Gosh! What are the Jehovah’s Witnesses gonna do now? Do I have your attention now?
No, I haven’t given up my faith. I’m not saying God doesn’t exist. I just learned something new in my Theology class last night. The word “Jehovah” was actually never intended to be used to refer to God. Here’s how it all happened: The Hebrew word YHWH (“Yahweh” which means “I am”) was used of God regularly in the Old Testament scriptures – as a matter of fact, God even calls Himself “YHWH.” (Exodus 3). Another word used of God was “Adonai” which meant “my Lord.”
Anyway, the name YHWH (Yahweh) was considered too holy to speak and so when the writers of the Bible wrote it they wanted to give the reader a “heads up” or a hint that the word was coming up so that they wouldn’t accidentally say it outloud. They took the vowels from the word “adonai” and placed them into the word YHWH – which would have made it look something like this “YaHoWaH.” The Hebrew reader would come across this word and would have known that it wasn’t a real word. This would have forced him to stop and think about what he was reading, and thus would avoid accidentally speaking the Sacred Name aloud. Unfortunately, when the German translators came along hundreds of years later, they didn’t understand what had happened, so they simply translated it as “Jehovah.” (The Hebrew “Y” sounds like a “J” in German and the “W” sounds like a “V”) We’ve been reading it that way ever since ’cause the English translators used the German translations as guides.
So the name “Jehovah” doesn’t exist. It is basically a translation error and was never used by the Jews – including Jesus.
Jehovah doesn’t exist, but YHWH still reigns!!!