Our Savior Spoke the Sacred Name
Peter tells us in 1Peter 2:21 that Yahshua was our example and that we should follow in His steps. If He called on His Father’s Name Yahweh, then so must we. Here’s proof that He did exactly that!
In an effort to deny the importance of Yahweh’s Name, those who have not diligently studied allege that there is no record that Yahshua the Messiah ever uttered or taught His Father’s Name, Yahweh.
This question arises because Yahweh’s Name is not apparent in our English New Testament. They insist that He used instead "ab" or "abba," the Hebrew title meaning father. If the Savior did not call upon the Name Yahweh then we are absolved from any responsibility to invoke His Name, they contend.
The Catholic Encyclopedia, under "Yahweh," states: "Sometime after the end of the Exile, the name Yahweh began to be considered with special reverence, and the practice arose of substituting for it the word Adonai or Elohim."
This practice is responsible for the hybrid name Jehovah, where the vowels for Adonai were added above the Tetragrammaton, YHWH. The zealous scribes were careful not to remove the Hebrew letters from the text lest they be guilty of Deuteronomy 4:2—adding to or taking from Yahweh’s Word. The Tetragrammaton was then IHVH, and vocalized Yahweh, but the vowels placed above dictated that it be read aloud "Adonai."
Early Christians did not understand this and in 1518 Pope Leo X’s confessor, Peter Gallatin, by inserting the vowels for Adonai into the Tetragrammaton (IHVH) gave us what Rotherham calls "Jehovah, a monstrosity." He said it was like inserting the vowels for Portugal into the consonants for Germany and ending up with "Gormuna." (Preface to Emphasized Bible.)
Unfounded Fear of Speaking the Sacred Name
Because Leviticus 24:16 demanded that the entire congregation stone anyone blaspheming the Name Yahweh, superstitious Pharisees had decided about the third century B.C.E. that Yahweh’s Name should never be uttered aloud. By not pronouncing it, none would be guilty of blaspheming it. This law of the Pharisees was enforced by the time the Messiah walked this earth, and is the underlying reason that Yahweh’s Name is not readily visible in our New Testament. Only on the day of Atonement did the high priest speak the sacred Name Yahweh, but then only very low as to be inaudible.
Matthew’s Evangel displays this prohibition of Yahweh’s Name by referring not to "The Kingdom of G-d [Yahweh]," which might offend Jewish readers, but uses the euphemism "Kingdom of Heaven" (actually "The Heavens"). Furthermore, Matthew opens his Evangel with the genealogy of Yahshua, proving that He is a descendant of King David. Matthew was a Levite whose Evangel was targeted at Jews—who might be offended by the use of the Name.
With that background, it is easy to see that the Name Yahweh is not readily discovered in the New Testament. This is likely what Yahshua meant in Luke 11:52 when He said, "Woe unto you, lawyers! for you have taken away the key of knowledge, you entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in you hindered."
According to Deuteronomy 28:10, obedient Israelites would be "called by the Name of Yahweh." The lawyers through their own rules were denying the Israelites the knowledge of Yahweh’s Name by which they were to be called. To be called by Yahweh’s Name put Israel under His protection, care, and blessings. These lawyers disallowed anyone to invoke Yahweh’s Name. They brought it into disuse and brought His Name to nothing, thus breaking the Third Commandment. The Israelites were thus disadvantaged like heathen.
Explaining that Yahweh is the "only name of G-d," Tyndale’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary goes on to say, "In particular, Yahweh was the G-d of the Patriarchs, and we read of ‘Yahweh, the G-d of Abraham, and G-d of Isaac, and the G-d of Jacob, ’ concerning which Elohim says, ‘this is my Name for ever.’ (Exodus 3:15). Yahweh, therefore, in contrast with Elohim, is a proper noun, the name of a Person, though that Person is divine...When a person puts his ‘name’ upon a thing or another person the latter comes under his influence and protection."
Almost all current dictionaries, encyclopedias, almanacs, and religious resource books acknowledge that His Name is Yahweh, and that the pronunciation was never lost.
The New Schaff Herzog Religious Encyclopedia under "Yahweh" explains it very well:
"The pronunciation Yahweh of the Hebrew tetragrammaton need no longer be based primarily on traditions preserved in late, patristic sources...(vocalization) now confirmed by a variety of ancient Near Eastern inscriptional materials from the first and second millennia B.C.E. These new sources fall into three classes: (1) transliterations of Hebrew, personal names in Assyrian and Babylonian cuneiform documents from the ninth to the fifth centuries B.C.E.; (2) new alphabetic inscriptions in Hebrew, Canaanite, and related tongues; and (3) transcriptions of West Semitic names and other linguistic materials from the second millennium B.C.E."
This is confirmed by the Encyclopedia Judaica, p. 680 under "G-d, Names Of": "The true pronunciation of the name YHWH was never lost. Several early Greek writers of the Christian Church testify that the name was pronounced ‘Yahweh.’"
Investigating Counterclaim Passages
The purpose of this study is to show evidence from the New Testament that the Savior indeed declared the Heavenly Father’s Name, Yahweh, even though it may not be in our English text. The false pen of the scribe has been at work, Jeremiah 8:8.
Let us turn to Matthew 6:9 and examine a verse from the well-known prayer that our Savior taught His disciples:
"After this manner therefore pray you: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name." Those resisting the Sacred Name seize upon this introduction and contend that from this example of the Savior that we are instructed to address Yahweh simply as "Father." This acknowledges that we are His children, we are told, and we are all a part of His family.
The phrase, "Hallowed be Thy Name," or "May your Name be held holy" (TCNT), or "May Thy Name be revered" (Moffatt)—all these, we are told, simply mean that we are to call His Name Father!
To say this is a bit ridiculous, of course, for "father" isn’t even a name but a title. The Savior did not say "hallowed be Thy title."
Each of us has a father and some of us are fathers. Father is simply a description, a common noun showing relationship. It is not a name and may not necessarily be held in reverence.
The question we must ask is, does not a family all have the same surname? Ephesians 3:14-15 reads, "For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Master Yahshua, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named."
The other text popularly referred to in which the Name Yahweh does not appear deals with the Savior’s words just before His death upon the tree. This well-known verse is as follows:
"And about the ninth hour [Yahshua] cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My [El], my [El], why have you forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46)
The opponents of Yahweh’s Name ask, if Yahweh’s Name is so important, why did the Savior not call on Yahweh’s Name as He hung from the stake? There is a good reason.
Prophecy of Psalm 22:1 Fulfilled
According to Bullinger’s Companion Bible note, this verse is the English transliteration of the Greek, which is the Greek transliteration of the Aramaic. Bullinger states that with His dying breath the Savior vindicates the Old Testament by quoting Psalm 22:1. Thus, the Savior purposely fulfilled prophecy by specifically declaring the exact words of Psalm 22, which goes on to describe in detail His anguish and suffering before dying.
While it is true that in His final prayer to the Father our beloved Savior did not call upon Yahweh’s Name, His purpose for quoting the 22nd Psalm was to prove that He was indeed the promised Messiah, the Son of Elohim. He obviously prayed to the Father in Aramaic.
From this verse arises the claim that because the Savior did not call upon Yahweh’s Name, neither are we required to invoke His memorial Name Yahweh which He Himself revealed for us. The contention is that we can call Him whatever we desire, such as the general terms "G-d," L-ord," or "Eternal," and He will know exactly who we mean. They overlook the fact that the Savior is quoted calling Him by a Hebrew (Aramaic) term "El." Not a Greek or Anglo-Saxon noun!
However, Yahshua had a higher motive—to fulfill prophecy by calling Him "El, My El." We can also fulfill prophecy by demonstrating that we know His Name when we call upon Yahweh. Notice: "Therefore my people shall know my Name: therefore [they shall know] in that day that I [am] he that does speak: behold, [it is] I" (Isa. 52:6). Names give identity.
The Heathen Have Not Known Him
If we do not know and call upon His Name, we are like the heathen who know nothing about Him. We can expect His wrath to be poured out upon us if we deliberately reject His Memorial Name Yahweh!
"Pour out your wrath upon the heathen that have not known you, and upon the kingdoms that have not called upon your Name." (Ps. 79:6) (See Dt. 28:58)
We cannot call our Heavenly Father just any name we wish, any more than we can observe any day for worship according to our own carnal whims. He has told us specifically that the Name Yahweh is His memorial Name, and that the seventh day Sabbath is His day of rest. We cannot just shrug off any command dealing with the Name He has given us, nor the day He has chosen. We had better not be too hasty to ignore His dictates as we consider this important truth that has been hidden for millennia.
Yahshua Advocates the Name
Let us now examine some of the verses that record the words Yahshua prayed to our Father concerning His Name just before He was impaled.
Note the latter part of John 17:11: "Holy Father keep through Your own Name those whom you have given Me that they may be one as we are." The NIV reads, "Protect them by the power of your Name—the Name you gave Me." Yahshua adds in verse 12, "While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by the Name you gave Me..." The Savior emphasizes that Yahweh’s Name has special power to protect His people, "I was keeping them in Your Name," NASB.
He ended His prayer claiming success in His earthly sojourn, John 17:26: "And I have declared unto them Your Name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith You have loved Me may be in them and I in them." The word declared in the Greek is gnorizo meaning made known.
The Savior told the Father that He had made His Name Yahweh known to the brethren.
Surely He would not lie.
John 17 is a direct fulfillment of Psalm 22:22, which reads: "I will declare Your Name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise You." This verse clearly asserts that Yahshua did indeed declare or make known Yahweh’s Name. As already stated, Psalm 22 is an intimate declaration of the innermost thoughts and agony of our Savior as He was dying , and the triumph that followed.
Hebrews 2:12 reveals the same message: "I will declare Your name unto My brethren, in the midst of the congregation will I sing praise unto You. This is evidently based on Psalm 68:26: "Praise Elohim in the great congregation; praise Yahweh in the assembly of Israel." This is an imperative (a direct command) to declare Yahweh’s Name.
To fulfill prophecy to the letter, the Savior would have had to declare or make known Yahweh’s Name within the congregation of Israel. This had to be done in spite of the Rabbinic proscription against invoking the sacred Name Yahweh.
Would Yahshua Use a Substitute Title?
"Due to the increasing sanctity attached to the name [Yahweh] and the consequent desire to avoid misuse, the title ‘Adonai’ (Hebrew: ‘My Great Lord’) was pronounced in place of the Tetragrammaton [YHWH]. In written texts the vowels of ‘Adonai’ were combined with...YHWH to remind readers to pronounce ‘Adonai’ instead of Yahweh. The incorrect hybrid ‘Jehovah’ arose from Christian misunderstanding in the late Middle Ages.
"In the NT period, many Jews expressed their reverence for the explicit names for [Yahweh] by substituting periphrastic ways of speaking of [Yahweh]. This practice is reflected to some extent in the NT, especially in the sayings of [Yahshua], though [Yahshua] did not hesitate to make use of explicit names for [Yahweh]. Among such periphrastic and reverential terms for [Yahweh] are ‘the Blessed’ (Mark 14:61), ‘Power’ (Mark 14:62), ‘Heaven’ (Luke 15:18) and often in the Matthean phrase ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ as a substitute for ‘Kingdom of [Yahweh]’)," Harper’s Bible Dictionary, page 684.
Certainly when the Savior quoted the Old Testament, He would use Yahweh’s Name. For example, when Satan tempted Him in Luke 4:3 by challenging Him to change the stones to bread if He were the Son of Yahweh. Satan used Yahweh’s Name! In response, Yahshua quoted Deuteronomy 8:3 in His native Hebrew (or Aramaic) tongue:
"It is written that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of Yahweh." And 4:8, "Get you behind Me, Satan; for it written, You shall worship Yahweh your Elohim and Him only shall you serve." In Luke 4:12 He also quoted Deuteronomy 6:16, "You shall not tempt Yahweh your Elohim."
While the King James and other English editions employ a substitute "L-rd your G-d," Sacred Name Bibles have restored the proper and correct Name Yahweh throughout.
There is no reason to believe the Savior spoke any language but Hebrew or Aramaic, although He well could have spoken Latin to the Roman officials and Greek to others. In the Temple and synagogues, Yahshua certainly spoke the customary Hebrew or Aramaic.
Proof Yahshua Declared Yahweh’s Name
As His custom was, on the Sabbath Yahshua gathered with other Israelites in the synagogue at Nazareth, and read the following verses from the Book of Isaiah:
"The Spirit of Yahweh [is] upon me; because he has anointed me to preach good tidings unto the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of Yahweh..." (Luke 4:18-19)
Yahshua stopped in the middle of this verse in Isaiah 61:2, announcing that this portion of the Scripture is fulfilled in the ears of the congregation. Notice that Yahweh’s Name appears twice in the above pericope. When He returned the book to the minister and sat down, the eyes of the congregation were fastened upon Him, Luke 4:20. Yahshua invoked the Name of Yahweh twice then and there in the midst of the congregation.
What we have in our English Bibles can hardly be a straightforward English version of the words our Savior spoke. Yahshua’s words were translated from Hebrew into Greek, from Greek into English or into Latin, and then English.
Proclaiming the Name Yahweh in spite of the proscription by the Rabbis against uttering the Sacred Name required a measure of courage. This would explain why the audience was aghast and the eyes of the people remained fixed on Him, verse 20, for He had uttered the sacred Name Yahweh! Banned by Rabbinical—man's—tradition, the Name was not to be uttered aloud.
Already by the third century B.C.E. the pronunciation of the Name Yahweh was avoided. Even the high priest refrained from invoking Yahweh’s Name, but used the euphemism, "The Blessed," as we will soon see.
Another instance in the New Testament where Yahshua quotes directly from the Old Testament using Yahweh’s Name is in John 6:45:
"It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of [Yahweh]. Every man therefore that has heard, and has learned of the Father, comes unto me." This is likely taken from Isaiah 54:13:
" And all your children [shall be] taught of Yahweh; and great [shall be] the peace of your children." The same thought is expressed in Jeremiah 31:34. We have every reason to believe that Yahshua would reject Pharisaical traditions against the Name and would not hesitate to declare Yahweh’s Name as it appears in the Old Testament, especially when He was prophesied to do so!
Yahshua Speaks Name in Reciting Old Testament
On numerous occasions Yahshua quoted the Old Testament, which was known as the Holy Scriptures. Following is a list of some of the verses that contain the Name Yahweh, and which Yahshua quoted verbatim in the New Testament:
· Matthew 21:42 (Psalm 118:22)
· Matthew 22:37 (Deut. 6:5, 10:12, 30:6)
· Matthew 22:44 (Psalm 110:1)
· Matthew 23:39 (Psalm 118:26)
· Matthew 26:64, (Psalm 110:1)
· Mark 7:6 (Isa. 29:13)
· Mark 11:17 (Jer. 7:11)
· Mark 12:29 (Deut. 6:4)
· Mark 12:30 (Deut. 6:5)
· Mark 12:36 (Ps. 110:1)
· Luke 4:4 (Deut. 8:3)
· Luke 4:8 (Deut. 6:13, 10:20)
· Luke 4:12 (Deut.6:16)
· Luke 4:18-19 (Isa. 61:1-2)
· Luke 10:27 (Deut. 6:5)
· Luke 13:35 (Ps. 118:26)
· Luke 20:37 (Ex. 3:4-6)
· Luke 20:42, (Psalm 110:1)
All the above passages where Yahshua directly quotes the Old Testament can be easily verified by a Rotherham, Jerusalem or Sacred Name Bible, all of which faithfully render Yahweh’s Name in the Old Testament. Sacred Name Bibles strictly render Yahweh’s Name in the New Testament as well.
Language Is No Barrier to Names
There are other instances where Yahshua boldly proclaimed the Name Yahweh. Some scholars believe a surrogate was later inserted when translating the Bible into the Greek.
Professor George Howard, writing in Biblical Archaeology Review, explains that the translators considered that if the Tetragammaton YHWH were sacred in Hebrew, then Kurios was sacred in the Greek language. Soon Kurios and Theos replaced the gold letters of the Hebrew Tetragrammaton in the Septuagint Greek text, which had been first inserted by the seventy Jewish copyists. Thus, the Name Yahweh was replaced by Kurios and Theos, which have come to us as "L-rd" and "G-d" in our English Bibles.
A person’s given, personal name does not change from language to language. Names are transliterated, that is, the very sound is brought over into another language. Here is a sample of the thousands of non-English names widely used unchanged in our language today: Adam, Daniel, Levi, Gorbachev, Mercedes, Sioux, Toyota, Sony, Saab, Zeiss, Milcom, Jupiter, and Zeus.
Imagine that names change from language to language. In each foreign country you visit your name would vary to conform to local language. If your name were Charles it would change to Carl, to Karl, to Carlos, etc. Even your family name would vary from country to country, if names were translated.
Now imagine the confusion. Your passport showing your given name would immediately become invalid as you crossed the border. Your driver’s license would be wrong and useless. Unable to connect you with your purchases, the bank backing your credit card couldn’t bill you for your charges and you could face fraud charges. People calling from home would be unable to locate you. Your travelers checks would be void. In essence, you would lose your identity—the very thing that has happened as a result of man’s changing of the Creator’s Name! Worshipers no longer realize the true identity of the one they worship and what His Covenant Name really means in relation to True Worship.
Radio and television news often carries broadcasts in a foreign language where the listener can plainly hear names such as Gorbachev, Yeltsin, Kohl, Ho-Chi-Min, Arafat, Rabin, and Marcos. The sound of these names is brought over into other languages even though the languages may greatly differ.
Yahweh’s Name should not change from language to language, either. He Who created man’s tongue would not have a name that is impossible to be pronounced by one speaking a language other than Hebrew. But rebellious, carnal human nature wants to call Him something else of its own devising. So we find that Yahweh is called God, Lord, Dios, Deus, Gott, Herr, Eternal, Kurios, Theos—depending on the language.
It is strange to see the many names man gives to his Creator other than the proper Name Yahweh. In the 900+ languages in which Bibles are being trans-lated, the name of the major deity worshiped becomes the name of the Almighty of that language’s Bible! Yahweh loses His identity as He who causes all to exist.
Ironically, Satan’s name does not change. "Satan" is recognized in all languages! The ethnic pronunciation may be more like "Saw-tahn" but easily recognizable. Man has it all backwards. The Bible says the Creator’s Name is Yahweh and it must remain a memorial to all generations. Yet, Yahweh’s Name is changed while Satan’s remains the same in all generations!
Disciples Praised Yahweh’s Name
The ban placed upon uttering Yahweh’s Name was in effect during the time of the Messiah. The following Biblical incident is an intriguing sidelight to this misguided Jewish custom.
"And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise Yahweh with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; Saying, Blessed [be] the King that comes in the Name of Yahweh: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto Him, Rabbi, rebuke Your disciples, that they be quiet. And He answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out." (Luke 19:37-40, Holy Name Bible)
Surely the disciples were not so loud as to disturb the peace and tranquility of the day. Something else prompted the Pharisees to ask Yahshua to censure His disciples! Clearly it was because His disciples were quoting Psalm 118:26 and in doing so were invoking Yahweh’s Name. The Pharisees were trying to ban the mention of Yahweh’s Name!
Yahshua Proclaims Yahweh’s Name
On trial for His life, Yahshua stood a silent prisoner before the intimidating interrogation of the high priest:
"But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked Him, and said unto Him, Are you the [Messiah], the Son of the Blessed?" (Mark 14:61) Here we have an example of the the high priest using the euphemism "the Blessed" to avoid invoking the sacred Name Yahweh.
The Anchor Bible on Mark 14:61 says, "The Blessed One (Greek eulogetos): Used in the New Testament solely of [Yahweh], it is found in Luke 1:68; Rom 1:25; 2Cor 1:3, 11:31; Eph 1:3; 1Pet 1:3."
The superstitious Jews decided the best way not to blaspheme the Name Yahweh would be never to use it. Substitutes such as "Ha-Shem [The Name]," "Adonai [Sovereign]," and "The Blessed" soon replaced the memorial Name Yahweh. By the time of the Messiah, this had become an established custom. The Sacred Name was not voiced even in the Temple except on the Day of Atonement.
It is almost as if the way not to desecrate the Sabbath would be to stay in bed all day so one would not break the Fourth Commandment. Abstaining from activity on the Sabbath would preclude breaking it, and refraining from invoking His Name precludes one from blaspheming His Name.
Blasphemy Charge Against Yahshua
Yahshua was again questioned whether He was the promised Messiah. Note His answer:
"And Yahshua said, I am: and you shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of POWER, and coming in the clouds of heaven" (Mark 14:62). The question has been asked, why use the Greek word dunamis, translated "Power"? Does it stand for something important that we should be aware of?
Author F.F. Bruce in his book, The Hard Sayings of Jesus, observes, "Here the ‘Power’ on [Yahshua’s] lips, meaning much the same as we mean when we say ‘The Almighty, is, like ‘the Blessed’ on the high priest’s lips, a substitute for the divine name." (p. 246)
The 20th Century New Testament agrees, and translates Mark 14:62: "...and you shall see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of the Almighty..."
The New International Bible Commentary says, "...see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One (lit., ‘the Power,’ a Jewish periphrasis for ‘[Yahweh]’)..."
The Amplified Version reads, "...and you will (all) see the Son of man seated at the right hand of Power (the Almighty)..."
The Berkeley Version says, "...And you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Almighty..."
The New English Bible states, "...and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of G-d..."
All these versions agree that the word "Power" is an euphemism for Yahweh’s Name. Did Yahshua really substitute another word for Yahweh’s Name when He said He had proclaimed Yahweh’s Name to the brethren? Or did the translators take advantage of their position and take liberties with the text, supplanting Yahweh’s Name with a euphemistic title? The latter is much more likely.
"Then the high priest rent his clothes, and said, ‘What need we any further witnesses? You have heard the blasphemy: what think you?’ And they all condemned him to be guilty of death." (Mark 14:63-64)
The New American Commentary asks a significant question of Luke 22:71, a parallel account of the above:
"...Exactly ‘what’ it was in [Yahshua’s] answer that the Sanhedrin considered worthy of death is unclear. For Pilate, [Yahshua’s] claim to be the [Messiah] was the issue. ..The legal reason for having condemned Him is more difficult to assess. Was it [Yahshua’s] claim that he would sit at the right hand of [Yahweh]? Was it the claim to be the Messiah? (But later Bar Kochba in C.E. 132-35 claimed to be the messiah, and the claim itself was not thought worthy of death.) Was it the claim to be the son of [Yahweh]?...speaking against the Temple?...What grounds would (it) have been for carrying out the death sentence..?"
Basis for Suppression of Yahweh’s Name
When the Messiah walked this earth, the Rabbinical proscription against voicing the name Yahweh had become established. In their misguided zeal the Jews forbade anyone to invoke the Name based primarily upon the following:
"And he that blasphemes the name of Yahweh, he shall surely be put to death, [and] all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemes the name of Yahweh, shall be put to death." (Leviticus 24:16)
The following verse is also given for their authority:
"Therefore hear you the word of Yahweh, all Judah that dwell in the land of Egypt; Behold, I have sworn by My great name says Yahweh, that My name shall no more be named in the mouth of any man of Judah in all the land of Egypt saying, The Sovereign Yahweh lives." (Jeremiah 44:26; See also Amos 6:7-11)
The above verses gave the mob the authority to stone Stephen when he said, "Look, I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of [Yahweh]." (Acts 7:56-58 NIV)
‘I am’—Yahshua Again Speaks Yahweh’s Name
Judas had agreed to betray the Savior. He led a group of officials from the chief priests and Pharisees, along with Roman soldiers, to the olive grove, a favorite place of Yahshua. When told they were seeking Yahshua of Nazareth, the Savior replied, "I AM he!" His reply in the Greek is "Ego eimi," John 18:5.
However, it is doubtful that Yahshua would reply in the Greek language to the Pharisees or speak Greek to the Roman soldiers. He would likely answer in His native Hebrew, "I am." ("he" is added by the translators.) This is the verb of existence, haYah, which includes the Sacred Name "Yah"! No wonder they immediately fell backward to the ground, John 18:6.
Tyndale’s New Testament Commentaries offer a significant observation on this account of Mark 14:61-62:
"In the Johannine account, it has been pointed out that He used the Name of [Yahweh] in a similar reply in the Garden, and at the hearing of the Name, the very men sent to arrest Him prostrated themselves on the ground (John 18:6)...the association with the divine Name seems sure, in view of the terrified reaction of the Temple servants.
"The Greek ego eimi rendered I am he might well suggest divinity to those familiar with the Greek Bible, for it is the rendering in the LXX for [Yahweh] the sacred name of G-d (see Ex. 3:14). The evangelist notices [in John 18:6]* the numinous effect which its utterance had upon those who heard it."
*The note on this verse dealing with the Greek "ego eimi" reads, "I am! A solemnly emphatic declaration echoing [Yahweh’s] great affirmation in Ex 3:14 (see vv.24,28; see also note on 6:35) [Yahshua] did not say ‘I was’ but ‘I am,’ expressing the eternity of his being and oneness with the Father (see 1:1)."
Threats of Stoning Because He Spoke Name
When Yahshua another time used the Hebrew verb of existence, notice what happens: "Yahshua said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM. Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Yahshua hid Himself, and went out of the Temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by." (John 8:58-59)
" Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him." (John 10:31) Here is another incident where the Jews threatened to stone Yahshua because of blasphemy, that He claimed to be deity. It well may be that because He declared Yahweh’s Name, the Jews were trying to stone Him and His claim to be deity was more than they could stand.
The Jews were always eager to stone Yahshua especially when He spoke of the deity or said, "I Am." In His wisdom Yahweh selected the Hebrew verb of existence to describe Himself because it means "I was, I am, I will be." It can also mean "I exist, I cause (everything) to exist, I am responsible for all existence." Yahweh’s Name is an all-encompassing verb of existence, past, present, future.
Savior Confesses His Name in the Congregation
Not only do the Evangels testify that Yahshua proclaimed Yahweh’s Name, but so does the Book of Hebrews. Notice Hebrews 2:12, "I will declare your Name to my brothers, in the presence of the congregation I will sing your praises." (NIV) The writer of Hebrews brings to our attention that Yahshua did indeed declare the sacred Name Yahweh in the presence of the congregation, confirming that our Savior did fulfill the prophecies about Himself in Psalm 22:22.
Hebrews offers some serious advice to those who seek to please Yahweh. We no longer offer animal sacrifices through the Levitical priesthood, but our sacrifices are spiritual, as we read in Romans 12:1 and 1Peter 2:5. Now that the Messiah has died for our sins, Hebrews 13:15 tells us, "Through [Yahshua], therefore, let us continually offer to [Yahweh] a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of our lips that confess His Name." (NIV)
Animal and meal sacrifices have been set aside. Now that the Levitical priesthood has been placed in abeyance, we strive to change our nature by allowing Yahweh’s Spirit to control our thinking, goals, and desires. We no longer resist Yahweh’s guiding us into obedience in keeping His laws. We search out His truth and rejoice in the knowledge of His commandments, learning of those things that will be observed in the Kingdom.
Our offerings are now the fruit of our lips, that is the praise, thanks and obedience to Yahweh and all this as we confess His Name! Just as Yahshua declared Yahweh’s Name among the brethren, we are also to confess His Name Yahweh when we sing praises and glorify His Name, giving thanks to Him for His bountiful goodness. This would be especially true when we gather on the Sabbath for worship and praise.
Most churches do not even teach His Name, and some even deny that His Name is important. But Hebrews 13:15 is a direct command that we are to confess His Name as we bring our praise and thanks, giving glory to Yahweh’s majestic Name.
Halleluyah: Praise His Name
Yahweh’s Name does appear four times in Revelation 19:1-6 in the Greek form "Alleluia" (HalleluYah). This is one of the best proofs that our English Bible is almost dominated by the Greek language, as there is no "h" in the Greek alphabet. Only a rough breathing mark appears at the beginning of a word (looking like a reverse apostrophe).
No wonder Yahweh’s Name has been almost completely obliterated by the Greek or has been removed from our English Bibles. We have seen Jeremiah 8:8 fulfilled by the false pen of the scribe.
Jeremiah warns of those prophets and Bible teachers who teach deceitfully, saying we can call Him Father, L-rd, G-d, Eternal, etc.—whatever we want and can forget or ignore His Name Yahweh:
"Which think to cause My people to forget My name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten My name for Baal [God!]" (Jer. 23:27)
Some contend that Yahweh has "many names," confusing His titles with His Name. It should be pointed out that the Bible refers to "His Name" 108 times; "Thy Name" 109 times; and "My Name" 97 times. Name is always in the singular.
Moses wrote for our learning and understanding that there is one name that is His "Memorial Name," Yahweh, the Name by which He wants to be remembered:
"And Elohim said moreover unto Moses, In this manner shall you say to the children of Israel, Yahweh, the Elohim of your fathers, the Elohim of Abraham, the Elohim of Isaac, and the Elohim of Jacob, has sent me to you: this is my name forever and my memorial to ALL generations,"
"And Elohim said moreover unto Moses, In this manner shall you say to the children of Israel, Yahweh, the Elohim of your fathers, the Elohim of Abraham, the Elohim of Isaac, and the Elohim of Jacob, has sent me to you: this is my name forever and my memorial to ALL generations," generations," (Ex. 3:15, TSS, emphasis added)
Will you follow Paul and humble yourself before the inspired statements of the beloved apostle?
"For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father, from whom every family in heaven and earth is named," Ephesians 3:14-15 (TSS)
May Yahweh open the eyes of people everywhere to the life-saving truth of His Name!
© 2007 Yahweh’s Assembly in Yahshua
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