Many people have tried to rewrite the Name of "Yeshua" or "Yehoshua" as "Yahshua". Many of these same people are certain that however you pronounce YHWH, it's gotta start with "Yah". Most of them don't realize how based their logic is on English culture, and not Hebrew thinking.The logic is that because the short form of "YHWH" is "YaH", then “YHWH” must be “YaH” + something with “WH”. Actually, “YaH” is not the only short form of the Divine Name. “YeH” is another and so is “Yo”, though “Yo” is usually written “יו”, but the pronunciation of the Divine Name used on Yom Kippur starts with “Yo” even though there's no VAV after the YUD. This is why the short form of Yoseph is Yose', which isn't much shorter than Yoseph. It's because "Yo" is a short form for the Divine Name. Of course in English, "Joe" is used because the "J" is not part of the Divine Name. But we never use "Yo" in Hebrew.And most of these people do not realize that if English speakers were accustommed to shortening “Joseph” to “Jeph” instead of “Joe” and “Marcus” to “Mus” instead of “Marc”, they would be assuming that a known use of “YaH” implies that “YHWH” is “YHWaH” with the first two vowels yet to be figured out. They do not realize how much English based logic is going into their assumptions. Also, even if English logic could be applied, it misses something here. YaH is derived from YHWH, not the other way around. When you shorten “Y'howah” (יְהֹוָה) to “יה”, you cannot use the original first vowel because the original vowel is not an “e” but a SHWA, and no where does Hebrew speak a shwa as the only syllable in a Hebrew word. HEBREW DOES NOT WORK LIKE ENGLISH and short forms are not based on using the first syllable from the long form of the word!!!! Those who insist that YHWH must start with YAH are refusing to recognize the fact that Hebrew does not work like English and are forcing their English ideas into a Hebrew problem.But in Hebrew , when a short form is used, it doesn't necessarily retain the original vowels from the original form at all. We call the TOrah + NEviim (Prophets) + Ketuvim (Writings) the TaNaK, not the ToNeK. One cannot look at the short form of a name and draw any conclusions whatsoever about how the long form is because Hebrew just doesn't work like English, and those trying to fit "Yah" into everything are making the assumption that Hebrew works like English where the short forms are derived from the long forms by retaining the first consonant and first vowel, when Hebrew just doesn't work that way.But also, if someone doesn't trust the Masoretic scribes to have written the vowels for one word correctly, why trust them for another? Why trust their writing "Yah" if you don't trust the vowels they put to the entire name. So this argument assumes as true what it is trying to disprove in order to disprove it!!! It assumes the Masorets got it right when they wrote "Yah" but got it wrong when they wronte other vowels in for YHWH!!!!
Understanding how to say the Divine Name is a Hebrew problem. It needs a Hebrew solution and Hebrew logic. Any attempt to approach this issue through English logic could result in something worse that just failure. In some cases, the end result is a pronunciation that is blasphemous. People should not try to rewrite the Divine Name or Yeshua's Name wioth "Yah" in it. In the case of Yeshua's Name, it can lead to something blasphemous.
What's wrong with "YAHshua"? First off, His Name is written as "ישוע" (Y'ShUA) or "יהושע" (YeHoShUA), not "יהשוע". And "יה + שוע" is not something you would want to say.
- "ישע" = YaShA is the verb "to save"
- "ישעוה" = YeShUaH is the noun "Salvation" and it is a feminine word. Yeshua's Name is derived from "YeShUaH" be dropping the final "H" (HEY) in order to make it masculine.
- "שוע" = ShUA is the PUAL form of the verb "save" and means "cry for help" or "being saved". The Pual form inverts who is saving and who is being saved, so it reverses things from the subject of the sentence being the one doing the saving to the subject being the one being saved. "שוע" = ShUA is used in Job 30:24 where it says "...though they CRY OUT FOR HELP (SHUA) in his destruction" . Go look it up if you're one of those that has been using YAHshua thinking you're saying the opposite of what you have really been saying.
Now many armchair theologians have concluded that "shua" means the same thing as "yasha" , or to save, and that "Yahshua" means "Yah is salvation". But that 's false. Shua means to be saved, or to cry out for salvation - just like it was used in Job 30:24!!! So when one says "Yah" + SHUA, what he is saying is "Yah is crying for help.". Thus, by trying to reinvent the Saviors Name by inserting English logic into the mix, they have inverted the meaning of His Name so that it says something blasphemous.
The moral of this is several fold.
- Don't apply English logic to a Hebrew problem.
- If you don't know Hebrew, don't argue with Hebrew speaking people over how to speak Hebrew.
- Don't use a pronunciation for a Hebrew word if you can't find it used in Hebrew writings.
The above ought to be common sense, but there's not enough of this type of common sense going around. There's more on this issue at http://www.messiahalive.com/thename.htm where I tackle this and demonstrate that there's been a lot written in Jewish history over how to correctly pronounce the Name in such a way that we do not have to do anything except consult those ancient Hebrew writings to know how to say the correct Hebrew pronunciation of any Hebrew word, including the Divine Name.