As for the correct pronunciation of Yahweh even the Orthodox Jews are not sure any more how to pronounce it, so how do sacred name groups know what others who speak the language do not know? How could anybody else unequivocally claim the correct pronunciation of His name in the ancient Hebrew or any OTHER language?
The only thing you can do is to say the name in your own language. How do you say Yahweh in English? The best we can do is “I Am.” Sacred name groups need to consider that if they are wrong in their pronunciation and they are teaching others a absolute strict way, then they are misrepresenting God’s name. They have admittedly done this by changing his name to a more correct pronunciation at times. Yet they all do not agree.
The Germans pronounce a Y with a J sound and it is sounded a “yawt.” If you can teach someone to say the Hawaiian word Ka-pi-o-la-ni, syllable by syllable, that doesn't mean they know what they're saying or that the word “has the same meaning in their language” they are accustom to. Just about all of us can say “ha-lel-lu-jah” and we're saying a real Hebrew word, but the MEANING of that word can be expressed in our own language as well (Praise to our God).
Sacred namer's insist that your name will be pronounced the same in every language. Anywhere you go in the world names are the same. I have heard this ignorant statement from the majority. Claiming Yashua and Yahweh are pronounced the same in EVERY language, this is nonsense!
This proves they are listening to a rumor that is circulating that is a complete lie. Its been passed down for so long that the majority actually insists on this as absolutely true. I have asked people who speak these languages to see if this is so, they say it is not. When you go to a Spanish country to say Michael in their language it is Miguel. Michael in Hindi is Mikhael (as it is similar in Russian). In Japanese the name Michael is not the same, it is Michieru. So we can see from this very simple example they are wrong. But they don't accept this.
We can take it and apply it elsewhere. In Hindi Christ (Messiah) is pronounced Mase’(not Krishna as they claim); Jesus is pronounced Yesu and Yahweh is Yehowa. In Japanese Yahweh is pronounced Yaefu; Yashua is Yashia and Jesus is Jisusu.
The Chinese Dictionary and in the Chinese Bible prove they are wrong as well. God is shen /shangdi (two ways of saying it) Lord is shangdi, savior is jiuxing / Yesu jidu, Jesus is Yesu. Ji du is Christ, salvation is Ju en. Yahweh is Ye ho hua. My friend who is Jewish wrote me back on this said ‘I do know that many languages have the similar pronunciations. Like in Hebrew as Y'shua, others like Cantonese, Fukien, Malay, Russian, etc. all sound similar. But similar does not mean the same, especially if the sound is similar and the meanings are different. So they are wrong.
The point that needs to be explained to “sacred namer's” is people do not go around asking for a TRANSLITERATION of Yeshua or Yahweh in other languages. It would be “How do you say 'God is Salvation' in your language?” It is the meaning of a word that counts, not the way it is pronounced in sound. Since they may not have the capability to say the name Yahweh. That is the reason God said he is who I am, stressing Him being the eternal one.
If you were to ask how do you say, 'I Am' in your language? Guaranteed, they're not going to answer you with a HEBREW word! You can ask Japanese people how they say the Lord's name. They DON'T say “Yeshua” or Yahweh in Japanese. More importantly neither were the apostles told to teach people the Hebrew language or pronunciation. They were commanded to teach what they were taught about Christ and how to live a life in the Lord obedient to his teachings.
Where's the name?Finding God’s sacred name throughout the Scripture can sometimes be like looking for Waldo in the picture books series. Some Sacred namer’s have made the name almost into an idol. Nothing else matters, nothing is more important except, “the name” for without the correct pronunciation one is unable to be saved.
This means no one was saved throughout history after the apostles, until their leaders came along and restored the CORRECT name (except for a few that spoke the correct name in Hebrew during this time. This is no different than the cults claim of restoring the Church, which every cult does (some sacred name groups have this as well). The Church was not lost and neither was his NAME! God said he exalted his word even above his name.
Jordan Maxwell is certainly not a “friend” of the Faith, he has taught that the name “Israel” was really a combination of three pagan names “Is” it stands for Isis “ra” for Ra, and “el” for El, the Canaanite god! Maxwell’s inventive arguments are just as well presented as the sacred name groups. And he is just as wrong.
They want to make an issue out of the name.
Saying it is Yahweh (or the Son-Yashua). Then this means until recently no one had ever called God by his true name. God spoke to Abraham and others without them calling on or speaking his Hebrew name. Neither Adam, Enoch, Noah, called God by his true name because they did not speak Hebrew (certainly not the Hebrew of today).
Nor did they know the Lord by the name Yahweh until the time of Moses. Exodus 6:3: “I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name, LORD, (Yahweh) I was not known to them.” This communication of God to Moses is interesting in that the God almighty is called baEl (Baal in the Hebrew) shadday and the Word Lord is Hawyaw (from the root Hahvah) meaning to exist eternally. Out goes the argument of SN that Baal is exclusive to false Gods. Here the true God identifies himself with this name to the early saints.
We find in Genesis that despite not knowing the name Yahweh, people called on the Lord. “And as for Seth, to him also a son was born; and he named him Enosh. Then men began to call on the name of the LORD, and God answered them. (Gen. 4:26). All without the Hebrew language! Jacob knew God as El Shaddai (“the Almighty” Gen. 17:1) not by his personal name.
The books of Esther and Ecclesiastes not once use the name Yahweh, although Ecclesiastes does use the word God (Hebrew, Elohim) some forty-one times. This suggests that use of the name is not essential and the name God- Elohim was not strictly pagan but a biblical one with a wide variety of use. It was used of gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural, especially with the accompanying article) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes rulers, judges angels, a god, a goddess and the one true God.
We use many titles such as “Father, Creator, the everlasting God, I AM, Savior, Redeemer, deliverer, Son, the Almighty, mighty God” these are all English translations of Hebrew titles or names of Yahweh. Why are these not pronounced by them in the Hebrew and used for his name, instead only certain particular names are?
Even Moses did not call him Yahweh but I Am by the instruction from God himself, when God said my name is I AM who I AM - EhYeh asher EhYeh. This is not the exact same as Yahweh no matter how you cut it. Both eyeh and YHWH (Yahweh) are of the root meaning, the word Haya. But are not the same exact pronunciation or in writing.
Even the Father does not use the name Yashua (Jesus) to communicate to his Son, but calls him Son, as he had before he was incarnated, showing their previous relationship continuing from eternity. We find God is called numerous names in the Old Testament, none of which is Yashua specifically.
GOD is INFINITE in his nature, HE unable to be FULLY COMPREHENDED or explained by any single name or description. (This what the name wonderful means in Isa.9:6- unable to comprehend). The Old Testament uses numerous names as God reveals himself to man. The closest summation of Who He is eyeh asher eyeh- “I Am who I Am.”
Each name expresses a certain attribute or characteristic of His nature.
Some say the name El is Not God’s name nor should it be used. Others such as Jacob Meyer say “These things says the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of El (Jacob O. Meyer, “Trinity, Duality, or Oneness,” Monograph). Meyer says God and Lord are pagan names and must not be used. Yet he will use the word El to refer to the Creator (rightly so) to the dismay of other sacred name groups.
El is used for God and attached to names and attributes of Himself, this doesn’t make him a pagan God.
Sacred name adherents need to look carefully before they smear certain names. The word El the singular part of Elohim is used for God and it is used for both false gods and the true one, as is Elohim.
God says his name is not only Yahweh (Lord). Scripture records his name as El in Job.21:14, Ps.31:5,22:10. El is also combine with other attributes El Olam (Everlasting) is your name (Isa.63:16). El Eyon- the most high God Ex.15:26. (Deut.32:8). El Shaddai - God Almighty (all sufficient one) (Gen.17:1). So we can see that God is not strict about a single name.
His other names are Yahweh- Rapha The Lord that heals. The man whose name is the Branch Zech.6:12, 3:8 Which is attributed to Jesus. Yahweh-Tsidkenu- his name (a man) will be called the Lord our righteousness (Jer.23:6), which is attributed to Jesus. Just as El was attached to a description for his name so is Yahweh. Ex.15:3. My name is Quanna (Jealous) Ex.34:14.
Here God himself says a different name than Yahweh. If sacred name groups are going to continue to argue the point of calling on Yahweh only than they now have to argue against Yahweh Himself. Isa.9:6 “His name will be called wonderful, counselor, mighty God, Father of eternity, prince of peace.” There are numerous names God used to describe himself in this passage and others. (Wonderful means unable to comprehend, in other words no name or speech can fully describe Him).
His name is Wonderful- But Sacred name groups say it has become corrupted. The New Testament says his name will be called Jesus (in certain languages).
Name in the Strong’s Concordance is defined as shem- a name 8034, a reputation, fame, glory. the Name (as a designation for God, a memorial, monument. 3068 Yehovah (yeh-ho-vaw'); from 1961; (the) self-Existent or Eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God.
In Ex. 33:18-23 Moses said, “Please, show me Your glory. “Then He (Yahweh) said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you, and “I will proclaim the name of the LORD before you.” Read this carefully, Yahweh did not speak His name out loud, Moses was allowed to see His passing glory, by this His name was proclaimed. His nature was made known and explained who He is.
The Hebrew word for his name is translated “Yahvah” only in Ex. 6:3; Ps. 83:18; Isa. 12:2; 26:4, and in other compound names. This name is never used in the Septuagint (LXX.), the Samaritan Pentateuch, the Apocrypha, or in the New Testament. Did they intentionally leave it out as some conspiracy? Did they forget how to pronounce it?
No, the answer is simply they transferred it to another language. In most versions of the LXX which have come down to us through ancient manuscript copies by the Hebrew scribes, the word Lord (Greek, kurios) is used in place of the divine name, and this practice is also followed in all of the thousands of ancient New Testament Greek manuscripts that have survived.
The Tetragrammaton YHWH is not found in the oldest New Testament manuscripts that were written by those who were probably under apostolic instruction (certainly Christians). We find the name for Jesus (Isous, Isoun), is used over 900 times to proclaim the Son of God.
In the New Testament- Matt.1:23: “Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call “his name will be called Immanuel (with us is God), a fulfillment of Isa.7:14. The Greek quotes the Hebrew name to get the point accross that He is God, but again notice it calls Immanuel his name, not Yahweh. Lk.1:30,35 The angel Gabriel announced to Mary “that Holy one which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” V.32 he is called “the Son of the highest.”
Again referring to His name other than Yashua. Rev.19:13: His name is called “the word of God.” where is the name Yashua for all these? 1 Jn.5:13: “that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.” From this we can see the Son’s name is not the same one as the Father, but a derivative of it.
Jn.1:34 John said, “And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.” (also Jn. 3:16-17, 18) Jn.1:49: “Nathanael answered Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel. Jn.11:27 Mary said he was the Christ, the Son of God.” We don’t find anyone having to declare His exact name Yahsua as Sacred name groups present so arduously.
In John 11:25-27 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.” And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to Him, “Yes, Lord (kurios), I believe that “You” are the messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” No name said here!
1 Jn.5:10-12: “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.”
Mk.15:39 the centurion said, “truly this man was the Son of god.” Acts 8:37 The eunuch said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” He didn’t pronounce God’s name, but confessed who he actually is. In Acts 9:20 after the resurrection Paul preached Christ in the Synagogues saying, “He is the Son of God.” Jn.9:35 He (Yeshua) said unto him, Do you believe on the Son of God? (Jn.10:36). Are we told to only believe on a correct name to call on, or the person it represents.
The fact is that if one does not understand who the Son is it will not matter what name they use, even if they pronounce it correctly in the Hebrew. We are to Believe on the name of his Son (1 Jn.3:23). That name is Jesus (in English) meaning Yahweh is savior. 1 Jn.4:15: “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides with him.” Jn:20:31: “But these are written, that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you might have life through his name.”
The requirement that he is the Son meaning he is God. The name represents his person. Just as when Jesus asked who do you say I am? Peter confesses “thou are the Christ the Son of the living God.”(Mt.16) So if one does not believe the Son is God then why try to pursue a correct name, they have missed the whole point of the Scripture. As Jesus said in Jn.5:39 to the Pharisees “you search the Scripture for in them you think you have eternal life but these testify of Me.”
If one looks carefully they find the people called him by what we would identify as 'his titles' such as the Son of David, and he still answered them, he still healed them. He did not correct them by saying you must say my official name or I will not answer or deliver you.
Examples are numerous such as the blind man in Mark 10:47 Who cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Mt. 15:22: “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! Mt. 9:27: two blind men followed Him, crying out and saying, “Son of David, have mercy on us!” Mt. 21:9 Even “the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: “Hosanna to the Son of David! 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!' Hosanna in the highest!” No rebukes came forth.
Did Jesus require people to pronounce the name Yashua? No, not at all! We see over and over again he called himself the Son (of man and God) and we are told to believe on the Son. Rev 19:13: “and his name is called the Word of God,” who is God. So we see the bible does not support the Sacred Name Movement’s legalism. Even when he returns he is not called Yashua. In the book of Revelation Jesus said he has a name that no one knows. Not even the sacred name groups. Clearly God does not have one name.
His name is called the word of God, but he is not a word. The word is a person, this same person is the Son of God in Rev.2:18, and Heb.1:2,The WORD OF GOD is not a single word (name) nor just a phrase. The WORD OF GOD is everything God is, it is the sum totality of God communicated to man. It encompasses all attributes and characteristics of his DIVINITY. As God revealed his nature by his names in the Old Testament, Jesus revealed his nature and mission by his names in the New Testament. (salvation).
The person of God is not known in a single sound of a name, but he is understood by what is written in all His Word. Therefore Jesus is called “the word of God” revealing God’s invisible attributes and nature to us.
Lets pause for some reflection. Can you know somebody without using their name? Can you know them intimately and know their character. Can they react or acknowledge you by not using their proper name?
When I introduce my wife I do not always use her name but say here is my wife. Is she still the same person as when I use her name?
My child calls me dad, not by my proper name, he knows me personally. He doesn't have to say my name, I know when he's calling me, so how much more with God when we call upon him.
Yeshua DID NOT Instruct us to Say God’s name
Three times in Scripture we Father mentioned as Abba, in the language of the Jews, Aramaic. (Mark 14:36) And Yeshua said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You.”
Paul writes “For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”(Romans 8:15) “And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, "Abba, Father!” (Galatians 4:6). Can you say Father?
Jesus said in Matt 6:6-7 “ pray to your Father... your Father “Over and over again Jesus calls Yahweh “FATHER” Jesus said to pray “In this manner, therefore, pray: our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name”(v:9). Why do sacred namers not obey this simple command and twist with their legalism to say you must say Yahweh (or some other derivative). Because they don’t want to believe it.
Abba is an Aramaic word for “father.” It was the customary title used of God in prayer by Jesus when he taught the disciples to pray (Mt 11:25-26; 26:39,42; Lk. 10:21; 22:42; 23:34; Jn. 11:41; 12:27; 17:24-25). Whenever it occurs in the New Testament it has the Greek interpretation joined to it (ho pater), that is apparently to be explained by the fact that the Chaldee (Aramaic) “ABBA” through frequent use in prayer, gradually acquired the nature of a most sacred proper name, to which the Greek-speaking Jews added the name from their own tongue.It was in common use in the mixed Aram dialect of Palestine and was used by children in addressing their father. It answers to our “papa.” The right to call God “Father” in a special and appropriative sense pertains to all who have received the testimony of the Spirit to their forgiveness. (New Unger's Bible Dictionary)
In the Gemara (a Rabbinical commentary on the Mishna, the traditional teaching of the Jews) it is stated that slaves were forbidden to address the head of the family by this title. It approximates to a personal name, in contrast to “Father,” with which it is always joined in the NT. This is probably due to the fact that, abba having practically become a proper name, Greek-speaking Jews added the Greek word pater, “father,” from the language they used. Abba is the word framed by the lips of infants, and betokens unreasoning trust; “father” expresses an intelligent apprehension of the relationship. The two together express the love and intelligent confidence of the child. (Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words)
For instance, in Jesus’ own prayers, he gave us the example of addressing God as “Our Father” (Abba). Not once did Jesus say the name of God, but said instead “Father.” He was bringing the people from a legalistic relationship under the law into a personal relationship with their God. But the legalists say, “unless you say the name this way” or “unless you keep the 10 commandments”, unless you do this or that you cannot be saved! They would just as well keep the thief on the cross out of the kingdom because of all the things he did not do according to their teaching.
Yeshua never called His Father Yahweh in his ministry and sacred name adherents have absolutely no proof from the Scripture that would show otherwise. Of course the easiest way to deal with all this is to dismiss it all by saying that’s the Greek, and it is unacceptable or corrupted. (The only exception- when Jesus was being judged in our place for our sins- his relationship became a legal one and he called out “my God, my God.”) Even if there were found an instance or two where he did call God Yahweh, the overwhelming majority of the Scripture does not teach this as obligatory.
How many children do you know address their father by their given name (as “Mr. legalism”) instead of just father, or daddy? (Which is what the term Abba means). Paul wrote in this respect Rom. 8:15: “For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” Paul in addressing the Galatians legalism wrote in Gal 4:6: “And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” An adopted son cries Abba not an official name as if you don’t know the person or are not on good terms with him.
Even Jesus spoke and said Mark 14:36 And He (Yeshua) said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You.” Not once in Jesus' prayer found in John 17 does he address God as Yahweh, but always as Father (John 17:1, 11, 21, 24, 25). In these passages God’s name obviously stands for his character and reputation; there is no concern expressed that Christians are to use any of the divine name(s) when addressing their maker. Jesus used “Our Father” or “Holy Father”, if Jesus did not use the Fathers name should we? Certainly one is free to do so as long as they do not make an issue out of it, saying everyone MUST do so or they do not have salvation.
The Father calls Jesus his Son Mt.3:17, Jn.3:16,17. Heb.1:5 “I will be to him a Father and he shall be to me a Son.” He never mentions his name (Yashua) when speaking to him. If it is as critical to call on His exact name as some say, then He certainly would identify him as Yashua, and not as His Son. Even Peter when he received a revelation of who the Son is in Mt.16 proclaims Him as the Son of the living God, he does not say His name. He speaks who he actually is. Jesus responds by saying the Father revealed this to him (not his official name Yahweh). So knowing He is the Son of (the living) God is enough to know He is deity, and ample for Christ to build his church on this proclamation.
If the apostles used the name of God (Yahweh) for Jesus he would not have had to spell it out to the people who he was claiming to be. So many times they asked him but he would instead speak in the manner of “my father and I are one,” not I am Yahweh. It is for this very reason we have cult groups who deny his deity and are confused on the person of the Son.
ARAMAICAfter the captivity of the Jews in Babylon, Aramaic translations and paraphrases of the Hebrew Scriptures were made, called Targums. The major Targum of the first five books of the Old Testament, the Pentateuch, is by Onkelos. A literal translation of the Hebrew that was edited in Babylonia between the second and fifth centuries AD. The Targums consist of all the Old Testament books except Daniel, Ezra, and Nehemiah. The major Targum of the books of the prophets is known as the Targum of Jonathan.
Aramaic is a Semitic language, originally used by the Aramaeans of Syria, which became widespread throughout the Near East as an international language. Because its alphabet was easier to use than the cumbersome cuneiform scripts used by the Assyrians and the Persians, it was adopted for diplomacy and commerce.
Aramaic was “Hebrew, a mixture of that and the language spoken in Chaldee (Aramaic), called Syro-Chaldaic, or, more commonly, the Syriac.” (from Barnes' Notes)
PROOF'S OF HEBREWISM IN THE GREEKThere is an underlying Hebraic thought pattern found in the Greek texts. To question the reliability of the Greek manuscripts as being accurate is completely unfounded and can bring one to reject the innerancy and authenticity of the New Testament.
Reading the Greek text one cannot determine linguistically if the manuscripts are translations from the Aramaic or from Hebrew; both are similar Semitic languages. Even the Qumran literature (apart from Biblical manuscripts) are in Aramaic, some are Hebrew and one Nabatean. This shows that they were writing the Scriptures in other languages.
The early fragments and scrolls found in the Qumran caves date mostly around 100-150 B.C some as far back to as 250 B.C. Some date as late as 70 A.D. which is the same time period that the New Testament was being written, and there is no conflict.
The earliest extant Targums are from Qumran on the Dead Sea. An extensive Targum containing portions of Job came from one of the caves dating from 150-100 BC. All of the findings in Cave 4 are 1,000 years older than the oldest copy of Isaiah in Hebrew. There are Hebrew versions which more closely match the Greek and Samaritan translations. Included in Cave 4 was almost a complete copy of the Greek translation of the twelve Minor Prophets. These Greek texts used the Tetragrammaton in its Paleo-Hebrew form. These are the oldest manuscripts of Septuagint sources in existence giving us insight into how the Hebrew culture translated their Scriptures.
Multi- lingual JewsThere are a lot of indications that Jesus and the disciples were tri-lingual even quoting the Greek Septuagint over the Hebrew at times. It was quoted from by many of the New Testament writers including Jesus. The oldest portions were found in the DSS discovery (Book of Deuteronomy). Copies exist from first century onward. The New Testament normally quotes from the Septuagint over the Masoretic text (with the possible exception of Matthew). Here are only a few examples of New Testament quotes from the Septuagint Old Testament translation instead of the Hebrew Old Testament.
Heb.1:6 Let worship (proskuneôsatoôsan). This quotation is only found in the LXX Septuagint of Deut. 32:41-43, this quotation is not found in the Masoretic text, but the Septuagint has it. A discovery of this verse on a Deuteronomy scroll in Hebrew confirms the LXX reading. Heb 1:6-It appears substantially in Ps 96:7. To the writer of Hebrews, the Septuagint was Scripture, and is quoted throughout without regard to its correspondence with the Hebrew” (From Vincent's Word Studies of the New Testament).
Exodus 1:5 reads “seventy-souls” in the Masoretic text, Stephen quoted this verse in Acts 7:14 and said “seventy-five souls “as LXX also has this reading. A fragment of Exodus 1:5 from the Qumran scrolls reads “seventy-five souls” in agreement with the LXX.
In Romans 3 there is a large quotation from Ps. 14, where there are six whole verses in the apostle's quotation which are not found in the present Hebrew text, but are preserved in the Septuagint! (from Adam Clarke's Commentary)
Isaiah 7:14 in the Masoretic text reads, “she shall call His name” whereas the LXX and the DSS read “His name shall be called.” All this is a matter of one less letter in the Hebrew language. And the text still says the same thing.
We have at least two good Hebrew translations of the New Testament. Based on any linguistics neither of them presents any need to question the traditional Christian understanding of the gospels. We also have the Epistles, written to both Hebrew and Greek believers and communities of believers, which are inspired apostolic commentary on the gospels.
The HEBREW LANGUAGEThe language of the Hebrews and the Old Testament Scriptures, with the exception of a few chapters are written in Aram. It is not called Hebrew anywhere in Scripture, but this is not surprising when we remember how rarely that name is employed to designate the Israelites. It is called “the language of Canaan” Isa. 19:18, as distinguished from that of Egypt; and “Judean” 2 Kings 18:26,28, as distinguished from Aramaean. Hebrew belongs to the Semitic or Shemitic group of languages (New Unger's Bible Dictionary).
Hebrew was identified with the people of Israel Jonah 1:9 And he (Jonah) said to them, “I am a Hebrew.” And the midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women.” (Exod. 1:19)
It was also a language spoken by Jews but not the only one. II Kings 18:26-28 Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, Shebna, and Joah said to the Rabshakeh, “Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, for we understand it; and do not speak to us in Hebrew in the hearing of the people who are on the wall.” But the Rabshakeh said to them, “Has my master sent me to your master and to you to speak these words, and not to the men who sit on the wall, who will eat and drink their own waste with you?” Then the Rabshakeh stood and called out with a loud voice in Hebrew, and spoke, saying, “Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria!”
Notice the Hebrews said that they understand Aramaic and wanted it said in this language so the others would not understand the message, which proves they were multilingual even in the far distant past. They asked for it to be spoken in Aramaic, which means the others understood Hebrew.
Its Origin- Hebrew originated from the old Phoenician alphabet from which all alphabets in current use, Semitic and non-Semitic, were ultimately derived. The origin of this proto-Semitic alphabet is still unclear, although an early example of the rude script was discovered at Serabit el Khadem in the Sinaitic Peninsula in 1904-5. Albright dates this script in the early fifteenth century (Bulletin of the Am. Schools of Oriental Research 110 [April 1948]: 22). (New Unger's Bible Dictionary)
The Hebrew TextThere are in existence roughly over 12,000 plus Hebrew Manuscripts excluding ancient translations. These include the following:
Nash Papyrus (2nd century B.C. and 1st century A.D.) It contains Deut. 6:4-9 and some fragments from the Decaloge (Exod.20:2, Deut. 5:6). This text is 1000 years older than the Hebrew Masoretic text which our Old Testament is based on. There are very few differences between the reading of this text and that of 1000 years later. Orientales 4445 (Circa 820-850 A.D.) This contains Genesis 39:20-Deuteronomy 1:33 (excludes Num. 7:47-73 and Num. 9:12-10:18).
Codex Cairensis (895 A.D.). A codex is a manuscript in book form having pages. This codex contains Joshua, Judges, 1and 2 Samuel, 1and 2 Kings and the Latter Prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the Twelve [Joel through Malachi]). It was written with vowels [the original Hebrew did not have vowel points until the eight century] by
Dead sea scrolls- of the older scrolls, the Isaiah A Scroll (IQIsa) is the oldest known copy of any complete book of the Bible dating around 125-130 B.C. (possibly older). The Isaiah B scroll (IQIsb) dates close to the same time period (about 125 B.C.). Both texts bear close resemblance (up to 98%) to the Masoretic text ( from 895-1000 A.D.) which is the standard text used today for all Bible translations.
There is also The Midrash (100 B.C. -300 A.D.). Doctrinal studies made of quotations from the scriptures. The Mishna (A.D. 200). An exposition of Jewish Law using quotations from the Scriptures. The Gemaras (Palestinean, 200 A.D.; Babylonian, 500 A.D.). These were commentaries written in “Aramaic” which quote from the Scriptures.
After the Jews were taken into captivity by the Chaldeans, they needed a version in that language (since the Chaldean language took over the Hebrew). The oldest of the two date to 30 B.C. and 60 B.C. (Targums). We see Daniel was given a non Hebrew equivalent to his name (pagan) and he did not reject this, Belteshazzar (Dan.1:7). Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego are not Hebrew names but Chaldean(Dan.1:7). So we find Hebrew is not considered a holy language even by the Jew’s who translated it. The practice of adopting and accepting Gentile names can be traced through the periods of the Hebrews history. Hadasa-Esther; Saul-called himself Paul (Paulus) are only a few. The Jews had no problem in changing the names to different languages, even pagan ones.
The translations of the Greek New Testament were made so people could read God's Word in their own tongue: Syriac, Latin, Coptic (a late form of Egyptian). The early church writings all show they quoted from the Greek, not just any Greek but mostly from a certain Greek family of manuscripts. Uncials were manuscripts written in capital letters so there was no distinguishing of capital letters for their names.
The GREEK TEXTThey (SNM) deliberately discredit the Greek New Testament Bible. They purposely attempt to lead Bible believing Christians out of Christianity by castigating it as pagan. This is no different than those who accuse Christians who believe in a triune nature of the One God as three separate Gods as in paganism. They too fail to understand the MEANING behind the Scriptures.
The sacred name groups (more generally identified or included in the Hebrew roots movement) has been convinced to stay away from the New Testament written in Greek (the universal language of the apostles day) and by God’s providence translated into English (the universal language for us today). The New Testament was first written in Greek to a predominantly Greek speaking Church and world.
The sacred name Movement has had some success in discrediting the Greek New Testament to those who are naïve about history and the manuscript evidence. They replace the Greek with Hebrew (not Aramaic) “originals.” But this is all fantasy - there are none (although some have surmised that the gospel of Matthew is a possibility). Nonetheless if we grant this as true the majority is written in Greek.
This place’s the final authority of interpreting the scripture with their self appointed teachers, who claim to be restoring what the apostles did not. Where are the “original” Hebrew texts? Where are the ancient parchments of the Hebrew New Testament that these men use? They make themselves the Higher Critics without any or little knowledge of history and the parchments. What form did the Gospels first appeared in is still debatable but what we do have for evidence is in the Greek MSS. (the Gospels as well as the epistles).
Jacob O. Meyer speaking for the majority of the sacred name Movement states, “there is no such thing as an INSPIRED TRANSLATION. Therefore ...we must base all doctrine on the Old Testament.
We should...always allow the Old Testament to interpret the New. Yes, we believe that every word of the New Testament was Yahweh breathed in its original Hebrew or Aramaic purity... any faith based on the so-called 'inspired Greek New Testament' is a faith not founded upon a solid rock. (Meyer publishes his own Sacred Name Scriptures. (Jacob O. Meyer, Exploding the Inspired Greek New Testament Myth, pp. 2-3.)
That to me ignores what the New Testament writers all said, 1 Tim.3:16 that all Scripture is inspired given by God. So there is none that are MORE inspired than others, it is a collection united together, 66 books.
Meyers mistake is if he erases the Greek New Testament parchments we have from past history and what we possess today, he wouldn’t even know anything about the Messiah's coming, and what he taught. To question the validity of the Greek manuscripts is also to question its Archaeological and historical accuracy as well. Since nothing has shown it to be inaccurate we can assume in the very least, that they wrote the name correctly as well
Their argument goes like this; the original Gospels were written in Hebrew (and parts in Aramaic), later translated into Greek. These become unreliable, because they passed through successive translations and had removed the true name of God. Does anyone possess the ancient Hebrew translations of the New Testament. No! they have never found these to prove this theory, so their point is mute. They are arguing from silence and presumption. Even if one ancient parchment in Hebrew turned up, how do we know that it is the original and not a copy of the Greek?
Up until recently all the oldest manuscripts, go back to even 85 or even 65 A.D. which are in Greek. The scraps are from a page of what was once a papyrus copy of the Gospel of Matthew chpt.26, and they are currently in the Magdalen College's library at Oxford University. They were given to the library in 1909 by a former student of the college who acquired them in Upper Egypt near Luxor. German papyrologist Carsten Thiede an expert in Greek palaeography, maintains that his dating is correct and dates these three small fragments at 75-100 AD. Thiede goes on to say that the dating of these three small fragments to 75-100 A.D. “would mean that the original Gospel would be earlier still, since these are copies. This gives us proof of the ancient language the New Testament was written in was in fact Greek.
There is no ancient New Testament letters (prior to 400 A.D.) written in Hebrew, ALL are in the Greek. There may be some, but no one has found it. An original document or a translation from an earlier Aramaic writing could be possible, but it is not found, despite Eusebius’ claim that Matthew was originally Hebrew, which he traced back to the time of Heggisipus. Modern scholarship believes the Matthews gospel is not a translation, but written in Greek by Matthew himself, this founded upon the collection of discourses, from Papias, Irenaeus, Pantaenus, Origen, and Jerome, all testify of this. Papias (70-155 A.D.) was a pupil of John, he wrote “An Explanation of the Lord's Discourses,” in which he quotes from John, and records traditions about the origin of Matthew and Mark in the Greek.
So Sacred name arguments go against the historical records. It doesn't matter what history actually says, but only what their teacher says it says.
While there are arguments for a Hebrew Matthew original, it has not been found. Even if one is found it does not prove the other gospels or letters were written in the same language. Because Matthew probably did target a Jewish audience with his gospel, the others did not. Neither has the theory of Q promoted by liberal scholars? (An abbreviation for Quelle a common “source” the gospels shared in).
There are in existence around 5,000 Greek manuscripts, 8,000 Latin, and 1,000 versions from other languages, making 14,000 manuscripts of all or part of the New Testament. What is missing is the Hebrew translation in any kind of a similar amount. The evidence simply does not support their theory.
Let us Reason