Is Jehovah the true name of God?
In written form, Ancient Hebrew did not include vowels. Vowels were spoken, but not written. This makes it difficult for scholars and linguists to know how ancient Hebrew words are supposed to be pronounced. The Hebrew Scriptures have the name of God written out as YHWH, and the name "Jehovah" is one of the possible pronunciations that has been given for this. There has been a lot of debate over how to properly pronounce the name of God. While some prefer "Jehovah," others prefer "Yahweh" (YAH-way), "Yehowah," "Yahuweh," or "Yahawah." Clearly, there is a lot of room for differences of opinion on this, but for the sake of this article, let's focus on "Jehovah," specifically.
The majority opinion of Jewish and Christian biblical scholars is that "Jehovah" is not a historically accurate pronunciation of YHWH, primarily because ancient Hebrew did not have a J sound. Also, vav, the Hebrew letter which is the "W" in YHWH, was pronounced closer to W, such as in "Yahweh," rather than the V in "Jehovah." So, really, Jehovah is a Germanic pronunciation of the Latinized translation of YHWH, while "Yahweh" or "Yehowah" are far more likely to be the correct pronunciation.
The King James Bible uses the form "Jehovah" very frequently (Genesis 22:14; Exodus 6:3; 17:15; Judges 6:24; Psalm 83:18; Isaiah 12:2; 26:4). The main thing worth noting is that having an exact pronunciation set in stone for the name YHWH is not of critical importance. General names for God, such as "Lord" or "God" are used all throughout the Bible in both the Old and New Testaments, including the Hebrew words El, Elohim, and Adonai, and the Greek words Theos and Kurios. Since the Bible was inspired by God, and He allowed the authors to refer to Him by these terms, then so may we.
It is doubtful that "Jehovah" is an accurate pronunciation of YHWH, however, this is of minor importance in the broad scheme of our Christian faith. What is of far greater importance is our own knowledge of God through our faith in Jesus Christ. He promises that when we seek Him we will find Him (Jeremiah 29:13; Hebrews 11:6; Matthew 7:7–8).
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