2316 THEOS (1304): God or Godhead. In God’s First Century Message (FCM, NT), the title “God” applies either to all beings who comprise Deity collectively; or it may refer to individual beings; such as, the Father (Yahweh), Jesus the Anointed One (Christ) or the Pure (Holy) Spirit. -- dependent upon the context.
Only these three beings are shown in scripture to exist at or before Creation. For this reason they are considered to be eternal in nature, having neither beginning nor end of existence. Everything else of which we humans are aware came into existence during or after creation, and is therefore limited to time constraints. Other spirit beings may have existed before the creation of the physical realm, such as angels, cherubim, seraphim, etc., but these all are created beings who differ from humans in that they are not in physical bodies.
The title “God” (German, “Gott”), comes from the ancient Anglo-Saxon word for “good.” In the FCM “God” is translated from the Greek word “theos.” God in French is “Dieu”; in Spanish, “Dios”; and in Greek, “theos.”
TEXTUAL TRANSMISSION OF GOD’S NAME IN HIS ANCIENT MESSAGE (AM, O.T.)
NAME OF GOD IN THE HEBREW AM: God’s name, YHWH occurs over 6000 times in the Hebrew text, as in Exo.6.2-3: “And God (elohim) spoke to Moses and said to him, ‘I [am] Jehovah (YHWH). And I appeared to Abraham and to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty (El Shadday), and [by] my name Jehovah I never made myself known to them (The Interlinear Bible, TIB).’” So, God’s name (YHWH) existed some 430 years before Moses, during the time of Abraham. YHWH occurs first in Gen.2.4: “These are the births of the heavens and of the earth when they were created in the day [that] Jehovah (YHWH) [was] making earth and heavens (TIB).”
People called on Yahweh personally throughout the AM, for instance Abimelech in Gen.21.33: “And he planted a Tamarisk tree in Beer-sheb, and there he called on the name of Jehovah (YHWH) the everlasting God (El).”
God has only one personal name. Names are preferably transliterated (rather than translated) and arranged in letters which, to the extent possible, will replicate the original sounds that comprise the name. “YHWH” can acceptably be pronounced “Yahweh,” “Yehovah,” or similarly.
The expression “Yahweh (singular) God (elohim, plural)” has caused some to believe that elohim is singular, in passages such as Gen.2.8: “And Jehovah God planted a garden in Eden, to the East; and He put the man whom He had formed there.” The expression “Jehovah God” could be better understood as: “Jehovah [of] God” or “Jehovah [part of] God.” Note that Jehovah and elohim refer to the same being, but are not synonymous.
JEWISH TRADITION CONCERNING GOD’S NAME, YAHWEH: Statement from the Introduction to Rotherham’s Emphasized Old Testament; the Reason for the Suppression (of God’s name, YHWH): “the motive was good – let that be assumed. It was to safeguard the Divine Majesty in the minds of men. It was to prevent the inconsiderate mention of Him before whom seraphs veil their faces – though even so it is very difficult to see how one name should occasion irreverence, and another not. Why not, then, leave Him altogether unnamed? Why not fear to allude to Him by any title that could definitely refer to Him? The passages commonly cited as furnishing good reason for the suppression surely cannot mean what is thus attributed to them, since there is a wide distinction between not taking His Name in vain, and not taking His Name into our lips at all, even for prayer or praise. In a word, the motive is respected; but the reverence is regarded as misapplied – the reason given is seen to be invalid.” The reference here is to Ex.20.7: “You shall not take the name of Yahweh (YHWH) your God (elohim) in vain; for Yahweh will not leave unpunished [the one] who takes his name in vain.”
This Hebrew superstition became a tradition that continued over a thousand years, from the time of Moses to the Jewish decision to translate the God’s AM text from Hebrew and Aramaic into Greek, which had become the universal language. This translation into Greek was made for the benefit of Jews living in Egypt and other nations, and for the descendants of those Jews who had been dispersed among the nations and used Greek as their primary language.
But Yahweh had warned, “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish from it, that ye may keep the commandments of Jehovah your God which I command you (Deu.4.2).” So how can anyone justify replacing YHWH with a title such as “Lord?” ***
TRANSLATION OF THE HEBREW SCRIPTURES INTO GREEK BY SEVENTY JEWISH SCHOLARS IN ABOUT 250 BC (THE SEPTUAGINT OR LXX). These Scholars were well aware that God’s name was YHWH, and that his titles included, God (eloah, singular), God (elohim, plural) and Lord or Master. But they wrongly translated God’s name from the Hebrew “YHWH” (Yahweh) into Greek as “kurios” (Lord or Master) about 6000 times! They also mistranslated YHWH as “theos” about 350 times. The result was a carry-over of an erroneous Hebrew superstition into the Greek language.
“God” in God’s Ancient Message (AM, OT): “Elohim (plural of Eloah) occurs about 2500 times as a title for “God.” God’s personal name, “Yahweh” (ASV “Jehovah”) occurs over 6000 times. Several times in the AM elohim is accompanied by a plural pronoun such as “us,” showing that it is a plural noun, but in the remaining 2500 or so times it occurs, it may be accompanied by a singular pronoun, such as “he.” And this is proper because the beings that comprise God are one in the sense of being totally unified in the same purposes. Just as the directorate of a corporation may be referred to collectively as “it,”
Notes from the introduction to “The Septuagint Version of the Old Testament” (Zondervan): “... it must be remembered that the translators were Jews, full of traditional thoughts of their own as to the meaning of Scripture; and thus nothing short of a miracle could have prevented them from infusing into their version the thoughts which were current in their own minds.” Also, “One difficulty which they had to overcome was that of introducing theological ideas, which till then had only their proper terms in Hebrew, into a language of Gentiles, which till then had terms for no religious notions except those of heathens.”
The ungodliness of Jewish traditions was exposed by Jesus in Mt.15.1-6: “Then some Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem, saying, ‘Why do your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.’ And he answered and said to them, ‘And why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said, “Honor your father and mother,” and, ”He who speaks evil of father or mother, let him be put to death.”’ “But you say, ’“whoever shall say to [his] father or mother, ‘Anything you might have been helped by has been given [to God].’” “‘He is not to honor his father or his mother.’ And thus you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you saying, ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far away from me. (Is.29.13) But in vain do they worship me, Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’” (NASB)
That is, Jewish traditions not only “bound what God had not bound” (washing of hands before a meal), but also “loosed what God had not loosed,” (the Sixth Commandment: to honor parents).
TRANSLATION OF THE HEBREW SCRIPTURES INTO LATIN, THEN ENGLISH: Before the end of the Fourth Century A.D. Jerome “began a private venture of translating and revising the Old Testament on the basis of the [Greek] Septuagint and went directly to the Hebrew. His resulting translation (The Latin Vulgate) existed side by side with the Old Latin for centuries before it became universally adopted” (From “A brief History of English Bible Translations”). But although Jerome improved the Old Latin translation, he did not correct the error of using “Lord.” instead of YHWH. And every early English translation of the OT was made from this faulty Latin Vulgate, beginning with John Wycliffe. As a result YHWH continued to be translated “Lord” from the Latin Vulgate. And in the twenty-first Century A.D. the popular translations still substitute the title “Lord” for God’s name YHWH.
Comment from page iv of the preface to the “American Standard Version” of the bible, which consistently DOES transliterate YHWH as “Jehovah”: “The change first recommended in the Appendix – that which substitutes “Jehovah” for “LORD” and “GOD” – is one which will be unwelcome to many, because of the frequency and familiarity of the terms displaced. But the American Revisers, after a careful consideration, were brought to the unanimous conviction that Jewish superstition, which regarded the Divine Name as too sacred to be uttered, ought no longer to dominate in the English or any other version of the Old Testament, as it fortunately does not in the numerous versions made by modern missionaries. This Memorial Name, explained in Ex.iii.14, 15, and emphasized as such over and over in the original text of the Old Testament, designates God as the personal God, as the covenant God, the God of revelation, the Deliverer, the Friend of his people... This personal name, with its wealth of sacred associations, is now restored to the place in the sacred text to which it has an unquestionable claim.”
Conclusion: Had YHWH been transliterated into the LXX as Yahweh or Jehovah, it might have come into the English AM translations. Translations such as is the “Restoration of Original Sacred Name Bible” even use Yahweh in the FCM. But none of the FCM writers were ever inspired to use God’s name, YHWH, in the text. And they had no valid reason to do so. (See onoma, “name.”)
USAGE OF THEOS IN THE FCM. GOD’S PERSONAL NAME (YHWH, Jehovah OR YAHW ) ALTHOUGH IT WAS STILL IN EFFECT FOR THE NATION OF ISRAEL DURING JESUS’ LIFETIME.
One reason for this is that Jesus introduced and used the more intimate title of “Father.” Although these FCM text uses expressions such as “name of God” and “name of the Lord,” the Pure Spirit never inspired the FCM writers to actually use God’s personal name, YHWH, in the text. Another reason may be that the FCM was written years after the beginning of Jesus’ ekklesia in Acts 2. (See “name,” 3686 onoma for discussion.) Apparently, authorized use of God’s name (YHWH) ceased at the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD when “not one stone was left upon another,” and the nation of Israel ceased to exist. Use of YHWH (Yahweh) for God’s personal name had never been authorized for use by any nation other than Israel, neither by “Christians.”
ELOHIM CAN CORRESPOND TO SEVEN DIFFERENT MEANINGS OF THEOS
COMPARISON OF “YAHWEH” TO “ SEVEN PARALLEL OR QUOTED USAGES OF YHWH OF ELOHIM (AM) AND THEOS (FCM) ARE POSSIBLE:
1. When elohim (God, plural) occurs in the Hebrew AM text, the corresponding word theos in an FCM parallel or quoted passage must also be plural. Please consider Gen.1.1, “In the beginning God (elohim, PLURAL) created the heavens and the earth.”; also, verse 26: “And God (elohim, PLURAL) said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” The use of “elohim,” plural, in these two passages shows that more than one being participated in creation. Please compare these two passages to the parallel reference to this event in Act.17.24: “The God (theos, SINGULAR) that made the world and all the things therein, he, being Lord (Master) of heaven and earth dwelleth not in temples made with hands.”
Note that even though “theos” is singular, it necessarily includes all of the beings who comprise “God” and participated in Creation. Rather than meaning “one” in the sense of a single unit, theos, **here, must be considered as “one” in some other sense, such as the sense of unity. That is, the beings who created all things were unified in plan, purposes and action. They cooperated to produce the creation desired by the member among them who stated, “Let us make man in our image.”
Similarly in Gen 3.22 (ASV), “Jehovah God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever; therefore Jehovah God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.”
2. When Yahweh (singular) occurs in the Hebrew AM text, the Greek word theos in any FCM parallel passage must also be singular, as in Gen.15.6 (ASV): And he (Abraham) believed in Jehovah (singular); and he reckoned it to him for righteousness.” This passage is quoted in Gal.3.6 (similarly in Rom.4.3 and Jas.2.23): “...Abraham believed God (theos, singular) and it was reckoned to him for righteousness.” Note that theos here refers only to the senior member among God (Jehovah), not to God collectively, nor to any other member of God.
Similarly in Deu.8.3 (ASV): “...that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every thing that proceedeth out of the mouth of Jehovah (singular) doth man live.” Parallel (Mt.4.4 and Lk.4.4): “But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God (theos, singular).”
The same relationship exists between Yahweh and theos in Num.16.11 and 1Co.10.10; and Num.22.28 and 2Pe.2.16 and (?) Isa.64.4, 65.17 and 1Co.2.9-11.
The plural form of God, “elohim,” is used in Gen.1.26 when elohim decides among themselves, “let us make man in our own image.” Very few of the other 2500 uses of elohim involve second person plural decision making among God.
Name of God (Yahweh) not in FCM, but about 7000 times in AM.
“The only possible way three of anything can be one is in the sense of unity.” Jimmy Swaggart
The use or omission of an article (“the”) before theos in the Greek is not a factor in whether one person or all persons of the Godhead are meant. That is, “the God” does not necessarily mean “the one specific person whose title is God,” but means “whoever has the title of God.” Or put another way, in the FCM, “God” can refer to the person “God” (the Father) or “God” (the Son) or “God” (the Pure Spirit) Additionally, theos can refer to the “Godhead” (all or several of the beings called “God,” considered as a group; theotes.).
In contrast to the usage of “God,” the Greek word “pneuma” (spirit) is a Greek FCM word whose usage regularly depends upon the use or omission of the article (“the”) before pneuma. In the FCM whenever pneuma is preceded by an article it always denotes the Pure (Holy) Spirit, a specific person or a thing in the text.
Sometimes though, use of the article does imply the person of God, and absence of the article does imply the nature or unity of the persons comprising the Godhead. (The God as the only God in contrast to idols, the God as relating to the unity of God (God is one God), or God as one of the three identified members of the Godhead.)
When Jesus is described as the Son of God, the word "God” in the context refers to Father God, rather than Deity as a whole, because if two different beings of the Godhead are in the context, then the word “God” cannot include them both.
Expressions such as "God the Father" in the FCM specify a single person of Deity in the NT, as do "Jehovah God" (or "Lord God") in the OT. Expressions such as "Spirit of God" or God's Spirit refer to another person in the Godhead, "The Holy Spirit", since God the Father does not have a spirit, but is by nature a spirit being (Jn.4.24). Quote Rev.4 & 5:
The /Father with Jesus at his side. – but not the Pure Spirit? But all 3 eternal
PASSAGES WHICH INDICATE THE NATURE OR CHARACTERISTICS OF GOD (COLLECTIVELY OR INDIVIDUALLY):
CHARACTERISTICS, ABILITIES AND ACTIONS OF GOD: (Actions of God related to humans are listed below under "Relationship of God to man")
*ALL OF THE BEINGS WHO COMPRISE GOD, CONSIDERED AS A GROUP:
THE FATHER AS AN INDIVIDUAL AMONG THE GROUP, “GOD”:
JESUS AS AN INDIVIDUAL AMONG THE GROUP, “GOD”:
THE THRONE OF GOD:
GOD AS "LORD" (2962 kurios):
"KINGDOM/KINGSHIP OF GOD": (see also 0932 basileia)
GOD'S "CALLED-OUT ONES" OR "CALLED-OUT GROUP" (1577 ekklesia):
THE WORDS OF GOD: (Information given by God to man, in various ways). See "word" (3056 logos) for Jesus as "The Word":
PASSAGES SHOWING THE RELATIONSHIP OF GOD TO JESUS THE ANOINTED ? ONE AND/OR THE HOLY SPIRIT:
THE RELATIONSHIP OF PERSONS IN THE GODHEAD: JESUS AS "SON OF GOD":
*“THEOS,” REFERRING ONLY TO THE FATHER: GOD (68)
OTHER RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN JESUS AND GOD:
GOD'S SPIRIT: See also "spirit" (4151 pneuma).
PASSAGES SHOWING A RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN GOD (COLLECTIVELY OR INDIVIDUALLY) AND OTHER SPIRITUAL BEINGS:
ANGELS, HEAVENLY BEINGS:
SATAN, EVIL SPIRITUAL BEINGS:
RELATIONSHIPS OR OBLIGATIONS BETWEEN GOD AND HUMANS:
RELATIONSHIP OF GOD TO MAN & WHAT GOD DOES FOR MAN:
HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS, ACTIONS OR OBLIGATIONS TO GOD:
POSITIVE: *******DUPLICATION OF PASSAGES*******
GOD OR DEITY, WHETHER INDIVIDUALLY OR COLLECTIVELY: (all passages) GOD (capitalized) (1289)
IDOLS, HUMANS, OR OTHER NON-DEITY PERSONS OR THINGS:
GOD (not capitalized) (15)
2317 THEOSEBEIA (1): theos = God + sebomai = to be devout; a reverence or awe of God; godly awe.
2318 THEOSEBES (1): (same roots as 2317), to be devout, reverence or fear God.
2319 THEOSTUGES (1): theos = God + stugeo = to hate; one who hates God.
2320 THEOTES (1): Derived from "God" (2316 theos), the state of being God; Godhead, not in the sense of a person being "head" among God, but rather, "all those who comprise God".
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