Sacred Name Teachers Say He Did
The sacred name movement teaches that Jesus said the name Yahweh, that he promoted the name Yahweh among the Jewish people, and that he taught the greater significance of the name Yahweh to his followers. This seven-part study is an absolute denunciation and a systematic refutation of this obviously false teaching.
The sacred name doctrine that Jesus came for the purpose of popularizing the name Yahweh is nothing more than a gaggle of specious arguments strung together with threads of imagination. The teaching has no scriptural basis. The name Yahweh is not in the New Testament. There is no teaching about the name Yahweh in the New Testament.
The Holy Spirit saw fit not to include the Tetragrammaton1 in the New Testament. First, the name itself was not written in the text of any New Covenant document. Next, not a single New Testament letter or gospel contains any teaching about the name Yahweh. It is instantly recognizable that no teacher in the New Testament ever taught a lesson on the significance of the name Yahweh, or on the importance of using this name, or on the proper pronunciation of this name.
In opposition to the fact that neither Jesus nor his followers even mentioned the name Yahweh, the sacred name teacher puts forward his opinion. He believes and teaches that Jesus must have said the name Yahweh. It is decreed that Jesus simply had to have spoken this name. This sentiment is echoed in sermons by every sacred name preacher. But, sentiment is all the teaching amounts to. It has no truth in it. It has no basis in the events recorded in the Bible.
The sacred name theory that Jesus taught and used the name Yahweh is born out of need. If Jesus did not speak the name Yahweh, no one else has to say it. If Jesus did not teach the name Yahweh, why are the sacred name teachers teaching it? Why are they unwilling to follow his example? For the support of their doctrine, it is a need of the first order among these teachers for Jesus to have said the name Yahweh.
These teachers place a great deal of emphasis on this point by telling everyone that Jesus “must have” and “had to have” spoken this name. Great weight is placed on how he must have spoken this name and he had to have spoken the name because sacred name people recognize that in the New Testament Jesus did not speak the name Yahweh, but despite this fact, they believe he said it anyway. They also understand the devastation this causes their doctrine.
All who believe the New Testament and are willing to make a fair search of it will find the sacred name movement claims to be counterfeit. The name Yahweh is nowhere in the New Testament. It never has been there.
Jesus having said the name Yahweh is only one of many claims made by leaders of the sacred name movement about this name being in the “original” New Testament. Sacred name people condemn the New Testament as being a falsified document. Their doctrine that Jesus must have and had to have spoken the Tetragrammaton has been given a twin sister by these teachers. The twin doctrine is that the New Testament has been tampered with, altered, and corrupted. The name Yahweh and other information are supposed by these teachers to have been taken out of the New Testament and much other material put in.
They Created Their Own Bibles
Enter, the sacred name bible. The teaching that Jesus “had to have said” the name Yahweh committed incest with his twin sister – the teaching of the corrupted New Testament. The offspring born to this pair is the hideously shocking and dreadfully appalling tribe of sacred name movement bibles. These false doctrines keep having illegitimate children at an increasingly rapid pace. There seems to be no end in sight. By now, various sacred name groups have produced at least eight bibles. [Please check the Sacred Name Bible Review Page.]
Two new sacred name bibles recently have been published in as many years, a complete bible in 20002 and a New Testament in 2001.3 It is not unreasonable to believe that at this moment other sacred name bibles are being conceived in the minds of sacred name teachers. These reworked bibles have put the name Yahweh, Yahvah, Yah Veh, and the Hebrew letters of the Tetragrammaton into the English text of the New Testament and imagined it ought to be there.
Please be aware that not all Bible translations that have the name Yahweh in the Old Testament are sacred name bibles. On the other hand, when a bible has the name Yahweh in the New Testament, it is most certainly a sacred name bible. As there is no textual evidence for it, no real scholar of biblical languages would put any transliteration of the Tetragrammaton in the New Testament. Therefore, it is our contention that sacred name scholars are in truth nothing more than pseudo scholars.
A Two Pronged Approach
If the movement's leaders are to support their doctrine, there is certainly an obvious need for them to have Jesus at some point speak the name Yahweh. None of the writers of the New Testament wrote that Jesus said this name. Therefore, having him speak this name is left to the sacred name bible creator. As they create these bibles in the image of their teaching, they are able to insert the name Yahweh into the mouth of Jesus as often as they like. They do this without textual authority, without logic, or without the least regard for the events as they actually happened.
One sacred name bible has Jesus speaking the name Yahweh scores of times.4 Another confines Jesus speaking the Tetragrammaton to his quotations of the Old Testament and a few other times.5 Other sacred name bibles are somewhere between these two.
The teachers of sacred name movement often present relatively extreme affirmations in their attempt to prove that Jesus spoke the name Yahweh. R. Clover, sacred name teacher and author of the book The Sacred Name YHWH,6 in his chapter entitled “The Messiah and the Sacred Name,” expresses two such positions as he asserts that Jesus did speak the name Yahweh. Clover’s two pronged approach exemplifies the view of other teachers within the movement.
His positions are:
- The mission of Jesus was to make the name Yahweh known to the world.7
- Jesus was put to death because he spoke the name Yahweh.8
Each point is important to the sacred name teaching and its teachers. Since they are unable to give one Bible verse wherein Jesus directly said the name Yahweh, sacred name teachers are compelled to introduce their own opinions as a means of support for this teaching.
We are informed that Yahweh is the way God's name is said and that if we want to communicate with him he expects us, intends us, and even commands us to call him by this name. They do not veer from teaching the necessity of everyone calling on God using this name and using this name when otherwise speaking of God. Numbers of sacred name people genuinely believe that if one has heard their teaching about the name Yahweh and still does not use this name when calling on God in prayer, that person need not expect to have his or her prayers answered.
Sacred name teachers understand that in order to support such a teaching, they need Jesus to have spoken the name Yahweh or some other pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton. If Jesus did not speak the name, the whole doctrine of the revelation of a Hebrew sacred name becomes invalid. If Jesus did not say the name Yahweh, the sacred name teachers know they cannot require others to do so.
The sacred name doctrine stands or falls with the central issue of this study – whether Jesus spoke the name Yahweh. In truth, the doctrine stands or falls on a number of other single issues as well. The fact that Jesus did not even one time speak the name Yahweh proves the doctrine of a Hebrew only sacred name is absurd and the sacred name movement is a sham religion.
This study conclusively shows from the Scriptures that Jesus never spoke the name Yahweh. In fact, the New Testament gives evidence that when Jesus had noticeable occasions upon which he could have voiced the Tetragrammaton he avoided doing so.
Jews of first century Judah were bound by their own culturally entrenched custom of not speaking the Tetragrammaton. Jesus at no time condemned this custom. He did not teach against it as an error. He never addressed the custom one way or another. The fact that Jesus ignored this Jewish practice presents the sacred name teacher with a rather conspicuous problem. Few of them have demonstrated a willingness to address this problem.
The reader of the New Testament will not find the one use Jesus made of the name Yahweh that sacred name teachers so desperately need. In addition, anyone who has had opportunity to examine the Greek text of the New Testament will vouch for the fact that the name Yahweh is not to be found there.
Getting Rid of the New Testament
As we progress through this study, it should be kept in mind that sacred name teachers long ago decided the New Testament at some point in history underwent major alteration. They are unable to point out the time in history these changes occurred. Nor can they tell who took the name Yahweh out of the New Testament. Therefore, they cannot show why the name Yahweh was removed or how the name could have been removed from every manuscript of the New Testament known to man.
Nonetheless, relying upon their invented theory of an adulterated New Testament, these teachers have taken the next step to claim the New Testament as it exists today can be of little if any value in deciding matters of sound doctrine. As a consequence of such unjustifiable reasoning, they imagine themselves empowered to declare the Greek New Testament an illicitly reconstructed document. They then grant themselves permission to disregard the New Testament in matters of faith and practice.
Some sacred name teachers openly teach that Paul was a false apostle. They reject all of his writings. Others claim the New Testament has been corrupted and/or mutilated by a decadent Roman Catholic Church. At least one teaches that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were Catholic monks who wrote stories about a person who never lived.9 This latter example is certainly an uncommon teaching within the movement. But it serves to show how far their contempt for the New Testament Scriptures has taken some of these teachers.
These sacred name teachers have done a shameful thing in declaring the New Testament invalid. Solomon said it is a foolish woman who plucks down her house with her own hands.10 But that is exactly what sacred name teachers do when they disparage the New Testament.
They attempt to displace the New Testament by manufacturing and publicizing their much needed assumption that the original New Testament was written in Hebrew. Then, since no Hebrew New Testament exists by which they might be held accountable, the sacred name teachers are emboldened to tell their converts what the original New Testament would have said.
Without regard for God or for sound doctrine they proceed to claim the original New Testament said whatever they want it to have said. Some of these teachers convince their converts they know what the original New Testament said by using a sort of pseudo scholarly hocus-pocus. Others accomplish the same goal by making a pretense of direct revelation from God. Either way, they arrive at a lot of hogwash.
The advantage these sacred name teachers gain for their doctrine by denigrating the New Testament is obvious. They no longer regard what the New Testament says as preeminent. Its authority is neutralized. The sacred name teacher assumes more authority than he gives the written word of God. The confidence their converts may have in the written teaching of the apostles is demeaned for all and destroyed for some.
The sacred name teachers usurp the authority to insert into the scriptural text anything they desire. They explain to their converts that evil scribes translated the New Testament from an original Hebrew into Greek and left out the name Yahweh. They further purport to know all the places in the original text from which this name was removed. The sacred name bible makers proceed to put the name Yahweh into the text of the New Testament. They summon enough audacity to refer to such action as a restoration. Neither the sacred name teachers nor their converts see anything amiss in this.
Getting the name Yahweh into the New Testament is accomplished either by adding this name into a published revision of the New Testament or by inserting the name into verses of scripture as they are quoted or read in sermons and teaching.
By putting the name Yahweh into the New Testament as many times as he is able, the sacred name teacher shows that he takes greater authority for himself than he is willing to allow the written Word of God. Both the theory of an invalid New Testament and the resulting personal authority it gives the individual teacher are indispensable to those who teach the doctrine of a Hebrew only sacred name. Their acceptance of the doctrine compels them to take upon themselves authority to change the Scriptures.
[For an in depth study of the original language of the New Testament read the web book, The Original Language of the New Testament was Greek.]
In For a Penny, In for a Pound
Adding the name Yahweh to the New Testament is not the only improvement sacred name teachers are bold enough to make to the Scriptures. They apparently think that if it is right to make some correction to the scriptures, it is right to make more. One and another they are happy to add other points of their doctrines into the scriptures
The Holy Name Bible
For example, there are some nice little dance steps A. B. Traina did when he fashioned the first sacred name bible – The Holy Name Bible.11 Traina, like most sacred name people, was a law keeper. He could not leave the writings of Paul the apostle alone. Traina desperately wanted Paul's teaching on the law to agree with his own. To accomplish this, he added a word here and there to Paul's writings in order to bring Paul into agreement with Traina. He could not change what Paul taught, but he was able to change what Paul wrote. Following his own opinion that if a sacred name teacher teaches something the least the bible can do is teach it, Traina acted upon his premises and for numbers of his followers and others he changed the words Paul wrote. Notice a verse or two in Galatians chapter two that Traina changed without explanation or footnotes. I have underlined Traina’s additions.
Verse nineteen: “For I through the law am dead to the penal law, that I might live unto Yahweh.”
Verse twenty-one: “I do not frustrate the grace of Yahweh, for if righteousness come by the Levitical law, then Messiah is dead in vain.”
Some fourteen times in the second and third chapters of Galatians, in order to get his personal teaching into the bible, Traina adds the word ceremonial, albeit in parentheses and italics, to the front of the word law – thus “(ceremonial) law.” This is what Traina taught and he attempts to force Paul to teach it also.
The Book of Yahweh
An interesting amendment to Revelation 11:8 has been constructed by The House of Yahweh and added into their sacred name bible called The Book of Yahweh.12 “And the body of believers; The House of Yahweh – the one seed of The Two Witnesses, goes into the streets of the great city, which is spiritually called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Messiah was sacrificed.”
Considering the fact that the headman of The House of Yahweh claims to be one of the two witnesses, it will be easily discerned why this addition was made to the words of John.
Taking into account all the sacred name bibles in existence, these two examples could be multiplied numerous times. Doing so would be little more than a waste of time and space. The audacity these sacred name teachers have to accuse history of mutilating the New Testament should be kept in mind. Indeed, it is these very sacred name teachers who are mutilating the scriptures.
No Original Hebrew New Testament
The first premise in the theory of a falsified and therefore annulled New Testament is that the New Testament was originally written in Hebrew. For this study an examination of the implications of such a theory is incumbent. If the theory of an original Hebrew or Aramaic New Testament is true, we expect to find the name Yahweh in New Testament manuscripts in these languages.
In their efforts to demonstrate an original Hebrew New Testament, advocates of the sacred name doctrine set forth two Hebrew texts. These are the Shem Tob and the DuTillet manuscripts. Both are Hebrew well enough. But alas, these are late medieval manuscripts and they are only of Matthew's Gospel. May we ask where the remaining New Testament books are?
When a study of these manuscripts of Matthew's gospel is made, one need not be astonished to learn that even these works, though written in Hebrew, do not contain the name Yahweh. Let it be stated for emphasis, neither the Shem Tob Matthew nor the DuTillet Matthew have the name Yahweh anywhere in the complete text. This name is not found even one time, not in the mouth of Jesus, not anywhere else.
On behalf of all sacred name teachers everywhere, Clover complains about this lack when he says, “…the later Jewish text of Matthew reproduced by Shem Tob, which clearly reflects Jewish tampering – i.e. it replaced the sacred name with traditional Jewish substitutes like ha-shem (the name), adonai, and eloahim.”13
Not In the Aramaic New Testament
To further complicate matters for the sacred name teacher, the Aramaic manuscripts of the New Testament, notable among them the fifth century Peshitta, do not at any point have Jesus speaking the name Yahweh. Not a single occurrence of this name is found in the New Testament of the Peshitta. While some sacred name teachers hold the Peshitta in high esteem and used portions of it as the basis for their translation work, it is noteworthy that the fifth century Peshitta excludes II Peter, II John, III John, Jude, and The Revelation from the scriptural canon.
The sacred name teacher attempts to side step the lack of the name Yahweh in the Greek Bible by claiming that the Greek is not the original and therefore not to be trusted. But what are we left to think when this name cannot be found in the New Testaments or portions thereof, which the sacred name teachers themselves advance as being in the original language and therefore trustworthy?
We are left to think it looks very bad for the sacred name teaching that Jesus said the name Yahweh. We are left to think there is no basis for such a position. As far as the Scriptures are concerned, Jesus did not speak the name Yahweh. Sacred name teachers are compelled to come to the discussion of these issues empty handed.
These sacred name teachers have nothing at all that establishes or supports their theories, nothing to back the doctrine they believe, nothing except a disproportionate need for wild theories resulting from the doctrine its self. They have nothing except a denial of the authenticity of the New Testament. They have nothing except their own authority with which to replace it.
For the teachers of this movement to claim that the name Yahweh has been removed from all the manuscripts of the New Testament, be they Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, Coptic, or whatever language, is a feeble and inadequate attempt at obscuring the truth that this name was not in the original New Testament.
Hebrew Old Testament manuscripts have the Tetragrammaton. Greek manuscripts of the Old Testament are available that have the Tetragrammaton still in the Paleo Hebrew language. Sacred name teachers say the evil “Chr_st_ans” who were prejudiced against all things Hebrew and especially the name Yahweh took the name out of the New Testament. If this is true, why didn't these same evil “Chr_st_ans” remove the name Yahweh from the Hebrew Old Testament?
One might think that if the original New Testament were indeed written in Hebrew and if the name Yahweh were present in the original, it would have survived in some manuscript somewhere. No such manuscripts exist.
Reject the New Testament
The sacred name doctrinal claim of tampering is only a thinly veiled rejection of the validity of the New Testament. The denial of the importance and authority of the New Testament as a spiritually viable document is one of the foremost false teachings arising from the doctrine of the sacred name. It is commonly taught by the leaders of the movement that the New Testament cannot be used as a basis for ones faith. The Greek New Testament, upon which our English New Testament is based, is disdained and thrown aside as, “a flimsy foundation” for one's faith.14
Such a conclusion about the New Testament is no isolated teaching among sacred name teachers. It is an absolutely necessary belief if one is to hold the doctrine of the Hebrew only sacred name. They can believe the doctrine of the sacred names or they can believe the New Testament, but they can't believe both. Those who study, understand, and accept the doctrine can reach no other conclusion. Those sacred name converts who imagine they have retained their confidence in the New Testament are only deceived.
Jacob O. Meyer, the leader of one of the largest sacred name groups, articulates the movement's position on the authority of the New Testament clearer than most. He believes the New Testament, as it exists today, can be regarded only as a secondary book. In his mind it does not have the same authority and therefore he cannot give it the same respect that he gives the Old Testament. He specifically says, “Therefore, until such time as the original [New Testament] documents are unearthed we must base all doctrine of the Old Testament.”15 Even in the face of such a statement, he still recommends that his followers use the New Testament. How can it be of any eternal good, if no teaching can be based on it? Upon what documentary evidence, then, does Meyer base his doctrine that the Messiah has come? One can only wonder.
Preaching and teaching from the New Testament out of one side of their mouths while rejecting it out of the other side is the sorry place at which many sacred name movement devotees have arrived. As long as the New Testament agrees with their doctrine, they accept its authority. However, when its words condemn their teaching, they claim it has been corrupted and therefore cannot be trusted.
Qumran Bet is a sacred name group that candidly condemns the New Testament. They especially condemn the teaching of the apostle Paul. They believe, “…the New Testament is fraught with contradictions, additions and subtractions…”16 and is of little spiritual value.
If the theory regarding the illegitimacy of the New Testament advocated by these sacred name teachers is true, they are stripped of the doctrine of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. Without the New Testament, the movement is bereft of the doctrine of the blood of Jesus shed for the remission of sins. Such teachings are found only in the New Testament and are the foundation of any faith that will save from sins. If the New Testament is invalid, there is no knowledge of Jesus and therefore no saving faith.
The horrendous teachings of this religious movement compel its members to deny the authority of the very book from which they learned Jesus died for their sins. This is among the principal reasons why the sacred name teaching cannot be true. The doctrine rests on a denial of the God breathed Good News of Jesus Christ that is found only in the New Testament. [Read an open letter concerning the denial of the New Testament written to a friend in the Sacred Name Movement.]
In spite of the great weight of evidence against their teaching, sacred name teachers plunge ahead. They cannot base their teaching on what is written in the New Testament. They imagine it is not to be trusted. But, they are not in the least deterred from expounding their doctrine. They are willing and anxious to surmise, conjecture, and argue. Such is what they call proof of the doctrine that Jesus said the name Yahweh.
The truth is, Jesus never taught one lesson or preached one sermon about the name Yahweh. He never said the name Yahweh. Nor did he ever claim to have said the name Yahweh. And no, he did not lie. Read the New Testament. Believe it.
Footnotes1. The four-letter name of God, written in Hebrew in the Old Testament hvhy, thus in English YHWH or YHVH. Tetragrammaton means "four letters." [back]
2. The Word of Yahweh [back]
3. The Hebrew Roots Version [back]
4. The Book of Yahweh [back]
5. The Scriptures [back]
6. The Sacred Name YHWH, Qadesh La Yahweh Press, Garden Grove, California, 1995 [back]
7. R. Clover, The Sacred Name YHWH, pg. 151. Clover quotes C. H. Dodd who said, "...the mission of Jesus in the world was to make known the Name of God." Of course, Clover fails to note that Dodd and himself view making known the name of God quite differently. [back]
8. Clover, pg. 151 "Nowhere is there a greater testimony given about the messiah and his use of the sacred name than the fact that he was falsely tried and then executed because he used it." [back]
9. Sam Massey, sacred name teacher of Arizona says, "The N. T. is the religion of Babylon, written by the Roman Church after accepting the heathen belief of Semiramis and her son Nimrod. They had Monks called Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John write the new religion." [back]
10. Proverbs 14:1 "Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands." [back]
11. Published by The Scripture Research Association, Inc., Brandywine, Maryland, 1974 [back]
12. Published by The House of Yahweh, Abilene, Texas, 1994. Reissued in many and ever changing editions since [back]
13. Clover pg. 274 [back]
14. The complete statement in a personal letter from sacred name missionary to India, Tony Suckla: "If you are basing the foundation of your faith on the Greek New Testament, I will have to say that is a very flimsy foundation. [back]
15. Jacob O. Meyer, Exploding the Inspired Greek New Testament Myth, a publication of Assemblies of Yahweh, Bethel, Pennsylvania, 1973, pg 3. [back]
16. Statement of Commonly Held Beliefs and Positions of The Qumran Bet Community published at www.qumran.com/statement.htm. A later revision of the Qumran Bet Community statement of beliefs makes no mention at all of the New Testament. It expresses nothing about belief in Jesus by any name as the Messiah. The focus of this sacred name commune has shifted to Torah observance and Yhwh being the Savior. This group has by now completely rejected the writings of Paul. "Not only do Paul's writings lack consistency or reliability, they cannot be considered Christian." Such a position is nothing less than a rejection of the New Testament. www.qumran.com/Paul/apostlesrejectpaul.htm [back]