“GOD”: Hallowed Be His Name
In this article we will use the name Jesus because most people know Him by that name, but His real name will be revealed later under the heading, “JESUS”: The Name Above Every Name?
“Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name….” (Matthew 6:9 – KJV) Jesus spoke these words in His “sermon on the mount” as He began teaching his audience how to pray. For His followers to honor his heavenly Father’s name was obviously important to Him. But what is that holy name we are to honor? It’s almost never mentioned from the pulpits of the “Christian” churches today. How can we “honor” our heavenly Father’s name if we don’t even know what it is? Does the Bible tell us His name?
“What is His Name?”
In Proverbs 30:4, we are asked: “Who has ascended into heaven, or descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has bound the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is His Son’s name, If you know?” (HCSB) (Emphasis added).
So, according to the wisest men of ancient Israel our Father has a name and so does His Son. Of course our Savior knew that holy name and revealed it to His Apostles. Consider what He said in His prayer to His Father in John 17:6: “I have revealed Your name to the men You gave Me from the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word.” Later in verses 11 & 12, He makes another revealing statement: “I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to You. Holy Father, protect them by Your name that You have given Me, so that they may be one as We are one. While I was with them, I was protecting them by Your name that You have given Me. I guarded them and not one of them is lost, except the son of destruction, so that the Scripture may be fulfilled.” (HCSB) (Emphasis added)
This is akin to a father named Joseph Johnson giving his son his name. They are members of the same family (Johnson) who share the same personal name—Joseph. They both could also be referred to as Joe, Sr. and Joe, Jr., the shortened form of Joseph. In the same manner, Elohim is the family name of our heavenly Father and His Son, but their personal name is Yahweh. In today’s vernacular They could also be referred to as Yah, Sr. and Yah, Jr., the shortened form of Yahweh.
In the salutations of all of his Epistles (to the Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, etc.) the Apostle Paul began by wishing the brethren “grace and peace from God our Father and from our Lord Jesus Christ.” But since the Apostle Paul was Hebrew and he wrote his Epistles in Hebrew (more on this later), he would have actually written those salutations this way: “grace and peace from YAHweh our Father and from the Master YAHshua Messiah. (“YAH” being the holy name the Son inherited from the Father.)
In John 17:11 of the NIV Bible, the fact that our Heavenly Father gave His Son His name is made even more clear: “Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one.” One family, that is, not one person, as the “One God Movement” mistakenly teaches. If the Father and Son had been the same person, then who was Jesus praying to in John 17? (Emphasis added)
Earlier in the book of John, Jesus had told the Pharisees: “I have come in my Father’s name, yet you don’t accept Me.” (John 5:43 – HCSB), and “The Father and I are one.” (John 10:30 – HCSB) So, by Jesus’ own admission, He and His Father are of one family and share the same holy name—Yah. And by honoring that name we honor them both.
To further illustrate the Father shares that name with His Son, consider what Isaiah the Prophet wrote about the coming Messiah’s name: “he will be named Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 (HCSB) In other words, the “Prince of Peace” and the “Eternal Father” share the same name. (Emphasis added)
Does Israel’s God Have A Name?
In the Old Testament of the three most popular English Bibles today—the King James, New American Standard, and New International Version—the gods of the pagan nations that surrounded Israel are prominently mentioned: Amon, Ashtoreth, Baal, Chemosh, Dagon, Molech, Nebo, and Tammuz, to name a few. What is blatantly missing from all of them is the name of the God of the Israelites, whose history and heritage is the central theme of the Old Testament. Why is this?
The early Hebrew Scriptures refer to the name of Israel’s God thousands of times, yet His name is totally ignored in modern Bible translations. Again, why? The answer can be found in the 1911 Edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica.
Scholars know that the Old Testament was originally written in ancient, or Paleo-Hebrew, and that it constantly refers to Israel’s God by name thousands of times. Sometimes His name even appears in the same chapters and verses where the pagan gods are named. So why do the English Bibles constantly substitute the generic titles “LORD” and “GOD” for the name of the Holy One of Israel while including the names of the pagan gods?
To discover this, we must first ascertain the actual name of Israel’s God. Four times in the Old Testament, the King James translation does refer to Him by a name other than “the LORD”. He’s referred to as “Jehovah” four times (Exodus 6:3, Psalms 83:18, Isaiah 12:2 & 26:4). But is that His real name?
Not so, according to the trusted 1911 Britannica. Under the name “Jehovah” it reads: “Jehovah (Yahweh*), in the Bible, the God of Israel.” Then it explains: “’Jehovah’ is a modern mispronunciation of the Hebrew name, resulting from combining the consonants of that name, Jhvh, with the vowels of the word ădōnāy, “Lord,” which the Jews substituted for the proper name in reading the scriptures.” In the footnotes of this article, referring to (Yahweh*), it says: “This form, Yahweh, as the correct one, is generally used in the separate articles throughout this work.”
The New King James Version translators corrected the mistake of their predecessors in three of the four Scriptures mentioned above, by removing Jehovah and replacing them with Yah, the shortened form of Yahweh, His “correct name”. One of those Scriptures in the NKJV, Isaiah 26:4, plainly states what the name of Israel’s “LORD” is: “Trust in the Lord forever, For in YAH, the LORD, is everlasting strength.”
The Jews Deliberately Hid His Name
So, according to the Britannica and Isaiah 26:4, the real name of Israel’s lone Deity was/is “Yahweh.” That being the case why did the Jews deliberately substitute adonay (LORD) for the holy name Yahweh in their translation of the Old Testament over 6,800 times?
Again, the answer is in the Encyclopedia. In a later edition of the Britannica, under the heading, “Yahweh”, it says: “the God of the Israelites, his name being revealed to Moses as four Hebrew consonants (YHWH) called the tetragrammaton. After the Exile (6th century B.C.), and especially from the 3rd century B.C. on, Jews ceased to use the name Yahweh for two reasons. As Judaism became a universal religion through its proselytizing in the Greco-Roman world, the more common noun Elohim, meaning “god,” tended to replace Yahweh…..At the same time, the divine name was increasingly regarded as too sacred to be uttered; it was thus replaced vocally in the synagogue ritual by the Hebrew word Adonai (“My Lord”), which was translated as Kyrios (“Lord”) in the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Old Testament.”
So, it was after the Babylonian Captivity that the Jews, meaning the pagan-influenced Pharisees, Sadducees, and Scribes, decided that the name “Yahweh” was “too holy” to be written or spoken, even though it prominently appeared thousands of times throughout the earliest Hebrew Scriptures.
If Israel’s God had not wanted His name written or spoken by the Israelites, He would not have revealed it to them? Yet in Exodus 3:15, when Moses said to Him, if I go tell the Israelites that the God of their fathers has sent me to them they will ask me your name. What should I tell them? He told Moses:
“Say this to the Israelites: Yahweh, 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; this is how I am to be remembered in every generation.” (HCSB) (Emphasis added)
Again, had Yahweh not wanted his name memorialized and remembered by Israel, he would not have told them the following:
“You are to keep My commands and do them; I am Yahweh. You must not profane My holy name; I must be treated as holy among the Israelites. I am Yahweh who sets you apart, the One who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God; I am Yahweh.” (Leviticus 22:31-33 – HCSB)
As mentioned earlier, the King James translators, and all English Bible translations based on their work, “lowered the value” of Yahweh’s holy name by omitting it from their Bibles, which is exactly what the Pharisees did.
Yahweh told the twelve tribes of Israel that they were to remember His name (not ignore it) throughout all their generations. But after the Babylonian Exile their captors’ Mystery Religion heavily influenced the religion of the Jews who returned to Israel. It is commonly reported, as in the Britannica above, that, as a result of their captivity, the Jewish religious leaders decided to hide Yahweh’s name within Judaism—the religion whose traditions Jesus frequently condemned.
Incidentally, in the Holman Christian Standard Bible Yahweh tells Israel, “I am Yahweh,” 78 times in the Torah – the first five books Moses wrote, and an additional 79 times in rest of the Old Testament. Does that sound as though He wanted His name hidden from His people?
Also, just after their captivity is when the Jewish priesthood started composing the Babylonian Talmud, the authoritative body of their manmade religious traditions. Not surprising, in it the priests declared that the name Yahweh is “to be kept hidden” and “to be kept secret.”
The Priests of Judaism Denied His Name
The book of Malachi was also written soon after the Exile, much of its four chapters urging the proper respect for Yahweh’s holy name. Listen to the warning Yahweh gave the Pharisees and Sadducees concerning their blasphemous treatment of His name:
“Therefore, this decree is for you priests: If you don’t listen, and if you don’t take it to heart to honor My name,” says Yahweh of Hosts, “I will send a curse among you, and I will curse your blessings. In fact, I have already begun to curse them because you are not taking it to heart. (Malachi 2:1-3 – HCSB)
Compare that warning to the praise Yahweh will give those at His return who have honored His holy name:
“At that time those who feared the Lord spoke to one another. The Lord took notice and listened. So a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who feared Yahweh and had high regard for His name.’They will be Mine,’ says the Lord of Hosts, ‘a special possession on the day I am preparing’. I will have compassion on them as a man has compassion on his son who serves him.” (Malachi 3:16-17 – HCSB)
In Revelation 14, on the day Yahweh is preparing (“The Day of the Lord”), the Apostle John revealed the fate of those people who “had high regard for His name”:
“Then I looked, and there on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with Him were 144,000 who had His name and His Father’s name written on their foreheads……They were redeemed from the human race as the firstfruits for God and the Lamb.” Revelation 14:1 (HCSB)
Through the Prophet Jeremiah, Yahweh condemned this blasphemous tradition of the Pharisees: They, the priests, “make plans to cause My people to forget My name through Baal worship.” (Jeremiah 23:27 – HCSB) (Emphasis added) Baal is a Hebrew word for “LORD.”
Their forefathers were told to remember Yahweh’s name forever, yet, the Pharisees arrogantly determined that the mere mention of the name Yahweh broke the 3rd Commandment and passed a law against it. Break this tradition and you could be executed. The truth was, by removing Yahweh’s name from their Scriptures, which caused the Jews to forget His name, the Pharisees, themselves, had transgressed the 3rd Commandment, which according to James 2:10 (HCSB) made them guilty of breaking all of the Commandments.
Declaring His name “useless” or “of no importance,” as the Pharisees had done, was a major part of what Yahweh meant by “taking His name in vain.” The 3rd Commandment actually had nothing to do with using the word “God” while cursing, because “God” was never His name, it is a generic title which has been used by pagans for centuries to refer to their deities. Even capitalized, the word “God” is still only a title.
We know from Scripture that Jesus never broke the laws of the Old Testament, and yet, he referred to His Father many times as Yahweh. So, writing and speaking the holy name “Yahweh” could not have broken any of His Father’s laws or Commandments. What it broke was the Jewish oral laws and traditions of the Babylonian Talmud.
Jesus was no doubt referring to this and other misguided traditions of Judaism when He told the Pharisees in Mark 7:9: “Full well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your own tradition.” This will be addressed later. But to fully understand why Yahweh’s name was left out of the English Bibles, let’s go back and investigate the Septuagint.
Was The Septuagint Inerrant?
The Septuagint is the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament, which misguided Bible scholars erroneously believe to be completely trustworthy. The Roman Catholic Church claimed it was “the true version of the written word of God,” and that it was also “the version used by the Saviour and his Apostles and by the Church from her infancy.” The Protestants concurred with these statements. But, are these claims true?
The early Bible translators, including Wycliff and Tyndale, used the Septuagint as their source for the Old Testament in their English Bibles, thereby continuing the irreverent Jewish tradition of substituting “the LORD” and “GOD” for the name of Israel’s deity. But, was the Septuagint the inerrant translation of the Old Testament that the early Reformers believed it to be?
What does the Britannica says about the Septuagint? Was it, in fact, “the true version of the written word of God” and “the version used by the Saviour and his Apostles,” as the Catholics claimed.
Under the heading “Septuagint,” the 1911 Britannica states the following: “the ‘Alexandrian version of the Old Testament,’ so named from the legend of its composition by seventy (Latin: septuaginta), or more exactly seventy-two, translators. In the Letter of Aristeas to Philocrates this legend is recounted as follows: Demetrius of Phalerum, keeper of the Alexandrian library, proposed to King Ptolemy II. Philadelphus (285-247 B.C.) to have a Greek translation of the Jewish law made for the library. The king consented and, after releasing 100,000 Jewish captives in his kingdom, sent an embassy with rich presents to the high priest Eleazar at Jerusalem asking him to send six ancient, worthy and learned men from each of the twelve tribes to translate the law for him at Alexandria. Eleazar readily sent the seventy-two men with a precious roll of the law. They were honourably received at the court of Alexandria and conducted to the island (Pharos), that they might work undisturbed and isolated. When they had come to an agreement upon a section Demetrius wrote down their version; the whole translation was finished in seventy-two days. The Jewish community of Alexandria was allowed to have a copy, and accepted the version officially; indeed a curse was laid upon the introduction of any changes in it. There is no question that this Letter (which is condensed in Josephus, Ant. xii. 2) is spurious.” (Emphasis added)
In the first century AD, the Jewish historian Josephus and the Jewish mystic Philo are said to have added to this “spurious” legend. They initiated the rumor that the 72 scholars were shut up in separate locations and “miraculously” wrote each version identically, word-for-word, thereby initiating the claim that the Septuagint was “divinely inspired.”
So, not only is the Letter of Aristeas counterfeit, but the legend that the Septuagint is the infallible Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible by seventy-two Jewish scholars from Jerusalem is also false. The encyclopedia extensively proves this, and concludes: “The translators were necessarily Jews, though Egyptian and not Palestinian Jews….”
Scripture and history also confirm that the High Priest, Eleazar, would not have sent six scholars from each of the twelve tribes to Alexandria to translate the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek or any other language.
First let’s consider Scripture. The custodians of the Old Testament Scriptures were Levites only, and not men from the other tribes. The Levites were the priests of Israel. Malachi 2:7 tells us that: “For the lips of a priest’s should guard knowledge, and people should seek instruction from his mouth, because he is the messenger of the LORD of Hosts.” (HCSB)
Malachi 2:8 reveals that Yahweh had appointed only the Levites to copy and protect the Old Testament Hebrew Scriptures. He had earlier established that covenant with Moses, a Levite, in Deuteronomy 31:24-26: “When Moses had finished writing down on a scroll every single word of this law, he commanded the Levites who carried the ark of the Lord’s covenant, ‘Take this book of the law and place it beside the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God so that it may remain there as a witness against you.’”
For this reason alone, Eleazar, the Jewish High Priest, would have never sanctioned anyone other than the Levitical priests to translate the Old Testament. And for that reason, he would also have never sent “six scholars from each of the twelve tribes” to Egypt to translate the Holy Jewish Scriptures into Greek, the heathen language of the Gentiles.
An historical reason to conclude the Septuagint story to be false is because the “scholars” of the ten northern tribes of Israel had already been taken captive by the Assyrians, removed from Palestine, and carried back to Assyria in 721 BC—approximately 500 years prior to the translation of the Septuagint. There is no record they ever returned. In fact, history shows that these ten tribes eventually migrated northward and westward, losing their identity altogether.
Another reason the Septuagint was not “the true version of the written word of God” was because the Hellenistic Jews of Alexandria had already removed Yahweh’s name from their Bible and replaced it with “Adonai” before it was translated into the Greek Septuagint. Other additions and deletions were also made to the Septuagint by the translators to make it “less Jewish” so that it would appeal more to the Greek-speaking Gentile readers.
Even Jerome, the 4th Century Catholic translator, used the original Hebrew Old Testament instead of the Septuagint for his translation of the Latin Vulgate Bible. He claimed the Greek Alexandrian Septuagint contained too many “mistranslations” and “Helenistic heretical elements” to be considered accurate. Although Jerome was one of theirs, the Catholic Church would rather people not know about his refusal to use the Septuagint as his source because the Hebrew Bible never included the Apocrypha and the Septuagint did. So did the Catholic Bible.
Don’t Add To, Nor Take Away From
As stated, the original Hebrew Bible included the holy name, Yahweh, over 6,800 times. By replacing it with Adonai (LORD), the Alexandrian translators had deliberately altered the Scriptures to hide Yahweh’s name, directly violating Yahweh’s command to Moses in Deuteronomy 4:2 (HSCB): “You must not add anything to what I command you or take anything away from it, so that you may keep the commands of the Lord (Yahweh) your God I am giving you.”(Emphasis added)
Yahweh knew that men would pervert His Word in the future to deceive mankind, and considered this adding to and taking away from His Holy Writings a very serious matter, so serious that it was the last sin He vehemently warned us not to commit. The Apostle John conveyed Yahweh’s strong feelings on this matter: “I testify to everyone who hears the prophetic words of this book: If anyone adds to them, God (Yahweh) will add to him the plagues that are written in this book. And if anyone takes away from the words of this prophetic book, God (Yahweh) will take away his share of the tree of life and the holy city, written in this book.” (Revelation 22:18-19 – HCSB) (Emphasis added)
What Bible Did Jesus Use?
Now, let’s examine the claim that the Septuagint was “the version used by the Saviour and his Apostles.” If the Septuagint had been the version of the Bible Jesus used, He would not have said in Matthew 5:18 – KJV: “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” The “jot” is a Hebrew letter, and the “tittle” is a small mark to distinguish between Hebrew letters. The Greek Septuagint did not contain jots and tittles. Obviously Jesus was referring to the original Hebrew Scriptures, which He, as the Son of Yahweh, would have used, exclusively.
In addition, Jesus always referred to the Scriptures in two ways: (1) “The Law and the Prophets” Matthew 7:12 (HCSB) & 22:40 and (2) “The Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” Luke 24:44 quotes Jesus on this matter: “These are My words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about Me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” The Hebrew Bible was divided into three parts: the Law, the Prophets and the Writings. Jesus clearly referred to this in these and other Scriptures. The Septuagint had no such divisions.
The Septuagint also contained the Apocrypha, fourteen “spurious” books falsely attributed to Biblical characters and interspersed throughout the Old Testament of the Septuagint. These counterfeit works were officially recognized by the Catholic Church and accepted as part of their Bible, but they were rejected outright by the Jews. No Hebrew Bible has ever contained the books of the Apocrypha.
One of the main reasons the Jews rejected the Apocryphal Books was because they were written in Greek. They firmly believed that no sacred writings could ever be penned in a Gentile language. Jewish religious leaders today use this same argument against the books of the New Testament, which reveals Jesus to be the Messiah, and expounds His teachings. But, was this argument valid? Was the New Testament originally written in Greek, as modern scholars assume? The Pharisees of the first century had to have known better. And, obviously, so did the early Roman Catholic Church.
The Original Hebrew New Testament
Near the latter part of the 4th Century, the foremost Catholic Bible scholar, Jerome, moved to Bethlehem to study the Hebrew language. In approximately 392 A.D., he wrote the following about the New Testament Gospel of Matthew in his commentary De Viris Illustribus (Of Illustrious Men):
“Mathew, also called Levi, apostle and aforetimes publican, composed a gospel of Christ at first published in Judea in Hebrew for the sake of those of the circumcision who believed, but this was afterwards translated into Greek though by what author is uncertain. The Hebrew itself has been preserved until the present day in the library at Caesarea which Pamphilus so diligently gathered. I have also had the opportunity of having the volume described to me by the Nazarenes of Beroea, a city of Syria, who use it. In this it is to be noted that wherever the Evangelist (Matthew), whether on his own account or in the person of our Lord the Savior, quotes the testimony of the Old Testament he does not follow the authority of the tranlators of the Septuagint but the Hebrew.” (The Nazarenes were the true followers of Jesus and the Apostle Paul (Acts 24:6); their significance will be discussed in a later chapter.)
In his later commentaries, Jerome indicated that he had seen, and even used, parts of the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew in the translation of his Latin version of the New Testament.
The following statements are from some of the earliest “Church Fathers” who concurred with Jerome’s assertion:
“Matthew, however, put together and wrote down the Oracles in the Hebrew language, and each man interpreted them as he was able.” – Papias (Eusebius, H.E. 3.39.16)
“Matthew also issued a written Gospel among the Hebrews in their own dialect…..” – (Irenaeus, Adv. Haer. 3.1.1)
“As having learnt by tradition concerning the four Gospels, which alone are unquestionable in the Church of God under heaven, that first was written according to Matthew, who was once a tax collector but afterwards an apostle of Jesus Christ, who published it for those who from Judaism came to believe, composed as it was in the Hebrew language.” – Origen (Eusebius, H.E. 6.25.4)
The 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica, volume 17, corroborates these assertions in the Gospel of Matthew article on page 896.
Edward Gibbon, a prominent British historian, and noted author of The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, also penned the History of Christianity. The following was written in the notes on page 185:
“The modern critics are not disposed to believe what the fathers almost unanimously assert, that St. Matthew composed a Hebrew gospel of which only the Greek is extant. It seems, however, dangerous to reject their testimony.”
Later in those notes we read:
“The concurrent testimony of so many early writers leaves no reasonable ground to doubt the fact, that there was a Hebrew original of Matthew’s gospel. Eusebius repeats it no less than six times: and all assert it so positively, that to question it is, as Gibbon hints, to shake the very foundation of all primitive ecclesiastical history.”
Well, “primitive ecclesiastical history” was shaken. Instead of English Bible translators (like Tyndale and Wycliff) having the paleo or ancient Hebrew Old Testament and the original Hebrew New Testament available to translate from, they had to instead depend on the doctored Greek versions of the Old and New Testaments. This gave rise to many of the false Hellenistic teachings modern Christianity still embraces today: (1) Sunday, Easter, and Christmas have replaced God’s holy days, (2) the Kingdom of God is within us, (3) Jesus built His new Roman Catholic Church upon Peter, (4) the doctrine of the Trinity, (5) people go to heaven or hell when they die, (6) once saved, always saved, and (6) the Old Testament is done away with, to name a few.
Besides the Greek Septuagint and Greek version of the New Testament, there are two other spurious works originally penned in Greek that have been deceiving mankind about Bible Truth for centuries—the Apocrypha (OT) and the Gnostic Gospels (NT).
Since the Septuagint, the Greek New Testament, the Apocrypha, and the infamous Gnostic Gospels, were all penned in Greek by authors wanting to distance themselves from Jewish influence, it seems more and more evident that the only versions of the Old and New Testaments that were truly inspired by Yahweh were the original Hebrew versions.
Consider this: since Jesus inspired Matthew to write his Gospel in Hebrew, as I’ve shown, would He not have also inspired His other Hebrew Disciples to do the same? That would have included the Apostle Paul who, being a self-proclaimed “Hebrew of Hebrews,” would have surely written his Epistle to the Hebrews in their native language.
A number of prominent Bible scholars, including Prof. C. F. Burney and Dr. Hugh J. Schonfield, agree with Prof. Charles C. Torrey (Documents of the Primitive Church) that the New Testament was originally written in Hebrew and only later translated into Greek.
So, what significance would there be to us today if Matthew and the other New Testament writers had originally penned their Gospels and Epistles in Hebrew, and those who had translated their writings from Hebrew to Greek to Latin to English had done so verbatim? It is this: In today’s English translations of the New Testament, “Yahshua” would be written everywhere the name “Jesus” appears, and everywhere He referred to his Father, we would read the name “Yahweh”. That being the case, Yahweh’s holy name would have been extant throughout the New Testament today, and known worldwide by all who have read the English Bibles in the last 500+ years. Instead of how things are, where most professing “Christians” today don’t even know that our Heavenly Father has a name.
Jesus Refused To Deny His Father’s Name
One sure way to know that Jesus referred to His heavenly Father in the New Testament as Yahweh, and not “God” or “Lord”, as King James Bibles show, is to understand the accusations of the Jewish High Priest against Jesus at His trial before the Sanhedrin.
In Matthew 26:63, the high priest said to Jesus: “By the living God I place You under oath: tell us if You are the Messiah, the Son of God (Yahweh)!” (HCSB) (Emphasis added)
Jesus replied, “You have said it,” meaning “That is affirmative.” No way would Jesus have denied His Father’s name. The High Priest knew that and phrased his question accordingly.
When Jesus publically acknowledged Yahweh was His Father, the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has blasphemed!” Then he told the Sanhedrin: “You’ve heard the blasphemy! What is your decision?”
The Sanhedrin decided that Jesus deserved death, and took Him to Pilate for sentencing. When Pilate could find no fault in Him and wanted to release Jesus, the chief priests shouted, crucify Him, “for we have a law, and according to that law He must die, because He made Himself the Son of God (Yahweh).” (John 19:6-7 – HCSB) (Emphasis added)
That “law” the Pharisees were referring to was in their Babylonian Talmud, and it stated: that anyone other than the High Priest who pronounced the holy name “Yahweh” committed “blasphemy,” and was to be stoned and/or hung on a tree (crucified). But for the blasphemer to be culpable without the need of witnesses against him, he had to himself “specifically pronounces the Name of Yahweh.” That’s why the high priest asked Jesus point blank if He was the son of Yahweh, wanting Him to condemn Himself. When Jesus admitted He was there was no more need of witnesses.
Something to consider: When Yahshua came, He publically proclaimed throughout Israel that He was the “Son of Yahweh,” and He taught and healed in that name. This enraged the Pharisees and openly undermined their authority. Up until then, they had successfully suppressed and hidden the holy name of “Yahweh” from the Jewish populace since their return from Babylon 400 years earlier.
Some scholars believe, and the Scriptures appear to agree, that one of the main reasons Yahweh the Son came to Earth as Yahshua the Messiah was to re-establish the importance of the holy name “YAH” (Yahweh, the Father & Yahshua, the Son) to Israel first, and then to all mankind. The Bible does reveal in Rev. 14:1 that when He returns to Earth to establish His Kingdom, Yahshua’s true followers will have “His name and His Father’s name written on their foreheads.” Had Yahshua not returned and publically announced that He was the Son of Yahweh, the Pharisees could have succeeded and the names “Yahweh” and “Yahshua” might have been hidden from us until this very day.
The first Christian martyr was also a victim of this same Talmudic law to hide Yahweh’s name. When Stephen had finished chastising the Pharisees for condemning Jesus to death, we are told in Acts 7:54-58: “they were enraged in their hearts and gnashed their teeth at him. But Stephen, filled by the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven. He saw God’s glory, with Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and he said, ‘Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God (Yahweh)!’ Then they screamed at the top of their voices, covered their ears, and together rushed against him. They threw him out of the city and began to stone him.” (Emphasis added)
The Pharisees “covered their ears” so as not to hear Stephen speak the holy name, “Yahweh,” which, again, according to their law was blasphemy. And they threw him out of the city and “began to stone him” because that was their death penalty for blasphemy.
In Acts 4 and 5, before the Sanhedrin executed Stephen, they had imprisoned the Apostles Peter and John for teaching and preaching in the name of “Yahshua” (Jesus real name), because His name included the holy name “Yah”, the shortened form of Yahweh. For that reason, Peter and John were also on the verge of breaking Talmudic law. Had not the much respected Pharisee and teacher of their law, Gamaliel, convinced them otherwise the Sanhedrin most likely would have also voted to stone them to death. But Gamaliel didn’t want them turning Peter and John into martyrs and furthering their influence among the people. So, the Pharisees decided instead to have them beaten, warned not to teach anymore in Yahshua’s name, and released.
Because of the previous Scriptures, and Jesus’ own admission in John 10:36 (HCSB) , where He actually confessed to the Jews, “I am the Son of Yahweh,” we can know that our heavenly Father’s name was/is Yahweh, and not the generic titles Judaism and modern Christianity have given him.
In Matthew 22:36 & 37, when one of the Pharisees, who was a lawyer, asked Jesus what the greatest commandment in the law was, Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all you mind.” To whom was Jesus referring? It was the same One to whom Moses referred to in Deuteronomy 6:5 (HCSB) , Yahweh the Father, when he said almost the exact same words to the Israelites.
Since Moses and Jesus referred to our Father as Yahweh, shouldn’t we who claim to be followers of Jesus do likewise? Because, think about it, if we do what Jesus did, can we ever be wrong?
Jesus’ Real Name
As further proof that the Father’s name is Yahweh, let’s consider the Latin-to English nickname “Jesus.” If, as has been shown, Matthew originally wrote his Gospel in Hebrew, we should understand that in Matthew 1:21, when the angel of Yahweh told Joseph in a dream what he was to name his Hebrew son, he would have said: “you are to name Him “Yahshua,” because he will save His people from their sins.”
As most Bible scholars know, the names given to Hebrew children had meaning to them, and YAHshua meant “YAH’s salvation,” or “YAH saves.” (YAH being the shortened form of Yahweh) In John 3:17, the Apostle was well aware of what Yahshua’s name meant, and made reference to how His name defined His mission on this earth: “For God (Yahweh) did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” (HCSB) (Emphasis added)
Luke 2:25-35 tells the story of the old man Simeon. The Holy Spirit had revealed to Simeon that he would not see death until he had seen Yahweh’s Messiah with his own eyes. As he held the baby Yahshua in his arms, Simeon blessed Yahweh and said: “Master, you can dismiss your servant in peace, according to your word. For my eyes have seen your salvation.” (HCSB)
For conclusive evidence that Jesus real name was “Yahshua,”consider what the Apostle Paul wrote in Acts 26:14-15 (HCSB) about what he heard during his conversion on the road to Damascus: “When we had fallen to the ground, I heard a voice speaking to me in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me…..Then I said, ‘Who are You, Lord’….And the Lord replied: ‘I am Jesus, the One you are persecuting.’” “Yahshua,” not “Jesus” would have been the Lord’s reply to Paul in the Hebrew language. The Latin-to-English name “Jesus” didn’t even exist until the early 1500’s when the letter “J” was added to the English language. Jesus is what men have named Him. Yahshua was the name His Father gave Him.
“The Lord Thy God”
Finally, I would like to consider the English phrase mentioned earlier: “The LORD thy God.” It appears approximately 264 times in the King James Bible. We learned that after the Jews returned from their exile in Babylon the Pharisees, for deceptive reasons already discussed, had the holy name Yahweh removed from their version of the Hebrew Bible and replaced with the “the LORD” (Adonai).
The vast majority of Bible scholars agree, that in the original Paleo-Hebrew Bible, that English phrase would have been written as “Yahweh thy Elohim.” Elohim, or sometimes El, being the common noun used to refer to Israel’s God, and Yahweh being the proper noun that specifically identified His Name.
Those who wrote the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) knew this and corrected the mistake of the biased King James Translation. Seventy-one (71) times, when directly referring to Israel’s God, they translated “the LORD thy God” as “Yahweh your God.” Their explanation was this: “The HCSB OT uses Yahweh, the personal name of God in Hebrew, when a biblical text emphasizes Yahweh as a name: “His name is Yahweh” (Ps 68:4). Yahweh is used more often in the HCSB than in most Bible translations because the word LORD in English is a title of God and does not accurately convey to modern readers the emphasis on God’s name in the original Hebrew.” (Emphasis added)
There are those who claim that “Yahweh” was originally a pagan name used by the early Babylonians for one of their gods prior to the Israelites adopting Him as their God, and that those who proclaim that Yahweh was the name of Israel’s God must be ignorant of that fact. But again, let’s let the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica clear this issue up. The following is written under the heading “Jehovah”: “The combination of Yah with Ea, one of the great Babylonian gods, seems to have a peculiar fascination for amateurs, by whom it is periodically discovered. Scholars are now agreed that, so far as Yahu or Yah occurs in Babylonian texts, it is as the name of a foreign god.” (Emphasis added) That “foreign god” was the Holy One of Israel—YAHweh.
As mentioned, up until their 70 year captivity in Babylon, the Jews freely referred to their God as “Yahweh. Also they referred to themselves as the “Yahudim”, the “people of Yah,” by which they were known throughout the pagan world. The name Yahudim goes all the way back to 2 Chronicles 7:14 (KJV) and before, when Yahweh referred to all of the Israelites by that name: “My people who are called by my name….” To mock the Jews after taking them captive, the Babylonians started calling them “Yahoo’s.” “A crude or boisterous person” is still referred to by that name today.
But when their Babylonian captors brought the Jews to Babylon in 586 BCE, they assimilated the Jews into their culture and forced them to accept their gods and their laws. One of those laws was the law of “ineffability,” which made it illegal for any individual living within the boundaries of the Babylonian empire to pronounce the names of any deity publically this included the name “Yahweh.” The Babylonian priests believed that by even mentioning the names of their gods, the people were showing disrespect. Upon their return, the Pharisees and Sadducees continued that pagan tradition by removing Yahweh’s name from their Bible and enacting their own law of ineffability. As stated, the Pharisees used this law to find Yahshau guilty of blasphemy.
In contrast to this pagan tradition, we are told by our Savior to honor and sanctify our heavenly Father’s name, not replace it. So rather than follow the pagan-influenced Jewish traditions—which Jesus (Yahshua) condemned—shouldn’t we follow our Messiah’s example and make our Heavenly Father’s name known to those who have had His name deliberately hidden from them for centuries?
Listen to what the Apostle Paul said about this: “For in bringing many sons to glory, it was entirely appropriate that God—all things exist for Him and through Him—should make the source of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For the One who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one Father. That is why Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers, saying: I will proclaim Your name to My brothers; I will sing hymns to You in the congregation.” (Hebrews 2:10-12 – HCSB) (Emphasis added)
Paul was just following the lead of King David, “a man after Yahweh’s own heart,” who proclaimed in Psalm 22:22 (KJV): “I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.”
The Apostle Paul began his Epistle to the Hebrews with this statement: “Long ago God spoke to the fathers by the prophets at different times and in different ways. In these last days, He has spoken to us by His Son. God has appointed Him heir of all things and made the universe through Him. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact expression of His nature, sustaining all things by His powerful word. After making purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. So He became higher in rank than the angels, just as the name He inherited is superior to theirs.” (Hebrews 1:1-4 – HCSB)
As proven above, the actual name of Jesus, given to Him by His Father Yahweh, was/is Yahshua Acts 26:14-15 (HCSB) which means “Yahweh’s Salvation.” The Scriptures tell us there is power in His name, Yahshua, and that His followers accessed that power by calling on His name when they prayed, assembled, worshipped, taught, healed, baptized, performed miracles, prophesied, rebuked Satan, and cast out demons. Now it stand to reason that if the names of Yahweh and Yahshua have that kind of power against Satan (Mark 16:17), that he would have stopped at nothing to hide those holy names from us and deceive us into calling upon powerless, generic titles instead.
In Acts 17:30 (HCSB) , we are told that in times past Yahweh winked at our ignorance. How much longer will He continue to do so? When one discovers a deliberate deception in his religious beliefs which contrasts with Bible scripture and doesn’t expose that deception for the lie that it is, is this not essentially helping Satan to further that lie? Think about it!
Finally, let’s consider the word “Christians” use to praise their God—“Alleluia.” This old English word expressed in songs thousands of times each year by Christian choirs all over the world is but another example of how our Creator’s holy name has been deliberately hidden from us through mistranslation. You see, in the original Hebrew Bible the word was “HalleluYAH,” which literally meant “praise ye YAH.”
Additional Scriptures That Emphasize The Importance Of Yahweh And Yahshua’s Names (HCSB):
1 Kings 18:24-38
When the prophet Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal to see whose God would send fire down from heaven to consume the sacrifice on the altar, he told the priests of Baal, “call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of Yahweh. The God who answers with fire, He is God.” When those priests prayed for hours to their god nothing happened. Then Elijah prayed a short prayer to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: “Yahweh, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, today let it be known that You are God in Israel and I am Your servant, and that at Your word I have done all these things. 37 Answer me, Lord! Answer me so that this people will know that You, Yahweh, are God and that You have turned their hearts back.” Instantly, Yahweh sent fire down from heaven and consumed the offering and everything around it. Then we’re told, “When all the people saw it, they fell facedown and said, ‘Yahweh, He is God! Yahweh, He is God!”
Something to consider: In Hebrew, Baal means LORD. So, when the priests of Baal were calling out to their god, they were calling on the name of “the LORD.” Had Elijah called on the name of“the LORD,” and not used Yahweh’s personal name, nothing would have happened, for Elijah knew that Yahweh wanted all of Israel to know that He not Baal had performed that miracle.
Ezekiel 39:7 (He wanted Israel and the rest of the world to know His “holy name.”)
“So I will make My holy name known among My people Israel and will no longer allow it to be profaned. Then the nations will know that I am Yahweh, the Holy One in Israel.
Isaiah 42:8 (The God of Israel has a name and wants everyone to know it.)
“I am Yahweh, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another or My praise to idols.”
Ezekiel 39:25 (He was/is jealous for His “holy name.”)
“So this is what the Lord God (Yahweh) says: Now I will restore the fortunes of Jacob and have compassion on the whole house of Israel, and I will be jealous for My holy name.
Joel 2:32 (There is power in the Holy Name to save people from their sins.)
“Then (on “The Day of the LORD”) everyone who calls on the name of Yahweh will be saved, for there will be an escape for those on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, as the Lord promised, among the survivors the Lord calls.” This Scripture refers to the 144,000 saints of Revelation 14:1, who have “His name and His Father’s name written on their foreheads,” and who stand on Mount Zion with Yahshua when He returns.
The Apostle Peter recounting the same prophecy said this: “Then (on “The Day of the LORD”) everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Peter, like Joel, was referring to the holy name “Yahweh.”
In Acts 4, we read where Peter and John were arrested by the Jews for teaching and healing in the name of Yahshua. In verse 7 after they had healed the lame man, the High Priest asked them, “By what power or in what name have you done this?” Peter’s answer in English would have been, “by the name of Yahshua the Messiah, the Nazarene.” Then in verse 12, Peter told the High Priest and those present, “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people by which we must be saved.” That name was/is the Hebrew name His Father had given him, “Yahshua,” which means “Yahweh’s Saves,” not the Latin nickname “Jesus,” given to him by the Catholic scribes.
In verse 12, Peter is referring to the same name he did in Acts 2:21, Yahweh, the Son, or Yahshua as He was called in the New Testament. The same One who in John 1:14, became “flesh and took up residence among us.”
The Apostle Paul said that “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved,” he was referring to Yahweh (the same One Joel and Peter referred to above.) From the above Scriptures we know that the two holy names Yahweh (God of Old Testament) and Yahshua (God of the New Testament) refer to the same holy One of Israel.
But, the holy name “Yahweh” also refers to the Father of Yahshua, as we are told in Hebrews 1:4 which states that Yahshua inherited His name from His Father.Philippians 2:9-10 (HCSB) “He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death— even to death on a cross. For this reason God (the Father) highly exalted Him (the Son) and gave Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow— of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth.”
God the Father (Yahweh) gave His Son (Yahshua) His name. The holy name YAH is basic to each name. The name “Jesus” is a creation of deceitful men, and no knee in Heaven would have or will ever bow to it.
“For it is written: As I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow to Me, and every tongue will give praise to God (Yahweh).”
The Apostle Paul is referring here to the Old Testament Scripture, Isaiah 45:23, which says, “By Myself I have sworn; Truth has gone from My mouth, a word that will not be revoked: Every knee will bow to Me, every tongue will swear allegiance. The One speaking here is Yahweh, God of the Old Testament. According to this Scripture and Philippians 2:9-10 (HCSB) , we are to bow to both names, Yahweh and Yahshua.
“Whatever you ask in My name, I will do it so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” The Father is “glorified in the Son” because the Son’s name, YAHshua, glorifies the name of the Father, YAHweh.” Yahshua said that He came in His Father’s name (John 5:43) to do the works of His Father (John 10:25).
Again, we are also told in Hebrews 1:4 that Yahshua inherited that holy name, “YAH,” the shortened form of Yahweh, from His Father. Therefore His Father’s name was also YAHweh.
“You are never to bow down to another god because Yahweh, being jealous by nature, is a jealous God.“
“So this is what the Lord God says: Now I will restore the fortunes of Jacob and have compassion on the whole house of Israel, and I will be jealous for My holy name.”
We frequently sing the song, How Excellent Is Thy Name. As you know it’s based on Psalm 8. The song starts and ends with: “Yahweh, our Lord, how magnificent is Your name throughout the earth!”
“May they know that You alone—whose name is Yahweh—are the Most High over all the earth.”
Hallelujah! Give praise, servants of Yahweh; praise the name of Yahweh. Let the name of Yahweh be praised both now and forever. From the rising of the sun to its setting, let the name of Yahweh be praised. Yahweh is exalted above all the nations, His glory above the heavens. Who is like Yahweh our God— the One enthroned on high, who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth?
A FINAL POINT OF INTEREST: Why was Yahshua’s name “above all names?”
Many who claim to be scholars believe that the Hebrew name “Yeshua” referred to both “Jesus” and “Joshua,” Moses’ disciple, but that is incorrect. Yeshua (“the deliverer”) did refer to Joshua, but the real God-given name of Jesus was “Yahshua,”not Yeshua. (Our Messiah’s name included the holy name “Yah” and meant “Yah’s Salvaton.) We know this because the name Yeshua (Joshua) was given to several men in the Old and New Testaments, yet the Bible says that the real name of “Jesus” (Yahshua) was “the name that is above all names.” Yahshua’s name was above all names because He alone was called “Yah’s Salvaton,” the Son of Yahweh, the Father.
The Pharisees had successfully hidden the holy name “Yahweh” from the Jews up until Yahshua (Jesus) came and publically announced that He was “the Son of Yahweh.” The Jews never believed His claim nor acknowledged that His name was “Yahshua.” After His death, the Pharisees made sure no one ever referred to Him as Yahshua. They deliberately substituted “Yeshua” for His name. This error even continues today.
The translators of the English New Testament were obviously ignorant that Jesus’ real Hebrew name was Yahshua, and Joshua’s Hebrew name was Yeshua. They mistakenly believed the Pharisees’ lie: that the name Yeshua referred to Jesus. An example of this error showed up in Acts 7:45 (KJV) and Hebrews 4:8 (KJV) , where, even though those Scriptures clearly referred to Joshua, Moses’ successor, the translators wrote “Jesus.”