Basically my question is the NT counterpart of this question: The name of God in ancient manuscripts

My question:
Which words are used for God in the oldest manuscripts of the New Testament?

  • @downvoter: Why the downvote? It is good practice on SE to state your reasons. How can I improve this question?
    – vonjd
    Commented Feb 3, 2017 at 18:18
  • @Soldarnal: I am writing to you as an experienced moderator of this site: Do you have any idea why this question is downvoted? Is it not a good fit? How can I improve it? Thank you
    – vonjd
    Commented Feb 4, 2017 at 9:21
  • 2
    I think it's probably being downvoted because it isn't a good fit for the site, not being about the anaylsis of biblical texts as defined in the help centre, which is why a number of users have voted to Close your question. Another reason might be that it demonstrates a lack of basic research, because there is only one real word for God in Greek and it's used throughout all NT manuscripts both early and late.
    – Steve can help
    Commented Feb 4, 2017 at 14:35
  • 1
    I think the DVs are probably because there is little to say about the Greek theos, and lots to say about the variety of linguistic forms of referring to the deity in classical Hebrew. A bit of research might have uncovered this -- but perhaps not, in which case, now you know! In spite of the similarity of titles betwen the two Q&As, they are quite different: there is a "real" question in the Hebrew sphere; that's not the case for Koine Greek. FWIW, IMO, YMMV, etc.
    – Dɑvïd
    Commented Feb 4, 2017 at 15:41
  • 1
    Nominated for re-opening as this question does arise from the breadth of NT biblical texts, and is relevant for users new to the topic who may be searching around this issue. Despite the answer's naturally low depth relative to its "OT Counterpart", this Question should be considered equally on-topic.
    – Steve can help
    Commented Feb 6, 2017 at 11:39

1 Answer 1


The oldest manuscripts of the New Testament are all in Greek. Unlike Hebrew, Greek doesn't have very many terms for God.

  • The Greek word for 'God' is θεός (Theos), which is used consistently throughout the New Testament.

  • The common Jewish reference 'Lord', frequently a substitute for God's personal name יהוה (YHWH), is naturally rendered in Greek as κύριος (kurios), also meaning 'lord'.

These two terms are the most common words used for God throughout the New Testament, as they are also prominent in the LXX (Septuagint) translation of the Old Testament.

Jesus commonly uses πατήρ (pater) in reference to God as 'father', but also uses Ἀββᾶ (Abba), which is a more intimate term common in Hebrew and Aramaic.

  • Thank you for this answer. What is 'Lord' in Hebrew?
    – vonjd
    Commented Feb 3, 2017 at 17:43
  • 1
    @vonjd, 'adon is "lord" in Hebrew. Referring to God, it is often in the OT as 'adonai, "my lord," the English long i sound at the end shows possession or in this case that this is the lord the speaker serves.
    – Frank Luke
    Commented Feb 3, 2017 at 18:36

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