I have been asked a couple of times, “Why do you omit the letter “o” out of G-d and L-RD?”
For the short answer, G-d is Holy. The omission of the letter “o” is to continue to reverence G-d as Holy, even down to His Name.
Before I explain further, I want to be clear about my faith.
I am a Christian, who believes in Jesus as the Messiah, the One Sacrifice that paid the debt we could never pay. I also believe that Jesus is G-d in the flesh, because by no one else could we be redeemed since we are contaminated with sin and G-d is the only One without sin. For sin to be forgiven, a perfect sacrifice was to be made, one without blemish. Therefore He came in person not only to die on our behalf to be the propitiation for our sins, but to also give us approximately 30 – 33 years of an example of how to live on this earth. What better example than a perfect one? If the Messiah were a man to give us examples and teachings on how to live, then the examples would not be perfect, for all men fall short of the Glory of G-d (Romans 3:23). There are none righteous (Psalm 14:1-3; Ecclesiastes 7:20; Romans 3:13), for our righteousness is as filthy rags [i.e., stained and saturated with blood] (Isaiah 64:6).
I also want to give you some background before I fully answer the question.
In my studies I found that this practice stems from the name of G-d as it is recorded in the Tanakh (Old Testament to Christians). There, the transliteration for thee Name of G-d is YHVH, which is also known as the Tetragrammaton. The practice of the scribes was to leave out the vowels in the name of G-d to keep it Holy, for G-d is Holy. This leaves the pronunciation difficult to know. The Jewish people will actually take this a step further. When referencing G-d to each other, they will not even say G-d in most cases, but rather HaShem. This means, “The Name” which is referring to thee Name of G-d, YHVH. So where do we know this Name by? In Exodus, G-d is talking with Moses at the burning bush. Moses asks G-d, “Who do I say sent me?” and G-d replied “I AM WHO I AM.” The Name YHVH is a derivative of this Name that G-d proclaims here. To expound on this a little further, I heard a pastor preach one morning on this with such insight. He stated that if G-d was to reply with anything other than, “I AM WHO I AM”, He would be limiting Himself to one definition, or one attribute of Himself, as we see many of the patriarchs in the Bible do. They gave G-d a Name that applied to what G-d did at that moment. Since G-d is limitless, that is the only Name that is actually appropriate for Him. He is Who He is. He is the Existing One. Praise the L-RD!
Now to the question of “Why do I, as a Christian, omit the “o” from G-d and L-RD?”
As I stated before, G-d is Holy. We do need to reverence Him as such. To not, would be sin. I have learned of this practice in my studies and by asking questions and getting answers from my Jewish friends along with studies from Jewish websites.
“So, does this mean that we all need to omit the “o” from G-d and L-RD?”
There is nothing in the Bible that tells us to practice this. This is a personal conviction that the Jewish nation had and continue to have to this day. In understanding this conviction, I do not want to be a stumbling block to those that read my “articles” who are of either Jewish decent or of Jewish faith.
“Is this deception?” No.
There was a time when I was questioning things about Jesus. In my quest for Truth, G-d brought me back to a fuller understanding that Jesus is the Messiah and that Jesus is in fact, G-d in the flesh. With this assurance that G-d has provided me, as I stated before, I state clearly that I am a Christian. However, I do desire that all come to the saving knowledge of Jesus our Savior. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 9
“For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.”
– 1 Corinthians 9:19–23 NKJV
(Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982).
He was basically saying that he became all things to all people, yet without sin for the sole purpose that some might be saved. What he was talking about is to be who you are, but don’t be a stumbling block to those that may not know Jesus personally. As you respect them as people, and as you love them as G-d loves them, they may come to know the fullness of Him and His Redeeming Love because you got to know them as well and take time to understand and respect their culture, yet without sinning. We must share the Truth of G-d, regardless of how painful the Truth may be, yet we are still to respect the people, their culture and way of life, so long as it does not contradict the Word of G-d.
“Why didn’t you remove the “o” when quoting that set of verses?”
By copyright Law I am not permitted to omit nor add anything to or from the New King James Version of the Bible. I just recently learned this regarding the New King James Version.
“Am I free to reference G-d by using the “o”?” Yes.
As I stated before, this practice was and is a personal conviction of the Jewish people, but not something that Scripture tells us to do. When G-d gives us a specific conviction, it is sin to not respond appropriately to that. It may not be something that G-d convicts someone else with and that is fine because there is no Scripture that defines those parameters. We have to understand that G-d desires a personal relationship with us and in that personal relationship, He lets us know of things that He would like for us to do or not do that may be on top of what the Bible says. However, the key thing to remember is that these additional convictions will NEVER contradict G-d’s Word. Remember, the Bible says that He does not change in Malachi 3. Also it states that Jesus is the same, yesterday, today and forever in Hebrews 13. That is why Jesus stated that He did not come to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17). Paul wrote in Romans 3:31 that the Law is not void through faith, but rather established.
G-d does not change, AMEN! He is the Constant in our lives within this ever changing world.