Anonymous asked in Society & CultureReligion & Spirituality · 6 years ago

What do scholars really know about God's name? I mean it is confusing...I've heard YHWH, but is that really a name?

11 Answers

  • 6 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    You ask for scholars. Then scholarly answer with references is called for.

    The name of God is spelled with the Hebrews letters [yod], [heh], [vav], and [heh], read from right to left and then

    transliterated into English as JHVH (called the Tetragrammaton). In the King James it is translated 'JEHOVAH' seven times (and rendered 'LORD' and/or 'GOD'-all capital letters) the remainder [6510] times.

    Each of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet paints a picture. The letters in the name of God( the Tetragrammaton ) illustrate the following:

    J= jod: It suggests a 'giving, extending hand' (Marc- Alain Oauknin,

    Mysteries of the Alphabet, New Yark: Abbeville Press, 1999, p. 207).

    H= heh: It represents an 'enclosure,' like heaven or a window( Mysteries of the Alphabet, p 191).

    V= vav: It symbolizes a nail ( Mysteries of the Alphabet, p. 168). A `v' in English is a pictogram of the chiseled end of a nail.

    H= heh: It represents an 'enclosure,' like heaven or a window( Mysteries of the Alphabet, p 191).

    In the 19th century, critics of the Bible where trying to refashion God's name, JEHOVAH. They asserted that the God of Israel's name should be pronounced [Yahweh] because to them he was nothing more than an offshoot of the pagan


    The Jews who would not say God's name and had ceased using JEHOVAH centuries before the Christian era [notes the classic scholar's edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica] which says that what actually stood in the text they pronounced was God's name "JEHOVAH"

    (Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th edition (New York: Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 1910-11), vol. 15, pp. 311-314, s.v.


    Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia say that old manuscripts Jehovah is the pronunciationof the Tetragrammaton:

    "In the Masoretic text the usual form would give the pronunciation Yehovah [pronounced, Jehovah]"

    (The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge (New Yaork: Funk and Wagnalls, 1912), vol. 6, p. 117,

    s.v. Jehovah; vol. 12, p. 470, s.v. Yahweh).

    Theologian and writer John Gill's "A Dissertation Concerning the Antiquity of the Hebrew Language, Letters, Vowel-Points and Accents"- 1697-1771 documents the use of the name JEHOVAH from before 200B.C. and thoughout the centuries of the early church.

    The Hebrew's Mishna allowed the name as a salutation(Berachoth, ix, 5); according to Thamid, the priest in the temple could use the true name but those in the country could only use Adonai (vii, 2); The name "JEHOVAH" was used by the

    priest in the sanctuary and on the day of Atonement.

    (Moreh Nebukim. I, 61, and "Yad chasaka, " xiv, 10).

    Documentations of John Gill cites the pronunciation of God's name as Jehovah back through the centuries:[277 B.C. p. 249] [A.D. 70 (i.e. Josephus. pp 219-221)] [A.D. 120 (i.e. Zohar, p 213)] [A.D. 200 (Lamentations 5:21 "the points [vowels]

    were then, "p. 198.)] [ A.D. 250 ("Origen...quotes the Hebrew reading of Psalms

    118:25-26 which uses JEHOVAH three times with the vowels as the Jews did and

    still do with the point system, pp. 188-189, 192.)] [ A.D. 380 (" Jerome says

    that the word Jehovah was in his time) pp. 58-60, 175-176.)] [ A.D. 927 (Saadiah

    Gaon's book on the Hebrew vowel points cited the vowels of Jehovah, pp.


    Gill's documentation was very well known to the conservative Christian scholars

    of his day. This is shown by the 1753 edition of Chamber's Cyclopedia. It cites

    a Jehovist as "One who holds that the vowel-points annexed to the word Jehovah

    in Hebrew represent the actual vowels of the word" (OED, s.v. Jehovah).na pp.24-25

    Not being a Hebrew name Yahweh(means destroyer(EB, p. 312) critcs like Rudolf Kittel said the Hebrews borrowed [Yahweh] as it did not mean Yehovah (Jehovah in English) in any way! ( The New Schaff, vol. 12(XII, p. 470, s.v. Yahweh).

    In Awe of thy Word by G.A. Riplinger pp. 425- states: Who hatched the vowels in the new imaginary name Yahweh? The pronunciation Yahweh relies made-up vowel sounds. It ignores those seen in every pointed Hebrew Bible and used for

    thousands of years by both Jews and Christians.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, ever ready to perpetuate any theory that discredits the Holy Bible (and its word, JEHOVAH) and promote their church 'Fathers and traditions, reveals that the "cockatrice eggs"-- vowels 'a' and 'e'-- were laid

    by Theodoret use the Syrain" Jabe,

    (The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, Vol XI, New York:

    Funk & Wagnalls Co 1911, s. v. Jehovah, pp. 323-324; Vol. XII,, s. v. Theodoret).

    Over 1500 years later, German higher cretics and Catholic 'scholars' inserted the vowel in Jabe (a&e) into the consonants in JHVH to hatch the name Jahveh. This broke "out into a viper" called Yahweh, at the hands of English speaking writers, untrained in German and Latin pronunciations (Isa 59:5) The Catholic Encyclopedia boast, "Inserting the vowels of the Jabe into the orginal Hebrew consonant text, we obain the form Jahveh (Yahweh)

    Catholic Encyclopedia 1910, Robert Appleton Company, vol. VIII, Online edition 1999, Kevin Knight,, s. v. Jehovah, quote taken from Section I, last paragraph;

    see also Theodoret, in "Ex Quaestione, " xv, in Patrologia Greek., ( Greek Fathers, Migine et, al). LXXX, col. 24)—page 426- The "oracles

    Greek transliterations of the name by early Christian writers point in a somewhat similar direction with spellings such as I•a•be and I•a•ou•e which, as pronounced in Greek, resemble Yahweh. Still, there is by no means unanimity among scholars on the subject, some favoring yet other pronunciations, such as "Yahuwa," "Yahuah," or "Yehuah."

    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 Yir•meyah, Isaiah would become Yesha•yahu, and Jesus would be either Yehoh•shua (as in Hebrew) or I•e•sous (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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  • 6 years ago

    YHWH is hebrew and despite what anyone says you can look it up and it is pronounced Yahweh (Ya-way) which when translated in english is Jehovah. There are many many documents and transcripts that prove this that Gods name is Jehovah. But many times in history religious leaders that were against christianity tried to get rib of his name forever by burning bibles and manuscripts. But it never fully worked. Now the name Jehovah HAS Been removed from alot of bibles but the only ancient bible that still has it is the old king james version. If you look at Psalms 83:18. Other bibles say Lord or Just God. But the New World Translation Bible has Gods name in every place that the original bible had his name. By research its makers were able to find out that when the bible was written it had in it over 7,000 times.

    Source(s): For more questions about Gods name or the truth about it and why we should use it. Go to
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  • 6 years ago

    Well, if you read the article on the subject in the New Annotated Oxford Bible, you'll know what the scholars know, which is actually a lot.

    That famous word "jehovah" is gibberish that was arrived at by combining the Hebrew consonants (yod, heh, vav, heh) with the vowel pointing found in the edited Hebrew Bible produced by the Masoretes, ca. 200-300CE. What wa not understood is that the vowel pointing was given to signify that when reading the text, one ought to substitute the Hebrew word "adonai" for the Holy Name. Adonai means Lord, which is where we get all those small-cap "Lord"s in the KJV, RSV, NRSV and other translations.

    We are pretty sure we know how the Name was pronounced, but out of respect or reverence, most of us simply will not say it.

    You can write Yhvh or Yhwh or, if you like to shout, YHWH. All essentially are the Holy Name, but the name itself, please do not attempt to pronounce it, just out of courtesy and consideration, especially since any pronunciation will merely be a guess anyway.

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  • Anonymous
    6 years ago

    Unfortunately, ancient Hebrew does not have vowels. Now the language has marks which indicate vowels. Since it was taboo for Jewish people to speak the name of God, the pronunciation of YHWH has been lost. Yehweh, Adonai, Elohim and Jehovah are all names which come from those consonants.

    The word Jehovah, was changed in the early 1600s in the KJV to LORD with all caps due to confusion about pronounciation during the change over from middle english to modern english.

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  • User
    Lv 7
    6 years ago

    Well...if you understand what "YHWH" is, you will recognize it as a name.

    The name written "YHWH" in English is called "the tetragrammaton" - which means "the four-lettered word". Much of the Bible was originally written in Hebrew, and in Hebrew four Hebrew letters - equivalent to our English "YHWH" - are used as the name of God.

    When the Hebrew portion of the Bible was authored, the written Hebrew language did not have written vowels. So: the tetragrammaton - the divine Hebrew name of God - was written using four consonants, without vowels (so were all of the other Hebrew words written without vowels at that time).

    The divine name was considered so holy by Jewish scribes that when the Masoretes invented written vowels for the Hebrew language in the Middle Ages, they continued to write the holy name as it originally appeared - without vowels. It is still written that way in modern times - in the so-called "Jewish Bible", properly called Tanakh, even though all of the other Hebrew words are written with vowels (added to the ancient Hebrew Tanakh by the Masoretes).


    - the Hebrew word that is spelled in English "YHWH" is really a name - a name in the Hebrew language

    Typically we don't translate foreign names into English. Typically, we **transliterate** foreign names into English. "Transliterate" means "spell it like it sounds". Notice the difference from "translate" which means "replace the original language word with a word or phrase in the target language that has the same meaning". So: "YHWH" is the transliteration of the tetragrammaton, the divine name; it is not a translation. The reason "YHWH" looks so strange is because:

    a - it is not an English word or name; it is a Hebrew name that has been transliterated into English

    b - it does not have any vowels, which is the way that it still appears in Hebrew-language Bible documents

    Scholars who have researched that matter have concluded that the most likely pronunciation of the tetragrammaton is "Yahweh". That is: in ancient times, that is the pronunciation probably used most often by Jewish religious officials. Some scholars dispute this and claim that "Yahveh" is more likely to be correct.

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  • 6 years ago

    I think if we keep seeking him he'll let us know things we're suppose to know. I'm currently in this action and a lot of others are too.

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  • 6 years ago

    The Old Testament is the Torah, and it was written in ancient Hebrew. Jehovah appears to be what the ancient Hebrews called their god.

    • ...Show all comments
    • Aaron
      Lv 5
      6 years agoReport

      Hebrews also called God Yahweh; Adonia; El Shaddai; Emmanuel; Lord; etc. The name Jehovah is actually used very little.

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  • 6 years ago

    Lord is a title, God is a title, and Jesus isn't God, he is God's son.

    Bible scholars acknowledge that God’s personal name, as represented by the Tetragrammaton , appears almost 7,000 times in the original text of the Hebrew Scriptures. Below are a few examples.

    Exodus 6:3 “And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.”

    Isa. 12:12 “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is my salvation.”

    Isa. 26:4 “Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting."

    • wombatfreaks
      Lv 7
      6 years agoReport

      There is no equivalent for the letter "J" in the Hebrew alphabet. YHWH, Jehovah, Lord, God, Dios, Allah, gott, Bog etc, are not names of God but descriptions in different languages/cultures

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  • 6 years ago
    • Check it out...its a video on Gods Name.

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  • Aaron
    Lv 5
    6 years ago

    The angel appeared to Mary and told her she shall name her son "Jesus." He would be the prophesied messiah and would save God's people from their sins.

    The name "Jesus" means "Yehoshua," which means "Yahweh is our salvation." God became man and died to redeem His creation. For God to send somebody else to do what He wanted to do would be barbaric. GOD HIMSELF became man and redeemed His creation.

    In the OT, Yahweh (The Lord, Jehovah, Emmanuel, El Shaddai, etc) says clearly,"I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior."

    Jesus is who? Our savior. If the OT states that God calls Hiimself savior and besides Him there is no savior, and Jesus is our savior, we can clearly see Jesus is GOD.

    • Topher6 years agoReport

      Matthew 4:10

      Then Jesus said to him: “Go away, Satan! For it is written:
      ‘It is Jehovah* your God you must worship,+
      and it is to him alone you must render sacred service

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