The Holy Name

The Bible speaks of only one “holy name” of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and that holy name in English is usually given as either Jehovah (based on the Masoretic Hebrew text) or Yahweh (based on some ancient Greek manuscripts). The Bible never refers to holy names (plural) of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
This link produces a list of scriptures from the “World English” translation that contain the phrase “holy name”, also often referred to as the “divine name” or “sacred name”. Many other titular names, often called “names” of God, such as EL, ELOHIM, ADONAI, GOD, THE LORD, etc., are not the “holy name,” but are often substituted for the holy name.

The original Hebrew did not have any written vowel markings. The vowel points were added to the Hebrew by Masoretes several centuries after Christ, and after the Hebrew language had become basically a “dead” language. Thus, as one Hebrew scholar told me, we cannot be 100% sure that the vowel points as given by the Masoretes are correct for any of the Hebrew words. I have never seen any proof, however, that they deliberately changed any vowel points, or that they used the vowel points of Adonai in the tetragrammaton so as to cause one to mispronounce the holy name, as is often claimed.

More than likely, the Greek pronunication of holy name, which came to be something like “Yahweh,” based on vowels that correspond roughly to IAUE, developed by trying to give a Greek pronunciation of the holy name into the Greek, based on sounds, not by trying match any written vowels from the Hebrew to the Greek, since there were no written vowels in the Hebrew at the time. In the Koine Greek, the “h” sound did not exist, making the “o” sound almost silent, thus ending up with four vowels, IAUE, from which has come the English “Yahweh.”

At any rate, “Jehovah” and “Yahweh” are both English pronunciations of the same name, just as “Jesus”, “Joshua”, “Jeshua”, as well as “Yeshua”, etc., are all English pronunications of the same name.


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