The Tetragrammaton: How important is it to a Follower of Christ?
The truly mind boggling aspect of this discussion is, ALL this resistance is due to a refusal to accept YHVH God as a literal being, with a unique name. The Scriptures, both OT and NT, are written from this perspective, and every single Biblical explanation of God is from this perspective.
Reality reaffirms this perspective.
The ONLY source of ANY theories to the contrary is fiction, or ..... you know who.Gentlemen, the reason I take the position I do, and to be really bold, I am fairly certain that I have the mind of Christ on this, is because of passion I have in me for God Himself. The person of God with whom I walk and on whom I lean for my understanding, direction, provision, course, sustenance, and companionship and have for 40 years.
Men want religious duties they can perform to ease their conscience and sense of committment to God, in whom they believe. Saying the right words or performing the right rituals fulfills this, if that is how they want to limit that relationship. Those who hunger and thirst for God Himself are not limited to words or rituals. They are not limited by language as God will reveal Himself to any man who pursues Him with a tenacious longing. No finding of the "right/personal/proper name" satisfies the man who wants to talk with God as Moses did, to the degree God will honor the man with such. To settle for the "proper" name seems like accepting an umbrella to get out of the weather when God is offering a villa.
What is more, God sees the particular culture and needs and weakness of each society and they are not all alike. The Hebrews were given as a second thought a handle that made it easier for them to follow. The Hebrew God or if you will, the God of their fathers (rather than the God of the whole universe) was offered to ease their coming into being a people of God. Abraham was told the whole earth would be blessed from him, not merely his descendents. But one has to start somewhere.
Jesus did not use that name because men did not think anymore like the Hebrews, in terms of the god of the XYZ people. We understand universal concepts and rather than being an honor to be the god of the XYZ people, we think it limiting and petty. Our God is the One True God, the God Almighty of all the universe, no longer a particular people. For me, the word "God" carries such sweetness that I find it one of the most moving words I know. The original answer "I am" is the first and closest answer to the truth about "who shall I say is sending me" as it communicates Someone beyond language and culture and belief. We do not make Him up. He made us up, at least our common ancestor, the two of them. When Jesus said "I am" they fell down.
There were compromises made in ancient Israel because of the limits of the people. They were given a King although that was NOT what God knew was best for them but what they wanted in the desire to be just like other people. A "personal" name of their deity to distinguish him from Baal, and Asherah, etc was also a crutch they needed.
God is not impresssed by what words we use when we pray. He is not impressed with us being satisfied in Him. He is impressed with those who love and trust Him enough to DO what He is asking them to DO. Deciding which words to us is a lot cheaper than actually doing what the speaker of those words requires if we are to know Him. It is my heart's desire that men not be satisfied with voicing the right words but instead press in to know Him as that is eternal life. Whatever word you use when addressing Him, whether it be Senor, Herr, Hananim, or Jehovah will not make any difference if the next question is not, "what would you have me do?"