What are the correct Hebrew names for Jesus and God?

ShareThis

(NOTE: These answers are not presented in a particular order, just in the approximate order that they arrived from our contributors. Feel free to add your comments. If you have a burning question send it to steve@saltshakers.com or if you feel able to answer these type of questions email us to join our panel of "messianic rabbis".)

RABBI NEAL SURASKY answers ...

Most scholars will agree that the Hebrew name for Jesus is the name spelled yod-shin-vav-ayin. The way it appears in English will depend on the method of transliteration. Some will write Yeshua, others will write Y'shua. These are simply attempts at writing in the English language a word that, when pronounced, will sound like you are reading it in the Hebrew. It has a specific meaning, salvation. Other names that have been suggested have different meanings. For example, Joshua, or Yehoshua, means God saves. However, none describe Him as clearly as Yeshua, which was a popular name back then.

There is no correct Hebrew name for God. He calls Himself, "Asher eh-h'yeh asher." I am that which I am. The tetragrammaton, the four-letter Name that is used in the Scripture, is yod-hey-vav-hey. It has no vowels, and therefor cannot be pronounced. Words like Jehovah are attempts to put vowels into the tetragrammaton. However, there is no "J" in Hebrew, so that cannot be a real Hebrew name.

The bottom line can be related in this way. I know my father's name. But whether I know his name or not, it is not a name that I use. I address him as dad. I don't even use it when talking to other people who know him. I say, "My father," or "my dad." And the other people do, too. "Your father." I would have gotten a swift smack on the bottom if I ever called my father, or my mother, for that matter, by their name. It is, in fact, more intimate to call them by their relational names than by their given names. It is the same thing with our Father in heaven.

There is no need to call Him by His name, even if we knew exactly how to say it. That is why in Judaism the term Adonai is used. It means Lord, or my Lord. Orthodox Judaism replaces the tetragrammaton with the word Hashem, which simply means "the name." No attempt at pronunciation would ever be made. In fact, there are those who go so far as to avoid even certain Hebrew words, for fear of getting too disresepectful. The Hebrew word eloheynu means our God. There are those who will pronounce the word as elokeynu in order to avoid any disrespect. While this degree of caution may be considered excessive, the intent behind it is nonetheless completely valid.

RABBI CRAWFORD answers ...

YHWH- Yahua
Yeshua- although some say Yahshua. I believe this to be semantics in pronunciation.

SANDRA JEFFERY answers ...

There are lots of titles of God, but His name is YHWH, or pronounced as the name ‘Yahweh’ by most Hebrew scholars. (Yahwism was the ancient name of the religion of the Hebrews). The Son of God has many titles too, but his name is Jesus, and because Jesus was born in the New Testament time period, his name would have been Greek and not Hebrew. Jesus is the Latin form of the Greek ‘I-e-sous’, which corresponds to the Hebrew name Jeshua, or in fuller form, Jehoshua, meaning “Jehovah Is Salvation”. It is pronounced by the Jews as Ye-shu’a’ or Yehoh-shu’a’ in Hebrew.

RABBI JOSEPH KRESEFSKY answers ...

One has to remember that in the Ancient Hebrew text there were no vowels; as such, when we read that G_d told Moshe His name being YHVH, no one knows the correct pronunciation of this. It can be assumed that by adding certain vowels to this, the pronunciation might be Yud Heh Vav Heh, but again no one knows for certain. This is going to be one of those that we’re going to have to wait on Him for the correct answer.

Now, as for “Jesus”, that is a little clearer - Y’shua - G_d saves. Y’shua or Yeshua, spelled יֵשׁוּעַ or ישוע in Hebrew was a common name among the Jewish people of the Second Temple Period. In modern Hebrew, Yeshua (ישוע) is in fact the common transcriptions for Jesus.

The name of God

I like this question because I've worked on it so much. I always enjoy reading Sandra's answers and read them first. But my study leads me to a little different place on this. Throughout the Bible the Lord calls His people, "my people who are called by my name", Amos 9:12, "that those who are called by my name..." We know that the Jews got their name from the mountain that burned with fire and only after that were they called Jews. We know they were called the yea-who-dim, We know that "dim" is the plural suffix. That leaves us with yod-hay-vav-hay to be pronounced something like Yea-Who, and you can arrange the vowels so they produce that sound in Hebrew. Problem is, I don't feel like I have any business using the name, since we now belong to Yeshua and He is our High Priest.

Ron Cash
roncash326@gmail.com

Are you talking to me?

Rabbi Joseph here.

Last month, when I called my family back in Italy, my Aunt was so excited to hear from me, she called out my name, Giuseppe!!

When I recently met with some Spanish people whom I've known for a long time, they greeted me with a hug saying, "Jose', como sta?"

When my wife asked me a question, she headed it off with "Joe" - when I didn't respond, she called out my full, "written on my birth certificate" name, "Joseph"!

And when my daughter needs me for something, she simply says "Dad".

I'm wondering...to which one should I NOT respond?

What is God's name?

Well, we should observe the scriptures when trying to answer this question. It's clear the Lord has a name He intends us to know, for example; Isaiah 43:7 [even] every one that is called by my name, for I have created them for my glory; I have formed them; [yea], I have made them. and Amos 9:12 that those who are called by my name may possess the remnant of Edom and all the Gentiles, said the LORD that does this. Ok, now we understand God has a name. Now, the people who were called by His name were called the Je-hu-dim, or Jews to the common folk of the day. Since 'im' is the plural suffix in hebrew, then what is left must be pretty close to His name, if scripture is correct. I will leave everyone to work that out for themselves rather than break a very old and honorable tradition of honoring Him by not writing His name.

Ron Cash
roncash326@gmail.com

What is God.s Name

I always understood that when Moses asked the same question God replied tell them I AM.
Charles Reynolds

to Charles Reynolds - What is God's name

Absolutely and for ever - the real mystery and awesome wonder is the huge difference in 'believing', with endless discussion and clever but futile argument, and 'knowing' - with a simple, obedient and humble heart. God Bless
Mustard seed

RE: "Jesus"

Here's the entry for Jesus in the explanatory notes of "The Scriptures" from the Institute for Scripture Research:

Consider Iesous, rendered as "Jesus" in English versions up to now. For example the authoritative Greek-English Lexicon of Liddell & Scott, under Iaso: the Greek goddess of healing reveals that the name Iaso and Ieso in the Ionic dialect of the Greeks, Iesous being the contracted genitive form. In David Kravitz, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Mythology, we found a similar form, namely Iasus. There were four different Greek deities with the name Iasus, one of them being the Son of Rhea. Further, it is well known that Ies is the abbreviated form of the name Iesous, and Dr. Bullinger, in The Apocalypse, p. 396, says Ies was part of the name of Bacchus. Also, see Come out of her, My people, by C. J. Koster. (pp. 1223-1224)

The mere possibility that "Jesus" is derived from references to any Greek/Roman idols is enough to dissuade me from using such names, let alone Bacchus!

I also reject the idea that the New Covenants were written in Greek. The language is riddled with references to Greek deities, and we know how Elohim feels about idolatry. The New Covenants must have roots in a Semitic language.

Finally, even if you believe that Yahushua spoke Greek, the letter 'J' is a fairly recent invention. It is quite apparent that 'Jesus' is incorrect.

RE: Jehovah

Remember, the letter 'J' is a fairly recent invention, so "Jehovah" is obviously incorrect as well. However, something more sinister than idolatry lies within this name.

"Hovah," a form of "havvah," translates from Hebrew as ruin, mischief, iniquity and wickedness. Be careful the next time you even think of associating our Father with such things.

'J' a fairly recent invention

In the time of Lord Jesus Christ, Koine Greek had become the popular language used through out the Mediterranean world, and the New Testament was written in this Greek with a few Aramaic phrases found in the New Testament as Aramaic was the dialect of the people of Israel. Jesus and His disciples spoke Aramaic along with Greek, and by the time of Jesus, the Old Testament was translated into Aramaic (thanks to Alexander the Great), and these works are referred to as the Targums.

As far as the letter 'J' goes, i was later replaced by j to distinguish two i's side by side, and evolved into the letter j. Do we not call Jews Jews then? Jacob, Jacob; Joseph, Joseph? Where would the superstition of the letter 'J' end?

It appears different languages have different pronunciations for Almighty God's name. Ask any Arab believer in the Messiah what God's name is and they will tell you Allah. Allah is God in Arabic. Does that mean that they are followers of the same Allah as Islam? How is God pronounced in Dutch? How about French? How about Ethiopian?

God knows people's hearts and whether we are praying to Him or not, and this just goes to show Almighty God's brilliance in showing us what his name is in the Tetragrammaton - the four consonants of the ancient Hebrew name for God (variously written JHVH, IHVH, JHWH, YHVH, YHWH). This was considered too sacred to pronounce, (also impossible to) so its use in the Old Testament of close to 7,000 times, was substituted with Adoni (Lord) for this name in utterance, and the vowels of Adonai or Elohim (God) are inserted in Hebrew texts, so that the modern reconstructions are Yahweh, Jehovah, etc.

We know who we are praying to in our hearts when we use the name Jehovah and Jesus, or Adoni or Elohim, or Immanuel or Yeshua, or Gott (Dutch) or Allah, and our Almighty, Universal God knows us because we are rightly related to Him in the truth of His Word.

Superstition has no place in the scripture.

(Correct me if I am wrong because, like many believers, I am on a steep learning curve and am open to correction. From what I have learned so far, we cannot live long enough to understand all of the layers of God's Word, and yet, it is thrilling to see it is inerrant through continuing study, and how it all fits together like the pieces of a puzzle over time.:)

RE: J

"Do we not call Jews Jews then? Jacob, Jacob; Joseph, Joseph"

The word "Jew" is fairly recent, too. It is from Iewes of the 1611 KJV. In Yahushua's time, no one called themselves Jews. In Mosheh's time, no one called themselves Jews. In Abraham's time, no one called themselves Jews.

Job = Iyob. John = Yohanan. Jeremiah = Yirmeyahu. Jacob = Ya'aqob. Joseph = Yoseph.

From what I've read, it was not only uncommon but frowned upon to learn Greek among the 'lost sheep of the house of Y'israel' for purposes other than trade, primarily due to its umpteen idolatrous references inherent to even basic usage.

Jesus - is this His name?

Dearest Brothers and Sisters,
I think that the pronunciation of His real name will become clear when we reach Heaven. For now, He is the Bright Morning Star, and every other name that you find in the Scriptures.

I know one thing, I was once in great trouble, and the only thing left for me to do was to call on the name of Jesus, and I was lifted out of the situation. I know that claiming there is power in this name works. And the enemy don't like it.

I also pray to Him as Yeshua - I think it sounds musical and beautiful - like 'Yes - Sure' and 'Yes - you are' so when these phrases come up in conversation, it makes me glow inside! It's a privelage to know His name (if we do know it) in Hebrew.

No need to get legalistic over it. He is Love.

Jesus - Is this His name ?

God Bless you, dear simple soul. How refreshing !!!
wITH love in Our Beloved Saviour !
Mustard seed