The Bible is the written word of God and within it, there are many stories that center around him. God interacts with many people but within the text, God is the primary focus. Who is God? Let’s attempt to answer this question.
God is referred to by many names and titles in the Bible. In Revelation 22:13 ASV, he refers to himself as “the Alpha and the Omega (translated into Hebrew, the Alef and the Tav), the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” Essentially, he is saying that everything begins and ends with him. This is a powerful statement and if we believe the Bible is true then not only is this a strong statement, it is a true statement. As Bible readers and those who want to seek after God and become believers, let us prove the validity of this statement.
Genesis is the first book of the Bible. It is describing the beginning of the universe. Genesis 1:1 ASV states “in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” The first being described in the first chapter of the first book of the Bible is God and he is making the universe. God is the first living being and he made everything else.
Revelation in the last book of the Bible. It is describing the end of the existing heaven and earth and a future heaven and earth to come. Revelation 21: 1 ASV states “and I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth are passed away; and the sea is no more.” Let us look at the last verse of the last book of the Bible. Revelation 22:21 ASV states “the grace of the Lord Jesus be with the saints. Amen.” The final line is once again speaking of God (as Yeshua) but also about the created human beings chosen to be with him in the end. The Bible starts with God and his creation and ends with him and his chosen people. So yes, he is the beginning and the end according to scripture.
Of course, this is a simplistic way of examining the Revelation 22:13 statement. However, because God is perfect, the layout of the Bible along with its actual content supports the truth of every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. He is the beginning and the end and therefore the Bible will start and finish with him along with everything else in the universe.
Let us take a look at some of the names given to God throughout the Bible.
God is called by many names that have different meanings. Each name represents a part of God that he wants to reveal to mankind. Our human minds cannot comprehend all of God especially because he is so holy and we are sinners. However, his names help mankind learn more about who he is and his relationship to man.
Moses (Moshe in Hebrew) approaches the Mountain of God and proceeds to have a conversation with God through a burning bush. God wants Moses to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt. Exodus 3: 13 – 15 then states “and Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? What shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I am that I am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I am hath sent me unto you. And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, Jehovah (YHVH), the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.”
Exodus 3:13-15 are very important verses because they are referencing God identifying himself and he uses three phrases, “I AM THAT I AM,” “I AM” and YHVH to do so. These verses are the subject of many theological discussions over centuries and I encourage you to do more research on the topic to get a better understanding of what theologians think these verses mean because no one knows for sure. They encompass a lot of meaning and a simple explanation cannot divulge its true interpretation. However, let us briefly look at “I AM/Will BE THAT I AM/WILL BE.” One of many understandings that we can surmise from this phrase is God determines who he is and will be and he wants the people of Israel to know this. This phrase is very similar to Isaiah 45:4 ASV “that they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none besides me: I am Jehovah (YHVH), and there is none else.” God is revealing that he is “self-existent.” His existence depends on no one and all life and existence comes from him.
Again, I encourage you to read some more on this fascinating and most talked about topic as there are many commentaries on the verses. Click here for some reading suggestions on “I AM/WILL BE THAT I AM/WILL BE.”
Genesis 1:1 ASV In the beginning God (Elohim) created the heavens and the earth.
The first verse in the Bible refers to God as Elohim. Elohim is the plural form of El, which means God in Hebrew.
Genesis 16:13 ASV And she called the name of Jehovah (YHVH) that spake unto her, Thou art a God that seeth (El Roi): for she said, Have I even here looked after him that seeth me?
El Roi means God Who Sees or the God of Sight in Hebrew.
Genesis 2:4 ASV These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that Jehovah (YHVH) God made earth and heaven.
Commonly referred to as the tetragramman, YHVH is the "name" that God gives himself. The root of YHVH can be translated as "to be." It is a common practice to use " Lord " or "God " instead of speaking the name.
Genesis 17:1 ASV And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, Jehovah (YHVH) appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am God Almighty (El Shaddai); walk before me, and be thou perfect.
El Shaddai means God Almighty in Hebrew.
Deutronomy 10:17 ASV For Jehovah (YHVH) your God (Elohim), he is God (Elohim) of gods (elohim), and Lord (Adonai) of lords (adonai), the great God (El), the mighty, and the terrible, who regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward.
Adonai means Lord in Hebrew.
Isaiah 7: 14 ASV Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
Immanuel means God With Us in Hebrew.
God has many names and titles throughout the Bible. Each name reveals an additional characteristic or aspect of God to his people. Addtional names include the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob (Exodus 3:6), El-Elyon which means Most High God (Genesis 14:19), YHVH Sabbaoth which means Lord of Hosts (1 Samuel 1:3) , and simply, Father (Matthew 6:9).
The names of God reveal many characteristics of him. To further understand the creator, the Bible reveals additional characteristics which believers have termed " the attributes of God." The term "attributes of God" is a very important one as it is meant to help us attempt to understand and almost define God, the creator of the Universe. However, as we seek to further know God, three important verses come to mind.
2 Chronicles 2:6 ASV But who is able to build him a house, seeing heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain him? who am I then, that I should build him a house, save only to burn incense before him?
2 Chronicles 6:18 ASV But will God in very deed dwell with men on the earth? behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house which I have builded!
1 Kings 8:27 ASV But will God in very deed dwell on the earth? behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded!
These verses tell us not even heaven and the heaven of heavens can contain him! Essentially, nothing can contain God and nothing is more powerful than God. Therefore we must understand that when we seek to know and learn about God, our human minds do not have the capacity to fully understand God when the heavens cannot even hold him. Should this deter us from getting to know God? Heaven forbid. In contrast, we should seek him continuously and in all that we do as stated in 1 Chronicles 1:16 ASV Seek ye (YHVH) and his strength; Seek his face evermore.
Below are some attributes about God from the Bible.
1 John 4:7 - 8 ASV Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is begotten of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
The Bible tells us that God is love and the people of God is commanded to love one another.
Isaiah 43:25 ASV I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake; and I will not remember thy sins.
Hebrew 10:17 ASV And their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
God is a forgiving God. It is part of his nature. He chooses to forgive us of our transgressions. We must confess our sins and ask his forgiveness.
Luke 1:37 ASV For no word from God shall be void of power.
Jeremiah 32:27 ASV Behold, I am (YHVH), the God of all flesh: is there anything too hard for me?
Matthew 19:26 ASV And Jesus looking upon them said to them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
God and his word is all powerful. He can do all things.
Psalm 147:5 Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite.
Isaiah 40:28 ASV Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard? The everlasting God, Jehovah, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary; there is no searching of his understanding.
God knows everything and there is no end to his knowledge.
Jeremiah 23:24 ASV Can any hide himself in secret places so that I shall not see him? saith (YHVH). Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith (YHVH).
Colossians 1:17 ASV and he is before all things, and in him all things consist.
God is everywhere and He holds all things together.