THE QUEST FOR THE CORRECT PRONUNCIATION OF THE SACRED NAME - PART 2
Viewed individually or as a group, the assemblies comprising the SN movement are fostering an obvious confusion concerning how to say the Sacred Name(s). This is not likely their intention. But, intention or not, the teachers among the groups are themselves confused. When they teach others, the confusion spreads. Since the Almighty One is not the author of confusion, he certainly is nowhere near the SN movement.
Striving To Get It Right
For the sake of this study, let us consider three SN teachers. Our first one writes the name of Jesus as YHWHSHUA. He explains that this word is pronounced as five syllables, Yah-ooo-ah-shu-a. He prays in this name; he sings praises in this name; he baptizes in this name. Yet, it is a contrived name, a fabricated name. It is absolutely not the name of anyone who ever lived.
Hear some of this SN teacher's reasoning which he says led him to this pronunciation of the Savior's name. It seems he had "struggled" "for many years" to find the true pronunciation of the NAME of YHWH. He "was sure" that "planted deep in the Word is a clue" to the pronunciation of this NAME.
He knew the name of Jacob's fourth son was "Yahudah". This name is pronounced Yah-ooo-dah by every believer whom our teacher knows. It is also the name by which the people of God were called many times in the Old Testament. "If my people which are called by my name..." 2 Chr 7:14.
Our teacher says the name Yahudah means "I will praise YHWH." So he became convinced that the true pronunciation of YHWH is contained in the word Yahudah. A Hebrew study he once read said the letter "D" (Daleth in Hebrew) means praise. His thought, leave the D, "praise," out of the word Yahudah and you have YHWH left. Leave the "D" sound out of the pronunciation of Yahudah and you are left with the correct pronunciation of YHWH, YAH-OOO-AH. It is as simple as that.
Then, to arrive at the pronunciation of the Savior's name, just add the Hebrew word for salvation -"shua." There you have YHWHSHUA or YHWH is salvation, pronounced Yah-ooo-ah-shu-a. Isn't that amazing. It's just like magic. It seems so easily done.
But it was not easily done. Our teacher is nothing if not sincere. (I mean no sarcasm here. I really think this man is, like most SN people, sincere.) He struggled through years of using other incorrect or, to him, less correct, pronunciations of the NAME before arriving at the use of this one. He tells us he went from YAHWAH to YAHVAH to YAHVEH to YAHWEH to YAHUWAH as ways to pronounce the Sacred Name. He has in all sincerity changed the name of the God he serves for a sixth time.
This sad and twisted road he offers to us, while at the same time telling us that the true pronunciation of the NAME was never lost.
The only response that can be made to such a statement is this. If the correct way to pronounce the NAME was not lost, why did this teacher have to search for "many years" to find it? Why did he first have to find a "clue," which eventually lead him to finding the pronunciation, if the pronunciation was not lost?
You can easily see that YHWHSHUA is a manufactured word. It is cobbled together by imposing a radical religious idea and a major dose of ignorance onto the Hebrew language.
A Little Logic? Sure, Very Little.
The logic underlying our SN teacher's arrival at such a rendering of the NAME of our Savior goes something like this. The Savior's NAME means "YHWH saves." To be altogether correct, the NAME should be translatable exactly as this phrase. But there is no Hebrew New Testament from which to get the Lord's name. And none of the Hebrew OT words for Joshua's name are exactly translatable as YHWH saves. The Hebrew words for Joshua's name use Yah, the abbreviated form of the Sacred Name. So an exact translation of Joshua's name from Hebrew to English would be "Yah saves," instead of the desired "YHWH saves." It is worth noting here that YHWH, not YAH, is thought by SN people to be the greatest name ever given. Therefore the Savior's name must contain the longer form, YHWH.
But not to be deterred, our SN teacher finds a simple solution to his problem. Transliterate the Sacred Name from Paleo-Hebrew, hwhy, into Modern Hebrew, hwhy. From Modern Hebrew, hwhy, into English, YHWH. This is the NAME which our SN friend believes is above every name and which our Savior's name "must" contain. Now, take this Hebrew word, couple to it the Hebrew word for save or salvation. (Strong’s Concordance has at least two or three words that mean salvation.) Our teacher picks "shua." Putting SHUA as the suffix to YHWH he gets YHWHSHUA.
This teacher thinks that he is well equipped and privileged to correct the Scriptures. He further believes that his correction is inspired. One of the foundation premises of the SN Movement is that the Bible has become corrupted over the centuries.
While inventing this false name, he demonstrates his lack of regard for the fact that the word which he has created out of whole cloth is not found anywhere in the Scriptures. He is caused not one moment of compunction by the truth that this word is not a Hebrew word at all. This man has conditioned himself to truly believe that this word, YHWHSHUA, is the very name that the angel Gabriel gave to Mary to call her firstborn son. He thinks that this word is the exact word that was recorded in Holy Writ as the name of our Savior when men were moved by the Holy Spirit to write the New Testament. He actually believes that YHWHSHUA is the heaven given name and that Yah-ooo-ah-shu-a is the heavenly pronunciation.
The Spirit Will Lead?
Now, for a second example, consider a group in Tennessee. Their SN teacher had a revelation about the Savior's true NAME. He discovered that the Lord's mother (father, brothers, kinsmen, friends, the angel Gabriel) did not call him Jesus. (This had to be revealed to him?)
For more than a year, as he stopped using the name of Jesus, he pronounced the name of our Savior, "Yasha." While this pronunciation is a bit unique, it is not altogether unknown among SN people.
This teacher pronounces YHWH as Yahwah. But he does not put in the vowels when he writes it. After he had studied and prayed many hours and after having others pray, the Spirit spoke to one of the sisters in this group that the correct pronunciation of the Savior's NAME is Yash-wa. Again, he put in no vowels, only writes the NAME as YHWSH. This two syllable rendering works well for them as they replace "Jesus" in their songs.
It is not to be thought odd that this teacher anathematizes all other pronunciations. He announced that he would put out of the church any who used the pronunciation Jesus. He does not allow others the privilege he enjoyed for more than a year, using a pronunciation of the Savior's NAME which he now considers incorrect. Apparently no one in the assembly thinks their teacher has a credibility problem.
Two True Names?
Our last example among SN teachers pronounces the NAME as Yahshua, three syllables, Yah-shu-a. This is the most popular pronunciation among SN assemblies. The most common pronunciation among Jewish people is Yeshua [the proper Hebrew pronunciation]. (See "The Jewish New Testament" translated by David H. Stern.)
This teacher follows the SN party line. To him, if he can say the Hebrew name for Joshua, he is saying the true name of the Savior. But, this man points out for us that, "Joshua, in Hebrew, is ‘Yahshua’ or the longer form ‘Yahoshua’." (Actually, there is also a third form of Joshua's name in the OT.)
Our teacher, upon whose every word we are hanging, proceeds to use "Yahshua" exclusively. He gives not so much as a passing reference to "the longer form" of the name. He does not bother to tell us why he chose to use only the shorter form. He makes no mention at all of a third form.
So, in a article entitled "The True Name of the Messiah," our third SN teacher gives two names for the Messiah. (Are we to suppose that both are true?) He picks one, without explanation, and uses it to the exclusion of the other. Did he think no one would ask why? Did he not expect that we were hanging on his every word? Perhaps he thought we were not paying attention. We were! How are we to know which name our Savior used? Did he use both?
This, then, is "proof" of the NAME we ought to use and of the absolutely correct way we are to pronounce it. Do I remember hearing somewhere that we are not going to heaven unless we pronounce it "this" way?
Just Another False Teaching
If you have read this far, you have seen that confusion is king in the Sacred Name Movement. You can also see the reason for the confusion. SN teachers rush in where wise Jewish scholars for centuries have feared to tread. SN people manifest an eager willingness to tamper with the Jewish custom of not vocalizing the NAME. This is a custom which Jesus did not "correct." Simon Peter, the apostle to the Jewish people did not "correct" it.
Yet, these eager teachers will go where Jesus did not go. Rather than a SN teacher of today, if anyone other than Jesus was equipped to make such a "correction" it was Saul of Tarsus. But Paul never uses the Sacred Name in his writings. He never instructs any one else to use it and is silent about the Jewish custom of not using it. What Jesus, Peter, and Paul did not correct needs no correction.
Surely, the Sacred Name Movement has some good and sincere people in it. But even a cursory examination of the doctrine, as taught by SN teachers, reveals how poorly thought out, ill founded, and false it is. The movement and its doctrine of the Sacred Name is of man and not of God. The Sacred Name Movement is just another tool the enemy uses to deceive and ensnare people.
In order to further demonstrate the rampant confusion within the SN movement, here is a list of various spellings and/or pronunciations substituted for the name of Jesus. Bear in mind that to someone each of these names is holy, that to someone each of these names is absolutely, positively the name that Jesus' mother called him.
This list is not made up. All these names are in use by some SN person somewhere. Unless any particular name has been abandoned for one which the SN teacher likes better.
|Yahweh Ben Yahweh||Yashua||Y'shua|