God also said to Moses,
“Say to the Israelites,
‘YEHOVEH, the God of your fathers
—the God of Abraham,
the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—
has sent me to you.’
“This is my name forever,
the name you shall call me
from generation to generation.”
Today’s post brings me face-to-face with a major pet peeve of mine.
That of God’s Holy Name.
A couple of quick reminders here.
FIRST, in our Bibles, 99% of the time, whenever we come across the words Adonai or Lord in our English translations, the original Hebrew is YUD-HEH-VAV-HEH.
And when I say 99% of the time, trust me I’m NOT exaggerating.
I mean quite literally 99% of the time, whenever we see the words “Lord” and “God” in our Old Testaments the original Hebrew is Yud-heh-vav-heh.
God’s personal name appears more than 6000 times in the Scriptures.
This isn’t conjecture folks.
We now have not only the Masoretic texts in Hebrew dating back to the 800’s A.D., we also have the Dead Sea Scrolls containing most of the Old Testament books.
In these texts, it is very, very rare to find the Hebrew terms for God (Elohim) or Lord (Adonai) used in reference to YHVH, rather it is His personal name that is used.
SECOND, the personal name of the Father is NEVER USED to refer to the Son.
The Father is YHVH and the Son is Yeshua.
There is a clear line of demarcation between these two names that should not be blurred.
That’s why it’s fallacious to say that all human appearances called YAHWEH in the Scriptures are Yeshua.
For example, of the three men that appear to Abraham in Genesis Chapter 18, one of them is called YAHWEH.
Now Christian tradition will say that this human being called YHVH is a pre-incarnate Yeshua.
My answer to that claim.
THIRD, contrary to what most religious Jews believe, it is NOT prohibited to say God’s Name out loud.
There is not one commandment in all of Scripture that says you cannot utter God’s name out loud.
Think about it.
If God didn’t want us to say His name, why did He give it to us in the first place?
Does is it really make sense to prohibit a name that appears more than 6000 times in the original Hebrew Scriptures?
In fact, a vow to the Lord has to be sealed by using God’s Holy Name.
Sorry but this is one area where I butt heads with Jewish orthodoxy.
Having said that, there’s no need to go out of your way to offend anybody.
In conservative Jewish circles, I would advise using the terms HASHEM or ADONAI when referring to God.
Now later we will find out that the burning bush encounter was actually the first time God revealed His personal name to mankind.
You may be wondering, if this is the first time God revealed His personal name, how do you explain all the times YHVH appears in the Book of Genesis?
The answer is simply because Moses compiled and wrote Genesis after the fact.
When he recorded the events that took place in Genesis, he went by the most common modern name that people would understand at the time.
For example, if I was to say the Chumash Indians used to reside in the Land of 10,000 Smokes, you’d have no idea where I was talking about.
But if I said, the Chumash Indians used to reside in Los Angeles (the modern name for the Land of 10,000 Smokes) , of course you’d understand.
Well, that’s what Moses did when He recorded the Torah.
Now I’m well aware of the common assumption that “Jesus” or “Yeshua” is considered to be the name above all names.
While I don’t necessarily take issue with that idea, I’ve sometimes wondered why don’t we consider YHVH to be the “name above all names”?
I mean YHVH makes it crystal clear that this name is His name for all generations.
He also makes it clear that this is the name He wishes to go by.
Sure we are to pray to the Father using the authority of Yeshua’s name.
But even Yeshua is subservient to the Father.
Thus technically speaking would not the Father’s Name be greater than the Son’s Name?
CONNECTING THIS TEACHING TO THE NEW TESTAMENT
“You heard me say,
‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’
If you loved me,
you would be glad that I am going to the Father,
for the Father is greater than I.
The Son can do nothing by himself;
he can do only what he sees the Father doing,
because whatever the Father does,
the Son does also.