Monday, April 16, 2012

The Name of God - Jehovah vs Yahweh

In starting this blog site I was faced with the conundrum of what to name it. I have a deep thirst for knowledge of God, but ‘Thirsting for God’ doesn’t really have a nice ring to it. ‘Yahweh’ was a logical choice, a name for God that is in common use, and certainly has a great ring to it. The other logical option was ‘Jehovah’, but because of it’s close association in peoples minds to the Christian group called ‘Jehovah’s Witness’, I initially decided against using it.

So ‘Yahweh’ it was! But I thought I would do a little bit of research on the name before making it the title of the Blog. I quickly realised that Yahweh was a bad choice for a number of reasons, and that Jehovah is almost certainly the most accurate translation of the name of God.

Below is just some of the reasons why Yahweh didn’t make the cut:

1) Historically the name of God was always translated as ‘Jehovah’, as in the older KJV, AV and ASV. The trend to call God by the name of ‘Yahweh’ is only a recent phenomenon.

2) Many modern Bible scholars consider the name ‘Yahweh’ to have been a petty ‘storm god’ from other religions of antiquity, which the Israelites later stole to be their own god.
This idea is based on the fact that many descriptions of God in the Old Testament describe Him in association with thunder, lightening and storm clouds, which is similar to other ancient pagan gods who were storm deities, some of which was called something like Yaho, Ya-hu, or Yave.

3) The English use of ‘Yahweh’ is a mistranslation anyway. If one wanted to use this name, then Yahweh should be spelt with a ‘v’ not ‘w’, which makes the name ‘Yahveh’.
This error came about due to the misreading of German Hebrew grammars, which use W for the English V (note: the German V is pronounced like the English F). ‘Yahweh’ with a ‘w’ is more of an Arabic word, as opposed to the more correct Hebrew ‘Yahveh’, with a ‘v’.

4) Yahweh should never be spelt with a ‘y’ in the first place. In every case of a name in Hebrew that begins with a yod (Y) it is pronounced with the appropriate phoneme for that language. Y becomes a J in every name in English, French, and Spanish. In English the J is pronounced like J in Japan, while in French it is pronounced like S in pleasure, in Spanish it is pronounced like an H, in German it is pronounced like Y.
This means that Jahweh would be more correct.


For a more detailed explanation of why Yahweh is just plain wrong, see this article on my other Blog.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Born Again Christian

I was recently filling out a questionnaire which posed the usual question of which type of Christianity I belong to. Normally I just tick the “Lutheranism” box, or if that is not available then the “Other Christian” option. But this time I was given the option of “Born Again Christian”. I have seen this choice a number of times in past surveys, but certainly never considered myself to be of that category….not until now.

I had always looked upon Born Again Christians with a wee bit of envy. They are always the most joyful people, they have such a passion and enthusiasm for God that I had rarely seen in people who are born and raised as Christians.

This made me think that you had to experience the lowest of lows in life to then be able to experience the highest of highs that Christianity offers. I thought that maybe you had to totally reject God and also be at such a low point in life- someone like a drug-dealing pimp or heroin-addicted prostitute who is in such despair that they are at the point of suicide- in order to fully appreciate the amazing gifts of forgiveness and love that Christ offers.

Can the sweetest of sweet tastes only be appreciated by those who have tasted the sourest of sour flavours? This was my fear. I so dearly wanted the amazing relationship with God that these people experienced. The joy in their eyes, the ecstasy on their faces and the enthusiasm in their dance, simply over their love of God; I wanted that!!!

Well those depressing fears have been proven to be wrong in the last month. The joy in my heart and the zeal for God in my soul certainly seems to be similar to these types of Born Again Christians, not that it’s a competition! But the spiritual high that God is giving me totally satisfies my soul. So much so that I have no doubt that I now belong in the “Born Again Christian” category!

Hallelujah! God is indeed Great!!!