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Elohim


inquiringmind

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Caution: The following is my understanding only. I am neither learned nor do I have any degrees.

Elohim is a Hebrew word that is gods, as denoted by the -im ending. IIRC, the singular is El or Elyan.

Modern day usage has nothing to do with Hebrew. We have designated this word to be used to indicate we are talking about God the Eternal Father. To us, it is singular. It is not his personal name but the word we use for him.

Marvin

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Is Elohim the name of the Father?

Yes ... and no.

"Elohim" is a "name/title", meaning it functions like the name/title "doctor": it represents who He is. His name is, as far as I have been able to determine, "Jehovah" (which is also a name/title for His Son, Jesus Christ

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As has already been answered, there is some difference between what it means, what it translates to, what contexts used in biblical languages and texts/LDS contexts/other popular and religious contexts and what its usage is (depending on who is using it).

There is a conventional use in LDS that Elohim refers to the Father God and his literal presence or speaking (as opposed to the God or Son of God that becomes Jesus Christ, and who often represents his Father in transactions with mortals). However, I don't think this precludes all the delicious insights you could gain from a personal study on the matter of the word and concept of "Elohim" that could expand or nuance this understanding.

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Elohim is plural because in West Semitic languages it was originally an abstract plural. It was the lexical equivalent of "divinity" in the abstract sense. By the time Biblical Hebrew developed it had, through frequent usage, become concretized as a reference to an entity or object. It was now lexically equivalent to "deity." This concretized abstract plural use of "deity" is found in the Amarna Letters and in several other places in the second millennium BCE with singular referents. The best treatment of the word's use in the Hebrew Bible is Joel Burnett, A Reassessment of Biblical Elohim.

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A small note. Elkenah and Elkanah may be related (see here), but they are not shortened forms. Gen 14 is actually an expanded epithet. Elkanah is based on the Semitic phrase El qanu artsi, "El, Begetter of the Earth." For this translation of the phrase, as well as its history, see my most recent SBL paper here.

Thank you so much for your kindness in supplying some excellent references and much food for thought. Did you deliver that SBL paper at the Annual Mtg last year? I'd like to cite it.

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Thank you so much for your kindness in supplying some excellent references and much food for thought. Did you deliver that SBL paper at the Annual Mtg last year? I'd like to cite it.

I did present it last year in Atlanta in the Hebrew Scriptures and Cognate Literature section.

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Elohim is plural because in West Semitic languages it was originally an abstract plural. It was the lexical equivalent of "divinity" in the abstract sense. By the time Biblical Hebrew developed it had, through frequent usage, become concretized as a reference to an entity or object. It was now lexically equivalent to "deity." This concretized abstract plural use of "deity" is found in the Amarna Letters and in several other places in the second millennium BCE with singular referents. The best treatment of the word's use in the Hebrew Bible is Joel Burnett, A Reassessment of Biblical Elohim.

:P

I actually tracked this down and read it because of Maklelan's reference close to 2 years ago.

Speaking of which, good to see you again, Maklelan. I haven't seen you on here much recently (or perhaps I just don't look at the threads you're on).

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:P

I actually tracked this down and read it because of Maklelan's reference close to 2 years ago.

Speaking of which, good to see you again, Maklelan. I haven't seen you on here much recently (or perhaps I just don't look at the threads you're on).

No, I'm just not participating much. These last two semesters have kept me busier than I've been in a long time.

Hope you enjoyed Joel's book. I presented with him at SBL in Atlanta. He gave a pretty interesting paper. He's got a new book out on the absence of God in the Hebrew Bible.

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In my view Elohim is not the name of the Father. It is a title.

We have pretty well agreed on this. It is a title frequently used as a name, the same way we use "teacher" or "doctor" in reference to a person whose title they may be.

I actually believe the Father's name is Man; for he says "Man of holiness is my name".

If we're going there, there are dozens, maybe hundreds of names of God. Doc&Cov 19 tells us that "Eternal" is His name, and "Endless" also.

Lehi

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