(Question #14) What is the correct spelling of God’s proper name “Yahweh” or “Jehovah”? If Jehovah’s Witnesses maintain that “Yahweh” is more proper, why do they misspell it “Jehovah”? If the name of God is so important, then should you not only pronounce it correctly, but spell it correctly too? Is not spelling more important than pronunciation?
Excepting the fact that no one knows for sure which vowels were originally used with the Tetragrammaton, Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe that Yahweh is more proper. It may perhaps be said that “Yahweh” more closely resembles the Hebrew YHWH in retaining the letter “Y” – but that is because Hebrew does not have the letter “J” nor a jay sound. In fact the letter “J” is a relatively recent invention in English. (YHWH was originally translated using an “I” instead of “J”) However, now virtually all Hebrew names that are spelled with a “Y” are translated into English using a “J.”
That being the case, why use Yahweh to keep the Hebrew flavor of one name and not all?
The point being: The name Jehovah is an ancient and recognized English translation. And a translation is just that – the dictionary definition of the common prefix “trans” meaning to move “across”, “beyond” – “changing thoroughly.” So the Hebrew letters YHWH have moved across hundreds of languages – in some instances “changing thoroughly”, now appearing in dozens of iterations, each keeping with the customs of how Hebrew proper names are translated in each language.
Also, the word “Yah-weh” is only two syllables, whereas it seems nearly certain that the YHWH was structured with three. So, the name “Jehovah” is the more correct spelling of the English translation of the Hebrew letters YHWH or YHVH.