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Title: Tetragrammaton  
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The tetragrammaton in Paleo-Hebrew (10th century BCE to 135 CE), old Aramaic (10th century BCE to 4th century CE) and square Hebrew (3rd century BCE to present) scripts.

The tetragrammaton (from Greek τετραγράμματον, meaning "(consisting) of four letters")[1][2] is the Hebrew theonym יהוה, commonly transliterated into Latin letters as YHWH. It is one of the names of the national God of the Israelites used in the Hebrew Bible.[3][4][5]

Yahweh is the pronunciation of the transliteration YHWH most widely accepted by Hebrew scholars. The Samaritans understand the pronunciation to be iabe. Some patristic sources give evidence for a Greek spelling iaō.[6]

The name may be derived from a verb that means "to be", "exist", "become", or "come to pass".[1][7]

The books of the Torah and the rest of the Hebrew Bible (with the exception of Esther and Song of Songs) contain the Hebrew word יהוה. Religiously observant Jews and those who follow conservative Jewish traditions do not pronounce יהוה, either aloud or to themselves in silence, nor do they read aloud transliterated forms such as Yahweh; instead the word is substituted with a different term, whether used to address or to refer to the God of Israel. Common substitutions for Hebrew forms are hakadosh baruch hu ("The Holy One, Blessed Be He"), Adonai ("The Lord"),[6] or HaShem ("The Name").


  • Origins 1
    • Etymology 1.1
  • Pronunciation 2
    • Tiberian vocalization 2.1
      • Vowel points 2.1.1
      • Consonantal semi-vowels 2.1.2
    • Adonai 2.2
    • Jehovah 2.3
    • Yahweh 2.4
    • Theophoric names 2.5
  • Textual evidence 3
    • Mesha Stele 3.1
    • Scholarly texts of the Hebrew Bible 3.2
    • Leningrad Codex 3.3
    • Dead Sea Scrolls 3.4
      • The occurrence of the Tetragrammaton in some Manuscripts at Qumran 3.4.1
    • Magical papyri 3.5
    • Septuagint and other Greek translations 3.6
    • New Testament 3.7
    • Patristic writings 3.8
    • Peshitta 3.9
    • Vulgate 3.10
  • Usage in religious traditions 4
    • Judaism 4.1
      • Verbal prohibitions 4.1.1
      • Written prohibitions 4.1.2
      • Kabbalah 4.1.3
    • Samaritans 4.2
    • Christianity 4.3
      • Christian translations 4.3.1
      • Eastern Orthodoxy 4.3.2
      • Catholicism 4.3.3
  • See also 5
  • Notes 6
  • References 7



The letters, properly read from right to left (in Biblical Hebrew), are:

Hebrew Letter name Pronunciation
ו Waw , or placeholder for "O"/"U" vowel (see mater lectionis)
ה He (or often a silent letter at the end of a word)

Many scholars propose that the name "YHWH" is a verb form derived from the biblical Hebrew triconsonantal root היה (h-y-h), which means "to be", "become", "come to pass". It has הוה (h-w-h) as a variant form, with a third person masculine y- prefix.[7][8][9] It is connected to the passage in Exodus 3:14 in which God gives his name as אֶהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶה (Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh), where the verb, translated most basically as "I am that I am", or "I shall be what I shall be", "I shall be what I am"[10] or "I will become what I choose to become",[11] " I Will Become whatsoever I please".[12] יהוה with the vocalization "Yahweh" could theoretically be a hif'il (causative) verb inflection of root HWH, with a meaning something like "he who causes to exist" (the Creator) or "who gives life" (the root idea of the word being "to breathe", and hence, "to live").[13][14] As a qal (basic stem) verb inflection, it could mean "he who is, who exists".[8]


The pronunciation as it is vowel pointed in the Masoretic Text, the vast majority of scholars do not hold the pronunciation to be correct.

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The most widely accepted pronunciation of the tetragrammaton (YHWH) is Yahweh. Genebrardus suggested the pronunciation Jahve based on Theodoret's assertion that the Samaritans used the pronunciation Iabe. For most Jews, however, it was forbidden to pronounce or even write in full, the tetragrammaton.[6]

A. Lukyn Williams proposed the pronunciations of the tetragrammaton to be Yaho or Yahu based on theophoric names in the Hebrew Bible that end in YHW.[6]

The current scholarly consensus is that the vowel diacritic points attached to the written consonants YHWH in the Masoretic orthography of Biblical Hebrew were not intended to represent the vowels of such an authentic and historically correct pronunciation.

Tiberian vocalization

Vowel points

The original consonantal text of the Hebrew Bible was, several centuries later, provided with vowel marks by the Masoretes to assist reading. In places where the consonants of the text to be read (the Qere) differed from the consonants of the written text (the Kethib), they wrote the Qere in the margin as a note showing what was to be read. In such a case the vowels of the Qere were written on the Kethib. For a few frequent words the marginal note was omitted: this is called Q're perpetuum.

One of these frequent cases was the tetragrammaton, which according to later Jewish practices should not be pronounced, but read as "Adonai" ("My Lord"), or, if the previous or next word already was "" or "", as "" ("God"). This combination produces and respectively, non-words that would spell "yehovah" and "yehovih" respectively.

The oldest complete or nearly complete manuscripts of the Masoretic Text Hebrew Bible with Tiberian vocalization, such as the Aleppo Codex and the Codex Leningradensis, both of the 10th or 11th century CE, mostly write יְהוָה (yehvah), with no pointing on the first H; this could be because the o diacritic point plays no useful role in distinguishing between Adonai and Elohim (and so is redundant), or could point to the Qere being 'Shema', which is Aramaic for "the Name".

Consonantal semi-vowels

Transcription of the Divine Name as ΙΑΩ in the 1st-century BCE Septuagint manuscript 4Q120.

In ancient Hebrew, the letter ו, known to modern Hebrew speakers as vav, was a semivowel /w/ (as in English, not as in German) rather than a /v/.[15] The letter is referred to as waw in the academic world, and accordingly is represented in English academic texts as YHWH.

In unpointed Biblical Hebrew, most vowels are not written and the rest are written only ambiguously, as the vowel letters are also used as consonants (similar to the Latin use of V to indicate both U and V). See matres lectionis for details. For similar reasons, an appearance of the tetragrammaton in ancient Egyptian records of the 13th century BCE sheds no light on the original pronunciation.[16] Therefore, it is, in general, difficult to deduce how a word is pronounced from its spelling only, and the tetragrammaton is a particular example: two of its letters can serve as vowels, and two are vocalic place-holders, which are not pronounced. Thus 1st-century Jewish historian and philosopher Josephus said that the sacred name of God consists of "four vowels".[17]

This difficulty occurs somewhat also in Greek when transcribing Hebrew words, because of Greek's lack of a letter for consonant 'y' and (since loss of the digamma) of a letter for "w", forcing the Hebrew consonants yod and waw to be transcribed into Greek as vowels. Also, non-initial 'h' caused difficulty for Greeks and was liable to be omitted; χ (chi) was pronounced as 'k' + 'h' (as in modern Hindi "lakh", i.e., लाख) and could not be used to represent 'h' as in Modern Greek = "Harry", for example.


The spelling of the tetragrammaton and connected forms in the Hebrew Masoretic text of the Bible, with vowel points shown in red.

The vocalizations of (Yehowah) and (Adonai) are not identical. The schwa in YHWH (the vowel ְ under the first letter) and the hataf patakh in 'DNY (the vowel ֲ under its first letter) appear different. The vocalization can be attributed to Biblical Hebrew phonology,[18] where the hataf patakh is grammatically identical to a schwa, always replacing every schwa naḥ under a guttural letter. Since the first letter of is a guttural letter, while the first letter of is not, the hataf patakh under the (guttural) aleph reverts to a regular schwa under the (non-guttural) Yod.

The table below considers the vowel points for (Yehowah) and (Adonai), respectively:
Hebrew Word #3068
Hebrew Word #136
י Yod Y א Aleph glottal stop
ְ Simple Shewa E ֲ Hataf Patah A
ה Heh H ד Daleth D
ֹ Holem O ֹ Holem O
ו Waw W נ Nun N
ָ Kametz A ָ Kametz A
ה Heh H י Yod Y

Note in the table directly above that the "simple shewa" in Yehowah and the hatef patah in Adonai are not the same vowel. The same information is displayed in the table above and to the right where "YHWH intended to be pronounced as Adonai" and "Adonai, with its slightly different vowel points" are shown to have different vowel points.


"Jehovah" is a Latinization of the Hebrew יְהֹוָה, a vocalization of the tetragrammaton.[19]

Most scholars believe "Jehovah" to be a late (c. 1100 CE) hybrid form derived by combining the Latin letters JHVH with the vowels of Adonai, but there is some evidence that it may already have been in use in Late Antiquity (5th century).[20][21][22] The consensus among scholars is that the historical vocalization of the tetragrammaton at the time of the redaction of the Torah (6th century BCE) is most likely Yahweh, however there is disagreement. The historical vocalization was lost because in Second Temple Judaism, during the 3rd to 2nd centuries BCE, the pronunciation of the tetragrammaton came to be avoided, being substituted with Adonai ("my Lord").

"Jehovah" was popularized in the English-speaking world by William Tyndale and other pioneer English Protestant translations such as the Geneva Bible and the King James Version[23] and is still used in the New World Translation. But it is no longer used in most mainstream English translations, with Lord or LORD usually used instead, generally indicating that the corresponding Hebrew is YHWH or Yehowah.[24][25]:5


William Gesenius's Hebrew punctuation (i.e., Yahweh)

The Hebrew scholar Wilhelm Gesenius [1786–1842] suggested that the Hebrew punctuation , which is transliterated into English as "Yahweh", might more accurately represent the pronunciation of the tetragrammaton than the Biblical Hebrew punctuation "", from which the English name "Jehovah" has been derived. His proposal to read YHWH as "יַהְוֶה" (see image to the left) was based in large part on various Greek transcriptions, such as ιαβε, dating from the first centuries CE, but also on the forms of theophoric names. In his Hebrew Dictionary, Gesenius supports "Yahweh" (which would have been pronounced [jahwe], with the final letter being silent) because of the Samaritan pronunciation reported by Theodoret, and that the theophoric name prefixes YHW [jeho] and YH [jo] can be explained from the form "Yahweh".[26] Today many scholars accept Gesenius's proposal to read YHWH as יַהְוֶה. Gesenius' proposal gradually became accepted as the best scholarly reconstructed vocalized Hebrew spelling of the tetragrammaton.[27]

Theophoric names

Yeho or "Yehō-" is the prefix form of "YHWH" used in Hebrew theophoric names; the suffix form "Yahū" or "-Yehū" is just as common. This has caused two opinions:

  1. In former times (at least from c.1650 CE), the prefix pronunciation "Yehō-" was sometimes connected with the full pronunciation "Yehova" derived from combining the Masoretic vowel points for "Adonai" with the consonantal tetragrammaton YHWH.
  2. Recently that, as "Yahweh" is likely an imperfective verb form, "Yahu" is its corresponding preterite or jussive short form: compare yiŝtahaweh (imperfective), yiŝtáhû (preterit or jussive short form) = "do obeisance".[28]

Those who argue for argument 1 above are: Biblical Archaeology Review; Smith's 1863 A Dictionary of the Bible;[29] Section # 2.1 The Analytical Hebrew & Chaldee Lexicon (1848)[30] in its article .

The second argument is supported on grammatical grounds, because shortening to "Yahw" would end up as "Yahu" or similar, and forms like Yo (יוֹ) contracted from Yeho (יְהוֹ) and the suffix "-yah",[13] as well as "Yeho-" or "Yo"[31] can most readily be explained as derivatives of "Yahweh" rather than from "Yehovah".

Textual evidence

Mesha Stele

The Mesha Stele bears the earliest known reference (840 BCE) to the Israelite God Yahweh.

The oldest known inscription of the tetragrammaton dates to 840 BCE, on the Mesha Stele. It bears the earliest certain extra-biblical reference to the Israelite God Yahweh.[32] The most recent discovery of a tetragrammaton inscription, dating to the 6th century BCE, was found written in Hebrew on two silver scrolls recovered from Jerusalem.[1]

Scholarly texts of the Hebrew Bible

In the Hebrew Bible, the tetragrammaton occurs 6,828 times,[1]:142 as can be seen in the Biblia Hebraica and Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia.[33] In addition, on the margins there are notes (Masorah [note 1]) indicating that in 134 places the Jewish Sopherim (scribes) altered the original Hebrew text from YHWH to Adonai[34][note 2][35][36] and 8 places to Elohim,[37] which would add 142 occurrences to the initial number above.[38] The occurrence of the divine name in Zechariah 9:4 in the 8HevXII b (LXXVTS10b) fragment confirms these alterations.[39] According to the Brown-Driver-Briggs Lexicon, (Qr ) occurs 6,518 times, and (Qr ) occurs 305 times in the Masoretic Text. It first appears in Hebrew in Genesis 2:4.[33][40] The only books it does not appear in are Ecclesiastes, the Book of Esther, and Song of Songs.[1]

In the Book of Esther the Tetragrammaton does not appear, but it is present in four different places as an acrostic in the Hebrew text: the initial letters of four successive words comprise YHWH. These letters were distinguished in at least three ancient Hebrew manuscripts in red.[41][note 3] Another acrostic containing the Tetragrammaton also composed the first four words of Psalm 96:11.[42]

Short form Jah occurs 50 times:[43] 43 times in the Psalms, one in Exodus 15:2; 17:16; Isaiah 12:2; 26:4, and twice in Isaiah 38:11. In the Song of Songs 8:6 as a component expressions šalehebeteja, "the flame of Jah".[44] Jah appears in the abbreviated form Yah in the Greek word Ἀλληλουϊά (hallelujah) in Revelation 19:1–6..

God's name is also found in the Bible as a component in theophoric Hebrew names. Some may have had at the beginning of the form: jô- or jehô- (29 names), and the other at the end: jāhû- or jāh- (127 names). One name is a form of jehô as the second syllable (Elioenaj, hebr. ʼelj(eh)oʻenaj[45]). Onomastic Studies indicate that teoforic names containing the Tetragrammaton were very popular during the monarchy (8th-7th centuries BCE).[note 4] The popular names with the prefix jô-/jehô- diminished, while the suffix jāhû-/jāh- increased.[46] The Septuagint typically translates YHWH as kyrios, that means "Lord".[1]

Below are the number of occurrences of the Tetragrammaton in various books in the Masoretic text.[47]

Leningrad Codex

Six Hebrew spellings of the tetragrammaton are found in the Leningrad Codex of 1008–1010, as shown below. The entries in the Close Transcription column are not intended to indicate how the name was intended to be pronounced by the Masoretes, but only how the word would be pronounced if read without q're perpetuum.

Chapter & Verse Hebrew Spelling Close transcription Ref. Explanation
Genesis 2:4
This is the first occurrence of the tetragrammaton in the Hebrew Bible and shows the most common set of vowels used in the Masoretic text. It is the same as the form used in Genesis 3:14 below, but with the dot over the holam/waw left out, because it is a little redundant.
Genesis 3:14
This is a set of vowels used rarely in the Masoretic text, and are essentially the vowels from Adonai (with the hataf patah reverting to its natural state as a shewa).
Judges 16:28
When the tetragrammaton is preceded by Adonai, it receives the vowels from the name Elohim instead. The hataf segol does not revert to a shewa because doing so could lead to confusion with the vowels in Adonai.
Genesis 15:2
Just as above, this uses the vowels from Elohim, but like the second version, the dot over the holam/waw is omitted as redundant.
1 Kings 2:26
Here, the dot over the holam/waw is present, but the hataf segol does get reverted to a shewa.
Ezekiel 24:24
Here, the dot over the holam/waw is omitted, and the hataf segol gets reverted to a shewa.

ĕ is hataf segol; ǝ is the pronounced form of plain shewa.

The o diacritic dot over the letter waw is often omitted because it plays no useful role in distinguishing between the two intended pronunciations Adonai and Elohim (which both happen to have an o vowel in the same position).

Dead Sea Scrolls

In the Dead Sea Scrolls and other Hebrew and Aramaic texts the tetragrammaton and some other names of God in Judaism (such as El or Elohim) were sometimes written in paleo-Hebrew script, showing that they were treated specially. Most of God's names were pronounced until about the 2nd century BC. Then, as a tradition of non-pronunciation of the names developed, alternatives for the tetragrammaton appeared, such as Adonai, Kurios and Theos.[54] The 4Q120, a Greek fragment of Leviticus (26:2-16) discovered in the Dead Sea scrolls (Qumran) has ιαω ("Iao"), the Greek form of the Hebrew trigrammaton YHW.[55] The historian John the Lydian (6th century) wrote: "The Roman Varo [116–27 BCE] defining him [that is the Jewish god] says that he is called Iao in the Chaldean mysteries" (De Mensibus IV 53). Van Cooten mentions that Iao is one of the "specifically Jewish designations for God" and "the Aramaic papyri from the Jews at Elephantine show that 'Iao' is an original Jewish term".[56][57]

The preserved manuscripts from Qumran show the inconsistent practice of writing the tetragrammaton, mainly in biblical quotations: in some manuscripts is written in palaeo-Hebrew script, square scripts or replaced with four dots or dashes (tetrapuncta).

The members of the Qumran community were aware of the existence of the tetragrammaton, but this was not tantamount to granting consent for its existing use and speaking. This is evidenced not only by special treatment of the tetragrammaton in the text, but by the recommendation recorded in the 'Rule of Association' (VI, 27): "Who will remember the most glorious name, which is above all [...]".[58]

The table below presents all the manuscripts in which the tetragrammaton is written in palaeo-Hebrew script,[note 5] in square scripts, and all the manuscripts in which the copyists have used tetrapuncta.

Copyists used the 'tetrapuncta' apparently to warn against pronouncing the name of God.[59] In the manuscript number 4Q248 is in the form of bars.

1Q11 (1QPsb) 2–5 3 (link: [1]) 2Q13 (2QJer) (link: [2]) 1QS VIII 14 (link: [3])
1Q14 (1QpMic) 1–5 1, 2 (link: [4]) 4Q27 (4QNumb) (link: [5]) 1QIsaa XXXIII 7, XXXV 15 (link: [6])
1QpHab VI 14; X 7, 14; XI 10 (link: [7]) 4Q37 (4QDeutj) (link: [8]) 4Q53 (4QSamc) 13 III 7, 7 (link: [9])
1Q15 (1QpZeph) 3, 4 (link: [10]) 4Q78 (4QXIIc) (link: [11]) 4Q175 (4QTest) 1, 19
2Q3 (2QExodb) 2 2; 7 1; 8 3 (link: [12] [13]) 4Q96 (4QPso (link: [14]) 4Q176 (4QTanḥ) 1–2 i 6, 7, 9; 1–2 ii 3; 8–10 6, 8, 10 (link: [15])
3Q3 (3QLam) 1 2 (link: [16]) 4Q158 (4QRPa) (link: [17]) 4Q196 (4QpapToba ar) 17 i 5; 18 15 (link: [18])
4Q20 (4QExodj) 1–2 3 (link: [19]) 4Q163 (4Qpap pIsac) I 19; II 6; 15–16 1; 21 9; III 3, 9; 25 7 (link: [20]) 4Q248 (history of the kings of Greece) 5 (link: [21])
4Q26b (4QLevg) linia 8 (link: [22]) 4QpNah (4Q169) II 10 (link: [23]) 4Q306 (4QMen of People Who Err) 3 5 (link: [24])
4Q38a (4QDeutk2) 5 6 (link: [25]) 4Q173 (4QpPsb) 4 2 (link: [26]) 4Q382 (4QparaKings et al.) 9+11 5; 78 2
4Q57 (4QIsac) (link: [27]) 4Q177 (4QCatena A) (link: [28]) 4Q391 (4Qpap Pseudo-Ezechiel) 36, 52, 55, 58, 65 (link: [29])
4Q161 (4QpIsaa) 8–10 13 (link: [30]) 4Q215a (4QTime of Righteousness) (link: [31]) 4Q462 (4QNarrative C) 7; 12 (link: [32])
4Q165 (4QpIsae) 6 4 (link: [33]) 4Q222 (4QJubg) (link: [34]) 4Q524 (4QTb)) 6–13 4, 5 (link: [35])
4Q171 (4QpPsa) II 4, 12, 24; III 14, 15; IV 7, 10, 19 (link: [36]) 4Q225 (4QPsJuba) (link: [37]) XḤev/SeEschat Hymn (XḤev/Se 6) 2 7
11Q2 (11QLevb) 2 2, 6, 7 (link: [38]) 4Q365 (4QRPc) (link: [39])
11Q5 (11QPsa)[60] (link: [40]) 4Q377 (4QApocryphal Pentateuch B) 2 ii 3, 5 (link: [41])
4Q382 (4Qpap paraKings) (link: [42])
11Q6 (11QPsb) (link: [43])
11Q7 (11QPsc) (link: [44])
11Q19 (11QTa)
11Q20 (11QTb) (link: [45])
11Q11 (11QapocrPs) (link: [46])

The occurrence of the Tetragrammaton in some Manuscripts at Qumran

The date of composition is an estimate according to Peter Muchowski, as found in "Commentaries to the Manuscripts of the Dead Sea" by Emmanuel Tov in "Scribal Practices and Approaches, Reflected in the Texts Found in the Judean Desert".

Manuscripts in blue have written the Tetragrammaton in tetrapuncta
Manuscripts in green have written the Tetragrammaton in palaeo-Hebrew
Manuscripts in red have written the Tetragrammaton in square characters

The numbers on the horizontal line are the approximate year the manuscripts was produced.

Magical papyri

The spellings of the tetragrammaton occur among the many combinations and permutations of names of powerful agents that occur in Jewish magical papyri found in Egypt.[61] One of these forms is the heptagram .[62] In the Jewish magical papyri, Iave and Yaba occurs frequently.[31]

Yawe is found in an Ethiopic Christian list of magical names of Jesus, purporting to have been taught by him to his disciples.[31]

Septuagint and other Greek translations

Tetragrammaton written in palaeo-Hebrew script on 8HevXII

The oldest complete Septuagint (Greek Old Testament) versions, from around the 2nd century CE, consistently use ("Lord"),[63] or ("God"),[64][65] where the Hebrew has YHWH, corresponding to substituting Adonay for YHWH in reading the original. The use of for translating YHWH was not common in LXX mss before that time.[66] In books written in Greek in this period (e.g., Wisdom, 2 and 3 Maccabees), as in the New Testament, takes the place of the name of God. However, the oldest fragments had the tetragrammaton in Hebrew or Paleo-Hebrew characters,[67] with the exception of P. Ryl. 458 (perhaps the oldest extant Septuagint manuscript) where there are blank spaces, leading some scholars such as C. H. Roberts to believe that it contained letters.[68] According to Paul E. Kahle, the tetragrammaton must have been written in the manuscript where these breaks or blank spaces appear.[69] Another one of these oldest fragments of manuscripts cannot be used in discussions because, in addition to its small text and its fragmentary condition, it does not include any Hebrew Bible verses where the Tetragrammaton appears.

Throughout the Septuagint as now known, the word Κύριος (Kyrios) without the definite article is used to represent the Divine Name, but it is uncertain whether this was the Septuagint's original rendering.[70] Origen (Commentary on Psalms 2.2) and Jerome (Prologus Galeatus) said that in their time the best manuscripts gave not the word Κύριος but the tetragrammaton itself written in an older form of the Hebrew characters.[71] No Jewish manuscript of the Septuagint has been found with Κύριος representing the tetragrammaton, and it has been argued, not altogether convincingly, that the use of the word Κύριος shows that the Septuagint as now known is of Christian character,[72] and even that the composition of the New Testament preceded the change to Κύριος in the Septuagint.[73] The use of Κύριος throughout to represent the tetragrammaton has been called "a distinguishing mark for any Christian LXX manuscript".[74]

In some earlier copies of the Septuagint, the tetragrammaton in either Hebrew or palaeo-Hebrew letters is used. The tetragrammaton occurs in the following texts:

  • Papyrus Rylands 458 – contains fragments of Deuteronomy. Has blank spaces where the copyist probably had to write the tetragrammaton. It has been dated to 2nd century BCE.
  • Papyrus Fouad 266b (848) – contains fragments of Deuteronomy, chapters 10 to 33, dated to 1st century BCE.[75] Apparently the first copyist left a blank space and marked with a dot, and the other inscribed letters, but not all scholars agree to this view.
  • Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 3522 – contains chapter 42 of the Book of Job and the tetragrammaton written in palaeohebrew letters. It has been dated to the 1st century BCE.
  • 8HevXII gr – dated to the 1st century CE, includes three fragments published separately.
  • Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 5101 – contains fragments of the Book of Psalms. It has been dated between year 50 and 150 CE
  • 4QpapLXXLevb – contains fragments of the Book of Leviticus, chapters 1 to 5. In two verses: 3:12; 4:27 the tetragrammaton appears in the form ΙΑΩ. This manuscript is dated to the 1st century BCE.
  • Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 656 – containing fragments of the Book of Genesis, chapters 14 to 27. A second copyist wrote Kyrios. It is dated to the late 2nd or early 3rd century CE.
  • Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 1007 – this manuscript in vitela form contains Genesis 2 y 3. The Divine Name is witten with a double yodh. It has been assigned palaeographically to the 3rd century.
  • Papyrus Berlin 17213 – containing fragments of the Book of Genesis, chapter 19. Contains a blank space for the name of God apparently, although Emanuel Tov thinks that it is a free space ending paragraph.[76] It has been dated to 3rd century CE.
  • Taylor-Schechter 16.320 – tetragrammaton in Hebrew, 550 - 649 CE.
  • Codex Marchalianus – has the Divine Name on marginal notes in Greek letters ΠΙΠΙ, and is the only another mss. with ΙΑΩ. It is a 6th-century Greek manuscript.
  • Taylor-Schechter 12.182 – a Hexapla manuscript with tetragrammaton in Greek letters ΠΙΠΙ. It is from 7th-century.
  • Ambrosiano O 39 sup. – the latest Greek manuscript containing the name of God is Origen's Hexapla, transmitting among other translations the text of the Septuagint. This codex comes from the late 9th century, and is stored in the Biblioteca Ambrosiana.

In some earlier Greek copies of the Bible translated in the 2nd century CE by Symmachus the Ebionite and Aquila of Sinope, the tetragrammaton occurs. The following manuscripts contain the Divine Name:

  • Papyrus Vindobonensis Greek 39777, the P.Vindob.G.39777 – dated to late 3rd century or beginning 4th century.
  • AqTaylor, this is a Septuagint manuscript dated after the middle of the 5th century, but not later than the beginning of the 6th century.
  • AqBurkitt – a palimpsest manuscript of the Septuagint dated late 5th century or early 6th century.

Sidney Jellicoe concluded that "Kahle is right in holding that LXX [Septuagint] texts, written by Jews for Jews, retained the Divine Name in Hebrew Letters (palaeo-Hebrew or Aramaic) or in the Greek-letters imitative form ΠΙΠΙ, and that its replacement by Κύριος was a Christian innovation".[77] Jellicoe draws together evidence from a great many scholars (B. J. Roberts, Baudissin, Kahle and C. H. Roberts) and various segments of the Septuagint to draw the conclusions that the absence of "Adonai" from the text suggests that the insertion of the term Kyrios was a later practice; in the Septuagint Kyrios is used to substitute YHWH; and the tetragrammaton appeared in the original text, but Christian copyists removed it.

Eusebius and Jerome (translator of the Latin Vulgate) used the Hexapla. Both attest to the importance of the sacred Name and that some manuscripts of Septuagint contained the tetragrammaton in Hebrew letters.[78] This is further affirmed by The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, which states "Recently discovered texts doubt the idea that the translators of the LXX (Septuagint) have rendered the tetragrammaton JHWH with KYRIOS. The most ancient mss (manuscripts) of the LXX today available have the tetragrammaton written in Hebrew letters in the Greek text. This was a custom preserved by the later Hebrew translator of the Old Testament in the first centuries (after Christ)"[79]

New Testament

No Greek manuscript of the New Testament uses the tetragrammaton.[80]:77 In all its quotations of Old Testament texts that have the tetragrammaton in Hebrew the New Testament uses the Greek word Κύριος (Kyrios). However, within the New Testament the name that the tetragrammaton represents underlies the names of some of the people mentioned (such as Zachary and Elijah), and the name appears in the abbreviated form Yah in the Greek word Ἀλληλουϊά (Alleluia) in Revelation 19:1–6.

In 1977, Professor George Howard in the pages of the Journal of Biblical Literature published a thesis of the presence of the Tetragrammaton in the biblical quotations cited by the writers of the New Testament.[81] Gives two sets of evidence:

  1. In some pre-Christian manuscripts of the Greek version of the Hebrew Bible was left Tetragrammaton (Papyrus Fouad 266; fragments of the scroll 8HevXII gr, (LXXVTS 10a, LXXVTS 10b, Se2grXII) containing the Twelve Prophets found in Nahal Hever, 4QLXXLevb) and other Jewish translations of the Hebrew Bible into Greek, represented by translations of Aquila, Theodotion and Symmachus;
  1. Nomina sacra (ΚΣ and ΘΣ) occurring in the early copies of the LXX in place of the Tetragrammaton, apparently created by the Christians of pagan origin. They knew Hebrew and it was difficult to them to save the Tetragrammaton. So they decided to use the shortened ΚΣ (κυριος – Lord) and ΘΣ (θεος – God), conformable them in this way to the original spelling of the Tetragrammaton. It is not known whether and how this practice was influenced by the later trinitarian debates.

Patristic writings

Petrus Alfonsi's early 12th-century Tetragrammaton-Trinity diagram, rendering the name as "JEVE"
Tetragrammaton at the 5th Chapel of the Palace of Versailles, France. This example has the vowel points of "Elohim".

According to the Catholic Encyclopedia (1910) and B.D. Eerdmans:[82][83]:330

  • Diodorus Siculus (1st century BCE) writes[84] (Iao);
  • Irenaeus (d. c. 202) reports[85] that the Gnostics formed a compound (Iaoth) with the last syllable of Sabaoth. He also reports[86] that the Valentinian heretics use (Iao);
  • Clement of Alexandria (d. c. 215)[87] writes (Iaou)—see also below;
  • Origen of Alexandria (d. c. 254), (Iao);[88]
  • Porphyry (d. c. 305) according to Eusebius (died 339),[89] (Ieuo);
  • Epiphanius (died 404), who was born in Palestine and spent a considerable part of his life there, gives (Ia) and (Iabe) and explains Ἰάβε as meaning He who was and is and always exists.[90]
  • (Pseudo-)Jerome (4th/5th century),[91] (tetragrammaton) can be read Iaho;
  • Theodoret (d. c. 457) writes (Iao);[92] he also reports[93] that the Samaritans say or (both pronounced at that time /ja'vε/), while the Jews say (Aia).[31] (The latter is probably not but Ehyeh = "I am " or "I will be", Exod. 3:14 which the Jews counted among the names of God.)
  • James of Edessa (died 708),[94] Jehjeh;
  • Jerome (died 420)[95] speaks of certain Greek writers who misunderstood the Hebrew letters (read right-to-left) as the Greek letters (read left-to-right), thus changing YHWH to pipi.
A window featuring the Hebrew tetragrammaton in St. Charles's Church, Vienna.


The Peshitta (Syriac translation), probably in the 2nd century AD,[96] uses the word "Lord" (, pronounced moryo) for the Tetragrammaton.[97]


The Vulgate (Latin translation) made from the Hebrew in the 4th century AD,[98] uses the word "Lord" () for the Tetragrammaton.[97]

The Vulgate translation, though made not from the Septuagint but from the Hebrew text, did not depart from the practice used in the Septuagint. Thus, for most of its history, Christianity's translations of the Scriptures have used equivalents of Adonai to represent the tetragrammaton. Only at about the beginning of the 16th century did Christian translations of the Bible appear with transliterations of the tetragrammaton.[23][99]

Usage in religious traditions


Especially due to the existence of the Mesha Stele, the Jahwist tradition found in Exod. 3:15, and ancient Hebrew and Greek texts, biblical scholars widely hold that the tetragrammaton and other names of God were spoken by the ancient Israelites and their neighbors.[13][100][101]:40

Some time after the destruction of Solomon's Temple, the spoken use of God's name as it was written ceased among the people, even though knowledge of the pronunciation was perpetuated in rabbinic schools.[31] Philo calls it ineffable, and says that it is lawful for those only whose ears and tongues are purified by wisdom to hear and utter it in a holy place (that is, for priests in the Temple). In another passage, commenting on Lev. xxiv. 15 seq.: "If any one, I do not say should blaspheme against the Lord of men and gods, but should even dare to utter his name unseasonably, let him expect the penalty of death."[31]

Rabbinic sources suggest that the name of God was pronounced only once a year, by the high priest, on the Day of Atonement.[102] Others, including Maimonides,[103] claim that the name was pronounced daily in the liturgy of the Temple in the priestly benediction of worshippers (Num. vi. 27), after the daily sacrifice; in the synagogues, though, a substitute (probably "Adonai") was used.[31]> According to the Talmud, in the last generations before the fall of Jerusalem, the name was pronounced in a low tone so that the sounds were lost in the chant of the priests.[31] Since the destruction of Second Temple of Jerusalem in 70 CE, the tetragrammaton has no longer been pronounced in the liturgy. However the pronunciation was still known in Babylonia in the latter part of the 4th century.[31]

Verbal prohibitions

The vehemence with which the utterance of the name is denounced in the Mishna suggests that use of Yahweh was unacceptable in rabbinical Judaism. "He who pronounces the Name with its own letters has no part in the world to come!"[31] Such is the prohibition of pronouncing the Name as written that it is sometimes called the "Ineffable", "Unutterable" or "Distinctive Name".[104][105][106]

Halakha (Jewish Law) prescribes that whereas the Name written yud-hei-vav-hei, it is only to be pronounced "Adonai;" and the latter name too is regarded as a holy name, and is only to be pronounced in prayer.[107][108] Thus when someone wants to refer in third person to either the written or spoken Name, the term "HaShem" ("the Name") is used;[109][110] and this handle itself can also be used in prayer.[111] The Masoretes added vowel points (niqqud) and cantillation marks to the manuscripts to indicate vowel usage and for use in ritual chanting of readings from the Bible in synagogue services. To they added the vowels for "" ("My Lord"), the word to use when the text was read. While "HaShem" is the most common way to reference "the Name," the terms "HaMaqom" (lit. "The Place," i.e. "The Omnipresent") and "Raḥmana" (Aramaic, "Merciful") are used in the mishna and gemara, still used in the phrases "HaMaqom y'naḥem ethḥem" ("may The Omnipresent console you"), the traditional phrase used in the Jewish mourning house and "Raḥmana l'tzlan" ("may the Merciful save us" i.e. "God forbid").

Written prohibitions

The written tetragrammaton,[112] as well as six other names of God, must be treated with special sanctity. They cannot be disposed of regularly, lest they be desecrated, but are usually put in long term storage or buried in Jewish cemeteries in order to retire them from use.[113] Similarly, it is prohibited to write the tetragrammaton (or these other names) unnecessarily. In order to guard the sanctity of the Name sometimes a letter is substituted by a different letter in writing (e.g. יקוק), or the letters are separated by one or more hyphens.

Some Jews are stringent and extend the above safeguard by also not writing out other names of God in other languages, for example writing "God" in English as written "G-d," and so forth. However this is beyond the letter of the law.


Kabbalistic tradition holds that the correct pronunciation is known to a select few people in each generation, it is not generally known what this pronunciation is. In late kabbalistic works the tetragrammaton is sometimes referred to as the name of Havayah—, meaning "the Name of Being/Existence." This name also helps when one needs to refer specifically to the written Name; similarly, "Shem Adonoot," meaning "the Name of Lordship" can be used to refer to the spoken name "Adonai" specifically.

Moshe Chaim Luzzatto,[114] says that the tree of the tetragrammaton "unfolds" in accordance with the intrinsic nature of its letters, "in the same order in which they appear in the Name, in the mystery of ten and the mystery of four." Namely, the upper cusp of the Yod is Arich Anpin and the main body of Yod is and Abba; the first Hei is Imma; the Vav is Ze`ir Anpin and the second Hei is Nukvah. It unfolds in this aforementioned order and "in the mystery of the four expansions" that are constituted by the following various spellings of the letters:

ע"ב/`AV : יו"ד ה"י וי"ו ה"י, so called "`AV" according to its gematria value ע"ב=70+2=72.

ס"ג/SaG: יו"ד ה"י וא"ו ה"י, gematria 63.

מ"ה/MaH: יו"ד ה"א וא"ו ה"א, gematria 45.

ב"ן/BaN: יו"ד ה"ה ו"ו ה"ה, gematria 52.

Luzzatto summarizes, "In sum, all that exists is founded on the mystery of this Name and upon the mystery of these letters of which it consists. This means that all the different orders and laws are all drawn after and come under the order of these four letters. This is not one particular pathway but rather the general path, which includes everything that exists in the Sefirot in all their details and which brings everything under its order."[114]

Another parallel is drawn between the four letters of the tetragrammaton and the Four Worlds: the י is associated with Atziluth, the first ה with Beri'ah, the ו with Yetzirah, and final ה with Assiah.

A tetractys of the letters of the Tetragrammaton adds up to 72 by gematria.

There are some who believe that the tetractys and its mysteries influenced the early kabbalists. A Hebrew tetractys in a similar way has the letters of the tetragrammaton (the four lettered name of God in Hebrew scripture) inscribed on the ten positions of the tetractys, from right to left. It has been argued that the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, with its ten spheres of emanation, is in some way connected to the tetractys, but its form is not that of a triangle. The occult writer Dion Fortune says:

"The point is assigned to Kether;
the line to Chokmah;
the two-dimensional plane to Binah;
consequently the three-dimensional solid naturally falls to Chesed."[115]

(The first three-dimensional solid is the tetrahedron.)

The relationship between geometrical shapes and the first four Sephirot is analogous to the geometrical correlations in tetractys, shown above under Pythagorean Symbol, and unveils the relevance of the Tree of Life with the tetractys.


The Samaritans shared the taboo of the Jews about the utterance of the name, and there is no evidence that its pronunciation was common Samaritan practice.[31][116] However Sanhedrin 10:1 includes the comment of Rabbi Mana "for example those Kutim who take an oath" would also have no share in the world to come, which suggests that Mana thought some Samaritans used the name in making oaths. (Their priests have preserved a liturgical pronunciation "Yahwe" or "Yahwa" to the present day.)[31] As with Jews, the Aramaic ha-Shema (השמא "the Name") remains the everyday usage of the name among Samaritans, akin to Hebrew "the Name" (Hebrew השם "HaShem").[109]


Tetragrammaton by Francisco Goya: "The Name of God", YHWH in triangle, detail from fresco Adoration of the Name of God, 1772.
The tetragrammaton as represented in stained glass in an 1868 Episcopal Church in Iowa

It is assumed that early Jewish Christians inherited from Jews the practice of reading "Lord" where the tetragrammaton appeared in the Hebrew text, or where a tetragrammaton may have been marked in a Greek text. Gentile Christians, primarily non-Hebrew speaking and using Greek texts, may have read "Lord" as it occurred in the Greek text of the New Testament and their copies of the Greek Old Testament. This practice continued into the Latin Vulgate where "Lord" represented the tetragrammaton in the Latin text. In Petrus Alphonsi's Tetragrammaton-Trinity diagram, the name is written as "Jeve." At the Reformation, the Luther Bible used "Jehova" in the German text of Luther's Old Testament.[117]

Christian translations

As mentioned above, the Septuagint (Greek translation), the Vulgate (Latin translation), and the Peshitta (Syriac translation)[97] use the word "Lord" (, kyrios, , and , moryo respectively).

Use of the Septuagint by Christians in polemics with Jews led to its abandonment by the latter, making it a specifically Christian text. From it Christians made translations into Coptic, Arabic, Slavonic and other languages used in Oriental Orthodoxy and the Eastern Orthodox Church,[70][118] whose liturgies and doctrinal declarations are largely a cento of texts from the Septuagint, which they consider to be inspired at least as much as the Masoretic Text.[70][119] Within the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Greek text remains the norm for texts in all languages, with particular reference to the wording used in prayers.[120][121]

The Septuagint, with its use of Κύριος to represent the tetragrammaton, was the basis also for Christian translations associated with the West, in particular the Vetus Itala, which survives in some parts of the liturgy of the Latin Church, and the Gothic Bible.

Christian translations of the Bible into English commonly use "LORD" in place of the tetragrammaton in most passages, often in small capitals (or in all caps), so as to distinguish it from other words translated as "Lord".

  • In the Emphatic Diaglott (1864) a translation of the New Testament by Benjamin Wilson, the name Jehovah appears eighteen times.
  • The Bible In Basic English (1949/1964) uses "Yahweh" eight times,[122] including Exodus 6:2–3.
  • The Jerusalem Bible (1966) uses "Yahweh" in 6,823 places in the Old Testament.
  • The New English Bible (NT 1961, OT 1970) generally uses the word "LORD" but uses "JEHOVAH" several times.[123] For examples of both forms, see Exodus Chapter 3 and footnote to verse 15.
  • The New Jerusalem Bible (1985) uses "Yahweh" in 6,823 places in the Old Testament.
  • The Amplified Bible (1954/1987). At Exodus 6:3 the AB says "but by My name the Lord [Yahweh—the redemptive name of God] I did not make Myself known to them."
  • The Living Bible (1971). "Jehovah" or "Lord".[124]
  • The Young's Literal Translation (1862/1898) (Version) – "Jehovah" since Genesis 2:4
  • The Holman Christian Standard Bible (1999/2002) uses "Yahweh" over 50 times, including Exodus 6:2.
  • The World English Bible (WEB) (1997) [a Public Domain work with no copyright] uses "Yahweh" some 6837 times.
  • The New Living Translation (1996/2004) uses "Yahweh" ten times,[125] including Exodus 6:2-3. The Preface of the New Living Translation: Second Edition says that in a few cases they have used the name Yahweh (for example 3:15; 6:2–3).
  • Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (1902) retains "Yahweh" throughout the Old Testament.
  • The Anchor Bible (in progress) retains "Yahweh" throughout the Old Testament.
  • The King James Version (1611) – Jehovah appears seven times, i.e. four times as "JEHOVAH", Exodus 6:3; Psalm 83:18; Isaiah 12:2; 26:4, and three times as a part of Hebrew place-names Genesis 22:14; Exodus 17:15; Judges 6:24.
    • Note: Elsewhere in the KJV, "LORD" is generally used. But in verses such as Genesis 15:2; 28:13; Psalm 71:5; Amos 1:8; 9:5, where this practice would result in "Lord LORD" (Hebrew: Adonay JHVH) or "LORD Lord" (JHVH Adonay) the KJV translates the Hebrew text as 'Lord ' or "LORD God". In the New Testament, when quoting Psalm 110:1, the all-caps LORD for the Tetragrammaton appears four times, where the ordinary word "Lord" also appears: Matthew 22:44, Mark 12:36, Luke 20:42 and Acts 2:34.
  • The American Standard Version (1901) uses "Jehovah" in 6,823 places in the Old Testament.
  • The New World Translation (1961/1984/2013), published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, uses "Jehovah" in 7,216 places in both the Old Testament and New Testament; 6,979 times in the Old Testament and 237 in the New Testament—including 70 of the 78 times where the New Testament quotes an Old Testament passage containing the Tetragrammaton, where the Tetragrammaton does not appear in any extant Greek manuscript.
  • the Sacred Scriptures Bethel Edition (1981) used by adherents of the Church of God (Seventh Day) inserts the name Yahweh in the Old and New Testament.
  • The Divine Name King James Bible (2011) uses "Jehovah" in 6,972 places in the Old Testament.
  • The Lexham English Bible (2012) uses "Yahweh" throughout the Old Testament.
  • Green's Literal Translation (1985) uses "Jehovah" in 6,866 places in the Old Testament.
  • The Recovery Version (1999) uses "Jehovah" in 6,841 places in the Old Testament.
  • The Darby Bible (1890) by John Nelson Darby renders the Tetragrammaton as Jehovah 6,810 times.
  • The Bible in Living English (1972) by Steven T. Byington, published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, renders the Tetragrammaton as "Jehovah" throughout the Old Testament over 6,800 times.

Eastern Orthodoxy

The Eastern Orthodox Church considers the Septuagint text, which uses Κύριος (Lord), to be the authoritative text of the Old Testament,[126] and in its liturgical books and prayers it uses Κύριος in place of the tetragrammaton in texts derived from the Bible.[127][128]:247–248


The tetragrammaton on the Tympanum of the Roman Catholic Basilica of St. Louis, King of France in Missouri

In the Catholic Church, the first edition of the official Vatican Nova Vulgata Bibliorum Sacrorum Editio, editio typica, published in 1979, used the traditional Dominus when rendering the tetragrammaton in the overwhelming majority of places where it appears; however, it also used the form Iahveh for rendering the tetragrammaton in 3 known places:

  • Exodus 3:15 [129]
  • Exodus 15:3 [130]
  • Exodus 17:15.[131]

In the second edition of the Nova Vulgata Bibliorum Sacrorum Editio, editio typica altera, published in 1986, these few occurrences of the form Iahveh were replaced with Dominus,[132][133][134] in keeping with the long-standing Catholic tradition of avoiding direct usage of the Ineffable Name.

On 29 June 2008, the Holy See reacted to the then still recent practice of pronouncing, within Catholic liturgy, the name of God represented by the tetragrammaton. As examples of such vocalization it mentioned "Yahweh" and "Yehovah". The early Christians, it said, followed the example of the Septuagint in replacing the name of God with "the Lord", a practice with important theological implications for their use of "the Lord" in reference to Jesus, as in Philippians 2:9-11 and other New Testament texts. It therefore directed that, "in liturgical celebrations, in songs and prayers the name of God in the form of the tetragrammaton YHWH is neither to be used or pronounced"; and that translations of Biblical texts for liturgical use are to follow the practice of the Greek Septuagint and the Latin Vulgate, replacing the divine name with "the Lord" or, in some contexts, "God".[135] The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops welcomed this instruction, adding that it "provides also an opportunity to offer catechesis for the faithful as an encouragement to show reverence for the Name of God in daily life, emphasizing the power of language as an act of devotion and worship".[136]

See also


  1. ^ masora parva (small) or masora marginalis are notes to the Masoretic text, written in the margins of the left, right and between the columns and the comments on the top and bottom margins to masora magna (large).
  2. ^ C. D. Ginsburg in The Massorah. Compiled from manuscripts, London 1880, vol I, p. 25, 26, § 115 lists the 134 places where this practice is observed. Comparing this list with text by BHS can be noted that BHS puts the Tetragrammaton in the main text only in Psalm 68:28 [68:27].
  3. ^ These are Est 1:20; 5:4, 13 and 7:7. Additionally, Est 7:5 there is an acrostic referring to the title of God of Exodus 3:14.
  4. ^ This is shown, for example in Lachish letters, which is a list of ten names of which eight are just names teoforics
  5. ^ In some manuscripts the tetragrammaton was replaced by the word ’El or ’Elohim written in palaeo-hebrew script, they are: 1QpMic (1Q14) 12 3; 1QMyst (1Q27) II 11; 1QHa I (Suk. = Puech IX) 26; II (X) 34; VII (XV) 5; XV (VII) 25; 1QHb (1Q35) 1 5; 3QUnclassified fragments (3Q14) 18 2; 4QpPsb (4Q173) 5 4; 4QAges of Creation A (4Q180) 1 1; 4QMidrEschate?(4Q183) 2 1; 3 1; fr. 1 kol. II 3; 4QSd (4Q258) IX 8; 4QDb (4Q267) fr. 9 kol. i 2; kol. iv 4; kol. v 4; 4QDc (4Q268) 1 9; 4QComposition Concerning Divine Providence (4Q413) fr. 1–2 2, 4; 6QD (6Q15) 3 5; 6QpapHymn (6Q18) 6 5; 8 5; 10 3. W 4QShirShabbg (4Q406) 1 2; 3 2 występuje ’Elohim.


  1. ^ a b c d e f
  2. ^ It originates from tetra "four" + gramma (gen. grammatos) "letter"
  3. ^ Social-science Commentary on the Synoptic Gospels, by Bruce J. Malina and Richard L. Rohrbaugh, Fortress Press, Quote p.407 "In the Hebrew scriptures, we find a theological image of God rooted in the social structure of Israelites monarchy. Since this is a monarchy confined to a single ethnic group, the image of God is one of henotheism rather than monotheism".
  4. ^ Christine Hayes. Introduction to the Bible. Yale University Press, 30 Oct 2012, Quote p. 38: "In all likelihood, Hebrews of the patriarchal period (second millennium B.C.E.) as well as many first-millennium Israelites and Judeans were not markedly different from many of their polytheistic neighbors... Most scholars conjecture that ancient Israelite-Judean religion (the practices and beliefs of the actual inhabitants of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah in the first millennium B.C.E.) was at the most monolatrous (promoting the worship of one God, Yahweh, without denying the existence of other gods) rather than monotheistic (asserting the reality of one god only)." and Quote p. 300: "Yahweh, once a southern deity imported into Canaan, then the national god of Israel..."
  5. ^ Mark S. Smith The Early History of God: Yahweh and the Other Deities in Ancient Israel, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2002, Quote p. 184: "That ditheism and polytheistic Yahwism were later condemned by monotheistic Yahwists does not indicate that nonmonotheistic Yahwism necessarily constituted "Canaanite syncretism" or "popular religion," tainted by Canaanite practices and therefore non-Yahwistic in character." The rest of the work discusses the gradual movement from henotheism to monotheism from the time of the Judges to the Babylonian exile, rather early claims. Also, see p.11 and see p. 64
  6. ^ a b c d
  7. ^ a b Strong's H1961
  8. ^ a b The New Brown–Driver–Briggs-Gesenius Hebrew and English Lexicon With an Appendix Containing the Biblical Aramaic by Frances Brown, with the cooperation of S.R. Driver and Charles Briggs (1907), p. 217ff (entry יהוה listed under root הוה).
  9. ^
  10. ^ Eh-yeh, from the Hebrew verb ha-yah, is in the imperfect conjugation. "The conjugations do not signify tense, like English conjugations do (e.g., Simple Past). However, the Perfect is predominantly used to describe past time events, whereas the Imperfect is predominantly used to describe non-past time events (i.e., present or future)" - John A. Cook and Robert D. Holmstedt, Biblical Hebrew: A Student Grammar (PDF).
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ a b c
  14. ^
  15. ^ (see any Hebrew grammar).
  16. ^ See pages 128 and 236 of the book "Who Were the Early Israelites?" by archeologist William G. Dever, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2003.
  17. ^ Josephus, The Jewish War, V:235
  18. ^ Lambdin, Thomas O.: Introduction to Biblical Hebrew, London: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1971.
  19. ^ Preface to the New American Standard Bible
  20. ^ Pugio fidei by Raymund Martin, written in about 1270
  21. ^ Roy Kotansky, Jeffrey Spier, "The 'Horned Hunter' on a Lost Gnostic Gem", The Harvard Theological Review, Vol. 88, No. 3 (Jul., 1995), p. 318. Quote: "Although most scholars believe "Jehovah" to be a late (c. 1100 CE) hybrid form derived by combining the Latin letters JHVH with the vowels of Adonai (the traditionally pronounced version of ), many magical texts in Semitic and Greek establish an early pronunciation of the divine name as both Yehovah and Yahweh"
  22. ^ George Wesley Buchanan, "The Tower of Siloam", The Expository Times 2003; 115: 37; pp. 40, 41. Quote from Note 19: "This [Yehowah] is the correct pronunciation of the tetragrammaton, as is clear from the pronunciation of proper names in the First Testament (FT), poetry, fifth-century Aramaic documents, Greek translations of the name in the Dead Sea Scrolls and church fathers."
  23. ^ a b In the 7th paragraph of Introduction to the Old Testament of the New English Bible, Sir Godfry Driver wrote, "The early translators generally substituted 'Lord' for [YHWH]. [...] The Reformers preferred Jehovah, which first appeared as Iehouah in 1530 A.D., in Tyndale's translation of the Pentateuch (Exodus 6.3), from which it passed into other Protestant Bibles."
  24. ^ English Standard Version Translation Oversight Committee Preface to the English Standard Version Quote: "When the vowels of the word adonai are placed with the consonants of YHWH, this results in the familiar word Jehovah that was used in some earlier English Bible translations. As is common among English translations today, the ESV usually renders the personal name of God (YHWH) with the word Lord (printed in small capitals)."
  25. ^ Bruce M. Metzger for the New Revised Standard Version Committee. To the Reader
  26. ^ A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament with an appendix containing the Biblical Aramaic, written by Francis Brown, Samuel Rolles Driver and Charles Augustus Briggs, based on the Hebrew lexicon of Wilhelm Gesenius as translated by Edward Robinson, Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1906, s. 218.
  27. ^ Paul Joüon and T. Muraoka. A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew (Subsidia Biblica). Part One: Orthography and Phonetics. Rome : Editrice Pontificio Istituto Biblio, 1996. ISBN 978-8876535956. Quote from Section 16(f)(1)" "The Qre is יְהֹוָה the Lord, whilst the Ktiv is probably(1) יַהְוֶה (according to ancient witnesses)." "Note 1: In our translations, we have used Yahweh, a form widely accepted by scholars, instead of the traditional Jehovah"
  28. ^
  29. ^ A Dictionary of the BibleSmith’s 1863
  30. ^ The Analytical Hebrew & Chaldee Lexicon by Benjamin Davidson ISBN 0-913573-03-5.
  31. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Moore, George Foot (1911). 311 "Jehovah" in Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 15. Edited by Hugh Chisholm (11th ed.)
  32. ^
  33. ^ a b
  34. ^
  35. ^ Appendix 32 From The Companion Bible
  36. ^
  37. ^ C. D. Ginsburg, Introduction to the Massoretico-Critical Edition of the Hebrew Bible, London 1897, s. 368, 369. These places are listed in: C.D. Ginsburg, The Massorah. Compiled from manuscripts, vol I, p. 26, § 116.
  38. ^ Since the BHS and BHK already have the Tetragrammaton in Psalm 68:26, this would make a total of 6,969 occurrences in the Masorah.
  39. ^
  40. ^ ;
  41. ^ The Name of Jehovah in the Book of Esther., appendix 60, Companion Bible.
  42. ^ 96:11 תהילים (The Westminster Leningrad Codex)
  43. ^ G. Lisowsky, Konkordanz zum hebräischen Alten Testament, Stuttgart 1958, p. 1612. Basic information about the form Jāh, see L. Koehler, W. Baumgartner, J.J. Stamm, Wielki słownik hebrajsko-polski i aramejsko-polski Starego Testamentu (Great Dictionary of the Hebrew-Aramaic-Polish and Polish Old Testament), Warszawa 2008, vol 1, p. 327, code No. 3514.
  44. ^ Basic information about the word šalehebeteja(h) – see L. Koehler, W. Baumgartner, J.J. Stamm, Wielki słownik hebrajsko-polski i aramejsko-polski Starego Testamentu (Great Dictionary of the Hebrew-Aramaic-Polish and Polish Old Testament), Warszawa 2008, vol 2, p. 489, code No. 9395.
  45. ^ A. Tronina, P. Walewski, Biblijne nazwy osobowe i topograficzne. Słownik etymologiczny, (Biblical personal names and topographical etymological dictionary) Częstochowa 2009, p. 109.
  46. ^ G. Buchanan, Studies in Hebrew proper names, London 1896, p. 163.
  47. ^ E. Jenni, C. Westermann, Theological Lexicon of the Old Testament, Hendrickson Publishers 1997, page 685.
  48. ^
  49. ^
  50. ^
  51. ^
  52. ^
  53. ^
  54. ^
  55. ^ Bezalel Porten, Archives from Elephantine: The life of an ancient Jewish military colony, 1968, University of California Press, pp. 105, 106.
  56. ^ Stern M., Greek and Latin Authors on Jews and Judaism (1974-84) 1:172; Schafer P., Judeophobia: Attitudes toward the Jews in the Ancient World (1997) 232; Cowley A., Aramaic Papyri of the 5th century (1923); Kraeling E.G., The Brooklyn Museum Aramaic Papyri: New Documents of the 5th century BCE from the Jewish Colony at Elephantine (1953)
  57. ^ Sufficient examination of the subject is available at Sean McDonough's YHWH at Patmos (1999), pp 116 to 122 and George van Kooten's The Revelation of the Name YHWH to Moses (2006), pp 114, 115, 126-136. It is worth mentioning a fundamental, though aged, source about the subject: Adolf Deissmann's Bible studies: Contributions chiefly from papyri and inscriptions to the history of the language, the literature, and the religion of Hellenistic Judaism and primitive Christianity (1909), at chapter "Greek transcriptions of the Tetragrammaton".
  58. ^ Translated by: P. Muchowski, Rękopisy znad Morza Martwego. Qumran – Wadi Murabba‘at – Masada, Kraków 1996, pp. 31.
  59. ^ E. Tov, Scribal practices and approache’s reflected in the texts found in the Judean Desert, s. 206.
  60. ^ A complete list: A. Sanders, The Psalms Scroll of Qumran Cave 11 (11QPsa), serie Discoveries of the Judaean Desert of Jordan IV, pp. 9.
  61. ^ B. Alfrink, , O.T.S. V (1948) 43-62.
  62. ^ K. Preisendanz, Papyri Graecae Magicae, Leipzig-Berlin, I, 1928 and II, 1931.
  63. ^
  64. ^
  65. ^
  66. ^
  67. ^ The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology Volume 2, p. 512.
  68. ^
  69. ^
  70. ^ a b c Orthodox England, "The Septuagint"
  71. ^ (Eisenbrauns 1968 ISBN 978-0-93146400-3), p. 271The Septuagint and Modern StudySidney Jellicoe,
  72. ^ (A&C Black 1996 ISBN 978-1-85075571-5), p. 118The First Bible of the ChurchMogens Müller,
  73. ^ (Mohr Siebeck 1999 ISBN 978-31-6147055-4), p. 60YHWH at PatmosSean M. McDonough,
  74. ^ (Oxford University Press 2014 ISBN 978-0-19533123-3), p. 77The Old Testament in Eastern Orthodox TraditionEugen J. Pentiuc,
  75. ^ Z. Aly, L. Koenen, Three Rolls of the Early Septuagint: Genesis and Deuteronomy, Bonn 1980, s. 5, 6.
  76. ^ E. Tov, Scribal practices and approache’s reflected in the texts found in the Judean Desert, s. 231.
  77. ^ Sidney Jellicoe, Septuagint and Modern Study (Eisenbrauns, 1989, ISBN 0-931464-00-5) pp. 271, 272.
  78. ^ Papyrus Grecs Bibliques, by Francoise Dunand, Cairo, 1966 pg. 47 ftn. 4
  79. ^ The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, Vol.2, pag.512 Colin Brown 1986
  80. ^ George Howard The Tetragram and the New Testament, in Journal of Biblical Literature Vol. 96, No. 1 (Mar., 1977), pp. 63-83
  81. ^ ,
  82. ^ B.D. Eerdmans, The Name Jahu, O.T.S. V (1948) 1-29.
  83. ^ Anthony John Maas. Jehovah (Yahweh) in The Catholic encyclopedia; an international work of reference on the constitution, doctrine, discipline, and history of the Catholic Church. Special edition, under the auspices of The Knights of Columbus Catholic Truth Committee. Edited by Charles G. Herbermann [and others] Published 1907 by The Encyclopedia Press in New York.
  84. ^ "Among the Jews Moses referred his laws to the god who is invoked as Iao (Gr. Ιαώ)." (Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca Historica I, 94:2)
  85. ^ Irenaeus, "Against Heresies", II, xxxv, 3, in P. G., VII, col. 840.
  86. ^ Irenaeus, "Against Heresies", I, iv, 1, in P.G., VII, col. 481.
  87. ^ Clement, "Stromata", V, 6, in P.G., IX, col. 60.
  88. ^ Origen, "In Joh.", II, 1, in P.G., XIV, col. 105, where a footnote says that the last part of the name of Jeremiah refers to what the Samaritans expressed as Ἰαβαί, Eusebius as Ἰευώ, Theodoretus as Ἀϊά and the ancient Greeks as Ἰαώ.
  89. ^ Eusebius, Praeparatio Evangelica I, ix, in P.G., XXI, col. 72 A; and also ibid. X, ix, in P.G., XXI, col. 808 B.
  90. ^ Epiphanius, Panarion, I, iii, 40, in P.G., XLI, col. 685
  91. ^ "nomen Domini apud Hebraeos quatuor litterarum est, jod, he, vau, he: quod proprie Dei vocabulum sonat: et legi potest JAHO, et Hebraei , id est, ineffabile opinatur." ("Breviarium in Psalmos. Psalm. viii.", in P.L., XXVI, col. 838 A). This work was traditionally attributed to Jerome, but authenticity has been doubted or denied since modern times. But "now believed to be genuine and to be dated before CE 392" ZATW (W. de Gruyter, 1936. page 266)
  92. ^ "the word Nethinim means in Hebrew 'gift of Iao', that is of the God who is" (Theodoret, "Quaest. in I Paral.", cap. ix, in P. G., LXXX, col. 805 C)
  93. ^ Theodoret, "Ex. quaest.", xv, in P. G., LXXX, col. 244 and "Haeret. Fab.", V, iii, in P. G., LXXXIII, col. 460
  94. ^ cf. Lamy, "La science catholique", 1891, p. 196.
  95. ^ Jerome, "Ep. xxv ad Marcell.", in P. L., XXII, col. 429.
  96. ^ Sebastian P. Brock The Bible in the Syriac Tradition St. Ephrem Ecumenical Research Institute, 1988. Quote Page 17: "The Peshitta Old Testament was translated directly from the original Hebrew text, and most Biblical scolars believe that the Peshitta New Testament directly from the original Greek. The so-called "deuterocanonical" books, or "Apocrypha" were all translated from Greek, with ..."
  97. ^ a b c Joshua Bloch, The Authorship of the Peshitta The American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures Vol. 35, No. 4, Jul 1919
  98. ^ Adam Kamesar. Jerome, Greek Scholarship, and the Hebrew Bible: A Study of the Quaestiones Hebraicae in Genesim. Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1993. ISBN 9780198147275. page 97.
  99. ^ , Vol. 42, No. 1, January-March 2014Jewish Bible QuarterlyClifford Hubert Durousseau, "Yah: A Name of God" in ; same on Questia
  100. ^ Kristin De Troyer The Names of God, Their Pronunciation and Their Translation, – lectio difficilior 2/2005.
  101. ^
  102. ^ The Cambridge History of Judaism: The Late Roman-Rabbinic Period p 779 William David Davies, Louis Finkelstein, Steven T. Katz - 2006 "(BT Kidd 7ia) The historical picture described above is probably wrong because the Divine Names were a priestly ... Name was one of the climaxes of the Sacred Service: it was entrusted exclusively to the High Priest once a year on the "
  103. ^ Mishneh Torah Maimonides, Laws of Prayer and Priestly Blessings, Chapter 14;
  104. ^
  105. ^ For example, see and
  106. ^ M. Rösel The reading and translation of the divine name in the Masoretic tradition and the Greek Pentateuch - Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, 2007 "It is in this book that we find the strictest prohibition against pronouncing the name of the Lord. The Hebrew of 24.16, which may be translated as 'And he that blasphemes/curses (3B?) the name of the Lord (9H9J), he shall surely be put to death', in the LXX is subjected to a ..."
  107. ^ "They [the Priests, when reciting the Priestly Blessing, when the Temple stood] recite [God's] name -- i.e., the name yod-hei-vav-hei, as it is written. This is what is referred to as the 'explicit name' in all sources. In the country [that is, outside the Temple], it is read [using another one of God's names], א-ד-נ-י ('Adonai'), for only in the Temple is this name [of God] recited as it is written." -- Mishneh Torah Maimonides, Laws of Prayer and Priestly Blessings, 14:10
  108. ^ Kiddushin 71a states, "I am not referred to as [My name] is written. My name is written yod-hei-vav-hei and it is pronounced "Adonai."
  109. ^ a b Stanley S. Seidner,"HaShem: Uses through the Ages." Unpublished paper, Rabbinical Society Seminar, Los Angeles, CA,1987.
  110. ^ For example, two common prayer books are titled "Tehillat Hashem" and "Avodat Hashem." Or, a person may tell a friend, "Hashem helped me to perform a great mitzvah today."
  111. ^ For example, in the common utterance and praise, "Barukh Hashem" (Blessed [i.e. the source of all] is Hashem), or "Hashem yishmor" (God protect [us])
  112. ^ See Deut. 12:2-4: "You must destroy all the sites at which the nations you are to dispossess worshiped their gods...tear down their altars...and cut down the images of their gods, obliterating their name from that site. Do not do the same thing to Hashem (YHWH) your God."
  113. ^ "Based on the Talmud (Shavuot 35a-b), Maimonides (Hilkhot Yesodei HaTorah, Chapter 6), and the Shulchan Arukh (Yoreh Deah 276:9) it is prohibited to erase or obliterate the seven Hebrew names for God found in the Torah (in addition to the above, there is E-l, E-loha, Tzeva-ot, Sha-dai,...).
  114. ^ a b In קל"ח פתחי חכמה by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato, Opening #31; English translation in book "138 Openings of Wisdom" by Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum, 2008, also viewable at accessed 12 March 2012
  115. ^ The Mystical Qabalah, Dion Fortune, Chapter XVIII, 25
  116. ^ The Talmud Yerushalmi and Graeco-Roman culture: Volume 3 - Page 152 Peter Schäfer, Catherine Hezser - 2002 " In fact, there is no proof in any other rabbinic writing that Samaritans used to pronounce the Divine Name when they took an oath. The only evidence for Sarmaritans uttering the Tetragrammaton at that ..."
  117. ^ A Catholic Handbook: Essentials for the 21st Century Page 51 William C. Graham - 2010 "Why Do We No Longer Say Yahweh? The Vatican's Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments directed in ... just as the Hebrews and early Christians substituted other names for Yahweh when reading Scripture aloud."
  118. ^, "The Septuagint"
  119. ^ An Orthodox Critique of English Translations of the Bible
  120. ^ Peter L'Huiller, "Some Remarks about Biblical and Liturgical Translations" (Orthodox Research Institute)
  121. ^ (Westminister John Knox Press 2002 ISBN 978-0-66422497-4), p. 34Eastern Orthodoxy through Western EyesDonald Fairbarn,
  122. ^
  123. ^ Usage in English
  124. ^ The Living Bible, "Jehovah" or "Lord" per text or footnotes. e.g. Genesis 7:16; 8:21; Exodus 3:15.
  125. ^
  126. ^ The Septuagint
  127. ^ Eugen J. Pentiuc. The Old Testament in Eastern Orthodox Tradition, p. 77. Oxford University Press (February 6, 2014) ISBN 978-0195331233
  128. ^ "Fatherhood of God" in The Encyclopedia of Eastern Orthodox Christianity, 2 Volume Set, Editor John Anthony McGuckin. Wiley 2010 ISBN 9781444392548
  129. ^ "Dixítque íterum Deus ad Móysen: «Hæc dices fíliis Israel: Iahveh (Qui est), Deus patrum vestrórum, Deus Abraham, Deus Isaac et Deus Iacob misit me ad vos; hoc nomen mihi est in ætérnum, et hoc memoriále meum in generatiónem et generatiónem." (Exodus 3:15).
  130. ^ "Dominus quasi vir pugnator; Iahveh nomen eius!" (Exodus 15:3).
  131. ^ "Aedificavitque Moyses altare et vocavit nomen eius Iahveh Nissi (Dominus vexillum meum)" (Exodus 17:15).
  132. ^ "Exodus 3:15: Dixítque íterum Deus ad Móysen: «Hæc dices fíliis Israel: Dominus, Deus patrum vestrórum, Deus Abraham, Deus Isaac et Deus Iacob misit me ad vos; hoc nomen mihi est in ætérnum, et hoc memoriále meum in generatiónem et generatiónem."
  133. ^ "Exodus 15:3: Dominus quasi vir pugnator; Dominus nomen eius!"
  134. ^ "Exodus 17:15: Aedificavitque Moyses altare et vocavit nomen eius Dominus Nissi (Dominus vexillum meum)"
  135. ^
  136. ^
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