What is the true name of God?

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 true name of God?

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.

Why?

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.

6 thoughts on “What is the true name of God?

  1. Dear Joshua,

    Thank you so much for your great articles i love them but may i ask what bible translation you use because it is true in most of the bibles one only read Lord and not Yahweh or Yashua, and i totally agree with you that we ought to know our Heavenly Father’s true name and of His Son!
    You are very blessed and we live in a time Yashua warned us about it will be like the times of Noah…and Lot… yes Yashua has told us He will bring his reward for us which mean that we are judged right this moment;
    Ecclesiastes 3 verse 17;
    …”I said in mine heart, Yahweh shall judge the righteous and the wicked…

    But one might ask but with WHOM will Yahweh begin JUDGMENT?

    1 Peter 4 verse 17
    …”For the time is come that jugdment must begin at the house of Yahweh; and if it first begin at us what shall the end be of them that OBEY NOT THE GOSPEL “?

    Ecclesiastes 12 verse 13
    …”Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter,
    Fear Yahweh and keep His Commandments; for this the whole duty of man”.

    John 5 verse 28,29
    …”Marvel not at this; for the hour is coming in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice,
    and shall come forth;…”

    Matthew 24 verse 44
    …”Therefore be ye ready, for in scuh an hour as ye think not,
    the Son of Man cometh”,,,

    Thank you again Joshua keep up this blessed work and blessings for you and your family
    Nita from the Netherlands

    Like

    • Hi Nita,

      Thank you for your comment. It’s insightful and it gives us more understanding of what God expects from us.

      Personally, I still use the NKJV. However, I’m liking the Literal English Version. You may also try The Scriptures by the Institute for Scripture Research. Another one that restores the name of Yahweh is Hebraic Roots Bible Translation.

      Actually, there are a lot of sacred name Bibles today. I have a few in our home. 🙂

      Like

  2. This is what i always observed with pastors, preachers and other biblical teachers nowadays. They mostly focus and highlight their topic from the old testament teaching.
    Jesus said in Matt 28:20, “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you”. Jesus never commanded us or taught us to know what is the real name of His father or call His father by the name. If God hides His real name by just giving 4 consonant letter word for His name then let it be. God must have a reason for that and we are not to reveal what God has hidden from us.
    The important thing is God knows His people. He knows His children. Like in the parable of the sower (not the soil), God puts His word in us, in our heart. God knows our heart and he knows whose God are we calling and worshiping to. If God put His word in us He will also reveal himself to us, not His real name but who He really is, the one true God. If God put His words in us we will know His voice. Jesus said “my sheep hear my voice, and i know them, and they follow me”.
    There was a study made to prove that sheep knows their shepherd. There was a flock of sheep in the field. One man stood at the gate with the same dress as the shepherd and call the sheep. He did all kinds of approach or method to call them. He even tried to call them how their shepherd do. But the sheep did not listen to him. When the shepherd stood at the gate, he even face backwards to them, and calls the sheep. The sheep gathers and went to him and follow him. The sheep knows his voice, not his face or real name, only his voice. Same with true believers, they know the voice of their shepherd.
    Even if you know His real name or call Him by his real name but you are not His sheep you will never follow him and He will never accept you in His kingdom.
    By the way, i believe that Lucifer knows God’s real name.

    Like

    • Hi BhelaiM,

      Thanks for your comment.

      God did not hide His name. Humans did. Do you think God will mention His name in the Bible thousands of time and expects us not to know His name?

      How sure are you that Jesus (Yahshua) didn’t teach about the name of God? Notice in the Gospels how many times He quoted the OT and in the process, mentioning the true name of God? Just give you an example, Matthew 4:7, 10.

      It’s kind of dangerous to simply take one verse and make it a blanket statement. If the Bible says His people know his voice, does that prevent them from knowing his name as well? Christ didn’t teach about smoking, does that mean that we can smoke cigarette?

      The Bible tells us to call upon His name, Yahweh. Will you also ignore those?

      Regards,
      Joshua

      Like

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