The Teaching of Jesus
It is incumbent upon all who hunger for spiritual truth to make an unbiased assessment of what Jesus taught his followers about the name Yahweh. A systematic examination of his numerous sermons, lessons, discourses, and dialogues is necessary. Such an examination will disclose that Jesus never preached anything about the name Yahweh. He rather chose to avoid speaking this name. He used other words and titles in place of actually saying the Tetragrammaton.
What To Expect In This Section of the Study
As this section of the study begins, a few questions come to the forefront.
- When did Jesus, in his teaching sessions, refer to the Creator by the name Yahweh?
- When did Jesus reveal some special significance connected with the name Yahweh in his parables or other lessons?
- When did he preach sermons to his followers and others concerning the importance of calling God by the name Yahweh?
- When did Jesus teach his disciples how to correctly pronounce the name Yahweh?
- When did Jesus converse with the Pharisees, Sadducees, and scribes about the current custom of not speaking he name Yahweh?
If it be correct, as sacred name advocates claim, that the specific mission of Jesus to this world was to make known the name Yahweh, we have every reason to expect to find him saying this name often, teaching others to say this name properly, expounding upon the importance of this name, and fulminating against the Jewish leaders for hiding this name from the people. This is pretty much what sacred name teachers do. Upon reading the Gospels one will immediately note that our Master did none of this.
As our examination of the sacred name movement teaching about Jesus’ utterances of the name Yahweh proceeds, it can be noted how many times he said this name.
Every occasion upon which Jesus thought it essential to preach at length on the importance of speaking this name can be detected.
He never once taught, at length or otherwise, on the importance of speaking the name Yahweh.
What he said about the name Yahweh, the details he gave about how to properly pronounce the name, and his condemnation of the Jewish leaders for neither speaking the name nor teaching the people to speak the name can all be taken into account.
It can only be taken into account that he taught nothing about any of this. He said nothing about the name Yahweh. He taught no one the proper pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton. He never said one thing to the Jewish leaders about not teaching the people the name Yahweh.
The major problem encountered by sacred name believers in a study of this kind is having their eyes opened to the long overlooked or disregarded biblical fact that Jesus in no teaching, sermon, dialogue, or lesson ever taught anything about the name Yahweh.
All who approach the study of this biblical issue with an open mind and a heart willing to receive the written Word of God will accept what Jesus did teach and reject what he did not teach. Jesus did not teach about the name Yahweh. He chose to avoid speaking every possible adaptation of this name. He used other words, names, and titles in place of speaking the Tetragrammaton. Sacred name teachers condemn all who use substitute words for the Tetragrammaton, but this is exactly what Jesus did.
One Dozen Lessons
Six protracted teaching sessions from the mouth of the Teacher given in the book of Matthew are studied to exemplify the teaching of Jesus in the synoptic Gospels. From the book of John a few sermons and discourses will serve as representative of that book. A dozen of Jesus lessons are examined.
|1.||On the mountain ....................||Matthew 5, 6, 7, & 8:1|
|2.||Sending out the twelve ...........||Matthew 9:35 - 11:1|
|3.||Parables by the sea ...............||Matthew 13: 1 - 53|
|4.||On humility ...........................||Matthew 18: 1 - 35|
|5.||On hypocrisy .........................||Matthew 23: 1 - 39|
|6.||Jerusalem and the end times ...||Matthew 24:1 - 25: 46|
|7.||Conversation with Nicodemus ..||John 3: 1- 21|
|8.||Discourse by the pool ............||John 5: 19 - 47|
|9.||The Bread of life ...................||John 6: 25 - 71|
|10.||At the temple ........................||John 8: 12 - 59|
|11.||At the last supper ..................||John 13: 31 - 16: 33|
|12||Prayer for the disciples ...........||John 17: 1 – 26|
Lessons On the Mountain
A simple reading of Matthew chapters five, six, and seven reveals a good deal about whether Jesus used the name Yahweh. This extended teaching session is known as The Sermon on the Mount. At the beginning of these dissertations, Jesus had opportunity to say the name Yahweh. He avoided saying it. At verse three, instead of saying kingdom of Yahweh, Jesus chose to say “kingdom of heaven.” Jesus follows the customary Jewish manner by not pronouncing the Tetragrammaton.
Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:3)
Again at verse eight, Jesus could have said the name Yahweh. At this point also, he avoided saying this name and instead said God.
Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. (Matthew 5:8)
What Sacred Name Teachers Want Jesus To Have Said
Here Jesus had occasion to say concerning the pure in heart: They shall see Yahweh. Sacred name teachers fancy him to have made just such a declaration at this point. It is obvious that these teachers wish Jesus had said Yahweh in this verse because their sacred name bibles1 put Yahweh into the text here.
The sacred name bible reviser has one concern and only one concern when it comes to Jesus speaking the name he advocates. One of his primary motives for reworking the New Testament is to have Jesus speak the name Yahweh. He is willing to cast aside the Word of God as the apostle Matthew wrote it. His doctrine compels him to put his own imagination into Matthew’s book. By so doing he rejects the written Word and he despises what Jesus truly said, what Matthew wrote, and what the New Testament still says.
Nothing more than human thoughts instruct the sacred name bible reviser to insert the name Yahweh into verse eight. According to the written record, Jesus did not speak the name Yahweh here. But since sacred name teachers need for him to have spoken the name Yahweh in at least some places in the New Testament, they seem to think they might as well insert it here.
Their reason for inserting Yahweh into God’s word at this point is not because of some evidence in the text that shows the name Yahweh was here originally. There is no evidence that this name was in the text originally. They insert Yahweh simply and only because they have a doctrinal need for it to be there – not a need based on empirical evidence gathered through research, but a need based on their own doctrine.
Such unwarranted insertions of the name Yahweh is done in all sacred name bibles. They are not thought of as insertions but rather “corrections” and “restorations.” Rationalizations for these insertions are often elaborate and sometimes quite polished. Upon occasion, the revisers are not careful to mask their reasons for these devious insertions.
As a case in point, consider one of the sacred name bibles2 inserting the name Yahweh into the text of Matthew chapter twenty-two. This is not the only sacred name bible to mangle this verse in this way. We focus on this bible because of the footnote. At verse thirty-two we are given: “Yahweh is not the El of the dead, but of the living.” Of course, these are not the words of Jesus. The words Yahweh and El are not in the New Testament. They were never in the New Testament.
A footnote in this bible defends the insertion of Yahweh by offering this unacceptable explanation: “This [putting the name Yahweh into the text of Matthew 22:32] deviates from our guide lines,3 but seems appropriate because of the context.” They made up some rules for inserting the name Yahweh into the New Testament. Then they broke their own rules as they choose. Did they put the name Yahweh into the New Testament whenever they found it in a manuscript? No. They inserted this name whenever they thought it seemed "appropriate." The Holy Spirit did not deem it appropriate to put the name Yahweh in this verse, but this group of sacred name bible mutilators put it in anyway.
The revisers of this sacred name bible have set up a list of guidelines for inserting the name Yahweh into the text of the New Testament. Such guidelines are merely a contrived means of getting the name Yahweh into the mouth of Jesus or anywhere else these teachers want to put it.
It would seem the audacity of sacred name teachers knows no bounds. Their attitude is that they have some kind of God given right or obligation to change the words in the Bible in any way and at any place they like, as long as the result “seems appropriate” to them.
What Jesus Actually Said
In Matthew five verse nine we are given another instance in which Jesus avoids speaking the Tetragrammaton by saying the word God instead. His words are familiar enough.
Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God. (Matthew 5:9)
In verse sixteen Jesus fails to help sacred name teachers. At this point in place of referring to God as Yahweh, he simply calls God “...your Father...”
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)
Then at verse twenty-seven Jesus quotes the commandment of God, “thou shalt not commit adultery.” He has a perfect opportunity to tell his followers that these words are the commandment of Yahweh.
Does Jesus even get close to saying that Yahweh said this? He does not! He avoids saying it is a command of Yahweh by saying instead, “Ye have heard it that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery.” This is a very deliberate way to avoid saying the Tetragrammaton. He has carefully stayed away from speaking any version of the name Yahweh?
Why are sacred name teachers not able to see that Jesus offers no confirmation of their doctrine? He circumvents every possibility of saying the name Yahweh. Example after example of such painstaking avoidance is found through the entire sermon, for one hundred and nine verses, all the way to the end of Matthew chapter seven. Time and again, rather than speak the Tetragrammaton, Jesus clearly and purposefully does not speak this name.
Two additional examples demonstrate that Jesus had no intention of speaking the Tetragrammaton. At chapter five, verse thirty-four Jesus makes mention of the heavenly throne. He could have called it Yahweh’s throne. He chose rather to say, “God’s throne.” Jesus could have spoken to the people about Yahweh who is in heaven, but at the first verse of chapter six he just says, “Your Father which is in heaven.”
In this sermon on the mountain, Jesus does not utter the name Yahweh. He does not exhibit the slightest inclination to speak this name. He is disposed rather to speak words in replacement of the Tetragrammaton.
Moreover, throughout this sermon he shows no willingness to address the subject of the Tetragrammaton. He does not bring the issue up. The use and correct pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton are not on his mind at all during these lessons.
During the course of these chapters, Jesus makes numerous references to God. In none of these does he call God by the name Yahweh. Nor does he otherwise refer to God by this name. He prefers in most cases to simply call God Father. In eleven of these instances, Jesus uses words or phrases in which he easily could have said the name Yahweh, but did not. In every instance he chose to say another word or phrase.
It seems strange that sacred name teachers can read these discourses recorded in Matthew’s Gospel and conclude that the primary mission of our Savior was to promote the name Yahweh, to teach this name to his people, and instruct them in the proper use of this name. If teaching the name Yahweh to his own people were his most important purpose, he failed in an extremely shoddy way. In this quite lengthy talk he did not once say this name. He gave no teaching or instruction concerning this name. a look through unbiased eyes will clearly show that it obviously was not his purpose to teach and instruct concerning the name Yahweh. We can see this because he simply did not do it.
Sending the Apostles To Lost Israel
Jesus gave commands to his twelve apostles as he sent them out. This occasion is recorded in Matthew, chapter ten. If the most important teaching make by Jesus was his teaching about the name Yahweh, it is certain he would have said something about this teaching to these men as he sent them to the his lost sheep.
These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. (Matthew 10:5-7)
While reading these verses along with Matthew’s full account of Jesus sending out his apostles, bear in mind the sacred name movement’s teaching. It is striking how all teaching about the name Yahweh is absent from his instructions to them. The sacred name teacher is compelled to address the reason why Jesus did not give one word of instruction to his apostles about publishing the name Yahweh among the people of the lost nation of Israel. Keep in mind, too, that lost Israel was not speaking the name Yahweh at that time.
In fact, when Jesus could have commanded them to teach that “Yahweh’s kingdom” was near he actually taught them to proclaim, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” This is another in a long line of examples wherein Jesus did not speak the name Yahweh. He chose once again not to say the name Yahweh, but instead to say the word heaven.
The very fact that Jesus said nothing at all about the name Yahweh as he sent these men shows for all time that this name and teaching this name to the world was not his primary mission to the world. It was not even his primary mission to his own people. Teaching the name Yahweh was not given priority in the ministry of our Lord. He gave no indication that teaching this name was to have prominence in the ministry of his apostles. Such teaching seems to have held no significance at all for him.
Sending the Apostles To a Lost World
At the end of Matthew’s Gospel, as also the Gospels of Mark and Luke, Jesus sends his apostles to the entire world. “Preach the gospel to every creature,” he said. “Whoever believes and is baptized shall be saved,” he said.
Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. (Matthew 28:20)
These men were commanded to teach what they had been taught by the Master. These apostles went out preaching and at some point wrote down their teaching [later known as the New Testament] for their converts to read. They preached nothing and taught nothing about the name Yahweh. They and the men who followed them, wrote the Gospels, the Histories, the Letters, and the Prophesies. None of them wrote any teaching or other information about the name Yahweh.
In all the teaching of the apostles of the Lord there is nothing about the name Yahweh. Their writings offer nothing by way of attempting to change the Jewish practice of not speaking the Tetragrammaton. There is no instruction to the Gentiles, who were completely ignorant of any pronunciation of the name Yahweh, about the correct pronunciation of this name or in the necessity of speaking this name.
That which Jesus taught the apostles, he commanded that they in turn teach the world. Since these men did not teach the name Yahweh to the world, the information given in the gospels that Jesus did not teach this name to them is confirmed.
Parables by the Sea
Jesus taught many parables. None were more significant than those he taught while setting by the Sea of Galilee. Matthew saw fit to give us a record of some of these. Five parables of God’s kingdom are taught in the thirteenth chapter of his gospel. Notice one.
Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof. (Matthew 13:31-32)
In view of our study, at least two things are noteworthy.
First, in these kingdom lessons, Jesus does not teach anything regarding the importance of, the correct pronunciation of, the necessity of using, or anything else concerning the name Yahweh.
Second, he never even speaks the name Yahweh. This is especially noticeable in his more direct reference to God.
Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.(Matthew 13:43)
All five of these parables are regarding the kingdom of heaven. Jesus repeatedly says the phrase, the kingdom of heaven. Here he says, “Kingdom of their Father.” Need it be pointed out once again that despite these striking opportunities to have done so, at every turn Jesus avoids saying the kingdom of Yahweh?
Instead of saying kingdom of Yahweh, Jesus says “kingdom of heaven.” Instead of saying kingdom of Yahweh, Jesus says “kingdom of their Father.” Sacred name teachers are not able to look to these kingdom parables for comfort and solace regarding their doctrine that Jesus’ mission was to teach the name Yahweh to mankind. The evidence is against the possibility of anyone drawing such a conclusion. The evidence rather shows that Jesus did not even speak this name.
Matthew passes down to us another detailed discourse Jesus had with his disciples regarding the kingdom of God. The record is given in the eighteenth chapter of Matthew’s Gospel. The disciples start the discussion with a question.
At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? (Matthew 18:1)
Four times in this discourse Jesus mentions the kingdom of Heaven. He never once says kingdom of Yahweh. Four times during the ongoing discussion, he has reason to directly refer to God. He calls God, “my Father,” “my Father,” “my Father,” and “my heavenly Father.” But he never calls him Yahweh. These words spoken by the Messiah cause one to wonder why Jesus did not voice the Tetragrammaton. An easy conclusion to reach would be that Jesus had some kind of problem with saying the name Yahweh.
Consider exactly what Jesus did. Not only did he avoid calling God by the name Yahweh, he went a step further and spoke of God by calling him “my Father.”
How can sacred name teachers fly in the face of the example Jesus set? First, they use a name that he never used, a name that he obviously avoided using. Second, they teach others that their salvation is dependent upon using this name?
They can teach such if they desire. But, all who study the Scriptures are able to see that what is written does not agree with them.
Notice needs to be given to the problems Jesus had with the Pharisees and scribes. Matthew records this speech in the twenty-third chapter of his Gospel. Jesus spoke to a number of people, his disciples included, concerning the lives of these Jewish sectarians. He repeatedly called them hypocrites.
He preached against them for their abuse of phylacteries, and for making large borders of their garments as displays of pride. He said they were hypocrites because they wanted to do things just to be seen by others as being holy. They loved the best seats in the synagogues. They wanted to be publicly greeted as Rabbi, Rabbi.
Jesus gave a scathing condemnation of these folks. He said they prevent people from going into the kingdom of heaven. They stole the houses of widows while at the same time pretending to make long prayers. He said they were blind guides. They paid tithes of the smallest amounts of spices, while bypassing the more important matters of judgment, mercy, and faith. He said they were painted tombs.
One thing can be learned from studying first century history about these leaders of the Jews, they did not use any pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton, not Yahweh, not any other. According to sacred name teachers, this was a grievous error of the Pharisees and other Jews of this time. These teachers need to examine with special attention the accusations and condemnations Jesus made against these people.
The Teacher of teachers had not one word to say against these renegade Jews regarding their refusal to use the name Yahweh. This seems somewhat strange in light of the sacred name movement teaching that his purpose in coming was to expound, promote, disseminate, propagate, and otherwise teach the name Yahweh to the people? If the view of sacred name teachers were true, Jesus was derelict in his teaching duties. He taught no lesson, no word, about the custom Pharisees and scribes observed of not speaking the name Yahweh.
The sacred name teachers have a critical question to address. Since they believe it was the primary mission of Jesus to preach the name Yahweh, why didn’t he specifically condemn the custom the scribes and Pharisees observed of not saying the name Yahweh and of not teaching the people to say the name Yahweh? Sacred name teachers show no hesitation at all to bring specific condemnation to those today who observe the practice of not speaking the name Yahweh in their worship.
Jerusalem and the End
One of the most memorable speeches Jesus made was in the city of Jerusalem near the temple. Pointing out the buildings of the great temple Jesus foretold the future.
There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. (Matthew 24:2)
These prophecies are written in the twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth chapters of the Gospel of Matthew. Jesus told of the rising up of false prophets. He foresaw the destruction of Jerusalem. He predicted a time of great tribulation. These and other matters were important enough to him that he wanted to set them before his disciples. He taught the parables of the ten virgins, of the master giving his servants talents. He taught parables of eternal judgment.
However, the record is clear about one thing. In these lessons Jesus did not teach anything at all about the name Yahweh. Not a single word. Why not? That question is left for the sacred name teacher to answer. Where is all the teaching Jesus did about the name Yahweh?
The Gospel of John
In this study, investigating Matthew’s record of Jesus’ sermons, lessons, and discourses has been allowed to stand for studying the synoptic gospels. However, there remains some obligation for a separate search of the Gospel of John. John’s writings give a good deal of information about the words and deeds of Jesus not found in the other Gospels.
Discourse by the Pool
At the pool called Bethesda, after Jesus healed a lame man, he engaged in discourse with the Jews who first accused him and then wanted to kill him. From verse seventeen through the end of John chapter five, Jesus mentions God a number of times. Each of these times he very specifically refers to God as Father.
But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me. (John 5:36)
If Jesus had intended to call God Yahweh, he certainly could have done so during this discourse. He is giving extensive information about God. He is not hesitant to teach these people that his authority and ability comes from God. He also informs them that God has given witness of him and therefore his witness in true. Jesus had no reservations about offending these people. Some of what he said did offend them.
The statement in verse thirty-six was an opening for him to have called God Yahweh. Had it been his desire or his purpose, he had opportunity to refer to God as Yahweh when he said, “the Father hath sent me.” But, no, he called God Father. Jesus never calls God Yahweh in the course of these teachings.
Deserving of special notice is verse forty-three, at which point Jesus says he came in the name of the Father.
I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. (John 5:43)
Not even in this very direct reference to God and to the name of God does he call God by the name Yahweh. An in depth discussion of the meaning of his words in this verse has already been made in this study. [If you would like to read this part of the study, see Part Three.]
Strangely enough, while the sacred name teachers use this verse as proof of Jesus saying the name Yahweh, the verse shows just the opposite. Jesus did not say the name Yahweh. When he could have said this name, he chose to use the substitute word – Father. It is ridiculous for sacred name teachers to contend that Jesus did not use substitute words in place of the Tetragrammaton.
It is significant that Jesus chose not to speak the Tetragrammaton in this discourse with the Jews. If he meant to imply that he came speaking the name Yahweh or being called by the name Yahweh, he failed to say so in a forthright manner. Such failure is devastating to the sacred name teaching that his mission on earth was to preach the name Yahweh.
Their interpretation of this verse is one of the bushes that sacred name teachers hide behind. They cling to it like a shipwrecked victim clings to flotsam. But, Jesus did not call God by the name Yahweh here. Jesus did not say I am come in Yahweh’s name. He could have, but he didn’t. Sacred name teachers have yet to come up with any explanation of the facts that even gets close to satisfying both their doctrine and the context of the John’s account. The reason they cannot give any satisfactory explanation of the exact words of Jesus is because their doctrine does not harmonize with John’s written account. Their doctrine is erroneous. John’s account is true.
The Bread of Life
Jesus fed more than five thousand people with a two small fish and five loves of barley bread.4 The next day when they came to find him, he questioned their motives for seeking him out. Was it his deeds? Was it the food?
That was the impetus for his preaching one of the greatest sermons ever preached. John chapter six records it. “I am the bread of life,” he preached. Two thousand years later, men are still gaining understanding from the words he spoke on that day.
Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. (John 6:32-33)
Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father. (John 6:46)
I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. (John 6:51)
As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. (John 6:57)
Jesus is opening the door into some unparalleled spiritual information here. At verse forty-one, John says Jesus is teaching the Jewish people. These were the people who knew the written name of God, but did not speak it. Did Jesus straighten them out on this practice? He said nothing at all about it.
Contrary to all the theories and arguments of the sacred name teacher, Jesus uses not one moment of his time to bring the attention of these wayward Jewish souls to bear on the importance of the name Yahweh. He continues, as was his custom, to call God Father. He never expends an ounce of energy to extol the name Yahweh. Nor does he endorse the necessity of saying the name Yahweh. The actions of our Savior are at odds with the way sacred name teachers think and teach.
The writings of John are plain. Jesus did not teach anything during his bread of life sermon concerning the name Yahweh that could be considered at all like the teachings of the sacred name movement.
Removed From the New Testament
The movement’s leaders will, no doubt, hasten to put a finger in the hole in their dike. Will they attempt to foist off on unsuspecting souls the opinion that the teachings of Jesus about the name Yahweh have been carefully and systematically removed from the New Testament? If so, this is a very bold assumption that they cannot package as the truth. They are not able to impose this idea on anyone who has the ability to think critically about these issues. There is not one iota of evidence to support such a claim. This assumption, if it is preached for the truth, becomes nothing more than another lie. Jesus taught nothing about the name Yahweh. Therefore, such teaching could not have been taken out of the New Testament.
The sacred name doctrinal method goes like this.
1. Sacred name teachers made up a doctrine about how Jesus and his apostles used and taught others to use the name Yahweh.
2. When anyone who has read the New Testament responds that neither Jesus nor his apostles said the name Yahweh, they counter with another made up doctrine. Specifically, that the name Yahweh has been removed from every manuscript of the New Testament.
Simple? Yes, simply a lie.
Few who are willing to accept the above two premises as true, are likely to ever believe what is actually written in the New Testament. The sacred name doctrine fosters disbelief of the New Testament and encourages, even demands, adding to the written Word of God.
Should some sacred name person want to take exception to what is written in the paragraphs above, he or she need only supply documentation as to when, where, and by whom the teaching of Jesus about the name Yahweh and the name Yahweh itself were removed from the New Testament.
Teaching In the Temple
The eighth chapter of John's Gospel recounts an extended dialogue between Jesus and a number of Jews - scribes, Pharisees, and perhaps others. The first part of the narration concerns the incident of an adulterous woman, caught in the very act of adultery, whom the scribes and Pharisees brought to Jesus to demand his view about stoning her. There seems to have been numerous people in attendance at this exchange who were not directly involved in the dialogue.
During the discussion with these Jewish leaders, Jesus first mentions God at verse sixteen. But, he does not call him Yahweh. He calls God simply and clearly, “the Father.” From this point to the end of the dialogue, Jesus directly speaks of God no less than ten times. Each time he calls God Father. Not once does he call God by the name Yahweh - not even once.
They understood not that he spake to them of the Father. (John 8:27)
This is John’s commentary on what Jesus had just taught about who had sent him. These Jews did not understand that Jesus meant God had sent him. John explains who sent Jesus for his readers. He follows the example of Jesus and passes up an instance when he could have said the name Yahweh as he spoke of God.
The fact that John passed up the opportunity to say the name Yahweh is significant both for our study and for the sacred name teacher who needs John to have said this name here. John easily could have said Jesus spoke to them of Yahweh. He didn’t say this name. If Jesus had taught John and the other apostles to say this name, there is little doubt that he would have said it here. John wrote this narrative some years after the episode occurred. As one reads the narration, one is struck with the obvious fact that John had not been taught to say the name Yahweh.
At the Passover Supper
The last meal before his death presented Jesus with a unique platform from which to teach the men who were especially close to him. Some of his teaching they understood then. Some, they would understand later. He was preparing them to teach all the world.
Throughout this protracted session of teaching, recorded in John chapters thirteen through sixteen, Jesus never taught these men anything about the name Yahweh. He did not say one word to them about using this name, calling God by this Name, or how important this name was.
Sacred name teachers are fond of teaching the name Yahweh to those who want to go deeper into the things of God. Some of them claim understanding the name Yahweh is the key to all spiritual understanding. Yet, Jesus didn’t teach his followers anything about the name Yahweh.
On the night before his death, Jesus gave some unique and important instruction to his disciples. One might conclude that since he gave his followers no information about the name Yahweh on this last night that this name is not among the things that were important to Jesus. If one concluded this he would be correct. Jesus did not say one solitary word about the name Yahweh on the last night before his death. It was not important to him that he do so.
John views Jesus as the Teacher, the Word, the Light of the world, and the Bread that came down from heaven. His writing focuses on the teaching of Jesus. No gospel writer includes more long sermons, dialogues, and discourses of Jesus. Yet in all the words of Jesus recorded by John, there is not a sermon, a lesson, or a dialogue in which Jesus extols the value and greatness of the name Yahweh.
Review the teaching of Jesus as written by John. From the conversation with Nicodemus in chapter three through the great prayer in chapter seventeen, Jesus teaches nothing concerning the name Yahweh. As if to add insult to injury for sacred name teachers, he does not even utter this name.
Sacred name leaders, their converts, and anyone giving serious consideration to the sacred name doctrine should pay careful attention to the discourses of Jesus recorded in all the Gospels. Does he use this name? What are the points he is making about the name Yahweh? What words does he use? What words does he chose not to use?
The study of the sermons and teachings of Jesus will have a great impact on all who seek the truth.
First, in his sermons, lessons, dialogues, and prayers Jesus directly refers to God many times. He called him Father most of the time. Sometimes He called him God.
Second, the student of the Scriptures has noticed that upon none of these occasions did Jesus ever once teach on the importance of the name Yahweh.
Third, it is conspicuously evident that Jesus at no time in any of these sermons and discourses took even a moment to instruct his hearers in the correct pronunciation and proper use of the name Yahweh.
Fourth, Jesus avoided speaking the name Yahweh when He had ample opportunity to do so.
Reading the Gospels makes it apparent that Jesus never voices the Tetragrammaton. At opportunity after opportunity He fails to articulate the word. The conclusion we are compelled to reach is that He had no desire to speak this name. It is apparent that He did not speak it. This we know with certainty: the record shows that He never taught a lesson or preached a sermon about the name Yahweh.
Whatever his reason for doing so, Jesus does not focus on the importance of the Tetragrammaton or its pronunciation. It is not of enough importance that He should teach of it to his disciples or others.
Sacred name teachers call it sin to follow His example.
Footnotes1. Restoration of Sacred Name Bible, The Sacred Scriptures – Bethel Edition, Book of Yahweh, and The Holy Name Bible. Restoration of Sacred Name Bible favors the rendering Yahvah and has therefore inserted YAHVAH into verse eight. [back]
2. The Word of Yahweh [back]
3. The Word of Yahweh lists numerous guidelines that are nothing but a facade of legitimacy for inserting Yahweh into the text of the New Testament. These bible revisers are not even willing to abide by their own guidelines. [back]
4. John 6:9 [back]