What’s in a name?


I came a cross a video on YT where a Jewish believer made the case that Christians use the wrong name for God and Jesus. First let me say that God is a title not His name. People of course use the word God very frequently and there are other religions that have gods. The name of the God of the Bible is revealed as YHWH or the “I AM.”

The person in the video made the point that  YHWH is His name and Christians should call Him YHWH instead of God. The name Jesus in our English translation is derived  from the Greek word Iēsous. That is the name the NT writers used in their epistles and the gospels in the Greek Septuagint. Most of us Christians that speak English use the name Jesus. The same is true in German and Spanish,  just with a different pronunciation. I do believe that most believers know that Jesus’ name in the Hebrew is Yehoshua or Yeshua, which means God or YHWH is our salvation.

What about calling Him Jesus rather than by His Jewish name? The point made in the video was this: if someone goes to France and meets a person named Pierre, which in English would be Peter and calls him Peter instead of Pierre and that person says stop calling me Peter my name is Pierre.

Would he not get offended if the other person keeps on calling him Peter? I’m not sure what to make of this, is it wrong to call our Lord and Savior Jesus? Many people who are not believers think that Jesus Christ is His first and last name. Christ is also a title i.e Messiah. What is your opinion? Is it a legalistic way of looking at a name or does the man have a point and we should call “Jesus” by His Jewish name? I think it would be difficult to change something that has been going on for centuries.

On a personal note, my given birth name is Freddy and sometimes people call me Fredrick or Fred. I can handle Fred but don’t like Fredrick, that is not my name. Would Jesus feel the same way? Would He say my name is not Jesus it is Yehoshua or Yeshua? I don’t really know, but I do like the name Yeshua. Should we call YHWH by His title (God) or by His name?  Well, I’m not getting legalistic about it. It’s not any issue essential for salvation. I believe that “God” or “Jesus” know Who we mean when we say Jesus or God. I welcome your input and feedback on this.

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Categories: Apologetics, Believe, Bible, Biblical Perspectives, Christianity, Eschatology, Faith, Jesus Christ, John 3:16, Salvation, Spiritual, Truth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

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15 thoughts on “What’s in a name?

  1. Pingback: Resources for Revelation 22:12 - 13

  2. Hi Cindy, reminds me of Australian Blogging we often have 3 or 4 way conversations, thank you for your words of confirmation but although what I shared I believe strongly in I felt the writer of the website re the link expressed it better then I could so I shared his affirmation in regards to God’s names and the rest as the Lord lead me.

    As Freddy shared with us, God called Himself I AM and so did Jesus The Living Word as you can see below but with Translation some of this Truth was lost but not all we remember the New Testament Scriptures were originally written in the Greek and they were all written in Upper case so we know without a doubt that The Godhead of 3 are indeed One. 1 John 5:7

    Exodus 3:13-15 And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is His name? what shall I say unto them? And God 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.

    Isaiah 44:6 Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and His redeemer the LORD of hosts; I Am the first, and I Am the last; and beside me there is no God.

    Revelation 22:12-13 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I Am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

    Revelation 1:7-9 Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him. Even so, Amen. I Am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

    Thanks again Cindy it was nice sharing with you – Christian Love Anne

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  3. Amen Cindy. That’s why I like writing certain topics, it brings up good conversations and different angles on scriptures. It is always good to ponder on God’s word. He has revealed Himself to us as the “I AM” or the becoming One. Whatever needs somebody might have in their life, He is the banner, the shield, the healer the comforter, the door, the gate, the way etc. God is amazing and He is on the throne. Bless you my dear friend.

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  4. Thank you Anne, have a blessed day.

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  5. Cindy Sandifer

    Anne said:
    “The names that God has chosen to reveal Himself to us by in Scripture gives us a significant level of revelation into His person, His attributes and His character.”
    Anne,
    Your post was so well put! This sentence just confirmed to me that all the names God allowed in Scripture, hebrew or greek, must be fine with Him. He knew that gentlies who spoke greek would be grafted into His tree. In fact, Jesus Himself called saul (paul) to be the apostle to the gentile greeks, so He knew there would be a greek translation of His name because he is the God of the greeks as well as the jews. Jesus did not tell paul to teach the greeks hebrew or His hebrew name. He accepted the gentiles for who they were and had paul teach them in their own language.
    So my point: anne said above that God’s names in scriptures reveal who He is. To me this confirmed that Jesus’ greek name reveals that He is not only the God of the jews but of the greeks (gentiles) too. And furthermore, calling Yeshua by his Greek name must mean that we are gentile children of His grace.
    I have been studying this lately: gentiles are not expected to become jews. Jews and gentiles are two different branches of the tree. God made the mosaic covenenat of law with the israelies, but we gentiles come under the abrahamic covenant of faith. We approach God by faith through grace because of Jesus’ sacrifce. I dislike when religious people try to burden me with being a Torah-, festival-abiding Jew. I do love the jewish people, but i am not a jew.

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  6. Thank you Freddy it is good to ponder on the Names of God and when wanting to know about them this is a very good link that explains them well – http://thegospelwriter.com/statement-of-faith-or-what-i-believe/the-names-of-god/?gclid=CMy9uv-Gjq4CFQZspAodXjDJgg as the writer tells us the Scriptures reveal a multitude of names for God. The names that God has chosen to reveal Himself to us by in Scripture gives us a significant level of revelation into His person, His attributes and His character. In the same manner that the Elohistic and Jehovahistic names reveal the nature, attributes and character of God in the Old Testament the names and titles ascribed to the Lord Jesus Christ in the New Testament continue to reveal our Lord.

    Mostly names in the Old Testament were given depending on the Nature of the person when God said He hated Esau it was his immoral nature that He hated – Hebrews 12:16

    God tells us when we search for Him with all our Heart we will find Him meaning we will know His True Nature ( 1 Corinthians 2 9-16 ) and in knowing God we know The Son The Living Word and in knowing The Son we know The Father they are one with The Holy Spirit, They are 3 in One being The Godhead or Trinity as Thy are called today.

    1 John 5:7 For there are three that bear record in Heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these Three are One.

    Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the Government shall be upon His shoulder: and His Name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
    Christian Love Anne

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  7. Thanks Cindy, I do sometimes call Him Jesus or Yeshuah in my quite time with Him. God of course is only a title and it can get confusing sometimes when people say God, which god? Blessings to you.

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  8. Agreed, the Jews do not ever pronounce His name neither do they say it. As a matter of fact whenever the scribes recorded His name which in our Bibles is LORD, they had to cleanse themselves and used a new pen to write that one word. The name of the Lord is very sacred to them. Thanks be to Jesus that He has revealed the Father to us and we can come boldly before His throne. I do believe however that we should reverence the name of the LORD and not use it vain. Blessings to you.

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  9. Amen to that. Have a blessed day.

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  10. Thanks Cathy, I had a few conversations myself with people in my church and most agree that the people of His time called Him Yeshuah. But God (YHWH) knows the hearts of the true believers and whatever language it maybe He knows Who we call upon.

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  11. Great post Freddy. I have always known him as God or Jesus the son of God. Having a connection fb with the Messianics who always refer to him as Yeshua or Yahweh….makes me wonder. I like them too.

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  12. Noel Williams

    God knows our hearts and our minds and our thoughts. I am sure He is not losing any sweat over me calling Him the wrong name. The disciples called Jesus Master, Gabriel and Isaiah called Him Emmanuel/Immanuel

    Thanks for sharing. God bless you my brother

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  13. Thankfully, God knows our heart, so I don’t believe He is going to mind either way. As always, our heart, our intent is primary in how we choose to refer to our Lord. I, too, think this is a personal preference and is between ourselves and God.

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  14. From my studies, and someone correct me if I’m wrong, but the Jews don’t even know how to properly pronounce the name YWHW because of the respect/reverence that was shown towards it when it was recorded in the scriptures. I know that some today carry on that tradition even on wordpress when they write/type God by using G-d. I know that’s a large part as to why the English Bible uses the word LORD when the letters are used in the Old Testament (KJV & NKJV) from the mixture of the Hebrew and Greek when other translations use Jehovah. The mixture of “YHWH” and the vowels of “Lord/Adonai” equals Jehovah – YeHoWaH. It comes down to respect and traditions.

    I have had conversations with those who think that only Jehovah should be used when referring to God, but I pointed out to them that Jesus taught his disciples to pray to God as Father…so much for that theory. Many times in the New Testament, even in sermons, God is referred to by the use of the Greek word “Theos” (Acts 17:29-31) which simply means God. Christians capitalize the “G” because of due repsect.

    I think it all boils down to using respect when referring to the name of God even if we simply use the simple inference of the word “God” itself in whatever duscussion we may be having. I don’t see any reason not to use the name Jesus when referring to the Messiah of the Bible. God had the New Testament recorded in the Greek after all…and the Greek name “Jesus” is the same as the Hebrew name “Joshua.” I don’t see anyone saying that Jesus should be called Joshua, nor do I think they should.

    Interesting post Freddy.

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  15. Cindy Sandifer

    i don’t think it is legalistic to want to call someone by their correct name. and the Bible, NT and OT, obviously place great significance on the meaning of names; a person’s name defined him or her.
    this is a good question, freddy. In acts we read that there is no other name under heaven by which men are saved. but in the epistles we read that it our faith in what Jesus DID that saves us….
    i have thought about this before too. i think it is something we should seek the Lord about and receive an answer from Him.

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