Before Jesus the Messiah was sent to earth to be the perfect sacrifice for man’s sins, the world dealt with God through personal and angelic experience. Through this process, God revealed Himself in many ways. Each miraculous event, the recipient sometimes built an altar and gave God a name or made a proclamation that showed His character. It is important to note that these would serve as a remembrance for future generations, including us who live today. Let’s take a look at the different names of God through the Bible, ending with Jesus the Messiah.
Names of God: The Tetragrammaton
- YHVH – This is the four-letter name of God. It is the name given throughout scripture to describe who God is. It is His personal connection with humanity, and the most frequently used; 6800 times. The name itself is so sacred that many Jews to this day will not attempt to pronounce it in fear of mispronouncing it, and therefore not giving the name its due. Therefore, YHVH has many interpretations and translations. From phonics to definitions of the original Hebrew. In one translation, YHVH becomes YeHoVaH. From which we get, Jehovah. The literal translation of YHVH is, I AM THAT I AM.
- Jehovah – As we just learned, Jehovah is the translation of God’s personal name. But to further identify with God’s nature, these attributes are added to His name, depending on what a believer is experiencing.
Names of God: Jehovah
- Jireh – Abraham was instructed by God to sacrifice his son, Isaac. Trusting in God, he led his son up to the altar. Just when he was about to take his son’s life, God stops him; Abraham had proved his commitment to the Lord. God, then provided a ram caught in a thicket. Abraham sacrificed the ram and called the place Jehovah-Jireh; God will provide.
- Nissi – Joshua was in the valley with the Israelite army, fighting the Amalekites. Moses, Aaron, and a man named Hur were up on the hill watching the battle. While Moses held up his arms, Israel was winning. If he put his arms down, they started to lose. Aaron and Hur helped Moses keep his arms raised, and Joshua defeated the Amalekites. Moses built an altar and named the location Jehovah-Nissi; God my Banner.
- Shalom – When Gideon was called through an angel of the Lord, he had asked for a sign from God. He prepared a goat and unleavened bread and brought it to the angel. Next, the angel sets fire to the sacrifice and Gideon was afraid. God spoke to him. He said to be at peace, that God would be with him. Finally, Gideon built an altar there and called the place Jehovah-Shalom; God our peace.
- Adonai – David, now king, is giving thanks to God and committing to the building of a house for God, the temple. His son Solomon would see to it being built. Throughout this passage, David addressed God as Jehovah-Adonai; God our Lord.
- Rophe – This time, God gives himself a name. He makes a covenant with Israel that if they follow Him that he will not give them over to the diseases He will bestow on the Egyptians. He says He is Jehovah-Rophe: God, your healer.
Names of God: God
Just as God had the personal name of Yahveh, His son has a personal name; Jesus. That name in Hebrew is Yeshua. This is the name the Jews know him by. In fact, likely, Jesus never heard the name, Jesus. His disciples would most likely use the native tongue of Yeshua.
Names of Jesus the Messiah
Jesus the Messiah was known by other names, mostly given to Himself, through the fulfillment of scripture. He uses metaphoric terms to describe His nature many times in the Gospels. In fact, Jesus the Messiah was never flowery in His speech; he spoke plainly in ways the disciples could relate to.
Jesus’ Names Found in the Bible
Among these names of Jesus the Messiah are:
- The Way – His disciples were wondering about where Jesus is going and not knowing the way to get there. Jesus tells them He is The Way.
- The True Vine – Jesus the Messiah continues in the following chapter. He tells His disciples that they must remain in Him. To bear fruit for the kingdom of God, they must remain in the True Vine of Jesus.
- Lamb of God – John the Baptist was the forerunner to Christ. He is told that he would see the Spirit of the Lord descended from heaven and rest on the one who would be the Savior of the world, the Lamb of God. A lamb was temporarily used for the sacrifice of sins. The Lamb of God would be the perfect sacrifice and permanent.
- Bread of Life – The followers of Jesus were looking for a sign. Jesus describes the manna from Heaven given to Moses and the Israelites. Jesus speaks of the bread that lasts forever; they ask for the bread. Jesus tells them that He is the Bread of Life, that like the manna, He came down from Heaven.
- Resurrection and the Life – After Jesus heard about Lazarus’ death, He went to visit Mary and Martha. They questioned why Jesus took so long to get there. If he had been there, then maybe Lazarus would not have died. Jesus told them he would rise again, and they replied that they knew, in the last days. But Jesus tells them that He is the Resurrection and The Life. Then he raised Lazarus from the dead.
Names of Jesus the Messiah: Through Prophecy
- Messiah – Jesus the Messiah. The first to speak this in the New Testament account is Andrew. He goes to find his brother, Peter. The Bible also addressed Jesus as Messiah in the account of Jesus with a Samaritan woman at a well.
- Immanuel – The name given to him through prophecy. When the angel of the Lord visited Mary, he told her that his name would be Immanuel: God is with us.
Jesus The Messiah: Today’s Message
Another great name about Jesus the Messiah, well, maybe not so much a name, but definitely an attribute of his nature is “the same yesterday and today and forever.” This is a great reflection of every nature described above. It is very close to his personal name of YHVH; I AM THAT I AM. Once you can easily see the parallels to the two.
However, it is important to understand that Jesus the Messiah and God are one. They are the same. Jesus explains this to His disciples on many occasions. In John 10:30, Jesus plainly states, “The Father and I are one.” He was placing equality between Himself and God, and the only person who could do that was Jesus.
Being that Jesus was God, it is no wonder that the name He has in prophecy in Isaiah 7:14 reaches its fulfillment in Matthew 1:23 – “Immanuel; God is with us.”