YHWH - Ya'Wa' - revealed (Not Jehovah or Yahweh)

by hallelujah 36 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Narkissos
    According to this author YHWH is more correctly pronounced Yaho - though I accept that your reasoning may have some validity notwithstanding that language can easily change over a thousand years especially when it is translated into another language.

    Yaho is widely attested too (in Greek transliteration Iaô) but it is seems to correspond rather to the shortened form yhw than to the full tetragrammaton yhwh.

    According to Wheless - god is referred to as YY in Gen ii:4. This is of course translated as Jehovah in the New World Translation which is clearly wrong.

    I wonder what Hebrew manuscript(s) / edition(s) he was reading. Yy is the standard abbreviation/substitution sign in rabbinical Judaism; afaik it first appears in the Aramaic targums. But it is certainly not original to the Hebrew Bible text. The full tetragrammaton occurs many times in paleo-Hebrew script within the later so-called "square" script in the DSS for instance.

  • Leolaia

    Isn't there also metrical evidence from Hebrew poems in the OT that a three-syllable version of YHWH is less likely than a bisyllabic one?

  • Narkissos

    I'm not sure about that because the Hebrew metric system is usually based on the number of stressed syllables (but I'll try to check that later, it's distant memory).

  • Rig Boy
    Rig Boy

    This hypothesis is not intrinsically improbable, and in Aramaic, a language closely related to Hebrew, "to be" actually is hawa--but it should be noted that in adopting it we admit that, using the name Hebrew in the historical sense, Yahweh is not a Hebrew name. -Ency Brit 11Ed Vol 15 p 321

    The causative theme of hayah is found in no Semitic language, except the late Syriac, but is replaced by that of some other root. Those, therefore who still regard it as causative refer it to hawah, found once in Hebrew in the form hawa "fell"; they interpret this as "he who causes to fall" (Robertson Smith; cf. Arab. "haway". -Ency Brit 1958 Ed Vol 12, p 996

    The oldest exegetes, such as Onkelos, and the Targumim of Jerusalem regard "Ehyeh" and "Ehyeh asher Ehyeh" as the name of the Divinity.
    -Jewish Ency, Funk & Wagnalls, 1925 Ed p 119

    Exd 3:14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

    sent you...the name of divinity.

    John 8:58Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

    John 6:20But he saith unto them, be not afraid, for I am.

    Rev 21:6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

    Rev 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

    Rev 22:16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, [and] the bright and morning star

    Rev 1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. Rev 1:18 I [am] he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

    Rev 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works. John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:20 At that day ye shall know that I [am] in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. John 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. John 18:5 They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them. John 18:6 As soon then as he had said unto them, I am, they went backward, and fell to the ground. John 18:8 Jesus answered, I have told you that I am : if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way: Act 9:5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: [it is] hard for thee to kick against the pricks. Jhn 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. Jhn 8:18 I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me.
    Jhn 8:23 And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world.
    Jhn 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am , ye shall die in your sins. The I AM who spoke to Moses and the Prophets. Jesus the Almighty who reigneth forever and ever. I AM He. Christ Jesus. By no other name are we sinners saved but by Jesus Christ, the King of kings.
  • Pole


    Sure, that's more or less what I meant when making the distinction between phonetic and phonemic speculations.


    :This hypothesis is not intrinsically improbable

    Since there were only less than five phonemic vowels in Hebrew (and I'm guessing, so correct me if I'm wrong), no it's not "intrinsically improbable". BTW, beware of etymological fallacies!


  • Rig Boy
    Rig Boy
    Pole: This hypothesis is not intrinsically improbable

    Please forward your concerns to the staff at Encylopedia Brittanica....the writers of that comment.

  • Pole

    So it's not your opinion, just an appeal to the 'authority' of Britannica?

  • Rig Boy
    Rig Boy

    Ironic that you would focus on the Britannica quote while appearing to completely ignore the rest of my post.

    I think it is quite simple that Jesus identifies Himself as the Almighty I AM who spoke to Moses and the prophets.

  • Pole

    :Ironic that you would focus on the Britannica quote while appearing to completely ignore the rest of my post. I think it is quite simple that Jesus identifies Himself as the Almighty I AM who spoke to Moses and the prophets.

    Right, but if I take an issue with any of the quotes from Rev, will you instruct me to get in touch with St. John? ;-).

    Seriously though, I did not completely ignore the rest of your post. I suggested I don't quite see the connection you seem to make between cross-language etymology and ancient phonetics. Take any two closely "related" modern languages and try the same trick - guessing the pronouncation of a borrowing in one language by the supposed pronounciation of the word in the original language, especially if the word in question has undergone some etymological transformations.



  • dorayakii
    "Da Sparat af da Lard as apan mahsalf, bacauz hea (or heach, because Hebrew has a penchant for pharyngeal sounds) hath anaintad mahself ta preach da gaspel ta da paar..."

    BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!! You lot are killing me of laughter... I'm so glad i clicked on this thread. I thought it was going to be another one of those Jehovah vs. Yahweh vs. Yehoo-wahwah-booga-booga threads... but its turned out to be quite entertaining. Hmmm.... where to start?... there are so many things to say. Every language does things in different ways, and although Sanskrit and the languages of the Indic branch of the Indo-European super-family do use the system of consonents, vowel diacritics and the default [a], many of the remaining languages of the world do not use this same system. The vowel [a] is not always default. In Proto-Indo-European for example, the original vowel was [e] from which in a later stage in its development was "coloured" to [i], [u] and [a] when it was influenced by 'rogue' sounds such as [y], [w] and the laryngeal {X}. The Semitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic super-family all use for the most part, tri-consonental roots, with vowels indicating nuances in tense, mood and aspect. In any language, vowels are much more fluid and subject to whimsical change that their cousins the mighty consonent. Even in English we note that in the Recieved Pronunciation of 1940's Britian, the word "that" was pronounced closer to "thet"... in only 60 years the situation has changed. The pure consonental system of Semitic langugaes must have arisen about 8000 years ago, waaaay before written records. We assume this because of the fact that the Semitic branch is distantly related to the Chadic, Egyptian, Berber and Cushitic branches of the same Afro-Asiatic super-family, and none of these languages use a consonental root system. In fact, even in modern Arabic, words representing the most basic vocabulary (m-t -to die, n-k-to have sex, s-h-to laugh) do not fit into this great consonental edifice, that must have developped after the coinage of these ancient, basic words. The consonental root structure, (one of the 'proofs' that Arabic speakers often use to argue that their language was created by God) cannot have had such an exalted divine origin, simply because there are related languages which are older than either Hebrew or Arabic which do not have this structure... the edifice must have arisen simply by the human need to regularise. For instance, if in English we spread by analogy the goose-geese, foot-feet pattern, we could easily create, book-beek. In fact, strange as it may today seem, in Old Enlgish, the plural of "book" was indeed "beek"... and like the irregular man-men, the plural of "hand" was "hend". In English, this process went the other way and the -s spread to become the dominant form for plural marking and vowel-mutation fell by the wayside. However in German, another vowel mutation spread from "Gast-Gäste" rejecting the -s ending in favour of forms like "Hals-Hälse", the plural of which was originally merely "Halse". Regularising of the vowel mutations in the Proto-Semitic language would have produced the original consonental root system. (We could for example in English say that the root words are g-se and f-t, and that the template _oo_ is singular, and the template _ee_ is plural, then spread that by analogy to all potential roots...) To give you a sence of the changes that can occur in 1000 years what alone 8000, is this sentence from the Old Englisc of about 1000AD

    "Fæder ure þu þe eart on heofonum, Si þin nama gehalgod, Si þin nama gehalgod, gewurþe ðin willa, on eorðan swa swa on heofonum".

    Needless to say an estabilished island people being invaded and occupied from nearby lands can produce such a different language in 1000 years, what about 8000 years of a nomad people, coming from Ur, enslaved by Egyptians, wandering in the desert, warring with and surrounded by the related but distinct Canaanite languages of Phoenician, Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Aramaic, Assyrian and Babylonian? Would it not have produced at least slightly larger changes? Using these analogies, we can see clearly how and why the original vowels of Hebrew are completely beyond our grasp, having arisen 8000 years ago before written history. Given the age of the Semitic language family, the age of the myth of their principal deity ( recall Dei-wo-pater >> Zeus pater - Dyauspita - Jupiter that proves the antiquity of Indo-European mythology http://www.jehovahs-witness.com/6/108777/1900438/post.ashx#1900438) as well as the slippery nature of vowels, it is reasonable to even suggest that throughout time, YHWH was probably at least for some period of time, or even synchronically pronounced as Yahweh, Yehwah, Yahowah, Yaghwagh, Yahoweh, Yahveh or Yehowah in Hebrew throughout the ages... So maybe you are all right or maybe no-one is right... or perhaps it was pronounced Yehoo-wahwah-booga-booga at some point in history... Dorayakii, of the "ummm... or perhaps not" class...

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