Did John the Baptist adhere to Jewish law by not speaking the sacred name Yahweh?
Scriptures seem to indicate that John was rather outspoken at times when going about doing Yahweh’s work.
Just how outspoken was John with regard to the sacred name Yahweh, especially while among the religious leaders of Judea?
If you have an interest in finding out then it is suggested that you continue reading on.
No doubt, John the Baptist was a prophet of Yahweh and supporter of Yahushua the messiah.
For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of Yahweh is greater than he. (Luke 7:28)
If John was anything like Yahushua then he would have stood in opposition to the religious leaders of Judaea. For example, John chastises the Pharisees and Sadducees:
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O GENERATION OF VIPERS, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? (Matthew 3:7)
When John taught he did so in the wilderness on the borders of Judaea, along the Jordan, and “in Aenon near to Salim,” not only for the many waters there but for the fact that it kept himself outside of Judaea and out of the reach of the Jewish political and religious authorities (John 3:22-23).
As with Yahushua, the political and religious leaders feared the crowd following John (Matt. 21:23-26; Mark 11:27-32).
It took a command from Herod Antipas, who was upset over John’s condemnation of his marriage to Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, to finally place John in prison (Mark 6:14-29; Luke 3:19-20, 9:7-9; Matt. 4:12, 14:1-12).
Even after having imprisoned John, Herod would not have John put to death for fear of the people:
For Herod had laid hold on John, and bound him, and put him in prison for Herodias’ sake, his brother Philip’s wife. For John said unto him, It is not lawful for thee to have her. And when he would have put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet. (Matthew 14:3-5)
Ultimately, Herod reluctantly had John the Baptist put to death in prison because of an oath he made to the daughter of Herodius during his birthday celebration. (Matthew 14:6-10)
So what was it that created the animosity between the Jewish religious leaders and John the Baptist while he was alive, teaching and baptizing?
The New Testament informs us that large crowds of people came to John from Jerusalem and all Judaea as well as from the country around the Jordan river.
To this crowd John quoted directly from the book of Isaiah:
The voice of him crying in the wilderness, “Prepare the way of Yahweh; make straight in the desert a highway for our eloahi. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill shall be made low; and the steep ground shall become a level place, and the rough places a plain. And shall be revealed the glory of Yahweh, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of Yahweh has spoken.” (Quoting Isaiah 40:3-5) (Luke 3:3-6; Matthew 3:1-3; Mark 1:1-3)
This was not what the religious leaders wanted the people to hear.
No doubt, John the Baptist, being a prophet of Yahweh, would have actually spoken the words of Isaiah without using a substitute for the sacred name.
In effect, John was breaking Jewish law by uttering the sacred name Yahweh in public and, according to their law, committed blasphemy which was punishable by death.
Because of fear from the crowds, the most that the Jewish religious leaders could do was to make the claim that John was demon possessed.
For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil. (Luke 7:33)
So it seems in the end that one can conclude that John the Baptist did, in fact, speak and teach in the sacred name Yahweh.
Because of the attitude of the Pharisees and Sadducees toward him for using the sacred name, John, as previously noted, was quite right in his assessment of them.
O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? (Matthew 3:7)
That’s all for right now everyone, so stay tuned for another installment regarding the usage of the sacred name Yahweh by those in the New Testament.
2 thoughts on “John the Baptist and Yahweh”
Good ‘ol John the Baptist.
It’s interesting that we don’t see much interaction between Yahushua and his cousin, except at the baptism in the Jordan.
And he’s killed for speaking the truth, but he doesn’t die for saying the sacred name.
Well, there’s probably not all their interaction with each other recorded. Not everything Yahushua did is recorded.
Joh 21:25 And there are also many things, whatever Yahushua did, which, if they should be written singly, I suppose the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen.