THE NAME I LOVE (PT 5) - NAME ABOVE ALL NAMES
WHERE DID “JEHOVAH” COME FROM?
“Jehovah” is supposed to be a transliteration of YHVH. No! Jehovah is not a correct transliteration of the Hebrew word. It is a hybrid, crossed word. The Jews were only partly responsible for its creation. As explained earlier, they ceased speaking the Name, even though YHWH was still used in the text. They spoke the word Adonai (Lord) instead; but they dared not remove the Name YHWH from the Scriptures.
Originally, Hebrew writing did not have vowels indicated. But the Masorites, about the 9th century A.D., began to use vowel signs. In the Scriptures they marked the word YHVH with the vowels of the word Adonai - not to create a new word, but to indicate that Adonai was to be spoken. They were certainly not seeking to make a vocalized word to use instead of YAHWEH. They already had the substitute word - Adonai.
The anglicized word ‘Jehovah’ was created in the 16th century, by Christians who read the consonants YHVH which now contained the vowels of Adonai, and mistakenly believed the word was Yehovah. This became Jehovah when J was added to the English alphabet. Thereafter the word gained wide acceptance. It was quite popular in the 19th century, being used widely by Bible scholars including J N Darby. But now the mistake has been recognized, and the word Jehovah is being largely rejected.
The question comes up then; Why did the great Bible scholars of the last century continue to use the hybrid word Jehovah? Surely, they could see that it was not correct!
The answer, I believe, is that reformation comes step by step. And when certain truths are being discovered, other important truths are often overlooked. While Luther was discovering Justification by Faith, he could not see the truth of the Rapture, or the fact that Israel would be saved - even though both are quite clear in Scripture.
While John Wesley was powerfully preaching the new birth and sanctification, he could not see any need for believers’ baptism. While Calvin was writing on the Sovereignty of Elohim (God), he could not see any particular need to emphasize the filling of the Holy Spirit. And while the early Brethren were discovering what the true church was, and the priesthood of all believers, they did not see any need to make a fuss about the accurate, original Name of YHWH.
Today we have the privilege of building on the many doctrines discovered or emphasized by the various reformers and by later scholars of the Word. We are able to prayerfully compare reformed doctrines with the Word, and to cleave to what is good and Scriptural, and abhor what is evil or false. (Romans 12:9). And that is what I ask Believers to do concerning this subject of the revealed, original Names of Elohim (God). —