Why Not the Name Jehovah?
There are many theories of how to say the divine name of our Creator from the Tetragrammation 'YHWH'. One of the most popular is the name Jehovah.
The Christian translators of the Bible unknowingly followed the Jewish scribes and disguised the Name of the Creator.
Ask most believers what the name of the Heavenly Father is and they probably will say Jehovah. Ask them for some proof of this and they will either point to traditional usage or refer you to some Old Testament English Bible version. Surprisingly, the name of the Heavenly Father is not Jehovah, and never was. The history of 'Jehovah,' which some encyclopedias call erroneous and which many Bible scholars agree is not accurate, is quite eye-opening.
In the oldest text of the Bible, the ancient Hebrew script, the sacred Name is represented by four Hebrew letters, YHWH. The ancient Hebrew alphabet had no vowels. To indicate vowels, scribes or copyists put points above or below the letters. Jewish law experts decided to hide this Name to make certain it would not be spoken. Therefore, when the four letters of the Tetragrammaton appeared in the text, scribes 'pointed' it with substitution vowels for the Hebrew word adonai (meaning 'lord') which was then read as 'adonai' instead of the sacred Name Yahuwah.
One of the most widely known words in the world is 'HalleluYah,' an imperative meaning Praise Yah. Notice that the short or poetic form is Yah and is not spelled Yeh. Although the obsolete form 'hallelujah' is occasionally seen, the letter j carries the sound of y (the Hebrew had no 'j' or 'j' sound). HalleluYah is heard the world over and sounds the same in all languages.
The first converts to the Savior were Jews. As more gentile converts were accepted, the assembly took on a gentile flavor with gentile customs and practices. These gentiles generally did not understand Hebrew. In fact, at the time of Emperor Constantine there was a most decided anti-Jewish bias and for the most part these gentile converts wanted nothing to do with anything Jewish. When the Old Testament was translated into Greek (known as the Septuagint) it became the standard text for the early assembly, now overwhelmed by pagan converts, which by then spoke Latin or Greek. Being ignorant of Hebrew, the readers of the Greek text mistakenly pronounced the Hebrew Tetragram 'Pipi,' as the Greek pi resembled the Hebrew he.The Latin translations became standard for the Roman church and the Latin letters IHVH appeared for the Hebrew Tetragram. At that time the vowel I was equivalent to the Y. The V had the sound of W, 'oo.' The capital I soon had a tail added, a modification popularized by Dutch printers, so that the Tetragrammaton began to appear as JHVH. Although it looked like our J, the Latin letter J was pronounced as the letter 'i' as in police or machine. Names do not change from language to language.
Names are transliterated (given the same sound) by employing equivalent letters of a given alphabet. Yahuwah's Name does not change from language to language. Even though the Tetragrammaton appeared in the Latin texts as JHVH (the equivalent of YHWH in pronunciation) the Hebrew vowel pointing was for adonai. In addition, the Jews made the first vowel 'a' correspond to our short letter 'e' as in 'met,' lest anyone reading the Hebrew would inadvertently blurt out the first part of the Sacred Name 'Yah.' (Hence the 'e' in Jehovah.)The Tetragrammaton, with the vowel pointing of the erroneous adonai, is even today called the 'ineffable (unpronounceable) name' by those familiar with the Hebrew. It cannot be pronounced with the 'adonai' vowel pointing! The translators were influenced by the Jews and their substitution of the vowels of adonai. Therefore they ignorantly wrote 'Jehovah.'
Dr. J. B. Rotherham states in the preface of his Bible concerning Jehovah: 'Erroneously written and pronounced Jehovah, which is merely a combination of the sacred Tetragramation and the vowels in the Hebrew word for Lord, substituted by the Jews for JHVH, because they shrank from pronouncing The Name, owing to an old misconception of the two passages, Ex. 20:7 and Lev. 24:16...To give the name JHVH the vowels of the word for Lord [Heb. Adonai], is about as hybrid a combination as it would be to spell the name Germany with the vowels in the name Portugal - viz., Gormuna. The monstrous combination Jehovah is not older than about 1520 A.D.' Rotherham was ahead of his time, but now many current dictionaries and encyclopedias admit the name Jehovah is wrong, that it properly should read 'Yahuwah.'
The Encyclopedia Britannica (Micropedia, vol. 10) says:'Yahuwah-the personal name of the [El] of the Israelites ...The Masoretes, Jewish biblical scholars of the Middle Ages, replaced the vowel signs that had appeared above or beneath the consonants of YHWH with the vowel signs of Adonai or of Elohim. Thus the artificial name Jehovah (YeHoWaH) came into being. Although Christian scholars after the Renaissance and Reformation periods used the term Jehovah for YHWH, in the 19th and 20thcenturies biblical scholars again began to use the form Yahuwah, thus this pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton was never really lost. Greek transcriptions also indicate that YHWH should be pronounced Yahuwah."
Interestingly, even the Jehovah's Witnesses acknowledge that the name Jehovah is improper. Their book, "Let Your Name Be Sanctified" freely admits on pages 16 and 18 that Yahuwah is the superior translation of the Tetragrammaton. This book has lately been withdrawn. However, in the preface of their "The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures, we find on page 23 the following admission: ' While inclining to view the pronunciation 'Yahuwah' as the more correct way, we have retained the form 'Jehovah' because of people's familiarity with it since the 14th century. Moreover, it preserves equally with other forms, the four letters of the Tetragrammaton JHVH.'
We cannot let tradition lead us to call the Heavenly Father by a wrong name! Much scholarly proof is now available to show that Jehovah is wrong. We are to walk in all the truth we are given so that Yahuwah will give us even more light. Our purpose is not to follow erroneous traditions of men. In Mark 7 v 7 :
' in vain do they worship me, teaching [for] doctrines the commandments of men.'
Many names in the Bible begin with "Je" which should begin with 'Y'. Notice in the Hebrew dictionary of Strong's No. 3050, the entry "Yah," a contraction for 3068 [the Tetragrammaton, the Sacred Name]."Yah". Also it appears in names like Isaiah (IsaYah), Jeremiah (YeremYah), Zephaniah (ZephanYAH), Nehemiah (NehemYAH), and other names ending in "iah." Yah means "I AM He who exists," "I AM that I AM," "I created," or "I will be or bring into being.
'Yah is the poetic or short form of His Name found to have survived translators in Psalm 68:4 of the King James Version. It is the prefix of the name Jehovah as found in Strong's Exhaustive Concordance which is most interesting and shows the error of the name Jehovah. We now see how the first part of the Sacred Name 'Yah' was changed to 'Jeh' as the 'J' developed and the 'a' was replaced with 'e' to hide the name.
The suffix 'hovah' is No. 1943 in Strong's Hebrew Dictionary and has the meaning of ruin: mischief. It is another form of No. 1942, havvah, which is translated "calamity, iniquity, mischief, mischievous (thing), naughtiness, naughty, noisome, perverse thing, substance, very wickedness. From this we can see the folly of calling the Creator of this universe-the One we worship- Jehovah. For in calling upon this hybrid name we are in actuality beseeching a mighty one whose name carries the meaning, 'The One Who creates ruin, creates mischief, creates calamity, creates iniquity, creates naughtiness, creates perverse things, creates very wickedness. Satan must certainly have a field day when mankind ignorantly refers to Yahuwah by the name Je-hovah-a name that perfectly fits Satan himself as the Destroyer! Yahuwah means I AM He who exists or 'I AM that I AM...'
Knowing its Hebrew meaning, how can we possibly call our Heavenly Father 'Jehovah'? How much more glorious it is to call Him Yahuwah! His Name Yahuwah means He Who will become whatever we, His people, need of Him at that time. He will become our Healer, Provider, Protector, Sustainer, Guide, Shepherd, Keeper, etc., as well as our Savior through His Son Yahushua.
Call upon the Name Yahuwah, which is revealed to those with whom He is in a
covenant relationship. He will be whatever you need of Him and will joyfully fulfill the meaning of His Name in your life!