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Friday, February 19, 2010

Knowing God's Personal Name

Before I had a personal relationship with God's Son, I always called him by His title, Christ (Messiah). But once I came to know Him, I started calling Him by His personal name, Jesus (Yeshua). Which do you think He would prefer to hear: "I love you, Christ" or "I love you, Jesus"? I don't think there is any doubt.

God has a personal name. The biblical writers who had a personal relationship with Him used that name repeatedly in adoration and praise of Him. Why shouldn't we? He desires intimacy with us .. John 4:23
 God spoke further to Moses and said to him, "I am Yahweh, My name is Yahweh." .  Exodus 6:2-3 
The name of God is Yahweh. Or, at least, that is the consensus of opinion by scholars. The reason there is doubt is because the name is rendered in Hebrew as YHWH. There were no vowels in biblical Hebrew, so the correct pronunciation cannot be determined from the text, and since the Jews developed a tradition of not pronouncing the name, its pronunciation was lost.

When transliterating Hebrew into English, another tradition developed of substituting the letter J for Y. Thus, Yerushalayim became Jerusalem, Yosef became Joseph, Ya'acov became Jacob, and Yeshua became Jesus. The translators also converted the Hebrew W into V. So, they took YHWH and transformed it into JHVH, and then they added vowels to produce Jehovah as the name of God. But again, the consensus of scholarly opinion is that the name of God was pronounced Yahweh. And therefore, a term like Jehovah-jirah (Genesis 22:14), meaning "The Lord my provider," should really be pronounced Yahweh-yireh.

Yahweh first appears in the Bible in Genesis 2:4 where it is used in conjunction with Adonai. It appears in the Hebrew text as Yahweh Elohim (Yahweh God) and is translated into English as LORD God. The first use of the name alone is in Genesis 4:1 where Eve is quoted as saying the birth of Cain was due to the help of Yahweh. In English translations, the statement appears as follows: "I have gotten a manchild with the help of the LORD."
In Exodus3 we are told that God spoke to Moses from the burning bush and told him to go to Pharaoh and demand the release of the children of Israel from captivity (Exodus 3:1-12). Moses responded by asking what he would say when Pharaoh requested the name of his God (Exodus 3:13). God told Moses to tell Pharaoh that he had been sent by "Yahweh the God of your fathers." The English translation is "The LORD, the God of your fathers" (Exodus 3:15).

Later, God spoke to Moses again and said, "I am Yahweh, and I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as El Shaddai [God Almighty], but by My name, Yahweh, I did not make Myself known to them" (Exodus 6:2-3). The English translation reads: "I am the LORD, and I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as God Almighty, but by My name, LORD, I did not make Myself known to them." Notice how much more meaningful this statement is when the actual name of God — Yahweh — is used. In fact, the statement really doesn't make any sense unless Yahweh is used.
This statement in Exodus 6 makes it clear that God did not reveal his personal name to anyone before the time of Moses. Therefore, when the name is used in Genesis, it appears there because those passages were written by Moses who applied the name retroactively to a period of history when it was unknown.


1 comment:

  1. penggunaan nama Allah tak ada samasekali dalam kazanah pustaka bibel... Allah muncul karena Alkitab dulu diterjemahkan melalui bahasa melayu arab... dan proses penterjemahan juga dibantu orang muslim...

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