For information about Yahweh, see God in Abrahamic religions, which provides useful links.
Yahweh is an English transliteration of יַהְוֶה a 19th century proposed punctuation of יהוה (the Tetragrammaton), which is the distinctive personal name of the God of Israel as it occurs in the consonantal Hebrew Text.
While by convention יַהְוֶה can be found listed in Hebrew Lexicons, as being God's name, no one knows for sure if Yahweh accurately represents the original pronunciation of יהוה.
Traditionally, observant Jews do not voice the name יהוה aloud. It is believed to be too sacred to be uttered and is often referred to as the 'Ineffable Name', the 'Unutterable Name' or the 'Distinctive Name'. They often use circumlocutions when referring to the name of the Deity, e.g., HaShem ("The Name") or Shem HaMeforash (“the ineffable Name”) when reading the Tanakh aloud because the Name of God must not be spoken. Reverence is shown because it is God's Name and it is believed that this pre-empts ever misusing the name. "Adonai" is spoken only in prayer, and YHVH is only written on paper that will not be thrown away or discarded. Adding vowels to the Name of the Lord is an insult to some Jews because the point is that it cannot be spoken because it is God's Name (to be). To avoid spelling the divine name, observant Jews may alter the letters in Hebrew as well as English, e.g., YKVK.
Various proposals exist for the vocalization of יהוה. Current opinion is יַהְוֶה (that is, Yahweh). The Yah part seems fairly certain, as attested by Hebrew theophoric names ending in -ia(h) or -yahu. Early Christian literature written in Greek used spellings like Ιαβε that can be transcribed by 'Yahweh'. Although contention still exists today many scholars accept this proposal.
Although the term "Jehovah" was widely known for approximately four centuries, the term originated from a corruption of foreign vowels points which were attached to the Tetragrammaton by scribes. The vowel points were selected from the word "Adonai". J.B. Rotherham, in the Emphasized Bible, said: "From this we may gather that the Jewish scribes are not responsible for this 'hybrid' combination. They intentionally wrote alien vowels – not for combination with the sacred consonants, but for the purpose of cautioning the Jewish reader to enunciate a totally different word, viz., some other familiar name of the Most High
Various proposals exist for what the vowels of יהוה were. Current convention is יַהְוֶה, that is, "Yahweh" (). Evidence is:
Today many scholars accept this proposal as the most accurate transliteration, based on the pronunciation conserved both by the Church Fathers and by the Samaritans.
During the Babylonian captivity the Hebrew language spoken by the Jews was replaced by the Aramaic language of their Babylonian captors. Aramaic was closely related to Hebrew and, while sharing many vocabulary words in common, contained some words that sounded the same or similar but had other meanings. In Aramaic, the Hebrew word for “blaspheme” used in Leviticus 24:16, “Anyone who blasphemes the name of YHWH must be put to death” began to be interpreted as “pronounce” rather than “blaspheme”. When the Jews began speaking Aramaic, this verse was (mis)understood to mean, “Anyone who pronounces the name of YHWH must be put to death.” Since then, observant Jews have maintained the custom of not pronouncing the name, but use Adonai (“my Lord”) instead. During the first few centuries AD this may have resulted in loss of traditional memory of how to pronounce the name (except among Samaritans).
The Masoretes added vowel points (niqqud) and cantillation marks to the manuscripts to indicate vowel usage and for use in the ritual chanting of readings from the Bible in synagogue services. To יהוה they added the vowels for "Adonai" ("My Lord"), the word to use when the text was read.
Many Jews will not even use "Adonai" except when praying, and substitute other terms, e.g. HaShem ("The Name") or the nonsense word Ado-Shem, out of fear of the potential misuse of the divine name. In written English, "G-d" is a substitute used by a minority of Christians.
Parts of the Talmud, particularly those dealing with Yom Kippur, seem to imply that the Tetragrammaton should be pronounced in several ways, with only one (not explained in the text, and apparently kept by oral tradition by the Kohen Gadol) being the personal name of God.
In late Kabbalistic works the term HWYH - הוי'ה (pronounced Havayeh) is used.
Translators often render YHWH as a word meaning "Lord", e.g. Greek Κυριος, Latin Dominus, and following that, English "the Lord", Polish Pan, Welsh Arglwydd, etc. However, all of the above are inaccurate translations of the Tetragrammaton.
Because the name was no longer pronounced and its own vowels were not written, its own pronunciation was forgotten. When Christians, unaware of the Jewish tradition, started to read the Hebrew Bible, they read יְהֹוָה as written with YHWH's consonants with Adonai's vowels, and thus said or transcribed Iehovah. Today this transcription is generally recognized as mistaken; however many religious groups continue to use the form Jehovah because it is familiar.
Smith’s 1863 A Dictionary of the Bible says that "Yahweh" is possible because shortening to "Yahw" would end up as "Yahu" or similar. The Jewish Encyclopedia of 1901-1906 in the Article:Names Of God has a very similar discussion, and also gives the form Jo or Yo (יוֹ) contracted from Jeho or Yeho (יְהוֹ). The Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th edition (New York: Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 1910-11, vol. 15, pp. 312, in its article "JEHOVAH", also says that "Jeho-" or "Jo" can be explained from "Yahweh", and that the suffix "-jah" can be explained from "Yahweh" better than from "Yehowah".
Chapter 1 of The Tetragrammaton and the Christian Greek Scriptures, under the heading: The Pronunciation Of Gods Name quotes from Insight on the Scriptures, Volume 2, page 7: Hebrew Scholars generally favor "Yahweh" as the most likely pronunciation. They point out that the abbreviated form of the name is Yah (Jah in the Latinized form), as at Psalm 89:8 and in the expression Hallelu-Yah (meaning "Praise Yah, you people!") (Ps 104:35; 150:1,6). Also, the forms Yehoh', Yoh, Yah, and Ya'hu, found in the Hebrew spelling of the names of Jehoshaphat, Joshaphat, Shephatiah, and others, can all be derived from Yahweh. ... Still, there is by no means unanimity among scholars on the subject, some favoring yet other pronunciations, such as "Yahuwa", "Yahuah", or "Yehuah".
In Biblical Hebrew, most vowels are not written and the rest are written only ambiguously, as the vowel letters double as consonants (similar to the Latin use of V to indicate both U and V). See Matres lectionis for details. For similar reasons, an appearance of the Tetragrammaton in ancient Egyptian records of the 13th century BC sheds no light on the original pronunciation. Therefore it is, in general, difficult to deduce how a word is pronounced from its spelling only, and the Tetragrammaton is a particular example: two of its letters can serve as vowels, and two are vocalic place-holders, which are not pronounced.
This difficulty occurs somewhat also in Greek when transcribing Hebrew words, because of Greek's lack of a letter for consonant 'y' and (since loss of the digamma) of a letter for "w", forcing the Hebrew consonants yod and waw to be transcribed into Greek as vowels. Also, non-initial 'h' caused difficulty for Greeks and was liable to be omitted; х (chi) was pronounced as 'k' + 'h' (as in modern Hindi "lakh") and could not be used to spell 'h' as in e.g. Modern Greek Χάρρι = "Harry".
A direct rendering of the Hebrew yod would be "y" in English. However, most transliterations of the biblical Hebrew texts represent the Hebrew 'yod' by using the English letter 'J'. This letter, and the accompanying 'J' sound/pronunciation is clearly evident in anglicized versions of Hebrew proper nouns, i.e. names such as Jesus*, Jeremiah, Joshua**, Judah, Job, Jerusalem, Jehoshaphat, and Jehovah. Although it can be argued that the 'Y' form is more correct i.e. more like the Jewish/Hebrew pronunciations, in the English-speaking world, this 'J' form for such Bible names is now the norm and has been so for centuries.
The letters "J""V" and “I” “U” relates back to 1565 wherein a Parisien printer (Gille Beyes) changed 'J' and ‘V’ from indistinct vowels into consonants. In the Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary, we find that the J sound as we now know it has only been in the English language since the 1700s, prior to this, the J was a capital I. Some centre column references in the Bible affirm this.
[* **] - In Hebrew, both these names can be pronounced as “Yahshua” according to Solomon Zeitlin The Assemblies of Yahweh use the Hebrew name Yahshua, instead of the Greek, Latinized "Jesus".
One of these frequent cases was God's name, that should not be pronounced, but read as "Adonai" ("My Lord [plural of majesty]"), or, if the previous or next word already was "Adonai", or "Adoni" ("My Lord"), as "Elohim" ("God"). This combination produces יְהֹוָה and יֱהֹוִה respectively, non-words that would spell "yehovah" and "yehovih" respectively.
The oldest manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible, such as the Aleppo Codex and the Codex Leningradensis mostly write יְהוָה (yehvah), with no pointing on the first H; this points to its Qere being 'Shema', which is Aramaic for "the Name".
As said above, the Aleppo and Leningrad codices do not use the holem (o) in their vocalization, or only in very few instances, so that the (systematic) spelling "Yehovah" is more recent than about 1000 A.D. or from a different tradition.
From the article: "Most scholars acknowledge that the Tetragrammaton was probably pronounced as Yahweh."
The text in the Codex Leningrad B 19A, 1008 A.D, shows יהוה with various different vowel points, indicating that the name was to be read as Yehwah', Yehwih, and a number of times as Yehowah, as in Genesis 3:15
Delitzsch prefers "יַהֲוָה" (yahavah) since he considered the shwa quiescens below ה ungrammatical.
In his 1863 "A Dictionary of the Bible", William Smith prefers the form "יַהֲוֶה" (yahaveh). Many other variations have been proposed.
However, Gesenius' proposal gradually became accepted as the best scholarly reconstructed vocalized Hebrew spelling of the Tetragrammaton.
In Smith’s 1863 "A Dictionary of the Bible", the author displays some of the above forms and concludes:
Of Clement's Stromata there is only one surviving manuscript, the Codex L (Codex Laurentianus V 3), from the 11th century. Other sources are later copies of that ms. and a few dozen quotations from this work by other authors. For Stromata V,6:34, Codex L has ἰαοὺ. The critical edition by Otto Stählin (1905) gives the forms
Other editors give similar data. A catena (Latin: chain) referred to by A. le Boulluec ("Coisl. 113 fol. 368v") and by Smith’s 1863 "A Dictionary of the Bible" ("a catena to the Pentateuch in a MS. at Turin") is reported to have "ια ουε".
The New Catholic Encyclopedia of 1967 lists the form Ἰαουαι as evidence that YHWH is pronounced "Yahweh".
In the magical texts, Iave (Jahveh Sebaoth), and Iαβα, occurs frequently. In an Ethiopic list of magical names of Jesus, purporting to have been taught by him to his disciples, Yawe is found.
Wilhelm Gesenius is noted for being one of the greatest Hebrew and biblical scholars His proposal to read YHWH as "יַהְוֶה" (see image to the right) was based in large part on various Greek transcriptions, such as ιαβε, dating from the first centuries AD, but also on the forms of theophoric names.
William Smith writes in his 1863 "A Dictionary of the Bible" about the different Hebrew forms supported by these Greek forms:
The editors of New Bible Dictionary (1962 write:
As already mentioned, Gesenius arrived at his form using the evidence of proper names, and following the Samaritan pronunciation Ιαβε reported by Theodoret.
The editors of the Catholic Encyclopedia continue:
The oldest complete Septuagint (Greek Old Testament) versions, from around the second century A.D., consistently use Κυριος (= "Lord"), where the Hebrew has YHWH, corresponding to substituting Adonay for YHWH in reading the original; in books written in Greek in this period (e.g. Wisdom, 2 and 3 Maccabees), as in the New Testament, Κυριος takes the place of the name of God. However, older fragments contain the name YHWH. In the P. Ryl. 458 (perhaps the oldest extant Septuagint manuscript) there are blank spaces, leading some scholars to believe that the Tetragrammaton must have been written where these breaks or blank spaces are.
Josephus, who as a priest knew the pronunciation of the name, declares that religion forbids him to divulge it.
Philo calls it ineffable, and says that it is lawful for those only whose ears and tongues are purified by wisdom to hear and utter it in a holy place (that is, for priests in the Temple). In another passage, commenting on Lev. xxiv. 15 seq.: "If any one, I do not say should blaspheme against the Lord of men and gods, but should even dare to utter his name unseasonably, let him expect the penalty of death."
Various motives may have concurred to bring about the suppression of the name:
In the liturgy of the Temple the name was pronounced in the priestly benediction (Num. vi. 27) after the regular daily sacrifice (in the synagogues a substitute— probably Adonai— was employed); on the Day of Atonement the High Priest uttered the name ten times in his prayers and benediction.
In the last generations before the fall of Jerusalem, however, it was pronounced in a low tone so that the sounds were lost in the chant of the priests.
The vehemence with which the utterance of the name is denounced in the Mishna—He who pronounces the Name with its own letters has no part in the world to come! —suggests that this misuse of the name was not uncommon among Jews.
When the Divine Name is read during prayer, "Adonai" ("My Lord") is substituted. However, when practicing a prayer or referring to one, Orthodox Jews will say "AdoShem" instead of "Adonai". When speaking to another person "HaShem" is used.
The New Jerusalem Bible (1966) uses "Yahweh" exclusively.
The Bible In Basic English (1949/1964) uses "Yahweh" eight times, including Exodus 6.2.
The Amplified Bible (1954/1987) uses "Yahweh" in Exodus 6.3.
The Holman Christian Standard Bible (1999/2002) uses "Yahweh" over 50 times,including Exodus 6.2.
The World English Bible (WEB) [a Public Domain work with no copyright] uses "Yahweh" some 6837 times.
Some modern writers, particularly in mythology and anthropology, use 'Yahweh' specifically, rather than 'God', to describe the Biblical God as a way of trying to display Christian and Jewish concepts as being on an even plane with concepts and deities from other religions. This does not necessarily represent a majority view, but the practice has grown in recent years.
Randy Weaver, of the Aryan Nations church, used the word Yahweh to describe God.
It is often assumed that this is also the second element -ya of the Aramaic "Marya": the Peshitta Old Testament translates Adonai with "Mar" (Lord), and YHWH with "Marya".
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, Jiptah (Jephthah), &c. Most of these really are verbs, the suppressed or implicit subject being 'el, "numen, god", or the name of a god; cf. Jabneh and Jabne-el, Jiptah and Jiptah-el.
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 hayah, "to become, to be". The Jewish 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 'Eγω ειμι ο ων. . . ' O ων απεσταλκεν με προς υμας 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 tense employed.
Modern scholars have sometimes found in the name the expression of the aseity 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 hayah, "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.
Another tradition regards the name as coming from three verb forms sharing the same root YWH, the words HYH haya היה: "He was"; HWH howê הוה: "He is"; and YHYH yihiyê יהיה: "He will be". This is supposed to show that God is timeless, as some have translated the name as "The Eternal One". Other interpretations include the name as meaning "I am the One Who Is." This can be seen in the traditional Jewish account of the "burning bush" commanding Moses to tell the sons of Israel that "I AM (אהיה) has sent you." (Exodus 3:13-14) Some suggest: "I AM the One I AM" אהיה אשר אהיה, or "I AM whatever I need to become". This may also fit the interpretation as "He Causes to Become." Many scholars believe that the most proper meaning may be "He Brings Into Existence Whatever Exists" or "He who causes to exist". Young's Analytical Concordance to the Bible, which is based on the King James Version, says that the term "Jehovah" means "The Existing One."
Spinoza, in his Theologico-Political Treatise (Chap.2) asserts the derivation of "Jahweh" from "Being". He writes that "Moses conceived the Deity as a Being Who has always existed, does exist, and always will exist, and for this cause he calls Him by the name Jehovah, which in Hebrew signifies these three phases of existence." Following Spinoza, Constantin Brunner translates the Shema (Deut. 2-4) as, "Hear, O Israel, Being is our God, Being is One."
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 hawah, as the derivation would require, but hayah; and we are thus driven to the further assumption that hawah 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" is hawa); 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. 14 seq., intended to give an etymological interpretation of the name Yahweh, 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 Aπολλων (Apollo) with απολουων, απολυων in Plato's Cratylus, or popular derivations from απολλυμι = "I lose (transitive)" or "I destroy".
Another possibility according to the Complete Jewish Bible by author David H. Stern, proposes that the Tetragrammaton be pronounced letter for letter in Hebrew and that the name of God should be rendered by spelling out the four letters, "Yud He Vav He", the meaning assumed to be "I am that I am" or "I am Who I am", as revealed to Moses in the Torah (Exodus 3:14).
A Catholic commentator of the 16th century, Hieronymus ab Oleastro, seems to have been the first to connect the name "Jehova" with "howah" interpreting it as "contritio sive pernicies" (destruction of the Egyptians and Canaanites). Daumer, adopting the same etymology, took it in a more general sense: Yahweh, as well as Shaddai, meant "Destroyer", and fitly expressed the nature of the terrible god who he identified with Moloch.
The derivation of Yahweh from hawah is formally unimpeachable, and is adopted by many recent scholars, who proceed, however, from the primary sense of the root rather than from the specific meaning of the nouns. The name is accordingly interpreted, He (who) falls (baetyl, βαιτυλος, meteorite); or causes (rain or lightning) to fall (storm god); or casts down (his foes, by his thunderbolts). It is obvious that if the derivation be correct, the significance of the name, which in itself denotes only "He falls" or "He fells", must be learned, if at all, from early Semitic conceptions of the nature of Yahweh rather than from etymology.
The biblical author of the history of the sacred institutions (P) expressly declares that the name Yahweh was unknown to the patriarchs (Exod. vi. 3), and the much older Israelite historian (E) records the first revelation of the name to Moses (Exod. iii. 13-15), apparently following a tradition according to which the Israelites had not been worshippers of Yahweh before the time of Moses, or, as he conceived it, had not worshipped the god of their fathers under that name.
The revelation of the name to Moses was made at a mountain sacred to Yahweh, (the mountain of God) far to the south of Canaan, in a region where the forefathers of the Israelites had never roamed, and in the territory of other tribes. Long after the settlement in Canaan this region continued to be regarded as the abode of Yahweh (Judg. v. 4; Deut. xxxiii. 2 sqq.; I Kings xix. 8 sqq. &c).
Moses is closely connected with the tribes in the vicinity of the holy mountain. According to one account, he married a daughter of the priest of Midian (Exod. ii. 16 sqq.; iii. 1). It is to this mountain he led the Israelites after their deliverance from Egypt. There his father-in-law met him, and extolling Yahweh as greater than all the gods, offered sacrifices, at which the chief men of the Israelites were his guests. In the holy mountain the religion of Yahweh was revealed through Moses, and the Israelites pledged themselves to serve God according to its prescriptions.
It appears, therefore, that in the tradition followed by the Israelite historians, the tribes within whose pasture lands the mountain of God stood were worshipers of Yahweh before the time of Moses. The surmise that the name Yahweh belongs to their speech, rather than to that of Israel, is a significant possibility.
One of these tribes was Midian, in whose land the mountain of God lay. The Kenites also, with whom another tradition connects Moses, seem to have been worshipers of Yahweh.
It is probable that Yahweh was at one time worshiped by various tribes south of Palestine, and that several places in that wide territory (Horeb, Sinai, Kadesh, &c.) were sacred to him. The oldest and most famous of these, the mountain of God, seems to have lain in Arabia, east of the Red Sea. From some of these peoples and at one of these holy places, a group of Israelite tribes adopted the religion of Yahweh, the God who, by the hand of Moses, had delivered them from Egypt.
The tribes of this region probably belonged to some branch of the Arabian desert Semitic stock, and accordingly, the name Yahweh has been connected with the Arabic hawa, the void (between heaven and earth), "the atmosphere, or with the verb hawa, cognate with Heb; Hawah, "sink, glide down (through space)"; and hawwa "blow (wind)". "He rides through the air, He blows" (Wellhausen), would be a fit name for a god of wind and storm. There is, however, no certain evidence that the Israelites in historical times had any consciousness of the primitive significance of the name.
However, the 'h' in the root h-w-h, h-y-h = "be, become" and in "Yahweh" is the ordinary glottal 'h' (spelled with a He), and the 'h' in the roots ħ-y-w = "live" and ħ-w-ʔ = "air, blow (of wind)" is a pharyngeal 'h' (spelled with a Heth) which is usually transcribed as 'h' with a dot under.
In its earlier form this opinion rested chiefly on certain misinterpreted testimonies in Greek authors about a god 'Iαω and was conclusively refuted by Baudissin; recent adherents of the theory build more largely on the occurrence in various parts of this territory of proper names of persons and places which they explain as compounds of Yahu or Yah.
The explanation is in most cases simply an assumption of the point at issue; some of the names have been misread; others are undoubtedly the names of Jews.
There remain, however, some cases in which it is highly probable that names of non-Israelites are really compounded with Yahweh. The most conspicuous of these is the king of Hamath who in the inscriptions of Sargon (722-705 B.C.) is called Yaubi'di and Ilubi'di (compare Jehoiakim-Eliakim). Azriyau of Jaudi, also, in inscriptions of Tiglath-Pileser III (745-728 B.C.), who was formerly supposed to be Uzziah of Judah, is probably a king of the country in northern Syria known to us from the Zenjirli inscriptions as Ja'di.
We should thus have in the tablets evidence of the worship of Yahweh among the Western Semites at a time long before the rise of Israel. The reading of the names is, however, extremely uncertain, not to say improbable, and the far-reaching inferences drawn from them carry no conviction.
In a tablet attributed to the 14th century B.C. which Sellin found in the course of his excavations at Tell Ta'annuk (the city Taanach of the O.T.) a name occurs which may be read Ahi-Yawi (equivalent to Hebrew Ahijah); if the reading be correct, this would show that Yahweh was worshipped in Central Palestine before the Israelite conquest. Genesis 14:17 describes a meeting between Melchizedek the king/priest of Salem and Abaraham. Both these pre-conquest figures are described as worshipping the same Most High God later identified as Yahweh.
The reading is, however, only one of several possibilities. The fact that the full form Yahweh appears, whereas in Hebrew proper names only the shorter Yahu and Yah occur, weighs somewhat against the interpretation, as it does against Delitzsch's reading of his tablets.
It would not be at all surprising if, in the great movements of populations and shifting of ascendancy which lie beyond our historical horizon, the worship of Yahweh should have been established in regions remote from those which it occupied in historical times; but nothing which we now know warrants the opinion that his worship was ever general among the Western Semites.
Many attempts have been made to trace the West Semitic Yahu back to Babylonia. Thus Delitzsch formerly derived the name from an Akkadian god, I or Ia; or from the Semitic nominative ending, Yau; but this deity has since disappeared from the pantheon of Assyriologists. Bottero speculates that the West Semitic Yah/Ia, in fact is a version of the Babylonian God Ea (Enki), a view given support by the earliest finding of this name at Ebla during the reign of Ebrum, at which time the city was under Mesopotamian hegemony of Sargon of Akkad.
There are many witnesses which approve of the correct Name being Yahweh; both Jewish and Christian authorities, such as the Jewish Encyclopedia. Bible translators James Mofatt and Dr J. M. Power Smith as well as Bible Encyclopedias, lexicons and grammars, declare the Tetragrammaton should have been transliterated “Yahweh”. Other sources include the Seventh Day Adventist Commentary Vol. 1, p511, under Exodus 3:15; Herbert Armstrong, the New Morality, pp. 128 – 129; David Neufeld, Review and Herald, December 15, 1971, page11; A New Translation of the Bible, pp 20 – 21 (Harper and Row © 1954) and J.D Douglas; New Bible Dictionary, (Wm B Eerdman’s Pub Co. © (1962), p9 as concluded: “Strictly speaking Yahweh is the only ‘Name’ of God”.
Meyer suggests as one possibility that “as modern Hebrew letters were introduced, the next step was to follow modern Jews and insert “Kurious”, Lord. This would prove this innovation was of a late date.” .
Bible scholars and translators as Eusebius and Jerome (translator of the Latin Vulgate) used the Hexapla. Both attest to the importance of the sacred Name and that the most reliable manuscripts contained the Tetragrammaton in Hebrew letters.
Dr F. F. Bruce in the The Books and the Parchments illustrates that the religious language of the Greeks is in effect, pagan. Bruce demonstrates that the words commonly used today in Christianity are pagan Greek words and substitutes; this includes words such as “Christ”,”Lord” and “God” (The English “Jesus” is not the same as “Iesous” in Greek). For this reason, a few groups such as the Assemblies of Yahweh and the Jehovah's Witnesses have maintained that they are restoring the purity of worship - by using the sacred Names and Hebrew titles. On the other hand, Christianity still generally regards the sacred Name as a minor issue while observant Jews believe it is respectful not to speak the Name at all .
Bible translations such as the Rotherham Emphasized Bible, the Anchor Bible, and the Jerusalem Bible have retained the Name Yahweh in the Old Testament, while traditional translations such as the King James Version and the American Standard Version have retained the Name Jehovah.
Although no Greek manuscript of the New Testament contains any form of the divine name, the Sacred Scriptures Bethel Edition inserts the name Yahweh in the New Testament, while the New World Translation inserts the name Jehovah in the New Testament.
The vast majority of New Testament translations render the Greek kyrios as "lord" and theos as "God." Since the Divine Name does not appear in the Greek manuscripts, virtually all translations refrain from inserting it into the English.