In the previous post, we have seen how poor scholarship can lead to deceptions and misconceptions. In this post, we shall look at the name of YHVH and Y’shua. The purpose is not to create contention, on the contrary; it is to bring peace. We want to show you, firstly, that we are living in a time of restoration, and that we are to embrace that. Secondly, that we are, in this, to be loving and patient towards one another, for we do not have all the truth revealed to us yet.
Our Creator’s Name
The name of YHVH, our Creator, is a point of great contention. It need not be so!
Just to clarify a point before we start. We write YHVH, when we refer to “YOD HEY VAV HEY.” It is simply based on an English transliteration of the Hebrew letters: yod, hey, vav and hey. Some write the vav as wav and will therefor write YHWH. It depends on how you render the vav when you transliterate it. It does not necessarily reflect the pronunciation of the name of our Father; it represents the name itself.
We know that the personal name of our Heavenly Father, YHVH, “YOD HEY VAV HEY” is used approximately 7000 times throughout the Scripture. If you look in your modern Bible you will not find it. It has been replaced with â€œLORDâ€ in most translations. There is a long history behind this change, a change, mostly without justification based on the teachings of men.
The earliest manuscripts of the Septuagint found, show the Tetragrammaton preserved in Hebrew characters. However, manuscripts after the first century show the name being replaced with the title ” LORD.” In 1959, PE Kahle published the “Cairo Geneza” describing the use of the Tetragrammaton in copies of the Septuagint. The name of this book is from the genizah (archive or storeroom) found in Cairo.
The Cairo Geniza is a collection of some 210,000 Jewish manuscript fragments found in the genizah or storeroom of the Ben Ezra Synagogue in Fustat or Old Cairo in Egypt. Some additional fragments were found in the Basatin cemetery east of Old Cairo, and the collection includes a number of old documents bought in Cairo in the later 19th century. It is now dispersed among a number of libraries, including the libraries of Cambridge University and the University of Manchester.1
From this, we can deduce that the name of YHVH was still in the Septuagint when Y’shua was here on earth. However, this is just for the interest sake. The point is YHVH’s name was taken out of the Bible and replaced with an impersonal title. Let us look at what we can find out about the revelation of YHVH’s name in Scripture.
YHVH’s name was revealed from the beginning
The first occurrence of YHVH’s name is in Gen 2:4
4 This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that YHVH Elohim made earth and heaven.
To prove to you that is is in the Hebrew text, we include a screenshot from the interlinear Bible.
We know from Scripture that Adam and Eve (Havvah) knew their Creator’s name, as it is stated in the book of Genesis.
1 Now the man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, and she said, â€œI have gotten a manchild with the help of YHVH.â€
So we can continue to search through the Bible. The best indication that YHVH wants us to know and use His personal name is found where He appeared to Moses in the burning bush.
14Elohim said to Moses, â€œI AM WHO I AMâ€; and He said, â€œThus you shall say to the sons of Israel, â€˜I AM has sent me to you.â€™ â€
He continues in verse 15:
15 Elohim, furthermore, said to Moses, â€œThus you shall say to the sons of Israel, â€˜YHVH, the Elohim of your fathers, the Elohim of Abraham, the Elohim of Isaac, and the Elohim of Jacob, has sent me to you.â€™ This is My name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all generations.
These are YHWH’s own words! The word “memorial-name” implies a name of honor, a name of renown, to be remembered.
2352 ×–Öµ×›Ö¶×¨ (zÄ“Â·á¸µÄ›r): n.masc.; â‰¡ Str 2143; TWOT 551aâ€”1. LN 29.6â€“29.12 memory, what is remembered, implying honor (Ex 17:14; Dt 25:19; 32:26; Est 9:28; Job 18:17; Ps 6:6[EB 5]; 9:7[EB 6]; 34:17[EB 16]; 109:15; Pr 10:7; Ecc 9:5; Isa 26:14+); 2. LN 29.6â€“29.12 remembrance, implying a worship or celebration (Ex 3:15; Ps 111:4; 112:6; 145:7+); 3. LN 28.28â€“28.56 fame, renown, name of renown, i.e., what is well known, implying status or honor (Ps 30:5[EB 4]; 97:12; 102:13[EB 12]; 135:13; Isa 26:8; Hos 12:6[EB 5]; 14:8[EB 7]+), see also domain LN 87.4â€“87.182
Our Creator said His name is YHVH, forever, His memorial-name to all generations. We are part of all generations; it is for us too. This is also in line with what the third commandment teaches.
The third commandment
7 â€œYou shall not take the name of YHVH your Elohim in vain, for YHVH will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.
The Hebrew word “vain” means the following:
8736 ×©Ö¸××•Ö°× (Å¡Äwe(Ê¾)): n.[masc.]; â‰¡ Str 7723; TWOT 2338aâ€”1. LN 65.30â€“65.39 vanity, futility, worthlessness, i.e., that which has no result or use and so worthless (Ex 20:7), see also LN 89.39â€“89.54; 2. LN 92.11â€“92.25 nothing, i.e., a negative reference to an entity, event, or state (Job 15:31); 3. LN 72.1â€“72.11 falseness, i.e., that content which is not true, with a special focus that this content is worthless for ascertaining the truth (Ex 23:1), see also domain LN 70; 4. LN 6.96â€“6.101 idol, formally, vanity, i.e., an image of a pagan god, with a special reference to its worthlessness (Ps 24:4); 5. LN 33.161â€“33.177 empty plea, i.e., a request which is not responded to, and so of no effect (Job 35:13)2
How do you take His name in vain? There are many ways to bring YHVH’s name to naught. One of these ways is by replacing His name with a title! Another way would be to substitute His name with that of a pagan deity. There are other ways as well, like how we conduct ourselves, but that is not our focus now. Here is an illustration of how identity is associated with a name.
What happens when a new recruit joins for military training? He is issued with a number and henceforth; everybody is called by rank and number. His identity is removed, because when a young man joins for military service, he is not an individual anymore, but part of a fighting unit. When the name is removed, the individuality is removed.
We could apply similar logic to the name of our Heavenly Father, YHVH. Even when we call Him Hashem (The Name), Adonai (Master) or Elohim (gods) instead of YHVH, we are removing His identity, as these are all titles.
What is in a name? We see throughout the Scripture how names have special meanings and how it reflects the character of the bearer. In many cases, names were prophetic or told us something about the task of the person. It is the same with the name of our Father YHVH.
How do you proclaim His name if you don’t use His name?
3 â€œFor I proclaim the name of YHVH; Ascribe greatness to our Elohim!
Whose name are you proclaiming if you say, “the Lord” instead of YHVH? It could be read by a person of any faith, and he could think it referred to his god. The point is we have to be specific when we worship YHVH. That is how we proclaim His name to all the nations.
Picture two women, sitting in a waiting room, each of different faith, unbeknown to one another. The one could be, for the argument’s sake, a Muslim and the other a Christian; it doesn’t really matter. The Christian shares a testimony of YHVH’s goodness with the Muslim women with the words ” God is good; he healed our son” on which the Muslim woman replies “yes; god is good.” They were both referring to a different god, but now consider this: who got the glory for the healing of the child in the eyes of the Muslim woman? Would that be the case if the other woman used the name of YHVH?
4 And in that day you will say, â€œGive thanks to YHVH, call on His name. Make known His deeds among the peoples; Make them remember that His name is exalted.â€
18 That they may know that You alone, whose name is YHVH, Are the Most High over all the earth.
YHVH is the Most High over all the earth, not the Lord, a title which, could be referring to any lord. Having said all this, we know that most believers agree that we should use YHVH’s name when speaking to or about Him. The major difference in opinion comes to how to pronounce His name.
The pronunciation of YHVH’s Name
This brings us to the pronunciation of YHVH’s name. That is a different story. Do we know for sure how to pronounce His name? The answer is maybe! Ancient Hebrew was without vowel points. However, the characters yod, hey and vav are what is referred to as vowel-consonants or semivowels.3
It is, therefore, not impossible to pronounce the name of YHVH, as it is sometimes taught. It is however open to some interpretation, and this is what causes contention among believers. Some believers pronounce YHVH’s name as Yahovah, some Yahuah or Yahweh, Yahwah or Ahayah to give you a few examples.
We believe that each must do according to their belief or conviction of his or her heart. All truth has not been revealed to us. None of us can claim to have the full revelation of it. If you agree with this statement, you would have to agree when we say that not a single one of us has the right to judge another believer for his pronunciation of the name of YHVH. Do not allow this to be a stumbling block for you.
We are not saying that the pronunciation is unimportant, we are saying: don’t label or judge others for their belief. The contention and strife about this have caused many believers to go back to the use of a title when referring to YHVH for fear of judgment by others. Please respect each other in this.
The name of Y’shua
The name of Y’shua is also a point of disagreement in the believing community. Y’shua was a Jew with a Hebrew Name, and His name means YHVH saves or YHVH is salvation. The name Y’shua is an abbreviation of Yah Shua or Yahushua; “Yah” being a poetic form of YHVH and “shua” meaning saves. The apostrophe indicates a small pause in the word in order to pronounce it closer to the original pronunciation. It also indicates a concatenation of the words â€œYahâ€ and â€œshua.â€
When you search the Strongs concordance for the name “Jesus” you find that “Jesus” is a Greek transliteration of the Hebrew name Joshua or Yehoshua which means YHVH is salvation.
2424 á¼¸Î·ÏƒÎ¿á¿¦Ï‚ [Iesous /eeÂ·ayÂ·sooce/] n pr m. Of Hebrew origin 3091; TDNT 3:284; TDNTA 360; GK 2652; 975 occurrences; AV translates as â€œJesusâ€ 972 times, â€œJesus (Joshua)â€ twice, and â€œJesus (Justus)â€ once. 1 Joshua was the famous captain of the Israelites, Mosesâ€™ successor. 2 Jesus, son of Eliezer, one of the ancestors of Christ. 3 Jesus, the Son of God, the Saviour of mankind, God incarnate. 4 Jesus Barabbas was the captive robber whom the Jews begged Pilate to release instead of Christ. 5 Jesus, surnamed Justus, a Jewish Christian, an associate with Paul in the preaching of the gospel. Additional Information: Jesus = â€œJehovah is salvationâ€.
Strong, J. (2001). Enhanced Strongâ€™s Lexicon. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
You see it originates from Strongs 3091
3397 ×™Ö°×”×•Ö¹×©Ö»××¢Ö· (yehÃ´Â·Å¡Ç”aÊ¿): n.pr.; â‰¡ Str 3091;â€”LN 93-pers. (male) Joshua: 1. son of Nun (Ex 17:9), see also 3397(1.) 2. owner of field in Beth Shemesh (1Sa 6:14, 18+) 3. governor of Jerusalem in the days of King Josiah (2Ki 23:8+) 4. (Lk 3:29), see DBLGrk 2652 5. a high priest (Hag 1:1â€“2:4 passim) Zec 3:1â€“9 passim; 6:11+ see also 3800(5.), see also 2107
Swanson, J. (1997). Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Hebrew (Old Testament) (electronic ed.). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
Believe in His name
In the book of Joel, it is written that anyone calling on the name of YHVH will be saved. This verse is repeated twice in the Apostolic writings (Acts 2:21; Rom 10:13).
32 â€œAnd it will come about that whoever calls on the name of YHVH Will be delivered; For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem There will be those who escape, As YHVH has said, Even among the survivors whom YHVH calls.
When we read the Tanakh, we learn that salvation is attained by calling on the name of YHVH. However, when we read the Apostolic Scriptures, we learn that we have to believe in Yâ€™shuaâ€™s name for salvation. Is there inconsistency here?
31 but these have been written so that you may believe that Yâ€™shua is the Messiah, the Son of Elohim; and that believing you may have life in His name.
1 John 3:23
23 This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Yâ€™shua Messiah, and love one another, just as He commanded us.
There is no inconsistency here, for two reasons:
- firstly, Y’shua came in the name of His Father (John 5:43) and
- secondly, YHVH’s name is in Y’shua’s name for Yâ€™shauâ€™s name is â€œYHVH saves.”
The meaning of Y’shua’s name was first revealed when His birth was announced to Joseph.
21 â€œShe will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Y’shua, for He will save His people from their sins.â€
Y’shua’s name in the Tanakh
Y’shua’s name appears over 100 times in the Tanakh. Here are some examples. Read through all these verses with the word salvation substituted with Y’shua. We can do this, because the Hebrew word for salvation, in these cases, is Y’shua and the context supports this.
14 That I may tell of all Your praises, That in the gates of the daughter of Zion I may rejoice in Your salvation (Y’shua).
14 â€œBecause he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name. 15 â€œHe will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. 16 â€œWith a long life I will satisfy him And let him see My salvation (Y’shua).â€
We see this again in Revelation 1:7
7 Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen.
2 â€œBehold, Elohim is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; For YHVH Elohim is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation (Y’shua).â€ 3 Therefore you will joyously draw water From the springs of salvation (Yâ€™shua)
Consider John 4:13-14, amazing, isnâ€™t it?
13Â Y’shua answered and said to her, â€œEveryone who drinks of this water will thirst again; 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.â€
This passage in Isaiah is the most beautiful example!
11 Behold, YHVH has proclaimed to the end of the earth, Say to the daughter of Zion, â€œLo, your salvation (Y’shua) comes; Behold His reward is with Him, and His recompense before Him.â€
The change of Y’shua’s name
Before we examine this, we would like to clarify our position on this change. We do not advocate the use of the name Jesus. We believe that our Saviour’s name is Y’shua or, more accurately, Yehushua. We have already shown you the significance of this name. His name was changed to Jesus, a Greek name without a specific meaning.
Why was Y’shua’s name changed?
Your name remains the same no matter where you go. However, the pronunciation of your name can sometimes change when your name is pronounced by someone speaking another language. Some names are difficult to pronounce, because different languages have different sounds. Y’shua’s name change was not, in our opinion, a deliberate act to change His name to that of a pagan deity, as it is often taught; it was done in order to make it possible for the Greek speaking people to have the characters of His name in their writings. It started off as a Greek transliteration of a Hebrew name, and unfortunately, it caused the real pronunciation and meaning to be lost for us in our time.
We have made some clippings, from text, out of the English interlinear and the Septuagint to show you how the translation was done for the name of Joshua or Yehoshua – son of Nun- as well as the name Jeshua which is written in the book of Chronicles (this Jeshua is not Y’shua the Messiah). We have also added the Hebrew word for salvation to compare these with each other.
The Septuagint is a Greek version of the Tanakh, that was translated by Alexandrian Jews. It is dated as early as 200 years before the birth of Y’shua. Thus, the translators of the Septuagint, had no reason to assign the name Y’shua to any deity.
Here is how Joshua 1:1 is rendered in the English interlinear (the NASB version):
From Joshua 1:1 in the Septuagint, we find the name Joshua or Yehoshua translated
Underneath is the transliteration of Joshua 1:1 from the Septuagint to show you the pronunciation. We see the name “Joshua” transliterated almost the same as Y’shua in the book of Matthew.
Joshua 1 Greek OT: Septuagint – Transliterated
kai egeneto meta tÄ“n teleutÄ“n mÅusÄ“ eipen kurios tÅ iÄ“soi uiÅ nauÄ“ tÅ upourgÅ mÅusÄ“ legÅn4
The name Joshua in the Apostolic writings was also translated in a similar way
45 â€œAnd having received it in their turn, our fathers brought it in with Joshua upon dispossessing the nations whom Elohim drove out before our fathers, until the time of David.
In the book of Matthew and Luke, we find Y’shua’s name 1:21 from the English Interlinear NASB
From Luke 1:31
This is how a name Jeshua in 1 Chronicles 24:11 is rendered in the interlinear English NASB
In this same verse in the Septuagint this name Jeshua is translated to Greek as Iesous.
The Hebrew word for salvation in Psalm 68:19 is “yesuat”. Look at the Hebrew letters and compare it to the Hebrew letters of the name “Jeshua.” It is the same, except for the “tav.” This name Jeshua in Chronicles was translated in the Septuagint as Iesous.
The purpose of all these screenshots is to show you how similar names or words were translated and transliterated with consistency. The end characters sometimes differ, because the greekÂ language requiresÂ different endings to allow the noun to be inflected for case. Inflection is the variation in the form of a word, by means of an affix that expresses a grammatical contrast that is obligatory in a particular context.
There are 4 possible endings: dative, vocative, accusative and genitive. Here is an explanation:
- DativeÂ – a morphological marker on a noun marking the recipient of something or certain other syntactic functions such as indirect object- to me
- Nominative –Â like when I do something
- Genitive – a morphological marker on a noun indicating a relationship with another noun, also called possessive, but the relationship of the two nouns is not always ownership – my
- Accusative -Â a morphological marker on a noun indicating the object of a verb (something is done to me)6
If you want to learn more about this, we recommend the book:Â How Biblical languages work: AÂ student’sÂ guide to learning Greek and Hebrew by Peter James Sizler, .
Could we consider all this and still maintain that there is an agenda behind the way it was translated? You decide. Here is some additional information as to how the change occurred.
The History of the name change
By the time the New Testament was written, the Septuagint had already transliterated ×™×©×•×¢ [Yeshua`] into Koine Greek as closely as possible in the 3rd-century BCE, the result being á¼¸Î·ÏƒÎ¿á¿¦Ï‚ [IÄ“sous]. Since Greek had no equivalent to the semitic letter ×© shin [sh], it was replaced with a Ïƒ sigma [s], and a masculine singular ending [-s] was added in the nominative case, in order to allow the name to be inflected for case (nominative, accusative, etc.) in the grammar of the Greek language. The diphthongal [a] vowel of Masoretic [Yehoshua`] or [Yeshua`] would not have been present in Hebrew/Aramaic pronunciation during this period, and some scholars believe some dialects dropped the pharyngeal sound of the final letter ×¢ `ayin [`], which in any case had no counterpart in ancient Greek. The Greek writings of Philo of Alexandria and Josephus frequently mention this name. It also occurs in the Greek New Testament at Acts 7:45 and Hebrews 4:8, referring to Joshua son of Nun.
From Greek, á¼¸Î·ÏƒÎ¿á¿¦Ï‚ [IÄ“sous] moved into Latin at least by the time of the Vetus Latina. The morphological jump this time was not as large as previous changes between language families. á¼¸Î·ÏƒÎ¿á¿¦Ï‚ [IÄ“sous] was transliterated to Latin IESVS, where it stood for many centuries. The Latin name has an irregular declension, with a genitive, dative, ablative, and vocative of Jesu, accusative of Jesum, and nominative of Jesus. Minuscule (lower case) letters were developed around 800 and some time later the U was invented to distinguish the vowel sound from the consonantal sound and the J to distinguish the consonant from I. Similarly, Greek minuscules were invented about the same time, prior to that the name was written in Capital letters: Î™Î—CÎŸÎ¥C or abbreviated as: Î™Î—C with a line over the top, see also Christogram.
Modern English Jesus derives from Early Middle English Iesu (attested from the 12th century). The name participated in the Great Vowel Shift in late Middle English (15th century). The letter J was first distinguished from ‘I’ by the Frenchman Pierre Ramus in the 16th century, but did not become common in Modern English until the 17th century, so that early 17th century works such as the first edition of the King James Version of the Bible (1611) continued to print the name with an I.
From the Latin, the English language takes the forms “Jesus” (from the nominative form), and “Jesu” (from the vocative and oblique forms). “Jesus” is the predominantly used form, while “Jesu” lingers in some more archaic texts.5
We are not attempting to justify the change of the name of Y’shua to Jesus as correct. The main point is that the claim that the transliteration was done with pagan intent is academically unsound. The name of our Redeemer, in Hebrew, is Y’shua. We proclaim YHVH’s salvation every time we speak His name. That is who He is, He is our salvation. Go forth and proclaim His name, Y’shua!
46 and He said to them, â€œThus it is written, that the Messiah would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
We know that we are in a time of restoration. YHVH is in the process of restoring many things.The names of the Father and of His Son are also being restored in our day. We are therefore to be patient with one another. Live according to your conviction and do not judge or reject your brother for his.
1 Corinthians 13:12â€“13
12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. 13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.
We know in part and will only, when Y’shua comes again, know fully. He will reveal all truth to us. In the meanwhile, we are to love one another! Do not let the pronunciation of the name of YHVH or Y’shua become a stumbling block to you.
1 John 4:20â€“21
20 If someone says, â€œI love Elohim,â€ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love Elohim whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves Elohim should love his brother also.
27 who intend to make My people forget My name by their dreams which they relate to one another, just as their fathers forgot My name because of Baal?
- Swanson, J. (1997). Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Hebrew (Old Testament) (electronic ed.). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
- Weingreen, J.A. Practical Grammar for Classical Hebrew, Clarendon Press, 1939, pp. 6-7
- Sizler, Peter James. How Biblical languages work: AÂ studentsÂ guide to learning Greek and Hebrew
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