The "Must Have Said and Had To Have Said" Theory
The sacred name doctrine compels its teachers to claim that Jesus spoke the name Yahweh. As they expound upon this claim, their differences with the Scriptures are magnified. They disagree with the written Word. They disregard the written Word. They add to the written Word. They take from the written Word. And, they are blind to the fact that they are doing these things.
The men of the sacred name movement feel an obligation to offer some kind of information or evidence in proof that Jesus called the Creator by the name Yahweh. It is obvious to them that unless they are able to convince their converts that Jesus said this name it is not likely the converts will say it. They rigidly insist that everyone use this name. By many of these people, this insistence is carried to such an extreme that if one does not call God by this name, these teachers believe he is not a child of God.
In view of their namesake doctrine, it is not a matter of whether a sacred name teacher will seek to put the name Yahweh into the mouth of Jesus. It is only a matter of how he will accomplish this. The mode sacred name teachers use to reach their extraordinary objective is made particularly interesting since the name Yahweh is not found anywhere in the New Testament.
Sacred name teachers imagine that Jesus spoke the name Yahweh at every turn. This theory is one of the pillars holding up the doctrine of the Hebrew only sacred name. Therefore, it is strongly advocated. One way or another, in one form or another, these teachers will insist that Jesus used this name.
Those who champion the sacred name doctrine are not able to offer a single verse of scripture wherein Jesus directly spoke the name Yahweh or otherwise taught anyone about this name. The primary doctrine of this religious movement is not directly supported by even one verse in the New Testament.
These men know the name Yahweh is not in the New Testament. One of them says, “It is true, no reference to The Divine Name, in its complete form, can be found in the extant manuscript copies of the original text of the ‘New Testament’.” 1 It should be obvious to all who investigate the sacred name doctrine with a view to accepting it that something is dreadfully awry.
The absence of scriptural evidence to offer in proof of their doctrine has not dissuaded the leaders of this movement from propagating their doctrine. Fully realizing the dilemma brought on by the failure of their doctrine to coincide with what is written in the Bible has caused them to devise the “But Jesus had to have said the name Yahweh” theory.2 This theory has two parts.
Overview of the Theory
First, the theory presses for the idea that the name Yahweh can be argued into the New Testament and into the mouth of Jesus.
Verses are quoted that have name in them. “Hallowed be thy name,”3 “I have manifested thy name,”4 “I have declared unto them thy name,”5 and “I am come in my Father's name”6 are favorites. From these verses and others, sacred name teachers construct arguments that Jesus had to have said and must have said the name Yahweh or some other English rendering of the Tetragrammaton.
Second, the claim is made that the name Yahweh has been taken out of the New Testament.
In order to counter the fact that the name Yahweh is absent from the mouth of Jesus, the “But Jesus had to have said the name Yahweh” theory gave rise to the scheme that the New Testament has been changed. The next stage in the evolution of this fanciful theory is the speculation that all copies of the New Testament having the name Yahweh were subsequently destroyed.
The first part of the theory that Jesus “must have said” and “had to have said” the name Yahweh is nothing but a weak and sickly argument. The theory offers no empirical evidence in support of its existence. The New Testament actually contradicts it. Therefore, the second part of the theory is nothing more than a pitiful attempt to invalidate the authority of the New Testament.
Their denial of the New Testament has emboldened sacred name leaders to make their own New Testaments. In these homemade bibles, the sacred name movement teachers are able to have Jesus speak the name Yahweh as often as they like.
A Challenge to New Testament Authority
The theory in both its parts shows the light regard sacred name teachers have for the authority of the New Testament. The lack of esteem for what the New Testament says and an unwillingness to accept what it does not say has become the impetus for a number of these teachers to think they can trample on the New Testament as though it were a work of fiction.
The sacred name doctrine predisposes its converts to a profane disrespect for the New Testament writings. This has led a number of these teachers to deny Paul as being a legitimate apostle of our Lord. They claim God did not inspire his writings and he was nothing but a false apostle.7 Some few sacred name teachers deny the entire New Testament and want nothing to do with it.8
The corrupt New Testament theory is a false theory. Investigating it may be an intriguing study of the establishment and implication of false doctrines, but nothing more. There is no basis in fact for its existence. The theory was manufactured because of the great need the advocates of this doctrine have for Jesus to have said the name Yahweh.
It should be kept in mind that the need for the name Yahweh to be in the New Testament came first, then the theory of a corrupt New Testament. Though the sacred name teachers may spout nine kinds of so-called research directed at sustaining their theory, the theory was born out of need, not research. These teachers know that unless they can have Jesus say the name Yahweh, their doctrine is dead. This much has been quite clear to the leaders from the beginning of their religious movement.
Those people who accept the corrupt New Testament teaching are doing something akin to denying that their mother is their mother. It is almost like they are committing suicide. They are denying the validity of the only Book from which the teachings of Jesus may be learned. Is the New Testament just an elementary school textbook, from which these teachers graduated and moved on the bigger and better things?
This division of the study is a thorough examination of the arguments that are presented to support the “But Jesus had to have said the name Yahweh” theory. Not only is there a need to comb through the arguments, it is also necessary to scrutinize the scriptures these sacred name teachers twist in making such arguments.
Jesus Called G-d Father
The most often quoted verses from which sacred name teachers argue that Jesus had to have said the name Yahweh are found in the words Jesus addressed to the Father. These verses are the springboard for launching such arguments. Strict examination of the verses in question will show whether the sacred name teaching is in them or can be gotten from them. Either Jesus called God Yahweh or he didn't.
Two of these verses are given below.
I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. (John 17:6)
I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.(John 17:26)
Reading these verses will show that the name Yahweh is not spoken in them. Nevertheless, sacred name teachers fabricate from these verses the hollow thesis that Jesus would have said the name Yahweh, that he must have said this name, and that he had to have said the name Yahweh at some point.
Sacred name teachers argue that if Jesus did not speak, teach, pray, and otherwise employ the name Yahweh, he could not truthfully have said and therefore, he would not have said, “I have manifested thy name…” or “I have declared … thy name...” They then conclude that the discussion is settled. The matter is closed.
They mistake their argument for fact. It is not. They further believe the argument is irrefutable. Much less is it irrefutable. It is only an argument and not a sound argument at that. Their argument shows they have missed, shrewdly missed, the whole point of the words of Jesus. An examination of these verses in context will demonstrate that the words of Jesus could not have the meaning sacred name teachers are compelled to ascribe to them.
Jesus does not tell the Father that he has spoken a word or vocalized a name to his disciples. He rather says he has manifested – shown, demonstrated plainly, and revealed9 – the Father himself, his person, his love, his mercy, and his other attributes, to these men.
Jesus came to the people of this world for a higher purpose than merely to speak a name to them or to tell them to speak a name. Jesus came for the purpose of manifesting God himself to the world. The Scriptures point this up by saying, “And without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness, God was manifest in the flesh…”10 Jesus made the person of God himself known. Jesus was God manifested in the flesh. Jesus personally declared – formally and officially made known11 – the Creator to the world.
Disciples Already Knew the Name
In contrast to the deep truth of what Jesus, in these verses, is saying he has shown his followers, the sacred name teachers would have him telling the Father that he has told these disciples what God's name is. Such cannot be the truth. The reason is obvious. The men whom Jesus chose to be apostles had read the Old Testament. Can anyone who reads their writings doubt that they had studied these Scriptures? They repeatedly asked Jesus questions based on their knowledge of these Writings. They quoted from the Old Testament when they wrote the New Testament. They needed no one to tell them the name of God written in those books. They already knew this name.
The sacred name argument has Jesus reporting to the Father, “I have told these men the name Yahweh.” This is exactly the position expressed by a spokesman for the well known sacred name group, Yahweh's New Covenant Assembly. He says, “The Savior told the Father that He had made His Name Yahweh known to the brethren.”12
These sacred name teachers willing overlook the fact that the disciples of Jesus had read Moses and the Prophets. They knew the name, YHWH, written there. They had known this name since childhood. How can sacred name teachers exhibit so much presumption as to maintain that Jesus just told these men something they already knew? They compound their presumption by the further claim that this was Jesus’ primary purpose for coming into this world. The disciples knew the four-letter name from having studied the Old Testament. They had known this name long before they ever saw Jesus.
Let's look at what the Bible reveals. Andrew found his brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messias…”13 But, the sacred name teachers seem to think Andrew and Simon had never read the Old Testament. Philip said to Nathanael, “We have found him of whom Moses in the law and the prophets did write…”14 But the sacred name theory suggests that Nathanael and Philip had never read the writings of Moses and the prophets, because they would not have known the Tetragrammaton written there.
Such a simple analysis of what the Bible says illustrates the ineffectiveness of the sacred name position relative to what Jesus said in the verses in question. The arguments sacred name teachers make are not based on what the verses say, but on what the sacred name teachers need the verses to say. Such arguments are not the conclusion reached after careful analysis. The conclusion was predetermined because of need. Then the argumentation was tailored to gain the desired conclusion. Jesus was not saying what sacred name teachers need him to have said.
As this study continues to examine the opinion that Jesus must have said the name Yahweh and the arguments supporting this opinion, a few questions present themselves.
- Does name mean the word by which one is called in every place it is used in the New Testament?
- How is the fact that Jesus didn't speak the name Yahweh during his prayer to be accounted for?
- How is it that the New Testament records not a single instance of Jesus saying the name Yahweh?
- How was the teaching Jesus is supposed to have done about the name Yahweh removed from the New Testament?
Definition of Name
In order to understand the Scriptures, the meaning of the words used there must be understood. Sacred name teachers need to acknowledge that name does not always mean a word by which one is called. The dictionaries and lexicons cited below give as one definition of name, a word by which one is called or otherwise known. However, each one gives additional definitions and usages.
The American Heritage Dictionary has:
- name (nam) n. 1. A word or words by which an entity is designated and distinguished from others: some of the most famous names of the 20th century. 2. A word or group of words used to describe or evaluate, often disparagingly. 3. Representation or repute, as opposed to reality: a democracy in name, a police state in fact. 4.a. General reputation: a bad name. b. A distinguished reputation; renown. 5. An illustrious or outstanding person: some of the most famous names of the 20th century.
From The Oxford Universal Dictionary on Historical Principals, definition six:
- Ones repute or reputation, etc.; esp. ones good.
Joseph Henry Thayer’s Lexicon observes that name sometimes stands for:
- Ones rank, authority, interest, pleasure, command, excellences, deeds, etc.
Walter Bauer’s Lexicon translated and revised by Arndt and Gingrich gives for definition number III:
Arndt and Gingrich’s translation of Bauer’s work gives Acts 1:15 as an example of the definition, person. “The number of names together were about a hundred and twenty” Obviously the fact Luke has conveyed to his readers is that the number of persons together in the upper room was about one hundred and twenty.
Depending on the context in which it appears, name can and often does indicate something more than and quite different than the word by which one is called. Name in many contexts means the honor, authority, character of the person mentioned and not the word by which he or she is called at all. Sometimes the word name simply indicates the person himself.
Peter used name in just such a way before the Sanhedrin. Luke records his words.
Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.(Acts 4:10)
Here Peter equates “by the name” with “by him.” When he said to the council that the lame man was healed by the name of Jesus, it was the same as saying that the healing was done by Jesus himself. Peter understood this. The council understood this. Sacred name teachers need to come to understand this.
The lame man was not healed because pronouncing the name Jesus brings about some magical result. The healing was done because Jesus had sent them out to preach and do mighty works, equipped them with power from above, and personally promised to be with them always. The lame man stood before the council healed “by the name of Jesus” – “even by him.”
At this point, it is interesting to note that a number of sacred name teachers believe the name spoken here by Peter was not Jesus (or any Hebrew version of his name) but Yahweh. To quote one of them, “Later on the apostles healed a man in Jerusalem. Having heard of this feat, the priests had them arrested (the implication being that they had healed the man by using the sacred name [i.e. Yahweh] since there was no law against healing per se).”15 Some of these teachers seem to think that almost anywhere they see the word name it can be referring only to the name Yahweh.16
Like sacred name teachers, the sons of Sceva17 imagined within themselves that the power was in repeating the name. These vagabond Jews thought pronouncing the name of Jesus over a sick person would have some healing effect. Similar to the sons of Sceva, the sacred name teachers have gotten into a tangle of trouble because of their miscalculation. Sceva’s sons were not within a mile of the truth. Sacred name teachers are also far, far from the truth with all their false theories and teachings.
The forgoing definitions and examples present the fact that often in the Scriptures when name is used it indicates more than the word by which one is known. It was the power of Jesus himself that did the healing Peter describes. It was not as sacred name teachers would have it, some mysterious power emanating from pronouncing his name aloud.
Examine the Context
An examination of the context of the verses under consideration will help to better understand the meaning of the word name. As the context is studied, an interesting and in light of the sacred name stance on these verses one might say a startling revelation unfolds.
When he said,” I have manifested thy name…” and “I have declared unto them thy name…” Jesus was speaking to God. Actually, he was addressing God in prayer. The whole of John chapter seventeen is the record of his prayer. The belief of sacred name teachers contradicts the actions of Jesus. While he repeatedly addressed God, he did not one time during this long prayer address God by the name Yahweh.
When Jesus said to God, “I have manifested thy name to the men which thou gavest me...” it is supposed by sacred name teachers that he is telling God he has made the name Yahweh known to these men; he has taught them to call God Yahweh; he has instructed them to call upon God speaking the name Yahweh.
Such is a fair summary of the assertion made by these teachers. Of course, they do not think of this theory as an assertion. They teach it as the very truth of God. In their need for Jesus to have said the name Yahweh they are grasping at straws here. They are simply reaching this much-needed conclusion without careful consideration of how such a conclusion could have been drawn from the context.
If in this prayer Jesus is telling God he has taught the name Yahweh to his followers, when did he do this teaching? Such teaching is not recorded in the larger context of the New Testament. For in all the writings by all the authors in this entire Book we never find Jesus teaching anything about the name Yahweh to anyone.
It should be remembered that during the First Century Jewish people did not speak this name. They had never heard anyone speak this name. In view of the fact that Jesus never once said the name Yahweh, never taught the name Yahweh to anyone, and never instructed anyone in the advantages to be gained by use of the name Yahweh, the sacred name teachers err in their conclusion. Jesus was not claiming to have taught this word to his disciples. He was not claiming to have taught them the proper pronunciation and use of this name.
In this statement that Jesus made to the Father, he has neither said the name Yahweh nor has he said anything about the name Yahweh. He is saying that he has made known to these men the honor, authority, and character of the Father. He has made know to them the person of the Father. In larger context, the proper definition of name is thrust upon the sacred name teacher by force of the fact that Jesus never made known to his followers the word Yahweh or the name Yahweh. Add to this the fact that the disciples, because of their study of the Old Testament, knew the four-letter name of God before the teaching of Jesus and the house sacred name teachers have laboriously built is seen to fall under its own weight.
In the same prayer, Jesus further says, “I have declared unto them thy name...” It is imagined by the sacred name person that he is telling God how he has spoken the name Yahweh to his followers often and taught them the significance of the name.
When did Jesus do such teaching as sacred name leaders allege? Not in the New Testament. Never once did Jesus command anyone to begin speaking the name Yahweh nor did he teach anyone the significance of this name. Since Jews of the First Century knew this name in Old Testament writings but didn't speak it, it would have been necessary for Jesus to teach lessons on the spiritual benefits to be reaped from speaking it, explain to his followers its proper pronunciation, and encourage them to say it. Where is the record of his having done any of this? Nowhere!
Where does the Record show any of his followers before or after his death saying and teaching others to say the name Yahweh? The Holy Record gives no such information.
Sacred name teachers often point out that one would have been stoned or otherwise killed for speaking the name Yahweh in first century Israel. Yet, neither during the lifetime of Jesus nor after his resurrection were any of his followers arrested, imprisoned, or otherwise persecuted for speaking this name. None of them were put to death for saying this name. Such should be good evidence for these teachers that neither he nor his disciples spoke the Tetragrammaton at any time. [Part Six of this study is a discussion of the teaching that Jesus was crucified for speaking the name Yahweh.]
The sacred name teachers can argue that while Jesus may not have said the name Yahweh in the verses under consideration, he had to have said it and he must have said it at some other time and place. However, such an argument is found to be just an empty claim. The teaching and dialogues of Jesus do not support the assertion made by these teachers. In the entire New Testament, nothing happened that in the slightest way supports their opinion.
What Did Jesus Do?
Attention must also be focused on the narrower context, the words of the prayer Jesus is praying when he makes these statements to the Father. Jesus is praying. He is addressing God. Not once throughout the whole of this prayer18 does he address God as Yahweh. Neither this prayer nor anything said in it establishes that Jesus called God Yahweh and taught his followers to call God Yahweh. The sacred name teacher must ask himself and must explain to others the reason Jesus didn't call God Yahweh in this prayer.
In verse one, Jesus addressed God as “Father.” In verse three, Jesus called him “the only true God.” In verse five again we see, “Father.” In verse eleven, “holy Father.” In verse twenty-one, “Father.” In verse twenty-four, “Father.” In verse twenty-five Jesus said, “O righteous Father.”
Where in this prayer does Jesus address God as Yahweh? If Jesus is telling God how he has taught others to use the name Yahweh, to speak of God as Yahweh, and to address God by the name Yahweh, doesn’t is seem a little incredible that he is not addressing God using this name? It certainly would seem so to any unbiased observer. These teachers would have Jesus teaching people to do something that he is not himself doing.
The situation is grave for sacred name teachers because Jesus did not address God in the way they want. He did not call God Yahweh in the entire prayer. He did not call God Yahweh at any time – ever.
Sacred name advocates can offer opinions, speculations, assumptions, and arguments that Jesus had to have addressed God by the name Yahweh. But they will not because they cannot, produce a single verse in the entire Bible where he actually did so.
When the complete prayer is read, the conclusion is inescapable. Jesus is not speaking to the Father about making the name Yahweh known to his followers. He is rather referring to making the Father's honor, authority, and character known to them. He is saying that he has made the Father himself known to these men.
Everyone should read the Bible for himself or herself. No one should let sacred name movement supposition lead him or her around by the nose. Jesus addressed God not as Yahweh, but as Father. He did this in well over one hundred instances in the New Testament. “My Father” and “the Father” are how he most often spoke of God and to God. “Our Father” and “Your Father” are found a number of times. But, not once does he either call God Yahweh or address God as Yahweh.
How can any thinking person be anything but skeptical of their doctrine when these teachers put Jesus in the inconsistent position of teaching his followers to speak to God using the name Yahweh, while he is distinctly not speaking to God using the name Yahweh? The sacred name teaching has Jesus telling his disciples, “Do as I say, but not as I do.” The real truth is Jesus never called God by the name Yahweh and he never said for anyone else to call God by the name Yahweh.
Do Sacred Name Teachers Address This Issue?
Sacred name teachers attempt to explain away the fact that Jesus consistently called God Father and never Yahweh. A particularly well known and respected teacher among sacred name advocates, attempting to climb the mountain presented by this problem, makes a surprising claim for these verses. He says that Jesus is also named Yahweh and because of this he thinks, “it is possible” Jesus in these instances chose to call God Father instead of Yahweh “to distinguish Him from Himself.”19 This is what the man actually said; it is not made up.
If this is from one of their best, is there need of further comment? This way of thinking is its own refutation. Sacred name teachers have to follow such an oblique and convoluted line of reasoning in an attempt to patch the cracks in an obviously concocted and utterly flawed doctrine. All such maneuverings are toward one end, avoiding the simple and clear fact that the New Testament records how Jesus addressed God as Father and did not address him by the name Yahweh.
He Came In the Father's Name
Another verse all sacred name teachers misuse and misapply in their doctrinal charade is from the fifth chapter of John. Can anyone be the least surprised that the verse makes no mention of the name Yahweh? It is used to argue toward the end that Jesus was himself called Yahweh or some form of the Tetragrammaton. The conclusion is then urged that both Jesus and his followers “had to have” said the name Yahweh when they said his name.
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)
This verse is grist for the sacred name doctrinal mill. When it is put into the mill, depending on which particular sacred name person is teaching, either of two theories will grind out.
1.) Some of these teachers, an instance of which has been noted above, go so far as to claim that this verse proves the Savior while on earth was called by the name Yahweh. To these teachers, to come in the name of someone is to be called by that person’s name. Nothing could be further from the truth.
2.) Other sacred name teachers are happy to say the verse proves the true name our Savior was called had at least some form of the name Yahweh in it. By their logic, Jesus’ true name had to be Yah-shua or some other rendering of this name that has Yah at the first. These teachers see no necessity in his name being Yahweh. By this argument, it is supposed that the verse means the name of our Lord merely has in it the abbreviated form of Yahweh - Yah. Well, maybe this is just as far form the truth as number one.
The verse in question doesn’t hint at either of these positions. It is not even implied here that Jesus’ name is the same as the Father's name. It most certainly does not indicate that some abbreviated form or the complete name Yahweh is contained in the name of the Savior. This is just another instance of sacred name teachers perverting the Scriptures. The Scriptures are twisted beyond recognition before sacred name teachers are finally able to find their doctrine in them.
Particular notice should be given to what the verse under consideration does not say. Jesus does not say that he came in Yahweh's name or that he came in the name of Yahweh. He does not say that he came being called Yahweh. He does not say that his name contains an abbreviated form of the name Yahweh. Had he meant to convey the idea that he came being called some form of the name Yahweh, he could have said so. Jesus said, “I am come in my Father's name.” Instead of taking advantage of this opportunity to speak the name Yahweh, he altogether avoided using this name.
A Parallel Statement
Studying a parallel statement by another person will offer to all truth seekers the prospect of viewing the words of Jesus without the intrusion of any sacred name doctrinal biases. In this manner the thoughts expressed by this kind of statement can be seen more clearly.
Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. (1 Samuel 17:45)
This quotation is from the King James Version of the Bible. In this version, in the Old Testament, when the word LORD is shown in all capitals, it is put for the four-letter name of God.
David came to the battlefield to fight against Goliath “…in the name of YHWH of hosts.” Do some sacred name leaders teach that this indicates David’s name is Yahweh? They do not. Do some of them teach the verse means David’s name contains some abbreviated form of the Tetragrammaton? Not a single sacred name teacher has ever taught any such nonsense. Furthermore, they are quite able to see that such a teaching would be nonsense.
However, they do teach that when Jesus said he came “…in his Father's name” he meant his name was Yahweh or he meant his name contained some form of this name. It is this simple to demonstrate how inconsistent the sacred name teachers are in these matters. The meaning sacred name teachers superimpose on the words of Jesus is rubbish. Furthermore, it can be seen for the nonsense it is when viewed in the light of the words of David.
The statement by David shows nothing about any name David might have been called. It is not a statement about David’s name. To reach the conclusion that David must be called Yahweh would be ridiculous. In the same manner, Jesus coming in the Father's name is not a statement about any name Jesus was called. Jesus coming in the name of the Father in no case proves that he was called either Yahweh or some form of Yahweh. Sacred name teachers are grasping at straws when they suppose that Jesus is making a statement about what name he is called. When considered along side David’s statement, their conclusion appears quite silly.
David came to Goliath relying on, trusting in, and depending on the Creator himself. He came with complete faith in God. David came doing God's will. This was his indication by saying I come in the name of YHWH. Everyone can see the impossibility that David’s words meant his own name was YHWH or that his name contained an abbreviated form of the name Yahweh. His name was David.
So also, Jesus coming in the name of the Father indicates his complete trust and confidence was not in his flesh but in God. It further indicates he was doing the will of the Father. The attempt sacred name teachers make to sledgehammer their own doctrinally biased meaning over the top of Jesus’ words is a mockery of what Jesus actually said.
No Record of Jesus Saying Yahweh
The fact that there is no New Testament record of Jesus speaking the Tetragrammaton is of little importance to sacred name advocates. The facts recorded in the New Testament are of no concern to them in this matter. If the New Testament does not agree with their teaching, they have such disrespect as to claim it is the New Testament that is in error.
A printed publication from one sacred name group tersely states the case. “In an effort to deny the importance of Yahweh's name, those who have not diligently studied allege that there is no record that Yahshua the Messiah ever uttered or taught His Father's NAME, Yahweh.”20
May we ask: "Diligently studied what?"
Those who see the sacred name movement’s teaching for the false doctrine it is, need allege nothing. The Bible speaks for itself. The holy Record shows that Jesus the Messiah never spoke or taught the name Yahweh. If the New Testament shows that Jesus “taught His Father's NAME, Yahweh” let the sacred name teacher site book, chapter, and verse.
Another sacred name writer lists four imagined reasons why early non Jewish Christians would have wanted to take the name Yahweh out of the New Testament. Among these reasons are: The gentile Christians “may have” discarded anything that made them look Jewish. This writer imagines, “Under these circumstances, we can see how most scriptures containing The Divine Name could have been destroyed, leaving only copies that contained the substitutes, kurios or theos.21
In other words, while sacred name teachers are absolutely sure this was done, they do not know when, where, how, or by whom it was done. They have no basis for their belief, but they are willing to plod on in spite of the lack of any historical evidence. They are also willing to insert their own ideas into history and use these ideas to reach unwarranted conclusions. It would seem the sacred name teachers think that if they are permitted to slough off the authority of the New Testament and add in their own ideas, they can also cast aside the facts of history and regard their own speculations as historical fact.
Such men believe the name Yahweh, to use the words of one of them, was “stripped out” of the New Testament. They cannot give any historical data to warrant such a belief. But they are compelled to cling to this belief because failure to do so would be to reject their primary doctrine. They had rather count the New Testament a phony document than reject their sacred name doctrine.
The slight of hand these teachers conjure up as they denounce the New Testament is incredible. They truly believe their own ill-gotten imaginings (They call them spiritual revelations.) are superior to the writings of the apostles. One of these teachers writes in his published literature, “Fact: The New Testament has been partially discredited because of questionable sources and by the physical evidence, and proved to be (at least partially) in error by spiritual revelation.”22
Because of their contempt for the authority of the New Testament, sacred name teachers will continue to cast aside any scriptures that prove Jesus used substitute words in place of saying the name Yahweh. To them such verses are discredited and have no validity.
Does the fact that the whole New Testament does not have the name Yahweh one time hold no significance for these teachers? It absolutely does not.
Their sacred name doctrine takes precedence over anything the New Testament has to say. To them, if the New Testament disagrees with their doctrine, it is the New Testament that is in error.
Any discussion of the central issue of this study with such men is not a discussion of what the Scriptures say. It becomes a debate about what sacred name teachers think the Scriptures ought to say. The discussion is about their opinions and their conjectures. These people just do not believe what the New Testament says.
Furthermore, they are not at all able to see themselves as denying the validity of the New Testament. The seducing spirit is so strong in these sacred name doctrines that some teachers in the movement actually believe they are reinforcing the authority of the New Testament. They picture themselves as champions of the New Testament. But, how can they throw out the parts of the New Testament that disagree with them and keep the rest? If it is invalid in the areas they say, how can they be sure it is to be trusted in any of its message? Additionally, how can they denounce others who want change other parts of the New Testament or cast it off completely?
The teaching that Jesus had to have said the name Yahweh and must have said the name Yahweh is a false doctrine. It cannot stand up to comparison with what the Bible says. It finds no support in the Gospels or in any New Testament book.
This theory was conceived in the need for some semblance of an underpinning for the sacred name doctrine. It was given birth by early sacred name teachers. It continues to be fostered by a new generation of sacred name advocates. It holds up only in the minds of sacred name converts who have a doctrinal predisposition to believe it. It is a false teaching.
The theory stands for denying the New Testament as a legitimate spiritual guide. It stands for misapplying the scriptures to obtain a perverted meaning. It stands for disregarding the context of the scriptures to obscure what Jesus said. The theory stands for twisting the scriptures to support a false teaching.
The teaching that Jesus had to have said, that he must have said the name Yahweh and any conclusions based upon it are rejected as a man made theory. It should be abandoned because it is contrary to the written Word of God. Just as Dagon could not stand before the Ark of the Covenant, the theories and concoctions of sacred name teachers fall before the Words of the Almighty God written in the New Testament.
Footnotes1. Rik Lofquist, The Divine Name in the New Testament, at www.nwlink.com/~lofquist/yhwh_nt.htm [back]
2. Concerning Jesus speaking the name Yahweh, “…He had to have done so.” Tom Martinic, aka Eliyah, Did the Messiah Say the Sacred Name?, www.elyiah.com/saidname.html [back]
3. Luke 11:2 [back]
4. John 17:6 [back]
5. John 17:26 [back]
6. John 5:43 [back]
7. James (no last name), of Qumran Bet Community, Why Did the Apostles Reject Paul, “…I personally have rejected the teaching of Paul, and do not consider him to be a real apostle.” “Not only do Paul’s writings lack consistency or reliability, they cannot be considered Christian.” www.qumran.com/Paul/apostlesrejectpaul.htm [back]
8. An example is Sam Massey of Cottonwood, Arizona. He is not affiliated with any of the better-known sacred name groups. Nevertheless, he is a sacred name doctrine advocate. He teaches, “…the New Testament is not of יהןה, it is of Theos!” Mr. Massey thinks Theos is a pagan deity. He further 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.” Along with his blatant rejection of the New Testament, Mr. Massey denies the blood atonement made by Jesus. These quotes are excerpted from a personal letter sent with printed literature. [back]
9. Manifested, as defined by The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 1973 Ed [back]
10. 1 Timothy 3: 16 [back]
11. Declared, as defined by The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 1973 Ed. [back]
12. Donald Mansager (?) perhaps, YNCA publication: Our Savior Spoke the Sacred Name, www.ynca.com/sacredname.htm [back]
13. John 1:41 [back]
14. John 1:45 [back]
15. R. Clover, The Sacred Name, Yahweh, pg. 172, Qadesh La Yahweh Press, 1995. This sacred name writer, like many others, believes that the “none other name” of Acts 4:12 is also the name Yahweh. [back]
16. See also Philippians 2:9—10. It seems to be generally accepted among sacred name teachers that Yahweh is “the name which is above every name.” [back]
17. Acts 19: 13—16 [back]
18. John 17:1-26 [back]
19. Tom Martincic, aka Eliyah in the eliyah.com web site essay, Did the Messiah say the Sacred Name? It has been said that eliyah.com is the best sacred name site on the world wide web. [back]
20. Yahweh's New Covenant Assembly publication, Our Savior Spoke the Sacred Name. [back]
21. Rik Lofquist, The Divine Name in the New Testament. At www.nwlink.com/~lofquist/yhwh_nt.htm [back]
22. Jeffrey David Dean, Fact Vs. Faith, www.twowitnessesus.com. Dean says in another publication – The New Testament Hoax History of a Forgery, “We should rely only on the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us into all truth. Thus, the errors and lies that have been added to the Gospels, and The Acts, and The Epistles will not escape our detection.” This is the sacred name movement at its apex. [back]