Sacred Name Movement Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacred_Name_Movement

The Sacred Name Movement (SNM) began within the Church of God (Seventh-Day), propagated by Clarence Orvil Dodd in the 1930s. It purports to conform Christianity to its "Hebrew Roots" in practice, belief and worship. The best known distinction of the SNM is its advocacy of the use of the "sacred name" Yahweh (Hebrew: יַהְוֶה‎), the proper name of the national god of ancient Israel and Judah, and the use of the purported original Hebrew name of Jesus, transliterated as Yeshua, Yehoshua or Yahshua.[1][2] SNM believers also generally observe many of the Old Testament laws and ceremonies such as the Seventh-day Sabbath, Torah festivals, and kashrut food laws.[1]


The Sacred Name Movement includes various small groups (such as Yahweh's Assembly in Messiah, and Yahweh's Assembly in Yahshua) generally unified by the use of the name Yahweh and a Hebraic form for the name of God's son (such as Yahshua).[citation needed] SNM groups generally maintain the seventh day Sabbath (Friday sunset to Saturday sunset) along with the Jewish feast days such as Passover and the Feast of Weeks.[citation needed] They believe that the Torah law was not abolished.[citation needed] They believe that Yahshua is the son of Yahweh, and that his life, death, burial, and resurrection provide salvation. They believe that after persons repent of their sins, they should be baptized in the name of Yahshua.[citation needed]

SNM groups reject Easter and Christmas as pagan in origin. The movement also rejects the doctrine of the Trinity as unbiblical.[3] Groups within the movement have differed on doctrinal points, such as the wearing of beards and about what constitutes a Sabbath rest.[citation needed] Though it has similar beliefs, the Assemblies of Yahweh (headquartered in Bethel, Pennsylvania) distanced itself from the Sacred Name Movement, referring to it as "disorganisation" and "confusion".[citation needed]


The Sacred Name Movement arose in the early 20th century out of the Church of God (Seventh Day) movement. This movement was influenced by Joseph Franklin Rutherford who changed the name of the main branch of the Bible Student movement to Jehovah's Witnesses in 1931, based on his belief in the importance of the Hebrew name of God.[4] C. O. Dodd, a member of the Church of God (Seventh Day), began to keep the Jewish festivals (including Passover) in 1928, adopting sacred name doctrines in the late 1930s.[5] To promote his views, Dodd began to publish The Faith magazine in 1937.[5] American religious scholar J. Gordon Melton wrote, "No single force in spreading the Sacred Name movement was as important as The Faith magazine."[6]

The Assembly of Yahweh formed in Holt, Michigan in the 1930s. Its members first met in private homes near Lansing, Michigan.[citation needed] It later relocated to the Camp of Yah outside Eaton Rapids, Michigan. The land was owned by the Smith family[clarification needed], and Pearl Smith was the first pastor of the assembly.[citation needed] For a time after her leadership ended, the assembly was governed by a group of male elders.[citation needed] In the late 1960s, Samuel Graham was elected pastor.[citation needed] The congregation purchased a one-room school house and an additional 79 acres (32 ha) a few miles from the original Camp of Yah.[citation needed] It later extended the original building. In 2008, the group received an anonymous donation for the construction of a larger building. The main meeting room now allows up to 200 people to meet for worship.[citation needed]

The Assembly of Yahweh publishes Faith magazine and the Word of Yahweh Bible.[citation needed] It holds services on Sabbath days and for all Jewish feast days.[citation needed] During the Feast of Tabernacles, members travel from different states and other countries to observe the feast.[citation needed]

Sacred Name Bibles[edit]

Angelo Traina, a disciple of Dodd, undertook the production of a Sacred Name edition of the Bible, publishing the Holy Name New Testament in 1950 and the Holy Name Bible in 1962, both based on the King James Version, but with some names and words changed to Hebraic forms, such as "God" to "Elohim", "LORD" to "Yahweh" and "Jesus" to "Yahshua".[citation needed] Other Sacred Name Bibles have since been produced, and most Sacred Name Movement denominations use a Sacred Name Bible.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Kurian & Lamport 2016, pp. 2004.
  2. ^ Semitic philology[citation needed] reconstructs the Aramaic name of Jesus as Yeshua, Yehoshua or Yahshua (cf. English "Joshua" Heb 4:8).
  3. ^ Clarke, Peter. Encyclopedia of New Religious Movements. p. 543.
  4. ^ Melton, J. Gordon (1992), Encyclopedic Handbook of Cults in America, New York: Garland Publishing, p. 83, ISBN 978-0-8153-1140-9, OCLC 246783309
  5. ^ a b Hughey, Sam, A History of the True Church, The Reformed Reader, archived from the original on 19 February 2009, retrieved 7 January 2009
  6. ^ Melton, J. Gordon (1978), The Encyclopedia of American Religions, Wilmington, North Carolina: McGrath Publishing Company, p. 476, ISBN 978-0-7876-6384-1, OCLC 4854827