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The Names of God

The Names of God

written by on the topic of Bible Studies, Featured on December, 2010

God has revealed Himself and His nature by using many names throughout Scripture.  There are over 600 titles for Christ in the Bible.  During Old Testament times, names given to people and places held great significance.  Time does not permit for a detailed analysis of all the names of God, but let’s focus on God’s three primary names and several of His compound names.

Elohim

This name for God means strong and faithful, indicating a Deity of great power.  In the King James Version of the Bible, the Hebrew Elohim is translated as God.  There are over 2,000 occurrences of this term, with the first taking place in the very first verse of the Bible.  Elohim is a plural form, which some mistake to be a polytheistic plural.  We know this is not the case, as the Jews were and are extremely monotheistic.  The plurality of Elohim points to the Triune Godhead and denotes God’s unlimited power.

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)

Jehovah

Here we have the personal and Jewish national name for God.  It means self-existent One; the great I AM.  Jehovah and Yahweh are the same, occurring over 5,000 times in the Authorized Version.  In the KJV, Jehovah is translated as LORD, with all capitals.  Because of the great sacredness associated with this name for God, the Jews would not pronounce it but would instead use the word Adonai.  

Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?”  (Isaiah 66:1)

Adonai

This name for God means master and is translated as Lord with capital and lower case letters in the KJV.  This word clearly teaches the authority God has over our lives.

He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names. Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.” (Psalm 147:4, 5)

Compound Names

In the Bible, we find many compound names of God using His primary name Jehovah.  Jehovah-Jireh means the Lord shall provide (Genesis 22:14).  Jehovah-Shalom means the Lord our Peace (Judges 6:24). Jehovah-Roah means the Lord our Shepherd (Psalm 23:1). 

We also find several compound names using El, the singular equivalent of Elohim. El-Shaddai, God our Nourisher (Genesis 17:1, 2); El-Olam, the Everlasting God (Genesis 21:33); El-Roi, the God who sees (Genesis 16:13).

The many names of God found throughout the Bible, teach the reader about the wonderful and vast character of an Almighty God.  These are names not assigned by man, but ascribed by God Himself. What an awesome thought to realize that God loves revealing Himself to mankind!

About the Author

Lank Oxendine is a full-time professor and the Dean of Men at Golden State Baptist College.

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