New Testament and Yahweh

Is there any proof in the New Testament that the apostles and early followers of Yahushua taught and spoke in the sacred name Yahweh?

Many would say no for a variety of reasons, one of which is that the name Yahweh is not found in any existing Greek manuscripts.

Is this really the total truth?

Proof that the original apostles adhered to the sacred name doctrine is found in numerous places in the New Testament. James shows his respect for the sacred name when he warns the disciples against favoring a rich man over someone poor:

But you dishonoured the poor. Do not the rich oppress you, and do (not) they drag you before tribunals? Do not they blaspheme the good name which is called upon you? (James 2:6-7)

The “good name which is called upon” the followers of the messiah, translated by the Moffatt version as “the noble name you bear,” is Yahweh (see Salvation and the Sacred Name).

James also makes the following comment while at Jerusalem among his fellow disciples:

And after they (Paul and Barnabas) were silent James answered saying, “Men, brothers, hear me. Simeon related how first YAHWEH visited to take out of the nations a people FOR HIS NAME.” (Acts 15:13-14)

Someone may object to the above verse containing the name Yahweh: “It does not say Yahweh in my bible. My bible verse has God, not Yahweh!”

Good observation. So why would our translation use Yahweh and not God?

The answer is revealed as James, who would have spoken in the Hebrew language, continues to say, “And with this agree the words of the prophets,” (Acts 15:15-18) which as proof he cites the prophet Amos:

In that day I will raise up the tabernacle of David which has fallen and wall up its breaches. And its ruins will I raise up, and I will rebuild it as an eternity of days; so that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations whom is called my name upon them, declares יהוה (YAHWEH) who is doing this. (Amos 9:11-12)

Why would James, a Hebrew, when citing Scriptures use the Greek word θεός (theos) and not יהוה (Yahweh) as found in the Hebrew text?

The apostle John also used the sacred name. He points out that Yahushua performed many signs before the Jewish crowds yet they would not believe him. This, John notes, was to fulfill the word of the prophet Isaiah, which he then recites:

Who has believed our report? And to whom is the arm of Yahweh revealed? (John 12:38; citing Isaiah 53:1)

The apostle Peter likewise both taught and healed the sick by using the sacred name. For example, in a speech to the Jews at Jerusalem, Peter quotes the prophet Joel which in part states:

The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of Yahweh. For it shall be, (that) all who shall call upon the name Yahweh shall be saved. (Acts 2:17-21; citing Joel 2:28-32)

Within this same discussion, Peter recites Psalm 16:8-11, which includes the statement, “I have set Yahweh before me always,” (Acts 2:25) and Psalm 110:1, “A statement of Yahweh to my aden (foundation), Sit at my right hand, until I set your enemies (as) your footstool.” (Acts 2:34-35; see אדני in Psalm 110:1)

Peter also quotes Moses from the book of Deuteronomy:

And Yahweh your eloahi shall raise up to you a prophet from among you, of your brothers, one like me; to him you shall listen.” (Acts 7:37; citing Deuteronomy 18:15)

Later on the apostles healed a man in Jerusalem. Having heard of this feat, the priests and elders had them arrested (the implication being that they had healed the man by using the sacred name since there was no law against healing people per se).

When the priests brought the apostles before their court the first thing they asked them was, “In what ability or IN WHAT NAME did you do this?” (Acts 4:7)

Peter responded by quoting Psalm 118:22, which refers to Yahweh as the stone that the builders rejected. He then paraphrased Joel 2:32 by stating:

And there is salvation in no other name, for neither is there another name under heaven which has been given among men, by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:11-12)

Joel 2:32 states:

For it will be (that) all who will call upon the name Yahweh will be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem will be salvation, as Yahweh has said, and among the saved whom Yahweh will call.

The name he used, therefore, had to be “Yahweh.”

The priests then tried to stop the spread of this doctrine by reasoning that they could threaten the apostles to desist from its teaching:

But that it might not further spread among the people, with a threat let us threaten them to no longer speak in this name to any man. And having called them they charged them not at all to speak nor to TEACH IN THE NAME OF YAHUSHUA. But Peter and John answering to them said, “Whether it is right before YAHWEH to listen to you rather than to YAHWEH you judge; for we cannot but speak what we saw and heard.” But they having further threatened them let them go, nothing finding as to how they might punish them on account of the people, because all were glorifying YAHWEH for that which has taken place; for the man on whom had taken place this sign of healing was above forty years old. (Acts 4:17-21)

Before proceeding, it seems as though we possibly have an apparent contradiction! Did the apostles actually teach in the name Yahushua? Could it also be that both the names Yahushua and Yahweh were used interchangeably?

In reality, there is no contradiction. Many try to make this statement refer only to the earthly name of the messiah which was “Yahushua” but when investigated further, the true heavenly name given to him by father Yahweh was “Yahweh”!

Many, not understanding the context, miss the fact that when such expressions as “in the name of the messiah” and “in the name of Yahushua” are used, they are metonymic and are a direct reference to his true name, the name “Yahweh,” not to his earthly name “Yahushua” or his title, “the messiah.”

For a more complete discussion pertaining to the issue of “metonymy” please see Salvation and the Name of the Messiah.

It was no crime in Judaism to teach in someone’s name, generally that of a rabbi; and Yahushua was often referred to as a rabbi not only by those following him but also by those religious leaders opposing him (Matt. 8:19Mark 5:35John 1:49).

This procedure was commonly utilized during that period, as demonstrated in the Talmudic writings. Importantly, use of the sacred name was the only action that concerned the scribes and priests.

After this confrontation, which if it had not been for the crowd the apostles might also have been sentenced to death as the messiah had been, they went back to their own company and told them all that had transpired with the chief priests and the elders.

Having heard the news, the entire body of believers, “with one accord lifted up (their) voice to Yahweh,” (Acts 4:24) and as part of their praise to him cited Psalm 2:1-2:

Why do the nations swarm, and the peoples meditate on worthlessness? The kings of the earth set themselves; and the rulers have met together against Yahweh and his messiah. (Acts 4:25; citing Psalms 2:1-2)

In complete defiance of the religious leaders, the apostles continued to heal people using the sacred name Yahweh. Angered by their complete disregard for the authority of the priests and seeing “multitudes of both men and women” continuing to join their ranks, the priests again had the apostles arrested. (Acts 5:12-18)

Though the apostles and other disciples were using the sacred name, as with Yahushua and John the Baptist, the religious leaders feared them because of the people.

We are told in the book of Acts, for example, that after healing a certain man, the officers of the priests seized the apostles to bring them before the sanhedrin, placing them in a holding cell. During the night, an angel released the apostles from their prison.

When the priests found the men gone they were perplexed. Soon, someone came to them and reported that the apostles were in the Temple teaching. The captain and his officers were sent after them and brought them before the sanhedrin (Acts 5:17-24).

They did so without violence, “for they feared the people, that they might stone them.” (Acts 5:25-26)

After hearing the various statements from the apostles, the priests strongly chastised them, stating:

Did we not charge you by a charge not to teach in this name? and lo, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and with the purpose of bringing this man’s (Yahushua’s) blood upon us. (Acts 5:28)

Though the apostles had been warned by these leaders not to use the sacred name Yahweh, they had “filled Jerusalem” with its teaching.

Setting the apostles outside of the court, the priests listened to the honored Pharisee and teacher of the Law named Gamaliel, who advised them not to oppose the apostles, believing that they and their followers would be scattered about and their work would be overthrown in a short time, as had happened with other messianic movements.

Agreeing to this counsel, the priests called the apostles back in and “having beat them enjoined them not to speak in the name of Yahushua, and released them.”

They therefore departed rejoicing from the presence of the sanhedrin that for this name of him they were accounted worthy to be dishonoured. And every day in the Temple and in the houses they did not cease teaching and announcing the glad tidings of Yahushua the messiah. (Acts 5:40-41)

There can be no doubt that the name which caused much anger and hatred toward the messiah and his apostles was not the name Yahushua.

There was only one name whereby one would have been arrested, put into prison, physically beaten, and convicted of blasphemy under Jewish law leading to the death penalty.

That name is the one and only sacred name “Yahweh.”

One thought on “New Testament and Yahweh

  1. There is still some confusion about the only sacred name. But it is wonderful that Yahweh’s name is becoming known more and more.

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