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© 2019 by Hineni Publishers

The heavens declare the glory of God; the expanse shows his handiwork. Day after day they pour out speech, and night after night they display knowledge.

         

— Psalms/Tehillim 19:1-2

THE NAME OF GOD

is most significant in the Scriptures, where He manifests Himself in various ways.

A common name used for the Supreme Deity is God, a translation of the Hebrew “Elohim.” Another title for the Supreme Deity is Lord, a translation of the Hebrew “Adonai.” However, these do not represent the personal name of God. God’s personal, most holy and unutterable name is written and read in Hebrew from right to left: יהוה. The name is composed of the Hebrew letters Yod (י), Hey (ה), Vav (ו), Hey (ה), it is also referred to as the “Tetragrammaton,” which means  “the four letters;” YHVH in Latin script. In the Jewish tradition, the Divine Name is too sacred to be uttered, it was therefore already in ancient times replaced vocally by the Hebrew “Adonai” (LORD), which was translated as “Kyrios” (LORD) in the Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures (the Septuagint or LXX). Most English Bibles owing to the Jewish tradition, therefore, write the name as ‘LORD.’

   Out of respect for the name, the New Jerusalem Version has preserved the original Hebrew: יהוה. It is up to the reader how to pronounce the holiest name, though not to be used in vain. In Jewish tradition, it is not without reason that when the name is spoken aloud it is uttered as “Adonai” or “Hashem” (The Name). This goes back to the third commandment: “You shall not take the name of יהוה your God in vain; for יהוה will not hold him guiltless who misuses His name.” (Deut. 5:11)