EXPOSITION ON THE NAMES YESU-YAHWEH AND JESUS-JEHOVAH
Norbert H. Kox
The original Biblical name of Yesu (Iesu) was changed to Jesus less than 300 years ago within the English speaking nations. The name of Yahweh underwent a more gradual metamorphosis, beginning about 200 years earlier, resulting in the spurious hybrid name Jehovah. Modern man has come to believe that Jesus and Jehovah are legitimate names for God and Saviour, when in reality they are newly formed from a “strange slip.” Yesu and Yahweh are names given from heaven. Jesus and Jehovah are counterfeit names invented by man, and perverted by the language of Babylon. The following treatise is part of a documented research study into the historical linguistic changes in the names of God and Saviour, from the oldest known manuscripts to the modern present-day English versions of the Bible.
(The following excerpts are revised and updated from SIX NIGHTS TILL MORNING: THE REAL STAR WARS, Chapter 19, WHO CHANGED GOD’S NAME? Selected pages 545-568, Copyright 1983, 1984, 2002, by Norbert H. Kox)
At first Hebrew was written with consonants only, leaving the pronunciation of the vowel sounds to the discretion of the reader. As the language developed certain letters were also used to indicate vowels: aleph, waw, he [hay] and ayin [eye-in]. Finally, about the 8th century A.D., the Masoretes (Hebrew scribes) devised a system of diacritical points, above, below, and within the consonants, to indicate the proper vowel reading.
The Hebrew Language can be read and understood, by the learned, without the use of written vowels, as witnessed in Modern Hebrew newspapers and many Hebrew books which are printed without the diacritical points.
Some of the antagonists of the Bible Code attempt to discredit the code by convincing the uninformed public that it is illegitimate gibberish because the vowels have been removed from the Hebrew Bible text rendering it illegible. Fact: Scripture was originally written without vowels. Fact: Modern Hebrew newspapers are written without vowels. Fact: The Hebrew-speaking people have no problem reading their newspapers and Bibles. Fact Hebrew written without vowels is just as legible today as it was 3,000+ years ago, when the Torah was first given to Moses directly from heaven.
After the invention of the Masoretic vowel points, there have been times that deceptive points were added by the scribes, which if read with the adjoined consonants would produce an illegitimate reading. This was done with God’s holy name to purposely keep its pronunciation a secret for the “chosen” ones.
The Shem ha-Meforash, the “distinctive name,” YHWH (Yahweh) was considered so sacred that the privilege of learning its pronunciation became reserved to a chosen few, “a small number of esoteric ‘elect’ of heaven.” (The Book of Jewish Knowledge, p. 401).
From about 300 B.C. the name had ceased to be spoken even in Temple worship and as a result the general population had lost its pronunciation. “The sages delivered to their disciples the KEY to the Name once every Sabbatical Year [i.e. every seventh year].”
“After the death of the high priest Simeon the Righteous [270 B. C.] the priests ceased to pronounce the Name (Yoma 39b), From that time the pronunciation of the Name was prohibited. ‘Whoever pronounces the Name forfeits his portion in the future world’ (Sauh. xi. 1).” (The Jewish Encyclopedia, vol. 9: pp. l62-l63).
When Yesu Christ confronted these Doctors of the Law, he said to them, “Woe unto you, Lawyers! for ye have taken away the KEY of knowledge [Greek gnosis: knowing]: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.” (Luke 11:52). They had taken away the key to knowing the pronunciation of the name. By their failure to use God’s name, they excluded themselves from his kingdom, and by forbidding others its use they were actually hindering them from entering the kingdom of Yahweh.
In Malachi 2, Yahweh says to the priests, “If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my NAME, saith YHWH of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart.” (v. 2). They had already ceased to use the name of YaHWeH in blessing the people and as a result their blessings became a curse. Yahweh said, I will spread dung upon your faces, the dung from your sacrifices (v. 3) i.e. they will be cast into Gehenna, face-first upon the manure piles to join their master Beelzebub, "the lord of dung". Yahweh will smear their faces with excrement to show what a stinking mess they have become. The priests were to keep “knowledge”, not to cut it off (v. 7). But they departed from the way, causing many to stumble (v. 8).
After the Exile (6th century B. C.), especially from the 3rd century B.C. on, Jews ceased to use the name Yahweh ... As Judaism began to become a universal religion through its proselytizing in the Greco-Roman world, the more common noun elohim (q.v.), meaning “god”, tended to replace Yahweh At the same time, the divine name ... was thus replaced in the synagogue ritual by the Hebrew word Adonai (My Lord) ... (The New Encyclopedia Britannica: Micropedia, Ready Reference, vol. 10: p.786).
At that time the ancient Illuminati were using the Jewish hierarchy for their own evil purpose and plan. These elitists had already hoped to rule the world.
Many have conjectured that the reason the ancient Jews forbade the use of the name Yahweh was purely out of reverence, for fear that the name might be taken in vain and profaned by the goyim (people, masses, nations, pagans, heathens). But perhaps the reason went much deeper. It may have been a compromise toward the goyim whom they wished to win over, so to keep from offending pagan ears the name Yahweh was replaced by the more common terms of “Lord” and “God”. It may also have been to keep this powerful name of salvation for the elite only, thus eliminating the "chaff" from the Kingdom of God, while at the same time causing them to believe they were part of it.
In the reading of the Hebrew Scriptures, when the name YHWH was encountered, the term Adonai (Lord) was pronounced in its place. As we have seen, this practice dated from at least the 3rd century B.C. Following after this custom the Masoretes, about the 8th century A.D., introduced their vowel points into the Hebrew text and consequently rendered the name YHWH with the vowel pointing of the word “Adonai” (Heb. ‘eDoNaY) supposedly to assure that the reader would not pronounce the YHWH as YaHWeH but would rather insert the word “Adonai”. This later created a problem for Christian Scribes (unfamiliar with Hebrew practice) yet attempting to translate the Hebrew Scriptures. These vowels from Adonai (e-o-a) written into the name YHWH, rendered it as YeHoWaH. With the facts in front of us, we can see that Yehowah is not Yahweh. It is a total misnomer.
Not only did the ancient Jewish hierarchy take away the key of knowledge, but also the Masoretes (Hebrew scholars and scribes) added deceptive vowel signs to the divine name thus causing the ignorant and uninformed to mispronounce it. In their supposed attempt to keep the name from being profaned by the goyim, they were actually causing that profanation and blasphemy. Malachi 2, which rebukes the priests for not giving glory to the name YHWH, also rebukes the Masoretes and the modern scholars who further perpetrate their fraud: “Judah hath profaned the holiness of YHWH ... YHWH will cut off the man that doeth this, the master and the scholar ...” (Malachi 2:11-12). Judah (the Jews) had perpetrated the counterfeiting of the false name, which continues to this day, thus profaning the name of Yahweh.
“What! You say, ‘We are wise, we do have his directions’ when lo, your scribes have written them wrong and falsified them? No, the ‘wise’ shall be discomfited, dismayed and tricked. They have rejected Yahweh’s Word so what wisdom have they?” (Jeremiah 8: 8-9, Moffatt).
Because of the deceptive vowel points, the name Yahweh became Yehowah. The Latin spelling of this new name was Iehovah (later Jehovah, pronounced Yehowah). “Jehovah’ is generally held to be the invention of Pope Leo X’s confessor, Peter Galatin [‘De Arcanis Catholisae Veritatis,’ 1518, folio xliii.].” (The Jewish Encyclopedia, vol. 7: p. 88).
Before the 16th century the “J” did not exist in any language of the world. Where did it come from? The J originated as a variant of I: the I is derived from the Greek iota and the Semitic yod. The I was used as both a vowel and a consonant. Its consonantal sound was that of the English y. Sometime in the late 16th century, printers began to prolong the letter I when it appeared as a first or last letter of a word. As an initial letter it extended above and below the line and ended with a curve. As a final form it would extend below the line, used in Latin forms as ‘filij’, and numerals like j, ij, iij, vj, viij, xij, etc. In English it was sometimes used where y had previously been substituted for a final i. It was not until the 17th century that the i was reserved as a vowel and the j as a consonant, and the capital forms of the letter J were introduced (Oxford English Dictionary, vol. 5: p. 67).
The differentiation was first made in Spanish, where the capital I had represented both forms, but right around 1600 the capital J began to appear. German printers employed the tailed form of the letter j. Louis Elzevir, who printed at Amsterdam and Leiden 1595-1616, is generally accredited with making the distinction of u and v, i and j; afterwhich in 1619 the capitals U and J were introduced by Lazarus Zetzner of Strasburg. “The Jj types are not used in the Bible of 1611” and “In Dictionaries, the I and J words continued to be intermingled in one series down to the 19th c." (ibid.).
The letter J retained the same consonantal "y" sound as its former I. In Anglo-Saxon or Old English there was no J sound. The “dzh” sound of the Modern English J was introduced through the Old French (in modern French the sound is “zh”).
It was through the German influence that the w took on the v sound and through the French that the modern English J lost its “y” sound, being replaced by the dzh sound as in jet. Although a few sources believe this may have come about by the 11th century, most references agree that the change did not occur before the late 16th or early 17th century. The name Jehovah is a very recent invention, which, as it is pronounced in the English speaking countries, could not possibly have existed before this time. It could never have appeared in the inspired Scriptures since the Hebrew language did not have a “J” sound.
Jehovah: English transliteration of the Divine name, based on a misunderstanding of the Hebrew text, which should probably be read Yahweh. (The Concise Jewish Encyclopedia, p. 277).
... commonly represented in modern translations by the form “Jehovah”, which, however is a philological impossibility. (The Jewish Encyclopedia, vol. 9: p. 160).
Jehovah: A mispronunciation (introduced by Christian theologians, but most entirely disregarded by the Jews) of the Hebrew “YHWH,” the (ineffable) name of God (the Tetragramrnaton or ‘Shem ha-Meforash”). This pronunciation is grammatically impossible ... (ibid. vol. 7: p. 87).
Jehovah, a hybrid form for the divine name which originated in the mistaken idea that the consonants of the Tetragrammaton, YHWH (really pronounced “Yahweh”), were to be read with the vowel points found with them in the Masoretic Text... thus by combining these vowels with the consonants of the Tetragramrnaton, the mongrel form, “Yehowah,” came into being, which with the English consonant j in place of the y and with the German pronunciation of the w as v, produced in turn the quaint form of “Jehovah.” (Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Bible, p. 1109).
This gross error was definitely made by Christians. The Jews had given up pronouncing the name since the 3rd century B.C. It would be better to follow the Jewish tradition in not pronouncing the name at all, rather than to use the falsified name Jehovah. If we know of this deception and yet continue to perpetrate the lie, we are definitely profaning and blaspheming the name of YHWH.
Would anyone purposely continue to publish this lie? In answer to this question see what the Jehovah's Witness' have to say in the forward to the New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures:
“While inclining to view the pronunciation ‘Yah-weh’ as the more correct way, we have retained the form ‘Jehovah’ because of people’s familiarity with it ...“ (The same quote is found in the preface of The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures, 1969).
There can be no doubt that this is an antichristian statement, for the Apostle Paul said, “...do I now persuade men or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” (Galations 1:10).
We must determine the proper pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton, and then use that name, for the glory of God, even it the world (including the religious world) hates us for it.
Can we be sure of the correct pronunciation of the tetragrammaton without the proper diacritical points to determine the vowels?
Although some authors will make the statement that no letters of the Hebrew alphabet are vowels, any Hebrew grammar will inform you that this is not entirely correct. All of the Hebrew letters are indeed consonants and have a consonantal value, but some of them function additionally as vowels and are so employed. In the past some scholars have condemned the Jewish 1st century historian Josephus for inaccuracies they supposed were to be found in the histories. Nevertheless, recent scholarship has proven Josephus to be accurate in many areas, the Sacred Name being one of them. Scholars had found fault with Josephus because he made the statement that the Sacred Name was four vowels. “A mitre also of fine linen encompassed his head, which was tied by a blue riband, about which there was another golden crown, in which was graven the sacred name [of the Almighty]: it consists of four vowels.” This is a description of the headgear worn as the official ceremonial garb by the high priest of Israel. Josephus said that he saw this uniform and he identified the Sacred Name which was engraven into the golden band that held in place the turban (miter) of the high priest. (YHWH or YHVH?, p. 2).
In the Sephardic Hebrew, the language of the Scriptures, the waw equaled the w sound, i.e. double-u or the oo sound. It never represented the sound of v (as the Modern Hebrew vav). The v sound was accomplished through the letter beth, which was otherwise sounded as a letter b. This letter does not appear in the Sacred Name. The Ashkenazi form of Hebrew, less ancient, is read and spoken with Germanic sounds. In this and modern Hebrew, the waw has been changed to vav and is usually sounded as v. Consequently the Tetragrammaton was never YHVH or JHVH, but has always been and still is YHWH: Yahweh.
Treating the Y-H-W-H as vowels, their vocalization would be as follows, yod= ee; he= ah; waw= oo; he= eh. As a final letter, he in a feminine name would receive an “ah” sound, but in a masculine name it is “eh” or short “e” (ibid.). In sounding out these four vowels, ee-ah-oo-eh, the first two, ee-ah, are equivalent to the syllable “Yah”, the last two, oo-eh, equal the sound “weh” (as in wet without the t). When pronounced all together, smoothly, the ee-ah-oo-eh becomes Yahweh. When you see the letters YHWH you should read Yahweh.
The Greek transliteration of the divine name is Iaoue. It is sounded out exactly the same as in Hebrew. The I= ee; a= ah; ou= oo; e= eh; ee-ah-oo-eh: Yahweh.
The languages of the Bible, Hebrew (and Ararnaic) and Greek, are the witnesses to the true pronunciation of the heavenly Father’s name. His name is Yahweh. He told Moses that this is his name for all eternity. If we call God Jehovah we dishonor him because that is not his name. Since neither the Hebrew nor the Greek had a J or a J-sound, it is impossible for the sacred name ever to have been Jahveh or Jehovah. In fact the J sound is derived from the di as in Diovis (Jovis) and Diupiter (Jupiter). The di finally developed into the dzh sound of the Modern English J. (an example in present usage is Djibouti [Ja-bu-tee] French Somaliland). Jupiter comes from the Latin Diespiter; Greek Zeu-pater, i.e. Zeus Father; from Sanskrit Dyaus-pitr (dyaus: sky & pitr: father), and is synonymous with Jovis. Thus Jove, so-called “father of gods and men”, receives his lofty title “god of the sky”. He assumes the role of the great heavenly father. Would it be proper to equate YHWH with this Luciferian god Jovis? Note the striking similarity between the name Diovis (pronounced D-yovis) or Jovis and that of Jehovah. Although they may riot be etymologically connected they are similar enough to raise serious question.
The English, who attached the dzh sound to the J and are thus a great deal responsible for the invention of the counterfeit name Jehovah, seem also to be responsible for the age old cliche “By Jove”, intended to mean by God. Jove and Jovis are identical and here the name Jove is being interchanged with the name Jehovah. It is easy to see that Jehovah is not a sacred name but rather a Luciferian impostor.
Since there is no J in the Greek or Hebrew languages what becomes of the name of Jesus? There was no Jesus before the 17th century. That is correct. “During the Middle English period [the name was] regularly used in its Old French (objective) form lesu. The (Latin nominative) form lesus was rare in Middle English, but became the regular English form in 16th century. Yet in Tindale’s New Testament, 1525-34, the form Iesu was generally used where the Greek had Iesou, the Vulgate Iesu... This was, as a rule, retained by Coverdale 1535, and in the Great Bible 1539...“ (The Oxford English Dictionary [1n 12 vols.] vol. 5: p. 573).
The name appears in English Bibles and Historical works, as Iesu (pronounced yay-soo), prior to 1633 A.D., afterwhioh, it begins to appear as Jesu. Finally in the year 1779 we find the spelling Jesus being commonly used, but not exclusively, for Jesu is still used through 1827 and probably as late as 1881. (For a detailed etymology please consult the previously cited reference book). The Jesus spelling may have come into existence as early as 1775, or 1776, along with the Satanic declaration “Don’t Tread on Me”. According to Benjamin H. Freedman there was no word “Jew” before this time either. “It is an incontestable fact that the word ‘Jew’ did not come into existence until the year 1775. Prior to 1775 the word ‘Jew’ did riot exist in any language.” (Facts are Facts, p. 12).
You do not need a Ph.D., or even a high school education to look into an unabridged dictionary and to ascertain that since there was no J before the late 16th or early 17th century the Saviour’s name could not possibly be Jesus (Gee-zus).
The development of the pronunciation of the name has been altered from Yay-soo (with inflection, Yay-sooce) to Jay-sooce and finally to Jee-zus which is the modern English pronunciation.
In the late 1970's, I became concerned as to the true pronunciation of the Saviour’s name. At that time I received information from an Ohio Bible scholar and student of the Blblical languages, stating that the Saviour’s name in Ancient Hebrew is pronounced Yay-soo, the same as in the Koine (common) Greek. I began to do a follow-up. Before getting too far, there were others convincing me that it did not matter. They attempted to assure me that names change from one language to another (but as we have seen, the Saviour’s name did not change when translated into English, it was changed many years later). Until 1980, I thought little more about it. When I presented these findings to Dr. Oliver Blosser, an eminent Greek and Hebrew scholar whom I know personally, he confirmed the information was correct, as to the pronunciation, but that in his opinion it did not matter, since Jesus is (supposed to be) the English equivalent of that name.
In January of 1982, I was stirred into deeper study by the Holy Spirit. Sometime in February, that year, I became thoroughly convinced that the name in Old English and Early Modern English was pronounced the same as it had been in the Biblical languages, Yesu.
Where and how did the name Yesu (Yay-soo) originate?
The Hebrew language was the original language of Israel and of the Holy Scripture [O.T.]. The first form of Christ’s name is found in the ‘book of Numbers. Moses had a helper named HWS` (Nu. 13:8,16). Moses renamed HWS` (Helper) by adding the first letter of God’s name, it then read: YHWS` (which presumably meant, YHWH is the helper). The word YHWS` was changed to (YSW`) in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah. This final form (YSW`) was transliterated by Jewish scholars in the Septuagint Scripture (Greek) in the 3rd century B.C. as [lesou: e.a.sou] (which sounded exactly like the Hebrew name).
The actual pronunciation of the Hebrew no vowel name must depend upon the Greek, since this was the first language with vowels into which the Hebrew Scripture was translated [1,000 yrs. before the Masoretes introduced their vowel signs].
The transliteration (bringing over the sound from one language into another) of the Greek word into English is Yasu [yay-soo].... Since the Greek name of Christ was pronounced Yasu, and the Greek sounded exactly like the Hebrew, YSW` also was pronounced Yasu [yay-soo].
Greek was the world-wide language at the time of Christ and His apostles. The good news of Christ therefore was first spread in the Greek language....
Since God chose this Holy name, Yasu, by which to save his people [Matt. 1:21; Lk. 24:47; Acts 10:43; etc.] it evidently is of utmost importance, and should not be changed. God ordained that His saving name should be pronounced Yasu [yay-soo]. Who is man to say that God’s name is not important enough to keep its original pronunciation and should now follow the false church’s practice of calling His name “Jesus”? (Who Is God?, K.M. Bean).
Moses’ helper is Joshua. Joshua is an Old Testament typology of Christ the Saviour and thus the source of the Saviour’s name (Yesu). The verb from which this name is formed is YS `, meaning safety, help, protection; thus the name HWS` [Hoshea or Hosea] meaning deliverer or helper. As we have already seen, Hebrew was at first written with only consonants. Before the vowel points were added certain letters had come also to indicate vowels, “This is still inconsistent in the spelling of the Hebrew Bible ... the same form or word being written sometimes with [vowel letters], sometimes without” (The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia, p. 1928). In Numbers 13:16, Moses changed the name of HWS` by adding the first letter of the Tetragrammaton, yod, making it YHWS`. This name is also found written in Deuteronomy 3:21, as YHWSW`. The second W represents a vowel U = oo. With or without the second waw, it is the same name: early form Yahoshu(a) or Yahosu(a), later form Yesu: represented in the LXX (Greek Septuagint) by Iesou, but in Modern English Bibles by “Joshua” or “Jesus”. The name means “Yahweh helper” or “Help of Yahweh”, also translated “Salvation (or Help) is of Yahweh”, i.e. “Yahweh (is helper) Saviour”. Psalm 124:6 says, “Our help is in the name of YHWH”, and Hebrews 13:6, “The Lord (YHWH) is my helper.”
The name of the same man (YHWS`) appears in Nehemiah 8:17, written as YSW` [Yesu(a): Yesu]. The name of God, YHWH [Yahweh] could be signified in proper names by YHW, at the beginning or end, also by YH (yod, he) at the end, or simply by yod in the beginning. The YSW` spelling of the name signifies that Yahweh is the Saviour.
The first syllable of this name represents YHWH. The second syllable, originally HWS`, simply meant helper or deliverer, but in its latter form, SW`, it takes on an even deeper significance. First of all it is used in the sense of to be free (safe), as a causative and reflexive to halloo, i.e. to be saved or set free in answer to one’s cry for help. It also gives the implication of being rich. Secondly, it means to halloo, "to pursue with shouts; shout with a loud voice". What did Joshua do at Jericho?
Read Joshua 6:1-20. He and the people shouted with a great shout and the walls of the city fell and the people ascended up, on the seventh day, a typology of Yahweh's salvation. According to 1st Thessalonians 4:16-17, “Yahweh himself shall descend from heaven with a shout ..." which will raise the dead so that both they and the living saints, which have been chosen as the Bride of Christ, will be caught up together to meet him In the air.
The name Yesu, the late form of Joshua, more fully means, "Yahweh is the Saviour who answers your cry and will call you up," i.e. “come up hither.” The call to the Bride. It is a two-way call. He will call those up who have called upon Him.
Under the name Jesus, the Etymological Dictionary of the English Language by Rev. Walter W. Skeat, “the Saviour of mankind. (L.-Gk.-Heb.) In Wyclif’s Bible. -- L. lesus (Vulgate). -- G. lesous. -- Heb. Yeshu`a (Jeshua, Nehemiah viii. 17, a later form of Joshua): contracted form of Yehoshu`a (Jehoshua, Numbers 13:16), signifying, '[Yahweh] is salvation’ or ‘Saviour.’” (p. 314).
John L. McKenzie, in his Dictionary of the Bible, has, “Jesus Christ. 1. Name. Greek iesous represents Hebrew and Aramaic yesu`a.... The meaning of the name (“Yahweh is salvation”) ... Matthew 1:21; Luke 2:21 ...“ (p. 432).
I had previously been under the Impression of most Christian scholars that the name of Christ in Hebrew was Yeshua. But the name which is pronounced Yeshua (yay-shoo-ah) by Christian scholars is not pronounced that way by the Jews in reference to Christ. The final letter, ayin (eye-in) represented by `, is not heard in the pronunciation (Dictionary of the Bible, p. 71, McKenzie). The ayin is usually neglected, although it appears in writing (cf. Beginners’ Hebrew Grammar, Rev. Harold L. Creager, B.D., p. 6). An ayin at the end of a word does not necessarily change its pronunciation (neither would an alef or he).
Following is a note from Cracking The Bible Code, by Jeffrey Satinover: "The silent letters in Hebrew are 'aleph' and 'ayin', which can take on any vowel sound. Many words are spelled with them or without them. (Such a letter is called a mater lexionis.)" (p. 312). The “a” vowel of the final syllable in Yeshua is not derived from the ayin, but from the deceptive Masoretic points which did not appear before the 7th-8th century A.D. “One has to be careful not to grant the same canonical authority to the Masoretes as to Moses and the prophets. Nor should one be too critical of the modern Old Testament scholar who thinks he has just cause to alter one or two of the signs the Masoretes had introduced.” (Do lt yourself Hebrew and Greek: Everybody’s Guide to the Language Tools, p. 14:3).
If the ayin had been pronounced it could have represented either of two sounds, g or h, according to various Hebrew Grammars and Septuagint study. But in the name which we are scrutinizing, we can be very sure that it was ignored or practically silent, because it was not transliterated in the Sptuagint. A g-sound would have called for a Greek rendering of Iesoug, which never appears. An h-sound, preceded by a vowel, would scarcely be heard and need not appear in transliteration. “Ayin is an aspiration midway in strength between alef and he. We transliterate it by a rough breathing [`], and practically neglect it in pronunciation.” (Beginners’ Hebrew Grammar, p. 6). Yesu and Yesuh would be identical in pronunciation. A word can be closed with an unsounded consonant. The “moveable” ayin (even when not pronounced, ayin is categorized as a moveable letter) could be used in closing, the same as a “silent” alef or he.
In the Talmudic spelling of the same name, the ayin has actually disappeared. Rather than YSW` (yod, shin, waw, ayin), the name is simply YSW (yod, shin, waw). This leaves no reason to doubt the “Yesu” pronunciation. The Talmud refers to him as YSW HNOTSRY (Yesu ha Notsriy: Yesu the Nazarene; Notsriy also means Christian).
Most Christian Hebrew scholars, refer to him as Yeshua or Y'shua, but the Jewish Hebrew scholar will tell you that the name is pronounced Yeshu, or Yesu. The learned Rabbi Vande Walle states that this name is used only in reference to Christ, and it is never pronounced Yeshua. He further states that although this pronunciation may be a possibility it is not used. The pronunciation in Aramaic was probably Yeshu, or Yesu, he said. This was the language used by the Jews of that period and referred to in the Bible as Hebrew.
Another outstanding Jewish figure, a respected individual in the synagogue, said, “The name of Jesus in Hebrew is pronounced Yesu.” According to the Jews, the Hebrew name of Christ is Yesu (pronounced Yay-soo) although some may pronounce it Yeshu. The English transliteration from the Talmud is “Yeshu”. The e is pronounced as the e in they, i.e., a long a-sound.
The Masoretes pointed the letter sin making it shin or the “sh” in Yeshu. In pointed script sin has a dot over its left shank, shin has one over its right, “undistinguishable in unpointed script.” (The Book of Jewish Knowledge, p. 1758). “Probably the sounds were not differentiated in the early language” (Beginners’ Hebrew Grammar, p. 5).
Rabbi Vande Walle indicated that there were two different dialects among the tribes of Israel. In the spelling of a given word, one would pronounce the sin (seen), the other, shin (sheen). Evidently the s or sh-sound was irrelevant in pronunciation, since words spelled with sin or shin were sometimes interchanged by the letter camek (c = s). The Rabbi explained that, in view of the two dialects, either pronunciation would be correct, Yeshu or Yesu. It is certain the name being referred to was never pronounced Jesus (Gee-zus),
“The changes undergone by Hebrew pronunciation are ... obscured, but they can to some extent be traced through transliterations of words into Assyrian (9th-6th centuries B.C.), Greek (4th century B.C. - 4th century A.D.) ... In Europe, sh and s were confused until 1100 [A.D.]." (The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia, p. 872). To trace the exact pronunciation of YSW`, it will then be necessary to look to the Greek transliteration:
"lesous is the Greek form of the Old Testament Jewish name Yesua`, arrived at by transcribing the Hebrew and adding an -s to the nominative to facilitate declension. Yesua` (Joshua) seems to have come into general use about the time of the Babylonian exile in place of the older Yehosua`. The LXX [Greek translation of O.T.] rendered both the ancient and more recent forms of the name uniformly as lesous." (The New International Dictionary of the New Testament Theology, vol. 2: pp. 33O-331).
Greek as well as Hebrew is an inflectional language. Inflection is “the variation or change of form which words undergo to mark distinctions of case, gender, number, tense, person, mood, voice, etc.” The Saviour’s name, in the Greek, may be found written Iesou, lesous or lesoun depending upon how it is used in the sentence. The root is Iesou, the same as the Hebrew YSW, Yesu.
The I is the Greek Iota (ee-oh-tah = yota) and is vocalized as “ee”. When it precedes another vowel it sounds like a y. The second letter in the name is the Greek Eta (ay-tah) long e as in they. This first part of the name is then vocalized as ee-ay, which is equal to the syllable yay. The letters which follow, Sigma, Omicron, Upsilon, are sounded as soo. Therefore, the entire name is pronounced yay-soo. In Greek, when the name is used as the subject of a sentence (nominative), it ends in s. As a direct object (vocative), it ends in n. In all other cases, the base, Iesou is used. The s and n are merely inflections. The name is not lesous anymore than it is lesoun, but rather these are inflectional forms of the same unchanged name: Iesou, Yesu.
The Hebrew YSW` means “He shall save, deliver ... Hence, Gr. Iesou, A Saviour, from sao or sou, to save, deliver, heal, restore.” (A Complete Hebrew and English Critical and Pronouncing Dictionary, p. 329). In Greek an s was added to the nominative form but when the name is translated into non-inflectional languages the s is dropped. English is a non-inflectional language. The early English translators were correct in dropping the s and also the n. from the Messiah’s name. Their transliteration was Iesu.
According to grammatical rules: “In transcribing Greek words into English: Transliterate the Greek word into Latin first and then into English.” (Greek and Latin in Scientific Terminology, p. 56). “In general there is a tendency to drop the inflectional endings since in English they rarely serve, as they do in Latin and Greek, to indicate the grammatical function of the word in a sentence.” (ibid. p. 44). In the English language an S added to the end of a word serves to alter it from singular to plural (e.g. horse, horses; cow, cows) or to show possession.
If we are going to work from the nominative Greek form lesous, first transliterate to the Latin nominative, Iesus, then drop the inflection to arrive at the English transcription, lesu (Remember, in English to add an S to this base would form a plural). Due to changes in our language, the best Modern English representation is probably Yesu (Yasu has been used also). But instead the modern translators followed the trend of the language, using a J. They also returned the inflectional s, so the name became Jesus. With all other Biblical names the inflection is dropped in the transliteration from Greek to English. For example: Paulos becomes Paul; Markos is Mark; Stephanos is Stephen; Timotheos is Timothy, etc. Even Christos becomes “Christ” in English, yet the modern translators refuse to drop the inflection from the Saviour's name.
Since the early Christian, whether Jew or Gentile, even the early American Christian, called the Saviour Yesu, why shouldn’t the modern Christian call him the same? Has God changed His name?
Talmudic Judaism ... accustomed itself, when it was obliged to name Jesus of Nazareth, to referring to him as Yesu and not as Yesua`. Christians referred to their Lord as Yesu (formed from the divine name and sua, from the root ys`) which, as we have shown, has a continuing life in the Greek lesous: “Yahweh is our help” or “Yahweh is our helper" ... (The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, vol. 2: pp. 33O-332).
In the Tulmud, Sanhedrin 432-436, we find that the name is mentioned in the English translation not as Jesus but rather Yeshu the Nazarene. Still, another Jewish reference calling him Yeshu is that of the Toledot Yeshu (Hebrew: “History of [the Life of] Yesu”) which is a medieval pseudo-history of the life of Yesu. These sources clearly show that the Aramaic name was not pronounced Yeshua (Yay-shoo-a), as it is today by the modern Christian student of Hebrew, but that the final syllabic a was nonexistent. There is more than sufficient Biblical and historical information to determine that the name, in reference to Christ, is Yesu.
In unpointed script it would be impossible to trace the exact pronunciation at this late date. If it were not for the transliterations from the Hebrew into Greek this task would be somewhat hopeless.
At the time of Christ, Greek was the predominant language of the entire known world. When Alexander conquered the Persian Empire, in 333 B.C., his conquest extended the spread of Greek culture which had begun in the Near East in the 7th century B.C.
In the last quarter of the fourth century B.C., Alexandria rose in Egypt as a cultural center and continued as the intellectual center of the world during the third and second centuries. The many Jews there - some had migrated from Palestine while others had moved up from other parts of Egypt - began to speak Greek to such an extent that they even forgot Aramaic. (By this time Hebrew was used only for scholarly and liturgical purposes.) This necessitated a Greek translation of the Jewish Scriptures, which was undertaken in Alexandria. The Greek Old Testament is known as the Septuagint. (A Survey of Biblical Geography, p. 39: The New American Bible.)
The Greek Old Testament is called the Septuagint (Seventy) because it is believed to have been translated by seventy men. It is sometimes represented by the Roman numerals LXX. The LXX translation was accomplished in the 3rd century B.C. (around 280).
At the time of Christ, Greek was a very widely spoken language in the Roman Empire. It was the national language, more so than Latin. People of all nationalities spoke Greek. The fact that Greek had become such a universal language was a great help in the spread of the gospel of Christ. The Apostles were able to teach from the Greek Septuagint Scriptures and to spread the word of God in a language which the people of all lands understood. They were also able to write their instructions to the churches in the language of the land. Thus, the Greek New Testament was born.
The Greek 0ld Testament transliterates the Hebrew name YSW` by rendering it Iesou. The same name appears in the Greek New Testament.
In the study of Greek words which have been transliterated from the Hebrew, it appears that words having a simple s sound are transliterated by a single s, while Hebrew words with the sh sound usually seem to be represented by a double sigma (ss), e.g. “Jesse” (Heb. Yishay, Gr. Iessai) and “Messiah” (Heb. Mashiyach, Gr. Messias). The Greek language had no sh sound. Did they indicate the sh sound with the double s, like in English where mission is pronounced “mish-un”, and session is “sesh-un”? This principle seems to follow through, so if the Messiah’s name had been Yeshu, the Greek transliteration should have been Iessou, in keeping with the cited Hebrew to Greek transliterations. Since the Greek is Iesou we have no reason to doubt that it accurately represents the Hebrew YSW` and that the name is correctly pronounced Yesu [yay-soo].
The Latin language is another witness to the Saviour’s name. When Christ was crucified a nameplate was affixed to the head of his cross. The plate was entitled in three languages, “Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin.” (John 19:19-20). No one thought there were three names on this plaque. There was one name written in three languages. The Hebrew YSW` and the Greek Iesou (with inflection: lesous) appeared in Latin form as IESVS (base: IESV= lesu). When those passing by read the inscription, whether they read the Hebrew, Greek, or Latin, the name they read was Yesu. No one thought there were three persons hanging on that cross, and no one thought there were three names on the inscription plate. The Greek and Latin are two testimonies of the true pronunciation of the Hebrew or Aramaic YSW`.
Practically every available reference tells us that Jesus is the Latin form of the Greek Iesou(s) and Hebrew YSW`. A glance into any Latin grammar or dictionary will show without a doubt that Jesus is pronounced Yay-sooce. By correctly dropping the inflection, when transcribing into English, you will see that the name is Yesu. The traditional English pronunciation of Jesus (Gee-zus) is really a mispronunciation of the Latin transcription. It is this J-E-S-U-S spelling which has caused so much confusion in pronunciation from one language to another.
A reference book has been published, entitled, World Christian Encyclopedia, which is “a huge volume on the memberships of 20,800 distinct Christian denominations from 1900 to 1980, with projections to the year 2000. It includes an index of 500 names for God in 900 languages.” (Green Bay Press-Gazette, July 24, 1982, p. A-4). If God has one name (Zechariah 14:9) should man give him 500? Would God have chosen for himself a name that could not be pronounced by all cultures of the world?
At the time in which the Messiah first appeared there was a national language in which the gospel could be easily communicated. God could have chosen any language he pleased for a national language. He chose for it to be Greek. He would not have chosen Greek if his saving name could not be communicated in that language?
There are certain groups who erringly say that we cannot trust the Greek Scriptures for the pronunciation of Messiah’s name. They say that the Greek New Testament is uninspired and that the real inspired New Testament was written in Hebrew. Yet there are over 4,600 Greek manuscripts in existence (Aid to Bible Understanding, p. 1108) and not even a portion of one authentic original Hebrew New Testament.
The Old Testament was originally written in Hebrew and Aramaic (a Hebrew dialect) and had to be translated into Greek so people could read it. Would it make any sense to write the New Testament in Hebrew, which would then have to be translated into Greek?
Would the Creator leave us without an accurate record of his name? Greek is our basic key to the name as it appears in the unpointed Hebrew. We are not concerned with a sacred language but rather the pronunciation of a sacred name. God chose the Greek language as the key to pronouncing his name, let us not be guilty of taking away that key as the Modern English translators have done. They are in the same category with the scribes of old: they have taken away the key of knowledge. Our forefathers knew the true name because “In early modern English Bibles lesu [Yesu] was the distinctive form for the oblique cases [Latin obliquis; ob, before, and liquis, away, turned, or twisted.]; it was frequent in the earlier forms of the Book of Common Prayer.” (The Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology, p. 494).
The true pronunciation of Yesu is retained in the African and Oriental Languages even today. Although English-speaking missionaries are perpetually attempting to change it.
The German language retains a pronunciation close to the original. In German the name is spelled Jesu and pronounced Yay-zoo. Whenever you are reading and you come across the name Jesus, remember, the English language has developed from the inflectional to the analytical type of speech. The final s is inflectional and should be dropped, leaving Jesu, which should be pronounced with a near German pronunciation, but giving a sharp s rather than a z sound, so that when you are seeing Jesus you are reading and pronouncing “Yesu” (Yay-soo).
The Sacred Name proponents claim that the Messiah’s name is Yahshua and this is why they deny the authenticity of the Greek Scriptures, stating that the saviour's name is Hebrew. Yet, even the Hebrew translations of the Greek New Testament present the name as Yesu (YSW`) and not Yahshua (photostatic reproduction appears in the forward of The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures, p. 21).
Yesu Christ said, “Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” (John 5:39). The Apostle Paul said to Timothy, "from a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Iesou [Yesu]." (2 Timothy 3:15). The Scriptures of which our Lord and Paul were speaking are the Old Testament Scriptures. The New Testament did not yet exist. The Old Testament Scriptures do not testify of Jesus but of Yesu, and are able to give you knowledge unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Yesu.
In the Old Testament the name of Yesu appears prophetically of the Messiah, approximately one hundred times throughout the Scripture. It has been translated variously as salvation, help and deliverance, although these expressions are also employed to translate other Hebrew words.
“Where do we find the NAME?” you ask. Here it Is, beloved: Every time the Old Testament uses the word salvation (especially with the Hebrew suffix meaning “my,” “thy,” or “his”), with very few exceptions (when the word is impersonal), it is the very same word, Yeshua [Yesu], used in Matthew 1:21. (Yeshua in the Tenach, Arthur E. Glass).
The Oxford English Dictionay, under the etymology of the name “Jesus”, draws the connection between the Hebrew noun YSW`H (salvation, deliverance) and the proper name YSW` (vol. 5: p. 573). Thayer’s Greek English Lexicon of the New Testament presents the same conclusion, stating that “writers gave the name the force of YSW`H, see Mt. 1:21, of. Sir. 46:1 [ apocraphal book Sirach= Ecclesiasticus, not Ecclesiastes] ...” (p. 300). This view was also taken by Dr. Edward Robinson who stated that Joshua’s original name was HWS` (Numbers 13:8,16), changed by Moses to YHWS` (Numbers 13:16; 1 Chronicles 7:27): “After the exile he is called YSW` ... Neh. 8:17; whence the Greek Iesou[s]. This last form YSW` differs little from the abstract YSW`H, help, deliverance, salvation, and seems to have been so understood ... Matt. 1:22 ...“ (Greek and English Lexicon of the New Testament, p. 348). In Matthew 1:21-23, Yesu = Yahweh-Salvation (Saviour), viz., God with us.
The Hebrew word for salvation, YSW`H (Yeshuah), is synomymous with the name YSW`. At one time it may even have been pronounced the same. The point at issue, the Messiah's name is seen in the Hebrew spelling of salvation. In any event, the person who is learned in the Hebrew Scriptures, such as the Pharisees were, would immediately (if not prejudice) draw the comparison between YSW` and YSW`H, and consequently recognize the latter as a reference to the Messiah. So for practical purposes we will translate it by “Yesu” in the Old Testament passages where it appears.
In Psalm 91:14-16 God says: “Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high [= catching up] BECAUSE HE HATH KNOWN MY NAME. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble: I will deliver him, and honour [glorify] him. With long life [length of days: i.e. eternal life] will I satisfy him, and shew him my Salvation [Yesu].” In verse 16, “satisfy” is from the Hebrew sb` (saba), from sheba literally seven, i.e. “the cardinal number seven (as the sacred full one).” (A Concise Dictionary of the Words in the Hebrew Bible, Strong’s). The meaning of satisfy comes from the fullness or completeness of seven. To be sevened, is to be made complete, or perfectly fulfilled. God’s number is seven. God created man in the sixth day and rested on the Seventh. In the millenniums of time we are rapidly approaching the Day of Yahweh: a millennial day, a 1,000 year Sabbath. To be sevened means to be part of YaHWeH’s kingdom in that day. He will “seven” you, i.e. include you in his great Sabbath kingdom.
The Hebrew sentence is made up of clusters of words and letters. Each cluster consists of a stem with prefixes and suffixes. In the last half of verse 16, we find these two clusters: W’R’HW and BYSW`TY. Do you recognize the Saviour’s name in the second cluster? If we drop the inflections we will view the pure stem. It is YSW`T, in its construct state. The absolute state is YSW`H. In English translation the clusters would read and-i-see-him with-yesu-my. The word which was originally translated "shew" (R’H), should be translated "see", as was done in Job 10:15. It means to literally see; thus, "and I see him with my Yesu". In this and other passages the translators evidently failed to recognize YSW`H as a name, which could have been transliterated as Yesu, and thus rendered it as an event (salvation) rather than a person. Isaiah 62:11 speaks of Salvation, YS`(variant of Yesu) as a person, using the terms His, and Him.
The proper rendering of Psalm 91:16 is, “With length of days [eternal life] I will seven him, and I [will] see him with [or by means of] my Yesu." YHWH (Yahweh) will be looking at us through the eyes of Yesu. How is this possible? In Isaiah 43:10-11, Yahweh says: “before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am YHWH; and beside me there is no saviour [Ys`: variant of Yesu].” Yet in Luke 2:11 an angel makes the announcement, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord [Messiah YHWH]." He was not another saviour, but YHWH in Christ. Yesu is YHWH the Saviour. Yesu said, "If you believe not that I am ... [same words YHWH spoke to Moses “I AM” - Exodus 3:14] ...You shall die in your sins.” (John 8:24). Christ was declaring himself to be YHWH the Saviour. He said, “I and my Father are one.” (John 10:30); And, “he that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” (John 14:9). If Yesu’s hand is the Father’s hand (John 10:28-30) then Yesu’s eyes are the Father’s eyes, and YaHWeH will see us with or through his Yesu in the day of the seven (the millennium).
Behold, God my Yesu; I will trust, and not be afraid: for Yah, Yahweh is my strength and my song; he also is become my Yesu.
Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of Yesu. [cf. John 4:14; 7:37-39].
And in that day shall ye say, Praise Yahweh, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted. (Isaiah 12:2-4).
Plead my cause, 0 Yahweh, with them that strive with me ... and stand up for mine help ... say unto my soul, I am thy Yesu (Psalm 35:1-3).
Yahweh is my strength and my song, and is become my Yesu....
I will praise thee: for thou hast heard me, and art become my Yesu.
The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.
This is Yahweh’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. (Psalm 118:14,21-23; cf. 1 Peter 2:1-10).
Sing unto Yahweh a new song; Sing unto Yahweh, all the earth.
sing unto Yahweh, bless his name; Proclaim his Yesu from day to day.
Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples. (Psalm 96:1-3, Masoretic Text).
This marvelous work is that YHWH is become Yesu the chief corner stone which the builders rejected. Those high and mighty Pharisees rejected the name of Yahweh by forbidding its use, just as the religions of today have rejected the name of Yesu, and thus cast aside the capstone that they might build their own religious structure. But the Scripture says, “Except YHWH build the house, They labour in vain that build it." (Psalm 127:1).
Please read the following important Scripture verses containing the name Yesu (in the noun YSW`H). While reading, remember to read “Yesu" in the place of salvation, and "Yahweh” where the LORD appears in capital letters in the King James Version. Be sure to read: Genesis. 49:18; 1 Chronicles 16:23; Psalm 13:5-6; 14:7; 62:1-3; 69:29-30; 70:4-5; 78:22; 98:2-3; 116:13; 119:155,166; 149:4; Is. 25:9; 33:2,5-6; 49:6; 52:7,10; 62:1. Read also the following two verses which contain YS` (variant of Yesu): Is. 62:11 and Is. 59:16. If you don’t have a Bible, get one. It is important that you read these verses.
We will rejoice in thy Yesu, and in the name of our God we will set up banners: Yahweh fulfill all thy petitions.... we will remember the name of Yahweh our God (Psalm 20:5-7).
And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Yahweh, hast not forsaken them that seek thee. ...
I will rejoice with thy Yesu. The heathen are sunk down in the pit that they made: in the net which they hid is their own foot taken.
...the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. (Psalm 9:10,14-16).
They have rejected the name of God and invented a name which was pleasing to them, the work of their own hands. In essence they have set up an idol. To change the name of God is probably the greatest sin (mistake) which mankind has ever committed. To knowingly call God by a made up name is a horrendous blasphemy.
Like other Hebrew proper names, the name of God is more than a mere distinguishing title. It represents the Hebrew conception of the divine nature or character and of the relation of God to His people. It represents the Deity as He is known to His worshippers, and stands for all those attributes which He bears in relation to them and which are revealed to them through His activity on their behalf....
It can readily be understood, therefore, how the divine name is often spoken of as equivalent to the divine presence or power or glory.... The devout Israelite will not take the name of a false god upon his lips (Ex. 23:13; Josh. 23:3; Ps. 16:4). To make mention of YHWH’s name is to assert confidence in His strength and present and efficient aid.... (The Jewish Encyclopedia, vol. 9: p. 160).
For the Semitic peoples, an unnamed thing was a nonexistent thing; names were considered to identify and describe the very being and function of their bearers ... A man’s name represented him wholly ... To know a name was to be able to exercise influence over the owner by using it. To change a man’s name was to show one’s power and authority over him ... To cut off a man’s name was the same as destroying him...
In religious matters, knowledge of the name of a god was considered the most effective way of establishing contact with him. (New Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 10: p. 200).
If changing a man’s name shows one’s power and authority over him, what are we doing when we change God’s name? When cutting off a man’s name is the same as destroying him, do we dare cut off God’s name? If knowledge of the name of a god puts one in contact with him, what happens if it is the wrong name?
This is the most serious problem that we may ever encounter, for if we are calling on a counterfeit name, who knows what god or what spirit will answer?
(The preceding excerpts are revised and updated from SIX NIGHTS TILL MORNING: THE REAL STAR WARS, Chapter 19, WHO CHANGED GOD’S NAME? Selected pages 545-568, Copyright 1983, 1984, 2002, by Norbert H. Kox)