Was God known as Father in the Old Testament?

FatherChristians believe that calling the Creator of Heaven and Earth, with the title “Father” is only seen in the New Testament. Some believe and teach that God Almighty was distant to His people in the Old Testament, but came into a ‘Father-Son’ relationship only after the appearance of Yeshua (Jesus’ true name). Are these claims true? Was calling God by the title “Father” a new teaching?

Let’s look at the evidence in the Scriptures

Jer 31:9  They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn.

Isa 64:8  But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.

Isa 63:16  Doubtless thou art our father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not: thou, O LORD, art our father, our redeemer; thy name is from everlasting.

Deu 32:6  Do ye thus requite the LORD, O foolish people and unwise? is not he thy father that hath bought thee? hath he not made thee, and established thee?

Jer 3:19  But I said, How shall I put thee among the children, and give thee a pleasant land, a goodly heritage of the hosts of nations? and I said, Thou shalt call me, My father; and shalt not turn away from me.

Mal 1:6  A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name?

Mal 2:10  Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?

Pro 3:12  For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.

Psa 103:13  Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.

Not only is God Almighty known as the “Father”, He calls His people as “Children”

Hos 1:10  Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God.

Isa 1:2  Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.

Exo 4:22,23  And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn: And I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn.

Deu 14:1  Ye are the children of the LORD your God: ye shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead.

Hos 11:1  When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.

Psa 82:6  I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.

Calling God as “Our Father”, is not a new idea only seen in the New Testament. It is a recurring depiction of the close relationship between the Creator and His people, commonly seen in the Old Testament. Yeshua and the New Testament writers did not invent this idea. Rather they built upon the thought of having such a loving Creator, who was willing to call His creation “His Children”. Our Heavenly Father has, and will not change. He has always seen the ones who love Him as Children, and His people have also understood their Creator to be a loving Father from ancient times. I hope you are empowered with Scripture, to show the truth to people who say, that God has changed and that He came into a “Father – Son” relationship only in the New Testament.

Added on 25th July 2016
As there has been some objections raised against the view that “Our Father” was used before and after Yeshua’s Ministry on earth (even by Jews who did not believe in Yeshua as Messiah) – I present the following references. The reason for such is not to demean the ministry or teachings of Yeshua, but to remove the misconception that the Jewish people have never viewed or spoken of God as their Father.

“Our Father” is common place in the Jewish Extra-biblical writings. (references are also provided)

    • 1. Babylonian Talmud written in 3rd to 5th Centuries AD, Ta’anit 25b it says “Our Father, our King, we have no king but you! Our Father, our King, on your own account have mercy on us!”. This prayer was recited on the 10 days of Awe (leading to the Day of Atonement).

      2. The Mishnah which contains the teachings of the early rabbis, relates that before the destruction of the 2nd Temple in 70AD Jews used to pray “Upon whom shall we depend? Upon Our Father who is in heaven”. (Mishnah Sotah 9:15)

      3. Another Jewish Prayer says “May it be the will of our Father in Heaven” (Midrash Psalms 25:13 – Buber edition Page 214)

      4. The Jewish sage Ben Sira, 200 years before Yeshua, prayed “O Lord, Father and Master of my life… O Lord, Father and God of my life” (Ben Sira 23:1,4). Also “Lord you are my Father; do not forsake me in the days of trouble, when there is no help against the proud” (Ben Sira 51:10)

      5. In a fragment of The Dead Sea Scrolls (written hundreds of years before Yeshua) was found the title “Our Father” (4Q511 fragment 127 line 1)

I highly recommend the reading of “A prayer to our Father – Hebrew Origins of the Lord’s Prayer” by Nehemiah Gordon & Keith Johnson, for further study on this subject.

71 thoughts on “Was God known as Father in the Old Testament?

  1. Pingback: The Gracious God of the Old Testament | Bible things in Bible ways

  2. doug belot

    Yes but the Prophets are not really Old testament , they spoke mainly of Prohecy of Israel into the furture , the father role comes from Hosea 1 and in the Gomer Hosea roleplay.

    1. rameshdesilva Post author

      Dear Doug,
      If you read the complete post, you would see that these are not only from the prophets, but from Deutronomy, Chronicles, Proverbs Psalms & Exodus. Furthermore, it is clearly evident that addressing God as Father was not only done in a futuristic sense through verses such as “Hos 11:1 When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.” & “Mal 2:10 Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?”

      Modern Christianity has created an illusion, that the relationship of Father and son between God and His people came about after Yeshua. But the truth is that the personal relationship has always been open to whoever truly loved their Father in Heaven.

      1. bkwalmstravels

        Thanks for the succinct article rameshdesilva. It has been very helpful. In my case I am more certain of doctrine in the NT because I spend more time reading it than the OT (yes, I should get into the OT more often). Maybe modern Christians spend more time, like me reading the NT because its smaller and is more obviously centred on the main character (JC). Thus Christians can seem flat-footed in re-butting arguments about the character of God changing from OT to NT.

      2. rameshdesilva Post author

        Dear Brother/Sister,
        Thank you for the encouraging words. My whole endeavor is to break the big divide created between the so called NT and OT. What most Christians (including myself in the past) do not understand is that the Scripture that Jesus (Yeshua) and the Disciples and even Paul read was completely only OT. This was quite shocking to me when I first heard it, but if you really think about it – at that time, there were no bibles in everyone’s hand. the gospels were not readily available – being related only as stories though the Apostles. The Pauline epistles weren’t even thought of till after 50s AD. And the NT as we know it, was only compiled and agreed upon in 398AD. Every Christian should read and know the OT more thoroughly. I am definitely not belittling the NT, as without it we wouldn’t know about Messiah’s coming and what happened at the time. But for sure, when He said “God’s Word” or “Scripture”, He meant the OT. This great divide between the NT and OT is a man-made divide that should not even exist. It’s a sad thing that I even had to do such a study to provide proof that God was known as Father before the NT. He has not changed! And the attitude of His true Children has not changed either.

        Be a blessing to all around you!

  3. Kevin McMillen

    Jesus is the YHVH of the Old Testament. He was the father of Israel.

    Isa 9:6
    For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

    1. 제이비

      Hello Mr. @Kevin McMillen. This is for a reply to your comment. I just wanna share you about that verse you posted, (Isaiah 9:6). Can I ask you, do you know whom is this prophecy about?

  4. melissa

    I have been thinking a lot about Luke 2, when Jesus tells his parents that he is “in my Fathers (patḗr) house.” I have always been confused as to why this answer was so confusing to to Marry and Joseph. They knew who he was so why are they confused. I know hat God is often called Father in the OT but I am wondering if the way Jesus used it in Luke 2 was different in any way. It seems that before this moment God is called “our Father” is abba not patḗr. If I the son of Abraham Lincoln was to say “our four fathers” vs “my Father” – it is the same word but in even refers to the same person but they hold a different meaning. I am wondering if there is any correlation.

    1. rameshdesilva Post author

      Dear Melissa,
      Interesting thought! As you may know already, “Awb” means Father in Hebrew while “Patayr” means Father in Greek. It’s basically 2 words in 2 languages used to describe the same person. We must also remember that Yeshua(Jesus) and all Jews spoke in Hebrew and not in Greek – even though most of the New Testament manuscripts are in Greek.

      Mary and Joseph were amazed to see Yeshua(Jesus) conversing with the learned, so they may not have still understood who He really was. When Mary said Your mother and father were looking for you – Yeshua(Jesus) said I was involved in my father’s business, speaking of another father (as Joseph’s work was carpentry).

      The Scriptures are clear that “My Father” (Awb) was also used for God, not only our Father – Psa 89:26, Jer 3:4,19. The prophets had declared God was the Father of all Israel, as well as the individual – but the common man may not have understood this personal relationship.

      Be a blessing to everyone around you!

      1. Anslem

        ‘but the common man may not have understood this personal relationship.’ And to me this is where Jesus made the difference as it relates to the Fatherhood of God. I am not sure there is evidence to suggest the personal father-son relationship even though in 2 Sam. 7:14, God said he will be a father to David. No doubt the designation of God as father was existent…the question is whether the personal father-son relationship that was made clear in the NT was existent.

  5. crazy44

    God as a father was clearly stated throughout the old testament but it was not revealed to man until the son revealed him. The father could only be revealed thru his LOVE and Jesus is the revealer of his love. “What I see the father do I do also”. Although great man in the old testament spoke of God as a father we have to consider that they were spiritually dead. This is not to say that they didn’t know him as a father however, they could never see the Father’s love thru the veil of the law(ministry of death). Jesus came to resurrect man from spiritual death by demenstrating the Fathers love which overcame the death between man and the love of the Father. An example of what I mean is when Jesus was on the cross and he cried out “my God my God why have you forsaken me” at that moment he took the place of a son that lost his identity and does not know the Fathers love. Which this was every man before Christ and those now that may still not know the Fathers Love. Anyone and everyone that loves knows God because God the Father is LOVE. 1Jon 4:7-8.

    1. rameshdesilva Post author

      Dear Reader, I agree that Yeshua did fully teach God’s Word – The Scriptures (or as we call it, the Old Testament) and through it showcased the Father’s Love. It is erroneous to say that all people in the Old Testament were Spiritually dead. There are so many examples such as Moses, Elijah, Elisha, David, etc who clearly were used much more powerfully than anyone in the New Testament, other than Christ. They both saw God as a Father and knew His Grace and Love firsthand. Christian today, look at the Old Testament and the figures written in it, in such a narrow way – considering them to be weak slaves who were in bondage to the Law, when the truth is far from it. 2000 years of brain washing has left Christians thinking that the Law which God Himself proclaimed, is bondage and death. It would be best that all of us heed Peter’s Warning about the writings of Paul. Christ’s ministry was to repair the breach and bring God’s people back to Him. Israel was always God’s firstborn. He has always been our Father.
      Be a blessing to everyone around you.

      1. Lu

        Hello beloved, than you for your response. I really dont like to post much on forums or web sites cause usually it becomes an offensive/defensive discussion 🙂 so I try not to get involved but what moved me to post on your discussion was the fact that when I read your post I was actually meditating on a message I was preparing for the young adults at my church.
        You know i agree that in the Old Testament yes there were great manifestations of God’s Spirit in the life of different men but just as King David prayed in “Psalms 51:11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me”. This is the old man conscience. Abba never left man, but SIN caused man to miss the mark/Measure by sight. So, great signs and wonders was the only way man was able to see God but NOT truely know him as a loving Father. If they did than why send his only begotten son to reveal his love to the world?
        Did certain man experience the Fathers love in the old? Yes I believe so but I also believe this did not change the fact that they were asleep in the spirit. When God placed Adam & Eve in the garden he told them to dress & keep the garden. In Hebrew we can describe it as to worship & guard the Garden. Now the Garden is a place where one collects seeds(worship Gods word) and a place where there is multiplication of fruit( be fruitful & multi..) What keeps a mans spirit awake is doing these things, worshiping and keeping His word thru hearing(the lord would come in the cool of the day to fellowship) causing spiritual fruit to multiply and maintain man’s spirit awake. When Eve got tempted we can notably see that she did not keep Gods word.
        Gen 3:3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die”. If you look back when God spoke this to them, God never said you CAN’T TOUCH the tree. So here we have man taking Gods word out of context resulting in hearing the words of the enemy instead of God’s word, eating a physical fruit instead of spiritual fruit, causing man’s spirit to fall asleep and be fully activated and awake in the desires of the flesh. The enemy literally left them naked from being dressed in Gods righteousness which can only be seen by the spirit. Awake that is.

        John 8:51-56
        51 Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.
        52 Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death.
        53 Art thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? and the prophets are dead: whom makest thou thyself?
        54 Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God:
        55 YET YOU HAVE NOT KNOWN HIM; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying.
        56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.

        So really to sum it up I agree with you but of course considering what I just shared with you. beLOVED..

  6. mike

    Then why was Mary and Joseph confused when they found Jesus in the temple when he stayed, “don’t you know I must be with my Father?”

    1. rameshdesilva Post author

      Dear Mike,
      Just because the Scriptures (Prophets & God Himself) recognize Our creator as Our Father, does not mean every lay person understood, the relationship between God and man. Mary and Joseph didn’t understand everything that was prophesied about Him either.(For example they did not understand what the Angels had told the shepherds Luk 2:19, They were surprised when they heard Simeon’s words Luk 2:33, They were surprised when they saw their son questioning and answering the teachers in the tempele Luk 2:48) This does not mean the identification of God as Father did not exist long before Christ.

      Be a blessing to everyone around you!

  7. lalainegillustrations

    To author,

    All the passages you took your point on view on we’re written by Israelites. God is the Father of Israel. God only acknowledge Israelites. Not the Gentiles. Only Jesus of all Israelites dared to call God his Father. All Israeliy fear God as an Almighty God. Just so you know, no Israelite acknowledge Jesus as son of God because in their history, they know Jesus real human dad. That’s why Israelites do not like Jesus. Jesus is the illegitimate son of a Roman soldier Pandere. Not son of God. Jesus like the idea that God is his dad because Jesus wanted God has, sonship, godship and messaihship because never had his real dad being illegitimate. Born from adultery of Mary. It is written in their history. God never acknowledged Jesus. God never impregnated a virgin. That is Roman Catholic false teaching.

    1. rameshdesilva Post author

      Dear Brother/Sister,
      The God we believe is in fact the God of Israel. In fact any gentile who believes in Him, must graft him/herself to the Olive tree which is Israel and become part of it as per Paul’s words in Rom 11. No covenants were made with Gentiles – only Israel. God’s Law was applicable over the stranger as well as the native, and like Ruth – anyone who believed was adopted to His people. Moses, Isaiah, Malachi, David – all called our Creator by the title Father. Even 1st century Talmudic writings point towards the some referring to God as Father – it was not a strange idea, as God Himself called us His Children. I am not sure what historical documents you cite to prove that Yeshua(Jesus) was not born according to the Gospels. Furthermore, the Messianic Jewish congregation around the world who all believe in Yeshua as Messiah, believe in the Gospels. There are many false teachings that have crept into Christianity, but calling God Father is definitely not one of them.

      Be a blessing to everyone around you!

  8. Ben

    But Jesus created us. John 1 so he could be called the father of old testament. Also Jesus came to reveal the father, does that not imply the Jews did not know the father. He says plainly neither seen or heard the father at any time yet the LORD spoke to them. Who is that Lord?

    1. rameshdesilva Post author

      Dear Ben,

      This Post showcases that the Relationship of Father and His Children, is not a new concept, as it is seen by most Christians. This should become apparent by the many instances where the Title of Father, was used for God, before the coming of Messiah.

      Be a blessing to everyone around you!

  9. mithrandirolorin

    God’s Fatherhood is indeed in the Hebrew Bible. But I still find it interesting that these verses do not use God The Father (of as it’s probably by in Hebrew El HaAb) as a Title of God.

  10. Jennifer Bynum

    You gave wonderful scriptures that indeed showed the name Father was used in the Old Testament but you did not satisfy the question. Please allow me to share with you what Dr. R. C. Sproul wrote articulating the answer to my question with astute precision.

    July 9, 2009
    Teacher: R. C. Sproul

    “What does it mean for us to call God our Father?”

    “One of the most well-known statements of the Christian faith is the Lord’s Prayer, which begins with the words “Our Father which art in heaven.” This is part of the universal treasury of Christendom. When I hear Christians in a private gathering praying individually, almost every single person begins their prayer by addressing God as Father. There’s nothing more common among us than to address God as our Father. So central is this to our Christian experience that in the nineteenth century, there were some who said the basic essence of the whole Christian religion can be reduced to two points: the universal brotherhood of man and the universal fatherhood of God. In that context I am afraid we have missed one of the most radical teachings of Jesus.

    A few years ago, a German scholar was doing research in New Testament literature and discovered that in the entire history of Judaism—in all existing books of the Old Testament and all existing books of extrabiblical Jewish writings dating from the beginning of Judaism until the tenth century A.D. in Italy—there is not a single reference of a Jewish person addressing God directly in the first person as Father.

    There were appropriate forms of address that were used by Jewish people in the Old Testament, and the children were trained to address God in proper phrases of respect. All these titles were memorized, and the term Father was not among them. The first Jewish rabbi to call God “Father” directly was Jesus of Nazareth. It was a radical departure from tradition, and in fact, in every recorded prayer we have from the lips of Jesus save one, he calls God “Father.” It was for that reason that many of Jesus’ enemies sought to destroy him; he assumed to have this intimate, personal relationship with the sovereign God of heaven and the creator of all things, and he dared to speak in such intimate terms with God. What’s even more radical is that Jesus says to his people, “When you pray, you say, ‘Our Father.'” He has given to us the right and privilege to come into the presence of the majesty of God and address him as Father because indeed he is our Father. He has adopted us into his family and made us coheirs with his only begotten Son” (Rom. 8:14-18)

    1. rameshdesilva Post author

      Dear Jennifer,

      Thank you for sharing what you have learnt with us. I am not familiar with Dr. Sproul, but I must correct him in one place. (I am sure he is more learned than me, and I am not in anyway trying to showcase my superiority.. but humbly correct). Dr.Sproul does not give a reference to which German Scholar he speaking of… But this German Scholar is mistaken when he says “in the entire history of Judaism in all existing books of the Old Testament and all existing books of extrabiblical Jewish writings dating from the beginning of Judaism until the tenth century A.D. in Italy there is not a single reference of a Jewish person addressing God directly in the first person as Father”.

      I have given references to where “Our Father” is used in the Old Testament. “Our Father” is common place in the Jewish Extra-biblical writings, as well. (references are also provided)

      1. Babylonian Talmud written in 3rd to 5th Centuries AD, Ta’anit 25b it says “Our Father, our King, we have no king but you! Our Father, our King, on your own account have mercy on us!”. This prayer was recited on the 10 days of Awe (leading to the Day of Atonement).
      2. The Mishnah which contains the teachings of the early rabbis, relates that before the destruction of the 2nd Temple in 70AD Jews used to pray “Upon whom shall we depend? Upon Our Father who is in heaven”. (Mishnah Sotah 9:15)
      3. Another Jewish Prayer says “May it be the will of our Father in Heaven” (Midrash Psalms 25:13 – Buber edition Page 214)
      4. The Jewish sage Ben Sira, 200 years before Yeshua, prayed “O Lord, Father and Master of my life… O Lord, Father and God of my life” (Ben Sira 23:1,4). Also “Lord you are my Father; do not forsake me in the days of trouble, when there is no help against the proud” (Ben Sira 51:10)
      5. In a fragment of The Dead Sea Scrolls (written hundreds of years before Yeshua) was found the title “Our Father” (4Q511 fragment 127 line 1)

      Did everyone in the time of Yeshua (His true Hebrew name from which Jesus is derived) call God “Our Father”? I don’t believe so… But does that mean there were no one who understood or called God “Our Father”. We should not presume so. We must break this misconception that the Jewish people had no real relationship with God, before Yeshua taught such. Am I demeaning Yeshua’s ministry? God Forbid! He was also a Jew… and I believe Yeshua restored and strengthened their relationship with His Father.

      Be a blessing to everyone around you!

  11. Steven Elias-Macfarlane

    Hello. Do you think that it is acceptable for a gentile,one who loves the G-d of Israel with all of his heart and who keeps his commandments and the testimony of Messiah Yeshua,to call him ‘Father’? I can Only ever be an adopted son,and fear being too familiar in my prayers.
    I have addressed Him as ‘Abba Father’ for many years,but have recently started (inexplicably)to feel uncomfortable doing so. G-d bless you.

    1. rameshdesilva Post author

      Dear Steven,
      Even though we are both adopted sons, we are still physically His sons, in the sense – we all come from Adam, whose Father is YHVH. That is why I believe God revealed to Isaiah those famous words that Yeshua quoted:
      Isa 56:3-7 Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the LORD, speak, saying, The LORD hath utterly separated me from his people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree. For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant; Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off. Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant; Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.

      Be a great blessing to everyone around you!
      1Jn 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God:
      Much Love and Our Father’s Shalom!

  12. silasza

    Paul explained God like this to the people at Athens:

    “The God who made the world and all things in it, he, being Lord of heaven and earth, doesn’t dwell in temples made with hands, neither is he served by men’s hands, as though he needed anything, seeing he himself gives to all life and breath, and all things. He made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the surface of the earth, having determined appointed seasons, and the boundaries of their dwellings, that they should seek the Lord, if perhaps they might reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.

    ‘For in him we live, and move, and have our being.’

    As some of your own poets have said,
    ‘For we are also his offspring.’

    Being then the offspring of God,

    we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold, or silver, or stone, engraved by art and design of man.” Acts 17:24-29

  13. skye

    Hi…QUESTION:… in the lords prayer i was wondering if this is the prayer that Jesus gave to us all then it says
    OUR FATHER WHOM ART IN HEAVEN= heaven im guessing is where home is when we die!
    HALLOWED BE THY NAME= right so its not god then his name our father is then hallowed RIGHT??????

    1. rameshdesilva Post author

      Dear Skye,
      Heaven and where we go after we die is quite a big subject. My current understanding is that all of us go to a sleep state where the very next moment would be when we awaken at His second coming. Father is a title for the Creator of heaven and earth – same as God, Lord, etc. His name is Yehovah as we see multiple times in Scripture. Suggest reading below:

  14. Pingback: Kommentaar op gesprek tussen Christen en Moslem – AntWoord

  15. Bebia

    “Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God”.

    From Adam, Jesus was the first man to call God Father. The Prophet and all that where Under the obsolete law covenant related to God as servants. Jesus came “to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father”.(Gal 4). Under the new covenant in Jesus’ blood (Rom 8:17), God relates to us as our Father.
    “The righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith”. Jesus came to reveal to us the faith that brought us into sonship “But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be REVEALD…. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.(Gal 3)

  16. Arne Olander

    God was already our Father? why did we need to be adopted through Christ then? Jesus is in fact God’s ‘only begotten Son’.You’re trying to make OT scriptures fit NT theology – it doesn’t have to. That’s why there are 2 testaments. Yes there are references to God’s Fatherliness in the OT but it’s still a fact that Jesus’ birth did in fact make Him a Father. Before that He was our loving heavenly God & Creator who loved us as a Father. The Israelites were His chosen people, His ‘children’. If you think otherwise then you would be a heretic because there would be no purpose in Jesus death and resurrection to bring us into God’s family by being in Christ.

    1. rameshdesilva Post author

      Dear Arne,
      The whole premise of this study was to show that God had a title named “Father” in the OT way before the writing of the NT – as clearly seen in the Scriptures provided. I am not refuting Yeshua’s work of Salvation. God forbid I would say that Yeshua is not necessary for us to become part of His people.
      Be a blessing to everyone around you!

    1. rameshdesilva Post author

      Dear Armand,
      “Father” was a title given to YHVH – the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; similar to all His other titles such as, God, Lord, etc. “Father” is of utmost importance as it explains the relationship and the intimacy between Him and His people.
      Be a blessing to everyone around you!

  17. Angel Roman

    I do agree with your examples of the Old Testament about God being a father to His children. But I think the biggest difference is that Jesus not only called God a father, but He said He was one with Him. The fatherhood of God is shown in the Old Testament as a loving care for His children, but through Jesus, God’s fatherhood actually goes beyond, claiming to be one with His children. I think this is not revealed in the OT since Jesus came to reveal the fullness of God fatherhood to us.

  18. Pedro

    But no one called Him Father, as Jesus did, and taught His disciples to do the same. They spoke of the Father, mentioned the Father, knew of Him as the father, but no one used the Father name to speak to Him.They prayed to God, to the Lord, but not to the Father. That is the difference.

    1. rameshdesilva Post author

      Dear Pedro,
      The fact is that the prophets and figures such as King David called God by the loving title “Father” many years before Yeshua (as you see in the study). This does not take away from the New Testament or Yeshua’s ministry. It just solidifies the ministry of the Messiah.
      Be a blessing to everyone around you!

  19. Jabez

    Just an honest question can a person become a child of God even without accepting or receiving in his life Jesus as Lord and Savior?

    1. rameshdesilva Post author

      Dear Jabez,
      A person can know God without accepting Yeshua, but can they have a Covenantal Relationship without Him? He is the mediator of the New Covenant. So if you want to come into the Covenant which was ratified with Yeshua’s blood, then you must know Him. At least the way I see it…

      Be a blessing to everyone around you!

  20. Jabez

    When Jesus called God as Father, was it the same with old testament saints calling God as Father or different? Or was Jesus a man calling God as Father or he is God calling the Father?

    1. rameshdesilva Post author

      Dear Jabez,
      Father is a title, and the meaning of the title remains the same. It shows a relationship between Man and God, which is much more than a Master-servant or King-subject relationship. Yeshua merely highlighted this relationship for us…

      Be a blessing to everyone around you!

  21. Marie Opperman

    In Genisis I picture God come to Adam and Eve as a father coming home and asking his children how was your day. I know this is not mentioned but right through scripture the concistancy of scripture is a marvel. It gives us a deep peep into God’s character and takes away the concept of a far away God in the old Covenant.

  22. Pingback: James Vs. Paul: Did James Not Believe in Jesus’ Divinity? (Responding to Mustafa Akyol’s The Islamic Jesus) | god from the machine

  23. chrisbriscoe10

    I would say in response to your claim that, yes, you are right that the concept of God as Father was started in the Old Testament, I have never heard any Christians say that this concept was introduced by Jesus.They don’t, to my knowledge, say that this concept of God the Father was started in the New Testament but what Christians say is that when Jesus called God, “Father in heaven” this was the first time a Jew uttered the unutterable name of God, directly to God in that way; although given all these references from the Old Testament you gave, none of these actually directly call God, “Father” in the way Jesus referred to God as his “Father in heaven.” There is a big difference between the two -right? Therefore, your assertion that this concept of father is also in the Old Testament is true but the reason the Jews were so shocked at hearing Jesus refer to God as Father in heaven is because he was calling his God his Father which was regarded to the Jews as blasphemy when putting oneself as on a par with God, as implying that he is God’s son.

  24. kingjj2014

    I just recently came upon this theory which led me here. So glad for this valid explanation. thanks to the author. and I am going to use your article to teach. thanks. In study of Judaism, Father G-d is definitely not a new concept and the Bible is full of Scripture, one of which I just read in my own private readings. People need to read the former covenant before they made decisions.
    Isaiah 64:8 But now, O Lord,
    You are our Father;
    We are the clay, and You our potter;
    And all we are the work of Your hand.

  25. Mar dela Cruz, Jr.

    Not only did God reveal Himself in the Old and New Testements. Before creating anything in the universe and on earth, or even before TIME began, He already had announced His desire to become the Father of all the men and women He will create.

    Ephesians 1:3-5 – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

    This is why our Lord Jesus, the Only Begotten (John 1:14), became the First Begotten (Heb. 1:6).

  26. Jack Blair

    It’s true God is referred to as a “Father” in the OT. But Christianity emphasized the idea like never before. While there are only a few references to the idea in Matthew, and Mark and Luke don’t seem to reference the idea much at all, the Gospel of John is notable for its 20 (or so) references to God as Father. Coupled with the idea of the “logos,” the Gospel of John makes a powerful and revolutionary statement about the nature of God.

  27. Carin

    Thank you for your time of study and research for the sake of those of us who either do not study for ourselves or who love to study God’s Word but sometimes have a question and very little time to research it.
    God bless you!

  28. Greg Logan

    The real question is WHEN did God become the father. Was it when he brought forth the children of Isreal? Or was he the father from eternity or not until is creation? Thank you

  29. Jan Tijmes

    i loved this reading, thank you. when I read that the Lord was called our Father in Isaiah, among other books, my heart melted. I came across it while reading the Word and it helped me see how Jesus felt so strongly towards God as Father. Thank you for this blog. And whoever’s response that was to the fellow above who refuted this blog, YOU are an example of the Holy Spirit’s work in you. Your response was so kind, peaceful, and full of answers.

  30. Teresa Campbell

    Thank you for publishing these scriptures and prayers. It answered my question. I do wonder why the Sadducees and pharisees condemned Jesus for saying he was the sone of God if they themselves believed they were sons of God. For me and I’m guessing other non Jews reading the crucifixion would question whether God was considered Father to the Jews. I do see God as a Father to the children of Israel throughout the OT and I’m grateful that through Jesus he is reunited to all people. He is my Father I am so grateful for his word left to us that we may know him as he is.

  31. Juhi

    Most the Muslims question me asking .. How did Jesus become the SON of God . Can you help me out with this .. why is Jesus referred to as Son of God ..or may be God the son ..

  32. Bella

    Is there a difference here, that in the OT verses you cite, they say God is ‘our Father’ as indeed does Jesus in the Lord’s Prayer, but we have come to an understanding, through personal salvation in Jesus, that we each now can think of him as ‘my Father’, not just Father of the collective people of God. In our relationship with God we are not hiding in a plural crowd, it’s one to One. I hear people praying to “Father God”.
    I am at present trying to understand and approach God more as a loving father, where I have been rather afraid of him in the past, and I confess I’m feeling my way rather. I found you here while searching on this very question , and I’m glad to know God’s people did refer to Him as their father. Thank you

  33. Orson

    there is one verse that, shows that there there are 2 covenants and the one on Sinai makes you a slave, but the onther on Zion makes you free. And there is another verse that ay that the law was untill the promise will come. And another verse that say, that the law if for a sinfull person
    And that the law is a shadow of the better tjings to come. The law is not of Faith, the law could not take the zin away. The law is reminder of sin. Galatians 4:26 3:19 Hebrews 7:17 Romans 8:3

    1. rameshdesilva Post author

      Dear Orson,
      I think questioning the reason for why paul wrote the specific lines you have quoted of the 3 letters he wrote to Galatia, Rome and the Hebrews(judea/diaspora) would explain the reason for his comment. Anyone can take a single line from any letter and come to the conclusion that you are arriving at. But is it the same conclusion if you read he same letter as a whole in context? The Law was never given to take sin away. This is the summary of Paul’s ministry. The Law merely pointed out right from wrong. As children who connect ourselves to the New Covenant, I hope you would study what the New Covenant is, before you conclude that the Law is done away.
      Be a blessing to everyone around you

  34. Bruce Johnson

    Much good and helpful material, so long as we don’t miss the “something more” or “even better” that comes with Jesus – THE Son through whom we truly and fully become “children of God” and receive “the Spirit of sonship” who prompts us to cry to God as Father.

    One error – the 1 Chron quote
    “Blessed be thou, LORD God of Israel our father, for ever and ever.”

    In this verse it is ISRAEL our father who is in view, and NOT the LORD.

  35. Niel

    This is an insightful article, thank you for sharing!!
    I do agree that the concept does come from the OT, but, a lot of your references come from prophecy, speaking on what is to come and not on what Israel experienced (especially not individual men and woman of Israel).

    The relationship between God and man has significantly changed since Jesus became flesh and dwelt among us (with the subsequent outpouring of the Holy Spirit). I see a lot of the Father heart in the Old Testament, but always with a go between, through the prophet and the priest, we see the presence of a Good God (and Father) behind the veil…

    Now, in the New Testament, we see a much more direct and personal relationship to each man (and woman) who believes on the Name of Jesus and receives the right to become sons and daughters of the living God!! There was a shift in the relation between God and man from the Old to the New, no doubt, though the concept was introduced in the Old it finds its fulfilment in the New.

  36. Victor Revi Augustine

    The explanation on “Father” is helpful. Bibke references confirm the same (than interpretations).
    Thanks, God bless.
    Victor Revi

  37. Pingback: When you have no argument, name-calling and silencing becomes the only way to deal with those who have opposing views | Bible things in Bible ways

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