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The Tetragrammaton:
Scripture's Most Frequent NAME

Spanish

The various words that describe the Supreme Being—God, Lord, Almighty, Creator, etc.—are correct and these titles for Him are used throughout the Holy Scriptures. On the other hand, there is one and only one NAME the Bible uses to remind us of all the things we know about Him.

Jehovah is not a title but God’s personal NAME. It is occurs in the original text of the Bible far more often than all the words or titles for God combined:

  • YHWH/JHVH [Yehowah/Jehovah] —6,973 times
  • God—2,605 times
  • Almighty—48 times
  • Lord—40 times
  • Maker—25 times
  • Creator—7 times
  • Father—7 times
  • Ancient of Days—3 times
  • Grand Instructor—2 times

So, How Many Names does the True God Have?

Wikipedia's Tetragrammaton article might cause some confusion for those of us doing research on God's personal name.

Under Names of God it lists 72 for Judaism, 99 for Islam and many thousands for Hinduism. However, since we worship, as Ephesians 1:17 states, "the God of our Lord Jesus Christ", we would want to address Him as His Son would have. Did he ever suggest that his Father had more than one name?  No, he never did.

There is a big difference between titles and a name. Let us use an example, that of the current U.S. President, whose complete birth name is Barack Hussein Obama II. So, how many names does he have? Answer: ONLY ONE. Although it has four parts; Barack Hussein Obama II, it is still just one name; he has no aliases. The first, middle and last parts of his birth name is identical to his deceased father but it is differentiated by the suffix. 

Your name, too, is your identity; it distinguishes you from seven billion other individuals who currently live on this plant. Would you willingly complicate matters by giving yourself seventy-two, ninety-nine or several thousand names? Then, why would God give himself many aliases just to confuse us here on earth and then after all that claim that He is nameless or that His real name is ineffable even though it appears over 7,000 times in the Holy Scriptures? Logic tells us that if there is a Universal Creator, He must have an identity.

It would be silly for anyone to argue about a President's name, that would certainly bring him no honor; and yet that is exactly what otherwise reasonable people do regarding the Holiest of Holy names. These same people shout Halleluiah! yet never realize they are saying in Hebrew Praise Jah! Jah is the shortened form of Jehovah.

Just as there are those who try to dishonor the current U.S. President claiming he has no right to the office due to his name and heritage, traditional Christianity, through trinitarianism, dishonors God by deliberately confusing Him with His Son and disregarding His personal name by implying that Jehovah was the God of the Old Testament but Jesus is God's name in the New Testament. They believe that by doing this they are glorifying Jesus, however, one cannot honor a son by dishonoring his father. By dishonoring the Father, they are dishonoring the Son!

(John 5:19-24)
Therefore, in answer, Jesus went on to say to them:

“Most truly I say to you, The Son cannot do a single thing of his own initiative, but only what he beholds the Father doing. For whatever things that One does, these things the Son also does in like manner. For the Father has affection for the Son and shows him all the things he himself does, and he will show him works greater than these, in order that you may marvel. For just as the Father raises the dead up and makes them alive, so the Son also makes those alive whom he wants to. For the Father judges no one at all, but he has committed all the judging to the Son, in order that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He that does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. Most truly I say to you, He that hears my word and believes him that sent me has everlasting life, and he does not come into judgment but has passed over from death to life."

Scripture clearly supports the concept of one name for the one true God we are supposed to worship. Those who argue against this notion are not consistent in their reasoning. The Tetragrammaton refers to the four letters that represent God's only personal name, that being YHWH in Hebrew translated into JHVH in English and most European languages. Variations of the Tetragrammaton only amount to translation issues just as any name of any individual will vary according to the tongue of the inhabitants who come in contact with it. Nit picking on controversies surrounding the exact pronunciation is a waste of time and serves only as a distraction to what is of utmost importance: recognition of that Name and glorifying it.

I hope that this introduction will help sincere ones who desire to worship God and glorify his NAME.

You decide:
Does it make sense not to use the Divine Name?

What is the reasoning behind the recent trend to completely remove God's personal name from modern translations of the holy Scriptures?

Here is the common justification taken from the Preface of the Revised Standard Version:

“For two reasons the Committee has returned to the more familiar usage of the King James Version: (1) the word ‘Jehovah’ does not accurately represent any form of the Name ever used in Hebrew; and (2) the use of any proper name for the one and only God, as though there were other gods from whom he had to be distinguished, was discontinued in Judaism before the Christian era and is entirely inappropriate for the universal faith of the Christian Church.”

How do you feel about the above reasons? Are those really logical arguments against using God's name? Is it consistent with the use of other names found in the Bible?

Concerning the first listed reason given:  the word ‘Jehovah’ does not accurately represent any form of the Name ever used in Hebrew. True, there is uncertainty concerning the exact pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton. But is that reasonable enough to label "Jehovah" as just a word and not dignify it as a a name? Personal names vary from language to language.  For the publishers to argue that Jehovah does not accurately represent the original Hebrew pronunciation is like saying the Spanish name José does not accurately represent the English pronunciation of Joseph, or that the Spanish Biblical name of Santiago does not sound anything like the English name James and it is thus inaccurate.

Our name sounds different and is even spelled another way in a foreign tongue. Nevertheless, it is the same name.  My name in English is spelled two ways: Stephen and Steven, yet pronounced the same; however, in Spanish it is spelled Esteban and pronounced eh-STAY-bawn; and in German it is Stefan.

With regards to the the Preface of the Revised Standard Version's second line of reasoning: Do you believe Jesus followed Jewish tradition of his day? He told them: “You have made the word of God invalid because of your tradition.” (Matthew 15:6) Can you imagine Jesus superstitiously substituting God's name when he publically read from the book of Isaiah as recorded in the Gospel of Luke 4:16-21? Furthermore, if we are supposed to follow Jewish tradition and accept their viewpoint that YHWH is the ineffable name of God, What would stop us from adopting other traditions including disqualifying Jesus as the Messiah? The Preface admits that the Jews "discontinued" using God's name, meaning that they used to use it. What the committee is saying is that we should follow the tradition of unfaithful Jews who "made the word of God invalid because of [their] tradition." We can decide to follow either tradition or "the word of God".

Yahweh might, hypothetically, be a Hebrew rendering of the Divine Name, but  we do not speak Hebrew, do we? Plus, if we choose to adopt that version or translation, it would also require we change all names in the Bible that incorporate that name as well! (Watch the video below) And, we would even have to change the name of our Lord and Savior to Yehoshua. Such a task would not only cause great confusion but it would also even convey the message that we are talking about two different people.

Without being dogmatic concerning this issue, the following video illustrates why Jehovah is a reasonable translation of the Divine Name into the English language and why the original Hebrew pronunciation may have been a three-syllable similar-sounding Yehowah. My stance on this, however, is that the pronunciation of THE NAME should be the most common form in one's language: In English it would have to be Jehovah, in Spanish it would be Jehová [Hay-O-Vah], and in every other language that common form would depend on the most popular Bible that uses a translation of YHWH.

I hope you enjoy the video and its common sense approach as much as I do.

 

In speaking about primitive Christianity, one can start with the prayer Jesus gave us as a model.  It is recorded in the inspired Christian writings at Matthew 6:9 and lists as first and foremost to pray for God’s name to be made holy.

Giving the God we worship a name shows the level of our sincerity.  People who worship Jesus, believing that he is part of a triune god, talk about him and glorify him all the time by using his name.  The same can be said about people who worship other gods, that use that god's name.  In fact, the only way we could praise anyone at all requires using that person’s name.

Why is there so much confusion and mystery surrounding the Tetragrammaton, the proper name of God Almighty?  According to Wiktionary and Wikipedia, the Tetragrammaton is:

The four Hebrew letters Yod He Waw He (הוהי) (in transliteration, YHWH or JHVH) used as the ineffable name of God in the Hebrew bible, variously transliterated as Yahweh or Jehovah.” And […] “Of all the names of God, the one which occurs most frequently is the Tetragrammaton, appearing 6,823 times, according to the Jewish Encyclopedia. The Biblia Hebraica and Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia texts of the Hebrew Scriptures each contain the Tetragrammaton 6,828 times.”

Why would the Tetragrammaton become ineffable when repeated so frequently in the written form? Although the article above states that the Tetragrammaton is the most used “of all the names of God”, in reality, the other referred to names are merely titles, and not names at all. 

Think about the following statement:

  • There’ is no god but God.

Since god/God is a title, such as would be the titles of Lord, King, President, etc., therefore, the above statement does not tell us much about God, does it? The same could be said with following statements:

  • There is no lord but Lord.

  • There is no king but King.

  • There is no president but President.

Do these statements not sound strange and incomplete?  Without proper names they do not tell us anything at all, do they? For clarification, aren’t you inclined to want to add a name after each title?  Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber, Sir Paul McCarthy, King George III or specifying President George W. Bush as different from President George H. Bush maybe?

In the same way There is no god but God is simply too ambiguous.  Also God is the Only True God is a tautology, that is to say a needless repetition or redundancy.

The Supreme Being, the Almighty Creator. the Only True God has many titles that reflect who He is, however, He has given himself only ONE NAME: Yod He Waw He or הוהי or YHWH or JHVH rendered Jehovah in English and maybe Yahweh in Hebrew. The meaning of the Divine Name [the causative form, the imperfect state, of the Hebrew verb ha·wah (become); meaning “He Causes to Become”], teaches us that he causes himself to become whatever he chooses in order to fulfill his purposes.

Every lover of righteousness who reads the inspired Scriptures and who truly comes to “know” with understanding the full meaning of God's personal name, Jehovah (Ps 9:9, 10; 91:14; Jer 16:21) has every reason, therefore, to love and bless that name (Ps 72:18-20; 119:132; Heb 6:10), praise and exalt it (Ps 7:17; Isa 25:1; Heb 13:15), fear and sanctify it (Ne 1:11; Mal 2:4-6; 3:16-18; Mt 6:9), trust in it (Ps 33:21; Pr 18:10)

Under the subheading Dead Sea scrolls Hebrew and Aramaic texts Wikipedia refers to a link that gives the following justification for replacing the Divine Name with Adonai [Lord]:

The most decisive argument for the replacement of the Tetragrammaton by the alternative Adonai stems from the double expression Adonai and the Tetragrammaton (hwhy ynFd$)j, Adonai plus the Tetragrammaton, see for instance Amos 7:1; 8:1, etc.). In case of these double expressions, the vowels of the Qere are not the vowels of Adonai, but of Elohim (MyihwOl)v), turning the double expression into Adonai Elohim (hwOhye ynFd$)j,, Adonai Elohim) instead of Adonai Adonai. According to some scholars, the Masoretes wanted to avoid the repetition of Adonai after the title Adonai, thus avoid the reading Adonai Adonai. They instead filled out the vowels of the Tetragrammaton with the vowels of the word Elohim, creating the reading Adonai Elohim instead of Adonai Adonai. This accordingly proves that the Tetragrammaton was normally read as Adonai.

Does this "most decisive argument for the replacement of the Tetragrammaton" make any sense at all to any reasoning person? Or is it just plain gibberish and double talk? "This accordingly proves that the Tetragrammaton was normally read as Adonai"? All it proves and the only thing it does prove is that individuals that formed a particular group in the past deliberately altered their method of reading the Tetragrammaton when they came across it. This was due to superstition, a concept not supported anywhere in the Scriptures and, therefore, they had no authority to implement it themselves nor impose it on others. Furthermore, the above uses this circular argument to justify not only pronouncing the Tetragrammaton but also writing of it. In effect they are saying: "Because the Masoretes substituted the Tetragrammaton with Adonai [Lord], and to follow their tradition is just too complicated for us, we can therefore justify substituting the Tetragrammaton altogether, both written and oral, and be done with it."

Interesting Article:

Seven Thousand Insults

A new Bible index, “The NIV Complete Concordance” has been published for the “New International Version.” The preface of the new concordance notes that in the NIV, as in a number of other translations, “the proper name of God, ‘Yahweh,’ is translated ‘LORD,’” using all capital letters, and that the Hebrew word for lord, “Adonai,” is also translated “Lord,” but with lowercase letters after the initial capital. Occurrences of the two words are listed separately in the concordance.

It is of interest that the listing under “Lord” (“Adonai”) has fewer than 1,000 entries, while the listing under “LORD” (“Yahweh”) has over 6,800 entries. If “Yahweh” admittedly is the “proper name of God,” the substituting of an impersonal “LORD” for that name nearly 7,000 times in his own book surely constitutes a monumental blasphemy, an “act of insulting . . . God.” (“Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary”) Would you not feel insulted if most of your professed friends refused to use your name and, instead, addressed you only as “man,” “woman,” “boy” or “girl”?—Ps. 83:16-18.

How would you feel if someone altered an original document you produced about yourself and crossed out your personal name every time it occurred and substituted it with "the author" so that no one would know who wrote your document? The same could be said of all the modern translations that have deliberately removed the Tetragrammaton , even in the four occurrences of it located in the KJV :

  • 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.

  • Psalm 83:18 - That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.

  • Isaiah 12:2 - 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 become my salvation.

  • Isaiah 26:4 - Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:

Note: This expression “Jah Jehovah,” a doubling of the divine name, occurs only twice in the Bible, at Isaiah 12:2 and at Isaiah 26:4. Even the translators of the King James Version saw fit to render it “the LORD JEHOVAH.”

Trinitarianism, belief in the Trinity, is a mark of Roman Catholicism, Eastern and Oriental Orthodoxy as well as of the "mainstream traditions" arising from the Protestant Reformation, such as Anglicanism, Baptist, Methodism, Lutheranism and Presbyterianism. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church describes the Trinity as "the central dogma of Christian theology".

 Insight on the News - w81 8/15 p. 18

 

Bible's Viewpoint
God's Name

Transcript of the video no longer on YouTube

There are quite a few songs and verses that talk about God's name ... yet many people fail to see the importance of it.

Here are a few instances in the Bible of Jesus speaking of God's name: Mt 6:9; Jn 17:6, 26; 5:43; 12:13, 28

So, what is God's name?

In the Bible, God's name in Hebrew translates to YHWH or JHVH in English. Add vowels for pronunciation and you have Jehovah or Yehowah.

Many people disagree with using the pronunciation "Jehovah" because it is unlikely that is how it was originally pronounced. But if one holds to that, they must also reject Jesus in favor of the more accurate Yeshua, replace Jeremiah with Yirmeyahu, and abandon Isaiah for Yeshaeyahu, say Yerushalayim instead of Jerusalem, and so on.

We change names when we translate into different languages. For example, Matthew in Spanish is Mateo. The point is connecting with God on a personal level by using his name, and also using names appropriate for the language you are speaking in ... the name people can easily understand and identify.

Most translations replace Jehovah's name nearly 7,000 times with "the LORD" or other similar substitutes. This, of course, goes against the Bible's warning to to add or take from the Scriptures (Re 22:18-19) and it is just plain disrespectful. However, some versions do pick and choose when to keep God's name in there; for example, when it wouldn't make sense without it.

Today we don't know exactly for sure how to pronounce God's name. But should that stop us from using it?

We sometimes use nicknames for people, even if it is not technically "correct." And as we have seen, Jesus would have been called Yeshua! The point is that we are communicating with God on a personal level, not with impersonal, general pronouns (we don't call our best friend "guy" or "girl" or "person"), we dignify him by using the name he gives himself in the Bible.

1 Corinthians 8:5-6 says: For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, as there be gods many and lords man, but to us there is but one God, the Father [whose name is Jehovah], of whom are all things, and we in him, and one Lord, the Christ [whose name is Jesus] by whom all things are, and we by him.

So, whether you call him Jehovah, Yahweh, Yah, Jah, Yehowah, or another common version you speak, it helps you draw close to him.

Joel 2:32 says: Everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will be saved.

 

 
 

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