Saturday, February 4, 2012

Which Name is Bigger, Jesus or Jehovah?






Is the Name of Jehovah Lesser Than the Name of Jesus?


Q : Is the name Jesus greater than the name 'Jehovah' (pronouncing which itself without genuine reason, Jews consider it to be a sin). Is the Mighty name Jehovah that predominantly dominated in the Old Testament is lesser than the name 'Jesus'?? And can we summarise the whole of Trinity in our approach to God in the name of 'Jesus' alone...?


A : The Blue Letter Bible clearly gives the meaning and derivation of the word 'Jehovah' by saying, "Yahweh is the promised name of God. This name of God which (by Jewish tradition) is too holy to voice, is actually spelled "YHWH" without vowels. YHWH is referred to as the Tetragrammaton (which simply means "the four letters"). YHWH comes from the Hebrew letters: Yud, Hay, Vav, Hay. While YHWH is first used in Genesis 2, God did not reveal Himself as YHWH until Exodus 3. The modern spelling as "Yahweh" includes vowels to assist in pronunciation. Many pronounce YHWH as "Yahweh" or "Jehovah." We no longer know for certain the exact pronunciation. During the third century A.D., the Jewish people stopped saying this name in fear of contravening the commandment
"Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain" (Exd 20:7). As a result of this, Adonai is occasionally a substitute for YHWH. The following compound names which start with "YHWH" have been shown using "Jehovah." This is due to the common usage of "Jehovah" in the English of these compound names in the early English translations of the Bible (e.g., the Geneva Bible, the King James Version, etc.)." 1

Among all the names of God perhaps the most comprehensive is the name Jehovah. Cruden describes this name as the incommunicable name of God. The word Jehovah means the self-existing One, the I am ; and it is generally used as a direct revelation of what God is. In
Genesis 2:4, this name "LORD God (Jehovah)" is first mentioned, but only later it is fully explained by God in details to Moses in Exodus 3:14-15 where he calls Himself as "I AM" and then "LORD God (i.e. Jehovah)". God himself said to Moses, "2 ...“I am the LORD (i.e. Heb. YHWH (Jehovah)). 3 I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name LORD (i.e. Heb. YHWH (Jehovah)) I was not known to them." (Exod 6:2-3). From the preceding verses we see Jehovah name of God as something that was introduced to Moses and the Israelites with him nearly two thousand five hundred years after human creation on planet earth. As the name 'Jehovah' is a compound name, it was progressively revealed by God in different facets by meeting the different needs of his people supernaturally at different times. 'El' is another compound name which means might, strength and power in relation to the one God 'Elohim' who is the 'Creator'. But 'Jehovah' is a covenant name which represents that He is our Father personally through giving us salvation by His love, mercy and grace.

The following revelation of the different facets of Jehovah was progressively revealed by God through his various prophets before the name of Jesus got revealed by God the Father,

JEHOVAH-MACCADDESHEM.......
Exodus 31:13
meaning "The Lord thy sanctifier"
JEHOVAH-ROHI......Psalm 23:1
meaning "The Lord my shepherd"
JEHOVAH-SHAMMAH.......Ezekiel 48:35
meaning "The Lord who is present"
JEHOVAH-RAPHA.........Exodus 15:26
meaning "The Lord our healer"
JEHOVAH-TSIDKENU......Jeremiah 23:6
meaning "The Lord our righteousness"
JEHOVAH-JIREH.........Genesis 22:13-14
meaning "The Lord will provide"
JEHOVAH-NISSI.........Exodus 17:15
meaning "The Lord our banner"
JEHOVAH-SHALOM........Judges 6:24
meaning "The Lord is peace"
JEHOVAH-SABBAOTH......Isaiah 6:1-3
meaning "The Lord of Hosts"
JEHOVAH-GMOLAH........Jeremiah 51:6
meaning "The God of Recompense"

All these revelations of the various names of Jehovah through the prophets were given until Jesus came to the earth. At last God in these last days revealed Himself to all humans as a human in Jesus who is His only begotten Son and has spoken to us through this appointed heir (John 14:9), through whom He made the world (Heb 1:1-4). In other words, the Jehovah's names final zenith was ultimately revealed as salvation from sins in reality by faith in the sacrifice of Jesus to all humans through the name high above all names which is Jesus (Matt 1:21; Acts 4:12; Phil 2:9-11).

Jehovah represents the whole Trinity. YHVH or Jehovah is the name of Jesus Christ as God preincarnate. It is He, who was Pierced for our transgressions (Isaiah 53:1, 5). Right through out the Old Testament Jesus is termed as the Son of God and also Son of man (Psa 2:7; 2:12; Prov 30:4; Daniel 7:13-14). God Jehovah is termed as the Father in various place of the Old Testament (Deut 32:6; Psa 89:26; Isa 9:6; Isa 63:16; 64:8; Jer 3:4; 3:19). The Holy Spirit is also termed as the Jehovah God who is the omnipresent Creator and Sustainer of all humans in various places in the Old Testament (Gen 1:2; 6:3; Exod 31:3; 35:31; Num 11:17, 25; Jud 3:10; 6:34; Isa 44:3; 48:16; 2 Chr 24:20; Job 33:4; Psa 104:30; 139:7). Also in the Old Testament God's name is described in many places in plurality (Gen 1:26; 3:22; 11:7; Isa 6:8). God has also described Himself in abolute oneness (Deut 6:4; 32:39; 1 Sam 2:2; 1 Kings 8:60; Isa 44:6, 8; 45:5-6). So the Old Testament teaches both the oneness and plurality of God.

Oneness of God does not oppose plurality but implies it. How can a statement of oneness imply plurality? The word Shema (pronounced "Shmah") which literally means “to hear” and also "obey" in Deut 6:4 which says, "Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord", the word translated "one" from the Hebrew is 'echad', which demonstrates compound unity of oneness. For example in the following verses the same word 'echad' is used for words like one, same, single, whole, singleness and thus represent compound oneness rather than singular oneness (Gen 2:24; 11:1, 6; 34:16; Exo 24:3; Num 13:23; Ezr 2:64; Jer 32:38-39). Eventually as a result of it, we can also see the Triunity of God in the Old Testament (Prov 30:4; Isa 11:1-2; 42:1; 48:16; 61:1; 63:9-10). How can God simultaneously exist as both singular and plural? God is beyond our limited physical universe of the three dimensions of our space and one dimensions of our time. So God can be singular in essence of His character and oneness, and plural in personhood.

So it is a misunderstanding to think that Jehovah name is lesser than the name of Jesus in its standing. But both complements and completes each other. As the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit are all Jehovah God of the Old Testament (Matt 28:18-20), the name of Jesus is the authority carrier of the whole Trinity. So only when Matthew the Apostle writes, he says, "the name [Note: not the names] of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Matt 28:19) when Jesus was giving us the power of attorney to go in His authority and make disciples. When the apostles fullfilled Jesus' command in Matthew 28:18-20 and exercised their God given authority to make disciples of Jesus, they were using the name of Jesus on behalf of the whole Trinity (Acts 2:38-39; 8:12; 10:48; 19:5). Father planned our salvation, Jesus executed it and the Holy Spirit empowered it to be supplied to all of us. From this we know that we can summarise the whole of Trinity in our approach to God in the name of 'Jesus' alone.


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Footnote:


[1] Accessed on (2/1/12, 8:20 PM), "The Names of God in the Old Testament", http://www.blueletterbible.org/study/misc/name_god.cfm#link14

Much BLesSIngS....







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