Centuries ago the Jews began removing the name from their scriptures believing the name was too holy to be repeated. Christians took up the same practice in their copies. But was it the right choice?
Over the many manuscripts that exist, most of which was written before this decision was made, the scriptures (Hebrew and Greek) had around 7,000 entries of what is known as the tetragrammaton. The tetragrammaton is 4 Hebrew letters that stand in for God’s name. In Hebrew vowels were often left out of words but the meaning was still there. Example, I could write wtr and you would probably get water. Better still if I wrote I need wtr, it would be even clearer. It’s like those different posts you see online where things are written backwards or with numbers in place of some letters and yet you can still read it.
Now in some cases, such as with the tetragrammaton, we don’t have any idea what those vowels are. So it’s there a lot, but we don’t know how to say it. But keep in mind we don’t know how to say Jesus’ name either, or many others in the Bible. Do we stop using their names?
Another thing to consider, how do we get to have a close relationship with someone if we don’t know their name? And in the case of Jehovah, since His name is so full of meaning, isn’t it important to know and use it?
I came across a scripture this week that really hit home for me. In most Bibles it is going to say LORD, but originally it was the tetragrammaton, it’s found at Exodus 3:15 where it reads, “Then God said once more to Moses:
“This is what you are to say to the Israelites, ‘Jehovah the God of your forefathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and this is how I am to be remembered from generation to generation.” Of course the key to this is two fold. First, originally, it says his name is “Jehovah.” (the tetragrammaton) And second it says, “this is my name forever and this is how I am to be remembered from generation to generation.”
So surely if Jehovah had his name written down so many times, we pronounce other names we do not actually know, and we want to have a relationship with Him, then doesn’t it make sense to use his name. Make your relationship with Him personal. He knows your name, and he wants you to know His.