Bible Narratives Wiki

Main: Jehovah

“You must pray, then, this way:
“‘Our Father in the heavens,
let your name be sanctified.
Let your Kingdom come.
Let your will take place,
as in heaven, also on earth.
- Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6:9)



Hebrew Scriptures[]

Divine Name pre-exile

The Divine name (Pre-Babylonian exile)

In the Hebrew Scriptures, God's divine name is represented by four Hebrew consonants יהוה (YHVH), known as a tetragrammaton. It was the only personal name that Hebrew Bible writers used to identify God, along with other titles such as, “Almighty”, “Most High”, and “Lord”.

Divine Name post-exile

The Divine name (Post Babylonian exile)

“Everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will be saved.” (Joel 2:32)

“May people know that you, whose name is Jehovah, you alone are the Most High over all the earth.” (Psalm 83:18)

New Testament[]

Currently, the Divine name יהוה (YHVH) does not occur in any extant Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. It is common to find the Greek word for "Lord", Kyrios (Ky′ri·os), where the New Testament quotes from the Hebrew Bible. However, out of the thousands of Greek manuscripts discovered, non are originals. They are copies that were mostly made at least two centuries after the originals were composed. Therefore, it has been proposed that copyists may have replaced the Tetragrammaton יהוה with Kyrios where Hebrew Bible passages and allusions are quoted in the New Testament.[2]

Reception of the Divine Name[]

The ASV, American Standard Version, applied the name "Jehovah" where "LORD" and "GOD" existed in the Old Testament of the King James Version. The American Revisers, "after a careful consideration" came to a unanimous conclusion that Jewish superstition had regarded the Divine Name as too sacred to be uttered. However, the ASV council acknowledged that Jehovah is regarded as a "Memorial Name, (Ex. iii. 14, 15) as emphasized in the original text of the Old Testament, and it designates God as the personal God, as the covenant God, the God of revelation... This personal name, with its wealth of sacred associations, is now restored to the place in the sacred text to which it has an unquestionable claim." [3]

Suppression of the Divine Name[]

The RSV, Revised Standard Version, omitted the name Jehovah from its Bible because the RSV committee argued that the pronunciation of "Jehovah" does not accurately represent the Tetragrammaton used in the Hebrew scriptures, and that any use of a proper name for God is "entirely inappropriate for the universal faith of the Christian Church." [4]


  1. Gesenius' Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon, יְהֹוָה
  2. Howard, G. The Tetragrammaton and the New Testament, JBL 96/1 (1977) pg. 63
  3. American Standard Version, Preface to the American Edition
  4. The Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version, Preface: The Revised Standard Version Old Testament

External links[]