Talk:Tetragrammaton

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Merge discussion[edit]

Er - I note that there are three proposed merges for this page, but no apparrent location for their discussion. If the proposals are still live, I'll Support them. If there's a more appropriate place to discuss the merges, I think it would be useful to mention it here... Tevildo (talk) 21:51, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

There's a discussion at T:Jehovah, I believe however that whereas "Jehovah" concerns the god, both "Tetragrammaton" and "Yahweh" concern the name, i.e. exactly the same entity. I therefore add my support to the merge proposal of "Tetragrammaton" and "Yahweh". Dan 11:13, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
(By the way, in both articles, all interwiki links either refer to the same article or end up at the same one after redirects (I checked over half). Dan 11:30, 21 July 2009 (UTC))
Nope, the Jehovah article seems entirely devoted to discussing the pronounciation. Jheald (talk) 12:46, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

I believe that the Tetragrammaton must be the main article on God's name, and Yahweh a secondary, only in relation with the specific suggested form and pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton.--Vassilis78 (talk) 12:21, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

IMHO, separate articles should be maintained for Tetragrammaton, Jehovah, and Yahweh. The Tetragrammaton is an entirely separate subject, although care should be taken that the primary discussions of specific Tetragrammaton translations and pronunciations (that is, Jehovah and Yahweh) be made in the latter two articles. Regarding the latter two subjects, Jehovah and Yahweh, each has a rich and interesting history largely independent of the other (variations of those names, such as Jahveh, Yehuwa, etc, can appear within those major categories).
Frankly, I think an effort to combine even just existing article material would kick back a 'long article, consider splitting' message from Wikipedia.
Oppose merge. --AuthorityTam (talk) 13:53, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

Oppose merge -- We can discuss the proper division of labor with "Yahweh", "Jehovah", etc., but "Tetragrammaton" cannot usefully be a mere redirect... AnonMoos (talk) 22:20, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

  1. Let's please not discuss the article Jehovah, since the proposal doesn't concern it.
  2. Tetragrammaton#Pronunciation sends readers to the article Yahweh, which indeed offers several pronunciations other than "Yahweh" (YeHoWah, Adonai etc. in Hebrew and others in other languages): to me this suggests that if the article Yahweh remains separate, it should be titled "Pronunciations of the tetragrammaton", since that's what it's actually about, isn't it? Dan 23:54, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

Support merge -- it's the same term with different pronunciations applied.SkyWriter (Tim) (talk) 02:30, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

Support merge -- ditto what Tim said. -Lisa (talk) 16:24, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

Oppose merge -- The articles must be seperated. Tetragrammaton or YHWH must have all the general details about the use of God's name, and the articles Yahweh and Jehovah must have specific details for the specific suggested forms of the Tetragrammaton or YHWH. Many have not understood yet that even Yahwen is nothing more than a suggested or speculated form of the Tetragrammaton.--Vassilis78 (talk) 20:21, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

Oppose merge -- "Tetragrammaton" is the name of a name, and is reasonably focussed on name-specific issues. "Yahweh" is the name of God, or at least a reasonable attempt at rendering the name of God in English. Thus the "Yahweh" article can reasonably include the attributes, character, and history of God that are revealed by the name and the way it is used.Michael Courtney (talk) 00:46, 26 July 2009 (UTC)

Theoretically a sound objection, only the article "Yahweh" in its present form deals exclusively with matters of pronunciation, spelling, transcription etc., and not at all with "the attributes, character, and history of God that are revealed by the name". Thus your opposition seems misguided (although of course formally valid). Dan 22:21, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
Hi there Michael Courtney, the addition you made to Yahweh after my preceding comment might be a step in the right direction towards creating the kind of article you described ("the attributes, character, and history of God"), however, the paragraph you added still constitutes less than 2.5% of the article, which remains substantially about matters of pronunciation, spelling and transcription of the name. A good article about the god rather than the name is in my opinion certainly called for, but making this small addition unfortunately moved us away from that goal, creating the false impression that Yahweh is already about the god and not the name. Let's rather merge these two articles, both of which are in fact still about the name, and take care that a new, good, comprehensive article exists about the god. Dan 06:33, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
Oppose merge (still) Think about the Yahweh article as describing the main character of a book. It would make sense that the article concentrate on the character's attributes, history, and character as revealed in the book with perhaps minor sections regarding etymology, pronounciation, and translation, and perhaps a minor section regarding influence of earlier literature and beliefs. As I see it, a merge followed by a complete re-write is not the best way to get from the current article to the more desirable article. Wikipedia articles evolve over time, and creating the Yahweh article from a blank page is less likely to produce the desired outcome and more likely to produce a lower-quality work-in-progress than evolving the current article by expanding the material on the attributes, character, and history of Yahweh while condensing the material that can be more fully covered on the Tetragrammaton page. Of course, the assistance of Tetragrammaton editors in organizing and condensing the material in the Yahweh article regarding pronounciation, spelling, and translation would be greatly appreciated.Michael Courtney (talk) 12:12, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
I hope you're right – until that happens, we're stuck with two percent of an article on the "character" and (at least) two separate, uncoordinated articles about the name. Dan 21:25, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
(!) Hi again Michael Courtney – the articles God in Abrahamic religions and God in Judaism are existing articles concerned with exactly what you described as "the attributes, character, and history of God". Your addition is relevant to (at least one of) these two articles and, moreover, pertains to god independently of a specific name, thus there's no need to repeat that information in "Yahweh". Dan 17:32, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Strongly support merge -- there is no obvious reason to separate a word from its (modern) pronounciation and its meaning. This should be an article about the divine name of the Jewish deity, maybe even about the deity itself (God in Abrahamic religions). The whole issue of how and why Jews do not utter the word and make substitutions should be moved to its own article, since such religious fundamentalist minutiae are rather irrelevant to the general reader who seeks information about the biblical deity (because that's what someone who enters "Yahweh" in the search textbox is looking for). Cush (talk) 07:47, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

With wall-crushingly and blindingly loud and bright audio-visual effects oppose since this Tetragrammaton article is a suitable place for all linguistic/phonetical stuff that is bugging the article Yahweh with its off-topicalness. ... said: Rursus (bork²) 09:11, 4 August 2009 (UTC)

In support for my opposition, see Talk:Yahweh#Split article: Tetragrammaton (correct_pronunciation). I propose we merge the split and the merge efforts into a new do-neither effort, concentrating on sorting linguism into Tetragrammaton and God-speculation into Yahweh. ... said: Rursus (mbor) 09:40, 4 August 2009 (UTC)

Recent changes[edit]

Dear AnonMoos, what do you mean by "old phrasing was better"? -- pvasiliadis  00:01, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

Sorry I didn't see your comment here until just now, but I left some comments on your user talk page... AnonMoos (talk) 03:17, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

The phrasing and concept "personal name of God" is somewhat anachronistic, since it does not entirely accurately represent Jewish thought of the Biblical or the Rabbinic periods -- and furthermore, in the modern period it is strongly identified with the particular ideology and theology of one specific relatively small group. For these reasons, the phrase would best be completely avoided in the overview article Tetragrammaton (though it may have a place in other articles in different contexts)... AnonMoos (talk) 02:51, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

Furthermore, Biblical Hebrew simply did not have a "v" sound as a pronunciation of the sixth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, period, end of story, that's all she wrote. The matter is not open to legitimate dispute among mainstream reputable scholars... AnonMoos (talk) 02:56, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

1. It is not a matter of "anachronism". It is clear by far that the sacred Tetragrammaton is the proper name of the Biblical deity, His personal name.

2. It is at least a misunderstanding that the notion of Tetragrammaton as the proper name of the God of the Bible "is strongly identified with the particular ideology and theology of one specific relatively small group". Both Judaism and mainstream Christianity believe according to the official dogmas that this is the proper name of God.

3. I did not get into details about the waw letter. The point is that in English it has been transliterated for centuries as v.

As a sample I quote a couple of sources. If more is needed, I would happily supply them into the text of the article.

"The Tetragrammaton is the ancient Israelitish name for God [...] the original name of God [...] the Divine Name [...] the true name of God [...] the Sacred Name." (The Jewish Encyclopedia, "Tetragrammaton")
"The proper name of God in the Old Testament; hence the Jews called it the name by excellence, the great name, the only name, the glorious and terrible name, the hidden and mysterious name, the name of the substance, the proper name, and most frequently shem hammephorash." (The Catholic Encyclopedia, "Jehovah (Yahweh)")
"The full and proper name of the Lord of Israel, written with four consonants YHWH, known as the Tetragrammaton [...] the divine name." (The New Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 14, "Yahweh")
"The name of God in the OT." (Anchor Bible Dictionary, Ed. by D. N. Freedman, Doubleday, 1992, "Yahweh")
See also Briggs & Davidson, The Theology of the Old Testament (1904, pp. 36, 39, 48); John Phillips, Exploring the Epistles of John: An Expository Commentary (2003, Kregel Publications, pp. 119, 120); Christopher Nelson, Word studies in Biblical Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek and Latin (Southwestern Press, 1941, pp. 35, 36, 40). -- pvasiliadis  06:53, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

That's nice -- however, this rather short article has a strong focus on the Tetragrammaton as it appears in the Bible, and not on the remote cultural connections and chronologically much later further developments of the Tetragrammaton (those things can perfectly well be discussed elsewhere, but they're not really in the scope of this particular article as it has stood for many months). The phrase "personal name of God" is not a completely adequate summary of the Tetragrammaton as it appears in the Bible, and in the modern period this phrase tends to be very narrowly associated with the particular ideology and theology of one specific relatively small group. For these reasons, the phrase is not really appropriate for inclusion in this article.

And with respect to the Hebrew language of the Biblical period, "V" is simply plain flat-out 100% factually wrong... AnonMoos (talk) 12:48, 23 July 2009 (UTC)


1. In the Bible the point is even more clearer that Tetragrammaton is the proper name of God. Moses was given the name of God, not a group of names/tiles. At your disposal for sources on Biblical base. 2. The article mentions the renderings of the Tetragrammaton in Latin, English, etc and the comment for the v is concerning these ones. -- pvasiliadis  13:51, 23 July 2009 (UTC)


This article somewhat tangentially mentions post-Biblical matters, but the core focus remains on the language of the Bible, so that post-Biblical factors are not really appropriate to alter the core terminology or focus of this article... AnonMoos (talk) 14:01, 23 July 2009 (UTC)


The term Tetragrammaton itself is not mentioned in the OT or NT and it is of post-OT origin. If you refer to the deity that is named after this name, Bible has many to say -both OT and NT. But I don't think that an encyclopedical article should be based on primary sources (as the Bible) alone. -- pvasiliadis  14:50, 23 July 2009 (UTC)


Your first sentence is perfectly true, but "Tetragrammaton" is still the standard terminology used in English-language Biblical criticism for the last 400 years or so. This article shouldn't necessarily "depend on primary sources", but its main subject matter is very much the Tetragrammaton in the Bible, as opposed to developments of the Tetragrammaton in modern cultures... AnonMoos (talk) 00:40, 24 July 2009 (UTC)


The use, even the meaning of Tetragrammaton, changed even during the OT era, not to mention the NT period. What "developments" "in modern cultures" do you believe that should not be included in the article? -- pvasiliadis  06:42, 24 July 2009 (UTC)


I think it's very safe to say that meanings or associated cultural developments which did not occur until long after the Biblical period, or which are not part of accepted mainstream scholarly terminology, should not be given a prominent place on this article (though they may very well have a place as part of other articles). AnonMoos (talk) 20:43, 26 July 2009 (UTC)


If such kind of information will appear in the article, we will re-examine it thoroughly. -- pvasiliadis  07:54, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

"No" to all of this. F.ex. "The Tetragrammaton is the ancient Israelitish name for God" is way wrong, it is a Greek description of the four ("tetra") Hebrew letters ("grammata") YODH-HE-WAW-HE. Tetragrammaton is the name of the name, not the name itself, see Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. It's not common discussing the name itself outside linguist circles, but it happens, and when it occurs, there might be a confusion between the name and the name of the name. ... said: Rursus (mbor) 10:01, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
Forget "Wonderland" above, instead ref2 Alice's Through the Looking-Glass, the dialogue with the White Knight search for "HADDOCKS' EYES". ... said: Rursus (mbor) 10:30, 4 August 2009 (UTC)

YHWH[edit]

YHWH represent the 4 elements of Yah's throne. Yahweh is like calling the YMCA Yamaca, it was translated from Jehovah which was an attempt at making a word out of JHVH in Old English from the Latin Vulgate. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 65.78.27.100 (talk) 06:52, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

It is reasonable to believe that some mystics or similar have come to that conclusion, and if we have a suitable external source claiming this, we can also use it in the article. Anyone? ... said: Rursus (mbor) 10:04, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
Except the part about Jehovah, which is an error: the name was never Jehovah. ... said: Rursus (mbor) 10:58, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
The "Four Elements" YHWH may also recapitulate the four stages mentioned in Siddha practices, from the physical, through the astral to the causal and supra-causal bodies: additionally these four letters might be taken to represent the four corners of new Jerusalem, with their diagonals intersecting at the central Throne. 71.51.74.151 (talk) 00:23, 17 September 2009 (UTC)
This article is for basically for YHWH in the Bible or the Biblical period, as discussed above in a previous subsection. Much later cultural or mystical interpretations of the Tetragrammaton may be suitable for other articles, but probably not for this one. AnonMoos (talk) 05:08, 17 September 2009 (UTC)
Which is why some things may appear in "discussions" that do not appear in articles. However, much earlier potential sources may shed light on some points of ignorance which may have continued for many centuries even unto the present day. 71.51.76.150 (talk) 16:11, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

Just to clear things up, Hebrew and most other Semitic languages of the time did not write vowels, so YHWH was most likely a name (especially when you consider other religous traditions from the area), and calling YHWH Yahweh is just an effort to fill in the vowels. There is no evidence of 4 elements of God's throne or anything. --Grammarbishop8 (talk) 11:31, 21 October 2012 (UTC)


The YHWH may have been an attempt to duplicate the Chinese, Yi Yau or Yau Yi, the science of Healing Seeking, as delineated in Hua Hu Ching by Lao Tzu from more ancient sources. Such traveling the silk route to ancient Israel, along with the idea that "Divine Subtle Origin" is beyond words and language, cf. Tao Teh Ching could well have been the gift of a more ancient Chinese culture to the more modern culture of then newbie Israel.71.51.73.103 (talk) 23:32, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

I very seriously doubt it -- Lao Tzu lived about 500 years after the period when we can be reasonably certain that the Tetragrammaton was already in use. Also, before the "Closure of the Eurasian Ecumene" in Hellenistic times, contacts between the Mediterranean region and China were extremely indirect and fragmentary. Anyway, what is pronounced Yi Yau in modern Mandarin could have been pronounced completely differently in 600 A.D. (much less 600 B.C.), as reconstructed by Bernhard Karlgren and those who have continued his work... AnonMoos (talk) 00:30, 11 September 2009 (UTC)


You are welcome to your doubt as it itself seems a most elegant modern obfuscating convenience: Chinese cultural development has been shown to precede the culture of Israel by several thousands of years and the earlier, generally, simply eidetically begets or spawns the later, either by imitation or by osmosis through intermediaries. In the case of varying pronunciations -- that is a point, as even the disputations upon the various pronunciations of YHWH should give us much reflective pause -- and should spark some wonder as to whence the concept(s) derive -- certainly they do not smack of sheep farmers and military mercenary thought, but rather of some partially assimilated foreign material, either of Heaven, Otherworld, or China 71.51.76.205 (talk) 14:54, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
I really don't want to engage in a general philosophical discussion, but the simple fact is that before 500 B.C. contacts between the Mediterranean and China were sporadic and extremely tenuous (mediated by a whole series of middlemen) -- and there's very little evidence that much of anything was conveyed between the two cultural zones other than simple material items (domesticated crops and animals, and a few small portable precious objects). The silk road didn't become a regular major trade route until after 500 B.C. I have no idea which specific Chinese characters lie behind the transcription "Yi Yau", but if you were to look up those characters in a standard reference work, such as Edwin G. Pulleyblank's A Lexicon of Reconstructed Pronunciation in Early Middle Chinese, Late Middle Chinese and Early Mandarin, then you might be very surprised by their pronunciation long after 500 B.C. And the most basic principle is "extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence". The ancient Israelites were demonstrably inflenced in a number of ways by the cultures of Egypt and Mesopotamia (something which is not true with respect to China), yet remained stubbornly independent with regards to the central tenets of their distinctive theology. The only kind of diffusion between China and the Mediterranean that was possible before 500 B.C. was indirect transmission of material objects and "stimulus diffusion" -- neither of which would permit borrowing of words and subtle philosophical concepts... AnonMoos (talk) 07:21, 12 September 2009 (UTC)
For someone not engaging in a general philosophical discussion...oh, well, how linguistically amusing. The simple fact is that "Yi Yau," as given as an approximated, modern English pronunciation by a modern, native Chinese speaker who traces his Taoist ancestry back many generations, -- when reversed, "Yi Yau," resembles, "Yau Yi," which resembles a tentative version, when modified, of "Yah-weh." As the "gods" of the Jews, preceding Yahweh or YHWH each had quite notable and distinctive names, and statuary, or dolls, not encoded, composite or "not to be spoken," or "incapable of being spoken," or "forbidden to be spoken." Those gods, statues and dolls, displaced by "Yahweh" seem to have been supplanted by something judged as "superior," and perhaps "foreign." Since "Yahweh" did in fact displace various other idols, dolls and gods, "Yahweh" had to come from somewhere. And "Yahweh" did not come from this article; "Yahweh" came from elsewhere than Israel, be it extraterrestrials, Chinese or Moses imagination. It is amusing to watch persons try to attribute roots to "Yahweh," when they know neither the word's source nor its actual pronunciation. Another clue from Taoist thought could well be, that, as "Divine Subtle Origin" is "beyond words and language," then there really isn't any name or word for it. That kind of idea does seem to have made it in to Western thought in the practice of trying not to say God's name. At the lower levels of this discussion, people just don't know how to say it, yet may think they can and that it was after all somehow "Invented Here," so one doesn't have to worry about the NIH (Not Invented Here = automatic rejection) syndrome. As for the "Occam's razor" on it; as it concerns God and Theology, it is most likely that few to none of us know what we are talking about, otherwise there could be a simple explanation we could all easily accept. 71.51.78.153 (talk) 02:50, 15 September 2009 (UTC)
Unfortunately, your amusement does nothing whatever to change the basic facts that we can be reasonably confident that the name YHWH was in use already before Lao-Tzu, during a period when there is no evidence of cultural contacts as such between the Mediterranean and Chinese cultural areas -- only indirect transmission of a relatively few material items through a long sequence of middlemen in between. And if you don't know what actual Chinese characters lie behind the modern transcription "Yi Yau", and are too lackadaisical to research what the probable pronunciations of these characters would have been ca. 600 A.D. (which could be radically different from the modern Mandarin pronunciations, as is often the case), then it's difficult to ascertain what valid basis there is for your very broad and categorical sweeping assertions... And the fact that modern scholars are ignorant about some matters doesn't mean that everything is equally possible, or that normal considerations of evidence, plausibility, and taking into account geographic proximity suddenly don't apply. AnonMoos (talk) 06:37, 15 September 2009 (UTC)
Fortunately, what such a broad swath of thought is, has a name, it is called, "speculative theory of original transmission," in this instance, one that you appear to disagree with rather vehemently for whatever personal reasons -- I will however remind you, that "YHWH," in thought, meaning, encoding, documentation or sound, doesn't really need your personal protection or "ownership," and is more universal than say, your opinions, or possessions, and has, mercifully, currently progressed rather far beyond your, or any Earth nation's or culture's ownership abilities. 71.51.76.172 (talk) 13:41, 15 September 2009 (UTC)
You can interpret things however you want, but that doesn't change historical facts and evidence, nor the accepted consensus of among scholars in the field... AnonMoos (talk) 14:12, 15 September 2009 (UTC)
Nor do your pretensions of scholarship or quoted sources predate Lao Tzu, or indeed any of his most ancient, superior sources which obviously predate and remain superior to anything you appear capable of imagining. You speak like an Israeli sheep, merely saying what you think is "Baa," but sounding to others as "Baal," a rather primitive form of ridiculous self-worship. 71.51.77.113 (talk) 19:28, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

"The ancient Israelites were demonstrably influenced in a number of ways by the cultures of Egypt and Mesopotamia, yet remained stubbornly independent with regards to the central tenets of their distinctive theology." In what way? Israelites were polytheists just as everybody else. The distinction in theology, namely monotheism, came very late, probably in the 6th century BCE. So caution should be taken to make such claims. And of course the assumption of Chinese influence is just ridiculous and really needs no further elaboration. Cush (talk) 16:15, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

Unfortunately, you're greatly oversimplifying a rather complex issue. The Bible itself is very clear about backsliding monarchs (including Solomon himself), Asherah poles, worship of the queen of heaven etc., but it's also clear that there was a vocal "prophetic" movement advocating the sole and exclusive worship of YHWH during much of the divided monarchy period. A thoroughgoing consistent monotheism didn't have thoroughgoing strong government support until the reign of Josiah of Judah, probably, but to say that the Israelites were happy unconflicted polytheists before the reign of Josiah is rather misleading, since polytheism was a somewhat controversial issue, and the vocal reform faction developed a distinctive theology whose central tenets were stubbornly independent of most Mesopotamian or Egyptian cultural influences, and which had some degree of government backing during the reigns of some of what the Bible regards as "good" monarchs, such as Hezekiah of Judah... In any case, YHWH was originally the name of the national god of the Israelites (just as Chemosh was the name of the national god of the Moabites, Qaws was the name of the national god of the Edomites, etc.) even before strictly monotheistic ideas were widely promulgated, so the name YHWH goes back a long ways (something which 71.51.XX.XX doesn't seem to understand). AnonMoos (talk) 21:43, 12 September 2009 (UTC)
The Bible itself is not a source I accept as reliable on Israelite history. The Bible is Jewish propaganda and wishful historization of much later beliefs. Cush (talk) 22:10, 12 September 2009 (UTC)
That's nice for you, then. If you completely dismiss the Bible as a historical source, then we have extremely minimal evidence for almost any events in Judea/Israel during the period 1000-600 B.C. (i.e. archaeological remains which are of very limited value in reconstructing the flow of historical events; inscriptions by Egyptian and Mesopotamian rulers invariably boasting of their glorious conquests, which are subject to their own problems of reliability; seal impressions containing various names; and some mostly rather brief and fragmentary contemporary alphabetic inscriptions -- the only one of which contains anything approaching a coherent historical narrative being the Mesha stele). That being the case, it's hard to see what basis you think you have for your sweeping and categorical assertions about the beliefs of the Israelites during the period... And anyway, if the books of Samuel and Kings are "wishful" thinking, then it's hard to see why so many travails and backslidings were included, instead of a rather simpler and streamlined narrative with a glorious ending. AnonMoos (talk) 02:39, 13 September 2009 (UTC)


"so the name YHWH goes back a long ways (something which 71.51.XX.XX doesn't seem to understand)." And just how far back might that be, into late Phoenician? Or early Phony...the stories of the first previous lives of the Buddha speak of eras around 300,000 years ago...and no linguist mention of even an ur-Hebrew language, then. The logic of the Creationists ends at about 5769 years ago, as I recall.71.51.78.153 (talk) 03:04, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

Whatever -- I entirely fail to see how numerological calculations of the Kali-Yuga are of any relevance here, but if you look at real historical evidence in real scholarly sources (such as "Writings from Ancient Israel: A Handbook of Historical and Religious Documents" by Klaas A.D. Smelik ISBN 0-664-25308-3 which I happen to have on my shelf here), then you will find a number of inscriptions from the Divided Monarchy period which have religious content or theophoric names, providing evidence for the use of the Tetragrammaton YHWH at that time. The exact dates could be quibbled over, but for the purposes of the present discussion, let's just pick 700 B.C. as a nice round conservative number. 700 B.C. is perfectly adequate to support my arguments, since in 700 B.C. there were no major regular direct or quasi-direct trade routes between China and the Mediterranean era, and no evidence of any significant direct or quasi-direct cultural contacts between the two areas. AnonMoos (talk) 06:52, 15 September 2009 (UTC)
What ever indeed, for those were not numerological calculations but approximations of Gautama's life stream events during previous incarnations. You speak with such certainty of 700 BCE it is very amusing; I suppose you could opine too that the Hittites and Romans never invaded Israel because of the sound tightness of her borders; that Jesus never existed and that Sodom and Gomorrah were cruelly sadistic lies. People have all kinds of weird opinions -- so you and I are not alone -- perhaps it's just you. 71.51.76.172 (talk) 13:53, 15 September 2009 (UTC)
That's nice -- 700 B.C. is based on detailed factual historical evidence (as you could see for yourself by perusing the book indicated, or other relevant reputable works of scholarship), and not abstract metaphysical hypothetical speculations. Furthermore, I'm the one sticking to established accepted facts in this conversation, while you seem to be the one going into strange pseudo-history... AnonMoos (talk) 14:12, 15 September 2009 (UTC)
Yes, at this point (2009/5769) in time, 700 BCE is very well filtered, as you could probably imagine if you attempted to remember your breakfasts at that time through your own imagination. Having read through some thousand or so Earth articles recounting the histories of those times I can only smile at your assertion(s) that you have what appears "absolute truth." A point is, at about that time the Tetragrammaton apparently gained some greater currency, both as a sound and as a forbidden, no-sound, both of which it retains to this present day. 71.51.76.172 (talk) 14:42, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

The trouble with these articles is they attract kooks. Still, it does keep them off the street. PiCo (talk) 10:07, 13 September 2009 (UTC)

It is also the good of these articles, for we have often walked these streets before and the pavement always stayed beneath our feet before -- no "trouble" can mean you're not learning anything. 71.51.76.172 (talk) 14:49, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

Old history that used to be at this page[edit]

Some old history that used to be at the title "Tetragrammaton" is now at Talk:Tetragrammaton/Old history. Graham87 09:30, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

"Waw" vs. "Vav"[edit]

The third letter in the Tetragrammaton is Vav, the sixth letter of the Hebrew alphabet. It is pronounced like a 'v' in English, not like a 'w'. Considered as a letter present in multiple Semitic alphabets, it appears to be referred to by the name "Waw". But in Heberew, the name of this letter is pronounced "Vav", not "Waw".

I propose that in the table of letters present in the introduction, the link text ought to be changed to read "Vav", not "Waw". Thoughts? DRE (talk) 22:13, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

In Biblical Hebrew, as opposed to modern Hebrew, it was a "W". See that article. Grover cleveland (talk) 22:08, 10 October 2009 (UTC)
The pronunciation "v" would be completely anachronistic for the Biblical period... AnonMoos (talk) 22:20, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
Indeed, this has been discussed previously and was agreed that it would be noted thus: "The letters, properly read from right to left (in Biblical Hebrew)". The Biblical period had a pronunciation of "w" as noted by Grover cleveland. --AustinWellbelove (talk) 17:51, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
The Tiberian vocalization, presented in the Masoretic Text preserves the pronunciation of "W" for the letter Waw, the sound "V" originally was used for the letter "Veth", its use for "Waw" is of a later innovation. See main article - Tiberian Vocalization —Preceding unsigned comment added by Newmanyb (talkcontribs) 06:26, 17 April 2010 (UTC)

Does the table in section 3 need to be corrected?[edit]

The expression holam/waw is used three times in the "Explanation Column" of the table in Section 3 of the main article. But does the on-line Leningrad Codex show any holem waws in any of the 6 variants of YHWH? All of the waws definitely show a vowel point under them, either a qamets or a hireq. If any of these waws were holem-waws that would indicate that the waw had two different vowel points assigned to it, which I believe is not allowed.

The online Leningrad Codex seems to show that in 3 variants there is a defective holem shown at the top left of the first heh, and there is no defective holem shown at the top left of the heh in the other 3 variants.

In my opinion each of the six variants show a regular waw [NOT A HOLEM WAW] with a vowel point directly under it.

In my opinion there are no holem-waws shown in any of those six variants of YHWH, and the text in the "Explanation Column" should be corrected.

Seeker02421 (talk) 12:51, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

What it means is "the ħolem dot to the right of the waw"... AnonMoos (talk) 13:54, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

Yehimilk/Yehawmilk given meaning is not supported by the sources[edit]

Concerning the change I made, none of the references mention that Yehimilk/Yehawmilk means “YH the king”/“YHW the king”. -- pvasiliadis  18:45, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

"I AM WHO I AM", said Re[edit]

Could some mention be made in this article that the Ancient Egyptian 'Book of the Heavenly Cow' quotes the creator god Re (Ra) as saying "I am who I am"? This scripture is considered older than its earliest surviving inscription on one of the gilded shrines of Tutankhamen (also occurs in the tombs of Seti I, Ramesses II, III and IV.) Certainly Moses as an Egyptian prince would have heard of it! Please see:

The Literature of Ancient Egypt: An Anthology of Stories, Instructions, Stelae, Autobiographies, and Poetry (Third Edition)

Professor William Kelley Simpson (Editor) Yale University Press, 2003 Page 294

64.90.143.2 (talk) 15:55, 20 February 2010 (UTC)Samgwan Spiess

However, the Egyptian language did not have a verb meaning "to be" formed from the Triconsonantal root h-w-y and/or h-y-y so the relevance of the Egyptian thing to the Tetragrammaton itself would be rather tenuous and indirect... AnonMoos (talk) 18:29, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

Move?[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

No consensus to move. Vegaswikian (talk) 18:13, 24 April 2010 (UTC) TetragrammatonYHWH

  • The term "YHWH" used to represent יהוה, the proper name of the God of Israel used in the Hebrew Bible, is in greater use today by scholars and the general public than is "Tetragrammaton". YHWH also represents the Hebrew original more accurately than does the aforementioned Greek title. User:Newmanyb 06:45, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
  • If so, then also move the existing page YHWH to e.g. YHWH/version 2 to get it away from under the incoming page. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 09:07, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
Basically oppose -- YHWH is used in mentioning the name, but when referring to it as an entity, Tetragrammaton is the long-established usage... AnonMoos (talk) 13:38, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
"YHWH ... is in greater use today by scholars" - really? That certainly does not tally with my experience. Any evidence of that? Knepflerle (talk) 13:48, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose in greater use by the general public??? I highly doubt that. 70.29.208.247 (talk) 05:15, 18 April 2010 (UTC)
  • oppose not correct, not common, as pointed out above. —innotata 17:35, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

recent anonymous IP edits (Q're perpetuum)[edit]

Including "Yəhōwāh" in the lead paragraph of the article is extremely misleading, since when the Masoretes added vowel-point diacritics (Niqqud) to the consonantal Tetragrammaton YHWH, they never had the slightest intention of signalling any such pronunciation as "Yəhōwāh"[sic] -- rather, they intended to signal that YHWH was read aloud as Adonai when reciting the Biblical text. In the technical terminology of Hebrew Biblical studies, this is known as a "Q're perpetuum". Please consult Image:Qre-perpetuum.png and Image:Tetragrammaton-related-Masoretic-vowel-points.png ... -- AnonMoos (talk) 06:41, 27 April 2010 (UTC)

AnonMoos, Why didn't the Masoretes add the precise vowel points of Adonai to the consonantal Tetragrammaton, if they were trying to signal the Jewish reader that the vocalized Tetragrammaton was to be read as "Adonai".
It just seems that there would be less conflict about "Qere perpetuum" among lay persons,
if the Masoretes had placed a "hatef patah" under the yod in God's name.
Just in passing a Hebrew Scholar on the B-hebrew Discussion board claims that not only is the shewa under the Yod in God's nam pronounced with an "a" sound, but that the shewa under the yod in the name of the city that I pronounce "Yerusalem" is also pronounced with an "a" sound.
AnonMoos, is that your understanding?
Seeker02421 (talk) 13:31, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
Because a Q're Perpetuum is a mnemonic device for trained readers who are familiar with the scribal conventions being used. So any diacritic which could be omitted without creating ambiguity is somewhat redundant, and omitting it would conserve ink and scribal effort. In the case of YHWH, the only two choices are whether it's recited as "Adonai" or recited as "Elohim". That's why the "o" vowel diacritic is very frequently omitted -- since Adonai and Elohim both have an "o" vowel in their middle syllables, the "o" diacritic doesn't help in disambiguating between the two readings. Similarly, simplifying a hateph-patah to a shewa saves effort in writing and doesn't create any ambiguity. The fact that there is still a hateph-patah (a vowel) there when YHWH is read as "Adonai" is seen when a monoconsonantal preposition is prefixed (as discussed in the middle section of Image:Tetragrammaton-related-Masoretic-vowel-points.png ).
The pronunciation of shewa with different qualities in various Biblical recitation/pronunciation traditions is a complex subject, and I don't think it has much to do with YHWH as a Q're Perpetuum for "Adonai"... AnonMoos (talk) 14:54, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
AnonMoos:
It would appear as if the only thing that a KJBO Christian could know for sure, is that the Masoretes NEVER placed the exact vowel points that are found in Adonai, into the Tetragrammaton, to indicate to the Jewish reader that he or she was to read "Adonai" and not "Yehowah".
It appears as if the layman must believe by faith [ i.e. Faith in Hebrew Scholars ] that Hebrew word #3068 [ i.e. יְהֹוָה ] is to be read as "Adonai", EVEN THOUGH THE MASORETES NEVER POINTED THE TETRAGRAMMATON WITH THE EXACT SAME VOWEL POINTS AS ARE FOUND IN ADONAI !!!!!!!!
Seeker02421 (talk) 12:46, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
Whatever -- the Masoretes worked from almost a thousand years before the King James Bible came into existence until over five hundred years before the King James Bible came into existence, and they couldn't have cared less about the English language (which was not a Jewish language at that time, and which would not have had the slightest relevance to the liturgical recitation of Hebrew even if it had been a Jewish language). So unfortunately, you're just going to have to get used to the fact — like it or not — that the masoretes didn't have KJV-onlyites in mind when they wrote their Bible manuscripts. Instead, they had in mind trained liturgical readers of Hebrew who were familiar with the scribal conventions used by the masoretes. Furthermore, the Masoretes didn't leave behind any surviving general descriptions of the broad principles behind their orthographic practices. Instead, they left behind the marginal masora, the masora magna, and a certain highly-technicalistic literature which is an extension of the masora (i.e. concerned with the exact distribution of variant forms across the text).
I could multiply copious abundant and redundant citations that would show that all mainstream reputable scholars support the fact that the Masoretes added vowel-diacritic annotations to the consonantal tetragrammaton YHWH for the purpose of indicating whether YHWH was to be read aloud as either Adonai or read aloud as Elohim as part of the accepted liturgical recitation practices of the masoretic period, but the final bit of internal orthographic corroboration which you seem to crave was apparently not considered very important by the masoretes themselves (who were interested in making things completely unambiguous for liturgical reciters of the Hebrew Bible, but couldn't have foreseen your particular doubts here a thousand years later). AnonMoos (talk) 20:24, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
Hi again AnonMoos.
In one of your earlier posts you wrote: "Similarly, simplifying a hateph-patah to a shewa saves effort in writing and doesn't create any ambiguity."
Of course the Masoretes clearly proved in the Leningrad codex that a hateph-segol could "sort of easily" be placed under a yod in a varient of YHWH in which they had placed the precise vowel points of Elohim.
Certainly the Masoretes could have pointed YHWH with the precise vowel points that are found in Adonay [if they had wanted to] and there would have been no ambiguity at all, for the Jewish reader who was trying to determine what word the Masoretes wanted him to read.
Of course in the image below the Masoretes had hand wrote a hatef segol because in that particular variant, they wanted the Jewish reader to read "Elohim". OBVIOUSLY if a hatef segol will fit under a yod, a hatef patah would fit under a yod.
It would appear as if the Masoretes must have had some other reason why they didn't place the precise vowel points of Adonai into YHWH.
http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-7/264290/TriplePhoto.JPG
The bottom text is from the Ben Chayyim Hebrew text of 1525 A.D.
The upper text is from a facsimile of the Leningrad Codex of 1008-1010 A.D.
Seeker02421 (talk) 01:42, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

"I woman"[edit]

I just heard somebody claim that "YHWH" translates to "I woman" or "I am woman". Here is a excerpt of what the person said

"Who is JE-HO-VAH? The name "Jehovah", is a code word used in the place of God's actual name. This code was used because (according to the "revisionists") if anyone should say God's real name, "the entire universe would end." So they said. So they invented a code word known as the TETRAGRAMMATON. This code is composed of four letters, YHWH. It can be used in place of God's real name. You are allowed to pronounce it "Jehovah" or "Yahweh" (and a couple of lesser used variations). What is important here is that this code supposedly represents not the name actually, but rather what God is.

So that you can understand, let's translate YHWH to Latin. "Y" translates to "I". So the first letter is to announce that "I" am what follows. HWH = "EVE" when translated to Latin. Y-H-W-H = I-E-V-E. What does "EVE" mean? It is the prime word for all females on this planet. It means "WOMAN" I-WOMAN = I-EVE = Y-HWH.

I was wondering if any professionals here could check this out and tell me if it actually works or not. I highly doubt it becasue I have never heard it before. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.186.136.190 (talk) 05:36, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

I suggest you take up some healthy outdoor activity.PiCo (talk) 01:25, 31 May 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.179.46.42 (talk)
I whole-heartedly concurr! 98.67.97.108 (talk) 00:56, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
Hebrew YHWH was actually transcribed into medieval Latin as "IEVE" by Peter Alfonsi in his Tetragrammaton-Trinity diagram (see Image:Tetragrammaton-Trinity-diagram-12thC.jpg). However, the letter or sound "I" does not mean first person singular in either Latin or Hebrew (the Latin first person singular pronoun is ego, while the Hebrew first person singular pronoun is ani or anokhi), and the original Hebrew form of the name "Eve" contains a ħet consonant ח (i.e. voiceless pharyngeal) which is quite separate and distinct from the he consonant ה (non-pharyngeal) found in the Tetragrammaton... AnonMoos (talk) 21:16, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

As someone who knows a bit of Latin, I would turn YHWH into IHVH (turning into JHVH and therefore Jehovah in European christianity, but of course by the time YHWH has become JHVH it is far from the original Hebrew) rather than IEVE. --Grammarbishop8 (talk) 11:38, 21 October 2012 (UTC)

Beaten to Death![edit]

People have taken the whole subject of "tetragrammaton" and beaten it to death!
How many score paragraphs does it take?
I do not believe that God Almighty likes this.98.67.97.108 (talk) 00:59, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

And you probably haven't read through the pre-2009 discussion archives yet... AnonMoos (talk) 03:09, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
And just wait til they get around to the 72 Names of God in the Kabbalah, for the discussion will be perhaps 72 times as complex: one hopes God is tickled, regardless of what you may believe. 69.69.17.24 (talk) 22:27, 16 August 2010 (UTC)

Double Yud[edit]

The article seems to be missing an explanation of use of double Yud as a graphical substitute for the Tetragrammaton, with the nikkud on the Yud and Vav of the Tetragrammaton placed under each of the two Yud in the substitute. Not sure where in the article may be a good fit for this explanation. CJLippert (talk) 00:09, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

Why היה and הוה as triconsonantal roots are transcribed "h-y-y" and "h-w-y"[edit]

In the so-called lamed-he roots, the final radical is sometimes spelled with the Hebrew letter ה in absolute word-final position, but morphologically and phonologically the third radical is actually a [y] sound, as can be seen when many endings are added (הייתי hayiti "I was" etc.). Roots that would be transcribed into English as "h-y-h" or "h-w-h" would actually be lamed-he-mapiq roots (with a real guttural consonant in third position), which would be something completely different... AnonMoos (talk) 15:08, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

Yahweh vs. Yahwe[edit]

It's almost certain that the final H in YHWH was not phonetically pronounced (definitely the case if YHWH is connected to the roots היה "h-y-y" / הוה "h-w-y" -- see previous section above). However, the overwhelmingly used transliteration of Gesenius' reconstructed vocalization in English is in fact "Yahweh". As a hypothetical phonetic transcription, [yahwe] in square brackets could be appropriate, but for general use in the article, "Yahweh" must be preferred... AnonMoos (talk) 04:12, 9 February 2011 (UTC)

Yes, Yahweh is the English term. Yahwe is the Hebrew romanization. So there should be a note that Yahweh is not the Hebrew word, but the English word, and that the Hebrew word is Yahwe. Ly362 (talk) 04:18, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, but that's not the case. יהוה is the Hebrew form and YHWH is a transliteration into the Latin alphabet using English-language conventions. יַהְוֶה is a hypothetical scholarly vocalization of יהוה (which was first posited about two centuries ago), and the conventional accepted English transliterated form of vocalized יַהְוֶה is "Yahweh" (though [yahwe] in square brackets might be used in a strict phonetic transcription). We can make it clear that the final ה letter was not pronounced while also using the common English form "Yahweh"... AnonMoos (talk) 04:36, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
You are mixing up a few things, "Yahweh" can indeed be the common ENGLISH term, because that's how it had been Romanized in the past, but there is no relevance to "English language conventions" when trying to Romanize Hebrew words. Each language has its own Romanization standards, and they usually stand regardless of any "target" language, just like natively Latin-script written languages, that do not change their spellings to English spelling. When coming to Romanize a Hebrew word, such as יַהְוֶה it should be done with the accepted guidelines for Hebrew Romanization. There are such guidelines here in English Wikipedia, but they are problematic in my view, but in this case there is doubt it should be spelled "Yahwe". That is, the Romanization of the word. Without contradicting "Yahweh" as the accepted ENGLISH name. Ly362 (talk) 05:09, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, but you're the one mixing things up. "Yahweh" definitely uses English alphabetical conventions, since many languages do not show the correspondence of "Y" with IPA [j] (for example, German and the Nordic languages and many Slavic languages use "J" for IPA [j]), French writes [w] with "OU" etc. etc. In any case, it's simply a fact that "Yahweh" is the common general-purpose use form in an English-language context (what is found in the Jerusalem Bible etc. etc.), while [yahwe] is a specialized technical phonetic transcription which is used in only rather limited contexts... AnonMoos (talk) 05:39, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
What? How does the fact that "Yahweh" uses English alphabetical conventions contradict anything I said. Yes, "Yahweh" is the common general-purpose use form in English, I have not contradicted that, I've stated several times that it is the English word and that's ok, but that has nothing to do with the actual Romanization of Hebrew. If you want to present the Hebrew word יהוה or יַהְוֶה in Latin letters, there are ways to do that, that have nothing to do with English. Since we present the Hebrew word in the original script, we might want to give the Romanization of the word for the Latin-script reader, and this is better spelled "Yahwe". It does not contradict "Yahweh" as an English term wherever it is used as a reference for the god without trying to give the Hebrew origin. Ly362 (talk) 06:57, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
For example, Jeremiah is the English name, Yirmiyáhu could be the Hebrew Romanization. Israel is the English name, Yiśraˀel is the Hebrew Romanization. Yahweh is the English name, Yahwe is the Hebrew Romanization. Hope this clarifies it. Ly362 (talk) 07:01, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
I'm not sure how this is fully consistent with your previous remarks, but since you seem to be partially admitting that "Yahweh" is the general-purpose form in English, this clearly implies that [yahwe] should be used mainly to specifically indicate pronunciation. AnonMoos (talk) 00:05, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
Yes, that is, when you also give the word יַהְוֶה, you should also give the Romanization of it to people who can't read it. And also read the following paragraph on the Samaritans. Ly362 (talk) 00:15, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
Many of your remarks do not really seem to succeed in conveying much specific information to my mind, but if one thing is clearer than another, it's that if "Yahweh" is the accepted transcription of Gesenius' reconstruction for general-purpose use in English, then "Yahweh" should be used in most cases in the article (with [yahwe] reserved to discussions of details of pronunciation). AnonMoos (talk) 14:08, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
There isn't a disagreement about the use of Yahweh in English context, but why do you call this Gesenius thing a transcription? It isn't. It is the English name, but it isn't the transcription nor the transliteration of the Hebrew word. Fine, call it pronunciation matters. So why do you give the Hebrew form of יַהְוֶה? If it is to present the actual Hebrew word, then it should also be written in Latin letters while remaining a word in Hebrew. Unlike Yahweh which is a word in English. Ly362 (talk) 14:32, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
See my recent edit to the article. AnonMoos (talk) 14:44, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
And of course you had already reverted it... I'm afraid that sprinkling "Yahweh" and "Yahwe" at random through the article really accomplishes nothing except to create confusion about which one is correct -- whereas saying specifically that [yahwe] indicates probable phonetic pronunciation, while "Yahweh" is a conventional transliteration, is much more useful. AnonMoos (talk) 14:50, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
It isn't random, it is exactly only after where you show the word יַהְוֶה, when you talk about "pronouncing" it. This is simply the Hebrew in Latin letters after giving it in Hebrew letters. As it is done anywhere else on Wikipedia. You can't give instead an explanation that the name is (The English name) "Yahweh", only that it is pronounce without the "h". You are talking about two different languages. It isn't that Yahweh is a Hebrew word that besides the "h", if you pronounce it in English that is how it is really pronounced in Hebrew! English is another language, it isn't Hebrew, the "a" isn't the same /a/, and the "e" isn't the same /e/, and so are the "y" and "w", they just happen to be "the same", but they don't ought to be, these are different languages. Imagine that the common English word would have been Javek (made it up just now), now how would you say that it is pronounced without the "h"? There is no "h". It just happened they chose good letters to "transcribe" it to English. But you need to separate the things. If it were Javek would you ask me to not write the Hebrew Romanization after the Hebrew name in Hebrew letters? And it just happens that (in all systems in this case) the letters are almost the same as in "English", but it could have been a different system where you convert it as "Jagve" for example (just made it up as well). Actually, if a common unstandardied system were to be used here, like according to the guidelines here in Wikipedia (which I'm not a fan of) it could have been "Yahave". Ly362 (talk) 15:53, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
My previous basic remarks re-apply with renewed force -- Many of your remarks do not really seem to succeed in conveying much specific information to my mind, but if one thing is clearer than another, it's that if "Yahweh" is the accepted transcription of Gesenius' reconstruction for general-purpose use in English, then "Yahweh" should be used in most cases in the article (with [yahwe], in IPA brackets and lowercase, reserved for discussions of details of pronunciation). AnonMoos (talk) 00:40, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
Why do you give the word יַהְוֶה? What is it if not a pronunciation guide? In Hebrew letters and Tiberian niqqud. You write: "His proposal to read YHWH as "יַהְוֶה"..." That's like saying "His proposal to read YHWH as "Yahwe"..." or any other system for Romanizing Hebrew. Ly362 (talk) 01:14, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
And what does it mean to transliterate something to "English"? I know what it means to transliterate something to Latin letters. Ly362 (talk) 01:16, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
Ultimately the pronunciation of יַהְוֶה would be [yahwe], as shown in proper IPA conventions (square brackets and lowercase), but the customary English spelling of Gesenius' reconstruction is "Yahweh". And it means transliterated keeping English spelling conventions in mind. Чайкoвский is transliterated to German as Tschaikowski, but to English as Tchaikovsky (where the "T" in the English form is actually from French transliteration influence)... AnonMoos (talk) 02:10, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
What is the customary English spelling of the French word "chanson"? Ly362 (talk) 05:31, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
You appear to have overlooked the fact, but English and French are both written with the same alphabet (the Latin), which is not the case with English and Hebrew or English and Russian. However, even in the case of languages written with the same alphabet, there are common exonyms, such as Munich vs. München, etc. AnonMoos (talk) 15:10, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

Yahouh ?[edit]

I was interested that the French wiki article fr:Yahweh describes the pronounciation "Yahweh" as "now regarded as erroneous", directing readers to fr:YHWH which claims that "it seems that the pronunciation was Yahouh (W being then a mater lectionis, that is to say, a vowel)".

Is this a true statement of the balance of modern scholarship? And if it is, is it something we should make more of in our article here? Jheald (talk) 11:14, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

I don't really think so -- a word-final letter ה is not silent after a long [ū] vowel in any other Biblical Hebrew words that I know of, and in the vast majority of cases it's silent only after long [ā] or short [e] vowels (with a few lingering archaic remnants of [ō] in proper names such as "Solomon" and "Shiloh"). Also, in roots such as h-w-y/h-y-y "to be", the final root consonant (known as a "lamed-he" semivowel in traditional grammatical terminology) is given to vocalizing in almost all circumstances, leaving little scope for a preceding middle-radical "w" to vocalize to [ū] (of course, it's strictly forbidden by ancient Hebrew phonological restrictions to have two vowels which occur directly in sequence within a word, not separated by an intervening consonant). And in fact, a highly pertinent question is, where is the "y" of h-w-y in Yahouh? If there's some very recently published paper or book which claims to overturn all previous work in the field, then the bibliographical details need to be given, so that it can be determined what degree of scholarly respectability and acceptance it has... AnonMoos (talk) 14:03, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
I don't know what the French claim is based on.
de-wiki's de:JHWH cites a 1936 journal paper by Sigmund Mowinckel as claiming

"Thus we can determine -- indeed even prove -- that Yahweh was not the correct pronounciation of the Tetragrammaton... the name itself was probably YAHÔH",

and also the revised French translation by Louis Segond as commenting that

"The pronounciation Yahweh, which is used in some newer translations, is based on a few ancient witnesses, but they are not conclusive. If one takes personal names ... into account, such as the Hebrew name of the Prophet Elijah (Eliyahou), then a just as good pronounciation could be Yaho or Yahou".

But that dates back to 1871, so can hardly be counted as a "recently published" paper or book !! Jheald (talk) 14:31, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
I think we'd probably want a linguistic scholar whose work focuses on comparative Semitic and/or ancient Hebrew in the areas of phonology and/or etymology, rather than a philologist of Psalms, or a 19th-century Bible translator. In any case, Yahu is usually explained as a secondary form through the historical sound changes yahwe > yahw > yahu. It's hard to see how either Yahuh or Yahoh can be derived from the triconsonantal verb roots meaning "to be"... AnonMoos (talk) 14:42, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
P.S. "Yahu" as a suffix at the end of names is of course spelled יהו not יהוה ... -- AnonMoos (talk) 02:04, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

relating articles and citations needed[edit]

Hi, I just interesting about this second revert from that article content. IMHO, more clear see also is needed, because lot of disambiguation there. {{WP:D}}, {{WP:V}} I think about more related topics should be included, and with verified citation check (for example number of appearance sourced only from WTS) {{Not verified}} or only 1 source, while could be better to have 2 reliable sources. {{Sources}}. --FaktneviM (talk) 10:03, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

1) I removed the "citation needed" tag because the sentence where it was included does actually have a reference (whether that reference is adequate is another issue which can be addressed in another manner). In fact, it seems that the {{Citation needed|date=May 2011}} tag was inserted artificially early in order to avoid having {{Citation needed}} right next to <ref>...</ref>!
2) I removed the "Cleanup" tag because it seems this was only inserted in order to deal with the mess that was created by the poorly-formatted links added to the top and the bottom of the article. It's really greatly preferable to add material in a correct and usable form right from the beginning, rather than adding loose or sloppy to material to the article, and then also adding in a compensatory cleanup tag to try to induce someone else to deal with the mess which you have created.
3) I removed the newly-added links at the top and bottom of the article because those at the top of the article did not use standard templates, those at the bottom of the article were long and rambling (not in the preferred style for "See also" sections). Also, the links at the very top are supposed to be to disambiguations only, not to related topics as such, while the links in the "See also" section are supposed to be mainly to things which are not discussed or linked in the main text of the article (again, not a general guide to related topics). AnonMoos (talk) 00:05, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

I propose that these sections: Tetragrammaton#Bible_translations_into_English and Tetragrammaton#In_the_New_Testament be merged into Sacred_Name_Bibles and Tetragrammaton in the New Testament respectively. Sacred Name Movmement (SNMovement) 09:08, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

Hi, Doesn't sound like a good idea to me. Encyclopedia of Protestantism J. Gordon Melton p.479 lists Sacred Name Bible as something unique to the Sacred Name Movement, adding in "Yahweh" etc where the New Testament text has Kyrios "Lord". That's very different from the mainstream translations listed under Tetragrammaton which are often RC Bibles listing Yahweh for YHWH in the OT. btw - I just reverted your edits on Sacred Name Bibles, mainly since they weren't sourced and not because of spelling/grammar.In ictu oculi (talk) 10:30, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
User:Sacred_Name_Movmement -- The Jehovah's Witnesses are not ordinarily considered to be part of the "Sacred name movement" by any criterion which I'm aware of, so this can't be implemented in the particular form in which you proposed it, but I do agree that any extended discussion of unique Sacred Name beliefs which are rejected by the consensus of mainstream scholarship belongs on those articles, not on this one. By the way, are you aware that your username contains a typo...? AnonMoos (talk) 13:25, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
Yes, as AnonMoos says above, I've attempted to clean up Sacred Name Bibles a bit, the information about 4QLev (the Greek Iao fragment), and Ibn Shaprut's Touchstone was misrepresented, and also some OR categories "Partial Name Bibles" (no hit on Google Books) removed. What's really badly needed is publisher data for an article that is supposed to be listing a class of books. How many of these versions are really published, how many are just pdfs? In ictu oculi (talk) 13:48, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
To clarify: All SNM adherents use Sacred Name Bibles. No SNM adherents use Jehovah. Jehovah Witnesses consider the Sacred Name to be Jehovah. As a result, they believe their Bible contains the Sacred Name and therefore a Sacred Name Bible. I believe in the Name Yahweh, but Jehovah Witnesses don't. From our perspective, a SNB is best described as one that uses the Hebraic/Semitic terms because we don't use the Jehovah, we do not believe it to be sacred, but that's a biased view and I recognize this is an encyclopedia and should not be WP:UNDUE. It just depends whose perspective you are looking at things from. But the term Sacred Name Bible should not be seen as exclusive to the SNM. (SNMovement) 18:06, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
That's nice -- however, the JW's were translating Greek κυριος by means of claimed forms of the Tetragrammaton before the Sacred name movement became at all widely known, and the JW's are still more prominent than the Sacred name movement today. Therefore it's extremely unclear why subsections which are mainly about JW's should be transferred to an article not about JW's. AnonMoos (talk) 06:35, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

This page is very bad[edit]

Very confusing! We have 251 watchers and over 300 contributors on this article and yet, the page is a shocker! Incredibly messy. It seems like there's just been a scramble by all religious groups and perspectives. I am calling for a rapid clean up of this article and am requesting some assistance and suggestions as to how to do it. (SNMovement) 18:19, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

My suggestion is that everything in section 3.2 and below me separated in their own articles. So one article on Evidence for the Name, another on Religious use of the Name etc. We could add 4 major articles on their own and remove a lot of the content from these. (SNMovement) 18:25, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

Hi again. I'd agree it's fairly messy. But these contents don't seem that bad: Contents [hide]

  • 1 Occurrences and uses
  • 2 Etymology and meaning of YHWH
  • 3 Pronunciation
  • 3.1 Historical overview
  • 3.1.1 Using the name in the Bible
Evidence for the Name
  • 3.2 Evidence
  • 3.2.1 Theophoric names
  • 3.2.2 Using consonants as semi-vowels (v/w)
  • 3.2.3 Yahweh or Jahweh
  • 3.2.4 Kethib and Qere and Qere perpetuum
  • 3.2.5 The Leningrad Codex of 1008-1010
  • 3.2.6 Frequency of use in scripture
  • 3.2.7 The vocalizations of יְהֹוָה and אֲדֹנָי are not identical
  • 3.2.8 Dead Sea scrolls
  • 3.2.9 Josephus's description of vowels
  • 3.3 Conclusions
  • 3.3.1 Early Greek and Latin forms
  • 3.3.1.1 Clement's Stromata
The Name in Religion

3.4 In ancient Judaism

  • 3.5 In later Judaism
  • 3.6 In Modern Judaism
  • 3.6.1 Jehovah
  • 3.6.2 יַהְוֶה = Yahweh
  • 3.7 Among the Samaritans
  • 3.8 Catholic Church
Other theories
  • 3.9 Yahu
  • 3.10 Magical papyri
  • 3.11 Mesopotamian influence
Scholarship
  • 3.11.1 19th Century scholarship
  • 3.11.2 Modern scholarship


To be merged to Sacred Name Bibles, Jehovah article and Tetragrammaton in the New Testament article.
  • 3.12 Bible translations into English
  • 3.13 Loss of the Tetragrammaton in the Septuagint
  • 4 Examining the vowel points of יְהֹוָה and אֲדֹנָי
  • 5 In the New Testament
  • 5.1 Translations of the New Testament into Hebrew
  • 6 In the Kabbalah and Chassidut
  • 7 See also
  • 8 References
  • 9 Notes

And if there's been a scramble by all religious groups and perspectives that in itself should be a good thing, provided they've all left sources. Cheers In ictu oculi (talk) 18:39, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

All we have to do is create these separate pages: Evidence for the Name, The Name in Religion, Other theories and Scholarship. It would drastically clean up the article and help to simplify what really should be a simple article stating that the Tetragrammaton is a 4 letter word representing the Name of Yahweh. Any input would be appreciated, thanks to In ictu oculi for the input so far (SNMovement) 03:38, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

Here's how the article would look with the above changes made. (SNMovement) 03:49, 16 May 2011 (UTC) Comparing the Jehovah article to the the Tetragrammaton (and Yahweh article) shows that, these articles have had to to bear all the brunt for the theories, and the criticisms about the Name and an article like Jehovah gets away scot free and something needs to be done. I'm saying, the Jehovah article is a very good articlem but only because they don't take any discredit to the Name. No, all of that gets put on the Yahweh article and the Tetragrammaton one and sorry to say this but it seems deliberate, which is why I'm calling for separate pages - because someone needs to separate the bad from the good, the truth from the error, the theory from the fact. (SNMovement) 04:13, 16 May 2011 (UTC)


Your explanation of your proposed changes is really not at all clear to me in the form given above, but I've removed the "mergeto" tag from the "Bible translations into English" subsection because the Sacred name Bible translations and general movement really do not have great prominence in number of adherents, historical weight, or current broad influence within Christianity as a whole, so it would be ludicrous to merge a general discussion of English Bible translations produced by many different groups into a Sacred name article. AnonMoos (talk) 06:44, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
Yes, exactly as per AnonMoos, and for the same reasons. In ictu oculi (talk) 07:13, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
Sacred Name Bibles are notable, especially in relation to the subject of the Tetragrammaton. Why would it be ludicrous to merge a discussion of English Bible translations that use the Name (Sacred Name Bibles) produced by many different groups into a Sacred Name Bible article.? This page IS a Sacred Name article. Yahweh, Testrammaton, Tetragrammaton...they're all Sacred Name articles. (SNMovement) 10:29, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
Sacred name Bibles pass the threshold of Wikipedia minimum notability (which is why they have their own separate article), but that's very different from saying that they're a significant component of, or influence on, the mainstream of Christianity as a whole, because they simply aren't. The unique features of Sacred name Bibles are unanimously rejected by the consensus of modern scholarship, and the Sacred name movement is far from being prominent within Christianity -- which means that by Wikipedia standards, Sacred name should not be given any lengthy or extended discussion in this article.
Your originally-proposed edits were inappropriate because it seemed that you were effectively trying to jump Sacred name over JW's, but in trying to bring the Jerusalem Bible etc. under the aegis of Sacred name, you're now effectively trying to jump Sacred name over the Roman Catholic church -- despite the fact that they have thousands of times more adherents than you do, they've been established more than twenty times as long as you have, and the forms of the Tetragrammaton used in their modern Bible translations have much more scholarly respectability than the forms of the Tetragrammaton used in your Bible translations... AnonMoos (talk) 11:44, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, a Sacred Name Bible is a Bible that uses the Sacred Name, and that makes them notable. Don't shoot the messenger. That's the definition. And Sacred Name Bibles have had a major influence on Christianity on the whole. Why else would the Vatican state that they don't want the Name of G-d (Yahweh) pronounced? Would they do that if there wasn't an issue? We can't delude ourselves here. Is the Name a mute issue or not? If it is, why are there so many articles related to the Sacred Name corresponding to Christianity? (SNMovement) 12:05, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
Just because a Bible translation rejects the traditional rendering of YHWH as Adonai (or a translation of Adonai, such as "LORD" etc.) doesn't mean that it's affiliated with the specific "Sacred name movement" (or even the "Sacred Name Movmement") in any way whatsoever. You seem to be significantly confused on that point. AnonMoos (talk) 12:45, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
I think you're straying off the point and now making assertions that I have in no way endorsed. (SNMovement) 20:26, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
If we were to have an article on "Bible translations where YHWH is not translated as Adonai/κυριος/LORD", then Sacred Name Bibles would not predominate, and it would not be an overall Sacred Name Movement article. AnonMoos (talk) 01:37, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

General reorg.[edit]

I agree with Sacred Name Movement, the article is too messy. As Wikipedians our aim is to create resources where people can find valid information to support their understanding. By splitting the article we can create clarity instead of confusion. Oggy15 (talk) 14:09, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

To continue the point made by Oggy15, an overly long and confusing article will deter users from the article and make them more likely to look elsewhere for their information. A concise article with good linking to the divided pages will be more attractive for the user. The four new pages suggested by Sacred Name Movement appear to make sense in the context of the entire article. Nay! (talk) 14:20, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

The article could be improved, but some of the difficulties are inherent in the subject matter, where of necessity highly-technical matters have to be discussed. And Sacred Name MovmeMent has provided no specific supporting discussion for the split tag he added to the top of the article, and I'm not enthusiastic about the specifics -- "Evidence for the Name", "Religious use of the Name", "Other theories on the Name" and "Scholarship on the Name". For one thing, scholarship pervades all aspects of the subject, so I really don't know how it can be separated out into a separate article. Also not sure what the difference between "Evidence" and "Scholarship is". And "Other theories on the Name" sounds suspiciously like a Content Fork. And "Religious use of the Name" is pretty much what Names of God in Judaism already is now. I think this needs a lot of thinking through and further consideration before any split could be carried through... AnonMoos (talk) 02:17, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
Hate to simply "ditto", but what AnonMoos says, again, is correct. See Wikipedia:Content forking.
I suggest a simple (and painfree) confirming of the page basic content would be simply ordering YHWH by it's treatment in A. TEXTS (1) Hebrew, (2) Aramaic, (3) Greek, (4) Latin, (5) English, (6) other languages including modern Hebrew. THEN B. USAGE Religious use of the Name by (a) Jewish (b) Christian use. The article is 90% there already. Just needs a bit of moving around, which will remove and trim duplication and end with an article 20-30% shorter. In ictu oculi (talk) 04:44, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
I was just looking again and cannot see much in this article that is specific to the Sacred Name Movement, but maybe some points could be hived off to Sacred Name Bibles -- and incidentally, see Talk:Sacred Name Bibles for edits to lede there. In ictu oculi (talk) 05:24, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

I´ll take a watch on progress here and also agree with Sacred Name Movement, the article is too messy. Many different theories and information about several related topics. That all should be clarified. WP:CON and WP:WikiLove. You all are welcome to WP:Be bold in editing. Hi. --FaktneviM (talk) 15:57, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

It is positive that In ictu oculi believes the article is 90% there and I would tend to agree. I like the seperation between texts and usage to improve understanding and cohesiveness. Certainly some progress being made here. Nay! (talk) 22:51, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

Contents [hide] It seems that the current structure could be simplified to these 4 sections.

  • 1. Primary Evidence: Occurrences in written texts
  • 2. Etymology and meaning of YHWH
  • 3. Pronunciation; The question of which vowels
  • 4. Usage; The question of whether to say the name outloud

I'm going to be bold and try it. Other eds comments please.In ictu oculi (talk) 23:53, 4 June 2011 (UTC)

del. nonsense[edit]

I was cleaning up the formatting, and noticed where we said that when scholars "accept" the reading, that doesn't mean they accept it. I deleted it as stupid. I don't know if they accept it or not; if not, we shouldn't say they do, rather than saying it and then contradicting ourselves. — kwami (talk) 09:49, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

Kwami, I take it then that the simplification of structure meets with at least one other editor's approval... or at least it isn't too bad? Good call on the delete, there are two many POV insertions like that in the pronunciation section.In ictu oculi (talk) 10:02, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

Jehovah's Witnesses sources[edit]

"Chapter 1 of The Tetragrammaton and the Christian Greek Scriptures, under the heading The Pronunciation Of God's Name quotes from Insight on the Scriptures, Volume 2, page 7:"

And that, if you bother to check, is Jehovah's Witnesses quoting Jehovah's Witnesses. JW are not a scholarly but a biased source that has an interest in justifying its use of the name Jehovah. They shouldn't be used as a source at all.--Anonymous44 (talk) 22:30, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

I admit that JWs are not scholars, but in the real, the persons who use God's name and honor it in their prayer and meetings are only JWs, don't they? Maybe nobody object this. So, isn't it strange that this article don't include their theory? I think it's POV. 1.115.197.164 (talk) — Preceding undated comment added 03:34, 8 November 2014 (UTC)
First, this discussion is over three years old.
Second, that you think that the JWs are the only people who honor God's name in their services shows a fatal bias on your part. JWs are welcome to edit, but editors of any worldview who cannot distinguish between their personal beliefs and neutrally objective information are discouraged from editing. Ian.thomson (talk) 03:44, 8 November 2014 (UTC)
I think that HONORING God's name and USEING it in worship are another dimensions. For example, many Muslims HONOR Jesus Christ, but they don't USE it in their worship. I also admit many Jewish people and Christians expecting JWs also HONOR God's name, but they don't USE it in their worship. Just as the person who have a pet without naming can't draw close to it, I think that the person who worship God without using name can't know God closely. 1.115.199.228 (talk) — Preceding undated comment added 06:19, 8 November 2014 (UTC)

Tetragrammaton in Metaphysics[edit]

This articles content concerning the metaphysical importance of the tetragrammaton is disappointingly brief. I propose that this article expand its coverage of the metaphysical aspects of the tetragrammaton so that its relationship to process is more clearly understood.

In this context, yod he vau he, is taken less as a name and more as a description of the process of creation. More specifically, in some mystical circles the tetragrammaton is a cyclicly applied self-referential formula for becoming (as hinted by the etymological derivation from the Hebrew verb "to be" indicated in the article) . The second "he" of the "yod he vau he" becomes the yod of a further cycle.

To see this more clearly consider the Hegelian 1)thesis, 2)antithesis, 3)synthesis. The synthesis becomes a new thesis for a second Hegelian cycle. Again, in mystical circles, one can see the correspondence to the numerologically key numbers 4, 7, 10, 13 as completions of tetragrammaton cycles (which initiate new cycles) when the process is applied to the natural numbers.

It is of further import to metaphysics that this repeated cycle of being/becoming is self-referential and fractal in exactly the same sense as a Sierpinski gasket. Indeed, a Sierpinski gasket of equilateral triangles is a graphical representation of the tetragrammaton where each of the first three distinct letters represent the vertices of a generating triangle and the whole of the interior triangle with vertices corresponding to the bisections of each side represents the second "he" which then becomes a new generator.Janimue (talk) 01:00, 16 July 2011 (UTC)

Problem with YHWH being the personal name of biblical god[edit]

Is YHWH יהוה the true "personal" name of god ?

When Moses asked god about his personal name, god answered him ..[ I am (who) what I am אהיה אשׁר אהיה]…. Ahieh asher Ahieh ...NOT YHWH .יהוה…read ..Exodus 3:14.

This Name ..[I am (who) what I am…. אהיה אשׁר אהיה]…NOT… [YHWH …יהוה]…. should be Remember by Israelites Generation by Generation [ דּר לדר ]..and forever [ לְעלָם ] Exodus 3:15….it means that [YHWH …יהוה] is just a generic name,not personal ONE.

The Question is.. HOW the word [YHWH …יהוה]….. is .. extracted or taken from the phrase …. I am what I am…אהיה אשׁר אהיה… and how it became the personal name of the lord …not I am what I am ? ….where.. the word [YHWH …יהוה]..come from?....and if it YHWH the name of the god...why not LORD Jealous see...Exodus 34:14  ? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 78.101.8.161 (talk) 06:42, 23 July 2011 (UTC)

The scholarly consensus is that 'Ehyeh and YHWH are both derived from the same linguistic triliteral root (or from the slight root variants H-Y-Y / H-W-Y which have the same basic meaning). AnonMoos (talk) 23:26, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
If YHWH is just a generic name, it follows that there must be many YHWHs. Anyone for polytheism? PiCo (talk) 05:44, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
Historically, that's not the case -- the name was almost certainly derived from a root with a general meaning ("to be"), but it was originally used specifically as the name of the national god of the Israelites -- where Moab had Chemosh and Edom had Qaws, Israel had YHWH... AnonMoos (talk) 10:03, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
I wasn't thinking history, more logic: if a name is a generic (e.g. "Cola") it follows that there can be more than one specific (e.g. "Coke, Pepsi..."). I doubt that the anon ISP was going down that road. PiCo (talk) 12:01, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
I don't understand how a name can be "generic" if it's not used generically. In any case, in attested historical usage, YHWH is the name of the God of Israel. AnonMoos (talk) 12:17, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

As PiCo pointed out, as soon as the name becomes generic it would be assumed there were other Yahwehs. Have a look at the page for 'Yahweh (Canaanite deity) and you'll see that the evidence for this is weak and there is very little of it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Grammarbishop8 (talkcontribs) 11:02, 19 July 2012 (UTC)


Oh, is 78.101.8.161 the return of Seeker02421 ? ♆ CUSH ♆ 10:31, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

Don't think so -- Seeker02421 was more coherent, and not as fond of the ellipsis. AnonMoos (talk) 10:40, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

Some might not agree but this is a good article[edit]

If someone has a question along the lines of - What exactly is the problem with writing 'God' and why use this translation of individual lettres from Hebrew which makes no sense at all in English? - then they can come here and see why the name of God is so sensitive and so confusing. Its as though the use of the word has been deliberately confused by a higher power, like at the Tower of Babel. However, using the term YHWH instead of writing 'God' in articles is inconsiderate to the vast majority of English readers who have no idea what the tetragrammaton means. Can we agree to restrict its use to articles where the name of God is relevant? Mdw0 (talk) 05:43, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

No. But instead of YHWH the name Yahweh is to be used, which is the proper English name. The use of 'God' is to be discouraged except in quotations where it replaces Elohim. It is common practice to use LORD for the Tetragrammaton in quotations. The automatic identification of 'God' with the biblical deity as YHWH is only valid among such Christians and Jews who don't care too much about the details of their own respective religions (Elohist and Yahwist writings differ considerably in the characterizations of the deity/deities). And of course readers from other religious or non-religious backgrounds or simply with a wider view of religions in general see the use of 'God' as irritating if not offensive (e.g. Hindus, Atheists). ♆ CUSH ♆ 08:09, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
Wouldn't "Jehovah" be the proper English name? "Yahweh" is pretty much only used in specialist literature, and is unfamiliar to many people, whereas "Jehovah" is the form known by all. The OED describes Yahweh as "the usual form among scholars". — kwami (talk) 07:37, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
Unfortunately, the form "Jehovah" contains a basic large mistaken blunder, and has never existed as a Hebrew word. Christian Hebraists have known this since at least the early 19th century, and since the second quarter of the 20th century, there has been a certain degree of reluctance among scholars to continue foisting "Jehovah" onto the general public. So the RSV had a very different attitude towards rendering the Tetragrammaton into English than the ASV, the Catholic Jerusalem Bible used "Yahweh", etc. "Jehovah" is really a 16th-19th-century relic coasting on inertia at this point, as far as its prevalence within mainstream Christianity... AnonMoos (talk) 14:11, 8 May 2012 (UTC)


Mdw0 -- This article has suffered over the long term by being merged with other articles, then split off again, several times. It would have been better for it to have remained a separate article all the way through. You wouldn't write "YHWH" in a Bible translation or a prayer, but it's very useful for this article, as a way of discussing the Hebrew consonantal orthography without intruding any competing speculations or hypothetical reconstructions... AnonMoos (talk) 14:11, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

Name or description?[edit]

One datum to support the claim that the Tetragrammaton is not a personal name is the constuction יְהֹוָה צבאות, pronounced אֲדֹנָי צבאות (Lord of Hosts). Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz Username:Chatul (talk) 19:28, 7 March 2012 (UTC)

Rubbish. -- 05:38, 2 April 2012‎ User:PiCo
I think he may be trying to say that a pure personal name would not as readily appear in the first position in a construct-absolute type of noun compound. AnonMoos (talk) 07:36, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure there's any such thing as a pure personal name in Hebrew, is there? They all have meaning, usually as a sentence or sentence-fragment. The exceptions would be names like "David", that seem to have a meaning but a rather mysterious one - "Beloved" doesn't really sound like a name (surely it should be "beloved by...?). You know a lot more about this than I do, so I'd like to hear your opinion. (By the way, I apologise for the tone of my comment above - it wasn't meant to be quite so rude). PiCo (talk) 23:00, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
Well, there were probably many names used in Hebrew whose original etymology or meaning was not immediately obvious to Hebrew-speakers of 700 B.C. However, I wasn't referring to etymological status as such, but to the fact that in the grammar of Hebrew and related languages (including Arabic), names act as definite even when they don't have any specific morpheme of the type which is required to make ordinary nouns definite (such as a definite article prefix or a pronominal possessive suffix). In the characteristic noun-compounds of these languages, the first noun of the compound (the construct) is supposed to be indefinite, while definite/indefinite status of the second noun (the absolute) carries over to both nouns in the compound semantically. This means that names as such (which are inherently always definite) do not fit very well in the first position of a noun compound (see Gesenius 129(c) etc.). AnonMoos (talk) 23:54, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
But surely he's wrong to say that YHWH-sabaoth can be translated as "Lord of Hosts"? YHWH might be pronounced today as adonai, but it certainly doesn't, and never did, mean "lord", surely? PiCo (talk) 01:16, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
If as has been suggested, the name means 'He brings into being', what could be more appropriate than to claim He brought into the being the most powerful visible evidence of His majesty and purposeful immensity - the myriad galaxies? 'For that He is strong in power not one fails' In this instance the Name is not a construct but third person singular of the hiphil form of Hayah. Joseph is a third person singular form to to add, and there are other names in the same form. The Lord of Hosts would then be slightly inaccurate English shorthand. Cpsoper (talk) 19:04, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
guys WP:NOTFORUM. sources, and content for the article based on them, please! Jytdog (talk) 19:16, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

Iao[edit]

Curiosity here: We say, "It should be noted that the Greek form of the divine name, "Iao", is the equivalent of the Hebrew trigrammaton YHW." But Greek had no /h/, so "Iao" was really equivalent to YW. How would we distinguish whether it was meant to be YHW or YHWH if the aitches dropped? — kwami (talk) 07:35, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

There is no sequence of two vowels within a word in Biblical Hebrew; all syllables must begin with a consonant (with a very few marginal exceptions which may not have existed in the same form in the late B.C. / early A.D. period as in the later attested masoretic orthography). So if you have αω in the Greek transcription of a Biblical Hebrew word, you know automatically that if there were two vowels in the original Hebrew form, these must have been separated by a consonant in Hebrew. By the way, the final consonant of YHWH was a mater, and not pronounced within Hebrew... AnonMoos (talk) 14:00, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

Clean up note[edit]

The following obsolete HTML comment blocks in the article have been removed here for future reference/archiving.

<!------ THIS COMMENT REPLACES A CLEAN-UP NOTE.
THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE HAD GOT BADLY OUT OF SHAPE, PARTLY DUE
TO THE TWO "CONTROVERTED" ISSUES — (1) WHETHER TO SAY OUT
LOUD, (2) IF SO WITH WHICH VOWELS — THESE TWO ISSUES HAVE NOW
BEEN GIVEN THEIR OWN SECTIONS. PLEASE TRY TO ADD EDIT IN A
TIGHT ARTICLE STRUCTURE.

*1* PRIMARY SOURCES
*2* MEANING?
*3* VOWELS?
*4* READ OUT LOUD?
 -->
<!-- SECTION 1 ------------->
<!--------------SECTION 2. MEANING MEANING MEANING MEANING------>
<!--3. VOWELS VOWELS VOWELS-->

Other comments removed:

<!-- Smith's 1863 "A Dictionary of the Bible"
[http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-7/264290/1863Smithsoniaou.JPG] -->
<!-- 1911 EB is redundant now—[http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-7/264290/IaouFootnote.jpg] -->
<!-- [http://members.fortunecity.com/yahuwthah/Resource-577/AnsonLetter.htm] -->

—Telpardec  TALK  17:25, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

That blind html wasn't obsolete, I put it in trying to give this awful article some structure. :( In ictu oculi (talk) 09:41, 18 May 2012 (UTC)

Capitalization[edit]

Why wouldn't "Biblical Hebrew" be capitalized as the name of a language? "Old English" is capitalized, even though "old" is not an inherently capitlized word. Anyway, that's the way it's done on article Biblical Hebrew... AnonMoos (talk) 20:58, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

Cap'd. — kwami (talk) 21:26, 8 May 2012 (UTC)
"Hebrew" is the name of the language, "biblical" is an adjective used to distinguish how and where it is used. There are several places in this article where it is appropriate to capitalize it as "Biblical" – at the beginning of one sentence, and within cited source titles or quotes. It does not need to be capitalized in the wikiLink to the biblical Hebrew article if the sentence is not referring to the title of that article, but used as an adjective in prose.
As for "Old English", that is a special case. The whole term, a misnomer, was invented at a time of anti-German sentiment, in the late 19th century to replace the "Anglo-Saxon" designation of the language and time period before the Norman invasion. See Old English#notes 1st note.
—Telpardec  TALK  14:26, 11 May 2012 (UTC)
From what I've seen, "Biblical Hebrew" is the name of the language and therefore capitalized, just as "Modern Hebrew", "Modern English", "Old Japanese", "Vedic Sanskrit", etc. Whether OE is a misnomer is irrelevant for capitalization. — kwami (talk) 18:17, 11 May 2012 (UTC)

What is the Current Article Era System?[edit]

Which era system is this article using? Currently there is a mix of the two, with some parts giving date ranges with the start using one system and the end date using the other. I would have fixed it myself, but I wasn't sure which system was the current accepted one for the article. Thanks. — al-Shimoni (talk) 09:38, 11 May 2012 (UTC)

You'd need to check page history as these things are controversial. Personally I think BCE should be used always, but as I said, you need to check page history. In ictu oculi (talk) 10:17, 11 May 2012 (UTC)
Normally I would check when I come across it, but I was short on time last night (after midnight).
I just checked the archives and found no real discussion on the topic (in case there was a previous consensus discussion). So, next I checked to see which system was first introduced (without a consensus change, that would be the default). The first era usage seems to be by Wpid on 23 Dec 2007 as part of a material move from the Yahweh article.
While I agree that we should use the BCE/CE system (widely used in academic work these days, and is more NPOV over the declaration-of-faith other era system), sadly, that wasn't the one s/he used. :P I will have to take a pass on personally editing the article to cause-to-conform the era throughout, because — currently — that would be to the other system. Unless, there is consensus to switch to BCE/CE (?).
al-Shimoni (talk) 06:31, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
YesY Standardized era to BCE / CE - there was no "AD" notation, only "CE", only one paragraph had "BC" in text, the rest "BCE" - first "BC" use came with image caption, not article text.
—Telpardec  TALK  05:03, 14 May 2012 (UTC)


IAO[edit]

Hi, Willietell, this note is mainly for you based on recent additions to the tetragrammaton in the LXX section. I haven't followed every edit, and there are many more before your one of today, but I'm concerned that the whole section is being pulled out of shape towards what, with respect, are considered fringe views by scholarship. Most scholars are open to the possibility that the Qumran YHWH insertions in the Greek Jeremiah are typical of Palestine Greek written texts, some even believe that the YHWH insertions into Greek written text would extend to Alexandria and Corinth, so far fine. But no mainstream scholar, as far as I know, advocates that the Hebrew letter insertion YHWH was actually read "IAO" ("Jehovah/Yahweh") outloud, since IAO is preserved only in magical contexts and was subject to the same ban on pronouncing the divine name in the Second Temple period among Greek-speaking Jews as Hebrew/Aramaic speaking ones. This position is reiterated in all mainstream studies of Hellenistic Judaism. In ictu oculi (talk) 02:39, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

First, and this may seem a somewhat pointless argument, but I'm not entirely sure that the average reader will understand that Hellenistic Jewish texts = The Greek Septuagint or other Greek translations of the Scriptures, and therefore question changing the heading for this reason. I will not debate that the Jewish tradition was not to " read aloud " the divine name, as the current thinking among scholars is that superstition prevented them from doing so. However, that does not take away from the fact that the earliest and oldest copies of the Septuagint did in fact contain the Tetragrammaton (whether read aloud or not) and that it disappeared from the copies in the centuries following the death of Jesus. The Bible also states that the crowds were amazed at Jesus' way of teaching and Jesus himself stated that he made his fathers name known, clearly indicating that he did not follow this custom of not pronouncing the divine name. Thus, it is only reasonable to assume that his disciples followed his example (especially since they state that he left a model for them to follow closely ) and pronounced the divine name as well and included it in quotes taken from those early copies of the Septuagint in use during their time. It is also reasonable to assume that since the early Christians were heavily exposed to Latin as a result of being subject to Rome, that the Latinized form of the Tetragrammaton (JHVH, Iehovah) rendered as Jehovah, is reasonably close to the correct pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton (this latter point is however, my personal opinion). While it is true that most Hebrew scholars prefer Yahweh, this is certainly not a consensus, and there are more than a large number of instances where Jehovah has been preferred over the centuries. As far as the Tetragrammaton being included in copies of the Septuagint, there are copies as late as the 10th century C.E. (The Aleppo Codex) where the divine name in the form of the Tetragrammaton is preserved. The information presented is not a "fringe view" as there are actual physical copies available for examination (in photo copy form of course) and further on that point, the The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology hardly represents a "fringe view", even if you consider such noted scholars as Origen (245 C. E.) (Hexapla) and Jermone (384 C. E) (Latin Vulgate), who held similar views, to also hold "fringe views" . The Journal of Theological Studies, Oxford, Volume XLV 1944 pg. 158-159 notes that the Greek versions of Aquila, Symmachus as well as the Septuagint all represent the divine name with the use of the Tetragrammaton. These are not "fringe views", but simple statement of facts. The article needs to be balanced and presents relevant facts. Together, I'm sure we can make sure it does so. I look forward to working with you on this endeavor. Willietell (talk) 04:21, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
Hi Willietell
I think you may have misread what I said, do you want to have another pass at it :)
What is fringe and what shouldn't be in the article, is any suggestion that anyone ever said Yahwe/Iao etc outloud during the Second Temple period except in magical/exorcism contexts. See Philo. In ictu oculi (talk) 09:23, 18 May 2012 (UTC)
I think it would be "fringe" to assert that they did not use the divine name in that period considering that the book of Daniel, completed around 536 B.C.E. uses the Tetragrammaton, as does the book of Haggai, completed around 520 B.C.E. and the book of Zechariah, completed around 518 B.C.E. and the book of Malachi, completed sometime after 443 B.C.E. To speculate that the use of the divine name had disappeared prior to the completion of a bible book which uses it frequently is illogical and in denial of reality. To speculate that use of the divine name disappeared so quickly after the writings of at least 4 books which use it commonly seems like a desperate attempt to manipulate history towards ones liking rather than accepting it for what is truly is instead. Reason and logic tell me that the divine name was in common use at the beginning of the second temple period, and must have diminished sometime during that period. It is evident from the Greek text of the bible that the use of the divine name was no longer common at the time of Jesus, however it existed in copies of the scriptures, but was unspoken by the religious leaders, which was the cause of more than a little irritation on their part when Jesus openly used the divine name in his ministry, because they considered its use to be blasphemy due to their custom/tradition. Willietell (talk) 03:35, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
Willietell, sorry but that is fringe-beyond-fringe. Whatever the value or not of the New Testament as evidence for Jesus' activities, the Gospel of Luke records Jesus reading Kyrios (i.e. Adonai) from the Isaiah scroll, and using Kyrios for YHWH in daily conversation which puts the NT in line with all other Second Temple period evidence. You are entitled to express fringe views here on the talk page, but that doesn't even warrant a mention in the article text due to WP:Weight. With respect I regret that I don't see the value for either of us to continue this discussion. Just keep it out of the article please. Cheers In ictu oculi (talk) 03:01, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
Actually, some of the dates you've assigned are themselves 'fringe'. The book of Daniel is generally dated between 200 BCE and 100 BCE. Malachi is generally dated in or prior to 445 BCE. But aside from that, the appearance of the Tetragrammaton in Hebrew texts neither confirms not denies that the name was no longer pronounced when reading.--Jeffro77 (talk) 10:46, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
There is no archaeological evidence to support such a dating for the book of Daniel, only speculation that the book is too accurate in it's prediction of events to have been written in advance, thus it is thought to have been written after the events occurred. However, the book presents a firsthand account of events during the 617 BCE to 536 BCE (roughly) period and barring other evidence, which doesn't exist, must be considered to have been written at that time. A difference of opinion of 2 years concerning the writing of the book of Malachi is of little significance, and is not worthy of deep discussion. Also, the appearance of the Tetragrammaton in Hebrew texts points to its common use during the time of the writing of the particular text. If the divine name was not being spoken at the time, the writer would not have used it in the text and would have substituted alternative wording instead, however that was not the case, therefore the Divine Name must have been in oral use at the time. Willietell (talk) 02:48, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
You are quite wrong about the book of Daniel (and 617BCE is wrong in any case), which has many markers of being written in the 2nd century BCE. It is uncontested that elements may be drawn from earlier historical accounts or legends.
Your claim that the name must have been spoken if it was still written is simply wrong, and directly counter to what is known of the tradition of substituting Adonai when reading. It is patently obvious that if someone were to read a different word to what was written, then the unspoken written form was still in use.--Jeffro77 (talk) 04:16, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
You ignore the obvious for the sake of continuing a circular argument, Adonai was inserted by readers of the text, but was not intended to be inserted by the writers of that text. The tradition came after the writings were completed, not during the time of the writer of the scriptures, thus further proof that Daniel was written earlier than you assert. There is no evidence other than sheer speculation, stemming out of a desire to find some reason other than divine inspiration for the historical accuracy of the book of Daniel, that the book was written at any date later than about 536 BCE and records events that occurred during Daniel's lifetime after he arrived in Babylon. Thus the covered period of 618 BCE to about 536 BCE. (618 BCE being the 3rd year of Jehoiakim as tributary king under Nebuchadnezzar). Furthermore, fragments of Daniel have been found among those of the dead sea scrolls, thus dating them to a period beyond that which you desire to assign for the writings. And again, I don't really care that you disagree with the 618 BCE dating( I was being generous stating 617 BCE roughly), as you have no factual evidence to the contrary and it is an accurate biblical dating. Willietell (talk) 04:12, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
You're not making any sense at all. Your magical thinking about prophecies is not particularly relevant, and neither is there any "biblical dating" of any specific year for the book of Daniel. You yourself have stated previously that the Tetragrammaton is found in copies of the Greek Septuagint from the 2nd century CE, so the presence of the Tetragrammaton certainly doesn't preclude authorship of the book of Daniel from the 2nd century BCE, nor does it indicate whether the term was read aloud in any particular year.--Jeffro77 (talk) 08:02, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
Again the circular argument, avoiding the point and instead discussing a tangent and circling back to the beginning. Willietell (talk) 00:12, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

addressed "lede doesn't express contents" tag[edit]

I propose expanding have expanded the lede like this

The term tetragrammaton (from Greek τετραγράμματον, meaning "[a word] having four letters")[1] refers to the Hebrew written form of one of the names of the God of Israel YHWH (Hebrew: יהוה‎), which is used in the Hebrew Bible and elsewhere.

This written Hebrew name is generally regarded as having been pronounced as Yahweh by modern scholars, though many variant pronunciations have been proposed.

At some point a taboo on saying the name Yahweh outloud developed in Judaism, and rather than pronounce the written Hebrew name outloud, other titles were substituted, including "Lord" (in Hebrew Adonai, in Greek Kyrios).

  • Is this basically okay?
  • Where is the article that should be linked from the redlink?
  • Is there anything else really important that should go in here? In ictu oculi (talk) 09:39, 18 May 2012 (UTC)
Today I moved the sections about to try and separate out the material on the Jewish prohibition of speaking the name outloud and deleted various unsourced OR comment trying to suggest Second Temple period Jews in fact did speak it. It still needs decent sourcing. In ictu oculi (talk) 04:45, 19 May 2012 (UTC)
By the 1st century AD, supposedly only the High Priest pronounced it out loud, once a year in the Holy of Holies of the Jerusalem temple, on the Day of Atonement. However, I don't know that we have to go into great detail about that in this article... AnonMoos (talk) 12:17, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
AnonMoos, thanks for comment. I agree we don't need great detail. However this above is an important point (in the Second Temple section at least) and I will try to find a suitable source and add. Thanks. In ictu oculi (talk) 06:49, 21 May 2012 (UTC)


The issue I have with it is that the Tetragrammaton was the name of God, and not one of the names of God as all other references are titles and not names. Since this is the case, the inclusion of "one of the names of God" is inaccurate. Also. Tetragrammaton means four letters and not "a word having four letters" , therefore this is also inaccurate. Willietell (talk) 03:00, 13 June 2012 (UTC)

  1. ^ It originates from tetra "four" + gramma (gen. grammatos) "letter") "Online Etymology Dictionary". 

Various Pronunciation Usages[edit]

This may be only useful as an external link, as it is not usable in the body of the text, but Google has a tool (a spinoff of a research project by a few universities in which Google provided data) which can show frequency of word/phrase usage in books/publications. This is a graph of some various pronunciations of the Tetra since 1800: Google ngrams
Is this worthy enough as one of the external link? (I'm guessing not too likely.) — al-Shimoni (talk) 04:53, 19 May 2012 (UTC)

They're mostly not really "pronunciations", but alternative transcriptions. The results could be interesting, but such usage stats really wouldn't alter linguistic facts (e.g. no matter how frequently "Jehovah" was used from ca. 1550-1850, this wouldn't change in the slightest the fact that it originated as a mistaken blunder committed by Christians who did not understand the Jewish practice of Q're perpetuum, etc. etc.). -- AnonMoos (talk) 14:29, 19 May 2012 (UTC)

Layout/Title changes[edit]

Hello all, I'd like to be bold and make some layout changes and title fixes to comply with WP:NAMINGCRITERIA. When I make these changes, I will be referring to User:In ictu oculi's layout outline (See Talk:Tetragrammaton#This page is very bad). This means that whole sections may be moved into different areas under different titles. The only content I may consider deleting, is if it is poorly sourced or has no references at all. I will take care to keep the integrity of the article. Thanks, Jasonasosa (talk) 17:25, 11 July 2012 (UTC)

  1. The first order of business, is that I would like to merge Tetragrammaton#The four letters and Tetragrammaton#Etymology and meaning of YHWH together under a new title that complies with WP:NAMINGCRITERIA:"Conciseness". The new title will thus be: Etymology. - Jasonasosa (talk) 17:34, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
  2. The Tetragrammaton#Occurrences in texts section is convoluted with subsections that really don't belong there. The WP:SCOPE for the Occurrences section should discuss the original occurrences of the Tetragrammaton. The (2) Kabbalah sections should be merged together under the Usages section. As well, so should the Tetragrammaton#Magical papyri which doesn't even use the exact Tetragrammaton letters. Even the Tetragrammaton#Hellenistic Jewish texts also belongs down in the Usages section. Focus really needs to be on origins.Jasonasosa (talk) 18:36, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
  3. The Usages section reorganized:
(diff | hist) . . Tetragrammaton‎; 20:31 . . (-326)‎ . . ‎Jasonasosa (talk | contribs)‎ (Content moved down to Usages section; Usages section roughly reorganized; No content should have been omitted...)
What probably accounted for the (-326) was the shortening and omission of certain titles, and spacing. A lot of content was moved around. It wouldn't hurt to double check though, if there was something important left out... but I doubt it.Jasonasosa (talk) 20:34, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
Some chronological notes to consider for organizing this section...
  • Septuagint, in completion by 1st century BCE.
  • Kabbalah, takes a foothold in Jewish mysticism in 16th Century CE.
4. Re-organizing Tetragrammaton#Pronunciation section... (Meh) - Jasonasosa (talk) 08:42, 12 July 2012 (UTC)
5. New or better lead... maybe tomorrow. Goodnight. Jasonasosa (talk) 09:40, 12 July 2012 (UTC)
Primary concern is that some sections are as yet unsourced. That would probably keep it at "C" level until citations are added. John Carter (talk) 23:54, 17 July 2012 (UTC)
Okay, I will swing back around another time and do reference checking. Thanks for your input.   — Jasonasosa 05:00, 18 July 2012 (UTC)

Independent Observation[edit]

Why are they calling Proto-Aramaic, as Proto-Hebrew? Which language does the first line look like? Please, compare it to line 2 or 3. I don't want to be the only one who can recognize the difference between proto i aramaic I & hebrew L. - Additionally the sample second script is hand writing of Aramaic verse an etched Aramaic example. How desperate are they to make them look different? 4WhatMakesSense (talk) 22:48, 9 May 2013 (UTC)

Septuagint section[edit]

If someone understands the section on the Septuagint and/or has access to the sources referred to in it, would they please clarify the section, particularly the last paragraph, and more particularly still the last sentence? Esoglou (talk) 15:22, 1 May 2014 (UTC)

Yhwh pronounciation[edit]

According to exodus 6 , 2&3 , this tetragramatn was revealed for the first time , never before ! Yahweh him self is saying it clearely . Who is then te Yahweh in genesis and where ever before ? Are they two different gods with the same name ? The answer : yhwh is written in a semitic Waw , the WaW is equal to two times W , waw , then must be translated YAHWWEH . Pronounced YAHOOWEH . This word is the tird tense of semitic EHYEH , and means : that one , god of their ancestors ... As reporter, Moses could not report saying : Ehyeh , i am, he must say : that one , yahooweh In that dictation given to Moses . I think it is an evidence in the text . Badly translated Yahweh it was considered as a name . It is not a religious problem but a lecture one . Elias Bouez from Lebanon .--85.169.97.18 (talk) 09:06, 20 May 2014 (UTC)

Read WP:OR. Esoglou (talk) 11:47, 20 May 2014 (UTC)

Meaning[edit]

Have added short stub on meaning, with one common understanding, both referenced from Christian writers, other editors may help develop this. Cpsoper (talk) 00:03, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

'national god of Israel' vs 'god of israel' and is this a Christian article?[edit]

Christian Bibles are not written in Hebrew. This article does not need to reflect neutrality for Christians, as the Tetragrammaton is the name in Hebrew of the god of Israel, it is not a Christian concept. Christianity may have attached some significance to this Israelite, Jewish, and Samaritan concept, but that does not mean it is a Christian one. It is distinctly Hebraic in origin and use. For that matter, the 'national god of Israel' is unacceptable for Christians as well, due to the fact it is never mentioned in the Hebrew Bible or the Christian Old Testament. Even if the article should reflect neutrality for Christians, which it clearly should not, just like an article on Paul of Tarsus should not reflect neutrality for Muslims, it is not an article about northwestern Canaanite deities, which is where the concept of a supposed 'national god of Israel' originates, from speculations by secular scholars, and not from the text of the Tanakh, which presents their god as universal not national. See Isaiah, Deuteronomy, Ezekiel, et cetera. I also refer you to the talk pages of Moses and the Israelites for further discussion.--Newmancbn (talk) 14:27, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

There are no Christian articles here, just as there are no Atheist articles, Buddhist articles, Jewish articles, Muslim articles, or Wiccan articles. Wikipedia is neutral to all worldviews, which should be no threat to any person or religion seeking truth.
Also, I just saw a news story indicating that Pope Francis is still alive, but have yet to see anything indicating that Jesus has returned, so please do not pretend you speak for all Christians. The neutrality, verifiability, and other policies here are a boon to Christianity, not a bane. Ian.thomson (talk) 14:41, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
On the related question of capitalisation, I disagree with Editor2020 that a small 'g' is the only proper description of Israel's national Deity: it is the explicit claim of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, that the same God is exclusively singular and universal. If one insists on small letters since the description is a merely generic one, should not the same misguided rigour apply to the phrase 'God, according to Islam, is a universal God' in the Tawhid page? I propose a reversion to the capitalised form. Cpsoper (talk) 14:32, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
I did not say that, only that the article is National god. Editor2020, Talk 21:25, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
I can see a difference between God being a god or even a national god but still God. Ian.thomson (talk) 21:45, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

Exactly, "God" is the "national god" of the Israelites. Editor2020, Talk

I agree. Dougweller (talk) 09:48, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
So for this rule to be consistent, the tawhid page for example should read for the generic use 'God, according to Islam, is a universal god' - correct? If not please explain why? I appreciate why the x link here required a small 'g', but national God, or if you prefer National God, seems appropriate in this context as does the original phrasing on the tawhid page 'God, according to Islam, is a universal God' and the alternative needlessly irreverent. Cpsoper (talk) 18:09, 2 September 2014 (UTC)



Newmancbn -- I don't follow all your rhetoric, but during much of the 1000 B.C - 500 B.C. period, YHWH was the tribal or national god of the Israelites, just as Chemosh was the god of the Moabites, Qaws the god of the Edomites, etc... AnonMoos (talk) 18:13, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

Difference being that half the world's population don't credit the god and prophets of Moab, Edom and Ammon with being true witnesses. Jews, Christians, Muslims and many others now do honour Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael and Jacob, Moses and Elijah with being unique messengers of the Universal Deity. Does not making equivalence between such local idols and Deity violate WP:UNDUE? Cpsoper (talk) 18:49, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

who uses full vocalized term, when[edit]

For those interested in adding content about how christians use the vocalized term, especially liturgically, I would suggest adding high quality (stated in NPOV, and well sourced from secondary sources) content to the body of the article about this, and only after that is done, reviewing the article overall to see if it rises to the level of being included in the lead. It is an interesting topic. Jytdog (talk) 09:43, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

yet MORE edit warrning in the lead, for pete's sake[edit]

per WP:LEAD, NOTHING SHOULD BE IN THE LEAD THAT IS NOT DISCUSSED IN THE BODY. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE????? first this riduculous stuff about liturgical use, and now this "jehovah" junk. Please, please, PLEASE stop edit warring over the lead. PUT CONTENT INTO THE BODY OF THE ARTICLE AND ONLY IF IT RISES TO IMPORTANCE IN THE CONTEXT OF THE WHOLE ARTICLE SHOULD IT GO INTO THE LEAD, WITH APPROPRIATE WP:WEIGHT.

This is in regard to this and this. the source that Esoglou is bringing, this article, has the briefest discussion - far from comprenhensive or even thoughtful - about the history of "jehovah" - it is essentially an opinion piece advocating for the use of "yah" for the name of God - this is really a crap source for an article on the tetragrammaton about which oceans of ink have been spilt. Why would you edit war to include a crap source IN THE LEAD of this article? Just stop. Please stop edit warring. The content does not address what I said above. And please stop inserting content into the lead of the article that is not in the body of the article, which was my whole point above. And the source is crappy and the content you are introducing is wrong, anyway. Jytdog (talk) 19:48, 12 September 2014 (UTC) (edited to remove angry text and replace with simple statement of the issue Jytdog (talk) 20:57, 12 September 2014 (UTC))

My edits have been attempts to respond to your objections, not edit-warring reverts. Please explain why you think the information published in the Jewish Bible Quarterly about how Christian Bible translations dealt with the tetragrammaton is inaccurate. You don't need an elaborate discussion about something so obvious. What Christian Bible translation before Tyndale's do you imagine represented the tetragrammaton by "Jehovah"?
Take your time in giving your response. I won't see it until some time tomorrow. Esoglou (talk) 20:18, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
  • To answer your question, please read our article on Jehovah.
  • Elaborating -- Your edit had nothing to do with what I wrote above, and I am sorry you misunderstood it. I was speaking to the edit warriors who were fussing over, and even padding, the discussion of liturgical use in the lead. I asked them to actually develop something in the body and then see what made sense to say in the lead. Your edits had nothing to do with that.
  • You are ignoring the key point -- you too were trying to put information ONLY in the lead, without adding it to the body first.
  • The content you were trying to insert doesn't match the content that is already in the body of the article about "Jehovah"
  • I will say to you, Esoglou if you really care about the history of "Jehovah" please update the body of the article - or better yet, update the main Jehovah article, of which the discussion in this article should just be a summary per WP:SUMMARY -- and then summarize the Jehovah section that is already in the body, in the lead of this article, like we are supposed to per WP:LEAD. There is no need to introduce new sources for that, much less brand new matter that is not already in the body.
  • I will add, again, that this article from JBQ is not about the tetragrammaton, it is a piece advocating that we should call God "yah". It discusses the tetragrammaton briefly, in a paragraph or two, on the first 2 pages. It does not say that "Jehovah" first appears in Tyndale. The author seems to be talking about English translations and it is pretty clear that Tyndale started popularizing Jehovah, but again if you read our article on Jehovah you will say that its use is far far older than that. But again, the source is not about YHWH. Why reach for such a poor, mostly off-target source when there are so many good ones (and in this article and the main Jehovah one, right at hand)? Real question! Jytdog (talk) 20:57, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps I should wait somewhat longer, but I am making bold to respond after a pause of only about 24 hours. At least in intention, I was not writing about "Jehovah", but about the use of Κύριος, Dominus, ܡܳܪܝܳܐ, Lord, in Christian translations to represent the tetragrammaton. If I had known that the mention of "Jehovah" (rather than "Yahweh" or, for that matter, "l'Éternel" and the like) as the earliest transliteration form used in place of Κύριος, Dominus, etc., would cause such offence, I would not have included it. I think your judgement on what the recent short Durousseau study said about Christian Bible translations is too harsh. I will cite in the body of the article what he said of the practice followed for so many centuries in Christian Bible translations, so that you can correct it by citing some more authoritative source. There too I am endeavouring to take account of your observations, not simply reinserting a previous text of mine, and for that reason I make no mention of any example whatever of a transliteration of the tetragrammaton. Esoglou (talk) 19:42, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps you will now permit deletion from the lead of the mention of Christian liturgical use, where I think it is out of place but where you for some reason have insisted on reinserting it. Esoglou (talk) 11:31, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Esoglou about this edit, you have again inserted content into the lead that is not found in the body. Put things in the body FIRST, with sources, and then add them to lead, IF they are important enough in the context of the whole article. This is Wikipedia 101 stuff per WP:LEAD - please follow it. I took the content you added to the lead and moved it to the body to show you what needs to be done, and added a citation needed tag in in this dif. Jytdog (talk) 15:55, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

I think it best to withdraw for at least another 24 hours, indeed longer. For some reason you think it important to mention Catholic liturgical practice in the lead – I don't – but object to the mention of Orthodox liturgical practice that I added to the lead, thinking it already sufficiently sourced in the section of the body on Christian translations (from which you have now removed it) and being prepared to add, if it were tagged for more. The Orthodox liturgy, which, with all due respect to the Catholic liturgy, is more important for illustrating Christian practice over the centuries than a very recent directive from the Vatican, clearly does not admit terms such as Ιεχοβά or Γιαχβέ or anything else but Κύριος. But before I deal with the problem of our differing points of view, it is best to interpose a cooling down period. I don't want to imitate the yet MORE edit warring in the lead. Esoglou (talk) 16:38, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
this is really strange. instead of actually dealing with what i wrote, you are doing all this backing off and personalizing this. there was nothing in the body about orthodox liturgical practice. Now there is content there - it just needs a source. This is not difficult and i am not trying to trick you or anything -- i am telling you a very straightforward thing. very. simple. there is no need to cool off - I did the first step for you (adding the content to the body) - now all you need to do is find a source for it. it is not hard, really. Jytdog (talk) 17:43, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
I have taken the pause that I felt it better to grant myself. I am sorry that I gave Jytdog the impression of backing off (whatever that meant) and personalizing. I am sorry also for having imagined (wrongly, of course) that there was a touch of personalizing in this, in the accusations of edit-warring, and in the response to my querying the fittingness of putting in the lead an isolated mention of Catholic liturgical practice. I think it more conducive to peace and quiet to back off from any attempt to insert in the lead a balancing mention of what I might consider to be sufficiently illustrated in the body of the article under "Christian translations". Esoglou (talk) 19:18, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
NICE bunch of content today! That was great. I hope you were OK that I moved some of it. Jytdog (talk) 19:30, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

He will continue to be[edit]

I seem to remember translations of the third person singular imperfect of he-vav-he being either "he will be" or "he will continue to be".

Would need a source to cite grammar.

Gregkaye 08:34, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

already discussed in the etymology section. Jytdog (talk) 16:02, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Need to cite better sources than Strong's Concordance or the New World Translation[edit]

In the conflicting edits regarding the possible morphological meaning(s) of YHWH, we should strive for more authoritative and deeper sources than a concordance and the notes in a translation. Wikipedia requires citing publications on a matter like this, we should dig a little deeper.Pete unseth (talk) 22:01, 7 November 2014 (UTC)

I think you have prejudice to New World Translation and Jehovah's Witnesses. NWT is a good publication. It's not sufficient reason to delete JW's assertion. The current article is biased toward Catholic and Jewish views to tetragrammaton. It is POV.1.115.194.173 (talk)
New World Translation is only good to explain what JW doctrine is, not necessarily what academic understanding of history is. Same goes for Strong's, even if its sectarian views are for a different sect. Also, assume good faith from other editors. Ian.thomson (talk) 01:18, 8 November 2014 (UTC)
But if you think JW doctorine is a different sect, I think that no one can delete it's view. If you delete it, I and many JWs think this article is biased to Catholic and Jewish views and it is POV. 1.115.197.164 (talk) 03:11, 8 November 2014 (UTC)
Could you please provide some examples of this supposed Catholic and Jewish bias? I do think that JW doctrine could be included -- but only if clearly labelled as JW doctrine and placed in the section "Usage in religious traditions." If there are difference between what history according to secular academia and JE doctrine, that's probably a sign of historical revisionism on the part of JWs, which is their problem, not ours. Ian.thomson (talk) 03:30, 8 November 2014 (UTC)

As I understand Pete unseth's criticism of Strong, Brown–Driver–Briggs etc., the point is that, though more mainstream than NWT, the English equivalents they give for Hebrew words are derived from KJV. I am unsure what Pete means by digging a little deeper for wikicitable sources. Would Klein do for the meaning of היה? After all, it is independent of any English Bible translation. The meaning it gives for היה is: "to be, exist, happen, become" and, for the Piel form, "he caused (something) to become, he made". For the parallel form הוה (clearly closer to יהוה), it gives "to be" as the meaning, with "became" only for the Niph. form.

I doubt the appropriateness of selecting just two English Bible translations, New World and Emphasized, as (the) authoritative indications of the meaning of אהיה אשׁר אהיה in Ex 3:14. Esoglou (talk) 09:18, 8 November 2014 (UTC)

היה and הוה are the same verb, with different orthography. Typically the form with the Vav is used in the present tense. Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz Username:Chatul (talk) 21:35, 12 November 2014 (UTC)
Neither User:Pete unseth nor Chatul have indicated what precisely they would want to give as proper sourcing for:
The name may be derived from a verb that means "to be", "exist", "become",[9][10] or "come to pass".[1][11] (in the lead); and
Many scholars propose that the name "YHWH" is a verb form derived from the biblical Hebrew triconsonantal root היה (h-y-h), which means "to be", "become", "come to pass". It has הוה (h-w-h) as a variant form ...
To provoke suggestions, it may be necessary to make edits to those passages. Esoglou (talk) 07:47, 13 November 2014 (UTC)

Some general points --
1) Strong's Concordance is an originally 19th-century publication which provides a certain minimal degree of access to Biblical Hebrew and Greek for English-speakers who are (for whatever reason) unable or unwilling to actually put in the time it takes to actually learn about the ancient Hebrew or Greek languages. It is not considered an authoritative source among 21st-century Biblical scholars.
2)The New World Translation has some rather controversial aspects which are not supported by the great majority of Biblical scholars, such as the translation of John 1:1, or the decision to translate κυριος in the ancient Greek New Testament as "Jehovah"[sic].
3) Triliteral roots היה and הוה are not actually the "same" verb, but they're closely related verbs (slight variants which differ only in a semivowel). AnonMoos (talk) 17:41, 13 November 2014 (UTC)

  • Comment: Regardless of underlying theological reasons for the linguistic discussion taking shape here (read: how to read/pronounce THE Hebrew name accoriding ot JW, or according to other religious streams), I would just suggest that there is only one verb/root - הוה, to be. The past tense is היה; the present tense (which is not used/spelled but only implied) in the written/spoken language is הוה. This is a simplified summary of the issue, of course, since the detais would involve arcane grammatical interpretations that hinge on the much later Masoretic vowel notation of the verb and its conjugations. warshy (¥¥) 18:00, 13 November 2014 (UTC)
As far as attested forms which are actually used as verbs in the text of the Hebrew Bible, היה is extremely common (occurring thousands of times), while הוה is quite rare (occurring a grand total of 6 times). Verb היה is not normally conjugated as a participle (with the possible exception of Exodus 9:3) because the pronouns הוא היא הם הן take the place of emphatic present copula (while unemphatic present copula can be zero)... AnonMoos (talk) 05:26, 14 November 2014 (UTC)

New info/table[edit]

I reverted this information from User:AbimaelLevid because I felt it needed to be discussed to even see if the inclusion is a good one, copy edited if it was decided to be, and whether or not the sources used are WP:RS. He has since reverted my edit, and added the explanation of "more refs", but I still believe it needs to be discussed, so instead of reverting again I am bringing it up here.

As for the sources, I don't believe that biblegateway.com meets the RS test, and am unsure of the archives.org. Thoughts? Vyselink (talk) 14:03, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

It may be possible to fix it, but I leave substantive judgement to those who have more expertise. I only say that it needs to be translated (from Polish?) to proper English. Esoglou (talk) 14:29, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
As far I can understand from studying the changes made, nothing that was already there in the article was taken out by this addition. Some dubious material (and to my view also rather non-critical) about the Book of Esther and the Qumran scrolls was added, including a Polish language table of Qumran references. That table would have to be properly translated and formatted, if it is decided that it does have to remain in the article, as Esoglou says. warshy (¥¥) 18:02, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

Nothing was removed by the additions. It is the additions themselves that I am questioning, as I don't think the refs are RS. Vyselink (talk) 23:46, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

Please, check the new references.--AbimaelLevid (talk) 21:40, 25 February 2015 (UTC)