Category:Book of Mormon/Anthropology/Language/Hebraisms/Names and Titles of Deity

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Names and titles of Deity in the Book of Mormon

Parent page: Book of Mormon/Anthropology/Language/Hebraisms

Names and Titles of Deity

Many of the ancient Babylonian gods, including Enlil, Adad, Nannar, Shamash, Nergal, Ishtar, and Marduk, had multiple names and titles. The chief weather god, Adad, for example, was known as God of Clouds, God of the Storm Cloud, God of Earthquake, God of Thunder, God of Lightning, God of Inundation, God of Rain, God of Storm, and God of the Deluge; and Shamash, the sun god, was called God of Brightness, God of Sunrise, God of Offerings, God of Peoples, and God of Hosts.19 Deities from ancient Near Eastern religions also had multiple names: "Certain deities in the Ancient Near East are celebrated for the multiplicity of their names or titles, e.g. the 50 names of Marduk in Enuma Elish, the 74 names of Re in the tomb of Thutmosis III and the 100–142 names of Osiris in Spell 142 of the Book of the Dead."20

Similarly, the Old Testament contains scores of names and titles of deity, including Shepherd, Savior, Redeemer, Lord, God, Rock, Almighty, Branch, Creator of Israel, Deliverer, Everlasting Father, God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob, Shield, Jehovah, Lawgiver, Light, Ruler, Stone, Star, Prince of Peace, Servant. Such divine epithets are found in every Old Testament book except Esther. Isaiah and other books of the Old Testament attest scores of different names for God.

According to Book of Mormon scholar Susan Easton Black, the Book of Mormon contains 101 epithets for Christ.21 Black's tally includes Redeemer of Israel, Son of the Living God, and Lord God Omnipotent (each of which appears once); True Messiah, Great Creator, and Stone (each found twice); Lamb of God, Lord Jesus Christ, Holy One of Israel, and Messiah (each found 10 or more times); and God, Jesus, Lord, Lord God, and Christ (each found at least 100 times in the book). In all, the 101 names or titles of Christ appear 3,925 times in the Book of Mormon's 6,607 verses. Black's tabulation shows that, on average, a name or title of Christ appears once every 1.7 verses.

The frequent occurrence and variety of deific names and titles in the Book of Mormon distinguish the book from religious works created in the nineteenth century and place it squarely within the tradition of ancient religious texts.[1]

Notes

  1. Donald W. Parry, "Hebraisms and Other Ancient Peculiarities in the Book of Mormon," in Echoes and Evidences of the Book of Mormon, edited by Donald W. Parry, Daniel C. Peterson, and John W. Welch (Provo, Utah: FARMS, 2002), Chapter 7, references silently removed—consult original for citations.

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