Is God El, Lord, YHWH, or Baal (or the numerous derivatives of those title-names)? Is Jesus Yeshua or Yahoshua? Does the fact that the letter J didn’t exist when the New Testament was written mean that Christians need to worship other names? Too many Christians have failed to strengthen their faith and knowledge in these matters, so it’s time to shed some light.
The short answer is that Jesus Christ is the only name under Heaven by which men can be saved. Jesus Christ is the only One we can go through to access the Father, because in fact, He and the Father are One! The Apostle John tells us that the Word (Jesus Christ) is God (Our Heavenly Father). Jesus Christ said He and Our Heavenly Father are the same, that if you’ve seen Jesus Christ, then you’ve seen the Father. Take time to look up all the appropriate verses in the New Testament.
Given all of this, why is it still necessary for some Christians to try to access Our Heavenly Father through other names? Do you even know the history behind those so-called names of God? Let’s first look at El.
El was a pagan god of the Canaanites. If you recall in the Old Testament, the Canaanites religious system called for them to sacrifice their own children to El. El and his pagan goddess wife Ashtaroth (which is also the name of a demon) had, among other sons, Baal. The word “Lord” comes from Baal if you follow the Hebrew language’s version history back to what’s called the Northwest Semitic language family, which comes from the Canaanite language. Beelzebub, then, is literally “Lord of the flies” and is mentioned in the Bible.
From Wikipedia: “Astaroth (also Ashtaroth, Astarot and Asteroth), in demonology, is a Crowned Prince of Hell. He is a male figure named after the Canaanite goddess Ashtoreth.” Notice the change in sex identity from female to male. Might explain the demon behind the current movement to normalize homosexual behavior and the confusion of sexual identity.
YHWH is a 4-letter pointer to God’s name. The reason the Hebrews decided to keep it this way is supposedly to avoid using His name in vain, and was too holy to mention. So they eventually substituted Adonai (also a form of the word Lord) and used this indirect name extensively. But does that even make sense when you think about it? How do we even know this is not also a pagan name? There are no laws in the Five Books of Laws in the Old Testament that justify substituting names for God’s name. If you look at the history of El, Lord, Adonai, and YHWH, you will find a convoluted, almost incomprehensible mess of histories and splintered, fragmented names that may or may not be God. You’d have to be an expert on all the versions of Hebrew in history to even come close to knowing the history of God’s names and titles. No wonder Jesus told the Jewish leaders at the time that they have put themselves in a position to have the key to knowledge, but deny it to others.
The New Testament was, thankfully, written in Greek and some in Aramaic. The Early Church maintained it and the early Catholic Church translated it into Latin and kept it going until the Reformation era decided to reintroduce the unnecessary name complexity and obfuscated it. Just look at the history of the Hebrew word El here. In Greek, which is much simpler than the various Hebrew language versions, Jesus Christ is Iesus Christos, which when brought into the English language, became Jesus Christ. This name is still valid and can be easily tested by casting out demons (they will flee as long as you resist sin and hold fast in your faith). No need to pray to El Shaddai or Adonai or El Yarusalyim or YHWH or Yahweh or Jehovah. Jesus Christ is sufficient for thee.
So why did El, which is a form of Baal worship, get introduced into the Hebrew Bible? And why the current movement to substitute Yeshua in place of Jesus Christ?
There are those who are working secretly against the Church to get us to accept the Messiah of Judaism over the true Savior, Jesus Christ. Some of these have come out of the Jews for Jesus camp, but they are from other groups too. Even though the New Testament was written in Greek, and the name Jesus Christ in English is derived from the Greek, some messianic Jews want us to believe that if we don’t pronounce His name as Yeshua, then we are not worshipping the true Messiah. This is a dangerous trend as it sets Christians up to believe in a lie. To help bolster their messianic claims, they have demonized the Pope, saying he is the Anti-Christ, and Yeshua of the Jews is the true Messiah. Beware, Saints! Satan will send you a decoy Anti-Christ to set you up to believe in a false messiah who they will push as the true savior of mankind.
As for El, it seems that those who worked on the Septuagint Hebrew Bible decided to use El because they were used to it from their Canaanite language ancestors. Here’s an interesting take on El:
Also note that the Hebrew name אל (El) transliterated into Greek forms Ηλ, which constitutes the first syllable of the word ηλιος, (helios), meaning sun and which originates in a very ancient proto Indo-European root.
This quote seems to imply a possible link to sun worship. Here’s another source:
“El” = GOD or god (‘el 410). This term was the most common general designation of deity in the ancient Near East. While it frequently occurred alone, ‘el’ was also combined with other words to constitute a compound term for deity, or to identify the nature and functions of the “god” in some manner. Thus the expression “God, the God of Israel” (Genesis 33:20) identified the specific activities of Israel’s God.
In the ancient world, knowledge of a person’s name was believed to give one power over that person. Knowledge of the character and attributes of pagan “gods” was thought to enable the worshipers to manipulate or influence the deities in a more effective way than they could have if the deity’s name remained unknown.
To that extent, the vagueness of the term ‘el’ frustrated persons who hoped to obtain some sort of power over the deity, since the name gave little or no indication of the god’s character. This was particularly true for El, the chief Canaanite god.
Nonetheless, not sure why the ancient Hebrews decided to borrow God’s name from the Canaanites, seeing how He detested their practices and baal worship, especially the burning of children as a sacrifice to Baal (Moloch), which the Bible calls “passing through the fire.”
Here’s a better idea: Why not just worship Jesus Christ? When we pray to Jesus Christ, we are praying to the Father. That’s simple enough. No weird family of name derivatives to figure out. No Canaanite gods to confuse with Our Heavenly Father. Just Jesus! Some will attack this work, but we welcome any challenge in a spirit of love and stand firm in the only name by which men can be saved, Jesus Christ!