What is the word for God in the Christian faith?

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In the Old Testament, originally written in Hebrew, the standard word for God is ‘Elohim’. There is also the word ‘El’ which also means God.


In the Old Testament, originally written in Hebrew, the standard word for God is ‘Elohim’. There is also the word ‘El’ which also means God. As in English, ‘god’ doesn’t always mean the Christian God, the Bible sometimes uses these words to describe the ‘gods’ of the surrounding nations, but it does not imply that these gods have any real power.
This word for God is reflected in the New Testament, originally written in Greek. Here the word for God is ‘Theos’. Again, like in English, the word can mean either the Christian God, or ‘a god’. But in the Bible it is regularly used to refer to the one God whom Christians believe in.

In the book of Exodus, the second book of the Bible, God reveals his name to Moses. This name in Hebrew is ‘YHWH’, which scholars believe is pronounced ‘Yahweh’. This name for God is used throughout the Old Testament. The Jews were careful not to speak this name out loud, and so would regularly say ‘Adonai’, a Hebrew word meaning ‘Lord’, whenever they read YHWH in the Bible. This practice is continued in Bible Translations today - if you look at a Bible you will usually see in the Old Testament the word ‘Lord’ written in small capital letters - this is a sign that the Hebrew reads ‘YHWH’ at that point. The New Testament also uses ‘Kurios’, meaning ‘Lord’, to refer to God.

There are many other titles that the Bible, and Christians, use to refer to God. They all point to his character and nature as it has been revealed in the Bible.

Answers are kindly provided by our friends at Christianity.net.au

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