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THE GREAT NAME DEBATE

For those who may not know, the Greek spelling for the Hebrew Name of the Mashiach of Yisrael is
identical to the name for the successor of Mosheh (Moses). The evidence is at Acts 7 and Hebrews 4,
where most English translations have rendered IESOU (Greek) as “JOSHUA”. This means there are two
witnesses in the received text of the Messianic Writings to the fact that we can determine the Hebrew
spelling for the Name of our Deliverer. His Name is spelled exactly like the successor of Mosheh, the son
of Nun, who brought Yisrael into the land promised to them by Yahuah.
It has been said that the most important invention in all of history is writing. It is the method of writing
down “sounds” in most languages, while some record “meanings”. Hebrew is somewhat a fusion of both of
these. It started out being a way of recording meanings with symbols, and the symbols with their meanings
were combined to form the roots of “words”. The written language of Hebrew has changed over the
millennia as some letters changed in shape and sound. Today there is an explosion of interest in the
authentic sound for the Name of our Creator, the most-used word in the Hebrew text!
This is a fulfillment of Malachi 3:16-18. The on-going debate over how to ideally pronounce the Name
of our Mashiach also continues, and we all see at least 4 or 5 “camps” that are seriously divided over it.
Taking a stand for one preferred spelling is fine, however consideration and love toward others who have a
tiny difference from our own may harm the overall restoration process. Here is one brother’s response
toward the form “YAHUSHA”, and his reasoning is very sound:
“I have to disagree with your assessment Lew. I believe that the Mashiach of YaHuWaH has only one
name. Since it is possible to pronounce both as Yahushua, but it is impossible to pronounce YOD-HAY-
UAU-SHIN-UAU-AYIN as Yahusha, then the correct pronunciation should be obvious.”
(beloved’s name omitted for privacy)

Acts 4:12: "And there is no deliverance in anyone else, for there is no other Name under the
heaven given among men by which we need to be saved."

He is saying that since it is spelled with six Hebrew letters twice out of 218 times that produce the sound
YAHUSHUA, it follows that the other 216 incidences are less correct, even though they vastly outnumber
the two uses. (*These two uses are shown below). We might assume the difference to be a “scribal
error”, but I prefer not to do this. But if one did prefer the two incidences over the other 216, then would it
be 216 scribal errors, and only two that are correct? You can see the dilemma. We can reason that the
two incidences shed light on the other 216 incidences, or that over time people inserted their own
interpretations (or prevailing opinion of their day) into the text. I tend to lean toward the original, but still
accept the brothers and sisters who lean toward the other. In one place, the spelling is found to be YOD-
SHIN-UAU-AYIN: Neh. 8:17. The Creator used His personal Name at least 6,823 times in the TaNaK,
using the four letters YOD-HAY-UAU-HAY (YaHUaH), but we insist on imposing our new letters as they
underwent changes, such as J, V, and W - and then argue and defend our choices based on these
corruptions.
If we could ask our Deliverer how to pronounce His Name, He would likely answer us with a question:
“Did I not write it down for you?” He would not desire for us to be arguing between ourselves over whether
it is best transliterated as YAHUSHUA or YAHUSHA, but would look upon either “camp” and their attitude
toward others as being unloving of the other even if they were correct. If we’ve been paying attention,
we’ve been commanded to love one another:
1Co 13:2: “And if I have prophecy, and know all secrets and all knowledge, and if I have all belief,
so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am none at all.”
Like Hebrew or English, Music is a language. Like any language, it is best preserved by writing it down.
The sounds (notes) are written down to record not only their pitch (frequency), but their time value (how
long they are held). These are the two most critical aspects musical notation provides, and this correlates
to how letters are used in other languages, so the melodies or words can be reproduced by recreating their
original sound. (That’s the objective of writing them down).
There will always be those who have to have it one way (since there is but one Name), but I promote
both YAHUSHUA and YAHUSHA on the basis that whether we use the “SHA” or the “SHUA”, both are
derived from the root, YASHA, (YOD-SHIN-AYIN). The meaning is “deliverance” in either case.
If we insist on using the ending form SHUA exclusively, then wherever we encounter the SHIN-AYIN
component (based on the root YASHA), to be consistent we need to alter other words and names.
ELISHA would need to be ELISHUA
YASHAYAHU, called “Isaiah” (note the first part of his name is the root) would need to be YASHUAYAHU
One may transliterate these either way, the meaning remains unmolested.
The transliteration YaHUWAH is a functional way of conveying the sound of Father’s Name, however the
“U” is all you need. “Double-U” is a new letter, only slightly older than the letter “J”. My only concern about
using more letters than necessary is that in future generations there could be a corrupting effect. As a
music teacher, I appreciate that writing notes accurately with their proper position and time values will affect
how future musicians will read a melody. If we write “unheard” notes into the melody, the melody changes.
If we play notes that are not written, but insist on some “rule” or idea we have, then the melody changes
also.
These are my only concerns, and I hope you can respect that my point of view is based on what I see
written down, rather than any idea imposed by customs, even if they are approved of by a vast majority of
people. The reason I accept both forms is not to conform with people’s ideas, but because the forms are
found in the Hebrew, the Lashon Qodesh. It is for this reason I appeal to you to accept both. When we
have been “begotten from above”, we also love those who have been begotten. The goal of Yahusha is
that we love one another, as you well know.
1Jn 5:1,2: “Everyone who believes that Yahusha is the Messiah has been begotten of Elohim, and
everyone who loves the One begotten also loves the one having been begotten of Him.
By this we know that we love the children of Elohim, when we love Elohim and guard His
Commands.”
‫יהושע‬
‫ יהו‬The first part is not in question: YAHU
‫ שע‬This requires our close attention; is the pronunciation - SHUA? Or is it
simply SHA?
The root yaSHA means "to deliver" - ‫ישע‬
Let's check out the correct Hebrew names of two prophets Isaiah and Elisha:
‫ ישעיהו‬YESHAYAHU Strong’s #3470 – “Yah has saved.”
‫ ישע‬YESHA Strong’s #3468 – “Salvation, deliverance.”
‫ שע‬Remove the ‫ י‬and we have – SHA
‫ אלישע‬ELIYSHA Strong’s #477 - “El of deliverance.”
Therefore from the Hebrew we have ‫ = יהושע‬YAHUSHA
The ending “SHA” and “SHUA” mean the same.
How is SHUA written in Hebrew and does it have a meaning?
‫ שוע‬SHUWA Strong’s #7768: “Cry for help.”
‫ אלישוע‬ELIYSHUA Strong’s no 474: “El of riches.”
To get to the pronunciation YAHUSHUA we would have to insert a ‫ו‬between the ‫ ע‬and
the ‫ ש‬and spell His Name in Hebrew: ‫ יהושוע‬- this spelling uses two of the letter ‫ו‬
“Yahushua” is seen twice out of 218 times in the TaNaK, so both “Yahushua” and
“Yahusha” are acceptable transliterations.

YahuSHUA and YahuSHA - SHUA and SHA both contain the Hebrew root, yaSHA, meaning
deliverance (salvation).

*The two uses of this 6-lettered spelling are found in the Hebrew at Deut. 3:21 and Judg. 2:7.

As of our current research on this topic reveals, these are spellings found in the TaNaK:

216 times found: Yahusha YOD-HAY-UAU-SHIN-AYIN

2 times found: Yahushua YOD-HAY-UAU-SHIN-UAU-AYIN

1 time found: Y’shua (Neh. 8:17) YOD-SHIN-UAU-AYIN

An interesting verse pertaining to the “name change” of this son of Nun is at Num 13:16 (KJV concordance
numbers are used here):

“These428 are the names8034 of the men376 which834 Moses4872 sent7971 to spy out8446 (853) the land.776
And Moses4872 called7121 Oshea1954 the son1121 of Nun5126 Joshua.3091”

In the above verse you can see the concordance numbers embedded in the KJV English. The Hebrew
root “yaSHA” means to deliver, and is the root of the name of the son of Nun, HUSHA (#1954). HUSHA is
spelled HEY-UAU-SHIN-AYIN.

In two places, we see the letter UAU between the SHIN-AYIN at the end of the name.

We need to know that Yah is our Deliverer,


and we know that we know Him (and His Identity) if we guard (SHAMAR) His Commands.

1Jn 2:3-7: “And by this we know that we know Him, if we guard His commands.
The one who says, “I know Him,” and does not guard His commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in
him. But whoever guards His Word, truly the love of Elohim has been perfected in him. By this
we know that we are in Him.
The one who says he stays in Him ought himself also to walk, even as He walked.
Beloved, I write no fresh command to you, but an old command which you have had from the
beginning. The old command is the Word which you heard from the beginning.”

We are being tested, and the test is on LOVE, not spelling ~


brother Lew

TORAH INSTITUTE
www.torahzone.net
www.fossilizedcustoms.com/video.html