Is JESUS The NAME of GOD?
In the Christian world today I run across those who adamantly declare the NAME of GOD is JESUS, has always been JESUS and will always be JESUS. This is known as the “JESUS NAME” movement. Yes, I love the name of Jesus, yet I believe these who insist on the NAME of GOD as JESUS ONLY are missing the mark of what the Bible declares to be the NAME of GOD.
I suppose we should start with the question, “What did God say His NAME was?” Many who read the Bible really don’t know because the NAME of GOD was translated as LORD throughout the Old Testament or what the Jews refer to as the Tanakh. We know they did not want to say His NAME, nor did they want anyone else to say His NAME so they refer to God’s NAME simply as Hashem, meaning “The NAME” or Adonai, meaning “LORD” or “Master”. Thus, we have “LORD” stamped over the NAME of God in the Scriptures.
Let’s go back to Exodus 3:14-15 where God first revealed His NAME to Moses. Why did God tell Moses His NAME? If we consider what God was about to do, which was to SAVE Israel from captivity in Egypt, DELIVER them out of bondage, His NAME is quite relevant to GOD our Savior, wouldn’t you say? Consider the night Israel fled Egypt for the last time. They placed the blood of lambs on their doorposts to be spared from the Angel of Death – thus, the foreshadow of the shed blood of the Lamb of God to come, namely JESUS.
- God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM"; and He said, "Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'" God, furthermore, said to Moses, "Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘YHWH’, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.' This is My NAME forever, and this is My memorial-NAME to ALL generations.”
Strong’s defines the word NAME as an appellation, as a mark or memorial of individuality; by implication honor, authority, character. Most everyone agrees that YHWH has many ‘names’ in the Old Testament, which describe His character and authority. I will list them here in summary:
YHWH Hoseenu (I AM your Maker)
YHWH Nissi (I AM your Banner)
YHWH Raah (I AM your Shepherd)
YHWH Rapha (I AM your Healer)
YHWH Shammah (I AM There)
YHWH Tsidkenu (I AM your Righteousness)
YHWH Mekoddishkem (I AM He Who Sanctifies You)
YHWH Jireh (I AM your Provider)
YHWH Shalom (I AM your Peace)
YHWH Sabaoth (I AM The LORD of Hosts)
YHWH has many Titles, as well (these are not NAMES):
El Shaddai (LORD God Almighty)
El Elyon (The Most High God)
El Gibbor (The Mighty God)
Adonai (LORD, Master)
El Olam (The Everlasting God)
The Name of JESUS
There is ONE NAME missing in the list of YHWH’s Old Testament NAMES above and that is “I AM your Savior”, revealed in the New Testament. In Hebrew, the NAME IS YeHoWsHua, which would rightly be translated into English as Joshua, as Joshua of Nun had the exact same name as the One we call JESUS.
Some of us may not know this, but Joshua, son of Nun (tribe of Ephraim - Jer 31:9) was not always called Joshua. His name was Hoshea, which means 'salvation'. Moses renamed him Joshua in Numbers 13:16, for he is the prophet YHWH said would succeed Moses after his death - he would speak the words of YHWH to the people and lead them into the promised land (Deut 18:16-18). Talk about a foreshadow!
Now we can go back the angel’s message to Joseph in Mat 1:21 about the conception of the Son of God in Mary’s womb, and what he was to NAME Him:
- “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins."
And what have we to say about the OTHER NAME this child was to be called in Matthew 1:22-23?
- "Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: "BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL," which translated means, "GOD WITH US."
The above fulfills what was prophesied by Isaiah in 7:14:
- "Therefore the Lord [Adonai] Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.”
Likewise, Isaiah gave us Titles of this child in 9:6:
- “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His NAME will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”
Wonderful (wonderful, marvelous, miraculous)
Counselor (advise, consult, counsel, guide)
Mighty God (El Gibbor)
Eternal Father (’ă·ḇî·‘aḏ - ’ă·ḇî means Father; 'aḏ means eternal or everlasting)
Prince (chief captain, general, governor, keeper, lord, taskmaster, principal)
of Peace (shalom - well, favor, friend, great, good health, perfect)
Is JESUS a Hebrew Name?
Would the Hebrew Yehoshua have answered to the English transliterated name “jē'zəs”? Well, He created all languages, so probably; however, the common languages in that part of the world at the time were Hebrew/Aramaic, Latin and Greek.
Let’s look at John 19:19-20 “Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It was written, "JESUS THE NAZARENE, THE KING OF THE JEWS." Therefore many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew [Hebraisti], Latin and in Greek.”
In Hebrew: זה ישוע הנצרי מלך היהודים
In Latin: Iosue Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum.
In Greek: Οὗτός ἐστιν Ἰησοῦς ὁ βασιλεῦς τῶν Ἰουδαίων
The name JESUS would have been shown as follows:
- Hebrew: יהושע pronounced yeh-ho-shoo'-ah
- Latin: Iosue pronounced ee-SOO-ay
- Greek: Ἰησοῦς pronounced ē-ā-sü's
I have no problem with calling the name of our Savior, Jesus; however, JESUS is NOT a Hebrew name at all – we can’t even reverse-translate it back to Hebrew. You CAN reverse-translate Joshua back to Hebrew, which means “YHWH is Salvation”. This is evident in using the Hebrew name translation tool found here: My Hebrew Name
Type in the name JESUS and see the results. One of the similar names in Hebrew is Jesse. Isaiah 11:1 does prophesy of Jesus, “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:”
Jesse (Yishay) is pronounced yee-shah'-ee, who was the father of David. Even his name does not sound like jē'zəs. Jesse means “God exists” or “God’s gift”.
His NAME is Called The WORD of GOD
Just as Genesis 1:1-3 declares “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” and concludes with, “Then God said…[The Word]”, John 1:1 declares “In the beginning was the Word“ and concludes with “And God was the Word.” Have we really fathomed that everything created was first SPOKEN into existence, including Adam, Eve and the coming birth of the Son of God?
- Gen 1:26 “And God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image…’” before He created Adam from the dust of the ground in Gen 2:7.
- Luke 1:35 “The angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.” Mary answered the angel in vs. 38, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your Word." And the angel departed from her.”
Thus, John 1:3 declares of the Word (KJV) “ALL things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made.”
In the Revelation of Jesus Christ 1:8 it is written, "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the LORD God, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."
John 1:1 God WAS the Word “in the beginning” and the Word was made flesh (John 1:14)
Rev 19:11-13 God IS the Word TO COME:
- “And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.”
GOD our SAVIOR
Thus far, we’ve seen God give His NAME as YHWH to Moses. We’ve looked at all the characteristic NAMES of God, including JESUS, Immanuel and The Word. Can we rightfully declare the NAME of God has always been JESUS, is yet JESUS and always will be JESUS?
We know the Hebrew meaning of the name JESUS and without controversy, YHWH declared Himself to be the ONLY Savior: the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the ONE who SAVED Israel in Exodus.
- Hosea 13:4 “Yet I have been YHWH your God Since the land of Egypt; And you were not to know any god except Me, For there is no savior besides Me.”
- Isaiah 43:11 "I, even I, am YHWH, And there is no savior besides Me.”
YHWH The Savior, was BORN in the flesh to save us from our sin!!
- Luke 2:11 “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour [σωτὴρ], which is Christ the LORD [Kyrios, the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew NAME, YHWH].”
The Aramaic Bible in Basic English translates the verse this way:
- “For today, The Savior has been born to you, who is THE LORD JEHOVAH The Messiah, in the city of David.”
While σωτὴρ is translated ‘a Savior’ only in Luke 2:11, it is consistently translated ‘The Savior’ in John 4:42, Eph 5:23 and 1 Tim 4:10.
Remember Mary's prayer in Luke 1:47 "And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior."
Is JESUS YHWH?
Let’s go back to Ex 3:14-15, where God called Himself “I AM who I AM” (Hebrew ’eh·yeh 'ă·šer ’eh·yeh) and declared His NAME as YHWH. In fact, the NAME YHWH is interpreted “I AM HE WHO EXISTS”:
- John 8:56-59 JESUS said, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad." [ref Gen 18:22] So the Jews said to Him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?" Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I AM [‘eh-yeh/ego eimi]. Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple.”
This isn’t the only time the Jews tried to stone Jesus for blasphemy. Look at what happened in John 10:33 (because He just said, “I and My Father are ONE” in vs. 30):
- “The Jews answered Him, "For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God."
Truly, Jesus declared in John 8:24, “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I AM [‘eh-yeh/ego eimi], you will die in your sins."
JESUS is the NAME of YHWH our Savior, “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved."
- Isa 45:22-23 “Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; For I am God, and there is no other. I have sworn by Myself, The Word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness And will not turn back, That to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance.”
- Confirmed in Rom 14:11 “For it is written, "AS I LIVE, SAYS YHWH, EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW TO ME, AND EVERY TONGUE SHALL GIVE PRAISE TO GOD."
- Phil 2:10-11 “For this reason also, God highly exalted Him [JESUS], and bestowed on Him [JESUS] the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ IS LORD [YHWH/Kyrios], to the glory of God the Father.”
- Joel 2:32 "And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of YHWH will be saved [delivered]; For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem There will be those who escape, As YHWH has said, Even among the survivors whom YHWH calls.” (Acts 2:21; Rom 10:13)
The NAME of GOD
The NAME of GOD is YHWH. The WORD is YHWH. The NAME of YHWH our SAVIOR is JESUS (Yehoshua) and JESUS Christ IS the WORD who WAS, IS and IS TO COME, The Almighty (Rev 1:7). What seals the deal? Did you know that the Hebrew letters YHWH also have associated pictographs?
Yod = Hand
Heh = Behold
Waw = Nail
Heh = Behold
“BEHOLD THE HAND; BEHOLD THE NAIL.”
שמע ישראל יהוה אלהינו יהוה ׀ אחד
Sh'ma Yis'ra'eil YHWH Eloheinu YHWH echad.
Hear, Israel, The LORD is our God, The LORD is One.