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Is 'Jehovah' God's Name?

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Is 'Jehovah' God's Name?
The Hebrew Scriptures were originally written almost totally in the Hebrew language, plus some sections in Aramaic, neither language containing any vowels, only consonants. However, there were a few of those Hebrew letters that would indicate that a vowel sound should be used. For example, the letter a (aleph), while actually a consonant, would let the reader know to insert an “ah” sound, and the letter w (vav), which was pronounced somewhere between the English “V” and “W” could also be pronounced like English “oo”. Let's see how this works, if you pronounce "W" like "oo" and remember to insert the appropriate vowel when you see “#”.


Most people should be able to read this sentence fairly easily without vowels.

The Jews knew what vowel sounds to be used in the pronunciation of the words based on the construction of the sentence, the context, and their excellent memories. Since very few people could afford to have written copies of even small portions of the Scriptures, huge amounts of Scripture were accurately committed to memory.

Between the sixth and tenth century after the birth of Messiah, a group of Scribes know as the Masoretes added a system of vowel points to enable the preservation of the original pronunciation. Their version of the Scriptures is know as the Masoretic Text.

The Name by which God revealed Himself to the patriarchs and to Moses was the Hebrew word for “I AM” or “I AM THAT I AM” — meaning something similar to “The One Who exists by His own power.” This Name was spelled hwhy, the Hebrew equivalent of “YHWH” (yod, heh, vav, heh) and was considered too sacred to pronounce. This four-letter word is also know as the Tetragrammaton (meaning “four letters”). When reading the Scriptures or referring to the Sacred Name (HaShem), the Jews would substitute the word “Adonay,” which means “Lord.”

To indicate this substitution in the Masoretic Text, the Masoretes added the vowel points from the word “Adonay” to the Sacred Name, and came up with a word that would look to them something like YaHoWaH.

Since there was no such word in the Hebrew language, the reader would be forced to stop and think about what he was reading, and thus would avoid accidentally speaking the Sacred Name aloud.

Later, some Christian translators mistakenly combined the vowels of “Adonay” with the consonants of “YHWH” producing the word “YaHoWaH.” When the Scriptures were translated into German during the Reformation, the word was transliterated into the German pronunciation, which pronounces “Y” as an English “J” and pronounces “W” as an English “V” — or “Jahovah.” Then in the early 17th century when the Scriptures were being translated into English with the help of some of the German translations, the word was again transliterated as “Jehovah,” and this this unfortunate accident has carried over into many modern English translations.

The term is now recognized by all proficient Bible scholars to be a late hybrid form, a translation error, that was never used by the Jews.

Subject Author Views Date
Thread Is 'Jehovah' God's Name? ChrisLaRock 3972 Feb 18, 2007, 5:24 PM
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anotherpaul 3899 Jul 18, 2008, 10:37 PM
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kevin waldeman 3895 Nov 12, 2008, 7:41 PM
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anotherpaul 3885 Nov 19, 2008, 9:25 PM
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nunny kim 3902 May 2, 2009, 10:18 AM
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anotherpaul 3873 Jul 31, 2010, 6:35 PM
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lordchosen 1032 Jan 17, 2019, 3:26 AM
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praizeop2 1025 Jan 17, 2019, 7:31 AM
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ceferino 3061 Aug 4, 2015, 1:46 PM