The Different Names of God and What They Mean
Written by T.M. Gaouette | December 22, 2015
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless.” (Genesis 17:1)
Ladies, as Christians we often refer to our Lord as God, but did you know that the word “God” is actually a generic name, or rather a common noun, for any supreme being? Many religions refer to their “creator” as “god.” But not all these gods are The One True God.
There are many names for our God, the God of Christians. Or rather, He is referred to in many ways. So, what are the different names of The One True God and what do they actually mean?
- YHWH, Yahweh and Jehovah: The Hebrew name Yahweh was first revealed to Moses by God at the burning bush when He spoke the famous words “I am who I am” (Exodus 3:14). Initially, it was written without the vowels, due to a lack of vowels in Hebrew, so the vowels in the name Yahweh are assumed. YHWH means “LORD.” Jehovah is derived from Yahweh and is used in scripture in such combinations as Jehovah Sabaoth (The Lord of Hosts) and Jehovah-Raah (The Lord my Shepherd).
When David had finished offering the burnt offerings and the offerings of well-being, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord of hosts. (2 Samuel 6:18)
- Adonai: Another Hebrew name for God, meaning “Lord.” It’s the verbal parallel to Yahweh and Jehovah, and was used in its place, since the Jewish people held the word “Yahweh” in reverence and felt was blasphemous to speak it.
- Elohim, El and Eloah: Elohim is derived from the Hebrew word “power,” such as “Mighty” or “Almighty,” and is translated as “God.” It’s the plural version of Eloah, which reflects the sacred Trinity. El is a form of Elohim, and is also used many times in such combinations as El Shaddai, which means “Lord God Almighty” (Genesis 17:1).
- Abba: Simply translated, Abba means “Papa” or “Daddy.” It’s not a another name for God, but rather an endearing title used by Jesus.
He said, “Abba, Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me; yet, not what I want, but what you want.” (Mark 14:36)
There are many more names for our Lord God, many of which derive from the above names, and usually in combinations. Other references to The Almighty include “The Alpha and The Omega,” “The beginning and the end.” These are not names for God, but they reflect the magnitude (although, in reality, the scope is beyond our human capacity of understanding of His power, might and existence).
God is great. And at the end of the day, these names all reflect this Truth about our Lord.
Ladies, what is your favorite name for the Lord God Almighty?