Saturday 29 May 2010

The Divine name of the Creator

The Name of the Creator.
Do you know him?

Look at the comparison.

The NIV Leaving out the Divine Name of God for monetary reasons.

Brief introduction to translator preferences to the interpretation and use of the "Divine Name" (JWHW/YHWH) and, or use of surrogates within the Hebrew Bible, and Christian Greek Scriptures. New World Translation NWT, New International Version NIV Comparison.


  1. Bar Enosh wrote:

    There is much misinformation afloat about how "Jehovah" arrived in the English language. English is a Germanic language, but the same form, "Jehovah," is found in Romance languages like French, and in other languages throughout the world.

    Ultimately, it appears to have comes first from Latin, where it was written as Iahouah, then later as Iehouah. In English, the Latin "I" became a "J," and the "u" became written as "v."

    But, contrary to what many say, the vowels are not those of "adonai," or Lord, but appear to be a transcription of YHWH, which Hebrew letters, along with serving as consonants, also do double duty as vowels in Hebrew. Therefore, the ancient Jewish historian Josephus, and the Medieval Jewish scholar Maimonides could say that the Name was "pronounced as it is written," since YHWH could naturally be pronounced as YEhoUAh, or "Yehouah," according to professor Gerard Gertoux.

  2. Amanda Rush sends us a note:

    just a quick note about the Hebrew consonants, which, BTW, is not intended as any sort of criticism of the NWT.

    With two exceptions, Hebrew consonants do not “do double duty”, as it were, as vowels. Hebrew vowels are indicated by a system of points, called nikudot, which appear under, to the left of, or above the letter to which the vowel is to be applied. Also present are ta’amim, or cantillation marks, which indicate how the text is to be chanted. None of these points, however, are considered to be part of the divinely-given text. Thus, since the additional nikudot and ta’amim are not divine, while the consonantal text is, changing these can, and often does, produce very different translation into other languages.

    I think the best argument for using Jehovah as opposed to some other spelling, like Yahweh, in English translations of the Bible is because, whether or not it’s wrong according to any scholar, it’s considered the accepted form, in many languages, of the divine name. And ultimately, that’s what matters. We can sit here and argue symantics all day long, but at the end of the day, that’s all useless.

    Hebrew, however, presents some different issues, as do other semitic languages like Arabic, and Aramaic, (which, by the way, is still spoken among some communities of Christians and Jews). In Hebrew, for example, Yud-Heh-Vav-Heh, which are the four consonants that make up God’s name, would be vowelized many different ways. It could be Yahuah, because Vav is one of those letters that serves as a consonant or vowel, depending on where it is placed in a word. And you can place virtually any nikud between yud, heh, and vav, as well as vav and heh.

    Just my two cents worth, and I hope none of this is taken as offensive or critical.


  3. Solomon of JW Questions and Answers replies to Amanda Rush:

    To be sure, that is standard Hebrew classification. However, Modern Israeli Hebrew, like Biblical Hebrew and the Talmud, is written normally without any "vowels" at all, and no vowel-points. It is pronounced according to standard grammatical and "consonantal" clues.

    It is the first-century Jewish historian, Flavius Josephus, who said that the Tetragrammaton was the sacred Name YHWH, which consisted of "four vowels." -- The Jewish Wars, chapter V. Josephus specifically called YHWH "vowels," as the letters can do double-duty.

    Similarly, the Medieval Hebrew poet and philosopher Judah Halevi (1075-1141) specified that Y served also as the vowel I, W served as O and that H also served as A, for pronunciation purposes.

    Therefore, if the Tetragrammaton is read "according to its letters," as Maimonides said, YHWH would be pronounced IHOA, anglicized to "Y'hoa." Such a pronunciation would easily yield "Yehowah" or "Jehovah" (or similar) in English and other languages.

    I have copies of the Talmud, all of which contain no vowel-points, and I have read Israeli newspapers in the past, which also contained no vowel-points. The "consonants" that do double-duty as "vowels" were sufficient.