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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Personal Names for the Trinity

We have a personal name for God the Father – though our Jewish brothers and sisters decline to use it, and though we can only make an educated guess as to what it might actually be:  Jehovah it probably is not- but Yahweh (based on the Tetragramaton, YHWH) is probably close.

We have a personal name for God the Son – Jesus or Yeshua – because he shall save his people.

But when we come to God the Spirit we have no personal name. We use a title “the Holy Spirit” to refer to this third person of the triune Godhead.  But that is so impersonal.  It sounds remote.  Estranged.   Makes the spirit sound like a thing, an it…

So I propose that we use the name Sophia – Greek for Wisdom.  Sophia is the Wise Spirit, the Holy Spirit of God who was there to measure out creation, who calls to anyone who will listen.

Yahweh, Jesus, Sophia…

What do you think?


  1. Well, the Hagia Sophia was the Church of Holy Wisdom in Istanbul before it was converted to a mosque. However, I think the issue that one comes up is that God is not a created being and as such we can only go by how he reveals himself to us. You do make a case for the Holy Spirit being viewed as feminine since "spirit" in Hebrew (רוּחַ) (ruach) is feminine.

    However, and here we come to the crux of the matter, gender is a created thing and is not transferable to God. He is genderless. Otherwise, we can start assuming that (as his children) we will some day grow up to be gods as well. Therein lies the problem.

    1. Also, "Sophia" sounds better to English-speaking people than the actual Hebrew word: "hokhmah" (חכמה) (with a very guttural "h" at the beginning).


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