|Series Theme: Who is God?|
Title: 1. God the Father
page provides notes for anyone, Christian or non-Christian who wishes
to look up for themselves what the Bible teaches about the person of
God. We will consider Hi m in the three forms shown in the Bible - Father,
Son and Holy Spirit. This page considers the bible's teaching on God
NB. The subject of the "God" is so vast that we could go on for ever and ever considering who He is. Therefore all we have done is to pick out some facets of this subject which we hope will be helpful, being very much aware that there is much we have left out.
1. THE REVELATION
1.1 His Being
1.2 His Abilities:
1.3 His Activity:
1.4 His Nature:
1.5 His Fatherhood:
2. HIS NAMES
Names tell us about the person. Below are some of the names of God found in Scripture.
2.1 Basic Old Testament Names (Hebrew):
El = "God" or "god" (seldom occurs in the singular )
Elohim (plural of El) = "gods" or "God" in His fulness to be feared
eg. Gen 1:1 "In the beginning God (Elohim) created the heavens & the earth
El-Shaddai = God of power & blessing
eg. Ex 6:3 "I appeared to Abrahamů. as God Almighty" (El-Shaddai)
Adonai = mighty ruler) usually rendered "Lord"
(later on supplanted by Jehovah [see later])
2.2 Covenant Old Testament Name
In Ex 3:14 we read, "I AM has sent me to you".
Then in verse 15: "The LORD. ..has sent me to you"
The word here printed "LORD" in Hebrew was "YHWH" which sounds like, in Hebrew (and was probably derived from), the word for I AM.
This is the only real "name" for God, all other words being more descriptions.
The Jews regarded this as the most sacred name and refused to even pronounce it lest they offend Lev 26:16 "Anyone who blasphemes the name of the LORD must be put to death".
It is thought that instead they first of all substituted the name "Adonai" (Lord) and then took the vowels of that and added them to the consonants YHWH to produce, by the beginning of the 12th century AD, the word we know in English as "Jehovah" (from Yahweh)
[We don't have original Hebrew manuscripts going back into the Old Testament because the Jewish scribes destroyed the scroll as soon as it started getting damaged, after having meticulously copied it out again first].
In our modern versions therefore, wherever the name Yahweh or Jehovah is mentioned it is printed in the capital letters "LORD"
We sometimes get a number of the names together:
eg. Deut 5:9 "I the LORD (Yahweh) your God (elohim) am a jealous God (el)"
"Yahweh" or "Jehovah" is the covenant name of God that indicates and reminds that God is a faithful, unchanging, covenant keeping God
"El" is translated "God" some 250 times
"Elohim" occurs 2,570 times
"Yahweh" appears 6,823 times !
The constant emphasis therefore, is of a God who enters into personal enduring relationships with men. This is afar cry from the pantheistic impersonal "gods" of eastern religions.
2.3 Compound forms of the Covenant Name
Jehovah is often linked with another word to give a compound name to convey a greater meaning:
Jehovah-tsidkenu = the LORD our righteousess e.g. Jer 23:6
Jehovah-shalom = The LORD is peace e.g. Judges 6:24
Jehovah-m'kaddesh = the LORD who sanctifies (sets you apart as holy) eg. Lev 20:8 .
Jehovah-shammah = the LORD is there (abiding presence) e.g.Ezek 48:35
Jehovah-jireh = the LORD who provides e.g. Gen 22:14
Jehovah-rophe = the LORD who restores of heals e.g. Ex 15:26
Jehovah-nissi = the LORD my banner (standard against enemey) eg. Ex 17:15
Jehovah-rohi = the LORD my shepherd or friend eg. Psa 23
Each of these clearly indicates the God who has covenant dealings with people. This is no God afar off, but THE God who draws near to His creation.
2.4 New Testament Names (Greek) :
Theos = equivalent to El, Elohim
Kurios = Lord, equivalent to Adonai
Pater = Father (but Father WAS also used in OT e.g. Deut 32:6 etc)
3. His Purposes
We may feel at times we understand a lot about God but the Bible still leaves Him shrouded in mystery:
a) As to His Being
b) As to His Purposes
Despite all this God DOES reveal SOME things:
He has revealed that His plan:
Originated BEFORE He made the world in that He