Does the Bible command us to use only Hebrew or Greek when speaking about the Father, or Christ?
When Moses asked the Lord what his name was, the Lord replied " I am that I am " . The Hebrew word for "I AM" is ehyeh, which comes from the verb "to be." It can also be translated as "I SHALL BE." (Exodus 3:13-14) The Lord told Moses, "Say to the Israelites, `The Lord, the God of your fathers...has sent me to you'" (verse 15).
He said, " I am that I am" and "there is no other" So in any language, there is NO DOUBT as to who is being spoken of.
Every language has a different pronunciation, the English speaking world uses the word "God." The Germans use "Gott," The Spanish use "Dios" and the Greeks use "Theos" when referring to God.
It is not scriptural to require the use of God’s name in Hebrew rather than Greek or any other language. The Lord understands all languages. The Lord is looking on our hearts and not our language.
Since "God," "Lord" and "Jesus" are the English equivalents of names and titles from the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures, we can use them and do not need to learn or use Hebrew because Scriptures do not command us to do so.
The Bible itself shows it is not wrong to translate God’s names from one language to another, the last words of Christ spoken on the cross were not in Hebrew or Greek, Christ addressed the Father in Aramaic.
In the New Testament, the apostles used the Greek Kyrios 665 times and Theos 1345 times to translate the Hebrew name Yahweh! These names are also found in Jesus own words. Not a single Greek New Testament uses the "original" Hebrew name for God or Jesus, but instead uses the Greek.
Even the Old Testament uses various
names for God and Christ, such as, Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14), Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God (Hebrew,
Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). In Zechariah 6:12, the
Savior is named "The Branch." One can find many names for God used in
the Bible, in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek.
One argument is that the word "God" is a word that is used by pagans to refer to their idols. That is true, Pagans who used the Hebrew or Aramaic language also called their idols by Hebrew names, such as Elohim, El, Eloah and Elah.
So does this make it wrong to refer to God by the same names that the pagans misused in reference to their idols? If a group started using the word Yahweh when referring to their false God, would you no longer be able to use that name?
When we accept Christ as our Savior, we accept him as the One who is Savior. If we spell or pronounce his name differently depending upon our language it is of no concern to him. In Acts 4:12 "there is no other name under heaven" by which we must be saved, it is referring to the Person of Christ and not to the pronunciation or spelling of his name.
Nowhere in Scripture does it tell us to avoid using a name for God in our own language.
Paul said "teach no other doctrine, nor give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which cause disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith. (I Timothy 1:3-4)
The point is, that, God and Christ are more concerned about us knowing who they are than by what name or title they are identified with.
The Church of God Proclaimed