Throughout the Old Testament of the King James Version of the Bible, the word lord appears in all capitals, LORD, with a begining captial, Lord, or in all lower case, lord. The editors of the King James Version endeavored to represent two distinct Hebrew words with this notation. The first of these Hebrew words was considered so holy that the followers of Orthodox Judaism never spoke this word out loud. This is the Hebrew word often translated Jehovah or Yaweh today. The second of these words is the Hebrew word adown, that means lord or sir.
However, in the New Testament, the editors of the King James Version represent the difference between these disticnt Hebrew words in only four verses (Matthew 22:44, Mark 12:36, Luke 20:42, Acts 2:34). Only in the translations of Psalms 110:1, as it is quoted in the New Testament, does the King James Version contain a capitalized LORD for Jehovah and a lower case lord to show our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In Psalms 110:1 God is named with the Hebrew word Yaweh. He is the LORD who blessed my adown, my lord, our Lord Jesus Christ. The reason the King James Version editors and translators represnt this difference only in four places is because no Greek manuscript of the New Testament extant today carries any representation of Jehovah, Yahweh, or any ancient Hebrew letters representing His name in any form.
It is obvious from the many quotations of the Old Testament in the New that God refers to Himself as Jehovah, or Yahweh, and to His Son as the Lord of all. However, in certain places, knowing whether it is God's name or His Son's victorious title that is meant by the Greek word for
lord, kurios, requires extra diligence. Hence this study.
There are a number of ways to rightly divide God's word in the New Testament Greek concerning the name of God His Son's title. First, as the King James translators did with Psalm 110:1, Bible students can search out the New Testament for Old Testament quotations using Jehovah and then apply this knowledge by remembering or noting those specific uses of Jehovah in the New Testament. There are also a great number of places where the immediate context indicates that the scripture must be talking about the Lord Jesus Christ or about the Creator, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Lastly, phrases using Jehovah in the Old Testament can be recognized in the New. All of the words in God's Word are used with a mathematical precision and a scientific accuracy. This is also true of the Old Testament uses of Jehovah. Understanding these great biblical uses of God's name, especially as they appear and reappear in a series of Old Testament phrases, allows us to recognize God's purposes in placing His name in these phrases in the New Testament. Likewise, the Greek word kurios is used, without the rest of the Lord's title, in several very specific ways. These New Testament phrases can also be studied so that we may have the rightly divided word of truth on the name of God and the title of His Son as Lord of all.
The New Testament and Old Testament phrases are linked on the left side of this page. Notes on specific verses can be found at the links above. There are yet a number of verses for which, it seems, two readings are possible. Additional insight is always appreciated.