Articles on the Sacred Name /Divine Name and Word of Faith Movements
The Messiah's Hebrew Name: Yeshua Or Yahshua?Written by Dr. Daniel Botkin
Dr. Daniel Botkin explains the Hebrew linguistics of the names Yeshua and Yahshua and how Yahshua is a mistransliteration by Sacred Name advocates to fit an erroneous interpretation of John 5:43 and how Yeshua is far more accurate.
Most important, Dr. Botkin addresses that slander and criticism surrounding the name controversy in entirely non-Scriptural and not glorifying to the Holy One of Israel.
The Messiah's Hebrew name is usually transliterated as either Yeshua or Yahshua. Under normal circumstances I would not bother to write an article about something as trivial as the difference between the vowel sounds e and a. There is a need to address the subject, though, because some people who use the Yahshua form say untrue things about those who use the Yeshua form. The opponents of the Yeshua form claim that this pronunciation is the result of a Jewish conspiracy to hide the Savior's true name. Those who call the Messiah Yeshua are accused of perpetuating a Jewish conspiracy and denying His name or degrading Him by their use of the Yeshua form. If you have never read or heard these outlandish accusations, you probably will eventually. From time to time I receive personal letters to this effect....
Yahshua or YeshuaWritten by Avram Yehoshua
The name Yeshua is literally a transliteration of the Messiah’s name. When one says, ‘Yeshua’ he is speaking Hebrew. This is the name that all the Apostles would have known Him by and what His mother would have called Him.1 Literally, it’s pronounced Yea-shu-ah, the ‘Yea’ rhyming with the ‘ay’ in ‘say,’ although many pronounce it Yih’shua, which is also acceptable. In the Tanach (the Hebrew ‘Old Testament’) the Hebrew name of Messiah is seen in 29 places, mostly in Ezra and Nehemiah.2 In these places the name Yeshua is easily seen in English Bibles as Jeshua, which is the shortened form for the Hebrew Yehoshua (Joshua). The name Yeshua was used at least five hundred years before Messiah was born.
The name ‘Jesus’ comes into English from the Greek New Testament. The Greek Yea’sous is a semitransliteration of the Hebrew Yeshua. The Greek alphabet didn’t have the ‘sh’ sound to fully transliterate the Hebrew name Yeshua into Greek. Because of this the best that Paul and the other writers of the New Testament could do was to write Yeasous. (The final ‘s’ sound is the sigma showing that the name is masculine.) So, instead of a possible Yea’sue’ah it became Yea’sue’ous (i.e. Yea’sous).
Daniel Botkin pinpoints the interchangeableness of the names, Joshua and Jesus, noting that Neh. 8:17 has Yeshua (Jesus) for Yehoshua (Joshua).3 Joshua’s name in Greek is also Yeasous and is seen in the Septuagint (Josh. 1:12; 2:11; 3:1; 4:4, etc.), which predates Messiah’s birth by more than 200 years. Botkin also says that this, too, is proof that ‘Yeasous has no connection to Zeus’4 for the Jewish Sages, who wrote the Septuagint, would have been well aware of the pagan god by that name and wouldn’t have used those Greek letters to form Joshua’s name if they had thought there was a connection to it (or to ‘Hail Zeus!’ as some wrongly infer). These wrong concepts are the product of people who don’t know Hebrew or Greek.
The following reveals how the English name of Jesus came to be from the Hebrew Yeshua and the
“The English name Jesus derives from the Late Latin name Iesus, which transliterates the Koine Greek name Ἰησοῦς Iēsoûs. In the Septuagint and other Greek-language Jewish texts, such as the writings of Josephus and Philo of Alexandria, Ἰησοῦς Iēsoûs is the standard Koine Greek form used to translate both of the Hebrew names: Yehoshua and Yeshua. Greek Ἰησοῦς or Iēsoûs is also used to represent the name of Joshua son of Nun in the New Testament passages Acts 7:45 and Hebrews 4:8.”5
“During the second Temple period (from 538 BC—70 AD), Yeshua first became a known form of the name Yehoshua. All occurrences of Yeshua in the Hebrew Bible are in I Chron. 24:11, II Chron. 31:15, Ezra, and Nehemiah where it is transliterated into English as Jeshua.”6
“In English the Name has gone through some interesting changes reflecting its origin from the Greek Yeasous. In Middle English (1066–1450 A.D.) the Name was written as IHS ‘an abbreviation of (the) Greek IHSOYS (‘Iesous’).’7 In the 16th century the Name was Iesu or Iesus and in William Tyndale’s 1526 New Testament we find Mt. 1:1 being written as ‘The boke off the generacion off Ihesus Christ,’ with Mt. 8:29 as ‘O Iesu the sonne off God.’”8
In the 17th century the J replaced the I to make Jesu. By the 18th century the ‘s’ was added to make our familiar ‘Jesus.’9 The point of this is that the name Jesus has evolved linguistically directly from the ancient Greek New Testament which was a proper way of saying Yeshua in Greek. Changing Messiah’s Hebrew name to Yeasous was not unbiblical or a sin. It was the Greek way of saying Yeshua.
Yehovah - Say the Name
D id you know the Bible mentions the name of the God of Israel 6,828 times? (Strong’s #H3068 & #H3069) Yet, if you ask most people the name of God, they can’t tell you. Many can name the gods of other countries, cultures and pagan religions, but not the name of the one and only true God – Yehovah (יהוה in Hebrew).
Why is this? Why isn’t His name spelled out in our Bibles? And, what have we missed all these centuries by not using His actual name?
As with other traditions and customs, the reasons for this have evolved over the centuries. The most prominent comes from the Hebrew rabbis who’ve guarded and passed down the scriptures. They believed that the name was too holy to pronounce, and thus instructed the priests and scribes to change it to “Adonai” when they came across it. The word “LORD” (in all caps) in our Bibles today is the English translation of the word “Adonai.”
Ironically, another reason using the name of Yehovah was discouraged was in order to demonstrate the universal sovereignty of Israel’s God over all others....
What Is The Ineffable Name of God?
In the Bible, the Ineffable Name of God is spelled with the letters YHVH. But in biblical times, Hebrew had no written vowels. So how was the name actually spoken? Some folk think it was pronounced Yahweh (or Yahveh). But the evidence for this is so small that it doesn’t hold up at all. In fact, the evidence suggests they pronounced it Yehovah or Y’hovah, with the accent on the final syllable. Don’t believe me? Follow it with me here.
The Ineffable Name name of God—his personal and most sacred name—occurs 6,828 times in the Hebrew scriptures. It is written with the Hebrew letters yodh-heh-vav-heh – equivalent to the English letters YHVH. It looks like this. (Remember, Hebrew reads from right to left.)
Hebrew speakers call it the shem meforash or ‘explicit name’. In English, we usually called it the ‘ineffable name’ or, more often, the ‘Tetragrammaton’, a Greek word meaning ‘four letters’.
THE INEFFABLE NAME OF GOD IN ANTIQUITY
The Ineffable Name of God is very ancient. It appears in three Egyptian lists, from Soleb (late 15 th century BC), Amarah-West (13 th century BC), and Medinet Habu (12 th century BC). The Soleb list, of which the later two seem to be copies, was written by the scribes of Pharaoh Amenhotep III. It speaks of six different groups of Shasu – Asiatic semi-nomads – known to the Egyptians as living in the Levant. One of these groups is the ‘Shasu of Yhw’.
The phrase has given rise to various opinions. Some think it refers to the early Israelites as the ‘Shasu of Yhw’. Others think it refers to the Edomites as early worshippers of this deity. Still others think ‘Yhw’ is a place name, which took its name from the deity. Yet, despite these different views, the consensus is that the name is an early mention of the sacred Name found in the Bible, though exactly what vowels accompanied the three consonants ‘Yhw’ is unclear. ....
The Hebrew Yehovah vs. the Roman YahwehThe Name of the Creator of the universe, Yehovah, the four Hebrew letters, יהוה , commonly referring to as the Tetragrammaton, appears in the Scripture more that 6,000 times. This comes to show us that He clearly wants His Name to be known, not forgotten. But what is His Name and how is it pronounced in Hebrew? Many believers around the world sincerely seek the answer to this question, because they need to praise the Creator of the universe in truth.
Who has gone up to the heavens and come down? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has bound the waters in a garment? Who established all the ends of the earth? What is His Name, and what is His Son’s Name , If you know it? (Pro 30:4)
What is His true Name?
H ebrew language is phonetic. This means we can look at a written word and know how to pronounce it and upon hearing a word we know how to spell it.
In other words, with the phonetic languages, there is a direct relationship between the spelling and the sound of the word. Very often in the phonetic languages there is a simple rule: one letter one sound. It is important to understand that unlike Hebrew, English is not a phonetic language. In English, a word is not said the same way it is spelled, and it is spelled not the way it is said.
But how does Hebrew language work? Hebrew words have a tri-consonantal root consisting of three consonants separated by vowel sounds. Prefixes and suffixes are added to roots to modify the meaning of the word and thus a new word is created. Letters can be added inside the word, which also can modify its meaning. All words in Hebrew, nouns and adjectives, actually stem from tri-consonantal verbs, which makes Hebrew an action oriented language.
What is important to know about Hebrew is that a Hebrew word has only one meaning, but can have different applications, unlike other languages whose words can have different and sometimes even opposite meanings. ....
Ban On the Divine Name
One of the maladies of modern Judaism is the strict prohibition against uttering the name of the Creator. The modern Rabbinic law code Mishnah Berurah explains:
This is hardly a modern innovation. It appears already in the early 3rd century CE in the Mishnah tractate of Sanhedrin:
"The following have no portion in the world to come: ... Abba Saul says: Also one who pronounces the divine name as it is written." (Mishnah Sanhedrin 10:1)
It would be a mistake to assume this absolute prohibition concerning the name goes back to Biblical times. The Talmud itself reports how the ban started:
"The [Seleucid] Greeks decreed that the name of Elohim may not be spoken aloud; but when the Hasmoneans grew in strength and defeated them they decreed that the name of Elohim be used even in contracts... when the Rabbis heard about this they said, 'Tomorrow this person will pay his debt and the contract will be thrown on a garbage heap' so they forbade its use in contracts." (Babylonian Talmud, Rosh Hashannah 18b)
We see that the prohibition to use the name of ???????? began as one of the anti-Torah decrees enacted by the Seleucid Greek tyrant Antiochus IV Epiphanes in 168 BCE. This was part of Antiochus IV's policy of Hellenizing the Jews, that is, turning them into Greeks. The same decree included a ban on circumcision and Sabbath and a requirement that every Jew partake in the pig-sacrifices to Zeus and Apollo. The Hasmoneans, under the leadership Judah Maccabee, eventually defeated the Greeks and re-dedicated the Temple on the first Chanukah in 165 BCE. According to the Talmud, the Hasmoneans annulled the anti-Torah decrees of the Greeks. Not only did the Hasmoneans restore the use of the name of ????????, but they enacted a law of their own requiring the use of the name of ???????? in contracts so that every Jew would regain the habit of using the divine name. But the Rabbis were opposed to this Hasmoneans decree and banned the use of the name in contracts.
This was not the first time the Rabbis opposed the Hasmoneans. After Judah the Maccabee died the Hasmoneans continued to rule Judea until 37 BCE serving as both kings and high priests. The early Hasmonean rulers were all Sadducees and therefore the Rabbis opposed them. 1 The Sadducees are best known for their denial of the Resurrection but this was only the opinion of one faction of Sadducees who gained predominance in late Second Temple times. The main difference between the early Sadducees and the Pharisees was concerning the question of the Oral Torah. Josephus reports:
"What I would now explain is this, that the Pharisees have delivered to the people a great many observances by succession from their fathers, which are not written in the laws of Moses; and for that reason it is that the Sadducees reject them, and say that we are to esteem those observances to be obligatory which are in the written word, but are not to observe what are derived from the tradition of our forefathers." (Josephus Flavius, Antiquities of the Jews 13.10.6 [Whiston Translation])....
AND WITH HIS STRIPES WE ARE HEALED
This is just part of the passage of Isaiah 53:5, which is quoted over and over by the Word of Faith Movement to support their doctrine which claims physical healing, along with eternal life, is available to all believers because of the Atonement work of Messiah Yeshua. Here is the entire passage in Isaiah:
Isaiah 53:5 - But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
In this article I will answer the question which many have debated in times past: "is physical healing included in the Atonement?" The answer is...YES! Before you think that I have jumped on the Word of Faith bandwagon, let me explain, because there is basis in scripture to support this claim however, it's not quite the same as the Word of Faith Movement teaches, in fact, it's the exact opposite of what Word of Faith teaches!
To really understand what is being stated in Isaiah 53:5, one needs only
to look at the verse. It is obviously referring to Messiah and His
atonement work of the cross. The question that must be asked: is
Isaiah 53:5 speaking of our physical healing in this life
when it says "and with his stripes we
are healed?" Let's answer this question by going directly
to the source the scriptures themselves!...