A post I made on a thread I created several years ago...
The Divine Name That Will Endure Forever
That's the name of a brochure by the WTS that tries to impress upon us why what God's name is and why we should use it. We all know that Jehovah's Witnesses use the name "Jehovah" for God in all their bibles and publications. We were always taught that Jehovah was the acceptable pronounciation of God's name.
They still teach that, but since people are more enlightened today than ever, and since more people than just Hebrew scholars can carry on a discussion about the original name, the WTS has had to get creative in justifying their use of the name Jehovah instead of more accurate usages such as Yahweh.
Note some of these gems:
How Is God's Name Pronounced? The truth is, nobody knows for sure how the name of God was originally pronounced. Why not? Well, the first language used in writing the Bible was Hebrew, and when the Hebrew language was written down, the writers wrote only consonants?not vowels. Hence, when the inspired writers wrote God's name, they naturally did the same thing and wrote only the consonants. While ancient Hebrew was an everyday spoken language, this presented no problem. The pronunciation of the Name was familiar to the Israelites and when they saw it in writing they supplied the vowels without thinking (just as, for an English reader, the abbreviation "Ltd." represents "Limited" and "bldg." represents "building"). Two things happened to change this situation. First, a superstitious idea arose among the Jews that it was wrong to say the divine name out loud; so when they came to it in their Bible reading they uttered the Hebrew word 'Adho·nai' ("Sovereign Lord"). Further, as time went by, the ancient Hebrew language itself ceased to be spoken in everyday conversation, and in this way the original Hebrew pronunciation of God's name was eventually forgotten. In order to ensure that the pronunciation of the Hebrew language as a whole would not be lost, Jewish scholars of the second half of the first millennium C.E. invented a system of points to represent the missing vowels, and they placed these around the consonants in the Hebrew Bible. Thus, both vowels and consonants were written down, and the pronunciation as it was at that time was preserved. When it came to God's name, instead of putting the proper vowel signs around it, in most cases they put other vowel signs to remind the reader that he should say 'Adho·nai'. From this came the spelling Iehouah, and, eventually, Jehovah became the accepted pronunciation of the divine name in English. This retains the essential elements of God's name from the Hebrew original.
So, if I understand this correctly, the name "Jehovah" came from the Hebrew word "Adho-nai". "Adho-nai" was a replacement for God's name. Any variation of "Adho-nai" would not be God's name but a variation of the title it replaced. It may contain the same consonants as the divine name but it's a variation, not the original. To me that's the same as buying a black market wristwatch that says Rulex instead of a genuine Rolex wristwatch.
So what happened to YHWH? The brochure says this:
Different scholars have different ideas about how the name YHWH was originally pronounced. In The Mysterious Name of Y.H.W.H., page 74, Dr. M. Reisel said that the "vocalisation of the Tetragrammaton must originally have been Y e HuàH or YaHuàH." Canon D. D. Williams of Cambridge held that the "evidence indicates, nay almost proves, that Jahwéh was not the true pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton . . . The Name itself was probably JAHÔH."?Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft (Periodical for Old Testament Knowledge), 1936, Volume 54, page 269. In the glossary of the French Revised Segond Version, page 9, the following comment is made: "The pronunciation Yahvé used in some recent translations is based on a few ancient witnesses, but they are not conclusive. If one takes into account personal names that include the divine name, such as the Hebrew name of the prophet Elijah (Eliyahou) the pronunciation might just as well be Yaho or Yahou." In 1749 the German Bible scholar Teller told of some different pronunciations of God's name he had read: "Diodorus from Sicily, Macrobius, Clemens Alexandrinus, Saint Jerome and Origenes wrote Jao; the Samaritans, Epiphanius, Theodoretus, Jahe, or Jave; Ludwig Cappel reads Javoh; Drusius, Jahve; Hottinger, Jehva; Mercerus, Jehovah; Castellio, Jovah; and le Clerc, Jawoh, or Javoh."Thus it is evident that the original pronunciation of God's name is no longer known. Nor is it really important. If it were, then God himself would have made sure that it was preserved for us to use. The important thing is to use God's name according to its conventional pronunciation in our own language.
The highlighted comments jumped out at me. The original pronuniciation is no longer known nor is it important. Hmmm. What was the name of this brochure again?