The Names Of The Father And The Son
This booklet is written with the idea of providing a means to get started in this study. It is by no means an effort to answer every question or give you all the proof you need. To truly understand, you need to do some research on your own. Most of the Scriptures quoted are from The Interlinear Bible, by Jay P. Green, Sr., as general editor and translator.
Why This Study
In early 1997, The author was a member of an independent Church of God and content with that and with the beliefs that we held. Then someone mailed me a booklet about the names of the Father and the Son. My first reaction was disbelief. After reading most of it, I threw it across the room. It fell on the floor and, for several days, I just let it lay there. All that time, I continued to consider it and prayed for understanding, but was rather skeptical. Finally, I retrieved the article, along with my Bible and went to work. I was certain the booklet had to be wrong and I was going to check it, point by point, with the Scriptures and re-affirm my beliefs. But even before I completely went through the study, a switch had begun to take place in my thinking.
In all my years of study and church attendance, I had heard God, Lord, and Jesus Christ. All that time, I'd had no idea that the Father had a personal name. But I had a new Bible in 1997. I took one particular colored pencil, went through the entire book, and colored every appearance of the words "his name" or "my name." Just flipping rapidly through the pages now, it is amazing at the number of times that appears.
There are many places in Scripture where we are told to praise His name, honor His name, bless His name, think on His name, call on His name, give glory to His name, and on, and on. So what is that name?
The Father's Name
He revealed His name to Moses when giving him instructions.
"And Elohim spoke to Moses and said to him, I am Yahweh.
"And I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as El Shaddai, and by my name Yahweh I did not reveal myself to them."
But Hebrew grammar differs from that of English. Questions are stated as a sentence with inflection of the voice changing it.
From Clarke's Commentary, by Adam Clarke, volume 1, page 319 -
"The words should be read interrogatively, for the negative particle, not, has this power often in Hebrew. 'I appeared unto Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob by the name of God Almighty and by my name Jehovah was I not also made known unto them'?"
It is even included in the Ten Commandments.
"You shall not take the name of Yahweh your Elohim in vain, for Yahweh will not leave unpunished him who takes His name in vain."
There's the name - Yahweh. And a warning to be very careful with your attitude and the use of His name.
The name Yahweh is made up of four letters, YHWH, known as yod, hey, vav, hey in Hebrew. It is referred to as the Tetragrammaton.
From The Oxford Companion to the Bible, edited by Bruce M. Metzger and Michael D. Coogan, page 738 -
"Tetragrammaton - a Greek word meaning 'four letters', used to designate the consonants of the divine name Yahweh."
From Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary, by W. E. Vine, page 140 -
"Lord - The Tetragrammaton YHWH appears without its own vowels, and its exact pronunciation is debated (Jehovah, Yehovah, Jahweh, Yahweh). The Hebrew text does insert the vowels for adonay, and Jewish students and scholars read adonay whenever they see the Tetragrammaton. This use of the word occurs 6828 times. The word appears in every period of biblical Hebrew."
The name is written only in consonants - Hebrew has no vowel letters as we do with a, e, i, o, u, and y. The vowels are indicated by markings that are added over, under, in, or beside the letters. In the original manuscripts, the vowel markings did not appear. They were added later.
From The Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version, 1952, Preface, page iv-v -
"While it is almost if not quite certain that the Name was originally pronounced "Yahweh," this pronunciation was not indicated when the Masoretes added vowel signs to the consonantal Hebrew text. To the four consonants YHWH of the Name, which had come to be regarded as too sacred to be pronounced, they attached vowel signs indicating that in its place should be read the Hebrew word Adonai meaning 'Lord' (or Elohim meaning 'God'). The ancient Greek translators substituted the word Kyrios (Lord) for the Name. The Vulgate likewise used the Latin word Dominus. The form 'Jehovah' is of late medieval origin; it is a combination of the consonants of the Divine Name and the vowels attached to it by the Masoretes but belonging to an entirely different word.
"…the word 'Jehovah' does not accurately represent any form of the Name ever used in Hebrew."
From Funk and Wagnalls New Encyclopedia, 1973, volume 14, page 181 -
"Jehovah - name of the God of the Hebrew people as erroneously transliterated from the Masoretic Hebrew text. The word consists of the consonants JHVH or JHWH, with the vowels of a separate word, AdOnAI (Lord). What its original vowels were is a matter of speculation, for because of an interpretation of such texts as Exod. 20:7 and Lev. 24:11, the name came to be regarded as too sacred for expression; the scribes, in reading aloud, substituted 'Lord' and therefore wrote the vowel markings for 'Lord' into the consonantal framework JHVH as a reminder to future readers aloud. The translators of the Hebrew, not realizing what the scribes had done, read the word as it was written down, taking the scribal vowel markings as intrinsic to the name of their God rather than as a mere reminder not to speak it."
Regarded as too sacred by whom? Certainly not Yahweh - He's the one who gave it to mankind.
From The Oxford Companion to the Bible, edited by Bruce M. Metzger and Michael D. Coogan, page 343 -
"Jehovah - An artificially constructed name for Israel's God first attested in 16th century CE Christian texts. The new construction was the result of changing attitudes toward the use of God's name. The Hebrew name 'Yahweh' was not normally pronounced after about the 3rd century BCE out of respect for its holiness. In its place, readers of the Hebrew used adonay, 'Lord'. When vowels were added to the consonantal text of the Hebrew Bible (ca. 1000 CE), the consonants of Yahweh were preserved, but the vowels of adonay were used as a reminder to readers. Renaissance Christians tradition erroneously combined the consonants of Yahweh and the vowels of adonay to produce 'Jehovah'."
"An artificially constructed name." Can you imagine how Yahweh must feel about that? We humans would not like that. Our name is our identity. And it is His, too.
From the New Catholic Encyclopedia, 1967, page 1065 -
"Yahweh - Judging from Greek transcriptions of the sacred name, YHWH ought to be pronounced Yahweh. The pronunciation Jehovah was unknown in ancient Jewish circles, and is based upon a later misunderstanding of the scribal practice of using the vowels of the word Adonai with the consonants of YHWH."
Why can it be said that "Jehovah" is so wrong? The word begins with the letter J. That letter does not exist in the Hebrew alphabet or language. Nor does it exist in the Greek. And it didn't originally exist in English.
From the Encyclopedia Americana -
"The form of J was unknown in any alphabet until the 14th century. Either symbol (J, I) used initially generally had the consonant sound of Y as in year. Gradually, the two symbols (J, I) were differentiated, the J usually acquiring consonant force and thus becoming regarded as a consonant, and the I becoming a vowel. It was not until 1630 that the differentiation became general in England."
From Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, revised by Ivor H. Evans, page 577 -
"J - the 10th letter of the alphabet, a modern introduction, only differentiated from I in the 17th century, and not completely separate till the 19th. It was a medieval practice to lengthen the I when it was the initial letter, usually with the consonantal function now assumed by J. There is no room for J or j in the Authorized Version of the Bible."
From the Brown, Driver and Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon, page 217 -
"Yahweh - the proper name of the God of Israel. On the basis of Exodus 12:7 and Leviticus 24:11," the Tetragrammaton "was regarded as a nomen ineffable, called by the Jews Hashem and by the Samaritans Shemah. The pronunciation Jehovah was unknown until 1520, when it was introduced by Galatinus."
Millions of Jews call Him Hashem. Do you know what that means? It is Hebrew for "the name." How would you like to be referred to as "the name" rather than Joe, Mary, Bob, Joan, Billy, Susie, etc? It doesn't sound very appealing - or respectful, does it? I wonder if Yahweh even answers to it when people call on Him in that manner?
From the Pentateuch and Haftorah's, edited by Dr. J. H. Hertz, pages 6-7 -
"Adonay is the prescribed traditional reading of the Divine Name expressed in the four Hebrew letters YHWH - which is never pronounced as written. The Divine Name is spoken of as the Tetragrammaton, which is a Greek word meaning 'the Name of four letters.' The High Priest of old pronounced it as written, on the Day of Atonement during the Temple Service; whereupon all the people fell on their faces and exclaimed, 'Blessed be His Name whose glorious Kingdom is forever and ever.' The Hebrew root of that Divine Name means 'to be'; Adonay thus expresses the eternal self-existence of Him who is the Author of all existence."
From the Illustrated Dictionary of the Bible, Herbert Lockyer, sr. ed., page 427 -
"God, Names of - Jehovah/Yahweh - one of the most important names for God in the Old Testament is Yahweh, or Jehovah, from the verb 'to be', meaning simply but profoundly, 'I Am who I Am,' and 'I will be who I will be.' The four-letter Hebrew word YHWH was the name by which God revealed Himself to Moses in the burning bush (Ex. 3:14)."
"Behold, El is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid for my strength and song is Yah Yahweh; He has become my salvation."
It is like Yahweh is the family name!
"Sing to Elohim, sing praises to His name; lift a song for Him who rides in the wilderness, by his name Yah, and exult in His presence."
Even in the King James Version, it has "Jah" in that particular verse.
As for some of the additional names of Yahweh, they are names in the sense that there is simply a word added to His name that describes something about Him. Here are a few samples:
Strong's #410 El (Mighty)
Strong's #3070 Yahweh Yireh (Yahweh will see)
Strong's #3071 Yahweh Nissi (Yahweh is my banner)
Strong's #3072 Yahweh Tsidkeynu (Yahweh our righteousness)
Strong's #3073 Yahweh Shalom (Yahweh is Peace)
The Son's Name
Now we come to the Son's name: Jesus, as most of the world knows Him. He was born a human, of the tribe of Judah. Would a Hebrew mother give her baby a name not of her language or heritage? She may have known the Greek of the day, but she would have spoken Hebrew or Aramaic, as a general rule. And she couldn'thave given Him the name "Jesus". Remember, the letter J did not exist!
We have none of the original scrolls of the Bible, either Old Testament or New Testament. We have copies of the Old Testament in Hebrew. The only copies of the New Testament we have are in Greek. But many scholars are coming to believe that the New Testament was originally written in Hebrew as well. Why?
Because the grammar is Hebrew. If you look in The Interlinear Bible, the Greek text appears with the English directly below it. If you then put those English words into Hebrew, the resulting sentence is basically grammatically correct for Hebrew. That would not happen as a rule, if Greek manuscripts of others books were translated into Hebrew.
Some assert this name was Jesus because Greek was the main language - the lingua franca - of that area at that time of His birth. They also state that Hebrew had died out and was no longer spoken.
From Understanding the Difficult Words of Jesus, by David Bivin and Roy Blizzard, Jr., page 18 -
"The late Jehoshua M. Grintz wrote an article entitled 'Hebrew as the Spoken and Written Language in the Last Days of the Second Temple' (Grintz 1960). On the basis of his study of Matthew's Gospel and other literature contemporary with the Gospels, Grintz asserted that 'Hebrew was the only literary language of that time; and to this alone we can attribute the fact that the new sect of unlearned and ignorant men (Acts 4:13) set out to write its main book, intended for its Jewish members, in this language' (Grintz 1960:46). Grintz further emphasizes: 'Moreover, Hebrew was then the main vehicle of speech [emphasis, the author's] in Jewish Palestine, or at least in Jerusalem and Judea.' He provided evidence for this statement with a relevant story, narrated in the Talmud (Nedarim 66b) about the difficulties an Aramaic-speaking Jew from Babylon had in communicating with his Jerusalemite wife (Grintz 1960:46-47)."
From page 20 -
"Outstanding scholars from outside Israel have also arrived at the conclusion that the language of Jesus was Hebrew. One such scholar is Harris Birkeland, a Norwegian. In his article entitled 'The Language of Jesus,' Birkeland challenges the current view that the language of Jesus was Aramaic. His conclusion is: 'The language of the common people in Palestine in the time of Jesus was Hebrew.' He continues: 'My further conclusion…that Jesus really used Hebrew, also seems unavoidable' (Birkeland 1954:39)."
From page 21 -
"Another brilliant scholar is Abbe J. T. Milik. Milik, a Polish priest, is well known in scientific and archaeological circles. He was one of the excavators of Qumran and the most active member of the international team which prepared the scrolls from Cave IV for publication. After a careful analysis of all the textual materials from the Judean Desert, Milik concluded:
The copper rolls and documents from the Second Revolt prove beyond reasonable doubt that Mishnaic [Hebrew] was the normal language of the Judean population in the Roman Period. (Milik 1963:130)."
So, where does "Jesus" come from? If it isn't correct, what is? We need to know it if we wish to do as Scripture says.
"And Peter said to them, repent and be baptized each of you on the name of Yahshua Messiah to forgiveness of sins, and you will receive the gift of the set-apart spirit."
"Therefore also Yahweh highly exalted him, and gave him a name above every name.
"That at the name of Yahshua every knee should bow, of heaven, and of earth.
"And every tongue should confess that Yahshua Messiah is Master, to the glory of Yahweh the Father."
"And in that day you will ask me nothing. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you shall ask the Father in my name, He will give you.
"Until now you have asked nothing in my name; ask, and you will receive, so that your joy may be full."
From The Erdmans Bible Dictionary, page 573 -
"The given name Jesus means 'savior', it is the Greek equivalent of Jeshua (Hebrew yesua, from yehosua 'Yahweh saves' [=Joshua]. Christ is a title, indicating that he is the 'anointed one', the Messiah from Hebrew masiah)." … "Jeshua (Hebrew yesua 'Yahweh is salvation.')"
From New International Dictionary of the New Testament Theology, volume 2, page 330 -
"Old Testament Iesous is the Greek form of the Old Testament Jewish name Yesua, arrived at by transcribing the Hebrew and adding an -s to the nominative to facilitate declension."
From The Mistaken J, published by Yahweh's New Covenant Assembly, page 13 -
" 'Jesus,' an etymological hybrid from Greek and Latin, has no inherent, etymological meaning in Greek or Latin, not to mention Hebrew or English."
From Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary, by W. E. Vine, page 333 -
"Jesus - Iesous (2424) is a transliteration of the Hebrew 'Joshua,' meaning 'Jehovah is salvation,' i.e., 'is the Savior,' 'a common name among the Jews."
But would a Hebrew couple, living in the land of Palestine, who spoke Aramaic or Hebrew as their native language, with a Hebrew heritage and religion, really give their son a Greek/Latin name? Would Yahweh, who put so much meaning into names in Hebrew, demand a name for His Son that had no meaning in that language? A name that is a hybrid of Latin and Greek?
"I have come in the name of My Father, and you do not receive Me. If another comes in his own name you will receive that one."
Yahshua came to die in our place; to be our Savior. He came in the Father's name. What is that name? Yah Yahweh?
Take the Father's name "Yah" (Strong's #3050) and add "shua" to it from Strong's #3467/3468, meaning "liberty, deliverance, salvation." You will have Yahshua - "Yah is salvation". Many point to Strong's #3091, Yehowshua, or Joshua as we pronounce it. But that name in Hebrew starts with "Yeho", not "Yah".
Some have said that Yahshua never spoke the name, that He referred to Yahweh only by a title or by "Father". But He said He revealed the Father's name. So He must have pronounced it!
"I revealed your name to the men whom you gave to me out of the world."
"And I made your name known to them, and will make it known, that the love with which you loved me may be in them, and I in them."
Time To Think
I remember as a child in Sunday school, memorizing and reciting scriptures. Looking at one of the favorites, it looks as though we didn't go far enough, but shopped after only one verse.
"For Yahweh so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten son, that everyone believing into him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
"For Yahweh did not send his son into the world that he might judge the world, but that the world might be saved through him.
"The one believing into him is not judged; but the one not believing has already been judged; for he has not believed into the name of the only-begotten son."
Did you get that? The last nine words of verse 18? Sounds like the name is pretty important, doesn't it?
"But these have been written that you may believe that Yahshua is the Messiah, the son of Yahweh, and that believing you may have life in his name."
"Let it be known to you all and to the people of Israel that in the name of Yahshua Messiah the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom Yahweh raised up from the dead, in this name this one stands near before you whole.
"This one is the stone counted worthless by you the builders, who has become placed into the head of the corner.
"And there is salvation in no other one, for neither is there any other name under heaven having been given among men by which we must be saved."
For a little while, this scripture bothered me. I wondered how can you look at some scriptures in the Old Testament that refer to salvation by Yahweh and then look at this one that says there is salvation in only one name. Then I realized that each time we say the name Yahshua, we are saying that Yahweh is our salvation or that Yahweh saves. That is why it is important that the "Yah" and not "Ye" begin the name Yahshua.
If there is only one name in the entire world that can provide that salvation, wouldn't it seem pretty important to have the right name? Well, when it is time to see your name in the book of life, won't it be important to you that He has your name right?
All of us are interested in salvation. We'd even like to be counted among the 144,000. Notice that description carefully:
"And I saw, and behold, the Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with him were a hundred and forty-four thousands, with the name of his father having been written on their foreheads."
What name will be found on you? How will you be identified?