The word, "Jehovah"

by Dia 37 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Dia

    I just read that the name, 'Jehovah' was created 700 years ago by a Catholic monk who took the vowels from the word, 'Lord' and combined them with the letters YHWH (the unpronounceable, biblical term for God).

    Anyone ever heard this or know a credible source for this info?

    Now here's potentially something to share with your next visiting JW!

  • A Paduan
    A Paduan

    You just read it? I hope you haven't made life decisions based on it.

    Have you been under a spell in the tower?

    Yes the word 'jehovah' is invented, and I am happy to confirm it; and I am happy that the wtbts have chosen it and stuck with it, because it isn't God's real name. Coincidently, the hebrew meaning of the sound "hovah" is mischief.

    Jah hovah - god of mischief


  • pomegranate

    Jah hovah - god of child abuse

  • Satanus


    If you have the 'aide' book, look on page 884, the last paragraph.

    By combining the vowel signs of adonay and elohim with the four consonents of the Tetragammeton the pronunciations yhowah and yhowih were formed. The first of these provided the basis for the latinized form "Jehova(h)". The first recorded use of this form dates from the thirteenth century CE. Raymundus Martini, a spanish monk of the Dominican Order used it in his book Pugeo Fidei of the year 1270.

    The wt calls jehovah a 'latinized' form. I'm not sure if this is correct, as i understand that there were no j's in latin. If this is true, then it's one more lie to add to the other wt lies.

    Also see this quote from the thread @ I bolded the martini reference there.

    Here are some quotes from the catholic [email protected] about the origin of 'jehovah'. Following that is a quote from the britanica and judaica, proving that the original pronunciation, yahweh, wasn't lost.

    It has been maintained by some recent scholars that the word Jehovah dates only from the year 1520 (cf. Hastings, "Dictionary of the Bible", II, 1899, p. 199: Gesenius-Buhl, "Handwrterbuch", 13th ed., 1899, p. 311). Drusius (loc. cit., 344) represents Peter Galatinus as the inventor of the word Jehovah, and Fagius as it propagator in the world of scholars and commentators. But the writers of the sixteenth century, Catholic and Protestant (e.g. Cajetan and Thodore de Bze), are perfectly familiar with the word. Galatinus himself ("Areana cathol. veritatis", I, Bari, 1516, a, p. 77) represents the form as known and received in his time. Besides, Drusius (loc. cit., 351) discovered it in Porchetus, a theologian of the fourteenth century. Finally, the word is found even in the "Pugio fidei" of Raymund Martin, a work written about 1270 (ed. Paris, 1651, pt. III, dist. ii, cap. iii, p. 448, and Note, p. 745). Probably the introduction of the name Jehovah antedates even R. Martin.

    No wonder then that this form has been regarded as the true pronunciation of the Divine name by such scholars as Michaelis ("Supplementa ad lexica hebraica", I, 1792, p. 524), Drach (loc. cit., I, 469-98), Stier (Lehrgebude der hebr. Sprache, 327), and others.

    • Jehovah is composed of the abbreviated forms of the imperfect, the participle, and the perfect of the Hebrew verb "to be" (ye=yehi; ho=howeh; wa=hawah). According to this explanation, the meaning of Jehovah would be "he who will be, is, and has been". But such a word-formation has no analogy in the Hebrew language.
    • The abbreviated form Jeho supposes the full form Jehovah. But the form Jehovah cannot account for the abbreviations Jahu and Jah, while the abbreviation Jeho may be derived from another word.
    • The Divine name is said to be paraphrased in Apoc., i, 4, and iv, 8, by the expression ho on kai ho en kai ho erchomenos, in which ho erchomenos is regard as equivalent to ho eromenos, "the one that will be"; but it really means "the coming one", so that after the coming of the Lord, Apoc., xi, 17, retains only ho on kai ho en.
    • the comparison of Jehovah with the Latin Jupiter, Jovis. But it wholly neglects the fuller forms of the Latin names Diespiter, Diovis. Any connection of Jehovah with the Egyptian Divine name consisting of the seven Greek vowels has been rejected by Hengstenberg (Beitrage zur Einleiung ins Alte Testament, II, 204 sqq.) and Tholuck (Vermischte Schriften, I, 349 sqq.).

    To take up the ancient writers:

    • Diodorus Siculus writes Jao (I, 94);
    • Irenaeus ("Adv. Haer.", II, xxxv, 3, in P. G., VII, col. 840), Jaoth;
    • the Valentinian heretics (Ir., "Adv. Haer.", I, iv, 1, in P.G., VII, col. 481), Jao;
    • Clement of Alexandria ("Strom.", V, 6, in P.G., IX, col. 60), Jaou;
    • Origin ("in Joh.", II, 1, in P.G., XIV, col. 105), Jao;
    • Porphyry (Eus., "Praep. evang", I, ix, in P.G., XXI, col. 72), Jeuo;
    • Epiphanius ("Adv. Haer.", I, iii, 40, in P.G., XLI, col. 685), Ja or Jabe;
    • Pseudo-Jerome ("Breviarium in Pss.", in P.L., XXVI, 828), Jaho;
    • the Samaritans (Theodoret, in "Ex. quaest.", xv, in P. G., LXXX, col. 244), Jabe;
    • James of Edessa (cf.. Lamy, "La science catholique", 1891, p. 196), Jehjeh;
    • Jerome ("Ep. xxv ad Marcell.", in P. L., XXII, col. 429) speaks of certain ignorant Greek writers who transcribed the Hebrew Divine name II I II I.
    The judicious reader will peceive that the Samaritan pronunciation Jabe probably approaches the real sound of the Divine name closest; the other early writers transmit only abbreviations or corruptions of the sacred name. Inserting the vowels of Jabe into the original Hebrew consonant text, we obtain the form Jahveh (Yahweh), which has been generally accepted by modern scholars as the true pronunciation of the Divine name. It is not merely closely connected with the pronunciation of the ancient synagogue by means of the Samaritan tradition, but it also allows the legitimate derivation of all the abbreviations of the sacred name in the Old Testament.

    The wt removed the martini refernce from its 'insight' volumes. For a more clear explanation of the evolution of the jehovah corruption, check the above thread.


  • JosephMalik


    As a transliteration the argument rages and has no end. But if you take it as a translation then the pronunciation and/or spelling does not matter. It simply represents the Hebrew word it translates. Nowhere do we find that mispronunciation of this word is a sin and proper names can be pronounced with considerable variability and still recognized by their owner. Mine is all the time with no problem. All this arguing is a lot about nothing.

    It is the Watchtowers insistence that it is a correct and proper way to pronounce it that is the real problem. Taken that way the arguments are of course valid and will continue to no end.


  • bchamber

    I am NOT a JW. However, even though the name "Jehovah" was an invented name by a 13th century monk, I believe just as Professor Pfeiffer stated in his book.

    O.T. Scholar Robert H. Pfeiffer, in his book Introduction to the Old Testament, 1948, stated on page 94: Accordingly, the consonants of the kethib, YHWH, were vocalized YeHoWaH (with the vowels of adonay). From this hybrid spelling, the significance of which was known to every Jew, came the divine name JEHOVAH, current in English and other modern languages. This erroneous Hebrew pronunciation Jehovah was introduced by Christians at least as early as the fourteenth century and became current since the sixteenth. Whatever may be said of its pedigree, JEHOVAH is and should remain the proper English rendering of YAHWEH, the God of Israel...

    I have approx. 1,345 different English translations of the Bible or parts thereof in my collection and I use them all.

    Another fact that should be considered in an answer to a statement I addressed several years ago. "But scholars would deny that Jehovah is a correct rendering of the Hebrew and would opt for Yahweh instead".

    From my research I have found that the first time Gods name was render Yahweh in any translations was 1895. This also shows the trend of modern day scholars (translators) which is that they are split 50/50 in their use of either Divine name. Its also interesting that all of the interlinear translations, made to date, use Jehovah. Why??? Is it because the rendering YAHWEH is not accepted by all scholars today?

    The fact of the matter is no one living today can know for a certain how to pronounce God's Divine name YHWH or JHVH.

    Thus, I found your refusal to the use of the name Jehovah to be very weak. I personally use YAHWEH as God's personal Divine name, but, I also know that YAHWEH is the Hebrew pronunciation and NOT the English pronunciation. Remember that the name JESUS is an English pronunciation and not the Hebrew pronunciation. Why are we not consistent?

    Edited by - bchamber on 20 August 2002 10:23:45

    Edited by - bchamber on 20 August 2002 10:25:14

  • JosephMalik


    That was good bchamber. Perhaps it will help some to think instead of being so picky on something they cannot resolve.


  • Satanus

    Zeus was the greek father god. As rome spread its power, it absorbed some of the foriegn cultures. Zeus was adopted under the name jupiter (jove). He was the father god. Zeus' son apollo came into rome as apollo, the son of jupiter. So also w gods, isis from egypt, mithras from persia (iran).

    Yhwh, from an obscure beginning, possibly w the ugarits of canaan, eventually became the top hebrew god. He isn't mentioned at all in the nt. Attention is instead focused on jesus, the messiah, and the practice of internal spirituality.

    Once christianity became the roman state religion, and it displaced the old religions, yhwh neatly filled the shoes of the old father god jupiter. Jesus diplaced apollo. This promoted yhwh from a tribal god to god of the empire. However, he continued to be known as yhwh or yahweh among the higher jewish priests and some theologians of the roman state religion. It remained for the development of the english language in the 12th century, and some creative writing by a fransican monk to give birth to 'jehovah'. Why was this not possible before this? Because the letter j, having been without existence in hebrew, aramaic, greek and latin, only came into existence through the english language in the 12th century. It quickly became a popular letter. The fad developed of replacing the first letters y in greek and i in latin with j's in popular names. Yahweh suffered the same fate.

    And so, we see how gods are transported from one culure to the next, undergoing modifications of name and character. This is a process that has gone on in western pagan religions for thousands of years.


  • bchamber

    Maybe this will help. I am sorry I don't have Greek and Hebrew fonts in my computer and so you will see some blank spaces in my article below. The whole point of my article, even though it doesn't actually say it, is that since the Gospel of Matthew may have been first written in the Hebrew language of his day, it may very well have contained God's Name where he quoted the O.T. Remember he was writing to the Jews of his day.


    The Tetragrammaton, or Tetragram, is a term denoting the mystic and indescribable name of God, written in Hebrew Bibles as , that is YHWH, YAHWEH (Hebrew spelling) JEHOVAH (English spelling) with the vowels inserted. Why is it some of us may not have ever heard or seen Gods name before now? Maybe because to Jews it was, and still is, considered blasphemous (irreverent) to pronounce the Name; thus, when reading the Hebrew Scriptures it was their custom to substitute the word ADONAI (Lord). You may say "but we are not Jewish, we are Christian. So, is that why we didnt know Gods name?" That is probably one of the reasons. However, there is more to the story.

    To start our research, lets read what Dr. Harry M. Orlinsky, a Jewish scholar-translator stated, "We do know that several centuries before the turn of the Era, the Jews had stopped pronouncing the Tetragrammaton and substituted the name Adonai,or "Lord" for it. That is why the Septuagint had already rendered YHWH by ho kurios, the Lord." (1) In agreement, Tracy Early, a Christian, stated, "When the Greek translation of the Old Testament known as the Septuagint was made about 200 B.C., it used LORD where Gods name appeared in the Hebrew manuscripts." (2)

    The above idea has long been taught, namely, that the Hebrews completely removed the four letters, YHWH (the Tetragrammaton), in 280 B.C. when translating the Septuagint from the Hebrew into Greek and replacing it with KYRIOS (Greek meaning LORD). Tradition teaches this was done because the Jews believed they would commit blasphemy if they mispronounced Gods personal name. Evidence exists that it was not until early in the common era that the Divine Name, YHWH, came to be regarded by the Rabbis as too sacred to pronounce, substituting ADONAI, Hebrew meaning LORD, when reading the scriptures aloud containing YHWH. Thus, in time, the scribes replaced YHWH with ADONAI in 134 places when copying the O.T. Scriptures.

    The Greek Septuagint, though, did not substitute the Divine Name, YHWH with Lord. The following evidence favors this view.

    1. The non-biblical Hebrew documents such as the so-called Lachish Letters (named after the ruins where they were found) showed that the Divine Name (Hebrew rendering) was used in everyday common correspondence in Palestine during the latter part of the fifth century B.C.

    2. The Elephantine Papyri, which were documents from a Jewish Colony in upper Egypt dating in the fifth century B.C., also contained the Divine Name despite the fact these documents are secular in nature.

    3. The Psalms Scroll of Qumran Cave II (3) , located near the Dead Sea, dated between 200-300 B.C. and written in modern Hebrew (Aramaic the Hebrew after the captivity by the Babylonians) still retained the Divine Name, using the ancient palaeo-Hebrew . Why? They were afraid of doing dishonor to their God by changing the "form" of His name. In time though, they did begin to use the modern Hebrew (square) letters to represent Gods personal name, .

    4. The Dead Sea Scroll of St. Marks Monastery, Isaiah Manuscript (4) , dated approximately 200 B.C., used the Divine Name throughout.

    5. The Masoretic Text in use today, the Biblia Hebraica (5) , which has been passed down through time with great care, still uses the Divine Name 6961 times in the Old Testament Scriptures.

    The above evidence shows that the Hebrews used the Divine Name before and during the time the Greek Septuagint Translation was being made.

    The Greek Septuagint Translation of the Hebrew Scriptures (also referred to as LXX after its seventy translators) was begun about 280 B.C. when Greek was the common language of the people. The incomplete copies of the Greek Septuagint we have today do not use the Divine Name, using either Kyrios (Greek for LORD) or Theos (Greek for GOD) substituted in place of the Divine Name. Importantly, these copies date back only to the fourth (4th) century of our Common Era.

    However, more ancient copies from the B.C. period, in fragmentary form, have been found with proof that the earliest copies of the Septuagint did contain the Divine Name. The Cairo Papyrus, P. Fouad Inv. 266 (dated 100 B.C.) draws our attention to this very important fact. W.G. Waddell (6) published them to make known that in this papyrus scroll fragments the Divine Name was written as the Tetragrammaton (YHWH) in Hebrew square letters.

    Other fragments of Papyri, which have been reproduced in America, contain the Tetragrammaton. Commenting on one of these, Dr. Paul E. Kahle states, "The Papyrus containing fragments of Leviticus II-V were written in a hand closely akin to that of Papyrus Fouad 266, characterized, as already mentioned, by the fact that the name of God is rendered by the Tetragrammaton in Hebrew square letters ( ) not by Lord as later in Christian MSS (manuscripts) of the Bible." (7) The Leviticus fragments are dated from the end of the first century B.C. to the opening years of the first century C.E.

    Other fragments, such as the Leather Scroll of Numbers and the Greek Text of the Minor Prophets (fragments of a roll of the Twelve Prophets in Greek, found in a cave, Nahal Hever, near Engedi in the Judean Desert, dating from about 50 B.C.-50 C.E.), contains the Divine Name in the form of the Tetragrammaton. In addition, a modification of the palaeo-Hebrew letters occurs in a papyrus fragment of Genesis (P.Oxy. 1007), dating from the latter part of the third century C.E.

    Based on this evidence Dr. Kahle stated, "We now know that the Greek (Septuagint) Bible text, as far as it was written by Jews for Jews, did not translate the Divine Name as Kyrios, but used the Tetragrammaton written with Hebrew or Greek letters. Thus, Gods name in the form of the Tetragrammaton was retained in this MSS. Later, the Christians replaced the Tetragrammaton with Kyrios, when the Divine Name written in Hebrew letters was not understood any more..." (8) So great was the desire to preserve intact the sacred name of God that Hellenistic Jews copied the actual letters of the Tetragrammaton in the midst of the Greek text.

    When, did the Christians replace the Divine Name in the Greek Septuagint? There is evidence to show when. It had to be centuries after the death of Jesus. For example, in Aquilas Greek Bible, dated 128 C.E., the Divine Name appeared in Hebrew letters. Also, the well-known scholar Origen produced his "Hexapla" around 245 C.E., which was a six-column reproduction of the Old Testament, it contained a Hebrew text which included five Greek texts.

    On the evidence now known, Professor Waddell informs us, "In Origens Hexapla... the Greek Versions of Aquila, Symmachus, and LXX (Septuagint) all represented YHWH by ; in the second column of the Hexapla the Tetragrammaton was written in Hebrew Characters." (9) Many other scholars believe that all the column used the Tetragrammaton written in Hebrew characters. Origen himself stated that, "in the most faithful manuscripts the name is written in Hebrew characters."

    As late as the fourth century, Jerome, who translated the Latin Vulgate, stated in his Prologus Galeatus, that in the preface to Samuel and Malachi, "We find the four-lettered name of God in certain Greek Volumes even to this day expressed in the ancient letters." Jerome also stated in a letter written at Rome in 384 C.E., "when coming upon these Hebrew letters in copies of the Septuagint, certain...ones, because of the similarity of the characters... were accustomed to pronounce PiPi (mistaking them for the Greek characters )."

    Tradition should not credulously be accepted. In the face of the above evidence it can be asked, "Who removed the Divine Name YHWH from the Septuagint and when? The evidence indicates that it was the early Christians around 350 C.E. or later, by which time the congregations had become far removed from the teachings of the early Church. Therefore, notwithstanding, the fear of misusing the Holy Name, these later Christians removed the Divine Name from all copies of the Septuagint and other manuscripts they reproduced and passed on through time to us. In conclusion, the Tetragrammaton is not found in any of the early Catholic English translations and many Protestant translations as well. Hopefully, this explains why many of us today are not familiar with those Hebrew letters, YHWH, in the form of the Hebrew Tetragrammaton.

    1. Orlinsky, Dr. Harry M. The Rage to Translate (Part 1). Bible Collectors World, Vol. 7, Issue 2 & 3, April - Sept. 1991, p.23.

    2. Early, Tracy Good News from the Old Testament. Christian Herald, February, 1977, Vol. 100, No. 2, p.12.

    3. Sanders, J.A. The Psalm Scroll of Qumran Cave II, Oxford: Claredon Press, 1965.

    4. Burrows, Millar The Dead Sea Scroll of St. Marks Monastery, Vol. 1, the Isaiah Manuscript and the Habakkuk Commentary. New Haven: American School of Oriental Research, 1950

    5. Kittel, R.D. Biblia Hebraica New York: American Bible Society, 1970.

    6. Waddel, W,G, "The Tetragrammaton in the LXX", Journal of Theological Studies, XLV, 1944, pages 157-161.

    7. Kahle, Paul E. The Cairo Geniza. New York: F.A. Praegar, 1959. (page 222, 224.)

    8. Kahle, p.222.

    9. Waddell, pp. 158-159

    Edited by - bchamber on 20 August 2002 17:54:4

  • Satanus


    Is this supposed to help me? You are addressing a different issue. The issue of the pronunciation having been lost or not was already well covered.


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