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God’s Sacred Name

YHWH is God’s Hebrew name. Y’shua is Jesus’ Hebrew name. God and Jesus are just two of the many, many titles English-speaking people use.

Which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal. Jer 23:27

Will God Answer to Any Name?

My name is Robin. I also answer to Mommy, Mom, Ma, Marmee (my grandchildren call me Marmee), Aunt Robin, Honey, Sweetheart (my Grandmother’s name for me), Sis, Mrs. Sampson, Mrs. Robin, and Sister Sampson.

I also answer, with all the love I have to offer, to the uplifted hands of my granddaughter, who is too young to say “Grandmother.” She just started saying something that sounds close to “gamaa.” I enthusiastically answer, because I am full of love for her no matter what she calls me. I loved her before she could ever say my name or even recognize me.

I know that I know YHWH is full of love for me, unworthy sinner that I am. Usually I call Him Father, sometimes I call Him God, Lord, or Yahweh. He is happy that I read His Word and I call on Him.

YHWH is our Healer, Provider, Protector, Sustainer, Guide, Shepherd, Keeper, etc., as well as our Savior through His Son Jesus. I have no problem calling Yeshua’ Y’shua, Lord, or Jesus.

He is the Son of God our Redeemer, therefore, it is really irrelevant what His name is translated into, since we know very well Who is being spoken of. If one grows in his or her Christian walk and has always been taught God’s Son’s name is Jesus, I have a very hard time believing that our wonderful, just, merciful YHWH would be so petty as to fault us for our vocal characteristics, even when our intent is pure. if we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and His love is perfected in us (1 John 4:12).

The word Jew is the English translation of Yehuwdiy. A Jew is a `Ibri or Hebrew, a descendant of Yehudah (Judah in English). If you only speak English and have only grown up hearing English names, it difficult to understand writings or teachings using the Hebrew names.

It is difficult enough to get people to read the Bible. Can you imagine what it would be like if they had to read all the names in Hebrew? It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t study Hebrew–far from it. It is a precious thing to understand Scripture in its original language; however, if it is easier to use terms that people understand to lead them to the Savior or teach a truth, why not?

I am devoted to sharing significance of Jewish roots. If I had used the term Yehuwdi’s Sheoesh, 99.9 percent would not understand what I was referring to. In the same way, using Yahweh and Yeshua could be a real stumbling block for some.

We must be able to communicate to share God’s Word. At the time of this writing two denominations have shown an interest in using this book in their Sunday School classes nationwide. If this book only used the Hebrew names, I seriously doubt they would have any interest.

Yeshua Only Groups

Very rarely there are small groups who will not even use the name Jesus, saying it is another name for Zeus1, the principal god of the ancient Greeks. This theory comes from a lack of study and lack of understanding translations.

This attitude usually starts out as a zeal for God, wanting to please Him, but usually turns into an attitude of arrogance to the point of dissociation of all believers who do not use the sacred name. No one is absolutely sure of the pronunciation of YHWH.

These groups say “Yahweh” but they may be pronouncing it wrong. The groups who insist on only using the names YHWH and Yeshua would never have known how to find out the name of God if they hadn’t studied English reference books that use the names God and Jesus.

Beware of any group thinking they are the only ones that will be saved because they use “God’s real name.” All of our righteousness is as filthy rags. No one is better than another. We are ALL sinners that need salvation. One is saved by an active belief in the Father’s Son, that His blood was shed, and that He died and arose.

Oklahoma bomber Timothy McViegh, the family at Ruby Ridge, the Abilene, Texas dooms-day leader Yisryal Hawkins, and the branch Davidian cult in Waco, Texas, all are sacred name cults. They considerthemselves as “the True Worshippers” eschewing the name ‘Christian’ as being of pagan origin (The Church of God, Seventh Day, A Bibliography by Joel Bjorling, p. 197).
 

Our responsibility is to make Him Lord of our lives and follow His Word. Yes, God’s name is YHWH and Jesus’ name is Yeshua, but will YHWH condemn those who serve Him to hell, just because they pray to dear Lord, God or as Yeshua directed, our Father? Our Father in Heaven knows our hearts and He knows those who love His Son.

The fruit of legalism is easily recognized arguments, jealousy, selfish ambition, and envy. The resulting strife and confusion of the Yahweh only groups are far from what Yeshua taught. Yeshua taught us to love one another. Love is the fruit of a believer. When a person thinks higher of himself than others, especially to the point of disassociating himself with other believers because of a translation of a name, it is cruel judgment and an attitude of superiority not love.

Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him (1 John 4:13-16).

Notes

Where did Jehovah Come From?

In Exodus 3:14-15, it says, “And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me to you. And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations. The same Hebrew word translated “I AM WHO I Am”, “I AM” and “LORD” is YHWH.

The Ancient Hebrew used no vowels. The actual pronunciation of YHWH was quickly lost. When the Masoretes in late medieval times decided to make the Hebrew more readable by adding vowels, they changed YHWH to JHVH (there was no J in the Hebrew). They used the vowels they assigned to Adonai. Thus they created “Jehovah” to be used in place of YHWH.

Pronunciation of YHWH

Since Hebrew was written without vowels in ancient times, the four consonants YHWH contain no clue to their original pronunciation. In traditional Judaism, the name is not pronounced, but Hebrew-Adonai (“Lord”) or something similar is substituted. YHWH was probably pronounced ahiyhwah during the Temple period. We do not know what vowels were used, or even whether the Vav in the Name was a vowel or a consonant. Some Bible scholars use the names Yahweh and Yahveh but other scholars do not find these pronunciations correct.

Today’s Bibles Translate YHWH as LORD

Each time you see the name LORD or GOD in all caps in the King James Version of the Bible, it is a translation of YHWH. (If you see “Lord God” it is a translation of “Adonai YHWH”). In A few English versions of the Bible the tetragrammaton is represented by Jehovah.

Other Names

Without doubt, the tetragrammaton, YHWH, is the most significant name in the Old Testament. As one writer observed, no single word in Hebrew has ever evoked such a torrent of discussion as . . .

  • YHWH, the personal name of the Hebrew God (Gianotti, 1996). Let’s look at other names used to designate God in the Old Testament:
  • God Elohim Genesis 1:1
  • God El Genesis 14:18
  • God Eloah Nehemiah 9:17
  • God Elah (Aramaic form) Daniel 2:18
  • GOD YHWH (Yahweh) Genesis 15:2
  • LORD YHWH or YH Genesis 2:4
  • JEHOVAH YHWH Exodus 6:3
  • JAH YH (Yah) Psalm 68:4
  • Lord Adon Joshua 3:11
  • Lord Adonai Genesis 15:2
  • English Hebrew Example in Scripture
  • I AM THAT I AM Eheyeh asher Eheyeh Exodus 3:14
  • I AM Eheyeh Exodus 3:14
  • Most High God El-Elyon Genesis 14:18
  • The Lord Sanctifies Yahweh-Mekaddesh Ex. 31:13
  • The Lord is my Banner Yahweh-Nissi Ex. 17:15
  • The Lord is Peace Yahweh-Shalom Judg. 6:24
  • The Lord of Hosts Yahweh-Sabaoth 1 Sam. 1:3; Jer. 11:20
  • The Lord is my Shepherd Yahweh-Rohi Ps. 23:1
  • The Lord is Our Righteousness Yahweh-Tsidkenu Jer. 23:5-6; 33:16
  • The Lord is There Yahweh-Shammah Ezek. 48:3
  • Almighty God El-Shaddai Genesis 17:1
  • Everlasting God El-Olam Genesis 21:33
  • The Most High God El-Elyon Num. 24:16; 2 Sam. 22:14
  • God of Eternity El-Olam Gen. 21:33; Isa. 26:4; Ps. 90:2
  • God of the Covenant El-Berith Judg. 9:46
  • God of Vision El-Rohi Gen. 16:13
  • Jesus employed a form of El when he cried from the cross, “Eloi, Eloi” (my God, my God,) quoting Psalm 22.
  • Many of the names for God are symbolic, illustrative, or figurative.
  • Shield Gen. 15:1; Ps. 84:11
  • Ancient of Days Dan. 7:9,13,22
  • Rock Deut. 32:18; Ps. 19:14; Isa. 26:4
  • Refuge Ps. 9:9; Jer. 17:17
  • Fortress Ps. 18:2; Nah. 1:7
  • Refiner Mal. 3:3
  • Descriptions of God come from everyday life.
  • King Zech. 14:9
  • Judge Gen. 15:14
  • Shepherd Ezek. 34; Psalms 23
  • Descriptions referring to God as Father:
  • God the Father Ps. 103:13
  • Father of Israel Jer. 31:9
  • Our Father (how we are to pray) Matt. 6:9
  • Father of Mercies 2 Cor. 1:3
  • Father of Lights James 1:17
  • Father of Glory Eph. 1:17