The LORD and the Lord
A recent website visitor asked: "What about the word 'despotes'?
There are only ten uses of despotes in the Greek New Testament while there are another twenty-three uses in the Septuagint or Greek Old Testament.
In the Hebrew Old Testament, Jehovah refers to God in His covenant relationship with his creation [Genesis 9:26] and God [Elohim; Gen. 1:1] refers to Him as the Creator of the Heavens and Earth. Lord [Adon] was also used for God as the owner of all those things He has Created [Joshua 3:11 and 13].
God is also named in Genesis 14:19 and 22 as the possessor of heaven and earth. This would be the perfect place to find the Greek word despotes in translation; however, the LXX reads who made. The references above in Joshua to Jehovah Elohim as adon of all the earth are especially significant because Joshua was entering the Promised Land which God, who owns all, had given to
There was a fourth, intensive use of Lord [Addonai], sometimes substituted for Jehovah by later scribes to protect the “Divine Name” from use by Gentiles.
Below are the Old Testament uses of despotes with each purpose noted:
Gen. 15:2 for Addonai
Gen. 15:8 for Addonai
Jos. 5:14 for Jehovah
Prov. 6:7 for Master
Prov. 17:2 for Master
Prov. 22:7 for Master
Prov. 29:25 for Jehovah
Prov. 30:10 for Master
Job 5:8 This is an interesting reference to Jehovah as Sovereign Ruler, despotes, of all. It isn't in the Hebrew. The English translation of the LXX Greek is also excellent. The English word we get from despotes is despot. Removing the negative connotations the absolute rule of a lord or complete owner is part of the sense of despotes.
Jon. 4:3 for Jehovah
Isa. 1:24 for Addonai
Isa. 3:1 for Addonai
Isa. 10:33 for Addonai
Jer. 1:6 for Addonai
Jer. 4:10 for Addonai
Jer. 15:11 for Jehovah
Dan. 3:37 There is no longer Hebrew for this verse. Perhaps this was for Jehovah.
Dan 9:8 for Jehovah
Dan 9:15 There is no Hebrew word corresponding to this use. Perhaps this was for Adon.
Dan 9:16 for Addonai
Dan 9:17 There is no Hebrew corresponding to this use. Perhaps for Addonai
Dan 9:17 for Addonai
Dan 9: 19 for Addonai
The uses of despotes in the New Testament are accurate references to Old Testament Hebrew meanings. Despotes is not a substitute for either Jehovah or Adonai in the New Testament.
Lk. 2:29 Simeon is making a special reference to God as Sovereign Ruler of all. Simeon has just beheld His Christ. Simeon is rejoicing in God’s accomplishment for all mankind. Everything has worked together for good for those who love God. God has shone Himself to be the owner of heaven and earth and Lord [adon] of all the earth. None of the forces of unbelief could keep God from bringing to pass His promise of Christ.
Acts 4:24 This is a reference to God as owner. The Hebrew word is qanah 7069.
1 Tim. 6:1 human master or slave owner.
1 Tim. 6:2 human master or slave owner.
2 Tim. 2:21 This is a reference to our Lord. In the allegory, the pots are owned by the master. The Christian leader is to walk in fellowship (I John 1).
Tit. 2:9 human master or slave owner.
1 Pet. 2:18 human master or slave owner.
2 Pet. 2:1 to our Lord Jesus Christ. Despotes may have been chosen here because the ownership of the church is in the immediate context.
Jude 1:4 the text is "denying the only despotes God and our Lord Jesus Christ." This verse is about God as asqanah 7069. The ungodly men will not even recognize that the Creator of the Heavens and Earth is owner of all. Likewise, these ungodly men deny the Lordship of Christ.
Rev. 6:10 The context from Revelation 6:1 shows this is a reference to our Lord as owner of all who believed. The "dead" in the vision appeal to our Lord as his own property that he should avenge. The opening vision is of the Lord as conqueror in judgment is explained in the unlocking of the seals.
There is a great deal of discussion about what the etymology of Jehovah is. However, that discussion usually focuses on Exodus 3:14 where the LORD tells Moses that "I AM That I AM" and that he should tell the children of Israel "I AM" has sent him.
"I will come to be what I will come to be" or "I will come to be as I will come to be" are two tranlations of the Hebrew I favor. Jehovah will reveal His nature to Israel (and the world) by His deeds in rescuing His people from Egypt. Jehovah became for His people everything they needed Him to be.
I also wrote about this on the the page linked to this one called "Saying Jehovah."
I'm really glad that you are interested in God's Word. I'm not a Jehovah Witness, just a student of the Bible.
However, the Jehovah Witness Bible is accurate in its translation of lord in Romans 10:9-10. This verse is about recognizing the authority of Christ as the Lord. Jesus Christ is Lord of all (Acts 10:36 and Galatians 4:1). Making him "boss" or "lord" is easy for those who believe that God has raised him from the dead.. Accepting Christ's lordship glorifies the Father (Philippians 2:10-11) and allow us to receive His unspeakable gift (II Corinthians 9:15; Romans 5:15; Acts 10:45).
Jehovah is about God's relationship to
Why have you not dealt with Adoni, my lord, as distinct from Adonai? There is a critically important difference. Adonai is the Lord God, but adoni is never God. Why not comment on the misleading capital L on the second lord of Ps. 110?
I certainly did deal with Adon, Adonim, and Adonai each according to their biblical uses. However, I really appreciate the question because
A. it lets me point odd the way I've organized the information, (which can be a little idiosyncratic) and
B. it lets me talk about the research part of this page.
A. When I first started studying the Hebrew words for Lord it was for the sake of comparison with the Aramaic words for lord. This was backwards of course, but still it led me to look for a word for earthly lords and an absolute form for supreme lordship. There are echoes of this distinction in the uses of Lord in the Aramaic texts of the New Testament, but echoes only.
I assumed that the first of these forms would be Adonai (as I had been taught) and the second of these forms would be Adon. I assumed that Adonai was based on the plural form of Adon, because the plural of majesty would mean "Supreme Lord." I was very surprised when I learned that the majestic plural of Adon was Adonim, not Adonai. Then I went back to the drawing board chewing crow feathers the whole way.
This leads me to B:
Antony, the information you seek is under "The Sopherim and Systems for Transmitting the Bible." The best study of the roots of Adonai leads me, at this point, to agree with Dr. Bullinger that:
"ADONAI is Lord in His relation to the earth; and as carrying out His purposes of blessing in the earth. With this limitation it is almost equivalent to Jehovah. Indeed, it was from an early date so used, by associating the vowel points of the word Jehovah with Adon, thus converting Adon into Adonai." ("Appendix 4" The Companion Bible)
Dr. Ginsburg, whose work Dr. Bullinger helped publish, says just the opposite. He says that the vowels from Jehovah came from Adownai. The more I studied the biblical uses, the more I agreed with E.W. My reasons are detailed in "The Sopherim and Systems for Transmitting the Bible."
It has recently come to my attention that I have based my studies on the Leningrad Codex (also a Masoretic text) which in some ways differs from the Hebrew text Dr. Ginsburg and Dr. Bullinger used (the Ben Chayyim Masoretic text). Hence, I might not have found all the uses of Adonai that exist in each text. Swordsearcher apparently makes an online version of the Ben Chayyim text available and I'm double checking. By most accounts, though, the consonants of both texts are very, very similar.
Any additional insight or information on this matter would be greatly appreciated. Happy Thanksgiving 2010! It's just awesome we can work God's word together so freely with so many materials available.
All His best,
P.S. -- Yes, the capital L is confusing in Psalms 110:1. It leads one to think that the second lord is Adowni, but it is not. It is Adown revealing Christ to David. It is remarkable how wrong our traditions about the Bible. In the world they reject tradition for the pleasures of liscense, in the word we reject tradition for the glory of God.
God bless you Paul, in the wonderful name of our risen lord and savior Jesus Christ.
Many theologians believe that the "I am" of John 8:58 is the "I am" of Exodus 3:14. There may even be some versions of the English Bible that capitalize the I AM in this verse. The Septuagint, or Greek Old Testament does use "Ego Emi" just as does the New Testament Greek.
A problem arises when the Hebrew Old Testament is consulted. The Hebrew verb is "to come to be." It's the Book of Genesis verb in which everything is coming to be. There is some sort of participle form that can be equated to the Greek verb "am" or "was" or "is," but that form occurs only twice (I think) in the Old Testament. Most of the state of being verbs in the Old Testament come from the Hebrew tenses of the main verbs. They are helping verbs.
Hence, other theologians, especially Hebrew scholars, Christian and Jewish, believe that the "I am" of Exodus 3:14 should be translated "I will come to be" as a short form for Jehovah's promises to Moses concerning how He would come to be with Moses and the children of Israel. The discussions have picked up steam in recent generations because of the great interest in the title of the Covenant God of Israel, Jehovah.
One of these days I hope to make a book available with an appendix set aside just for this discussion, but the discussion is a longer one. I especially like what I've seen about the possible relationship between God's explanation of His name in Exodus 3:14 to Moses and the Father's longer explanation of Himself to us in Revelation 1:8:
I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
A shorter answer about John 8:58 which is a wonderful blessing is to keep this scripture in its context.
John 8:56-58: Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. 57 Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? 58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.
How did Abraham see the day of Christ Jesus? By believing God's word. There is a little more about this in Hebrews 11:17 and 19:
By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 19 Accounting that God was able to raise him (Issac) up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him (Christ) in a figure.
Abraham received Christ by faith even though the promise was a long way off. Abraham saw the day of Christ, both his coming and his glory. How? The same way we do... By faith. Christ was in God's heart from before time began:
1 Peter 1:18-21 8 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, 21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.
Sometimes when things go wrong we wonder how God could ever put up with stuff. The answer is that He sees the end of all things. He sees you and I together with Christ forever and ever. God is very wise. It is (form His standpoint) more than worth it, and, from our human standpoint, we will, surely, one day really understand how right God is.