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The oldest Hebrew manuscripts of the Old Testament present the personal name of the Almighty God in this form

The Tetragrammaton

The Tetragrammaton represents God's name 6,828 times in the Hebrew Scriptures. This is confirmed by the Theologisches Handwörterbuch zum. Alten Testament, Vol. I, edited by E. Jenni and C. Westermann, 3rd ed., Munich and Zurich, 1978, cols. 703, 704

  The four Hebrew consonants, commonly called the Tetragrammaton shown opposite (from Greek tetra four and gramma letter) are YHWH or in the Latinised form JHVH.

To complete Gods name we need to insert the required vowels,

but early Hebrew writing left it to the reader to insert the required
vowel letters, and they are no longer known.

To the original Hebrew consonants, [YHWH or JHVH], Jewish Sopherim (scribes) added substitute vowel letters to remind the reader not to pronounce the name.

  The Masoretes developed a system of vowel pointing, to indicate which vowels to use when reading ancient Hebrew, but these vowel points did not come into use in Hebrew until the second half of the first millennium C.E.
YHWH with vowel points    

The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, Vol. 1, Chicago (1980), p. 13, says: "To avoid the risk of taking God's name (YHWH) in vain, Devout Jews began to substitute the word ´"ad"on"a (y) for the proper name itself. Although the Masoretes left the four original consonants in the text, they added the vowels "e (in place of "a for other reasons) and "a to remind the reader to pronounce ´"ad"on"a (y) regardless of the consonants.

  Gins.Mas, Vol. IV, p. 28, § 115, says: "We have seen that in many of these one hundred and thirty-four instances in which the present received text reads Adonai in accordance with this Massorah, some of the best MSS. and early editions read the Tetragrammaton, and the question arises how did this variation obtain?

The explanation is that.


Adona(y) with vowel points

  from time immemorial the Jewish canons decreed that the incommunicable name is to be pronounced Adonai as if it were written Adhonai instead of YHWH.

Nothing was, therefore, more natural for the copyists than to substitute the expression which exhibited the pronunciation for the Tetragrammaton which they were forbidden to pronounce."

According to Gins.Mas, Vol. I, pp. 25, 26, § 115: the following is a list of the 134 places,
Genesis 18:3,18:27, 18:30, 18:31, 18:32; 19:18; 20:4; Exodus 4:10, 4:13; 5:22; 15:17; 34:9; 34:9; Numbers 14:17; Joshua 7:8; Judges 6:15; 13:8; 1Kings 3:10, 3:15; 22:6; 2Kings 7:6; 19:23; Ezra 10:3; Nehemiah 1:11; 4:14; Job 28:28; Psalms 2:4; 16:2; 22:30; 30:8; 35:17; 35:22; 35:23; 37:13; 38:9; 38:15; 38:22; 39:7; 40:17; 44:23; 51:15; 54:4; 55:9; 57:9; 59:11; 62:12; 66:18; 68:11, 68:17, 68:19, 68:22, 68:26, 68:32; 73:20; 77:2; 77:7; 78:65; 79:12; 86:3, 86:4, 86:5, 86:8, 86:9, 86:12, 86:15; 89:49, 89:50; 90:1, 90:17; 110:5; 130:2, 130:3, 130:6; Isaiah 3:17, 3:18; 4:4; 6:1; 6:18; 6:11; 7:14, 7:20; 8:7; 9:8, 9:17; 10:12; 11:11; 21:6, 21:8, 21:16; 28:2; 29:13; 30:20; 37:24; 38:14, 38:16; 49:14; Lamentations 1:14, 1:15, 15; 2:1, 2:2, 2:5, 2:7, 2:18, 2:19, 2:20; 3:31; 3:36, 3:37; 3:58; Ezekiel 18:25; 18:29; 21:9; 33:17, 33:20; Daniel 1:2; 9:3; 9:4; 9:7; 1:9; 9:15; 9:16; 9:17; 9:19; 9:19; 9:19; Amos 5:16; 7:7; 7:8; 9:1; Micah 1:2; Zechariah 9:4; Malachi 1:12, 1:14;

According to Gins.Int, pp. 368, 369, in some instances the Jewish Sopherim substituted ´Elo·him' for the Tetragrammaton, namely, in Psalms 14:1, 2, 5; Psalms 53:1, 2, 4, 5, 6.

Yah poetic form of God's name

In the Masoretic text of Genesis, the Tetragrammaton occurs 165 times.YAH occurs after the account of the events of the Exodus from Egypt (Exodus 15:2). It as a poetic shortened form of the name of God, representing the first half of the Hebrew Tetragrammaton (YaH WH), that is, the letters yohdh, and he´, the tenth and fifth letters of the Hebrew alphabet respectively.

YAH often rendered as "JAH."

  It occurs 50 times in the Masoretic text , 49 times distinguished by a point (mappik) in its
    second letter. and once, in Canticles 8:6, without the mappik.

ki Yah; (Hebrew),

  A list follows of its occurrences:

 be Yah', "by Jah"

    Exodus 15:2; 17:16; Palms 68:4; 68:18; 77:11; 89:8; 94:7; 94: 12; 102:18; 104:35; 105:45; 106:1; 106:48; 111:1; 112:1; 113:1, 9; 115:17, 115:18,(2); 116:19; 117:2; 118:5,(2) 118:14, 118:17; 118:18, 118:19; 122:4; 130:3; 135:1; 135:3; 135:4; 135:21; 146:1; 146:10; 147:1, 147:20; 148:1, 148:14; 149:1; 149:9; 150:1; 150:6, (2); Canticles 8:6; Isaiah 12:2; 26:4; 38:11,(2).


  The Greek expression hallelouia is a transliteration of the Hebrew ha·lelu-Yah'.

hallel - praise: Jah (God) -


Alleluia (North American)

  Most Bibles simply carry this Greek expression over into English not translated. (Hal·le·lu'jah). (Septuagint) Greek allelouia as HALLELUJAH. often translated as Praise the Lord
The expression "Hallelujah,"occurs 24 times which is, literally, a command to a number of people to "praise JAH" it first appears at Psalms 104:35. The expression occurs 24 times in the Hebrew Scriptures and, with the exception of Psalms 135:3 introduces and/or concludes the Psalms in which it is found. (See Psalms 112:1; 115:18; 146:1, 10; 147:1, 20; 148:1, 14; 149:1, 9; 150:1, 6.) This expression stands alongside "Amen" at the close of Book Four of Psalms (Psalms 106:48), and a Greek form of it appears four times at Revelation 19:1-6 it is also used in many hymns.

However, the presence of "JAH" in the original is completely ignored by certain popular versions. (Dy, Mo, RS) The King James Version and An American Translation have it only once, as "JAH" and "YAH" respectively. (Psalms 68:4) In the English Revised Version it appears twice in the body of the text (Psalms 68:4; 89:8), and in the American Standard Version the full form, Jehovah, is substituted throughout, but these latter two translations in practically every occurrence of the contracted form call it to our attention in footnotes. The New World Translation preserves for the reader all 50 occurrences of JAH, or YAH; and Rotherham's Emphasised Bible, 49 of them.

JESUS used God's name

Jesus was proud of Gods name, at a synagogue in Nazareth, he read a portion of Isaiah 61:1, 2 containing the divine name. His prayer emphasised its importance: "I have made your name manifest to the men you gave me out of the world . . . . . I have made your name known to them and will make it known."John 17:6, 26.

There is also evidence that Jesus' disciples used the Tetragrammaton in their writings. In his work De viris inlustribus [Concerning Illustrious Men], chapter III, Jerome, in the fourth century, wrote the following: "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. Who translated it after that in Greek is not sufficiently ascertained. Moreover, the Hebrew itself is preserved to this day in the library at Caesarea, which the martyr Pamphilus so diligently collected. I also was allowed by the Nazarenes who use this volume in the Syrian city of Beroea to copy it." (Translation from the Latin text edited by E. C. Richardson and published in the series "Texte und Untersuchungen zur Geschichte Der altchristlichen Literatur," Vol. 14, Leipzig, 1896, pp. 8, 9.)

Matthew made more than a hundred quotations from the Hebrew Scriptures. He would have faithfully included the Tetragrammaton in his Hebrew Gospel account. When the Gospel of Matthew was translated into Greek, the Tetragrammaton was not translated according to the practice of that time.

Not only Matthew but all the writers of the Christian Greek Scriptures quoted verses from the Hebrew text or from the Septuagint where the divine name appears. For example, in Peter's speech in Acts 3:22 a quotation is made from Deuteronomy 18:15 where the Tetragrammaton appears in a papyrus fragment of the Septuagint dated to the first century B.C.E. As a follower of Christ, Peter used God's name. When Peter's speech was put on record the Tetragrammaton was here used according to the practice during the first century B.C.E. and the first century C.E.

The Tetragrammaton used in both the Hebrew text and the Greek Septuagint.

Many fragments of ancient Greek versions of the Hebrew Scriptures have been discovered where the name was found written, usually in Hebrew letters. This indicates that the name was used in Greek versions until well into the ninth century C.E.

Confusion between the 'Lord God' and the 'Lord Christ

Concerning the use of the Tetragrammaton in the Christian Greek Scriptures, George Howard of the University of Georgia wrote in a Journal of Biblical Literature, Vol. 96, 1977, p. 63: "Recent discoveries in Egypt and the Judean Desert allow us to see first hand the use of God's name in pre-Christian times. These discoveries are significant for New Testament studies in that they form a literary analogy with the earliest Christian documents and may explain how New Testament authors used the divine name. In the following pages we will set forth a theory that the divine
name, (and possibly abbreviations of it), was originally written in the New Testament quotations of and allusions to the Old Testament and that in the course of time it was
replaced mainly with the abbreviation for Ky'ri·os, "

This removal of the Tetragram[maton], in our view, created a confusion in the minds of early Gentile Christians about the relationship between the 'Lord God' and the 'Lord Christ' which is reflected in the MS tradition of the New Testament text itself."

Apart from fragments of the early Greek Septuagint only the Hebrew text has preserved the sacred name, in its original form of four Hebrew letters,
(YHWH or JHVH), the exact pronunciation of which has not been preserved.
Both ancient and modern copies apparently guided by Jewish tradition, have used substitute titles for Gods name. Among his many titles are "the true God," "the Most High," "Sovereign Lord," "Grand Creator" and "King of eternity."

A Greek-English Lexicon, by Liddell and Scott (LS), p. 1013, states: "Kyrios, = Hebr. Yahweh, LXX Genesis. 11.5, al."

The Greek Lexicon of the Roman and Byzantine Periods, by E. A. Sophocles, Cambridge, U.S.A., and Leipzig, 1914, p. 699,
says under Kyrios: "Lord, the representative of Sept. passim [scattered throughout]."
The Dictionnaire De la Bible, by F. Vigouroux, Paris, 1926, col. 223, says that "the Septuagint and the Vulgate contain Kyrios and Dominus, 'Lord,' where the original contains Jehovah." The Compendious Syriac Dictionary, edited by J. Payne Smith, Oxford, 1979 reprint, p. 298, says that Mar·ya´ "in the [Syriac] Peshita Version of the Old. Testament. represents the Tetragrammaton."

Most translations use all capital letters to make the title 'LORD.' Exceptions are the American Standard Version and New World Translation which use 'Jehovah,' Amplified [Bible] which uses 'Lord,' and the Jerusalem Bible which uses 'Yahweh.' . . . In those places where ´"ad"on"a (y) yhwh occurs the latter word is pointed with the vowels from ´"el"ohim, and the English renderings such as 'Lord GOD' arose (e.g. Amos 7:1)."

In 1530 William Tyndale, published a translation of the first five books of the Bible into English, he included Gods name just once in Exodus 6:3.

This practice was adopted by the translators of the King James Version in 1611, where the name Jehovah is used only four times, namely, in Exodus 6:3; Psalms 83:18; Isaiah 12:2; 26:4.

Current circulating texts of the Greek Septuagint, Syriac Peshitta and Latin Vulgate substitute the mere title "Lord" for God's name.


 YHWH or JHVH (Latin form)

  The question is, which vowels are to be combined with those consonants?

English translation of the Hebrew

Many have attributed different vowels giving various renderings of the Almighty God's name.


  The edition of the Hebrew text by Ginsburg vowel-points YHWH to read Yeho·wah'.
  The text located in the U.S.S.R., namely, the Codex Leningrad B 19A, used for Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (BHS),
    vowel-points the Tetragrammaton to read Yehwah', Yehwih' and a number of times Yeho·wah', as in Genesis 3:14.
    There is by no means unanimity among scholars on the subject, others favour pronunciations, such as

Yahuwa, Yahuah or Yehuah, also (now rare) Yahveh; Jahveh. 

The pronunciation Jahweh, usually credited to John L. Ewald of the 18th century, goes back farther, to the 16th century. Ten years before Ewald was born (1747), Jahveh was found in Eichhorn's Simonis, Lexicon in general use in Germany. F. H. Gesenius adopted the pronunciation Jahveh when Ewald was still defending Jehovah.

In 1749 the German Bible scholar Teller mentioned some of the different pronunciations of God's name he had read: "Diodorus from Sicily, Macrobius, Clemens Alexandrinus, Saint Jerome and Origenes wrote Jao; the Samaritans, Epiphanius, Theodoretus, Jahe, or Jave; Ludwig Cappel reads Javoh; Drusius, Jahve; Hottinger, Jehva; Mercerus, Jehovah; Castellio, Jovah; and le Clerc, Jawoh, or Javoh."

In 1872,
Moffat used the divine name Yehova in his translation published by the British and Foreign Bible Society

Two names have gained prominence in English translations.



  A translation of theTetragrammaton, with added vowels, which allows a vocalization.


  It is thought to represent the personal name of God in the Hebrew Scriptures by many scholars, but there is no general agreement.


  The best known English pronunciation of God's name readily recognized, because it has been used in English translations
    such as the revered King James Bible for centuries and generally used in English. The word was formed from the medieval Latin Iehoua it preserves, equally with other forms, the four consonants of the Hebrew Tetragrammaton.