14

F is for Father

This April on Sue’s Trifles the theme is the names of God.  There may be more than one name for some of the letters.  There may be others I have omitted.  I hope that by going through the alphabet together we may learn more about the nature of God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Letter F
Father is the name Jesus taught his disciples to use in prayer to God.  Jesus himself used the name, Abba, which is the way young children would address their father(s).

When his closest friends (disciples, a word meaning those who were learning from Him) asked him to teach them to pray he spoke the words of the prayer, which all his followers still use.  Those, who have been adopted into the kingdom of God, are his children.  John 1:10-13

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name, thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive them that trespass against us.  And lead us not into temptation; But deliver us from evil: for thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, For ever and ever. Amen.

Friend of sinners is a name of Jesus.  Jesus was unpopular with the Jewish religious leaders, because He ate with outcasts and those who did not live according to the Jewish law.  He replied that those who are well do not require a doctor.

Fountain of all goodness is an expression used in a prayer for the (British) royal family.  It follows “Almighty God”, a name beginning with A.  Fountain is used in the King James (Authorised) Version as a word for source.  The prayer may be found in the Book of Common Prayer and is used in the services of Morning and Evening Prayer.

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6

E is for Emmanuel

This April on Sue’s Trifles the theme is the names of God.  There may be more than one name for some of the letters.  There may be others I have omitted.  I hope that by going through the alphabet together we may learn more about the nature of God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Letter E

Emmanuel (sometimes spelled Immanuel) means God with usIsaiah 7:14 which was quoted in Matthew’s gospel Matthew 1:22-23 and Isaiah 8:8. The prophetic book of Isaiah was written around 700BC.  The more I study the Bible, the more amazed I am about how the individual books, written by many individuals over millennia, work together to reveal the nature of God and His purpose in sending his Son to be God with us.

El Shaddai was a name given to God in the early books of the Bible.  It is translated as God Almighty in the King James (or authorised) version.  It was used in the Book of Genesis by God speaking to Abraham.  Genesis 17:1  As God revealed more of his nature, other names were added and El Shaddai was used less frequently.  Other names are translated as God Almighty in later books of the Bible.

These are both Hebrew names.  Rewriting names in another alphabet is not always exact, which is the reason variations in spelling arise.

All the names in the Bible were originally written in another alphabet.  The Old Testament was originally written mostly in Hebrew and the New Testament mostly in Greek.

Did you know that the English word “Goodbye” is derived from the blessing, “God be with you”?  That expresses the idea of Emmanuel.

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10

D is for Defender

This April on Sue’s Trifles the theme is the names of God.  There may be more than one name for some of the letters.  There may be others I have omitted.  I hope that by going through the alphabet together we may learn more about the nature of God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Letter D

Deus is the Latin word for God.  From it we have the English “deity”.  This is rather a vague word applied to any god.  For a long time God was worshipped in Latin.  There are names and other Latin phrases in books used in some churches.  For example, there is a part of the communion service (or mass)  known as the Agnus Dei.  Agnus means lamb and Dei is the genitive case of the noun Deus.  Thus Agnus Dei means Lamb of God.

Defender or Defence is a name or description of God.  In the King James (or authorised) version of the Bible there are many references in the Psalms to God being the Defence. In other books of the Old Testament “will defend” occurs or there is a prayer to God “to defend”.  Other ways defence is translated in more recent versions include “Fortress”.  Thus God is seen to be a safe place, where his people are defended from their enemies.

Daystar is a word used in the second of Peter’s letters (KJV) 2 Peter 1:19-21  If I am reading it correctly it refers to the Holy Spirit.  In the New International Version (NIV) the word is morning star.

Dayspring is used in the Old and New Testaments.  Job 38:12 and Luke 1:78.  This is not a word in current use.  In Job the idea is that God is the cause of the sun rising each morning.  (Of course the sun is stationary compared to the earth, but God either holds everything in its rightful place or has set everything in motion, depending on your point of view)  Luke is quoting the words of Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist.  Again modern translators refer to the rising sun.

David’s son (or Son of David) is a name of Jesus of Nazareth.  He was descended from King David, who wrote many of the Psalms in the Old Testament.  There are prophecies in the Psalms that King David would have a greater son, whose kingdom would last for ever.  Psalm 110:1 is an example.

Further reading:  The story of the birth of John the Baptist (many people prefer the description Baptiser) can be found in Luke Chapters 1 and 2.  It is closely linked to the story of the birth of Jesus.

A prayer from the service of Evening Prayer (Book of Common Prayer)

Lighten our darkness, we beseech thee, O Lord;
and by thy great mercy defend us from all the perils and dangers of this night;
for the love of your only son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ.  Amen

Gillian Straine, an author I mentioned in C is for Creator, is offering her book to you, my readers, at the special price of £9.50 for a signed copy, free p and p in the UK.  If you are overseas, please contact her for the postage price.  (Any transaction is strictly between you and Gillian.  I am just the messenger!)

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