God is almighty and able to do anything (Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think… – Ephesians 3:20), so He is certainly able to discern whether or not we are genuinely speaking to Him with whatever name we use. This is not a clearance to use His name in vain nor am I saying His name is not important. This is a point against those who say God can only hear/save you if you’re using the correct Hebrew name and pronunciation. Some may not go to this extreme, but they will still profess the names Yahweh & Jesus are incorrect to use.
The Sacred Name Movement (SNM) was started in the 1930’s propagated mostly by Clarence Orvil Dodd, and it ironically defended the name of Yahweh as the true name of God during this time. The major tenet of the SNM was to “restore Christianity to it’s Hebrew Roots in practice, belief, and worship.” This of course would later birth The Hebrew Roots Movement (HRM), from people like Angelo Traina (a disciple of Dodd) who was one of the first to change the name Jesus in the bible to “Yahshua” in 1950, to William Dankenbring (1964) and Dean Wheelock (1984) as early teachers promoting this movement who were both associated with the Worldwide Church of God. If you’re not familiar with the conspiracy against the WCG, search YouTube for William Cooper’s Hour of the Time broadcast on it.
The HRM would claim distinction from the SNM but they are often interwoven, just having different claims on the name of God. Both HRM & SNM have so many factions but they are both usually in agreement for advocating for such things as the practice of Old Testament laws, denying the Trinity, believing in works-based salvation, and keeping many Jewish customs. They have made themselves modern Pharisees seeking to place all under the Mosaic Law instead of our covenant with Jesus Christ.
In Defense of Yahweh
One of the most important biblical archaeological discoveries is the Lachish Letters, found in 1935 of eighteen ostraca (clay tablets with writing in ink) written in Hebrew dated to just before the fall of Jerusalem in 586 BC. “When the king of Babylon’s army fought against Jerusalem and all the cities of Judah that were left, against Lachish and Azekah; for only these fortified cities remained of the cities of Judah.” – Jeremiah 34:7
Most of these letters are written by a man named Hoshaiah who was stationed at an outpost near Lachish to a military commander named Yaosh. In these letters dated almost 600 years before Christ, it is the oldest Christian writing to prove the specific name Yahweh (with vowel points, not just YHWH) being used as the name for God. “To my lord Ya’osh. May Yahweh cause my lord to hear the news of peace, even now, even now. Who is your servant but a dog that my lord should remember his servant?” (Ostracon II).
At least 7 of the 18 ostracon findings use the name Yahweh. “And as for what my lord said, “Dost thou not understand? –call a scribe!”, as Yahweh liveth no one hath ever undertaken to call a scribe for me; and as for any scribe who might have come to me, truly I did not call him nor would I give anything at all for him!” (Ostracon III).
If that’s not enough, we have at least 3 early church fathers attesting YHWH as being pronounced Yahweh. Theodoret of Cyprus (5th Century AD) documented that the Samaritans of his time spoke the name Yahweh phonetically. Both he and Epiphanus establish hearing the name as “Iabe.” Clement of Alexandria, around 180, states: “Further the mystic name of the four letters which was affixed to those alone to whom the adytum was accessible, is called ‘Iaoue,’ which is interpreted, ‘Who is and shall be.’ (The Stromata, V. 6). I’m sure there may be contention on translations but from the Greek the last e in Iaoue is a short ‘e,’ meaning it would sound something like ee-ah-oo-eh.
To quote from Father Hopko, “Hebrew scholars point out that that may already be a certain kind of metaphysation, ontologicalization, so to speak, of this name of Yahweh, making it into a kind of a category of metaphysics of being. I’m convinced in my studies that they are right, that when God says to Moses—Moses asks him his name—he says, “You will say that Yahweh has sent you, and I was once known as El Shaddai, the Most High, but now I will be known as Yahweh.” The overwhelming majority of biblical scholars affirm this is the name.
Even The Enemies Know His Name
The Gnostic Secret Book of John, as it was known and mentioned by the church father Irenaeus, dates to the second century. Gnosticism was rightly deemed heretical by the early church, and it is another witness to the pronunciation of Yahweh. The fact that these groups were at odds, but agreed on “Yahweh,” is significant and it verifies that “Yahweh” was widely recognized as early as the second century.
The Babylonian Talmud, a central text of Rabbinical Judaism, which openly claims Jesus Christ is burning in hell for being a false prophet. Also confirms the name Yahweh, in Tractate Kiddushin page 71A it states, “Our rabbi’s taught, at first Yahweh’s name used to be entrusted to all people. When unruly men increased, it was confided to the pious of the priesthood.”
The Freemason Albert Pike states in Morals & Dogma on page 102 that, “The true name of Satan, the Kabalists say, is Yahweh (GOD) reversed; for Satan is not a black god, but a negation of God.”
In Defense Of Jesus Christ
How did we get the name Jesus? Yeshua is the Hebrew name for Jesus. When we translate from Hebrew to Greek we get Iesous. When we translate from Greek to English we get Jesus. The fact that the New Testament was written in Greek is a huge stumbling block for the Hebrew Roots Movement, for only the Old Testament has complete roots in Hebrew. In the 27 books of the NT you’ll find Iesous, and since we do not speak or read Greek (as it is not our language) we translate it to English. Case closed.
“But the letter J doesn’t exist in Hebrew or Greek!” Correct, but it does exist in English, and as I’ve shown no one is claiming the Hebrews or Greeks did use the letter J for Jesus. You’re conflating an English translation as supposedly Hebrew/Greek. In other words, you’re setting up the false premise that the English word Jesus IS the actual Greek word, or IS the actual Hebrew word, not a TRANSLATION from it.
Scripture does not value one language over another, and it gives no indication that we must use a certain language when calling on Jesus Christ. Another major flaw of the Hebrew Roots and Sacred Name Movements is there’s no agreement on the names, some will say Yahuah, Yehovah, Yahuwah, Yahusha, Yeshua, Yahshua, etc. You don’t know the name or can’t agree on the name of the redeemer so by your own doctrine you condemn yourselves.
Matthew 1:21, “His name shall be called Jesus for he will save people from their sins.” He is the salvation in any language, and God rejoices over people of every tribe, nation, and language (spoken of in Revelation) address Him in the way of their own language.