Used in both OT and NT, as in addressing Moses as leader (Num. 32: 25) and masters by slaves (Matt. 18: 25); also by Jesus in reference to the authority of the Son of Man over the Sabbath (Mark 2: 28) and by others in speaking to Jesus as a person with authority (Matt. 7: 21).

In the OT ‘Lord’ is also used to translate Hebrew words for God, and in the NT it is used tentatively of Jesus, as in ‘come, our Lord’ (1 Cor. 16: 22). The formula ‘God has made him both Lord and Christ’ (Acts 2: 36) may well be an authentic phrase from the Aramaic‐speaking Church of Jerusalem, for there is similar use of ‘Lord’ and ‘the Lord’ in the Dead Sea scrolls, without the pronoun ‘my’ or ‘our’.

The term was a convenient bridge when the Gospel spread to Gentile lands, for there were many pagan ‘lords’, and it was later used of the Roman emperor. For Paul ‘Lord’ and ‘Christ’ are almost synonymous (1 Cor. 8: 6; 1 Thess. 4: 17; 5: 12).