Keith Hunt - Sacred Names? #3 - Page Three   Restitution of All Things

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Sacred Names? #3

Does the Bible teach we must only say God's name in Hebrew?

                         GOD'S
                         NAME
                                     
          SOME PEOPLE SAY THERE IS ONE SPECIAL
          NAME THAT THE ETERNAL OF HEAVEN HAS
          ABOVE ALL OTHER NAMES THAT WE ARE TO
          USE. THEY CLAIM THEY HAVE THE CORRECT
          LINGUISTIC WAY TO PRONOUNCE THIS NAME
          FROM THE HEBREW LANGUAGE. BUT IS THAT
          REALLY THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER. LET'S
          PROVE ALL THINGS AND HOLD FAST TO THAT 
                    WHICH IS GOOD.
          
                          by
          
                      Keith Hunt
          
          
               
     For those who are interested in this interesting subject of
the "names of God" let me recommend to you the little book called
"Names of God" by Nathan J.Stone, published by the Moody Bible
Institute of Chicago.  I have had my copy for many years, so I
hope it is still in print for those of you who may want to obtain
your own.  There is also the larger work called "ALL THE DIVINE
NAMES AND TITLES IN THE BIBLE" by Herbert Lockyer, and published
by Zondervan.
     I will be quoting from both of the above books in this
little study we are about to undertake.

     As we study into this strongly debated subject, that is
strongly debated within certain groups who have become known by
others as "the sacred name groups" we find, if we study the whole
topic, God has MANY NAMES!  The subject of God's names is both
fascinating and educating.  I do encourage all children of God to
undertake this study of the names of the Eternal, and the little
book by Mr.Stone mentioned above will do the job nicely as a
foundational tool, without a lot of expense.
     Yes, God does have various names, but it is true their is
one that is especially HIS. It is the name that most are familiar
with as Jehovah. Indeed most are quite familiar with a certain
group of people who go about from door to door in teams of two
persons, wanting to share the word of the Lord with anyone who
will give them the time of day. They call themselves, as an
organization, by the name of Jehovah's Witnesses.

     I quote from "Names of God" by Stone, page 18.
 
     "In the Authorized or King James Version of our Bible the
Hebrew word Jehovah is translated 'LORD' in capitals to
distinguish it from another Hebrew word, Adonai, also translated
Lord. The Hebrew word is transliterated Jehovah in the American
Standard Version. Jehovah is the name by far the most frequently
employed in the Old Testament, occurring 6,823 times......"
     
     On page 19 of the above book we read: 

     "The name Jehovah is derived from the Hebrew verb havah, 'to
be,' or 'being.'  This word is almost exactly like the Hebrew
verb, chavah, 'to live,' or 'life.'  One can readily see the
connection between being and life. Thus when we read the name
Jehovah, or Lord in capital letters, in our Bible we think in
terms of being or existence and life, and we must think of
Jehovah as the Being who is absolutely self-existent, the One
who in Himself possesses essential life, permanent
existence....."

     Most of us well remember the passage in Exodus 3:14, how God
tells Moses He is the I AM, and that he, Moses, is to tell the
children of Israel that the I AM has sent him to them, when they
ask him that question "Who sent you to us?"
     The Hebrew and Greek scholar Ferrar Fenton, in his
translation of the Bible renders this name of God we are
inquiring about as "THE EVER-LIVING."  Others, including myself
like to use the English word Eternal.  Both I believe give as
close a meaning to what the Hebrew and to what God wanted to
convey to us in this name of His.

     Nathan Stone has a section in his chapter on the name
Jehovah which he heads, Jehovah - The God of Righteousness and
Holiness and Love.  One part is of most interest to us in this
study. On page 25 he writes:  

     "That the image of Jehovah-God in which man was created is
revealed to us in the New testament as 'righteousness and true
holiness' (Eph.4:24).  To Israel of old, righteousness and
holiness were the two great attributes associated with the name
Jehovah. SO HOLY AND SACRED was that name to them THAT THEY
FEARED TO PRONOUNCE IT. Perhaps that fear was based on Moses'
injunction that they should not profane that name, and the
penalty of death imposed for blasphemy of the name of Jehovah
(Lev.24:16); BUT TO THIS DAY THE NAME OF JEHOVAH IS NEVER READ
IN THE SYNAGOGUE NOR UTTERED BY THIS PEOPLE, the word Adonai
being substituted for it, and by many simply a word meaning 'the
Name.'  THUS THE ORIGINAL PRONUNCIATION OF THAT NAME WE CALL
JEHOVAH, REGARDED AS TOO SACRED TO BE UTTERED, HAS BEEN LOST TO
THIS DAY. INDEED, ORTHODOX JEWRY WILL REGARD IT AS A SIGN OF
MESSIAHSHIP IN THE ONE WHO CAN TRULY PRONOUNCE IT......."

     As we saw in part two of this study, in the article by the
late pastor Bartholomew, the word from the Hebrew that most say
today as Jehovah, is not really a word, but is FOUR LETTERS, four
consonants without any vowels..  Actually the original Old
Testament Hebrew did not have any vowel points at all. They were
not added until about 500 A.D.  Yes, I said A.D. not B.C.  
     The Jews had, as we have seen, many centuries before 500
A.D. stopped pronouncing these four consonant letters of this
name of God, and had substituted the word Adonai in its place. 
Oh, yes, in the time of Moses they originally knew how to
pronounce these four consonants for this very important name of
God, but because of the fear of profaning it, and the death
penalty falling upon them, they just simply stopped using it
period!  It would only take a few generations and the correct
pronunciation as it was given through Moses, would soon disappear
into forgotten history.

     I once, many years ago now, had an encounter with two
Jehovah Witnesses who actually came to me over the phone because
of a religious message we had place in the local paper. He had
some questions and wanted to know if he could visit me. Nothing
was said that he was a member of the Jehovah Witnesses
organization. I set a day and time. He came, but with a young
man, about 18 years old I would say. It was not long before I
realized who they were. Here was the "older" - the veteran man,
out training the younger man, on how to "evangelize" for the
Lord, oh, for Jehovah.

     It was not that long before we were on to the subject of
"God's name."  They were the true people of Jehovah because they
had the true name of that true God, I was told by the older man,
with the younger man carefully listening and learning the tricks
of the trade. I said, "Now, come on, you have studied this
subject of the four letters of the Hebrew, that you pronounce as
Jehovah, I know you have."  He said he had. I continued, "So you
know very well how the Jews stopped pronouncing it not long after
the days of Moses. That the way to voice these four letters is
LOST, even to the Jews, certainly the orthodox  Jews.  Maybe some
out on a limb, fringe sect among the Jews claim they have the
correct pronunciation, but they have an agenda, and a cultic mind
set to uphold. You know the truth, the four Hebrew consonants
with no vowels originally, was not pronounced by the Jews, but
the Hebrew word Adonai was substituted in speech and in reading."
     He said what I had spoken was indeed correct.  I then told
him that the pronunciation of these four letters as Jehovah could
be absolutely 100% wrong.  He sat there and AGREED!

     Well, you should have seen the look on the young man's face.
He asked in astonishment if what I had said was correct. He asked
his mentor that is, not me. The older man replied to him that
what I had said was correct.  Another astonished look came across
his face. He was obviously shaken to the roots.  
     Whatever they had taught him, or not taught him, he was
under the spell or the deception (because he had never studied it
fully) that Jehovah was the ONE AND ONLY true name and true way
of saying that name.  
     For the rest of the evening and the study we had, that young
man was "out of it" in his mind. He just could not focus on
anything, because the light he thought he had that made this
group of people "uniquely" God's own, while everyone else lay in
darkness and deception, had been shattered. It was like I had
dropped an atomic bomb at his feet.

             NOW TO THE BOOK BY HERBERT LOCKYER

     His large 360 page book is called ALL the DIVINE NAMES and
TITLES in the BIBLE.
     In part this is what he writes under Jehovah - The Eternal,
Ever-Loving One, pages 17-18.
     " Among all the divine names none is so sublime and solemn
as the one we are now to consider. Rabbinical writings have
distinguished Jehovah by various euphemistic expressions as 'The
Name,' 'The Great And Terrible Name,' 'The Peculiar Name,' 'The
Separate Name,' ' The Unutterable Name,' ' The Ineffable Name,' '
The Incommunicate Name,' ' The Holy Name,' ' The Distinguished
Name.'  
     It was also known as ' The Name with Four Letters' because
from the Hebrew it is spelled YHVH, in English. This name is
often called Tetragrammaton, or 'four-lettered name.'  
     Such is Jewish reverence for this august name that even
today they refrain as much from writing it, or pronouncing it.
Scholars are not sure as to the exact pronunciation of the Hebrew
for Jehovah.  Leading Hebrew translators agree that probably it
is Yahveh, or Yahve, or Yahweh. They also agree that Jehovah is
not an altogether correct rendering of the Name........As to the
meaning of this ancient name, said to be whispered only by the
high priest in the Holy of Holies once a year, Newberry defines
its significance as 'He that always was, that always is, and ever
is to come.'  This absoluteness of the divine Being, who is
independent, self-existing, is found in the declaration, 'I am
Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending says the Lord -
Jehovah - which is and which was, and which is to come, the
Almighty' (Rev.1:8).

     'Which is' - the ever-existing One - His relation to the
present.
     'Which was' - His relation to the past - the One who always
was.
     'Which is to come' - His relation to the future - who always
will be.

     When Moses asked for God's name, He replies, I AM THAT I AM,
or I AM WHAT I AM - a title expressive not only of
self-existence, but of unchangeableness of character.
He always was what He is, He is what He was; He will ever be what
He was and is, with Him there is no variableness (James 1:17)...
     Dr. A.T. Pierson suggests that this name, which one rabbi
declared that whoever dared to pronounce this name would forfeit
his place in the world to come, can mean, 'the everloving One,
being connected with grace and salvation that have their origin
in an eternal past, their outworking in progressive present, and
their perfect goal in an eternal future.' ............"

     This awesome four letters of YHVH is used by the Lord in
combinations with other names and titles that portray His nature
and character. There is Jehovah-Elohim, there is Jehovah-Hoseenu,
there is Jehovah-Jireh, there is Jehovah-Rophi,  and there are
some more.  Each of these Herbert Lockyer expounds in his
writing.

     We shall finish this study with more words from Lockyer,
page 19 of his aforementioned book:

     "As it takes many rays to make up the pure light of the sun,
so it takes VARIOUS DESCRIPTIONS to give us the true conception
of the being and the glory of God. No man is able to receive the
whole revelation of His majesty at once. 
     Only ONE PART at a time can be comprehended, yet such is
sufficient to give great joy and satisfaction. 
     This is WHY it was the special purpose of the Great High
God, who is One, to reveal Himself to the saints of old in the
development of their spiritual life in DIFFERENT NAMES and TITLES
of His nature and purpose. 
     In connection with JEHOVAH, there are relative titles given,
which together proclaim the manifold service of His grace and
provision. As one comes to examine these Jehovah rays, he finds
himself with an embarrassment of heavenly riches. It is to be
regretted that very few Christians know about the Person of God
as He is revealed in His names, even though He has specially
'revealed them unto us by His Spirit.' " (emphasis mine).

               ........................


Written December 1997


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