Names and Titles of God
Online Bible Study

by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson
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E. Plouchard, God Appears to Moses in the Burning Bush, St. Petersburg
Eugene Pluchart (French painter, 1809-1880), "God Appears to Moses in Burning Bush" (1848), St. Isaac of Dalmatia Cathedral, St. Petersburg.. Larger image.

The names of God have rightly attracted a lot of attention from God's people seeking to know God better and understand more facets of his character. Scholars, too, have spent time studying the names hoping to clues to the sources for the Old Testament.

This study is primarily a Bible study, not a dictionary of names -- though we'll try to provide brief comment on all the names and titles of God in the Bible. Our approach will be to study a passage in which one of the chief names and titles of God is used, then consider all the similar ways God is referred to.

For example, we'll look at God revealing himself to Moses at the burning bush as I AM THAT I AM, or Yahweh (sometimes pronounced Jehovah). Then we'll consider all of the other titles that refer to God's everlasting, eternal nature. We'll concentrate on how God refers to himself, then observe the titles and descriptors with which men address or refer to him.

When you consider the passage the passage below, for example, you see at least three themes: (1) Most High God, (2) Everlasting/Eternal, and (3) Holy/Righteous.

"For thus says the high and lofty one
     who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:
I dwell in the high and holy place,
     and also with those who are contrite and humble in spirit,
to revive the spirit of the humble,
     and to revive the heart of the contrite." (Isaiah 57:15, NRSV)
Music and Art
One interesting feature and resource will be a list of hymns and praise choruses that focus on various names of God. If you're planning to teach or preach on the Names of God and need sources for PowerPoint illustrations, take a look at my links to Artwork relating to the Names and Titles of God. I also review The 99 Beautiful Names of God by David Bentley.
 
Each theme has a whole set of related names and titles. Considering these together, we'll be looking at the various facets of God's character -- first one, then another, week by week. Then we'll consider how each of these affects or should affect our lives as disciples. You might even think of this kind of Bible study as a fascinating way to explore the attributes of God. It will be inspiring and faith-building, to be sure!

I invite you to study the Names and Titles of God with me over the next 13 weeks (11 lessons with two breaks).  Here's how we'll study together.

  • Each Saturday I'll e-mail you the lesson for the week. Then you'll read the Bible passage and use my notes to help you understand it better.
  • On Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and maybe Thursday, you'll receive a question from that week's lesson to think about and answer. This is designed as a "total immersion" approach to Bible study, since I believe God wants to use it to work real and permanent change in your life. (You can opt out of the daily questions if you like, however, and just receive the weekly lessons.) You'll be thinking about these passages constantly for over these 8 weeks -- long enough for God to work his Word into your life and lifestyle.
  • You can respond to the questions using the Joyful Heart Bible Study Forum -- and read others' answers to reinforce your own understanding.
  • With each lesson you'll receive a link to a 20- to 30-minute audio teaching that sums up the passage you've been studying that week. Some who learn better from hearing than from reading really appreciate this.
  • Then on Saturday, I'll send you the next week's lesson.
Here's what readers say....
  • "Amazed at the constant, reliable depth. I have never experienced such devotion to God's word." -- Susan Dennis
  • "Brought me to a deeper place of intimacy and enhanced my prayer life and times with God." -- Laura Chase
  • "Direct, straightforward, well-written, well-researched, easy-to-understand, but not shallow." -- Norman Silver
  • "Truly anointed. God shows Himself in this study. You start out reading and the next thing you know it's like God takes over and He teaches you." -- Lori Binggeli

Here's what some others say....

Here's the current outline of the study:

Names and Titles of God, by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson

Now available as in paperback and  e-book formats. Includes Hebrew & Greek word studies, discussion questions and handouts for groups or classes, suggests songs, comprehensive with 120 core names, titles, etc., total of 219 varieties.  Detailed index. Modestly priced. Buy your copy today.

Preface

Introduction. A discussion of the difference between names, titles, metaphors, and descriptors of God, and a quick look at the now-discredited Documentary Hypothesis.

Participant Handouts. If you're using this study with a class or small group, here is a 23-page resource that includes a list of the names and titles of God as well as notes and questions for each lesson. It may be duplicated at no charge for local groups. (PDF format)

  1. Most High God (´El `Elyon). We discuss ´El, the generic term for God and ´Elohim, the plural name used for the Israelite's God. In addition, we explore titles by which God's exalted nature is revealed: Most High God, Father of Glory, High and Lofty One, King of Glory, and My Glory. And we examine Abraham's encounter with Melchizedek in Genesis 14:17-24.
  2. God of Might (´El Shaddai). We examine the names and metaphors of God that refer to his power and might, including military might as the LORD of Hosts/Armies (Yahweh Sabaoth). Also Mighty Warrior and the LORD our Banner (Yahweh nissi). Joshua 5:13-6:2
  3. Yahweh, I AM, the Eternal God (´El `Olam). This is God's unique, self-revealed name, sometimes called Jehovah or the tetragrammaton YHWH. We also examine the eternal nature of God as the Ancient of Days, Alpha and Omega, First and the Last, Everlasting God, I AM, and the One Who Inhabits Eternity. Exodus 3:1-18.
  4. God Our Creator. We examine God as our Creator, our Potter as we are clay in his hands, our Builder and Maker. Is 45:5-12 and Psalm 95:1-7.
  5. The Holy and Righteous One. He is God of Holiness, Justice, and Righteousness. He is known as Holy, Jealous, Righteous One, the Judge of All the Earth, the Awe/Fear of Jacob. We'll also consider compound names: The LORD who Sanctifies You (Yahweh-M´Kaddesh) and the LORD our Righteousness (Yahweh-Tsidkenu). He is the Protector of widows and the fatherless  The theme of God requiring ethical justice is strong in the Bible. Isaiah 6:1-8.
  6. God Our Lord and King. Here we examine God in his role as absolute sovereign, or Lord and King. We'll consider such titles as King of Glory, God of gods, and Lord of lords. Psalm 24.
  7. God our Fortress and Protector. A number of metaphors refer to God's protection for his people. He is our Shield, Fortress, Hiding Place, Keeper, Lifter of Our Head, Refuge, Rock, Shade, Shelter, and Stronghold. Psalm 91.
  8. The Lord Our Provider and Shepherd, the God who leads us and supplies our needs. We explore the LORD who provides (Yahewh-jireh), the LORD Our Shepherd (Yahweh-rohi), the God Who Sees (´El-Roi), the LORD who provides (Yahewh-jireh), the LORD is our Healer (Yawheh-rapha), and and The LORD is Here (Yahweh-Shammah).. Psalm 23.
  9. Abba, Father. Jesus especially revealed God as our Heavenly Father, building on an Old Testament theme. We also consider God in relationships with his people as Husband, God of Israel, and God of our Fathers..
  10. The God of All Grace. While the Old Testament revealed the Merciful God, the God of Love and Peace, and the God of My Mercy, the New Testament's special emphasis is on God's love and mercy. Exodus 34:5-7.
  11. God Our Savior. We conclude with a strong theme of God who rescues his people from trouble -- Deliverer, Redeemer, Savior, and Horn of Salvation. We'll also consider The LORD is Peace (Yahweh-Shalom, the name of Gideon's altar). Mark 10:35-45.
Flags of many nations When this study began in 2006 we had 2,992 sign-ups from more than 110 countries. Since then hundreds of others have taken the study.  Students came from: Andorra, United Arab Emirates, Afghanistan, Antigua and Barbuda, Albania, Argentina, American Samoa, Austria, Australia, Barbados, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bulgaria, Bahrain, Benin, Bermuda, Brunei Darussalam, Brazil, Bahamas, Botswana, Canada, Switzerland, Chile, Cameroon, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Germany, Djibouti, Denmark, Dominica, Algeria, Egypt, Eritrea, Spain, Ethiopia, Fiji, France, Ghana, Guatemala, Guyana, HongKong, Croatia/Hrvatska, Haiti, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, India, Iran, Iceland, Italy, Jamaica, Jordan, Japan, Kenya, Kyrgzstan, Korea (Republic of), Kuwait, Cayman Islands, Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Liberia, Latvia, Mauritania, Montserrat, Malta, Mauritius, Maldives, Mexico, Malaysia, Namibia, Nigeria, Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Pakistan, Pitcairn, Puerto Rico, Paraguay, Qatar, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Singapore, Slovakia (Slovak Republic), Suriname, Syrian Arab Republic, Togo, Thailand, Turkey, Trinidad and Tobago, Taiwan, Tanzania, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Virgin Islands (British), Vanuatu, Samoa, Yugoslavia, South Africa, Zambia, Zaire, and Zimbabwe 17% specify text format, 83% HTML format. 28% selected the weekly format, 72% the daily format.

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Copyright © 1985-2014, Ralph F. Wilson. <pastor@joyfulheart.com> All rights reserved. A single copy of this article is free. Do not put this on a website. See legal, copyright, and reprint information.

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