Is Jehovah the most accurate pronunciation of Gods name?

Jehovah’s witnesses say that Jehovah is the most accurate way of pronouncing Gods name…and that it is very important to use this pronunciation in worship.
Is this true?

I’m pretty sure that’s impossible to say in Hebrew

But is Jehovah the most accurate in English?

The name of God is written Yud, Hey, Vav, Hey. When translators put in vowels where there are not supposed to be vowels, they guessed that it might come out sounding like ‘Jehovah.’

Most scholars agree that it should be ‘Yahweh.’

But it’s all guesswork.

So your saying Yahweh is more accurate then Jehovah?

Most scholars agree that it is.

Jehovah is an English pronunciation of anticipated Latin. Yahweh is an English pronunciation of anticipated Hebrew.

If one merges the two together it might be closer, but I would put it more in the direction of the Latin just because of the extra syllable.

Yes, but I would say that ‘acceptable’ is a better word. Or perhaps more widely acceptable. Jehovah is rather frowned upon, except of course for the JW’s. I don’t think you will get them to change their mind, you know.

Actually the most accurate way is Abba.

jesus spoke aramaic; how would jesus’d spoken the word “God”;

i’d’ve gone with that as the “correct pronunciation”

The hard “J” sound did not exist in English, at least associate with that letter, until maybe a few hundred years ago. “J” was originally a variant written form of “I” or “Y”. It is unlikely that “Jehovah” is accurate if pronounced the modern way, but if one substitutes the “Y” sound for the “J” and a “w” for the “v”, it become roughly equivalent to “Yahweh”.

Essentially: JHVH~YHWH

The true pronunciation was lost to history. Ancient Hebrew had no system for recording vowel sounds, so today pronunciations are estimates based on similarly spelled words.

The name was lost, because it was considered unwise to speak the name at all, lest one speak it blasphemously out of habit. Instead, when reading scripture, the word “Adonais” was spoke instead, meaning “Lord”. Today’s scriptural translations follow this tradition, substituting “LORD” in a special typeset whenever the original language used “YHWH”.

When Jesus was asked by the Pharisees if he were the Son of God, he answered with the Name of God “YHWH” - “I AM” causing outrage at the apparent blaspheme. Jesus was executed for blaspheme, despite being the one man to ever walk on Earth who could honestly use that name for himself.

We don’t know what the original vowels for the Tetragrammaton are. And Hebrew doesn’t have a J. So Jehovah’s Witnesses are wrong.


We can get indirect confirmation of this by looking at the numerous Biblical names that include His name in it:

Micaiah (“who is like God?”)
Elijah (“Yahweh is God”)
Yehoshua (= Joshua = Jesus) (“Yahweh saves”)
Yehochanan (= John) (“Yahweh is gracious”)
Malachias (“the messenger of Yahweh”)
Adonijah (“Yahweh is Lord”)

So, “Yahweh” is probably closer to the “correct” pronunciation than “Jehovah”. But short of a time machine, that’s all we’ll know. :slight_smile:

It’s not. Nobody today knows the correct pronunciation, but the closest we’ve come to one is “Yahweh.” Jehovah is a horrible translation.

Reading in a 1971 Watchtower publication of “The Aid to Bible Understanding” it seems pretty clear, at least to those JWs who want to read their own out dated literature with open mind, that it [Jehovah] is a fairly modern invention by a Catholic monk.

Starting on pg 882 this book gives an extensive and interesting look at the “Correct Pronunciation of the Divine Name”.

Just a couple quotes to summerize from page 884-885:

The time did come, however, when in reading the original Hebrew Scriptures in the original language, the Jewish reader substituted either Adho-nay (Lord) or* Elo-him* (God) rather than pronounce the divine name represented by the Tetragrammaton. This is seen from the fact that vowel pointing came into use in the second half of the first millennium C.E. The Jewish copiers inserted the vowel points for either Adho-nay or * into the Tetragrammaton evidently to warn the reader to say those words in place of pronunciation of the divine name…***

[quote]By combining the vowel signs of Ado-nay

and Elo-him with the four consonants of the Tetragrammaton the pronunciation Yeho-wah and Yeho-wih were formed. The first of these provided basis for the Latinized form “Jehovah”. The first recorded use of this form dates from the thirteenth century C.E. Raymundus Martini, a spanish onk of the Dominican Order used it in his book Pugeo Fidei of the year 1270.

Sense certainty of pronunciation is not now attainable

, there seems to be no reason for abandoning in English the well-known form “Jehovah” in favor of some other suggested pronunciations.

The complete chapter of this books seems fair and truthful in its entirety and the above quotes are just excerpts but I think the Watchtower no longer purports this information or at least not in these words. With this kind of statment it defeats one of their most powerful tool for prostelitizing and converting, that being - “…dont you think God wants you to know and use His name sense it is Holy and we are commanded to keep His name Holy”. In other words, without certainity of His name, anything else is, well, uncertain and therefore unholy.


“Jehovah” comes from a mistaken reading of the Masoretic vowel points (the vowel points of the word “adonai”) placed around the tetragramaton. The points were not placed to be pronounced, but as a reminder to the reader to pronounce the word “Adonai” (Lord) whenever the divine name come across during readings.

If one were to take the Masoretic rendition, the word would approximate “yahovah” or “yahowah” but that’s an extremely unlikely pronounciation considering the Maroretes’ motivation of vowel point selection. The definite pronounciation is now lost to us due to the non-use by the Jews, but “Yah-weh” is the most likely approximation.

Sorry? Abba is another word completely.

I believe Abba is a NT usage for God.

No. It is not. It is Aramaic (and Hebrew) and it is the generic word for father. It appears three times in the NT, and is not considered a formal name for God, such as Adonai, Elohim, el Shaddai, Yahweh, El/Al, Ehyeh-asher-Ehyeh, ha-Shem, Elyon, etc.

Exactly right, and just what I was going to say.

( Just an interesting story: When a Jehovah Witness spoke to me regarding this, she said that we as individuals are addressed by our first names, so shouldn’t we call our personal God by his first name also?

I was reminded of the Queen’s visit to Ireland. All dignitaries and journalists were given instructions on how to address the Queen. And it was definitely not to call her “Liz”, but to refer to her as “Your Majesty”.

I can’t imagine getting buddy-buddy with God and addressing him as “Yah” (as it is sometimes shortened. But rather, My Lord and My God. Or as the Jewish people do, writing his title as G-D, because we are not even worthy to spell out God. )

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