Should we call His name Jesus? Or Yahweh? Or Yeshua?

Yahweh Yeshua Jesus

My friend (age 70) who is Presbyterian by family line consistently brings up the fact that it makes him so angry when people call Yahweh “Jesus” because he says that the name Jesus was NEVER used in the Old Testament and that through generations of mankind “man” named Jesus.  Therefore we are wrong to use the name Jesus because it was NOT what God called him.  He said properly we need to call him Yahweh or the other Hebrew names but not Jesus. It makes him very angry.  I tried to show him the New Testament Scripture where the angels called Him Jesus, but my friend does not believe this is true because the Bible has been rewritten so many times that the original Bible did not use the name Jesus.   How would you answer this kind of  person?

by Shari Abbott, Reasons for Hope

Let’s set aside his skepticism about the reliability of the New Testament.  That’s another question for another day.

Your friend is not correct when he says the name Jesus was not used in the Old Testament.  But before I address that, let’s begin with a foundation of understanding that the Bible is progressive revelation.

We know that Yahweh (YHVH) is the covenant name of God that was revealed to Moses on Mt. Sinai prior to the exodus of God’s people from Egypt.  God appeared to Moses in a burning bush and Moses asked,

“Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?”  (Exodus 3:13)

And God answered, “I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.” (Exodus 3:14)

Old Testament vs New Testament 

Today, with full revelation that we have in the Holy Scriptures, we understand the Great I AM to be a Triune God — one God in three distinct Persons:  God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.  All three Persons are co-eternal, co-equal and co-existent in the one Godhead. So when God revealed His name of Yahweh to Moses, it was a revelation of the name of our Triune God.  However, an Old Testament Israelite would not have understood God to be a Triune God.  In fact the Shema proclaims “God is one” (Deu 6:4  Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD), and that is precisely what God revealed to them, and wanted them to understand, at that time.

Next, remember that the Israelites were being prepared by God to recognize the coming Messiah, the “seed” promised in the garden Who would rescue fallen man (Genesis 3:15).  From the beginning in the garden, and continuing throughout the Old Testament, we read of God revealing more and more of His purpose and plan of redemption.

When Jesus was born, the prophecy of a coming Messiah was fulfilled and when He began His earthly ministry He further revealed Himself as that Messiah…and He also clearly claimed to be God.

So regarding your friend’s reasoning for not calling the Son by the name of Jesus, the Scripture clearly proclaims Jesus to be His name.

Matthew 1:21  And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

To call the second person of the Trinity by the name of Yahweh rather than Jesus, fails to acknowledge and proclaim His incarnation and atoning work.


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