Explanation



The use of a name in our day

Given name

  • Given names are usually chosen by our parents and given at birth. In our region a name is often chosen because it has a nice sound or refers to someone important to the parents.
Family name
  • The family name is mostly hereditary.
  • Using a last name or family name in our regions started around the 13th century. The purpose of course, was to identify the bearer; the increase in population and the practice of often using the same given name made it necessary to develop a family name. As means of identification they would often choose places (Brusselmans, Woods…), a profession (Baker, Smith,...), striking physical or psychological qualities (de Groot, Long,...) or they were derived from given names ( Peeters, ...) etc.
Identification
  • The name = we are that person
  • Saying our name is an introduction when we meet someone
  • Our name on bottom of a document identifies us as the writer
Changing the name
  • Changing our name must be motivated and can only done before a court
  • Sometimes names are replaced by numbers, in order to depersonalise the individual (for example in prisons)
Legally bound
  • When we write our name on bottom of a contract or a cheque, then we are legally bound to it
  • Our name written on a membership list identifies us with the society, union or club who produces the list
  • Sometimes we have to show proof that we bear our name by showing an identification document
A "good name"
  • Proverbial sayings teach us that a name may also represent the reputation of the person, such as, “he gives honor to his name,” “a name is better than good oil,” or “he has squandered his good name.”

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The use of a name in the Bible

Given name

  • Starting with Adam and Eve, every human received a name. Most names had/have meanings
  • Sometimes names were assigned by God (for example Ishmael, Isaac, John, Jesus,...)
Identification
  • With a name someone in particular is meant
  • A name helps us to understand who is mentioned in the Bible
Changing the name
  • Names were changed by rulers. Pharaoh of Egypt and Nebuchadnezzar changed the names of people they had conquered
  • Sometimes names changed because of an event (for example Esau changed into Edom)
  • And sometimes names were changed by God (for example Abram into Abraham, Jacob into Israel,...)
Legally bound
  • People put their names to something as a promise. The name was a guarantee for the fulfilling of the promise
A"good name"
  • One was worried what name they had in their neighbourhood (also meant as "a reputation)
  • The Bible says that "a name is to be chosen rather than abundant riches"
  • One hoped that the good name he had, went to his children

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The name of God

Please consider every point regarding the divine name. God’s name means something. On our website we are referring to the God of the Bible. God’s name identifies him as the God of the Jews and Christians; after all there are many gods with many names. God’s name does not change; although there are different ways to write the divine name. In the Bible scriptures God’s name is related to his promises and reputation. God’s name is used by believers and non-believers.

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How was God’s name written in Hebrew and old languages?

In Hebrew as JHWH. The Hebrew Alphabet originally consisted of 22 consonants; some of them could represent 2 sounds, so they had a total of 28 sounds. The vowel sounds were added by the reader depending on the context.

Throughout history there have been many different ways of writing God's name.

Ancient script
consonants
date of document
document
YHWH 800 B.C. Kuntillet Ajrud
YHWH 625 B.C.
Ketef Hinnom - silver scrolls
YHWH +- 600 B.C.
Letters of Lachis - Ostraka of Arad
YHW 514-398 B.C

Aramaic papyri
YHWH 100-50 B.C.
Papyrus Foead 266
YHWH 30-50 A.D.
Dead Sea scrolls - Psalms
YHWH 50 B.C. - 50 A.D.
Nachal Hever
YHWH 50 B.C. - 50 A.D.
Nachal Hever
YHWH 30-50 A.D.
Dead Sea scrolls - Psalms
YHWH 2nd century
Syracuse
YHWH? 3rd century
Symmachus
YY 3rd century Oxyrynchus
YHWH 5th century
Aquila
YHWH from 800 A.D.
Codexes

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The Tetragrammaton

‘Tetra’ means four, ‘gramma’ mean letters, thus the Greek word tetragrammaton means four letters. Mostly this word is now used to point out the Divine Name.

In Hebrew, Aramaic and other languages one reads from the right to the left:

 

 
H
W
H
Y
HE
WAW
HE
JOD

Therefore we write: YHWH or JHWH.

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How many times is God’s name written in the Bible?

About 7000 times, in the original languages.

We made an analysis, using 4 Bible translations: the Biblia Hebraïca (1951-55), the World English Bible (WEB - 2002), the New World Translation (NW - 1995) and the translation of Reina and Valera (RV - 1995).

  • Biblia Hebraïca: this is an edition from the original Hebrew text based on the Codex Leningradens B 19A (the oldest complete handwriting of the masoretic text of the Bible). Jews and Christians regard this Bible as a reliable source of the Hebrew and Aramaic handwritings. Scientists mostly use this translation.
  • The other translations are chosen because they use the Divine Name often. These three translations are written in Dutch (NW), Spanish (RV) and English (WEB)

Biblia Hebraïca
( BHK / BHS )

Hebrew: Tetragrammaton

New Worldtranslation
( NW )

Dutch: Jehovah

Reina Valeira
( RV)

Spanish: Jehová

World English Bible
( WEB )

English: Yahweh

The Old Testament
(or Hebrew
- Aramaic handwritings):
6828
6973
6846
6845
New Testament
(or Greek Scriptures)
-
237
0
0
Total:
6828
7210
6846
6845

for more detail - click here

 

The difference depends on which original handwritings were used to make the own translation. Very often is the Biblia Hebraïca used, completed or corrected with other scriptures or (critical) editions and studies from original documents.

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What does God’s name mean?

The divine name comes from the verb 'ha-jah' or 'to become' in a causative form. It is written in the imperfect state and in the first-person singular. Therefore it means 'I cause to become'.

J.B. Rotherham gave a good explanation in his translation: "I Will Become whatsoever I please".


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In some Bibles God’s name is excluded, why?


There is evidence that in the 1st – 2nd centuries a superstition developed around the Name. We find confirmation of this in the Mishna, Rabbinic commentaries that became the base of the Talmud. After listing whom will not have part in the world to come, Sanhedrin 10:1 adds: "Abba Shaul says: “Also one who pronounces the divine name as it is spelled.”" Yes, they also wouldn't have part in the world to come.”

Why this ban on uttering the Name? There are several opinions. One opinion is that Jews regarded the Name as too sacred to be uttered. In the end they even hesitated to write it down. Another opinion is that there was fear to abuse God’s name. Others say there was fear that the document, the Divine Name was written on, would come into the hands of those who are unfaithful.

The Septuagint - referred to as LXX is the translation of the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek. It was probably started during the reign of Ptolemae II Philapelphos (285-246 B.C).The Septuagint is well preserved in 3 unique writings: the Codex Vaticanus, the Codex Sinaiticus and the Codex Alexandrinus. You will not find the Divine Name in these writings. Instead of God’s name you will find the word 'Kurios' or 'Lord'. That is why many translations follow this practice.

During the past hundred years there have been discoveries, showing that in the original Greek handwritings de the Divine Name most certainly was written - in the shape of the Hebrew Tetragrammaton. Please look on our page 'archaeology'.

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Forms of God’s name

Worldwide we find different forms of God's name, the most common being : Jehovah, Jehova, Jahweh and Jahwe and we also often encounter the Latin form Iehova or Iehovae.


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Why have we made this website?

Actually, the reason is very simple. The Divine Name is particularly interesting. We want to prove to you that the Name is known, in the Bible, in archeaology, worldwide and also in our 'Low Countries'. We want to present to you the evidence and we want to ask you to evaluate it. Please take a look at our reasoning, see our pictures and make your own conclusion.

Then we want to ask you to think about the Person who gave himself that Name. God clearly had an intention with it. Learn to know Him and you will see what that intention is. You will learn how it connects with worship, his Divine qualities, His intention for the future...

 

"Jehovah is with you while ye are with him; and if ye seek him he will be found of you..." (2 Chronicles 15:2 - Darby Translation)

Hebrew 11:6 adds that "he is a rewarder of those who seek him" (The World English Bible)

Join with us in the sentiments of Psalm 135:1 - 3: "Praise ye Yah, Praise ye the Name of Yahweh, Praise, O ye servants of Yahweh; ... Praise ye Yah, For good is Yahweh, Sing praises to his Name, For it is full of delight (J.B. Rotherham Emphasized Bible)

 

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