Quite often than not, members of the international body of Messiah are confronted with questions like, "What do you think about the Heavenly Father's name? Is it Jehovah? How do you say it?" Yet, we oftentimes find ourselves not answering these questions, because many of us just don't want to face such confrontations from our peers and family members; we simply want to live in peace with ourselves and our neighbors. Some might contend and say, "You just don't know!" The fact is that credible reference resources answers these questions, and individuals are just too lazy to look up this information for themselves.
According to the Jewish Encyclopedia, it states that "Peter Galatin, confessor to Pope Leo the 10th's as illustrated in the center, introduced Jehovah's name to mainstream Christendom back in 1518 when Galatin published "De Arcanis Catholicæ Veritatis." The vocalization that Galatin suggested is not correct. According to the Jewish Encyclopedia, it says that Jehovah as so many people vocalize is "[a] mispronunciation (introduced by Christian theologians, but almost entirely disregarded by the Jews) of the Hebrew "Yhwh," the (ineffable) name of G-d (the Tetragrammaton or "Shem ha-Meforash"). This pronunciation is grammatically impossible [...]" (Hirsch 1906). In fact, the Jewish Encyclopedia admits, "This name is commonly represented in modern translations by the form "Jehovah," which, however, is a philological impossibility" (McLaughlin & Eisenstein 1906).
How, then, did Galatin come up with vocalizing Jehovah as it is embraced by millions of Christians around the world? The New Advent, an online Catholic encyclopedia, admits, "Jehovah is composed of the abbreviated forms of the imperfect, the participle, and the perfect of the Hebrew verb "to be" (ye=yehi; ho=howeh; wa=hawah). According to this explanation, the meaning of Jehovah would be "he who will be, is, and has been". But such a word-formation has no analogy in the Hebrew language" (New Advent 2015). Worded simply, Galatin took the phonetic sounds he heard at certain points of each verbal participle from the Hebrew verb "to be" as it was said in Hebrew, took these sounds, placed them within the Tetragrammaton and invented this vocalization.
Consider Galatin's invention of vocalizing the Tetragrammaton as Jehovah. How is it exactly that he came up with this rendering? Well, he took rendering sounds and meshed them all together without following any Hebrew Grammatical rules.
If Jehovah is not the appropriate way of vocalizing the Creator's name, then what was it? Firstly, the very same Jewish Encyclopedia informs its readers of certain Hebrew Grammatical rules. It then stipulates, "If the explanation of the form above given be the true one, the original pronunciation must have been Yahweh [...]" (McLaughlin & Eisenstein 1906).
Now, you don't have to believe this account. If you like, you can go to another reputable reference and type the name of "Jehovah." If you were to input Jehovah into the Encyclopedia Britannica, you will soon take notice that Yahweh's name appears as the correct suggested search for the entry. If you cross-referenced the Oxford English Dictionary, you'll also come to learn the true origins as to how this vocalization came into being: "From medieval Latin Iehouah, Iehoua, from Hebrew YHWH or JHVH, the consonants of the name of G-d, with the inclusion of vowels taken from 'ăḏōnāy 'my lord'; see also Yahweh, Tetragrammaton" (OED 2015), the very same account that the Jewish Encyclopedia provides.
Whenever anyone calls out to Jehovah, that individual is actually calling out to an idol who's name was given in 1518, a deity unfamiliar to Israel. What says the Bible about the matter? "Pay close attention to all my instructions. You must not call on the name of any other gods. Do not even speak their names" (Exodus 23:13, NLT). Some might reason that the Jews do not say "Jehovah" because the vocalization of the Tetragrammaton was lost with time, but the fact of the matter is that Jehovah is not a proper Hebrew term at all! The interesting thing about this fact find is that mainstream Christendom reasons that Israel does not know G-d the way that the Roman Catholic Church (and much later, Protestants from different denominations) first defined it as a triune deity back in ca. 482 CE. In fact, they make it seem as if though this name along with the triune existence of their deity was a mystery revealed only to those who practiced First Century Christianity as it was established prior to the Reformation Period of human history.
Amazing how the authors of the Bible didn't know the Creator's name or who He was! Isn't it?
1. Hirsch, Emil G. "JewishEncyclopedia.com." Jehovah. N.p., 1906. Web. 18 Dec. 2015.
2. "Jehovah." Def. Origin. Http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/jehovah. N.d. Web.
3. Maas, Anthony. "Jehovah (Yahweh)." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 8. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. 18 Dec. 2015.
4. MacLaughlin, J. F., and Judah David Eisenstein. "JewishEncyclopedia.com." NAMES OF GOD. N.p., 1906. Web. 18 Dec. 2015.
5. Raphael. Portrait of Pope Leo X with Cardinals Giulio De’Medici and Luigi De’Rossi. ca. 1518. Uffizi Gallery, Florence. Khan Academy. Web. 18 Dec. 2015.
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