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A More Excellent Name

The King James Version (KJV) is mostly used in these lessons. Click here to access the KJV online.
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Yahuwah "has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, . . . who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, . . . having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they."  (Hebrews 1:2-4, NKJV)

The name of the only begotten Son of Yahuwah is very special and full of meaning.  This is underscored by Paul's point that the Son has by inheritance obtained a name that is more excellent than that of the angels.

To inherit something means "to receive by nature from a progenitor.  [I.e.], The son inherits the virtues of his father . . . ."1  Because the Saviour is the Son of Yahuwah, He has inherited a name that is above all other names.

Centuries before the Saviour's birth, Yahuwah encouraged Moses with the assurance:

Behold, I send an Angel before you to keep you in the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared.  Beware of Him and obey His voice . . . for My name is in Him."  (Exodus 23:20-21, NKJV)

The name of the eternal Father, Yahuwah, is in the name of the Son.  The angel Gabriel was divinely commissioned to instruct Mary what to name her Son. 

And the Messenger [Angel] came to her and said to her, "Peace to you full of grace, our Master is with you and so you are blessed among women!" 

But when she saw him she was disturbed at his saying and wondered, "What is this greeting?" 

And the Messenger said to her, "Do not be afraid, Maryam, for you have found grace with Elohim.  For behold you will receive conception and bear a son and you will call His name Yahushua.  This one will be great and will be called the Son of the Highest, and Master Yahuwah Elohim will give to Him the throne of Dawid.  (See Luke 1:26-32, Aramaic English New Testament.2)

As with the Father's own personal, divine name, the importance of the
Son's name is found in its definition. 

The beautiful meaning contained in the Saviour's name is an all-encompassing revelation of the mighty salvation offered sinners.  Yahushua means:

  • Yahuwah Save! (A cry for help to the only One who can help.)
  • Yahuwah Saves! (A joyous statement of fact.)
  • Yahuwah Saving (An present-tense immediate action.)
  • Yahuwah's Salvation (An all-encompassing statement of who and what the Saviour is.)

The plan to save guilty man was not an afterthought.  It was no spur-of-the-moment "brainstorm" after the fall.  The plan of salvation revealed the secret that had been kept in silence from ages past.  This secret was that, should sin ever arise, the Father would stop at nothing to save His creatures.  In order to save the human race, it required a level of self-sacrifice on the part of the Father which baffles selfish human hearts.  The plan of redemption did not guarantee that all would be saved.  It offered the opportunity to sinners, but did not force them to accept the salvation offered.

Yahuwah sacrificed His beloved Son in order to give people the chance to choose!  What wondrous love!  With absolutely no guarantees that any would choose to accept such a priceless gift, the Father and the Son entered into covenant agreement to save the guilty race at any cost to Themselves.

man writing on a scroll The very name of the Saviour is an encouragement to believe and accept the gift offered.  It inspires faith: Yahuwah saves to the uttermost all that come unto Him through His Son.

The import of the Saviour's name is clearly expressed in Acts 4:12: "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."  (KJV)  This is a profound statement!  "There is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved!"  The apostles clearly understood the importance of the Saviour's name:

To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.  (Acts 10:43, NKJV)

Therefore . . . [Elohim] also has highly exalted Him [Yahushua] and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of . . . [Yahushua] every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that . . . [Yahushua the Anointed is Master], to the glory of . . . [Elohim] the Father.  (Philippians 2:9-11, NKJV)

And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son . . . [Yahushua] and love one another, as He gave us commandment.  (1 John, 3:23, NKJV)

With such vast importance being found in the holy Name, it was Satan's studied attempt to hide the Name whereby all must be saved. 

The name "Jesus" comes from an attempt to transliterate the name through several different languages.  It does not come direct from the Hebrew or the New Testament Aramaic. 

"Yahushua" as a name was used by others recorded in the Old Testament.  The most well-known was Joshua, son of Nun, who led the children of Israel into the Promised Land.  While "Joshua" itself is not a precise transliteration of "Yahushua" it is certainly closer than "Jesus"!  In investigating the Saviour's name, the first thing to realize is that Hebrew did not contain a "J".  In fact, such a letter is of fairly recent origin even in English. 

very old book The adoption of "J" into English, (which influenced the names Joshua and Jesus) was as recent as the 17th century.  The first book to be published in English which made a difference between I and J was published in 1634.  It was the last of the 26 letters to be added to the English alphabet.  Prior to that time, the letter "I" was used, spoken as a "Y".

The word hallelujah is a good illustration of the evolution of this letter.  When Noah Webster wrote his dictionary in the early 19th century, he insisted on spelling the word HALLELUIAH, although even in his day it was already being spelled with a J.  The word means "Praise be to Yah" or "Praise ye Yah."  Webster noted in his definition of the word:

This word is improperly written with j, in conformity with the German and other continental languages, in which j has the sound of y.  But to pronounce the word with the English sound of j destroys its beauty.  The like mistake of the sound of j in Jehovah, Jordan, Joseph, has perverted the true pronunciation, which was Yehovah, 3 Yordan, Yoseph.  This perversion must now be submitted to, but in Halleluiah it ought not to be tolerated. 4

The transformation from Yahushua to Jesus can be seen when one looks at the Greek rendering for the name Joshua.  Again, Joshua is the same name as Yahushua in Hebrew.  When the Old Testament was translated into Greek in the third and second centuries BCE, the Greek translators ran into a problem when transliterating the name Joshua/Yahushua.  The name contained two sounds which Greek did not have: Y and Sh.

In an attempt to get the Name as close as possible, but still readable to their Greek speaking readers, the name was spelled variously as:

alt alt
alt alt

Using English letters, that would be IESOUS (ee-ay-soos).  Contributing to the name change was the fact that when the "ua" was transliterated into Greek, it was a feminine singular ending.  This created confusion for the Greek reader, as it denoted a woman's name in the Greek!  Most Greek names for males ended in S:

Achilles Apollos Midas
Leonidus Proteus Minos
Icarus Aristedes Odysseus
Erebus Xanthus Zelotes
Hermes Lykaios Orpheus
Aeneas Makis Otis
Lærtes Ulysses Zenos

The altered form of the Name opened up the charge from pagan writers that the name Iesous was actually the same as their demon god, Zeus and indeed, one can hear a close similarity between Zeus and ee-ay-soos.  Zeus was the chief god of the Greek pantheon and his name was frequently added to names and geographic locations as a way of honoring him.  The endings sus, seus and sous are simply phonetic pronunciations of this pagan god.  The sacred mountain, Parnassus, as well  as the hero Odysseus, both had such endings.  Two of Zeus' sons also had name-endings which honored their father.  These were Dionysus and Perseus. 

latin text When the Greek was translated into Latin, the Name was corrupted still further into Iesus.  In Latin, masculine singular gender is denoted by the "us" ending.  (This can be seen in the Latin male names: Claudius, Augustus, Aurelius, Marcus, etc.)  The Latin form of Jesus was used in one English Bible printed in 1560.  Note that although it appears to have been spelled Iefus, it is actually the Latin form, Iesus.  In Old English, the letter s when contained within a word bore a striking resemblance to the modern f without the cross stroke.

old English text

21 When Peter therefore sawe him he said to Iesus, Lord, what shal this man do?

22 Iesus said vnto him, If I wil that he tarie til I come, what is it to thee? followe thou me.

Certain languages take the Latin form and spell it as Jesu (yay-zoo) or Jesús (hay-soos).  The problem with these corruptions of the sacred Name, is that nowhere in them can one find the name of the Father, for the name of Yahuwah must be in the name of His Son.  To have faith to call upon the name of the Saviour, one must know the name.  That name is Yahushua, not Jesus.

Yahushua recognized the significance of His name and all that it implied about His mission to save the lost.  He stated: "I am come in My Father's name, and ye receive Me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive."  (John 5:43, KJV) 

In Isaiah's famous prophecy of the Messiah, he stated: "Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name, Immanuel."  (Isaiah 7:14, KJV)  "Immanuel" means, literally, Elohim with us.  This is what Yahushua, the divine Son of the Infinite, is to every son and daughter of Adam.

Yahushua is the very embodiment of His Father's character.  Since He came to earth, all may know that Elohim knows and sympathizes with our trials and sorrows.  Every sinner may know that the Creator is the friend of sinners.  Through the great plan of salvation, the all-powerful, all-knowing, everywhere-present Yahuwah is revealed as the Elohim of Love.  Satan's charges against Yahuwah are silenced in the gift of His only begotten Son to die for the human race.  In the Son, all may see the love of the Father and throughout eternal ages the redeemed will praise Yahuwah for His infinite Gift:

Immanuel, "Elohim with us."

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

1 American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828.

2 The Aramaic English New Testament actually gives the Messiah's name as Y'shua. "Y'shua" is actually a contraction of the longer, more accurate Yahushua.

3 This spelling of Yahuwah with a V was based on a lack of knowledge regarding ancient Hebrew.  Hebrew did not originally contain a V sound, thus the name is Yahuwah, not Yahovah.

4 "Halleluiah," American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828.