The Jerusalem Council

A Global Association of Orthodox Jewish Disciples of Messiah Yeshua

The Sacred Name of G-d

What is the Messiah’s viewpoint on using the sacred name of G-d?

Keep it holy.

It is written:

“Keep my commands and follow them. I am the LORD. Do not profane my holy name. I must be acknowledged as holy by the Israelites. I am the LORD, who makes you holy and who brought you out of Egypt to be your G-d. I am the LORD.” Lev 22:31-33

Something that is holy, is something that is not common. It is the viewpoint of the volunteers at that G-d’s name be treated with respect with separation from our common language. To use the sacred name of G-d in a manner that does not revere its holiness is, in our opinion, treating that which is holy as something that is common.

Although the commandment is to not “profane” the holy name of G-d (that is, to bring dishonor to his name by disobedience to “keep my commands and follow them”), we believe that one who makes G-d’s sacred name (“I am the LORD”) common, is one who can not fulfill the fullness of the commandment to not “profane my holy name,” for then when the name of G-d is treated as common, then by definition it is no longer treated as holy. If the commandment just said “do not profane my name,” it would most likely not be counting the holiness of G-d’s name within the context of profaning. Since it does say “do not profane my holy name” then to use G-d’s name in a common way, by implication, is engaging in profanity.

The fact that Yeshua himself seems to have used a circumlocution for G-d’s name when reading from the scroll of Isaiah in Luke 4:18, should be more than enough to convince us to consider adopting his halacha concerning the matter.

Acceptable circumlocutions for G-d’s sacred name used are “HaShem,” and “Adonai.” It is common practice that one should reserve use of even the name “Adonai” except when reading HaShem’s name in scripture, or when praying.

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5 Responses to “The Sacred Name of G-d”

  • MRavMac says:

    THE HOLY NAME: The reading or aloud mention of יהוה “Y-H-V-H” (Yod-Hey-Vav-Hey) or יי may be spoken as “the I AM” in English or as “Hashem” (the Name) in Hebrew.

    “Adonai”, “the Most High”, or “Avinu (Our Father)” may also be substituted as referring to the Holy Name. Messiah said to say “Avinu (Our Father).”

    As an organization, we encourage the use of “Adonai” in the Shema and other blessings, but in no way do we wish to invade the sanctity of personal, private prayers. How you talk to HaShem is your own business.

  • Israel says:

    Aveinu, Malcheinu (Our Father, Our King) – I use for direct prayer. I use “Adonai” when reading the Name aloud such as from scripture, or a siddur. I use “HaShem” when speaking or writing about G-d to others. This is not only considered acceptable, but also is encouraged. All of Judaism employs the same relative usage outlined here.

  • Troy613 says:

    When spoken aloud in public I use Master, Abba, Holy One, HASHEM blessed be He. However I do not speak The Name in front of people who I do not know lest they profane The Name in ignorance. I do not use it in common conversation. I may use it once in front of the brethren. In prayer I use it, but I keep with ADONAI. I believe that it is important that we know The NAME for it is written “Call upon HASHEM…”.
    So I agree with this Halacha. It also keeps shalom within the community since there are some who wish to argue about The Name. Even to the point of Rebbe Melekh ha’ Moshiach’s Name. Yeshua (Aramaic) Yehoshua (Hebrew).

    Shalom b’ Yeshua Rebenu.

  • I also follow the Orthodox tradition of using “HaShem” for a secular context and “Adonai” in prayer and religious settings. When spelling is necessary I use the common pronunciation “Yud-Keh-Vav-Keh” as a further buffer against making the Blessed Name to be anything other than Sacred and set apart. This follow the same convention of respect I use when addressing my own father. I seldom speak my father’s name but use appropriate title instead: “Daddy” in private and “Father” in public.

    I’ve found that this stance doesn’t offend and allies most closely with greater Jewry. By avoiding direct pronunciation of the Blessed Name I also obscure it from those who might seek to profane it. If they curse “Adonai” they are really cursing their own supposed deity since “Adonai” means “My Master”. I wish to avoid coming close to causing sin by introducing the possibility of sin to those who are actively seeking sin. Those who turn to Righteousness will seek to worship Him in Spirit and Truth. They will learn His Name in time with proper respect.

    However, “profaning” must be understood as much more than simply mispronunciation or common utterance. Any time we do something contrary to His character we are profaning His Name by misrepresenting His Holiness. The notion that “profaning” is confined to pronunciation is as bogus as a notion that the mute are immune to foul speech. Actions speak louder than words. Likewise honor runs much deeper than mere pronunciation.

    I’ve seen more people turned away from the Joy of Righteousness over Sacred Name issues than I care to count. It is vitally important that we tread carefully in our position on this most holy matter. We can so easily become prideful and arrogant over knowing the “right way” to do something. To refuse to abide in reverence is to act in full rebellion. There is only one right way to show proper respect, that is through humility. So let us be humble as we encourage the world to glorify His Name in full Majesty and Holiness. In doing so we will find great blessing and peace.

    Shalom Uv’racha! …Rods ;-)

  • Israel says:

    Someone on another forum asked this question, and I thought I’d post it here for your input:

    Where in scripture are we justified in using the sacred name of G-d (no matter what version one may happen to ascribe to at the moment) at the cost of turning away a potential follower of Messiah Yeshua?