What is

God’s Name?


How is it Pronounced?

and

Should We Use it?



Central Highlands

Congregation of God


What is God’s Name?

Table of Contents

Introduction

Why is God’s Name Not in Most Modern Bible Translations?

What is God’s Name in the Hebrew Scriptures?

Who Uses God’s Name?

What Does Jehovah Mean?

God’s Nickname

MarJah in the Aramaic Peshitta

Origin of Yahweh

The Aramaic Peshitta Preceded the Greek Manuscripts

Titles or Names?

Should We Use God’s Name?

The Name of God’s Son

Our Father

Who Do We Follow?

Appendix 1: Jehovah in Fifty Places

Appendix 2: Names, Titles and Functions of God our Father



Praise Jah! Praise the Name of Jehovah; Praise, O you servants of Jehovah!

You who stand in the House of Jehovah, in the courts of the House of our God, praise Jah, for Jehovah is good; sing praises to His Name, for it is pleasant.

For Jah has chosen Jacob for Himself, Israel for His special treasure.

For I know that Jehovah is great, and our Lord is above all gods.

 Psalm 135:1 to 5

Introduction

It is widely taught that we should not use Jehovah as God’s Name, but instead we should only use LORD and GOD to refer to our Christian God, as is done in many popular Bible versions. This article shows how ancient Bible manuscripts reveal that our God’s name is Jehovah and that they explain exactly how to say it. We also highlight Jehovah’s desire for us to know that He is our God and that He wants us to know and use His Name.


We will present evidence that the name Jehovah has been used by our God and His followers from the creation of Adam and Eve through until today. We also look at the use of the contraction (familiar nickname) of God’s name to Jah, used in the Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek scriptures.


Jeshua (Jesus), the name of God’s Son is also investigated, and we show that the formal version of His name goes all the way back to Joshua and Moses in Scripture.


We also look at the widespread disuse of Jehovah today and explore some of the reasons why this is so.



Why is God’s Name Not in Most Modern Bible Translations?

Let us begin by examining why most English Bible translators substitute Jehovah, our God’s personal name, with the titles LORD or GOD, even when they are translating from the Hebrew Old Testament (OT), which actually has God’s name clearly written in it almost seven thousand times.


The following quote from the Preface to the English Standard Version (ESV), 2011 Text Version Holy Bible, published by Crossway reveals how they look at this issue:



The Translation of Specialised Terms

In the translation of biblical terms referring to God, the ESV takes great care to convey the specific nuances of meaning of the original Hebrew and Greek terms. First, concerning terms that refer to God in the Old Testament: God, the Maker of heaven and earth, introduced himself to the people of Israel with a special personal name, the consonants for which are YHWH (see Exodus 3:14-15). Scholars call this the “Tetragrammaton,” a Greek term referring to the four Hebrew letters YHWH. The exact pronunciation of YHWH is uncertain, because the Jewish people considered the personal name of God to be so holy that it should never be spoken aloud. Instead of reading the word YHWH, they would normally read the Hebrew word ´adonay (“Lord”), and the ancient translations into Greek, Syriac, and Aramaic also followed this practice. When the vowels of the word ´adonay are placed with the consonants of YHWH, this results in the familiar word Jehovah that was used in some earlier English Bible translations. As is common among English translations today, the ESV usually renders the personal name of God (YHWH) with the word LORD (printed in small capitals). An exception to this is when the Hebrew word ´adonay appears together with YHWH, in which case the two words are rendered together as “the Lord [in lower case] GOD [in small capitals].” In contrast to the personal name for God (YHWH), the more general name for God in the Old Testament Hebrew is ´elohim and its related forms of ´el or ´eloah, all of which are normally translated “God” (in lower case letters). The use of these different ways to translate the Hebrew words for God is especially beneficial to the English reader, enabling the reader to see and understand the different ways that the personal name and the general name of God are both used to refer to the One True God of the Old Testament.


The ESV is one of the more literal popular Bible versions around, so their unwillingness to retain God’s name is disappointing. There are many false, or at best misleading, statements in their explanation of why they refuse to use what they acknowledge as God’s “special personal name” in their Bible. Apart from using YHWH eight times and Jehovah once in their Preface (shown above) they only use YHWH once and only as a footnote to Exodus 3:15 in their entire Bible. In stark contrast with the ESV translation, Jehovah is actually used over six thousand, eight hundred times in the Hebrew Old Covenants (OC) manuscripts. Unlike these translators, Jehovah is proud of His name and wants us to know that He is the author of our Bible.


But the ESV is not alone in removing God’s name. The Tyndale, Rogers and Coverdale (TRC) Bible, published in 1535, only translate Jehovah correctly 22 times. The Geneva Bible, (1560), uses Jehovah eight times (Genesis 22:14, Exodus 6:3, 15:3, 17:15, 23:17, 34:23, Judges 6:24 and Psalm 83:18). The Authorised Version (AV), also called the King James Version (KJV), first published in 1611) further reduces the translation of Jehovah to four times (Exodus 6:3, Psalm 83:18, Isaiah 12:2 and 26:4). The newer RSV, NAB, NASB, NKJV, NIV, GNB, GWT, NRSV, NCV, CEV, ESV, TEV, MEV, etc., all totally ignore God’s name and do not translate it as Jehovah even once.


A handful of versions use Yahweh or YHWH as God’s name (eg. the Emphasized Bible, HCSB and Jerusalem Bible). Positively, there are a few translators, including Young (1862), Darby (1890), ASV (1901), NWT (1961), Green (Literal 1985, KJ3 2010), CHCG (2009) and Bauscher (2013) that do translate Jehovah as God’s name faithfully in the OC. But their translations are ignored by nearly all mainstream churches. This systematic removal of Jehovah from English Bibles and church usage is a very disturbing trend. 1 It explains why many Christians really do not understand that Jehovah is the Name of our Creator, our Sustainer, our Saviour and the real author of our Bible.


But let’s return to the errors in the ESV preface. Though they claim to take “great care to convey the...meaning of...Hebrew...terms”, they actually work hard at obscuring God’s name. Let us examine the original Hebrew, inspired by God, and then see what the ESV translators do to it.


The following image of Genesis 3:14 is from Jay Green’s The Interlinear Bible:

greens-jehovahgod-detail.jpg

The numbers above the Hebrew are the Strong’s numbers for each word. The words below the Hebrew are Green’s translations for that word. Remember that Hebrew is read right to left. The text on the left is from his Literal Translation of the Bible. Strong’s Lexicon 2 confirms that Green’s translation of Jehovah (3068) is correct:

03068. יהוה Y@hovah yeh-ho-vaw’; from 01961; (the) self-Existent or Eternal; Jehovah.


The Tetragrammaton (the Four Letters) referred to in the ESV Preface can be seen immediately after the Strong’s 03068, which are spoken as Yod Hey Vav Hey, the consonants of God’s name. Personal names such as Noah, Moses, Isaiah, Jehovah, etc are normally transliterated into English, rather than translated to the nearest equivalent word as is done with common words.


The next Hebrew word is Elohiym, Strong’s number 430, which is Hebrew for God. Green correctly translates this pair of words as Jehovah God.


Here is the ESV translation for the first part of this verse:

esv-lordgod-detail.jpg

So the ESV has correctly translated God. But as Green’s Interlinear and Strong’s Lexicon show, LORD is neither a transliteration nor a translation of Jehovah. The ESV is actually a mutilation of Scripture in which they take away Jehovah, our God’s personal name, and add in its place the generic title of Lord, with subtle small caps that confirm they know this is what they have done.


To prove this point, let us look at Green’s Genesis 15:2:

greens-lordjehovah-detail.jpg

This time, both the Hebrew and Green’s have ‘Lord Jehovah’, with Lord coming from Strong’s number 136, ´adonay, which is actually Hebrew for Lord and once again there is Jehovah from 3068. This is what the ESV does with it:

esv-lordgod002detail.jpg

So this time they correctly translate Lord, but then they take away Jehovah and they add in the title GOD to replace His Name. These two examples clearly show that they know what Lord, God and Jehovah are in the Hebrew, but they deceitfully substitute Jehovah with these two distinctly different words. Only those who have read their lengthy Preface would realise that God’s name has been systematically stripped out.


Also contrary to the ESV preface claim, the Bible does not combine the Four Letters (the Tetragrammaton) and the vowels of ´adonay to create an incorrect hybrid name. As will be verified in the next section, the correct Biblical pronunciation of our God’s name is Jehovah.


The ESV translators are using two old myths from Judaism to justify their actions, which are: (1) Jehovah is so holy it cannot be spoken and (2) as a consequence, how to pronounce God’s name has been forgotten. The truth is that the Bible records many incidents of many people, both ordinary and remarkable, speaking and praising our God by His name of Jehovah through thousands of years. But these truths are hidden in most translations by these LORD and GOD substitutions. And as you will see, their other claim that the Syriac and Aramaic manuscripts follow their LORD and GOD substitutions for Jehovah is another lie.


It seems that the ESV and the many other translators who take away Jehovah’s name do not want to believe that Revelation 22:18-19 applies to them. Though they presumably want their names written into Jehovah’s Book of Life, they have disrespectfully deleted Jehovah’s name from His Holy Scriptures. Though the followers of Judaism will not speak God’s name, at least they still retain His name written in their Hebrew Bibles. As the reasons these translators give for their substitutions are untrue, why are they really doing it? One wonders if it is part of an ecumenical plan to replace Jehovah with a different God, a bland generic one that is acceptable to most religions.


What is God’s Name in the Hebrew Scriptures?

As we have seen, God’s name in Hebrew has four letters (consonants), which are יהוה (Yod Hey Vav Hey). The Hebrew letters, like their words, are read from right to left. The closest English transliterations (also reversing the letter order) for these letters are YHWH or JHVH depending on which Hebrew dialect you prefer. These Four Letters are basic unpointed Hebrew. But we have much more than these letters in the Bible codices. Below is a scan of God’s name in Hebrew with full vocalisation from the first line of Genesis 3:14. This is scanned from the ancient Leningrad Codex B19A, which was written in 1008 CE (AD), and is our oldest fully vocalised 3 and complete Hebrew Old Covenants manuscript. Jehovah being fully vocalised means that all of the vowels and accents have been included, so we can know beyond any doubt exactly how God’s name is to be pronounced. For clarity, the digitised copy is beneath it. 4


jehovah-gen3-14-ms.jpg

jehovah-gen3-14-best.jpg

Jehovah, God’s name, is the middle word. The phrase translates literally as “So-said Jehovah God (Elohim):”. This is the first of the fifty times Jehovah occurs fully vocalised in this Leningrad Codex. 5 The Codex can be downloaded from the Internet Archive 6 and the digitised version from https://www.tanach.us/Server.html?genesis* to confirm these are accurate copies. You can also compare this to the Hebrew used in Green’s Interlinear, shown earlier, which is identical, though he is using the 1866 British and Foreign Bible Society Masoretic text.


Let’s look closely at what this ancient Hebrew Bible, more than one thousand years old, actually says God’s name is.


The first Hebrew consonant is י (Yod, also pronounced Jod), which should be transliterated as Y or J. Though both are acceptable, we believe the J has a long history of use as will be shown below.


In this fully vocalised example of God’s name, there are two vertical dots below the Jod (:). These are called Shva, and they transliterate as a short ‘e’.


The second consonant is ה (Hey, pronounced as ‘he’ or ‘h’). So far, we now have “Jeh” as the start of God’s Name.


However, the ה (Hey) has a pointing above it, a single dot called a Holam Haser which is pronounced as full ‘o’. This point inserts an ‘o’ after the Hey.

The third consonant is ן (Vav, pronounced as v). Now we now have “Jehov” as most of God’s Name.


There is a third vowel pointing below the ו (Vav), which is a Kamatz: ָ The ָ Kamatz is usually pronounced as ‘a’, giving us Jehova.

Then there is the last consonant, another ה (Hey), which adds the final ‘h’ to God’s name, giving us His full Name: Jehovah.


It is pronounced pretty much as it is spelt: Je-ho-VAH, with the emphasis on the last syllable. We know this because there is an accent mark above the ו (Vav): , called a Cholam, which indicates that this is the strongest syllable of the word. 7


As noted above, Jehovah appears fully vocalised like this 50 times in the Leningrad Codex. The Aleppo Codex, almost eleven hundred years old and written by different scribes, also contains God’s name of Jehovah, fully vocalised numerous times, which is a confirming witness to His Name.


The other 6,733 times God’s name is in the Leningrad codex, the scribes have not written the dot (called the Holam Haser) above the first ה (Hey). This means there is no ‘o’, which makes God’s name the incorrect and therefore “unpronounceable” Jeh-vah. Below is an example of God’s name with the missing Holam Haser, from Genesis 3:13. 8


jehvah-gen-3-13-lc.jpg


jehvah-gen-3-13.jpg

The phrase shown above translates as “And-said Jeh-vah God”.


Jeh-vah achieved what the scribes were forced to do. Initially, they preserved Jehovah’s Word during times of apostasy when Israel turned to other gods such as Baal and Jehovah’s commandments and even His very Name were rejected. Later, Israel’s Roman conquerors banned speaking Jehovah’s name as they wanted the Jews to worship their Emperor instead of Jehovah. Then the corrupt Jewish religious leaders tried to save face by claiming that it was their idea to stop using God’s name as they now believed that Jehovah was too sacred to speak. Despite all these issues, the Masoretic scribe quietly copied and inserted the pointings for God’s full name into the Leningrad codex here and there. Although these Jewish scribes rejected Jeshua as the Messiah, they did believe that they worshipped Jehovah and they wanted to honour His Name by ensuring that people could always learn how to pronounce Jehovah by carefully reading their manuscripts. 9


As we have seen, the Leningrad manuscript renders God’s name as Jehovah. Although it is frequently stated that the vowel pointings in God’s name are the vowels of ´adonay, it can be clearly seen that neither of these versions of God’s name use the vowels of ´adonay (which are AOAY, while Jehovah uses EOA and Jeh-vah uses EA). That claim is a lie intended to keep people from actually looking at these Bible codices and discovering that God’s name is clearly written there for us to see.


The following table of Jewish translations from the Hebrew show what they think God’s name is:


Jewish Translator

Year of Publication

Language

God’s Name

Immanuel Tremellius

1579

Latin

Jehova

Baruch Spinoza

1670

Latin

Jehova

Samuel Cahen

1836

French

Iehovah

Joseph Magil

1910

English

Jehovah

L. Golschmidt

1921

German

Yehovah

Alexander Harkavy

1936

English

Jehovah


This table, and the quote below, are based on https://researchsupportsthetruth.wordpress.com

/2013/07/08/why-is-gods-name-missing-from-many-bibles/

 

“... non-superstitious Jewish translators always favored the name Jehovah in their translations of the Bible.

On the other hand one can note that there is NO Jewish translation of the Bible with Yahweh.”

—M. Gérard GERTOUX


There is no room for doubt that Jehovah (and/or Yehovah) is God’s name. We will look at the dubious origin of Yahweh later in this article.

Who Uses God’s Name?

The Hebrew scriptures show Eve (Genesis 4:1 [Chavvah]), Noah (Genesis 9:26), Abraham (Genesis 21:33, 22:14), Isaac (Genesis 26:22, 26:25), Jacob (Genesis 28:16, 32:9), 10 Moses (Exodus 5:1), David (1 Samuel 17:45), Jeremiah (Jeremiah 26:12), Zechariah (Zechariah 12:1) and many others addressing God by His name of Jehovah, across a span of 3,500 years. The Aramaic New Covenant shows that Jeshua (Matthew 4:4) and His Apostles (Acts 2:34, Acts 7:37, Jacob [James] 2:23, 1 Peter 1:25, Jude 1:4, Romans 4:8, Revelation 15:4) also knew, loved and used Jehovah as God’s name. We are now spanning over four thousand years.


The oldest Aramaic NC manuscripts we have today appear to be copies made about four centuries after Christ. They refer to Lord Jehovah by the contraction of His name to Lord Jah (MarJah in Aramaic). Combining these New Covenant Jahs with the Old Covenants scriptures, we have God’s name used seven thousand times! We believe this is clear confirmation that the Aramaic NC is the authorised completion of God’s Word. Next we have the Aleppo and Leningrad Hebrew codices (referred to earlier) from about 930 and 1008 CE. As noted above, another point at which God’s name Jehovah is recorded is in the Tyndale TRC translation of 1535. It seems likely that he learned the spelling and pronunciation of Jehovah from the Sephardic Jews in Europe, who had retained this knowledge of God’s Name from antiquity. And Jehovah has remained in use as God’s name up to this day. So there is a six thousand year history of God’s name being Jehovah which goes all the way back to the first woman, the mother of us all.


A related question is who calls their God “Lord”? The Bible shows us that the Canaanites called their god Baal. Baal simply means Lord. Lord was the title that they used to refer to their main god Hadad, who was the king of their gods and also their god of war, fertility and storms. Baal (Lord) worship included sexual immorality and perversions and even child sacrifice (Hosiah 4:12-14, 2 Chronicles 28:2-4). The Canaanites developed the habit of calling him Lord instead of Hadad because they believed he was a fierce and unforgiving God. By not using his actual name, they hoped they might avoid drawing Hadad’s attention and then his punishment to themselves. However, Jehovah our god is a god of love and mercy, who wants to have an intimate relationship with us (John 17:20-24). Why would we imitate the Canannites and be afraid to call out to our Father Jehovah?


One other thing to consider is this: God’s name often appear in constructs such as Lord Jehovah and Jehovah God, where He adds the titles of Lord and God to His name. In what way does reducing these phrases to Lord GOD and LORD God give honour to God’s name? 11


As Psalm 135:1 says, we are to “Praise the name of Jehovah”. Converting Jehovah God to “Lord God” is misusing God’s name in a worthless way.


As Jehovah is the name of our God, Jehovah is therefore a sacred name, which is why it should only be used in a respectful way. And whenever we use His name, we can be sure that He is fully aware of it. But Jehovah is not a magical name. Anyone who thinks that they can make God do something for them simply by speaking ‘Jehovah’ is totally mistaken. That situation is like the one in 1 Samuel chapter 4, where the Israelites tried to force Jehovah to help them by taking his Ark into battle. Jehovah refused to submit to their demands. If we want Jehovah’s help, we must be willing to live in harmony with His will (1 John 5:14). 12


What Does Jehovah Mean?

Jehovah, our God’s special personal name has several meanings: “the One Who Is”, “the Self-Existing”, “Giver of Life”, “the One Bringing into Being”.


Nehemia Gordon gives some insight into the derivation of Jehovah in this quote from his article The Pronunciation of the Name: 13

 

They point out the connection between the name of YHVH and the root HYH to be. This connection is explicitly made in Ex 3:13-14, where we read,

"(13) And Moses said to God, Behold when I am coming to the children of Israel and say 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you', and they say to me, 'What is His name?', what should I tell them? (14) And God said to Moses, Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh (I am that which I am), and He said, thus shall you say to the children of Israel, 'Ehyeh has sent me to you'." (Exo 3:13-14).

 

So Moses asks YHVH what name he should give the Israelites when they asked about God. YHVH replies that Moses should say that he was sent by Ehyeh which is a verb from the root HYH, to be, meaning "I am". Immediately after declaring Himself to be Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh, YHVH further explains that His eternal name is YHVH:"

(15) And God said further to Moses, thus shall you say to the Children of Israel: 'YHVH the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob has sent me to you, this is my name forever, this is my mention for every generation'" (Exo 3:15).

 

But how can YHVH be related to HYH, to be? In Hebrew the letters Vav ו and Yod י are weak letters which are sometimes interchangeable with one another. For example, the word yeled יֶלֶך (child) has a variant form valad וָלָך in which the usual Yod is replaced with a Vav. We find a similar replacement in the root HYH to be. The present tense of the verb HYH to be is הוֶֹה hoveh (Ecc 2:22) with the Yod being replaced with a Vav.

 

This replacement seems to happen especially in names. Thus in Hebrew Eve is called חַוָה Chavah, "because she was the mother of all that lives ( חָי chay)" (Gen 3:20). So in Eve's name the Yod of chay חָי is replaced by a Vav of Chavah חַוָה We should not conclude that Vav and Yod are always interchangeable but rather when a Hebrew root has a V/Y in it, sometimes the other letter can make an appearance in its stead. So linguistically there is no problem with YHVH being derived from HYH to be. This is why YHVH presents Himself to Moses as Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh (I am that which I am), which is a veiled allusion to His name YHVH presented in the following verse.


So we see that Jehovah is an extension of To Be and To Exist. And as Jehovah is the only being who has always existed, exists now and will always exist, and He is responsible for creating all others and giving them life, it is a very appropriate name.


God’s Nickname

Jah is God’s intimate ‘nickname’. It is a contraction formed by retaining the Jod at the beginning of Jehovah, then removing the ‘ehov’ from the middle and retaining the ‘a’ and Hey at the end. Jah is used 49 times in the Hebrew Old Covenants and 131 times in our translation from the Peshitta New Covenant.


Below is Jah in Exodus 15:2, third word from the right:

jah-exo15-2.jpg

The section shown translates as “Jah is my strength and song”. As in Jehovah, it begins with י (Jod), but this time there is a Kamatz: ָ beneath the י (Jod). The Kamatz is pronounced as ‘a’ and follows the letter it is beneath. This is followed by the ה (Hey), so we have Jah, not Jeh. The two dots above the י (Jod) are a disjunctive accent called zaqep qaton, not a vowel pointing as it is when below a letter. The zaqep qaton indicates a small pause before Jah is spoken, which enhances its impact. The dot inside the ה (Hey) does not change its pronunciation.


Jah is fully vocalised in the Leningrad manuscript each time. Yet by the same corrupt reasons used for not translating Jehovah, Jah appears only once in the AV in Psalm 68:4. Jah is hidden as ‘the LORD’ the other 48 times, making Jah indistinguishable from Jehovah.


Jah is also fully vocalised as Jah throughout the Aramaic Peshitta New Covenant.


Many Bibles have a remnant of Jah in Rev 19:1-6, where they have Halleluyah or Hallelujah (or truncated via the Greek into Alleluia), which is Aramaic for Praise Jah!



MarJah in the Aramaic Peshitta

As mentioned earlier, MarJah is the Aramaic version of Jehovah, and it is used in both their Old and New Covenant scriptures as a replacement for Jehovah. It is likely that MarJah was their way of complying with the ban on using Jehovah, yet still honouring our God by using this contracted version of His name. MarJah is a combination of Mara, meaning Lord or Master and Jah. Our Bible version translates it as Lord Jah. Below is MarJah from the Peshitta, Matthew 1:22, but displayed in square Hebrew characters to make it easier to compare. (From The Aramaic Peshitta NT by Ewan MacLeod [www.jesusspokearamaic.com]).

marjah-mat1-22.jpg

MarJah begins with מ (Mem –pronounced as ‘m’), which has a ָ (Kamatz) beneath it which is pronounced as ‘a’ and follows the letter it is beneath. The next letter is ר (Resh – pronounced as ‘r’). This produces ‘Mar’ and means Lord. The last half of the word begins with י (Jod) as in Jah, and also has a ָ (Kamatz) beneath the י (Jod). This is followed by א (Aleph -usually silent, like k in know). This combination is pronounced as ‘Jah’. The whole word is thus Marjah, and translates to Lord Jah as Mar is a title that is translated to its nearest equivalent in English and Jah, as one of our God’s personal names, is transliterated.


MarJah is used frequently in the Peshitta New Covenant to refer to Jehovah God the Father and occasionally to His Son Jeshua.




Lord and the Greek Scriptures

Some people claim that the Greek New Covenant (GNC) and the presence of Greek Septuagint 14 quotations in it demonstrate that this is a divine endorsement of a language other than Hebrew. This leads to their related claim that because Greek manuscripts substitute Kurios (Greek for Lord) for God’s Name, this proves that these substitutions have God’s Authority.


There are many Scriptural and historical reasons to reject these claims and objections to using God’s personal Name.


First, let us examine the use of kurios (Lord) in the Greek manuscripts, beginning with the Septuagint. It is well known that the oldest fragments of the Septuagint we have actually preserve God’s name (the Tetragrammaton - JHVH), embedded in them in Hebrew. Some of our group have had the pleasure of actually seeing some original pages of these ancient Septuagints including the Tetragrammaton with their own eyes. Below is a scan of an fragment of Job Chapter 42 from a Septuagint manuscript dating to the First Century CE (AD). The embedded Tetragrammaton is written in Paleo-Hebrew script.


tetragrammaton-septuagint.jpg

All known Septuagint manuscripts prior to about 150 CE (AD) have God’s name written in them in this way. 15 There will be more about this later.


It seems probable that the earliest Greek translations of the New Testament would have also embedded God’s name in this way, as they overlapped with this time period. However, we are not aware of any of these GNC manuscripts still in existence today. During the Diocletian Persecution (303-311 CE), there was an intense effort made to destroy Christian holy books, especially Greek New Covenants.


Constantine then had ‘new’ Greek New Covenants mass-produced 16 after he made Christianity into the new Roman state religion. It seems that they were carefully modified editions which had been sanitised to make them appear less Jewish and more palatable to the Roman citizens. Replacing God’s name with generic titles and changing the Hebrew OC quotes to ones from the Septuagint were some of the changes made. This removal of God’s name was consistent with the Roman Empire’s ban on using the name of Jehovah imposed soon after Rome conquered Jerusalem in 63 BCE. It was also consistent with Constantine’s decision to convert Christianity into an all-embracing, empire-wide, unifying religion from what was a divisive faith which claimed that Jeshua the Messiah was the Only Way to Jehovah (John 14:6), who was His Father and the Only True God (1 John 5:20, Mark 13:31-32).


We must clearly understand why Constantine removed Jehovah, God’s name. These quotes are from our translation of the Peshitta NC:

Jeshua answered him, “The foremost of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, Jehovah your God, Jehovah is one. ‘And you shall love Jehovah your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.”Mark 12:29-30

 

For even though there are what are called gods, whether in heaven or on earth, as there are many gods and many lords, yet for us ours is one God, the Father, for everything is from Him, and we are in Him; and one Lord Jah – Jeshua the Messiah – for all is through Him, and we are also in His hand.

1 Corinthians 8:5-6


Removing God’s name is removing His Identity. Jehovah is reduced to just another of the many gods, and only a nameless one at that. Removing someone’s name is a common military tactic used on their prisoners. When their names are taken from them, they become just another number, less than human. No true Christian would do this to Jehovah, our Great and Unique God.


Origin of Yahweh

Nehemia’s Pronunciation article also explains where the name Yahweh came from and shows that it has no Scriptural basis whatsoever. It actually comes from attempts to write Jehovah in ancient Greek, which was essentially impossible as Nehemia observes:

First, we must observe that ancient Greek did not have an H sound in the middle of words. So the first H in YHVH, whatever the vowels attached to it, would be dropped by the Greek. Secondly, Greek did not have a W or a V sound. So the third letter of the divine name must also be dropped or distorted by the Greek. Finally the vowels of ancient Greek were much different than the Hebrew vowels system. Biblical Hebrew had 9 vowels which do not have exact correspondent vowels in Greek...


These difficulties explain why the original authors of the Septuagint gave up and simply copied the Hebrew for Jehovah directly into their manuscripts. The later and only partly successful translation attempt by Theodoret of Cyrus about 430 CE resulted in the unscriptural Yahweh.


The Aramaic Peshitta Preceded the Greek Manuscripts

The reality is that Jeshua and His apostles spoke Aramaic, not Greek, as did most Jews at that time. Aramaic is a Syrian sister language to Hebrew which became the common Jewish language during their exile in the Medo-Persian empire. Parts of the Books of Daniel and Ezra are written in Aramaic. The apostles wrote the original, and thus divinely inspired, New Covenant in Aramaic. This Aramaic New Covenant has been preserved from then until today, and God’s Name has been preserved in these manuscripts, though as the more personal and intimate name of MarJah, which translates to English as Lord Jah.


There is considerable evidence that the Greek New Covenant is a translation from the Aramaic and is therefore not the authoritative inspired version of these scriptures. This is reflected in the numerous differences between the various Greek manuscripts. Such differences are very rare, and minor, in the Aramaic manuscripts, which we believe shows God’s hand on them to protect them from corruption. The Aramaic Primacy can also been seen in the various odd passages in the Greek NC, which can usually be shown to be mistranslations from the Aramaic. 17


For all these reasons, we do not accept that the Greek title Kurios is a valid substitute for Jehovah, our God’s name. Therefore, we do not accept that Lord, the English translation of kurios, is a valid substitute for Jehovah. But we do accept that Jehovah and His Son Jeshua 18 are our Masters and our Lords. But Master and Lord are just two of their titles. These titles are not their names, never have been and never will be. Titles and names are two different things.


Titles or Names?

Let us explore this idea of titles vs names a bit more:


Genesis 23:6 - Abraham is called my lord.

Genesis 32:4 - Esau is called lord.

Genesis 40:1 - the king of Egypt is called lord.

Genesis 42:33 - Joseph is called lord.

Numbers 32:25 - Moses is called lord.

Judges 4:18 - Sisera is called lord.

Ruth 2:13 - Boaz is called lord.

1 Samuel 24:8 - Saul is called lord.

1 Samuel 25:25 - David is called lord.

2 Samuel 10:3 - Hanun is called lord.


This is only a small sampling of those called by the title lord (adon or adonai) in the Bible. Some are kings, some are heros, some are villains. But NONE of them are given God’s Name, Jehovah.


The name Jehovah belongs only to the One True God, and Jehovah uses His Name to distinguish Himself from all other gods and all other lords and all other masters. Let us see what Jehovah says about this Himself: 19

And God spoke all these words, saying: “I am Jehovah your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.

“You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, Jehovah your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

“You shall not lift up the name of Jehovah your God in a worthless way, for Jehovah will not leave anyone who lifts up His name in a worthless way unpunished. Exodus 20:1 to 7


So it is that in just the first few verses of the Ten Commandments, Jehovah our God tells us four times that His name is indeed Jehovah. And He makes it clear that His name distinguishes Him from all other gods.


Should We Use God’s Name?

Some people claim, based on verse 7 above, that we should not use God’s name of Jehovah. Though vs 7 does say we are not to use God’s name in a worthless way, we are commanded and expected to use Jehovah in a righteous way:

 

That men may know that You, whose name alone is Jehovah, are the Most High over all the earth. Psalm 83:18

 

Oh, give thanks to Jehovah! Call upon His Name! Make known His deeds among the peoples.

Praise Jah! Praise the Name of Jehovah; Praise, O you servants of Jehovah!

You who stand in the house of Jehovah, in the courts of the House of our God, Praise Jah, for Jehovah is good; sing praises to His Name, for it is pleasant.

For Jah has chosen Jacob for Himself, Israel for His special treasure.

For I know that Jehovah is great, and our Lord is above all gods.

Psalm 135:1 to 5


So, if we love Jehovah and want to pray with Him and praise and worship Him, of course we will use our God’s name. Though we have tried to make it clear how to pronounce His name and His Son’s name in this article, we have no doubt that Jehovah looks at our hearts and will accept even a poor pronunciation if He knows that we are doing the best we can with what we know.


There was one exception to this, where God commands a specific group of people to NOT use His Name, due to their corrupt practices:

 

“Thus says Jehovah of Hosts, the God of Israel, saying: ‘You and your wives have spoken with your mouths and fulfilled with your hands, saying, “We will surely perform our vows that we have made, to burn to the queen of heaven and pour out drink offerings to her.” You will surely fulfill your vows and perform your vows!’

“Therefore hear the word of Jehovah, all Judah who dwell in the land of Egypt: ‘Behold, I have sworn by My great Name,’ says Jehovah, ‘that My Name shall no more be named in the mouth of any man of Judah in all the land of Egypt, saying, “Lord Jehovah lives.”

‘Behold, I will watch over them for adversity and not for good. And all the men of Judah who are in the land of Egypt shall be consumed by the sword and by famine, until there is an end to them.

Jer 44:25-27


Note that God then destroyed everyone who followed these corrupt practices. This was not a blanket command instructing those who were righteous to no longer use God’s Name of Jehovah.


And the other one He allows to share this special Name is His Only True Son, Jeshua our Messiah. This is revealed at Jer 15:16 and in the Aramaic New Covenant at Mat 22:45, Joh 17:11, Rom 14:14, 1 Cor 8:6 & 11:27, Rev 22:20, etc.


The Name of God’s Son

We also need to look more closely at the name of God’s Son Jeshua. As we will show, Jesus (or Iesous) arises from the Greek manuscripts. Jesus is not used as the name of God’s Son anywhere in the Hebrew or Aramaic scriptures. But Jeshua (Jayshua - Strong’s 3442) is only used twenty nine times in the Hebrew OC. Jeshua is a shortened and more intimate form of Jehoshua, which is used 199 times. However, most translations change Jehoshua (Strong’s 3091) to Jeshua in their Old Testament translations. Jehoshua (the son of Nun) first appears in the Hebrew Scriptures in Exodus 17:9, but Numbers 13:16 explains that Moses had changed his name from Hoshea (He saves) to Jehoshua (Jehovah Saves), thus joining Jehovah’s name to his. Below, the second word from the right, is Jehoshua, from Exodus 17:10:

jehoshua-exo17-10.jpg

This name begins with the first three consonants of Jehovah. And under the י (Jod, the J), there are the two vertical dots (:). (Shva, pronounced as a short ‘e’), followed by the ה (Hey) again as in the Jeh portion of Jehovah. In this word, the dot above the ו (Vav) converts the ‘v’ into ‘o’. The dot above and to the right end of the ש (Shin) combine to give the ‘sh’. The three angled dots under the ש (Shin) are called called a Kabuts and make an “oo” as in pool. The line under the silent ע (Ayin), called a Patach, provides the ‘a’ to form Jehoshua. The diamond above the ש (Shin) is an accent called a Rebia which emphasises the ‘SHU’ in this word.


Jehoshua is used through most of the Old Covenants, but as time passed, as shown in Ezra, Nehemiah and 1st and 2nd Chronicles, this name was simplified to become Jayshua (Jeshua). Below is an example from Nehemiah 8:17, again from the digitised Leningrad Codex:

jeshua-neh-8-17.jpg

Jayshua is the first word from the right. The phrase translates as “Jayshua son of Nun”. The ה (Hey) and the ו (Vav) have been removed and a new ו (Vav) has been inserted after the ש (Shin). But there are a few changes to the Jehoshua pointing that are required to give us Jeshua. First, the two vertical dots under the י (Jod, the J) are now two horizontal dots (··) called Tsere, pronounced as ‘ay’. We still have the ש (Shin) with its top right dot giving us the ‘sh’. But the three dots under it are gone. Instead of them, there is a ו (Vav) with a dot to its left middle called a Shurek. This combination replaces the ‘v’ with an “oo’ sound. Finally, there is the line under the silent ע (Ayin) providing the ‘a’ to form Jayshua, though this is pronounced as Jeshua or Yeshua in the Aramaic Peshitta. As in Jehovah, there is a Cholam accent mark, but this time above the ש (Shin), which indicates that SHU is the strongest syllable of the word.


Nehemiah 8:17 shows that the son of Nun is called both Jehoshua and Jayshua. Likewise, the meaning of Jeshua is still “Jehovah Saves”.


joshua-mat-1-16.jpg

Jeshua remained in use throughout the time the Aramaic New Covenant was written. Below is Jeshua, from the Peshitta, Matthew 1:16. (From The Aramaic Peshitta NT by Ewan MacLeod).


There are still the same four letters, but the pointing system used in Aramaic is a little different from Hebrew. There is י (Jod) making the J (or Y), with the two horizontal dots called a Rboso under the י (Jod) usually making an “e” sound and the top right dot modified ש (Shin) making the ‘sh’ sound and the three dots under the ש (Shin) again making the ‘u’ sound. The unpointed ו (Vav) combined with the ע (Ayin) making the ‘a’ sound. The small ‘backwards’ L under the ש (Shin) indicates that the SHU is the accented syllable in this word. So the Aramaic gives us Jeshua.


Therefore Jayshua, Jeshua, and Yeshua can all be accepted as faithful variants of the name of God’s Son. That these are shortened forms of Jehoshua is verified by the references to Jehoshua the son of Nun, who is also called Jayshua in Neh 8:17 and Jeshua in Acts 7:45 and Heb 4:8. This also means that we can call God’s Son by His full name of Jehoshua when we want to be more formal.


And what of the Greek NT’s Jesus? This is what the Online Bible Greek-English Lexicon says:

2424 Iησους Iesous ee-ay-sooce’

of Hebrew origin 03091 ישוע Jeshua, later form of <03091> יהושועַ; n pr m; TDNT-3:284,360; {See TDNT 326 }

AV-Jesus 972, Jesus (Joshua) 2, Jesus (Justus) 1; 975

Jesus  = "Jehovah is salvation"


What are they saying? That Jesus’ real name is Jeshua!


And as we know from both the Hebrew Tanach and the Aramaic Peshitta that God’s Son’s name is Jeshua, why would we call him Jesus, which was not a name used by His Apostles and has no true Biblical or salvational meaning? 20


Replacing Jehovah and Jah with LORD or GOD and Jeshua with Jesus robs us of their true names and gives us a shallow and fragile knowledge of Who we actually worship.


Our Father

Father is another title, one that reveals a wonderful relationship, but it is not a name. Yes, Jehovah is our ultimate Father and we often pray to Him as our Father. But again, Father is not His Name, just as Lord and God are not His name. But at least when Jehovah God is called Father, it is likely a correct translation, as we are not aware of any instances where the word Jehovah has been translated as Father. There can be no doubt that Jeshua and His Apostles were proud to call Jehovah their Father. If we are His children, then He is our Father too.


The use of Father as a title for Jehovah takes a dramatic change with the New Covenant. In the entire Hebrew OC, Jehovah is clearly referred to as Father only fifteen times. 21 In the Four Gospels, Jeshua alone calls Jehovah His Father more than 165 times. 22 Paul also refers to Jehovah as Father over forty times in his letters.


Jehovah’s claim to be our father is multifold. Not only did He create our ancestors Adam and Eve, He personally creates and joins the human spirit of every one of us to the embryo that will become us (Psalm 104:30). He then watches over us and provides us with what He knows is best for each one of us until the time of our death.


Sadly, the ones who try to take away God’s name Jehovah are the same ones who try to usurp Jehovah’s relationship with us as our Father. Jeshua warns us about this in Matthew 23:9:

“Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven.


Remember, only Jehovah God is our Father. Do not submit to imposters.


Who Do We Follow?

We must all think carefully about our attitude towards Jehovah, as it is our God’s Name. Satan hates it, as do all his pagan religions. The pagan Roman Empire banned its use, then the Pharisees who created Judaism did the same. The popes 23 hate it and they formally banned its use in 2008. 24 Most nominally Christian churches also refuse to honour God’s name and won’t even accept it in their translations of Jehovah’s Word. But all of these ‘Christian’ leaders love to observe their renamed pagan holy days and say they follow ‘the Lord’. Perhaps this accurate translation from 1 Kings 18 explains who they really worship:

 

And Elijah came to all the people, and said, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If Jehovah is God, follow Him; but if the LORD, 25 then follow him.” But the people answered him not a word.

Then Elijah said to the people, “I alone am left a prophet of Jehovah; but the LORD’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men. “Therefore let them give us two bulls; and let them choose one bull for themselves, cut it in pieces, and lay it on the wood, but put no fire under it; and I will prepare the other bull, and lay it on the wood, but put no fire under it.

“Then you call on the name of your gods, and I will call on Jehovah’s name; and the God who answers by fire, He is God.” So all the people answered and said, “It is well spoken.”

Now Elijah said to the prophets of the LORD, “Choose one bull for yourselves and prepare it first, for you are many; and call on the name of your god, but put no fire under it.” So they took the bull which was given to them, and they prepared it, and called on the name of the LORD from morning even until noon, saying, “O LORD, hear us!” But there was no voice; no one answered. And they leaped about the altar which they had made.

And so it was, at noon, that Elijah mocked them and said, “Cry aloud, for he is a god; either he is meditating, or he is busy, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is sleeping and must be awakened.” So they cried aloud, and cut themselves, as was their judgements, with knives and lances, until the blood gushed out on them. And it was so, when midday was past, that they prophesied, going up to the sacrifice. But there was no voice; no one answered, no one paid attention.

Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come near to me.” So all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of Jehovah that was broken down. And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of Jehovah had come, saying, “Israel shall be your name.”

Then with the stones he built an altar in Jehovah’s name; and he made a trench around the altar large enough to hold two seahs of seed. And he put the wood in order, cut the bull in pieces, and laid it on the wood, and said, “Fill four water pots with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice and on the wood.”

Then he said, “Do it a second time,” and they did it a second time; and he said, “Do it a third time,” and they did it a third time. So the water ran all around the altar; and he also filled the trench with water.

And it came to pass, going up to the sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near and said, “Jehovah God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that You are God in Israel, and that I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your word. Hear me, O Jehovah, hear me, that this people may know that You are Jehovah God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again.”

Then the fire of Jehovah fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench.

Now when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, “Jehovah, He is God! Jehovah, He is God!”

And Elijah said to them, “Seize the prophets of the LORD! Do not let one of them escape!” So they seized them; and Elijah brought them down to the Kishon River and executed them there.

1Kings 18:21-40



We must each decide who we follow: Jehovah or the pagan’s LORD?





Appendix 1: Jehovah in Fifty Places

The fifty places where Jehovah is written fully vocalised in the Leningrad Codex B19A, from 1008 CE (AD), are Genesis 3:14, 9:26, 18:17; Exodus 3:2, 13:3, 13:9, 13:12, 13:15, 14:1, 14:8; Leviticus 23:34, 25:17; Deuteronomy 31:27, 32:9, 33:12, 33:13; 1 Kings 3:5, 16:33; Jeremiah 2:37, 3:1, 3:13, 3:21, 3:23, 3:25, 4:3, 4:4, 4:8, 5:2, 5:3, 5:9, 5:15, 5:18, 5:19, 5:22, 5:29, 6:9, 8:13, 30:10, 36:8; Ezekiel 44:5, 46:13; Nahum 1:3; Psalms 15:1, 40:5, 47:5(6), 100:5, 116:5, 116:6; and Proverbs 1:29. 26



Appendix 2: Names, Titles and Functions of God our Father

Here are some of the more important names, titles and functions of Jehovah, listed in order of how often they are used in Scripture (CHCG translation):

Hebrew

English

Location

Number

Jehovah

(all Jehovahs inc NC)

Jehovah (He causes to be)

Genesis 4:1

7,000

Elohim

God (Strong One -plural)

Genesis 1:1

2,000

Adonai Jehovah

Lord Jehovah

Genesis 15:2

312

Jehovah Sabaoth

Jehovah of Hosts (Armies)

1 Samuel 1:3

261

Abba (Aramaic NC)

Father

Mat 5:16

260

Jehovah Elohim

Jehovah God

Genesis 2:4

243

MarJah (Aramaic)

Lord Jah

Mat 1:20

131

Jehovah Elohim Yisrael

Jehovah God of Israel

Exo 32:27

107

Jah

Jah (not including Lord Jah)

Exodus 15:2

53

Jehovah Towb

Jehovah is Good

Nahum 1:7

51

Kole Jehovah

Voice of Jehovah

Psalm 29:3

47

Jehovah Eli

Jehovah my God

Joshua 14:8

36

Adonai

Lord (Plural)

Exodus 33:9

34

Jehovah Machsi

Jehovah my Refuge

Psalm 91:9

29

Jehovah Hashopet

Jehovah will Judge

Deu 32:36

20

Chedvah Jehovah

Joy of Jehovah

Neh 8:10

18

Elohim Abraham

God of Abraham

Gen 26:24

17

Jehovah Rapha

Jehovah Heals

Psalm 6:2

16

Tawmak

Our Upholder

Isaiah 41:10

15

Awb (Hebrew OC)

Father

Deu 32:6

15

Jehovah Qanna

Jehovah is Jealous

Exodus 20:5

15

Jehovah Ga’al

Jehovah your Redeemer

Isaiah 43:14

14

Jehovah Magen

Jehovah my Shield

Psalm 18:2

14

Gadowl Elohim

Great God

Exo 18:11

14

El Elyon

Most High God

Psalm 78:35

10

Tsaddiyq mishpat Elohim

Righteous Judgement of God

2 Thessalon-ians 1:5

9

Jehovah El Neqamah

Jehovah, God of Vengeance

Psalm 94:1

8

Jehovah Ma-Oz

Jehovah is a Stronghold

Psalm 28:8

7

El Shaddai

God Almighty

Genesis 28:3

7

Jehovah Bara

Jehovah Creator

Isaiah 40:28

7

Jehovah Yasha

Jehovah your Saviour

Isaiah 43:3

6

Shadday El

Almighty God

Genesis 17:1

5

Melek Kabowd

King of Glory

Psalm 24:7

5

Jehovah Palat

Jehovah my Deliverer

2 Sam 22:2

5

Yare Elohim

Awesome God

Deu 7:21

5

El-Olam

Eternal God

Ge 21:33

4

Jehovah M'Kaddesh

Jehovah Sanctifies

Exo 31:13

4

Attiyq Yowmyn

Ancient of Days

Daniel 7:9

3

Jehovah Tisdkaynu

Jehovah our Righteousness

Jeremiah 23:6

3

Jehovah Sel’i

Jehovah my Rock

Psalm 28:1

2

Jehovah El Elohim

Jehovah God of gods

Joshua 22:22

2

Jehovah Chaqaq

Jehovah our Lawgiver

Deu 33:21

2

El Nasa

God Who Uplifts

Psalm 99:8

2

Awb Yathowm

Father of the fatherless

Psalm 68:5

2

Dayan Almanah

Defender of widows

Psalm 68:5

2

Jehovah Jireh

Jehovah will Provide

Gen 22:14

1

El Roi

God Who Sees

Gen 16:13

1

Jehovah Nicciy

Jehovah is my Banner

Exo 17:15

1

Jehovah Ga’al ‘owlam

Jehovah, our Redeemer from Everlasting

Isaiah 63:16

1

Jehovah Shalom

Jehovah is Peace

Judges 6:24

1

Jehovah Channuwn

Jehovah is Gracious

Psalm 116:5

1

Jehovah Machaceh Zerem

Jehovah is a refuge from the storm

Isaiah 25:4

1

Jehovah Rohi

Jehovah is my Shepherd

Psalm 23:1

1



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