The true meaning of the word ‘God’ – The Trinity Doctrine

Part 01 – The Trinity Doctrine
Part 02 – Who is the Most High God?
Part 03 – Who and what is Jesus?
Part 04 – The true meaning of ‘God’
Part 05 – Supporting the Trinity
Part 06 – Pre-Nicene writings
Part 07 – Development of the Trinity
Part 08 – Why challenge the Trinity
Part 09 – Trinity Doctrine conclusion
Part 10 – An Apostasy
Part 11 – 100 indisputable proof verses
Part 12 – What is your confession?
Part 13 – The Roman Catholic faith
Part 14 – Trinity Doctrine resources

An important but much overlooked fact when understanding the word ‘God ‘in the bible is that both the Old and New Testament are translated from a number of different words and each original Hebrew or Greek word for ‘God’ have a wide range of uses.

Theos {theh’-os} is by far the most common Greek word that we translate as God or god. Below are the possible meanings of the word ‘theos’.

1) a god or goddess, a general name of deities or divinities
3) spoken of the only and true God
3a) refers to the things of God
3b) his counsels, interests, things due to him
4) whatever can in any respect be likened unto God, or resemble him in any way
4a) God’s representative or viceregent
4a1) of magistrates and judges

So the Father is God because of his authority. However God the author also sends messengers with his authority, so when our Father anoints someone to speak His words, that person is can be given the title ‘god’ whether he be an angel or a man. Also, someone or something that takes takes the place of God is also called a god, in particular a false god. In addition, the word god can be used when describing something great, like a great earthquake.

Let’s now look at some biblical verses that apply the word God (Theos) to denote different identities or as a description.

Below we see a verse where the word ‘theos’ is used when referring to the Father.

Ephesians 1:3 (English-NIV)
Praise be to the God (theos) and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

Now you will see a verse where the Greek word ‘theos’ is possibly used to describe Jesus. I say possibly because Thomas could equally have been referring to Jesus and then to God due to the double use of the article, “My Lord and My God” instead of “My Lord and God”. Regardless of this, let’s assume that Thomas is indeed calling Jesus “My God”.

John 20:28-29 (English-NIV)
28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God! (theos)”
29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

The word ‘theos’ in the next verse is used to describe Satan as he is the author of this world/age.

2 Corinthians 4:4 (English-NIV)
The god (theos) of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God (theos).

The word (theos) is also used to describe Man see below.

John 10:34 (English-NIV)
Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, `I have said you are gods (theos)’

The Old Testament was written in Hebrew and again we see that the word “God” can apply to our Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, Angelic & Demonic powers, mankind, idols, and even things or events.

The NIV & NASB translate the following 3 words as God “el” “eloah” & “elohim”
Each is a generic term, meaning “God” or “mighty one”.
Normally when one of these words occur in the OT, it designates either the true God or something that the pagan nations viewed as a god. In a few instances these words are also used of angels and human beings.

Below is a scripture that shows that the Father is God.

Malachi 2:10 (English-NIV)
Have we not all one Father ? Did not one God (El) create us?
Why do we profane the covenant of our fathers by breaking faith with one another?

The next verse uses the Hebrew word “eloah” which used to describe Jesus.
We will be looking at this scripture in more depth in Part 5 (Scriptures used to support the Trinity Doctrine).

Isaiah 9:6 (English-NIV)
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God (El), Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

The following verse uses ‘Elohim’ to denote idols.

Exodus 20:23 (English-NIV)
Do not make any gods (Elohim) to be alongside me; do not make for yourselves gods (Elohim) of silver or gods (Elohim) of gold.

The word “Elohim” is the most common word that is translated God in the Old Testament.

Genesis 1:1 (English-NIV) says:
In the beginning God (Elohim) created the heavens and the earth.

“Elohim” can also be ascribed to Man. See next the verse.

Psalms 82:6 (English-NIV)
“I said, `You are “gods” (Elohim); you are all sons of the Most High.’

When Jesus said “you are gods (theos)”, as quoted previously on this page, he was actually quoting the above Psalm.

And, angels are called gods in Psalm 97:7. This verse is actually quoted in the Hebrews 1:6 and it is referring to the Angels.

Psalm 97:7
All who worship images are put to shame, those who boast in idols; worship him, all you gods (Elohim)!

Finally the word elohim can be used to describe something that was exceedingly great like an earthquake or a city.

1 Samuel 14:15
And there was trembling in the host, in the field, and among all the people: the garrison, and the spoilers, they also trembled, and the earth quaked: so it was a very great (elohim) trembling.

Jonah 3:3
So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly (elohim) great city, a three days’ walk..

These scriptures clearly show us the wide usage of the word that we know as God/god. It is a term or title that is used to indentify God but is not always used in that sense. Rather it is a term that can apply to many types of authority, to idols, and even to things that are very great.

When the word God is being used to indentify an authority, it is important to read the context because The Most High God is completely different to the god of this age and saying that God is always the one true God of Heaven and Earth, then we can mistakenly make Satan the one true God. In other words the type of God that is being referred to is determined by the adjective or context of the sentence. It is incorrect to read the word ‘God’ as the Most High God in every case. In fact the very term ‘Most High God’ leads us to conclude that there must be lesser gods.

We know that the word ‘Elohim’ is a term or title and not a name, but does God have a name? Yes he does. ‘YHWH’ which is called the “tetragrammaton,” meaning “the four letters,” is the revealed name of God, which scholars translate as Yahweh, Jehovah, Yahvah amongst others. Knowing that there is no such letter in Hebrew that makes the sound of a ‘J’, there are many Hebrew names that contain an emphasis on the *Yah* sound. Even Jesus name in Hebrew has this sound. ‘Yahshua’ is Jesus name in Hebrew and it is where we get the English name Joshua. But the word Yahweh is not actually a translation of the tetragrammaton, it is a transliteration meaning the sounds of those original Hebrew letters have been reproduced into another language. Other biblical names that have been transliterated include: Abraham, which in Hebrew is pronounced Abrawhawm and Sarah is pronounced Sawraw. Today if the president of the USA goes to Germany they will pronounce his name rather than change it into a German word of the same meaning. In the same way ‘Yahweh’ should be pronounced exactly the same in all languages.

God first reveals his name in Exodus.3:15 and Psalm 135:13
And Elohim said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, YHWH, Elohim of your fathers, the Elohim of Abraham, the Elohim of Isaac, and the Elohim of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.

God’s response to Moses, shows us clearly that ‘God’ (Elohim) is not a name, but a title and we saw earlier how this particular title can refer to others including men, angels, and false gods.

Understanding the usage of the word theos and elohim in scripture clearly shows that these words are ascribed to more than God Almighty, especially when there is mentions of another person or thing. And the assumption that all who are called theos that are not the Almighty are by reason of that, a false theos, is not true either. Scripture applies theos and elohim in a positive way to men and angels. And can an earthquake be a false God?

Knowing that the Father is predominately the one being referred to when we see the word God, as pointed out, it is not always exclusively the Father. How many times is Jesus called God? Well let’s put it into perspective. Overwhelmingly it is the Father. Secondly, the term is used of false gods. Finally Jesus, angels, men, and Satan are mentioned only once  to a few times.

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