In the book of Acts, Stephen was stoned to death for committing a serious breach of Jewish law.
Is there any evidence proving that the sacred name Yahweh was somehow involved with this infraction of Jewish law that led to Stephen’s murder?
Let us begin our investigation of Scriptures for the facts.
Stephen was one of the first seven deacons chosen to serve in the assembly. Against him arose some foreign Jews from the synagogue at Jerusalem who, having been defeated in a debate, began to accuse Stephen of “blasphemous words.” (Acts 6:11)
Out of revenge they sent false witnesses against him to the sanhedrin under the charge of blasphemy, claiming:
This man does not cease speaking blasphemous words against the sacred place and the Torah. (Acts 6:13)
In short, they accused Stephen of blasphemy against the law (but by their religious interpretations, not by scriptural definition) (See Ineffable Name Yahweh?).
In his defense to the high priest, Stephen gave a dissertation on the history of the Israelites and some prophecies about the messiah. As part of this speech Stephen quoted Deuteronomy 18:15 and Isaiah 66:1-2, both which use the sacred name (Acts 7:37, 49-50).
Then at the very end Stephen uttered these words:
Lo, I behold the heavens opened, and the son of man standing at the right hand of Yahweh. (Acts 7:56)
That Stephen said “at the right hand of Yahweh,” the Greek “theou” being a gloss, is confirmed by these facts:
• First, his statement matches almost word for word the one made by Yahushua at his trial: “Henceforth shall be the son of man sitting at the right hand of Yahweh.” (Luke 22:69; also see Messiah Convicted of Blasphemy.)
• Second, both the proclamations of Yahushua and Stephen are in fact a restatement of Psalm 110:1:
A declaration of Yahweh to adeni (my foundation), Sit at my right hand until I set your enemies (as) your footstool.” (See אדני in Psalm, 100:1)
• Third, that Stephen used the name Yahweh is proven by what immediately transpired upon uttering these words. The book of Acts reveals:
And crying out with a loud voice they HELD THEIR EARS and rushed with one accord upon him (Stephen), and having cast (him) out of the city, THEY STONED (HIM). And the witnesses laid aside their garments at the feet of a young man called Paul. And they stoned Stephen, (while he was) invoking and saying, “Sovereign Yahushua, receive my spirit.” And having bowed the knees he cried with a loud voice, “YAHWEH, lay not to them this sin.” And this having said he fell asleep. And Paul was consenting to the killing of him. (Acts 7:57-8:1)
They “held their ears” because they had heard the sacred name Yahweh being pronounced, which under Jewish (not scriptural) law was blasphemy.
Stephen was stoned to death because stoning was the penalty under Jewish law for blasphemy when the guilty party “exactly pronounces the (sacred) name.” (See Messiah Convicted of Blasphemy)
They laid their garments at the feet of Paul because those who judge in such a crime would “rend their garments, and they may not mend them again.” (See Messiah Convicted of Blasphemy; reference Acts 22:19-20))
In addition, Stephen was killed outside the city to bypass Roman law forbidding the sanhedrin from carrying out the death sentence.
No doubt, the cause for the murder of Stephen by the religious leaders was his uttering the sacred name Yahweh thereby committing blasphemy under Jewish law.
3 thoughts on “Stephen and Yahweh”
Thank you for ‘proving all things.’ This charge of blasphemy is important to know. I wonder if it will occur again and if the elect of Yahweh will die for pronouncing His sacred name.
I understand that the Catholic Church has banned the use of Yahweh sacred name in it’s liturgy.
>I understand that the Catholic Church has banned the use of Yahweh sacred name in it’s liturgy.<
I have a Catholic friend, and I remember when the present pope decided that they must not say Yahweh again in worship. They had a very popular song, and I think the name of it was called Yahweh You are Near, or something like that. Anyway, my friend just said to me, Oh, I can't believe they have stopped this. Everyone loves this song so much, and it's extremely popular. Thing is, it's my understanding that the pope was buddying up with the Jewish rabbis. I don't know if that's why he had the name removed. Just my guess.