The Truth... What is it?





THE NAMES OF THE ONLY GOD...the GOD of Abraham

Those who say that there is no God believe so totally by faith. There is no evidence proving that there is no God. The Bible says that God's creation itself gives testimony that He exists. And believers see that evidence quite easily...because they are willing to see & acknowledge it.  But, even when willing, mankind has interpreted from happenings of nature and mankind a "higher Power" as God or god(s) in extremely different ways based primarily on the fundamental operation of the ancient-to-modern-times suzerainty-concept treaty between unequals (presumed covenant between mankind and god[s]):

  1. The Greeks: gods were fickle, jealous, and often vindictive & treating of humans with malice.
  2. The Norse: gods were violent & angry.
  3. The Canaanites: gods were bloodthirsty, demanding killings of first-born.

Jews, Christians, and Muslims have the blessing of having identified and related to the only true God. Disturbingly, even within these faiths, the characteristics of God seem different:

  1. Islam: The Islamic writings & highly publicized modern practices of a numerous (many say) minority seem to describe a god...Allah...with attributes which are unlike those of the God of Abraham since the coming of Jesus). Allah seems angry and desirous that followers brutalize errant believers as well as unbelievers.
  2. Judaism: The Jewish view is of YHWH who calls out for right relationships which seem to be bound up in strict rule and ritual following and with severe punishments for rule-breaking.
  3. Christianity: The Christian view of God is so divided in defensiveness of precise definitions and beliefs that it takes over 30,000 denominations with churches whose member-defenders squabble endlessly over what interpretation of Scripture is correct. Jesus is clearly about right relationships & love. But, prior to the Protestant Reformation of (between 1517-1648), there was much violence against nonbelievers & errant citizens. In early Protestant Christianity, there was violence between denominations that became a major "pushing" factor toward European emmigration to North America.
  4. The God revealed by Jesus: since mere mortals so quickly confuse and blur the truth of Who God is, He sent Jesus to set the record straight. And Jesus taught the apostles the truth which then was set down by men under Divine inspiration in the New Testament: God is mankind's Father who is filled with love, mercy, and grace for His creation; He is NOT a hanging judge! He is NOT a sin-stained deity!
  5. Other gods: As with the examples above, all other "gods" than the One described by Jesus are figments and creations within the minds of man. In fact, mankind knowingly and inadvertently creates idols, and "worships" countless gods, of such as power, sex, money, work, atheism, etc. (all of those things which a human can put faith in).

This one true God revealed Himself to Abraham and chose the children (descendants...became the Israelites, the Jews) of Abraham as His own. The subsequent first Christians were Jews, and Gentile Christians came thereafter into the fold. As noted below, God Himself declared that His proper name was Yahweh. Being an ancient Jewish capitol offense to misuse the name of God, Yahweh became [ by the time...460BC... of the return from the Babylonian exile] a non-utterable name (Zechariah 24:16) which was denoted in writings as YHWH (old Hebrew has no vowels); and, when this tetragrammaton was read in Hebrew, it was spoken as Adonai.

While we moderns have traditionally used the spoken name Jehovah in place of YHWH, more recent studies indicate that Yahweh is the correct name. The name Yahweh has been found to be unique to Israel and has not been verified as the name of any other deity outside of Israel.

As to Jehovah, beginning at 70 AD with the fall of Jerusalem followed by the Bar-Kochba Revolt of 135 AD and the dispersion of the Jews from The Promised Land away out to the four corners of the world, the speaking of Hebrew fell away except as to religious matters. By the Middle Ages, to aid those not fluent in the reading of Hebrew, the Masoretes (scribes) began to introduce a system of vowel markings to aid in making correct vowel sounds in a language (Hebrew) which did not classically contain vowels. To remind that YHWH was pronounced Adonai, they initially scribed "YaHoWaH", the aoa helping to remember Adonai. Since the "Ya" created some controversy over fear that the initial pronunciation would resemble Yahweh...the unutterable name..., eoa began to substitute for aoa: JeHoWaH. This later became Jehovah. And, Rev. Tony Evans points out a modern teaching example: "Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have ransomed me, O Lord (Jehovah), God (El) of truth (Emeth)...Psalm 31:5.

The table below reflects the triune nature of the One True God, so that names of Jesus and the Holy Spirit are in the table.

 NAMES

 MEANING/SIGNIFICANCE

 BIBLE REFERENCE

 YHWH

God: YHWH is the actual proper Hebrew name as given by God to Moses.
Meaning: "He who is", the great "I AM",
one of underived existence, preceding and above all else (self-existent One).
The LORD [in all caps] Jehovah;
God of Hosts; The Most High; The Living God;
Elohim/"God"; the triune God, see below

Yahweh
Exodus 3:14-15, 6:3, 6:7, 20:2, 33:19, 34:5-7;
Genesis 12:8, 13:4, 26:25; Genesis 28:13 "I am YHWH, the Elohim of Abraham thy father..."

Psalms 68:4, 76:1;
Jeremiah 31:31-34; Malachi 3:6.
Yahweh Elohim God: Hebrew celebratory/descriptive name
"God"; the Supreme; God the mighty one; God Almighty; God in the fullness
of His creative and governing power, omnipotence, and sovereignty
Judges 5:3;
Isaiah 17:6
Elohim God: Hebrew celebratory/descriptive name
The plural name of El, referring to the one, true Creator God, Divine, Deity. "God"; Mighty One! All-powerful One! See Yahweh Elohim, above. This name is a Hebrew plural, used in Genesis 1:1, the 1st indication of The Trinity
Genesis 1:1-3, 1:26-27, 3:5, 31:13
Deuteronomy 5:9, 6:4, & 10:17

Psalms 5:7, 68 (Mark 13:19), 86:15, 100:3
Elohim Bashamayim God: God in Heaven: "...He is God (Elohim) in heaven (Bashamayim) above and on earth beneath. Joshua 2:11
Elohim Chayim God: This is how you will know that the living God (Elohim Chayim) is among you... Joshua 3:10
Elohim Kedoshim God: He is a holy God (Elohim Kedoshim) Joshua 24:19
Elohim Machase Lanu God: ...for God (Elohim) is our refuge (Machase Lanu). Psalm 62:8
Elohim Ozer Li God: My helper. "Surely God (Elohim) is my help (Ozer Li); the Lord is the one who sustains me." Psalm 54:4
Elohei Chasdi God: God of my kindness, goodness and faithfulness: "...the God (Elohim) who shows me lovingkindness (Chasdi). Psalm 59:17
Elohei Ma’uzzi God: God is my strong fortress (Elohei Ma'uzzi); And He sets the blameless in His way. 2 Samuel 22:33
Elohenu Olam God: "For this God is our God (Elohenu) for ever and ever (Olam); he will be our guide even to the end. Psalm 48:14
Eloi ! God: an outcry to God of one to be desperately alone,
"My God!"
Mark 15:34
El-Elohe-Chaseddi God: celebratory/descriptive name
translates as "the God of my mercy"...showing mercy to me
Psalm 59:10
El-Elohe-Yisrael God: celebratory/descriptive name
translates as "the mighty God of Israel"
Genesis 33:20
El-Shaddai God: celebratory/descriptive name
translates as "Lord God Almighty";
my almighty, all-sufficient God;
the Almighty God connoting strength/power
Genesis 17:1-2 &3-20, 35:11, 48:3, 49:25; Psalm 90:2
Adonai God: celebratory/descriptive name
& substitute SPOKEN proper name (see opening paragraph, above)
translated as "The Lord"
...as with Elohim, it signifies pluralness in name (the singular is adon).
Genesis 24; Exodus 4:10-12;
Joshua 7:8-11; Job 28:28; Isaiah 40:3-5; Ezekiel 16:8; Habbakuk 3:19; Psalm 8 & 110
Ha-Shem God: "The Name"; substitute SPOKEN proper name used as with Elohim or Adonai
as a way to speak a name for YHWH
 
Jehovah God: "I AM"; The actual proper name...the Self-existent One...the Lord, Master, & relational God...as it had begun to be pronounced after the Middle Ages...an utterable form of YHWH referring to the redemptive covenant relationship with His people Genesis 2:4; Exodus 3:14, 6:2-4, 34:5-7; Psalm 102
Jehovah El Elohim God: celebratory/descriptive name:
The Mighty One, God, the Lord (Jehovah), the Mighty One (El), God (Elohim), the Lord!
Joshua 22:22
Yahweh (Jehovah) Yireh (Jireh) God: celebratory/descriptive name:
God will provide: my provider
Genesis 22:8-14
Yahweh (Jehovah) Rophe (or Rapha) God: celebratory/descriptive name:
our God who heals (from illnesses, demonic possession, & sin & unrighteousness
)
Exodus 15:25-27; Psalm 103:3, 147:3 (1 Peter 2:24)
Yahweh (Jehovah) Nissi God: celebratory/descriptive name:
God is my banner
Exodus 17:15
Yahweh (Jehovah) Maccaddeshem (M'Kaddesh) God: celebratory/descriptive name:
God your sanctifier
Exodus 31:13
Yahweh (Jehovah) Shalom God: celebratory/descriptive name:
God is peace: my peace
Judges 6:24
Yahweh (Jehovah) Tsidkenu God: celebratory/descriptive name:
God our righteousness (as provided us through Jesus)
Jeremiah 23:5-6, 33:16; Ezekiel 36:26-27 (2 Corintians 5:21)
Yahweh (Jehovah) Raah (Rohi) God: celebratory/descriptive name:
God is my shepherd (looks out for us as a shepherd does for his sheep)
Psalms 23:1-3; Isaiah 53:6 (John 10:14-18; Hebrews 13:20 & Rev. 7:17)
Yahweh (Jehovah) Shammah God: celebratory/descriptive name:
God is there, is present
Ezekiel 48:35
Yahweh (Jehovah) Sabboath (or Tsebaoth) God: celebratory/descriptive name:
God of hosts armies)
I Samuel 1:3, 17:45
Psalms 24:10, 46:7, 46:11
Yahweh (Jehovah) Elohim Ab God: celebratory/descriptive name:
The Lord God of our forefathers. "So Joshua said to the sons of Israel,
'How long will you put off entering to take possession of the land which the Lord (Jehovah), the God (Elohim) of your fathers (Ab), has given you?' "
Joshua 18:3
Yahweh (Jehovah)
Elohim Tsaba
God: celebratory/descriptive name:
our God
of hosts, implying that He has shown up to right a wrong, or to defend me in a situation where I had been wronged.
Psalm 59:5
Yahweh (Jehovah)
Elohim Yeshua
God: celebratory/descriptive name:
our God
of our salvation, saying O LORD (Jehovah), the God (Elohim) of my salvation (Yeshua)
Psalm 88:1
Yahweh (Jehovah)
El Gemolah or Gemuwal
God: celebratory/descriptive name:
For the Lord (Jehovah) is a God (El) of recompense (Gemuwal)
Jeremiah 51:56
Yahweh (Jehovah) Nakeh God: celebratory/descriptive name:
our God who smites
Ezekiel 7:9
El Bethel God: The God of the House of God. Genesis 35:7
El Hayyay God: ...a prayer to the God of my life (El Hayyay) Psalm 42:8
El Rai God: "...'You are the God (El) who sees (Rai) me,' for she said, 'I have now seen the One who sees me.' " God seest me... Genesis 16:13
El Roi God: celebratory/descriptive name:
the Mighty One who sees (all & me...there is NO situation in us or
our lives that escapes His awareness or care)
Genesis 16:11-14; Psalms139:7-12 (also Matthew22:18, 26:21, 34; Luke 5:21-24)
El Olam God: celebratory/descriptive name:
Everlasting God and God of Eternity
Genesis 21:33
Isaiah 40:28
Yahweh (Jehovah)
El Emeth
God: celebratory/descriptive name:
O Lord (Jehovah), God (El) of truth (Emeth)
; we thank God that He has made truth available to us, helped us learn to read, and given us the potential & ability to discern truth.
Psalm 31:5
El Emunah God: celebratory/descriptive name:
He is the faithful God
Deuteronomy 7:9
El Elohe God: Israel celebratory/descriptive name:
God, the God of Israel
Genesis 33:20
El Hakabodh God: Israel celebratory/descriptive name:
God, ...the God of glory (El Hakabodh) thunders...
Psalm 29:3
El Sali God: Israel celebratory/descriptive name:
God,
my Rock-
"The Lord lives, and blessed be my rock (El Sali); and exalted be God, the rock of my salvation."
2 Samuel 22:47
El Simchath Gili God: Israel celebratory/descriptive name:
God My Exceeding Joy-
"Then I will go to the altar of God, to God (El), my joy (Simchath Gili) and my delight. I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God."
Psalm 43:4
Eli Maelekhi God: Israel celebratory/descriptive name: God my King -
"Your procession, God, has come into view,
the procession of my God (Eli) and King (Maelekhi) into the sanctuary."
Psalm 68:24
God God: general title equivalent for Elohim
(sort of like, "my boss")
no special reference
Father God: formal familiar name of address
(like a child speaking to his father
as "Father.")
no special reference
Abba God: warm and informal familiar name of address
(like a child speaking to his daddy
as "Daddy.")
no special reference
the Triune God Trinity: a designation indicating His simultaneous existence as the Father (God, the First person), the Son (Jesus, the Second Person), and the Holy Spirit (the Third Person of the Trinity): the Trinitarian Yahweh doctrinal since 325 AD

Acts 5:3-4
the Godhead Trinity: a designation indicating His simultaneous existence as the Father (God), the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit.
the Trinitarian Yahweh
doctrinal since 325 AD
Jesus of Nazareth Jesus: one of the 3 persons (Trinity) of Yahweh
who manifested in human form at the birth of Jesus
Matthew chapter 1
Luke chapters 1 and 2

John chapter 1
Immanuel (romanized an "E" for the "I" as Emmanuel) Jesus: God with us; "I AM"; God never changes.
In His triune nature, this clarifies that Jesus is more than a special man...
He is God as man (from birth through death).
Isaiah 7:14 & 8:8-10 (Matthew 1:23...reflecting on virgin birth & as Messiah)
King of Kings Jesus: Jesus the Christ is King over all kings and rulers and of every human. Rev. 17:14; Matthew 21:5
Lord of Lords Jesus: is Lord, a designation by/of Father God in recognition of Jesus having humbled Himself to become man and pay the price of sin with his blood. Rev. 19:16; 1 Timothy 6:15
Messiah Jesus: is the Christ...the Anointed One (Matt. 1:16 & Psalms 2:1,2) Daniel 9:25; John 1:41 & 4:25
Wonderful Counselor Jesus: our defense attorney Isaiah 9:6
Almighty Jesus: is all-powerful Rev. 1:8
Everlasting Father Jesus: is forever & Head of the Creation by God. Isaiah 9:6; 1 John 1:1-3
Prince of Peace Jesus: He is our Peace Isaiah 9:6
Redeemer Jesus: He is our Redemption Job 19:25
Son of God Jesus: by nature, Jesus is the Son of God Luke 1:35; Hebrews 4:14 
Son of The Living God Jesus: "Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Christ the Son (Huios) of the living God (Theou).’ " Matthew 16:16 
the Holy Spirit
the Holy Ghost
Holy Spirit: one of the 3 persons (Trinity) of Yahweh; God is Spirit and that Spirit is holy & is the Spirit of holiness doctrinal since 325 AD
Breath of the Almighty Holy Spirit: the life-giving breath of God; the One who, through Christ, connects us to God & the idea is of flowing, life-giving air.  Job 33:4 
Counselor, Comforter Holy Spirit: comforts, counsels & gives strength John14:16, 26; 15:26; Romans 8:26 
Spirit of Counsel Holy Spirit: he leads us to Truth as our counselor...counsels and teaches us as we grow in Christ. Isaiah 11:2 
Eternal Spirit Holy Spirit: he is co-eternal with God the Father & God the Son & not a "created" spirit.  Hebrews 9:14 
Free Spirit Holy Spirit: God's generous & willing Spirit working freely (not earned or paid for by us) to change our hard hearts Psalm 51:12 
Good Spirit Holy Spirit:the Spirit will teach us and lead us in all that is good Nehemiah 9:20; Psalm 143:10 
Lord Holy Spirit:As with the Father & with Jesus, the Holy Spirit may also be addressed as Lord 2 Corinthians 3:16-17
Power of the Highest Holy Spirit: the Spirit is God's power...the greatest power that there is  Luke 1:35
Allah the Muslim general title name for god (but their god doesn't have Yahweh attributes)
(sort of like, "my boss"...

suggests omnipotence)
no special reference


A small, helpful book for more insight is Names of God, Nathan Stone, Moody Press, 1944. And The New Unger's Bible Dictionary, Merrill F. Unger, 1988, Moody Press, was a resource. And the teacher notes from Focus On The Family's wonderful faith lessons video tape series (1995, 1996), "That The World May Know", featuring teacher and historian, Ray Vander Laan, was a resource. Additional info came in 2017 from (1) material distributed at my daughter's church, (2) some Wikipedia information (Wikipedia also has a page, Names of God in Judaism and Names of God (all world religions) and in a Christianity overview), and (3) from a 2017 30 day email prayer series by Rev. Tony Evans of Dallas, Texas (Betty & I visited his church on a weekday years ago).

 

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[posted 30 August 1998; latest addition/update 20 February 2017]