God or Elohim?

Q: If we are zealous for the Messiah’s name “Yeshua” why do we still use the term “God” when its etimology, just like “Jesus” is rooted in a language foreign to the Father’s Word and reveals nothing about who He is?

A: First, we must understand that there are different aspects of the God-head. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, while being one God, are different, and called differently. You wouldn’t call the Holy Spirit by the name Yeshua. They’re different.

Therefore, when we talk about God, in any of His aspects, we need to know who it is we are talking about. And I would have to disagree with your comment. The word “God” is how we translate the word, “Elohim,” which is clearly Hebrew, and definitely NOT foreign to the Father’s Word. Elohim is used very specifically to refer to the Lord’s creative and merciful attributes. It is the only reference, in fact, that is used for God during the creation account in Genesis 1.

When we use the term Lord, it is a translation of the word Adonai, which is euphemistically used wherever the tetragrammaton (four-letter name of God) appears, we are referring to God’s justice and ruling nature. It is the most common reference to God in the Scriptures.

Most of the other names of God, El Shaddai, El Gibor, El Elyon, are a combination of the word El, which is a Hebrew word, a shortened form of the word Elohim, and translated as God, along with a descriptive adjective to modify the noun. Gibor is mighty. Therefore, El Gibor is the Mighty God. Elyon is high, and we translate El Elyon as God, most high. You get the point.

The name Yeshua refers to one aspect of the God-head, and describes the redemptive aspect of God, His name meaning salvation. It would be wonderful if we all spoke Hebrew, and were able to converse in the language of the Scripture. However, since we do not, we use the language we know. In English, we use God, and Lord, and Jesus. The point is not so much which name we use as much as it is that we know who we are talking about. If we push it to the extreme, legalistic use of the Hebrew language would make it possible for us to say that we don’t believe in Jesus. We believe in Yeshua. And that is both incorrect, and misleading, to both Jew and Gentile alike. Let me illustrate.

Let’s say that a Messianic believer wants to make aliyah and move to Israel. They are asked by immigration officials if they believe in Jesus. They answer no. They are believers, but because they are Messianic and use the name Yeshua instead, they deliberately mislead others. The issue isn’t what name is used, because they knew full well who the immigration officials were talking about.

I actually have no problem using the name Jesus, because I know who I am referring to. I know that it refers to the Jewish Messiah, the Promised One of Israel, Who lived as a Jew in a Jewish land, died as a Jew, and will return as a Jew. I know that I am not referring to a Norse, blond-haired, blue-eyed attractive man that people followed when they went on Crusades and killed Jews and Muslims alike, who people followed during the Inquisition and forced Jews and pagans to convert to Catholicism or die. Those are creations of man. I know who I am talking about, and that’s what matters.

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