Substitutes for God’s name in the New Testament

When reading an English Bible there is a little bit of Jewish history that is needed to understand a few things and this is one of them. When Messiah walked the earth, it had become the habit of the Jewish people to avoid God’s name. This is because they feared the pagans they had lived among  since the deportation to Babylon might start saying God’s name and therefore violate in the commandment.

“You shall not take the name of the LORD/YHWH your God in vain; for the LORD/YHWH will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain. Ex. 20:7 

The Jews had become very creative in their work arounds for this problem. Most English readers of the Bible have no idea what is going on. The average Christian doesn’t even know that God has a personal name. (His name is YHWH.) This habit of not using substitutes for God’s name was so universal that His personal name is never used is in the New Testament.

The Lord or Master

This one is so prevalent that it is on almost every page of every English Bible. The English Bibles uses this very same Jewish tradition of not speaking the name of the Lord “YHWH” but substitutes Adoni which means lord or master. The English has left a clue that they have done this by capitalizing all the letters in the LORD when the original Hebrew is YHWH. (See Also: God? What’s in a name?)

The Name

Ha Shem is Hebrew for “the Name” and is occasionally substituted for YHWH.

And those who went before and those who followed cried out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Mark 11:9

And now I am no more in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to thee. Holy Father, keep them in thy name, which thou hast given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. John 17:11

Heaven

And he said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed upon the ground, Mark 4:26 Was the baptism of John from heaven or from men?”  Luke 20:4

The question was not whether John was some kind of angelic being but whether he was sent by God. This is why sometimes it is the kingdom of God and others it is the kingdom of heaven.

Another parable he put before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field; Matt. 13:24 

In this parable the son admits that he has sinned against God.

I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; Luke 15:18 

This use of Heaven as a substitute for God or YHWH has lead many to misunderstand “heaven.” Heaven strictly speaking is not the place where God lives. God is Omnipresent, and as such is everywhere throughout time and space at all times. Calling Him “Heaven” is to say that He is above and beyond what we can perceive. (See Also: What Happens When We Die? and God is Omnipresent)

The Power

And Jesus said, “I am; and you will see the Son of man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” Mark 14:62 

This is a quote from the Psalms, where we can see the right hand belongs to the LORD or in Hebrew YHWH.

The LORD says to my lord: “Sit at my right hand, till I make your enemies your footstool.” Psa. 110:1 

FYI: They also called the temple in Jerusalem, “The Place” or “The Holy Place.”
For a tent was prepared, the outer one, in which were the lampstand and the table and the bread of the Presence; it is called the Holy Place. Heb. 9:2

The Lord of the Harem is Omnipresent

The Harem

Ernst, Rudolph Ernst (1854 - 1932)  Romantic Interlude Clearly part of the typology of the Song of Songs is that all of us are typologically women of God’s harem.

For the western mind this brings up all kinds of misunderstandings as we have attached all manner fantasies often of a sexual nature to the term harem.  This is not the reality of what these place’s were.

The harem is not a prison, nor was it usually a sex palace, the word means protected place, the sanctum or the forbidden place.  For the most part the harem functioned as the family quarters.  The wives, children, and servants lived there.  Most of the cooking, cleaning, and all those chores that are the domain of women were preformed in these secluded places. Continue reading