John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
GOD, NAMES OF. Distinctive of the Hebrew-Christian system is the use of the names for deity as instruments for divine disclosure. The several names, simple and compound, employed in both the OT and the NT are not mere human designations or constructs. Rather they are revelatory instruments, appearing at nodal points in the career of the Israelitish people, and reflecting God’s self-revelation.
Israels’ feeling for names reflected the general attitude toward nomenclature which was common to ancient peoples. With them a person’s name was not a mere designation of familial relationship—not a mere possession—but something distinctly personal. While there is no evidence that in Israelitish usage of names these were held (as in some cultures) to possess magical power, yet names were held in serious regard. This was true concerning personal names; and the same seriousness is apparent in the employment of designations for deity among OT peoples.
In Sem. culture, names were frequently used to designate a characteristic of the person named. The feeling seems to have been that nomina sunt realia. An example of this type of usage is found in the case of the name of Jacob, meaning “supplanter,” whose subject was in actual fact a crafty and self-seeking person.
1. God’s name: general considerations. In some parts of Scripture, God’s name is regarded in a strictly sing. sense, and the principles surrounding its usage are collectively applied to the several designations of Him. Thus we have in the Decalogue, “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain” (Exod 20:7, KJV). The usage here is generic and is intended to exclude any fraudulent or flippant use of any of the terms by which God was designated.
The third commandment is thus intended as a safeguard placed upon the structure of divine names as a revelatory instrument. The entire pattern of names was to be held in respect as a vital part of the self-disclosure of Deity, so that no aspect of His revealed nature should be regarded frivolously.
It should be noted that it is the use of the name, rather than its derivation, that is most significant in OT usage. While etymology is a highly relevant study in this connection, its conclusions cannot by themselves be accepted as definitive for the understanding of divine names. Nor can the fact that the Hebrews used names for God which were current in the ancient world be held to militate against a special use of names as revelatory in OT times.
It is to be noted that within the divine nomenclature of the OT, there are varying combinations of designations with respect to the “transcendence-immanence” question. These suggest that to the Hebrews, God was understood as being both hidden and present. Again, there is evidence that He was understood in both transcendent and anthropomorphic modes so far as His personal qualities were concerned.
The NT understanding of both the divine names and the divine nature continues and simplifies the OT usage. The names employed to designate the Deity are fewer, and less emphasis is laid upon names themselves as indicative of the nature of God. Whereas in the OT usage nuances and compound verbal structures are employed to convey the qualities of the Deity, in the NT there are characterizations, direct and indirect, which serve to elaborate men’s understanding of God’s nature.
2. Basic names for God in the OT. Much of OT criticism, particularly of the liberal variety, has pivoted about the use of two divine names, אֵל׀, H446, and יהוה, H3378. These, taken together with the name אֲדֹנָי, H151, (usually transliterated as Adonai) form what may be considered the basic OT designations for the Deity. These are, as well, simple names, as contrasted with a group of compound names, to which attention will be given later.
The name El is one of the oldest designations for deity in the ancient world. It forms the basic component for the general term for God in Babylonia and Arabia, as well as with the Israelitish people. That the conceptions which were sometimes attached to the term El in the world of antiquity were unworthy of the God of the Bible is clear, but this does not diminish the significance of the occurrence of the term in the racial stocks of the Middle E. It is a very old term, and many feel that it is reasonable to infer that the term has been retained from a primeval revelation, an Uroffenbarung.
The term El seems to suggest power and authority. In this connection, John P. Lange says:
Power, greatness, vastness, height, according as they are represented by the conceptions of the day, carried to the fullest extent allowed by the knowledge of the day; this is the ideal of El and Elohim, as seen in the etymological congruity of the epithets joined to those in Genesis. (Commentary on the Holy Scriptures, I, 109n.)
Thus the original meaning of El may have been: (a) to be strong; (b) to have extended sphere of control; or (c) to possess binding force. Walther Eichrodt suggests that:
It is worth noting that whichever of these meanings we adopt stresses the distance between God and man. In this they are in basic conformity with the basic characteristic of the Semitic concept of God, namely, that what is of primary importance is not the feeling of kinship with the deity, but fear and trembling in the face of his overwhelming majesty. Another point which it is necessary to remark is that they do not identify the Godhead with any natural object, but describe it as the power which stands behind Nature, or the overruling will manifested in it (Theology of the OT, p. 179).
The name El as applied to God is general and inclusive, and includes the primary significance of power or ability (Gen 17:1; 28:3; 35:11; Josh 3:10; 2 Sam 22:31, 32; Neh 1:5; 9:32; Isa 9:6; Ezek 10:5). Many feel justified in concluding that its employment and wide currency witnesses to a primeval monotheism, from which polytheism represented a lapse. Attention will be given to the frequent use of the pl. form Elohim in the OT in a later section. For the present, it needs to be said that the name El bears not only the connotation of might, but also the idea of the transcendence of the Deity.
If the name El was a general term for the divinity in the thought of the peoples of the Bible Lands and Middle E of antiquity, the name Yahweh (transliterated Jehovah) was a specifically Israelitish name for God. The basic meaning of the term seems to be: “He which Is” or “He who is truly present.”
It is difficult to ascertain how widely this name was used during the Patriarchal era, though it was current in Abraham’s day. It was given new emphasis and significance to Moses (Exod 3:15, 16; 6:3, 6. Cf. Gen 12:8) beyond what was understood by Abraham as he built his altar between Bethel and Ai (Gen 12:8). Yahweh was revealed as an intensely personal name. Ortho-graphically, it was indicated by the tetragram YHWH, and current transliterations supply vowels variously.
If it be correctly understood that the name was known as early as the birth of Enosh (Gen 4:26) and that Abraham had a knowledge of it, then it follows that the revelation to Moses in Exodus represented a deepening and more personalized usage of the name. It is possible that earlier disclosures of the name had been obscured or even largely lost.
The Mosaic use of the term (including the new significance attached to it) set the pattern for subsequent Heb. thought. With Moses, the name seems to have gained general currency and specific acceptance; but more important, it became intimately associated with the life of Israel as a people. That is it became the token of a special and crucial self-revelation of God to a special people—a disclosure which tied together the mighty acts involved in the Exodus and Israel’s self-consciousness as a nation. These acts in turn prepared the way for the intimate involvement of Israel with Yahweh at Sinai.
Thus the name Yahweh was tied in inseparably with Israel’s national awareness and was inescapably involved in Israel’s unique covenant relation with Deity. Vital to this was the fact that Yahweh had taken the initiative, and had stepped visibly and unmistakably into Israel’s national affairs.
It is significant that the use of this name for God was unique with the Israelites. The other Sem. peoples do not seem to have known it or at least did not use it in reference to the Deity except as contacts with the Heb. people brought it to their attention. It was the special property of the covenant people.
It is significant also, that the name came to have such significance that the scribes avoided pronunciation of it. Scribal usage involved circumlocutions and as well the use of alternate names. This bears witness not only to the significance of the name as a basis for the feeling for nationhood, but also to the respect which the people felt for the supernatural source of their history.
This is another way of saying that the name Yahweh was, in the Israelitish consciousness, set over all that which was merely naturalistic. This does not imply necessarily that the Hebrews saw in the name a metaphysical meaning (as for example Aristotle’s formula of “essence equals existence”) in the “I AM WHO I AM” of Exodus 3:13, but rather, that they understood Yahweh as being existent and active in the here and now.
In this connection, Eichrodt suggests that the name Yahweh
goes much further than the divine names hitherto in use in its emphasis on the concrete nearness and irruptive reality of God, and contrasts vividly for this reason with their generalized statements (earlier names) on the rule and guidance, the exaltedness and eternity of the divine. (Op. cit., p. 191.)
It seems clear that the revelation and the grasp of the name Yahweh by the Israelitish people marked a landmark in spiritual awareness and in national religious experience. With the Exodus the Deity assumed in the mentality of Israel a specifically redemptive role. His “mighty acts” were specifically saving acts, and were so understood. In the deliverance at the Red (or Reed) Sea, Yahweh had shaped the forces of nature to serve the ends of grace, and had brought His power to bear upon the nation in a time of historic emergency and crisis.
It is understandable in the light of this, that the events of the Exodus formed the core of the Heb. kerygma: “I am Yahweh your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage” (Exod 20:2). Here is emphasized the specialized quality of God’s self-disclosure to the Heb. people. It goes without saying that objections have been raised to the specificity which is implied here. Such thinkers as Douglas Clyde Macintosh have held that for God to have revealed Himself esp. and exclusively to the Heb. people would have been an act unworthy of Him, and one ultimately immoral. It is at this point that a sharp antithesis between merely human thought and the Biblical insight appears.
The OT insight is that God has taken the initiative in restoring the knowledge-bond which existed between God and fallen man, a bond which was fractured at the fall. And it was through His revelation to Israel of Himself under the name of Yahweh or Jehovah that the unfolding of saving history became visible. The unveiling of God’s nature by the giving of this name to Israel was of supreme significance to the entire Biblical system.
Another of the basic names for deity which occurs frequently in early Israelitish history is Adhon or Âdhônāy, usually transliterated as Adonai. Its root form, Adon, does not seem to have been in common use among Sem. peoples generally, but was used mainly by the Hebrews. In the OT it was used in reference to human beings possessing authority.
In Joshua 3:11 God is called “Lord of all the earth”; most frequently the pl. form, Adonai (literally “my Lords”) is employed. In its earliest usage it was evidently a more transcendent term, indicating God’s role as one high and above all things. In later usage, it came to indicate a more personal and intimate relation between the Deity and His people. It thus involves not only gradations of relationships but also obligations and duties. The name was frequently used, not only for, but with the name Yahweh. In the latter usage, the significance would seem to be that while Yahweh does indeed enter into relationship with His people, He is not to be localized or regarded as the God of any specific place.
3. Combined or secondary names: OT. In addition to the three names which are frequently regarded to be basic in Heb. usage, there are several compound or otherwise grammatically qualified forms of divine name in the OT. Belonging to this group for lack of other special classification would be the extended form of אֵל׀, H446, אֱלﯴהַּ, H468, (pl. אֱלֹהִים, H466). The form Eloah (or Eloha) is used chiefly in the Book of Job, being found some forty times there.
The pl. form, Elohim (often called “the plural of intensity”) is used over 2000 times in the OT to refer to Israel’s God. It is frequently used with the article ha-’elohim, bearing the significance of the one true God. The major significance of the usage seems to be that the Hebrews went beyond the usual Sem. name El as a fitting designation for their Deity, whom they regarded as being above and beyond all other gods.
Among the compound names for God in the OT, the name אֵ֣ל שַׁדַּ֔י represents a clear progression in the self-disclosure of God to the Hebrews of the patriarchal period. As El Shaddāy or “the almighty God” the Deity is seen to be not only creator and sustainer of the universe, but also the initiator and keeper of covenants. As such He is seen to move clearly in the human sphere, shaping natural forces to spiritual ends.
The name seems to have had Babylonian connections; the Heb. word sadu being related to the older Sem. word meaning “mountain.” While some have understood the name El Shaddāy as “sustainer,” this seems to rest upon a confusion upon the part of the translators of the LXX, who incorrectly associated the word sadu with a term meaning “breast.”
The correct understanding of the name, as being derived from the name “mountain,” seems to suggest strength, stability, and permanence. It has been suggested that the name is basically poetic, thus indicating majestic stability, the reliable refuge, the unmoved pillar. The disclosure of the name is associated closely with the giving of the Covenant as recorded in Genesis 17. The events associated with this point in Israel’s history were intimate and personal ones, centering in the birth of Isaac, the institution of circumcision, and the provisions made for Hagar and Ishmael.
It is significant that this name for the Deity became current in the patriarchal period, in which God’s providences toward the Heb. people were manifested most intimately and also uniquely to the race of Abraham. In this period, the name El Shaddāy was an important verbal aid in the pedagogy of the Hebrews. It may be said that in a sense this name formed a bridge in the Heb. mind between the epoch in which Elohim was the chief designation for the Deity, and the period of the re-emphasis on the intensely personal and redemptive name, Yahweh or Jehovah.
The names אֵ֥ל עﯴלָֽם, and אֵ֥ל עֶלְיֹֽון, which are both compounds of the original Sem. form El, represent variant emphases. The former of these bears the meaning of “God of ancient days” or “God of eternity.” The chief usage of this name, in Genesis 21:33, suggests the permanence of the Deity, His exaltation above the changes and contingencies of time. He is conceived to be above the flux of natural phenomena. The ideas contained in this designation were esp. common in the era of the prophets, continuing into the time of the Exile. El Ôlām (or El’ôloām) as a name calls attention to God’s eternal duration, His agelessness and His perpetuity amid the changing tides of natural and human events.
The name El ’Elyôn (Gen 14:18; Num 24:16) denotes the Deity as “the Most High,” the highest and therefore supreme Being. In the use of this name for God, the Israelites gave expression, not in the first instance to the exclusiveness of their God (which was amply expressed elsewhere), but to His supremacy.
This name, which occurs in very early Heb. history, seems to have receded in use until about 1000 b.c., at which time it came again into use, esp. in the poetic lit. of the OT. Here the omnipotence of God is the point of stress. It occurs also in postexilic times, notably in Daniel 7:25, 27.
The name אֱלֹהִ֥ימ׃׀ צְבָאֹ֡ות, often transliterated as Elohim Sebā’ôt and tr. “God of Sabaoth,” means literally “God of Hosts.” It is employed to indicate God’s role as the One who controls all created agencies and beings. The name is associated with the Ark of the Covenant (e.g. 1 Sam 4:4; 2 Sam 6:2) and is employed frequently by the prophets. That it was not merely an appellation equivalent to “Warrior God” is evident from its large use (nearly 250 times) by the prophets.
That the term does not suggest a merely national or racial deity is witnessed by the prophetic usage which links Yahweh Sebā’ôt with judgment upon both Israel and the environing nations. Thus the “Lord of Hosts” was conceived as being sovereign over all hosts, both “things in heaven and things on earth.” The name suggests exaltedness, transcendence, and omnipotence.
The use of this name implies also a universalistic tendency in Israel’s religion during the period of the monarchy. As Eichrodt points out, it suggests that the early concept of a high God in Israel was sustained (op cit. 193). It follows that during the period of the monarchy, the Hebrews continued and sustained an earlier exalted concept of the Deity, and that their cultic usage was shaped and conditioned, not by purely national or tribal sentiment, but by a Yahwist faith which possessed universalistic conceptions.
The name צ֥וּר (“Rock”) occurs five times in the song of Moses (Deut 32:4, 15, 18, 30, 31) and a number of times in Psalms, Isaiah and elsewhere. The connotation is fig.; the name suggests Gods’ role as a fortress or shield. It occurs in Deuteronomy in a context which suggests both God’s greatness and His righteousness. The same combination occurs in Psalm 92:15: “He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.”
In Deuteronomy 32:15, Moses chides יְשֻׁרוּנ׃֙ (meaning “Upright One,” no doubt an ironical reference to Israel) for forgetting Tsûr who as Maker is the source of Israels’ security. In verse 31 of the same chapter, Israel’s Tsûr is contrasted with the enemies’ “rock.” Here the reference is to God’s strength, as well as to His special relationship to the Israelitish nation, in which He confuses their enemies, and causes them to triumph in the face of vastly overwhelming numerical odds.
The name קָדﯴשׁ, H7705, (“Holy One”) appears in the Psalms, and esp. in Isaiah, where it is employed over thirty times. The term implies separation from all that is unworthy and unrighteous, and carries the connotation also of power, distance from man and the world, and in a certain sense aloofness and inaccessibility. At the same time, God is declared to be “the Holy One of Israel”; thus the motif of transcendence which might have been the major thrust of the term is modified by the suggestion of specialness with reference to Israel.
Two names are employed which indicate the greatness of God, אָבִיר, H51, (“Mighty One”) and גִּבּﯴר, H1475, (“Mighty”). The first is employed in connection with the names of Israel or of Jacob; taken with a proper name, it is a poetic title of power. The second has the same significance, and is found in connection with the names both El and Yahweh (Isa 9:6; 42:13; Jer 32:18).
The name Abhīr (Gen 49:24) indicates a Mighty One who strengthens the hands of chosen men, and whose presence is symbolized by the Ark of the Lord (Ps 132:2, 5). The name is intimately connected with Israel’s salvation (Isa 49:26).
The name צַדִּיק, H7404, (“Righteous One”) is applied to the Deity in His role as covenantkeeper, and as utterly true to Himself. There is a clear implication of divine justice in the name; Pharaoh is shown to recognize this (Exod 9:27) as is also the psalmist (Pss 129:4; 145:17).
Two names for God which are hapax legomena are אֵ֣ל רֳאִ֑י and אֵ֥ל בְּרִֽית. The former occurs in Genesis 6:13 and its use is attributed to Hagar as she fled into the Negev from the ire of Sarah. The name ’El Rô’î is capable of being tr. “God of Vision” or “God of Seeing.” It seems from the context that the latter is intended in Genesis 6:13.
The name ’El Berit occurs only in Judges 9:46. The basic meaning is “God of the Covenant”; the reference in Judges is to the name of a sanctuary at Shechem, from whose treasury the citizens of Shechem gave seventy silver shekels to Abimelech to aid him in his struggle for kingship of the city. The actual relation of the sanctuary in the city to the motif of “covenant” is unclear, but some covenant agreements between the sons of Jacob and the Shechemites were prob. implied in Jacob’s acquisition of land there (Gen 33:19).
From the foregoing, it seems clear that in OT usage, the names describe functions or activities of God, although intrinsic and even metaphysical implications are not wholly absent. More significant still, they represent stages in a progressive self-disclosure of the Deity, a revelation which utilized situations (esp. crucial ones) as vehicles. The entire revelatory process was safeguarded by the third commandment, which prescribed not only a certain economy in the use of divine names, but a scrupulous adherence to norms of truth in connection with their employment.
4. Names for God in the NT. The employment of names for the Deity in the NT tends to simplify the nomenclature of the OT. The most common name is, of course, Θεός, which occurs more than one thousand times. It connotes, in one name-form, the names El and Elohim and their compounds and is expressive of essential deity. The term emphasizes self-sufficiency, self-determination and absolute righteousness. (“God, Names of” in ISBE, II, 1268, art. by Edward Mack.)
In general, NT usage of the name Theos takes for granted some familiarity with OT conceptions of the divine Being, whose existence is usually assumed. As Theos He is present in depth in all things, yet is independent of the created universe. While being no stranger to the world, He is in His essential being transcendent, unmixed with created realities.
The name Κύριος (“Lord”) occurs with great frequency in the NT. It seems to gather together within itself the combined meaning of the Heb. name Adonai, of which it is the verbal equivalent, and Yahweh or Jehovah. The name is applied to both Father and Son, and at times is the chief signification for Jesus Christ. In the gospels it appears as the direct equivalent of Adonai (Mark 1:3), and as a close correlate to the name Theos (John 20:28). In the postresurrection narratives, esp., it appears as a direct name for Jesus Christ (Luke 24:34; John 20:18; 21:20).
Thus, in the unfolding of the message of the NT, the richness and variety of OT nomenclature for the Deity was presupposed. This is expressed, not only in the wide range of usages of the names Theos and Kurios, but also in the carrying over in tr. of attributive names from the OT, such as Highest, Most High, and Almighty which correspond respectively to ’Elyôn, Abhīr and Shaddāy. (See, e.g. Luke 1:35, 76; Rev 4:8; 11:17; 21:22.)
The most distinctive development in the use of divine names in the NT is the introduction of the name Father. While the idea of “God as Father” was foreshadowed in the OT, particularly in the relationship existing between Yahweh and Israel, and in the more intimate strains of the devotional lit. (Pss 68:5; 103:13) it remained for our Lord to make the usage concrete and intimate. The term was completely natural to Him, and as the divine Son He employed it frequently (Matt 7:21; 10:32; Luke 2:49; 11:13; John 12:49). It is noteworthy that His first recorded words (Luke 2:49) indicate His awareness of being about His Father’s affairs, and that His last discourse on earth centered upon “the promise of my Father” (Luke 24:49).
While our Lord claimed that God was Father to Him in a unique sense (see John 5:18) yet that fatherhood was something to be shared (Matt 7:11; Luke 11:13). As the Redeemer and Son, He ever called attention to the Father who had sent Him into the world. The ease with which He employed the name made it natural for the early Christian community to speak of God as “the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” It follows that our Lord’s language was not philosophical but filial. The name Father gave dimensions to the understanding of the Deity which neither the name Theos nor the title Kurios could afford.
The thrust of the language of the NT epistles is that God is the Father of all men in the sense of being the creator and sustainer of all, while at the same time there is an essentially Christian sense in which God is the Father of the regenerate. It is within the context of Christian redemption that the name Father comes to its fullest significance.
5. God’s nature as revealed by names. It has been noted that God’s existence is not argued in detail in Holy Scripture. The names by which He revealed Himself in the OT period were, as has been noted, descriptive largely of the divine activities and functions. It was mentioned further that there was an elaboration of functions (and by implication, of nature also) in the plurality of names.
This does not, of course, rule out the possibility that the employment of the varied designations afforded to the Hebrews—and to men and women of the Christian era—a propositional understanding of God’s essential nature. The twin qualities of spirituality and personality shine through the OT nomenclature rather clearly. Back of this was the more basic understanding of God’s sovereign freedom. He is portrayed as being above any determination outside Himself. He existed before the world and is in no way dependent upon the cosmos for His existence.
As the Almighty, He is unique in the quality of His freedom. This uniqueness has for its corollary the unitary quality of His being. He thus answers to the Shema (Deut 6:4): “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord.” This view, which by the period of the return from the Exile had been indelibly impressed upon the mentality of the Hebrews, sums up the Jewish view of God.
As sovereignly unique and exclusively unitary, God appears also as sovereign Father. This latter concept developed alongside the regal understanding of Jehovah, and in NT times became a dominant motif. It goes without saying that each of these conceptions is morally and ethically based, this being a corollary of God’s holiness.
As almighty, God is shown to act, not merely from the fact of irresistible power, but in accordance with that holiness (Lev 11:44; 1 Sam 2:2). This quality demands that all that is associated with him shall also be holy: the priests, the Ark, the Tabernacle, and the people. The purity thus enjoined is not merely a ritual characteristic, although the so-called Holiness Code (Lev 17-26) has profound ritualistic overtones. But at the same time, the Code has strong practical and ethical overtones. In the section dealing with blessings for obedience, God the Lord demands separation from evil as a condition to His making His dwelling with Israel.
The NT usage of designations for God sheds light upon the question of God’s love. While in the OT there were racial and national limits to the exercise of divine love, in the NT God’s love and benevolence is clearly shown to extend to the whole of mankind. This is the clear implication of the words “God is love” (1 John 4:8). The supreme evidence for this is, of course, shown to be found in the Incarnation of the Word, and in the sufferings, death and resurrection of the Incarnate One (1 John 4:9, 10).
Something needs to be said, finally, with respect to the relation of God’s nature (and esp. as this is revealed through the employment of divine names) to the created world. This question assumes its sharpest form in the issue of transcendence versus immanence. The name El, with its strong overtones of power, clearly suggests God’s transcendence. The element of distance applies both to the relation of God to man, and of God to the world. The accent falls upon His majesty (Neh 9:32; Ps 68:34, 35; Ezek 10:5) in OT usage and in His role as the Lord of history, Creator of all things and Ruler of the ages in the NT (1 Tim 1:17).
In the name Yahweh are combined the two motifs of transcendence and immanence. On the one hand, He was a God of power and ability (Exod 3:14; 20:2) but at the same time, One who was vitally operative in human events. His nearness was, in general, seen in terms of proximity and availability to persons (e.g., Moses and the Israelitish people). The term Covenant seems to bring the two motifs into close relationship, for the Mighty Deliverer was also Lawgiver and Provider.
It is significant that the understanding of Deity, particularly as it is revealed progressively through divine names in both Testaments, is singularly free from the twin extremes of Deism and Pantheism. On the one hand, God is declared and shown to be concerned with the affairs of the created universe and particularly the needs of mankind; on the other, He is intensely personal and thus distinct from all of the empirical universe.
It is noteworthy that the thrust of the Scriptural view of Deity avoids the peril of envisioning transcendence in exclusively spatial terms, and as well, that of seeing His immanence in terms of a mixture (or identification) of Him with created realities. Rather, God as spirit(John 4:24) is essentially and intrinsically independent, and at the same time irreducible to corporeal or material existence.
While many feel that the employment of the pl. form Elohim leaves the way open to the NT view of a plurality of Personae in the One divine Essence, the doctrine of the Trinity rests primarily upon other grounds than that of the use of names for the Deity. But these names do play an indispensable role in the total movement of history-and-thought by which the eternal God has made Himself known to the sons of men. To say the least, these names inform us, not only that God is, but also “that he rewards those who seek him” (Heb 11:6).
Bibliography J. P. Lange, Commentary on the Holy Scriptures (n.d.), I, 109n; A. E. Suffrin, “God (Jewish),” HERE, Vi (1914), 295-299; E. Mack, “God, Names of” ISBE, II (1915), 1264-1268; W. T. Davison, “God, Biblical and Christian,” HERE, VI (1922), 252-269; W. R. Matthews, God in Christian Thought and Experience (1930),89-110; C. F. H. Henry, Notes on the Doctrine of God (1948), 75-91; T. Rees, “God,” ISBE, II (1955), 1250-1264; W. Eichrodt, Theology of the Old Testament, I (1961), 178-203; R. T. A. Murphy, “Nature of God in Biblical Theology,” New Catholic Encyclopedia, VI (1962), 560-562; H. B. Kuhn, “God: His Names and Nature,” Fundamentals of the Faith (1969), 35-55; L. F. Hartman, “God, Names of,” Encyclopaedia Judaica, VII (1971), 674-679.
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