My friend consistently brings up the fact that it makes him angry when people call Yahweh by the name "Jesus." He says that the name Jesus was never used in the Old Testament and that man gave Yahweh the name Jesus. Therefore we are wrong to call the Son of God "Jesus," because it was NOT what God called him. My friend said we need to call him Yahweh or the other Hebrew names, but not Jesus. I tried to show him where the angels called Him Jesus in the New Testament, but my friend won't accept this as true because he believes the Bible has been rewritten many times and the original manuscripts did not use the name Jesus. How would you answer this?
Let's set aside this person's skepticism about the reliability of the New Testament. That's another question for another day. He is incorrect when he says the name Jesus was not used in the Old Testament. But before addressing that, let's begin with the revelation of the name of Yahweh in the Old Testament.
Yahweh (YHVH) is the covenant name of God. This name was revealed to Moses on Mt. Sinai when, prior to the exodus of God's people from Egypt, God appeared to Moses in a burning bush. Moses asked His name and God answered.
Then Moses said to God, "Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they say to me, 'What is His name?' what shall I say to them?" (Exodus 3:13)
And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And He said, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'" (Exodus 3:14)
So is it more accurate and appropriate to call Jesus by the name Yahweh?
Old Testament vs New Testament
We must remember that the Bible is a book of progressive revelation. In ancient days, God spoke through His prophets and prophesied of the Messiah to come. During His earthly ministry, Jesus gave further revelation of God's purpose and plan in redeeming man and restoring all things. And, after Jesus' ascension to Heaven, God sent the Holy Spirit to inspire the writing of words of God we have in the New Testament, thereby giving further revelation and completing the Holy Scriptures.
With full revelation, we understand the Great I AM who spoke to Moses to be a Triune God — one God in three distinct Persons: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. All three Persons are co-eternal, co-equal and co-existent in the one Godhead. Therefore, when God revealed His name as Yahweh to Moses, it was a revelation of the name of our Triune God. We understand God's triune nature, but prior to Jesus' incarnation it was not possible for the people of Israel to comprehend this. In fact the Shema, a prayer that is the "centerpiece" of the morning and evening Jewish prayer services, proclaims that "God is one."