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Friday, November 04, 2005

Ha-Shem

There are some religious groups that claim that in order to truly have a relationship with God we must know and refer to Him by His true and proper name. One problem is that these groups cannot seem to agree on what God’s name is. Ha-Shem is Hebrew for The Name it has come to be one way in which Jews refer to God. The actual pronunciation is unknown due to the fact that the ancient Hebrew Bible manuscripts have no vowels. Thus, what we find when we look into the text in order to find God’s name is the Hebrew letters yod, hay, vav, hay, which is equivalent to Y, H, W, H, or J, H, V, H, according to translation-pronunciation. Thus, with the addition of certain vowels we end up with the commonly used YaHWeH or JeHoVaH.

Another issue is that the same groups who claim that we must use God’s proper name (which ever one they choose to popularize) do not seem to be concerned about using Jesus’ proper name. This is quite surprising considering that the Bible states:
“let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:10-12).

It would seem equally as important to know the proper name of Jesus. But what was His name? Again we can only guess as to whether it was Yeshua, Yehoshua (equivalent to Josh or Joshua) and or the more formal Yeshua ha Nazrete, Yehoshua ha Nazrete or Yeshua ben Yosef, Yehoshua ben Yosef (ha Nazrete meaning the Nazarene and ben Yosef meaning son of Joseph). In the above cited text Jesus Christ of Nazareth would translate to Yehoshua ha Meshiah ha Nazrete or Yeshua ha Meshiah ha Nazrete.

It is important to note that names mean something even if we do not realize it or think that our names do not mean anything, it would be a matter of research to find out what our modern day names mean. The point is that names have meanings and it is the meaning that gives purpose to the name. In the case of God we know that His name tells us something about His attributes.

The God of the Bible is known as: The Almighty, Jehovah, YHWH, Yahweh, Adonai, Ha-Shem, Shaddai, El, Eloah, Eloheinu, Elohim, LORD, Yod Hay Vav Hay, Emet, I AM, etc., etc. Having a personal relationship with God is not based upon proper pronunciation but is based rather, on the acceptance of the grace which He freely offers us through Jesus the Messiah.

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