The Letter "J"

It's vitally important that you recognize some significant information about the letter "J". Please note that in the original 1611 edition of the King James Version of the Bible there was no letter "J" used. The letter "J" did not even exist in common usage within the English language. James was spelled Iames. Jesus was spelled Iesous. And as you'll see below, the letter "J" was completely unknown until the 14th century. This is clearly documented in world history. 

It's predecessors were the letter "Y" and the letter "I". Each of these was "morphed" (altered) into the letter "J" at some point, based on human traditions. This was mankind's alteration of YAHWEH's Word. This involved a virtually complete rejection and replacement of the Hebrew letter "Y". In the Hebrew aleph-bet there is no letter “J”, and no “J” sound.

The references below demonstrate very clearly that biblical names beginning with "J" are a corruption of the Hebrew "Y" and its accompanying sound.

Using the letter "J" creates a perversion of The Scriptures because of the way we use that letter today. If we would pronounce them as a "Y" we would be closer to the correct sound. But few people today even recognize this is a possibility. As a result, they are mislead. "J" causes confusion when trying to properly understand The Scriptures. We would do well to change them to "Y"'s, which would then follow the original Hebrew letters used in these words.

Both "Jehovah" and "Jesus" are improper "translations", or even transliterations, of the original Hebrew. The proper personal names are YAHWEH, for the Father, and YAHUSHUA, for the Son. Jehovah and Jesus should be corrected to these proper names.

As they stand now, they are corruptions of the original. If we are going to "honor and praise the NAME" of The Creator, we need to know His correct name. The same is true of His Son. Once we know the proper personal names of YAHWEH and YAHUSHUA we need to use them as they were intended to be used.

This is also true of every other name in The Scriptures that begins with the letter "J" in our modern bible translations.

Encyclopedia Americana contains the following on the J:

"The form of J was unknown in any alphabet until the 14th century. Either symbol (J,I) used initially generally had the consonantal sound of Y as in year. Gradually, the two symbols (J,l) were differentiated, the J usually acquiring consonantal force and thus becoming regarded as a consonant, and the I becoming a vowel. It was not until 1630 that the differentiation became general in England."

Note these additional comments of the Encyclopedia Americana regarding The Letter J:

"It is one of the few permanent additions to those alphabets, made in medieval or modern times. More exactly, it was not an addition, but a differentiation from an existing letter, i, which in Latin, besides being a vowel (as in index), had also the consonantal value of "Y" (as in maior, pronounced "mayor"). At a later stage, the symbol "J" was used for distinctive purposes, particularly when the "I" had to be written initially (or in conjunction with another "I"). Either symbol used initially generally had the consonantal sound of "Y" (as in year) so that the Latin pronunciation of either Ianuarius or Januarius was as though the spelling was "Yanuarius." While in some words of Hebrew and other origin (such as Hallelujah or Junker), "J" has the phonetic value of "Y.” “

Webster's Universal Dictionary (1936) discloses the early relationship between I and J:

"As a character it was formerly used interchangeably with "i," both letters having originally the same sound; and after the "j" sound came to be common in English, it was often written where this sound must have been pronounced. The separation of these two letters is of comparatively recent date, being brought about through the influence of the Dutch printers."

The Oxford English Dictionary
is acknowledged as one of the most authoritative works existing on the origins and meanings of words in the English language. It's a 12-volume work, and took some fifty years to complete. Under the entry for "J," is the following entry concerning the sound of the pronunciation of this letter:

“Some time before the 6th century, this y-sound had, by compression in articulation, and consequent development of an initial 'stop,' become a consonantal diphthong, passing through a sound (dy), akin to that of our di, de, in odious, hideous, to that represented in our phonetic symbolization (dz). At the same time, the original guttural sound of G, when followed by a front vowel, had changed to that of palatal g (gy), and then, by an advance of the point of closure, had passed through that of (dy), to the same sound (dz); so the i consonant and the so-called g 'soft' came to have, in the Romanic languages, the same identical value.”

The Encyclopedia Britannica
 that the sound of the letter J was the same as the sound of the letter I:

“The original consonantal sound represented by the letter was the semi-vowel or spirant "I" (the sound of y in yacht). This passed into dy and later into the sound dz which the letter represents today.”

Please take special note of what Webster's New International Dictionary states about the development and usage of the letter:

"J is a comparatively late variant from the Latin I which was used indifferently as a vowel or consonant, its consonantal value being that of English Y in yet. The form J was developed from i during the Middle Ages, and it was long used in certain positions in the word merely without regard to the sound as a consonant or vowel. But the lengthened form was often initial, and the initial was usually consonantal, so the j gradually became differentiated from i in function as well as form. It was not, however, until the 17th century that the distinction of j as a consonant and i as a vowel was fully established and the capital J introduced. In English, the regular and practically uniform sound of j as in "jet" (dzh), the same as g in "gem," dates from the 11th century, that being the sound represented by i when consonantal in words then introduced from old French."

 The New Book of Knowledge puts it this way:

"The early history of the letter "J" is the same as the history of the letter "1." "1" is a descendant of the ancient Phoenician and Hebrew letter "yod" and the Greek letter "iota." The Phoenicians gave the yod a semiconsonant sound pronounced like the "Y" in yellow. While the lower case "J" of modern type was derived directly from medieval manuscripts, the capital "J" is virtually a printer's invention. The sound "J" as we know it in English today was derived when the "Y" sound eventually passed into a "dy" sound and later into the "J" sound as in juggle."

Under the topic "J," Collier's Encyclopedia shows how this happened:

"Introduced as a sign for the consonantal sound of "i" in Latin words, the letter j was soon used in English, French, and Spanish to represent the sound that developed out of Latinic consonantic i in each of these three languages. This was a certain improvement, since these three sounds (y, z, dz) which all developed out of the Latin consonant i, did not exist in Latin, and the Latin alphabet had no sign for them.

This evidence establishes beyond any doubt that
every word in your bible translated with a "J" at the beginning is an improper translation of the original text. It is also not a true transliteration, I encourage you to begin today to use the proper names of YAHWEH and YAHUSHUA

We would also do well to discover and use the proper names of all the people in The Scriptures. Altering someone's name, even when moving between different languages, is not normally done. The name should remain the same in every language, precisely because it is someone's personal name. You don't change their name just because you speak a different language. You may have trouble pronouncing it correctly, but the name should not be changed.

There's a tremendous wealth of information contained in those proper Hebrew names. You could make an entire study of Scripture based solely on the names of the people involved, and discover a wealth of new information that has been hidden in those names. It would certainly take some work, but the rewards would be magnificent.

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May YAHWEH speak to your heart and bless you with understanding as you explore His Word.