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JESUS AND JEHOVAH---AN UNDENIABLE LINK
Brad T. Bromling
Thanks to some overly-pious Jews, the pronunciation of God's name
has been lost forever. Out of fear that they might accidently violate
the third commandment (i.e., "You shall not take the name of Jehovah
your God in vain..."---Exodus 20:7; Leviticus 24:16), ancient Jews
refused to pronounce the word which represented God's name (`YHWH').
Instead, they would say the word `adonai' (i.e., "my Lord").
This move on the part of the Jews was a mistake for at least two
reasons. First, they did not succeed in protecting themselves from
violating the third commandment. The commandment is broken whenever one
calls on the Lord to witness an oath which he does not keep (Leviticus
19:12; James 5:12). So, it did not matter that the Jews refrained from
speaking the actual name of God; the fact that they often showed little
regard for His authority, and swore falsely by Him, was condemning
enough. Second, by avoiding the name of God (and providing a substitute
for it) they violated---in essence---the divine charge: "You shall not
add to the word which I command you, nor take anything from it..."
God is "Jehovah"
Vowels were added to the Hebrew language about A.D. 1000. Since by
that time the pronunciation of `YHWH' was lost, the Jews were unable to
add the correct vowels; hence it remained unutterable. To remedy this,
the vowels from `adonai' were inserted into `YHWH', producing the word
`Yahweh'. This has been Anglicized to read Jehovah. Most English
versions of the Bible represent `YHWH' with the word LORD, while a few
employ "Jehovah." Throughout the Old Testament, the name is applied to
the monotheistic God. When Moses demanded that Pharaoh release the
Israelites, he did so in the name of "Jehovah." To this Pharaoh
responded "Who is Jehovah, that I should hearken unto his voice...?"
(Exodus 5:1-2). A psalmist once wrote: "That they may know that thou
alone, whose name alone is Jehovah, art the Most High over all the
earth" (Psalm 83:18). The name occurs in this way thousands of times in
the Hebrew Scriptures. Clearly, God wanted men to know that His "name
is Jehovah" (Jeremiah 16:21).
"Jehovah" Applied to the Father
In the majority of its occurrences, "Jehovah" is applied to the
first person of the Godhead (i.e., the "Father"---Matthew 28:19). For
example: "Jehovah said to my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I
make thine enemies thy footstool" (Psalm 110:1). Jesus explained that
this verse pictures the Father addressing His Christ (Luke 20:42). In
speaking of Jesus, Peter reminded his audience: "For Moses truly said
to the fathers, The Lord (Jehovah) your God will raise up for you a
Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear in all things,
whatever He says to you" (Acts 3:22). Hence, this passage pictures the
Father (Jehovah) foretelling the coming of His Prophet (the Son).
"Jehovah" Applied to the Son
Although these applications of "Jehovah" are common in the
Scriptures, they do not exhaust its usage; the name is also
occasionally applied to Jesus. First, notice the prophecy concerning
the mission of John: "The voice of one that crieth in the wilderness:
Prepare ye the way of Jehovah; make level in the desert a highway for
our God (Isaiah 40:3; see Matthew 3:3; Mark 1:3; Luke 3:4;). John was
sent to prepare the way of Jesus Christ---he made that abundantly clear
(John 1:29-34). But, Isaiah said that John would prepare the way of
Jehovah. Plainly, Jesus and Jehovah are one and the same in these
Second, the book of Hebrews quotes the Father as addressing His Son
in this way: "You, Lord [Jehovah---Psalm 102:25], in the beginning laid
the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your
hands" (Hebrews 1:10). Not only does this verse apply the word
"Jehovah" to Jesus, but it attributes the quotation to the mouth of
God. Again, Jesus and Jehovah are synonymous in these verses.
Third, while describing his vision of Jesus, John exclaimed: "And
when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand
on me, saying to me, Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last"
(Revelation 1:17). The phrase "First and Last" is a clear reference to
Isaiah 44:6 which says: "Thus saith Jehovah, the King of Israel, and
his Redeemer, Jehovah of hosts; I am the first and I am the last; and
besides me there is no God." By saying that He is "First and Last"
Jesus claimed to possess the nature of Jehovah. The Lord's statement
was either true or blasphemous! Who among His friends will charge the
Christ with blasphemy?
Although the Bible has much more to say on this topic, these three
examples clearly identify Jesus with Jehovah. It is only when one
recognizes this truth, that he can truly appreciate the Savior's nature
and the extreme cost of His sacrifice.
(C) 1991 Apologetics Press, Inc All Rights Reserved
This file may be copied, but is distributed on the understanding that
it will not be modified or edited, and will not be used for commercial
purposes. Further, it may not be copied without due reference to the
original publication source, author, year, and name and address of the
230 Landmark Drive
Montgomery, AL 36117-2752
The Christian Connection of Palm Beach
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