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Archive for the ‘Language’ Category

Long before the birth of the Christ, ancient civilizations were aware of the prophecy that God would send his son into this world. Though commonly known, it was yet little understood. What is his name, and what is his son’s name, if you can tell? This question, asked by the writer of Proverbs 30:4, is very important. The preceding lines of the verse establish that the writer is speaking of the name of God, and the name of the Son of God.

Psalm 2 is one such prophecy. It predicts the rage of this world against “his Anointed.” Those words are translated as “his Christ,” in the Greek Septuagint, a translation of the Old Testament from the pre-Christian era. Psalm 2:7 calls this Christ, the “Son.” According to John 1:1-3 and 1:14, Christ is the “Word” who pre-existed as God, before his advent into this world. If the prophecies had been made any plainer, there would probably have been even more false claims to Christ’s position than have occurred.

“Why do you ask my name, since it is secret?” This question was asked by the “angel of the Lord,” who appeared to Manoah and his wife predicting the birth of Samson (from “Shemeshone,” meaning “sunshine” in Hebrew). “Shemesh,” means “sun,” and “shamash,” means “servant”). It’s possible that even in those ancient days, common usage of “The Name” was being avoided. The Hebrew word translated as “Secret” in Judges 13:18 of the King James Version, is translated as “Wonderful,” in Isaiah 9:6, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, …and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.”

The secret name is “YHWH.” Without even knowing its story, our world has been profoundly affected by “The Name.” It is the personal name of God from the Hebrew language, and it is linked linguistically with the Greek word for “son.” Though it appears many times in the Jewish scriptures, those who follow the orthodox Jewish religion do not read the name, nor any of its transliterated forms aloud. Even when reading silently, they are trained to substitute other titles for God, terms such as “Adonai” (Lord), or “HaShem” (The Name).

In deference to this tradition, most translators have substituted words that mean “Lord” as the Bible has been interpreted into other languages. Scriptures that originally used “YHWH” in various combinations with “Adonai,” or “Elohim,” the Hebrew word for “God,” were rendered “Lord God” in older translations such as the King James version. It has now become “Sovereign Lord,” in modern Bibles such as the New International version.

The result of deeming “YHWH” to be “the unutterable name,” is that many implications of related families of words and names have become unknown, and the name YHWH is found in very few translations (Ref. “Yud-Heh-Vav-Heh, the Secret of YHWH,” and other posts in my November 2011 archives, plus all posts in my April 2015 through August 2015 archives. See also my page, “the Messiah,” accessible from the “Home” page of my blog). Note that the Hebrew letter “Vav,” also serves as a “U,” and a “W.”

Who is Jeus Kurios? That is my question. “Google” search suggests Jesus Kurios. That is an excellent suggestion. “Kurios,” the Greek word for “Lord,” is of the same word family as “Christ” (ref. “Crystal, Chrysalis, and Christ,” in my July 2010 archives). “Jeus,” “Ieus,” or “Ias,” as in “Elias” (Helias), the Greek form of “Elijah,” are transliterated forms of “YHWH.” The name “Jeus,” would be commonplace if existing conventions in transliteration had been followed consistently throughout the Bible. “Yah,” or “ia,” is a common shortened form.

I have heard that some ancient church writings represent “YHWH” as “Iaous.” “Iesous,” is the Greek form of the name Jesus. The Hebrew form of “Jesus” is derived from YHWH, and the Greek follows in the same tradition. The actual origin of the term “Jews,” was probably “Jeus,” being derived from the name of God, rather than the Old Testament name of “Judah.” This would lend new meaning to 2nd Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, called by my name, will humble themselves and pray….”

There is a lot of “debate” over incorrect transliterations, but these necessary patterns and procedures have been in use since ancient days. Some of the conventions have existed for thousands of years, and are probably a direct result of the confusion of languages at the tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9).

In a Greek transliteration of a name such as “YHWH,” “Y,” becomes an “I,” and “H,” becomes an “E,” except at the end of masculine names and such, where an “S,” is used instead. “W,” (or “V”) becomes a “U,” an “OU,” or just an “O.” “J,” is a common transliteration for “I,” in the Old English language. Many spelling variations are common, especially in the use of vowels, as could be expected. Also, many ancient spellings were invented to differentiate between words with similar sounds and meanings. The same thing happens today.

To add to the general confusion of transliteration, although the Greek language has no proper “y,” an upper case “u” (upsilon), is represented by a symbol with a similar shape to an uppercase “Y,” and a lower case “g” (gamma), is shaped like a lower case “y.”

Many Greek words related to brightness contain prefixes or suffixes of “os,” “as,” “oi,” or “ia,”as can be seen in the words for, “bright,” “morning,” and “star,” in Revelation 22:16. “Aster,” is the Greek word meaning “star” in that verse. In Hebrew, one of several corresponding syllabics is “esh” (ref. “Shemeshone” above), “ash,” or “ah.” The most commonly used Hebrew form of the name “Jesus,” is “Yeshua.” The Greek word for “sun” (or “ray”), is “helios,” and the biblical symbolism surrounding the “sun,” and the “son,” is evident in that language. The Greek word for “son,” is “uios” (pronounced “huios”).

The meaning of the name Elias (Helias), the Greek form of “Elijah,” is “God of Jehovah” (God YHWH). “El,” means “God,” and remember that “Ias,” is a form of “YHWH.” Now, is it only coincidence that the name, “Helias,” and the word for the sun, “helios,” are so similar? There are far too many “coincidences” of this sort for that to be true. It makes more sense to think that symbolism, designed into human language, foretells the story of God’s “Son,” and coincides with Old Testament prophecies later fulfilled by Jesus. Some things in life become “incidental” due to a pre-existing foundation. By the way, in Zechariah 6:11,12 of the Septuagint, the name “Joshua, the son of Josedech,” is translated as “Jesus,” and the name “Josedech” means “righteousness.” That is another prophecy concerning “the name.”

“Helos,” a Greek word for “spikes,” or “nails,” is from the same word family as “Helios.” The connection is that a spike has a form similar to a ray of the sun. “Helos” is translated as “nails,” in the words of “doubting Thomas” in John 20:25. Stauros is the Greek word for “cross.”

I realize that this writing may seem to spin the mind in circles, but I am certain these things are more than linguistic “coincidences.” Our planet orbits the “sun,” and our lives should center around the “Son.” It may be difficult to admit, but I think that all the evidence indicates that Iesous (Jesus) is indeed “Yah’s son.” The words, “Yah’s son,” could be translated and transliterated, and represented by the Greek spelling “Iasuios.” Perhaps it should be. When I see the name “Ies,” “Ias” (Yah), and the word “Uios” (Son), they certainly appear connected. These Greek words seem to be as old as the language itself. If so, then it is direct evidence supporting the biblical account of the tower of Babel.

Much history and symbolism from the Bible record became food for imagination in the ancient Pagan mind, and altered forms of God’s name were associated with idols and forces of nature. Pagans today claim to have originated all the celebrations in nature, but God created the people who became pagans, as well as all of nature. We can’t blame God for our twists on everything.

Jesus is Theos (the Greek word for God) and TheEos (the dawn, or the east), the Easter (ref. “Dawn of the Rising Son,” in my April 2011 archives). Jesus is the bright and morning “astar.” How can anyone think that Easter isn’t about Jesus? His story was written in the formation of human language, and in the cosmos above.

The “secret name” identifies Jesus Christ as the Messiah, the Suffering Servant, Malachi’s, “Sun of Righteousness,” Zechariah’s, “Jesus the son of righteousness,” the Son of God and man, predicted in the Old Testament. May the helos of helios in the hands of Iesous, pierce the grey sky of Earth’s morning, and bid you “Hello,” from YHWH Theos.

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We don’t know for certain when Jesus was born, but Christmas is the time of year when we celebrate his birth. It’s good to have something to look forward to in winter, and a wonderful time for the birth of hope.

If we could convert God from spirit into matter, what we would then have is Jesus. We couldn’t do that of course, but God did. That is what Jesus is. Born into this world as a baby human being, that is who Jesus is; Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:23), “God with us.”

I don’t think there’s a person on God’s earth who can get all these things in proper balance. I think that sometimes we don’t see the real Jesus, can’t see the real God, because we are too preoccupied with “omnipotence,” and “sovereignty.” We want to see God rule the Earth, but we seem to want God to take shortcuts. God wants human beings to listen to reason, and to learn the truth. He wants to persuade people, not force them. Jesus once rebuked his disciples for wanting to “command fire to come down from heaven,” to destroy someone (Luke 9:53-56). He told them that he had not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.

We should study his life on earth microscopically, and not attempt to set him out again beyond the reach of man, to search for him with telescopes. He came to earth as the Christ, and we need to look at him as the man, because Jesus is the full expression of God (Hebrews 1:3). The world can never see the heart of God otherwise.

Many times the church, attempting to show him in his infinite greatness and power, may make him look small to the world instead. The Bible says the weakness of God is stronger than men (1st Corinthians 1:25), and that he was made perfect through his suffering (Hebrews 2:10). In becoming a man, he touched the heart of man, though it crucified him to do so. Such a demonstration of sacrificial love makes him greater to us than he could have been otherwise. Though he was perfect to begin with, he became even more so.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with celebrating the birth of Jesus. I heard all the anti-Christmas propaganda before I was twelve years old, and for a while, they had me believing that stuff, but all days belong to God. Man worships nature (Romans 1:23,25) but the one who gave us all of nature is yet greater than the gifts that he gave us. God’s greatest gift is the gift of himself in the form of Jesus (John 1:1,14, 3:16, 4:10).

Ancient pagans turned altered forms of God’s name into the names of idols (see note below), which they associated with forces and objects in nature. But God created all of nature, the seasons, and the changing of the earth’s relationship to the heavens throughout the year. Genesis 1:14 records God saying of the sun, moon and stars, “Let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years.” It is wrong to try to disconnect God from the winter solstice, or any other day of the year (Colossians 2:15-17, Romans 14:5).

There is endless evidence to support my statements. The coming of the Hebrew Messiah (Greek, “Christ”) was foretold in ancient history, and witnessed and affirmed by Pagan stories and secular records. The world anticipated his coming, and at least one group of wise men from the east was able to locate him shortly after his birth (Matthew 2:1-12).

I know that practically every sentence in the Bible is disputed by someone, but the story of the life of Jesus became world news at a time when many people would gladly have disproved it if they could. The recorded debate and argument about him from his era is evidence enough that Jesus lived and fulfilled Old Testament prophecies.

Christianity holds celebrations on days that other groups of people observe in other ways, but that doesn’t discredit God. There are only so many days in a year, and someone would claim them all if they could. There is symbolism found throughout the Bible likening the ministry of the Son of God to the sun, providing warmth and light to the earth. There is a prophetic statement in Malachi 4:2 foretelling the advent of the “Son” of God. In that verse, he is called the “Sun of Righteousness.”

To varying degrees, all the ancient world possessed some knowledge of God’s promise to send his Son. That explains the ancient legends and stories containing similarities to the biblical record. As wonderful as the sun can feel as it climbs in the sky, the sun has no feeling for us, but God loved the world so much that he gave his only begotten son (John 3:16). The winter’s Son, is the true winter sun. Glory (the rightful credit) to God in the highest, and on Earth peace, goodwill toward men (Luke 2:14, K.J.V.).

Note: Practically all yearly celebrations had their origins in the acknowledgement of God, and the names of many major “deities” of the most advanced civilizations began with the confusion of languages at Babel. Ancient attempts to transliterate “YHWH,” the Hebrew name for God, into other languages accounts for many early “names” for pagan “gods” (ref. All posts in my April 2015 through August 2015 archives, and also “Dawn of the Rising Son,” in my April 2011 archives). I pray and intend to follow this writing with another post giving more details.

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Much of the meaning is shrouded in mystery. Who has slain the Lamb? Who has murdered innocence? Man is wearing the bloody clothes, but in one way or another, all things have been twisted around to make it sound like God is to blame for everything. Theists get it turned around, and Atheists get it turned around, but God himself is the Lamb (Acts 2:22-24, Revelation 22:3, John 1:1-3, 1:14, & 14:6-10).

Many Atheists make use of the theistic teaching of “predestination” to turn people against God. Some of them have personally objected to the way I read the Script, telling me that I am misinterpreting the Bible. That is because it weakens their argument to consider that God is good, and that the Bible can be shown to make sense.

We can truly understand God only in the light of the Lamb (Revelation 21:23). There is nothing else in all the history of creation that reveals God in his true colors as does his suffering on the cross. It is the only way that he can reach us, touch us, change our hearts and minds (John 3:16, Genesis 3:21).

Man gets everything turned around when he eats of the tree of knowledge, makes his own moral judgements, and reinterprets all matters for himself (Genesis 3:5). It is this alienation of mankind from God, and the blame which man places upon him that slays the Lamb. I have read the atheist’s proclamation, “God is dead, we killed him,” but we are all just as guilty. Our rejection of him is the murder weapon. Some of us, having understood this are filled with regret. We become repentant, and are glad that he is back alive.

The English word “repand,” from the Latin word “repandus,” means bent backward. To feel sorrow and regret is considered a “secondary” meaning of the word “repent,” but being sorry is primary to the process of changing from our bent (or bias).

Contrary to what you may have heard preached, God took no pleasure in the suffering of Christ; it’s his own skin. That doctrine is an example of misinterpretation due to the multiple meanings that words have come to have. Because of multiple meanings, the correct interpretation of many Bible verses is not the first thing that comes to mind when it is read. That is one reason why it is so critical for us to trust God. It is similar to the need for us to trust one another in order for understanding to exist.

The literal meaning of the word translated as “pleased” in Isaiah 53:10, (It pleased the Lord to bruise him) is “to bend.” A secondary meaning is “incline.” “Pleased,” is a figurative meaning. There are other meanings but “pleased” is the most commonly used. The Septuagint, the ancient Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament, translates Isaiah 53:10 to indicate the Lord’s pleasure is not in the suffering and death, but in the great deliverance from it. “The Lord also is pleased to purge (to remove) him from his stroke.”

The same Hebrew word (in its original spelling) is translated as “purpose,” in Ecclesiastes 3:1, “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” God takes no pleasure in our pain, or death (Ezekiel 18:32). Death is an enemy (1st Corinthians 15:26). Multiple meanings of words are often used by the Lord’s enemy to cause misunderstanding and rejection of God.

The thing that pleases God is that some of our hearts are won by what he has endured, and that is a great comfort to him. Despite the suffering of this world, some of us no longer reject God, even if we don’t understand parts of the Bible. We can begin to see what our mistrust has done to God and our fellowman. Who has slain the Lamb? Man’s DNA is at the crime. Our DNA was in Adam, when he dressed himself in leaves and hid among the trees.

We still have that reaction to God. We need a long walk in the Light. It is God’s desire to walk with people (Genesis 3:8); to live in them, to find them where they are (Mark 2:15-17), and help them. He wants to be born in them, and we never know who will become his child. That is his great desire, his primary will, though he must allow us freedom even when our paths become painful.

People call this God’s “permissive” will, but it is not something that he desires. There we encounter more words with multiple meanings, but I don’t think we should think of that type of thing as “God’s will.” That is like saying that a student’s misbehavior is the teacher’s will when she steps out of the room, or that it is the will of the policeman for us to break the law when he isn’t around.

Sometimes, there seem to be no perfect words to use, for all the words have taken on unfortunate meanings. It isn’t completely right to say that God tolerates, or allows evil, or that he is permissive, assenting, or consenting. God’s momentary silence doesn’t mean that he condones our behavior. “Forbearing” is probably one of the best words to describe God.

He “endures” our world (2nd Peter 3:9), temporarily not fully enforcing that which is right (ref. The Lost Child of Freedom, in my August 2012 archives). The longer that God simply endures us, the harder we become. The Greek word “endurece(r)” is the origin of our word “endures.” It is translated as “hardens” in nearly all English versions of Romans 9:18. That is another verse often taken out of context and misunderstood.

God either endears us, or he endures us. We should all be endeared to God, but if he must only endure us, then there is good reason for it. Time will tell. Anyway, to the extent that God does not intervene, bad things may happen to anyone. That doesn’t mean that it is “God will.”

The paths that we choose in difficult circumstances are often not what we desire, but are influenced by other factors. It is the same way with God. Nevertheless, God is deeply involved in the intricate details of our lives, and our desires and prayers influence certain outcomes in ways that we can’t conceive. We should remain thankful.

In (or through) everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you (1st Thessalonians 5:18). The first word of that verse, “in,” is one of many words that could have been used. According to The New Strong’s Expanded Dictionary of Bible Words (for the KJV), the Greek word “en,” is translated as “by” (141 times), “with” (134 times), “among” (117 times), “at” (112 times), “on” (46 times), “through” (37 times), other miscellaneous words (321 times), and “in” (1874 times).

In spite of our circumstances, it is the desire of God for us to find things to be thankful for. I thank God that he is with us through all these things. Though man has slain the Lamb (Acts 2:22-24), I am thankful that he loved us enough to bend to save us. I thank God that we can still make sense of the Bible, in spite of (or sometimes, because of) the multiple meanings of words. I pray that we all have a happy Thanksgiving.

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A picture of a starving child is a picture of the greed, ignorance, and apathy of man. It has always been the policy of man to starve enemies into subjection, and to ignore the undesired. That is not what God wants (Matthew 5:43-45). It is not the will of God that has led to the suffering we see in the world today, but the policies of man. We are self-willed, and we sin.

Long ago, in the garden of Eden, the first human beings chose to know good and evil, and to make their own decisions about all things as if they were gods. Because of that decision, evil is loosed to walk the earth, and human beings create many “impossible” situations, where there are no pleasant answers. We live in the shadow and consequences of prior human choices, and others will walk in ours. It is a long walk in the darkness.

Jesus said that whatever is done to others is done to him (Matthew 25:42-45), so a picture of a starving child is also a picture of God. God starves with the starving. It was God who created the empathetic and sympathetic qualities that human beings sometimes exhibit. Those are characteristics of God. In fact, the only way to hurt God is to harm his creation. The enemy of all humanity knows that when he targets a person, he nails the Messiah. God has been the primary target all along.

As any caring person knows, love draws us into the pain of others (1st Corinthians 12:12,26, and 13:4-7). Love makes God vulnerable along with us. The cross of Jesus is the physical manifestation of that phenomena. The crucifixion of Jesus is the perfect expression of God’s entanglement in our world’s problems. Where is God when we are hurting? He is there on the cross.

The name Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:23) means “God with us.” “El,” in the ending of the name, is a Hebrew name for God. The Greek spelling is Emmanuel. In Greek, “eme” means “me.” The Greek word “manna” comes from the Hebrew “man,” the word for the bread (Exodus 16:14-18) that fell from the heavens during the exodus of the Hebrew slaves from Egypt. Jesus compared himself to this manna (John 6:32,33) which came down from heaven. He is the broken bread (1st Corinthians 11:23-24), the antidote for the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. “Manuwn” is a little used Hebrew word meaning “heir,” or “son.” I think all these words and meanings are implied in the prophetic name Immanuel.

The Bible teaches that Jesus is the physical manifestation of God. In John 14:8, Philip said to Jesus, “Show us the Father, and it is enough for us,” but nothing is ever quite enough for man. The world is not enough. The next verse gives the answer of Jesus, “Am I with you so long, Phillip, and you haven’t known me?” “The one seeing me has seen the Father.”

The Bible tells us that Jesus wept (John 11:35), and that God was in Jesus reconciling the world unto himself (2nd Corinthians 5:19). The tears of Jesus were the very tears of God. Jesus displayed emotions, and his emotions are those of God. Evil denies all of this, and either claims that God does not exist, or it presents him as being distant and unaffected. Evil uses every possible angle against God, but it all comes into focus at the cross.

“I like pain,” a man once said to me, “It keeps me on my toes.” “I like pain,” said another. “Otherwise, I wouldn’t know I was alive.” The statements were an attempt at humor, but they are sad words nevertheless. Another man said to me, “I don’t think that other people feel things like I do, and it makes me want to hurt them.” I tried to convince him that his thoughts were not true either of man or God. How many people want to hurt God because they think that God does not feel? God sees, God hears (Psalms 94:9), and God feels (Luke 13:34).

I’m sure that God does not like pain, and I don’t like it. A man once tried to convince me that Jesus didn’t really suffer when he was crucified. That man’s professed view was that Jesus was so spiritually exalted that he was beyond physical suffering, but love doesn’t make one immune to suffering. It magnifies it instead, yet love gives us purpose.

Jesus faced the cross in spite of the suffering, because that was the way to get us to face the truth, and it is the way to change our hearts. Why doesn’t God simply force all of us to do the right thing? Well, where do we want him to start, and where do we want him to stop? Can we get a consensus on our guidelines for God’s conduct, and would that agreement be the right one? Love must be voluntary.

We hurt ourselves when we harm others, and we hurt others when we harm ourselves. We hurt God when we harm ourselves and others, and we harm ourselves and others when we hurt God. That is life on Earth in a nutshell. Is that what we want, or is evil using, and confusing us?

Jesus said, “If I am lifted up (crucified), I will draw all mankind unto myself.” This he said signifying what death that he would die (John 12:32-33). The Messiah’s death on the cross might seem to us like the all-time low of his eternal existence, and it was, but at the very same time, it is the all-time high mark of sacrificial love. Jesus, on the cross becoming one with every one of us, (2nd Corinthians 5:21, becoming sin for us) taking all our wrong into his own body, and destroying it in his death while saving the souls of all who will believe in him, is the height, depth, and breadth of God’s love.

We cannot see God in his true light (glory) if we do not see the depth of Christ’s suffering. There is a tendency in the churches to gloss this over, and only glory in the resurrection, but if we don’t acknowledge the communion of the suffering of God for man (1st Corinthians 11:26), we are missing the reason for his long journey down to Earth. If we do not see the suffering of the Messiah, we won’t be as able to deal with our own suffering, and we can’t see very far into the heavens of God’s love. This earth is a world of suffering, but it is not our final destination.

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The lands called Mesopotamia, that lie along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, have also been called the “cradle of civilization.” The Bible is in agreement with history and archaeology on this, for this area is where the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11) was located. Suddenly unable to understand the language of one another, tribes of Noah’s descendants abandoned the tower project and scattered across the globe (Genesis 11:9).

It’s possible that several words, or names, for “God” came into existence with the creation of these different languages, while others developed over time. The fact that people suddenly began speaking different languages would naturally have been attributed to the intervention of God. Though myths have become attached to some of them, we find many records from ancient civilizations concerning this event.

There is no hint of myth however, in the record (the Old Testament) of the Semitic people who founded the nation of Israel. Though condensed by necessity, the Bible is an accurate history of the involvement of God in human affairs. According to the Bible, man once knew his creator, but has distanced himself from that which was once understood (Genesis 3:8-10, Romans 1:21-23).

As human beings, we are more receptive of someone if they will meet us on “our level.” That is why God chose a family (Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:20-23) through which to be born into this world, and the genealogies of the Old Testament were recorded primarily for the purpose of predicting the birthright of Jesus. The revelation of the expected Christ, the Jewish Messiah, grew with the writings of the Old Testament prophets.

When the Lord (YHWH) first appeared to Moses (Exodus 3:-14), he called himself “I AM.” The Hebrew word translated as “I AM,” is “HYH” (Hayah). It has the same basic meaning as “HVH” (Havah). Both “HYH,” and “HVH,” are derived from the name “YHWH” (pronounced Yahweh, or sometimes Jehovah). I mentioned in an earlier post (JE S O S) that my favorite translation of “I AM” is “JE SUIS” in the French Bible. I believe that it is the pre-incarnate JE SUS who is speaking to Moses in Exodus 3:14.

It is very important for us to know that God exists, and who he is. To the atheist who insists that God is no one, he says, “I am one.” God says to us, “I am someone.” The word “Hayah,” in English usually translated as “I Am,” is “On,” in Exodus 3:14 of the Greek Septuagint. “On,” is then translated as “The Being,” in the English rendering of the Septuagint.

The name “On,” is likely the origin of the English word “one,” and is probably a factor in the “I” shape coming to represent the number “one.” “The Being,” is similar to the English meaning of the name “YHWH,” usually given as “The Self-Existent One,” or something similar. It could be rendered “The Eternal-Being,” or “the “Ever-Existent.”

The Hebrew youth Joseph, sold into Egypt as a slave, eventually married a daughter (Genesis 41:45) of “the priest of On.” There was a city in Egypt named “On,” and I once assumed that Joseph married the daughter of a pagan priest of that city. It’s possible however, that Joseph’s father-in-law believed in the one true God, and was not a pagan. The Septuagint has the name of that Egyptian city as “Heliopolis.”

I think that the name “I Am,” is interesting as translated into other languages also. I mentioned the French, “JE SUIS.” That is similar to the Portugese, “EU SOU,” the Lithuanian, “AS ESU” (ref. the English poetic “Jesu” for “Jesus”). The Italian “IO SONO,” and the Spanish “YO SOY,” are also similar (“I” and “Y” are inter-changable).

In many foreign translations, the “Y” of “YHWH,” becomes a “J.” “I AM,” in Croatian is “Ja jesam,” the Czech is “JSEM,” and the Albanian, “UNE JAM-i.” Also of interest is the Afrikaans, “EK IS, WAS, SAL WEES.” God is saying to us, “I exist.” “I am the one.”

God’s longer statement in Exodus 3:14 of the King James Bible is “I AM THAT I AM.” Most English versions have it as, “I AM WHO I AM.” We really can’t make God into someone, or something, that he is not. He is our creator (John 1:10-12), and our savior.

Jesus made several statements identifying himself with “I AM.” He said to some religious leaders in John 8:24, “If you believe not that I am he, you will die in your sins.” A few minutes later, he told them, “Before Abraham was, I AM,” and they tried to stone him (John 8:58,59). That strange statement testifies of his existence before his advent into this world.

Several similar statements of Jesus are recorded in the Bible. In John 18:3-8, soldiers sent to arrest him fell backward to the ground when he said, “I am he” (Greek, “Ego eime,” or, “I am”). Something about the words, or the way he said them, caused the men to stumble backward.

The wording of the passage makes it sound as if a wind out of nowhere blew them back, but it could have been just a domino effect when whoever was in the lead suddenly backed up. The word “domino” comes from the Latin word for “Lord.”

The great being who said, “I am Alpha and Omega,” is the same benevolent Lord who called himself, “meek and lowly in heart” (Matthew 11:29). It was his love, and not only man’s nails, that held him to the cross. His sacrifice should be enough to make humble creatures of human beings.

Inheriting a different race, culture, or language does not mean that we must serve a different God. He is the God of every nation, tribe, and tongue (Revelation 7:9-10). It is fine for you to pronounce the name of Jesus, or of God, in the way that it has been translated into your language. The Lord knows who you’re talking to. When he returns, he may give us the most accurate pronunciation of his name, but we don’t need to be too concerned with that until then.

If we could assemble all languages together, I think we could have a much greater understanding of who God is. Perhaps, that is one of the things he will do when he returns. The prophecy in Isaiah 11:9 reads, “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” I’m not sure of the perfect interpretation of Zephaniah 3:9, but eventually God will give us, “a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent.”

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The pictographic form (early Paleo-Hebrew) of the name “YHWH” is a message from Christ before he came into this world. It is prophetic proof of the existence and identity of God.

The pictograph can be read in different ways that reveal the same truth. The basic message is “I (Yod*) Am the Nailed Man.” In an earlier post (see Yud-Heh-Vav-Heh in my November 2011 archives), I described how “YHWH” was depicted in early Paleo-Hebrew. I’m going to revisit that description. My last three posts are also related to this one.

Hebrew alphabetical symbols possess individual meanings, and also serve as numerals. Syllabics formed by combinations of letters may also convey “hidden” meanings, but this becomes much more subject to misinterpretation. Terms such as the “Self-Existent One,” are abbreviated translations of the meaning of the full name of YHWH. This may divert our attention from the meaning of the individual symbols. The development of the modern alphabet has also obscured background information though much of it is yet preserved in history.

The early Paleo-Hebrew pictograph for “Y” (called “Yod,” with varying spellings) means “hand,” but is shaped more like a child’s stick-figure drawing of an arm. There is a short upper arm, elbow, forearm, and an “open hand,” reaching out as if offering a handshake. Erase the upper-arm and elbow, rotate the forearm and hand 90 degrees clockwise, and you have our modern “Y” symbol. Don’t forget that Hebrew is written from right to left, so the symbol for “Y” is on the right-hand side.

The symbol for “H” (Heh, with varying spellings) can mean “Behold” (Look), “Breath,” “Window” (Hole or Air Hole), “Existence” (Life or Being). The early Paleo-Hebrew pictograph for “H” is a “stick-drawing” of a man with the arms held up, in something like a crucified position, as if to say, “Stop.”

The early Paleo-Hebrew symbol for “W” is called “Vav” (spellings vary), and means “nail,” or “hook.” It is shaped like an English “Y.” The modern Hebrew symbol is shaped more like an actual nail with the head slightly bent. Then, there is the final “H,” in “YHWH.”

He holds out his hand (Yod). Look (Heh) man, at the nail (Vav) marks! Hey, (Heh) look man! YHWH is our friend, and he became a man, extending his hand to offer eternal life, but for the preservation of all creation, he must yet remain God.

“Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but (yet) a body thou hast prepared me…” “Then I said, Behold, I come. In the volume of the book it is written concerning me.” That is from Psalms 40:6-7 in the Greek Septuagint, which was translated from the Hebrew Old Testament long before Christ was born into this world. This prophetic message from the Septuagint is quoted by the New Testament writer of the book of Hebrews (Hebrews 10:5-7).

Note that Psalms 40:6 is worded differently in our current Bible translations of the Old Testament. This should not be thought of as a contradiction. It is evidence that older Hebrew manuscripts of Psalms once existed, one of which was available to the translators of the Septuagint. Punctuation, as well as the numbering of the verses, is something that was added much later in history.

The descendants of Adam and Eve are not the supreme intelligence of the universe. In spite of the “promise” of the Tree of Knowledge (Genesis 2:17), we are not “gods.” In eternity with God, we would have time for all the explanations, but for now, we need to put some trust in Jesus. It is time for a hand-take, and a handshake. Peace with God. He holds out his hand. Look man, at the nail marks. Hey, look man.

I may soon attempt to post some graphical depictions of the name “YHWH.” Graphics would make these things I’ve been writing about much easier to understand.

*Note; The Greek symbol for “G,” is shaped like a lowercase “Y” (ref. the Hebrew “Yod,” and Greek “Iota”), which could have led to a mispronunciation. Then, the Greek symbol for “U” is an uppercase “Y” (ref. the shape of the early Proto-Hebrew “Vav” (nail). “Vav,” the Hebrew “W,” also represents “U,” and “V.” These things may have been factors in the formation of the English word “God.”

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The various ways in which ancient people attempted to write the Hebrew name “YHWH” each tell a story. Ancient manuscripts of the Greek Septuagint testify to the difficulty involved in translating “YHWH,” the Hebrew personal name for God. At different times, they tried various ways of communicating the name “YHWH” but none of them satisfied everyone. This isn’t an unusual sort of thing. We have several English versions of the Bible today for similar reasons. Different forms of the name “YHWH” are also found in the Dead Sea Scrolls and in other ancient Hebrew documents.

The Greeks eventually followed the Jewish tradition of calling YHWH, “Lord,” and “Kurios,” the Greek word for “Lord,” was substituted for “YHWH” in the Septuagint. That method simply uses a descriptive term without communicating some form of the actual name. Lacking the exact letters to represent “YHWH,” actual Hebrew characters had once been used, but these symbols would have been confusing to most Greeks.

Charts and graphics would greatly improve my blog here, but I simply do not have time to add them at the present. The symbols are easily described however. I have seen the characters that I’m currently interested in called “Phoenician Script.” In a good Wikipedia article called “Tetragrammaton,” the form is called “Old Aramaic.” “YHWH,” in this form has been found in ancient manuscripts of the Septuagint.

The Greek language is written from left to right as is English, but Hebrew is written from right to left. Please keep that in mind as you read this. “YHWH” is actually written “HWHY,” and in the Old Aramaic form, the letters look something like “EYEZ,” but the “E” shaped symbol is turned backwards as a mirror-image would be.

The symbol shaped like an “E,” is actually a Hebrew “H,” but becomes an “E” (eta) to the Greeks with the exception that they change a final “H” (ref. my previous post) to an “S.” Note that a “Z” also has an “S” sound. Because of this, reading the letters in their order in Hebrew could have given us the English words “Eyes,” and “Yes.”

If the final “E” (reading from right to left) is altered to an “s,” and the Z-shaped symbol is left unchanged, it may also have something to do with the name “Suez.” Reversing the spelling would yield the name “Zeus.” Some may scoff at this, and may prefer the explanation that I gave for “Zeus” in my previous post.

It can be shown however, that several English words have originated in this manner. In the tedious work of translation, symbols that resemble letters of your own alphabet are sometimes automatically read as such. These might be considered mistakes in translation, but such readings often form new words.

For clarification, the Z-shaped symbol has a horizontal bar in the middle. In middle Paleo-Hebrew script, this symbol is actually the letter “Y,” and the Greeks use an “I” to capture its pronunciation.

The symbol in “EYEZ” that actually resembles a “Y,” is really a Hebrew “W,” which also represents “U,” and “V.” I realize this is difficult reading, but you can begin to get a picture of the complicated task of transliterating the name “YHWH” into a different alphabet.

The name “Zeus,” appears to be an ancient attempt to spell the name “YHWH” in a foreign alphabet which lacked the proper characters to do so (ref. my previous post). That attempt would have predated the Septuagint, and “Zeus” sounds very different from the original name.

The name “Iao,” which is found in some manuscripts of the Septuagint, appears to be intended to communicate the pronunciation of the name “YHWH.” An “I” functions as a “Y,” and an “A” can serve as an “H.”

As an example, “Yah,” the shortened form of “YHWH,” becomes “jah” in our word “Hallelujah,” and becomes “ia” in “Alleluia,” the Greek influenced alternate spelling.  The Hebrew “W” (as in “YHWH”) is usually replaced by a “u,” or an “ou,” but sometimes an “O” has been used. A lowercase Greek “omega” is shaped like a small “w.”

The thing most interesting to me about the name “Iao,” is that the Greek letters are “Iota,” which is an “I,” “Alpha,” (A) and “Omega” (O). In the Greek “symbol” font, it is written “Ιαω,” or “ΙΑΩ,” in uppercase symbols.

In many printings of the New Testament, Revelation 22:16 is written in red ink because the verse is spoken by Jesus. That verse would seem out-of-place if the words of verse 22:13, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last,” were not also his.

Verse 22:13 is also printed in red ink. It is sometimes difficult to tell who is speaking in the Revelation, whether it is Jesus (the Lamb), or God. The names and terms seem interchangeable. Revelation 21:5-7 is attributed to “he that sat upon the throne” (God), therefore, the words in 21:6, “I am Alpha, and Omega,” are not printed in red.

In the Greek manuscript that I checked, “Alpha” and “Omega” aren’t spelled out in these verses of Revelation, but are simply an “A” and an “O.” In Greek, the “I” form represents the letter, but not the personal pronoun “I,” as it does in English. “Ego” (“εγω” in Greek font), is the Greek word for the personal pronoun “I,” used in the verses in Revelation.

In comparing these verses with the Septuagint name “Iao,” I’m mixing English with Greek. Nevertheless, I believe that Revelation 21:6 and 22:13, are indirect references to “Iao,” the ancient Greek name for YHWH. “A,”  and “O,” are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, but I also think that linking the expressions of the verses to the name “Iao” gives a more complete meaning.

In John 8:58, Jesus said, “Before Abraham was, I AM.” That is a very strange statement, and it offended some of the religious leaders. They attempted to stone him for identifying himself with the “I AM” of Exodus 3:14. It wasn’t blasphemy, and he wasn’t bragging, but simply stating the truth. From Genesis to Revelation, the ancient Bible is about him. He fulfills prophecy, and proves the existence of God. Jesus is Alpha (A) and Omega (Ω).

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