Jehovah - Wrong From the Start

The term "Jehovah" is a fabricated word. It is not, therefore, a proper name, or the proper personal name, for The Supreme Being. Since it is created from "the traditions of men", and is incorrect, it should not be used as the personal name of God (See God's Name). It was created as the result of fear on the part of Jews to pronounce the sacred name, YAHWEH. Also, please see Letter J... for important information concerning why the letter “J” cannot be correctly or properly used in any transliteration or translation of the Hebrew words. The following resources are provided so you can see the nature of this problem.

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature, Vol. 3, p. 901, states:

 "Jehovah — the imperfect of Jahve (Yahwe or Jehovah or Jahwe (Yahweh)). He is self existing." 

The Davis Dictionary of the Bible states:

"Jehovah - The Tetragrammaton is generally believed to have been pronounced Jahweh, Yahweh..."

The Encyclopaedia Britannica, Vol. 12, states:

"The pronunciation 'Jehovah' is an error resulting among Christians from combining the consonants YHWH with the vowels of 'adonay.’ "

The International Bible Encyclopedia of King James Version states:

"Jehovah - It is believed that the correct pronunciation of this word is 'Yahweh.'"

The New Standard Bible Dictionary states:

"Jehovah - Properly Yahweh . . the form 'Jehovah' is impossible, according to the strict principles of Hebrew vocalization."

The Seventh-Day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 1, p. 172, states:

 "And the name above all others that was looked upon as the name, the personal name of God, was YAHWEH.

Peter Galatin is the one credited with popularizing the name Jehovah. He was confessor to Pope Leo the 10th. The Oxford English Dictionary identifies his first use of the term “Jehovah” in the year 1516, in De Arcanis Catholic Veritatis. Joseph Rotherham has this to say about "Jehovah's" origins:

The pronunciation Jehovah was unknown until 1520, when it was introduced by Galatinus; but was contested by Le Mercier, J. Drusius, and L. Capellus, as against grammatical and historical propriety.

There’s no way a name that did not exist until the 1500’s could possibly be the proper personal name of the Holy One of Yisra’el. Rotherham further confirms the corruption when he says:

To give the name JHVH the vowels of the word for Lord (Heb. Adonai) and pronounce it Jehovah, is about as hybrid a combination as it would be to spell the name Germany with the vowels in the name Portugal-viz., Gormuna."

He further states in his introduction to The Emphasized Bible

"It is willingly admitted that the suppression has not been absolute; at least so far as Hebrew and English are concerned. The Name, in its four essential letters, was reverently transcribed by the Hebrew copyists, and therefore was necessarily placed before the eye of the Hebrew reader. The latter, however, was instructed not to pronounce it, but to utter instead a less sacred name - Adonay or Elohim. In this way the Name was not suffered to reach the ear of the listener."

The Authorized Catholic Bible, in a note on Exodus 3.14, states, albeit somewhat improperly (YAHWEH does not come from I am who I am. It more properly comes from verse 15 where God states His own name quite plainly as YHWH)

"3:14. I am who am: apparently this utterance is the source of the word Yahweh, the proper personal name of the God of Israel. It is commonly explained in reference to God as the absolute and necessary Being. It may be understood of God as the Source of all created beings. Out of reverence for this name the term Adonai, "my lord" was later used as a substitute. The word LORD in the present version represents this traditional usage. The word "Jehovah" arose from a false reading of the name as it is written in the current Hebrew text.”
(Emphasis added) 

The Bible, An American Translation, by Smith and Goodspeed, on page 15 of the preface, states:

"As nearly as we can now tell, the Hebrews called their Deity by the name Yahweh, and in a shorter form, Yah, used in relatively few cases. In course of time they came to regard this name as too sacred for utterance. They therefore substituted for it the Hebrew word for Lord." When vowels were added to the text, the consonants of "Yahweh" were given the vowels of "Lord." Somewhere in the fourteenth century C.E. Christian scholars, not understanding this usage, took the vowels and consonants exactly as they were written and produced the artificial name "Jehovah" which has persisted ever since.”
(Emphasis added)

The New English Bible, in the introduction, states:

"This personal name, written with the consonants YHWH, was considered too sacred to he uttered; so the vowels for the words 'my Lord' or 'God' were added to the consonants YHWH, and the reader was warned by these vowels that he must substitute other consonants. This change having to be made so frequently, the Rabbis did not consider it necessary to put the consonants of the new reading in the margin . . . YHWH was read with the intruded vowels, the vowels of an entirely different word, namely 'my Lord' or 'God'. In late medieval times this mispronounciation became curent as Jehova, and it was unwittingly taken over as Jehovah by the reformers in the Protestant Bibles.”
(Emphasis added.)

The Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Preface, pp. 6-7, states the following:

"The form Jehovah is of late medieval origin; it is a combination of the consonants of the Divine Name and the vowels attached to it by the Masoretes but belonging to an entirely different word. The sound of Y is represented by J and the sound of W by V, as in Latin. The word "Jehovah" does not accurately represent any form of the Name ever used in Hebrew. (Emphasis added.)

Remarkably, even the Jehovah's Witnesses acknowledge “Jehovah” is an error. (So why do they keep using it?) In their book, Let Your Name Be Sanctified, pp 16, 20, they state:

"Yahweh . .. is admittedly superior to Jehovah. 'The wrong spelling Jehovah OCCURS since about 1100' and then it offers its arguments in favor of Yahweh as the correct and original pronunciation."

The New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures (published by Watchtower Bible and Tract Society), states on p. 25 of the foreword:

"While inclining to view the pronunciation "Yahweh" as the more correct way, we have retained the form "Jehovah" because of people's familiarity with it Since the 14th century."


false name occurs only three times in the King James Version of The Bible. Some other terms using this word also occur, but they are hyphenated titles, not the name by itself. Corrections have been made to the text to show the proper rendering. in each case the Hebrew presents hDwøh◊y, YHWH, as the word actually used.

Ex. 6:3 And I was seen by Abraham, unto Yitzhak (Isaac), and unto Ya’akob (Jacob), by the designation of El Shaddai (God Almighty), but by My name, YAHWEH (Jehovah), I was not known to them. 

Psa. 83:18 That men may know that You, whose name alone is YAHWEH (Jehovah), are the most high over all the earth. 

Is. 12:2 Behold, El is my salvation (El-Yshuwah); I will trust, and not be afraid: for Yahh-YAHWEH (the LORD JEHOVAH) is my strength and my song; He also is become my salvation (yshuwah). 

Next, we need to address the hyphenated phrases that use "Jehovah" in them. It's very important to note that these are not names of God as is so often wrongly promoted. They are used for specific situations, and typically only occur once. A personal name would most certainly appear more than once. They are used as reminders of YAHWEH's action in the lives of the people involved. In effect, they are memorials to YAHWEH, and they are not His personal name.

Jehovah-Jireh - YAHWEH Who Sees

Gen. 22:14  And Abraham called the name of that place
YAHWEH Yireh,’ as it is said this day, 
“On the mountain of YAHWEH it will be seen.”

3070. hRa√rˆy hDwøh◊y Yhwh yireh, yhwh yir-eh´; from 3068 and 7200; Yhwh will see (to it); Yhwh-Jireh, a symbolical name for Mount Moriah: — Yhwh-jireh.

3068. hDwøh◊y Yhwh; from 1961; (the) self-Existent or Eternal; name of God: —the Lord. Compare 3050, 3069.

7200. hDa∂r ra}ah, raw-aw´; a primitive root; to see, literally or figuratively (in numerous applications, direct and implied, transitive, intransitive and causative):
—advise self, appear, approve, behold, x certainly, consider, discern, (make to) enjoy, have experience, gaze, take heed, x indeed, x joyfully, lo, look (on, one another, one on another, one upon another, out, up, upon), mark, meet, x be near, perceive, present, provide, regard, (have) respect, (fore-, cause to, let) see(-r, -m, one another), show (self), x sight of others, (e-)spy, stare, x surely, x think, view, visions.

Jehovah-Nissi – YAHWEH, my Banner

Ex. 17:15 And Moshe built a slaughter site
And he called its name,

3071. y;Isˆn hDwøh◊y Yhwh nicçcçiy, yhwh nis-see´; from 3068 and 5251 with the prononimal suffix; Yhwh (is) my banner; Yhwh-Nissi, a symbolical name of an altar in the Desert: Yhwh-nissi.

3068. hDwøh◊y Yhwh; from 1961; (the) self-Existent or Eternal; name of God:
—the Lord. Compare 3050, 3069.

5251. s´n necç, nace; from 5264; a flag; also a sail; by implication, a flagstaff; generally a signal; figuratively, a token:
—banner, pole, sail, (en-)sign, standard.

The context of this verse clearly indicates this is not a name for YAHWEH. It is the name given to a slaughter site (altar) that Moshe built as a “sign”, a symbol or marker, by which YAHWEH’s actions are to be remembered. It indicates YAHWEH is “the standard” to which we are to look for deliverance from our enemies.

Jehovah-Raphi - YAHWEH who heals you

7495. aDp∂r rapha}, raw-faw´; or hDp∂r raphah, raw-faw´; a primitive root; properly, to mend (by stitching), i.e. (figuratively) to cure:
—cure, (cause to) heal, physician, repair, x thoroughly, make whole. See 7503.

Ex. 15.26  And He said, “If you will listen attentively, 
listen attentively to the voice of YAHWEH, your Elohim, 
and do what is right in His eyes, 
and will listen carefully to His directives 
and will protect all His rules,
all the diseases I placed on the Egyptians 
will not be placed on you, 
because I, YAHWEHwill be healing you.”

Jehovah-Shalom – YAHWEH is peace

Judg. 6:24 And Gid’on built there a slaughter site to YAHWEH.
And he called it YAHWEH (Jehovah) Shalom.
To this day it
is still in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

3073. MwølÎv hDwøh◊y Yhwh shalowm, yhwh shaw-lome´; from 3068 and 7965; Yhwh (is) peace; Yhwh-Shalom, a symbolical name of an altar in Palestine: Yhwh-shalom.

Gid’on built a slaughter site (altar) to YAHWEH. He called the slaughter site YAHWEH Shalom, or, YAHWEH is peace. This is not a name of “God”, it is the name of a slaughter site built to honor YAHWEH. While it is YAHWEH who is the source of peace, He is not YAHWEH-Shalom. This is the name of the slaughter site Gideon built to honor YAHWEH. Strong's has placed an inferred "is" in the middle of this term. While this is a fairly common practice in Hebrew  this could also read the peace of YAHWEH, or YAHWEH's peace.

(Shalom, to the Hebrew, means complete and total well-being in every aspect of one’s life. It means much more than simply “peace”, although that’s typically how it’s translated into English.)

The Christian community, in particular, has been grossly mislead through the use of the term, "Jehovah".

It is  clearly a mistranslation of the Hebrew hDwøh◊y, transliterated as YHWH, and translated, correctly, as YAHWEH. Even the "Jehovah's Witnesses" acknowledge this error. This has been compounded by its use in hyphenations in the names of places connected with the actions of YAHWEH in the lives of His people. Such improper usage and incorrect translation does not honor YAHWEH

It's time to correct these errors.

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