The Bible, Church History, and Sacred Names

By COGwriter

Many have brought up the subject of the names of those in the Godhead.

Should Christians use names like God, Lord, and Jesus? Instead, should they use names like Yahweh and Ye'shua?

Did early Christians teach 'sacred names' as a doctrine?

What does the Bible teach?

What are the names of God in the Bible?

Was there any difference between the Old and New Testaments?

Did Jesus publicly use a full version of the name Yahweh?

What did early Christians do related to this?

Is this a matter of salvation?

Were 'sacred names' part of the original faith or not?

A related sermon is available: Sacred Names: True or False Gospel?

A related article in the Spanish language is La Biblia, la historia de la Iglesia, y los nombres sagrados.

Names of God in the Old Testament

The Old Testament was mainly written in Hebrew, with a small amount of Aramaic (generally recognized Aramaic phrases include Genesis 31:47; Ezra 4:8-6:18, 7:12-26; Jeremiah 10:11; Daniel 2:4b–7:28; plus possibly one or more words in Job 36:2a and Psalm 2:12--two other, questioned, places have also been proposed with possibly one word each: Genesis 15:1 and Numbers 23:10--presuming that someone like Ezra made minor edits for clarity).

Those who point to sacred names point to names used in the Old Testament--and their interpretation of scripture.

Some will point to the third commandment from the Hebrew scriptures which states:

7 You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain. (Exodus 20:7, NKJV throughout, unless otherwise noted)

The word translated LORD is from Hebrew letters YHWH.

(More on the Ten Commandments can be found in the free online book: The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast.)

Cursing God's name is shown in the Bible to be a violation of God's command (Leviticus 24:11)--but having variations in pronunciation or using other names for the Creator is not. Yet, sacred name proponents sometimes try to indicate otherwise.

In the Old Testament there are many names/titles for the Creator God. Here is a list with an English translation:

  1. Elohim (God)
  2. El (God)
  3. El Echad (The One God)
  4. El Shaddai (Lord God Almighty)
  5. El Elyon (The Most High God)
  6. El-Olam (Everlasting God)
  7. El Roi (The God that Sees)
  8. Emmanuel (God with Us)
  9. Adonai (Lord, Master)
  10. Bowree' (Creator)
  11. Yahweh (I Am that I Am or The Eternal)
  12. Yahweh-M'Kaddesh (The Eternal Who Sanctifies or Makes Holy)
  13. Jehovah Nissi (The Eternal My Banner)
  14. Jehovah-Raah or Yahweh-Roi (The Eternal My Shepherd)
  15. Jehovah Rapha (The Eternal That Heals)
  16. Jehovah Shammah (The Eternal Is There)
  17. Jehovah Tsidkenu (The Eternal Our Righteousness)
  18. Jehovah Mekoddishkem (The Eternal Who Sanctifies You)
  19. El Olam (The Everlasting God)
  20. Aabiynuw (Our Father)
  21. Qanna (Jealous) Jehovah Jireh (The Eternal Will Provide)
  22. Jehovah Shalom (The Eternal Is Peace)
  23. Jehovah Sabaoth (The Eternal of Hosts)
  24. 'Elaahaa' {This is an Aramaic, not Hebrew term, and is used in places like Ezra 6:8 and Daniel 2:19} (God)
  25. le 'Alaah {This is an Aramaic, not Hebrew expression, and is used in Ezra 6:9} (God)
  26. sh­mayaa' Maaree' {This is an Aramaic, not Hebrew expression, and is used in places like Daniel 5:13}(Lord of Heaven)
  27. Yowmayaa' 'Atiyq {This is an Aramaic, not Hebrew expression, and is used in places like Daniel 7:13} (Ancient of Days)

And one could substitute Yahweh/Yahveh for Jehovah in the list above. But it should be mentioned that none of the Aramaic passages of the Old Testament use Yahweh/Yahveh/Jehovah.

Which of the Old Testament names for the Creator should be taken in vain?

None of them.

The sacred name movement likes to focus, however, on one. The one called the Tetragrammaton, יהוה (YHWH), which are the four consonants of the ancient Hebrew name Yahweh. They are Yod (pronounced in modern Hebrew as Jod), Heh, Waw, and Heh.

The Jews were so concerned about possibly using the Creator's name in vain, that they would not pronounce the Tetragrammaton or certain other names for deity. To this day, many Jews still do not do so.

The precise pronunciation of the vowel-less הוה is uncertain. Those of us in the Continuing Church of God will sometimes say Yahweh or Yahveh, but mainly often translate the Tetragrammaton when reading scripture out loud as “Eternal”, “the I Am”, or “Self-Existing One” which is what the Tetragrammaton is defined to mean (cf. Exodus 3:14).

But some people feel that a particular pronunciation is required.

Biblical Proofs for Sacred Names?

Someone sent me an article and said that it contained biblical proofs for sacred names. This article is from a Sabbatarian group calling itself Yahweh’s Assembly in Yahshua:

This is the EliYah Message

Ancient prophets along with the Messiah Himself foretold that an EliYah would come to restore all things before the Second Coming of the Savior. What that means directly affects you and your salvation! ...

If you keep the Sabbath you know that you are in a minority. Keeping the seventh day holy in modern age is not easy for anyone. But those who believe the Bible know that the Sabbath was kept by patriarchs, was observed by the Savior, and will continue to be honored in the coming Millennium.

Before continuing, let me point out that this group keeps the Sabbath, Holy Days, is not trinitarian, etc., so this may cause some Christians to let their guard down and be subject to some of their improper arguments.

Its claim about salvation brings to mind the following:

1 And certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren, "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved." 2 Therefore, when Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and dispute with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas and certain others of them should go up to Jerusalem, to the apostles and elders, about this question. (Acts 15:1-2)

Now, surely the pro-circumcision crowd felt that they were right and had scripture on their side--yet they were wrong (Acts 15:24).

Notice also the following warning from the Apostle Peter:

1 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. (2 Peter 2:1)

The 'sacred name' movement is a destructive heresy. They distort the truth about Jesus and do not truly fulfill Matthew 24:14 or Matthew 28:19-20.

Before going further, consider that pagans used incantations. Actually, one of the charges against the apostate Simon Magus and his followers is that they had incantations and invocations.

Simon of Samaria, from whom all sorts of heresies derive their origin, formed his sect ... They use exorcisms and incantations. (Irenaeus. Adversus haereses, Book 1, Chapter 23, Verses 2,4)

The disciples, then, of this (Magus), celebrate magical rites, and resort to incantations. (Hippolytus. Refutation of All Heresies (Book VI, Chapter XV)

And Simon denominates the originating principle of the universe an indefinite power, expressing himself thus: "This is the treatise of a revelation of (the) voice and name (recognisable) by means of intellectual apprehension of the Great Indefinite Power. Wherefore it will be sealed, (and) kept secret, (and) hid, (and) will repose in the habitation, at the foundation of which lies the root of all things." (ibid chapter IV).

In other words, it appears that Simon Magus may have been the first to try to insist on certain names (see also Simon Magus, What Did He Teach?) as well as to teach some version of that would be restored--and while it is not clear if this included words like Yahweh or Yashua, the promoting of certain pronunciations to be his type of 'Christian' was something his followers did.

Notice something another, slightly later, apostate group, called the Basilidians did:

These men, moreover, practise magic; and use images, incantations, invocations, and every other kind of curious art. ... They also affirm that the barbarous name in which the Saviour ascended and descended, is Caulacau (Irenaeus, Book 1, Chapter 24, Verse 5).

They used incantations and invocations--sounds a bit like sacred names. 'Caulacau' is supposedly a 'sacred name' that allegedly came from Isaiah 28:10 ( those apostates believed they had 'sacred name' biblical authority--as do more modern 'sacred name' promoters.

Much more on why Yahweh’s Assembly in Yahshua is wrong should be clearer as we go further analyzing their positions in the light of scripture.

Its EliYah Message also has the following:

A restoration of forgotten paths of righteousness will be made manifest just before the Messiah returns to planet earth. ...

To know exactly what the EliYah message is for us, let’s look at what the main focus of EliYah’s message was in his own lifetime. In 1Kings 18:21 the prophet EliYah asks a significant question: "How long halt you between two opinions? If Yahweh be Elohim, follow Him, but if Baal, then follow him."

EliYah admonishes not to straddle the fence or vacillate. If you worship Yahweh, the Mighty One of Israel, then follow Him all the way. Don’t equivocate. He is distinguished from the pagan Baals by His Name, so we must use it.

The Savior promised that just as John the Baptist came in the power and strength of EliYah, another would come much like John the Baptist before the Savior’s return to this earth. His message will be the same; "Yahweh is the true Mighty One." Call on and follow Him. (© 2007 Yahweh’s Assembly in Yahshua. Kingdom City, Missouri, USA)

Let me insert here that John the Baptist is not recorded to have used 'sacred names' in the New Testament. 'Sacred names' are not "forgotten paths of righteousness"--these names are not forgotten--so the Yahweh’s Assembly in Yahshua is wrong. The requirement for repeated pronunciation of 'sacred names' is simply not required.

Back to the EliYah Message, it also stated:

The EliYah message that "my Mighty One is Yah" includes the fact that His people are called by His Name Yahweh, the people of Yahweh.

"If My people which are called by My name shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land," 2Chronicles 7:14.

In the New Testament, God's people are called Christians (Acts 11:26) and Jews (Romans 2:29; Revelation 3:9). They are also called part of the "Church of God" (Acts 20:28; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 10:32; 11:16,22; 15:9; 2 Corinthians 1:1; Galatians 1:13; 1 Thessalonians 2:14; 2 Thessalonians 1:4; 1 Timothy 3:5,15). The terms using Yah are not applied to Christians in the New Testament. Nor do we see this in early church history.

The EliYah Message also stated:

Malachi 4:5: "Behold I will send you EliYah the prophet before the great and terrible day of Yahweh comes. And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers; lest I come and strike the earth with a curse," TSS

Notice that a messenger will come BEFORE the Day of Vengeance and the return of the Messiah who will teach obedience to every one of Yahweh’s commandments. Micah 4:2 says that in the Millennium the law will go forth out of Zion. In light of these facts, it is clear that the law is still binding today, too.

Yes, but the message above is to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and vice versa. This is not a prophecy about restoring the use of sacred names.

The Ten Commandments do not contain any command to use "sacred names" (more on them can be found in the book The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast).

The EliYah Message stated:

The EliYah at the end of the age and those with him who resist the Beast and his system will also face persecution, as did EliYah of Ahab’s day. The Savior prophesied that His saints would "be hated of all men for My name’s sake; but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved," Mark 13:13, Luke 21:17.

Today there are those who either reject or deny the importance of the holy Name Yahshua given the Savior from on High at His birth (see both Matt. 1:21 and Luke 1:31, marginal note).

Vital Truths

In The EliYah Message Now we will see why the sacred Name has great significance for all at the end of the age and why His Name will assume more importance than ever. First, there must be a bold, firm teaching of Yahweh’s laws and His weekly and annual Sabbaths—His way of life. Proclaiming the truth of Yahweh’s Word before the Messiah returns will turn those who are called to seek His ways and submit to His Law.

Your Bible says salvation depends upon two important principles.

They are: Salvation is only through the Son, John 14:16.

Salvation is in only one Name.

That Name is Yahshua, Acts 4:12.

Yahshua" means "Yahweh is salvation."

These are the plain statements of the Bible.

It is blasphemous to claim that one must be saved via a certain pronunciation of the name Yashua. That name is not even in the New Testament.

The salvation claim in EliYah Message is a plain twisting of the Bible and what it teaches.

Peter warned that people did that (2 Peter 3:16).

Jesus was teaching that true Christians would be hated. He was NOT referring to those who only invoke His name in Hebrew or Aramaic. Besides, we in the Continuing Church of God do sometimes use the term Yashua or some variant, but that it is not why the world's churches hate us.

It is pagans, including the Gnostics, who sometimes taught that one could be saved by muttering certain expressions. Salvation depends on responding to God's calling, repenting, and accepting Jesus as Savior (Acts 2:38-39). It is NOT dependent upon using a word that sounds like the original Hebrew word for Joshua. Yet, that is what is being falsely claimed.

The Apostle Paul, who spoke Greek (Acts 21:37-39), warned about people teaching a false gospel:

6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, 7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:6-9)

There is NO evidence that the Apostle Paul taught that 'sacred names' were part of the gospel. The claiming that they are part of salvation is a false gospel! Paul wrote letters to Greek speakers in various parts of the old Roman Empire. When he did that, he did not use any sacred names. To imply otherwise is wrong. Paul was writing Greek-speakers in Galatia and Paul never used the name Yashua in that writing.

While Paul also could speak Hebrew and/or Aramaic (Acts 21:40), he was born in Tarsus--an area that spoke Greek. The fact that the Jews agreed to authorize Saul (before he was calleded Paul) to travel to get Christians in the eastern part of the Roman Empire (e.g. Acts 9:1-2) supports the view that he was apparently quite fluent in Greek (it would have been more difficult to communicate with most Roman soldiers in Aramaic and even fewer in Hebrew). As Paul, he also travelled with Greeks (cf. Acts 21:28).

Now, in order to assert that the name of our Savior must always be pronounced as Yashua rather than Jesus, one would have to prove that Greek was not the original language of the New Testament (which, despite assertions, has never been done), as the Greek manuscripts do not have the Messiah’s name in Hebrew or Aramaic. The New Testament instead uses customary Greek spelling and vocabulary. Since God caused the Messiah’s name to be rendered into common Greek usage in the New Testament, then it should be obvious that the standard English spelling of His name is not be wrong today.

The EliYah Message stated:

Second, one must reverence and love the "only name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved," Acts 4:12.

The type of 'reverence' being pushed above suggests idolatry and aspects of paganism. It is not that we should ever use God's name in vain, but this simply reminds me of the type of argument some make about why they should worship/venerate Jesus' mother Mary (see also Mary, the Mother of Jesus and the Apparitions).

There is NO evidence that early Christians felt the need name to love "the name." Jesus said to love God and neighbor (Matthew 22:37-40)--He did not teach to love a particular pronunciation of a name.

Jesus taught:

32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:32)

The truth is that early Christians did NOT push the 'sacred name' doctrines.

The EliYah Message stated:

If you reject His Name you essentially reject Him because they are one and the same. That name is not the Latinized-Greek Name "Jesus" and never was. His Name is like the Israelite general Joshua (the J has the Y sound) who led Israel into the Promised Land. He was a type of the Savior Yahshua who will lead us into the promised Kingdom. Our Savior has a Hebrew name given from on high to the Hebrews Mary (Miriam) and Joseph (Yowceph).

The above is twisted and misleading. Now, I do not reject that the Savior's Hebrew name was some version of the word Joshua. The fact that Joshua had the same name as Jesus should show us that Yashua is not unique to Jesus nor a name that must signify deity. Furthermore, not using (or insisting on using) Yahshua is not a rejection of the Messiah.

While the original Hebrew for the name of Jesus was probably apparently a version of the English name Joshua, what was recorded in the Greek NT was not.

One reason is that Yahshua /Joshua does not transliterate into Greek exactly. There are letters in Hebrew that are simply not there in Greek. Hence, since the New Testament was written in Greek, it is obvious that God’s Spirit did not require a particular pronunciation of that word.

Transliterated from the Greek, Ίησοû/Ίησοûς, it would be something like Ieesoú or Ieesoús. But because of translations of that, the name commonly became Jesus in English. Since English-speaking people understand Jesus is supposed to be the Son of God, but do not normally understand Ieesoú or Ieesoús, we in the Continuing Church of God will normally--but not always (we sometimes use terms like Yashua)--use the term Jesus when speaking in the English language.

It should be pointed out that there are many words in English that differ from the original. For example, while most English-speaking adults have probably heard of Venice, Italy, many probably do not know that the city's actual name is Venezia--this is also true of many place names in other parts of the world.

We tend use the term Venice, not Venezia, in English to convey that city as that is a term that most would understand. That is also why we tend to use the term Jesus. The point of communication is to be understood.

Here is a bit more about the name Jesus:

When rendering into Greek the name of Moses’ successor, and that of other Old Testament figures bearing the same name, it was almost always spelled out as Iesous.

Why? The answer is twofold: Hebrew and Greek use different alphabets, and they have different rules of grammar. For instance, the first letter of the name Yeshua in Hebrew is the letter yod. As a semi-consonant like the letters waw and he, it can play the role of a consonant or a marker of a vowel, depending on its position in a word. Thus yod is given a "y" sound at the beginning of a word, and an "i" sound when used later in a word. It has no exact equivalent in Greek, but the iota, sounded as "i" regardless of where it is used, is the closest. In the same way, the Hebrew letter shin is sounded as "sh" but has no exact equivalent in Greek, the closest being sigma, sounded as "s."

Why does the Greek form of this name (or for that matter any number of other Old Testament names) end in "s" rather than in "a"? The answer is found in the rules of Greek grammar. In Greek, nouns indicate case, number, and gender by their spelling. This is called declension. Depending on its use as subject or object in a sentence, the same noun has a different ending. Spelling (rather than word order, as in English) indicates how a word functions as a part of speech. Thus, in Greek, Iesous is in the nominative case ("Yeshua"); Iesou is in the genitive case ("of Yeshua"), and so on. The name in the nominative case carries an "s" so that it may be properly declined in the other cases. ...

Why, then, do our English Bibles (such as the King James Version) use Joshua in the Old Testament and Jesus in the New Testament? This occurs because our Old Testament was translated from the Hebrew Masoretic Text, using an approximate English transliteration of the Hebrew letters and vowels. Our New Testament, however, was translated from the Greek, so the transliterated names found there reflect Greek spellings. Thus, where the original Hebrew is Yehoshua, Joshua was used in English translation. Where the original Greek is Iesous (or one of its declined forms), Jesus was used in English translation. Elijah and Hezekiah were used in the English Old Testament and Elias and Ezekias were used in the English New Testament for exactly the same reason. Interestingly, some newer translations have sought to minimize potential confusion by using the same spelling for the same person in both the Old and New Testaments, regardless of how the name was preserved in the Hebrew and Greek texts.

The Letter "J"

Why, then, do English-speakers spell both Joshua and Jesus with a "j" rather than a "y" or an "i"? Where did this originate? Does it represent some sort of sinister plot, as a few assume, or is the explanation far more innocent?

Notice what the Oxford English Dictionary says about the history of the letter "j": This "tenth letter of the alphabet in English and other modern languages is, in its origin, a comparatively late modification of the letter I. In the ancient Roman alphabet, I, besides its vowel value… had the kindred consonantal value of modern English Y… Some time before the 6th century, this y-sound had, by compression in articulation and consequent development of an initial ’stop’, become a consonantal diphthong… In OE, i consonant, so far as it was used, had (as still in all the continental Germanic languages) its Latin value (y)… But the French orthography introduced by the Norman Conquest brought in the Old French value of i consonant = g ’soft’ (dsh); a sound which English has ever since retained in words derived from that source… From the 11th to the 17th c., then, the letter i represented at once the vowel sound of i, and a consonant sound (dsh), far removed from the vowel."

Throughout the medieval period, the forms of the modern "i" and "j" were used interchangeably, and both forms represented the same letter. How, then, did "i" and "j" come to be considered two distinct letters of the alphabet? "The differentiation was made first in Spanish, where, from the very introduction of printing, we see j used for the consonant, and i only for the vowel… Louis Elzevir, who printed at Leyden 1595–1616, is generally credited with making the modern distinction of u and v, i and j, which was shortly after followed by the introduction of U and J among the capitals by Lazarus Zetmer of Strasburg in 1619" (OED, "J"). The letters "i" and "j" continued for many years to be considered merely different forms of the same letter, so that as late as the early 19th century, dictionaries commonly intermingled the I and J words in one series. (Ogwyn J. What is the Savior's Name. LCN. July/August 2005).

In Matthew 4:10, the nominative form of our Savior's name appears in the Greek-- Ίησοûς (see Green J. The Interlinear Bible, 2nd edition. Hendrickson, 1986, p. 739)--transliterated into English as Ieesoús.

Notice something from an article titled The True Name:

As stated in Acts 4:12, the name Yahshua, is the only name by which one can find salvation. ... Yahshua: (Yahweh is Salvation), has been substituted by Yeshua, Iesous, Iesus, Jesus and Ea-Zeus (Healing Zeus). retrieved 03/07/19

Actually, Acts 4:12 does not show the name Yahshua. Let’s look at Peter’s words:

10 let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. 11 This is the 'stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.' 12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.

The actual Greek in Acts 4:10 is Ίησοû (Green's Interlinear Bible, p. 844), transliterated as Ieesou. The quote in Acts does not have enough consonants to make the word Yahshua.

One 'sacred name' proponent wrote me claiming to the effect that Peter would not have spoken that in Greek, hence he (Peter) used a version of Yahshua. Presuming that is the case, this shows that GOD DID NOT EXPECT CHRISTIANS TO BE 'SACRED NAME' PEOPLE OR HE WOULD NOT HAVE INSPIRED THE GREEK WRITER, LUKE, TO BE THE ONE TO RECORD THIS IN THE BOOK OF ACTS. Since Luke was a native Greek-speaker who addressed his book to a Greek (Theophilus), obviously God knew what He was doing here. But the 'sacred name' types tend to unwilling to sufficiently consider that.

As far as claims that this is related to the pagan deity Zeus, etc. goes, notice the following:

In Greek, the name of "Zeus" is really just "Ze", because the "us" is there for grammar. "Ze" is the root of the name. Thus it would be Zayin, Hey in Hebrew (which, BTW, means "this").  Like every other name in Greek, it's spelling changes with grammar (It might be Zeus, Zeu, etc) depending on whether "Ze" is the subject, object, direct object, etc., of a sentence.   So depending on how it's used in Greek Grammar, for the nominative, genitive, dative, accusative and vocative cases respectively, it becomes...

...Since "Jesus" or "Y'shua" has a name that is most properly rooted as "Ieso" in Greek, not "Iesous". "Iesous" is just a grammatical variant of the root "Ieso". Note that..

So what's similar about these two names? Well, … how they are pronounced in our tongue has some similarities. So silly english speaking people who don't know Greek and are too lazy to do research can come up with some strange ideas on what the Greeks were thinking. But this idea that "Jesus" is rooted in "Zeus" doesn't hold water when you really examine the roots and declensions in Greek from a scholarly manner. It has as much credibility as saying it originated from "Dr. Seuss". (A Greek Analysis of the Name "Iesous" or "Jesus." accessed 02/13/18)

The Apostle Peter warned about the following:

14 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; 15 and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation — as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, 16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures. (2 Peter 3:14-16)

Those who insist that Jesus' name is derived from Zeus, etc. are twisting scriptures and essentially are "untaught people" who insist on falsehood.

What about the first letter of our Savior’s name? Notice something from

“J” is a bit of a late bloomer; after all, it was the last letter added to the alphabet. It is no coincidence that /i/ and /j/ stand side by side – they actually started out as the same character. The letter /j/ began as a swash, a typographical embellishment for the already existing /i/. With the introduction of lowercase letters to the Roman numeric system, /j/ was commonly used to denote the conclusion of a series of one’s – as in “xiij” for the number 13.

J’s phonetic quest for independence probably began with the sound of the letter /i/. Originally a Phoenician pictogram representing a leg with a hand, and denoting a sound similar to the /y/ in “yes,” /i/ was later adopted by Semitic groups to describe the word “arm” which, in Semitic languages, began with a /j/ – also possessing the same /y/ sound as in “yes.” Both /i/ and /j/ were used interchangeably by scribes to express the sound of both the vowel and the consonant.

It wasn’t until 1524 when Gian Giorgio Trissino, an Italian Renaissance grammarian known as the father of the letter /j/, made a clear distinction between the two sounds. Trissino’s contribution is important because once he distinguished the soft /j/ sound, as in “jam” (probably a loan sound), he was able to identify the Greek “Iesus” a translation of the Hebrew “Yeshua,” as the Modern English “Jesus.” Thus the current phoneme for /j/ was born. The English language is infamous for matching similar phonemes with different letters and /j/ is certainly no exception. In addition to the aforementioned soft /j/ sound, as in “jam,” which is phonetically identical to the soft /g/ as in “general,” the /j/ in Taj Mahal takes on a slight variation of that same sound and is probably the closest to Trissino’s original phonetic interpretation. And coming full circle, the /j/ sound you hear in the word “hallelujah” is pronounced “halleluyah.” (The Man Responsible For The Letter “J.” accessed 02/13/18)

So, because of changes in the language, we in English pronounce Jesus differently that Ieesoú or Iaesou. But since God inspired the writers of the New Testament to change 'Joshua' to something they could spell in Greek, it is obvious that God does allow for differences in the pronunciation of the names of diety.

Perhaps I should mention that sounds of letters, as well as spellings, also can change in time. Up until the 18th century, two letter fs--ff-- was apparently pronounced as ss--by the 19th century, English spellings were normally changed to reflect that.

Anyway, the Son of God does understand the word 'Jesus.'

Furthermore, after the New Testament was written, the Greek term Ίησοû was being used in church literature from the first century onward.

The Letter of the Romans to the Corinthians (A.D. 95-97), also so-called as 1 Clement, uses the Greek term Ίησοû for the Son of God, which is normally rendered 'Jesus' in English (Holmes M. The Apostolic Fathers: The Greek Texts and English Translations. Baker Books, 1999, pp. 28-29). Technically, the transliteration would be Ieesoú (Interlinear Transliterated Bible. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc.). It does not sound anything like 'Yeshua.'

Furthermore, consider that the original apostles appointed Polycarp of Smyrna as a COG leader. He wrote in Greek and also DID NOT USE SACRED NAMES.

What is believed to be the old preserved Ancient Christian sermon (c. A.D. 120-140) outside the Bible (sometimes referred to as 2 Clement) also uses Ίησοû for the Son of God. The same is true for the letters of Ignatius (c. A.D. 107-117), Polycarp's Letter to the Philippians (c. A.D. 110-137), and The Martyrdom of Polycarp (c. A.D. 156-167) all use Ίησοû for the Son of God.

The Didache (c. AD 50-150), also so-called as The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, uses the Greek term Κυρíου, which is commonly translated as "Lord" referring to our Savior (Holmes, pp. 250-251). It never uses any version of the term Joshua.

Furthermore, Church of God Bishop/Pastor Melito of Sardis originally wrote in Greek:

Melito's paschal homily must be originally Greek: anyone who knows Greek can see that. (Zuntz G. Melito: Syriac? Vigiliae Christianae Vol. 6, No. 4, Dec., 1952, pp. 193-201)

Although some have thought that perhaps some of his original writings were in Syriac/Aramaic, that has not been shown to be the case. Yet, even if he did sometimes write in Syriac, Syriac was not only the language he wrote in. It has been established that Melito wrote in Greek. His perhaps most known writing-- Melito's Homily on the Passover -- was written in Greek. Melito did not use 'sacred names' either. He used Ἰησοῦν for Jesus ( verse 10), κυρίου for Lord (e.g. verse 3), and Θεού for God (e.g. verse 5) (ΜΕΛΙΤΩΝΟΣ ΠΕΡΙ ΠΑΣΧΑ accessed 12/12/17).

Possibly to try to get around the historical truth as well as the truth about the Greek New Testament, the EliYah Message stated:

There is a prophetic reason why the sacred Names have not been widely revealed until now! One most important reason has to do with the end-time sealing of Yahweh’s people with His Name once they have accepted His sovereignty and taken hold of His Covenant. This revealing is for the latter day return to the truth by the elect. ...

Yahweh’s Name Hidden Till Now

The recurring question is "Why is it that Yahweh’s Name has been obscured all these years?" Why wasn’t it more prominent and used by many others who professed to follow the Bible?" Yahweh reveals truth to those who would be dedicated and faithful then observes what they do with it. If they reject truth, there is no reason to give them more.

Was Yahweh's name hidden until now?

No, it has long been known. Therefore, this is another false assertion by the Yahweh’s Assembly in Yahshua.

Furthermore, we in the Church of God have sometimes used 'Yahweh' throughout history.

Now does the New Testament tell us that we should expect basic doctrine to change in the latter days?


Is this simply my opinion?


Understand that Jude wrote that Christians were "to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 3).

The sacred name people should realize that sacred names were not part of the original faith--but have been added from those who would deceive.

The Apostle John wrote:

24 Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is the promise that He has promised us — eternal life.

26 These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. (1 John 2:24-26)

John is warning against accepting new doctrines from those who would deceive--and that would include the 'sacred name' doctrine.

Furthermore, the name Yahweh was NOT hidden, just not always generally used.

And as far as Elijah goes, Elijah was to restore teachings that the true Church lost during the ages as well as make prophetic clarifications as the time of the end draws nearer. The Elijah is not to come and teach a different gospel about salvation by loving and using a Hebrew name--that is not a restoration but a heresy.

The faith once for all delivered to the saints DID NOT include the requirement for sacred names.

And what about the term Christ?

It is a translation of the term Messiah:

41 He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, "We have found the Messiah" (which is translated, the Christ). (John 1:41)

The Greek word translated as Messiah is μεσσíαν. That word transliterated into English would be “messian.” In the New Testament, which was written in Greek, the word χριστóς (transliterated in English as “christos”) was used 572 times in the Textus Receptus and μεσσíαν just twice. The term Christ is what is commonly used by English speakers.

The EliYah Message stated:

Note what Yahshua wrote to the persecuted ones in Philadelphia, the only truly faithful assembly of seven, "I know your deeds. See I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied My Name!" Revelation 3:8 (NIV).

This is another twist of scripture. First of all, we in the Continuing Church of God do not deny that the Savior was called some version of Yahshua--but that is NOT what Jesus is saying here.

The Philadelphians do not deny Jesus authority or God's form of governance (The Bible, Peter, Paul, John, Polycarp, Herbert W. Armstrong, Roderick C. Meredith, and Bob Thiel on Church Government). They are those that hold fast, not those that change at the end as Jesus said to them:

10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. 11 Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. (Revelation 3:10-11)

Changing a doctrine related to names is NOT holding fast. Furthermore, Jesus commends the Philadelphians for their work of going through the open doors to proclaim the gospel:

7 "And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write,

'These things says He who is holy, He who is true, "He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens": 8 "I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name. 9 Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie — indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. (Revelation 3:7-9)

Jesus often taught to beware of religious leaders. Notice:

15 "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them. (Matthew 7:15-20).

False leaders do not produce good fruit.

No sacred name group I am aware of has successfully done much of significance in regards to the work of Matthew 24:14. Focusing on pronouncing names is NOT the work for the Philadelphians.

Philadelphian Christians accept proper church governance. The Apostle Paul was inspired to write:

11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head — Christ — 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. (Ephesians 4:11-16)

The Philadelphian ministry helps people from going off and accepting false doctrines like sacred names being essential for salvation and other deviations from the historical and biblical faith (for more on proper governance, check out the article The Bible, Peter, Paul, John, Polycarp, Herbert W. Armstrong, Roderick C. Meredith, and Bob Thiel on Church Government).

More on the Philadelphian work can be found in the following:

Should the Church Still Try to Place its Top Priority on Proclaiming the Gospel or Did Herbert W. Armstrong Change that Priority for the Work? Some say the Church should mainly feed the flock now as that is what Herbert W. Armstrong reportedly said. Is that what he said? Is that what the Bible says? What did Paul and Herbert W. Armstrong expect from lower level leaders? Two related sermons are available The Work per HWA and the Bible and Priority of the Philadelphia Work.
Preparing for the 'Short Work' and The Famine of the Word What is the 'short work' of Romans 9:28? Who is preparing for it? Here is a link to a related video sermon titled: The Short Work.
The Final Phase of the Work What is the final phase of the work? Who will lead it? Do you have the courage to support it? Here is a related YouTube video titled The Final Phase of the Work. The written article has been translated into Spanish La Fase Final de la Obra.

The EliYah Message stated:

We read of two groups of people at the end of the age. Revelation 15:4 says of the humble and repentant, "Who will not fear you, O Yahweh, and bring glory to your Name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed," NIV.

Then we have the other group who reject Yahweh’s Name in Revelation 16:9: "They were seared by the intense heat and they cursed the Name of Yahweh, who had control over these plagues, but they refused to repent and glorify Him," NIV.

Now that is not what the NIV teaches. It teaches the following:

4 Who will not fear you, Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed. (Revelation 15:4, NIV)

9 They were seared by the intense heat and they cursed the name of God, who had control over these plagues, but they refused to repent and glorify him. (Revelation 16:9, NIV)

The NIV never uses Yahweh in the New Testament. Even the Syriac Aramaic uses Elohim, not Yahweh, for Revelation 16:9).

The EliYah Message did this type of falsehood repeatedly.

The EliYah Message stated:

The last chapter of your Bible pictures the throne of Yahweh and the Lamb, with His servants serving Him, "And they shall see His face; and His Name shall be in their foreheads," Revelation 22:4.

But what name?

Look what Jesus tells the Philadelphian Christians:

12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name. (Revelation 3:12)

A new name will be written after New Jerusalem comes down from heaven. This, therefore, eliminates need for certain 'sacred names'' that some have promoted.

Furthermore, notice:

12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. (Revelation 19:12)

So, no one knows the name the Savior will later take, so it should be obvious that we do not have a specific pronunciation now as people do NOT know what His new name will be!

Now, the website of Yahweh’s Assembly in Yahshua has the following:

Q. Why do you insist on the name Yahweh? He has many names.
A. Paul said there are “gods many and lords many,” 1Corinthians 8:5. Lord and god are not names, but titles. “Lord” means “keeper of the loaf,” an inferior title. The word “god” refers to ANY being conceived as supernatural; an idol; a person or thing deified. Yahweh may have titles or appellatives, but He has only one name, Psalm 83:18. The Bible refers to “His” name 108 times; “My” name 97 times; and “Thy” name 109 times. Reference to His name is always in the singular, never “names.”

The above is misleading and inaccurate. The Apostles often called Jesus "Lord"--this was NOT an inferior title!

Apparently, this sacred name group does not care for how the Bible refers to God in its first book:

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

3 Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.

6 Then God said, "Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters." 7 Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so. 8 And God called the firmament Heaven. So the evening and the morning were the second day.

9 Then God said, "Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear"; and it was so. 10 And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas. And God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:1-10)

The use of God is NOT used above as merely a title, God is the identifying name in English. In Hebrew the name that God is introduced in Genesis by is Elohim, not Yahweh.

Furthermore, notice the following translations of Psalm 83:18:

New International Version
Let them know that you, whose name is the LORD-- that you alone are the Most High over all the earth.

New King James Version
That they may know that You, whose name alone is the Lord, Are the Most High over all the earth.

New Living Translation
Then they will learn that you alone are called the LORD, that you alone are the Most High, supreme over all the earth.

English Standard Version
that they may know that you alone, whose name is the LORD, are the Most High over all the earth.

New American Standard Bible
That they may know that You alone, whose name is the LORD, Are the Most High over all the earth.

King James Bible
That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
May they know that You alone-- whose name is Yahweh-- are the Most High over all the earth.

International Standard Version
Then they will know that you alone— whose name is LORD— are the Most High over all the earth.

NET Bible
Then they will know that you alone are the LORD, the sovereign king over all the earth.

New Heart English Bible
that they may know that you alone, whose name is the LORD, are the Most High over all the earth.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And they shall know that your Name is Lord Jehovah; you alone are exalted in all the Earth!

GOD'S WORD® Translation
so that they must acknowledge you. Your name is the LORD. You alone are the Most High God of the whole earth.

JPS Tanakh 1917
That they may know that it is Thou alone whose name is the LORD, The Most High over all the earth.

New American Standard 1977
That they may know that Thou alone, whose name is the LORD,
Art the Most High over all the earth.

Jubilee Bible 2000
That they may know that thou, whose name alone is LORD, art the most high over all the earth.

King James 2000 Bible
That men may know that you, whose name alone is the LORD, are the most high over all the earth.

American King James Version
That men may know that you, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, are the most high over all the earth.

American Standard Version
That they may know that thou alone, whose name is Jehovah, Art the Most High over all the earth.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And let them know that the Lord is thy name: thou alone art the most High over all the earth.

Darby Bible Translation
That they may know that thou alone, whose name is Jehovah, art the Most High over all the earth.

English Revised Version
That they may know that thou alone, whose name is JEHOVAH, art the Most High over all the earth.

Webster's Bible Translation
That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.

World English Bible
that they may know that you alone, whose name is Yahweh, are the Most High over all the earth. For the Chief Musician. On an instrument of Gath. A Psalm by the sons of Korah.

Young's Literal Translation
And they know that Thou -- (Thy name is Jehovah -- by Thyself,) Art the Most High over all the earth!

The Yahweh’s Assembly in Yahshua has attempted to force an interpretation of Psalm 83:18 that none of the above two dozen translations support. Note that I started the above list with the NIV--the version that they tend to cite.

Psalm 83:18 simply does not say that Yahweh is the ONLY name of God--it says that only the Most High is Yahweh. And it is only the Father and the Son that have lived eternally. All other beings had a beginning and hence cannot be Yahweh.

But to twist this to says that God has no name other than Yahweh to support this false doctrine is absurd.

Consider also that the prophet Daniel, who is called “greatly beloved” in Daniel 9:23, at least one time prayed to God in Aramaic, calling Him ‘elahh (Daniel 2:19–20).

Furthermore, on a Q&A webpage related to prayer, Yahweh’s Assembly in Yahshua reports that the Bible showed that Stephen and John prayed to Yashua/Jesus ( accessed 12/07/17).

Well, since Jesus is God (see Jesus is God, But Became Flesh), and was often referred to as Yahweh in the Old Testament, this further proves that Yahweh’s Assembly in Yahshua's contention that Yahweh is the only name is WRONG!

Now oddly, Yahweh’s Assembly in Yahshua has an article titled Necessary Inference Proves Yahshua Is Yahweh. Hence, this points out a contradiction to their teaching as having two names is clearly more than having only one.

The Continuing Church of God teaches, and the old Worldwide Church of God (WCG) taught, that Jesus was called Yahweh in the Old Testament. Here is something from the old WCG:

Yes, Jesus is also "Jehovah," although this word is a mistranslation used in the American Standard Version. The original name, in the Hebrew, contained the consonants YHVH. In writing in Hebrew, vowels were omitted, supplied only in speaking. Thus the precise pronunciation of the name is not definitely known, but today it is commonly assumed to be Yahveh or Yahweh.
   The meaning, in English, is "THE ETERNAL" or "THE EVER-LIVING" or the "SELF-EXISTENT." It is commonly supposed that Yahveh or, as commonly called, "Jehovah" or, as in the Authorized Version, "The LORD" of the Old Testament was God the FATHER of Jesus Christ. This is a flagrant error!
   Yahveh was the God of Israel, the only One of the Godhead known to ancient Israel. When He came in human flesh they did not recognize Him. "He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not" (John 1:10).
   Neither did they know God the Father (Matt. 11:27, Luke 10:22, Panin). "No one knoweth... who the Father is, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son willeth to REVEAL him."
   In Genesis 1, the Hebrew name translated "God" is Elohim. This is a uniplural name, such as church or family. A church or a family consists of more than one person, yet is one church, or one family.
   In this same sense Elohim—the God Kingdom— includes both God the Father and Yahveh, who was the Logos or the WORD of God, and also their Spirit emanating from them, the Holy Spirit, the LIFE, CHARACTER and POWER of God.
   Jesus, in praying for the welfare of the Church prayed that its many members might "be ONE as we are one" (John 17:11, 21, Moffatt translation). The Church is ONE body, yet composed of many members (I Cor. 12:12). A husband and wife are ONE FLESH, yet two persons.
   The word God has two meanings—the God Kingdom or the God Family, AND the persons composing that Kingdom or Family. Christ and the Father are ONE God, not two Gods —one Elohim. That is why Elohim said, "Let us make man in OUR image" (Gen. 1:26).
   Yahveh was the "WORD" or Spokesman of the Godhead—its second member. As soon as God began to SPEAK to man, it was always Yahveh who spoke (translated "LORD" in the Authorized and "Jehovah" in the American Standard Version—see Genesis 2:16, 18 and Exodus 20:2). Almost always it is Yahveh in the original Hebrew—the "WORD" who was made flesh. The proof of this is a long study involving hundreds of passages.
   As a fragment of the evidence, compare Isaiah 8:13-14 with I Peter 2:7-8. Isaiah said, "The LORD of hosts"—YHVH— shall be "a stone of stumbling" and "a rock of offence." Peter said, in quoting this text in reference to Christ, He is "a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence." Jesus is the LORD —the Eternal of the Old Testament.
   Now compare Isaiah 40:3 with Matthew 3:3 and Mark 1:3. John prepared the way before Yahveh (Isa. 40:3) who was CHRIST (Mark 1:14-15). ...

Christ is the ROCK—the God of the Old Testament

   In I Corinthians 10:4, the "Rock" of the Old Testament is called Christ: "For they drank from the supernatural Rock which followed them, and the Rock was Christ" (verse 4, RSV).
   Notice also II Samuel 22:2-3, RSV: "He said, 'The LORD [Yahveh] is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge, my savior; thou savest me from violence.' " See also verse 32.
   In Psalm 18:1-2, this same "ROCK" is Yahveh. When Moses was talking to Yahveh, and asked Him His name (Ex. 3:4-5, 13), He answered that His name was "I AM" (verses 6, 14) and Yahveh—the Eternal One (verse 15). See also Exodus 6:2-3.
   In John 18:5-8, as soon as Jesus identified Himself to the mob led by Judas as "I AM" (the "he" in italics is added without inspiration, and was not in the original), they went backward and fell to the ground.
   Again in John 8:56-58, Jesus called Himself "I AM." For we read, "Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am" (verse 58). (Armstrong HW. Is Jesus God? Good News, December 1982)

The above shows that the Church of God knew of the name Yahweh and sometimes used it--but did not insist upon it. And unlike the Church of Rome (see Pope Prohibits Yahweh), we have not forbidden it--but we want people to understand it in its proper perspective.

As a side, consider that the Yahweh’s Assembly in Yahshua prayer question and answer webpage ( accessed 12/07/17) showed a photograph of one praying with clasped hands like pagans--the Yahweh’s Assembly in Yahshua is not a Philadelphian Christian group (to learn more about prayer, check out the free online booklet: Prayer: What Does the Bible Teach?).

The Yahweh’s Assembly in Yahshua is promoting many falsehoods. But it is not the only one.

Did Jesus Preach with the Name YHWH? Samaritan Pronounciation?

There is no existing evidence that early Christians were using the names Yahweh or Yahveh.

What about Jesus? Did He preach using it?

Consider the following:

It IS supposed in some circles that Yahweh — or perhaps Yahvah — should be the principal name by which we address God. While it will be admitted on all hands that God is jealous over His name (especially its significance), one might wonder if that "jealousy" extends to the exclusive use and pronunciation of YHWH.

For all of us who wish to live as God's children, we have a divine arbiter who can settle all such matters for us — our Savior. lf we can determine that Jesus Christ constantly (or even occasionally) used and pronounced the name YHWH, then perhaps there is some justification for o u r using it today.

But what if Christ NEVER pronounced the name? What if He avoided its use altogether? It then becomes a different matter.

The truth is, it can be proved absolutely that Christ NEVER used the name Yahweh even when He spoke Hebrew or Aramaic to the people of Palestine!

He Would Have Been Called a Blasphemer!

Christ preached to the Jews of Jerusalem, Judaea and Galilee in the period of the Second Temple. He taught publicly for over three years. Thousands upon thousands of Jewish people heard Him. If Christ had used the divine name YHWH in the midst of that Jewish community, He would have been accused of utter blasphemy and judged worthy of excommunication from the society!


Because NO ONE was permitted to pronounce the divine name in the time of Christ. This can be proved beyond the shadow of a doubt. ...

This historical fact is expressed by The Jewish Encyclopedia as follows:

   After the death of Simon the Righteous... the priests ceased to pronounce the Name [YHWH]. From that time the pronunciation of the Name was prohibited. "Whoever pronounces the Name forfeits his portion in the future world" (San. xi, 1). It appears that the majority of priests in the last days of the Temple [during the time of Christ and the apostles] were unworthy to pronounce the Name (vol. IX, pp. 162, 163).
   There can be no doubt about it — from the death of Simon the Righteous in 270 B.C., no one, not even priests in the Temple, were permitted to pronounce the name of YHWH. Its utterance meant the death sentence (see Sanhedrin, 56a, the Tulmud). (Martin E. Did Christ or the Apostles Use the Name YAHWEH? Good News, November-December 1972)

When Jesus once used part of the name, as He said "Yah" at one point (John 8:58), people took up stones to throw at Him (John 8:59). If He regularly taught it, or if He used the entire name, that would have been more of an issue. History supports the view that Jesus did not preach using Yahveh or Yawweh.

Since we are to imitate Jesus and the Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 11:1), since they did not preach using YHWH, it should be clear that Christians do not need to speak YHWH now.

As far as the modern pronunciation by some goes, consider the following:

Is "Yahweh" the Correct Pronunciation?  

One question does need to be asked: Is Yahweh really the right pronunciation?

The Jews after the time of Simon the Righteous (270 R.C.) lost all knowledge of exactly which vowel sounds were to be used. They admitted they didn't know. Then where have scholars gotten their modern interpretation of the tetragrammaton as Yahweh? If many sincere people who insist on pronouncing it in that fashion really knew what fountain it came from. one wonders if they would persist in their teaching.

Well, here is the truth. This pronunciation itself comes from the Samaritans! Because the Samaritans never had the same scruples as the Jews over the matter, they continued to say the word in their own dialect.

The pronunciation of the divine name as "Yuhweh" RESTS UPON SAMARITAN TRADITION as given by Theodoret (fifth century A.D.), also upon evidence given by Clement of Alexandria (Heinisch, Theology of the Old Testament. p. 39).

That's right! Even the modern pronunciation which scholars think may closely resemble the ancient sound is clearly of Samaritan origin — not Jewish!

In the theological journal Oudtestamentische Studien, vol. 5, pp. 1-29, published by Brill Press, Leiden, Holland, is an excellent article by Professor Eerdmans entitled "The Name Jahu." One could hardly do any better than quote from his extensive study on the pronunciation of the tetragrammaton.

Theodoret said that the Samaritans used the name Jabai (IaBar). In the treatise Quaestiones in Exodus he wrote this name Jabe (IaBe). [The "J" had a "y" sound and "B" something close to our "v".] These passages have induced scholars to insert the vowels of the Samaritan Jabe into the original Hebrew consonants, pronouncing Yahweh. But this is a mere guess. It is inconsistent with other passages in Theodoret and lacks historical probability (page 2).
Professor Eerdmans continued his article by showing why it is not safe to follow the Samaritan pronunciation:

Ezra... introduced a new alphabet, the "square script," to be used for the sacred literature. The refused Samaritans [their brand of religion was repudiated by Ezra] responded by making another alphabet for their own text of the Thora. They built their own temple on Gerizim and had their own priesthood. They thwarted the Jews whenever they could. The Sanhedrin of Jerusalem signalled the time of the great feasts by means of fires in the hills. Since the Samaritans lighted fires at inappropriate times in order to disarrange the Jewish calendar the Sanhedrin had to use messengers. On account of their attitude we may safely assume that the Samaritans had their own [different] pronunciation of the holy name. For this reason the Samaritan pronunciation should not have been regarded [by modern scholars] as evidence for the Jewish pronunciation....

Consulting other passages in the works of Theodoret we learn that the name of God used by the Jews was Jao, 'Iaw (page 3).

Another Jewish use of the name, as recorded by Theodoret, was Aia ('Ata), but he said that this Aia "was not pronounced in Hebrew" (page 4).

As a result of the above information, Professor Eerdmans continues,

We learn from these passages that Theodoret knew the Samaritan pronunciation was different from the Hebrew.

The evidence from other ancient authors is not in favour of the new-made term

Yahweh, however generally it may be used in textbooks and sermons (pp. 4, 5 ).  

The professor then gives a list of ancient authorities, going all the way back to the time of Christ, who purport to give a pronunciation of the tetragrammaton. Diodorus Siculus said it was JAO. Irenaeus also said JAO. Origen wrote JAOU. Epiphanius, JAO. Porphyry said JEUO, while Jerome wrote JAIIO (pp. 5, 6 ). All these foregoing "Js" were pronounced somewhat like our English "Y".

Professor Eerdmans' research shows that the modern pronunciation which the scholars borrowed from the Samaritans is probably not correct. Since the Jews officially determined to forego the true pronunciation after the death of Simon the Righteous (270 B.C.), is it really proper to go to the Greeks and Samaritans for the supposed pronunciation? (Martin E. Did Christ or the Apostles Use the Name YAHWEH? Good News, November-December 1972)

Sacred name pronunciation is NOT a Christian doctrine.

Worldwide Assembly of YHWH, etc.

The Worldwide Assembly of YHWH WAY) is/was is another 'sacred name' group.

It has taught:

"The appropriate name of the supreme Creator and sustainer of the entire universe is YHWH (Pronounced "YAH-WAY"). The appropriate name of our Savior the Messiah is Yahshua. The scriptures reveal to us the importance of our Creator's name." (WAY home page).

Sacred name groups normally indicate/claim to know exactly how to pronounce the four Hebrew letters (which in English are approximated as YHWH) which have no vowels.

These groups often do not agree with each other. The other group I looked into years ago said the proper pronunciation was Yah-vay. WAY is different from most in that it does not agree within itself on either name.

The next statement is one found on WAY's website the same day I copied the previous statement:

1. APPROPRIATE NAMES The appropriate name of the supreme creator and sustainer of the entire universe is YHWH (Pronounced "YAHWEH"). The appropriate name of our Savior the Messiah is Yahùshua. The scriptures reveal to us the importance of our creator's name." (WAY's statement of beliefs).

It is amazing that WAY, which placed so much emphasis on sacred names, could not completely agree with itself about how YHWH or the Son's name is to be pronounced. If the exact pronunciation was so important to God, one would conclude that God would have made it clear, or at a minimum, WAY would decided which of the two pronunciations it has for each is correct. It is also amazing that they list this as the first thing they believe--this appears to be a problem with priorities.

It also should be understood that when Jesus taught His disciples to pray, He did NOT use 'sacred names.' Notice what Jesus taught:

9 In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. 13 And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

14 "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Matthew 6:9-15)

"Father," and not the name Yahweh, is what is mentioned by Jesus.

Notice, also, what Jesus said in a prayer after His final Passover on earth:

5 And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.

6 "I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. 7 Now they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You. 8 For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me. 9 "I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. 10 And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them. 11 Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are. 12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. (John 17:5-12, NKJV)

I revealed Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. (John 17:6a, Berean Literal Bible)

What name to Jesus manifest/reveal to men? FATHER!

Jesus did not come to manifest a name like YHVH/YHWH as that had been known since at least the time of Moses (cf. Exodus 3:14-15). Nor did Jesus come to make known names like Yashua, as 'Joshua' was a name known from at least the time of the Book of Exodus (first mention is in Exodus 17:9).

Furthermore, when Jesus was dying and He prayed, He did NOT refer to His Father as Yahveh or Yahweh:

46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" that is, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" (Matthew 27:46)

Notice that the biblical translation was that Jesus was calling out to God. And Jesus DID NOT use the "sacred names" that many, like the Worldwide Assembly of YHWH claim Christians should. Jesus NEVER commanded that "sacred names" be used. In the NT, when Jesus is either praying or giving instructions to pray (including in the Aramaic), it is NEVER recorded that He used what are commonly called "sacred names" to address the Father.

Let me add that I have NEVER seen a 'sacred name' group that has been successful in meaningfully fulfilling Matthew 24:14 nor really Matthew 28:19-20.

Even if one or more books of the NT were initially written in Hebrew or Aramaic, as long as one or more were written in Greek, passages such as Matthew 6:9-15 and 27:46 dispel the myth that God expected certain Hebrew words to be used to address Him. Also, there is not evidence that early faithful Christians felt that they had to use Hebrew names for deity. Therefore, those who stick to the 'sacred name' doctrines are not contending earnestly for the faith once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3).

I had a 'sacred name' person inform me that if we use a term like Jesus or God that the Creator will not understand us. When I asked about the variations on YHWH and Yashua, I was told that God did somehow understand them if mispronounced. The sacred name movement has also had the wrong priorities, as well as a misunderstanding of scripture.

As far as mispronunciations, etc. go, the point of communications is to be understood. While the original Hebrew for the name of Jesus was probably apparently a version of the English name Joshua, what was recorded in the Greek NT was not that.

Exploding the Greek New Testament Myth?

The first booklet I recall seeing challenging the idea that the New Testament was written in Greek was titled Exploding the Greek New Testament Myth. Someone gave me a copy in the 1970s along with one or more other related pamphlets.

While I do not recall much of the details, I did recall explaining to the person who provided those that they was not persuasive and overlooked obvious issues (like when the New Testament quoted Aramaic and then translated it into Greek).

The pamphlets tried to indicate that the term Jesus was not an original term, but got adopted at a relatively late date.

Now, there is some accuracy there, but it is not quite the way that the "sacred name" people tend to portray it. Basically, they say that the name of the son of God was some version of Joshua, like Yeshua or Y'shua or Yashua.

Yet, not only does the Greek New Testament never use that term for our Savior, nor do any known early church writings.

The Gospel of John was not written until late in the first century and the earliest New Testament manuscripts that we know of are in Greek. The oldest is called Rylands Library Papyrus P. 52 (P52) and is from A.D. 90-125 A.D. It contains parts of the 18th chapter of John's Gospel and is in the Greek language.

This predates the earliest manuscript founds in Hebrew or Aramaic (see also Was the New Testament Written in Greek, Hebrew, or Aramaic?). Another early manuscript is called Papyrus 66 (P66) and has been claimed to be from the early to mid second century (others have other views). It contains much of the Gospel of John and uses the Greek abbreviations for certain names. P66 often abbreviates the names of the Father, God and Jesus Christ to two or three letters in which the last letter changes according to the grammatical use with the name is highlighted with a line over the abbreviation:

Jesus is abbreviated as Ιη-, (transliterated into English as Je- or Ye-). Christ is abbreviated as Χρ- (literally Chr-). The word God is recorded as Θ- while Father is shown as Πρ- and Lord as Κ-. These abbreviations clearly derive from the Greek terms and not the Hebrew. (Nathan P. Early Manuscripts Answer Modern Question about Sacred Names. June 15, 2010,

I have personally reviewed photographs of P66 and have seen the highlighted abbreviated names on it. It is in Greek, not Hebrew nor Aramaic.

Consider further that believe that Jesus, at least sometimes, MUST have spoken, or at least understood, some Greek. Notice the following:

In John 21:15-17 a conversation takes place between Jesus and Peter, which involves the interplay of three pairs of near-synonymous Greek terms: ... These pairs cannot be reproduced in Aramaic or Hebrew. Similarly, the wordplay ... in Matthew 16:18 is lost in Aramaic or Hebrew. Should these be explained by the creativity of the Evangelists, or are these the actual words o f Jesus?

Porter suggests Mark 7:24-30 records another situation in which Jesus spoke Greek. Jesus is in the region of Tyre and speaks with a Gentile woman. ...and Mark’s reference to her as “Greek” emphasizes that he spoke Greek (since she was Syrophoenician she was not ethnically Greek).3 There is no mention of an interpreter, so Jesus likely spoke to her in Greek. ...

Porter suggests Matt 8 5-13 = Luke 7:2-10 as another example when Jesus would have spoken Greek (“Use of Greek”). This is the account of Jesus healing the servant of a centurion, who was presumably a Greek-speaker. Some scholars believe that Jesus did not actually speak to the centurion. Luke records that some Jewish elders came and spoke on his behalf, although Matthew has the centurion himself speaking with Jesus. Since this passage is disputed, discussion of i t has been left to this note. The present writer thinks both accounts are correct and that Jesus spoke to both the Jewish elders and later the man himself, probably in Greek. (Tresham A. THE LANGUAGES SPOKEN BY JESUS. TMSJ 20/1 (Spring 2009) 71- 94)

The above citation has many other examples and includes Greek words that did not copy, hence my use of "..." Here is a link to that paper (accessed 09/06/17).

It could be that the Book of Hebrews was initially written in Hebrew. Eusebius reports the following claim from Clement:

2. He says that the Epistle to the Hebrews is the work of Paul, and that it was written to the Hebrews in the Hebrew language; but that Luke translated it carefully and published it for the Greeks, and hence the same style of expression is found in this epistle and in the Acts. 3. But he says that the words, Paul the Apostle, were probably not prefixed, because, in sending it to the Hebrews, who were prejudiced and suspicious of him, he wisely did not wish to repel them at the very beginning by giving his name.

4. Farther on he says: "But now, as the blessed presbyter said, since the Lord being the apostle of the Almighty, was sent to the Hebrews, Paul, as sent to the Gentiles, on account of his modesty did not subscribe himself an apostle of the Hebrews, through respect for the Lord, and because being a herald and apostle of the Gentiles he wrote to the Hebrews out of his superabundance." (Eusebius. Book 6, Chapter XIV)

Even if this is accurate, we still ended up with a Greek text. And what was translated by Luke (or whoever, like Paul) did not include 'sacred names.'

The bulk of the Apostle Paul's writings went to Greek speaking lands and it would make no sense for him to write the other epistles in Hebrew or Aramaic. In order to claim otherwise, one would have to explain why letters sent to congregations in Greece itself (Corinth, Philippi and Thessalonica) or Asia Minor (Colossians, Ephesians and Galatians, as well as the book of Revelation) would have been written in a language that most could not read. Consider that most of the epistles of Paul were addressed to congregations in Greek-speaking Asia Minor. If they had been written in Hebrew, they would have been unintelligible to most of the intended recipients.

The New Testament was written in Greek.

Jehovah's Witnesses

A woman who said she was a Jehovah's Witness tried to push the idea that the name of the Father is Jehovah and that is the name Jesus wanted 'hallowed.'

Yet, the name Jehovah is NOT in the New Testament.

When I tired to explain that if that name was important for Christians to use, that the New Testament would at least use it. But it does not.

Sadly, the Jehovah's Witness who approached me would not accept that logic. But it is still true.

For more on her group, check out the article: Similarities and Differences Between the Jehovah's Witnesses and the Continuing Church of God.

Old Radio Church of God

The late Dr. Herman Hoeh of the old Radio Church of God wrote the following:

The ignorant Greeks labeled the Creator: "The Unknown God" (Acts 17:23). They forgot WHO He is — because they had lost the meaning of His name! That name is important — what is it? What does it mean?

   HOW IMPORTANT is a NAME? Does it make any difference what name you use to designate the Creator?
   Does it matter IN WHOSE NAME you pray?

Authority in a Name

   A person's name is important. When one acts in another's name, one acts in his stead — BY his authority. The name designates the source of the authority it designates WHO the person is for whom one acts. To pray in someone's name is to take the authority of that name.
   The greatest curse that could come on anyone is to have his name blotted out for all eternity!
   It does make a difference what name you use for the Creator — and in whose name you pray. There is ONLY ONE NAME "under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). What is this NAME? Without IT YOU CANNOT BE SAVED!
   The Son came in His Father's name. WHAT IS HIS FATHER'S NAME? Unless YOU bear your heavenly Father's name, YOU are not His son and heir!

Modern Confusion

   Some claim that "Jehovah" is the Father's name. They claim that we ought to use the word "Jehovah" instead of "Lord." Is "Jehovah" the Father's name?
   Other sects claim that when we speak of or pray to the heavenly Father and/or the Son, we should use only the Hebrew names of Deity. They insist that it is a sin to use the words "God," "Lord," "Jesus," "Christ," "Word," and "Christian." They insist that we should always use the Hebrew words for Deity. They claim that it is a sin to pray "in the name of Jesus." A sin to be called a "Christian"!
   Though these sects claim that "Jehovah" is not the name, they cannot agree among themselves as to what the Hebrew name should be! Some claim the name should be pronounced "Yahvah," others that it should be "Yahweh." They vehemently insist that it is a SIN to translate the names of God into English! They contend that it is the SOUND of the name, NOT ITS MEANING, that is important!
   Yet Paul was inspired to write: "Except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken?" In verse 19 Paul continued, "Yet in the Church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue" — to the Greeks, Hebrew was an unknown tongue (I Cor. 14:9, 19).

Names Have Meaning

   In the Bible, names have MEANING. Names are given for a purpose.
   The first man was called in the Hebrew tongue ADAM because he was made of "red earth." ADAM in Hebrew MEANS "red earth." ABRAM'S name in Hebrew was changed to ABRAHAM because the promise was made to Abraham that he should become "a father of many nations" (Genesis 17:5). ABRAHAM means "a father of many nations."
   JACOB'S name in Hebrew was changed to ISRAEL. The word JACOB in Hebrew means "supplanter," but the word ISRAEL means "prevailer with God." Jacob prevailed with God and obtained His blessing.
   All these Biblical names convey MEANING. Notice that these names are usually not greatly changed in any foreign tongue because their meanings are already given in the Bible. They do not have to be translated!
   But other important Hebrew Biblical names mentioned in the New Testament ARE TRANSLATED from Hebrew into Greek!
   Notice Acts 9:36, "Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, WHICH BY INTERPRETATION IS CALLED DORCAS" — in Greek. Her name means "Doe" in English.
   Again in Acts 13:8, the Aramaic name "Elymas" IS TRANSLATED as "Sorcerer" in English, or as "Magos" in the inspired Greek New Testament. FROM THESE EXAMPLES WE SEE THAT PERSONAL NAMES ARE OFTEN TRANSLATED IN THE BIBLE!
   THE NAMES OF THE CREATOR also have great meaning.

The Meaning of God's NAMES

   In the Old Testament the English word "God" comes from the Hebrew word ELOHIM, meaning "mighty ones." It is a uniplural word showing that there are NUMEROUS MEMBERS IN THE ONE DIVINE FAMILY. Sometimes the English word "God" comes from another word EL. It signifies in Hebrew "a mighty one."
   Often the word EL is combined with other Hebrew words to give new names to the Creator. Thus "El-Shaddai" means the "Almighty God" (Gen. 17:1).
   Now turn to Exodus 3:13 and 14 for another surprising NAME of the Almighty. "And Moses said to God, behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say unto me, What is His NAME? What shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and He said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you."
   Notice! Here is one of the many names of the Creator — "I AM THAT I AM." There is real meaning to this name! It may also be translated from the Hebrew as "I will be what I will be." This name — I AM — means that there is no one under heaven superior to, no one who exercises lordship over, the ONE who appeared to Moses. The One who appeared to Moses is above all creation — Lord of all! That is what His name means. He is the ONE WHO IS, the SELF-EXISTENT ONE.


   Now turn to Exodus 6:1-3. Here the Creator reveals yet another name. "And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD" (verse 2). The Hebrew word which is here translated "LORD" is YHWH — translated "LORD" in verse 2, and mistranslated "Jehovah" in verse 3 — comes from the Hebrew root word meaning "to be," or "to exist." The name YHWH means "the Eternal," "the Everliving," and as the Creator of all and superior to all, this name signifies that He is eternally Ruler and LORD!
   Now notice especially verse 3, in the King James translation: "And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name 'Jehovah' was I not known unto them." The name "Jehovah" in the King James is admittedly a woeful mistranslation. It comes from the Hebrew word YHWH. Notice that the One who was worshiped by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob appeared under the name "God Almighty" — in Hebrew "El Shaddai." He did not reveal Himself by the name YHWH. Not until the days of Moses did He reveal this name. For 2,500 long years of human history the Creator did not explicitly use the name YHWH. When Moses compiled the book of Genesis, he introduced the name, beginning with chapter 2.
   Abraham, of course, used the word "YHWH" in reference to the Creator, for they knew the Creator was ever-living — that's what "YHWH" meant. But the name YHWH was never expressly used by the Almighty — the Spokesman of the Creating Family.
   How plain! The Creator thought it more important to reveal His WORD than even this name — YHWH — to Abraham. Notice Psalm 138:2, "... for thou hast MAGNIFIED THY WORD ABOVE all thy name."
   But what about the word "Jehovah" in Exodus 6:3?

"Jehovah" Is NOT the Name

   Tens of thousands are being led today to believe that the Creator's name is "Jehovah." Where did the name "Jehovah" come from? Notice what the "Jewish Encyclopedia" has to say:
   "'Jehovah' is generally held to have been the invention of Pope Leo X's Confessor, Peter Galatin... who was followed in the use of this hybrid form by Fagius... But it seems that even before Galatin, the name 'Jehovah' had been in common use... It is found in Raymond Martin's 'Pugio Fidei,' written in 1270" (from "Jewish Encyclopedia", article "Jehovah," volume VII, page 88).
   The word "Jehovah" has come down to the modern world through the Catholic Church! Even the "Jehovah' Witnesses," in the preface to their translation of the Bible, state: "While inclining to view the pronunciation 'Yahweh' as the more correct way, we have retained the form 'Jehovah' because of people's familiarity with it since the 14th century" (page 25).
   "Jehovah" is not the name! It is a corrupt mispronunciation.
   Since "Jehovah" is not the proper pronunciation of the Hebrew word YHWH, what then is its proper pronunciation? Some "Hebrew Name" sects say "Yahvah," others say "Yahweh," still others believe it should be "Yehweh," etc.
   Why this CONFUSION?
   The answer is — THE TRUE PRONUNCIATION OF the Hebrew word YHWH WAS LOST!!
   Here is how it happened.
   The Hebrew language uses consonants and semi-consonants, not vowels. Moses was inspired to write this name for the Creator with the four Hebrew letters YHWH. This Hebrew word, which the Israelites originally knew how to pronounce, comes from another Hebrew word HWH, an old form of the root HYH, which means "to be," or "to become."
   In the centuries since Jeremiah's day, the Jews became superstitious and MADE AN IDOL out of this name! They treated it with such superstitious reverence that they decided NEVER TO PRONOUNCE IT! Instead, whenever they found this word in the Old Testament, they read ADONAI in its place. ADONAI is a Hebrew word meaning "Lord" or "Master." Hence the proper pronunciation of YHWH became lost!

True Pronunciation Prophesied to Be Lost!

   The Bible even prophesied that the pronunciation of this name should be lost to us today! Notice Jeremiah 23:25-27:
   "I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed... 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."
   The Jews in Jeremiah's day knew how to pronounce the word YHWH. But through the dreams of their false teachers they were misled into believing that the word YHWH should not be pronounced — that it is too holy a word to be uttered! And so the true pronunciation of the word became lost!
   NO ONE TODAY KNOWS ABSOLUTELY HOW IT SHOULD BE PRONOUNCED. This is exactly what Jeremiah prophesied in these verses over 2500 years ago!
   Here is what Rotherham says about this name in his "Emphasized Bible" page 25: "The true pronunciation seems to have been Yahwè... The accent should be on the final syllable." "The Jewish Encyclopedia" says of this name: "... the original pronunciation must have been Yahweh, or Yahaweh" (Article "Names of God," Volume IX, page 161).
   So the pronunciation of YHWH is definitely not Jehovah. Nor do any exact means today exist of knowing precisely how it is to be pronounced — YET THE MEANING OF THIS NAME IS PRESERVED FOR US TODAY. It means the "Eternal," the "Everliving," the Eternal "LORD." The meaning of the Almighty's name is far more important than its mere sound.
   Now notice definite SCRIPTURAL PROOF that it is proper to TRANSLATE the names of God so that we may understand what they mean in whatever language we speak today!

Part of Old Testament Not Written in Hebrew!

   Some sects deny we should ever translate the Hebrew names of Deity. But notice the Bible evidence!
   In the Old Testament the English word "God" is often a rendering of the Hebrew words "El," "Eloah," and "Elohim." Were these Hebrew names ever translated into other tongues in the original inspired Old and New Testaments?
   The answer is a resounding Yes!
   When Babylon conquered the Kingdom of Judah (604-585), Hebrew gradually ceased to be the language of common speech of the Jews. Hebrew was replaced by Aramaic, spoken throughout the Babylonian Empire. Daniel wrote five whole chapters of his prophetic book in Aramaic — chapters 2 through 6. And Ezra wrote four whole chapters of his work in Aramaic — chapters 4 through 7.
   When Daniel and Ezra referred to the Creator in these chapters, did they use the old Hebrew words, or their Aramaic translations?
   The surprising answer is that Daniel and Ezra TRANSLATED the Hebrew words for God into the Aramaic word ELAH! In 78 different places in these 9 chapters, the Aramaic word ELAH is used to translate the Hebrew word for "God"!
   If the Almighty intended that His name should be pronounced only in Hebrew, then Daniel and Ezra were false prophets! But Daniel and Ezra were not false prophets! They were inspired men! They were INSPIRED TO TRANSLATE THE HEBREW WORD FOR GOD into the Aramaic word ELAH which means God! Every word — every letter — which Ezra and Daniel were inspired to write has been preserved for us today! Not one jot or tittle — the least letters or marks of the alphabet — in the Old Testament has been lost (Matthew 5:18; Luke 16:17).
   Since the Creator inspired His prophets to translate the Hebrew word for God into the Aramaic ELAH, which means "God" in Aramaic, THEN IT IS FITTING AND PROPER THAT THE HEBREW WORD ELOHIM SHOULD BE TRANSLATED "GOD" INTO THE ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS of the Old Testament!

"God" Is NOT a Pagan Name

   Some "Hebrew Name" sects contend that it is a sin to use the word "God"! They reason that because the word God was used by our ancestors to refer to their idols, it is improper to use it to refer to the Creator. But notice what the Bible reveals about this very question in Romans 1:21:
   "When they (the Gentile nations) knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and to four-footed beasts, and to creeping things." And notice verse 28, "... they did not like to retain God in their knowledge."
   The nations ONCE KNEW GOD, but they changed the glory of the UNCORRUPTIBLE GOD into images — idols! THEY ATTACHED THE NAME OF THEIR CREATOR TO THEIR IDOLS.
   Notice the astounding proof of this in the Old Testament!
   In the inspired Hebrew of the Old Testament the Hebrew word ELOHIM — which means "the God Kingdom," or "the God Family" — IS USED 240 TIMES TO REFER TO PAGAN, HEATHEN "GODS"! In two places this word is also translated "goddess" in the Old Testament.
   Again, the Hebrew word EL is once translated "idol" and 15 times translated "god" — and refers to the heathen gods. The Hebrew word "Eloah" is five times used in the Old Testament TO REFER TO HEATHEN "GODS." In 16 different places Ezra and Nehemiah were inspired to use the Aramaic word ELAH to refer to the heathen "gods" of the Aramaic-speaking people!
   Thus if it is a sin to use the English word "God" to refer to the Creator — merely because our pagan ancestors used it to refer to their idols — THEN IT IS ALSO A SIN TO USE THE HEBREW WORDS ELOHIM, ELOAH, EL, or the Aramaic "Elah" to refer to the Creator because these words were also used by our pagan ancestors to refer to their pagan idols in Old Testament times!
   GOD INSPIRED HIS PROPHETS TO USE IN THE OLD TESTAMENT SCRIPTURES THE VERY SAME HEBREW WORDS FOR BOTH PAGAN IDOLS AND THE TRUE CREATOR! It is just as right and proper for us today to use the English word "God" when referring to the Creator!
   "God" is simply the English word for the Supreme Deity. Like the Hebrew "Elohim", it also refers to idols which men have falsely claimed to be God.
   Now let us notice how God inspired the apostles to write His name in the inspired Greek New Testament.

The Name in the New Testament

   The words of your Savior are given to us in the New Testament. Before He ascended to heaven, He promised His disciples, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, BUT MY WORDS SHALL NOT PASS AWAY" (Matthew 24:35).
   Heaven and earth have not passed away! Neither have the words of the Savior! They are found inspired in the New Testament today! How were the names of Deity rendered in the New Testament for the Greek-speaking converts? Notice!
   Paul was sent to the Gentiles — particularly the Greek-speaking Gentiles. His ministry covered the whole Greek speaking world. The Greeks did not know Hebrew or Aramaic. They knew Greek. How did Paul explain to these Greek converts who the Father and who the Son were? What names did he use for the Greeks when referring to the Creator?
   The answer is — HE USED THE GREEK WORDS for "God," "Lord," "Christ," the "Word," and "Jesus." God inspired him to TRANSLATE the Hebrew word EL, meaning "God," into the Greek word THEOS. God inspired Paul in the New Testament to translate the Hebrew word YHWH into the Greek word KYRIOS, meaning "Lord."
   In 665 different places in the New Testament the apostles were inspired to translate the Hebrew word YHWH into the Greek word KYRIOS, meaning the eternal "Lord." And 1,345 times the apostles were inspired to translate the Hebrew word for God into the Greek word THEOS — which means "God" in the Greek language! These two Greek words — KYRIOS and THEOS — meaning "Lord" or "God" in Greek, are found hundreds of times in the gospels, in the very words of Jesus Himself! AND JESUS SAID HIS WORDS WOULD NOT PASS AWAY — Matthew 24:35. Either these are the inspired words of Jesus, or He lied — and if He lied, you have no Savior! He did not lie. These are His words. He inspired His apostles to translate the names of God from the Hebrew into the Greek when writing to the Greek converts; and He has seen to it that not one word has perished or been lost!
   There is not one authoritative New Testament manuscript with the names of Deity written in Hebrew! There is not one New Testament manuscript which supports the idea that the apostles exclusively used Hebrew names for God when speaking to the Greek people.

New Testament Inspired in Greek

   Some sects are unwilling to admit what the inspired New Testament plainly says! They falsely claim that the New Testament was not written originally in Greek. They assume that the Jewish Christians could not understand Greek. They would have us believe that Paul wrote to the Greek converts in Greece, and Asia Minor, and Rome in Aramaic instead of Greek! This is not true!
   GREEK was the one universal language which united the common people in the Roman Empire in New Testament times. The Jewish historian Josephus himself testified to Greek as the language which the Jews everywhere understood in New Testament days! Not only did the Jews who lived in the Greek world speak Greek, but even the Jews who lived in Palestine, he declares, were well acquainted with Greek! Greek-speaking Jews were so prevalent in Palestine that synagogues for them had to be built (Acts 6:9). Jewish law for Palestine permitted that the Scripture "may be read in a foreign tongue to them that speak a foreign tongue" (Megillah 2 § 1). And it was further permitted "that the Books (of the Bible) may be written in any language," but that at the time of Christ the Books were "ONLY PERMITTED TO BE WRITTEN IN GREEK" (Megillah 1 § 8). (From "The Mishnah" by Herbert Danby, Oxford University Press.)
   Though the native-born Jews in Palestine in the days of the apostles generally used Aramaic as their common language, yet Greek was the next in importance even to them.
   Josephus tells us why the Greek language, after Aramaic, was so common with the Jews in Palestine:
   "I have also taken a great deal of pains to obtain the learning of the Greeks, and understand the elements of the Greek language, although I have so long accustomed myself to speak our own tongue, that I cannot pronounce Greek with such an exactness" — Josephus spoke Greek WITH AN ARAMAIC ACCENT — "for our nation does not encourage those who learn the languages of other nations, and so adorn their discourses with the smoothness of their periods; BECAUSE THEY LOOK UPON THIS SORT OF ACCOMPLISHMENT (learning Greek!) AS COMMON, NOT ONLY TO ALL SORTS OF FREEMAN, BUT TO AS MANY OF THE SERVANTS AS PLEASED TO LEARN THEM. But they give him the testimony of being a wise man who is fully acquainted with our laws, (which was rare among the Jews) and is able to interpret their meaning" ("Antiquities of the Jews", Book XX, chapter XI, Section 2).
   Notice that it was the rare Jewish scholar who learned Hebrew. It was common for the people — freeman and even servants — to learn Greek! It was more difficult to learn the Hebrew! Now let us notice testimony of history as to the language in which the books of the New Testament were inspired. From the Church History of Eusebius, Book VI, chapter 14, we read: "... the epistle to the Hebrews is the work of Paul, and... it was written to the Hebrews in the Hebrew language; BUT... LUKE TRANSLATED IT CAREFULLY AND PUBLISHED IT FOR THE GREEKS, and hence the same style of expression is found in this epistle and in the Acts."
   Notice that to the Jews Paul "became a Jew." In order to gain the audience of the Jews, after being made a prisoner in 56 A.D., Paul spoke "IN THE HEBREW TONGUE" (Acts 21:40). Continuing with Acts 22:2: "And when they heard that he spoke in the Hebrew tongue to them, THEY KEPT THE MORE SILENCE." Hebrew, in the days of the apostles, had become a language difficult to understand because Aramaic was the common tongue of the people and Greek was next most often spoken, followed by Hebrew.
   So history tells us that, in order to influence the religiously sensitive Jews, Paul wrote his "Epistle to the Hebrews" in the Hebrew language. But notice, the letter to the Hebrews was inspired to be translated by Luke and published for the Greeks in the Greek language. It is Luke's inspired translation which God intended to be preserved for us.
   Notice what the church historian Eusebius, in chapter 25 of Book VI, tells us about the first gospel: "Among the four gospels, which are the only disputable ones in the Church of God under heaven," he wrote, "the first was published by Matthew, who was once a publican, but afterwards an apostle of Jesus Christ, and it was prepared for the converts from Judaism, and published in the Hebrew language." Jerome tells us, in his "Lives of Illustrious Men" chapter 3, that Matthew's gospel WAS TRANSLATED INTO THE GREEK LANGUAGE FOR THE WHOLE CHURCH. It is Matthew's inspired Greek gospel which God has preserved.
   These two are the ONLY books of the New Testament which were ever asserted to have been written in Hebrew or Aramaic!
   The Aramaic version of the Bible which we have today is admittedly a TRANSLATION FROM THE GREEK despite what Dr. Lamsa mistakenly claims.

Proof That Aramaic Is Not Original

   Open your Bibles to Mark 15:34. The English rendering of this verse reads: "And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, 'Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?' which is, being interpreted, 'My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?'"
   Notice this! The last half of verse 34 proves that Mark was writing his gospel account, including these final words of Christ, in a language different from the one in which Jesus spoke! Jesus' own words are quoted from the Aramaic, but TRANSLATED into Greek.
   Now consider the Aramaic Version. If Aramaic were the original language of the New Testament, there would be no reason to insert in the Aramaic Version the words "which is, being interpreted, 'My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?'" because every Aramean would have understood Jesus' words without translation. Yet the Aramaic New Testament repeats the exact Greek original word-for-word! This PROVES Aramaic NOT to have been the original language of the New Testament, but merely a translation from the Greek.
   There are at least a dozen places in the New Testament where Aramaic words are quoted and are TRANSLATED INTO THE GREEK for the Greek-speaking people — and in most cases the Aramaic New Testament retranslates the original Greek word-for-word!
   Another example is John 1:41: "He (Andrew) first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, we have found the Messias, WHICH IS, BEING INTERPRETED, THE CHRIST." The word MESSIAS is a Greek spelling of the Hebrew word MESSIAH, which means "the Anointed." But the Greek-speaking people were not generally acquainted with the meaning of the word Messias; hence John translates it for them into the Greek word CHRISTOS which means "the Anointed One."
   Some sects today claim that we should use only the word "MESSIAH" and never the word "CHRIST." Their assumption is that the word "Christ" comes from the name of the Hindu god Krishna! "Christ" does not come from the name of the Hindu god Krishna! CHRISTOS is a common Greek word which means "to anoint."
   The New Testament was inspired to read that Jesus IS "the Christ." Even the enemies of the early true Church called the disciples "Christians" (Acts 11:26). The disciples would not have been called "Christians" in the city of Antioch if they had not been followers of CHRIST! They would have been called the "Messians!" Now turn to I Peter 4:14: "If ye be reproached for the name of Christ (CHRISTOS in Greek) happy are ye." The Scripture does not use some unknown Hebrew name; it uses the "NAME OF CHRIST." And now verse 16 — "Yet if any man suffer AS A CHRISTIAN, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God on this behalf." The disciples in the New Testament Church could not have suffered as "Christians" unless they were the followers of CHRIST!

False Churches Use True Name

   Notice Jesus' startling prophecy in Matthew 24:4-5: "And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come IN MY NAME (USING HIS NAME), saying I am Christ, and shall deceive many." IN WHOSE NAME are the many coming? Are they coming in some "Hebrew names"? No! They are coming IN THE NAME OF "CHRIST" — IN THE NAME OF "JESUS." And Jesus said these would be using HIS NAME.
   Now turn to Acts 4:10. What is the ONLY NAME given among men whereby we may be saved? "Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of JESUS CHRIST of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by Him doth this man stand here before you whole" — the man who had just been healed. Verse 12: "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."
   Notice! According to the inspired Greek New Testament, there is no other name given whereby we must be saved than the name of JESUS CHRIST!
   The English word "Jesus" is an anglicized spelling of the Greek word "Iesous". The Greek word for "Jesus" is but the common Greek name used to translate the Hebrew name "Yahshua". The meaning of the Hebrew word for "Yahshua" is "the Eternal is the Savior." Over 910 places in the New Testament God INSPIRED the New Testament writers to use the Greek word "Iesous" as the personal name of Christ, the Messiah! EITHER YOU WILL HAVE TO ACCEPT THE NAME OF JESUS AS YOUR SAVIOR — OR YOU WILL HAVE TO THROW AWAY THE ENTIRE NEW TESTAMENT!
   But — reason these "Hebrew Name" sects — doesn't the Greek word "Iesous" come from the pagan Greek god "Zeus"? This is absolutely untrue! In fact, the Greek word "Zeus" and the Roman word "Jove" are BOTH ULTIMATELY DERIVED FROM THE HEBREW YHWH — or JHVH. But the Greeks — and other heathen — did not like to retain God in their knowledge. So they took the names of God and attached them to their idols! The ancient Hebrew-speaking people did the same thing by calling their idols EL or ELOHIM, meaning "God" in Hebrew.
   So the name "Jesus" is actually derived from YHWH!
   Jesus said if any would deny Him — which means DENY HIS NAME — before men, "Him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 10:33). If you deny the name Jesus, He will deny your name before the Father in the Judgment!

What Is the Father's "Family Name"?

   Notice Psalm 83:18: "... that men may know that Thou, whose name ALONE is YHWH, art the Most High over all the earth." This verse does NOT say, as some assume, that the Creator has ONLY ONE NAME — it plainly declares that THE CREATING FAMILY ALONE of all whom men worship is YHWH or eternal.
   But did you know that the Father in Heaven has also a Family Name?
   In Ephesians 3:14-15 we read: "For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, OF WHOM THE WHOLE FAMILY IN HEAVEN AND EARTH IS NAMED." Jesus Christ is the Father's Son. Every son bears his father's last name.
   Jesus said in John 5:43, "I am come IN MY FATHER'S NAME, and ye receive me not." What was Jesus' family name? Notice the surprising answer in John 10:36: "... say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I AM THE SON OF GOD?" Jesus claimed to be "GOD'S Son." We, too, may be called GOD'S Sons (I John 3:1). The Supreme, Divine, All-ruling Family is the GOD Family! It is the Family or Kingdom OF GOD! Jesus' Gospel — His entire Message — was about the Kingdom or Family of GOD and how you may be born into it! His whole Message was about the DIVINE NAME — GOD!
   Just before Jesus was crucified, He prayed that His Church would be kept "in the Father's Name." Notice John 17:11-12, "And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through Thine own Name those whom thou hast given me, THAT THEY MAY BE ONE, AS WE ARE. While I was with them in the world, I kept them IN THY NAME."
   What is the Father's NAME in which the New Testament Church is to be kept? The name of "God"! In 12 passages in the New Testament, the name of the church is called "the Church of God." Paul wrote, "unto the Church of GOD, which is at Corinth" (I Corinthians 1:2). Paul wrote to the Gentile Thessalonian converts: "For ye, brethren, became followers of the Churches of GOD which in Judea are in Christ Jesus" (I Thessalonians 2:14).
   Either your entire New Testament is a fraud and must be rejected or the true name of the true Church is "the Church of GOD!" "God" is the "Family Name" of the Divine Creative Kingdom.
   The Hebrew name YHWH — the Greek KYRIOS, the "Eternal" or "Lord" in English — is but one of God the Father's numerous given PERSONAL names. It is also one of the PERSONAL names of the Son, because both are eternal. But the whole message of Jesus Christ, the Gospel, was the message about the Family NAME — the GOD Family. Jesus Christ came in the name of God, His Father. He called Himself the "Son of God" numerous times.
   Read John 9:35, "Dost thou believe on the Son of God?"
   See also Matthew 16:16-17 and especially Mark 1:1, "The beginning of the gospel of JESUS CHRIST, THE SON OF GOD"! Jesus came bearing His Father's name — "God's Son" — the "Son of God."
   Jesus' whole message — which He spoke "in the name of the Lord" — or "by His authority" — was to explain that the name "God" — the Hebrew ELOHIM — is a family NAME! His Gospel, or good news, is the message that we may also bear that name God — that we may be called the sons of God and be "born again."
   Notice that even the Church today is to bear the Father's Name — God. The Church today — before which Jesus Christ is opening the doors of radio and the printing press to preach His Gospel, His message, to all the world — this Church has "kept my name," said Jesus, and has "not denied my name" (Revelation 3:8). God's Church today is to be named the CHURCH OF GOD.

Jesus Called the "Word"

   The true Church is even promised to have forever the name of God (Rev. 3:12) and Jesus' "new name" — Revelation 19:12. Jesus not only is to receive a new name, but He even now — and from the beginning — is called "the Word of God." And, in verse 16, He has "on His thigh a NAME written, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords."
   In Amos 4:13 and 5:27 another one of the names of the Divine Family is, "the God of Hosts." Jeremiah 46:18 and 48:15 call Him "the Lord of Hosts." Another of His names is "Zealous" (sometimes spelled "Jealous") in Exodus 34:14.
   Yes, "God" IS the Father's Family Name! And "Jesus" is the name of His Son! But they both have many other names! It is time we called on GOD for His mercy IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST! It is time we BELIEVE the Bible — and recognize that God IS God! (Hoeh H. The Unknown God. Plain Truth, October 1965)

Even though some of those points are addressed elsewhere in this post you are now reading, I thought his comments and perspectives might help some who wanted more information or clarification.

The Use of 'Lord'

Perhaps it should be mentioned that Exploding the Greek New Testament Myth did not like the term Lord as I recall--it indicated that the term was only a pagan title. It claimed is was the title of the pagan deity Baal.

In the Old Testament, the word Ba’al is usually left un-translated in most Bible translations—it is not translated as "Lord" or "LORD." The Hebrew word adonai is translated “Lord” hundreds of times in the Bible, and often refers to our Father in Heaven. It means “master”, essentially the same as our English title "lord."

Although “LORD” is not the best translation for the Tetragrammaton (YHWH, Yahuah, Yahweh, Yaveh, Jehovah, etc.). When reading scripture we are reading translations and translators use various conventions to try to convey meaning. Furthermore, New Testament writers essentially rendered the Tetragrammaton as Kurios, meaning Lord in English, throughout the New Testament. Thus, it is not a sin to use it or read it.

Our Saviour said, "You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am (John 13:13). The Greek for “Lord” here is Kurios, the standard word for “Lord” in the New Testament, and the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew adonay/adonai. If our Messiah or John thought it was important to use Hebrew names and titles, this would have been a great place to set the record straight. But instead, our Savior went on to teach a lesson about washing each other’s feet.

One pro-Aramaic NT source claimed that the term Κυρíου, meaning Lord, is "a title for Zeus" (Rausch Qadim, p. 19), hence should not be used. It may be of interest to note that the term Kurios for 'Lord' is found 751 times in the Greek New Testament documents known as the Textus Receptus and 717 times in the Nestle-Aland manuscripts.

The Appendix of the Aramaic New Testament by its translator Andrew Gabriel Roth also pushes this Zeus nonsense:

it is true that Iesous became the Greek substitute for Yehoshua. ... However, an etymological link evolved between Ieosous, Zeus, and Jesus. (p. 1058)

Etymological refers to the origin or derivation of the word. The "link" that Andrew Gabriel Roth claims supposedly "evolved" was that Roman and Orthodox Catholic churches imported statues of Zeus and used them (ibid, p. 1058). But that does NOT change the fact that the term Jesus DID not come from the word Zeus--to call that an "etymological link" that evolved is not proper. That "etymological link" argument seems clever sounding, but it it false!

[Perhaps I should mention that the translator of the Aramaic New Testament, also has the gender (which is neuter according to an Aramaic dictionary I consulted with) related to the Holy Spirit in John 14:17,26; John 15:26; John 16:13-14; etc. as masculine--but he says that is not relevant (Roth AG. Aramaic New Testament 5th edition. Netzari Press, 2012, p. 826; see also Did Early Christians Think the Holy Spirit Was A Separate Person in a Trinity?).]

But getting back to 'Lord,' was this considered a pagan term by the Jews?


The Jews stopped using the Tetragrammaton (YHWH) out loud and mainly in writing centuries before Jesus came.

Notice what the Jewish Encyclopedia of 1906 teaches:

There is no instance of it, however, in Canticles, Ecclesiastes, or Esther; and in Daniel it occurs 7 times (in ch. ix.)—a fact which in itself shows the late date of these books, whose authors lived at a period when the use of the Tetragrammaton was already avoided, its utterance having become restricted both in the reading of the Bible and still more in colloquial speech. For it was substituted Adonai; and the fact that this name is found 315 times in combination with "Yhwh" and 134 times alone shows that the custom of reading the Tetragrammaton as if written "Adonai" began at a time when the text of the Biblical books was not yet scrupulously protected from minor additions. This assumption explains most of the occurrences of "Adonai" before "Yhwh"; i.e., the former word indicated the pronunciation of the latter. At the time of the Chronicler this pronunciation was so generally accepted that he never wrote the name "Adonai." About 300 B.C., therefore, the word "Yhwh" was not pronounced in its original form. For several reasons Jacob ("Im Namen Gottes," p. 167) assigns the "disuse of the word 'Yhwh' and the substitution of 'Adonai' to the later decades of the Babylonian exile."

Reason for Disuse.

The avoidance of the original name of God both in speech and, to a certain extent, in the Bible was due, according to Geiger ("Urschrift," p. 262), to a reverence which shrank from the utterance of the Sublime Name; and it may well be that such a reluctance first arose in a foreign, and hence in an "unclean" land, very possibly, therefore, in Babylonia. According to Dalman (l.c. pp. 66 et seq.), the Rabbis forbade the utterance of the Tetragrammaton, to guard against desecration of the Sacred Name; but such an ordinance could not have been effectual unless it had met with popular approval. The reasons assigned by Lagarde ("Psalterium Hicronymi," p. 155) and Halévy ("Recherches Bibliques," i. 65 et seq.) are untenable, and are refuted by Jacob (l.c. pp. 172, 174), who believes that the Divine Name was not pronounced lest it should be desecrated by the heathen. The true name of God was uttered only during worship in the Temple, in which the people were alone; and in the course of the services on the Day of Atonement the high priest pronounced the Sacred Name ten times (Tosef., Yoma, ii. 2; Yoma 39b). This was done as late as the last years of the Temple (Yer. Yoma 40a, 67). If such was the purpose, the means were ineffectual, since the pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton was known not only in Jewish, but also in non-Jewish circles centuries after the destruction of the Temple, as is clear from the interdictions against uttering it (Sanh. x. 1; Tosef., Sanh. xii. 9; Sifre Zuṭa, in Yalḳ., Gen. 711; 'Ab. Zarah 18a; Midr. Teh. to Ps. xci., end). Raba, a Babylonian amora who flourished about 350, wished to make the pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton known publicly (Ḳid. 71b); and a contemporary Palestinian scholar states that the Samaritans uttered it in taking oaths (Yer. Sanh. 28b). The members of the Babylonian academy probably knew the pronunciation as late as 1000 C. E. (Blau, l.c. pp. 132 et seq., 138 et seq.). The physicians, who were half magicians, made special efforts to learn this name, which was believed to possess marvelous powers (of healing, etc.; Yer. Yoma 40a, below). (Tetragrammaton)

The word Adonai means Lord.

The Septuagint translation of the Old Testament, which was used mainly by the Hellenistic Jews, uses the word Κυρíου (transliterated as Kurios into English), and not the Tetragrammaton.

That term most certainly was not considered to be pagan.

Furthermore, the Hebrew Old Testament uses the Hebrew term for Lord (a version of Adonai) 324 times according to BibleSoft.

It should also be noted that the apostles often referred to Jesus as 'Lord' (e.g. Matthew 14:28, 17:4, 26:22, etc.). They were not referring to Him as YHVH/YHWH. It is clearly appropriate to use the term 'Lord' in reference to Jesus--His disciples did.

Jesus, Himself, also used a word translated into English as Lord (e.g. Matthew 22:44). This was not considered to be a pagan expression. And we see the word 'Lord' as a translation in many verses in the Peshitta NT as well.

Furthermore, notice the following:

21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' 23 And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!' (Matthew 7:21-23)

The above was NOT a condemnation of using the term "Lord." This would have been a perfect opportunity for Jesus to say that He had to be called Y'shua--if that was important--but He did not.

Jesus was saying simply claiming Him as "Lord" or "Master" is not enough.

Perhaps it should be noted that even the Aramaic translates Matthew 7:21-22 as "Master, Master" and NOT some version of Yahshua.

Consider also the following:

39 Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, "If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us."

40 But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, "Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong." 42 Then he said to Jesus, "Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom."

43 And Jesus said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you today, you will be with Me in Paradise." (Luke 23:39-43)

Jesus did not say, "Oh, forget you, you did not call me Yahshua or Yahweh." This would have been an ideal time to correct the name issue if it was important.

Jesus' response shows that the 'sacred name' matter was not a factor in salvation.

In the Aramaic, the word 'Lord' is translated as 'Master,' which also shows that the Aramaic does not require referring to Jesus as Yeshua or Yahweh, etc.

New Testament Names

As it turned out none of the Hebrew names for the Creator in the Old Testament are specifically used in the New Testament. The closest is the following words of Jesus:

34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" which is translated, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" (Mark 15:34)

Eloi is essentially Aramaic meaning "My El" (My God).

The other Hebrew names are not specifically used in the New Testament.

Other than the name "El," the New Testament never records that Jesus used any of the Hebrew words for God. Furthermore, by using Aramaic, He essentially used a translation when He even did that!

The New Testament was written, not in Hebrew nor Aramaic, but in Greek (see Was the New Testament Written in Greek, Hebrew, or Aramaic?).

Here are a list of names of deity found in the New Testament:

  1. Theos (God)
  2. Kurios (Lord)
  3. Despotes (Master or Lord),
  4. Patri (Father)
  5. Abba (Daddy or Dearest Father)
  6. Ieesoú (Joshua or Jesus)
  7. Pantokrátoor (Almighty)
  8. Kurios Theos Pantokrátoor (Lord God Almighty)
  9. toú Arníou (The Lamb)
  10. Amnós toú Theoú (Lamb of God)

Most of the above are Greek, though Abba is Aramaic (it is used three times in the Bible--in each case with the Greek term for father).

Theos (Θεού) is the most commonly used name for God in the New Testament. BibleSoft shows that it is used 1351 times in the Textus Receptus and 1311 in the Nestle Aland.

As it turns out Yahweh is not used in the New Testament.

Since it is not in the New Testament, it is not a name that God expects Christians to always refer to Him as.

Consider also what happened when Stephen was praying:

59 And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." 60 Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, "Lord, do not charge them with this sin." And when he had said this, he fell asleep. (Acts 7:59-60)

Stephen is recorded as twice using the name Kurios, meaning Lord. Also, the Aramaic New Testament also uses a word meaning the same thing, which it translates as "Master." The Aramaic version of Acts 7:59-60 also does not include the term Yahweh.

As mentioned earlier, after the New Testament was written, Polycarp of Smyrna in the second century used the term Theos (Θεού) which is translated into English as God (Holmes MW. The Apostolic Fathers. pp. 206-207). He also used Ieesoú (Ιησού), which is normally translated into English as Jesus (Ibid). When he told people to pray to the 'all seeing God' in his Letter to the Philippians, he also used the word Theos (Ibid, pp. 214-215). When he was being martyred, the The Martyrdom of Polycarp records he prayed to the Lord God Almighty using the Greek terms Kurios, Theos, and Pantokrátoor--just like John was inspired to use in Revelation 4:8, 11:17, 15:3, 16:7.

Furthermore, consider New Testament leaders who took the gospel message to many different peoples whose languages had words for “god” that were often associated with pagan/false gods. When the Apostle Paul was speaking to those in Athens, he stated:

22 "Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; 23 for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription:


Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you: 24 God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. 25 Nor is He worshiped with men's hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. 26 And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, 27 so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, 'For we are also His offspring.' (Acts 17:22-29)

Paul was clearly speaking to Greek people and speaking Greek. They would not have an inscription in Athens in Aramaic or Hebrew to a deity that they were worshipping. Thus, Paul clearly was referring to God by the Greek name Theos. Paul did not mind that the Greeks also used theos for pagan gods.

Furthermore, notice something that Paul told the Greek speaker elders of the church in Ephesus in Miletus:

18 And when they had come to him, he said to them: "You know, from the first day that I came to Asia, in what manner I always lived among you, 19 serving the Lord with all humility, with many tears and trials which happened to me by the plotting of the Jews; 20 how I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house, 21 testifying to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. (Acts 20:18-21)

27 For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God. 28 Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. 29 For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. 31 Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears. (Acts 20:27-31)

Paul was teaching Greek people in the Greek language using Greek words translated into English as Jesus and God. He said he provided the WHOLE COUNSEL OF GOD and DID NOT TEACH SACRED NAMES. He warned against those who would rise up speaking improper things to draw disciples after themselves--which reminds me of some statements made by 'sacred name' leaders.

We also do not see a form of Elohim in the NT. This may be because Jesus wanted to make known the Father (cf. John 6:38; 17:6) and the Father, Jesus (cf. Matthew 3:17; 17:5). That being said, various passages found in the NT supports the plurality of the Godhead (see also Binitarianism: One God, Two Beings Before the Beginning).

In the New Testament, we see no effort whatever to try to teach people to pronounce the name of the Father and Son in Hebrew/Aramaic, or to specifically translate the meaning of the Hebrew names into native languages. Rather, as Paul's example in scripture demonstrates, they used the existing words in the language the people already had.

Notice what the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh) inspired on Pentecost:

1 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

5 And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. 6 And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. 7 Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, "Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? 9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabs — we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God." (Acts 2:1-11)

The word translated “God” in Acts 2:11 and nearly every other place in the New Testament is the Greek term related to Theos. This word was also used by non-Christian Greeks to refer to their pagan gods (Acts 14:11-12).

Notice that everyone of them heard the message in their own language--languages that differed from the type of Aramaic that those of Galilee spoke. Hence GOD had people hear messages about God and Jesus and did NOT have them hear 'sacred names' in Aramaic!

Concluding Comments

Early Christians do not limit their teachings to Aramaic or Hebrew. The Apostle to the Gentiles (Acts 18:6; Galatians 2:9), Paul, spoke (Acts 21:37-39) and taught in languages including Greek (Acts 17:-22-31).

Archaeological provides evidence that the New Testament was written in Greek.

Linguistic analysis supports the view the New Testament was written in Greek.

Early Christian writings support the view the New Testament was written in Greek and that Christians did NOT insist on 'sacred names.'

Sacred names were NOT unknown nor forgotten, but were not something emphasized.

The earliest ones known to have promoted certain pronunciations were pagans and pagan-influenced apostates.

There is no historical evidence that I have been able to find that supports the view that early Christians pushed the view that Yahweh or Yashua must to used.

'Sacred names' are not truth, but a false gospel!

Some, sadly, have erred from the true Philadelphian Christian faith in the 20th and 21st centuries because they accepted the false sacred name gospel.

The Apostle John wrote:

24 Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is the promise that He has promised us — eternal life.

26 These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. (1 John 2:24-27)

Part of the purpose of the ministry is to help the brethren not be tossed to and fro and confused by false doctrines (Ephesians 4:11-16).

Those who accept the biblical form of Church governance and have proper love of the truth, even if they are impacted by various arguments, will not be deceived by the sacred name movement.

The Apostle Paul wrote Titus:

8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.

9 But avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless. 10 Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, 11 knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned. (Titus 3:8-11)

Notice the contrast.

There are the faithful that believe God and are involved in doing and supporting the good works that God wants. Then there are those who are divisive, who engage in foolish and useless disputes.

In the past couple of decades, I have gotten emails from numerous people who feel that their positions on topics like sacred names are more important than fulfilling Matthew 24:14 and Matthew 28:19-20.

Sadly, some have concluded that the New Testament was not written in Greek, but instead in some other language in order to justify their contentions about ‘sacred names.’ Those seemingly insist that their unprofitable disputes are more important than supporting a work that is fulfilling Matthew 24:14 and Matthew 28:19-20. And if only a couple of NT books were written in Greek, this still disproves the need to use 'sacred names.'

The lack of fruits of those insisting on their improper contentions should be clear to all. Yet, those who do such things do not properly see their lukewarm work (cf. Revelation 3:14-16), but they need their eyes properly anointed to see and change (cf. Revelation 3:18).

Remember that during this predominantly Laodicean time there are many excuses that are useless.

Believe what the Bible teaches, support God's work, and be careful to maintain good works.

Do not be deceived by the 'sacred name' movement.

A related sermon is available: Sacred Names: True or False Gospel?

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Thiel B. The Bible, Church History, and Sacred Names. COGwriter (c) 2017/2018 2017/2018/2019/2020 0625

More on church history can be found in the free online booklet: Continuing History of the Church of God.

Other articles on sacred names include the following:

Was the New Testament Written in Greek, Hebrew, or Aramaic? What language was the New Testament written in? Does it make any difference? What about sacred names?
Why the Names Jesus and Christ in English? Was the New Testament Written in Hebrew or Greek? Various groups believe that the name Jesus should not be used, but instead other pronunciations and spellings. This is an article by the late evangelist John Ogwyn, addresses this "sacred name" issue, as well as if the New Testament was written in Hebrew or Greek.
God’s Names and the Jewish Reading Tradition This article by John Wheeler, addresses this, as well as a few other Hebrew and Greek points.
Yahweh and Sacred Names This article by Wyatt Ciesielka, addresses this issue that is sometimes raised.
Sacred Names: Appropriate or Required? This article contains a question with a response from Norman Edwards about these names.