One gracEmail subscriber has heard that God’s name is “Jehovah” and that we should always use that specific name. Another subscriber asks how “Jehovah” could possibly be the correct name of God, since the Hebrew alphabet contains no letter “j.”
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God identified himself to Moses as YHWH or YHVH (Ex. 6:2-4), which the Jews call “The Name” or “The Sacred Four Letters” (Greek: Tetragrammaton). Long before the birth of Jesus, the Jews stopped pronouncing this actual name lest they speak it in vain. When they read the Bible and came to “YHWH” they would say the Hebrew word for “Lord” (Adonai or Edonai) instead.
Some English Bible translations combined the consonants of the Tetragrammaton (which, in an earlier time, were represented as “JHVH”) with the vowels of Edonai to get “JeHoVaH.” Other English translations followed the spirit of the reverent Hebrews and translated the “Sacred Four” as “the LORD” (all capitals). Many modern scholars believe “Yahveh” is nearer the original pronunciation.
When the Bible speaks of God’s “name,” it often refers to his authority or his attributes. To speak, work, pray, or to be baptized “in the name” of God (or of Christ) is to do so under his authority, with regard to his person or as his representatives. To live each day with reverence toward God is far more important than which English letters we use to spell his Hebrew name.