May 24, 2014

Kyrios: "Lord"

Romans 10:5-13

“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
—Romans 10:13


The most common name for God in the entire Bible is the Greek word kyrios, which means “Lord.” Combining its use in the Old Testament (when translated from Hebrew to Greek) and the New Testament (written in Greek), the word kyrios for “Lord” appears more than 6,000 times!

The word kyrios originally meant “power” or “might,” but over time it came to mean “lord” or “master.” When the Old Testament was translated from Hebrew to Greek, it used kyrios for “Lord” wherever the words YHWH or Adonai occurred in the Hebrew text.

The Jewish writers of the New Testament, who were likely raised reading Scripture in both Hebrew and Greek, similarly used kyrios whenever they referred to Yahweh and Adonai. Further, they used kyrios in a radically new way, declaring that Jesus also is Lord. In Romans 10, for example, Paul uses kyrios in a discussion about Jesus, quoting Joel 2:32, which states, “Everyone who calls on the name of Yahweh will be saved.” Paul uses kyrios in this passage to refer to both Jesus and Yahweh as Lord, declaring that both are the one true God. In this example we see the central teaching of the Bible, built on this foundational truth: Jesus is Lord!

Bow to him today and worship him! Jesus is your Lord and your God!

Lord God, we worship you with wonder for your mysterious and majestic plan of salvation. In our amazement and awe, help us to trust you and to call on your precious name. Amen.

About the author — Kurt Selles

Kurt Selles is the director of ReFrame Ministries and serves as the Executive Editor of Today. He is a graduate of Calvin College and Seminary, and received his PhD from Vanderbilt University. Before coming to ReFrame, he served 19 years in Taiwan and China with CRC World Missions. Kurt later taught missions at Beeson Divinity School, where he also acted as the director of the school’s Global Center. Kurt and his wife, Vicki, reside in Grand Rapids and have three adult children.

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