A book on the pronunciation of God's Name

by Doug Mason 44 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Steel

    I think once you start to see the tetragrammaton directly quoted and applied to Christ in the new testament, maybe there is a reason its an unpronounceable word. Maybe there is a bigger story being told here.

    My two cents.

  • johnamos

    Fink, in regards to your 'vital information', can you tell me if the Jews ever stopped pronouncing the name for 3470:


    And the name for 3092:


    Used here:


    And the name for 3050:


    Used here:



  • Finkelstein

    This may help , the difference may be in how the ancient Hebrews would pronounce the name through their set alphabet and linguistic wording, to one of which has been transposed into phonetic Latin wording .

    Yhvh: the proper name of the God of IsraelOriginal Word: יְהוָֹה
    Part of Speech: Proper Name
    Transliteration: Yhvh
    Phonetic Spelling: (yeh-ho-vaw')
    Definition: the proper name of the God of IsraelNAS Exhaustive ConcordanceWord Origin
    from havah
    the proper name of the God of Israel
    NASB Translation
    GOD (314), LORD (6399), LORD'S (111).Brown-Driver-Briggs יהוהc. 6823 i.e. יַהְוֶה

    proper name, of deity Yahweh, the proper name of the God of Israel — (

    1 ᵑ0 יְהוָֺהC518 (Qr אֲדֹנָי), or יֱהוִֺה305 (Qr אֱלֹהִים), in the combinations אדני יהוה & יהוה אדני (see אֲדֹנֶי), and with preposition בַּיהוָֺה, לַיהוָֺה, מֵיהוָֺה (Qr בַּאדֹנָי, לַאדֹנָי, מֵאדֹנָי), do not give the original form. ᵐ5 and other Vrss follow the Qr. On the basis of Exodus 20:7; Leviticus 24:11 יהוה was regarded as a nomen ineffabile (see Philode Vita Mosis iii. 519, 529), called by the Jews הַשֵּׁם and by the Samaritans שׁימא. The pronunciation Jehovah was unknown until 1520, when it was introduced by Galatinus; but it was contested by Le Mercier, J. Drusius, and L. Capellus, as against grammatical and historical propriety (compare Bö§ 88). The traditional Ἰαβέ of Theodoret and Epiphanius, the יָֿהוּ, יְהוֺֿ of compound proper name and the contracted form יָהּ all favour יַהְוֶךְ (compare יַהֲלֹמ֑וּן Psalm 74:6; תַּהֲרוּ Isaiah 33:11), see LagSym i.14 BaudStudien i.179 ff.; DrStud.Bib.i.1 ff. For Jeve see StaZAW 1881, 346 Deib.1882, 173 f. & Gn. Excurs. ii.

  • johnamos

    YHVH are the consonants that makeup the:


    In the names:








    Y י

    H ה

    V ו

    are used in the prefix.

    The V is said to be a ‘placeholder' for an ‘O' or a ‘U’.

    In the names:










    Y י

    H ה

    are used in the suffix.

    So in those names the YHV is JEHO and the YH is IAH.

    If the current spelling and pronunciation of those names are not questioned then isn’t reasonable to apply the same vowels, spelling, and pronunciation to the יהוה

    Jehoshaphat – יהושפט - JeHO - יהו

    Isaiah - ישעיה – aH ה

    יהוה - JeHOaH

  • Finkelstein
  • johnamos

    Not sure what you are trying to point out there or where you are getting your info, but can we put aside any talk about God's personal name and just address if you believe that it is correct to say the name Jehoshaphat in English when referring to the Hebrew name יהושפט

    Likewise with the name Isaiah when referring to the Hebrew name ישעיה

  • Finkelstein

    To your question and to be honest I'm not a bible scholar , is probably because the original sacred name had only 4 YHWH letters. יהוה

    This information may help to clarify things a little better. .......

    Jahveh or Yahweh is apparently an example of a common type of Hebrew proper names which have the form of the 3rd pers. sing. of the verb. e.g. Jabneh (name of a city), JabIn, Jamlek, Jiptal (Jephthah), &c. Most of these really are verbs, the suppressed or implicit subject being 'ēl, "numen, god", or the name of a god; cf. Jabneh and Jabnē-ēl, Jiptāĥ and Jiptāĥ-ēl.

    The ancient explanations of the name proceed from Exod. iii. 14, 15, where "Yahweh hath sent me in;" v. 15 corresponds to "Ehyeh hath sent me" in v. 14, thus seeming to connect the name Yahweh with the Hebrew verb hâyâh, to become, to be. The Palestinian interpreters found in this the promise that God would be with his people (cf. v. 12) in future oppressions as he was in the present distress, or the assertion of his eternity, or eternal constancy; the Alexandrian translation Εγώ είμι ό ον... Ό ῶν απέσταλπέν υμάς understands it in the more metaphysical sense of God's absolute being. Both interpretations "He (who) is (always the same)" and "He (who) is (absolutely, the truly existent)" import into the name all that they profess to find in it; the one, the religious faith in God's unchanging fidelity to his people, the other, a philosophical conception of absolute being which is foreign both to the meaning of the Hebrew verb and to the force of the Jense employed Modern scholars have sometimes found in the name the expression of the aseity[18] of God; sometimes of his reality, in contrast to the imaginary gods of the heathen. Another explanation which appears first in Jewish authors of the middle ages and has found wide acceptance in recent times derives the name from the causative of the verb; He (who) causes things to be, gives them being, or calls events into existence, brings them to pass; with many individual modifications of interpretation—creator, life-giver, fulfiller of promises. A serious objection to this theory in every form is that the verb hâyâh, "to be", has no causative stem in Hebrew; to express the ideas which these scholars find in the name Yahweh the language employs altogether different verbs.

    This assumption that Yahweh is derived from the verb "to be", as seems to be implied in Exod. iii. 14 seq., is not, however, free from difficulty. "To be" in the Hebrew of the Old Testament is not hâwâh, as the derivation would require, but hâyâh; and we are thus driven to the further assumption that hâwâh belongs to an earlier stage of the language, or to some, older speech of the forefathers of the Israelites. This hypothesis is not intrinsically improbable—and in Aramaic, a language closely related to Hebrew, "to be" actually is hâwâ—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. And, inasmuch as nowhere in the Old Testament, outside of Exod. iii., is there the slightest indication that the Israelites connected the name of their God with the idea of "being" in any sense, it may fairly be questioned whether, if the author of Exod. iii. 14 seq., intended to give an etymological interpretation of the name Yahweh,[19] his etymology is any better than many other paronomastic explanations of proper names in the Old Testament, or than, say, the connection of the name Αρόλλων with απολοίων, απολίων in Plato's Cratylus, or the popular derivation from απόλλυμ.

  • johnamos


    If you look at the above link you will find that what is written in Hebrew is translated into English. Looking at verse 1, you will find that in two place where יהוה is written in Hebrew the choice to insert the word 'Lord' was made when written in English. Yet when the Hebrew word יהושע is written, the word Yehoshua is written.

    Note - Joshua is actually written in the verse because they are using the shorten form of the name Jehoshua but my point is that without question when translating the Hebrew word יהושע into English they use Yehoshua/Jehoshua as can be seen above next to Joshua - Chapter 1 and also in the following links you can see that 3091 says Yehoshua and you can also see that where they use 'Lord" it is 3068.




    Hold that thought for now! I have to go shopping with the wife and eat but I want to ask you something further and finish my point. :)

  • peacefulpete
    can we put aside any talk about God's personal name and just address if you believe that it is correct to say the name Jehoshaphat in English when referring to the Hebrew name יהושפט

    The theophoric names were consonantal as well and were also altered by abbreviation or addition of vowel sounds from Elohim or Adonai to prevent the DN from being said aloud. These names therefore have no bearing on the ancient Hebrew pronunciation of YHWH. Some internet "experts" are suggesting they discovered some secret clue, in reality they are just exploiting the public's ignorance of scholarship. It's actually humorous that people believe that somehow a thousand years of scholars and linguists forgot to consider this.

  • johnamos

    quote - were also altered by abbreviation or addition of vowel sounds from Elohim or Adonai to prevent the DN from being said aloud. These names therefore have no bearing on the ancient Hebrew pronunciation of YHWH. - end quote

    LOL! So you are saying that the 14 names listed 5 post up are completely inaccurate translations? If what you are saying is true then that would mean that any and all words in the Hebrew language that contain the letters:

    Y י H ה V ו

    are pronounced incorrect because they are forever at a loss as to what vowels to insert for them?

    I will continue on to my point and then ask you a question based on if what you say is the case.

    The letters in question for God's name are these 4: יהוה

    All the names in above post with prefix Jeho/Yeho have the first 3 of those letters (from right to left) and represent the Y H V. In all cases the vowel E is added between the Y and H and in regards to the V the vowel O is used out of the choices of O or U. (As I said the V is said to be a 'placeholder' for an O or U)

    All the names in above post with suffix Yah/Iah have 2 of those letters that represent the Y H. In all cases the vowel A is added between the Y and H.

    Following that same rule when it comes to just the יהוה YHVH, an E would be added (prefix) and V would become an O, and an A would be added to (suffix) the remaining H.

    Y י H ה V ו H ה


    If all those names "have no bearing on the Hebrew pronunciation of YHVH" because of also being "altered by abbreviation or addition of vowel sounds from Elohim or Adonai to prevent the DN from being said aloud", then why do they replace the יהוה with 'LORD' instead of just using Jehovah/Jehoah?

    And why even entertain the notion that the name 'Yahweh' could have been how it was pronounced? When it comes to those SAME Hebrew letters in the others names they use the E in the prefix, replace the V with O and use A in the suffix.

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