First-Name Basis

51gvpg5zstl

The divine Name ‘Yahweh’ will at first sound strange in your ears, being used to the established (but mistaken) English convention of representing the name as ‘the LORD.’ We who are of an older generation will remember the days when calling someone by their Christian name was a privilege granted, not to be presumed upon. It meant something to us when a senior friend said, ‘Please call me by my Christian name’; the relationship had ripened into a new intimacy and privilege. So it was in Genesis 4:26 when people began to call upon their God by His personal name; so it was, even more, when the significance of that Name was revealed to Moses (Exod. 3:15). A totally false sense of reverence later said ‘The Name is too holy for us to use,’ and the custom was introduced of representing it as ‘the LORD.’ No, no. He has granted us the privilege, and we should learn (belatedly) to live in the benefit of it. Hebrew has two main nouns for ‘God.’ There is the plural elohim, God in the fullness of the divine attributes—for simplicity I translate this as ‘God’—and the singular el, which I translate as ‘transcendent God.’ But there is only one ‘Name.’ ‘God’ is what He is; Yahweh is who He is.

— Alec Motyer, Psalms by the Day, 10.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s