Millions of people address God using respectful titles, such as Lord, the Eternal, Allah, or simply God. However, God has a personal name. Should you use it?
What is God’s name?
WHAT SOME PEOPLE SAY
Many professed Christians believe that God’s name is Jesus. Others claim that since there is only one Almighty God, using a personal name for him is unnecessary. Still others argue that using a proper name for God is inappropriate.
WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS
Almighty God’s name is not Jesus, since Jesus is not God Almighty. In fact, Jesus taught fellow worshippers to pray to God saying: “Father, let your name be sanctified.” (Luke 11:2) Jesus himself prayed to God: “Father, glorify your name.”—John 12:28.
In the Bible, God declares: “I am Jehovah. That is my name; I give my glory to no one else.” (Isaiah 42:8) “Jehovah” is an English translation of the four Hebrew consonants YHWH, which constitute the divine name. That name appears some 7,000 times in the Hebrew Scriptures.* It is used more often than any title, such as “God,” “Almighty,” or “Lord,” and more frequently than any other name, such as Abraham, Moses, or David.
Nowhere in the Bible does Jehovah prohibit the respectful use of his name. Instead, the Scriptures reveal that the divine name was freely used by God’s servants. They included it in the names they gave their children, such as Elijah, which means “My God Is Jehovah,” and Zechariah, which means “Jehovah Has Remembered.” And they did not hesitate to use God’s name in daily conversations.—Ruth 2:4.
“May people know that you, whose name is Jehovah, you alone are the Most High over all the earth.”—Psalm 83:18.
What does God’s name mean?
Some scholars believe that in Hebrew the name Jehovah means “He Causes to Become.” That definition implies that God can cause himself or his creation to become whatever is needed to accomplish his will. Only the almighty Creator could live up to such a name.
WHAT IT MEANS FOR YOU
Knowing God’s name will change the way you think about him. You will find it easier to draw close to him. After all, how can you be close to someone whose name you do not know? Why, the very fact that God has revealed his name to you shows that he wants you to draw close to him.—James 4:8.
You can be certain that Jehovah will always live up to his name as a God who makes things happen. That is why the Bible states: “Those knowing your name will trust in you.” (Psalm 9:10) You develop that trust as you learn that Jehovah’s name is inseparably linked to his qualities, such as loyal love, mercy, compassion, and justice. (Exodus 34:5-7) How reassuring to know that while Jehovah will always keep his promises, he will never act contrary to his qualities.
Clearly, to know Almighty God by name is a privilege. It can open up blessings for you now and in the future. God promises: “I will protect him because he knows my name.”—Psalm 91:14.
“Everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will be saved.”—Joel 2:32.
Many Bible translations omit God’s name and replace it with the title “LORD” in capital letters, while others include God’s name only in select verses or footnotes. The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures uses the divine name extensively throughout the text.