God´s Holy Name YHWH יהוה

betende Hände auf einer Bibel

"Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name."
(Matthew 6:9; ESV)

God's true proper name had top priority for His son Yahusha (Jesus), and he showed in his model prayer, the "Our Father", that this should be the same for every Christian:


"May your name be honored!" (NIRV)

What then is the name of the Almighty God,
to whom Yahusha prayed?

Is God´s Name "God"? Or "Lord"?

"God" is just a title like "prince" and means "mighty one".
"Lord" is also just a title and means "master". Furthermore, "Lord" is not unambiguous, because "Lord" was also used to address Yahusha (Jesus) and other persons of respect.

The Tetragram

God's real proper name, which he gave himself in Genesis 3:13-15, appears exactly 6,828 times in the Old Testament.

Biblical Hebrew was written without vowels (a-e-i-o-u). Therefore, only the framework of the four Hebrew letters Jod-He-Waw-He, the so-called tetragram, has been handed down from the name of God:

The four letters correspond to the English Y-H-W-H.

"Jot" can also be translated with I or Y,
"Waw" also with V, U or O.

From this it becomes clear that "Jehovah" can by no means be right, because that would only be a tri-gram: J-H-W. The last letter H is missing.

But how is Y-H-W-H correctly pronounced? Which vowels belong in between?

Jehovah or Yahweh?

Let us first hear Geoffrey Jackson from the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses:

"We use the name Jehovah because it is widely recognized in English", not because it is closest to the original pronunciation!

Well, recognition doesn't necessarily guarantee accuracy and truth, does it?


"But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him." (Johannes 4:23)

The Father seeks truthseekers

Our heavenly Father draws people who want to know, understand and honor Him in truth, to His Son.

Knowing the true name of our God and using it in love is part of this – especially if you don´t want to unintentionally address another "God" than our heavenly Father.

How was the name of God JHWH really pronounced?

Among the Jews it became a custom not to pronounce the holiest name "out of respect", although JHWH had explicitly said that future generations should also "address him with this name". (Exodus 3:15)

So when the Jews came across the tetragram in the Scriptures, they read "Adonai" ("Lord") or "Elohim" ("God" in the plural of majesty) instead.

To remind the reader not to read out the real name of God, the Jewish Masoretians around the year 500 CE added the vowel signs of the words that the reader should pronounce instead. It looked like this:

Papal respect for the Jewish respect... ?
An absurd tradition!

"Out of respect for this Jewish tradition", the Vatican called on all bishops' conferences in 2008 to stop the use of the name of God in Catholic services, prayers and songs (!). Especially the vocalisations "Jahwe" and "Jehovah" had "crept in". Instead, one should again follow the church tradition and use "Lord".

And so the prediction of Jeremiah in chapter 23, verse 26 and 27 is fulfilled in many unsuspecting believers:


"How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart; which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal." (Jeremiah 23:26, 27; KJV)

Where does the name Jehovah come from?

In 1278 the Spanish monk Raymundo Martini used the spelling YOHOUA for the name of God. In later print editions the spelling IEHOVA was used.
Other Bible translators followed suit: William Tyndale, Martin Luther, the King James translators, the Elberfelder...

More correct would be JehovaH.

The English pronunciation of the letter J [dsche-hova] is totally unknown in Hebrew language. We therefore prefer the use of the letter Y instead to suggest the right pronunciation in English: YHWH.

What does the name YHWH mean?

YHWH is a causative form of the verb "havah" = "to become, to be".
It means "He lets become" or "He causes being" (as creator, as realiser of his plans).

However, "hovah" is a Hebrew word that means "trouble" or "desaster". (Strong´s Hebrew Concordance No. 1943)

  • "Mischief shall come upon mischief ..." (Ezekiel 7:26, KJV)

  • "Calamity upon calamity will come ..." (Ezekiel 7:26, NIV)

  • "hovah al-hovah ..." (Hebrew interlinear text)

The missing vowels

We cannot say with 100% certainty which vowels belong between the framework of the letters Y-H-W-H. But there is some evidence:

To the first syllable:

  • The letter H (Hebrew "He") is often connected with the vowel A, i.e. "Ha" or "aH".
  • The short form of the Father´s divine name is "Yah". Hallelu-yah means "Praise Yah".
  • Many biblical names contain the short form "Yah": Yirme-yah (Jeremiah), Yesha-yah (Isaiah), Zephan-yah ...
  • These names often appear with the ending "-yahu", e.g. Yeshayahu (35 times), Yirmeyahu (129 times), Zephanyahu (2 times).
  • The name of the Israeli Prime Minister is ... ? Precisely: Nethan-yahu.

From this it follows that the first syllable of both the name of God and of Christ was most likely pronounced "Yah-".

Because the third letter (the Hebrew "Waw") can stand for a W, V, U or O, the Holy Name of God may be read:

Y - aH - uW - aH

We therefore prefer the form Yahuwah,
until His Son will finally teach us how to pronounce God's name correctly.

Finally, a nice treat for you:


"Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness ...
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them ..."
(Genesis 1:26, 27, NIV)