Most Bible believers live a lifetime without ever seeing the glaring inconsistency in their approach to the Creator of the universe. Unlike other major world religions, whose adherents use a specific name for their deity, the name employed exclusively for the Heavenly Father worshiped in Christianity is a common and generic title, or titles. While the heathen faithful understand exactly whom they worship, millions of churchgoers call on and worship their Creator by the everyday terms lord and god, and then proceed to ask, "Do you know Him?"
The obvious fact is, churchianity has neglected the Heavenly Father's revealed, personal Name. Many don't even realize that He has a name, believing that the title God is a name because it is capitalized. All the while they accept the fact that thousands of different denominations are worshiping under these same titles but with an excess of contradictory beliefs and practices. Which leads one to ask, do they themselves really know Him?
Identify and Know YOUR Heavenly Father!
Aside from these contradictions, is the sacred Name of the Heavenly Father really that important? Does it matter what you call Him? Does He even need to have a name for proper worship, as the deities of all other religions do? Some believe that He knows who you mean no matter what you call Him. But have they considered that refusing to revere His personal Name demonstrates dishonor for the One they worship, as well as blatant defiance of His Word? He tells us precisely that in Malachi 2:2.
How many Bible believers would fall on their knees in times of desperation and call out to Baal? Or Vishnu? Or Molech? Or Allah? Obviously it DOES matter what name you use in worship. Names DO mean something. Names identify a particular entity who has particular traits and is worshiped in a specific manner and who (supposedly) responds in specific ways to well-defined and proper worship.
By calling on names like Vishnu & Buddha, you have conjured up a certain deity who must not be confused with the Almighty of the Bible. How can one expect the true Heavenly Father to respond to names of pagan worship? More importantly, how close is He to those who refuse His personal Name, deciding that a mere title is sufficient - a title suited for an identity lost in a sea of conflicting doctrines and beliefs? Is a title good enough for the true Mighty One when that same title can just as easily refer to other pagan deities?
The Apostle Paul wrote, "As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol [is] nothing in the world, and that [there is] none other Elohim but one. For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth (as there be gods many, and lords many), But to us [there is but] one Elohim, the Father, of whom [are] all things, and we in him; and one Master Yahshua, by whom [are] all things, and we by him" (1Cor. 8:4-6).
If there are many gods and lords, how can you distinguish the one worshiped with one of those titles? Regardless of the arguments and excuses people will use, Yahweh the true Father says He is jealous for His Name, and He will not allow praises to graven images that proceed from common titles, Isaiah 42:8.
Intimacy of Names
We in our Western civilization have nearly lost the significance of names. For us, Johnny is just as good as Tommy. But even then we may be influenced to choose a name for our child based on someone we know who had a particular name. In that case the name is connected to a person - maybe a father or grandfather or uncle - whose very personality and attributes come to mind when the name is spoken or referred to.
Nowhere is this more true than in Scripture. In fact, names have much greater significance when it comes to the Bible. This is particularly so with the One we worship as the Creator and Sustainer of this universe. His Name reveals His special identity. He alone is the one known by His special people as the true Mighty One called YAHWEH. You don't mind when a stranger calls you "friend," or "sir," or "lady." In fact, you expect those you don't know to use such titles. But once you are introduced and you give the other person your name, you feel put off if he or she continues to call you sir or lady. In doing so your acquaintance is rejecting the closeness that using your personal name would otherwise induce.
Yahweh feels the same way. If once we know His Name but insist on calling Him by titles of generic deities, we fall out of favor. His Name is a mark of intimate closeness. How can some claim a "personal relationship" when they don't even call on Him by Name? In making a covenant with Israel, one of the very first things Yahweh did was to introduce them to His personal Name. He wanted and expected the intimacy that using His personal Name would engender.
Getting Down to Specifics
When Yahweh proclaimed through the prophet Isaiah in 42:8, "I am Yahweh, that is my Name," He didn't say, "That's one of my names" or "You can just call me whatever you wish, I'll know who you mean." On the contrary. He said, "That is my Name." Period End of discussion. The psalmist wrote of Him in 83:18, "... Whose Name alone is Yahweh..."
In the Bible, when a person gave his name to another individual, it signified the joining of the two in closest unity. Is it just coincidence that a woman takes on a man's surname in marriage? Why is that? It is because now they are in union - they have become one in aspiration, goal, and commitment to a single cause in a family headed by the husband. (In this era of feminism it's hard to say how long that will continue to be the practice.) Acts 15:14 tells us that Yahweh takes out from the gentiles a special people "for His Name." He is creating a family under His Name: "For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Master Yahshua the Messiah, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named," Ephesians 3: 14-15.
Esteemed by Name
Biblically, the person and his name are virtually equivalent and inseparable. The word "name" in Hebrew is shem. Shem means a mark or a memorial - expressing a person's individuality. A name is a mark of a person's honor (or dishonor), his authority, and his character. In fact, a name describes and defines everything about the person. The Name Yahweh has great significance because of what it defines. Intrinsic to Yahweh's Name is the very verb of existence.
In Exodus 3:14 He tells Moses: "I am that I am" or "ha Yah asher ha Yah" in the Hebrew. It means I am existence itself. I cause everything to come into being. His Name Yahweh describes Him, defines Him, and displays His attributes as the one who causes us to exist now and the one who can give us everlasting existence as well. Joel 2:32 prophesies that the day will come when whoever shall call on His Name will be delivered. That meaning is also intrinsic in the definition of His Name: "I am" or "I will be." "Yahweh" connotes, "I will be there (for you)," especially when you need deliverance.
Astoundingly, His Name Yahweh is found no fewer than 6,823 times in ancient Hebrew manuscripts of the Bible. It simply cannot be ignored.
The Error in ‘But I speak English'
Then there is the common argument, "I don't call on Him by His Hebrew Name because I speak English." Does a person change his name when traveling to foreign lands in which different languages are spoken? Or is his name the same everywhere he goes? Does he get a new passport at each new port of entry? Or is John Doe still "John Doe" in each country he visits? Obviously his name remains unchanged, being spelled the same no matter where he goes.
What is the English equivalent of Franzois Mitterrand? It's Francois Mitterrand, is it not? What is the English form of Boris Yeltsin? Why, it's Boris Yeltsin. If the argument is, I speak English therefore I use English names, then what is "Satan" in English? Satan is a name transliterated in Scripture, as are many others. As with Yahweh, the name Satan is Hebrew. The English form of Abraham is also Abraham, a Hebrew name right out of the Hebrew Scriptures and carried over almost unaltered into our English translation. What about Daniel, also a Hebrew name? What's the English equivalent for Daniel? The name is Daniel, of course. How about Sarah and Martha?
These are all Hebrew names unaltered in the English translation because names simply are not translated. Names are transliterated, meaning that the sounds are brought across unchanged from one language to another. We have no problem with using these Hebrew names without an English equivalent because THERE IS NO ENGLISH EQUIVALENT! Why should Yahweh's Name be any different? Why should the most important Name in the universe not just be altered, but completely replaced? (The term "god" is not an English word anyway. It derives from the Germanic Gott.)
Common Words and Names with ‘Yah'
One of the most popular words of praise is halleluyah. One can hear it in churches all around the globe. It's one of the most ancient words of exultation in existence, and is a purely Hebrew term. "Hallel" means "praise" in Hebrew, and "Yah" is the first part of the sacred Name Yahweh (i.e. Yah-weh). Therefore halleluYah means "Praise Yah." Most do not realize that the most common word of praise contains our Heavenly Father's very Name-"Hallelu-Yah." We see this word especially in the form hallelu-jah, but the "j" is derived from the Hebrew yod, which is a consonant-vowel equivalent to the Y. Another fact many overlook is that there was no letter J in any Hebrew, Greek or Anglo-Saxon alphabet. Therefore the original letter could not have been a J but an I or Y. The J is the newest letter in our alphabet and came into existence about the time of Christopher Columbus.
The "J" is merely an "I" with a tail on it, with a "juh" sound that evolved only recently. The "J" and "I" were used interchangeably until the 17th century. Scripture records many well-known names that contain the name of the Heavenly Father. "Elijah" was not pronounced that way in the Scriptures. It was "Eliyah," a name that means, "my El is Yah." Isaiah (YeshaYah) is a Hebrew name that means "salvation of Yah." Jeremiah (YirmeYah) means "whom Yah raises up," and Zephaniah (ZephanYah) is "hidden of Yah." Many other writers and prophets were named after Yahweh, showing the close bond they had with Him.
Inconsistencies in Argument for English
If one sticks to the position that because we speak English we should not use Hebrew forms, then we shouldn't use the above names, either, because they are Hebrew names and "we don't speak Hebrew." It would not be right to apply that argument just to Yahweh's Name and not to all the other Hebrew names and words in the Bible - like "Sabbath," a Hebrew name, and "Messiah," another Hebrew word. What about all the cities in the Scriptures, like Jerusalem, Nazareth, Bethlehem, and the names of hundreds of other people, places, rivers, seas, deserts, and mountains? These would all need to be changed to English equivalents to be consistent with the argument calling for the exclusive use of English. The problem is, there are no equivalent English forms for these Hebrew names! Neither is there an adequate equivalent or substitute name or title for Yahweh's great Name.
What is the English name for Yahweh? Can it be G-d, with a capital G?
First, we must realize that "god" is not a name but a title. Paul said there are gods many and lords many. Titles do not define specific individuals. There are many presidents in our country - presidents of corporations, colleges, board presidents, bank presidents...but there is only one president of General Motors, only one president of Harvard, only one president of Citibank - and each has a specific, identifiable name that he answers to.
If I wrote a letter addressed, "Dear President," it could apply to any one of the presidents. Only when I include the name with that title do I reveal whom I am specifically addressing. If I pray to the god of this world, Paul in 2Corinthians 4:4 says that I could be praying to Satan because Satan is called a "god of this world," as are thousands of other god deities man has worshiped throughout history. Even then, those deities had specific NAMES attached to their titles.
Our Foreign, English Language
Is "God" simply an equivalent for "Yahweh," used by English-speaking, Bible believers? Does He expect His people to change His Name to some other form according to the language they speak? And is that even possible? The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) says "god" derives from the Dutch god, stemming from the Old High German, gott. It sprang from the Gothic guth, going back to the Teutonic gudo, which stems from two Aryan roots - one meaning to invoke, the other to pour in the sense of a molten image.
The point is, can we say that God is an English word? Far from it! Its common English usage belies ancient foreign origins. Relatively few of the words we use in English are in fact pure English. The word "English" itself isn't even English! England is from "Englaland," land of the Angles. Who were the Angles? Germans from the lowlands of Germany who settled in eastern England in the 5th century (see "English," OED)
Our Impure ‘English' Language
English is a melting pot language that borrows extensively from many languages. The statement, "I speak English so I don't use the Hebrew name," is reasoning that lacks a historical basis in fact. Let's analyze that statement and see just how "nonEnglish" the roots of our language really are. Discovering the origin of each of the words in that simple sentence proves enlightening indeed:
I = the letter I is the ninth letter of the alphabet, coming through the Latin from the Greek and ultimately from the Semitic or Hebrew yod - the first letter in Yahweh's Name.
speak = from the German sprechen
English = a proper noun based in German, as already shown
so = akin to the Gothic swa
do = traces to sanskrit which was spoken in India
not = Old English nought, cognate to several Old Saxon and French formations
use = from Latin asus
the = from Teutonic and Indo-European forms
Hebrew = Hebrew Eber, one who "crosses over."
Name = Greek onoma .
In the statement, "I speak English, so I do not use the Hebrew Name," the word "not" is the only one of those 10 words that is English in origin. English is not by any stretch a pure language. Much of it is from the Romance languages, and vast numbers of its words derive from Greek and Latin (and ultimately Hebrew). Most of the words we use in English come from some other language.
The point in all of this is that language has very little to do with the Name of the Mighty One of the Scriptures. He was Yahweh before He put man on earth. Before there were all these languages from Babel, He was Yahweh. His Name transcends language. "Yahweh" is existence personified. Psalm 135:13 says, "Thy Name endures forever, your memorial throughout all generations." His Name is His memorial that endures for all time.
First Commandment Is Foundational
The Ten Commandments in Exodus 20:2 begin, "I am Yahweh your Elohim which brought you out of the Land of Egypt. You shall have no other mighty ones before me." All false worship can ultimately be traced to a violation of this first of the Ten Commandments. Every sin we commit results from not putting Yahweh and His will, manifested by His laws, first.
Before He says anything, Yahweh establishes in the very first commandment that HE is Yahweh our Mighty One. Ecclesiastes 12:13 bears out this important truth: "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear Yahweh and keep His commandments, for this is the whole [duty] of man." We continue in Exodus20:4: "You shall not make into you any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth." Heathens did not worship a stone image as a stone, but as a representation of some deity. He says don't manufacture these things because they will remind you of some other deity, and I am the only one you are to worship.
Moving on, verse 6 tells us that if we love Him to keep the commandments and He in turn will show mercy to us. Now notice verse 7: "Thou shalt not take the name of Yahweh your Elohim in vain." What does it mean to take His Name in vain? Curse when you miss the nail with a hammer and smash your thumb? Or something far more significant?
Not in the Hebrew
"Take" is the Hebrew nasa, meaning to lift or bring to. Vain comes from shoaw, to rush over, bring to devastation, uselessness, waste - basically "take in vain" means to treat with neglect. When we trade His name exclusively for some title, we are breaking the Third Commandment.
"You shall not bring His Name to desolation or ignore it through neglect," the com- mandment says. When we use a common title in worship, we are missing the most important aspect of who Yahweh is and what He stands for; what He is all about and what He can do for us. His Name describes the very essence of who He is - Yahweh: He is existence itself. No title can mean all that His name stands for. A title defeats the purpose of a name. It just sits there like a pasted-on label, with no depth of meaning and tied to no particular identity.
"I am Yahweh, that is My Name, and My glory will I not give to another," He says in Isaiah 42:8. He and His Name are inseparable. Our hope is that you will grasp the awesome importance of this truth and will come to know your Creator through His personal, revealed Name Yahweh. Realize all that He can and will do for you if you will put Him first and honor His wonderful and powerful Name!
It's More Than a Name!
The common argument that any name is acceptable for calling on the heavenly Father not only violates the sanctity of Yahweh's revealed, personal Name, but also is an assault on True Worship.
Now a push to unite all worship into monolithic, New Age religion is accomplishing its goals in the same way-exploiting key words that are important to proper worship and redefining them for mass consumption and unholy ends.
In the 44th chapter of Jeremiah we find our Heavenly Father Yahweh completely disgusted with His people and ready to wash His hands of them. We see a once exceedingly patient Father who has finally had enough of His rebellious children who insist on worshiping their own way no matter what. After all the prophets He had sent to warn them, after all the trials they failed to overcome and the plagues and hardships they endured for their disobedience, nothing ever really changed. Now the people say in defiance to the prophet, "As for the word that you have spoken unto us in the name of Yahweh, we will not hearken unto you. But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goes for out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem: for then had we plenty of victuals, and were well, and saw no evil" (Jer. 44:16-17).
Here Judah is openly reprobate and contemptuous, like a bratty child who acts up just as soon as his parent's back is turned. These rebellious people are still wanting to worship the heathen gods. No matter what Yahweh says or does, they lust to follow the apostasy of the majority religions around them.
Yahweh decides it's time for some drastic steps. Go ahead, then, Yahweh tells them. Keep your promise to worship in error-like the heathens around you. But know this, you may no longer use my Name. Notice: "Therefore hear the word of Yahweh, all Judah that dwell in the land of Egypt; Behold, I have sworn by my great name, says Yahweh, that my name shall no more be named in the mouth of any man of Judah in all the land of Egypt, saying, Yahweh Elohim lives" (Jeremiah 44:26).
This is punishment for their refusal to worship Him in truth. He does not want His name tied to them or their sin of rebellion.
It follows, therefore, that for Judah to return to True Worship would mean that Judah would have to return to using His Name.
Danger in Name Apathy
Names and words are powerful in ways you may not have considered. Is there any danger to the notion that any name is acceptable in worship of our Heavenly Father? Aside from keeping us from the truth, the typical nonchalance regarding the Heavenly Father's Name and His atypical worship is part of the general indifference that will open the door to the universal, false religion to take control soon. At the heart of this system will be a demon-backed religious leader who will demand worship on a worldwide scale.
A book called New Age Bible Versions details how the way is being paved for the great deception. It reveals that the newer translations of Scripture are taking important words and terms associated with pure worship and generalizing them to appeal to a broad spectrum of worshipers.
Highly publicized recently is the taking of male references to Yahweh in Bibles and religious song books and replacing them with general references and pronouns like "She" for "He" (as worship of the ancient, feminine goddess Sophia returns to churchianity). Ultimately, attempts will be made to include everyone of every faith under a single, global religion. To accomplish that, the wording in new Bibles will help to ease many into further false worship.
The move is subtle now; once churchianity is rendered even more flexible, however, the complete yielding to a one-world religion will come rapidly. Paving the way for this universal religion is a reorienting of beliefs through the manipulation of words. Unaware of what is happening, the masses accept new terminology that moves them further from what truth they had.
Titles That Thrill Satan
Turn to Luke 4:8. This is Yahshua's response to Satan's invitation to fall down and worship the Evil One: "And Yahshua answered and said unto him, Get behind me, Satan: for it is written, You shall worship Yahweh your Elohim, and him only shall you serve" (Luke 4:8).
The KJV says "Lord thy God." The Aramaic or Hebrew, which Yahshua spoke, reads, "Yahweh your Elohim." But even in the Greek, Yahweh's Name would have remained unchanged.
If Yahshua actually said, "Lord thy God," Satan would have been delighted. Why? Because He could have been referring to Satan himself. The Apostle Paul calls Satan the "god of this world" in 2Corinthians 4:4. In Matthew 12:24 Satan is called Beelzebub, which is another term for "Lord of the Flies."
In effect our English translation says: it is written, you shall worship the lord god-which could just as well be Satan-and him only shall you serve!
We can see how the Adversary delights when people are led to worship in common titles today. Doing so removes them from the true Father and a false one is put in His place through a generic and incorrect identification. Change the name of the one you worship and you change WHO you worship and the WAY he is worshiped. Substitute a universal title and remove yourself from the True Yahweh. It is not simply a matter of semantics; it is not simply a choice between two alternatives. It is a matter of true versus false identification.
That is why Yahweh characteristically introduces Himself by Name first, then specifies precisely what worship He expects: "I am Yahweh: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images" (Isa. 42:8). In Exodus 3, Yahweh tells Moses that His Name is Yahweh, then proceeds to explain how He will bring Israel out of the sin of Egypt. They would come to know True Worship, including the Holy Days, after they first learned His personal Name.
Power Through Words
We establish our beliefs through language. Language can inspire, convict, and challenge, as in the way Yahshua used it; or it can be used to manipulate and subjugate, as despots have done over the centuries. Words can sway emotion and opinion, as in a good movie or a good book. Even husbands, wives, and children know what the wrong word or the right word can mean in their relationships.
Titles do not fix personal identity. They are like the generic "human being." To call on "God" is like calling your neighbor "the person."
Today's New Babel
Even the sacred Name of the Creator Himself can lose its significance when we allow others to manipulate with words and substitute names.
The human-centered, humanistic movement that began in the Renaissance is finally succeeding in eliminating the very language of sin, which derives from a higher power. We hardly ever hear in general society terms like "immorality," "living in sin," "fornication," "virtuous," and the like, anymore. Today man has decided to set his own standards of what is right and proper. Sin and any references to it are out, because sin recognizes a Father above, and that directly conflicts with the idea that man himself is all-knowing.
Our culture is building a new Tower of Babel, where everyone speaks the same language of moral relativism. This movement is out to change the way people think about the issue of right and wrong itself by changing their language and how right and wrong are expressed. Forces working behind the scenes have seized on the power of language to promote their own agendas. It's all part of a revamping of Bible-based beliefs-to replace traditional and Biblical morality with humanistic beliefs.
Instead of Biblical standards, we have today "political" correctness. As one author wrote, "Political correctness is an attempt to eliminate freedom of speech for those who hold traditional values and religious beliefs. It is overt social censorship designed to stifle the truth."
But even greater implications are those that tamper with the very nature of Almighty Yahweh and His Word. Satan is out to wipe out Yahweh and the truth of Him in a final push to prepare for His own Anti-Christ. Not just everyday words but even the Word of Yahweh is being molested and modified for an unrighteous end. A recent report notes that a prominent publisher is packaging its Bibles for worldwide distribution with the insignia, "Good News for a New Age." Even more disturbing is how new versions are fiddling with the text itself.
Yahveh or Yahweh?
Whether to pronounce Yahweh's Name with a "v" or "w" hinges on which letter accurately transliterates the sound of the Hebrew letter W or "waw" in the Tetragrammaton, YHWH.
We must take into consideration the ancient pronunciation of the waw and whether "v", "w" or "u" as we know them accurately reflect that ancient pronunciation. The following information is derived from a number of sources, including G.B. Palatino's Lettere Romane (1545). ‘U' and ‘W' are variants of ‘V' which was being used for two different sounds in medieval England. ‘U' was introduced to give a soft vowel sound as opposed to the harder consonant sound of ‘V'. ‘W' began as a ligature. Two ‘V' letterforms were joined into ‘VV' to represent ‘double U' in 12th-century England. Those who use the "v" form of Yahweh's Name (Yahveh) should note that the Name is spelled "Yahweh" in almost all academic publications, many by people well-studied in the Hebrew language, including Hebrew speakers. Hebrew linguists believe the third letter waw was in ancient times pronounced as "w" (hence it is named "waw").
In later Hebrew its pronunciation, influenced by European languages, was changed to "v" and the letter was later called "vav," according to the Encyclopædia Judaica. The Judaica shows that the semitic languages nearest Israel use the "w" pronunciation as opposed to the "v" pronunciation found in those speakers of Hebrew living in or closer to Europe. Those using the "w" sound include Jews of Babylonia, Yemeni, Morocco, Samaria, the Sephardi (Temple Hebrew) and Portuguese. Those using the "v" sound of "waw" include Hebrew-speaking communities in Italy, Poland, Germany, and Lithuania. These Europeans picked up the Germanic "v" and transferred it to the waw.
The change from W to V is very well known, for example, in most of the continental languages like German (also the descendants of Latin). We know from historical comparisons that direction of change in Latin was from W to V. English has remained faithful to an old W sound for over six thousand years, while it changed to V in Late Latin almost two thousand years ago (but had not yet changed in Classical Latin). The "w" is formed by putting two "v" letters together, but it is called a double-u because it is made up of two letters originally pronounced as we do the "u." One needs only to look at old government building architecture with inscriptions bearing a "v" but pronounced like a "u" to see that the "v" was originally a vowel sound like "u" (e.g. bvilding, Jvly).
It was not until the dictionary was published that a decided difference was made between the "v" and the "u." It is more than coincidence that the U, V, and W occur together in our alphabet; it shows a common relationship that these letters had in derivation and similar pronunciation.
The v is a consonant that some have used for the sound of the Hebrew waw in Yahweh's Name (Yahveh). The problem is, the waw in His Name was considered a vowel anciently. In fact, all the letters of the Tetragrammaton are called vowels by Josephus (Wars of the Jews, 5.5.556) as well as by Hebrew grammars. Bagster's Helps to Bible Study also says these are vowel-letters in the sacred Name, "as having been originally used to represent vowels, and they still frequently serve as vowels in combination with the points." Bagsters says the waw represents the letters o or u.
Another authority says, "The sound of waw a long time ago wasn't ‘vav' at all but ‘w' and ‘w' is weak. The Yemenite Jews of Arabia who retain an ancient, correct, and pure pronunciation of Hebrew still pronounce the waw as ‘w,' as does Arabic, the close sister language of Hebrew," How the Hebrew Language Grew, Edward Horowitz, pp. 29-30. As the online Wikipedia notes: "There was no ‘U'; instead, there was the semi-vowel ‘V'. There was no ‘W', although ‘V' was pronounced as the modern English ‘W'." As for the "j" in "Jehovah," the letter J is the last letter to be added to our alphabet. ‘J' was an ‘outgrowth' of ‘I' and was used to give a sound of greater consonant force, particularly as the first letter of some words. It was used interchangeably with the letter "I" at first, showing that its original pronunciation stemmed from the vowel sound of "I" and only later got its "juh" sound through French influence.
The English name "Jehovah" was invented by Roman Catholics sometime in the Middle Ages, based on a misunderstanding of Masoretic Hebrew texts. It is a hybrid word consisting of the Tetragrammaton YHWH ("J" used to be pronounced as "Y") and the vowels for the word "Adonai." Though "Jehovah" is used a few times in the 1611 King James Version (e.g., Gen 22:14; Exod 6:3; Isa 12:2; Ps 83:18) and is found in many older Christian hymns, it is not the authentic biblical pronunciation of the sacred Name (For a discussion of the "Jehovah or Yahweh" question see "God, Names of" in Encyclopædia Judaica, vol. 7, col. 680, or George F. Moore, Judaism in the First Centuries of the Christian Era: The Age of the Tannaim (3 vols., Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press, 1927-30), vol. 1, p. 219 and note 1, p. 427. Most modern Bible translations have notes on this issue in their introductions, agreeing that the true Name of the Heavenly Father is Yahweh.
Was the Savior Greek? Why is a Hebrew Called by a Greek Name?
Suppose a new Bible translation had the second chapter of Matthew begin like this: "Now when Yahshua the Messiah was born at Athens Grecia in the days of Alexander the Great, behold there came wise men from the east to Olympia, Saying, ‘Where is He that is born king of the Greeks? for we have seen His star in the east, and are come to worship Him. When Alexander had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Olympia with him.'"
If you read such a translation you would be troubled, too. "My Bible says the Savior was Hebrew, born of the tribe of Judah at Bethlehem!" you would say. "That translation is wrong! The Greeks were pagans. He wasn't Greek nor was he born among Greeks." You would be absolutely right. Now let's look at this passage as it appears in the King James Version: "Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is bom King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him."
Now the facts are right, expressing the Hebrew heritage and birth of our Savior. But one problem remains. "Jesus" is a Greek name. It is as out of place in the setting of Hebrew Israel as the Hebrew Savior would be if born in Greece - to be king of the Greeks.
Yahshua the Hebrew
Our Savior was a Hebrew, born of a Jewish mother. He had a Hebrew family. He spoke Hebrew, lived the Hebrew culture, kept and taught Hebrew laws, had Hebrew followers, and quoted from the Hebrew Scriptures. So what is He doing in our Bibles with a Latinized-Anglicized-Greek name? And why, being a Hebrew, is He referred to by the purely Greek title "Christos" rather than the Hebrew "Mashiyach" ("Messiah")? One might argue, that's because ours is an English Bible, not a Hebrew one.
If that is true, then why is the Greek "Christ" and its possessive "Christ's" found 570 times in our ENGLISH Bibles, while the original, Hebrew-rooted "Messiah" appears a mere four times? Others may say, well, this just shows that the New Testament was originally inspired in the Greek. Not true, and we can cite myriads of reasons that the New Testament was written in Hebrew or perhaps Aramaic. But that still does not explain why the Greek title Christ, meaning "anointed," remains un-translated in our ENGLISH versions.
Hebrews Loathed Greek Culture
Was the New Testament written in Greek? Consider. The Jews of the Savior's day spoke Hebrew (or some say its sister language Aramaic). They held nothing but animosity for the heathen Greeks and the Hellenization policy of the Seleucid rulers. Why would the Jewish Apostles be writing in Greek under these circumstances and social tensions? What average Jew could or would want to read Greek writings (even if the Apostles could write Greek, which most could not)? Some Alexandrian Jews had resettled in Judea and did speak Aramaic. Josephus, the eminent first-century Hebrew priest and historian - who said he far exceeded the average Jew in learning - wrote, "I cannot pronounce Greek with sufficient exactness..." (Antiquities of the Jews, 20:11:1). If this eminent priest and scholar could not speak Greek, how could most of the common Jews in Judea?
Yahshua sent the l2 Disciples "not to the Gentiles [Greeks included], but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel," Matthew 10:6. Obviously, these Hebrew Disciples writing for Israelites wrote in Hebrew - so the average Hebrew would understand. To think they would be writing in Hebrew but inserting Greek substitute names for the Father and Son is absurd. On the contrary. They would use the personal Names first revealed from On High to the Hebrew patriarchs in the Hebrew language long before the Greek language even existed! (see Gen. 4:1, 26)
The Case for 'Yahshua'
That the Heavenly Father's personal, revealed, covenant Name is Yahweh is widely known and recognized in religious circles. But how do we know that the Savior's Name is Yahshua? First, the "J" did not exist in any language until about the 15th century common era (A.D.). This eliminates both "Jehovah" and "Jesus." Second, Yahshua said He came in His Father's Name, John 5:43. YAHweh and YAHshua both bear the family name "Yah." The Name Yah-shua means "Yah's salvation." Third, Yahshua was a Jew, a descendant of the Hebrews. He would no more have a Greek name than a German would have a Chinese name.
Born a Hebrew, He Had a Hebrew Name
The Savior was born of Hebrew parents, Luke 1:27. It naturally follows that He would have a Hebrew name. "Jesus Christ" is a Greek name, and we know He was not Greek (see Luke 1:32; Hebrews 7:14).
Being a Hebrew who came in His Father's Name, John 5:43, the Son's Name would be tied to the Father's. It is no different with a son bearing his father's surname today. And that is just what we find in Matthew 1:21, where the angel told Joseph that his son's Name would be based on the key fact that He would save His people from their sins. Thus, we have Yahshua, a Name in the Hebrew meaning "Yahweh is salvation" (Yah-shua). No such meaning exists in the Grecianized name "Jesus". "Christ" is a shortened form of the Greek Christos, meaning "anointed."
Being a hybrid, the name "Jesus" has no distinctive etymological root meaning. In fact, the letter J did not exist in any language until the time of Christopher Columbus. This is a fact provable from any unabridged dictionary under the letter J. Therefore, no one referred to Him as "Jesus" until the 15th century or 1,500 years after His birth.
The Anchor Bible explains His Name Yahshua in a note on Matthew 1:1: "The first element, Yahu (=Yahweh) means ‘the [Lord],' while the second comes from shua ‘To help, save'" (vol. 26, p. 2). Translator errors in Acts 7:45 and Hebrews 4:8 in the King James Version testify to the fact that "Jesus" was wrongly inserted in the New Testament text for the more correct "Joshua" (Yahshua), son of Nun. Modern versions have fixed this error.
Why should we be so scrupulous and careful about what we call Him? Do names really matter? Does your name matter to you? His Name certainly matters to Yahweh, who instructs us in no less than the very outset of the Ten Commandments what His Name is, and in the Second Commandment that He expects us to worship none else, Exodus 20:2-3. He also warns against falsifying His Name, 20:7, which is done by the use of erroneous substitutes.
When we use another name in worship we are dishonoring Him and His Son by ignoring His specific commands to call on His Name, and therefore putting our will before His. To insist on using another name once we know His true Name is to defy the very One who gives us each breath. The four Hebrew letters of His Name are found 6,823 times in the ancient text, and He refers to His Name hundreds of times throughout the Scriptures. For example, He tells us to honor His Name (Ps. 66:2,4); call on it (Ps. 99:6); confess it (1Kings 8:33); love His Name (Ps. 5:11); praise His Name (2Sam. 22:50); think on it (Mal. 3:16), and trust in it (Isa. 50:10).
Common arguments against His Name are completely baseless. Nowhere in the Bible do we find any statement saying, "It doesn't matter what you call Me, I know who you mean." Neither do we find a single verse stating, "I have many names" or one verse that says, "All names for Me are acceptable if you are sincere in your worship." On the contrary, we learn that the truly sincere worshiper will honor His Father in all things, especially when it comes to His Name. Yahweh is adamant that He has but one Name. The Psalmist writes, "That men may know that You, whose name alone is Yahweh, are the Most High over all the earth," Psalm 83:18. His people will know and be called by His Name, Deuteronomy 28:10 tells us. He commands us not even to mention the names of other "deities," Exodus 23:13.
He says the false prophets have tried to make people forget His Name just as their fathers have "forgotten my name for Baal," Jeremiah 23:27. Baal, the supreme deity of the Babylonians, is associated with the title "Lord." When we call on Him by the title Lord, we not only violate His command not to do so, but we also invoke heathen worship traditions and place Him in a lesser role than the heavenly Majesty that He is.