This essay explores the significance of Jewish and Christian textual evidence for figures such as the Son of Man, Yahoel, the Logos, and Jesus possessing the divine name YHWH. It is argued that, for ancient Jewish writers, possession of the divine name was an important characteristic for communicating the identification of a figure close to or within the mystery of the God of Israel. This evidence is contrasted with evidence of the divine name being shared with or placed upon humans, such as the High Priest or the baptized, which does not signify as close an identification.
The Gospel of John evinces significant interest in the unique name that Jesus possesses which is identified as the name that the Son shares with the Father (John 17:11) which Jesus reveals (John 17:6, 26). Disciples of Jesus are to believe not only in Jesus as a person, but specifically in his name (John 1:12; 2:23; 3:18). Jesus states in John that he came in his “Father’s name” (John 5:43) and instructs his disciples to ask things “in my name” (John 14:12-13; 15:16; 16:23-24, 26). This paper will demonstrate that the unique name that Jesus shares with the Father is the Tetragrammaton, the unspoken four-letter personal name YHWH, an idea is that is important for the divine identity Christology of the Gospel of John and is already present with some figures closely associated with YHWH in the Hebrew Bible and Second Temple Jewish literature.