This post is open for debate, more so than most. Mainly, because it is something i am still working through and i find when i write things out it helps me to see more clearly the thought. Also, i would welcome any of your thoughts on the matter. The question is, what is in a name? If you travel to a foreign country, and the hotel clerk asks you what your name is you tell them your name, as you know it. For instance, my name is cj which doesn’t necessarily work for this example so i will use my full name, christopher. If i travel to let’s say, Spain, and i go to a hotel and the clerk asks my name, i am going to say, “christopher.” In Spanish my name is translated, Cristobal, but i don’t say, Cristobal, i say christopher because that is my name. Moreover, when the paperwork is printed and i am given a receipt, the name on that paper will say, christopher, not Cristobal.
So with this example in hand, why do we use the Greek terms, God and Jesus, for YHWH and Yahshua. It is undisputedly clear that YHWH revealed Himself through the nation of Israel and the Hebrew language. In fact, we are introduced to YHWH in a more personal way in Yahshua, and yet still we render His name in Greek as well. If we don’t translate our name when we travel, why do we do it with names that we are commanded not to take in vain?
Exodus 20:7 says: “You do not bring the Name of YHWH your Elohim to naught, for YHWH does not leave the one unpunished who brings His Name to naught.”
Here it is in the NKJ: “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who take His name in vain.”
The Greek term for the lord is Ba’al. Why have we associated it with our Adonai? Adonai, translated from Hebrew to Greek is Lord but the Greek root is Ba’al. Let me just share a bit of what Wikipedia has to say about this: “Baal, or Baʽal, was a title and honorific meaning “owner”, “lord” in the Northwest Semitic languages spoken in the Levant during antiquity. From its use among people, it came to be applied to gods. Scholars previously associated the theonym with solar cults and with a variety of unrelated patron deities but inscriptions have shown that the name Ba’al was particularly associated with the storm and fertility god Hadad and his local manifestations. The Hebrew Bible includes the use of the term in reference to various Levantine deities, often with application towards Hadad, who was decried as a false god. That use was taken over into Christianity and Islam, sometimes under the form Beelzebub in demonology.”
Knowing that we are to hold the name of our El which is commonly translated God in reverence, why are we so accustomed to the Greek forms? What does the Word of El Shaddai have to say on the matter?
“And in all that I have said to you take heed. And make no mention of the name of other mighty ones, let it not be heard from your mouth.” Exodus 23:13
“So as not to go in among these nations, these who remain among you. And make no mention of the name of their mighty ones, nor swear by, nor serve them nor bow down to them. But cling to YHWH your Elohim, as you have done this day.” Joshua 23:7-8
“The sorrows of those who run after another one are increased; I would not pour out their drink offerings of blood, Nor take up their names on my lips.” Psalms 16:4
i am not sure what i think of all this . . . However, for as much as i can, i am going to use the Hebrew names, as this is how YHWH introduced Himself to us and hasn’t, anywhere i can find, changed it. Let me know what you think!
You are loved,