The Tetragrammaton...And The Inserted Vowels

by titch 37 Replies latest jw friends

  • titch

    For any and all persons who may have been associated with Jehovah's Witnesses in the past (or currently), you have probably read, or heard information about the origin of the name "Jehovah." As explained by Witnesses, and even other religious groups, the name Jehovah is merely the Anglicized (or, English-language) version of the so-called "divine name." The thinking is that in the original Hebrew language, the "divine name" was originally represented by these four English consonants: JHVH; some persons think that it might have been YHVH. But, which ever four consonants it is, those four letters are commonly referred to as the "Tetragrammaton." And, the Hebrew language didn't have what we today call "vowels". So, the three vowels, "e", "o", and "a" were inserted into the Tetragrammaton's consonant letters, to form the name "Jehovah", in the English language.

    But, I've been thinking about something recently. Why were those 3 vowels chosen, to be inserted into the JHVH? And, why in that particular order or sequence? Who decided that? Couldn't the order of the vowels have been e,a, & o? If that had been decided upon, then the Anglicized version of the "divine name" would have been "Jehavoh." And, we would have the Jehavoh's Witnesses today! Or, the order or sequence of the vowels could have been a,e, & o, and it would have been "Jahevoh." And, we would have the Jahevoh's Witnesses. Or, if the sequence of the vowels had been a, o, & e, it would appear as Jahoveh, and we would have Jahoveh's Witnesses calling at residences today. If the order of the vowels had been o, a, & e, we would have "Johaveh", and the Johaveh's Witnesses. And, of course, last, but not least, if the sequence of the vowels had been decided to be o, e, & a, we would have "Johevah", and the Johevah's Witnesses would be in existence all these years. You probably see my point.

    Anyway, just who did decide upon those 3 particular vowels, "a" "e" and "o"? (What about the vowels "i", "u", and "y"?) And, who decided what the sequence of those 3 vowels should be, when inserted into the consonants of the Tetragrammaton? I suppose that, really, any sequence of the vowels would have worked just as well, don't you think?

    Or, maybe, just maybe, thousands of years ago, Yahweh decided, pre-determined, if you will, that when and if a so-called "English" language came into existence, that the "divine name" would be written out in that particular sequence of the letters? Nah, couldn't be, could it.......?


  • Leolaia

    There is a lengthy discussion of the reasons here:

  • factfinder

    Thank you for the link Leolaia.

    I don't understand why some people try to pick apart or criticise the well known English pronunciation Jehovah when they have no problem at all in using the English (and therefore "wrong") pronunciations of Jesus, David, Moses and Abraham- we KNOW the correct pronunciations of these Hebrew names:


    Jesus=Yehshua or Yehoshua



    We do not use the Hebrew pronunciations, we use the English ones.

    God does not choose to allow us to know the exact, original pronunciation of his name in Hebrew. So why must people criticise the English pronounciation Jehovah? Should we give up the English, and therefore wrong, pronounciations of the Biblical Hebrew names and start pronouncing them correctly?

  • just n from bethel
    just n from bethel

    Well factfinder, you're in for a treat. God has enlightened this board with special chosen ones to clarify this matter once and for all. There is no need to spend any more time seeking advice from those that have spent years getting a masters or doctorate degree in that subject. No, God has revealed it to none other than one of our very own. You won't find this corrected version of God's name anywhere else in the world except right here. And when you are made aware of this correction - you'll realize everybody else was off.

    Of course, what few know is the real way the correct name of God was discovered by this privileged one, and that too has now been revealed:


  • agonus

    The problem is, we're supposedly talking about the name of GOD here - THE Divine Name. Shouldn't it be treated with special reverence? And then there's the fact that it's called The Ineffable Name for a reason - the original pronunciation was lost to the ages. Thirdly, the WT absolutely insists that knowing "God's name" is ESSENTIAL to salvation... then why isn't it essential we get that name right? I don't have a problem with the name "Jehovah", what I have a problem with is the WT telling people those who do not know "God's Name" have no hope of being saved, then sheepishly admitting, wellllll, OK, no, we really DON'T know God's name for sure, but it is still ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL you use this crappy Anglicized Latinized Hebrew name anyways.

    It's become a talisman of sorts among the Dubs, who claim not to worship idols, but the very name "Jehovah" is just that!

  • just n from bethel
    just n from bethel

    The one thing I learn from the whole tetragrammton issue - is that if knowing God's name was so important, all those sly bastards that removed it and forgot to pass on the correct pronounciation and spelling were just too much for him to control.

  • agonus

    The WT claims that KNOWING the truth - for a certainty - begins with KNOWING God's name.

    But they themselves KNOW that they DON'T know for a certainty, and continue to act like they do.

  • factfinder

    It's true- we do not know the exact Hebrew pronounciation of God's name for certain. So does this mean:

    God intentionally keeps it hidden so Satan/Demons/ Apostates/Athiests/Wicked People, etc. won't be able to dishonor it?

    Or is it that he does not mind our using the common pronounciation of it in our language ( and God created all the languages at Babel, right?) as long as we are respectful of it as JW's say or

    God does not care what name we use for him? If he cares and wants it known why does'nt He make it known and then everyone could use it?

    Oh, well...what does everyone else think?

  • just n from bethel
    just n from bethel

    It could just mean that an ancient culture invented it. It stuck for a while. But as that ancient culture's original language faded and morphed away, so did the exact pronunciation and transliterations of any and all of their words.

    This has happened in other cultures of history as well. Does anyone think the ancient Mayans' gods care if their names are pronounced correctly?

    Is it logical that an all-powerful God would make a big deal about his name only to allow it to be forgotten in a few centuries? Is it reasonable to conclude that he had his servants write a book that would be his primary communication to people for thousands of years in to the future, only to allow its original records to disappear?

    The important thing to remember, is that there is no need to worry about ancient hebrew or greek. The watchtower has done all the research anybody needs to know at this point. If you feel the need to delve into such matters, why not make it a matter of prayer. Perhaps on your family worship night you could take one or two subjects in the Insight book and feast on the spiritual food within that publication.

  • AGuest

    Greetings, dear FactFinder, and peace to you!

    Dear Leolaia's link (peace to you, as well!) is quite helpful in that it tells us the history of the anglicized name, "Jehovah", which name originated hundreds of years after my Lord... who made the name of God known to those who belonged to him... walked in the flesh. The name of the Most Holy One of Israel is JAH. It is why we say, "hallelujah" (praise you, Jah) and why the name was incorporated into a lot of proper names in ancient times. Many mistake "JAH" to be a shortened form of "Jehovah." It is not. The name "Jehovah" is false - the correct vowels are those also found is the name "Yahweh"... which is actually the most accurate non-accurate name. The Tetragrammaton isn't YHWH, but JHVH. The yodh really is a "j"... and not a "y", the teachings of intelligent and knowledgeable scholars aside. The vowel sounds correspond with the aleph (a) and the shva/shwa (or tsere/zeire) (e)... for JaHVeH (which is the correct pronunciation for "Yahweh" - the "j" makes the "y" sound and the "w" is pronounced as "v" - and not JeHoVaH.

    This second name, "Jehovah" is one that has been permitted... and one with great reproach. The true name of the Most Holy One of Israel, JAH... of Armies ("VeH")... is sanctified, clean... yet holy.

    I realize that it might seem good to use the English versions of the name of God and Christ; however, they are not English, nor did they give the English versions. We recently had a discussion regarding that... for example, why we call Julio Iglesias by that name and not the English version, which would be Jules Church. It is because it's what HE calls himself. He doesn't introduce himself by saying, to those who speak English, "My name is 'Julio' but you can call me 'Jules.'"

    I call them by the names they gave me: when I first heard the voice of the Most Holy One of Israel, He said, "I am the One known to you as 'Jehovah.'" No biggee... at the time. It was His Son, my Lord, the Holy One of Israel and Holy Spirit, whose name is "Jah eShua" that made the true name known to me. He said that he was the One who "came in the name of Jah." So, well, there you go.

    It doesn't matter to me whether you get or accept this truth; I only share it because it is the truth. Well, partly - also because, well, I wouldn't want to disappoint dear JIFB... or leave him/her hanging. That would make him/her look like a false prophet, and we can't have that. (BTW - How'd I do, dear one? And peace to you, as well!). The issue has been discussed here before, however, on several occasions, so you need only do a search if you're truly interested.

    In the meantime, I hope this helps and, again, I bid you peace!

    YOUR servant (and dear JIFB's)... and a slave of Christ,


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