Jehovah is German

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RobertPGH1981

Puritan Board Sophomore
This might not be news to some of you but its something I just learned today. I never understood why some people like to refer to God as Jehovah. Well its simply a transliteration from Hebrew into German. So if you say Jehovah you are speaking German.

Jehovah (/dʒɪˈhoʊvə/) is a Latinization of the Hebrew יְהֹוָה‎ Yəhōwā, one vocalization of the Tetragrammaton יהוה‎ (YHWH), the proper name of the God of Israel in the Hebrew Bible and is considered one of the seven names of God in Judaism. ... The derived forms Iehouah and Jehovah first appeared in the 16th century.

 

Gwallard

Puritan Board Freshman
It's not that simple, although German definitely comes into the picture!

How the Tetragrammaton is said with the Hebrew (Masoretic) vowel pointings you provided does actually say "Ye-ho-vah" basically. However, the yod-heh-waw-heh combination didn't sound like this to Moses. In the text, Hebrew was only consonants for millennia. The vowel pointings were added by the Masoretic tradition thousands of years later, and actually - because they didn't want the divine name said in vain - the Masorites didn't put the correct vowels for those consonants (I.e YHWH in English). They put the vowels for "Adonai" (Lord) under YHWH instead. YHWH + Adonai vowels = Jehovah.

But the yod being said as "J" is certainly German, and so is waw (said "vav"). German is basically a required language for Biblical scholars. Now there are computers, first there were Germans.
 

Romans922

Puritan Board Professor
This might not be news to some of you but its something I just learned today. I never understood why some people like to refer to God as Jehovah. Well its simply a transliteration from Hebrew into German. So if you say Jehovah you are speaking German.

Jehovah (/dʒɪˈhoʊvə/) is a Latinization of the Hebrew יְהֹוָה‎ Yəhōwā, one vocalization of the Tetragrammaton יהוה‎ (YHWH), the proper name of the God of Israel in the Hebrew Bible and is considered one of the seven names of God in Judaism. ... The derived forms Iehouah and Jehovah first appeared in the 16th century.


Yehovah, Iehovah, Jehovah are all the same. J is older modern English which had a y sound (or soft j sound).

If though we go with your reasoning, you will have to stop saying "Jesus" if we get the "J" from German that is...

The pronunciation of the divine name as "Jehovah" can be found as far back as the 7th century at least with little effort in looking.
 

Tom Hart

Puritan Board Senior
It is helpful to keep in mind that the letter J is not original to the Latin alphabet. What would often appear as I in classical Latin came to be represented afterwards by J, notably at the beginnings of words.

English has a peculiar habit of pronouncing that intitial I/J as . At a guess, this is imported from Norman French and subsequently modified. You see it all through English translations of the Bible, from Judah to Joshua to Jeremiah to Jesus. In German, meanwhile, the J is pronounced very like the Hebrew yod.
 

hLuke

Puritan Board Freshman
Using the same principle, then, the translation of the divine name, Yahweh, is more appropriately (in terms of modern English) rendered Jahweh.
Is this a different variation?
 

Tom Hart

Puritan Board Senior
Using the same principle, then, the translation of the divine name, Yahweh, is more appropriately (in terms of modern English) rendered Jahweh.
Is this a different variation?
Properly speaking, both renderings, "Jehovah" and "Yahweh", are not translations, but transliterations. (The Divine Name is not translatable.) Basically, "Jehovah" is a more antiquated transliteration; most scholars today agree that "Yahweh" is closer to the actual Hebrew pronunciation.

If we are comparing the English to the Hebrew, it can be pointed out that there is no phonetic equivalent in Hebrew to the English J.

To suggest a transliteration like "Jahweh" would be unusual. It blends a 17th-century rendering with a more modern one. The same scholarship that replaced the J with a Y also put in W for V, as well as substituting the vowel pointing.
 

hLuke

Puritan Board Freshman
Properly speaking, both renderings, "Jehovah" and "Yahweh", are not translations, but transliterations. (The Divine Name is not translatable.) Basically, "Jehovah" is a more antiquated transliteration; most scholars today agree that "Yahweh" is closer to the actual Hebrew pronunciation.

If we are comparing the English to the Hebrew, it can be pointed out that there is no phonetic equivalent in Hebrew to the English J.

To suggest a transliteration like "Jahweh" would be unusual. It blends a 17th-century rendering with a more modern one. The same scholarship that replaced the J with a Y also put in W for V, as well as substituting the vowel pointing.
Thanks Tom, that's helpful.
 

Stephen L Smith

Administrator
Staff member
Properly speaking, both renderings, "Jehovah" and "Yahweh", are not translations, but transliterations. (The Divine Name is not translatable.) Basically, "Jehovah" is a more antiquated transliteration; most scholars today agree that "Yahweh" is closer to the actual Hebrew pronunciation.
It is interesting that the Legacy Standard Bible, which I personally think will be an excellent translation, argues that Yahweh is the name that is properly ascribed to God. They seem quite dogmatic about this.

 

dnlcnwy

Puritan Board Freshman
I was of the understanding that to event speak the name of God was considered so presumptuous by the Hebrews that to do it was forbidden. Or am I getting my history from the wrong sources?
 

hLuke

Puritan Board Freshman
I was of the understanding that to event speak the name of God was considered so presumptuous by the Hebrews that to do it was forbidden. Or am I getting my history from the wrong sources?
I believe you're right. For Jews, God's name is considered too holy to utter, so they instead render it Adonai, which means Lord.
 

iainduguid

Puritan Board Sophomore
For those who missed it, there was a lengthy thread on the subject last year, which I found illuminating.

 

Stephen L Smith

Administrator
Staff member
As for pronunciation, I have heard arguments that the name should actually be pronounced with the last bit silent. E.G. "Yah-www"...

But the heart is what matters.
It;s ok Hayden. I was teasing about the 'Stralian language. As for me I come from one of the remote parts of New Zealand (the South Island's West Coast). I do not have a sophisticated accent :)
 

C. M. Sheffield

Puritan Board Graduate
I am English. I speak English. My English Bible has every Hebrew and Greek name in its anglicized form. The anglicized form of the Divine Name is "Jehovah". Any questions?
 

iainduguid

Puritan Board Sophomore
I am English. I speak English. My English Bible has every Hebrew and Greek name in its anglicized form. The anglicized form of the Divine Name is "Jehovah". Any questions?
This is a valid point (though it would be fair to add that there is more than one recognized English form of the name). It's hard to object to Jehovah, and still happily accept the names Jesus (Yeshua), Jerusalem (Yerushalayim) and James (ya'aqov). I'm comfortable with both versions as anglicizations. It only becomes problematic if people argue that Jehovah is the only proper name of God, or that using Jehovah is intrinsically better than "the Lord". The question of the original Hebrew pronunciation is really a separate (and quite complex) issue, which the thread I referenced explored in some detail, profitably in my view (I learned a lot from the interaction).
 

retroGRAD3

Puritan Board Sophomore
I believe you're right. For Jews, God's name is considered too holy to utter, so they instead render it Adonai, which means Lord.
I believe this is a much later tradition of the apostate Jews though. The authors of the bible and the holy spirit clearly did not have a problem with pronouncing the divine name.
 

iainduguid

Puritan Board Sophomore
I believe this is a much later tradition of the apostate Jews though. The authors of the bible and the holy spirit clearly did not have a problem with pronouncing the divine name.
One of the most obvious features of this discussion is the NT authors exclusive use of kurios (Lord) to translate the divine name when quoting the OT. In the Legacy Bible clip above, the contributors jokingly describe people saying "If it is good enough for the apostle Paul, it's good enough for me" and then move on as if that were a laughable proposition- but I think argument that should be seriously considered. If the inspired NT writers translate the divine name invariably as "the Lord", why would we adopt any other pattern in our own usage?
 

PointyHaired Calvinist

Puritan Board Sophomore
I for one prefer Yahweh but have no qualms with Jehovah. I used to skip over it on hymns due to scholarly pickiness and some Sacred Name influence. I think Jehovah is well enough established in English to keep the hymns and references. If teaching i might say Yahweh, but I’m probably singing Jehovah due to the hymns.
 

retroGRAD3

Puritan Board Sophomore
One of the most obvious features of this discussion is the NT authors exclusive use of kurios (Lord) to translate the divine name when quoting the OT. In the Legacy Bible clip above, the contributors jokingly describe people saying "If it is good enough for the apostle Paul, it's good enough for me" and then move on as if that were a laughable proposition- but I think argument that should be seriously considered. If the inspired NT writers translate the divine name invariably as "the Lord", why would we adopt any other pattern in our own usage?
This is an argument to consider, but then that discounts the entire old testament's extensive use of the divine name, does it not?
 
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