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What is in a Name If it is God then it means something

Updated on September 4, 2014

What's in a name?

When I was a child I prayed to God saying Father. He was my Father, who was in heaven so that's how I referred to Him. We say God as if it was is name, but isn't God a reference as to what He is? There were many gods back in the day. The Roman's had Zeus, the Greek's had Jupiter. They had gods and goddess for just about everything. Egypt had Anubis god of the dead, Horus, god of sky and so forth. So why is the Christian God, then referred to as God. Maybe, because is the one and only true God. But still, I wondered, does He have a name?

This past Sunday the scripture in church was when God is speaking to Moses from the burning bush in Exodus 2:

13 Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” 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.’”

Really - God's name is "Iam" because Iams is a dog food now, which coincidentally God backwards is dog, but Iams was named after Paul Iams who developed the dog food, and not God.

One of my favorite Christmas hymns which is written by Mark Lowry, is "Mary did you Know" does end with "This sleeping child you're holding is the Great I Am" So, is that God's name?

Well, this brings me now to one of my favorite words, the Tetragrammaton, no it's not a nuclear reactor, Tetragrammaton comes from a greek word meaning "four letters". The four letters in the Hebrew language that this verse was originally written in, are yod, he, vav, he, from which we get YHWH. Here is the hard part - the Jewish people of the time, left out the vowel sounds. This wasn’t a problem with the Hebrews because they knew what the words were and how to pronounce them. It was not until many hundreds of years later that the Jewish people started to insert what was called ‘vowel points’ into the copied texts of the Hebrew Old Testament.

So, how do we pronounce YHWH - Although Yahweh is favored by most Hebrew scholars and is widely accepted as the pronunciation of the tetragrammaton, Jehovah is still used in some translations of the Bible.

The origins for the composite term Jehovah came from early English translators who transposed the vowels from Adonai to the Tetragrammaton, and read the word literally so that the Y in YHWH, was pronounced as a J in English, and the W as a V. However, there is no "J" sound in Hebrew.

But unfortunately for us, we still don't know exactly which vowel sounds are the correct ones.

Nevertheless, from the text above, the proper name of God is "I AM," which we transliterate into the English YHWH.

So, why don't we see God's Name used in our Bibles - well Religiously observant Jews are forbidden to pronounce the name of God, and when reading the Torah they use the word Adonai ("Lord"). Although most Christians have no prohibition on pronouncing the tetragrammaton, in most Christian translations of the Bible, "LORD" is used in place of the tetragrammaton, after the Hebrew Adonai, and is often written with small capitals (or in all caps) to distinguish it from other words translated as "Lord".

As for me, I will still call Him, Father.

Different Names of God

Abba "Papa"
Adonai "Lord"
El Shaddai "Almighty God" "The Mighty One of Jacob"
Ancient of days
Elohim "The plural form of El or Eloah, which shows the Trinity
El Roi "God of Seeing"
El Olam "Everlasting God"
Holy One
I Am
Jehovah/Yhwh/Yahweh "Lord"
Jehovah-Jireh "The Lord will provide"
Jehovah-Rapha "The Lord who heals"
Jehovah-Nissi "The Lord our banner"
Jehovah-M`kaddesh "The Lord who sanctifies, makes holy"
Jehovah-Shalom "The Lord our peace"
Jehovah-Elohim "Lord God"
Jehovah-Tsidkenu "The Lord our righteousness"
Jehovah-Sabaoth "Lord of hosts"
El-Elyon "Most High"

At Your Name

I heard this song at a recent Joyce Meyer Conference in Hershey. I found myself singing this a lot - so I decided to share this with you.

Did you ever consider before reading this article that God had a name?

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    • BAMwer profile image

      Beverly Werner 3 years ago from Catasauqua

      I agree with you Venkatachari M. Thank you for you comment

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 3 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      Very interesting article about names for God. I consider God as one Supreme Being "I am". But different people at different places give different names to God. There are numerous names to refer to Him. But God is only one being for all this universe and cosmos irrespective of any place or religion, that is my belief.