Only the Jews understood God
Jesus said to the Samaritan woman,
“You worship what you do not know, we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews” (John 4:22).
In this statement, Jesus brought us two truths:
- only the Jews had the proper understanding of God, and
- our salvation requires a proper understanding of God.
In the fourth Century, the Gentiles created a model, or image of God, that they themselves could not even understand.
Explaining the Trinity doctrine they had created, Jerome wrote,
“The true profession of the mystery of the Trinity is to own that we do not comprehend it.”1
And Gregory of Narzianzus said,
“When I think of any of the three I think of him as the whole, and my eyes are filled, and the greater part of what I am thinking escapes me.” 2
Jesus told us that our salvation requires a proper understanding of God.
We are going to find out, that this is indeed the Bible’s teaching.
There are many who are not going to be saved, because they do not have the correct belief about God.
So what was the understanding of God that was held by the Jews?
The Jews understood that God was nameless in the Old Testament
The Jews understood that God was nameless in the Old Testament. In 150 AD, Justin Martyr wrote: “And all the Jews even now teach that the nameless God spoke to Moses.” 3
Three centuries later, Bishop Theodoret of Cyrus wrote: “The Jews call it AIA (I WILL BE) while the Samaritans call it YABE.” 4
I WILL BE was the name God gave Himself at the burning bush, and YIHVAH5, He WILL BE was the name God gave His Messenger.
I WILL BE WHO I WILL BE, therefore, you shall say to the children of Israel, “I WILL BE has sent me to you.” Moreover…you shall say to the children of Israel, “YIHVAH, (He WILL BE), the ELOHIM of your fathers…has sent me to you.”Exodus 3:14-15
YIHVAH, He WILL BE, is the name that the Jewish people refused to speak, so that today, many are uncertain of its real Hebrew pronunciation.
Because, the Hebrew language is written without vowels.
In the 11th Century Leningrad Codex, the Masoretic scribes added vowel markings, and sounded all the divine Names with a Sheva in the first letter, to warn the reader not to pronounce them.
They pronounced He WILL BE as YEHVAH, 6,468 times. And there were 52 appearances of the name YEHOVAH.6
But the translators of the King James Bible chose YEHOVAH as the Name of God, rather than YIHVAH.
In the 19th Century, the Hebrew scholar William Gesenius realized that YEHOVAH could not be supported by the verb “to be,” and he created a theory of the name YAHWEH, using YABE, the name used by Bishop Theodoret.
But the name YABE, or YAHWEH was the Roman pronunciation of Jupiter, the Chief Deity of the Roman Empire. It was used by the Gnostics to describe Christ as “Jupiter of Hosts.”7
And later, Bishop Theodoret wrote, “the Samaritans call it YABAI, not knowing the force of the expression.”8 This he rhymed with SADDAI, Almighty.
As Jesus told us, the Samaritans worshiped that which they did not know.
The Jews knew that men have only seen God’s Messenger, “the Word”
To this day, the Jewish people believe that no one has seen God at any time. Men have only seen God’s Messenger, who was “the Word.” In 30 AD, the Jewish theologian Philo described the Word, saying:
“His firstborn Word, the eldest of His angels, as the great Archangel of many names; for He is called, the authority, and the name of God, and the Word, and man according to God’s image…” 9
In Exodus Chapters 6 and 7, the Messenger of God, the Word, told Moses that He appeared to Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob as God Almighty. Then He explained the meaning of the plural word ELOHIM, as one God who spoke for another.
The Greek text of John 1:1 reads:
In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and God was the Word.
The Apostle John’s message was that ELOHIM, in Genesis 1:1, was Jesus Christ.
Jesus Himself described the meaning of “the Word” when He said: “No one knows the Father but the Son” (Matthew 11:27); “You have neither heard His voice nor seen His form at any time” (John 5:37).
The Word was the visible God, who spoke on behalf of the invisible God, in the Old Testament.
We worship Christ as our Lord
God expressed His plan towards us in the first Chapter of the Bible, saying, “let Us make man in Our image” (Genesis 1:26).
On the cross, Jesus Christ proved Himself to be the perfect image of the invisible God.
God is love. (1 John 4:8)
Because He was obedient, even unto death, God highly exalted Him, and made Him our Lord, so that every knee would bow down, and worship Him (Philippians 2:8-10).
The Image of God and the Image of the Beast
- De mysterio Trinitatus recta confessio est ignoratio scientiae — “Proem ad 1. xviii in Isai.” ↩
- Oration 40, 41 ↩
- Justin Martyr, First Apology, Chapter 63 ↩
- Theoderet of Cyrus, Question 15 in Exodus 7. ↩
- In the Masoretic text, all third person imperfect verbs ending with ה are pronounced with a qamatz, “ah” sound, when they become nouns, names. The other examples are יִשְׁוָה, and יִשְׁפָה Therefore Yihveh becomes Yihvah. ↩
- Yehovah is understood to mean, “who is, and was, and is to come,” but may be the intrusion of the Name Yaho, understood as “He WHO IS,” neither name is supported by Hebrew Grammar. In the Leningrad Codex, YHVH appears 6,828 times. It is pronounced “He WILL BE,” YIHVAH 6,468 times; 306 times with the vowels of ELOHIM to alert the reader to say, “Lord GOD,” rather than “Lord LORD;” 52 times as Yehovah, and there are 2 scribal errors. ↩
- Epiphanius, in his Book Against Heresies, told us that certain cults used the name of YABE. Ιαβεζεβυθ has been found in ancient inscriptions and is considered to be one phrase because it always occurs in that form. Ιαβεζεβυθ is literally, “Jupiter of Hosts” (of the planets). ↩
- Haereticarum Fabularum Compendium, “Now SADDAI signifies Him who is sufficient and able, but Aia His who is. This was also not to be uttered among the Hebrews. But the Samaritans call it Iabai, not knowing the force of the expression.” Here, Theodoret rhymed YABBAI, with SADDAI. He may have known that the Names of God rhyme, but SADDAI as a Name in Exodus 6:3 was Saddah, which rhymes with YIHVAH, and YAH. ↩
- On the Confusion of Tongues, Chapter 28 ↩