God - Concise Bible Dictionary

The names by which God makes Himself known are various.

1. El, 'the strong or mighty one.' It is often used of God, especially in Job and the Psalms. Job 5:8; Psa 22:1, etc.; and of the Lord Jesus in Isa 9:6. It is also used for the false gods, Psa 81:9; Dan 11:36; and is translated 'mighty' in Psa 29:1; Psa 82:1.

2. Eloah (Elah Chaldee), Elohim. The names most commonly used for God the Creator, the One with whom man has to do, the supreme Deity. Gen 1:1-31. (Running all through the O.T. to Mal 3:18.) These words are also applied to God's representatives, such as angels and judges. Exo 22:28; Psa 82:6; and also to false gods. Lev 19:4. Elohim (which is plural, called the plural of majesty or excellency) is the word of most frequent occurrence. When it is distinctly used for the one true God the article is often added.

3. Jehovah. This is a name of relationship with men, especially with Israel, taken by God in time. It is derived from havah, 'to exist,' and may be expanded into 'who is, who was, and is to come.' God thus reveals Himself in time as the ever-existing One: that is, in Himself eternally, He is always the same: cf. Heb 1:12. The above 'relationship' may be seen in the change from Elohim, the Creator, in Gen 1, to Jehovah Elohim in Gen 2, when man was brought into relationship with God. Again in Gen 7:16 Elohim ordered Noah to make the ark but Jehovah shut him in. Unfortunately the name Jehovah is seldom employed in the A.V. It is generally represented by LORD (sometimes GOD) printed in small capitals.* There is a contraction of Jehovah into Jah, also translated in the A.V. by LORD, except in Psa 68:4, where Israel is exhorted to sing unto God, and "extol him by his name JAH." Jah signifies the absolute supremacy of the self-existing One; whereas Jehovah was the name made known to Israel, and on which they could count. "God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM," Exo 3:14, where the word is Ehyeh, which is from the same root as Jehovah, the Eternal existing One; He that was, and is, and the coming One.

4. Shaddai , 'the Almighty,' is another name of God, and is often so translated, especially in Job, without any other name attached. Job 6:4; Job 6:14; Psa 68:14, etc. At times it is associated with one of the above words, and was the name by which He was especially known to the Patriarchs, as El Shaddai, God Almighty, Exo 6:3; which passage does not mean that the Patriarchs had not heard of the name of Jehovah, but that it was not the especial name for them.

5. Elyon, 'the Most High,' is another name of God, which stands alone, as in Deu 32:8; 2Sa 24:14; and in Dan 4:17-34 (from a kindred word); or it has one of the above words added and is then 'the most high God,' Gen 14:20; or 'the LORD most high.' Psa 7:17. It is not confined to Israel, for He is "the Most High over all the earth." Psa 83:18.

6, 7. Adon and Adonai, and the plural Adonim, are all translated 'Lord'; they occur frequently, and are found in some of the following compounds:-

Adon Jehovah, Exo 23:17, the Lord GOD.

Adon Jehovah Elohim, Isa 51:22, thy Lord, the LORD, and thy God.

Adon Jehovah Sabaoth, Isa 19:4, the Lord, the LORD OF HOSTS.

Adonai Elohim, Psa 86:12, O Lord my God: cf. Dan 9:3; Dan 9:9; Dan 9:15.

Adona Jehovah, Deu 9:26, O Lord GOD (occurs frequently).

Adonai Jehovah Sabaoth, Jer 2:19, the Lord GOD of hosts.

El Elohim, Gen 33:20, El-elohe [Israel]; Gen 46:3, God, the God [of thy father].

El Elohim Jehovah, Jos 22:22, the LORD God of gods.

El Shaddai, Gen 28:3, etc., God Almighty.

Jah Jehovah, Isa 26:4, the LORD JEHOVAH.

Jehovah Adon, Neh 10:29, the LORD our Lord.

Jehovah Adonai, Psa 68:20, GOD the Lord.

Jehovah El, Psa 31:5, O LORD God.

Jehovah Elohim, Gen 9:26, etc., the LORD God.

Jehovah Elohim Sabaoth Adonai, Amo 5:16, the LORD, the God of hosts, the Lord.

Jehovah Jehovah El, Exo 34:6, the LORD, the LORD God.

Jehovah Sabaoth, Jer 46:18, the LORD of hosts.

Jehovah Sabaoth Elohim, Jer 27:4, etc., the LORD of hosts, the God [of Israel].

For titles in combination with Jehovah, See JEHOVAH.

The true pronunciation of Jehovah is declared to be lost: the Jews when reading the O.T. never utter it (from a constrained interpretation of Lev 24:16), but say, 'the name,' 'the great and terrible name,' etc.

In the N.T. the word Θεός is constantly translated God; and Κύριος is the word commonly rendered Lord. In the O.T. the latter is used by the LXX as the translation of Jehovah, so in the N.T. it often represents Jehovah, and is then mostly, if not always, without the article, as in Mat 1:20; Mat 1:22; Mat 1:24, etc. The Lord is also called 'the Almighty,' Rev 1:8, etc.; and there are a few compound names as in the O.T.:

God Almighty, Rev 16:14; Rev 19:15.

Lord Almighty, 2Co 6:18.

Lord God Almighty, Rev 4:8; Rev 11:17; Rev 15:3; Rev 16:7; Rev 21:22.

Lord of Sabaoth, Rom 9:29; Jam 5:4.

The characteristic name of God in the N.T. in relationship with His saints is that of FATHER: it was used anticipatively in the Lord's intercourse with His disciples, but made a reality after His resurrection, when He sent the message: "I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God." Joh 20:17.

THE TRINITY. In reference to this term the Father is God. Php 2:11; 1Th 1:1, etc. The Lord Jesus is God. Isa 9:6; Mat 1:23; Joh 1:1; Rom 9:5; Php 2:6; Col 2:9; 1Ti 3:16; Heb 1:8. The Holy Spirit is God: "the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." Gen 1:2. Ananias lied to 'the Holy Ghost,' 'unto God;' and Sapphira unto the 'Spirit of the Lord,' Act 5:3-4; Act 5:9; 'Spirit of God.' 1Co 2:11; 1Co 3:16, etc. That there are three divine Persons (if we may so express it) is plain from scripture. The Father sent the Son, and He came to earth. The Father sent the Holy Spirit, and the Lord Jesus sent the Holy Spirit, and He came from heaven. He is a divine Person, of which there are many proofs (See HOLY SPIRIT). There is but one God.

Scripture reveals what God is in Himself, 'God is love' (used absolutely), 1Jn 4:8; and 'God is light' (used relatively, in opposition to darkness), 1Jn 1:5; and Christ is the expression of both in a Man. The principal of God's attributes and characteristics as revealed in scripture are

1. His Eternity. Hab 1:12; Rom 1:20.

2. Invisibility. Col 1:15.

3. Immortality. Psa 90:2; 1Ti 1:17.

4. Omnipotence. Job 24:1; Mat 19:26; only Potentate. 1Ti 6:15.

5. Omnipresence. Psa 139:7-10; Jer 23:23-24.

6. Omniscience. 1Ch 28:9; Isa 42:8-9; Rom 8:29-30; Heb 4:13.

7. Incorruptibility. Rom 1:23; Jam 1:13.

8. Immutability. Mal 3:6; Jam 1:17.

9. Wisdom. Psa 104:24; Rom 11:33-36.

10. Holiness. Psa 47:8; Psa 99:3; Psa 99:5; Rev 4:8.

11. Justice. Psa 89:14; 2Ti 4:8.

12. Grace and mercy. Psa 136; 2Co 1:3; Eph 2:4.

13. Longsuffering. Exo 34:6; Rom 9:22.

14. Faithfulness. Psa 36:5; Heb 10:23.

God's eternal power and divinity may be known in creation, Rom 1:20; but He has revealed Himself in the person of Christ, the Son, the eternal Word. God has been pleased also to reveal Himself in His written word. His purposes, His ways, and what He has done for sinful man, all demand universal reverence, adoration, and worship.

* In four places the A.V. has preserved the name Jehovah, namely, Exo 6:8; Psa 83:18; Isa 12:2; Isa 26:4.

Consult other dictionaries:

God - American Tract Society Bible Dictionary

God - Dictionary of the Apostolic Church

God - Theological Dictionary

God - New Catholic Dictionary

God - Catholic Encyclopedia

God - Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

God - Easton's Bible Dictionary

God - Fausset's Bible Dictionary

God - Bridgeway Bible Dictionary

God - A Dictionary Of Christ And The Gospels

God - Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible

God - The Poor Man’s Concordance and Dictionary to the Sacred Scriptures

God - International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

God - Popular Cyclopedia Biblical Literature

God - Nave's Topical Bible

God - People's Dictionary of the Bible

God - The Dictionary of Philosophy

God - Smith's Bible Dictionary

God - Vine's Dictionary of New Testament Words

God - Biblical and Theological Dictionary

Concise Bible Dictionary