Yeshua of Nazareth,
a.k.a. Jesus Christ
Calling the Messiah "Yahshua" within the
Christian Sacred Name Movement (SNM)
As a newborn, Jesus was probably given the Hebrew name
"יהושע" (yod-he-waw-shin-ayin). The name means "Yahweh
is Salvation," "God Salvation,"
or "Yahweh delivers." 1
His full name is most commonly transliterated as Y'hoshua or Yahoshua,
This is often abbreviated to Yeshua. However, most Christians in the Sacred Name
movement insist that Yahshua is the only correct abbreviation, and thus the only
acceptable name for Jesus. They believe that a person's
salvation depends upon their use of God's correct name.
The Sacred Name Movement (SNM):
The SNM traces its origins back to the Adventist movement during
the late 1920s and to C.O. Dodd, a member of the Church of God (Seventh
Day.) He proposed that Christians return to their Jewish roots by following
kosher food laws, keeping the Torah festivals described in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old
The Assembly of Yahweh was the first faith group within
what was to become the Sacred Name Movement. It was founded in Holt, MI in the
early 1930s. Subsequent schisms resulted in the formation of Yahweh's
Assembly in Messiah, Yahweh's Assembly in Yahshua, Yahweh's Restoration Ministry
and Yahweh's Philadelphia Truth Congregation. Other faith groups
outside the SNM but with similarities in belief and practice include the
Assembly of Yahweh 7th Day, and the Assemblies of Yahweh in
Bethel, PA. 2
According to Wikipedia:
"Sacred Name believers teach that 'God' and 'Lord' are mere titles that
cannot properly carry the meaning of His name, and that many titles ascribed
to God are tainted by their Pagan ancestry. They believe that it is necessary for
salvation that one use the correct name of God, which in the Hebrew Bible is
the tetragrammaton (usually rendered as Yahweh, but some variants used by
SNM groups include 'Yahveh, Yahvah, Yaohu-Ul, Yahovah and the older
"The SNM accepts the New Testament and Jesus as the Messiah. However, the
name spelled 'Jesus' is seen as either a badly corrupted transliteration of
the Messiah's true name or a Pagan-influenced name. SNM groups refer to him
most often as Yahshua, but sometimes as Yeshua, Yahushua, Yahoshua,
Yaohushua, Y'shua or Yahshuah. The title Christ is also seen as Pagan, and
is replaced with 'the Messiah' or 'the Anointed'."
"This distinctive emphasis on sacred names has led to the production of
several different Sacred Name Bible translations that use Hebrew-based
names. These include Rotherham's Emphasized Bible, Restoration of
Original Sacred Name Bible, Angelo Traina's Holy Name Bible, Sacred Name
King James Bible, Sacred Scriptures, Family of Yah Edition, The Word of
Yahweh, and The Scriptures. However, they do not all agree on
how to spell these names." 2
Use of the names "Yahweh" and "Yahshua:"
The founders of the Assembly of Yahweh taught that two
angels visited the group and explained the necessity to use "Yahweh" as the name
for God, and "Yahshua" as the name of the Messiah.
According to Wikipedia:
" 'Yahshua' supporters teach that since the Messiah will 'come in his
Father's Name', 3 then he must have the name of Yahweh, or at least the
abbreviated form (Yah) within his spoken name.
(Sacred Name believers teach that 'name' is to be interpreted literally
as opposed to meaning 'authority')."
According to Dr. Daniel Botkin, pastor of the Gates of Eden Messianic
congregation in Peoria IL:
"Occasionally one will see the term Yahshuah, inserting the shin into the Tetragrammaton based
according to some upon ancient occult literature. 'Yahshua' uses the
same Hebrew consonants as Y'hoshua (Joshua), but assigns a
somewhat different set of vowels. The vast majority of Sacred Name
groups use יהושע instead of יהושה ('Yahshuah'). Another popular
contraction is Yah'shua with the apostrophe ( ’ ) serving as a
division to emphasise the 'Yah' aspect of the name and the Hebrew shua (salvation)."
"Critics say that in their labor to get the pronunciation 'Yahshua' out
of יהושע, they are ignoring Hebrew linguistics that do not allow the waw to be silent, so 'Yahshua' is a questioned translation.
Furthermore, it is argued by some that this pronunciation is not yet
attested in antiquity, unlike the pronunciation Yehoshua. Some in
favor of 'Yahshua' argue that the added vowel -o is an attribution of
Moses' speech impediment, based on his statement at the burning bush: 'I
am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.' (Exodus 4:10-16 KJV)"
"Opponents claim this pronunciation of יהושע first came into use during
the early days of the Sacred Name movement in the 1930s, perhaps
developed by leaders such as Angelo B. Traina and C.O. Dodd. Christians,
historians, and linguists outside the sacred name movement for the most
part reject the term Yahshua in favor of Yeshua (ישוע) as the
original pronunciation." 1
"... some people who use the Yahshua form say untrue things about those who
use the Yeshua form. The opponents of the Yeshua form claim that this
pronunciation is the result of a Jewish conspiracy to hide the Savior’s true
name. Those who call the Messiah Yeshua are accused of perpetuating a Jewish
conspiracy and 'denying His name' or 'degrading Him' by their use of the Yeshua form. ...
Google reported 1.6 million hits on the Internet for Yeshua and only 0.2 million
hits for Yahshua. 5
"Dr. Danny Ben-Gigi says of the Yahshua form that 'there is
no such name in Hebrew' and that 'people invented it to fit their theology.'
Dr. Ben-Gigi is an Israeli and the former head of Hebrew programs at Arizona
State University. He is the author of the book 'First Steps in Hebrew
Prayers,' and he designed and produced the 'Living Israeli Hebrew'
"Dr. David Bivin, a Christian, says that the
Yahshua form 'is rooted in a misunderstanding.'
Dr. Bivin is a renowned Hebrew scholar and teacher and author of 'Fluent
Biblical Hebrew.' I do not know of a single individual that knows Hebrew well
enough to actually read it and understand it and converse in it who uses the Yahshua form."
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
- "Yahshua," Wikipedia, at:
- "Sacred Name Movement," Wikipedia, at:
- John 5:43
- Daniel Botkin, "The Messiah's Hebrew Name: 'Yeshua' Or 'Yahshua'? "
Yasha Net Library, at:
- Google search performed on 2008-SEP-15.
Copyright © 2008 by Ontario Consultants on
Latest update: 2008-SEP-15
Author: B.A. Robinson