by John D. Morris, Ph.D.
“And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands.” (Hebrews 1:10)
The primary name for God in Scripture is the majestic name Jehovah, occurring nearly seven thousand times. The early Jews were reluctant to use that name, for fear of using it lightly (Exodus 20:7), and substituted the word Adonai (meaning Master or Lord) in its place. Our English versions have followed suit, using the term “LORD” for Jehovah (small or all caps to distinguish it from Adonai, or Lord). Thus, the name Jehovah appears only four times in the King James and causes us at times to miss the full impact of the passage.
This is especially true in the New Testament quotations from Old Testament passages which used the name “Jehovah” for which “Lord” has been substituted. Now, in the English versions, the name “Lord” appears. If “Jehovah” (i.e., deity) were read instead, much richer meaning would be gathered, and it would prove beyond a doubt the full deity of Christ. Consider two examples.
First, our text quotes from Psalm 102:25-27. The entire psalm consists of praise to Jehovah, and here in Hebrews it addresses the Son. If we read “thou, Jehovah, in the beginning hast laid the foundations of the earth” and realize that Jesus is the subject of the passage, we recognize that Jesus can be none other than the Creator God.
Also, in Matthew 3:3, where John the Baptist fulfilled his prophesied role by teaching “Prepare ye the way of the Lord,” quoting from Isaiah 40:3, we see Jesus equated with the Jehovah of the Old Testament, for Isaiah uses the term LORD, or Jehovah.
In these and many other examples, we see Christ as the Jehovah Jesus and that the Lord of the Old Testament is the Jesus of the New Testament. JDM