This question was spurred on by my interaction with another related question on BHSE

It appears as though two different names being called upon for Salvation; yet, there is only one whereby we may be saved? How do we reconcile this?

Here are the Scripture passages in context:

Acts 4:10-12 says,

It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. He is "'the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone.' Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."

Comparing that with Acts 2:21 and Romans10:13 which quote a prophecy in Joel 2:21.

16 but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel: 17 'And it shall be in the last days,' God says, 'That I will pour forth of My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, And your young men shall see visions, And your old men shall dream dreams; 18 Even on My bondslaves, both men and women, I will in those days pour forth of My Spirit And they shall prophesy. 19 'And I will grant wonders in the sky above And signs on the earth below, Blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke. 20 'The sun will be turned into darkness And the moon into blood, Before the great and glorious day of the Lord shall come. 21 'And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'

Looking at Joel 2:32, we know that the Old Testament translators replace the actual name "YHWH" with "the LORD" (see Strong's #3068) Thus Joel 2:32 actually says,

"And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of YHWH Will be delivered . . ."

Background: a few weeks ago I would have said that the name Yeshua contains the abreviated form of YHWH and thus by calling on Yeshua we are calling on YHWH to save. However a Hebrew scholar recently delineated that the name Yeshua is actually a derivative from Hosea plus Y'hosea, making it future tense--He Will save. He said it cannot be YAH save because the H goes with Hosea, and Ya with out the H is not YaH, the shortened form of YHWH. So now I am left wondering about these verses.

  • 3
    I do not think the two names can be gammatically equated but many Christians beleive Jeus is the manifested YHWH, i.e. YHWH in the OT is the pre human form of the Son manifested in the NT. Under this view the names are synonyms, theologically not grammatically.
    – Mike
    Mar 11, 2013 at 6:30
  • 3
    You have really great questions, Sarah.
    – Frank Luke
    Mar 11, 2013 at 13:17
  • @Mike It's pretty common to have the lack of understanding that YHWH and Adonai are the same. After all Yeshua was the incarnation of the logos which isn't exactly the same as saying that he was the incarnation of YHWH. Especially if you're JW (christiananswers.net/q-acb/acb-r001.html). However this is border line a theological question and not a hermeneutic question. Mar 11, 2013 at 20:55
  • Perhaps they're all referring to one name. For instance, I could say, "the name of Chris" or, "the name of my brother." If my brother is Chris, then the two are equivalent. Is this the same in those languages?
    – Andrew
    Jun 6, 2015 at 4:49

3 Answers 3


The bridge that connects Jesus the Nazarene as "Yahweh" is Isaiah 8:13-14, which both Paul (in Romans 9:33) and Peter (in 1 Peter 2:6-8) use to make the nexus between "calling on Jesus" and "calling on Yahweh" to be saved.

First, in Psalm 118:22 we find an unqualified mention of a stone "which the builders rejected" that in turn "became the chief cornerstone" (of what, we do not know until one reads what Isaiah has to say).

So in Isaiah 8:13-14 we read that it is Yahweh HIMSELF who will become the sanctuary upon which some Israelites will "strike" and even stumble over. In Isaiah 28:16 we then read that it is the "Lord Yahweh" who will lay the precious costly cornerstone as the foundation "in Zion." So we see that Yahweh is the sanctuary (Is 8:13-14), whose cornerstone...is laid by Yahweh (Is 28:16) and over whom many Israelites will stumble (cf. Luke 2:34). Thus one infers that by calling upon the cornerstone, one is calling upon Yahweh the sanctuary. For those who do not find salvation in the sanctuary afforded by this cornerstone, such people will strike the sanctuary (Isaiah 8:13-14) and therefore its cornerstone and thus will stumble (Is 28:16 and Ps 118:22). Of note, Isaiah 8:13-14 and Psalm 118:22 equate the sanctuary with the cornerstone, over which the stumbling occurs. That is, if you reject the cornerstone, you rejected the sanctuary. One is not separable from the other.

So when one called on the name of Jesus ("the Lord") in Acts 4:10-12, they were calling on Yahweh, because Yahweh laid the chief cornerstone, who was as it turns out Yahweh himself. Both Paul (in Romans 9:33) and Peter (in 1 Peter 2:6-8) leverage this approach therefore to indicate that Jesus was the name upon whom we must call to be saved. He is the chief cornerstone of the sanctuary, who is Yahweh HIMSELF according to Isaiah 8:13-14.

Thus the "Jesus" is the name of YHWH? – Sarah 13 hours ago


When Moses built the tabernacle in the wilderness, he was shown the pattern on the mountain, and thus the tabernacle was an analog to the actual tabernacle that was in heaven, which was not built by hands (Exodus 25:40 and Acts 7:49 with Hebrews 8:5).

Afterward, King David had intended to build the earthly temple in Jerusalem, but he had to leave the task to his son, who then built the Temple in Jerusalem. This earthly temple of course displaced the earthly tabernacle.

The tabernacle IN HEAVEN however ("that was not built with hands") was displaced by the son of King David, who is Jesus the Nazarene. Yahweh set Jesus as the cornerstone of this temple in heaven. This heavenly temple displaced the heavenly tabernacle (which Moses was shown to copy for the earthly tabernacle). In both cases (earthly & heavenly) the Son of David laid the basis for the "temple" or abode of Yahweh's presence.

Remember: the earthly temple was laid "in Jerusalem," and the heavenly temple was laid "in Zion." The heavenly Zion is the analog to the earthly Jerusalem (please see Psalm 48:1-2 compared to Isaiah 14:13). Because Yahweh's presence has been in both places, the terms Jerusalem and Zion are sometimes used interchangeably in the Bible to refer to the locus or presence of Yahweh's glory.

So Solomon was the king (and thus had right to David's throne), but he was not the earthly temple (and so Solomon had no priestly roles or responsibilities). Jesus the Nazarene is both the king (and thus has right to David's throne), and he is also the cornerstone of the heavenly temple (and thus Jesus has priestly roles or responsibilities).

The reason that Jesus the Nazarene has priestly roles or responsibilities is because he has an indestructible life (Hebrews 7:16, NASB), and therefore he is a high priest "according to the order of Melchizedek" (Psalm 110:4; Hebrews 5:6; Hebrews 6:20; Hebrews 7:11; and Hebrews 7:17). Because he has indestructible life (Hebrews 7:16, NASB), he was able to conquer death, which was "impossible to hold him in its grip" (Act 2:24). Finally, it goes without saying that this indestructible life is actually the eternal life of God, because no mortal man can generate such life.

In Isaiah 43:10 we read the following about Yahweh who describes his own life...

Before Me there was no God formed,
and there will be none after Me.

"Yahweh" means the one with no beginning and no ending. (He told Moses to introduce His name to Pharaoh as "I am: The I am".) In other words, to use Isaiah's parallel, there is nothing before the letter A in the alphabet and there is nothing after the letter Z -- Yahweh is the self-existing eternal being, he is the first and the last, and thus there is nothing before him and nothing that will follow him. Jesus is associated with this self-existing eternal life "alpha and omega." In Revelation 21:6 we see Yahweh (Father) and in Revelation 22:13 we see Yahweh (Son); since they both ARE eternal life, they have no precedent and nothing subsequent to them.

Jesus the Nazarene was therefore a man who possessed this self-existing eternal life; he was eternal life robed in the flesh. Because his body was mortal, he was capable of dying and being separated from his eternal life. This death would suffice to take the punishment of the sins of the world as a substitute, since he himself was sinless (2 Cor 5:21). The death would be conquered, though, by the very immortal life or essence of "Yahweh." His resurrection therefore has resulted in his eternal life to become the "basis" or the cornerstone of the temple in heaven (Zion), where he presides as High Priest. His eternal life is therefore the "sanctuary" in whom we take our refuge for eternal life.

He could not be the "basis" (cornerstone) for this heavenly sanctuary had his person not been the very life of Yahweh.


I'm currently reading Edmund P. Clowney's Preaching Christ in All of Scripture. In it he quotes C. H. Dodd:

Wherever the term Kyrios, Lord, is applied to Jehovah in the OT, Paul seems to hold that it points forward to the coming revelation of God in the Lord Jesus Christ.—The Epistle of Paul to the Romans, 169.

Note that Kyrios is a Greek word, which implies that Paul used the Septuagint, not the Hebrew text. In fact, we can see that Paul was familiar with both languages and also felt free to provide his own paraphrase. But, since he wrote in Greek, he seems to rely most heavily on the LXX. (See "Tables of Old Testament Citations" for the evidence.)

To get back to your question, we can see that Joel 2:32 in Hebrew does use the tetragrammaton. But the Greek translation renders it as Kyrios. Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:13 use the same Greek word. So there's no contradiction in the Greek translations of the passage in Joel.

Acts 4 quotes Psalm 118:22 rather than Joel, but that Psalm has a similar line:

Out of my distress I called on the LORD;
    the LORD answered me and set me free.

—Psalm 118:5 (ESV)

Again, LORD (YHWH) is translated Kyrios in the Greek.


Paul, Peter, and the other New Testament writers saw Jesus foreshadowed throughout the Old Testament. While it might be going to far to say that every instance of Kyrios in the Septuagint means God the Son, it's not going to far to say that Jesus as a fulfillment of the Jewish prophesies, including those found in Joel and the Psalms.


When we seem to face contradiction, it sometimes comes from different meanings of words. (I also appreciated sarah's pointing out the grammar in the Y that came to precede the Hoshea which became in transliteration Iesous (Septuagint Greek for Joshua and Greek for Yehoshua, that is Jesus)).

An important aspect to consider may be this one, in addition: Within the context of these old ( biblical) languages the word name is not the same as it is in our modern languages when we regard its meaning. Name in the scriptures means the person, the power, the authority, the essence of the being that is thus called upon. Name here does not have its mere (modern) referential sense. In many instances it is better translated (and understood) than just as name. (e.g. in the Lord's prayer the Name of the Father as You, and in the Acts of the Apostles, where a hundred and twenty disciples/persons are in the Greek called names (onomata).

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