God’s Name

Q. Why do the Jewish congregations spell the name of Jehovah G-d?

A. It is forbidden for Jews to pronounce the name of God except for one day each year, on Yom Kippur. Many Jews extend that to writing it as well. Even though God and Lord are titles not names, they leave out the vowels when writing these words to avoid writing the full word and risking offense. Often in speaking of Him, they’ll say “haShem” which translates, “the Name.”

Even Jehovah and Yahweh are not God’s name. Every place the word LORD appears in your Bible all in caps, in Hebrew it reads JHVH or YHWH since J and Y, and V and W are equivalent. These four letters are God’s initials and are called the Tetragrammaton, or four letters. Early translators chose vowels from two of God’s Hebrew titles, e from Elohim (God) and a from Adonai (Lord) and o from both. They inserted them into the four initials to come up with a pronounceable English word. Thus we first had Jehovah and then later Yahweh. I’m told that God’s full name has not been spoken since the 3rd Century AD and has been lost to humanity. If true, then Scripture has been fulfilled. Jesus has become the name above all names.(Phil 2:9)

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