Yeshua (YHVH Saves)
David H. Stern, trans., Jewish New Testament: A Translation of the New Testament That Expresses Its Jewishness (Jerusalem and Clarksville, MD: Jewish New Testament Publications, 1989); David H. Stern, Jewish New Testament Commentary: A Companion Volume to the Jewish New Testament (Jerusalem: Jewish New Testament Publications, 1992).1,2
One of the most striking aspects of David Stern’s work is his implicit identification of Yeshua (Jesus) as the human manifestation of YHVH. The Jewish
Talmud (Pesachim 50a) made it a requirement not to pronounce the Tetragrammaton . . . (the Hebrew name of God consisting of the four letters, yud-heh-vav-heh), which is usually rendered in English as ‘Y-H-V-H,’ ‘Yahweh,’ ‘Jehovah’ or ‘the LORD’) . . . and this remains the rule in most modern Jewish settings. (JNTC 4; JNT 359) The early Christians also refrained from using the Tetragrammaton in referring to Jesus. Nevertheless, the New Testament explicitly applies to Yeshua (Jesus) such Jewish euphemisms for YHVH as “Adonai” and “HaShem” as well as the Greek equivalent of “I Am.”
[is] used in Judaism in lieu of the [T]etragrammaton . . . (JNT 359) See the following examples:
- Matthew 21:9; 23:39; Mark 11:9; Luke 13:35; see also Luke 19:38; John 12:13 (JNT):
Blessed is he who comes in the name of Adonai!
- Mark 1:3; Luke 3:4; see also John 1:23 (JNT):
The voice of someone crying out: ‘In the desert prepare the way for Adonai!’
- Luke 1:17 (JNT):
He [John the Baptist] will go out ahead of Adonai in the spirit and power of Eliyahu to turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, to make ready for Adonai a people prepared.
- Luke 4:12 (JNT):
Yeshua answered him,
It also says, “Do not put Adonai your God to the test.”
- Acts 2:25 (JNT):
For David says this about him [Yeshua]:
I saw Adonai always before me, for he is at my right hand . . .
- Philippians 2:10, 11 (JNT):
[E]very knee will bow . . . and every tongue will acknowledge that Yeshua the Messiah is Adonai . . .
Since this passage quotes Isaiah 45:23 . . . it is explicit that every knee will bow to Adonai [YHVH] . . .(JNT xxv)
The Messiah must . . . have God’s own name, Y-H-V-H (Adonai), applied to him (Isaiah 9:5-6; Jeremiah 23:5-6; Romans 10:9; Philippians 2:9-11).(JNT xxvii)
HaShem” (‘the Name’) is a euphemism for YHVH. (JNTC 239) See the following examples:
- Acts 5:41 (JNT):
The emissaries left the Sanhedrin overjoyed at having been considered worthy of suffering disgrace on account of him.
On account of him, literally,(JNTC 239)
over the name,and therefore, alternatively,
for the sake of HaShem.. . . Alternatively, ‘the name’ here stands for Yeshua . . .
- Acts 7:59, 60 (JNT):
As they were stoning him, Stephen called out to God,
Lord Yeshua! Receive my spirit! . . . Don’t hold this sin against them!
Stephen was the first Messianic Jew to die ‘al-kiddush-HaShem’ (literally, ‘in sanctification of the Name’ of God) . . .(JNTC 248)
- Philippians 2:9, 11 (JNT):
Therefore God raised him to the highest place and gave him the name above every name; that in honor of the name given Yeshua, every knee will bow — in heaven, on earth and under the earth, and every tongue will acknowledge that Yeshua the Messiah is Adonai — to the glory of God the Father.
Sha’ul [Paul] reveals the extraordinary fact that this name above every name is Adonai! . . . Yeshua the Messiah is Adonai . . . Because Isaiah 45:23, which in its own context applies to YHVH, is quoted in v. 10 in reference to Yeshua, I believe this verse teaches that Yeshua the Messiah is YHVH and not only ‘Lord’ in a lesser sense.(JNTC 597)
- 3 John 7 (JNT):
. . . since it was for the sake of HaShem that they went out without accepting anything from the Goyim.
‘HaShem,’ like ‘Adonai’ . . . is a Jewish euphemism for ‘YHVH,’ God’s personal name. Hence Yochanan [John] means ‘for the sake of God.’ Alternatively, ‘the name’ may be a code for ‘Yeshua,’ reflecting the danger of referring to him explicitly in a written message . . .(JNTC 780)
‘I am,’ echoes Adonai’s self-revelation, (JNTC 168) See the following examples:
I am who I am (Exodus 3:14).
- John 4:26 (JNT):
Yeshua said to her,
I, the person speaking to you, am he.
I, the one speaking to you, am he, literally, ‘I am, the one speaking to you.’ Thus he answers everyone who questions whether Yeshua proclaimed his own Messiahship. The declaration, ‘I am,’ echoes Adonai’s self-revelation,(JNTC 168)
I am who I am(Exodus 3:14). . . . Yeshua says this ‘I am’ nine times in Yochanan’s [John’s] Gospel (here; 6:20; 8:24, 28, 58; 13:9; 18:5, 6, 8), implying a claim even greater than being the Messiah . . .
- Revelation 1:4, 8 (JNT):
Grace and shalom to you from the One who is, who was and who is coming . . .
I am the “A” and the “Z,”says Adonai, God of heaven’s armies, the One who is, who was and who is coming.
The One who is, who was and who is coming. This is based on God’s self-identification in Exodus 3:14,(JNTC 787)
I am who I am,or,
I will be who I will be.
The ‘A’ and the ‘Z,’ literally, ‘the Alpha and the Omega,’ . . . means the same thing as the One who is, who was and who is coming . . .(JNTC 790)
- Revelation 1:17, 18 (JNT):
Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last, the Living One, I was dead, but look! — I am alive forever and ever!
- Revelation 2:8 (JNT):
Here is the message from the First and the Last, who died and came alive again . . .
Yeshua says,(JNTC 793)
I am the First and the Last. . . At Isaiah 44:6, 48:12 it is God the Father who so describes himself. Many titles and descriptions which the Tanakh [Old Testament] applies only to YHVH are in the New Testament applied to Yeshua [Jesus] . . .
- David H. Stern, trans., Jewish New Testament: A Translation of the New Testament That Expresses Its Jewishness, is available from Barnes & Noble at www.barnesandnoble.com/w/jewish-new-testament-david-h-stern/1111036127?ean=9789653590069. (go back)
- David H. Stern, Jewish New Testament Commentary: A Companion Volume to the Jewish New Testament, is available from Barnes & Noble at www.barnesandnoble.com/w/jewish-new-testament-commentary-david-h-stern/1111036128?ean=9789653590113#/. (go back)
- See “Overview” of Jewish New Testament Commentary: A Companion Volume to the Jewish New Testament, at www.barnesandnoble.com/w/jewish-new-testament-commentary-david-h-stern/1111036128?ean=9789653590113#/. (go back)