Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Society & CultureReligion & Spirituality · 1 decade ago

Where does the Word 'Yahweh' originate from? How is it related to YHWH? Why is it translated LORD?

This is a question that I have never received a fixed answer.

I understood that the name given by God to Moses in Exodus (I AM, or I Am that I Am, rough translation), in ancient Hebrew froms the menomic Y.H.W.H.

From this because no one wanted to say the name of the Lord, and because there are no vowels in written hebrew, the pronunciation developed into YaHWeH, or sometimes Jehovah.

Can someone please clarify?

And put it in a way that my 11 year old students at school would also be able to understand?

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    In the earliest available texts, there are four Hebrew letters which were written for the name of God. These letters are called the tetragrammaton. In English, they are YHWH. Hebrew does not have vowels so vowels have to be inserted. A translator would know what a specific word meant by reading the context.

    The accepted translation of the tetragrammaton is Yahweh (Hebrew) or Jehovah (English).

    Some people object that we do not know for sure how God's name was pronounced but the same is true of Noah, Moses, Abraham, etc. and no-one disputes the translations of their names.

    The divine name has been taken out of many translations because people felt it was too sacred. It has been replaced with LORD in these renderings. However, some translations have put the divine name back where it belongs.

    “Jehovah” is the best known English pronunciation of the divine name, although “Yahweh” is favored by most Hebrew scholars.

    The Hebrew Scriptures themselves give no evidence that any of God’s true servants ever felt any hesitancy about pronouncing his name. Non-Biblical Hebrew documents, such as the so-called Lachish Letters, show the name was used in regular correspondence in Palestine during the latter part of the seventh century B.C.E.

    Another view is that the removal of the name was to keep non-Jewish peoples from knowing and possibly misusing it. However, Jehovah himself said that he would ‘have his name declared in all the earth’ (Exodus 9:16, 1 Chronicles 16:23, 24; Psalm 113:3; Malachi 1:11, 14), to be known even by his adversaries. (Isaiah 64:2) The name was in fact known and used by pagan nations both in pre-Common Era times and in the early centuries of the Common Era - The Jewish Encyclopedia, 1976, Vol. XII, p. 119.

    Another claim is that the purpose was to protect the name from use in magical rites. If so, this was poor reasoning, as it is obvious that the more mysterious the name became through disuse the more it would suit the purposes of practicers of magic.

    Since certainty of pronunciation is not now attainable, there seems to be no reason for abandoning in English the well-known form “Jehovah” in favor of some other suggested pronunciation. If such a change were made, then, to be consistent, changes should be made in the spelling and pronunciation of a host of other names found in the Scriptures: Jeremiah would be changed to Yirmeyah, Isaiah would become Yeshayahu, and Jesus would be either Yehohshua‛ (as in Hebrew) or Iesous (as in Greek). The purpose of words is to transmit thoughts; in English the name Jehovah identifies the true God, transmitting this thought more satisfactorily today than any of the suggested substitutes.

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  • claude
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    God said to Moses that his name is 'I AM' written in Hebrew as YHWH. The Jews believe that this name is too holy to be spoken so they say 'HaShem' (the Name) or 'Adonai' (Lord) instead when reading scripture. As written Hebrew has no vowels, the original pronunciation of YHWH was lost. It was transliterated into German as 'Jehovah' using the vowels from 'Adonai', however, modern scholars believe it would probably have been pronounced 'Yahweh' as there are instances in the Hebrew scriptures where it has been shortened to 'Yah' and this has also been used for parts of names.

    As no one knew how to pronounce the Name, and therefore didn't know how to write it with English characters, we copied the Jewish tradition of substituting it with Adonai/Lord, but it is capitalised in the Bible so you can tell that this is where the Name appears in Hebrew, as the word 'Adonai' appears in some places in the Hebrew scriptures.

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  • 4 years ago

    This isn't an answer, but more of a question that may lead to more questions. When did Jesus Christ create a new religion? As far as I know and the Christian Bible, incomplete as it is, tells us that he was born from a Jewish Woman, known as Mary married to a carpenter called Joseph. Being born from a Jew doesn't that make Jesus Christ a Jew also? And not a 'Christian'. With the above ignored for now, and this is for the 'Christians' out there; -How well do you know your religious history? -Where did it come from? -Who started this new religion? -When was the idea fermented? I did at one stage in my life consider myself to be a 'Christian', but became rather confused when I started asking these self same questions of those that were supposed to know these things and all I got was that Jesus Christ was born of the 'Holy Spirit' from God. And then out of the blue the Christian faith came into being. I know I'm not a scholar of the Christian Faith, or Judaism religion or Islamic beliefs but they all have the one thing in common. They all believe in the same God. The difference between them is the way they worship this deity. And how they show their devotion.

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  • Kurt
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Yahweh originated from original hebrew texts, it being the meaning of YHWH, as ancient Hebrew wrote that name in consonants not vowels. The name more readily recognised is Jehovah - God's name. This has been omitted from most Bible translations and replaced by Lord . Yes you're right

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  • 1 decade ago

    Yahweh is a proposed English reading of יהוה, the name of the God of Israel, as preserved in the original consonantal Hebrew Bible text. These four Hebrew letters [ i.e. יהוה ] are often collectively called the Tetragrammaton (from the Greek τετραγράμματον, meaning 'four-letter [word]'),[1] and are usually transliterated JHWH in German, and either YHWH, YHVH, JHWH or JHVH in English.

    Jews do not pronounce the name, but use e.g. HaShem ("The Name"). When Hebrew no longer was a living language, the Masoretes added vowel marks to the consonant text to assist readers. To יהוה they added the vowels for "Adonai" (= "My Lords"), the word to use when the Bible text is read. Also the Septuagint (Greek translation) and Vulgata (Latin translation) use the word "Lord" (kurios and dominus, respectively). (Adonai is plural referring to "Elohim", which is used to mean God, but is plural in form and originally meant "Gods")

    Various proposals exist for a vocalization of יהוה. Current convention is יַהְוֶה, that is, Yahweh. The 'Yah' part seems fairly certain, for example from Biblical proper names ending in -ia(h) or -yahu. Early Christian literature written in Greek used spellings like Ιαβε that can be transcribed by 'Yahweh'. Although contention still exists, today many scholars accept this proposal

    Source(s): wikipedia
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  • Nikki
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    The covenant GOd of Israel, YHWH is the original Hebrew, According to Jewish custom, because of reverence the divine name was not to be spoken, so the Hebrew words for Lord and God were substituted. Whenever the words LORD and GOD apperar in large and small capital letters, the original Hebrew reads YHWH.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Yahweh was a storm god from the desert, the Genesis god was El, the 2 merged later.

    Check out Mark Smith's book 'The Origins of Biblical Monotheism - Israel's Polytheistic Background and the Ugaritic Texts'

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    if you read the Torah you will learn that their is a hidden name of god that cant be spoken and so when writing the scriptures they didn't write the full name now you might also want to read the Kabula there will find your answer to try the Necernomicon to

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  • 1 decade ago

    Well if you have time watch this series of videos from YouTube... there might be a mention of it there:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xg3jD_Gk-s

    Youtube thumbnail

    I heard Ahmed Deedat talk about it in another series of videos and he explained it but I can't remember which one... so am assuming he will do the same in this series.

    hope this helps.

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  • w2
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Well if it's for a class, you can tell them that there is something more important than God's name: "I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name." (Psa 138:2)

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