ABOUT THE NAME AND ESSENCE OF GOD

God’s name mentioned in the Old Testament as Jehovah is translated “Lord” in many translations of the Bible. What is meant by Jehovah?

God appeared to the prophet Moses through the burning bush and revealed his name, “I AM THAT I AM” (Exodus 3.2, 6, 14). This is the use of the present time of the verb with “I” pronoun, which is only used in Hebrew in the form of four letters, i.e. Tetragrammaton  (the word “Tetragrammaton ” is composed of the combination of the Greek words “four” and “letter”) because in Hebrew they did not write vowels. For this reason, the Tetragrammaton is translated and pronounced in two ways – Jehovah or Yahweh.

Hebrew scholars consider correct the form “Yahweh”. In the present time of the verb the expression “I am that I am”, said to Moses by God, shows God’s eternal existence.

In the Hebrew Bible as a synonym for the word “God” the Hebrew words “Adonai” and “Elohim”, are used which translates as Adonai – My Lord, Elohim – God. Instead of the pronunciation of the word “Jehovah” Jews have often preferred the word “Adonai”. In this case, it is quite interesting that the words “Adonai” and “Elohim” are plural, but used with a singular verb, such as in the history of the creation of man.

The singular of the word “Adonai” is “Adona”. The word “Elohim” at the same time also has both the significance of singular and plural, and it is used with singular verbs as well as with plural verbs. With singular verbs, it points to God, with the use of plural verbs it mostly emphasizes the idols or authorities. In the word “Elohim” the Hebrew ending “im” makes the word plural.

In the Bible, the word “El”  also is used for God. We meet this word in the components of Hebrew proper names, such as Israel – fighting with God, Ezekiel – God strengthens, Daniel – God is my judge, Michael – who is like God (Eli)?, Gabriel – God is my power, Rafael – God heals.

The use of the plural word “Elohim” with the singular verb, which is also translated as a singular noun “God” with the forms of the plural verb, is explained by the ecclesiastical authors by the fact of outlining the Holy Trinity and the one Deity. Especially in the history of man’s creation besides using the plural word signifying God and the singular verb, that appointed, God also says with the use of plurality: “God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.”

Here the word “Elohim” (Hebrew inscription – אֱלֹהִים) is used in plural form (Gen. 1.26-28). The prophet Isaiah in his prophecy, concerning Christ, calls Him a “wonderful counselor” (9.6), showing the cooperation of the persons of the Holy Trinity in the act of creation of the world, which is just seen by God’s words during the creation of man.

In the Muslim religion, they call God “Allah”. It is the Arabic form of the word “Eli”, which means “my God”. The form “Eli” comes from the Bible especially from the Psalm 22 and from the words uttered by Christ on the cross: ” Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46, Mark 15:34, Psalm 22.1). The singular of the word “Elohim”, used in the Bible without plural making Hebrew suffix “im”, will be “Eloah”, from where the Arabic form “Allah” derives.

Hinduism has many deities, one of which is the supreme cosmic soul Brahman. In this religion for expressing the concept “God”, the word “Ishvara” is also used which means the supreme being, a being with exceptional power. Various religious branches in Hinduism use different names for God by their imagination, such as Vishnu – the supreme god, Krishna – the eighth incarnation of Vishnu, etc.

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