Theology week 1 “Who Is God?”
The word theology is actually a Greek word that we need to understand before we move on from this point. The word theology is not one that you will be able to find in the Bible, but instead is a word used to describe a practice of something.
Theology is a Greek word made up of two word that describe a practice. Theo is the first word we find, and it means God. So we find the first word used in this compound word has to do with God.
The second word in this compound word is ology and it is another Greek word that means Branch of learning or we could say the study of God.
So the word theology really means the study of God. There have been many books written on this subject that are used in Seminaries and religious schools, but in this class we are going to use the Bible.
What we will be looking at is not only the study about God but also the study of how He relates to mankind and the creation, or we could say the world we live in.
I believe the first place we need to start is with this word God. As we have already discussed the English word God comes from the Greek word theos. This word is a generic term that could describe any god.
We find this same thing in the Hebrew word Elohim which means God, but without describing which God you are referring to could mean any god. We find this use in Scripture in Genesis 32:9 and other places as well.
In this passage or verse we find the word God in the English, but in the Hebrew it is the word Eloheem followed by who He is the Eloheem of, such as: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
So in the passage, what we find is, the idea that the God being discussed is the same One that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob worshiped. This narrows down the god being spoken of in this passage to there was one specific God or Eloheem that they worshiped and it is Him they are referring to.
This is the same thing we find in Genesis 1:1 “In the Beginning God or Eloheem created the heavens and the earth.” Have you noticed yet that I have used, what appears, to be a different word for God in some of these verses? The reason is Elohim is the singular word for God, and Eloheem is the plural tense of the word.
I want you to mark this in your mind because later in this study, not today, we will discuss what and why the plural form in used. It is fun and exciting to see all of these things. But for now I want to stay on track with who He is and how He wants us to identify Him as.
Let’s look at Exodus 3:7-16, in this passage we find that God or Eloheem has a more personal name that He wants us to call Him rather than just the God or Eloheem of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In this passage we find Moses asking God, when the Israelites ask me who you are, what should I say to them? And He answers that question.
This passage is really important and we are going to need to look at the difference between the English and the Hebrew language. If we were to look at a Hebrew Scroll the name used word be YHWH. This is important because the Hebrew leaders decided that His name was so Holy and they didn’t want to make His name vain by using it too much, so they removed the vowel points from the name and just used the consonants to describe His name.
Today, we believe the vowel points removed were E’s so His personal name given to Moses to tells the Israelites is Yahweh. And He goes on to say tell them that I am Yahweh the Eloheem of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
So in this passage Yahweh gives Himself a personal identity, which means it gives meaning to the word Eloheem makes the generic term specific. Interestingly enough we find that Adam and Eve would most likely have known this name, because in the Hebrew Scrolls we find this same name in Genesis 2:1-2.
So here is how Genesis 2:1-2 would read, “So the heavens and the earth and everything in them were completed. By the seventh day Yahweh completed His work that He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all the work He had done.”
Now another clue comes in Exodus 3:14, “I AM WHO I AM”. In these word in the Hebrew describes Yahweh in relationship to time. By saying this it would be like Him saying, I was, I am, and I will be which He has described Himself as in other place in Scripture such as, in Rev. 1:8. “I am the Alpha and Omega the Lord God, the One who is, who was, and who is coming again.” Which by the way, can be found in Is. 44:6 and His reference to Himself as the First and Last, which by the way would be the Aleph and Tov or the first and last letters in the Hebrew alphabet.
We will get more specific about that aspect in the near future.