Monday, November 21, 2016

Did Jesus Change the Holy Name to "Father"?

Did Jesus change God's Holy Name (Jehovah, Yahweh) to "Father"? There is no scriptural evidence that he did so. He did refer to his God as "Father" and instructed his followers to do so. But this does not mean that he had changed God's name to "Father", nor does it mean that he never used God's Holy Name.

For instance, let us look at Matthew 4:7:

Jesus said to him, “Again, it is written, ‘You shall not test the Lord, your God.’” — Matthew 4:7, World English Bible translation (WEB).

Here Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 6:16, which contains God's Holy Name: “You shall not test Jehovah your God.” (WEB) Did Jesus change God's Holy Name to "Father" in Matthew 4:7? No. Nevertheless, it is evident that someone has replaced the Holy Name here in the Greek with a form of the word often transliterated as "Kurios", thus, in effect, changing the Holy Name to Kurios (Lord — the Greek is without the definite article as it appears in the English). It is self-evident that someone had to change it, else we would find some form of the Holy Name in this verse. If Jesus joined the disobedient Jews in changing God's eternal Holy Name, then he himself would have been disobedient. This would have meant, however, not that he did not use God's Holy Name, but that he pronounced that Holy Name as KURIOS.

Some historical evidence suggests that Christian copyists changed God's Holy Name during the Jewish persecution of Christians that took place around the beginning of the second century AD. This was done to keep the Jews from destroying all copies of the NT scriptures, since those NT writings contained forms of the Holy Name.

At any rate, let us look at another scripture, Matthew 23:39:

For I tell you, you will not see me from now on, until you will say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’ (WEB)

Here Jesus quotes the name of the God in whose name he came. Directly it is from Psalm 118:26: “Blessed is he who comes in the name of Jehovah.” (WEB) It is also prohesied in Deuteronomy 18:15-19 that Jesus would speak in the name of Jehovah (Yahweh), not by the name of a god by the name of "Kurios". Elsewhere, Jesus did say that he had come in the name of his Father. (John 5:43; 10:25)  Did Jesus say "Blessed is he who comes in the name of Father"? Not at all. I do not believe that Jesus meant this to be viewed as his changing the name of his Father to "Father", but rather an acknowledgement that he had come in the name of his God and Father, whose name is Jehovah (or some prefer, based on abbreviated Greek, Yahweh [or, Jahveh]).

I could present many more scriptures where Jesus quoted from Old Testament scriptures that contain God's Holy Name. In not one of them do we find the Holy Name changed to forms of the Greeks words often transliterated as "pater" (Strong's #3962) or "abba" (Strong's #5).

While there is evidence that God's Holy Name was changed to KURIOS and THEOS in the Greek NT, I find no real evidence that anyone changed God's Holy Name to Father, although it may be possible that in some cases copyists did change it to "Father". However, if Jesus and his apostles changed God's Holy Name to forms of KURIOS and THEOS, or to FATHER, then this would call into question the vailidity of the Jesus' claim to be the prophet that Moses wrote about, since that prophet was to come in the name of Jehovah (Yahweh), not Kurios, or Pater (Father). -- Deuteronomy 18:15-19.

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