Select Wisdom Brand

What is the difference between Jehovah and Lord?

Karen asked:

Is there a difference between Jehovah and Lord in the Bible?

Thanks for writing, Karen. Yes, there is a difference. Here’s some information to help you. I want to begin by going back in time.

The personal name by which God identifies Himself is YHWH or Jehovah or Yahweh. Hundreds of years before Jesus came to earth, the Jews would not pronounce God’s personal name. They were concerned that they might violate God’s command to not take His name in vain.

Instead of saying YHWH or Jehovah or Yahweh, they substituted the word Adonai, which means Lord.

Adonai or Lord is not God’s personal name. It’s a word that refers to a person of higher rank. For example, you might say, “He is the lord of his castle,” meaning that he is in charge.

As you read your English Bible, the translators give you some clues regarding the words used by the original authors. They wanted you to know if the original author used God’s personal name or a more generic title. Here’s a quick summary:

When you see the word “LORD” (all upper case) in your English Bible, that tells you that it’s a reference to God’s personal name. (YHWH, Yahweh, or Jehovah)

When you see the word “Lord” in your English Bible, that tells you that it’s a translation of the more general word for lord.

When you see LORD God or Lord GOD together in your English Bible, that tells you that the original author used both words together - Adonai YHWH.

So, yes, there is a difference. "Jehovah" or "LORD" is God's personal name, while "Lord" is more of a title for God. 

I hope that helps!

Add a Comment