The Scientific Search for the Name of Jesus

Yahshua is an argued transliteration of the original Hebrew or Aramaic name of Jesus commonly used by individuals in the Sacred Name Movement.

The Sacred Name Movement (SNM) is a movement within the Church of God (Seventh Day) in Christianity, propagated by Clarence Orvil Dodd, that claims to seek to conform Christianity to its “Hebrew Roots” in practice, belief and worship. The best known distinction of the SNM is its advocacy of the use of the “sacred name” Yahweh (יַהְוֶה), the reconstructed proper name of the God of Israel, and the use of the original Hebrew name of Jesus, often transcribed as Yahshua. SNM believers also generally keep many of the Old Testament Laws and ceremonies such as the Seventh-day SabbathTorah festivals and keeping kosher food laws.

The Sacred Name Movement has few adherents which include The Assembly of YahwehYahweh’s Restoration Ministry, Assembly of Yahweh 7th Day, Yahweh’s Assembly in MessiahAssemblies of YahwehYahweh’s Frystown Assembly, and The Biblical Foundations Academy.

The English spelling Yahshua originates at least as early as 1950 in  The New Testament of our Messiah and Saviour Yahshua, The Word of Yahweh and The Sacred Name King James Bible. The form Yahshua is used in some Sacred Name Bibles.

These Bibles include The New Testament of our Messiah and Saviour Yahshua, The Holy Name Bible, The Sacred Scriptures Bethel Edition, The Book of Yahweh: The Holy Scriptures, The Sacred Scriptures, The Family of Yah Edition, The Word of Yahweh, The Hebraic Roots Bible, The Restoration Study Bible, and The Restoration of Original Sacred Name Bible.

The following versions are those where either “Yahweh” or “Jehovah” is usually limited to use in the Old Testament. Unlike other Sacred Name Bibles, these are usually published by general publishers. These Bibles include Young’s Literal Translation, The American Standard Version. Rotherham’s Emphasized BibleThe Bible In Basic EnglishThe Amplified BibleThe New World TranslationThe Jerusalem Bible, The Anchor Bible, The New Jerusalem Bible, The New English Bible, The Living BibleThe New Living TranslationThe Holman Christian Standard Bible, and The World English Bible.

The spelling Yahshua (יהשע) is not found in Hebrew texts. The Hebrew Bible uses Yehoshua (יהושע), and later Aramaic form Yeshua (ישוע), for Joshua, which means “Yah is Salvation.” Christians, historians, and linguists outside the Sacred Name Movement for the most part reject the term Yahshua (יהשע) in favor of Yeshua (ישוע) as the original pronunciation. Tal Ilan’s Lexicon of Jewish Names in Late Antiquity (2002), notes Yehoshua (יהושע), and the later Aramaic form Yeshua among many names containing Yah derived from YHWH.

An additional variant Yahshuah (Hebrew: יהשוה‎) is found in Christian texts. Like Yahshua this variant is not found in the Hebrew Bible. Another variant, Yesu, occurs in polemical rabbinical texts, connected with Jesus in the Talmud and is the modern Israeli secular spelling of Jesus. The spelling is not applied to other Yeshuas and Yehoshuas.

The transcription of Hebrew-alphabet Yehoshua (יהושע) as Latin-alphabet “Yahshua” is first documented during the early days of the Sacred Name Movement in the 1930s, perhaps developed by leaders such as Angelo B. Traina and C.O. Dodd.

Those who follow Sacred Name teachings (such as the Assemblies of Yahweh) believe that it is an aid to salvation to use the correct pronunciation. Unfortunately, this is worked based savation and cannot provide salvation to anyone.

  • For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
    (Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV)

“Yahshua” supporters teach that since the Messiah will “come in his Father’s Name” (John 5:43), then he must have the name of Yahweh, or at least the abbreviated form (Yah) in his spoken name. Another popular contraction is Yah’shua with the apostrophe serving as a division to emphasise the “Yah” aspect of the name and the Hebrew shua (salvation), found in the Natural Israelite Bible.

Critics say that in their labor to get the pronunciation “Yahshua” out of יהושע, they are ignoring Hebrew linguistics that do not allow the ‘waw’ to be silent, so “Yahshua” is a questioned translation. Furthermore, it is argued by some that this pronunciation is not attested in antiquity, unlike the pronunciation “Yehoshua.”

The first group to use Yahshuah: as a name for Jesus were Renaissance Occultists. In the second half of the 16th century, when knowledge of Biblical Hebrew first began to spread among a significant number of Christians, certain esoterically minded or occultistic circles came up with the idea of deriving the Hebrew name of Jesus by adding the Hebrew letter shin ש into the middle of the Tetragrammaton divine name “yod-he-waw-he” (יהוה) to produce the form “yod-he-shin-waw-he” (יהשוה). Aleister Crowley used both the names Yahshuah and Yahshua through his occult writings, divinations and conjurings.

You are free to pray to and worship who you want. I will continue to pray to God (YHWH) through His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ (Yeshua, Yehoshua). The names Yahshuah and Yahshua have no devine meaning to me and certainly never will.

Advertisements

The Author of Confusion

For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
(1 Corinthians 14:33 KJV)

The Sacred Name Movement (SNM) is a movement within certain sects of Corpus Christendom that claims to seek to conform Christianity to its “Hebrew Roots” in practice, belief and worship. The best known distinction of the SNM is its advocacy of the use of the “sacred name” Yahweh, and the use of the original Hebrew name of Jesus, often transcribed as Yahshua.

The Sacred Name Movement arose in the early 20th century out of the Adventist movement. Clarence Orvil Dodd, a member of the Church of God (Seventh Day), began keeping the Jewish festivals (including Passover) in 1928 and adopted sacred name doctrines in the late 1930s.

The Movement started with the formation of the Assembly of Yahweh in Holt, Michigan (USA) in the early 1930s. The leaders of this group claim that a founding member was visited by two angels who explained that The Messiah’s Name is properly Yahshua.

Visited by an angel that reveals a truth? That seems to be a basis in most cults throughout America and the world in general..

The Apostle Paul said, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:6-9 KJV).

The use of the sacred names has led to the production of Sacred Name Bible translations. Most of these Bibles use modern translations like the KJV with the common titles “God and Lord” replaced with the Sacred Names. These translations include The Word of Yahweh, The Scriptures, The Restoration of Original Sacred Name Bible, Angelo Traina’s Holy Name Bible, The Sacred Name King James Bible, The Sacred Scriptures (Family of Yah Edition), The Sacred Scriptures (Bethel Edition), The Hebraic Roots Bible, The Aramaic English New Testament, The Restoration Study Bible (RSB) and many other translations, some still in progress of being translated and published.

Some of the favorite passages of Scripture by Sacred Name Movement adherents are Psalms 9:10, Joel 2:32, Acts 2:21 and Acts 4:12.

And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.
(Psalms 9:10 KJV)

And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.
(Joel 2:32 KJV)

And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
(Acts 2:21 KJV)

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
(Acts 4:12 KJV)

Thus, according to their interpretations, one cannot call out to God through Jesus Christ and be saved without the knowledge of His true “sacred name.”

Yahshua is an argued transliteration of the original Hebrew or Aramaic name of Jesus commonly used by individuals in the Sacred Name Movement. The spelling Yahshua and Yahshuah are not found in Hebrew texts. The Hebrew Bible uses Yehoshuah and Yeshua, which means “YHWH is Salvation.” Christians, historians, and linguists outside the Sacred Name Movement for the most part reject the term Yahshua in favor of Yeshua as the original pronunciation.

Sacred Name Movement adherents teach that since the Messiah will “come in his Father’s Name” (John 5:43) then he must have the name of YHWH (Yahweh), or at least the abbreviated form (YAH) in his spoken name.

Critics say that in their labor to get the pronunciation Yahshua out of Yehoshuah, SNM adherents are ignoring Hebrew linguistics that do not allow the “waw” to be silent, so Yahshua is a questioned translation. Furthermore, it is argued by some that this pronunciation is not attested in antiquity, unlike the pronunciation Yehoshuah or Yehoshua.

Yeshua was a common alternative form of the name Joshua (Yehoshuah) in later books of the Hebrew Bible and among Jews of the Second Temple Period. The name corresponds to the Greek spelling Iesous, from which comes the English spelling Jesus. In English the name Yeshua is extensively used by followers of Messianic Judaism as well as other Christian denominations who wish to use what they consider to be Jesus’ Hebrew or Aramaic name.

Yahshuah is a form of the Hebrew name of Jesus produced by mystical speculation at various periods of history, but which is rejected by mainstream linguistics and textual scholarship in the field of ancient languages. The first ones to use a name of Jesus something like Yahshuah were Renaissance occultists. In the second half of the 16th century, when knowledge of Biblical Hebrew first began to spread among a significant number of Christians, certain esoterically-minded or occultistic circles came up with the idea of deriving the Hebrew name of Jesus by adding the Hebrew letter shin ש into the middle of the Tetragrammaton divine name yod-he-waw-he (יהוה or YHWH) to produce the form yod-he-shin-waw-he (יהשוה).

Those who call the Messiah Yeshua or Jesus  are accused of perpetuating a Jewish conspiracy and “denying His name” or “degrading Him” by their use of Yeshua or Jesus. I have heard some claim that the use of Yeshua or Jesus is blasphemy, taking the name of the Lord in vain, and even that the use of these names is the worship of the Antichrist. If you have never read or heard these outlandish accusations, you probably will eventually.

A person does not need to know Hebrew and Greek linguistics in order to be spiritual. However, if a person is going to take it upon himself to instruct others about subjects of a linguistic and Hebraic nature, he should know the Hebrew language and he should know some basics about linguistics. This is especially true if he is going to use his Hebrew-based linguistic teachings to accuse his brethren of being part of a “Jewish conspiracy” to “deny the true name of the Messiah.”

In Nehemiah 8:17, Joshua’s name is 100% identical to the name which today’s Messianic Jews use for the Messiah, Yeshua. Strong’s confirms this pronunciation, and tells us that there were ten Israelites in the Bible who bore this name (http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?strongs=H3442). Therefore the shortening of Yehoshua to Yeshua predates the Christian era by at least 500 years, and cannot be the result of a Jewish conspiracy to hide the Messiah’s true name. To claim that the shortened form Yeshua is the result of a Jewish conspiracy is to ignore the facts of history and the facts of the Hebrew Scriptures. The form Yeshua existed for several hundred years before the Messiah was even born. Even in the pre-Christian Septuagint, we see the Greek form IHSOUS (Yesous) in the title of the Book of Joshua. (This is also proof that Yesous has no connection to the pagan god Zeus.)

Why is the Yahshua form used by no one but Sacred Name Movement adherents and people who have been influenced by Sacred Name Movement adherents? Probably because no such name exists in the Hebrew Bible and, to my knowledge, no such name exists in any extra-Biblical Hebrew literature (other than SNM literature). It appears that Dr. Ben-Gigi is correct when he said, “People invented the name Yahshua to fit within their theology”.

The Apostle Paul warned Timothy about “doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmising” (1 Timothy 6:4). Unfortunately, this is an accurate description of what goes on among many people in the Sacred Name Movement. Personally, I would rather fellowship with non-contentious people who call the Messiah Jesus than with contentious people who insist that everyone call Him Yahshua, an errant and false name and docytrine (Acts. 4:12).

If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
(1 Timothy 6:3-5 KJV)

Also consider that those associated with the Sacred Name Movement like to refer to the Apostle Paul as Sha’ul. It is interesting to note that his name was Shau’l in the ninth chapter of Acts. Thereafter, Peter referred to him as Paul beginning in thirteenth chapter of Acts, which states, “Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him” (Acts 13:9 KJV). Sha’ul is never referred to as anything but Paul again. This is obviously another story, but bears influence on this article.

This article was not written and compiled to persuade people to quit saying Yahshua. If people want to continue using a mistransliteration that was erroneously contrived by early Sacred Name Movement pioneers who didn’t know Hebrew, it really doesn’t matter to me. I doubt that their mistransliteration matters much to the Lord, either. What does matter, though, is the spreading of false accusations against Messianic Jews and Christians who call the Messiah Yeshua or Jesus Christ.

It is far past time that we as believers place stumblingblock in our brother and sisters paths, and the time to pass judgement on them (outside of Scripture) was never ours in the first place. It is written, “For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living. But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way” (Romans 14:8-13 KJV).