Why is God's name removed from most Bibles?

How stupid does Psalms 83:18 sound when it reads something like this...."Let them know that you, whose name alone (name not title) is LORD, the sovereign king over all the Earth".

Wasn't it Jesus himself that said his name should let be known to all the nations? God's name appears hundreds of times in the original Hebrew scriptures. So what gives?

And please don't post comments irrelevant to my question. Thanks.

Can anyone explain this to me?


Chris: if Jesus is God like you say, how do you explain Matthew 26:39, John 8:17, 18, Mark 13:32, Matthew 20:20-23 and countless other texts?

10 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    You make an outstanding point that, unfortunately, many so-called religious people choose to ignore. The Bible does not support the doctrine of the Trinity. One can google the origination of the Trinity and see that is came from Bablyonish pagan roots and infilitrated itself into the Christian congregation...

    Concerning God's name though. As a Jehovah's Witnesses, we definitely do not ignore the fact the Jesus and many other Bible writers and faithful men and women of old encouraged using his name and did so themselves. The following brief excerpt explains how we got "Jehovah" from the original scrolls and why so many Bibles have "dropped" using God's rightful name (not title).

    "The practice of substituting titles for the divine name that developed among the Jews was applied in later copies of the Greek Septuagint, the Latin Vulgate, and many other translations, ancient and modern. Therefore, A Greek-English Lexicon, by Liddell and Scott (LS), p. 1013, states: “ὁ Κύριος,=Hebr. Yahweh, LXX Ge. 11.5, al.” Also, the Greek Lexicon of the Roman and Byzantine Periods, by E. A. Sophocles, Cambridge, U.S.A., and Leipzig, 1914, p. 699, says under κύριος (Ky′ri•os): “Lord, the representative of יהוה. Sept. passim [scattered throughout].” Moreover, Dictionnaire de la Bible, by F. Vigouroux, Paris, 1926, col. 223, says that “the Septuagint and the Vulgate contain Κύριος and Dominus, ‘Lord,’ where the original contains Jehovah.” Regarding the divine name, A Compendious Syriac Dictionary, edited by J. Payne Smith, Oxford, 1979 reprint, p. 298, says that Mar•ya’ “in the [Syriac] Peshita Version of the O. T. represents the Tetragrammaton.”

    Jehovah’s name was first restored to the English Bible by William Tyndale. In 1530 he published a translation of the first five books of the Bible into English. He included Jehovah’s name once, in Ex 6:3. In a note in this edition Tyndale wrote: “Iehovah is God’s name . . . Moreover, as oft as thou seist LORD in great letters (except there be any error in the printing) it is in Hebrew Iehovah.” From this the practice arose among translators to use Jehovah’s name in just a few places, but to write “LORD” or “GOD” in most places where the Tetragrammaton occurs in Hebrew. This practice was adopted by the translators of the King James Version in 1611, where Jehovah’s name occurs only four times, namely, in Ex 6:3; Ps 83:18; Isa 12:2; 26:4.

    Further, Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, Vol. 1, Chicago (1980), p. 13, says: “To avoid the risk of taking God’s name (YHWH) in vain, devout Jews began to substitute the word ’ǎdōnā(y) for the proper name itself. Although the Masoretes left the four original consonants in the text, they added the vowels ē (in place of ǎ for other reasons) and ā to remind the reader to pronounce ’ǎdōnā(y) regardless of the consonants. This feature occurs more than six thousand times in the Hebrew Bible. Most translations use all capital letters to make the title ‘LORD.’ Exceptions are the ASV [American Standard Version] and New World Translation which use ‘Jehovah,’ Amplified [Bible] which uses ‘Lord,’ and JB [The Jerusalem Bible] which uses ‘Yahweh.’ . . . In those places where ’ǎdōnā(y) yhwh occurs the latter word is pointed with the vowels from ’ēlōhim, and the English renderings such as ‘Lord GOD’ arose (e.g. Amos 7:1).”

    "Vowel signs in Hebrew copies of the Bible came into use first in the seventh century of our Common Era. These signs indicated which vowel sounds were to be used when reading the all-consonant Hebrew text. But because of the superstition of not pronouncing the Divine Name, the vowel signs for Elohim (God) and Adonay (Lord) were inserted to warn the reader to say those words instead of the Divine Name. By combining those warning vowel signs with the four Hebrew consonants, the pronunciations Yehowih′ and Yehowah′ were formed, from which we derive “Jehovah” in the English language. It was thus introduced into English translations of the Bible, including the King James Version of about 350 years ago."

    Source(s): For more information on this or other Bible topics, feel free to contact your local Christian Congregation of Jehovah's WItnesses or visit our one and only official website at watchtower.org
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    1) Why is God's name removed from most Bibles?

    Ancient Christian tradition dating to at least the time of the writing of the Gospels; probably it dates to an even earlier time, an ancient Jewish practice. In any case, in **every single instance** in the New Testament in **every single original language manuscript** where someone quotes an Old Testament passage that includes the tetragrammaton, the word for "lord" is used in place of the tetragrammaton. It's not surprising that later Christians, when translating the Bible, followed the very same practice as did all of the authors of all of the New Testament Scriptures.

    As far as we know - that is, according to every single record we have - every time that Jesus quoted a Bible passage that included the tetragrammaton, he used the a phrase meaning "the lord" instead of speaking the tetragrammaton. Some Jewish scholars believe that the tetragrammaton was never meant to be spoken - that is, that it was first written down intentionally in a manner that could not be pronounced. I do not subscribe to that teaching.

    Still, the fact that all of the earliest Christian authors followed the practice is reason enough for modern Bible translators to believe that the practice should continue. I do NOT agree that the practice should continue - but there certainly are some decent reasons for doing so.

    2) How stupid does Psalms 83:18 sound when it reads something like this...."Let them know that you, whose name alone (name not title) is LORD, the sovereign king over all the Earth".

    To most Christians, it does not sound stupid at all. Certainly, such renderings did not sound stupid to the authors of the New Testament Scriptures - and it seems that they also did not sound stupid to Jesus


    3) Wasn't it Jesus himself that said his name should let be known to all the nations?

    You seem to be replacing a common idiom with a literal interpretation of that idiom. That is not a good idea - particularly when the Bible itself clearly uses that phrase idiomatically in other passages.

    Jim, http://www.bible-reviews.com/topics_accuracy_words...

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    It is clearly a sin and a fulfillment of prophecy of Jeremiah's. He foretold that there would be an effort to make his people forget his name -- and so it is. Many Christians do not like to use Jehovah, but do these same Christians substitute it with Yahweh and use this consistently? No, not at all. Thus we see that Satan has subverted many into leaving their God. Many of these now profess Jesus as their God. Doing this they inadvertently (one hopes) become part of the anti-Christ that both reject Jesus (since he is only the son of God) by making him into something he isn't and similarly have rejected God, the Almighty. (1 John 2:22, . . .He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. KJV) The ones who try to defend their inexcusable actions by claiming that it is because they do not know the right pronunciation of God's name -- have no qualms about mispronouncing all the other names of the Bible, including Jesus' name. It is a great shame to see so much turning away from the Almighty God, Jehovah or Yahweh -- as you like. We have come to use Jesus in English and nobody minds; for ca 700 / 800 years Jehovah was the accepted usage for God's name and only the last 100 years or so have the effort to erase God's name occurred. It is a satanic effort that each Christian should avoid.

  • 1 decade ago

    “Jehovah” is the best known English pronunciation of the divine name, although “Yahweh” is favored by most Hebrew scholars. The oldest Hebrew manuscripts present the name in the form of four consonants, commonly called the Tetragrammaton (from Greek te·tra-, meaning “four,” and gram′ma, “letter”). These four letters (written from right to left) are יהוה and may be transliterated into English as YHWH (or, JHVH).

    The Hebrew consonants of the name are therefore known. The question is, Which vowels are to be combined with those consonants? Vowel points did not come into use in Hebrew until the second half of the first millennium C.E. (See HEBREW, II [Hebrew Alphabet and Script].) Furthermore, because of a religious superstition that had begun centuries earlier, the vowel pointing found in Hebrew manuscripts does not provide the key for determining which vowels should appear in the divine name.

    Many modern scholars and Bible translators advocate following the tradition of eliminating the distinctive name of God. They not only claim that its uncertain pronunciation justifies such a course but also hold that the supremacy and uniqueness of the true God make unnecessary his having a particular name. Such a view receives no support from the inspired Scriptures, either those of pre-Christian times or those of the Christian Greek Scriptures.

    The Tetragrammaton occurs 6,828 times in the Hebrew text printed in Biblia Hebraica and Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia. In the Hebrew Scriptures the New World Translation contains the divine name 6,973 times, because the translators took into account, among other things, the fact that in some places the scribes had replaced the divine name with ’Adho·nai′ or ’Elo·him′. (See NW appendix, pp. 1561, 1562.) The very frequency of the appearance of the name attests to its importance to the Bible’s Author, whose name it is. Its use throughout the Scriptures far outnumbers that of any of the titles, such as “Sovereign Lord” or “God,” applied to him.

    Noteworthy, also, is the importance given to names themselves in the Hebrew Scriptures and among Semitic peoples. Professor G. T. Manley points out: “A study of the word ‘name’ in the O[ld] T[estament] reveals how much it means in Hebrew. The name is no mere label, but is significant of the real personality of him to whom it belongs. . . . When a person puts his ‘name’ upon a thing or another person the latter comes under his influence and protection.”—New Bible Dictionary, edited by J. D. Douglas, 1985, p. 430; compare Everyman’s Talmud, by A. Cohen, 1949, p. 24; Ge 27:36; 1Sa 25:25; Ps 20:1; Pr 22:1; see NAME.

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  • 1 decade ago

    The name "YHWH" may be found in some KJVs in the back, of course under "Y". I have "The Bible: Authorized King James Version with Apocrypha" and it's found in the back under notes to the old testament.

    The main reason why the name is not included. If you don't know the name it is more difficult to invoke. In a nutshell, the scriptures details how to invoke the Father if followed closely. Most don't know nor understand because they are taught man's religious thoughts/concepts.

    For instance many will say the name is not pronouncable ya da ya da...then why does this verse exist?

    Zephaniah 3:9 “ For then I will restore to the peoples a pure language,

    That they all may call on the name of the LORD,

    To serve Him with one accord

    Restore a pure language means ancient hebrew in it's pure form not yiddish/modern hebrew as it is today. He wants His people to call Him by name...YHWH.

  • Arch
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    You are referring to the common practice in English Bibles of translating the Tetragramation (YHWH) as LORD (in all caps). Yes, it is a habit that annoys me too.

    The reason this is done dates back to inter-testament era. When reading the Torah in the synagogues at the time, the faithful Jews wished to avoid taking "The LORDS name in vain". In order to help in this regard, a tradition developed wherein the person reading the Torah out loud would, when coming to "The Name" would read "adonai" rather than the actual name of God. "Adonai", of course, is the Hebrew word for "Lord".

    This practice carried forward into the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament produced in ancient times). The Septuagint translators followed the same precedent and wherever they came to The Name of God in the scriptures, they used the word for "lord" instead.

    This tradition survives to modern times, with the translators of most English Bibles carrying on the practice.

    I really wish they'd quit.

  • 1 decade ago


    God said to Moses, 'I am he who is.' And he said, 'This is what you are to say to the Israelites, "I am has sent me to you."


    See how there is no proper name here?

  • A crazy guy I once new said that the King James Bible replaced God with Lord to cement the supposed relationship between kings and God. Who knows? People are douchebags enough to do it.

  • Mr. E
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    God's name as written in the Hebrew language is unpronounceable. I don't think His ego is such that He finds it offensive if we call Him Lord, Father, God, Jehovah, Yahweh or any other rendition. He knows if you are talking to Him.

    edit: for those who have given me thumbs down, please tell us all what God's real name is and don't forget to give us sources as back up...

    edit2... so would one of you JW's please tell me how you know that God's real name should be pronounced Jehovah? The vowels were added much later and other than your Governing Body (who by the way has been wrong many many times in the past) saying it is so, you have no other basis for your belief. Some of us are not quite as blind as you.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Haven't you ever heard of the movie: The God Who Wasn't There?

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