Friday, February 17, 2006

The Nine Billion Names of God

In the comments section attached to the recent article "Josh the Baptist calls Christian's God false," Saint Josh tells us that God has but one Name, and that we darn well should use it when we talk to Him or about Him, or else He'll get ticked off.

The Christian site lists 603 names that are acceptable unto God, most of which are English phrases that represent some Aspect or Trait of God. Examples include "Buckler to all those that trust in him," "Creator of the ends of the earth," and "King of Heaven." Why are these Names acceptable to Christians but "Great Architect of the Universe" isn't?

The same webpage also lists another dozen or so "Name of God" variations on the Names El and Yahweh, which is translated into Greek as Jehovah.

Lambert Dolphin presents an excellent webpage listing Old and New Testment Names for God. These names include El, Elohim, El Shaddai, Adonai, Jehovah, Jehovah-Jirah, Jehovah-Rophe, Jehovah-Nissi, Jehovah M'Kaddesh, and Jehovah-Shalom. Other Names of God used in the Old Testament include Shepherd (in Psalms, Genesis, and Isaiah), Judge (Isaiah), Jehovah-Elohim, Jehovah-Tsidkenu, Jehovah-Rohi, Jehovah-Shammah, Jehovah-Sabaoth, El Elyon, Abhir, Branch, Kadosh, Shaphat, El Roi, Kanna, Palet, Yeshu, Gaol, Magen, Stone, Eyaluth, Tsaddiq, El-Olam, El-Berith, El-Gibhor, Zur, Attiq Yomin, Melekh, Father, First and Last.

In the New Testament we find many Names, mostly translated into Greek, that are attributed to Jesus and/or God, such as Kurios, Despotes, Theos, I Am, Theotes, Hupsistos, Soter, and Logos.

The Name Jesus, as most people know, is the Greek translation for Joshua, which itself is actually Yeshua, sometimes written Y'shua. Originally it meant "Jehovah is Salvation." If you google a bit further, you can find devout Christians who have worked themselves into a frenzy, tirading against the use of the Name "Jesus," saying that It is a false Name, and that the Son of God, Savior of the World should properly and reverently only be referred to as Yeshua, the name He went by on earth. The folks at argue against this point, saying Jesus is the only name of God. According to their website, the "call Jesus Yeshua" movement are "Yeshua people... spreading amazing lies, fabrications and misinformation about the name that makes demons shudder and brings salvation and therefore they need to be corrected and opposed."

One of the earliest used Names for the Hebrew God, El, is interestingly enough also the root word origin of another now-common Name for God, Allah. I'm sure many Christians would argue that Jehovah and Allah aren't really the same God, but I digress.

Dolphin tells us that other New Testament titles for Jesus include Shepherd of the Sheep; Master; King of kings; Lord of lords; Bishop and Guardian of our Souls; Daystar, Deliverer, Advocate, Last (or Second) Adam, Ancient of Days, Branch, Chief Cornerstone, Immanuel, First Born, Head of the Body, Physician, Rock, Root of Jesse, Stone, Potentate; Chief Apostle; Great High Priest; Pioneer and Perfecter of our Faith (or Author and Finisher); Lamb of God; Lamb Slain before the Foundation of the World; Lord God Almighty.

It's nice to see that thoughtful Christians have looked into this matter... it's refreshing to know that not all Christians are literalists who don't have to end everything they write with a shouted "for the living God!" A well-presented, scholarly discourse on the Names of God from a Hebrew-Christian perspective can be found at Another good reference is's article The Names of God.

You may also wish to wade through Nathan Stone's The Names of God, a 1944 scholarly treatise on the God-Names El, Adonai and Jehovah. Or just google the phrase "names of God."

But for a really quick, easy and quite enjoyable five-minute online read, check out Arthur C. Clarke's The Nine Billion Names of God.

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  1. Wow, I don't think i ever realized how many there really were.

    I have a feeling, unprovable of course, that in the sanitizing of the Universal Church in Rome, say 300AD, that the spelling and use was decided on for the masses. Jesus was the winning name. I wonder what the prize was for the bishop who picked it.

  2. Widow's Son,

    I see you continue to slander my name -- let me see - is that "tolerance" or not? Well, anyway - I thought I would waste some time over here and make sure you didn't lead anyone on the false path any longer concerning the name of God.

    I NEVER said that He was only to be referred to as YHWH. I was simply making the point that you can't find - Great Architect of the Universe anywhere in Scripture. I know that does not matter to you - because you disregard the Bible as allegory - right? Therefore, you will stand firmly to the Freemasonry view and the Freemasons god. Notice the little "g" --- the God of the Bible - YHWH, I AM, Lord, or whatever Old or New Testament rendering you like - you are never going to convince me that you are worshipping the same God of the Holy Scriptures! Never! You see, the same God who created the Scriptures is who I worship - and you have degraded and blasphemed the Scriptures along with the Son of God - Christ Jesus.

    Therefore, I remain consistent! ------- I am saved by the Grace of God - not Freemasonry nor any other craft needed. Only the saving Grace of God - the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ for my sin!

    Praise the name of Jesus Christ!

    Josh Buice
    Properly preaching the truth of Holy Scripture!
    Practical Theology Discussions

  3. I love the preseumption in the conclusion

    "Josh Buice
    Properly preaching the truth of Holy Scripture!" There is zero humility in that

    Ths nice aspect of addressing people and posts like Josh's on the net is that they are no longer free to slander and malign the name of Freemasonry, and that there are people to stand up to it, whether or not they find our arguement convincing.

    We are here now, and we push back.

  4. Josh Buice:

    No one here has slandered your name, or any of the Nine Billion Names of God, either, for that matter.

    A few days ago, I earnestly invited you and your fellow online Baptist buddies to add your perspective to the discussion about the possible mis-translation of the word "howl" into the word "Lucifer." You begged off, saying you were too busy.

    Lest you again claim I mispresent your words, I quote you, Feb. 15: "If I have time, I will address your subject, but at the moment, I am personally very busy."

    Here we are a few days later, and you have graced us here with your digital presence so you could "waste some time" but never offered your expertise on the theological matter I'd asked you about.

    The one thing I've noticed most during the conversations between Baptists and Masons during this past month is this: The Masons bring ideas to the table to be discussed, bandied about, investigated, or even discarded — but the Baptists bring nothing but "God is great!" exclamations and then throw Scripture at us like monkeys in the zoo.

    If you step back and see yourselves as others do, you might notice that you act quite a bit like the fundamentalist Muslims are acting right now, all worked up over cartoons that "blaspheme" their prophet.

    You go on and on about the Widow's Son's "blasphemy" and God-degradation, when in fact, I've done no such thing. I've simply stated opinions, mine or others', and suggested we talk about it.

    The Widow's Son
    Properly saying whatever is on my mind!


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