In studying the names of God in Scriptures, a number of important facts come forward.
1. Jesus is called God a number of times in the Scriptures :
- Matt. 1:23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).
- John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
- John 20:28 “Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!””
- Rom. 9:5 “To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.”
- 2Pet. 1:1 “Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ”
- Heb. 1:8 “But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom.”
- Titus 2:13 “waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ”
- 1John 5:20 “And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.”
2. Jesus is called “Lord” in the Scriptures:
Rev. 19:16 “On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.”
a. It is used as a title of respect, like the word “sir.”
- Matt. 21:30 “And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go.”
- Matt. 27:63 “and said, “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.’”
- John 4:11 “The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water?”
b. In the Greek translation of the OT, it is used to translate the name Lord (Yahweh) 6814 times. Consequently, everyone reading the OT at the time of the NT would have known that Lord, when appropriate, was used to translate the name for God, for the Creator, the Almighty God. With this in mind, look at these verses:
- Luke 1:43 “And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”
- Luke 2:11 “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
- Matt. 3:3 “For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight.’”
- 1Cor. 8:6 “yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.”
- 1Cor. 12:3 Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit.
- Rev. 19:16 On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.
“The confession Jesus is Lord is one of the oldest creeds, or perhaps the oldest creed, in Christendom (compare John 13:13; Phil. 2:11). Jews who converted to Christianity on the day of Pentecost believed that God made Jesus both Lord and Christ (Acts 2:36). Converted Gentiles forsook their pagan past and pledged allegiance to Jesus as their Lord and Savior (Acts 16:31; see also Rom. 10:9). Christians of both Jewish and Gentile origin accepted Jesus as ruler of the world, as King of kings and Lord of lords (1 Tim. 6:15; Rev. 1:5; 17:14; 19:16).” (Simon J. Kistemaker, Exposition of the the First Epistle to the Corinthians, Baker New Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 1993), 416.)
3. Jesus affirmed his identity by using many times the name for God “I am.” (Jn. 6:35, 48, 51 ; 8:12, 58 ; 10:7, 9, 11 ; 11:25 ; 13:19 ; 14:6 ; 15:1, 5 ; Rev 1:8 ; 21:6 ; 22:16)
God is called “I am” in the OT. Jehovah or Yahweh (YHWH) is the special name given by God for Himself in the OT. It is the name he revealed to Moses in Exodus 3.14.
“God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.” (Exodus 3:14–15 ESV)
It is interesting that at the moment when the religious authorities came to arrest Jesus, Jesus went forward to confront them.
“Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.” . . .When Jesus said to them, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.” (John 18:4–6 ESV)
Even though the other names of God are used as titles for men (Adonai, Lord, in Gen 18.12) or the false gods (Élohim, gods) in Deut. 6.14), the name Jehovah is used exclusively for God.
“You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God,” (Exodus 20:5 ESV)
In the English Bible, the name Adonai in Hebrew is translated by the name “Lord” and the name Jehovah or Yahweh is translated by the capitalized word LORD.
When you examine the chart with the names of God, you will notice that the authors in the Bible give to Jesus Christ names reserved for God. We cannot avoid the fact that Jesus himself used the names of God in referring to himself. For a fuller study on the divinity of Christ, see: http://www.e4christ.org/?p=578
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