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Learning to Dig Deeper: The Tetragrammaton, God’s Personal Name

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Today I want to show you, step by step, how to dig a little deeper in your Bible reading. We are going to focus on God’s personal name. Now, you may have heard that He has many names and usually when this is said it is in reference to His titles, which are deservedly numerous. However, He has one personal name and He told us that name in Exodus. At this point, many will say “Oh! His name is the I AM!”. Well, yes and no, but mostly no. While we can read that in our Bibles and our Father did say “I am who I am”, we need to read the next verse to see where He revealed His personal name and that is in Exodus 3:15. 

“But my Bible just says LORD. So that must be His name.” It seems like it, right? And that is completely understandable, but let me show you how to dig deeper using a great online Bible tool, Bible Hub. 

1.Check out the link below first. It is Exodus 3:15 in many different translations. https://biblehub.com/exodus/3-15.htm

Learning to Dig Deeper: The Tetragrammaton, God's Personal Name

Notice that not one of them has the letters YHWH or YHVH. What are these letters and why does it matter that they aren’t here? These letters make up the transliterated Hebrew name of God as found in the original Biblical scrolls (transliterated means taking the Hebrew letters and replacing them with the closest corresponding letters in our language). They are often referred to as the tetragrammaton
However, in the passages you can see at that link, instead of having the letters of His name, they either changed it to how they think the name should be pronounced (Yehovah or Jehovah or Yahweh) or replace it entirely with “the LORD”. Stay at this link because step two is going to show you how to go deeper.

2. Now from there I want you to look up into the light blue bar going across near the top of the page and scan right until you’ll see the words “INTERLIN” .

Learning to Dig Deeper: The Tetragrammaton, God's Personal Name

Click that. If you don’t see it, just click the link below.
https://biblehub.com/interlinear/exodus/3-15.htm

At this point you’re seeing each word in English, above that is the Hebrew, and above that is the transliteration – what the word sounds like in English, and above that is a number. This number is a reference to Strong’s concordance.

Learning to Dig Deeper: The Tetragrammaton, God's Personal Name

3.  I want you to click that number above where you see ‘Yahweh”. If you don’t see it, you can click this link: https://biblehub.com/hebrew/3068.htm
And now we’re cooking!

Learning to Dig Deeper: The Tetragrammaton, God's Personal Name

Here is what you should be looking at on your screen:Strong’s Concordance
Yhvh: the proper name of the God of Israel
Original Word: יְהוָֹה
Part of Speech: Proper Name
Transliteration: Yhvh
Phonetic Spelling: (yeh-ho-vaw’)
Definition: the proper name of the God of Israel
From there you can read all about this word, see where else it is used in the Bible, and learn a little more history on it. I encourage you to spend a few minutes at least on that page, poking around and discovering more information that is available. 

Congratulations, you’ve just learned how to dig deeper into the Word. If used regularly, this will prove to be an invaluable tool for understanding context, original intent, and clearing away inserted doctrine and translation errors. Now, let’s talk more about His name.

Why are there so many ways to say His name?

So here is the truth of the matter: We don’t actually know how to pronounce God’s name anymore. The way Hebrew is written, vowel sounds are denoted through a series of markings and, for a variety of reasons which you may want to dig deeper into (they are both fascinating and tragic), the markings from the Father’s name have been removed. As a result, we are left with simply יהוה (Hebrew) for YHWH (Hebrew transliterated to English). Note that some write this as YHVH. Therefore we only have the characters that make up His name (YHWH or YHVH) and those characters, or the letters that spell His name, are pronounced Yud Hey Vov Hey. It is similar to you asking my name and rather than telling you that my name is “Christy” I would tell you each letter: C – h- r – i – s – t – y.

Is that my name? Absolutely. Is that how you say my name? No, you say it “Christy” but that doesn’t mean those letters are not my name. 

So what do we call him? 

I encourage you to do some research, pray over it, and work that out with the Father Himself. Some people call Him Yahweh, some Yehovah, some Jehovah (although there was no J sound in Hebrew). Some shorten it to simply, Yah. An exciting note is that this shortened version is used in some old Hebrew manuscripts as well, including psalms written by King David himself! (To see an example: https://biblehub.com/esv/psalms/68.htm , then https://biblehub.com/text/psalms/68-4.htm ,then https://biblehub.com/hebrew/3050.htm )

I tend to use YHWH in my Bible notes and articles and I avoid using His name when referring to Him in my videos because I don’t want to influence anyone to follow my example rather than personally seeking this out with the Father. 

Either way, it is very important to know that God has a personal name and more importantly: He wanted us to know it. The fact that it is no longer in our Bible’s is not the Father’s doing. In fact, before translators and scribes removed it, his personal name appeared in the Bible nearly 7,000 times!

To see how your Bible handles God’s personal name, check the front few pages of the book and you’ll find their explanation.

Below is a photo of this page in one of the Bible translations I use, under a section entitled: The Translation Of Specialized Terms.

Learning to Dig Deeper: The Tetragrammaton, God's Personal Name

We may not know how to say His name, but I can’t imagine He doesn’t like it when we try. I just know that this is so very special, so very intimate, that our Father doesn’t just have a generic title of “Lord” or “God” in a world that has always had many false gods going by that title. In fact, knowing His personal name immediately refutes many faiths who declare their named “gods” to be the same as ours. 

Do I think it is wrong to call Him “Lord” or “God”? Absolutely not. Those are titles that apply to Him. Just as you may call me “Mrs. Jordan”, “Mrs.”, “Ma’am”, “Author”, or “Lady”. All of those titles apply to me and I will answer to them. But those who know me, those who have a relationship with me, those whom I’ve asked to call me “Christy” have a special place in my life.

He gave us His name because He wants us to know it. He told us to call out to Him by His name.  🙂

After all, He knows your name.
And now, you know His.
❤️
I challenge you today to read the front matter of your Bible and see how it treats God’s special name.
Then, join us for our Bible study and learn more about digging deeper. Prepare for the Book of Life to come to Life in your Life! 

Then you will call my name. You will come to me and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will search for me, and when you search for me with all your heart, you will find me. I will let you find me.” This message is from YHWH. “And I will bring you back from your captivity. I forced you to leave this place. But I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have sent you,” says YHWH, “and I will bring you back to this place.” ~Jeremiah 29:12-14

You might enjoy this post: Choosing a Bible Translation

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Comments

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  1. JoAnne Stanley says

    when I see Lord [lower case ‘ord’….] I discovered from the Restoration Study Bible #2962 the meaning ‘Master…..
    so if I see Lord Jesus Christ I can see it is Master Yeshua Messiah; not a replacement of the Name which is all capital letters LORD/YHVH….the Name… What a blessing to have the resources that we do have!!! Imagine having one page torn out of a Bible to share with a whole community…..another reason for gratitude!!!

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