Answer (3)

Answer (3). To this we ask, IS “God” English? Hardly. “God” traces back to the Dutch god, to the Germanic gott and back to the Teutonic guth. Names are transliterated, which means the sounds are carried across unchanged into another language. They are not translated into other languages. “But what about similar forms like John, Juan, and Johann? Or Peter and Pedro?” Some may ask. True, different languages have analogous version of certain names, but that does not change the fact that your given name remains the same no matter which country you travel to. (Notice, too, how closely these name versions RESEMBLE reach other, unlike “Yahweh” and the completely dissonant and unrelated “God.”)

Names simply don’t change from language to language. If a foreign head of state visits America, we don’t attempt to come up with an English version or translation for his or her name. For example, in English news reports Boris Yeltsin is still called “Boris Yeltsin.” Hosni Mubarak remains “Hosni Mubarak.” Trying to come up with an English equivalent of names would be an exercise in futility, because there would be none. Furthermore, doing so would change the person’s name and render the new name useless as a means of identification. The same is true of Yahweh’s Name – only one Name, Yahweh, expresses Him and defines who He is. Yahweh and ONLY Yahweh Himself can change His Name, if He so desires. Yet throughout Scripture we find that “Yahweh” is what He Himself demands to be called. “This is my Name forever,” He told Moses in explaining who He was, “and this is my memorial to all generations,” Exodus 3:15.

Israel also thought that any name commonly used in worship was suitable in the worship of Yahweh. What a grievous error! Because “Baal” was so popular with their pagan neighbors, they began to use it in calling on Yahweh. So Yahweh said in His wrath against Israel, “I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her Sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts…And I will visit her upon her days of Baalim, wherein she burned incense to them, and she decked herself with her earrings and her jewels, and she went after her lovers, and forgat me, says Yahweh…And it shall be that day, says Yahweh, that you shall call me Ishi; and shall call me no more Baali. For I will take away the names of Baalim out of her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name” (Hos. 2:11, 13, 16-17).