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The Sacred Name Movement (SNM) is a movement in Christianity that seeks to conform Christianity to its Hebrew Roots in practice, belief and worship. The best known distinction of the SNM is its belief in the use of a proper name for the God of Israel (YHVH/Yahweh) based upon the Tetragrammaton and the use of the Hebrew name of Jesus (Yahshua). SNM believers also generally keep many of the Old Testament laws and ceremonies such as the Torah festivals and keeping kosher food laws. However, not every 'Sacred Name' Group adheres to Old Testament festivals, dietary laws and other mitzvot.

The term "sacred name" is not exclusive to this movement but is a general theological term in Christianity - a translation of the Latin nomen sacrum - as well as being paralleled by concepts in many religions such as the Māori concept of a tapu name for a person or god.


The Sacred Name Movement arose in the early 20th century out of the Adventist movement.[1] C. O. Dodd, a member of the Church of God (Seventh Day), began keeping the Jewish festivals (including Passover) in 1928 and adopted sacred name doctrines in the late 1930s. Dodd also came into contact with Herbert W. Armstrong, founder of the Worldwide Church of God, who accepted many of Dodd's teachings.[2]

Dodd began publishing The Faith magazine starting in 1937 to promote his views.[3] It is currently freely distributed by the Assembly of Yahweh, the oldest of any still existing Sacred Name Assembly. Renowned scholar of American religions J. Gordon Melton wrote of the magazine,

No single force in spreading the Sacred Name movement was as important as The Faith magazine.

J. Gordon Melton, The Encyclopedia of American Religions[4]

Angelo Traina, a disciple of Dodd, undertook the writing of a Sacred Name edition of the Bible, publishing the Holy Name New Testament in 1950 (see Tetragrammaton in the New Testament) and the Holy Name Bible in 1962, both based upon the King James Version but replacing "God" with "Elohim", "LORD" with "Yahweh" and "Jesus" with "Yahshua". A distinction of the Sacred Name Movement has been the use of such Sacred name Bibles, others having been produced since Traina's.


  1. ^ Melton, J. Gordon (1992), Encyclopedic Handbook of Cults in America, New York: Garland Publishing, p. 83, ISBN 9780815311409, OCLC 246783309,,M1  
  2. ^ Renehan, Bruce, Daughter Of Babylon, The True History of The Worldwide Church of God, The Painful Truth web site,, retrieved 2009-01-07  , archived by WebCite here
  3. ^ Hughey, Sam, A History of the True Church, The Reformed Reader web site,, retrieved 2009-01-07  , archived by WebCite here.
  4. ^ Melton, J. Gordon (1978), The Encyclopedia of American Religions, Wilmington, North Carolina: McGrath Publishing Company, p. 476, ISBN 0787663841, OCLC 4854827  

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