The Divine Name Yahweh 

God said moreover to Moses, "You shall tell the children of Israel this, 'Yahweh, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.' This is my name forever, and this is my memorial to all generations. " Exodus 3:15, World English Version.

A Restoration Light Publication  Copyright (c) 1995, Revised 1997, 1999, R. R. Day

This document may be freely photocopied, printed or otherwise copied and distributed as long as it is reproduced in its entirety (including this statement) with no additions or deletions are made to its contents. Ronald R. Day, Restoration Light, P.O. Box 2360, Philadelphia, PA 19142; Homepage: http://reslight.addr.com/.

Snyder's Faith-sharing Evangelism Library - lots of free resources

Snyder Bible Home

 

PicoSearch
  Help
Site Search by PicoSearch

  Print    

Advertisement

Codex Sinaiticus

New Testament:

from the famed discovery

 

The earliest, oldest New Testament text has finally been released to the public.  You may read the Codex Sinaiticus online - but only if you know Greek!  To read it inCodex Sinaiticus New Testament H T Anderson English English, you need the only English translation we know.  The H. T. Anderson English Translation of the Codex Sinaiticus, with the three extra early New Testament books and the Sonnini Manuscript of Acts 29 included, and the original absences of certain verses (put in there later by the 'church') is now available only at here.  

THIS IS NOT A CHEAP, SCANNED-IN FACSIMILE. This is a first edition of the text published in easy-to-read Georgia font with plenty of room between verses for your notes.2 points between verses, hard or soft cover.

Advertisement

The Nazarene Acts
of the Apostles

Also known as
The Recognitions of Clement

Ever wonder why PAUL and not PETER received the mission to the lost tribes?  Wasn't Peter the stone upon which the "church" was to be built?  In this new translation of the Nazarene Acts, we follow Kefa (Peter) as he itinerates from Jerusalem and up the Mediterranean coast up to Tripoli, as recorded in the journals of his successor, Clement of Rome (Phi 4:3).  Every message Kefa preached, the company he kept, and the great works of faith the the Almighty accomplished through him are herein recorded.  This 300 page volume has been 'hidden' in the back of an obscure volume of the "Church Fathers" all this time.  Could it be that, in establishing the Gentile 'church' by pushing away from Judaism, this history was purposely hidden?

WHAT IS GOD'S NAME?

 Do you know?

(1) The Creator himself tells what his name is. His name is easy to identify in the original language of the Bible, Hebrew. But his name has become beclouded by erroneous translations, corrupted manuscripts and Jewish tradition. Confusion has resulted from the many titles used as names of God, making it appear that the Creator has many different personal names and we can choose whatever we want to call him.

WHY IS GOD'S NAME IMPORTANT?

(2) The scriptures place a lot of emphasis on the name of the Supreme Being. Our Savior himself showed this by teaching us to pray: "Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name." (Matthew 6:9, New King James Version) In this prayer the name of the Creator is not used, but rather he is referred to by one his titles, "Our Father". But our Savior placed the hallowing or sanctifying of his father's name as first in the prayer, indicating its importance.

(3) In another place our Savior prayed: "Father, glorify your name." The Father himself answered: "I have both glorified it and will glorify it again." (John 12:28, New King James Version.) Moreover, our Savior said: "Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name." (John 17:6,11,12) The Son of God again showed how much importance he placed on his Father's name. -- See also John 5:43; 10:25; 12:13.

(4) The Savior further showed the importance of the Divine Name when he said: "I have revealed your name to those who you took from the world to give me. I have made your name known to them and will continue to make it known, so that the love with which you loved me may be in them, and so that I may be in them." -- John 17:6,26, New Jerusalem Bible.)

(5) The scriptures tell us that those who belong to Messiah are actually sons of God. "For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God." (Romans 8:14, New American Standard Bible) "For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 3:26, New American Standard Bible) Certainly if we claim this standing as children of God we should want to know what God's name is, especially since, as children, these sons of God are called "a people for his name." -- Acts 15:14.

THE PRONUNCIATION OF THE CREATOR'S NAME

(6) But someone may say, "Isn't his name `God?' or `Lord'?" No, the apostle Paul tells us that "there are many `gods' and many `lords.' " (1 Corinthians 8:5) The words "God" and "Lord" are actually titles rather than personal names. The Hebrew words for "god" and "lord" are applied in the Bible to men, angels, and as well as inanimate idols.

(7) The evidence given in the Bible (from the Hebrew) shows that the Creator has only one personal name. But it has become difficult to know what that name is. How so? Let us see. Most translators of the Bible like to substitute the titles "Lord" or "God" for his name. If you open the popular English King James Version Bible to Isaiah 42:8, there the Creator is reported as saying: "I am the Lord, that is my name." The same statement is recorded in the American Standard Version in this manner: "I am Jehovah, that is my name." But the World English Bible renders it as: "I am Yahweh, that is my name." Which is correct?

(8) We must remember that the first part of the Bible was written in Hebrew-Aramaic (commonly called "Old Testament") and the second part was written in Greek (commonly called "New Testament"). If you are reading the Bible in any other language, you are reading somebody's translation, and often their interpretation of the Bible -- not the Bible as it was originally written.

(9) The Creator's name in the Hebrew Scriptures is represented by four Hebrew characters (Yowd, He, Vav, He). These four Hebrew letters are referred to as the tetragrammaton. They correspond roughly with the English letters YHWH or JHVH. As most of our readers know, we have been rendering the Creator's name as "Yahweh" throughout our publications.

(10) Many Bible scholars, however, often remark that "the Lord" and "God" are "names" for the Creator. Translators, therefore, feel that it is okay to substitute the term "the Lord" or "God" for the personal name of the Creator. But as we will show, "Lord" and "God" are not really names of the Creator, but rather titles.

The Creator's name appears in the Hebrew text over 7,000 times.

Note the following:

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature: "Jehovah - the imperfect of Jahve (Yahwe or Jehovah or Jahwe (Yahweh)."
 

Seventh-Day Adventist Bible Commentary: "And the name above all others that was looked upon as the name, the personal name of God, was YAHWEH."

The New American Encyclopedia: "Jehovah -- (properly Yahweh) a name of the God of Israel, now widely regarded as a mispronunciation of the Hebrew YHWH."

The Encyclopedia Britannica: ". . . the letters YHWH used in the original Hebrew Bible to represent the name of God."

The Oxford Cyclopedic Concordance: "Jehovah -- the name revealed to Moses at Horeb. Its real pronunciation is approximately Yahweh. The Name itself was not pronounced Jehovah before the 16th century."

American Heritage Dictionary: "Yahweh -- A name for God assumed by modern scholars to be a rendering of the pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton."

New Century Dictionary: "Jehovah -- the common European rendering of Heb. JHVH (or YHWH), representing, without vowels, Heb. Jahweh (or Yahweh), a divine name . . . regarded by the Jews as too sacred for utterance and hence replaced in the reading of the Scriptures by Adonai or Elohim; the form Jehovah being due to a mispronunciation of Heb. JHVH with the vowels of the associated Heb. Adonai. A name of God in the Old Testament, being the Christian rendering of `ineffable name,' JHVH in the Hebrew Scriptures."

A History of Christianity, Kenneth Scott Latourette (pg. 11): "Israel regarded their god, Yahweh, a name mistakenly put into English as Jehovah, as the God of the universe, the maker and ruler of heaven and earth. Other peoples had their gods, but Yahweh was regarded by these monotheists as far more powerful than they."

(11) Another excuse for substituting "the Lord" or "God" for the Creator's name is given in the "Preface" of The New American Standard Bible:

"This name [Yahweh] has not been pronounced by the Jews because of the great sacredness of the Divine Name. Therefore it was consistently pronounced and translated Lord. It is known that for many years YHWH has been translated as Yahweh. No complete certainty attaches to this pronunciation. However, it is felt by many who are in touch with the laity of our churches that this name conveys no religious or spiritual overtones. It is strange, uncommon, and without sufficient religious and devotional background. Hence it was decided to avoid the use of this name in the translation proper."

(12) How well the translators of the popular versions of the Bible have allowed themselves to be duped by the Adversary! Note this! They are admitting to taking away from and adding to God's Word by substituting the Lord or God for the Divine Name! (Proverbs 30:5,6) Their conclusion that the Divine Name is "strange, uncommon, and without sufficient religious and devotional background" is meaningless as far as it comes to changing God's Word! And what they seek to change is the very identity of the One who spoke the words! If translators would not be so insistent on removing the Divine Name from the Bible then the name of Yahweh would not sound so uncommon!

(13) Another reason given for using substitutes for the divine name concerns the Jewish custom regarding the name. The Jews had become superstitious regarding the pronouncing of this name, so they began to substitute the titles ADONAY (Lord) or ELOHIM (God) wherever God's name appeared. The original Hebrew alphabet contained only letters for the consonant sounds. Vowel sounds, while pronounced, were not written. Due to the Jewish superstition of substituting Adonay or Elohim for the Creator's name, in time the pronunciation of God's name was thought to be lost. Nevertheless, many believe that God's name in Hebrew was pronounced YAHWEH.

WHAT ABOUT "JEHOVAH"?

(14) In the popular King James Version, we can find the tetragrammaton translated in the text as "Jehovah" at four places. The first is Exodus 6:3, which reads: "And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them." (The words "the name of" before "God Almighty" are in italics, indicating that these words were added by the translators -- see almost any other translation) And again in Psalm 83:18: "That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth." The other two occurrences of his name in the King James Version are Isaiah 12:2 and Isaiah 26:4. However, in most places in the King James Version, God's name is substituted by the phrase "the Lord" or "God" (in all capital letters -- to distinguish from the common Lord or God). Most other English Bible translations do the same.

(15) But some say that the word "Jehovah" does not correctly represent the Hebrew pronunciation either. Why not? As we mentioned above, the original Hebrew alphabet consisted only of consonants. Many years after the Bible was written, vowels points were added to the Hebrew text by some Jewish scribes. These Jewish scribes inserted into YHWH the vowels from Adonai (Lord) and Elohim (God), thus bringing the pronunciation "Yehowah", translated into English as Jehovah. (16) The Revised Standard Version, (Preface) states: "The form Jehovah is of late medieval origin; it is a combination of the consonants of the Divine Name and the vowels attached to it by the Masoretes but belonging to an entirely different word. The sound of Y is represented by J and the sound of W by V, as in Latin. The word `Jehovah' does not accurately represent any form of the Name ever used in Hebrew."

(17) The Encyclopaedia Britannica (15th Edition) declares: "The Masoretes, Jewish biblical scholars of the Middle Ages, replaced the vowel signs that had appeared above or beneath the consonants of YHWH with the vowel signs of Adonai or of Elohim. Thus the artificial name Jehovah (YeHoWaH) came into being. Although Christian scholars after the Renaissance and Reformation periods used the term Jehovah for YHWH, in the 19th and 20th centuries biblical scholars again began to use the form Yahweh. Early Christian writers, such as Clement of Alexandria in the 2nd century, had used the form Yahweh, thus this pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton was never really lost. Greek transcriptions also indicated that YHWH should be pronounced Yahweh."

(18) There are some who have used this pronunciation ("Jehovah") to misrepresent God's purposes and promote idolization of an organization. Today, especially, the leaders of the "Jehovah's witnesses," misrepresent him as a very cruel God, ready to eternally destroy earth's present billions because they fail to listen or understand the "Watchtower" message. In so doing, they are actually bringing reproach upon his name.

(19) Additionally, some have pointed out that the structure of the word "Jehovah" indicates that it may actually slander the Creator! The prefix "Je" is often used to represent the shortened form of the Creator's name, "Yah." "Hovah" in Hebrew means "ruin" or "mischief." (See Strong's number 1943) Thus its meaning would be "Yahweh is ruinous," or "Yahweh is mischievous." Hovah is derived from havvah which means "eagerly coveting and rushing upon; by impl. of falling." (Strong) Thus some claim that this how insidiously Satan the Devil, the real mischievous one, the real "fallen angel" who "covets" the position of the Most High, has replaced the Creator's name with a name that describes himself! (Isaiah 14:12-14; Luke 10:18; 4:8,9) It is for this reason that some have said that the strange word "Jehovah" really refers to Satan (meaning "opposer") the Devil (meaning "false accuser, slanderer")! NOTE: We have come to view this argument as just conjecture without basis. We see no reason to oppose anyone's use of "Jehovah" as the divine name, as this is one of the earliest pronunciations given in English, and is well known. However, since many object on the grounds presented in paragraph 18, we generally use the term "Yahweh" in English to denote the divine name.

SUBSTITUTION CONDEMNED

(20) However, just because there is uncertainty as to how the divine name should be pronounced does not mean that we feel it is proper to substitute "Lord" or "God" for the Creator's name. The ancient Hebrews several times sought also to substitute God's name with a word that means "Lord" -- that is, "Baal." "And they forsook Yahweh God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt; and they followed other gods from among the gods of the people who were all around them, and they bowed down to them; and they provoked Yahweh's anger. They forsook Yahweh and served Baal [the Lord] and the Ashtoreths. And the anger of Yahweh was hot against Israel." (Judges 3:7,8; see also Judges 2:11-14; 8:33,34; 10:6,7) And again in Jeremiah's time Yahweh spoke against those who "try to make my people forget my name ... as their fathers forgot my name for Baal [the Lord]." (Jeremiah 23:27) Baal and Ishtar [Easter] worship was very popular among many nations and under various names: Tammuz and Astarte; Adonis and Aphrodite, etc. Baal was the god of fertility and Ishtar, the queen of heaven and goddess of fertility. (Jeremiah 7:18)

(21) Later the Jews began to substitute another word that also means "Lord," that is, "Adonay." It is possible that this term was chosen because it resembled the Greek Adonis. (Adonis was the Greek god that was loved by the Greek goddess Aphrodite.) Nevertheless, it is apparent that the Jews had come to use the term Adonay in the same manner as they had earlier used "Baal" as a substitute for Yahweh's name. This practice of substituting Adonay for the name of Yahweh is continued down to this day by Jews when reading Hebrew. As we hope to show in a later publication, Lord (or Baal) worship is very strong in the popular churches today. However, since Yahweh was very angry with his people for substituting "the Lord" [Baal] for his name in ancient times, surely he does not approve of the same thing happening today.

(22) But how can we be sure that "Yahweh" is the correct pronunciation of the divine name? There have been many convincing arguments presented for pronouncing God's name one way or another. There are very persuasive arguments for "Yahve", "Yahweh," "Yahu" and several other forms. Yet, in reality, all these arguments are to a great extent based upon some kind of assumption or theory. Some small groups have even went so far as to make individual salvation dependent upon using whatever pronunciation they have chosen for his name. However, if this were true, some people in certain lands could loose out simply because they do not have the same sounds in their language; as a result their pronunciation would be different. For instance, many languages do not have a sound for "W" in their language. If "Yahweh" is the demanded pronunciation they would be in difficulty, because they would probably end up pronouncing the "W" similar to a "V" or "B." To make salvation dependent upon a certain pronunciation is very narrow-minded, and we have no reason to believe that God is doing so.

(23) Thus the uncertainty of exactly how the divine name should be pronounced should preclude us from demanding one or another pronunciation. Such has led many into spending many fruitless hours of argument and unnecessary discord. Hundreds of hours have been spent trying to prove a favorite pronunciation that could have been spent in feeding the sheep and preaching the Good News of the Kingdom. (Matthew 24:14; Mark 16:15; Acts 5:42; 8:4; 1 Peter 5:2) The fact that several different pronunciations have been found amongst ancient writings indicates that the exact pronunciation is not what the Creator is concerned about. How much more important it is to praise Yahweh by declaring his acts, his judgments and the good news of the kingdom that will bless all families of the earth. (Matthew 6:33; 24:14; Genesis 22:18) Doing so shows more love for Him and gives more honor to his name than spending almost all our time squabbling over whether this or that way is the correct pronunciation. (Ephesians 5:16; 1 Peter 4:7-11) But to neglect to use His name over such triviality would also show a lack of love for the Creator, for his identity, and for his personage.

(24) Some recognize that Yahweh is God's name, but still continue to substitute "The Lord" for "Yahweh." However, the use of his personal name brings us closer to him. (Psalm 73:28) Would you want to address a close friend with titles such as "Mister," "Miss," or "Ma'am", without ever using his or her personal name?

THE MEANING OF GOD'S NAME

(25) Another reason the tetragrammaton should not be rendered by "the Lord", or "God" has to do with the meaning of God's name, represented by the Hebrew characters: The usual meaning given to this word is something like "He is," or "The Eternal." Yahweh is the third person singular of the Hebrew verb hayah (to be or become). In Exodus 3:14 Yahweh gives Moses a different variation of his name in the first person: "I will be what I will be (Ehyeh' asher' ehyeh')." (Revised Standard Version - footnote) Many translations render this "I AM THAT I AM." However, according some authorities, the Hebrew word hayah, as used in this verse, means more than just to exist. It also carries with it the thought of coming into existence, or causing to exist. Thus the third person would mean: "He will cause to be," or "He causes to be."

(26) The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1967, vol. 14, page 1065, after discussing the usual meanings given to God's name, states: "All these explanations, however, overlook the fact that in Ex 3:14 a merely folk etymology of the name, based on the qal form of the verb `to be,' is given. Grammatically, because of its vocalization, yahweh can only be a hi`phil or causative form of this verb, with the meaning `He causes to be, He brings into being.' Probably, therefore, yahweh is an abbreviated form of the longer, yahweh aser yihweh, `He brings into being whatever exists.' The name, therefore, describes the God of Israel as the Creator of the universe."

(27) That this meaning is correct can be seen by observing the indicated meaning of Yahweh in Exodus 6:2,3. In verse 15 of Exodus 3 we read: "And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say to the children of Israel, The Lord [Hebrew, Yahweh], God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me to you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations." In Exodus 6:2,3 (New Jerusalem Bible), we read: "God spoke to Moses and said to him: "I am Yahweh. To Abraham, Isaac and Jacob I appeared as El Shaddai, [God Almighty] but I did not make my name Yahweh known to them." (28) Now, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob knew and called upon the Creator as "Yahweh." To Abraham, Yahweh said: "I am Yahweh who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land as a possession." Abraham replied: "O Yahweh God, how am I to know that I will possess it?" (Genesis 15:7,8) Isaac referred to Yahweh as recorded at Genesis 23:22.

Likewise, when Jacob was at Bethel, after wrestling with an angel, he stated: "Surely Yahweh is in this place." (Genesis 28:16) In prayer to Yahweh, Jacob calls him by name as recorded in Genesis 32:9. Thus it is very apparent that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were familiar with the name "Yahweh."

(29) So what did Yahweh mean by the statement he made to Moses to the effect that he had not made his name known to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? Yahweh had to be referring to the meaning of his name (as the one who causes) rather just to the word used to designate his name. In verse four Yahweh calls attention to the covenant he had made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them the land of Canaan. They never saw Yahweh cause the fulfillment of that promise. It is in this manner that Yahweh says that he did not make his name known to them. However, now, Yahweh is saying that he going to cause a fulfillment of that promise. He will bring the Israelites out of Egypt into the land that he had promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. -- see Exodus 6:6-8. (30) Thus the name Yahweh signifies the one who accomplishes what he desires -- as denoting that we can fully trust that His magnificent plan for man will be completely accomplished. --See Isaiah 55:11; 45:21.

ADONAY AND ELOHIM

(31) Now, the Hebrew words Adonay [or Adonai - Lord] and Elohim [God] do not represent the meaning of the Creator's name at all. Both Adonay and Elohim are used in reference to false gods, men, and angels, as well as to Yahweh, whereas Yahweh is applied only to the Supreme Creator himself. Adonay means "Master" or "Lord." Elohim means "Mighty Ones" [when used with plural verbs, adjectives, etc.] or "The Mightier One" (Ha Elohim or when used with singular verbs, adjectives, etc.), and is usually translated "God," "god" or "gods." To substitute these terms for the personal name of God would actually be adding to and taking away from the words of God, something which is forbidden to do. -- Proverbs 30:6; Deuteronomy 4:2; 12:32.

(32) The word elohim, with its modifications eloah, elah and el, occurs over 2,500 times in the Hebrew scriptures. These most frequently refer to Yahweh. But in many instances these terms are applied to others. Hence we must see the connections to identify who is being referred to. In Psalm 8:5 elohim is applied to angels. (See also Hebrews 2:7,9, where the apostle applies elohim to angels.) Other scriptures contrast Yahweh with other elohim: "Give ear O Yahweh to my prayer . . . . Among all gods [elohim - mighty ones; rulers] there is none like you." (Psalm 86:6-8) "Yahweh is a great God [el] and great King above all gods [elohim -- mighty ones; rulers]." (Psalm 95:3) "Yahweh is great, and greatly to be praised; he is to reverenced above all gods [elohim -- mighty ones; rulers]." (Psalm 96:4) Elohim is also applied to men. Abraham is called elohim: "You are a mighty [elohim] prince among us." (Genesis 23:6) Moses is called elohim: "I have made you a god [elohim -- mighty one] to Pharaoh." (Exodus 7:1) The judges of Israel are called elohim: "His master must bring him to the gods [elohim -- mighty ones; rulers]." (Exodus 21:6 -- The King James Version renders elohim as "judges" in this verse.) Many more examples could be given, but the above proves that Elohim, ("God" or "gods,") is not the personal name of God, but rather a title, also applied to angels, men and even the false gods of the nations.

BAAL WORSHIP TODAY

(33) If you ask the average church-goer if he is involved in Baal worship, he will more than likely say "No!" If asked what God he worships, he will probably answer, "The Lord, " "God," or maybe even "Jesus." In his mind, he is not involved in Baal worship at all. But in this he has been deceived, just as Satan deceived Eve into partaking of the forbidden fruit. (2 Corinthians 11:3) Such a person is likely to "praise the Lord" and call upon the name of "the Lord" in prayer without any idea of Baal worship. He has been trained to do so all his life. The popular translations of the Bible have led him to believe that it is proper to call upon the name of "the Lord" rather than "Yahweh." After all, it is generally assumed that the Christian writers of the Bible substituted "kyrios" (or kurios, the Lord) for God's name in the Greek scriptures. [We will discuss this later] Thus, he has usually accepted this tradition as truth without any further investigation.

(34) The vast majority who have been calling upon the name of "the Lord" instead of Yahweh have been doing so ignorantly. These are somewhat excusable. But if we wish to worship in "spirit and truth" we must not just accept what has been handed to us without further investigation. (John 4:24; 1 Peter 1:18; 1 John 4:1) If we do accept a god named "the Lord" without investigation are we not deceiving ourselves and following a lie? We could be giving praise to Baal, who really is the Devil, for all prayers offered on the table of Baal are really offered to the demons, and not to the true God. -- 1 Corinthians 10:20-22; 2 Corinthians 5:14-16.

(35) The word "baal" simply means "lord." As such, it is not a bad word, and it is proper to use at appropriate times. It is used in the Bible as various parts of speech. The Theological Wordbook to the Old Testament states: One may own (ba'al) a house (Exodus 22:7), or rule over (ba'al) territory (cf. I Chronicles 4:22). A man may take (laqah) a wife and marry (ba'al) her (Deuteronomy 24:1). A focus on the verb ba'al from the theological standpoint leads to a consideration of marriage terminology employed by God in defining his relationship to his people. "For your Maker is your husband (ba'al), the Lord of hosts is his name" (Isaiah 54:5ff.). In Jeremiah the existing marriage relationship becomes a motivation for repentance: "For I am a husband unto you" (Jeremiah 3:14, ASV; RSV renders "I am your master"). In the justly famous new covenant passage the former covenant is described as a broken covenant, a situation which is the more sobering and shocking because "I was a husband (ba'al) to them, says Jehovah" (Jeremiah 31:32, ASV; RSV similar; cf. Malachi 2:11). The future delights which God will have with his redeemed people are stressed in Isaiah where the land is said to be married (ba'al, Niphal), apparently to YHWH. The name of the land, Beulah (passive participle of ba'al), signifies both the intimacy and the joy of YHWH in conjunction with the land ('eres, q.v.; Isaiah 62:4).

The background which such language gives to the NT concept of Christ as the bridegroom or husband of his people, the church, should be obvious (cf. Ephesians 5:21 ff.). In any case one must not miss the close covenantal tie that this metaphor suggests, not only of love but of loyalty between God and his people.

ba'al. Owner, possessor, husband, Baal. Ugaritic also has the double use of master and the name of a deity.

The root in most Semitic languages means either "lord" or, when followed by a genitive, "owner." In addition to ba'al as owner of things, the noun in the plural is used for citizens (ba'alim) of a city (Joshua 24:11). In Jude 9 where the noun occurs sixteen times, ASV consistently translates "men," but RSV in addition to "men" employs "citizens" (Jude 9:2) and "people" (Jude 9:46). ba'al can refer to partner or ally (Genesis 14:13). Idiomatically ba'al as master of something characterizes the person (e.g. ba'al of wrath, Proverbs 22:24; of appetite, Proverbs 23:2; of dreams, Genesis 37:19) or identifies occupation (e.g. officer, ba'al of the guard, Jeremiah 37:13). As such it used as when wife speaking of her husband (Genesis 20:30), landowners (Joshua 24:11), "lords of the nations" (Isaiah 16:8), owners of various items (Exodus 21:28,34; 22:8; 2 Kings 1:8), creditors (Deuteronomy 15:2), Yahweh (Isaiah 54:5; Hosea 2:16), and to false gods (Judges 2:11,13). NOTE: The Theological Workbook to the Old Testament abbreviates the names of Bible books; we have given them with full names.

(36) Likewise, its English translation, "Lord," is used in the similar ways. A person can be "lord of his home," or he can "lord it over a group." As such we should not be afraid to use this term, for the word itself, if used as above, in no way gives worship to a false god, or idolatry. Indeed, the word can be also be translated "Master," or "Mister." In Spanish (and some other languages), there is only one word for "Lord" and "Mister": Seņor. (37) However, it is improper to use the term "the Lord" (Spanish "El Seņor") in such a manner as to make it the proper name of the deity we worship. There was also a specific Canaanite god called "hab-Baal", that is, "the Lord." It is when the word "Baal" or "Lord" is used in this sense, or as a substitute for God's name, that it becomes an element of false idol worship.

Here are only a few scriptures that tell us how Yahweh felt about the worship of other gods: "I am [Yahweh] your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I [Yahweh] your God am a jealous God." -- Exodus 20:2-5, Revised Standard Version "Observe what I command you this day. . . . Take care not to make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land to which you are going, or it will become a snare among you. You shall tear down their altars, break their pillars, and cut down their sacred poles (for you shall worship no other god, because [Yahweh], whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God." -- Exodus 34:11-36, New Revised Standard Version. "When you have had children, and children's children, and become complacent in the land, if you act corruptly by making an idol in the form of anything, thus doing what is evil in the sight of [Yahweh] your God, and provoking him to anger, I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that you will soon utterly perish from the land." -- Deuteronomy 4:25,26, New Revised Standard Version.

(38) Nevertheless, the scriptures tell us that the Israelites did indulge themselves with the idolatrous gods of the lands in which they resided. Among these gods one name keeps occurring over and over, that is, Baal, or "the Lord." Regarding this, the Theological Wordbook of the OT states: Throughout the period of the judges, Israel succumbed to this infectious cult (Jude 2:11ff.; 6:25) and had to be rescued from its tragic consequences by Yahweh's judges. During the period of the Omrides, Baal worship became the official state religion of the northern kingdom (I Kings 16:31). Leah Bronner has presented convincing argument that Israel's miracles by Elijah and Elisha served as a polemic for God against the very powers attributed to this pagan nature deity, namely, fire (I Kings 18:17ff.; II Kings 1:9-16), rain (I Kings 17:1; 18:41-46), food (I Kings 17:1-6, 8-16; II Kings 4:1ff.); children (II Kings 4:14-17); revivification (I Kings 17:17-23; II Kings 4:18-37; 13:20-22, The Stories of Elijah and Elisha as Polemics Against Baal Worship, Leiden, 1968.) But their miracles did not rid the land of this degraded cult and it brought about the captivity of the northern kingdom (Hosea). It also infiltrated the southern kingdom (II Kings 11:18; 21:2ff.), and in spite of Josiah's reform (II Kings 23:4ff.), brought the nation into exile (Ezekiel 16; 23, etc.). The Hosea discourse describes how Israel, who received gifts of grain and oil from YHWH, used these for the worship of Baal (Hosea 2:8 [H 10]). NOTE: The Theological Workbook to the Old Testament abbreviates the names of Bible books; we have given them with full names.

(39) This god named Baal is later called Tammuz. Tammuz (or Baal, "the Lord") worship was closely associated with the cross, tree, and sun worship. (See Restoration Light Publication No. 37: Cross or Impalement?) This worship is still carried on amongst most traditional Christian groups in the form of the cross, Christmas trees, wreaths and Easter. (40) Once a disciple of Messiah learns the truth concerning these matters, he or she should immediately remove all these forms of Baal ("the Lord") worship from their lives! "Come out of her my people!" (Revelation 18:4) Yes, get out of all kinds of worship that entertains Satan's deceptions of idolatry!

THE DIVINE NAME IN THE NEW TESTAMENT

 (41) Getting back to the name of God, some claim that since the New Testament "translates" into Greek as "Kyrios", also meaning "the Lord," then we should do the same. However, evidence indicates that the "New Testament" Bible writers did not substitute God's name with "Kyrios," ("the Lord"). According to Mr. George Howard, Associate Professor of Religion and Hebrew at the University of Georgia: "In 1944, W. G. Waddell discovered the remains of an Egyptian papyrus scroll (Papyrus Fuad 266) dating to the first or second century B.C. which included part of the Septuagint. In no instance, however, was YHWH translated kyrios. Instead the Tetragrammaton itself -- in square Aramaic letters -- was written into the Greek text. This parallels the Qumran Covenanters' use of the paleo-Hebrew script for the Divine Name in a document which was otherwise written in square Aramaic script. . .

(42) "We have three separate pre-Christian copies of the Greek Septuagint Bible and in not a single instance is the Tetragrammaton translated kyrios or for that matter translated at all. We can now say with near certainty that it was a Jewish practice, before, during and after the New Testament period to write the divine name in paleo-Hebrew or square Aramaic script or in transliteration right into the Greek text of Scripture. . . .

(43) "The divine name YHWH was and is the most sacred word in the Hebrew language. So it is hardly likely that Jews of any sort would have removed it from their Bibles. Furthermore, we know now from discoveries in Egypt and the Judean desert the Jews wrote the Tetragrammaton in Hebrew even in their Greek texts. In all likelihood Jewish Christians felt the same way about the divine name and continued to preserve it in Hebrew in their Bibles. A famous rabbinic passage (Talmud Shabbat 13.5) discusses the problem of destroying heretical texts (very probably including books of Jewish-Christians). The problem arises for the rabbinic writer because the heretical texts contain the divine name, and their wholesale destruction would include the destruction of the divine name. This further suggests that Jewish Christians did not translate the divine name into Greek.

(44) "But Gentile Christians, unlike Jewish Christians, had not traditional attachment to the Hebrew Tetragrammaton and no doubt often failed to even recognize it. Gentile scribes who had never before seen Hebrew writing (especially in its archaic form) could hardly be expected to preserve the divine name. Perhaps this contributed to the use of kyrios and theos for the Tetragrammaton. . . . "Thus toward the end of the first Christian century, the use of surrogates (kyrios and theos) and their contractions must have crowded out the Hebrew Tetragrammaton in both Testaments."

(45) But why would the early Christians substitute kyrios (the Lord) or theos (God) for the divine name? We must remember that from 66 CE to 135 CE there were several Jewish revolts and much persecution by Roman authorities upon any who appeared Jewish. After the apostle's deaths, there was a great falling away from the true faith. (2 Thessalonians 2:3; 2 Peter 2:3) Most of the Jewish Christians were killed by the Roman authorities, leaving mostly "Gentile" Christians. These Gentile Christians wanted to appease the Roman authorities and gain approval amongst Romans in general. They began to discard almost anything that made them look Jewish. The Greek philosophies were put on par with the Holy Scriptures. (2 Timothy 6:20,21) Under these circumstances, we can see how all scriptures containing the divine name were more than likely destroyed, leaving only copies that contained the substitutes, kyrios or theos.

(46) Therefore we reason that the Christian Bible writers did indeed use the divine name in their writings, either in its Hebrew form or more probably some Greek form. To believe other than this would mean that we believe our Savior and the apostles came in the name of a god named Kyrios and not in the name of Yahweh. According the Hebrew Scriptures, if this were so, we should then reject all of the Christian writings as being messages of a false god: "But any prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, or who presumes to speak in my name a word that I have not commanded the prophet to speak -- that prophet shall die." -- Deuteronomy 18:20.

(47) Today there are many who claim to be prophets who come to us in the name of "the Lord," all of whom we can readily recognize as not being sent by the true God, Yahweh. A true prophet will come in the name of Yahweh, not in the name of a god called "the Lord." A true prophet will speak in agreement with the written Word of God. Everything a true prophet of Yahweh prophesies will come to pass, else he is a false prophet.

(48) Are all those, then, who worship by using "the Lord" or "Jehovah" calling upon a false god? Well, yes and no. We must remember that we are a long way from the first century, and Satan has caused a great deception, so that even the servants of the Master may not know what to do. (Luke 12:46-48) Each is responsible for what he has been given. (Luke 12:48) Thus we should expect, at least in the beginning of the final harvest, that most of the Master's servants do not recognize the importance of the divine name as opposed to using the name of a false god. This does not make them at heart worshippers of a false god. But as the message travels around the world, we should expect that Yahweh's holy spirit will direct it so that all who are truly his will have at least heard the true message.

(49) How, then, should we honor the name of our Creator? Certainly not by substituting "the Lord" for his name. But neither does it honor his name to make the use of his name our main message, perhaps trying to "prove" one pronunciation of his name as against another. Yet all who truly want to worship in spirit and truth should immediately begin to "remove the names of Baalim" from their mouths. (John 4:23,24; Hosea 2:17) Thus, as loving children of Yahweh, we should desire to "Praise Yahweh," not "Praise the Lord [Baal]." -- Psalm 111:1-5; 150:6. (50) To give praise to Yahweh should draw us closer to him and to each other. We recognize that all who love this world, including all who love the popular traditions of men, are about to be taken in destruction, leaving those who are under the blood of the Messiah. -- Matthew 24:37-42; Revelation 7:13,14; Zephaniah 2:2,3.

(51) But the good news is that their destruction is to discipline and humble them, not to send them to eternal destruction as taught by the Watchtower leaders. (Isaiah 2:11; 5:15,16; 10:33; Psalm 94:10) Yahweh will sanctify his name when says to all whom he destroyed: "Return, O you sons of men!" (Psalm 90:3) After the destruction of Satan's kingdom and Yahweh's kingdom has full sway over all the earth, all who have died will return to the earth (with the exception of the joint-heirs with Christ, who will already be resurrected -- Romans 8:17; Revelation 20:4) to be judged by the righteous judge. (Revelation 20:12) As a result "many people will go and say: `Let us go up to the mountain of Yahweh, and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths." (Isaiah 2:3) It is at that time that the "desire of all nations will come." (Haggai 2:7) Then the "glory of Yahweh will be revealed, and all flesh will see it together." (Isaiah 40:5) And the saying in Psalm 83:18 will be fulfilled upon those who perished, as spoken of in Psalm 83:17. "And let them know that Your name is Yahweh, that You alone are the Most High over the whole earth." At that time, "they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them." (Jeremiah 31:34) "And I will magnify Myself and sanctify Myself; and I will be known in the eyes of the many nations; and they will know that I am Yahweh." (Ezekiel 38:23) Praise Yah!

Fifty-One QUESTIONS FOR STUDENTS

(1)Why has the Creator's name become so confusing to many?

(2) How did the Savior show the importance of the Father's name in his model prayer?

(3) When in prayer to his Father, how did our savior show the importance of his Father's name?

(4) How else did the savior show the importance of the Creator's name?

(5) If we belong to Messiah, what is our relationship to the Creator? Why should those in this relationship want to know the Creator's name?

(6) Is the Creator's name "Lord" or "God." Why do you so answer?

(7) What have most translators done that makes it difficult to know the Creator's name?

(8) What should we remember about the Bible?

(9) How is the Creator's name represented in the Hebrew? What is this called?

(10) What do many Bible scholars claim about the terms "the Lord" and "God?" Give some references from many popular works regarding the personal name of the Creator.

(11) What is another excuse for substituting "the Lord" or "God" for the Creator's name?

(12) What response do we give to the above?

(13) What is another reason often given for using substitutes for the divine name?

(14) How does the popular King James Version translate the tetragrammaton in four places?

(15) How did the pronunciation "Jehovah" come to be?

(16) What does the Preface of the Revised Standard Version say about the term "Jehovah"?

(17) What does the Encyclopaedia Britannica say about the terms "Jehovah" and "Yahweh"?

(18) What can be said of the Watchtower leaders who use the term "Jehovah"?

(19) What does the structure of the word "Jehovah" indicate as to who is the real originator of this term?

(20) How does the Bible give instances of substituting "the Lord" for Yahweh? How did Yahweh respond to this?

(21) How did the Jewish tradition continue Baal worship by substituting another term for the divine name?

(22) Do all agree as to how the divine name was originally pronounced? Explain.

(23) a) Since there is uncertainty surrounding the divine name, should we demand a certain pronunciation? b) What is more important than spending many hours trying to prove a certain pronunciation?

(24) What are those who continue to call upon "the Lord" instead of Yahweh missing?

(25) a) What are the usual meanings given to the Tetragrammaton? b) However, what do some authorities say regarding its meaning?

(26) What does the Catholic Encyclopedia say regarding the meaning of the tetragrammaton?

(27) What does Exodus 6:2,3 say regarding the Creator's name?

(28) What shows that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were familiar with the divine name?

(29) In what way, then, did Abraham, Isaac and Jacob not know God's name?

(30) What, then, does the name Yahweh signify?

(31) Do the Hebrew words Adonay or Elohim represent the name of God? What does it mean if we substitute Adonay or Elohim for the name Yahweh?

(32) How is the Hebrew word elohim used in the Hebrew Scriptures, and what does this prove?

(33) How have many been deceived into Baal worship?

(34) What should one who wishes to "worship in spirit and truth" be careful about?

(35) What does the word "baal" mean? Give some examples of how it is used in the Hebrew Scriptures.

(36) Should we avoid use, then, of the word "Lord" altogether, since it has the same meaning of as the name of a false god?

(37) In what manner, then, would it be improper to use the term "Lord"? What did Yahweh tell the Israelites regarding the worship of other gods such as Baal ("the Lord")?

(38) Did the Israelites always obey the command to remain free from the idols of the nations? Give examples.

(39) What later name was given to Baal? What popular idols were associated with the worship of this god?

(40) What should a disciple of Messiah do once he learns the truth concerning these matters?

(41) a) How do some claim that the tetragrammaton "translates" into Greek? b) However, what evidence indicates that the New Testament writers did not substitute kyrios for the divine name?

(42) How do the pre-Christian copies of the Greek Septuagint Bible translate the tetragrammaton? What can be said of the Jewish practice regarding the translating of the divine name before, during and shortly after the New Testament period?

(43) How does the Talmud Shabbat give evidence that the Christian Bible writers also included the divine name in their writings?

(44) How was it possible for the divine name to be replaced by Kyrios or Theos?

(45) Why would the early Christians substitute kyrios or Theos for the divine name?

(46) If the Messiah came in the name of Kyrios rather than Yahweh, what should we do regarding him?

(47) Having this knowledge of the Scriptures, what can we readily recognize concerning the many "prophets" today who are coming in the name of "the Lord?"

(48) What can we say about many who worship by using "the Lord?"

(49) How, then, should we honor the Creator in this matter? What blessing will come to those who do so?

(50) What will happen to those who love this world and its popular idolatrous traditions?

(51) What is the good news concerning those who are destroyed at the end of Satan's system?

 Restoration Light P.O. Box 2360 Philadelphia, PA 19103-0360 (215) 724-1446 E-Mail: reslight@addr.com Homepage: http//reslight.addr.com/ poetry