THE SACRED NAME YAHWEH
The messiah forcefully condemned the religious leaders of his day for concealing the "key" that unlocked the door to scriptural knowledge:
Woe to you, the experts in the Torah (Scriptures), for you took away the key of knowledge;
yourselves did not enter, and those who were entering you hindered. (Luke 11:52)
This "key," as our investigation shall demonstrate, was the knowledge and use of the creator's personal name-the sacred name Yahweh. Despite the heavy emphasis placed by the Scriptures upon both the knowledge and use of the sacred name, popular Christian dogma ignores it, Jewish Talmudic traditions forbid its use and ordered its concealment, and the Moslem faith denies its importance. Yet all claim the works of Moses and the prophets, who were the tenacious advocates of the sacred name, as a foundation upon which their religions
Why, if the sacred name is considered so important in the Scriptures, do most of the religious teachings of the numerous Judaeo-Christian and Moslem sects set its doctrine aside? In a word eisegesis: the uncanny quality of human nature which insists upon reading into any given issue one's own personal ideas and interpretations. For example, it is always fascinating and entertaining to watch the bizarre and humorous alterations of a story as it passes from one child to the next in a parlor game. By the time it has reached the ninth or tenth ear the original story can hardly be recognized. This amusing game serves as a poignant reminder that humans in general are prone to place their own personal understanding into whatever they see, hear, and read.
Add to this natural human inclination the further barrier created when ideas and thoughts must also be com-
municated through and translated into different languages. This is especially true when translating Hebrew into English. As Jay P. Green, Sr. warns, "With Hebrew particularly it is impossible to bring out in English the many shades of thought in this pictorially based language." Once such problems are realized it becomes possible to realistically face some of the major reasons why so few understand Scriptures and why there are so many religious groups, all claiming the Bible as their ultimate authority, who nevertheless are at odds with one another.
With regard to the doctrines taught in Scriptures, as time proceeded succeeding generations of priests and other men who taught its tenets came to view the source material through the colored lenses of their own personal and cultural experiences. They often made that which they did not comprehend seem understandable through human reasonings. This method often included borrowing concepts from pagan religions and philosophers. The personal interpretations that cropped up soon became religious dogma and church tradition, forming a set of beliefs which continued to exist by rote alongside the words of the original documents of the Scriptures.
Many of these presuppositions were, at first, taught alongside scripturally based tenets, though by no means without a great deal of opposition from those adhering much closer to the original scriptural doctrines. Then,
later on, as these human interpretations gained more widespread acceptance, under the sponsorship of various religious schools they came to replace the original doctrines. As the process of adding one interpretation upon another continued, numerous religious factions were created. As a result, different Jewish divisions came to adhere to their "Talmudic interpretations," various Catholic and Protestant denominations now rely upon their "Christian traditions," the Moslems believe in their understandings derived from the "Koran's revelation," and radical subgroups, such as the Mormons, a Christian sect which views the Bible through interpretations found in their "Book of Mormon," have their own variations.
It stands as a great paradox that men's religious traditions and private interpretations were so harshly con-
demned by the Old Testament prophets, the messiah, and his apostles, and yet today numerous Judaeo-
Christian and Moslem church traditions and interpretations-being the direct product of men's own philosophical perceptions-are acknowledged by these religious groups as the backbone of their "Bible understanding." The direct result of these varying traditions and interpretations is the existence of so many contradictory religious sects, all claiming the Scriptures, or at least part of the Scriptures, as their authority. The resulting strife and confusion that these contradictions have created are certainly not the product of Yahweh or his Scriptures-for
it is Satan, not Yahweh, who is the author of confusion and the father of the lie.
The confusion surrounding the use of the sacred name Yahweh is manifested by the barrage of arguments and excuses launched by these various Jewish, Christian, and Moslem divisions and their subgroups to suppress the knowledge and use of the divine name. Among the more popular arguments advanced are the following:
• The sacred name is too sacred for any common man to utter.
• We are not required to use the sacred name.
• The sacred name has no real value.
• It is a Hebrew name for the almighty and it is not necessary for someone to use it if he does not speak Hebrew.
• It is a name required only of the Israelites or Jews.
• The messiah and his apostles never used the sacred name, which is reflected by the fact that the sacred name is not found in the New Testament.
• The name "Jesus" for Christians or "Allah" for the Moslems are now the required names for salvation.
• The correct pronunciation of the sacred name has over the centuries been lost, therefore, we are relieved of the requirement to use it.
• The hybrid form "Jehovah" has been a substitute for the sacred name during the last four centuries. Since this tradition is now popular and well-known there is no need to revert back to the original form of the sacred name.
• Our heavenly father allows us to use substitute names and titles, like Lord, God, Adonai, and so on, because the purpose of a word is to transmit thought. Therefore, since he knows what we mean, any name we wish to utilize is admissible.
• The sacred name was not revealed until the days of Moses. Since there was no knowledge of it prior to Moses, it stands that the name is not an eternal one. Therefore, since it was not required for the salvation of those who antedate Moses, such as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, neither is it necessary for us today.
• We speak English (Arabic, Italian, etc.), not Hebrew. Accordingly, we must use an English (Arabic, Italian, etc.) name for our heavenly father.
• The use of any proper name for the one and only deity, as though there were other gods from whom he had to be distinguished, was discontinued in Judaism before the Christian era and is entirely inappropriate for the universal faith of the Church.
The problem with these and other such well-sounding reasons like them is that all are proven to be fraudulent. Not a single one finds support in Scriptures. In fact, for any one of them to be valid, many statements found in the Scriptures would be rendered false and useless. In reality, these popular rationales simply give one a justification not to use the sacred name. For those who seek the facts and desire the simple truth of the matter, who wish to know what the Scriptures actually command and require, their quest must begin with the question, "What do the Scriptures say?" The contrived traditions and interpretations of men, meanwhile, must be exposed and avoided.
Any sound study of Scriptures should be prefaced with the scriptural command to "prove all things, hold fast the valuable." (1Thes., 5:21) One needs to use all of the Scriptures in harmony, carefully avoiding the interpretations of men who would isolate a verse and then alter its original meaning in an attempt to make it agree with their own personal and private views. This principle of study was pointed out by the prophet Isaiah centuries ago:
Whom shall he teach knowledge? And whom shall he explain the message? Those weaned
from the milk, those moving from the breasts. For precept to precept, precept to precept, line
to line, line to line, a little here, a little there. (Isaiah, 28:9-10)
Using this methodology, a careful examination of all the Scriptures, supported by a study of relevant archaeological finds and ancient historical records, will verify that the key to the knowledge contained in Scriptures is the knowledge and use of the sacred name Yahweh.
With this volume, "The Sacred Name Yahweh", the importance of the sacred name shall be examined. Our investigation will reveal the value of a personal name to those in Scriptures and how a personal name was treated differently from a generic name or title. We shall then proceed with an in-depth study of the personal name Yahweh, the only name considered sacred in all the Scriptures and the only personal name of our heavenly father. This evidence will prove that the sacred name Yahweh is not an invention of the Israelites but is the name given by our heavenly father to himself. It was not first revealed to men during the days of Moses, as so often falsely reasoned, but existed from eternity and was known by men and women since the time of Adam and Eve. Neither has the original pronunciation of the sacred name ever been lost over the centuries, another groundless charge often made.
Further, the Scriptures proclaim that the name Yahweh is extremely valuable and that knowledge of it is necessary for salvation. This data will prove that the requirement for the knowledge and use of the sacred name is not restricted to the Jews or those speaking Hebrew but is a requisite for all of mankind. Documentation will be provided, as well, that confirms that the prophets of the Old Testament books, the messiah, and his disciples not only used the sacred name but advocated it as a basic scriptural doctrine. As a result of their stand, many of them were persecuted and murdered. We will also consider the evidence that resolves the question, "What did the New Testament mean when it said we could find salvation in the name of Yahushua the messiah (in English translations Jesus Christ)?" We shall then examine the reasons why the wicked shall not use the sacred name when the occasion is appropriate.