Names and Titles of the Creator

Who is the Creator? In the search for truth and meaning to life, there are few questions more powerful than this. Throughout Scripture there are names, titles, and descriptive phrases about the Creator. These names and titles are not just labels but have very deep meanings that are sometimes lost in translation. Respect for the name of the Creator is part of the Ten Commandments. Yet, how these words are used, translated, or transliterated from the Hebrew and Greek alphabets into the English language is sometimes a cause of confusion.

Names of the Father

The names of the Creator include Yahveh the Father and Yahshuah the Son, our Savior.

Yahveh

The name of ‘Yahveh’ comes from the Hebrew letter combination of Yod-Hey-Vav-Hey which is also known as the Tetragrammaton. The name appears almost 7000 times (6,828 times by some estimates) in the Hebrew text. Within the English language, it is variously pronounced as ‘Yahveh’, ‘Yahweh’, or even ‘Jehovah’ depending on the style of transliteration that is used. It seems to be an archaic third-person singular imperfect form of the verb “to be” which would give the meaning ‘He Is’. This would refer to His self-existence outside of space and time as mankind knows it.

I Am

In the response to Moses in Exodus 3:14, the Creator gives the name ‘I Am that I Am’ which would be transliterated as ‘ehyah asher ehyah’. The ‘I Am’ in this phrase comes from the same Hebrew root word “to be” just as the Tetragrammaton does. In this case, the Creator Himself is speaking and, therefore, uses the first-person singular imperfect form of the word ‘be’ which is ‘ehyah’.

Elohim

The word ‘elohim’ is found over 2500 times in the Hebrew portion of the Scriptures. It is also a word that has a variety of uses within Scripture. It is used not only to describe the Creator, but also false gods, kings, and even city leaders. Examples include Ex 12:12 where it describes ‘the gods of Egypt’, 1 King 11:33 where it describes the ‘god of Moab’, or the frequent use of describing the Creator as the ‘God of Israel’. This can largely be explained through the symbolic meaning of the name which includes a ‘powerful leader’ or more typically in English when referring to the Creator as our ‘Mighty One’. Whether the True God, a false god, or a city leader the one spoken about is thought to be a leader with power or strength.

HaShem and Adonai

Within Judaism, the name of the Creator is considered too sacred to pronounce (except by the High Priest in the Temple). Therefore, they avoid saying the actual name by replacing the Tetragrammaton with the word ‘HaShem’ which literally means ‘the Name’ or the word Adonai which means ‘my lords’ or ‘my masters’. HaShem is typically used in common conversation while Adonai is used in the formal prayers and ritual blessings.

LORD and God

Christianity has followed the Jewish practice of substituting the name of the Creator. The word ‘LORD’ is a substitute for the Tetragrammaton and comes through the use of the Greek word ‘kyrios’ which means ‘lord’ and can be found in both the Septuagint translation of the Hebrew text as well as in the Greek Text. The word ‘God’ is chosen as the translation for the Hebrew word Elohim.

Names of the Son

Yahshuah

The name ‘Yahshuah’ comes from the Hebrew word for ‘salvation’. Not surprisingly, many of the passages of Scripture that speak of ‘salvation / yahshuah’ also contain prophecies of the Messiah. Within the English language, it is variously transliterated as Yahshuah, Yeshua, or even Yehoshua. In any case, the meaning remains which is ‘Yah Saves’.

Emmanuel

The name ‘Emmanuel’, meaning ‘God with us’, only appears within Scripture a few times. However, it is found in both the Hebrew and Greek writings. The passages it is found in suggest a salvational aspect to this person who is later equated with the Messiah.

Jesus

The English name of ‘Jesus’ comes from the Koine Greek used in the Septuagint translation as Iesous. It is a similar, but not an exact match to the Hebrew as Greek does not contain the ‘sh’ sound and the Greek masculine ending of ‘s’ was added. It was further modified in the Latin as ‘Iesvs’ and finally into English as ‘Jesus’.

Christ

The word ‘Christ’ comes to from the Greek word ‘Christos’ and means “anointed one”. It comes from the Hebrew word ‘mashiach’ which means ‘anointed’. Although the word ‘christ’ is used for many Greek gods, it appears twice in the Septuagint translation of the Hebrew text in reference to the promised Prince and then is used heavily in the New Testament Greek in reference to the Savior. Furthermore, the word was in such use that the term ‘Christian’ was used in the Greek city of Antioch to describe the followers.

General Titles of the Creator

Many titles begin with 'El' which means 'Powerful Leader'. A perfect description of our Maker.

Our Maker

Another phrase is found in the descriptive term ‘Our Maker’. Maker comes from the Hebrew root word ‘asah’. Asah is used to describe making or doing something in a very broad sense. The recognition that He has made even mankind is a good thing to remember.

Titles using ‘El’

Many titles of the Creator use the word ‘El’ as part of the description. Examples include ‘El Chai’ as ‘Living God’, ‘El Elyon’ as ‘Most High God’, ‘El Gibbor’ as ‘God of Strength’, ‘El Olam’ as Everlasting God, ‘El Roi’ as ‘God who Sees’, and ‘El Shaddai’ as ‘God Almighty’.

Choosing to know Our Maker and building a relationship with Him is the most powerful decision a person can make in their lives. Though not absolutely necessary, understanding who He is takes the relationship deeper by helping us understand His character and attributes.

Last Updated: 06 / 2017
Todd Elder

Todd Elder

Todd Elder has a deep desire to understand and experience Creation. As a Baraminologist, his current research includes developing the Katagenos Species Concept, the Natanzera Classification System, and the Floral Formula Method of determining Plant Kinds. As an author and speaker, his books and seminar materials are designed to encourage a growing relationship with the Creator.
Todd Elder

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