About the Cover
Archaeology continually unearths positive proof of the Creator's personal Name. This is a section of a 14-line commentary on the Book of Habakkuk found at Qumran among the Dead Sea Scrolls. Composed about 50 B.C.E., the scroll is written mainly in modern Aramaic script, the script we recognize as Hebrew. Here is proof that scribes revered the Creator's Name so much that when they came upon it, they wrote it in the more ancient paleo-Hebrew style. You can see the four-letter Name (Tetragrammaton) in the middle of the line fifth from the top. They were quoting from Habakkuk 2:13-14.
We gratefully thank DeWitt Smith for his literary
contribution that provided the basis for this booklet.
What would you think of a man who would never mention his wife's name throughout his married life, but only referred to her as "wife"? Suppose a new doctor came to town and a friend of yours introduced him as "Mr. Doctor." Would that tell you anything more about him than what you already knew?
While titles sometimes tell us the trade, profession or vocation of a person, they do not identify the individual from all other individuals that might be in the same profession or trade. Surely you can see that it would be inappropriate to refer to a man or woman throughout life simply by title. How could you identify the works of a great composer or any great artist if you just referred to them as those of "Mr. Composer" or "Mr. Artist"? Correct titles can be useful, but only the correct name can identify a specific individual.
If you went through life never identifying your friends by their names, but only by titles, there would arise a question in the minds of your friends and others as to why you refused to use their proper names. The logic and necessity of identifying individuals by their proper names is obvious, but the paradox of this whole situation is that most people never stop to realize that the One they worship as "Almighty God" has a personal Name that He wants His people to identify Him by to distinguish Him from all other "mighty ones."
Those who don't understand the importance of His Name argue, "Oh, He and I know who I mean. What difference does it make what I call Him?"
What if you wrote a check payable to "The Man" or "The Lady" or just "Lady" or "Boy"? That certainly would not identify the person you wanted to receive the check. If it were lost, anyone could cash it because it could apply to any number of people. Surely in that case you would not argue that it "makes no difference, I know who I have in mind." You would be very careful whose name goes on the check. How much more important is it to use the correct name (rather than a mere title) of the One who created this universe, including you.
There were many in ancient Israel who identified the "Almighty"--the One who provided all their needs and who gave them rain and sunshine in due season--but they did it by exalting a former title name that meant "lord" as a substitute for the real Name of the Almighty. This was displeasing to the Almighty as the following text indicates. "How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? Yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart; Which think to cause my people to forget MY NAME by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbor, as their fathers have FORGOTTEN MY NAME FOR BAAL." (Jeremiah 23:26, 27)
If the Almighty was displeased with the use of the title "Baal," which His people were substituting for His Name, why would He not be just as displeased with its English equivalent "Lord" which people are substituting today for His Name? The same is true of the title "God." This title "God" was originally a Teutonic word used in worship of idols by heathen Teutonic tribes (see "God," Oxford English Dictionary). In their conversion to Christianity they applied the same title and substituted it for the true Mighty One in their new worship.
Today, the title names of "God" and "Lord" are thought appropriate in identifying the Supreme Being. However, the Bible indicates differently. Scripture states that our Maker and Creator is "jealous for (His) holy Name" (Ezekiel 39:25; Exodus 23:13). This means that He desires for us to use His Name with respect so as to identify Him from all other deities.
There is coming a time when Yahweh says He "will take the names of Baalim out of her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name." Baalim is plural for Baal (Bel), a Caananite deity. Baal is the same as the title "Lord," according to the Companion Bible note on Hosea 2:16. At left is a statue of the pagan Baal.
The title name Baal was formerly used in reference to a lord or master of a house or one exercising authority. When used in that sense it was considered appropriate even when applied to the Almighty. But when this title name became an exclusive substitution for the holy Name of the Almighty, and then became associated with pagan religious worship, the title became detestable to the Almighty. The same abominable practice in ancient Israel of substituting titles for the true Name of the Almighty is practiced today in Christendom. The Christian world has forgotten His Name for the general titles God and Lord.
Although His Holy Name is used approximately 7,000 times in the ancient Scriptures, rarely do you hear it mentioned in modern-day Christianity. The substitution has been nearly complete. The blame for much of this falls on Jewish scribes who endeavored to keep the Name they considered too holy hidden from the Gentile world. Additionally, translators did not see the importance of transliterating the Name.
What Is His Name, Then?
What is the proper Name of the Almighty? "Baal" or its English equivalent "Lord" is not His Name. Neither is the title "God" that the pagans used in their worship. Even Satan is called a god in the Bible, "the god of this present world" (2 Corinthians 4:4). There are "many gods and lords," as the Apostle Paul stated in 2 Corinthians 8:5. Using title names does not identify the One you worship. Capitalizing them doesn't help, either. It is not enough to argue that it is your intentions that matter, when our Almighty has stated thousands of times in the Old Testament what His specific Name is--and stresses repeatedly that He intends that we use it.
In most Bible translations you will not find His Holy Name because the translators have substituted the titles God and Lord for His Holy Name. But you can restore it when you read the Scriptures. In many King James Bibles, everywhere you see the words "LORD" or "LORD GOD" in capital letters in the Old Testament, the Masoretic Hebrew script has the Hebrew characters . These four Hebrew letters, when transliterated into English are written "YHWH." (Transliterate means to bring a word sound for sound across from one language to another.) The four letters are often referred to as the Tetragrammaton.
The Hebrew alphabet consists of 22 consonants and no vowels except that some of these consonants carry vowel sounds. It so happens that the three Hebrew letters--the Yothe (Y), the He (H), and the Waw (W) that make up the holy Name--are known as vowel-letters. When the vowel sounds of these letters are included with the four consonants that make up the holy Name, we have the English transliteration "YaHWeH."
Nearly every modern dictionary or encyclopedia shows that Yahweh is the correct English transliteration of the Tetragrammaton. In the King James translation and in older writings you will find it as "Jehovah." But this word is incorrect, and every modern-day authority will so inform you.
The vowels that were used to coin the word "Jehovah" were taken from the Hebrew "Adonai." There is no such word in the Hebrew Scripture as "Jehovah." It is an invention of the 14th century by the Roman Catholic Church, and traditionally accepted by Protestants up until modern times when it was discovered that this was not a correct transliteration of the sacred Name. Now that we know that "Jehovah" is not correct, we should for the sake of accuracy alone refrain from using it.
The Jews Preserved the Sacred Name
in the Ancient Scriptures
Jewish scholars should know, if anyone knows, the truth about the Name of the One they worship. Jewish scribes were entrusted with the preservation of the Scriptures, Romans 3:1-2. The best up-to-date authority, the Encyclopedia Judaica, has the following to say about the Holy Name, and why the hybrid name "Jehovah" came into existence. The following is from vol. 7, page 680, under the heading "YHWH."
The personal name of the [Mighty One] of Israel is written in the Hebrew Bible with the four consonants YHWH and is referred to as the 'Tetragrammaton.' At least until the destruction of the First Temple in 586 B.C.E., this name was regularly pronounced with its proper vowels, as is clear from the Lachish Letters, written shortly before that date. But at least by the third century B.C.E., the pronunciation of the name YHWH was avoided, and Adonai, 'the Lord,' was substituted for it, as evidenced by the use of the Greek word Kyrios, 'Lord," for YHWH in the Septuagint, the translation of the Hebrew Scriptures that was begun by Greek-speaking Jews in that century.
Where the combined form 'Adonai YHWH' occurs in the Bible, this was read as 'Adonai Elohim,' 'Lord God.' In the early Middle Ages, when the consonantal text of the Bible was supplied with vowel points to facilitate its correct traditional reading, the vowel points for 'Adonai' with one variation--a sheva with the first Yod of YHWH instead of the hataf-patah under the aleph of 'Adona'--were used for YHWH, thus producing the form YeHoWaH. When Christian scholars of Europe first began to study Hebrew they did not understand what this really meant, and they introduced the hybrid name 'Jehovah.' In order to avoid pronouncing even the sacred name 'Adonai' for YHWH, the custom was later introduced of saying simply in Hebrew ha-Shem (or Aramaic Shema, [the Name]) even in such an expression as 'Blessed be he that cometh in the name of YHWH' (Psalm 118:26). The avoidance of pronouncing the name YHWH is generally ascribed to a sense of reverence. More precisely, it was caused by a misunderstanding of the third Commandment (Exodus 20:7; Deuteronomy 5:11) as meaning 'Thou shalt not take the name of YHWH in vain,' whereas it really means, 'You shall not swear falsely by the name of YHWH' (JPS).
The true pronunciation of the name YHWH was never lost. Several early Greek writers of the Christian Church testify that the name was pronounced 'Yahweh.' This is confirmed at least for the vowel of the first syllable of the name, by the shorter form Yah, which is sometimes used in poetry (e.g., Exodus 15:2) and the--Yahu' or--Yah that serves as the final syllable in the very many Hebrew names.
As stated previously, if anyone should know how to pronounce the Holy Name of the Elohim of Israel, it should be the Jewish priests and scribes. They say that the Name has never been lost and that it should be pronounced in English as Yah-weh. The end letter "h" is silent, and the "e" is pronounced as in the word "they."
Notice in the quotation above that the Encyclopedia Judaica stated that the "shorter form" of the sacred, Holy Name of the Creator was "Yah." This fact is verified even in the King James Version. This shortened Name of "Yahweh" is "Yah," but is written as "Jah" in Psalm 68:4. The Hebrews had no "J" in their alphabet and neither did the English until 1565. Anyone who has read medieval literature written prior to this time knows that what is now a "J" was then a "Y." The "Y" and "J" have practically the same consonant value.
There are some versions of the Bible wherein the translators have restored the Holy Name in the Old Testament, transliterating it correctly into English. You will find the Holy Name restored in Rotherham's Emphasized Bible, the Catholic Jerusalem Bible, and the Anchor Bible. However, this correction has been made only in the Old Testament. There is no good reason why this same practice of restoring the Holy Name in the Old Testament could not have been followed in the New Testament. It is not even done where the writers of the New Testament quoted directly from Old Testament passages that included the Holy Name.
Their reluctance to do so was due in part to their desire to follow the popular and traditional use of the Greek "Theos" (God) and "Kurios" (Lord) that they found in old Greek manuscripts. Many were also laboring under the belief that the original New Testament was written in Greek. This has never been proved. The original writings of the New Testament have never been found. The New Testament books that we have are translations of copies many times over. Most modern scholars today agree that because of textual evidence the books of Matthew, Hebrews and Revelation were written originally in Hebrew. The numerous Hebraisms alone in the language of the New Testament give strong claim to its original Hebrew writing. There is a possibility that the Book of Luke and some of the writings of Paul could have been written originally in Greek, but there is no proof that this is so. Luke and Paul were the only authors of the New Testament capable of writing in Greek.
For argument's sake, let us assume that the entire New Testament was written in Greek. That would not prove that the Holy Name was translated into Greek, and it is unthinkable that the New Testament's Jewish writers would have substituted the Greek title "Theos" and "Kurios" for the Name Yahweh.
Early Greek Septuagint Included
the Creator's Name
Substitution of the surrogate titles "Lord" and "God" for the sacred Name took place gradually after the first century. The earliest copies of the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Old Testament) show that the Holy Name was retained in Paleo-Hebrew script, and was sometimes written in gold letters. Even copies of Origen's Hexapla (a third century church father) show the Tetragrammaton written in square Aramaic script, although the rest of the text is written in Greek. (See the cover explanation of the same done by Hebrew scribes.)
George Howard, associate professor of religion and Hebrew at the University of Georgia, is the author of several books on early Christian theology. In the March 1978 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review (Vol. IV, No. 1, pp. 13-14), he writes of the preservation of the Name Yahweh in early Greek translations:
In 1944, E. G. Waddell discovered the remains of an Egyptian papyrus scroll (Papyrus Fuad 266) dating to the first or second century B.C.E. which included part of the Septuagint. In no instance, however, was YHWH translated kyrios. Instead, the Tetragrammaton itself--in square Aramaic letters--was written into the Greek text. This parallels the Qumran Covenanters' use of the paleo-Hebrew script for the Divine Name in a document which was otherwise written in square Aramaic script.
The Fuad papyrus scroll is the earliest example we have examined, dating to the first or second century B.C.E. Here for the first time we have clear evidence that in pre-Christian times the Septuagint, at least sometimes, did not translate the divine name with the Greek word kyrios as had been thought; rather it preserved the Hebrew word YHWH itself.
We can now say with near certainty that it was a Jewish practice before, during and after the New Testament period to write the divine name in Paleo-Hebrew or square Aramaic script or in transliteration right into the Greek text of Scripture. This presents a striking comparison with the Christian copies of the Septuagint and the quotations of it in the New Testament which translate the Tetragrammaton as Kyrios or Theos.
The divine name YHWH was and is the most sacred word in the Hebrew language. So it is hardly likely that Jews of any sort would have removed it from their Bibles. Furthermore, we know now from discoveries in Egypt and the Judean desert that Jews wrote the Tetragrammaton in Hebrew even in their Greek texts. In all likelihood Jewish Christians felt the same way about the divine name and continued to preserve it in Hebrew in their Bibles. A famous rabbinic passage (Talmud Shabbat 13:5) discusses the problem of destroying heretical texts (very probably including books of Jewish-Christians). The problem arises for the rabbinic writer because the heretical texts contain the divine name, and their wholesale destruction would include the destruction of the divine name. This further suggests that Jewish Christians did not translate the divine name into Greek.
First, as to the Old Testament: Jewish scribes preserved the Tetragrammaton in their copies of the Septuagint both before and after the New Testament period. In all probability, Jewish Christians wrote the Tetragrammaton in Hebrew as well. Toward the end of the first Christian century, when the church had become predominantly Gentile, the motive for retaining the Hebrew name Yahweh was lost and the words kyrios and theos were substituted for it in Christian copies of Old Testament Septuagints. Both kyrios and theos were written in abbreviated form in a conscious effort to preserve the sacred nature of the divine name. Soon the original significance of the contractions was lost and many other contracted words were added.
A similar pattern probably evolved with respect to the New Testament. When the Septuagint which the New Testament church used and quoted contained the Hebrew form of the divine name, the New Testament writers no doubt included the Tetragrammaton in their quotations. But when the Hebrew form for the divine name was eliminated in favor of the Greek substitutes in the Septuagint, it was eliminated also from the New Testament quotations of the Septuagint.
Thus toward the end of the first Christian century, the use of surrogate (kyrios and theos) and their contractions must have crowded out the Hebrew Tetragrammaton in both Testaments. Before long the divine name was lost to the Gentile church except insofar as it was reflected in the contracted surrogates or remembered by scholars.
Had you ever given it any thought when reading the Bible how many times just the word "name" is used in reference to the Heavenly Family? The Name Yahweh is used approximately 7,000 times in the Old Testament, and some 100 times it should have appeared in the New Testament. The Hebrew scribes recorded the Name in the Old Testament, but in the hundred times that it should have appeared in the New Testament we find no indications of it. It is missing even in those cases where the Holy Name was quoted directly from the Old Testament. But as George Howard points out, research shows that the first century Apostolic Assembly did write the Name "even in their Greek texts."
The Jews considered the holy Name, (YHWH) as the most holy word in the Bible, and it is unthinkable that Holy Spirit-inspired authors of the New Testament would have left it out in their original writings. Especially would this be so in those instances where direct quotations were made from the Old Testament. Let us examine just a few of many such quotations given in the New Testament. In Matthew 4:4 the King James translation reads: "But He answered and said, 'It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.'"
In Copying Scripture,
Meticulous Scribes Revere
~taken from The Bible Almanac,
"When the Old Covenant writers finished their scrolls, there were no copying machines or printing presses to duplicate their writing for the public. They depended on scribes, men who patiently copied the Scriptures by hand when extra copies were needed and when the original scrolls became too worn to use any longer. The scribes attempted to make exact copies of the copies. Even so, they did not always avoid mechanical slips in copying at some points. Anyone who has ever done any copying will sympathize!
By the time Yahshua was born, the most recent Old Testament book (Malachi) had been copied and recopied over a span of more than 400 years; the books that Moses wrote had been copied this way for more than 1400 years. Yet during that time the scribes guarded the Old Testament text very well. It has been computed that, on the average, they mistakenly copied one out of every 1,580 letters; and they usually corrected these errors when they made new copies.
Before he began his work each day, the scribe would test his reed pen by dipping it in the ink and writing the name Amalek, then crossing it out (cf. Deut. 25:19). Then he would say, 'I am writing the torah in the name of its sanctity and the name of Yahweh in its sanctity.' The scribe would read a sentence in the manuscript he was copying, repeat it aloud, and then write it. Each time he came to the name Yahweh, he would say, "I am writing the name Yahweh for the holiness of His name.' If he made an error in writing Yahweh's name, he had to destroy the entire sheet of papyrus or vellum that he was using."
Our Savior quoted Deuteronomy 8:3 in this passage. Do you really think that our Savior said "God" when He quoted this Old Testament verse? In Deuteronomy 8:3 in the King James translation you will find the English word "LORD" in capital letters. Wherever "LORD" appears in capital letters in the Old Testament, the Hebrew Script (YHWH--Yahweh), which is His Holy Name, appears. If you have the Emphasized Bible or the Jerusalem Bible you will find it transliterated "YAHWEH" in their translations. Since Matthew 4:4 is a direct quotation of Deuteronomy 8:3, the Name "Yahweh" should have appeared also in the New Testament. Let us take another text exactly as it is written in the King James: "And the Scripture was fulfilled which saith, 'Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness:' and he was called the friend of God." (James 2:23) James is quoting here from Genesis 15:6 in the Old Testament. Again, you will find in the King James the title "LORD" in capital letters, which indicates that a substitution has been made for the original holy Name, "Yahweh."
We find also that the translators substituted the English titles "God" and "Lord" where the sacred Name is found in the Hebrew text in similar quotations, such as: Deuteronomy 6:13 in Matthew 4:10; Psalm 118:23 in Matthew 21:42; Deuteronomy 6:5 in Matthew 22:37; Psalm 110:1 in Matthew 22:44; Isaiah 61:1-2 in Luke 4:19; and Isaiah 54:13 in John 6:45.
Romans 10:13 reads verbatim, "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." This quotation was originally spoken in Joel 2:32. Here, once more, when we examine the King James translation in the Old Testament we find the word "LORD" in capital letters. The translators should not have substituted a title where the sacred Name appeared in the Hebrew text of the Old Testament, nor in the New Testament where the writers of the New Testament had quoted from the Old Testament. Following is the way Joel 2:32 should read, and in which it is so transliterated by Rotherham's Emphasized Bible: "And it shall come to pass whosoever shall call on the name of Yahweh shall be delivered."
The Savior's Name Contains
the Promise of Salvation
The Apostle Paul was called as a missionary to the Gentile world to proclaim the Holy Name of Yahweh. Notice the reading of verse 14 of Romans 10: "How then shall they call on Him [Yahweh-shua] in Whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in Him [Yahweh-shua] of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher [that uses the Holy Name]?"
The apostle Paul, as well as all the other disciples, was commanded to preach to all nations repentance and salvation in His Holy Name (Mark 16:15, Luke 24:47). When the Apostle Peter was questioned by the priests "by what name" he had healed the impotent man, he replied: "Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the NAME OF YAHSHUA the Messiah of Nazareth, Whom ye impaled Whom Yahweh raised from the dead, even by him does this man stand here before you whole. This is the Stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other [Name]: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:10-12).
If people never hear His Name because it is never preached to them, then according to this Scripture how can they be eternally saved or sealed by that Name? Some say that it isn't the Name that is important, that a Name does not save, but that it is the "person" who saves. This is an attempt in reasoning to quiet the conscience of those who refuse to use the Name that the angel Gabriel told Joseph (Yoseph) and Mary (Miriam) to name Him. This attempt to dissect His Name from His Person cannot be done. His Name identifies His Person, and one stands for the other. His Name is intrinsic with His very being because His Name has meaning. The above text states that there is saving power in that Name, which we shall now prove.
A Jew with a Latin-Greek Name?
You will notice that we used the Hebrew Name given to our Savior in the above text, the very Name that the angel Gabriel told Joseph to give Him. The angel told Joseph: "And she [Miriam] shall bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name [not the Latin-Greek name "Jesus" that you find in your Bible, but] Yahshua: for He shall save His people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21).
Our Savior was born of the tribe of Judah. He was a Jew, and was given a Hebrew name--not a Greek, Latin or English name. His name should sound the same the world over no matter which language is spoken. Not to do so is to corrupt it, and to corrupt it is a violation of the third Commandment, "Thou shalt not take the NAME of Yahweh they Elohim in vain [desecrate it]; for Yahweh will not hold him guiltless that taketh HIS NAME IN VAIN" (Exodus 20:7).
There are several different ways of taking His Name in vain (which means to falsify in Hebrew) but the way most done today, even though in most cases through ignorance, is by use of a corrupt form. If you remove an author's name from the books he wrote and reprint them with another name in them you would be falsifying his works. The same is true when you substitute Yahweh's Name with another. Everything that a believer in Yahshua does in obedience to Him should be done in the Name that the angel gave Him, and "FOR HIS NAME" (Romans 1:5).
The name Jesus is a Latinized Greek translation of Joshua (a corruption of the Hebrew Yahshua). Joshua later took on the form Jeshua, which explains the "e" in Jesus. The "us" ending was added to indicate masculine nominative. (Write for the booklet, "The Missing J," which details this transformation.) The Savior was never called Jesus in His lifetime. In fact, the name "Jesus" did not exist until about 500 years ago, as scholars point out.
It is this very issue as to the Name of the one we worship that will bring tribulation to Yahshua's elect. Scripture states: "Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you; and you shall be hated of all nations for MY NAME'S SAKE" (Matthew 24:9). One version reads "on account of my name." O. H. Rieu, in his translation of the Book of Acts, puts it even plainer: "Ye shall be hated by the pagan world because you USE MY NAME. . ."
The Apostle John was shown in a vision the events of the last days. He states that what will serve to delineate false worshippers from true worshippers of Yahweh will be a "mark" (seal) or the name of the Beast, as opposed to the mark or seal of the Father's Name as we see in Revelation 13: "And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast...And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name...(v. 15, 17) And I looked, and lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with Him an hundred and forty and four thousand having His Father's Name written in their foreheads." (14:1; see also Revelation 7:3-4)
Scripture says our Savior came in His Father's Name. He kept His disciples in that Name. But "Jesus Christ" is not the Father's Name. Our Savior stated plainly, "I am come in my Father's Name," John 5:43. If He came in His Father's Name, His name would be Yahweh-shua, which means "Yahweh saves" or the shortened form Yah-shua, which means "Yah saves." The Jews would not receive Him in that Name because they considered it blasphemous--too holy--for them to use.
Name Proof at Qumran
Dramatic proof of the holy Name Yahweh came in the discovery of the ancient Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947. The scrolls were 1,000 years older than existing Old Testament manuscripts, dating to 150 BCE. The picture on the left is one of the Isaiah scrolls, the middle picture is Israel's Shrine of the Book museum housing the scrolls and the right picture shows the caves where the scrolls were found.
Is the Sacred Name Really That Necessary?
Some may say, "Oh, that name business is all foolishness. It is making a big thing out of nothing. You can call Him whatever you want. He'll understand." But what some people call nothing, the Almighty may consider very important.
When Yahweh makes a command, He expects it to be carried out to the letter. Throughout Scripture He makes it clear that we are to honor Him and call on Him by His personal Name. Can we then decide what we want to call Him, that it really makes no difference? Let's look at a few biblical examples of disobedience to what some men thought were trivial requests of Yahweh:
• Aaron's sons Nadab and Abihu probably thought all fire was the same and it did not matter which they used in their offering to Yahweh (Leviticus 10). When they used their own fire instead of the holy fire of Yahweh in their sacrifice, Yahweh instantly burned them to death.
• Uzzah was driving the Ark of the Covenant on an ox cart. In a moment of reflex, he disregarded Yahweh's command not to touch the Ark (2 Samuel 6). Grabbing the Ark to keep it from falling, he was immediately killed.
• Leading Israel out of Egypt, Moses was told at one point to speak to a rock and it would gush forth water (Numbers 20). Instead, he struck it twice. Because of his disobedience, Moses was barred from the Promised Land.
• Saul was told to destroy the Amalekites and all their animals. Evidently he figured it was wasteful to destroy that much potential food and that if he sacrificed a few animals in worship, Yahweh wouldn't mind if he kept the rest. Under inspiration, Samuel told Saul, "Has Yahweh a great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of Yahweh? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams," 1 Samuel 15:22.
Such examples are numerous in Scripture. Even when they knew better, men did what they themselves thought was acceptable to Yahweh--and reaped the terrible consequences. Can we call the great Creator of this universe any name we please, even after countless scriptural injunctions to call on Him by His only Name Yahweh? Does it really matter that we follow His wishes? The results of doing otherwise should be too frightening to consider!
There is not a doctrine in the entire Bible that is more emphasized than the importance of the Name of the Heavenly Family. The Scripture explicitly commands, "Sing unto Elohim, sing praises to HIS NAME; extol Him that rides upon the heavens BY HIS NAME YAH, and rejoice before him" (Psalm 68:4). "From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same Yahweh's name is to be praised" (Psalm 113:3).
Do you believe that? The Bible makes it very plain that salvation can be obtained only by accepting this Holy Name, using this Holy Name and living our lives in conformity to the character of this Holy Name.
What is so important about Yahweh's name?
• Salvation is in that name, and in that name alone (Acts 4:12).
• We are told to use that name in prayer and praise to Him (Psalm 68:4).
• We are informed that it will serve as a test in the future of our obedience (Jeremiah 10:25; Revelation 13:17).
• We are told that His victorious saints will be gathered in His name (Zechariah 10:12; 13:9).
• We are told that His elect will be sealed in that Name (Revelation 14:1; 22:4).
• The Holy Name is not God, Lord, Jesus, or Iesous--but the Name that the angel Gabriel told Joseph to name the Savior (see Matthew 1:21 and the column footnote reference for Hebrews 4:8).
Yahshua Spoke His Father's Name
Not only did our Savior carry the Name of His Father, but it was prophesied that He would actually speak it to others while He was on earth: "I will declare Your Name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise you," Psalm 22:22. Do you believe that He fulfilled this prophecy by declaring the Name of His Father "Yahweh"? Or do you believe He declared the name of "God" and "Lord" as the pagan nations around Him were also doing?
Scripture states that He magnified His Father's Name before all to whom He witnessed, "And I have declared unto them Your name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith You have loved me may be in them, and I in them" (John 17:26 and Hebrews 2:12).
If our Savior declared Yahweh's Name, then He used it. It was because He did declare it that He was charged with blasphemy, for the Jewish hierarchy had a traditional law prohibiting the common people from using this Name. It was thought too sacred to use. Only the High Priest used it performing his temple duties on the Day of Atonement and other holy days.
Not only did our Savior use this Holy Name in witness, but all His disciples also witnessed in that holy name as previously pointed out. We can be certain that Paul did not use the Greek "Theos" or "Kurios," which are translated "God" and "Lord" in your Bible, when referring to the holy Elohim family. Paul's conversion originated on the road to Damascus. In relating that conversion to King Agrippa he said: "And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, 'Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me? It is hard for you to kick against the pricks.' And I said, 'Who are You, Sire?'" If our Savior spoke His Name in the Hebrew tongue, His answer certainly was not "I am Jesus" as it is found in your Bible, but, "I am Yahshua whom you persecute," (Acts 26:14,15).
Paul was blinded by the brilliancy of the light of Yahshua's glory, and he was sent to Ananias to restore his sight. Ananias was informed in a vision to restore Paul's sight, but he was somewhat reluctant to receive Paul because of Paul's reputation as a saint killer.
What was the reply that was given to Ananias concerning his fear of receiving Paul? Notice what is said concerning proclaiming Yahweh's Name: "But Yahshua said unto him [Ananias], 'go your way: for he [Paul] is a chosen vessel unto Me, to bear MY NAME before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will shew him [Paul] how great things he must suffer for my NAME'S SAKE'" (Acts 9:15,16). The same Paul who had persecuted the saints was commanded by Yahshua to proclaim His Holy Name to the Gentile world.
The Apostle Paul did declare that Holy Name, but the Greek copyists and scribes in the second and third century removed it while recopying the original manuscripts and inserted the titles of "Theos" and "Kurios." Paul was persecuted for using the sacred Name, but he was delivered from death time and time again until his life's mission had been completed.
OUR BIBLE--Only a Translation
Many don't stop to think that the King James Version of 1611 and other common Bibles are merely English translations from the original Hebrew.
Although the King James and some others are very accurate in preserving the meaning of the originals, translators took some liberties with certain words--especially is that true of the Name of the Heavenly Father and His Son. An unfounded fear of using the sacred Name led to the use of substitute titles in our Bibles.
At top is the first complete English Bible translated from the Latin Vulgate version by Oxford scholar John Wycliffe in 1384. At right are samples of ancient language translations of the Bible. The oldest manuscripts are in Hebrew, followed by Aramaic (related to Hebrew) and then Greek.
The Name that Has Real Power
Deliverance is a factor in knowing the Name of Yahweh and using it in worship. Scripture reads, "Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore, will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he has known My Name" (Psalm 91:14).
It is not in knowing His Name and never using it that there is protection, but we must witness that Name before others. It is better not to know His Name than to know it and never witness it in prayer and song to Him. We are told to call on that Name. "And it shall come to pass that whosoever shall call on the name of Yahweh shall be delivered..." (Joel 2:32).
Most people in the last days will be walking in the name of the common titles of "God" and "Lord," but His elect will be walking in the Name of Yahweh. That is what your Bible says: "For all people will walk every one in the name of his god [elohim], and we will walk in the name of Yahweh our Elohim for ever and ever" (Micah 4:5).
Joel 2:32 indicated that those who call on the Name of Yahweh are saved, but Jeremiah pronounces that those families who do not call on the Name Yahweh will receive the wrath of Yahweh. The order that will go out to the angel of destruction will be "Pour out your fury upon the heathen that know You not, and upon the families that call not on Your name..." (Jeremiah 10:25). Does your family use the Holy Name in prayer and praise to Him?
Do you consider His Name unimportant? Scripture says otherwise. "The Name of Yahweh is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and are safe" (Proverbs 18:10).
Will His saints be calling on His Holy Name? Evidently the remnant of Israel will do so in accordance with these words: "And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: THEY SHALL CALL ON MY NAME, AND I WILL HEAR THEM: I will say, 'It is My people:' and they shall say, 'Yahweh is my Elohim'" (Zechariah 13:9).
Do you refuse to use His Name because you are fearful that people will think you are some kind of quirk or because your church doesn't use it? If so, you are denying the only Name whereby you can be saved. Notice the promise given to those who use His Holy Name in prayer and praise to Him: "Then they that feared Yahweh spoke often one to another: and Yahweh hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared Yahweh, and that THOUGHT UPON HIS NAME. And they shall be Mine, says Yahweh of hosts, in that day when I make up My jewels; and I WILL SPARE THEM, as a man spares his own son that serves him" (Malachi 3:16,17).
It is true that the use of the Name "Yahweh" and "Yahshua" will in the future bring real persecution upon those who use it in the last days, as it brought persecution upon the early disciples. Our Savior in speaking of the last generation stated, "Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you; and you shall be hated of all nations FOR MY NAME'S SAKE" (Matthew 24:9).
The world dictator or "Beast" of the last days will have the allegiance of all the world (Revelation 13:3,4). The entire controversy in the last days may not be over the Sabbath-Sunday issue as many think, but over His Name. Either you will be forced to honor and worship under the name (mark) of the Beast or you will be denied the right to buy and sell (Revelation 13:11-18).
The Truth is Traditionally Unpopular
All through scriptural history the majority religious view has been in the wrong. From the start, Yahweh has revealed His truth only through a relatively few people in His plan for the world. Why? Because the truth is not popular. The majority reject it. The end-time true assembly--the Philadelphia Assembly--will also be small and insignificant in the eyes of the world. Read Revelation 3:8, speaking about the Philadelphia Assembly: "I know your works: behold, I have set before you an open door, and no man can shut it: for you have a little strength, and have kept My word, and have not denied My Name."
People sometimes give all kinds of reasons for not using the Sacred name, (some of which are found beginning on page 3). We take up one of them here because it is based on a poor translation of the King James Version and many refer to it. Their reasoning goes like this: "If we know the Father's nature--His justice and holiness, His love and mercy, His saving grace and His power--we know His Name and we know that to know Him is life eternal." They seek proof for this type of reasoning from Psalm 138:2, which seems to indicate that His Word is above His Name. "...for You have magnified Your Word above all your Name." But when we read this text in the Hebrew, the meaning is quite different. Both His Word and His Name are placed on an equal basis as supported by most other versions of Scripture.
The Revised Standard Version renders Psalm 138:2, "I bow down toward thy holy temple and give thanks to thy name for thy steadfast love and thy faithfulness; for thou has exalted above everything thy name and thy Word." The New International Bible translation reads, "I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your Name and your Word." The Smith and Goodspeed translation does not compare His Name with His Word, but translates the Hebrew as follows: "I prostrate myself toward thy holy temple; and give thanks to thy name for thy kindness and thy faithfulness; for thou has magnified thy name over all."
None of these translations state that His Word or character is to be exalted above His Name. His Name stands for His Word and character and it is impossible to separate them as some try to do.
Most Sacred Name believers agree that His Word and character are all-important, but we believe that the use of His Holy Name is of equal importance. We readily agree that it is vital to have His Holy Name sanctified in our lives. If we fail to live our lives in conformity to the character of His Holy Name, we are taking it in vain just as much as those who ignore it by the substitution of improper titles.
It is easy to find reasons for believing something that one does not want to do. What many overlook is that Yahweh named Himself (Isaiah 42:8), and desires to be identified by that sacred Name (Zechariah 13:9). We are to extol Him by this Name (Psalm 68:4). We are told to call upon Him in the time of trouble by the use of His Name (Joel 2:32). We are told that the families who refuse to use His Sacred Name prior to our Savior's Second Coming will be destroyed with the wicked (Jeremiah 10:25). John was shown in a vision of the last days people gathered on the Sea of Glass singing a Hallelu-Yah chorus, Revelation 15:1-5 and 19:5-8. HalleluYah means "Praise You Yah."
Are you preparing to sing that HalleluYah chorus by praising that Holy Name now, or are you still singing in the name of "God" and "Lord"? We are told to hallow His Name in prayer--"Hallowed be Thy Name," Matthew 6:9. How can one hallow it in prayer when not once is it ever used in prayer or song to Him? The Name is vital to your salvation.
In Review ~
Yahweh to Remove Substitute Titles
Practically all modern scholars recognize "Yahweh" as the best possible English transliteration of the Holy Name of our Almighty One. Because our Savior "came in the Name of" His Father, we use "Yahweh" or the shortened form "Yah" (and not "Je" as in "Jesus") in the Name of His Son. The last syllable "shua" derives from Hoshea, meaning "save" in the Hebrew and carries the meaning that the angel told His earthly parents to give Him. He would "save his people from their sins," Matthew 1:21. The "sus" in Je-sus does not carry the meaning of salvation.
The scholars who translate the Bible into the English language know that His Name is not Jesus, but they continue to use it because it has for centuries been accepted as His Name. Tradition has made it more popular than His true Name.
In center column reference Bibles, the name is usually rendered more correctly. For example, in the center column of the King James Version on Hebrews 4:8 you will see a footnote before the name Jesus. If you look down to the reference you will see a note that reads: "That is, Joshua." The spelling is different from "Yahshua," but the pronunciation is practically the same. Correctly pronounce the "J" as a "Y" and the "o" as in "top" and you have pronounced our Savior's Name so He could recognize it. Recall that the Hebrew has no "J" in its language, and the "J" is pronounced "Y" as in the word "Hallelu-Yah." Our "Joshua" will lead us into our Promised Land as His namesake led the children of Israel into the land of Canaan.
Remember that "Jesus" is a Latin-Greek name transliterated from the Greek "Iesous." Our Savior was not a Greek, but had a Hebrew Name. The name "Jesus" carries no more the meaning of "Yahweh is our Salvation" than the Greek "Jason" (which means healing) carries the meaning of the Hebrew "Jesse" (which means wealth). For the sake of accuracy, if for no other reason, we should use the Name that the angel of Yahweh told His parents to call Him. Any other is not His Name.
Hosea was inspired to write of the near future, "And it shall be at that day says Yahweh, that you shall call Me Ishi...." Why call Him "Ishi"? Because this term that means "husband" has never been used in association with pagan idols, and because spiritually speaking, He is our Husband. His saints are married to Him. The rest of this text gives a startling prophecy of the future age. "For you shall call me no more Baali [My Lord]. For I will take away the names of Baalim [God and Lord] out of her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name" (Hosea 2:16, 17). Scripture states, "I am Yahweh, that is My Name and My glory will I not give to another [name], neither my praise to graven images" (Isaiah 42:8).
As the Centuries Passed
The Name Yahweh is commonly expressed by the different period alphabets shown at right. Reading from right to left, the Tetragrammaton--Yothe, He, Waw, He--is depicted in Paleo Hebrew, top. In the middle are the four letters in square Aramaic, which came later. The corresponding letters YHWH express in English the ancient consonant-vowels.
Is it acceptable to use titles for Yahweh's great Name? Notice: The First Commandment states: "I am Yahweh your Elohim...you shall have no other elohim before Me." (Exodus 20:2,3)
Yahweh says: "In all things which I have said unto you be circumspect and make no mention of the names of other elohim, neither let it be heard out of your mouth," Exodus 23:13. (See also Joshua 23:7; Psalm 16:4.)
Yahweh is going to take these pagan title names out of people's mouths in the Kingdom, so why not voluntarily do it today and receive His blessings and salvation?
"What's the difference?" you ask. The difference is either obedience to His will or disobedience. The decision is yours, but if you love Him, you will call Him by His correct Name. You will call the Messiah by the Name His Heavenly Father gave Him, the Name that He came to proclaim, the Name that He kept His disciples in, the Name that assures us of salvation, and the Name in which we are sealed.
Questions About the Sacred Name
An attempt to address all questions regarding the Sacred Name doctrine would be almost an endless procedure. As soon as one is answered, another is raised by those who will simply refuse to use Yahweh's Holy Name. As the maxim goes, a man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still. But for those who have a sincere desire for the truth, we present here some of the most frequently asked questions. An answer follows each.
Q It is claimed by some that since there is no direct command in the bible for restricting the transliteration of the sacred Name to one particular form for all languages, that there is no need to do so. For instance, they say the Bible writers wrote our Savior's Name as "Jehoshua" in the Hebrew, and as "Yeshua" in Aramaic, and as "Iesous" in Greek, and as "Jesus" in Latin and English.
A It is true that there is no direct command as such to transliterate the Holy Name, sound for sound, into other languages of the world, but how else could the name be recognizable the world over if the sound were not the same in all languages? Newsmen are trained to transliterate properly the names of world figures such as Andropov, Trudeau, Mitterand and Reagan (and even names of cities) so that no matter in which language they are spoken their names are recognizable as the same. How much more care should be taken in regard to the Holy Name of our Heavenly Father?
It is sometimes argued that because some languages have not devised a character or letter symbol to denote a certain sound that therefore the Sacred Name "Yahweh" could not be pronounced in all languages of the world. While it is true that some languages have not devised a particular symbol for a sound used by some other language, it does not follow that the Divine Name cannot be pronounced in all languages. All people have the same physical organ, the tongue. There is no sound that cannot be taught to people the world over; yes, even to those who speak pidgin English.
This much is certain: there is a command in the Bible to "extol" Him by His Name "Yah" (Psalm 68:4). "Yah" is the abbreviated form of the more complete name "Yahweh." It is also certain that there is a future time coming when all true saints will be using this Holy Name in praise to Him. "So will I make My holy name known in the midst of My people Israel; and I will not let them pollute My Holy Name any more; and the heathen shall know that I am Yahweh, the Holy One in Israel," Ezekiel 39:7. See also Zechariah 13:9; Joel 2:32 and Malachi 1:11. If Yahweh will soon force this world to use His Name, why should we not be calling on His Name now?
In Strong's Exhaustive Concordance (under Hebrew #3050) we find the English form written as "Yah." Strong's says that this is the contracted form of the Sacred Name. There is no difficulty in pronouncing the sacred Name in the English as "Yah" as we all do when we say "Hallelu-jah." HalleluYah means "Praise (Hallel) Yah." HalleluYAH is one word that is common in all languages and if the different tongues of the nations of the world can say this word, then they can say "Yahweh" or "Yahshua" regardless of whether they speak pidgin English, Greek or Chinese. There is no reason the Name cannot be sounded out the same in all languages. It is not necessary that the spelling be the same in all languages, but the sound should be the same. If no symbol or letter has been devised to denote the sound, then one can be devised, which is done regularly as languages grow and accommodate words from other tongues. This is increasingly done in today's technological age.
The Bible writers wrote our Savior's Name as "Jehoshua" in Hebrew, as "Yeshua" in Aramaic, as "Iesous" in Greek and as "Jesus" in Latin and English cannot be proved. We do not have the original writings of any of the Bible writers. Bible translators have translated it thusly in the different languages, but translations are not inspired and translators often make mistakes, sometimes on purpose.
The proper Name for our Savior is based on the Word of Yahweh and not on traditional use. We know that the angel told Mary (Miriam) and Joseph (Yoseph) the Name to give Him, as He was to carry the Name of the Heavenly Family, Yahweh. Another reason for carrying it is that it designates the meaning and purpose of His mission. His Heavenly Father stated, "My Name is in Him" (Exodus 23:21). We also have our Savior's own word that "I am come in my Father's Name," John 5:43. This being the case, then He would carry either the full Name of His Father, "Yahweh," or the shorter form, "Yah." It has been proved that "Jehovah" is not the correct English transliteration. Therefore, the abbreviated form of our Savior's Name cannot be "Yeh," but "Yah." The letter "e" is a substitute vowel taken from the shewa marking under the alef of the Hebrew word "adonai." The Jews purposely placed these markings under the sacred Name so that the Gentiles, whom they considered unclean people, would not pronounce the Holy Name correctly and thereby avoid polluting it. Therefore, the "e" in "Jehoshua," the "e" in "Yeshua," the "e" in "Iesous," and the "e" in "Jesus" is not correct. The shewa (e) sound has been substituted for the correct qames (a) sound in our Savior's Name.
Because our Savior's name contains His Father's Name, the first part of His Name, "Yah," indicates His heavenly Family connection. The last part, "shua," which means "save," indicates the meaning and purpose of His mission. He was to "save His people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21). The Jews in modern Israel today call Him "Yeshua." But as stated, there should be no "e" in the first part of His Name, for there is no "e" in the first part of His Father's Name. "Yeshua" is the Aramaic spelling. "Yahshua" is the correct Hebrew spelling. The Apostle Paul heard the Savior pronounce His own Name not in Aramaic, but in the Hebrew tongue (See Acts 26:14, 15). Yahshua's Name begins with the Yah of "halleluYah."
In our English Bibles we find the Name of our Savior written as "Jesus." this is an English-Latin transliteration from the Greek "Iesous" and not from the original Hebrew Name that was given to Him from heaven. We should not be misled into thinking that because Strong's and other concordances have transliterated our Savior's Name as "Yeshuwa" or "Yehowshua" into English that this is biblically correct. The vowel markings used today to indicate pronunciation of the Hebrew letters did not exist before 600 C.E. "Yeshua" is the translator's transliteration of the Aramaic or the modern Hebrew. As stated previously, the "e" in the Name "Yeshua" as well as the "e" in the word "Jehovah" is a product of the substitution of the vowels of "Adonai" so as to hide the correct pronunciation of His Holy Name, lest it be blasphemed. So they purposefully hid the Name by inserting false vowel points so that the Gentiles would not know how to pronounce the Sacred Name correctly.
The priests and rabbis never read the sacred Name in public as it should sound, but substituted for it "Adonai" (meaning "lord") or "ha-Shem," meaning "the Name." Only on special days, such as the Day of Atonement, was the Name read correctly by the High Priest.
The reason the English and Latin "Jesus" is not correct is that it is a transliteration from the erroneous Greek word "Iesous." (The "i" and "j" are related etymologically. Thus Iesous became Jesus.) The early Greeks spelled the abbreviated form of the sacred Name "IAO" because it has the same sound value as the "Yah." Clement of Alexandria wrote the Tetragrammaton Name as "IAOUE." So the first component part of our Savior's Name should be "Yah" in English or "Iao" in the Greek if He is to carry His Father's Name, and not "Ie." The Greeks had no "sh" combination so they could not spell the last component part of our Savior's Name as "shua." However, by spelling the Savior's Name in the Greek "Iasoua" or "Iasoue" the Greeks could have come to a closer pronunciation of His correct Name. The English "Joshua" is far more accurate than "Jesus," and translators have indicated that in their column note reference in Hebrews 4:8.
Q Some claim that because our Savior cried out to His Father while impaled, "'Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani,' that is to say, 'My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?'" (Matthew 27:46), that therefore it is proper to use the English translated title "God" in reference to our Father in heaven today. It is also argued that since the Hebrew title "El" is used in the Old Testament at times in reference to heathen idols as well as in reference to Yahweh that, therefore, its English equivalent "God" can also be used to refer to either pagan idols or to the Almighty.
A Regarding the Aramaic expression spoken by Yahshua, our Savior was not calling His Father "My God" but "My El," which means "Mighty One" or "Powerful One." He was fulfilling the prophecy of Psalm 22:22 showing that He was the promised Messiah.
Some who are prejudiced against the use of the Hebrew Holy Name try to show that the Hebrew language is a confused language and was not the original language given by Yahweh at creation. No one doubts that languages undergo change over many centuries. New words are coined and some are lost. But an entirely new language does not emerge. There is evidence from the ancient Ebia tablets recently excavated in northern Syria that the Semitic Hebrew word "El" was a familiar term used to describe any divine being.
(For additional proof that Hebrew was the original language, write us.)
The Semitic Hebrew titles "El" and "Elohim" were originally used in praising Yahweh in True Worship. In giving the Ten Commandments, Yahweh said, "I, Yahweh, am your Elohim; you shall have no other elohim before Me." The heathen had other "mighty ones" they worshipped instead of the true Mighty One, Yahweh. It is true that the heathens confiscated the Hebrew title "El" and used it in reference to their idols. This was something that the True Worshippers of Yahweh could not prevent, however. The Bible writers used the term "El" when historically writing about the heathen idols because that is what they were called. Every village had its particular "El." However, this title was generally used in reference to any mighty one--false or true--not as a substitute for the personal Name of the Almighty, as the title "Baal" later became.
Any time that a title, whether Hebrew or pagan, becomes so popular that it is used predominantly as a substitute name for the sacred Name, that name becomes polluted, regardless of whether it has had in the past an acceptable association with Him. Christianity is using the titles "God" and "Lord" as ancient Israel formerly did with the title "Baal" (see Jeremiah 23:26-27).
These titles are so entrenched that most people do not even realize that our Heavenly Father has a personal Name that is exclusively His, and which He wants us to use in worship of Him. His Name has significant meaning. The original Scripture states some 7,000 times what His Holy Name is; that He is jealous for His Name and that He wants us to extol Him by His Holy Name.
"I am Yahweh; that is My name; and my glory will I not give to another [name], neither My praise to graven images." Isaiah 42:8.
Both "God" and "Lord" have not only been associated in the worship of graven images, but originated in connection with satanic worship, replacing the Holy Name in use. The Semitic Hebrew title "El" originally was used in the worship of Yahweh, and the True Worshippers of Yahweh could not prevent others from appropriating the same title in the worship of images. Furthermore, the nation of Israel never used the title "El" exclusively as a substitute for the personal Holy Name. Why use the titles "God" and "Lord" which originated spuriously when we can use the name Yahweh, by which He has told us He wishes to be known?
Q It is argued that because Yahweh confused the original language at the building of the Tower of Babel, that Hebrew is one of the confounded languages and we can't know the original pronunciations of Hebrew words. It is also argued that if the Hebrew Name is sacred, then why not just learn the Hebrew language? If you must use the Hebrew Name, why not learn to write and speak Hebrew as well and just forget all other languages?
A The patriarchs Shem and Noah lived before and after the flood. They spoke the same original language that Adam and Eve spoke. We can be certain neither of these righteous men had anything to do with building the pagan Tower of Babel. Therefore, their language was not confused. Abraham, who lived to see his grandchild Jacob, was alive while the great patriarch Shem--who was born before the flood--was alive. This being the case, it is inconceivable that Abraham did not communicate with Shem and other old patriarchs in the same tongue that was used before the flood. While it is true that languages do change in form as time passes, the sacred Name has never changed since pre-Canaanite times. The Dead Sea Scrolls reveal the Name of Yahweh as the same as written in the Pre-Canaanite form of Hebrew (see Psalm 22:22; Hebrews 2:12; Isaiah 52:6).
Furthermore, the argument that because the sacred Name is of Hebrew origin we should all be speaking Hebrew is ridiculous reasoning. There are many Greek names in the Bible. Should we speak only Greek? The word Armageddon is only one of the many Hebrew words in Scripture that escaped translation, but who would argue that because of this word we should all speak only Hebrew? The objection raised is merely subterfuge to avoid the necessity of using His sacred Name.
Q If you make such a big issue out of using the Hebrew Name Yahweh, why don't you insist on using the exact, original Hebrew names of other Bible characters such as Yirmeyah for Jeremiah or Eliyah for Elijah?
A The Name Yahweh was originally given to those of the Hebrew tongue. It must be remembered that Yahweh first chose those of the Hebrew race descended from Abraham. Obviously the Israelites spoke Hebrew.
The one attribute describing His Name more than any other is that it is Holy. His Name is not to be desecrated nor blasphemed. It is to be treated with reverential awe. It represents His very being. Other names, such as Jeremiah, Elijah, Isaiah, while having the short form of His Name incorporated within them, are not said to be holy. These names, ending in the short form "Yah," have a relationship to Yahweh. Jeremiah means "Yah will elevate"; "Elijah, "My Mighty One is Yah"; Isaiah means "Salvation of Yah." Only Yahweh's Name is holy and is to be treated with respect and reverence.
Q Isn't it folly to use any one particular name for the Savior, when the Bible says that at His Second Coming He will have written on His crown "a name that no man knew, but He Himself"? (Revelation 19:12)
A It does not follow that because of this Scripture that this name is secret. It will represent at His Second Coming an unknown role in which He had not been known before to perform. Only He who bears this name can fully know it, for it represents His character in His new role as "the Word of Yahweh" (v. 13) and as "King of kings, and Ruler of rulers" (v. 16).
The Tetragrammaton (YHWH) is used in Exodus 3:15, where it is stated that this Name "is My memorial unto all generations." Our Savior said that He came in His Father's Name, John 5:43. Jeremiah 23:6 says He will come again in the same Name. As to His Name in His new role in the coming age, this passage says in the Hebrew that it will be known as "Yahweh Tzidkenu" or "Yahweh Our Righteousness."
Q Why isn't the sacred Name found in our Bibles? If it were that important, you would think that it would be there.
A The Name WAS in the original Scriptures and ancient Bibles. As we have shown, part of it survived Bible translators and is found in Psalm 68:4. Yahweh put so much importance on it that He made it a part of the law. The third Commandment reads, "Thou shalt not take the name of Yahweh your Elohim in vain." This means not to falsify His Name, as some translations accurately render the original language of this commandment.
Yet, the Scriptures themselves prophesied that misguided men would make unauthorized changes. Jeremiah 8:8 says, "How can you say, 'We are wise for we have the law of Yahweh,' when actually the lying pen of the scribes has handled it false?" (NIV). (See also Isaiah 10:1 and Luke 11:52 for Yahweh's condemnation of those who know better who distort the Scriptures.)
Scripture says we are to study to show ourselves approved. This includes going beyond our English translations to get to the meaning of the original Scriptures that have since been misrepresented by men.
Q How can the Name be that important when Exodus 6:3 says the Name of Yahweh was not even known by Abraham, Isaac and Jacob or anytime before the time of Moses?
A Even if that were so, which it isn't, there is no logical reason for not using the sacred Name after the time of Moses. The Hebrew from which the translators derived the name "God Almighty" is "El Shaddai," which means the "Almighty One," and is only one of Yahweh's many descriptive title names. Read how Rotherham's Emphasized Bible translates Exodus 6:3: "I am Yahweh: I appeared, therefore, unto Abraham, unto Isaac and unto Jacob, as God Almighty [El Shaddai], although by my name Yahweh was I not made known to them" (note the significant words "made known").
There are some who believe that this verse should have a question mark instead of a period at the end. This would give the verse an entirely different meaning. Because punctuation marks are not inspired and were not indicated in the ancient manuscripts, there is no way to prove this either way.
The Hebrew word for "known" here means perceived or understood. It is not true that the Name was not known or used before, but merely the real meaning of that Name was not revealed in the depth that it was to be revealed to Moses and the children of the Exodus. Remember, names in Hebrew have important meaning. The power manifest in that Name became known to His people on a grand scale never displayed before. As for the Name itself, it was known and used by all the patriarchs before Moses, as other Scriptures prove.
According to Genesis 15:7, the Almighty revealed His Name to Abraham as YHWH (Yahweh) even before declaring His descriptive title name "El Shaddai." Later, He revealed the same Holy Name to Jacob in Genesis 28:13. That Abraham knew this Name is evident from the Name "Yahweh-Yireh," which Abraham gave to the place where he went to sacrifice Isaac, Genesis 22:14. Moses also regarded this Name as known from the beginning of history. This is evident from such texts as Genesis 2:4 and 4:1, 26. In both passages the Tetragrammaton YHWH is written in the Hebrew, by Moses himself. Evidently, Adam knew the Holy Name and spoke it, for Scripture says, "And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bore Cain, and said, 'I have gotten a man from YHWH (Yahweh),'" Genesis 4:1.
Yahweh had not before revealed His Name's full meaning until He expressed it in His covenant dealings with the children of Israel. He delivered them out with a strong hand (Exodus 6:1), actually taking the to Himself (v. 7), establishing His Covenant with them, and giving them the land of Canaan. By so doing, He made His Name truly known to Israel.
Q The Sacred Name doctrine creates a division between those who accept their Savior's Name as "Jesus" and who also consider the titles "God" and "Lord" acceptable and those who do not. Should you be causing such division?
A Yes, the Name does create a division, as do other doctrines such as the Sabbath. This doctrine of the sacred Name will create an even greater division during the Great Tribulation when it will be used as a mark to distinguish the True Believers in Messiah from the false at the end of this age. The controversy in the last days will be over His Name and the name of the Beast. What if the false messiah calls himself "Jesus Christ"? What if he forces that name and the mark of that name by law, and requires its acceptance before people can buy or sell? The Beast will indeed require all to accept his name or mark in obedience to this system, Matthew 24:9; Revelation 13:17.
There is no doubt these Christians mean well when they use the worldly titles "God" and "Lord" as Israel did when they used the title "baal." Israel worshipped the "Mighty One" who supplied them rain and sunshine and provided them all the other blessings of life. But they were doing so in the name of baal rather than the Name of Yahweh, the Name that identified Him from all other nations' pagan mighty ones. The controversy during the days of Elijah was over the CORRECT NAME; it will be so again when EliYah shall call His people's attention to the same issue, 1 Kings 18:21, Malachi 4:5-6.
We are not to judge anyone's salvation because they refuse to use the Name that we have proved correct. It is not the prerogative of any individual or any church or assembly to be a judge of who is or is not saved. That is the prerogative of the Savior Himself who can rightfully judge the motives and intents of the hearts of mankind, 1 Corinthians 4:5.
Be mindful, however, of this injunction: "Therefore to him that knows to do good, and does it not, to him it is sin," James 4:17. The question is not what our Savior has "winked at" in the past because of our "ignorance" (Acts 17:30), but how can I best glorify my Maker now. The issue is not what is permissible under the freedom of the New Covenant or what can I get by with. One can make a good argument form the Bible for the practice of slavery, alcoholic beverages and the multiplicity of wives. But our guide under the New Covenant should be higher than this, as was the New Covenant itself. The spirit of the law is much more esteemed than the letter of the law because it takes into consideration the motives and attitudes of those who worship Him. The New Testament (Covenant) lays down some very good "spirit of the law" principles that we should follow. Here are a few:
"Whether therefore you eat, or drink, or whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of Yahweh," 1 Corinthians 10:31.
"Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil. And the very Elohim of peace sanctify you wholly; so that your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Savior Yahshua the Messiah," 1 Thessalonians 5:21-23.
Your own conscience must be your guide as to whether you can use the spurious titles to glorify your Maker. Ask yourself, can I be sealed in my forehead with His Holy Name Yahweh and at the same time never call on Him in prayer or sing praises to Him by that Name that seals and protects? Will you be singing the HalleluYah chorus on the Sea of Glass--and refuse consistently to use that Holy Name here and now? Can the Bride refuse to take on her lips the Name of her Husband Yahshua to whom she is married?
Q But what about all those other names for the Heavenly Father that we read of in the Bible? Can't we also call Him these as well?
A Yahweh clearly gives us His Name by which He wishes to be remembered unto all generations, Exodus 3:15, and that Name according to ancient Bible manuscripts and good Bible scholars is Yahweh. However, what He will become is left to Him as He shows His power to His people. Rotherham's notes are especially good on Exodus 3:15, where he shows that Yahweh will become their Helper, Strengthener, Deliverer, Comforter or whatever His people need at that time.
When Yahshua came to this earth as the Immanuel ("El with Us"), He fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah 9:6 and will yet fulfill the rest. His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty El. In the future, He will be called the "Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace." Everlasting Father is better rendered "Father of Futurity," or "Father of Eternity;" Rotherham says, "Father of Futurity," or "Father of Progress." John 11:25-26 and Acts 3:15 are examples of this.
Special appellative titles and names are given to show the power and scope of His being and character. They define Him but don't name Him. Just as we might call our spouse "honey" or "sweetheart" to show the relationship between us, so Yahweh has allowed Himself to be called other appellatives as well. But His name is still Yahweh. His Son is the salvation He has sent to this earth--Yah-shua.
Q Is it not true that there are other people with the name of Yahshua in the Bible? How, then, can the Name Yahshua be so special?
A Yes, it is true that other people have carried the name of Yahshua. Because someone has your name, however, does not make your name less important to you. In no way is the Savior's Name devalued because others have the same name. You don't tell others to stop calling you by your name simply because someone else carries the same name.
What makes anything special is the veneration or value placed on it. For example, Thanksgiving Day has been made special by government proclamation. The Name Yahshua has been made special by proclamation from heaven upon the only One who had the authority and power to carry out the significant meaning revealed in that Name--"Yahweh saves."
While others have carried the name "Yahshua," only One has been dedicated and declared holy from conception, Luke 1:30-35. It is what He is, was, and will be that makes that name special. There is significant meaning in that Name for we are told that "there is none other name given among men, whereby we must be saved," Acts 4:12. There is only one Yahshua the Messiah.
Q If the Name of Yahweh and the Son Yahshua is that important, what happens to all who have died not knowing the "only Name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved," Acts 4:12?
A Acts 17:30 reads, "The times of this ignorance Yahweh winked at, but now commands all men everywhere to repent." We are to walk in all the light we are given. When we understand that Yahweh desires us to use His Holy Name and that our future salvation and deliverance depend on "calling upon the name Yahweh" (Joel 2:32; Jeremiah 10:25) and if we will allow the Holy Spirit to control our lives, we will want to obey Yahweh.
We are not judged on what we do not know, but on what we do know--and fail to do. One of the definitions of sin is: "Therefore to him that knows to do good, and does it not, to him it is sin," James 4:17. Luke 12:48 reads, "To whom much is given, much is required." In His wisdom and mercy, Yahweh works out His plan among His people. When we have been shown His Name, then we are accountable for acting on that knowledge. But to those who have never heard or understood that He has a Name, Yahweh will see that they are judged in righteousness.
Q One group says you must call the Almighty "Yahweh"; another "Yahveh"; another "Yahvah"; another "Yahwoh"; another "Yahve" and still another "Yehvoh." Each group claims that if you don't say it their particular way that you are breaking the third commandment. What's right?
A The opponents of this doctrine make much of the fact that there is this difference of opinion relative to the exact spelling and pronunciation of His Name. Not everyone, though, has the same depth of understanding and knowledge. There is not yet discovered a condemnation in the Bible against a slight mispronunciation of His Holy Name, if it is an honest attempt to pronounce it correctly and is done in sincerity to praise His Name. But there is an awful condemnation against those who know and yet refuse to call on His Holy Name. The wrath of Yahweh is poured out not only upon the heathen in the last days who have committed atrocious crimes, but "upon the families that call not on Your Name," because they have persecuted His people who do worship Him by His Holy Name (Jeremiah 10:25; Matthew 24:9). Would it not be better to attempt to call on His Holy Name, even if not pronounced quite correctly, than to refuse to use it altogether?
It does not follow that because of disagreement regarding the spelling and pronunciation of His Holy Name that there is no correct form.
The same misunderstanding that exists over the Name doctrine is found among Christian groups in regard to other doctrines. Note that in regard to baptism, some sprinkle, some pour and others immerse.