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Saturday, December 10, 2011

"The Names of God Bible"

TITLE: The Names of God Bible
EDITOR: Ann Spangler
PUBLISHER: Grand Rapids, MI: Revell, 2011.

Based on the English translation of the Bible, God's Word, this study Bible expands on a literal rendition of the Name of God through both the Old and the New Testaments. In the Bible, especially the Old Testament, names are of a great significance when used. Many of the Patriarchs have names that is key to the identity and context of the person's birth. Even in the New Testament, how Jesus is called reflects importance to learning more about Him. If that is so, how much more of God? [There is a great article on the 'Names of God' by J. Hampton Keathley III here.]

As a study Bible, this book lists a reading plan to aid the reader of 'God's Word.' The layout is clear and uncluttered. Each bible book comes with a brief introduction on the context and purpose of the text, followed by a quick list of the Names of God so that readers will take special notice. Instead of the traditional red-letter texts used for the words of Jesus, the words that mention God's Names directly are brown-lettered. Each Name mentioned comes also with a biblical promise associated with the Name. For example:

  • RUACH - means 'Spirit' in Hebrew, where the promise is of God manifesting His Presence through the Spirit
  • EL, ELOHIM - means 'God' in Hebrew, where the promise is of God giving the blessings to creation and His people.
  • YHWH ROI - means 'The LORD my Shepherd' in Hebrew, where the promise is God's caring and leading.
  • YESHUA - used for 'Jesus' in the New Testament, where the meaning is on Jesus as the Savior.
  • CORNERSTONE, used in Luke 20:17, where God is the Rock where believers put their trust in.
  • ....
There are at least 121 names (or titles of God) listed. The beginning and the end pages of the Bible are packed with great study material and references. There is a selected bibliography, a prayer index guide, and even a list of frequency of each Name of God used. Total number of Names mentioned: 10054. Wow!

Closing Thoughts

I enjoy this study Bible for its clear and broad layout of the biblical texts. For instance, the Songs of Solomon clearly demarcates who is speaking the words. The way the paragraphs are arranged in the Bible give due regard to God speaking. By highlighting the Name of God in bold color, readers are able to pay special attention so that they can better grasp the purpose and meaning of the text. Take Job for example. Words of poetry are laid out line by line to stress the building up of emphases. Words of God are paragraphed based on the contexts and thought-for-thought translations. With subtitles and headers, it aids the layperson in understanding what the texts are talking about. Best of all, I find this Bible a great way to pray through the Scriptures. Knowing the Names of God does not just improve the way we read the Bible. It helps the praying process to know God, and to make God known. Beginning with us, the reader.


"Bible has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.  Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

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