The Berean Expositor
Volume 16 - Page 65 of 151
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moment we attempt to seek the truth concerning "God" by looking into the derivation and
connotation of either the Greek or English word, we leave the true foundation.
God has revealed Himself under the name of El or Elohim, words which include the
idea of "strength", possibly "secret" and having affinity with words meaning a species of
"oak", a "ram", or other horned animal, and portions of a "building". Now these are
Divinely inspired associations and lead on in the understanding of what El, "God",
means. Theos is merely the Greek translation, a convenient word, but not to be looked
upon in the same light as El and Elohim.
The O.T. name "Jehovah" is translated in the Greek by kurios, which means "Lord".
We cannot get a glimpse of the actual meaning of "Jehovah" by looking at the word
kurios. The Greek word implies authority, property, possession, and can be used of men
as well as of God, for it is translated in the A.V. sometimes "Lord" and sometimes "sir".
Now whatever we may believe as to the meaning of the Hebrew "Jehovah", it is agreed
that it is formed from a part of the verb "to be", and that it is given in the paraphrase of
Rev. 1: 4, "He Who is, and Which was, and Who is to come". While therefore the word
kurios "Lord" is quite good as a Greek translation, it is hopeless to attempt to discover
the real meaning of the name Jehovah except by reference to the Hebrew.
There are of course some subjects of revelation which are peculiar to the N.T.
Of these we do not speak, but "sin" is most certainly not one of them. We shall find the
principle suggested here of service when seeking to understand the teaching of Romans
on "Justification". We will not elaborate the theme further here, believing that enough
has been said to make the matter clear to any interested reader.