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YHWH - YAHWEH - YAHSHUA
Dated video transcript partially edited 12-14-13
What is God's name? While Jews and Christians usually recognize the name God used to refer to Himself, the importance of His name can be recognized, particularly when ministering to Muslims who try to make a case for God's name being "Allah". While that is the name that Muhammad's tribe used before him, Arabic speaking Christians and Jews also do so through error, though there are some Arabic language Bibles that correct the error.
However scripture suggests we are saved according to the condition of our hearts, rather than by the technical details of religious practice. Saved through the Spirit as opposed to the flesh.
One reason some folks might hesitate to use God's name rather than the generic terms "God" and "Lord" in place of "Yahweh", and "Jesus" in place of "Yahshua" - besides being presented that way in English language Bibles - is a concern of association with the more fringe element of Messianics, that suggest that Christians that attend church on Sunday are heading to perdition, or condemn those that don't follow the law - even as they fail, just as miserably as men always have, at keeping the law. This perhaps while exchanging the joy, that is born out of the freedom we find in Yahshua through the Spirit, for the exercise of the flesh. Another concern may be that folks could get a first impression that the person is an elitist, or academic, at the possible risk intimidating others in a chat.
At least in regard to ministering to Muslims, it could be that Christians may be more effective if we expose Muslims to the name "Yahweh" and "Yahshua", to continuously highlight the difference between the proper name for God, as opposed to Mohammed's "Allah" whose name he lifted from the Arabian pagans, and whose Islam is the stunning opposite of Christianity.
"Allah" is not just an Arabic word for the term "God" as some suggest, since "ilah" is the Arabic equivalent for that, as revealed in the first pillar of Islam. "There is no ilah except Allah".
The Tetragrammaton "YHWH", or the name of God, is cited in Scripture over 6,000 times. Vowels were suggested to make the name more pronouncable. It's an interesting subject to explore. The custom of believing the name to sacred to say, or write, was a later tradition in Judaism established after their temple was destroyed. Around which time they also exchanged Yahweh's name for substitutes, in their scriptures.
The meaning of God's name translated into English is "I AM", which is wonderfully descriptive.
Because God ..... IS .....
Elohim is a Hebrew homonym for the "God", or a "god", determined by context.
From the Restored Name King James Version:
Exodus 3:13 And Moses said unto Elohim, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The Elohim of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What [is] his name? what shall I say unto them? 14 And Elohim said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.
The transliteration of the Hebrew name for the Messiah "Yahshua", or Aramaic "Yeshua", means "Yahweh saves" or "'I AM' saves" or "Yahweh is salvation" or "Yahweh rescues".
Use of God's name should help in resolving Muslim ignorance of, and knee-jerk rejection of, the triune nature of God, even though their Quran indicates that Mohammed's "Allah" has a spirit, and the Hadith notes that Muhammad declared himself to be an intercessor. For this reason one might favor the transliterated Hebrew "Yah" version of "Yahshua", whose name all by itself expresses the triune nature of God.
Have we been doing Muslims a disservice by not invoking this sacred and highly descriptive name when engaged in discussion, since perhaps the only thing Mohammed taught his followers to DISbelieve more, than salvation through Yahshua the Messiah, is that Yahshua is the Son of Yahweh. What is a Muslim to think once he learns that the name of the Messiah means "Yahweh saves"?
Sadly, Muslims have actually been deceived into believing that remission of sin can instead be achieved by marching around the kaaba 7 times, throwing stones at a wall, cutting their hair, shouting on a hill, and engaging in additional pagan Arabian moon, sun, star and even jinn-demon worship rituals. In the Hadith we read:
Sahih Bukhari Volume 2, Book 26, Number 596: Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet (p.b.u.h) said, "Whoever performs Hajj for Allah's pleasure and does not have sexual relations with his wife, and does not do evil or sins then he will return (after Hajj free from all sins) as if he were born anew."
However even some of Mohammed's closest followers were well familiar with the origins of these rituals.
Sahih al-Bukhari 26.710 Narrated 'Asim: I asked Anas bin Malik: "Did you use to dislike to perform Tawaf between Safa and Marwa?" He said, "Yes, as it was of the ceremonies of the days of the Pre-lslamic period of ignorance, till Allah revealed: 'Verily! (The two mountains) Al-Safa and Al-Marwa are among the symbols of Allah. It is therefore no sin for him who performs the pilgrimage to the Ka'ba, or performs 'Umra, to perform Tawaf between them."
While they were indeed among the symbols of the pagan Arabian's "Allah" this ritual was obviously recognized as being purely pagan until Mohammed simply declared that this Arabian - jinn-demon priest and pristess worship ritual - was sanctioned by his "Allah". Yet these pagan Arabian - and later Islamic - rituals are what the Hadith says remit sin.
Most Muslims don't know that there is no EVIDENCE that suggests that Mecca ever even existed before the 4th century AD. But then most of those that have learned that truth, refuse to believe it anyway, in spite of their inability to present evidence to the contrary. Thus we find the "period of ignorance", or at least self-imposed ignorance, actually began with Mohammed rather than ended with him. As further witnessed by Bibles being banned in Muslim countries.
Please click the 5th link below this video for more on Islamic rituals.
To my knowledge the name "Jesus" does not contain a meaning in Hebrew, Greek or English, except by association with it's use in context. Might we be able to be more effective if we instead, or at least often and interchangeably, use the name of God whose meaning is so wonderfully self-descriptive? I have found that it inspires questions by Muslims, that result in answers that they may find surprising, and perhaps convicting as well.
It is important to note that the lingua franca of the 1st century Holy Land was Koine Greek because the Greeks had been in control for over 300 years. So the Greek name "Iesous", is perhaps the name by which the Messiah was referred, by Gentiles, as well as Jews that would have also spoken Koine Greek at the time. Greek is also the language of our inspired New Testament scriptures.
Is it likely that - particularly those Jews that did not yet recognize Jesus as their Messiah - were calling him "Yahshua"?
Hebrew, Greek and Latin did not use the "J", which was even a 16th to 17th century addition to the English language, pronounced "i" prior to that.
The question I finally asked myself, particularly in light of ministering to Muslims is, are there any reasons that can be cited not to use God's name, that outweigh the reasons in favor of using it? While I intend to invoke Yahweh and Yahshua nearly exclusively in conversation with Muslims, I may still copy and paste from both the traditional King James Version, as well as one of the name restoring versions at present.
While searching for an online "sacred name" King James version, that was easy to copy and paste from, I found a "restored name" King James and a very enjoyable video titled "The Hebrew Roots of Christianity" from eliyah.com. I later found it on YouTube, conveniently broken down into parts and captioned for the hearing impaired, and it is available on the playlist in the second link below this video.
The "Restored Name" King James Version from eliyah.com is available at the third link.
If you note a change in a verse from your original KJV that causes you concern, I recommend you investigate with a resource like the Greek/English interlinear at the fourth link, from olivetree.com, that also has Strong's definitions and much more.
Why not explore a "restored name", or "sacred name" King James version a little for yourself? It might even result in your seeing a few things that you may not have noticed before.
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