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Origin Of The Name Jehovah And Yahweh


Heh Waw Heh Yodh

Heh Waw Heh Yodh



In most English Bible versions of today, the epithet "YAHWEH" or "JEHOVAH" is used as a Biblical Proper Name for the God of the Bible. Why do some Bible versions have written "JEHOVAH", while others have written "YAHWEH"? Is there any difference between "JEHOVAH" and "YAHWEH"? Which one is the correct epithet?

The word "JEHOVAH" and "YAHWEH" both came from the same root. Both words are an erroneous transliteration (a transliteration is the representation of the letters of a word from one alphabet using a different alphabet).

The four Canaanite-Hebrew letters *Yodh, Heh, Waw, Heh* are correctly transliterated in Roman (Latin) letters as YHWH and erroneously transliterated as JHVH. The erroneous four letter Romanized (Latinized) version, JHVH was rendered as "JEHOVAH".

The word "JEHOVAH" was formed by merging the three vowels (e, o, and a) of the word ELOAH, into the Romanized (Latinized) four letter version JHVH (i.e. JeHoVaH). This was an early concoction. The word "YAHWEH" was formed by merging the vowels (a, and e) of the word HASHEM into the four letter version YHWH (i.e. YaHWeH). This was a more recent invention.

So, the four Canaanite-Hebrew letters have been rendered in Roman (Latin) letters as YHWH, JHWH, and also as IHWH, and then have been erroneously verbalized by some Christians as "YAHWEH", "JAHWEH", and as "IAHWEH.

On the other hand, in Yiddish (Jewish) block letters it is spelled out as *Yod, Heh, Vav, Heh* and has been rendered in Roman (Latin) letters as YHVH, JHVH, and also as IHVH, and then erroneously verbalized by other Christians as "YEHOVAH", "JEHOVAH", and as "IEHOVAH". Prior to the sixteenth century the name "JEHOVAH" and "YAHWEH" was unheard of.

The original Canaanite-Hebrew writing system has no vowels. When the Yiddish (Jewish) converts adopted the Canaanite-Hebrew writing system in ancient times, at first they did not use vowels. The vowel system (Masoretic vowel points), was added much later around 600 C.E. by the Yiddish (Jewish) Masorites. The vowels were invented as a means to aquire a common pronounciation, and at that time when the vowel system was invented, the pronouncing of the word YHWH by the Yids (Jews), had already been forbidden for generations. They use the epithet 'Adonai' for the God of the Bible.

The truth is, the word YHWH, is actually only one of the titles (the most used in scripture) of the God of the Bible. But it is however, not the true Proper Name of the God of the Bible. YHWH is a title which simply means : God, and is correctly pronounced as : Yay-hoo-wha (YéH-WHoa). The definite article proves this. Please let me explain. The definite article in English is "the". The definite article in Canaanite-Hebrew is the letter "heh", which is attached to the word with which it is associated.

Proper names in Hebrew do not have the definite article. In English, that would mean that you do not say "the Jesus" or "the Mary". So, to see one example of HYHWH (The God) in scripture simply turn to -JEREMIAH 8: 19! So, we see that YHWH is not a true proper name. YHWH means : God (erroneously translated in most Bibles as "Lord"). YHWH ALHYM = God of Gods.

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Jonathan on January 06, 2016:

I have read many of the comments on this page and there are many backgrounds, even several different religions. I am a Bible believing Christian. I will no go into all that means because it will surely cause division among us. All I really want to say is that knowing the true and proper name of God is not a criteria for salvation. In the Bible, God has many names. He is creator and sustainer of the universe and a savior to his people. Whatever His "proper" may be, He is unequivocally LORD. I myself am a curious man and a man of study, but we need to be careful that we do not make too much of a study of God while neglecting our relationship with Him. He is not just a study, He is a person, or rather He is one God expressed clearly in scripture in three distinctive persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God does not care if I know His name, He cares if I know Him. So, without going into all kinds of detail as I am tempted to do, I will simply encourage you to seek Him, know Him, and love Him with all your heart, mind, and soul. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 1:8)

The Jack on January 29, 2014:

Praise YAH! (Psalm 68:4) As a member of the body of Yashua, I praise YAHAWAH that many are seeking truth, for our people perish for lack of knowledge. Keep seeking... you shall surely find. HalleluYAH!

Chad Green on October 19, 2013:

HIS Name is YAHWEH, and you will KNOW that HE Alone is GOD by what HE DOES.

YAHWEH is GOD. YAHSHUA is HIS Only Begotten Son.

KEEP the Commandments. They are Righteous.

Keep the SABBATH Holy.

Is this too much? The Commandments are Righteous. If the world followed them, we would not be in the shape we are in.

Man does not have the answers. Only YAHWEH does.

KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS, and truly, can you do any wrong?

Call upon HIM in the Name of the True Messiah YAHSHUA. READ HIS WORDS, long written down! Keep HIS RIGHTEOUS COMMANDMENTS!

Do not complicate matters with doctrines and religions!

"Howbeit in vain do they worship ME, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." Mark 7:7

jotham on August 09, 2013:

funny that you have no problem calling Yoshua, Jesus but you disagree to call Yahweh, Jehovah. Do you care to know how other languages call God's name in their various languages (there are hundreds of languages in Africa). Do you want to go about scrutinizing each culture and criticise how their languages translate or transliterate YHWH?

elias on January 02, 2013:

sorry mcdonald. Jesus is not lower."when you have seen me, you have seen the father. and "I and my father are ONE!" JESUS IS THE WORD OF GOD, MADE FLESH AND DWELT AMONG US. JESUS IS THE SAME LEVEL AS THE FATHER!

Arsenio of Philippines ( c",)agape ) on December 06, 2012:

Hi! Mcdonald Chogugudza

I agree with you that Jews before stop using the name of God because of some reasons they have and it cause the lost of the proper pronunciation of God's name, but for the fact that there are tetragrammaton (YHWY) in the Bible, it only shows that God really has a personal name and that he is different to Jesus. ( Jesus is the son of God and lower to him.- Luke 1:30-32 ; John 14:28)

Mcdonald Chogugudza on November 20, 2012:


God is not a name but a Tittle, same with yahweh (YHVH). Its a code, in the hebrew language there were no vowels so where do we get a and e in yahweh ? sources say from HASHEM. The name of God killed prophets of old when they called it out to an extent that they began to call and write the name in code form, this was passed on from generation to generation until the real name of God was forgotten. So now there comes some scholars trying to rebuild a name from a code like (YHYH).

I have made a study and saw an amazing construction in genesis 3:8, Adam and Eve heard the voice of God walking. Then John says in the beginning was the word ,the word was with God ,and the word was God. John 1:14, the word became flesh and dwelt amongst us. Jesus is the voice of God that walked in the garden, Revelations 19:13 says His name is the word of God. Philippians 2:9 says , God hath given him a name that is above every name.It goes on to say at the name of Jesus every knee should bow ,of things on earth, under the earth and even in heaven.

So this tells us Jesus is the highest name and is the name to be bowed to.It may not be the real name of God , but God(YHWH) has given us a name to adhere to that's the name of Jesus.

I also noted that in most translations before God , or Lord is written there is a Definite Article (ho) (the), which would make it read (the God) which shows God, YHWH, are not proper Hebrew names.

God bless you all.

With Love....

Mcdonald Chogugudza (ZIMBABWE)

Arsenio of Phillipines on October 18, 2012:

Hi Cindy!

You said that, "the trinity is that there is one God with three parts. AS THE SCRIPTURES SAY, there are three and all three are one".

I just want to ask where exactly in the scriptures we can read that?

I agree with you that, if we don't understand something, it doesn't mean it's wrong! But I do believe that knowing the truth is not just by simply believing to something without a prof right? and If the trinity is in the Bible or if God is in trinity, the Bible can explain it well ( Clearly ). Like what the Bible says in Proverbs 14:15: 15:14.

( Proverbs 14:15: Anyone inexperienced puts faith in every word, but the shrewd one considers his steps. Proverbs 15:14: The understanding heart is one that searches for knowledge, but the mouth of stupid people is one that aspires to foolishness. ) I believe that God want us to know the truth and understand it clearly, that is why he gave us the Bible.- John 17:17; 8:32, 2 Timothy 3:16–17.

Sinner on September 20, 2012:

All I know is that everyone can't be right. Flesh is carnal from the start. Every human sins in some shape, form, or fashion. Learning to LOVE everyone and accept them for who they are (NOT their sin!! Whatever it may be) and live peacefully with one another should be the main focus. Confusion and selfishness are great "deceivers" and what most fall short to. HE, Himself, says to LOVE one another as I have LOVED you, and by this men will know you are my disciples...John 13:35

Love is the fruit that we are all lacking in. I myself am guilty of this. I have been to many different congregations and have heard the different "names" of several. What everyone, in each, was falling short in was LOVE! Read and study how much LOVE is mentioned and COMMANDED in the scriptures. I also believe that "love covers a great amount of sin". Paul says, "According to the Law, I was blameless, a Jew of Jews. But I count all that as dung if I have not LOVE for another." I know that isn't exactly word for word, but it says that without "LOVE it profit me nothing." Col 3:1-15 also says the same in a "round about way". Satan (Ha Shatan, The Great Deceiver, Devil, whatever you want to call him) has figured out how to hurt us the most.... He "throws" out different avenues ( i.e. different names, different days to worship on, different calenders, different religions, different ideas, different meanings, DIFFERENT... there's kind of a pattern there ) for us to focus on, and we "miss" what is really important. The Being that made all, whatever you want to call Him, will show us His correct pronouncement of His Name when He chooses. Read Rom 2:1-6. We are all guilty... Other than excepting the Savior and believing in Him and asking for forgiveness, LOVE is the only "other way". If you LOVE Me, keep My commandments...A "new" commandment I give unto you, that you LOVE one another as I have LOVED you...If you LOVE Him and LOVE His commands and follow them, you will have His LOVE for all... "He that is not guilty, throw the first stone"...

Come You Out! (author) on September 06, 2012:

Dear Mattie Dean...

I greet you with a greeting of Peace! And I affirm that The FATHER is the Only True GOD (The Creator) and that there is no other GOD but He; and that Yoshua Ha Notseri (Jesus The Nazoraean) who was sent by The Only True God -JOHN 17: 3; is the Messiah, the son of God. And that the Spirit of God (Rukha Alohim) is the Father (Creator) Himself -GENESIS 1: 2 + -JOB 33: 4; And the Word by which He created all things -GENESIS 1: 3+6+9+11+14+20+24+29

Thank you for your comment on this hub. The Gospel according to John, the whole book (including -JOHN 1: 1-3), was written in order that we may believe that Jesus (Yoshua) is the Messiah, the son of God -JOHN 20: 30-31.

Jesus (Yoshua) is THE SON OF GOD -1 JOHN 4: 15. God sent His son to be the Saviour of the world -1 JOHN 4: 14. There is One God (the Creator) Who is FATHER of ALL -EPHESIANS 4: 6. Even the God and Father of Yoshua (Jesus) -JOHN 20: 17. The same God (Creator) who Yoshua (Jesus) prayed to -LUKE 6: 12. There is only One God (the Creator) and One Lord (the son) -1 CORINTHIANS 8: 6.

Do not reject God (The Creator) and disobey the Gospel of His son Yoshua (Jesus) because of your misunderstanding of God's written word. All who do will have to pay the price -2 THESSALONIANS 1: 8

In Love and Respect!

Come You Out!

Mattie Dean on September 05, 2012:

Jn.1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word (Jesus) , theWord (Jesus) was with God, and the Word (Jesus) was God. The same (Jesus) was in the beginning with God. All things was made by Him (Jesus) and without Him (Jesus) was not anything made that was made. Meaning God (Jesus) made everything. Jn.1:14-The Word (Jesus) was made flesh and dwelt among the people on the earth. Jesus is Lord of Heven and Earth. God's word is true and your disbelief will not change it

clare on August 07, 2012:

God is wise and far more concerned with our hearts than our understanding of confused and lost translations. English and Hebrew are not the only languages, how many other languages are not pronouncing as you would prescribe. We are saved by faith, not by the Law (Galatians). It doesn't mean we go on sinning, but it does mean that if you don't understand etymology or transliteration you are still saved by God's grace as long as the name you give Him is for His glory.

satans decendant on June 30, 2012:

Illuminati took over the world

ben on June 29, 2012:

every knee will bow and tongue confess that JESUS CHRIST is LORD written in i think 1 john somewhere , i think God is clever enough to get whatever information he needs to get to us about himself through his word , names , attributes and all no matter how many translations or tampering , and whatever has not been revealed will be revealed by GOD later !! "And he had a name written on his robe that only he knew himself " revelations 19 I believe GOD wants us to know the name JEHOVAH and use it to refer to him , if satan wanted to tempt u to curse GOD and you knew the name JEHOVAH im sure he would suggest to trash that name just like he does the name JESUS because they are the names of GOD!!!!!

cindy on June 06, 2012:

The doctrine of the trinity is that there is one God with three parts. As the scriptures say, there are three and all three are one. God's ways are higher than our ways, just because we do not understand something does not make it not so.

jeff on May 19, 2012:

I have come to realise that the Jehova of the old testament is the Jesus Christ of the new testament. Jehova also has a human body and that body is Jesus Christ. Jehova also has the spirit which is the Holy spirit. The bible teaches that we are made in God's image and we have to look exactly like Him. We have a soul, spirit and the body. My question is why is there the TRINITY religion? They believe in three gods instead of one, check this: Father=God's soul, Son=God's human body, Holy spirit=God's spirit!!! He is one and He does not exist in a trinity!!!

thebreath on April 14, 2012:

the name of our creator is 'the breath' --you are wrong that "the" isn't in it.

Fabian on March 06, 2012:

Hi. Just a thought. Is the name jehovah man made or from God. I heard a testimony recently about a man who claimed to have gone to heaven and an angel said that the great god jehovah summoned him. How could that angel not know that the name jehovah is recent and incorrect, or is the man lying? Food for thought.

MAX WERDMULLER on October 13, 2011:

I found it an excellent artcle on the name "Jehovah or


Would like to quote this in my continues debates with JHVH'S WITNESSES.

Could you maybe tell me your name or the association you belong to?

Thank you so vey much.

Joseph on August 31, 2011:

SHALOM, Dear Brother in Yahweh,

Greetings to you in Yahweh and Yahshua’s name the true and only God, the creator of this universe.

I would like to introduce to you of my self that I am a Yahweh working in the slum and remote areas. These people very poor, illiterates and uncivilized. Also they are idol worshipers. Around me these are all Sunday worshipers and so they don't like me and so they want to spoil my work. They are creating some kind of troubles to stop Yahweh's work. They are all Satan's children. Satan is a liar, deceived and an accusatory. But station is defeated. Satan is conquered. Satan has no place to hide. So Yahweh is helping me to reach the unreached and preach about the creator and Sabbath and the Ten Commandments. Sunday worshipers are not preaching about the Sabbath, commandment to be observed throughout the ages. But sorry to say and about the Ten Commandments. Among these people I am only the one who Preach about Yahweh. I am undergoing many difficulties with the Sunday worshipers. But Yahweh is miraculously saving my life from the tricks played by them I am conducting Sabbath every Saturday. Also I am teaching the Ten Commandments to the idol worshipers and how to pray, read the Bible and to sing. Weekly night meetings are conducted regularly. I am visiting to house and village to village to preach about Yahweh and Yahshua Messiah. What ever may happen I made up may mind to follow Yahshua Messiah who died for my sins and saved me from the bondage of sin.

Besides Yahweh ministry I am looking after orphans who are helpless. These are from various villages. There are 25 orphans under my care. So please pray for them at the time of your dining table. These are praying for your good health and long life.. Yahshua messiahs have said Suffer not the children for theirs is the kingdom of Yahweh”. Some other time when his disciples have asked him who will be the great among them, He answered” those who had the mind and heart of a child”. So I request you to kindly pray for these orphans and help financially to which act of kindness I shall be grateful to you.

We are all Praying for you and your good family. Please remember the children and Yahweh ministry in this are to be blessed and strengthened. I am awaiting your early and favorable reply.

Your Brother in Yahweh

Elder Joseph S. Adapu,

Assembly of Yahweh,

Konithiwada - 534 240,

W.G.Dt., A.P., S.India.


Phone: 09849520353.

Brendan on June 23, 2011:

Thank you for a well presented article. I do recall once reading somewhere that Humbaba was a play on words used an insult to the Hebrew God I would just like to hear your thoughts on that as i cant find any info on it if you also know any texts i could refer to that would be very much appreciated

Kelloggs on January 20, 2011:

mom101 ..

you cant truly believe that just because someone calls God, jehovah, that God would condemn them to perish in hell?

that's a question you should seek God about.

What would jesus have said if you asked that?

How would jesus reply to one of his followers asking such a thing?

That's definitely something i couldn't help but attempt to encourage you in. Seek answers from the Lord. Not some scholar.

Tom Patterson on January 08, 2011:

I first learned of His sacred name 20+ years ago and the Holy Spirit convinced me to call Him YHWH and I pronounce it with vowel sounds YaHWeH. Shalom

Jaime on January 05, 2011:

In "Fossilized Customs" by Lew White, 8th edition, Lew says YHWH (ya HOO ay) means "I am" and that this is the proper pronunciation. Comments?

Also, I am trying to research, because a friend disagrees with Lew, what the incidental meaning of "Jehovah" is in Hebrew. Lew says it means "wickedness" - anyone know anything? I've been searching for two days on the Net and just found a lot of conflicting info.


Paul on January 03, 2011:

In the lords prayer there is a phrase saying hallowed be thy name, so what name is this prayer refering to?

Ephriam on December 18, 2010:

it is impossible to get a letter "J" form any Hebrew word or name because the letter "J" or its sound did not exist. There is a difference between transliteration and translation. When transliterating a scripture, you go from letter to letter from language to language. Every name that we recite beginning with "J" that has a Hebrew origin would actually have a "Y" sound. So at bare minimum, Jesus would be Yesus and Job as Yob. Names shoukld not change when transcribing. Once we correct this error (anglicising Hebrew names) we will be closer to the origin of the message, for in the Hebrew language, even each individual letter (alephbet) has a value!!!

Pieter on November 17, 2010:

Thank you for a very clear and scholarly explanation of this question. I would like to read up on it more. Where do I start? I want to avoid all the nonsense out there. Can you perhaps help me?

kptman on September 09, 2010:

No disrespect intended, but translitterating from Hebrew [which of old, had no vowels, until modern Hebrew added vowels] is difficult. The words Yahweh and Jehovah are both translitterations of Hebrew and Latin, with vowels added, because in English we as Americans like to have clarity as to how we should pronounce the name or titles of Our Father and the Father God of our ancestors, weather they were Hebrew, Christian, or non-denominational, the language we speak, in regards to God will always be in transition as we try to call Him by a respectful name, as He did with our forefathers by calling them His children. We must do the best we can and mabey God can clear the whole name thing up when He returns.

mom101 on July 27, 2010:

I want to thank you I think. Although I can't recall the exact verse, I do know that it is written, no one knows His real name. And it is also written that to call God by any other name is blasphemy. I, like you, agree that Jehovah is a title, just as is The Great Physician. My concern is, does or will God forgive those that call him this (Jehovah) as His name, when they, in their heart truly believe this is His name? Grammar,it, along with false teachers, can be a dangerous avenue.

Come You Out! (author) on July 01, 2010:

Peace Maia...

Thank you for your visit to this Hub page and for your comment.


Come You Out! (author) on July 01, 2010:

Peace Howard...

Thank you for blessing this Hub page with your visit and your comment. However, the Canaanite-Hebrew letter HE = H before the noun YHWH in -JEREMIAH 8: 19 is the definite article (HYHWH).

In the ancient Canaanite-Hebrew and Punic-Hebrew language the letter HE (H)= pron. THE (definite article). Obs. In Punic-Hebrew the non-aspirated form '- of the article occurs in free distribution with H-.

1. With the noun.

2. Rendering the noun generic.

3. With the abstract noun.

4.With an adjective modifying a determined noun.

5. With demonstrative pronoun.

6. With the anaphoric pronoun.

7. With relative pronouns (in late Neo-Punic Hebrew only).

HE the 5th letter of the Hebrew alphabet = THE (pronounced HA- a definite article.


Howard on June 26, 2010:

The H in Jer 8:19 is not the definite article.

2022 ??? (h?-): pt. interrogative —LN 91 not translated, i.e., a marker to show a question is asked, which either a yes or no is possible, as a kind of marker of a transition within a discourse section (Ge 3:11)

Maia on November 30, 2009:

Then what is proper name of God? In Exodus God explicitly says this is my name forever. Does God just want us to call him God?

Come You Out! (author) on October 30, 2009:

Peace Andy Wyatt...

Thank you for your visit to this hub page and for your question. The original proper name is just the best!


Andy Wyatt on October 28, 2009:

Thanks for the info. So who's name will you be calling out when you need to be saved?

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