God’s Real Name

Q. I have enjoyed your article on the Lord’s Prayer. And though we, as believers, may call him “Father”, that is not His name. I first began this email by intending to cite scriptures where it mentions His wanting us to know Him by His name, but there were just too many of them. His name is YHWH. Some pronounce it “Jehovah”, but since there was no letter “J” in the Hebrew language, we call Him Yahweh. (The same is true of “Jesus” whose real Hebrew name was/is “Yeshua”.) Of course, this name was deleted from almost all scriptures and substituted with “LORD” because it was considered too sacred to pronounce. But, He wants the world to know His name and use it. So, when we pray “hallowed be thy name,” we are speaking of His name YAHWEH.


A. Yes God does have a name, but it’s not Jehovah or Yahweh. These names were created out of the four initials used to represent God’s name in the Old Testament. In the King James where the word LORD appears all in caps, you’ll find four Hebrew letters JHVH, (or YHWH) in the Hebrew text.

These four letters are called the tetragrammaton, which is Greek for “four letters”. In Hebrew they’re pronounced yod, he, wah, he, which probably gave rise to the “Yahweh” we use today.

Since Hebrew has no vowels. early English language translators added an E, an O, and an A, (vowels they took from from Elohim, a form of the Hebrew word meaning God and Adonai, Hebrew for Lord) to form the word Jehovah. Some Hebrew traditions claim that the four letters are God’s initials, standing for His real name which contains 72 syllables.

It was forbidden to write or even speak God’s actual name except for once a year on Yom Kippur when it was spoken 7 times. After the Temple was destroyed, the Yom Kippur ceremony gradually changed until the name of God ceased to be used.

It’s believed that His name hasn’t been spoken on Earth for about 1700 years. No one alive today knows it. Philippians 2: 9 says that Jesus, or if you prefer the Hebrew, Yeshua is now the name above all names. This is the name by which God chooses to be known.

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