- Parent Category: FAQs
- Category: Bible Questions and Answers about God
- Published on Monday, 07 February 2011 09:41
Does the title "El" apply only to any singular Person of the Trinity, or does it apply to the Trinity as being One in nature and essence?
(See Mr. Newberry’s Study Bible note on the Divine titles).
It seems that Mr. Newberry’s note is correct and instructive as far as it goes. Though El is a singular form (but not of Elohim, which is Eloah), I do not think it necessarily expresses a single Person of the Holy Trinity, though this is true in some cases (e.g. Immanu—El, with us— God). It means a “mighty one,” or simply “might,” and even any deity; but is used often too of the true God. The special emphasis of the word is the Divine Unity, whereas that of Elohim is plurality in Unity.
It is hardly ever used in prose writings without some adjunct or attribute, as Mr. Newberry’s references show.
Almighty God - ElShaddai;
the Everlasting God,—El-’Olam;
a jealous God, El-qanna’, and so on.
El-Elohe-Israel, is a special name of God—”God the God of Israel.”
The word is however much more frequent in poetical books such as the Psalms and Job—and sometimes with the definite article— “The God”; see Psalm 18:32—”The God girdeth me with strength”; Psalm 68:21—”The God shall wound the head of His enemies”; Job 8:3— “Doth the God pervert judgment?”—where the thought represented seems to be the True God. There are gods and gods, gods many and lords many, but our God is THE GOD—the only God. Perhaps the true key to the use of the word is that it may mean simply “a god”. The adjunct or attribute shows that the One True God is meant.