The Name Game

“The Name Game” 
by Shirley Ellis

“The name game. Shirley! Shirley, Shirley
Bo-ber-ley, bo-na-na fanna
Fo-fer-ley. fee fi mo-mer-ley, Shirley!
Lincoln! Lincoln, Lincoln. bo-bin-coln
Bo-na-na fanna, fo-fin-coln
Fee fi mo-min-coln, Lincoln!
Come on ev'rybody, I say now let's play a game
I betcha I can make a rhyme out of anybody's name
The first letter of the name
I treat it like it wasn't there
But a "B" or an "F" or an "M" will appear
And then I say "Bo" add a "B" then I say the name
Then "Bo-na-na fanna" and "fo"
And then I say the name again with an ""f" very plain
Then "fee fi" and a "mo"
And then I say the name again with an "M" this time
And there isn't any name that I can't rhyme
Arnold! Arnold, Arnold bo-bar-nold
Bo-na-na, fanna fo-far-nold
Fee fi m-mar-mold. Arnold!
But if… “

And it goes on from there.  If you’d like to hear the song, here’s a link to it:

So what got me thinking on this song?

Recently, a Messianic ministry that I respect sent out an email in reference on how to (or how not to) pronounce YHVH.  My purpose here isn’t to say I agree or disagree with them.  It did, however, get me thinking about this issue and how it relates to the Messianic movement.

Is God as worked up as we are over how His name, or the name of His Son, should be pronounced?  I figure if it was important, He would have made it crystal clear to us.  But instead we, in the Messianic movement, have come up with several different ways to pronounce the Name and the Name of His Son.  To a degree, it’s become a divisive issue.  Like it or not, when someone comes into a Messianic congregation and pronounces the Name or the Name of the Messiah differently than that group does, it puts up red flags of concern.  Why?  Because, of course, one has it right and the other has it wrong.  

But what if someone else shows up and says the Names another different way?  Isn’t that confusion?  What’s to be done at that point?  If nothing else, at least Christians agree on the name Jesus.  We can’t even do that.

I, for one, don’t have an issue with using Jehovah as the pronunciation.  It’s what the King James Bible translators chose to use.  Spurgeon used Jehovah.  Many commentators do as well.  Are they wrong?  Perhaps?  Are we correct?  Perhaps?  Are we all wrong?  Perhaps?

It’s just like Satan to take something sacred and turn it into a mess among Messianic people.  And it is a mess, too.  

Which is really too bad, isn’t it?

So many good things have become “issues” in the Messianic movement.  The Calendar;  the Moon;  the Festivals;  the Names.  Didn’t we come into this Hebraic mindset thinking it was going to simplify and give clarity to many things we had questions about?  Instead, we’ve just become more confused (and divided) over more issues with more questions.

It’s dumbed down to something a stupid as:  I say TOmato and you say TomAto.  I say Yeshua and you say Yehoshua.  I say Jehovah and you say Yahweh.  Or what ever variety of Heinz 57 we come up with.

I’m not worrying any longer about playing The Name Game.  It doesn’t appear God wanted to play it either.  Otherwise, He would have made sure all generations would know how to say His Name.

Do you ever wonder if God doesn’t look down and just shake His head at us?

Or, is it G_d?