LORD, YHWH, and I AM

Old Testament scholars generally differ in how God should be addressed both in the liturgy of the church and in doing Biblical or Systematic theology. James Jordan has argued that in Genesis 14:18-20 “the name of God in use among the nations was God Most High’” (Hebrew, `el `elyon; in Through New Eyes, p. 176). Though, as Leithart has argued convincingly “‘God Most High’ or simply ‘Most High’ are frequently used by Israelites as titles for Yahweh.” The main point being that both names manifests “that the covenant-keeping God of Israel, is also the Highest, the exalted King of the nations and their gods, who casts down all who exalt themselves against Him.”

In Waltke’s Old Testament Theology, he argues that the title “LORD” has messianic implications since Paul refers to Christ as Lord in Romans 10:9-13, nevertheless, it establishes a less intimate “relationship with a person than using his or her name” (Bruce Waltke, An Old Testament Biblical Theology, 11). He prefers to use God’s name as it proceeds from His own mouth, namely, “I AM.” Since the gospels reveal that before Abraham was born, “I AM” existed, hence, God is both present and eternal. As Waltke summarizes: “He is both ‘I am here” and ‘I am eternal’ ” (Ibid. 11).

About Uri Brito

I am the Pastor of Providence Church (CREC) in Pensacola, Fl.
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