Dr. Gene Kim

YHWH A dessert pagan God

Key notes

  • National God: Yahweh was the national god of the Iron Age kingdoms of Israel and Judah.
  • Pagan Origins: Scholars claim Yahweh’s name may have originated from a desert pagan god.
  • Disputed Origins: His exact origins are debated, with some evidence tracing back to the early Iron Age and even the late Bronze Age.
  • Association with El: Yahweh’s name might have started as an epithet of El, the head of the Canaanite pantheon.
  • Historical Mentions: Early mentions of Yahweh appear in Egyptian texts, placing him among the nomads of the southern Transjordan.

We’re going to look at the book of Mark, chapter 14, and we’re going to read verse 36. Mark chapter 14, and we will read verse 36. Now before I read this passage, I’m going to debunk the idea that God’s name is Yahweh. How many Christian organizations keep saying Yahweh, Yahweh? I want people to understand this: Yahweh is not the name of God.

You have to avoid using this because the more Christians use the term Yahweh, the more you support the liberals. Why is that? Because liberals in their college classes teach that Christianity and Judaism got their name for God not from their own religion, but borrowed it through pagans. To argue that Abraham and Moses got some tribal pagan god name for their God, they have to mention Yahweh. Liberals teach that this came from a pagan tribal desert God. They claim Abraham and Moses, being desert tribes, borrowed it from a desert God. My God did not borrow His name from some kind of desert pagan nobody.

I was in liberal classes at Berkeley, and they taught that. When I heard that, I already knew it, but hearing it at UC Berkeley confirmed my belief even more. And guess what? The professor was a Jew as well. So, don’t say I don’t know what I’m talking about. You can even look up Wikipedia. Even Wikipedia, an amateur source, acknowledges this basic fact. Yahweh was the national god of the Iron Age kingdoms of Israel and Judah. His exact origins are disputed, although they reach back to the early Iron Age and even the late Bronze Age. His name may have begun as an epithet of El, the head of the Bronze Age Canaanite pantheon. But the earliest plausible mentions are in Egyptian texts placing him among the nomads of the southern Transjordan.

One source, William G. Dever’s 2003 article, “Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come From?” claims this. The Israelites borrowed it from some kind of nomadic tribe out of the desert for the name of their God, Yahweh. I gave you the documentation, and you can even look up Wikipedia if you doubt me.

How did we get this idea? From the book of Exodus, supposedly his Hebrew name. But in Hebrew to English, it’s not Yahweh. It’s disputed. The King James Bible calls it Jehovah. If I’m going to translate that from Hebrew to English, I’m not going to say Yahweh. See? Jehovah. The King James Version (KJV) translated it to English from Latin, which in turn was translated from Hebrew. This is normal through correct translation processes. This is a matter of fact with scholars.

For example, Acts 7 mentions Jesus took the Jews to the promised land. Obviously, it refers to Joshua, not our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This is a normal translation from Hebrew to Greek, and from Greek to English in our King James Bible. This is not an inaccurate translation. When some people say it’s inaccurate because the letter “J” came out later, they are ignoring the fact that we’re in 2018, and this “J” came out through translation processes.

Look at Mark 14:35. Some people argue that we should use the language Jesus used when He spoke to the Father because He spoke Hebrew. Well, I’m going to debunk that notion. This word is disputed. From Hebrew translation, there are no vowels, just consonants. Yahweh is just a guess. It could be “Yahweh” or “Jehovah” because of the Yod concept, which could go “Y” or “J”. In English, it went from Latin from Hebrew, etc.

If you want to use the language Jesus used, look at Mark 14:35. When Jesus prayed, He addressed God as “Abba”. When Jesus prayed to God, He mostly used “Father”. Wouldn’t God the Father prefer that kind of relationship more anyway? Look at Galatians 4. If you don’t believe me, look at Galatians 4. The Spirit of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit compel you to cry out “Father” in your spirit.

Look at Galatians 4:6. Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying “Abba, Father”. The whole Trinity compels you to cry out “Father”. If you keep using “Yahweh”, that’s not from a clean spirit. The spirit that compels you to say God’s name should be the one where you cry out “Father”.

Look at Matthew 6:9. When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, He said, “Our Father”. Jesus instructed you to say “Our Father”.

Now, let’s go to Acts 2. If you’re fast enough, jump to Galatians 2 as well. I want you to go to Acts 2. If God gave you a language to call upon His name in that language, wouldn’t He prefer you to use that?

Look at Acts 2:21. Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord. Peter is preaching, and he’s mentioning calling on the name of the Lord in their own language. Look at Acts 2:6. Every man heard them speak in his own language. Parthians, Medes, Elamites, dwellers in Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, parts of Libya, Cyrene, strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes, and Arabians heard them speak in their tongues. Do you think they were all preaching Yahweh in Hebrew, or in their own language?

God wants you to speak to Him as a son and father. He does not want you bound in some tradition of Judaism. God hates that. Look at Galatians 2. Paul says in verse 14, if you, being a Jew, live after the manner of Gentiles, why compel the Gentiles to live as Jews? God does not like that. Who started the different languages, Satan or God? God expects you to keep that division of languages. Otherwise, He wouldn’t have done that.

If there’s a Korean praying in Korean and says Yesu-nim, don’t bash him over the head. If there’s a Greek saying Iēsous, don’t bash him over the head. Don’t bash a Hispanic person saying Jesús. God wants you to speak in your language and talk to Him in your language because He ordained the language, not you. By violating this and going to a selected language, it shows an elitist attitude and even, let’s be honest, racism. God divided the languages and nations for a reason. He wants you to worship God in your language, in your nation.

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