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This Index to The Titles of Deity has been compiled to assist the reader to further his studies in the doctrine of God-manifestation. It will be found useful, not only in connection with the present work, but also in the study of Eureka, an exposition of the Apocalypse, by the author of Phanerosis. Eureka is a work which none of "the servants of God" should be without (see Rev. 1:3). Therein Dr. Thomas deals extensively with the subject of Deity in manifestation.
The Authorised Version has indiscriminately rendered many of the titles of Deity by the words "Lord" or "God." These words do not express the ideas conveyed in the name Yahweh, or the titles Eloah, Elohim, El, and so forth. By the use of this Index the student will be able to trace the places in his Bible where the different titles occur, and will thus be able to follow the reasoning of Dr. Thomas and other writers upon this subject more easily.
Much of the information contained in the following pages has previously appeared from time to time in Logos. It has been culled from various sources, mainly the writings of Dr. Thomas, and from lexicons and concordances. It is issued without any pretensions to scholarship on the part of the compiler, who claims no real knowledge of the original languages.
What Is In A Name?
Names in the Bible are of far greater significance than is the case in modern usage. Now they are but convenient labels to discriminate one person or place from another; but in Scripture they are used to describe the person or place so named. They designated the calling, hopes, or character of the ones possessing them, and frequently names of individuals were altered in accordance with the changed circumstances of their lives. Thus we know Saul also as Paul, Jacob as Israel, Abram as Abraham, and so forth. In each case, these altered names tell us a little more about the one concerned. When Naomi returned from the land of Moab, bereft of her husband and sons, and in great poverty, she told the women of Bethlehem who greeted her with joy: "Call me not Naomi (i.e. 'pleasant'), but call me Mara (i.e. 'Bitter')." When Abigail met David in an attempt to divert his anger against her boorish husband, she told the King: "Nabal (i.e. 'fool') is his name, and folly is his nature" (1 Sam. 25:25). When Joshua indicted the man who had brought disgrace and defeat to Israel, he asked: "Why hast thou troubled Israel?" and he called him Achan (i.e. 'troubler') -- Josh. 7:25-26.
The study of names has even greater force when considered in relation to God. The names and titles that He has selected to describe and reveal Himself to man, are of outstanding importance if we would truly seek to "know" Him. Nowhere in the
Bible is there provided a description of God. On the contrary, He is said to dwell in "unapproachable light whom no man hath seen nor can see" (1 Tim. 6:16). But everywhere, on every page of the Bible, there is found the impress of His character and purpose. It is stamped in His labours on behalf of Israel in which He is revealed as a Father, a Master, a Redeemer or an Avenger as the case may be. It is shown in the Divine attributes which were proclaimed to Moses in the declaration of the Name to him (Exod. 34:6-7). It is revealed in the history of Israel and the nations as they experience either the mercy, love and forgiveness of Yahweh, or else His wrath.
It is possible for us to overlook this feature of the Divine revelation, and view the Bible as a glorified history book. The Bible is not history, either sacred or profane, but a revelation of the character and purpose of its Author. The incidents recorded therein are selected to reveal both. Whether they show Him as educating and protecting Israel, or giving the nation over to judgment and punishment, they have been set down not merely to record the facts, but as exhibiting facets of the Divine character. And the names and titles of God give point and force to this truth. He has selected words and applied them to Himself, and by so doing, has charged them with power. They become transformed with new meaning as they are considered in relation to His will and purpose, and the circumstances under which they were selected. Any of the names and titles of God can, and should, be studied from that standpoint. When this is done, we will come to "know" the only true God better, and will be drawn more towards Him.
The Psalmist looked to the time when the Divine Name will be magnified throughout the earth (Ps. 8:1), and when His people shall rejoice at all time in His name (Ps. 89:15-16). In anticipation of this glorious future, Isaiah declared: "Thy memorial name is the desire of our soul" (Isa. 26:8). The prophetic significance of the memorial name of Yahweh is expounded in the pages of Phanerosis.
SUGGESTIONS FOR STUDY
The study of the names and titles of Deity is most fascinating. It not only assists us to "know" God more fully, but in addition makes the Bible itself more meaningful.
In Phanerosis, Dr. Thomas states that the words "Lord" and "God" have been used indiscriminately in translating various Hebrew terms, and it is extremely helpful to the better understanding of the theme of God manifestation, to be able to determine where these different titles occur. This can be done by marking each with a distinguishing colour. For example, you may elect to colour in red pencil the word "God" wherever it is El in the original; and blue where the word Eloah occurs. In
the front of your Bible, you could append a definition of the word used, together with the colour whereby it can be distinguished.
When this is done, and the context of each title is considered in the light of its meaning, its significance will become apparent, and the reading of the Bible will prove much more enlightening. The Index we have provided has set these titles out in the most convenient form.
Dr. Thomas has transliterated this word as Ail, thus spelling it as it should be pronounced. He writes: "As often as this word Ail passed before the mind of the Hebrew, the idea of POWER, MIGHT, and STRENGTH, would stand out in bold relief." "It always," says Gesenius, "presented to the Hebrews the idea of strength and power." In Eureka, Vol. 1, p.95, Dr. Thomas writes: "Every member of the heavenly host is an Eloah (mighty one), but of all the Elohim (mighty ones) ONE ONLY is the original and self-existent AIL the absolute, omnipotent, and independent power of the universe. Speaking of Himself in His address to the ends of the earth He says: 'Look unto me, for I am AIL, and none else' (Isa. 45:22); and to Israel he saith: 'Ye are my witnesses, and my servant whom I have chosen, that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I, Yahweh, am He; before me AlL or POWER, has not been formed nor after me shall be" (Isa. 43:10).
Jesus declared: "I can of mine own self do nothing" (John 5:30). This is true also of the heavenly host. However, with the aid of Ail, (which Power they manifest) "nothing is impossible" (Luke 1:37). El or Ail, therefore, refers to that mighty Power whose work is exhibited in all creation, and whose energy is the basis of all matter for "out of Him were all things made." "Lord," declared the Psalmist, "thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting thou art God (El)" -- Ps. 90:1-2.
According to Young's Index-Lexicon to the Old Testament, El has been translated "God" 212 times; "god" 15 times, "power" three times, "goodly" four times, "mighty" four times, and "idol," "might," "mighty one," "great," "mighty," "strong" once each.
The following is the list of passages in which El has been translated "God":
El has been rendered "mighty" in Ps. 29:1; 50:1; 82:1; 89:6; "mighty one" in Ezek. 31:11; "strong" in Ezek. 32:21; "power" in Gen. 31:29; Prov. 3:27; Mic. 2:1; "goodly" in Ps. 80:10; "great" in Ps. 36:6, etc.
It has a plural form: Elim, powers. See Num. 15:11; Dan. 11:36, where it is rendered "gods."
"Another word applied to POWER INCREATE and improperly rendered 'God' is Eloah" (Dr. Thomas). The word is derived from the root El (Power). "POWER, then, is the radical idea of Eloah as well as of El. It is of the singular number and masculine gender" (Dr. Thomas).
Eloah thus signifies a Powerful or Mighty One. In regard to the doctrine of God manifestation, it signifies one who is made strong by Divine power (El). God is Himself Eloah, or a Mighty One, and so are the angels who manifest His power. This idea is expressed in the words recorded by Isaiah: "Exists there an Eloah without Me. Yea, there is no rock (metaphor for power), I know not any" (Isa. 44:8). David declared: "Who is Eloah" "save" balhaday, -- "without"
or "apart from" -- see Strong's Concordance). David's question can be answered safely in the negative. There is no true strength apart from Yahweh. Man might claim to be Eloah, but his strength is but weakness compared with that of Yahweh, who, as Job remarked, can readily "gather unto Himself His spirit and breath, and all flesh would perish together."
Paul taught that believers are "in hope of the glory of God" (Rom. 5:2), and Peter that "divine nature" will be bestowed upon those who attain unto the "great and precious promises" (2 Pet. 1:4). Each saint attaining unto that position will be an Eloah, or a Mighty One; whilst combined they will constitute Elohim, or Mighty Ones. These titles will be applied to them because they will manifest El or the Divine power. Thus Isaiah represents the nations making supplication unto Cyrus (who was a type of Christ) saying: "Surely God (El - the Divine power) is in thee" (Isa. 45:14).
EIoah has been translated "God" fifty-two times, and "god" five times as follows:
A Chaldee word, corresponding to the Hebrew Eloah, but also appearing in a plural form Eloheen. The occurrences of this word are as follows:
This word has been generally, and correctly, translated "Rock," and is a metaphor expressing the immovable power of Yahweh. It has been translated "God" in Isaiah 44:8 and "mighty God" in Habakkuk 1:12.
It is generally acknowledged that Yahweh is the correct pronunciation for the memorial name of God proclaimed at the Bush. Philologists and theologians agree that the term Jehovah, fre-
quently used instead of Yahweh, is a spurious form of the word. In Eureka, vol 1, p.100, Dr. Thomas writes:
"Yahweh or Yah, as a noun, and signifying 'He who will be,' is the memorial name the Deity chooses to be known by among His people. It reminds them that HE will be manifested in a multitude, and that, in that great multitude which no man can number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, which shall stand before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands (Rev. 7:9) -- in each and every one of them, 'He will be the all things in all' (1 Cor. 15:28); or, as it is expressed in Eph. 4:6, 'there is one Deity and Father of all, Who is above all, and through all, and in you all'."
The word occurs some 6,823 times in the Old Testament. It has been translated "Jehovah" in a few instances (Exod. 6:3; Ps. 83: 18; Isa. 12:2; 26:4; see also Gen. 22:14; Exod. 17:15; Judges 6:24), but most often it has been rendered as LORD or GOD. To indicate the presence of the name of Yahweh in the original text, the translators have printed these words in small capitals. For example, in Ezekiel 38:1, the word LORD appears in small capitals, whereas two verses on (v.3) it is printed in the lower case. In the former verse, the word is Yahweh; in the latter it is Adonai. Again, in Ezekiel 37:27 the word God appears printed in the lower case, whereas four verses on, in Ezekiel 38:3, the same word is printed in small capitals. In the former place the word is Elohim; in the latter it is Yahweh.
Yahweh also occurs in a contracted form as "Yah." Usually the condensed form is used for incorporating the Divine name in proper names, such Joshua (Yahshua), but it also appears in the text of Scripture, an example being found in Psalm 68:4: "Extol Him by His name Yah."
In The Christadelphian for 1881, J. W. Thirtle wrote: "The Name is a Hebrew word of four letters, and is spelled -- Yod, he, vav, he .... Some have wondered how the letter J came to be the initial of the word among us (i.e., the word Jehovah), as well as of the shorter form Yah -- in the common version, Jah. The answer is found in the fact that early translators and commentators wrote in Latin -- a language which has no such letter as Y in it, and those scholars selected J to do duty for the letter they wanted."
These Latin translators and commentators transposed the Memorial Name from Y.H.V.H. to J.H.V.H.. Previous to this, however, the Jews, owing to a misconception of the two passages Exod. 20:7 and Lev. 24:16, placed against these four letters the vowel points of the word rendered in our Bible "Lord," but in Hebrew Adonai. J. B. Rotherham in The Emphasised Bible states: "They intentionally wrote alien words not for combination with the sacred consonants, but for the purpose of cautioning the Jewish reader to enunciate a totally different word, vis., some other familiar name of the Most High." When the Jewish reader came to the words Yahweh Elohim, he would read Adonai Elohim, thus following the vowel points annotated to the text. But in some places, such as Ezekiel 38:10, the words used
are Adonai Yahweh. Here, to avoid the repetition of Adonai Adonai, the vowel points of the word Elohim were supplied, and the Jewish reader read Adonai Elohim. Combine the vowel sounds of those words with the four letters, J.H.V.H., and the following combination results: JaHoVaiH, or Jehovah.
At one time, the correct pronunciation of the Name was subject to controversy; but today it is generally accepted that Yahweh is the correct form. Unger's Bible Dictionary states: "The Hebrew tetragrammaton (YHWH) traditionally pronounced Jehovah is now known to be correctly vocalised Yahweh. New inscriptional evidence from the second and first millenia B.C. point toward this fact .... and has commended itself in the light of the phonetic development and grammatical evidence of increased knowledge of Northwest Semitic and kindred tongues .... The Name Yahweh has been found to be unique to Israel and has not been verified as the name of any deity outside Israel."
In pleading for the restoration of the Name to its proper position in Scripture, Rotherham wrote:
Rotherham claims that the suppression of the Name was a serious mistake that should be corrected:
In his translation of the Bible, he restores the Name wherever applicable.
This was done in measure in the Revised Version of the Bible of 1881. However, the Revised Standard Version reverted back to the practise of the Authorised Version. Whilst it acknowledges the use of Yahweh as the Name, it reverted back to the usage of the A.V. because "the use of any proper name for the one and only God, as though there were other gods from whom He had to be distinguished, was discontinued in Judaism before the Christian era and is entirely inappropriate for the universal faith of the Christian Church" (Preface, p.9).
In other words, it follows the practise of Judaism because of the "universal faith of the Christian Church." That faith, of course, is based upon the doctrine of the Trinity which is refuted by the doctrine of God manifestation, and the acknowledge-
ment of Yahweh the one God of Israel as the sole God to worship.
Recognising these facts, Bible students see the need to understand and use the name of Yahweh. They will not stand in judgment upon those who cannot see their way to use the name through lack of understanding of it; but at the same time, they ask that they be not harshly criticised when they seek to revere God by using it with understanding.
We mention this, because some have the mistaken idea that to use the Name, is to "take it in vain." That is not the case. To take the Name of Yahweh in vain, is to act inconsistently with the principles of the Name whilst endorsing its teaching. "Lest I ... steal, and take the name of my God in vain," is the statement of wisdom (Prov. 30:9).
Speaking of the restoration of Israel, Yahweh declared through the prophet Ezekiel:
They profane the Name, yet, through a superstitious reverence for a Law that they fail to understand aright, they will not mention the Name. A person does not profane the Name but hallows it when he uses it aright; and part of the Lord's prayer is: "Hallowed be Thy Name."
One final point regarding the way translators have indicated the presence of the Name in the text. We have stated above that they have used small capitals to designate the places where the words "Lord" or "God" have been used as translations for the word Yahweh, but though this is the general rule, there are a few exceptions. Sometimes capital letters are used to commence a new chapter, and in a few Psalms this has been done when the word has not been Yahweh. Thus in Psalm 46:1; 60:1; 63:1; 67:1; 79:1; 82:1; 108:1 the word in Hebrew is Elohim.
PASSAGES WHERE "YAHWEH" WAS ALTERED TO "ADONAI"
According to The Companion Bible, there are 134 places in the O.T., where the Sopherim (the Jewish revisers of the text), out of extreme but mistaken reverence for the Name, changed Yahweh to Adonai, and, in consequence, the rule regarding printing in small capitals does not apply. These places were listed in the Massorah (or marginal notes to the Hebrew text), as follows:
Elohim is the plural form of Eloah, and therefore signifying Mighty Ones. It occurs in the Old Testament about 2,470 times. In the first two Chapters of Genesis, it is rendered by the word "God," but in Chapter 3:5 it is translated "gods." In Genesis 31:30, 32; 35:2, 4, and many other places it is used in relation to "idols," not because they were objects of real power, but because they were so esteemed by their worshippers who styled them so.
In Psalm 8:5, Elohim has been rendered "angels," and this translation is endorsed by Paul in Hebrews 2:7, who likewise renders it in this way. This usage by the Apostle is significant. It reveals that the term "God" can apply to those heavenly beings who manifest the attributes of the great Increate. Thus, the statement, "God said: Let us make man in our image, after our likeness" (Gen. 1:26), relates to angels mutually discussing the work of creation, and not to the Trinity as erroneously taught by the Church!
In Exodus 21:6; 22:8,9,22,28 (see mg.), Elohim has been rendered "judges." They "shall bring him unto the judges" (Elohim). They are so described because they judged on behalf of Yahweh and with His authority. In administering the Law they were invested with Divine authority, and acted in the name of Yahweh. Because they represented the authority of heaven, they were given the name Elohim, and the Revised Version has rendered most of these places as "God." For example, Genesis 3:5 which, in the Authorised Version, is rendered "Ye shall be as gods," appears in the Revised Version as "Ye shall be as God." The reference in Exodus quoted above appears as: "His master shall bring him unto God."
In Exodus 7:1, the term is applied to Moses: "I have made thee a god to Pharaoh." He was elevated to this position in that he acted with Divine authority and power before the King of Egypt.
It can easily be understood, therefore, that as this title is applied to angels and mortal men, it can be applied to the Lord Jesus (John 20:28) without endorsing the doctrine of the Trinity (see John 10:34-36)
Wherever the words "God," "gods" etc. appear in the Old Testament, other than those places already dealt with above, or in the list below, it may be taken that the Hebrew word is Elohim.
OTHER INSTANCES OF THE WORD GOD
The following instances of the use of the word "God" have no significance in regard to the subject of God-manifestation.
"God forbid"--Hebrew chalilah, signifying, "Profanation; far be it!" The term occurs: Gen. 44:7, 17; Josh. 22:29. "God save" -- Hebrew chayah signifying "to live," "let live,""give life." See 1 Sam. 10:24; 2 Sam. 16:16; 1 Kings 1:25,34,39; 2 Kings 11:12; 2 Chron. 23: 11. Where the word "God" is printed in Italics, such as in Psalm 132:2, 5. In these cases there is no equivalent word in the original. Words printed in italics in the Authorised Version are the translators' indication that they have been added to the text to supply the sense of the passage, though, in fact, there are no comparable words in the original. There is one example of the Hebrew word adonai being rendered as "God." It occurs in Habakkuk 3:19, and is quite an unusual form. We know of no other occurrence where it appears as "God."
ADON (Singular) ADONAI (Plural)
These two related words have both been translated as "Lord." The word Adon signifies "owner," "monarch," "ruler," "governor," "someone supreme or distinguished."
Zechariah, prophetically referring to the Messiah, described him as the future "Lord (Adon or ruler) of the whole earth." Joshua 3:13 refers to the "Ark of the LORD (Yahweh) the Lord (Adon- "sovereign") of all the earth." The Spirit through Micah, referring to the time when Christ shall reign on earth, declared: "I will consecrate their gain unto the LORD (Yahweh), and their substance unto the Lord (Adon--the "Overseer" or "Ruler") of the whole earth" (Ch. 4:13). Malachi likewise refers prophetically to Christ under the title of Adon - Lord, Master or Ruler (Mal. 3:1).
The use of this title in Scripture will illustrate its meaning in relation to the doctrine of God manifestation. Yahweh is King of Kings, Lord of Lords, or Adon of Adonai; for as Adon is in the singular number, Adonai is plural.
Adonai, like Elohim, is used of the angels. They are the "overseers" of Yahweh's creation (Heb. 1:14), placed in control
over His people. The idea is expressed in Exodus 23:20-21: "Behold I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions; for My name is in him."
Like Eloah and Elohim, the words Adon and Adonai are not used exclusively for Yahweh or the angels, but are often used for mortal rulers, or men of note and prominence. Adon has been frequently rendered both "Lord" and "Master" (e.g. Gen. 24:35; Exod. 21:4-8), and "Sir" once (Gen. 43:20), and "Owner" once (1 Kings 16:24).
The Greek equivalent is Kurios rendered "Lord" in the New Testament. In Ephesians 4:5, Paul teaches that there is "one Lord" even Christ Jesus. He is Lord, Master or Owner, of those who have taken upon themselves his sin-covering name. They are his "purchased possession" (Eph. 1:14), which he owns jointly with the Father, for Paul taught that Yahweh "hath purchased with His own blood" (or, lit. "with the blood of His own" -- see Diaglott), the Ecclesia that He claims as His own (Acts 20:28).
Adon has been used over two hundred times in the Scriptures, but in the majority of instances as a term of respect to mortal men, the equivalent of the titles "Sir" or "Master." The following are places where the word has been rendered "Lord" and have some bearing upon the doctrine of God manifestation:
In other places where the word "Lord" appears in relation to the Deity, the Hebrew is the plural word Adonai. Note that in Psalm 90:1 the word Adonai, rendered Lord, has been printed in small capitals, which is the normal practise when commencing a new chapter. The Hebrew here is not Yahweh as the small capitals might indicate, but Adonai.
YAHWEH TZ'VAOTH (Lord of Hosts)
The Hebrew word Tz'vaoth, or Sabaoth, signifies an army, so that this is the militant title of Deity. The invisible presence of that army was obvious throughout Israel's history, overshadowing the nation so as to protect it from its enemies when circumstances demanded it, or delivering it up to punishment when such was justified.
This prompted David to write:
This help is always available to the saints, though they must have faith to leave it to Yahweh to act on their behalf or otherwise. He has the power to do so, but He alone knows best when it should be used.
When Joshua was about to enter upon his campaign for the subjugation of Canaan, there appeared unto him a man with a drawn sword. Joshua questioned him: "Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?" The answer was: "No, but as captain of the host (army) of Yahweh am I now come." The captain of Yahweh's army then instructed Joshua: "Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so" (Joshua 5:13-15).
This heavenly army fought on Israel's behalf (see Exod. 23:23). At the request of Elisha, its presence was made visible to his servant in the besieged city of Dothan (2 Kings 6:17). Christ made mention of it when to Peter he-declared: "Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and He shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?" (Matt. 26:53).
The title also points forward to the future when another Divine army will be manifested, for Tz'vaoth being appended to Yahweh proclaims that He will be manifested in an army. The recruiting of that army has proceeded throughout the centuries (see 2 Tim. 2:4), and its manifestation in the future is predicted in Revelation 19:11-15: "I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war ....
And the armies which were in heaven (the ruling places of the Age to come) followed him . . . And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron."
In Romans 9:29, the preservation of Israel is attributed to the overshadowing protection of Yahweh of Armies, or "the Lord of Sabaoth." In James 5:4, the oppressed are called upon to look to Him for their help, as One who will avenge them speedily.
The future work of Christ as Commander of this host (Isa. 55:4), is indicated in Isaiah 9:6 where the "increase of his government and peace upon the throne of David," is attributed to "the zeal of Yahweh Tz'vaoth." It will be the army of saints, then constituted as such, which will accomplish this (Zech. 14:3,5). It will then be acknowledged that it is not by fleshly "might, nor by power (of man), but by my spirit, saith Yahweh Tz'vaoth," that His purpose will be brought about.
Thus Haggai, predicting the shaking of the nations, and the
consequent elevation of Jerusalem and restoration of the Temple, declares that it will be brought about by Yahweh Tz'vaoth, and in the course of three verses (Ch. 2:6-9) refers to the title five times. The time is at hand when those "who have overcome" will "have the name of God written upon them" (Rev 3:12), and will exercise "power over the nations, ruling them with a rod of iron" (Rev. 2:26-27). Then, every accepted saint will be an Eloah, and combined they will constitute the Elohim (Mighty Ones), Shaddai (Destroyers or Nourishers as the case might be), and Adonai (Rulers) of the Age to come. The divine El or Power will be manifested through them, and as they go forth to "execute the judgments written" (Psalm 149:9), they will do so as Yahweh Tz'vaoth.
The word "Almighty" is translated from the Hebrew Shaddai, which, according to Hebraists, is a plural word.
Dr. Thomas points out in Phanerosis that the Shaddai plunged Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction, whilst protecting and caring for Abraham (Gen. 17:1). The word is derived from a Hebrew root which, according to the vowel points, can signify either nourisher (breast - Heb. shad) or destroyer (shadad).
The Almighty nourished Abraham, but destroyed the wicked people of Sodom. Yahweh can be to us either a Nourisher or a Destroyer, according as we treat Him and His Word (see Psalm 18:24-27); a "savour of life unto life or death unto death" (2 Cor. 2:16).
Usually, Shaddai is joined with El as God Almighty, or "The Strength of the Destroyers" (or Nourishers).
DIVINE TITLES IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
The Names and Titles of Deity are best expressed in the Hebrew. There is great significance in the words of Zephaniah spoken in relation to the future: "Then I will turn to the peoples (R.V. -- i.e. Gentiles) a pure language, that they may all call upon the Name of Yahweh, to serve Him with one consent" (Zeph. 3:9). Much of the significance of the various titles is lost when the Greek Old Testament (the Septuagint) is compared with the Hebrew. In the New Testament, the words Adon, Adonai, Elohim, Yahweh, El and Eloah are rendered by the two words Theos and Kurios, or, as they appear in our version, by "God" and "Lord."
Thus Theos does duty equally for Elohim (Matt. 4:7, 10), El (Matt. 27:46) and Yahweh (John 6:45). Kurios is also used for these same words. In Mark 12:36, it is used for Adon, whilst in Luke 20:37 it does duty for Yahweh. In Romans 9:29 and James 5:4, the title "Lord of Sabaoth" is used, but the powerful, prophetic import of the title is lost in the Greek by the use of
Kurios instead of Yahweh.
It may be questioned why the plural word Theoi is not used for Elohim in the New Testament or the Septuagint. As Dr. Thomas shows in Phanerosis, there are important reasons. The former represents a plurality of Gods all independent of each other, and even antagonistic to each other under certain circumstances. The Elohim, in contradistinction to that idea, are all dependent upon El, and are thus united as one, for God in multiplicity and not God in trinity is the Bible doctrine of truth.
The word Elohim is derived from El (Strength or Power) and Alah meaning to bind together as by an oath. Thus the word suggests plurality in unity, whilst Theoi only denotes plurality. The dominant feature of the Elohim is their unity not their plurality. They are made strong by One, even El. Though many, they act in strict conformity with one another as a unit. The idea is perhaps better comprehended by the common use of the word Ecclesia. The later suggests a multitude called out of "every kindred, tongue and nation" and made "one" by the blood of Christ. That unity will be brought to perfection when each member is clothed upon with Divine nature, and thus made really "one" in Christ and in Yahweh (John 17:21). The use of the word Theoi would destroy the fundamental thought of the unity of the Elohim, and would suggest that they are independent beings deriving their power from various sources.
Did Christ use the Divine Name and titles? We are confident that he did. Christ spake in Hebrew (Acts 26:14), and there is strong evidence to suggest that the original gospels were written in that tongue. The fact that Christ spoke in Hebrew is evidenced by the words that are still retained in the text (see Mark 5:41; 7:34, etc.).
Luke refers to Hebrew as "the proper tongue" of the dwellers at Jerusalem (Acts l: 19), and when Paul wanted to hold their attention, he "spake unto them in the Hebrew tongue" (Acts 21:40-- see also Acts 22:2; Luke 23:38; John 5:2; 19:13,17,20: etc.). Speaking in that tongue it is surely obvious that they would refer to Deity by the titles and names He selected should be used. (See also Romans 9:29 and James 5:4).
The New Testament abounds in semitisms, which reveal the influence of the Old Testament upon the thinking and language of its writers. It is obvious. therefore, that Hebrew colors the Greek in which the earliest manuscripts that we have were written. Many scholars believe that behind the Greek manuscripts of the Gospels there were Hebrew originals which were ultimately translated into Greek. Be that as it may, there is no doubt that Christ conversed and spake in Hebrew, as did also the Apostles.
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