Does the heavenly Father have
only one name - Yahweh or
something similar - that all
Christians must use? Does the
Bible teach a Sacred Name
Certain of our Christian friends would answer "yes" to the
above questions. But what is the truth of the matter? To find
out, let's examine the following claims made by some of the
Sacred Name organizations.
6. If we know the name, why not use it?
There is nothing wrong with using the Hebrew name, Yahweh,
especially if one speaks Hebrew. I happen to know the French word
for car is VOITURE, but I feel more comfortable using the English
word, since I live in an English-speaking country. Although
I prefer the translated form, Eternal, there is nothing wrong
with using the untranslated form, Yahweh. Due to established
usage, the terms "God" and "Eternal" are well-known in English,
unlike the term "Yahweh" which is not as well known.
7. Not using the correct name breaks the Third Commandment.
It has been suggested that the Eternal knew people would
misuse by substitution His holy name, so He WITHHELD IT and has
only RECENTLY revealed "Yahweh" to us. Also suggested to us is
that NOT USING the correct name "Yahweh," is BREAKING the
Yet, how COULD PEOPLE MISUSE THE NAME, IF IT HADN'T BEEN
REVEALED TO THEM? Why have a commandment that God made
IMPOSSIBLE to break? Obviously, then, "Thou shalt not take the
name of the Lord your God in vain" (Exodus 20:7), does NOT REFER
to the NON-USE of that holy name, but to its MISUSE.
IT IS THE USE OF HIS NAME IN A WORTHLESS WAY THAT IS OF
CONCERN TO THE ETERNAL.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO USE A CORRECT, BIBLICAL NAME AND NOT MAKE
IT INTO THE KINGDOM? NOTICE MATTHEW 7:21-23:
Not everyone that says unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into
the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father
which is in heaven. Many will say unto me in that day, Lord,
Lord, have we not prophesied IN THY NAME? And IN THY NAME have
cast out devils? And IN THY NAME done many wonderful works? And
then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me,
you that work iniquity (emphasis added).
In the day of judgment, people will call on the Lord,
claiming to have done many wonderful things IN HIS NAME, and
presumably in the CORRECT NAME(as they claim). Yet, it will get
them NOWHERE! They will be rejected, not because they used the
WRONG name, but because their WORKS DID NOT MATCH THEIR
PROFESSION - they claimed to be something they were not.
This is the way, then, to use the Eternal's name in a
worthless manner, by NOT DOING the Father's WILL and working
8. The name "Jesus" came from "Zeus."
Authorities agree that the OT name, Joshua, is the same as
the NT version of that name, Jesus. Both names are derived from
the Hebrew name, Yehowshua pronounced yeh-ho-shoo-ah, (see
No.3091 in the Hebrew dictionary of Strong's Exhaustive
Concordance of the Bible). By the time of the Babylonian exile, a
shortened form of this name had come into general use: Yeshua
(yeh-shoo-ah, No.3442 in Strong's Concordance). The most common
English spelling of this Hebrew name is JOSHUA, which is a
TRANS-LITERATION from the Hebrew alphabet to the English
alphabet. (An alternate form, Jeshua, also appears in the KJV,
as in Ezra 2:2). In contrast, the name Jesus is the English
TRANS-LITERATION of the Greek TRANS-LITERATION of the Hebrew
One must also remember that languages, like Hebrew, Greek,
and English, do not have the exact same sounds nor the exact same
letters in their respective alphabets. When one sound or letter
is present in one language but missing in another, then an
equivalent sound or letter must be substituted.
Thus, Yehowshua (yeh-ho-shoo-ah) becomes Jehoshua
(je-hosh-u-ah) when TRANS-LITERATED into English, and the
shortened form of the name becomes Yeshua (yeh-shoo-ah) and
Joshua (josh-u-ah) respectively.
When YESHUA is TRANS-LITERATED into the Greek alphabet it
becomes IESOUS (ee-ay-sooce).
This transformation takes place because the Greek alphabet
has no "Y" or "J", per se. The closest corresponding letter in
the Greek alphabet is iota (I). Also, the final "a"
in Yeshua is dropped and the Greek sigma (S) is added to the end
of the name for declension purposes. This particular
characteristic of the Greek language can also be seen in the
ending of other names, such as Messias (for Messiah), Jeremias
(for Jeremiah), Esaias (for Isaiah), etc.
When the Greek form of the name, IESOUS, is then
TRANS-LITERATED into English it comes out JESUS. (Please see the
accompanying chart at the end).
Concerning the claim that the name Jesus was derived from
Zeus, there IS PROOF WITHIN THE BIBLE ITSELF that Jesus and Zeus
are TWO SEPARATE, DISTINCT NAMES. The name Zeus occurs TWICE in
the Greek NT in Acts 14:12 and 13. The KJV translates the name
into Jupiter, the Roman equivalent to the Greek god, Zeus. In the
Greek, the name is pronounced much like it is in English, Zeus
(zooce). Some sacred name adherents have played upon the slight
RYHME between Zeus and the last syllable in Iesous (ee-ay-sooce)
in an attempt to suggest that the names are RELATED. BUT NOTHING
IS FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH. In the Greek NT Zeus appears as ZEUS
and Jesus appears as IESOUS.
THE NAMES ARE NOT CONNECTED GRAMMATICALLY NOR HISTORICALLY.
(I will insert here that many years ago when Ted Phillips
was serving as a minister with the Church of God, International,
he wrote an article for their publication that showed and proved
what the writer has stated above is correct. Phillips is Greek by
nationality and Greek is his native tongue - Keith Hunt).
9. The original pronunciation of Jesus' name began with "Y"
sound. Originally, in English, "J" was pronounced as "Y," but
today it is pronounced as a soft "G," and is therefore incorrect.
Yes, the pronunciation of "J" due to French influence
changed during the 17th century. Previously the letter
corresponded in sound to the initial sound of the original
Hebrew name. BUT THE PRONUNCIATION CHANGE WAS NOT THE RESULT OF A
PAGAN PLOT. THE CHANGE WAS NATURAL AND OCCURRED IN ALL SUCH
Take the name JEAN, for example. In English, the name Jean
is a feminine form of JOHN. The derivation of John goes back to
IOANNES (ee-o-an-nace) in Greek, and then to YOWCHANAN
(yo-khaw-nawn), a form of YEHOWCHANAH (ye-ho-khaw-nawn)
in Hebrew. The "Yeh" beginning is a form of Yah or Yahweh,
giving us the meaning "Yahweh is gracious" for the full name.
Various forms of Yah or Yeh are used as initial parts of
many other names, JOEL, meaning "Yahweh is God," is an example.
The last syllable "el" means God, and the "Jo" means Yah. JEREMY
means "Yahweh exalts," so here Yah is "Je." The "Je" of Jesus,
then, refers to Yah with the full meaning of the name being
If we can accept the natural changes in names like Jean
(and, the "Jeans" of this world don't seem too upset about the
change from the original Yehowchanan), then WHY WOULD OUR MASTER,
who has no human vanity at all, GET UPSET AT BEING CALLED JESUS?
JESUS IS JUST AS MUCH HIS NAME AS YESHUA OR YAHSHUA. JESUS IS THE
MODERN ENGLISH FORM OF THE NAME, WHILE YESHUA (or some variation
thereof) IS THE HEBREW FORM.
Jesus does not come from the Hebrew Yeshua (Savior), because
the Greek word for "savior" is "soter," therefore the derivation
of Jesus is suspect.
As shown in the previous segment, the name Jesus came
ETYMOLOGICALLY from the Hebrew YESHUA. It is NOT a TRANSLATION,
but TRANS-LITERATION. HAD IT BEEN A TRANSLATION, it would be
SOTER in the Greek, meaning "Savior."
But the TRANS-LITERATION form, Jesus, also means Savior,
because it comes DIRECTLY from Yeshua, the Hebrew name for
Let me illustrate further. My daughter's name is Susanna,
which means nothing in English, per se, until one REALIZES that
it COMES FROM the Hebrew name, SHOSHANNAH, which means "lily."
So it is with "Jesus." It has the meaning of savior,
BECAUSE it DERIVES its meaning from the HEBREW.
We have seen from the Bible that the Almighty has MORE THAN
ONE NAME and that He inspired the use of titles BOTH as His name
("the Elohim of hosts") and in place of His name Father).
We have also seen that we should not refrain from using
names or titles simply because others falsely appropriate them.
It was further demonstrated that Jesus and Zeus are two
SEPARATE, DISTINCT names in the Bible.
And Jesus, being TRANSLITERATED from the Hebrew word for
Savior (Yeshua), is as fitting a name as if it were a DIRECT
translation of the Greek word for Savior, SOTER.
Finally, it should be noted that it is ONLY Christ's
righteousness applied to our lives, NOT THE USE OF NAMES, that
THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE NAME JESUS
shortened to shortened to
This two part article appeared as one article in the January 1988
edition of the Bible Advocate, a publication of the Church of
God, 7th Day(Denver, Colorado, USA).