Why YHVH?

FAQ_YHWH_YHVH

Why use YHVH instead of the English translation “The LORD” found in so many Bibles or the now popular “Yahweh” used by the Hebrew Roots movement?

Simply because it’s the name (not one of His many titles) that our creator gave us “… to be remembered throughout all generations.

It’s found over 6500 times in the Old Testament and referenced many more times in the New Testament.  God likes his name and obviously wants us to know it, or does he?

Exodus 3:15
(ESV)  God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘The LORD (H3068), the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.
(KJV)  And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD (H3068) God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.

(NASB)  God, furthermore, said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘The LORD (H3068), the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is My name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all generations.

(TLV)  God also said to Moses: “You are to say to Bnei-Yisrael, Adonai (H3068), the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My Name forever, and the Name by which I should be remembered from generation to generation.


H3068
יְהֹוָה
yehôvâh
yeh-ho-vaw’
From H1961; (the) self Existent or eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God: – Jehovah, the Lord. Compare H3050, H3069.
Total KJV occurrences: 6521


The Strong’s definition above tries to give it a pronounceable representation of “yeh-ho-vaw” but today most experts agree that it would be more along the lines of “yah-weh” if anything.

The REAL POINT thought is that nobody knows for sure how to pronounce it because we are only guessing at how the vowels (which are not written in Hebrew) would have been said.

Through the ages scribes added the vowel points of the word Adonai to help the reader to remember NOT to pronounce God’s name and to say Adonai instead when they read YHVH so they would not “profane” (make common) the Holy Name.

Using those same vowel points to attempt a pronunciation seems a little hopeful at best to me considering their dubious background.

MAJORING ON THE MINORS

I got all wrapped around the axle about “Yahweh” over “The LORD” when I first started learning about the Bible instead of just accepting what is taught as FACT in today’s church.

To be honest though, it does not bother me these days if we call our God “Yahweh”, “Yehovah”, “Adonai”, or “The LORD” as long as we know we are talking about the God of the Bible.  I figure if it was important to God on how we pronounce His name, there would be no doubt among believers on how to do so.

For me, I choose to use “YHVH” in text when I write, but will leave “The LORD” or “Adonai” if I’m quoting from a translation.

The truth is that until God makes His name perfectly clear to us again, it’s a minor point, and if we are honest with ourselves…  all versions of pronunciation are likely incorrect.

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