“I have something that has been on my mind about the Hebrew names Yahweh and Yahshua.… Recently I acquired some information in the mail by the ‘Assemblies of Yahweh.’ There is an article entitled ‘Proving the Sacred Name From Your Bible.’… Could you please look into this and find out the Present Truth. All my life I called the Son of God ‘Jesus Christ.’ This is real hard for me to call Him any other name like ‘Yahshua.’ They say it is a corrupted name ‘Jesus.’ Please help me clear this up. Are they telling the Present Truth or am I being misled by an occult or a big lie?”
First of all let me make it clear that I do not have all the answers and, even if I did, nobody should trust in me as the final authority on any issue because I am not. The Bible instructs us to study for ourselves. (See Acts 17:11; Micah 7:5; 1 Thessalonians 5:21; Matthew 15:14; etc.) However, I would like to give you some things to think about.
It is true that the proper name for God the Father is YHWH which is often pronounced Yahweh or, as some say, Jehovah. However this name is not exclusively used for God the Father. There are times when this name is applied to the Son of God. For example: “And the LORD [Yahweh] spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend.” (Exodus 33:11) We know this is the Son of God here, for a few verses later God said, “Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. And the LORD [Yahweh] said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.” (Exodus 33:20-23) John wrote, “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” (John 1:18) For another example of where the Son of God is called Yahweh read Genesis 18:1-19:1.
The primary name given to the Son of God in the New Testament is Jesus, or as it reads in Greek, Iesous. This is the Greek equivalent for the Hebrew name Joshua or Yahshua. Although this is true, it does not prove that these are the only names we are to use in referring to the Father and His Son. (An interesting sidelight to this study is that there cannot be found a proper name for the Holy Spirit. This makes it difficult for trinitarians to prove their theory of three persons in one God.)
The Bible uses many names for the Father and His Son. For example: “And it shall be at that day, saith the LORD, that thou shalt call me Ishi [“my husband” —Green’s Literal Translation]; and shalt call me no more Baali. For I will take away the names of Baalim out of her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name.” (Hosea 2:16, 17) Should we call God “Ishi” instead of God? I don’t think that is what God wishes for us to do, but rather that we see Him as our intimate friend, and one with whom we have entered into a lifelong commitment—our husband.
Some people claim that using the names Jesus, Christ, Lord, or God are offensive to God. They argue that these names come from paganism and should not be used. However, there are many words in our language that have questionable sources, yet we use them because they are the best words we have. It is not the sound of a word that is so important to God, but the thoughts that are aroused by the mentioning of the word. Spanish people call God “Dios,” yet the thoughts aroused by the mentioning of that word to a Spanish person are identical to the thoughts aroused in my mind when I hear the word God. The actual sound of the word in this case is irrelevant.
I have read articles written by some of those who believe the use of the words God, Lord, Jesus, or Christ are offensive to God and it takes much time to try to decipher what the people are saying. Some of these people go so far as to use Hebrew words for other common English words such as Spirit, church, saints, holy, and a host of other words. The end result is a jumble of words with little meaning to the average person. How are we to expect to reach the drunk on the street with such a jumble of words. It would be far better to use words that are understandable to the people whom we are trying to win to Christ.
One very strong argument in favor of using the words God, Lord, Jesus, and Christ is that it is certain that Paul used the Greek, not Hebrew, equivalent for these words when he wrote letters to Greek-speaking Gentile Christians. These letters are found in the New Testament books of Ephesians, Colossians, Philippians, Corinthians, Romans, etc.
Some people argue that the New Testament was originally written in Hebrew, but the evidence for this assertion is lacking, and virtually all of the early manuscripts discovered were written in Greek. Moreover, it would be illogical for Paul, who knew Hebrew and Greek, to write to Greek-speaking people, who did not know Hebrew, in the Hebrew language. If it was all right for Paul to use Iesous (Jesus), Theos (God), Kurios (Lord), and Christos (Christ) then it certainly is acceptable for us to use the English equivalent for these words today. It was obviously not a matter of salvation to Paul or he would not have used these non-Hebrew words when referring to God. In my opinion, it is misleading to try to convince people that they must use only the name Yahweh for God the Father and Yahshua for His Son. ?
|1 The Old Testament was originally written in Hebrew. The New Testament text is most commonly found in Greek. A man by the name of James Strong took all the Greek and Hebrew words used in the Bible, put them in alphabetical order, and applied a number to each word. The small Strong’s numbers used after a word represent a Greek or Hebrew word that was translated into English. Whenever you see the number 2983 in this study, it represents the same Greek word no matter what English word was chosen by the translators. <Back>|