What’s in a name?

nameIn Hebrew thought, a name is the the breath and very essence of a person. It describes his character. I have found this to be true in my own family, as I watch each of my children grow into their names and prove them true.

In the Bible, I see the same things happening. Knowing the meaning of the names in the Bible brings so much light to each story. Did you know, for example, that Jonah means dove? Jonah was supposed to bring peace (definitely the picture a dove brings to my mind) to an entire city. Yet we see Jonah “flying” in the wrong direction and requiring “redirection.” He does ultimately bring peace to all of Nineveh by faithfully preaching his message. He also becomes a sign of the Messiah, the ultimate restorer of shalom. He lived up to his name.

Our Messiah, Yahshua, carries the name of our Creator, YHVH, and defines Himself as the Savior, the Promised One, by His name. Yet, a tragic thing has happened. His name has been hidden from us for 2000 years, and in its place we have been taught a meaningless name.

Jesus means nothing in Hebrew; the closest word is sus, which means horse. Jesus means nothing in Greek; the closest word is zues, nope, that’s a pagan god. Jesus means nothing in English, except misleading us into thinking we serve a Spanish Savior. The name Jesus does not communicate to us the breath and essence of our Savior.

Unfortunately, the Savior that we have been presented with for 2000 years supposedly freed us from the Torah. This is the Savior that I was taught. This is the Jesus that I was taught. This Savior nailed the law to the cross so I didn’t have to keep it.

This is not the Savior of the Scriptures. The Savior foretold in the Tanakh would reinforce Torah and keep it perfectly. He would demonstrate the spirit of Torah, so we could follow His example. If He had done away with Torah, he would be a false prophet.

Yahshua lived up to His name. He represented YHVH to His people. He kept Torah perfectly. He provided salvation for Israel.

The Jesus that is being taught in churches did not uphold Torah. He declared Torah finished.

Knowing this, I do not teach my children to use the name Jesus. We serve Messiah Yahshua. We obey Torah. I do not want my children using a meaningless name that is connected with the doing away of Torah. To do so would be like telling my husband to call me Della, the name of one of his old girlfriends. It is a name he is familiar with, after all. Of course this makes no sense. I am his wife and he is to be faithful to me, which includes calling me by my rightful name, Heidi.

We should teach our children to do the same. We are faithful to YHVH and to Torah. We serve Messiah Yahshua and obey Torah as He did. We do not call Him by a meaningless name that is connected with the teaching that Torah is obsolete.

We do not try to reach Muslims by calling YHVH by the name allah. Nor should we try to reach Christians by calling Yahshua by the name of Jesus.

Let’s restore the meaning, the breath, the essence of our Savior’s name, and call Him by His rightful name, Yahshua.

May the name of Yahshua be praised!

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4 Responses

  1. I loved this post. I hear people say all the time there is power in the name, and when I ask them what name they say “Jesus”. Then when I continue to ask them if they know about his real name the Hebrew name and they say oh that doesn’t matter, God knows my heart. He knows who I am talking about.

    As for our family we use his real name and teach our kids the same.

  2. Thank you for this post Heidi. Easy to understand and straight to the point in a loving manner. It’s great! Juanita, I understand what you are saying. I have a friend who is a christina. She has studied Hebrew Roots/Messianic (whatever people call it) and says the same thing. It doesn’t matter what I do or say because “Jesus” knows my heart and how much I love him. There are many people out there who think it’s about their good intentions. You can have good intentions and never follow through with them. Then what?? Thank you again Heidi. This is one post I will hold on to.

  3. There are some other neat things with the “dove” picture!

    For instance, in the offerings, the dove and pigeon were left whole. Being left whole, not having the wings severed, symbolically it is like His people Israel who are still able to “fly home” and be wholly devoted to Him (like an offering). Although we have strayed from the path (for Israel “strives with El”), birds know their way home (we are able to be like doves, returning to Him). For example, in Jeremiah 8:7, we are compared with birds (doves being one of them):
    “Even the stork in the sky knows her appointed seasons, and the DOVE, the swift and the thrush observe the time of their migration. But MY PEOPLE do not know the requirements of the Lord”

    It won’t stay like this though! Again, we are compared with doves, but in a positive way:

    “Who are these who fly like a cloud
    And like the DOVES to their lattices?
    Surely the coastlands will wait for Me;
    And the ships of Tarshish will come first,
    To bring your sons from afar,
    Their silver and their gold with them,
    For the name of the Lord your God,
    And for the Holy One of Israel because He has glorified you” (Isaiah 60:8-9)

    Also, “Even when their survivors escape, they will be on the mountains LIKE DOVES of the valleys, all of them mourning, each over his own iniquity” (Eze 7:16). (For we repent and turn to Him–our wings haven’t been severed, and we want peace)

    Even more about us returning home like doves:
    They will walk after the Lord,
    He will roar like a lion;
    Indeed He will roar
    And His sons will come trembling from the west.
    They will come trembling like birds from Egypt
    And like DOVES from the land of Assyria;
    And I will settle them in their houses, declares the Lord” (Hos. 11:10-11). Praise YHWH for His mercy!

    And, of course, as the bride we are like a dove:
    “Open to me, my sister, my darling,
    my dove, my perfect one” (Song of Solomon 5:2).

    May we be innocent as doves, and return to Him–like the picture we have of Jonah sent to bring peace, and the people were sorry and changed their lives, and like the picture we have of Yeshua (as you pointed out, Jonah is an example of Him), who preached a return to YHWH.

    I love reading your insights, and your words on Yeshua’s name ring so true for many of us. Thank you!!!


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