Posts Tagged ‘sacred name’

This post is again a pass-along from a list I am on.  When we were in the Hebrew Roots Movement, nearly everyone we knew made an issue about what to call God the Father, and Jesus.  While I never saw it as important, I acquiesced as much as possible to this practice so as not to cause offense.  In fact, if you happen to use the name “Jesus” with someone of this persuasion, they will be quick to point out the importance of using the correct name so as to be sure you are talking about the RIGHT Messiah.

The Sacred Name issues are many and complicated due to the fact that Sacred Name adherents themselves cannot agree on the correct name.  The only thing they do agree on is that you must absolutely use the correct name for God the Father, and Jesus the Son.   Sacred name evangelists are not new on the scene, but the HRM is the new breeding ground for this distraction.

One man in our group angrily asserted in one meeting that his name was the same in any language, so God’s name should be too.   For those that have only spoken in one language, or never traveled abroad, this may seem perfectly logical.  Unfortunately, ignorance of languages produces many misunderstandings.  Many self-proclaimed scholars are leading people down roads of deception and idolatry, holding up false teachings as sacred cows which create stumbling blocks.

This is just the tip of the language iceberg in the Hebrew Roots Movement.  Not only does the long-loved English Jesus become taboo, but also a long list of other words we have commonly used when speaking of our faith.  Reminiscent of PC speech, this also reminds me of Orwellian attempts to change people’s thinking through what they are allowed to say.  This may seem a trivial subject to most, but I assure you, the damage this does to the simplicity of Christ and his gospel runs very deep.  The following article addresses at least part of this problem.

NOTE:  Dr. Michael Brown has a Ph.D in Semitic languages – which
of course include Hebrew and Aramaic – the original languages of
Jesus and His people. He is a recognized authority on this topic.

-by Dr. Michael L. Brown.

I am continually amazed by how many people write to our ministry
and ask us questions like this one, which came in last week: “Some
Christians say we have to use the Hebrew name, Yashua.  They
say calling on the name of Jesus is calling on Zeus. That Jesus is
a disguise name for Satan. What answers do you have for this?
Where can we prove the name of Jesus is correct to use in its
English translation and pronunciation?”

As bizarre as these questions are, the fact that they keep coming
up means that they need to be addressed, so here are some simple
responses (for more details, see What Do Jewish People Think
About Jesus, question #38).

The original Hebrew-Aramaic name of Jesus is yeshu‘a, which is
short for yehoshu‘a (Joshua), just as Mike is short for Michael.
The name yeshu‘a occurs 27 times in the Hebrew Scriptures,
primarily referring to the high priest after the Babylonian exile,
called both yehoshu‘a (see, e.g., Zechariah 3:3) and, more
frequently, yeshu‘a (see, e.g., Ezra 3:2). So, Yeshua’s name was
not unusual; in fact, as many as five different men had that name
in the Old Testament. And this is how that name came to be “Jesus”
in English: Simply stated, this is the etymological history of the
name Jesus: Hebrew/Aramaic yeshu‘a became Greek Iesous,
then Latin Iesus, passing into German and then, ultimately, into
English, as Jesus.

Why then do some people refer to Jesus as Yahshua? There is
absolutely no support for this pronunciation—none at all—and I
say this as someone holding a Ph.D. in Semitic languages. My
educated guess is that some zealous but linguistically ignorant
people thought that Yahweh’s name must have been a more overt
part of our Savior’s name, hence YAHshua rather than Yeshua—
but again, there is no support of any kind for this theory.

The Hebrew Bible has yeshu‘a; when the Septuagint authors
rendered this name in Greek, they rendered it as “iesous” (I­­esous,
with no hint of yah at the beginning of the name); and the same
can be said of the Peshitta translators when they rendered Yeshua’s
name into Syriac (part of the Aramaic language family). All this is
consistent and clear: The original form of the name Jesus is yeshu‘a,
and there is no such name as yahshu‘a (or, yahushua or the like).

What about the alleged connection between the name Jesus
(Greek I­­esous) and Zeus? This is one of the most ridiculous claims
that has ever been made, but it has received more circulation in
recent years (the Internet is an amazing tool of misinformation),
and there are some believers who feel that it is not only preferable
to use the original Hebrew/Aramaic name, Yeshua, but that it is
wrong to use the name Jesus. Because of this, we will briefly
examine this claim and expose the fallacies that underlie it.

According to the late A. B. Traina in his Holy Name Bible, “The
name of the Son, Yahshua, has been substituted by Jesus, Iesus,
and Ea-Zeus (Healing Zeus).”

In this one short sentence, two complete myths are stated as fact:
First, there is no such name as Yahshua (as we have just explained),
and second, there is no connection of any kind between the Greek
name I­­esous (or the English name Jesus) and the name Zeus.
Absolutely none! You might as well argue that Tiger Woods is the
name of a tiger-infested jungle in India as try to connect the name
Jesus to the pagan god Zeus. It is that absurd, and it is based on
serious linguistic ignorance.

Here is another, equally absurd statement:

“… according to the ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA, the name
Ieusus (Jesus) is a combination of 2 mythical deities, IEU and SUS
(ZEUS, a Greek god).” – (www.wwyd.org).

The response to this statement (which has as much support as the
latest Elvis sightings) is quite simple: We know where the name
I­­esous came from: the Jewish Septuagint! In other words, this
was not some later, pagan corruption of the Savior’s name; rather,
it was the natural Greek way of rendering the Hebrew/Aramaic
name Yeshua at least two centuries before His birth, and it is the
form of the name found in more than 5,000 Greek manuscripts of
the New Testament. This is saying something! The name I­­esous
is also found in Greek writings outside the New Testament and
dating to that same general time frame.

Although it is claimed that the Encyclopedia Britannica says that
“the name Ieusus (Jesus) is a combination of 2 mythical deities,
IEU and SUS (ZEUS, a Greek god)” it actually says no such thing.
This is a complete fabrication, intentional or not. In short, as one
Jewish believer once stated, “Jesus is as much related to Zeus as
Moses is to mice.”

Unfortunately, some popular teachers continue to espouse the
Jesus-Zeus connection, and many believers follow the pseudo-
scholarship in these fringe, “new revelation” teachings. Not only
are these teachings and practices filled with error, but they do not
profit in the least. So, to every English-speaking believer I say: Do
not be ashamed to use the name JESUS! That is the proper way
to say his name in English—just as Michael is the correct English
way to say the Hebrew name mi-kha-el and Moses is the correct
English way to say the Hebrew name mo-sheh. Pray in Jesus’
name, worship in Jesus’ name, and witness in Jesus’ name. And
for those who want to relate to our Messiah’s Jewishness, then
refer to him by His original name Yeshua—not Yahshua and not
Yahushua—remembering that the power of the name is not in its
pronunciation but in the person to whom it refers, our Lord and
Redeemer and King.
(emphasis mine – 8thday4life)


Another excellent resource:



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