Doctrine of God – Names

God reveals much about Himself through His names. In fact, the doctrine of God begins with the ways the Bible represents Him. As we examine the names of God, learn about Him as you build your doctrinal foundation.

NOTE: Here we cover 16 names of God, the names of 2 altars, and the name of 1 place. This may not include all names of God. I hope this overview will motivate you to study this topic more extensively on your own.

Names of God

As we continue our study of Bible doctrine, we lay that foundation with the doctrine of God, which I previously introduced.

Now, we learn about God by the names used for Him in the English Bible. Beyond that, we have some underlying names of God that may not appear in English in their original form.

Names of God in the English Bible

I begin the study of God’s names by mentioning the English names for God found in the English Bible.

I Am

God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

Exodus 3:14

Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

John 8:58

The biblical narrative and theology establish the significance of God’s name as “I AM.” This term originates from the Hebrew word “YHWH” or “Yahweh,” which translators often render as “LORD” in English. This name is sacred in Christianity, and it is the personal name of God.

In the book of Exodus, God reveals his name as “I AM” to Moses when he encounters the burning bush. God tells Moses to go to Pharaoh and demand the release of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. Moses, who is nervous about this task, asks God what he should say when the Israelites ask who sent him. God responds, “I AM THAT I AM.” This name, “I AM,” conveys a sense of God’s self-existence, his eternal nature, and his unchanging, steadfast character, as I earlier mentioned.

The name “I AM” also appears throughout the Bible as a reminder of God’s covenant with the Israelites and his ongoing care and provision for them. The phrase “I AM” is often associated with God’s promises to be with his people, to provide for them, and to protect them.

In theological terms, the name “I AM” is significant because it emphasizes God’s nature as the one true God, who is transcendent and beyond human understanding. It also underscores God’s sovereignty and control over all of creation, as well as his faithfulness to his promises and his covenant with his people.

The significance of God’s name as “I AM” lies in its representation of God’s self-existence. Throughout history, believers have used this name to remind themselves of God’s promises and his ongoing care and provision.

The Lord, God Almighty

God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I [am] the LORD:

And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by [the name of] God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.

Exodus 6:2-3

Exodus 6:2-3 is a passage that holds significance in the biblical narrative and theology, particularly regarding the name of God.

In this passage, God is explicitly identifying himself as “Yahweh,” which is the Hebrew name for God that is often translated as “LORD” in the English Bible. This name is significant because it emphasizes God’s self-existence, his eternal nature, and his unchanging character. It also underscores God’s covenant with the Israelites and his ongoing care and provision for them.

The passage also highlights the relationship between God and the patriarchs of the Israelites, specifically Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God says that he appeared to them as “God Almighty,” which is another name for God that emphasizes his power and might. However, God says that they did not know God by the name “Yahweh.” This statement is important because it suggests that the revelation of God’s name as “Yahweh” is a significant moment in the biblical narrative, one that marks a turning point in the Israelites’ understanding of God and their relationship with him.

Exodus 6:2-3 is significant because this passage is often used to show the importance of God’s personal name and its significance, as well as to explore the nature of God’s relationship with his people and his faithfulness to his promises.

Lord of Hosts, Redeemer, Holy One of Israel, Thy Maker, God of the whole earth

[As for] our redeemer, the LORD of hosts [is] his name, the Holy One of Israel.

Isaiah 47:4

Thy Maker [is] thine husband; the LORD of hosts [is] his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.

Isaiah 54:5

These two scripture verses present God in four different ways. As the Lord of Hosts, God’s name emphasizes God’s power and might, as well as his control over all of creation. It also underscores God’s faithfulness to his people, as he is the one who will deliver them from their enemies and restore them to their land.

As the Redeemer, God’s name emphasizes His holiness and His separation from all other gods and idols. This name also underscores God’s unique relationship with the people of Israel, as He is the one who has chosen them to be his own.

In Isaiah 54:5, the prophet Isaiah is speaking to the people, reminding them of their relationship with God. The names of God used in this verse emphasize different aspects of God’s character and His relationship with His people.

The verse refers to God as “thy Maker,” reminding us of God’s role as the Creator of all things it underscores His ability to bring things into existence.

Next. the Bible refers to God as “thy Redeemer.” This name emphasizes God’s role as the one who will deliver His people from their sins and restore them to a right relationship with him.

Fourth, God is referred to as “the Holy One of Israel.” This name underscores God’s unique relationship with the people of Israel, as he is the one who has chosen them to be his own.

Finally, the verse says that “The God of the whole earth shall he be called.” This name conveys God’s sovereignty over all of creation and his ability to save and redeem people from all nations.

Baali (H1180), Ishi (H376)

Hosea presents two names of God in one verse. God’s people had become corrupted and referred to God in an idolatrous sense (Baali), causing harm to their relationship with God. In the future, however, God will restore His people and they will call Him by another name, Ishi.

It shall be at that day, saith the LORD, [that] thou shalt call me Ishi; and shalt call me no more Baali.

Hosea 2:16

In the past, the people addressed God “Baali,”(pronounced Baal-eye) which means “my lord” or “my master” in Hebrew. This name emphasizes God’s authority and power over all of creation. It also underscores God’s control over all things.

Hitchcock points out that Baali has a similar meaning as Ishi, but Baali “had become associated with idolatry, and is therefore interdicted.”

In the future, the people will abandon their idolatry and address God with a different name, Ishi (pronounced Ish-eye). This name means “my husband” in Hebrew. This name emphasizes God’s role as the one who will provide for and protect his people, just as a husband would for his wife.

Here’s how the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament describes God’s name, Ishi:

The relationship of husband to wife is used as a metaphor of God’s relationship to his people.This relationship is the basis of assurance for the people of God in the book of Hosea where the marriage relationship forms a central motif (see Hos 2:16).

TWOT #83a

More names of God

  1. Throughout the Old Testament, this name, Elohim, is used to mean “God” or “Creator.” It emphasizes God’s role as the all-powerful Creator of the universe. (Genesis 1:1)
  2. Yahweh (or Jehovah): This is the personal, covenant name of God, revealed to Moses at the burning bush (Exodus 3:14). It signifies God’s self-existence, eternality, and faithfulness to His promises.
  3. Adonai: This name means “Lord” or “Master” and is often used to emphasize God’s authority and sovereignty. (Psalm 97:5)
  4. El Shaddai: This name translates as “God Almighty” and emphasizes God’s strength and power. (Genesis 17:1)
  5. El Elyon: This name means “The Most High God” and refers to God’s supremacy and sovereignty over all things. (Genesis 14:18-20)
  6. Jesus uses Abba. This Aramaic word for “Father” in Mark 14:36 signifies God’s loving and intimate relationship with His people. (Mark 14:36)
  7. Jehovah-Jireh: This name means “The Lord Will Provide” and is found in Genesis 22:14, emphasizing God’s provision and care for His people. NOTE: This is a name of the place where Abraham found the ram which he would sacrifice in Isaac’s stead.
  8. Jehovah-Rapha, found in Exodus 15:26, highlights God’s power to heal and restore as it means “The Lord Who Heals.”
  9. The name Jehovah-Nissi, meaning “The Lord Is My Banner” and signifying God as our protector and defender. You can find it in Exodus 17:15. NOTE: Jehovah Nissi is the name of an altar built by Moses, not a name of God.
  10. In Judges 6:24, we find the name Jehovah-Shalom, which means “The Lord Is Peace” and reveals God as the source of our peace and tranquility. (Judges 6:24). NOTE: Jehovashalom is the name of an altar built by Gideon, not a name for God.

These names and titles provide a glimpse into God’s multifaceted nature, helping believers understand and relate to Him from different perspectives.

Next, learn about Biblical representations of God and comparisons with God.

How to Look up Bible Verses