Did you know that your Father in heaven has a name? Yet, only a few know what His name is!
Isn’t it incredible to think that the very Word of God, people call the Bible today, doesn’t have God’s name in it? In fact, most Bible translations today removed the name of God and replaced it with titles like LORD or God.
Wouldn’t you want to know the true name of God? Wouldn’t you want to know the name of your Heavenly Father?
If yes, then read through this blog and let us discuss further the truth behind God’s real name.
Does God have a name?
Friends, isn’t it interesting that false gods of this world are known through their names? Take a look at some of these gods:
- Marduk – the god of the Akkadians
- Moloch – the god of the Ammonites
- Ra, Osiris, Anubis, and Horus – the gods of the Egyptians
- Zeus – the god of the Greeks
- Baal-Peor – the god of the Moabites
- Jupiter – the god of the Romans
- Woden – the god of the Germanic people
Yet, for many Christians, who do they call their deity? Yes, they call their God with titles such as God or LORD.
God and LORD are not names. They are only a title that we use to refer to the one that we worship. However, how can we distinguish the one true God from other gods when we don’t even know His name?
But you may ask, does God really have a name?
The answer is an ABSOLUTE YES!
Notice what Proverbs 30:4 tells us:
4 Who has ascended into heaven, or descended?
Who has gathered the wind in His fists?
Who has bound the waters in a garment?
Who has established all the ends of the earth?
What is His name, and what is His Son’s name,
If you know?
As you can see, Agur, the writer of Proverbs 30, asked the question that you and I might have right now.
What is the name of God? So, in essence, God has a name!
What is the name of God?
If God has a name, naturally, the next question is, “What is His name?”
The true name of God is Yahweh.
Today, most scholars spell God’s name as YHWH, which is referred to as the Tetragrammaton, which means consisting of four letters.
YHWH is read in Hebrew as yod, hay, waw, hay. The four-letter name of God is found in the Hebrew text more than 6,823 times!
The name of God is abundantly found in various Hebrew manuscripts and this includes the Dead Sea Scrolls.
How do you read YHWH?
Now, here’s where the dilemma comes in. The written Hebrew language does not consist of vowels. So, how do you read YHWH?
The most common argument you’ll hear today is that they claim the correct pronunciation of God’s name has been lost through the centuries.
However, this is NEVER the case.
We read in the Encyclopaedia Judaica, Vol 7, p. 780:
“The true pronunciation of the name YHWH was never lost. Several early Greek writers of the Christian Church testify that the name was pronounced ‘Yahweh.’”
How to read the ‘YH’ in YHWH
So, how do you pronounce God’s name?
That’s a good question.
Let’s try to figure out first the first syllable of God’s name.
Psalm 68:4 tells us:
4 Sing to God, sing praises to His name;
Extol Him who rides on the clouds,
By His name YAH,
And rejoice before Him.
Notice as well all these passages found in the book of Isaiah:
- Isaiah 12:2 – Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; ‘For Yah, the LORD, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation.’ ”
- Isaiah 26:4 – Trust in the Lord forever, for in Yah, the LORD, is everlasting strength.
- Isaiah 38:11 – I said, “I shall not see Yah, the LORD in the land of the living; I shall observe man no more among the inhabitants of the world.
So, we have a confirmation that God’s name starts with “Yah” straight from the Scripture.
This is further proven when you look at the common names found in the Bible. These names have God’s shortened name in their names:
- Isaiah (IsaYah)
- Jeremiah (YeremYah)
- Hosea (HoseYah)
- Nehemiah (NehemiYah)
- Hezekiah (HezekYah)
The name of God is also found in words or expressions of worship. For example, we have Halleluiah (HalleluYah) which basically means “praise Yah.”
How do we pronounce the “WH” in YHWH?
So, the next thing we want to know is how do you pronounce the “WH” in YHWH?
Some people say that God’s name should be Yahveh instead of Yahweh. However, this is not true. Actually, the “v” in Yahveh is a later development, which was heavily influenced by the Germanic and Yiddish languages.
In the book How the Hebrew Language Grew by Edward Horowitz, we read:
“The Yemenite Jews of Arabia who retain an ancient, correct and pure pronunciation of Hebrew still pronounce the (waw) as ‘w’ – as does Arabic, the close sister language of Hebrew.”
In the Biblical Archaeology Review magazine, September/October 1994 issue, under the article entitled, “How to pronounce ‘YHWH’”, we read:
“The mystic name which is called the tetragrammaton … is pronounced Iaoue, which means, ‘who is, and who shall be’”.
These are the written words of Clement of Alexandria, who live around 150-211 CE. He was a Greek-speaking teacher in the early New Testament period.
Notice that in Iaoue, the last syllable is read as “weh.”
From the Anchor Bible, it is written that the sixteen century Mercerus believed that the correct pronunciation of God’s name is Yahwe. This again confirms that the last syllable of God’s is “weh.”
The Schaff-Herzog 20th Century Encyclopedia says:
“The pronunciation Yahweh of the Hebrew tetragrammaton need no longer be based on traditions preserved in late patristic sources. Both the vocalization yahwe and yahu (a shortened form used chiefly in personal names) are now confirmed by a variety of ancient Near Eastern inscriptional materials from the first and second millennia B.C,” pp. 1194-1195.
Origen and Jerome also attested that the correct pronunciation of God’s name is Yahweh.
The Encyclopedia Britannica says this:
Yahweh, name for the God of the Israelites, representing the biblical pronunciation of “YHWH,” the Hebrew name revealed to Moses in the book of Exodus. The name YHWH, consisting of the sequence of consonants Yod, Heh, Waw, and Heh, is known as the tetragrammaton.
Today, the majority of Bible scholars agree that the best pronunciation of God’s name is Yahweh. Theologians and even secular sources will tell you that Yahweh is God’s true name. Because of the preponderance of the evidence, it is widely believed and there’s a general consensus that indeed, God’s name is Yahweh.
Why was the name of God hidden?
Now, you might think, why should God’s true name be hidden in the Scripture?
The answer lies in the misinterpretation of Leviticus 24:16, where we read:
And whoever blasphemes the name of the LORD shall surely be put to death. All the congregation shall certainly stone him, the stranger as well as him who is born in the land. When he blasphemes the name of the LORD, he shall be put to death.
So, we see here that there’s a heavy price to pay for those people who will blaspheme or use God’s name in vain.
While it is good and righteous for us to respect God’s name, the religious leaders took this to the extreme – to the point that they would refuse to speak and write God’s name in the fear that they would be guilty of blaspheming the name.
So, what they did was that they replaced the name of God with Adonai, which is translated as LORD in most Bible translations today.
The practice of hiding God’s name has spilled over from the Jewish community to the Christian community. So that by the time the Hebrew Bible has been translated to English and other languages, they didn’t use Yahweh, but rather simply used the LORD.
Why is it important to recognize the true name of God?
Yahweh, the personal name of God, is so important that it has been repeated and mentioned in the Bible thousands of times. God wouldn’t repeat such a name in the Bible if it wasn’t that significant!
There are many reasons why God wants you to know Him as Yahweh.
First, God’s name sets Him apart from other gods
Number one why we must recognize His name is because it sets God apart from other false gods.
When God appeared to Moses in the burning bush, Moses asked a vital question:
Then Moses said to God, “Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?” (Exodus 3:13).
Why do you think Moses has to ask God’s name?
Because there are hundreds of false gods in and around Egypt. Moses knew that if ever people would believe that he has been sent by God, He must know the name of the God who sent Him!
Thus, what was the response of God?
14 And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, I AM has sent me to you.’ ” 15 Moreover God said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: ‘[Yahweh] God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations.’ Exodus 3:14-15
As you can see, God claimed that His name would be Yahweh forever!
Knowing the name of God helps us to know Him.
Knowing the name of God allows us to better understand His nature, majesty, and authority.
Notice, Yahweh and I AM WHO I AM is used by God here interchangeably.
What does this tell us?
It shows us that the meaning of God’s name is I AM WHO I AM. At its very core, it tells us about God’s eternal existence. It tells us how God is the SUPREME RULER of this vast universe. It tells us about his sovereignty not only over spiritual beings but also over his physical creation and even the false gods of this world!
Because of this, God deserves our respect, reverence, and confidence. If He is the GREAT I AM, then it completely changes the way we think, talk, and act.
It tells us that no one should be above God and that He should be the top Authority in our lives.
Knowing the true name of God can dramatically improve your relationship with Him. It shows you what He is by simply knowing His name.
Knowing the name of God helps us to better respect Him.
Yahshua, or popularly known as Jesus Christ, instructed us in Matthew 6:9:
9 In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Now, how can you hallow the name of our Heavenly Father if you don’t even know what it is?
In addition to this, how can we better follow the Third Commandment when it says:
7 “You shall not take the name of Yahweh your God in vain, for the Yahweh will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain. (Exodus 20:7)
Brown-Driver-Briggs defines the Hebrew word used for vain in this verse as follow:
1) emptiness, vanity, falsehood
1a) emptiness, nothingness, vanity
1b) emptiness of speech, lying
1c) worthlessness (of conduct)
Replacing the name of God with generic titles is a form of falsehood because it hides the true name of God. We also make God’s name of no worth and make it empty when we disregard it.
In short, denying the true name of God is a direct violation of the Third Commandment.
Does it really matter?
A lot of Christians don’t take the true name of God seriously.
However, for us, true believers and followers of Yahweh, we are commanded to remember the true name of God.
At the human level, most of us know the name of our father. Even those who didn’t know their biological father most would like to know.
Because knowing the name gives you the identity of your father.
Now, how much more should we seek the true name of our Father?
In the Scripture, we are commanded to Bless God’s name multiple times. How can you bless God’s name if you don’t know it?
In Isaiah 42:8, we read:
8 I am Yahweh, that is My name;
And My glory I will not give to another,
Nor My praise to carved images.
The Bible clearly shows us the real name of God and yet, we are all too quick to dismiss it!
In Micah 4:5, we read:
For all people walk each in the name of his god,
But we will walk in the name of the Yahweh our God
Forever and ever.
This shows us that if the other gods have their name, God also has a name that we must know and recognize.
In Psalms 83:16-18, we read:
16 Fill their faces with shame,
That they may seek Your name, O Yahweh.
17 Let them be confounded and dismayed forever;
Yes, let them be put to shame and perish,
18 That they may know that You, whose name alone is the Yahweh,
Are the Most High over all the earth.
This verse tells us that God indeed has a name and that we ought to know it.
So, does it matter?
Of course, IT DOES!
Now that you know the truth about God’s name, would you turn a blind eye? Would you still ignore the name God has revealed unto us? Or will we continue to refuse to recognize that name and deny it?
The choice is yours.