What is the Almighty God’s name?

Q

Vineetha Pereira asks the question, "What is the Almighty God's name and does the Holy spirit have a name as well?

Scripture reference - "God replied to Moses, "I Am Who I Am. Say this to the people of Israel: I Am has sent me to you." (Exodus 3:14)

AFr. Adrian answers:

There are three ways of understanding this question. The first is: in what sense is our human speech applicable to God, who is infinitely superior to anything we can understand? The second is: does God wish to be invoked or worshipped under any particular designation, or does he wish that a particular proper noun should be used when calling on him? Thirdly, can the same God be worshipped under different names?

Since you have specified the Holy Spirit, let us analyse that first. It is clear that the word “Holy” is an adjective in English, and the word “Spirit” is a noun. “Holy Spirit” is therefore more a description of God than a title as such. It is a way of expressing God’s nature. The purpose of all language is to give us clarity in our understanding; hence, some names are reserved for particular beings, and the term “Holy Spirit” is reserved for the third person of the Trinity, though ultimately both the Father and the Son are holy and spiritual.

Learning from this, it is fair enough to conclude that any word in a human language can only be a description of some quality of God – for example, the word Father describes God’s quality of creating us, loving us and providing for us. The word Son denotes Jesus’ unique relationship with the Father, from whom he had his origin, with whom he shared his nature, and to whom he was totally devoted.

God is infinitely superior to any of these words of course. His holiness is far higher than anything we can understand by the word Holy. His fatherhood far surpasses anything that we can convey by the word Father. Yet, we use these words partly out of convenience, partly out of tradition, but – and this is the most important reason – mostly, because they help us to connect with God, to relate with God, and to understand him better. When we say the word “Father”, for example, we instantly feel a connection with the source of our being. And Jesus made it still more intimate by calling God “Abba” – Daddy.

The Old Testament declares that God is “Yahweh” – “I am who am”. This sacred name of God was revealed to Moses and was given the same value as a sacrament: God was believed to be truly present whenever this word was mentioned. To this day the Jews do not pronounce the name of God, on account of its sacredness. As Christians, however, we have received an additional revelation of God’s name: Yahweh Saves. Jesus means Yahweh Saves. The All Powerful God has become one with us – he is Emmanuel – God with us – and we are free to call upon his name and receive his salvation.

About Rev Fr Adrian Mascarenhas

Rev. Fr. Adrian Mascarenhas is the parish priest of St. Peters Church, Bangalore, India. He completed his seminary studies at St. Pius X College, Mumbai, and has been working as a priest of Bangalore Archdiocese since his ordination in 2011. He also serves as Editor of the Tabor Kirana, official magazine of the Archdiocese of Bangalore

Rev. Fr. Adrian Mascarenhas has served as the Assistant Parish Priest of St. Patrick's Church and Ascension Church, and has just completed two years of ministry at St. Peter's Church, Bangalore, India. He received his licentiate in sacred theology from Dharmaram Vidya Kshethram and is currently pursuing a doctorate in Fundamental Theology at the Pontifical Lateran University, Rome.

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