In order to appropriately answer the question, in my opinion there are few things to consider.
First, there are those that have argued that the pronunciation of the name is not important and is permissible to be used in any language. However, if the LORD gave His name and pronounced His Name and at the sound of that name every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that _________ is Lord, then wouldn't it make sense that the name and pronunciation of the name be the same? I have been in countries where the language is not mine own but my name was pronounced in my native language, so it just make sense for us to do the same to be on one accord.

Secondly, if it is the name that saves, casts out demons, heals the sick, raises the dead and expels demons and makes them tremble, shouldn't we spend time getting it right?


5 Answers 5


The Deaf and Mute. God loves all people. Some cannot utter a word and use sign language, so pronunciation must not be a showstopper for God.

A Different Jesus. The meaning behind the name – personality, character, teachings, actions and relationship to the Father, to Israel and its history (as savior) - is more important than the name.

4 For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough. (2 Corinthians 11:4)

Tower of Babel and Pentecost. God's judgment against mankind, which prizes political unity over unity with God, was to divide us into different peoples, each with our own language. At Pentecost (in Acts 2), God projected a new kind of unity, in Christ. He did not immediately create a new physical kingdom and unite all peoples politically and culturally. The Gospel message went out to all the people in their own language.

5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. (Acts 2:5-6)

The Angel with the Eternal Gospel. The Gospel is to be sent into every culture, instead of God miraculously making all people speak the same language.

6 Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people. (Revelation 14:6)


I'll assume this question is based on Acts 4:12

Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.

The word "name", G3686 - onoma, is defined by Outline of Biblical Usage as:

the name is used for everything which the name covers, everything the thought or feeling of which is aroused in the mind by mentioning, hearing, remembering, the name, i.e. for one's rank, authority, interests, pleasure, command, excellences, deeds etc.

Rather than thinking of the word "name" simply as what appears on one's driver's licence, think of it as the way it is used in the expression "in the Name of the Law".

Or better yet, think of the word "Jesus" as what we now call a meme, a simple word or phrase that has a lot of commonly understood extra meaning behind it.

  • Likewise consider descriptions of God's temple as 'where his name dwells'. His name is not literally over the door - rather the temple is where he himself dwells. Commented Jun 25, 2021 at 10:57
  • think of the word "Jesus" as what we now call a meme What about יְהֹוָה? Should we also think of יְהֹוָה as a "meme"? What would it mean, anyway? Commented Jun 26, 2021 at 17:17
  • @MigueldeServet, some could hear "Jesus" simply as someone's name ("Is he a baseball player?"), or as a historical figure ("You mean the rabbi that tried to start a revolution two thousand years ago?"), or as a character in a religion ("Oh, that guy the Christians are always talking about."). In Acts 4:12 though, the name represents all that and more, and when the intended audience reads it, they are expected to think not only of the individual person, but of everything that he did and said, and of everything he represents, past, present, and future. Cf. "Today the Kremlin stated … .". Commented Jun 26, 2021 at 17:58
  • @MigueldeServet asks 'Should we also think of יְהֹוָה as a "meme"?'. We could, but 2000 years ago that name was almost never spoken, and today (a mispronunciation of) it is more likely to be associated with a specific denomination than with what it really represents. So in general, that name isn't much of a meme. But to those JWs, it perhaps does have the quality of a meme, and to some anti-religous people it perhaps represents an imaginary domineering sadistic being, but those are very special cases of it. Commented Jun 26, 2021 at 17:58
  • @RayButterworth Your comments are as slippery as eels, and most unconvincing. Oh, BTW, that reference to the "Kremlin" is simply grotesque and smaks of Cold War memories. Even the most Vatican-prone papers can distinguish between Francis as Pope and the Vatican as his entourage. Commented Jun 26, 2021 at 18:15

Lip and tongue and throat and mouth movements save no one. Letters, symbols, figures and numbers save no one.

Jesus Christ the King of Israel, and the incarnate Son of God saves.

Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other. For there is no other name under heaven given to men, whereby we must be saved.

Now, does the name Yeshua save people? It means "Saviour." The name Yeshua saves no one. Yeshua Himself saves; because in Hebrew, "in/by the name of" means 'by' or 'into' or 'by the authority of.'

Ecclesiastes 6:4 For he came in vain, and goeth to darkness, and his name shall be wholly forgotten.

Here, "his name" means "he himself." "His reputation." His name might be forgotten as well, but that's not what is meant by "his name shall be forgotten." Here it means he himself, the person, the identity, the fame of him, will be forgotten, or not committed to record.

As such, whether you say Jesus like Yesous (Greek) (per the New Testament) or Yeshua (Hebrew) or Hesus (Spanish), Gesu, (Italian) etc. you are still referencing one name only, pronounced according to the region which to a greater or lesser degree appropriated the name in its language.

The applies to Peter. Also known as Keefa (כפא), Petros (Πετρος), Pierre, etc. And any other name (e.g. Mathityahu, מתתיהו also known as Matthew).

In Semitic culture, one's name is their identity or authority as personified as distinct from from, but in direct reference to, themselves.

Revelation 2:3 And thou hast patience, and hast endured for my name, and hast not fainted.

Quite clearly He means they have suffered willingly on account of their witness of Him, not for four letters (Hebrew), or six letters (Greek).

Revelation 3:1 And to the angel of the church of Sardis, write: These things saith he, that hath the seven spirits of God, and the seven stars: I know thy works, that thou hast the name of being alive: and thou art dead.

Here, name means reputation.

Matthew 28:19 Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

One name incorporates three Persons who go by different names. So name here means the nature or identity or spirit of the one God. (In Greek it's clear because the single word "into" covers each Person as having only one name.)

In other words, name only means the spelling or sound in English and some other European languages. In Hebrew and Semitic culture, the name is your identity or person, not the word that represents you.


[ESV Gal 4:8-12] 8Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods. 9But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more? 10You observe days and months and seasons and years! 11I am afraid I may have labored over you in vain. 12Brothers, I entreat you, become as I am, for I also have become as you are. You did me no wrong.

The name of God or Jesus should not be used as a magic charm, like the pagans believe about their charms and magic mantras. If the name itself could save and heal, then there would be no sickness in the world when we would just use the name as charm. The Jews started making the holy name of God as taboo because they believed it contains magic powers and is too holy to be uttered; however, the NT writers do not give any such indication to the name of Yahweh or Yeshua. Now with the growth of Jewish Roots movement, which is far from actual Jewish roots, propagate the myths about superstitious value to the Hebrew language and the names. I will repeat my answer to another question.

On June 29, 2008, Cardinal Francis Arinze, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, wrote to the presidents of all conferences of bishops, prohibiting use of the term Yahweh in the liturgy, particularly in hymns and Psalm translations. The same reasons should also apply to Yeshua the Hebrew name of Jesus. Here is an excerpt from that Letter to the Bishops Conferences on The Name of God:

When in fact St. Paul, with regard to the crucifixion, writes that “God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name” (Phil 2:9), he does not mean any name other than “Lord,” for he continues by saying, “and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” (Phil 2:11; cf. Is 42:8: “I am the Lord; that is my name.”) The attribution of this title to the risen Christ corresponds exactly to the proclamation of his divinity. The title in fact becomes interchangeable between the God of Israel and the Messiah of the Christian faith, even though it is not in fact one of the titles used for the Messiah of Israel. In the strictly theological sense, this title is found, for example, already in the first canonical Gospel (cf. Mt 1:20: “The angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream.”) One sees it as a rule in Old Testament citations in the New Testament (cf. Acts 2:20): “The sun shall be turned into darkness. . . before the day of the Lord comes” (Joel 3:4); 1 Peter 1:25: “The word of the Lord abides for ever” (Is 40:8). However, in the properly Christological sense, apart from the text cited of Philippians 2:9-11, one can remember Romans 10:9 (“If you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved”), 1 Corinthians 2:8 (“they would not have crucified the Lord of glory”), 1 Corinthians 12:3 (“No one can say 'Jesus is Lord' except by the Holy Spirit”) and the frequent formula concerning the Christian who lives “in the Lord” (Rom 16:2; 1 Cor 7:22, 1 Thes 3:8; etc).

From Michael Marlowe's article on this issue of Sacred Name:

Other “Sacred Name” cults put great emphasis on the use of the tetragrammaton, and also upon the supposed Hebrew form of the name of Jesus, for reasons that are not always clear. Some seem to believe that particular Hebrew pronunciations of the names for God and Christ are a mark of the true Church, and that there is even something wrong with using the Graecized and Anglicized form “Jesus” instead of “Yeshua,” or “Jehoshua,” “Yahshua,” or whatever pronunciation is being put forth as most authentic. The New Testament writers obviously cared nothing for all that. It stems from the dilettantish interest in Hebrew that one often finds among modern Pentecostals, Adventists, and other unorthodox people, who fancy that they are “restoring” something essential to true Christianity by using Hebrew names and words which the writers of the New Testament did not feel any need to use. These Hebrew words are then invested with sectarian significance. We sense that their desire to use a different name for God is connected with a tendency to reject the concept of God associated with historic Christian orthodoxy. Their Yahweh is not our Lord, their Yeshua is not our Jesus, their Messiah is not our Christ. Probably an inordinate interest in using the tetragrammaton also involves the same superstitious thinking that led some people in ancient times to use it as a magical word, with the idea that the power of the Deity can be summoned by the correct intonation of his name. This does not honor God, it spurns the custom of the apostles, and it would probably not have been tolerated by them.

The use of “the Lord” to represent the tetragrammaton will no doubt continue to be normal in English Bible versions. The example of the apostles, confirmed by two millennia of tradition, is not to be set aside lightly. The interests of scholars who wish to call attention to the use of the Name are adequately served by the use of the capital letters which indicate where the tetragrammaton occurs in the Hebrew text.

  • Is 42:8: “I am the Lord; that is my name.” You have resorted to a conjuring trick: what is translated in English as "Lord", in the original Hebrew is יְהֹוָה ... which is not a title, but a Proper Name. Commented Jun 26, 2021 at 17:22
  • @MigueldeServet just like the NT authors used kirios for his name?
    – Michael16
    Commented Jun 26, 2021 at 17:27
  • Are you suggesting that is is a right choice to the treat Proper Name Yehova differently from the Proper Name Yehoshua? Why? Commented Jun 26, 2021 at 18:03

Frankly, I do not think God cares what his children call him. As long as they revere Him, they can call God whatever their language and culture say they should call Him. In Swahili, God is called "Mungu"; in French, "Dieu"; in Tagalog "Diyos"; in Polish "chrześcijańskie imię boga"; and so on. The English word GOD is a relatively new European invention, which was never used in any of the ancient Judaeo-Christian scripture manuscripts . . .. There is a long history of people arguing and fighting over the name of God, yet we don't even know the origin of this European-invented word."

One thing is certain: God knows every single name by which He is called by Christians in every people-group in the world, because He is omniscient. Moreover, God is a God of dazzling variety, and safe to say He enjoys hearing people call upon His Name in their heart language. Critics of Christianity point to the multiplicity of denominations and suggest the Church Universal is deeply and irreparably divided. I say that the body of Christ could have a million denominations, and it would still be ONE in God's sight, and each denomination would have something unique to offer God, incl. His NAME.

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