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ב״ה
“… out of Tziyon will go forth Torah, the word of ADONAI from Yerushalayim.”
(Isaiah 2:3)
Jew and Gentile (Synagogue and Church), one in Messiah. (Ephesians 2:14)
“For He is our peace, Who made both one, and broke down the middle wall of partition, …”
 

If your life is not in jeopardy for what you believe, you’re probably on the wrong side!
“Indeed, all who want to live a godly life united with the Messiah Yeshua will be persecuted.” (2Tim 3:12)
It is what you actually believe that determines how you walk out your faith, “but avoid stupid controversies, genealogies, quarrels and fights about the Torah; because they are worthless and futile.” (Titus 3:9)

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Please Note: Nothing on this website should be taken as anti-Church. I am not anti-anything or anyone. I am only pro-Torah, pro-Truth, and pro-Grace. Sometimes the Truth upsets our long-held beliefs. Why isn’t my theology consistent throughout this website?

[Explanations of rabbinic citations are HERE]

Developing a
Systematic Messianic Theology

“The purpose of careful theological formulations is not to put barriers in the way of people who are seeking salvation, but to define clearly the truths upon which genuine [Biblical] faith rests, so that people will not be misled by false doctrines.”[Bowman]

 Some Thoughts on the Sacred Name
(Please follow all hyperlinks and watch all videos to get the most out of this article)


Keith Johnson, His Hallowed Name Revealed Again
BFA International   (Create a free membership to view more videos)
 
Stand Against the Ban
Stand Against the Ban[1]

In my opinion, to say that the Creator has a “given” Name (in the sense that we humans all have names given to us by our parents) diminishes His deity, since He obviously had no parents to bestow a name upon Him. Additionally, in the occult practices it is believed that to be able to name a thing is to be able to control that thing, and there is nothing or nobody that can control the Creator.

As of this writing (2022) I am 76 years old, have always held the deepest respect for the Sacred Name, and have never felt it appropriate to refer to Him by the KJV name “Jehovah.” As a youth, it just seemed inappropriate to address or refer to my heavenly Father by His given Name, just as it seemed inappropriate to address or refer to my earthly father by his given name. Not taboo, just inappropriate. When I learned that it is impossible to say the word “Jehovah” in any of the three languages in which the Bible was written — Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek — since none of the three have either the “jay” sound or the equivalent of the letter “J”, and that the word should probably be pronounced “Yahweh,” it still seemed inappropriate for the Name to be spoken except under exceptional circumstances or when necessary for clarity when teaching.

The Origins of Yahweh - NehemiasWall.com
This video was added to the page on Thursday, 14 July 2022.

In seminary I was taught — and, of course, I later taught — that the correct pronunciation of the Divine Name represented by the Hebrew letters yod-heh-vav-heh (יְהוָֹה) was lost in antiquity, and nobody has known how to pronounce the Name correctly since the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE. Prior to being lost (I was taught, and I taught), the Name was considered too sacred to be pronounced except once a year on Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) when the High Priest would “place” (Hebrew שׂוּם, suwm, put, set, lay, put or lay upon, ordain, establish, appoint) the Name upon the Sons of Isra'el.

Yehovah [emphasis on the last syllable] said to Moshe, “Speak to Aharon and his sons, and tell them that this is how you are to bless the people of Isra'el: you are to say to them,
יְבָרֶכְךָ יהוה, וְיִשְׁמְרֶךָ‎
‘Y'varekh'kha Yehovah v'yishmerekha.
[May] Yehovah bless you and keep you.

יָאֵר יהוה פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ, וִיחֻנֶּךָּ
Ya'er Yehovah panav eleikha vichunekka.
[May] Yehovah make his face shine on you and show you his favor.

יִשָּׂא יהוה פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ, וְיָשֵׂם לְךָ שָׁלוֹם‎
Yissa Yehovah panav eleikha v'yasem l'kha shalom.
[May] Yehovah lift up his face toward you and give you peace.’
In this way they are to put My Name on the people of Isra'el, so that I will bless them.” (Numbers 6:22-27)

Please note that Yehovah instructed Aharon and all his sons, not just the High Priest, to place His Name (not one of His many titles) upon the Sons of Isra'el in order that He might bless them. Also note that there is no indication that this blessing should occur only once a year. So the question must logically be asked, can Yehovah bless the Sons of Isra'el in the manner He specifically intended here if His Name is too sacred to pronounce, or if the pronunciation has been lost to His people, or if that blessing occurs only once a year? That would suggest that the Almighty instructed His priests to do something that they were incapable of doing—that is, if they did not know how to pronounce His name, or they were forbidden to do so. That forces the next question, by whose authority was the Name judged too sacred to pronounce?

Under the boot of the Roman Empire (from 63 BCE until the Jews were banished from Jerusalem in 136 CE following the failed Bar Kokhba rebellion), it was the crime of “athiesm” to pray to any “god” other than those in the Roman pantheon. These were the “gods” that had been created in ancient Babylon under the reign of Nimrod (the Mystery Babylon, or the Babylon Mystery Religion), whose names had been changed over the generations for the convenience of their worshippers. All the conquered nations willingly complied … except those trouble-making Israelites who clung steadfastly to their strange religion of only one invisible God. Rome generally looked the other way as long as Isra'el would essentially refrain from causing trouble, but following three major rebellions (66-70, 115-117, 132-136 CE) Rome had finally had enough and expelled the Jewish people from Jerusalem in 136 following their crushing defeat.

Rabbinic texts indicate that following the Bar Kokhba revolt, southern Galilee became the seat of rabbinic learning in the Land of Isra'el. This region was the location of the court of the Patriarch which was situated first at Usha, then at Bet Shearim, later at Sepphoris, and finally at Tiberias. The Great Sanhedrin moved in 140 to Shefaram under the presidency of Shimon ben Gamliel II, and to Beit Shearim and Sepphoris in 163, under the presidency of Judah I. Finally, it moved to Tiberias in 193, under the presidency of Gamaliel III (193–230) ben Judah haNasi, where it became more of a consistory, but still retained, under the presidency of Judah II (230–270), the power of excommunication. [Wikipedia]
After suppressing the Bar Kochba revolt, the Romans permitted a hereditary rabbinical patriarch from the House of Hillel to represent the Jews in dealings with the Romans. The most famous of these was Judah the Prince. Jewish seminaries continued to produce scholars, of whom the most astute became members of the Sanhedrin. The remaining Jewish population was now centred in Galilee. In this era, according to a popular theory, the Council of Jamnia developed the Jewish Bible canon which decided which books of the Hebrew Bible were to be included, the Jewish apocrypha being left out. It was also the time when the tannaim and amoraim were active in debating and recording the Jewish Oral Law. Their discussions and religious instructions were compiled in the form of the Mishnah by Judah the Prince around 200 CE. Various other compilations, including the Beraita and Tosefta, also come from this period. These texts were the foundation of the Jerusalem Talmud, which was redacted in around 400 CE, probably in Tiberias.
    In the 3rd century, economic disruption and high taxation due to civil wars in the Roman Empire caused many Jews to migrate from the Land of Isra'el to Babylon under the more tolerant Persian Sassanid Empire, where an autonomous Jewish community existed in the area of Babylon. They were lured by the promise of economic prosperity and the ability to lead a full Jewish life there. During this time, the Land of Isra'el and Babylon were both great centers of Jewish scholarship. However, sages in the Land of Isra'el came to fear that the centrality of the land to Judaism would be lost. Many refused to consider Babylonian scholars their equals and would not ordain Babylonian students in their academies, fearing they would return to Babylon as rabbis. The large scale of Jewish emigration to Babylon adversely affected the academies of the Land of Isra'el, and by the end of the 3rd century they were increasingly reliant on donations from Babylon. [Wikipedia]

Before we proceed, there are two Hebrew terms that need to be defined:

Takanot (singular takanah, תקנה) — Oral Tradition, Tradition of the Fathers/Elders, or “Oral Torah” — are Rabbinical regulations that either add to or subtract from the requirements of Torah; laws enacted by the Rabbis that change or negate Torah in direct violation of Torah (Deuteronomy 4:2; 12:32). Obedience to Takanot is obedience to the Rabbis instead of obedience to Yehovah. In fact, the Rabbis claim that when they make takanot, even Yehovah must obey their decisions. [READ MORE]

Minhag (Hebrew: מנהג‎ “custom”, pl. מנהגים‎, minhagim) is an accepted tradition or group of traditions in Rabbinical Judaism. In addition to the 613 commandments, and in direct violation of Torah (Deuteronomy 4:2; 12:32), observant Jews consider minhag as halakha, Jewish law as derived from the Talmud, binding upon all Jews.

Takanot (traditions) and minhag (customs) are rabbinical laws which have been created specifically and intentionally to either add to or take away from the mitzvot of Torah, placing the laws of men as superior to the instructions of Yehovah! It was the takanot and minhag of His day that was the cause of Yeshua vehemently chastising “the Scribes and Pharisees.” (For example, Matthew 23:4; 12:34; 23:33; Mark 7:1-13)

The commandments of Yehovah require us to disobey takanot and minhag when they are in conflict with Torah!

In order to obey the mitzvot of Yehovah your God which I am giving you, do not add to what I am saying, and do not subtract from it. (Deuteronomy 4:2)

Everything I am commanding you, you are to take care to do. Do not add to it or subtract from it. (Deuteronomy 12:32)

Every word of God’s is pure; He shields those taking refuge in Him. Don’t add anything to His words; or He will rebuke you, and you be found a liar. (Proverbs 30:5-6)

I warn everyone hearing the words of the prophecy in this book that if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues written in this book. And if anyone takes anything away from the words in the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the Tree of Life and the holy city, as described in this book. (Revelation 22:18-19)

Before moving on, I feel I must answer one objection that is sure to arise, as I have been asked this question by my local Messianic rabbi friend. “What do we do about Matthew 23:2-3?”

“The Scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses; therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them. (NASB95)

Most English translations correctly translate the Greek text as “… whatever they tell you …” and this verse is used by many Messianics to teach that we are to obey the takanot of the Pharisees as recorded in the Talmud, even though Yeshua frequently rebuked the Pharisees for adding the “heavy burden” of takanot to the Torah and blatently violated them Himself. However, the earler Hebrew version of Matthew’s Gospel account, as well as many early and reliable manuscripts, read:

The Pharisees and sages sit upon the seat of Moses. Therefore, all that he says to you, diligently do, but according to their reforms (takanot) and their precedents (ma'asim) do not do, because they talk but they do not do.

In the Hebrew Matthew, Yeshua is telling his disciples not to obey the Pharisees. If their claim to authority is that they sit in Moses’ Seat, then diligently do as Moses says!

To understand what happened, we must compare the Hebrew with the Greek. In the Greek, the disciples were commanded to obey “all that they [the Pharisees] say,” but in the Hebrew, Yeshua told his disciples to obey “all that he [Moses] says.” These are two fundamentally different messages, but in Hebrew, this is a difference of only one single letter! In Hebrew, “he says” is yomar while “they say” is yomru. The only difference between the two in an un-pointed Hebrew text is the addition of the extra vav in yomru “they say.” That this is the basis for a completely different message is amazing because vav is one of the smallest letters in the Hebrew alphabet, really just a single stroke! The addition of this tiny letter changes Yeshua’s message from an instruction to obey Moses (“all that he says”) to a commandment to obey the Pharisees (“all that they say”). In contrast, in Greek the difference between “he says” (eipei) and “they say” (eiposin) is a much larger difference. This suggests that the Greek translator misread the Hebrew text as containing that extra vav. Maybe this Greek translator did not even understand who or what the Pharisees were all about!

After instructing his disciples to do as Moses says, Yeshua continues that they must not do according to the takanot and ma'asim of the Pharisees. [Nehemiah Gordon, The Hebrew Yeshua vs. the Greek Jesus, p. 41-42, his emphasis).]

It is Yeshua’s example that we are to follow, not the example set by the Pharisees and Scribes. Thus, we are to obey the teaching of Moses (the Torah) and avoid the “Tradition of the Elders,” as they are in violation of Torah.

Yeshua also had something to say about takanot and minhag immediately after the P'rushim and Torah-teachers confronted Him about allowing 5,000 men, plus an unknown number of women and children, to violate their takanah by eating leavened barley loaves out in the middle of nowhere without following their specified hand-washing ceremony before eating bread:

The P'rushim and some of the Torah-teachers who had come from Yerushalayim gathered together with Yeshua and saw that some of his talmidim ate with ritually unclean hands, that is, without doing n'tilat-yadayim [ceremonial hand-washing]. (For the P'rushim, and indeed all the Judeans, holding fast to the Takanah of the Elders, do not eat unless they have given their hands a ceremonial washing. Also, when they come from the marketplace they do not eat unless they have rinsed their hands up to the wrist; and they adhere to many other takanot, such as washing cups, pots and bronze vessels.) The P'rushim and the Torah-teachers asked Him, “Why don’t your talmidim live in accordance with the Takanot of the Elders, but instead eat with ritually unclean hands?” Yeshua answered them, “Yesha`yahu was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites — as it is written, ‘These people honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far away from Me. Their worship of Me is useless, because they teach man-made rules as if they were doctrines.’ You depart from God’s command and hold onto human takanot. Indeed,” He said to them, “you have made a fine art of departing from God’s command in order to keep your takanot! For Moshe said, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and ‘Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.’ But you say, ‘If someone says to his father or mother, “I have promised as a korban”’” (that is, as a gift to God) “‘“what I might have used to help you,”’ then you no longer let him do anything for his father or mother. Thus, with your takanot which you had handed down to you, you nullify the Word of God! And you do other things like this.” (Mark 7:1-13, RLS)
Then some P'rushim and Torah-teachers from Yerushalayim came to Yeshua and asked Him, Why is it that your talmidim break the Takanot of the Elders? They don't do n'tilat-yadayim [observe the correct hand-washing ceremony] before they eat!” He answered, “Indeed, why do you break the command of God by your takanot? For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and ‘Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.’ But you say, ‘If anyone says to his father or mother, “I have promised to give to God what I might have used to help you,” then he is rid of his duty to honor his father or mother.’ Thus by your takanot you make null and void the word of God! You hypocrites! Yesha`yahu was right when he prophesied about you, These people honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far away from Me. Their worship of Me is useless, because they teach man-made rules as if they were doctrines.’” (Matthew 15:1-9, RLS)

Therefore, if we determine that it is either takanot or minhag that we refrain from pronouncing the Name (יְהוָֹה, Yehovah) then we are required to disobey that “rule” (because by obeying the takanot we are violating Torah) and pronounce the Name, Yehovah!

Early in the second century of the Common Era, after a long period of Jewish rebellion against their authority, Rome began prohibiting the Jews, under pain of death, from praying to or speaking aloud the Covenantal and Memorial Name of the Most High, Yehovah. In an effort to protect the people (and themselves) from the Romans, the Rabbis issued a Takanah — in direct violation of Torah — prohibiting the Jewish people from speaking The Name.

Taking Back the Truth – Nehemia Gordon
(Open Door Series – Part 15)

In the Talmud the Rabbis falsely and knowingly claimed that the pronunciation of The Name had been lost. So when encountering The Name in either writing or speaking, they began using various circumlocutions, the most common of which was the Hebrew word for Lord, ADONAI.

THE SACRED NAME
The Sacred Name - Falsely Pointed
FALSELY POINTED
The Sacred Name - Correctly Pointed
CORRECTLY POINTED

To protect their takanot in later years, they systematically removed one vowel point from the Name יְהוָֹה in their written (and later, printed) texts, so that it would be rendered as an improper word. Within the past 20 years, a Karaite scholar named Nehemia Gordon, who worked as a translator on the Dead Sea Scrolls, has discovered numerous ancient Hebrew manuscripts of Torah sections in which the correctly-pointed Name is clearly seen.[2] Now with the correct vowel points in place it can be clearly seen that the correct pronunciation of the Name is Yehovah! (If the Almighty Himself reveals a different pronunciation to you, then by all means, follow that revelation!)

The Name of God - Nehemia Gordon
(Open Door Series 3) - NehemiasWall.com
Nehemia has a complete playlist on the
Name of God on his YouTube channel.
 

Now that we know how to pronounce His Name correctly, why should we? What does Yehovah say about His Name? 

When Moshe was tending the flock of his father-in-law Yitro, the priest of Midyan, he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness, and came to Horev, the mountain of Elohim. The Angel of Yehovah[3] appeared to him in a fire blazing from the middle of a bush. Moshe saw the bush ablaze with fire, but the bush was not consumed. So Moshe thought, “I must go over and see this remarkable sight. Why isn’t the bush burning up.”

When Yehovah saw that he had come over to look, Elohim called out to him from the middle of the bush, “Moshe! Moshe!”

He said, “Here I am.”

“Don’t come any closer,” Elohim said. “Take off your sandals, for the place you are standing on is holy ground.” Then He said, “I am the God of your father, the God of AvrahamAbrahan, the God of Yitz’chakIsa'ac, and the God of Ya‘akovJacob.”

Moshe hid his face because he was afraid to look at Elohim.

Yehovah said, “I have surely seen the affliction of My people in Egypt. I have heard their cry of distress because of their taskmasters, and I know their suffering. I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey — the home of the Kena‘aniCanaanite, the HittiHittite, the EmoriAmorite, the P’riziPerizzite, the HiviHivite, and the Y’vusiJebusite. Now hinneh,[GN] the cry of the Israelites has come to me, and I have seen how severly the Egyptians are oppressing them. Therefore, go! I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring My people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.”

Moshe asked Elohim, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”

“I will surely be with you,” He answered. “This will be the sign to you that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, all of you will serve Elohim on this mountain.”

Then Moshe asked Elohim, “Hinneh, when I have come to the Israelites and tell them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is His name?’ what should I tell them?”

The Sacred Name

Elohim told Moshe, “Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh [I was / I am / I will be what I was / I am / I will be],”” and He said, “You shall tell the Israelites this: ‘Ehyeh [I Am or I Will Be] has sent me to you.’” Elohim also told Moshe, “Say this to the Israelites: ‘Yehovah — the God of your fathers, the God of Avraham, the God of Yitz’chak, and the God of Ya‘akov — has sent me to you.’ This is My Name forever; this is My Memorial Name [זֶכֶר, zeker, memorial, remembrance; how I am to be remembered] generation after generation.

“Go and assemble the elders of Isra'el and tell them, ‘Yehovah the God of your fathers — the God of Avraham, Yitz’chak, and Ya‘akov — has appeared to me, saying, “I have been watching you closely, and have seen what has been done to you in Egypt. I have promised to bring you up out of your affliction in Egypt, into the land of the Kena‘aniCanaanite, the HittiHittite, the EmoriAmorite, the P’riziPerizzite, the HiviHivite, and the Y’vusiJebusite — a land flowing with milk and honey.”’ They will listen to what you say; you must go with them to the king of Egypt, and tell him, ‘Yehovah, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. Now please let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness, so that we may sacrifice to Yehovah our God.’ But I know that the king of Egypt won’t give you permission to go unless he is compelled by a mighty hand. So I will stretch out My hand and strike the Egyptians with all the wonders I will perform among them. And after that he will let you go. (Exodus 3:1-20, RLS)

Yehovah was careful to instruct Moshe that this is to be the Name by which He is to be remembered throughout all generations. How can His people remember His true Name if they are forbidden to speak it?

After that, Moshe and Aharon came and said to Pharaoh, “Here is what Yehovah, the God of Isra'el, says: ‘Let My people go, so that they can celebrate a festival in the desert to honor Me.’”  But Pharaoh replied, “Who is Yehovah, that I should obey when he says to let Isra'el go? I don’t know Yehovah, and I also won’t let Isra'el go.” They said, “The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Please let us go three days’ journey into the desert, so that we can sacrifice to Yehovah our God. Otherwise, He may strike us with a plague or with the sword.” The king of Egypt answered them, “Moshe and Aharon, what do you mean by taking the people away from their work? Get back to your labor!” (Exodus 5:1-4)

Moshe and Aharon called their God by name when speaking to Pharaoh. Pharaoh replied that he knew of all the hundreds of gods of Egypt by their names, but that he didn’t didn’t know Yehovah, the God of the Hebrews. This entire dialog makes absolutely no sense at all unless Moshe and Aharon were calling Him by His Name.

Yehovah said to Moshe, “Now you will see what I am going to do to Pharaoh. With a mighty hand he will send them off; with force he will drive them from the land!” God spoke to Moshe; He said to him, “I am Yehovah. I appeared to Avraham, Yitz'chak and Ya'akov as El Shaddai, although I did not make Myself known to them by My Name, Yehovah. Also with them I established My covenant to give them the land of Kena'an, the land where they wandered about and lived as foreigners. Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the people of Isra'el, whom the Egyptians are keeping in slavery; and I have remembered My covenant. Therefore, say to the people of Isra'el: ‘I am Yehovah. I will free you from the forced labor of the Egyptians, rescue you from their oppression, and redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. I will take you as My people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am Yehovah your God, who freed you from the forced labor of the Egyptians. I will bring you into the land which I swore to give to Avraham, Yitz'chak and Ya'akov — I will give it to you as your inheritance. I am Yehovah.’” (Exodus 6:1-8)

In this short paragraph, the God of Avraham, Yitzchak, and Ya'akov specifically states His covenant Name five times. The nations had many gods, many lords (adonais), many ba'als (another word for lord or master), but the nation of Avraham, Yitzchak, and Ya'akov had but one God, and His Name is Yehovah! This is His memorial Name forever!

The reason that God did not strike down Pharaoh after the first round of plagues was this:

But it is for this very reason that I (Yehovah) have kept you (Pharaoh) alive — to show you My power, and so that My Name [not “My Title”] may resound throughout the whole earth. (Exod 9:16)

After their deliverance from Pharaoh, Moshe composed a song of victory (Exodus 15:1-21), in which He extolls the covenant Name, Yehovah, no less than 11 times:

Then Moshe and the people of Isra'el sang this song to Yehovah: “I will sing to Yehovah, for He is highly exalted: the horse and its rider he threw in the sea. Yah [short form of Yehovah][4] is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation. … Yehovah is a warrior; Yehovah is his name. … Your right hand, Yehovah, is sublimely powerful; your right hand, Yehovah, shatters the foe. … Who is like you, Yehovah, among the mighty?… Terror and dread fall on them; by the might of your arm they are still as stone until your people pass over, Yehovah, till the people you purchased pass over. You will bring them in and plant them on the mountain which is your heritage, the place, Yehovah, that you made your abode, the sanctuary, Yehovah, which your hands established. Yehovah will reign forever and ever. For the horses of Pharaoh went with his chariots and with his cavalry into the sea, but Yehovah brought the sea waters back upon them, while the people of Isra'el walked on dry land in the midst of the sea!” Also Miryam the prophet, sister of Aharon, took a tambourine in her hand; and all the women went out after her with tambourines, dancing, as Miryam sang to them: “Sing to Yehovah, for he is highly exalted! The horse and its rider he threw in the sea!” (Exodus 15:1-21)

At the End of Days we are told that the Redeemed will sing this same song!

They were singing the song of Moshe, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb: “Great and wonderful are the things you have done, Yehovah, God of heaven’s armies! Just and true are your ways, king of the nations!” (Revelation 15:3)

If we sang the Sacred Name coming out of Egypt and we will sing the Sacred Name when we enter the Olam Haba, why should we be forbidden to speak it now?

After Yehovah had shouted down the Ten Commandments from the top of Sinai and the people had asked that henceforth He might speak through Moshe, He instructed Moshe:

“Here is what you are to say to the people of Isra'el: ‘You yourselves have seen that I spoke with you from heaven. You are not to make with Me gods of silver, nor are you to make gods of gold for yourselves. For Me you need make only an altar of earth; on it you will sacrifice your burnt offerings, peace offerings, sheep, goats and cattle. In every place where I cause My Name to be mentioned, I will come to you and bless you. (Exodus 20:22-24)

Yehovah says that He will cause His Name (not His Title) to be mentioned (זֶכֶר, zakar, to remember, recall, call to mind, to make a memorial, make remembrance).

We could continue discussing how Yehovah has said that He intends for His people to speak His name, but these few references are probably sufficient.

Another minhag added to the Torah in direct violation of Torah concerns the way the Name is to be written. The most common Jewish tradition of representing the Sacred Name [יְהוָֹה] is to write the Name and its various forms and representations such as “G-d” and “L-rd” with a dash instead of spelling the word and to pronounce it as “ADONAI” when reading the Name aloud.

Some Jewish writers claim to follow this minhag to indicate that the God to whom they are referring is the God of Isra'el, the God of Avraham, Yitzchak, and Ya’acov (as if there were some other God to whom one could be referring), or to otherwise show proper respect for the Sacred Name. Some claim that to use the Sacred Name at all shows disrespect.

Some claim that this tradition stems from the Rabbinical takanah against erasing the Name, once having been written, or of destroying any document on which the Sacred Name has been written. The Rabbis have recently lifted this prohibition (yet another takanah) when the Sacred Name is written on a computer or displayed on a computer screen (because it is “destroyed” or “erased” whenever it scrolls off the screen), but many Jewish websites continue to follow the practice because the screen images may be printed onto paper and then that printed copy may be destroyed.

Others claim that it is appropriate to use the Sacred Name when speaking about God, but not when speaking to Him (because, for example, we seldom call our human father by his proper name when speaking to him).

Within the Messianic Jewish Community it is generally considered acceptable to use the Hebrew word ADONAI or its English equivalent LORD. When either is used in place of the sacred name Yehovah it is generally written in all capital letters (ADONAI) or in small capitals (ADONAI). When Yehovah is used alongside the word Adonai or the word God (Elohim), it is generally represented as ADONAI God (Yehovah Elohim) or Adonai GOD (Adonai Yehovah).

There are still others, both Jews and non-Jews (who frequently refer to themselves as Sacred Namers), who insist that the Sacred Name must always be spoken, or written out, or transliterated as YHWH, YHVH, Yahweh, Yahovah, Yahowah, or some other variant, to the extent that they insert it where it really doesn’t really belong: for example the name of Yeshua must, they insist (as a condition of one’s salvation), be spelled Yahshua, because He is Yahweh come in the flesh. But they can’t seem to agree on the appropriate spelling, and each group insists that their own spelling is the only proper spelling, and all other spellings are heresy. Instead of honoring the Name, they have effectively gone so far as to reduce the Name to a “magic word” or idol to be worshipped in place of Him Who is represented by the Name.

For a long time I attempted to follow the practice of using the forms “G-d” and “L-rd” on this site, not out of any personal conviction, but rather as a concession to any reader who might be offended by what he/she may consider an “inappropriate” use of The Name. However, I have received enough communications from a number of parties on each side of the issue to assure me that I am never going to be able to please everyone, so I have simply given up trying.

Additionally, I have found that practice to be both cumbersome and at times confusing. It also introduces a certain level of inaccuracy and ambiguity into my teaching. If we believe that Ruach HaKodesh actually inspired the Sacred Scriptures and guided the Nevhi’im (Prophets) And Shliachim (Apostles) in their choice of words and the spelling of those words, then we must assume that Ruach HaKodesh had a specific purpose in mind when He chose the word Yehovah, or the word Adonai, or the word El, or the word Eloha, or the word Elohim when referring to the Creator. If Ruach HaKodesh deemed it appropriate to make a distinction between those terms, then it should also be appropriate for us to likewise distinguish between them.


This is the “Standard” that I determinied to use beginning
November 11, 2021 and used until August 21, 2022:

I have therefore decided that it is more important for me to accurately teach the Word of God than it to be “politically correct” or to bow to what may actually be a form of idolatry where the Name is concerned. So I have determined that going forward from this writing I will follow this policy concerning the use of the Name (and slowy but surely update the rest of the website to this new standard):

In my own translating or paraphrasing, I will either use the tetragrammaton [יְהוָֹה] (with or without vowel points) or use the form “Yehovah” to indicate that the original text uses יְהוָֹה. When directly quoting from a printed translation, I will usually use the form used by the editors of the translation from which I am quoting.

For all other references to the Holy One I use the transliteration of whatever term Ruach HaKodesh uses in the Scriptures, as I assume that He had a particular reason in mind when He chose the specific word.

When referring to the Creator when יְהוָֹה is not clearly indicated in the text, or in my own composition I use either “the LORD” or “God” or “HaShem” or or ADONAI or Yehovah interchangeably. I will also occasionally refer to Him as “Abba” (Hebrew for “Daddy” or “Papa”) as Yeshua taught us. Out of respect, I also capitalize the pronouns He, Him, and His when referring either to God or to Yeshua (even when quoting from Scripture translations that do not follow that convention). When quoting the works of other authors, I use those authors’ forms without modification (except for capitalization, as just indicated). Since we have a loving, not a legalistic, relationship with our Abba, I don’t really believe He minds when we lovingly write His Name in any of its representations.


I am deeply indebted to Hebrew scholar Nehemiah Gordon for bringing the new facts to my attention, and to Michael Rood, without whose careful scholarship I would not have learned of Nehemiah. I urge you to read His Hallowed Name Revealed Again by Keith Johnson and watch this video series.

Restoring the Sacred Name [Contents]
(Added 21 August 2022)

After wrestling with this issue for over two years, I have finally decided that if I am trying in my Commentary to restore the Hebrew ”flavor” of the Scriptures for English speakers, it is totally proper that I restore to the English Bible the true Hebrew name of the Creator of the Universe. Therefore, whenever the Sacred Name יְהוָֹה (yud-heh-vav-heh) appears in the original text, I will render it in English as Yehovah. I actually finally arrived at this decision just this morning. A few days ago I discovered a function in the Microsoft Edge browser that will read the page aloud by using the keyboard combination Ctrl+Shift+U or by using the menu function described HERE. When I had it read to me Hebrews 30 that I had just posted, I found that it cannot read Hebrew words, so when it came to the Name that I had written as יְהוָֹה it simply skipped and went to the next word. I discovered that anyone with limited vision or any limitation such as dyslexia who might be using the reader function would be cheated out of the experience that I am trying to provide English-speakers. This is the event that finally resolved the issue (for me), so going forward I will render the Sacred Name in both the Tanakh and the Apostolic Writings as Yehovah. If this causes an issue for you, then by all means, vocalize the Name however God directs you.


  1. All images on this page have been “borrowed” from various pages on NehemiasWall.com. [RETURN]

  2. As of 21 August 2022, the number of Hebrew manuscripts discovered containing the correctly-pointed Sacred Name is over 2,400. (https://www.nehemiaswall.com/nehemia-gordon-name-god accessed 21 Aug. 2022.) [RETURN]

  3. “The Angel of Yehovah” is a physical manifestation of Yehovah Himself, not a created angelic being. [RETURN]

  4.  It is rather common in Hebrew to creat a shortened form of a word (like an English abbreviation) by simply using the first and last letters of that word. Thus the shortened form of יְהוָֹה becomes יָהּ. [RETURN]

Page originally posted on Wednesday, 11 November 2021
Revised on Thursday, 14 July 2022
Revised on Sunday, 21 August 2022
Revised on Wednesday, 14 Seeptember 2022

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