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Bible Dictionaries

People's Dictionary of the Bible


God. The name of the Creator and the supreme Governor of the universe. He is a "Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth." He is revealed to us in his works and providential government, Romans 1:20; but more fully in the Holy Scriptures and in the person and work of his only begotten Son, our Lord. 1. Names. There are three principal designations of God in the Old Testament—Elohim, Jehovah (Javeh), and Adonai. The first is used exclusively in the first chapter of Genesis; chiefly in the second book of Psalms, Psalms 42:1-11; Psalms 43:1-5; Psalms 44:1-26; Psalms 45:1-17; Psalms 46:1-11; Psalms 47:1-9; Psalms 48:1-14; Psalms 49:1-20; Psalms 50:1-23; Psalms 51:1-19; Psalms 52:1-9; Psalms 53:1-6; Psalms 54:1-7; Psalms 55:1-23; Psalms 56:1-13; Psalms 57:1-11; Psalms 58:1-11; Psalms 59:1-17; Psalms 60:1-12; Psalms 61:1-8; Psalms 62:1-12; Psalms 63:1-11; Psalms 64:1-10; Psalms 65:1-13; Psalms 66:1-20; Psalms 67:1-7; Psalms 68:1-35; Psalms 69:1-36; Psalms 70:1-5; Psalms 71:1-24; Psalms 72:1-20, called the Elohim Psalms, and occurs alternately with the other names in the other parts of the Old Testament. It expresses his character as the almighty Maker and his relation to the whole world, the Gentiles as well as the Jews. The second is especially used of him in his relation to Israel as the God of the covenant, the God of revelation and redemption. "Adonai," i.e., my Lord, is used where God is reverently addressed, and is always substituted by the Jews for "Jehovah," which they never pronounce. The sacred name Jehovah, or Yahveh, is indiscriminately translated, in the Common Version, God, Lord, and Jehovah. 2. The Nature of God. God is revealed to us as a trinity consisting of three Persons who are of one essence, Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; John 1:1-3—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. To the Father is ascribed the work of creation, to the Son the redemption, to the Holy Spirit the sanctification; but all three Persons take part in all the divine works. To each of these Persons of the Trinity are ascribed the essential attributes of the Supreme God. Thus, the Son is represented as the Mediator of the creation. John 1:3; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:4. 3. The unity of the Godhead is emphasized in the Old Testament, while the trinity is only shadowed forth, or at best faintly brought out. The reason for the emphasis of the unity of the Godhead was to show the fallacy of polytheism and to discourage idolatry, which the heathen practiced. God is denominated "one Lord." Deuteronomy 6:4. Over against the false deities of the heathen, he is designated the "living" God. This belief in God as one was a chief mark of the Jewish religion.—Condensed from Schaff.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'God'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. 1893.

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