God as Father in the Old Testament

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Michael Kinch | Forum Activity | Posted: Mon, Apr 9 2018 4:41 AM

I want to do a study to find if God is referred to as Father in the Old Testament.  How would you go about to study this or what resources would you go to? Thank you in advance for your help.

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 9 2018 5:24 AM

Michael Kinch:

I want to do a study to find if God is referred to as Father in the Old Testament.  How would you go about to study this or what resources would you go to? Thank you in advance for your help.

A very simple start is the Factbook entry: https://ref.ly/logos4/Factbook?ref=bk.pt%3aGod_Father, though it's rather too broad.

You could do a Bible search for Father INTERSECTS <Person God>, with Match Case turned on. (Match Case is required, otherwise you'll get results for "God of my father".) Depending on the translation, you might get 1 Chr 29:10 (NKJV), Psalm 2:7 (NIV), Jeremiah 3:4 and Malachi 2:10. After you've done it, turn match case back off before you forget!

However, don't forget that you might also want to include occasions when God speaks of others has his children (e.g. Hosea 11:1), or potentially when a Biblical character speaks to God and says "we are your children" or somesuch.

For the former, a search like ("my son", "my child", "my daughter", "my offspring") WITHIN {Speaker <Person God>} will return Exodus 4:22-23, 2 Samuel 7:14, 1 Chr 17:13, 22:10, 28:6; Psalm 2:7 again, Ezek 21:10 and Hosea 11:1.

For the latter, a search like ("my father", "our father", "your children", "your son", "your daughter", "your offspring") WITHIN {Addressee <Person God>} should get most of them. There are a few false positives, but relevant results include Psalm 89:26 and Jeremiah 3:4.

Finally, the BSL has an entry for God ⇔ father which adds in some extras.

To be thorough, I'd also be inclined to look at cross references for all of these verses, and look at the topic in major thematic/topical reference guides, e.g.:

Some of these could be interpreted in different ways.

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 9 2018 5:26 AM

There are also several books on the Fatherhood of God. Filter your library by fatherhood God and sort by rank. If you want to broaden, filter by father God.

The most useful at a quick glace in my library would be: Knowing God the Father through the Old Testament. I've not read it, but the equivalent volume on the Holy Spirit is pretty good.

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