Jehovah (/dʒɪˈhoʊvə/) is a Latinization of the Hebrew יְהֹוָה, one vocalization of the Tetragrammaton יהוה (YHWH), the proper name of the God of Israel in the Hebrew Bible and one of the seven names of God in Judaism.
The consensus among scholars is that the historical vocalization of the Tetragrammaton at the time of the redaction of the Torah (6th century BCE) is most likely Yahweh. The historical vocalization was lost because in Second Temple Judaism, during the 3rd to 2nd centuries BCE, the pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton came to be avoided, being substituted with Adonai ("my Lord"). The Hebrew vowel points of Adonai were added to the Tetragrammaton by the Masoretes, and the resulting form was transliterated around the 12th century as Yehowah. The derived forms Iehouah and Jehovah first appeared in the 16th century.
"Jehovah" was popularized in the English-speaking world by William Tyndale and other pioneer English Protestant translations such as the Geneva Bible and the King James Version. It remains in use by the Watchtower Society translators of the New World Translation, and appears in the still-popular translations of the American Standard Version (1901) and the Young's Literal Translation (1862, 1899), but it does not appear in current mainstream English translations, some of which use Yahweh but most continue to use "Lord" or "LORD" to represent same.
Most scholars believe "Jehovah" (also transliterated as "Yehowah") to be a hybrid form derived by combining the Latin letters JHVH with the vowels of Adonai. Some hold that there is evidence that a form of the Tetragrammaton similar to Jehovah may have been in use in Semitic and Greek phonetic texts and artifacts from Late Antiquity. Others say that it is the pronunciation Yahweh that is testified in both Christian and pagan texts of the early Christian era.
Some Karaite Jews, as proponents of the rendering Jehovah, state that although the original pronunciation of יהוה has been obscured by disuse of the spoken name according to oral Rabbinic law, well-established English transliterations of other Hebrew personal names are accepted in normal usage, such as Joshua, Jeremiah, Isaiah or Jesus, for which the original pronunciations may be unknown. They also point out that "the English form Jehovah is quite simply an Anglicized form of Yehovah," and preserves the four Hebrew consonants "YHVH" (with the introduction of the "J" sound in English). Some argue that Jehovah is preferable to Yahweh, based on their conclusion that the Tetragrammaton was likely tri-syllabic originally, and that modern forms should therefore also have three syllables.
Biblical scholar Francis B. Dennio, in an article he wrote, in the Journal of Biblical Literature, said: "Jehovah misrepresents Yahweh no more than Jeremiah misrepresents Yirmeyahu. The settled connotations of Isaiah and Jeremiah forbid questioning their right." Dennio argued that the form "Jehovah" is not a barbarism, but is the best English form available, being that it has for centuries gathered the necessary connotations and associations for valid use in English.
According to a Jewish tradition developed during the 3rd to 2nd centuries BCE, the Tetragrammaton is written but not pronounced. When read, substitute terms replace the divine name where יְהֹוָה appears in the text. It is widely assumed, as proposed by the 19th-century Hebrew scholar Gesenius, that the vowels of the substitutes of the name—Adonai (Lord) and Elohim (God)—were inserted by the Masoretes to indicate that these substitutes were to be used. When יהוה precedes or follows Adonai, the Masoretes placed the vowel points of Elohim into the Tetragrammaton, producing a different vocalization of the Tetragrammaton יֱהֹוִה, which was read as Elohim. Based on this reasoning, the form יְהֹוָה (Jehovah) has been characterized by some as a "hybrid form", and even "a philological impossibility".
Early modern translators disregarded the practice of reading Adonai (or its equivalents in Greek and Latin, Κύριος and Dominus) in place of the Tetragrammaton and instead combined the four Hebrew letters of the Tetragrammaton with the vowel points that, except in synagogue scrolls, accompanied them, resulting in the form Jehovah. This form, which first took effect in works dated 1278 and 1303, was adopted in Tyndale's and some other Protestant translations of the Bible. In the 1560 Geneva Bible, the Tetragrammaton is translated as Jehovah six times, four as the proper name, and two as place-names. In the 1611 King James Version, Jehovah occurred seven times. In the 1885 English Revised Version, the form Jehovah occurs twelve times. In the 1901 American Standard Version the form "Je-ho’vah" became the regular English rendering of the Hebrew יהוה, all throughout, in preference to the previously dominant "the LORD", which is generally used in the King James Version. It is also used in Christian hymns such as the 1771 hymn, "Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah".
The most widespread theory is that the Hebrew term יְהֹוָה has the vowel points of אֲדֹנָי (adonai). Using the vowels of adonai, the composite hataf patah ֲ under the guttural alef א becomes a sheva ְ under the yod י, the holam ֹ is placed over the first he ה, and the qamats ָ is placed under the vav ו, giving יְהֹוָה (Jehovah). When the two names, יהוה and אדני, occur together, the former is pointed with a hataf segol ֱ under the yod י and a hiriq ִ under the second he ה, giving יֱהֹוִה, to indicate that it is to be read as (elohim) in order to avoid adonai being repeated.
Taking the spellings at face value may have been as a result of not knowing about the Q're perpetuum, resulting in the transliteration Yehowah and derived variants. Emil G. Hirsch was among the modern scholars that recognized "Jehovah" to be "grammatically impossible".
יְהֹוָה appears 6,518 times in the traditional Masoretic Text, in addition to 305 instances of יֱהֹוִה (Jehovih). The pronunciation Jehovah is believed to have arisen through the introduction of vowels of the qere—the marginal notation used by the Masoretes. In places where the consonants of the text to be read (the qere) differed from the consonants of the written text (the kethib), they wrote the qere in the margin to indicate that the kethib was read using the vowels of the qere. For a few very frequent words the marginal note was omitted, referred to as q're perpetuum. One of these frequent cases was God's name, which was not to be pronounced in fear of profaning the "ineffable name". Instead, wherever יהוה (YHWH) appears in the kethib of the biblical and liturgical books, it was to be read as אֲדֹנָי (adonai, "My Lord [plural of majesty]"), or as אֱלֹהִים (elohim, "God") if adonai appears next to it. This combination produces יְהֹוָה (yehovah) and יֱהֹוִה (yehovih) respectively. יהוה is also written ’ה, or even ’ד, and read ha-Shem ("the name").
Scholars are not in total agreement as to why יְהֹוָה does not have precisely the same vowel points as adonai. The use of the composite hataf segol ֱ in cases where the name is to be read, "elohim", has led to the opinion that the composite hataf patah ֲ ought to have been used to indicate the reading, "adonai". It has been argued conversely that the disuse of the patah is consistent with the Babylonian system, in which the composite is uncommon.
The table below shows the vowel points of Yehovah and Adonay, indicating the simple sheva in Yehovah in contrast to the hataf patah in Adonay. As indicated to the right, the vowel points used when YHWH is intended to be pronounced as Adonai are slightly different to those used in Adonai itself.
|Hebrew (Strong's #3068)
|Hebrew (Strong's #136)|
|ְ||Simple sheva||E||ֲ||Hataf patah||A|
The difference between the vowel points of ’ǎdônây and YHWH is explained by the rules of Hebrew morphology and phonetics. Sheva and hataf-patah were allophones of the same phoneme used in different situations: hataf-patah on glottal consonants including aleph (such as the first letter in Adonai), and simple sheva on other consonants (such as the Y in YHWH).
The earliest available Latin text to use a vocalization similar to Jehovah dates from the 13th century. The Brown-Driver-Briggs Lexicon suggested that the pronunciation Jehovah was unknown until 1520 when it was introduced by Galatinus, who defended its use.
In English it appeared in William Tyndale's translation of the Pentateuch ("The Five Books of Moses") published in 1530 in Germany, where Tyndale had studied since 1524, possibly in one or more of the universities at Wittenberg, Worms and Marburg, where Hebrew was taught. The spelling used by Tyndale was "Iehouah"; at that time, "I" was not distinguished from J, and U was not distinguished from V. The original 1611 printing of the Authorized King James Version used "Iehovah". Tyndale wrote about the divine name: "IEHOUAH [Jehovah], is God's name; neither is any creature so called; and it is as much to say as, One that is of himself, and dependeth of nothing. Moreover, as oft as thou seest LORD in great letters (except there be any error in the printing), it is in Hebrew Iehouah, Thou that art; or, He that is." The name is also found in a 1651 edition of Ramón Martí's Pugio fidei.
The name Jehovah appeared in all early Protestant Bibles in English, except Coverdale's translation in 1535. The Roman Catholic Douay-Rheims Bible used "the Lord", corresponding to the Latin Vulgate's use of "Dominus" (Latin for "Adonai", "Lord") to represent the Tetragrammaton. The Authorized King James Version, which used "Jehovah" in a few places, most frequently gave "the LORD" as the equivalent of the Tetragrammaton. The name Jehovah appeared in John Rogers' Matthew Bible in 1537, the Great Bible of 1539, the Geneva Bible of 1560, Bishop's Bible of 1568 and the King James Version of 1611. More recently, it has been used in the Revised Version of 1885, the American Standard Version in 1901, and the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures of Jehovah's Witnesses in 1961.
At Exodus 6:3–6, where the King James Version has Jehovah, the Revised Standard Version (1952), the New American Standard Bible (1971), the New International Version (1978), the New King James Version (1982), the New Revised Standard Version (1989), the New Century Version (1991), and the Contemporary English Version (1995) give "LORD" or "Lord" as their rendering of the Tetragrammaton, while the New Jerusalem Bible (1985), the Amplified Bible (1987), the New Living Translation (1996, revised 2007), the English Standard Version (2001), and the Holman Christian Standard Bible (2004) use the form Yahweh.
Modern guides to biblical Hebrew grammar, such as Duane A Garrett's A Modern Grammar for Classical Hebrew state that the Hebrew vowel points now found in printed Hebrew Bibles were invented in the second half of the first millennium AD, long after the texts were written. This is indicated in the authoritative Hebrew Grammar of Gesenius,
"Jehovist" scholars, largely earlier than the 20th century, who believe /dʒəˈhoʊvə/ to be the original pronunciation of the divine name, argue that the Hebraic vowel-points and accents were known to writers of the scriptures in antiquity and that both Scripture and history argue in favor of their ab origine status to the Hebrew language. Some members of Karaite Judaism, such as Nehemia Gordon, hold this view. The antiquity of the vowel points and of the rendering Jehovah was defended by various scholars, including Michaelis, Drach, Stier, William Fulke (1583), Johannes Buxtorf, his son Johannes Buxtorf II, and John Owen  (17th century); Peter Whitfield and John Gill (18th century), John Moncrieff  (19th century), Johann Friedrich von Meyer (1832) Thomas D. Ross has given an account of the controversy on this matter in England down to 1833. G. A. Riplinger, John Hinton, Thomas M. Strouse, are more recent defenders of the authenticity of the vowel points.
Jehovist writers such as Nehemia Gordon, who helped make a translation of the "Dead Sea Scrolls", have acknowledged the general agreement among scholars that the original pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton was probably Yahweh, and that the vowel points now attached to the Tetragrammaton were added to indicate that Adonai was to be read instead, as seen in the alteration of those points after prefixes. He wrote: "There is a virtual scholarly consensus concerning this name" and "this is presented as fact in every introduction to Biblical Hebrew and every scholarly discussion of the name." Gordon, disputing this consensus, wrote, "However, this consensus is not based on decisive proof. We have seen that the scholarly consensus concerning Yahweh is really just a wild guess," and went on to say that the vowel points of Adonai are not correct. He argued that "the name is really pronounced Ye-ho-vah with the emphasis on 'vah'. Pronouncing the name Yehovah with the emphasis on 'ho' (as in English Jehovah) would quite simply be a mistake."
18th-century theologian John Gill puts forward the arguments of 17th-century Johannes Buxtorf II and others in his writing, A Dissertation Concerning the Antiquity of the Hebrew Language, Letters, Vowel-Points and Accents. He argued for an extreme antiquity of their use, rejecting the idea that the vowel points were invented by the Masoretes. Gill presented writings, including passages of scripture, that he interpreted as supportive of his "Jehovist" viewpoint that the Old Testament must have included vowel-points and accents. He claimed that the use of Hebrew vowel points of יְהֹוָה, and therefore of the name Jehovah /jəˈhoʊvə/, is documented from before 200 BCE, and even back to Adam, citing Jewish tradition that Hebrew was the first language. He argued that throughout this history the Masoretes did not invent the vowel points and accents, but that they were delivered to Moses by God at Sinai, citing Karaite authorities Mordechai ben Nisan Kukizov (1699) and his associates, who stated that "all our wise men with one mouth affirm and profess that the whole law was pointed and accented, as it came out of the hands of Moses, the man of God." The argument between Karaite and Rabbinic Judaism on whether it was lawful to pronounce the name represented by the Tetragrammaton is claimed to show that some copies have always been pointed (voweled) and that some copies were not pointed with the vowels because of "oral law", for control of interpretation by some Judeo sects, including non-pointed copies in synagogues. Gill claimed that the pronunciation /jəˈhoʊvə/ can be traced back to early historical sources which indicate that vowel points and/or accents were used in their time. Sources Gill claimed supported his view include:
Gill quoted Elia Levita, who said, "There is no syllable without a point, and there is no word without an accent," as showing that the vowel points and the accents found in printed Hebrew Bibles have a dependence on each other, and so Gill attributed the same antiquity to the accents as to the vowel points. Gill acknowledged that Levita, "first asserted the vowel points were invented by "the men of Tiberias", but made reference to his condition that "if anyone could convince him that his opinion was contrary to the book of Zohar, he should be content to have it rejected." Gill then alludes to the book of Zohar, stating that rabbis declared it older than the Masoretes, and that it attests to the vowel-points and accents.
William Fulke, John Gill, John Owen, and others held that Jesus Christ referred to a Hebrew vowel point or accent at Matthew 5:18, indicated in the King James Version by the word tittle.
Despite Jehovist claims that vowel signs are necessary for reading and understanding Hebrew, modern Hebrew (apart from young children's books, some formal poetry and Hebrew primers for new immigrants), is written without vowel points. The Torah scrolls do not include vowel points, and ancient Hebrew was written without vowel signs.
The Dead Sea Scrolls, discovered in 1946 and dated from 400 BC to 70 AD, include texts from the Torah or Pentateuch and from other parts of the Hebrew Bible, and have provided documentary evidence that, in spite of claims to the contrary, the original Hebrew texts were in fact written without vowel points. Menahem Mansoor's The Dead Sea Scrolls: A College Textbook and a Study Guide claims the vowel points found in printed Hebrew Bibles were devised in the 9th and 10th centuries.
Gill's view that the Hebrew vowel points were in use at the time of Ezra or even since the origin of the Hebrew language is stated in an early 19th-century study in opposition to "the opinion of most learned men in modern times", according to whom the vowel points had been "invented since the time of Christ". The study presented the following considerations:
In the 16th and 17th centuries, various arguments were presented for and against the transcription of the form Jehovah.
|John Drusius (Johannes Van den Driesche) (1550–1616)||Tetragrammaton, sive de Nomine Die proprio, quod Tetragrammaton vocant (1604)||Drusius stated "Galatinus first led us to this mistake ... I know [of] nobody who read [it] thus earlier..").|
An editor of Drusius in 1698 knows of an earlier reading in Porchetus de Salvaticis however.
John Drusius wrote that neither יְהֹוָה nor יֱהֹוִה accurately represented God's name.
|Sixtinus Amama (1593–1659)||De nomine tetragrammato (1628) ||Sixtinus Amama, was a Professor of Hebrew in the University of Franeker. A pupil of Drusius. |
|Louis Cappel (1585–1658)||De nomine tetragrammato (1624)||Lewis Cappel reached the conclusion that Hebrew vowel points were not part of the original Hebrew language. This view was strongly contested by John Buxtorff the elder and his son.|
|James Altingius (1618–1679)||Exercitatio grammatica de punctis ac pronunciatione tetragrammati||James Altingius was a learned German divine. ||
|Nicholas Fuller (1557–1626)||Dissertatio de nomine יהוה||Nicholas was a Hebraist and a theologian. |
|John Buxtorf (1564–1629)||Disserto de nomine JHVH (1620); Tiberias, sive Commentarius Masoreticus (1664)||John Buxtorf the elder  opposed the views of Elia Levita regarding the late origin (invention by the Masoretes) of the Hebrew vowel points, a subject which gave rise to the controversy between Louis Cappel and his (e.g. John Buxtorf the elder's) son, Johannes Buxtorf II the younger.|
|Johannes Buxtorf II (1599–1664)||Tractatus de punctorum origine, antiquitate, et authoritate, oppositus Arcano puntationis revelato Ludovici Cappelli (1648)||Continued his father's arguments that the pronunciation and therefore the Hebrew vowel points resulting in the name Jehovah have divine inspiration.|
|Thomas Gataker (1574–1654)||De Nomine Tetragrammato Dissertaio (1645) ||See Memoirs of the Puritans Thomas Gataker.|
|John Leusden (1624–1699)||Dissertationes tres, de vera lectione nominis Jehova||John Leusden wrote three discourses in defense of the name Jehovah. |
In A Dictionary of the Bible (1863), William Robertson Smith summarized these discourses, concluding that "whatever, therefore, be the true pronunciation of the word, there can be little doubt that it is not Jehovah". Despite this, he consistently uses the name Jehovah throughout his dictionary and when translating Hebrew names. Some examples include Isaiah [Jehovah's help or salvation], Jehoshua [Jehovah a helper], Jehu [Jehovah is He]. In the entry, Jehovah, Smith writes: "JEHOVAH (יְהֹוָה, usually with the vowel points of אֲדֹנָי; but when the two occur together, the former is pointed יֱהֹוִה, that is with the vowels of אֱלֹהִים, as in Obad. i. 1, Hab. iii. 19:" This practice is also observed in many modern publications, such as the New Compact Bible Dictionary (Special Crusade Edition) of 1967 and Peloubet's Bible Dictionary of 1947.
The following versions of the Bible render the Tetragrammaton as Jehovah either exclusively or in selected verses:
Bible translations with the divine name in the New Testament:
Bible translations with the divine name in both the Old Testament and the New Testament: render the Tetragrammaton as Jehovah either exclusively or in selected verses:
The Douay Version of 1609 renders the phrase in Exodus 6:3 as "and my name Adonai", and in its footnote says: "Adonai is not the name here vttered to Moyses but is redde in place of the vnknowen name". The Challoner revision (1750) uses ADONAI with a note stating, "some moderns have framed the name Jehovah, unknown to all the ancients, whether Jews or Christians."
A few sacred name Bibles use the Tetragrammaton instead of a generic title (e.g., the LORD) or a conjectural transliteration (e.g., Yahweh or Jehovah):
Most modern translations exclusively use Lord or LORD, generally indicating that the corresponding Hebrew is Yahweh or YHWH (not JHVH), and in some cases saying that this name is "traditionally" transliterated as Jehovah:
A few translations use titles such as The Eternal:
Some translations use both Yahweh and LORD:
Some translate the Tetragrammaton exclusively as Yahweh:
Following the Middle Ages, some churches and public buildings across Europe, both before and after the Protestant Reformation were decorated with the name Jehovah. For example, the Coat of Arms of Plymouth (UK) City Council bears the Latin inscription, Turris fortissima est nomen Jehova (English, "The name of Jehovah is the strongest tower"), derived from Proverbs 18:10.
Jehovah has been a popular English word for the personal name of God for several centuries. Christian hymns feature the name. The form "Jehovah" also appears in reference books and novels, for example, appearing several times in the novel The Greatest Story Ever Told by Roman Catholic author Fulton Oursler. Some religious groups, notably Jehovah's Witnesses and proponents of the King-James-Only movement, make prominent use of the name.
In Mormonism, "Jehovah" is thought to be the name by which Jesus was known prior to his birth; references to "the LORD" in the KJV Old Testament are therefore understood to be references to the pre-mortal Jesus. God the Father, who is regarded as a separate individual, is sometimes referred to by the proper name "Elohim".
Transcriptions of יְהֹוָה similar to Jehovah occurred as early as the 12th century.
The commonly used form of God’s name in English is Jehovah, translated from the Hebrew [Tetragrammaton], which appears some 7,000 times in the Bible.
The Assemblies Jehovah Shammah are an Evangelical Christian network of churches that originated in India, which is still home to the great majority of them. The Evangelical publication Operation World estimates their numbers, as of 2010, at 310,000 adults and children in 910 assemblies, as their churches are generally known. Other sources estimate upwards of two thousand congregations, with a large presence in the State of Andhra Pradesh. The movement was founded in 1942 by evangelist Bakht Singh, whose theology and ecclesiology were much influenced by the Open Brethren. Although historically distinct from the Indian Brethren movement, which originated from missionary endeavours, the Assemblies Jehovah Shammah have a lot in common with it and are sometimes (but not always) considered a part of the Brethren movement worldwide.Book of Malachi
Malachi (or Malachias; מַלְאָכִי, Malʾaḫi, Mál'akhî) is the last book of the Neviim contained in the Tanakh, canonically the last of the Twelve Minor Prophets. In the Christian ordering, the grouping of the Prophetic Books is the last section of the Old Testament, making Malachi the last book before the New Testament.
The book is commonly attributed to a prophet by the name of "Malachi," as its title has frequently been understood as a proper name, although its Hebrew meaning is simply "My messenger" (the Septuagint reads "his messenger") and may not be the author's name at all. The name occurs in the superscription at 1:1 and in 3:1, although it is highly unlikely that the word refers to the same character in both of these references. Thus, there is substantial debate regarding the identity of the book's author. One of the Targums identifies Ezra (or Esdras) as the author of Malachi. Priest and Historian Jerome suggests that this may be because Ezra is seen as an intermediary between the prophets and the "great synagogue." There is, however, no historical evidence yet to support this claim.
Some scholars note affinities between Zechariah 9–14 and the Book of Malachi. Zechariah 9, Zechariah 12, and Malachi 1 are all introduced as The word of Elohim. Some scholars argue that this collection originally consisted of three independent and anonymous prophecies, two of which were subsequently appended to the Book of Zechariah as what they refer to as Deutero-Zechariah, with the third becoming the Book of Malachi. As a result, most scholars consider the Book of Malachi to be the work of a single author who may or may not have been identified by the title Malachi. The present division of the oracles results in a total of 12 books of minor prophets, a number parallelling the sons of Jacob who became the heads of the 12 Israelite tribes. The Catholic Encyclopedia asserts, "We are no doubt in presence of an abbreviation of the name Mál'akhîyah, that is Messenger of Elohim."Cwm Rhondda
Cwm Rhondda, taken from the Welsh name for the Rhondda Valley, is a popular hymn tune written by John Hughes.
It is usually used in English as a setting for William Williams' text Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer (or, in some traditions, Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah), originally Arglwydd, arwain trwy’r anialwch in Welsh. The tune and hymn are often called Bread of Heaven because of a line in this English translation.
In Welsh the tune is most commonly used as a setting for a hymn by Ann Griffiths, Wele'n sefyll rhwng y myrtwydd.Friends of Man
The Friends of Man are a Christian denomination founded in 1919 by Frédéric-Louis-Alexandre Freytag, the former Branch manager of the Swiss Watch Tower Society since 1912. He founded a group first named the Angel of the Lord (this name was inspired by a verse of the Apocalypse), Angel of Jehovah Bible and Tract Society, then Church of the Kingdom of God or the Philanthropic Assembly of the Friends of Man.God complex
A god complex is an unshakable belief characterized by consistently inflated feelings of personal ability, privilege, or infallibility. A person with a god complex may refuse to admit the possibility of their error or failure, even in the face of irrefutable evidence, intractable problems or difficult or impossible tasks. The person is also highly dogmatic in their views, meaning the person speaks of their personal opinions as though they were unquestionably correct. Someone with a god complex may exhibit no regard for the conventions and demands of society, and may request special consideration or privileges.Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses is a millenarian restorationist Christian denomination with nontrinitarian beliefs distinct from mainstream Christianity. The group reports a worldwide membership of approximately 8.58 million adherents involved in evangelism and an annual Memorial attendance of over 20 million. Jehovah's Witnesses are directed by the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses, a group of elders in Warwick, New York, which establishes all doctrines based on its interpretations of the Bible. They believe that the destruction of the present world system at Armageddon is imminent, and that the establishment of God's kingdom over the earth is the only solution for all problems faced by humanity.The group emerged from the Bible Student movement founded in the late 1870s by Charles Taze Russell, who also co-founded Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society in 1881 to organize and print the movement's publications. A leadership dispute after Russell's death resulted in several groups breaking away, with Joseph Franklin Rutherford retaining control of the Watch Tower Society and its properties. Rutherford made significant organizational and doctrinal changes, including adoption of the name Jehovah's witnesses in 1931 to distinguish them from other Bible Student groups and symbolize a break with the legacy of Russell's traditions.Jehovah's Witnesses are best known for their door-to-door preaching, distributing literature such as The Watchtower and Awake!, and refusing military service and blood transfusions. They consider the use of God's name vital for proper worship. They reject Trinitarianism, inherent immortality of the soul, and hellfire, which they consider to be unscriptural doctrines. They do not observe Christmas, Easter, birthdays or other holidays and customs they consider to have pagan origins incompatible with Christianity. They prefer to use their own Bible translation, the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, although their literature occasionally quotes and cites other Bible translations. Adherents commonly refer to their body of beliefs as "The Truth" and consider themselves to be "in the Truth". They consider secular society to be morally corrupt and under the influence of Satan, and most limit their social interaction with non-Witnesses. Congregational disciplinary actions include disfellowshipping, their term for formal expulsion and shunning. Baptized individuals who formally leave are considered disassociated and are also shunned. Disfellowshipped and disassociated individuals may eventually be reinstated if deemed repentant.The group's position regarding conscientious objection to military service and refusal to salute national flags has brought it into conflict with some governments. Consequently, some Jehovah's Witnesses have been persecuted and their activities are banned or restricted in some countries. Persistent legal challenges by Jehovah's Witnesses have influenced legislation related to civil rights in several countries.The organization has received criticism regarding biblical translation, doctrines, and alleged coercion of its members. The Watch Tower Society has made various unfulfilled predictions about major biblical events such as Christ's Second Coming, the advent of God's Kingdom, and Armageddon. Their policies for handling cases of child sexual abuse have been the subject of various formal inquiries.Jehovah's Witnesses beliefs
The beliefs of Jehovah's Witnesses are based on the Bible teachings of Charles Taze Russell—founder of the Bible Student movement—and successive presidents of the Watch Tower Society, Joseph Franklin Rutherford, and Nathan Homer Knorr. Since 1976 all doctrinal decisions have been made by the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses, a group of elders at the denomination's headquarters. These teachings are disseminated through The Watchtower magazine and other publications of Jehovah's Witnesses, and at conventions and congregation meetings.Jehovah's Witnesses teach that the present world order, which they perceive as being under the control of Satan, will be ended by a direct intervention of Jehovah (God), who will use Jesus Christ to fully establish his heavenly government over earth, destroying existing human governments and non-Witnesses, and creating a cleansed society of true worshippers who can live forever. They see their mission as primarily evangelical (disseminating "good news"), to warn as many people as possible in the remaining time before Armageddon. All members of the denomination are expected to take an active part in preaching. Witnesses refer to all their beliefs collectively as "the Truth".Jehovah-jireh
In the Book of Genesis, Jehovah-jireh or Yahweh Yireh (Jehovah/Yahweh will provide) was a place in the land of Moriah. It was the location of the binding of Isaac, where God told Abraham to offer his son Isaac as a burnt offering. Abraham named the place after God provided a ram to sacrifice in place of Isaac. The phrase continues to be used among Christians.
"And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen." – Genesis 22:14 (KJV)Kingdom Hall
A Kingdom Hall is a place of worship used by Jehovah's Witnesses. The term was first suggested in 1935 by Joseph Franklin Rutherford, then president of the Watch Tower Society, for a building in Hawaii. Rutherford's reasoning was that these buildings would be used for "preaching the good news of the Kingdom". Jehovah's Witnesses use Kingdom Halls for the majority of their worship and Bible instruction. Witnesses prefer the term "Kingdom Hall" over "church", noting that the term often translated "church" in the Bible refers to the congregation of people rather than a structure.Kingdom song
Kingdom songs are the hymns sung by Jehovah's Witnesses at their religious meetings. Since 1879, the Watch Tower Society has published hymnal lyrics; by the 1920s they had published hundreds of adapted and original songs, and by the 1930s they referred to these as "Kingdom songs" in reference to God's Kingdom.With the 1966 release of Singing and Accompanying Yourselves with Music in Your Hearts, a policy was introduced to use only songs written by Witnesses. Subsequent collections were released in 1984 and in 2009, each retaining, retiring, or revising previous songs and introducing new songs. By 2019, the hymnal "Sing Out Joyfully" to Jehovah was available in over 200 languages, including several sign languages.
In addition to songbooks containing sheet music and lyrics, releases in various audio formats have included vocals in several languages, piano instrumentals, and orchestral arrangements.List of Watch Tower Society publications
The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society produces religious literature primarily for use by Jehovah's Witnesses. The organization's international writing, artwork, translation, and printery workforce are all baptized Jehovah's Witnesses. Since 2001, the literature produced by the Watch Tower Society is said to have been "published by Jehovah's Witnesses". Prior to 1931, the Watch Tower Society produced literature for the Bible Student movement.
Unbulleted publications are generally out of print and considered obsolete. Indented publications are superseded by more recent publications.Names of God
A number of traditions have lists of many names of God, many of which enumerate the various qualities of a Supreme Being. The English word "God" (and its equivalent in other languages) is used by multiple religions as a noun or name to refer to different deities, or specifically to the Supreme Being, as denoted in English by the capitalized and uncapitalized terms "god" and "God". Ancient cognate equivalents for the biblical Hebrew Elohim, one of the most common names of God in the Bible, include proto-Semitic El, biblical Aramaic Elah, and Arabic 'ilah. The personal or proper name for God in many of these languages may either be distinguished from such attributes, or homonymic. For example, in Judaism the tetragrammaton is sometimes related to the ancient Hebrew ehyeh ("I will be"). In the Hebrew Bible (Exodus 3:15), the personal name of God is revealed directly to Moses, namely: "Yahweh".Correlation between various theories and interpretation of the name of "the one God", used to signify a monotheistic or ultimate Supreme Being from which all other divine attributes derive, has been a subject of ecumenical discourse between Eastern and Western scholars for over two centuries. In Christian theology the word must be a personal and a proper name of God; hence it cannot be dismissed as mere metaphor. On the other hand, the names of God in a different tradition are sometimes referred to by symbols. The question whether divine names used by different religions are equivalent has been raised and analyzed.Exchange of names held sacred between different religious traditions is typically limited. Other elements of religious practice may be shared, especially when communities of different faiths are living in close proximity (for example, the use of Om and Gayatri within the Indian Christian community) but usage of the names themselves mostly remains within the domain of a particular religion, or even may help define one's religious belief according to practice, as in the case of the recitation of names of God (such as the japa). Guru Gobind Singh's Jaap Sahib, which contains 950 names of God. The Divine Names, the classic treatise by Pseudo-Dionysius, defines the scope of traditional understandings in Western traditions such as Hellenic, Christian, Jewish and Islamic theology on the nature and significance of the names of God. Further historical lists such as The 72 Names of the Lord show parallels in the history and interpretation of the name of God amongst Kabbalah, Christianity, and Hebrew scholarship in various parts of the Mediterranean world.The attitude as to the transmission of the name in many cultures was surrounded by secrecy. In Judaism, the pronunciation of the name of God has always been guarded with great care. It is believed that, in ancient times, the sages communicated the pronunciation only once every seven years; this system was challenged by more recent movements.
The nature of a holy name can be described as either personal or attributive. In many cultures it is often difficult to distinguish between the personal and the attributive names of God, the two divisions necessarily shading into each other.New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures
The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (NWT) is a translation of the Bible published by the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society. The New Testament portion was released in 1950, as The New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures, with the complete Bible released in 1961; it is used and distributed by Jehovah's Witnesses. Though it is not the first Bible to be published by the group, it is their first original translation of ancient Classical Hebrew, Koine Greek, and Old Aramaic biblical texts. As of September 2018, the Watch Tower Society has published more than 220 million copies of the New World Translation in whole or in part in 179 languages.Ngarrindjeri language
Ngarrindjeri (also Yaraldi, Yaralde Tingar) or Narrinyeri (also written Ngarinyeri) was the language of the Ngarrindjeri and related peoples of southern South Australia.
Ngarrindjerri is Pama–Nyungan. Bowern (2011) lists the Yaraldi, Ngarrindjeri, and Ramindjeri varieties as separate languages.The last fluent speaker died in the 1960s, but recent attempts to revive the language include the release of a Ngarrindjeri dictionary in 2009.In 1864, the publication of the Narrinyeri Bible was the first time portions of the Bible were translated into an Aboriginal language. 8 Genesis 2:8 follows in Ngarrindjerri from the 1864 translation and a literal English translation.
"Jehovah winmin gardenowe Edenald, kile yuppun ityan korn gardenungai."
"Jehovah God planted a garden in Eden, toward the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed."Persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses in Nazi Germany
Jehovah's Witnesses suffered religious persecution in Nazi Germany between 1933 and 1945 after refusing to perform military service, join Nazi organizations or give allegiance to the Hitler regime. An estimated 10,000 Witnesses—half of the number of members in Germany during that period—were imprisoned, including 2000 who were sent to Nazi concentration camps. An estimated 1200 died in custody, including 250 who were executed. They were the first Christian denomination banned by the Nazi government and the most extensively and intensively persecuted.Unlike Jews and Romani, who were persecuted on the basis of their ethnicity, Jehovah's Witnesses could escape persecution and personal harm by renouncing their religious beliefs by signing a document indicating renunciation of their faith, submission to state authority, and support of the German military. Historian Sybil Milton concludes that "their courage and defiance in the face of torture and death punctures the myth of a monolithic Nazi state ruling over docile and submissive subjects."Despite early attempts to demonstrate shared goals with the National Socialist regime, the group came under increasing public and governmental persecution from 1933, with many expelled from jobs and schools, deprived of income, and suffering beatings and imprisonment. Historians are divided over whether the Nazis intended to exterminate them, but several authors have claimed the Witnesses' outspoken condemnation of the Nazis contributed to their level of suffering.Psalm 83
Psalm 83 is the 83th psalm of the biblical Book of Psalms. In the Greek Septuagint version of the bible, and in its Latin translation in the Vulgate, this psalm is Psalm 82 in a slightly different numbering system. The psalm is the last of the Psalms of Asaph, which include Psalms 50 and 73 to 83. It is also the last of the "Elohist" collection, Psalm 42-83, in which the one of God's titles, Elohim, is mainly used. It is generally seen as a national lament provoked by the threat of an invasion of Israel by its neighbors.Sacred Name Bible
Sacred Name Bibles are Bible translations that consistently use Hebraic forms of God's personal name, instead of its English language translation, in both the Old and New Testaments. Some Bible versions, such as the Jerusalem Bible, employ the name Yahweh, a transliteration of Hebrew YHWH, in the English text of the Old Testament, where traditional English versions have LORD.Most sacred name versions use the name Yahshua, a Semitic form of the name Jesus.None of the Sacred Name Bibles are published by mainstream publishers. Instead, most are published by the same group that produced the translation. Some are available for download on the Web. Very few of these Bibles have been noted or reviewed by scholars outside the Sacred Name Movement.Some Sacred Name Bibles, such as the Hallelujah Scriptures, are also considered Messianic Bibles due to their significant Hebrew style. Therefore they are commonly used by Messianic Jews as well.Tetragrammaton
The tetragrammaton (; from Greek Τετραγράμματον, meaning "[consisting of] four letters"), יהוה in Hebrew and YHWH in Latin script, is the four-letter biblical name of the God of Israel. The books of the Torah and the rest of the Hebrew Bible (with the exception of Esther and Song of Songs) contain this Hebrew name. Religiously observant Jews and those who follow Talmudic Jewish traditions do not pronounce יהוה, nor do they read aloud transliterated forms such as Yahweh; instead the word is substituted with a different term, whether used to address or to refer to the God of Israel. Common substitutions for Hebrew forms are hakadosh baruch hu ("The Holy One, Blessed Be He"), Adonai ("My Lord") or HaShem ("The Name").Towing Jehovah
Towing Jehovah is a 1994 fantasy novel by American writer James K. Morrow, published by Harcourt Brace. The book is about the death of God and the subsequent towing of his body across the Atlantic Ocean. In 1995 it received the World Fantasy Award for best novel, with two additional best novel awards. It was followed by two sequels in 1996 and 1999.