God Has A Name
God Has Many Titles
Does God have a name? Yes, even gods of Greek Mythology, Egyptian, and Norse mythology have names. So why wouldn't the one true God also have a name? You may call Mr. Jones or Mr. Smith who happens to be your primary care physician by doc or doctor, but those are titles. Your sister or brother may be addressed by sis, sissy, bro, big brother, little sister, but they are forms of address, but those people still have names. Elohim' is Hebrew, Deus is Latin, and Greek Ky'rios (Lord) and Greek Theos (God), but they are all titles, not names. Abba was an endearing form of address like papa for father that was both informal yet respectful, and later it became an applied title to honor Jewish rabbis. Again none of those are names. God's name appears as Jehovah-Jireh at Ge 22:2, 13 and 14, and as Jehovah-Nissi at Ex 17:8, 13-16 and Jehovah-Shalom at Jg 6:22-24. That includes God's name and a title such as Jehovah-Jireh meaning Jehovah my provider (or Jehovah will provide). The name by itself Jehovah used to appear many more times in Bibles than it does today, because those who translated and transcribed from the original Septuagint as opposed to the Latin Vulgate held closely to the divine name. However some copies of the Septuagint in whole have also replaced his name with Lord, and therefore it is important in those instances to look more closely at older copies of the Septuagint in fragment form, which is where you will find the name unchanged.
Religious Wars in God's Name
Jehovah coins exist due to religious wars
God's name has appeared on coins mostly due to kings and religious wars over the years. In fact, within the past several hundred years, God's name in Hebrew and Latin (Iehova) has appeared on over a thousand different kinds of coins, tokens, medals, and jetons.
Beginning in the 16th century, religious battles between Roman Catholics and Protestant Reformers raged throughout Europe, which eventually led to a religious civil war. This led to the use of God's name on coins, in which messages were transmitted that God was supporting one side or the other, which of course is untrue since God does not support war on any side. Photo credit: Public Domain incl USA
More than sixty different "Jehovah coins" are known from the time of Christian IV, the king of Denmark and Norway, who ruled from 1588 to 1648. By the mid-17th century, "Jehovah coins" also appeared in Poland and Switzerland, and they found their way into Germany as well. Another religious war fought in Europe from 1618 to 1648 also known as "The Thirty Years War" helped to proliferate the coins. Later the coins were produced in towns such as Erfurt, Furth, Mainz, and Wurzburg, and by the early 18th century it was used way less often and eventually disappeared from dies and stamps altogether.
Wars and kings helped to push such coins into circulation and below are some examples.
Examples of Jehovah Coins
1) A gold coin minted by Switzerland containing the Latin words outlining the coin's circumference in a circular pattern "Benedictus Sit Iehova Deus, meaning "May Jehovah God Be Praised";
2) In or about 1568, the Swedes minted a coin in which the top back of the coin had God's name written in Hebrew using the Tetragrammaton;
3) Shortly after, Scotland minted a coin in 1591;
4) In about 1600, again the Swedes put His name on money, whereby King Charles IX used God's name spelled variously as Ihehova, Iehova, and Iehovah. He had one coin minted in gold - a showpiece that was said to be valued at over four months' wages for a manual laborer!
5) During the "Thirty Years War", but after a particular battle in 1631, in which they were victorious (The Battle at Breitenfeld), Swedish King Gustav II Adolph had coins minted that bore His name. In the middle of the coin it said "A Domino" and above it at the top was God's name in Hebrew using the four letter Tetragrammaton.
There is an entire as seen here. Additionally, there is a website on Jehovah coins and if you scroll through the languages section, you can see pictures of the coins from those countries. Many book written about Jehovah coins and their historyJehova talers are available from this coin auction site.
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God: The Tetragrammaton
God's name in tetragrammaton
God's name in the original Hebrew manuscripts was in the Tetragrammaton form and then translated to equate with the English language (and other languages) from original Hebrew, but has mostly been removed from Christian Bibles today.
In Hebrew, the name Jehovah originally appeared without vowels. In English those 4 consonants are JHVH, which is called a Tetragrammaton. What is that? The word itself is Greek with tetra meaning "four" and gramma meaning "letter." Its four letters sounds out or sounds like the word without the vowels, like the use of BLVD for boulevard. Photo: digital creation of graphic reproduction
A modern example would be the vanity license plates on American vehicles today. I see all kinds of abbreviations I'm trying to figure out as I'm thinking and driving and all the while trying not to have an accident, like mab2mro meaning "maybe tomorrow." This being the case, you can imagine how much harder it is to read and understand original Hebrew since it was all consonants and read right to left. This was way before Masoretic Hebrew with vowel points, which did not come into being until mid way through the new millennium. (Notice I did not say 1st century, so this was mid 500ish A.D.)
A true tetragrammaton is however specific to 4 letters. God's name did occur in the Christian Bible in the Old Testament 6,828 times, but most versions of the Christian Bible for almost all denominations have replaced that with Lord. Mostly you will only find the divine name Jehovah (translated from the Hebrew Tetragrammaton and spelled out) in three lonely scriptures today namely Psalms 83:18, or one of two in Exodus at 6:2 and 3, or Ex 20:4 and 5.
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God in Classical Music
God's name found in 17th to 19th century music
God's personal name has been used in classical music by 17th through 19th century composers. Handel, Linley, Purcell, Schubert, and Mussorgsky all used God's name:
- G. F. Handel's "In Jehovah's Awful Sight" (Deborah) Part 2 No 05. Air: of Deborah (an 18th century oratorio) Working feverishly to satisy Handel for a libretto, Samuel Humphreys wrote the text for Handel's musical composition. Humphrey's source was based on the Book of Judges Chapter 4. That's classical composer, Handel in the picture above right.
- Thomas Linley's "Jehovah Ever Be My Song" from 1777 with text authored by by John Hoadly of the same time period. Hoadly's source was based on the Bible after Exodus Chapter 15. Later it became a duet listed as track 2 from the album The Song of Moses with conductor Peter Holman.
- Purcell's "Jehova, quam multi sunt hostes mei", (Z135) is dated around 1680 and is one of two sacred Latin motets by Purcell. It was inspired by the Bible at Psalm 3. Purcell's other work is still very popular today at weddings.
All 3 musical works can be found at Hyperion Records using the search word Jehovah.
Franz Peter Schubert also knew God's name, and his 1800's musical piece "Good It is to Thank Jehovah" is found here at classical archives. In another Schubert piece, the arrangement was done by Franz Liszt, and was best perfomed as a solo for a tenor in the choral piece Die Allmacht. Hyperion Records lists those lyrics "Gross ist Jehova der Herr", which when translated means "Great is Jehovah The Lord".
Russian composer, Mussorgsky wrote a Biblical scene "Jesus Navinus", for a choral work based on a story set in the Bible lands, which follows the route of the victorious marches of Navinus through Canaan. The St Petersburg Conservatory in Russia keeps the printed score. God's name in Russian is seen below in the photo.
God's Name in YouTube videos
There are many youtube videos which use God's name, Jehovah. Churches and high school choirs know God does have a name, but there are too many to list them all, so I just included a few.
God's name Jehovah is not specific to Jehovah's Witnesses, for many Christian religions have video taped live performances of their choirs and revivals using the "Jehovah" name. Kenneth Copeland, who has been around for years has sung "He is Jehovah". Additionally, many videos have been uploaded to youtube.com for the song "Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah" sung by church choirs. Some of these groups include:
- Central Islip Concert Choir, a high school choir in New York
- Christ United Methodist Church Sanctuary Choir directed by Mike Wright on 5-6-2007
- Bishop Jeff Banks and Revival Temple Mass Choir
- as well as Rev. Charles Nicks and Harold Smith's Majestics, Bishop James Morton, and Pastor E. Dewey Smith Jr. who have included it in their Sunday service, choirs, revivals and the like
Some additional churches have used this song in their service but used the version "Guide Me O' Thou Great Redeemer." In the next paragraph below you'll find a very upbeat song titled "Jehovah Jireh."
This upbeat, toe-tapping song by Benny Hinn is titled "Jehovah Jireh" - My Provider and is seen here at the video below. The violinist is pretty good. If you live in a country where this cannot be viewed, then here is a link for an audio sample play on iTunes from the album Healing.
God's Name in Pop Culture
God's name is found in pop culture and entertainment media.
God's personal name is used in pop culture and entertainment media and is growing at an enormous rate. God's name is being spread through our media culture in Gospel and Christian music, movies, and even a video game.
Jehovah in the Movies:
Director Steven Spielberg, a non-Christian chose to use the name Jehovah over the Jewish "Yahweh" in his movie "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade", the 3rd installment of the Indiana Jones movie series. Director Antal Forgacs directed the 1918 film titled "Jehova", in Hungarian. Little is known about the director or the movie other than it being listed with the International Movie Database (IMDB). Photo: own digital creation
Two additional films made reference to Jehovah with the first being "Grand Illusion" (1937) or otherwise known as La grande illusion, which was a French made film and yet it made U.S. "Oscar" history when it was the 1st film to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture in the foreign language category. The other picture (film) was for the smaller screen, when "The Ascent of Man" aired in 1973 as a 13 part documentary TV series (or mini-series documentary) produced by the BBC and Time Life Films. The episode containing the reference was The Grain in the Stone. The latter two film titles that make reference to Jehovah are seen here at IMDB.
Jehovah in an Educational video:
Jehovah's name has been used in education with Microsoft's Encyclopedia Encarta. The Encarta CD (then later available online) also included a video game "Mind Maze", which was once a part of the Encyclopedia Encarta CD as a bundled program. "Mind Maze" (circa 1996) was a trivia game, and the divine name was the answer to a question in the religion and philosophy section. Both the Encyclopedia and the game Mind Maze are now defunct.
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God's Name in Popular Music
Jehovah in Gospel Music:
The Divine name has been used by Gospel singer Albertina Walker who formed the group "The Caravans." One of the members of the group was Inez Andrews and when she left the group to go solo she also used Jehovah's name in a song she released on her own album. Both women sang the song "Jehovah is His Name". Walker's version is on the 1975 album God is Love.
Jehovah's Name in Other Christian Music:
Sometimes God's name is not contained in the song title, but is in the words of the songs, like the song "We Will Glorify" by The Acappella Company or the song "Alpha and Omega" by the Gaither Vocal Band, otherwise known as GVB. In Gaither's song God's name is first sung about halfway into the song. This is not however my favorite song about Jehovah because some of the distinctions made about God in the song are confused with Jesus in my opinion, but this is not the place for a debate. I do like the tune though and they do KNOW God has a name, so it's still on topic. Photo credit: photobucket - share site
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Bibles With God's Name
Bibles that contain God's name most often
Some Bibles are better than others at keeping as close to the original text as possible and contain the name of God more often than others. I've listed five Bibles that do a better job retaining God's name.
Five Bibles that have God's personal name more often than others are:
1.) "The Holy Bible" by Robert Young known as Young's Literal Translation (YLT);
2.) "The Holy Scriptures" translated by J. N. Darby known as the Darby Bible Translation (mid to late 1800's;)
3.) "The Bible in Living English", S.T. Byington done late 1800's to mid 1900's published 1972
4.) "American Standard Version" of 1901 (not 1977);
5.) and "New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures."
I am sure as time goes by, most of these Bibles will also fall prey to the corruption of omitting God's name.
There are a few more Bibles that contain it less often, but is sometimes found with the:
* "English Revised Version" and "Webster's Bible Translation" using Jehovah-nissi at Ex 17:15
* "American KJV" and "KJV 2000" using Jehovah-jireh (my provider) at Ge 22:14
It is the greatest indignity that modern translators render to the Divine Author of the Holy Scriptures the removal of OR the concealing of God's personal name. In fact two of the last few scriptures in the book of Revelation chapter 22, verses 18 and 19 tell us not to add or take away anything that is written in the Bible, and yet that is exactly what humans have done. Some people choose a Bible that is easy to read with charts or pretty pictures, while others choose one based on accuracy. Click here to see many Bible versions wording on Re 22:18 and Revelation 22:19.
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