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What does GOD, God, god, LORD, Lord and lord mean?

One thing concern me from reading the Bible, using the word “LORD”, all four letters in caps that should be reserved for Yahweh and not some golden calf. Earthly idols or men who seem to be a deity, the word “god/s” in all lower case form is reserved for that purpose. Throughout the Bible you see the words, “LORD, Lord & lord,” why are their three different types of this word and what do they mean? If well studied the Bible also contains the three differences of the word God, “GOD, God & god,” what does it mean? Are their principles to these words going from all caps to a capital letter and lower case letters to the whole word being all lower case? Lets go into this so people can understand better.

Examples from the Bible:

Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

Isa 56:8 The Lord GOD which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, Yet will I gather [others] to him, beside those that are gathered unto him.

John 10:34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?

Deut 6:21 Then thou shalt say unto thy son, We were Pharaoh's bondmen in Egypt; and the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand:,

Eph 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

Gen 40:1 - And it came to pass after these things, [that] the butler of the king of Egypt and [his] baker had offended their lord the king of Egypt.

This troublesome of words can be confusing to the average reader who is not paying attention to what they are reading, and not knowing there are principles involved in reading these different category of words.

The rule in the differences now can be seen and understood, yet it is very exhausting mentally to try and remember this.

GOD PRINCIPLE GOD, in all capital letters as in Genesis 15:2 conjoined with “Lord” i.e. Lord GOD…is designated to mean “Yahweh Elohim”, to better understand “Yahweh the Most High (GOD).” Elohim therefore tells us the meaning is “THE MOST HIGH” over all things.

God, in this form when alone is Elohim or Eloah and YHWH, in Aramaic form it’s “Elah”. Genesis 1:1 God=Elohim the uni-plural.

god, in all lower case letters is earthly deities, such as a rock, stone alter, people referring to themselves as a god, idols etc. This god version is not above God or GOD in their variations.


LORD, in all capitals is designated for YHWH, or “Yahweh”, most frequently in the Old Testament. The word Yahweh is not frequent in the New Testament. When you see Adon or Adonay and YHWH appear together Adon is translated LORD and Yahweh is God, i.e. Genesis 15:2 etc.

Lord, with the “L” as a capital letter in the New Testament is a term used for God and Jesus (pbuh).

lord, with all letters in lower case form is the term actually used for earthly men such as kings as the example in Genesis 40:1.

This is the problem I had with what Aaron said according to the Bible when making the idol he used the word “LORD” in all caps when it’s reserved for YHWH only.

Exodus 32:5 And when Aaron saw [it], he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow [is] a feast to the LORD. In my humble opinion it should have been either “lord” or “god” all lower case denoting an earthly deity. To me he profaned the LORD’S name in vain. The Israelites were reluctant to even use the word YHWH let alone call a heathenistic idol that name, that is pure blaspheme.

International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia

1. ‘Elohim:

The first form of the Divine name in the Bible is ‘Elohim, ordinarily translated "God" (Ge 1:1). This is the most frequently used name in the Old Testament, as its equivalent theos, is in the New Testament, occurring in Ge alone approximately 200 t. It is one of a group of kindred words, to which belong also ‘El and ‘Eloah. (1) Its form is plural, but the construction is uniformly singular, i.e. it governs a singular verb or adjective, unless used of heathen divinities (Ps 96:5; 97:7). It is characteristic of Hebrew that extension, magnitude and dignity, as well as actual multiplicity, are expressed by the plural. It is not reasonable, therefore, to assume that plurality of form indicates primitive Semitic polytheism. On the contrary, historic Hebrew is unquestionably and uniformly monotheistic.

The derivation is quite uncertain. Gesenius, Ewald and others find its origin in ‘ul, "to be strong," from which also are derived ‘ayil, "ram," and ‘elah, "terebinth"; it is then an expanded plural form of ‘el; others trace it to ‘alah, "to terrify," and the singular form is found in the infrequent ‘eloah, which occurs chiefly in poetical books; BDB inclines to the derivation from ‘alah, "to be strong," as the root of the three forms, ‘El, ‘Eloah and ‘Elohim, although admitting that the whole question is involved in uncertainty (for full statement see BDB, under the

a somewhat fanciful suggestion is the Arabic root ‘ul, "to be in front,"


from which comes the meaning "leader"; and still more fanciful is the suggested connection with the preposition ‘el, signifying God as the "goal" of man’s life and aspiration. The origin must always lie in doubt, since the derivation is prehistoric, and the name, with its kindred words ‘El and ‘Eloah, is common to Semitic languages and religions and beyond the range of Hebrew records.


Yahweh (Yahweh):

The name most distinctive of God as the God of Israel is (Yahweh, a combination of the tetragrammaton (YHWH) with the vowels of ‘Adhonay, transliterated as Yehowah, but read aloud by the Hebrews ‘adhonay). While both derivation and meaning are lost to us in the uncertainties of its ante-Biblical origin, the following inferences seem to be justified by the facts:

(1) This name was common to religions other than Israel’s, according to Friedr. Delitzsch, Hommel, Winckler, and Guthe (EB, under the word), having been found in Babylonian inscriptions. Ammonite, Arabic and Egyptian names appear also to contain it (compare Davidson, Old Testament Theol., 52 f); but while, like ‘Elohim, it was common to primitive Semitic religion, it became Israel’s distinctive name for the Deity.

By Rahim Ali