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Names and Images of God

About this article

Helping students reflect on their image of God is a good way to nurture their spirituality and prayer life. This thorough handout from A Companion Way, by John Vitek (available from Saint Mary's Press), lists names and images of God found in the Scriptures. This handout can be used in a variety of ways, including as a Scripture search, discussion, or reflection activity.

Fill in the three columns ("Names for God," "Images of God," "Feelings Evoked by Names and Images") for each of the age categories in which you have lived to date. In the "Names for God" box, list all the names you have used for God. In the "Images of God" box, describe the images of God you have associated with the various names. In the "Feelings Evoked by Names and Images" box, list the feelings these various images and names have evoked in you. Do your best to recall your earliest names, images, and feelings.

   Names for God  Images of God  Feelings Evoked by Names and Images
 Early Childhood
(0-11 years)
 Early Teens
(12-16 years)
 Late Teens
(17-19 years)
 Young Adult
(20-34 years)
(35 years and on)

Names and Images of God Found in the Scriptures
Below is a list of some names and images of God found in the Scriptures. These are some of the ways that people of faith have named or pictured God in the past. Review these biblical names and images of God. Notice some of the personal images of God, such as Holy One, Shepherd, and King; as well as some of the nature images of God, such as Rock, Bread of Life, and Living Stone. Are any of these images new to you? Which images are the most familiar to you?

 Passage  Name or Image
 Genesis 17:1, Exodus 6:3 the Almighty
 Exodus 3:14 "I am who am."
 Deuteronomy 4:31 Merciful, Faithful
 Deuteronomy 6:4 Lord, One God
 2 Maccabees 6:14-16 Patient, Merciful
 Psalm 7:12 Just
 Psalm 18:3 Rock of Refuge, Shield, Deliverer, Protector
 Psalm 23:1 Shepherd
 Psalm 103:8-9 Kind, Merciful, Gracious, Slow to Anger
 Psalm 136 Warrior
 Psalm 144 Rock, Mighty Stronghold
 Ecclesiastes 12:1 Creator
 Song of Solomon 2:8 Beloved
 Wisdom 1:7 All-Embracing
 Sirach 43:18 the Most High
 Isaiah 9:5 Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace
 Isaiah 11:2 Spirit of Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Strength, Knowledge, Forbidding
 Isaiah 40:11 Shepherd
 Isaiah 41:20 Holy One
 Isaiah 42:14 Being in Labor
 Isaiah 44:6 King, Redeemer
 Isaiah 49:15-16 Caring, Faithful Mother
 Hosea 2:21-22 Faithful Spouse
 Hosea 11:1-4 Loving Parent
 Matthew 23:37 Mother Hen Clucking over Her Brood
 John 6:48-51 Bread of Life
 John 10:7 Gate for the Sheep
 John 10:11 Good Shepherd
 John 14:5-6 the Way, the Truth, and the Life
 John 14:25-26 the Advocate, Teacher
 John 15:1 Vine Grower
 1 Corinthians 6:19 Present Within Us
 1 Corinthians 12:7-13 Giver of the Gifts of the Spirit
 Galatians 5:22-23 Giver of the Fruits of the Spirit
 1 Peter 2:4,6 Living Stone, Cornerstone
 1 John 1:15 Light
 1 John 4:7 Love

What are some other images of God that you have found in the Scriptures?


Copyright © 2009 Saint Mary's Press. Permission is granted for this article to be freely used for classroom or campus ministry purposes; however, it may not be republished in any form without the explicit permission of Saint Mary's Press. For more resources to support your ministry, call 800-533-8095 or visit our Web site at www.smp.org.

Published February 29, 2000.