I was just introduced me to the Names of God translation. It seems to leave any reference to God untranslated, presumably to help the reader better understand the complexities of God's being. I immediately jumped to John 1 and was disappointed that usage of the word "God" remains.

What rules does the Names of God translation use to determine when to translate a word and when not to?

1 Answer 1


The New Testament, including John's Gospel, was written entirely in Koine Greek. Unlike the Hebrew of the Old Testament, this offers one word for God, Θεὸς (Theos) and this can only be translated into English as 'God'.

Another Greek word, κύριος (Kurios - 'Lord') is generally used in the New Testament as a reference to Jesus, but occasionally for God - for example, Mark 11:9, where the NOG Bible translates it as 'Lord', in common with other English-language Bibles. Revelation 15:3 translates παντοκράτωρ as 'Lord God Almighty', once again as in most other English-language Bibles.

  • This could be nuanced to note that κύριος is frequently used for God in the NT, echoing the LXX representation of the tetragram, but also used for God (particularly in Luke-Acts) in text without (direct) LXX reference. Wonder what "Names of God" does with those. Also, παντοκράτωρ (Rev.), [αββα] ὁ πατήρ, etc. -- maybe not as rich as the Hebrew, but there's some variety.
    – Susan
    Commented Feb 28, 2016 at 2:21
  • @Susan Thank you for that. I think κύριος is not so much a name for God, but a designation (Lord), which is probably why it is sometimes ambiguous as to whether God or Jesus is intended. In any case, I have added a para to my answer, in response to this suggestion. Commented Feb 28, 2016 at 3:25

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