If you read the Bible just a little bit, you will soon see God referred to by certain names and titles. God has many names and titles.
He has over 100 names. Some are better known than others.
Next, a question comes up; “what are all the names of God in the Bible?” And what do the names of God mean?
There are many names and titles of God from Genesis to Revelation. Each name and title tells us something about the true God of the Bible.
And the names of God reveal many things about his character and attributes.
In Genesis 1:1, we learn the very first title of God:
“In the beginning, God made the heavens and the earth.” -Genesis 1:1, ESV
The English translation of “God” comes from the Hebrew word “Elohim.” Elohim is a fascinating word, because it is a complex singular word -a word that is singular and plural at the same time.
It describes a single –yet complex being, because God is One, yet he is also Three Persons in both the Old Testament and the New.
But Elohim -while it is deep and profound- isn’t the personal name of God. God’s personal name is a unique and amazing name with deep meaning!
We’ll discuss it very soon. It’s coming right up.
Genesis 1:1 actually violates standard Hebrew rules of grammar by using a plural noun form with a singular verb form to express the idea of a God that is so majestic and immense that we cannot put him in a box.
And this grammatical distinctive occurs in the very first verse of the Bible!
In Deuteronomy, we have the famous passage known as the “Shema Israel” or “Hear O Israel.” It refers to the “Lord God” -the Jehovah Elohim.
Jehovah is how we say it in English, but in Hebrew it’s the 4-letter Tetragrammaton we spell out as YHWH in English letters.
In Modern Hebrew, it looks like יהוה. But the ancient Hebrews viewed this as God’s ineffable name that was too sacred to speak.
Names of God in the Bible List
There is a whole list of God’s names. There are many.
But if we examine the Scriptures closely, we’ll find that God has only one specific name that is the closest form of a personal name that our Creator has revealed to mankind.
The many other names of God reveal different attributes, characteristics and aspects of the Lord’s nature and being. So it’s useful to compile a list of these names as you can see below.
The personal name of God is YHWH (Yahweh/Jehovah) or as previously mentioned יהוה as transliterated from Modern Hebrew language.
While the exact pronunciation of the letters in YHWH is yodh-hey-vav-hey or yä-wā for Yahweh and yi-ˈhō-və for Jehovah.
This is the sacred and personal name that our Heavenly Father gave to Moses in the burning bush account in the third chapter of Exodus. The exact pronunciation isn’t even known because the ancient Hebrew scholars refused to even say it.
It was so holy and sacred to them, they substituted other words like Hashem “The Name” or Adonai “Lord” for YHWH.
Some say the only proper way to pronounce it is in a whisper.
Here’s how Almighty God chose to introduce himself to Moses and how Moses should identify his God:
“Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I AM Who I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I AM has sent me to you.” (emphasis added). Exodus 3:13-14 ESV:
Note that “I AM” and Yahweh are used by God interchangeably in the book of Exodus, which implies one thing – we can use “I AM” as one method for translating Yahweh.
Although Yahweh is based on the Hebrew word for “I AM”, this personal name of God unites various truths about the Lord.
He IS God, the Living God of the Bible and that He simply IS. Always – with neither beginning nor end.
Before we get into our list of God’s names, let’s consider the deep and rich meaning we find in YHWH -the name of God.
7 Things that “I AM” or Yahweh Reveal about God
Now let’s take a closer look at 7 things that God’s personal name reveals about Him:
1. God Doesn’t Have a Beginning
Indeed, God doesn’t have a beginning as He doesn’t have a creator. He is THE Creator of all things, both visible and invisible.
Only things that have a beginning require a creator. Something -or Someone- without a beginning is in no need of a creator.
The Lord 1) is, 2) always was and 3) always will be. It’s just that simple!
2. God Doesn’t Have an End
Not only is God without a beginning, but neither does He have an end.
Just remember that He simply is. He is the Alpha and the Omega -the beginning and the end.
He IS the beginning and He IS the End. When you think it through, it’s the only logical way the universe can exist.
3. God is the Absolute and Ultimate Reality
Every single thing that we see and even the things that we can’t see exists through God.
Nothing can exist without Him and He is the absolute reality – there’s no other reality outside of God. Everything we know is contingent on Him.
4. Everything (Except God) Fully Depends on God
Everything in existence is there because God made it that way and He keeps it in being.
Every part of His creation is fully dependent on Him, including humanity although the Lord gave us free will.
5. God Doesn’t Change
Unlike us, God doesn’t change. He was, is and always will be the same. Forever.
He doesn’t need to change as He is absolutely perfect. He simply is “I AM”.
6. God’s Not Constrained by Anything
The Lord does whatever pleases Him, according to His perfect will and purpose.
As the Creator of all things, He is not bound by anything outside the counsel of His own will and plan.
7. God is More Important Than Anything
Don’t assume that this has any notions of arrogance or pride. This is what we might assume from our finite and very limited perspective, but it doesn’t apply to our Creator.
God is indeed more important and valuable than anything in the universe, because He simply is.
This table of the names of God lists only few of the most prominent names of God from the Bible. The whole list of God’s names numbers over one hundred different names!
|Names of God|
|1||Gen 1:1||Elohim||God. Except Elohim is the plural word for God. The singular is Eloah.||A complex unity. A complete unbreakable unity of the three persons of God. The very first verse of the Bible breaks the grammatical rules of Hebrew to make this point. It’s like saying: “In the beginning, “God’s” created the heavens and the earth.”|
|2||Deuteronomy 6:4; Daniel 9:14||YHWH||Yahweh/Jehovah||I Am. He is without beginning or end. Uncreated. Omnipresent. Omniscient. The proper personal name for God. Deuteronomy 6:4 is the famous “Shema.”|
|3||Genesis 15:2; Judges 6:15||Adonai||Lord||The Supreme and ultimate being.|
|4||Ex. 17:15||Jehovah-Nissi||God Is My Refuge||He is my hiding place. Yahweh-Nissi.|
|5||Gen 22:14||Jehovah-Jireh||God Will Provide||He is the sustainer of life. He is My Provider. Yahweh-Jireh.|
|6||Ex 15:26||Jehovah Rapha||God Heals||He is the healer. Yahweh-Rapha. “I am the Lord Who Heals You”|
|7||Ezek 48:35||Jehovah-Shammah||God Is There||He is ever present. He always hears, always knows, always understands. Yahweh-Shammah. Ezekiel tells of the once-departed glory of the Lord which had returned to the temple.|
|8||Jeremiah 33:16||Jehovah Tsidkenu||God of Righteousness||He is holy and perfect. Righteousness comes only from God.|
|9||Psalm 23||Jehovah-Raah||God -our way and shepherd||The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He anticipates every need. When Jesus Christ said “I am the Good Shepherd, was he claiming to be God?|
|10||Judges 6:24, Gideon||Jehovah-Shalom||God our Peace||He doesn’t just bring peace. He IS our peace. Shalom is a deep, complete and abiding peace. The Hebrew concept of Shalom is far deeper than the English word “peace.”|
|11||Lev 20:8, Eze 37:28||Jehovah M’Kaddesh||The Lord Who Sanctifies||Sanctification -Holiness- comes only from God. We cannot save ourselves.|
|12||Ps. 23:1||Jehovah-Rohi||The Lord Our Shepherd||David tells how the Lord is our Shepherd and how he leads us to the right places and anticipates our needs.|
|13||Isaiah 1:24, Psalm 46:7||Jehovah-Sabaoth||The Lord of Hosts||He is the Lord of all the multitudes of heaven and earth. Including rich/poor, Jew/Gentile.|
|14||Isaiah 7:14||Immanuel||God With Us||Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. This prophecy clearly foretells the miraculous virgin birth of Jesus Christ.|
|15||1 Chronicles 24:11||Yeshua||God is our Salvation||1 Chr 24:11 is the Biblical first mention. Yeshua means salvation. Greek Yesus. English Jesus. He is the answer. All of God’s names are found in Jesus. God is our salvation. “And there is salvation in no one else” -see Acts 4:11-14, ESV.|
|16||Gen 17:7||EL SHADDAI||God Almighty, The Mighty One of Jacob||We are introduced to this wonderful name when God announces his everlasting covenant to a childless 99-year-old Abram who learns his new name is Abraham -meaning he will be the father of many nations. Looks like that promise worked out pretty well.|
|17||Neh 9:17||El Eloah||God: Mighty, Strong, Prominent.||The Mighty God who did not forsake his people in the desert when they rebelled and wanted to turn back to slavery.|
|18||Deut 26:19||El-Elyon||Most High||He is exalted over all. Elyon comes from the hebrew root of “ascend” or “go up.”|
|19||Gen 16:13||El-Roi||God of Seeing.||Hagar thought God had forgotten about her but when she met the Angel of the Lord, she knew God always had his eye on her.|
|20||Psalm 90:1-3||El-Olam||Everlasting God||He is without beginning or end. He is spaceless, timeless and immaterial. He is independent of all of creation.|
|21||Isaiah 9:6||El-Gibhor||Mighty God||Description of the Messiah -the anointed One who will defeat all the enemies of God.|
All Persons of the Holy Trinity Share the Same Name
That’s right – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are all YHWH. Yet, each Person is simultaneously distinguishable from the other two Persons.
Although they are 3 different persons, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all equally God, at the same time. They are together One God. That’s why we call it the Trinity.
I know, I know – that’s quite hard to grasp from our limited human perspective. Maybe even impossible.
And since the 3 persons in one Godhead (the Holy Trinity) are different, yet still fully God Himself, in a sense the personal name of God applies to all of them.
However, it’s worth pointing out that one part of the Trinity – our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ- has His own set of unique names that represent different aspects of His deity and nature.
But this deserves it’s own section and that’s what we’re going to dive into next!
What are the Names of Jesus in the Bible?
Jesus Christ – the Son – is a member of the Trinity together with the Father and the Holy Spirit.
In fact, Jesus’ name is above all names as we find in Scripture:
“Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,” Philippians 2:9 ESV
There’s power in the name of Jesus and even the enemy knows that. Just ask the demons called legion from Mark 5:1-20 ESV.
Jesus is the name above all names that the Son of God, our Lord and Savior has.
And since Jesus IS God, He is also YHWH or Yahweh/Jehovah. It should make sense now.
However, the actual name Jesus is derived from the Greek word “Iesous” and it’s found on 987 occasions in the New Testament of the Bible.
In fact, the name Jesus is found in every single book of the NT, with the only exception of 3 John. Wow, indeed!
While Jesus in Hebrew is Yēšua or Yeshua that most of us are already familiar with. Yeshua is derived from the Hebrew verb “yasha”, meaning “to deliver, save or rescue”.
Note that Yeshua is the shortened version of Yehoshua, meaning “Adonai saves” (my Lord saves).
This is also where the Yeshua Hamashiach title comes from, which stands for “Jesus the Messiah” in Hebrew. Basically, the word “mashiach” translates to Messiah (“the anointed one with oil”).
Names and Titles of Jesus in the Bible
- Jesus Christ
- The Shepherd and Bishop of our Souls
- Prince of Peace
- The One Who Saves
- Eternal Son of the Father
- Branch (Netzer)
- Lamb of God
- Son of God
- Son of Man
- Son of David
- Son of the Blessed
- Light of the World
- Second Adam/ Last Adam
- Faithful and True
- Alpha and Omega, The Beginning and the End
How Did the Name Jesus Come About?
We find that it was an angel who informed Christ’s father Joseph through a dream that his son will be named Jesus.
This is found at the very beginning of the New Testament, in the gospel according to Matthew who follows the lineage of Joseph (Jesus’ legal human father):
“She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21 ESV
Do you notice that Jesus is the One who saves us from our sins? He’s The One Who delivers, saves and rescues from sin and eternal damnation in hell.
The emphasis here is on the word sin. Jesus didn’t die on the cross to save us from everyday, wordly problems. He is God in the flesh that came to live as one of us, while also being fully God all the time.
He was tempted, He experienced hunger and other fleshly desires, yet He never sinned. Not even once.
And what was the purpose of Jesus coming here on earth to physically dwell among sinners? We find the answer in the gospel according to Luke:
“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:10 ESV
Why is Iesous Translated as Joshua on Some Occasions?
Iesous (Jesus in Greek) is translated to Joshua as a stylistic substitution that’s meant to differentiate between our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and men named Joshua.
This is meant to prevent any confusion as to who the Biblical text refers to, despite the same root word that’s used for Jesus and Joshua.
There are only 3 examples in the New Testament where Iesous is translated as Joshua:
- Luke 3:29 ESV – “The son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi,”
- Acts 7:45 ESV – “Our fathers in turn brought it in with Joshua when they dispossessed the nations that God drove out before our fathers. So it was until the days of David,”
- Hebrews 4:8 ESV – “For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on.”
These Scripture passages clearly show us that in these examples Iesous stands for Joshua, not Jesus. For example, Joshua who led the Israelites in the conquest of Canaan as recorded in the book of Numbers.
God’s only personal name that He revealed to us in Exodus chapter 3 is the tetragrammaton YHWH (Yahweh/Jehovah), which is typically translated as “I AM” or “LORD”.
But there are even more names of God than in this post! Here’s a book about 100 Names of God. It’s a paid Amazon link.
Just take a look and see what you think. It’s really fascinating to see all these names of God and learn how amazing God is!
And remember – God always hears our prayers, no matter which of His majestic names we use.