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The ignorant Greeks labeled the Creator "The Unknown God" (Acts 17:23).
They forgot WHO He is — because they had lost the meaning of His name!
That name is important — what is it? What does it mean?


HOW IMPORTANT IS a name? Does it make any difference what name you use to designate the Creator?

Does it matter in whose name you pray?


Authority in a Name

A person's name is important. When one acts in another's name, one acts in his stead — by his authority. The name designates the source of the authority — it designates who the person is for whom one acts. To pray in someone's name is to take the authority of that name.

The greatest curse that could come on anyone is to have his name blotted out for all eternity!

It does make a difference what name you use for the Creator — and in whose name you pray. There is only one NAME "under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). What is this NAME? Without it you cannot be saved!

The Son came in His Father's name. What is His Father's name? Unless YOU bear your heavenly Father's name, YOU are not His son and heir!


Modern Confusion

Some claim that "Jehovah" is the Father's name. They claim that we ought to use the word "Jehovah" instead of "Lord."

Is "Jehovah" the Father's name?

Other sects claim that when we speak of or pray to the heavenly Father and/or the Son, we should use only the Hebrew names of Deity. They insist that it is a sin to use the words "God," "Lord," "Jesus," "Christ," "Word," and "Christian." They insist that we should always use the Hebrew words for Deity. They claim that it is a sin to pray "in the name of Jesus." A sin to be called a "Christian"!

Though these sects claim that "Jehovah" is not the name, they cannot agree among themselves as to what the Hebrew name should be! Some claim the name should be pronounced "Yahvah," others that it should be "Yahweh." They vehemently insist that it is a sin to translate the names of God into English! They contend that it is the sound of the name, NOT ITS MEANING, that is important!

Yet Paul was inspired to write: "Except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken?" In verse 19 Paul continued, "Yet in the Church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue" — to the Greeks, Hebrew was an unknown tongue (I Cor. 14:9, 19).


Names Have Meaning

Ili the Bible, names have meaning. Names are given for a purpose.

the first man was called in the Hebrew tongue Adam because he was made of "red earth." Adam in Hebrew MEANS "red earth." Abram's name in Hebrew was changed to Abraham because the promise was made to Abraham that he should become "a father of many nations" (Genesis 17:5). Abraham means "a father of many nations."

Jacob's name in Hebrew was changed to Israel. The word Jacob in Hebrew means "supplanter," but the word Israel means "prevailer with God." Jacob prevailed with God and obtained His blessing.

All these Biblical names convey meaning. Notice that these names are usually not greatly changed in any foreign tongue because their meanings are already given in the Bible. They do not have to be translated!

But other important Hebrew Biblical names mentioned in the New Testament ARE TRANSLATED from Hebrew into Greek!

Notice Acts 9:36, "Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas" — in Greek. Her name means "Doe" in English.

Again in Acts 13:8, the Aramaic name "Elymas" is translated as "Sorcerer" in English, or as "Magos" in the inspired Greek New Testament. From these examples we see that personal names are often translated in the Bible!!

THE NAMES OF THE CREATOR also have great meaning.


The Meaning of God's NAMES

In the Old Testament the English word "God" comes from the Hebrew word Elohim, meaning "mighty ones." It is a uniplural word showing that there are NUMEROUS MEMBERS IN THE ONE DIVINE FAMILY. Sometimes the English word "God" comes from another word El. It signifies in Hebrew "a mighty one."

Often the word El is combined with other Hebrew words to give new names to the Creator. Thus "El-Shaddai" means the "Almighty God" (Gen. 17:1).

Now turn to Exodus 3:13 and 14 for another surprising NAME of the Almighty. "And Moses said to God, behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say unto me, What is His name? What shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and He said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you."

Notice! Here is one of the many names of the Creator — "I AM THAT I AM." There is real meaning to this name! It may also be translated from the Hebrew as "I will be what I will be." This name — I Am — means that there is no one under heaven superior to, no one who exercises lordship over, the ONE who appeared to Moses. The One who appeared to Moses is above all creation — Lord of all! That is what His name means. He is the One who is, the Self-Existent One.



Now turn to Exodus 6:1-3. Here the Creator reveals yet another name. "And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the Lord" (verse 2). The Hebrew word which is here translated "Lord" is YHWH — translated "Lord" in verse 2, and mistranslated "Jehovah" in verse 3 — comes from the Hebrew root word meaning "to be," or "to exist." The name YHWH means "the Eternal," "the Everliving," and as the Creator of all and superior to all, this name signifies that He is eternally Ruler and LORD!

Now notice especially verse 3, in the King James translation: "And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name 'Jehovah' was I not known unto them." The name "Jehovah" in the King James is admittedly a woeful mistranslation. It comes from the Hebrew word YHWH. Notice that the One who was worshiped by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob appeared under the name "God Almighty" — in Hebrew El Shaddai. He did not reveal Himself by the name YHWH. Not until the days of Moses did He reveal this name. For 2,500 long years of human history the Creator did not explicitly use the name YHWH. When Moses compiled the book of Genesis, he introduced the name, beginning with chapter 2.

Abraham, of course, used the word yhwh in reference to the Creator, for he knew the Creator was ever-living that's what yhwh meant. But the name YHWH was never expressly used by the Almighty — the Spokesman of the Creating Family.

How plain! The Creator thought it more important to reveal His Word than even this name — YHWH — to Abraham. Notice Psalm 138:2, ". . . for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name."

But what about the word "Jehovah" in Exodus 6:3?


"Jehovah" Is NOT the Name

Tens of thousands are being led today to believe that the Creator's name is "Jehovah." Where did the name "Jehovah" come from? Notice what the Jewish Encyclopedia has to say:

" 'Jehovah' is generally held to have been the invention of Pope Leo X's Confessor, Peter Galatin . . . who was followed in the use of this hybrid form by Fagius . . . But it seems that even before Galatin, the name 'Jehovah' had been in common use . . . It is found in Raymond Martin's `Pugio Fidei,' written in 1270" (from Jewish Encyclopedia, article "Jehovah," volume VII, page 88).

The word "Jehovah" has come down to the modern world through the Catholic Church! Even the "Jehovah's Witnesses," in the preface to their translation of the Bible, state: "While inclining to view the pronunciation 'Yahweh' as the more correct way, we have retained the form 'Jehovah' because of people's familiarity with it since the 14th century" (page 25).

"Jehovah" is not the name! It is a corrupt mispronunciation.

Since "Jehovah" is not the proper pronunciation of the Hebrew word YHWH, what then is its proper pronunciation? Some "Hebrew Name" sects say "Yahvah," others say "Yahweh," still others believe it should be "Yehweh," etc.

Why this confusion?

The answer is — the true pronunciation of the Hebrew word YHWH was lost!!

Here is how it happened.

The Hebrew language uses consonants and semi-consonants, not vowels. Moses was inspired to write this name for the Creator with the four Hebrew letters YHWH. This Hebrew word, which the Israelites originally knew how to pronounce, comes from another Hebrew word HWH, an old form of the root HYH, which means "to be," or "to become."

In the centuries since Jeremiah's day, the Jews became superstitious and made an idol out of this name! They treated it with such superstitious reverence that they decided never to pronounce it! Instead, whenever they found this word in the Old Testament, they read Adonai in its place. Adonai is a Hebrew word meaning "Lord" or "Master." Hence the proper pronunciation of YHWH became lost!