The Name of Our God?


(Clay A) #1

I recently came across an article that got me thinking:

I do not know nearly as much as I would like on this subject, but this theory seems to run close to the beliefs of those who are vehemently against the names God/Lord/Jesus and hold tight to the names “Yahuah/Yahusha”. Honestly, this whole thing has me struggling quite a bit to come up with some answers. What would the Biblical apologetic answer to this be?

I know my Savior and I believe that He is utterly sovereign in absolutely everything; including the name by which His followers call Him. However, I would like to explore the truth on this matter.

Further reading:


http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0309089209105686?journalCode=jota
along with countless other sites who urge the “proper” nomenclature and rail against the use of “Jesus”, “God” and “Lord”.


(SeanO) #2

@clanderson Thank you for your question.

Firstly, I do not believe that these articles are related to what name we use to describe God and therefore are not directly related to preferring “YHWH” over Jesus / Lord / God.

Each of these articles claims that the term “YHWH” was taken by the Israelites from another culture - either:

  1. The Canaanite god of metallurgy
  2. A god worshiped in Edom

Neither of these theories about the origin of God being named “YHWH” was well supported. Here is a very brief response:

  1. This theory is pure speculation. The article says the canaanite god of metallurgy is unknown and posits that perhaps that was the source. In fact - it admits that there was “likely” a canaanite god of metallurgy - so even that fact is not known. None of its arguments are cohesive - the only one that holds even a little weight is that YHWH may have been worshiped in Edom, but that is 100% expected as I will explain in responding to the other theory.

  2. Of course Edom may have had some form of worship of the true God because the Edomites were descendants of Esau, who just so happened to be a son of Isaac son of Abraham, who God Himself called. It is also not surprising that Melchizedek or the priest of Midian may have had access to God - God does have a way of revealing Himself to those who seek Him.

Those are very brief responses, but be assured there is very little substance to these arguments and they are not related to any desire to call God exclusively by “YHWH” as far as I can tell.


(Jimmy Sellers) #3

@clanderson:
As important as the name of God is and was to the ancient Hebrew I think the bigger issue is not the name of God, but the character and attributes of the Hebrew YHWH as compared to all the gods before YHWH and there were many. If you are interested in a book to explore in more detail I would recommend:

http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/books/ancient-near-eastern-thought-and-the-old-testament-2nd-edition/230845

The reason that I have answered your question this away is because most people assume “same name same same god”. I think it very important to quickly point out that YHWH the God of the Hebrews and yhwh the god of the Canaanites or Edomites (if the articles are factual) are not one and the same in their attributes or character.
I have used this in previous posts, but it just fits here very nicely:

Then came the Torah and soared aloft, as on eagles’ wings, above all these notions. Not many gods but One God; not theogony, for a god has no family tree; not wars nor strife nor the clash of wills, but only One Will, which rules over everything, without the slightest let or hindrance; not a deity associated with nature and identified with it wholly or in part, but a God who stands absolutely above nature, and outside of it, and nature and all its constituent elements, even the sun and all the other entities, be they never so exalted, are only His creatures, made according to His will.
Cassuto, U. (1998). A Commentary on the Book of Genesis: Part I, From Adam to Noah (Genesis I–VI 8). (I. Abrahams, Trans.) (pp. 7–8). Jerusalem: The Magnes Press, The Hebrew University.<