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Yeshua vs YaHshua -- Ye?Shua, Ya?Shua
Something is missing
by your servant, Dan Baxley
I have already touched on this in a previous article but it should be made clear, the name YaHshua, as printed, is not found in the Hebrew Scriptures, and neither is Yeshua. But wait, for those able to read of Hebrew the name Yeshua is found in the Bible. Not so, at least not in the original writings as one might think. You see, the name, Jeshua or Yeshua, is a mis-transliteration found in the modern Hebrew not the ancient writings or fragments of the ancient Hebrew. On top of that, in Jewish literature and thinking, there is a bias toward the pronouncing of the Name of the the God of Israel or more precisely, YHWH (YaHWeH). They object to any association with this Name, the HASHEM, as their Messianic brothers want to use it in the Name of the Messiah.
It pleases the devote Jew not to repeat the Name of YHWH, so they they substitute another name, term, title, or saying -- adonay or adonia, which in the English equivalent is the term "lord", or, as in the Old Testament English translation, LORD in Caps as a substitute for the Name YHWH (YaHWeH). Jewish scholars and devout religious fanatics freely substitute titles and other phrases in place of His Holy Name. By doing so they inadvertently treat the Name of their God, the God of the Scriptures, with the greatest disrespect, Profaning His Name by refusing to make His Name known, by refusing to "glorify" Him by His Name. They do not call on His Name in this era and refuse to allow others to, but this will one day change --
And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of YHWH shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as YHWH has said, and in the remnant whom YHWH shall call. I their righteousness they do not see the error of covering The Name (HaShem), sealing it up, out of sight, out of mind. There is a commanded they, as the chosen of people, are commanded to observe and keep, and that is they are not to call on or mention the names of other gods -- the gods of the Gentiles (Joshua 23:7). So, what do they do? They stop calling on Name of their God and use other terms, like "HaShem" or the Greek influenced, "Adonai" (Lord, in the Englsih) as if obeying a command directed toward false gods. They quickly use this command from the OT when it comes to using the Name for our Savior but in a like manner they also hide, or will not pronounce the Name of their own God -- they end up treating His glorious Name as though it were of heathen origin -- the are wrong in both case -- In their own righteousness they do just the opposite of what they were and are commanded. How do I know all of this? First by reading a lot of their writings, second by debating with several of the Orthodox and Ultra Orthodox Jews on this subject. They have a zeal for G-d, or HaShem, as some like to call Him (HaShem is to say, The Name), other the LORD, but in following their righteous zeal they actually ignore Scripture and cause others to do the same. I have been told plainly, that it has never been the job of Israel or the Jews to proclaim His Name (HASHEM) to the world.
JPS (Jewish Publication Society) (Go back and read Joel 2:32 again)
(1Ch 16:8)Give thanks unto the YHWH call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people.
(Psa 96:2-3)Sing unto the YHWH, bless His Name; shew forth his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people. Isa 12:1-2 In that day you will say: "I will praise you, O' YHWH. Although you were angry with me, your anger has turned away and you have comforted me. Surely God is my y'shua; I will trust and not be afraid. YH YHWH, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation (yeshua)." (Note: "y'shua", is not a name, but a statement meaning, "salvation", and notice, the double statement of HIs Name, YaH YaHWeH -- not forgetting YaHshua said He came in His Father's Name -- and had a Name given Him by Him and revealed to us -- John 5:43 and John 17:11, 17:26 and also Luke 10:22)
So, Israel has dropped the ball, it seems, instead of making His Name known, blessing His Name, declaring His Glory among the heathen and calling upon His Name what have they done? Nothing, they refuse to use His Name among their own people let alone among the nations. Many of the more Ultra Orthodox want to lash out at anyone daring to expose His Name to anyone. They refuse our Savior's Name, twisting it or hacking it up and trying to make it say something else all to avoid applying the One True Name of our Creator, their Creator, our Creator in writing or by word of mouth. And what is He going to do? Just read --
Oh that there were one among you who would shut the doors, that you might not kindle fire on my altar in vain! I have no pleasure in you, says YHWH of hosts, and I will not accept an offering from your hand. For from the rising of the sun to its setting My Name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to My Name, and a pure offering. For My Name will be great among the nations, says the YHWH of hosts. But you profane it when you say that the Lord's table is polluted, and its fruit, that is, its food may be despised.
(Eze 36:23)And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them. And the nations will know that I am YHWH, declares the Lord YaHWeH, when through you I vindicate my holiness before their eyes.
What has this to do with our Savior's Name? Everything, because His Name is the Name the Orthodox and Ultra Orthodox Jew deny. We should know that this practice of covering His Name, of trying to block anyone in its use began after the Second Temple was destroyed by Rome. You would think the religious Jews would read what we read and see this error but what happens is the ultra religious, the Orthodox and the Ultra Orthodox Jews do not spend much time in the Writings and the Prophets of the Bible as we know it. In fact, in some discussions I have had with the Ultra side, I have been told that even the Torah of Moses is only a small sampling of the Oral Torah, which is what they study as opposed to the Hebrew Bible the Christians read -- in other words, for the most part, the Ultra Orthodox Jew is Biblically ignorant. That's right, they ignore much of the OT in favor of the Written Oral Torah which is found in the Jerusalem Talmud and the Babylonian Talmud which are writings supposedly from inspired Super Rabbis from the past. They should be the last authority any Christian should listen to as most of what they study from the Oral (now written) Torah is fables and myths even to delving into the black magics, which, I am told, the Super Rabbis can use for good because they knew how to use it properly. They, of course, accuse our Savior of using black magic to heal people. They do not deny He healed people, but of course, it was by black magic which he abused, unlike the Super Rabbis. (note: I call them Super Rabbis and found not objection in the debate with the Ultra Orthodox Jews in calling them this)
These religious people of the Jewish side, followers of the Super Rabbis Oral traditions will do just about anything to prevent the use of the Name of the God of Israel and any connection with our Savior. When forced to use a name in reference to our Messiah they drop letters as some in the Hebrew Roots movement do. YaHshua becomes Y'shua, or yeshua, or even occasionally, Y-shua. Some of the more intimidated and angry Jews twist the word, yeshua into an insult, as this word is close to a nasty derogatory remark -- discussed later in the article.
The Real Missing Link
What is missing in transmission from "HaShem" (the Name) is a key part of the original Name of our Creator. I believe this is willingly ignored in avoidance of saying His Name in effect treating His Name as if it were of heathen, or pagan origins. I know our Lord, YaHshua, instructed us not to swear on anything (Matt 5:34) but we are discussing what is expected of those denying YaHshua as Messiah. The instruction is clear, concerning those of the Jewish faith, they are to "swear by His Name", and they are not to make mention of the names of any other gods. In the Hebrew/Jewish mishandling Of His glorious Name they have left something out, there is something missing. What is it?
Drum roll, please -- The "H" in the Name of the God of all things, is MISSING! The Name of our Creator and the God of Christian and Jew alike is YHWH (YaHWeH) and they leave it out, they mutilate it, they change it for something else. Our Savior said He came in the Name of His Father and His Name, the Name given Him at birth is YaHshua (YH-Shua) -- the Jew says His Name is Yeshua -- do you see it? The "H" is missing! There is no "e" in His Name, they supply that letter, although some do spell it as Y'shua, still the "H" is missing. I would challenge anyone, in support of His Name being changed to Yeshua, to explain that, why? I have read all of the word play and the claims of the name, Yeshua is merely the Aramaic expression and that they spoke this dialect of Hebrew in the first century. Okay, so the people 2,000 years ago used the term "yeshua" every time they said, "salvation", as we have seen in the Old Testament examples, this term was used on occasion as a name, but most often as a term meaning only "salvation", but when you restore His Name, YaH, it becomes more than a definition or a word meaning "salvation", it then becomes, YaH is Salvation. Aramaic express indeed, how about Hebrew/Aramaic?
In Hebrew the stand alone term, yeshua, means salvation and when, or if, used as a name the missing "H" is expected to be replaced, mentally, by the reader (this instruction is expressed in the Preface of "The Holy Scriptures, According to the Masoretic Text", page v, 1965 edition). This then would be pronounced as YaHshua, or YH-shua as the reader comes across this Name in Scripture, there is no "e" in the Name, ever, as the "e" is a vowel just as the "a" is and are supplied only as an assist in pronunciation. This is also true of the transliteration for the old English transliteration of the Name Joshua, YeHoshua, and should be YHoshua or YaHoshua, or YaHushua -- the Hebrew Bible transliterates Joshua's Name as these examples and never as "yeshua" -- our Savior was given the same Name as Joshua, which is the best Old English equivalent of the 16 th century, today we have, YaHshua. To drop the "H" is to change the Name -- from a name to a term, not really a common name at all. You hear a lot about the term "yeshua" being the Aramaic, from the Jews for Jesus, and other Messianic groups. This language is closely associated with Arabic but this semetic dialect does not excuse the dropping of the "H". Some in the Jewish Messianic movement have taken this as their mantra mostly due to having been taught this from birth. They too need to take steps to restore the proper Name of our Savior and Messiah, YaHshua, or YaHushua, or even YaHoshua, all Hebrew for the Old English, Joshua, pronounced as Yahshua.
In the name, Yeshua, we see a distortion of His true name, YaHshua, and this distortion has a different meanings for the Jewish reader.
Isn’t it odd, the Jewish scholars, the scribes, and Rabbis use a name they say is too Holy to say, too holy to USE. Isn’t it odd they are commanded not to mention the names of a false god, the gods of the gentiles, and cannot see how they are treating His Name equally in the same manner, by avoiding it -- do not mention the names of other god, oh, and not our God either -- can't they see this? And to many of the Jewish faith, they see this Yeshua (Jesus) as a false god of the gentiles. To repeat; this is exactly how Yeshua is seen -- a god of the Gentiles, of the Gentile Christians, and they use it, say it and tell Gentiles this was and is His Name -- who is fooling who? It is their “catch 22” and they have a problem in not saying or using His Name and not using the name of other gods so they change it and sell it to the Gentiles but in doing this they again violate the command of ignoring false names as well as His true and Holy Name by their refusal to use even the Name of the God they claim is theirs -- they fail to declare it, to proclaim it to the nations. Equally, by not mentioning pagan names and of the Christian god, Jesus, or Yeshua they have helped create another god, by another name -- a name not His Name (John 5:43). How is this done, how do they accomplish this? First, they do not supply the full Name of the God of Israel to the Gentiles, second they change the Name associated with the Messiah of the New Testament just enough to still be a Jewish name, after all, this man was a Jew, but not delivering THE NAME (Ha Shem) of our Messiah, a Name that literally declares our Heavenly Father, someone they do not know or if they do, they cleverly hide -- denying the use there for themselves and others, all the while claiming to be the chosen of HaShem -- that would be chosen of TheName, odd, but true, a Name they deny by their actions. No where in Scripture is there a commandment not to use His Name, only a warning not to abuse His Name but never to stop using or calling on Him by His Name.
Jewish View of YaHshua
The Jew/Hebrews of modern scholarship do not deny YaHshua existed, as some ignorant critics still cling to, no, he is not denied as a man as a famous Rabbi of Jewish origin. What they deny is that he was anything more than this, a Rabbi having fallen on hard times, a magician of the arts preforming miracles by magic, etc. They are obliged not to use or say the name Jesus, a god of the Gentiles, and they hesitate to use His Hebrew name so they use what is defined as an Aramaic name, or equivalent, Yeshua. This name, however, is associated with a man they call a false teacher and liar a worker of black magic when speaking of our Savior, whom they admit their fathers executed. On the one hand, and this is again odd, when debating the ultra Orthodox Jews, they will argue He, the Christian Messiah, never existed but is a fable made up -- then two sentences later they will say all of the miracles He preformed were done by black magic. Odd, right, denial then admission, and in this, those of the Jewish sects, witness against themselves.
They, these super religious Jews, wish to avoid the use of the name, YaHshua, or even YaHushua if at all possible. They are happy to let the Gentiles use Yeshua even supporting this with their own modern translation of the Hebrew Scriptures, translating a name pronounced as YaH-shoo-ah but written as Yeshua. Again, if the term, as found in the Hebrew Dictionary H3442, is used as a name, the reader is to mentally supply the missing "H" (The Holy Scriptures According to the Masoretic Text, published by the Jewish Publication Society, Pg V of the Preface), and if, on the other hand this term is not used as a name it remains without the "H", it is then merely a term meaning "salvation". Somewhere along the line, as a Name, the "H" is to be restored, and if only mentally it becomes a Name, His Name -- YaH is Salvation, or YaHshua -- the very Name our Savior came in, YaHushua if you prefer.
They Say, It is the Short Form -- The Insult
When backed into the corner of this argument they, being the Ultra Jew and some of the Messianic movement, say the Aramaic, Yeshua, is the "short form" of His complete Name. Why do you suppose they then say this -- the name Yeshua is a "short form"? To keep from admitting the error they have fallen into and this comes out only after they cannot answer the question of WHY and they fail to override what Scripture says itself. They work very hard to not use His true Identity to avoid using the Name that is above every Name. Even the Messianic Jews know this is not a complete name, but it is so ingrained in their thinking they cannot shake it, just like the Christians have trouble shaking the false name, JESUS. You can also see that Yeshua, as a name, is a pretty long "short form", and seems to me to be a very flimsy argument, but this argument is only used when all of their other arguments fall.
They admit, by claiming it to be a "short form", that this is only part of His Name. When a Jewish person wants or needs to communicate this name it is, in most cases, pronounced, Yeshu (Yes ua) and is actually an insult. According to the Jewish New Testament Commentary states, “…Yeshu is also an acronym consisting of the first letters of the Hebrew insult, “Yumach sh’mo v’zikhro” (“May his name and memory be blotted out…)”. We can then see the insult intended when the Hebrew says, Yeshu. When the incomplete Name used by many Christians and Jewish Messianic it is meant to be an insult, like their little secret. By restoring the missing letter to this Name we have YeHshua, or YaHshua and the suggested insult is removed completely.
Strong's Hebrew Dictionary to the Rescue
An earlier volume of Strong's Hebrew Dictionary supplies the pronunciation of "yeshua" as YaH-shoo-ah. Also, this is the pronunciation supplied by the Strong's numbering system found in the popular bible software, e-sword. H3442 - yeshua -- yah-shoo-ua or yah-shoo-ah.
When The Name or HaShem, YHWH, is used by many, even the Messianic Jews, it is replaced with the title Adonay, or Adonai, which means or is the same as the English use of the title, LORD, in all caps. The Jewish Publication Society, in the production of modern Hebrew Bible into English, readily admit to following the traditions of the King James translators in the use of names -- how convenient (The New JPS Translation According to The Traditional Hebrew Text - Preface pages XV-XVii), and you will also read how much the Jewish translators relied upon the Greek Septuagint. Why? Because they do not have the original Hebrew Writings, only partials. No one has the stone upon which Moses wrote, not one has the writings in their original form.
HaShem or, The Name
You have noticed the term, HaShem, used throughout this article it is a Hebrew term meaning, The Name. Many Jewish translations in the Messianic Jewish movement use this word or saying, HaShem, in place of the Sacred Name, YHWH. HaShem is not a name, it is a statement and merely another method at avoiding the use of what they think the Heavenly Father's Name is. HaShem is Hebrew for saying "The Name", it is not a name, and definitely not His Name, as some have suggested and appears in some modern Jewish translations. An example of this usage can be seen in The Stone Edition of the Tanach, published by, Mesorah Publications, ltd., edited by Rabbi Nosson Scherman -- (also the Art Scroll edition) -- example:
This avoidance of using His glorified Name for lesser terms and titles is sad indeed. Knowing that the term, HASHEM, means "The Name" you would read the beginning of verse 8 as, "The Name God planted a garden in Eden..." This would almost mean the translators of this Jewish translation is saying HIS Name is "GOD" -- can it get any stranger than this?
I pray this article will be of encouragement and will inspire you to study the word for yourself. Peter told us what to do and it was not to lay up arms, or food stores or digging holes in the ground to hide but to continue in and grow in the knowledge of our Lord, YaHshua.
As also in all his (Paul's) epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest (twist), as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. You therefore, beloved, seeing you know these things before, beware lest you also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour YaHshua the Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
Transliterations -- a final thought
We should understand something concerning the transliteration of names as opposed to translation -- The Hebrew bible known as the ArtScroll Tanach, Stone Edition, quoted from earlier, contains the Torah as well as the Writings and the Prophets, what the Christians refer to as the Old Testament. This is a beautiful work and favors using the term, HASHEM (meaning, The Name) in place of the actual Name of our Creator, YHWH. This term, HASHEM, is this translations substitute and when read it is easily mistaken for a "name", when it is not a name at all. "Ha Shem" is the transliteration for the translation, "The Name". HaShem means, "the Name" and nothing more and is used in place of YHWH, the Name of our Creator. This is a perfect example of a translation as opposed to a transliteration. YHWH, is the transliteration of the Hebrew Name of our Creator, as revealed to Moses. It is the representation of the Hebrew into the English giving us the letter for letter pronunciation. So, the transliteration, YHWH, with the help of a couple of "vowels" is pronounced as YaHWeH -- not HaShem. Like the English translators, the Hebrew translators have substituted a term in avoiding the use of the Name given to Moses for all generations to remember (Ex 3:15, remember, LORD is supposed to be YHWH). The Creator God, YHWH, says all generations are to know Him by this Name, YHWH, and what do men do, they discard the Name for a term or title -- they do just the opposite.
The English translators substitute the term, or title, LORD, and use it as a name and most Christians are ignorant of this and use the term, LORD, as a name never questioning what His Name might really be, being satisfied His Name is "Lord" and "God", which is it neither -- these are generic terms or titles that can be applied to any god or lord. What a sad state this has all become. The glory of His Name is ignored, the Creator and the Savior of all the universe is forgotten for a title or false names that can be applied to any of the gods and even to Satan himself. After all, Satan is called the "god" of this world --
The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of the Christ, who is the image of God (the Father).
Without the knowledge of His Name you could read this verse as saying our Savior, the Messiah, is in the image of the "god of this age" which the context is plainly speaking of the Adversary, Satan. We know this is not true, our Messiah, the Christ, is not in the image of the "god of this age" but is in the image of the God in Heaven, our Heavenly Father whom He came to reveal and whose Name He came in (John 5:43).
For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many "gods" and many "lords"), yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, YaHshua the Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.
God the Father, is not just any old god, or lord, just as our Savior, YaHshua, is not just any old savior or lord, or god. YaHshua is given a name and that name was not, "lord, and not "god" and not "Jesus", and not an Aramaic equivalent. He was named YaHshua (Old English transliteration, Joshua) and He told us He came in His Father's Name (John 5:43, John 17:12), and we are instructed later, by Peter, that there is no other Name by which we MUST be saved --
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is no other Name under heaven given (found) among men, whereby we must be saved. HalleluYah!
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