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Is God’s name Yahweh or Jehovah?

יהוה or “YHWH” was the way the name of God was spelled in Hebrew, which apparently is hard to pronounce without vowels. The language at the time did not have written vowels, so no one knew exactly how to pronounce the name.

According to Wikipedia :

The name ceased to be pronounced in Second Temple Judaism, by the 3rd century BCE. Rabbinical Judaism teaches that the name is forbidden to be uttered except by the Kohen Gadol (High Priest) in the inner sanctum (Kodesh ha-Kadoshim, or Holy of Holies) of the Temple on Yom Kippur. Throughout the service, the High Priest pronounced the name YHWH (or Yehowah) "just as it is written" in each blessing he made.

Around the first century A.D it became normal for Jews to avoid any attempt to pronounce the name to avoid breaking the second commandment by misusing the name of God. For this reason they’d replace the name with “Adonai” whenever they encountered it while reading out. Adonai is another Hebrew word that is rendered “Lord” or “My Lord”

After the development of written vowels in Hebrew, around the 6th/7th Century Jews began to place the vowel points for “Adonai” over the consonants for “Yahweh” to remind the reader to say “Adonai” whenever he saw “Yahweh.”

Around the 13th Century the word “Jehovah” surfaced when Christian scholars took the consonants of “Yahweh” and pronounced it with the vowels of “Adonai”. This gave the sound “Yahowah” which, when latinized spelled “Jehovah”. The first recorded spelling was made by Raymundus Martini a Spanish Dominican monk in 1270.

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34 comments

  1. Virgilijus Reply

    the name of God in the Bible is called “Yod Heh Vav Heh".

    Every letter in the Hebrew Alphabet has a corresponding Pictograph to it. “Yod" has the pictograph of an “Open Hand." “Heh" is the Fifth Hebrew Alphabet and the number 5 represents “Grace" in Biblical Numerology. “Heh" has the pictograph of an “Open Window" which represents a portal of heaven into God’s Glory/Grace. “Vav" is the picture of a “Nail." Put all these together – “Yod Heh Vav Heh" = Hand of Grace, Nailed in Grace. Who is that? JESUS!

    When Jesus was crucified on the cross, the inscription over it was “JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS." In Hebrew that would read “Yeshua Ha’Netzeret V’mlech Ha’Yehudim". By taking the first letters of each of these four words we get Y-H-V-H, or Yod Heh Vav Heh (Yahweh). JESUS is Yahweh!

    – Excepts take from Article on Mind Reality (Jesus Christ is Prime Creator of All-That-Is)

    1. Adam Bajerski Reply

      Yes but the sign placed above him was placed there by Roman Centurions making fun of him.

      1. Brian Almeida Reply

        I always thought that the sign was supposedly INRI (in Latin: Iēsus Nazarēnus, Rēx Iūdaeōrum). After all the Romans supposedly performed the cruxifiction and would have written in Latin not Hebrew!!

        1. Eric Reply

          The sign was in all the local languages: Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. See John 19:20.

    2. Karl Jacques Reply

      I believe that the name of God being translating from any existing language to English will be GOD – and in French will be DIEU.

  2. Nnenna Reply

    Controversy! So which one is it now, Yahweh or Jehova?

    1. obynoshegun Reply

      YHWH is the real name of God. (I am whom I am), Jehova is just a latter and corruption of Gods name

    2. Yessenia Durán Reply

      Yahweh. Jahovah is a spelling error.

  3. Noriel Palaroan Reply

    I noticed that christian at that time religiously follow the second commandment so not to violate the law and during the invention of vowels they just intentionally put just to pronounce the letters unknowingly or willingly transgressed the second law which is an abominable sin which followed that the used of this word is unfounded and should not even be used (heresy).

  4. Karen Reply

    Jehovah – Yahweh – God – either way, aren’t we blessed to be able to call the name!

  5. prince Reply

    The name Jehovah was just an invention of man, its not the real name of God. Why? because only the year 1270 the word Jehovah came to exist. How then can it be the true name of God. The name Yahweh is the the true Hebrew God. We must must not follows man’s lies but to the truth of God.

    1. Melanie Rachel Kie Reply

      Then never call Jesus by that name again. His hebrew name was Yeshua. But aside from that whether you call Him YHWH or Jehovah or Jesus or Yeshua… He calls Himself I AM that I AM. Which means no matter what (like with David) He looks on the heart. He isn’t so small as to not know when we are calling on Him. He is whatever you need Him to be in every moment of your life. So call upon Jesus or Jehovah, God can still hear you. Call upon Yeshua or Adonai (Lord) write out YHWH (no one knows how it was pronounced, we guess it was with the vowels from Adonai) But God is still a big boy and can handle it all… 1 Cor 13 says Love never fails, 1 John 4:8 says God is Love. Let us reason together that no matter what He hears your heart’s cry. Jeremiah 29:13 says we will find God when we seek Him with all our hearts.

      1. Virgilijus Reply

        good said.fully agree.

      2. chele Reply

        Thank u for your response. I’m really struggling in my faith. I hope God can handle it. I’ve made quite the mess of my life. Your response have me some peace. Thank u. ~ Michele

      3. Trey Calvert Reply

        Amen, you wonderful woman of God!

  6. Tim Reply

    We don;t actually know how Jesus’ name was pronounced in Hebrew either. His disciples certainly did not use the pronunciation “Jesus”. Does that mean we shouldn’t use his name? That would be silly and disrespectful of our Lord and Saviour. Why then should we also fail to use his Father’s name, especially when he taught us to pray, “Our father who art in heaven, hallowed by thy name …”?

  7. kip kauhaahaa Reply

    god is I AM

  8. charles Reply

    I will careless about the name Yahweh or Jehovah and care more about who God is to me and to us and what he expects of me as his child! That should be left for scripture classes

  9. kyla barraquio Reply

    What is that contraversy?always like that .everytime i read like this article..there is always something……..can’t we become 0ne?just follow what is in your heart because inside of it Jesus is there.And He will tell u what is the truth…

  10. Lawrence Reply

    Dear Virgilijus, can you share some more information, with referencing to Bible,

  11. shem Reply

    Read your bible Psalms 83:18 That men may know that thou whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high all over the earth. God’s name varies from one language to another.

  12. DADA NA UMUNZE Reply

    God please help us to know your real name

  13. Silvano Toso Reply

    I Am that I Am (אֶהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶה, ehyeh ašer ehyeh [ehˈje aˈʃer ehˈje]) is a traditional common English translation (JPS among others) of the response God used in the Hebrew Bible when Moses asked for his name (Exodus 3:14). It is one of the most famous verses in the Torah. Hayah means “to be” or “to become” in Hebrew; “ehyeh” is the root word derived from “Hayah” and is to be translated in English Bibles as “I will be” (or “I will become”), for example, at Exodus 3:14. Ehyeh asher ehyeh literally translates as “I Will Be What I Will Be” or “I Will Become What I Will Become”, according to accurate translation of the Hebrew language. However, in the great majority of English Bibles, in particular the King James Version, this phrase is rendered as I Am That I Am” which is originally derived from Roman Catholic tradition, although evidently inaccurate. So it is found in Wikipedia. If you really consider what went on, and who was asking whom, it is clear that it is not a matter of a name, but more a matter of who is who. This is not pure semantic, but reality. We have a name, because there are so many of us, we need a name to be distinguished fro others. God is unique in His substance. He does not need a name. I see here the human need of Moses to ask for a name, since that is only, what he can think of. But God, who has no name, gives Moses a distinguishing word, that shows His uniqueness: I am. Is that unique? Yes, in deed. Because He is the only Being that does not have to owe anyone His existence, hence “He is”, as opposite to Moses and to us men, who exists only because God says so. Let me give you this example. I am Italian, and I am in the middle of a group of indigenous people, who can barely pronounce my name, let alone understand it. They ask me my name, I tell them, but I can see that they will never be able to pronounce it. Strangely enough they can say: Italian. So, to make the things easier for everyone, I tell them that they can call me: Italian. Since I am the only Italian in the whole Land, everyone knows who I am, when they refer to me as Italian, namely me. So Italian becomes my name, but it is not. By God saying: “I am who I am”, He was simply referring to the huge difference between God the Creator and Moses, the creature. By saying: “I am”, he was saying, that Moses and the rest were not, were not existing on their own rights, but needed God to exist. By saying: “I am”, God was saying: you are not. A big distinction, hence “I am” became a name, which is needed to make a distinction, only after Moses asked for it. Before that, God had no name, being He the only one in real existence.

  14. godsond30@gmail.com Reply

    Virg teach me more

  15. sofia Reply

    Los hijos…Como procuran comportarse dignamente cuando estan delante de sus padres! Y los hijos de Reyes, delante de su padre el Rey, Como procuran guardar la dignidad de la realeza… y Tu!! .. No sabes que estas siempre delante del Gran REY tu PADRE-DIOS! … Padre es su nombre porque somos su creacion sus hijos.

  16. Fidei Illuminator Reply

    YHWH in hebrew is not pronounced as Jahowah or Yahweh. It is pronounced as Mar Yah or MARIA . Ask a Jew if anybody have any doubt.

    1. Hp Reply

      Wtf are you talking about? Asks a Jew.

  17. Tim Predovan Reply

    GOD all ways was
    and
    all ways will be

  18. chatt cedric Reply

    This is as icerfar as I know, tho I consider myself an amateur Catholic Apologist (for the true Apologist pls. help me out). God has no name per se, cuz He is not an entity like us on earth. Besides He gave Moses the commandment “…not to use His name in vain…”. The Tetragrammaton YHWH” (four letters) came from Ex:3:14 (NAB) “God replied, I AM WHO AM. then He added, this is what you shall tell the Israelites: I AM sent me to you.”. The original Hebrew text went like these: the phrase “I am who am” is “EHYEH ASHER EHYEH”, wherein EHYEH means “I”, 1st person singular (to be). The next phrase which was translated awkwardly as “I am” sent me to you, should have been “He” sent me to you, cuz in Hebrew it is ” YAHWEH ASHER YAHWEH” meaning “HE IS WHO HE IS”, where YAHWEH means “HE”, 3rd person singular. Now, is HE or YAHWEH a proper personal name of God? I dont think so, and so for the many Bible scholars commenting that: the Israelites called God that way cuz God did not give His personal Name per se. In those days if one ask any Israelite who his God is, his answer is HE (YAHWEH) is my God or my God is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. But some may ask like the Jehovahs Witnesses, many verses quoted the words, “NAME of God, in my (Jesus) Father’s NAME, in the NAME of the Father, etc., therefore God has a NAME. It seems they have a good point, right. But, do they really have one? Words do not necessarily follow a strick literal sense, we all know that. The NAME here denotes POWER, AUTHORITY, and in the case of God, DIVINITY. Human example: a police officer is arresting a criminal, he said: I am arresting you in the NAME of the Law. Now, it is the power and authority of the law vested and deputized in the arresting officer. Hope I can be of some additional help to my fellow christians especially Catholics. Tnx and Godspeed.

  19. marry stephens Reply

    i really enjoy reading all on this site,im trying to improve my overall life i really love god and jesus theyve blessed me and saved me im a true believer,please pray that i guit my bad habits, i need more info on how to be a better person,more forgiving,more loving to the people god blessed me wiyh ,less skeptical out of being doutful,thats all for now.thank you,god bless you.marry stephens

  20. replacereplacement Reply

    I think you’ll find it’s the 3rd commandment – THE SECOND IS you shall not have any idols/images and bow down to them!!!

  21. Paul Reply

    In old ara mic language is called yah-waa “who have love”which mean ” I am who am” more like *** **I am which who he is**. And jesus on the wood called him ellie ellie on old aramic language is called Ella- hi , word “mar” used for Jesus which means lord.

  22. Phranque Quarshie Reply

    God is our Helper. God bless you…

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