Dr. John Garr

Sid: My guest by way of telephone is Dr. John Garr speaking to him about his book “Restoring Our Lost Legacy.” John you have a very interesting chapter here I think that every Christian in America would want to read this the title is “This is My Name forever.” Chapter 18 of your book and it talks about Yahweh or the name of God explain that.

John: Well unfortunately most Christians don’t even know that God has a name. If they have any idea that there is a name applied to Him there is the term Jehovah but Jehovah is basically a hybrid form of the original language of Hebrew as it stated His name is in the Hebrew text of scripture. It’s essentially a four letter Hebrew word it’s call the tetragrammaton because it’s four letters. But it’s the Yod Hey Vav Heh which is probably best pronounced somewhere close to Yahweh. It actually is a statement of the very essence and being of God Himself. It’s the statement that He is the one who is; it’s the statement of His eternity I Am that I Am. It’s also a statement of God’s nature as being the only being that exists who is the source of His own being. In other words all of us are because God made us or because we had parents, but God is simply because God is I Am that I Am. But the name is very powerful and of course we know in Jewish tradition in Bible times people were names, names according to characteristic of the people of those that bore those names. For instance Abram, or Abraham, was called Abraham because of the sir name because he was to the father of many nations. And so God’s name tells us something about who He is and what He is to us. This name is something that Christians need to be aware of and understand because they really know more about the very nature of God that’s manifest in His name. And when we realize that our God is the God who is not the God who was or the God who will be He’s just simply who is. So a million years into the future God already is there and that’s another interpretation of the word Yahweh it could mean “I will be there.” Or I will be what I will be.

Sid: Now in the King James Bible and many translations where the Hebrew word Yahweh is they translate it Lord why is that?

John: Now this is on the basis of a basically a rich Jewish tradition it goes back and predates the time of Jesus in which there was fear that one would abuse or profane the name that God had given to describe Himself and therefore violate the 3rd commandment in the 10 Commandments. The 3rd Commandment says “Thou shall not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.” So in an effort to avoid abusing or profaning the name of God or taking it in vain at the time of Jesus there had emerged among the Jewish people of simply no using or pronouncing that name they would celebrate, or substitute I should say, the Hebrew word “Adonai” which means Lord. And so that’s how we have seen to see the substitute in our English translation of the word instead of this name. And so virtually every place that you see in any Christian scriptures the word Lord it is replacing the Yod Hey Vav Heh in Hebrew which would be rendered more accurately Yahweh.

Sid: Well let me ask you a question I get letters every once in a while and they say “Sid how come you call God by the name of God and you don’t legalistically and that’s the where it’s coming from say Yahweh you’re in trouble with God if you don’t say Yahweh verses Lord or God?

John: Well the thing about that is that some people misunderstand and think that you have to refer to God by His personal name on continuing basis and never referring to Him by anything but His personal name. God doesn’t mind our referring Him by titles and in deed in some cases a title is simply a means of expressing adoration or reverence for someone. For instance, if you go into the court of law you know Bill sitting behind the desk he is the judge he is sitting on the bench you know him you could walk up to him and say “Hi Bill.” But you don’t say “Hi Bill” you say “You Honor” you know it’s a term of respect and reference. Well that’s essentially what to say the Lord as a substitute term or to say God as a substitute term it certainly has effectiveness and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that. I think that where some people get into an area where it becomes a legalism to almost they have to say the sacred name itself every time they refer to deity. They also think that everybody else should do the same thing and then they start judging other people on the basis of that. For instance, I’ll give you an example of the issue of the whether one should refer to our Savior as Yeshua or as Jesus. And some have gone to the extreme of suggesting that to say Jesus is to gives reverence to the king of the great god Zeus. Well first of all when you spell Jesus in Greek nowhere is the letter Zeta present and Zeta is the letter that begins the name of Zeus. So you know it’s a technical absurdity that we can’t refer to Jesus by the Anglicized form of His name because essentially it’s come to us through the language stream from Hebrew to Aramaic to Greek to Latin to English and it’s as close a transliteration through that language stream that we could rely upon. So if we went to refer to Jesus from his original name the name that He was called by His family we call Him Yeshua.

Sid: Now you use these names interchangeably you do that on purpose why?

John: I so that on purpose myself because I am engaged in an effort to communicate this knowledge and understanding to the broader Christians community. And frankly for the average person in the Christian church to hear someone say Yeshua they probably wouldn’t have any idea what he was trying to do what that word meant or you know to whom are you talking, Yeshua what’s this? But when you say Jesus you have a term that they understand and then you can sprinkle in Yeshua and then say again this is Jesus of Nazareth, Yeshua haMashiach, if you want to use His technical Hebrew name. Then they get a feel for it and they understand it and then they can begin to receive this thing into their lives and begin to practice it themselves. I think it’s really good that we have this understanding even of the name Yeshua, because Yeshua really means God in the role of a Savior or God’s salvation.

Sid: John we only have a few minutes left I would like you to briefly explain why a Christian must restore their lost legacy.

John: I think that it’s essential for Christians to go back and discover the faith of Jesus and the apostles. If I want to do the Christian faith why would I not want to do it in the way in which Jesus and the apostles did it they were the founders of the faith Jesus was the one who established this faith it was built on Him. And if I want to worship God why would I not want to do like Paul said in Acts 24 when he said “After the way that they call a sect so worship I the God of my fathers’ believing all things that are written in the law and the prophets.” In other words, Paul was doing the system that God had in place among the Jewish people among his heritage and he was practicing those things and that’s how he worshipped the God of his fathers. So why wouldn’t we want to do that, well I think it’s obvious that we would find a great enrichment in our lives if we were able to go back and recover the Hebraic foundations of our faith because there is so much that we have lost in understanding and in practice that can enrich our lives and make us better Christians. Not that we would make it our defense pose ourselves into Jews but that we would become better Christians because we become more like the living Jesus.

Sid: But some would say that in just about every city they’ve got what are know as Messianic Jewish Synagogues if someone wants that that style the join a Messianic Jewish Synagogue, but the Gentiles church should remain with the Greco-Roman culture.

John: Well I think that’s a mistake and it’s unfortunate that that have come to faith in Jesus from the Jewish community have found it necessary to almost be separated from the rest…

Sid: Yeah it’s not a mistake it was forced because the Gentile Church wanted nothing to do with their Biblical heritage.

John: That’s exactly right and I think that’s the unfortunate part about it because the Church has so denied it’s heritage that Jewish people that came to faith in Jesus didn’t recognize in the Church anything that they saw in Jesus as the Jew who lived among His Jewish brethren in a Jewish land and worshipped the God of the Jews and worshipped in the context of the Bible of the Jews. They didn’t understand how that could be so they had to withdraw.

Sid: Now we know in the Millennium we’re going to be observing these Biblical festivals I because the scriptures tell us this. We know that First Church observed these Biblical Festivals because the scriptures tell us this why did we go on instant pause?

John: (Laughing) Well that’s the mystery of the ages and again it’s all a part of this Gentile idea of somehow we’ve got something better now and our culture and our tradition is much better than what the Bible said and what the Jewish people had. So we’ve been doing our thing for almost 2000 years. But let me say this God is working sovereignly at the present time in virtually every faith communion within the Christian Church who quickened by the Holy Spirit that we’ve lost our richness, our heritage and people are working to recover it.

Sid: You know what I see John? Not only is this going on by the Spirit of God, but simultaneously the Spirit of God is moving again on Jewish people. And the Jewish believer in Jesus is going to get saved and come from Saul’s to the modern day apostles come into the church. The church in the meantime is getting back their Hebraic roots and watch for the glorious church come on the scene.

© Copyright 2015 Sid Roth, All rights Reserved. Written For: Sid-Roth.com
Content Protection by DMCA.com

Tags: ,