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Views - H.G. Wells

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Jerome, in the fourth century, wrote: "Matthew, who is also Levi, and who from a publican came to be an apostle, first of all composed a Gospel of Christ in Judaea in the Hebrew language and characters for the benefit of those of the circumcision who had believed." (De viris inlustribus, chap. III) This Gospel includes 11 direct quotations of portions of the Hebrew Scriptures where the Tetragrammaton is found. There is no reason to believe that Matthew did not quote the passages as they were written in the Hebrew text from which he quoted.

In 1534 Martin Luther published his complete translation of the Bible, which he based on the original languages, which left out the name of God however he Said

" This name Jehovah, Lord, belongs exclusively to the true God."

with characteristic frankness he added In 1543 :

" That they [the Jews] now allege the name Jehovah to be unpronounceable, they do not know what they are talking about . . . If it can be written with pen and ink, why should it not be spoken, which is much better than being written with pen and ink? Why do they not also call it unwriteable, unreadable or unthinkable? All things considered, there is something foul."

In 1530 William Tyndale published a translation of the first five books of the Bible into English. He included Jehovah's name once, in Ex 6:3.

In a note in this edition Tyndale wrote: " Iehovah is God's name . . . Moreover, as oft as thou seist LORD in great letters (except there be any error in the printing) it is in Hebrew Iehovah."

The practice arose among translators to write "LORD" or "GOD" in most places where the Tetragrammaton occurs in Hebrew. This practice was adopted by the translators of the King James Version in 1611, where the Almighty god's name occurs as Jehovah only four times, namely, in Exodus 6:3; Psalms 83:18; Isaiah 12:2; 26:4.

The Imperial Bible-Dictionary of 1874:

"[Jehovah] is everywhere a proper name, denoting the personal God and him only; whereas Elohim partakes more of the character of a common noun, denoting usually, indeed, but not necessarily nor uniformly, the Supreme . . . . The Hebrew may say the Elohim, the true God, in opposition to all false gods; but he never says the Jehovah, for Jehovah is the name of the true God only. He says again and again my God . . . ; but never my Jehovah, for when he says my God, he means Jehovah. He speaks of the God of Israel, but never of the Jehovah of Israel, for there is no other Jehovah. He speaks of the living God, but never of the living Jehovah, for he cannot conceive of Jehovah as other than living."

A HANDY DICTIONARY Of The HOLY BIBLE - By the REV. WILLIAM GURNEY, A.M. & Revised and Edited By REV. J.G. WRENCH, A.M. - Published By - WILLIAM TEGG - LONDON : not dated

Based on the GURNEY'S Dictionary

JEHOVAH, Jah and. Ehyeh asher ehyeh, I am that I am ; or, will be will be what I will be ; are the incommunicable names of God, and intimate His absolute independency, self-existence, eternity, and being, the cause of existence to all creatures.

This name seems not to have been much used in the primitive ages. It is not compounded with any of the names of pre- Abrahamic times, nor is found in the speeches of Job or his friends; yet when God says that by His name Jehovah he was not known to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, it means that they had not seen it efficaciously displayed in His giving a being to, or fulfilling His promises,, 2,3.

This name, often rendered LORD in our Bibles, is printed in them in capital letters, to distinguish it from another word, Lord, signifying a governor. It is oft joined in sacred inscriptions with other words, as Jehovah-jireh, the Lord will see, or provide, Gen. xxii. 14; Jehovah-nisi, the Lord is my banner, Exod. xvii. 15; Jehovah-shalom, the Lord will perfect, or send peace, Judges vi.24; and Jehovah- shammah, the Lord is there, Ezek. xlviii. 35. (Marg.)

It is also compounded with other words, in a multitude of names, as in those beginning with jeho, and many of those in jo, and in those ending with iah. Whenever the name Jehovah is given to an angel it signifies that he is the Angel of the covenant, i.e., the Son of God. But the name is not given to the church, in Jer. xxxiii.16; for the words would be better rendered, He who shall call her is the Lord our righteousness; or, He shall be called by her, the Lord our righteousness ( Perhaps the name signifies, " The Lord is our righteousness " - Ed. ) .

The modem Jews superstitiously decline pronouncing the name Jehovah.

Jevo, Jao, Jahoh, Jaou, Jaod, and even the Juha of the Moors, seem to be but different pronunciations of Jehovah.

English Bible scholar J. B. Rotherham might be said to have been one of the pioneers in using the form "Yahweh" in transliterating the Tetragrammaton. His Emphasised Bible was published in 1897, whereas his Studies in the Psalms were not published until 1911, after he had died. In this latter work Rotherham returned to the use of "Jehovah," which is all the more remarkable in view of how strongly he objected to the form "Jehovah" in the introduction to his Emphasised Bible. In explanation of his reasons for returning to the form "Jehovah," he says in the introduction to his Studies:

"Jehovah-The employment of this English form of the Memorial name [Exo. 3:18] in the present version of the Psalter does not arise from any misgiving as to the more correct pronunciation, as being Yahweh; but solely from practical evidence personally selected of the desirability of keeping in touch with the public ear and eye in a matter of this kind, in which the principal thing is the easy recognition of the Divine name intended.
. . . As the chief evidence of the significance of the name consists not nearly so much in its pronunciation as in the completeness with which it meets all requirements-especially as explaining how the Memorial name was fitted to become such, and to be the preeminent covenant name that it confessedly is, it has been thought desirable to fall back on the form of the name more familiar (while perfectly acceptable) to the general Bible-reading public."

J. B. Rotherham, in The Emphasised Bible, used the form Yahweh throughout the Hebrew Scriptures. However, later in his Studies in the Psalms he used the form "Jehovah." He explained: "JEHOVAH" The employment of this English form of the Memorial name . . . in the present version of the Psalter does not arise from any misgiving as to the more correct pronunciation, as being Yahwéh; but solely from practical evidence personally selected of the desirability of keeping in touch with the public ear and eye in a matter of this kind, in which the principal thing is the easy recognition of the Divine name intended." (London, 1911), p. 29.

The American Standard Version of 1901 stated:

" The American Revisers, after a careful consideration, were brought to the unanimous conviction that a Jewish superstition, which regarded the Divine Name as too sacred to be uttered, ought no longer to dominate in the English or any other version of the Old Testament, as it fortunately does not in the numerous versions made by modern missionaries . . . . This personal name [Jehovah], with its wealth of sacred associations, is now restored to the place in the sacred text to which it has an unquestionable claim." -AS preface, p. iv.

The preface of the Revised Standard Version

"For two reasons the Committee has returned to the more familiar usage of the King James Version: (1) the word 'Jehovah' does not accurately represent any form of the Name ever used in Hebrew; and (2) the use of any proper name for the one and only God, as though there were other gods from whom he had to be distinguished, was discontinued in Judaism before the Christian era and is entirely inappropriate for the universal faith of the Christian Church."

"Unfortunately, when God is spoken of as 'the Lord,' the phrase, though accurate, is a cold and colorless one . . . One needs to remember that by translating YHWH or Adonay as 'the Lord' one introduces into many passages of the Old Testament a note of abstraction, formality and remoteness that is entirely foreign to the original text." (The Knowledge of God in Ancient Israel)

S. T. Byington in his Preface to The Bible in Living English notes that "the spelling and the pronunciation are not highly important. What is highly important is to keep it clear that this is a personal name. There are several texts that cannot be properly understood if we translate this name by a common noun like 'Lord.'"

George Howard a professor of religion and Hebrew of the University of Georgia

"When the Septuagint which the New Testament church used and quoted contained the Hebrew form of the divine name, the New Testament writers no doubt included the Tetragrammaton in their quotations. But when the Hebrew form for the divine name was [later] eliminated in favor of Greek substitutes in the Septuagint, it was eliminated also from the New Testament quotations of the Septuagint."

Howard says, "The first century church probably read, 'YHWH said to my Lord'" instead of the later version, "'The Lord said to my Lord,' . . . which is as ambiguous as it is imprecise."-Psalm 110:1.

In Journal of Biblical Literature, he wrote:
"We know for a fact that Greek-speaking Jews continued to write within their Greek Scriptures.
Moreover, it is most unlikely that early conservative Greek-speaking Jewish Christians varied from this practice. Although in secondary references to God they probably used the words [God] and [Lord], it would have been extremely unusual for them to have dismissed the Tetragram from the biblical text itself. . . . Since the Tetragram was still written in the copies of the Greek Bible which made up the Scriptures of the early church, it is reasonable to believe that the N[ew] T[estament] writers, when quoting from Scripture, preserved the Tetragram within the biblical text. . . . But when it was removed from the Greek O[ld] T[estament], it was also removed from the quotations of the O[ld] T[estament] in the N[ew] T[estament]. Thus somewhere around the beginning of the second century the use of surrogates [substitutes] must have crowded out the Tetragram in both Testaments."-Vol. 96, No. 1, March 1977, pp. 76, 77.

German professor Gustav Friedrich Oehler concluded after discussing various pronunciations,:

"From this point onward I use the word Jehovah, because, as a matter of fact, this name has now become more naturalized in our vocabulary, and cannot be supplanted."-Theologie des Alten Testaments, second edition (Stuttgart, 1882), p. 143.

Jesuit scholar Paul Joüon states: "In our translations, instead of the (hypothetical) form Yahweh, we have used the form Jéhovah . . . which is the conventional literary form used in French."-Grammaire de l'hébreu biblique (Rome, 1923), footnote on p. 49.