Elohim, Eloah and Yahweh
NCW 75, April-June 2002
Q. I get very confused when it comes to using the names of deity. Previously I have always used 'God' to represent the whole Godhead, including Christ, but it seems this term is inadequate. Could you please explain carefully which terms we should use to represent deity?
A. Yes, it is confusing because our English language has oversimplified. Yahweh is the Name of our Heavenly Father. He is the supreme Deity, whom we traditionally address as 'God'. He is a singular Person, and hence the terms Eloah, Elah, or El (which are also singular) properly describe Him, Eloah being the most commonly used in Aramaic but usually representing the female side of Deity (the Ruach haQodesh/Holy Spirit) in Hebrew (El is discouraged because it can also refer to false deities like Baal).
When discussing the Godhead, which consists of the Father Yahweh, the Son Yah'shua (Jesus), and the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit), the proper term would be Elohim, which is a uniplural term which we also translate as 'God' rather than 'Gods' (which is what it can also mean when referring, in other contexts, to false deities, Israelites judges, and angels).
In recent times we have taken to addressing the Godhead as "the Elohim" to stress the plural aspect though we must never fall into the trap of viewing the Godhead as consisting of 'Gods'. God is one consisting of several Persons, and that unity must never be diminished. They act as One, perfectly united in purpose and power.
The Elohim therefore consists of Yahweh the Father (El/Elah/Eloah), Yah'shua the Son (Jesus) and the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit), the 7-fold uniplural Mother. The presence of the whole Elohim is described as the Shekinah though this can also depict the presence of the Ruach (Spirit) specifically.
This page was created on 16 June 2004
Last updated on 16 June 2004
Copyright © 1987-2008 NCCG - All Rights Reserved