Is Yahweh really God's name?


#1

I thought that God doesn’t have a name like we do and that Yahveh was Hebrew for God like Allah is Arabic for God. Im really shocked. I became even more shocked after reading this on wikipedia(of curse wiki is not 100% reliable and i know catholics counter but still):

In the oldest biblical literature (12th–11th centuries BCE) Yahweh is a typical ancient Near Eastern “divine warrior” who leads the heavenly army against Israel’s enemies; he and Israel are bound by a covenant (a feature unique in ancient Near Eastern religion) under which Yahweh will protect Israel, and Israel in turn will not worship other gods.[3] At a later period Yahweh functioned as the dynastic cult (the god of the royal house),[4] the royal courts promoting him as the supreme god over all others in the pantheon, notably Baal, El, and Asherah (the last of whom may have been his consort).[5] Over time Yahwism became increasingly intolerant of rivals, and the royal court and temple promoted Yahweh as God of the entire cosmos, possessing all the positive qualities previously attributed to the other gods and goddesses.[4][5] With the work of Second Isaiah (the theoretical author of the second part of the Book of Isaiah) towards the end of the Babylonian exile (6th century BCE), the very existence of foreign gods was denied, and Yahweh was proclaimed as the creator of the cosmos and true God of all the world.[5]

If that was such a known fact there wouldn’t have been Catholicsm now or Christianity and Judaism for that manner. So how can we Catholics counter these statements about our God.

Second, i was really shocked that Yahweh our God, besides having a name, has so many human attributes, feelings,… He is slow to anger, he has a human form(Genesis 3: 8),… I also find it hard to believe how God could be so brutal(Numbers, Deutronomy,…). Also this verse Numbers 14:18, where God says that he will punish the children for their parents sin to the third and fourth generation. There are many verses in the Bible where God orders a massive genocide and command slavery. Isn’t God all loving?

I found many doubt and i hope to destroy that doubt but i just can’t get it into my head that one and only universal God has a name and other human things and attributes. I also can’t get it into my head that God was so brutal in the OT, specifically in Numbers and simmiliar. He ordered genocide, slavery and rape. How can that be? Please help.


#2

God has a name like we do - Jesus. He has a human form and many human attributes. All those things you write about point forward to Jesus.

Forget about wikipedia. What you cited is not Catholic. What is important about Scripture is how it points to Christ, how it teaches us to live moral lives, and what it teaches us about our own ultimate end.

-Tim-


#3

Yes, YHWH is God’s personal Name. There are other words such as Adonai (Lord) and Elohim (God) and El-Shaddai (God Almighty) there are used in the ancient texts, but YHWH is His Name. There are many scholars though who believe that this is only part of God’s Name and the man could not comprehend it in it’s entirety.

P.S. Why is it hard to believe that God has these many attributes when we are made in His image?


#4

Hello coach fan
i understand where your coming from with this.
Gods name… Like you I searched and searched " as there is no other name by which we must be saved" it bothered me to find so many people called Jesus and then of course theres YHWY YAHEW, YAHOOSHUA ETC ETC ETC, I decided this all caused me confusion and we know whos the master of confusion… So I accepted God knows the name I pray to him… The Holy ghost will intercede for us and let God know we pray to him as we have been told that is his name… It did concern me as i can see the amount of violence from an all loving God but that was prior to jesus our saviour who was all loving all giving and winvsalvation for all repenting sinners…hope this has helped you.and allowedvyou to realisevyour not the only one who questions.


#5

Agree absolutely with you that God knows everything and that the Holy Ghost will guide us into all truth. But from a scholarly point of view this is the Name that has been traditionally understood for many centuries. By the way, Orthodox Jews never say or write God’s name, save one time a year when the high priest enters into the Holiest of Holies. God bless!


#6

Thank you and God bless you too…
Tradition and scholars well thats anothervmatter… God has written in our hearts what he requiresvfrom us and although books can help us find these requirements i tend not to rely too heavily on them… But maybe thats not for everyone…


#7

I have some sources of doubts about Christianity. Personally I prefer the idea that God exists a Christianity seems to me to be one of best candidates. Now to the doubts: Old Testament, using of wine and tolerance to drugs, at “ma prefered” churches no women as priest and bishops, maximally at some deacons, usually putting women to subordination to men, and some others. Within Christianity I consider Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, partly Church of the East and some others to be those with gratest “chance” to be the right ones. And these ones have problems in points conneted to women.

My attitude to the OT problem is maybe unorthodox but why not to tell it? When Jesus is asked about number of wives He says something like Moses allowed you because of hardness of your hearts. So this seems to me like this was not done by Got but by you. In other words, you people have corrupted the truth, the true law etc. So if Moses corrupted the optimal number of wives why the others should not have done something similar? We did the genocide… well, we will tell God told us.

Another point: “moderation” of people wtih aim to bring them to the Good but in the way they can cope up with. If someone killed your brother, then kill him is great approval when you consider state before: if someone killed your brother, then kill all his family. For Jews this was quite tough and there were towns protected by arm men for those who caused death by accident because relatives wanted to kill them (what was not allowed by Mosaic Law). If you can have more wives… well, they are wives with some rights, you must take care of them and so on. Four wives in Islam are quite goog idea when considering Arab praxis prior to Muhammad. So if this hebro-christian God is the True One than I expect this problems to be something like “better kill only murder but not his family” or corruption made by people to justify their mistakes or habbits. (Problem with wine remains and attitude to women is still in question.)
By the way, some Doctors of Church (in many languages translated as Teachers of Church) thought that women are not full humans, maybe without soul, or even diabolic. There were many Catholic authoritie fighting slavery but in 1850s responsible congregation made statements in favour of slavery. Many inquisitors were sure thex fulfill God’s will and they were allowed to do their job by highest authorities. There were popes whose hobby was incest or sodomy with (older) boys.

Allah is Lord (also used by Christians), not God, and absolutely not His name.

I think God shows Himself to us in a way appropriate and useful for us. So why could He not have done it also via using something like name. In Hebrew as well as Christian tradition there is tradition of “mysterious” God’s name. There is also Nothing and many other words suitable only in some situations.

I think things like this Catholics (and other believers or non-believers) should have solved before they identify themselves with this religion and Church. Unfortunately many are just repeting that they were told, just like parrots without sense and mind, and they would repeat another “truth” if born in different families. And when they finaly realise what they declare they “believe”, problems start.


#8

And one more point:
If parents are alcoholics, this badly effects their children. If parents beat their children, then bad effect + children will probably beat their children and so on. If siblings fornicate, their children can be genetically damaged with quite high probability. So parents’ sins cause punishment to thier children, even to generations of their children and God has to do nothing for this.
On the other hand, there are situations like: “I would NOT help you but your grandmother was such a good person and she was of so good help for me anytime I needed that I will DO help you.” So blessing caused by goodness of parents also applies to children.
If you want people to be good it is often more efficient to call this social or even nature laws as “God’s will” or even “God’s law”. Then not to have punished children you will try to behave good. And some centuries or millenniums later this will sound odd to followers of religion which keeps continuity to this humanly “touched” texts.


#9

Well first, it’s not “Yahweh”, it’s YHWH (יהוה). How do we pronounce it? WE DON’T KNOW!
Even if we did, we ought not to say the Holy Name of God ‘whenever’, mind you. Second, it
may be worth noting that the Arabic term “Allah” is exactly “God”, but “THE God”, which I
personally kinda like.

Anyway, YES, God’s Name is YHWH, and though it was used in Pagan societies like that
of the Canaanites, it doesn’t mean that “YHWH” derived from the Canaanites. Of course al-
so the Israelites took in other gods along side God, which they were not supposed to do.

Now I see you are concerned about God in the Old Testament, how he’s harsh and all, but we are evil people, a vile creation, deserv–
ing nothing but one thing ever since the Fall of all humanity: DEATH. God loves, but is also just, and he does punish the sinners for
their iniquities. That’s why sacrifices and offerings were very important, as it was meant to maintain a kinda good relationship with
God, but even that wasn’t enough, that’s how bad we are. With no perfect atonement to satisfy God’s sense of Justice, God was
harsh, and rightly so, but that’s why Jesus stepped into the picture, God, Jesus or Yehoshau (YHWH is Salvation), to take on
the punishment that we deserved, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believes
on him may not perish, but have life eternal” (John 3:16).

But back to the question: God’s Name is YHWH, as revealed to Moses:And God said again to Moses: Thus shalt thou say to the children of
Israel: YHWH, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God
of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me to you: This is my name
for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.
– (Exodus 3:15)
Also, did you notice that bit on Jesus/Yehoshua? “Yehoshua” is Jesus’ name
in Hebrew (Yeshua in Aramaic), again meaning "YHWH is Salvation), but just
take a look at a thread of mine on what I learned about God’s Name:


#10

So just God who is justice himself orders genocides and killing of small babies who had no chance to do any bad, of course nothing evil? Seems to be justice of Satan, not of the Good and Loving One.


#11

The only reason God proposed a name for Himself is because man’s ignorance of Him requested it.

Justin Martyr makes mention that it was in fact God the Son of God, Jesus Christ who revealed the name at the burning bush to Moses.

I personally do not think Yahweh is the correct pronunciation, (in fact I cringe when I hear it said) since that is only two syllables, the proper pronunciation should be at least three possibly four syllables (yes we don’t know for sure). The Latin version Jehovah (three syllables) is closer I think, but when it is pronounced Latin not English. The English pronunciation of the “w” in Yahweh is too weak, it should be more like “ou”. The “Y” is also too soft in English, and should be more of an “i” as in “in”.

Personally I think the YHWH should be I-H-OU-AH, with the first H being pronounced “air” with a rough breathing at the end.

The Greek IH of Jesus (I-H-SOUS) should be a reasonably accurate representation of half the pronunciation, because the pronunciation was not lost until a few centuries later.


#12

Careful . . . St. Clement of Alexandria had a similar spelling, IAOAI, BUT WE DON’T KNOW!


#13

Careful would be shelving the obviously wrong pronunciation “Yahweh” .:slight_smile:


#14

Right, but MORE careful would be not trying to pronounce the name
at all. We can speculate with our eyes and in our minds, I for exam-
ple look at Jesus’ name “Yehoshua”, take out the Hebrew “Shin’”, &
we have something like what you and St. Clement have, BUT DON’T
SAY IT! :smiley:


#15

I hope this is not digressing from the question of the thread, but I feel that it is a valid continuation of this thread. Why would God allow/let His Name disappear? The Name He is zealous of, the Name He would not allow to belong to anyone else.

Is it a name that was pointing forward to a fulfilment? As Judas Thaddeus rightly points out, the content of the individual Hebrew characters kind of points directly to Jesus and His work on the cross.

Is it related to the name of Jesus, how in Philippians 2:10 every knee shall bow to Jesus, being given a name which is above every other name. Romans 14:11 Every knee will bow, every tongue confess God. Isaiah 45:23 By myself I have sworn (I presume by his own Name), it will not be revoked before me every knee will bow.

Does anyone know of any Church (I mean Catholic) teaching as to why the correct pronunciation of the Name was permitted by God, the name He was so zealous of, to be lost?


#16

Yep, as far as I know. In Genesis it says something like “and they began to invoke the LORD by name.” It says LORD in the English text, but I think I read the commentary saying the Hebrew text reads Yahweh.


#17

The temporal fate, is just that, temporal, a blink of an eye as far as eternity in concerned!

Killing of small babies who had no chance you say, but what if they did grow up? God knows all possibilities, so who is to say that their death in the TEMPORAL sphere, was not a mercy given to them, out of the wisdom of knowing where their ETERNAL sphere might be, had they matured into adulthood?

God knows not only what they could do, had they matured, but what they would do, had they matured. Perhaps what was done, was done out of mercy.
We don’t know what they could, or would do, but we do know that God is merciful :slight_smile:

Perhaps God’s name is mercy, maybe not in the Tetragrammaton, but in our lives!


#18

I am sorry but this seemes to me to be that kind of logic that is trying to persuade the Holocaust was in fact a great favour and mercy.

If God knows people’s future sins, it means they do not have any free will to do or not to do them. Quite strange.

Do you mean that those people were defaultly bad? I think there were many others civilisations, tribes, or states based on bad and sinful principles in much huger amount than those in discusiion and they were not ordered to be masacred. And if they were so evilly bad, they – any person has a chance to decide what (s)he will do and murder destroys this chance to take and make decisions.

As I am reading I think you should state that abortion is act of the highest possible mercy because you make that child free of his/her future possible mistakes.

How can one investigate if some philosophy or religion is or at least has a chance to be the true one? For example according to its attitudes.
For example, killing people is not good, especially if they are inocent and defendless… abortion is of this tipe so any religion which wants to have a chance to be the right one must be against abortions. So Christianity has a chance.
On the other hand, we have a mercifull and just God whose mercy and justice ordres his people to genocidies and killing babies due this is way how to prevent them to commit sins taking them to hell. This does not seem to me to be sane.

I would like to express that I am a fan of Christianity, more exactly some of its denominations. But I cannot agree with this interpretation of Old Testament. If so, than it would be very probably impossible for me to appreciate Christianity. In fact I consider the OT testament to be one of greatest problems of Christianity.


#19

Did God order the Holocaust?

.

If God knows people’s future sins, it means they do not have any free will to do or not to do them. Quite strange.

If God knows mans future sins, why does that necessitate, that men are not free to make choices? There are different aspects of Catholic teaching that provide ways to understand freedom of the will and God’s sovereignty, Molinism, Congruism, Thomism…etc!

It does not have to be some sort of hyper-Calvinism fatalism, vs open theism

Do you mean that those people were defaultly bad? I think there were many others civilisations, tribes, or states based on bad and sinful principles in much huger amount than those in discusiion and they were not ordered to be masacred. And if they were so evilly bad, they – any person has a chance to decide what (s)he will do and murder destroys this chance to take and make decisions.

I don’t believe that all were bad, maybe only some, but God had a goal to achieve, and that was to provide an environment that would procure the life, death and resurrection of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.

As I am reading I think you should state that abortion is act of the highest possible mercy because you make that child free of his/her future possible mistakes.

No, I do not need to be a fatalist, and I know this is going to sound foreign, or terrible, but it’s because God did not decree the holocaust to be, as if man had no choice to make in it. As a matter of fact, The Church has been speaking out on abortion almost from inception, not much longer after Christ assention!
Now, if God did decree this to happen, in let’s say OT times, would there be purpose for this? Would it be for the good of mankind? I would venture to say yes, if God ordained the action. Am I saying that the genocide of people in the OT was good, maybe not to our finite mind, but to God it seemed necessary, for purpose, otherwise, why genocide!

I’m sure there are people that will try to water down the genocide, as works of men, and that was not really God’s will, but hard hearted Israel, but as you can see this was ordered by God, so one can take the easy way out, and opt for this not being God’s will, but by doing so, you will have a God who is not sovereign!

How can one investigate if some philosophy or religion is or at least has a chance to be the true one? For example according to its attitudes.
For example, killing people is not good, especially if they are inocent and defendless… abortion is of this tipe so any religion which wants to have a chance to be the right one must be against abortions. So Christianity has a chance.
On the other hand, we have a mercifull and just God whose mercy and justice ordres his people to genocidies and killing babies due this is way how to prevent them to commit sins taking them to hell. This does not seem to me to be sane.

God had a purpose, and that was Mercy, Christ birth, death and resurrection, perhaps this was the best way to bring mercy to the masses. I can accept that I am not all knowing, but God is, and I trust in Him!

I would like to express that I am a fan of Christianity, more exactly some of its denominations. But I cannot agree with this interpretation of Old Testament. If so, than it would be very probably impossible for me to appreciate Christianity. In fact I consider the OT testament to be one of greatest problems of Christianity.

There are many explanations that are given, I have merely provided ONE. I’m sure others can provide insight, but this is not the thread for that, if you would like, start another thread and this can be discussed further… This thread is about the name of God and it looks like it has been sufficiently answered !


#20

Yahweh is not Hebrew for God. Yahweh is the name of God. God in Hebrew is “Elohim.”


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