QUESTION: Jehovah’s Witnesses teach that everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah (YHWH) will be saved. The name Jehovah is “an invention” by a Spanish Dominican monk of the Roman Catholic Church back in the 13th century (according to the AID book). There are many indications of a Masonic connection with the early Bible Students. Jehovah is the most important person in Freemasonry. In the higher orders of Freemasonry they sacrifice to Satan. Are those calling on the name Jehovah’s unwittingly calling on Satan? And is it fitting for a Christian to use a “contrived name” when addressing the Almighty, keeping in mind that the pronunciation of God’s name has not been preserved in the Bible?
Jehovah’s Witnesses did not come up with the idea that everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will be saved. It is what is written in the Bible. Jehovah’s Witnesses merely point out what the Scriptures say.
It is always amusing to me when people repeat that some Catholic monk invented the name. Apparently people do not realize that the English language itself is an invention. 2,000 years ago when Christianity began there was no English language spoken. Linguists trace its beginning to about the 5th century A.D. And what was originally spoken, known as Old English, is hardly recognizable to moderns. The fact is, all languages evolve as new words are coined and old words fade from use. Besides, the original English alphabet did not have the letters “J” or “V.” Those letters were invented later. That is why when John Wycliffe translated the first English version of the Bible, which appeared around 1395, he rendered YHWH as Iehowah.
As far as the Masons using God’s name, I suspect they use the name of Jesus too. So what? Does that in any way diminish Christ? The Ten Commandments warn, not against the proper use of God’s name, but using it in a worthless way. If someone misuses God’s name in a magic ritual they will have to answer for their error.
Interestingly, back before the Flood, the account at Genesis 4:26 says that during the days of Enosh is when men started to call on the name of YHWH. Apparently that was in a negative way since people called on God’s name from the very beginning. For example, when Eve gave birth she proclaimed that she produced a man with the aid of Jehovah.
As mentioned, originally English did not have the letter “J” and Hebrew still doesn’t. That means every proper Hebrew name that has been translated into English is an invention too. Popular Hebrew names like Jacob and Joshua, Joel and Joseph, are spelled with a “Y” in Hebrew. Why is it that no one considers these common names to be illegitimate?
The truth is, Satan has tried to erase God’s name. He has largely succeeded in inducing modern Bible translators to omit any reference to YHWH in any form, whether Jehovah or Yahweh. Evidence suggests that copyists of the Greek Scriptures also deleted YHWH from the Gospels and the letters of the apostles. Still, YHWH appears several thousand times in the ancient Hebrew texts —almost 7,000 places in total.
People make a big deal that no one knows what vowels accentuated the Tetragrammaton. No doubt the enemies of truth would prefer to render God’s name unpronounceable. Obviously, no one can call upon the name of YHWH. Without vowels, YHWH is not a name. It is an abbreviation.
But it is really not so mysterious. The ancient Hebrews certainly knew how the name was pronounced. Moses and the prophets heard God utter his own name. Hebrew parents named their children in ways that incorporated God’s personal name. There are probably more than a hundred proper Hebrew names in the Bible that use either a prefix or suffix of God’s name, or the abbreviation —Yah. For example, there were 9 different individuals named Abijah. The name is derived from the Hebrew word Abba, which means “father” and Yah, the shortened form of Yehowah. It means My Father Is Jehovah.
Take Elijah. Eli is short for Elohim, which is the Hebrew word for God. And again, Jah, the shortened form of Jehovah. Together Elijah means My God Is Jehovah.
Some Hebrew names used the first two consonants and vowels of God’s name as a prefix. Names like Jehoiachin, Jehohanan (John), Jehoiada, Jehoram, Jehoshaphat, and others. Accounting for the fact that those names are spelled with a “Y” in Hebrew it indicates that the first two vowels of the YHWH were “e” and “o,” Yeho in Hebrew and Jeho in English and many other Romantic languages as well.
Dozens of other proper Hebrew names appropriated the last syllable of God’s name as a suffix. Names like Jeremiah, Zephaniah, Hananiah, Zechariah, Uriah, and many others, demonstrate that the vowel of the third syllable of YHWH was an “a.”
By breaking down the Hebrew names that derived from God’s name it is indisputable that YHWH was pronounced with three syllables, not two as in Yahweh. And the three vowels in order were EOA, making YHWH Ye-ho-wah. But since every other Hebrew name is translated into English with a “J” it would be inconsistent to render God’s name in its Hebrew form —hence, Jehovah.
The fact is, whoever invented the name Jehovah hit it right on. Had the Catholic monk not done it someone else would have. If no one else had done it, I would have.