Q. In the Bible, why is God’s name written sometimes as “LORD” and sometimes as “Lord”?
A. The English “LORD” and “Lord” in the Old Testament actually translate two different Hebrew words. The first is the proper noun representing God’s personal name as He revealed it to the ancient Jews. The second is the more common name for God.
God’s personal name was so revered that the Jews refrained from speaking it aloud for fear of breaking the commandment against taking it in vain. Instead, the word Adonai, a common noun meaning “lord, master, sovereign,” was substituted, even when God’s name appeared in Scripture being read aloud. The Septuagint, an ancient Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures used by Greek-speaking Jews throughout the world (and by the early Christians), made the same kind of substitution, using the Greek term for Lord (kyrios).
Over the generations, though the written form of God’s personal name was preserved in the Hebrew scriptural tex