Bible Answers with Pastor Doug - The Name of God

Q. Does the Bible say by what name we should call God?

A. I’m sure you have had someone come to your house explaining that "Jehovah" is the only appropriate name to call God. There are others who believe that it must be "Yahweh," which is the sacred name of God.

But I respectfully disagree with the notion that God desires we call Him by one name over another.  In reality, God goes by many names in the Bible. It is true that God says to Moses in Exodus 6:3, “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.” However, here God simply reveals to them a new name. And you will find that God continues to reveal new names throughout the Bible. He never says we should use just one name when calling on or referencing Him.

Those who become preoccupied with the idea that we must only address God by one name are, in a certain way, making their God smaller. Indeed, God’s names tell us about His character. For instance, He also says we should call him Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, and Everlasting Father.

Jesus also has many names: He’s called Alpha and Omega, the Lamb, the Beginning and the End, the Gate, the Door, and Son of God… so many names it would be impractical to list all of them here! The real issue is not by what name we should use when speaking with God, though it should always be done with reverence, holiness, and a sense of awe.

The real issue is whether or not we honor and exalt His Word. Psalm 138:2 says, “You have magnified Your word above all Your name.” Indeed, each language has different names to refer to God; but the real uniting force is how God’s Word transcends language, or simple words, and affects all people regardless of the name one chooses to call Him.


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