If I told you that God’s name appears more than any other name in the entire Bible, would you believe me? If I said that it appears in the Hebrew Tanakh, the Old Testament, 6828 times, and if you include the poetic form, 6877 times, would that surprise you? If I asked, could you tell me His name? If it appears in the Bible that many times, surely it must be very recognizable, right? In fact, it would have to appear multiple times on almost every page, wouldn’t it? When I assure you that it does, could you point it out to me?
I am not trying to trick you, but those questions are tricky, aren’t they? I can tell you that if you read any of the popular English translations, from the King James Version, to the New International Version, to the New Living Translation, to the Message Bible, and on and on, you will not see God’s name more than a handful of times, if at all.
I think I hear a cry of “Fake News!”
If you are curious to find out the answer to the questions I have posed and even if you know the answers, I invite you on a journey of discovering the hidden name of our Father in Heaven. Hallowed be His name!
Are you ready? Let’s get started!
God Is NOT His Name
On March 3, 2018, my sister, Lisa, sent me a link to a blog post entitled, “What does the Bible say about OMG?” It was a brief post, opining on the dangers of taking God’s name in vain and pointing out that our common usage of OMG is doing just that. The article got my sister and I thinking. I had often been grieved when hearing fellow Christians use terms like that casually and often when angry or frustrated. “Good Lord!” is another one I often heard from a young woman in ministry at a church I once attended. She always seemed to say it in a tone that showed frustration or irritation with someone/something. I, too, always thought that it was bordering on taking God’s name in vain if not outright doing so. However, I knew then that God is not His name; neither is Lord, or Christ. Those are titles, not names. BIG DIFFERENCE, right?
Reading through the comments of social media posts can be “fun” and informative. You can get a real sense of where people’s attitudes and beliefs are from these. This article was no different, except that it was a civil discussion that did not devolve into viciousness and name calling that is so rampant on many sites. I noticed that most people were agreeing with the writer of the post, but there were several that pointed out that God is not the Creator’s name. (Neither is Creator, BTW!) It is a title and there are a number of titles for Him in the Bible. A few took extra pains to really lay out their argument for this. At one point, the blog writer made a comment which was designed to shut down all further arguments. She said, “Can we agree that God is the name that English-speaking people know and use? Can we agree on that? You can get technical on me, but the bottom line is that when we say ‘God’ we are referring to the Creator of the Universe.” (The answer is NO, by the way!)
That statement was one of the main reasons why I set out to study more about God’s real name, and why many, if not most, Christians believe, as Leslie A. does, that God is His name. Where this study led me was deeper than I had expected and took me down paths of discovery I could never have imagined!
What’s in a (Nick)Name?
Does consistently referring to someone in the same way for a long period of time with a specific term cause that term to become his proper name? For instance, I have always called my father “Daddy” (I’m a Southern girl). Does that make his name Daddy? Obviously not. But sadly, this is not at all obvious when it comes to the name of the God of the universe. Another example could be a nickname. Sometimes, a nickname is just a shortened form or a slight variation of the given name: Michael becomes Mike, David becomes Dave, etc. Or, it could be something totally different. My husband was a tall skinny boy who was all arms and legs and he earned the nickname Spider! Some people still call him that to this day. But do his friends think that is his real name? Of course not! Unfortunately, many of us (me included) have been tricked into believing that Lord or God is our heavenly Father’s name, because we read it so often in His Word. But His REAL name has been hidden in plain sight behind the most common title in the English translations of the Bible. It was also silenced in another way in the Hebrew Bible.
Purpose of This Study
We will seek to discover the who, what, where, when, why and how behind the intentional hiding of God’s name, as we uncover His true name. Why is knowing His personal name important? How can it affect our relationship to our Father, the one true God of the universe? If you want to find the answers to these questions, come with me on this journey!
“Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son’s name, if thou canst tell?”
Before you head to Part 1-B, consider the questions below. Answer honestly, from the knowledge you currently have. This will give you a benchmark to measure any changes in perception as you progress through this study.
- Does the difference between a title and a proper name have any real significance in understanding or relating to a person? To God?
- Does consistently referring to someone with a specific term for a long period of time cause that term to become their proper or legal name?
- Why do you think it might be important to know God’s personal name?
- How might knowing God’s personal name affect our relationship to our Father, the one true God of the universe?
- What are the answers to the questions posed in Proverbs 30:4?
I hope you will join me for the rest of this study on the Hidden Name of God. See you in Part 1-B. A new section will post each Wednesday.
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Thank you, Gina. Looking forward to more.
Thanks, Kathie! So happy to have you along on the journey. New sessions will post each Wednesday.
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