What is God’s Real Name?

Christians worship the one true God, the maker of the universe. However most of us Christians do not know the name of the God we worship, and if we do we do not use his name when talking to him, myself included!

I have just been reading a fascinating book by Jesma O’Hara that describes where we went wrong. In Genesis 1:1 God introduces his name and it is Elohim…”In the beginning Elohim created the heavens and the earth” Elohim means creator, law giver and King.

in Genesis 2:4 we are introduced to another name for God, his proper name. It is Yahweh, and it means merciful and gracious one, the omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent one, the beginning and the end. The exact words used in Genesis 2:4 are Yahweh Elohim

When our Bible was translated in the Middle Ages it was usually from the Septuagint version, which was written in the second century BC in Egypt. It substituted the 6,300 references to Yahweh with “God” and “Lord”. They did this because they were overly concerned about using Gods name in vain. This practice carried through to our English translations.

So Gods name literally translates as the merciful and gracious creator, law giver, King and eternal one, Yahweh Elohim! These are beautiful and profound understandings of who we worship. Far more powerful than the generic terms God and Lord, which are categories like “father” or “child” rather than proper names.

So, the next time you pray, try using our Lords names and see what happens to your understanding of the words you are using. But at the end of the day Yahweh will understand and overlook any ignorance on our behalf!

Kevin Davis