The Hebrew ’Aḏōnāy (H136) rendered Lord (initial cap and lowercase in contrast to initial cap and small caps for Yāhweh, ) in most English translations, appears well over 400 times. While the singular ’aḏōn is used also of men—Sarah referred to Abraham as “lord” (Gen_18:12) and his servants called him “master” (Gen_24:9-10), Ruth addressed Boaz as “lord” (Rth_2:13), as did Hannah address Eli (1Sa_1:15), and so forth—the “plural of majesty,” ’Aḏōnāy, is used only of God and speaks of His dominion, possession, and sovereignty.
It is extremely significant that the direct NT Greek equivalent is kurios (G2962), which is frequently applied to the Lord Jesus. Again, while “lord” is sometimes used as simply a title of honor, such as rabbi, teacher, master (Mat_10:24; cf. Luk_16:3), or even a husband (1Pe_3:6), when used of Jesus in a confessionalway, it without question refers to His divinity. The simple, but deeply profound, confession Kurios Iēsous (Lord Jesus) is rooted in the pre-Pauline Greek Christian community and is probably the oldest of all Christian creeds. Jesus is Lord!
Another startling fact is that in hundreds of instances, Lord (’Adōnāy) is actually coupled with either God (’Elōhiym; Psa_38:15; Psa_86:12; Dan_9:3; Dan_9:9; Dan_9:15) or “GOD” (Yehōwāh, instead of uppercase LORD; e.g., Gen_15:2; Gen_15:8; Psa_71:5; and more than 200 times in Ezekiel). This dramatically combines the various aspects of each divine name to paint a more graphic picture of who God is.
While a controversial issue, I would humbly submit that ’Adōnāy (and kurios by extension) being coupled with other names also further underscores the importance of emphasizing the principle of Lordship. In a day when the Lordship of Christ means very little in the thinking of many Christians, we must emphasize it all the more. The popular notion of “accepting Jesus as Savior but not as Lord until a later date” is foreign to the NT. Neither is it a historical position in the church; it is, in fact, a thoroughly modern invention, spawned by the relativism, pragmatism, and tolerance of our age. There is simply no salvation apart from Jesus as Lord (Rom_10:9-10). It is a staggering contradiction to say a person can believe in Jesus as Savior but reject Him as Lord simply because a change of life automatically results in a change of Lordship (2Co_5:17).
Scriptures for Study: Read Mar_8:34-38; Mar_12:28-34, and Luk_14:25-35, meditating on their deep significance.