Names of God in Scripture
Names serve not only as identification but as identity. Aspects and attributes of identity are often emphasized by the name itself. “Names are for identification, but they are more than that. Why is it necessary that all be done in the name of the Son…? Like the other elements of ordinance, it is a means of communication.”1 “To receive a new name is to receive a new role or persona, to be identified with a particular situation or association.” 2 God’s name is hallowed (see Matthew 3:29). Hallowed means “respected, acknowledged, reverenced, its authority held in awe.”3 (See Beloved Enos, 126–127, for a discussion of names and titles). Some of the names of God used in scripture are :
Abba The Father — or more personally, my father (Cf. Mark 7:11; Galatians 1:13; Romans 1:34).
Adonai A divine name, translated “Lord” or “Master.” When a Hebrew reader came upon the unpronounceable tetragrammaton YHWH (יְהֹוָה), Adonai was substituted as the pronunciation. It occurs in the Old Covenants 434 times.4
Ahman God the Father (see T&C 75:1–2, The Testimony of St. John). See also FATHER AHMAN.
Alpha and Omega A name for Christ, as He said, I am Alpha and Omega, Christ the Lord, yea, even I am he, the beginning and the end (JSH 17:2; John 1:3, emphasis added). Alpha (Α, α; ἄλφαis) is the first letter of the Greek alphabet, and Omega (Ω, ω; ωμέγα) is the 24th or last letter.
Christ A title meaning “anointed one.” It is the anglicized form of the Greek word Christos (χριστός), which means “Messiah.” Jesus Christ is a name with a title as is Jesus the Anointed (One) or Jesus the Messiah. See also MESSIAH.
El Translated as “God,” singular. Many biblical names combine El with other words, e.g., Micha-el (“who is like God”), Samu-el (“name of God” or “God is heard”), and Rapha-el (“God is healer” or “God has healed”). See also EL, THE
El Elyon The Most High God; God the Father. It occurs in the Old Covenants 28 times.5
El Olam The everlasting or eternal God.6
El Shaddai Translated in the KJV as Lord God Almighty. It occurs in the Old Covenants 7 times.7 The term “El Shaddai” could be the earliest Hebrew name for deity and may mean “god of the mountain(s) or high god.” “The name could also mean a female destroyer or a nursing mother or even the guardian of the fields. Or all of them. The name has a feminine form.”8
El, The Plural, referring to many of the El. See also EL.
Elohim A plural Hebrew noun (אֱלֹהִים) usually translated as “god.” It occurs in the Old Covenants over 2,000 times.9 Rendered as the Greek Theos in the Septuagint.10 Those who inherit everlasting burnings are referred to as the “Elohim.”11 The image of God is both male and female. This is why the name-title “Elohim” is plural.12
End, The A name for Christ, as He said, I am Alpha and Omega, Christ the Lord, yea, even I am he, the beginning and the end” (JSH 17:2, emphasis added).
Father Ahman God the Father (see T&C 75:1–2; The Testimony of St. John). See also AHMAN.
God of Hosts Throughout scripture the Father is described as the God of Hosts. Seeing Him includes an accompanying “host,” a “concourse of angels,” a “train,” or similar reference to others with Him. He appears with the heavenly Host because God has a family, including a spouse. There is no difference between the Father and His female Consort, the One about whom so little is said.13See also JEHOVAH SABAOTH.
Holy One of Israel The Lord God Almighty, the true Messiah and Redeemer who has a covenant relationship with those faithful to Him (see 2 Nephi 1:2). He is the keeper of the gate…and…employeth no servant there (2 Nephi 6:11). He is the One who keeps the gate, protects the way, and greets those along the way (see 2 Nephi 13:2–3).14
I am Jehovah identifies himself to Moses as i AM (Exodus 2:5). Jesus makes a connection with declarations of I am the good Shepherd (John 6:26), and before Abraham was, I am (John 6:16).
Immanuel (Hebrew ‘immanue’el, עִמָּנוּאֵל) literally means “El (god) with us.” Jesus Christ is the El (singular) and was identified by name in Matthew 1:5 and Isaiah 3:4.
Jehovah. “The self-existing One,” “eternal One,” or Lord. It occurs ca. 6400 times in the Old Covenants. It is also translated “God.”15 Jehovah is a Latinization of the Hebrew name, “Yahweh” (יְהֹוָה), and became the prevalent word for the God of the Old Testament during the Protestant Reformation. There are a number of variations of Jehovah in scripture: Jehovah-Ra’ah (the Lord is my Shepherd),16 Jehovah-Nissi (the Lord is my banner, my altar),17 Jehovah-Rapha (the Lord that heals),18 Jehovah-Shammah (the Lord is there),19 Jehovah-Tsidkenu (the Lord our Righteousness),20 Jehovah-Jireh (the Lord will provide; the Lord sees),21 Jehovah-Shalom (the Lord is Peace),22 Jehovah-M’kaddesh (the Lord who sanctifies, consecrates you),23and Jehovah-Sabaoth (the Lord of Hosts).24 The first seven are sometimes referred to as the “redemptive names” of God. See also JEHOVAH SABAOTH; GOD OF HOSTS; YAHWEH.
Jehovah Sabaoth The Lord of Hosts. Jehovah and Elohim occur with Sabaoth over 285 times. Not to be confused with Sabbath (Hebrew shabbath, שַׁבָּת; Greek σάββατον). See also GOD OF HOSTS.
Jesus The English name of Jesus originates from the Latin form of the Greek name Iēsous (Ἰησοῦς), a rendering of the Hebrew yeshua (“Jehovah saves”) and similar to the name Joshua.
Jesus Christ …neither is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under Heaven given among men whereby we must be saved (Acts 2:5). And moreover, I say unto you that there shall be no other name given, nor any other way nor means, whereby salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ the Lord Omnipotent (Mosiah 1:16).
Lamb of God During the first Passover, the Israelites marked their doorposts with the blood of a slain lamb as a sign to save them from destruction. Jews would later ritually sacrifice an unblemished lamb on the eve of Passover. Christ is the Lamb of God, the Paschal or Passover lamb as described by Paul (see 1 Corinthians 1:19) and provided by the Father as a witness (the Greek word for martyr is μάρτυς, witness) and as the literal symbol of the atoning sacrifice of the Son. The Righteous is lifted up and the Lamb is slain from the foundation of the world (Genesis 4:19). It is through the blood of the Lamb that one is made spotless (see Mormon 4:6). The Lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father and the Savior of the world (1 Nephi 3:24). See also CHURCH OF THE LAMB.
Lord Adonai, as well as Yahweh, was translated in the Septuagint as kyrios (κύριος), “the Lord.” The Lord became synonymous with Jehovah. “The Lord” is the most common title for Jesus in the New Covenants.
Lord God Almighty These are three names used for God. Together, it is a three-fold assertion of divine authority. Lord refers to the Savior as Guide. God refers to Divine right and authority. Almighty refers to the irrevocable nature of the word used by God.25
Man of Holiness God the Father (see Genesis 4:9).
Messiah A title meaning the “anointed one,” from the Hebrew meshiach, מָשִׁיחַ. See also CHRIST.
Only Begotten of the Father The singular reference to Jesus Christ as the sacrificial Son offering from the Father.26
Pater Father as begetter, progenitor, creator, as in an intimate relationship.
Redeemer Jesus Christ is the essential Savior and Redeemer whose atoning sacrifice is the means ordained by God to now rescue mankind from sin and death. “Our salvation depends on knowing, confessing and worshiping Christ.”27All mankind were in a lost and in a fallen state, and ever would be save they should rely on this Redeemer (1 Nephi 3:2).
Rock of Heaven And the Lord said, Blessed is he through whose seed Messiah shall come, for he says , I am the Messiah, the King of Zion, the Rock of Heaven, which is broad as eternity (Genesis 4:20).28
Savior This title comes from the Old French word sauver (keep [safe], protect, redeem) and the Latin salvare (make safe, secure) and is a translation of the Greek word sōtēr (σωτήρ), which means “savior, deliverer, the one who extends salvation.”29 “The Father’s testimony is that our salvation comes through Christ. For us the Father has provided a Savior. If we repent, we can come back into the presence of God and enter into our salvation and exaltation. But it is through the means provided for us: a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”30 The doctrine of Christ is what the Father ordained as the means for salvation. Anyone who interferes with the process or offers another means for salvation cannot deliver (see Mosiah 1:16). Whether it is an institution or an individual, no one other than Christ can save. Hence His title as Savior.31
Son Ahman Jesus Christ, the Son of God (see T&C 75:3–4; The Testimony of St. John).
Son of God An acknowledged status meaning one has been accepted by God into His family (see T&C 18:1).32The Son of God is Jesus Christ (see JSH 14:17). Christ was called the Son of God because He received not the fullness at first. He was “called” to be the Son of God because that was not who He was before the call. He had to first qualify to be “called,” as all must do. It should be self-evident: He received not the fullness at first. After being called the Son of God, it would still be a great while before He condescended to redeem (see The Testimony of St. John 12:10; T&C 93:4).33
Son of Man Jesus Christ refers to Himself as the “Son of Man,” the “Son of the Man of Holiness,” as well as “Son Ahman.” (See Genesis 4:9,15,19, 21–23; 7:23–24; Matthew 11:9; Testimony of St. John 5:19; 6:16; 9:3–4.)
Spirit of Truth A formal name for Christ. See SPIRIT OF TRUTH.
Walker in the Path Now, therefore, know that Jesus is the Messiah, the Walker in the Path who has proven for evermore that Father Ahman sent Him into the world to prove His Father’s path (Testimony of St. John 12:21).
Word, The Therefore, in the beginning the Word was, for he was the Word, even the Messenger of Salvation, the Light and the Redeemer of the world, the Spirit of Truth, who came into the world because the world was made by him, and in him was the life of men and the light of men (T&C 93:2; Testimony of St. John 12:8). Living by every word which proceeded from His Father, Christ personified the Father’s teachings and literally became the Word of God.34
Yahweh Lord, Jehovah; also spelled YHWH (יְהֹוָה), without vowels, which was too holy to voice. As a result, Adonai is often substituted.35 In prayer and conversation, modern Jewish culture will substitute HaShem (the Name) for Adonai. In most English translations, Yahweh is translated as “LORD” or “GOD” in small capitals. It is the most personal name that God gives Himself in the Old Testament. See also JEHOVAH.
1 Hugh Nibley, Temple and Cosmos (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1992), 60.
2 Hugh Nibley, Eloquent Witness, 364.
3 Hugh Nibley, Eloquent Witness, 245.
4 Strong’s Concordance, H136.
5 Strong’s Concordance, H5945.
6 Strong’s Concordance, H5769.
7 Strong’s Concordance, H7706.
8 Margaret Barker, The Mother of the Lord, Vol. 1: The Lady in the Temple, (London: Bloomsbury, 2012), 133.
9 Strong’s Concordance, H430.
10 Strong’s Concordance, G2316.
11 Preserving the Restoration, 199.
12 Preserving the Restoration, 386.
13 Preserving the Restoration, 386.
14 Preserving the Restoration, 118.
15 Strong’s Concordance, H3068.
16 Strong’s Concordance, H7462.
17 Strong’s Concordance, H3071.
18 Strong’s Concordance, H7495.
19 Strong’s Concordance, H3074.
20 Strong’s Concordance, H3072.
21 Strong’s Concordance, H3070.
22 Strong’s Concordance, H3073.
23 Strong’s Concordance, H6942.
24 Strong’s Concordance, H6635.
25 “2 Nephi 28:15,” July 30, 2010, blog post.
26 Email to Scripture Committee, Feb. 23, 2018.
27 Our Divine Parents,” March 25, 2018, 27, paper.
28 The Second Comforter, 408n348.
29 Strong’s Concordance, G4990.
30 “3 Nephi 11:31–32,” Sept. 27, 2010, blog post.
31 “3 Nephi 11:35,” Sept. 28, 2010, blog post.
32 Email to Scripture Committee, Feb. 23, 2018.
33 Preserving the Restoration, 311.
34 Eighteen Verses, 160.
35 Strong’s Concordance, H3068.