Titles are given to persons to identify a position, which often may be held by many different people. There is confusion over the Name of God. Since the translation of the Hebrew Old Testament into the Greek Septuagint during the third and second centuries B. C., a title has been traditionally used in place of His name. Consequently, many have taught that we no longer need to know His name. However, the Word of God itself tells us to call upon Him through His name and to praise Him by His name.
The term, “Proper Name,” as used in the Proper Name Version of the King James Bible, denotes the use of a proper noun, rather than a common noun, for the name of God. A proper noun, which is also called a proper name, is a noun that designates a particular person, place, or thing and is usually not preceded by an article, such as “the.” A common noun, however, does not identify a specific individual and is often preceded by an article. It refers to any or all of a group or class.
The Hebrew word “Adonay” () and the Greek word “Kurios” () are among the many titles that are frequently translated into English as “Lord.” These commonly used titles are used to indicate position or status of one as having power over others. While these titles are often used in the Bible in reference to Yahweh, they are also used for anyone that is believed to occupy the position or have the status which the title describes. Therefore, the title “Lord” is also used to reference persons having authority over others, as well as any other god, such as Baal, or other idol or image perceived as having power over others.
The Hebrew words, including El ( el) or Elohiym ( elhym), Elowahh ( elowh), and the Greek word Theos () are often translated into English as “God.” These are all descriptive titles that are frequently used to refer to Yahweh. However, some of them are also used to refer to idols or images of other deities.
However, in addition to being a title for Yahweh, El is also recorded as the name of the supreme god in Ugarit, which is a coastal city of northern Syria. The Ugaritic texts (1600-1200 B. C.) record El as the chief god of the local pantheon of gods, which included Baal, Anat, Asherah, and Yamm (see Victor H. Matthews, Judges and Ruth: The New Cambridge Bible Commentary, Cambridge, U. K.: Cambridge University Press, 2004, p. 79).
Such gods included “Gad” and “Meniy” that were worshipped by those that forsook Yahweh:
But you are they that forsake Yahweh, that forget my holy mountain, that prepare a table for fortune ( gad), and that furnish the drink offering unto the god of fate ( meniy). (Isaiah 65:11)
Some have suggested that “Gad,” the god of fortune, is the basis for the English title, “God,” and, therefore, “God” should not be used as a title for Yahweh as the overcomer and as our salvation. Instead, they suggest, Hebrew titles, such as (el) and (elohiym), even though they are also used as names and/or titles of pagan gods, should be transliterated rather than translated in order to avoid the English title, “God.”
Gad is translated in the Bible as “a troop” or as “good fortune”:
And Leah said, Good fortune comes: and she called his name Gad. (Genesis 30:11)
Yahweh also used a prophet named Gad to speak to David, the King of Israel (see 2 Samuel 24:11).
When Jacob, as “Israel,” called his sons together to tell them what “shall befall” them “in the last days,” he gave revealing prophecies concerning each son. Interestingly, he chose his seventh son, Gad, for his eighth prophecy, which is about overcoming unto salvation. He introduced it by saying that he had waited for the salvation of Yahweh:
I have waited for your salvation, O Yahweh. Gad, a troop shall overcome him: but he shall overcome at the last. (Genesis 49:18-19)
Jacob uses the word, “overcome,” twice. First, he says that a “troop,” as in an army, shall overcome Gad. However, he says Gad “shall overcome at the last.” Interestingly, the Hebrew word for “overcome” is (guwd), which is pronounced as “goode.”
The descendants of Jacob, which were called the “children of Israel,” had been living in Egypt for more than four hundred years when Yahweh spoke to Moses and gave him the responsibility of leading them out of Egypt:
Come now therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh, that you may bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt. (Exodus 3:10)
Joshua clearly revealed that the “children of Israel” served the Egyptian “gods” while they were in Egypt:
Now therefore fear Yahweh, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the river, and in Egypt; and serve you Yahweh. (Joshua 24:14)
Since the Egyptians served many “gods,” it was reasonable for Moses to ask Yahweh which one of them was now speaking to him, “What is his name?”
And Moses said to God, Behold, when I come to the children of Israel, and shall say to them, The God of your fathers has sent me to you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say to them? (Exodus 3:13)
Scriptural passages that clearly highlight the importance of knowing God’s name are introduced in the book of Exodus.
Yahweh answered Moses by saying, “I AM THAT I AM”:
And God said to Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shall you say to the children of Israel, I AM has sent me to you. (Exodus 3:14)
“I AM” is written in the Hebrew text as (ahyh) which is (hyh) with an added (aleph) to mark the suspension of breathing preceding the initial sound. The name “HYH” cannot be pronounced without added vowels, as in “HAYAH.” Its meaning is “to be” or “to exist.” The expression “I AM THAT I AM” effectively means, “I am the one that is.”
“I AM” told Moses to call Him (YHWH), which, with added vowels, is pronounced as YAHWEH:
And God said moreover to Moses, Thus shall you say to the children of Israel, Yahweh God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you: this is my name forever, and this is my memorial unto all generations. (Exodus 3:15)
The essential form of His name is (YH), pronounced as YAH, to which we are told to sing praises:
Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rides upon the heavens by his name YAH, and rejoice before him. (Psalms 68:4)
Having learned the name of God, Moses announced that he would boldly proclaim it:
Because I will publish the name of Yahweh: ascribe you greatness unto our God. (Deuteronomy 32:3)
The Word of God declares His name, which is that He is the one that is. He alone is God:
I am Yahweh, and there is none else, there is no God besides me: I girded you, though you have not known me: That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none besides me. I am Yahweh, and there is none else. (Isaiah 45:5-6)
Furthermore, Yahweh confirms that He is the only God and the only Savior:
Tell you, and bring them near; yes, let them take counsel together: who has declared this from ancient time? who has told it from that time? have not I Yahweh? and there is no God else besides me; a just God and a Savior; there is none besides me. (Isaiah 45:21)
Yahweh revealed the “mystery of godliness” when He was “manifest in the flesh”:
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached to the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. (1 Timothy 3:16)
By His name, Yahweh, He has spoken to us.
I am Yahweh: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images. (Isaiah 42:8)
By His name, Yahshua, He has revealed Himself as our Savior. (Yahshua means Yah is salvation.).
He revealed Himself by His name through the name of the Son, Yahshua (YAH is salvation), which has also been translated in modern times as Jesus:
And she shall bring forth a son, and you shall call his name YAHSHUA: for he shall save his people from their sins. (Matthew 1:21)
No other name has the power of salvation. It is through His name alone that we must be saved:
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)
When others call upon their “gods” as Lords, we know that YAH is our God and our Savior and there is life through His name:
But these are written, that you might believe that Yahshua is the Messiah, the Son of God; and that believing you might have life through his name. -John 20:31
Sanctify them through your truth: your word is truth.As you have sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. (John 17:17-19)
He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the congregations; To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God. (Revelation 2:7)
But God has revealed them to us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knows no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us by God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Ghost teaches; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:10-14)
His people "hear" His word because they know Him and know His voice.
Yahshua answered them, I told you, and you believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. But you believe not, because you are not of my sheep, as I said to you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give to them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. (John 10:25-28)