Thank you for all your amazing info. I have nearly read your entire site and 'listened' to the Divine Name videos as well as read your FiveDove posts. I am glad to have someone so knowledgeable giving us insight where there seems to be little. I hope you will continue to send your opinions and add to your web site.
I am in agreement with you that the 'Sacred Name Movement' has done a disservice in that individuals have often come out so strongly for 'their' interpretation or pronunciation and likewise against anyone who proposes an alternative. How easily we can fall into legalism. On the other hand they have been resource to info that is difficult to find anywhere else. Traditional Christian sources are so 'Greek' down to their foundation that they can't seem to even see or acknowledge that 'The LORD' is not His name nor a good facsimile.
When I tell people what God's real name is and that every time they see 'The LORD' in their Old Testament that it is not really correct, I get responses ranging from 'Really???' up to the same response as if I told them they had to circumcise themselves. If I convince them, the nearly universal question comes next, 'Then why does every Bible do it wrong?' Explaining the whole translation history from Tanahk to Septuagint to Latin Vulgate to King James frequently results in glazed eyes.
Before I even knew there was a names movement I started studying Hebrew and Greek to find answers and I discovered on my own that there was a huge problem in our Biblical name translations and our western thought about them. I found a deep desire to know Him by name and tell others about what I found.
Joe, I would like to challenge you, not in a duel of knowledge as I would surely lose, but in thought, idea, and attitude. Please try to see my heart in this as I am not doing this for pride or for the support of some religious view. Please forgive me if you feel offended as this is not my intent.
My ultimate goal here is to come to a resolution for myself and other English speaking folk who want the intimacy of conversing with God and communicating about Him to others using His real names, and not obfuscated titles or Greek aliases that seem to have been put there as obstacles to intimate relationship.
Communication is a two way street and I may have understood some facts wrong but here is my impression of all that you have presented regarding the names of the Father and Son.
I have a friend who grew up in Russia. She calls me 'Tome' instead of Tom but I don't mind because when she calls my name I see love and admiration in her eyes. My wife's name is Melena but when the owner of a local Chinese restaurant calls her name it comes out as 'Merena'. She doesn't care because they both know he couldn't say an 'L' if is life depended on it.
While I am sure it is good to know the correct way to say the names of God and Jesus in Hebrew, I think that He listens to the heart and will not penalize us for mispronunciations. Surely our feeble attempts are much better to Him than millennia of being called Kurios, Dominus, and 'The LORD' - or Iesus, Yesu, or Jesus. I believe to my core that it is better to try to use the correct names rather than these poor substitutes regardless of our ability to say them with precision. I am convinced that He led me to this desire for His name(s) rather than the traditional aliases.
While some in the Sacred Names movement have pushed their correct and incorrect views with a spirit of religion and legalism, I feel you have almost done the same except by using knowledge. Specifically, to state that we have to know Hebrew to some significant level in order use His names without offending Him or breaking a commandment comes across as elitist or even snobby. I applaud your challenging those who insist on certain pronunciations that is contrary to what you know but to tell everyone else that if they can't do it right then don't do it at all is exclusionary. Jesus came to tear down the veil - don't create another one.
I feel a harsh or strict attitude regarding pronunciation only feeds anti-Jewishness. The Jews don't need any more ammo against them. I'm doing everything I can to fight anti-Semitism - let's not contribute to it.
The way we should spell names in Hebrew is absolute, or should be. There should not be any variance to יחוח or ישוע (as found in the Shem Tov Hebrew version of Matthew 1:25).
However, may I suggest that we should never make English spelling standards for Hebrew names or words. Transliterations should be merely phonetic attempts. Whether someone spells it Y'shua, Yahshua, Yeshooah, or Yeshua - what does it really matter? I say them all the same and I find that everyone else does too. If I spell it Yahshua this is not saying 'Yah is crying for help' because I didn't use Hebrew characters and my rendition is only a phonetic representation of ישוע. Not even single capital letters seem to have a universal standard of correlation as I see many disagree whether it is YHVH or YHWH.
Even if you think you have the correct written vowels, the people in London, Liverpool, Johannesburg, Melbourne, Nashville, Houston, Boston, or Toronto will all say the vowels differently so what's the big deal with what vowel letter we use in English? To attempt to codify English spellings seem legalistic and controlling.
Maybe the best answer would be to never try to write them in our alphabet but few could pull off handwriting them in Hebrew and finding a method so the Hebrew ALWAYS show correctly on EVERYONE'S computer short of using graphics in a PDF file has turned out to be a complete nightmare (and my trade is programming). To make the Hebrew letters above show up in HTML I had to manually encode them using decimal unicode - what a pain! I have resorted sometimes to using YHWH and YSWA but they usually confuse the uninitiated.
I have been told that which syllable gets the accent or emphasis is important (I would like to hear you views on this). If true, then I have discovered that the spelling often reflects which syllAble gets the accent. ;)
For instance, I have discerned from many Hebrew Christians that the accent in Yeshua should be on the second syllable. But I discovered that using the spelling of Yeshua nearly guarantees the wrong pronunciation from those not taught because people equate it to Joshua and put the accent on the first syllable. Using Y'shua nearly always gets the correct utterance but the use of an apostrophe within a word normally indicates a contraction - and it just doesn't seem right. So I resorted to Yahshua because it much more often gets the correct result by disassociating it from Joshua. I also liked that it gave deference to YAH but this was not my motivation for arriving at this spelling. I certainly don't tell people that this is the only way.
So, I continue my hunt for how we English unwashed can successfully commune with our maker using 'their' names. I have put you at the top of my resources even though I am not fully convinced. You are the first witness that I have found to your view and will look for more. Thank you for being such a thorough witness.
I suspect in heaven that we will all be miraculously converted to using a heavenly language which may or may not be Hebrew but whatever names I am given to use those will be the ones I worship with. I hope that we will all be there very soon.