown. The name Elohim is sometimes used with singular and sometimes plural pronoun and verb agreement showing the 3 in 1 nature of God. In the Sh’ma, Elohim (plural) is called one. This concept of unity is not foreign (see marriage Genesis 2:24).

Examples: Genesis 1:1, 26-27; 31:42, 53; Deuteronomy 6:4; Psalm 86:15; 138:1

ADONAI or Adon – (Sovereign Master) Also a frequent designation expressing Lordship, sovereign dominion, and possession. It can also be used of the relationship of master and servant and husband and wife. As used of God it indicates His essential deity as Lord or Master of men.

Examples: Exodus 23:17; 34:23; Joshua 3:13; Judges 6:13