What’s In A Name?

At Beth Adonai, you will hear many different “Names” we use to identify our God, our Creator.  These are called circumlocutions (substitutions) – an indirect way to express something.  Circumlocutions for the Name of God are a way to indicate the Name of God without writing or speaking it directly.  We do this to follow the Torah and treat with utmost respect the very character of God.

From the Torah we find this command regarding His Name: You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain (Exodus 20:7)

By the time of Yeshua, the Name of God was only pronounced by the priests during their daily priestly blessing in the Temple and in confession of the high priest on the Day of Atonement.  Furthermore, it appears Yeshua Himself never pronounced the Name and that He frequently used circumlocutions.  As disciples of Yeshua, we aim to model His behavior and obey His teachings.  In His teachings, He primarily referred to God as “Father”.

Names you will hear for God:

HaShem (literally means “the Name” in Hebrew)
Adonai (Lord) is used in the context of corporate prayer and worship
El Shaddai (Sufficient God or Almighty God)
Elohim (the plural of El and is the first name for God given in the Tanakh)

Name you will hear for Jesus:       Yeshua ( “salvation” )

We do not use the Tetragrammaton (Sacred Name) which consist of the four Hebrew letters: yod, he, vav, and he. Although this is undoubtedly God’s most holy, personal Name, it is clearly not the only name of God.  This also strongly contradicts traditional Jewish values.  When believers defy the convention of circumlocutions God’s Name, we become offensive to Jewish sensibilities.  By pronouncing God’s holy Name in defiance of Jewish and apostolic tradition, an arrogance is exhibited that is blasphemous to Jewish ears, creates a stumbling block, and tarnishes the reputation of Yeshua.

“Yeshua” bears the closest English representation of the name of the Messiah.  We do not use Yahshua for the name of the Messiah.  Historically, we never find the name Yahshua in use.  However, Yeshua was one of the most common names of the first century.

Who is a Jew?

We believe there is a distinct role for the Jew and the Gentile (the nations) as outlined in Acts 12.  We believe there are Jewish people from all races and regions throughout the world.   We do not hold to the beliefs of the “Two-House” or “Ephraimite” nor do we hold to the beliefs of the “Hebrew Israelites”.

We believe both Jew and non-Jew have the responsibility to observe Torah, celebrate the Feasts and Festivals and live a life-style that emulates Yeshua.