Name Above Every Name

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“Which also we speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, communicating spiritual [things] by spiritual [means]” (1 Corinthians 2:13).

“But holy men of God spake under the power of [the] Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21).

It is very clear from the above verses that every word in the Holy Bible in the original text is dictated by the Spirit of God. He chose every word and every letter for the writers to pen down. We all believe in the literal and verbal inspiration of the Scripture.

It is also clear that the Name of our blessed Lord which the Spirit of God dictated to the writers of the New Testament is Iesous. The Spirit of God did not dictate it in Hebrew, but in Greek. Are we in a better position than the Spirit of God to determine that the Hebrew name of our Lord Jesus is better?

Generally, in the New Testament the Spirit of God had the writers use Greek words.

However, there are a few places in the New Testament where the Spirit of God dictated the words in the original language in which the words are uttered. In those places, the words are uttered and accompanied by a translation usually preceded by the expression, “which is interpreted,” or “which is to say,” or “which means.” Or “that is” Here are some examples with the emphasis added:

  • “But about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46; see also Mark 15:34).
  • “And having laid hold of the hand of the child, he says to her, Talitha koumi, which is, interpreted, Damsel, I say to thee, Arise” (Mark 5:41).
  • And looking up to heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened (Mark 7:34)
  • “And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible to thee: take away this cup from me; but not what *I* will, but what *thou* [wilt]” (Mark 14:36).
  • Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou? (John 1:38)
  • Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. ( John 20:16)

See also 1 Corinthians 16:22.

The Spirit of God did not use that approach with the name Iesous in any place in the New Testament. We do not read, for example in Philippians 2:10 “That at the name of Yeshua which is, interpreted, Iesous every knee shall bow.”.

Similarly, in every place in the New Testament that is inspired and dictated by the Holy Spirit, where the Greek language was used, His Blessed Name is written in Greek and not in Hebrew.

“Well, then,” some may ask, “should we use the Greek name then to address the Lord Jesus?”

The Lord in His grace and mercy has permitted the translation of His Word into almost every language spoken in the world so mankind could understand and be saved. The Lord did not demand that everyone must learn Hebrew and Greek so they could understand the revealed Word of God or so they could address Him in those languages only. We find in Acts 2:6–8 the clear evidence of God’s desire that each one would hear His word in their own native language.

Please do not misunderstand me. It is wonderful to study the original languages, not to show off or claim spiritual superiority, but to see the beauty of the Word of God and the deep meaning that sometimes the translations might not be able to convey perfectly.

It is clear from Acts 2 that when the apostles miraculously spoke the marvelous things of God in the very languages that people could understand, when they mentioned the Name of our Lord Jesus in their preaching, they did not switch to Hebrew and pronounce His Name in Hebrew and then switch back and continue speaking Persian, Arabic, or the other languages as the Spirit gave them utterance (vv. 9–11). In addition, the Spirit of God did not use His Hebrew Name in writing the New Testament (in Greek) or when He recorded to us what holy men of God said in their prayers, teaching, and preaching.

So, when some insist, we should only use the name of our Lord Jesus in the Hebrew language when we address Him, they are adding a burden that the Spirit of God warned us against (Acts 15:10). Let us be thankful for the grace of God, that we may call upon His Son our Lord Jesus Christ in our own tongue and with all our hearts affections.

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