Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):

Why "Jesus" is An Insult to YEHOVAH God!

The name “Iesus” [Jesus], rather than proclaiming that the Almighty saves, refers to Him as a swine and is an abominable name. But, how could such a thing happen? What we possibly have here is either an unbelievable coincidence, or traces of a complex conspiracy to blaspheme both our Creator and our Savior through the name “Iesus.”

by Richard H. Harris III

As the old saying goes, “A rose by any other name is a rose.” But the question is, “Does the same principle apply to the Messiah and his one 'name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved?'” Was there -- contrary to the proclamation in Acts chapter 4 -- really more than one “name given under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved?” If so, is Jesus ("Iesous") among them? After all, it is found in the early Greek translations of the New Testament Scriptures. But the name "Iesous" did not originate in the Greek of the New Testament. It appeared several centuries earlier in the first Greek translation of the Old Testament, the Septuagint [1], where it was also substituted for the name “Yahoshua” [Joshua]. Therefore, one would assume that "Iesous" must be a translation of the Hebrew “Yahoshua” and convey the same meaning: “Yahowah [or, YEHOVAH] saves.”

But the first question we must ask ourselves is, why was it translated at all? Why was it not simply transliterated into the Greek language? We transliterate names of important individuals all the time. For example, how is “Vladimir Putin” translated into Greek, English, or any other language? The answer is that it is not translated. The sound of his name is simply spelled (transliterated) into Greek letters, English letters, or the letters of any other language. As a matter of fact, in languages all around the world, Vladimir Putin gets to keep the name he was given at birth. The same goes for any world leader: “Angela Merkel” is “Angela Merkel” and “Barack Obama” is “Barack Obama” the world over.

Most Biblical names are also transliterated and not translated. For example, the name “Moses” [2] means "drawn-out," because he was drawn out of the River Nile. But we do not say, "'Drawn out' went unto the King of Egypt." "Jacob" [3] means "deceiver" and "Esau" means "rough." But we do not call the sons of Isaac, "Deceiver" and "Rough." And, in fact, many Hebrew names are transliterated directly from Hebrew into Greek or English. Examples of such names include “Daniel,” “Abraham,” and “Ruth.”

Even when we look at the names of pagan deities, “Baal-zebub” gets to keep the name “Baal-zebub,” “Zeus” is “Zeus,” and “Krishna” remains “Krishna,” to name a few. Why is it, then, that the Messiah and future king of Israel is not good enough to keep the original Hebrew name that he was given at birth -- a name which was announced to his parents by a messenger of the Most High (Matthew 1:20-21)? Why was his name translated into Greek? But since the Messiah’s name does appear to have been translated into Greek, we must ask if this translation carries the same awesome meaning, “Yahowah [YEHOVAH] saves.”

The first part of “Yahoshua” contains the name of the Creator of the universe. The first part of the Greek name "Iesous", therefore, should likewise contain the name of our Creator. This necessity seems to be satisfied by the first two Greek letters "Ie" -- pronounced “Yeah” or “E-A.” These letters appear to reflect the first part of the Creator’s name as pronounced under the pre-1630 spelling of the name of the Father (IEHOVAH). But what about the ending "sous" -- pronounced “sooce” according to Dr. Strong? Does this ending carry the meaning “saves?”

At first, the author found the sound of this Greek name "Iesous" to be quite disturbing. Linking the name of the Father to a suffix, which sounds almost identical to the name of the Greek god "Zeus", was an unsettling prospect. After all, prayer is verbal. Since we do not pray by spelling letters, but with our pronounced words, whether “Zeus” is spelled “Z-e-u-s” or “S-o-o-c-e” is irrelevant. To illustrate this, consider the following example. Assume there are four people in the waiting room of a doctor’s office. If the receptionist calls out “Mr. Jones,” the man with that name will answer, whether his name is spelled “J-o-n-e-s,” “J-o-a-n-s,” or “J-o-n-z.” But surely, the Greek suffix could not mean “Zeus.” Or could it? After all, Zeus was the “father” for the Greeks. Was this then a deceptive attempt to draw glory away from the true Creator to Zeus -- or could it be a simple quirk of Greek grammar?

A Quick Greek Lesson

As it turns out, the fact that "Iesous" seems to link the name of our Heavenly Father to Zeus may be a Greek grammatical glitch. There is a theory among some scholars that the Greeks tried to transliterate the Aramaic form of Yahoshua into Greek. This Aramaic name “Yeshua” [4] was a popular variant of “Yahoshua” at the time the Messiah walked the earth. As the theory goes, the “Ye” of “Yeshua” becomes the Greek "Ie" -- pronounced “Yeah” or “E-A.” The “sh” sound in “Yeshua” does not exist in Greek so it became a simple “s” (s). The “u” in “Yeshua” simply carried over as "u". And finally, the “a” -- pronounced “uh”-- of “Yeshua” is a feminine ending in Greek so the nominative masculine singular ending "s" was added instead. Hence, the Greek spelling "Ie-s-ou-s".

While this theory may sound good, the fact is that “Ye-sooce” is a very poor transliteration of the Aramaic “Yeshua.” The Greeks could have gotten quite a bit closer to the sound of the name “Yeshua” had they really wanted to. One possibility would have been "Iesiua". The well-known historian, Flavius Josephus [5] indicates that, rather than trying to be faithful to original pronunciations, the Greeks changed proper names to suit their own taste. We find an example of this in Josephus’s description of the lands settled by the descendants of Noah. While the Bible tells us that these lands were named after Noah’s descendants who settled them, Josephus relates that the Greeks changed these names when they came into power.

"[T]hey were the Greeks who became the authors of such mutations; for when, in afterages, they grew potent, they claimed to themselves the glory of antiquity, -- giving names to the nations that sounded well (in Greek) that they might be better understood among themselves...[T]hey called nations by their own names...for Gomer founded those whom the Greeks now call Galatians [Galls], but were then called Gomerites. Magog founded those that from him were named Magogites, but who are by the Greeks called Scythians...[F]rom Madai came the Madeans, who are called the Medes by the Greeks...Elisa gave name to the Eliseans, who were his subjects; they are now the Aeolians...Cethimus possessed the island Cethima; it is now called Cyprus...for such names are pronounced after the manner of the Greeks. [underlining added]" [6]

Based upon Josephus’s observation, we see how the magnificent name “Yahoshua” could have become “Iesous” -- as found in the Septuagint for Yahoshua son of Nun (Exodus 33:11) and in the New Testament for our Savior. After all, by Biblical standards the early Greeks were a pagan people who worshipped a myriad of gods including Zeus; hardly the type of people whose language we should trust for the name of our Savior. Did “Iesous,” in fact, refer back to Zeus because it “sounded well” to the Greeks?

It was with these disturbing thoughts that in 1995, the author approached a Greek expert [7] in the Washington D.C. area with the following question:

“Since the Messiah’s Hebrew name carries the meaning ‘Yahowah saves,’ then the Greek translation 'Iesous', should carry the same meaning. If the first part of the name 'Ie' comes from ‘Iehovah’, does the suffix 'sous' mean ‘saves’ or ‘salvation’ in the Greek of the New Testament period?”

The response of the Greek expert came as quite a surprise:

“The ending 'sous' is not a true classical Greek ending and came from Latin. During the classical Greek period, many names and other words, in fact, came into the Greek language from Latin. Find the Latin meaning of the word and you will have your answer.”

Though surprised, the author was somewhat relieved by this answer. Since the suffix “sus” was from the Latin, maybe the Almighty was not being equated with Zeus! The next step, however, was to find out what the Latin equivalent was for the Greek "sous". The Latin New Testament, known as the Vulgate, yielded the answer:

"Cum ergo natus esset Iesus in Bethleem Iudaeae in diebus Herodis regis, ecce magi ab oriente uenerunt Hierosolymam," (Matthew 2:1) [8]

So, the Latin nominative singular rendering for the name of the Messiah was “Iesus” -- identical to the form found in the 1611 King James Bible. The Greek ending "sous" was therefore rendered in the Latin as “sus.” But did the Latin “sus” mean "salvation"?

The answer to this question also came as quite a shock. The Latin “sus,” in fact, has nothing to do with the idea of salvation. This word, which eventually made its way into the English language, is defined as follows:

"sus \’s?s\ [9] n, cap [NL, fr. L, swine, hog -- more at SOW]: a genus of mammals that is the type of the family Suidae and in former classifications comprised all or most of the swine but is usu. restricted to a few typical Eurasian and East Indian forms and the domestic breeds -- see BEARDED PIG, CRESTED PIG, WILD BOAR" [10]

We find here that the Latin “sus” means “swine” and, more specifically, the type of swine found in the Eurasian region -- the land of the Bible. So the name “Iesus,” rather than proclaiming that the Almighty saves, refers to Him as a swine and is an abominable name! But, how could such a thing happen? This certainly must be a strange coincidence -- or is it?

A Few New Testament Clues

As it turns out, there are several clues in the New Testament which indicate that the name of our Savior would become perverted. We will cover the easier ones shortly, but first will deal with one which is a little more complex, but quite intriguing.

The New Testament contains the names of numerous people who were not Jewish by birth. For the most part, these people had names of Greek or Latin origin. Examples include Zenus, Apollos, Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, and Dorcas. And, except for a couple of instances, the New Testament writers do not give translations or meanings for these names. We find, however, a curious exception in the book of Acts:

"And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Bar-jesus: Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of Elohim. But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn them from the faith" (Acts 13:6-8).

These two verses contain a tremendous amount of information. First, the man in question is a false prophet who is obviously working against the Messiah and the spread of the Gospel. Second, he was not a Gentile by birth, but a Jew. And because he was a Jew, the writer of the book of Acts -- under Divine inspiration -- uncharacteristically provides us with the translation of his name. Third, the fact that his name was translated, and the way in which it was translated, provides us with a couple of key insights.

First, the name “Bar-Iesus” is a hybrid of Aramaic and Latin. "Bar" is simply the Aramaic form of the Hebrew word "Ben" and means "son of." We see a similar use of this term in the book of Matthew:

"And Yahoshua answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona [Son of Jonah]: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 16:17).

It would not be necessary to translate “Bar” for the benefit of Hebrew speaking readers, because they would all be very familiar with the word “Bar.” And we find that the writer of Acts, in fact, does not translate this word. However, the second part of the name, “Iesus,” is another matter altogether. Because of its Latin origin, the name “Iesus” might not be fully understood by the average Hebrew-speaking reader. And, in fact, the writer of Acts translates this Latin name. Under Divine inspiration, he tells us that the interpretation of the Latin name “Iesus” is “Elymas.” But what is the meaning of the name “Elymas?”

The word “Elymas” consists of two parts, “Ely” and “mas.” “Ely” (pronounced “El-ee”) is a Hebrew construct which means “my El is” or “my Elohim [11] is.” The name “Elymas" [12], therefore, means, “My Elohim is mas.” But what is the meaning of “mas"?

This word has been the subject of some scholarly debate. The prevailing opinion holds that “mas” must be an Arabic derivation meaning “power.” But there is little precedent for the use of Arabic words in the New Testament Scriptures -- and to make that assumption here is without foundation. There is, however, solid precedent for the use of Greek and Latin in the New Testament Scriptures. If we examine the possibility of a Latin or Greek derivation, we get very interesting results. First the Latin…

As shown in Strong’s Concordance, the accent in the word “Elymas” is on the first syllable (el’-i-mas). Consequently, the ending “mas” is not stressed and is pronounced as if it were “mus” (just like the pronunciation of “Christmas” is “criss-mus”). As it turns out, there is a Latin word “mus” which has the following meaning:

"mus \’m?s\ n, cap [NL, fr. L, mouse -- more at MOUSE]: a genus of (the type of the family Muridae) of rodents including the common house mouse and a few related small forms distinguished by the square-notched tip of the upper incisors as seen in profile" [13].

We find here that the Latin “mus” means, “mouse.” So the name “Elymas,” when pronounced, means “My Elohim is a mouse” -- and is every bit as blasphemous as the name “Iesus.” Once again, the fact that “mas” and “mus” are spelled differently is of minimal importance because prayer is not written -- it is verbal. Since the stress is on the first syllable, “Elymas” and “Elymus” both come out of a person’s mouth as “el’-i-mus”--“My Elohim is a mouse.”

It is probably no coincidence that we would get the same result if we were to assume that the “mas” of “Elymas” were of classical Greek origin -- the other common language found in the New Testament. The classical Greek expert referred to earlier related that, although the modern Greek word for “mouse” is pronounced “pôndicke,” the classical Greek for mouse was pronounced “meece” and spelled "mis". Once again, with the stress on the first syllable, “Elymis” would come out of a person’s mouth as “el’-i-mus” -- “My Elohim is a mouse.”

And we must remember that Acts 13:6 made the statement that “by interpretation” these two blasphemous names “Iesus” and “Elymas” are equivalent. It all begins to add up when we look to a verse from the book of Isaiah. Before examining this verse, we must remember that our Creator made a distinction for His people between clean and unclean animals. Of all the "unclean" creatures walking the earth, two are singled out by name as being particularly abominable:

"For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with His chariots like a whirlwind, to render His anger with fury, and His rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by His sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many. They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind the one tree in the midst, eating swine's flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the LORD" (Isaiah 66:15-17).

So what we possibly have here is either an unbelievable coincidence, or traces of a complex conspiracy to blaspheme both our Creator and our Savior through the name “Iesus.” But why was a Latin name used? And isn’t there still the possibility that this could all be some strange coincidence?

The Latin Connection

Before we go on, we must understand that our discoveries thus far were not accomplished by examining “off the wall” languages which have nothing to do with the Bible. Had we found suffixes for “Iesus” and “Elymas” from Chinese and Urdu, for example, our conclusions would have little meaning. The fact that these words and suffixes are of Latin origin, however, is quite significant.

Latin, after all, was the official language for Christian religious observance throughout the Mediterranean world well into the middle ages. Under Roman mandate, the mass, songs, and related worship services were conducted in Latin and any attempt to deviate from this practice was met with stiff opposition and threat of death. It was only through a tremendous amount of pain and personal sacrifice that the Scriptures and liturgy finally came to be translated into the languages of the common people. The unfortunate history of this process is available in numerous historical works on the development of so-called Christianity.

Had the reformers not endured the persecutions of Rome -- and instead had given up their struggle -- it is very likely that the worship of today might still be conducted in Latin. As a matter of fact, the author remembers certain church services in the 1960s that were still conducted in Latin. The blasphemous name “Iesus,” however, was used by a certain European people and their religious system several centuries before Christian churches ever came into being. And unbeknownst to many Christians, the religious system of this people, through the Roman Empire, has exerted a significant influence upon the development of modern "Christian" worship practices. This people were the Celts.

Rome's Melting Pot and the Influence of the Celts

The Celts were “an Indo-European people [actually, the Celts were descended from the 10 northern tribes of Israel] who were at the height of their power numerically and geographically in 4th-century-BC Europe.” [14] Early on, they inhabited the region of Europe known as Gaul -- an area comprising the territory of modern France and Belgium. They were later pushed off the main continent onto the British Isles, but not before the influence of their religious system was felt in the Roman Empire. This system was presided over by a priestly order known as the Druids. It was a mystery religion and presented

"beliefs in various nature deities and certain ceremonies and practices that are similar to those in Indian religion. The insular Celts and the people of India also shared certain similarities of language and culture, thus indicating an ancient common heritage." [15]

Some scholars believe that such cultural and religious similarities are not coincidental, but stem from the “common heritage” of ancient Babylon. These scholars trace what they believe to be the spread of Babylonian worship practices as they moved westward from Asia into Europe. [16] Though this process was quite complex, roughly speaking it went from Asia into Egypt, from Egypt into Greece, and from Greece into the Roman Empire. The influence of Greek religion, for example,

"spread as far west as Spain, east to the Indus, and throughout the Mediterranean world. Its effect was the most marked on the Romans, who identified their deities with the Greek." [17]

Not only did the Romans identify their own deities with those of Greek gods, but they made the same association with the deities of other peoples. During the invasion of Italy by Hannibal, for example, (c. 217 BCE),

"Rome took precautions to secure the favor of all manner of gods. Among them, as a desperate attempt at novelty when appeals to the usual deities seemed stale, was the introduction of the Great Mother of Asia Minor, Cybele (204). Eighteen years later, the equally orgiastic worship of Dionysus (Bacchus) was coming in so rapidly and violently, by way of southern Italy, that the Senate, scenting subversion, repressed its practitioners. But these and other mystery religions, promising initiation, afterlife, and an excitement that Roman national cults could not provide, had come to stay and, although there were long periods of official disapproval before acclimatization was completed, they gradually played an immense part upon the religious scene." [18]

Druidism, of course, was among these “other mystery religions,” and its influence was not minimal. As a matter of fact,

"Roman writers such as Caesar made a great effort to syncretize the Gallic gods with their own." [19]

And the Latin poet Lucan, a contemporary of Caesar, recorded for us the names of three of the Celtic deities which Caesar tried to syncretize with those of Rome:

"The 1st century AD Latin poet Lucan, in a passage of his Pharsalia describing various Gaulish tribes, named three of the Celtic gods -- Teutates, Esus, and Taranis... An early commentator on Lucan’s work identified Teutates with Mars, Esus with Mercury, and Taranis with Jupiter, and thus later scholars have a working hypothesis from which to start their inquiries." [underlining added] [20]

Lucan’s commentator indeed gives us an interesting hypothesis from which to continue our inquiry into the apparent paganization of the name of our Messiah. First, we see that there is a great similarity between the name of the Celtic deity “Esus” and the Latin name “Iesus;” phonetically they are almost identical. But Lucan and his commentator give us another key indication that “Iesus” and the pagan Druidic deity “Esus,” are one and the same. Lucan’s commentator identifies “Esus” with the Roman/Latin god Mercury. The pronunciation of Mercury’s Latin name, Mercurius, is “mer-kurios” and means that he was the messenger of “kurios” (“the lord” -- Strong’s #2962). But Mercurius’s lord was not the LORD of heaven, but “lord” Zeus. This epithet as “messenger of the lord” is a very close parallel, albeit a counterfeit, to one of the chief functions of Messiah Yahoshua. Messiah Yahoshua was, and is, the Messenger of the real LORD, Yahowah [YEHOVAH]. To see an example of this, we look in the book of Exodus to a prophetic statement about the coming of the Messiah,

"Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him" (Exodus 23:20-21).

The Hebrew word for “angel” is "mal-awk’" which means “messenger.” Strong’s Concordance explains this word as,

"4397. “%a:ôl.m mal’ak, mal-awk’; from an unused root mean. to dispatch as a deputy; a messenger; spec. of [Elohim], i.e. an angel (also a prophet, priest or teacher):-- ambassador, angel, king, messenger."

With this understanding, we can begin to see that the angel (messenger) spoken of in Exodus 23:20-21 was in fact Messiah Yahoshua. Remembering that Exodus 23 says this messenger would have the power to pardon or “not pardon” transgressions, we find the following verse in the New Testament:

"And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Yahoshua seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee. And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth. And Yahoshua knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. And he arose, and departed to his house. (Matthew 9:2-7)

Secondly, as we have already seen, Messiah Yahoshua’s original Hebrew name literally contains the name of the Father and literally fulfills the Biblical statements, “my name is in him” (Exodus 23:21) and “I am come in my Father’s name” (John 5:43). He was, and is, the true “Messenger” of the true LORD. But the counterfeit “Esus/Iesus,” not only was the messenger of the false lord Zeus, but is himself a pagan god. But, is calling our Messiah by the name of a pagan god really so bad as long as he is in our heart?

Is a Little Blasphemy So Bad?

If we assume, as our analysis seems to indicate, that Iesus (Jesus) is the name of a pagan deity, does it really matter if we continue to call our Savior, the true Messiah and first-born Son of Yahowah, by that pagan name? After all, isn’t the Messiah too big to worry about what one calls him? Many sincere Christians would tell us just that -- that we can call him anything we want as long as he is in our hearts. But is this really the case? Perhaps we would do well to look into the Scriptures to get our answer rather than relying on the opinions of well-meaning individuals. In the book of Exodus, the Almighty gives the following command to His people:

"And in all things that I have said unto you be circumspect: and make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth" (Exodus 23:13).

But why is it so important that we do not call on, or even mention, the names of pagan deities?

First and foremost, the directive not to do so is a commandment of the Creator of the universe. Just as King Saul learned in the 15th chapter of 1 Samuel, the Almighty wants to be obeyed and there can be severe consequences for failing to do so. Our Savior also taught us that we should do what his Father says:

"And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of Elohim, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of Elohim" (Matthew 4:3-4).

"Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:17-19).

"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity" (Matthew 7:21-23).

In light of the Messiah’s statements, he probably takes little actual glory when we refer to him by the name of a pagan deity IN VIOLATION of his Father’s commandment.

The apostle Paul gives us another indication of why not calling our Messiah by the name of a pagan deity might be very important for us. While teaching on idols, and the pagan deities associated with them, Paul made the following statement:

"What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing? But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to Elohim: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils" (1 Corinthians 10:19-20).

Paul shows us here that pagan deities are in fact demons -- the fallen angels who work for Satan. Thus, we have our answer to why it is so important not to make mention of their names. Calling on demons is a dangerous proposition -- especially since we have little understanding of the workings of the spiritual realm.

“But wait,” one might say, “could the name 'Jesus' really be the name of a demon? Would our Heavenly Father have allowed so many good Christians to be fooled for so long?”

In the first place, it was not the Almighty who has fooled us; it was accomplished by Satan -- the “liar, and the father of it” (John 8:44). It was not our Heavenly Father who changed the Hebrew name that He commanded the angel transmit to Yahoshua’s earthly parents (see Matthew 1:20-21). It was not our Creator who came up with the idea to “translate” that magnificent name into Greek and Latin. It was the agents of the enemy who slipped into the flock after the departure of Paul (see Acts 20:29-31).

After all, didn’t Satan have countless sincere Christians making, and bowing down to, idols (statues) in their churches for centuries in violation of the second commandment, until the reformers of the Middle Ages got them on to a more Scriptural path? Didn’t Satan likewise have countless well-intentioned Christians worshipping Mary under the title of “queen of heaven” -- in direct contradiction to the Almighty’s prohibition found in the book of Deuteronomy?

"If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the LORD thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the LORD thy God, in transgressing his covenant, And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded; And it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and inquired diligently, and, behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel: Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die" (Deuteronomy 17:2-5).

And even after the reformers of the Middle Ages, sadly many tens of thousands of Christians are still being deceived into lighting candles and burning incense to the “queen of heaven,” although we read in the book of Jeremiah that such practices are abominable to the Almighty.

"Therefore now thus saith Yahowah the Elohim of hosts, the Elohim of Israel; Wherefore commit ye this great evil against your souls, to cut off from you man and woman, child and suckling, out of Judah, to leave you none to remain...Then all the men which knew that their wives had burned incense unto other gods, and all the women that stood by, a great multitude, even all the people that dwelt in the land of Egypt, in Pathros, answered Jeremiah, saying, As for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the LORD, we will not hearken unto thee. But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem..." (Jeremiah 44:7, 15-17).

Simply because Christianity has been doing something for a long time does not make it right. As a matter of fact, we are warned that in the very early days of the movement, false doctrines were already slipping in among the believers. The Messiah warned us in the Gospel of Matthew to "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves" (Matthew 7:15). The apostle Paul likewise warned us that after his departure "grievous wolves" would enter the church "not sparing the flock" (Acts 20:29). And indeed, while he was walking the earth the Messiah indicated that individuals were already blaspheming his name:

"The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?" (Matthew 10:24-25).

The word “Beelzebub” is Hebrew for “Baal (lord) of the fly” and was the name of a pagan god of the Ekronites (see Strongs #1176). The Messiah used the Hebrew word for the name of this deity, but he did not say in which language he was being blasphemed. While it would probably yield interesting results to research the Latin or Classical Greek rendering of the name of this pagan god, suffice it to say that the Messiah was being called by the name of that deity in some language.

And later, during the writing of the book of the Revelation, the Messiah gives an indication that the subject of his name was AN ISSUE among the seven churches to whom the Revelation was written:

"I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name..." (Revelation 2:13).

While many of us might spiritualize this statement to mean that the church of Pergamum did not deny the person of the Messiah, we must take note here that he did not say that the members of the church of Pergamos were holding fast to him, but to his name. Contrast this statement with the one the Messiah made to Peter in the book of Matthew:

"Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended. Yahoshua said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples" (Matthew 26:33-35).

The Messiah could have said that Peter would have denied his name, but that would have made little sense. Peter had walked with the Messiah and knew his name very well, having undoubtedly used it thousands of times in the three years they were together. Peter in fact denied the person of the Messiah -- NOT his name.

The church of Pergamum, on the other hand, was in a different situation altogether. As a Christian congregation, they would not deny the person of the Messiah. The use of his actual Hebrew name, however, might have been another issue. The members of the body there had most likely never seen the Messiah face to face and were operating much like believers today -- from the Scriptures and word of mouth. Unlike Peter, they may very well have been under considerable pressure to begin calling the Messiah by what they believed to be a legitimate Greek translation of his name. But he commended them for holding fast to his real name. But again, why is the real name so important for us?

“Take Heed That Ye Be Not Deceived...” (Luke 21:8)

In speaking with his apostles about the end-times, the Messiah gave them a very sobering prophecy,

"For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect" (Matthew 24:24).

The Messiah was speaking here of an end-time, Satanic deception that will be so complete and believable, that even the elect will almost be deceived. The world -- and possibly much of mainstream Christianity -- will be fooled by the anti-christ when he comes onto the scene. And when he comes, what would be the most likely name in which to come?

Most Christians will declare, “The Father would never allow the anti-christ to come in the name of “Jesus,” his Son, would He?” While our Creator probably would not allow the anti-christ to come in the real name of His only-begotten Son, we have shown that the name “Jesus” could not possibly be that real name. So, what if the anti-christ does come in the name “Jesus?”

We find in the books of Daniel and Revelation that the anti-christ power will make many proclamations against the Creator.

"And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time" (Daniel 7:25).

"And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against Elohim, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If any man have an ear, let him hear" (Revelation 13:5-9).

We have seen that the very name “Iesus”/“Jesus” is itself a proclamation against the Most High because it declares Him to be a swine in the Latin tongue. Its equivalent “Elymas” declares Him to be a mouse in both the Latin and Greek tongues. The Latin name “Iesus”, which could not possibly have been the name of our Hebrew Messiah, was forced by Rome upon the early mainstream Christian church by doing away with anything Hebrew and mandating that all religious worship be conducted in Latin. The name of “Jesus” has been used by Rome to “change times and laws” (Daniel 7:25) applicable to the followers of the Most High and His first-born Son.

I Come in My Father's Name (John 5:43)

In the fifth chapter of the book of John, the Messiah made it very clear that all his capacity as Savior of the world comes from the his Father in heaven,

"Then answered Yahoshua and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and showeth him all things that himself doeth: and he will show him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will. For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son...Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on Him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life" (John 5:19-22, 24).

Our Savior lifted up his Father in everything he did. He made it abundantly clear that the salvation of men comes from the Father in fulfillment of the Scriptures,

"Behold, Elohim is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for Yahowah Yah is my strength and my song; He also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. And in that day shall ye say, Praise Yahowah, call upon His name, declare His doings among the people, make mention that His name is exalted" (Isaiah 12:2-4).

And in fact, Messiah Yahoshua did ensure that the name of his Father, “Yahowah” [YEHOVAH] was proclaimed and exalted as the Salvation of mankind. The Messiah declared,

"O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them" (John 17:25-26).

Truly Messiah Yahoshua proclaimed his Father’s name, not only with his lips, but with the very name in which he walked the earth -- “Yahoshua.”

What About "Yeshua"?

As mentioned earlier, the name, “[wvy” (pronounced “Yeshua” [21]) was a popular variant of “Yahoshua” at the time the Messiah walked the earth. Many Believers, especially Messianic Jews, strongly believe this to be his name. The author would advise the reader not to get into disputations over this issue because the name “[wvy” [Yeshua] is actually a beautiful variant of “Yahoshua.” In the noun form, it means “salvation.” In the verb form, it is the third person future singular form meaning “He will save.” The deep spiritual meaning of this name is also shown in the quote from the book of Matthew cited earlier:

"And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Yeshua [Salvation] for he shall save his people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21).

In either case, the salvation spoken of is the Salvation coming from our Heavenly Father through the person of His first-born Son.


[1] The word Septuagint comes from the Latin "Septuagint" which means "seventy." The name of this translation comes from the 70 or 72 Jewish scholars who are said to have translated it in the third century before the Common Era (B.C.E.).

[2] Hebrew: "Moshe."

[3] Hebrew: "Yaakov."

[4] The name "Yeshua" is sometimes spelled "Yahshua" or "Y'shua." Many modern believers in fact call the Messiah by that name. The name means "salvation" in noun form and "he will save" in the 3rd person singular future verb form.

[5] Josephus was born in 37 C.E. His historical writings are an important source of information for understanding the interaction between the Roman Empire and the other religious and political entities of the Biblical period.

[6] Flavius Josephus, The Antiquities of the Jews (Book 1, chapters 5-6), contained in "The Works of Flavius Josephus". Translated by William Whiston, (Peabody, Mass: Hendrickson Publishers, 1987), pp. 35-36.

[7] Given this person’s religious affiliation and potential associated difficulties, the name will remain undisclosed.

[8] Nouum Testamentum Latine, New Testament in Latin, Vulgate, (Oxford University Press, American Branch), 1911.

[9] As any English pronunciation guide will show, the sound of “?” is the same as the “a” in the word “about.” The sound is pronounced as “uh.”

[10] Webster’s Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged, (1968) s.v. “sus.”

[11] The Hebrew word “Elohim” (Strong’s #430) is translated into English as “God.”

[12] Phonetically, the Greek spelling is “El-oo-mas.” However, since the stress is on the first syllable, the “oo” sound is minimized to a hybrid short vowel form during vocalization. The sound would resemble a short u or a short i.

[13] Webster’s Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged, (1968) s.v. “mus.”

[14] Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th ed., s.v. “European Religions, Ancient” in Macropaedia, Vol 18. 27 Ibid.

[15] Ibid.

[16] See, for example, Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons, (Neptune, New Jersey: Loizeaux Brothers, 1959).

[17] Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th ed., s.v. “European Religion, Ancient” in Macropaedia, Vol 18.

[18] Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th ed., s.v. “Celtic Religion” in Micropaedia, Vol 3.

[19] Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th ed., s.v. “Celtic Religion” in Micropaedia, Vol 3. “Syncretism” is the process of blending the identification and functions one’s own deities’ with those of foreign gods. This process was common in the Roman Empire.

[20] Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th ed., s.v. “Ancient European Religion” in Macropaedia, Vol 18.

[21] As explained earlier, alternate spellings of this name in English are “Y’shua” and “Yahshua.” The pronunciation, however, is the same.

-- Edited by John D. Keyser.


Hope of Israel Ministries -- Preparing the Way for the Return of YEHOVAH God and His Messiah!

Hope of Israel Ministries
P.O. Box 853
Azusa, CA 91702, U.S.A.

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