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Is God’s name Jehovah or Jesus?

Quick Answer

God’s primary name is Jehovah. Jesus is the name of God’s son, who came to earth to provide salvation for mankind. While Jesus is a significant figure in Christianity, the name Jehovah more directly refers to the eternal, almighty God.

What evidence is there that Jehovah is God’s name?

There is substantial biblical evidence that Jehovah is the personal name of God:

  • The name Jehovah appears nearly 7,000 times in the original Hebrew text of the Bible. Jesus’ name appears around 900 times.
  • In Exodus 6:3, God tells Moses, “I used to appear to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as God Almighty, but as respects my name Jehovah I did not make myself known to them.” This indicates Jehovah is God’s primary name.
  • In Isaiah 42:8, God says, “I am Jehovah. That is my name.”
  • The name Jehovah is built from the Hebrew Tetragrammaton YHWH, considered by scholars to be the most sacred name for God in the Old Testament.
  • The New World Translation of the Bible, used by Jehovah’s Witnesses, restores the name Jehovah to places where it was removed from other Bible translations.

This biblical evidence clearly establishes Jehovah as the personal, covenant name of God.

What is the origin and meaning of the name Jehovah?

The name Jehovah comes from the Hebrew Tetragrammaton YHWH, which is believed to derive from the Hebrew verb “ha·wahʹ” meaning “to become.” This signifies that God is the eternal, self-existing one who was not created but is the Creator.

The meaning of the name Jehovah has been defined as “He Causes to Become” or “the One Who Makes Things Happen.” This reflects God’s role as the Supreme Sovereign who actively causes his purposes to be fulfilled. The meaning of the name embodies God’s eternal existence and almighty power.

In what ways is the name Jehovah important?

Use of God’s personal name Jehovah is important for the following reasons:

  • It distinguishes God from false gods – By calling upon the true God’s name, we honor his unique identity rather than false deities (Psalm 83:18).
  • It reflects a close relationship – God’s name represents his intimate friendship with his worshippers (Exodus 33:17).
  • It inspires awe and respect – God’s name reminds people of his majestic power and authority (Deuteronomy 28:58).
  • It represents God’s actions – The meaning of the name Jehovah points to his role as the One who causes events and fulfills promises (Exodus 6:6-8).

For these reasons, using God’s name is essential in worship and brings us closer to him. The name Jehovah magnifies God’s position as the Supreme Sovereign of the universe.

What is the background of the name Jesus?

Unlike Jehovah, Jesus is not uniquely God’s name. The name Jesus (Greek form of Joshua) was a common name for Jewish males in the first century CE. However, when referring to the Son of God, the name Jesus takes on special significance:

  • The angel Gabriel told Mary and Joseph to name the child Jesus (Luke 1:31; Matthew 1:21).
  • The name Jesus means “Jehovah is salvation” – reflecting his role as Savior (Matthew 1:21).
  • Jesus was given his name because “he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).
  • After his resurrection, Jesus was given the name above every other name (Philippians 2:9-11).

So while Jesus was a common name at the time, it was specially selected by God to describe his Son’s role as mankind’s means of salvation.

How is Jesus identified at key points in the Bible?

While on earth, Jesus identified himself both as the Messiah and as the Son of God:

  • After Peter’s confession, Jesus affirmed he was the Messiah (Matthew 16:16-17).
  • Before the Sanhedrin, Jesus stated: “I am; and you will see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of power and coming with the clouds of heaven” – identifying himself as the Son of God (Mark 14:62).
  • While dying on the stake, the inscription above Jesus read “The King of the Jews” – again affirming his role as Messiah (Luke 23:38).

After his resurrection, Jesus is further identified in Scripture:

  • Thomas called him: “My Lord and my God!” – identifying Jesus’ divinity (John 20:28).
  • Peter stated that Jesus was “the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16).
  • John 1:1 identifies him as divine: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

So both during his earthly ministry and after his resurrection, Jesus is clearly identified as the Messiah and as God’s Son, possessing divine nature.

How is the name Jehovah used in prophecy about the Messiah?

The Hebrew Scriptures repeatedly link the coming Messiah to Jehovah’s name:

Bible Verse Messianic Prophecy
Isaiah 25:1 “O Jehovah, you are my God; I will exalt you… For you have done wonderful things; your counsels of long ago are faithfulness and truth.”
Jeremiah 23:5-6 “I will raise up…a righteous sprout… And this is his name by which he will be called, Jehovah Is Our Righteousness.”
Zechariah 14:3-4 “Jehovah will go forth and war against those nations… And his feet will stand in that day on the Mount of Olives.”

These prophecies clearly connect the Messiah with the divine name Jehovah, even referring to him directly as “Jehovah Is Our Righteousness.” This affirms that the Messiah would be Jehovah’s appointed representative, through whom Jehovah would act to redeem mankind.

Did Jesus claim to be equal to Jehovah God?

Based on Jesus’ own statements, he did not claim to be equal to Jehovah God:

  • Jesus said: “The Father is greater than I am” (John 14:28).
  • He stated: “I seek not my own will, but the will of him who sent me” (John 5:30).
  • Jesus prayed to his Father: “Let not my will, but yours take place” (Luke 22:42).
  • He affirmed the supremacy of Jehovah’s name (Matthew 6:9).

Rather than claiming equality, Jesus maintained a submissive attitude toward Jehovah and stated, “A slave is not greater than his master” (John 13:16). The Bible is clear that Jehovah alone is Almighty God, while Jesus occupies a secondary role as God’s appointed king and high priest.

What is the relationship between Jehovah God and Jesus Christ?

The Bible explains the relationship between Jehovah God and Jesus Christ in the following ways:

  • Jehovah is Jesus’ Father: Jesus referred to a special father-son bond with Jehovah (Matthew 11:27).
  • Jesus was created by God: The Bible calls Jesus “the firstborn of all creation” and “the beginning of the creation by God” (Colossians 1:15; Revelation 3:14).
  • Jesus was sent by Jehovah: Repeatedly, Jesus stated that Jehovah had sent him to accomplish His work, indicating Jesus’ subordinate role (John 6:38; 8:16).
  • Jesus represents Jehovah God: As God’s appointed king, Jesus perfectly represents Jehovah and acts in His name (Matthew 28:18).

This close bond between Jehovah God and Jesus Christ reflects a united purpose while acknowledging their distinct roles – Jehovah as the Almighty God and Jesus as His appointed representative.

Did Jesus receive worship?

It is true that Jesus did receive worship on various occasions while on earth. However, this does not mean he was claiming equality with God for the following reasons:

  • The disciples “did obeisance” to Jesus – this involved bowing down, not religious worship (Matthew 14:33).
  • Acts 10:25 records Cornelius “falling down at his feet” before Jesus. But even Peter did not view this as appropriate worship (Acts 10:25,26).
  • Jesus likely accepted certain worship out of regard for the ignorance and sincerity of those offering it.
  • After his resurrection, Jesus was granted authority and position worthy of great honor and respect (1 Peter 3:22).

Importantly, Jesus directed worship only to Jehovah, stating that God deserves worship because “salvation comes from the Jews” through the Messiah (John 4:21-24). While some honor was directed toward Jesus, true religious worship is appropriately reserved for Jehovah God alone.


In review, the clear biblical evidence indicates:

  • Jehovah is uniquely God’s name, representing his eternal existence and sovereign authority.
  • Jesus is the common name of God’s Son, who came to earth to fulfill the role of Messiah and Savior.
  • Jesus rightly receives honor and respect, but true worship is appropriately directed only to Jehovah.
  • By restoring the divine name Jehovah, we give glory to the One who Jesus himself worshipped.

For these reasons, while Jesus occupies a special position, Jehovah alone is Almighty God. The Bible consistently shows Jehovah as greater than Jesus and deserving of worship. Therefore, the evidence firmly establishes that the primary name of God is Jehovah.