This name belongs to God by preeminence; and in this sense ought never to be given to any creature. Jesus Christ, as the Messiah, the Son of God, and equal with the Father, is often called Lord in Scripture, especially in the writing of Paul. The word LORD, in the English Bible, when printed in small capitals, stands always for JEHOVAH in the Hebrew. See JEHOVAH.
There are various Hebrew and Greek words so rendered.
(1.) Heb Jehovah, has been rendered in the English Bible LORD, printed in small capitals. This is the proper name of the God of the Hebrews. The form "Jehovah" is retained only in Ex 6:3; Ps 83:18; Isa 12:2; 26:4, both in the Authorized and the Revised Version.
The old plural form of this Hebrew word is 'adonai. From a superstitious reverence for the name "Jehovah," the Jews, in reading their Scriptures, whenever that name occurred, always pronounced it 'Adonai.
(3.) Greek kurios, a supreme master, etc. In the LXX. this is invariably used for "Jehovah" and "'Adonai."
(4.) Heb ba'al, a master, as having domination. This word is applied to human relations, as that of husband, to persons skilled in some art or profession, and to heathen deities. "The men of Shechem," literally "the baals of Shechem" (Jg 9:2-3). These were the Israelite inhabitants who had reduced the Canaanites to a condition of vassalage (Jos 16:10; 17:13).
(5.) Heb seren, applied exclusively to the "lords of the Philistines" (Jg 3:3). The LXX. render it by satrapies. At this period the Philistines were not, as at a later period (1Sa 21:10), under a kingly government. (See Jos 13:3; 1Sa 6:18.) There were five such lordships, viz., Gath, Ashdod, Gaza, Ashkelon, and Ekron.
(See JEHOVAH.) In small letters and with initial capital "Lord" represents Adonai in KJV of Old Testament. In capitals "LORD" represents Jehovah, except Ex 23:17. The "LORD God", Adonai Jehovah, where it ought to be "the Lord Jehovah," and Ex 34:23. "GOD" in capitals also represents Jehovah ('/Genesis/15/2'>Ge 15:2, 'Adonay Yahweh). "God" in small letters, with initial capital, represents 'Elohiym. (See GOD.)
The Heb. OT has three leading names for God: (1) 'the name of four letters' (lelragrammaton) JHWH (familiar to us in the incorrect form 'Jehovah'; the real vocalization is almost certainly 'Jahweh' [see God, p. 299]); (2) Adonai; (3) Elohim. By a misinterpretation of Le 24:15 the Jews shrank from uttering the first of these, and added to its four consonants, in their reading of the OT, the vowels of either Adonai or Elohim. When the vowels of the former were added, the AV and RV generally translate the word by 'Lord'; when those of the latter, by 'God'; using small capitals in each case. If, however, Adonai is originally in the text, they represent it by 'Lord,' using an initial capital only. Thus in the OT 'Lord 'represents Jahweh when it was read as Adonai; and 'Lord' represents Adonai when it stands in the original text. This distinctive printing is not observed in the NT. There are several other Hebrew words in the OT expressing the general Idea of lordship, which are rendered by 'lord' (Ge 45:8; Jos 13:3; Ezr 8:25 etc.).
In the NT 'Lord' is used once as tr of Rabboni (Mr 10:51), and five times of despot
1. adon, ??????. These words are commonly translated 'lord.' They are used as a term of respect as between man and man, as seen in the children of Heth to Abraham. Ge 23:6; between servants and masters, and once by a wife to her husband. Ge 18:12; Lu 16:3,5; 1Pe 3:6. The title 'Lord' is applied to God ( Ps 90:1, Adonai), and in the N.T. to the Lord Jesus, not only as a term of respect, but as owning His constituted lordship. Ac 2:36; Php 2:11 He is emphatically the Lord as eclipsing every other for the Christian, who delights to appropriate Him as 'My Lord.' Lu 1:43; Joh 20:13; Php 3:8. To believers collectively He is 'Our Lord Jesus Christ.'
There is also in this title the idea of administration which it is of great consequence to observe. As Man the Lord Jesus is mediator between God and men, and receives blessings for men which are administered through Him as Lord. "To us there is . . . . one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and we through him." 1Co 8:6. See Ro 5:1-2,11,17,21 and other scriptures.
The same Greek word is often used in the LXX for the Hebrew name Jehovah, and is transferred to the N.T. without the article. It stands as a proper name in the sense of Jehovah, as in Mt 1:20,22,24, etc., though the English requires it to be translated 'the Lord.' See GOD.
3. ???????, a word similar to Rabbi, a term of respect among the Jews, signifying 'teacher.' It is applied to the Lord by the blind man in Mr 10:51; and by Mary in Joh 20:16, where it is untranslated.