Jehovah or Yahweh

I was trying to find out from people who can read the original Bible about the original name of God in the Hebrew Bible which they told me its Yahweh before any translation. They say it is a name that was revealed to Moses. How about this now? Did God not say his name was Yahweh to Moses? Did He say his name was Jehovah?

The answer to your question is extremely technical and involves an understanding of the Hebrew language and tradition, the English, German, and Hebrew alphabets, and the motives and spiritual condition of the men who questioned (Genesis 3:1) the usage of Jehovah in the Bible. I won’t attempt to go into the complexities of the arguments as it would take 50 pages or more to thoroughly answer the question.

The people that told you that Yahweh is the correct pronunciation of God’s name may have been ignorant of these arguments. Many people assume (and that is dangerous) that these German scholars were correct without considering their motives and the differences between the sounds of the English letters and the German letters of the alphabet. The name of God that is in question here is often referred to as the tetragrammaton. That is due to the fact that there are four Hebrew letters that make up this name. Depending upon which side of the argument you are on, those letters correspond to the English letters JHVH or YHVH. The problem, J versus Y, arose by mixing the sounds of the German letters with the sounds of the English letters. A German pronounces the letter j like we pronounce our letter y. But the letter j is the correct letter for both German and English. If we are to change the Tetragrammaton to YHVH, we should also change the spelling of Jerusalem to Yerusalem, Jericho to Yericho, etc. In addition, if Yahweh were the correct spelling of the Tetragrammaton, a German would pronounce that w like our v, which moves it closer to what the Bible says, Jehovah. So all of this is a strange mixture of German and English pronunciation designed to make folks ask, “Yea, hath God said…?” (Genesis 3:1). In addition, it creates confusion among God’s people. 1 Corinthians 14:11 says, “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.”

Again, the real problem is that by changing the pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton to Yahweh, it associates the God of the Old Testament with pagan gods in the area of the nation of Israel. That allows the enemies of God and His word to assume that He is nothing more than a tribal god with no real power. A number of websites exploit that error to their own destruction.

Finally, the word Jehovah has exactly 7 letters. Seven, in the Bible, is the number of God’s perfection. Not only that, but the word Jehovah occurs exactly 7 times in the word of God (Genesis 22:14, Exodus 6:3, Exodus 17:15, Judges 6:24, Psalm 83:18, Isaiah 12:2, and Isaiah 26:4). The word Yahweh has 6 letters which in the Bible is associated with man. That leaves me with the impression that man has tampered with God’s perfect name. On that point alone, I would be very leery about using Yahweh instead of Jehovah.

Karl Lohman
Daily Proverb

Proverbs 24:21

My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change: